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Deciding To Be Better

2012.01.01 19:38 DecidingToBeBetter Deciding To Be Better

A force for self-improvement, goodness, and togetherness that helps humanity eliminate evil. Progression is key, so if you have decided to leave the bad behind, this is the place for you.
[link]


2020.09.24 16:37 roboto_jones Built my First PC as 31st Birthday to Myself - My Full Experience : Specs, Purchase (from Australia), 7 hours live-streamed Build, NO POST, Troubleshoot, & Lesson - Super Long Post!

Photos of my FIRST PC Build! & a photo of me with the laptop it's replacing!
Story:
Initially I wanted to buy a pre-built PC for my 31st birthday but after reading some comments and posts (especially here on buildapc), I decided to build one myself - to save some $$$ but to also as a learning experience; oh boy did I learn some lessons.
The PC was built to replace my aging 2013 ASUS G750JX.
Primary use is for Gaming - WoW: Shadowlands, Cyberpunk 2077, Halo : Infinite, & Assassin's Creed : Norway Simulator. No Microsoft Flight Sim here. Secondary for Work - Autodesk Revit, Rhinoceros 5, 3DS Max, SketchUp, & Vray. Occassionaly for Streaming and Video editting - Twitch Studio, Adobe Rush.
After watching/reading a lot of guides, parts selected, and parts arrived - I decided to live-stream my entire build: YouTube link of my stream reduced from 7 hours to 1 hour.
I also thought I'd share my experience with you guys by making a SUPER LONG post.
So like days when games guides were giant TXT files from GameFAQS, I divided this into CHAPTERS!

Chapters:
A001 - PC SpecsA002 - Specs Lesson / Alternates OptionsB001 - Budget Info & Store Choice - from an Australian buyer perspectiveB002 - Spec vs Price Comparison - at time of purchase on August 22B003 - Delivery & Arrival date of Packages - Guess which package arrived the quickestC001 - Build Guides - some tutorials that I found usefulD001 - My 7 hours Build - Live Streamed!D002 - NO POST! & Troubleshooting - with the help from one of my viewers.E001 - Post-Build & General Lessons LearntE002 - Next Upgrades Selection & WishlistF001 - Special Thanks & Shameless Self-Promo
Just Ctrl+F and search the code "AXXX" for that specific chapter and you'll jump right to it!

// A001 - PC Specs // PC Part Picker list : https://au.pcpartpicker.com/list/rXzGWb


// A002 - Specs Lesson / Alternates Options //
I won't go to Part-by-Part because honestly, I'm no expert - I'll link to a guide if I find one. These are just some of the things I noted after my build.
Choosing your Parts Lessons / Tips :

Alternate Options - Some parts I considering as alternate to fit a lower budget:


At time of purchase, the 30 GPUs Series were still rumored, with only leaked images. So I went with an RX 5700 XT because it felt like it was the best Bang for the Buck and that it would be a longer wait if I wanted the Nvidia 30 series or AMD 6000 series.
If time is not a constraint for you, I'd say it's definitely worth waiting for the new GPUs.

// B001 - Budget Info & Store Choice //
I initially wanted to buy a Pre-Built PC but after deciding to build my own, I just used the initial budget for my parts.
Being in Australia, a giant island away from everyone else, parts are more expensive. Most tech reviews will mention the USD prices and unfortunately it's not a 1:1 currency conversion - so set expectations accordingly.
I specifically chose these stores because I've made purchases from there before and they're local.
I wanted to order locally to avoid any international shipping and direct customer service if I faced any issues. I also just wanted to help out local stores as much as I could during this pandemic season - eventhough business for e-retailers are booming right now.
Other Australian stores worth checking out are: Mwave & PLE & SKYCOMP

// B002 - Spec vs Price Comparison //
A quick schedule I made for each parts by the selected AU Stores I've purchased from:
BOLD items are the lowest price found. Italics items were sold-out / pre-order listed.Prices shown were from purchase on August 25.Price listed as Australian Dollars - AUD$Price with (*) means the place I bought the part from.

Part / Store PCCG Scorptec Centrecom PCByte
CPU : AMD Ryzen 7 3700X 529 525 519* 525
MoBo : MSI MAG X570 TOMAHAWK WIFI ATX AM4 389 389 389* 389
MEMORY : Corsair Vengeance LPX 16 GB (2 x 8 GB) DDR4-3600 CL18 139 129 119* 149
GPU : ASUS Radeon RX 5700 XT 8 GB TUF Gaming 699 699 679 599*
SSD Storage : Kingston A2000 500 GB M.2-2280 NVME SSD 99 105 92 89*
HDD Storage : Western Digital Blue 2 TB 3.5" 5400RPM HDD 89 90 78* 85
PSU : Corsair RM (2019) 650 W 80+ Gold Certified Fully Modular ATX Power Supply 199* 199 209 175
CASE : NZXT H510 ATX Mid Tower Case 159* 139 139 139
CPU COOLER : Corsair H100x 57.2 CFM Liquid CPU Cooler 169 159 159 145*
TOTAL PRICE PER STORE: 2471 2434 2383 2295
Standard Delivery: 21 Did Not Check 0 - Free! 10
TOTAL PRICE OF LOWEST & AVAILABLE PARTS = AUD$2296
By the cost comparison, PCByte was the best place to purchase IF they had all the stock - which sadly wasn't the case.
So I ended purchasing the parts from PCCG, Centrecom, PCByte separately, which the total parts costs was $1 higher than the total at PCByte. The most parts I ordered from was at CentreCom for their free delivery. PCCG was the only place that had the Case & PSU, so I ordered it from there as well.
AS A TEST, I ordered another 'Corsair Vengeance LPX 16 GB (2 x 8 GB) DDR4-3600 CL18' from AmazonUS for $99.20 + $16.50. To see how fast it would arrive and 32GB RAM would be great to have. Boy oh boy, the $4 savings than the price at CentreCom was not worth it.
TOTAL COST INCLUDING DELIVERY = AUD$2,442.70

// B003 - Delivery & Arrival date of Packages//
A summary from Order Date to Shipment Arrival for each store:

One thing to note for my orders with CentreCom & PCByte, I decided to pay via Bank Transfer to save from the 1-2% surcharge on payments made via PayPal or Credit Card but then it took those stores time to verify the payment has been received before shipping the order out.
PC Byte was quick to process the payment, only requiring a Transaction Receipt to verify. CentreCom took much longer which resulted in the slower shipment than the AmazonUS from Whitestown, Indiana, USA to Melbourne, Australia.


// C001 - Build Guides //
The number 1 that helped me was RTFM - READ THE FRIENDLY MANUAL. (Thanks Jay) Most of things you need to know on the part and how to install is mentioned in in their respective manual. There are general information that applies to each part but they can vary slightly from different manufacturers - so read carefully.
Again, I won't go through part-by-part guides. Just some guides & information that I found useful.
Here's some of the tutorial videos that helped me with my build:

// D001 - My 7 hours Build - That I Live Streamed! //
Here's an edited down version of the stream from 7 hours to 1 hour & minus the few times my recording dropped for some reason.
So I did watch all the guides and videos listed previous chapter. Also, read the manuals of most of the products online before even receiving the parcels. Still, I was a nervous a mess!
I did buy a whole set of tiny screw bits for $19 because it has that weird bendy bit for hard to reach spots. 100% not required at all, definitely an overkill on my part.
A simple breakdown of the video, this is NOT a guide - just a summary and some handy tips I recalled:
  1. Installed as much parts as you could onto the MoBo - the CPU, RAM, & NVME SSD.
    1. Make sure the CPU is placed oriented correctly!
    2. Check the RAM is installed in the right order! RAM may require some force!
    3. Make sure you got the right standoff for your NVME SSD. Don't leave one below in the middle of the NVME as it may damage it.
  2. Prepared the AIO CPU Cooler (Corsair H100X) - made sure the right brackets & mounting brackets were in place.
    1. Read the manual!
    2. Don't touch face of the cooler! Leave the cover on.
  3. Installed the fans onto the radiator - in a pull configuration. Just to make the fans visible honestly.
  4. Installed the radiator onto the radiator mounting bracket from case (NZXT H510).
    1. Check your case's manual!
  5. Recording Dropped! Prepared my case before I placed my MoBo.
    1. Install the IO Shield. Mine is pre-installed, so don't need to worry about it.
    2. Checked the right standoffs are in-place to receive my ATX MoBo. DON'T leave any unnecessary standoff on the case, it may DAMAGE your MoBo.
  6. Placed my MoBo into the case.
    1. Angle it slight for an easier insert.
    2. Screw it place. Don't force the screw! As long as it's secure, it's sufficient.
  7. Recording Returns! Installed my AIO Cooler (Corsair H100X).
    1. It has this weird earing mounting thing that hooks onto the existing bracket on the board.
    2. Make sure the logo/face of the AIO is oriented accordingly!
  8. Installed the radiator mount back into the case.
  9. Prepared my Fully Modular PSU - Again, RTFM - Read The Flippin' Manual!
    1. Installed the needed Cables.
    2. This where I should've installed my cable extensions, if I had any.
  10. Installed the PSU onto the case.
  11. Make sure to orient it correct! Mine was with the fan blowing to the bottom of the case.
  12. Took out the Hard Disk Drive Cage & screwed the HDD into the cage.
  13. In hindsight, should've done this first before the PSU as the cables got in my way.
  14. Your case may vary! Check your manual.
  15. CABLES TIME! Checked the orientation of where each cable would go from the back of the case and to the front.
  16. Again, read the manual!
  17. A good thing about my case (NZXT H510) is that the Front Panel connector comes in a handy single-piece bundle that makes it easy to connect.
  18. Connected all the MoBo cables. Always check the orientation! Look at the empty keys slot, any square face indents, clips, etc. Be careful!
  19. Installed my GPU (ASUS TUF RX 5700 XT) - it is a hefty boi.
  20. The GPU I chose has a 6pin+8pin PCIe Cable bit which confused me for a bit.
  21. I should've - READ THE MANUAL!
  22. Double Checked everything is securely installed
  23. Plugged into Power & Switch the PSU to On
  24. GPU LED turned on.
  25. No weird noises - thankfully!
  26. Pressed the Power Button AND...
// D002 - NO POST! & Troubleshooting - with the help from one of my viewers. //
NO POST! - Which sank my heart instantly.
Shoutout to one of my viewers, haxnetTech, who told me to look at the LED on the MoBo next to the RAM, which highlighted "DRAM" and basically guide me through the troubleshoot.
Because I had 4 sticks of RAM installed. The issue could've been a lot of things : RAM sticks might not have been seated securely, a faulty RAM stick or multiple of them, OR faulty Motherboard.
So troubleshooting began as follows:
  1. Removed all 4 RAM sticks.
  2. Reseat all 4 RAM. NO POST.
  3. Removed all 4 RAM again.
    1. Separated each pair based on their serial numbers - CentreCom pair and the Amazon pair.
  4. Installed the CentreCom pair in the A2 & B2. YAY! POST!
  5. Installed the Amazon pair in the A1 & B1. NO POST!
  6. Removed all the RAM and placed the Amazon pair in A2 & B2. NO POST!
  7. I did test each RAM individually in A2 and found only ONE of the Amazon pair was faulty.
    1. Because I wanted to return it, obviously I returned it as a pair.
  8. Removed the Amazon Pair and reinstalled the CentreCom pair. YAY! POST!
  9. Proceeded to install my Windows.
    1. Made sure to install the OS in the NVME SSD, NOT the HDD.
  10. After 7 hours live-stream, thanked my stream.
  11. Ate a Chicken Kebab.
My initial plan was to have 32GB Memory (4x 8GB) and having to return a pair, I ended up running off 16GB for a while.
I did have a concern that maybe I had issues with my A1 & B1 RAM slots on my MoBo, so I ended up ordering another pair 32GB Memory (2x 16GB) to fill out my remaining slot and test it out. Worst case, I'll just run off the A2 & B2 with the 2x 16GB pair.
MEMORY : Corsair Vengeance LPX 32GB (2X16GB) DDR4 3600 (PC4-28800) C18 1.35V Desktop Memory BlackCOST : AUD$222.00 + $15.80 Delivery - from SKYCOMP. The only Australian store that had stock.DELIVERY : Ordered - 08.09.2020. Arrived - 14.09.2020. 6 days.
RAM arrived, installed the 2x 16GB memory in A2 & B2. Installed the CentreCom 2x 8GB pair in A1 & B1. TADAA! I am officially running at 48GB Memory.

// E001 - Post-Build & General Lessons Learnt //
I spent most of the time after my live-stream tidying the cables at the back of the PC and setting up my usual software & games.
Tweezered Zip-tied all the loose cables as neatly as I could.
I did try and do some basic overclocking with some guides on YouTube and Guru3D recommendations BUT I don't think I will include it in here as I am not that well-versed on the topic.

So here are some lessons I learnt from my build, aside from some of the tips I mentioned in the previous Chapters:

// E002 - Next Upgrades Selection & Wishlist //
PC Building is an addiction, you'll immediately look at things that to upgrade your perfectly functioning setup. I am officially one of them.
I even made a schedule of my wishlist and store prices - in hopes that if there was ever I sale and huge price drop (in Australian Dollars AUD$) :

PARTS PCCG SCORPTEC CENTRECOM PCBYTE SKYCOMP MWAVE PLE
SSD STORAGE: Gigabyte AORUS NVMe Gen4 1 TB 329 319 299 299 296 329
RGB Case Fans: Corsair LL120 63 CFM 120 mm Fans 179 159 159 149 157 159 159
OR Lian Li SL120 119 139 Not Found Not Found Not Found 139 Not Found
3080 GPU: MSI GeForce RTX3080 VENTUS OC 1379 1379 1379 1379 1379
OR Gigabyte GeForce RTX 3080 10 GB AORUS MASTER 1639 1639 1639 1639
1440p Monitor: AOC CQ32G2E 599 499 499 499 477 499 525
OR ViewSonic VX3258-2KPC-MHD 499 499 499 508 499 499
With my type of work, high memory GPUs are great but a 3090 is ridiculously expensive of an expense - so a 3080 would be nice step up. I am happy enough with my current GPU to wait for next generation, maybe a 3080 Super or a 6000 Series ST model.
Reason why I included the monitors is because the current monitor setup provided by Work is a decent 1440 60hz monitor that's been colour calibrated. Great for work, not so much for gaming.
After my build, I won't be buying upgrades anytime soon. But hey, you can't have a dream without a goal.
// F001 - Special Thanks & Shameless Self-Promo //
Thank you for checking out my post - especially you guys that read ALL of it.
Special Thanks to:

For those interested and want to check out my stuff:

Thank you again! Much Love, Roboto.
submitted by roboto_jones to buildapc [link] [comments]


2020.09.24 03:53 kittyaphrodite Guide to Dressing Romantics

Hey guys- I just wrote this post on vindicta but I thought it would also be helpful to post here- with the caveat that it is just my thoughts and experiences!
hey guys! This took a while of thinking to get done but I hope it helps!
The first step to being able to effectively style yourself is to find out your kibbe type. Here is a link to the test I took- https://theconceptwardrobe.com/kibbe-body-types/the-kibbe-body-type-test. I think its all the better the less preconceived notions you have about kibbe as your opinion could become clouded and you could suffer type resistance- as in, you want to be one body type but you really are another. I think the kibbe system is great because its not based in making you feel like shit about yourself. Every single type has universally-considered gorgeous and beautiful women. It is also about being honest to yourself. I am about 5’0- I will NEVER be a tall supermodel. It’s just not happening. And that’s fine! Look at the women you are in the category with and see how beautiful they are. That being said, I am considered a romantic and that’s what this guide will be tailored toward. Here is the full outline of kibbes romantic section in his book Metamorphosis- https://www.tapatalk.com/groups/seasonalcolokibbe-s-romantic-t1990.html. By the way, for whatever result you get on the kibbe test, if you google “tapatalk (your kibbe type)” you should find your own chapter results.
I feel I finally have a style and idea of how things work for my body which is petite and curvy. I think it does feel like a niche as curvy doesn’t necessarily mean a larger size, I am a size 6. I prefer to include real recommendations into my posts cause I feel it takes a lot of legwork out and is more helpful that way. I wouldn’t feel comfortable giving recs to people with different body types and have you buy something garbage!
also, as apart of this pre-styling guide- learn your color season. I don’t have any great links but here on the subreddit are many great posts that can point you in the right direction. Of course, is it law to not wear purple as a warm spring? No, of course not. However, it can help point you in the right direction in clothes you might be interested in buying and trying to pick the best colors for you. Finally, kibbe, color systems, and my suggestions aren’t law or things you have to do or else. Everyones different! Still, this stuff takes forever to learn and a lot of time and money to figure out and I think it helped me a ton and i hope it does for other people.
Guiding principles of Kibbe for Romantics (ripped from his book, you dont need to follow everything but i think it gives you a general idea of what to look for)
SHAPE: Shape is the key to your look! Whatever mood you want to express, in whatever situation your find yourself--work, play, or glamour--keep your shapes rounded with soft edges! Circles, ornate swirls, and intricate flowing shapes are the direct expression of your extreme Yin. Soft bouffants are also acceptable. Always maintain the hourglass figure!
Avoid: All straight lines. All sharp edges. All geometrics.
LINE AND SILHOUETTE Second only to shape in importance, your outline should always be soft and flowing silhouettes that showcase the lush curves of your body. Waste definition is essential, always, as is lots of gentle draping everywhere.
Avoid: All severe silhouettes. All tailored silhouettes. All straight lines with angular edges. All vertical lines that hid the waist. All unconstructed, boxy, or horizontal lines.
FABRIC: Lightweight fabrics that drape easily. Softly woven fabrics (challis, crepe, tropical-weight woolens, jersey). Ultrashiny fabrics (charmeuse, shantung, crepe de chine, metallics). Ultra soft of plush textures (suedes, velvets, boucle knits, angora). Sheer fabrics (chiffon, voile, batiste, handkerchief linen).
AVOID: Stiff fabrics. Heavyweight fabrics. Rough textures. Extreme matte-finished fabrics.
DETAIL Detail should be soft, intricate, ornate and feminine, with emphasis on framing your face. Oversized bows, flouncy ruffles, and delicate lace are always good choices as long as they are luscious and womanly, instead of "little-girlish." Necklines should be soft and draped with curved edges (ornate necklines are especially sophisticated). Shoulders should be curved, with round pads; shoulder tucks or gathers, leg o' mutton, and draped dolman styles are all appropriate. Sleeves should be tapered at the wrist with intricate buttons, or very soft and flowing. Any kind of sparkle is excellent (pearls, sequins, beading, etc.) The waistline should always be emphasized, with soft gathers, folds, draped sashes, and lightweight and supple belts to give a cinched effect. Belt buckles should always be intricate and feminine.
Avoid: All tailored, angular, or severe detail. All chunky, rough, or oversized detail. All geometric necklines. All sharp edges--pleats, square shoulder pads. All crisp detail--perky bows, tiny ruffles. All minimal or "no detail" looks.
Skirts: Should be kept full and flowing with soft gathers at the waist and uneven hemlines. Your version of the basic "straight skirt" is actually tulip shaped: full and gathered at the waist and tapered at the hemline, which is short. All flared styles are excellent, from trumpets and swings to any bias-cut or gored style. Lengths should be kept gracefully long on uneven hemlines (mid calf), and short on the tapered styles with an even hemline (mid kneecap).
Avoid: All straight and tailored skirts, A-lines, and pleats.
Pants: Should always be soft, draped, and showcase your luscious curves! Gathers at the waist and a tapered or pegged bottom are the best shape for you.
Avoid: Straight or tailored pants. sharp details (pleats, cuffs, pockets). Baggy, unconstructed styles.
Blouses: Soft, draped styles. Sophisticated flounces and fills. Any antique styles.
Avoid: All tailored styles.
Sweaters: Soft, fluffy knits. Clingy, draped knits. Plush knits. Short lengths with waist detail. Cowl necks.
Avoid: Skinny, ribbed knits. Thick, nubby knits. Oversized sweaters. Turtlenecks and long pullovers. Cardigans. Crew-necked shetlands.
DRESSES: Should always be feminine and flowing. Waist emphasis, ornate detail, and swirling or flouncey skirts.
Avoid: Stiff, structured, or tailored styles (coatdress, chemise, etc.). Straight styles with no waist. Shapeless, wide, or baggy dresses.
Basics Before Dressing
As youll be able to see- I do not follow every single rule he makes, and sometimes like things he says to avoid. These rules arent law but they should make you look twice at what you wear and if it works for you and how to make it work for you and your style. I break these rules plenty- just as long as I am maintaining the structure by waist emphasis and clothes choice (high waisted bottoms).
While you don’t have to follow the materials list directly, just try to pay attention to what the clothes are made of and prioritize non-polyester clothes. Don’t buy clothes that don’t suit you or don’t fit you in the hope that it one day magically will or that you will lose the weight. If you are losing weight rapidly, then wait a little before buying expensive new clothes and wait until you get to a more stable weight for you. The key factor is always, always, always waist emphasis! In every outfit strive to have waist definition be the key component.
Shapewear- a must
Shapewear is so crucial to a the more structured hourglass look. While you should be working out, there will always be lumps and bumps that you would like to be slimmed or rounded. Shapewear will do that for you. That snatched look you see on red carpets and celebrities is a large part due to shapewear- as many admit in interviews. Shapewear has the ability to make your outfits overall look more expensive and just better on you. Now, I bought skims full price and the quality sucks- my mid thigh shorts literally ripped on a date so that was great. Honestly, I would go for spanx. I thought they were so expensive for some reason. Because Spanx is kinda the OG of shapewear brands that we think of, they have such a large library that their sale section is pretty robust so you can pretty much get a lot of pieces like high waisted panties for 10 dollars or full body-thigh suits for $40 dollars. And ive never experienced ripping like I did with Skims. Sign up for the Spanx newsletter and youll get updates on deals every couple of weeks, including free shipping.
A really easy way to get into shapewear is buying the Spanx high waisted underwear. I would highly recommend in investing in shapewear panties/boyshorts. Its not much different than other types of underwear, smooths/diminishes on lower belly fat which most women have, and I got 3 for ten dollars each. I like the “everyday shaping” ones the best since they don’t look like shapewear necessarily and are pretty comfortable to wear around. I get black in all of these since it goes with my lingerie since im garbage at matching colors so I just get it all in black. Panties and boyshorts in shapewear can be worn with pretty much every outfit (so long as youre covered on your lower stomach. For tight dresses and skirts- you probably would want to get shapewear that would smooth your thighs and butt- as Ive noticed in a newer pencil skirt I bought, just the boyshorts aint cutting it. It just looks a little lumpy without. I would highly recommend just buying sale spanx at their website- and in general try to look for styles that are still sold for full price on other parts of the site or are part of a collection, one off items aren’t as good. (ie, “retro panties” are not as good as the “everyday shaping line, boyshorts”). Find the areas where you need it too- a full body suit is expensive and you probably don’t need it- if your thighs aren’t perfectly shaped, or you have some belly fat, buy shapewear to help those areas. Shoot for a level 2/3 for max effectiveness.
General Principles
Now for the main event. You need to learn your measurements. Buy a simple measuring tape and do a full set of measurements for your body. Weight hangs so differently on us as we aren’t bone thin, so just generically buying a “small, medium, or large” just wont cut it unless you want to waste money. I have a pretty unpopular opinion- I think you have to pay more for clothes with this body type than others. Fast fashion is pretty much wasted money for us unless youre buying cheap camis and tops, even then, exercise caution. Its just not made for us. It costs a lot more money to cut clothes for curves than a pretty uniform straight shape. For this reason, I would recommend looking into vintage-reproduction clothes. Romantic body types haven’t been “in” since about the 1950s as the predominant style. While the hourglass type has always been in style, clothes that suit the romantic have not necessarily been. Tall, thin, angular are more trendy- and traditionally romantic clothes are made for non-romantic body types (polly). Therefore, I find that vintage reproduction clothes just look better on my body- wiggle dresses, cigarette pants, those are the things that look the best on me. I don’t want to look kitchy or like im wearing a costume- these cuts just look the best. The brands I pretty much only shop from now are Vixen by Micheline Pitt, La Femme en Noir (her goth brand), and I peruse other sites like Pinup girl and Stop Staring!. I use mostly micheline pitt because I feel her clothes are more “safe” for me to buy and fit my general style.
HIT UP POSHMARK for these clothes! Legit! I love buying secondhand clothes since I feel its more environmentally conscious and I love a sale. I usually look up “pin up couture,” “stop staring,” “micheline pitt,” and “la femme en noir” maybe twice a week to see if theres any good sales going on for pieces on my wishlist. Always make an offer! You might as well anyway and ive gotten bomb deals by going maybe 20% lower than the asking price on a piece.
Style
Style is kind of the most important piece here because you want to bring the principles of Kibbe into your style and pieces you love. If you love tanks with shorts, transition into more high waisted shorts (with belt?) and add a crop top or tuck a form fitting tank into the shorts. I used to be scene so I have a soft spot for that alt goth look still. I like to use Micheline Pitt for more basics (black crop with black capris with belt is life) whereas La Femme is used more for more gothy alt vibes without bordering on cartoony or cheap looking. La femme is pretty intensely boob-centric- just keep in mind (im about a 36d) if that’s something that makes you uncomfortable. Also, some of the styles in LFEN have a long vertical line with not a lot of waist emphasis is probably not for us (art deco collection for instance). I think it plays to romantic ideals great though- lace and little feminine detail is recommended for us. Just as a side recommendation, wait for sale! Legit, Micheline has sales like every other month so I just wait for that since some of the pieces get pricy. Keep in mind though the quality is always consistent and the sizing is consistent throughout the line which is great- as long as you have your measurements on hand you will have a good fit.
Jeans/ Pants/ Skirts/ Shorts
Jeans are tricky for curvieslim thick/romantics. You are pretty much in a struggle between shape and longevity (cotton) vs stretch. When you get 100% cotton jeans like a Levis 501, youre getting shape and a very long shelf life- but it isn’t really for curvy girls. Im a size 6 pretty much across the board in Levis EXCEPT for the 501s. In them, I literally go up to a size 12. TWELVE! Needless to say, I didn’t buy them. On the other hand, stretch is good to have BUT it makes the fabric last a lot less and I have destroyed so many American Eagle jeans with my thighs before I got into Levis wherein of maybe 25-30 pairs, only two have ripped in the thigh for me (I think 720s if you care, of course highest amount of stretch to cotton ratio). The golden ratio for me is about 90% cotton, 10% stretch. It gives enough construction and shape and longevity to a pair of jeans while still being comfortable and having that give. That’s a ratio that fits my fave pair of jeans, the Levis Wedgie Skinny fit which, if you can find in a non-plus size, you should at least try on. The wedgie fit is meant to look similar to a more vintage fit but it also shapes your butt and tapers off at a short length. The more common pair online is the plain Wedgie fit, which is like 98% stretch which isn’t my ideal but I do have a few. They just need to be broken in a little and follow the size chart. Wherever you buy jeans you should probably go in person if possible just to see how the stores standard jeans fit and how you like them. The golden ratio for us when it comes to jeans is, for me, high waisted + room in butt and thigh + tapered/skinny ankle. A bonus would be a lower stretch amount 15% and under I would recommend.
When it comes to regular work pants, I use Micheline Pitts cigarette pants and her capris. The fit is really good and theyre pretty flattering with the high waist emphasis and cut. And her capris! I thought all capris would make me look like a middle aged mom- hers are incredible. They give a super flattering cut and make your waist look tiny and ass look all round. I would avoid palazzo and wide cut pants- they just make me look fat. Same thing with shorts- I have Michelines and the Levis Wedgie fit shorts which have a high waist and cut off mid thigh and I think theyre pretty great, especially paired with a tight belt around the waist. Kibbe doesn’t recommend pencil skirts but I think theyre pretty hot with a long sleeve top and belt (with shapewear!). I wouldn’t necessarily recommend mini-skirts (which I love) because I personally haven’t found any that aren’t waaaaaaaay too short for me with my smaller waist and larger butt and thighs.
Tops
Crop tops are ideal for your body if you can pull them off with a high waisted short or pant. Tucking longer shirts into your pants and adding a belt to cinch the waist is a simple but effective romantic outfit. I prefer a longer sleeve, ¾ lengths looks great on romantics as well as a slightly longer short sleeve than you would see typically in fast fashion. It is recommended in kibbe to avoid oversized tops, despite how cute and comfy they are. It does make you look bigger. Lace detailing is great, corseted details, just some very femme tops look great as well
Dresses
I love a wiggle dress on a curvy girl. I think theyre so sexy and make you just look so classy but have that wow factor. I think they are hands down the best dresses for romantics. They have that built in shape that compliments our curves so nicely, and mixed with a belt and shapewear just create this beautiful look. An A-line fit and flare dress also looks nice but is a bit more “cute” than sexy.
Notes I'm sure I missed out on a lot of good points but I feel this is a great starting point for helping romantics. Ill post my fave pieces below- thanks!
https://stopstaring.com/collections/hottest-sellers/products/million-dollar-baby-black (i found on poshmark for like 70)
https://www.michelinepitt.com/collections/all/products/pre-order-decadence-wiggle-dress-in-black-vixen-by-micheline-pitt
https://www.michelinepitt.com/collections/all/products/vintage-cigarette-pants-black-vixen-by-micheline-pitt
https://www.michelinepitt.com/collections/all/products/pre-order-miss-kitty-maneater-wiggle-dress-in-black-vixen-by-micheline-pitt
https://www.michelinepitt.com/collections/all/products/vixen-swing-dress-in-raven-black-vixen-by-micheline-pitt-1
https://lafemmeennoir.net/collections/shop-la-femme-en-noiproducts/copy-of-la-dentelle-dress
https://lafemmeennoir.net/products/pre-order-wicked-web-dress?variant=16415989301282
EDIT: Disclaimer
submitted by kittyaphrodite to Kibbe [link] [comments]


