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[Boarding School Blues] - Chapter 34: Meet the Parents

2020.09.17 15:16 AshleighBSB [Boarding School Blues] - Chapter 34: Meet the Parents

[Cover] [Chapter 1] [Table Of Contents] [Patreon] [Discord] [Newsletter]
This is Book 4: Boarding School Break: Happy Thanksgiving
[Book 2: Boarding School Beginnings] [Book 3: Boarding School Boyfriends]
We Wish You A Merry Christmas used to be my favorite Christmas song. I always loved the part about figgy pudding, although I’m not sure I ever figured out what exactly that was. Now, however, I cannot stand the song.
Last winter, my friend had a sleepover party a couple of weeks before Christmas. We watched a movie where the family had gone Christmas caroling, and someone got it into their head that we should all go. We borrowed hats and mittens from our friend, got permission from her mother, and starting going door to door.
We went to the next door neighbor’s house, rang the bell, and started singing We Wish You A Merry Christmas. The neighbor opened the door and smiled at us, so we sang a second song before leaving. We visited the rest of the neighbors on her side of the street before turning around and making our way back.
Most of the neighbors opened the door and smiled at us, in which case we would sing a second song. One of the neighbors invited us in for hot chocolate. However, this was the neighbor whom the previous summer we had decided was a wicked witch and we decided not to take anything she might offer us. (Looking back, I think she was just a lonely old widow.)
There are a couple dozen houses on my friend’s street, but we only knew a few songs. Eventually, we got cold and we when we passed my friend’s house, we decided to stop caroling and go inside.
By the time we had gone to bed, I was sick of my favorite Christmas song. Although I had a little fun, I’m not sure it’s something I would ever volunteer to do again.
Sunday afternoon, Melinda was in the kitchen, helping her mother make lunch, when her brother bounded into the room.
“Hey, Mom! Michael invited me over to play chess today. Can I?”
“Since when do you play chess?” Melinda asked.
Joey shrugged. “Michael’s been teaching me. We joined this before school chess club that meets on Tuesdays.” He turned back to his mother. “So, can I go?”
She shook her head as she closed the microwave door. “No. Go tell your father it’s time to eat.”
“But why not?”
“Get your father.”
Joey stomped to the kitchen door, then shouted loud enough for the neighbors on the next block to hear. “DAD!! LUNCH!!”
Melinda’s mother sighed. “I could have done that. I wanted you to go get him. Sit.”
Melinda and Joey sat while their mother brought over the Thanksgiving leftovers Nonna had sent home with them.
As soon as their father entered the kitchen, Joey declared “Mom said I can’t go to Michael’s today.”
“She’s right. The bus is leaving at five.”
“What bus?” asked Melinda and Joey in unison.
Melinda’s mother shook her head. “I haven’t told them yet.”
“Told us what?” asked Joey.
“Are we going somewhere?” asked Melinda.
“Yes. We are going Christmas caroling,” their mother informed them. When she was met with blank stares, she continued. “The Bridgewater Club decided to do a family caroling night at the area nursing homes. They rented a school bus, which is going to take us to a few different homes. It counts as community service hours for school.” She looked at Melinda.
“I don’t need any. We have Service Day every term. And, those hours are probably more than what I need for Confirmation class.”
“Do we have to go?” whined Joey.
“Yes,” replied her father. “It’s a fun family activity. The only one we’ll probably have before Christmas. So, we’re going. You’ll have fun.”
Melinda doubted that, but she held her tongue. Joey also looked like he wanted to say something, but he remained silent as well.
For as long as Melinda could remember, her father had been a member of the Bridgewater Club, an Italian-American men’s club that met monthly. Once or twice a year, they would hold family events, such as last summer, when they attended a dinner theater show together. Melinda could not remember ever participating in a Christmas caroling evening, however.
After an early supper, Melinda’s father drove the family to a commuter lot near the center of town. There, he greeted the other men from his club who had gathered in a mass in the center of the lot. Some of the women were talking in smaller groups.
There were a handful of other teens in the area, and Joey immediately found another boy around his age playing on his phone. The two began talking about how much they did not want to be there and they bonded immediately. Melinda, meanwhile, found two girls a few years older than she and approached them hesitantly, worried they may not be friendly towards her.
“Hi.”
“Hey,” greeted the taller girl in a red fleece jacket, her dark hair pulled back. “I’m Kayleigh. This is Bella.” She pointed to the girl beside her in a blue sweater dress and black leggings, her light brown hair falling in gentle waves halfway down her back.
Bella waved and Kayleigh continued. “So, what school do you go to? Not West Shore, I hope.”
Melinda shook her head. “No, I go to boarding school.”
Bella smiled sympathetically. “You caused that much trouble at home?”
Melinda giggled. “Nah. My parents just thought I’d like it more, and I do.”
“What year are you? Frosh?” Kayleigh asked in a friendly way.
Melinda nodded. “How ‘bout you guys?”
“We’re both sophomores,” Bella explained. “We go to East Shore.”
Melinda nodded, not sure what she should say next. She glanced around the parking lot uneasily.
“Hey!” Kayleigh exclaimed after a moment. “Maybe you can help us. Do you see the two cute guys standing behind me?”
Melinda glanced over Kayleigh’s shoulder, but only saw Joey and his new friend. She raised her eyebrows.
“Not my little brother.”
Bella turned around. “No. Eww. That’s Kayleigh’s brother. No. The twins. Where’d they go?”
“Oh! Turn around!” Melinda said quickly. “Yeah, I see them, and they’re looking at you. Don’t look!”
“Really?” asked Kayleigh excitedly.
“Which one’s cuter?” asked Bella.
Melinda tried to look past the girls without the twins noticing that she was actually staring at them. She considered the two boys, who were nearly identical, as Kayleigh explained, “Xander’s the one in the sweater. Xavier’s the one in the jacket.”
“Honestly, they’re both cute. But, they’re coming over here!”
“They are not!” Bella said in a loud whisper.
“Hey, Kayleigh,” greeted the sweater twin so hesitantly, Melinda thought it made him absolutely adorable.
“Hi, Bella.” The jacket twin sounded much more confident. “Did your dad drag you here, too?”
Bella seemed a little flustered. “Oh. Hey. Yeah. I told my dad I don’t sing, but he didn’t care. Threatened to take my phone away if I didn’t come.”
“That’s harsh,” jacket twin acknowledged. “Xander lost his last month when he failed his history test.”
Sweater twin smiled. “My parents thought I failed because I spent too much time on my phone. When I failed the second test, they gave back my phone and got me a tutor.”
Everyone laughed, but Kayleigh giggled just a little longer than everyone else.
Jacket twin turned to Melinda. “I don’t think we’ve met. Xavier Porto.”
“Melinda Luzzelli.”
“That’s my brother, Xander.”
“I gathered.” Melinda was saved from further awkwardness when a school bus lumbered into the lot, pulling to a stop behind the first row of cars.
“Alright,” announced the man Melinda recognized as the club president, Mr. Federico, she believed. “Let’s all get on the bus. I have music folders as you board. If you’re a soprano, please sit in the front right. If you’re an alto, front left. Tenors, you’re in the back right and bass, you’re in the back left.”
Melinda waited a few moments to allow the adults onto the bus, eventually boarding with her new friends. Since she was pretty certain the man in the second row on her right was not a soprano and the woman in the last seat on the left was not a bass, she assumed people had ignored Mr. Federico’s seating assignment.
Kayleigh and Bella sat near the middle of the bus, directing Melinda to sit in front of them. The twins sat in the seat beside Kayleigh and Bella, while Joey and his friend sat across from Melinda.
Joey passed her his phone. “Melinda. Look what Tony just showed me.”
Melinda looked at the video clip on the screen of two people kissing.
“Ooo!” exclaimed one of the girls behind her. “Patrick McGregor has a new girlfriend?”
“Is that Poppy Sommers?” asked Kayleigh.
“She’s dating Jarrod Handy.”
“I don’t think they’re together anymore!” Kayleigh giggled.
“Everyone ready?” asked Mr. Federico. Melinda looked up to see the bus was pulling out of the lot and the club president was standing between the two front seats, using an overhead speaker to be heard at the back of the bus. When they had boarded the bus, Mr. Federico had handed them each a manila folder with photocopies of Christmas songs stapled into it to create a booklet. He now held one above his head as he continued.
“Let’s practice. Turn to page 1. Ready, One, two…Dashing through the snow...”
The forty people on the bus performed one of the dullest versions of Jingle Bells Melinda had ever heard. It was followed by a very off-key Silent Night and a very unenthusiastic Deck the Halls. By the time they reached the first nursing home, Melinda had the impression Mr. Federico was regretting bringing everyone caroling.
Melinda had no energy to sing. After returning Joey’s phone, she began searching the internet and found other images similar to the one Joey had shown her. Many accompanied articles about Hollywood’s latest couple: Poppy Sommers and Patrick McGregor. As they disembarked the bus, Melinda began to feel a little queasy, and she wasn’t sure if it was from reading her phone while the bus was in motion, or what she had read.
Wandering the halls of the first nursing home, the carolers found a hidden energy reserve. They sang every song in the folder, which contained a mixture of traditional carols and newer songs. Melinda couldn’t help but feed on the energy, especially when some of the residents joined their group.
By the time they returned to the bus, the attitude of the carolers had definitely changed. This time, when Mr. Federico tried to get the bus to sing, everyone joined him joyfully. Melinda noticed the girls behind her had split up, each sitting with one of the Porto twins. Melinda could not hear their whispered conversations as the bus continued to sing. Seeing them together made her start thinking about Pat, which of course made her start to remember the articles she had been reading.
At the second nursing home, the residents were so excited to see the carolers, they would not let them leave. They ushered the carolers into the rec room and fed them all coffee and hot cocoa and cookies. Kayleigh and Bella were flirting with the Porto twins and Joey was playing some game with his friend on their phones.
Melinda took her cocoa and sat in a chair in the corner, deciding to check social media for the latest celebrity gossip updates. Afterall, she reasoned, Pat and Poppy Sommers had both been in Romeo and Juliet. Maybe the images were from when they were shooting. Sure, that was four months ago, but Melinda could hope.
Melinda found an interview posted earlier that day, where Poppy Sommers was talking about her next movie.
“Before we let you go,” the peppy blonde host smiled, “we have to talk about the rumors flying all over the internet. You and Patrick McGregor?”
Poppy smiled brightly, her blonde ringlets bouncing around her flawless face as she gave a practiced giggle. “Oh, I know. Isn’t it great? He is so fantastic.”
“When did this start?”
“Well, we noticed we had some chemistry when we were shooting Romeo and Juliet, and we actually were together briefly during the summer. We just recently got back togetheled r.”put
“Well, the two of you certainly do look great together,” proclaimed the announcer as the clip ended.
Melinda caught sight of her mother, speaking with one of the residents, and headed to her.
“Hey, Mom?”
“Yes, sweetie? Oh, this is my daughter, Melinda. Melinda, this is Mrs. Reynolds. She was just telling me about when she used to go caroling as a girl.”
“Oh. That sounds like fun.”
“It was.”
“Um, Mom? I’m not feeling great.”
“Oh?” Her mother said, putting an arm around Melinda’s shoulders and gently leading her away from the resident. “What’s wrong?”
“I’m not sure. I think I got a little carsick. Bussick?”
Her mother smiled. “There’s one more home. You think you can stick it out?”
Melinda nodded and stayed with her mother until they boarded the bus.
“Where’d you go?” Kayleigh asked Melinda as Mr. Federico again had everyone sing to the next nursing home.
Melinda shrugged. “I’m starting to feel sick. I don’t know if it’s the singing or the bus.”
Kayleigh smiled. “I don’t think I’ll ever be able to sing Deck the Halls again after tonight.”
“Me neither,” agreed sweater twin sitting beside her.
Unfortunately, the residents at the last home were a little less enthusiastic than their previous audiences, probably because it was nearly nine in the evening and they were getting ready for bed. The carolers toured the halls, but very few residents joined them, and no one invited them for cocoa. A few residents actually shut their door when they heard the carolers coming down the hall.
On the trip back to the commuter lot, the bus continued to sing, but Melinda did overhear sweater twin ask Kayleigh to the movies after school the following afternoon, and she suspected jacket twin had also invited Bella.
“You should join us,” Kayleigh told Melinda as they disembarked in the commuter lot. “Maybe we can even find you a date.”
“Actually, I have a boyfriend.” Melinda tried to smile even as she wondered how true her words were.
“Even better. Bring him along.”
Melinda thought about how Pat always bundled himself in scarves and a hat to avoid being recognized in town. It was one thing to be together at school, where everyone accepted Pat as a normal kid. How would it be at home, where everyone only saw him as a celebrity?
She was not embarrassed to have a famous boyfriend. But at the same time, she did not want to be the center of every gossip magazine. Melinda’s thoughts trailed to the images she had seen on her phone that evening. Did she even have a boyfriend anymore?
Melinda forced a smile. “Thanks, but I think I’m going to pass.”
Kayleigh shrugged. “Okay. Maybe next time.”
As confused and upset as Melinda was, she waited until she got home before calling Pat. She locked herself in her room and requested a video chat. When he did not accept, she sent him a text message with the link to one of the articles she had read earlier that evening, then she cried herself to sleep.
The following morning, Melinda could not turn on her phone and realized she had forgotten to charge it. At school, she always plugged it in while she was studying, and usually in the evening as well. Without her regular routine, Melinda was again finding it difficult to keep her phone charged. After plugging her phone into the wall charger, Melinda went downstairs for breakfast.
Her mother greeted her as she walked into the kitchen. “Hey, honey. I’m glad you’re up. Would you mind coming with me to run some errands while you’re brother’s in school?”
Melinda shrugged one shoulder, opening the cabinet to examine her cereal choices. “What kinds of errands?”
Melinda thought her mother might be trying to hide a smile as she left the room. “It’s not really a request. Please get dressed when you’re done eating. I’d like to leave as soon as your brother gets on the bus.”
The middle school bus had barely pulled away from her house before Melinda’s mother was pulling out of the driveway. A few moments later, when her mother pulled onto the highway, Melinda looked at her mother curiously.
“Um, Mom?”
Melinda’s mother slowed to a crawl, stuck in the traffic that plagued Southern Connecticut highways in the morning.
“Yes?”
“Where exactly did you say we were going?”
“Well, I got a phone call last night from Mrs. Evans.”
“Walter’s mom?”
“Yes. She was calling to invite you over, and I told her I was hesitant about you dating her son.”
“Oh, Mom! You didn’t!”
“I did. She said she thought you and Walter were just friends, and I explained that you were dating Patrick. Well, she didn’t know and she is equally concerned. So, she changed the invitation.”
“She uninvited me?”
“No. She invited me to come along. So, we are going to the Evans-slash-McGregor house to have coffee.”
Melinda pouted. “Are you going to make me break up with him?”
“I doubt that would do any good.”
“What do you have against him?”
“Melinda, you’re dating a teenage heartthrob.”
Melinda giggled. Her mother spared her a glance. “What?”
“I’ve never heard that term before.”
“What do you call the boy who’s on the cover of every teen magazine in the checkout line?”
“One of Hollywood’s hottest teen stars.”
“Oh. That’s too hard to say. And that was a nice way to help me forget my point.”
The drive took over an hour, mostly because they were stuck in some horrible traffic. They followed the GPS on Melinda’s mother’s phone until they were in a neighborhood of large houses with gated driveways. After a while, they pulled into one such driveway and Melinda’s mother rolled down the window, letting in the nippy November air as she pressed the button on the call box.
“Yes?” asked a voice on the other end that Melinda thought might belong to Pat’s mother.
“Hi. This is Christina Luzzelli and Melinda.”
“Oh, hi! Come on in.” The gate swung inward to allow Melinda’s mother to enter. She drove up the long driveway, which was lined with tall trees that blocked the view of the house. It was not until they reached the circle in front of the house that Melinda got her first glimpse.
The powder blue house was two stories tall and shaped like a U, with the wings on the right and left sides of the house extending behind it. A two-storied garage with four bays stood towards the left of the house. Melinda’s mother, not knowing where else to go, parked in front of the wide patio. Melinda followed her mother up the three steps to the oak front door, which was opened before they could ring the bell.
Melinda almost did not recognize Mrs. Evans, even though she had grown up watching her movies and had met her only a month earlier. The slender woman, who was only slightly taller than Melinda, was dressed in blue jeans and a lavender scoop-neck sweater that fell to her knees. Her red hair was pulled back into a playful ponytail and she wore a huge smile.
“Melinda! It’s so great to see you again.” To Melinda’s surprise, Mrs. Evan’s hugged her before turning to Melinda’s mother. “And you must be Christina. Please, call me Kara. It’s great to have you here.”
“Um, hi.”
Melinda suppressed a giggle as she watched her mother hug her purse tight to her chest, uncertain if she should hug or shake hands with the famous Kara McGregor.
Melinda and her mother had entered into a large two-storied foyer with sparkly white tiled floor and a hanging chandelier. Melinda looked around, noticing curving staircases on either side of the wide entryway. Behind Mrs. Evans was what appeared to be a living room with glass sliders leading to an indoor pool.
“Who’s here, Mom?” asked a voice behind Mrs. Evans.
Walter turned the corner, holding a plate in one hand and a sandwich in the other. His face broke into a wide grin when he caught sight of Melinda, and Melinda had to give him credit for returning the sandwich to the plate without taking a bite.
“Hey!” Walter gave Melinda a big hug before waving to her mother, hom he had met at Parents’ weekend. “Hi, Mrs. Luzzelli.”
“Hi, Walter,” Melinda’s mother greeted him. “How are you?”
“Hungry,” his mother replied. “He’s always eating. Will you please take that back to the kitchen? How many times do I have to remind you that food should not leave the kitchen?”
“Oh, I have to remind my son of that daily. And I still find plates in his room,” Melinda’s mother laughed.
Mrs. Evans must have realized her guests were still standing in the entryway. “Please, won’t you come in? Can I take your coats?”
“Sure.” Melinda and her mother shrugged out of their coats, which Mrs. Evans hung in a closet under the left staircase. She then led them through the living room into a spacious kitchen, where Walter was sitting at an island eating his sandwich.
“Yuh dinnuh say yuh wuh come um.” Walter covered his mouth as he spoke so his sandwich would not fly out.
“Walter!” his mother scolded.
“It’s okay, Mom,” Pat said as he bounded into the room, a leaner, slightly taller version of his younger brother, with a tinge more red in his hair. “Melinda’s used to it. Walter talks with his mouth full all the time at school.”
“Tattletale.” Walter made a face at his brother behind his mother’s back.
Mrs. Evans looked from one boy to the other. “I invited Melinda and her mother here. We’re having coffee together. You,” she pointed at Walter. “Finish up and go clean your playroom. You,” she turned to Pat. “Sit down.”
Melinda felt guilty. Mrs. Evans was using a tone of voice that clearly indicated Pat was in trouble. Walter finished his sandwich in three wordless bites, reached over the island to place his plate in the sink, and waved towards Melinda with a quizzical look, as he passed her and disappeared towards the entryway.
“Please, sit down.” Mrs. Evans gestured towards a breakfast nook with three bench seats. Melinda sat across from her mother and Pat sat beside her, although, she noticed, at a greater distance than he usually did. Melinda wondered whether that was because their mothers were there, or because the rumors about him and Poppy Sommers were true.
Everyone was silent as Mrs. Evans placed a plate of scones in the center of the table, then carried over four steaming mugs. Melinda politely declined.
“Oh. I, um, I don’t drink coffee.”
Mrs. Evan’s smiled as she sat on the third bench. “I should hope not. It’s cocoa.”
Pat groaned and Mrs. Evans glared at him. “Not Meghan’s, the real stuff.” She turned back to Melinda. “Your mother and I have coffee. But, the scones are sugar-free. Meghan’s been learning to cook.”
“Is she taking better care of herself?”
Pat took a sip of his cocoa. “She has a doctor’s appointment tomorrow. If she gets a bad report, Mom threatened to move back in with her.”
Mrs. Evans turned to Melinda’s mother. “My daughter has diabetes. She was having a difficult time managing it a couple of months ago, but she’s been doing better lately.”
“Oh, I’m sorry.” Melinda could tell her mother was unsure of what to say.
Mrs. Evans turned back to her son. “So, Pat. I thought I would surprise Walter by inviting his friend to come over today. Imagine my surprise when Mrs. Luzzelli said she was uncomfortable with Melinda dating my son.”
Pat face and neck turned red as he stared into his cocoa. “I was going to tell you. Maybe Walter was.”
Melinda’s mother looked to Pat. “I’m just concerned because you’re so much older than Melinda.” Melinda tried to melt into her seat.
“Wait. That’s your biggest concern?” asked Mrs. Evans.
“Well, I’m not thrilled that he’s a...what was the term you used, Melinda?”
Melinda shook her head, unable to speak, so her mother continued. “I forgot. Anyway, I suppose the fact that you guys are…you know…celebrities…I guess that’s a little uncomfortable. But, that’s not anyone’s fault, really. I’m more concerned that my thirteen year old is dating a sixteen year old.”
Mrs. Evans considered Melinda’s mother a moment. “I must say, you are really handling the Hollywood thing rather well. I don’t think the kids have ever had a friend over whose parents weren’t…”
“Freaking out about being here?” Pat supplied, his face slowly returning to its normal color.
Melinda’s mother smiled slightly, turning to Pat. “My son chased you down for an autograph during Parents’ Weekend. Melinda refused, pointing out you were trying to be a normal person. That’s who I’m trying to see.”
Pat returned her smile with the one that had made him famous. “Did she tell you that was my first day back on campus?”
“No. She actually didn’t even mention she knew you at the time.”
“Don’t get mad at her. It was Walter. He didn’t want anyone knowing I was his brother. It took him pretty much until the end of the term before he was okay with people finding out.”
“So, when did this start?” Mrs. Evans waved a finger between Pat and Melinda.
“Two weeks ago,” Melinda whispered, while at the same time Pat replied “Parents’ Weekend.”
“Well, which was it?” Melinda’s mother asked. “No, wait. I know it wasn’t Parents’ Weekend, because at your show you said you and Pat were just friends.”
“I guess it was the Victory Ball.” Pat was again turning red, staring at the plate of cookies as he spoke. “We were dancing and…we realized we liked each other.”
“We were both confused.” Melinda’s voice was quiet as she also spoke to the cookies.
“It took a while for us to figure out what was going on. I guess, technically, we got together the week after the dance.”
Mrs. Evans looked at her son. “And, how does your brother feel about you dating his friend?”
When Pat said nothing, Melinda whispered, “He thinks we’re cute together.”
“Well, I’m not comfortable with it.” Melinda’s mother said was clearly agitated. “I don’t like the fact that you two are running around with no supervision.”
“Mom!” Melinda exclaimed in a whisper, chancing a glance at her mother.
“I happen to agree,” piped up Mrs. Evans. “I remember how easy it is to sneak someone into the dorms.”
“Mom!” Pat send his mother a look of terror. “It’s not like that. You know I would never step foot in her dorm. All those third form girls…” Pat trailed off, but his mother just raised her eyebrows at him.
Melinda smiled weakly. “They would eat you alive.”
Pat nodded knowingly.
His mother gave a dismissive wave. “That’s a ridiculous argument.”
“I told my mom about your chastity card,” Melinda whispered so quietly, she wasn’t sure the mothers heard her.
Pat looked at her, growing even more red. “What? Why?”
The look on his face brought tears to Melinda’s eyes. If they somehow survived this conversation, she wasn’t sure that Pat would even want to be with her anymore.
With a sigh, Pat reached into his back pocket and withdrew his wallet. He pulled out something that looked like a business card and passed it to Melinda’s mother, not meeting her eyes as he explained himself. He spoke quickly, as if getting the words out would lessen his obvious humiliation.
“A couple of summers ago, I went on this religious retreat. I learned a lot about chastity. It made me realize that God wants us to save the physical part of a relationship for marriage, and I intend to do so.”
Melinda chanced a glance at her mother in time to see her pass the card to Mrs. Evans, looking skeptical.
“I know you think that now, but I find it hard to believe you’re not going to change your mind.”
Pat shrugged. “I’m not.”
Melinda knew her mother was far from convinced.
Mrs. Evans looked at Pat. “At the very least, I don’t want you in each other’ dorm rooms.”
“That’s already a rule.”
“No, it’s not. I’ve read the handbook.”
Melinda smiled, daring to glance up as she spoke quietly. “It’s one of our rules.” At her mother’s raised eyebrows, she continued. “Pat and I were really confused. So, we’ve done a lot of talking about some of these things you guys are worried about. And one thing we both agreed was that neither one of us is comfortable in each other’s room. I’m not even comfortable in his common room. It’s just…inappropriate.”
There was a moment of silence, in which Melinda could see her mother digesting the conversation. Mrs. Evans was the first to speak.
“What are you going to tell Cynthia?”
Melinda silently wondered if Cynthia was another girlfriend, like Poppy, but she said nothing, simply waiting to see what Pat would say. His response was nearly a whine.
“Do I have to tell her?”
Mrs. Evans looked at Melinda, then back to her son. “We can discuss this later. Why don’t you show Melinda to the playroom while I speak with Mrs. Luzzelli? Maybe Walter’ll clean it for her. And, the same rules apply here, Mister. I’m sorry, Melinda, but you’re not allowed in Pat’s room alone. If one of the other kids wants to go with you, that’s fine.”
“Oh, that’s fine with me, Mrs. Evans.” Melinda smiled, looking at Pat’s mother for the first time since the conversation began. “I don’t think I’d be comfortable being in Pat’s room anyway.”
Pat waited for Melinda to slide off the bench after him before taking her hand and leading her back towards the entryway. As they turned the corner, Melinda heard Mrs. Evans tell her mother, “I’m impressed by your daughter’s maturity.”
“Honestly, so am I,” Melinda heard her mother reply.

[Table Of Contents] [Chapter 35 coming September 25]
Follow Patrick McGregor's story in Confessions of a Teenage Celebrity - Chapter 11: Meet the Parents
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2020.09.17 15:01 AshleighBSB Boarding School Blues - Chapter 3: Meet the Parents

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This is Book 4: Boarding School Break: Happy Thanksgiving
[Book 2: Boarding School Beginnings] [Book 3: Boarding School Boyfriends]

We Wish You A Merry Christmas used to be my favorite Christmas song. I always loved the part about figgy pudding, although I’m not sure I ever figured out what exactly that was. Now, however, I cannot stand the song.
Last winter, my friend had a sleepover party a couple of weeks before Christmas. We watched a movie where the family had gone Christmas caroling, and someone got it into their head that we should all go. We borrowed hats and mittens from our friend, got permission from her mother, and starting going door to door.
We went to the next door neighbor’s house, rang the bell, and started singing We Wish You A Merry Christmas. The neighbor opened the door and smiled at us, so we sang a second song before leaving. We visited the rest of the neighbors on her side of the street before turning around and making our way back.
Most of the neighbors opened the door and smiled at us, in which case we would sing a second song. One of the neighbors invited us in for hot chocolate. However, this was the neighbor whom the previous summer we had decided was a wicked witch and we decided not to take anything she might offer us. (Looking back, I think she was just a lonely old widow.)
There are a couple dozen houses on my friend’s street, but we only knew a few songs. Eventually, we got cold and we when we passed my friend’s house, we decided to stop caroling and go inside.
By the time we had gone to bed, I was sick of my favorite Christmas song. Although I had a little fun, I’m not sure it’s something I would ever volunteer to do again.

Sunday afternoon, Melinda was in the kitchen, helping her mother make lunch, when her brother bounded into the room.
“Hey, Mom! Michael invited me over to play chess today. Can I?”
“Since when do you play chess?” Melinda asked.
Joey shrugged. “Michael’s been teaching me. We joined this before school chess club that meets on Tuesdays.” He turned back to his mother. “So, can I go?”
She shook her head as she closed the microwave door. “No. Go tell your father it’s time to eat.”
“But why not?”
“Get your father.”
Joey stomped to the kitchen door, then shouted loud enough for the neighbors on the next block to hear. “DAD!! LUNCH!!”
Melinda’s mother sighed. “I could have done that. I wanted you to go get him. Sit.”
Melinda and Joey sat while their mother brought over the Thanksgiving leftovers Nonna had sent home with them.
As soon as their father entered the kitchen, Joey declared “Mom said I can’t go to Michael’s today.”
“She’s right. The bus is leaving at five.”
“What bus?” asked Melinda and Joey in unison.
Melinda’s mother shook her head. “I haven’t told them yet.”
“Told us what?” asked Joey.
“Are we going somewhere?” asked Melinda.
“Yes. We are going Christmas caroling,” their mother informed them. When she was met with blank stares, she continued. “The Bridgewater Club decided to do a family caroling night at the area nursing homes. They rented a school bus, which is going to take us to a few different homes. It counts as community service hours for school.” She looked at Melinda.
“I don’t need any. We have Service Day every term. And, those hours are probably more than what I need for Confirmation class.”
“Do we have to go?” whined Joey.
“Yes,” replied her father. “It’s a fun family activity. The only one we’ll probably have before Christmas. So, we’re going. You’ll have fun.”
Melinda doubted that, but she held her tongue. Joey also looked like he wanted to say something, but he remained silent as well.
For as long as Melinda could remember, her father had been a member of the Bridgewater Club, an Italian-American men’s club that met monthly. Once or twice a year, they would hold family events, such as last summer, when they attended a dinner theater show together. Melinda could not remember ever participating in a Christmas caroling evening, however.
After an early supper, Melinda’s father drove the family to a commuter lot near the center of town. There, he greeted the other men from his club who had gathered in a mass in the center of the lot. Some of the women were talking in smaller groups.
There were a handful of other teens in the area, and Joey immediately found another boy around his age playing on his phone. The two began talking about how much they did not want to be there and they bonded immediately. Melinda, meanwhile, found two girls a few years older than she and approached them hesitantly, worried they may not be friendly towards her.
“Hi.”
“Hey,” greeted the taller girl in a red fleece jacket, her dark hair pulled back. “I’m Kayleigh. This is Bella.” She pointed to the girl beside her in a blue sweater dress and black leggings, her light brown hair falling in gentle waves halfway down her back.
Bella waved and Kayleigh continued. “So, what school do you go to? Not West Shore, I hope.”
Melinda shook her head. “No, I go to boarding school.”
Bella smiled sympathetically. “You caused that much trouble at home?”
Melinda giggled. “Nah. My parents just thought I’d like it more, and I do.”
“What year are you? Frosh?” Kayleigh asked in a friendly way.
Melinda nodded. “How ‘bout you guys?”
“We’re both sophomores,” Bella explained. “We go to East Shore.”
Melinda nodded, not sure what she should say next. She glanced around the parking lot uneasily.
“Hey!” Kayleigh exclaimed after a moment. “Maybe you can help us. Do you see the two cute guys standing behind me?”
Melinda glanced over Kayleigh’s shoulder, but only saw Joey and his new friend. She raised her eyebrows.
“Not my little brother.”
Bella turned around. “No. Eww. That’s Kayleigh’s brother. No. The twins. Where’d they go?”
“Oh! Turn around!” Melinda said quickly. “Yeah, I see them, and they’re looking at you. Don’t look!”
“Really?” asked Kayleigh excitedly.
“Which one’s cuter?” asked Bella.
Melinda tried to look past the girls without the twins noticing that she was actually staring at them. She considered the two boys, who were nearly identical, as Kayleigh explained, “Xander’s the one in the sweater. Xavier’s the one in the jacket.”
“Honestly, they’re both cute. But, they’re coming over here!”
“They are not!” Bella said in a loud whisper.
“Hey, Kayleigh,” greeted the sweater twin so hesitantly, Melinda thought it made him absolutely adorable.
“Hi, Bella.” The jacket twin sounded much more confident. “Did your dad drag you here, too?”
Bella seemed a little flustered. “Oh. Hey. Yeah. I told my dad I don’t sing, but he didn’t care. Threatened to take my phone away if I didn’t come.”
“That’s harsh,” jacket twin acknowledged. “Xander lost his last month when he failed his history test.”
Sweater twin smiled. “My parents thought I failed because I spent too much time on my phone. When I failed the second test, they gave back my phone and got me a tutor.”
Everyone laughed, but Kayleigh giggled just a little longer than everyone else.
Jacket twin turned to Melinda. “I don’t think we’ve met. Xavier Porto.”
“Melinda Luzzelli.”
“That’s my brother, Xander.”
“I gathered.” Melinda was saved from further awkwardness when a school bus lumbered into the lot, pulling to a stop behind the first row of cars.
“Alright,” announced the man Melinda recognized as the club president, Mr. Federico, she believed. “Let’s all get on the bus. I have music folders as you board. If you’re a soprano, please sit in the front right. If you’re an alto, front left. Tenors, you’re in the back right and bass, you’re in the back left.”
Melinda waited a few moments to allow the adults onto the bus, eventually boarding with her new friends. Since she was pretty certain the man in the second row on her right was not a soprano and the woman in the last seat on the left was not a bass, she assumed people had ignored Mr. Federico’s seating assignment.
Kayleigh and Bella sat near the middle of the bus, directing Melinda to sit in front of them. The twins sat in the seat beside Kayleigh and Bella, while Joey and his friend sat across from Melinda.
Joey passed her his phone. “Melinda. Look what Tony just showed me.”
Melinda looked at the video clip on the screen of two people kissing.
“Ooo!” exclaimed one of the girls behind her. “Patrick McGregor has a new girlfriend?”
“Is that Poppy Sommers?” asked Kayleigh.
“She’s dating Jarrod Handy.”
“I don’t think they’re together anymore!” Kayleigh giggled.
“Everyone ready?” asked Mr. Federico. Melinda looked up to see the bus was pulling out of the lot and the club president was standing between the two front seats, using an overhead speaker to be heard at the back of the bus. When they had boarded the bus, Mr. Federico had handed them each a manila folder with photocopies of Christmas songs stapled into it to create a booklet. He now held one above his head as he continued.
“Let’s practice. Turn to page 1. Ready, One, two…Dashing through the snow...”
The forty people on the bus performed one of the dullest versions of Jingle Bells Melinda had ever heard. It was followed by a very off-key Silent Night and a very unenthusiastic Deck the Halls. By the time they reached the first nursing home, Melinda had the impression Mr. Federico was regretting bringing everyone caroling.
Melinda had no energy to sing. After returning Joey’s phone, she began searching the internet and found other images similar to the one Joey had shown her. Many accompanied articles about Hollywood’s latest couple: Poppy Sommers and Patrick McGregor. As they disembarked the bus, Melinda began to feel a little queasy, and she wasn’t sure if it was from reading her phone while the bus was in motion, or what she had read.
Wandering the halls of the first nursing home, the carolers found a hidden energy reserve. They sang every song in the folder, which contained a mixture of traditional carols and newer songs. Melinda couldn’t help but feed on the energy, especially when some of the residents joined their group.
By the time they returned to the bus, the attitude of the carolers had definitely changed. This time, when Mr. Federico tried to get the bus to sing, everyone joined him joyfully. Melinda noticed the girls behind her had split up, each sitting with one of the Porto twins. Melinda could not hear their whispered conversations as the bus continued to sing. Seeing them together made her start thinking about Pat, which of course made her start to remember the articles she had been reading.
At the second nursing home, the residents were so excited to see the carolers, they would not let them leave. They ushered the carolers into the rec room and fed them all coffee and hot cocoa and cookies. Kayleigh and Bella were flirting with the Porto twins and Joey was playing some game with his friend on their phones.
Melinda took her cocoa and sat in a chair in the corner, deciding to check social media for the latest celebrity gossip updates. Afterall, she reasoned, Pat and Poppy Sommers had both been in Romeo and Juliet. Maybe the images were from when they were shooting. Sure, that was four months ago, but Melinda could hope.
Melinda found an interview posted earlier that day, where Poppy Sommers was talking about her next movie.

