Hard bumps behind ears

Ask Doctor Smeeee - A subreddit for medical and health-related questions and discussions

2014.09.03 09:09 Ridderjoris Ask Doctor Smeeee - A subreddit for medical and health-related questions and discussions

Ask questions about healthcare or medical conditions, we're here to answer you!

2023.05.30 22:23 LegendRising12 What's A Movie Quote That Has Stuck With You?

What's A Movie Quote That Has Stuck With You?
For me it would have to be from The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. Skarsgard was so scary and the dialogue he says to Daniel Craig at the end has always stuck with me. So scary while being so calm and collective. "It's hard to believe that the fear of offending can be stronger than the fear of pain."

\"Let me ask you something? Why don't people trust their instincts? They sense something is wrong, someone is walking too close behind them... You knew something was wrong but you came back into the house. Did I force you, did I drag you in? No. All I had to do was offer you a drink. It's hard to believe that the fear of offending can be stronger than the fear of pain. But you know what? It is. And they always come willingly.\"
submitted by LegendRising12 to Letterboxd [link] [comments]

2023.05.30 22:23 fresita_s I think there is a kitty stuck in a cat’s belly

There's a stray female cat that lives in our neighborhood but since she got pregnant she has been living under my house, the problem is that it's obvious that she gave birth already, probably 2 days ago, but she seems weak, there is b**d in her behind and there are droplets in our porch, also, one side of her belly looks really hard, like if a kitty is still in there and the other side is flat. Has anyone gone through this? I really need help, I don't know what to do
submitted by fresita_s to AskVet [link] [comments]

2023.05.30 22:21 Sensimuse Bad etiquette to serve deep on non-championship courts?

I play pickleball at a club that has open play on a few designated courts, most of which are the standard size (24ft x 54ft) with a few "championship courts" that have more space behind the baseline (I wanna say 24ft x 60ft but not 100%). Usually the championship courts are occupied by the 4.0+ crowd with the majority, including myself, playing in the regular courts.
Specifically after drilling my serve and upgrading my paddle recently, I've developed a solid deep serve. I'm not the type to have an arsenal of serves tbh, I usually just stick with the standard and try to get good at it: hard, deep, and high percentage. I've gotten some flack for hitting deep serves when my opponents don't have the extra 3ft to deal with it, doing things like tapping the wall/fence with their paddle in a backswing gesture between points showing how limited their motion is or exaggeratively backing all the way up to the fence before I serve. Most players don't have issue but there's the occasional opponent who seems to make a big deal about it especially when they lose a few points in a rally. These players are usually gunning for it too, it's not like a scenario where they're trying to play chill and I'm coming in to steamroll or a massive skill mismatch by any means, I've traded games plenty with lots of them.
Should I dial it back, maybe hit hard serves more shallow in the court? Try out lob serves? Continue blasting?
submitted by Sensimuse to Pickleball [link] [comments]

2023.05.30 22:20 GreenUserper Collaborated Project Done Right!!! The Blon X HBB Z300

Collaborated Project Done Right!!! The Blon X HBB Z300


Aspects Points
Tonality 4.5/5
Technicalities 4/5
Build and Quality 5/5
Aesthetic and Feel 4.5/5
Overall 4.5/5

Review OF The Blon X HBB Z300



It is not surprising that most audiophiles have positive opinions of the Blon Company when it comes to their influence on the audiophile community, their influence on high-quality sound at reasonable prices, and especially their infamous Blon BL03 which attracted the attention of many seasoned audiophiles. Blon has released other IEMs, such as the BL05 and BL05s, which have a different signature than their typical V-shape tuning, in contrast to the tuning of the BL03 model. And now, for the first time, they have partnered with Hawaiian Bad Boy, a well-known audiophile reviewer and YouTuber who has recently released another project called the Blon X HBB Z300. Hawaiian Bad Boy is known throughout the audiophile community for his successful collaborative projects. And today I'll be doing a review of the Z300, but first I'd like to clear up a few things.



*I am thankful to HBB himself and the kind staff at Linsoul for setting up this unit for review. The same is true for this evaluation as it has been for all of my evaluations: all of the ideas I've discussed below are wholly my own, original thoughts that haven't been influenced by anyone. If interested, go to this link.
*I am not associated with the connection, and I receive no financial assistance from anyone.
*For the remainder of the review, I will refer to these IEMs as "Z300."
*I am using different Ear-tips for convenience and better versatility.
*Finally, I will only evaluate the Z300 based on their performance, even though I will explain how it feels and seems physically and aesthetically.


The Z300 is an IEM with a single dynamic driver that employs a 10mm silicone diaphragm and powerful magnets. The faceplate has a design inspired by dragons, and the shells are made of zinc alloy with a surface that is tough 18K gold plated. Despite feeling heavy in the hands, the shells are simple to put in and secure in the ears. There is never any discomfort, not even after extended use. The shells' sturdy construction feels promising. A 4 strand braided high purity cable wire with distinctive 2 pin connectors and a 3.5mm straight termination plug is included in the package. The 2 pin connectors on the cables included with BL03 and BL05 feel identical to this cable's connectors. The cable has a great quality feel and is pleasant to hold. The Z300 Package also includes a blon jute-like storage pouch and two different types of eartips in various sizes. Regarding the technical details, the sensitivity is 115dB, and the impedance is 28 Ohms. The range of the frequency response is 20Hz to 20kHz.



This is the first time I've heard a tuning like this from Blon; I've heard their BL03, BL05, BL mini, etc., and they are typically sound exciting or bright. The Z300 sounds balanced and has a smooth presentation, in contrast to the Bl03, which has a lot of mid bass and sub bass and seems to have a lot of energy in the upper mid range and lower treble. Basically, even though I was aware that HBB tuned it, Blon's unconventional tuning surprised me. The Tripowin Z300's sound is similar to the Tripowin Piccolo's in terms of perceived performance, with the exception that the Z300 has a less energetic upper midrange and lower treble than the Piccolo. The Z300, in my opinion, is more resolved and tonally superior even after being less energetic because of the balance between the two regions. The treble comes across as nicely expansive and full of good details, the mid range sounds forward and lively, and the bass responds with enough warmth to make up for the natural timbre that permeates the entire mix. Let's learn more about Z300's audio output.


When comparing the Z300's response to other IEMs in this price range, it is impossible to do so fairly. However, I can say that it is smoother than the Kiwi Ears Cadenza, denser than the Tin Hifi C2, more expansive and spacious than the QKZxHBB Khan, and more detailed than the Tripowin Piccolo. The treble is silky and smooth, and the notes' details are more than sufficient. The notes don't distort or become single notes or cause any noticeable or avoidable sibilance because the upper treble has nice extension. The vocals definitely stand out and sound complete, while still maintaining a natural sound throughout. Of course, the instruments sound playful, with good notes that are less sharp and produce lovely details. While Cadenza will likely respond similarly, this one sounds softer and more comforting. The C2 displays more details, but at the expense of note weight and lean note quality. The response fills and sounds more personal because the QKZxKhan is way too energetic. In comparison to the Piccolo's off balance in the lower and upper treble, the Z300 sounds even. To keep the energy balance between the upper and lower treble smooth and consistent, the Z300's lower treble sounds sufficiently energetic. The vocals stand out in the mix while the instruments are audible and distinct. Of course, no one in the area sounds in any way offensive. In conclusion, the treble region is presented in a seamless, comforting, and satisfying manner overall.

Mid Range
When compared to other IEMs, the midrange sounds forward and musical in the mix, and the transient flow of energy feels constant and intact. Upper midrange and lower treble energy are essentially equal in intensity. In comparison to other IEMs in this price range, I find the response to be more melodious and aesthetically pleasing. Obviously, the Cadenza outperforms every other IEM in terms of tonality, especially in the mid range, but the Z300's response is more precise and nuanced. The C2 and the Khan are either perceived as being more airy and lean or as being overly spirited or forward. Similar to the others, but with a more personal tone, is the Piccolo. The vocals in this rendition sound forward and possess enough energy to come across clean and pleasing. The upper mid range of the Z300 sounds realistic and clear. Instruments, on the other hand, sound more expressive and resist the tendency to sound metallic. The vocals and the instruments sound their best in this region, which maintains the organic timbre. I'd say the mid bass leaks in the lower mid range and by how much determines how dull or clean it can sound. The lower mid range builds the foundation of the natural characteristics of every note in the upper frequencies. Similar to how all other IEMs sound in this area, the bass' influence causes the response to behave differently. The C2 and the khan sound clear, compared to the dense and thick Cadenza and piccolo. The Z300 strikes a better balance between sounding dense and clean; the instruments and vocals sound thick and dense as they should while maintaining clear, easily recognisable notes. The bass notes also appear to be thick and organic, which is how they might actually sound. The mid range is presented overall in a lively, musical, and pleasant manner.

To be completely honest, I'd say that the bass hits HBB's target preference perfectly. There is just enough bass to bring out the warmth and organic timbre while still being effective. Because the bass response of the Piccolo is one or two dB less than that of the Z300, the bass is more expansive and explosive than the Piccolo. However, because the Piccolo puts out a lot more impacts and hits, the bass may not feel as full on the Piccolo. However, the Khan's response is more explosive and quick, which some people may find overwhelming. If I were to discuss the control, the C2 would be the best-suited to handle it. Candenza excels in its ability to sound dense and organic while still being enjoyable to listen to. Although the presence of the mid range is really good, the bass on the Z300 is more prominent in the sub bass region. Similar to how the mid bass's slams are impactful and sound straightforward, the sub bass's response is well extended and induces a supple sensation of rumble in the ear canal with hard hitting punches. Sometimes, but usually when listening to bass-heavy tracks, the bass can become boomy. When compared to instruments like Piccolo or Cadenza, the bass is more textured and the note details are good. Even the bass guitar sounds natural with that thick and slamming response, thanks to the impressively realistic vibe that kick drum or toms produce. Overall, the bass response is powerful, punchy, and well-done.

Technical Performance

Regarding technical performance, the Z300 does face off against other IEMs in this price range, so I consider its capabilities to be higher than those of an average IEM. The imaging is sharp and the stage is wide enough to sound spacious. The notes are really well separated from one another as well. The resolution is good, particularly how expressively the macro details appear, and the speed of resolvability is comparable to other IEMs in this price range.


Soundstage, Sound Imaging & Separation
The stage set is effectively organised and constructed, and it is both wide and far. The notes' distant and distinct characteristics make them easy to distinguish, so the separation is really nice. Even though the imaging could be sharper, I still think it is better than the Piccolo and the Khan and can bring clarity to the mix.

Speed & Resolution
The resolution is also good, making it simple to approach macro details while finding enough interest in the micro details. Even though the attack and decay of notes could have been resolved more quickly, they are on par with other IEMs.

Sound Impressions

Tempotec V6 - The response of the Z300 sounds more clear and detailed when coupled with the V6. The mid range sounds forward and balanced, while the treble is more exuberant and full of good details. Because the bass is well-controlled and doesn't overpower the other tones, it sounds lively and crisp. I really like the pairing with the V6 because, aside from the imaging being sharper and the stage being larger, the technical performance feels the same.


iFi Hipdac - Because of the aggressive forwardness of the vocals and the instruments' attempts to respond more sharply, the treble becomes reserved and slightly dull when paired with the Hipdac, while the midrange completely takes over as the mix's main star. In the mix, the bass is given more prominence, and the mid-bass response may even increase. Except for the stage becoming a little bit smaller, I didn't notice any changes to the technical performance. Although this pairing provided a fun and exciting response, I still prefer V6 pairing to the Hipdac.


Megatron - I noticed that the response from the pairing with Megatron was becoming more transparent and lucid as I listened to it. While the bass response became more sub bass obsessed, the details and energy in the treble and mid range became more sophisticated. The stage got a little bit narrower while the imaging and resolution got better. The way the notes were divided up still felt the same. The technical performance felt the same aside from that. The treble region has sibilance, but it is rarely audible. I like the details, but I'd still rather pair the Z300 with the V6 because the transparent response lowers the tonality and makes the IEM sound generic.