2020.09.24 03:46 kittyaphrodite Guide to Dressing Romantic Body Types: slim thick, curvy, petite

hey guys! This took a while of thinking to get done but I hope it helps!
The first step to being able to effectively style yourself is to find out your kibbe type. Here is a link to the test I took- https://theconceptwardrobe.com/kibbe-body-types/the-kibbe-body-type-test. I think its all the better the less preconceived notions you have about kibbe as your opinion could become clouded and you could suffer type resistance- as in, you want to be one body type but you really are another. I think the kibbe system is great because its not based in making you feel like shit about yourself. Every single type has universally-considered gorgeous and beautiful women. It is also about being honest to yourself. I am about 5’0- I will NEVER be a tall supermodel. It’s just not happening. And that’s fine! Look at the women you are in the category with and see how beautiful they are. That being said, I am considered a romantic and that’s what this guide will be tailored toward. Here is the full outline of kibbes romantic section in his book Metamorphosis- https://www.tapatalk.com/groups/seasonalcolokibbe-s-romantic-t1990.html. By the way, for whatever result you get on the kibbe test, if you google “tapatalk (your kibbe type)” you should find your own chapter results.
I feel I finally have a style and idea of how things work for my body which is petite and curvy. I think it does feel like a niche as curvy doesn’t necessarily mean a larger size, I am a size 6. I prefer to include real recommendations into my posts cause I feel it takes a lot of legwork out and is more helpful that way. I wouldn’t feel comfortable giving recs to people with different body types and have you buy something garbage!
also, as apart of this pre-styling guide- learn your color season. I don’t have any great links but here on the subreddit are many great posts that can point you in the right direction. Of course, is it law to not wear purple as a warm spring? No, of course not. However, it can help point you in the right direction in clothes you might be interested in buying and trying to pick the best colors for you. Finally, kibbe, color systems, and my suggestions aren’t law or things you have to do or else. Everyones different! Still, this stuff takes forever to learn and a lot of time and money to figure out and I think it helped me a ton and i hope it does for other people.
Guiding principles of Kibbe for Romantics (ripped from his book, you dont need to follow everything but i think it gives you a general idea of what to look for)
SHAPE: Shape is the key to your look! Whatever mood you want to express, in whatever situation your find yourself--work, play, or glamour--keep your shapes rounded with soft edges! Circles, ornate swirls, and intricate flowing shapes are the direct expression of your extreme Yin. Soft bouffants are also acceptable. Always maintain the hourglass figure!
Avoid: All straight lines. All sharp edges. All geometrics.
LINE AND SILHOUETTE Second only to shape in importance, your outline should always be soft and flowing silhouettes that showcase the lush curves of your body. Waste definition is essential, always, as is lots of gentle draping everywhere.
Avoid: All severe silhouettes. All tailored silhouettes. All straight lines with angular edges. All vertical lines that hid the waist. All unconstructed, boxy, or horizontal lines.
FABRIC: Lightweight fabrics that drape easily. Softly woven fabrics (challis, crepe, tropical-weight woolens, jersey). Ultrashiny fabrics (charmeuse, shantung, crepe de chine, metallics). Ultra soft of plush textures (suedes, velvets, boucle knits, angora). Sheer fabrics (chiffon, voile, batiste, handkerchief linen).
AVOID: Stiff fabrics. Heavyweight fabrics. Rough textures. Extreme matte-finished fabrics.
DETAIL Detail should be soft, intricate, ornate and feminine, with emphasis on framing your face. Oversized bows, flouncy ruffles, and delicate lace are always good choices as long as they are luscious and womanly, instead of "little-girlish." Necklines should be soft and draped with curved edges (ornate necklines are especially sophisticated). Shoulders should be curved, with round pads; shoulder tucks or gathers, leg o' mutton, and draped dolman styles are all appropriate. Sleeves should be tapered at the wrist with intricate buttons, or very soft and flowing. Any kind of sparkle is excellent (pearls, sequins, beading, etc.) The waistline should always be emphasized, with soft gathers, folds, draped sashes, and lightweight and supple belts to give a cinched effect. Belt buckles should always be intricate and feminine.
Avoid: All tailored, angular, or severe detail. All chunky, rough, or oversized detail. All geometric necklines. All sharp edges--pleats, square shoulder pads. All crisp detail--perky bows, tiny ruffles. All minimal or "no detail" looks.
Skirts: Should be kept full and flowing with soft gathers at the waist and uneven hemlines. Your version of the basic "straight skirt" is actually tulip shaped: full and gathered at the waist and tapered at the hemline, which is short. All flared styles are excellent, from trumpets and swings to any bias-cut or gored style. Lengths should be kept gracefully long on uneven hemlines (mid calf), and short on the tapered styles with an even hemline (mid kneecap).
Avoid: All straight and tailored skirts, A-lines, and pleats.
Pants: Should always be soft, draped, and showcase your luscious curves! Gathers at the waist and a tapered or pegged bottom are the best shape for you.
Avoid: Straight or tailored pants. sharp details (pleats, cuffs, pockets). Baggy, unconstructed styles.
Blouses: Soft, draped styles. Sophisticated flounces and fills. Any antique styles.
Avoid: All tailored styles.
Sweaters: Soft, fluffy knits. Clingy, draped knits. Plush knits. Short lengths with waist detail. Cowl necks.
Avoid: Skinny, ribbed knits. Thick, nubby knits. Oversized sweaters. Turtlenecks and long pullovers. Cardigans. Crew-necked shetlands.
DRESSES: Should always be feminine and flowing. Waist emphasis, ornate detail, and swirling or flouncey skirts.
Avoid: Stiff, structured, or tailored styles (coatdress, chemise, etc.). Straight styles with no waist. Shapeless, wide, or baggy dresses.
Basics Before Dressing
As youll be able to see- I do not follow every single rule he makes, and sometimes like things he says to avoid. These rules arent law but they should make you look twice at what you wear and if it works for you and how to make it work for you and your style. I break these rules plenty- just as long as I am maintaining the structure by waist emphasis and clothes choice (high waisted bottoms).
While you don’t have to follow the materials list directly, just try to pay attention to what the clothes are made of and prioritize non-polyester clothes. Don’t buy clothes that don’t suit you or don’t fit you in the hope that it one day magically will or that you will lose the weight. If you are losing weight rapidly, then wait a little before buying expensive new clothes and wait until you get to a more stable weight for you. The key factor is always, always, always waist emphasis! In every outfit strive to have waist definition be the key component.
Shapewear- a must
Shapewear is so crucial to a the more structured hourglass look. While you should be working out, there will always be lumps and bumps that you would like to be slimmed or rounded. Shapewear will do that for you. That snatched look you see on red carpets and celebrities is a large part due to shapewear- as many admit in interviews. Shapewear has the ability to make your outfits overall look more expensive and just better on you. Now, I bought skims full price and the quality sucks- my mid thigh shorts literally ripped on a date so that was great. Honestly, I would go for spanx. I thought they were so expensive for some reason. Because Spanx is kinda the OG of shapewear brands that we think of, they have such a large library that their sale section is pretty robust so you can pretty much get a lot of pieces like high waisted panties for 10 dollars or full body-thigh suits for $40 dollars. And ive never experienced ripping like I did with Skims. Sign up for the Spanx newsletter and youll get updates on deals every couple of weeks, including free shipping.
A really easy way to get into shapewear is buying the Spanx high waisted underwear. I would highly recommend in investing in shapewear panties/boyshorts. Its not much different than other types of underwear, smooths/diminishes on lower belly fat which most women have, and I got 3 for ten dollars each. I like the “everyday shaping” ones the best since they don’t look like shapewear necessarily and are pretty comfortable to wear around. I get black in all of these since it goes with my lingerie since im garbage at matching colors so I just get it all in black. Panties and boyshorts in shapewear can be worn with pretty much every outfit (so long as youre covered on your lower stomach. For tight dresses and skirts- you probably would want to get shapewear that would smooth your thighs and butt- as Ive noticed in a newer pencil skirt I bought, just the boyshorts aint cutting it. It just looks a little lumpy without. I would highly recommend just buying sale spanx at their website- and in general try to look for styles that are still sold for full price on other parts of the site or are part of a collection, one off items aren’t as good. (ie, “retro panties” are not as good as the “everyday shaping line, boyshorts”). Find the areas where you need it too- a full body suit is expensive and you probably don’t need it- if your thighs aren’t perfectly shaped, or you have some belly fat, buy shapewear to help those areas. Shoot for a level 2/3 for max effectiveness.
General Principles
Now for the main event. You need to learn your measurements. Buy a simple measuring tape and do a full set of measurements for your body. Weight hangs so differently on us as we aren’t bone thin, so just generically buying a “small, medium, or large” just wont cut it unless you want to waste money. I have a pretty unpopular opinion- I think you have to pay more for clothes with this body type than others. Fast fashion is pretty much wasted money for us unless youre buying cheap camis and tops, even then, exercise caution. Its just not made for us. It costs a lot more money to cut clothes for curves than a pretty uniform straight shape. For this reason, I would recommend looking into vintage-reproduction clothes. Romantic body types haven’t been “in” since about the 1950s as the predominant style. While the hourglass type has always been in style, clothes that suit the romantic have not necessarily been. Tall, thin, angular are more trendy- and traditionally romantic clothes are made for non-romantic body types (polly). Therefore, I find that vintage reproduction clothes just look better on my body- wiggle dresses, cigarette pants, those are the things that look the best on me. I don’t want to look kitchy or like im wearing a costume- these cuts just look the best. The brands I pretty much only shop from now are Vixen by Micheline Pitt, La Femme en Noir (her goth brand), and I peruse other sites like Pinup girl and Stop Staring!. I use mostly micheline pitt because I feel her clothes are more “safe” for me to buy and fit my general style.
HIT UP POSHMARK for these clothes! Legit! I love buying secondhand clothes since I feel its more environmentally conscious and I love a sale. I usually look up “pin up couture,” “stop staring,” “micheline pitt,” and “la femme en noir” maybe twice a week to see if theres any good sales going on for pieces on my wishlist. Always make an offer! You might as well anyway and ive gotten bomb deals by going maybe 20% lower than the asking price on a piece.
Style
Style is kind of the most important piece here because you want to bring the principles of Kibbe into your style and pieces you love. If you love tanks with shorts, transition into more high waisted shorts (with belt?) and add a crop top or tuck a form fitting tank into the shorts. I used to be scene so I have a soft spot for that alt goth look still. I like to use Micheline Pitt for more basics (black crop with black capris with belt is life) whereas La Femme is used more for more gothy alt vibes without bordering on cartoony or cheap looking. La femme is pretty intensely boob-centric- just keep in mind (im about a 36d) if that’s something that makes you uncomfortable. Also, some of the styles in LFEN have a long vertical line with not a lot of waist emphasis is probably not for us (art deco collection for instance). I think it plays to romantic ideals great though- lace and little feminine detail is recommended for us. Just as a side recommendation, wait for sale! Legit, Micheline has sales like every other month so I just wait for that since some of the pieces get pricy. Keep in mind though the quality is always consistent and the sizing is consistent throughout the line which is great- as long as you have your measurements on hand you will have a good fit.
Jeans/ Pants/ Skirts/ Shorts
Jeans are tricky for curvieslim thick/romantics. You are pretty much in a struggle between shape and longevity (cotton) vs stretch. When you get 100% cotton jeans like a Levis 501, youre getting shape and a very long shelf life- but it isn’t really for curvy girls. Im a size 6 pretty much across the board in Levis EXCEPT for the 501s. In them, I literally go up to a size 12. TWELVE! Needless to say, I didn’t buy them. On the other hand, stretch is good to have BUT it makes the fabric last a lot less and I have destroyed so many American Eagle jeans with my thighs before I got into Levis wherein of maybe 25-30 pairs, only two have ripped in the thigh for me (I think 720s if you care, of course highest amount of stretch to cotton ratio). The golden ratio for me is about 90% cotton, 10% stretch. It gives enough construction and shape and longevity to a pair of jeans while still being comfortable and having that give. That’s a ratio that fits my fave pair of jeans, the Levis Wedgie Skinny fit which, if you can find in a non-plus size, you should at least try on. The wedgie fit is meant to look similar to a more vintage fit but it also shapes your butt and tapers off at a short length. The more common pair online is the plain Wedgie fit, which is like 98% stretch which isn’t my ideal but I do have a few. They just need to be broken in a little and follow the size chart. Wherever you buy jeans you should probably go in person if possible just to see how the stores standard jeans fit and how you like them. The golden ratio for us when it comes to jeans is, for me, high waisted + room in butt and thigh + tapered/skinny ankle. A bonus would be a lower stretch amount 15% and under I would recommend.
When it comes to regular work pants, I use Micheline Pitts cigarette pants and her capris. The fit is really good and theyre pretty flattering with the high waist emphasis and cut. And her capris! I thought all capris would make me look like a middle aged mom- hers are incredible. They give a super flattering cut and make your waist look tiny and ass look all round. I would avoid palazzo and wide cut pants- they just make me look fat. Same thing with shorts- I have Michelines and the Levis Wedgie fit shorts which have a high waist and cut off mid thigh and I think theyre pretty great, especially paired with a tight belt around the waist. Kibbe doesn’t recommend pencil skirts but I think theyre pretty hot with a long sleeve top and belt (with shapewear!). I wouldn’t necessarily recommend mini-skirts (which I love) because I personally haven’t found any that aren’t waaaaaaaay too short for me with my smaller waist and larger butt and thighs.
Tops
Crop tops are ideal for your body if you can pull them off with a high waisted short or pant. Tucking longer shirts into your pants and adding a belt to cinch the waist is a simple but effective romantic outfit. I prefer a longer sleeve, ¾ lengths looks great on romantics as well as a slightly longer short sleeve than you would see typically in fast fashion. It is recommended in kibbe to avoid oversized tops, despite how cute and comfy they are. It does make you look bigger. Lace detailing is great, corseted details, just some very femme tops look great as well
Dresses
I love a wiggle dress on a curvy girl. I think theyre so sexy and make you just look so classy but have that wow factor. I think they are hands down the best dresses for romantics. They have that built in shape that compliments our curves so nicely, and mixed with a belt and shapewear just create this beautiful look. An A-line fit and flare dress also looks nice but is a bit more “cute” than sexy.
Notes I'm sure I missed out on a lot of good points but I feel this is a great starting point for helping romantics. Ill post my fave pieces below- thanks!
https://stopstaring.com/collections/hottest-sellers/products/million-dollar-baby-black (i found on poshmark for like 70)
https://www.michelinepitt.com/collections/all/products/pre-order-decadence-wiggle-dress-in-black-vixen-by-micheline-pitt
https://www.michelinepitt.com/collections/all/products/vintage-cigarette-pants-black-vixen-by-micheline-pitt
https://www.michelinepitt.com/collections/all/products/pre-order-miss-kitty-maneater-wiggle-dress-in-black-vixen-by-micheline-pitt
https://www.michelinepitt.com/collections/all/products/vixen-swing-dress-in-raven-black-vixen-by-micheline-pitt-1
https://lafemmeennoir.net/collections/shop-la-femme-en-noiproducts/copy-of-la-dentelle-dress
https://lafemmeennoir.net/products/pre-order-wicked-web-dress?variant=16415989301282
submitted by kittyaphrodite to Vindicta [link] [comments]


2020.09.24 03:05 AutoModerator General Questions Thread, September 24, 2020

A thread for new collectors to ask basic questions of the community.
Frequently Asked Questions below!
A longer version of the subreddit rules is here.
For questions specifically concerning bootlegs or vendor legitimacy, please ask in the Bootleg Megathread.
NSFW & Spoiler Guidelines
  • For Self Posts: include a bolded NSFW note next to links in that post.
  • For Links to sites/images: If the figure is NSFW, or the website has any NSFW content (including ads) be sure to tag your post NSFW and use the appropriate link flair.
Bootlegs
Any collection posts containing bootlegs, comments advocating buying bootlegs, or links to sites selling bootlegs, recasts, or unlicensed merchandise will be removed.
People often ask about the legitimacy and/or safety of a number of websites which sell large resin statues. The more commonly-asked of those deal primarily in resins from studios which do not have a license from the Japanese IP holders to produce merchandise. Therefore links to those sites are not permitted here. Another sign is if MyFigureCollection doesn't list the either the statue, its manufacturer, or the shop it's being sold on.
MyFigureCollection
My Figure Collection is like MyAnimeList... but for figures! Their database includes thousands of items which been produced during the last couple of decades, along with reviews of shops and other helpful articles. One can also list their own collection and post gallery photos.
Shops
Retailers:
AmiAmi HobbySearch Mandarake (sells rare figures) Good Smile Company Online Shop (often has exclusives) Good Smile Company US shop Crunchyroll Shop Hobby Link Japan (aka HLJ) Solaris Japan (MFC partner) Big in Japan (also has proxy service) Tokyo Otaku Mode FigureHaven Archonia (EU retailer) Jungle
List of retailers on MFC
/AnimeFigures' List of Retailers
Community Guide to Shopping in Japan
Blogs/News:
Nekomagic (News/Previews) NyaaFigurines (Reviews/Releases) Kahotan's Blog (News/Reviews) Figma Blog (JP)

Buying & Shipping

1. What’s the best place to buy my anime figures from?
That’s going to depend a lot on what works for you, but most people around here buy them from Amiami, Big in Japan, Hobby Search, HobbyLink Japan, or Tokyo Otaku Mode. If none of those work for you for whatever reason, there’s a list of reputable retailers in the sidebar that you can check out at any time. Be extra careful when ordering figures from websites like Amazon or ebay, as there are a lot of bootlegs on those sites. Don’t be afraid to ask in our Bootleg Megathread if you’re unsure.
2. What differences are there between the shipping options I get from most Japanese shops?
Below is a rundown of the main shipping choices you’ll get at most retailers. Keep in mind that if an order is large enough you will be forced to use one of the more expensive options, as SAL shipments have lower size and weight restrictions.
  • Unregistered SAL: Sometimes referred to as uSAL, is usually the cheapest method. It does not come with any tracking or insurance. Usually takes up 2-4 weeks for delivery.
  • Registered SAL: Sometimes referred to as rSAL, is insured for the declared value up to 6,000 yen. It comes with a tracking number and usually takes 2-4 weeks for delivery.
  • EMS: This method of shipping is much faster than either SAL options, usually arriving within a week of shipment. EMS shipments are insured for the declared value up to 2,000,000 yen.
  • Airmail
  • E-packet
  • Surface: Shops don't offer this very often. It's an actual cargo ship and slow as a result.
  • DHL: Becoming more available as an alternative to EMS on AmiAmi and other sites. Can be less expensive than EMS and of comparable speed, but may be more reliant on the specific geographical area being shipped to. Offers their own tracking.
3. I placed two+ orders for figures at different times. Will my items be shipped together, or will I have to pay shipping twice?
Most shops will ask you to pay shipping on a per-order basis, but here are some that will allow combined shipping:
  • Amiami: You can combine orders here, as long as the orders ship in the same month. It doesn’t matter if the item is new or preowned. Any preorders that are set for that month can also be combined with other orders for that month. However, be aware that if the preorder gets delayed, Amiami will remove that item from that month’s shipment and place it on a new order. To combine orders on Amiami, use the “Combine Orders” feature under “My Account”.
  • Hobby Search: Hobby Search will let you combine orders that release in the same month, but you cannot combine in stock items with preorders. If you want to combine multiple preorders, or multiple in stock items, you can do so using the “Order Recombination” feature on your account page.
  • HobbyLink Japan: At HLJ, you have the option to send paid orders to their “Private Warehouse”, where you can store them for up to 2 months. When you’re ready to ship the items, you simply select which items to ship and HLJ will combine them into one shipment for you. To use this, just select the “Private Warehouse” option as shipping when you order.
  • GSC Web Shop: Here you’ll pay a flat 2,000 yen fee per order. It doesn’t matter how many items you put in your order, or how many different months the items release in. They will charge you 2,000 yen and ship all items as they release. The exception to this rule is their Wonder Festival exclusive items. Those can only be placed in the same order as other Wonder Festival items.
If you’re unsure about whether or not a shop we haven’t listed will combine your orders, please refer to their individual FAQ’s.
4. When will I get charged for my preorder?
Most Japanese shops charge you once the item is in stock and ready for shipment. When that happens, they will send you an email asking for payment. Some shops (mostly overseas ones), will allow you to pay for the item up front though, if you’d like. A few with that option are:
  • Big in Japan (Japanese store)
  • Tokyo Otaku Mode
  • Anime Island
  • Crunchyroll
Keep in mind that overseas stores will likely get the figure a few months after Japanese ones, so pay attention to the release date stated on the website you are buying from so as to avoid that confusion.
5. Should I expect to pay customs fees when importing figures?
That depends on where you live. Here’s a quick rundown:
  • Australia: 10% GST is now assessed up front.
  • Canada: Minimum declared value for charges is around CAD$20 for regular shipments, and CAD$60 for gifts (gifting something only seems to lower the declared value by about CAD$40, not deplete it completely). When using Amiami, try their Small Air Packet option. It comes with tracking, gets there in about the same time as EMS, and is better at avoiding customs.
  • Europe: Using EMS raises your chance of getting charged for customs. SAL can still avoid customs in some countries, but generally gets checked in the UK now if the items are above the threshold. Amiami offers a shipping service called “Small Air Packet” that is really good for avoiding customs when you are only shipping one or two figures. Small Air Packet usually takes about the same amount of time as EMS, and still comes with tracking.The minimum declared value for customs charges in the Europe is pretty low- around £15 (£36 for gifts) / €20.
  • Mexico: Minimum declared value for customs fees is USD$300 for shipments by post, and USD$50 for shipments by courier.
  • United States: A shipment has to have a declared value of USD$2,000 before customs starts hitting you with fees, so you most likely won’t have to worry about them at all.
6. The figure I want is an exclusive, how do I go about ordering one outside of Japan?
You have three options for this:
A. Big in Japan is known to stock exclusive figures and ship to other countries. Usually the price is higher because they build in their proxy fees, but it’s easier than worrying about using a forwarder or proxy service. If you live in the US, Crunchyroll, Right Stuf, and Tokyo Otaku Mode also get exclusives sometimes, but out of the states the shipping can get expensive.
B. Forwarding Services: A forwarder is someone who you ship an exclusive item to so that they can forward the package on to you, usually for a flat fee + shipping. When using a forwarder you still make the purchase yourself, and enter their address into the shipping field. When the box arrives at the forwarder they will then stick your address onto the package and send it on its way.
Some popular forwarders are:
Be sure to read each sites instructions on forwarding carefully!
C. Proxy Services: With a proxy, you tell them what the item you’re looking for is and they will purchase it in your stead. This is handy for when a company doesn’t accept foreign credit cards, or you’re having trouble navigating a Japanese website.
Some popular proxies are:
Again, be sure you thoroughly read through each sites proxy instructions.
7. I see a bunch of really cheap figures that ship from China on ebay. Are those okay to buy?
Generally, no. They’re most likely bootlegs. If you want a second opinion on that, feel free to ask in the Bootleg Megathread that’s always stickied at the top of the sub.
8. What’s a bootleg, and how can I avoid buying them?
A bootleg is a counterfeit figure often made using rejected molds of the official product. They are usually priced significantly lower than the genuine article, and in order to make their profit, bootleggers use lower quality materials and have less attention to detail- resulting in a substandard figure.
The Bootleg Megathread that I mentioned in question 7 is a great tool to avoid buying any bootlegs. It has a few tips and tricks to avoiding them to begin with, and a few more on how to spot them if you’re worried you might already own one.
9. Does anyone know when figure X is going to be released? How do I know if it was delayed?
My Figure Collection (sometimes referred to as MFC) does an excellent job of staying on top of information like release dates and delays. If you’re curious about an upcoming figures release date, check there first. This information can be found directly under the “Releases” section on a figure’s entry. If you only see a month and a year in that section, it means the release date has not yet been announced by the manufacturer, and there is still a chance the figure could be delayed.
If you make an account on MFC you can also subscribe to comments, changes, and pictures via a checkbox on the right hand side of a figure’s listing. Subscribing to any of these things will allow MFC to send you an email anytime the subscription in question updates. Subscribing to “changes” is a great way to keep up with release dates and delays, among other things.
10. The figure I want is long sold out at normal retailers! What’s the best place to pick it up in the aftermarket?
A list of reputable retailers can be found under the “Shops” section of the /AnimeFigures sidebar. They all sell legitimate products, and many of them also sell figures second hand. However, the most frequently suggested second hand sites are Mandarake and Amiami- who has a preowned section that they update every night save Sundays and Japanese holidays around 1PM JST and again around 6PM JST.
AmiAmi grades their pre-owned items on a letter scale. The general consensus from buyers is that their ratings are conservative, so unless the item and/or packaging is specifically indicated as having significant flaws, pre-owned items from them are usually in at least as good a condition as their rating suggests.
Note: When you search Mandarake, you’ll get the best results by using the Japanese characters for whatever you are searching. If you don’t know them, you can find them on MFC by clicking on any of the “details” in that figure’s listing.
11. Amiami has a figure I’m interested in labeled as “For sale in Japan only”. Does this mean I can’t order it without a proxy or forwarder?
No, you can still order it. Amiami’s English site has that warning on many items, and it’s mostly meant to inform you that this product was made for a Japanese market, and as such, will have Japanese speaking/writing in it- so don’t expect any instructions to be in English. If Amiami doesn’t want foreigners buying a certain product, they won’t even list it on their English site.

Displaying Your Figures

12. What display cases do you recommend?
If you live near an Ikea try out one of these:
*If you decided on a Detolf, you might find that there is a lot of wasted space. Here are a few tutorials on raising the shelves or and adding extra ones in.
If you don’t live near an Ikea, Amazon has a few display options, though they are more expensive. Also keep an eye on your local Craigslist (or your country’s equivalent) and stores near you that are closing up.
13. What lighting do you guys recommend?
Ikea’s Dioder LED strips are often suggested. They come in white or muti-colored.
Most hardware stores carry something similar though, if you don’t live by an Ikea. Just make sure that the lights don’t get too hot!
14. What are those clear plastic boxes that I see under everyone’s figures in their collection posts, and where can I get them?
Those are called risers. Most of us use standard acrylic risers like these. Some other, easy to find things that have been suggested are:
Check your local hobby store for the first 2 options, or your local hardware store if you want to make your own.
Another common suggestion is to visit The Container Store if you have one near you. They have a lot of things to choose from that can suit a variety of needs. Be sure to check out their standard acrylic risers, their Amac boxes, and the various display cases they sell (baseball cases, mini car cases. hockey puck cases, etc).
15. Should I keep my figures sealed?
That is, of course, up to you really, but here are a few things to keep in mind when debating this question:
  • Keeping it sealed can actually damage your figure. PVC figures usually have something called plasticizer in them, and that plasticizer needs to be able to breath. If a PVC figure isn’t exposed to oxygen, after a period of time the plasticizer starts to break down and form a sticky substance on the surface of the figure. Simply opening your figures and taking them out of the box prevents this from happening. If you happen to find plasticizer goo on one of your figures, Kahotan has a handy guide for dealing with it.
  • Unlike some other figure markets, keeping an anime figure sealed won’t raise its value by a whole lot. In fact, because of the plasticizer problem mentioned above, your figure could actually be in better condition if you open it versus keeping it sealed.

Finding the Right Figure(s) for You

16. There are so many figure companies! Who makes good figures?!
Obviously this is a very subjective question, but as a general starting point, here are a few well renowned figure companies:
  • Alter
  • Max Factory
  • Good Smile Company
  • Kotobukiya (usually hit or miss for people. Use your best judgement based off of the prototype)
  • Aquamarine
  • Flare
  • Stronger
17. I really love “series X / character X”- how can I check if any figures were ever made for it?
My Figure Collection can be your best friend here. Simply do a search on the name of the series or character using the search bar located at the top right of the screen, and all associated figures pop up!
Alternatively, if you’re looking at a figure’s MFC entry, most of the text under the “Details” section can be clicked on and used to run a search.
18. How can I commission a custom figure?
None of the major figure companies (Alter, Kotobukiya, Good Smile Company, etc.) will take a commission for a single figure. This thread has a few websites in it that you can check out, or you can look into garage kits. Some kit painters would be willing to resculpt, frankenstein together, or otherwise modify kits for the right price.
If you're looking for help completing a garage kit, /brushforhire may be useful.