“Before we let you go,” the peppy blonde host smiled, “we have to talk about the rumors flying all over the internet. You and Patrick McGregor?”
Poppy smiled brightly, her blonde ringlets bouncing around her flawless face as she gave a practiced giggle. “Oh, I know. Isn’t it great? He is so fantastic.”
“When did this start?”
“Well, we noticed we had some chemistry when we were shooting Romeo and Juliet, and we actually were together briefly during the summer. We just recently got back togetheled r.”put
“Well, the two of you certainly do look great together,” proclaimed the announcer as the clip ended.

Melinda caught sight of her mother, speaking with one of the residents, and headed to her.
“Hey, Mom?”
“Yes, sweetie? Oh, this is my daughter, Melinda. Melinda, this is Mrs. Reynolds. She was just telling me about when she used to go caroling as a girl.”
“Oh. That sounds like fun.”
“It was.”
“Um, Mom? I’m not feeling great.”
“Oh?” Her mother said, putting an arm around Melinda’s shoulders and gently leading her away from the resident. “What’s wrong?”
“I’m not sure. I think I got a little carsick. Bussick?”
Her mother smiled. “There’s one more home. You think you can stick it out?”
Melinda nodded and stayed with her mother until they boarded the bus.
“Where’d you go?” Kayleigh asked Melinda as Mr. Federico again had everyone sing to the next nursing home.
Melinda shrugged. “I’m starting to feel sick. I don’t know if it’s the singing or the bus.”
Kayleigh smiled. “I don’t think I’ll ever be able to sing Deck the Halls again after tonight.”
“Me neither,” agreed sweater twin sitting beside her.

Unfortunately, the residents at the last home were a little less enthusiastic than their previous audiences, probably because it was nearly nine in the evening and they were getting ready for bed. The carolers toured the halls, but very few residents joined them, and no one invited them for cocoa. A few residents actually shut their door when they heard the carolers coming down the hall.
On the trip back to the commuter lot, the bus continued to sing, but Melinda did overhear sweater twin ask Kayleigh to the movies after school the following afternoon, and she suspected jacket twin had also invited Bella.
“You should join us,” Kayleigh told Melinda as they disembarked in the commuter lot. “Maybe we can even find you a date.”
“Actually, I have a boyfriend.” Melinda tried to smile even as she wondered how true her words were.
“Even better. Bring him along.”
Melinda thought about how Pat always bundled himself in scarves and a hat to avoid being recognized in town. It was one thing to be together at school, where everyone accepted Pat as a normal kid. How would it be at home, where everyone only saw him as a celebrity?
She was not embarrassed to have a famous boyfriend. But at the same time, she did not want to be the center of every gossip magazine. Melinda’s thoughts trailed to the images she had seen on her phone that evening. Did she even have a boyfriend anymore?
Melinda forced a smile. “Thanks, but I think I’m going to pass.”
Kayleigh shrugged. “Okay. Maybe next time.”
As confused and upset as Melinda was, she waited until she got home before calling Pat. She locked herself in her room and requested a video chat. When he did not accept, she sent him a text message with the link to one of the articles she had read earlier that evening, then she cried herself to sleep.

The following morning, Melinda could not turn on her phone and realized she had forgotten to charge it. At school, she always plugged it in while she was studying, and usually in the evening as well. Without her regular routine, Melinda was again finding it difficult to keep her phone charged. After plugging her phone into the wall charger, Melinda went downstairs for breakfast.
Her mother greeted her as she walked into the kitchen. “Hey, honey. I’m glad you’re up. Would you mind coming with me to run some errands while you’re brother’s in school?”
Melinda shrugged one shoulder, opening the cabinet to examine her cereal choices. “What kinds of errands?”
Melinda thought her mother might be trying to hide a smile as she left the room. “It’s not really a request. Please get dressed when you’re done eating. I’d like to leave as soon as your brother gets on the bus.”

The middle school bus had barely pulled away from her house before Melinda’s mother was pulling out of the driveway. A few moments later, when her mother pulled onto the highway, Melinda looked at her mother curiously.
“Um, Mom?”
Melinda’s mother slowed to a crawl, stuck in the traffic that plagued Southern Connecticut highways in the morning.
“Yes?”
“Where exactly did you say we were going?”
“Well, I got a phone call last night from Mrs. Evans.”
“Walter’s mom?”
“Yes. She was calling to invite you over, and I told her I was hesitant about you dating her son.”
“Oh, Mom! You didn’t!”
“I did. She said she thought you and Walter were just friends, and I explained that you were dating Patrick. Well, she didn’t know and she is equally concerned. So, she changed the invitation.”
“She uninvited me?”
“No. She invited me to come along. So, we are going to the Evans-slash-McGregor house to have coffee.”
Melinda pouted. “Are you going to make me break up with him?”
“I doubt that would do any good.”
“What do you have against him?”
“Melinda, you’re dating a teenage heartthrob.”
Melinda giggled. Her mother spared her a glance. “What?”
“I’ve never heard that term before.”
“What do you call the boy who’s on the cover of every teen magazine in the checkout line?”
“One of Hollywood’s hottest teen stars.”
“Oh. That’s too hard to say. And that was a nice way to help me forget my point.”

The drive took over an hour, mostly because they were stuck in some horrible traffic. They followed the GPS on Melinda’s mother’s phone until they were in a neighborhood of large houses with gated driveways. After a while, they pulled into one such driveway and Melinda’s mother rolled down the window, letting in the nippy November air as she pressed the button on the call box.
“Yes?” asked a voice on the other end that Melinda thought might belong to Pat’s mother.
“Hi. This is Christina Luzzelli and Melinda.”
“Oh, hi! Come on in.” The gate swung inward to allow Melinda’s mother to enter. She drove up the long driveway, which was lined with tall trees that blocked the view of the house. It was not until they reached the circle in front of the house that Melinda got her first glimpse.
The powder blue house was two stories tall and shaped like a U, with the wings on the right and left sides of the house extending behind it. A two-storied garage with four bays stood towards the left of the house. Melinda’s mother, not knowing where else to go, parked in front of the wide patio. Melinda followed her mother up the three steps to the oak front door, which was opened before they could ring the bell.
Melinda almost did not recognize Mrs. Evans, even though she had grown up watching her movies and had met her only a month earlier. The slender woman, who was only slightly taller than Melinda, was dressed in blue jeans and a lavender scoop-neck sweater that fell to her knees. Her red hair was pulled back into a playful ponytail and she wore a huge smile.
“Melinda! It’s so great to see you again.” To Melinda’s surprise, Mrs. Evan’s hugged her before turning to Melinda’s mother. “And you must be Christina. Please, call me Kara. It’s great to have you here.”
“Um, hi.”
Melinda suppressed a giggle as she watched her mother hug her purse tight to her chest, uncertain if she should hug or shake hands with the famous Kara McGregor.
Melinda and her mother had entered into a large two-storied foyer with sparkly white tiled floor and a hanging chandelier. Melinda looked around, noticing curving staircases on either side of the wide entryway. Behind Mrs. Evans was what appeared to be a living room with glass sliders leading to an indoor pool.
“Who’s here, Mom?” asked a voice behind Mrs. Evans.
Walter turned the corner, holding a plate in one hand and a sandwich in the other. His face broke into a wide grin when he caught sight of Melinda, and Melinda had to give him credit for returning the sandwich to the plate without taking a bite.
“Hey!” Walter gave Melinda a big hug before waving to her mother, hom he had met at Parents’ weekend. “Hi, Mrs. Luzzelli.”
“Hi, Walter,” Melinda’s mother greeted him. “How are you?”
“Hungry,” his mother replied. “He’s always eating. Will you please take that back to the kitchen? How many times do I have to remind you that food should not leave the kitchen?”
“Oh, I have to remind my son of that daily. And I still find plates in his room,” Melinda’s mother laughed.
Mrs. Evans must have realized her guests were still standing in the entryway. “Please, won’t you come in? Can I take your coats?”
“Sure.” Melinda and her mother shrugged out of their coats, which Mrs. Evans hung in a closet under the left staircase. She then led them through the living room into a spacious kitchen, where Walter was sitting at an island eating his sandwich.
“Yuh dinnuh say yuh wuh come um.” Walter covered his mouth as he spoke so his sandwich would not fly out.
“Walter!” his mother scolded.
“It’s okay, Mom,” Pat said as he bounded into the room, a leaner, slightly taller version of his younger brother, with a tinge more red in his hair. “Melinda’s used to it. Walter talks with his mouth full all the time at school.”
“Tattletale.” Walter made a face at his brother behind his mother’s back.
Mrs. Evans looked from one boy to the other. “I invited Melinda and her mother here. We’re having coffee together. You,” she pointed at Walter. “Finish up and go clean your playroom. You,” she turned to Pat. “Sit down.”
Melinda felt guilty. Mrs. Evans was using a tone of voice that clearly indicated Pat was in trouble. Walter finished his sandwich in three wordless bites, reached over the island to place his plate in the sink, and waved towards Melinda with a quizzical look, as he passed her and disappeared towards the entryway.
“Please, sit down.” Mrs. Evans gestured towards a breakfast nook with three bench seats. Melinda sat across from her mother and Pat sat beside her, although, she noticed, at a greater distance than he usually did. Melinda wondered whether that was because their mothers were there, or because the rumors about him and Poppy Sommers were true.
Everyone was silent as Mrs. Evans placed a plate of scones in the center of the table, then carried over four steaming mugs. Melinda politely declined.
“Oh. I, um, I don’t drink coffee.”
Mrs. Evan’s smiled as she sat on the third bench. “I should hope not. It’s cocoa.”
Pat groaned and Mrs. Evans glared at him. “Not Meghan’s, the real stuff.” She turned back to Melinda. “Your mother and I have coffee. But, the scones are sugar-free. Meghan’s been learning to cook.”
“Is she taking better care of herself?”
Pat took a sip of his cocoa. “She has a doctor’s appointment tomorrow. If she gets a bad report, Mom threatened to move back in with her.”
Mrs. Evans turned to Melinda’s mother. “My daughter has diabetes. She was having a difficult time managing it a couple of months ago, but she’s been doing better lately.”
“Oh, I’m sorry.” Melinda could tell her mother was unsure of what to say.
Mrs. Evans turned back to her son. “So, Pat. I thought I would surprise Walter by inviting his friend to come over today. Imagine my surprise when Mrs. Luzzelli said she was uncomfortable with Melinda dating my son.”
Pat face and neck turned red as he stared into his cocoa. “I was going to tell you. Maybe Walter was.”
Melinda’s mother looked to Pat. “I’m just concerned because you’re so much older than Melinda.” Melinda tried to melt into her seat.
“Wait. That’s your biggest concern?” asked Mrs. Evans.
“Well, I’m not thrilled that he’s a...what was the term you used, Melinda?”
Melinda shook her head, unable to speak, so her mother continued. “I forgot. Anyway, I suppose the fact that you guys are…you know…celebrities…I guess that’s a little uncomfortable. But, that’s not anyone’s fault, really. I’m more concerned that my thirteen year old is dating a sixteen year old.”
Mrs. Evans considered Melinda’s mother a moment. “I must say, you are really handling the Hollywood thing rather well. I don’t think the kids have ever had a friend over whose parents weren’t…”
“Freaking out about being here?” Pat supplied, his face slowly returning to its normal color.
Melinda’s mother smiled slightly, turning to Pat. “My son chased you down for an autograph during Parents’ Weekend. Melinda refused, pointing out you were trying to be a normal person. That’s who I’m trying to see.”
Pat returned her smile with the one that had made him famous. “Did she tell you that was my first day back on campus?”
“No. She actually didn’t even mention she knew you at the time.”
“Don’t get mad at her. It was Walter. He didn’t want anyone knowing I was his brother. It took him pretty much until the end of the term before he was okay with people finding out.”
“So, when did this start?” Mrs. Evans waved a finger between Pat and Melinda.
“Two weeks ago,” Melinda whispered, while at the same time Pat replied “Parents’ Weekend.”
“Well, which was it?” Melinda’s mother asked. “No, wait. I know it wasn’t Parents’ Weekend, because at your show you said you and Pat were just friends.”
“I guess it was the Victory Ball.” Pat was again turning red, staring at the plate of cookies as he spoke. “We were dancing and…we realized we liked each other.”
“We were both confused.” Melinda’s voice was quiet as she also spoke to the cookies.
“It took a while for us to figure out what was going on. I guess, technically, we got together the week after the dance.”
Mrs. Evans looked at her son. “And, how does your brother feel about you dating his friend?”
When Pat said nothing, Melinda whispered, “He thinks we’re cute together.”
“Well, I’m not comfortable with it.” Melinda’s mother said was clearly agitated. “I don’t like the fact that you two are running around with no supervision.”
“Mom!” Melinda exclaimed in a whisper, chancing a glance at her mother.
“I happen to agree,” piped up Mrs. Evans. “I remember how easy it is to sneak someone into the dorms.”
“Mom!” Pat send his mother a look of terror. “It’s not like that. You know I would never step foot in her dorm. All those third form girls…” Pat trailed off, but his mother just raised her eyebrows at him.
Melinda smiled weakly. “They would eat you alive.”
Pat nodded knowingly.
His mother gave a dismissive wave. “That’s a ridiculous argument.”
“I told my mom about your chastity card,” Melinda whispered so quietly, she wasn’t sure the mothers heard her.
Pat looked at her, growing even more red. “What? Why?”
The look on his face brought tears to Melinda’s eyes. If they somehow survived this conversation, she wasn’t sure that Pat would even want to be with her anymore.
With a sigh, Pat reached into his back pocket and withdrew his wallet. He pulled out something that looked like a business card and passed it to Melinda’s mother, not meeting her eyes as he explained himself. He spoke quickly, as if getting the words out would lessen his obvious humiliation.
“A couple of summers ago, I went on this religious retreat. I learned a lot about chastity. It made me realize that God wants us to save the physical part of a relationship for marriage, and I intend to do so.”
Melinda chanced a glance at her mother in time to see her pass the card to Mrs. Evans, looking skeptical.
“I know you think that now, but I find it hard to believe you’re not going to change your mind.”
Pat shrugged. “I’m not.”
Melinda knew her mother was far from convinced.
Mrs. Evans looked at Pat. “At the very least, I don’t want you in each other’ dorm rooms.”
“That’s already a rule.”
“No, it’s not. I’ve read the handbook.”
Melinda smiled, daring to glance up as she spoke quietly. “It’s one of our rules.” At her mother’s raised eyebrows, she continued. “Pat and I were really confused. So, we’ve done a lot of talking about some of these things you guys are worried about. And one thing we both agreed was that neither one of us is comfortable in each other’s room. I’m not even comfortable in his common room. It’s just…inappropriate.”
There was a moment of silence, in which Melinda could see her mother digesting the conversation. Mrs. Evans was the first to speak.
“What are you going to tell Cynthia?”
Melinda silently wondered if Cynthia was another girlfriend, like Poppy, but she said nothing, simply waiting to see what Pat would say. His response was nearly a whine.
“Do I have to tell her?”
Mrs. Evans looked at Melinda, then back to her son. “We can discuss this later. Why don’t you show Melinda to the playroom while I speak with Mrs. Luzzelli? Maybe Walter’ll clean it for her. And, the same rules apply here, Mister. I’m sorry, Melinda, but you’re not allowed in Pat’s room alone. If one of the other kids wants to go with you, that’s fine.”
“Oh, that’s fine with me, Mrs. Evans.” Melinda smiled, looking at Pat’s mother for the first time since the conversation began. “I don’t think I’d be comfortable being in Pat’s room anyway.”
Pat waited for Melinda to slide off the bench after him before taking her hand and leading her back towards the entryway. As they turned the corner, Melinda heard Mrs. Evans tell her mother, “I’m impressed by your daughter’s maturity.”
“Honestly, so am I,” Melinda heard her mother reply.

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[Table Of Contents] [Chapter 4 coming September 25]
Follow follow Patrick McGregor's story in Confessions of a Teenage Celebrity - Chapter 2: Meet the Parents
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2020.09.17 00:47 Stoaticor Victoria records 28 new cases and 8 new deaths

New cases reported in the last 24 hours

 
DHHS: Media Release - Thursday, 17 September
 
17th September:
Total cases New case average Unknown*
Metropolitan 621 44.4 83
Regional 41 2.9 1
 
16th September:
Total cases New case average Unknown*
Metropolitan 694 49.6 81
Regional 49 3.5 1
*Rolling 14 days number of cases of unknown source of acquisition.
For previous available numbers, please refer to the wiki here.
 

Cases to date

Last 24 hours TOTAL
Confirmed cases +28 19,970 (-1)*
Active -56 947
Recovered +64 18,217
Deaths +8 745
Aged care (deaths) +6 585
Community transmission -6 4,272
Test results received +14,247 2,535,134
Hospital -10 97
ICU +1 12
Ventilated +0 6
*1 previous case reclassified.
 

Active cases breakdown

Last 24 hours TOTAL
Active -56 947
Metropolitan Melbourne -41 907
Regional Victoria -4 33
Colac Otway -4 16
Greater Geelong +0 3
Greater Bendigo +0 1
Ballarat +0 0
Unknown/Under investigation 2
Interstate +1 5
Overseas +0 0
 

Other

Last 24 hours TOTAL
Total aged care active -33 464
Healthcare workers active -9 143
Healthcare workers total +6 3,461
Disability accom. residents -2 0
Disability accom. staff -2 2

Active cases - aged care

Outbreak Suburb LGA Last 24 hours Residents / Hospitalised Staff TOTAL active Known deaths Reported
Estia Health Keilor Downs Brimbank - 4 / 1 4 8 Unknown Sept: 15
Baptcare Wyndham Lodge Werribee Wyndham - 12 / 13 34 59 22 Sept: 15, 13, 11, 9, 8, 7
Baptcare Brookview Westmeadows Hume - 4 / 4 5 13 1 Sept: 15, 13, 11, 8, 7
Jewish Care Windsor Port Phillip - 0 / 0 5 5 2 Sept: 12, 11, 9, 8, 7
Estia Health Keysborough Dandenong - 8 / 4 13 21 Unknown Sept: 15, 8, 4
Doutta Galla Aged Services Woornack Sunshine - 13 / 2 6 19 Unknown Sept: 7, 4
 

Active cases - other

Type Outbreak Suburb LGA Last 24 hours TOTAL active TOTAL cases Reported by DHHS
OTHER Casey community Hallam/Narre Warren Casey +14 33 34 Sept: 17, 14, 11.
HEALTH Footscray Hospital Footscray Maribyrnong +1 13 15 (+2) Sept: 16, 15
OTHER Vawdrey Australia Truck Manufacturer - - +0 9 64 Sept: 17, 16, 15, 14, 13, 12, 11, 10, 9, 8, 7.
OTHER Dandenong Police Station Dandenong Dandenong +0 5 16 (+1) Sept: 17, 16, 15, 14, 13, 12, 11, 10, 9, 8, 7.
EDU Wydinia Kindergarten Colac Colac Otway -2 6 16 Sept: 17, 16, 15, 14, 13, 12,
OTHER Bulla Dairy Foods Colac Colac -2 8 20 Sept: 17, 16, 15, 14, 13, 12, 11, 10, 9, 8, 7.
HEALTH Frankston Hospital Frankston Frankston - 6 90 Sept: 14, 13, 12, 11, 10, 9, 8, 7.
HEALTH Royal Melbourne Hospital Royal Park campus Parkville Melbourne - 10 unknown Sept: 7.
OTHER JBS Brookyln Brooklyn Brimbank - 19 unknown Sept: 6.
 

⚠️High-risk locations as of 16/09

The table below was last updated at 16:13:47 PM on Wednesday, 16 September. Please view the DHHS website for the most up to date information.
RECENT CHANGES:
  • ADDED 2 locations: KFC Westgate Port, Melbourne & Provans Mitre 10, Clifton Hill.
  • REMOVED: None.
  • Points to note: None.
Location Site Exposure period Reported by DHHS
Westgate Port Melbourne KFC 11/09/2020 & 12/09/2020 Sept: 16
Clifton Hill Provans Mitre 10 10/09/2020 Sept: 16
Altona North Woolworths 04/09/2020 Sept: 15, 11
Craigieburn Craigieburn Shopping Centre 11/09/2020 Sept: 15, 14
Dandenong Dandenong Police Complex, Dandenong 25/08– 3/9 Sept: 15, 14, 11, 10, 9, 7, 6.
Deer Park/Southern Cross 6.00am V/Line Train Deer Park Station to Southern Cross Station, 3.45pm V/Line Train Southern Cross Station to Deer Park Station 02/09/2020 - 05/09/2020 & 07/09/2020 Sept: 15, 14, 11, 10, 9.
Glen Waverly Woolworths, Glen Waverley “The Glen” 06/09/2020 Sept: 15, 11, 10, 9.
Greenvales Lakes Woolworths (company media release) 06/09/2020, 10/09/2020 Sept: 15, 14.
Flinders Street/Reservoir Train 8.42pm Reservoir to Flinders Street 06/09/2020 Sept: 15, 14, 11, 10
Narre Warren Westfield Fountain Gate 18/08/2020 - 06/09/2020 Sept: 15, 14.
Roxburgh Park Coles Roxburgh Park 06/09/2020 & 10/09/2020 Sept: 15, 14.
Roxburgh Park Freshplus Roxburgh Park 10/09/2020 Sept: 15, 14.
Southern Cross/Northcote 6.30am Tram 86 Southern Cross Station to Northcote Station, 3.15pm Tram 86 Northcote Station to Southern Cross Station 02/09/2020 - 05/09/2020 & 07/09/2020 Sept: 15, 11, 10, 9.
Southern Cross/Ballarat V/Line train Southern Cross Station to Ballarat Station & return 03/09/2020 Sept: 15, 14, 11, 10.
Southern Cross/Ballarat V/Line train Southern Cross Station to Ballarat Station 07/09/2020 Sept: 15, 14, 11, 10.
Southern Cross/Reservoir Train 1.12pm Southern Cross to Reservoir 06/09/2020 Sept: 15, 14, 11, 10.
 

Other exposure sites

Site Location Exposure period Reported
Woolworths Burwood East 05/09 Sept: 10
Woolworths Oakleigh South store 28/08 Sept: 7
 

The department is investigating cases linked to:

Outbreak Suburb Reported by DHHS
Alfred Hospital ward - Sept: 17
Uniting AgeWell Camberwell Community Condare Court Camberwell Sept: 17
None reported n/a Sept: 12th - 16th
Family cluster #1 Melbourne South-East Sept: 11
Family cluster #2 Melbourne South-East Sept: 11
A ward at Monash Health Sept: 11
Mercy Place aged care facility Templestowe Sept: 10
Australian Meat Group Dandenong South Sept: 9
Woolworths Altona North Sept: 9
Woolworths Glen Waverley Sept: 9
Benetas Colton Close aged care facility Glenroy Sept: 9
Opal Hobsons Bay aged care facility Altona North Sept: 8
eStore Logistics Derrimut Sept: 8
Crocmedia Southbank Sept: 8
None reported n/a Sept: 4th - 7th
 
 

Aged care home outbreaks

Aged care facility Suburb LGA Last 24 hours TOTAL cases Reported by DHHS
St Basil’s Home for the Aged Fawkner Moreland +2 215 Sept: 17, 13, 12, 11, 9, 4, 3. Aug: 30, 27, 24, 22, 21, 20, 19, 15, 14, 13, 12, 11, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 4, 3, 2, 1. July: 31, 30, 29, 28, 27, 26, 25, 23, 22, 21, 20, 19, 18, 16, 15
Baptcare Wyndham Lodge Werribee Wyndham +1 252 Sept: 17, 16, 15, 14, 13, 12, 11, 10, 9, 7, 6, 5, 2, 1. Aug: 31, 30, 29, 28, 26, 25, 24, 23, 22, 20, 19, 18, 17, 16, 15, 14, 13, 12, 11, 10, 9, 8, 6, 4, 3, 2, 1. July: 30, 28, 25, 23, 22, 20, 17
Twin Parks Aged Care Centre Reservoir Darebin +1 128 Sept: 17, 14, 12, 2, 1. Aug: 31, 29, 24, 23, 21, 20, 19, 18, 16, 15, 14, 13, 1.
Epping Gardens Epping Whittlesea -1 218 Sept: 17, 13, 11, 10, 4. Aug: 31, 28, 24, 23, 20, 15, 14, 13, 12, 11, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 4, 3, 2, 1. July: 31, 30, 29, 28, 27, 26, 21
BlueCross Ruckers Hill Aged Care Facility Northcote Darebin - 130 Sept: 16, 12, 11, 9, 8, 7, 5. July: 19.
Mercy Place Templestowe Manningham - 2 Sept: 14, 9.
Estia Health Heidelberg Banyule - 119 Sept: 13, 10, 4, 3, 1. Aug: 31, 30, 29, 27, 24, 18, 17, 14, 13, 10, 9, 8, 6, 4, 3, 2, 1 July: 31, 30, 29, 27, 26, 25, 24, 23, 22, 18
Cumberland Manor Aged Care Facility Sunshine North Brimbank - 124 Sept: 13, 12, 5. Aug: 30, 29, 28, 25, 24, 23, 21, 20, 19, 18, 17. July: 27.
Estia Health Ardeer Brimbank - 166 Sept: 12, 11, 10, 3. Aug: 30, 27, 24, 20, 16, 15, 14, 12, 11, 9, 8, 6, 4, 2, 1. July: 31, 30, 29, 28, 26, 25, 24, 23, 22, 21, 20, 19, 17, 16, 14
Japara Goonawarra Aged Care Home Sunbury Hume - 120 Sept: 12, 8, 5, 3, 2. Aug: 31, 29, 27, 26, 24, 21, 20, 18, 16.
Outlook Gardens Dandenong North Greater Dandenong - 115 Sept: 12, 4. Aug: 30, 28, 25, 24, 21, 20, 18, 17, 13, 12, 11, 9, 8, 7, 6, 4, 2, 1. July: 31, 30, 29, 28, 26, 24
Benetas Colton Close aged care facility Glenroy Moreland - 1 Sept: 9
 

Other outbreaks in the last 14 days

Type Outbreak Suburb LGA Last 24 hours TOTAL cases Reported by DHHS
OTHER Security Guard - Vic Parliament House East Melbourne Melbourne - 1 Sept: 13
HEALTH Peninsula Health (incl. Frankston Hospital) - - - 90 Sept: 13, 5. 2, 1. Aug: 31, 27, 29, 25, 24, 20, 18
OTHER Woolworths Altona North Hobsons Bay - 1 Sept: 11
OTHER Woolworths Glen Eira Caulfield - 1 Sept: 11
EDU Deakin University Melbourne Burwood Campus Burwood Monash - 1 Sept: 9
OTHER Crocmedia Southbanks Melbourne - 2 Sept: 8, 4
EDU Mordialloc College Mordialloc Kingston - 1 Sept: 7 (via Reddit)
HEALTH Albert Road Clinic Melbourne Melbourne - 2 Sept: 4
 

Other helpful links:

submitted by Stoaticor to CoronavirusDownunder [link] [comments]


2020.09.16 12:50 Mitchlou84 Travel Diary - I am 35 years old, live in the UK and this week am on holiday in Scotland driving the North Coast 500 with my dog