Tracks Used
Luna Haruna - Glory days
Luna Haruna - Overfly
Rokudenashi - The Flame of Love
LMYK - 0 (zero)
Marina Horiuchi - Mizukagami no Sekai
Indila - Love Story
Indila - Tourner dans le vide
Earth, Wind & Fire - September
Tom Petty - Free Fallin'
Fleetwood Mac - Everywhere
Nirvana - Smells Like Teen Spirit
Blue Oyester Cult - (Don't Fear) The Reaper
Guns 'N' Roses - Sweet Child O' Mine
The Police - Every Breath You Take
Gojira - Amazonia
TV on the radio - Wolf Like Me
Bring Me To The Horizon - Can You Feel My Heart
Bring Me To The Horizon - sTraNgeRs
Avril Lavigne - Dare To Love Me
Travis - Love Will Come Through
Gotye - Somebody That I Used To Know
DJ Shadows - Six Days (Remix) [feat. Mos Def]
Lady Gaga - Just Dance
Lil Wayne - Lollipop
Flo Rida - Low
Sebastian Lopez & Flug - Electronic Measures
Federico Mecozzi - Blue (Da Ba Dee)
Wayve - Not Enough
Kai Wachi & TeZATalks - Ghost
NGHTMRE, Zeds Dead & Tori Levett - Shady Intentions
Zeds Dead, DNMO & GG Magree - Save My Grave
Skrillex, Noisia, josh pan & Dylan Brady - Supersonic
Skrillex & Nai Barghouti - Xena
Skrillex, Missy Elliott & Mr. Oizo - RATATA
Kaifi Khalil, Eva B & Wahab Bugti - Kana Yaari
A.R. Rahman, Javed Ali & Mohit Chauhan - Kun Faya Kun

To be completely honest, I'm not as enthusiastic about many of the audiophile collaborations as I am about the Z300 to recommend them. Their price point is reasonable, their build quality is promising, their sound is excellent for the money, and their tuning is excellent, with a great balance between the bass and higher frequencies. I would still say that these perform better than they are priced, even with my slight bias in favour of the tuning because it perfectly matches my preferences. So, yes, I wholeheartedly advise anyone who appreciates a balanced sound signature and a sound that sounds more natural than detailed and bright to invest in the Blon X HBB Z300.

submitted by GreenUserper to headphones [link] [comments]

2023.05.30 22:18 TheKnottyTies 40 [M4F] #nyc - Experienced Dom and lawyer ISO his good girl to breed….

The intro: Thank you for clicking. You are the attractive girl at work. You always come to work dolled up and know you catch glances from your co workers. The thought of them lusting after you makes your tiny panties wet. You often wonder if they try and peek under your skirt anytime you bend over slightly…..But you pay them no attention. You are too busy. Instead, you keep your head down and finish the job. You don’t create waves at work. At the end of the day, you leave work only to repeat the same ol same ol the next day. You crave more - to be bred by a dominant man. In fact,
Little does anyone know, you are a closet slut. You crave nothing more than to be used like a fuck toy by a dominant man and get pregnant. You want to be used day after day. You get off on being called a good girl and crave being used in front of your big mirror and told what to do. You want to be slowly stripped in front of your big mirror and slowly edged. The thought of leaving work, heading home, and hearing the lock click on your bedroom door as you prepare to be used makes you drenched; especially when you step in front of your mirror and say “I’m ready daddy, use me as you please”…. In short you are daddy’s “Good girl”…
About me: 40 WM, 6’2”, fairly fit, tan, blonde hair, blue eyes, and currently in NYC. Im a southern transplant and still maintain my southern draw. I’m an attorney and slave to big law by day but my calling is a daddy dom. I crave nothing more than having my good girl. I think about her often as I sit in my office behind closed doors. Outside of work I enjoy a good glass of scotch, shopping for silk ties, and CrossFit. You might have seen me in Central Park running if you go there on Saturdays. I have an extensive tie collection that is arranged like a rainbow (picture Pinterest porn). If you want to know more, just ask…
About you: an attractive female, who enjoys getting dolled up on occasion, and enjoys taking care of herself. You have a hard job and and need to be fulfilled when you get home. You need release and loads of cum. Sexual release.. Your relationship status is of no consequence to me. What happens online stays online. I’m a steel trap. You crave nothing more than to be a good girl, a slut, a perfect fucktoy. You have a big mirror and know how to use it. In sum, you want to hear the words “Good girl”…
Kinks: breeding, orgasm control, light bondage, edging, stripping, getting dolled up in front of the mirror, mirror play, panty play, very slight degradation, role play.
The ending (hopefully happy): I hope my post has piqued your interest and made your panties wet. If it has, please reach out. So I know you read to the end, please tell daddy what color and style of panties you are wearing. I hope to hear from you soon…. crosses fingers
submitted by TheKnottyTies to BreedingR4R [link] [comments]

2023.05.30 22:18 Biologicalphenomenon Accepting The End in complicated times

Wow, what a week it’s been my dear. The End of us followed by your darkest hour. Selfishly, I hope you wish I was more present. I hope you wished to walk out and swoop me up in a deep hug, holding me like there was nothing else in the world. Like we could figure anything out together. I wish you knew how much this pained me - breaking up with you followed by your darkest hour of need. I tried to be there for you in a way that was healthiest for both of us, which was incredibly hard to navigate after unwillingly leaving you.
I am pain again. The break up pain, quelled by the desire to protect you, finally is released from the dam. The knowledge that you and I have no promise to each other anymore, when all I want to do is have your back.
I wish you were different in that you are who you showed me you were. Not the dark guy that peeked through occasionally, still controlling all the actions. I wish you wanted to change for me. But if I wish you were different, then maybe we were never meant to be. Nonetheless, I still wish you loved me the way you said you did. The way you showed me all the time, but never respected when it was just you alone.
These past few nights when I fall asleep on my right side, I am flashed memories of cozying up next to you. Sighing with content, nuzzling in for your touch and your warmth, my head on your shoulder and your arm around me. You give me a forehead kiss. I miss your touch. I miss how you looked at me. How we felt like the only people in the world together. Us in the dark of your bedroom at night. The way your hands trickle across my skin giving me goose bumps. I miss my hand on your chest, running down to your belly to snuggle you closer. That would be followed by even more forehead kisses.
Was it real? Did I interpret all of those wrong? What did any of that mean to you while you were disrespecting me despite my patience with you? I am not perfect and I have done my own unforgivable acts, but I tried my hardest to give you time and space to grow yourself. When it was clear you weren’t capable of doing that on your own, I asked you to get help. When you said no, I had to walk away for my own good. The worst way to walk away. Out of selfishness.
It’s all over now anyways. Your apartment is being emptied, never for you to return to the way we had it. My nest - my second home - being disassembled. We will never have those moments again in that bedroom. Not even if I ran back to you and tried.
I wish things were different. I wish you were different. I wish you wanted to change for me. But I know i have to let go of whatever story I told myself about us. It was never going to be true anyways. I would’ve let you hurt me in any way as long as you showed remorse and took action for change. Please show me an attempt. I don’t want anyone but you. Use this time to be your best self when you get out of this funk. Run back to me and tell me you are finally ready. I’ll kiss you right then and there.
submitted by Biologicalphenomenon to UnsentLetters [link] [comments]

