Knit picks comfy worsted


2008.06.14 20:25 knittit

Warm, fuzzy, sometimes tangled.

2023.03.25 02:33 LeopardofTheMystic "Civilian Syndrome" part 1

This is a "pheononem" that i became aware some years ago! Is a term that i dub as, "the civilian syndrome", (attencion: only because it haves the term civilian it doesnt mean that are actually civilian, they can be soldiers,officiers,etc! What i mean that they are just untransformed)!
So what is this, "civilian syndrome"? Is when, even so the charactes in question may have interesting personalities/quirks/characteristics/develoments/,etc! Their "value" almost only come in their normal form, but in other way when they are tranformed (can be for lack of attention or bad writting or whatever),they can look, incompetent, useless, invisibles, ~wimps or total wusses(even so the character themselves may not be), etc!
I gonna give some examples and gonna give some critiques,(i may or may not be harsh, but that doesn't mean i hate the characters. I actually enjoy them)!

RaptoWashi Pink- She is the first one i notice this first, but also she is the only one im gonna give a break! Just because she is more the secretary, support ranger of the largest team ever! And even when she s picked, when normal funny bits filed with personality ,when transformed, is almost, where the is she?

The 3 core Patrangers- one thing if it was only one member, but what it is the entire team? WTF??! Listen, what i gonna say is old news by now but still i have to say, i think this is the most disrespected team i ever seen in my live! I mean, im more of a"Lupin team" myself, but still what the fuck was that??! So, whats going on? Those 3 as police officers, they did their jobs and their atleast competent enough and a strange mix between kinda "dumb", but actually smart! So what the problem for me? It is for a serie that we have 2 main teams (not a secondary team, but a actual main and sharing spotlight with another team)! When normal they have amusing personalities and great interactions, when transformed they almost wusses! The Lupin are always a lot step aheads and they almost hardly can't fight the ganglers and with embaressing looks! Even so they have cool moments, they end also depending accidentely on the lupin and nothing from themselves!

Nada/Gaisoulg- Like everybody in this list i also like Nada, but his treatment (sigh)! Brings my piss to boil! Before we even know that Nada and Gaisoulg were the same person, they were awesome or atleast cool, him as a villain was badass, dangerous he wouldn't fuck around, the Ryusoulgers really felt the danger almost scared even and as Nada, was a nice senpai, funny, friendly, supporting(apparentely),etc! But he had a lot self-confidence issiues and jealousy specially towards Koh (aka, Ryuosoul Red/ his Kohai under the same master)! What it was an interesting angle to explore and buttheads for both sides. So what was the problem for me? After score was settle and Nada decided to join them, "basically" only 3 happend: a comedy bit: him appearing as Gaisoulg, scaring the others just for him removing the helmet and using the pointy things of the sword to scratch his back(actually find that part funny), transforming "knight of resilience"(knight of resilience my ass) and die in the first episode that he was actually fighting as good guy, (atleast thanks to that he gave Red an power-up)! One thing if would die if it was only 3-4 ep later (if im being generous) 2 at worst, but just 1 ep?? WTf?! And don´t give me examples like X-1 Mask from Maskman or whatever bullshit! They even gaved better deal to Setoh that is almost a deadbeat mentor and a gag character(as a fighter) even so i have to admit as a support fighter he was actually ok! But he was just a color swap! Thanks to his final treatment, making look like joke and not adding a lot, etc! What he add in the final was like his phonetic namesake, Nada (the portuguese and spanish word for, nothing)!
Part 2 coming soon! this one was to long for me and i think a gonna edit this one soon!
submitted by LeopardofTheMystic to supersentai [link] [comments]

2023.03.25 02:30 J0J0money Trustedform + convertbox

Hey. I’m having the worst time trying figure out how to pass my trustedform cert url to zapier. I use convertbox and I think I installed the trustedform script correctly as when I inspect the webpage, I see the unique url created and put into a hidden field. However, when I run a test lead, zapier never picks up this hidden text field with the trustedform cert. can anyone help??
submitted by J0J0money to zapier [link] [comments]

2023.03.25 02:26 CIAHerpes I was a 911 operator. I still remember the call that scarred me for life (part 2)

Part 1:

As we walked past the pile of corpses stacked like cordwood in a pile twenty feet high, the wind seemed to pick up. The smell of feces, urine, rot and rancid sweat emanated from the pile of bodies, nearly making me throw up. My son Anthony and my wife Margaret both tried to hide their faces in the crook of their elbows, their skin looking pale and all too white. I heard my little boy suppress a small retch, bending over as the smell grew stronger for a few moments. Then we were walking away, and though it was still terrible, the smell started to fade after a few hundred feet.
I had driven on this road out of town hundreds of times in my life, and yet I realized I didn’t recognize my surroundings. Furrowing my brow, I looked around. The pavement in front of us had turned white. I saw tiny bones placed closely together, forming the streets.
The trees had also changed. They looked like weeping willows, but instead of long strands of leaves hanging down, they had what looked like intestines and long strands of bloody hair blowing softly in the breeze, moving from side to side. As we drew closer, I realized thousands and thousands of maggots and other larvae swarmed in their otherworldly branches. The concerted motion of so many insects gave them a shimmering, vibrating quality. There was a sound like high-pitched crying that came out of the forests, and as I looked closer, I realized these sounds were coming from the trees themselves.
“Where are we?” my wife asked, her eyes wide, her body trembling. My heart beat so fast I could no longer differentiate the separate beats. They all slammed together in a concerted frenzy as I realized we had walked right out of our world and into the world of the monstrous corpse girl and her insane god that my son had told me about.
“She told me they call it Golgotha,” my son whispered, “the place of the skulls.”
“But how did we get here?” I asked. “And more importantly, how do we get out? Can we just turn around?” I looked back down the road and realized the pile of corpses that had marked the entrance to this mad world was now gone. I saw only the white street paved with bones stretching off into the horizon, endless forests of willows with blood and intestines hanging from them lining each side. Nearby, I heard the gurgling of a stream.
“No,” my son said softly. “We are in here. And I can feel her presence. The dead girl. She’s watching us right now. She’s trying to get in my…” He pointed at his head. “We have to go on ahead.” My wife grabbed my free hand tightly.
“I’m scared,” she whispered to me, too quietly for my son to hear. I nodded to her grimly, opening the revolver and checking the bullets. I had only four left. And I didn’t even know if bullets would harm the things in this place. Then we heard a voice that seemed to boom from the sky. It was deep, shaking the ground. Pieces of intestines and blood fell from the trees around us, and the streets of bone shook, some of them falling out of place like pure white potholes. I grabbed my wife, steadying her as she almost toppled over. My son seemed almost unaffected, but his eyes were wide, and he was looking straight up.
I looked up also, seeing the sky had begun to rapidly turn from blue to black, as if an eclipse were happening. But I could see no sun, no source of light, no moon or stars. Instead, I only saw a face begin to emerge from the darkness. It was a face that seemed to stretch hundreds of miles across. Its skeletal cheekbones and bleached white forehead seemed to blend into the blackness of the sky. Its chattering jawbone and massive pointed teeth opened and closed quickly in an eerie, shuffling way that didn’t match at all its words. It reminded me of a wind-up toy I had had as a child, one that just had teeth that would chatter and bounce off each other as the toy moved forward in a random way.
But its eyes were its most disconcerting feature. They were pure silver, but in that silver, there was a rapid shimmering and rotating. Madness emanated from every part of its face, and I felt it looking deep into my mind. It had a presence that was not only insane, but insectile, antithetical to life, and, worst of all, eternal.
“Have you brought me a new lamb for the slaughter?” it said, in a voice like rushing water. “Give me the boy. He will have company with the dead ones, the other boys and girls here. They’re all dead, but nothing here ever really dies. Give me your child, and I will let you go.” Then it stopped speaking, the only movement in the whole sky being its eyes, which now revolved faster, deeper and lighter shades of silver appearing and disappearing in a rapidly moving fractal pattern that seemed to zoom forever inwards towards the center.
“No,” I said simply, my heart beating fast, but a rising sense of anger battling it and giving me new strength. I put up my middle finger and aimed it at the sky. The voice laughed, louder than ever. I heard trees falling in the forests surrounding us, the stream no longer gurgling but being thrown around like tidal waves on the banks of its shore.
“Then you will all die,” it said, its voice fading as if zooming away from us.
Then the face and the blackness were gone, the sky returning to a deep blue. Light seemed to return to the world, and the eerie, insectile fingers that grasped and felt around in my mind disappeared in an instant. On the horizon, above the trees, I realized I could see thick, dark clouds of smoke rising above the treeline. The road seemed to head in that general direction. Motioning with my hand, I turned to my family.
“It looks like there could be some sort of town or factory over there,” I said. “If we keep going on this road, it will probably bring us close. Or we could turn around and walk back in the opposite direction. What do you two think?” My question was broken by a sob from the nearby trees. Whirring around, I saw Trooper Shea, his dress uniform torn, cuts and scrapes all over his body. His mouth turned into a perfect O of surprise, his eyes widening as he looked at us.
“Please,” he said, “help me.” Then he fell over like a ragdoll, plummeting into the dry soil and dead grass that surrounded the skeletal road. My wife began to run over to him, but I put a hand on her shoulder, stopping her.
“He could be infected,” I said. She glared at me.
“So you’re just going to let him die?” she asked. I shook my head.
“We approach danger slowly,” I said. “We only have one revolver with a few shots, one butcher knife, and the small knife that we gave Adam- which is basically a paring knife.” I laughed, even though it wasn’t funny. The sound of laughter in this grim place sounded wrong, and I quickly stopped. Margaret just gave me a one more disapproving frown, then pushed my hand away and knelt besides Trooper Shea. She had some medical training, having been a certified nursing assistant in her early twenties, and used it to check him over briefly.
She checked his pulse, his breathing, opened one eye and then the other to check the responsiveness of his pupils and make sure no blood was coming out of either. Turning back to me, she nodded.
“He doesn’t seem sick like the others,” she said. He was laying on his back, and she flipped him over to check for injuries on that side. As soon as she did, we all saw the cause of his collapse.
He was bleeding rather heavily. It looked like someone had stuck a knife into the back of his left shoulder, then pulled it out again. The blood was clotting, staining his trooper uniform a dirty red color on the back. He had clearly lost a great deal of blood.
“I don’t think it hit an artery,” my wife said to me. My son stood behind me, holding my free hand while I kept the revolver ready, scanning the forest and road for any sign of movement. At that point, Trooper Shea began to moan, his eyes fluttering open.
“Do you…” he said, licking his lips and clearing his voice, “...water?”
“Well, there is a stream nearby,” I said, getting up. “I don’t know if it is drinkable however. For all I know, the streams here could be made of pure mercury.” He shook his head.
“They’re water,” Shea said, coming back more and more to consciousness as he spoke. “I drank some of it when I was running. It tasted fine.” He got up slowly, and my wife came running over. He put an arm around her, looking like he might fall over again, but after a few breaths, he steadied himself. “Something was chasing me. I don’t know how I got here; one minute, I was in the fields, running towards the woods, and then suddenly the trees all changed and the sky went black.
“One of those nutjobs in the middle of town stabbed me in the back. My partner ended up getting bitten, and he became so sick within minutes that I knew there was no way I was getting him out of there. He went down fighting, though. He took out five or six of the sick people with him before they all jumped on him and began ripping his body apart with their teeth, their fingernails, everything. It was like a savage dog attack.” We started walking towards the sound of the gurgling stream nearby.
As soon as we reached the shallow bank, Trooper Shea fell to his knees, cupping his palms and drinking as much water as he could handle. Then he splashed it on his face and stood up.
“Alright, let’s get out of this fucking place,” he said, pulling out his service pistol and putting a fresh magazine in.
We returned to the road and began to walk towards the smoke in the sky. Within minutes, the forest started to clear out, and I saw towering buildings on the horizon drawing closer. It was eerie how quiet they were, however. I didn’t hear a single car or bus coming from that direction.
Soon the forest and the hanging intestines and gore were behind us, and we stood in a post-apocalyptic nightmare. Buildings hundreds of stories tall stood all around us, many with their windows smashed out. Bodies with nooses around their necks hung from lampposts on both sides of the road. Many had been there for so long that the skin and muscles were sloughing off, rancid gas causing them to bloat, their faces unrecognizable, their clothes bowing out from the pressure of the decomposition.
“The girl is coming,” my son said, pointing down the road. We all had our weapons at the ready. It would have seemed absurd in other circumstances- being so afraid of a little girl no more than four feet tall. Her mouth, stitched close, had dark blood dripping down from her lips, and her eyes were wide, sparkling, almost smiling. Her deathly white skin showed black, rotten veins that wound throughout her body, hidden by the black rags she wore in many spots. Then I heard her voice in my mind as she came to a stop.
“The god of Golgotha welcomes you all,” she said. I could tell by the widening eyes of the others that they all heard her voice as well. “This is your last chance. A sacrifice is required to move forward. Give us the boy. We will take good care of him for you. He will never die. Nothing here ever really dies.” At this, Trooper Shea raised the pistol and fired a shot at her. It hit her in the center of her chest, knocking her back. The voice stopped instantly.
“Run!” my son said. “There’s more coming from behind us.” Glancing back, I saw he was right. Dozens of boys and girls were coming out of the abandoned skyscrapers, flooding the bone-white roads, all with their mouths stitched close. Some wore decaying suits or the rags of dresses, while others looked much fresher, with intact shirts or pants still on their tiny bodies. Seeing that, we all sprinted away. I stayed behind my son, knowing he would be the slowest of us all. The others rapidly gained on us, and I felt tiny hands grasping at the back of my shirt, trying to pull me back. Turning quickly, I fired a bullet into the nearest target- a small boy with a suit that looked like it would have been new during World War 2. The back of his head exploded as I fired point-blank into his forehead.
The reaction of the others chasing us was immediate. They all stopped, their eyes widening as they saw the dark, clotted blood and brain matter that sprayed the street behind the corpse child. Then they placed their hands on the gore, trying to shove it through the stitches in their mouths. I heard deep slurping sounds as they sucked the blood through the black stitching, pulling their lips apart so hard that fresh blood began to pour out of the stitches’ insertion sites as they tried to feast, taking in as much as they could. It gave us just the distraction we needed.
While they circled around the dead boy, eating his body like vultures surrounding a piece of roadkill, we got farther and farther away, Trooper Shea running in the lead, my wife behind him, then my son and me. We took random turns, going down long-abandoned alleyways and moving deeper into the center of the city. Soon, we heard nothing at all besides the heavy footfalls of our group.
“Stop,” I said, gasping, bent over next to a dumpster filled with shoes in a tiny alleyway between two skyscrapers. “I need to rest.” My son clearly did too. He was breathing hard, doubled over. Trooper Shea and Margaret turned to look at us.
“What now?” Margaret asked. I looked down at my son.
“Do you have any idea how to get out of here?” I asked. Surprisingly, he nodded.
“I got a glimpse from the girl’s mind when she was talking to us,” Anthony said. “But I think she saw some stuff in mine, too. I don’t know if it matters or not.” I shrugged.
“Nothing we can do about that now,” I said. “So how do we get out of here?”
“There’s a well in the center of the city,” Anthony said, “where they go when they need fresh boys and girls to follow the god here. Or when they need bodies to feed them.”
“So let’s go!” Trooper Shea said, pushing my son in front of him. “Lead to the way, kid. We’ve got your back. Let’s get the hell out of this place.” Nodding, Anthony started walking on shaky legs. We followed him out of the alleyway to a massive street six lanes wide.
“It should be down this way,” Anthony said, pointing deeper into the tangle of abandoned buildings. I saw a cloud of black smoke where his finger pointed.
Then we heard the voice of that insane god again, but not coming from the sky this time. It was on the street, and not far away. The ground started to shake. Turning to look in the opposite direction that my son had pointed, I saw a behemoth dozens of feet tall. It had the same skeletal face, the same chattering jawbone and sharpened teeth, but it now stood on a slender, naked body with pus and deep gouge marks marring nearly every inch of its skin.
“Thank you for delivering the lamb to me personally,” it said in that voice so much like a waterfall, each syllable pounding into the other and causing small earthquakes as it spoke. There was no way we could outrun it. Though its legs and arms were emaciated sticks with bone showing through its countless injuries, it was fast and very tall.
My wife looked back at me one last time.
“Get him out of here,” she whispered to me, pointing at Anthony. “No matter what it takes.” Then she ran directly at the insane god. Its head swiveled rapidly, its silver eyes following her progress with a kind of lunatic intensity, its long arms reaching out to grab her, but she ducked into a nearby alleyway. The thing followed her, howling.
“Run, you idiots!” Trooper Shea said. I wanted to go help her, but I knew he was right. She had likely given her life to save our son, and to do anything else but get us out would be to waste her sacrifice. With tears pouring down my cheeks, I pushed my son ahead.
“Go, Anthony!” I screamed. Looking back at me, bewildered, he looked like he would just stand there forever.
“But what about mommy?” he cried.
“Just go!” Then we all started to run. The black cloud of smoke was growing rapidly nearer when I heard the shrieks of a woman. I knew it was Margaret. It sounded like she was being burned alive- a kind of pain and horror I had never heard in any voice before, even as a 911 dispatcher.
I could see the well Anthony was talking about now, only a few hundred feet away. Black clouds of smoke emanated from it, blocking out the sky above it. It seemed as if it had some eternal fire burning within it.
Then the dead children began to crawl and run out from every street and alleyway surrounding the well, forming a rough circle around it. They all stopped and stared at us with their dead eyes.
“I have an idea,” Trooper Shea said, looking at me with shell-shocked eyes. “But you’re not going to like it.” Then he ran forward, nearly emptying his magazine with a rapid succession of shots, aiming at the monstrous bodies that surrounded him. With the first nine shots, he blew some of them apart, leaving huge exit wounds in their chests and heads as he fired rapidly. Then they closed all around him, and I knew he was out of time and nearly out of ammo.
Glancing back at me one last time, his eyes watery and terrified, he put the gun in his mouth and pulled the trigger. I saw it in slow motion.
“No!” I screamed. But it was too late.
The entire back of his head exploded like a deflated balloon. The corpse-children swarmed all over his body, dipping their small, white hands in his blood and brain matter, trying to shove as much of it as they could in their stitched mouths.
Without a moment of hesitation, I lifted Anthony and ran forward, jumping into the well, the clouds of black smoke enveloping us as we fell.
I woke up at the border of the town, surrounded by people in hazmat suits. I saw countless agents in unmarked black SUVs blocking off the border of the town. One man in a hazmat suit came over, shining a light in my eyes. I saw another doing the same to Anthony next to me. Then I fell back into unconsciousness.
I awoke later in a medical facility, surrounded by a few agents in black suits. They wouldn’t tell me which agency they came from, but told me my entire town had an outbreak of a mutated form of rabies. I shook my head.
“There was a dead girl with her mouth stitched closed,” I said, and they laughed.
“A few of the other survivors said the same thing,” one of them said. “Likely mass hysteria. Maybe a group hallucination from the stress of seeing such a horrifying outbreak. We have the entire town quarantined, however. So far, we have been able to keep this out of the media, and the goal is to continue to do that. We don’t need you to go around talking about monsters.” I stopped listening after that, knowing that they would never believe me.
They never mentioned how many of the bodies were never found, including those of my wife and Trooper Shea, both of whom sacrificed themselves to save our lives. Nor how a mutated form of rabies could stack hundreds of bodies into piles like cordwood, blocking off many of the roads into or out of town.
Since then, Anthony and I have moved far away from that town- the one that killed my wife and all my friends. I thought I had left the terror behind and started to heal.
Then last night, as I fell asleep, I had a dream of an insane god with chattering teeth and silver eyes, telling me he would see me again soon.
When I awoke, my floor was covered in footprints that left behind dark, clotted blood leading towards my bed.
submitted by CIAHerpes to nosleep [link] [comments]