Keeping Up with New Announcements

19. How can I keep up with figure news (announcements, updates, etc.)?
Most people use a MFC combined with any or all of the following news sites:
To use MFC for this I’ll quote question #9.
If you make an account on MFC you can also subscribe to comments, changes, and pictures via a checkbox on the right hand side of a figure’s listing. Subscribing to any of these things will allow MFC to send you an email anytime the subscription in question updates. Subscribing to “changes” is a great way to keep up with release dates and delays, among other things.
Most companies have one or more Twitter accounts. Some examples: Good Smile Company sales, Good Smile's USA branch, Max Factory, AmiAmi Hobby News.
20. Everyone’s excited about something called Wonfes….. what the heck is that?!
WonFes (short for Wonder Festival) is a biannual figure expo where many figure producers (both large and small) show off new sculpts and updates to figures already under way. Most companies save their most exciting announcements for WonFes, so we all look forward to the expo whenever it rolls around! Winter Wonder Festival is usually held in February, while Summer Wonder Festival is usually in July. The event has also spread to Shanghai, in the late spring.
21. One or two (or 15) figures were announced at WonFes that I’m really excited about! How can I keep track of their progress once the event is over?
MFC is always really quick about getting new WonFes announcements (or any others throughout the year, for that matter) listed in their database, so we suggest using that. To find a figure from the event you can search any number of things, including the name of the character or the name of the show. You can also use the tag search to search “WonderFestival 20xx_[season]” to see all items announced at that event.
submitted by AutoModerator to AnimeFigures [link] [comments]


2020.09.23 15:37 velociraptor75 The all-up Manjaro Gnome guide: From installation to system optimization to desktop tweaks

The all-up Manjaro Gnome guide: From installation to system optimization to desktop tweaks
I've been using Manjaro for a couple of years now, and I love how responsive, stable and reliable it is. Over numerous installations across several machines (and collating best practices from many great online resources -- including Manjaro's excellent forums) this is my go-to checklist: from system installation to tweaked desktop. NOTE: Many of the choices of apps and tweaks here are my own personal choices -- you're likely to go with something completely different. But that's one of the beautiful things about Linux: choice!
So, here goes...
Create the boot disk/CD
  1. Download the relevant Manjaro Gnome ISO from here
  2. Verify file integrity:
    1. Linux: [sha1sum or sha256sum] [ISO Image]Eg. sha1sum ISO_NAMEORsha256sum ISO_NAME
    2. Windows: Download and use the MD5& SHA Checksum Utility
  3. Copy this to a thumb drive using the Rufus bootable thumb drive creator (in Windows) or Popsicle/balenaEtcher (Linux). Preferably select GPT/UEFI when creating the bootable thumb drive. Note: With Rufus, selecting the DD mode is more reliable than the file mode when creating the image.
  4. Selecting UEFI will boot into EFI mode, otherwise it will launch in MBBIOS mode. NOTE: To set up Manjaro in EFI mode (recommended, for almost every system built in the last decade,) make sure ‘Launch CSM’ and ‘Secure Boot’ is disabled in BIOS, otherwise it will launch in a Legacy mode that emulates BIOS. The mode the system is booted in will be the mode Manjaro Linux will be eventually installed in: UEFI or legacy BIOS.

Installing Manjaro

  1. Boot using the thumb drive created above. From the Live environment boot menu:
    1. Select free or non-free drivers. (Choose free for Intel, non-free for Radeon/Nvidia)
    2. Select system language/numbers and dates format (I use US English -- en_US.UTF-8 in the list of choices)
  2. After booting into the Live environment:
    1. When choosing automatic partitioning, remember to select the correct target drive! I generally choose Erase disk, Swap (with Hibernate).
    2. For manual partitioning, see this guide. Use Gparted, and delete all existing partitions on the target drive. Then choose New Partition Table, Select GUID (GPT), and click OK. To install Manjaro, you need i) A FAT 32 boot partition, ii) Swap space, iii) The Root file system, iv) Home partition (if not defined, it will be created as part of the Home partition). Set up the drive’s partitions as suggested below. TIP: If resizing partitions, do this first in Gparted and then launch the installation. Resizing drive partitions in Manjaro takes far longer.
Suggested drive partitioning for Manjaro installation
HINT: If you happen to have two drives in your system, configure the Swap partition on a different drive from the one your boot/root/home directory is on.
  1. Proceed as guided by the remainder of the Manjaro Installer.

Things to do after first install

System/Performance tweaks
  1. Start Pamac (Add/Remove software) and select the best server repository In Preferences, enable checking for updates and set this to every 24 hours. Enable AUR. Then update the system.
  2. Install Preload from Pamac, then run it using admin privileges (for faster application startup)
  3. Date and Time Set to Automatic
  4. Disable GRUB delay (Quicker system startup):
    1. sudo nano /etc/default/grub
    2. Change GRUB_TIMEOUT value to ‘0’
    3. Set GRUB_TIMEOUT_STYLE to ‘hidden’ (and not ‘menu’) for a silent, faster bootup
  5. Power management:
    1. TLP: Make sure TLP is installed and running with tlp-stat -s (check for ‘active’ status.) If not installed, do so from Pamac, installing tlp and tlp-rdw[Optional] Install the GUI for the app (tlpui from Pamac)
    2. Install Thermald
  6. Reduce Swappiness (sets the system to depend less on Swap):
    1. Swappiness value should ideally be 10. Check Swappiness value with: cat /proc/sys/vm/swappiness
    2. Create the config file sudo nano /etc/sysctl.d/100-manjaro.conf
    3. In the above file enter: vm.swappiness=10
    4. Save the file (CTRL+O), enter, and exit (CTRL+X)
    5. The feature takes effect on restart
  7. Check TRIM for SSD drives (for extending life): systemctl status fstrim.timerThe command should return a response indicating it is enabled by default. If not, enable by typing the command sudo systemctl enable fstrim.timer
  8. Run Gufw (Firewall) and enable
  9. [Optional] Disable Bluetooth service from loading at startup:
    1. To list enabled services: systemctl list-unit-files --type=service grep enabled
    2. To disable services from loading at boot:sudo systemctl disable bluetooth.service
    3. If you really want it dead, where other services can’t restart it:sudo systemctl mask bluetooth.service
    4. To stop the service: sudo systemctl stop bluetooth.service
    5. To verify that service is disabled: systemctl status bluetooth.service
  10. [Optional] Disable the Ethernet interface if it isn’t being used and is utilizing too much power. This is done by disabling kernel modules
  11. Run mkinitcpio -M to show all automatically detected modules
  12. Should look like ‘r8169’ for the Ethernet card
  13. Create a .conf file inside /etc/modprobe.d/ and append a line for each module you want to blacklist, using the blacklist keyword. Eg.
# Do not load the 'pcspkr' module on boot.
blacklist pcspkr
install module_name /bin/true
  1. Regenerate initramfs with sudo mkinitcpio -P, and reboot.
  2. To regain Ethernet access, repeat this process, commenting ‘#’ the lines added to the .conf file.
NOTE: The following section is entirely optional. At this point, you can straightaway jump into using your newly-installed Manjaro!

Desktop environment / app tweaks

The steps below reflect my personal desktop preferences (Manjaro Gnome). You may of course want to configure your desktop differently, based on your own preference:
  1. Launch Layouts and choose ‘Traditional’. Also make sure ‘Automatic Dark Theme’ is diabled.
  2. Settings:
    1. Keyboard shortcuts:
      1. Search for ‘Switch windows’ and add the shortcut ALT+TAB (replace existing)
      2. Scroll to the bottom and add
    2. Power:
      1. Bluetooth: ‘Off’
      2. Automatic Suspend: ‘On’
      3. Power button Action: ‘Power Off’
    3. Files history & Trash:
      1. Disable File history if needed
      2. Toggle on to automatically delete temp files and trash
    4. Keyboard and mouse:
      1. Search for Universal Access
      2. Search for Touchpad, disable Natural Scrolling
  3. Install Chrome:
    1. Start Pamac and search for Chrome in the AUR packages
    2. After installing, font size (of browser content) can be increased in Chrome Settings (Eg for a 1080p display. Set Page zoom to 110%, Font size: Medium). Set this in conjunction with ‘Scaling Factor’ in Gnome Tweaks Fonts.
    3. If not already picked up after logging into Google, change Chrome theme to Morpheon Dark.
    4. Disable tab hover cards by typing chrome://flags/#tab-hover-cards then selecting ‘Disable’.
    5. See this site on enabling hardware rendering in Chrome:
      1. Go to chrome://settings and expand Advanced at the bottom
      2. Scroll to the bottom, locate and make sure the Use hardware acceleration when available option is enabled.
      3. Type chrome://gpu. Most entries should have the words ‘Hardware accelerated’.
      4. To force hardware acceleration for even more features, open chrome://flags
      5. Locate the section on that page called Override software rendering list and change ‘Disabled’ to ‘Enabled’.
      6. When you now check chrome://gpu, more settings should be Hardware Acceleration enabled.
  4. I love my desktop clean! Right-click desktop Settings uncheck toggles for desktop icons
  5. Right-click Panel (Dash to Panel settings):
    1. Position Stack ‘Date menu’ lower down, until it shows up to the extreme right
    2. Style Panel size: 32, App icon margin and padding (choose what looks best)
    3. Style Scroll to bottom, Override panel theme background opacity, set Panel background opacity to 85% (or whatever looks best with the selected wallpaper)
    4. Fine-tune
      1. Tray font size: 0 (theme default)
      2. Status icon padding: -1 (theme default)
    5. Extensions Disable Arc Menu
  6. Gnome Tweaks
    1. General Over-Amplification (as needed)
    2. Fonts
      1. Scaling factor: 1.2 (works well for my 1080p laptop display. Play around and see what works best for you. This changes fonts system-wide: UI as well as web page text) OR change the font sizes of Interface, Document, Monospace etc.
      2. Antialiasing Subpixel (for LCD screens)
    3. Top bar
      1. Enable Battery percentage
      2. Clock: Enable Weekday, Date, Seconds
    4. Windows Titlebars Enable Maximize and Minimize
    5. Appearance Applications: Adwaita-maia-dark, Cursor: Xcursor-breeze, Icons: Papirus-Dark-Maia, Shell: Adwaita-maia-darkNote: Installing other themes sometimes mess with the appearance of other apps (eg. Kdenlive not rendering the dark theme correctly.)
  7. install Gnome extensions from https://extensions.gnome.org (requires a browser plugin for control). I like keeping it simple -- my preferred extensions are:
    1. Sound Input & Output Device Chooser
    2. Clock Override: Configure the Add-on, and enter the following text for preferred date and time:%A, %d %b '%y ~ %l:%M:%S %p
    3. Dim On Battery Power: Set screen brightness for battery (~50) and plugged in (~100)
    4. Remove Accessibility (Removes the accessibility button from the panel, if present)

Install key software

Remember to enable the Arch User Repository (AUR) in Pamac Preferences.
  1. Mark each the following in Pamac before installing in one go.
    1. gThumb Image Viewer, a quick image file viewer
    2. Timeshift (for system snapshots, not user data backups). Settings RSYNC, Schedule 2 snapshots weekly, exclude user home directory, select date format. See this tutorial.
    3. Popsicle (for formatting and writing images to USB thumb drives)
    4. MS fonts: Install ttf-ms-fonts in Pamac
    5. KeePassXC (password manager), from main repository
    6. uGet (Download manager)
    7. VeraCrypt (Encryption tool)
    8. qBitTorrent (Torrent client)
    9. Gimp (image editing)
    10. Kdenlive: Video editor. Settings Color Theme to ‘KvBlender’. (See Getting started)
  2. Tor Browser: (Detailed instructions)
    1. Download the Linux package from the Tor website
    2. Extract the files
    3. To install Tor so you can launch it from system:
      1. Move the Tor directory ‘tor-browser_en-US’ to /opt:sudo mv tor-browser_en-US /opt
      2. cd /opt/tor-browser_en-US
      3. Run ./start-tor-browser.desktop --register-app
      4. The Tor icon will now show up when you search for it, and can be launched as with any app
    4. To run from the directory itself:
      1. In the terminal, go to the Tor browser directory it was unzipped to
      2. To launch Tor, run: ./tor-browser_en-US/Browsestart-tor-browser &
    5. Install the Adblock Plus extension
  3. Games
    1. Install Steam (then go to Steam Settings Steam Play, and check ‘Enable Steam Play for all other titles’. Note: I found Proton 5.0-9 had stability issues; choose a lower version if needed. Install your favourite games Mine are:
      1. TrackMania Nations Forever
      2. The Secret of Monkey Island
      3. Monkey Island 2: Special Edition
      4. Kentucky Route Zero
      5. Flight Sims: X-Plane (from Steam) or FlightGear (Open Source)
    2. [Optional] Install Lutris (to manage games across sources)
      1. Search for and install games from Lutris.net
      2. Import all installed games
  4. [Optional] lmms: Sound sequencer and synth
  5. Add favourite programs to Taskbar, then lock taskbar.
… and you’re done!
Hope this helps, folks. Shout out in case of recommendations/feedback.
submitted by velociraptor75 to ManjaroLinux [link] [comments]


2020.09.23 11:54 rajmehta123 dating in usa

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submitted by rajmehta123 to u/rajmehta123 [link] [comments]


2020.09.23 02:59 rozy18 NCT 2020: Resonance Pt. 1 Pre-Order Guide

NCT will be coming back as NCT 2020 with the album Resonance Pt. 1 on 1012 (KST), the physical album will be released from 1015-16 (depends on region and website)
Album Details
Polaroid Event
If you purchase from certain retailers you might get a chance to win member polaroids. The members are split into groups of 4-5 and are only available to win by buying from the retailer their group is assigned to. Link to Official Lysn Update
Retailers + Group
SMTOWN&STORE
Yes24
Synnara
Aladin
Interpark
HotTracks
Where to Buy
*All prices listed will be in USD and will be without shipping costs and (in some cases) tax ~ will indicate an estimated price due to conversions
Please refer to this kpop post that gives a description of most of these sites, here.
International/Korea
SM Global Shop - U.S. Version
SMTOWN&STORE - Korean Version (Ships to a few locations, check here for more info) ; Polaroid event group: Taeil, Jungwoo, Lucas, Sungchan
Ktown4u - Korean Version
YesAsia - Korean Version
Yes24 - Korean Version ; Polaroid event group: Taeyong, Renjun, Johnny, YangYang
Synnara - Korean Version ; Polaroid event group: Yuta, Ten, Haechan, Jaemin
WithDrama - Korean Version
Aladin - Korean Version ; Polaroid event group: Doyoung, Jeno, Kun, Shotaro
Interpark - Korean Version ; Polaroid event group: Mark, Jisung, Xiaojun, Chenle
HotTracks - Korean Version ; Polaroid event group: Jaehyun, Winwin, Hendery
Sound Wave - Korean Version
Cokodive - Korean Version
Kpopmart - Korean Version
Kpoptown - Korean Version
United States
Choice Music LA - Korean Version
Music Plaza - Unknown Version
Saranghello - Korean Version
SubK Shop - Korean Version
Target - U.S Version
Other Options
Use these sites at your own discretion, NCT does not endorse any sellers on any of these platforms.
Please note that all of the listed sites - other than the ones listed under other - reflect on Hanteo and/or Gaon Charts. Happy buying NCity 💚 💚 💚!
submitted by rozy18 to NCT [link] [comments]


2020.09.23 01:45 MrsFinger FAQ/Megathread for visitors and new & existing residents. Ask stuff here! All questions about living/working/budgeting/visiting should be asked here. (w/c 09/22/2020)

Hello, welcome to Long Beach!

Visiting us? Moving to study or work? Brief layover? Moving to a new part of Long Beach? Any small questions about life here, if you're new or been here your whole life, this is the place!

We get a lot of posts asking very similar questions so this post aims to address some of our most Frequently Asked Questions, and give you a place to ask for assistance.

Words from the City:

Hello new and/or potential future residents to Long Beach!
First off, download the GoLongBeach App! You can use it to report potholes and find contact info for all City Departments. For COVID related news you can find them in this thread which gets updated with the latest Press Releases. Additionally, you can go to our COVID website for all the latest numbers.
You can also sign up for the GoLongBeach Newsletter for City News delivered straight to your email. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter if that's your preferred social media platform.
- CityOfLongBeach

Where do I find rentals?

Realtor.com
Padmapper
Hotpads
Zillow
Craigslist, if you do your due diligence
Driving/walking through the neighborhood looking for "For Lease" or "For Rent" signs and inquiring with the owneproperty management

How do I get around?

To and from LAX: Flyaway shuttles from LAX to Downtown Long Beach. (General Site: https://www.flylax.com/flyaway

Uber and Lyft: This is pretty self-explanatory.

Metro A Line - Public Transportation - Formerly called the Blue Line. This is the Metro light rail line that connects Long Beach to much of the City of Los Angeles. General Site

Long Beach Transit - Public Transportation - Bus - This is pretty self-explanatory. General Site

Long Beach Aquabus/Aqualink - This is a ferry that sails from one end of the Long Beach waterfront to the other. General Site

Catalina Express - The boat ferries passengers from Downtown Long Beach to Catalina Island. General Site

What should I see and where are the non-touristy stuff and hidden gems?

History:

* Have breakfast or brunch on the Queen Mary (not exactly off the beaten path, but also not to be missed)
* Walk or bike down Long Beach, or book a Harbor Tour to learn more about the harbor and history of LBC
* Visit and tour Rancho Los Cerritos and/or Los Alamitos
* Walk around (or rent a boat and row around) Marine Stadium, home of Olympic rowing competitions, or watch a rowing competition (look up the rowers association or dragon boat racing competitions)
* Dinner (fancy) at Parker's Lighthouse or (less fancy) get a sunset view at the patio at Belmont Shore Brewery

Art:

* Visit MOLAA and the lesser known Pacific Islander art museum across the street.
* Grab a cup of coffee and catch some live music while admiring the art at Viento y Agua or Portfolio coffee houses
* Check out a 2nd Saturday art walk in the Arts District or First Friday's in Bixby Knolls, or visit a weekly Farmer's market (Tuesday nights at Cherry and Broadway is one)
* Book a date for two where you learn about clay and make your own cup/bowl/plate on a wheel at Clay on First
* Make a mosaic at Visionary Artware
* Do a walking tour of some of the murals and sculptures in Long Beach
* Shop for things uniquely local at Made in Long Beach
* Eat brunch or lunch at Claire's at the Long Beach Museum of Art
* Eat dinner at Lola's on 4th street, admire the locks art there, then shop Retro Row
* Catch a movie at the Art theater on 4th
* Watch a show at the Long Beach Playhouse.
* Listen to Jazz at Harvelle's

Way off the beaten path:

* Explore El Dorado Park and El Dorado Nature Center. If you go on a weekend, look up information on free archery lessons on the Olympic Archery field
* Grab some crazy ice cream flavors from Long Beach Creamery
* Rent a bike and travel the many bike paths throughout the city/beach/rivers
* Try out some instruments or record a song at Gilmore Music
* Browse records at any number of fantastic record stores
* Try Cambodian Cuisine (or any number of other amazing foods - from pho to bangers and mash to waffle sandwiches, we have it all.
* Go to the beach (seriously- not many people do)
* Visit the aquarium of the Pacific on a weekday afternoon (tip: they feed the big sharks outside at 2pm, and you can often find discounted tickets online, or see sharks and listen to live music outside on Friday's)
* Take the murder mystery paddle boat dinner cruise

Where should I live? What's x area like?

Bluff Park and Belmont Heights are about as lovely as Long Beach gets.

Bluff Heights is a really historic and charming residential neighborhood.

Alamitos Beach is gritty, charming, and has a youthful energy and a great proximity to other areas. Parking is notoriously bad here and most buildings and homes don’t come with parking.

Bixby Knolls is up towards the northwest side of the city and has some of the city’s most gorgeous Old Money residential areas, and a lot of new restaurants and businesses popping up. It almost feels like a whole other city separate from Long Beach.

The Eastern half of Long Beach (close to Cal State Long Beach) feels much more suburban and residential, and has nice areas like Los Altos and Recreation Park.

Downtown is overpriced and overrated, but it may be your thing.

Try to stay south of 4th St, and definitely south of 7th.

So much of this depends on where exactly your job is located or what vibe you want.

Is x area safe?

Long Beach is relatively safe but can change drastically block to block. Best areas to look for are about 4 blocks from the beach, Bixby Knolls, Belmont shore , east Long Beach by the university /605 freeway, and the area between signal hill / Bixby Knolls is nice.

The overall crime rate in Long Beach is 25% higher than the national average. For every 100,000 people, there are 8.86 daily crimes that occur in Long Beach. Long Beach is safer than 13% of the cities in the United States.

Crime Map of Long Beach More Information

Where can I watch the baseball/basketball/football/fight match?

Legends, Stache, R Bar, and Roundin' 3rd are good choices.

Where can I find parking?

Long Beach City's List: https://www.parklb.com/parking-lotsgarages/
App: https://en.parkopedia.com/parking/long_beach/?arriving=202005121730&leaving=202005121930
2 Hour Parking

Miscellaneous Questions:

Internet - Spectrum and Frontier are the top two. A lot of areas only have 1 or 2 options at most. Spectrum and Frontier are similar in quality with Spectrum maybe slightly coming out on top.
Here is a site that ranks them: https://www.highspeedinternet.com/ca/long-beach?zip=90814
Air Quality - https://www.iqair.com/us/usa/california/long-beach

Tips for posting:

Tell us about you - If you want us to suggest things for you to do then you need to give us a good idea of what you enjoy. Don't just say "I like music", say what type of music. Don't just say you want "somewhere nice to eat", say what type of cuisine you like (or don't like). The more specific you are the better, otherwise you'll just get pointed back to the generic guidebooks, blogs and our wiki (coming soon!).

Tell us your budget - If you're on a budget then tell us what it is and we can bear that in mind when making recommendations. There's no point in us coming up with ideas for things to do and places to eat if they'll clean out your wallet within the first 5 minutes. Saying you want something "cheap" isn't really helpful because what's cheap is entirely subjective.

Tell us where you'll be based - Let us know where you'll be staying so that we can give local recommendations.

Asking about hotels or hostels - We have homes here so know very little about what the hotels are like. Look on review websites such as TripAdvisor. However, if you say "I've been looking at these three hotels. Which do you think is the better location?" then that's the sort of thing we can answer.
submitted by MrsFinger to longbeach [link] [comments]


2020.09.23 00:47 Genesis_Prime Tips for New Xbox users

List of tips that I can think of right now
Fact Sheet
Tech Specs
Reddit post link to Xbox Wire articles
Current Xbox Game Pass Library
EA Play Library will be added to Game Pass on launch date.
Games Optimized for Xbox Series XS complete list

Download Xbox App for mobile devices, it can be used for remote install to Xbox. Add friends & chat.
Browse games offered on Game Pass from Game Pass mobile App

Gamertag(username)
Your Microsoft/Xbox account email is the same. It can be used to login to Xbox, Windows 10, Microsoft Store, Microsoft.com, Xbox.com, Minecraft mobile App, etc.
In game Gamertag(username) can be change once for free & cost money after.
How to change your Xbox gamertag
If a username exists, it will automatically add 4 digit number at the end of username. Same as how Blizzard do it on Battle.net ID. example "Name#8362"

Game Sharing - MUST READ
Buy digital game once, it can be played on two different Xboxs at the same time. You can even play online multiplayer together with Xbox Live Gold/Game Pass Ultimate subscription share.
Share these with anyone who signs in to your home Xbox:
Account-specific items can’t always be shared. Some examples are:

Saving
Xbox/Microsoft Gift Card can be used to purchase anything from Xbox console & Microsoft.com
Costco has $90 for $100 deal going on, and occasionally from Newegg/Rakuten. Usually 10~20% discount.
If you are not Game Pass subscriber, buy & sign up 3 years of Xbox Live Gold and after that pay $1 for 1st month Game Pass Ultimate deal to convert 3 year of Xbox Live Gold to Game Pass Ultimate.

Microsoft Rewards
Microsoft Rewards points can be converted to Game Pass Subscription, Xbox/Microsoft Gift Cards
Sign up for Microsoft Rewards
Complete daily tasks on bing.com to earn Microsoft Rewards points
Microsoft Rewards Rebate beta offers 2% rebate on Microsoft.com and other websites when searched & accessed from bing.com
Earn points from Microsoft Rewards App on Xbox Console.

For Game Pass Subscribers
Download Xbox Game Pass App on mobile device & complete daily/weekly/monthly quest to earn Microsoft Rewards Points & don't forget to turn in quests once completed from App/Console.
Check out free Perks offers from Xbox App for Windows 10 / Xbox Game Pass App for mobile devices. They range from in game items, DLC, Spotify/Discord/Postmate subscriptions.
Game Pass Ultimate subscribers can stream & play Game Pass library with Game Pass App on mobile devices with any controllers that supports Bluetooth.
App shows when a certain games are added/about to leave Game Pass Library.
YouTube - Play Over 100 Xbox Games on Android Mobile

Controller
Eneloop rechargeable battery is best companion accessory for Xbox controllers.
Xbox One controllers works with Xbox Series XS
Xbox Controller can be remapped using Xbox Accessories App from Microsoft Store on Windows 10 & on Xbox.
Copilot feature links two controllers so that you and another gamer can use them as if they were a single controller. This can be useful when one gamer needs assistance with their console.
Beginning 2021, Xbox Design Lab will be offering custom Xbox Series XS controllers. Right now, they are for Xbox One controllers.
Xbox Adaptive Controller for gamers with limited mobility

External Storage
USB 3.1 HDD Seagate Expansion Card
Stores any Xbox game Yes Yes
Plays Xbox One, Xbox 360, and Original Xbox games Yes Yes
Plays games optimized for Xbox Series X No Yes
Replicates speed and performance of internal SSD No Yes
Xbox Series XS games can only be installed on Xbox and Storage Expansion Card for Xbox Series XS
Xbox One/360/Original games can be install on Xbox/External HDD/SDD.
For Series XS games, external HDD/SDD can be used for storage purpose only.
Installed games can be moved between Xbox & External storage at anytime.

Others
Xbox Family Setting App
Sign up for Xbox Insider to be part of Beta testing ring & give feedback on games & upcoming Xbox UI.
Xbox Controller can be remapped using Xbox Accessories App from Microsoft Store on Windows 10 & on Xbox
Xbox Play Anywhere Titles offer buy once, play on Windows 10 & Xbox. Shame not lot of 3rd party publishers adapted them.

YouTube videos worth checking out
New Ways to Share
Quick Resume Trailer
Smart Delivery
Xbox Adaptive Controller


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2020.09.21 23:13 MotionLawImmigration Senators Request Political Asylum for Three Latin American Countries Motion Law Immigration

Senators Request Political Asylum for Three Latin American Countries Motion Law Immigration

Several Senators ask the Trump administration to grant asylum to immigrants from three nations
On September 14, 2020, four US senators signed an official letter exposing how the political asylum policies implemented by the Trump administration could put dozens of immigrants from countries experiencing quite alarming internal conflicts at imminent risk.
The letter involves:
  • Secretary of State of the Department of State (DOS), Michael Pompeo.
  • Under Secretary for Strategy, Policy and Plans of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Chad Wolf.
The senators argue that changes and measures implemented by the current administration of the US, led by President Donald Trump, are risking the lives of innocent immigrants who arrive in the country fleeing the danger, persecution and threat of their countries.
They yearn to request political asylum, so that they can protect their lives. However, current strict policies have allowed these individuals to be expelled from the US almost immediately upon arrival, sending them back to precarious environments that threaten their integrity.
Senators raise their voices primarily for immigrants coming from:
  • Cuba.
  • Nicaragua.
  • Venezuela.
They argue that, on many occasions, they do not go back to their countries, but rather must go to Mexico, which is another vulnerable environment for immigrants, under the Migrant Protection Protocol (MPP).
In fact, the senators declare: “The Trump administration is routinely forcing Venezuelans, Cubans, Nicaraguans, and other seeking asylum back to Mexico’s most violent cities (…) We fail to see how denying protection and inflicting further suffering on Venezuelans, Cubans, and Nicaraguans serves U.S foreign policy and humanitarian interests.”

The MPP Policy – Brief Explanation

In January 2019, the US government signed the MPP agreement with the Mexican government.
This immigration policy, also known as “Remain in Mexico”, states that asylum seekers no longer have the opportunity to reside in the US while waiting for the response to their immigration applications, but must remain in Mexico until their applications are resolved.
It is imperative to understand that immigrants apply for political asylum mainly because they are trying to flee from danger, which is why in most cases they arrive in the country without personal belongings.
Currently, they live in temporary shelters on the borders of Mexico or in foundations sponsored by activist organizations, neighboring communities or religious groups, who help them survive through donations, food and shelters.
They are going through adverse circumstances because these temporary shelters are overcrowded, which increases the risk of a massive outbreak of Coronavirus. Adding to that, asylum hearings are substantially behind schedule due to the health crisis, lengthening waiting times for them and aggravating the situation.
Visit our Blog section to keep up to date with the latest immigration news.

Do you have a pending immigration case?

