THE 10 BEST Louisiana Casinos (with Photos) - Tripadvisor

List of casinos in Louisiana. Detailed information on Louisiana Casinos and Online Casinos. This includes Casino Resorts, indian casinos in Louisiana. Find casinos in Louisiana address, map, toll-free numbers, room/suite rates, buffet prices.

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[Lost in the Sauce] Trump admin hides Paycheck Protection program details; lawmakers benefit from loans

Welcome to Lost in the Sauce, keeping you caught up on political and legal news that often gets buried in distractions and theater… or a global health crisis.
Title refers to: The Trump admin is blocking IGs from getting info on over $1 trillion in relief spending, including corporation bailouts. The admin is also withholding PPP info from Congress, meaning we don't know if Trump or his family took taxpayer money. Additionally, we learned that at least 4 members of Congress have benefited from PPP money, but aren't required to disclose it.
Housekeeping:

Coronavirus

Inspectors general warned Congress last week that the Trump administration is blocking scrutiny of more than $1 trillion in spending related to the Covid-19 pandemic. According to the previously undisclosed letter, Department of Treasury attorneys concluded that the administration is not required to provide the watchdogs with information about the beneficiaries of programs like the $500 billion in loans for corporations.
Treasury Secretary Mnuchin refused to provide Congress with the names of recipients of the taxpayer-funded coronavirus business loans. After criticism, Mnuchin began to walk back his denial, saying he will talk to lawmakers on a bipartisan basis “to strike the appropriate balance for proper oversight” of PPP loans “and appropriate protection of small business information.”
At least 4 lawmakers have benefited in some way from the Paycheck Protection program they helped create. Politico has been told there are almost certainly more -- but there are zero disclosure rules, even for members of Congress.
  • Republicans on the list include Rep. Roger Williams of Texas, a wealthy businessman who owns auto dealerships, body shops and car washes, and Rep. Vicky Hartzler of Missouri, whose family owns multiple farms and equipment suppliers across the Midwest. The Democrats count Rep. Susie Lee of Nevada, whose husband is CEO of a regional casino developer, and Rep. Debbie Mucarsel Powell of Florida, whose husband is a senior executive at a restaurant chain that has since returned the loan.
Mick Mulvaney dumped as much as $550,000 in stocks the same day Trump assured the public the US economy was 'doing fantastically' amid the COVID-19 outbreak. Mulvaney unloaded his holdings in three different mutual funds, each of which is primarily made up of US stocks. The next day, the value of the mutual funds tanked.

Cases rising in many states

Good summary: There was supposed to be a peak. But the stark turning point, when the number of daily COVID-19 cases in the U.S. finally crested and began descending sharply, never happened. Instead, America spent much of April on a disquieting plateau, with every day bringing about 30,000 new cases and about 2,000 new deaths. This pattern exists because different states have experienced the coronavirus pandemic in very different ways…The U.S. is dealing with a patchwork pandemic.
As of Friday, coronavirus cases were significantly climbing in 16 states: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nevada, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, and Washington.
Oklahoma is experiencing a massive increase in coronavirus cases just days before Trump’s planned rally in Tulsa. In Tulsa county itself, 1 in roughly 390 people have tested positive. Yet Trump plans on cramming 20,000 people in an event with voluntary face mask policy and no social distancing. Attendees must sign a waiver that absolves the president’s campaign of any liability from virus-related illnesses.
  • On Monday, Pence lied saying that Oklahoma has “flattened the curve.” As you can see at any of the resources immediately below, this is not even close to true. Over the past 14 days, the state has seen a 124% increase in cases and reports 65% of ICU beds are in use.
  • Tulsa World Editorial Board: This is the wrong time and Tulsa is the wrong place for the Trump rally. "We don't know why he chose Tulsa, but we can’t see any way that his visit will be good for the city...Again, Tulsa will be largely alone in dealing with what happens at a time when the city’s budget resources have already been stretched thin."
  • Earlier in the day, Trump tweeted that he is a victim of double standards when it comes to perception of his decision to resume campaign rallies in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, declaring that attempts to “covid shame” his campaign “won’t work!”
Resources to track increases: There are many different sites with various methods of visualizing the spread of coronavirus. Here are some that may be particularly useful this summer… Topos COVID-19 compiler homepage and graphs of each state since re-opening. How we reopen Safely has stats on each state’s progress towards meeting benchmarks to reopen safely (hint: almost none have reached all the checkpoints). WaPo has a weekly national map of cases/deaths; the largest regional clusters are in the southeast.
On Monday, Trump twice said that “if we stop testing right now, we’d have very few cases, if any,” (video). Aside from the fact that cases exist even if we don’t test for them, we cannot explain the rising number of cases by increased testing capacity: In at least 14 states, the positive case rate is increasing faster than the increase in the average number of tests.
  • Reminder: In March Trump told Fox News that he didn't want infected patients from a cruise ship to disembark because it would increase the number of reported cases in the US. "I like the numbers being where they are," Trump said at the time. "I don't need to have the numbers double because of one ship that wasn't our fault."
Fired scientist Rebekah Jones builds coronavirus dashboard to rival Florida’s… Her site shows thousands more people with the coronavirus, and hundreds of thousands fewer who have been tested, than the site run by the Florida Health Department.

Equipment and supplies

More studies prove wearing masks limits transmission and spread of coronavirus… One study from Britain found that routine face mask use by 50% or more of the population reduced COVID-19 spread to an R of less than 1.0. The R value measures the average number of people that one infected person will pass the disease on to. An R value above 1 can lead to exponential growth. The study found that if people wear masks whenever they are in public it is twice as effective at reducing the R value than if masks are only worn after symptoms appear.
Meanwhile, Trump officials refuse to wear masks and Trump supporters copy his behavior… VP Mike Pence, leader of the coronavirus task force, published a tweet showing himself in a room full of Trump staffers, none wearing masks or practicing social distancing. Pence deleted the tweet shortly after criticism. A poll last week showed that 66% of likely-Biden-voters “always wear a mask,” while 83% of likely-Trump-voters “neverarely wear a mask.”
  • Trump’s opposition to face masks hasn’t stopped him from selling them to his supporters, though. The online Trump Store is selling $20 cotton American flag-themed face masks.
  • Yesterday, we learned that South Carolina Republican Rep. Tom Rice and family have tested positive for the coronavirus. Just two weeks ago, Rice was on the House floor and halls of the Capitol without wearing a mask.
Internal FEMA data show that the government’s supply of surgical gowns has not meaningfully increased since March… The slides show FEMA’s plan to ramp up supply into June and July hinges on the reusing of N95 masks and surgical gowns, increasing the risk of contamination. Those are supposed to be disposed of after one use.
Nursing homes with urgent needs for personal protective equipment say they’re receiving defective equipment as part of Trump administration supply initiative. Officials say FEMA is sending them gowns that look more like large tarps -- with no holes for hands -- and surgical masks that are paper-thin.
More than 1,300 Chinese medical-device companies that registered to sell PPE in the U.S. during the coronavirus pandemic used bogus registration data… These companies listed as their American representative a purported Delaware entity that uses a false address and nonworking phone number.
Florida is sitting on more than 980,000 unused doses of hydroxychloroquine, but hospitals don’t want it… Gov. Ron DeSantis ordered a million doses of the drug to show support for Trump, but very few hospitals have requested it.

Native American communities struggle

The CARES Act money for Native American tribes, meant to assist people during the pandemic, came with restrictions that are impeding efforts to limit the transmission of the virus. For instance, the funds can only be used to cover expenses that are "incurred due to the public health emergency." On the Navajo Nation, the public health emergency is inherently related to some basic infrastructure problems. 30% of Navajo don’t have running water to wash their hands, but the money can’t be used to build water lines.
Federal and state health agencies are refusing to give Native American tribes and organizations representing them access to data showing how the coronavirus is spreading around their lands, potentially widening health disparities and frustrating tribal leaders already ill-equipped to contain the pandemic. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has turned down tribal epidemiologists’ requests for data that it’s making freely available to states.
A Hospital’s Secret Coronavirus Policy Separated Native American Mothers From Their Newborns… Pregnant Native American women were singled out for COVID-19 testing based on their race and ZIP code, clinicians say. While awaiting results, some mothers were separated from their newborns, depriving them of the immediate contact doctors recommend. New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham announced that state officials would investigate the allegations.

Personnel & appointees

Former IG Steve Linick told Congress he was conducting five investigations into Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and the State Department before he was fired. In addition to investigating Pompeo's potential misuse of taxpayer funds and reviewing his decision to expedite an $8 billion arms sale to Saudi Arabia, Linick’s office was conducting an audit of Special Immigrant Visas, a review of the International Women of Courage Award, and another review "involving individuals in the Office of the Protocol."
  • Pompeo confidant emerges as enforcer in fight over watchdog’s firing: Linick testified that Undersecretary of State for Management Brian Bulatao, a decades-old friend of Pompeo’s, “tried to bully [him]” out of investigating Pompeo.
Trump has empowered John McEntee, director of the Presidential Personnel Office, to make significant staffing changes inside top federal agencies without the consent — and, in at least one case, without even the knowledge — of the agency head. Many senior officials in Trump's government are sounding alarms about the loss of expertise and institutional knowledge.
Trump’s nominee for under secretary of defense for policy, retired Army Brig. Gen. Anthony Tata, has a history of making Islamophobic and inflammatory remarks against prominent Democratic politicians, including falsely calling former President Barack Obama a Muslim.
Amid racial justice marches, GOP advances Trump court pick hostile to civil rights. Cory Wilson, up for a lifetime seat on the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit, has denied that restrictive voting laws lead to voter suppression and called same-sex marriage “a pander to liberal interest groups.”
Interior Secretary David Bernhardt has indefinitely extended the terms of the acting directors of the Bureau of Land Management and the National Park Service, sidestepping the typical Senate confirmation process for those posts and violating the Federal Vacancies Reform Act,

Courts and DOJ

The Supreme Court declined on Monday to take a closer look at qualified immunity, the legal doctrine that shields law enforcement and government officials from lawsuits over their conduct. Developed in recent decades by the high court, the qualified immunity doctrine, as applied to police, initially asks two questions: Did police use excessive force, and if they did, should they have known that their conduct was illegal because it violated a "clearly established" prior court ruling that barred such conduct? In practice, however, lower courts have most often dismissed police misconduct lawsuits on grounds that there is no prior court decision with nearly identical facts.
The Supreme Court ruled that federal anti-discrimination laws protect gay and transgender employees. Justice Neil M. Gorsuch and Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. joined the court’s liberals in the 6 to 3 ruling. They said Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits discrimination “because of sex,” includes LGBTQ employees.
  • Alito, writing more than 100 pages in dissent for himself and Thomas, accused the court's majority of writing legislation, not law. Kavanaugh wrote separately: "We are judges, not members of Congress...Under the Constitution and laws of the United States, this court is the wrong body to change American law in that way."
  • Just days before the SCOTUS opinion was released, the Trump administration finalized a rule that would remove nondiscrimination protections for LGBTQ people when it comes to health care and health insurance. The SCOTUS ruling may make it easier to challenge the changes made by Trump.
The Supreme Court also declined to take up California’s “sanctuary” law, denying the Trump administration’s appeal. This means that the lower court opinion upholding one of California's sanctuary laws is valid, limiting cooperation between law enforcement and federal immigration authorities. Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito, two of the Court's conservative members, supported taking up the case.
A federal appeals court appeared unlikely Friday to stop a judge from examining why the Justice Department sought to walk away from its prosecution of Michael Flynn. "I don't see why we don't observe regular order," said Judge Karen Henderson. "Why not hold this in abeyance and see what happens?" Judge Robert Wilkins told Flynn's lawyer that if Sullivan doesn't let the government drop the case, "then you can come back here on appeal."

