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2023.05.29 17:32 immacamel Defending the Draft: 2023 Green Bay Packers
A new era is under way in Green Bay, and there's a lot to cover about this offseason. First, let's set the stage.
KR Keisean Nixon- the return dynamo who renewed my will to live after watching Amari Rodgers play football. Signed again on a 1 year deal worth up to $4m. And he figures to have a larger role on defense this season. This was one of the biggest wishes for packer fans this offseason, as it finally shows a dedication to building the ST unit.
S Rudy Ford- he had himself a nice 2022 and got re-signed for his efforts. It's a one year deal, and he will compete for the starting safety spot as of now.
CB Corey Ballentine- a reserve CB who I will always have a soft spot for due to his tragic draft night story. Ballentine has been re-signed and will compete for snaps in an unsettled secondary.
S Dallin Leavitt- a Rich Bisaccia re-signing. Leavitt was a quiet killer last season as a special teams ace, and he returns in that role this season.
OT Yosh Nijman- a developmental prospect that has blossomed into an serviceable swing tackle, I thought Nijman would get more on the open market than his RFA tender price. He will be back with the Pack in a LT2 and RT2 role for 2023.
DT Dean Lowry- Lowry gave the Pack his best and we appreciate him, but his ceiling was evident and achieved. Devonte Wyatt was drafted as a high upside replacement. Lowry signed with the Bears on a 2 year deal.
WR Allen Lazard- Aaron Rodgers's latest security blanket, Lazard is rejoining Rodgers on a 4y, 44m deal with the New York Jets. A quiet, consistent performer for the Packers throughout his tenure, Lazard will continue to be a sure-handed possession receiver in New York, transforming the slot position previously occupied by Elijah Moore into more of a big slot. He will also continue to mug people in the run game.
TE Robert Tonyan- Bobby Tonyan heads south to Chicago to be TE2 behind Cole Kmet. Packer fans love Tonyan for bringing pride back to the position in GB, and I honestly feel bad for him. He likely missed on his chance for a big pay day after tearing his ACL in 2021 and having a down year coming back. Now he's pushing 30, but he still provides excellent hands for the position and a great work ethic. Godspeed, buddy.
DL Jarran Reed- the big man returns to Seattle this season on a 2 year deal. Reed was just about what we expected in Green Bay- not great, not bad. He was a placeholder in a spot that Wyatt hopefully can take over.
Free Agents yet to be signed:
WR Randall Cobb, S Adrian Amos, TE Marcedes Lewis, K Mason Crosby
All members of the old guard. Cobb recently had surgery, and is a contender to rejoin Rodgers in NY. Amos had a down year, but could still have some left in the tank. I'm guessing he has an offer from GB and is weighing his options. Lewis also could be weighing his options between retirement, the Jets, or sailing into the sunset where it all began for him in Jacksonville. Mason Crosbys wife seemed to confirm on social media recently that the Packers have little interest in re-signing their all time leading scorer. Crosby made some clutch kicks for us over the years, and if this is the end, the Silver Fox will never have to buy a beer in Titletown again.
2022 season review: Record: 8-9 Oh man. 2022 was the year it all came crashing down. Green Bay tried to keep its veteran core together for a few years, appeasing Rodgers and navigating the salary cap reasonably well. But they never achieved that brass ring. Minus Davante Adams and working with a broken thumb, Rodgers struggled the most he has since his inaugural season as a starter. It's now time to address Rodgers in this post; I could write an entire entry solely on Rodgers and this past season, but I'll leave it at this: Aaron is my favorite football player of all time. He led the Packers to their greatest stretch of sustained excellence since Vince Lombardi roamed the sidelines, often with depleted rosters around him. In my opinion, hes the most talented QB to play the game. It seems a majority of Packer fans were ready to move on from the man and soured on him this offseason. Personally, I think he will be an MVP contender in NY next year and still love him. But it was time. The Jordan Love era needs to happen, if only for the front office itself needing to justify their faith in the Love pick. Rodgers and the Packers were operating on different timelines the past few years, stuck somewhere between going all in and resetting. The front office has put all their chips in on Jordan Love.
The defense was expected to be a top 5 unit, but regressed heavily. Joe Barry was under scrutiny all year long, seemingly incapable of putting his plethora of first rounders in positions to succeed. A late season push did just enough to save his job (apparently).
Favorite win: Dallas Most frustrating loss: Detroit, week 18
Rodgers's exit also raises an interesting thought: will we see the True Matt LaFleur Offense this season? Offensive deficiencies have been blamed on Lafleur himself or Rodgers's hesitancy at transitioning from a traditional west coast offense to a Shanahan-esque, motion based attack. The answer will be uncovered this year, with Jordan Love having 3 years of experience in the scheme and a first round pedigree. As a Love truther in the pre draft season who hated the pick for the Packers, I am fascinated. This pick will make or break Gute's and Lafleur's tenure.
Aside from the quarterback situation, there are lingering questions concerning LaFleur's ability to lead the team in general. The Packers have consistently laid an egg in one game every season of his tenure and have come up short in the playoffs, with some head scratching decisions rearing their head in crunch time of big games (the end of the Bucs NFC championship the most glaring). I also have questions on his staff hirings/retentions. LaFleur hired 2 dogshit ST coordinators before making the obvious choice of Basaccia. He also chose to retain Joe Barry, noted football terrorist, as defensive coordinator. I've read rumblings that Gute has more say over the staff than the head coach, which is unconfirmed but concerning. I don't mean to dump on LaFleur in this piece, only to emphasize how big of a year this is for him. I think his scheme is sound and the guys play hard for him. With Rodgers gone, I think we see less RPOs and inside zone handoffs to AJ Dillon out of shotgun. The offense will have more identity. But if there are 2 more years without the playoffs in Green Bay, the Cheeseheads will advocate for a new coach.
Positions of need: S, TE, WR, DT
Round 1, Pick 13: Lukas Van Ness, Edge, Iowa With the world expecting Jaxon Smith-Njigba, Gute stuck true to his type and drafted athletic freak LVN out of Iowa. Van Ness profiles as a Rashan Gary clone, with a high RAS score and unrefined repertoire of pass rush moves. If he works out like Gary, this is a massive hit. In the pre draft process, the only guy who could have realistically been there for GB that I had above Van Ness was Peter Skoronski. He wasn't there, and there was no doubt in my mind Gute was going for LVN afterwards. He'll rotate with Gary and Preston Smith this year, and will kick inside on certain packages. He makes Smith expendable in the future.
Round 2, Pick 42: Luke Musgrave, TE, Oregon State Musgrave has the size and athleticism to be a game changer at tight end. His tape was short but encouraging. His biggest questions are durability and how he will develop, given his late breakout and immediate injury afterwards. My comparison to his playstyle was Travis Kelce, and if he can approach even 70% of Kelce's production in a season, this is a great pick. The biggest hole on the roster was TE, and I have a feeling Gute got the top one on his board.
Round 2, Pick 50: Jayden Reed, WR, Michigan State The process of this pick was nerve wracking. I was one of many fans pounding the table for Brian Branch, the S out of Alabama. When Gute traded down instead, I was telling friends I hoped he took Jayden Reed, and that's what happened. Reed is smaller receiver who plays bigger than his size on contested catches. He carried the Michigan State offense last year after Kenneth Walker jumped to the NFL. My comparison for him is Tyler Lockett. In Green Bay, Reed will take over the slot role, and I expect him to see around 60% of offensive snaps.
Round 3, Pick 78: Tucker Kraft, TE, South Dakota State Another tight end added to a barren room. The former Jackrabbit is similar to Musgrave in a lot of ways- big, athletic, and a willing albeit unrefined blocker. Kraft's addition along with Musgraves could push the Packers into more 22 personal this season, something LaFleur wants to run but hasnt had the personnel for, and I would not be surprised to see him outsnap Musgrave if he develops quickly. I'm really hoping this is the pick that breaks Green Bays 3rd round curse (seriously look it up its so bad).
Round 4, Pick 116: Colby Wooden, Edge, Auburn A former 4 star recruit at Auburn, Wooden collected 17 sacks as a 3 year starter in the SEC and showed inside/outside versatility. He shows an ability to rush with speed and power, but is inconsistent in his pad level and technique. He anchors well in the run game and showed great gap discipline. I don't see him getting many snaps this year, but if he does I think he takes Kingsley Engabare's role on run downs.
Round 5, Pick 149: Sean Clifford, QB, Penn State A perplexing pick until I saw this man somehow has a 9 RAS. Clifford is an experienced college starter who plays with a clear understanding of his role and a passion for the game. My issues with him were accuracy, arm strength, pocket presence, and decision making. You know, playing quarterback. I did not give Clifford a draftable grade and would have preferred Jaren Hall or Max Duggan. But this is really nit picking over a 5th round pick who was drafted to be a career backup. If the staff sees something in him, I'll give it a chance.
Round 5, Pick 159: Dontayvion Wicks, WR, Virginia A 6'1, 206 lb vertical threat, Wicks was inconsistent in his career at Virginia. If he replicated his 2021 production last year, he might have found himself as a day 2 pick. Alas, a new offense and drops led to his availability at this spot. Wicks has a good release package and the ability to stack DBs and get vertical. His tendencies as a body catcher led to drops last year, and he doesn't provide much after the catch. With his profile, he'll be a WR4/5, but could be a special teams ace very early in his career.
Round 6, Pick 179: Karl Brooks, DL, Bowling Green A bit of a tweener, Brooks is a high motor, high effort pass rusher. He flashes great technique and seems to rush with a plan. He can get washed out in the run game, and will need to commit one way or another to defensive end or defensive tackle. He graded very high from PFF, so that's something. To get on the field, he'll have to show more consistency and ability when anchoring down in the run game.
Round 6, Pick 207: Anders Carlson, K, Auburn Apparently, Mason Crosby's replacement. Anders is the brother of Las Vegas kicker Daniel Carlson, who's pretty damn good. There is a connection with Basaccia there, who's known Anders since high school. I wasn't encouraged by his stats at Auburn, but I'm not going to pretend to be an expert in scouting kickers. If Basaccia says he's that dude, then that dude he is.
Round 7, Pick 232: Carrington Valentine, CB, Kentucky Valentine is a WR convert with a long, slender frame. He is at his best in press man, where he has a variety of ways to get hands on the receiver and reroute him. Unfortunately for Vallentine, Joe Barry hates press man and will kill my family if I suggest it again. Valentine's frame can lead him to get bullied by bigger WRs at times, but he is physical at the catch point. He also brings experience as a productive kick returner, something that could be helpful in the future or even this season if the staff wants to keep Nixon fresh for defensive snaps.
Round 7, Pick 235: Lew Nichols, RB, Central Michigan A big back with some intriguing traits, Nichols enjoyed a very productive 2021 before injuries hampered his 2022. Nichols has good vision, contact balance, and power as a north-south runner. He was productive catching out of the backfield, but wasn't asked to run many routes beyond that. His biggest hurdles in the NFL are going to be elusiveness and speed. He lacks both, but should be a decent backup. For the Packers, they used their RB3 less than maybe any team in the league last year. This will be the Jones&Dillon show again in 2023.
Round 7, Pick 242: Anthony Johnson Jr, S, Iowa State Johnson Jr is a converted cornerback who plays with rare physicality for someone of that description. He did his best work in the box or in the slot at Iowa State, and that may be where the Pack will try to get him some snaps this year. He can be over aggressive in his pursuits at times and take bad angles, but that is coachable. Given the state of the safety room, the 7th round rookie may find himself starting some games this season.
Round 7, Pick 256: Grant DuBose, WR, Charlotte DuBose comes from UNC Charlotte, where there apparently is a football team, and he was 2nd team all C-USA last season. DuBose has excellent size at 6'2, and I love his agility on in-breaking routes crossing the face of safeties. He has experience both outside and in the slot, and is an interesting addition to the WR battle at the bottom of the roster, which is going to be highly competitive. It may come down to how good he can be on special teams. Coaches and teammates rave about his work ethic and love of football, and he worked at Walmart while keeping himself in shape during the Covid year. I'm optimistic he can carve out a role for himself and make the team.
Overall, Gutekunst drafted for need at times in this draft, but still stuck to picking guys that fit his type: big, athletic, and versatile. My biggest shock was not taking a safety until the 7th round, but I think it just never lined up with his board. There was an obvious effort to surround Love with talented pass catchers, which is a breath of fresh air from this team. I was surprised that they didn't take a single offensive linemen, given this is almost certainly Bakh's last year in the green and gold and question marks surrounding some of our young guys, but we drafted 3 linemen last year and the staff may have high hopes for Zach Tom to be the next left tackle. The franchise has earned the benefit of the doubt when it comes to scouting and developing OL.
All told, 2023 is the most excited I've been for a Packer season in a few years. There are so many unknown variables surrounding the team, from Jordan Loves development to LaFleur's offense to Joe Barry's pending glue eating scandal. Media pundits have them ranked somewhere between 20 & 26 in the league hierarchy heading into the year. Personally, I'm a little higher on the Pack, and they will shoot up these rankings if Jordan Love delivers. There's a lot on Love's shoulders. This is the season we've been waiting for with baited breath for 3 years, the post-Rodgers era, and now it's here, for better or worse.
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2023.05.29 15:00 stonescoldtakes NFL Update: 05/22/2023 - 05/28/2023 - OTAs are Back!!!
— Individual Team News + Stone’s Cold Takes
— Miscellaneous/Other NFL News
— Restaurant of the Week - Washington D.C. Arizona Cardinals:
- Released WR DeAndre Hopkins and he listed out info about what he wants in his next team:
- Josh Allen, Jalen Hurts, Patrick Mahomes, Lamar Jackson, Justin Herbert
- He wants stable management and a great defense
- Some folks in AZ were upset with Hopkins because he sat out the last couple of games
- S Budda Baker says he will be at camp when its time for him to be there
After some decent news the last couple weeks for this organization there wasn’t really anything great from this week besides maybe the fact that if WR DeAndre Hopkins was a distraction to the team he now no longer is one. It will be interesting to see how things play out this year. Atlanta Falcons:
- FB Keith Smith was arrested on traffic charges
- Driving with a suspended license he claims was a misunderstanding
- K Younghoe Koo didn’t ask for money from RB Bijan Robinson to give him his number but asked him to pick a charity at some point down the road to donate to
- Will have joint practices with the Dolphins
It sounds like the situation with Keith Smith should get resolved rather quickly and was more of a misunderstanding than anything else. It will be fun for this young team to have joint practices with Miami and it will be a good way for their defense to get an initial test from an elite offense. I am sure the Dolphins won’t reveal all of their tricks but either way they will have to worry about guarding an elite offense with elite playmakers. Baltimore Ravens:
- QB Lamar Jackson expects a more pass-heavy offense under new OC Todd Monken
- WR Michael Thomas separate his shoulder and could require labrum surgery
- WR Rashod Bateman who just played just 6 games was on the field for OTAs on Monday
- Waived Daelin Hayes
- S Kyle Hamilton excited for expanded role with the team
- Tony Jefferson is retiring and joining the team as a scout
- DL Angelo Blackson
- QB Josh Johnson
It is crazy to think about how just about a month ago the news around the Ravens was all negative and that it seemed like the relationship with Lamar was fractured. Now here we are and Lamar seems about as happy as can be and is excited about the offense that is being installed under new OC Todd Monken. It will be exciting for him as well to have WR Rashod Bateman back who I still think can be a key playmaker on the team. It appears the Ravens could be set for big things even in a tough division. Buffalo Bills:
- No surprise, QB Josh Allen is hyper-focused and wants to win a Super Bowl
- S Damar Hamlin is back out working out on the field
- WR Stefon Diggs did not attend OTAs
- EDGE Von Miller guarantees he will play by week 6 but is not rushing anything
- S Dean Marlowe
- Joel Wilson
Great to see the that S Damar Hamlin was back out practicing. I know it has been some time since his collapse on the field but it still feels like yesterday that I was watching that game in complete shock at what I had witnessed and worry for him and his family. WR Stefon Diggs being absent at OTAs is not a big deal to me. QB Josh Allen has a lot of other guys he needs to get familiar and work in with anyways and a lot of star players don’t attend OTAs to either get rest/recovery or to do their own workouts with their private coaches. I imagine he and Kincaid will be deadly this year and who knows they may even have WR DeAndre Hopkins joining them as the Bills were one of two teams that inquired and had talks about a trade for him. Carolina Panthers:
- TE Hayden Hurst is recovering from sports hernia surgery
- QB Bryce Young is taking most of the first team reps
Not too much news here other than what we saw and heard from OTAs about Bryce Young getting to take most of the 1st team reps. It appears that he looked good and his teammates were saying great things about him. It is tough to judge any quarterback though in the offseason because no matter what folks always say their young or new quarterback is looking amazing and things are progressing nicely. I will say though I have heard the most good things coming out from camps about him and Anthony Richardson of the Colts. Chicago Bears:
- QB Justin Fields excited about the growth WR Chase Claypool had over offseason
- Got permission to begin demolition of Arlington Park racetrack
Good news for Chicago fans who are excited for their move. It seems that things are proceeding nicely with the process of moving to a new stadium. Also, great to hear that Chase Claypool may be able to make more of a difference this year. It would be hard to be less effective than what he was last year for this team. I still believe he can be a major impact player like many expected him to be when he entered the league. It will be key for him to become Fields’ go to receiver over some of the other talent they have on the team. Cincinnati Bengals:
- Want to sign WR Tee Higgins and LB Logan Wilson to long term extensions
- Have made their initial push for QB Joe Burrow
This team has a lot to do in terms of contracts that they need to get figured out. The team view Tee Higgins in very high regard and so does Joe Burrow as they should. They also really want to get Logan Wilson signed. However, what will come out to being the biggest of the contracts they do this offseason is that of Joe Burrow. What will continue to make things tough here is the longer it takes for Justin Hebert to get his deal done because Burrow will likely be the last of the 4 quarterbacks to sign his because it is presumed he will get the most money and has an agent who like to wait til the last minute. Cleveland Browns:
- WR Elijah Moore feels good now that he feels wanted with his new team
- EDGE Za’Darius Smith is excited to be facing the Ravens this year
All good news for Browns fans so far. The team is looking good and their appears to be a lot of good vibes coming out of practice. WR DeAndre Hopkins is even considering coming to Cleveland for the chance to play with his old QB. Also, WR Elijah Moore is looking crisp and at least for the moment it appears he is much happier. It will all depend on if he actually gets the ball thrown to him during the season though. Dallas Cowboys:
- HC Mike McCarthy is keeping offense in Dak’s language despite the changeup in play callers
Not too much news here which is good for this franchise because they are almost always the center of attention. The main thing I took away from this week was just that things seems to be going well with McCarthy and Dak working together on the offense but that there have been some growing pains at least initially getting used to new systems as expected. Denver Broncos:
- Waived Hunter Thedford with injury settlement
- Released K Brandon McManus
- K Brett Maher worked out for the team
- QB Russell Wilson has lost a lot of weight this offseason
- HC Sean Payton excited about what S Kareem Jackson can do to help team
- RB Javonte Williams was limited in OTAs starting on Thursday
- T Cam Fleming to a 1-year $4m deal
- DT Tyler Lancaster
It appeared to shock just about everyone when the news broke about K Brandon McManus getting released because he had become a fan favorite over the years in Denver. QB Russell Wilson has lost a lot of weight and it is evident just from seeing him this offseason. I didn’t think his weight was the issue hindering him last year but hopefully he can feel he is playing at a healthier weight. What I think most Denver fans were excited to see was RB Javonte Williams back on the practice field. He is going to end up being the real difference maker this year and whether this team competes with the top of the AFC or not will largely depend on him making the rest of the offense’s life easy or not. Detroit Lions:
- Former WR Calvin Johnson was at OTAs this week after having been away from the organization following a rough falling out post-retirement
- RB David Montgomery said that losing with the Bears “sucked the fun out of the game”
- WR Jameson Williams says that he didn’t know about the gambling policy; HC Dan Campbell feels he is miles ahead in terms of his talent already
- Traded an undisclosed draft pick for K Riley Patterson
- Signed a 1-year $2.35m deal
- RB David Montgomery and LB Malcolm Rodriguez left practice due to injury
- Team has done their homework on free agent WR DeAndre Hopkins
- NFL is investigation another Lions player about league gambling rules violations
- OL Germain Ifedi
- Max Pircher through international player pathway program
A lot of news here. Let’s start with the bad news. It appears that they may be having more penalties come down on their team/players due to the league’s gambling policy as their is an ongoing investigation into a 5th player from the team. Also, David Montgomery and Malcolm Rodriguez left the field with injuries. It is still early though and they appear to be minor injuries so hopefully it won’t affect them in the long term. Now some good news. It sounds like WR Jameson Williams is progressing nicely and the team got a new kicker in Riley Patterson from the Jaguars who should help the improve there. Lastly and maybe the biggest news is that Calvin “Megatron” Johnson was at OTAs hanging out with coaches and players. Many are hoping those good vibes carry over into the season. Green Bay Packers:
- Cut TE Nick Guggemos
- Will host the 2025 NFL Draft
- HC Matt LaFleur is please with Jordan Love but still need to work on a lot of things
Exciting news that Green Bay will get the draft in 2025! I was thinking they would try and stick to more southern states but they clearly are willing to go North with Detroit and now Green Bay being the hosts of the next two. HC Matt LaFleur appears to be being honest with everything and trying to temper expectations a bit with Jordan Love taking over. This could be to help take pressure off of Love and also just be the flat out truth that with any young quarterback it is going to take some time. Houston Texans:
- Appears DeMeco Ryans may not be too sure about pursuing Jadeveon Clowney
- HC DeMeco Ryans expects the o-line to be a strength for this team
- Currently it is a QB competition between Davis Mills and CJ Stroud
- Other teams have been inquiring about QB Davis Mills
I am not surprised about DeMeco Ryans hesitancy about pursuing Jadeveon Clowney. First of all he just may not want to reveal his cards to others in the league about what he is thinking. The other thing is that he is one that likes for his defense to have an identity and a really good work ethic. I am not saying that Clowney can’t fit that mold but it just makes the selection process for what Ryans wants on defense that much more thorough. The other news that surprised some but something I mentioned a couple of weeks ago is that QB Davis Mills will compete with Stroud for the starting job and is viewed as a desirable QB to other teams around the league. I know his stats haven’t been the best but I am not sure any of the young quarterbacks would have done well with what the Texans organization has been the last couple years. At the end of the day CJ Stroud will end up being the team’s starter due to draft status and probably will be the more talented, better option. Indianapolis Colts:
- No timetable for Shaquille Leonard to resume practicing
- QB Anthony Richardson was running a similar offense to what Jalen Hurts has run in Philly and was very impressive (splitting 1st team reps)
Overall things seems to be good for the organization. The main thing we are all waiting on is when Shaq Leonard will be able to get back out there and start practicing. It makes sense not to have him practicing now since things are optional anyways. The hype has been there for QB Anthony Richardson thus far and it appears he may be closer to starting right away than a lot of people thought. Jacksonville Jaguars:
- Traded K Riley Patterson to the Lions for an undisclosed draft pick
- RB Travis Etienne looking forward to doing some fine-tuning this year
- Signed Brandon McManus
Not too much news out of Jacksonville other than the change at the kicker position. Things got busy and they were able to trade K Riley Patterson to the Lions rather than release like the reports had said prior. Then they went out and got a proven veteran in K Brandon McManus who had just been released from the Broncos squad. This team is going to be interesting this year and will go as far QB Trevor Lawrence can take them. Does not hurt to have the veteran kicker for the big moments that could be coming for this organization. Kansas City Chiefs:
- HC Andy Reid is not a fan of the kickoff rule change hinting at the NFL getting closer to being flag football
- TE Travis Kelce is not happy about it either
- QB Patrick Mahomes addressed contract saying he cares more about Super Bowls
- LB Nick Bolton doesn’t think the defense gets enough credit
- QB Patrick Mahomes says that it has been a smooth transition to new OC Matt Nagy
- HC Andy Reid feels fullbacks have been phased out of the NFL and that the Chiefs will not be using one
HC Andy Reid who normally is pretty quiet and doesn’t get too involved was in front of the media a lot this week it felt like. First, he is not a fan of the new kickoff rule and it appears most coaches are not. Second, he talked about how the team will not be using a FB because they are being phased out of the NFL and he feels that the TEs they have on the team can play the role when needed. Overall it seems things are going well for the Chiefs and things could be a going a lot better here soon as they appear to be a top option for WR DeAndre Hopkins and one the few teams that had trade talks before he was released. Las Vegas Raiders:
- Former QB Tom Brady reached an agreement to be a minority owner of the team
- QB Jimmy Garoppolo had to have foot surgery after signing with the team and there is not timetable for his return - believe he should return before the season
- Things could get interesting depending on how situation with Jimmy G works out
- WR Davante Adams is not happy about the current QB situation with the Raiders
- Adams and team have been sued by the photographer he shoved last year
- Will have joint practices with the 49ers
It appears there is never a dull week with the Raiders. The news this week about Jimmy seem to add context potentially to what Davante Adams’ comments were about recently. With Tom Brady recently joining the ownership group here it makes us all wonder if the injury is not cleared up is there a way for him to un-retire once again…only time will tell. Los Angeles Chargers:
- RB Austin Ekeler to a new deal for this final year that added on up to $2m in incentives
Big news here getting the deal done with Austin Ekeler even if it still only keeps him around for 1 year. Thankfully now he should be semi-happy for that one year before he can go out and chase a big contract if he wants to. Los Angeles Rams:
Not much news here really. Sounds like Matthew Stafford has taken Stetson Bennett under his wing and started to work with him and help him learn more about the transition to the NFL compared to college. Miami Dolphins:
- WR DK Metcalf challenged WR Tyreek Hill
- Will have joint practices with the Falcons
- QB Tua Tagavailoa is wearing a camera on his helmet to help HC Mike McDaniel see what he sees on the field
I loved seeing Tua wearing the helmet cam. I had not thought about it before but it should be great for him to be able to show McDaniel exactly what he is/was seeing out on the field to add context and allow McDaniel to better coach him and understand what is going on. I think this should be something all quarterbacks do and especially the top ones because it could gives coaches that much more information and a better understanding of how to help young quarterbacks in the future. Minnesota Vikings:
- WR from the XFL Lucky Jackson
- DC Brian Flores wants defense to develop an aggressive identity but not reckless
- RB Dalvin Cook could be a June 1st cut
All signs appear to be pointing towards RB Dalvin Cook getting released. In other news it will be good for the defense to develop the aggressive mindset that Brian Flores wants and should bring in the attitude from Miami that wad established during his time there that was so effective and led to them winning games. New England Patriots:
- Got docked 2 days of OTA workouts for violating offseason rules and HC Bill Belichick was fined $50,000 dollars
- Placed LB Raekwon McMillan on injured reserve due to partially torn ACL
The Patriots seems to always be up to something. It sounds like they were penalized the 2 days of OTAs and fined because of a meeting that Joe Judge held that lasted more than the permitted amount of time. Other tough news came when Raekwon McMillan got injured. New Orleans Saints:
- TE Foster Moreau is participating in OTAs
- Being in New Orleans has given QB Derek Carr a breath of fresh air
- Former HC Jon Gruden is working with the team and Derek Carr
What a story. TE Foster Moreau finds out he has cancer in a physical with the team a couple months and gets ahead of things and is now practicing with them at OTAs. Interesting story here about former HC Jon Gruden working with the team because during his time with the Raiders many said that he and Carr did not get along. This team has a big opportunity to take over the NFC South and is probably the bet setup to do it with the team they have. New York Giants:
- Rookie WR Jalin Hyatt wants to get to 190lbs as his playing weight
- TE Darren Waller is happy to somewhere where his opinions are valued
- QB Daniel Jones is enjoying working with TE Darren Waller
- HC Brian Daboll will not speak on contract situations despite currently Barkley situation
It seems that everything is going great except the Saquon Barkley situation. There isn’t much new insight into it either after HC Daboll refused to speak on anything contract related. In good news it seems like TE Darren Waller is really enjoying being with the team and working with QB Daniel Jones. This is a team to me that is going to play inspired football like they did last year no matter what is going on because their HC. New York Jets:
- QB Aaron Rodgers had minor calf strain
- WR Allen Lazard went down during OTAs but supposedly was just a shot to the groin
- Worked out P Matt Araiza
- Chuck Clark was happy to be traded because felt disrespected by the Ravens
- HC Robert Saleh is confident a deal will get done with Quinnen Williams
- Will have joint practices with the Buccaneers
I imagine Jets fans held their breath when they saw Aaron Rodgers get injured as well as Allen Lazard. The good news is that those are not going to be issues in the long run. However, it reminded us all that QB Aaron Rodgers is not a young guy anymore and there is always the possibility that he like any other player in the NFL can get hurt. Hopefully the deal with Quinnen Williams can get done sooner rather than later. I am looking forward to the joint practices with the Bucs because they have a solid defense and it will be fun to hear how they fare in the early phases of implementing a lot of things from both Nathaniel Hackett and Aaron Rodgers. Philadelphia Eagles:
- OL D.J. Fluker worked out for the Eagles
- DL Jordan Davis has made major strides this offseason will take on a larger role
Jordan Davis is going to be a key piece for the team this year in my opinion so it is great to hear he has made major strides. He is a force to be reckoned with when it comes to his sheer size and the more he can be weaponized the better. Pittsburgh Steelers:
- EDGE Markus Golden to 1-year deal
- LB Toby Ndukwe
- Easy decision for QB Mitch Trubisky to sign extension
- Started contract talks with OLB Alex Highsmith
- Released Tae Crowder
- Want to play a regular season game in Ireland
- WR Allen Robinson has been very impressed so far by QB Kenny Pickett
- QB Kenny Pickett had his car stolen with his playbook inside of it
Great move to get Markus Golden. He can be dangerous in this defense and is only one season removed from a double digit sack year. Also, good to see that Robinson and Pickett appear to be getting along. I am curious to see who shakes out to be the #1 receiver on this team but have a feeling it will end up being Pickens because of how good he was last year and the chemistry he and Pickett already have. A QB likes it when his receiver makes life easier and bails him out. Pickens has already done that on multiple occasions for him. San Francisco 49ers:
- QB Trey Lance just wants a chance to compete and never considered being traded
- Raved about this time working with QB Patrick Mahomes
- QB Brock Purdy expected to start throwing next week, be able to go from gripping a towel to an actual football
- QB Sam Darnold will push to start come week 1
- Levi’s will officially get the Super Bowl in 2026
- LB Dre Greenlaw has a thumb procedure and will miss most of the OTAs this offseason
- Will have joint practices with the Raiders
It is official the 49ers will host the 2026 Super Bowl! After speculations and rumors it finally became official this past week. Also, there was a lot of good QB news this week with all 3 of the QBs on the roster. Sounds like Brock Purdy is healing properly and as expected, Trey Lance is looking really good in OTAs along with Sam Darnold. Once again this offseason no one is sure who will be starting for the team come week 1. Seattle Seahawks:
- WR DK Metcalf challenged WR Tyreek Hill
- CB Tariq Woolen had arthroscopic knee surgery and it out til training camp
Good news for Seahawks fan that Tariq Woolen will be back around training camp time after his procedure. Other than that there was not much news here. They got a solid rotational/depth player in Artie Burns though. Tampa Bay Buccaneers:
- Video of QB Baker Mayfield making an overthrow went viral on social media
- Will have joint practices with the Jets
- WR Chris Godwin feels like he has a lot of his explosion back
- Team wants to see more consistency out of LB Devin White before offering him the contract he wants
Great to see that Tampa has joint practices with the Jets. They have a tough defense and it will be good for Baker and the offense to get some work against that defense early on. The Bucs have some great weapons on the offensive side of the ball to really compete with those top defenses and if they can all stay healthy this team could be a dark horse team to watch. Overall this should be a good all around team. Tennessee Titans:
- QB Will Levis is putting pressure on Tannehil and Willis in OTAs this far
- S Kevin Byard is skipping OTAs
Interesting to see that S Kevin Byard was not at OTAs after earlier this offseason it was rumored he was asked to take a pay cut. Definitely a situation to watch. The main news that came from OTAs is that QB Will Levis appears to be looking good and some folks think he could be putting pressure on Tannehill early on and moving himself up the depth chart. Washington Commanders:
- HC Ron Rivera said that DE Chase Young understands them not picking up his 5th year option
- New OC Eric Bieniemy has been getting on young QB Sam Howell holding him accountable
- Trademark application was denied due to someone else already having pending applications for the name but the team is confident this issue will get resolved
- It has been good for QB Sam Howell that QB Jacoby Brissett has been in the building
- TE Amani Rodgers tore his ACL and is out indefinitely
- Released Nathan Gerry
- Jamin Davis limited in OTAs after knee procedure
- Financing needs to be adjusted in order for the Josh Harris bid to be accepted
Feels like a lot happened with the Commanders. First off, I think QB Sam Howell is in a great spot to learn and develop this year with mentors like Jacoby Brissett and then his OC Eric Bieniemy. They will hold him accountable like has already been happening and help bring out the best in him. Now it definitely is an organization surrounded by distractions. First off the trademark application for the team’s name was denied and they hope to get something figured out but could lead to another name change. Also, the team is still working through the Josh Harris bid and there need to be some adjustments in order for it to get accepted by the other NFL Owners and the league. These distractions even though they may not always be good for the team they probably do help a young quarterback because he is not the only thing to talk about at this point in the offseason. Miscellaneous/Other NFL News:
- Many believe that Thursday Night Flexing is to cater to Amazon but really could be the future of how deals get done
- Teams have to have 28 days notice and this is currently just a 1 year move
- RB Jeremy Hill who has not played for the past 5 seasons officially retired siting injury issues leading to his retirement
- NFL injury data shows that turf fields are significantly worse for players than grass fields
- The Pat McAfee Show will be taking over Max Kellerman’s the time slot on ESPN
- Commissioner Roger Goodell’s lobbying convinced teams to vote in favor of the new kickoff rules
- Dr. Timoth Kremchek, the Cincinnati Reds' physician since 1996, says he sees an "epidemic" of youth injuries on artificial turf
- RB Adrian Peterson will be hanging it up if he’s not back in the NFL this season
- After Goodell’s retirement the NFL could change the structure of management for the NFL combining a traditional CEO with a Commissioner of Football
- Possible a team will play 3 back to back games in Europe in the future
- Devin McCourty will be joining NBC’s Sunday Night Football crew as an analyst
- Officially approved emergency 3rd QB rule
- Investigating further violations potentially of league gambling policy
- DirecTV will still distribute Sunday Ticket to bars and restaurants
- S Tony Jefferson announced his retirement
- Announced growth of global market program
Restaurant of the Week: (Washington D.C. - TACOS 5 DE MAYO)
Don’t really have a great picture of this place but that may be a good thing. Often times I find that the places least advertised and that are holes in the wall is typically where you get the best Mexican food. This place is about a 10 minute drive from the stadium and probably closer to 15-20 minutes on game days depending on the time you go. Personally I recommend the Tacos Al Pastor. Those are basically a marinated pork taco that is slightly spicy with some sweet pineapple flavor in it. You cannot go wrong with Tacos Al Pastor and are by far my favorite. The other thing to keep an eye on is the Pupusas. While Pupusas are from El Salvador this place actually does a pretty dang good job of making them. For those that don’t know what Pupusas are they kind of resemble a stuffed pancake but are made of corn in most cases stuffed with either just cheese, cheese and beans, or cheese and pork. My order here would be 3 tacos al pastor and a cheese and bean pupusa. Enjoy!