2023.05.30 22:17 chuckhustmyre [TH] MIRROR IMAGE by Chuck Hustmyre

William Bailey's forehead shattered the mirror like a sledgehammer. The last thing he remembered before he blacked out was the feeling that he was falling through the mirror. Sub-cranial hematoma, a concussion, maybe even a cracked skull--that had to be the reason for the strange feeling. The mirror was mounted on the wall just to the right of the bar, four feet tall by about three feet wide. As consciousness slipped away, common sense and his strong belief in the rational world told him that he couldn't fall through the mirror. He must have bounced his head off the wall and be falling toward the floor.
It seemed like just a second or two before William's eyes popped open. He lay on his back, on the hard wood floor of Fausto's, with Johnny Davis towering over him. Big Johnny probably wanted to finish him off, maybe kill him, and finally end their twenty-year-old feud. Either Big Johnny Davis and the ceiling lights above him were spinning, or William's head was spinning, but either way something wasn't right.
He raised his head and looked to his left, toward the bar. Except the bar wasn't there. Instead, he was staring at the bathrooms. That didn't make sense. It must be his brain that had gotten spun around. William turned his head and peered over his size-ten wingtips at the busted mirror. The wooden frame and most of the glass still clung to the wall, the rest sat broken on the ground. The bar had to be on his left. He looked again, and still saw the bathrooms. A brain bruise, maybe some fluid pressure building up might be the cause of it.
"Get up!" Big Johnny Davis said.
William looked up at him. Johnny stood behind him, just beyond his shoulders. Perfect place for him to stomp my head into the plank floor. Except Johnny Davis was holding out his hand.
"Come on, we've got to get out of here."
Davis looked scared. It was the first time William Bailey could ever remember Johnny Davis looking scared. William had always been scared of Big Johnny, but Big Johnny wasn't scared of anything or anyone.
Police sirens wailed in the distance.
Johnny glanced over his shoulder. William craned his neck to look where Johnny was looking, saw he was staring at the front door like a man terrified something bad was going to come through it. Big Johnny looked down at him again and pumped his hand. "Come on, get up. They'll be here any second."
"Who?" William asked. "Who'll be--" But before he finished, Big Johnny Davis reached down, grabbed him by both arms, and jerked him to his feet.
As he was dragged toward the door by the only man in town who truly hated him, William glanced up and saw the rusted metal sign nailed above the door. He had to have a concussion, probably severe; that had to be it, because the letters on the sign were backward. It said TUO.
As Johnny Davis pulled him out the door, William heard tires skid on the pavement.
"Where's your car?" Johnny asked.
William twisted away from the big man's grip, then turned to his left. "In the alley." He started to run, still not sure exactly what he was running from.
Behind him, Big John shouted, "The alley's over here."
William kept running but turned his head back toward Johnny. "I know where the alley--"
Something hit him across the midsection and toppled him to the ground. He got his hands up just in time to break his fall and managed to keep his head from slamming into the sidewalk. When he looked up he saw a shopping cart tumbled onto its side.
Once again, William found himself lying flat on his back, this time amid the spilled contents of the cart. It had been filled with junk: paper bags full of dirty clothes, canned food, bags of potato chips, a diamond shaped, orange road sign, and other trash that looked like it had been collected from back alley garbage bins.
The homeless man who'd been pushing the cart was scrawny, and wafer thin. His skin was the color of old shoe leather, and he wore a long gray beard, tangled and matted with food and bits of filth. He was sprawled on the ground next to his cart, half sitting up, staring at William with his bright blue eyes.
Car doors slammed, men shouted.
"You better get going," the homeless man said, as he cocked his head. "The police after you?"
Before William could assure the old man that the police weren't after him--he was a respected businessman and family man--someone behind him grabbed him under both arms and pulled him to his feet. William turned and found himself staring into the face of Johnny Davis. "The alley's that way," Johnny said, pointing to the other side of Fausto's. With one hand gripping William's jacket, Johnny dashed across the front of the bar toward the alley. The alley--right there, plain as day--on the other side of Fausto's, right where it shouldn't be, where it couldn't be. William had been here a thousand times. As you stepped out of the bar, the alley was on the left, Brockton's Ace Hardware on the right. Now everything was mixed up and in the wrong place.
Johnny Davis turned down the alley, dragging William behind him. After just a few steps, a spotlight flashed in front of them.
"Stop!" a voice commanded. "Get on the ground."
William couldn't see because Johnny was in his way. "Who's that yelling?" he asked.
Big Johnny stopped and William plowed into his back.
"Get on the ground," the voice boomed again.
William poked his head out from behind Johnny Davis's back. The blinding white light was in his face. He couldn't see a thing.
Big Johnny sagged, then crashed to his knees. Instinctively, William bent forward and grabbed hold of Johnny. "What's the matter?"
More pops.
Johnny's big hand reached out and shoved William back toward the street. "Back door," he wheezed, then plunged forward onto his face.
William stood alone. Behind the white spotlight he saw blue police lights flashing. He was totally exposed.
He saw flashes--little yellow spurts of flame--as something tugged at his jacket.
William had said "back door." What back door? Fausto's had a back door, but it didn't lead anywhere except to the open space behind the building used for trash and deliveries. Twenty feet of asphalt between the bar and the back of the building on the next block. William had parked his car at the end of the alley, but the police cars--or whatever they were--had the alley blocked off. The building behind Fausto's also had an alley that ran alongside it, but the owner had closed it off to keep the bums out. He'd put up a gate, padlocked it, and topped it with razor wire. It was a dead end.
Two more pops. Dead end or not it was better than standing here and getting shot. William turned and ran. He burst through the front door of Fausto's, dashed through the bar, past the shattered mirror, hit the back door at a dead run, and was outside behind the bar within seconds.
He could see the tail end of his car sticking out from the corner of the building, but with the cops blocking the alley, his car was useless to him. William glanced across the open space to the alley that ran next to the other building. The gate, the padlock, the razor wire--all still in place. To his right an overflowing garbage dumpster sat beside the back of Fausto's, jammed against the fire ladder.
The fire ladder.
An iron ladder bolted to the cinderblock wall.
William looked up. The top of the ladder was lost in shadow, but he knew it went up two stories to the roof. Last summer, when the toilet had stopped up, he'd come out back to take a leak and had stood behind the dumpster, peeing against the wall like a kid, one hand draped over the bottom rung of the ladder.
He slipped behind the dumpster. The smell made him gag. The bottom of the ladder was four feet from the ground. William reached up as high as he could, grabbed hold of the third rung, then hauled himself up.
Through the partially open back door came the sounds of heavy feet pounding on the hard wood floor of the bar.
Halfway up the ladder, he was exhausted--and scared. Shaking, he white-knuckled the ladder. Being more than ten feet off the ground terrified him. He needed a break, just a second or two to catch his breath. There was enough moonlight so he could see into one of the second story windows. Inside, junk was piled everywhere. Old barstools, a busted jukebox, furniture stacked almost to the ceiling. Years ago, old man Fausto lived on the second floor, but Jake, who'd bought the place from the old man and had decided to keep the name, used it for storage.
Below him, William heard the back door thrown open so hard it banged against the wall. He scrambled up until he reached the top of the ladder, then hoisted himself over the edge of the roof. Down on the ground a voice shouted, "There he is, up there."
Another gunshot. What the hell was going on?
The unmistakable sound of feet--fast feet, in shape feet, boot shod feet--scurrying up the ladder. Standing on the tar and pebble roof, William glanced around for something he could use as a weapon, shocked he was even thinking of such a thing. A five gallon plastic bucket was all there was. It stood upright, filled with rainwater. He picked it up and peered over the edge. A uniformed policeman was three quarters of the way up the ladder. Two more cops were right behind him.
William looked at the heavy bucket in his hands, thought about just dumping the water onto them but knew it wouldn't stop them. There was only one way to stop them, and that was to knock them off the ladder. He thought about warning them, maybe trying to scare them away. But they were cops. You couldn't scare them away.
So why had they shot Johnny Davis, and why were they shooting at him?
The first officer looked up and saw William staring down at him with the bucket in his hands. Their eyes locked for just a second and the cop stopped. In those eyes that stared back at him, William saw an almost maniacal determination that sent a shiver down his spine. The officer held his grip on the ladder with his right hand while his left dropped to the pistol resting in his gleaming leather holster. In one smooth motion he drew his gun and raised it toward William.
William Bailey tossed the bucket down the ladder. A shot rang out an instant before the heavy bucket thudded into the cop's head. Like a gruesome traffic accident happening before his eyes, William couldn't help but watch as the policeman fell, taking his two partners down with him. The last thing William saw before he turned away was a jumbled heap of black uniforms resting on the concrete below the ladder.
* * *
Hiding in the shadow of a telephone booth, thinking. Home. He had to get home. Had to get back to Marge and the kids. Maybe somehow he could explain what had happened. Vincent, his attorney, he would know what to do--maybe--but he was a civil lawyer not a criminal attorney. He wrote contracts and did personal injury on the side; he didn't get people out of jail who'd killed a cop by dropping a bucket of water on his head and knocking him and his buddies off the side of a building.
As the cab he'd been waiting for pulled up, William stepped out from the dark and climbed into the back seat.
The driver turned around. "Where to?"
William pulled the door shut. "Uptown. 1721 Audubon Court."
"Fare's gonna be about fifteen dollars. After dark, I gotta have the money up front."
"Company policy." The cabbie shrugged. "A lot of drivers been getting stiffed."
William opened his wallet, pulled out a twenty and handed it across the seat. The driver took it and almost slipped it into his cash box, then took a second look at the bill. His face tightened. "What the hell is this?"
With the bill stretched between his hands, the cabbie stared at it for a second then looked up at William. "You're either the dumbest counterfeiter who ever lived or you've been had."
"What you are talking about?"
The driver faced the bill toward William but didn't hand it back to him. "It's printed backwards."
William looked at the twenty-dollar bill in the man's hand. It looked like--it was--an almost brand new bill, nothing wrong with it as far as he could tell.
"Get out of my cab," the driver said.
William didn't know what the man was talking about but knew he didn't want to get out. This cab was his only way home. He reached for the twenty. "If you don't like that one I've got another--"
The driver pulled his hands away. "I ain't giving this back. I got to turn it in to the police." He dropped one hand behind his seat back, then came up clutching a pistol, an old German Luger by the looks of it, the muzzle aimed straight at William's face. "In fact, I bet they give me a reward if I bring you in with it."
William jerked the door handle and rolled out into the street. He sprang to his feet and ran, the driver's yells just background noise. Has everyone gone crazy or is it just me?
Home. He had to get home.
* * *
Rain. Driving, relentless rain. William was just two blocks from Fausto's. In two hours, that's as far as he'd gotten--one block an hour. Police cars prowled the neighborhood, shinning spotlights into every nook and cranny, lighting up every shadow. Everyone in Fausto's knew his name. He'd been going there three or four nights a week after work for years. The cabbie had his address. William had given it to him when he told the hack driver where to drop him.
Ten o'clock at night, with nowhere to go and no way to get there, William sat behind the closed Goodwill store, under an overhang that barely kept the rain off of him.
Huddled in the dark, head sunk between his knees, he hadn't heard anyone approach.
"You don't look so good."
Startled, William looked up, prepared to run again. It was the homeless man he'd knocked over outside the bar. The one with the shopping cart and the leathery skin. William relaxed a little. "Excuse me?"
The man pushed his cart closer. "You're not supposed to be here."
William looked around. "Why not?"
The old man grinned, half his teeth gone.
William found it nearly impossible to tell his age. The guy could be forty and maybe had lived a hard life, or perhaps he was a well-preserved seventy, pickled by a lifetime of booze. William waved him off, expecting a plea for money. "I can't help you."
The old man stopped just a few feet away. "Everything's out of place isn't it?" He had a strange lilting voice. Almost like an accent.
And he was right. Everything was out of place--from Johnny Davis to the cab driver--everything was wrong.
Strapped to the back of the old man's shopping cart was a plastic sign about the size of a loaf of bread. William recognized the sign, the words, the colors, the logo of a local supermarket chain, all were familiar to him, but the letters were backward, unreadable.
Rainwater ran down William's face. He pointed to the sign. "Why's it written like that?"
The old man looked at the sign then back at William. "Like what?" he said, then shuffled away behind his basket.
* * *
The rain came down even harder. William slouched in a darkened doorway across the street from Fausto's. Nothing made sense. Everything was messed up, backward, out of whack. Almost like this wasn't his home, like he was a stranger seeing it for the first time.
But that was crazy. He'd grown up here, gone to Brother Martin High School, dated Jenny Underhill who went to Cabrini, lost her to Johnny Davis, then got her back only to lose her again the first year of college to some kid who drove a Mustang. Two years later William married Marge at Saint Luke's. They had two kids.
This town was his home. He recognized it. He knew the people here, Big Johnny and Zeke, the bartender at Fausto's. But things were different, little things. John Davis for one. In trying to help him, the big man had gotten himself killed. That wasn't John Davis--at least not the one William Bailey had known since seventh grade. Everything looked the same but wasn't. Nothing was quite right.
But they knew him--or someone like him.
A strange sensation crept over him that made the hair on the back of his neck rise. Maybe he didn't belong here. Maybe everything wasn't as it appeared. Maybe this wasn't his home. But if that were true, then whose home was it? Another thought, even scarier seeped through his brain. If he was here, who was there--at his home?
William dropped his head into his hands. Just considering such nonsense was a waste of time. Yet, here he was scanning the street, thinking of going back inside Fausto's, back to that mirror.
Not much time to think about it. The bar closed at three AM and it was already two-thirty. When he'd left--run for his life with Big Johnny--most of the mirror was still in the frame hanging on the wall.
Something about that damned mirror.
But Fausto's was dangerous, so a couple of hours ago William had found another mirror. In the men's room of a twenty-four hour gas station. The Chevron on North Rampart.
He had approached it cautiously, afraid he was going mad. As he peered over the sink into the mirror, he saw what he always saw, his own reflection. Holding up his left hand, he looked at the image in the mirror, at the watch strapped to his wrist. He noticed that the man in the mirror wore his watch on his right hand. Just the opposite.
William stood in the gas station bathroom for twenty minutes before he worked up his nerve. Finally, he took a deep breath, leaned back, then slammed his forehead into the dirt-streaked mirror. The glass shattered and cut his head. Blood dribbled off the tip of his nose into the sink. His reflection stared out at him from the other side of the mirror, blood running down his face, too.
I have gone crazy!
So the gas station hadn't worked out. Ducking police cruisers, William had wandered the streets, his head reeling. What was he doing?
On the sidewalk, he found a sopping wet magazine that the wind had blown up against the side of a newspaper machine. The cover caught his eye. He picked it up. It was printed backwards, the letters reversed, words running right to left. The spine was on the right. As he flipped through the pages, he couldn't read a thing. Then William had an idea.
In the bathroom of an all night restaurant he held the wet magazine up to the mirror. Perfect. The reflected image was normal, spine on the left, words running left to right, all the letters printed correctly. He could read it clearly. But what did it mean?
Then he drove his head into that mirror. The glass cracked. Someone walked in, a skinny waiter wearing an apron. He stood gawking as William leaned over the sink with tears of pain filling his eyes.
The waiter looked at the broken mirror, then jabbed a finger at William's bloody forehead. "What the hell are you doing?"
"An accident," he mumbled, pressing his fingers against the fresh cut.
The waiter turned. "I'm calling the cops."
William Bailey ran.
Now he was huddled in the rain staring at Fausto's across the street. Because he had nowhere else to go.
He stood and walked toward Fausto's. When he was halfway across the street, a police car glided around the corner, headlights reflecting off the wet pavement. The cops in no hurry, just cruising. William forced himself to keep walking, not to run. One foot in front of the other. In the downpour, odds were that the cops wouldn't even recognize him.
But they did recognize him.
The police car slid to a stop as its high beams clicked on and its blue strobe lights started popping. Both front doors flew open.
Like a sinner seeking the sanctuary of a church, William ran straight for Fausto's door. As he burst inside, Zeke looked up from behind the bar. "William! What the hell are you doing here?"
He ignored the bartender, running right past him, eyes focused on the broken mirror and its busted frame hanging on the wall.
Zeke again, "The cops been looking all over for you. Say you killed two officers and--"
Behind him the front door banged against the wall. "Police!" a voice behind him commanded. "Stop."
But William didn't stop. He kept running--running straight for the mirror. Reflected in its fragmented pieces he saw two uniformed police officers behind him, heard their boots pounding on the wooden floor. Just ten feet separated him from the mirror. At full speed he took two strides then dove. He stretched his arms out overhead and tucked his chin into his chest as his feet left the floor.
He felt one hand hit wall and the other strike broken glass. Then his head hit. More glass cracked, more skin split.
* * *
William's eyes popped open. He was staring at the ceiling. Rough voices, even rougher hands. They rolled him over onto his stomach and jerked his arms behind his back. He felt cold steel on his wrists and heard the metallic ratcheting as the handcuffs tightened and bit into his skin.
He tilted his head up and rested his chin against the floor. Blood poured down the side of his face; he watched it pool on the floor then seep between the wooden planks. By rolling his eyes up he could just see the empty spot on the wall where the mirror had hung. Lying on the floor, three feet from his head, was the broken frame and the rest of the glass.
The two cops grabbed his arms and yanked him to his feet, sending waves of pain through his shoulders and wrists. As they spun him toward the door, one of the officers said, "You're under arrest."
"Why?" William asked.
The officer pressed his face into William's. "Murdering your family for starters."
"My...my family." William felt his stomach cinch and his bowels turn to ice. A thought he'd had earlier in the night echoed inside his head. If he was here, who was there--at his home.
As the cops dragged him across the floor, William glanced up and saw the rusted metal sign nailed above the door.
He was home.
submitted by chuckhustmyre to shortstories [link] [comments]