It is important to seek reliable help when submitting an immigration application, even more so during these times of crisis. In this way, you can:
  • Choose the right process.
  • Organize the documentation correctly.
  • Find relief in the midst of the current juncture.
If you have any questions about an immigration issue or relating to a case you may have currently in progress, then please don’t hesitate to contact us for a FREE Phone Consultation with one of our expert immigration attorneys.
Simply call Motion Law today at: (202) 918-1899.
DISCLAIMER: Motion Law Immigration Social Media & YouTube Channel is made available by the law firm publisher for educational purposes only as well as to provide you with commentary on general information reported from numerous online sources. Whilst we may offer a general understanding or interpretation of the law, we not to provide specific legal advice. By using Motion Law Immigration YouTube channel you understand that there is no attorney client relationship between you and the YouTube channel site publisher. Motion Law Immigration YouTube channel should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed professional attorney in your state.
submitted by MotionLawImmigration to u/MotionLawImmigration [link] [comments]


2020.09.21 02:54 TheAusNerd Debris [Part 42]

[First] [Previous] [Next]
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<"Dude, I love playing that when I was a kid!"> said Wora exuberantly over video chat. <"I can't believe they still make it.">
Le'quaren, the only friend Wora could name that wasn't perpetually surrounded by criminals and thugs, sat smiling, cradling her newborn in her arms. <"Jell told me it's getting even more popular at the store he frequents, but he's concerned that if his friends find out he plays, he's never going to hear the end of it.">
Wora giggled. She remembered feeling the same way in her youth, spending a solid chunk of the allowance she received from performing chores to buy a pack of cards just for the feeling of anticipation and mystery. It was simpler then, better. Wora thought. <"Hey...">
Today's lunch was a lonely one for Behn. While a significant portion of the women went to have their bi-weekly video calls, she abstained, choosing instead to get in line for food that, without the rest of the prison lining up for their meals and bringing things to a crawl, was comparatively fresh. The food, surprisingly refreshing though it was, was no replacement for Wora's lively demeanour and barbs at the brainless programmes on the television, which the prisoners noted to now be flickering somewhat; the women expected their food to soon take another dip in whatever quality it had left.
At last, and with a tray on which she swore she could see the scrapings from the bottom of the greasy pot in which her meal was cooked, Wora arrived, throwing herself onto the bench beside Behn. The mood was immediately lifted. <"Hey, girl. What'd I miss?">
<"Just some weather boy waffling on about expected wind speeds during Chill Winds. They're gonna be high, but nothing we haven't survived before."> As she heard the young man read the weather report, part of Behn was glad that Arnd apparently spent most of her time in X'rtani House, she would be nice and warm there.
<"Huh. Oh! Did I ever tell you about that one time when my aunt slipped on an ice patch and fell down the stairs of her apartment complex?"> Behn shook her head. <"Yeah. She was fine in the end, nothing more than a few bruises, but she screamed like a damn siren until she hit the floor. A cop came bursting in looking for his buddy's cruiser, muttering that he didn't get a call for a crime in progress! When he saw my aunt, he damn near pissed himself!"> Wora chuckled heartily, and Behn couldn't help but be drawn in. The two women laughed so hard that they missed the opening to that day's episode of MarkWatch.
The pair watched a man too average-looking to form an opinion on confront Mark on a bus, and a thought came to Wora's head. <"Do you have anyone to call on the outside? Friends, family?">
Behn swallowed hard after she removed her gaze from the television and processed the question. <"No. I hadn't noticed I left it all behind until I realized who I was running with. And before you ask: no, I'm not calling my mother."> she clarified, dim resentment on her tongue.
<"You think she would've called by now, given what you've told me.">
<"She's busy doing gods know what with Mark and all that government crap, I wouldn't be surprised if it was years before she called to talk.">
Wora nodded along as only a friend would, recognizing that words were no good here, and returned to her meal.

<"You reckon he couldn't have gone shorter? Show some arm?"> asked Wora in relation to the tailored suit MarkWatch's presenters accurately predicted he had arranged for.
<"Meh, it's probably fashionable where he's from. It's not my business in any case."> replied Behn, squat lifting the weight of the average prisoner in the complex. It was simple. It certainly wasn't a heavy machine gun, two backpacks worth of ammo, malante plate body armor... <'No, gods damn it! You're past that! The violence is no more! Just squat and breathe, Behn.'> She squatted, she breathed, she felt her thighs grow warm with the effort, focusing on that helped her stay in the moment.
<"Behn?">
<"Sorry, I spaced out a bit, what'd you say?">
Wora pointed past Behn, whose gaze followed her friends finger. Four surly women, with enough muscle between them to convince Behn that they could bend the collective population of the prison into thick knots. They closed in and Behn put the barbell back on the rack. She and the quartet's eyes met, and the clear challenge was recognized.
<"So,"> began a X'etish woman who dwarfed the others. <"Miss Ex-Fang here's got 48 lifetimes, eh? Not bad, pint-size."> She giggled, her yellowed and chipped fangs on full display. <"See, there's something about multiple life sentences that I'm sure you know: You step out of line, and you're in solitary.">
<"I'm aware."> replied Behn, knowing exactly where this was going.
<"So then you know that you can't fight anyone, correct?"> the woman sneered, leaning down so her jaw was inches from Behn's face. Behn didn't notice a X'rtani woman slinking out of view.
<"Correct.">
The woman stood back up. <"Good.">
Behn was seized from behind, a second X'rtani clamping her jaw shut <"Don't go crying now."> she taunted. Wora hollered for the guards, only to be grabbed by the jaw and thrown to the ground by the X'eti, who roughly held her face to the floor. Struggle as she might, Wora was helpless and silent in witnessing Behn's right arm being held out by a X'ogan woman, her mouth warped into a savage grin. <"You learn that we're the bosses in this yard right quick, or..."> And with a visceral crunch that turned both Behn and Wora's stomach, the woman bit down on Behn's thumb, removing it at the base. She spat it on the ground and chuckled, her jowls splotched with bloody yellow. Behn, pain and disgust twisting inside her, swayed at the sight of her own blood. Finally, the guards arrived, detaining the perpetrators. Upon her attacker's seizure, gore-induced vomit spilled from Behn's newly unclamped jaw, and she staggered to the floor, lightheaded and queasy.
As the assailants were taken away, a guard administered basic first aid to Behn while calling for a medical team for the two victims. Before long, a team arrived with a mag-lifted bed for Behn, they immediately administered an anesthetic and antibiotics to the wound, and they rushed Behn off to the prison station's medical ward. Wora, her head throbbing, was helped off the ground by the guard who stood beside Behn, and was led from the yard as she explained the altercation.

Wora's impatience was not due to the aches she felt as her injuries were examined in the medical ward.
<"You appear to have a mild concussion and some bruising."> noted the doctor. The guard present relayed this information to her fellow officers in Wora's arm of the prison. <"There's no cure for a concussion but rest and limiting stimulus; no television, no major physical activity, and keep socializing to a minimum for the next few days. I'll have pills regularly sent to your cell to help with pain, and I'll arrange for your meals to be sent to your cell, too. In the meantime, I can provide you with a blindfold and earmuffs to help limit stimulus."> The physician filled out application forms as she spoke. <"You should begin to first see results in a few days, and I'll have you come in for an examination in seven days.">
<"Fine, cool, whatever."> said Wora. <"Is Behn going to be okay?">
<"Your cellmate? Due to patient confidentiality, I can't give that information away. But I'll ask her if it's okay, and we'll go from there.">
<"Yes, please."> Restlessness was thick in her tone.
The doctor blinked at her for a moment, before turning back to her computer. <"Alright. We'll arrange someone to visit you in your cell as soon as possible."> She turned to the guard, handing her the stimulus-limiting headwear. <"Shel, please escort Miss Lakk back to her cell, and be sure to take the quiet routes.">
<"Of course, Doctor. You heard her, get these on you and I'll get you back safe."> the officer held the blindfold and earmuffs out to Wora, who took them begrudgingly.
The blindfold didn't so much as blind Wora, but rather kept her vision dim, which she admittedly appreciated given her injury, the earmuffs too aided in the easing of her headache; they didn't help ease the throbbing she felt from her bruises, though.
When Wora arrived back at her cell, she saw some pills already arranged on her bedside table; they tasted like everything and nothing at the same time, she nearly gagged. After chasing her medication with some water, she slumped down onto the bed and dozed, her body seemingly responding to the doctor's orders.
She later woke with a start as a guard outside her cell called for her attention. <"Miss Kell? Miss Kolr would like to see you in the medical ward, I'm here to escort you.">
Wora didn't miss a beat, immediately following the guard through the passageways prisoners usually only got to see if they were in deep trouble, add-years-onto-your-sentence trouble. All the way, she was thankful for the headwear provided, and was finally deposited into the medical ward after an uneventful journey. A doctor, noticeably armed - it was a prison, after all - directed Wora to Behn's bed.
Behn laid propped up in a hospital bed with her eyes closed, grimacing in pain. Her right arm and hand were held still by braces as a tissue replicator went to work reattaching her thumb with new bone, muscle fibers, and skin weaved from their constituent components coded with her DNA, given in a sample taken from the shredded stump of her thumb. Wora noticed that a small curtain had been set up to block Behn's view of her automated operation.
<"Behn, it's me."> said Wora, sitting by her bedside.
Behn's eyes slowly opened, brightening when her friend came into focus. <"Hey sis. Wh-ugh, what's with the sleepwear?"> she asked sardonically.
<"Concussion, but I'll be fine. How about you?">
<"I should be okay, too. The doc said that this should take just fine, given that it's mostly a reattachment. At best, I'm looking at minor scars.">
Wora raised an eyebrow. <"And at worst?">
<"My body rejects the new tissue, my thumb falls off, and they try again."> Behn explained nonchalantly, as though the sight of such wouldn't result in her puking again.
<"Ah."> Though her tone didn't show it, in truth, Wora was truly relieved that her friend, despite her gruesome injury, was still in high spirits. One question remained, however. <"So, you're looking at a stint in solitary?">
<"Nah, enough of the girls in the yard vouched for me that I'm off the hook this time. I got told that those dry cunts are in lockdown for half a month and their pay's been slashed. Next time they jump someone, they're in solitary for a month, with an extra month for each following attack. And the best part, I now have express permission to defend myself from those four in future."> Behn giggled. <"I mean, so long as I don't break anything.">
<"Oh, thank the gods, I didn't want to lose you."> expressed Wora, not realizing until after she had said it that she said the quiet part out loud.
<"Aww, you would've missed me?"> Behn barbed.
Wora knew there was no backing out now. <"Of course, you dumbass! You're the only cellmate I can name that I've gotten along with.">
Listening to Wora lay herself bare, Behn couldn't remember the last time her presence made someone genuinely happy beyond her deft handling of a firearm. She smiled warmly and extended her uninjured arm toward her friend, placing her hand on Wora's knee. <"Hey, I'm not shut in a hole just yet, so buck up!">
Wora sighed, content. <"You're right. Just don't go scaring me like that again, okay?">
<"Sure, sis.">
<"So, how long did the doc say you'd be stuck here for?">
<"They reckon they'll see if this'll take in a day or so. If it does, I'm free to go. Well, as free as I can be on this rock, at least. I'll be back to see your lack of modesty again soon.">
Wora's expression grew smug. <"You know you love it."> she mocked.
Behn sniggered, transitioning into full on laughter when Wora mockingly began lifting her shirt. Wora joined in, letting the joy of the moment wash away any lingering doubts and worries. Now she knew that she, her friend, and their bond, was safe.
~~~
The bus glode smoothly past shop-lined streets as Mark stared out the window, attempting to map out the city in his mind while wondering where he could get a set of headphones built for his ears. It stopped outside a family-owned grocer to let waiting passengers board. Before the bus could take off again, a thin man carrying a basket of food approached Mark.
<"What're you doing here?"> he asked belligerently.
Mark was shaken from his window watching by the man's question. "Can I help you?" he asked politely.
<"This bus isn't built for you."> the basket-carrier stated with certainty. <"Get off.">
Mark blinked. "... Pardon?"
The man's already scowl-creased face scrunched further, his jowls parted just enough for a thin white line of fangs to be visible between his jaws. <"Are you mocking me? Get off the damn bus!"> he insisted, shooting a finger at the side door.
Mark knew then what was happening. He knew it would happen eventually, but he wasn't entirely prepared for the sensation of the event itself. Still, he retained his composure. "Please leave me be, sir." he said firmly.
The man, clearly knowing that he wasn't going to get his way alone, stormed up to the driver's seat and demanded Mark to be removed from the vehicle. <"Buddy, the guy ain't causin' no trouble. You leave 'em alone or you're walkin'."> the driver said matter-of-factly.
The man, finally understanding his place in the proceedings, shot a nasty look Mark's way, and stepped off the bus.

"That guy on the bus surprised me. I've noticed that nobody here's all that subtle, but nobody's been that forward thus far." said Mark, recounting yesterday's encounter with a concerned citizen on public transport.
Rilk'r, Mark's companion at the cafeteria table, nodded along to the human's retelling, aware of the encounter in question from today's episode of MarkWatch. <"Don't let 'em get to you. You really shouldn't have to put up with that shit, but if it's just a handful of belligerent dicks, you don't have much to worry about. You stay the course, and they'll get over it eventually.">
While Mark wasn't entirely convinced, stressing over factors out of one's control did little good. "Yeah."
The conversation paused as the two men dug into their lunches, picking up again when Rilk'r asked: <"So, how's that gym treating you?">
"Pretty well, actually. It's a bit stuffy, but I can't complain too much. I imagine you learned about that from the news?"
Rilk'r looked hurt. <"The news? I helped put the damn thing together!">
Mark choked on his water, drawing eyes from employees that he had hoped would be used to his presence by now. "Wait, really? You never told me!"
<"I like my customers to leave their reviews after they've put my work to the test."> Rilk'r said smugly.
"Heh. Well, I've certainly seen worse equipment." He would never forget that one squat rack in Anytime Fitness that fell apart the instant he re-racked his bar.
Rilk'r chuckled. <"Glowing praise, that.">
And once again, the two men put their chat on hold while they ate. Rilk'r cleaned his tray before Mark, to neither's surprise, and waved as he returned to work. Uns'la pointed a finger gun as she linked up with Rilk'r, Mark returned it. As his tray neared empty, Arnd, who too was using the break in the day's lesson to eat her fill, came up to the table.
<"You think you could pick up the pace a bit? We still have the last decade of the Crisis of the Peaks to cover, and I don't want it spilling into my free day."> she asked, the tapping of her foot on the tiled floor akin to a metronome with no patience for rhythm.
"What do you think I'm doing?" replied Mark, now shoveling his gravy-soaked wobunil chunks into his mouth at as fast a pace as their size allowed. Before long, and with many painful attempts to swallow mouthfuls in excess of his throat's capacity, Mark emptied his tray. He also made a mental note to, if he ever made it back to Earth, tell Percy about that time he almost took too much meat for his throat to handle, giggling childishly to himself.
After he quickly gulped down water from a paper cup, Mark was ready to return. Arnd watched impatiently as Mark nodded to the guard stationed outside the bar, with her impatience morphing to simple annoyance when Mark paused to pull out his data pad. This annoyance turned to frustration when Mark turned on his heels and walked back toward her.
"I gotta go, T'aro wants me in R&D immediately. We'll pick up with Crisis when I get back." And with that, Mark was off toward the elevators and Arnd was left watching him go.
Jan'u came up to her, licking his jowls clean of gravy. <"What's he up to now?">
Arnd deflated. <"Doesn't matter. Come on, Nelert's Bones is out and I wanna see if it lives up to the trailers.">

Beneath the mountain, with K'ul stalwart by his side, T'aro paced, second-guessing whether this was a good idea.
Yesterday, as the moon shone as a silver crescent high above the city, T'aro oversaw the first test of a circular bone saw attachment to F'ejen's shield-focused surgical tool. The device whirred, the multitude of tiny energy blades blurring together to form a single, uniform disc of light at the tip of the apparatus. With precision, F'ejen lowered the device down on to, in absence of replicated human bone, a plate of what T'aro dubbed 'Malante Squared', a substance that acted as a less refined, less dense x'erren attempt at N.L.N.A, the substance that comprised the hull of Mark's detached cockpit. Upon contact, the saw squealed as it battled its target, but both it and F'ejen held firm, and the doctor soon excavated a near-perfect square from the mass. A few moments after F'ejen shut the device off, he was told that this attachment too passed safety and stability tests. F'ejen nodded proudly at this victory and ticked off yet another test on his notepad he pulled from his breast pocket; thus far, among other tools, he had successfully tested: a scalpel with adjustable length, a needle tip, a drill, and scissors.
F'ejen stepped out of the testing room, discarding his gloves and shoes, and loosing his ears. <"Well, what's next on the docket?"> he asked, softly massaging his aching ears.
<"Staples. Although how you plan on making this work, I have no clue."> replied T'aro, looking over the list of planned tools.
Listening to T'aro launch into further detail of the task's complications, F'ejen couldn't help but think. <"So, remind me; Mark's more or less on your side now?">
<"He promised that the antics were over, so ostensibly, yes.">
<"... Then shouldn't you tell him about all this?"> asked F'ejen, gesturing to the testing room where a team was examining the surgical apparatus.
T'aro looked at the doctor in stunned disbelief. <"Out of the question. If you've read Mark's contract, and I know you have, you'll know he has the legal right to shut this entire operation down at any time he so wishes. The instant he sees us developing this technology, I've no doubt in my mind that his first act would be to demand that development ceases. His second would be to demand a release from his contract, which is also his legal right.">
<"I take it then he still doesn't trust us?">
<"He said so himself."> said T'aro pointedly.
<"And do you think he'll trust us any more if we continue keeping secrets?"> questioned F'ejen, turning to face the administrator.
T'aro turned in kind. <"I am the director of this project and I will not be questioned.">
<"I have been a surgeon since before you came of age."> the doctor stated firmly, letting his experience drive his words. <"I have worked at many hospitals and have tended to very many patients. The longer you lie to a patient, even if the lie is entirely for the patient's benefit, the harsher they react when the truth comes out. When Mark tried to escape, he was in a panic, trying to tunnel away from the force he thought he could not fight. But what do you think he'll to do now that he's come to know us, to adapt to us? I know you have the means to bring him in again, but none of them are quiet enough for you to get away with it."> F'ejen leaned in, craning his neck upward to get face-to-face with his junior. <"You open up now, or the decades you've spent on this project go up in smoke.">
T'aro could say nothing to the physician as he produced a pack of lija from his pocket, bit down on a pod, and ambled out of the room saying that he was going to bed. T'aro stood blinking into the silent air for a few long minutes after the doctor had left, before deciding: <"Not the samples, that's too far.">

T'aro's pacing and fretting was interrupted by Mark rounding the corner into R&D, his face a portrait of curiosity and apprehension. "You called?" he said flatly.
T'aro straightened. <"Yes, I did. I'm glad you could make it so promptly.">
Mark shrugged. "You said immediately. So, what's up?"
T'aro turned, gesturing Mark to follow. <"As you well know, I wouldn't be doing my job as head of extraterrestrial affairs if I didn't look after the health of those that fall under my jurisdiction. I've already made steps to accommodate this in providing you proper nourishment and the personal gym - which I've noticed you've taken quite a fancy to."> Mark nodded, he would be lying if he denied his enjoyment of having regular, challenging exercise as part of his daily routine again. <"Regardless, this is just the surface; I'm frankly shocked you've not yet fallen ill, I'll chalk that up to your immune system being just as hardy as your body. That body, Mister Stevens, however durable, is still mortal. If you were to suffer an injury, it would need to be tended to. You could recover from nicks and bruises on your own, but more severe injuries: broken bones, deep lacerations, etcetera, those would require medical attention, even surgery.">
Mark didn't know whether or not to ease himself now that the man was getting to the damned point, as said point's subject matter put him on edge.
<"Unfortunately,"> T'aro continued. <"The same implacable nature of your physiology that keeps you safe from the same rounds that would put a hole in a x'erren man large enough to stick one's hand through, would similarly keep standard surgical tools from being able to do their work. Thus, when doctor Rour brought forth the idea of using projected shields in place of metal or glass blades, I had to jump at the chance.">
With impeccable timing that told Mark that T'aro had thoroughly rehearsed this speech of his, the X'erren gestured Mark through a door to his left. Upon entry, Mark realized that his initial mixed feelings were nothing compared to what he felt looking upon the implements in person, their pristine, rounded forms catching the light in a way that made them look both sacred and profane, and they weren't even turned on!
T'aro stood beside the human. <"As you can see, we've developed a range of attachments, with more on the way. I understand any apprehension you may have, Mister Stevens, but you must understand that without this, there is no way for anyone in x'erren space to aid you should the need arise.">
"... Have you tested these?"
<"On varying metals, yes. And I can confirm that these tools are up to the job.">
"Then, may I see them in action?"
T'aro knew not to ease himself just yet, but part of him was glad that Mark remained at least outwardly calm. <"If I can manage to rouse doctor Rour, then yes.">
In the tense calm following T'aro's message to F'ejen, Mark found his eyes always drifting toward the assortment of attachments laid out on the table beyond the viewing window, and tried to fit each adapter to a purpose. He was in the middle of inspecting the needle tip when the door opened to F'ejen, who, upon seeing Mark, immediately sported a smile.
<"Mark! How are you?">
"Just fine, thanks."
<"Mister Rour! Glad you're here. Now, shall we begin the demonstration?"> said T'aro as though yesterday's conversation never happened.
<"That we shall."> replied F'ejen in kind.
And after F'ejen donned his surgical garb, he did just that, lighting the space and filling the air with the sound of humming shields projectors and screeching metal as he sliced, drilled, and punctured a sheet of malante2. All the while, T'aro explained the substance's origin, reminding Mark that, given its nature as a recreation of an entirely human creation, he could shut down its production and research thereof at any moment. Mark politely declined.
Before long, each tool, including the staples, had been demonstrated in full, and F'ejen rejoined the pair in the viewing room. <"So,"> he said. <"what do you think?">
Mark thought a moment. "I think that this is not only a brilliant piece of tech, but that it exists for my sake is very considerate of you both." His words, while genuine, were tinged with doubt, something that his x'erren listeners were all too aware of. "I do wish, however, that you would have notified me beforehand, for both the tools and the metal."
F'ejen and T'aro apologized for their lack of foresight and, with a gesture from Mark that he was satisfied with the showcase, followed him out into the hallway.
As the trio made their way back to the surface, K'ul keeping stride with T'aro, Mark tapped F'ejen on the shoulder. "Hey, are you free for a bit? I have some questions I'd like to ask."
<"Of course, we can talk over lunch.">
T'aro was mildly distressed at the apparent desire for him to not be present, but he understood. He stopped the pair, telling them to go on without him as he had to oversee maintenance performed on the gym. He watched as Mark and F'ejen rounded a corner and hoped for the best.

F'ejen returned to the cafeteria table with a small mantan leaf wrap, understanding that Mark went without food because he had already ate. <"So, bud, what do you need to know?">
Mark had loosened somewhat in T'aro's absence, but still hesitated slightly when asking. <"Are those tools really for surgery?">
The doctor paused mid-bite. <"I brought up the idea of using shields as a substitute for metal, why wouldn't they be for surgery?">
"I know, but that's not what I meant. It's more..." Mark looked around to see if anyone suspicious was watching. "Are they really there to mend injuries, are they really there to help me?"
F'ejen laid his wrap down, sighing in understanding. <"Look, man, I get that you don't trust T'aro, I wouldn't trust him either after what he's pulled. But I can tell you straight that this is legit. You can trust this.">
Mark didn't know if he felt any better after having it said to him so plainly. "I just hope they never have to be used."
<"No true surgeon ever wants their tools to leave storage. If I had my way, everyone would always be healthy and surgery would be a dead field."> He bit into his wrap, and Mark agreed.
~~~
Du'fra stepped out through the hospital's front doors, a prescription for pain medication in his hand and a thick cast on his arm. It took time and a lot of pain to realign the halves of his shattered forearm, and by the time the cast was on, the doctors had confirmed that this level of damage could take at minimum four months to heal, and years to regain full strength once he had the internal plates and pins removed. Before he left the ward, he opted to hire a Spare Hand: a robotic arm strapped to one's shoulder controlled by brainwaves monitored by a small headpiece, to replace one's out of commission arm while it healed, held aloft in a sling. Healthcare was a dream in Ta'X'rtana, and thus the only money that left Du'fra's coffers was the hire fee for the Spare Hand, and a handful of chump change for a surprisingly good hospital meal on his way out. He finished his meal in the office courtyard, carelessly tossing the container aside when his taxi arrived.
As the vehicle navigated the city's airspace, Du'fra checked his cruiser's tracker, and found it to be impounded in a lot across town. He decided that it could rot there for all he cared, he still had the cruiser he got in his divorce. He was both shocked and glad that the parasites now sitting in the executive chairs at X'rtan Freight hadn't stolen anything from him while he was out. With that thought, he searched The Flow for any news pertaining to X'rtan Freight, and came by an article reporting on the new Acting Chief Vuk'li's ascension to the top of the company and his donation of 500 billion ker'se to the Men-te Relief Fund to commemorate his rise. <"That brakk fucker worked in marketing before he was hired there, of course he'd pull a stunt like this."> growled Du'fra. In his fury, he instinctively reached out for a pack of first-grade lija pods, and remembered the one thing in his old cruiser that he would miss.
Errant dust was blown off the rooftop by the taxi's arrival to Du'fra's apartment. Air-capable taxi fare took a bigger bite out of one's pockets than a standard ride, but Du'fra didn't care. Once inside his building, Du'fra quickly reminded himself where the set of keys to his ex wife's cruiser were, and then got to work. Where it once felt drab and lifeless, his office now felt fresh, given its new purpose. Typing with an artificial hand was awkward despite the practice doctors mandated before Du'fra could take it home with him, and he continually made spelling errors that served only to add to his mounting frustrations. Even with this new complication, however, it didn't take long for Du'fra to find what he was looking for.
Arnd Kolr's online life was scarce. All Du'fra could dig up was a seldom used Conclave account, the last activity of which was to trawl the forum of a middlingly popular book series and the account of her work hard-play hard daughter. A daughter that, with a quick search, Du'fra found to be in prison for gang activity dating back years. Familial association was not proper grounds for legal action, though, so he had to find another avenue. From news sources, he read claims that she was either hired by the government or arrested and held in X'rtani House until further notice. All Du'fra knew as of yet was that she, in her current position, was effectively untouchable. At least, if Du'fra was alone. It was common knowledge among those who did any cursory research that Arnd had close ties to Mark, someone who, though protected, was in a state of political flux, with talks going back and forth regarding the alien and how to handle him. And if politicians listened to anything, it was money, and significant public outcry.
And thus, the plan was simple: Either through generous donations, the outspoken voices of concerned citizens, or a mixture of both, swing the Council in opposition to Mark, destabilizing his and therefore Arnd's position. This should result in numerous investigations being launched, the likelihood being high that at least one would uncover the connection between Arnd and Vuk'li, putting Vuk'li's position in jeopardy and likely landing him with fines and jail time. The resulting controversy should put immense pressure on him, leaving nothing left to do but keep the pressure up until he resigns. It was elegant in its simplicity.
The only problem was getting started. He would have to be smart with his donations, hitting the sweet spot between being too small to notice and too large to be innocent. And thus he knew to start with his alternative solution; he would have to track down an anti-Mark group. But he was still weary from his surgery, and he wasn't too concerned with losing a day of progress, and decided instead to kick his feet up and relax, maybe fall asleep to reruns of that one talk show with the cute young presenter.
Prime kurjan ribs delivered to his door and top shelf X'ogan reed wine were the night's menu, with entertainment courtesy of one Wer'eled, a host who seemed determined to wear the thinnest and loosest fabric the censors would let her get away with. As Du'fra indulged, his mind drifted back, as it always would on nights like these, to the days of his relative youth. He was a 34 year old up-and-comer at X'rtan Freight after acing his interview for administrating light post in central Ta'X'rtana and surrounds, with a brand new studio apartment financed by his father, and a charming young woman to call his own: Ber'a Neyil. She had energy exploding from every inch of her tiny body and could talk her way in and out of damn near anything, which was useful skill for a saleswoman. On glorious, youthful nights when they were both tired from work and needed release, Ber'a was known to signal the beginning of the night's events by sporting a lacy gown and demanding that Du'fra follow his instincts. Looking back, Du'fra could name little else he enjoyed from his marriage. Time wore on and things grew comfortable, Du'fra couldn't be more content. Ber'a, however, viewed her continued entrenchment in a cozy routine to be increasingly stale, and sought an escape by suggesting to move away from the city. Du'fra disagreed, and thus the couple engaged in their first fight, with tempers and moods only worsening from there. Though it felt like an eternity of squabbling and growing resentment, only a few months had passed since that initial spat before divorce papers were being signed. By that point, Ber'a was more than done with Du'fra, not caring if he kept her cruiser. Du'fra never saw her again. Every time he reminisced on his marriage, Du'fra debated whether or not staying was a good idea, before shrugging and continuing on with whatever he was doing.
Stars twinkled faintly in the gaps between moonlit clouds, and Du'fra began to drift, slowly, into the waiting arms of sleep.