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2023.05.29 05:44 puremotives I asked ChatGPT to describe 25 Columbus suburbs and exurbs. Here's what it said:
- Asheville: Located in Pickaway County, Ohio, Asheville is a small village with a peaceful rural setting. The village is known for its picturesque landscapes, farmland, and a close-knit community. Asheville offers a small-town atmosphere with a limited number of local businesses and amenities. The surrounding area is characterized by rolling hills, open spaces, and a slower pace of life. It provides residents with a tranquil environment away from the busyness of urban centers.
- Bexley: Situated east of downtown Columbus, Bexley is an established suburb known for its stately homes, tree-lined streets, and historic charm. The area is home to prestigious institutions such as Capital University and the Governor's Mansion. Bexley's Main Street offers a mix of boutique shops, cafes, and restaurants, creating a vibrant community atmosphere.
- Canal Winchester: Situated southeast of downtown, Canal Winchester is a growing suburb known for its historic district, community events, and proximity to natural areas. The charming downtown area features shops, restaurants, and a community theater. Canal Winchester hosts various festivals and events throughout the year, including the famous Labor Day Festival. The suburb offers a mix of housing options and easy access to parks and recreational facilities.
- Circleville is a historic city located in Pickaway County, Ohio. Known for its circular street pattern and vibrant community, Circleville offers a unique charm. The city features a central public park called "The Circle," which serves as a gathering place and the venue for numerous festivals and events, including the famous Pumpkin Show. Circleville's downtown area boasts local shops, restaurants, and historic architecture, contributing to its appealing small-town ambiance. With its rich agricultural heritage and close-knit community, Circleville offers a welcoming and engaging environment for its residents.
- Delaware: Located to the north of Columbus, Delaware is an exurb known for its scenic landscapes, historic downtown area, and the presence of Ohio Wesleyan University. The city offers a blend of small-town charm with modern amenities, including a variety of shops, restaurants, and cultural events. Delaware also has a rich history and is home to the Olentangy Indian Caverns, a popular tourist attraction.
- Dublin: Located northwest of downtown Columbus, Dublin is known for its upscale neighborhoods, excellent schools, and numerous corporate headquarters. It features a charming historic district, beautiful parks, and a thriving business community. Dublin is also home to the annual Dublin Irish Festival, one of the largest Irish festivals in the United States.
- Gahanna: Located east of downtown Columbus, Gahanna is a diverse suburb known for its picturesque neighborhoods, proximity to the Port Columbus International Airport, and the Creekside development. Creekside is a lively entertainment district with restaurants, shops, and a scenic waterfront. Gahanna also features parks, golf courses, and a strong sense of community.
- Grandview Heights: Situated west of downtown Columbus, Grandview Heights is a unique suburb known for its walkability, vibrant community, and mix of residential and commercial areas. The suburb offers a blend of historic homes, modern developments, and a bustling commercial district along Grandview Avenue. The area features an array of shops, restaurants, and entertainment venues. Grandview Heights is also home to the prestigious Grandview Heights High School and offers easy access to downtown Columbus and major highways.
- Grove City: Located southwest of downtown Columbus, Grove City is a suburban community known for its affordable housing options, family-friendly environment, and strong community spirit. The area offers a range of recreational facilities, including parks, golf courses, and the popular Grove City Town Center, which hosts various events and festivals.
- Groveport: Located southeast of downtown Columbus, Groveport is a historic suburb with a small-town feel. It features a charming downtown area with historic buildings, shops, and restaurants. Groveport is known for its canal history and hosts the annual Groveport Heritage Days festival. The suburb offers a mix of housing options and is situated near scenic natural areas like the Three Creeks Metro Park.
- Heath: Situated adjacent to Newark, Heath is a smaller city in Licking County. It is known for its strategic location near major transportation routes, including Interstate 70 and State Route 79. Heath features a variety of shopping centers, restaurants, and recreational opportunities. The city is home to the Indian Mound Mall, a popular shopping destination in the area. It also offers several parks and outdoor spaces for residents to enjoy.
- Hilliard: Situated to the northwest of downtown, Hilliard is a suburban community known for its family-friendly atmosphere and strong school system. It offers a range of housing options, from established neighborhoods to newer developments. Hilliard features numerous parks, including the popular Heritage Rail Trail, and hosts events such as the annual Franklin County Fair.
- Lancaster: Located southeast of Columbus, Lancaster is an exurb with a rich history and a vibrant downtown area. The city is known for its well-preserved architecture, including numerous historic homes and buildings. Lancaster offers a range of recreational opportunities, such as the scenic Hocking Hills region, which is a short drive away. The Ohio Glass Museum and the Fairfield County Fair are popular attractions in the area.
- London: Situated to the southwest of Columbus, London is an exurb known for its rural character and close-knit community. The city features a historic downtown area with local businesses and hosts various community events throughout the year. London offers a more relaxed pace of life and is surrounded by farmland and natural beauty, including the Madison County State Nature Preserve.
- Marysville: Situated to the northwest of Columbus, Marysville is an exurb that has experienced significant growth in recent years. It offers a mix of suburban and rural living, with a variety of housing options and ample green space. Marysville is known for its Honda manufacturing facility, which is one of the largest employers in the region. The city also hosts the Union County Fair, an annual event showcasing agriculture, entertainment, and local traditions.
- Mount Vernon: Located northeast of Columbus, Mount Vernon is an exurb with a small-town feel and a rich history. The city is home to Mount Vernon Nazarene University and features a charming downtown area with shops, restaurants, and historic buildings. Mount Vernon offers a mix of rural and suburban living, with picturesque countryside, parks, and recreational opportunities nearby.
- New Albany: Located northeast of downtown Columbus, New Albany is an affluent suburb known for its planned community, expansive estates, and upscale amenities. It features a charming village center, called Market Square, with a variety of shops, restaurants, and community events. New Albany is also home to a renowned golf club and numerous corporate offices.
- Newark: Located about 33 miles east of Columbus, Newark is a city in Licking County. It is known for its rich history and architectural heritage. Newark is home to the Newark Earthworks, a complex of ancient Native American mounds and earthen enclosures designated as a National Historic Landmark. The city also features a charming downtown area with shops, restaurants, and cultural attractions like the Midland Theatre. Newark is the county seat of Licking County and offers a mix of residential, commercial, and industrial areas.
- Obetz: Situated in Franklin County, Ohio, Obetz is a suburban community located just south of Columbus. It is known for its convenient location, strong industrial presence, and recreational opportunities. Obetz is home to the Fortress Obetz, a versatile outdoor stadium that hosts various sports events, concerts, and festivals. The community also features parks, walking trails, and recreational facilities. With its proximity to major highways, Obetz offers easy access to the amenities and employment opportunities of both Columbus and nearby suburbs.
- Pickerington: Located southeast of Columbus, Pickerington is a suburban community known for its family-friendly atmosphere, excellent schools, and strong sense of community. The city offers a mix of housing options, from well-established neighborhoods to newer developments. Pickerington boasts numerous parks, recreational facilities, and a charming downtown area with shops, restaurants, and community events. The city is also home to Pickerington Ponds Metro Park, which provides opportunities for outdoor activities and wildlife observation.
- Powell: Situated in the northern part of the metropolitan area, Powell is a rapidly growing suburb known for its affluent neighborhoods and excellent schools. The Olentangy Liberty High School, one of the top-rated public high schools in Ohio, is located here. Powell offers a mix of residential areas, recreational opportunities, and a charming downtown with shops and restaurants.
- Reynoldsburg: Situated east of downtown, Reynoldsburg is a suburban community with a mix of established neighborhoods and newer subdivisions. It offers a range of housing options and is known for its affordable real estate. Reynoldsburg boasts several parks, including the Blacklick Woods Metro Park, and hosts events such as the Tomato Festival.
- Upper Arlington: Situated to the northwest of downtown, Upper Arlington is a picturesque suburb known for its well-manicured neighborhoods, tree-lined streets, and strong sense of community. The area boasts excellent schools, recreational facilities, and parks. The Scioto Country Club, one of the oldest golf courses in the region, is located here.
- Westerville: Located northeast of downtown Columbus, Westerville is a thriving suburb known for its strong sense of community, excellent schools, and historic charm. It offers a mix of housing options, from historic homes in the Uptown area to newer developments. Westerville boasts several parks, recreational facilities, and a vibrant downtown with shops, restaurants, and community events.
- Worthington: Located to the north of downtown, Worthington is a historic suburb with a quaint, small-town atmosphere. It features a charming downtown area known as the "Old Worthington," with boutique shops, restaurants, and the popular Worthington Farmers Market. Worthington is also home to several parks and hosts various community events throughout the year.
I reorganized the list into alphabetical order, but everything else was generated by ChatGPT. I had to prompt it a few times to get all 25, because it only listed about 6 at a time.
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2023.05.29 04:46 scarlet2248 Recommended Wedding Venues by State Part I
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California Wedding Venues
Carneros Resort and Spa
Located at 4048 Sonoma Hwy, Napa. It has a rustic charm where you can see vineyard views and rolling hills. Also offers a hilltop restaurant with an outdoor venue that can accommodate up to 300 people. Catering, wedding planning, floral arrangements, photography, and other services are available. And the starting price is $200 per person. https://preview.redd.it/hsuvufj35q2b1.png?width=1200&format=png&auto=webp&s=7dde25aaa6c10d5ec27f3693f1307d8e3d152e36
Located at 27850 County Road 26, Winters. This is a five-star wedding venue and estate located in the middle of a farmland. There is a historic inn and event barn. This would be perfect for those who love a natural outdoor wedding surrounded by the beauty of the Blue Mountains. Catering, wedding planning, floral arrangements, photography, and more are available. Prices start at $150 per person and can accommodate up to 200 guests.
Montage Laguna Beach
The address is 30801 South Coast Highway, Laguna Beach. This romantic waterfront venue offers a lush grassy setting looking out over the coastline and blue sky. The largest ballroom has 7,500 square feet of space and can accommodate up to 500 people. Prices start at $250 per person. Services offered include catering, wedding planning, spa, music, and much more.
Oregon Wedding Venues
Located at 614 SW 11th Ave, Portland. This hotel is housed in a historic downtown building dating back to 1909. There are several exquisite banquet rooms to choose from, ranging from 50 to accommodate up to 900 people. The ballrooms are ornately decorated with elaborate carvings and elegant chandeliers. Prices start at $150 per person. Necessary wedding services are also available.
Mt. Hood Oregon Resort
The location is 68010 East Fairway Avenue, Welches. Which can give you a dream forest wedding surrounded by lush forests and the majestic mountains of Mt. Hood National Forest. Unlike other wedding venues, guided hikes and rafting excursions are available here. There is also a golf course for your use. The largest venue can accommodate up to 400 people. Prices start at $100 per person.
Located at 16211 SE Foster Rd Portland, Lakeside Gardens offers essential vendors for photography, videography, flowers, DJs, and hair and makeup services. It is surrounded by a lake and offers a natural view of the garden. The largest hospitality venue can accommodate up to 300 people. Prices start at $100 per person.
Washington Wedding Venues
The Edgewater Hotel
The luxury hotel at 2411 Alaskan Way, Seattle, was named "Best Classic Hospitality Venue in the Seattle Area" by Seattle Bride magazine. With views of Elliott Bay, the Olympic Mountains, and the Seattle skyline. The ballroom can accommodate up to 220 guests and prices start at around $200 per person.
Located at 3200 1st Avenue South, Suite 100 in Seattle. This is a century-old building factory with a different style that makes it very popular in Seattle. The high beams and steamy ceilings make it unique. The entire venue can accommodate up to 300 guests and costs around $150 per person. https://preview.redd.it/7pydpxau5q2b1.png?width=1200&format=png&auto=webp&s=6bb68468589b0b0fd4001d5f0fd9bba8b87ecc81
The address is 18525 36th Ave S, Seattle. Here you will find a lush garden setting and luxurious accommodations. Indoor and outdoor hospitality venues are available to choose from, starting at $150 per person.
Arizona Wedding Venues
Boulders Resort & Spa
The address is 34631 N Tom Darlington Dr, Scottsdale. This resort has a fantastic desert and rocky landscape. With open views and the vibrant colors of the desert sky at sunset. Offers a luxurious spa, and outdoor ceremony space. Prices start at $200 per person and can accommodate up to 300 guests.
Located at 6000 East Camelback Road Scottsdale. There are various styles of venues to choose from, whether it be lush green gardens, sparkling waterfalls, or breathtaking valley views. There are also several sizes of banquet rooms to choose from. Prices start at $250 per person.
The resort is located at 2400 E. Missouri Ave Phoenix. Nestled among palm trees and mountains. A magical oasis forms at the base of the Phoenix Mountain Reserve, enjoying a tranquil desert setting. There are also two pools available and a total of six wedding venue options for up to 400 people. Starting at $150 per person.
Nevada Wedding Venues
An old-school luxury hotel located at 3355 South Las Vegas Boulevard, it can bring you the most traditional and unique Las Vegas-style wedding. Here you can admire the Italian style of architecture. Featuring indoor and outdoor ceremony spaces, and luxury accommodations. Starting at $200 per person.
Red Rock Casino Resort & Spa
Located at 11011 W Charleston Boulevard, Las Vegas. Unlike other luxury hotels, here you have a view of the Red Rock Canyon. The hotel offers five ballrooms and wedding venues that can accommodate up to 300 people. Prices start at $150 per person.
Want to try something different for your wedding venue? Choose the Neon Museum at 770 Las Vegas Boulevard North, Las Vegas, with its vintage neon signage, outdoor ceremony space, and unique atmosphere. You can take very vintage and fun photos. Prices are $2,500 for a two-hour rental, perfect for smaller weddings. https://preview.redd.it/y81lp1mw5q2b1.png?width=1200&format=png&auto=webp&s=9c2444c8bee3e004a0d33ecaa3a0b3e063374816
Idaho Wedding Venues
Located at 2603 W Eastover Terrace, Boise. This is a historic Spanish-style building that was once used as a waiting room with the building. 8-hour rental is $1,455 and can accommodate a minimum of 165 people. It is important to note that government-owned venues like this have strict rules of use. So it is best to check carefully before renting. https://preview.redd.it/ltd94bwy5q2b1.png?width=1200&format=png&auto=webp&s=ccee5ac0e7cc98df66eb8b42662c597758bd8339
Chateau des Fleur
The French-style building at 176 S. Rosebud Ln, Eagle. The largest ballroom features ivory walls, beautiful windows, an outdoor exit to the garden, gold chandeliers, and delicate gold wall sconces. Seating for up to 240 guests starts at $100 per person.
Still Water Hollow
Located at 18120 Dean Ln, Nampa. Has a rustic style and offers brand new indoor barn facilities. Tables and chairs for 150 people, pond with waterfall, fountain, and bridge. Rustic and elegant style venues can be designed for different styles of weddings. 12-hour rentals start at $5,500.
Utah Wedding Venues
A full-service event venue located at 110 South Main Street Lindon. Featuring an old castle-style building with outdoor ceremony space. Starting at $5,500 for a 12-hour rental. Catering, wedding planning, and other services are also available.
Red Butte Garden
Magnificent gardens at 300 Wakara Way, Salt Lake City. With expansive views of mountains, valleys, and gardens, offering a beautiful backdrop of plants. There are also waterfalls, ponds, and many more beautiful spaces. We recommend coming during the growing season of the plants which is the warmer months. This allows for a ceremony to be held in the stunning rose garden. Four-hour rentals from $2,500.
Located at 6451 E. Millcreek Canyon Road Salt Lake City has a spectacular mountain wedding and reception venue. With countless natural features and waterfalls, the area also offers activities including skiing, hiking, biking, and golfing. Prices are affordable, with menu pricing starting at $32 per person.
Montana Wedding Venues
Chico Hot Springs
Located at 163 Chico Road Pray, Montana, this is a great year-round destination for weddings in Montana. Offering a variety of natural beauty and architectural features. Besides the historic stone houses, there are also mountain views. You can also soak in the hot springs to relieve the fatigue from the ceremony after a long day. Four-hour rentals start at $2,000.
Rockin' TJ Ranch
The address is 651 Lynx Ln, Bozeman, with unparalleled views of the Bridger Mountains and open meadows. This wedding venue has been a professional wedding service for 20 years and offers full-service planning. Basic venue packages start at $9,495.
The Ranch at Rock Creek
Located at 79 Carriage House Ln, Philipsburg, this large ranch allows the exploration of five mountain peaks. Find nature's rest and inspiration in the peaceful, storied West. It is also the world's first Forbes Travel Guide 5-star ranch. With ten square miles of rivers, forests, valleys, and vistas.
Of course, this luxury experience comes with a hefty price tag. Charters start at $90,000 per night for groups of 21 or more, plus 23% of the ranch fee.
Wyoming Wedding Venues
Jackson Lake Lodge
Located in Moran, Grand Teton National Park, this is a beautiful lodge less than five minutes from Jackson Lake. Known for its iconic views of the Teton Mountains. It is a must-see venue for couples who love nature. Because of its location within the National Park, Jackson Lake Lodge is open seasonally from mid-May to early October. Rates start at $150 per person.
Shooting Star Jackson Hole Golf Club
The address is Shooting Star, 6765 Crystal Springs Rd, Teton Village. In addition to the golf course view, a pond, lake, or stream is one of the beautiful views. Starting price is $200 per person.
Are you an astronomy enthusiast? Check out the Stargazing Agency located at 1135 Maple Way G1, Jackson. Their wedding packages include the opportunity to learn about the constellations, planets, and the fascinating stories behind them. Stargazing tour leaders will guide the group through the night sky, answering questions and gaining insight into the beauty of the stars. This will be one of the most unique themed weddings guests have ever attended. Prices start at $175 a person.
Colorado Wedding Venues
Located at 900 Colorow Rd, Golden's premier historic event venue, the Boettcher Mansion offers unparalleled service in a meticulously maintained estate. Along with the beautiful mansion, there are mountain views for you to enjoy. The ballroom can accommodate up to 150 people with six-hour rentals starting at $3,500.
The Butterfly Pavilion at 6252 W 104th Ave, Westminster can turn your wedding into a fairy tale. Offering outdoor venues such as gazebos, gardens, and a theater. There is also a popular and unique butterfly release ceremony. It is important to note that there are a variety of butterflies and plants, so please treat them with care. The minimum venue rental is $1,800.
Great Divide Brewing Company
Great Divide Brewing Company, located at 1812 35th St, Denver, allows you to host a beer wedding. Up to 75 guests can be accommodated so they will be in the middle of a keg. The atmosphere will be more relaxed and enjoyable, and a bar and drinks, planning, equipment, and servers will be provided. Rentals are for 6 hours and start at $3000.
New Mexico Wedding Venues
La Fonda on the Plaza
The hotel at 100 E San Francisco St, Santa Fe has a long history as well as a cultural background. It can provide an elegant atmosphere for your wedding, with unique hand-carved furniture in each room. There are four ballrooms to choose from, with authentic New Mexican décor. This includes charming fireplaces, hand-punched pewter chandeliers, and traditional terracotta tiles. Prices for Saturday weddings start at $4,000.
Located at 207 Old Santa Fe Trail, Santa Fe's Museum of Historic Places is perfect for weddings. Accommodating 139 guests, the interior of the chapel features original stained glass windows and an ornate altar. In particular, the church's famous spiral staircase is the star of many articles and is worth a look. Prices for Saturday weddings start at $2,500 and services include the use of the church and wedding coordinator. https://preview.redd.it/fe6dx2916q2b1.png?width=1200&format=png&auto=webp&s=8d2e10702746d6b6c978cc0149f31cda7e68b97b
Albuquerque Balloon Museum
This is the hot air balloon museum located at 9201 Balloon Museum Dr. NE, Albuquerque. It offers soaring spaces and panoramic views of the Rio Grande Valley and the Sandia Mountains. The museum features displays of hot air balloons of all colors and eras, including a weather lab. The price to rent the entire museum and North Plaza for six hours is $6,000.
North Dakota Wedding Venues
Red River Zoo
The Zoo at 4255 23rd Ave S, Fargo will be the most interesting wedding venue. The zoo is home to animals such as red pandas, gray wolves, and Pallas cats. There is plenty of space for outdoor weddings as well as indoor receptions, and a carousel is available in one of the venues. Saturday weddings start at $1,500 and services include tables, chairs, and access to the zoo exhibits.
The North Dakota Heritage Center
The address is 612 E Boulevard Ave, Bismarck. The museum showcases the state's rich history from its earliest geological formations to the present day. Offering a variety of indoor spaces, including galleries and a theater, it provides a unique and educational wedding experience. Prices for Saturday weddings start at $1,500. https://preview.redd.it/9xgracm66q2b1.png?width=1200&format=png&auto=webp&s=1a93e0d6f2377d2b555f63c47fb381ff5a8cf3db
Avalon Events Center
Prefer a more modern style wedding? The Event Center at 2525 9th Ave S, Fargo, while historic, offers five function rooms and new audio technology. Five ballrooms offer seating for up to 700 people and a full bar. Saturday weddings start at $2,000.