Other

Good read: Fiona Hill on being mistaken as a secretary by Trump, her efforts to make sure he was not left alone with Putin, and what the US, UK and Russia have in common. “It’s spitting in Merkel’s face,” said Vladimir Frolov, a former Russian diplomat who’s now a foreign-policy analyst. “But it’s in our interests.”
  • Russia’s Foreign Ministry welcomed Trump’s plan to withdraw more than a quarter of U.S. troops from Germany.
  • Op-Ed: Why cutting American forces in Germany will harm this alliance
According to a new book, the Secret Service had to seek more funding to cover the cost of protecting Melania Trump while she stayed in NYC to renegotiate her prenup - taxpayers paid tens of millions of dollars to allow her to get better terms. Additionally, NYPD estimated its own costs conservatively at $125,000 a day.
Georgia election 'catastrophe' in largely minority areas sparks investigation. Long lines, lack of voting machines, and shortages of primary ballots plagued voters. As of Monday night, there were still over 200,000 uncounted votes.
Fox News runs digitally altered images in coverage of Seattle’s protests, Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone
Fox News Mocked After Mistaking Monty Python Joke for Seattle Protest Infighting
In addition to holding a rally on the day after Juneteenth (originally scheduled the day of), Trump will be accepting the GOP nomination in Jacksonville on the 60th anniversary of “Ax Handle Saturday,” a KKK attack on African Americans.
Environmental news:
  • Ruling against environmentalists, the U.S. Supreme Court decided that the federal government has the authority to allow a proposed $7.5 billion natural gas pipeline to cross under the popular Appalachian Trail in rural Virginia.
  • Trump administration has issued a new rule blocking tribes from protecting their waters from projects like pipelines, dams, and coal terminals.
  • The EPA published a proposal in the Federal Register that critics described as an assault on minority communities coping with the public health legacy of structural racism. The rule would bar EPA from giving special consideration to individual communities that bear the brunt of environmental risks — frequently populations of color.
  • The Trump administration is preparing to drill off Florida’s coast, but says it will wait until after the November election to avoid any backlash from Florida state leaders.
Immigration news
  • U.S. Customs and Border Protection used emergency funding meant for migrant families and children to pay for dirt bikes, canine supplies, computer equipment and other enforcement related-expenditures… The money was meant to be spent on “consumables and medical care” for migrants at the border.
  • ACLU files lawsuit against stringent border restrictions related to coronavirus that largely bar migrants from entering the United States.
  • Under Trump’s leadership, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has mismanaged its finances so badly that it has sought an emergency $1.2 billion infusion from taxpayers. When Trump took office, USCIS inherited a budget surplus. A large amount of funding is drained by its deliberate creation of more busy work for immigrants and their lawyers — as well as thousands of USCIS employees. These changes are designed to make it harder for people to apply for, receive or retain lawful immigration status.
  • Asylum-seeking migrants locked up inside an Arizona ICE detention center with one of the highest number of confirmed COVID-19 cases say they were forced to clean the facility and are 'begging' for protection from the virus
  • ICE plans to spend $18 million on thousands of new tasers and the training to use them
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WATCH LIVE 2:30 PM Governor John Bel Edwards COVID-19 Press Conference

During the last press conference, Governor Edwards stated that the next conference would take place the same time next week, and as of 9:30 AM, there hasn't been an announcement stating otherwise. I will update this post if the time changes.
LINKS TO WATCH

SUMMARY

Gov. John Bel Edwards
The "Great Doctor" Billioux - LDH continues to try to publish more and more data weekly. They have added more information such as the percent of positive cases by regions and hospitalization breakdown by region to the Dashboard. - The difference between this rise in cases and what we saw earlier on is that we have significantly more data which allows us to communicate to you a lot more early warning signs. - We haven't yet seen real big rises in ventilator usage like our neighbors in Texas, but if these curves continue we will probably see these numbers go up. - More individual information was added this week regarding race data. * Louisiana was one of the first states to provide race data for people dying by COVID-19. - LDH now feels comfortable putting out race data by cases. * There is still 19% of cases that they do not have race data. Whether it is from lack of information taken when someone is tested or inability to get information from contact tracing. - Still see there is a disproportionate number of African Americans who are contracting COVID-19 when compared to their white counterparts. * This is also true for our Latin-X communities. - The disparity is starting to narrow, at least for deaths. - It is important that we know where COVID-19 is and how to protect ourselves. - At the regional level, we can see other races beyond the Black and White races available for parish data. - Where is COVID Spreading?
Outbreak Setting Number of Outbreaks Cases % of Cases
Food Processing 11 423 30%
Bar 36 393 27%
Industrial Setting 16 117 8%
College/University 3 84 6%
Restaurant 16 68 5%
Construction Site 3 48 3%
Casino 4 38 3%
Social Event - Private 3 38 3%
Office Space 8 36 3%
Wedding 7 31 2%
Gym/Fitness Setting 3 26 2%
Ship/Boat 1 25 2%
Other Worksite 8 24 2%
Social Event - Public 1 24 2%
Child Daycare 7 17 1%
Religious Services/Event 2 17 1%
Recreation 2 10 1%
Retail Setting 3 8 1%
Camp 1 5 0%
Grand Total 135 1,432 100%

Questions by Dr. Billioux

Explain the 14-day quarantine...
Gov referenced the need to quarantine for 14 days. As we do contact tracing and tell them they may have been exposed, we know that some people's initial urge is to go out get tested. More often than not its been several days since your exposure, so testing is reasonable. If you know you have been exposed today it is not advisable to get a test today. Regardless of being tested, 5 days after exposure and it is negative, you can still turn positive on day 13 or 14. Quarantining is for 14 days regardless of your test result. If you ae been exposed you need to do whatever you can to isolate yourself from other members of your household and certainly do not go out.
Why we are seeing cases in college universities when they are currently closed?
So there is a couple of data points that we have around that. One is that for the last week or so more than 1/3 have been from 18-29 certainly 29 or less. So that is the same population we would see around college campuses. The other point that I may is that even though the universities may not be open hey still remain centers of our community were people of this age group reside. A university draws a large group from that age range so it is not surprising to see an increase in those locations. Note it is 3 we have identified out of 84 cases. We are trying to engage college students to make sure our message is clear to inform them on the best ways to keep themself safe. Even though are seeing very few people are needing hospitalization and even fewer are dying but if you increase the number of people who are exposed in this age group the number of people who will be hospitalized or who die will also increase. We now have 25,000 active cases statewide, even if these individuals are in a low-risk group for bad outcomes for COVID, but anywhere anyone else goes there is a higher chance of being exposed to COVID-19 whether they are going to bar or a gym the likelihood of catching the virus is higher.
Cannot hear question - will update later
We definitely see most cases coming from population centers but from the beginning, we have seen cases coming from rural settings. If you look at the map every parish has cases, as we increase testing in smaller parishes we see increases in cases. Some of our smaller parishes rank highest in the amount of COVID cases and deaths in the nation. It is a problem that is truly statewide. This is not a New Orleans or EBR problem, we have COVID cases rises spreading everywhere across the state in the way we did not in March.
Are you tracking cases in prisons and correctional facilities? Why isn't this reported on the Dashboard.
We track cases wherever they come from. We want to know if they are from individuals that are residing in the setting or staff that work in a setting. We recently partnered with the CDC to do more comprehensive testing in a prison int he North, we work with the DEpt. of Corrections with their testing procedures, same on the parish level to help them support their testing. Individuals' locations are not identified to the public unless they are posing a risk to the public. If we take an example of the bars in Baton Rouge and were not able to identify everyone who had been there we did make a public statement. It is not mandated by the Federal government to be reported like nursing homes are.
How can we make restaurants safer
We always look at how we can make any setting safer. Recently we are looking at how we can increase enforcement. Having people in these settings to makes sure staff and patrons are doing what they can reduce their risk in these settings. Bars produce a particular risk. You may be leaning in closer to yell over sounds or if you are slowly drinking a drink you are not taking a mask on and off. We are visiting those sites.
How many new citations or violations have been given from the LDH
Data is not available. Normally we give a warning and then a follow-up visitation and if that is not corrected by the followup visit a citation is not ordered.
Are you planning to break up COVID-location exposure by regions
No. Anyone one of these settings you should assume it is going on in your neighborhood. What is more important is to make a self-assessment when you enter a setting if it is safe for you to be there or not.
Gov. John Bel Edwards

Question by Gov Edwards

Earlier you compared us to Texas. Texas is limited crowd size, cracking down on restrictions, and adding a statewide mask mandate. Are you considering limiting crowd sizes, adding restrictions, or instituting a mask mandate?*
Other states are considering closing bars and indoor dining. Seeing the surge in cases have you reconsidered the current restrictions on restaurants and bars?
I will tell you that we are getting the guidance directly from the cOronavirus task force as well we have done over 3,100 site visits over the last 10 days or so. Primarily working through the Free Marshall Office we are trying to gain more compliance with existing restrictions and are having success in almost every case. We will be starting our followup visits and if there are repeat violations actions will be taken there. In regards to 50% occupancy for on-premises dining, we are on par with what Texas is doing now. Our decision not to go into Phase 3 was the right decision. I can only imagine what the case would be if we removed to Phase 3. We are paying attention to all of these things and maybe making some adjustments to the restrictions. Currently, we remain focused on getting compliance with existing restrictions. If this proves to be insufficient to get our numbers under control we whatever is necessary to not put a strain on our hospitals. We are not there today but we are on-trend to get there.
President Trump says he wants all students returning to school for in person instruction, do you have guidance on what you would like to see with schools reopening?
First of all, I would hope aspirationally we want to see our schools open 5 days a week for in-person instruction, but at the same time, we have to balance the interest of preserving the health of students, staff, and faculty. We need to look at what situation is at any given time of the situation, particularly in advance of when that school year will commence. You will see school districts implementing even more measures to protect students, staff, and faculty. Under no circumstance do we anticipate a return to pre-COVID normal. Even if we have in-person instruction on campus it will not look like how it was prior to COVID. Not like to see school assemblies, students eating in lunch, students will not be coming into contact with people who are not their immediate cohorts. It is important to get students back onto campus not just for education but for nutrition, social well being, mental health services, and we have to remember that teachers and school counselors are mandatory reporters when they suspect a child has been subject to abuse or neglect. For all these reasons we ant them back on our campuses but we ate to do it safely. Only recently the CDC related a plethora of guidance. K-12 leaders are pouring over that now to make sure it is incorporated into our plans of reopening. Impossible to know on July 8th what it will look like or whether it will even be possible to open schools a month from now.
Question about fall sports and Senators Fields request that K-12 sports be cancelled for the Fall
It is a little too early to say on July 8th what this will look like. I appreciate the concerns of Senator Fields, that decision may be a prudent decision but we are not at the time where that decision needs to be made. WE need to know al little more and get a little deeper into the calendar before the decision is made.
Question about how Gov. Edwards feels about then comparison of wearing a mask to the holocaust
It is utter nonsense and sad. My best advice to anyone who wants to talk about any person or situation today and compare it back to the nazis or the holocaust is not appropriate. Certainly not in this circumstance where mask-wearing is recommended across the world now, including by our own Federal Govern and White House to wear masks to stop a disease that is highly contagious and highly lethal. It just misses the boat on all fronts to compare that to something related to the holocaust.
cannot hear question
Dr. Birx called me last week they were looking at certain hot posts across the country where you had increases in cases and positivity that were very pronounced. They wanted to assist going into those areas with additional testing, with the hopes of identifying more people with the coronavirus, put them into quarantine, and cool off these hot spots. In EBR we may be seeing this because of the younger demographic, we are a college town, we do not know why we are seeing it but we appreciate the help and hope to get the 5,000 additional tests today between now and July 18th. This is the only federally sponsored testing taking place in Louisiana presently. If you have questions about this testing or how to take advantage of it call 2-1-1 doineedtogetacovid19test.com to pre-register. [location of testing sites]
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IDEAS FOR GTA 6 (VI) (STORY/MAP/FEATURES...) NON OFFICIAL ! ! !

Hello guys, I am writing my whishlists about GTA 6, I lost my hope for GTA 6 while Rockstar don't answer us about it, if anybody wants GTA 6 or don't, stop writing GTA 6 in Rockstar games Social Media Posts, just be silent to GTA 6 be exist soon, because we tried everything so why we don't do that at least, this words for Rockstar Games Community and haters, and this post is only a idea for GTA 6 not a leak.

1- Features:
- 3 Playable Protagonist
- For the First Time in the Series there is a Female Protagonist
- Return Characters From GTA 4 and GTA 5 (HD GTA) and Some Protagonist Appear and Mentioned
- Multiple Cities and States
- Huge Map
- More Enjoyable Minigames (Shopping, Trading, Smuggling, Kidnapping, Racing, etc...)
- The Graphics is Better than RDR 2 Graphics
- The Physics are the same as Max Payne 3 and RDR 2
- More Wilderness
-More Animals to add
- Alot of Small Towns in The Map
- 2 Limited Places: Las Vegas (Las Ventures) , Mexico City (Capitalo)

2- States:
- Florida (Florida)
- New York (Liberty)
- New Jersey (Alderney)
- Pennsylvania / Michigan / Illinois (???)
- Georgia / Alabama / Mississippi / Louisiana (Lemoyne)
3- Cities:
- Miami (Vice City)
- Tampa (Cottonmouth)
- Orlando (???)
- Jacksonville (???)
- Atlanta (???)
- New Orleans (Saint Denis)
- Washington D.C (Capital City)
- Chicago / Detroit / Philadelphia (Carcer City)
- Atlantic City (???)
- Jersey City / Newark (Alderney City)
- New York City (Liberty City)
- Albany (???)
- Buffalo (???)