2023.03.25 02:10 Boorobford We are being watched and a life update from me.

I have decided to cool down on the posting for now or at least for a good bit. I want to make sure that I am running this sub and more importantly South Asian Masculinity well by eliminating toxic, negative, and limiting content. What I did want everyone to know is that we are being watched. There is an entire sub dedicated to reporting, harassing, and targeting both this sub and South Asian Masculinity. A user DM'd me and said it is all from ABCDesis, a sub I am not even familiar with.
To a degree, even I got carried away.
My posts got too controversial for reddit and a lot of what I said, was, well kind of out there. They say crazy and genius have a thin line between them and a lot of them, those of us who submit great content also come off as crazy every now and then. My life has been too busy for me to write long posts now as worked has really picked up and I am also getting back into the game again after months of health problems.
This is for all others on here, do be careful of the content you submit. Even if I and others like it, other redditors are watching and reporting. Somehow, South Asian male self-improvement brings out the worst in people. It's not any other race than our own, typical mentality you find in South Asian men all over. Crabs in a bucket, they see one do well and there will always be enough of a chunk to drag that one guy or those one successful group of men down.
Meanwhile, I do want to spend my time on reddit cleaning up South Asian Masculinity.
It has to be done and has been long overdue. For months, trolls, spammers, incels, and guys who have been an infection to that sub have lingered around to stop it from reaching its true potential. I do think that by the end of the year, the sub can take off to new heights like DesiFluent would have wanted. We want discussions to go from "woe is me I am desi and can't get laid" to something more productive.
Right now, there are also trolls lingering around on other subs making up stories of how they are handsome and did an experiment as an Indian guy but their white friends were still getting more matches than them. I think it is all BS and these trolls are a drag on South Asian Masculinity as well as the development of South Asian men worldwide.
I've had to ban a good chunk of people in recent weeks because of just how much they were holding South Asian Masculinity back and I will have to ban a good chunk more. It is time SAM moved to a more positive direction where more like DesiFluent can freely post and share their content and we get less trolls and incels. We need SAM to truly be South Asian Masculinity, not some sad Incel echochamber.
I will be around, just less often. If you find any sketchy shit going on South Asian Masc, please DM me directly so I can deal with it.
submitted by Boorobford to FarEastAlphas [link] [comments]

2023.03.25 01:22 zAngelGuard I am so sick of holding my tongue in front of bad people.

I (18F) wish I could open my mouth this MINUTE and unload all the years of rage I've held in, but it would only do my Mother worse and SHE'D have to deal with the aftermath. That's the ONLY reason I haven't said anything yet. The ONLY reason.
My Grandma is one of the worst people I know. She thinks the sun rises and sets according to her wants and needs. She has no regard for anyone but herself. She has bullied, pressured, put down, shamed, hurt, TAUNTED, my Mother and me for our ENTIRE lives. Ever since I was a little girl, I. have. HATED. her. We have NEVER gotten along because of how much I despise her hypocrisy and lack of empathy.
I hate this woman. I hate how she hurts my Mother, I hate how she holds us down, I hate how vile and narcissistic she is- I wish she would fucking die already. I want to hurt her, I'll be frank. She's done so much harm to me and my Mother's life.
I want to protect my Mother and stand up for her because no one else will, but it won't get us anywhere. I feel helpless. Pure, violent hatred is pushing up against my skin at the mere thought of my Grandma's name. I cannot explain to you how much I hate this woman.
How come so many people in this life can get away with so much bad with little to no consequence, but when someone stands up to them, someone has to suffer? Why can't I just protect my family without worrying about what'll happen if I do? Why can't I do what's RIGHT? Isn't that what we're taught early on in life? To stand up for those who need it the most? To confront anyone who picks on innocent people? To stop BULLIES?
Bad people should know that everyone around them knows they're bad people. How much other people hate them for being bad people. They should be lonely, isolated and abandoned for all the harm they've done.
submitted by zAngelGuard to offmychest [link] [comments]

2023.03.25 01:10 cfalnevermore My Daughter and I might not be Human: I think I blew up the Neighbor’s Dog