South Dakota Wedding Venues
Chapel in the Hills
The church at 3788 Chapel Ln, Rapid City is a place of beauty and inspiration. There are museums, trails, and hillsides to host services. Weddings are performed by the Chapel's pastor and it is open for weddings from May 1 to September 30 each year. The price is $400 for the use of the chapel and courtyard area. This includes a $100 minister's fee. https://preview.redd.it/1cq5faw76q2b1.png?width=1200&format=png&auto=webp&s=ef16d548f88cab604b857a372daa7e803b756fbf
The Lodge at Deadwood
The address is 100 Pine Crest Lane, Deadwood and the backdrop will be the beautiful Black Hills. With four adjoining event rooms and the main ballroom, it provides the perfect space for weddings of any size. Wedding packages are available at a variety of prices, with the least expensive buffet package starting at $65 per person for a minimum of 100 people.
Buffalo Ridge Resort
A rustic resort located at 1312 Coteau St, Gary. Offers charming and historic wedding venues including a restored barn and beautiful chapel. The venue can accommodate up to 300 people and prices start at $4,500 for a Saturday wedding.
Nebraska Wedding Venues
The Ballroom at 2027 Dodge St, Omaha, is located just minutes from downtown. Located in the historic Scoular building, from the grand Italian marble floors of the atrium to the romantic balcony overlooking the spacious and inviting ballroom. Offering a modern and elegant wedding venue with a grand ballroom and beautiful outdoor terrace. Accommodates up to 300 guests and starts at $4,000 for a Saturday wedding.
The theater at 140 N 13th St, Lincoln can give you a movie-like wedding. The theater has seating for up to 500 guests. The bride and groom can get married on stage while the guests sit in the first few rows of seats. Saturday weddings start at $2,500.
The Barn at the Ackerhurst Dairy Farm
Located at 15220 Military Rd, Bennington, this is an Omaha landmark and a historic site in the area. This wedding venue can accommodate up to 450 guests and includes an outdoor ceremony space and a large terrace with a fireplace. Off-season wedding rental rates start at $2,500.
Kansas Wedding Venues
Madison Avenue Central Park
Central Park at 512 E Madison Ave, Derby features a lawn, theater, and playground. And in the southwest corner, there is an event center including an indoor reception and outdoor patio. Accommodating up to 370 people, rates start at $800 for an 8-hour rental.
Petroleum Club of Wichita
The address is 100 N Broadway St 900, Wichita. this is a rooftop wedding venue located on top of the iconic Ruffin Building. With views of the skyline and city, it offers personalized service and beautiful décor. Wedding venue fees start at $4500.
The Oread Hotel
Located at 1200 Oread Ave, Lawrence, the hotel has two large outdoor patios. The patio overlooks the city and the Kansas River. There are nine different banquet rooms to choose from, the largest of which can seat up to 275 people. Prices for Saturday weddings start at $4,000.
Oklahoma Wedding Venues
The Dominion House
The main house is located at 602 E. College, Guthrie. The boutique hotel offers both intimate and grand wedding packages, including romantic indoor and outdoor venues. The outdoors includes a wedding garden and a four-season chapel, while the grand ballroom is designed in the opulent style of the 1920s. Wedding packages start at $2,000.
This is an intimate wedding venue located at 1401 West Washington St S, Broken Arrow. This chapel offers a unique and romantic wedding venue with a beautiful glass chapel and outdoor garden. The triangular roof and all-glass walls will make you feel like you are in a fairy tale world. Outside, the gardens and woods complement the modern design. The church can accommodate up to 100 guests and wedding packages start from $2450.
The Springs Event Venue
This is a wedding planning company that offers multiple venues. Event venues are located in various cities throughout Oklahoma, including Edmond, Norman, and Tulsa. Versatile and affordable wedding venues are available with a variety of indoor and outdoor spaces. Prices for Saturday weddings start at $3,950.
Texas Wedding Venues
This is a historic hotel located at 2024 Seawall Blvd, Galveston. The hotel is surrounded by lush gardens, expansive green spaces, and sparkling beaches. An indoor ballroom and terrace are included, and the ballroom features floor-to-ceiling windows with views of the bay. Up to 200 guests can be accommodated for a great wedding service. Prices for Saturday weddings start at $10,000.
The Bell Tower on 34th
This beautiful clock tower is located at 901 W 34th St, Houston, and has a castle-like interior with a magnificent grand staircase, arches, and marble floors. Every aspect of the building is luxurious. Wedding packages are available on an all-inclusive basis, with prices starting at $10,000 for a Saturday wedding.
The Oasis on Lake Travis
This restaurant is located at 6550 Comanche Trail, Austin.Along with an event center located 450 feet above Lake Travis, offering unparalleled views. An outdoor patio overlooking the lake is available. Up to 400 guests can be accommodated and prices start at $5,000 for Saturday weddings.
Minnesota Wedding Venues
The Gale Mansion
This mansion at 2115 Stevens Ave, Minneapolis is also a very popular wedding venue. With a warm atmosphere and inviting decor, it offers an elegant and convenient space to host the wedding of your choice. 12 hours of rental costs a total of $5,700 including the rental of the mansion and ballroom.
The Outpost Center
The address is 6053 US-212, Chaska. Built on 32 acres of rolling hills and woodlands, it is a beautiful and peaceful venue close to the city. The main venue's red facade and green roof create an oil painting-like backdrop. It has the ambiance of a barn wedding with all the amenities and gorgeous rustic grounds. Wedding packages start at $4675 for 50 guests.
Nicollet Island Pavilion
The event venue at 40 Power Street, Minneapolis is full of unique charm and style. Exposed brick walls and tall industrial ceilings create an open atmosphere full of character. You can have the best views of the Minneapolis bridges and skyline at this venue. Prices for Saturday weddings start at $3,500.
Iowa Wedding Venues
This is a botanical garden located at 25141 260th St, Dallas Center. It has approximately 2,500 plants representing more than 500 different species, cultivars, and hybrids. Offers great outdoor views and can accommodate up to 300 people. Saturday weddings start at $2,500 and services include access to the gardens and a wedding coordinator.
The Temple for Performing Arts
Located at 1011 Locust Street, Des Moines, it offers a large auditorium, recital hall, and suites for weddings. The Grand Hall can accommodate up to 450 people and features a tinted glass skylight and a magnificent original light fixture and a sculpted ceiling. High-season wedding receptions start at $4000 for the venue.
Figge Art Museum
The Art Museum at 225 W 2nd St, Davenport. The museum's lobby can accommodate 200 guests and has a modern design with high ceilings and terrazzo floors. The striking river view offers countless possibilities. The outdoor terrace provided also offers a magnificent view of the Mississippi River. The rental fee for the lobby is $2,500. https://preview.redd.it/te5pv8ra6q2b1.png?width=1200&format=png&auto=webp&s=68745b1cccd5193021cfeb6108307d8fb38bf103
Missouri Wedding Venues
Located at 3322 Demenil Pl, St. Louis, this mansion was once the home of a beer magnate but was the site of three suicides. It has since been turned into a restaurant and hotel, offering historical and ghost tours. The mansion has four sites, including a mansion, terrace, auditorium, and loft. Ceremony fees range from $950-$1900 and meals start at roughly $47 per person.
The public gardening facility in Saint Louis is made of glass plates and copper frames. It has a variety of flowers and plants and is filled with bright sunlight perfect for wedding photography. It can accommodate up to 250 people as a ceremony venue and costs $1,000. https://preview.redd.it/l3moosqd6q2b1.png?width=1200&format=png&auto=webp&s=7e8d682eee85284df8fd428719fcfa6269dd602b
Located at 3901 Shaw Blvd, St. Louis, with indoor hospitality space and loft and terrace. Includes renovated industrial building and outdoor patio. Prices for Saturday weddings start at $4,000 and can accommodate up to 200 people.
Arkansas Wedding Venues
Castle on Stagecoach
This is an old castle located at 6601 Stagecoach Rd, Little Rock. Offering intimate indoor spaces, the castle's unique architecture and décor provide an elegant and luxurious setting. The venue includes a lawn, barn, and stables. Prices start at $6,673 for 50 guests.
The Brick Ballroom
The event space at 119 B S Broadway St, Siloam Springs, was formerly a Chevrolet dealership. The building is 100 years old. Inside are black walls and original tin ceilings, vintage glass chandeliers, blue benches, and a built-in bar with a sink. There are also 5,000 square feet of covered balconies and gardens. The starting venue fee for a high-season wedding is $3,000.
Located at 243 Pace Ln, Cave Springs, offers a beautiful and modern wedding venue. The venue is suitable for couples seeking minimalism, with architectural designs mostly in black and white. A chapel will be located a short distance from the lobby and included in the wedding package. With a maximum capacity of 428 people, wedding venue rentals start at $2800 in high season.
Louisiana Wedding Venues
The Elms Mansion
Located at 3029 St Charles Ave, New Orleans, the mansion is a typical Italianate-style building. It features an imported hand-carved marble mantel, decorative cornices, 24-carat gold sconces, and a 48-foot ballroom. Accommodates up to 400 people and starts at $4,500 for a Saturday wedding.
This museum is located at 751 Chartres St, New Orleans, and has a rich history. A collection of elaborate carnival artifacts and memorabilia. You can hold a ceremony among the beautiful exhibits and rich artifacts and enjoy a fun evening with your family. Accommodates up to 500 guests, starting at $6,590 for 50 guests.
Race + Religious
It is located at 510 Race Street, New Orleans, and has three buildings with brick courtyards filled with greenery. The hotel has 4,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor event space on the ground floor. Dinner parties can accommodate up to 90 people, and prices start at $7,500 for Saturday weddings.
Alaska Wedding Venues
This is a leisurely resort located at 1000 Arlberg Ave, Girdwood. is Alaska's premier year-round destination. Featuring more than 300 guest rooms, many fine dining experiences, a saltwater pool, a ski hill, and bike park, and a brand-new Nordic Spa. The ballroom can accommodate up to 220 guests. Reception rentals range from $500 to $1,000 and include five hours of event time.
The Alaska Zoo
The Alaska Zoo is located at 4731 O'Malley Rd, Anchorage. Inside are animals such as polar bears, wolves, snow leopards, and other rare species. The zoo has very spacious halls and lawns and a bright greenhouse. Hospitality hall rentals start at $800. Lawn rentals start at $1,450. Greenhouse rentals start at $675.
Hotel Captain Cook
Old fashioned hotel located at 939 W 5th Ave, Anchorage. One of the meeting and function rooms has a stunning panoramic view and fireplace. Panoramic views of the Chugach Mountains and Cook Inlet. Accommodates up to 600 guests and Saturday weddings start at approximately $5,000.
Hawaii Wedding Venues
The address is 250 Haiku Rd, Haiku, a unique European-style building amid Maui's lush surroundings. With over 150 years of history, it is an important landmark. A quaint and beautiful ceremony can be created. The venue can accommodate up to 100 people and prices start at $6,500 for a Saturday wedding.
Also known as Secret Beach, has a 3,000-foot-long North Shore beach. Enjoy a sparsely populated stretch of beach with breathtaking views of Moquawe Island and Kilauea Lighthouse. Perfect for your seaside wedding venue. You can look for the right wedding contractor to prepare everything for you and prices will probably range from $800 to $1500.
The resort is located at 2365 Kalākaua Ave, Honolulu. First opened in 1901, it is just steps from the perfect shores of legendary Waikiki Beach and within walking distance of Honolulu's most popular shopping, dining, and entertainment attractions. There are seven event rooms in total, and the ballroom can accommodate up to 300 people. Wedding packages range in price from $3,500 to $9,500.
To be continued
After introducing the most popular and unique wedding venues in the western and central states, we will continue to cover the wedding venues in the eastern states. Stay tuned for part two of our wedding venue recommendations. In the meantime, if you choose an outdoor wedding venue, check out our multi-sized, stylized wedding tent
. it will ensure that your outdoor wedding is not disturbed by the weather.
2023.05.28 18:14 ft420 D1 Baseball Tournament TV / Streaming for Sunday 5/28 (International Hamburger Day)
ALL TIMES EASTERN CONFERENCE WINNERS (so far)
America East Tournament -- #1 Maine
Atlantic 10 Tournament -- #6 George Mason
Big East Tournament -- #2 Xavier
Big South Tournament -- #1 Campbell
Big West Conference -- Reg Season Champion > UC San Diego; auto-bid > CS Fullerton
Horizon Tournament -- #1 Wright State
Ivy League Tournament -- Pennsylvania
MAAC Tournament -- #2 Rider
Mid-American Tournament -- #3 Ball State
Missouri Valley Tournament -- #1 Indiana State
Ohio Valley Tournament -- #5 Eastern Illinois
PAC-12 Tournament -- #6 Oregon
Patriot League Championship -- #1 Army West Point
Southern Tournament -- #1 Samford
Southland Tournament -- #1 Nicholls
Summit Tournament -- #1 Oral Roberts
WAC Tournament -- #2 Sam Houston
WCC Tournament -- #3 Santa Clara
CONFERENCE TOURNAMENTS - FINAL DAY
12:00 PM Championship Game: #7 Tulane vs. #1 East Carolina, ESPNews & espn+
2:03 PM Championship Game: #4 Miami vs #3 Clemson, ESPNU
1:00 PM Championship Game: #7 Jax State vs. #1 Lipscomb, espn+
3:00 PM Championship Game:: #3 Iowa vs. #1 Maryland, BTN
Big 12 Tournament
6:00 PM Championship Game: #2 Oklahoma State vs #4 TCU ESPNU & espn+
Colonial Athletic Tournament
1:00 PM Game 9: #2 Elon vs. #3 Northeastern (Elimination Game) FloBaseball ($)
5:00 PM Championship Game: #1 UNCW vs. Winner GM9 FloBaseball ($)
Conference USA Tournament
2:00 PM Championship Game: (3) Charlotte vs. (1) Dallas Baptist, CBSSN
Mountain West Tournament
4:00 PM Game 7: Championship Game #3 Air Force vs. #1 San José State MW Network
12:00 PM Game 11: Championship Game: #2 Wagner vs #1 CCSU espn3 & NEC Front Row
3:00 PM ET Championship Game: #10 Texas A&M vs. #4 Vanderbilt ESPN2
2:00 PM ET Championship Game: #4 Louisiana vs. #2 Southern Miss, espn+
1:00 PM ET Championship Game: (E3) Florida A&M vs. (E2) Bethune-Cookman, espn3
12:00 PM ET DI SELECTION SHOW ESPN2
Not sure if PPL will post today, so I am posting this in place of the usual format.
This is the one I use on my site and wanted to get it to you fans asap. Cheers.
Live Crowdsourced Scoreboard ~by u/CTIDmississippi
submitted by ft420
to collegebaseball [link] [comments]
2023.05.28 10:06 Geist_Lain Texas AG Ken Paxton impeached, suspended from duties; will face Senate trial
Defying a last-minute appeal by former President Donald Trump, the Texas House voted overwhelmingly Saturday to impeach Attorney General Ken Paxton, suspending him from office over allegations of misconduct that included bribery and abuse of office.
The vote to adopt the 20 articles of impeachment was 121-23.
The stunning vote came two days after an investigative committee unveiled the articles — and two days before the close of a biennial legislative session that saw significant right-wing victories, including a ban on transgender health care for minors and new restrictions on public universities’ diversity efforts.
The vote revealed substantial divisions within the Republican Party of Texas — the largest, richest and most powerful state GOP party in the United States. Although the party has won every statewide election for a quarter-century and has controlled both houses of the Legislature since 2003, it has deep underlying fissures, many of them exacerbated by Trump’s rise and influence.
Few attorneys general have been as prominent as Paxton, who made a career of suing the Obama and Biden administrations. One of Trump’s closest allies in Texas, along with Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, Paxton unsuccessfully sued to challenge the 2020 presidential election results in four states.
Attention now shifts to the Texas Senate, which will conduct a trial with senators acting as jurors and designated House members presenting their case as impeachment managers.
Permanently removing Paxton from office and barring him from holding future elected office in Texas would require the support of two-thirds of senators.
Impeachment was supported by 60 Republicans, including Speaker Dade Phelan and all five of the representatives from Collin County — where Paxton and his wife have lived for decades. All 23 votes in opposition came from Republicans.
Afterward, Paxton called the vote “illegal, unethical, and profoundly unjust,” adding that he looked forward to a quick resolution in the Senate.
The move to impeach came less than a week after the House General Investigating Committee revealed that it was investigating Paxton for what members described as a yearslong pattern of misconduct and questionable actions that include bribery, dereliction of duty and obstruction of justice. They presented the case against him Saturday, acknowledging the weight of their actions.
“Today is a very grim and difficult day for this House and for the state of Texas,” Rep. David Spiller, R-Jacksboro, a committee member, told House members.
“We have a duty and an obligation to protect the citizens of Texas from elected officials who abuse their office and their powers for personal gain,” Spiller said. “As a body, we should not be complicit in allowing that behavior.”
Paxton supporters criticized the impeachment proceedings as rushed, secretive and based on hearsay accounts of actions taken by Paxton, who they said was not given the opportunity to defend himself to the investigating committee.
“This process is indefensible,” said Rep. John Smithee, R-Amarillo, who complained that the vote was taking place on a holiday weekend before members had time to conduct a thorough review of the accusations. “It concerns me a lot because today it could be General Paxton, tomorrow it could be you and the next day it could be me.”
Saturday’s vote temporarily removes a controversial but influential Republican figure in Texas and nationally. He has led an office that initiated lawsuits that overturned or blocked major Biden and Obama administration policies, particularly on immigration; sought to reverse Trump’s electoral defeat in 2020; aggressively pursued voter fraud claims; and targeted hospitals that provided gender care to minors.
The Legislature had impeached state officials just twice since 1876 — and never an attorney general — but the House committee members who proposed impeachment argued Saturday that Paxton’s misconduct in office was so egregious that it warranted his removal.
“This gentleman is no longer fit for service or for office,” said committee member Rep. Ann Johnson, D-Houston. “Either this is going to be the beginning of the end of his criminal reign, or God help us with the harms that will come to all Texans if he's allowed to stay the top cop on the take, if millions of Texans can’t trust us to do the right thing, right here, right now.”
Rep. Charlie Geren, R-Fort Worth, a member of the investigative committee, used his presentation time to criticize Paxton for calling representatives as they worked on the House floor to “personally threaten them with political consequences in the next election” if they supported impeachment.
Speaking against impeachment, Rep. Tony Tinderholt, R-Arlington, called the process “wrong.”
“Don’t end our session this way. Don’t tarnish this institution,” Tinderholt said. “Don’t cheapen the act of impeachment. Don’t undermine the will of the voters. Don’t give Democrats another victory handed to them on a silver platter.”
The vote came as hardline conservatives supportive of Paxton’s aggressive strategy of suing the Biden administration were lining up in support of him. Trump — a close political ally to Paxton — blasted the impeachment proceedings as an attempt to unseat “the most hard working and effective” attorney general and thwart the “large number of American Patriots” who voted for Paxton.
Trump vowed to target any Republican who supported impeaching Paxton, adding after the vote: “What is our Country coming to?” In the evening, he called Abbott “missing in action,” asking followers on his Truth Social network, “Where is the Governor of Texas on his Attorney General’s Impeachment?”
As lawmakers listened to the committee members make their case, Paxton took to social media to boost conservatives who had come to his defense, including Trump, U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Georgia, and conservative radio host Grant Stinchfield, who tweeted, “Kangaroo Court in Texas.”
About 90 minutes into the debate, the official Twitter account of the Texas attorney general’s office began tweeting at members of the committee to challenge some of the claims being made.
“Please tell the truth,” the agency’s account said.
Under the Texas Constitution, Paxton is suspended from office pending the outcome of the Senate trial. The Senate had recessed before the House voted to impeach, and Patrick, who presides over the Senate, did not immediately respond to a request for comment about a timeline for an impeachment trial.
Because Paxton was impeached while the Legislature was in session, the Texas Constitution requires the Senate to remain in Austin after the regular session ends Monday or set a trial date for the future, with no deadline for a trial spelled out in the law.
The constitution also allows the governor to appoint a provisional replacement. Gov. Greg Abbott had not weighed in on the calls to impeach Paxton and his office did not immediately respond to a request for comment Saturday.
Impeachment represents the greatest political threat to date for Paxton, who has been reelected twice despite a 2015 indictment for felony securities fraud and an ongoing federal investigation into allegations of official misconduct that began in 2020.
The impeachment vote capped a tumultuous week at the Capitol. From Tuesday to Thursday:
Paxton abruptly accused Phelan of presiding over the chamber while drunk and demanded that he resign.
The House General Investigating Committee revealed it had been investigating Paxton in secret since March.
The committee heard a three-hour presentation from its investigators detailing allegations of corruption against the attorney general.
The committee’s three Republicans and two Democrats voted to forward 20 articles of impeachment to the full House.
Paxton, who was comfortably elected to a third term last year, made a rare appearance before assembled reporters Friday to criticize the process, saying he was not given a chance to present favorable evidence. He called impeachment an effort by Democrats and “liberal” Republicans to remove him from office, violating the will of voters and sidelining an effective warrior against Biden administration policies.
“The corrupt politicians in the Texas House are demonstrating that blind loyalty to Speaker Dade Phelan is more important than upholding their oath of office,” Paxton said. He added, “They are showcasing their absolute contempt for the electoral process.”
Many of the articles of impeachment focused on allegations that Paxton had repeatedly abused his powers of office to help a political donor and friend, Austin real estate developer Nate Paul.
In fall 2020, eight top deputies in the attorney general’s office approached federal and state investigators to report their concerns about Paxton’s relationship with Paul.
All eight quit or were fired in the following months, and most of the details of their allegations against Paxton were revealed in a lawsuit by four former executives who claim they were fired — in violation of the Texas Whistleblower Act — in retaliation for reporting Paxton to the authorities. Paxton’s bid to dismiss the lawsuit is awaiting action by the Dallas-based 5th Court of Appeals.
According to the lawsuit, the whistleblowers accused Paxton of engaging in a series of “intense and bizarre” actions to help Paul, including intervening in an open-records case to help Paul gain documents from federal and state investigations into the real estate investor’s businesses. They also accused Paxton of directing his agency to intervene in a lawsuit between Paul and a charity, pushing through a rushed legal opinion to help Paul avoid a pending foreclosure sale on properties and ignoring agency rules to hire an outside lawyer to pursue an investigation helpful to Paul’s businesses.
In return, the whistleblower lawsuit alleged, Paul paid for all or part of a major renovation of a home Paxton owns in Austin. Paul also helped Paxton keep an extramarital affair quiet by employing the woman Paxton had been seeing, the lawsuit said, adding that the attorney general may also have been motivated by a $25,000 contribution Paul made to Paxton’s campaign in 2018.
In their report to the House General Investigating Committee on Wednesday, the panel’s investigators concluded that Paxton may have committed numerous crimes and violated his oath of office.
Investigators said possible felonies included abuse of official capacity by, among other actions, diverting staff time to help Paul at a labor cost of at least $72,000; misuse of official information by possibly helping Paul gain access to investigative documents; and retaliation and official oppression by firing employees who complained of Paxton’s actions to the FBI.
The articles of impeachment accused Paxton of accepting bribes, disregarding his official duties and misapplying public resources to help Paul.
The articles also referred to felony charges of securities fraud, and one felony count of failing to register with state securities officials, that have been pending against Paxton since 2015, months after he took office as attorney general. The fraud charges stem from Paxton’s work in 2011 to solicit investors in Servergy Inc. without disclosing that the McKinney company was paying him for the work.
The impeachment articles also accused Paxton of obstruction of justice by acting to delay the criminal cases with legal challenges and because a Paxton donor pursued legal action that limited the pay to prosecutors in the case, causing further delays “to Paxton’s advantage.”
Taken in total, the accusations showed a pattern of dereliction of duty in violation of the Texas Constitution, Paxton’s oaths of office and state laws against public officials acting against the public’s interest, the impeachment resolution said.
“Paxton engaged in misconduct, private or public, of such character as to indicate his unfitness for office,” the articles said.
An attorney general had never before been impeached by the Legislature, an extraordinary step that lawmakers have reserved for public officials who faced serious allegations of misconduct. Only two Texas officials have been removed from office by Senate conviction, Gov. James Ferguson in 1917 and District Judge O.P. Carrillo in 1975.
If Paxton is to survive, he will need to secure the support of 11 senators. With the 12 Democratic senators likely to support his removal, any votes for acquittal would need to come from the 19 Republican members.
Several Republican senators issued statements Saturday evening warning constituents and others that their role as jurors in the upcoming impeachment trial prohibited them from discussing the case. In a television interview Thursday, Patrick said merely that he believed senators would be responsible jurors and “do their duty.”
A complicating factor is Sen. Angela Paxton, R-McKinney, Paxton’s wife. State law requires all senators to attend an impeachment trial, though whether she will recuse herself from voting is unclear.
Paxton’s political base lies in the far-right faction of the Republican Party, where he has positioned himself as a champion of conservative causes and a thorn in the side of Democratic President Joe Biden. Paxton has criticized his opponents as RINOs (Republicans in name only) who “want nothing more than to sabotage our legal challenges to Biden’s extremist agenda by taking me out.”
He also retained the backing of the state Republican Party, led by former state Rep. Matt Rinaldi, who frequently attacks Republicans he considers to be insufficiently conservative. On Friday, Rinaldi said the impeachment was Phelan’s fault for allowing Democrats to have too much influence in the House.
“The impeachment proceedings against the attorney general are but the latest front in the Texas House’s war against Republicans to stop the conservative direction of her state,” Rinaldi said in a statement.
Paxton also has maintained a close relationship with Trump and filed an unsuccessful U.S. Supreme Court challenge to the 2020 presidential election. Paxton also spoke at Trump’s rally in Washington on Jan. 6, 2021, shortly before the president’s supporters attacked the U.S. Capitol.
Ken Paxton has plagued Texas for far too long. I'm glad to see a modicum of justice being done.
EDIT: For those questioning the validity of this impeachment, here are the articles;
R E S O L U T I O N
BE IT RESOLVED by the House of Representatives of the State of
Texas, That Warren Kenneth Paxton Jr., Attorney General of the State of Texas, is impeached and that the following articles of impeachment be exhibited to the Texas Senate: ARTICLES OF IMPEACHMENT
Exhibited by the House of Representatives of the State of
Texas in the name of itself and of all the people of the State of Texas against Warren Kenneth Paxton, Attorney General of the State of Texas, in maintenance and support of its impeachment against him. ARTICLE I (Disregard of Official Duty- Protection of Charitable Organization)
While holding office as attorney general, Warren Kenneth
Paxton violated the duties of his office by failing to act as public protector of charitable organizations as required by Chapter 123, Property Code.
Specifically, Paxton caused employees of his office to
intervene in a lawsuit brought by the Roy F. & JoAnn Cole Mitte Foundation against several corporate entities controlled by Nate Paul. Paxton harmed the Mitte Foundation in an effort to benefit Paul. ARTICLE II (Disregard of Official Duty-Abuse of the Opinion Process)
While holding office as attorney general, Warren Kenneth
Paxton misused his official power to issue written legal opinions under Subchapter C, Chapter 402, Government Code.
Specifically, Paxton caused employees of his office to
prepare an opinion in an attempt to avoid the impending foreclosure sales of properties belonging to Nate Paul or business entities controlled by Paul. Paxton concealed his actions by soliciting the chair of a senate committee to serve as straw requestor. Furthermore, Paxton directed employees of his office to reverse their legal conclusion for the benefit of Paul. ARTICLE III (Disregard of Official Duty-Abuse of the Open Records Process)
While holding office as attorney general, Warren Kenneth
Paxton misused his official power to administer the public information law (Chapter 552, Government Code).