4- Protagonist:
- Marcus Jackson: he is 26 years old, Street Gang Member, Lives in Carcer City, he is African American man
- Walton Parker: he is 45 years old, Retired Drug Dealer, Lives in Vice City, he is a Widower with one 9 years old kid, he is American
- Kate Williamson: she is 23 years old, Hacker and Smart Thief, Lives in Liberty City, She is American

5- Story:
(The game is About Mafias Family's and Drug Lords) ( The Game isn't Dark Like GTA 4 and Bright Like GTA 5 its in the Middle)
- In the Prologue the game will start in (1999) Las Ventures, a Young man Called (Walton Parker) and he is 22 years old, he doing some sort of drug dealing with a big Russian Mafia Boss somewhere in Caligula Hall Casino, then the deal not going fine, then it will start a big shooting ,then you need to run away from the casino, when you get out there is someone who was waiting for Walton, and he is the brother of the Mafia Boss, a sniper shot got in his face, that was Walton's Friend (Stanley) Protecting him, then Stanley Takes Walton To the Airport, Fly To Vice City.
After 24 years Later (2023) you will start playing with Kate, Doing hers Routine, After that She entered a Jewelry Store, stealing alot amount of jewelry with a Smart way, without someone Caught her, she out the store and stole a super car smartly, runs to hers house and hack the camera's the store then she finished doing that and see the view of the city.
Taking us to Carcer City with Marcus, rolling with his gang members suddenly heard some guns shot, they go to find out, only some other gangs start gun war, starting a gun fight till finish, Marcus house is the only stolen house from the other, he takes his friend Chris to the market to buy, suddenly in the middle of trip the car is low fuel, then you need to go to the gas station to gas it up, after that they reached to the market and buy some resources and back to home, then here starts the open world.
After Completing Some Missions there is a Mission that Marcus needs to have a deal to get some drugs from the Big Mafias in the City, he go there and make the deal, telling him there is a drug dealer you need to go and he lives in Vice City, Marcus go with 2 Mafia Members and fly to Vice City.
In a Park of Vice City there is Middle Aged Guy sitting with his son ,preparing to going to School ,he takes his kid to School, After that there is a Call From Stanley telling him to go with the Ex - Mafia Leader of Vice City he Go there, and takes the drugs because there is deal needs to happen like the final mission for him to get out the Mafia, he takes the Drugs and go with 4 Mafia members, they Making the deal in a Industrial place in Vice City, Suddenly there is a Ambush from a Mexican Gang some of the members dies, Marcus and 2 of the Members runs away, and Walton in his alone Fight with the enemies, he finished then he want to grab the money and the Drugs but he Saw a Bomb there is Activated then he Can't Do anything only to Run, he get out the place with Big Explode there, he runs away without the Money and The Drugs.
Now the Both of them in Big Trouble and the game going to combine the Problems with them to help each other, with kate to be Featured and Help them.

- I Hope Everyone Enjoys the Ideas That I am Sharing, and Remember Guys this is a ideas for GTA 6 and not Official, Maybe Some of the things that I mentioned maybe Appeared In GTA 6 So Don't get Your Hopes high Because Maybe Some them Happend.
submitted by h_2k_gaming to GTA [link] [comments]

COVID-19 MegaThread - Please put everything here.

Please post any links or comments here. We'll be removing any others going forward.
Links:
Date Cases Deaths Tested (state) Tested (comm.)
3/09/20 1 - - -
3/10/20 6 - - -
3/11/20 13 - - -
3/12/20 19 - - -
3/13/20 36 - - -
3/14/20 77 1 - -
3/15/20 103 2 - -
3/16/20 5:30pm 136 3 - -
3/17/20 9:30am 171 3 - -
3/17/20 5:30pm 196 4 531 -
3/18/20 9:30am 240 5 597 -
3/18/20 6:30pm 280 7 703 -
3/19/20 9:30am 347 8 805 -
3/19/20 5:30pm 392 10 899 -
3/20/20 9:30am 479 10 1,047 -
3/20/20 5:30pm 537 14 1,084 -
3/21/20 9:30am 585 16 1,230 1,535
3/21/20 7:30pm 763 20 1,294 2,008
3/22/20 9:30am 837 20 1,385 2,113
3/23/20 12:00pm 1,172 34 1,634 4,314
3/24/20 12:00pm 1,388 46 1,852 6,751
3/25/20 12:00pm 1,795 65 2,037 9,414
3/26/20 12:00pm 2,305 83 2,254 15,775
3/27/20 12:00pm 2,746 119 2,476 18,883
3/27/20 12:00pm 2,746 119 2,476 18,883
3/28/20 12:00pm 3,315 137 2,694 22,467
3/29/20 12:00pm 3,540 151 2,932 24,939
Source = http://ldh.la.gov/Coronavirus/
submitted by Tymanthius to batonrouge [link] [comments]

A Thorough Review of Robins AFB

COPY PASTA from my post at AirForce!
A Thorough Review of Robins AFB
Hello Everyone,
This is my review of Robins AFB after living here for the past 5 years. Hope you find this helpful!
If you’re familiar with using Google Map/GPS to help you get to a military base, it can be difficult to find an open gate without your GPS telling you to turn/U-Turn into a closed gate!
Put in your GPS, “Martin’s BBQ, 102 S Armed Forces Blvd, Warner Robins, GA 31088.” It will take you to Watson Blvd and to the only 24hr gate; Watson Gate. This is also the gate to get visitor passes for your friends/family.
The other gate you’ll be using a lot is Russell gate which is connected to Russell Pkwy. I’ll be assuming you’re driving from the Atlanta airport, so south of Highway 247. GPS the “Museum of Aviation” and about 100 yards before you arrive at the MoA, exit right to Russell Gate. Note, Russell Gate closes at 2400 (0100 on Fri and Sat only) and opens up at 0430 on weekdays and 0500 on the weekends. Hours subject to change, check online for more specific hours!
Green Gate and MLK Gate are two other notable gates mainly for inbound and outbound traffic in the morning rush/afternoon rush.
Bowling Alley: 908 Ninth Street (478-926-2112)
Fitness CenteBase Gym: 826 Eighth Street (478-926-9128)
Fitness Annex/24 Hour Gym: Bldg 301 (478-926-2840)
Finance: 236 Milledgeville Street Suite 526 (478-926-4022)
Heritage Club/Restaurant: 956 Ninth St (Various Numbers)
ITT/Outdoor Recreation: Bldg 984 (Located next to the Main BX) (478-926-4001)
Medical Clinic: 655 Seventh St (478-327-7850 Appointment Line)
MPF/MPS: 660 Macon St (478-327-5666)
Warner Robins - The main city outside of Robins AFB is Warner Robins. WR will be referenced a lot while you are here at Robins. WR can be summed up in a few words as a small-sized southern city with churches and chain restaurants. The city consists of two main counties; Houston (pronounced “House Ton” and not “Hugh’s Town.” People will correct you on this!) and Peach County.
Macon - Located about 15 miles north of Robins AFB/Warner Robins. Macon has a lot of history and is nicknamed the “Heart of Georgia” because it is in the center of GA. Honestly IMO, Macon is pretty ghetto… What happened to Macon is similar to Detroit.. Both places were once thriving industrial cities until their main asset collapsed. You’ll see a lot of abandoned buildings when you drive to downtown Macon. It is pretty sad. There are some nice areas in Macon to visit though, like around Zebulon Road. I’d still recommend going downtown to eat at some nice mom and pop stores. Make sure to never go alone, however.
Savannah - Located about 2 ½ hours to 3 hours South-East/East of Robins. It is the #1 “Most Haunted” city in the United States apparently. It is really fun to visit. Eat seafood and go on some ghost tours while you’re there. The #3 Ice Cream Shop in the U.S. is in Savannah, Leopolds, if you love ice cream. The vibe can be described as a cross between Florida and South Carolina and “hipster-ish” thanks to SCAD there. Be prepared to walk a lot. Free parking on the weekends! Almost every store gives military discounts since there is an Army Base nearby. Give yourself 3 days and 2 nights to really have a grasp and enjoy Savannah.
Atlanta - The capital of GA and the place to be! It is located about 100 miles north of Robins which takes about 2 ½ hours to drive, thanks to the good ol’ Atlanta traffic! There is an abundant amount of things to do and sightsee that I will talk about later in this post.
Owen’s Boarding House is one of my favorite mom and pop stores in WR and it's really close to the base for a quick lunch! Owen’s is an all-you-can-eat lunch-only southern restaurant, dig in those chicken wings! It’s about $10.50, cash only.
The Rookery, in downtown Macon, is one you’ll hear a lot of. It is an old southern/burger joint. The store has a fancy dining upstairs; The Dovetail, if you’re into that.
Martin's BBQ, I referenced it earlier as a good point to locate Robins AFB but it is also a popular BBQ!
WR really loves Mexican food, and so do I! Taco Shed is next to the Museum of Aviation, it is American Mexican food. Salsa’s which is a dining American Mexican restaurant. My Grandma’s Empanadas and Luis for more authentic Mexican food. Cuban Cafe sells pretty good Cuban food. Tacos and More, I wasn't a huge fan of it but one of the comments mentioned it and it does sell $1 tacos, try it out!
Wasn't a fan of Saigon Noodle in WR, its close to base, which is why I believe their portions are small for a Vietnamese place. Plus, the Pho soup has MSG!
Pho Saigon in Macon is great, however. Good portions, and no MSG in their soups!
Stir King is a nice American Chinese place which gives good portions. I am not a fan of the “Japanese” food in WR, better go to Atlanta for real sushi and ramen. Also… screw all of WR’s Hibachi restaurants.
I did not mention any corporate/franchise restaurants since you may already be familiar with them and only want to mention the mom n pop stores.
They’re also “Senior Airmen” dorms for Airmen who’ve stayed longer in the dorms. Essentially, a SrA dorm is a larger dorm with no suite-mate and no kitchen. If the dorms have no availability, Airmen with the longest TOS (Time-on-Station) will be allowed to leave early. You can ask regularly if the dorms are full and maybe you can leave ahead of others.
Certain circumstances can allow you to leave the dorms early such as being a mature age (like over the age of 30) or being married but your spouse is currently living elsewhere due to service, school, etc.
My personal experience: I lived in the dorms and I would describe the overall experience as “okay.” It can be hit or miss with a good suite-mate and your dorm might have mold in them... I didn’t though. Typically activities of dorm airmen include going clubbing, the gym, and/or playing video games. Overall, I enjoyed living in the dorms because of the access to network with other Airmen, not cooking my own food, because of the DEFAC, and friends were just close by.
I lived in Warner Robins after I moved off base from the dorms, and the area was okay. Generally speaking, the further you live off base, (and this goes for all military bases) the safer the environment becomes.
If you’re wanting to live in a nicer area and/or have kids. Look into living in cities Kathleen and/or Bonaire. The area and school system (like Houston County High School) is much nicer than the rest of the public school system.
Cities like Perry and Bryon have far commutes of at least 20 minutes but can be described as “rural” if like not knowing your neighbors.
IMO, please do yourself a favor and do not live off or near Green St. (Hint. It’s right off Green St Gate!) I would also not recommend living in Macon. Imma be real and say Macon is pretty ghetto in most parts of the city (unless you live off Zebulon Rd) and the commute to work is going to be at least 20 mins to work. Edit: Forgot to mention Riverside in Macon. It is still relatively new and the area is nice and so are the neighborhoods. The Riverside Mall is an outdoor mall, very safe and clean. Don't go to the Macon Mall, however.
Essentially, South-West of Warner Robins is the best place to live. Where Feagin Mill Rd and Highway 96 is.
Off Base Housing community is called Huntington Chase, it’s ghetto from what my co-workers have told me as they’ve gunshots go off frequently and cars are breaking into. Off-Base housing is open to civilians and not just military.
Coca Cola Factory - Entry is free for military (does not include dependents) and it is a nice place to go on a date. Try flavors of coke from around the world!
Aquarium - IMO, the experience felt it was geared towards children, I would only pay during special military days because $33 is not worth the visit!
Atlanta Zoo - Never been but it is another sight seeing opportunity.
Dragon Con - A.K.A. “Comic Con of the East.” Where 80k of your “best friends” come meet in a 4-day comic/pop culture/movie/ convention which spans across 5 hotels! Most people get turned off when they hear “comic” as they associate this con with sweaty nerds… Well, they aren’t wrong! But I can guarantee you’ll be missing out if you did not attend this con at least once while you’re at Robins. Even if you don’t love comics, movies, anime, or pop culture (who doesn’t like at least one of the 4?) you can open drink in public for the duration of the con! It is always during Labor Day weekend every year. And if you don’t mind paying for the price of a host hotel, they’re worth it. Good luck because they get booked fast!
Anime Weekend Atlanta - An Anime Con that specializes on having Japanese pop/rock stars to play in the con!
MomoCon - An Anime Con that specializes in 24hour gaming/arcade gaming for the entire weekend!
Ponce City Market - A hipster food and shopping market that used an abandoned factory as their shopping district. Please do yourself a favor and park in Ponce City Market’s parking and not try to get “free” parking from the plaza across the street. You’ll get a “boot” on your car when you come back and have to pay a fine… Ask me how I figured that out...
Caffeine and Octane - A huge car meet in Atlanta that meets regularly.
Mardi Gras: The drive to Louisiana is about 6 hours but I know some Airmen who made the trip to be there for Mardi Gras.
Florida: The drive will take at least 3 hours to cross the Florida border. Florida is fun, do I need to say more?
Professional Sports: Altanta Hawks, Braves, and Falcons! Look for special discounts near Veterans days like Hoops for Troops. The Falco
Don’t forget to check the ITT office for free or reduce price activities for “single Airmen!” Seriously, I’ve gone skydiving, deep sea fishing, paintballing, etc for free or reduced prices! 50% of Disney Park passes!
Obviously, there are more things to do than the list I provided, DYOR and maybe you’ll find a place and/or hidden gem you’ll love!
A lot of your co-workers will most likely talk crap about Robins. Well, they’re probably the same salty Airmen who put Robins AFB, 9th, on their dream sheet and how trying to figure out how Eglin or Macdill wasn’t chosen even though it was #1 and #3 on their dream sheet. But even if they aren’t those types of Airmen.... Robins is one of those “what you make of it bases.”
You. Yes you, Airman, have to create your own experiences and be willing to leave your dorm and not be a dorm rat to make memories at Robins. This base isn’t centrally located to anything known for “fun” like all the bases in San Antonio, all Florida bases, Travis, Keesler and the casinos, etc. Even that hot A1C still has to make an effort to venture out and explore new roads and can’t rely on other people to do it for them.
“Robins-ism.” For whatever reason, “Robin-ism” is basically AFIs and the proper order of how to do things in the Air Force... does not apply the same for Robins. You’ll hear a lot of “that’s not how we did that at my last base.” People say it's because the amount of civilians outnumbers the military 3:1. And with that, if the civilians don’t like the AFI/protocol, it will slowly but surely die out and a “Robin-ism” method of how to do things soon takes over. I am not blaming the large civilian population, it is just what Airmen accept is the reason why some people on this base can be lazy at times.
Allergies. If you never experienced allergies or have in the past. Well, Warner Robins has a surprise for you... Seriously, you could potentially suffer from bad allergies.
I hope you found this review helpful if you're incoming to Robins whether it'd be a PCS or TDY, or if you just wanted to read my review.
Edit: Added more info.
Edit 2: I have since PCSed from Robins in 2020.
submitted by Be-a-better-wingman to RateMyAFB [link] [comments]

