Casino Plumbing 8202 S 235th St, Gretna, NE 68028 - YP.com

The Cheap Quality of American Homes

The Cheap Quality of American Homes
Before I start, I wanted to say that I've lived in many different countries (brick/concrete buildings) & I never experienced so many problems as I have with US homes. The use of cheap plywood and wood chip, poor or no insulation, flimsy siding and roofing that either blows off in high winds or just rots away after a few year, in addition to high prices have made life a living miserable hell for the average American.
I've lived in US for the past 20 years, mainly in the west coast. I owned a nice peaceful house in Seattle area back in the 90s, things were not this expensive & I had a great mortgage rate until the collapse of housing market happened in 2008, and my mortgage rate went up from 3.25% to 6%, although I paid my mortgage onetime & didn't do anything wrong. Around the same time, my utilities, and taxes went up drastically. The house was built in the 80s and the constant rain & termite damage & carpenter ants had made the wood rot underneath the house, not to mention the leaky roof & many other issues with plumbing, mainly to do with wood-structured houses.
Long story short, my house was peaceful, but because of high taxation, crime, constant rain & cold, & other problems like high utility & mortgage rate, I made a decision to sell the house and move to California.
I rented a two bedroom luxury apartment unit in Orange County around 2015 for $2500/months, but everyday there was an issue with the management, constant noise of performance cars revving their engine, garbage trucks, leaf blowers & landscapers, you name it ....
After a year, I finally got sick & tired of high rent & high taxation in Cali & moved to Nevada, Las Vegas. The apartment I moved in was ok for a few months until a loud motorcyclist moved next door to me. The guy worked all odd hours and he used to love revving his bike at nights, like 12 am, 3 am, 5 am, multiple times, when he commuted back & forth to work every day ... Calling the police, talking to Management or leaving nice notes on his bike, none of them worked, until I was forced to move out.
Everybody said rent a house, apartments are crap. oh how little I knew
So I ended up renting a home (paying $2100) to have more privacy & peace of mind. The house was fine for a few years (except the loud neighbors kids screaming & swearing, dogs barking all day & night, neighbors doing landscaping at 8am Sunday morning, etc etc), but I still put up with it, at least I had few hours of quiet at nights & I used white noise machine to drown out some of the noise. Until one day, out of the blue, the house started making weird noises, mainly coming from the ceiling/attic. It started with one loud knock/snap every morning at 8:30 am, and over a week period, the knocks went from one loud one to 20 knocks a day. Within a month, things became so bad that every time the sun would come up or go down, the roof would pop like 200 times. At nights, I would hear a lot of loud banging/popping noises coming from chimney and the attic. I let the landlord know right away (which they didn't believe me at first), I even paid for pest control (we thought it maybe rats or some other animal in the attic), which no trace of any animal was found in the attic. We brought roofers, inspectors, you name it, no one had any clue what was going on. Things got so bad that I couldn't sleep more than couple of hours every night, waking up with a very loud knock or bang, sometimes every 30 min. I lived in that house for 3.5 years, and didn't hear a beep from the structure of the place, so I have no clue how a building that quiet could go suddenly crazy & it was so frustrating that no one had any clue what was going on . Haunted house?
I was forced to move out of the lease & find another place. I ended up living in another house (1,900/mo) that had severe zapping issues (the floors were made out of cheap laminate & they wouldn't let you ground), so every time I touch a door knob or kitchen appliances or doors or windows, I would get zapped like crazy. I also would hear loud banging from pipes when I took a shower & once every two weeks I would hear loud banging from the roof/siding of the house. But at least the structural noise of this house wasn't constant, like the other property. But a few months to my lease, I discovered that the house is foreclosed and the owner has no intention to fix anything, so I moved to another single family home in a very nice area & gated community (paying $2,300/mo).
Oh boy, renting this new place was probably one of the biggest mistakes I have ever made. I moved there around December last year & the first night I slept there I realized that I have made a giant mistake. There were LOUD snaps/pops once every 30 min all over the house, I mean snaps as loud as gut shots that could be heard overheard all over the house, even in the closet or bathroom, day & night. It wouldn't go away. When the heater ran, the snaps & knocks would become so loud, as if wood is splitting in half on top of your head. No amount of white noise or ear plug could block that noise. I work from home & my clients could hear the loud snaps over the phone & often asked me what is that loud noise in the background and if someone is shooting.
Because I had moved twice in less than 3 month I ended up putting up with it & staying there for 7 month, I have a background in structural/civil engineering, so I thought I could bring inspectors & could figure out a way to minimize the constant loud popping & snapping noises. I talked to PM & they send people who had no idea what was going on, charging the owner thousands of dollars in roof & pest control. I paid out of pocket myself, bringing contractors to screw the ceiling drywall, in case the nails holding the ceiling boards were moving in & out of 2x4s. We tried re-screwing the ceiling in one room & to my surprise it made the popping noises a lot worse & even more often. By then I knew the property has serious foundation & possibly truss uplift issue. I even got covid during this whole mess around January & not sleeping, constant stress & loud noises made my illness prolong for 4 months Dry coughs, severe diarrhea, shortness if breathe, severe joint & muscle pain & high fever. At that time I was so devastated & all I wanted was to sleep & I couldn't I couldn't even go rent a hotel room for a few days, since around March the Gov had shut everything down, so I was stuck inside a big house that I couldn't sleep in any of the rooms.
Eventually when I recovered from covid, I thought I've had enough of homes with severe structural/roof issues & it's time to go back to condo/apartment living. At least, they wouldn't have serious foundation/roof issues, right? I moved to this condo a few months ago & of course it's another wood-structure multi-family home made with flimsy roof & floors. What I didn't know about this building is the fact that there is absolutely NO insulation in between the units, over the floor & walls that I share with other neighbors, NON, whatsoever, so I could hear normal conversation, dogs barking, constant door slamming, banging noises from other units. Also because of covid, some neighbors work from home, sometimes repairing heavy machinery & auto parts! Imagine , only sharing a thin plywood with the unit underneath and the loud obnoxious neighbor next door! Another issue with this condo is the shaky floor, when I walk around my unit or neighbors walk around their own unit, my floor shakes violently & ends up shaking my heavy coach as well as the bed. If I'm sleep & the noise doesn't wake me up right away, the shaking of the floor definitely would. I never thought I could hear this much from units downstairs or on the side, because I had lived in other apartments before, and I had never experienced this level of noise traveling up from downstairs neighbors or the hellish neighbors on the side.
My neighbor on the side works night-shift, I hear her coming home, all odd hours (like 1am or 4am, every day- it's Vegas so people work odd hours at the casino), I hear everything, when she is taking a shower, slamming the hell out of her bathroom door, her dogs barking, walking around her unit, I've tried to reason with them & talk to them to at least not slam doors 10 times an hour day & night, but had no luck. Unreasonable people can't be reasoned with. As a matter of fact, I think they are doubling down on their door slamming & banging noises. My neighbor downstairs also has a habit of slamming every door & drawer & leaves the house at 7 am (every morning) & my floor shakes violently every time she goes in & out of her building, which is 5 or 6 times a day
I have moved 4 times, in less than a year. I lived in single family homes as well as condos that were uninhabitable, because of poor construction & use of cheap plywood, if these structures were built with concrete/brick, none of these issues would have happened. Trust me, I have lived in many concrete/brick structures before, my first apartment in Seattle was an old building made out of brick & you still may hear loud trucks or bikes, but there is no way you would hear your neighbors talking in normal voice, taking a shower, wiping their ass, or closing their door.
This is so depressing that we pay so much in mortgages or rent in America, yet we have to live in such horrible living spaces that are uninhabitable. American houses often have the appearance of having brick walls, however these are just stuck onto the outside of the plywood walls giving a false sense of quality and strength. I understand that using flimsy wood is much cheaper than using stone, brick or concrete, but this is not really evidenced by the prices of houses. Even multi-million dollar new houses in the States are being built from the same cheap plywood, poor insulation, shabby roofing material as cheaper houses. The fact that walls are paper thin and conversations can be heard a room away is nothing strange in American houses. I'm not even gonna mention horrible loud structural problems/noises that no one has any clue how to fix (god help you if something goes wrong inside the attic), rotting walls, water getting into insulation, pest issues, termite damage or leaking roofs.
You will be surprised that the average material cost (cost of wood chip) for a cheap flimsy American home is around $5,000, but since we live in a mafia state, by the time the city, the contractors, & the utility companies are all done with you, you will end up paying hundreds of thousands of dollars, in some case millions of dollars for a home that's gonna end up having too many problems, in just 10 years or less.
Sorry for the long rant, i know this has been a tough year for many with people dying alone of covid, but I'm penniless, sleepless, stressed & exhausted & I can't bare the idea that I have to move again soon , to another wood chip rental, I wonder what kind of a horror is gonna be waiting for me there? costing me thousands of dollars in rent & moving cost.
https://preview.redd.it/rc86r7limv261.jpg?width=1200&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=b478a0688a4f977178bccabf38ad3e787839b5aa
submitted by CoolBernie2020 to Home [link] [comments]