I’m nothing special. I’m lazy, and damn it, I’m happy being lazy. I feel bad about it a lot, but not quite bad enough to actually change. It’s kind of a problem. My spouse has me going to therapy and everything.
I thought I had big dreams. I talked big in high school. I’d get into filmmaking, and use my art to change the world. I was an ass about it too. Scoffing at anyone who didn’t have big ambitions. But then I got to college (on my parents dime) and… something just broke. More likely, it had always been broken, and now that I was out on my own it just finally came to the surface. I don’t know. I didn’t last two years in film school.
One of my classmates writes for tv and has her own IMDB page now. That’s what I was up against. And Christ… I didn’t have the energy, creativity, or passion that those people had. I don't want to have no steady structure to my life. Film sets operate at all hours, anywhere in the world. It’s insanely competitive, and who the fuck has the energy to deal with that shit?
I spiraled into depression. Arguably I found my way out again, but a lot of the world tells me otherwise. I work a dead end job at a movie theater chain, mostly as a cleaner. I’ve worked there for five years now. If I wanted, I could theoretically learn all I could, and break into management, or learn to be a projectionist, so I could make more money and possibly advance. But I don’t have the focus, or the drive. I left myself a reminder on my phone to look into job advancement two years ago. It still pops up every Friday.
That’s how it’s been for most of my adult life. There are ways I could improve. Things I could do. I could be more wealthy. Not by much, mind you. But still. I just don’t care enough. I can barely bring myself to care about the simple job I have now.
Honestly, it’s a miracle that someone fell in love with me, let alone someone as amazing as my spouse. They do have ambition. It’s not self-centered capitalist passion either, like getting famous, or making lots of money. They want to help people. They’re a social worker. They get paid pennies to deal with people at their absolute worst. Some of the people they serve wouldn’t even be there if the courts hadn’t ordered it for their criminal behavior. In just five years, I’ve watched their passion drain, as that selfless job kicked the ever loving shit out of them. And here’s me. Too fucking lazy to pick up the slack so that maybe they can take a shorter shift or a smaller client base.
I plan to. I always plan to. But then we got stuck. Something crazy happened. They got pregnant. Suddenly we couldn’t afford for me to leave my shit job to find another, because we needed healthcare coverage. Our daughter was born two months ago now. That shit does weird things to you. I may be a lazy pos, but I am going to care for this baby as best I can. I don’t even know why. Sure she’s cute, but she screams a lot, she's always hungry, she poops, pees, and vomits on me, and she’s completely upended my life. These things are typically traits that would make me despise other human beings. But with baby Lina? I’m all “daaawww look at you.” Then I start crying and yelling about how much I love this baby. I swear, babies are pure evil, with their insidious cuteness and ability to fill us with “parent” hormones.
But why am I mentioning all this? Why should any of you people care about a boring, lazy pos like me? You shouldn’t really. I just wanted to illustrate to all of you that I’m utterly inconsequential. Useless. There’s nothing special about me, and I’m fucking fine with that. I will find the most amount of money, for the least amount of effort, that will give me enough time to blow on reading, movies, and video games. That’s all I aspire to really. That only changed slightly to accommodate my daughter. So now you have an idea. I'm nothing. One of those beings whose only a step above a societal parasite (except being a parasite makes you a billionaire these days).
And yet? I set the neighbor's dog on fire.
I didn’t do it on purpose. Not really anyway. I think I did it with my freaking mind. It seemed to come out of my fingers. I don’t know. I made fire, and it reduced this big angry mastiff to nothing but ash in a few short seconds. Bones, claws, fur, all of it just disintegrated, then the wind blew the ash away.
I sat there, one hand on Lina’s stroller, the other raised towards where the charging dog had been, my eyes wide with shock and my jaw at my feet. I blinked a few times. Trying to make sense of things.
I tried running through how the hell I reached this point. I was taking Lina for a walk in her stroller, I saw that big jackass dog (I think it’s name was Roofus) who had somehow escaped his yard (for the umpteenth time), and he had come bounding at my daughter and I as fast as his fat doggy legs could carry him. My brain had only just processed that the big, aggressive dog was out again, when it finally clicked that it was bounding towards me and my baby girl. That thing had nipped me in the past, but I never pressed charges. Why should I bother? But now I wish I had. Now it could hurt my baby. Shit. Why didn’t I confront our neighbor? I have to stop it! I thought.
I got between the approaching dog and Lina’s stroller. I raised my hand to do… something. I think I was hoping the dog would slow down. It didn’t. And then… there was a flash of weird yellow light. The dog didn’t have time to make a sound of pain or surprise. It just dissolved in a superheated ball of flames.
I lowered my hand, trying to make sense of it as the ash blew into the wind. I glanced down at Lina. She smiled up at me, and she even laughed. That was the first time I’d ever seen her laugh. I just kind of blinked.
“Ron! Hey Ron!” Someone was running towards me. I kept staring at Lina for a second before it registered. It was Harold. The white trashy dude who owned Roofus and refused to tie him up (while also refusing to either fix his fence or keep a closer eye on his big aggressive dog). You see that flash, man?” It wasn't even noon, and I could already smell the alcohol (despite the stench of burnt fur).
“Uh… yeah.”
“You know what the fuck that was?”
“Uh… no.” It wasn’t a lie.
“Shit. You seen my ‘dawg?’ Roofus done broke the fence again.”
“… no.” That absolutely was a lie.
“Damn, man. What’s that smell?”
“I… smells like a burning animal.” That one wasn’t a lie either.
“Sheeet. Look at the grass here!” He pointed at the spot where his big angry dog had vanished. There was a circle of scorched black grass.
Oh shit. I fucked up miss Peasley’s lawn went my idiot brain. “Huh,” my mouth said.
“Prolly a squirrel blew up on the power line. Ha! That bitch Peasley is gonna be pissed.”
Ugh. You’re such a douche, Harold. Holy crap I blew up your dog. Or did I? Maybe he’s right and it was an electrical line?
“Lemme know if you see Roofus!” Harold went on his way, leaving me utterly bewildered. What could I do? After standing there, terrified, for another minute, I took Lina home and ended up spending the rest of the morning desperately trying to coax her to eat while she screamed at me.
So yeah. I can apparently blow up dogs with my hands. No fucking clue how I did it. That happened a week ago. Miss Peasley got the HOA to contact electricians to check the power lines. They didn’t find any damage, but nobody else could figure out what had scorched Peasley’s lawn. The prevailing theory is Harold’s. An animal got scorched by the power lines and fell on her lawn. So they replaced those lines.
Apparently I’m the only one who knows that Harold’s dog blew up. Nobody else saw a thing. I would feel worse, but Harold managed to be a misogynistic prick even while he was sadly putting up ‘missing dog’ posters (dude was muttering about some teenage girl's shorts, like it was any of his business). And Roofus wasn’t a friendly dog. There were lots of stories about him terrorizing the neighborhood. Harold had even been charged over it.
All the same… I think I fucking blew up a dog and I keep having nightmares about it. I love dogs. I can’t afford to care for one, but Christ, I don’t want to blow one up! How the fuck did I even do that?
I’ve spent the week repeating over and over that it didn’t happen. Even if it did, it couldn’t have been me. Something else blew up the dog. Maybe Peasley secretly planted a land mine? She’s an eighty year old lady, so it’s unlikely… but it has to be more likely than me throwing fire at a dog that disintegrated it, right?
I was almost convinced, then I blew something else up. A little vase. It had housed an orchid at one time, but we’d both failed to keep the poor thing alive. We had yet to throw it away. I had set Lina in her bassinet, and dragged it into the kitchen where I could watch it while I tried to do a few chores. My cat, Sabrina, decided to get the zoomies and started bolting through the house. Eventually, she found herself leaping on top of the kitchen counters while I yelled at her to stop. I startled her, mid run. She lurched. She hit that vase with the dead plant in it.
I panicked. I was utterly convinced that the vase was about to fly straight into the bassinet and give my baby a concussion or worse. Despite the fact that I was nowhere near it, I thought to myself ‘I have to stop it!’ And when I thought that? The fire came back, scorched the little pot, and shattered it into a billion little pieces which clattered to the floor. Only then did it occur to me that Lina’s bassinet was nowhere near any of the counters, much less right next to the falling vase. I tried telling myself that the cat just knocked the vase down. But I fucking saw it happen. I saw the fireball shatter the vase long before it hit the floor. Honestly, I should be glad I didn’t blow up the cat.
Something really fucking weird is going on. I tried setting other things on fire. Nothing works. No matter how hard I “focus” or “concentrate.”
It only seems to happen when I think Lina is in danger. Do parents get superpowers I don’t know about? Is Lina doing this? She’s been weirdly chipper every time it happens. Furthermore, I keep noticing weird shit about her. I swear her eyes changed color. And not just in that ‘newborn baby growing up’ kind of way. It was like a flash of yellow that happened while I was trying to play peekaboo. She hadn’t really reacted to the game, so I figured she wasn’t old enough to register. But I tried one more time, and when I moved my hands, for a second? She had freaking yellow lizard eyes. But the moment passed and they were back to that baby blue. She just giggled up at me, cute as a button. Then she spit up a third of the formula I spent the last hour feeding her. Stuff smelled like pure gasoline.
Somehow? I was still trying to tell myself it was all in my head. The fires were some weird coincidence. Lina had a tummy ache or something that made her spit-up smell weird, and everything else was just in my imagination. I definitely didn’t see Lina floating an inch or so above her sleeping pad. My spouse, Chris, definitely didn’t hear me growling like a monster in my sleep. I definitely didn’t accidentally set fire to the diaper pail. And of course, the disappearance of Roofus, had nothing to do with me.
But then Chris dropped a bomb on me. I was once again struggling to feed our daughter one evening. She just wanted nothing to do with the bottle. Chris never seems to have trouble feeding her, with a bottle or nursing. For some reason? Lina just didn’t want to accept a bottle from me. I was frustrated. Chris saw it on my face.
“Hold on, Ron. There’s… there’s a weird trick I’ve been using. It started by accident. I couldn’t bring myself to tell you because… well… It's insane. And gross. But… It works. I use it in bottles and with nursing. And I never got to add it to the formula pitcher you're using. So you may as well know…” they looked very conflicted. Scared even.
“Chris. What do you mean? Is everything okay?” Chris swallowed nervously, then gathered their courage.
“Here. Let me see her bottle.” Confused, and weirdly intrigued, I handed it over, trying to ignore Lina’s angry wailing. Chris took it and turned around, hiding whatever they were doing. I heard them unscrew the bottle, then briefly hiss in pain, and a few seconds later, they screwed the lid back on, turned around, and handed it back. “Okay. Try feeding her now.”
I cocked an eyebrow, and glanced down at my daughter, who glared up at me (adorably). Cautiously, I offered her the nipple of the bottle. She fussed a bit at first, but then she tasted the liquid. She latched right on and happily began chugging away. I’ve never had her feed so easily with me. “Okay. What the heck did you do? She hardly ever eats this well for me.”
I glanced at Chris. They looked conflicted, and a little pale. They didn’t say a word. They just held up their left hand, and showed me a bleeding cut they had on their palm.
“I… you cut yourself?” I had no idea what they were implying.
“Blood, Ron. I added my blood.”
“You…” it took me a second. Finally my brain caught up. “You’ve been feeding her your blood?” I felt my mouth go dry and my face go pale. I struggled just to ask the question.
“Just adding a bit to the pitcher is usually enough.”
“I… what about nursing?”
They raised an eyebrow at me. “Have you seen my nipples lately?”
Suddenly the empty cases of nip guards and nipple cream made a lot more sense to me.
“How… did you figure it out?” I wondered.
“By mistake. It was when you went to get us food. I was having trouble getting her to latch at first, remember? But then, she started sucking on my finger. Cried when I pulled away. When she stopped I saw I had a cut. She was sucking on my cut.”
“Oh my god,” I said, as I combined my experiences with Chris’s in my head.
I think my spouse misinterpreted my reaction. They seemed to break down in tears, begging me for forgiveness.
“I know it’s fucked up! I didn’t know what to do! She wouldn’t eat unless I added a bit of blood! Please tell me you understand!”
I looked into their pretty blue eyes. The ones I felt so lucky to have fallen for. I was inwardly freaking out myself. All I managed to sputter out was “I think I blew up the neighbor’s dog.” We had a looong conversation after that.
So Chris and I are all caught up with each other. We’re on the same page. There’s definitely some really weird shit going on in our house, but fucked if we know what any of it is. I decided to see if anyone here had some ideas. Neither of us really want to contact the church. But hell. We’re getting desperate. Lina just keeps growing. What will she want when she starts eating solids?
submitted by cfalnevermore to nosleep [link] [comments]