First Actual Session of Mage Game

I'm writing these up and putting them on the website for our game, but here is the transcript for those interested who don't want to click anywhere.
The session began with D (Len) and S (Matthew) having a pre-canon sparring match in order to mechanically explore their characters. They were joined by B (Azrail) and K (Arlo) towards the end. After this scene concluded D decided on a soft rewrite of their character, and Len has been retconned as having alway been a Mastigos.
(Narration Begins Here)
While working at the casino Arlo noticed Jenetic of the First Watch cabal enter and take a seat. After concluding their set, Arlo approached Jenetic to greet their fellow Thyrsus and see why she was there. Jenetic informed Arlo that one of her cabalmates, Calamity had been having troubling dreams, dreams which involved the Moon raining blood down upon a small town. Furthermore, Calamity had determined that, of those Awakened present in Shreveport, it was someone in TBD who would be most likely to have some connection to the vision. Jenetic handed over several high quality pencil sketches of the vision (an image of a Main Street with stores visible, one with the Moon low in the sky, and a third with the Moon raining down blood upon the street). Arlo sent a message to their Cabalmates asking everyone to meet at the Sanctum the following day to talk over the mystery.
Assembling in the Sanctum, a basement room beneath Hidden Treasures Pawn Shop, TBD discussed the question. Matthew recognized the strip of Main Street in the drawings as being of Anacoco, Louisiana, a small town just north of Deesville, about two and a half hours from Shreveport. Len decided to scry upon the location. He improvised a scrying window, utilizing the drawings as a symbolic yantra. Once he had a view of Main Street, he utilized his Active Mind Sight to observe the people. Len noticed that several of the people going about their business seemed to have chains connected to them, signs which he interpreted as lingering marks of compulsion and addiction. The chains were inconsistent in their placement though, seeming to flicker in and out of existence. Matthew attempted to scrutinize the area with Active Mage Sight, but failed to notice any effects connected to Awakened Magic within the bounds of the scrying window. Still the evidence of some type of compulsion, coupled with Calamity's vision, convinced the Cabal that it would be worth going to Anacoco to investigate. The Cabal took a day to prepare themselves. As they had done in the past, First Watch was willing to front TBD with some operating capitol in exchange for taking care of the problem and not allowing it to reach Shreveport. Matthew collected tass in the form of water from the Sanctums Hallow for the trip. Getting into Matthew's truck, they drove south.
(NOTE: In the alternate continuity of this setting, the city of Alexandria is instead a very small town. The towns of Leesville and DeRidder grew rapidly in the aftermath of World War 2 and have merged into the municipality of Deesville. Interstate 49 runs south from Shreveport through Deesville before reaching Lake Charles. Fort Polk is in the same location, though it is a logistical base as opposed to a Light Fighter Training Center)
As the group exited the Interstate to approach Anacoco, everyone could feel a flair within their Peripheral Mage Sight. Pulling off on the side of the road, the group began trying to sense what was happening around them. Azrail was able to detect some type of Death based compulsion effect, extremely wide spread in scope. It manifested to his Active Mage Sight as a barrier of bloody teeth and spikes, running off in both directions, oriented outward. Again this effect did not seem to be a result of Supernal Magic, though it was suffused with the symbols of Death. Perplexingly, the effect was not constant. It seemed to flicker in and out of existence. At some points it looked like it had been left to decay over a period of years, at other times it looked as if it had been refreshed within the last week. Matthew pulled out his Hagstone and used it to help focus his Mage Sight. He corroborated that the barrier effect was Fallen in nature, though the flickering property of it seemed to be Supernal in nature, possibly an effect of the Time arcana. The Cabal decided to proceed to the motel to check in before exploring further.
Three rooms later and belongings put away, Azrail, Arlo, and Matthew were ready to investigate further. Len teleported back to the Sanctum (D was ill and had to leave the game). Loading into the truck, the Cabal headed out of town going south until they again encountered the barrier. The barrier was much stronger than before, an observation that Azrail attributed to it now being after sunset. Finding a spot along the periphery of the barrier, the Cabal took to examining the area in detail. Azrail noted that the substance of the barrier seemed to be emanating from a pattern of splotches along the ground. While there appeared to be no physical substance to the splotches, they had all of the appearance of having been blood splatter. Utilizing Focused Mage Sight, Azrail determined that the blood was in quantities that would have been fatal, that the manner in which it was spilled was significant, and that the barrier would work to keep away those who it was attenuated for.
While this was going on, Arlo began looking for spirits in the area which might know something. Looking across the Gauntlet, Arlo saw what appeared to be an Owl made of smoke and shadow, sitting upon the branch of a tree, watching them. The presence of the owl disturbed Arlo, as it did not appear to be a Spirit. Asked what it was doing, the Owl replied that it was watching and waiting, that it was trapped and not able to seek its prey. When asked what its prey was, the Owl replied that it hunted the Beast that Hunts the Blood. It was hunting an Elder when the world blinked and it found itself trapped in this place. It asked if Arlo could open the way for it to leave this place so that it could continue its hunt.
Matthew turned his attention to the strange stuttering effect which was making the barrier seem to flicker in and out of existence. After some time spent attempting to unravel the Mystery, Matthew determined that the effect was in fact Supernal in nature, with symbolism resembling Thorns and the passage of time. This lead Matthew to the conclusion that the entire area was blanketed in a powerful Time effect.
Comparing notes, Azrail decided to attempt to summon the ghost of whoever had been killed to create the barrier. Reaching quiet a bit, and calling upon the sympathy of the Bloody Echo, Azrail was able to summon the Ghost, causing it to manifest and binding it to the location long enough to work with. He increased the strength of the ghost so that it could do more than repeat its death. The ghost took the form of a young male Soldier, his throat ripped open. He described meeting a woman in a bar near the Army base who did not appear right, who's "eyes seemed broken." How she made him feel bliss before torturing him. He pulled up his shirt to reveal that his torso had been carved up, with an intricate seeming design marked into the flesh. While manifested Azrail managed to take a picture of it (for most of this interaction the ghost was in Twilight, it was made manifest for just a couple of turns so that a picture could be taken). The ghost presented Azrail with a mission to provide closure to his mother before being released.
Matthew looked at the picture of the carving. Calling upon his local knowledge (Matthew is from the area), he was able to determine that it formed a rough map of the Anacoco area, with several places demarcated on it. The Cabal determined to head back to the Motel and to seek out those places in the morning.
(Narration Ends Here)
submitted by Dalai_Java to WhiteWolfRPG [link] [comments]

Weird dream premonitions of random places???

Ok I guess this is the sub for this, but I’m honestly so baffled I didn’t know WHERE to begin on this.
Has anybody ever had weird, déjà vu like premonitions of random locations? Except it’s déjà vu in reverse... 3 times now I’ve had a dream of a specific location, and then I come across that location irl (where I’ve never been before) and it’s like WHAT is happening???
First time- had a dream I was traveling in Europe, got lost in a plaza. Several months later I went to Prague. As we’re driving around the city, we drove past a square that was IDENTICAL to the one in my dream. Like I did a whiplash double take from how it was this holy shit, I’ve been there but I HAVEN’T been there, it was from a freaking dream... a dream I didn’t even remember until we drove past. I’d never been to Europe at all prior to this, so it’s not like I was there at one point and didn’t remember.
Second time- had some sort of apocalypse dream about a location in the mountains, and there was this place by a river, like a logging construction place, with a building and a random soda machine. No idea why, couldn’t tell you the context of this dream if you held a gun to my head. Fast forward several months later, and I moved to an area that’s near the Blue Ridge mountains. My family and I go on a backroads drive to see a nearby town after getting my furniture unloaded. As we’re driving along this road, it starts to run parallel to a river and we passed the SAME FREAKING LOCATION in my dream. Right down to the random ass soda machine. Never been there before, don’t know how the fuck my brain constructed a place I’ve never been to.
Third time- so this one’s a little different, but it just happened a few minutes ago which is why I freaked out and had to post this. Several months ago, I had a random dream where I was driving on an interstate, and we were headed west from New Orleans where we encountered a casino. Today I was scrolling on twitter, and one of the trending topics was “I Am Legend” because this lady got drunk and started acting like a zombie after the bar kicked her out (a truly wild video). After watching it and seeing someone say “This is from Mahony’s pub, in Houma, Louisiana” I was like huh, I don’t know where Houma is so I looked it up on google maps. (Keep in mind that up until this point I’ve never looked at an in depth map of Louisiana, just the generic outline with New Orleans and Baton Rouge labeled.) And I froze when the map came up, because Houma is southwest of New Orleans. And a little ways away, was a place labeled Cash Magic Raceland, which is a casino, which sits right off a highway WEST OF NEW ORLEANS. Which brought the déjà vu dream back.
Like... what exactly is this??? Has anybody else ever experienced shit like this before??? I’m truly baffled and a little creeped out. Normally I would chock it up to your brain pulling weird tricks based on stuff you’ve already seen or something but I’ve never been to any of these places and the details make it super freaking weird. The plaza in Prague, it slanted at the exact same angle in my dream and the shops were in the same placement. The detail about the building with this random soda machine. And how the heck did my brain come up with something as specific as “west of New Orleans on a highway is a casino” when I’ve never seen a detailed map of Louisiana and have no general knowledge of the area??? Y’all what the fuckkkk.
submitted by kk20002 to Thetruthishere [link] [comments]