Specifically, Paxton directed employees of his office to act
contrary to law by refusing to render a proper decision relating to a public information request for records held by the Department of Public Safety and by issuing a decision involving another public information request that was contrary to law and applicable legal precedent. ARTICLE IV (Disregard of Official Duty-Misuse of Official Information)
While holding office as attorney general, Warren Kenneth
Paxton misused his official power to administer the public information law (Chapter 552, Government Code).
Specifically, Paxton improperly obtained access to
information held by his office that had not been publicly disclosed for the purpose of providing the information to the benefit of Nate Paul. ARTICLE V (Disregard of Official Duty-Engagement of Cammack)
While holding office as attorney general, Warren Kenneth
Paxton misused his official powers by violating the laws governing the appointment of prosecuting attorneys pro tem.
Specifically, Paxton engaged Brandon Cammack, a licensed
attorney, to conduct an investigation into a baseless complaint, during which Cammack issued more than 30 grand jury subpoenas, in an effort to benefit Nate Paul or Paul's business entities. ARTICLE VI (Disregard of Official Duty-Termination of Whistleblowers)
While holding office as attorney general, Warren Kenneth
Paxton violated the duties of his office by terminating and taking adverse personnel action against employees of his office in violation of this state's whistleblower law (Chapter 554, Government Code).
Specifically, Paxton terminated employees of his office who
made good faith reports of his unlawful actions to law enforcement authorities. Paxton terminated the employees without good cause or due process and in retaliation for reporting his illegal acts and improper conduct. Furthermore, Paxton engaged in a public and private campaign to impugn the employees' professional reputations or prejudice their future employment. ARTICLE VII (Misapplication of Public Resources- Whistleblower Investigation and Report)
While holding office as attorney general, Warren Kenneth
Paxton misused public resources entrusted to him.
Specifically, Paxton directed employees of his office to
conduct a sham investigation into whistleblower complaints made by employees whom Paxton had terminated and to create and publish a lengthy written report containing false or misleading statements in Paxton's defense. ARTICLE VIII (Disregard of Official Duty-Settlement Agreement)
While holding office as attorney general, Warren Kenneth
Paxton misused his official powers by concealing his wrongful acts in connection with whistleblower complaints made by employees whom Paxton had terminated.
Specifically, Paxton entered into a settlement agreement
with the whistleblowers that provides for payment of the settlement from public funds. The settlement agreement stayed the wrongful termination suit and conspicuously delayed the discovery of facts and testimony at trial, to Paxton's advantage, which deprived the electorate of its opportunity to make an informed decision when voting for attorney general. ARTICLE IX (Constitutional Bribery-Paul's Employment of Mistress)
While holding office as attorney general, Warren Kenneth
Paxton engaged in bribery in violation of Section 41, Article XVI, Texas Constitution.
Specifically, Paxton benefited from Nate Paul's employment
of a woman with whom Paxton was having an extramarital affair. Paul received favorable legal assistance from, or specialized access to, the office of the attorney general. ARTICLE X (Constitutional Bribery- Paul's Providing Renovations to Paxton Home)
While holding office as attorney general, Warren Kenneth
Paxton engaged in bribery in violation of Section 41, Article XVI, Texas Constitution.
Specifically, Paxton benefited from Nate Paul providing
renovations to Paxton's home. Paul received favorable legal assistance from, or specialized access to, the office of the attorney general. ARTICLE XI (Obstruction of Justice-Abuse of Judicial Process)
While holding office as attorney general, Warren Kenneth
Paxton abused the judicial process to thwart justice.
After Paxton was elected attorney general, Paxton was
indicted by a Collin County grand jury for engaging in fraud or fraudulent practices in violation of The Securities Act (Title 12, Government Code). Paxton then concealed the facts underlying his criminal charges from voters by causing protracted delay of the trial, which deprived the electorate of its opportunity to make an informed decision when voting for attorney general. ARTICLE XII (Obstruction of Justice-Abuse of Judicial Process)
While holding office as attorney general, Warren Kenneth
Paxton abused the judicial process to thwart justice.
Specifically, Paxton benefited from the filing of a lawsuit
by Jeff Blackard, a donor to Paxton's campaign, that interfered with or disrupted payment of the prosecutors in a criminal securities fraud case against Paxton. Blackard's actions caused protracted delay in the criminal case against Paxton, including the delay of discovery of facts and testimony at trial, to Paxton's advantage, which deprived the electorate of its opportunity to make an informed decision when voting for attorney general. ARTICLE XIII (False Statements in Official Records- State Securities Board Investigation)
While holding office as attorney general, and prior to,
Warren Kenneth Paxton made false statements in official records to mislead both the public and public officials.
Specifically, Paxton made false statements to the State
Securities Board in connection with its investigation of his failure to register with the board as required by law. ARTICLE XIV (False Statements in Official Records- Personal Financial Statements)
While holding office as attorney general, and prior to,
Warren Kenneth Paxton made misrepresentations or false or misleading statements in official filings to mislead both the public and public officials.
Specifically, Paxton failed to fully and accurately disclose
his financial interests in his personal financial statements required by law to be filed with the Texas Ethics Commission in furtherance of the acts described in one or more articles. ARTICLE XV (False Statements in Official Records- Whistleblower Response Report)
While holding office as attorney general, Warren Kenneth
Paxton made false or misleading statements in official records to mislead both the public and public officials.
Specifically, Paxton made or caused to be made multiple false
or misleading statements in the lengthy written report issued by his office in response to whistleblower allegations. ARTICLE XVI (Conspiracy and Attempted Conspiracy)
While holding office as attorney general, Warren Kenneth
Paxton acted with others to conspire, or attempt to conspire, to commit acts described in one or more articles. ARTICLE XVII (Misappropriation of Public Resources)
While holding office as attorney general, Warren Kenneth
Paxton misused his official powers by causing employees of his office to perform services for his benefit and the benefit of others. ARTICLE XVIII (Dereliction of Duty)
While holding office as attorney general, Warren Kenneth
Paxton violated the Texas Constitution, his oaths of office, statutes, and public policy against public officials acting contrary to the public interest by engaging in acts described in one or more articles. ARTICLE XIX (Unfitness for Office)
While holding office as attorney general, Warren Kenneth
Paxton engaged in misconduct, private or public, of such character as to indicate his unfitness for office, as shown by the acts described in one or more articles. ARTICLE XX (Abuse of Public Trust)
While holding office as attorney general, Warren Kenneth
Paxton used, misused, or failed to use his official powers in a manner calculated to subvert the lawful operation of the government of the State of Texas and obstruct the fair and impartial administration of justice, thereby bringing the Office of Attorney General into scandal and disrepute to the prejudice of public confidence in the government of this State, as shown by the acts described in one or more articles. PRAYER
Accordingly, the House of Representatives of the State of
Texas, reserving to itself the prerogative of presenting at any future date further articles of impeachment against Warren Kenneth Paxton; of replying to any answer he makes to these articles; and of offering proof to sustain each of the above articles and to any other articles which may be preferred, requests that Warren Kenneth Paxton be called upon to answer these articles of impeachment in the
Texas Senate, and that in those proceedings the examinations,
trials, and judgments be conducted and issued in accordance with law and justice.
Open. And. Shut.
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to BreakingPoints [link] [comments]
2023.05.28 08:43 PianistRight WHAT IF: Imagine Dragons went on the Origins Tour
So, here’s what I came up with for if Imagine Dragons toured Origins.
DISCLAIMER: This is a work of fiction
Part 1: The Beginning of the Tour On December 21, 2018, Imagine Dragons announced the first US Leg for the Origins Tour, originally set from March 6 to April 17, 2019, with shows in Atlanta, Jacksonville, Tampa, Sunrise, Columbia, Raleigh, New York, Chicago, St. Louis, Milwaukee, Boise, Seattle, Portland, Los Angeles, Phoenix, and Salt Lake City. 2 weeks later, they announced shows for Canada, lasting from April 28 to May 26, 2019, with shows in Quebec, Montreal, Toronto, Ottawa, Victoria, Ontario, Winnipeg, Moncton, Saskatoon, Calgary, Vancouver, and Edmonton.
On January 27, 2019, the band announced Europe tour dates, lasting from June 6 to July 27, 2019, with shows in Riga, Vienna, Prague, Rome, Odense, Berlin, Madrid, Stockholm, London, Paris, Amsterdam, Kyiv, Moscow, St. Petersburg, Frankfurt, Werchter, and Gdynia.
On March 6, 2019, the Origins Tour began in Atlanta, GA. Opening Acts included Grouplove, Lil Wayne, and Elisa. In Canada, Yungblud replaced Grouplove for opening act, after Grouplove completed touring with Imagine Dragons on the US leg.
On April 20, 2019, tour dates were announced for South America and Central America, lasting from August 31 to November 6, 2019. With shows in Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, Curitiba, Santiago, Buenos Aires, Bogota, Quito, Lima, Caracas, Barranquilla, Cartagena, Mexico City, Monterrey, and Guadalajara.
Part 2: Europe, Latin America, and addition of more dates On June 6, 2019, Imagine Dragons brought the Origins Tour to Europe, beginning in Riga, Latvia. Opening Acts included Grace Vanderwaal (again), and AJR.
Just like in years past, they omitted the acoustic set for festivals.
On August 31, 2019, the Latin American tour began in Rio de Janeiro. Opening acts included K.Flay, Lil Wayne, and AJR
On December 6, 2019, one month after the Latin America Leg ended, Imagine Dragons announced 2020 tour dates for North America, lasting from January 28 to March 20, 2020, with shows in Boca Raton, Orlando, Tallahassee, Montgomery, Nashville, Austin, Dallas, New Orleans, Dallas, Albuquerque, Philadelphia, Detroit, Minneapolis, Denver, Las Vegas, Kansas City, and Boston.
On December 14, they announced dates for Asia, Oceania, and South Africa, lasting from April 5 to June 26, 2020.
Part 3: Early end + Covid-19 On January 28, 2020, Imagine Dragons began the new US leg of the tour in Boca Raton, FL.
With a new coronavirus being unleashed in Wuhan, China, Imagine Dragons announced that they will put the shows in the neighboring countries, including Hong Kong, on hold while the countries deal with this new outbreak.
Nonetheless, the continued touring the US. On March 11, 2020, Covid-19 was declared a pandemic by the WHO. Luckily the band performed at Las Vegas, their hometown, when the declaration was made. But 2 days later, lockdown orders were put in place. The Kansas City show was not scheduled until March 18, so they did not leave yet. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the tour dates were postponed on March 15, 2020, and the tour was ultimately cancelled on May 2, 2020, bringing an early end to the tour. After the cancellation of the remainder of the Origins Tour, refunds were made available to all fans who ordered tickets before the cancellation.
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2023.05.28 00:27 Small_Bet_9433 Big 12 Programs (Texas and Oklahoma Schools) That Have Played Teams They Have Never Beaten (as of the 2022 season)
The Big-12 doesn't have divisions, so I decided to split the conference by geography. Today will the Texas and Oklahoma teams while tomorrow will be the rest of the conference plus the other three newcomers. The four teams joining the conference aren't officially members yet, but I thought it would be informative to include them on this list. Even more so since they all have yet to beat certain big 12 programs. As always, the year in parenthesis is the date each team last played each other. If I missed any dates or matchups, please let me know!
Arizona State (0-1) (1983)
Boise State (0-1) (2007)
BYU (0-2) (2009)
Georgia (0-1) (2018)
Illinois (0-1) (1917)
Indiana (0-1) (1928)
Navy (0-1) (1965)
Ole Miss (0-1) (1999)
George Washington (DC) (0-1-1) (1934)
Hawaii All-Stars (0-1) (1931)
Dallas AC (TX) (0-1) (1902)
Camp Doniphan (KS) (0-1) (1917)
- Oklahoma State
Air Force (0-1-1) (1967)
Florida (0-1) (1990)
LSU (0-1) (1956)
Michigan (0-2) (1992)
Minnesota (0-2) (1931)
Ohio State (0-2) (2004)
Ole Miss (0-3) (2016)
Oregon (0-1) (2008)
Tennessee (0-1) (1995)
Wisconsin (0-1) (2022)
William & Mary (VA) (0-1) (1948)
Tulsa Businessmen (OK) (0-1) (1905)
Oklahoma City HS (OK) (0-1) (1909)
Norman NAS (OK) (0-2) (1944)
Jefferson (TX) (0-1) (1932)
Fort MacArthur (TX) (0-1) (1917)
Emporia St. (KS) (0-1) (1925)
Duquesne (PA) (0-2) (1935)
Centenary (LA) (0-2) (1937)
Air Force (0-1) (1985)
Minnesota (0-1) (1936)
North Carolina State (0-1) (1999)
Northwe(s)tern (0-1) (1942)
South Carolina (0-1) (1957)
Syracuse (0-2-1) (1993)
Virginia Tech (0-1) (1995)
Randolph Field (TX) (0-1-1) (1944)
Kirksville Osteopath (MO) (0-1) (1901)
Harvard (MA) (0-1) (1931)
Fort Worth AC (TX) (0-1) (1897)
Colorado College (0-1) (1908)
Chicago (IL) (0-1) (1904)
- Texas Tech
Alabama (0-1) (2006)
East Carolina (0-1) (2000)
Georgia (0-3) (1996)
Georgia Tech (0-2) (1970)
Iowa (0-2) (2001)
LSU (0-3) (2015)
Miami (OH) (0-1) (1948)
Ohio State (0-2) (2002)
Oregon (0-2) (1992)
Penn State (0-1) (1995)
San Jose State (0-1) (1949)
Southern Cal (0-3) (1995)
South Florida (0-1) (2017)
Washington (0-2) (1982)
Saint Mary's (CA) (0-1) (1938)
Detroit (MI) (0-2) (1937)
- Texas Christian
Arizona State (0-2) (1975)
Auburn (0-3) (1981)
Georgia (0-5) (2023)
Georgia Tech (0-2) (1968)
Kentucky (0-1) (1952)
Michigan State (0-2) (2012)
Notre Dame (0-1) (1972)
Tennessee (0-2) (1976)
Washington (0-1) (1896)
Houston AC (TX) (0-1-1)
Oklahoma City (OK) (0-1) (1910)
Northwestern St. (LA) (0-1) (2001)
Haskell Indian Nations (KS) (0-1) (1921)
Fordham (NY) (0-2) (1941)
Detroit (MI) (0-1) (1940)
Decatur Baptist College (TX) (0-1) (1919)
Centre (KY) (0-1) (1920)
Carruthers Field (TX) (0-1) (1918)
2nd Texas 132nd Infantry (TX) (0-1) (1917)
Alabama (0-2) (1981)
Arizona State (0-1) (1990)
Boston College (0-3) (1999)
Duke (0-3) (2018)
Florida (0-1) (1960)
Georgia (0-5) (2020)
Liberty (0-1) (2017)
Michigan State (0-2) (2015)
Minnesota (0-1) (2000)
Notre Dame (0-2) (1998)
Ohio State (0-2) (1982)
Penn State (0-1) (1975)
Purdue (0-1) (1930)
UAB (0-2) (2004)
UCF (0-1) (2013)
UConn (0-2) (2009)
Fort MacArthur (TX) (0-1) (1918)
Central Oklahoma (0-1) (1924)
Barron Field (TX) (0-1) (1918)
Alabama (0-10) (1999)
BYU (0-3) (2020)
California (0-2) (1998)
Colorado (0-1) (1971)
Fresno State (0-1) (2017)
Hawaii (0-2) (2020)
Kansas (0-4) (2022)
Michigan (0-3) (2003)
Notre Dame (0-1) (1978)
Ohio State (0-1) (1994)
Oregon (0-3) (2007)
Southern Cal (0-3) (1996)
Washington (0-2) (1985)
Saint Bonaventure (NY) (0-2) (1950)
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2023.05.27 22:02 cuberandgamer One of DART's Worst Decisions on the Silver Line
This is going to be one of the most frustrating and annoying topics for me, so lets just get right into it.
This is an old map of the silver line alignment: https://preview.redd.it/gba9gw5v6c2b1.png?width=932&format=png&auto=webp&s=a6b6b89004b2ebf7c22153d228225d2a8bfe9f1f
Sorry this image is blurry, but take a look at the stations. There was going to be a station on Preston and Coit (in this image, the Coit station is called Renner village)
I might be wrong here, but this appears to be where the Preston station would be. To be honest, I'm not too upset about losing this one. Not the best land use. The NIMBYs in Far North Dallas can have this one, this station was not super necessary in my opinion. https://preview.redd.it/2l6dif3j7c2b1.png?width=488&format=png&auto=webp&s=6c7f7263c7ee38f2c9468620f5d20d9f7d093488
I'm really not too upset about the Prestonstation going away. Doesn't seem to have a lot of potential.
Lets take a look at where the silver line tracks cross Coit
Pictured here is apartments, lots of apartments. Not just any apartments though, these apartments have a certain characteristic that makes them a huge ridership generator. There is a very large transit dependent population that lives here, students. Students who don't have a car, who don't have any other way of getting around. Serving these populations is how you get good ridership. And guess what, transit ridership in this neighborhood is already some of the best in the whole DART system. This neighborhood is a true success story for DART.
We can't just consider the surrounding land use though, because connections to other transit can also drive ridership at a station. Coit road, has the 883 west, which is the best performing bus route in the entire DART system. These apartments (and a few others not pictured here) are able to support a bus route that runs at 9 minute headways. The most frequent bus route DART operates runs right through this neighborhood. The route 241 also runs through the area, and would have been able to connect to this station. The 241 is another strong performer that gets lots of ridership, but since it doesn't connect to Addison, transferring to the 241 from the silver line was made impossible once DART removed the station
Why did DART kill this station? Because the NIMBY home owners didnt want it. Dallas did not want a station here. But something tells me, nobody talked to the renters who lived here. It was wealthy homeowners who opposed it, not transit dependents. The money that would have been used to build the Coit road station is gone. It went to betterments instead. And guess what, they still aren't happy with their betterments. DART killed two train stations to appease the NIMBYs and put that money towards betterments, and they still aren't happy.
Most importantly though, riders should be at the forefront of every decision made by DART, and I can't help but think riders were not at all at the forefront of this decision at all. Rider experience is what matters most, and this didn't help with rider experience. This limits the options riders have and increases trip time, while simultaneously decreasing ridership.
This was 100% avoidable. DART could have simply just axed Preston and kept Coit. I had no idea the silver line was being planned at the time, but advocates could have pushed DART to keep the stations. Comets For Better Transit exists today, and they would have tried to protect Coit station. We could have applied pressure too, but its too late for any of that.
(old Board meeting about this) https://communityimpact.com/dallas-fort-worth/plano/top-stories/2018/08/28/transit-agency-board-of-directors-votes-to-remove-coit-preston-road-rail-stations-from-future-cotton-belt-line/
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2023.05.27 20:06 Frank_Leroux Molossus, Chapter Thirteen
One nice side-effect of the lifting of secrecy was that the entire team (human and alien) could now be reassigned to somewhere more palatial than a sealed-off side-entrance into a hollowed-out mountain. But where, oh where, to put them? What was needed was someplace A) which was much nicer than a tunnel (humanity must treat our alien guests properly, after all) and B) was already set up with the necessary security precautions and secure communications in and out.
In the end, there was, really, only one choice of location…at least if they wanted to stay in the United States proper.
Corporal McCoy spread her arms out along the back of a very nice red-leather sofa, in the middle of a room dominated by a red-brick fireplace in one corner. Along the two far walls from the fireplace stretched multiple windows which showed, at the moment, the denuded stick-like forms of leafless trees. She knew that in the spring and summer they’d be a veritable explosion of green; somehow, she didn’t mind that she wasn’t able to see leaves at the moment. Off in a far corner of the room sat a wet bar that she also eyed with quite evident lust. There was at least one nice single-malt scotch there that she wanted to get ahold of. Just for a taste, mind you.
Not everyone was there; Chao and Grakosh were off in the midst of some giant nerd mind-meld with some Lockheed Martin Skunk-Works types, trying to figure out how to lift what materials were needed into orbit so that humans could help fix the Rithro and show the Coalition that we are very good and oh so helpful little sapients, yes indeed we are, please help us out just in case we get discovered by some genocidal robots who want to do a little bit of trolling.
Moquon, the knuall-toua who was the ship’s lifesystem engineer, coiled around her shoulder as the latter looked with interest at the wood paneling which made up the rafters and roof.
“Now this is more like it!” McCoy exclaimed to all and sundry.
“Yes, indeed! It does seem much nicer than our previous lodgings,” said Mouquon.
“This is not a vacation, corporal.” Sergeant Shaw stood next to one of the nearly floor-to ceiling windows, looking out over the grounds below with a practiced eye.
“You need to relax, Sarge,” said Martinez. “We got something like a million Secret Service agents prowling around here. I went shooting with one of ‘em once, trust me when I say those people are no joke.” He chuckled. “First time I got my ass kicked in a shooting contest by a woman.”
Shaw let out a grunt. “We are the last layer of the onion.”
“Sir?” asked McCoy.
“Someone can figure out we’re here pretty easily.” Shaw pointed out into the wintry woods. “If they send a determined and well-armed force, they might just make through those million agents to here.” He turned away from the window and stared at his team, who, at the moment, sprawled or sat with evident relief on the furniture within the room. “The OPFOR might get taken down. But then again, they might not. What do we do then?”
McCoy felt Mouqon coil herself tighter around her shoulder. Almost on instinct, she reached up and patted the snake-like alien’s head. “Don’t you worry. I’m here.”
Shaw pointed at the corporal. “Exactly. We are the last, and I do mean the last, line of defense. We are gonna run some drills at a time and place of my choosing. We are going to protect our esteemed guests to the very last…and yes, I do mean the very last. Make sure your gear is ready and that you are ready, or I will give y’all an ass-chewing they’ll feel clear out to the Coalition.”
Agent Milton Vila strolled into the lounge at that particular moment with a grin on his broad face. “Sounds like we’re getting an upgrade to our security, Mack.”
“Aw hell, you know how it is. I gotta keep these assholes on their toes or everything breaks down into chaos.”
The Secret Service agent grinned. “Anyways…we now have a new member of our merry band of misfits.”
“Misfits?” Martinez looked appropriately indignant. “I’ll have you know I am a perfectly normal functioning member of society!”
The agent and soldier held each other’s gaze for a few moments before they both busted out in laughter. “Anyways,” continued Vila, “He’s the medical expert that the general requested.” He turned to one of the entrances to the lounge. “Come on in, sir.”
A dark-skinned, lean man with an uncertain air entered. “Zawahir Ibn Harith,” he said by way of greeting. His eyes widened upon viewing the various alien forms now stretched out in various relaxed postures before him.
McCoy decided to throw him a bone. “Welcome!” She gave a wave of her arm…the arm around whose shoulder Mouquon was currently coiled. “Welcome to our…merry band of misfits!”
“Thank you!” The newcomer still looked a bit at sea.
“Hey, Dhuz?” McCoy called out.
The auhn turned from her gazing out the windows. “Yes?”
“I figure you and this guy got a lot to talk about.”
Dhuz met Zawahir’s eyes and smiled. McCoy was still getting used to that; it was a gesture of happiness just as with humans, but auhn teeth were very numerous and very sharp. “I imagine so. Mutual exchange of medical data, yes?”
Now that he had a task before him, Zawahir looked a lot more focused. “Of course! I mean, from what I’ve read thus far all of your species use some method of metal-oxygen bonding to deliver the necessary oxygen to your tissues, but not everyone uses hemoglobin!”
Dhuz lit up. “Exactly!” She touched her forearm and a big old wall of text and diagrams formed above it. “Here, let me show you…”
McCoy chuckled as the pair moved off into a far corner to continue their conversation. “Another nerd mind-meld,” she said to no one in particular.
“Pardon?” asked Mouquon.
“Oh, sorry. Just…Chao and your engineer are now off doing a big old nerd mind-meld with our best and brightest. The last time we had that much talent in one place, we wound up dropping the sun on some people.” The corporal regarded the pair now in the midst of an animated conversation. “I hope this particular nerd-gasm results in something more constructive.”
“Oh!” Mouquon perked up. “I should be a part of this ‘nerd-gasm’. At least, if they start talking about what foodstuffs are viable for the various species.”
McCoy sighed. This was a very comfortable couch, after all. “You’re right, Mouquon.” She hauled herself up and off of the furniture with a bit of reluctance. “Let’s get you involved.” She walked towards the pair, who were both still gesticulating at the display over Dhuz’s forearm.
Milton Vila had, much to his annoyance, been pulled off of President Correa’s detail and assigned to a new one…one to protect the alien captain. Sure, Agent Keynes had taken his place…and if he was forced to admit it, the guy was as good of a shot as he was…but Keynes wasn’t him, and that knowledge ate at him.
Still, he supposed that at least he wasn’t alone in his misery. Sergeant Shaw (who had finally admitted to Milton he was a Green Beret, which helped nail down exactly which branch of the armed forces his team worked for) was also pulled into the task of guarding Sadaf…upon Milton’s request. Not that he would tell the Green Beret that. The sergeant had also gotten the tailoring treatment from Milton’s wife, and now he wore a navy-blue suit which complimented his red hair quite nicely. But the Secret Service agent could tell that the man still wanted to be clad in full battle-rattle and toting a rifle instead of a mere hidden handgun.
“I still say I should be able to wear my normal shit,” said Shaw, not for the first time. At the moment, the three rode in a limousine, on their way to some gala luncheon event held by some upper-crust DC types who wanted to get a speech by one of the brand-new alien celebrities. Milton hoped that they’d also decide to open their damn pocketbooks to help fund the repairs needed for the alien’s ship; in the short time he’d known her, the agent had become won over by Sadaf’s no-nonsense and in-charge attitude.
“We’re trying to not scare the normies, Mack,” replied Milton.
Sadaf, who sat next to the hulking red-bearded man, looked over at him in curiosity. “You want to wear your usual fecal matter?”
“Frinxing translators,” muttered Shaw. As was usual, the various profanities of alien language were the first things to percolate into human speech. “Sorry, ma’am, I meant my normal gear. Yeah, I’m wearing body armor but this stuff is class two at best.” He plucked at his jacket. “Plus I’m not used to moving in this monkey suit.”
Milton grinned. “You’ll get used to it soon enough, Mack. Hey, my people have cleared the place beforehand. Our job is just to stand there behind the good captain and look menacing. And then when she’s doing the meet-and-greet afterwards we need to look extra menacing…and, of course, keep an eye out just in case someone makes a false move.”
“I don’t want to get used to this,” grumped Shaw. “I don’t want to get used to any of this. I want some proper goddamn body armor and a proper goddamn rifle with some goddamn extra magazines. A rifle with an M203 launcher, just in case someone gets really squirrelly.”
The agent winced. “Um, Mack, we civvies do have to worry about things like ‘collateral damage’ and such.”
Shaw’s normally cheerful demeanor fell into a somber look towards the agent, one that brought Milton up short. “Agent Milton, have you ever fallen victim to an RPG attack?”
“I have. Trust me, there is never such a thing as overkill.”
Milton sighed. He reached into a jacket pocket and pulled out a city map. “Okay, I suppose that’s as good an excuse to go over everything again. This is the courtyard for the shindig.”
“Shindig!” exclaimed Sadaf in pleasure. “I don’t know why, but that word brings me joy.”
The agent smiled at her. “You’re gonna get used to it, believe me. So, we’ve got the whole area blocked off here, here, and here. Full-body scans for everyone going in, and believe me they’d better have the proper ticket to be there or they’re in for some looong questioning in a little dark room somewhere. No outside translator beads allowed, we issue ‘em after they get through the perimeter. We have snipers located here, here, here, and here. Each one has their own designated field of fire, the four of ‘em cover all angles. Anyone who pops their head up on any of the surrounding roofs will get a fifty-cal bullet right through their noggin before they can even blink.”
“What about the courtyard itself?” asked Shaw. “Before you set up the perimeter, I mean.”
Milton grinned. The sergeant had the makings of a first-class agent. “A very good question. We swept the area prior, using metal detectors and dogs. Especially for the dais and podium where Captain Sadaf is going to make her speech. If I was gonna try for a hit, that’s how I’d do it. Plant some explosives in the podium and trigger it remotely. But we didn’t find anything.”
The sergeant smoothed his beard in a nervous tic. “Drones?”