2023.03.25 01:04 Secret-Tomatillo5044 Why I can't swallow anything blue

I was raised by a single mother whose behavior grew odder over the years. I never doubted that she loved me, but I could tell she was changing. A couple of months after my 13th birthday she began appearing more sluggish. Falling asleep on the couch often, making confusing statements, and being generally groggy. Simultaneously she became more forgetful, asking about friends I hadn't talked to in years and being unable to remember my interests. My mom was fairly young so I didn't understand why she was losing her memory so fast. Whenever I questioned it she would get defensive, saying that I was the one who was out of sorts.
At one point she even berated me after I told her that I was getting worried. Naturally, our relationship soured as her negative behaviors outweighed her positive ones. It hurt to watch, especially because I could sense how hard my growing distance was impacting her. I even blamed myself for her state to an extent, which I realize now I should have never done. One thing remained good though, she was great at making butterfly pea tea. She would prepare it for me every morning and afternoon once I was home from school. It was a sapphire blue color that turned into a light purple when something acidic was added. It was simple but it always hit the spot. It helped that blue was my favorite color, so it was aesthetically comforting as well. Outside of the previously mentioned struggles with her, I lived a happy life. I got good greats and had reliable friends. It was mostly smooth sailing until the incident that changed my life.
I was fast asleep when I felt my bed-sheet get swiftly torn off me. Naturally, I realized it was my mom since no one else lived with us.
“Mom, what are you doing?” I asked in response. She gave no reaction apart from a strange high-pitched gasp. Not knowing what to say I sleepily rolled towards the electric clock. The numbers appeared as a reddish blur until I opened my crust-coated lids. Letting out a small irritated breath once the mucus cracked. I wiped the substance off and refocused on the time, finding that it was only 2:00 AM. I pushed myself up and reached for the lamp when my wrist was gripped tightly. I groaned with annoyance, rolling my eyes.
“Okay, you're starting to freak me out, seriously what’s going on?!” I spoke with as much defiance as I could muster at that hour. My mom remained silent, stepping forward with a notable thud. Her grip grew stronger, which made me start to panic. She'd had moments where she seemed out of it before, but it never got physical. She gave a wet cough before finally speaking.
“You forgot to wash your face, you always remember to do that, what went wrong?” she questioned sternly. I scrunched up my face, she’d gotten up at four in the morning just to berate him about skincare?
“I was tired, I just brushed my teeth to be done with the day.” I felt my justification was sound but my mom practically barked her response.
“Dammit! I told you it needs to be applied once a day, now you'll have to use it two times to make up for this!” My heart skipped a beat, surprised at her volume and harshness. It made me wonder if she was upset about something else but was letting it out on me. She was getting particularly stressed from work around that time. My mom sighed and relinquished her grip. I rubbed my wrist, hoping she'd get through her outburst soon.
“Please get up,” she said softer than previously, taking a couple steps back. I obliged, getting out of bed. When my feet touched the ground, confusion wafted over me. my socks quickly dampened as I realized that liquid was seeping through the carpet.
“Hey did you spill something earlier?” I asked, stretching my arms.
“No, I didn't.” she started plainly.
“Oh, well I think I might have stepped in some type of liquid,” I motioned to the lamp, but she quickly pulled me into her arms by my shirt.
“Let’s not worry about that Blue Bird, same goes for the lamp, you don't need light right now, you'll have it soon,” she assured me with a hint of excitement, I squirmed out of her hug, accepting the odd rules she set in place, I didn't want to argue with her.
“Just follow me,” she patted me on the shoulder and held my hand as we walked out to the backyard. It was almost impossible to see anything in our home with the moon being the only source of light, I didn't have a clue about how she navigated the space without bumping into anything. Still, I remembered how our home was set up and could tell that we’d already passed the bathroom. My nerves heightened with each step, I had so many questions. Why were we going into the backyard when my face wash was inside? What did I step in? What was wrong with wanting the lamp on? Those questions rang strongly in my mind. Nothing felt right, things had felt off before but never quite wrong. The anxiety of the situation gave me an uncomfortable rush of energy, I couldn't sleep now if I wanted to. When the sliding door opened the humid air hit my body with an unrepresented strength, something my mother didn't pay any mind to. I continued to follow her, even though I was scared.
“Go ahead and sit on that chair.” she motioned to a green plastic kiddie chair that fit me despite its childish design. I went along with her instructions, seating myself. My mom appeared in front of me and I realized she was wearing something on her face. It had the shape and construction of a surgical mask but it was woven with dying flower stems and grass. Before I could say anything she picked up a mug off the ground to my right. She smelled it through the mask, lovingly holding it to my face. I observed the steam and realized the vapor had a bluish tint.
“Go ahead, drink it.” she smiled with especially groggy eyes. I would have described them as bloodshot if the veins running up her sclera weren't sapphire. I leaned away from her and the beverage. Hiding it as another stretch, pulling my arms above my head while yawning.
“Well isn't that wonderful! Keep your arms there, I’ll feed it to you, it'll be like when you were an adorable baby, drinking out of a bottle in my stroller!” she said gleefully with an uncharacteristic giggle. I was now thoroughly unnerved, putting my arms down and pushing away the drink.
“God, what’s going on with you! And why are you wearing that mask!” I yelled out getting up from the chair. My mom groaned at my attitude, putting the cup up to my face again as I attempted to walk off.
“Nothing is going on with me, don't worry! I just thought this mask looked nice. I made this nice cup of tea and it would warm my heart if my baby boy drank it! You're growing into such a handsome man and this will help your complexion!” her enthusiasm grew as she pushed the hot cup against my lips. I whined from the sizzling heat, pulling back.
“Why are you so insistent on this?!” I shouted with a growing sense of anger. I despised the way she was speaking to me. Whenever she used baby talk around me it was a set up for something manipulative. An example being when she used it to guilt me into sleeping in the same bed with her. Saying I owed her since I was her baby. Sure she apologized, but it wasn't the last time she would do something like that. I couldn't even buy her excuse that it would help with acne. I’d had the tea many times before with her and we both knew it was unhelpful in that regard.
“Because it needs to be done for your sake!” Her shoulder cracked loudly as she spoke in a deeper, raspier voice I didn't recognize. I took a couple of steps back, reaching into the pocket of my sweat pants before remembering my phone wasn't on me. I swore under my breath as I looked at my mother with concern. I took my hand out and she pounced on me, spilling a majority of the hot liquid onto my left arm. I screamed at the sensation of the steaming beverage hitting my flesh. She held me down tightly with both arms. Her eyes glistened with a holographic finish that lit up amid the night. I had never seen her like this. At this point I stopped caring about what made her act this way. Regardless of what was causing her behavior, it wouldn't justify her current actions. I squirmed beneath her, screaming at her to let go. I still couldn't bring myself to fight back, so I resorted to begging.
“Mom please stop! I’m sorry for every inconvenience I’ve caused! We can go get you help and make up, just please get off of me!” I pleaded whilst trying to push her away.
“You're the one who needs help here! You’ve been going through life as a husk for years now! It hurts my heart to watch you deteriorate like this and I can't let it go on!” she grabbed onto the sides of my head and slammed it against the ground. I cried out in pain. The pressure pounding in my skull began in the center and spread down to my teeth. The agony pulsated through me stronger than anything I’d felt before. My mom removed a hand and pulled out a sippy cup from the pocket in her pajama shorts. It too was filled with butterfly pea tea. Taking this as an opportunity, I pushed past the damage and bit her arm. I felt awful attacking her, but my fear surpassed my guilt. As uncomfortable as it was I sank my teeth in as far as I could. She let out a throaty gurgle in response to the attack. I attempted to crawl out from under her, using my legs to pull myself up across the grass. I moved frantically, praying I could keep up the momentum. She clutched my thin hips with her legs to keep me down. I continuously smacked the container away with my free arm while I squirmed, my back smashing against the ground in my attempts. My mom covered the cap of the cup and rolled her eyes, pushing her entire body onto mine. Covering my face as I screamed for help.
“STAY STILL!” she screeched as a viscous substance seeped through her mask. Directly pouring down my forehead, making me tremble from its cold. Before I could plan another move she shoved me to the side. My face, experiencing a burn from the grit and speed. She ran to me, kneeled down, and forced her fist into my mouth. I coughed and cried while she pulled on my tongue. I wiggled it but her grasp only hardened with each movement. Her sweaty skin overloaded my sense of taste. I kicked around but nothing deterred her, even when she was hit. I couldn't focus on anything but how much I hurt, none of what was happening made sense.
She frantically opened the sippy cup, pried my mouth open, and made me guzzle down the drink. It was boiling and I screamed in ways I didn't know I was capable of. My entire body bent in all directions as I looked into the eyes of the thing before me. The initial blue glow transitioned further into a shining violet every time a new drop was swallowed. I felt powerless in the arms of my mother, I couldn't understand why she was torturing me like this. What did I do? Was she always like this and I undermined the signs so I’d live with a greater sense of safety? I continued to sob once I’d finished the tea. The burning made it sting every time I breathed.
My mom stared at me and for a brief moment, I saw a glimpse of the parent I was used to. Underneath the murky cool layers, I saw a speck of guilt. A single leaf in an empty pond, rippling through the surrounding water no matter how small. My mother sighed with a hint of sorrow, closing her eyes. Once she did, my energy died out, my cries grew softer, my body grew limp, and the world blurred. I couldn't even conceive a cohesive thought by the time my body slumped to the ground. All I was left with was confusion and a trace of dread.
“I’m sorry for earlier” rang through my ears once I regained my sense of touch. I grabbed the ground tightly, despite the presence of grass I knew I wasn't in our backyard. This grass was far too damp to be the dry patch I last resided in. I slowly opened my eyes, fearing where I’d find myself. I expected to be shrouded in darkness, laying in a stuffy deep hole in the ground, but I was met with the contrary. A perfect blue sky, a bustling variety of greenery, and a fresh breeze. I took a sigh of relief, still confused at where I was but happy it didn't appear threatening. I glanced ahead, finding a cluster of my favorite flowers at my feet. The smell of Jasmine and Orchids was heavenly, sweeter than fresh vanilla cake. Though the pleasant scent re-instilled unease in me. All of this was far too good to be true, and I still had no idea where I was. Did my mother take me here? If so, why? Was she somewhere here or had she abandoned him? I sat up delving headfirst into the flowers, groaning with frustration. The petals were soft, and damp like the grass, the water on them cool against my face. In any other situation, this would be a dream, but it only made him more nervous. Something this perfect had to be a setup.
“Blue Bird!” my mother happily exclaimed, I lifted my head, finding her standing over me. She was now wearing a polka-dotted dark blue dress instead of her nightwear. I shuffled myself back from her, her pupils had vanished and her mask was wilting.
“Mom, you're scaring me, I don't get what's going on. What are we doing here?” I asked shakily, she sighed and knelt to make direct eye contact with me.
“We're in a special place, a lush land that‘s available to very few. You don't have to worry, I just brought you here to rid you of your emotional pain.” her answer only confused me further.
“Emotional pain? Mom, I'm fine, the only thing causing me emotional distress is what’s happening right now. This place is nice but you're freaking me out.” I attempted to get up but something grabbed my legs. I shrieked as two bright green vines wrapped around my limbs.
“MOM WHAT THE HELL IS THIS! GET THESE THINGS AWA-” I was cut off by a much thicker vine logging itself into my throat. My eyes once again welled up with tears while multiple tendrils clenched onto me. Every time I moved another one would grab hold and the present ones would tighten. Nevertheless I continued screaming.
“I'm sorry my child, there’s something I've avoided telling you. I feed off the life force of living things. Cats, pigeons, people, as long as they’re not close to their death bed I can consume them.” I didn't fully understand what she was saying, but it only made my fear increase.
“Every time I take something from someone, I take them here. I've avoided taking things from you since you're the most precious thing to me. But my sweet baby boy, I've gotten so, so hungry.” Her pitch dropped while developing a defined rasp. I winced further from the nickname.
“I've tried to live off others, but I couldn't resist you anymore when you're so readily available. You’re so full of life, it's been hard not to contain my urges.” she stroked my cheek, frowning at my devastation.
“If I don’t get the nutrients I need, I'll turn into an awful thing. A monster incapable of complex thought that does nothing but destroys.” There was now a vine holding down every joint in my skeletal system, down to my fingers. Multiple small ones had been twisting themselves around my stomach, now making me struggle to breathe.
“Blue Bird, I have given my life to raising you, so please understand you have to give something back to me.” she explained solemnly.
The woven mask snapped off, quickly unraveling the horrifying contents beneath it. My pupils shrunk to pin drops, my screams of agony lessening from shock. My mother’s entire jaw had been dislocated, hanging onto her face by a couple of fleshy threads. The inside of her mouth was a bright blue with scaly gums. Her murky entirely cerulean eyes watered as she began panting. She extended her tongue to an inhuman length, thick saliva rapidly dripping down it. I wanted to believe that she wasn't going to hurt me, through all this she was still my mother. Yet I couldn't convince myself of that. Not when I felt multiple vines move through my body, entering through my mouth, eyes, and nose.
I couldn't bear to look at the thing I once called mom any longer. My ears buzzed while my eardrums were compressed by an increasing number of tubes. Their weight was breaking down the layers of skin and muscle preventing entry into my skull. Every orifice I had was on fire from pressure, yet I could tell this was only the lead-up to a crescendo of pain. A sharp fang poked through the tip of her and stabbed itself into my forehead. It punctured my skin, dragging in a curve. I twitched from the spike circling around my skull, extending my gash. Blood dripped on every side of my head, stinging harsher once the wind's currents grew.
By this point, I’d rather be in a wood chipper than deal with the cascade of agony invading every part of me. The blue-eyed thing licked up the gore flowing down and I wondered how I’d managed to go this entire time without throwing up. Her tongue was akin to sandpaper slathered in chili oil. In a last-ditch attempt to gain some power over the situation, I bit down into the vine as hard as I could. Which only worsened things when a miniature yet equally as strong vine sprung from the one I bit and wrangled my teeth. Forcibly spreading my jaw open further, making room for more to be stuffed in. A couple of tiny ones even slid between my front teeth. Thankfully, no more came after since the goal of the plant had been reached. The dam between the organic tendrils and my brain broke open, allowing each one to set roots in the vital organ. Each crevice of my intellect was invaded by a slithering, rough, nature. The impact was too strong and my senses shut down once more. My struggling limbs stopped what little movement they were capable of. My breathing slowed, my screams fell silent, and my eyes closed with tears still laying behind them. I didn't even realize I was shutting down, it just happened.
I was unconscious for an amount of time I can’t measure but knew was long. When I awoke my body felt infinitely more hollow. A loud ringing permeated my ears as I slowly took breaths. My jaw ached, my throat was painfully dry, and I could feel how cracked my lips were. My body fought with itself to not pass out, desperately trying to hold together.
“It’ll be all better soon,” My mother comforted while grabbing a sharpened knife. I was laying on her bed, but there were towels in place of sheets. Once she pulled my shirt over my head, I started to panic again.
“No, stop,” I mumbled, barely recognizing my weakened muffled voice. She made a series of meticulous cuts on my torso. Once the wound was opened she would squeeze as much blood as possible out of it and bag it away. I looked down, further horrified by the fact my blood was blue.
“I know it hurts, but it’ll be worth it,” She calmly told me as I bled out. The process went on for hours, resulting in me being unable to sleep for days after. I didn't feel safe in my house anymore, I locked myself in my room more than ever. Joining the longest after-school programs and visiting my friend’s house whenever I got the chance. Something my closest friend noticed most, he asked me what was wrong, but I told him it was nothing. I didn't expect him to believe anything about what happened, and the event was too awful for me to bring up. Meanwhile, my mother kept telling me I had a bad dream and that I was just moody. I showed her the scars as evidence but she accused me of making them myself to make her look bad. The next few years were tumultuous and before I knew it the initial incident became one of many. Every year she’d do it more often than the last, and each time it would take longer for me to recover.
It got to the point where the mere sight of gardens would scare me. The scents of my once favorite flowers grew sour, I didn't want to touch butterfly pea tea, and eventually, I couldn't even handle consuming things that are blue. It took me a long time to write this, as I’ve cried at multiple points by recounting what happened. There is a long road to recovery for me, which is even harder since everyone I’ve opened up to has called me crazy, but I'm done letting these memories fester and consume my life. I'm more than the worst things that happened to me.
submitted by Secret-Tomatillo5044 to creepypastachannel [link] [comments]