Would it be better to purchased an updated house or fixer upper for a starter home?

I’m based in california and most starters out here are around 250-300k. I am an experienced painter(mostly commercial casino but I can paint a house) I specialized in Faux Finish & Venetian Plastering.
Although I feel as though VP would be polishing a turd and not worth the effort, would purchasing a home that has hideous wallpaper, carpet everywhere etc be a better choice for future profit versus buying a remodeled home by a flipper for slightly more? I did carpentry for a short while, am an experienced painter and could do most renovations myself outside of plumbing and electrical work.
I’m just not sure if it’s worth the effort and money to do it myself.
submitted by CutieWithaBoooty to HomeImprovement [link] [comments]

What It’s Like To Not Have Running Water During A Pandemic: Thwarting the coronavirus means washing hands and staying hydrated. That’s not easy for the 2 million Americans still without plumbing in 2020.

What It’s Like To Not Have Running Water During A Pandemic: Thwarting the coronavirus means washing hands and staying hydrated. That’s not easy for the 2 million Americans still without plumbing in 2020. submitted by maxwellhill to environment [link] [comments]

Poor Quality of American Homes

Poor Quality of American Homes
Before I start, I wanted to say that I've lived in many different countries (brick/concrete buildings) & I never experienced so many problems as I have with US homes. The use of cheap plywood and wood chip, poor or no insulation, flimsy siding and roofing that either blows off in high winds or just rots away after a few year, in addition to high prices have made life a living miserable hell for the average American.
I've lived in US for the past 20 years, mainly in the west coast. I owned a nice peaceful house in Seattle area back in the 90s, things were not this expensive & I had a great mortgage rate until the collapse of housing market happened in 2008, and my mortgage rate went up from 3.25% to 6%, although I paid my mortgage onetime & didn't do anything wrong. Around the same time, my utilities, and taxes went up drastically. The house was built in the 80s and the constant rain & termite damage & carpenter ants had made the wood rot underneath the house, not to mention the leaky roof & many other issues with plumbing, mainly to do with wood-structured houses.
Long story short, my house was peaceful, but because of high taxation, crime, constant rain & cold, & other problems like high utility & mortgage rate, I made a decision to sell the house and move to California.
I rented a two bedroom luxury apartment unit in Orange County around 2015 for $2500/months, but everyday there was an issue with the management, constant noise of performance cars revving their engine, garbage trucks, leaf blowers & landscapers, you name it ....
After a year, I finally got sick & tired of high rent & high taxation in Cali & moved to Nevada, Las Vegas. The apartment I moved in was ok for a few months until a loud motorcyclist moved next door to me. The guy worked all odd hours and he used to love revving his bike at nights, like 12 am, 3 am, 5 am, multiple times, when he commuted back & forth to work every day ... Calling the police, talking to Management or leaving nice notes on his bike, none of them worked, until I was forced to move out.
Everybody said rent a house, apartments are crap. oh how little I knew
So I ended up renting a home (paying $2100) to have more privacy & peace of mind. The house was fine for a few years (except the loud neighbors kids screaming & swearing, dogs barking all day & night, neighbors doing landscaping at 8am Sunday morning, etc etc), but I still put up with it, at least I had few hours of quiet at nights & I used white noise machine to drown out some of the noise. Until one day, out of the blue, the house started making weird noises, mainly coming from the ceiling/attic. It started with one loud knock/snap every morning at 8:30 am, and over a week period, the knocks went from one loud one to 20 knocks a day. Within a month, things became so bad that every time the sun would come up or go down, the roof would pop like 200 times. At nights, I would hear a lot of loud banging/popping noises coming from chimney and the attic. I let the landlord know right away (which they didn't believe me at first), I even paid for pest control (we thought it maybe rats or some other animal in the attic), which no trace of any animal was found in the attic. We brought roofers, inspectors, you name it, no one had any clue what was going on. Things got so bad that I couldn't sleep more than couple of hours every night, waking up with a very loud knock or bang, sometimes every 30 min. I lived in that house for 3.5 years, and didn't hear a beep from the structure of the place, so I have no clue how a building that quiet could go suddenly crazy & it was so frustrating that no one had any clue what was going on . Haunted house?
I was forced to move out of the lease & find another place. I ended up living in another house (1,900/mo) that had severe zapping issues (the floors were made out of cheap laminate & they wouldn't let you ground), so every time I touch a door knob or kitchen appliances or doors or windows, I would get zapped like crazy. I also would hear loud banging from pipes when I took a shower & once every two weeks I would hear loud banging from the roof/siding of the house. But at least the structural noise of this house wasn't constant, like the other property. But a few months to my lease, I discovered that the house is foreclosed and the owner has no intention to fix anything, so I moved to another single family home in a very nice area & gated community (paying $2,300/mo).
Oh boy, renting this new place was probably one of the biggest mistakes I have ever made. I moved there around December last year & the first night I slept there I realized that I have made a giant mistake. There were LOUD snaps/pops once every 30 min all over the house, I mean snaps as loud as gut shots that could be heard overheard all over the house, even in the closet or bathroom, day & night. It wouldn't go away. When the heater ran, the snaps & knocks would become so loud, as if wood is splitting in half on top of your head. No amount of white noise or ear plug could block that noise. I work from home & my clients could hear the loud snaps over the phone & often asked me what is that loud noise in the background and if someone is shooting.
Because I had moved twice in less than 3 month I ended up putting up with it & staying there for 7 month, I have a background in structural/civil engineering, so I thought I could bring inspectors & could figure out a way to minimize the constant loud popping & snapping noises. I talked to PM & they send people who had no idea what was going on, charging the owner thousands of dollars in roof & pest control. I paid out of pocket myself, bringing contractors to screw the ceiling drywall, in case the nails holding the ceiling boards were moving in & out of 2x4s. We tried re-screwing the ceiling in one room & to my surprise it made the popping noises a lot worse & even more often. By then I knew the property has serious foundation & possibly truss uplift issue. I even got covid during this whole mess around January & not sleeping, constant stress & loud noises made my illness prolong for 4 months Dry coughs, severe diarrhea, shortness if breathe, severe joint & muscle pain & high fever. At that time I was so devastated & all I wanted was to sleep & I couldn't I couldn't even go rent a hotel room for a few days, since around March the Gov had shut everything down, so I was stuck inside a big house that I couldn't sleep in any of the rooms.
Eventually when I recovered from covid, I thought I've had enough of homes with severe structural/roof issues & it's time to go back to condo/apartment living. At least, they wouldn't have serious foundation/roof issues, right? I moved to this condo a few months ago & of course it's another wood-structure multi-family home made with flimsy roof & floors. What I didn't know about this building is the fact that there is absolutely NO insulation in between the units, over the floor & walls that I share with other neighbors, NON, whatsoever, so I could hear normal conversation, dogs barking, constant door slamming, banging noises from other units. Also because of covid, some neighbors work from home, sometimes repairing heavy machinery & auto parts! Imagine , only sharing a thin plywood with the unit underneath and the loud obnoxious neighbor next door! Another issue with this condo is the shaky floor, when I walk around my unit or neighbors walk around their own unit, my floor shakes violently & ends up shaking my heavy coach as well as the bed. If I'm sleep & the noise doesn't wake me up right away, the shaking of the floor definitely would. I never thought I could hear this much from units downstairs or on the side, because I had lived in other apartments before, and I had never experienced this level of noise traveling up from downstairs neighbors or the hellish neighbors on the side.
My neighbor on the side works night-shift, I hear her coming home, all odd hours (like 1am or 4am, every day- it's Vegas so people work odd hours at the casino), I hear everything, when she is taking a shower, slamming the hell out of her bathroom door, her dogs barking, walking around her unit, I've tried to reason with them & talk to them to at least not slam doors 10 times an hour day & night, but had no luck. Unreasonable people can't be reasoned with. As a matter of fact, I think they are doubling down on their door slamming & banging noises. My neighbor downstairs also has a habit of slamming every door & drawer & leaves the house at 7 am (every morning) & my floor shakes violently every time she goes in & out of her building, which is 5 or 6 times a day
I have moved 4 times, in less than a year. I lived in single family homes as well as condos that were uninhabitable, because of poor construction & use of cheap plywood, if these structures were built with concrete/brick, none of these issues would have happened. Trust me, I have lived in many concrete/brick structures before, my first apartment in Seattle was an old building made out of brick & you still may hear loud trucks or bikes, but there is no way you would hear your neighbors talking in normal voice, taking a shower, wiping their ass, or closing their door.
This is so depressing that we pay so much in mortgages or rent in America, yet we have to live in such horrible living spaces that are uninhabitable. American houses often have the appearance of having brick walls, however these are just stuck onto the outside of the plywood walls giving a false sense of quality and strength. I understand that using flimsy wood is much cheaper than using stone, brick or concrete, but this is not really evidenced by the prices of houses. Even multi-million dollar new houses in the States are being built from the same cheap plywood, poor insulation, shabby roofing material as cheaper houses. The fact that walls are paper thin and conversations can be heard a room away is nothing strange in American houses. I'm not even gonna mention horrible loud structural problems/noises that no one has any clue how to fix (god help you if something goes wrong inside the attic), rotting walls, water getting into insulation, pest issues, termite damage or leaking roofs.
You will be surprised that the average material cost (cost of wood chip) for a cheap flimsy American home is around $5,000, but since we live in a mafia state, by the time the city, the contractors, & the utility companies are all done with you, you will end up paying hundreds of thousands of dollars, in some case millions of dollars for a home that's gonna end up having too many problems, in just 10 years or less.
Sorry for the long rant, i know this has been a tough year for many with people dying alone of covid, but I'm penniless, sleepless, stressed & exhausted & I can't bare the idea that I have to move again soon , to another wood chip rental, I wonder what kind of a horror is gonna be waiting for me there? costing me thousands of dollars in rent & moving cost.
📷
https://preview.redd.it/w0o83sb21w261.jpg?width=1200&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=0254055ceda9d51434d3b20ad1ed1df96fff2c0b
submitted by CoolBernie2020 to Construction [link] [comments]