OBLIGATORY FILLER MATERIAL – Just take a hard left at Daeseong-dong…6

Continuing.
After the third pony keg of beer was delivered, it was decided that the next few days would be spent in the conference room discussing what we thought was the best way forward.
We wanted dry-erase boards so we could start taking detailed notes, even though I was well ahead of the curve in that regard. We instead ended up with some mobile elementary-school blackboards and a pile of grainy, sooty chalk.
Leave it to Dr. Cliff to go into a discourse on the genesis of chalk and its economic importance.
Bloody carbonate geologists.
Bloody White Cliffs.
We geologists need to punctuate their conversations with pictures, so these would suffice quite well.
At 1700 hours, the official end to the workday was called; we’d meet here again tomorrow. I’m not certain by whom, but it was readily agreed upon. We were more or less on our own until 1000 the next day. I needed to spend some time in my room with my notes and update a number of dossiers, field notebooks, and other items I was using as a running chronicle.
Several folks decided to invade one of the hotel’s restaurants for dinner. Some wanted to head to the casino, a couple wanted to get a massage, and others wanted to do what tourists are normally wont to do on the second day of being a foreigner in a foreign land.
I declined invitations to dinner and other activities, as I had a long writing session in front of me. I wanted to get this all in its proper place while the memories and notes were still fresh.
30 minutes later, in my room after a 25-minute wait for the elevator; I’m updating dossiers, creating several new ones, and updating my field notebooks. Suddenly, after an hour’s work, I notice something is amiss.
“I don’t have a drink or a cigar,” I said to the four walls. “This. Will. Not. Do.”
I was used to Happy Hour in Russia. Happy hour is slightly different; there are no ice cubes or orange-peel twists in the vodka. Also, it lasts all day.
I remedy that situation by finding and clipping a nice, oily oscuro cigar and digging the bourbon out from under my boxer-briefs in my dresser drawer. I heft the bottle and feel that it’s significantly lighter than when I left it last night. I happen to look in the trash can and spy the wrapper for a box of my festively colored Sobranie cigarettes I obtained back in Dubai.
“Hmmm”, I think, “It would appear that we have some light-fingered Cho Louies or No Louises around here. I’d best guard my supplies a little more securely.”
I move all my smokeables into one of my now emptied aluminum travel cases. They lock with the stoutest of combinations and it will be readily apparent if anyone is fucking with them.
I move some of my best booze into the pretty much worthless in-room safe. With a deft application of duct tape, I seal the safe. It may not be the most secure spot on the planet, but if anyone tries anything troublesome, they’ll leave an immediately recognizable record of what they were up to. It’s just too obvious; they’d have to be crazy to go in after anything inside there.
My money, keys, and passports are in the safe deposit box down in the lobby that the hotel supplies for visiting dignitaries. Even so, they let me keep my shit in one of them anyway.
That handled, I spend another hour writing like a madman. I suddenly realize I’m tired of all this and need a diversion as well as some food and, of course, drink.
30 minutes later, I’m down in the byzantine basement tunnels of the hotel. It’s crowded with hordes of Chinse tourists, and the casino is ground zero for the incredibly loud chatter.
I look in on the bowling alleys all three of them, and they’re full. The massage parlor is hopping, although I leave my name and they promise they will call over the PA when a suitable masseuse is available. Evidently, I ‘intimidate’ some of the more demure ones.
I wander over to the bar, now there’s a surprise, and see it’s packed to the rafters as well. I decide to wait for a seat to open up on Mahogany Ridge when there’s some gargling over the PA and a pair of Chinese nationals leave the bar in great haste.
I grab one of the two newly open seats, much to the chagrin of a couple of Oriental Unidentifiables (OU) who had their eye on them as well.
“Sorry, mate”, I said, “First come, first served. It’s the capitalist way.”
One of the pair grabs a seat and the other just stands there, looking annoyed unspent bullets in my direction. Forget that I’ve literally twice their size and could be an aberration as an angry American. They just order a couple of drinks, and content themselves in giving me dirty looks and probably say nasty things in their own indecipherable language about my national origin and familial heritage.
As if I gave the tiniest of rodental shits.
I fire up a cigar, as literally everyone else in the joint was smoking something more or less tobacco. However, there was a definite barnyard aroma, a regular Dairy Air, in the room. I think some of what was being smoked there was more bovine or equine in origin than botanical in nature.
With numerous hilarious attempts at Korean, pointing at a garishly photographed drinks menu, I was finally served a cold draft house steam porter and 100 milliliters of probably ersatz ‘Russian’ vodka, vintage late last Thursday. This bartender that could at least form some of the phonemes found in American English. A few. A definite few.
Since it all cost the equivalent of US$0.50, I really didn’t care.
Apparently vodka helps flowers last longer when they're dying. But you can put vodka in anything and it'll make it better.
Being a trained observer, I rather enjoy just sitting in any old bar, smoking my cigar, drinking my Yorshch, and watching people. I try and not be intrusive and I never eavesdrop, but I like to try and think of what strange set of circumstances brought us all here together in this place at this time. It gives me writing ideas, some of which I jot down in a notebook I always carry. It also gives me a good shot of nostalgia when I look back at something I wrote some 40 or so years ago.
Yeah, old habits do die hard.
I take a drag off my cigar and set it in the ashtray in front of me on the bar as I go to correct another egregious misspelling in my notebook. I have to immediately proofread what I wrote, or I’d never recall later what the fuck I was trying to convey; especially if it’s in a noisy, smoky, or murky milieu.
Quicker than a bunny fucks, Unidentifiable Oriental #1 (UO #1) deftly reaches over, snags my cigar, and helps himself to a few mouthy puffs.
I look at him, the empty ashtray directly in front of me, him again, and then UO #2.
Since I speak no real Oriental, much less Korean, language, and my Mandarin at this point is worse than laughable; I just point to the cigar, turn out my hands and shrug my shoulders in the international “What the actual fuck, dude?” gesture.
He just smiles a gappy, toothy, and snaggle-toothed at that, grin at me and makes a point of ensuring that I see him enjoying a few more drags on my own damned cigar.
Not able to contain myself any further, I venture a “What the fuck, chuckles? That’s not your fucking cigar.”
Like gasoline being tossed on a fire-ring full of embers, they both go unconditionally incoherently insane.
Yammering, chattering, jumping up and down, and getting right into my face. They wanted me to unquestionably understand that my few words of English insulted them far more than their filching of my $20 cigar.
OK, I’m pretty well trained in Hapkido; an oddly, given the present situation, hybrid Korean martial art. I’m at least 6 or 7 inches taller and who knows how many stone/kilos/pounds/Solar masses heavier than these two clowns. I could easily go all Gojira on their hapless asses and mop significant expanses of the floorboards with them.
Instead, I look around for the bartender. I figured since I was keeping him well supplied with Korean won via tips, and he spoke some English as well as perhaps whatever the fuck these characters were chattering; maybe he could get to the bottom of what was happening.
The bartender walks over and I ask him to ask the two unidentifiable twins why they stole my cigar.
He nods in agreement and goes on in whatever the fuck dialect was being used today by the pair.
“They say they wanted it. So they took it.” They ask, “What are you going to do about it?” the bartender relates.
I deftly reach inside my field vest, as everyone concerned ducks and covers.
I extract two fresh cigars; not a .454 Casull Magnum.
I give one cigar to the bartender and one to OU#2.
“With my compliments.” I pleasantly say.
I was well apprised of the fact that in certain places like this, the local authorities often approach foreigners with, for the lack of a better term, ‘Agents Provocateur’.
Like the Westboro Baptist “Church”, they try to get a rise out of you so you’ll lose your cool and either create a scene or take a poke at the miscreant. Then they have all the pretext they require to drag you to the local hoosegow, shake you down for every penny on your person, as well as any phones, notebooks, wallets, passports, cigars, cigarettes, etc.
Basically, they goad you into a fight, then drop the thousand-pound shit-hammer when you retaliate.
It’s all so parochial. So obviously clear as vodka; this elementary charade only raised a single eyebrow.
I’m not going to even raise my voice over a couple of cheap cigars that neither of them noticed I slipped them instead of the premium ones I was smoking.
Thus defeated, I asked the bartender to ask them if they liked the cigar.
“What do you think?” I asked in cordial English, “Too tightly rolled? Not caged enough? Too green?”
UO #2 slipped and said “It smells very good…” where he realizes he’s blown his cover.
“Yeah, I like it too.”, I replied, “So much so, I buy my own. What are your badge numbers, boys? I will be reporting this incident to Inspector P'aeng Yeong-Hwan, the head of security for the IUPGS conference to which I was invited as special scientific consultant.”
Of course, they immediately dummy up and feign illiteracy.
I say loudly and very clearly, “You bastards aren’t gonna get away with this. I mean, what is going on in this country when scumsuckers like you can get away with trying to sandbag a Doctor of Geological Sciences?”
I ask the bartender to translate, but alas, it was too late. They vamoosed when I turned to talk with the bartender.
They left so fast, they didn’t notice me snapping their pictures with my ancient but trusty Nokia 3310, revised edition, during our little chat. Even with a mere 2-megapixel picture, I have enough to show the North Korean leaders of the project to get an identification and make known my displeasure of being treated like some commoner or buffoon.
They left both my cigar and the one I gave them. The bartender tucked the cigar I gave him into his pocket and stared lustily at the two remaining on the bar.
“Take’em”, I said. I sure as fuck don’t want them. “Just a clean ashtray and a refill, if you would be so kind,” I say, as pleasantly as possible, considering the situation.
Both the unsmoked and my smoldering, as well as well-traveled, cigar disappear as quickly as minks rut. A clean, new ashtray, double beer and ‘vodka’ suddenly appear.
“No charge, Dr. Rock”, the bartender grins, as he shoves my erstwhile high-mileage cigar between his teeth.
“OK, fair enough.”, I say, “Spaseebah.”, and deposit a raft of won on the bar. The pile won’t be touched until after I leave in a few hours’ time.
“Stranger in a strange land.” I muse over a couple of further beers.
The call from the massage parlor never came, or it did and I couldn’t hear it over the clamor of the casino. I went up to the hotel’s Korean restaurant; had some salty soup, a sad, sad salad, and some form of funky fish, I think, for dinner. I retired that night in a slightly foul mood.
I called Es then the next morning and caught her before she retired. With a 14 hour difference between us, I was getting up at 0700 and she was getting ready to hit the hay at 2100.
I told her of the events of the day previous, and she was glad she wasn’t tagging along. She would have never accused the Korean geologists of being behind the times and would have probably bent the guy’s nose that swiped my cigar.
Agreed, that she’d probably be unimpressed with this place. I promised her that we’d go on a holiday when I returned from all this. It would be up to her to find out ‘where,’ and I’d supply the ‘when’ when I could.
Everything else was going along smoothly, more or less, on the home front, and I didn’t want to give the local listening-in federales too much to say grace over, so we said our parting admirations and rang off.
Shower, shower sunriser of real vodka and citrus, a quick brush and comb, and spiff of cargo shorts and new ghastly Hawaiian shirt; 30 minutes later, back down in the restaurant for the inevitable breakfast buffet.
After what some would consider breakfast and others would consider a vague attempt at nourishment, we reconvened in the conference room precisely at 1012.
Nothing like precision with this group.
We spend the next two days going over, in various groups, what we think would be required to set forth proper the quest for oil and gas in North Korea on track. Everyone got in on the act, and we advocated for that. We needed everyone’s input to make this happen. Or to even map a way forward to present to country officials. Those from the West on what was needed and those from the East to tell us what was available, and the combined wetware to make what needed to be done happen with what existed.
It took no small amount of doing, but we secured a set of maps that covered the entire country. We were watched very closely by the shiny suit squad that we did not copy, photograph or otherwise take any extraneous information from these sheets of infamy. All other maps in the country were intentionally skewed, with errors deliberately added in to confuse “interlopers, spies, or other personas non grata”.
I made a massive stink and told them that if we didn’t receive the unfuckered maps, aerial photographs and satellite imagery pronto, we’re packing up and leaving that afternoon.
“We don’t have time for monks resisting the carnival. We didn’t come here to try and guess if the maps are correct or if our remedies will actually work on maps that say one thing and reality says something else entirely.”
They hemmed and hawed, but as I made the announcement to all before lunch that if the real maps didn’t appear by the time we returned from tiffin, we’re gone.
And we take tiffin purty durn early round these parts, buckaroo.
No one was surprised as I when we returned and there were folio after folio of government-uncensored maps, photos, and imagery for our program. I guess they finally reasoned it would be a relatively good idea to begin to take us seriously.
We spent one whole day just going over our field geological apparatus. They had a good idea of how to use a direction-finder compass and Jacob’s staff to measure sections. However, they were totally flummoxed by our Brunton Compasses, GPS systems, curiously referred to as ‘position finders’, notebook mapping applications, and electronic data storage and retrieval systems.
Gad. It was like being back in the 1970s before PCs were a glimmer in IBM's corporate orbs.
We spent the next week working to bring our less fortunate colleagues up to, well, not date, but at least up to the brink of the 21st century. We explained that plate tectonics, continental drift, and the precession of the continents was accepted geoscientific principles, not some arcane Capitalist or Socialist plot to undermine the quality of science in the east.
Yep. It was that mindset we had to first conquer. I think we’ve made great headway in that direction today.
The next Chautauqua session had us split up into two separate groups. We decided in a fit of Cesarean inquiry to ‘divide and conquer’. There are two distinct milieus which are able to contain economic deposits of hydrocarbons: onshore and offshore.
Instead of attacking both head-on, we’d focus initially on the offshore domain. Once we had a good handle on what was going on under the East Korean Sea, the Huangai (Yellow) Sea and surreptitiously, the South Sea; we’d collaborate our findings and work to tie them in and extend them onshore.
The singular Phyongnam Basin is the one large depositional, sedimentological, and structural basin in North Korea. It is filled by the Joeson and Pyeongan Supergroups of sediments, which are Cambro-Ordovician and Permocarboniferous, respectively. These are good hunting grounds for oil and gas. Could be elephant–hunting country.
But before we could undertake that, we had to get ‘back to basics’. That is, we had to understand and delineate the ‘frame’ of the Korean Peninsula. In other words, we needed to figure out how and when the peninsula came into existence.
South Korea’s geology is much more complex, fortunately than that found in the North. There were nasty side comments that were due to the relative development not of the geology, but of the geologists who studied each country’s geology.
It was, perhaps, a mean way of characterizing the situation. But, unfortunately, it was also probably fairly accurate.
The Korean Peninsula is characterized by huge massifs, which are sections of a crust that are demarcated by faults or flexures. In the movement of the crust, a massif tends to retain its internal structure while being displaced as a whole. The term also refers to a group of mountains formed by such a structure. It’s basically one huge, semi-resilient rock.
The basement rocks of the Korean Peninsula consist of high-grade gneiss and schist, Paleoproterozoic Precambrian massifs, which formed in the early stage of Earth’s history. These rocks are unconformably overlain by metasedimentary rocks; schist, quartzite, marble, calcsilicate, and amphibolite, of the Middle to Late Proterozoic. The Korean Peninsula is floored by a collation of about five of these huge Precambrian massifs that acted like ‘microplates’ during the aggregation of the peninsula. These massifs consist of thick dolostone, metavolcanics, and schist, which were intruded by Paleoproterozoic granites.
These Paleoproterozoic metasedimentary and granitic rocks underwent repeated intracrustal differentiation, followed by the events of cratonization, i.e., regional metamorphism and igneous activity, at 1.9-1.8 Ga. Sediments deposited in the peripheral basins during the Mesoproterozoic and Neoproterozoic lead to stabilization as the basement of the peninsula.
These early depositional basins formed the locus of deposition that continued on from the Proterozoic through the Phanerozoic. There are at least three, perhaps four, depositional basins in the south which are delimited by structural zones, such as the South Korean Tectonic Line (SKTL), a huge zone of continental transform faults and forms the basis of boundary demarcation between the Okcheon and Taebaeksan basins.
The boundary between the Seochangri Formation of the Okcheon Basin and the Joseon Supergroup of the Taebaeksan Basin in the Bonghwajae area is a thrust (or reverse‐slip shear zone). This thrust is presumably a relay structure (i.e. a restraining bend) between two segments of a continental transform fault (the South Korean Tectonic Line or SKTL), along which the Okcheon Basin of the South China Craton was juxtaposed against the Taebaeksan Basin of the North China Craton during the Permian–Triassic suturing of the two cratons.