I am 35 years old make £50,000 live in NW UK and work as an accountant. This week i’m on holiday with just my dog, driving round the North Coast 500, Scotland’s answer to Route 66.
Day 1 - Saturday
6.30am -Eeek it’s here... I wake up and bring coffee upstairs to bed with the dog M for a last cuddle. I’m going to really miss my husband D but I do understand him not wanting to close his business again so soon after being closed for 3 months due to Covid. It might seem odd me holidaying on my own but we are very happily married - honest.
8am - I start getting my stuff together. I’m not a big fan of breakfast early on after waking up, but I have a long way to go today so I grab a muffin.I get myself ready, then get D to walk with me to the park, so that M can be thoroughly emptied and he gets a good run around. He’s not over pleased with his new car harness (he usually travels in D’s car with a dog guard) but I strap him in and off we set. 334 miles to go...
9am - I blast some tunes and M goes straight to sleep, and I push through until Gretna Green which takes just under 2 hours. I’ve often driven past here, but never stopped, but I need a wee and think it’s time to let M out too. We have a quick walk through around the visitor centre complex.
11.30am - I then hop back in the car, and my next stop is the Starbucks at the services. I had made myself a packed lunch but I annoyingly left it in the fridge and so I pick up a tuna melt and an iced coffee from some credit on my app. I’m breezing along at this point, the scenery looks stunning and I can’t understand why the sat nav is saying it’s going to take so long to arrive. I make a quick stop at a lay-by just to see if M wants a wee or a drink. Then I hit the outskirts of Perth... What should be the last hour takes 2, in fact it takes 30 minutes to drive a mile. I’m absolutely exhausted by this point and M is telling me he’s understandably fed up. We start moving again and I’m so tired it’s getting dangerous, and I notice that some of the lay-bys have access to a lovely riverside path, so I stop. I put M on his lead and we just do a 10 minute walk, which makes both of us feel better. Then the last 30 minutes through the most stunning scenery, and we’re here. Kingussie in the Cairngorms. I check in, this was one of the cheapest hotels and it’s great, they upgraded me to en-suite which was super kind, and the room is great albeit very hot.
4.30pm - I dump my bags and head straight out with M. I find a couple of places to let him off, then a lovely river for him to cool off as he’s super warm. Then to the hotel bar for a well deserved cold pint £4. The staff and (fairly well lubricated for 5pm) locals are so unbelievably friendly, couldn’t have picked a better place to stay. I shower as I’m dripping, get changed into something cooler, which I sweat in immediately as the room is boiling, then we walk out to where I have booked for dinner - the tipsy laird. The staff again are super friendly, and I order a cider, and the Tipsy burger with cheese. Everyone loved M and he was brought water straight away, but the only problem was that the table I was given was on the through flow to the toilets/kitchen so he was up and down like a yo yo saying hi to everyone, and I didn’t get the most relaxed meal. The burger comes though and it’s massive! Big feed for £12. I decide to leave after this, we’re parked in the middle of the through flow really, and it’s not super restful for either of us, so I pay the bill £15.65 and walk back the same way as earlier Max can have a run around and I phone D for a quick chat.
8.00pm - I head back to my hotel and buy a bottle of wine. £15.50 that I drink a glass of in the bar, a glass in bed, and pack the rest for another night. I watch a bit of tv on my iPad, and have an early night as we have an adventure tomorrow...
Miles travelled - 334 Hotel - £55 Amount spent - £55.64 including a half tank of petrol the night before
Day 2 - Sunday
7.00am- I had set an alarm this morning, as I have a bit to do, and I want to pre-empt any wee needs as we are 2 floors up in the hotel. He’s also had loads of water as it’s boiling. I didn’t get the best night sleep unfortunately which is a shame as the bed is amazingly comfortable. The room was unfortunately just super hot, nothing they could do as it’s been a heat wave. I’ve also never stayed away with M before except with family and he was hot and unsettled. So I had the window open, but all the young lads from Kingussie unfortunately decided to congregate under our window, playing their music from the car speakers making him quite understandably stressed. So I throw on last nights clothes and we go for a quick walk, then I come back up and shower, make coffee and pack the million things I seem to have brought up to the room. Not easy to travel light with a dog. I would have liked to have had breakfast here, but the hotel and both coffee shops in the village don’t open until 9, and I need to be on the road. So I just eat a muesli bar from the car and we head off towards Aviemore. Unfortunately my car sat nav gets me hugely lost, and keeps trying to send me down down gravel tracks to get on the A9 which surprise surprise don’t lead me onto a massive dual carriageway... I end up back tracking all the way I came as I had no phone signal to double check. Turns out I should have just carried on a few more miles. Puts me a bit behind schedule.
9.30am - I park the car at the air bnb that I booked, quickly pack a day rucksack and we frog-march down to the train station, as today, we’re going on a steam train. M’s first time on a train. I collect the tickets (£16.25 + £1 for M) and find our table. They have sold only half of the tables for social distancing and it’s really well organised. We choo choo off. It’s very picturesque, but mostly fields etc but still a worthwhile little outing. M isn’t quite as interested and goes to sleep. We get out at the first stop as I want to split my ticket, so I get a reservation for the later train back. They sort this for me (again everyone is super friendly) so I jump back on again. At the terminus I get out again for some photos and a leg stretch.
12.00pm - Back at the Boat Of Garten stop we gather our things and get off, as we have a reservation at the Boat inn for lunch. I order a pint of cider, and a sandwich and chips. We just hang out here for a while, well ages really as our train back isn’t until 3.30pm, unfortunately the middle train of the day got cancelled with Covid. About half way through I get a bit peckish again and order a sticky toffee pud and a glass of rose. I pay the bill which comes to £36.25. It’s coming up for our return train time so we wander back to the station, and not long after the train arrives.
3.30pm - We board and chug our noisy way back to Aviemore station, where I have a quick wee and then we walk the 30 mins back up to our air bnb to check in. I booked a tiny house just outside of Aviemore, and it’s ideal.. The lady who owns and runs it (it’s in her garden) has broken her elbow, but her Mum is there looking after her and they both show me around and make a fuss of M. I have a quick shower, and we both just chill out for a bit as we are exhausted. I decide not to go out tonight. It’s been a long couple of days, so I think fish and chips, a glass of wine and Netflix is on the cards. As I’m just about to head out the owner lets her dog in the garden and they have a fab 20 min play whilst I chat to Karen who is truly lovely.
7pm - I nip to the Co-op where I pick up a bottle of wine, and a pack of hot cross buns and some utterly butterly for the next 2 mornings breakfasts which costs £9.30, and then I order Haddock and chips for me, and a sausage for Max, £11.05. I head back to the cabin, get in my PJ’s, and just have a lovely chill. The cabin is amazing as night time wee’s can be achieved by just opening the door into the garden, shame I’m only here 2 nights. Write my trippie, and sleep like the dead.
Miles travelled in a car - should have been 15 but was actually more like 30 Miles travelled on a train - 20 Accommodation - £75 Amount spent - £73.95
Day 3 - Monday
6.00am - I wake up early so I nip to the toilet and then am just able to open the cabin door to the garden, and M can sort himself out which is just so easy. I take my medication then we both get back into (our separate) beds for a bit and fall back asleep. I wake up at about 8.30am to a snoring dog. I pop the kettle on, make myself a coffee then toast 2 hot cross buns for breakfast, setting off the smoke alarm in the process. Both fully breakfasted I pack a bag, load the car and we’re off to Loch Morlich.
10am - I find the right car park after a couple of bodged attempts, and scrape together the £1.50 car parking charge. I get a leaflet with a map (just worth pointing out I’m fair terrible with maps) and set off towards the beach. Well Mr water baby practically drags me in when he sees the loch. After a couple of false starts, me going the wrong way, then me following the wrong colour signs, and a brief occasion where M may have decided to join some kayakers, we get on the right trail, we are going to walk all the way round the Loch, about 6km. It’s quite warm, and very midgey but stunningly beautiful and we don’t see anyone for the first half until we start to come across people who are doing shorter walks from the other way. Towards the end we cross a bridge and I lose my path altogether, I know I’m not right but I am right next to the loch and can see where I need to go, so I just clip him on the lead and we follow the road. Later on I see where I need to be; the path is elevated on the other side of the road, but I decide scrambling up verges next to busy roads isn’t overly sensible. We make it back to the beach, let the boy have one last swim, then head back to the car where much towelling is done, as well as a bit of pre lunch damage control with wet wipes and a clean t-shirt for me.
12.30pm -Our lunch stop is the Old Bridge Inn, and so I park up and we wander in. It’s a beautiful old pub, and it’s Monday today and the UK govt eat out to help out scheme and so it’s 50% off. I order a cheese board which comes and is absolutely fab (but why do they never give you enough crackers) and a pint of cider. I have a little nose popping up to see if there is any cheese going spare. I eventually catch someone’s eye and ordered a piece of cheesecake. This comes with sorbet which makes me really happy as I love sorbet (and can’t eat ice cream). I get the bill which comes to a mere £11.90. This Eat out to help out is really going to help me stay within budget.
2.00pm - Back in the car, we drive back up the road to the home of the Cairngorm reindeer herd. The hill walk is one of the things I would have loved to do (I did it in 2008 though) but obviously no dogs are allowed, and due to Covid the little paddocks with a few to pat and snap are closed. I drive up regardless though just to see if I can spot one from a distance. Unfortunately no luck, so I head all the way back through Aviemore where I stop at the Cairngorm Brewery to choose some beers for DH as a gift. I debate dropping the car and going out for a drink, but M can barely keep his eyes open, and so I nip to the Co-op for a cold bottle of Prosecco. I still do have a couple of half bottles of wine, but neither are cold, so I’ll drink them later in the trip when I get a fridge or a bar with ice I can pinch.
4.00pm I just have a shower, get in bed for a bit, have a glass of Prosecco, message D and write my notes.
6.00pm - After a bit of a chill out, I get dressed, sort a few bits out then we wander out and into the village. On the way past we stop at a stone circle I spotted on google maps, pretty funky and right in the middle of a residential area. We get to our dinner reservation half an hour early, but they kindly seat me anyway, but just say I can’t order food until my reservation time which is no problem. It is super busy and it takes a while to get a drink, but I just read my book. I decide on a smokey chilli chicken pizza and skin on fries, and it comes and it’s massive! Also very spicy but really tasty, can’t complain at all. Total including 2 glasses of wine was £20.75, an absolute bargain. I love this eat out to help out business!
8.00pm - We wander back to our little cabin. Pj’s and a chill out in bed, we’re moving on tomorrow and it’s an early start so to sleep for both of us.. a lovely day and I’m so glad to have seen Aviemore again, but I’m excited to move on and see some more new places.
Miles travelled in a car - 15 Accommodation - £75 Amount spent - £51.35
Day 4 - Tuesday
7.00am - When the alarm goes off I snooze a couple of times, then start the process of showering and getting dressed whilst trying to make coffee and breakfast, pack and sort Mout all at once. I wash the dishes, then load the car, and off we go. Our first stop today is Dochgarroch lock, as we are going on a Loch Ness cruise.
9.00am - We make cracking time which is good as it did take me a little longer than expected to get everything in the car. We pass road signs highlighting a yellow weather warning for heavy rain (hello Britain) so I pack both our rain coats just in case. The boat is ready for us, so we wander on and sit outside at the back so I don’t have to wear a mask for 2 hours.
9.30am - We set off, chugging slowly down the canal, past the smallest lighthouse in Britain, and then when we enter Loch Ness we really pick up speed, charging right down the centre. No rain yet, in actual fact it’s very sunny so I keep swapping seats to try and get shade for us both, as stupid Mummy remembered his water bottle, but not his bowl to drink from. Yesterday when I went to the brewery, I completely forgot to pick up a beer or two for my best friends birthday, so when I see the Loch Ness lagers on the bar onboard, I buy 2. £9.20 which serves me right for not being smarter yesterday as they are double the cost. We pootle past Urquhart castle which I have visited myself back in the day, and I get some photos as they turn the boat round for us all to see. A lady is on board who is a single Mum with 2 kids (at least one special needs) and 3 chocolate Labradors. She managed to remember a water bowl though (what a human being) and she sends her little girl over to offer M water. I feel like my dog is quite rightly judging my parenting skills at this point as he pointedly drinks up like he’s not been offered water in days. We start to head back up the canal, and I must say I’ve really enjoyed it. Well worth it.
11.00am - Get back to the car and the first stop is filling the car up with Diesel. This comes to £45.47 but I buy a meal deal for £4.95 too as I’m getting hungry. Quick wee stop then I’m on the road,this is my first actual section of the NC500. First stop is Dornoch Beach. I park up for free and give M a real treat, a swim in the sea. I’m a bit nervous as it’s busier than expected but he’s completely excellent and charges around like a loon, but comes back to me with no issue at all. Much towelling and cold drinks for both of us, then back in the car. I’m looking for the stone remembering the last witch execution in 1727, it’s now in someone’s garden, but I find it.
1pm - On the road again we go, this time just to the outside of Dunrobin castle. I would definitely have paid to enter here and see the falconry display, but it’s not dog friendly. So I just take a photo and have a nosy, then it’s north again. This time it’s a quick stop at Cairn Liath, an old stone Broch. This is fabulous, we have to cross the A9 on foot which is a little hairy, but so worth it. I can let M off and we both have a good nosy around.
3.00pm - My last stop is a museum called the Timespan museum which I have read you can take dogs into. Unfortunately it’s closed though, so we decide just to push onto Wick where we are staying tonight. The roads get incredibly hilly, and I see my first Highland coo... you just wouldn’t imagine here you are anywhere near a big town, but then all of a sudden, a lidl, a retail park, and a town, with a wetherspoons
4.30pm -Find the hotel and check in, super friendly again. And I have a massive room on the ground floor near an exit to the car park, so incredibly thoughtful. The bed is huge too. I decide to go for a walk through town, I snap a photo of the world’s shortest street. And then I hunt down the Wetherspoons. I sit outside with M and order a pint of strongbow on the app. Absolutely ideal because I don’t even need to go inside to order and therefore leave him. I then realise I can order bar snacks from the app too, I even get 50% off my peanuts. If I’m honest, if i had known i could eat outside, and that it would be dry I would have eaten here tonight, but it is undoubtedly better to give the money to the independents after all. I stay here rather longer than expected, mostly because I realise my watch has not quite stopped but gone very slow. I spend under a tenner here including buying a bag of crisps for the car tomorrow. 7pm - Back to the room and I shower and get changed, feed M then wander to the hotel dining room. I’m eating in the residents lounge so I can keep M with me. To be honest with you, I think he’d prefer to be in the room in bed, but the hotel is packed with people coming past, and I’m worried he’ll bark if he gets startled so I keep him with me and he goes to sleep on the carpet. Then starts flirting with the Scottish ladies visiting. I order a wine, mozzarella sticks and chicken jalfrezi which are quite nice. This costs £20.50. I ring D, write my notes, then head to bed. It’s been a busy day, but a really good one..
Mikes travelled in a car - 149 Accommodation - £86.95 Amount spent -£91.48 but I have plenty of budget left from prior days to chip into the petrol
Day 5 - Wednesday
8am- Waking up I take the boss out for a quick wee, then head back to the room. Breakfast for him and shower for me. This hotel has been absolutely ideal, the only negative for me is that the walls and ceilings were paper thin, and I think the other guests of the hotel found the Wetherspoons too. This made M a bit unsettled as it was pitch black by this time and quite noisy, so I had to sleep the first part of the night with my foot in his bed to keep him calm. But then all went quiet and we had a lovely night sleep. The bed was amazing. We have breakfast in the residents lounge, which was great, and they even bring M a sausage.
9.30am - Then it’s time to check out, we’ve been very leisurely this morning because a couple of the first suggested stops are here in Wick, but don’t open until 10. I first head in the car to the Old Pulteney whisky distillery to look at souvenirs for D. The weather this morning is overcast to say the least, and I drive through some very industrial type areas. The town has a very different look and feel to it than yesterday strangely. I arrive and the smell of the whisky greets me, but unfortunately also does a sign saying they were closed. I snap a photo then off we go. Next is the Wick Heritage museum. I arrive at 10.04am to a big closed sign on the door. I decide to sit it out for a minute, and a lady does arrive and go through the door about 10.10am, but despite sitting it out for a while, the door remains shut with the big closed sign on the door. I know these places are small, but I wish they had updated their website/social media as I had got the impression they would be open. I won’t be deterred at my next stop though, Tesco petrol station, I only need just over a tenner, but it’s really cheap so decide to top the tank up and it’s on to John O’Groats. I’m glad we didn’t stay here the night, but it was a great little stop. Thankfully most things are open, so I head into the little Brewery and get D 3 local beers from the brewery in the village £10.50, then grab myself a coffee for the car, £2.90.
11.30am - It’s then onto Duncansby head lighthouse. And a bit of a walk over the field to the sea stacks. I really enjoyed it here too. The Castle of Mey is my next stop, this once used to be owned by the Queen mother and apparently has lovely gardens. I was hoping to be able to nip in like Dunrobin yesterday for a quick mooch and a photo, but they are only letting people in with pre-booked gardens tickets. They are super friendly though and point out where on the road I can get a quick photo. Then it’s onwards and upwards again. I follow the signs then for Dunnet Head. This is the most furtherly north place in the UK (not actually John O’Groats). This was a longish single track road to get there, and again there is a lighthouse, and viewpoints over to the Orkney islands. Again very worth the trip up and Max enjoys the walk around. Good practice for the single track roads too.
1.30pm -Back down the long winding track and it’s the Dunnet Bay gin distillery next. I don’t drink gin either, but my husband and best friend do, so I nip in and buy them some souvenirs £19.50. I’m desperate for a wee at this point, and the lady from the gin shop points me next door to hotel where they have outdoor toilets they don’t mind people using. I notice a really busy eating area, and a quick google later and they are doing eat out to help out. It’s nearly 2pm by this point, and I’m hungry, so I grab Max and sit outside. I order a lime and soda and some mac and cheese. This turns out to be a great idea, as I don’t really see anywhere else to stop on the way, it’s also delicious and costs me a whole £6.48. I spy a sign for a beach, and the boy has been so good, we go for a walk on Dunnet Bay Beach. This is absolutely stunning, and we both absolutely love it. Well I do until he brings me a present of half a dead fish.
3.30pm - Onto our destination for the evening, the village of Tongue. It doesn’t look that far, but the roads quickly become single track, very hilly and winding, and this time there are HGV’s rumbling past. I have to be honest I find it fairly traumatic, and don’t really get to take in the very stunning scenery for trying to avoid sheep who are napping in the passing places! I really wish I had stopped to photograph the roads. Truly beautiful but I didn’t half wish D was here. But I make it in one piece, with a rather big sigh of relief. I unclench my hands, and check into my room, it’s a single which is no problem, in fact the bathroom is bigger than the bedroom strangely. They have left me a complementary bottle of wine though which is a nice touch (I pack this for another night) I have a cool shower and just chill out for an hour or so with my book. It’s very warm, and incredibly midgey, I must have about 50 bites on me, but the bed is comfy. We go down and I order dinner, onion bhaji’s followed by lamb shank. The food is a little expensive, but absolutely lovely. I’m quite tired, so I take M out for a very quick walk round the village, then we head back upstairs. I think I have a lot of single track driving to do in the morning, so I have an early night watching MAFS Australia in bed. I think the older I get the earlier my bedtimes do 😂 It’s been a really good day despite a couple of closure early on.
Miles travelled in a car - 95 Accommodation - £60 Amount spent £79.50
Day 6 - Thursday
7.30am - I wake up to my alarm. Both of us slept really well. Think M is getting used to hotels now. It’s fairly wet, wild and windy this morning, but my weather app tells me it should be fairly short lived. For today anyway. Usual dog wee, shower, and packing up of our worldly possessions.
8.30am - I go down for breakfast, having packed the dog bed in the car, to find that I can’t have him with me for breakfast. I decide as it’s cool the car is the safer option, but I rush through breakfast as quickly as I can. I sneak a couple of bits out in a napkin to the car for him, then I pack up and check out.
9am - We drive for the first hour on single track roads, stunningly beautiful again but thankfully quieter so I build confidence a bit. I soon figure out the best way for me to slot in behind someone at a safe distance and almost take a tow. That way they make the call to go or stop, and I just follow. It takes me an hour to do 28 miles, but I’m happy enough pootling along. In fact my first tow is a campervan doing 30, but then I progress later to a VW Sirvocco doing 40, go me...
10am - Our first stop today was Smoo Cave, well what a fab stop, and I’m even able to let the little monster have a swim. It’s stunningly beautiful, and well worth the 10 minute walk back up and down. It has got very very warm, completely different to how it looked this morning when I got up.
11am - Only a few miles away was the Balnakeil craft village. I make a pit stop first at the famous Cocoa Mountain, where I get a coffee which comes with 4 chocolates for £5.95. I was going to buy D some chocolates to take home from here, but they are £1 a chocolate, and I’m worried they’ll end up in a soggy mess by the time I get home as it’s warmer than expected. So I just sit in the sun with my coffee for a bit have a quick nosy in one of the shops, but I’m no good in a mask, so I head back to the car and get on my way.
12pm- I snap some photos of the famous Kylesku bridge, then carry on, I miss the sign for the Rock shop which is recommended, this is possibly because it may be closed, and decide to do the optional detour to Lochinver. This wasn’t the best call. It’s 11 miles which does take about 20 minutes each way, and I head to the pottery shop. Well it’s all stunning, but at over £35 for a mug, it isn’t the souvenir shop for me. I haven’t had any lunch, so I stop at the Lochinver larder, a famous pie shop. Well all I want to do is buy a takeaway pie for lunch, but after 10 minutes in the queue which is just to pay, and seeing that no one who has ordered since I’ve arrived has got their lunch, I give up, I don’t want to leave M in the car for any longer. Luckily I have a spare pack of crisps and some haribo in the car.
2pm - Continuing on towards Ullapool which is my stop for the night, I spy the sign for the ruins of Ardvreck castle. Well this is a great stop and cheers us both up. He gets to swim, and I walk and clear my head. It is so beautiful, and we both really enjoy it. Not long after another sign for the Knockan Crag geological reserve. We enjoyed this too and walk the loop above the car park reading the signs and looking at the exhibits.
4pm - Not far from here to Ullapool, so we bundle back in the car and check in. It’s motel style, and can park straight outside the door, much easier for lugging our stuff in and out. Accommodation options in Ullapool weren’t cheap, this cost £95 for the room, and is 20 mins walk from the village, but it serves food and they are very nice, if a little Covid stressed.
4.30pm - We decide to follow their route to the village to give M a good walk. Ullapool is smaller than expected, but it’s very rugged and picturesque. We have a quick drink in the Seaforth inn £7, but then the bad weather is clearly coming in, and it starts raining, I’ve come out in flip flops, and a t-shirt, so not the most sensible, but it was sunny when I left half an hour ago. We nip into the Ferry Boat inn who kindly offer us a 30 min rain respite before their table bookings, and that’s all it takes. It’s sunny again. £5.50 for a glass of wine.
7pm - We wander back up the hill and order some food, goats cheese to start which is really tasty, and pepperoni pizza which is lovely but could do with 5 more mins in the oven. The owners are lovely, and we have a good chat; then it’s time for bed. Chat to D, tv, book and bed.
Miles travelled in a car - 104 Accommodation - £95 Amount spent - £61
Day 7 - Friday
7.30am - I wake up just before my alarm. Didn’t hear a peep out of the hound last night. He’s definitely now a hotel kinda dog. Pack everything up which is so much easier with the car parked right outside. Then I drive round for breakfast. I’m not really hungry but I do my best.
9.00am - I nip to Tesco to get some car snacks and a birthday card for my niece, £8.80, then join the queue for the petrol station on the way out of the village. I decide to fill up just in case which comes to £21.23. We set off, and our first stop is the Corrieshalloch gorge which has an incredible suspension bridge. We have a wander about and snap some photos, then back to the car for us.
11am - It’s then a detour to Mellon Udringle beach, this is up a single track road, I start to wonder if I have gone wrong, but I get there and it’s beautiful. M charges around and swims for ages. I had noticed a field of sheep when we arrived, but what I stupidly hadn’t noticed was the field had no fences. I turned round and M was nose to nose with a rather large ram with horns bigger than me. They were just looking at each other. I screeched and grabbed him quick and we toddle back off to the car and back on the road. There are some famous gardens at Inverewe which sound fab, but we can’t take dogs in so we didn’t stop.
1pm - About a mile or two before the village of Gairloch I hear some funny noises (followed by a funny smell) from the back seat. I quickly turn round and see a sea of vomit. Now anyone who knows me knows that I can deal with all the poo in the world, but I’m terrible with vomit. I think it’s a belly full of sea water as normally he has a gut of iron. I quickly find a petrol station and pull in, finding somewhere to tie poor M up I try to deal with the back seat. I throw the towel straight in the bin which caught most of it, but it’s everywhere and he clearly is feeling really poorly and I can’t set off yet. Leaving him tied up in the shade with some water I take the opportunity to jet wash the car as it’s covered in bird poo and he eats his body weight in grass, then throws it all back up again. Feeling safe enough to set off, we literally make it to the next parking stop, and we limp on like this for some time. We get to the Victoria falls car park, and a short walk seems to do him a bit of good. The falls are lovely, but it’s very very midgey.
3pm - A little further on we reach the shores of Loch Maree. It’s a lot less midgey here, so I sit on a rock next to the car, and he just potters about eating grass and paddling his feet in the water, and he seems to be a bit better. So we set off properly again. We reach Torridon and decide not to stop for a drink, but plod on. The roads get very narrow but it’s incredibly beautiful.
4.30pm -Arriving at our destination for the night, Lochcarron, I have a drive through the village, then head off to a tartan shop called Lochcarron weavers. I was looking for cushions or maybe a rug, but I end up buying DH a lovely woollen jumper that’s on sale at £40, guessed the sizes so fingers crossed. I decide to leave the ruins of Strome castle for the morning, so we drive back to the Loch, and I spot a fish and chip van. I’ve had no lunch with vomit gate, so I just get a portion of chips, and I eat them on a bench looking out over the Loch, but then the rain starts so we go check in. Now I must say the reviews of this place were terrible. But it was cheap, dog friendly and right where we needed to be, so I decided to take it with a pinch of salt. I’m glad I did, the room does look a little dated, but it’s clean, very friendly and I’m on the ground floor. My room in Ullapool last night was dated too but cost £95, today was £55. I give him some water and a nap (but no tea as yet which causes some consternation) then we wander next door to the barestaurant when he has had a good rest.
6pm - The food looks fab. An older lady with her son orders the special of ribs, and I’m sold. I order a leek and goats cheese tart followed by the ribs, the food is a little dear, the starter alone is £9, but we are very remote and it is very tasty. I would normally have had a helper with the ribs, but I didn’t dare, so I got a lot of incredulous puppy stares. Instead a tiny portion of dry dog biscuits for him, and a glass of wine for me from the car, and an early night again.
Miles travelled in a car - 130 Accommodation - £55 Amount spent - £73.93
Day 8 - Saturday
5am - I wake up in the pitch black to the unmistakeable sound of retching. Jump up, put the lights on and there are 3 piles to deal with.. thankfully just undigested grass really, and I have my handy wet wipes so we have it cleaned up in no time, and I decide to take him out to see if he needs a wee or anything whilst I’m awake. We just have a quick walk along the water front, being careful not to get locked out of the hotel, then back in and it’s back to bed for both of us.
8am - Getting up again and the monster seems to be feeling much better. We go next door for breakfast, but I just have a yoghurt and a croissant. It was lovely though. I really enjoyed this hotel, it was friendly, laid back and right on the route. I pack up the room, and give M a third of his normal breakfast (which he wolfs down) and we get in the car.
9.30am - We head just up the road for now to the ruins of Strome castle. I can’t let him off the lead here because there are lots of sheep, but it’s a great little stop for a walk around. It starts to rain but only quite lightly at this stage.
10am - He seems ok so we get on the road towards Inverness and eventually home (tomorrow). I must admit I had very serious thoughts of trying to just head home, both yesterday and at 5am, but I’m very far from home, nearly a 9 hour drive, and as such I think it would be better to stop regularly to offer him water and fresh air, rather than trying to push through. I have a quick call with D who reminds me that dogs eat things they shouldn’t all the time and to stop worrying, he’s eating, drinking and toileting normally and so to carry on but just not over feed him and offer him regular breaks. So our next stop is the Glen Dougherty look out, which is apparently stunning on a clear day but it wasn’t a clear day. So just a quick look about and off we go again. Nice for a photo and a leg stretch though.
11am - Last stop for us on the NC500 route is Rogie Falls. This is a great stop and walk down to the waterfalls. Apparently at the right time of year you can see salmon jumping up the falls, but it wasn’t to be today, this stop was incredibly busy, the car park was completely full and I had to wait a while to get parked, but it was a lovely walk and we both really enjoyed it.
12pm -Not long after this we reach Inverness and leave the NC500 route, we’re a little early to head to Pitlochry which is our stop for the night, so I do a couple of things, firstly grab a quick drive through McDonald’s for lunch £8.80, then fill up the car at the Tesco petrol station which comes to £19.87.
1.30pm - It’s only 90 mins to Pitlochry from here. And so I think I’ll be a little early really, so I head to Culloden battlefield for a walk around. Well unfortunately the heavens just open, and we are both completely drowned. Rather rudely I felt M wasn’t over interested in the Jacobites. But we have a very quick walk round, and then a towel off and on the road. I tell him I’ll put Outlander on for him when we get home. I’m actually very interested in history but I have been to the visitor centre before (and read and the watched the Outlander series which I’m sure is super accurate ).
4pm - We hit Pitlochry. I can’t get into the hotel car park, but I find street parking and check in nearby. This place is quite fancy, it’s in the same chain as the lunch I had on the steam train right at the beginning. Here it’s sort of a fancy gastro pub with rooms upstairs. This was the costliest of my accommodation at £99 but also the nicest. My heart does sink a bit though when I see where my room is. Sort of up two flights of stairs and round a lot of corridors and through several fire doors. I really hope we don’t need 5am dashes tonight. It’s nice to have a bit of luxury though too, most of my accommodation has been fairly basic, not even offering toiletries or tea/coffee in all cases. So this room with it’s very fancy toiletries and biscuits is very welcome.
5pm - We chill out for a bit, and I even nod off for 15 mins which is incredibly unlike me. Then we have a quick walk through the town, which looks lovely, and then head into our hotel/pub for dinner. I order the spaghetti carbonara with garlic bread. It’s lovely but very big, and I only manage half, but I did have lunch today.
8pm -We go for a last walk through the town, I contemplate an outdoor drink at a different pub, but I can’t find a table, so I have a glass of car wine, call DH, and watch Indian Matchmaking on Netflix.
Miles travelled in a car - 147 Accommodation - £99 Amount spent - £78
Day 9 - Sunday
8am - I wake up, and the boy has slept like a log. It really was a lovely room. I get up and he seems in no rush to leave his bed, so I quickly shower and pack and we head down the maze together. I take him for a wee and load the car. And then we pop in through the front door for breakfast. They kindly serve me brekkie in the bar so I can keep M with me. I order a couple of hot items, and they bring Lorne sausage which I’m not sure about so I risk sneaking a bit to M who thankfully seems back to normal.
9am - We jump in the car, and get on the road. We are going home today, but stopping at Glasgow to see my little brother. I stop at a Starbucks just outside Perth for a coffee (£10 loaded on my app), then arrive just before 11 to Pollok country park. Unfortunately it’s really very rainy, but I find my brother (A) who is 21 and just finishing up his time at uni, loan him my brolly, and put rain coats on both M and myself. We walk for over 2 hours, just chatting and getting lost. Most of the walk is spent trying to find the Highland Cows I drove past on the way in, and we do finally succeed. M absolutely loves it, and doesn’t stop running around and sniffing everything in sight. Eventually we decide to call it a day as I’m a way away from home. I drop A off at the Asda, pick up a quick Maccy’s for the car £8.40 and we head home. We end up doing it in one go (about 3.5 hours) as M was completely zonked out on the back seat. DH phones and we chat for ages, then with about 45 mins to go, we hang up and he says he’ll see me at home. I get in, to no DH. I unpack his gifts and finally give him a ring. Turns out there has been a terrible shock as his Dad had a heart attack whilst out shopping. Thankfully all is ok, but DH gets home a bit ashen, and we go round to his Mum’s to await seeing how his surgery goes, which thankfully is all fine. D picks up an Indian takeaway on the way back from his Mum’s, he opens a beer from his gift pile, and we breathe a big sigh of relief. It’s super lovely to see him.
Miles driven - 300 Amount spent - £18.40
submitted by Mitchlou84 to MoneyDiariesACTIVE [link] [comments]


2020.09.15 19:26 element_927 Delayed Delivery? West Coast Bay Area

I just got an update from Alane that my vehicle’s delivery is now scheduled for the “second half of October”. I was originally told my delivery was mid-September. I put my deposit down a little over a year ago and I’m in the Bay Area.
Anyone know if this is a widespread delay or maybe it’s just my specific vehicle??
Snow-Charcoal-nonPP-no accessories
EDIT: My delivery date on the website still says September delivery even though customer service just told me to expect second half of October. I still don't know if the delay applies to everyone or just to me.
submitted by element_927 to Polestar [link] [comments]