The Cheap Quality of American Homes

Before I start, I wanted to say that I've lived in many different countries (brick/concrete buildings) & I never experienced so many problems as I have with US homes. The use of cheap plywood and wood chip, poor or no insulation, flimsy siding and roofing that either blows off in high winds or just rots away after a few year, in addition to high prices have made life a living miserable hell for the average American.
I've lived in US for the past 20 years, mainly in the west coast. I owned a nice peaceful house in Seattle area back in the 90s, things were not this expensive & I had a great mortgage rate until the collapse of housing market happened in 2008, and my mortgage rate went up from 3.25% to 6%, although I paid my mortgage onetime & didn't do anything wrong. Around the same time, my utilities, and taxes went up drastically. The house was built in the 80s and the constant rain & termite damage & carpenter ants had made the wood rot underneath the house, not to mention the leaky roof & many other issues with plumbing, mainly to do with wood-structured houses.
Long story short, my house was peaceful, but because of high taxation, crime, constant rain & cold, & other problems like high utility & mortgage rate, I made a decision to sell the house and move to California.
I rented a two bedroom luxury apartment unit in Orange County around 2015 for $2500/months, but everyday there was an issue with the management, constant noise of performance cars revving their engine, garbage trucks, leaf blowers & landscapers, you name it ....
After a year, I finally got sick & tired of high rent & high taxation in Cali & moved to Nevada, Las Vegas. The apartment I moved in was ok for a few months until a loud motorcyclist moved next door to me. The guy worked all odd hours and he used to love revving his bike at nights, like 12 am, 3 am, 5 am, multiple times, when he commuted back & forth to work every day ... Calling the police, talking to Management or leaving nice notes on his bike, none of them worked, until I was forced to move out.
Everybody said rent a house, apartments are crap. oh how little I knew
So I ended up renting a home (paying $2100) to have more privacy & peace of mind. The house was fine for a few years (except the loud neighbors kids screaming & swearing, dogs barking all day & night, neighbors doing landscaping at 8am Sunday morning, etc etc), but I still put up with it, at least I had few hours of quiet at nights & I used white noise machine to drown out some of the noise. Until one day, out of the blue, the house started making weird noises, mainly coming from the ceiling/attic. It started with one loud knock/snap every morning at 8:30 am, and over a week period, the knocks went from one loud one to 20 knocks a day. Within a month, things became so bad that every time the sun would come up or go down, the roof would pop like 200 times. At nights, I would hear a lot of loud banging/popping noises coming from chimney and the attic. I let the landlord know right away (which they didn't believe me at first), I even paid for pest control (we thought it maybe rats or some other animal in the attic), which no trace of any animal was found in the attic. We brought roofers, inspectors, you name it, no one had any clue what was going on. Things got so bad that I couldn't sleep more than couple of hours every night, waking up with a very loud knock or bang, sometimes every 30 min. I lived in that house for 3.5 years, and didn't hear a beep from the structure of the place, so I have no clue how a building that quiet could go suddenly crazy & it was so frustrating that no one had any clue what was going on . Haunted house?
I was forced to move out of the lease & find another place. I ended up living in another house (1,900/mo) that had severe zapping issues (the floors were made out of cheap laminate & they wouldn't let you ground), so every time I touch a door knob or kitchen appliances or doors or windows, I would get zapped like crazy. I also would hear loud banging from pipes when I took a shower & once every two weeks I would hear loud banging from the roof/siding of the house. But at least the structural noise of this house wasn't constant, like the other property. But a few months to my lease, I discovered that the house is foreclosed and the owner has no intention to fix anything, so I moved to another single family home in a very nice area & gated community (paying $2,300/mo).
Oh boy, renting this new place was probably one of the biggest mistakes I have ever made. I moved there around December last year & the first night I slept there I realized that I have made a giant mistake. There were LOUD snaps/pops once every 30 min all over the house, I mean snaps as loud as gut shots that could be heard overheard all over the house, even in the closet or bathroom, day & night. It wouldn't go away. When the heater ran, the snaps & knocks would become so loud, as if wood is splitting in half on top of your head. No amount of white noise or ear plug could block that noise. I work from home & my clients could hear the loud snaps over the phone & often asked me what is that loud noise in the background and if someone is shooting.
Because I had moved twice in less than 3 month I ended up putting up with it & staying there for 7 month, I have a background in structural/civil engineering, so I thought I could bring inspectors & could figure out a way to minimize the constant loud popping & snapping noises. I talked to PM & they send people who had no idea what was going on, charging the owner thousands of dollars in roof & pest control. I paid out of pocket myself, bringing contractors to screw the ceiling drywall, in case the nails holding the ceiling boards were moving in & out of 2x4s. We tried re-screwing the ceiling in one room & to my surprise it made the popping noises a lot worse & even more often. By then I knew the property has serious foundation & possibly truss uplift issue. I even got covid during this whole mess around January & not sleeping, constant stress & loud noises made my illness prolong for 4 months Dry coughs, severe diarrhea, shortness if breathe, severe joint & muscle pain & high fever. At that time I was so devastated & all I wanted was to sleep & I couldn't I couldn't even go rent a hotel room for a few days, since around March the Gov had shut everything down, so I was stuck inside a big house that I couldn't sleep in any of the rooms.
Eventually when I recovered from covid, I thought I've had enough of homes with severe structural/roof issues & it's time to go back to condo/apartment living. At least, they wouldn't have serious foundation/roof issues, right? I moved to this condo a few months ago & of course it's another wood-structure multi-family home made with flimsy roof & floors. What I didn't know about this building is the fact that there is absolutely NO insulation in between the units, over the floor & walls that I share with other neighbors, NON, whatsoever, so I could hear normal conversation, dogs barking, constant door slamming, banging noises from other units. Also because of covid, some neighbors work from home, sometimes repairing heavy machinery & auto parts! Imagine , only sharing a thin plywood with the unit underneath and the loud obnoxious neighbor next door! Another issue with this condo is the shaky floor, when I walk around my unit or neighbors walk around their own unit, my floor shakes violently & ends up shaking my heavy coach as well as the bed. If I'm sleep & the noise doesn't wake me up right away, the shaking of the floor definitely would. I never thought I could hear this much from units downstairs or on the side, because I had lived in other apartments before, and I had never experienced this level of noise traveling up from downstairs neighbors or the hellish neighbors on the side.