“Jammers for a thousand-yard radius around the podium. Anything remotely piloted into that space will just fall to the ground. As a bonus, just in case someone decides to try something cute using their cell phone, those won’t work either.”
Shaw grunted in grudging approval. “Sounds good.”
“This is how I earn a living, Mack. Relax.”
Sadaf rubbed a hand on her forehead. She was now clad back in her black-and-silver uniform; somehow the powers that be had determined that it was now okay for her to wear the supposed ‘militaristic’ uniform in public. “Is all this security strictly necessary? I mean, thus far most of your world’s nations seem to be behaving rationally.”
“Oh, we’re not worried about state actors, ma’am,” said Milton. “Well, except for a few. There’s always North Korea, after all.”
“Frinx, don’t get me started on those assholes,” muttered Shaw.
Milton continued, in what he hoped came across as a soothing tone. “Look at it this way. Does your kind suffer from mental disease?”
“Originally, yes. But thanks to medical intervention we can catch almost all of them. At present, we suffer from less than one in three hundred million who have an incurable derangement of the brain…” Sadaf’s eyes widened as she trailed off. “Oh. I forgot, you don’t have access to our level of medical technology.”
Shaw sighed. “No, ma’am, we don’t. Not to mention there’s almost eight billion of us on this here planet. Even assuming only one-hundredth-of-a-percent of those people wish you harm, that’s far too big of a population for us to relax.”
Sadaf seemed to shrink into the cushions of the limousine. “But we come in peace. We don’t mean you any harm.”
Milton knew that it was a breach of protocol, but he reached across and patted her knee. “I know that, ma’am, and almost everyone on the planet knows that. But there are some…well, there are some you just can’t reach.”
Shaw rubbed his jaw as he regarded the map again. “Damn. Wish I had Toke here. That guy could sniff out something hinky like nobody’s business. Plus if something did kick off, he could sort it out no problem.”
“He’s the skinny, taller guy, right?” asked Milton. “Marine Force Recon, I do believe. I know they are double-tough. Yeah, I admit he’d be good for something like this. But the powers that be want to keep him back at Camp David.”
The sergeant grunted in annoyance and looked out the window of the limousine. Then he looked up with a quirky smile. “I guess so. Look at it this way, if something does kick off, then having him at Camp David means that whoms’tsoever tries an assault there is gonna die.”
Milton replied to Shaw with a raised eyebrow. “All right, Shaw. Just between you and me, we deal with very dangerous people by being very dangerous people ourselves. Don’t try to feed me a line of dramatic bullshit.”
For once, Shaw looked flustered. “No, you don’t understand! Toke was the guy you’d drop into the shit, into the middle of any utter hell on Earth, and he’d get you your grid coordinates for arty or drone strikes while escorting two other guys and, oh yeah, he’d kill ten enemies at long range while doing all of that. And not just long-range. He once took out five guys in ten seconds with a knife…and he’s supposed to be a fucking sniper!” The sergeant shuddered. “I can’t tell you about the mission where he got his knee messed up, but let’s just say…he earned every single one of his medals during that action. He’s a throwback.”
Milton tilted his head, as did Sadaf. “Explain,” said the Captain, and not as a question.
“I mean, mentally, in some ways, he’s kinda from way back when we humans were all ooga-booga and lived in caves and smacked each other over the head with clubs. Toke just…ends things. Nice guy, hell if I had kids I’d let him watch ‘em with nary a care in the world. But you press one particular button and he…well, he reverts. He reverts to what we used to be.”
Most of Camp David’s staff was still in bed; Matt had to admit that they’d adapted with admirable speed to having a motley crew of human knuckle-draggers and literal fucking aliens plonked down amongst them. But now it was early morning and Toke was hungry. If he was an asshole, he’d rouse one of the staff to assist in that but he’d rather slice off a toe rather than bother some hard-working person just to make him something to eat. Thus he headed for the kitchen to rustle up some grub for himself.
As he walked through the lounge, which was fast becoming the go-to point for everyone, he saw Kexal, the other udhyr, standing in front of the windows looking out over the wintry scene outside. The massive alien’s head just brushed against the auburn-colored wooden rafters that stretched upwards to form the roof overhead.
“Morning,” said Matt, trying to keep it casual. He’d never spoken much with the planetologist.
“Good morning, Matt!” replied the big alien, with enthusiasm. “I was just in the midst of getting my feel.”
The statement brought the Marine up short. “Feel?”
In response Kexal motioned him over with one of his lower arms. Matt had picked up enough alien social cues to know that such a gesture was intended as something more intimate. He stepped up beside the udhyr, who then proceeded to steer him around in front of him using his big upper arms.
He looked out over the wintry scene. Dawn was just starting, and the sun was beginning to peek over the leafless trees. “Okay, what am I looking or, should I say, feeling for?” he asked.
“The voice of your planet,” replied Kexal. “Being a planetologist is indeed a matter of knowing about weather patterns, about how the types of water, methane, and carbon dioxide ice react under various temperatures and pressures, of how a planet’s entire atmosphere changes when life is present. But there is also this.” He pointed with one big, three-fingered mitt out the windows in front of them both. “If you simply allow it, this planet can speak to you. Those in my profession call it getting the ‘feel’ of a planet. It may sound strange and mystic, but…I am getting my feel.”
That made Matt ruminate on his own view of his planet. Up until now, as far as he was concerned, it was just…there. “So, what kind of ‘feel’ are you getting thus far?”
“This place is wonderful, a lovely oasis. It welcomes me and my colleagues. This is a bastion of life in the midst of an unfeeling dark, much like other life-bearing worlds we’ve encountered…all too infrequently, sad to say.”
“So you’re saying we should treasure this planet?” Matt smiled. “I sure can’t argue with you there. We are trying to be more appreciative of it.”
The pair watched the sunrise in pleasant silence for a few minutes, until Matt’s stomach growled again. “All right,” he said. “This is nice getting our feel and all, but I gotta eat something. You hungry?”
“I could consume something.”
“Good, because I’m fuckin’ starving. Follow me.”
He led the big alien through to the kitchen. Thanks to heroic efforts by Dhuz and Mouquon back when they were sequestered in Cheyenne Mountain and then by efforts by those two and Zawahir in the last few days, all possible poisonous or allergic foods had been removed from the premises. That did limit the meals available, but as long as he didn’t have to eat it out of a pouch Matt was content.
He opened the fridge, surveying the contents. “I was just gonna do a sandwich. You want one?”
The udhyr sat at the nearby table; both of the big aliens had long ago forsaken chairs and simply sat on the floor. They claimed it was just as comfortable, and Matt for one was not going to press them on the matter. “Yes, I would like a ‘sandwich’. If it’s not too much trouble.”
Matt scanned the fridge interior. “No trouble at all. Okay, bread, we got.” He pulled a loaf out of the fridge; it had confused him the first time he’d seen it stored like that, since he’d grown up in northern, drier climes. But even in mid-winter this was a humid climate and it was way too easy for bread to go all moldy far too quickly. “Now all we need is filling…” His eyes lit on a big tub and he let out a little ‘ah!’ of pleasure. “Pimento.”
With reverence, Matt removed the tub from the fridge and set it on the counter next to the bread. “It’s a cheese-and-pepper spread. They call it the caviar of the South. I got addicted to this stuff back during my basic training days.” He shut the fridge, opened the upper cabinets, and was again pleased to see plates right where he expected them. He took down two.
Martinez strolled into the kitchen as he stretched his arms over his head. He was clad in sweatpants and a hoodie. “Morning, folks. Nothing like a nice little 5k to get the blood flowing in the morning.”
Kexal clicked his mandibles in puzzlement. “Five Kay?”
“Five-kilometer jog. Gotta keep fit, my man. Otherwise Sarge is gonna come back from his deployment and kick our asses.” The corporal’s eyes lit upon the foodstuffs laid out on the counter next to the fridge. “Hmm, breakfast?”
“Just pimento sandwiches,” said Matt as he took out another plate. “You want one?” It was a bit of a trick question; if you ask a soldier if he wants something to eat, the answer was always ‘yes’.
Martinez did not disappoint. “Oh hell yes. Not quite breakfast food, but I’ve for sure eaten way worse way earlier in the morning.”
The corporal shuddered. “Shit man, I somehow wound up with one of those once in spite of it being way out of date. Nothing but a solid orange brick of nastiness, even with the salsa added to it. Are you tryin’ to give me PTSD?”
Matt pulled out a drawer and found a convenient knife. He began laying out the sandwich makings on each plate. “Could be worse. Could be the dreaded Four Fingers of Death.”
“Oof, I only heard about those. Were they bad as they say?”
“Oh, yes, they were,” replied Matt.
“Four Fingers of Death?” asked Kexal.
“Hot dogs,” replied Matt. “Um…little sausages. Ground-up meat, put it in a long casing, boil it or steam it or smoke it. It’ll last for a long time.”
“Ah!” The giant alien looked pleased…at least, Matt was pretty sure he looked pleased. “We have a similar cuisine involving smoked fish, ground up and molded into cakes.”
“Interesting. Then you should know that it should be a no-brainer to make good hot dogs. I mean, go to any ball game and you’ll see ‘em getting wolfed down by the ton. And yet, somehow, someway, Uncle Sam figured out how to screw up damn hot dogs. Four to a pack, and it was the nastiest shit you’ve ever ate.” He held up a hand, showing his fingers held together. “Hence the Four Fingers of Death.”
Kexal let out a pleased click as Matt continued assembling the sandwiches. “I really do feel like I’m getting a better feeling for human society.”
“It’s a very weird and small cross-section of human society,” said Martinez as he seated himself at the table. “We need to get this guy out to Yosemite or, or even better Yellowstone. I was out in Yellowstone once as a kid, it’s really damn cool. He needs to see some proper scenery. Or hell, just drop him into Times Square to chat with the locals.”
“We will do so, once we’re sure that the rest of humanity hasn’t lost its collective shit,” Matt replied. He finished putting the top slice of bread on each sandwich, then turned and fixed the two at the table with a gimlet eye. “Now. We have two important questions to answer. Crusts on or off?”
Martinez blinked, then responded. “Crusts on! Hell, I would always make sure to get the heel when I was a kid.”
“You’re a man after my own heart, Martinez. Kexal?”
“Um, as long as there are no allergens, then I will also go crust on?”
“Good. Next important question. Horizontal or diagonal cut?” Matt hovered the knife over one sandwich, showing each potential slice.
Martinez opted for horizontal, while Kexal requested diagonal. Matt cut each sandwich as requested, then placed each one in front of its recipient with the appropriate regal air. He then took his own, uncut sandwich and sat at the table.
“You don’t cut yours?” asked Martinez.
“Nope. That’s because I’m a savage.” Matt held the corporal’s eyes while he took a big bite out of his own uncut sandwich.
They all munched happily for a few minutes…right up until the alarm went off.
“…and so I am humbly thankful to receive this honorarium on behalf of my crew and all of the Coalition…”
Milton figured that he had the easier job; just stand there and get across the message of ‘if you bum-rush this little blue-scaled person, you will die, and it will hurt the entire time’. He didn’t envy Captain Sadaf her newfound position as Representative Of All Of Alien-Kind, but then again he’d always been more of a wallflower-type anyway in spite of his impressive size. How he’d landed a dreamboat like Teresa was still a mystery for the ages. Although, if he was honest, she had approached him rather than the other way around.
He smiled internally at the memory of her walking up to him at the Sadie Hawkins’ dance and asking if he wanted to go for a spin on the dance floor. Something in her smile and direct gaze had awakened a more confident version of himself, and he’d accepted her request with the requisite gravity.
However it had happened, he now had a family. A wonderful wife and a son, the apple of his eye. But that wasn’t enough. He and Teresa were working hard on adding a daughter to the mix. If it turned out to be another son he wouldn’t be put out, but in his heart of hearts he wanted it to be a daughter. Just so he could spoil her rotten. But then again, if the Breakers arrived, whatever sex his next child turned out to be might be irrelevant.
Milton stopped his woolgathering and focused back on his job. Thus far his earpiece was silent save for periodic check-ins, which was good. No news was good news, after all.
Beside him, Sergeant Shaw constantly scanned the skies. That was fine, since Milton was busy scanning the people arrayed before him. Most of them were older blue-hairs who he could take with a pinky finger, but you never knew. Even an old person could wield a knife with deadly intent.
“…you must understand, we never intended to be here. It was sheer dumb fate that landed us in your, if I’m honest, quite generous lap. I understand that there is, amongst you humans, a lot of concern that we did not approach you directly. But I would invite you to look at it from our point of view. We had fragments, a few little transmissions and video images without context. We had no idea if you would respond to our presence with reflexive hostility. We were only here to gather data, to determine if a follow-up First Contact fleet would be welcomed.”
Sadaf paused and shook her head, a gesture she’d picked up from her time amongst humans. “As you well know, we were not given such a chance. But thankfully things have worked out well in spite of those circumstances…”
Milton’s forehead wrinkled as he heard a weird noise. It sounded a bit like ripping cloth, descending in tone. He reached up towards his ear to ask his team if they heard it as well…
Shaw straightened up, looking like a navy-blue wall of flesh. “INCOMING!” he bawled, just before lunging towards Sadaf at the podium.
The agent suddenly realized the source of that noise. “EVERYBODY DOWN!” he yelled in return as he threw himself at a few VIPs seated near him on the dais.
The huge sergeant simply yeeted the diminutive captain off towards the far end of the dais, before throwing his own considerable bulk at the other VIPs off to the other side.
Then the entire world seemed to explode. Milton’s ears just shut down at the resulting noise. After a moment, he picked himself up and looked over towards his principal, his ears ringing. He knew people were shouting, but he couldn’t make out what they were saying.
The small alien was out at the perimeter of the blast, and as she got to her feet she patted herself down in an automatic maneuver that Milton knew very well. She looked up, met his eyes, and gave him a thumbs-up.
“One thing gone right, at least,” he muttered to himself as he hauled himself upright. Okay, damage check…legs okay, feet fine…get moving, you asshole, get to your principal, keep her safe. As he lurched forward, he realized his right arm wasn’t moving properly.
He looked down.
His right arm was gone below the elbow.
“Fuck,” he muttered. “Am I supposed to learn to shoot left-handed now?”
Then he realized there was quite a bit of blood streaming out of his new stump…maybe he should sit this one out?
He was going to reach his principal, if nothing else he’d act as a meat shield. As he continued his determined lurching, in some distant corner of Milton’s mind he wished he could have given his beloved Johnny a little sister to torment.
Someone tackled him to the ground, and he performed an automatic hip-throw before jamming his still-existing left forearm across the throat of a terrified…wait, this was just a kid.
“MEDIC!” screamed the kid. “I’m a MEDIC!”
“What…oh.” Milton looked up into the astonished face of Captain Sadaf; he’d managed to made it all the way to her. “She okay?”
“SHE’S FINE!” yelled someone else.
Then another thought came into his adrenaline-fueled brain. “SHAW!” he all but screamed, looking back towards where the sergeant had been before this whole horrible business had kicked off.
What he saw was a big man, clad in navy blue, sprawled over several blue-haired gentry who looked appropriately terrified. And that big man’s leg ended just below his left knee, with blood streaming out of it.
submitted by Frank_Leroux
to HFY [link] [comments]
2023.05.27 18:18 thinkingstranger May 26, 2023
While we wait to learn more about a possible budget deal under which Republicans would agree to raise the debt ceiling before June 5, the date Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen says will see the U.S. run out of funds, there is an interesting story coming out of Texas that might well shed light on the current dynamics in the Republican Party.
On Wednesday, witnesses testified before the Republican-led Texas House General Investigating Committee about how the state’s attorney general, Ken Paxton, has committed crimes in office, including trying to hide an affair, using his office to help a donor,
building a culture of fear in his office, using his power to retaliate against opponents, misusing official information, and abusing his office. As attorney general, Paxton is in charge of overseeing the enforcement of the law in the state.
On Thursday the committee voted unanimously to recommend that Paxton be impeached and removed from office, citing 20 counts, including bribery and retaliating against whistleblowers, for his impeachment.
Paxton is not unused to trouble. He has been under a felony indictment for securities fraud since 2015, successfully holding off the charges through repeated delays. In 2020, eight of his top advisors accused him of abusing his office to help a wealthy donor, Nate Paul, resist an FBI investigation. But he has maintained his popularity with Republican voters in Texas by standing as a fervent Trump supporter and attacking the Biden administration, and party leaders would not turn on him.
That formula appears to be less potent than it used to be. It turns out that the House committee began investigating Paxton in March, after he tried to get $3.3 million of taxpayer money to settle a lawsuit with four whistleblowers who said he retaliated against them after they tried to expose his unsavory relationship with Paul.
Apparently aware of what was about to drop, Paxton on Tuesday accused House speaker Dade Phelan, a Republican, of being drunk at a public hearing and said he should resign. Once news of the committee vote dropped, Paxton on Friday attacked the “illegal impeachment scheme” and asked supporters to descend on the Texas Capitol for the impeachment vote. Paxton accused those calling for his impeachment of helping President Biden.
“The House is poised to do exactly what Joe Biden has been hoping to accomplish since his first day in office: sabotage our work, my work, as attorney general of Texas,” Paxton said. He refused to take questions. Right-wing figures, including the head of the Texas Republican Party and key Trump advisors—but not Trump himself—have declared their support for him. Texas governor Greg Abbott has stayed silent.
The full House will take up the question of Paxton’s impeachment tomorrow, with both Paxton’s supporters and Democratic supporters coming for the event.
Patrick Svitek of the Texas Tribune
noted today that the impeachment effort has set off “a political earthquake in Texas.” “Republicans have chosen to remain largely silent
during years of alleged misconduct and lawbreaking by the attorney general. Now they will have to take a public stand,” he wrote. Local observers recognize the battle as one between far-right extremists, represented by Paxton, and Republicans who are trying to recover the party from the Trump wing.
There is likely a political calculation behind this move. Texas is a crucially important state for 2024, and voters are angry at the apparent corruption of prominent Republican figures like Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. Some leaders are likely eager to cut loose some big fish to reassure voters that they are not, in fact, the party of corruption. But in states that are currently dominated by Republicans so thoroughly that they are essentially one-party states, there are indeed systemic corruption problems because there is not the oversight that a healthy opposition party brings.
Both Paxton’s actions and his attempt to dismiss his Republican accusers as working for Biden appear to be a classic example of the behavior of political leaders in a one-party state. He has allegedly used his office to reward friends, retaliate against enemies, and avoid accountability for apparent lawbreaking. This pattern is common in authoritarian governmental systems; it was also common in the American South from about 1874 to 1965, when the Voting Rights Act that protected Black voting finally broke the one-party region dominated by white men.
Tomorrow, as Republican leaders in Texas look toward the 2024 election, they are going to have to decide whether to back an apparently corrupt attorney general who is popular with the Republican base or appeal to Republicans turned off by how extreme the party has become and get rid of him.
It will take a majority of the 149-member House to send the articles of impeachment to the Texas Senate for a trial. All 64 House Democrats will likely vote for impeachment. It is not clear what the Republicans will do.
— https://capitol.texas.gov/tlodocs/88billtext/pdf/HR02377I.pdf https://capitol.texas.gov/tlodocs/88billtext/html/HR02377I.htm https://apnews.com/article/texas-ken-paxton-investigation-40ba70a33235eda9a31fc2628cbd7d61 https://apnews.com/article/2022-midterm-elections-dallas-houston-ken-paxton-62273089acc4feb70dd64349bc398f5d https://talkingpointsmemo.com/news/texas-house-committee-wants-paxton-impeached https://www.fox4news.com/news/dade-phelan-drunk-video-accusations https://www.texastribune.org/2023/05/26/ken-paxton-responds-impeachment/ https://www.texastribune.org/2023/05/25/ken-paxton-impeach-republican-earthquake/ https://www.texastribune.org/2023/05/26/ken-paxton-texas-impeachment-latest/#AbbottSilent https://www.texastribune.org/2023/05/26/ken-paxton-texas-impeachment-latest/#104fdf5c-5f44-435f-ae74-a4732b10a2c5
submitted by thinkingstranger
to HeatherCoxRichardson [link] [comments]
2023.05.27 16:16 pskg1 The most expensive soccer game in history? The Dallas Clasico has an average price tag of 504 dollars
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Real Madrid and Barcelona will meet again this summer in the United States, a Clasico that this year will be played in Dallas and may become the most expensive match in history. Tickets have already gone on sale and the average price for a ticket to Dallas' AT&T Stadium is $504 (466 euros at the current exchange rate). submitted by pskg1 to Barca [link] [comments]
Tickets range from $205 to $1,344, not counting 40 tickets in an on-pitch dugout that are priced between $2,500 and $3,102. This is a luxury product that is likely to sell out among American fans, who have always responded to the Clasicos that have been played in the United States. Last year, the stands at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas were packed to the rafters to see Xavi's team win 1-0.
Ticket prices for the Clasico are much higher than for the other matches on the Soccer Champions Tour. For example, the price for Real Madrid vs Manchester United in Houston ranges between 136 and 661 euros. And AC Milan vs Barcelona in Las Vegas, between 99 and 498 dollars. There is no doubt that the Clasico is the game that attracts the most attention in the United States.
Tickets for the Qatar World Cup final cost between 200 and 1,600 euros, very similar prices, although the average price was 400 euros, since category 1 tickets (the most expensive) were not available.
The AT&T Stadium where the Classic will be played is located in Arlington, Texas, home of the Dallas Cowboys, with capacity for 80,000 spectators. With a retractable roof that goes from side to side of the stadium and can be opened and closed in 12 minutes, it also has the largest screens in a sports venue, with more than 1,200 square meters of surface area. It measures exactly 55 meters wide by 22 meters high.
2023.05.27 12:24 Humble_Novice Texas Republicans Lose Bill to Make Undocumented Migration a Crime at State Level
Article: Here Texas House Republicans lost a border security bill that would have made illegal immigration a crime at the state level, including a felony penalty for an illegal alien who disobeyed a peace officer’s direction to return to Mexico. Tuesday was the deadline for the House to pass Senate bills to third reading. Senate Bill (SB) 2424 was taken up at about 8:50 p.m. The bill sponsor, Rep. Cole Hefner (R-Mount Pleasant), began his layout, whereupon Rep. Erin Gamez (D-Brownsville) raised a point of order against the bill. Gamez withdrew her point of order and Hefner moved to postpone the legislation until later in the night, an indication that Gamez’s point of order likely had merit and Hefner needed time to work something out. When the ill-fated bill returned to the floor for consideration, Hefner moved to postpone it until after the end of the session, a procedural way of admitting defeat on a piece of legislation. SB 2424 would have made it a Class B misdemeanor for a foreign national to cross the southern border unlawfully. A repeat offense could be charged as a state jail felony. It would have further made it a second-degree felony for an illegal alien to disobey an order from a peace officer to return to Mexico. Sen. Brian Birdwell (R-Granbury) carried the bill in the Senate, where it was passed on third reading by a vote of 18 to 12. Sen. Phil King (R-Weatherford) had an excused absence. Rep. Tony Tinderholt (R-Arlington) railed against Republican leadership on social media, accusing Rep. Cody Harris (R-Palestine) of ignoring his objection to postpone the bill. “Tonight, I objected to the postponement of SB 2424 from the back mic. This is a border security bill that Republicans just killed in the house with a procedural move,” Tinderholt tweeted. “I yelled my objection to the postponement and the speaker refused to turn the mic on, shook his head, and gaveled the motion through. This is how conservative priorities die in the Texas House.” The expiration of SB 2424 was not the first time Republicans lost a border security bill to a point of order. Rep. Matt Schaefer’s (R-Tyler) legislation to create the Texas Border Protection Unit and declare an “invasion” was lost after a point of order by Rep. Rafael Anchia (D-Dallas). Some provisions of Schaefer’s bill were included in House Bill (HB) 7 by Rep. Ryan Guillen (R-Rio Grande City). The Senate’s amendments to HB 7 are awaiting approval in the House. Democrats have successfully used points of order this session to delay and even defeat several GOP bills. A point of order is a motion made by a member on suspicion that the House’s rules have been violated. The speaker has the option of sustaining or overruling the point of order after receiving advice from the parliamentarian. There have been more points of order this session by Republicans and Democrats than in any session since the regular legislative session in 2007.
submitted by Humble_Novice
to gamefaqs261 [link] [comments]
2023.05.27 11:17 Ganningma (low-income,art+STEM) Rising Senior Need Help w/ College App
I am a rising high school senior seeking help with my college list. I already have several ideas about the schools I want to apply to, but I need some objective advice to finalize and refine it.
Here is some basic information about me: About me:
- Asian Female, ORM
- Living in Texas, if possible want to apply for safeties/target schools in-state to take care of my widowed mom, bc after I go to college she's gonna be the only one living in our rented apartment...
- Is low-income, <30k, really need some big financial aid
- Estimated to have 11 APs by the end of senior year.
- Cumulative GPA is good, probably 3.9-4.0 something?
- SAT: 1450(math 800 W&R 650), superscore is 1480, thanks to school's SAT fee waivers I can take it one more time in August
Very complicated family story, long story short:
- life's been very hard since mom lost both her job & her husband 4 years ago(my American step-dad died bc of a certain medical condition)
- family moved to U.S. in my sophomore year from a non-English speaking country, mom knew nothing about American school system/ college app, had to figure out everything from the beginning & improve my English skills in 2 years, but I did the best I could in my sophomore year and junior year, ending up with all As
- Extracurriculars: school clubs(art-treasurer, compsci - member, math-president), volunteering at animal shelter for 2 years cuz i love cats, self-studied HTML+css+js to make a really cute responsive personal website with all my artworks on it, a roblox game development project to help my friend designing game biome texture/3D modelings, great digital drawing skill w/ portfolio, a program at a nearby university to develop android apps, planning to learn Blender+ advanced 3D modeling techniques in summer,- looking for a job rn .
- Strong drawing portfolio (not planning on going into art school for financial reasons) + works been selected from thousands of pieces and featured in local museum exhibitions + local magazine covers + good art awards
- Is first-gen, (step&bio)parents are either college drop-outs or did not go to college...
- High School: big public school with 1300+ ppl in my year.
- Interested in web development/Computer graphics/game development, literally anything to do with computer science and art/design.
- Financial aid....
- Colleges with a medium/smaller incoming class so I can have more attention/care or can benefits from its specialized programs.
- Colleges that favor professionalism and are career oriented.
- Good reputation in the industry ->better employment opportunities, I need to be financially secure after graduating to make my family's life better...
- Doesnt matter if its urban, suburban, or rural
-----THANK YOU SOO MUCH FOR READING !!! I REALLY NEED YOUR PRECIOUS ADVICE.----------------- Considering:
- UT Austin, Major: arts and entertainment technologies
- UT Dallas, Major: Computer and information sciences/Digital arts
- UT Arlington
- Texas A&M
- USC, Interactive Media & game design
- Lastly, one REALLY prestigious school that has a really NICHE, not well advertised and UNIQUE specialized program about art & compsci, class is small and caring, offering EXCELLENT education that fits my interest and GREAT EMPLOYMENT opportunities. I read thru every online post I could find on the internet about it , about the student life and how they got in, looked up graduate's linkedin profile and their websites, what kind of projects they worked on in the school.... I kept thinking about the school and the program, but it seems too good for me and I just don't think i have a good shot bc of my SAT scores and my ECs.
- I want to work in summer to reduce my mom's financial burden but I am also considering retaking the SAT. But I am afraid that I can't handle all the responsibilities so well since I have to write college essays and improve my technical skills in this summer. The thing is, I have to choose a priority. Do you think if its worth it for me to retake the SAT or should I just go test optional/submit it for only states schools? I mastered Math section with a solid 800 but my reading and writing section isn't so good considering my language background. I have to study extra hard this summer and sadly I knew I still couldn't do as well as native English speakers.
- Should I go test optional? 1450, or 1480 superscored for some schools isn't great among all the competitive applicants especially for my dream school...