In the late Proterozoic, sedimentation was initiated in basins of the Korean Peninsula, accompanied by deposition of siliciclastic and volcaniclastic sediments as well as carbonates. The massifs were submerged in the Early Paleozoic during a greenhouse period, forming a shallow marine platform and associated environments.
The Cambrian-Ordovician succession unconformably overlies Precambrian granite gneiss. It consists of mixed carbonate-siliciclastic rocks of sandstone, shale, and shallow-marine carbonates. Sedimentation was initiated in the Early Cambrian with a global rise in sea level on the stable craton of the Sino-Korean Block.
There was a major break in sedimentation during the Silurian and Devonian periods in the entire platform. During the Carboniferous to early Triassic, sedimentation was resumed in coastal plain and swamp environments with progradation of deltas.
Major tectonic events were initiated in the Triassic when the South China Block collided with the Sino-Korean Block. The eastern part of the Sino-Korean Block rotated clockwise and moved southward relative to the South China Block along the SKTL.
In the Middle-Late Jurassic, orthogonal subduction of the paleo-Pacific plate under the Asian continent caused compression and thrust deformation. A number of piggyback basins formed along the thrust faults in the east of the SKTL. At the same time, the entire peninsula was prevailed by granite batholiths, especially along the northeast-southwest-trending tectonic belt.
In the Cretaceous Period, the paleo-Pacific Plate subducted northward under the Asian continent, forming numerous extensional (left-lateral strike-slip) basins in the southern part of the peninsula and the Yellow Sea. A large back-arc basin was initiated in the southeastern part.
In the Paleogene, both the volcanic arc and the back-arc basin ceased to develop, as volcanic activities shifted eastward, accompanied by a rollback of the subduction of the Pacific plate. In the Miocene, pull-apart (right-lateral) basins formed in the eastern continental margin.
The Korea Plateau experienced continental rifting accompanied by extensive volcanism during the extensional opening of the southern offshore basin. It subsided more than 1000 m below sea level.
So, as South Korea was mix- mastered by a half-a-billion years’ worth of structural tectonism, which created several depositional basins quite capable of generating and storing economic quantities of oil and gas, the scene to the north was much more quiescent.
The North was composed, from south to north, of the relict Imjingang Belt, which was an old back-arc basin between the Gyeonggi Massif to the south and the Nagrim Massif to the north. It is a paleo-subduction zone, full of volcanics, volcaniclastics and other non-hydrocarbon bearing rocks. It was mashed and metamorphosed, and basically forms a convenient boundary between the complex geology of the South and the more relaxed geology of the North.
Heading north, we come across the Pyeongnam Basin, the only North Korean basin thus far defined that could contain hydrocarbons. Further north is the huge Nangrim Massif. It’s a huge block of igneous and metamorphic rocks that weather very nicely and form some spectacular scenery, but from an oil and gas economic outlook are worthless.
Offshore North Korea, there are two possible petroliferous basins. The offshore West Korea Bay Basin and East Sea Basin, along with five onshore basins could be offering exploration potential. At least ten exploration wells have been drilled in the West Sea, with some showing “good oil shows” along with the identification of a number of potential reservoirs.
The West Sea potentially has oil and has reportedly flowed oil at reasonable rates from at least two exploration wells when they were drilled and tested in the 1980s. Meanwhile, the East Sea has seen Russian exploration efforts previously including the drilling of two wells, both of which reportedly encountered encouraging shows of oil and gas.
Onshore, there has been little exploration to date, apart from efforts by the Korean Oil Exploration Corporation and also recently by Mongolia’s HBOil JSC (HBO). Among five main onshore sedimentary sub-basins, the largest is south of the capital; while unconfirmed reports point to a 1-trillion-cubic-foot (tcf) discovery in 2002.
Historically DPRK was thought to consist of five under-explored geological basins, the
• Pyongyang,
• Zaeryong,
• Anju-Onchon,
• Gilju-Myongchon and
• Sinuiju, Basins.
These basins are all located more or less along the coast, rather than inland. This also points to a certain degree of geological aptitude; as it’s much easier to explore along the more populated coast than it is to venture inland. There may be more hiding in the interior of the country, it’s just that no one’s looked as of yet. That’s difficult. Exploring along the coast is much easier.
With 3 basins supposedly proven to have working petroleum systems; 22 wells have been drilled and the majority are said to have encountered hydrocarbons with some wells testing production at 75 barrels of oil per day of light sweet crude oil. This has yet to be documented or confirmed by the Korea Oil Exploration Corp (KOEC), North Korea’s state-run oil company.
Yeah, our work was definitely cut out for us.
It was decided that a series of excursions offshore in one of the few remaining seaworthy, which was a real judgment call, KOEC seismic boats would be appropriate. The one we received use of was an old, decommissioned Chamsuri-class patrol boat, one Chamsuri-215(참수리-215), PKMR-215 in particular.
It had been basically stripped to the gunwales and completely retrofitted as a seismic acquisition and recording vessel. It had been renamed: “조선 민주주의 인민 공화국 영광” or “Glory of Democratic People's Republic of Korea Science”.
In reality, it was an aging rust-bucket piece of shit that might have possibly seen better days but wasn’t letting on. All the military nonsense, except the powder magazine, had been removed and a new superstructure consisting of slap-dash hunks of poorly-welded low-carbon, cold-rolled steel were erected to form a pilothouse in the area where the bridge once existed. They also built, extra haphazardly, a shooter’s room, galley, cold and wet storage areas, recording room, and storage of tapes and the extra bits and pieces needed for a none-too-extended stay on the sea. It was, being charitable, almost utilitarian.
They could not make their own water, so trip times were limited to about three days in length. Besides, they didn’t really have a hot galley, so it was cold, canned Chinese chow for the next 72 hours. They had a couple of fairly sturdy yardarms with heavy winches to handle the towed seismic arrays of geophones, which were of ancient heritage and showed it. These were probably appropriated back in the 80s or perhaps earlier when they first thought about opening their waters for seismic exploration.
They ‘borrowed’ most of the sensing and recording equipment back then from oilfield service companies and simply forgot to return it once finished. Since they burned that bridge so glowingly, they couldn’t get parts nor service when things failed. Being delicate seismic sensing and recording equipment, fail they did.
So, we had to use what was leftover, or what DPRK industries could cobble together, or what could be salvaged from salt-water drenched recording equipment that hadn’t been too heavily cared for over the span of the last 50 years.
We weren’t terribly optimistic.
So, we load the good ship ‘Rorrypop’, as Viv christened the thing, and head out to the wilds of the Yellow Sea. It was an abbreviated foreign crew, as there was really nothing other than upchuck and curse me soundly for insisting the non-geophysical scientists came along.
Aboard were the two geophysicists, naturally; Volna and Activ. I was there stick-handling the logistics and hoping to help out with the geophysical signal source explosives.
Morse and Cliff, the two other geologists accompanied us on the trip, and Dax decided to go with me as he figured I’d have access to the best booze no matter where we went.
The remainder of the team, the geochemists, Erlan and Ivan, the geomechanic, Iskren, the PT, Joon, and the two REs, Viv and Grako, remained behind onshore at the hotel. They set forth cataloging what data was available; from what sources, it’s vintage, veracity, and usefulness.
Augean tasks, both. Not as fecaliferous as Hercules’ jobs, but still, they held their own rations of shit for each sub-team.
Heading seaward, the Yellow Sea extends by about 960 km (600 mi) from north to south and about 700 km (430 mi) from east to west; it has an area of approximately 380,000 km2 (150,000 mi2) and a volume of about 17,000 km3 (4,100 mi3).[4] Its depth is only 44 m (144 ft) on average, with a maximum of 152 m (499 ft). The sea is a flooded section of the continental shelf that formed during the Late Pleistocene (some 10,000 years ago) as sea levels rose 120 m (390 ft) to their current levels. The depth gradually increases from north to south. The sea bottom and shores are dominated by sand and silt brought by the rivers through the Bohai Sea and the Yalu River. These deposits, together with sand storms are responsible for the yellowish color of the water referenced in the sea's name.
Being shallow, the Yellow Sea is more perturbed by the frequent seasonal storms of the region. The area has cold, dry winters with strong northerly monsoons blowing from late November to April. I was told that the summers are wet and warm with frequent typhoons between June and October; but now all we had to contend with were swelling seas, spraying saltwater, waggling waves, and a shivering, shimmying ship.
All the navigation, communications and other shiply duties were being handled by both members of the DPRK Coast Guard Auxiliary, mostly older guys who were of great and high humorous jest; and an actual pleasure to be around. They were like their scientific cadre on this cruise, basically a political ‘give a shit’ attitude, and a desire to get the job done, smoke the American’s cigars and drink as much as we could get away with.
The scientific portion of the cruise was being undertaken by students of the various universities and members of the North Korean national oil company. The demeanors of these characters ranged from extremely earnest and stringently North Korean politically correct in the students and academicians, to a more relaxed ‘yeah, let’s just get the fucking job done so we can have a lot of drinks’ sort of view of the older members of the DPRK scientific team.
It was a fun admixture of cultures, ages, professions, and behaviors.
Oh, forgive me for forgetting to mention our ‘guides’, or handlers. They were also chosen, nay, ordered to come along. Landlubbers all, they were less than thrilled with the assignment and inevitable seasickness; which seemed endemic to those of Oriental extraction on the cruise. However, our guides did enjoy drinking. As we learned that alcohol is a central part of Korean culture, and they encouraged us to socialize with them when the time was appropriate.
Or, not appropriate, as I was being denounced by one of the geophysical students after only a few hours into our very first day. Hell, we weren’t even in the Yellow Sea proper. We started here at Pyongyang, down the Taedong River, over the Giva Dam, through Pushover, across Shmoeland, to the stronghold of Shmoe; into the very belly of the frothing Yellow Sea.
Most everyone, other than the foreign elements on board, were either making the trip in the bowels of the ship; nursing and cursing seasickness; or by rail, doing exactly the same thing.
“Chum it over the side, ya’ blinkered mucker!”, I admonished one bottle-greenish national. “This ain’t the Captain‘s mess, Chuckles. You have to clean up your own spew!”
I was reveling in getting back out on the water and regaining my sea legs. I never get seasick.
Never.
Ever.
Be it a seismic vessel in the heaving Arctic Ocean, a pirogue in the swamps of Louisiana, my cousin’s fishin’ johnboat back in northern Baja Canada, a US nuclear submarine under the permanent pack ice of the North Pole, or VLCC in the Straits of Somaliland; I just don’t get seasick.
Airsick? Nah. Carsick? Nope. Ready to puke in a Hind-20 over the Caspian Sea during a strong local thunderstorm? Close, but no cigar.
So, I’m doing a Titanic scene recreation. Up in the very bow of the craft, standing in stark defiance of the gusting winds and blowing salt spray, smoking a huge cigar, and totting out of one of my emergency flasks while trying to hang on to my Stetson. I am also endeavoring to remain upright, field vest and really, really ghastly Hawaiian shirt billowing in the breeze.
I’m not certain if it was the cigar smoke, the wind-whipped beard, and hair, the give a fuck attitude, or the flapping of the Hawaiian shirt to which the little local geophysicist objected. But he was pissed. Olive-green with seasickness, rubber-kneed but still standing a good social-distance away, reading me the riot act in high-pitched Korean.
As I usually do in such delicate situations, I just smile and wave. Show them I’m mostly harmless and they either cool down or get pissed off even more and stomp off in disgust.
Either one was a winning situation for me in my book.
So, I return to doing my ship’s figurehead imitation and revel in the wind, spray, and feeling of really being booming. Sure, some might complain of the cold, but not me, the sting of the salt-spray or the windburn; but I eschew what most people enjoy as ‘normal weather’. I live for pushing the boundaries. I love rough weather and situations that thrust the edge of the envelope further past normalcy.
Besides, we were still in sight of land. Hell, if everything went south at this very minute, one could practically walk back to shore. I can hardly wait to see what these wigglers will do if a night storm comes up when were 100 or more kilometers from land.
The boat’s thrumming heavily from both the thrust of the Soviet-era diesel engines and the craft’s bludgeoning its way through the waves. Most hull designs are so the ship will ‘cut’ through the surface waters. This craft’s flattened trihedral hull design didn’t so much ‘cut’, as ‘slam’ it’s way through. The boat would then crash up one side and smash down the other of each large wave we encountered. The boat would shudder whole, adding a new note of resonance along with the monotonous one-note song of the aged Russian diesels.
The spray would fly, the boat would convulse, time would seem to freeze until we bashed into the next wave. The captain of the vessel took his orders very seriously. “Get to coordinates XXX and YYY by the most expedient means possible.” If that meant charging, full-throttle into the teeth of the oncoming monsoon-force wind while we were traversing the worst kelp jungle I’ve seen this side of the Sargasso Sea; well, piss on it, full steam ahead.
“Fuck it”, I thought, “Not my pony, not my show. Let’s see how this plays out.” While I light a new cigar and search for Emergency Flask #2.
After I’d been upbraided by the geophysical student for transgressions still unknown, Cliff and Dax wander out to ask me what the hell I was up to.
“Have you gone completely barmy?”, Cliff asked. “It’s a full gale out here and you’re standing in the teeth of it like it was a warm, sunny Sunday in Piccadilly.”
“Nope, not at all”, I replied, “Just reveling in the delights of an angry atmosphere.”
“He’s nuts, I told you”, Dax smirked, “He’d go anywhere and do anything to have a cigar.”
“Not just a cigar, me old mucker”, I smiled and waved my second emergency flack under his nose.
“Figures”, they both respond in unison.
Dax departs and returns mere seconds later with paper Dixie-style cups he liberated from the ship’s one head. We are going to do our very best to extend the lifetime of the onboard water supply for our scientific and military friends. I pour them each a cup full.
“Whoa, Doc”, that’s gotta be 100 milliliters!” Cliff objects.
“As the Siberian saying goes: One hundred versts, roughly a hundred miles, is no distance. A hundred rubles isn't worthwhile money. And a hundred grams of vodka just makes you thirsty. Prosit!” I say in reply.
We retire to the overhang on the fantail of the boat. It’s a sunshade and keeps the worst of the weather out for the lightweights on the cruise. I decided we’d withdraw there to keep these Dominionites out of the worst of the wind and sea spray.
“Rock”, Cliff notes, “You are a complete throwback. You do not belong here in the 21st century. You need to find a way back to the Calabrian and ride herd on the continental Neanderthals. Give them the gift of distilling and tobacco agriculture, and you’d reframe the world.”
Dax agrees, but notes if I do find a way back, he and Cliff would be selected against.
“Good point”, Cliff agrees. “Rock, stay here. We need your expertise now more than ever. Plus your ready supply of strong drink and cigars.”
“Glad to know that I’m truly appreciated around these parts.” I chuckled slightly acridly.
“Ah, Rock. Buck up. You know we’re only takin’ a piss.” Cliff says.
“Aim it starboard. Don’t want it blowin’ all over the seismic gear”, I reply, laughingly.
The trip continued, and I found a not-bolted-to-the-deck chair and moved it outside under the shade back by the boat’s fantail. I refreshed my emergency flasks and replenished my cigar supply. I’m not about to sit inside and listen to the wails and gnashing of teeth of the landlubber crowd, the patter and timor of the geophysical throng as they titter and argue about array design, nor the military hut-hutting all over the fucking boat.
A couple of times, one or more of our ‘handlers’ would venture out as I had the only supply of readily available smokeables and drinkables. Oh, we had food, lots of beer, soju, some knock-off vodka, and some of that faux homebrew bourbon for later once the workday was declared over; but for now, I was the one and only dispensary.
We’d have some random chats while they screwed up their courage to ask me for a smoke or a tot of drink. I brought several bundles of really cheap-ass cigars for just such occasions; besides, I figured one of my Camacho triple-maduros would have them chumming for the remainder of the trip. I had also many, many cartons of Sobranie pastel-colored cigarettes, and many more cartons of knock-off Marlboros I bought at the duty-free when we hit town.
It was chucklingly funny to see these harsh, military, no-nonsense characters walking their duty beats smoking pastel green, lavender, and mauve cigarettes.
We got bogged down a couple of times when one or more of the ship’s twin screws fouled with kelp as we tried to put some distance between us and the shore. Each time, one really dejected low-ranking young Coast Guard character would go over the side with a rope around his waist and a knife in his hand to free the props. I was going to object as this was moronically dangerous; but, again, not my pony, not my show. This called for full proper tethering and SCUBA gear.
They had neither aboard.
Welcome to the wonders of a centrally planned economy.
To be continued.
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A Thorough Review of Robins AFB