2023.05.30 22:13 russianbot716 Chattanooga 70.3 Race Recap

First shot at a recap so let’s see how we do!
Race Info
What – IM 70.3: Chattanooga
Where – Chattanooga, TN USA
When - Sunday, May 21st, 2023
Overall Goals
- PR - Yes (previous PR was a 5:30:12 at Ohio 70.3 in 2022)
- Sub 5:00 - Heck no
- Not blow up on run - Sorta?
TL;DR and Results
This was my 3rd 70.3 and my first with my coach who has been training me since the start of the fall 2022
Swim – 35:07
T1 – 5:03
Bike – 2:49:55
T2 – 3:13
Run – 1:51:57
Total time – 5:25:14
58th in AG (M27), 579 overall
Was a college soccer player (GK) and after college had a foray into BJJ and MMA with a couple fights. Realized that was dumb for longevity and switched to triathlon
2-3 sessions a week of 2.4K to 3.6K yards per session. Some workouts are speed focused, some are technique focused, so on and so forth. I have seen a good improvement on CSS these last few month from 1:40 to 1:33. I did swim team as a kid so I have been trying to recapture some of that swim experience. I also felt some recent breakthrough with decreasing my stroke rate and using fewer more powerful strokes. Have been very happy with my improvement these last months. I still remain a terrible to nonexistent kicker
Goal split - 35 Minutes
typically rides a week. Longer weekend ride and 2 during the week (on zwift trainer) with focus on cadence or power or VO2. I have a big problem with low cadence, recently been trying to get up into the 80s for when I am normally riding. However when I start putting power down I start reverting to the low 70s cadence of riding. As far as FTP I had worked my FTP up to 257 leading up to the start of the season. However I have felt pretty weak these last 2 month leading up to this actual race. It has been harder for me to put the power down. However on the outdoor longer rides I have felt very strong and very comfortable riding for longer periods. Outdoors I ride without power so will probably need to make that investment soon.
Goal Split - 2:30:00
Running has steadily improved with increased mileage and more speedwork. Recent 5K test had improved me to 6:33 for my fastest 5K. Additionally in the most recent half marathon race I had I finished 1:30:12 with a 6:57 avg. biggest issues I have been dealing with are some pain in my left Achilles at the very start of runs that typically disappears after a mile or 2. Typically 3-4 runs a week (1 tempo short, longer run on the weekend, Z2 10k).
Goal Split - 1:40:00
Race Morning
Woke up at 4 AM to get the body rolling. Had my usual prerace breakfast of 2 English muffins with peanut butter and honey as well as a power armour with caffeine and a cup of coffee. Transition setup right at 4:40 to give me plenty of time for the most important part of the morning, THE BM. Went back to my hotel and was able to get showered and dressed up for the race. Headed over to the busses for drop-off to the swim and get to the swim start 20-30 mins before the race start
Swim – seeded myself in the 30-35 minute group and set off! for those that fear swimming Chatty is a great race. It is a with the current swim so it felt like we were flying down the river. Dealt with a slight leak in my left goggle the entire swim which was pretty annoying but it was far from terrible. Also I forgot that in Chatty the swim is actually 1.4 miles instead of 1.2, so as I swam over 2100 yards I was thinking WTF why are we still swimming? This was the first time I seeded myself in the 30-35 min so I did deal with less of the slower swimmers who seed incorrectly. However I did still find quite a few in front of me who should not have been where they were. Mini Rant here, but seriously people why are you doing this? IDK this is just a huge pet peeve of mine when I have to swim all the way around a person (small problems I know...) rant over. But got through it without any real major contact with anyone
35:07 @ 1:23/100 yards - 7:48 PR!
T1 – Never had a wetsuit stripper before! that was fun. But this transition is long as crap. My watch clocked my total transition distance as almost half a mile which was crazy to me. Also I was a little slow getting my socks on today which was unusual. all and all a odd transition where I just felt slow and unfocused on what I was doing.
Bike – Set off on what had previously been my nemesis for my first 70.3 but felt like I would have an area of great improvement for today! with my goal of 2:30 I knew my goal average speed was around 22MPH, and for the first bit we were well on track! If I look at my average speed through the first 26 miles I was averaging 21.6 MPH. And this is a course with rolling hills most of the way. Goals of the bike were to try and really spin to get through the hill and not stuck grinding it out as this would destroy my legs. Also wanted to keep on my nutrition as I felt this really caused me to blow up on my runs in Galveston and Ohio. Fueling per hour was 1 x 55g carb Gatorade mix bottle and a maurten gel to get to 80 g carb per hours. Would then rinse down the body and sip water through the aid stations. after I burned through my 2 bottles I sipped on the Gatorade endurance bottle taken from the aide stations. In total took 160 g carb + some of the Gatorade endurance for nutrition. So all was going ok until after the "big" climb halfway. Not sure if it was fueling or the headwind that started. But my average speed just tanked. I felt like I had no power. When I tried to flex and stretch my legs I could just feel the damage in them. Not good. Then with the slower speed my mental game fell apart. mile 40-50 I was in a really bad mental spot and had decided at several points to just quit when I got back into transition as there was no way in hell I would break 5 hours. I felt like a failure and a loser. why had I been training 9-12 hours every week to just suck? Talk about a tale of 2 half's. Managed to get back to transition. Mini rant #2 - draft packs... screw you. A literal peloton of 8-10 people 2 abreast 5 deep flew by me at mile 45 and let me tell you I was big mad. Rant over. Also saw a guy lose control at 30 MPH and hit the deck pretty hard, hope he's ok. That was a nice bike to wreck on :( Also another guy almost started peeing on me (I was behind him) near the end and definitely did not use enough water to wash himself down after LOL.
2:49:55 - 20.07 MPH - 11ish minutes slower than PR :(
T2 – Made it into T2 and said alright lets just run the first 5k and see how we are doing then we can DNF if you really are that miserable. So got everything racked and ditched the 10 maurtens I had somehow acquired on the bike. but threw on my trusty Saucony Endorphin Pro 2s and set off
Run – That first hill out of transition took my already bad mental state and threw it into the fire. So I have never come closer to quitting than that moment. I did not somehow. And then the run flattened out. So after 1.5 miles I actually started to feel good mentally and that's when I knew I was going to finish. I also saw how my pace was going and I knew I would at least PR on the day if I just held the pacing I was doing. after the 1st aid station I decided I wouldn't push too hard on the run and simply walk through the aid stations. avg pace as 7:40-8:00 while running then would walk through the aid stations. in the aid stations I would douse with water and take Gatorade in. Also was putting ice in the suit. I think in total I had 2-3 gels throughout the run? and I stopped at every single aide station for drink and splashing myself with water. Besides the aid stations the only section I had to walk was an incredibly steep little hill right before the first bridge crossing to the other side of the river. That hill is a real ball buster. In terms of improvements I think if I really want to chop some time I have some free time if I don't walk through aid stations. I need to get better at doing that on the run to enable me to get that free time. Also I really didn't push at all my heartrate was pretty much in high Z2 for me the whole run. Also I was dealing with side stitches off and on the whole run so not sure how I can prevent that in the future but if I could eliminate that I would be a much happier camper. Also lap 2 on the run was SO CROWDED mind you there were 3k athletes but man that was a busy run course for the second lap. Saw the shoot and had the tear well up a little. Got over the line and had a quick little 30 second sob so that was that.
1:51:57 - 8:31 AVG - 11 min PR
Final Thoughts
Chatty has me feeling some really mixed emotions. I really was sure I was in for massive PR., chopping 30 minutes off my last PR. Instead I got a measly 5. Maybe I am being to hard on myself or am being greedy with the amount of time I feel I should be dropping? However when I think about it practically it is a much harder course with 2.3K feet in climbing over the bike and 600 or so feet in climbing on the run. So to PR on a harder course is good right? Just a confusing weekend for me about how to feel about it. I think nutrition is still and issue as I am left thinking why did I feel so weak on the bike? I have read some literature that 90-100g carb may be even better now so I think I will implement this into training. Also could I have been tougher and gone harder on that run? If you saw me out there I was in an blue and orange suit with a white helmet riding and old black and blue trek equinox 7 or black running hat. Next race is in July with the Happy Valley 70.3 so I have even more climbing to look forward to there. Will I be able to further PR? Let me know what y'all think of this write up or your thoughts on all this!
submitted by russianbot716 to triathlon [link] [comments]

2023.05.30 22:11 Grue_Grugla_Hind Some Karens found in the wild are totally in the right, and had to be a Karen due to poor customer service.

I currently work in retail, and I've encountered the worst of the worst. I know how vile some customers can get, truly.
I really do appreciate the internet's support for retail and service workers, as well as the widespread adoption of the notion that the customer is not always right. That being said, sometimes you have an employee behind a counter with such a shit-ass attitude, that it will turn a would-be good customer into a Karen. The bad attitude employee will then use that scenario as further fuel as to why they hate working a customer facing role, which in turn makes them even more jaded and more standoffish for the next customer, perpetuating the cycle.
A Little Anecdote for Those Interested:
I went to buy some pants the other day. I work at a clothing store myself, so I don't have this big headed idea that I think these employees are beneath me or anything. Anyway, I walk up to the counter smiling and ready to pay. The two guys behind the counter, both of whom were texting on their phones, glance up at me as I approach. By the time I set the pants on the counter, they were both already looking back at their phones. 10 to 15 seconds must've passed before one of them passive aggressively sighed and rang my shit up. As I left, the alarm went off. Security tag was still on the pants. The same dude comes to remove it, but doesn't say anything other than lets out another sigh.
It's like c'mon dude, I have the same job as you, this shit ain't hard. A little effort goes a long way, and you'll even hate your job less if you do so. Part of me wanted to act a Karen in that moment, not going to lie, but it's a little exhausting and didn't want to cause a scene. Point is some people can unnecessarily create a Karen.
submitted by Grue_Grugla_Hind to ControversialOpinions [link] [comments]

2023.05.30 22:08 Jurgasdottir What do you think about the name Vika?