My neighbor on the side works night-shift, I hear her coming home, all odd hours (like 1am or 4am, every day- it's Vegas so people work odd hours at the casino), I hear everything, when she is taking a shower, slamming the hell out of her bathroom door, her dogs barking, walking around her unit, I've tried to reason with them & talk to them to at least not slam doors 10 times an hour day & night, but had no luck. Unreasonable people can't be reasoned with. As a matter of fact, I think they are doubling down on their door slamming & banging noises. My neighbor downstairs also has a habit of slamming every door & drawer & leaves the house at 7 am (every morning) & my floor shakes violently every time she goes in & out of her building, which is 5 or 6 times a day
I have moved 4 times, in less than a year. I lived in single family homes as well as condos that were uninhabitable, because of poor construction & use of cheap plywood, if these structures were built with concrete/brick, none of these issues would have happened. Trust me, I have lived in many concrete/brick structures before, my first apartment in Seattle was an old building made out of brick & you still may hear loud trucks or bikes, but there is no way you would hear your neighbors talking in normal voice, taking a shower, wiping their ass, or closing their door.
This is so depressing that we pay so much in mortgages or rent in America, yet we have to live in such horrible living spaces that are uninhabitable. American houses often have the appearance of having brick walls, however these are just stuck onto the outside of the plywood walls giving a false sense of quality and strength. I understand that using flimsy wood is much cheaper than using stone, brick or concrete, but this is not really evidenced by the prices of houses. Even multi-million dollar new houses in the States are being built from the same cheap plywood, poor insulation, shabby roofing material as cheaper houses. The fact that walls are paper thin and conversations can be heard a room away is nothing strange in American houses. I'm not even gonna mention horrible loud structural problems/noises that no one has any clue how to fix (god help you if something goes wrong inside the attic), rotting walls, water getting into insulation, pest issues, termite damage or leaking roofs.
You will be surprised that the average material cost (cost of wood chip) for a cheap flimsy American home is around $5,000, but since we live in a mafia state, by the time the city, the contractors, & the utility companies are all done with you, you will end up paying hundreds of thousands of dollars, in some case millions of dollars for a home that's gonna end up having too many problems, in just 10 years or less.
Sorry for the long rant, i know this has been a tough year for many with people dying alone of covid, but I'm penniless, sleepless, stressed & exhausted & I can't bare the idea that I have to move again soon , to another wood chip rental, I wonder what kind of a horror is gonna be waiting for me there? costing me thousands of dollars in rent & moving cost.
> I have a masters degree in civil/construction engineering. I used to do cost analysis for different projects & I know the material cost, for just the framing of a house (the cost of timber & plywood) is around $5,000, I have worked with many reputable construction companies all over the NW. All of them used the same cheap crappy plywood, even for the construction of multi-million dollar homes.
> I have owned & rented many homes/condos, town homes/apartments all over US (mainly in NW), new & old. I understand there are individuals who have ulterior motives & are doubling their already doubled profit by enriching themselves off of consumers. But these of the realities of wood-frame residential buildings: the use of weak beams, cheap plywood, poor insulation, flimsy siding and roofing that either blows off in high winds or just rots away after a few year, termite damage, carpenter ants that chew and push out wood by finding crawl spaces underneath your house & you wouldn't even know until half of the house is gone, high expenses regarding pest control (over the years, I've spent at least 20K regarding pest control - rats, squirrels or ants, that will chew the wood & will find a way to get inside your attic/basement again & again) ... Rotting walls, water getting into insulation, moisture damage & mold, termites, leaking roofs, etc, etc. Houses built of plywood and low quality beams will not last all that long. Using staple guns to hold plywood to beams that ends up shabby. Contractors using the cheapest materials to throw up buildings as soon as they can in order to maximize profits. For some reason this shabby building tradition has become the norm in US. Simply using concrete, brick or stone will prevent all these issues related to wood.
> If the price of these flimsy wood-frame buildings were as cheap as the cost of its materials, it wouldn't be that big of a deal. At least, it's not costing consumers an arm & leg. The argument I've heard over & over is that we can't afford to build homes made of concrete or brick in US, but this is a gross lie. Even multi-million dollar homes are built with the same material as the cheap ones & how come other countries can afford to build homes made of concrete & still make money? There are so many newer technologies like building homes with precast concrete, so cost effective because they are modular homes (many parts can be per-manufactured) & are a LOT MORE cost effective & durable
> Loud popping/snapping noises in wood structured homes are a recent phenomenon, which I believe has occurred as a result of rapid changes in the climate. Super dry or humid & hot summers depending on which side of the country you live in, long cold winters, constant rain, moisture & high winds are taking their toll on wood-frame buildings. Three out of the three recent homes I lived in had severe issues to do with constant loud snapping/popping noises coming from the structure of the house, mainly from ceiling joists as well as walls. Never experienced this issue ever before & here is a video that even new constructions are not immune to this disease
Buyers be aware, there is no way to know that a property has this particular issue until you spend a week sleeping & living at the property. I know homes with this problem that were sold & the problem was concealed & the inspector never found anything wrong, because the issue is hidden from naked eyes, check out truss uplift & the effect of rapid changes in the climate on wood-frame buildings. I believe more & more buildings are gonna end up having this issue in the near future. This issue is NOT related to normal expansion/contraction of the wood, these noises are not normal home noises, they are as loud as gunshots, happen all the time, & no one can even figure out what is going on. The building you buy might not have this issue right away, but there is no guarantee that within a few years, you will not end up with this nightmare.
> I have lived in homes as old as 300 yrs old, in Germany & UK, built from brick/store & I tell you they are as solid as a rock. They are warm & cozy during winter & cool & pleasant during summer. As far as sound insulation goes, concrete, brick & stone have high mass density, and they muffle & dampen sound quite a bit, whereas wood echos the sound by reverberating it & transmitting it all over. In fact, stealth plans are mainly made of wood, in order to reduce reflection/emission of radar, so they CANNOT be detected, where as signals would bounce off other solid materials. Knock on a wall made of wood & see how it feels hollow & void, whereas concrete or brick will dampen the echo quite a lot. If you punch a concrete wall, you will end up breaking your hand, where as you can easily punch a hole in a plywood wall & if you live in a multi-family home, you may end up in your neighbors unit.
Many US houses or buildings will not be around, let's say 500 years from now, as a result of a wasteful consumerism system & a mindset of bulldozing the old & buying something new, even if it's cheaper quality. All great civilizations have left structures for us to admire: Rome, Egypt, Greece, Byzantium, Incas, Aztecs etc. Unfortunately, it doesn't seem likely that American civilization will leave any impressive physical structures behind.
submitted by Bernice2020 to offmychest [link] [comments]