2020.09.15 00:24 MegatronSackTap Recording In Progress

So, I’m writing this today for a few different reasons. Firstly, I’ve always been aware of these creepy stories I’d see online, but I’ve been seeing them more, and more lately. I’m not sure if it’s just due to the Halloween season creeping up on us, or if these kinds of events have become more frequent lately. Either way, I thought it was finally time I share my own experience here.
I’ve never really talked to anyone about this before, partly because I didn’t think anyone would believe it, and partly because I’m still not entirely sure what happened myself. But what happened that night has definitely stuck with me, no matter how dream-like it may seem in hindsight, in those moments it was as real to me as the nose on my face. That kind of terror doesn’t just go away so easily, no matter how hard your brain tries to rationalize it.
In order to understand the situation better here’s some context. I work as a closing manager for an old retail store, one of the chains of stores that died off in the early 2000’s, and only a few locations still exist. It’s always nerve racking trying to keep our sales up, and the doors open, but since we’re so far out from any overseeing corporation, we’re allowed to function on our own, making decisions and store changes as we please. Because of this we’re all more like friends than coworkers, and we have each others backs whenever something comes up, be it a problem customer, or a surprise visit from our regional manager.
The thing about the store is that we don’t have a lot of firm rules and regulations that we uphold on the day to day aside from keeping the store in order, helping customers, and making sure the tills don’t go over a certain dollar amount without being pulled, and reset. All the usual sort of stuff. When it comes to closing the store, there’s a rule that requires us to always leave the store in pairs. That means whenever there is anyone in the store closing up, or anyone going into the parking lot at night, we need to exit in pairs. The other managers always speculated that it was some corporate policy to keep managers from stealing from the safe, or someone from getting mugged in the parking lot. To be honest, none of us really minded the rule all that much as it protected us from being suspected of theft, and the area is actually a bit dicey at night.
I always followed this rule pretty diligently, until one night a few associates were going to get some drinks, and wanted to head out early. They invited me to go along, but I still had till’s to settle, and the safe to deal with before I could leave. In hindsight, if I knew then what I know now, I never would have stayed there alone. I would have had them stay a bit later with me, and we could have all gone out together, a round on me for the delay. But as they say, hindsight’s 20/20. I didn’t make them stay, I let the others out and told them to have a good time as I locked up the front doors behind them.
What happened next was a series of bizarre events, that I still think about to this day. After locking up the front door, and the shudder gate behind it, I went back to the cash office to finish settling the till for register one. Normally I listened to music on my phone while I did this, as the store music could be heard through the walls of the cash office, and was generally pretty annoying. But my phone was at 3% at that point, and I didn’t want to drain it completely unless I needed it on the way home.
Funny thing about the terrible music that played in the store, is that there are only two ways to turn off the music, the most common being to pick up one of the store phones, and use the intercom to just silence it out with the white noise. This wasn’t uncommon among the older managers who’d worked there for years, as they hated listening to the overly poppy out of date music after hours. The second way to turn that awful music off, would be to go into the electrical closet, locate the correct switch, and turn it off manually. But that was more dangerous as nothing is clearly labeled and flipping the wrong switch could cause power loss to our computers, registers, or even our security alarm, automatically calling the alarm company, and local PD. Needless to say, we usually avoid doing that, and just opt for the intercom system, leaving a phone off the hook, just remembering to put it back before we leave for the night.
This night I had just let the music play, as it didn’t bother me as much as the quiet would, and I was hoping to finish up, and be out of the store shortly. I mention this detail, because just as I was finishing up the verification of the first register I realized that the music had stopped playing. I wasn’t sure when exactly it happened, but it was like one minute “I saw the sun...” was droning in the background, and then silence. I turned around to look at the monitor behind me that shows one aisle in the store leading all the way to the doors out back, where our break room and receiving are. The monitor was a direct feed to the one, and only camera in the store, and despite the “Recording In Progress” sign displayed on the aisle’s corrisponding monitor, it couldn’t be further from the truth. Our store didn’t have the funds for more camera’s, let along a way of storing recordings, so all we had was a live feed. The monitor was displaying the aisle as always, empty, except for the occasional buzzing line that would roll down the screen.
I thought it was strange that the radio was off, and began to wonder if maybe someone had been left behind in the store. It’s true that I hadn’t walked the store after locking up, and I never checked the break room to make sure everyone had left as a group. I started kicking myself in the back for not making sure, although in the back of my mind I was playing out everyone’s faces as they’d left, and I had been so sure they were all together. Leaving the cash office I shut the door behind me, and stepped out into the main store area, half expecting to see a grumpy employee, ready to be let out. But there was no one near the front. I thought of calling out to see if anyone was around, but for some reason, my gut told me not to. I’m not sure if it’s from all the crime shows I watched growing up, or what, but I scanned the areas of the store that I could see, and found no one. So I walked over the keypad by the door, and watched the display to make sure our back entrance was locked down correctly. The display cycled through each point of security in the store “Area 1 Armed” our receiving area in the back of the store, “Area 2 Ready To Arm” the cash office that I’d just come from “Area 3 Ready To Arm” and finally the alarm for the store’s entrance, and motion sensor that engages when we leave for the night. All seemed to be in order there, so there’s no way someone came in from the outside.
With that realization I relaxed a bit of the tension that built up in my shoulders. I hadn’t noticed it was there until I let it go. I thought I should do a walk of the store, and check out the break room just to make sure no one had been left behind back there. I was a little freaked out at first, but started relaxing when I reminded myself about the alarms on the exits, the locked doors, and shudders keeping anyone that might want to get in, out. Despite all the rationalizing however, I couldn’t fully relax that last bit of concern I had in my gut. The silence stretching across the store served as a reminder that something was still off.
Kicking myself in the back again for letting everyone go early, and not checking the store properly, I grabbed a pair of dull scissors from the customer service desk, and went about checking all the phone receivers before heading out back. The phones were all on the hook, nothing out of the ordinary, aside from the silence. Somehow that didn’t help settle my stomach at all.
As I walked down the main aisles of the store I peaked down each row, feeling like any minute I might pass by Rachel, or Mark on their way to the front. Maybe we’d both have a laugh and say something like “You scared me!” before heading out together. But I never did. Each empty aisle felt like another knot twisting up my intestines. The eerie silence of the store stretching out for eternity.
If you’ve ever been somewhere after hours, that you shouldn’t have been, you may know this feeling. Staying after school until the sun goes down, staying late at work by yourself, or falling asleep somewhere like a bus or a train, and waking up to find you’re all alone in a place that doesn’t feel natural when it’s so empty and quiet? Yeah, that sort of feeling. Like you’re stepping into a place that you never should have been. At least not without the comfort of numbers, or even some kind of ambient sound to break the sort of tension that builds up in a space like that.
When I finally reached the back of the store I felt like there was a pressure building up in me like at any moment it was going to pop. I was so on edge at that point, that I was practically begging to run into someone just to break the tension, just to shake that awful feeling of isolation, and paranoia. As I pushed through the break room doors, a little more forcefully than I’d expected I looked around to see any coats or bags left on hooks to denote the presence of another familiar person. But just as I’d thought, there was nothing there. No rolled up snack bags from lunch, no purse, or coat, or anything else to show that anyone had ever been there. Some part of me must have wondered in that moment if anyone had indeed ever been there before. At that moment I felt more small, and alone, than I’ve ever felt before in my life.
Still the silence stretched on, almost deafening in it’s weight at this point. I never thought there would be a time when I’d give anything to hear those terrible pop songs, and out dated tracks. But there I was, a bundle of nerves, and cooling sweat, wishing I could hear anything but my own tight breath. I gripped the nearly forgotten scissors in my hands to anchor myself. As if to shield me, I put them in front of me as I thought back through the alarms, the locks, the shudders. Nothing could get in, there’s no way anyone would have been in the store with me. Unless they were already in the store before we closed.
As the thought crossed my mind I felt my stomach drop. I’d never considered it before now. “Unless they were already in the store…” my mind repeated over, and over as I licked my dry lips. I’d been so concerned about someone breaking in, that I’d never stopped to consider, that they could have been there all along. I could hear my own pulse, and my fingers felt cold, and clammy around the scissors.
I could feel the tightness in my legs as I tried to bring myself another step towards the receiving area. It was the only other entrance or exist from the store, and there was a phone in the back. The only phone left that could have been using the intercom system. I patted around my pockets with my freehand, realizing then that I’d left my phone in the locked office at the front of the store. I felt so stupid for not bringing it, and at the same time, I felt stupid when I thought about what I would do if I’d brought it. Would I call the police? And tell them what, that I got spooked after breaking protocol and staying in the store by myself? Would I call another manager in the late hours of the night, and ask them to come check out the store with me? The more I thought it over, the more alone I felt. I didn’t know what to do, or what to think, but I decided I needed to at least know for sure what was happening.
I shifted the scissors in my hand, and stiffened up my back. I wasn’t about to look like some fool getting scared of nothing. I was going to face whatever this was head on. After all, it could have just been the wind, or some hooligan messing around the store after hours trying to prank me, or do some silly overnight challenge you see online sometimes. Feeling a new sense of power from that thought I pushed past the receiving doors with a measured degree of caution, and confidence.
The receiving lights are on a motion sensor, and after forty five or so minutes of inactivity will drop into a dim eco mode, where only a quarter of the lights remain on. I’ve been in this store for a few years now, and have gotten used to this, being able to see easily in the dim light, and even knowing how to move through without triggering the old motion sensor. The lights were in eco mode at this point, and somehow that took some of the weight off my shoulders. Knowing that the lights had a long window of time before they timed out, one that surely would have been more than my store walk had taken, and knowing that anyone unfamiliar with our store would have set off the motion sensor, made me feel a sense of safety. In that moment I felt alone again, not the terrifying loneliness I’d felt before, but a more secure sort of independent feeling.
I moved through the big room with ease, past the packed bays, and pallets of overstock, back towards the corded phone, and receiving door. I could feel the tension from before slipping away as I walked through the space. It was familiar to me, and I felt safe again. The store had become like a second home to me over the years, and I felt that I knew all of it’s inner workings like the back of my hand. This was my turf, and any thought of another person lurking around was all but put out of my mind as the room stayed dim, and quiet.
When I reached the phone I saw that it had been knocked off the hook by a cute toy robot our inventory manager kept on the shelf above. I almost laughed at how silly I had been before. The toy must have just fallen, and knocked the phone off it’s base. I put things back as they should be, still smiling about the whole situation as I went back towards the front of the store. This time though I’d put the toy on the opposite end of the shelf. As silly as it may have been, I’d had enough of a scare for that night to last me for a week.
As I was walking up the long aisle leading to the front I looked up at the monitor on the other end. “Recording In Progress”, yeah sure. I often watched that hazy monitor as I approached thinking how lame it was, when we all knew full well it wasn’t really recording anything. But as I smirked up at the monitor in my approach, I saw what looked like a flicker of light clicking on through the receiving door windows.
I felt my blood run cold as the realization dawned on me, that something had just set off the motion sensor light. Something big, and fast enough that the old dim sensor could pick it up. All at once as my pulse picked up I felt my feet carrying me forward before I could even think to move them. I was running then, mindlessly trying to get as far away from whatever could have been back there. As I made it to the front of the aisle, nearly beyond the view of the monitor I saw something out of the corner of my eye. With my last view of the monitor as I rounded the corner, I could see something barreling out of the two swinging doors I’d just come from. I never got a good look at it, but whatever it was, it was big. Big enough to flow through both of the huge doors with a resounding bang that echoed through the empty store.
I didn’t stick around to find out, I burst past the main office doors, and fumbled my manager key into the lock of the cash office door. My heart was so loud in my ears it sounded like a thousand sets of feet thundering right behind me, like the hounds of hell reaching for my heels. When the lock clicked in one exuberant moment I ripped the door open, and wrapped myself tight around it, pulling it closed faster than I’d expected possible for the weighty storm door.
As the door shut I heard a loud thud as a massive pressure slammed against the other side. What followed was an on slot of banging, and crashing against the reinforced door. I never had a chance to breath before I heard it. A sound so blood curdling, and horrible I just stood there frozen in terror. Blood like ice in my veins as every hair on my body stood on end. The sound was so far from human, that it blew away any thoughts I might have had about hooligan pranks, or intruders.
As the pounding increased on the door, and the unearthly screams filled the air I thought again about the alarms, the locked doors, and the shudders. They’d given me a sense of safety before, thinking that if no one could get in that everything would be okay, but now. Now they just terrified me even more. Whatever that thing was just beyond the door, it was big, inhuman, and starting to shake the door frame with it’s assault. Even worse, if I were to call for help now, no one could even get in to help without a key.
I remembered my cellphone on the table beside me, like some kind of miracle in all of this. Without a second thought I grasped for my phone, and pulled up my contacts to call another manager. I knew Jake, the day manager would be opening in the morning, and had a key to open the doors. If I called him he could come with the police, and maybe do something about whatever was outside now, thundering what sounded like hundreds of thrashing limbs across the floor and walls of the main office hall.
My battery was at 2% now as I heard the dial tone on the other end of the line. As soon as the ringing started the sounds from the hall went silent. An eerie sort of silence that followed such a cacophony of noise from before. The coils in my stomach tightened again at this. As the ringing continued my brain ran through what was happening. Whatever that thing was out there, it wasn’t human, but worse still, it wasn’t just some animal. It could hear me in that office, it could hear the muffled sounds of the dial through the steel door, through my cupped hand, through my body. It could hear all that, and was now so deathly silent, that had I not heard it there before, I might have never known it was ever there at all. Whatever it was, it was capable of hunting, in complete silence, and I thought then about the unease I’d felt walking through the store alone. Had it been following me, stalking me through the aisles? How close was it then, lingering silently, just out of sight? If I hadn’t gotten lucky, if I hadn’t seen the lights click on when I did, I don’t know what it could have done.
The ringing stopped as an automated voice chimed up that I’d reached voice mail. I wanted to curse, and shout at him for not picking up, but for all the anger I felt, the terror, and panic swallowed it up as I realized my batter had dropped to 1% and was flashing red as the screen was dimmed down to barely visible. I hit redial on the recent calls list, hoping, and pleading. “Pick up, pick up, please pick up!” I whispered frantically into the phone as my eyes shot around to room for a charger, an outlet, a forgotten cellphone, something, anything to get help.
The ringing stopped, and for a second I thought I’d gotten through “Jake are you there?! Hello??” I was shouting into the phone in a panic. “Hello?! Are you there??” Silence. I stared down at my phone to see the screen had gone black. I’d never gotten through before the battery died. I slumped to the floor still staring at the screen. I wanted to cry. My body ached from all the stress, and my head was pounding. I just wanted to go home, and forget any of this ever happened. And I almost did cry. I could feel the tears stinging my eyes, and my heart climbing up my throat to choke me as the silence filled the air.
And that’s when I heard it. A sound like a squeaky wheel, or the wheezing sound you might hear when you let the air out of a balloon just right. That sound slipped under the door, and stretched across the room like a haunting reminder of what was waiting just outside. I’d nearly forgotten in all my frustration, what I was so afraid of. The sound broke occasionally, and twisted on itself, wheezing turned into a crackled sort of vocalization as it folded, and stretched.
“HhHe.. Ll..” I could hear it, pressed up against the base of the door now. “Hhh..E- Lo..” I shuddered at the twisted up assimilation of speech digging into my ears. I tried covering my them with my hands, but it was practically useless against that unnatural thing. “Hhh..Ello.. YhHh.. ThrHh..” It wheezed through the crack under the door as the frame creaked against it’s weight. “NO!” I screamed back, out of fear, or frustration I still don’t know. But as the sound left my mouth I regretted it immediately.
“Nohh.” It said back, more clearly than before, in a voice that began to sound a bit more human. “No.” I scrunched myself up tightly around my knees pressing my hands to my ears. This was insane, this couldn’t really be happening I thought.
“NO!” it shouted as a bang hit the door. This couldn’t be happening, I must have fallen asleep while counting the drawers. I must be asleep in the office, I’ll wake up any minute, and go home. I told myself all of these things and more in my head over, and over. Just trying to keep my mind together as that uncanny voice on the other side of the door began sounding more, and more like my own, but wrong. So wrong, and off, that it couldn’t possibly be a proper mimicry.
“Hello…?” Clearly this time it came through the door. “Are you there?” I felt my breath stop at that. The silence hung in the air thick like molasses as the sweat cooled on the back of my neck. My own voice was coming through the door, clearer with each syllable. “Are you there?” As sort of scratching noise ran across the base of the door, agonizingly slow, followed by a loud inhale of air, pulling the dust from the floor the dance. “No. You are there.” It said matter of factly.
I was frozen there on the floor after that. Silence hanging in the air. The beast outside the door, me trapped inside, no way of calling for help, and the certainty that it not only knew I was here, but it was smart. And seeming to learn more each second. How long until the door gave way, or it figured out some way to break the lock? How long until it got to me? How long until I went mad staring at that door.
“Hello.” Something solid thumped against the door, shooting pain through my already stiff body. “Hello!” It slammed again harder as trailing sounds of tumbling limbs followed. “HELLO!” It seemed to begin barreling at the door over, and over as the slamming began again in earnest. “HELLO-HELLO-HELLO!! YOU ARE THERE! YOU ARE THERE!!!” A raucous rolling sound of scraping, thudding, and screeching beat against the door as I pushed myself as far back under the table as I could, pulling my legs tightly up to my chest.
I’m not sure how much time passed like that. I sat there, staring at the door in silent terror, watching dust fall from the frame, knowing any second might be my last. The sounds echoed across the walls, and swallowed me up. Somewhere underneath it all I could faintly hear the poppy music being swallowed up by monstrous groans, and screams.
It wasn’t until the following morning when the door finally did click open. After all that time frozen with terror, I was too shocked to do anything as the door easily slid open. I stared at the door handle for what felt like eternity as it did. Feeling almost betrayed that it would open so easily to leave me to that beast. But as the light of the hall came in, and my heart was ready to explode I saw him. Jake the opening manager. He stumbled a bit as he made eye contact with me.
“What the hell? What are you doing in there?” He stood in the doorway staring at me, but I couldn’t think of anything to say, I couldn’t even bring myself to move from that spot under the table. I was too afraid to even take my eyes off of him, at the off chance that it wasn’t really Jake at all, but some monster in disguise. He tried to approach but, I pushed back against the wall. “Whoa, are you okay? What’s going on??” He crouched down by the doorway, and I could see behind him the morning light coming through the hall window.
“What.. time is it?” I asked, not realizing until that moment how dry, and sore my throat had been. He told me it was seven A.M. and that he was getting ready to open the store. He looked over the tills, and money left on the table from the night before with a worried look. After that, he kept prodding me for what happened the night before, but I couldn’t find the words to describe the events, or even know if I wanted to. I’d been working at this location for almost four years, and never had I experienced anything like that before. As I struggled to get up from the floor, and think of how to make him understand what really happened, I looked up at the monitor again. The camera feed buzzed across the screen as our morning cashier walked up the aisle with her coffee in hand. I could see the morning light dimly through the low res feed. If only it had been recording the night before. I looked down at my dead phone, feeling numb and cold after the restless night.
“I think..” I said around my dried out tongue. “I think I need to take some time off.” He sighed shakily and gave me a hand up off the concrete floor. “Ya think?” He gave me a half smirk, but I could still see the worry in his eyes as he tried to play it off. “Go home, and get some rest, just give us a call when you’re feeling better okay?”
After that night I slept for what felt like three days, unsure how to handle the things I’d seen that night. I took two weeks off from work, and tried to take my mind off of the event. None of my coworkers really questioned me about what happened when I got back, but I could see by the way their eyes followed me that they wanted to. It was definitely suspicious how I was found that morning, but nothing was missing, and no one seemed to want to upset me by asking about what happened. For that I was thankful. It took me a long time to feel comfortable enough to even come back to work at all.
I still work there to this day, and I’ve never had another incident. But from that point on, I never stayed in the store alone again. And every time someone asks to silence the store music, I feel a chill run down my spine. I’ve never told anyone what happened that night, and I didn’t think I ever would. Until now.
submitted by MegatronSackTap to nosleep [link] [comments]


2020.09.14 06:54 bedoublenegative Restaurants and Covid-19 Protocols/Enforcement

Not sure if this exists yet but I’ve been seeking a list of local restaurants/pubs/cafes and their pandemic protocols (such a staff enforcement, mask wearing, consistency, contact tracing, etc.) as well as any changes to regular service/menus.
If anyone is willing to share, I’ll try to keep this list updated as best as I can.
Current Orders in BC affecting Restaurants (hotels/tasting rooms/breweries may be exempt) can be found here:https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/health/about-bc-s-health-care-system/office-of-the-provincial-health-officecurrent-health-topics/covid-19-novel-coronavirus
Highlights of Provincial Orders (subject to change)
Note: This is all based on actual individual experiences. Please be aware that it isn't gospel. Visit at your own risk and contact the establishments for up to date info.
Updated Sept 16, 2020

Restaurants/Cafe's/Breweries

10 Acres Commons - Staff wearing masks, contact tracing on entry, sanitizer on entry and at bathrooms. Restricted bathroom capacity not being controlled or suggested. Plexi dividers on top of booth seating (approx 6 ft high). Tables slightly distanced (more so on patio). Bar seating does not have a barrier. No major menu changes.
Artisan Bistro in Broadmead - Contact tracing, keeping the doors open, tables very spaced out, well spaced patio as well, all staff wearing masks.
Baan Thai on Blanshard - Taking temps at the door, contact tracing, wearing masks and physical distancing.
Bard and Banker - staff wearing masks, contact tracing being taken at door, enforcing 6 person max per table/group with no socializing between tables. Sanitizer is plentiful at front door and bathroom. Not enforcing bathroom capacity. No major menu changes.
Beagle Pub - Inconsistent contact tracing as of a month ago. Some staff masked but not all. Bartender wiped nose then handled glassware a couple of times. Sanitizer plentiful and staff trying to physically distance/enforcing the 2 metre rule. Some staff congregating with patrons/hugging.
Bodega: all staff wear masks. Contact tracing all persons, tables spaced properly, 6+8 seats at the bar, behind plexiglass. Sanitizer everywhere. Single stalk bathrooms. Tables and chairs cleaned after each guest.
Boom and Batten - Staff have face shield mask combos, tables separated. Bathrooms are individual with cleaning schedule and we’re very clean. No menu changes (someone could confirm). Didn’t contact trace at door but with reservation they likely didn’t need to. May differ for walk in. No major menu changes.
Brentwood Bay Resort Pub - Contact tracing consistent. Sanitizer on entry. Tables inside and on patio both distanced, but no clear walkways to avoid tables en route to patio from inside. One defined entrance and one exit to minimize contact. Staff wearing masks, and asking for distance when bussing tables/bringing food/drink.
Browns Social House - Uptown - Staff wearing masks at all times. Tables removed or blocked for distancing. Contact tracing has been consistent. Hand sanitizer at each table. Paper disposable menus. Bathroom tight with more than one person. No menu changes.
Cafe Mexico - staff wearing masks, contact tracing information taken, some seating removed, larger patio area, reduced menu, plexiglass.
Category 12 Brewing - Unsure on contact tracing. Staff wearing masks. Plexi barriers in place, no growler fills. Distancing in line and seating inside and outside is well spaced. Staff meticulous in cleaning the tables and even sanitizing the seats. Felt like one of the safest local establishments.
Christie's Pub - has distanced tables (not removed but "don't sit here" sheets on them) and contact tracing at the door, and sanitizer at the front. The staff do not have masks. They have some plastic sheeting between some of the areas (if you have been there you know there are separate areas/rooms with half-height walls between them), and you can sit at the bar. They have an outdoor section as well that also has distanced tables. Paper menus, and also menus visible on the walls.
Drake Eatery - Very spaced out patios (upstairs and downstairs) in market square. Staff wearing masks, order at bar (plexiglas). Only interaction with staff was behind plexi and then self service taking your own drink to your table. Food is delivered by staff. Heat lamps outside. Inside seating is very well spaced (almost no tables inside). Contact tracing has been very consistent.
El Furniture Warehouse - all staff wearing masks, contact tracing information taken, larger patio area, plexiglass separating tables, some seating removed.
Fernwood Inn - some seating removed, larger patio area, most staff wearing masks.
Fifth Street - All the staff were wearing masks. Plexiglass everywhere. The bar completely surrounded, there were single bar seats in plexiglass little booths. The booths themselves have plexiglass in between. Greeter at the door taking info down for contact tracing.
Finn's - Little distancing on patio. Tables inside spaced out more than usual but very little. Guests approx 3-4 feet apart when seated (back to back). Contact tracing in progress. Staff have masks but both experiences I have had them fiddling with them or the fit wasn't correct. Sanitizer available at front and bathrooms. No major menu changes.
Fisherman's Wharf - Being monitored for distancing at entry on walkway with staff. Bathrooms distanced with markers. Many vendor line-ups distanced with markers, however most patrons not distancing from others when seated, walking around, etc. Most not wearing masks.
Four Mile Pub - Voluntary contact tracing at entrance, sanitizer at entrance. Tables not distanced super well. Staff wearing masks but saw many who removed them or pulled them down while at the bar handling drinks. Menu has shifted over the last few months but everything on current menu was available. Plexi at bar in pub area and downstairs. Can’t comment on restaurant side.
Garrick’s Head Pub - Staff wearing masks, plexi dividers between tables and at the bar seats. Bathrooms iffy for cleaning. No sanitizer at tables but available at front door and bathroom. No major menu changes. Reports of staff congregating/hugging guests though, which may limit effectiveness of any of these measures.
House of Boateng: limited seating with an expanded patio, staff all wear masks, tables are sanitized and designated as 'serviced' between customers, one way traffic, contact tracing etc.
Il Sauvage Brewing - Contact tracing in place. Tables are fairly spaced on main level but it is a small space. No info on upper level. Sanitizer available. Staff masks unknown.
Il Terrazzo: removed around 70 seats, antique windows added as barriers between tables, servers wear masks but the wait staff did not. Felt a bit crowded.
Irish Times - Staff wearing masks, contact tracing in place, some barriers between seating and added outdoor seating for distancing on patio.
Leopolds - staff wearing masks, contact tracing, distanced seating & each booth area has barriers around it. You could sit at the bar and though there was no barrieplexiglass between you and the bartender, they had masks on. Might have had menus but had the QR code to look it up on your phone.
Lighthouse Brewing - Unsure about contact tracing. Limiting patrons to one group inside at a time with signage and it is being enforced. Patio is fairly distanced. Growler fills allowed last visit with meticulous washing of growlers prior to fill. Staff not wearing masks last visit.
My Chosen Cafe, Pizza & Sugar Shack: reduced indoor seating, temporary patio in the parking lot, contact tracing, one way traffic, staff in masks, new pizza pick up window, and limit of 4 customers in the Sugar Shack.
Original Joes - Tuscany Village - Staff wearing masks, contact tracing, tables slightly distanced but not a lot. Sanitizer at door. Aisles to tables very close to actual tables making distancing really hard. No menu changes.
The Palms at Rialto - Contact tracing consistent, temp check at door, staff wearing masks consistently. Distancing is in place on bar side. No plexi divider though for bar seating between bar and patrons. Can’t comment on restaurant side yet. Bathrooms downstairs in hotel. Sanitizer available.
Phillips Brewing - Unsure about contact tracing. Lots of sanitizer available and monitoring of seating/distancing. Plexi barriers between seating at bar. Distancing in place between staff and patrons. Growler fills available. Not all staff wearing masks. Patio on sidewalk for added seating (5-6 tables).
Q at the Empress - Outdoor patio is physically distanced. Temp check at door, contact tracing consistent. Staff wearing masks and keeping their distance from patrons outside. Inside - no info provided yet. Washrooms are inside the hotel leaving more area to cover to utilize them. Menu mostly the same, but no popcorn at bar anymore.
Romeos - Hillside Location - Contact tracing is place, they have their own touchless protocol to let customers in and out of the restaurant. Sanitizer is provided at entry. Staff wears face shields. Plexi glass barriers and reduced occupancy. Cleaning booths thoroughly between customers.
Ross Bay Pub - good social distancing, normal menu (prices raised a bit and quality down hill recently), plexiglass barriers in some places, no masks worn and staff only cleaned table tops, kitchen staff not wearing masks, did not see hand sanitizer except for entry
Sherwood Cafe & Bar - Spacious dining room and two patios. Tables and seating appropriately distanced. Hand sanitizer on entry and at various locations. Floor markings to control flow of guests entering. Staff wearing masks (inc kitchen). Plexiglass at point-of-sale. Contact tracing and sanitization schedule in place. (from employee)
Smiths - Patio has contact tracing, distanced quite substantially. Staff wearing masks and precautions/sanitizing of payment machines. Unsure about washrooms. Menu quite limited compared to pre-covid. Inside pub unknown.
The Snug at Oak Bay Beach Hotel - Contact tracing in place. Valet providing a buffer at front door, then contract tracing at pub. Distanced tables, staff wearing masks consistently. Lots of precautions upon entry and exit to the pub and hotel. No plexi barriers in place. Santizer available upon entry to pub.
Spinnakers - Staff wearing masks, tables quite distanced. Contact tracing consistent. Pool room upstairs has capacity limit of 6 individuals. Upstairs has bar service currently, no table service/servers taking orders. Downstairs has servers. Menu has recently changed, but quite substantial still. They have also opened up a patio in the parking lot for additional capacity.
Surly Mermaid (Sidney): you could join their waitlist by phone, sanitizer asked to be used before you enter, all staff wearing masks, distanced tables.
Swans - Contact tracing consistent. Staff wearing masks, lots of sanitizer at front and at washrooms. No plexi, but tables staggered for distancing and lots of space. Covered patio area less distanced due to width, but still spaced out. No menu changes.
Tug Eatery - Contact tracing is consistent, sanitizer provided at entry and washrooms. Tables distanced quite well. Staff consistent with masks and protocols. Patio has been expanded with lots of outdoor seating.
Vancouver Island Brewing - Contact tracing in progress. Tables spaced pretty well inside and outside. Sanitation consistent. Unsure about growler fills. Staff not wearing masks. Patio outside for added seating.
Wild Mountain: outdoor seating only, contact tracing, extensive cleaning
Zambri's - staff wearing masks, contact tracing at door for walk in (assumed same for reservations being logged). Sanitized at entrance and washrooms. Well spaced tables.

Delivery Services

Nomad X - requires masks and distances - they're a small startup delivery outfit
Skip the Dishes - Reports of no protocol for masks by drivers
Tutti Delivery, Door Dash, and Uber Eats all do require their drivers to wear masks.

submitted by bedoublenegative to VictoriaBC [link] [comments]


2020.09.13 00:57 Cornfields_PDog GIS, Music, and Gaming Computer

** What will you be doing with this PC? Be as specific as possible, and include specific games or programs you will be using.**
** What is your maximum budget before rebates/shipping/taxes?**
** When do you plan on building/buying the PC? Note: beyond a week or two from today means any build you receive will be out of date when you want to buy.**
** What, exactly, do you need included in the budget? (ToweOS/monitokeyboard/mouse/etc\)**
** Which country (and state/province) will you be purchasing the parts in? If you're in US, do you have access to a Microcenter location?**
** If reusing any parts (including monitor(s)/keyboard/mouse/etc), what parts will you be reusing? Brands and models are appreciated.**
** Will you be overclocking? If yes, are you interested in overclocking right away, or down the line? CPU and/or GPU?**
** Are there any specific features or items you want/need in the build? (ex: SSD, large amount of storage or a RAID setup, CUDA or OpenCL support, etc)**
** Do you have any specific case preferences (Size like ITX/microATX/mid-towefull-tower, styles, colors, window or not, LED lighting, etc), or a particular color theme preference for the components?**
** Do you need a copy of Windows included in the budget? If you do need one included, do you have a preference?**
** Extra info or particulars:**
Thank you everyone for helping with this, I know it can take awhile! I appreciate it! If this is too unreasonable, please let me know and some reasoning for parts.
submitted by Cornfields_PDog to buildapcforme [link] [comments]


2020.09.10 16:28 MNTENDO 10 years wasted in small business? Getting desperate here.

I recently resigned from an online retail (ecommerce) small business of 35 employees after 10 years, at which I moved from customer service rep to General Manager in my first 2 years. My resume, pasted below, is a laundry list of things I was solely responsible for but I feel none of it translates over to actual skills employers are looking for. Ideally I find a content management role somewhere as indirectly, that's exactly what I was doing with Amazon, eBay and our websites. I like working in the shadows to make sure internal and external customers can locate and see the data they need to see. Problem being, all content management positions require years of experience in software I've never used. I have yet to meet a piece of software I can't learn extremely quickly but I'm not sure how to convey that I'm trainable and I have many relevant skills that would be beneficial to getting clean, accurate data live to the web and kept up-to-date.
The question is, do companies even take chances on easily trainable people anymore without direct experience? I should also mention I don't have a college degree. Here are the duties I performed:
• Partner with CEO to maintain successful business operations while efficiently prioritizing multiple workloads
• Coach eCommerce sales employees on improvement opportunities to keep quality standards and discuss value tactics
• Researched and mastered Amazon (FBA, FBA Onsite) and eBay sales channels to empower employees with information and guidance
• Create and maintain a healthy balance of employee performance and employee satisfaction in the work place through compassionate leading
• Coach and empower supervisors to effectively manage their teams and tasks
• Track weekly attendance and perform payroll processing, vendor payments and state and federal tax payments
• Reconcile and report monthly business accounts and transactions, investigate and resolve any discrepancies
• Recruitment and retention of staff; interviews, onboarding, performance reviews, employee coaching and development
• Implemented loss prevention policies and practices to detect and deter company loss, as well as ensure safety of employees
• Monitor safety compliance and labor law issues and resolve immediately. Maintain up-to-date posted documentation
• General IT resolution; responding to and resolving computer, network or server issues as they arise and installing new hardware/software
• Research areas that needed redirect, compose and implement new procedures or policies
• Composed and enforce company's first employee handbook to make policies and procedures clear
• Monitor employee benefit eligibility and enrollment
• Monitor employee attendance and performance
• Investigate and resolve employee conflicts
• Responsible for recruiting, onboarding and terminations
• Manage business accounts via social media and provide website development
submitted by MNTENDO to careerguidance [link] [comments]


2020.09.10 00:14 joshybones AAR - [Taco Temple] Tuna Tacos Terrorize non-Terrestrial Tribe, Sept 8, 2020 - 16:00 UTC

The team traveled aboard Dr. Beefton's Mantaray vessel to an obscure area in Puget Sound. There they met a meistersinger and soon learned that the creature was their Johnson. They discovered that the creature was capable of communication, but that it's translation device was broken, so they repaired the device and began discourse with the meistersinger. They learned that it was their Johnson, and that it had a job for them.
The meistersinger informed the crew that there was a rogue fishing boat that had kidnapped a baby meistersinger somewhere in Puget Sound. The crew tracked the vessel using matrix legwork, and learned that it had fled Puget Sound and traveled into international waters. The crew pursued and discovered that the baby meistersinger was being held captive and was being used in a bizarre Taco Temple cult ritual.
It did not take long for the team to leap into action to save the baby meistersinger. Vector capsized the enemy vessel, and Beefton created an illusory kraken to distract the crew. A Troll magician tried to attack the team, but Drifter handily held the foe at bay with skillful use of a rotodrone. The team was able to free the baby meistersinger from the tortilla which bound it, and soon the meistersinger parents arrived to seek revenge.
The crew returned to Seattle with a new friend, Mike the Meistersinger. It was a successful mission, and the meistersingers were pleased with the assistance that they received.
submitted by joshybones to NeonAAR [link] [comments]


2020.09.08 11:38 LIS1050010 60 Super Simple Ways to Save Money

Why Is Saving Important?

Unless you’re fabulously wealthy, it’s likely that large expenses in your life will require planning in order to purchase. Define what you’re saving for to help keep you on track when it comes to avoiding unnecessary purchases. For example, if you remember that your goal is to save $100,000 over the next ten years in your child’s college fund, it will be a lot easier to stay out of the drive-thru line.
Consider that you may need to save up for pricey necessities like a car and a home. The average American will own a total of six cars in their lifetime, so it may be a good idea to start saving for your next vehicle now, even if you don’t currently need one.
Finally, it’s essential to save for retirement from your first job to your last. According to a recent study, most Americans near retirement have only save twelve percent of the recommended amount for retirement. That may be because getting to a place where you have extra income to save takes time, but may also be because many people don’t practice good money-saving techniques from an early age.

Save Money Long-Term

Even if you’re trying to save money for more immediate reasons, you may be able to accomplish much when you plan for life-long savings. Plus, understanding the strategies and mindset that make you successful long-term will also help you penny pinch every day. Here are some ways to save money over time:
1. Create a Budget
The first place to start when trying to save money is to assess how much you really have and where that money is going. Consider using the 50/20/30 rule to create a budget. The 50/20/30 rule states that fifty percent of your income should go to essentials like rent and food, twenty percent should go savings, and thirty percent should go to personal expenses like entertainment.
2. Save Automatically
If you have to manually transfer money into your accounts, you may be more likely to forgo saving altogether. Try having a portion of your paycheck automatically deposited to a savings account to keep you contributing consistently.
3. Build an Emergency Fund
Some experts recommend setting aside six months worth of living expenses in case of emergencies. This helps you avoid going into debt if you ever lose your job or have to pay unforeseen medical expenses.
4. Track Your Spending
You may be surprised about where your money is going. Keep a record of what you spend to see how small expenses add up. You may not think that coffee every once in a while makes a dent in your savings, but seeing the sum of your purchases may change your mind.
5. Avoid Debt
Pay off your cards every month to keep your debt from piling up. If possible, avoid going into debt in the first place by spending within your limits and keeping your credit card at home. With a savings built up, you won’t have to put unexpected expenses on a card.
6. Make a Plan
Break your long-term goals into smaller, more manageable milestones for the month and year. With an idea of what you need to do short-term, you can plan how much you need to be saving, and set the right limits on your non-essentials budget.
7. Use the 30 Day Rule
When you want to make a large purchase, think on it first. Write down what it is and how much it costs, and if after 30 days you still feel it’s necessary, purchase it.
8. Consider Refinancing Your Mortgage
You may find that you can save money over time by changing the rate of your mortgage. Remember to talk to a financial advisor before signing onto any major financial contracts.
9. Create a Savings Goal for Retirement
Some experts recommend saving fifteen percent of your income each year for retirement. Determine how much you’ll need and break that down by decades to make sure you’re hitting your goals over time.
10. Maintain Your Home and Car
Keep your home in good shape and perform regular maintenance on your car to protect the value in your assets. Saving money by skipping or doing cheap repairs likely won’t be worth it in the long run. Your car’s manufacturer will have guidelines for it’s maintenance, but home manufacturers don’t provide the same. Common recommended tasks include: having arborist check the trees on your property to ensure their sturdiness, painting your home to maintain it’s exterior, checking your foundation for signs of cracking, and cleaning out your gutters to keep the flow of water off your roof.
11. Invest in Quality
Think about spending a bit more money on things that will last you longer. For example, it can be worth it to buy some higher quality clothes (as long as they’re not for growing kids), because you won’t have to buy new ones for a long time.
12. Start Saving for College Early
If you know you’re going to pay for college down the road, some people recommend creating an account specifically for this expense as soon as your child is born. There are even accounts specifically designed to save for education expenses including 529’s and ESA’s or College Savings Accounts.
13. Fully Utilize Your Employer’s 401k Match
If your job matches the contributions to your retirement savings up to a certain percentage of your salary, you should consider contributing enough to max out your employer’s matching benefit. Otherwise, you’re just turning down free money.
14. Consolidate Debt
Talk to a financial advisor about your options regarding your debt. You may find that consolidating multiple high-interest payments into one lower interest payment is an effective debt management strategy.
15. Consider Accounts and Equities
You should always thoroughly research your options or talk to a financial advisor before making any riskier investment moves. You may want to be aware of certain accounts that gain interest on your money through equities. While things like stocks, mutual funds, and Certificates of Deposit shouldn’t be your only form of savings, they may provide attractive returns on your investment over time.

Save Money on Necessary Expenses

The least fun things to spend money on are the ones you actually have to pay for. But you may be surprised how simple and fun it is to find a little extra cash in your bills. Here are some easy ways to reduce your expenses each month:
16. Switch to a Cheaper Cell-Phone Plan
With the prevalence of wifi hotspots, the standard smartphone owner today only uses on average 1.6 gigabytes of data per month. Interestingly, most service providers’ cheapest data plan provides more than that. Track how much data you’re actually using and stop paying for more than you need.
17. Lower Your Utility Bills
Evaluate whether or not you’re being as conservative as you can with your utilities. Some quick tips to save money on your bills include: Insulating your windows with a simple sheet of bubble wrap, unplugging appliances you’re not using, and turning the faucet off when you brush your teeth.
18. Time Major Purchases Around Sale Periods
Because demand fluctuates by the season for certain items, you can time your big buys to rake in the savings. For example, the end of December can be a great time to buy a car because dealerships want to meet end-of-year quotas.
19. Cancel Your Gym Membership
Many of the exercises you do at the gym can be done at home with a bit of creativity. You can watch YouTube tutorials for ideas about home workouts, go for a run in your neighborhood, or swim laps at your community pool.
20. Use Coupons
Not just in newspapers and junk ads anymore, coupons are available on company websites, apps like SnipSnap, and online. Before you go out shopping, check your phone or computer and increase your savings.
21. Share Entertainment
Similar to swapping clothes, ask to borrow your friend’s DVDs and CDs, or share the payments for a joint streaming account.
22. Plan Your Groceries
Make a list of what food you’ll need for the week, keeping in mind what meals can be made from the ingredients, and don’t buy anything that isn’t on your list. It helps not to go to the grocery store hungry or with a picky eater. Meal planning is another great option that can help you save time and money while making it easier for you to eat healthily.
23. Understand Food Spoilage
Americans waste about one pound of food every day, adding up to enough food to feed 2 billion people annually. This is in part because many people don’t know that “best by” dates indicate the last day of peak quality, not safety. Many foods are still safe to eat weeks after the date on the package, so take a second look at the food inside the package before tossing it.
24. Inflate Your Tires
Properly inflated tires can increase fuel economy by over three percent. In addition, tires inflated to the correct pressure last longer and fail less often. If your car doesn’t have tire sensors, consider buying a pressure gauge and checking the pressure yourself.
25. Carpool to Work or School
Ask around or organize a carpool spreadsheet at work to see if anyone lives near you who you can swap rides with. For your kids, enlist nearby parents or friends’ parents to help lighten the burden of the school drop-off lines.
26. Lower the Temperature on Your Hot Water Heater
Your water heater can waste anywhere from $36 to $61 dollars a year if its set too high — usually above 140 degrees. Set the temperature around 120 degrees to save money and reduce mineral buildup in your tank.
27. Replace Your Incandescent Light Bulbs
Some experts estimate that LED bulbs can save you up to $3,260 over their lifespans. Even if some of your incandescent lights have already been replaced, run a quick inventory of your home to see if there are any other light sources you could be saving money on.
28. Install a Programmable Thermostat
Products like Nest allow you to turn your AC or heat down while you’re away or sleeping in time with the hottest or coolest parts of the day. Even if your thermostat isn’t programmable, try turning your system down or off when you leave for the day so your AC isn’t fighting natural changes in temperature. This is both economic and environmentally friendly.