I'm thinking ahead for a potential second child and girl names are super hard for us to agree on. We are in Germany so would pronouce it Vee-ka.
Also ideas for middle names would be appreciated. So far my list includes: Luise (loo-EE-zə), Luisa (loo-EE-za), Sophie (zo-FEE) and Silvia (ZIL-vee-ə). I included pronounciation because it's sometimes really different to the english one. All of those are from Behind the name because I'm not good with writing them.
My favorites would be Vika Sophie and Vika Luisa. What do you think?
submitted by Jurgasdottir to namenerds [link] [comments]

2023.05.30 22:08 StruggleFest2023 My abusive mother (49F) left and now my Father (52M) is starting to ask Abusive and extremely neglectful to me (21F) and my 3 Siblings (23F, 16F, and 18M)

Using a throwaway becuase I know some people have my reddit username and I am def outing myself due to this level of detail. A year ago, after threatening to leave for 16+ years, my mother (49F) finally moved out of our house. Growing up she was extreemly verbally abusive, she encouraged my younger sister, lets call her Rachel (16F) to consider bulimia, repeatedly told all 4 of us that she never wanted children and that our father forced her to have us, that she misses when we were babies and couldn't speak to her, etc. She also did stuff like belting my brother to chairs (18M) so he would sit still (he had undiagnosed ADHD), and removing his door from its hinges for about a year because he talked back to her. She also twice almost broke down my door when I locked myself in my room because she threatened to hurt me. Growing up we all thought that if my mother left everything would be so much better, because we all loved my Dad (52M) and thought he was perfect; just being tortured every day by our mother. None of us understood why he didn't leave her, but he always claimed it was for the good of Rachel and because he was afraid of losing custody. He continued to say that until my mother left, despite the mental state of Rachel clearly continuing to deteriorate. He clearly never thought my mother would leave him, and was really betrayed when she did.
Now that my mother is gone, my father has not adjusted at all to being a single parent. He only goes grocery shopping every other month, he refuses to learn the new diet I need to adhere to due to a new nuerological condition I have developed (I have lost over 10 lbs in the last 3 weeks because eating has become so difficult), he goes to his girlfriends (48?F) house to hang out for 2-3 days at a time at random pretty much every week or every other week. He also keeps complaining about my siblings to each other, creating a major rift between my two sisters (16F and 23F) that has gotten to the point where they cannot be in the same room together without fighting. He has also started to get extremely angry at myself or my sisters and start screaming at us, often saying stuff he used to verbatim say to my mother when they fought. Whenever one of us bring up with him that we think he needs to change his behavior, he will get enraged and state that he is doing his best, that we cannot change him, and how dare we question his parenting or speak down to him like this. Life at my house has somehow become even worse than it used to be and none of my siblings are really in a financial position to just leave, and even if we could we would be leaving my younger sister behind alone with him. And he keeps threatening to give my mother partial custody of Rachel as a potential punishment when she "talks back" to him. I am at a loss of what to do, after a pretty massive fight this last weekend (as part of it I asked him to please stop telling my sisters different negative things about each other and feeding the rift between then, and he became enraged at me suggesting that the issue between the two of them had anything to do with him) he suggested family therapy between myself, my sisters, and himself but I think he just wants to do that because he thinks he is in the right and that a therapist will back him up. I am not sure though because after the fight he stood in the dark and eavesdropped to me ranting to my boyfriend (20M) after the fight, where I mentioned how mad I am that I put myself in a finchial position where I can now not leave the house immediately. I am just at a loss as to what to do right now, part of me just wants to get to a point where I can leave but I don't want to leave Rachel or my little brother behind. I also keep recontextualizing my childhood in my head and starting to forgive my Mom which I don't know if thats healthy since I have selectively forgotten a lot of the traumatic or horrible things she used to do to me and she is at a point where she is in complete denial about our childhood. Should I consider encouraging Rachel to give my mother a shot, as she may treat her better than my father is right now? Should I just take advantage of my father's constant absence and just live like he doesn't live with me? How do I prevent my sisters from irreprably damaging their relationship? Are the actions of my father normal during a divorce and maybe we do need to give him more slack? For context my older sister (23F) thinks MUCH higher of my father than the rest of us, and she is pretty heavily favored by him, but she is still considering moving out potentially mostly due to Rachel's behavior toward her.
Also the reason these actions are making me consider letting my mother back into my life is I am wondering how much of what she did was due to being treated this way by my father, and also it's really hard to just have no parents that care about you, and she has been reaching out and going to therapy.
TL;DR! My father (52M) has started to treat myself (21F) and my sisters (16F and 23F) similar to how he used to treat our abusive mother (49F) who left about a year ago ie. constantly screaming at us, losing his temper, telling us we cannot change him etc. and also he keeps dissapearing for days at a time to visit his gf (48?F) and not buying basics like groceries. I have been considering letting my mother back into my life and also moving out but I am worried about my 16 year old sister. Overall I really don't know what to do, focusing on school and work is becoming impossible.
submitted by StruggleFest2023 to relationships [link] [comments]

2023.05.30 22:08 coolwali I platinummed Sly Cooper 4: Thieves in Time on VITA to get the secret ending.