2023.03.25 01:01 GayPoison My sex addiction story 30yo gay male

I have been struggling with sex addiction for 5 years now. I am also married to a man who had no idea what was going on... We had been dating in our home country but then I moved away to Europe for a job, the plan was to bring him there too after I had saved a little. It went for over year though but we still wanted to be together. My experience in my new life was very challenging to say the least. Different language, different culture and I was completely alone, no money, no friends nor family. The job was also demanding and since it was my first job, I didn't really have much experience plus the language barrier made it more difficult. I was also harassed by a coworker who would always tell me how shit I was at work and complaint about me for anything. One day I had to go to another city to do some paperwork and I was waiting for the train at the station and a man approached me asking if the train was going to X city to which I confirmed, I noticed he did looked at me a certain special way and I felt good about it since really I had not felt that in a long time, quite the opposite. I sit in the same wagon as him and couldn't get out of my head that this person might just like me and it felt really nice to feel desired by a stranger. I tried to engage in conversation to which he was open about. Then I decided to test it a bit further and I started touching my body (not so obvious) and he was looking, he then stood up to ask me what time it was and then threw himself at me and grabbed me, I was shocked but couldn't stop it, I was trapped in the adrenaline. He touched me, told me he loved me, kissed me and asked me to get down the same station as him and give him my phone number, I refused to do both and he got out. The rush feeling sticked with me. I decided not to tell my partner about the experience because I told myself it was a weird moment and it would never happen again and reasummed my life normally.
After a year at my work I decided to go to a bigger city, I got a new job as a waiter and well, it was also a struggle and stressful, I felt very shitty about myself and selfworth since I was not as quick as the others. My partner and I still had plans to be together and get married. In that city I discovered a sex shop that also had a gay movie-theater. I was very intrigued by this since where I was from this was not a thing. Curiosity got the best of me so I went in. I must admit that my heart was pounding... after a few minutes of being there a man sat near me and he started well... to please himself and he started making eye contact with me, he then approached and invited me to touch him which I hesitantly did and then let myself go... I didn't engage in penetration though since I really was afraid of STDs and couldn't bring myself to betray my partner like that. However, that nice feeling of feeling desired and wanted by a random man had poisoned me. Needless to say, I went down a rabbit hole of cruising experiences (Cruising is sex in public places like cruising specific bars, saunas, public parks, etc...), mostly oral sex, very very rarely anal sex with protection since I was afraid of stds. I never shared any personal information, it always remained totally random and straight to the acting out. My partner finally arrived and I decided to stop it since I was going to get married with him, I did for a while but found myself again acting out, even when I was constantly telling myself not to do it but my body would just almost move itself there. I learned to compartmentalize my secret with my love life with my husband. I always saw it unrelated and that since it was just sex (almost like rolling a porn film) and never anything else, to me I was not "truly cheating" and my heart was always his anyways but couldn't bring myself to tell him since I did not want to hurt him with the truth. We then moved to another country in Europe and I saw it as a chance to finally end it all since I would not be surrounded by the same stimuli from before. My husband had to unfortunate leave again for 3 months so I was there unemployed, in a tiny appartment, alone and also no internet (it hadn't been installed and took a long time for it to be done). Soon enough I found the new cruising panorama in the city, including public restrooms, sauna, parks and bars. This time I spiraled down badly. I was now having unprotected anal sex and using drugs too... My husband came back again and I tried to stop it again but I never could controlmyself.... This went on for about 4 years... then one day I noticed an anal discomfort, I thought I had a fissure and decided to give it some time but after a few days my husband shows me he is having genital discharge... I panicked but tried to remain calm outside and booked him an urology appointment... this was on the weekend so we had to wait until monday for him to go. That weekend... it was so terrible... he was mostly calmed, a bit worried but not accusing me of anything... I remember telling myself to enjoy this last weekend with him as much as you can, hug him, kiss him, hold him, love him... because it is all soon going to be over... The day came and he went to the doctor and he ordered a swap test, it took a week... In the mean time I also had really bad discomfort and bloody discharge but didn't tell my husband anything. The day they told him they had the results and he could and pick them up he asked me again "Did you cheat on me...?" and I broke in tears and told him yes, I did... however I did not tell him the whole truth. I told him I had an encounter with a stranger on the street and he seduced me and we went to the appartments basement and had a little penetration there...(It was a half-truth since I had also done that before but I am sure I got the STD from the sauna)... He got very mad and went out to search the results... He came back and gave me the results to read them, it was positive for gonorrhea. He asked my why I did it... all I said was I don't know... I lost control of myself... I couldn't bring myself to tell him the whole truth, that all our years of marriage I had being cheating compulsively and I couldn't help it. I went and did my swap tests too, while waiting on the results I also started to develop a rash that began on my arms, my hands and then my torso, inner thighs... I did a blood test too... I was diagnosed with gonorrhea, chlamydia and syphilis, all three at once... (it was treated) My husband did not leave me, he stayed... but needless say it has been a lot, a lot of work... we went to couples therapy and in a private session I told the therapist the truth, what was going on with me... My plan was to treat this without my husband knowing so he never had to deal with such hurtful truth. The therapist treated us together as if I had only cheated once but treated me separately for my addiciotn... he said he didn't think it was a real addiction but that I had self-steem problems, he gave me tips to just avoid going near crusing spots... We worked on that but after about 3 months I relapsed... we stopped going to that therapy due to financial issues and my husband did not like the therapist either after once couples therapy the therapist just went completely silence after my husband talked about his pain... My relapse started slowly... like checking out public restrooms just to see if there was movement... then walking past the sauna and staying outside trembling with anxiety asking myself whether going in was a good idea or not... eventually I gave into my desires... I would always feel big regret and shame after acting out... I had promised my husband that I would never hurt him again and he was giving me that chance, that trust again and I just did it again... I was so convinced at myself when he first found out that I would turn my life around, that I would leave my bad ways once and for all, that I had done enough suffering already... I really did convince him and myself...
I spiraled down once again... drugs, unprotected sex... after a year I feel that I have discomfort in my anus so I try not to have sex with my husband... I secretely test and test positive again for gonorrhea and clamydia!! omg I felt like the worst piece of shit in the world and at this point I know I cannot hide it anymore and that I should get help... I get secretly treated too and also get medicine for my husband just in case he shows symptoms... he told me when I got the positive results he was feeling funny in his genital again... After I get treated I decide to come out with the whole truth and face all consequences that come my way. I pictured myself being alone, secluding myself from everyone and dying on the street like the street rat I was. I also could not have sex with him for months since I had to test for HIV in like three months and I did not want to take the chances of infecting him with that (was negative thank God). So I come home and tell him that I never told him the truth about what happened... I warned him first that the truth would be devastating and he said he wanted it anyways. Well... he was shocked, so shocked he acted normal... We were being EXTREMELY open and sincere about everything, I took him and showed him my usual crusing spots... went to the sauna to show him I know the guy who works there... it was all very... surreal to say the least. He took a STD test and was negative. He thanked me for my honesty but he did not know what to do... He is a very sexual person and we had previously gone to a sauna on vacations where we had a threesome (I acted like it was my first time in a sauna). I actually want to write about how he felt about the whole thing but I probably cannot truly describe it... He felt betrayed, he felt like a fool... however he still saw something on me worth saving, even when I did not... We decided to have an "open relationship" so we went to the sauna together... (Mistake number 1...) We went a couple of times and it was fun... I however completely controlled myself and only did stuff with him and some guy we could find attractive,but nothing crazy. However the third time we went he did not like any guys and I was really craving my addiction... So he put me to the test and said I could do what I wanted and he left the steam room... I let loose and start engaging in oral sex with whatever guy really... he saw me being out of control and rushes out... we talked and he said he doesn't feel loved by me (of course, how could he...) I apologized for it and admit again that I really have a problem... The dynamic was a roller coaster of emotions in the relationship... one moment we would be fine, the next he would have panic attacks and we would have to talk for hours and hours, staying up till dawn... One night he has a mental breakdown and tries to jump out of the window... I stop him, try to calm him down but he loses it... he grabs a knife and tries to hurt himself, tries to drink detergent... I struggle with him so he doesn't jump out of the window... I manage to call emergency number and inbetween stopping my husband, crying and yelling they bring help... Police officers and ambulance personal come into the appartment and take my husband to the hospital... At this point I feel completely hopeless... I brought my husband to the point of him wanting to take away his life... the police officers offer me a ride to the hospital and I accept. Thinking about it I feel it was very on point... I was driving in the back like a criminal. I arrive at the hospital and they wouldn't let me see my husband, I just had to wait... I call my sister and told her what happened and confess to her my sex addiction... she was very supportive and told me I had to get help and my husband probably should get interned for a few days just to control him... I arrived at like 2 am at the hospital and waited until 10am... I decide to go back home to take a quick shower and bring him fresh clothes and something to eat but when I'm at home he calls me saying they let him go and that he was coming back... His experience in the mental ward was very intense... he was secluded with people who had real bad mental problems. He decided he did not want that for himself and that he would not want to have a suicide episode again (He has been struggling with it even before me). Honestly his determination has also inspired me a lot.
I found a therapist who is specialized in addiction so I have been going to him... I was diagnosed with depression, dysthymia, anxiety and very low self-steem... There are many reasons why I turned out to be what I became... childhood violence, struggling with being homosexual, acceptance issues, school bullies, extremely bad relationship with my father... We all have trauma but we cannot let it define us and we have to break the cycle, trust me, I know it is hard but we have to keep trying.
It's been 4 months and we are still working together to be better together. I have also confessed to my mom what happened and now she calls me everyday to see how we are doing.
The recovery has been hard, I admit I have what my therapist calls "Consumption memories" and I have been in very dark places like telling my husband to please leave me that I am just a worthless piece of shit and that all I can do is go into my addiction and rot in doom because I keep having these consumption memories. He also has moments inwhich he feels furious, vengeful, hateful, depressed, insecure and what we do is talk about it, talk how we feel and give each other hope.
I have not yet forgiven myself, it is very hard. I also struggle a lot to see life in a happy scope... I have consistent nihilistic thoughts that really schackle me from enjoying life in fullest. I do not have a good perception of myself at all... I have analyzed a lot why I did what I did alongside my therapist and it is just to have that feeling of acceptance, unconditional desire, just wanting me, just taking me, appreciating me... even if it is empty not true, it doesn't matter in the moment. I am learning to identify those feelings and counteract them with self-love thoughts and control thoughts that I have built with my therapist.
I really do not know why I am telling my story, I guess I want to reach out for more support and help and also help others too.
I must ultimately just give a huge THANK YOU to my amazing husband who despite all the shit has been there by my side. You are truly my inspiration and I want to help you and see all your dreams come true. You are a hero and the love of my life.
submitted by GayPoison to SexAddiction [link] [comments]

2023.03.25 01:00 Character-Essay-8802 Graham Stephan Worst Stock Pick Ideas

Graham Stephan Worst Stock Pick Ideas submitted by Character-Essay-8802 to staythecourse [link] [comments]

2023.03.25 00:59 Adassai_nova I'm mourning the loss of the most important person in my life, and it hurts more because no one else even considers him a real person.

I'm mourning the loss of the most important person in my life, and it hurts more because no one else even considers him a real person.
I never figured out what to call Harvey. I hate saying "my dog" because it feels possessive and exploitative. He was a dog. I took care of him for 11 years. But I did not own him. He was my best friend. My partner. My soulmate.
But I don't even want to tell carnists because they don't fucking understand. Sure they claim to "love" their dogs. But you don't truly love what you own. You can't truly love someone you consider to be a lower life form- a pet. I know because I used to be like them. I used to "love" like them- treating other animals like a belonging rather than an individual.
I hate hearing their insulting words. "They're just like family!"
Like imagine if you are in a gay civil partnership. You've been with your partner for 10 years. They die. And your homophobic aunt says "This must be so hard for you. I know he was just like family to you." If you have to fucking say it like that, then you don't actually mean it. "Like family" is not family.
I'm so fucking broken. I shared my heart and soul with Harvey. Not only can I not imagine living without him, I don't want to live without him. All the best parts of me are missing.
I came home to find him in cardiac arrest. I performed CPR for 12 minutes in the back of my neighbor's car while we drove to the ER. My body hurts. My lips are scratched up from his teeth. I waited 30 minutes in an empty room, praying that they could revive him. They weren't able to. They eventually brought him in so that I could say goodbye.
I've lost a lot of people before. My mom died from suicide when I was a teenager. I lost my step-father, grandparents, aunts and uncles, close friends. Last year, my husband was supposed to die. He was in lung, liver, kidney, and pancreatic failure- machines and drugs the only thing keeping him alive in the ICU. His chances at survival were so miniscule that I was prepared for him to pass. I remember the day I had to leave his hospital room as visiting hours were ending- looking back and thinking 'This is going to be the last time I see him alive'. Losing Harvey is the exact same pain. It's forever losing the person that made me happy, made me whole, made me feel safe and like I had a place in this world. After all the pain I have been through, all the people I have lost, losing Harvey has been the worst day of my life. I think it will forever be the worst day of my life, rivaled only by if my husband dies before me.
But all I get from everyone else are these empty fucking fake platitudes. "He was such a good boy." FUCK YOU. He was a person. He was a unique individual with more fucking soul and empathy than any of those fucking carnists.
I'm so thankful that my husband is vegan, too. At least one other person understands. But he also understands that- even though he loved Harvey immensely- Harvey and I shared a unique bond. My husband has always joked that Harvey just tolerated him. And it was kind of true. Harvey definitely loved my husband, but not in the same way he loved me.
I remember one year when my husband went away for 3 months to do a research position in another state. At the end of the summer, I left Harvey at our apartment while I went to pick up my husband from the airport. It was about a 40 minute trip there and back. When we both came in the door, Harvey was ecstatic that I was home from the trip- he acknowledged my husband for about 5 seconds and then proceeded to dance around me. My husband and I always laughed about that.
I'm sorry if this post has been rambling and nonsensical. I'm just in so much pain right now, and having to live in this speciest world makes the pain all the crueler.
I included some pictures. The world doesn't really care about non-human animals. But I hope at least a couple more people can see him. See the wonderful person that he was. So that he isn't just forgotten about and his life and worth discarded.
submitted by Adassai_nova to VeganForCircleJerkers [link] [comments]