The Cheap Quality of American Homes

Before I start, I wanted to say that I've lived in many different countries (brick/concrete buildings) & I never experienced so many problems as I have with US homes. The use of cheap plywood and wood chip, poor or no insulation, flimsy siding and roofing that either blows off in high winds or just rots away after a few year, in addition to high prices have made life a living miserable hell for the average American.
I've lived in US for the past 20 years, mainly in the west coast. I owned a nice peaceful house in Seattle area back in the 90s, things were not this expensive & I had a great mortgage rate until the collapse of housing market happened in 2008, and my mortgage rate went up from 3.25% to 6%, although I paid my mortgage onetime & didn't do anything wrong. Around the same time, my utilities, and taxes went up drastically. The house was built in the 80s and the constant rain & termite damage & carpenter ants had made the wood rot underneath the house, not to mention the leaky roof & many other issues with plumbing, mainly to do with wood-structured houses.
Long story short, my house was peaceful, but because of high taxation, crime, constant rain & cold, & other problems like high utility & mortgage rate, I made a decision to sell the house and move to California.
I rented a two bedroom luxury apartment unit in Orange County around 2015 for $2500/months, but everyday there was an issue with the management, constant noise of performance cars revving their engine, garbage trucks, leaf blowers & landscapers, you name it ....
After a year, I finally got sick & tired of high rent & high taxation in Cali & moved to Nevada, Las Vegas. The apartment I moved in was ok for a few months until a loud motorcyclist moved next door to me. The guy worked all odd hours and he used to love revving his bike at nights, like 12 am, 3 am, 5 am, multiple times, when he commuted back & forth to work every day ... Calling the police, talking to Management or leaving nice notes on his bike, none of them worked, until I was forced to move out.
Everybody said rent a house, apartments are crap. oh how little I knew
So I ended up renting a home (paying $2100) to have more privacy & peace of mind. The house was fine for a few years (except the loud neighbors kids screaming & swearing, dogs barking all day & night, neighbors doing landscaping at 8am Sunday morning, etc etc), but I still put up with it, at least I had few hours of quiet at nights & I used white noise machine to drown out some of the noise. Until one day, out of the blue, the house started making weird noises, mainly coming from the ceiling/attic. It started with one loud knock/snap every morning at 8:30 am, and over a week period, the knocks went from one loud one to 20 knocks a day. Within a month, things became so bad that every time the sun would come up or go down, the roof would pop like 200 times. At nights, I would hear a lot of loud banging/popping noises coming from chimney and the attic. I let the landlord know right away (which they didn't believe me at first), I even paid for pest control (we thought it maybe rats or some other animal in the attic), which no trace of any animal was found in the attic. We brought roofers, inspectors, you name it, no one had any clue what was going on. Things got so bad that I couldn't sleep more than couple of hours every night, waking up with a very loud knock or bang, sometimes every 30 min. I lived in that house for 3.5 years, and didn't hear a beep from the structure of the place, so I have no clue how a building that quiet could go suddenly crazy & it was so frustrating that no one had any clue what was going on . Haunted house?
I was forced to move out of the lease & find another place. I ended up living in another house (1,900/mo) that had severe zapping issues (the floors were made out of cheap laminate & they wouldn't let you ground), so every time I touch a door knob or kitchen appliances or doors or windows, I would get zapped like crazy. I also would hear loud banging from pipes when I took a shower & once every two weeks I would hear loud banging from the roof/siding of the house. But at least the structural noise of this house wasn't constant, like the other property. But a few months to my lease, I discovered that the house is foreclosed and the owner has no intention to fix anything, so I moved to another single family home in a very nice area & gated community (paying $2,300/mo).
Oh boy, renting this new place was probably one of the biggest mistakes I have ever made. I moved there around December last year & the first night I slept there I realized that I have made a giant mistake. There were LOUD snaps/pops once every 30 min all over the house, I mean snaps as loud as gut shots that could be heard overheard all over the house, even in the closet or bathroom, day & night. It wouldn't go away. When the heater ran, the snaps & knocks would become so loud, as if wood is splitting in half on top of your head. No amount of white noise or ear plug could block that noise. I work from home & my clients could hear the loud snaps over the phone & often asked me what is that loud noise in the background and if someone is shooting.
Because I had moved twice in less than 3 month I ended up putting up with it & staying there for 7 month, I have a background in structural/civil engineering, so I thought I could bring inspectors & could figure out a way to minimize the constant loud popping & snapping noises. I talked to PM & they send people who had no idea what was going on, charging the owner thousands of dollars in roof & pest control. I paid out of pocket myself, bringing contractors to screw the ceiling drywall, in case the nails holding the ceiling boards were moving in & out of 2x4s. We tried re-screwing the ceiling in one room & to my surprise it made the popping noises a lot worse & even more often. By then I knew the property has serious foundation & possibly truss uplift issue. I even got covid during this whole mess around January & not sleeping, constant stress & loud noises made my illness prolong for 4 months Dry coughs, severe diarrhea, shortness if breathe, severe joint & muscle pain & high fever. At that time I was so devastated & all I wanted was to sleep & I couldn't I couldn't even go rent a hotel room for a few days, since around March the Gov had shut everything down, so I was stuck inside a big house that I couldn't sleep in any of the rooms.
Eventually when I recovered from covid, I thought I've had enough of homes with severe structural/roof issues & it's time to go back to condo/apartment living. At least, they wouldn't have serious foundation/roof issues, right? I moved to this condo a few months ago & of course it's another wood-structure multi-family home made with flimsy roof & floors. What I didn't know about this building is the fact that there is absolutely NO insulation in between the units, over the floor & walls that I share with other neighbors, NON, whatsoever, so I could hear normal conversation, dogs barking, constant door slamming, banging noises from other units. Also because of covid, some neighbors work from home, sometimes repairing heavy machinery & auto parts! Imagine , only sharing a thin plywood with the unit underneath and the loud obnoxious neighbor next door! Another issue with this condo is the shaky floor, when I walk around my unit or neighbors walk around their own unit, my floor shakes violently & ends up shaking my heavy coach as well as the bed. If I'm sleep & the noise doesn't wake me up right away, the shaking of the floor definitely would. I never thought I could hear this much from units downstairs or on the side, because I had lived in other apartments before, and I had never experienced this level of noise traveling up from downstairs neighbors or the hellish neighbors on the side.