Day broke, and Du'fra was jolted awake by a sudden pain in his arm, the surgeon warned him about that. His unhooked the Spare Hand from his shoulder, the throbbing he felt was an indication that he should probably take it off before he goes to sleep in future. Breakfast was pe'ka pieces drowning in lija sauce that disappeared down Du'fra's gullet with grotesque haste, there was work to do. Simply typing Mark Stevens into a search bar brought up more results than he knew what to do with. Forums arguing back and forth over why he was on Kerc-en and whether or not he should be allowed to roam free; the supremely tacky MarkWatch page that practically begged him to appear on the show; and, oddly enough, a site claiming to 'spread truths' that would have a hard time convincing even the most hardcore conspiracy theorists. If the government was trying in earnest to kill Arnd, then how in the scream-rent flaming air of the Pit was she still alive? Laughable nonsense. Still, his search bore some fruit, with mentions of live meetings to debate all matters Mark, with an unsubtle negative lean in the poster's text. This, he could use.
The doorbell beeped, pulling Du'fra out of his concentration. He strapped on his Spare Hand and went to answer. The door opened to a police officer whose expression was nothing but business. <"Mister Du'fra Neem?"> he asked.
<"Yes.">
The officer glanced slightly to the left. <"Do you have a permit for that apparatus?">
Du'fra quickly flashed the document in question. <"Might I ask what this visit is about, officer?"> He knew he would get the answer either way, but asking helped his confidence.
<"You have been summoned to attend a hearing at the Central Municipal Tribunal, to determine your sentence for your engagement in an illegal Kre'gadol duel. This hearing will be undertaken on the 15th Dawn of Se'te. The full details are listed in this document."> With form befitting a man in uniform, the lawman presented an envelope.
Du'fra took the envelope only because waiting to let the situation sink in would take too long. The officer nodded, and left, the door slamming shut in his wake. A thorough reading of the summons told Du'fra that everything was as standard: He and the other guilty party were to each present a defense either with their own lawyers or lawyers provided by the state, with expected sentences ranging between two to seven months. At the mention of a month shy of an entire year being snatched away from him, Du'fra's grip tightened on the paper. However, he knew that he would have to face this some day soon, and he had slowly been steeling himself ever since he declared the duel that fateful night. Now, he knew there was no turning back, and he was prepared to learn just how much he was willing to pay for justice.
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2020.09.21 02:54 TheAusNerd Debris [Part 42]

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<"Dude, I love playing that when I was a kid!"> said Wora exuberantly over video chat. <"I can't believe they still make it.">
Le'quaren, the only friend Wora could name that wasn't perpetually surrounded by criminals and thugs, sat smiling, cradling her newborn in her arms. <"Jell told me it's getting even more popular at the store he frequents, but he's concerned that if his friends find out he plays, he's never going to hear the end of it.">
Wora giggled. She remembered feeling the same way in her youth, spending a solid chunk of the allowance she received from performing chores to buy a pack of cards just for the feeling of anticipation and mystery. It was simpler then, better. Wora thought. <"Hey...">
Today's lunch was a lonely one for Behn. While a significant portion of the women went to have their bi-weekly video calls, she abstained, choosing instead to get in line for food that, without the rest of the prison lining up for their meals and bringing things to a crawl, was comparatively fresh. The food, surprisingly refreshing though it was, was no replacement for Wora's lively demeanour and barbs at the brainless programmes on the television, which the prisoners noted to now be flickering somewhat; the women expected their food to soon take another dip in whatever quality it had left.
At last, and with a tray on which she swore she could see the scrapings from the bottom of the greasy pot in which her meal was cooked, Wora arrived, throwing herself onto the bench beside Behn. The mood was immediately lifted. <"Hey, girl. What'd I miss?">
<"Just some weather boy waffling on about expected wind speeds during Chill Winds. They're gonna be high, but nothing we haven't survived before."> As she heard the young man read the weather report, part of Behn was glad that Arnd apparently spent most of her time in X'rtani House, she would be nice and warm there.
<"Huh. Oh! Did I ever tell you about that one time when my aunt slipped on an ice patch and fell down the stairs of her apartment complex?"> Behn shook her head. <"Yeah. She was fine in the end, nothing more than a few bruises, but she screamed like a damn siren until she hit the floor. A cop came bursting in looking for his buddy's cruiser, muttering that he didn't get a call for a crime in progress! When he saw my aunt, he damn near pissed himself!"> Wora chuckled heartily, and Behn couldn't help but be drawn in. The two women laughed so hard that they missed the opening to that day's episode of MarkWatch.
The pair watched a man too average-looking to form an opinion on confront Mark on a bus, and a thought came to Wora's head. <"Do you have anyone to call on the outside? Friends, family?">
Behn swallowed hard after she removed her gaze from the television and processed the question. <"No. I hadn't noticed I left it all behind until I realized who I was running with. And before you ask: no, I'm not calling my mother."> she clarified, dim resentment on her tongue.
<"You think she would've called by now, given what you've told me.">
<"She's busy doing gods know what with Mark and all that government crap, I wouldn't be surprised if it was years before she called to talk.">
Wora nodded along as only a friend would, recognizing that words were no good here, and returned to her meal.

<"You reckon he couldn't have gone shorter? Show some arm?"> asked Wora in relation to the tailored suit MarkWatch's presenters accurately predicted he had arranged for.
<"Meh, it's probably fashionable where he's from. It's not my business in any case."> replied Behn, squat lifting the weight of the average prisoner in the complex. It was simple. It certainly wasn't a heavy machine gun, two backpacks worth of ammo, malante plate body armor... <'No, gods damn it! You're past that! The violence is no more! Just squat and breathe, Behn.'> She squatted, she breathed, she felt her thighs grow warm with the effort, focusing on that helped her stay in the moment.
<"Behn?">
<"Sorry, I spaced out a bit, what'd you say?">
Wora pointed past Behn, whose gaze followed her friends finger. Four surly women, with enough muscle between them to convince Behn that they could bend the collective population of the prison into thick knots. They closed in and Behn put the barbell back on the rack. She and the quartet's eyes met, and the clear challenge was recognized.
<"So,"> began a X'etish woman who dwarfed the others. <"Miss Ex-Fang here's got 48 lifetimes, eh? Not bad, pint-size."> She giggled, her yellowed and chipped fangs on full display. <"See, there's something about multiple life sentences that I'm sure you know: You step out of line, and you're in solitary.">
<"I'm aware."> replied Behn, knowing exactly where this was going.
<"So then you know that you can't fight anyone, correct?"> the woman sneered, leaning down so her jaw was inches from Behn's face. Behn didn't notice a X'rtani woman slinking out of view.
<"Correct.">
The woman stood back up. <"Good.">
Behn was seized from behind, a second X'rtani clamping her jaw shut <"Don't go crying now."> she taunted. Wora hollered for the guards, only to be grabbed by the jaw and thrown to the ground by the X'eti, who roughly held her face to the floor. Struggle as she might, Wora was helpless and silent in witnessing Behn's right arm being held out by a X'ogan woman, her mouth warped into a savage grin. <"You learn that we're the bosses in this yard right quick, or..."> And with a visceral crunch that turned both Behn and Wora's stomach, the woman bit down on Behn's thumb, removing it at the base. She spat it on the ground and chuckled, her jowls splotched with bloody yellow. Behn, pain and disgust twisting inside her, swayed at the sight of her own blood. Finally, the guards arrived, detaining the perpetrators. Upon her attacker's seizure, gore-induced vomit spilled from Behn's newly unclamped jaw, and she staggered to the floor, lightheaded and queasy.
As the assailants were taken away, a guard administered basic first aid to Behn while calling for a medical team for the two victims. Before long, a team arrived with a mag-lifted bed for Behn, they immediately administered an anesthetic and antibiotics to the wound, and they rushed Behn off to the prison station's medical ward. Wora, her head throbbing, was helped off the ground by the guard who stood beside Behn, and was led from the yard as she explained the altercation.

Wora's impatience was not due to the aches she felt as her injuries were examined in the medical ward.
<"You appear to have a mild concussion and some bruising."> noted the doctor. The guard present relayed this information to her fellow officers in Wora's arm of the prison. <"There's no cure for a concussion but rest and limiting stimulus; no television, no major physical activity, and keep socializing to a minimum for the next few days. I'll have pills regularly sent to your cell to help with pain, and I'll arrange for your meals to be sent to your cell, too. In the meantime, I can provide you with a blindfold and earmuffs to help limit stimulus."> The physician filled out application forms as she spoke. <"You should begin to first see results in a few days, and I'll have you come in for an examination in seven days.">
<"Fine, cool, whatever."> said Wora. <"Is Behn going to be okay?">
<"Your cellmate? Due to patient confidentiality, I can't give that information away. But I'll ask her if it's okay, and we'll go from there.">
<"Yes, please."> Restlessness was thick in her tone.
The doctor blinked at her for a moment, before turning back to her computer. <"Alright. We'll arrange someone to visit you in your cell as soon as possible."> She turned to the guard, handing her the stimulus-limiting headwear. <"Shel, please escort Miss Lakk back to her cell, and be sure to take the quiet routes.">
<"Of course, Doctor. You heard her, get these on you and I'll get you back safe."> the officer held the blindfold and earmuffs out to Wora, who took them begrudgingly.
The blindfold didn't so much as blind Wora, but rather kept her vision dim, which she admittedly appreciated given her injury, the earmuffs too aided in the easing of her headache; they didn't help ease the throbbing she felt from her bruises, though.
When Wora arrived back at her cell, she saw some pills already arranged on her bedside table; they tasted like everything and nothing at the same time, she nearly gagged. After chasing her medication with some water, she slumped down onto the bed and dozed, her body seemingly responding to the doctor's orders.
She later woke with a start as a guard outside her cell called for her attention. <"Miss Kell? Miss Kolr would like to see you in the medical ward, I'm here to escort you.">
Wora didn't miss a beat, immediately following the guard through the passageways prisoners usually only got to see if they were in deep trouble, add-years-onto-your-sentence trouble. All the way, she was thankful for the headwear provided, and was finally deposited into the medical ward after an uneventful journey. A doctor, noticeably armed - it was a prison, after all - directed Wora to Behn's bed.
Behn laid propped up in a hospital bed with her eyes closed, grimacing in pain. Her right arm and hand were held still by braces as a tissue replicator went to work reattaching her thumb with new bone, muscle fibers, and skin weaved from their constituent components coded with her DNA, given in a sample taken from the shredded stump of her thumb. Wora noticed that a small curtain had been set up to block Behn's view of her automated operation.
<"Behn, it's me."> said Wora, sitting by her bedside.
Behn's eyes slowly opened, brightening when her friend came into focus. <"Hey sis. Wh-ugh, what's with the sleepwear?"> she asked sardonically.
<"Concussion, but I'll be fine. How about you?">
<"I should be okay, too. The doc said that this should take just fine, given that it's mostly a reattachment. At best, I'm looking at minor scars.">
Wora raised an eyebrow. <"And at worst?">
<"My body rejects the new tissue, my thumb falls off, and they try again."> Behn explained nonchalantly, as though the sight of such wouldn't result in her puking again.
<"Ah."> Though her tone didn't show it, in truth, Wora was truly relieved that her friend, despite her gruesome injury, was still in high spirits. One question remained, however. <"So, you're looking at a stint in solitary?">
<"Nah, enough of the girls in the yard vouched for me that I'm off the hook this time. I got told that those dry cunts are in lockdown for half a month and their pay's been slashed. Next time they jump someone, they're in solitary for a month, with an extra month for each following attack. And the best part, I now have express permission to defend myself from those four in future."> Behn giggled. <"I mean, so long as I don't break anything.">
<"Oh, thank the gods, I didn't want to lose you."> expressed Wora, not realizing until after she had said it that she said the quiet part out loud.
<"Aww, you would've missed me?"> Behn barbed.
Wora knew there was no backing out now. <"Of course, you dumbass! You're the only cellmate I can name that I've gotten along with.">
Listening to Wora lay herself bare, Behn couldn't remember the last time her presence made someone genuinely happy beyond her deft handling of a firearm. She smiled warmly and extended her uninjured arm toward her friend, placing her hand on Wora's knee. <"Hey, I'm not shut in a hole just yet, so buck up!">
Wora sighed, content. <"You're right. Just don't go scaring me like that again, okay?">
<"Sure, sis.">
<"So, how long did the doc say you'd be stuck here for?">
<"They reckon they'll see if this'll take in a day or so. If it does, I'm free to go. Well, as free as I can be on this rock, at least. I'll be back to see your lack of modesty again soon.">
Wora's expression grew smug. <"You know you love it."> she mocked.
Behn sniggered, transitioning into full on laughter when Wora mockingly began lifting her shirt. Wora joined in, letting the joy of the moment wash away any lingering doubts and worries. Now she knew that she, her friend, and their bond, was safe.
~~~
The bus glode smoothly past shop-lined streets as Mark stared out the window, attempting to map out the city in his mind while wondering where he could get a set of headphones built for his ears. It stopped outside a family-owned grocer to let waiting passengers board. Before the bus could take off again, a thin man carrying a basket of food approached Mark.
<"What're you doing here?"> he asked belligerently.
Mark was shaken from his window watching by the man's question. "Can I help you?" he asked politely.
<"This bus isn't built for you."> the basket-carrier stated with certainty. <"Get off.">
Mark blinked. "... Pardon?"
The man's already scowl-creased face scrunched further, his jowls parted just enough for a thin white line of fangs to be visible between his jaws. <"Are you mocking me? Get off the damn bus!"> he insisted, shooting a finger at the side door.
Mark knew then what was happening. He knew it would happen eventually, but he wasn't entirely prepared for the sensation of the event itself. Still, he retained his composure. "Please leave me be, sir." he said firmly.
The man, clearly knowing that he wasn't going to get his way alone, stormed up to the driver's seat and demanded Mark to be removed from the vehicle. <"Buddy, the guy ain't causin' no trouble. You leave 'em alone or you're walkin'."> the driver said matter-of-factly.
The man, finally understanding his place in the proceedings, shot a nasty look Mark's way, and stepped off the bus.

"That guy on the bus surprised me. I've noticed that nobody here's all that subtle, but nobody's been that forward thus far." said Mark, recounting yesterday's encounter with a concerned citizen on public transport.
Rilk'r, Mark's companion at the cafeteria table, nodded along to the human's retelling, aware of the encounter in question from today's episode of MarkWatch. <"Don't let 'em get to you. You really shouldn't have to put up with that shit, but if it's just a handful of belligerent dicks, you don't have much to worry about. You stay the course, and they'll get over it eventually.">
While Mark wasn't entirely convinced, stressing over factors out of one's control did little good. "Yeah."
The conversation paused as the two men dug into their lunches, picking up again when Rilk'r asked: <"So, how's that gym treating you?">
"Pretty well, actually. It's a bit stuffy, but I can't complain too much. I imagine you learned about that from the news?"
Rilk'r looked hurt. <"The news? I helped put the damn thing together!">
Mark choked on his water, drawing eyes from employees that he had hoped would be used to his presence by now. "Wait, really? You never told me!"
<"I like my customers to leave their reviews after they've put my work to the test."> Rilk'r said smugly.
"Heh. Well, I've certainly seen worse equipment." He would never forget that one squat rack in Anytime Fitness that fell apart the instant he re-racked his bar.
Rilk'r chuckled. <"Glowing praise, that.">
And once again, the two men put their chat on hold while they ate. Rilk'r cleaned his tray before Mark, to neither's surprise, and waved as he returned to work. Uns'la pointed a finger gun as she linked up with Rilk'r, Mark returned it. As his tray neared empty, Arnd, who too was using the break in the day's lesson to eat her fill, came up to the table.
<"You think you could pick up the pace a bit? We still have the last decade of the Crisis of the Peaks to cover, and I don't want it spilling into my free day."> she asked, the tapping of her foot on the tiled floor akin to a metronome with no patience for rhythm.
"What do you think I'm doing?" replied Mark, now shoveling his gravy-soaked wobunil chunks into his mouth at as fast a pace as their size allowed. Before long, and with many painful attempts to swallow mouthfuls in excess of his throat's capacity, Mark emptied his tray. He also made a mental note to, if he ever made it back to Earth, tell Percy about that time he almost took too much meat for his throat to handle, giggling childishly to himself.
After he quickly gulped down water from a paper cup, Mark was ready to return. Arnd watched impatiently as Mark nodded to the guard stationed outside the bar, with her impatience morphing to simple annoyance when Mark paused to pull out his data pad. This annoyance turned to frustration when Mark turned on his heels and walked back toward her.
"I gotta go, T'aro wants me in R&D immediately. We'll pick up with Crisis when I get back." And with that, Mark was off toward the elevators and Arnd was left watching him go.
Jan'u came up to her, licking his jowls clean of gravy. <"What's he up to now?">
Arnd deflated. <"Doesn't matter. Come on, Nelert's Bones is out and I wanna see if it lives up to the trailers.">

Beneath the mountain, with K'ul stalwart by his side, T'aro paced, second-guessing whether this was a good idea.
Yesterday, as the moon shone as a silver crescent high above the city, T'aro oversaw the first test of a circular bone saw attachment to F'ejen's shield-focused surgical tool. The device whirred, the multitude of tiny energy blades blurring together to form a single, uniform disc of light at the tip of the apparatus. With precision, F'ejen lowered the device down on to, in absence of replicated human bone, a plate of what T'aro dubbed 'Malante Squared', a substance that acted as a less refined, less dense x'erren attempt at N.L.N.A, the substance that comprised the hull of Mark's detached cockpit. Upon contact, the saw squealed as it battled its target, but both it and F'ejen held firm, and the doctor soon excavated a near-perfect square from the mass. A few moments after F'ejen shut the device off, he was told that this attachment too passed safety and stability tests. F'ejen nodded proudly at this victory and ticked off yet another test on his notepad he pulled from his breast pocket; thus far, among other tools, he had successfully tested: a scalpel with adjustable length, a needle tip, a drill, and scissors.
F'ejen stepped out of the testing room, discarding his gloves and shoes, and loosing his ears. <"Well, what's next on the docket?"> he asked, softly massaging his aching ears.
<"Staples. Although how you plan on making this work, I have no clue."> replied T'aro, looking over the list of planned tools.
Listening to T'aro launch into further detail of the task's complications, F'ejen couldn't help but think. <"So, remind me; Mark's more or less on your side now?">
<"He promised that the antics were over, so ostensibly, yes.">
<"... Then shouldn't you tell him about all this?"> asked F'ejen, gesturing to the testing room where a team was examining the surgical apparatus.
T'aro looked at the doctor in stunned disbelief. <"Out of the question. If you've read Mark's contract, and I know you have, you'll know he has the legal right to shut this entire operation down at any time he so wishes. The instant he sees us developing this technology, I've no doubt in my mind that his first act would be to demand that development ceases. His second would be to demand a release from his contract, which is also his legal right.">
<"I take it then he still doesn't trust us?">
<"He said so himself."> said T'aro pointedly.
<"And do you think he'll trust us any more if we continue keeping secrets?"> questioned F'ejen, turning to face the administrator.
T'aro turned in kind. <"I am the director of this project and I will not be questioned.">
<"I have been a surgeon since before you came of age."> the doctor stated firmly, letting his experience drive his words. <"I have worked at many hospitals and have tended to very many patients. The longer you lie to a patient, even if the lie is entirely for the patient's benefit, the harsher they react when the truth comes out. When Mark tried to escape, he was in a panic, trying to tunnel away from the force he thought he could not fight. But what do you think he'll to do now that he's come to know us, to adapt to us? I know you have the means to bring him in again, but none of them are quiet enough for you to get away with it."> F'ejen leaned in, craning his neck upward to get face-to-face with his junior. <"You open up now, or the decades you've spent on this project go up in smoke.">
T'aro could say nothing to the physician as he produced a pack of lija from his pocket, bit down on a pod, and ambled out of the room saying that he was going to bed. T'aro stood blinking into the silent air for a few long minutes after the doctor had left, before deciding: <"Not the samples, that's too far.">

T'aro's pacing and fretting was interrupted by Mark rounding the corner into R&D, his face a portrait of curiosity and apprehension. "You called?" he said flatly.
T'aro straightened. <"Yes, I did. I'm glad you could make it so promptly.">
Mark shrugged. "You said immediately. So, what's up?"
T'aro turned, gesturing Mark to follow. <"As you well know, I wouldn't be doing my job as head of extraterrestrial affairs if I didn't look after the health of those that fall under my jurisdiction. I've already made steps to accommodate this in providing you proper nourishment and the personal gym - which I've noticed you've taken quite a fancy to."> Mark nodded, he would be lying if he denied his enjoyment of having regular, challenging exercise as part of his daily routine again. <"Regardless, this is just the surface; I'm frankly shocked you've not yet fallen ill, I'll chalk that up to your immune system being just as hardy as your body. That body, Mister Stevens, however durable, is still mortal. If you were to suffer an injury, it would need to be tended to. You could recover from nicks and bruises on your own, but more severe injuries: broken bones, deep lacerations, etcetera, those would require medical attention, even surgery.">
Mark didn't know whether or not to ease himself now that the man was getting to the damned point, as said point's subject matter put him on edge.
<"Unfortunately,"> T'aro continued. <"The same implacable nature of your physiology that keeps you safe from the same rounds that would put a hole in a x'erren man large enough to stick one's hand through, would similarly keep standard surgical tools from being able to do their work. Thus, when doctor Rour brought forth the idea of using projected shields in place of metal or glass blades, I had to jump at the chance.">
With impeccable timing that told Mark that T'aro had thoroughly rehearsed this speech of his, the X'erren gestured Mark through a door to his left. Upon entry, Mark realized that his initial mixed feelings were nothing compared to what he felt looking upon the implements in person, their pristine, rounded forms catching the light in a way that made them look both sacred and profane, and they weren't even turned on!
T'aro stood beside the human. <"As you can see, we've developed a range of attachments, with more on the way. I understand any apprehension you may have, Mister Stevens, but you must understand that without this, there is no way for anyone in x'erren space to aid you should the need arise.">
"... Have you tested these?"
<"On varying metals, yes. And I can confirm that these tools are up to the job.">
"Then, may I see them in action?"
T'aro knew not to ease himself just yet, but part of him was glad that Mark remained at least outwardly calm. <"If I can manage to rouse doctor Rour, then yes.">
In the tense calm following T'aro's message to F'ejen, Mark found his eyes always drifting toward the assortment of attachments laid out on the table beyond the viewing window, and tried to fit each adapter to a purpose. He was in the middle of inspecting the needle tip when the door opened to F'ejen, who, upon seeing Mark, immediately sported a smile.
<"Mark! How are you?">
"Just fine, thanks."
<"Mister Rour! Glad you're here. Now, shall we begin the demonstration?"> said T'aro as though yesterday's conversation never happened.
<"That we shall."> replied F'ejen in kind.
And after F'ejen donned his surgical garb, he did just that, lighting the space and filling the air with the sound of humming shields projectors and screeching metal as he sliced, drilled, and punctured a sheet of malante2. All the while, T'aro explained the substance's origin, reminding Mark that, given its nature as a recreation of an entirely human creation, he could shut down its production and research thereof at any moment. Mark politely declined.
Before long, each tool, including the staples, had been demonstrated in full, and F'ejen rejoined the pair in the viewing room. <"So,"> he said. <"what do you think?">
Mark thought a moment. "I think that this is not only a brilliant piece of tech, but that it exists for my sake is very considerate of you both." His words, while genuine, were tinged with doubt, something that his x'erren listeners were all too aware of. "I do wish, however, that you would have notified me beforehand, for both the tools and the metal."
F'ejen and T'aro apologized for their lack of foresight and, with a gesture from Mark that he was satisfied with the showcase, followed him out into the hallway.
As the trio made their way back to the surface, K'ul keeping stride with T'aro, Mark tapped F'ejen on the shoulder. "Hey, are you free for a bit? I have some questions I'd like to ask."
<"Of course, we can talk over lunch.">
T'aro was mildly distressed at the apparent desire for him to not be present, but he understood. He stopped the pair, telling them to go on without him as he had to oversee maintenance performed on the gym. He watched as Mark and F'ejen rounded a corner and hoped for the best.

F'ejen returned to the cafeteria table with a small mantan leaf wrap, understanding that Mark went without food because he had already ate. <"So, bud, what do you need to know?">
Mark had loosened somewhat in T'aro's absence, but still hesitated slightly when asking. <"Are those tools really for surgery?">
The doctor paused mid-bite. <"I brought up the idea of using shields as a substitute for metal, why wouldn't they be for surgery?">
"I know, but that's not what I meant. It's more..." Mark looked around to see if anyone suspicious was watching. "Are they really there to mend injuries, are they really there to help me?"
F'ejen laid his wrap down, sighing in understanding. <"Look, man, I get that you don't trust T'aro, I wouldn't trust him either after what he's pulled. But I can tell you straight that this is legit. You can trust this.">
Mark didn't know if he felt any better after having it said to him so plainly. "I just hope they never have to be used."
<"No true surgeon ever wants their tools to leave storage. If I had my way, everyone would always be healthy and surgery would be a dead field."> He bit into his wrap, and Mark agreed.
~~~
Du'fra stepped out through the hospital's front doors, a prescription for pain medication in his hand and a thick cast on his arm. It took time and a lot of pain to realign the halves of his shattered forearm, and by the time the cast was on, the doctors had confirmed that this level of damage could take at minimum four months to heal, and years to regain full strength once he had the internal plates and pins removed. Before he left the ward, he opted to hire a Spare Hand: a robotic arm strapped to one's shoulder controlled by brainwaves monitored by a small headpiece, to replace one's out of commission arm while it healed, held aloft in a sling. Healthcare was a dream in Ta'X'rtana, and thus the only money that left Du'fra's coffers was the hire fee for the Spare Hand, and a handful of chump change for a surprisingly good hospital meal on his way out. He finished his meal in the office courtyard, carelessly tossing the container aside when his taxi arrived.
As the vehicle navigated the city's airspace, Du'fra checked his cruiser's tracker, and found it to be impounded in a lot across town. He decided that it could rot there for all he cared, he still had the cruiser he got in his divorce. He was both shocked and glad that the parasites now sitting in the executive chairs at X'rtan Freight hadn't stolen anything from him while he was out. With that thought, he searched The Flow for any news pertaining to X'rtan Freight, and came by an article reporting on the new Acting Chief Vuk'li's ascension to the top of the company and his donation of 500 billion ker'se to the Men-te Relief Fund to commemorate his rise. <"That brakk fucker worked in marketing before he was hired there, of course he'd pull a stunt like this."> growled Du'fra. In his fury, he instinctively reached out for a pack of first-grade lija pods, and remembered the one thing in his old cruiser that he would miss.
Errant dust was blown off the rooftop by the taxi's arrival to Du'fra's apartment. Air-capable taxi fare took a bigger bite out of one's pockets than a standard ride, but Du'fra didn't care. Once inside his building, Du'fra quickly reminded himself where the set of keys to his ex wife's cruiser were, and then got to work. Where it once felt drab and lifeless, his office now felt fresh, given its new purpose. Typing with an artificial hand was awkward despite the practice doctors mandated before Du'fra could take it home with him, and he continually made spelling errors that served only to add to his mounting frustrations. Even with this new complication, however, it didn't take long for Du'fra to find what he was looking for.
Arnd Kolr's online life was scarce. All Du'fra could dig up was a seldom used Conclave account, the last activity of which was to trawl the forum of a middlingly popular book series and the account of her work hard-play hard daughter. A daughter that, with a quick search, Du'fra found to be in prison for gang activity dating back years. Familial association was not proper grounds for legal action, though, so he had to find another avenue. From news sources, he read claims that she was either hired by the government or arrested and held in X'rtani House until further notice. All Du'fra knew as of yet was that she, in her current position, was effectively untouchable. At least, if Du'fra was alone. It was common knowledge among those who did any cursory research that Arnd had close ties to Mark, someone who, though protected, was in a state of political flux, with talks going back and forth regarding the alien and how to handle him. And if politicians listened to anything, it was money, and significant public outcry.
And thus, the plan was simple: Either through generous donations, the outspoken voices of concerned citizens, or a mixture of both, swing the Council in opposition to Mark, destabilizing his and therefore Arnd's position. This should result in numerous investigations being launched, the likelihood being high that at least one would uncover the connection between Arnd and Vuk'li, putting Vuk'li's position in jeopardy and likely landing him with fines and jail time. The resulting controversy should put immense pressure on him, leaving nothing left to do but keep the pressure up until he resigns. It was elegant in its simplicity.
The only problem was getting started. He would have to be smart with his donations, hitting the sweet spot between being too small to notice and too large to be innocent. And thus he knew to start with his alternative solution; he would have to track down an anti-Mark group. But he was still weary from his surgery, and he wasn't too concerned with losing a day of progress, and decided instead to kick his feet up and relax, maybe fall asleep to reruns of that one talk show with the cute young presenter.
Prime kurjan ribs delivered to his door and top shelf X'ogan reed wine were the night's menu, with entertainment courtesy of one Wer'eled, a host who seemed determined to wear the thinnest and loosest fabric the censors would let her get away with. As Du'fra indulged, his mind drifted back, as it always would on nights like these, to the days of his relative youth. He was a 34 year old up-and-comer at X'rtan Freight after acing his interview for administrating light post in central Ta'X'rtana and surrounds, with a brand new studio apartment financed by his father, and a charming young woman to call his own: Ber'a Neyil. She had energy exploding from every inch of her tiny body and could talk her way in and out of damn near anything, which was useful skill for a saleswoman. On glorious, youthful nights when they were both tired from work and needed release, Ber'a was known to signal the beginning of the night's events by sporting a lacy gown and demanding that Du'fra follow his instincts. Looking back, Du'fra could name little else he enjoyed from his marriage. Time wore on and things grew comfortable, Du'fra couldn't be more content. Ber'a, however, viewed her continued entrenchment in a cozy routine to be increasingly stale, and sought an escape by suggesting to move away from the city. Du'fra disagreed, and thus the couple engaged in their first fight, with tempers and moods only worsening from there. Though it felt like an eternity of squabbling and growing resentment, only a few months had passed since that initial spat before divorce papers were being signed. By that point, Ber'a was more than done with Du'fra, not caring if he kept her cruiser. Du'fra never saw her again. Every time he reminisced on his marriage, Du'fra debated whether or not staying was a good idea, before shrugging and continuing on with whatever he was doing.
Stars twinkled faintly in the gaps between moonlit clouds, and Du'fra began to drift, slowly, into the waiting arms of sleep.