Hello Everyone,
This is my review of Robins AFB after living here for the past 5 years. Hope you find this helpful!
If you’re familiar with using Google Map/GPS to help you get to a military base, it can be difficult to find an open gate without your GPS telling you to turn/U-Turn into a closed gate!
Put in your GPS, “Martin’s BBQ, 102 S Armed Forces Blvd, Warner Robins, GA 31088.” It will take you to Watson Blvd and to the only 24hr gate; Watson Gate. This is also the gate to get visitor passes for your friends/family.
The other gate you’ll be using a lot is Russell gate which is connected to Russell Pkwy. I’ll be assuming you’re driving from the Atlanta airport, so south of Highway 247. GPS the “Museum of Aviation” and about 100 yards before you arrive at the MoA, exit right to Russell Gate. Note, Russell Gate closes at 2400 (0100 on Fri and Sat only) and opens up at 0430 on weekdays and 0500 on the weekends. Hours subject to change, check online for more specific hours!
Green Gate and MLK Gate are two other notable gates mainly for inbound and outbound traffic in the morning rush/afternoon rush.
Bowling Alley: 908 Ninth Street (478-926-2112)
Fitness CenteBase Gym: 826 Eighth Street (478-926-9128)
Fitness Annex/24 Hour Gym: Bldg 301 (478-926-2840)
Finance: 236 Milledgeville Street Suite 526 (478-926-4022)
Heritage Club/Restaurant: 956 Ninth St (Various Numbers)
ITT/Outdoor Recreation: Bldg 984 (Located next to the Main BX) (478-926-4001)
Medical Clinic: 655 Seventh St (478-327-7850 Appointment Line)
MPF/MPS: 660 Macon St (478-327-5666)
Warner Robins - The main city outside of Robins AFB is Warner Robins. WR will be referenced a lot while you are here at Robins. WR can be summed up in a few words as a small-sized southern city with churches and chain restaurants. The city consists of two main counties; Houston (pronounced “House Ton” and not “Hugh’s Town.” People will correct you on this!) and Peach County.
Macon - Located about 15 miles north of Robins AFB/Warner Robins. Macon has a lot of history and is nicknamed the “Heart of Georgia” because it is in the center of GA. Honestly IMO, Macon is pretty ghetto… What happened to Macon is similar to Detroit.. Both places were once thriving industrial cities until their main asset collapsed. You’ll see a lot of abandoned buildings when you drive to downtown Macon. It is pretty sad. There are some nice areas in Macon to visit though, like around Zebulon Road. I’d still recommend going downtown to eat at some nice mom and pop stores. Make sure to never go alone, however.
Savannah - Located about 2 ½ hours to 3 hours South-East/East of Robins. It is the #1 “Most Haunted” city in the United States apparently. It is really fun to visit. Eat seafood and go on some ghost tours while you’re there. The #3 Ice Cream Shop in the U.S. is in Savannah, Leopolds, if you love ice cream. The vibe can be described as a cross between Florida and South Carolina and “hipster-ish” thanks to SCAD there. Be prepared to walk a lot. Free parking on the weekends! Almost every store gives military discounts since there is an Army Base nearby. Give yourself 3 days and 2 nights to really have a grasp and enjoy Savannah.
Atlanta - The capital of GA and the place to be! It is located about 100 miles north of Robins which takes about 2 ½ hours to drive, thanks to the good ol’ Atlanta traffic! There is an abundant amount of things to do and sightsee that I will talk about later in this post.
Owen’s Boarding House is one of my favorite mom and pop stores in WR and it's really close to the base for a quick lunch! Owen’s is an all-you-can-eat lunch-only southern restaurant, dig in those chicken wings! It’s about $10.50, cash only.
The Rookery, in downtown Macon, is one you’ll hear a lot of. It is an old southern/burger joint. The store has a fancy dining upstairs; The Dovetail, if you’re into that.
Martin's BBQ, I referenced it earlier as a good point to locate Robins AFB but it is also a popular BBQ!
WR really loves Mexican food, and so do I! Taco Shed is next to the Museum of Aviation, it is American Mexican food. Salsa’s which is a dining American Mexican restaurant. My Grandma’s Empanadas and Luis for more authentic Mexican food. Cuban Cafe sells pretty good Cuban food. Tacos and More, I wasn't a huge fan of it but one of the comments mentioned it and it does sell $1 tacos, try it out!
Wasn't a fan of Saigon Noodle in WR, its close to base, which is why I believe their portions are small for a Vietnamese place. Plus, the Pho soup has MSG!
Pho Saigon in Macon is great, however. Good portions, and no MSG in their soups!
Stir King is a nice American Chinese place which gives good portions. I am not a fan of the “Japanese” food in WR, better go to Atlanta for real sushi and ramen. Also… screw all of WR’s Hibachi restaurants.
I did not mention any corporate/franchise restaurants since you may already be familiar with them and only want to mention the mom n pop stores.
They’re also “Senior Airmen” dorms for Airmen who’ve stayed longer in the dorms. Essentially, a SrA dorm is a larger dorm with no suite-mate and no kitchen. If the dorms have no availability, Airmen with the longest TOS (Time-on-Station) will be allowed to leave early. You can ask regularly if the dorms are full and maybe you can leave ahead of others.
Certain circumstances can allow you to leave the dorms early such as being a mature age (like over the age of 30) or being married but your spouse is currently living elsewhere due to service, school, etc.
My personal experience: I lived in the dorms and I would describe the overall experience as “okay.” It can be hit or miss with a good suite-mate and your dorm might have mold in them... I didn’t though. Typically activities of dorm airmen include going clubbing, the gym, and/or playing video games. Overall, I enjoyed living in the dorms because of the access to network with other Airmen, not cooking my own food, because of the DEFAC, and friends were just close by.
I lived in Warner Robins after I moved off base from the dorms, and the area was okay. Generally speaking, the further you live off base, (and this goes for all military bases) the safer the environment becomes.
If you’re wanting to live in a nicer area and/or have kids. Look into living in cities Kathleen and/or Bonaire. The area and school system (like Houston County High School) is much nicer than the rest of the public school system.
Cities like Perry and Bryon have far commutes of at least 20 minutes but can be described as “rural” if like not knowing your neighbors.
IMO, please do yourself a favor and do not live off or near Green St. (Hint. It’s right off Green St Gate!) I would also not recommend living in Macon. Imma be real and say Macon is pretty ghetto in most parts of the city (unless you live off Zebulon Rd) and the commute to work is going to be at least 20 mins to work. Edit: Forgot to mention Riverside in Macon. It is still relatively new and the area is nice and so are the neighborhoods. The Riverside Mall is an outdoor mall, very safe and clean. Don't go to the Macon Mall, however.
Essentially, South-West of Warner Robins is the best place to live. Where Feagin Mill Rd and Highway 96 is.
Off Base Housing community is called Huntington Chase, it’s ghetto from what my co-workers have told me as they’ve gunshots go off frequently and cars are breaking into. Off-Base housing is open to civilians and not just military.
Coca Cola Factory - Entry is free for military (does not include dependents) and it is a nice place to go on a date. Try flavors of coke from around the world!
Aquarium - IMO, the experience felt it was geared towards children, I would only pay during special military days because $33 is not worth the visit!
Atlanta Zoo - Never been but it is another sight seeing opportunity.
Dragon Con - A.K.A. “Comic Con of the East.” Where 80k of your “best friends” come meet in a 4-day comic/pop culture/movie/ convention which spans across 5 hotels! Most people get turned off when they hear “comic” as they associate this con with sweaty nerds… Well, they aren’t wrong! But I can guarantee you’ll be missing out if you did not attend this con at least once while you’re at Robins. Even if you don’t love comics, movies, anime, or pop culture (who doesn’t like at least one of the 4?) you can open drink in public for the duration of the con! It is always during Labor Day weekend every year. And if you don’t mind paying for the price of a host hotel, they’re worth it. Good luck because they get booked fast!
Anime Weekend Atlanta - An Anime Con that specializes on having Japanese pop/rock stars to play in the con!
MomoCon - An Anime Con that specializes in 24hour gaming/arcade gaming for the entire weekend!
Ponce City Market - A hipster food and shopping market that used an abandoned factory as their shopping district. Please do yourself a favor and park in Ponce City Market’s parking and not try to get “free” parking from the plaza across the street. You’ll get a “boot” on your car when you come back and have to pay a fine… Ask me how I figured that out...
Caffeine and Octane - A huge car meet in Atlanta that meets regularly.
Mardi Gras: The drive to Louisiana is about 6 hours but I know some Airmen who made the trip to be there for Mardi Gras.
Florida: The drive will take at least 3 hours to cross the Florida border. Florida is fun, do I need to say more?
Professional Sports: Altanta Hawks, Braves, and Falcons! Look for special discounts near Veterans days like Hoops for Troops. The Falco
Don’t forget to check the ITT office for free or reduce price activities for “single Airmen!” Seriously, I’ve gone skydiving, deep sea fishing, paintballing, etc for free or reduced prices! 50% of Disney Park passes!
Obviously, there are more things to do than the list I provided, DYOR and maybe you’ll find a place and/or hidden gem you’ll love!
A lot of your co-workers will most likely talk crap about Robins. Well, they’re probably the same salty Airmen who put Robins AFB, 9th, on their dream sheet and how trying to figure out how Eglin or Macdill wasn’t chosen even though it was #1 and #3 on their dream sheet. But even if they aren’t those types of Airmen.... Robins is one of those “what you make of it bases.”
You. Yes you, Airman, have to create your own experiences and be willing to leave your dorm and not be a dorm rat to make memories at Robins. This base isn’t centrally located to anything known for “fun” like all the bases in San Antonio, all Florida bases, Travis, Keesler and the casinos, etc. Even that hot A1C still has to make an effort to venture out and explore new roads and can’t rely on other people to do it for them.
“Robins-ism.” For whatever reason, “Robin-ism” is basically AFIs and the proper order of how to do things in the Air Force... does not apply the same for Robins. You’ll hear a lot of “that’s not how we did that at my last base.” People say it's because the amount of civilians outnumbers the military 3:1. And with that, if the civilians don’t like the AFI/protocol, it will slowly but surely die out and a “Robin-ism” method of how to do things soon takes over. I am not blaming the large civilian population, it is just what Airmen accept is the reason why some people on this base can be lazy at times.
Allergies. If you never experienced allergies or have in the past. Well, Warner Robins has a surprise for you... Seriously, you could potentially suffer from bad allergies.
I hope you found this review helpful if you're incoming to Robins whether it'd be a PCS or TDY, or if you just wanted to read my review.
Edit: Added more info.
submitted by Be-a-better-wingman to AirForce [link] [comments]

[TX] Wife has disappeared for almost a week now

My wife and I have always had a bit of a rocky relationship. She has a gambling problem that she has not made many strides to address and was a major factor in our decision to move from CA to TX last October. Since the move, she has had a couple of nights of "going out with friends" that ended up with her driving the ~5 hours necessary to get out of state to a casino in either OK or LA, but this week takes the cake.