- Looking at my school list, do you spot any problems/ imbalances between the numbers of reach/target/ safety schools?
submitted by Ganningma
to ApplyingToCollege [link] [comments]
2023.05.27 10:07 OkaTeluguAbbayi Sanjeevaiah Park is now "None of your business"
2023.05.27 09:46 ft420 D1 Baseball Tournament TV / Streaming for Saturday 5/27 (National Grape Popsicle Day)
ALL TIMES EASTERN AAC Tournament
9:00 AM Game 11: #8 South Florida vs. #1 East Carolina espn+
12:30 pm Game 12: #7 Tulane vs. #2 Houston espn+
4:00 PM Game 13 (#8 South Florida vs. #1 East Carolina, if necessary) espn+
7:30 PM or 4pm Game 14 (#7 Tulane vs. #2 Houston; if necessary) espn+
1:00 PM Game 13: #1 Wake Forest vs #4 Miami (Chapel Hill, NC), ACCNX
1:00 PM Game 14: #3 Clemson vs #7 North Carolina (Durham, NC), ACCN
America East Tournament
1:00 PM Game 8: #1 Maine vs. #3 Binghamton espn+
4:00 PM Game 9: (#1 Maine vs. #3 Binghamton; if necessary), espn+
11:00 AM Game 7: #2 FGCU vs. #7 Jax State espn+
3:00 PM Game 8: #3 Liberty vs. #1 Lipscomb espn+
Atlantic 10 Tournament
12:00 PM Game 12: #4 Saint Louis vs. #6 George Mason, espn+
4:00 PM Game 13: (#4 Saint Louis vs. #6 George Mason; if necessary), espn+
10:00 AM Game 11: #3 Iowa vs. #6 Michigan BTN
2:00 PM Game 12: #1 Maryland vs. #4 Nebraska BTN DL-btn
6:00 PM Game 13: (#3 Iowa vs. #6 Michigan; If necessary) BTN
10:00 PM or 6pm. Game 14: (#1 Maryland vs. #4 Nebraska; If necessary) BTN
Big 12 Tournament
10:00 AM Game 11: #4 TCU vs #5 Kansas State, espn+
1:30 PM Game 12: #6 Texas Tech vs #2 Oklahoma State, espn+
5:00 PM Game 13: (#4 TCU vs #5 Kansas State; if necessary), espn+
8:30 PM or 5pm. Game 14: (#6 Texas Tech vs #2 Oklahoma State if necessary), espn+
Big East Tournament
2:00 PM Game 6: #2 Xavier vs #1 UConn icefs2 & 1Lfs2 or FloBaseball
5:30 PM Game 7: (#2 Xavier vs #1 UConn; if necessary) FloBaseball
Big South Tournament
10:00 AM Game 6: #1 Campbell vs. 2 USC Upstate, ESPNU
2:00 PM Game 7: (#1 Campbell vs. 2 USC Upstate; if necessary), espn+
Colonial Athletic Tournament
2:00 PM Game 8: #1 UNCW vs. #3 Northeastern (resume suspended GM8 from Fri., T5) FloBaseball ($)
TBD Game 9: #2 Elon vs. Loser GM8 (Elimination Game) FloBaseball ($)
TBD Championship Game: Winner GM8 vs. Winner GM9 FloBaseball ($)
Sunday, May 28 (if necessary)
?1:00 PM Game 11: Championship Game: Winner GM8 vs. Winner GM9 if necessary), FloBaseball ($)
Conference USA Tournament
10:00 AM Game 11: (7) Middle Tennessee vs. (3) Charlotte espn+
1:30 PM Game 12: (1) Dallas Baptist vs. (4) WKU espn+
5:00 PM Game 13: ((7) Middle Tennessee vs. (3) Charlotte; if necessary) espn+
8:30 PM (or 5pm) Game 14: ((1) Dallas Baptist vs. (4) WKU; if necessary) espn+
12:00 PM Game 8: #2 Oakland vs. #1 Wright State espn+
4:00 PM Game 9: (#2 Oakland vs. #1 Wright State; if necessary), espn+
Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Tournament
12:00 PM Game 10: #2 Rider vs. #1 Fairfield, espn+
3:30 PM Game 11: (#2 Rider vs. #1 Fairfield; if necessary) espn+
12:30 PM Game 5: #3 Ball State vs. #1 Kent State, espn+
~4:30 PM Game 6: (#3 Ball State vs. #1 Kent State; if necessary), espn+
Missouri Valley Tournament
2:30 PM Game 14: #1 Indiana State vs. #4 Evansville, espn+
6:00 PM Game 15: (#1 Indiana State vs. #4 Evansville; if necessary) espn+
Mountain West Tournament
4:30 PM Game 5: #4 Fresno State vs. #1 San José State (Elimination Game) MW Network
9:00 PM Championship Game: #3 Air Force vs. Winner GM5, MW Network
Sunday, May 28 (if necessary)
4:00 PM Game 7: Championship Game (Winner GM4 vs. Winner GM5; if necessary) MW Network
12:00 PM Game 9: #4 Sacred Heart vs #1 CCSU (Elimination Game), espn3 & NEC Front Row
4:00 PM Championship Game: #2 Wagner vs Winner GM9, espn3 & NEC Front Row
Sunday, May 28 (if necessary)
12:00 PM Game 11: Championship Game: (#2 Wagner vs Winner GM9; if necessary), espn3 & NEC Front Row
Ohio Valley Tournament
1:00 PM Championship Game: #1 Morehead State vs. #5 Eastern Illinois, espn+
10:00 PM ET Championship Game: #6 Oregon vs. #8 Arizona ESPNU
1:00 PM Game 15: #10 Texas A&M vs. #2 Arkansas (Elimination Game) SECN
4:30 PM Game 16: #4 Vanderbilt vs. #1 Florida (Elimination Game) SECN
8:00 AM Game 11: #1 Samford vs. #6 UNCG (Elimination Game) espn+
11:25 PM Game 12: #3 Wofford vs. #1 Samford, espn+
~3:00 PM Game 13: (#3 Wofford vs. #1 Samford); if necessary) espn+
2:00 PM Game 11: #1 Nicholls vs. #4 New Orleans, espn+
6:00 PM Game 12: (#1 Nicholls vs. #4 New Orleans; if necessary) espn+
2:05 PM Game 6: #1 Oral Roberts vs. #3 SD State Summit DN
5:35 PM Game 7: (#1 Oral Roberts vs. #3 SD State; if necessary) Summit DN
10:00 AM Game 13: #2 Southern Miss vs. #6 App State espn+
1:30 PM Game 14: #1 Coastal Carolina vs. #4 Louisiana espn+
5:00 PM Game 15: #2 Southern Miss vs. #6 App State; if necessary espn+
8:30 PM or 5pm Game 16: #1 Coastal Carolina vs. #4 Louisiana; if necessary espn+
12:00 PM ET Game 11B: (E1) Alabama State vs. (E3) Florida A&M SWAC Youtube
3:00 PM ET Game 12B: (E2) Bethune-Cookman vs. (W1) Grambling State SWAC Youtube
6:00 PM Game 14 #2 Sam Houston vs. #3 Utah Valley, espn+
10:00 PM Game 15 (#2 Sam Houston vs. #3 Utah Valley); if necessary) espn+
4:00 PM ET Game 8: #3 Santa Clara vs. #2 Portland, ESPNU
~8:00 PM ET Game 9: (#3 Santa Clara vs. #2 Portland; if necessary) WCC Network
Big West Conference Regular Season Games
4:00 pm CS Northridge vs. CS Bakersfield espn+
4:00 pm UC Riverside vs. UC Irvine espn+
4:00 pm CS Fullerton vs. Cal Poly espn+
9:00 pm UC Davis vs. Long Beach espn+
12:30 am UC Santa Barbara vs. Hawai'i espn+
Not sure if PPL will post today, so I am posting this in place of the usual format.
This is the one I use on my site and wanted to get it to you fans asap. Cheers.
Live Crowdsourced Scoreboard ~by u/CTIDmississippi
submitted by ft420
to collegebaseball [link] [comments]
2023.05.27 02:24 Quirky-Motor As Asian American and Pacific Islander heritage month draws to a close here in the United States, I wanted to share an EXPANDED collection of write-ups featuring the stories of Asians/Pacific Islanders who are currently missing or whose cases have not been resolved.
As Asian American and Pacific Islander heritage month draws to a close here in the United States, I wanted to share a collection of write-ups featuring the stories of Asians/Pacific Islanders who are currently missing or whose cases have not been resolved. This is an expansion of a piece I post annually and therefore may it sound similar. These are mostly my pieces as well as a few other cases that I have remembered reading about over the last year or two including some cases recommended by readers. Feel free to add other cases which have stuck with you down in the comment section. I hope to garner some exposure for these lesser known cases and links to sources can be found at the bottom or embedded. Khoi Dang Vu
was a deaf American man who went missing from his family’s home in 2007 in Vancouver, Washington. He left on a rainy night without his coat, bike, or any belongings. His case is now considered a homicide and no trace of him has ever been found. True Crime Bullsh*t, an investigative podcast, has surmised that Vu may be a victim of serial killer Israel Keyes. The FBI considers the case a kidnapping. Khoi is of Vietnamese descent. My write up here- https://www.reddit.com/UnresolvedMysteries/comments/g89b2z/what_causes_someone_to_leave_their_home_in_the/ https://www.fbi.gov/wanted/kidnap/khoi-dang-vu
Slideshow made my Khoi's sister- www.youtube.com/watch?v=8IuTeb58vH0&t=0s Wallace Guidroz
went missing from Tacoma in 1983 when he was only two years old. His father took him to a park, went on a walk with a mysterious man, and then when he returned Wallace was gone. Wallace has never been seen again. He is of Korean and African American descent. https://www.reddit.com/UnresolvedMysteries/comments/mdtktl/2_%C2%BD_year_old_wallace_guidroz_disappeared_while/ https://charleyproject.org/case/wallace-guidroz Helen Doe
is an unidentified decedent who died in a semi-truck crash in Kalama, Washington in 1991. Although she is believed to be Native American, Asian, Hispanic, and mixed heritage cannot be ruled out. Her story can be found here. A new facial reconstruction can be see here. https://unidentified-awareness.fandom.com/wiki/Helen_Doe https://www.reddit.com/UnresolvedMysteries/comments/lnv1b9/extensive_write_up_on_the_bizarre_case_of_helen/ https://www.koin.com/news/special-reports/the-mystery-of-helen-doe-kalama-crash-1991/ Grays Harbor Jane Doe
was found in 1984 off of a logging road in Southern Washington state. She was middle aged and believed to be of Asian descent. You can read about her here. https://unidentified-awareness.fandom.com/wiki/Grays_Harbor_County_Jane_Doe
In 1963 the body of an unidentified man
was found floating in the Spokane River in Spokane, Washington. The man had most likely drowned. He is believed to be of Asian descent but white and mixed descent could not be ruled out. His story, as well as the stories of 16 other unknown persons from Spokane can be found here. https://www.reddit.com/UnresolvedMysteries/comments/liqj98/extensive_write_up_on_17_of_spokane_countys/ https://www.doenetwork.org/cases/1670umwa.html
Gary Ridgway aka the Green River Killer terrorized the Pacific Northwest for decades. What many people do not know is that the Green River task force is still in operation. Ridgway confessed to 71 murders, but only around 49 bodies have been found meaning there are more victims waiting to be discovered or reported missing. Two of Gary Ridgway’s known victims were of Asian American or Pacific Islander backgrounds. Marie Malvar
, who was of Filipino descent, and Kimi Kai Pitsor
who was native Hawaiian, but there may be more. To read about the stories of these young girls as well as other victims of Ridgway you can start here. https://www.reddit.com/UnresolvedMysteries/comments/gpbcll/what_everyone_has_wrong_about_ridgway_extensive/ https://kingcounty.gov/depts/sheriff/about-us/enforcement/investigations/green-river.aspx Diane Nguyen Robbins
was only 13 in 1985 when she was last seen. She disappeared with her 21 year old friend, Molly Purdin, who was later found murdered. Both Diane and her friend were from Kennewick, Washington but Molly’s was found in northern King County. Gary Ridgway is a suspect in both cases. Diane is of Vietnamese and white descent. https://charleyproject.org/case/diane-nguyen-robbins Edward Ryon Makuahanai Aikau,
usually known as Eddie Aikau, a famous lifeguard and surfer, was credited with saving over 500 people at Waimea bay on Oahu’s north shore during his tenure as lifeguard. In fact not one person was reported drowned during Eddie’s shifts at the beach. In 1978, 31 year old Aikau had decided to join the Polynesia Voyaging society, a group who planned to travel from Hawaii to Tahiti using only outrigger canoes. Shortly into their journey one canoe sprung a leak and eventually capsized 12 miles south of Molokai. Eddie paddled on his surfboard towards Lanai in a valiant effort to summon help, but soon disappeared. The US Coast Guard were able to save all the passengers and a huge search was launched but Eddie was never found and is presumed drowned. Eddie Aikau is a household name in Hawaii and in the surfing community. Competitions bearing his name and t-shirts, bumper stickers, and other items inscribed with “Eddie would go” are a constant reminder of his legacy and memory. Eddie was of Native Hawaiian and Caucasian, mostly Portuguese, descent. His story can be found here. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eddie_Aikau Rachel Mellon
, sometimes reported as Rachel Mellon Skemp or Rachel Mellon Kemp was a 13 year old who disappeared from her Illinois home when she was home sick one day in 1996. Her step-father is the primary suspect in her disappearance and diary entries from several months earlier reported that her step dad had touched her inappropriately and tried to kiss her. Rachel is of Asian descent but her family reports she is often mistaken for Greek or Italian. Her case can be found here. https://charleyproject.org/case/rachel-marie-mellon Hang Lee
, a 17 year old girl, went missing from St Paul Minnesota on January 12th 1993. Hang was last seen with a friend Kia “Nikki” Lee. She left home with this friend between 6:00 and 7:00 p.m. but when Nikki returned home an hour later, Hang was not with her. Nikki initially told authorities Hang had left with some unidentified young men. She later changed her story and said Hang had gone to a job interview with Nikki's own employer, Mark Steven Wallace, at Wallace's small painting and carpentry business on Iroquois Avenue. Wallace told Nikki that he was looking to hire another employee and she suggested her friend Hang as Hang was looking for a new job. Nikki thought that this request from Wallace was odd as he did not have enough work to hire another employee at that time. Nikki eventually told authorities that she and Hang went to Wallace's place of work and drove around with him in a white truck before switching and driving around in a tan Chevy Cavalier. Wallace dropped Nikki off and then left with Hang in the car. Wallace also told Nikki to not report what happened to the police.After a few interviews with the police Nikki retained an attorney and is no longer cooperating. Wallace denied involvement but also retained an attorney. Wallace is the prime suspect in the disappearance of Hang Lee. He has a record which includes rape, kidnapping, stalking, and drug possession. Hang Lee has never been located and her mother and 13 siblings are still looking for her.Hang is described as a sweet and naïve teenager who is only 17 and 1993. She was 5 ft tall and weighed 90 lb. She was last seen wearing a lightweight black leather jacket, a black t-shirt with "Skid Row" written on the back, black jeans or slacks, sneakers and several pieces of jewelry, including two silver bracelets. She is described as an Asian female with black hair and brown eyes. Her parents moved from Lao (sometimes spelled Laos in the US), and she is Hmong descent. She speaks both English and Hmong. She left behind her purse, a paycheck, and all of her other belongings.Full article here. Deborah Palmer
was only 7 years old in 1997 when she was last seen getting ready for school. Her mother said goodbye as Deborah left the home to walk a few blocks to her elementary school in Oak Harbor, Washington. When Deborah’s mother tried to drop off lunch a few hours later, she was shocked to learn that her daughter never arrived. Five days later, Deborah’s body was found on a beach a few miles away. She had been strangled but not sexually assaulted. Her case is cold and unsolved 25 years later. Deborah is of African American and Filipino descent. https://www.q13fox.com/washingtons-most-wanted/little-girl-doesnt-show-up-for-school-but-shows-up-days-later-dead-on-a-beach
In September of 2019, Tampa native Paulino Norberto Del Mundo Japor Jr.
decided she wanted to go on a 10 vacation to Cozumel, Mexico but during a layover in Dallas she called her sister and asked for help getting a ticket back to Florida as she had changed her mind about going to Mexico. Her family said on the phone she sounded “desperate” and “incoherent.” She never boarded a flight home or boarded her plane to Mexico. Her last known whereabouts were documented on security tapes from the Dallas airport. Her phone and bank account have not been used since that day and she was never seen again. Paulino is a transgender woman who went by the names Paula, Paulina, or Pauline. Although Paula had lived as a woman for years she had not medically transitioned and it appears she still used Paulino Norberto as her legal first and middle name. She is of Filipino descent and her family is still hoping for answers. https://charleyproject.org/case/paulino-norberto-del-mundo-japor-jr
In 1999, Xuan Cao
, a 53-year-old man from China, was visiting the USA as part of a tour group. His tour group had just gotten to a hotel in North Bergen, NJ, when Xuan said he was going out to make a phone call. He disappeared and never came back. He left behind his passport and all of his luggage. It is not believed to be a voluntary disappearance.
In 1990, Tu Thi-Cam Tran
, a student at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, vanished one night on her way back to her car from the University Center. Tu, who was of Vietnamese descent, was 24 years old at the time, and in her senior year at UMBC. She went missing in the small window of time between leaving her classroom and getting into her car. Here's a write-up
on her case with some more information. Ashok Kuman Narain
was last seen in Eugene, Oregon in either 1987 or 1988 where he lived with his wife and young daughter after moving from Fiji several years earlier. In 1987 the dismembered body of a pregnant woman and the body of a toddler were found floating nearby in Washington and Oregon. 20 years later these bodies were identified as Raj Mati Narain
and Kamnee Koushal
, the wife and daughter of Ashok, after Raj’s brother read a story about the unidentified bodies online. He had not heard from his sister since 1987 when Raj’s letters back to her family in Fiji mysteriously stopped. Ashok is wanted for questioning but his whereabouts are unknown. Authorities are looking for a white 1980 Toyota Tercel with the Oregon license plate number KUV762, which disappeared with Ashok and may be connected to Raj and Kamnee's homicides. Both Oregon and Washington authorities are investigating his disappearance.Most sources say the family is of Indo Fijian descent, however, the Charley project now reports that Ashok is of native Fijian descent. You can read their tragic story here. https://charleyproject.org/case/ashok-kumar-narain Queens Jane Doe
was an unidentified woman who fell to her death accidentally after falling off an elevated train platform in Queens, New York in January, 2000. She is described as an 18 to 28 year old Asian or Pacific Islander woman who is 5 ft 1 in in height and weighed 113 lb. She had brown eyes and 7” straight dark brown hair. She was wearing a dark brown Albert Duke brand leather jacket, a blue and white plaid button-up shirt, a dark colored bra, blue jeans, white underwear, and black Euro sneakers or boots. She was also wearing earrings. Her identity is still a mystery to this day. You can find more information here, https://unidentified-awareness.fandom.com/wiki/Queens_Jane_Doe_(January_2000)
) but please be careful as post-mortem photos are available of this woman.
In 2011, Mansoor Riaz
, a Microsoft software engineer, vanished one night from his Bellevue, Washington apartment. Riaz is of Pakistani descent. His story can be found here. https://www.reddit.com/UnresolvedMysteries/comments/msgolf/a_software_developer_at_mircosoft_vanished_from/ https://charleyproject.org/case/mansoor-riaz Yuan Xia Wang
went missing near Washington DC when she was headed for a doctor’s appointment. Yuan had been found at Dulles Airport when a man who was smuggling people into the country was detained and Yuan was one of his charges. Police became suspicious when Yuan who was supposedly a Thai citizen could not speak or understand Thai, but rather spoke Mandarin. Yuan told authorities her parents in Fuzhou, China had paid money for this man to get her into the country using a Thai passport. She was supposed to live with an aunt in the US, but she didn't know where or who this person was so she was placed in foster care for the time being. Other reports say that her smuggler was supposed to take her to a hotel in Alexandria, Virginia. Her foster parents hired a Mandarin speaking babysitter to stay with her until she was enrolled in at a local middle school. Yuan went missing only a few weeks later while on the way to a doctor's appointment. She reportedly got off the school bus and was supposed to take a cab to the doctors but vanished by the time the cab arrived. Although Yuan said she was 12, she was 5’ 6” in height and most people thought she was probably 14-15 at the time of her disappearance. She is of Chinese descent and speaks Mandarin. Police believe she either ran away, was kidnapped by her family members or smugglers, or met with foul play. She may have been seen in Kansas city in 2008. Sadly her dentals, fingerprints, and DNA and not available. https://www.reddit.com/UnresolvedMysteries/comments/jbtixc/yuan_xia_wangmissing_from_lincolnia_virginia/ https://charleyproject.org/case/yuan-xia-wang Su Cha Kim
a 54 year old shop owner from Twin Falls, Idaho Was found murdered in her massage parlor in 1997. Her case is unsolved and cold. Unfortunately, little information is available online. https://www.reddit.com/UnresolvedMysteries/comments/njhce2/the_1997_murder_of_su_cha_kim_in_twin_falls_id/ https://magicvalley.com/news/local/twin-falls-police-hope-passing-years-will-help-solve-cold-cases/article_7c83fca5-9dfd-5fd6-915f-063719bc0117.html Faloma Luhk
, 10, and Maleina Luhk
, 9, disappeared while waiting for their school bus in As Teo, Saipan, Northern Mariana Islands, on May 25th, 2011. The girls were last seen sitting on a concrete slab at 6:10 a.m. across the road from their bus stop, only 300 feet from the home they shared with their grandparents. The bus arrived and left without them at 6:30 am but the girls were not reported missing until they didn’t come home after school that day. The 12 mile long island of Saipan was searched thoroughly by friends, family, locals, and the FBI but no trace of the girls or their things were ever found and their disappearance remains one of the most well known mysteries from the Northern Mariana Islands. Both girls are described as Pacific Islander females with brown hair and brown eyes. In 2011, Faloma had bronze colored highlights in her bangs, and Maleina had a large birthmark on her left cheek. She is reported as small and short for her age. A distant family member by marriage, who was later arrested for domestic violence, is the prime suspect in the case. He has never been named publicly. https://www.saipantribune.com/index.php/disappearance-of-luhk-sisters-marks-10-years/ https://www.guampdn.com/news/local/10-years-later-fbi-still-looking-for-luhk-sisters-who-went-missing-from-saipan-bus/article_f22e2472-cc38-50ac-a187-2ad5f3795155.html Dong Chull Jung
disappeared within minutes in Lakewood, Washington. The 78 year old was residing at the Golden Lion Motel on Tacoma Way in Lakewood, Washington. The establishment has long been a hotbed of criminal activity and violence since at least the 1990s. On average the police responded to incidents at the 24-room hotel over 100 times per year. November 22nd 2003 was one of those times. On that day witnesses called the police after hearing a “disturbance” in Dong’s room. When the authorities arrived, they found a giant pool of blood on the floor as well as Dong’s prescription eyeglasses, but Dong was nowhere to be found. According to the News Tribune, a paper out of Tacoma, one week before Dong’s disappearance he was granted a temporary domestic violence protection order from a Paul C. Jung, who might be Dong’s adult son. In June of 2003, someone named Hae Sung Jung, got a restraining order against Dong. Hae might be the estranged wife of Dong, but this isn’t known for sure. There are vague reports that Dong was having “marital issues'' at the time of his disappearance. Very little information is available in the case. The Golden Lion Inn was finally torn down in 2017 but the fate of the elderly man who resided within remains a mystery. Dong is described as an Asian (Korean) male, with brown eyes and thinning gray hair. He is 5’6'' and weighs 135 lbs. Dong wears prescription eyeglasses but they were left behind when he vanished. If you have any information regarding the disappearance of Dong Jung please call Pierce County Crime Stoppers 253-591-5959. https://charleyproject.org/case/dong-chull-jung Gordon Kaipo Kealoha
, 59, disappeared along with his dog Mahina in 2011. They were last seen fishing near Honolulu where they lived on July 8; Gordon cherished Mahina and brought her almost everywhere he went. After his disappearance, Gordon's white minivan was found abandoned, and his dinghy was found in the water, floating away from his home. Gordon is 6'1 and 250 pounds, and he is of Native Hawaiian descent. https://charleyproject.org/case/gordon-kaipo-kealoha Amber Aiaz
and Melissa Fu
were mother and daughter who went missing In November, 2019 from Irvine, California. The story of their disappearance and possible kidnapping is complicated. I would suggest reading the story here
if you are interested in the details but the basic story is this. Amber's husband, Cheng Zhang, reported his wife and stepdaughter missing to the police about a week after they were last seen. He said that a Chinese man and woman came to his door, put something on his face and he passed out. He reported that when he woke up he found blood and evidence of a struggle in the apartment. He also found a note telling him not to report his wife and daughter missing to the police for at least several days and continued to get notes over the next week. He did what the notes instructed for the next several days. When he finally did report his wife and stepdaughter missing, police were skeptical of his story to say the least. Several months later police reported that they had found nothing to indicate that Cheng’s story was untrue, including over 40 hours of interviews with him and 44 days of around the clock surveillance. In the past Amber had told acquaintances that she was a very wealthy woman who had millions of dollars to her name. While this was not true, authorities speculated that Amber may have been kidnapped for ransom only for her captors to find out that her story of riches was nothing more than a farce. Amber's money has not been touched in either her Chinese or American bank accounts. Both mother and daughter left behind their passports and there's no indication that either of them have entered China.
Amber is described as a 34-year-old Chinese woman who is 5'9 and weighed 180 lb. She has black hair and brown eyes. When last seen she was wearing a black shirt, a black vest, black fitted pants with white writing on them, and light colored shoes. She may use the name Mei Yi Wu or Meiyi W. Wu.
Melissa is described as a 12 or 13 year old Chinese female with black hair and brown eyes. She was 5 '11” in height and weighed about 200 lb. She was last seen wearing a black tracksuit.
Cheng described the unidentified abductors as a Chinese couple in their 40s. Both had average builds. The woman was reported to be about 5’8” and had her black hair tied back in a bun. The man was of average build about 190 lb. and 5 '10”. He had short black hair. The couple may have been driving a black Cadillac and they may have been seen near the apartment complex that day by other neighbors.
Destiny Dee Sanith was last seen by her family on March 3rd, 2022 in Williamstown New Jersey. At about 2:30 in the afternoon on March 3rd, she asked her mom if she could borrow the car to go visit a friend in South Philadelphia. When Destiny did not return in the evening her mother learned that she never made it to her friend's house that day. New Jersey police had contact with Destiny at about 5:20 a.m. on March 4th In Folsom New Jersey. Destiny and her car were near a strip mall at the time. What exactly happened is not clear but police reported they helped Destiny move her car into a parking spot and then gave her a ride to a Wawa convenience store about a mile up the road. Destiny's family has reported that they have surveillance video of Destiny entering and then later leaving the Wawa store after purchasing a drink. At about 9:00 a.m. she was seen leaving the store with a drink crossing the road, turning into another convenience store and then going behind the building and out of view. This is the last known sighting and location of Destiny Sanith. On March 5th when Destiny had still not returned home she was reported missing to the police and her family learned about her interaction with the police on the morning of March 4th. Destiny has not been seen or heard from since.
Destiny is described as an Asian female 27 years old, who is 5'6 and height and weighs about 160 lb. She reportedly has short wavy brown hair and brown eyes. She was last seen wearing black sweatpants, a black Nike sweatshirt, a backpack, white and red Air Jordan sneakers, wearing earrings and carrying a coffee. She has a tattoo of the Virgo symbol on her right hand. Her nickname is Dara. Her family has set up a GoFundMe to help find Destiny and hire a private investigator. Full article here
. Myong Keun Noah,
who went by the nickname Mike, was seen by his family at around 7:00 p.m. on May 1st, 2007 in San Bruno, CA. Mike owned a private car company called E Limousine Services that he ran out of his home. That evening Mike told his son that he had to leave to pick up a 7:30 p.m fare. He did not tell his son where he was picking up the fare. Mike's wife was at an evening class at the time. Neither he or his black Lincoln town car was ever seen again. His car was new and didn't have permanent license plates, but had the transportation carrier permit number TCP 18525 printed on the back bumper. It had a transponder that registers when it enters San Francisco International Airport, but the transponder did not register a trip to the airport that evening. A search of parking areas at both the San Francisco Airport and the Oakland Airport did not locate Mike or his car. Mike's bank account and his phone have not been used since May 1st, 2007. Mike had no history of running away or dropping out of sight, he had no reported mental health issues, no personal problems, and no enemies. Police report that they are baffled by his disappearance. Mike was a US Army veteran and a naturalized American citizen. He had one teenaged son with his current wife and two adult children from a previous marriage however, no one in Mike's family has heard from him since May 1st, 2007. Mike is described as an Asian male, 60 years old in 2007, with brown eyes and black and gray hair. He is 5 ft 8 in in height and weighs about 165 lbs. He was last seen wearing a black suit with a white shirt. He may spell his last name “Noh.” He is of Korean descent. https://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/SAN-BRUNO-Wife-police-plead-for-help-finding-2559008.php https://charleyproject.org/case/myoung-keun-noah
What happened to these people?
submitted by Quirky-Motor
to UnresolvedMysteries [link] [comments]
2023.05.27 00:23 RWREmpireBuilder What routes would you propose to get around the 750 mile rule?