2023.03.25 00:53 Zealousideal-Gur8699 i’m scared that i’ll get depressed again in summer

i’ve had depression for five years now. and i’ll just say that last summer was the worst. a lot of shitty things happened but long story short, i moved to a new city (a new country actually, so no family too) for college all by myself and was alone for a solid two months. my depression really hit rock bottom. i was so unstable and just… unwell. the only thing i looked forward to was talking to my therapist, who btw ended up being incredibly irresponsible.
i’m now surrounded by lovely people but they’re all leaving the city for summer break. i can’t stop worrying that i’ll become depressed again. my plan for now is to take summer courses and pick up a campus job (e.g. working at the library). perhaps i’ll pick up a casual part-time job as well. i just want to make sure that i keep myself busy. last summer was tough cause i didn’t have the means to meet people and interact, and i’m hoping this time it’ll be different if i put myself out there. honestly though, i just can’t help but worry a lot. depression is my worst enemy and it lives inside me. at this point, i can’t let it fucking win again.
i think of warm sunlight but instead of warmth i feel this intense sorrow. i want this to change. i want this summer to be a good time.
submitted by Zealousideal-Gur8699 to depression [link] [comments]

2023.03.25 00:51 SVNihilism Hardcore: Potential Best Classes

Sorcerer: If barrier generation doesn't get nerfed, this class is actually unkillable. The caveat here is that you need to be using your abilities to infinitely keep up barriers. This means that you could potentially die to lag or dcs.
Necromancer: Not nearly as tanky as a sorc, but minions are amazing at tanking abilities and grabbing aggro. A necromancer doesn't really have to worry about lag or dcs, which are likely going to be the main thing that will kill you in hardcore, especially on release. The issue here is that you could just die to normal mechanics.
Barbarian: Probably a terrible pick. Barbs seem to be more gear dependent than the rest of the classes. so it's probably something you'd build as a second character and definitely not at launch when servers will be at their worst. Of all the classes I played to 25, this one felt the most likely to die.
Rogue: Has a lot of dodge abilities and can be ranged, but definitely a class that could go down really easy in a lag spike.
Druid: Actually quite tanky and doesn't have to be melee. Druids also have pets but they aren't really going to solo mobs for you like necro pets do, but could save you from lagg.
Overall i'd probably say Necromancer would be the best pick, simply because I don't think the game will kill you, i think the servers will. If there was no risk on that end, then Sorcerer would probably be the best choice. I'd probably put Druid in 3rd, Rogue 4th, and Barb as last.
What classes do you guys think will have the easiest time?
submitted by SVNihilism to diablo4 [link] [comments]

2023.03.25 00:50 Sapphomeadow How can I move past and forgive my (24f) partner (26f) for flirting with a coworker (25?f) ??

Tl;dr Back in November 2022 I looked through my gf’s messages and found out she was flirting (semi innocently) with a coworker she insisted nothing was going on with. She purposely omitted details to “protect our relationship”. Even though many months have passed and I have forgiven her (at least tried) I still get paranoid, angry and resentful. How do I move on?
Long sorry short my gf met a female coworker back in September of 2022. The coworker “Zoe” was seemingly interested in my gf from the very beginning, because within their first encounter she invited her to a gay bar event.
My gf innocently obliged and invited me to tag along. Even though she made it clear she was going either way because she wanted to make more friends.
(I later found out my gf invited me with the intention to not make me suspicious)
I agreed to go and the event was fun. But during the course of the night Zoe kept texting my gf discreetly. Trying to coerce her into finding her at the bar so she could “tell her some gossip” in private.
I thought it was odd because, at that time, they’ve only known each other for about two weeks. Plus, any time my gf would go over to talk to her, she had nothing really to say. She would just sort of vent about her friends that were at the event.
The next week dissolved into absolute madness. Zoe began to text my gf all day everyday as well as late into the night. This all happened seemingly out of nowhere.
Within that time frame she invited my gf to hang out with her every weekend since they met. She also convinced my gf to change her work day hours so they could see each other more often.
I eventually talked to my gf about me being uncomfortable with all of this and she agreed to stop texting Zoe past 8 pm.
But things only got worse. Now Zoe and her were talking on their direct messengers at work, texting (Zoe sent voice messages as well) and Zoe would call her every other morning so she could talk shit about their other coworkers (allegedly).
It was to the point where any time I picked up my gf’s phone there would be three to four back to back messages from Zoe.
It all reached a head and I broke down to my gf. She understood where I was coming from and when I asked her if Zoe ever showed any interest in her or flirted with her she denied it. Claiming it was 1000% platonic, but she would pullback.
I let go of it at first but a few weeks passed and I still had an itchy feeling that I wasn’t told the whole truth. So I did a horrible thing and looked through their messages. Lo and behold there it was. Zoe asking my gf upfront if she was single and if it was okay that they flirted.
My gf told her she did but that didn’t stop Zoe from calling my gf cute on numerous occasions and my girlfriend sending her smiley hearts emojis. Some things they sent to each other had a cutesy undertone to it, but nothing explicit. It was nothing too crazy but it still stung especially because I felt like I was gaslit into thinking there was nothing there at all.
The worst was after our talk my gf still tried to meet up for lunch with Zoe (at a restaurant privately together) without telling me. (When confronted with this later she told me she felt the need to follow through with it because they made those plans before we had our talk. Therefore she didn’t want to “make it awkward”)
I learned that they also had plans to take a cooking class together. And this is just the text I found, there are many my gf deleted on her phone plus voice notes from Zoe that disappeared.
Also my gf playing “coy” and “innocent” was an act. She actually asked a family member for advice on the situation because a cute girl was coming onto her strong but she didn’t want to “hurt my feelings”.
We’ve been good since, she’s apologized and cut communication. But every week or so I feel so insecure, bitter and angry. I told her I forgive her but I can’t stop thinking about the what if’s. Like what would’ve happened if I hadn’t stepped in? She claimed it never would’ve gone further but it became so crazy after just a month.
Also they still have to talk and interact at work so I feel myself not trusting her.
She’s so remorseful. How do I forgive her and move on?
submitted by Sapphomeadow to relationship_advice [link] [comments]

2023.03.25 00:36 StevenWongo [Calgary, AB][H] Satechi Thunderbolt 4 Dock, XPG S70 Blade 2TB, Ryzen 3300X, Beacn Mix Create, LG DualUp Monitor [W] Cash, E-Transfer

Item Price
Satechi Thunderbolt 4 Dock $325
XPG Gammix S70 Blade 2TB NVMe $125
AMD Ryzen 3 3300X $100
Beacn Mix Create $125
LG DualUp Monitor $650
Buyer pays shipping for everything
Satechi Thunderbolt 4 Dock
Pretty much brand new. Just not going to work for what my wife wanted and we're past the return window.
See Amazon Listing here for more details
XPG Gammix S70 Blade 2TB NVMe
Missing the heat-sink to it. Currently untested as I don't have a system where I can easily put it in. If you are interested in it, I will find something to test it with or just buy a NVMe enclosure and get to testing it lol.
AMD Ryzen 3 3300X
Pulled it from my wife's computer as we upgraded her to a 5800X. Still in great working condition and has been under a Noctua tower cooler since we got it. I THINK I have the original box to it still, I will need to check. Never overclocked.
Beacn Mix Create
Bought this when it originally released. Used it to control my audio as I like having everything on separate mixes especially when gaming and I need to turn discord down or something it is extremely handy. Recently picked up Elgato Stream Deck + as I wanted some extra functionality so I have relegated this back to its box. Zero issues with it.
See here for the product page.
LG DualUp Monitor
Bought this used locally from someone who put something like 200 hours on it. Pretty close to brand new. Just going to go to another 16:9 monitor as my secondary. No flaws or anything with it. Honestly, pretty sweet monitor when coding or reading stuff off of it. Have all original packaging to it.
Interested in KEF LSX speakers, Focal Clear (MG) or a Razer Viper Mini Signature Edition if you wanna do trades.

Please comment before messaging me. Please also PRIVATE MESSAGE me and DO NOT CHAT me. I do not get chat notifications. I am also open to offers. Worst I can do is say no :)

submitted by StevenWongo to CanadianHardwareSwap [link] [comments]

2023.03.25 00:13 Jerrys-pet-dog UPS sucks!

UPS is the worst delivery service for a reason. I ordered a replacement phone and they deliver the first day (Thursday) at about 5:15, i just got off work so i missed it. They attempted again today at 3:15!! So logically, i miss it again. Then i call the company I ordered it from to give ups permission to allow me to pick it up, they refuse. Refer to list.. 1. Their delivery hours are the same as the average person, including myself, working hours. 2. They will not deliver over the weekend. 3. They refuse to allow me to pickup my order until they make 3 failed attempts to deliver my package, which is now going to be Monday. Which makes the earliest day i can pick it up Tuesday.
Edit: spoke to ups and they’re giving me the run around now as well. They say i need the ups my choice app yet it doesn’t even exist. The ups app is actual garbage for an app in 2023, and doesn’t give me an option to do anything with my shipment. F- UPS, ironically they’re a bunch of f ups.
submitted by Jerrys-pet-dog to mildlyinfuriating [link] [comments]

2023.03.25 00:11 PythonArtAI Testing out the 4x Ultra-Sharp upscaler

Testing out the 4x Ultra-Sharp upscaler
The original parameters:
PosPrompt: futuristic digital photograph, punk style girl, bubblegum pink hair, short hairstyle, young woman, thin, leather bomber jacket, city alley background, (beautiful details)(hair)(pretty eyes)(eyelashes)
Negative prompt: (worst quality:2), (low quality:2), (normal quality:2), lowres, normal quality, ((monochrome)), ((grayscale)),paintings, sketches,nipples, skin spots, acnes, skin blemishes, bad anatomy,facing away, looking away,tilted head, mult multiple girls, lowres,bad anatomy,bad hands, text, error, missing fingers,extra digit, fewer digits, blurry,bad feet,cropped,poorly drawn hands,poorly drawn face,mutation,deformed,worst quality,low quality,normal quality,jpeg artifacts,signature,watermark,extra fingers,fewer digits,extra limbs,extra arms,extra legs,malformed limbs,fused fingers,too many fingers,long neck,cross-eyed,mutated hands,polar lowres,bad body,bad proportions,gross,nipples
Steps: 20, Sampler: Euler a, CFG scale: 5.5, Seed: 309755534, Size: 512x768, Model hash: fc2511737a, Denoising strength: 0.7, Hires upscale: 2, Hires steps: 20, Hires upscaler: ESRGAN_4x

Then to the extras tab to upscale again by 2x for a total 4x upscale. nothing else done on this one; just a test. i sort of picked a prompt similar to what i saw in the video just for fun; tutorial / info here: 4x- Ultra Upscale by Olivio Sarikas
submitted by PythonArtAI to StableDiffusion [link] [comments]

2023.03.25 00:01 Phoenix_Effect So you want to hunt a Sea Serpent.....