On Monday 6/3, she rented a car since we currently only own one and then drove to Louisiana and basically fell off the map. In that time she burned through all of the money in our shared account and I'm assuming hers as well. I also found out in the past few weeks that the paychecks that she had deposited into my personal account have bounced because I assume she used mobile deposit and then cashed them elsewhere. She would not respond to any texts or calls on Monday but finally FaceTimed our daughters on Tuesday. Since then it has been a lot of nothing. She hasn't been home at all and judging by the iMessages I see on her iPad at home she has been hitting up anyone and everyone she can to borrow money to try to recoup her losses from this recent binge. I have been able to continue taking the kids to daycare and doing the part time job that I have currently, but this will not be sustainable for long. Our mortgage payment is due on the 15th and I also found out that since she hasn't shown up to her job at all that she's been let go from there. This puts additional hardship upon us since hers is the primary income of the household currently.

We have two daughters together, aged 2 and 3. I have declarations of paternity from the state of California for both of them, but the real wrinkle is that I've also been taking care of my stepson during this. He is 11 and I have no legal guardianship of him.

My question is this: what are the first steps I need to take to establish a custody order and begin the process of separating myself from this giant collection of mistakes I've made? I realize that seeking sole conservatorship of the girls will be an uphill battle in Texas, but I do have documentation of her absence over the past week and it shouldn't be too hard to establish her neglectful behavior. Any advice or resources would be greatly appreciated.
submitted by uther886 to legaladvice [link] [comments]

[LORE] King Mario and Friends in "No Harm, No Fowl - Prologue"

Toothenny Beach, Coast Guard Lands
Naval Seaport 003
10 years ago
For some reason, when the nations of the world were reestablishing themselves, there were two organizations that rose back from the dead to govern its people: the US Department of Agriculture and the US Coast Guard. Of all the nations and departments and citizen-based communities in the USA, those were the two that were deemed worthy by some higher power to lead the people to success.
Or some attempt at success.
As it stands, those nations don't exist anymore. They've gone off to join the ranks of obscure nations whose relics will eventually join el Dorado's museums in one way or another. But that's the far future. This particular part of the story takes place 10 years ago during the final days of the Coast Guard. Built on the ruins of Louisiana and Mississippi, the shaky ground the government stood on (literally) served as a sort of forewarning to the issues they'd have to face only a few years after its establishment. While historians from el Dorado would have issues pointing to concrete reasons as to why the government institution would fall into ruin, the geographic location and lack of posts detailed instructions from their leaders couldn't have been a positive development. Stemming from that logic is the issue of resource allocation as the months went on. No explicit leadership probably meant resources couldn't get to the most vulnerable populations, thus creating some kind of frenzy to hoard instead of to invest.
Regardless of the reasons, many citizens found themselves facing something of an exodus as their fellow neighbors left everything (nothing) behind. What would they find on the horizon? Something better than what they had now, hopefully.
Samuel Sanders was only 15 when he remembered his own exodus from the chaotic island. While people were leaving at a steady stream for a while, it started to get worse when the country started staggering to a bloody civil war between civilian and splintered government groups.
He could remember the shouts his parents threw at one another, which had long replaced the hopeful and optimistic tones they shared over the diner table. And no matter how much they released their anger, their plates of food started getting smaller and the shouts only got louder. Even the food started to become more bland and grey as if to reflect the environment surrounding them. Normally Mrs. Sander's food would be flavorful and homely, as it was made from recipes passed down generation to generation. But the world around them had manage to take away the spirit of his food and family.
Samuel couldn't remember all of it but he did remember the day it all went lopsided for his own family.
It was early in the morning when he heard his father's loud booming voice just outside his house. He was telling some men that he had already paid protection for the month and it wasn't fair for 'them' to demand more when they were already pressed for cash. After a few more moments of arguing, a gun shot rang out and he heard his mother give off the most guttural scream he had ever heard. Samuel thought he knew what screaming was like already. He was wrong.
"Is there anyone else in this shack you call a house?" He heard one of the raiders outside ask. Followed by a loud echoing slap. "I asked you a fucking question."
"No! There's no one else in this house. You've taken everything from me now please leave."
"Well... not everything." Another gunshot. Definitely not the last one of the day but the final nail in the coffin for Samuel.
"You didn't have to do that you know. Now we can't collect anything from this house anymore."
"Yeah well. Tough luck."
"Now what?"
"Burn it. Let the cinders show anyone else in this block what happens if they try to make some stupid heroic stand."
"Dude, she's still alive." Sure enough, Samuel could hear the faint coughs and ragged breathing of his mom downstairs. The house was made of flimsy wooden material, sure, but her final breaths were so loud.
"Okay, great. Doesn't change my mind. Either you waste another bullet on her or burn her alive. Take your pick."
"Eh. Bullets are becoming more expensive."
"Smart man."
Samuel didn't dare to move until he saw the smoke rising up from above and the boots march away onto some other unfortunate soul. He couldn't cry. He didn't know how to. In just a few seconds that day, his entire life had been taken from him. Not even seeing the corpse of his dad and fading figure of his mom could make him emotionally react.
In the future, he would spend hours, days in mourning. The tears that would strike his face would age him quickly in the years to come. But right then and there, in that slowly burning living room, he could do nothing except place his mom's head in his lap as he sat down.
"Sammy. Sammy I am so sorry. Your father and I wanted so much for you. B-but now we can't."
"You tried. Every day you tried. And I'm not mad about that."
"Sammy, my son. Listen to me. Y-you have no special powers. You do not come from a line of special people... And there are no fantastic treasures you are owed. Cough. But all I can give you is something that not many of us were ever given. All I can give you is a clean slate. You are owed nothing. And you owe nothing to no one. All I can give is the promise that your future is yours. Over there," She pointed a shaky finger to the sink's cupboard. "Look in there."
Samuel already knew what was in there. His mom's recipes. Most of them were originals but a few were perfect replicas his mom made to preserve their instructions. Handed down from generation to generation, since the time of the Confederacy, these meals were a staple in the Sanders family. He knew he'd inherit them one day... but he didn't think it would be in these circumstances.
The boy looked back at his mom, hoping to hear a few more concluding words... but no. That was it. She held tightly to her husband as she too passed on to the next world. And Samuel was alone.
Aside from the crying and random memories of endless blue seas, Samuel didn't remember all too much of what happened in the following months. He knew he quickly ran around his burning home trying to get a few supplies for... whatever laid ahead. He also vaguely remembers jumping from ship to ship, trying to do whatever job was needed to earn his keep. That's how it was day in and day out for almost 5 years.
And then it seemed as though his fate would change again when his current trader's ship was docked in what used to be Mexico. He didn't mean to overheard the conversation between the two drunkards on the pier. But there he was, listening in.
"Wait, so the capital of this place and the country down south are named the same thing?"
"Yeah man. It's confusing. You think they'd change the name up but it's not like anyone is gonna go down there soon."
"Fuckin' pirates, am I right? I wonder how com they haven't tried to ransack it."
"This capital of that swamp Kingdom?"
"The swamp Kingdom. Just like in old times, right? A whole Kingdom made of gold. If it wasn't for the pirates blocking the way, I would do it myself."
"Anyone you know ever been there?"
"Nope. Hey maybe I'll be the first!"
"Please. The Spaniards couldn't find it the first time. You can't even find your ass with two hands and a map. You think you'll find el Dorado this time?"
El Dorado. A name and a dream that would haunt Samuel until he stepped foot on the lands of that Kingdom. After asking around out of pure curiosity, Samuel learned that (people weren't good at geography, constantly confusing the two el Dorados and) the 'swamp Kingdom to the south' was as much mythical as it was real. No one could agree on anything except for the fact that it had to be wealthy if it was run by a King and it called itseld 'el Dorado'. Streets paved with gold. Riches beyond anyone's imagination. Surely it was those damn pirates that were blocking the way for the golden allure of el Dorado to ensnare any fortune seekers. Hell, Guadalupe's cousin's best friend went looking for the treasure but he never came back. Pirates probably. At least that's what he was told.
After countless years of mourning and moping and doing whatever he could without much direction, Samuel got a small spark of determination in his mind. It was a small one, but it was a spark all the same. This was something he wanted to do. This was something exciting and full of promise that he would achieve on his own.
His mom was right. He owed no one anything and his life was what he made of it. And damn it, he was going to make the most of it by visiting el Dorado and claiming its riches.
Samuel was 25 when he finally reached the shores of el Dorado. Through more ship jumping and saving up money and building up connections, he finally was able to step foot on those fabled lands he had only heard rumors about.
Imagine his disappointment when he actually looked around and saw one of the most subpar nations he had ever seen. Hell, he even remembered the US Coast Guard being more developed than this in its final days. The streets were paved with dirt and the only semblance of civilization he saw were rail tracks that occasionally chugged along an ethanol tankard to its destination. There were a few curious stops he made on his way to the capital. The University of the Andes in Merida. The 'electric Casino' in Libertad. The overglorified and tacky fake-gold plated 'mansions' in the Bari National Park.
This wasn't the Kingdom of Gold. This was a scrappy land with second-hand people who served as little more than a living curio shop.
And Samuel nearly lost his mind with the revelation. Damn these people. Damn these lands. And you know what? Damn his mom, who put him on this sense of purpose. The only issue with creating a 'name for yourself' with nothing is just that: you have nothing. Samuel then spent the next days going back from the capital to the 'golden coast' in the Northwest part of the country. This place had so utterly dissapointed him and there was nothing else for him to do.
And his plan was to leave these lands behind. Forget about them. Never come back.
Until he came across the same issue unplanned (American) tourists do when they reach the end of their vacation: he had run out of money. His whole plan was to use the last of his funds to get here and make a name for himself. Now all he wanted to do was leave. But he couldn't.
Furious at the world, himself, his parents, and the dirt road he was traveling on, he took a moment to compose himself and think of something.
Alright. He needed to leave this God-forsaken country and he needed to do it quickly. Money. How would he get money quickly? Shoe-shining? No. Selling himself on the street? No, because apparently this wonderland of crazy people had unionized their prostitutes thanks to some woman named Ms. Dolly.
What could he- grumble. In all the excitement of getting out of there, Samuel realized he was hungry. And as his stomach decided to demonstrate the mating calls of a humpback whale, he found himself in a market in Valledupar. Yet another random, pointless city in this pointless country of excess and poverty.
He only had a few pieces of raw gold left in his pocket. He weighed his options but realized he didn't have enough to get off this land anyway. So with a shrug, he went about getting ingredients for a meal. Not just something bland or foreign like the arepas these people were selling. No, he wanted something homecooked and he would finally have the opportunity to use his family's recipe. Despite the highs and lows (mostly lows) of his life, Samuel still had a few things he took from home 10 years ago. The recipe was one such example.
It only took 30 minutes of haggling and understanding accents, but sure enough, he was sitting down with a hearty quantity of food he was ready to dig in. How he managed to find the spices his mom used was beyond him. But he wasn't ready to question a miracle.
He was, however, ready to question the two men standing in front of him.
"Can I help you two gentlemen?"
"You have a weird accent. But you don't look white. Are you half something? Native? Black?"
Samuel shrugged. "I'm not from here."
"Oh, okay."
"... I ask again. What do you two want?"
"Oh right. Well, we just came out here for a lunch break. And we couldn't help but smell the food you made. How much?"
"Excuse me?"
"How much for the food?"
Samuel looked around and realized that he had started eating on a vendor's table. There were no signs around his stall but based on the accidental way he laid out his spread, it definitely looked like he was trying to sell his food to the public.
And he already had two customers.
"Uhh..."
"We'll pay you. How much do you want?"
Samuel didn't know much about the economy of el Dorado but he knew the amount they were handing him was more than enough to cover the cost of the raw ingredients. He was about to shrug them off before he had a very random and intrusive thought. "That will be a fine amount, fellas." He looked at the large plate of chicken and sides he had cooked up and started... thinking. Maybe... just maybe his mom had been right after all. He absentmindedly patted the side of his satchel and the gears in his head stared winding ever so slightly. "I think we've got a deal, gentlemen..."
submitted by ChanelPourHomicide to PostWorldPowers [link] [comments]

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