My neighbor on the side works night-shift, I hear her coming home, all odd hours (like 1am or 4am, every day- it's Vegas so people work odd hours at the casino), I hear everything, when she is taking a shower, slamming the hell out of her bathroom door, her dogs barking, walking around her unit, I've tried to reason with them & talk to them to at least not slam doors 10 times an hour day & night, but had no luck. Unreasonable people can't be reasoned with. As a matter of fact, I think they are doubling down on their door slamming & banging noises. My neighbor downstairs also has a habit of slamming every door & drawer & leaves the house at 7 am (every morning) & my floor shakes violently every time she goes in & out of her building, which is 5 or 6 times a day
I have moved 4 times, in less than a year. I lived in single family homes as well as condos that were uninhabitable, because of poor construction & use of cheap plywood, if these structures were built with concrete/brick, none of these issues would have happened. Trust me, I have lived in many concrete/brick structures before, my first apartment in Seattle was an old building made out of brick & you still may hear loud trucks or bikes, but there is no way you would hear your neighbors talking in normal voice, taking a shower, wiping their ass, or closing their door.
This is so depressing that we pay so much in mortgages or rent in America, yet we have to live in such horrible living spaces that are uninhabitable. American houses often have the appearance of having brick walls, however these are just stuck onto the outside of the plywood walls giving a false sense of quality and strength. I understand that using flimsy wood is much cheaper than using stone, brick or concrete, but this is not really evidenced by the prices of houses. Even multi-million dollar new houses in the States are being built from the same cheap plywood, poor insulation, shabby roofing material as cheaper houses. The fact that walls are paper thin and conversations can be heard a room away is nothing strange in American houses. I'm not even gonna mention horrible loud structural problems/noises that no one has any clue how to fix (god help you if something goes wrong inside the attic), rotting walls, water getting into insulation, pest issues, termite damage or leaking roofs.
You will be surprised that the average material cost (cost of wood chip) for a cheap flimsy American home is around $5,000, but since we live in a mafia state, by the time the city, the contractors, & the utility companies are all done with you, you will end up paying hundreds of thousands of dollars, in some case millions of dollars for a home that's gonna end up having too many problems, in just 10 years or less.
Sorry for the long rant, i know this has been a tough year for many with people dying alone of covid, but I'm penniless, sleepless, stressed & exhausted & I can't bare the idea that I have to move again soon , to another wood chip rental, I wonder what kind of a horror is gonna be waiting for me there? costing me thousands of dollars in rent & moving cost.
> I have a masters degree in civil/construction engineering. I used to do cost analysis for different projects & I know the material cost, for just the framing of a house (the cost of timber & plywood) is around $5,000, I have worked with many reputable construction companies all over the NW. All of them used the same cheap crappy plywood, even for the construction of multi-million dollar homes.
> I have owned & rented many homes/condos, town homes/apartments all over US (mainly in NW), new & old. I understand there are individuals who have ulterior motives & are doubling their already doubled profit by enriching themselves off of consumers. But these of the realities of wood-frame residential buildings: the use of weak beams, cheap plywood, poor insulation, flimsy siding and roofing that either blows off in high winds or just rots away after a few year, termite damage, carpenter ants that chew and push out wood by finding crawl spaces underneath your house & you wouldn't even know until half of the house is gone, high expenses regarding pest control (over the years, I've spent at least 20K regarding pest control - rats, squirrels or ants, that will chew the wood & will find a way to get inside your attic/basement again & again) ... Rotting walls, water getting into insulation, moisture damage & mold, termites, leaking roofs, etc, etc. Houses built of plywood and low quality beams will not last all that long. Using staple guns to hold plywood to beams that ends up shabby. Contractors using the cheapest materials to throw up buildings as soon as they can in order to maximize profits. For some reason this shabby building tradition has become the norm in US. Simply using concrete, brick or stone will prevent all these issues related to wood.
> If the price of these flimsy wood-frame buildings were as cheap as the cost of its materials, it wouldn't be that big of a deal. At least, it's not costing consumers an arm & leg. The argument I've heard over & over is that we can't afford to build homes made of concrete or brick in US, but this is a gross lie. Even multi-million dollar homes are built with the same material as the cheap ones & how come other countries can afford to build homes made of concrete & still make money? There are so many newer technologies like building homes with precast concrete, so cost effective because they are modular homes (many parts can be per-manufactured) & are a LOT MORE cost effective & durable: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KZxskJojRLY
> Loud popping/snapping noises in wood structured homes are a recent phenomenon, which I believe has occurred as a result of rapid changes in the climate. Super dry or humid & hot summers depending on which side of the country you live in, long cold winters, constant rain, moisture & high winds are taking their toll on wood-frame buildings. Three out of the three recent homes I lived in had severe issues to do with constant loud snapping/popping noises coming from the structure of the house, mainly from ceiling joists as well as walls. Never experienced this issue ever before & here is a video that even new constructions are not immune to this disease: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c07aIV-ddR0
Buyers be aware, there is no way to know that a property has this particular issue until you spend a week sleeping & living at the property. I know homes with this problem that were sold & the problem was concealed & the inspector never found anything wrong, because the issue is hidden from naked eyes, check out truss uplift & the effect of rapid changes in the climate on wood-frame buildings. I believe more & more buildings are gonna end up having this issue in the near future. This issue is NOT related to normal expansion/contraction of the wood, these noises are not normal home noises, they are as loud as gunshots, happen all the time, & no one can even figure out what is going on. The building you buy might not have this issue right away, but there is no guarantee that within a few years, you will not end up with this nightmare.
> I have lived in homes as old as 300 yrs old, in Germany & UK, built from brick/store & I tell you they are as solid as a rock. They are warm & cozy during winter & cool & pleasant during summer. As far as sound insulation goes, concrete, brick & stone have high mass density, and they muffle & dampen sound quite a bit, whereas wood echos the sound by reverberating it & transmitting it all over. In fact, stealth plans are mainly made of wood, in order to reduce reflection/emission of radar, so they CANNOT be detected, where as signals would bounce off other solid materials. Knock on a wall made of wood & see how it feels hollow & void, whereas concrete or brick will dampen the echo quite a lot. If you punch a concrete wall, you will end up breaking your hand, where as you can easily punch a hole in a plywood wall & if you live in a multi-family home, you may end up in your neighbors unit.
Many US houses or buildings will not be around, let's say 500 years from now, as a result of a wasteful consumerism system & a mindset of bulldozing the old & buying something new, even if it's cheaper quality. All great civilizations have left structures for us to admire: Rome, Egypt, Greece, Byzantium, Incas, Aztecs etc. Unfortunately, it doesn't seem likely that American civilization will leave any impressive physical structures behind.
submitted by Bernice2020 to CasualConversation [link] [comments]