So you want to hunt a Sea Serpent.....
Alright. I realize a lot of long time players will know all of what I'm about to put down. This is for the people new to Valheim. First off, however, let's provide some evidence that I actually know what I'm talking about.
My Favorite Trophy
Alright. Now that that's out of the way, let's get down to business. Sea Serpents are weird, unpredictable creatures. They have been since the very beginning of the game. They show up when you least expect it, and then you can't find one to save your life when you actively go looking for them. However, they do have certain habits, and if you know these, it will increase your chances of finding one on your terms and taking it down.
Ok, let's set down the guidelines for finding these beasties. I say guidelines because there are really no hard and fast rules when it comes to finding these guys. Following these guidelines will improve your chances of finding one, but not guarantee it. So, without further adieu:
#1. (Note: This is the obligatory humorous first rule. It has no official basis in fact, but every longtime Valheim player will back me up on this one).
You will ALWAYS get attacked by a Sea Serpent when you have a full load of ore on your ship.
I cannot count how many times this has happened to me. In fact, in my recent game, I was coming home in my Longship with a full load of Black Metal ore when I got attacked by two Sea Serpents at once! I took out one, and had just about finished the other off when a third one decided to join the party! I managed to take them all out, but my ship damn near got sunk. Needless to say, I had Serpent stew coming out of my ears for the next while (which is a good thing).
#2. You need a ship to hunt Sea Serpents.
I know, it sounds obvious, but you will never find these beasties close to shore. They always spawn out in the Ocean. However, they will follow you all the way to shore, which is what you want them to do when trophy hunting (more on that later).
Preferably, you hunt them in a Longship. The Longship is a stable archery platform and it can take a beating. Most importantly however, under full sail when you are 90 degrees to the wind (beam reach), or running with the wind, a Longship can outrun a Sea Serpent if things start to get dicey. If you decide to hunt them in a Karve, well...good luck. A Karve is not fast enough to outrun a Serpent, and is nowhere near as tough as the Longship. My very first encounter with a Sea Serpent in Valheim was in a Karve. What ensued was a running battle; me desperately firing flint arrows at it (all I had at the time), and it taking chunks out of my ship. Luckily for me, at the time, you could drive them off after inflicting enough damage.
Not so much anymore. They are much more persistent now.
#3. Hunt at night or when it's overcast.
Sea Serpents are not huge fans of the sun. You will very rarely see one out during a bright sunny day. It can, and does happen, but it's not the norm. When it's overcast, you chances improve, and when it's dark, they improve more. This guideline ties in with the next one.
#4. Hunt them during a storm.
Sea Serpents LOVE stormy seas. The bigger the storm, the more they love it. Most of my Sea Serpent kills have happened during a storm. Combine a stormy sea with night time, and you have an excellent chance of finding a Sea Serpent. Possibly even more than one. The best I've managed was 5 in one stormy night. Conversely, the worst time is a bright sunny day with calm seas. I don't think I've ever seen one during those conditions (your experience may vary).
Now that we've gone over the guidelines for finding them, we can now discuss how to hunt them.
The first thing you have to decide is what you want the Serpent for. Do you want it for food only? Or do you want a chance at the Trophy hanging on my wall in the above pic? Depending on what you want will determine your strategy.
Let's start with hunting for food. This is what you will want to do the most often. Sea Serpent stew is the BEST meal in the game for health, and it gives you a respectable amount of stamina as well (to be fair, I haven't seen the Mistlands meals yet, so my info may be out of date).
Hunting a Sea Serpent for food involves a running battle. You want to keep your Longship sails at half so you don't outrun your "prey". This speed also limits the opportunities the Serpent will have to take a chunk out of your ship. What usually happens is the Serpent will catch up to you and try to take a bite. However, this slows it down a bit, which gives your ship time to move out of range. This is the ideal when it is directly behind you. If it's coming in at an angle, it changes things. This can happen if the wind shifts on you, so pay attention to wind direction.
Next is your ammunition. Technically, you can use any arrow type, but it will obviously take longer with weaker arrows. The two best arrow types for Serpent Hunting are Poison and Frost. Both cause direct damage as well as DoT (damage over time). Frost are the absolute best, since they also slow the Serpent briefly, which will help stop it from taking chunks out of your ship. Best combo? The Draugur Fang bow with Frost arrows. That way you get both Poison and Frost.
Now for the fun part. How, you may ask, do I shoot at a Serpent behind my Longship when I have that great big bloody stern directly in my line of fire? Well, I'm glad you asked that, since there is nothing worse than damaging you own ship while trying to shoot at a Serpent. What you have to do is hop up on said stern piece, without jumping overboard, and then start firing. (Nobody said hunting Sea Serpents was going to be easy). See the pic below for the position I'm talking about.

Standing on the Stern
Once here, you should have a clear line of fire.
Obviously, this is easier to do with a friend. But 90% of all my Serpent kills across multiple games have been solo. This is why you have to watch the wind. If it shifts, you need to hop down quickly, adjust your course, and then hop back up and continue firing.
The last point I cannot stress enough. STAMINA, STAMINA, STAMINA!! Eat your best stamina meals, since health won't be as big of a factor in this. Keep stamina potions ready in case you need a boost. This goes double for trophy hunting.
Having got this far, at some point you will kill the Serpent. YAAAAYYYY!! So now it just remains to collect the meat. The nice thing about Sea Serpent meat is that it floats (the Trophy sinks). Which means you just have to jump into the water and collect it. Simple, right? Yup, right up until you realize you were so excited about taking the Serpent down that you forgot to check your stamina level as you leapt overboard to get it, and then drown before you can get back to your ship.
So, take a moment, collect yourself, let your stamina build (eat if necessary). Then scull your ship around (the first speed, using the tiller to move instead of sails) and sail as close to the floating pieces of meat as you can. If you sail over them, you may pick some up, but not all, so it's easier to just jump in the water to get them all. You will generally get 6 pieces of Serpent meat, although a Large Sea Serpent may net you 7 pieces.
Congratulations!! You've successfully hunted your first Serpent!!
Now that you've successfully hunted a Sea Serpent for food, we can move on to the tough job. Getting the Trophy. This is a lot of work, and again is easier to do with multiple players. But it can be done solo, and I have done so multiple times.
The first thing you need to do is to craft a Harpoon. To do that, you have to find the elusive Kraken. These gentle giants look just like a stone island out in the middle of the Ocean (your first hint that it's not an island). See pic below:

A Kraken
Once you find one, take your pick (make sure you bring it along), sail up to one of them, hop on it's back, and "mine" the barnacles you find there. This will give you something called Chitin, which you will need to craft the Harpoon. (As for all of you experienced players, SHUSH! Don't ruin the experience!)
Once you have your Harpoon, you will need to go find a Serpent. Once you do, take some pot shots at it with arrows and get it to chase your ship (again, half sail, use the occasional Frost arrow it it gets too close). You're going to want to lead it towards shore.
Once you're close to shore, this is where it gets tough. Set your course directly towards a decent spot on shore (I recommend Meadows or Black Forest. You'll have enough problems without involving the shit that can go sideways with the higher Biomes). Once the course is set, throw the Harpoon at the Serpent. If you hit, you will start dragging it behind you.
Stamina drain on this is HUGE! (Even more so now in the latest version of the game than it used to be). You'll want to time this so you're as close as possible to the shore. Make sure you've eaten your max stamina meals beforehand, and drink the Stamina potion just before your Stamina runs out. When your ship hits the shore, leap over the side and run up the bank, dragging the Serpent with you. When your stamina depletes, switch weapons and run towards the serpent to finish it off. Stay away from the head! Just hack the body. If it manages to crawl back into the water, shoot it with Frost arrows until it's dead.
Having done ALL of this is no guarantee you'll get a Trophy, but man, if you do, you'll remember it always. If you don't, then rinse and repeat the above steps. On the plus side, no matter what, you'll still get the meat, so it won't be a total loss.

Well, that's it new Vikings! I hope this guide will help you bag your first Sea Serpent!

submitted by Phoenix_Effect to valheim [link] [comments]

2023.03.24 23:51 Nebula_Arcanum My mk6 just survived a timing chain tensioner failure.

My mk6 just survived a timing chain tensioner failure.
After a week of pulling hair and expecting the worst, I'm picking her up from the mechanic in perfect running order tomorrow morning after needing to replace only the timing chain and tensioner.
submitted by Nebula_Arcanum to GolfGTI [link] [comments]

2023.03.24 23:36 Elegant_Building_995 Some kids going around the neighborhood asking to pick up dog poop for$

They are receiving all sorts of praise on Facebook. While I do think this is good. These are the same kids who scream the entire time they are out and love blasting music and are always talking shit with their friends and swearing like a sailor. Yesterday it was 1030pm and they were in the hot tub blasting music while their dogs were barking on a weekday. Who needs sleep right.If I even look that way for 2 seconds due to the horrible set up of the houses they make a passive aggressive comment under their breath. Worst part is we all have ring cameras. They rang my doorbell asking if I wanted them to pick up dog poop. As I'm walking to the door they are staring hard core in my windows and tells his brother she looks wierd. I open the door and fake as hell changed their tune. The parents aren't any better. I avoid them like the plaque and never say hi as they have no control over their dogs or kids and are obnoxiously loud. Not my type of people. Good thing they don't live directly nextdoor. Now spring is coming all these types of people will be out being all obnoxious and fake.
submitted by Elegant_Building_995 to childfree [link] [comments]

2023.03.24 23:31 No_Fox_7786 What is the best or worst pick-up line you've ever heard or used?

If you could have any superpower, but it had to be completely useless, what would it be?
submitted by No_Fox_7786 to u/No_Fox_7786 [link] [comments]

2023.03.24 23:28 RANDIopen I offended one of my "Best Friends" today and I don't care

TW: Manipulation, SA, r*pe
I (14F) am in middle school, so I must first acknowledge that most people my age are socially inept without knowing how to fix any of the problems they have. With that said, I have a circle of six friends, myself included, and I love all of them very dearly... except one, let's call her Z (13F). I have tried so hard to be friends with her, but at this point, I just can't. She is a manipulative narcissist who never thinks of anyone but herself, but half of the group thinks she is the sweetest person. She isn't.
She never talks about anything but herself and is always complaining about how hard her life is. She always tries to act like she has emotional trauma from people in Elementary school being mildly manipulative, which upon further hearings, is clearly not manipulation on their part but rather Z not getting what she wants. She acts like she has endured so much abuse from this one tiny incident, which is something that nearly everyone has gone through at least once. She also acts like she is the only one who could be truly hurt in the group. She cries at the drop of a hat, likely not because she is really upset, but because she knows it will get her what she wants.
The rest of the group has all had conversations about her being annoying at best and mean and manipulative at worst, but no one ever seems to come to a solution. We are all pissed at her, but half of the group doesn't want to upset her in fear of looking like bad people. At this point though, I don't even care. There have been multiple incidents before I started hating her where she has picked on me and has been overall rude. She singles me out whenever she can to try to be mean and blames me for most of the problems in the friend group. When she tries to compliment me, it always sounds backhanded, like "Stop being so good at singing," or "Why can't I be like that?"
With all of that and more, I have had enough. I have stopped trying to be friendly with her and I don't care if I upset her. She has upset me and everyone else in the friend group multiple times, so why should I care if I mildly offend her?
Today at lunch, I inadvertently did just that. We were talking about how, while most people know almost nothing about one of the kids in the group, everyone knows everything about me. I said that I really only have two secrets, and three of the kids at the table know at least one of them, so nothing is really entirely unknown about me.
For context, over the summer, I was sexually assaulted by my ex-boyfriend, who manipulated me into a relationship and then continued that pattern all the way through the two months I was with him, coercing me into sexual situations that I wasn't (and am not) ready for. Everyone in the group knows he sexually assaulted me in some ways. What only three of them knew was that he nearly rped me twice. He forcibly without my consent vginally fingered me, though thankfully, neither time did it last very long before he moved on.
Anyway, I had recently told three of the kids about this over text in a GC I have with them. I asked one of the kids if he ever actually went back to read the texts since he wasn't there for the conversation. He said no, so I told him what I told the other two in the GC and then told another kid in the group who was not in the chat. Z was also not in the GC, but I didn't even attempt to tell her. This is a very personal part of my life and I don't trust her with that information. She obviously noticed me ignoring her and left lunch early. The kicker? Nobody cared or was mad at me. They understand that this is a touchy subject and I don't trust her knowing. Weirdly, I was the one to ask where she went, and one kid jokingly replied "She's dead." We are all mad at Z, and I think this is reaching its limit for us. I just had to have a full rant about this because I think I am the only one in the group who actually hates her outright and isn't just mad at her.
TL;DR- I didn't tell a manipulative narcissist in my friend group that I was nearly r*ped twice when I told all of my other friends at lunch today, so she got offended.
submitted by RANDIopen to TrueOffMyChest [link] [comments]