Hello everyone. I recently platinummed the PSVITA version of Sly Cooper 4: Thieves in Time as my 28th platinum. It only took me 10 years, 4 weeks, 22 hours to do it. Did you know this game hides its true ending behind the platinum?
Anyway, I'd like to talk about the experience.
Sly 4 was a bit confusing and inconsistent to platinum. I get the feeling the game wants you to platinum it given how on every loading screen it shows you how much you've completed the trophies and collectibles for the game. And that there no missable trophies. But there are some decisions that don't help with that.
So I'd say there are around 3 groups of Trophies in this game.
The first group are the mandatory story trophies. Not much to say about these. There's nothing missable here and the names are quite cool. I do like looking at the percent completion to see how many players completed the PS VITA version of the game. Did you know that around 73% of players booted this game up and completed the prologue? And only around 25% of players even beat the game. The biggest drop happened around the start of Episode 2 since the completion dropped from around 60%to 48% for some reason.
The second group are the trophies for the collectibles and arcades. I'll talk about these later.
The third and final group of trophies are for miscellaneous challenges. I'll start with these first and highlight some of the notable ones that I missed on my first playthrough.
"Crazed Climber - Scale the dragon lair in under 90 seconds". This was one I missed during my original playthrough of the game. This requires you to climb a giant tower filled with traps in the mission "Mechanical Menace". And this one was really fun even though it took me like 3 attempts. Sly 4's movement and platforming is quite fun so having a mini speedrun challenge using Sir Galleth's moveset was a treat. The one criticism I have here is that the game drops a checkpoint as soon as you get to the top. If you haven't gotten the trophy by then and need to retry, you need to quit to the main menu/hideout and reselect the mission, skip through all the cutscenes and get back there which gets annoying. At least the tower is near the start of the mission.
"Ancient Warfare 3 - Crackshot 10 enemies within 65 seconds. Sly's ancestor, Tennessee "Kid" Cooper" has an ability similar to "Dead Eye" from Red Dead Redemption where he can slow down time, mark enemies and objects and then instantly shoot them dead called "Crackshot". I never got this trophy when I first played the game because there wasn't much opportunity to. There aren't large groups of enemies wandering around that you can casually get 10+ of them line up for you to shoot them. Plus, I was already good at shooting them normally. I tried running around in the open world trying to lure enemies but found it wasn't working. There's a mission in the game called "Blind Date" that throws lots of rabbit enemies that chuck TNT at you that worked better for me.
"Hubba Hubba - Don't miss a beat in the Carmelita dance game." This trophy is, without a doubt, the main reason to platinum this game on VITA instead of the PS3. So nobody can see you play this dumb minigame and call you a Furry. This trophy requires you to complete the minigame where Carmilita needs to disguise herself as a belly dancer and dance to distract guards while the Cooper gang try and open a door. You just need to hit the button prompts perfectly. So you can ignore the times the minigame asks you to shake the VITA from side to side like a champagne bottle to make Carmilita shake her ass (seriously, why does this game sexualize Carmilita so much? None of the past Sly games did it).
"Get To the Chopper - Don't take any damage during Up In Smoke." This one was actually fun. In the mission "Up in Smoke", you have to control an RC Helicopter and drop bombs on turrents while drones and mines chase you down. It was fun dodging and weaving through them. There are 3 phases to this mission and you have a checkpoint in between every phase. So if you mess up, you can just restart the checkpoint to the last phase. You don't need to avoid taking damage the whole way through which is nice.
"Unexpected Package - Place 60 bombs in enemy pockets with Bentley." When I first saw this trophy, I groaned. This would be a massive grind. And I had actually made it harder on myself. You see, normally, when you sneak up behind an enemy as Bentley and hold triangle, Bentley will try to put a bomb in the enemy's pocket. Larger enemies won't notice this but smaller enemies will. But the main issue is that I had previously unlocked the Heat Seeking upgrade for Bentley. Meaning sometimes, the bombs would "miss" and stick to an enemy guard's arms or legs instead. So it was annoying going around the hub world and planting bombs on guards.....until I remembered that I had purchased the upgrade for sleep bombs. My plan now was just to find a lone guard on a rooftop, try and place one sleep bomb into his back pocket and detonate it. He'd then fall asleep. Then I'd go to his sleeping body and try placing 5 sleeping bombs in his pocket and back away (the max you can place at any one time). When he wakes him, I'd detonate all 5 which set him to sleep and then repeat. Even if I'd "miss" a few bombs that would stick to their legs instead, I generally 3 or 4 bombs work perfectly. So it didn't take long to get all 60.
"Apollo Wins - Have the perfect workout during the Training Montage." During the mission "Getting Stronger", you have to do a training montage with Bob where you alternate through 6 minigames as you complete them with the minigames getting harder as you complete them. The trophy requires you to complete 10 randomly selected minigames without making a single mistake. If you mess up, you can restart the checkpoint to the beginning of the montage and have to play through a new set of 10 randomly selected minigames. The Minigames are "Slippery Slope" where you balance an egg on a beam using motion controls while penguins jump around on the floating iceberg you are standing on. "Penguin Popper" where Penguins are diving in front of you and you have to play baseball using them. "Sumo Slap" where you have to perform QTEs to push a giant penguin out of a Sumo Ring. "Duck and Cover" where penguins get launched at you from 4 different directions and you have to move the left stick to dodge them. "Super Sling" which requires you to use a catapult to launch a penguin at a flying pterodactyl. And "Whack a chump" which is Whack a Mole but with penguins. Some of which are fake and you should avoid.
Penguin Popper was easy. Once you get the timing down it's easy to get into a rhythm and hit the penguins since they don't vary when they dive. Whenever this popped into the rotation, I considered it a freebie. Sumo Slap was extremly easy. The button mashing was extremely generous. This was another freebie. Duck and Cover requires a bit more focus because of the timing and inconsistent patterns. It's not too challenging. Interestingly, I noticed that the VITA's speakers would reflect if the penguin was coming from the right or left but not above or below you. I guess headphones would make this easier but I had no need for it. I was generally glad when this popped up in the rotation. Whack a Chump was a bit harder than Penguin Popper because there is no set pattern and the additional challenge of not hitting the fake penguins. But it wasn't too bad. I was glad when this popped up in the rotation.
Super Sling and Slippery Slope were the 2 I dreaded and the ones I messed up the most on. Super Sling doesn't give you much indication of where your sling will go. The Pterodactyls have varied speeds so you can't rely on pattern recolonization and reactions. And there's time pressure as taking too long counts as a miss. And it kept popping up in the rotations for some reason!
Slippery Slope was stressful because of the motion controls and how wild later versions of it were.
"The Cooper Open - Have a 20 hit rally with Bentley in each hideout." There are 6 hideouts in the game. In each hideout there is a table tennis table where you as Sly can play a round of table tennis with Bentley. I question the inclusion of it but I suppose it can be a nice distraction. This trophy requires you get a sequences where both you and Bentley hit the ball back and forth 10 times each (or 20 times overall) without missing. And repeat for each of the 6 tables. I found Bentley kept messing up so I had to intentionally hold back and avoid making good shots and try and hit the ball towards him. The main issue is the fact you have to repeat it 6 times. I feel it would be better off just once and as nothing is really added by doing it 6 times. If anything, it's more annoying given the long load times to switch hideouts and Bentley's random AI.
"Hassan Would Be Proud - Pickpocket a full collection of every item in the game." Each of the 6 or so locations have around 3-4 items that can be pickpocketted from guards. The main issue with this trophy is that it doesn't keep track of which items you have already pickpocketed in any way. The game already tracks how many treasures and masks you've found per general area but not pickpocketted items.
I only got this trophy by planning on systematically going through every location in the game and pickpocketting every enemy item and noting down which ones I found.....only to get it in the first level when I used Murray's shake move on some rat enemies. Enemies that you never encounter or have a reason or opportunity to naturally pickpocket. I guess 2013 me had already gotten 99% of these items previously.
"Navigate Like Drake - Take a look at every map in every episode". I found this trophy really annoying. The way it works is that every location in the game, including linear interiors that are exclusive to missions and even the hideouts, have a map you can look at by pressing SELECT. The game doesn't keep track of which locations you've seen the map of. So I had to systamatically play the game from the first mission and press SELECT whenever I entered a new interior. Then quit out and play the next mission and repeat. It popped for me in Episode 4 so somehow, 2013 me had looked at all the maps in Episode 5 without realizing it.
I don't like this trophy. It doesn't really add anything. The player would already be looking at the maps in the hub worlds where they would be at their most useful since those are open world sections. They have no real reason to use the map in linear interiors. And even less useful in hideouts as these aren't even explorable. They are basically just menus that happen to have a 3D background. I'd be more forgiving of this trophy if the map showed collectibles at least. That way, players have more of a reason to use this feature.
Shout out to the Lazy Trunk Spa & Lounge. A secret area in the game that contains a mask collectible and counts for the trophy with a unique map. No mission ever goes here. So even if you were to play diligently and open the map for every area you encounter, you'd still miss this. I only knew this existed because the trophy guide I looked at told me about it so I decided to tag this area while doing the "Get to the Chopper" trophy.
"Hero Tech - Battle with a secret weapon" Once you collect 50 Sly masks. You unlock Ratchet's wrench from Ratchet and Clank. This weapon even turns the coins you collect into bolts. Collecting 60 Masks unlocks Cole's Amp from inFAMOUS. This can electrocute the enemies you hit. I chose to use Cole's Amp to get the trophy as a tribute to inFAMOUS. Killed by Ghost of Tsumia 😭. May it rest in peace. Gone too soon.
That covers all the miscellaneous trophies. Now for the collectibles and arcades.
Sly 4 has a bunch of different collectibles scattered in each of its 6 episodes.
Bottles: Each hub world contains 30 bottles. Collecting all of them gives you access to unlock a safe hidden somewhere in the hub world. Unlocking that safe rewards you a special treasure. Bottles make a "clinking" sound when you're near them so if you're having a hard time finding them, try going into the game's settings and turning down the music and voice sounds. If you find the safe in Episode 3, the special treasure it gives you will highlight bottles and safes in every other episode on your map which is quite nice. I wish the game did this more often. If it hides collectibles from the player, at least give the player an endgame ability to highlight them. It makes it more feasible and fun to complete these tasks instead of combing every last inch (or looking up a guide).
Treasures: Each hub world has around 11 treasures scattered all around. The gimmick here is that in order to collect them, you first need to find where they are in the hub world. Then once you pick them, you need to race back to your hideout under a certain time limit and without taking any damage. If you mess up, you need to repeat the process. The treasures generally require you to have all of Sly's costumes. And a couple require you to be playing as Sir Galleth because England has increased gravity for some reason. Some of these treasures are really well hidden. Requiring you to go to these holes in the middle of nowhere which then require you to switch between some of Sly's costumes. Like, if you open the map when picking some of these up, you'll find Sly is located beyond the borders of the area.
I found it way more fun to race back to the hideout than actually finding them. It was tedious to find many of them because of how well hidden they are. There is no tool or item in the game that can help mark them on your map. Well, I say that. Supposedly, if you have both the PS3 and VITA versions of the game and play them at the same time, you can use the VITA like a scannebinoculars to locate these treasures. And then use the Cross Save feature to nab them in both versions. I only have the VITA version so no luck for me. Again, I'd argue it would be better if there was an endgame upgrade or tool you could get that would mark the treasures like how the game does it for bottles. There isn't even a "clinking sound" or any help for these.
Anyway, collecting all the treasures for an episode unlocks the arcade machine minigame for that episode.
Also sidenote, but this game has the worst map screen that still somehow can be useful. The map gives a top down view of the area but with a blue filter. This makes it harder and more annoying to navigate and use landmarks for reference. Especially on the VITA with its smaller screen. There are also no icons on the map (aside from bottles, safes and objectives) or the ability to make your own markers. The VITA version makes it worse as you can't even use the buttons to navigate the map. You have to use the touchscreen even though that's not how it is in the PS3 version. But you can still use it to know where you are and where collectibles can be from guides. It's technically readable and useful but just barely. I've never seen a map in a game so perfectly walk the line between useful and annoying.
The next collectible are Sly Masks. There are 60 total and around 11 per Episode. Collecting them unlocks skins and some goodies. But the catch with them is that they can be anywhere. There can be a couple in the hub world. But also couple during select missions and even some in the arcade minigames. There's no way to know where any of them are. They generally tend to be really well hidden even if you are trying to scour every area.
Again, I wish there was a way to highlight them. The game's long load times make it a chore to switch episodes or missions so it's tedious to try searching for them manually.
Now it's time to talk about the arcades. Sly 4 has 3 arcade minigames that are used in both the main missions and have a harder version in the arcades in hideouts. The arcade versions of these minigames are harder, go on for much longer and can have secret paths that lead to portals that reward you with points and some of them even have Sly masks. You need to beat the high scores to get the trophies
The first minigame is "Alter Ego". This has you play this 2D auto scrolling twin stick shooter minigame where you must avoid enemies and collect these "ionic bits". Collecting 5 yellow bits levels you up so your weapons get more powerful. At level 10 you have shoot crazy fast, can launch missiles and have floating drones that can damage enemies around you. But whenever you take damage, you drop an entire level. And you get left behind as the level autoscrolls, you respawn at level 0. You can also collect blue bits which can give you a grenade explosion around you.
Personally, I don't really like this minigame. It's fine when playing casually as a change of pace but grinding the high score isn't great. Since it is an autoscroller it is entirely possible you don't have enough points to match the high score and you won't know until its too late, wasting your time. I also found the hitboxes a bit too small. Making items more annoying to pickup.
The key to success is finding the right balance between collecting yellow bits as they give points and level you up (and how high your level is acts as a multiplier for your score) and killing enemies since they give more points. As well as avoiding taking damage and maintaining level 10 as much as possible and knowing where the secret paths are so you can get more points as well as level up if you have messed up.
The second minigame is "System Cracker". Here, you guide a little space ship looking thing through 2D levels in top down twin stick shooting sections. This isn't an autoscroller. You need to explore levels looking for keys and shooting enemies. There are 3 ships you can switch between by going onto specific coloured pads and each ship has its pros and cons. The green ship you start with does decent damage and has decent health and can carry keys. So it's a jack of all trades master of none kinda ship. The pink ship literally resembles a tank. It fires slower and at a shorter range but does more damage and has more health. It's also necessary for destroying pink crystals to progress. The blue ship has floatier handling and faster speeds. Its shots also bounce off walls and it can draw a line which can activate switches and damage enemies. It is weaker than the green ship though.
I actually really enjoyed this minigame and was happy whenever it comes up. It even feels the most fleshed out of the 3. Like, I feel it could even be released as a small standalone game with some tweaking and expansion. I'd probably play a mobile version of this in my free time.
I like how varied the levels can be. You can have a lot of different threats and mini-puzzles and even scenarios where you have to keep switching between ships on the fly to damage enemies. Like, there's this one enemy that's made up of orange, blue and pink hexagons that require you to switch between all 3 ships and use their abilities to damage it. It's quite fun. Damage one ship takes is "saved" on that ship. So if you take 50% damage with the green ship and switch to the pink one, the pink one will have 100% health. But whenever you switch back to the green one, you will be back at 50% health. So mistakes have consequences requiring you to make decisions accounting for them without being too overbearing.
Beating the high scores for the associated arcades is very easy. For one, there is no time limit or pressure so you’re free to take your time and play carefully. On top of that, the mode is very generous with points. Whereas Alter Ego only gives you points for killing enemies and picking up bits (and you need to get and maintain a multiplier for decent times), System Cracker gives you points even for shooting obstacles and barricades in your way. In Alter Ego, I was scraping for points until the very end. In System Cracker, I had more than enough points by the halfway mark.
I suppose the game could have balanced this by increasing the points threshold and rewarding extra points for taking less time to complete sections but I’m not complaining.
The third and worst minigame is “Spark Chaser”. Here you must guide a little electric ball across these maze like areas with gaps that end your attempt if you fall down them and these pinball like bounce pads that bounce you really far. There’s also a time pressure. You have around 20 seconds to get as far as possible with more time added as you pick up these purple clock icons.
The biggest issue is that it’s entirely controlled by motion controls. And this makes me experience worse on VITA. Seriously, I very nearly quit playing. This post was almost titled “I gave up trying to Platinum Sly 4”.
With the PS3 version, at least titling the remote doesn’t also affect your view of the screen. You can look at the game and play it the same as you normally would. But in the VITA version, the “neutral” position where no input is registered by the system is placing the VITA flat with its screen facing up. The standard “screen facing you” position registers as down.
The end result is a frustrating experience. This minigame requires really fine precision given how easy it is to fall off and the time pressure requires you both be fast and more precise to collect time pickups. On top of that, your view is constantly being messed with due to how much you need to tilt the system from odd angles. Especially how tilting “up” really makes it hard to see. Oh, and the dialogue from Bentley as you bounce gets really annoying and repetitive.
It’s barely tolerable in regular missions since those don’t require as much precision or speed. And even then, the usage there in 2013 was suspect to begin with. I only completed this because there’s a cheese where if you can get enough time early on, you can then keep bouncing on certain pads which give around 20 points per bounce. When I played “normally”, I’d get around 300 points with the high score being 1000 points. Using the cheese, I averaged around 990 points and managed to get lucky to win with 1010 points.
Tangent Time:
I’ve said it before. Motion controls work best when they complement existing controls in an optional way or in more restrained ways. I love it when games have gyro aiming since that can help compensate when aiming with sticks with small fine corrections. It works here because the sticks do most of the work and the gyro sensors work where they are best suited.
Or in many mobile racing games, steering is often done by tilting your phone. I enjoy this because there is only one axis you need to tilt your phone, the screen often rotates in conjunction so your view is preserved and it’s more intuitive to feel the “range” of rotation and how it corresponds to steering.
Hell, even ignoring these approaches, motion can still be used in worthwhile ways. Such as by mapping an extra action that is infrequent if all other buttons are occupied. The Mario games on Wii map a “spin” when you jump and shake the remotes giving Mario a bit of grace allowing him to make slightly further jumps or correct a bad jump. Call of Duty MW1 on Wii allowed you to assign certain commands to custom motions of the controller and nunchuck. So you could map stuff like jumping, moving and shooting to buttons but map reloading to smacking the nunchuck to the Wii Mote or plunge the Wii Mote forward to do a melee attack or tilting the Wii Mote to bring out a grenade or alt fire.
Even Resistance 1: Fall of Man had a neat idea. You could quickly tilt the controller left to bring up the Scoreboard screen without needing to take your thumbs off the sticks or stop moving. The Soulsbourne games allow you to quickly do emotes without needing a menu by holding the interact button and quickly tilting the controller in certain directions.
I bring all this up to highlight how Sly 4’s use of motion controls are a failure on every level. They’re mostly used in place of minigames as the sole method of control. So all the issues of motion controls (such as the lack of broad control and feedback) are front and centre. The only place where the motion controls are understandable is when firing arrows as you can then control the arrow after it’s fired using both the sticks and gyro aiming. But even then, the lack of any ability to tune the gyro sensitivity or even invert the controls hampers any use it could have had.
I don’t mind the idea of Sly 4 having decent motion controls. There are places where I can see it being beneficial. In addition to shooting and guiding arrows, I can see it being useful when you have to use the binoculars. Especially as Bentley as you need to shoot darts precisely.
Or, here’s a gimmicky one: you can bind certain costumes or tools to also be selected by quickly tilting the system. Even though using the D-pad for a quick select would be faster, it would still be a better use of motion controls for Sly 4 than most of what’s currently there.
End Tangent.
Back to getting all the trophies, the final arcade machine, unlocked only when you’ve gotten all the treasures in every other episode, is very easy. It has “3 rooms”, one featuring every minigame thus far. But the high score requirements are really low and rooms aren’t as tough as prior versions. You can easily get the high score in the first area which is the Alter Ego one. Even if you miss it there, the second area is Spark Runner but you can keep reloading the checkpoint to preserve your score. So you can get some time clocks, reload a checkpoint when you’re close to running out of time or about to fall off and repeat until you get the high score.
You do need to get past the Spark Runner section to the 3rd and final section that uses System Cracker's gameplay in order to get a hidden Sly Mask, but it's far easier than the dedicated Spark Runner arcade minigame as the section is shorter, is more generous with Time Pickups, has easier level design and lets you reload a checkpoint if you're about to fail which doesn't end the run.
So yeah, Sly 4 Thieves in Time was....inconsistent game to platinum. I enjoyed the base gameplay, System Cracker, the various challenge trophies and the mini speedruns for collecting treasures. I didn't enjoy finding the collectibles and doing some of the other minigames. I hated Spark Runner.
If the game had more ways of tracking collectibles, fewer minigames and better load times, I'd gladly recommend it as a fun game to platinum.
As for the base game itself, I am mixed on it. The gameplay is arguably the best in the series. Sly's movement and costumes are so fun to play around with. Murray, Bentely and Sly's ancestors are also fun changes of pace during missions.
The story is lacking. My main issue is that it doesn't feel like it realizes its following up Sly 3. The story so casually undoes the ending of Sly 3 to get Sly 4's story going. I get it, that's what a sequel has to do. But the way it does it really undermines Sly 3. It's also much more lighthearted and doesn't have as much of a theme or focal point as its predecessors. Sly 1-3 explored the theme of legacy and the consequences of adhering to it so tightly. A major aspect of Sly 3 was Sly realizing the Cooper Vault wasn't worth dying for. It's what prompts him to fake his amnesia and retire with Carmilita in the end. So for Sly 4 to then have Sly have an itch to steal just for the fun of it, it's sending mixed messages here.
In addition, Sly is really casual about the fact Carmilita now knows about his betrayal and has broken up with him. Seems like that should have been a bigger deal. In fact, that kind of "casual-ness" persists throughout the story. Sly doesn't really have much of an arc or any real heartfelt moments with his ancestors. Nor do they seem to really care their decedent from the future is here with them.
If I could have tweaked the story to address these points, here's what I would have done:
I'd have the story open with Sly, Bentley and Murray enjoying their "retirement" and have no plans of thieving. I'd go so far as to have Sly even scoff at the idea of him ever wanting to be a thief. Then when the pages of the Thievus Racconus are dissapearing, Sly, Bentley and Murray have to reluctantly unretire to try stopping them. There would be dialogue during the opening mission of Sly being worried if they get caught as it would undo their happy ending. And then when Carmilita catches Sly, Sly at first is flustered and tries to explain the situation to Carmilita who isn't having any of Sly's BS. Sly is forcibly extracted by the gang and then they time travel. As they are time travelling. Sly is upset that, in order to go literally defend the Cooper Legacy, he has to give up his happy relationship and can't be repaired now. That even if they fix the problem, they'll be on the run forever now. Murray had to give up his professional career as well.
Already, I feel this introduction has a few things going for it. It respects the ending of Sly 3 and keeps the characters in more character, as well as putting more heat on Le Paradox. Sly 4 had to rip away the happy ending that was Sly 3. The characters know that and aren't happy about it. There is immediate consequences. And that heat can be directed at Le Paradox when he comes later.
I'd also like if all of the ancestors Sly met had different reactions to both him and the Cooper legacy and how it affects Sly's arc.
For example, lets say when he meets Riochi Cooper, Ricohi is initially disappointed in Sly as the future Cooper decendent as Sly doesn't act honourably or respect the legacy or something like this. Something that makes Sly start to question if it's even worth defending the Cooper Legacy. Bentely is the voice of reason here and mediator that gets the gang to work as well as they can.
Then when Sly meets Tennessee Cooper, Sly is initially expecting another traditionalist ancestor that cares a lot about the Cooper Legacy. But Tennessee is kinda the opposite of Riochi in that Tennasee doesn't care about the legacy in the same way. He adds his own spin and contributions but also uses the knowledge from it to do his own thing. Perhaps Tennessee is this Robin-Hood esque figure who uses his heisting skills to steal from the corrupt ruling class and give to the lower class. The point being that through Tennessee, Sly considers another aspect of the Cooper Legacy on how he's not that beholden to it and can potentially make it his own.
Then when Sly meets Bob, part of Bob's training is also from Sly as Sly teaches him some of the Cooper moves he knows. Since Bob is the first Cooper ancestor, he has no bias towards the legacy or any knowledge. So he's far more grateful and begins to use his new skills in helpful ways. Causing Sly to wonder if he could use the Cooper Legacy in more ways.
It's a similar situation for Sir Galleth. And for Selim, perhaps by that point, Sly has a newfound outlook and appreciation for the Cooper Legacy and ways on how he can improve it or make it his own that he encourages Selim not to retire or to retire in such a way where he could help people or something like that.
So yeah, there's this theme now of "Don't let the past define you now. You can make it your own and grow past its flaws". Which I feel would give Sly 4 more of a punch. I am basically copying Metal Gear Solid 4 and Assassin's Creed though.
I also feel it would be better if Penelope wasn't the villain of episode 4. It seems to contradict her character from past games and the explanation given for her heel turn doesn't really hold water. I feel the story would be better if Penelope had the role Dmitri has where she's their help in the present and the Knight was a new character. But if you need to have Penelope as the antagonist, have her be under mind control or something. That way the team has the conflict of how will they stop the plan without hurting their friend. But if you really insist on Penelope being a full on antagonist now by her own choice, perhaps flesh out her motivations more? Maybe something like "she sees how Bentley will never reach his full potential as the Bill Gates of the world because of his criminal past that requires him to lay low and not take public credit for his inventions. So she's trying to erase the Coopers so Bentley will have never met Sly". That would at least be more than "I want money".
Everything else, I feel works more or less.
I will note that the cliffhanger ending was a weird choice given that this game wasn't projected to sell well and kinda pigenholes any story Sly 5 would be going for. Plus, it being locked behind the platinum trophy means only a small portion of the few players that played Sly 4 would even know about it.
So yeah, that's my take on platinumming Sly 4: Thieves in Time. What do y'all think?
Next up for me is platinumming every Spider-Man game on PS VITA. See you then.
submitted by coolwali to patientgamers [link] [comments]