Day broke, and Du'fra was jolted awake by a sudden pain in his arm, the surgeon warned him about that. His unhooked the Spare Hand from his shoulder, the throbbing he felt was an indication that he should probably take it off before he goes to sleep in future. Breakfast was pe'ka pieces drowning in lija sauce that disappeared down Du'fra's gullet with grotesque haste, there was work to do. Simply typing Mark Stevens into a search bar brought up more results than he knew what to do with. Forums arguing back and forth over why he was on Kerc-en and whether or not he should be allowed to roam free; the supremely tacky MarkWatch page that practically begged him to appear on the show; and, oddly enough, a site claiming to 'spread truths' that would have a hard time convincing even the most hardcore conspiracy theorists. If the government was trying in earnest to kill Arnd, then how in the scream-rent flaming air of the Pit was she still alive? Laughable nonsense. Still, his search bore some fruit, with mentions of live meetings to debate all matters Mark, with an unsubtle negative lean in the poster's text. This, he could use.
The doorbell beeped, pulling Du'fra out of his concentration. He strapped on his Spare Hand and went to answer. The door opened to a police officer whose expression was nothing but business. <"Mister Du'fra Neem?"> he asked.
<"Yes.">
The officer glanced slightly to the left. <"Do you have a permit for that apparatus?">
Du'fra quickly flashed the document in question. <"Might I ask what this visit is about, officer?"> He knew he would get the answer either way, but asking helped his confidence.
<"You have been summoned to attend a hearing at the Central Municipal Tribunal, to determine your sentence for your engagement in an illegal Kre'gadol duel. This hearing will be undertaken on the 15th Dawn of Se'te. The full details are listed in this document."> With form befitting a man in uniform, the lawman presented an envelope.
Du'fra took the envelope only because waiting to let the situation sink in would take too long. The officer nodded, and left, the door slamming shut in his wake. A thorough reading of the summons told Du'fra that everything was as standard: He and the other guilty party were to each present a defense either with their own lawyers or lawyers provided by the state, with expected sentences ranging between two to seven months. At the mention of a month shy of an entire year being snatched away from him, Du'fra's grip tightened on the paper. However, he knew that he would have to face this some day soon, and he had slowly been steeling himself ever since he declared the duel that fateful night. Now, he knew there was no turning back, and he was prepared to learn just how much he was willing to pay for justice.
-----
[Next]
submitted by TheAusNerd to HFY [link] [comments]


2020.09.19 20:49 flyinmacaronimonster Absentee and In-Person Voting in Arkansas: A Detailed Guide to Voting in Little Rock

PULASKI COUNTY CLERK: Pulaski County Courthouse @ 401 West Markham St., Ste. A, Little Rock, AR 72201
Hours of Operation: Call for hours.
http://www.pulaskiclerk.com/
(IF YOU DO NOT LIVE IN PULASKI COUNTY, A DIRECTORY OF COUNTY CLERK'S OFFICES CAN BE FOUND AT THE BOTTOM OF THE PAGE.)
Hey people of Little Rock!
Absentee voting starts this weekend, as absentee ballots are beginning to be mailed out to all registered voters who have requested one.
IMPORTANT NOTE: IF YOU HAVE AN INCONSISTENT OR BAD SIGNATURE, IT IS HIGHLY RECOMMENDED THAT YOU VOTE IN-PERSON. Arkansas currently provides NO NOTIFICATION OR CURE PROCESS for mismatched signatures, so, if your signature doesn't match the one on file, you should assume that it be rejected outright, without your knowledge.
https://www.arkansas.gov/sbec/faqs/#Absentee
https://www.democracydocket.com/wp-content/themes/demdoc/assets/docs/Safeguarding-Our-Democracy-with-Vote-by-Mail.pdf
If you have already applied for an absentee ballot, and want to vote in-person, you will have to vote with a provisional ballot.
According to this document:
https://www.sos.arkansas.gov/uploads/rulesRegs/Arkansas%20Registe2016/jan2016/108.00.15-008.pdf (page 7)
"Upon delivery of an absentee ballot to an individual authorized to receive an absentee ballot, the county clerk shall mark the electronic voter registration record and the precinct voter registration list to indicate that an absentee ballot has been delivered to the voter under the procedures in this section. Any person to whom an absentee ballot is delivered according to the precinct voter registration list, but who chooses to vote by early voting or to vote at his or her polling site on election day, shall be permitted to cast a provisional ballot at the poll."
If you have not registered to vote yet, please do so as soon as possible. Arkansas does not have online voter registration, so either fill out a registration form online and send it in as soon as possible, or call your county clerk's office for your best options on how to register to vote.
https://www.sos.arkansas.gov/elections/voter-information/voter-registration-information/
Even if you have completed the process in terms of registering to vote, you will need to wait for your voter registration card to be mailed to you. Until you receive your card, you would have to assume that you are NOT registered until you actually get that card. So register right away if you can.
IT IS ALSO POSSIBLE that you may be able to pick up a voter registration card right away if you register to vote at your County Clerk's office. I AM NOT 100% SURE ABOUT THIS, so double check. If this is possible, this may be your best option, at least at this point of time, if you want to guarantee that you will be able to go vote in this Election.
The deadline for voter registration is Monday, October 5.
Whether or not you vote absentee or in-person, you will need a valid photo ID. Remember: YOU WILL NEED TO ATTACH A PHOTOCOPY OF A VALID FORM OF PHOTO ID TO YOUR BALLOT (NOT THE BALLOT REQUEST, BUT RATHER WITH THE BALLOT ITSELF).
Keep in mind that your ID needs to be current as of November 3, 2016, as your ID can be expired no more than 4 years to the date of the upcoming Election. If you need to update your driver's license or other photo ID, you should do so as soon as possible.
Valid ID can be found on page 5 of the pocket guide.
https://www.sos.arkansas.gov/uploads/elections/voting_101_9-2018_grayscaleb.pdf
IF YOU ARE VOTING IN-PERSON INSTEAD OF ABSENTEE-BY-MAIL, SKIP TO THE *IF YOU ARE VOTING IN-PERSON** SECTION BELOW*.
IF YOU ARE VOTING ABSENTEE-BY-MAIL
If you are voting absentee-by-mail, then, once you have requested and then subsequently received your ballot, READ THE INSTRUCTIONS CAREFULLY, fill in your ballot, and then SIGN IN THE CORRECT PLACE. Also remember: YOU MUST ATTACH A PHOTOCOPY OF A VALID PHOTO ID WITH YOUR BALLOT. If you do not have a copier, you can go to the library, or go to a place like Staples, or use a friend or neighbor's copier if they allow you to use it, in order to get your ID copied.
Once you are done, you should hand-deliver it to your county clerk's office to 100% guarantee that it will be received on time. Clerk's office address is at the top of the page.
Ballots need to be received by end of business day on the day BEFORE Election Day (Monday, November 2). WHEN DROPPING OFF YOUR BALLOT, DON'T FORGET YOUR PHOTO ID. You will need to show it to the clerk's office when dropping off your ballot.
YOU, AND ONLY YOU, can drop off your ballot, unless you are "a patient in a hospital, long-term-care facility, or residential care facility licensed by the state," according to the Pocket Guide (link down below). If you are confined to your residence but are not in that category, mail it back as soon as you can, or, if you want to risk it, hand-deliver it to the clerk's office at a time that is less busy.
IF YOU ARE VOTING IN-PERSON
Before going to the polls, make sure you have proper photo ID. Proper photo ID can be found on page 5 of the pocket guide:
https://www.sos.arkansas.gov/uploads/elections/voting_101_9-2018_grayscaleb.pdf
If you are voting in-person, early voting starts on Monday, October 19, and ends on Monday, November 2.
EARLY VOTING IN PULASKI COUNTY:https://www.votepulaski.net/index.php/test/standard-information-for-elections
You may also vote in-person on Election Day at your polling precinct.
LINKS TO SOURCES
https://www.sos.arkansas.gov/uploads/elections/voting_101_9-2018_grayscaleb.pdf [VOTING POCKET] GUIDE
https://www.sos.arkansas.gov/elections/voter-information/voter-registration-information/
https://www.sos.arkansas.gov/uploads/elections/ARCountyClerks.pdf [DIRECTORY OF CLERK'S OFFICES]
https://www.sos.arkansas.gov/elections/voter-information/absentee-voting
https://www.sos.arkansas.gov/elections/voter-information/voter-registration-information/voting-in-arkansas
https://arktimes.com/arkansas-blog/2020/09/11/planning-to-vote-absentee-think-carefully-about-it-if-you-want-to-be-sure-your-vote-counts [Voting after requesting an absentee ballot]
https://www.sos.arkansas.gov/uploads/2020_Election_Calendar_7-29-19.pdf
https://www.votepulaski.net/
https://www.votepulaski.net/index.php/test/standard-information-for-elections
http://www.pulaskiclerk.com/
https://www.democracydocket.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/41/2020/07/Safeguarding-Our-Democracy-with-Vote-by-Mail_DemocracyDocket_UPDATED_JULY2020.pdf [signature mismatch]
submitted by flyinmacaronimonster to LittleRock [link] [comments]


2020.09.19 08:05 secretymology TIL 10 things about Zoom software and its shadowy founder Eric Yuan

Having wondered about the readiness of Zoom (like the contact tracing contracts and pandemic protocols of Event201) to ’facilitate’ our current predicament, and never having heard of it until the lockdowns, I thought I’d delve further into its mysterious founder and foundation. A shallow skim revealed:
1) Founder was ‘inspired’ by Bill Gates:
When Eric Yuan was in his early 20s, he heard a speech from then-Microsoft CEO Bill Gates about the promise of the internet, and Yuan decided he wanted to move from China to the US to be a part of the Silicon Valley tech boom.
Today, Yuan is the 49-year-old founder and CEO of videoconferencing cloud software company Zoom, which debuted on the Nasdaq exchange on Thursday in an IPO that currently values the company at more than $16 billion.
https://www.cnbc.com/2019/04/18/zoom-ipo-bill-gates-speech-inspired-founder-to-move-to-us.html
2) Relationship with Gates (and Microsoft) not so friendly these days. Microsoft’s Skype pushing for pole position. Was Microsoft responsible for the “hacks”?
Zoom has been around since 2011, but many people discovered it for the first time as the novel coronavirus made social distancing a requirement and online meetings became more common.
But the company’s privacy and security isn’t up to par and hackers had a field day disrupting meetings with threats, homophobic and racist messages or by showing pornographic images, according to The Associated Press:
And that’s just to name a few.
On a newly created page on Skype’s website, Microsoft is promoting Skype’s features, which are similar to Zoom’s with better security.
https://investorplace.com/2020/04/zooms-missteps-are-an-opening-for-microsoft-stock/
3) For a man now apparently worth $17.7b, Wikipedia doesn’t seem to know - or want to reveal - much of Eric Yuan’s basic biography, his date of birth of even the name of his wife. Vagueness about his past, with a typical rags-t—riches narrative (dreaming of leaving China, refused US visa 8 times etc) might suggest a fabricated or sheep-dipped person.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eric_Yuan
4) Great sense of timing - In 2019, Zoom became a public company via an initial public offering, at which time Yuan became a billionaire. His wealth has increased during COVID-19 pandemic, as Zoom has benefited from the shift to online work and teaching.
The 50-year-old billionaire's net worth jumped 396.5% to $17.7 billion in 2020 so far, as the rest of the world suffers through an economic crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eric_Yuan
5) In April 2020, Citizen Lab warned that having much of Zoom's research and development in China could "open up Zoom to pressure from Chinese authorities." In June 2020, Zoom was criticized for closing multiple accounts of U.S. and Hong-Kong based groups, including that of Zhou Fengsuo and two other human rights activists, who were commemorating the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests. The accounts were later re-opened, with the company stating that in the future it "will have a new process for handling similar situations."
Zoom responded that it has to "comply with local laws," even "the laws of governments opposed to free speech." Zoom subsequently admitted to shutting down activist accounts at the request of the Chinese government.
https://citizenlab.ca/2020/04/move-fast-roll-your-own-crypto-a-quick-look-at-the-confidentiality-of-zoom-meetings/
6) Zoom initially claimed to use "end-to-end encryption" in its marketing materials, but later clarified it meant "from Zoom end point to Zoom end point" (meaning effectively between Zoom servers and Zoom clients), which The Intercept described as misleading and "dishonest".
https://theintercept.com/2020/03/31/zoom-meeting-encryption/
7) Whereas Huawei is currently mistrusted, Governments, Intelligence and various topical agencies clearly aren’t too worried about Zoom’s connections to China and the likelihood of espionage:
“Yesterday, Forbes revealed U.S. agencies handling the coronavirus response had spent a collective $1.3 million on Zoom tech in just a few days at the end of March. Not only had the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) spent hundreds of thousands on Zoom for COVID-19-related webinars and calls, but other government agencies had bought into the tech, too. That included the State Department and one organization that was the alleged victim of a major Chinese hack, the Office of Personnel Management, in a breach that saw the private data of 21 million Americans leak. The U.K. government is also a well-known user of the tool, hosting critical cabinet meetings over Zoom.”
This is Forbes though, the organisation that recently brought us the advice not to question anything we hear and warned that speaking English can spread COVID...
https://www.forbes.com/sites/thomasbrewste2020/04/03/warning-zoom-sends-encryption-keys-to-china-sometimes/#83f3bde3fd94
8) Zoom employees apparently ranked themselves happiest in US:
“Job-listing site Comparably just released its annual ranking of major U.S. companies with the happiest employees, and Zoom was ranked No. 1! The Happiest Employees 2019 list was based on anonymous employee feedback submitted to Comparably about fair pay, perks, benefits, and work environment.
The list was peppered with leading technology organizations, including Microsoft, Google, and Salesforce, with social media platform LinkedIn and retail giant Costco ranking Nos. 2 and 3, respectively. But it’s no surprise that the company whose core mission is “Delivering Happiness” is atop the list of organizations with the happiest employees.”
Judging by some of the other companies on this list, I’m not convinced this information can be fully trusted.
https://blog.zoom.us/zoom-employees-happiest/
9) Alongside other questionable billionaires, Yuan is helping to “combat the health crisis and boost the economy”:
“Billionaires like tech tycoon Bill Gates; Eric Yuan, CEO of Zoom; Bernard Arnault, CEO of LVMH, Brian Chesky, CEO of Airbnb; Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban and a host of others are using their financial resources to help combat the health crisis and boost the economy.”
No further details provided here about the specifics of this valuable assistance...I would assume the article might be referring to the use of zoom technology to connect patients and doctors etc, but surely this could hardly be construed as altruistic.
https://news.abs-cbn.com/business/04/07/20/manny-villar-remains-philippines-richest-with-net-worth-at-p2829-billion-forbes
10) Not so great timing - The firm’s founder and CEO Eric Yuan has personally sold $38 million worth of shares already in 2020. He unloaded $10.5 million in January, $12.5 million in February, and $15.5 million in March, according to related SEC filings.
Strange timing. Can anyone explain why a man - and other major investors in Zoom - would do such a thing to his own company up until only days before the bonanza hit? Was he truly unaware of the goldmine awaiting him, or is this evidence of something more witting and nefarious?
https://thenextweb.com/hardfork/2020/04/06/zoom-execs-sold-millions-stock-coronavirus-pumped-share-price/
Only just beginning, so there is definitely more to come here, as I delve deeper.
Please feel free to supply your own ZOOMachinations in the comments.
submitted by secretymology to conspiracy [link] [comments]


2020.09.18 23:07 heymeit If you ordered the PNY off dell here's how to get a free $89 credit refunded, also all cards now shipping 9/24/20!

So you went all in, well there's some light a the end of this tunnel.
Open a chat on my orders page right now to get $89 refunded easily.
https://www.dell.com/support/incidents-online/us/en/04/order-support
The new order is estimated to be shipped on 09/24/2020 Confirmed by the rep.
Dell has always been horrible with shipping dates on their site, usually they ship way earlier 2 day or overnight.
Screenshots of my convo with the rep, just complain the price is way too much and demand a credit:
https://imgur.com/a/KZ2irtq
Please don't link this thread or there's a chance they will shut it down.
Edit: getting down votes I guess everyone talking shit yesterday extra salty now with the price drop and new ship date.
Also another edit, the credit is actually a refund back to your credit card after the card ships. This is not a gift card or a store credit. You can confirm this with the rep.
submitted by heymeit to nvidia [link] [comments]


2020.09.18 16:47 BuckRowdy [Update] The rise and fall and the depths of depravity of pedophile Jared Fogle from Subway.

This is an updated and edited version of a post I originally submitted at /redditcrimecommunity. It's been updated with the latest info.
I used to be kind of obsessed with the idea of Jared from Subway. He always seemed like nothing more than wallpaper in a commercial, a guy whose job amounted to holding up a comically giant pair of pants for seconds at a time in commercials. How much do you think they paid that guy to do that?
I used to search to see if I could find out Jared's salary or his net worth because to me it seemed like he had the easiest job in the world. Just stand there and smile, hold up the giant pants, shake a few kids hands at store openings and other corporate promotional events; essentially play the character of Jared from the Subway commercials.
The Midwestern everyman who once weighed over 425 pounds and lost it all by eating at Subway every day. Of course the fine print at the bottom of the screen gave the wider context to his weight loss routine, but there was a much wider, much darker context to Jared's story that would only be revealed years later.
Jared started working for Subway in 2000. By 2005 they had stopped featuring him in commercials and their sales declined by 10%. They quickly reinstated him and he was a fixture ever since.
It is true that Jared did lose the weight, and he did do it in part by eating at Subway.
At this point it would be reasonable to ask how did he get the money as a college student to eat all his meals at Subway?
Because he was running a porn video rental business out of his apartment at the time and had an extensive collection. You've got to remember that this was in an era where media of all types was more difficult to obtain. You didn't have everything at your fingertips back then.
Subway opened up on the ground floor and Jared was lazy so he started eating all his meals there.
The rest of Jared's story is marketing mythology. A friend wrote an article in the student newspaper that got published in Men's Health which caught the eye of Subway's marketing department. Jared started working for Subway in 2000 and up until about 2007 it appeared to be a marketing master stroke. That's when the reports started trickling out. In 2007, TMZ published the story about the porn rental business.
We'd learn later that as early as 2008, Subway had received serious reports about Jared from a franchisee in Florida that Jared had befriended at a few store openings. Cindy Mills, the franchisee said:
"He would just tell me he really liked them young," she says. Fogle and Mills had a sexual relationship, which lead Fogle to disclose disturbing details of his criminal activity in lewd text messages.
Mills says she tried to blow the whistle by phoning ad executive Jeff Moody — then CEO of the Subway Franchisee Advertising Fund Trust (SFAFT) — after Fogle had told her that he had sex both in Thailand and the US with child prostitutes between the ages of 9 and 16 years old. According to Mills, Moody stopped her mid-conversation and said, "Don't worry, he has met someone. She is a teacher and he seems to love her very much, and we think she will help keep him grounded." Mills also claims she spoke with two more SFAFT execs after Moody, but ran into more dead ends.
Jared was up to no good for years, but his world really started to crumble in 2015 with the arrest of Russell Taylor. Taylor was Jared's partner in his non-profit charity and he was just as bad as Jared if not worse.
Russell Taylor, the former director of Fogle's anti-childhood obesity foundation, was arrested in April [of 2015] on three counts of possession of child pornography, three counts of child exploitation, and three counts of voyeurism.
Taylor had gotten in trouble for texting a woman a picture of bestiality and suggesting such between the two of them. It's a sick thing to think about, but that's just what Jared and Russell were up to.
In one of those text messages, according to the affidavit, “Russell Taylor asked her if he and another adult female she identified could come to Jane Doe’s residence and engage in” an act of bestiality. The woman did not agree to that request, but told investigators “you could tell (Taylor) was serious.” She also told investigators that “she received an image file via text from Russell Taylor that depicted (another act of bestiality).”
Jared's house was raided and the rest quickly became history. Subway dropped him. Sharknado 3 dropped him. Jared accused Taylor of fraud and sued him. One quarter of the funds of the charity were unaccounted for, and the only money they ever paid out went to Taylor's $73k salary.
I'm no professional but it's hard not to draw the conclusion that Jared was paying Taylor to produce child porn with a non profit charity.
The world found out about Jared in 2015, but in 2007 and 2008 two women were finding out a lot about Jared.
Jared had met a franchisee in Florida and started a sexual relationship with her. She called the FBI when Jared started texting stuff like this:
In one series of texts sent from April 2008, Fogle tries to convince the franchisee, a woman, to advertise herself for sex on Craigslist. She could make $500 per act he explains and he could watch her have sex with other men. Fogle then goes on to apparently admit to paying for sex with a 16-year-old girl off Craigslist.
The woman franchisee writes: "Is this the same website you found that 16 year old you that you f---ed?" the woman replied, according to an affadavit.
  • "I still can't believe you only paid $100 for her."
  • Fogle reponds: "It was amazing!!!!"
  • "What part of her ad made you think she was selling sex?" the woman asked.
  • Fogle says "U will have to read them to see."
The woman got a lawyer and submitted the texts to Subway who sat on them.
Around the same time, Jared met Rochelle Herman Walrond, a journalist who initially remained anonymous, who came forward and said that she got suspicious about Jared when he called middle school girls hot
According to the woman, Jared would often visit schools in Sarasota County, and allegedly told her numerous times that, 'Middle school girls are hot.'"
She contacted the FBI who asked her to wear a wire. She went on to record Jared over a nearly 5 year period, pleading with the FBI to go ahead and arrest him with them always saying that they didn't have enough evidence and needed more.
So she tried to get Jared to incriminate himself. Over that 4.5 year period they talked about a lot of stuff, like that Jared wanted to fly to Thailand to have sex with children.
"I would fly all three of us clear across the world if we need to,"[Jared] says on the tape. "It would just make things a lot easier — if we're going to try and get some young kids with us. It would be a lot easier probably."
He gave her grooming tips:
"Well, if we get them segregated out ... you know, start talking or whatever ... and we get a little closer, and a little closer and a little closer and before you know it ... it just starts to happen," the man's voice says. "But I think that girl from the broken home could be a possibility, you know."
He daydreamed on the phone:
"Do you want to watch me f— a young girl, too?" the voice of Fogle asks. "Will you f— a young boy?" When Herman-Walrond asks if that would turn Fogle on, he responds with a whispered "yeah."
“I had a little boy. It was amazing,” Fogle reportedly said, in response to a question about being with children. “It just felt so good. I mean, it felt—it felt so good.”
He also, allegedly, asked her repeatedly to let him install hidden cameras in her kids’ rooms.
“I had two young children at the time, and he talked to me about installing hidden cameras in their rooms and asked me if I would choose which child I would like him to watch,” she told Inside Edition.
The audio recordings can be heard at this link. She reported him to Subway in 2009 and nothing happened.
At the same time this was happening, Jared was flying to New York to pay for sex with minors. He asked the minors who he paid for sex if they knew anyone else they could recommend, always stressing younger if possible.
Also, according to the charging documents:
Fogle received "images and videos of nude of partially clothed minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct," which were allegedly recorded by Russell Taylor, the former director of the Jared Foundation.
Taylor secretly filmed some of the minors in his home using hidden cameras that captured them changing clothes and bathing.
Taylor was in possession of 400 videos of child pornography upon his arrest.
In 2011, someone else reported Jared to Subway via their website and yet nothing happened.
All this came raining down on Jared in 2015 when his house was raided and he was arrested and later charged with 14 acts of sex involving minors. He was ultimately sentenced to 15 years in jail and had to pay restitution to his 14 of his many victims totaling $1.4 million. His wife divorced him as quick as she could, Subway cut ties with him and the dominoes started to tumble.
All of a sudden the past reports about Jared came to light and Subway didn't have an explanation. Lawsuits started flying. Jared's now ex wife accused Subway of covering up Jared's pedophilia even from her because their marriage made Jared more grounded and more marketable.
It's now a sick joke, but at the same time of jared's arrest, Subway was trying to rebrand him as a family man.
So why didn't Subway act on the various reports it had gotten about Jared over the years? As this site puts it, it was a story bookended by laziness. Jared's laziness brought him to Subway, and their laziness in vetting stories led to the end of the Jared era with a lot of human misery left in his wake.
Subway has waffled in its response. Rather than taking the path of clear messaging and communication, and aiming to transparent and authentic throughout this terrible situation for the victims and Fogle’s family (as well as the brand), the company hasn’t been clear about where it stands in the midst of this crisis. What message was Subway sending to its employees and franchisees by keeping Fogle around for as long as it did?
As soon as he went to jail he instantly gained 30 pounds
In 2016, he filed an appeal which was denied. The DA's office argued:
[that] Fogle's text messages to a woman, in which Fogle stated he would "pay big" if she could procure 14-year-old children, and that he "craved" underage Asian girls. In these text messages, he also expressed sexual interest in young boys, although there is to date no evidence that he paid for sex with male children.
Later that same year, a brawl broke out and Jared was nearly killed in an attack meant to send a message to all pedophiles.
Other than that, rumor has it that Jared has it pretty easy in jail which is disappointing to hear given all that he's responsible for.
In 2017, Fogle tried to pull the Sovereign Citizen defense and claim that the feds didn't have jurisdiction over him which I imagine gave the feds a good laugh. The motion was dismissed.
In 2018, Jared sued to void his conviction going so far as to name the president (among others) as a defendant. It was unclear how the president was involved and Jared was forced to remove him as a defendant.
He claimed:
he was wrongfully allowed to plead guilty to conspiracy to receive child pornography, claiming that conspiracy doesn’t apply to such an offense.
His suit was dismissed.
That same year a woman pen pal of Jared's sold their racy letters to Radar Online. Seen here and here. She also sold a recorded phone call where she and Jared discuss porn and his sexual preferences.
If he wanted to appeal to a parole board, surely sending hand-drawn pictures of his genitalia that later end up on radar online is not a good strategy.
In March 2020, three of associate Russell Taylor's child pornography convictions were overturned for ineffective counsel. He still faces trial on 9 other charges.
In the five years since Fogle was arrested, Subway has been reeling. In 2015, their co-founder passed away and a new CEO was brought in. Internal reports indicate that customer traffic is down 30%. They've laid off over 400 people from the corporate HQ and this summer they had to revoke a promotion due to a franchisee revolt over the pricing.
Subway was associated so long with Jared it may take time for customers to form a new association. They tried to drop him once, struggled, and re-hired him. Clearly Subway lived in denial while Jared was their spokesman and looked the other way as business boomed. The new marketing strategy involves athletes. Time will only tell if they can recover from one of the worst scandals to ever hit a sandwich chain.
As of September 2020, Russell Taylor was being held at a federal prison in Yazoo City, Mississippi; Fogle was being held at a federal prison in Littleton, Colorado.
submitted by BuckRowdy to TrueCrime [link] [comments]


2020.09.18 15:31 Infinity315 The case for $OLN

What does $OLN (Olin Corporation) and $VSTO do?
OLN produces chemical products, but most importantly they produce ammunition (it makes up about 10% of their business). From their website, they're the largest supplier of ammunition in the United States. They own Winchester. In addition, they're also one of the largest producers of bleach in NA; which can be used to sanitize things (hurray?). VSTO sells ammunition in addition to providing shooting ranges. However, I think VSTO is a bit overvalued rn. According to the price to book ratio, OLN is currently undervalued.
Hypothesis:
Olin and VSTO will go up in price due to fears arising from the 2020 presidential election. Trump Republicans will buy ammo and guns out of fear that the feds will take their guns if Biden wins. Especially if the protests are not quelled soon.
Supporting evidence:
1. It has been observed (supposedly) that conservatives/republicans are more fear-driven.
Source: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/mind-in-the-machine/201612/fear-and-anxiety-drive-conservatives-political-attitudes
“Conservatives tend to focus on the negative … To many conservatives, the world may look like a much scarier place … Conservatives have a stronger physiological response to threats … Conservatives’ brains are more reactive to fear.”
2. Google trends indicate a spike in interest for ammo prior to elections.
Keep in mind this when reading the trend graphs (especially 2012):
” Numbers represent search interest relative to the highest point on the chart for the given region and time. A value of 100 is the peak popularity for the term. A value of 50 means that the term is half as popular. A score of 0 means there was not enough data for this term.” - Google
2016 : (Notice how the states with the most interest voted red? Wyoming, Alaska, West Virginia, Montana)
2012 (keep in mind this is 2012; the supposed end of the world, however, it still indicates a spike in interest at November) :
(Red states again have the most interest: Wyoming, Oklahoma, West Virginia, Alaska, Arkansas)
2008: (Regions with most interest: Wyoming, Oregon, Utah, Idaho, Montana)
3. Google trends for BLM and Antifa for the past 12 months:
Notice the majority interest is from red states and not blue states? Why would red states be more interested in what is generally regarded as Liberal or blue groups than democrats and liberals? Trump Republicans are very much scared / hate these groups.
BLM: (Regions with most interest: Wyoming, Oregon, Utah, Idaho, Montana)
Antifa (Regions with most interest: Wyoming, Oregon, Utah, Idaho, Montana)
Chaz (Regions with most interest: Wyoming, Oregon, Utah, Idaho, Washington)
4. The stock market seems to follow a similar trend with spikes around November:
2016
2012
2008
5. The rhetoric Trump and his campaign is feeding his supporters:
“President @realDonaldTrump: “The rhetoric of Biden and the Radical Left puts your law enforcement in serious danger””
https://twitter.com/TeamTrump/status/1306777755082780674
“President @realDonaldTrump: “Biden will hand the left-wing mob the keys to your kids’ classroom"”
https://twitter.com/TeamTrump/status/1306771724113981442
Trump text: https://i.redd.it/usbcfmp0mpn51.jpg (ignore the right-hand side)
Trump supporters have remained steadfast in their support for Trump. Trump has captured the loyalty of ~40% of the voting population that seems like they will never give up on him
6. Biden’s Platform:
Things that would be most concerning for pro-gun people (in my opinion)
“Require background checks for all gun sales.”
“Reduce stockpiling of weapons.”
“End the online sale of firearms and ammunition.”
7. There are concerns of ammo shortages, I suspect this will only get worse as the election comes near.
Google trends for "ammo shortage"
Google trends for "ammo in stock"
"Why not VSTO / Federal Premium Ammunition?"
Google trends indicate that Winchester ammunition occupies more headspace than Federal Premium Ammunition, however, considering that there is an expected ammo shortage, go for it.
https://trends.google.com/trends/explore?geo=US&q=Federal%20Premium%20ammo,winchester%20ammunition
My personal opinion:
Trump will likely increase the rhetoric, especially up until the very end of the election. The US is at it's greatest political divide since the civil war and the civil rights movement. This election will spark fear in both parties, potentially making some Democrats take up arms. Trump has also planted the idea that the election could be fraudulent in his supporters head's, meaning there is likely a significant portion of supporters who will stock up to "defend the constitution" or something like that. *****-----------------------------*****
Don’t skip this shit. If there is one thing you should not skip, it's this part.
*****-----------------------------*****
Should you trust me?
Full disclosure, I’m a university student in Canada. I probably know less about US politics than many Americans. I study Computer Science with a minor in Math, meaning guns, and US politics is a field I'm not 100% familiar with and am not an expert. I've never owned or shot a gun in my life and don't plan on doing so anytime in the near future. I'm pretty much completely removed from any and all gun culture. I’ve been trading for just under a 3/4 of a year now. I’m admittedly extremely inexperienced with trading and have lost a significant portion of the money I put in on stupid trades and COVID. I can only afford 2 contracts atm and my options level is not high enough for diagonals (balance is too low). Make of that what you will with this information. Don't complain if my stupidity causes you to lose money, you're choosing to listen to a stupid person.
Finally, the play (my position):
15/01/2021 $13 and $12 strikes. OLN
No positions on VSTO, the premiums are a bit much.
I look forward to a sober voice to double-check my work and ensure I'm right (or wrong). Advice is welcome.
Edit an addendum:
So I attempted to gauge the demand and the outlook for the chemical products that OLN sells. Here are my findings:
The significant drop in OLN at April correlates with the drop in demand / prices for their products in April.
PVC has gone up 35% since april, OLN produces PVC precursors
Sodium Hypochlorite prices have been flat since april
Potassium Chloride / Potash seems to be making a recovery since april
Outlook for Caustic Soda seems positive, the price has increased
The outlook for epoxy seems somewhat neutral to somewhat negative, according to ICIS
Akali Price index is slightly negative
I tried finding price charts from the same sites, but unfortunately some were too outdated or did not exist at all.
Note: I could not find the actual prices of what OLN is selling their products, but I believe that these charts could give some idea.
submitted by Infinity315 to options [link] [comments]


2020.09.18 13:07 MadtownMaven Voting Megathread!