Save Money by Spending Less

If your needs are a little more short-term, here are some ideas to keep from spending the money you already have, and make what you do spend go farther:
29. Try Envelope Budgeting
Credit cards help you avoid the pain of purchase, which may cause you to spend more. With cash you become more aware of what you’re spending. In addition, you can divide your cash into envelopes with allowances for different purchases, which will ensure you don’t spend too much in one area.
30. Calculate by Hours
When trying to decide if something is worth buying, try thinking of the cost in terms of how long it takes you to make that money. This can help you get a sense of the true value of your money.
31. Think Twice About Sales
While some sales are good deals, there’s no sale that’s going to cost you less than not buying the item at all. When purchasing an item on sale, ask yourself if you would have bought the item if it were full price, and if the answer is no, skip it.
32. Buy Used
Local thrift stores and online auction sites like eBay offer everything from clothes to electronics at stellar discounts. You can get slightly used high quality items at a fraction of the cost of their newer counterparts.
33. Go to the Library
Some people don’t realize that their local library is a great resource for free entertainment, especially for kids. Many offer movies and games in addition to books, as well as free events and readings for kids every week.
34. Buy Generic
Check the ingredients on brand-name medicines and foods, as they’re frequently the exact same as the less expensive options out there. If you can’t detect any difference in quality, you don’t necessarily need to buy the name brand.
35. Eat In
It can be tempting to eat out every night, but you can make eating at home more appetizing by making eating at home delicious, fun, and easy. Try to cooking new recipes, setting up a picnic, or simply meal-prepping.
36. Use the 24 Hour Rule
This is similar to the 30 day rule, but for less expensive purchases. Wait a day before buying a small item and you may find you didn’t want it after all.
37. Designate No-Spend Days
Challenge yourself and your family to go one day a week without buying anything, from your morning coffee to a movie ticket. You’ll reduce your spending and become more aware of how mindlessly you make small purchases.
38. Go Outside
The great outdoors is almost always free, and with the added benefit of free exercise, the outdoors is an incredible resource. Try going on a walk around your neighborhood or taking a day trip to a local sight.
39. Take Public Transportation
Try replacing your drive to work one day a week. This can save you both money and time because you can get other things done on the bus while saving money on gas and wear and tear on your car.
40. Clothes Swap
Before you buy a new outfit, get some friends together and swap them old pieces you don’t want anymore. You can also exchange kids clothes and toys with neighbors or family members.
41. Drink Less Bottled Water
Bottled water is almost 300x the cost of the same amount of tap water and the average American spends about $100 a year on it. Consider switching to a filter, and let it pay for itself.

Save Money by Creating Extra Income

According to a recent survey, 35% of Americans say lack of income is the main reason they aren’t saving money. So If you’re already living frugally but are struggling to save, here are some easy ways to add income without adding too much work:
42. Sell Your Extra Stuff
Save money on your new clothes, housewares, and electronics you purchase by selling your old ones. Check your closet for clothes you haven’t worn in months and for old electronics. There are many places to sell unwanted items online, including eBay, Craigslist, or Facebook Marketplace. You can also hold a traditional yard sale if you want to sell in bulk.
43. Rent Out Equipment
Why pay for your tools or equipment when they can pay for themselves? Apps like ToolRent or PeerRenters let you get paid for sharing items like drills, whiskers, and cameras with the community. Consider listing anything you have that has a specialty use.
44. Rent Out an Extra Room
You can reduce your own housing host by adding a short-term resident. List your spare room, or even couch on an app like AirBnB to save money on your rent or mortgage.
45. Sell Your Parking Spot
If you live in an area where parking can be expensive or hard to come by, consider renting out your spot to people during the day while you’re at work. Use this money to save on your own car’s expenses and parking.
46. Trade Gigs With a Neighbor
While not monetary income, you can earn favors by trading jobs with your neighbors or friends. For example, you can take turns babysitting your friend’s kids, or watch your neighbor’s pets while they’re out in exchange for them mowing your lawn.
47. Monetize Your Passion
Make your free time earn you money as well. If there’s a hobby or skill you do for fun, consider selling the fruits of your labor. If you love photography, try selling photos on stock websites, or if you find yourself writing at the end of the day, try starting a blog.
48. Become a Mystery Shopper
You can save money on services, meals, and experiences in exchange for completing honest feedback to companies. This can be especially effective if you use it to do things you’d normally do.
49. Work at Your Favorite Place
If you already spend a lot of time at soccer games or at the bar down the street, become a referee or bartender on the weekends and you will save money on game tickets and drinks. Plus, it won’t won’t feel like work.
50. Consider Signing up for Cash Back Offers
Take advantage of the fact that some major credit cards offer cash back on purchases. You can also use a service like Ebates, which partners with retailers to give you cash back. Keep in mind that these services are designed to motivate you to buy things you wouldn’t normally buy, so use caution.
51. Pet-Sit
If you’re an animal lover, getting paid to play with other people’s animals could be an excellent option for you, and help you save additional money on entertainment. Depending on the owners’ needs, you may even be able to keep their pet at your home, cutting down on the work for you. Apps like Rover make it easy to connect with owners.

Save Money With Easy Hacks

No matter your stage in your money-saving journey, these hacks are easy and interesting, so there’s no reason not to try them out:
52. Round Up Your Payments
Like a virtual piggy bank, some accounts allow you to round up every purchase to the next dollar and put that money in savings. Check whether or not your bank offers it, as it is an easy way to save money and you’ll likely hardly notice.
53. Use a Savings Calculator
Putting money away consistently is hard enough as it is, so utilize an easy online tool that can calculate interest over years and help you determine how much your savings may grow in the years to come.
54. Switch Your Ceiling Fan Direction
That’s right, your fan can go either clockwise or counterclockwise thanks to a tiny switch, usually on the side. The angle of the blades mean that the fan is actually more efficient going clockwise in summer as this pushes a breeze around. Use the counterclockwise direction in winter to pull heat towards the ceiling and around the walls.
55. Purchase Discounted Gift Cards
Websites like CardPool allow users to sell gift cards they’ll never use, for slightly lower than their values. Consider buying gift cards to places you frequently shop to save instantly on everything you buy there.
56. Teach Yourself Skills You Would Otherwise Pay For
Take advantage of online tutorials and articles that can teach you to do small things you would otherwise pay for. You can learn anything from how to change your own oil to how to make a bouquet.
57. Make Your Passwords Reminders
If you force yourself to type a phrase on your online shopping account that reminds you of a goal saving date, you’ll be less likely to overspend. You can also make your password things you’re saving for such as “beachvacation2018” or “2020weddingbudget.”
58. Delete Your Card Number from Online Accounts
Make it harder to buy impulsively from websites by deleting your credit card information in their system. This will force you to consider your purchase as you type in your number.
59. Utilize Your Savings Account
Your current bank may offer a savings account with interest that can make your deposits easy to make and retrieve. Some even offer the ability to divide up the money in your savings account by what it’s for. Help motivate yourself to save by watching you the funds for your specific goals grow.
60. Use a Budgeting App
Consider using an app like Mint that keeps track of your spending goals, expenses, and budgets. This can be an easy way to see how you’re doing and get more familiar with your finances.you save. Since this money is relatively easy to access, consider using this account to save for unexpected expenses.
You may not become rich overnight, but the key to amassing a huge savings is patience. Saving money comes down to becoming aware of your unconscious habits and making a consistent effort to change them. Anyone can be more financially responsible in a few simple steps, using the many resources available to them.
submitted by LIS1050010 to selfreliance [link] [comments]


2020.09.08 09:29 stelised90 Questions Re: First 6months of business.

So I opened a mobile automotive repair shop in my area in June of 2019. and due to the COVID pandemic, last year did ~60k we don't operate in Winter ( Maine Business) So we closed in December and planned to open back up in April. Well, that didn't happen due to state lockdown and didn't get to open until August.
Year to date (Last Month) we have done 2500.00 and from what I can gather is we seem to be having issues converting customers this go around. I am generating traffic to both our FB page and Website. Potential customers are looking at our FB page or FB Ad, go to our webpage look around and then leave.
We operate out of a 8.5 wide x 20 deep x 13 tall car hauler that was converted into a mobile automotive bay with all the shop tools and equipment necessary to perform your typical automotive repairs.
The typical labor rate in my market is $115/hr Indie - $130/hr Dealer.
We charge 84.99/hr as the Regular Rate 64.99 Discounted Rate for Veterans, College Students / Large sized businesses we have partnered with to offer our services as a fringe benefit to their employee's. Our Fleet Rate is 44.99/hr and has several businesses that have us do their maintenance.
Parts are Net 30 and Marked up using the following formula.
Retail = Cost * 1.33 for Regular Rate
Retail = Cost * 1.22 for Discounted Rate
Retail = Cost * 1.11 for FleetRate
Shop supplies are $10 applied to every order.
My Operational Costs are 8.78/hr of operation or just under 80.00/day. (Breakeven Point = 1920/mo)
----------
Example: if a brake job is listed in the labor manual as 1hr and you are charged the regular labor rate. Pads & Rotors cost the shop 200 to order and a 10$ shop supply fee is added to the order along with a 5.5% sales tax on the parts.
280.63 in Parts (Including Tax)
84.99 in Labor
10.00 in Shop Supplies
Total 375.62 for the Repair. The same repair at a different shop in town would cost around 425.
Savings of 50.62$ for that particular job.

All of our Technicians are Experienced ASE Master Level Tech's with Chrysler FCA Level 2 Cert along with a Maine State Inspection Cert. We are Licensed, Insured. All of our work is guaranteed for 1 year -12k miles.
Our USP / Competitive Advantage is
Price
With the bigger shops, you cant supply your own parts.
Lowest Labor Rate within 30mi
Convenience
We come to your home, school, or office and perform the repairs in your parking spot, That way you don't have to take time out of work or waste your lunch break sitting in a waiting room.
Quality
Only ASE Certified Technicians are employed.
All Work is backed by a 1-year 12k warranty.

We Compete on price and convenience. I know that the other shops cannot support our prices as last year they stopped taking our quotes as a price match. ( How we ended up getting most of their customers at the time.)
What can I do at this point, our shop management system sends a CT a message based on service intervals when to come back in.
I'm starting to think that because we were mobile and could not operate during the lockdown that all the traction we gained was lost to the other auto shops in the area that were brick and mortar and allowed to stay open.

Any Advice?

Website is www.davesdiagnostics.com
submitted by stelised90 to smallbusiness [link] [comments]


2020.09.06 05:59 bubonis My friends will likely be homeless in about three months. Neither of us have any idea how to prevent this from happening. Advice?

TL;DR: Disabled woman dies, leaving her disabled (but legally an adult) son with her disabled girlfriend. They have to move but literally can't afford anything, and they pretty much have to stay in the same school district. They most likely have three months before they're both homeless.
Legitimately posting this for a friend who has NO idea what to do. Nor do I.
All of this takes place in New Jersey.
Missy and Rebecca both have extensive physical and mental issues. Both of them are on permanent disability owing to things like a congenital heart defect, spinal damage (surgically corrected but not perfectly), nerve damage, and more, as well as issues with medically-diagnosed depression and bipolarism. Missy isn't gainfully employed but she does sell things on eBay and Etsy for extra cash, and she's actually a phenomenal pastry chef and gets the occasional word-of-mouth job for a wedding cake or similar. (You know those super-artistic cakes that look way too good to eat? She can make those without breaking a sweat.) Rebecca works part-time at a menial job; her hours are erratic/inconsistent and she's paid slightly above minimum wage under the table.
Pat is severely autistic and has the general mentality of a 12-year-old. He gets startled easily and meeting new people is extremely difficult for him. He is still in high school and through the school is enrolled in several different publicly-funded programs which do help him.
Up until about a year and a half ago they were living in a small rented house. Their lease was up and the landlord didn't want to renew so they got thrown out. They didn't fight it because the landlord wasn't really taking care of the house anyway and it was in a bad neighborhood. Between their disability payments, public housing assistance, and occasional child support from Deadbeat Dad the three of them were able to sublet a townhouse in the same area (and school district, which is very important for Pat). The lease lists Missy and Pat as the tenants; there is no mention of Rebecca.
Then, this past March, just before the COVID quarantine hit, Missy very unexpectedly died from heart failure. Pat was still technically a minor (17YO) when this happened; he turned 18 shortly thereafter. Missy didn't have a will and had no meaningful assets beyond a few hundred dollars in a bank account and her unremarkable possessions. By the time child services got around to checking in on Pat following Missy's death, he had already turned 18 so there was nothing for them to do.
After Missy's passing, the landlord learned that Missy had also been living there all this time. He's livid and he wants her out. Starting in March, he's actually refused to accept rent from housing assistance or from Rebecca. He's even offered Rebecca a cash payment to move out by a certain date (long since expired). He's no longer maintaining the property; their air conditioner works just enough to make the house livable if not comfortable (the house rarely gets below 80 degrees in hot weather). The landlord has filed for an ejectment proceeding; Rebecca has been served with the papers and ostensibly has a hearing in early December, assuming the courts open up by then. If it wasn't for the COVID situation and New Jersey's moratorium on evictions, they would already be on the street.
Pat cannot live on his own and looks to Rebecca as his primary caregiver. There is no legal bond between Rebecca and Pat since Missy and Rebecca were not married.
If they're thrown out, Rebecca and Pat have no other options and will be homeless. Leaving the school district would be a huge problem as it would require Pat to enroll in a new school which may not have the same or similar programs available for his situation, plus it would likely require weeks of conditioning (meeting all of the new people) before Pat could actually be engaged in those programs. Housing assistance has not been of any help in finding a new place they can afford. Their budget is decimated; Missy's disability checks and Pat's child support checks are no longer arriving, and because Pat requires full-time care Rebecca can no longer leave the house to work even part-time. Rebecca readily acknowledges that even if there weren't any issues with the landlord, and even if there weren't COVID-inspired anti-eviction laws on the books now, they wouldn't be able to afford to stay there much longer anyway.
What options do they have?
submitted by bubonis to Advice [link] [comments]


2020.09.03 15:40 TessaBissolli A close examination of the story. Part 52: CONCLUSIONS (1 of 2)

I started the series three months ago examining how the apparent narrative of the show's mythology crumbles under examination:
RR was a married Naval Officer, who was seduced by KR, and the affair of over 4 years produced a child. She had been siphoning information off him, including a submarine that was sunk. But when she decided to end it, RR took Masha because she would not let him see her, and went to hide in the closed Rehoboth Beach house he rented every year. Katarina followed, they fought, her goons arrived, Masha shot her father and he died, and Katarina hid his body. She left Masha with Kate, tried to kill herself in Cape May, survived, stumbled into a Church, went to a shelter, killed a Russian guy, and took his wallet, then contacted Ilya, who helped her get her mother to safety, then go to Moscow to talk to her father. But on the way back, posing as Americans, Katarina tries to jump from a balcony, Ilya stops her, and they come up with the idea that someone would become RR to take money left by the KGB in banks to incriminate him and be able to run away. Katarina was really working for Alan Fitch and the cabal. Red, whoever he is, went in for surgery with Koehler and it worked, albeit not as they thought it would. Katarina disappeared, and Red started to rise as a criminal. In 2013, he surrendered, and worked with Liz, until he was exposed by Kate as a supplanter. Now her mother, turned enemy of both Red and her father, Dom, is working with Liz to find the Sikorsky Archive.
Throughout this entire series, u/jen5225 my partner in crime has been invaluable, she even authored one of the posts.
We started this journey questioning one of the main characters of the show: Elizabeth Keen and who she really is.
https://preview.redd.it/4omebkxf5xk51.png?width=720&format=png&auto=webp&s=fa86b9cae9c53a116aec6e64e17521b4fff3498e
Was she really Masha Rostova, as opposed to be KNOWN and had lived as such? Is Katarina, Dom's daughter REALLY her biological mother? And what can her abduction from the Summer Palace, in Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia tell us about who she is.
The answer is that while we know that Elizabeth's biological father is the man known to the US Navy as Raymond Reddington, the other thing we might know is that she was NOT born as Masha Rostova. In fact we can deduce that nobody was born alive, in Moscow, or anywhere else, as Masha (or Maria) Rostova , or that there was any record of a child born to anyone using the name Katarina Rostova, because otherwise the Russians (or the Americans) would know she existed (even under another name) because she was born in Moscow . But that is not the case:
ANTON VELOV: I said, "All I know is they say she had a daughter.”
Peter Kotsiopoluos had to send Connolly's people to find out about a child from one of the few KGBs who had been involved with Katarina. A man who had been in charge of chasing her for the KGB, but who never met her personally. And this man did not KNOW she had a daughter. Yes, he found a photo, but no evidence Katarina had a daughter.
So Liz was born in Moscow, under a different name, from a woman who Red KNEW AS "Katarina Rostova", but who must have used a different name in Moscow to give birth to Liz, perhaps her real name. Remember that Red knows who Dom is, so Red knows Katarina's real last name. This woman he KNEW AS "Katarina Rostova", is not Katarina.
I have made the case that Red, while referring to Liz as Masha to the people who know Liz as Masha (Dom, Ilya), has never told Liz she IS Masha, or in fact told anyone that Liz IS Masha:
Red says about Liz and the name Masha:
So, while we KNOW RR is Liz's bio- father, we also can DEDUCE, from what we have been told, who is very likely NOT her bio-mother: Katarina. Yet we saw Red tell Liz about her mother:
What was her name?
Mmmh I knew her as Katarina Rostova. One of her many names. She was a KGB agent.
So, we know her biological mother is NOT Katarina, but is a woman who gave birth to her in Moscow, who USED the name Katarina Rostova to have an affair with RR (Or steal sperm?), who WAS a KGB agent, and whose real name is not known to Red.
Yet Liz was living with her REAL non-bio mother, Katarina, the woman who took her in, passed her as her own under the name Masha Rostova, and even produced a DNA test that convinced her cover husband, Constantin Rostov, that Masha was his biological child, when in reality no child had been born as such anywhere of Katarina or of any other woman under those names (Katarina Rostova or Masha Rostova).
https://preview.redd.it/7rb2ggzs7xk51.png?width=720&format=png&auto=webp&s=79395a36d72b7291f0fcb3ef6a8dfeccdb11fd73
Which tell us likely why Rostov, a man of wealth and power did not pursue the matter of his abducted child and disappeared wife: likely, because he could not even prove, past photos of Masha, that there was a child of his named Masha (or Maria) Rostova. We do not even know if those cops we saw at the Summer Palace were real, as someone astutely noted.
https://preview.redd.it/vlh2p61x7xk51.png?width=953&format=png&auto=webp&s=d2612c6e1d122b18ec58adb42c68ed368faf0487
It is also likely that Constantin soon found himself the object of unwanted KGB interest in the matter of his missing wife, and likely had to go into hiding. We know he emerged as Alexander Kirk after the fall of the USSR in December of 1991 and bought cheap energy outfits.
https://preview.redd.it/gi9snkr08xk51.png?width=1208&format=png&auto=webp&s=05fca03484ad125f9446c641157f52659668b1e9
What can we tell then about Raymond Reddington (RR) then? For starters that there was no man born as such, either. Why? Because we know Liz had been investigating her past. She suspected Reddington to be her father, even getting a DNA test done, to throw it out, afraid of the results. Liz had taken positive steps to find information about her past.
Liz went asking the OREA agents about her mother, she asked Velov twice, she collected information about the night of the fire. She has notebooks, researched Oleander, had the photo in the swing enhanced and search in facial recognition databases for her mother, researched "Ilya Koslov", and even found a motel stay in Dover. It makes sense that Liz, a federal agent, has access to all kinds of official information including the drowning in Cape May, which was in newspapers, and likely had official reports.
https://preview.redd.it/zs1vlp5ubxk51.png?width=1916&format=png&auto=webp&s=62d44c1a33c43b7322e098e7a77f64e4579c0a96
One Liz learned her father was RR, and then saw a report telling her RR was dead, she would have tried finding her paternal blood relatives. Grandparents, unless and aunts, cousins. Anyone with a blood relation to her, because finding her biological relatives is immensely important to her.
She found nothing. Nobody, alive or dead under the name. We never heard of ANY relative either. No parents interrogated. No siblings mortified in shame. Nobody changing their name. And we know this out of a single question Liz made of Ressler:
LIZ: You didn't stop, did you, trying to find his (RED'S) real identity ?
RESSLER: No, I didn't. I don't know who he (RED) was, but I think I found someone who might. Your grandfather. (That would be RR's father or Katarina Rostova's father, Liz's biological grandfathers)
LIZ: You found Reddington's father? (RR'S FATHER, NOT RED'S FATHER)
And this tells us that Liz had never found a blood relative under that name. As an FBI agent she has access to birth, death, marriage, tax, census and financial records. Fingerprints and facial recognition databases, etc. and she had never found her paternal grandfather under the name Reddington, or under any name. She was surprised Ressler found her paternal grandfather:
This means nobody was born under that name, which means that Reddington was an assumed name of the man who graduated from the Naval Academy and became her biological father.
Matters get even more complicated when we look at Katarina, the woman who likely did not give birth to Liz in Moscow, but became her mother, the only real mother Liz had.
https://preview.redd.it/ybdx2bq0hxk51.png?width=932&format=png&auto=webp&s=f634459c2f068f1d0fa451cb12203fda6722db3a
The Russians seem to know Katarina as "Katarina Rostova", know Dom as Oleander and know he is her father. There is no subterfuge on their part. They sent Anton Velov after her:
Velov was the agent assigned to find her.
and then the Osterman Umbrella Company:
Your mother loved that photograph. Represented everything she wanted but couldn't have. Not after she betrayed the KGB. After that, she was a hunted woman.... Hunted by the Osterman Umbrella Company.
But when it comes to the Americans, they acted as if "Katarina Rostova" did not exist, just like they do with Brian Osterman, or Leonard Caul, and anyone with a burn notice, or whose existence needs to be kept a secret.
https://preview.redd.it/4t82bxc7hxk51.png?width=1121&format=png&auto=webp&s=f738f60ddfd66db4d49a2427ed1e6e65aacfc2ce
Yet Peter Kotsiopolus, who in 2015 was the head of the Clandestine Services (covert agents) knew Liz's mother (either one) well enough to see a resemblance with Liz. If this was in appearance or in attitude we do not know. We do not know what job did Peter had before 1991, but likely he would have been a handler of covert agents, not the head of Clandestine Services.
https://preview.redd.it/qmel5cz3hxk51.png?width=834&format=png&auto=webp&s=0009667cc8affee1093153e633b28346768b00a7
In short, the CIA acted exactly as they do about an agent who had a burn order: deny their existence.
The Agency (or the FBI) make no effort whatsoever in finding her, or tracking her mother or father. They even tell Ressler than because Rostova did not make a reservation in her name, then she did not board the ferry. 😂 Liz tried finding her face in facial recognition databases to no effect in season 2. So likely, Katarina has a new face, or she is dead.
But what the CIA agent tell Liz is in fact more truth than not:
CIA'S OREA SECTION AGENT MASIK: I don't think there are any photographs of Katarina Rostova.... She's a myth. Tall tales late at night over vodka shots. Probably an amalgamation of a half-a-dozen unknown female Soviet operatives-- the Pinko Mata Hari.
because Red says a very similar thing about "Katarina Rostova", that "Katarina Rostova" was a myth, a figment, an illusion:
RED: You said you prefer illusion to reality.... I may have seemed like an illusion, but she is one... she's someone you can never find.... I may not have told you what you want, but I told you all you need. You'll never find Rostova..... She's a figment of the collective imagination.
And if we look carefully we see how Red refers to Liz's mother in a normal way "your mother", and in a bizarre way, "Katarina Rostova", not "Katarina", as he does to Dembe, Kate, Dom, or Ilya. So, there are times when Red is using a subterfuge, in her entire name, which then might be about the identity, or might refer to two women: one of them, Katarina, whom he knew well and knows her real name, and another one, whom he did not know really, and only as "Katarina Rostova", one of her many names.
So, we have two women at least, using the name Katarina, and both women are, in different ways, mothers to Liz. One, her biological mother, was a woman he only knew as "Katarina Rostova", and the other is Katarina, Dom's daughter. But we also know that Fakerina said she does not know why they chose her. That means that Fakerina believed there were at least three of them, because otherwise, if they were two and Dom wanted to save his daughter, it would be evident why her. So we might have three women pretending to be "Katarina Rostova".
FAKERINA TO ILYA: I've thought a lot about why you chose me as the lamb you could take to slaughter. You thought I was weak the prey and not the predator.
We have then confirmation on two sides that Katarina was not Liz's biological mother, but was her real mother. A woman who took her in and loved her, raised her until she had to give her up because she was being chased by the CIA and the KGB.
But we also know that Katarina existed, and yet, "Katarina Rostova", legendary KGB seductress was a myth, like Agent Masik told Liz, an amalgamation of a few Soviet operatives, using the same name to create a mythic agent. Just like Red created "Edgar Legate", a mythic assassin that nobody had seen, but in reality was just a name used by a lot of people. Trying to find a name inhabited by many people is nearly impossible. Each person gives contradictory clues.
It is even likely that the flaming red hair and light eyes was part of the identity, because the woman in the swing was blond, and the photo of Katarina's mother' estranged daughter had dark hair, which be Katarina or not, makes it highly likely Katarina too had dark hair.
https://preview.redd.it/7rstibubhxk51.png?width=1916&format=png&auto=webp&s=ecef5487f448879bca1dbf5d1767605c951e691a
We have one more aspect to consider, and that is what two contradictory statements made by Katarina to her parents mean in term of Katarina's real allegiance:
Since the KGB considered Katarina a traitor, then it means that Katarina's mother, Lena Volkova (as she appears credited), was KGB, while her father, Dom, was not KGB, but then likely CIA, or MI-6 or something of the sort, so that she tells him she was not a traitor. While the CIA may have believed for a while she was a traitor, ultimately Alan Fitch was her boss, and what he was doing may have been sectioned, if illegal. Remember the CIA is actively trying NOT to find her.
https://preview.redd.it/zped6gxkhxk51.png?width=1335&format=png&auto=webp&s=a288dcfd9981d0faf15ff8d29f7241eef89ed04b
Katarina was then pretending to be KGB, or had been recruited by the KGB, but in reality she was CIA, and given a burn notice. They first deny she exist, and do not try to find her, just like Brian Osterman, who was in reality even after being "dismissed" and records eliminated, but who was running a secret mission for his boss, Director Wilcox (new Clandestine Service chief), like Katarina was doing for Fitch (remember that Fitch in 2014 was the Assistant Director of National Intelligence, but we have no idea what job he had in 1990).
And that helps explain a lot of what is happening around her supposed KGB "comrades", Ilya and her father Dom. Both are described as ghosts, neither prints nor face can be identified.
Dom had supposedly been investigated as Oleander by the CIA, yet his prints and face are not in the databases, and Ressler cannot find him. So that investigation was either a sham, or was quickly shuttered from above.
https://preview.redd.it/h3wgm7ephxk51.png?width=1280&format=png&auto=webp&s=e3651c24089b8425be86fd497758787f23be9fb0
While if "Ilya Koslov" had really been a Soviet citizen working for an embassy in the US during the Cold War, he would have been vetted multiple times (by the FBI among others) and spied on. The FBI, however, have nothing on him, which means the Koslov identity was a made up identity and Ilya's name is not Koslov, and he was not really KGB. Even under a different name, his prints and face would be on file had he really been a USSR diplomat.
So what we have is a massive charade in which Dom as Oleander, Ilya as "Ilya Koslov" and Katarina as "Katarina Rostova" are pretending to BE KGB (or recruited as such while being agents for the other side. Their identities had been scrubbed once the "job" was done. The Russians tell Ressler who Dom was (Katarina Rostova's father), and a British agent, Skip Sutherland, digs up a file on "Ilya Koslov," just like Mossad knew who Leonard Caul was when the US had no record of him.
DOM TO RED: You were the architect of this charade.
What we know is that "Ilya" is his real first name, he is a childhood friend of Red, has been using the name Frank Bloom, and he retired in 1991.
https://preview.redd.it/i8z4fr14ixk51.png?width=1040&format=png&auto=webp&s=ecf909345b0942221394efed3ac3e9058299af71
We know that "Dominic" is Dom's real first name, and that he has something identifiable in him that would signal him as a Rostov, if he goes to a hospital. This might point to his being Constantin's distant uncle who contracted the Ribowski virus and lived longer than any other Rostov with a disease inherited through the paternal line.
https://preview.redd.it/6tc6cuj6ixk51.png?width=728&format=png&auto=webp&s=0c913ffdad48cb2b31c2ae1d639ab7f211cc72a3
But that does not mean his real last name is Rostov, because he could have been adopted by a step father, or the family may have changed their name. We know Dom, before falling into a coma as a product of Fakerina's attack, was 81 and took a lot of medication.
https://preview.redd.it/19s8aamtixk51.png?width=1168&format=png&auto=webp&s=e46fbe1fb02c4593abba1d9992915437731c4b39
Both Dom and Lena have ties to New York: Lena, having met Katarina in the Cross Sound Ferry terminal, and Dom having a cabin that closely resembles one child's drawing kept with Katarina's childhood mementos and American toys, which suggests that Dom had that cabin when Katarina was growing up.
https://preview.redd.it/gxebyobpixk51.png?width=1909&format=png&auto=webp&s=8d815895450f6cdd595147eeffc9e264f69abfb0
This suggests that Katarina grew up in the US, Dom lived in the US when she was growing up, and that Lena story of coming to the US in the 1970s after breaking up with her husband in Russia is balderdash, yet we have indications she might have been KGB. A sleeper agent? Or that husband was not Dom.
When we looked at Alan Fitch, Katarina's real boss, what stands out is what he was really doing, especially in regards to the cabal and Red.
Regardless of what he told the cabal, and even what he and Red talked in public places, what Fitch was doing was protecting Red, telling the others Red had a death switch he knew well was a lie, because the fulcrum had 4 parts, and he was still holding one of them.
https://preview.redd.it/qjnxfvywlxk51.png?width=864&format=png&auto=webp&s=857e96498e6b3f72a5cb7c5cc3479a0b1fdc0012
Fitch and Katarina, then, are likely to have recorded that incriminating tape found at Minister D to exonerate Red if needed, something Red called a Pyrrhic victory, one in which the cost is higher than the outcome. Everything about that tape should be taken with a grain of salt, or likely, a few: from the date on the tape, to the contents of it, and even who caused that fire at Minister D's.
So Fitch and Katarina were involved in the cabal, but Red (and RR) did not know anything about it.
So far, we have Katarina and RR, who are not who they say they are. Reddington seems to be an assumed last name, and Katarina, whatever her real last name really is, is pretending to be a KGB agent.
We have Liz, who is not who she thinks she is (Masha Rostova), daughter of bio-father, RR, and her bio-mother, a KGB agent whose real name name is not known to Red, and having an adopted, real mother, Katarina.
We have Ilya and Dom who are ghosts, using fake last names, pretending to be KGB operatives.
https://preview.redd.it/1easww0cpxk51.png?width=1916&format=png&auto=webp&s=2a25a0b83999bf9f249dde566166891b24c41f10
We have Katarina's mother, who seemed to have been really KGB, based on what Katarina tells her, telling her new husband Ted King a ludicrous story:
She told me she was from Saint Petersburg, uh, that she'd split with her husband in her 40s, came to America to start over, and spent the rest of her life here.
and who has a hidden photo who she tells Ted was a estranged daughter. Ressler assumed that was Katarina, but we do not know that. Put together with another drawing found among Katarina's childhood things, of a man with two dark haired girls, and the photo Scottie has of a dark haired woman blowing bubbles with a girl, and it seems that we have at least some clues that point to:
  1. Lena may have had two daughters,
  2. Katarina may have been a brunette, and
  3. Scottie may be a sister, a half sister, or a cousin to Katarina, which also goes to what Red tell Dom:
The tense (" always had") tells us this is not about the new born baby. Dom has always had other family members other than Liz (who they think is dead), and Katarina, who Dom cannot see.
More so, we have Scottie and Liz sharing a middle name, Scott, which might be Scottie's maiden name and Liz's mother maiden name. And if so, were Katarina and Scottie sisters, half sisters or cousins? And is then Scott Dom's real last name?
Scottie's is another character whose actions are shrouded in secrecy. Red says "people like us", establishing a connection to her that we still do not know what it means precisely, because Red and Scottie do not share much that is apparent, other than being strategists.
When we looked at the abduction of young Christopher Hargrave, we deduced that Howard, his father, was an innocent party, his actions being logical for the father of a missing child, and he was not swayed by the fake confession that stopped the official investigation. He continued looking, and he found his son, likely when Tom's DNA hit CODIS as part of unknown DNA in the crime scene of Fake Berlin in 1.22 (2014). Red may have provided the missing details about the Major, because we know between 1.22 and 2.08 Red went from being ready to kill Tom, to just warn him not to see Liz again.
While we deduced that Scottie likely knew who had taken him, and/or had to do something to get him back, which is likely she did, at least partly, and then may have hidden her son with someone she trusted, and was told the child had died, because she undergoes a big change about six months after the abduction, after a car accident. It is likely Scottie was who arranged the fake confession (or knew who did) in order to protect who had taken him first, and/or what she had done to get him back, where and with whom she had hidden him, and what had really happened to young Christopher.
It is likely that IF Scottie is Lena's daughter, it is she who she is protecting, for Lena's curious locations, and the date she found Ted King to marry, coincide when Tom's. Where he was, and when he disappeared again, this time by being recruited by the Major. If so, it is likely Lena never told Scottie she had found her son, or that he had lost him again, in 1998.
https://preview.redd.it/gim10yuqpxk51.png?width=1916&format=png&auto=webp&s=2c40cad2b9c89f93238611f2deff45e1e5d78b0a
We also examined the man who became Liz's only real father, Sam Milhoan. A man whose connections to Katarina where not known at all, so IF they happened, it was under Katarina's real identity, or under Sam's real identity, if Milhoan is not his real name. We know Sam knew Katarina, but we also know that it is likely his real connection was RR, for he seems to want Katarina to come back for her kid, and he seems indignant about what is being said about Reddington. Sam is also someone Red loves, and knows for most of his life. What is notorious is that while Katarina asked Sam to take care of her child, Sam in reality follows Red's directives to raise Liz, joining Dom, who follows what Red wants in what to tell Liz, and Naomi, who also ASKS Red when is Red going to tell Liz something.
Now let us turn to Liz's other parent, RR only known, non-blood relatives, his wife and daughter of record. The hapless, forever cheated on Naomi, and her sad daughter Jennifer, hiding in utter fear.
Of course the narrative on Naomi Hyland AKA Carla Reddington does not hold up any better to scrutiny.
For one, she was in WITSEC, which is not for scared wives, but for witness who provide evidence or testimony. So we have supposedly fake evidence fabricated by the lover, Katarina, but is the wife who seems to have provided it. Naomi also seem to have instilled in her daughter Jennifer a genuine fear of Reddington, but we know she was not scared of Red at all. If her father had died, it would have been easier to tell so to her daughter, rather than letting her live in fear?
Naomi also uses strange words to refer to what she left behind, "one life", not "her life". She inquires how much Liz knows, seems to take his cues of what to say to Liz from Red, but recognizes in Agent Elizabeth Keen little Masha Rostova. She marvels at Red "pulling it off" working with Liz. She also emphasizes that Jennifer is HER daughter.
Naomi's 2014 kidnapping by Berlin ends with Red giving her a new identity with her husband, but when he looks for her in 2019 because of the bones, he cannot find her or any news of a violent death.
Naomi held to dismemberment without providing Berlin with any information, attempted a daring and difficult attack to escape, and has a temper shown in the punch to the face she gives Red, drawing blood. Yet their goodbye remains a tender affair. She also told Red that Jennifer left because she was scared of him, which is not what Jennifer tells Red.
And talking about Jennifer Reddington, nothing does any better in the matter of holding the narrative. While she appears a sad woman working in a bar for minimum wage when we meet her, we know she has a college education, it is likely that the identity Lillian Roth was given to her in 2017 (no trace of college or any prior life events, like she appeared in 2017) and she may have recognized Liz, because if she was scared of her father, she likely followed news about him, and Liz was attached to Reddington's name while she was a fugitive. She also knows Liz is remembering things said about the beach house. "20 steps to the sand".
If RR saw his daughter Masha, then it makes sense she would spend time with him, and likely his wife and daughter, since they both recognize her.