2023.05.30 22:07 Encore41 10 positive reminders for players to remember going into SF6

With SF6 dropping in a few days I found it would be beneficial for some positive points to remember going into launch. Whether you're a veteran, newcomer, casual or contender, having a healthy mindset going into any activity can make the difference between needlessly beating yourself up or having the time of your life

It's as simple as that: these games are tough.
You may play the "easiest" or the most execution-heavy character but the fact of the matter is the fighting games we play and love carry a significant learning curve. Learning how to reliably throw that Shoryuken or remember the hundred bits of frame data each character carries from season to season will take time, as well it should! Take pride in the fact you're doing something few people will ever be able to do, and enjoy the learning process of improving. Sooner than later you'll look back and scoff at the fact you had trouble executing SPD's with Zangief when you can mix-up Platinums into the corner with ease.

With most things in life, your greatest opponent will be yourself. In video games it's too easy to hop right back into a match and buzz through another set after taking a loss, however you may be playing against yourself. Don't jump right back into a set for revenge when a glaring issue like jumping in recklessly or relying on projectiles is costing you matches. Take a moment, breathe, and think how you can do better next time. This is how we grow.
Just like GI Joe says, "Knowing if half the battle"

Let's get this out of the way: you're going to lose. Like, a lot
The good news is that's ok! Embrace your loses. There are going to be times you get beat with only a sliver of health from your opponent, to them taking you to the cleaners in a double perfect. You can even play well and still lose. However the real failure is not taking something from your loss. If you were cooking and burnt the food, you typically don't blame the cook ware or the appliances. You messed up, acknowledge that fact and move on.
Let loss be your your mentor, true failure is failing to learn from experience

We all know Ken, throwing DP's like his life depends on it at all times. Many say they're all from Brazil too...
It's too easy to let our imaginations and our emotions take control of the games we play, as well as attaching labels and stereotypes to certain characters. As hard as it may be to admit that not all Ken players have a Shoryuken ready to go at all times, there's someone playing behind that character. When you keep this in mind it helps calm your mind enough to where you can actively keep yourself from falling for those traps.
... But surely Ken wouldn't DP after this knockdown, right?

This is going to be tough right at launch since it'll be like the running of the bulls with players blitzing the servers. People are going to want to race for the highest rank, explore the world, or simply lab out new stuff in practice mode for long stretches of time.
Remember to sleep. Remember to eat. Remember to shower. Get outside for some sun and touch some grass. No one plays better during a marathon session. Your body will thank you down the road, which leads right into how...

Weird, right? The point is that while you're playing your eyes are fixated on the screen, your hands/fingers are jumping around your controller, even other muscles in your body are keeping you stabilized during matches. However the two big ones are to remember to hydrate (with water, not Gatorade unless you're running between sets) as well as use the bathroom when you need to.
If you're full of shit, your play will reflect that fact

This is an important one for both casual and competitive players. Casuals will likely do this when finding a character to play and latch onto, however those looking to grind ranked may already have someone picked out. It's important to get a feel for everyone as it will give you a 1st person perspective of what that character does and how they flow, an invaluable piece of insight for when you come across them in a future match. To quote Sun-Tzu:
"If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle"

We will start seeing tier lists of the roster within hours of people getting their hands on the full release Friday. I will tell you as someone who saw this trend through SFV that it barely factors in 99% of the players. These lists are assuming you are playing the characters at maximum efficiency and optimization. I hate to break the news to you but we're likely not gonna be top 8 at EVO, so choose the character that feels right to you and you feel is the most fun (that's my protocol for all fighting games)
And if you do make it to top 8, I always believed in from the start <3

We all have a reason we're grabbing this game and I can't wait to see what everyone does in this exciting new chapter of Street Fighter. We're all setting out on the same road despite the different routes and speeds that we take which is something I feel is unique to the FGC. Moments will be had, highlights will be shared, memes will be rampant. Eventually the sun will set on this installment and we'll all be looking towards the horizon for the next one.
Enjoy the ride while it lasts, because it leads to my last point:

This is a video game, keyword on game. If you treat yourself like a racehorse you'll beat yourself like one. If you treat it like a game, you may find you'll have some fun.

What are some other things players can keep in mind as we approach launch day?
submitted by Encore41 to StreetFighter [link] [comments]

2023.05.30 22:06 gemstonesys Please help me figure out whats hurting me. I'm desperate.

Hello there, I'm desperately searching for answers for the pain and symptoms I am experiencing. I have been going to doctors and hospitals searching for answers, but I've gotten nothing but a few tests done that have done nothing but add to the confusion.
Let me add some context.
I'm a relatively healthy 21f with no prior health issues. I started hormone therapy (Testosterone, intramuscular injections 1x a week) And started experiencing severe, debilitating panic attacks I had never had before. They tapered off after a few weeks, but then at about 10 weeks, I started to experience entire right-sided numbness and pain. I would feel aching and pins & needles down my hands and feet, my entire right side just felt weaker and heavier than the left, and attempting to lay on that side would exasperate the feeling to the point where my entire right side would feel heavy and achy, and it would become difficult to breathe.
At 12 weeks, I stopped the Testosterone, and the pins and needles, as well as the general feeling of my right side being uneven and numb in comparison to the left subsided... But since then, more symptoms have been sprouting up, and it's getting worse.
I'm sure there's more, but I'm not remembering right now.
I had a chest Xray prior to the right sided symptoms, during the panic attacks, that came back clear. I've gotten extensive blood tests that have come back clear, aside from a B12 deficiency. They've also had CT and MRI scans done on my head just the other day, completely clear. They won't do any further tests because it seems I'm "fine", and now I'm suffering without answers. I would appreciate any direction or advice, I'm scared and I want to get help before it gets even worse.
Thank you.
submitted by gemstonesys to AskDocs [link] [comments]

2023.05.30 22:05 Kitchen-State-3080 Trigeminal Neuralgia or Corneal neuralgia post Lasik procedure?