Day 0 again.

I’ve had a gambling problem for over 10years. I won’t go into details as it’s something most of you have probably experienced already. I’ve quit here and there. Or taken breaks but it always comes back. Few months ago was my all time low. I kept digging myself deeper and deeper. So I finally committed to quit. I hadn’t touched an online casino since early July. Our actually casinos are all still closed due to covid. So I had been playing online for months and lying to my girl and family about it. Making excuses as to why I was so broke. I was doing so good. It even got to the point where I wasn’t thinking about it much. Here and there but I kept telling myself no. I was so proud! Until last night. I had this urge I just couldn’t shake. I even asked my girlfriend if she’d sign into her play now account and let me just spend $50.(I banned myself from mine) she of course said no. Because she knows me too well. Well I have an account with a UK online captain cooks casino. And I thought fuck I’ll go have a shower and just check the site, see the promos. Sure even there is a 100% match promo and a bonus $25 promo just for depositing. So I decided to just put in $50 like I wanted to. I lost that almost immediately. Then I thought just $50 more and I’ll stop. Well that $50 took me to $360 back down to $200 then up to $800. I was so excited. And I could really use the cash. So I cashed out thinking I’m up $700 and life’s good. I thought to myself I’ll go tell my gf she’ll be a little annoyed I played but happy it’s a positive result and I’ll wait my 2 days and get my money. Well instead I sneak fully kept playing the winnings. She went upstairs to put our son to bed and I continued with nothing, absolutely nothing but loss. Once the $800 was gone I should of stopped and just been upset at my stupidity. Nope! I deposit $50 more, straight loss. I end up stuck on this app like crack for the next couple hrs. Most I hit was $100 which I would just piss away chasing more. Long story short I lost $950 of my own money and $800 winnings with a total loss of $1750. I was up all night tossing n turning with guilt and shame. Fuck gambling really is the devil. I don’t know how this will ever leave my life for good. I finally was catching up on bills, made a tiny dent in my credit cards, which is gone now. I’m apprenticing plumbing and I’m really trying to change my life for my family. I’ve been working my ass off 6 days a week. Was doing 10hr days the last two months. And i got nothing to show for it. $200 left in the bank and 11 days until payday. Fml. One thing that helped me a lot with stopping for the few months I did was reading all your stories. So hopefully my stupid one will inspire you to stop.
submitted by DC124454 to problemgambling [link] [comments]

July 4th weekend Public Service Announcement [COVID-19 Guidelines & Information]

Hello folks of venturacounty!
Since Governor Newsom will not be making a press conference today (it's apparently an observed holiday), I have decided to instead compile a list of guidelines and helpful information to help keep you and your loved ones safe & happy celebrating this July 4th weekend.
Information has been compiled from the Governor himself via Twitter, FB, or covid19.ca.gov as well as various reliable news outlets. Feel free to openly start discussions on specific county laws and ordinances. I have tried to include some pertinent ones for Santa Barbara, Ventura, Orange County, & LA. I will be periodically updating this post as more information gets released.
   
From Newsom's 07/02 press conference:
Masks keep Californians healthy! Wear One! Renewed emphasis on the evidence pointing to decreased transmission rates with masks. Masks are one of the most impactful COVID-19 prevention measures. Countries that have implemented masks or have had universal mask policies in place have seen significantly less spread of COVID-19. Similar trends in other US states who have adopted masks early.
Californians should not gather with people you do not live with. Avoid crowds. We need to temper the curve again like we did months ago. This week is EXTREMELY important, the Governor stresses. He wishes us all a Happy 4th of July otherwise!
"We are just trying to encourage people to be safe, thoughtful of self and others. Just because someone else is doing it, doesn't mean you should..." He encourages people to do the right thing. Look at the hard numbers. The facts.
 