Here's a hypothetical. You have been recently appointed as CEO and God Emperor of Amtrak, and you want to add some new routes to new markets and whatnot. Problem is, you either need states to support these routes financially, or you need a minimum distance of 750 miles on your route. What routes would you create that would meet the 750-mile rule, but also generate a lot of ridership. You can be as petty as you want with this, just get the route to 750 miles and try to keep it relatively close to 750.
I'll start. I used Google Maps for the mile calculations. I know that the roads/interstates are not exactly equal to the railroad routes, but I only have so much time.
-Winnipeg to Kansas City, 819 miles: Goes thru Grand Forks, Fargo, Sioux Falls, Sioux City, and Omaha. Brings South Dakota into the Amtrak network and connects to 2 VIA routes in Winnipeg. Going to Grand Forks only got me 678 miles.
-Cleveland to Atlanta thru Nashville, 770 miles: Also goes thru Columbus, Cincinnati, Louisville, Bowling Green and Chattanooga. Also for an extra 16 miles you could hit Dayton as well.
-Lubbock to Corpus Christi thru Houston & Dallas, 793 miles: Getting a little petty here. A Dallas to Houston direct route that also brings 2 metros into the Amtrak network with a combined population over 900K. A little jagged by gets the job done.
-Plano to Denton thru Dallas, Houston, San Antonio & Fort Worth, 762 miles
F**k you, I'll do what I want. Essential does the entire Texas Triangle without requiring state support. In order, it goes thru Dallas, Houston, San Antonio, Austin, Temple, Waco & Fort Worth, could also divert slightly to add College Station. Dallas to Fort Worth only got me to 705 miles, so I had to improvise.
submitted by RWREmpireBuilder
to Amtrak [link] [comments]
2023.05.26 23:38 Prestigious-String90 Memorial Day weekend Live Music in Macon
| || | submitted by Prestigious-String90 to MiddleGeorgiaTimes [link] [comments]
Happy weekend: there are plenty of places to hear live music in Macon during the next few days. The following are just a few of the musicians performing in Macon this Memorial Day weekend. Read the full article on Middle Georgia Times
for more. The Douglass Theatre's new season of free Jazz in the Courtyard concerts kick off this Sunday with Alphonso Thomas and Moments Notice (Photographer Nate Weeks) FRIDAY, MAY 26 DJ CARLOS PLAYS FREEDOM FRIDAY AT THE CRAZY BULL (8:30 P.M.)
DJ Carlos Ramos will be spinning at Freedom Friday to start off the Memorial Day weekend and the patrons at Crazy Bull will be celebrating our freedoms until early in the morning on Saturday. MAY KARAOKE AT REBOOT (9 p.m.)
Reboot Retrocade & Bar will host an evening of karaoke presented by Talk Nerdy to Me
Friday night. This song filled event is free and for patrons 18 and older. SOLID COUNTRY GOLD AT GRANT’S LOUNGE (9 P.M.)
Solid Country Gold Review will perform at historic Grant’s Lounge Friday night. They will play 90’s hits as well as classic country music. General Admission tickets cost $10. SATURDAY, MAY 27 MACON POPS’ HAWAIIAN SWING REVISITED AT MUSEUM OF ARTS AND SCIENCES (4 - 7 P.M.) Hawaiian Swing Revisited
will celebrate the legacy of The Big Kahuna and The Copa Cat Pack Saturday evening. In addition to the neo-swing music, there will also be Hawaiian food from Satterfields and drinks from JBA and Kona Ice. The event starts at 4 p.m. and Macon Pops start playing at 6 p.m. General Admission tickets for adults cost $25 and $10 for children 10 and under. THE GARRETT COLLINS PROJECT AT AMICI MACON (8 P.M.)
The Garrett Collins Project
will perform on the roof of Amici Macon this Saturday evening. This band based out of Atlanta describes themselves as a “funky blues based rock power trio”. Amici Macon is located on the campus of Mercer University, does not have a cover charge and is a restaurant known for their wings, pizzas, and pastas. FREE LANCE RUCKUS AT THE SOCIETY GARDEN (8:30 P.M.) Free Lance Ruckus
is an alternative Americana rock band from Middle Georgia who will performing covers as well as original songs at The Society Garden on Saturday. The Society Garden charges a cover that helps support the performers. THE SHADY RECRUITS AT GRANT’S LOUNGE (9 P.M.) The Shady Recruits
is a band based out of Greenville, South Carolina that plays jazz and funk music inspired by the musicians like Frank Zappa, Steely Dan, and Parliament-Funkadelic. General Admission tickets
cost $10. SOUTHBOUND MOJO AT THE HUMMINGBIRD (10 P.M.) Southbound Mojo
is a band from Macon that plays country and rock covers. The Hummingbird Stage and Taproom has a $5 cover charge. SUNDAY, MAY 28 ALPHONSO THOMAS AND MOMENTS NOTICE PLAY JAZZ IN THE COURTYARD AT THE DOUGLASS THEATRE (7 P.M.) Alphonso Thomas and Moments Notice
will play the first concert of The Douglass Theatre’s summer Jazz in the Courtyard concert series. This band is based out of Warner Robins and they play smooth jazz, funk, and rhythm and blues. The Jazz in the Courtyard concerts are free to attend.
2023.05.26 23:37 metsnewyork19861969 My latest short story.
Bad things seemed to follow Winona Boone wherever she went. Both of her parents were killed in a plane crash in 1975, when she was 10 years old, and she was sent to live with her Uncle Frank, her late aunt Maggie’s husband, on his farm in Oklahoma. Frank was an alcoholic who abused Winona mentally, physically, and sometimes, even sexually. He was a hateful man, and Winona despised him for his treatment of her.
One day, in 1983, one day before Winona’s 18th birthday, she had enough. She decided to get revenge on her uncle, which she did by mixing something into his drink that caused him to pass out. Winona then dragged his unconscious body down to the basement, tied him up to a chair, covered his mouth and eyes with duct tape, and left him there. She then packed up all of her things, and stole all the money her uncle had along with his truck, and revolver, just in case.
Winona was now on the run. She figured the cops would soon be on her trail, and even if they weren’t, she thought she should still leave Oklahoma. And so, she was on the road. Where was she going? Honestly, she didn’t know. At first, she thought she should flee the country, either go up north to Canada, or down south to Mexico. It was one of those two choices.
She couldn’t decide between the two so she flipped a coin. If it was heads, she’d go to Mexico, if it was tails, she’d go to Canada. It landed on heads. “Mexico it is”, she muttered to herself. She drove for three and a half hours to Dallas that night. She stopped to fill up on gas, had a bite to eat, then found a secluded spot to rest for the night, not wanting to stay at a hotel.
That night, Winona was woken up by the sound of a strange noise. Someone was breaking into her truck. She grabbed her revolver, and burst out of the truck, and pointed the gun at whoever was trying to rob her. It was a man. About her age,average build, standing at 6 foot 1, with curly black hair down to his shoulders and a goatee. He looked to be of either Italian or Hispanic descent. “He’s cute”, Winona thought. He looked at Winona with fear in his eyes. Winona put the gun down. She apologized to him, and he apologized for having scared her.
The man’s name was John Greco. He was trying to steal Winona’s truck, and didn’t realize Winona was in it. He explained that had he known she was in it he wouldn’t have tried to steal it. Winona forgave him, because he didn’t seem like a bad guy. As it turned out he was in a situation very similar to her own. He too was on the run, and heading to Mexico.
Winona invited him to join her on her way to Mexico, and he agreed. John and Winona quickly developed a relationship as they made their way to the Mexican border, seeing themselves as a modern day Bonnie and Clyde. Winona soon fell in love with John and John fell in love with Winona.
The two soon made it to the Mexican border. However, despite all the effort they put into getting to Mexico, Winona had changed her mind. She didn’t want to live there as an illegal immigrant, and applying for citizenship could take forever. She told John about her decision, and he agreed to stay in the States with her. Neither of them wanted to return to their hometown.
They decided to head west to California, finally settling in Long Beach. The two soon found jobs and an apartment, and lived together for five years before John proposed to Winona in 1988. Winona, of course accepted, enthusiastically. Two years later, Winona gave birth to their son. The boy’s name was Dallas, named after the city where his parents had met.
After a long life of pain and suffering, Winona was finally happy. She looked forward to the rest of her life with her husband and her son. Her luck had finally turned around.
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2023.05.26 18:25 NamelessNanashi [The Gods of Dragons: Beginning] Ch 6 - Illegal Magic (Part 2/2)
((Contents have been split for length/editing reasons. I apologize for the inconvenience.))
--- Table of Contents
Veon-Zih strolled wearily down the bustling streets of Smilnda, continuing the internal debate he'd been having since walking through the city gates. It was almost time to make a decision. He could see the towering spires of the Church of Soleil arching gracefully towards the noon sun, and beyond them, the parapets of the Temple of Hengist, patrolled by knights in gleaming armor. One offered a bath and some time to relax, the other, hours of reports and at most a quick scrub down.
The fact that he was having this debate at all was a testament to his loyalty. Still, as Sir Banril led the others towards the Temple, Veon-Zih made his decision and turned towards the Church.
Sir Narvin noticed, “Master Veon-Zih?”
Veon-Zih rubbed his shaved head sheepishly, “You lot go ahead and make your reports. I'll give mine to Sir Rasnah personally once she has time to digest what you have to say.” as long as he reported before nightfall, he would be within regulation. So though both the Paladins scowled, they also nodded, continuing on their way and offering no more protest as Veon-Zih entered the Church.
The chapel was furnished with pale woods and yellow tapestries. The noon sun shone through the skylights in the arching ceiling, causing the gold accents throughout the chapel to gleam and glitter. Veon-Zih bowed to the central altar but preferred not to approach for a blessing until after cleaning off the road dust. He started to make for the side door leading to the courtyard when Father Branston descended from his office behind the altar.
“My friend!” he threw his arms out wide in greeting, “Still in one piece I see.”
Veon-Zih bowed to his old friend, right fist in left palm, to dissuade Branston from his usual hug, “Yes, though a very dirty one piece, I’m afraid.”
Recognizing the hint, Branston clasped his hands behind his back and offered Veon-Zih a rather sinister grin, “So you're here to take advantage of our sun-warmed baths? And you still wonder why I would choose retirement to the road?”
Chuckling, Veon-Zih turned away from the Abbot and waved his hand dismissively over his shoulder, “I know exactly why you
chose retirement. What I don’t understand is why you keep thinking I should.” he exited the chapel and immediately had to jump aside as a set of young girls ran past, squealing in delight as they chased each other around the courtyard. The sight made him smile. Meeting Branston’s twinkling eyes, the Monk continued, “The Monastery is a beautiful place. Carved from the peak stones of a sacred mountain, full of my fellow Monks who share my dedication and philosophy. In other words, it’s a dreadfully boring place.”
“And here I thought the Monks of Oane took at least half as many children as we do,” Branston laughed one of his full laughs that made his round belly jiggle. A young boy, no more than five or six, was trying to keep up with the girls and barely dodged around the head of the Church without paying any mind to who he'd almost run into, “I have never known even a small group of children to be boring.”
Veon-Zih sighed, looking up to the sky and the sun rays filtering through the leaves of the great central tree, “The Monastery requires a certain amount of discipline from their wards. I’m afraid it can be… smothering for many of the children there.”
“That's a shame…”
“Master?” a young voice interrupted and Veon-Zih looked down to see Shon sitting at the same bench where he'd been bullied a month previously. Veon-Zih had nearly passed the boy without noticing. Shon had his journal spread open on his lap, and a pencil held loosely in his left hand. The book was full of what looked like sketches of the other children running about the courtyard.
Shon seemed to realize he'd interrupted a conversation, a bit of pink rising in his cheeks as he looked away, “I’m glad you made it back safely…”
“You doubted me?” Veon-Zih arched an eyebrow at the young boy, and Shon shook his head, looking back up at the adults. He narrowed his eyes at Veon-Zih, his hand moving on the page. Glancing down, Veon-Zih watched as Shon began to draw the arch of his eyebrow. Once Shon noticed the Monk watching, he dropped his pencil, closing the book quickly over it.
“I practiced every day like you told me, Master.”
“Shon, Master Veon-Zih has had a long journey. Perhaps tomorrow…” Branston started, and the boy’s face began to fall.
Veon-Zih raised a hand to stop his friend. Speaking to Shon, he ordered, “Show me.”
Shon jumped to his feet, set his book down on the bench, and rushed over to the clearing beneath the tree. Veon-Zih following at a more leisurely pace, watching. Shon dropped into a low and solid horse stance, most early students were lazy with their stances, rising out of it as they worked through the strikes. Shon took a deep breath and punched with his left hand, muttering a quiet “One.” He didn’t rush through the strikes, taking his time to pull his fist all the way back before punching with his right hand and saying, “One,” again.
Veon-Zih furrowed his brow, circling around the boy and stroking his chin when Shon again punched with his left hand, counting “Two,” then with his right, saying, “Two,” again.
Veon-Zih continued to circle, watching Shon’s slow and measured punches and paying careful attention to the boy’s stance. He started to rise out of it around his second count of twenty-three, but took a moment to fix it after counting to twenty-five. Then he punched again with a quiet “Twenty-six,” and Veon-Zih’s eyebrows shot up.
Circling one last time, Veon-Zih made his way to stand beside Branston, who gave a muffled chuckle, “You look impressed, my friend. Is this not what you told him to do?” he whispered.
“I left the instructions vague, as a kind of test…” Veon-Zih explained.
“And has he passed?”
Veon-Zih shook his head in wonder rather than answer, explaining, “I told him to do fifty punches and kicks every day and gave him five different of each.” he gestured at Shon then began rubbing his chin again, “Most younger children interpret that as fifty total punches, so ten of each punch. Some work a little harder and do ten of each hand for each punch, and others only five each. Some older apprentices assume we want more and do fifty of each punch, twenty-five on each hand.”
Shon moved on to his second set of strikes, starting again with a count of “One” for each hand.
“But Shon chose to do more, double, in fact.” Branston crossed his arms over his chest, also focusing on the young boy.
Veon-Zih nodded, but it was more than just that. His stance remained strong for the most part, and his slow pace allowed Shon to correct it when necessary. Though even that didn’t seem as frequent as it should have been for a boy his age, “He really did practice every day…” Veon-Zih breathed.
Branston nodded, “The kitchen staff informed me shortly after you left that Shon asked them to wake him in the mornings.”
Shon glanced over his shoulder at them for a moment then hurriedly back ahead, staring a hole into the far wall as he continued his counting and strikes. He could hear them talking but probably couldn’t make out exactly what their whispered words were. Veon-Zih tapped his lower lip in thought, asking, “How old is he exactly?”
“Ten this last Solstice.” Branston shot Veon-Zih a sideways glance from the corner of his eye, “You want to take him to the Monastery, don’t you?”
“I thought he was slated for the Temple?”
“Not many meet the necessary requirements.” Branston countered, “If you think he would be better suited…” he let the thought trail off, looking again at Shon, who had moved on to his kicks and practiced them with the same slow discipline as he had the punches.
Veon-Zih hummed at the thought but was stopped from speaking by a new voice, “First you fail to make your report, and now you’re trying to steal away potential Squires. Master Veon-Zih, I am not only disappointed but ashamed of you.” A woman in a sharply starched uniform approached with the bearing of a queen. She drew Shon’s curious gaze, and Veon-Zih noticed the boy’s eyes widen in wonder before he shook his head and fixed his stance to continue his drills. Staring determinedly ahead.
“You caught me.” Veon-Zih said with a sigh, slumping his shoulders in defeat, “Though I assure you, Sir Rasnah, I had every intention of making my report after a bath,”
The lady knight wrinkled her nose at him, “A bath wouldn’t go amiss. But what's this I hear about you taking a child slated to the Temple?” she arched a severe eyebrow at him -a much more impressive expression coming from her- then let her eyes scan over Shon.
“You remember Shon, m'dear,” Branston said with a laugh, “he asked our old friend to teach him the way of the fist,”
“And the foot…” Rasnah noted, watching the kicks and looking from Shon to Veon-Zih and back again, “You're impressed.” she stated with a lopsided grin.
“Am I so easy to read?”
Both Branston and Rasnah laughed in answer.
“If you think he's better suited to the Monastery…” Rasnah started,
“I want to join the Temple,” Shon stated, dropping his kick and actually turning to face the adults, his chin held stiffly high, as though waiting for them to argue.
Rasnah looked down at him. Most would fold beneath the General’s stare, but Shon managed to tilt his head a little higher, holding her gaze with cold blue eyes.
Rasnah held his stare a moment longer, then said stiffly, “We shall see. If you can pass the first test, we would be glad to have you. Anyone capable of impressing this one,” she nudged Veon-Zih with her elbow, and he rubbed the spot as though it had hurt him, “will do just as well serving Hengist.”
That brought a small smile to Shon’s lips, and Veon-Zih sighed, “There are far more Paladins in the world than Monks, now who is stealing from whom, Sir Rasnah?”
“I want to join the Temple…” Shon stated again, looking down at his feet rather than at Veon-Zih, as though truly afraid he had disappointed the Monk.
“But until then…” Veon-Zih said loudly, drawing Shon’s gaze again, “I would be honored to continue teaching you.” it surprised him how much that small smile warmed his heart. He had never met a boy quite like Shon before. He showed a level of dedication and patience that would shame many grown men. And the way he'd studied every movement of their last lesson and moved with a slow purpose through his exercises, bespoke a level of interest and passion Veon-Zih had only rarely seen, even in his fellow Monks.
It truly would be a shame to lose such a student to the Paladins. But as Branston had said… not many could meet the necessary requirements to join a divine order. “I will meet you here tomorrow to continue your lessons. For now, I need a bath.” beside him, Rasnah cleared her throat, “And I have a report to give. You will learn all about that once you join the Temple,” he turned to the Paladin, crossing his arms over his chest, “Slaves to paperwork you lot.”
Branston laughed again, and Rasnah snorted, rolling her eyes. Veon-Zih couldn’t hold the disgruntled act for long and chuckled, turning back to Shon and resting his right fist in his left palm. Shon quickly mirrored the motion, bowing low to the Monk, who couldn’t help but smile.
Sir Rasnah stood at her western window, watching the sunset paint the sky in colors of fire. With her hands clasped loosely behind her, and her shoulders held straight, though soft, Veon-Zih was sure he'd succeeded in sneaking up on her.
He considered palming the young knight guarding her door some coin for agreeing to let him slip in while the evening bells from the Church muffled his entrance. He wouldn’t have managed it if the young man hadn’t been the same as his last meeting, nor if the recently oath-sworn Paladin had insisted on announcing him despite the Monk being expected. In the end, Veon-Zih didn’t bother. The Paladin would've been more offended than thankful.
The office of the General of the Temple of Hengist in Smilnda, was far less grand than that of the Abbot of the Church of Soleil. It had a large window on the west wall, though smaller than those of the church. Her desk faced the center of the room and the window, leaving her back to the security of solid stone and the door to the south within easy reach. There was a small shrine to Hengist in the northeast corner and a grand tapestry behind her desk bearing the Temple's seal, a raised silver sword over a blue shield. The only personal additions Rasnah had made when gaining the position and office were a fine blue and silver carpet from the deserts of Halakon and a small tea set from Oane on her desk.
Veon-Zih stepped carefully as the last of the evening bells tolled, watching her silhouette and sure that he had indeed gone unnoticed when- “I half expected you to wait until the sun was merely a sliver. That way, you wouldn’t technically
be late.” Rasnah turned to face him, her warm smile a contrast with her cold tone. Her smile turned to a lopsided smirk as Veon-Zih slumped, rubbing his bald head, as though he were no more than a child who'd been caught stealing cookies. She arched that impressive eyebrow, asking, “Are you training as a Rogue then? Expanding your already considerable repertoire of killing techniques to include backstabbing?”
Veon-Zih scoffed, “I’m offended, Sir Rasnah, and after I rushed all the way here so as not to be too
“Rushed… and here I thought you might have fallen asleep in the Church's baths. Old man.” He was only a year older than the knight, her steel gray hair showing no hint of its former golden hue.
“Now you listen here, greenhorn,” Veon-Zih shook a fist at Rasnah, smiling broadly at the old game between them, “if this is the thanks you give your seniors for so graciously giving you time to review the others' reports, then perhaps next time I will come right away and bombard you with both my stench and elderly wisdom.”
Rasnah laughed, throwing her head back in mirth before shaking her head and gesturing for the seat in front of her desk. Veon-Zih took it with an exaggerated sigh, watching as she rounded her desk like a marching soldier but sat in her chair as though it were a throne. “As it stands, I only need a small part of your elderly wisdom.” she assured him.
“So they told you we ran out of potatoes on the way back?” Veon-Zih asked, then snapped his fingers, “Oh! You mean that Mage we ran across…”
ran across,” Rasnah corrected, finally growing serious, “I did actually take advantage of the time you so graciously granted me and checked with the Mages Guild. There should be no Mages in that part of Clearhelm. The closest is a man just north of Hamerfoss.” lacing her fingers together she leaned over her desk, “Tell me what you saw.”
Veon-Zih leaned back, stroking his chin as he relayed the details of his relatively short fight with the magic user, “I’ve never seen a spell like that Rasnah, no flash of light and vanish. It was as if she'd cut a hole in reality itself, and I couldn’t see beyond it. Even the lightning she threw around was unnaturally colored. Though we’ve seen its like once before…”
Rasnah sighed and began sifting through the papers stacked neatly on her desk. She remembered, he could tell by her discomfort as she changed the subject, “What of those taken?”
“No sign, but you knew that from the other's reports.”
“Yes, and I also learned that they were Sorcerers.” she pulled two sheets of paper from the pile and set them aside, “A mother and son, both with fire magic and sealing tattoos. I questioned Private Hoen further, and he told me there was another in the house, an older daughter who showed no signs of magic. She was there but wasn’t taken.”
“You think they came for the Sorcerers?” Veon-Zih eyed the papers. They included drawings of the sealing tattoos the Sorcerers had received and the locations on their necks, “They wouldn’t have been able to resist with magic. They couldn't even light a candle after being sealed. So what use would they be to draken or even rogue... magic users?”
Rasnah hummed, looking tired for the first time, “I don’t know. What I do know is that they weren’t the only ones.” Veon-Zih arched an eyebrow, but Rasnah shook her head, “Talkar and Lenare have both seen Sorcerers disappear over the last year. They are hardly the only citizens missing in these dangerous times, which is probably why they aren't being seen as connected, but… I have a feeling…”
“Hengist whispering in your ear again, Ras?” Veon-Zih whispered with concern.
“I wish. If only it were that easy.” Rasnah muttered. Though the gods could communicate with their followers, it was through symbols and intuition rather than words. The human body and mind couldn’t handle direct communication. In this case, if the god of protection wanted his Paladins to look further into something, his unspoken worry would seep into their minds through their divine Oath, it was up to them to decipher the meaning.
Rasnah shifted the conversation back onto more solid ground, “It seems heirlooms have started being taken in Halakon again as well.”
“But we stopped that operation thirty years ago,” Veon-Zih sat straighter, remembering that adventure particularly clearly, “If that same group is back then we should tell the Monastery in Halakon-”
“How is Monk Velona?” Rasnah interrupted, her lips tilting up in a sideways smirk.
“I…” Veon-Zih cleared his throat and leaned back again, “She's a Master now. Took a position teaching.” he couldn’t hold Rasnah’s suddenly twinkling eyes and looked away.
“If they are connected,” she started slowly, “you could go south and offer some of your ‘elderly wisdom’…”
“I have my own student to teach up here, but I can write a letter.” In truth, he did
want to go south, see this through to the end. It wasn't about Velona. He convinced himself instead that it upset him to think that something they had thought solved thirty years previous had suddenly reared its ugly head again, “Are you sure this isn’t just some rogue Mage?” he asked to get back onto the more immediate, and local, topic.
a rogue Mage?” Rasnah asked, returning the Sorcerers' papers to the larger pile, “though I suppose that would be better than Warlocks…” she rubbed her temples, a rare sign of stress, “Either way, it looks like I may have some more work for you while you’re here teaching my future Squire.”
--- Table of Contents
All Comments are wanted and welcome
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2023.05.26 15:42 litcityblues Dreams of Hope
“I know how men in exile feed on dreams of hope”
IT WAS JUST PAST sunrise on Herenveen Prime and Charlotte Elizabeth Mackenzie-Nanda, Queen Consort of the Herenveen Staats-Republic, was still enjoying her coffee when she heard the distant rumble of a sonic boom that indicated an arriving shuttle had entered the upper atmosphere, bound for the spaceport. She set her cup down on the small table next to her.
“Yes ma’am?” Her ever-present steward stepped forward.
“Do you have the omnioculars close at hand?”
“Always ma’am,” he replied. He stepped over to a small cabinet on the far side of the terrace, opened it, and, retrieving the omnioculars, brought them back to her. “Here you are, ma’am.”
“Thank you, Grimsby,” she said. Raising the omnioculars to her eyes, she began to scan the skies. Let’s see, she thought to herself. I’m on the eastern side of the palace, overlooking the gardens and that means the approach vector to the spaceport in Herenveen Town should be about… there. There was a faint trail of exhaust. She pressed a green button on top of the omnioculars and the readout confirmed her findings. There was a ship and it was- the readout directed her to move to the right and she did so, hoping that she would be able to catch a glimpse of the arriving ship before it disappeared behind the Palace and-
She froze and pulled back from the omnioculars. It couldn’t be. It couldn’t- she made herself look again. There was no mistaking it this time. It was a clipper ship, one of the ultra-fast pickets that the Star Union’s defense contractors were marketing to every buyer from here to the rim. Along its prow was its registration number (SU-76463) and its name, the Star Clipper. None of that was particularly of note. What was, however, was the red, white, and blue roundel of the Star Union’s space force and, she noted, the golden gryphon symbol of the Duchy of New Georgia underneath it.
She set the omnioculars down on the table and picked up her coffee again, staring out at the Palace Gardens. She was not ill-informed, of course. Even now, after decades in exile, she still had friends in the Star Union. She had heard about the failing health of her Grandfather, the King-Emperor, and- there’s only one reason why they would send a clipper ship. The thought whispered to her. Only one.
A step forward. “Yes ma’am?”
“Where is she this morning? She usually tells you, doesn’t she?”
“I believe Her Majesty was convinced that the roses needed some attention this morning, ma’am.”
“Ah yes, Grimsby, but which roses? She has so many.”
“The Austins I believe were her primary concern, ma’am. She is worried about how they are adapting to our soil after the long journey from Terra.”
“Very well.” She made herself sit and finish her coffee, drinking in the view and soaking up the peace and serenity of the early morning. There was no better view than she could think of and if she was right- but what if you’re not? The Star Union has plenty of clipper ships. It could be anything.
Keep telling yourself that, she told herself, but no good news comes early in the morning. She drained the last of her coffee, placed the mug on the saucer and stood up, walking towards the edge of the grand staircase that lead down into the gardens, Grimsby just behind her, a constant presence at her side.