https://preview.redd.it/gofiuyizpxk51.png?width=599&format=png&auto=webp&s=eddec904a8f8cfa916154cf415c6894b8d06c58e
Jennifer tells Liz that she is Jennifer Reddington, which makes no sense because she is hiding from him, and Liz has been linked to him. But not only that, when she comes into possession of the bones, instead of going to Liz (she had been to her apartment), Ross has this elaborate plan where he takes Liz fake-hostage and Red exchanges himself for her life, and Liz is beaten up voluntarily, all to have Red tell them the secret of the bones, which supposedly they have, because there is a report shown to Liz by Jennifer, which states the bones had been identified as the remains of RR. If she really wanted Liz's help, was calling her for a chat too simple a deal? Or was that high stakes charade necessary to sell that ludicrous report?
Later, the sister join forces, with Jennifer supposedly scared to death Red would see her, but meeting with him with no fear in a restaurant, unbeknown to Liz, to take him to "Naomi's" (not her mother's) tombstone in exchange for honest answers about the only real question she asked of Red: "Why am I here?"
The bones's identification as RR's remains does not hold any better to scrutiny than the rest of the narrative has. Liz undoubtedly saw a report which told her that the remains were of her bio-father, RR. But the actions of all the others who look at the report, or interact with or about the bones makes no sense if that is their ID.
https://preview.redd.it/bb93pqx4qxk51.png?width=755&format=png&auto=webp&s=621514d280fa3a5f7095cf545742591a1d07a852
DEMBE: Ross wants blood. He thinks you (RED=RR) ruined his life. (BY TRICKING ROSS TO SELL BOGUS PLANS)
RED: I didn't give Sutton Ross bogus plans for the Grayscape Seventeen. (IT WAS A US NAVY COUNTERINTELLIGENCE OPERATION)
DEMBE: But he thinks you (RED=RR) did, and because of that, he wants to world to know what's inside the duffel. (A SECRET RED WANTS TO KEEP, NOT THE BONES OF RR, ON WHOM ROSS WANTS REVENGE)
So, if, as it seems, the bones could not have really been identified as the remains of RR, Liz's bio-father, how on earth did Liz see a report that said just that? It seems likely Jennifer made a fake DNA test, as Red warned Liz not to be fooled by such a thing:
Honestly, Elizabeth, it astounds me that you could be hornswoggled by something as simple to fabricate as a DNA profile.
And if she did this, then her objective was to fool Liz into believing Red was a supplanter, not their father (Biological father for Liz, and if we trust the emphasis Naomi put on Jennifer being HER daughter, Jennifer's legal father), but not bio-father.)
At the first opportunity available, Jennifer convinced Liz to send Red to jail, where he would stand trial for treason, thus answering what was Jennifer first real question to Red: "Why am I here?", meaning why was she in WITSEC, a question Red answered by telling Jennifer:
You weren't abandoned. You were protected.... In 1990, the KGB and the CIA had almost nothing in common except the mutual determination to hunt down one individual.... Being a fugitive from American law enforcement is a lot easier than being a fugitive from the two most powerful nations on Earth. And anyone close to a target of theirs becomes a target themselves....Especially family.
Jennifer seemed to believe that individual was Red, but we know it was katarina, chased by the CIA and the KGB. And when Red is put on trial for treason, the evidence which landed him indicted of it surfaces: evidence that he was framed by Katarina Rostova, working with Fitch. And if his wife was in witness protection for providing the evidence, the trail of money to the accounts, as it seems, then it exposed for those in the know, who had framed him. Red gave Jennifer the why.
Why were Naomi and Jennifer hiding, and who was to blame.
As well as why was RR still using the name Reddington, instead of changing his face and using a different name: it maintained Naomi in WITSEC awaiting a trial that for 30 years had not happened, as long as he appeared to be alive. Sure, his being a criminal protected Liz, but it was not remaining Raymond Reddington that did it, because nobody knew the relationship between them, one he takes pains not to reveal. So, the only reason why Red, regardless of who he was before, remained Raymond Reddington past getting money from the banks, was for the benefit of one person: The woman we met as Naomi Hyland.
When we get to the framing of RR for the Gideon, again we run into a while bunch of nonsense trying to uphold the apparent narrative. For example, If RR was truly the ONLY officer who knew the coordinates, how come he was not a suspect? Even before Katarina framed him, he would have been a suspect, he should have been investigated. But he was not, he was a respected officer going around his business.
We then have the communique expressing Lamprey indicated new coordinates. It HAD to have been found contemporary to the events, or shortly thereafter, or a frame up would be suspected. So, who was Lamprey? And who indicated Lamprey was RR? Because whoever Lamprey was, he/she was a valuable asset for the KGB, while RR was considered the KBG's biggest enemy.
The money part, those $6 million, that was easy to do and backdate. Fingerprints and a password. But it seems to me that Katarina simply found a way to convey that Lamprey was Reddington, which was a nice sleight of hand. And so we have to consider that Lamprey was a traitor, likely in the CIA or the US Navy and that by framing Reddington, Katarina also protected him/her.
And that takes us to the fire. RR (bio-father) takes his child because Katarina (adoptive-mother) would not let him see her. This the early Fall of 1991, given how Kate and the cops are dressed. So, we know NOTHING of what was happening and where were:
  1. RR with a small child,
  2. Katarina looking for him,
  3. Carla Reddington, who was no longer living in the DC area,
  4. The Russians who seem to have lost an agent?
  5. What is Constantin Rostov doing?
  6. Where was Kate waiting?
That narrative does not hold up at all, especially because as Red says, Katarina wanted to be a family with RR. So, is Katarina the woman playing with Liz and RR in a Christmas tree lot, so before December 24th? Is she the woman heard saying "catch me" while Liz and who could be another child, dressed identically, are trying to find "him", before a man calls Liz "Lizzy and the girl runs to him, happily. Or is this woman heard there Carla Reddington, and RR took Liz to his wife and child in an undisclosed location?
Then we addressed the memories of the fire, and the arguments, concluding that we have two sets of arguments, one between RR and Katarina, and another between Katarina and some other man.
We have 2 locations, one a live in house, from which Liz is abducted after the house was on fire. The place where Liz sees Hat Man outside, down but trying to get up, and unless Liz remembers her hair in different ways, we might have a curly hair girl and a wavy hair girl, which, if Liz does not remember having a sister, and the girls looked similar, she might think is her. Then we have an extraction, in which Katarina seems to be distracting the man, while there is a rescue until the man realizes there are people in the house, who are then directed to search for a small object. This is where the fights happened, and where Liz shoots her father, or who she thinks is her father.
So what we see as one long argument may be two occasions, even if there are on the same night. The questions remain: we have two months to account for, between the abduction from Cape Breton Island, and the fire, as we know RR is reported missing by his wife Carla circa December 27th.
When did the KGB realize she was not coming back? Did they get to Rostov to asking him questions? Is this when he hid, changed his name? Lost his investments in Russia? And how come nobody realizes this Kirk dude is Rostov? Is it because they never met the real Constantin Rostov? Who did they think was Rostov? And what exactly was Katarina really doing for the KGB?
Was she the one seducing targets? Or was that another one of the women using the name, such as Fakerina? A woman who said:
With all the stories of women forced to marry or to have children (1.13 The Cyprus Agency, 2.12 The Kenyon Family, 4.13 Alistair Pitt, 4.15 The Apothecary, 6.17 Ana Grazia Duerte, 7.07 Hanna Hayes), six storylines featuring women forced by various means to marry, or to have children, we have to wonder, did someone forced Fakerina to have a child she did not want? Or was it part of her job to get kompromat?
We even have men having children they did not even know they had, basically because they were dead in Nyle Hatcher. Because one thing we have learn about what Red knows about Fakerina (or blond Kat) is that they do not know what's her real name:
She doesn't have a name. She's a ghost. Think of a name, any name, and that could be it.
and
Mmmh I knew her as Katarina Rostova. One of her many names. She was a KGB agent**.**
So it is possible that Fakerina, or another one of the women playing "Katarina Rostova" is Liz's bio-mother. Was she the one assigned to seduce RR? A sleeper agent, seducing a young Naval officer?
35 years ago, a Naval intelligence officer working for the US government fell fell into a relationship with a beautiful Russian woman. Unbeknownst to his superiors, that relationship, which started as guarded attraction, quickly evolved into passion, which resulted in pregnancy.
They had the child. A girl, whom they both loved.
What the Naval officer didn't know, but certainly should have suspected, was that the Russian woman was a KGB officer, that Katarina Rostova had been assigned to get close to Raymond Reddington and steal classified information from him.
And having children with targets was sometimes a technique used to enhance the control on the targets. Did the bio-mother really love Liz? We do not know. What we know is that the woman raising her is not the bio-mother, but Katarina.
submitted by TessaBissolli to TheBlackList [link] [comments]


2020.09.03 03:09 Stoaticor NSW records 9 new local cases and 3 new overseas cases

NSW records 9 new local cases and 3 new overseas cases

New cases reported in the last 24 hours

  • 3 are locally acquired, including two in a South Western Sydney family and a case in Parkes, with no source identified at this point
  • 1 is linked to a previously reported case in South Eastern Sydney whose source is under investigation
  • 3 are returned travellers in hotel quarantine
  • 5 are linked to a known case or cluster, including three that are close contacts of previously reported cases linked to the August CBD cluster. The total linked to this cluster is now 52.

⚠️New close contact site: Immediately get tested

A case reported yesterday attended a church service at Life in the Spirit Ministry, 13/7 Lyn Parade, Prestons, on Sunday, 30 August from 12.30-2.30pm. Anyone who attended this service is considered a close contact and must be tested for COVID-19 and self-isolate for 14 days (until midnight on 13 September) even if this test is negative.

Cases to date

Last 24 hours TOTAL
Confirmed cases +12 3,902
Active (NSW Gov) 173
Recovered N/A N/A
Deaths +0 54
Tests conducted +29,607 2,235,992
Treated by NSW Health +11 86
Hospitalised 10
ICU +1 6
Ventilated +0 3
ECMO +0 0

NSW media releases in the last 14 days

Date published Title
02/09 NSW Education: COVID-19 update – BWSC Umina campus remains operational
01/09 NSW Government: Increased mobility on NSW VIC border
31/08 NSW Government:NSW border closure no longer acceptable for agriculture
30/08 NSW Government:More mental health support for regional students
30/08 NSW Health: Public health alert
29/08 NSW Health: City Tattersalls Fitness Centre
28/08 NSW Health: NSW Health Alert: 14 day guidelines for Aged Care visitors
27/08 NSW Health: Public health alert
26/08 NSW Health: Royal Hospital for Women at Randwick, City Tattersalls, Virgin Gym Zetland, bus routes in Blacktown, Rouse Hill and Mt Druitt
25/08 NSW Health: City Tattersalls Fitness Centre
24/08 NSW Government: Western and South West Sydney testing blitz
22/08 NSW Health: Second hotel security guard tests positive

Sources of confirmed cases

Last 24 hours This week TOTAL
Locally - Known +7 60 1,336
Locally - Unknown +2 7 390
Interstate +0 0 89
Overseas +3 14 2,080
Under investigation +0 0 0

Clusters in the last 14 days

Cluster Last 24 hours TOTAL Reported
Sydney CBD +5 52 Sept: 3, 2. Aug: 31, 30, 29, 28, 27
St Paul’s Greystanes +1 11 Sept: 3, 2
Reddam Early Learning Centre, Lindfield - 3 Sept: 1. Aug: 30
Liverpool Hospital - 4 Sept: 1. Aug: 13,
Our Lady of Mercy School, Parramatta - 7 Aug: 25, 17, 15, 12, 11, 9
Thai Rock Restaurant Potts Point and linked clusters - 38 Aug: 23, 15, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1. July: 31, 30, 29, 28
July funeral events in the Bankstown area - 76 Aug: 22, 20, 18, 17, 15, 14, 12, 8, 6, 4, 3, 2, 1. July: 31, 30, 29, 28, 27, 26
Tangara School, Cherrybrook - 26 Aug: 22, 16, 15, 14, 13, 12, 11, 10, 9, 8


COVID-19 weekly surveillance reports

Affected educational institutions in the last 14 days

School Suburb LGA Last 24 hours TOTAL Reported
Girraween Public School Girraween Cumberland +1 2 Sept: 2, 1
St Paul's Catholic College Greystanes Cumberland - 4 Sept: 1. Aug: 30
Homebush Public School Homebush Strathfield - 0 Sept: 1. Aug: 28
Double Bay Public School Double Bay Woollahra - 1 Aug: 28
St Gertrude's Catholic Primary School Smithfield Fairfield - 1 Aug: 28
Ryde Secondary College Ryde Ryde - 1 Aug: 28
Riverstone High School Riverstone Blacktown - 1 Aug: 26
Wyndham College Quakers Hill Blacktown - 1 Aug: 26
Schofields Public School Schofields Blacktown - 0 Aug: 27

Latest COVID-19 case locations in NSW - as of 01/09

The table below was last updated at 14:38:29 PM on Tuesday, 1 September. Please view the NSW Gov website for the most up to date information.
Increased testing and surveillance Self-isolate and get tested immediately
Campbelltown LGA Bus route X39
Canterbury-Bankstown LGA Caringbah: Highfield Caringbah
Eastern part of City of Sydney LGA Hunters Hill: Hunters Hill Bowling Club (indoor dining room)
Fairfield LGA Marrickville: Anytime Fitness
Hornsby Shire LGA Newtown: It’s Time for Thai restaurant
The Hills LGA Randwick: Fitness First
Liverpool LGA Sydney: City Tattersalls Fitness Centre
Parramatta LGA Zetland: Virgin Gym
Woollahra LGA

OTHER INFORMATION:

Locally acquired, source not identified - as of 01/09

NOTE: The data below is for confirmed COVID-19 cases only based on the location of the usual residence, not necessarily where the virus was contracted.
Reported Postcode - LGA
29/08 2770 - Blacktown (C)
28/08 2145 - Cumberland (A)
27/08 2762 - Blacktown (C)
27/08 2163 - Fairfield (C)
27/08 2164 - Fairfield (C)
27/08 2566 - Campbelltown (C) (NSW)
26/08 2762 - Blacktown (C)
26/08 2762 - Blacktown (C)
25/08 2762 - Blacktown (C)
25/08 2762 - Blacktown (C)
21/08 2194 - Canterbury-Bankstown (A)
21/08 2168 - Liverpool (C)

submitted by Stoaticor to CoronavirusDownunder [link] [comments]


2020.08.31 16:05 Army_Bot Summary For: Weekly Question Thread (8/24/2020 to 8/30/2020)

Would it be possible to contact the BCT battery you went through as a soldier to get a copy of your weapons score card if they didn’t put it in your graduation packet? Do they keep it on file for a period of time?
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I live off post and I'm having a hell of a time buying good wooden furniture. I just want to buy a couple basic, solid wooden dressers like what's in every barracks room. Any advice on where I can buy some?
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Question for any cav scouts. When you did your spur ride what all did it contain? I’m in a scout unit but I’m not a scout myself. I’ve heard like 4 different kinds of spur rides and nobody can really give me info about the tasks. Anything pertinent to the ride would be helpful. All I know is that it ends with the ruck. Thanks.
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I’ve looked and looked and looked online, but I don’t quite meet the hearing requirement for enlisting by Like 5 points! Can I button mash the hearing test at meps or have an actual chance at getting a waiver? Best I’ve gotten is a maybe/ehhhhh
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Question about reclassifying MOS's; I recently finished the PiCAT and scored high enough in every composite category to qualify for the jobs I wanted (35 series specifically). There were no 35's open so I went with my second choice. 13F, and head to MEPS on Sunday. If my recruiter is unable to reserve a 35 MOS before MEPS and I head in there as a 13F, is there any possibility to switch when I get there, or when I get to BCT?
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Pretty much what it says, I was authorized by my unit to transfer into the IIR from the Reserves after 4 years instead of 6 because of a conflict with civilian employment. Never had any negative actions taken against me in the 4 years I was drilling, showed up on time and in the right place, completed all trainings. I am now wondering if the early transfer into the IIR has placed getting an Honorable discharge in jeopardy?
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are civilians allowed to join the military with background of mental illness such as bipolar disorder / depression? does history of hospitalization impact the military’s decision? is there a spectrum of severity that is taken into consideration?
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I was wondering if there were any new PSYOPS soldiers here that could give more insight into the training and the MOS itself.
How hard is the initial assessment? Possible duty stations? Hardest and easiest part of the training? What should I focus on before shipping out.
Thanks!
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Hi, I recently got an 11x opt 40 contract that I am satisfied with but I don’t feel like I am physically going to be prepared by the time RASP rolls around. Will basic training (22 weeks) be enough to get me ready? I am healthy but I am not fit.
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Whats the usual time for something to be uploaded into iPerms?
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What general officer does 12th CAB fall under in Germany? I'm doing the ETP 4187 right now for one of my Soldiers reclassing and I need the GO for his future CoC.
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I got 4/14 on the PIP Test at MEPS. Will this disqualify me from applying for Civil Affairs later? If so, is there any possibility of getting a waiver?
Also, does Civil Affairs have a "X months of service remaining" requirement for applying while in service?
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I'm interested in potentially being a 35P (Cryptologic Linguist) but it seems from the research I've done that although you can choose a preference for a language you are not guaranteed anything? I was interested in doing Japanese, which is listed as a critical language but I'm really worried about being thrown into farsi or chinese, which I don't feel I would be sufficiently motivated enough to pass DLI for. And if I do flunk out of DLI, would I be reassigned a random MOS or would I be allowed to pick something else? My original plan was to do IT but 35P seems like it would be great for someone like me who wants to make a career out of the military, but I don't want to risk flunking out because I got stuck in a language I'm not excited about and then being stuck as a truck driver for several years. Idk if it makes a difference but I already have basic fluency in Japanese too.
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My boyfriend of 2 years is in BCT right now at Fort Leonard Wood MO. I just found out he hasn’t gotten any of my mail from the past MONTH, and am sick over it. Is this a normal occurrence and/or does it normally last this long? He has only received one letter total and it was from his mother. I am extremely worried and everything I see online is totally different/outdated because of COVID-19. If anyone knows anything about this, or is going through the same thing, I would really appreciate some help. I don’t know where else to ask this...
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GI Bill question, I can’t seem to find an answer. Long story short 100% Post 9/11 GI Bill, enrolled in yellow ribbon school the tuition/fees part is taken care of, I’m tracking that housing benefits won’t come until October 1, what about the book stipend? Does that come sooner? I’ve got $1100 of required supplies and materials sitting in my cart and really don’t want to put it on a credit card if possible. Thanks for any help!
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Can someone explain to me the difference between a combat action badge and a combat patch? I've seen soldiers wearing a division patch on their right shoulder but they don't have the combat badge.
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Any 35Ms (Human Intelligence Collectors) in a FORSCOM unit willing to share about their experiences? I've talked to some INSCOM 35Ms and the general consensus is that life as a 35M is pretty good if you're in an INSCOM unit, but varies widely if you're in a FORSCOM unit because you don't have the proper authorities/permissions to do your job in garrison. So what do you do, if not your job? Motorpool and odd jobs? Endless training? Other types of intel work? (I'm not sure if the lack of proper authorities is a problem for FORSCOM intel jobs as a whole, or just HUMINT; I could see how HUMINT specifically might have stricter regulations surrounding it given its nature) How is the job in general for you? Do you like it?
Also, does anyone know the approximate chances of being assigned to a FORSCOM unit vs. an INSCOM unit? I know everything is luck of the draw and needs of the army, but what's the approximate distribution of 35M slots between those two types of units?
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I was called for an interview with the local army recruiter and was asked some pre-requisite questions about physical health and I lied saying I had never had any major surgeries, implying I have a clean medical history/physical health. I actually had cancer at 21, so I am a little beat up physically and mentally. I'm also 28. Would this be a problem even for a creative job within the army? Being an army photographer has always interested me.
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I’m not sure if this deserves a separate post or not but I’ll throw this out here and see if any of y’all have an answer.
I’m currently an active duty soldier with a federal OCS class date of 29 Nov 20. I’m coming from JBLM to Benning and I know there’s a quarantine timeframe that we have to do travelling to/from red states (and last I checked Georgia is still red). My question is: have any of y’all reported to OCS during this coronavirus stuff and if you did, did you report early or did quarantine just start on your report date? I need to schedule my travel stuff in DTS and I’m trying to figure out when I need to show up because the last thing I want to do is show up on the report date and the cadre tell me I can’t class up because I didn’t get there early enough.
Before you ask I called 3-11 staff duty and their S1 and no one was able to give me a straight answer; also the OCS website doesn’t look like it has been updated since 2019. Hopefully someone here has been in my situation or knows someone who has been to OCS recently. Thanks in advance.
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Currently an E4 in the Reserves and have been in for almost 4 years, recently signed off on an active duty contract. The guidance counselor (think that's what the position is called) asked me what my rank was when I first enlisted; I misheard him and said E4 instead of E1, and signed off as an E4.
Don't know if the guy was trying to screw me over or not. This one source (down below) I found says otherwise.
Any guidance/knowledge is greatly appreciated.
https://www.thebalancecareers.com/rules-for-determining-active-duty-rank-for-prior-service-3344810
Edit 25AUG 0957: already got my answer, but just some clarification on the 'screwing me over' part - the guidance counselor asked me what was the first rank I came in as, rather than what my current rank was in the Reserves. Hence why I asked this (relatively simple) question. Thanks again!
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Hello, I am very interested in linguistics and language especially eastern languages, before I had to drop out of college language was my major. I, of course, want to be a translatointerpreter as this was my goal with college too. I was wondering if you can only get in if you know a language before signing up or if they teach you a language. From what I read they teach you a language for Human Intelligence Collector Recruit or 35W maybe I’m misreading. So I don’t see why they wouldn’t teach you languages for translator work. I just want to be sure. If they do teach you for either job, do you get to choose the language? I hopefully get an answer I love linguistics and language so I would love to do what I love in the military.
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Hi. I've had a hard time finding info about 17E Electronic Warfare Specialist. I can only find vague descriptions online, and my recruiter seems to believe it is a hacking related MOS. However, that does not match what I've read online. Also, all the info online indicates a 9 week AIT, but my memo shows 31 weeks of AIT. I'm not sure what I'm getting myself into, and I don't think my recruiter knows either. Any insight would be greatly appreciated.
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--Apologies ahead of time, might be a little long.
So I injured my foot running over the weekend (Sat). I've been running every other day since July. The pain got worse the next day, so I decided to see a podiatrist on Monday. They diagnosed me with 'posterior tibial tendonitis'. The doc said it would take a month to heal (google says 6-8 wks for perspective), and he gave me a specialized brace. But there are still some things he has to send me in the mail. (These things whatever they are, I"m not gonna receive before basic b/c covid and I don't think he can send it to me there)
I told my recruiter about it on Monday. And I ship in September. ~2wks. I went to the office today to talk to the big guy in charge. He basically said I have a week to determine if I really wanna go in September, or decide to reclass and lose my job, and push my date back (throwing everything up in the air again)
These are two bad options in my opinion. I need the money. And in theory, if quarantine is indeed 14 days I would have had a month to heal at the end of that period, but without no brace at basic, or ice packs.
The ask: Should I still go in early September. Right now my foot is maybe at 50 percent. It might get to 65 before I leave, but without a brace or the items in the mail, I don't know how I can accomplish full recovery. My thinking goes-- if I break my foot or it gets worse at least I still get paid and I keep my job. I know this is bad thinking but its the reality of my situation.
What do you recommend?
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I leave AIT in like 2 weeks. (25s). I have to quarantine in Germany Landstuhl. Is it open bays, barracks rooms? Also I am 25 will I be able to get alchohol during quarantine.
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Need some help here please.
Im 19, I just dropped rotc (not contracted but completed 1 yr of AROTC) and uni due to all the shittiness of covid (school most likely goimg to shut down rotc program and switch to all online, and I'd need tons of loans to continue) in hopes to pursue either opt. 40, psyops, or 18x.
I was studying global conflict studies with minors in psychology and russian, so I'm definitely fascinayed by the general area of psyops as I love the area of focus, but I'm also sick of being a pussy and want to push myself and find challenge, and keep hearing that they dont do much 'tactical' or hooah stuff, which is making me lean toward other areas of special ops. However, the airborne and language training is really appeals to me, so leaning more toward 18x.
Should i go for it and pursue either? Why one over the other? Any other areas I should consider?
Any and all advice or comments are appreciated. Humble me if you think I need it. Sick of being a shitbag, dont wanna fail in life, need to do something as I dont want to be stuck due to shitty situations. Buddy is pushing 35M, but dont wanna be stuck with awkward kids who barely pass their apft or have any desire to. If there's any advice on how to prep for any of it before OSUT, I'm all ears.
Edit: First draft was pretty cocky, hopefully this reflects my seriousness better.
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I have a question, if you are going to be going on a base in South Korea or Japan, would language classes be offered?
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 I PCSing to my to my first duty station from Airborne school to JBER. I was wondering what I need to do to ship my truck and personal items up there at the governments expense via IAW AR 55-71? All oppinions are appreciated. Have a nice day. 
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Hey /r army, have a question for you fine folks,
So I'm prior service, have a great career, a loving wife , and I'm finally happy, so I thought what a great time to throw a wrench in all that and join back up!
I moseyed my way way down to the local recruiters office and asked a couple questions. Would I have to repeat basic? Hell fuckin yes I would What about AIT? Youbetcha , here's a short list of jobs you can reclassify to, fucking awesome always wanted to be a cook
He asked me if I was disabled. Not officially there sar'nt Then he asked me what meds I was on, which I told him 2 for anxiety and depression, which are gratefully supplied free of charge from the VA. He than said that would be a problem and I would have to show I was off them for a year to qualify. The Fuck...when I was in they handed out Percocet and Klonopin like it was a fucking pez dispenser . He told me I could always get the prescription from someone other than the VA.
My question to you guys who may have more knowledge of this type of situation. Are the VA systems and MEPS actually linked, would they be able to pull my med files? If I did get my meds off site, would I have to wait an actual year from it coming off the books to rejoin? Are there any other avenues I can take so I can get my fill of the green weenie again?
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Quick question from an OCS hopeful.
I've had a couple surgeries (none disqualifying) but some of them were redundant and the problem was fixed/finished by a final surgery.
Is it alright if I only give the documentation for the final one and not mention the others? It's not like they'll notice if they take a look inside (it's nose related). Can they find out later? And would I be in trouble? Physically it's like I never had the previous ones.
Thanks in advance
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Does anyone know how covid is affecting Fort Jackson in South Carolina? I wanna take a job there but my boyfriend has been in Fort Benning for 7 weeks and only just started basic training due to being quarantined and stuck in reception. He’s been telling me to wait but I don’t want to pass this job up
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i’m about to ship out next month on the 8th and i was wondering if you can get to use your phone in basic to send your friends and family the address to write letters? my friend in the air force got his phone in basic and sent us a picture with his information on it so we could write him. ik it’s probably gonna be different in the army but figured i would just ask
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Hey guys I’m going in as a 35N, can anyone give me advice or information about AIT or the job after training?
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Good afternoon everyone,
Warrant Officer hopeful looking for some insight into the training pipeline post-COVID guidelines. Expecting to get my projected WOCS dates in the next 1-2 months.
Has WOCS, WOBC and SERE changed in any major way for a 153a?
Has WOCS and WOBC switched over to the new ACFT? I understand they run the APFT during the start of schools, but that the ACFT is the focus after that and could be considered into class GPA (at least what I have heard / read.) Do you get your master fitness certificates after graduating so you can fill that roll as a WO1 at your new unit?
I would be coming in through the Guard; is anyone aware of them sending you to each school one after another (in a traditional training pipeline fashion) or do you get sent home until the school slots roll around?
Is there anything specifically worth bringing in terms of gear that you found particularly helpful during any of the schools ? (not something that was on the gear list)
General tips and tricks also appreciated.
Thanks for your time.
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Can you get a waiver for trying MDMA once? Recruiter says this is permanently disqualifying. Can't find much info about it. Would prefer to go about it the right way rather than taking their advice for selective disclosure.
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Is 35f really a bad mos? I swore in and had this as it seemed as an interearing option but now seeing posts on this I dont know if I made the right decision.
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Hi everyone, using a throwaway for this. I’m the first one from my unit to do virtual BLC through Shelby, and no one knows how it works. How was it? Did you do PT and D&C? What was the schedule like?
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G2G/ROTC Question
I’m a 28 year old SSG, coming up on 7 years TIS, a year until ETS. I have one dependent (joint custody and paying child support). I’m still a few classes away from completing an associate degree.
I understand with the G2G options there are age and dependent waivers. However, what are the requirements to join a ROTC program if I ETS?
I’ve done some research but I’ve been reading conflicting answers (age limits, SAT scores, etc.).
Thank you!
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What’s the best MOS for college while AD? I’m planning on going G2G
I need to save money for business investments and projects, so not interested in ROTC or SMP.
As far as I know, OPTEMPO has a huge impact on how fast online classes are done. Which do you recommend so I have time for online classes
I have around 20 college credits and would like to finish 60 within the AD 2 year minimum requirement for G2G
I’d like to experience 11b, buts that’s dumb for my goals. I’ll POG hard like a motherfucker if need be
P. S. If it matters, I’d like to commission as an infantry officer once all is done
I’ve also been a civilian federal employee for 3 years and still work at the VA
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How’s Fort Bliss? Duty stations just got put out at ABOLC, and I got an ABCT at Fort Bliss.
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Do guardsmen get the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal if they haven't deployed?
Also what ribbons would an army guard infantryman have if he just completed OSUT? Just the Army Service Ribbon and the National Defense Service Medal?
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So is 19D OSUT 22 weeks now?
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Does anyone have experience with the tattoo waiver process? I have a triangle on the back of my neck (about 2.5 inches each side). My recruiter thinks I have a shot of getting a waiver. Navy is telling me the Army won’t approve it so I should just join with them.
I’m trying to figure out how much is just recruiter head games and what my chances of getting approved are.
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I was curious, if you failed the ACFT right now in basic training, would you fail? I heard a few places that anyone who fails it right now would not count against you untill sometime 2022 I believe. Can anyone confirm ?
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I have a question about MOS, I was really interested in 25B, but my recruiters told me it isnt open but to go with my second pick. Which is 94S. They reserved it and I go to meps on monday, my question is is 94S worth it or should I wait it out for 25B
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would brachymetatarsia DQ me from joining?
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Anybody know when 35t slots will be available for a reclass?
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I am a 70B looking at Ranger School. I am interested in the 70H track. The goal is 20 years of a rewarding and exciting career. When I mention this to my BOLC Cadre I get a look like I've grown a second head. I max my APFT and I run marathons in my spare time.
I know it will be hard but if I get the opportunity I'll be leaving the school on a stretcher or with a tab. Am I taking crazy pills? Is it unreasonable for a 70B to pass Ranger? Or am I just being a naive LT?
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i’m 19 years old i been trying to process for about 3 months and it just seems like i have a lazy Army recruiter and i feel he’s been jerking me around. I have 2 Marijuana possesion charges both from when i was a juvenile. My recruiter tells me i have no chance of joining but another recruiter in the office is waivering a kid for burglary charges. Am i really DQ’d or is my recruiter just lazy? i really want to do this with all my heart and its all i want to do i just need someone to be honest with me i can handle the truth. I want a millatary career.
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I will be at BCT during Yom Kippur, a Jewish fast day. I have not missed a fast since I was a child, and I hope to fast at BCT, though I will still drink water. I don’t plan to request excusal from any physical or academic activities otherwise planned for the day. I also, per tradition, hope to be able to wear my kippah (yarmulke) for the day.
This is likely largely dependent on my cadre, but I’m curious if folks foresee this being an issue. Should I try to talk with the chaplain beforehand to request a formal accommodation, or can I just refuse to put food on my plate for those 24 hours?
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So my google-fu doesn't seem to be good enough for me to find anything real concrete; army-specifically.
Smoked pot several times like 6-7 years ago, no charges, no run-ins with police, nothing. But the only MOS I'm interested in is 17C, so I'll need a TS. I'm not about to lie on the sf-86, so I want it documented, and I want to know if the army is down with giving waivers for minor drug use, or if I even need one at all.
Edit: So I actually COMPLETELY read a link through and got my answer. "...In most cases, a person who experimented with "non-hard" drugs in the past will be allowed to enlist. Anything more than experimentation may very well be a bar to enlistment. "
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Shipping 2nd week of sept. I’m enlisted as a 13J. I’ve seen people comment on being 13b & 13f. Really curious if there’s any juliets on here that can give me some insight!
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I'm a 25P and I've heard rumors that the MOS is being removed. ETS is Oct 2021 but I plan to re-enlist. Will they send me to school for 25S automatically or will I be forced to sign a new contract and then re-class? Can I sign a contract for CONUS station and then be PCS'd there and eventually be sent to AIT again? Or will I just immediately go to AIT and then be at the mercy of army placement?
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35S just got orders to Eglin AFB. Does this mean 7th?
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Alright I need AIT to complete the rest of my contract and get the freck out of RSP! I’m in the Guard so all Jokes welcomed. I was shooting for 25B but there are zero slots available for my State ... :( I would like 17C since I have my degree in the STEM field and I’m already certified in SEC+, NET+, CEH, A+, PENT+, some programming Languages, and much more. just to show you what I did with my downtime during Covid smh I was informed by a friend who recently went to MEPs that there may or may not be any slots available for 17C... I’m bummed out about that. Does anyone know of an MOS that is similar to 25B or 17C? The length of AIT doesn’t matter. I’m trying to secure a job working for government agencies or private sector. And I plan to DC as a 17A in the next 2 yrs because that’s my end goal. Does anyone know of any MOSs that can get me there?
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Just a quick questions for all the 35Ns (Signal Intelligence analyst), how difficult is AIT? I really wanna know what I'm getting myself into
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If Green Berets and Rangers are considered tier 1 and 2 infantry, what's tier 3? Or tier 4? where do joes who are squared away and hard-working go when they are just medium speed but low drag? The good soldiers who look at Rasp and Sfas and say "nah, I'm okay admitting I'm not that intense." There's gotta be a middle ground right?
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Has anyone been able to get out honorably under an RE3 code and re up? I’ve been out for a year now. Did 6 in the national guard. I am wanting to go army. I had a drug test fail last year in (THC)... was in good standing with my unit and worked with them to get an honorable discharge. Now I am wondering if there is anyone out there who had success in coming back in with the same or similar situation I am in. Thank you
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Any former 35T’s. Just curious, what kind of civilian jobs did you guys end up getting after service? It seems like the work experience as a 35T translates very well in the civilian sector and I’d like to work at a 3 letter organization preferably.
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Probably not your typical question, but do any of you have experience freelancing while in the Army?
I know some soldiers do things like UbeLyft/etc. when they're in, but how does freelancing more generally work while enlisted? Do you have to get permission or do anything special to continue client work while you're active duty? Is there anything I need to know about working with international clients (I currently work with an Israeli company and another one in South Africa) while active duty?
I'm considering switching things up career wise and doing an enlistment just to do the damn thing before I get too old and regret not serving, but the switch would come with a rather significant reduction in pay starting out. Would I be able to continue some of my freelance work while active duty assuming it doesn't interfere with my Army responsibilities?
I'm in marketing and advertising but don't work with any MIC-related companies or advertising firms if that makes any difference. Oh, and all of my freelance work is done remotely.
Any input/experience would be great, thanks.
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I took the ASVAB last week and found out I scored the highest out of everyone who took it. I got a 97. Yay.
So today, I went to recruiting office to discuss my score and the next steps and just like the first time I went in, they were trying very hard to convince me not to apply to OCS and go enlisted. As in a full on assault from everyone in that office.
I was quite annoyed because my GPA (3.3) is the same as the GPA of the applicants who got selected this last board (posted yesterday) & my GT score was higher (133). To boot I have an engineering degree from a top 25 university and not some namby-pamby arts degree from university of phoenix (no offense to anyone).
At one point, literally all 6 recruiters (plus me and the head guy) from that recruiting station were all crammed in this small room, and they all were trying to push me to enlist, all talking over each other to say something convince me. I was entertaining their prospect and being polite, while questioning them occasionally or bringing up some valid point while in my head I am thinking 'snake oil'. I just kept saying to myself something is off, why are they doing this. This is odd, this is not normal. I was so close to saying 'well the Navy wants me and thinks I have a very good shot at becoming an officer with them and be guaranteed the position I want in the field I want.' That part is true. I am applying to both branches.
Here is the bigger issue: I want to do cyber or something similar (intel, signals, ect), that is technical, and is guaranteed. I do have an engineering degree after all; I am a bit of a dork. I would lke nothing more than to be a dork while serving this country instead of only caring about how much money I make. Apparently as an officer applicant going through OCS, I don't choose what I want to do but if I enlist they can guarantee it. To boot, I would not be learning/doing anything technical; I would just be managing as an officer. I am very disappointed I have to choose between either or. Am I being too greedy to say I want both?
I want to make the military my career and stay in until I retire but I also want to be able to geek out and actually enjoy my time (though no job is perfect).
What do I do?
I am most likely going to do the OCS route and if it doesn't work out I will just be at square one and enlist. If anything this is giving me motivation to prove them wrong. I guess resentments can be put to good use.
PS In all fairness they did say they will work with me to submit my OCS application and left that option on the table. I did feel the pressure was mainly coming from the head recruiter and not the one I am working with. I always give people the benefit of the doubt that they are good and trying to do the right thing (but for whom?). I do need to look out for #1 before I become property of the US gov't.
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Letter of recommendation for OCS. How well does the writer need to know you?
My grandfather served alongside a US Army General (Ret). This individual is very dear to our family, and helped sponsor our extended family to the US after the fall of our home nation.
Very close friend of my grandfather and the family, however, outside of Christmas dinners and occasional visits, I can’t really say that he’s witnessed my professional growth or leadership as most guidelines would dictate.
I feel like I’d be taking advantage of his high rank if I asked for a recommendation. Any thoughts?
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What's the best way to get to campbell from Nashville Airport? 1 person
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Hey what would happen if the military went on strike? How would it affect a innocent civilian / American?
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submitted by Army_Bot to army [link] [comments]