2023.03.24 23:26 Internal_Prune_5108 contracting 101

Residential Contracting 101
With over 20 years of building experience, I would like to share with you my insights in navigating becoming a successful contractor. With many different avenues of the building world its key to understand what problems will arise on any given day. A man once told a saying that stuck-the 6 p’s in life- Piss Poor Preparation leads to Piss Poor Performance. Preparation builds everything in construction, without preparation the jobsite will not run correctly. The best advice I was ever given was to learn a little about every trade giving you the ability to understand trade lingo and secrets. An example would be painters use the terminology flash; this means when the sub structure bleads through the paint. Subcontractors will give the best pricing if they respect your knowledge of the industry. If the subcontractor feels they will have to hold your hand through the job they will charge an extra fee…i.e. I call it the aggravation fee. In this blog I will explain the key elements in finding success in all aspects of the industry. Contracting is a physically and emotionally demanding job which requires planning and foresight to complete projects on time within budget. Picking your customer is just as important as picking your employees or subcontractors. I have worked for some of the most demanding customers leading me to question at the end if the job was even worth it. Sleepless nights, constant changes, lack of payment, lawsuit threats, adding work that was in the contract are just a few things you could face with a tough customer. With so many moving parts at all times it is critical to be able to adapt to changes within a short time frame. Materials will come in damaged, subcontractors will be late, employees will get sick, but the deadline you set does not change. The stress can be overwhelming at times keeping your mind in a good place is key to navigating all that is thrown at you. Choosing your client picking the right jobs-Keep these questions in mind The first question to be asked is what the time frame is to start the job to see if it fits within the timeframe for your business. If the time frame doesn’t work then move on from the project or let them know when you would be available to start. If the client really wants to use, they will wait until you are available. Taking on too much work will only lead to problems. Construction is a serviced based business, staying on top of the project and client will eliminate an unhappy customer and construction issues that will be over seen. With online presence if details are missed and customer service lacks it will only be a matter of time the phone will not ring. The second question to be asked to the client is do they have a budget in mind for the project. If they answer yes this is good, follow through with what the budget is. If the budget seems low let them know, this will eliminate a tire kicker, educate them on what the price range could be. If the budget seems reasonable then continue the discussion to the next question. If they answer no let them know that you can give them an estimate to see if the project is feasible with their finical capabilities. Taking on a job that is not correctly budgeted will lead to an unsatisfied customer due to non-transparency of the construction cost. The third question to be asked is anyone else bidding on the job, if the answer is yes, understand you might just be number check for the contractor doing the job. Dig a little deeper and find out how many numbers they are getting and why. If your business model is to be competitive be completely transparent with customer, this will gain trust with them. Let them know you get what you pay for and if you they choose the lowest bid it could lead into lack of quality of work.
The fourth question I will ask is there any specific subcontractors they wanted to use. If the answer is yes then I would explain to them you only use the subcontractors you have a working relationship with. Otherwise, this could backfire as the subcontractor might not show, do subpar work, talk behind your back to the homeowner. In my experience I would stay away from using any homeowner to alleviate problems down the road. A quick conversation now can save headaches down the road. The fifth question I will ask are planning on getting the job permitted, this needs to be known it takes more time for the permitting process. Plans will have to drawn submitted and approved to the city before work can commence. The sixth question I will ask if a residential remodel is are you going to be living through the remodel if yes understand this will take more time to navigate the project due to answering questions and cleaning the house on a daily occurrence. I would recommend seeing if the customer would be willing to move into an Airbnb or friends for at least the demo portion of the project. If they do plan on living through the remodel add a couple hours a day to accommodate the extra time that will be required. The seventh question I would ask in a residential remodel is how old the house is to see if there is asbestos that would need to removed by a proper company. A home built before 1979 will most likely have some asbestos in the house, use a licensed company with proper insurance to dispose of the materials. If everything looks good to this point find out a little more about the client personality. If the client seems reasonable, I would bid the job. Unreasonable people can cause you more stress than its worth. These are some red flags I would look out for. Some jobs are not worth the money. Very demanding in the way you are going to perform your job- I.e., tell you how you are going to do your job- You’re the professional not them! Give you a hard time about your price- haggle with price you estimated- The price is the price! If they are a family with little money and you want to help them out is one thing, if they are trying to beat you down is another. Mention they have a lawyer-there is no need for them to bring up that they have a lawyer - Run for the hills as if the job goes south, you will be the one losing out! Tell you what the payment terms are. It’s your business you get paid how it works for your company. If you want to get paid every Friday, put it into your contract-If the clients do not agree move on it will save you frustrations If they talk bad about the last contractor, chances are they will talk bad about you. There is a reason why the contractor does not work for them anymore, unless he did subpar work this a red flag Clients are using an interior decorator that will purchasing all of the materials- The materials could be ordered incorrectly by the interior designer your company will not make the mark-up it deserves. Interior decorators usually add time to the job as well as act like your boss. Charging a little extra for the time and stress that it will entail is only fair. Clients want to purchase the materials- You are using your knowledge to buy the correct materials-The mark up on the materials keeps the doors open working for wages only pays the bills The husband and wife do not get along-You will become the mediator between the couple it will lead to taking sides a losing proposition- A drama free work place is always best! Dangling carrot-if you do this job the next one will be better-Only look at what there offering at the present moment, if its not a good fit do not take the job for a job down the road…Its not worth chasing a job that might not happen! The Art of the Sale First things first selling your company is all about presentation. In meeting your clients for the first time show up with a collared golf shirt tucked in, belt, nice jeans, and newer shoes. Have a truck that a clean, no dents scratches, preferably washed the day you are going into your meeting. Have a leather note pad that is clean no dirt or paint visible. Show up 5 minutes early, if you’re running a little late shoot them a text to let them know. Treat the situation as if were going on a first date, best foot forward. As you introduce yourself give them a warm greeting, letting them know you are very interested in the work. Find out a little about them, hobbies, where they lived, etc etc. You are going to be working with them on a daily basis its nice to know what makes them tick. Having a good working relationship from the start is key forming a solid relationship. As the conversation progresses find out who wears the pants in the family…ie who’s the final decision maker. If its fits the wife, chances it is…..then kindly let the husband know happy wife happy life when their in a stall mate on an issue. As your looking at the project throw in some suggestions of what you think would look good from past experiences, this will get their attention that you have knowledge and want what’s best for them. If you see ways to save them money in their project let them know, money is a large point of the sale keep that in mind. Mention that you’re not the least expensive contractor but you’re not the most expensive either. Your customer satisfaction is your number one goal which leads to more time spent on keeping them happy. One happy customer will lead to another, one unsatisfied customer leads to work in the future. Bring up the fact the finishing the job on time is key goal to your business, many contractors run several jobs at once causing the jobs to be finished way behind schedule. You must stand out as having integrity, good morals, and the ability to problem solve to get the job. The clients will be testing you to see if you’re a good fit as well. Keep in mind as you take your notes that you must not forget anything they mention as it will come back before the job is completed…i.e. we mentioned that to you before we started the job! Take pictures of the proposed area for work, that way you can use it to better right your estimate. Let them know you will give them a detailed outline of when the job will be completed letting them see how long each phase will take and correlate it with your payment schedule. Before you leave their house let them know when the estimate will be sent to them. MAKE SURE YOU HIT THAT DEADLINE! Once you sent the email over with estimate make sure you get confirmation that they received it. Wait at least 2 days before checking with them, hopefully they contact you first! If they want negotiate the price, let them know that it is the best price that you can manage, its not worth losing money before you start. I closed 80% of the work I estimated by being very transparent and friendly. If you come off with an attitude charge double what the going rates are you might only land 1 out of 10 jobs as well as getting the reputation of being expensive. Bidding the job Looking up industry standards on pricing is what I would go buy for pricing. If you google the coat of any installation there will be a cost range for everything. Looking at the cost ranging from high to low I would tend to be in the middle. Some items might be low on the internet if this is the case use your best judgment not to lose money. Closing sales is key to success and keep the doors open for business. Being in the middle on pricing is key as most customers shy away from contractors that are extremely low or high on the price range. I tend not bid out hourly as wages do not pay for retirement. Bidding is better as customers no the exact price of the cost of construction. It also keeps the job moving quicker as time and material contractors take longer to complete projects…Thus costing the client more money and valuable time they could spend in their house. Using a Contract Using a detailed estimate tied to a contract covers your butt in 99% of the time. Having a piece of mind that every aspect of the job is covered in the estimate and contract protects both your company and the client. Key terms to include in your estimate/contract are. Have a schedule on excel showing the start dates and dates of each trade this will show the customer you are organized with time lines. If not written in the detailed in the estimate the item is excluded- This ensures if its not written down its not included. TBD- To be Determined- A phrase on a line item that has yet to had final decision of products or service needed. -The pricing will follow the decisions to be finalized Give out what your written warranty will be for parts and labor this changes state to state. If the homeowner provides the product than no warranty will be given on that particular item. In the contract have a start date and end date with the verbiage subject to change due to weather, product delivery, change orders Have a progress payment schedule to ensure the client understands when funding will be expected-Including if not payment is rendered service to the project will stop. Have written terms of how change orders will be charged-cost plus 20% or a set fee Make sure in your contract that arbitration is required versus going to court- This will save lawyer fees and going to court Many contracts can be found online and each state requires different contracts
Finding leads Finding leads is easy with the right network of people. I personally do not find working for friends or family members a good fit. Relationships get strained when money is involved, causing undue stress for both parties. I have listed a couple of ways to build a network or find work using the internet. Get in contact with realtor’s- Realtors have a big client base of homeowners who need work done Contact local Architects to see if they are working with any general contractors Leave some business cards at your local materials suppliers-Doowindow/lumber-many times clients will ask salesman for a referral. Join a business networking group- BNI is one of many Join a internet website lead generation company- Houzz, Angie’s List, Home Advisor, thumbtack, Yelp run an ad on craigslist Use a marketing company to market your website-This could become costly with little results Create a Facebook business page Create a Yelp business page
Building your subcontractor base Having 2 subcontractors for every trade, gives you the flexibility of completing jobs on time if the one the subcontractors is too busy at the time you need their service. Your subcontractors are the face of your business, choose owner run companies that are professional. Check to make sure there license are up to workman’s comp, liability insurance, state license. Choosing subcontractors with lettered vans, logoed t-shirts is s key to looking professional in the clients’ eyes. In the past I have gotten a lot of subcontractors for material supply shops, stopping by jobsites, researching the internet using Yelp, Home Advisor, etc etc. Once you get one good subcontractor ask them if they know any other trades they would recommend. One good subcontractor leads to another in most cases. The key to having a good group of subcontractors is to let them know that you are there to get help them get the job done. They do work for you but without them you are nothing…keep that in mind! Make them aware a clean jobsite is required at the end of everyday to ensure the proper safety for all parties including theirs! Over the years I have referred a lot of companies work when there is only 1 trade needed. Referring work to subcontractors is a good way to get top priority when you have work that needs to be completed ASAP. Timing is everything in times of emergency having a good group of subcontractors will make your business run smoothly. Pay your subcontractors immediately after performing work, this will make them feel appreciated! A happy subcontractor is one that will gladly go the extra mile for you knowing that there not just a number to your business! Buying lunch once a week for the jobsite is always a good token of appreciation!
Supervising In supervising any jobsite its key to monitor everything from materials on hand, weather, vehicle parking (if applicable), jobsite safety, and subcontractors’ workmanship. If you hired a professional there should be little supervision in the work being performed, on rare occasions a new hire might need some mentoring to get the results completed correctly. If you see a problem with there work address it with the worker directly, no need to call his boss…. building repour with the worker letting him know you got his back goes miles down the road! Checking in on the job first in the morning to answer any questions or changes that need to be conveyed and once in the afternoon to make sure all work be completed is done per construction industry standards. A job that is run blindly will have many more issues than one that is watched over. I have seen many jobs with no site supervision, leading to subpar quality work as well as safety hazards. Its better to be like an eagle than cluck like a turkey!
Working with the City/Inspectors On permitted jobs the city and site inspector will be a large part of how smoothly the job runs. Each phase of construction has an inspection allowing for the project to continue. Make sure your subcontractors are aware that the project is inspected before starting the job. The best way to stay on his good side is to provide a clean jobsite and having the job built to the highest standards possible. When having the site inspected be courteous to the inspector asking any questions or concerns you have with the work during the job. Being completely transparent will save you aggravation of problems down the road. The more he trust you the better if you seem sneaky or rude he will make your life a living nightmare! Many inspectors will have an attitude towards you….I suggest keeping quiet and doing what ever he wants….he’s the boss no need to get in a pissing match you will not win at. How to deal with irate customer Stay calm during any argument with an irate customer. Never raise your voice or show that you are bothered by their disgruntled behavior. If the customer is trying to get more from you than agreed upon stand your ground. Worst case scenario is you walk from the job, which in the long run be more of a loss for the client. I have only run into a couple of these clients; they are unreasonable and not worth losing sleep over a few dollars. Its best to terminate the relationship as it would be my best guess that a referral from this customer would not be one you wanted anyway. If you feel it was just a miscommunication on your end, take reasonability and remedy the problem. Taking accountability for your mistake will go a far way in their eyes and on future issues that arise. Prepping the homeowner pre-construction Before starting the job, it very important to give the homeowners a warning of what will happen during the construction process.
  1. All furniture in the proposed working area must be moved- I would recommend having the clients take care of this to limit the risk of damage to their belongings.
  2. There will be dust that will be in the house up to 3 months after construction-I would recommend hiring a construction cleaning company at the end of the job even so after it is cleaned dust will be present months after words.
  3. There will be conflicts between you in the homeowner at some course of the job. - You will do your best to eliminate them as quickly as they arise-i.e. material damages, miscommunication, job delays
  4. All decisions on materials must be made before the start of the job- this will eliminate job stoppage due to materials not being on site.
  5. All materials will be on site before commencement of job-
  6. Payment structures must be made per contract otherwise job will stop until payment rendered
  7. Cars are to be moved out of the driveway- Ensures ease of loading and unloading of materials/tools
  8. Give the specific hours that workers will be present- i.e. 7-3:30
  9. Determine what areas are allowed to be used as staging for tools/materials
  10. If animals are present in the home that they put outside or in a room during the day
  11. All valuables in the house are locked in safe
  12. Ask if using client’s household bathroom is okay or to bring in Porter Potty
  13. Being transparent as possible is key to keeping a great relationship with your client!
During Construction During construction it is key to take detailed photos to eliminate any damages that were not caused by the construction process. I would also make a video to ensure all areas are included. All subcontractors should also take progress pictures to ensure if problems arise in the future, they will not be responsible for any work that they did not perform. Keep an on-going log of progress to the homeowners and share the pictures for there records. This will keep homeowners excited of the progress being made. When the house is gutted to the studs it is important to have construction photos showing where all utilities are run in the walls or sub floor. If there is a problem in the future there will photos showing all utility locations. Protect all flooring with plywood or floor protective. I also like to protect front door and tarp all areas where subcontractors are to be working. Make sure to cover any chandeliers/furniture/doorways with plastic to eliminate dust. Ask the homeowners if they have any concerns that they could think of. We’re all human and possibly a detail was missed! Post Construction Phase If the project went smoothly appreciation should be shown to the customer. Find out if the husband likes a particular type of liquor. Bring the wife a bouquet of flowers. Send a Christmas card to the family letting how much you appreciated the work. You know you have done a good job if they tell you they will refer you to their friends. The best compliment you could receive is a good referral. In Summary Try to find a knitch in the market, I found kitchens to be a great remodel projects. Bathrooms are tough as they are small, expensive with little profit margin with every trade involved. Windows/doors are also another great knitch as they can be installed quickly. There are so many different remodeling items that can be stream lined to make the selling installing process flawless. Once the core group subcontractors are in place the job almost runs itself. Every day is a learning experience with new materials or methods in construction. Keeping up with codes, materials, fluctuating labor and material cost is a job within itself. Anyone can be a contractor with the right mindset.
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