Decades before, she had been too young to know what was going on in the Star Union. She had been carefully shielded from the politics of it all. She knew the history. Everyone knew the history, but… she remembered the hands shaking her, waking her in the night. Urging her to get up, quickly, there was no time to pack. She remembered her mother’s face, creased with worry and realizing that she was afraid, seeing her fall behind on her little legs and sweeping her up into her arms. She was safe there. She was happy there.
There were only flashes of memory now, The sound of shoes echoing on the deserted hallways of the Palace. The night sky, so warm, so clear, the stars shimmering above her. She was placed in the transport, near the window and soon they were lifting off. The city was half cast in darkness, flickers of fire and columns of smoke dimly visible, split by the sinuous line of the River Nanda, running through the capitol city.
She remembered her face, pressed against the window, clutching her stuffed gryphon, Archie close as they reached the terminator line between night and day and she caught one last glimpse of the beautiful oceans and the green land of Astralis Prime, heart of the Star Union and then…
Then it was exile and her family had gone back to the Potentate of Cosmara once again, barely a generation after the First Restoration of their dynasty back to the great throne of the Star Union.
A delicate cough interrupted her train of thought. “Ma’am.”
“The roses are… that way,” Grimsby nodded to her left.
“Thank you, Grimsby,” she replied, annoyed at her absent-mindedness. It’s because it’s early, she told herself. No good news comes early in the morning. Father would say it all the time. Mother believed it. You believe it too, she admitted to herself.
Finally heading in the right direction, it was the work of a few moments before she finally came around the well-manicured hedge, ducked under a delicate moongate and stepped into the rose garden. There, she caught sight of her wife, Chief Stadtholder and Queen of the Herenveen Staats-Republic, Chief Executive Officer of it’s associated trading conglomerates and companies, Juliana Beatrix Oranje-Nassau, Fifth of her name.
“You bloody thing, I don’t know where you’re coming from, but I will find you and I will-” Juliana was on all fours, gloved hand buried deep into a rose bush, trying to trace back an offending weed of some kind. Charlotte stopped and just watched for a long moment. They were both getting older now. Their children were grown and in the case of their son, Eduardo had just secured the line of succession and made them both grandmothers. Even with the prolong treatments, streaks of grey were creeping into her hair now, but still-
“Enjoying the view?” Juliana asked archly, turning her head to notice her for the first time.
“You know I always do,” she replied. “You also do know that we have gardeners that can do things like this.”
Juliana growled and gave the offending weed an almighty pull before pulling her gloved hand out of the rose bush and holding it up triumphantly.
“We pay them quite a bit of money, you know,” she continued idly as Juliana stood up. “They’re experts at-”
“I know, Charlotte,” Juliana rolled her eyes. “It’s just, I like to sneak out-”
“-leaving me alone in our bed-”
“-and just get some gardening in before the tedious business of the day begins,” Juliana continued.
Charlotte smiled fondly at her wife, fully aware of how quickly she would abdicate should the Staats-General ever get around to deeming Eduardo to be a worthy successor to her. Juliana was a creature of nature, more than anything, far more at home puttering about the Palace gardens or strapping on big, practical waterproof boots to go tramping through fields. She was happiest getting her hands dirty. “I love you, wife.”
Juliana’s face softened and she stepped towards Charlotte, slipping her ungloved hand into hers and leaning forward to kiss her firmly on the lips. “And I adore you, my queen.” She creased her eyebrows, realizing something. “What brings you out into the gardens at this hour, anyway? You should be eating your breakfast still.”
“I started early when I woke to find an empty space in my bed,” Charlotte replied somewhat tartly.
“But, I came looking for you when I heard the ship coming in.”
“Is that what that was? I wondered, but I was…” Juliana raised her gloved hand, still clenched around the offending weed and looked a little sheepish.
“Preoccupied?” Charlotte finished.
“Yes, let’s go with that. So, a ship? It’s a little early for a ship.”
“I thought so as well, so I tracked it with the omnioculars.”
“It was from the Star Union,” Charlotte said. “One of their new ultra-fast pickets. It…” she sighed. “It had the livery of the Duchy of New Georgia on it.”
“Your cousin. David, no, Dean, no-” Juliana frowned in irritation.
“Drake,” Charlotte supplied.
“Yes, him. That’s the one,” Juliana said. “Has he sent any messages? Any word that he’s coming?”
“No,” Charlotte admitted.
“So, it could be just another ship on urgent business for anything, right?” Juliana said. “There might be no need to worry at all.”
“Maybe,” Charlotte said. “But-”
“No good news comes early in the morning.” Juliana finished. She pulled the glove off of her hand and tossed it next to the pile of weeds she had placed to one side along with the garden implements. “Would it ease your mind if we went and find out what the ship wanted?”
“It would, my love, but…” she glanced pointedly at the mess and Juliana flapped her hand dismissively with a mischievous grin playing about her face. “The gardeners can get it.”
“Juliana!” Charlotte sounded scandalized.
“As you pointed out, my love, we do pay people- experts, some of them, to take care of things like this,” Juliana slipped her arm into Charlotte’s and with Charlotte rolling her eyes, but smiling as well, the two of them began to walk arm in arm back out of the gardens and toward the Palace, Grimsby an ever-present shadow in their wake. Charlotte was just about convinced that maybe Juliana was right and maybe she had nothing to worry about, but just as they turned the last corner and the terrace came into view, her heart sank. There was Mr. Vanderbeek, Juliana’s chief secretary, waiting at the top of the stairs for them.
Juliana felt her stiffen and gave her hand a reassuring squeeze. “Pieter,” she called as they made their way toward the steps. “Good morning!”
Mr. Vanderbeek bowed. “Good morning, your majesties.”
“You’re up early,” Juliana noted as they reached the bottom of the steps and climbed up onto the terrace. “What brings you to the Palace at this hour?”
“A delegation from the Star Union has arrived, your majesty. They’re requesting to meet with Queen Charlotte most urgently.”
“Did they say what about?” Charlotte tried to make the question sound casual but realized she probably failed at that and shook her head ruefully.
“They did not, your majesty,” Mr. Vanderbeek said. “But I am told that his Grace, the Duke of New Georgia is the head of their delegation.”
“Drake?” Charlotte broke in, surprised. “He’s here himself?”
“Yes, your majesty.”
“Who else?” Juliana asked.
“Intelligence is working on that,” Mr. Vanderbeek said. “But so far, we have identified the Archbishop of Astralis Prime, the Earl of New Shaftesbury and a Parliamentarian we believe to be Beatrice Boothroyd.”
“When do they want to meet?” Charlotte asked.
“As soon as possible, they say, your majesty,” Mr. Vanderbeek replied.
“Has the government been informed?” Juliana asked.
“Yes, your majesty.”
“Very well, since they’re still renovating Noordiende, we’ll have to receive them at the Voorhout Palace. See to it, please and prepare a ground car for her majesty and myself. We won’t keep them waiting long,” Juliana ordered.
Mr. Vanderbeek bowed. “As you wish, your majesty.” He retreated the requisite five steps, taking care not to turn his back on either woman before, having reached the appropriate distance, he turned and hurried away to make the arrangements.
Receiving an official delegation from a foreign power required more of the Queen than it did the Queen Consort, so while Juliana allowed herself to be herded away by various functionaries and ladies in waiting to be cleaned and dressed, Charlotte was left to her own devices. Having decided on a sonic shower over the more decadent option of a water shower, she soon found herself opening the door to her closet, robe wrapped tightly around her.
It was less of a closet and more of a room, but that was the privilege of being a Queen Consort. There were dresses and suits and uniforms for every occasion. The chattering classes tended to notice if she wore the same dress twice, which had bothered Charlotte when she was younger, but now, she no longer cared. Dresses could be worn more than once. She had done so throughout her childhood on Cosmara if for no other reason than her family's reduced circumstances had made it a necessity.
She walked down the length of the closet, lightly running her hands along the dresses, wondering what she should wear. Cousin Drake, the Archbishop, the Earl of New Shaftesbury, and whoever that Parliamentarian is… there is only one reason to send a delegation like that to see me. Her hand stopped and, reaching up, she pushed the dresses back to reveal a simple, unadorned red dress.
Even with the prolong treatments, humanity was not immortal. Her father’s cancer had advanced, inexorably, resistant to every treatment they had tried.
Grandfather even sent his personal physician, she remembered. The Doctor arrived in secret, towards the end, in the dead of night, and tried her best, but… Juliana, always so careful to never even give the appearance of asking for favors or getting special privileges had made a quiet call to the government and bundled her onto the fastest ship Herenveen Prime had. It had not been enough. She arrived an hour after he had gone, quietly, without much fuss, as was his way.
He had not wanted an elaborate funeral. Juliana had brought the children. Cousin Drake had arrived as well, which had been a surprise at the time. All of them, clad in their funeral red, on the lip of the hillside of their small farm, the towers of Cosmara City in the distance, watching as the flames of the funeral pyre climbed higher and higher.
She ran her hands over the red mourning dress, remembering. She had not worn it since that day. It seemed a lifetime ago, but there was only one reason they would be sending a delegation like this. Charlotte took the dress down out of the closet and carried it back into the bedroom laying it across her bed. Then she went back into the closet and walked all the way to the back where the jewelry was kept. She did not hesitate this time. Opening the top drawer, she pulled out her mother’s sapphire necklace, the famous Star of Astralis, the one thing she had taken from the Palace when they had fled into exile.
Charlotte held it up to the light and, leaning forward blew some offending dust from it before nodding to herself in approval. “Yes, this will do quite nicely.”
Half an hour later, Charlotte made her way down the grand staircase to the main entrance of the Palace, where Juliana was waiting for her. She was dressed more modestly- in her usual grey suit with a simple string of pearls and a matching purse, but her lips pursed appreciatively as she watched Charlotte descend, Grimsby behind her as always.
Reaching the bottom of the stairs, Juliana smiled at Charlotte and then said, “Grimsby?”
“Yes, your majesty,” Grimsby stepped forward.
“Can you check to see where our ground car has gotten to?”
“At once, your majesty,” Grimsby inclined his head and then crossed over to the front doors of the palace and, opening them, slipped through.
Once they were alone, Juliana, cocked an eyebrow at Charlotte. “Red? That’s the color of mourning in the Star Union.”
“There’s only one reason I can think of for them to send an urgent delegation to meet with me,” Charlotte replied. “If my Grandfather has finally died, I will not show anything less than the utmost respect for his memory.”
“Well, you look lovely,” Juliana said. “Every inch an exiled Princess of the Star Union.”
“I hope so,” Charlotte replied.
Grimsby was returning and Juliana stood up as they both walked over to meet him. “You said you can only think of one reason,” Juliana noted.
“What else could it be?” Charlotte asked.
Juliana looked as if she was about to say something, but instead, shrugged and gave Charlotte a reassuring smile. “You’re right,” she said. “Let’s go see what they have to say.”
It was half an hour later when they finally arrived in the grand hall of the Voorhout Palace. That wasn’t entirely unexpected. They were both Queens (well, Juliana was the Queen, Charlotte was the Queen Consort,) and as the two of them, arm in arm, walked out of the antechamber onto the dais of the Throne Room, Charlotte had to admit that they both looked the part. Juliana guided Charlotte to her throne at Juliana’s right, before stepping up onto the main dais and taking her place on the Oranjetanuki Throne.
Mr. Vanderbeek was already in place off to Juliana’s left and after a moment to smooth out her skirt, she nodded to him Mr. Vanderbeek stepped down off the dais and walked the length of the throne room before opening the door and vanishing for a moment onto the other side. Charlotte felt her heart begin to beat faster and forced herself to take a slow deep breath to calm down. Juliana is right. Let’s see what they have to say. Another slow, deep breath and she became irritated with herself. Why are you acting like a spoiled Princess? You’re a grown woman and Queen Consort
The doors opened and Mr. Vanderbeek lead the delegation into the throne room and walked about halfway down before stopping, bowing, and then saying: “Your Majesties, an urgent delegation from the Star Union wishes an audience.”
“Their request is granted,” Juliana replied.
Mr. Vanderbeek stepped smoothly aside and the delegation advanced. As they came closer, Charlotte recognized her cousin, Drake. He was grown now, of course, but even behind the beard, she could still recognize him. The delegation advanced and went down to one knee as both Charlotte and Juliana rose to greet them.
“Your majesty,” Drake said. “We bring sad tidings. Your grandfather, the King Emperor of the Star Union is dead.”
Even though she had been expecting the news, the words fell like a hammer blow and Charlotte was surprised at the surge of emotion she felt. After the Revolt that sent her family into exile, her grandfather had been dragged out of retirement as the only acceptable option to both warring factions in the Star Union. Quietly, he had done what he could to make sure her family was comfortable in exile but had never once contacted them. Her only memories of him were happy ones, from her childhood, before they were exiled. She couldn’t bring herself to resent the old man, even now– and if either of her parents had harbored any bitterness towards him, they had never shown it.
“These are sad tidings indeed, cousin,” Charlotte replied. “I appreciate you coming all this way to tell me in person, but a vid-message or a tight beam would have been just as welcome.”
“Your majesty,” Drake said. “While those tidings are the official reason for our visit, we have another purpose here. A purpose of great urgency and import.”
Charlotte frowned. “What other purpose could bring you here so urgently, cousin?”
“We are here to offer you the Crown of the Star Union.”
If the news of her grandfather’s passing had been a hammer blow, this was news that nearly made her stumble and Charlotte felt herself swaying in shock, her mouth open in astonishment. Suddenly, Juliana was there beside her, gently tucking her arm into hers and steering her safely back into her seat. Charlotte smoothed her skirts out, trying to compose herself as she grappled with the enormity of what Drake had just said.
Juliana stood beside her, hand on her shoulder. “On whose authority do you make such an offer, your Grace?”
“Your majesty, with me I have representatives from the nobility, the church, and the commons. Our common desire is that which her majesty’s father and those who came before fought for and represented: a Monarch who governs in the name of the duly elected Parliament of the Star Union.”
“And how is that different from what you have now?” Juliana asked. Charlotte was dizzy with shock, but still managed to nod in agreement, still not trusting herself to speak. This had to be a joke, a prank, something- whatever it was, it couldn’t be real. The Crown? Her?
You could go home. A whisper from deep inside of her.
Drake grimaced. “The succession is contested. My Uncle Phillip-” Drake smiled knowingly as he saw the expression of disgust flash across Charlotte’s face, “-believes that he has the strongest claim. He is opposed by my cousin Hubert-” and his smile was genuine now as Charlotte covered an incipient laugh with a well-timed if artificial cough. “Your majesty, may I…” he shifted uncomfortably. “May I speak freely to my cousin for a moment, not the Queen Consort of Herenveen Prime?”
Juliana glanced down at Charlotte who nodded her assent.
“Cousin, I understand your skepticism and even your hesitation, but…” Drake sighed. “Invite me to dinner tonight. We can have a real conversation about what this actually means.”
Charlotte and Juliana exchanged glances for a long moment before Charlotte nodded and Juliana looked at Drake. “Your grace, it will be our pleasure to have you join us for dinner tonight at our residence at Het Loo. Seven o’clock, sharp.”
Drake inclined his head. “Thank you for your most gracious and kind invitation, your majesty.”
“We will withdraw then and make preparations,” Juliana said slipping her hand from Charlotte’s shoulder. She stood and the two of them left through the entrance they had come in, arm in arm once again.
Charlotte felt like she was in a daze, but allowed Juliana to lead her back towards their ground car. Mr. Vanderbeek was waiting at the courtyard entrance. “Mr. Vanderbeek, I take it you heard?”
“I did, your majesty.”
“If you would inform the Prime Minister and ask him for a full briefing later tonight. I would like to know the government’s opinion of this… unexpected offer.”
“Yes ma’am,” Mr. Vanderbeek replied. “Will the two of you be returning to Het Loo?”
“Yes, we will. The Duke of New Georgia will be joining us for dinner as well,” Juliana said.
“Very well, ma’am.”
“Thank you, Mr. Vanderbeek.”
He bowed and then stood as still as a statue until they had both walked out into the courtyard proper and reached their ground car. Charlotte slid into the seat, still trying to process the offer that Drake had made back in the throne room. The crown? Me?
You could go home, that whisper again, tinged with hope. But where is home? Charlotte replied in the silence of her head as the ground car manuevered out of the courtyard and onto the city streets. She watched as they made their way down the row of embassies from across the galaxy and then a thought occurred to her.
“Did you know?” Charlotte said. “When I said I could only think of one reason why they would want to see me…”
Juliana said nothing for a long moment before finally taking a breath. “I wondered.”
“But did you know?”
“No,” Juliana replied. “I didn’t. I about fell over when he made his offer..”
Charlotte chuckled. “That makes two of us.” She pursed her lips again and stared out the window, the brief burst of amusement leaving her. “I just wish I knew how real it was.”
Juliana reached over and took her hand. “My love, as soon as we are back at Het Loo I am going to be making all kinds of vid-calls to all kinds of people to see if I can get you an answer to that question.”
It was much later. Juliana had withdrawn after the main course, informing them she had some late calls to make. The stewards cleared away the last of the dessert and Drake leaned back in his chair and emitted a loud groan. “God, that was excellent food. I haven’t eaten that well in years.”
“The position does have some privileges,” Charlotte smiled. “We pay our chefs very well.”
“How well?” Drake asked. “That chocolate mousse was to die for.”
“Hands off,” Charlotte said with mock ferocity. “You can’t have him.”
Drake raised his hands in mock innocence. “All right, I surrender,” he said. Charlotte pushed back her chair and stood up, making her way to a small cart of liquor bottles at the side of the dining room. “Shall we adjourn to the terrace?” Charlotte asked.
“With whiskey, one hopes?” Drake sounded eager but pushed his own chair out to stand up.
“Of course,” Charlotte said. She unstoppered a decanter and poured out two generous measures into a pair of elegant crystal glasses before putting the stopper back in the decanter and turning back to Drake. She held out a glass to him and he closed the distance between them and took it from her, Grimsby having heard her proposal and waiting patiently, holding open the door to the terrace, the two of them walked out onto the terrace, and the warm summer night. Charlotte lead them to a pair of lounge chairs and gestured for Drake to sit down before smoothing out her skirts and sitting opposite him.
Charlotte took a sip of whiskey, unsure of how to begin. Happily, Drake did it for her.
“Ask me the question, cousin.”
“What question?” Charlotte asked, a picture of innocence.
Drake snorted in derision. “The one you’ve been wanting to ask me all night. The one we’ve been dancing around through an appetizer, two main courses, a dessert, and now a glass of whiskey.”
“Direct as always, Drake,” Charlotte smiled. “But, very well.” She took a sip of whiskey. “Why me?”
“Why not you?” Drake leaned back in the chair. “Your claim is just as strong as Phillip’s and it’s certainly stronger than that idiot Hubert’s. You have just as much right to the throne as they do if not more.”
“That’s not enough of a reason,” Charlotte replied. “My family has been in exile from the Star Union for a lifetime now. My children grew up here. My life is here. To the people, I would be a historical relic trotted out to serve some political agenda at best and at worst… a foreigner.”
“You say that your life is here now, but you knew the news we were bringing you and still wore your funeral red. Your sleeves hide them well, but you wear the bidari bracelets as well. I’m willing to bet if asked your children, they would tell me of the food and the traditions you still practice as well-”
“So, we celebrate Diwali and Christmas,” Charlotte said. “What of it? There is a thriving emigrant community here and on a dozen other worlds as well. Maintaining and honoring my heritage doesn’t mean I’m fit to lead a country I haven’t seen in decades.” She took another sip of whiskey. “You need to work on your pitch, Drake. I’m not persuaded.”
Drake considered that for a moment, taking another sip of whiskey. “You could secure your father’s legacy, once and for all.” He sat up straight. “Grandfather’s health had been failing for the past five years. Phillip has been defacto regent the entire time and his regency has not been a happy one. Your father was ousted for backing a government that at the time was seen as dangerously radical.”
“I know the history.”
“Yes, but what you don’t know is that your father was ultimately right,” Drake said. “Back then, he knew the Radicals were right. The tax avoidance of the entire nobility was a weight around the neck of the Star Union. The people resented it. The government was drowning in debt because of it, but when the Radicals tried to move their bill through, it was blocked in the Lords, and the only remedy they had to get it through after the second reading was-”
“The Royal Prerogative?” Charlotte asked, surprised.
Drake nodded. “It was a risk, but one he felt worth taking- unfortunately the nobility disagreed- but after the banking crisis a decade back, even the most diehard of the Lords was forced to concede that the tax exemptions were fiscally ruinous and it ended up being a Conservative government that suspended them.”
“And what of it?” Charlotte asked. “My father took on the Star Union’s political elites and it touched off a rebellion that cost him his throne.”
“Phillip has made it clear that he views the suspension as temporary. More importantly, he’s indicated that he doesn’t believe Parliament has the authority to overrule him on the question of taxation and many are beginning to be concerned that he doesn’t believe in the necessity of a Parliament at all.”
“So he’s a would-be Dictator in the making?” Charlotte grimaced.
“That’s what I’m afraid,” Drake said. “But you, on the other hand, would be untouched by the politics of the Star Union. Your father is remembered with affection amongst the common people and Grandfather, to his credit, did nothing to discourage that. You would be able to preserve the Union without plunging us headlong into either an economic crisis or worse, a Civil War.”
“Uneasy lies the head that wears the crown,” Charlotte sighed. “You’ve fitted me for a crown that I have yet to agree to take and already my head itches at the thought of it.”
“It doesn’t have to be forever,” Drake said. “With prolong treatments these days you could a decade or two, secure your family's legacy, and then step aside for someone else. You could even unify the crowns of Herenveen and the Star Union if you wanted to.”
“Do you ever find the notion of crowns and all this frippery to be a bit ridiculous in this day and age?” Charlotte asked. “Humanity has become a space-faring civilization. We’re spreading further and further out every year, terraforming as we go, and yet they still want us to put crowns on our heads. I’m surprised we haven’t grown beyond it yet.”
“Human society organizes itself somehow into strata. Doesn’t matter what flavor or ideology. We have the titles we have merely because our family was amongst the first stakeholders of the original colony of Astralis Prime. Doesn’t make us better than anyone, not anymore.” Drake drained the last of his whiskey.
“Well said,” Charlotte chuckled.
Drake grinned ruefully. “I’m not selling you on this, am I?”
Charlotte said nothing for a long moment before she too drained the last of her whiskey. “Do you remember that summer lodge Grandfather had down by the coast? Near the village with the funny name?”
“Etretat?” Drake said.
“Yes, that’s the one… named after some old Terran painting.”
“I saw it once when we went to Terra,” Drake said. “The cliffs near that village look nothing like the ones in the painting. And they pronounce it differently too.”
“How do they pronounce it?”
“Etret-ah,” Drake said. He shrugged. “Some weird quirk of an old Terran language. They were surprised that the locals pronounced the ‘t’ at the end.”
“Anyway,” Charlotte said. “Do you remember the hill, right by the beach?”
“I remember it being more of a vertical climb,” Drake said. “But yes, I do.”
“I loved the view from the top,” Charlotte said. “It’s one of the clearest memories I have. You could see that whole stretch of the south coast…” she trailed off, lost in the memory.
“And?” Drake prompted.
“I think,” Charlotte said slowly. “I think it would be nice to climb that hill again.”
Drake smiled. “So you are thinking about it?”
“I might be,” Charlotte said. She stood up and Drake stood with her. “But now, cousin, I need to go to bed.”
“Until tomorrow, cousin.”
Charlotte slept better than she expected and still managed to slip out of bed the next morning and make her way out onto the terrace where Grimsby awaited her with her usual morning coffee. She wrapped her robe around her tightly, for the cool of the evening still hung in the air. In the light of the day, she was forced to admit the uncomfortable truth to herself: she didn’t know what to think.
Part of her was tempted: she hadn’t been lying to Drake last night and even though he had shamelessly tried to trade on her nostalgia for her childhood at first, his arguments about her father’s legacy had been more persuasive than she wanted to admit. Phillip would be a disaster for the Star Union and if several members of the extended Royal line were suddenly afflicted with terminal illness or enough of them dropped dead that Hubert’s claim went from punchline to reality, he might be an even worse choice for the Star Union.
There were others, of course, but no one had a stronger claim than she.
On the other hand, this was home. This was where she and Juliana had built a family, raised the children, and- the sound of footsteps behind her broke her reverie.
“Now it’s your turn to leave me alone in our bed, I see,” Juliana smiled as she pulled her robe tightly around herself and sat down in the lounge chair opposite her. Grimsby produced another cup and held it up questioningly for a moment before Juliana nodded and he poured a cup, placed it on a saucer, and handed it over to her.
“I was up late enough and still didn’t hear you come in,” Charlotte replied. “What were you up to last night?”
“Meetings,” Juliana replied. “Too many to count, I’m afraid. Did you and Drake talk?”
“I don’t know,” Charlotte said. “It’s tempting. But-” she gestured around her. “We built all this together. It’s our life. Our home. I’m not sure I want to leave it, however tempting it might be.”
“Would it help to know that his offer does appear to be genuine?” Juliana asked. “Our intelligence people were working all night to confirm it, but they’ve got enough sources to be sure that he’s on the level.”
“That doesn’t solve the question of how we do it.”
“The General Staff is of the opinion it wouldn’t take much. Their best plan calls for a lightning-fast surgical strike. You isolate and blockade key points, proclaim yourself, and proceed to Astralis Prime to take the throne.”
“Oh, that easy, huh?”
Juliana shrugged. “That’s what they tell me, anyway. The government also doesn’t hate the idea and is frankly enthusiastic about the possibility of gaining more direct access to their markets.”
“But what about you?” Charlotte asked. “I can’t go to rule the Star Union by myself and leave you here alone. I would… miss you.”
“As I would miss you, my darling,” Juliana replied. “That’s why, if you decide to do this, the government would convene the Staats-General and appoint Eduardo regent in my absence. It’s well past time he was given some real responsibility, anyway, and that way- what? Have I done something-” Juliana looked concerned because Charlotte’s eyes were full and the first tears were beginning to roll down her cheeks.
“You would…give it all up? For me?” Charlotte asked, in a voice thick with emotion.
“Of course,” Juliana replied. “I love you, after all. For decades now, you’ve stood by me, had children with me, and been the best Queen Consort I could have wished for. It is more than past time for you to be Queen in your own right.” She smiled. “Besides, I hear the royal gardens on Astralis Prime are a mess. Your grandfather evidently did not have the greenest of thumbs.”
Charlotte smiled. “I think the real expert was my grandmother, to be totally honest.”
“The only question, my love, remains the biggest one of all. Our children are grown. I have been looking for an excuse to give Eduardo some responsibilities mainly so I could tend to the roses here, but I could just as easily fix up the gardens on Astralis Prime. Drake’s offer appears to be genuine. We can bring the military force to bear quickly enough and easy enough to put you on the throne. So, what do you want to do?
“It seems absurd. I haven’t been back there in decades. I’ve lived in exile my whole life. This is home.”
“It’s not absurd. It also doesn’t have to be forever.”
“Drake said that too,” Charlotte said. “Also said we could unify the crowns if we wanted to.”
“So you are thinking about it?”
Charlotte nodded. “Do you remember the first time we met?”
Juliana smiled. “How could I forget? I chased you up a hill near the University on Cosmara. There was a beautiful view at the top.”
“I loved that hill because it reminded me of a hill along the coast near my grandfather’s summer lodge,” Charlotte said. “If I- no, we do this… will you climb it with me?”
“Yes, my love, I will,” Juliana said. “I won’t ask you to decide now but know this. I think it is well past time for you to be Queen in your own right on a throne of your own. I think the people of the Star Union would welcome a ruler who will respect the government they elect and actually advocate for their welfare. I think everyone who lives in exile harbors a secret dream, a hope of returning home someday. But, my love, my home is with you. Wherever you go.”
It came down to that in the end. That one simple sentence decided it. Charlotte Elizabeth Mackenzie-Nanda, Queen Consort of the Herenveen Staats-Republic looked over at her wife, Juliana Beatrix Oranje-Nassau Chief Stadtholder and Queen of Herenveen Staats-Republic, Chief Executive Officer of it’s associated trading conglomerates and companies. She reached over and took Juliana’s hand in hers. “My Queen, my love, my life,” Charlotte said. “I think I would like to go home again.”
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