2020.08.31 16:05 Army_Bot Summary For: Weekly Question Thread (8/24/2020 to 8/30/2020)

Would it be possible to contact the BCT battery you went through as a soldier to get a copy of your weapons score card if they didn’t put it in your graduation packet? Do they keep it on file for a period of time?
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I live off post and I'm having a hell of a time buying good wooden furniture. I just want to buy a couple basic, solid wooden dressers like what's in every barracks room. Any advice on where I can buy some?
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Question for any cav scouts. When you did your spur ride what all did it contain? I’m in a scout unit but I’m not a scout myself. I’ve heard like 4 different kinds of spur rides and nobody can really give me info about the tasks. Anything pertinent to the ride would be helpful. All I know is that it ends with the ruck. Thanks.
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I’ve looked and looked and looked online, but I don’t quite meet the hearing requirement for enlisting by Like 5 points! Can I button mash the hearing test at meps or have an actual chance at getting a waiver? Best I’ve gotten is a maybe/ehhhhh
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Question about reclassifying MOS's; I recently finished the PiCAT and scored high enough in every composite category to qualify for the jobs I wanted (35 series specifically). There were no 35's open so I went with my second choice. 13F, and head to MEPS on Sunday. If my recruiter is unable to reserve a 35 MOS before MEPS and I head in there as a 13F, is there any possibility to switch when I get there, or when I get to BCT?
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Pretty much what it says, I was authorized by my unit to transfer into the IIR from the Reserves after 4 years instead of 6 because of a conflict with civilian employment. Never had any negative actions taken against me in the 4 years I was drilling, showed up on time and in the right place, completed all trainings. I am now wondering if the early transfer into the IIR has placed getting an Honorable discharge in jeopardy?
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are civilians allowed to join the military with background of mental illness such as bipolar disorder / depression? does history of hospitalization impact the military’s decision? is there a spectrum of severity that is taken into consideration?
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I was wondering if there were any new PSYOPS soldiers here that could give more insight into the training and the MOS itself.
How hard is the initial assessment? Possible duty stations? Hardest and easiest part of the training? What should I focus on before shipping out.
Thanks!
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Hi, I recently got an 11x opt 40 contract that I am satisfied with but I don’t feel like I am physically going to be prepared by the time RASP rolls around. Will basic training (22 weeks) be enough to get me ready? I am healthy but I am not fit.
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Whats the usual time for something to be uploaded into iPerms?
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What general officer does 12th CAB fall under in Germany? I'm doing the ETP 4187 right now for one of my Soldiers reclassing and I need the GO for his future CoC.
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I got 4/14 on the PIP Test at MEPS. Will this disqualify me from applying for Civil Affairs later? If so, is there any possibility of getting a waiver?
Also, does Civil Affairs have a "X months of service remaining" requirement for applying while in service?
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I'm interested in potentially being a 35P (Cryptologic Linguist) but it seems from the research I've done that although you can choose a preference for a language you are not guaranteed anything? I was interested in doing Japanese, which is listed as a critical language but I'm really worried about being thrown into farsi or chinese, which I don't feel I would be sufficiently motivated enough to pass DLI for. And if I do flunk out of DLI, would I be reassigned a random MOS or would I be allowed to pick something else? My original plan was to do IT but 35P seems like it would be great for someone like me who wants to make a career out of the military, but I don't want to risk flunking out because I got stuck in a language I'm not excited about and then being stuck as a truck driver for several years. Idk if it makes a difference but I already have basic fluency in Japanese too.
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My boyfriend of 2 years is in BCT right now at Fort Leonard Wood MO. I just found out he hasn’t gotten any of my mail from the past MONTH, and am sick over it. Is this a normal occurrence and/or does it normally last this long? He has only received one letter total and it was from his mother. I am extremely worried and everything I see online is totally different/outdated because of COVID-19. If anyone knows anything about this, or is going through the same thing, I would really appreciate some help. I don’t know where else to ask this...
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GI Bill question, I can’t seem to find an answer. Long story short 100% Post 9/11 GI Bill, enrolled in yellow ribbon school the tuition/fees part is taken care of, I’m tracking that housing benefits won’t come until October 1, what about the book stipend? Does that come sooner? I’ve got $1100 of required supplies and materials sitting in my cart and really don’t want to put it on a credit card if possible. Thanks for any help!
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Can someone explain to me the difference between a combat action badge and a combat patch? I've seen soldiers wearing a division patch on their right shoulder but they don't have the combat badge.
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Any 35Ms (Human Intelligence Collectors) in a FORSCOM unit willing to share about their experiences? I've talked to some INSCOM 35Ms and the general consensus is that life as a 35M is pretty good if you're in an INSCOM unit, but varies widely if you're in a FORSCOM unit because you don't have the proper authorities/permissions to do your job in garrison. So what do you do, if not your job? Motorpool and odd jobs? Endless training? Other types of intel work? (I'm not sure if the lack of proper authorities is a problem for FORSCOM intel jobs as a whole, or just HUMINT; I could see how HUMINT specifically might have stricter regulations surrounding it given its nature) How is the job in general for you? Do you like it?
Also, does anyone know the approximate chances of being assigned to a FORSCOM unit vs. an INSCOM unit? I know everything is luck of the draw and needs of the army, but what's the approximate distribution of 35M slots between those two types of units?
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I was called for an interview with the local army recruiter and was asked some pre-requisite questions about physical health and I lied saying I had never had any major surgeries, implying I have a clean medical history/physical health. I actually had cancer at 21, so I am a little beat up physically and mentally. I'm also 28. Would this be a problem even for a creative job within the army? Being an army photographer has always interested me.
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I’m not sure if this deserves a separate post or not but I’ll throw this out here and see if any of y’all have an answer.
I’m currently an active duty soldier with a federal OCS class date of 29 Nov 20. I’m coming from JBLM to Benning and I know there’s a quarantine timeframe that we have to do travelling to/from red states (and last I checked Georgia is still red). My question is: have any of y’all reported to OCS during this coronavirus stuff and if you did, did you report early or did quarantine just start on your report date? I need to schedule my travel stuff in DTS and I’m trying to figure out when I need to show up because the last thing I want to do is show up on the report date and the cadre tell me I can’t class up because I didn’t get there early enough.
Before you ask I called 3-11 staff duty and their S1 and no one was able to give me a straight answer; also the OCS website doesn’t look like it has been updated since 2019. Hopefully someone here has been in my situation or knows someone who has been to OCS recently. Thanks in advance.
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Currently an E4 in the Reserves and have been in for almost 4 years, recently signed off on an active duty contract. The guidance counselor (think that's what the position is called) asked me what my rank was when I first enlisted; I misheard him and said E4 instead of E1, and signed off as an E4.
Don't know if the guy was trying to screw me over or not. This one source (down below) I found says otherwise.
Any guidance/knowledge is greatly appreciated.
https://www.thebalancecareers.com/rules-for-determining-active-duty-rank-for-prior-service-3344810
Edit 25AUG 0957: already got my answer, but just some clarification on the 'screwing me over' part - the guidance counselor asked me what was the first rank I came in as, rather than what my current rank was in the Reserves. Hence why I asked this (relatively simple) question. Thanks again!
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Hello, I am very interested in linguistics and language especially eastern languages, before I had to drop out of college language was my major. I, of course, want to be a translatointerpreter as this was my goal with college too. I was wondering if you can only get in if you know a language before signing up or if they teach you a language. From what I read they teach you a language for Human Intelligence Collector Recruit or 35W maybe I’m misreading. So I don’t see why they wouldn’t teach you languages for translator work. I just want to be sure. If they do teach you for either job, do you get to choose the language? I hopefully get an answer I love linguistics and language so I would love to do what I love in the military.
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Hi. I've had a hard time finding info about 17E Electronic Warfare Specialist. I can only find vague descriptions online, and my recruiter seems to believe it is a hacking related MOS. However, that does not match what I've read online. Also, all the info online indicates a 9 week AIT, but my memo shows 31 weeks of AIT. I'm not sure what I'm getting myself into, and I don't think my recruiter knows either. Any insight would be greatly appreciated.
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--Apologies ahead of time, might be a little long.
So I injured my foot running over the weekend (Sat). I've been running every other day since July. The pain got worse the next day, so I decided to see a podiatrist on Monday. They diagnosed me with 'posterior tibial tendonitis'. The doc said it would take a month to heal (google says 6-8 wks for perspective), and he gave me a specialized brace. But there are still some things he has to send me in the mail. (These things whatever they are, I"m not gonna receive before basic b/c covid and I don't think he can send it to me there)
I told my recruiter about it on Monday. And I ship in September. ~2wks. I went to the office today to talk to the big guy in charge. He basically said I have a week to determine if I really wanna go in September, or decide to reclass and lose my job, and push my date back (throwing everything up in the air again)
These are two bad options in my opinion. I need the money. And in theory, if quarantine is indeed 14 days I would have had a month to heal at the end of that period, but without no brace at basic, or ice packs.
The ask: Should I still go in early September. Right now my foot is maybe at 50 percent. It might get to 65 before I leave, but without a brace or the items in the mail, I don't know how I can accomplish full recovery. My thinking goes-- if I break my foot or it gets worse at least I still get paid and I keep my job. I know this is bad thinking but its the reality of my situation.
What do you recommend?
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I leave AIT in like 2 weeks. (25s). I have to quarantine in Germany Landstuhl. Is it open bays, barracks rooms? Also I am 25 will I be able to get alchohol during quarantine.
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Need some help here please.
Im 19, I just dropped rotc (not contracted but completed 1 yr of AROTC) and uni due to all the shittiness of covid (school most likely goimg to shut down rotc program and switch to all online, and I'd need tons of loans to continue) in hopes to pursue either opt. 40, psyops, or 18x.
I was studying global conflict studies with minors in psychology and russian, so I'm definitely fascinayed by the general area of psyops as I love the area of focus, but I'm also sick of being a pussy and want to push myself and find challenge, and keep hearing that they dont do much 'tactical' or hooah stuff, which is making me lean toward other areas of special ops. However, the airborne and language training is really appeals to me, so leaning more toward 18x.
Should i go for it and pursue either? Why one over the other? Any other areas I should consider?
Any and all advice or comments are appreciated. Humble me if you think I need it. Sick of being a shitbag, dont wanna fail in life, need to do something as I dont want to be stuck due to shitty situations. Buddy is pushing 35M, but dont wanna be stuck with awkward kids who barely pass their apft or have any desire to. If there's any advice on how to prep for any of it before OSUT, I'm all ears.
Edit: First draft was pretty cocky, hopefully this reflects my seriousness better.
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I have a question, if you are going to be going on a base in South Korea or Japan, would language classes be offered?
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 I PCSing to my to my first duty station from Airborne school to JBER. I was wondering what I need to do to ship my truck and personal items up there at the governments expense via IAW AR 55-71? All oppinions are appreciated. Have a nice day. 
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Hey /r army, have a question for you fine folks,
So I'm prior service, have a great career, a loving wife , and I'm finally happy, so I thought what a great time to throw a wrench in all that and join back up!
I moseyed my way way down to the local recruiters office and asked a couple questions. Would I have to repeat basic? Hell fuckin yes I would What about AIT? Youbetcha , here's a short list of jobs you can reclassify to, fucking awesome always wanted to be a cook
He asked me if I was disabled. Not officially there sar'nt Then he asked me what meds I was on, which I told him 2 for anxiety and depression, which are gratefully supplied free of charge from the VA. He than said that would be a problem and I would have to show I was off them for a year to qualify. The Fuck...when I was in they handed out Percocet and Klonopin like it was a fucking pez dispenser . He told me I could always get the prescription from someone other than the VA.
My question to you guys who may have more knowledge of this type of situation. Are the VA systems and MEPS actually linked, would they be able to pull my med files? If I did get my meds off site, would I have to wait an actual year from it coming off the books to rejoin? Are there any other avenues I can take so I can get my fill of the green weenie again?
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Quick question from an OCS hopeful.
I've had a couple surgeries (none disqualifying) but some of them were redundant and the problem was fixed/finished by a final surgery.
Is it alright if I only give the documentation for the final one and not mention the others? It's not like they'll notice if they take a look inside (it's nose related). Can they find out later? And would I be in trouble? Physically it's like I never had the previous ones.
Thanks in advance
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Does anyone know how covid is affecting Fort Jackson in South Carolina? I wanna take a job there but my boyfriend has been in Fort Benning for 7 weeks and only just started basic training due to being quarantined and stuck in reception. He’s been telling me to wait but I don’t want to pass this job up
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i’m about to ship out next month on the 8th and i was wondering if you can get to use your phone in basic to send your friends and family the address to write letters? my friend in the air force got his phone in basic and sent us a picture with his information on it so we could write him. ik it’s probably gonna be different in the army but figured i would just ask
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Hey guys I’m going in as a 35N, can anyone give me advice or information about AIT or the job after training?
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Good afternoon everyone,
Warrant Officer hopeful looking for some insight into the training pipeline post-COVID guidelines. Expecting to get my projected WOCS dates in the next 1-2 months.
Has WOCS, WOBC and SERE changed in any major way for a 153a?
Has WOCS and WOBC switched over to the new ACFT? I understand they run the APFT during the start of schools, but that the ACFT is the focus after that and could be considered into class GPA (at least what I have heard / read.) Do you get your master fitness certificates after graduating so you can fill that roll as a WO1 at your new unit?
I would be coming in through the Guard; is anyone aware of them sending you to each school one after another (in a traditional training pipeline fashion) or do you get sent home until the school slots roll around?
Is there anything specifically worth bringing in terms of gear that you found particularly helpful during any of the schools ? (not something that was on the gear list)
General tips and tricks also appreciated.
Thanks for your time.
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Can you get a waiver for trying MDMA once? Recruiter says this is permanently disqualifying. Can't find much info about it. Would prefer to go about it the right way rather than taking their advice for selective disclosure.
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Is 35f really a bad mos? I swore in and had this as it seemed as an interearing option but now seeing posts on this I dont know if I made the right decision.
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Hi everyone, using a throwaway for this. I’m the first one from my unit to do virtual BLC through Shelby, and no one knows how it works. How was it? Did you do PT and D&C? What was the schedule like?
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G2G/ROTC Question
I’m a 28 year old SSG, coming up on 7 years TIS, a year until ETS. I have one dependent (joint custody and paying child support). I’m still a few classes away from completing an associate degree.
I understand with the G2G options there are age and dependent waivers. However, what are the requirements to join a ROTC program if I ETS?
I’ve done some research but I’ve been reading conflicting answers (age limits, SAT scores, etc.).
Thank you!
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What’s the best MOS for college while AD? I’m planning on going G2G
I need to save money for business investments and projects, so not interested in ROTC or SMP.
As far as I know, OPTEMPO has a huge impact on how fast online classes are done. Which do you recommend so I have time for online classes
I have around 20 college credits and would like to finish 60 within the AD 2 year minimum requirement for G2G
I’d like to experience 11b, buts that’s dumb for my goals. I’ll POG hard like a motherfucker if need be
P. S. If it matters, I’d like to commission as an infantry officer once all is done
I’ve also been a civilian federal employee for 3 years and still work at the VA
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How’s Fort Bliss? Duty stations just got put out at ABOLC, and I got an ABCT at Fort Bliss.
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Do guardsmen get the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal if they haven't deployed?
Also what ribbons would an army guard infantryman have if he just completed OSUT? Just the Army Service Ribbon and the National Defense Service Medal?
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So is 19D OSUT 22 weeks now?
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Does anyone have experience with the tattoo waiver process? I have a triangle on the back of my neck (about 2.5 inches each side). My recruiter thinks I have a shot of getting a waiver. Navy is telling me the Army won’t approve it so I should just join with them.
I’m trying to figure out how much is just recruiter head games and what my chances of getting approved are.
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I was curious, if you failed the ACFT right now in basic training, would you fail? I heard a few places that anyone who fails it right now would not count against you untill sometime 2022 I believe. Can anyone confirm ?
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I have a question about MOS, I was really interested in 25B, but my recruiters told me it isnt open but to go with my second pick. Which is 94S. They reserved it and I go to meps on monday, my question is is 94S worth it or should I wait it out for 25B
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would brachymetatarsia DQ me from joining?
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Anybody know when 35t slots will be available for a reclass?
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I am a 70B looking at Ranger School. I am interested in the 70H track. The goal is 20 years of a rewarding and exciting career. When I mention this to my BOLC Cadre I get a look like I've grown a second head. I max my APFT and I run marathons in my spare time.
I know it will be hard but if I get the opportunity I'll be leaving the school on a stretcher or with a tab. Am I taking crazy pills? Is it unreasonable for a 70B to pass Ranger? Or am I just being a naive LT?
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i’m 19 years old i been trying to process for about 3 months and it just seems like i have a lazy Army recruiter and i feel he’s been jerking me around. I have 2 Marijuana possesion charges both from when i was a juvenile. My recruiter tells me i have no chance of joining but another recruiter in the office is waivering a kid for burglary charges. Am i really DQ’d or is my recruiter just lazy? i really want to do this with all my heart and its all i want to do i just need someone to be honest with me i can handle the truth. I want a millatary career.
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I will be at BCT during Yom Kippur, a Jewish fast day. I have not missed a fast since I was a child, and I hope to fast at BCT, though I will still drink water. I don’t plan to request excusal from any physical or academic activities otherwise planned for the day. I also, per tradition, hope to be able to wear my kippah (yarmulke) for the day.
This is likely largely dependent on my cadre, but I’m curious if folks foresee this being an issue. Should I try to talk with the chaplain beforehand to request a formal accommodation, or can I just refuse to put food on my plate for those 24 hours?
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So my google-fu doesn't seem to be good enough for me to find anything real concrete; army-specifically.
Smoked pot several times like 6-7 years ago, no charges, no run-ins with police, nothing. But the only MOS I'm interested in is 17C, so I'll need a TS. I'm not about to lie on the sf-86, so I want it documented, and I want to know if the army is down with giving waivers for minor drug use, or if I even need one at all.
Edit: So I actually COMPLETELY read a link through and got my answer. "...In most cases, a person who experimented with "non-hard" drugs in the past will be allowed to enlist. Anything more than experimentation may very well be a bar to enlistment. "
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Shipping 2nd week of sept. I’m enlisted as a 13J. I’ve seen people comment on being 13b & 13f. Really curious if there’s any juliets on here that can give me some insight!
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I'm a 25P and I've heard rumors that the MOS is being removed. ETS is Oct 2021 but I plan to re-enlist. Will they send me to school for 25S automatically or will I be forced to sign a new contract and then re-class? Can I sign a contract for CONUS station and then be PCS'd there and eventually be sent to AIT again? Or will I just immediately go to AIT and then be at the mercy of army placement?
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35S just got orders to Eglin AFB. Does this mean 7th?
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Alright I need AIT to complete the rest of my contract and get the freck out of RSP! I’m in the Guard so all Jokes welcomed. I was shooting for 25B but there are zero slots available for my State ... :( I would like 17C since I have my degree in the STEM field and I’m already certified in SEC+, NET+, CEH, A+, PENT+, some programming Languages, and much more. just to show you what I did with my downtime during Covid smh I was informed by a friend who recently went to MEPs that there may or may not be any slots available for 17C... I’m bummed out about that. Does anyone know of an MOS that is similar to 25B or 17C? The length of AIT doesn’t matter. I’m trying to secure a job working for government agencies or private sector. And I plan to DC as a 17A in the next 2 yrs because that’s my end goal. Does anyone know of any MOSs that can get me there?
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Just a quick questions for all the 35Ns (Signal Intelligence analyst), how difficult is AIT? I really wanna know what I'm getting myself into
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If Green Berets and Rangers are considered tier 1 and 2 infantry, what's tier 3? Or tier 4? where do joes who are squared away and hard-working go when they are just medium speed but low drag? The good soldiers who look at Rasp and Sfas and say "nah, I'm okay admitting I'm not that intense." There's gotta be a middle ground right?
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Has anyone been able to get out honorably under an RE3 code and re up? I’ve been out for a year now. Did 6 in the national guard. I am wanting to go army. I had a drug test fail last year in (THC)... was in good standing with my unit and worked with them to get an honorable discharge. Now I am wondering if there is anyone out there who had success in coming back in with the same or similar situation I am in. Thank you
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Any former 35T’s. Just curious, what kind of civilian jobs did you guys end up getting after service? It seems like the work experience as a 35T translates very well in the civilian sector and I’d like to work at a 3 letter organization preferably.
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Probably not your typical question, but do any of you have experience freelancing while in the Army?
I know some soldiers do things like UbeLyft/etc. when they're in, but how does freelancing more generally work while enlisted? Do you have to get permission or do anything special to continue client work while you're active duty? Is there anything I need to know about working with international clients (I currently work with an Israeli company and another one in South Africa) while active duty?
I'm considering switching things up career wise and doing an enlistment just to do the damn thing before I get too old and regret not serving, but the switch would come with a rather significant reduction in pay starting out. Would I be able to continue some of my freelance work while active duty assuming it doesn't interfere with my Army responsibilities?
I'm in marketing and advertising but don't work with any MIC-related companies or advertising firms if that makes any difference. Oh, and all of my freelance work is done remotely.
Any input/experience would be great, thanks.
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I took the ASVAB last week and found out I scored the highest out of everyone who took it. I got a 97. Yay.
So today, I went to recruiting office to discuss my score and the next steps and just like the first time I went in, they were trying very hard to convince me not to apply to OCS and go enlisted. As in a full on assault from everyone in that office.
I was quite annoyed because my GPA (3.3) is the same as the GPA of the applicants who got selected this last board (posted yesterday) & my GT score was higher (133). To boot I have an engineering degree from a top 25 university and not some namby-pamby arts degree from university of phoenix (no offense to anyone).
At one point, literally all 6 recruiters (plus me and the head guy) from that recruiting station were all crammed in this small room, and they all were trying to push me to enlist, all talking over each other to say something convince me. I was entertaining their prospect and being polite, while questioning them occasionally or bringing up some valid point while in my head I am thinking 'snake oil'. I just kept saying to myself something is off, why are they doing this. This is odd, this is not normal. I was so close to saying 'well the Navy wants me and thinks I have a very good shot at becoming an officer with them and be guaranteed the position I want in the field I want.' That part is true. I am applying to both branches.
Here is the bigger issue: I want to do cyber or something similar (intel, signals, ect), that is technical, and is guaranteed. I do have an engineering degree after all; I am a bit of a dork. I would lke nothing more than to be a dork while serving this country instead of only caring about how much money I make. Apparently as an officer applicant going through OCS, I don't choose what I want to do but if I enlist they can guarantee it. To boot, I would not be learning/doing anything technical; I would just be managing as an officer. I am very disappointed I have to choose between either or. Am I being too greedy to say I want both?
I want to make the military my career and stay in until I retire but I also want to be able to geek out and actually enjoy my time (though no job is perfect).
What do I do?
I am most likely going to do the OCS route and if it doesn't work out I will just be at square one and enlist. If anything this is giving me motivation to prove them wrong. I guess resentments can be put to good use.
PS In all fairness they did say they will work with me to submit my OCS application and left that option on the table. I did feel the pressure was mainly coming from the head recruiter and not the one I am working with. I always give people the benefit of the doubt that they are good and trying to do the right thing (but for whom?). I do need to look out for #1 before I become property of the US gov't.
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Letter of recommendation for OCS. How well does the writer need to know you?
My grandfather served alongside a US Army General (Ret). This individual is very dear to our family, and helped sponsor our extended family to the US after the fall of our home nation.
Very close friend of my grandfather and the family, however, outside of Christmas dinners and occasional visits, I can’t really say that he’s witnessed my professional growth or leadership as most guidelines would dictate.
I feel like I’d be taking advantage of his high rank if I asked for a recommendation. Any thoughts?
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What's the best way to get to campbell from Nashville Airport? 1 person
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Hey what would happen if the military went on strike? How would it affect a innocent civilian / American?
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submitted by Army_Bot to ArmyWQT [link] [comments]


2020.08.31 08:46 ChrisKoleszar The Duxbury Chronicles "The Dumpster"