Hi all,
In the lead up to the election, we'll be posting voting megathread to help everyone exercise their right to vote. For most of your Madison voting questions, the City Clerk's office has an extensive voting website
Absentee Ballots are being mailed out!
This week the Madison Clerk's office has started mailing out absentee ballots that have already been requested. They will continue to mail out ballots as requests are received leading up to the election.
Register or request an absentee ballot
If you need to register or still need to request an absentee ballot, there is still time to do both of those things online. Again visit myvote.wi.gov to be able to do both. As it gets closer to the election there will be curb-side registration and absentee voting available downtown at the Clerk's office. We'll post more info about that when it gets closer to happening.
How to return your absentee ballot
Here's a link to the City Clerk's Office site all about absentee ballots
There are a few different ways you can cast your absentee ballot:
All the above information is for City of Madison voters. If you live in a neighboring community, you'll need to follow the instructions for your specific community. Search "city name clerk's office" will likely bring up information about any local drop boxes for absentee ballots for your town.
There are many election officials that visit this subreddit (myself included), so if you have any questions about voting, please ask below.
submitted by MadtownMaven to madisonwi [link] [comments]


2020.09.18 01:46 Dezkin Daily COVID-19 Report for Clark County - Thursday, Sept 17th

Clark County COVID-19 positives as of Thursday, Sept 17th:
63301, ⬆️224 from 63077 (9/16)
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16-day tracking estimates:
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Current # COVID-19 in ICU:
# COVID-19 on HFNC Therapy:
# COVID-19 on ventilator:
# Remdesivir vials inventory:
# Staffed ICU beds inventory:
# Ventilators available: 422 (9/16)
# Ventilators in use: 314 (9/16)
# Ventilators inventory: 736 (9/16)
Source: https://nvha.net
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SNHD reports 92.7% (58760, ⬆️264 from 58496 (9/16)) of cases have recovered.
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Total Hospitalized: 4714*, ⬆️55 from 4659 (9/16)
*Hospitalized excludes deaths
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Total Deaths: 1309, ⬆️11 from 1298 (9/16)
(877 with underlying medical conditions)
Not mutually exclusive conditions:
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Positive Results Age Range Breakdown:
MIS-C Cases 9
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Hospitalized Age Range Breakdown:
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Deaths Age Range Breakdown:
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"Daily case counts reflect newly reported cases and may represent cases that were tested in the preceding days, which could significantly impact the count on days when a relatively large number of laboratory reports arrive in one day." SNHD confirmed they are not counting COVID-19 antibody positives into their COVID-19 positive case counts.
Majority of information is pulled from Southern Nevada Health District's COVID-19 dashboard and historical reports.
Our positives have slowed down, our recovery rate continues to rise (85+% range), but our hospitalizations are increasing. Protect our vulnerable and continue to practice good hygiene habits, including wearing a mask to prevent asymptomatic spread as mandated by Governor Sisolak (onus is on businesses, which we want to keep open, but Metro will not enforce it; OSHA is responsible for mask enforcement by fining the business). To report a non-compliant business through the state, call (702) 486-9020 or (775) 688-3700.
Doctors are doing convalescent plasma therapy treatments and are seeking plasma donors to help those in need. One plasma donation can help five patients. Blood donors can get the antibodies testing done for free.
FDA states 144 trials of therapeutics are underway to treat COVID-19. 457 more are in planning stages. None have been approved. Remdesivir and Dexamethaaone are FDA approved for emergency base use.
Nevada was approved for the 24-hour test procedure. FDA has approved a 30-minute and a 5-minute testing procedures. UNLV provides the main COVID-19 testing services. The first at-home testing kit was FDA approved on 5/15.
Testing sites require an appointment; some may need to be scheduled by your primary care physician or another authorized provider.
City Serve coordinates testing sites throughout the valley. Testing is only on Saturdays. Schedule a no-cost test here: https://cityservelv.org/
The antibodies test was approved by the FDA a month ago. UMC, E7 Health and local laboratories are able to conduct antibodies testing. Cost is normally $149+, but your insurance may reimburse you for the test. Check your coverage first. Vitalant/Universal Blood Services will do a free antibody test for any eligible donors.
UMC is able to process 4,000 tests per day. It is encouraged for anyone to be tested. Symptoms are no longer required. Appointment is required.
UMC's testing sites are inside Thomas & Mack Center and Cashman Field Center. They can do 1,200 tests per day, Tues-Sat 8am to 4pm. No symptoms, insurance, or citizenship required for testing. Must schedule an appointment online through UMC's website (www.umcsn.com). A staff member will contact you back to schedule your appointment. According to their reps, there is no limit how often you can get tested. Sites are walk-in, appointment or walk-up. Both sites now use the self-nasal swab test kits.
UMC updates COVID-19 test guidelines:
New guidelines are to save test kits for those exhibiting symptoms.
Expanded drive-thru testing:
See all testing locations on the SNHD website.
Four months ago, the first vaccine was tested. More than 160 vaccine prototypes are being tested. Clinical trials of the vaccine were administered three months ago. Phase 1 & 2 of trial vaccines have completed with positive antibody results. Phase 3 clinical trials started with 30k volunteers; large test size of 3k vaccine test trials in the UK. Africa started their vaccine trials two months ago. Multiple sources stating to expect an FDA approved vaccine by end of the year.
Of the 100+ vaccines submitted, 22 have made the cut to go through testing and final FDA approval phases (5/15 briefing). The front runner vaccine is conducting human trails (Phase 3 aka final stage), completion date in September. AstraZeneca is prepared to produce 2 billion doses once the vaccine is FDA approved.
Government is working with four vaccine manufacturers who are in the final phases of vaccine trials, all prepared for massive vaccine output once FDA approval is given (7/31). Two of the four have in the final review phases with FDA (8/14).
Phase 3 vaccine trials for Vegas has started. Volunteers can call 702-893-8968. Must be 18+. Administered by the Wake Clinical Research Center of Nevada. Source.
Remain mindful to give our medical community the ability to focus on those in need of their expertise to survive and combat the virus.
For Nevada COVID-19 metrics, with historical spreadsheet and graph data, visit: The Nevada Independent Coronavirus Tracking or check out the link in our side bar.
submitted by Dezkin to vegas [link] [comments]


2020.09.17 21:43 flyinmacaronimonster Absentee and In-Person Voting in Milwaukee

Hey Milwaukeeans!
Election Season officially begins for you as absentee ballots start going out to all registered voters that have requested a ballot, starting today.
Before I go any further, if there is one key piece of advice for you if you are voting absentee, it's that you DO NOT MAIL BACK YOUR BALLOT, and instead drop it off. There is a genuinely good reason for this, and I will explain further down below.
If you have not registered to vote yet, please do so right now. You can do so using this link:
https://myvote.wi.gov/en-US/VoterRegistration
Wednesday, October 14 is the deadline to register to vote online and by mail. You can also register to vote in-person at your municipal clerk's office during business hours up until 5:00pm or end of business on Friday, October 30. For City of Milwaukee voters, you should call the clerk's office if you want to register in person, although I would recommend finding an alternate method of voter registration. If you live outside of the City of Milwaukee, in any one of the three WOW (Waukesha, Ozaukee, Washington) counties, you should do the same, and contact your municipal clerk.
https://city.milwaukee.gov/cityclerk
https://www.waukeshacounty.gov/countyclerk/
https://www.co.ozaukee.wi.us/162/Election-Information
https://www.co.washington.wi.us/264
Wisconsin is also one of a few states that also allows for same-day voter registration on Election Day, so, if you have forgotten to register to vote by Friday, October 30, you can still register to vote at your polling place on Election Day, and then subsequently vote in-person.
https://myvote.wi.gov/en-us/VoterDeadlines
IF YOU ARE CONCERNED ABOUT MACHINE HACKING, KEEP IN MIND THAT WISCONSIN DOES NOT USE VOTING MACHINES IN THEIR ELECTIONS AS OF 2020, EXCEPT FOR PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES, AND ALSO KEEP IN MIND THAT THESE MACHINES WILL HAVE A PAPER TRAIL. In Milwaukee, and the WOW counties, ballot marking devices (a bit different than a voting "machine") will be used by people with disabilities, but for the majority of voters (i.e. ones without a disability), hand-marked paper ballots will be used.
https://verifiedvoting.org/verifie#mode/navigate/map/ppEquip/mapType/normal/yea2020/state/55/county/79
https://verifiedvoting.org/verifie#mode/navigate/map/ppEquip/mapType/normal/yea2020/state/55/county/133
https://verifiedvoting.org/verifie#mode/navigate/map/ppEquip/mapType/normal/yea2020/state/55/county/131
https://verifiedvoting.org/verifie#mode/navigate/map/ppEquip/mapType/normal/yea2020/state/55/county/89
If you are voting in-person or are a first-time absentee voter, or, if you are requesting an absentee ballot and have updated your name or address, you will need to provide a photo ID with your absentee ballot request. The reason why you need to show ID with an absentee ballot request if you have had a name or address change is because you essentially need to re-register, and every time you register or re-register to vote, you will need to provide a photo ID with your absentee ballot request.
In terms of Photo ID in general, Wisconsin has a very strict photo ID law. Most photo IDs (like a driver's license) need to be up to date as of November 6, 2018. If you need to update your driver's license or other photo ID, please do so now or as soon as possible. Some photo IDs must be unexpired, but most do not need to be.
Here's a site that explains the types of voter ID that are acceptable:
https://bringit.wi.gov/do-i-have-right-photo-id
If you have registered to vote and have not requested an absentee ballot, request an absentee ballot if you would like. Again, remember: if you have never requested an absentee ballot in Wisconsin, or, if you have updated your name or address, you will need a photo ID to accompany your absentee ballot request.
https://elections.wi.gov/voters/absentee
https://elections.wi.gov/sites/default/files/gab_forms/4/el_121_application_for_absentee_ballot_2018_06_f_21413.pdf
https://myvote.wi.gov/en-US/RequestAnAbsenteeBallot
IF YOU ARE VOTING IN-PERSON INSTEAD OF ABSENTEE-BY-MAIL, SKIP TO THE IF YOU ARE VOTING IN PERSON SECTION BELOW
Once you have requested and have received your absentee ballot, READ THE INSTRUCTIONS CAREFULLY, fill out your ballot, and then MAKE SURE TO SIGN YOUR NAME IN THE CORRECT PLACE. As well, YOU WILL NEED 1 SIGNATURE WITNESS to sign the envelope. A witness can be anybody over 18 who is not running for public office.
If you are worried about your ballot being rejected due to a mismatched signature, do not worry as they will not reject it outright without letting you know, and without giving you a chance to fix it, HOWEVER this process needs to be done before polls close (8:00pm CT) on Election Day. Because of this, please make sure to avoid dropping off your ballot on Election Day if possible, and instead drop it off earlier, and preferably as early as possible.
https://elections.wi.gov/node/6797
Once you have done all that DO NOT MAIL BACK YOUR BALLOT. The real reason why is because Wisconsin makes it incredibly easy to return your absentee ballot. Wisconsin, like Michigan, administers their elections New England-style. In other words, each municipality is basically in charge of administering the election.
So, your MUNICIPAL (NOT county) clerk will be the ones sending out ballots, and your MUNICIPAL (NOT county) clerk's office will be the ones that your ballot will ultimately need to be returned to. This makes it easier to drop off your ballot, as you will not need to go far to drop it off.
When sending back your ballot, it is important to note that you need to drop it off in the MUNICIPALITY that you are voting in, NOT in the county. For example, if you live in the City of Milwaukee, you will need to drop it off within the city limits of Milwaukee, and not anywhere else in Milwaukee County.
In terms of dropping off your absentee ballot, there are 4 ways to do so:
1) Drop it off at a drop-box in your municipality
I have been doing research on the extent to which ballot drop-boxes exist in Wisconsin. I have found that, in nearly all cities, villages, and towns there is at least 1 drop-box in any given municipality. In the City of Milwaukee, there will be 15 secure drop-boxes all over the city. As well, virtually every municipality in Milwaukee and the WOW Counties (Waukesha, Ozaukee, Washington Counties) have a drop box within their municipality, usually at the city/town/village hall. Use these drop-boxes as the primary option of ballot drop-off. Contact your municipal clerk for more details about where your drop box is located.
2) Hand-deliver it in-person to your municipal clerk's office.
It is highly recommended that you avoid returning your ballot in-person if you are in the City of Milwaukee, and instead use a drop box. If you insist on using this option, contact the City Clerk's office in Advance. Same with the cities in Milwaukee County and also the WOW Counties.
3) Return to a polling site during the Early Voting period.
You can also return your ballot to an early voting site. For the City of Milwaukee, Early Voting is held between Tuesday, October 20 and Sunday, November 1. Drive thru early voting may be available in some locations, which could possibly make it easier to drop off your ballot. As a side note, both Fiserv Arena downtown and Miller Park on the west end are being used as essentially massive early voting sites. Check the links below for early voting hours and dates in Milwaukee City and Milwaukee County. If you are in the WOW counties contact your municipal clerk for more details about early voting times.
4) Return to a polling site on Election Day.
This is also an option for dropping off your ballot, however it is more recommended that you drop it off earlier. Still, it is an option if need be.
https://elections.wi.gov/node/6798
https://city.milwaukee.gov/cityclerk
https://city.milwaukee.gov/election/Voter-Info/Absentee-Ballot-Drop-Off-Sites [DROP-BOXES]
https://city.milwaukee.gov/election/ElectionInformation/In-Person-Absentee-Schedule [EARLY VOTING]
https://www.jsonline.com/story/news/politics/2020/09/17/milwaukee-has-15-secure-drop-boxes-absentee-ballots-cast-vote-instead-of-mailing-ballot/3474731001/ [BALLOT DROP-BOXES]
https://www.jsonline.com/story/news/local/milwaukee/2020/08/31/fiserv-forum-and-miller-park-used-early-voting-locations-november-general-election/3446575001/ [EARLY VOTING AT MILLER PARK AND FISERV ARENA]
https://county.milwaukee.gov/EN/County-Clerk/Election-Commission
https://county.milwaukee.gov/files/county/county-clerk/Election-Commission/Documents/GeneralElectionEarlyVotingSchedule.11.3.pdf [MILWAUKEE COUNTY EARLY VOTING]
https://www.waukeshacounty.gov/ElectionInformation/
https://www.co.ozaukee.wi.us/162/Election-Information
https://www.co.washington.wi.us/departments.iml?mdl=departments.mdl&ID=CLK
Generally speaking, you, and only you, should drop off your own ballot, however, if you cannot drop it off yourself, you can have somebody else that you trust drop it off for you. PLEASE DO NOT GIVE YOUR BALLOT TO ANYBODY WHO YOU DO NOT FULLY TRUST.
Ballots need to be returned by 8:00pm CT on Election Day.
For several reasons, including the fact that ballot drop-off is local, the fact that there is a drop-box or drop-off point in virtually every municipality, and also because there there are so many options for dropping off your ballot, Wisconsin is, in my opinion, one of the very easiest states to drop off your ballot, and is even up there with Oregon and Washington in terms of ease of dropping it off.
IF YOU ARE VOTING IN PERSON
If you want to vote in-person, it is recommended that you vote as early as possible.
For the City of Milwaukee, Early Voting is held between Tuesday, October 20 and Sunday, November 1. Drive thru early voting may be available in some locations. As a side note, both Fiserv Arena downtown and Miller Park on the west end are being used as essentially massive early voting sites. Check the links below for early voting hours and dates in Milwaukee City and Milwaukee County. If you are in the WOW counties contact your municipal clerk for more details about early voting times.
You may also vote in-person on Election Day, though it is recommended that you vote early if you are voting in person. Again, make sure you have your valid photo ID.
https://bringit.wi.gov/do-i-have-right-photo-id
https://elections.wi.gov/node/6798
https://city.milwaukee.gov/cityclerk
https://city.milwaukee.gov/election/ElectionInformation/In-Person-Absentee-Schedule [EARLY VOTING]
https://www.jsonline.com/story/news/local/milwaukee/2020/08/31/fiserv-forum-and-miller-park-used-early-voting-locations-november-general-election/3446575001/ [EARLY VOTING AT MILLER PARK AND FISERV ARENA]
https://county.milwaukee.gov/files/county/county-clerk/Election-Commission/Documents/GeneralElectionEarlyVotingSchedule.11.3.pdf [MILWAUKEE COUNTY EARLY VOTING]
https://www.waukeshacounty.gov/ElectionInformation/
https://www.co.ozaukee.wi.us/162/Election-Information
https://www.co.washington.wi.us/departments.iml?mdl=departments.mdl&ID=CLK
Stay safe, vote, and please remember to drop off your absentee ballots and not mail it back unless completely and utterly necessary.
LINKS TO SOURCES:
https://myvote.wi.gov/en-us/
https://myvote.wi.gov/en-US/VoterRegistration
https://myvote.wi.gov/en-us/VoterDeadlines
https://myvote.wi.gov/en-US/RequestAnAbsenteeBallot
https://elections.wi.gov/voters/absentee
https://elections.wi.gov/sites/default/files/gab_forms/4/el_121_application_for_absentee_ballot_2018_06_f_21413.pdf
https://bringit.wi.gov/ [PHOTO ID]
https://bringit.wi.gov/frequently-asked-questions
https://verifiedvoting.org/verifie#mode/navigate/map/ppEquip/mapType/normal/yea2020/state/55/county/79 [NO VOTING MACHINES EXCEPT FOR THOSE WITH DISABILITIES (MACHINES FOR DISABLED VOTERS WILL HAVE A PAPER TRAIL)]
https://verifiedvoting.org/verifie#mode/navigate/map/ppEquip/mapType/normal/yea2020/state/55/county/133 [NO VOTING MACHINES EXCEPT FOR THOSE WITH DISABILITIES (MACHINES FOR DISABLED VOTERS WILL HAVE A PAPER TRAIL)]
https://verifiedvoting.org/verifie#mode/navigate/map/ppEquip/mapType/normal/yea2020/state/55/county/131 [NO VOTING MACHINES EXCEPT FOR THOSE WITH DISABILITIES (MACHINES FOR DISABLED VOTERS WILL HAVE A PAPER TRAIL)]
https://verifiedvoting.org/verifie#mode/navigate/map/ppEquip/mapType/normal/yea2020/state/55/county/89 [NO VOTING MACHINES EXCEPT FOR THOSE WITH DISABILITIES (MACHINES FOR DISABLED VOTERS WILL HAVE A PAPER TRAIL)]
https://elections.wi.gov/node/6788
https://elections.wi.gov/sites/elections.wi.gov/files/2020-06/EL- 121%20Application%20for%20Absentee%20Ballot%20%28rev.%202020-06%29.pdf
https://elections.wi.gov/node/7039
https://elections.wi.gov/node/6797 [CURE PROCESS]
https://www.ncsl.org/research/elections-and-campaigns/vopp-table-15-states-that-permit-voters-to-correct-signature-discrepancies.aspx
https://elections.wi.gov/node/6798
https://elections.wi.gov/node/6816 [witness signature]
https://elections.wi.gov/node/6798
https://city.milwaukee.gov/cityclerk
https://city.milwaukee.gov/election/Voter-Info/Absentee-Ballot-Drop-Off-Sites [DROP-BOXES]
https://city.milwaukee.gov/election/ElectionInformation/In-Person-Absentee-Schedule [EARLY VOTING]
https://www.jsonline.com/story/news/politics/2020/09/17/milwaukee-has-15-secure-drop-boxes-absentee-ballots-cast-vote-instead-of-mailing-ballot/3474731001/ [BALLOT DROP-BOXES]
https://www.jsonline.com/story/news/local/milwaukee/2020/08/31/fiserv-forum-and-miller-park-used-early-voting-locations-november-general-election/3446575001/ [VOTING AT MILLER PARK AND FISERV ARENA]
https://county.milwaukee.gov/EN/County-Clerk/Election-Commission
https://county.milwaukee.gov/files/county/county-clerk/Election-Commission/Documents/GeneralElectionEarlyVotingSchedule.11.3.pdf [MILWAUKEE COUNTY EARLY VOTING]
https://www.waukeshacounty.gov/ElectionInformation/
https://www.co.ozaukee.wi.us/162/Election-Information
https://www.co.washington.wi.us/departments.iml?mdl=departments.mdl&ID=CLK
https://www.democracydocket.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/41/2020/07/Safeguarding-Our-Democracy-with-Vote-by-Mail_DemocracyDocket_UPDATED_JULY2020.pdf [anybody can drop off a ballot]
submitted by flyinmacaronimonster to milwaukee [link] [comments]


2020.09.17 21:30 cscqsim_repostbot A /r/cscareerquestions College Survival Guide

A /cscareerquestions College Survival Guide

With our final school year beginning, we were reflecting on how lost and confused we were when we first started university. We made a lot of mistakes (still am) along the way, but we’re in a much better place after learning from them and constantly putting ourselves out there. In hopes of shining some light and helping others, we decided to make a comprehensive guide for university students – based on our knowledge/experiences - on how to start your successful CS Career (or gain the wisdom to avoid CS altogether, more on this later).
rishiss Background: I am a 4th year student at UC Irvine majoring in Software Engineering. I am an incoming Software Engineer at a F100 company (received return offer after interning this summer). Before that, I interned at an R & D center for space, a small cloud company, and a small IT company. I have a 3.65 GPA, won a few awards at startup competitions/hackathons, and remain pretty active in my schools CS organizations.
chaitu65c Background: I’m a 4th year student at UC Irvine majoring in Computer Science. I’m currently a SWE Intern at a Unicorn and just wrapped up my 2nd internship at a Live Streaming Company(you can most likely tell who they are if you browse my history LOL). Before this, I interned at my school’s IT department, did research under a professor, and worked on a few small startups that other UCI students were building. I have a 3.3 GPA, won some awards along rishiss and was pretty active in my school’s CS clubs.
Disclaimer: “But rishiss/ and chaitu65c, you don’t work at a Big N, go to a target CS school, why should I take your advice?” You’re absolutely right; we are, by no means, ‘up there’ like some other folks on this sub. And, you don’t have to take our advice! Simply close this tab and do whatever else you want 😊. Our intent is to guide and prepare uni students for a CS career they enjoy, not work at Big N or get the highest TC. Life is much more than a dick-measuring contest, and the earlier you learn that the better.
We have also created a guide with our own personal advice/stories

Please, take this advice with a grain of salt. we’re not Tony Robinson or Tim Apple, we’re just two random reddit users.

Table of Contents:

This guide is divided into the following sections:

Is CS Right For Me?

The way we see it, there’s 3 types of people pursuing CS.
  1. Those who know CS isn’t for them – They’re in it for the money, to appease their parents, for a minorequirement, some external factor. They hated programming while taking the introductory CS course and just try to get done with their class/degree ASAP.
Advice: The majority of people who fall under this usually burn out quickly, as they aren’t motivated enough to learn the material and to apply themselves. This usually leads to them cheating and getting kicked out of their major, minor, or university altogether. Even if you manage to earn a degree, we've seen a large number of these folks endure a 'pre-mature' mid-life crisis or simply get fired from their jobs. Before you even start this major, you should definitely understand that this isn’t going to be easy, and you do have to put in a lot of effort to succeed. If this isn’t your cup of tea, definitely look into switching into another major you like.
Some folks are really passionate about technology, but don't want to pursue an entire Computer Science major or see themselves as Software Engineers. That's completely ok! Try looking into related majors or minors. We know many students who switched from CS to majors like Informatics, Business Information Management, and Economics and are thriving in tech-related roles like Data Analytics, Product Management, UI/UX Design, and Technical Recruiting. CS is not (and should not be) for everyone, and there is no shame in having the wisdom quit and move on.
  1. Those who don’t know if CS is for them – Where most of the CS community is IMO. These folks (like me, rishiss) are riddled with something called Imposter Syndrome: “the constant feeling of not being good enough or knowing enough to do your job well.”
Advice: For students, really take the time to learn and be open to anything you go through. Try sticking it out until you've taken a Data Structures course, one of the harder, more important courses out there. If you're not understanding the material or just aren't having fun with it, it’s definitely ok to switch majors/careers. Otherwise, CS just might be the career for you! Give it your best shot!
Admittedly, it's hard to provide stronger insight to overcoming Imposter Syndrome, as I am afflicted by it as well. For me, my IS derives from constantly comparing myself to others and confusing inexperience with incompetency. As such, I continue to work and focus on myself and take baby steps towards smaller goals I set out for myself. Knowing that I've put the effort to improve myself by just 1% everyday has made me a lot more confident.
  1. Those who know for a fact CS is for them – The diamonds in the rough. Learning and practicing CS material gives them a euphoric high.
Advice: Broaden your scope and learn new areas of CS! Who knows, you might find another new field that you really want to work in. Other than that, definitely make new friends regardless of whether they’re a CS major or not. Even try pursuing other hobbies like weightlifting, reading, dancing, or even public speaking. Don't limit yourself!