Hello all. on 3/15/23, I had LASIK surgery. About a month later, I was diagnosed with corneal neuralgia (pain in nerves due to the cornea being cut). I started gabapentin. From the very first day post-LASIK, I had this pressure feeling in my temporal but it was not too bad. It went away. Last week, on Wednesday, I noticed the pressure had returned. It was located on the right side of my face. It felt like it was radiating downwards. My face ended up numb on the right side, but not my lips.
That went away after I slept. However, since then, I have had a lot of pressure/burning sensations in my temporal and behind my earlobe. There is also a lot of pain inside my ear, as in my ear canal. I didn't have this pain yesterday, but I do have it today. Does this sound like TN? I don't think I have pain in my actual jaw. I don't have shooting, zapping, or electrifying pain either.
I can't distinguish whether this is TN or corneal neuralgia. I do know that one man posted that he had pain everywhere on his face and that it radiated down even towards his feet until he cured his corneal neuralgia and I have a friend who said she had the exact same symptoms as me (minus the numbness) from her corneal neuralgia...so I am not sure which one it could be. I did stop my gabapentin cold turkey instead of weaning off of it and I started experiencing all of this after that.
submitted by Kitchen-State-3080 to AskDocs [link] [comments]

2023.05.30 22:05 dumbloser93 I’ve experienced so much failure in my life.

I’m a 29 year old man living with his parents pursuing an associates degree. My life after high school has just been failure after failure. And unfortunately not for the lack of trying. I have a useless Liberal Arts degree that I don’t use. Graduated with a low gpa in five years despite hard work and significant effort. I haven’t really worked since then because of my severe depression. I’ve only had a few jobs here and there. I’m currently starting a job next week.
Things seem to be going well for once and I’m moving in the right direction. But even if I manage to get a career going after college I’m still going to be miles behind my peers.
I’m thinking that I’m either dumb or just unlucky. Everyone else seems to have it all figured out with careers and here I am going onto 30 years old without a career.
I just can’t how much I’ve failed at life. I just wanna give up at this point. How can I just accept that I was born to fail at life?
submitted by dumbloser93 to offmychest [link] [comments]

2023.05.30 22:05 Velgal16 Racking my brain with custom maps

Racking my brain with custom maps
Ok so I have made several custom maps already. A couple I have 2 kitchens bumped against each other and are separated by hatches and 1 door, and like 2 dining rooms. Maybe 1 has a 3rd. Anyway, now I am having issues with getting the game to generate my maps I have been trying to create today. It comes up 8/8 on the kitchen designer, but in game it keeps saying "could not decorate kitchen" or "could not decorate dining room" when it all is plenty big enough. Right now, I am trying to do my 2 kitchens again, 3 dining rooms, an office (generic room), and a garden around the sides and back that I have left in one piece, it's not separated by any means. Again, I have made maps similar, maybe both kitchens were the same length, but 1 was wider than the other. I wouldn't think this would be any different? Both kitchens here are plenty big enough, are they not? Also, my other map today that gave me issues, I was trying to do a lake one. I had 2 kitchens, 2 generics, 4 dining rooms. First kitchen designer wouldn't let me get 8/8 until I took away 1 generic. Then when I did, the game gave me the error on the dining rooms. I dropped it down to 3. Then it did give me the error for the kitchens, my husband said just do 1. It let me pull it up. But why though guys??? Why is it NOW giving me a hard time about my number of kitchens? I included 2 pictures. Please help me make sense of this.
This is the one I'm trying to do right now
This is one of my maps where you clearly see 2 kitchens, but I did only make 2 dining rooms and 1 generic on here.
submitted by Velgal16 to PlateUp [link] [comments]

2023.05.30 22:03 Next_Big_9084 Some boring story

This is kind of "slowly-fucked-up-my-own-life" story, the one where you can take some candies, cup of coffee and laugh at op for 3 minutes (Excuse me for bad English sometimes)
Apparently you may heard something like "work hard and you'll get everything you want" You need try really hard to find any worse lie than this
Back then I was a bit socially awkward but full of life kid, I had wishes, dreams and strength to learn and do things
I loved computers and spent most of my time digging in it and figuring how things work So it's pretty obvious that I tried to turn my hobby into something that can make money in perspective.
I've spent hundreds of hours trying to become a programmer, even managed to get 2 orders on freelance, last of which I failed. Month after I've abandoned this since I got no more orders even though I spent earned money to buy premium on platform, and cause I couldn't justify any more waste of time to my parents
Seems pretty normal, happens literally to everybody That's what I thought at the moment
Next few years weren't much different, fucked up trying to become a weeding filmmaker, and ended up at construction, where I literally had fights with drunk workers every god damn week for 3 monts straight
And on top of that, war has begun and I got locked up in my country for 1.5 years now and with no close perspective to leave
And here I am, almost 20yo, who lost his dreams, I don't know what I want, I don't care now almost about everything that surrounds me, I can't force myself to do things even if it really would help me and now I'm watching anime and playing games trying to escape from reality hoping that one day war ends and I leave this all behind, go as far as I can and start from a scratch
This is where the boring story ends, thank you for reading and have a nice day
submitted by Next_Big_9084 to TrueOffMyChest [link] [comments]

2023.05.30 22:02 orlelin Being single after a bunch of "toxic", intense relationships is just a different kind of miserable

Title says it all. After my last failed beginning of a relationship went up in flames (and attempted murder), I completely lost interest in a relationship. For the first time in 3 years, I've spent a few months single, some would even say I worked on myself. Got a job, invested in my friendships, questioned my needs and wants and patterns etc.
Well, here's the update : it's just a different kind of miserable. I don't miss the chaos at all, but I don't really have anything driving me other than sheer animal instinct of survival. The more I evolve in this cruel, cold, hopeless, world, the more I realize that I was, in fact, right to say and believe that it was necessary to partner up to counter the loveless lonely shredding machine of late stage capitalism.
I still do things, I go out, I see friends ; but at the end of the day, I don't have that same light in seeing the world. I don't have that same hope in figuring out a new world with someone else. I could be at the top of the Himalaya and still feel like this is such a painfully familiar and shitty world. I still need love, and intimacy, and I do spend good times with my friends but it's not as much of a role taken on than a nice bump of circumstances.
I am excessively tired. I hardly see myself going anywhere. I have plans for my life but nothing waiting for me at the end of them. At the end of a long day of work, I only have more work to exist in the world. It is exhausting. I wish I could just share some of the load with someone I'd consider my life partner. I should look for a relationship again, but I don't even know where to do that, and part of me is scared that I would've done all that atrocious soul-searching for nothing (ending up with a failed relationship again).
DAE feel like this or felt like this in the past? Is there anything I can do? I do see a therapist but it doesn't change much about that.
submitted by orlelin to dating [link] [comments]

2023.05.30 22:01 Yularen2077 I'm Back

Hello again everyone. If you’re reading this, you most likely have read my now deleted post from over a week ago. Boy, what difference a week can make.
I don’t want to downplay what I felt these past couple months, let alone couple weeks, which had spurred my former post. At the time it felt real to me. But I’m here now, hat in hand, to tell you it was all for naught. All of it, every single wasted, overthinking, sleepless night (and that's just what I'll admit to).
All the bad stuff, the overthinking, the taking things personally, the overreactions, everything I've felt, done, and thought, the places I took myself, all of it... was a result of one big, giant, huge misunderstanding. From original events I had taken the wrong way (at the time I thought intentional), my mind ran with it, concocting the worst feelings and suggestions one can think/make. Then it snowballed not once but twice, which took me deeper and deeper till after the second time I got to the point I was going to call Reddit quits as well. Honestly, I was *this* close; it was really bad.
But there is a light at the end of this tunnel. Thanks in full to a kind and understanding mod dev (you know who you are) who took it upon themselves to help, honestly bringing me back from the brink, they put me in contact with the right guy to settle things. After talking things through we cleared the misconceptions up, and saw it for what it was: just one big, giant, huge misunderstanding. It was a monumental relief.
This has turned out to be nothing short of downright embarrassing, shameful, and even humiliating. My God… if you thought I felt bad before, I somehow manage to feel even worse now. I was way too hasty in quitting (not just making guides), and should have done a much better job working/toughening it out. I had it buried, way in the back of my mind, that it all couldn’t be true, it must be an oversight, unintentional, a misunderstanding, or what have you. I was right, and would have given anything to realize it at the time, but I just couldn’t. My assumptions, preconceptions, even ego, my … whatever, blinded me to it.
I cannot apologize enough to the people originally involved, whether they even know what happened or not. And to those who follow me (never thought I'd ever say that!), I must have given you all a right good scare. For it to be so sudden like that, with no forewarning whatsoever. I just… did what I thought was best at the time, even if now it is shown to be oh so wrong.
Even more so I want to apologize to everyone who commented on my previous post. I was really not ready to quit like that, and needed some time away after I posted it. It ended up I couldn’t even look at the replies, it was way too difficult. It hits way too hard when people say goodbye like that when you don’t really want to go. They made it real (if that makes sense). Though I’ve deleted the post, I did look the comments over before I did so hopefully you all will see this: thank you, your kind words were more than I deserved.
If you don’t think I’m some crazy nutter who had to be talked off a ledge, well… great. If you do, well ‘you gotta be a little insane,’ right? (Ok, I lifted that from a nice user’s flair over at KX lol).
If you could not tell from the title: I’m happy to announce I’ll be back to doing what I do best, making HoIIV Mod Guides. This also means keeping the KR Paths Google Sheet up and running as well. Keep an eye out for more comments and certainly more posts from me in the future, and this time I promise I'm not going anywhere.
I’m ready to put this all behind me, and an time hope to earn your forgiveness, and your trust back. Thank you.
submitted by Yularen2077 to u/Yularen2077 [link] [comments]

2023.05.30 21:57 BaddabingaBaddabonga Gyno/Pseudo? I dont feel any hard gland behind the nip (24m/6'4/198lb)

submitted by BaddabingaBaddabonga to gynecomastia [link] [comments]

2023.05.30 21:56 BDKoolwhip Quit on my 90th day (2 year old story)

I work in social work. I have been working in the field for over a decade. I had moved an hour plus from where I was working to be closer to my GF. I drove back and forth for a year or so but it wasn’t worth it financially anymore.
I found and eventually interviewed for a job 20 mins from where I lived and honestly, fell ‘in love’ with the person who would be my direct boss. The interview was 2 hours long because we got sidetracked or distracted. She hired me on the spot because of my experience and personality alone. She told me she would need a ‘right hand’ and I would be it. I took a dollar pay cut but with the distance is actually be making more. Plus there was a sign on bonus after 90 days
I start the job and there are a few bumps but nothing major to worry about. I had to prove myself to existing staff some who thought they should be in my position but weren’t for various reasons. This were okay. Which in social work is what you want. I shortly find out the place I work for has a bad reputation.
Pretty close to my 90 days (maybe 75-80? It was the holiday time so hard to recall) my boss tells me she is leaving for a non clinical social work supervisor job and if she can get me in would I want to. I tell her I would but I’d like to try to get her job first. My boss offers to go with me to go to the big boss about it. Big boss is concerned about my lack of management exp (which I have plenty) but then says we really don’t have anybody else, so yea on a ‘trail basis’ do 30 days. Also discussed is my own office and a pay increase both which my current boss had, but my office would be moved.
My direct boss leaves for her new job and almost the same day, promises are taken back. I no longer ‘need’ an office and pay will start when my ‘trail run’ is over, ect.
After talking with my GF, and now former boss, I rode it out the remaining 90 days and on the 90th day I spent it packing up my shared workspace and sending an email to the ENTIRE company my resignation letter as well as the various shouts of fraud and unprofessional things I had seen go on, I also named names. After everyone else left I sent the email placed everything that belonged to the company in front of my work space and walked out. No 2 weeks, nothing
Less than 10 days later I started working where my old/current boss went to, non clinical and it was absolutely the right call. I firmly believe everything happens for a reason and I was supposed to meet my boss. Also, the owner of the company we work for plans to move my boss up and me into her position by the end of the year. I remain skeptical but am told things aren’t mentioned unless they happen so…..
TLDR- moved, found a closer job, it sucked, promises were made and then taken away when it was to late. Walked out on 90th day
submitted by BDKoolwhip to antiwork [link] [comments]