The Duxbury Chronicles
https://i.redd.it/itwruj5d8ak51.gif
“Rain fell on the roofs of the just and the unjust, the saints and the sinners, those who knew peace and those in torment, and tomorrow began at a dark hour.”
- Robert R McCammon, "Mine"
August 6th, 1982 was a day in Duxbury that no one liked to talk about. No one who is still around who remembers it anyway. It had been a hot one. Hot, humid, and most of all, wet. It had been that way all summer.
“Unnatural.” The old timers were wont to say.
By mid-summer rainfall all along the East coast had hit records not seen since the 20's. The nearby swamps and rivers had deepened. Dark, murky water encroaching onto lands normally dry. The Duxbury Bogs, and the North Hill Marsh Sanctuary in particular had been cause for concern.
By mid-July (Courtesy of the Bogs) Pilgrim's Highway had been flooded over. Blocking Mayflower Street all the way down passed East Street. Island Creek Pond, and the North Hill Sanctuary had joined forces. Turning the lands that divided them into one giant wilderness of muck, and water.
And by the end of July it looked like Cranberry Bog, and Pine Lake were on the verge of rising up high enough to join the other two. And submerge the whole damn area. It had been an ugly business already.
Homes in and around Pettibush Lane, Maple Pond Lane, and Evergreen Street had already been lost to flooding. And there had even been talk last weekend during the Duxbury Town Hall Council Meeting of the possible necessary evacuation of Tinker's Ledge Road if the rains kept up.
That had gotten people buggin'. Markus McDuff had leapt up, and shouted with the vigor of a man half his age. Declaring that “They'd have to drag his dead body” off his Apple Farm if they came to evacuate him.
There had been a grasshopper boom as well. Everyone said it was because of all the rain. The population thickened as one got further from the busier streets. Certain sections of the Whiton Woods were so thick with the little green insects that it was hard to describe in words.
One had to “see it, to believe it”. On some of the trails every step one took would literally be accompanied by a multitude of tiny springy sounds. As the brainless bugs leapt away from whatever giant passed them by.
They hadn't been the only insects to flourish in the unusually wet weather. The Cicadas had come out in force for the season as well. And they sang their summer songs with an unprecedented fervor. Every evening around dusk, they'd alight in the branches of the trees and chirp up at the brilliant shifting purple, and orange canvas in the sky.
In the trees all along Island Creek the insects seemed to be especially prevalent. There were certain sections of the creek where one would have to practically shout to be heard over the buzzing cacophony. It was, needless to say, not a good season for insectophobes.
Despite all the climate issues the “tourist” season (small as it was) did not seem to really suffer. Which had been quite a relief to the local business owners. And ever since August started it hadn't rained. As a result the general mood around town was brighter than usual.
But on this early afternoon, one resident's mood was especially chipper. Deputy Robert Maxwell was walking down Harrison street with a particular “pep” in his step. That was because he had just scored a dyno date with the town Betty!
A bodacious babe by the name of Mary Barbadino. She'd been the morning waitress at Alice's Restaurant for going on three years now. Bob had grown up in Duxbury, and had always liked Alice's. But it had become his pre-shift breakfast spot pretty much every day since he'd first laid eyes on Mary in that tight-fitting waitress uniform. Even on his days off.
He still couldn't believe his luck! Bob, at the ripe old age of thirty seven, was not exactly known for being a lady's man. He wasn't some hoser or anything. But he was no primo stud either.
And she'd approached him! He’d known that Mary had broken up with her boyfriend Marcus Greene four months prior. But he had never had the cajones to do anything about it.
The situation between Mary and Marcus was like a badly written movie. Marcus and his posse were the local tough guys. He and his crew always seemed to be getting into trouble. Be it a fight at the local bar, or a “domestic dispute” at one of their biker parties.
If it was true that in life everyone had a role to play. Then it was Marcus's destiny to be an asshole. That's not what had stopped him from making a move on Mary however. Bob was a Roller after all. He'd just been too chicken.
So this morning when Mary had come over with a cup of coffee in hand and slid into the empty seat across the table from him, he'd been struck speechless for a few seconds. The conversation had been quick, and direct. Mary talking, and Bob mostly nodding, and trying to keep his mouth from hanging open.
She'd wanted to know if he was interested in catching a movie after her shift. Bob would have watched the bunkest movie in the world with Mary. He'd quickly agreed, and the two had made plans to meet when she got off at five.
The Deputy made it to the corner, and took a right onto Washington Street. He was headed to Barry's Meats. The local butcher shop. Barry was legendary in the region for his kielbasa. And tonight after whatever movie they ended up seeing, he was going to surprise Mary with a better meal than Alice's had ever put on a plate!
He walked briskly. Passing Beaver Brook Lane, and making a mental note to stop at Snug Harbor Wine on his way back home. It was nearly 12:30, which gave him approximately four and a half hours to get dinner made, get dressed, and be back at Alice's.
He’d originally been scheduled to be on duty until six. And had agreed to meet Mary without giving it a second thought. After realizing his error, he'd been worried that the “boss man” wouldn't be accommodating to his sudden plans. But after he made it back to the Station, Sheriff Copper had been all to happy to give him the night off.
In truth Copper at first been as incredulous as Bob had initially been. But the Sheriff was a good (if not gruff) man. And with a hearty laugh had granted his request. Giving him a hard pat on the back, and leaving him with the wise words – “Happy hunting son!”, as he had walked out through the Station doors.
He swiftly passed by a group of children playing in Washington Park. Off in the distance a baseball game was going on. He vaguely remembered seeing a flyer earlier in the week stating that the Duxbury Dragons would be playing their first game of the season today.
Across the street loomed the Saint John's Evangelist Church. The ancient stone structure cast a long shadow across the street. Bob only gave it a cursory glance as he passed it by.
He was not a religious man. Though his Mother regularly attended. In truth the place had always kind of creeped him out.
He looked around. He didn't see the local Pastor, Father John anywhere. Which he ironically thanked God for. The short fat man was always lurking about somewhere in town. Always looking to “add to the flock” as he put it.
“Lurking.” No. That wasn't the right word for it. For all their brief encounters, and by all accounts Father John was a pleasant man. Known for his charity work, and volunteering at the local soup kitchen in fact. He felt like a dick for having the thought in the first place, and quickly pushed it out of his mind.
By the time he had crossed Freeman Place, and was walking alongside the monolithic structure of the Hudson Bank; His thoughts had once again returned to Mary, and what exactly he'd done to make this morning so different than all the countless others. He glanced to the left. Looking at his wavy reflection as he passed by the floor-to-ceiling windows of the massive building.
Well, he had started working out. In fact in the last two months he'd lost almost twenty pounds! A big part of that was the change up in his diet.
Egg whites and coffee for breakfast, instead of pancakes. Salad for lunch instead of a burger. Come to think of it. Hadn't Mary been the one to first suggest his change up in breakfast?
Or maybe it was his fresh new 'stache. At first he'd been hesitant to try and grow one. Stylized facial hair had never been his thing. But he quickly realized that it was totally choice. His mom said he looked like Tom Selleck...
Bob was enwrapped in these thoughts as he reached the corner. He wasn't looking in any particular direction. And only half heard the quick, panicked steps. Just before someone came sprinting around the other side of the building, and collided straight into him.
The Deputy was knocked off his feet. Landing hard on his back. He managed to keep his head from bouncing off the pavement. But for a few seconds he saw stars anyway.
“Bab!” He recognized Boston George's voice. He sat up, and attempted to bring the man into focus.
“Oh Babby thank Gad it's you!”
Bob began to slowly climb to his feet. But the skinny forty-something man was faster. He practically leapt up, and dashed over to the Deputy. Offering him a hand, and helping him to stand.
“We got a real situation here Babby!” The man was saying. His eyes darting around frantically. In that moment he looked like a rabbit that had just escaped a wolf.
Georgey McCabe, or “Boston George” as he was known by the locals, had gotten his name because of his heavy accent. And because well... He was from Boston. Which could be quite a big deal in some circles within such a small town.
He was a “born, and bread Irishmen of the Big City on a Hill”, as he was wont to say. Bob had never been, but he imagined that Georgey was a pretty accurate representation of the average Bostonian.
Boston George had moved to Duxbury from Beantown three years prior. He always seemed to have a lot of money. Though no one knew exactly what it was that he did.
He drove a candy apple red BMW M1. Almost always with the top down. Even in winter. Anywhere he went with it he drove like a man on his way to save the world.
Georgey had accumulated quite an impressive pile of tickets and citations since coming to Duxbury. But he always had the money to pay off his fines, and so had remained on the road.
“For now.” Sheriff Copper had said to Bob one night at the station.
Copper didn't like Boston George. Though Georgey seemed oblivious to the fact. He kept speeding. And the Duxbury Police Department kept profiting off his “stunt man” antics.
Bob had never ticketed Georgey personally however. He and the Irishmen had become some-time poker buddies shortly after his arrival. The Deputy liked to gamble once in a while. Georgey loved it. And the man had one hell of a poker face.
Over the last two years he'd taken far more of Bob's money than Bob had his. That was for sure. The man also liked to sometimes go out “day drinking” as he put it. And as he took in George's disheveled appearance, he began to suspect that was exactly what the man's afternoon activities had consisted of thus far.
The thinning hair on his head stuck out in tufts pointing in all directions. His Aloha shirt was only half tucked into his shorts. Bob realized that the man was also missing one of his flip-flops.
But there was a distinct panic in Georgey's eyes. A sort of wild terror that gave him pause. The man was talking he realized. Thickly accented words flowing out of his mouth a mile a minute. Though he had no idea what he'd been saying.
“Take a red Georgey!” Bob shouted, raising his hand in a silencing gesture as he did.
George fell quiet. For a few seconds all that could be heard was the chirping birds, and George's ragged breathing.
“What. Is the problem?” He didn't have time for this.
“There's-...” George gulped in a lungful of air. Trying to steady his voice. “There's some kind of manstah in the dampsta behind Bahn’s Maket. And I think it got Old Man Pete!”
“What?” Bob asked. Truly at a loss.
“Oh for Gad's sake Bab! I'm tellin' you that there's something in the damn dampsta behind Bahn's Maket! And I think it got Pete!” The man was quickly becoming hysterical.
“Okay. Okay.” Bob said. Raising his hand once again in a placating gesture. “So tell me what happened.”
“I was sittin' outside Lux Cafe. Out in one of the chairs on the patio. Just having a drink ya'know?”
At this Bob quirked an eyebrow. Georgey didn't seem to notice.
“Anyways, so I'm sittin' there out on the patio when I see Old Man Pete come out of his store, and go around to the back alley with a bag full of trash.”
Peter Barne's was the elderly owner of Barne's Market. The local Grocery Co-op. Pete was in his seventies, but had moved like a man half is age up until his wife Edna had passed last winter.
Since then Pete had developed a noticeable stoop in his stance. Now he walked with slow, pained movements. These days he seemed to look at the ground more than anything else.
In truth it pained the Deputy to see the old man slowly fall apart. Bob had known Pete since he'd been just a boy. He'd been known as “Old Man Pete” even back then. But in those days he’d sported a full head of gray hair.
“-So like after five minutes go by.” Boston George was saying. “I notice that Petey hasn't come back out from the alleyway yet. So I stat worrying that the poor old bugger's hurt himself or something ya'know? So I get up, and I go across the street to go check on him.”
Bob knew the area George was referring to well. It was called East Cove Plaza, and was consequently the only spot on Surplus Road that had any businesses on it. Four to be exact.
All located around one square block. Barnes Market, and the Red Herring Diner on one side of the street. East Bay Salon, and Lux Lounge on the other.
Up until a year, and a half ago there had only been three businesses. But Lux had opened up next to East Bay. It was this “new age” hippie cafe/bar. It was owned by this unbelievably sexy red-headed fox named Gretta Thompson.
She'd moved to Duxbury about two years ago. And after about six months had opened up shop. That was all he really knew about her. He'd never been in the bar. Though it had simultaneously become a hit with the younger locals, and an endless source of gossip for the elders.
“So what did you find when you went to go check on him?” Bob asked. Feeling a faint sense of apprehension as he did so.
“That's the thing Bab.” George said in a hushed tone. “There wasn't no one back there when I got up there. Just an empty alleyway with the dampstah in the back.”
“But I got this real weird feelin' Bab. This real weird feelin' that Old Man Pete was in that dampstah.” Georgey continued.
Bob already did not like where this was headed. Though admittedly he had absolutely no freaking idea where this was headed.
“So I get to like about ten feet away from the dampstah, and somethin's telling me. Somethin's telling me not to get any closer. So I call out Pete's name. Feeling a bit silly as I do, mind you.”
Bob smirked despite himself. Yes. Silly was one word for it.
“And just as I say his name there comes the sound of trash slammin' around. And I mean a loud sound! And the dampstah...” George trailed off as he gave a shudder. “The dampstah Bab... It jerked towards me!”
Bob raised an eyebrow.
“The dumpster jerked towards you?” The words just didn't sound right.
“Yeah Bab. And I mean like three *freakin*' feet!”
“So what did you do?”
At this George looked incredulous.
“What did I do?! I fackin' ran for my damn life! That's what I did Bab!”
“Okay. Okay.” Bob said. Raising his hands once again. “Let's go.”
“Go where?”
“Back to Barnes Market.”
“Back?”
“Yes.” He said. Pinching his nose. “Back to the Market.”
“But-.”
“Common Georgey.” Bob cut him off, and started walking...
Five minutes later they were moving down Surplus Road. Almost halfway to their destination. Up ahead loomed the wooden bridge that went over Bluefish River. The raging waters echoing off the surrounding trees that bordered the street on both sides.
Bob had kept up a brisk pace. Partly because he was worried for Old Man Pete. And partly because of his rapidly shrinking timetable. George to his credit, had kept up.
“Are you sure you don't want to call for backup Babby?” He half shouted over the thundering river, just as their feet met weather worn wood.
Bob glanced down at the rushing waters of the Bluefish as they clunked along. The river was normally more than a dozen feet below the bridge. On this day however was half that. If it got any higher, the city would have to close off the bridge.
“Not quite yet George.” He shouted back. “I think I'd like to check things out for myself before I go and do that.”
After another moment they were across the river and back on asphalt. With each step the thundering of the Bluefish faded.
Bob looked up at the looming trees on either side of them. The White Pines had grown more full, and lush than ever before. Bob gazed off into the shadows of the surrounding forest.
There was pretty much nothing for about the next quarter mile. Nothing but trees, and encroaching swamp water that is. Pretty much everything West of Tremont Street was flooded.
But thankfully the four businesses that made up East Cove Plaza had thus far been spared from the weather. Being located about a half mile East of Tremont, on the corner where Reynolds Way crossed Surplus.
As they walked, Bob reflected on the dumpster in question. It was a fifteen yarder if he recalled correctly. Situated between Barne's Market, and the Red Herring for the convenience of both businesses. With all the flooding it really wouldn't be too outlandish if a bear, or some other critter had made it's way down and jumped in looking for food.
They came to a flooded part in the road just as they hit the intersection of South Station Street. The water stretching all the way to the woods on both the right, and left. They wordlessly walked to the right.
Entering the edge of the woods, they used the rocks, and roots to keep their feet as dry as possible, as they made their way. The water stretched on down the street for a good twenty feet before relinquishing it's hold on the road.
Soon the surrounding forest gave way once again to a suburban sprawl. Up ahead in the distance stood East Cove Plaza. He felt an inexplicable twinge of apprehension at the sight of the buildings. And for about a second, he really did want to call for back up.
But what would he tell dispatch? Boston George thinks that there's a monster in the dumpster behind Barne's Market? Yeah. That would go over well.
After another moment of walking they had reached the front entrance of Barne's. The “now open” sign still hung in the window. Bob opened the door, and stepped inside. They were greeted by the refreshing coolness of the air-conditioned store.
“Mister Barnes?” Bob called out.
No answer. Save for the soft hum of the air-conditioning unit. Bob walked deeper into the store. Swiveling his head this way, and that, as he continued moving down one of the aisles.
“Pete?”
Again no answer. This wasn't good. Something was up.
“I'm tellin' ya he's not in here Babby.” Boston George said in a hushed tone from behind.
“Officer Maxwell?” Came a voice from the back of the store.
Both men turned to see Pete's nephew Doug Jenkins emerge from the back storage room. Doug was in his forties. He seemed to possess an endless supply of plaid shirts, and blue jeans that he wore no matter how high the temperature was. A nice guy. Though a bit slow.
“Hey Doug.” Bob said, with a wave. “I was just looking for Pete. Have you seen him?”
At this Doug shook his head.
“I was supposed to meet him here. We're going down to the dinner at Saint John's tonight. But I can't find him Bob.”
That last part carried with it a tone of worry.
“Don't worry Duggy.” Bob managed a smile. “We'll find him. I'm going to take a look around outside. Why don't you stay here in case he shows back up?”
Duggy nodded.
“Okay.” He said.
“Cool beans. Alright, me and Georgey here are gonna take a look around back. We'll meet you back here in ten minutes if we don't find him.”
And with that George, and Bob turned and walked back out. The sticky summer heat practically slammed into them as they stepped through the doorway. Together they walked in silence to the entrance of the alleyway.
They rounded the corner, and just stood there for a moment. The area was empty, save for the hulking form of the dumpster that stood in the back. It was a big, ugly thing. Standing about six feet high. And yeah. It was a fifteen yarder.
“There's no way Pete fell in there.” Bob thought to himself as he scrutinized the hunk of metal.
There was something off about it though. But he couldn't quite put his finger on what. At first glance it appeared the same as it always had.
It was just as rusty, and weather worn as ever. Still the same dirty green color, with the words "Patterson Waste Disposal" written in big white letters on it's beat up exterior. He was pretty sure that Boston George was right though. The Dumpster seemed like it was farther from the back wall than normal.
Maybe George had been partially correct. Perhaps some bear or something had wondered down and climbed in looking for food. Again considering the flooding it wasn't outside of the realm of possibility. After all the wildlife was known to wander into town from time, to time.
Bob moved cautiously forward and then stopped when he was about fifteen feet away. Some vague, primal instinct warning him not to get any closer.
He stood there in silence for a moment. Listening for any sign of movement from within the rusty metal structure. Nothing. Not a sound. He straightened, and let out a sigh. Jesus. He was being ridiculous.
Boston George was just buzzed. Pete Barnes had just gone out on some sudden errand, and forgotten to lock up. Yeah, that was it. He started to turn back to George when he noticed the shoe.
It was just lying there about three feet in front of the dumpster. It was black. That was about all he could tell from this distance.
But he knew. He just knew that it was a black Penny Loafer. And there was only one guy around here who sported those kind of kicks.
“Mister Barnes?” Bob called out toward the dumpster. Knowing full well how ridiculous he would look to his peers in that moment. He received no reply.
He took a few more cautious steps forward. Calling out again. Once again being answered with silence.
God what if he had fallen in?! As impossible as it seemed. What if Barnes had fallen in, and was lying broken and bleeding, right now, as he stood there like an idiot?!
“What's goin' on fellas?”
A voice suddenly asked from behind, causing both men to jump. Bob turned around only to see Christie Villarmarin's Pug like face. Christie was the “owner” of East Bay Salon.
What that really meant was that her husband, District Circuit Court Judge Troy Villarmarin; Had bought his incredibly unpleasant wife a business. So as to keep her out of his hair. And quite literally in someone else's.
“Everything alright Officer Maxwell?” She asked innocently.
Bob didn't really dislike people as a rule of thumb. It was not in his nature. But *God Damn* if Christie just didn't naturally piss him off.
She was one of the town gossip “ring leader's”. As his mother always put it. Christie had an affinity for other people's business. Her Salon only amplified her powers. Bob noticed a few of Christie's customers/cronies had gathered on the sidewalk in front of the Salon, and were watching their conversation with rapt attention.
And God Dammit if he didn't have time for this! It was going on 1:15 and he hadn't even made it down to Barry's yet! Christie was a shark, circling a piece of meat on a hook. But he wasn't going to give her one bite.
“Yes ma’am.” Bob said. Beaming. “We're just looking for Old Ma- Mister Barnes. I think he may have stepped out and forgotten to lock up.”
“Oh.” Was all Christie said. Mirroring the Deputy's smile right back at him.
For a moment the two just stood there, beaming their smiles at one another. Boston George looked back and forth between the two of them. Lifting an eyebrow in confusion at their “smile duel”.
“Why good afternoon everyone!”
The three turned to see Father John, standing with Sheriff Copper and Deputy David Quimby. The Priest was dressed in his usual black underwrap. He was carrying a cake with pink frosting in a big tupperware. The short, balding , round man wore his usual warm toothy grin.
“Bobby!” The Sheriff said in greeting, and began walking up.
“Great.” Bob thought.
Copper nodded at Christie.
“Ma’am.”
“Sheriff.” Christie smiled. This time the expression was genuine though.
Copper reached Bob and gave him a clap on the back.
“Don't tell me you got stood up?!” He said. Letting out a great bellowing laugh as he did.
“No Sheriff I-.”
“I'm just teasin' you Bobby.” Copper cut him off. “Ol' Duggy told me about Mister Barnes.”
Bob noticed Doug poking his head around the corner.
“I told the Sheriff you was looking for Pete.” He said.
“Thanks Doug.” Bob replied.
“Me and the boys here were just on our way down to get ready for the Church Cookout tonight.” Copper said with a grin.
He turned to face the others.
“Now this right here is a shining example of an outstanding Officer of the Law. Even off duty, right before a big date no less, we find Bobby here still ensuring the safety of our citizens.” He laughed once again. His big belly bouncing up, and down.
“A date?” Christie quirked an eyebrow at this.
“Shit.” Bob thought.
“Yes Deputy Maxwell.” Father John cut. Smiling up at Bob, who stood a full head taller than the man.
“You truly are a good man, aren't you? You know you are always welcome in God's house my son. Perhaps tonight you, and you're lady friend might stop by, and partake in the festivities?”
“Th- Thank you Father. We just might do that.” Bob lied.
“Tell ya' what Bobby.” Copper said. “Why don't you go run along, and let me handle finding Mister Barnes?”
Bob let out a sigh of relief.
“Thanks Sheriff. I owe you one.”
The Sheriff waved this off with a grin.
“Don't mention it Bobby. But before you go, do you have any leads?”
“Leads?” Bob asked, not understanding.
Copper laughed.
“Yeah ya'know?! Like any idea where Barnes might have got off to?”
Just then there came a brief, faint echo of shifting trash from within the big green dumpster behind them. Everyone turned.
“I don't know. But I noticed a shoe that looks like one of his beside the dumpster.”
“Um. So did you take a look?” Quimby asked.
Deputy David Quimby could have passed for Larry Wilcox's twin. He acted like it to. The all American high school football hero, turned cop. Every day on the job you'd think that Quimby was acting out an episode of Chip's Patrol.
The man was wearing his pump-action Mossberg 590 strapped to his back. Though of course he didn't need it. The Deputy almost always had the weapon on him. He thought in made him look tough. And in truth it really did help him get laid.
“I actually just got here a minute before you did.” He answered. “I was about to look. But George said that he thought there was some kind of animal in the dumpster. So I was... Assessing the situation before approaching.”
“Hah!” Quimby exclaimed in a clearly fake laugh. Slapping a hand across one knee. “Ya'll are scared of a racoon in a dumpster?!”
“It ain't no racoon Officer Quimby.” Boston George replied in a foreboding tone.
Christie Ackerman huffed.
Bob just ground his teeth. Partly because he couldn't think of an adequate retort. But mostly because the answer might very well be “yes”.
That's when Bob realized how quiet in had gotten. The near constant chirping of chickadees was suddenly absent. He tried to remember if he'd heard any birds when he'd first gotten to the neighborhood.
“Don't none of ya'll worry you're pretty little head's off.” Sheriff Copper said as he began walking down the alleyway. “The Sheriff's on the jo– Oh what in the Hell?”
The Sheriff looked over the other's shoulders. Bob turned. The small group of onlookers from the salon had been joined by a few curious younger folks from the cafe. They were now gathered in the middle of the road watching them.
“Alright!” The Sheriff shouted toward the street. “There ain't nothin' to see here people! We're just havin' a conversation, and ya'll are wastin' your time if you're hoping for some action.”
“And since ya'll are grown up's I don't think that I have to lecture you on how dangerous it is to be standing in the middle of the road. Now I suggest that ya'll git!”
A couple people shuffled their feet. But no one really moved. The Sheriff huffed, and turned back around to face the dumpster.
“Fine.” He said. And began walking.
“Sheriff.” Father John said. And Copper paused. “I'd be careful. The woods, and swamps are not far away. And there's no telling what may have crawled out of the bogs this time of year.”
The Sheriff smiled.
“Awe Father, you're concern for my well being is truly touching. But I'm a big strong man, and think I can handle some little woodland critter.” He winked, and continued moving forward.
Copper walked up to the dumpster while the others watched with trepidation. Everyone except Quimby. He was standing there with his hands on his hips. Smiling ear to ear. No doubt thinking about how he was going to tell everyone at the Station about Bob's newfound dumpster phobia.
The Sheriff made it to within a foot of the dumpster and looked in. Nothing happened. He turned around to face the others. A big shit-eating "I'm better than you grin" plastered on his face.
"Ya'see fellas." he said. "There ain't nothing to be afraid of."
"Are ya' sure sheriff?" Boston George asked hesitantly.
Copper shrugged, and turned back around. Stepping up to the lip of the dumpster, he stood on his tip-toes to get a better look.
"Whatever animal it was prob-." The Sheriff's words caught in his throat and his body froze up like a dear in headlights.
"Jesus, Mary, and Jose-!" Copper's words were cut short as the two hundred and thirty pound man was violently ripped off his feet. Simultaneously there came a small explosion of trash. Garbage whizzed by, and Copper's uniform billowed as if caught in a strong gust of wind.
The big man went up, and over the edge. Disappearing in a blur. He didn't even have time to scream. Everyone instinctively back-pedaled.
The group of onlookers that had gathered in the street quickly herded themselves back across to the sidewalk on the other side of the road. The smaller group that had been near the dumpster practically leapt backward to the lip of the alleyway.
Deputy Quimby shouted in surprise. Christie screamed, and Bob joined her. To the passerby it might have sounded like the two were having a "damsel in distress " screaming contest. If they had been Deputy Maxwell, to his credit, would have won.
"Oh my Gaaad! Oh my Gaaad!" Boston George was shrieking over, and over as he back-pedaled into the street. His hysterics were abruptly cut short as he was suddenly struck by Henry McDuff's truck.
Marcus's son hadn't even noticed Boston George until the man was rolling up onto his hood. The farmer panicked as George smashed into his windshield. Simultaneously jerking the wheel hard to the left, while slamming on the breaks.
A split second later the rusty, red pickup smashed into a car parked in front of East Bay Salon. George went rolling off and over the hood of the other vehicle. Falling over the other side, and disappearing from McDuff's view almost as quickly as he'd appeared.
The open bed of the truck had been literally overflowing with freshly harvested apples. Upon impact, the fruit erupted out of the bed like a volcano. Creating a small apple tsunami that rolled across the street.
The screeching of tires forced Bob's horrified gaze from the the spot where Sheriff Copper had recently occupied, to the street behind him. But only for a moment. Once he realized that it was just a car accident he quickly snapped his gaze back down the alleyway. Pulling out his service revolver as he did so. Carnivorous dumpsters taking precedence over car accidents.
For a moment everybody just stood there in silence. Then there came a great rumble from within the Dumpster that to Bob, sounded like a giant burping. At the same time several pieces of trash shot up high into the air.
The crowd took another collective step backward as the assorted debris came raining down. Clattering, and clanking to the ground between themselves and the alleyway. Glass shattered. Empty metal cans went bouncing across the pavement.
The smaller group at the edge of the alley raised their hands over their heads protectively as garbage came falling to the ground all around them. A big aluminum can bounced off Bob's shoulder. It didn't really hurt, but it did make him jump.
The last thing to land was the Sheriff's hat. The brim had a jagged tear that looked like a shark had taken a bite out of it. The sight of the hat was apparently Quimby's breaking point.
For a second later the man let out a howl that was one part terror, and one part war cry. He raised the Pump Action (which Bob only now realized the Deputy had unslung from his back) and the weapon “BOOMED!” deafeningly. It happened so fast that Bob hadn't even had time to shout at him to stop, or he could hit the Sheriff.
The buckshot struck the side of the Dumpster. Sending out a shower of sparks. But as far as Bob could tell it failed to penetrate the thick metal.
Quimby continued moving forward. Pumping his shotgun and firing over, and over. Howling like a madman all the while.
**AUTHOR'S NOTE*\*
Hi! To anyone who might be familiar with my writing style, you'll already know that I don't know how to write a "proper" short story. It's a character flaw.;)
Anyway if you made it this far and would like to read the rest. I'm going to have the remainder posted in the comments section below. Labelled as (PT A, B, C, ect) Anyway. hope you enjoy the rest!
submitted by ChrisKoleszar to DrCreepensVault [link] [comments]


2020.08.30 03:11 Stoaticor NSW records 6 new local cases and 1 new overseas case

New cases reported in the last 24 hours


Other information

Justice Health and Forensic Mental Health Network (the Network) is taking appropriate health and safety measures after a staff member at Surry Hills Police Cells Complex was diagnosed with COVID-19. Contact tracing has been undertaken and the staff member is isolating.

NSW Health public health alerts in the last 14 days

Date published Title
30/08 Public health alert
29/08 City Tattersalls Fitness Centre
28/08 NSW Health Alert: 14 day guidelines for Aged Care visitors
27/08 Public health alert
26/08 Royal Hospital for Women at Randwick, City Tattersalls, Virgin Gym Zetland, bus routes in Blacktown, Rouse Hill and Mt Druitt
25/08 City Tattersalls Fitness Centre
22/08 Second hotel security guard tests positive
17/08 Sydney Market Flemington

Cases to date

Last 24 hours TOTAL
Confirmed cases +7 3,851
Active (NSW Gov) +1 181
Recovered N/A N/A
Deaths +0 54
Tests conducted +19,626 2,157,255
Treated by NSW Health -1 66
Hospitalised 14
ICU +0 6
Ventilated -1 3
ECMO +0 0

Sources of confirmed cases

Last 24 hours This week TOTAL
Locally - Known +6 41 1,303 (+1)
Locally - Unknown +0 8 391
Interstate +0 0 89
Overseas +1 7 2,068
Under investigation -1 0 0

Clusters in the last 14 days

Cluster Last 24 hours TOTAL Reported
Sydney CBD +5 28 Aug: 30, 29, 28, 27
Our Lady of Mercy School, Parramatta - 7 Aug: 25, 17, 15, 12, 11, 9
Thai Rock Restaurant Potts Point and linked clusters - 38 Aug: 23, 15, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1. July: 31, 30, 29, 28
July funeral events in the Bankstown area - 76 Aug: 22, 20, 18, 17, 15, 14, 12, 8, 6, 4, 3, 2, 1. July: 31, 30, 29, 28, 27, 26
Tangara School, Cherrybrook - 26 Aug: 22, 16, 15, 14, 13, 12, 11, 10, 9, 8
Chopstix Asian Cuisine, Smithfield RSL - 5 Aug: 17

Affected educational institutions in the last 14 days

School Suburb LGA Last 24 hours TOTAL Reported
Reddam Early Learning Centre Lindfield Ku-ring-gai +1 1 Aug: 30
St Paul's Catholic College Greystanes Cumberland +1 1 Aug: 30
Double Bay Public School Double Bay Woollahra - 1 Aug: 28
Homebush Public School Homebush Strathfield - 1 Aug: 28
St Gertrude's Catholic Primary School Smithfield Fairfield - 1 Aug: 28
Ryde Secondary College Ryde Ryde - 1 Aug: 28
Riverstone High School Riverstone Blacktown - 1 Aug: 26
Wyndham College Quakers Hill Blacktown - 1 Aug: 26
Schofields Public School Schofields Blacktown - 0 Aug: 27
Sydney Girls High School Surry Hills Sydney - 1 Aug: 17

Latest COVID-19 case locations in NSW - as of 30/08

The table below was last updated at 23:14:14PM on Sunday, 30 August. Please view the NSW Gov website for the most up to date information.
Increased testing and surveillance Self-isolate and get tested immediately Monitor for symptoms
Campbelltown LGA (Added) - Bus route X39 Auburn: Ramadan Pharmacy
Canterbury-Bankstown LGA (Added) - Caringbah: Highfield Caringbah Balgowlah: Fitness First Balgowlah
Eastern part of City of Sydney LGA Hunters Hill: Hunters Hill Bowling Club (indoor dining room) Burwood: Service NSW
Fairfield LGA Marrickville: Anytime Fitness Burwood: Westfield Shopping Centre
Hornsby Shire LGA (Added) - Randwick: Fitness First Cabramatta: Cabramatta Family Practice
The Hills LGA Sydney: City Tattersalls Fitness Centre (Added) - Caringbah: Caringbah Hotel
Liverpool LGA Zetland: Virgin Gym Drummoyne: Destro’s Pharmacy
Parramatta LGA Fairfield West: Aldi
Woollahra LGA Glebe: Broadway Shopping Centre
Hornsby: PRP Diagnostic Imaging
Hurlstone Park: Metro Petroleum
Manly: 4 Pines Manly Brew Pub
Marrickville: Eat Fuh
Marrickville: Liquorland (269 to 271 Marrickville Road)
Mosman: Archie Bear café, Mosman Rowers
(Added) - Randwick: Randwick Golf Club
Rosebery: Rosebery Post Shop, 371 Gardeners Road
St Ives: St Ives Shopping Centre, 166 Mona Vale Road
Sydney: 300 George Street
Sydney: Fitness First Bond Street
(Added) - Sydney: Virgin Active Margaret Street Gym
(Added) - Sydney: Virgin Active Pitt Street Gym
Turramurra: The Matterhorn
Wahroonga: Parish of Holy Name
Waitara: Magpies Waitara
Willoughby: Harris Farm
(Added) - Wollstonecraft: Mater Clinic
Zetland: Virgin Gym
(Removed) - Mount Druitt: Westfield Mount Druitt

Locally acquired, source not identified - as of 28/08

NOTE: The data below is for confirmed COVID-19 cases only based on the location of the usual residence, not necessarily where the virus was contracted.
Reported Postcode - LGA
27/08 2163 - Fairfield (C)
27/08 2164 - Fairfield (C)
27/08 2566 - Campbelltown (C) (NSW)
27/08 2234 - Sutherland Shire (A)
26/08 2076 - Ku-ring-gai (A)
25/08 2762 - Blacktown (C)
25/08 2762 - Blacktown (C)
25/08 2031 - Randwick (C)
25/08 2203 - Inner West (A)
21/08 2194 - Canterbury-Bankstown (A)
21/08 2168 - Liverpool (C)
20/08 2166 - Fairfield (C)
18/08 2177 - Fairfield (C)
18/08 2177 - Fairfield (C)

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2020.08.29 03:07 CoronavirusAU_MOD NSW records 13 new local cases and 1 new overseas cases

NSW records 13 new local cases and 1 new overseas cases

New cases reported in the last 24 hours

  • 13 local cases
    • 8 cases are linked to the Sydney CBD cluster. 2 are household contacts of previously reported cases. 3 attended the City Tattersall's Club, 3 were close contacts of people linked to this cluster
    • 2 cases are linked to other known cases or clusters
    • 3 cases are still under investigation
  • 1 is a returned traveller who is in hotel quarantine.
NSW Health is investigating whether the Sydney CBD cluster originated in the City Tattersall's Club, and then spread to businesses within the city, then to households across Sydney and the Central Coast.
NSW Health is asking anyone who attended the City Tattersall's Club, Sydney between the 4th and 18th of August to get a test and isolate until the result is known.


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NSW Health public health alerts in the last 14 days

Date published Title
29/08 City Tattersalls Fitness Centre
28/08 NSW Health Alert: 14 day guidelines for Aged Care visitors
27/08 Public health alert
26/08 Royal Hospital for Women at Randwick, City Tattersalls, Virgin Gym Zetland, bus routes in Blacktown, Rouse Hill and Mt Druitt
25/08 City Tattersalls Fitness Centre
22/08 Second hotel security guard tests positive
17/08 Sydney Market Flemington

Cases to date

Last 24 hours TOTAL
Confirmed cases +14 3,844
Active (NSW Gov) +4 180
Recovered N/A N/A
Deaths +0 54
Tests conducted +24,632 2,137,639
Treated by NSW Health -2 67
Hospitalised 14
ICU +0 6
Ventilated +0 4
ECMO +0 0

Sources of confirmed cases

Last 24 hours This week TOTAL
Locally - Known +14 35 1,296
Locally - Unknown +0 8 391 (-2)
Interstate +0 0 89
Overseas +1 8 2,067
Under investigation +1 1 1

Clusters in the last 14 days

Cluster Last 24 hours TOTAL Reported
Sydney CBD +8 23 Aug: 29, 28, 27
Our Lady of Mercy School, Parramatta - 7 Aug: 25, 17, 15, 12, 11, 9
Thai Rock Restaurant Potts Point and linked clusters - 38 Aug: 23, 15, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1. July: 31, 30, 29, 28
July funeral events in the Bankstown area - 76 Aug: 22, 20, 18, 17, 15, 14, 12, 8, 6, 4, 3, 2, 1. July: 31, 30, 29, 28, 27, 26
Tangara School, Cherrybrook - 26 Aug: 22, 16, 15, 14, 13, 12, 11, 10, 9, 8
Chopstix Asian Cuisine, Smithfield RSL - 5 Aug: 17

Affected educational institutions in the last 14 days

School Suburb LGA Last 24 hours TOTAL Reported
Double Bay Public School Double Bay Woollahra - 1 Aug: 28
Homebush Public School Homebush Strathfield - 1 Aug: 28
St Gertrude's Catholic Primary School Smithfield Fairfield - 1 Aug: 28
Ryde Secondary College Ryde Ryde - 1 Aug: 28
Riverstone High School Riverstone Blacktown - 1 Aug: 26
Wyndham College Quakers Hill Blacktown - 1 Aug: 26
Schofields Public School Schofields Blacktown - 0 Aug: 27
Sydney Girls High School Surry Hills Sydney - 1 Aug: 17

Latest COVID-19 case locations in NSW - as of 29/08

Increased testing and surveillance Self-isolate and get tested immediately Monitor for symptoms
Campbelltown LGA Hunters Hill: Hunters Hill Bowling Club (indoor dining room) Auburn: Ramadan Pharmacy
Canterbury-Bankstown LGA Marrickville: Anytime Fitness Balgowlah: Fitness First Balgowlah
Eastern part of City of Sydney LGA Sydney: City Tattersalls Fitness Centre Burwood: Service NSW
Fairfield LGA Zetland: Virgin Gym Burwood: Westfield Shopping Centre
Hornsby Shire LGA Cabramatta: Cabramatta Family Practice
The Hills LGA Drummoyne: Destro’s Pharmacy
Liverpool LGA Fairfield West: Aldi
Parramatta LGA Glebe: Broadway Shopping Centre
Woollahra LGA Hornsby: PRP Diagnostic Imaging
Hurlstone Park: Metro Petroleum
Manly: 4 Pines Manly Brew Pub
Marrickville: Eat Fuh
Marrickville: Liquorland (269 to 271 Marrickville Road)
(Added) - Mosman: Archie Bear café, Mosman Rowers
Mount Druitt: Westfield Mount Druitt
(Added) - Rosebery: Rosebery Post Shop, 371 Gardeners Road
(Added) - St Ives: St Ives Shopping Centre, 166 Mona Vale Road
Sydney: 300 George Street
Sydney: Fitness First Bond Street
Turramurra: The Matterhorn
Wahroonga: Parish of Holy Name
Waitara: Magpies Waitara
Willoughby: Harris Farm
Zetland: Virgin Gym

Locally acquired, source not identified - as of 28/08

NOTE: The data below is for confirmed COVID-19 cases only based on the location of the usual residence, not necessarily where the virus was contracted.
Reported Postcode - LGA
27/08 2163 - Fairfield (C)
27/08 2164 - Fairfield (C)
27/08 2566 - Campbelltown (C) (NSW)
27/08 2234 - Sutherland Shire (A)
26/08 2076 - Ku-ring-gai (A)
25/08 2762 - Blacktown (C)
25/08 2762 - Blacktown (C)
25/08 2031 - Randwick (C)
25/08 2203 - Inner West (A)
21/08 2194 - Canterbury-Bankstown (A)
21/08 2168 - Liverpool (C)
20/08 2166 - Fairfield (C)
18/08 2177 - Fairfield (C)
18/08 2177 - Fairfield (C)
16/08 2752 - Wollondilly (A)
14/08 2160 - Cumberland (A)

submitted by CoronavirusAU_MOD to CoronavirusDownunder [link] [comments]


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