Freshman Year

We recommend not taking more than 3-4 classes in your first quartesemester, as you shouold keep an ample amount of time to go to professional/social events, make new friends and hang out with them, and pursue your interests.
We've seen a lot of freshmen (and upperclassmen) CS folks get cooped up in their dorm rooms playing video games and watching TV. We understand that these two are a passion for many, but please be cautious to not get consumed by them.
You have the privilege of pursuing higher education, making valuable connections/memories, and setting up your CS career in the trajectory you want. This year is the best year to take advantage of all that university has to offer; make the most of it.
One of the best ways to get involved in your school’s/region’s CS community is by joining clubs like ACM and WICS and participating in hackathons (see ‘Hackathon’ section below). Try pursuing internships and positions in these organizations and events as well!
One, major issue we see with freshmen (even upperclassmen) is their ignorance on all the avenues available in the CS Industry. So we’ve tried to narrow it down (not exhaustive).
  1. Cyber Security Engineer
  2. Front-End Web Developer
  3. Backend Web Developer
  4. UI/UX Designer
  5. DevOps/Cloud/Site-Reliability Engineers
  6. Mobile Engineer
  7. QA Engineer
  8. Product Manager
  9. Data Scientist (Machine Learning/AI)
  10. Embedded Software Engineer
  11. Systems Administrator
  12. Database Administrator (The Wizards)
  13. Networking Engineer
  14. Hardware Engineer
  15. OS Developer
  16. Video Game Developer
  17. Solutions Architect/Sales EngineeTechnical Account Manager
As a freshman, definitely take the time and see if you can picture yourself doing any of the listed fields. You should open yourself to all facets of CS and not just the “hot field” like Data Science and Machine Learning. Choosing a field because it’s “exciting” will usually lead to bad results as usually, other people are thinking just like you and will lead to over-saturation.
Our recommendation is to select the top 5 fields that have piqued your interest and experiment with the field. For example, if you are interested in Mobile App Development, try learning how to build an Android app from the ground up. A simple weather app or alarm clock is completely suitable for a first project/prototype. This lets you understand what skills you would need for this field and can serve as a forecast as to what your career would look like.
You should definitely look for an internship. Ignore the people that tell you to wait until you’re a junior, as it’s going to be very hard to get an internship if you don’t have any experience. Common places that most students don’t realize are available are usually IT departments at your school and even research with professors. Researching is highly recommended as you can definitely learn more about a field you can be interested in and if you’re interested in graduate school, that’s going to be a letter of recommendation that you can ask for.
If you’re considered a minority in Computer Science, look into first and second year internship programs as they’re meant to help you succeed. Here’s some programs that come to mind:
Google STEP
Microsoft Explore
Amazon Future Engineer
Uber STARInternhip
Facebook University
Another way to get internships is to research into smaller companies in your area. If the company is very small (<100 employees), consider reaching out to the CEO on LinkedIn. They might be able to help you! Also, take advantage of university recruiting websites like Handshake to see companies that directly hire from your school. More info on how to get an internship in the ‘Searching for an Internship’ section.

Sophomore Year

Now that you have basic programming knowledge, create your own website or GitHub account and start contributing to them with small personal projects. Nobody expects you to make a full-stack MERN project hosted and scaled on AWS at this stage. Focus instead on clean code, learning a framework or two on a language you like, and creating a small, robust feature. Grow from there!
If you weren’t able to find an internship/research opportunity as a freshman, community involvement, projects, and hackathons become especially important, as they are a great way to make you stand out on your resume and to recruiters when you reapply. As you brush up on your skills, apply again, and try your luck out.

Data Structures and Algorithms

In addition, you are most likely to take a Data Structures and Algorithms course this year. Make sure you are focusing on this class and writing good notes; you will need this knowledge when interviewing for internships and full-time jobs in the near future. Here is a link to our DS and A course (in C++) for reference

Junior Year

As a junior, companies are more willing to hire you for an internship, as they are likely to convert you into a full-time employee after graduating. This transition process is much easier than interviewing, and they'll usually offer you a higher compensation package if they want to convert you to a full-time employee. As you now should have knowledge of Data Structures and Algorithms, we highly recommend looking into coding interview prep sites like LeetCode and HackerRank or purchasing a prep book like CTCI or EPI (advanced).
Continue to attend hackathons, remain active in clubs/organizations, and grow your portfolio.
Classes will be much harder; expect the time for completing projects to double and the content covered to be much more difficult. We recommend taking no more than 2-3 upper-division CS courses and balancing your load with 1-2 GE classes. You should not be taking more than 16 units (assuming 4 units per course).
Start to get an idea of what field in CS you would like to pursue. Research what it takes to be successful in that field. You can do so by looking up job postings with that title on LinkedIn and looking at the requested skill set or take a look at Roadmap.sh. If you want to learn more about a related skill set and your school doesn't offer a course, consider picking up a class on udemy.com.

Senior Year

Focus heavily on your senior capstone, project classes, etc. as they're the last thing you can put on your resume before applying for full time. By now, you should have at least 3 polished, working projects on your GitHub that you can easily talk about with your recruiter. Preferably, they're aligned with the CS field you wish to enter.
If you were able to get a return offer from an internship, congrats! However, don’t immediately sign the offer. Once you have an offer, you should still try to interview at companies that you’re interested in by the deadline of the time to accept the offer. A good way of doing this is to reach out to a University recruiter for that company and explain the deadline you have. Usually, they’re really helpful and can potentially help skip interviews that you were supposed to do!
In addition, if your friends were able to intern at places you’re interested in, definitely ask for a referral or to send your resume to their recruiter. This usually reduces the risk of being ghosted by that company and increases your chances of getting hired!
Once you finally sign, definitely take the time to relax and enjoy. Just make sure you pass your classes and stay out of trouble

Classes:

What Classes should I take?

Should Already be Required:

Must Take:

Good to Have

How do I succeed in these classes?

rishiss: You’re more than likely coughing up hundreds, if not thousands, to attend university. It makes no sense to not take full advantage of the course and course staff.
The way I take notes: I learn from examples; I want to enter my code into the IDE to see what happens. I do a three way split; Google Docs on the left, IDE on top right and terminal (to compile, see output, make new file, etc) on bottom left. I note down the date and topic of the lecture and write questions I have in the comments on Docs. I make sure to highlight important information and possible test questions. I even share the link with friends!

In the quarters where I followed the steps above, I never got a grade lower than an A-.

Dealing with Bad Professors

During your time in college, you’re likely going to have at least one bad professor that might make it worse if you have to go to class. If that’s the case, it’s definitely fine to not go to class (as long as it’s not mandatory). However, if you do decide not to go, you must make sure you learn the material, so you won’t be behind on the coursework and studying for tests. In addition, you should be doing something productive on the side. If you don’t go to class and spend the time watching Netflix or playing video games, you’re losing time that you can spend on something that might be fun and can help you in the long run.

You can take Graduate Courses!?

chaitu65c: A highly underutilized set of courses you can take would be graduate courses. Graduate courses are usually very specialized in certain fields. If you were able to take all the undergraduate courses you wanted and still have spare classes to fill out, I'd recommend researching into taking Graduate courses! They’re a good way to build out your specialization and learn new, cool stuff! In addition, if you’re looking for classes to reach the required number of CS courses needed, your CS department might allow you to make the course count towards your degree!

Projects

They're super important.

How do I succeed in class projects?

Personal Projects and your CS Career

rishiss: Projects are your saving grace, especially if you are lacking work experience. They show technical aptitude, willingness to take initiative, and leadership. I’ve seen people with only projects on their resume get positions at the Big N. Projects are good ways to expand your knowledge of CS as the possibilities are endless! It is best to have a variety of projects dealing with a variety of technologies. As such, you can open yourself up to more positions and have more talking points during the interview.
I tend to edit the ‘Project’ Section of my resume with relevant projects and technologies. For instance, if I made a full stack web application and applied to a DevOps organization, I would highlight my AWS, CI/CD, and Terraform experiences more than my React/Node js work.
It is recommend the project is about something that motivates you and are passionate about e.g. video games, movies, books, sports, etc., as it is very easy to give up half way due to stress or lack of motivation/interest.
Like anything else in Computer Science, projects require you to break it down into smaller pieces. Start with the end in mind and draw out the intended architecture/functionalities. Start with what you know and research on the parts you don't know after that. You will be using these skills often in industry for any project/feature planning.
Spending 15-30 minutes a day is all you need to make a successful personal project. Don't make excuses and get coding!

Open Source Contributions

If you’ve ever noticed popular github repositories such as torvalds/linux, these are repositories where people from all over the world can report issues with it and someone can fix it. If you are able to make a contribution to a huge open source repository, it looks really good on your resume.

Hackathons

What are Hackathons?

Hackathons are large scale coding events, where students from around the area come together and collaborate - usually in teams of 4 (but you can go solo or with a partner!) - to build some software. Companies like Amazon, Northrop Grumman, Google, and Twilio sponsor awards related to best use of their technology. After 24 - 48 hours of intensive coding, participants submit their projects, whether it be an Android video game, Chrome Extension, productivity web app, etc. Submissions are shared with the companies and other hackathon organizers, where they select the best projects and award teams with swag like keyboards, gift cards, and even summer internships at their company.
Participating in hackathons are one of the best ways to hone your coding skills, network with companies and other students, and get free comfy T-shirts. It is also one of the best ways to gain industry knowledge, as representatives from these companies and hackathon organizers create numerous workshops and answer any questions you may have. Winning awards at these hackathons are also great resume boosters and talking points during interviews.
The biggest hackathon organizer is Major League Hacking. Visit their website, and you can see all the hackathons (remote or local) they are partnered with. Make to be on the lookout for application release dates from the hackathons and apply early.
With Covid, you may miss out on the free goodies and the in-person networking with students and professionals. However, most hackathons are accepting many more applicants due to it being virtual/remote this year.

What Should I Do At Hacakathons?

Take advantage of the resources available at hackathons. You’re attending a mini CS conference and should be, besides coding, networking with professionals, learning about the different companies, attending workshops, asking technical/non-technical questions to mentors, and getting as much free shit as you can get. Besides T-Shirts, companies give out vouchers to their services, applications to their internship and full-time positions, pillows, notebooks, water bottles, sweaters, and even backpacks.
If you’re looking to get an award, judges at hackathons care a lot about the pitch and the idea rather than the actual execution of the idea. Having an idea beforehand is also helpful, so you can spend your time focusing on the MVP.

Friends and Networking

chaitu65c: I think it’s definitely useful if you have two different friend groups: One dedicated to career and Non-Career Group.
Career Group - When making a friend group dedicated to career, try to be the dumbest person in the group, you’re definitely going to learn a lot from them as you soak up knowledge! Best ways of meeting friends who are career-driven can be through major specific orientation (actually how I met rishiss), courses, major related clubs, etc.
Non-Career Group - While having a group that motivates you for your career is important, it’s also important to have another friend group that can help you relax and to enjoy your time! A really good way to find these friend groups can be anywhere from your hall to General Education courses, social clubs like Circle K, fraternities/ sororities(if that’s your cup of tea) and others!
This is what has worked for us; no need to follow this exact format.

Resume

rishiss: Here are the few take-aways on writing a resume that gets through the ATS.

Searching for Internships

Searching for internships in CS is really different and harder from searching for internships in other professions. CS internship interview processes are often longer and much more technical on what you have learned as a CS major. We've prepped 2-3 months beforehand on CS concepts, whiteboarding, etc.

Timeline

This timeline primarily focuses on large, non-government/defense companies or competitive startups. This also assume you are applying for a summer internship.
August - September: Applications are opened to the public. Make sure to look out for positions and apply early, as most companies admit students on a rolling basis. A site that we used often is Apply.fyi. After applying, you may receive an automated (< 48 hours) invitation to complete an Online Assessment, consisting of multiple choice and/or coding questions about Data Structures, Algorithms, and Run Time Complexity. You will have usually 1-2 weeks to complete the assessment. Please that you may be rejected if you are not able to pass 90% of the questions on the assessment: Please also note that you may be instantly rejected due to things out of your control like years of experience, cancellation of internship, internal corporate issues, and more. Don't take rejections too seriously; just keep applying!
October - November: After passing the resume screen and the OA, you will be contacted by the company's recruiter for a phone screen. During the screen, you will probably be asked a few confirmation questions about your resume, sponsorship, years of experience with X, etc. and minor behavioral questions like what made you apply for this position, what are you pursuing outside of class, etc. You may also receive questions about your CS fundamentals e.g. what is a hashtable, whats the difference between a process and a thread, what is the runtime complexity of sorting a string, etc. As long as you're cool and confident (and not cringe/edgy), this part should be a breeze.
November - Mid January: If you made it through the two Thanos snaps, you will be invited to an onsite “Power-Day,” where interviewees attend 2-4 whiteboard interviews while being grilled on their technical skills and projects. Some companies make applicants go through a panel interview, where a team of 2-5 Software Engineers grill you on technical questions and your resume. You are often pampered with free travel, food, stipends, etc.
December - February: If you were deemed a good fit by the hiring committee, you will be extended an offer to intern at the company during the upcoming summer for 10-12 weeks. Remember, nothing is final until you receive an offer letter in your inbox. Some companies may also place you on a wait-list and offer you a spot if someone were to reject their offer letter.
For government orgs, defense companies, and smaller organizations, the recruiting season starts in February/March and usually ends in April and May. After applying online and passing the resume screen, you will usually be immediately pushed to an on-site interview. Most likely, you will be interviewing with your future boss/co-worker.
Please note that internships are not only offered in the summer, they are provided in the Fall, Winter, and Spring (rare) as well. The competition for these internships is usually lower, and the process usually starts 3-4 months beforehand.

How to get the Interview

Besides following resume tips, make sure to apply to as many places as you can. To get our first internships, we recall applying to approximately 250-300 places before we secured our internship plans for that summer. Also, if you do get ghosted, don’t take it personally, usually, university recruiters often spend so much time reviewing a lot of applications.
Other precautions to take to get noticed are to try attending career fairs if you can, you might be able to get an interview(worst case, free swag!). Other than that, try reaching out to upperclassmen or friends you know that interned and ask for referrals. It’s one of the best ways to get noticed!

What to expect

As part of the interview process, there’s 4 types of interviews that you should make sure you know.
Behavioral Interview: These interviews ask you questions about culture fit such as “Why are you a good candidate” and “Tell me about a time when you ...”
Coding/Technical Interview: These interviews ask you questions similar to what you see on Leetcode and Hackerrank. These interviews are designed to test your Data Structures and Algorithms knowledge.
System Design: System Design involves the interviewer testing your building to design a service/software and test your knowledge of understanding what things to use for the task and how you will integrate them together. You’re definitely not expected to know this and it’s not likely you’re gonna get asked this. Places that could ask you this are Unicorns, Trading Companies and Hedge Funds, and Big Established Companies.
Concurrency/Low Level Interviews: If the company’s biggest product involves low level principles such as networking principles and kernel stuff, there’s a possibility you can get asked this. Places that come to mind are hardware companies and trading firms.
Some companies may adopt only one of these interviews and some may adopt all.

How to Ace the Interview

It’s highly recommended that you look up the interview experiences that other students have faced so that you can potentially filter out companies with red flags and know what questions to expect. Common sources to search up on this would be Reddit (csMajors and cscareerquestions), Jumpstart (Relatively new portal for students), Glassdoor and maybe Blind (Aside from the toxic TC or GTFO culture, they do give good advice on interviews). With that said, here’s some advice we have when you approach each kind of interview we’ve seen.

Advice on Behavioral Interviews

Use the STAR method when describing your experiences. Being quantifiable with the impact of your actions will impress the interviewer.

Advice on Technical Interviews

Begin by reviewing your notes from the Data Structures and Algorithms class. Do not proceed further until you know how to implement these DS and As from scratch with the language of your choice(If you do know python, it’s recommended as there’s a lot of builtin features!). After doing so, we highly recommend a book like CTCI and EPI to gain a review on programming language details and your DS and As. Then, visit sites like LeetCode to practice real questions from major companies. A Facebook Engineer completed 600 LC problems and compiled the most important ones into a list here. During the interview, make sure to talk out loud about possible approaches and tradeoffs before whiteboarding. It is perfectly acceptable (often recommended) to ask the interviewer to ask questions about the problem and get clarification. Once you have an idea in mind and have talked about it with your interviewer, begin whiteboarding. While you talk about the final idea you want to use, write out pseudo code and comments about all the steps you need to implement in order to finish coding your solution. After that, start coding. Make sure to have proper function headers, syntax, spacing, classes/structs, imports, etc. After coding your solution, give a brief explanation and attempt to make it run with less space and in less time (if your solution is not as efficient as you think it can be).

Advice on System Design

These are somewhat hard to approach if you don’t have experience ever doing it. If you do have experience designing and building services in your spare time and as part of your work experience, definitely rely on your experience. An important thing is to definitely ask clarifying questions. There might be hidden requirements you didn’t think about that could drastically change the way you approach the solution.

Advice on Concurrency/Low level

Understand basic principles such as Processes vs Threads (A lot of people don’t know the difference!)TCP vs UDP and how to make an application thread safe. Other than that, it’s recommended that you familiarize yourself with basic OS concepts such as Deadlocks, locks that you can utilize to make an application thread safe, etc.

Searching for Full Time Jobs:

The big bucks.
The process for finding a Full-Time Job is usually very similar to finding an Internship. There’s three main differences are:
  1. Harder Questions. Ex: Google usually asks Leetcode Mediums to Hards + the special Leetcode Hard question that Google asks it’s applicants (they create a new one every year).
  2. More Rounds of Interviewing: For example, Microsoft makes interns do 2 rounds while New Grads do 4 rounds during the onsite part of the process.
  3. Compensation: Interns usually get an hourly rate and, possibly, a housing stipend. New grads, however, are given a yearly salary and, possibly, a sign-on bonus, stocks, and benefits e.g. health insurance, vacation days, etc.
The process for finding a Full-time Job won’t really change as much as finding an internship, but keep in mind that the bar is higher. This is probably the biggest reason why you should look into interning early; by getting an offer at the place you like, you don’t need to go through the daunting process of finding a full-time role.
Get as many offers as you can this time around, so you can negotiate and select the position, company, compensation, and location that works best for you.

Negotiation

Negotiation is a really powerful tool that you can use in the interview process, even as an intern. There’s a lot of guides to negotiation and we recommend Nick Singh’s guide (Look at his LinkedIn and newsletters) for more.

Final Thoughts

University is a probably the most important time of your life and a foundational block of your CS Career. Like any foundation, it must be sturdy and takes a tremendous amount and energy of time to develop. Take advantage of all the resources (like this one) you can get your hands on. Definitely learn from the mistakes people have made and make sure you don’t repeat the same mistakes.
‘Stay hungry. Stay foolish’ - Steve Jobs
Original
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2020.09.17 20:50 flyinmacaronimonster Absentee and In-Person Voting in Wausau

Hey people of Wausau!
Election Season officially begins for you as absentee ballots start going out to all registered voters that have requested a ballot, starting today.
Before I go any further, if there is one key piece of advice for you if you are voting absentee, it's that you DO NOT MAIL BACK YOUR BALLOT, and instead drop it off. There is a genuinely good reason for this, and I will explain further down below.
If you have not registered to vote yet, please do so right now. You can do so using this link:
https://myvote.wi.gov/en-US/VoterRegistration
Wednesday, October 14 is the deadline to register to vote online and by mail. You can also register to vote in-person at your municipal clerk's office during business hours up until 5:00pm or end of business on Friday, October 30. For City of Wausau it will be between 8am and 4:30pm MON-FRI at the City Clerk's office at City Hall @ 407 Grant St in downtown Wausau. If you live outside of the City of Wausau in Marathon County, contact your municipal clerk's office for hours, or check the link below from the Wausau Daily Herald:
https://www.ci.wausau.wi.us/Services/Elections.aspx
https://www.wausaudailyherald.com/story/news/local/2020/09/15/wausau-elections-absentee-ballot-drop-off-locations/5752781002/ [WAUSAU CITY & MARATHON COUNTY BALLOT DROP-BOX LOCATIONS/EARLY VOTING (INCOMPLETE LIST; IF YOUR MUNICIPALITY IS NOT LISTED CONTACT YOUR MUNICIPAL CLERK FOR MORE DETAILS)]
Wisconsin is also one of a few states that also allows for same-day voter registration on Election Day, so, if you have forgotten to register to vote by Friday, October 30, you can still register to vote at your polling place on Election Day, and then subsequently vote in-person.
https://myvote.wi.gov/en-us/VoterDeadlines
IF YOU ARE CONCERNED ABOUT MACHINE HACKING, KEEP IN MIND THAT WISCONSIN DOES NOT USE VOTING MACHINES IN THEIR ELECTIONS AS OF 2020, EXCEPT FOR PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES, AND ALSO KEEP IN MIND THAT THESE MACHINES WILL HAVE A PAPER TRAIL. In Marathon County, ballot marking devices (a bit different than a voting "machine") will be used by people with disabilities, but for the majority of voters (i.e. ones without a disability), hand-marked paper ballots will be used.
https://verifiedvoting.org/verifie#mode/navigate/map/ppEquip/mapType/normal/yea2020/state/55/county/73
If you are voting in-person or are a first-time absentee voter, or, if you are requesting an absentee ballot and have updated your name or address, you will need to provide a photo ID with your absentee ballot request. The reason why you need to show ID with an absentee ballot request if you have had a name or address change is because you essentially need to re-register, and every time you register or re-register to vote, you will need to provide a photo ID with your absentee ballot request.
In terms of Photo ID in general, Wisconsin has a very strict photo ID law. Most photo IDs (like a driver's license) need to be up to date as of November 6, 2018. If you need to update your driver's license or other photo ID, please do so now or as soon as possible. Some photo IDs must be unexpired, but most do not need to be.
Here's a site that explains the types of voter ID that are acceptable:
https://bringit.wi.gov/do-i-have-right-photo-id
If you have registered to vote and have not requested an absentee ballot, request an absentee ballot if you would like. Again, remember: if you have never requested an absentee ballot in Wisconsin, or, if you have updated your name or address, you will need a photo ID to accompany your absentee ballot request.
https://elections.wi.gov/voters/absentee
https://elections.wi.gov/sites/default/files/gab_forms/4/el_121_application_for_absentee_ballot_2018_06_f_21413.pdf
https://myvote.wi.gov/en-US/RequestAnAbsenteeBallot
IF YOU ARE VOTING IN-PERSON INSTEAD OF ABSENTEE-BY-MAIL, SKIP TO THE IF YOU ARE VOTING IN PERSON SECTION BELOW
Once you have requested and have received your absentee ballot, READ THE INSTRUCTIONS CAREFULLY, fill out your ballot, and then MAKE SURE TO SIGN YOUR NAME IN THE CORRECT PLACE. As well, YOU WILL NEED 1 SIGNATURE WITNESS to sign the envelope. A witness can be anybody over 18 who is not running for public office.
If you are worried about your ballot being rejected due to a mismatched signature, do not worry as they will not reject it outright without letting you know, and without giving you a chance to fix it, HOWEVER this process needs to be done before polls close (8:00pm CT) on Election Day. Because of this, please make sure to avoid dropping off your ballot on Election Day if possible, and instead drop it off earlier, and preferably as early as possible.
https://elections.wi.gov/node/6797
Once you have done all that DO NOT MAIL BACK YOUR BALLOT. The real reason why is because Wisconsin makes it incredibly easy to return your absentee ballot. Wisconsin, like Michigan, administers their elections New England-style. In other words, each municipality is basically in charge of administering the election.
So, your MUNICIPAL (NOT county) clerk will be the ones sending out ballots, and your MUNICIPAL (NOT county) clerk's office will be the ones that your ballot will ultimately need to be returned to. This makes it easier to drop off your ballot, as you will not need to go far to drop it off.
When sending back your ballot, it is important to note that you need to drop it off in the MUNICIPALITY that you are voting in, NOT in the county. For example, if you live in the City of Wausau, you will need to drop it off within the city limits of Wausau, and not anywhere else in Marathon County.
In terms of dropping off your absentee ballot, there are 4 ways to do so:
1) Drop it off at a drop-box in your municipality
I have been doing research on the extent to which ballot drop-boxes exist in Wisconsin. I have found that, in nearly all cities, villages, and towns there is at least 1 drop-box in any given municipality. In the City of Wausau, there will be 1 drop-box outside of City Hall at 407 Grant St. If you live outside of Wausau city limits, drop boxes will likely be available in almost all municipalities, although it is also possible that you may need to arrange a drop-off with your municipal clerk if you live in a smaller and more rural township, though, again, it varies by municipality. Check out the link from the Wausau Daily Herald Below or contact your municipal clerk for more details.
2) Hand-deliver it in-person to your municipal clerk's office.
The City Clerk's office in Wausau will be open from 8am-4:30pm MON-FRI at City Hall, through to Election Day for ballot drop off. Hours will likely be extended on Election Day. This is still another option for you to drop off your ballot, however, it is more recommended that you drop off your ballot off at the one of the two drop-box at City Hall. If you live outside of the City of Wausau, contact your municipal clerk's office for hours or check out the list below. Please be safe when returning it in-person to your municipal clerk's office.
3) Return to a polling site during the Early Voting period.
Early Voting in the City of Wausau is available every day from Tuesday, October 20 through to Friday, October 30, except for Sunday, October 25. You can drop off your ballot at the early voting site. Drive thru voting will be available on Friday, October 23 between 3pm-7pm and on Saturday, October 24 between 8am-3pm. For early voting outside of the city of Wausau in Marathon County, contact your municipal clerk's office for more details.
4) Return to a polling site on Election Day.
This is also an option for dropping off your ballot, however it is more recommended that you drop it off earlier. Still, it is an option if need be.
https://elections.wi.gov/node/6798
https://www.ci.wausau.wi.us/Services/Elections.aspx
https://www.wausaudailyherald.com/story/news/local/2020/09/15/wausau-elections-absentee-ballot-drop-off-locations/5752781002/ [WAUSAU CITY & MARATHON COUNTY BALLOT DROP-BOX LOCATIONS/EARLY VOTING (INCOMPLETE LIST; IF YOUR MUNICIPALITY IS NOT LISTED CONTACT YOUR MUNICIPAL CLERK FOR MORE DETAILS)]
https://www.wsaw.com/2020/09/16/wausau-safe-elections-task-force-confirms-drive-thru-voting-option/
Generally speaking, you, and only you, should drop off your own ballot, however, if you cannot drop it off yourself, you can have somebody else that you trust drop it off for you. PLEASE DO NOT GIVE YOUR BALLOT TO ANYBODY WHO YOU DO NOT FULLY TRUST.
Ballots need to be returned by 8:00pm CT on Election Day.
For several reasons, including the fact that ballot drop-off is local, the fact that there is a drop-box or drop-off point in virtually every municipality, and also because there there are so many options for dropping off your ballot, Wisconsin is, in my opinion, one of the very easiest states to drop off your ballot, and is even up there with Oregon and Washington in terms of ease of dropping it off.
IF YOU ARE VOTING IN PERSON
If you want to vote in-person, it is recommended that you vote as early as possible.
Early Voting in the City of Wausau is available every day from Tuesday, October 20 through to Friday, October 30, except for Sunday, October 25. You can drop off your ballot at the early voting site. Drive thru voting will be available on Friday, October 23 between 3pm-7pm and on Saturday, October 24 between 8am-3pm. For early voting outside of the city of Wausau in Marathon County, contact your municipal clerk's office for more details.
You may also vote in-person on Election Day, though it is recommended that you vote early if you are voting in person. Again, make sure you have your valid photo ID.
https://bringit.wi.gov/do-i-have-right-photo-id
https://www.ci.wausau.wi.us/Services/Elections.aspx
https://www.wausaudailyherald.com/story/news/local/2020/09/15/wausau-elections-absentee-ballot-drop-off-locations/5752781002/
https://www.wsaw.com/2020/09/16/wausau-safe-elections-task-force-confirms-drive-thru-voting-option/
Stay safe, vote, and please remember to drop off your absentee ballots and not mail it back unless completely and utterly necessary.
LINKS TO SOURCES:
https://myvote.wi.gov/en-us/
https://myvote.wi.gov/en-US/VoterRegistration
https://myvote.wi.gov/en-us/VoterDeadlines
https://myvote.wi.gov/en-US/RequestAnAbsenteeBallot
https://elections.wi.gov/voters/absentee
https://elections.wi.gov/sites/default/files/gab_forms/4/el_121_application_for_absentee_ballot_2018_06_f_21413.pdf
https://bringit.wi.gov/ [PHOTO ID]
https://bringit.wi.gov/frequently-asked-questions
https://verifiedvoting.org/verifie#mode/navigate/map/ppEquip/mapType/normal/yea2020/state/55/county/73 [NO VOTING MACHINES EXCEPT FOR THOSE WITH DISABILITIES (MACHINES FOR DISABLED VOTERS WILL HAVE A PAPER TRAIL)
https://elections.wi.gov/node/6788
https://elections.wi.gov/sites/elections.wi.gov/files/2020-06/EL- 121%20Application%20for%20Absentee%20Ballot%20%28rev.%202020-06%29.pdf
https://elections.wi.gov/node/7039
https://elections.wi.gov/node/6797 [CURE PROCESS]
https://www.ncsl.org/research/elections-and-campaigns/vopp-table-15-states-that-permit-voters-to-correct-signature-discrepancies.aspx
https://elections.wi.gov/node/6798
https://elections.wi.gov/node/6816 [witness signature]
https://www.ci.wausau.wi.us/Services/Elections.aspx
https://www.wausaudailyherald.com/story/news/local/2020/09/15/wausau-elections-absentee-ballot-drop-off-locations/5752781002/ [WAUSAU CITY & MARATHON COUNTY BALLOT DROP-BOX LOCATIONS/EARLY VOTING (INCOMPLETE LIST; IF YOUR MUNICIPALITY IS NOT LISTED CONTACT YOUR MUNICIPAL CLERK FOR MORE DETAILS)]
https://www.wsaw.com/2020/09/16/wausau-safe-elections-task-force-confirms-drive-thru-voting-option/ [DRIVE-THRU VOTING CONFIRMED]
https://www.democracydocket.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/41/2020/07/Safeguarding-Our-Democracy-with-Vote-by-Mail_DemocracyDocket_UPDATED_JULY2020.pdf [anybody can drop off a ballot]
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