"Consider that when you are coming together with people this weekend, that one of those statistics could be YOU!"
   
Today's COVID-19 Statistics
California now has 248,235 confirmed cases of COVID-19, resulting in 6,263 deaths. The number of COVID-related deaths increased by 1.6 percent from Wednesday’s total of 6,163. The number of COVID-19 diagnostic test results in California reached a total of 4,448,176 an increase of 109,458 tests since Wednesday. The rate of positive tests over the last 14 days is 6.4 percent. California’s hospitalizations due to COVID-19 increased by 151 from Wednesday.
82,819 new cases in last 14 days. 1,292,474 tests conducted in last 14 days. 6.4% positivity rate.
 
List of counties on watchlist (updated 07/03):
(Old: 18) Fresno, Glenn, Imperial, Kern, Kings, LA, Merced, Orange, Riverside, Sacramento, San Bernardino, San Joaquin, Santa Barbara, Santa Clara, Solano, Stanislaus, Tulare, Ventura
(New: 2) San Diego, Monterey
(Removed: 1) Contra Costa
 
What's open? [editor's note: The 20 counties on the watchlist may experience variance. Look under "What is open with county variance?" or refer to your local county website]
 
Essential services that protect public health, public safety, and provide essential needs will remain open, such as:
Gas stations
Pharmacies
Food: Grocery stores, farmers markets, food banks, convenience stores, take-out and delivery restaurants, restaurants with outdoor dining
Banks
Laundromats/laundry services
Childcare
Essential state and local government functions will also remain open, including law enforcement and offices that provide government programs and services.
 
Retailers can open statewide. All will require modifications to support social distancing. This includes:
Shopping malls
Libraries
Movie theaters and drive-in theaters (with modifications)
Bookstores
Jewelry stores
Toy stores
Clothing and shoe stores
Home and furnishing stores
Sporting goods stores
Florists
Offices (in all sectors, not only critical infrastructure)
 
Limited services which do not generally require close customer contact, such as:
Pet grooming
Dog walking
Car washes Appliance repair
Residential and janitorial cleaning
Places of worship [New guidelines released 07/01]
Plumbing
Outdoor museums
 
Music, film, and TV production
Professional sports (without live audiences)
Schools and day camps
What's closed?
 
Statewide, the following are still closed:
Personal services, like nail salons, body waxing and tattoo parlors
Public events and gatherings, like live audience sports
Convention centers
Theme parks and festivals
Higher education (in person), except where supporting essential workforce activities, including but not limited to providing housing solutions, COVID-19 response, and training and instruction for the essential workforce.
Indoor playgrounds, like bounce centers, ball pits and laser tag
Saunas and steam rooms
Recreational team sports
What is open with county variance?
 
The following may open only in counties approved to move further in the Resilience Roadmap:
Dine-in restaurants
Hair salons and barber shops
Casinos
 
Counties that are approved to progress further into the Resilience Roadmap can decide to open the following industries but are strongly encouraged to wait until June 12, 2020:
 
[Updated 07/03 13:45 pm; Ventura County Specific Guidelines)
Family entertainment centers
Restaurants, wineries and bars [Note: limited. bars can still serve if they also serve food. Santa Barbara has closed ALL bars, regardless of food. restaurants & wineries can open outdoor seating patios.
Zoos and museums [Note: must be outdoor]
Gyms and fitness centers [Note: new guidelines released 07/01]
Hotels (for tourism and individual travel)
Cardrooms and racetracks
Campgrounds and outdoor recreation [Note: unspecified, looking for more info on VC)
 
Counties that are approved to progress further into the Resilience Roadmap can decide to open the following industries but are strongly encouraged to wait until June 19, 2020:
Personal services, like nail salons, body waxing and tattoo parlors
Is it safe to shop at an open business?
 
The risk of COVID-19 infection is still real for all Californians and continues to be fatal. That is why every business permitted to open should take every step humanly possible to reduce the risk of infection by following these state guidelines.
Can I still leave the house even if I am not a essential critical infrastructure worker?
 
Yes. As described in more detail elsewhere in applicable state public health directives (including on this page), there are a wide range of circumstances in which you may leave your home or other place of residence, even if you are not an Essential Critical Infrastructure Worker. For example, you may leave your home to work at any business or other entity that is allowed to open, to engage in in-person worship and protest activities consistent with public health directives, to patronize local businesses, or to care for friends or family members who require assistance (as set forth under Health care). And errands like these are not the only reasons you may leave your home: you may also leave your home with or without a specific destination in mind (for example, to walk your dog, to engage in physical recreation, or simply to get some fresh air) as long as you maintain physical distancing and comply with any other applicable public health directives.
Are gatherings permitted?
 
State public health directives prohibit professional, social and community gatherings. Gatherings are defined as meetings or other events that bring together persons from multiple households at the same time for a shared or group experience in a single room, space, or place such as an auditorium, stadium, arena, large conference room, meeting hall, or other indoor or outdoor space. They pose an especially high danger of transmission and spread of COVID-19.
On May 25, 2020, in an effort to balance First Amendment interests with public health, the State Public Health Officer created an exception to the prohibition against mass gatherings for faith-based services and cultural ceremonies as well as protests. Those types of gatherings are now permitted indoors so long as they do not exceed 100 attendees or 25% of the capacity of the space in which the gathering is held, whichever is lower. State public health directives now do not prohibit in-person outdoor faith-based services or protests as long as face coverings are worn and physical distancing of 6 feet between persons or groups of persons from different households is maintained at all times. All other gatherings are prohibited until further notice, except as otherwise specifically permitted in state public health directives (including in applicable industry guidance).
Crowds and limited physical distancing increase the risk for COVID-19. If you attended a protest, remember that confidential, free testing is available. Find a testing location near you. If you test negative it does not mean that you may not develop COVID-19 later on. Therefore, it is advisable that you self-isolate for 14 days if possible.
Which beaches are closed?
 
[Updated 07/03 13:30 pm]: Beaches in the counties of Orange, LA, Ventura, & Santa Barbara have been closed. All associated local/state beach parking has also been closed. Santa Barbara residents may be fined $1,000 or experience jail time for gross disregard of health orders.
Can I set off fireworks this weekend?
 
Please refer to your local county website & guidelines. When setting off fireworks, please consider doing so in safe & considerate manner. CA is entering brush fire season; additionally, we house many veterans who are sensitive to large, explosive noises. county-specific note: VC may impose fines of up to $1,000 for illegal fireworks.
How can I report businesses that are violating COVID-19 industry guidelines?
 
Citizens are encouraged to file reports with their county website. Reports & complaints can also be filed at covid19.ca.gov/ or on specific, department websites (i.e.- OSHA). Many citizens have found that Twitter is an efficient platform is raising awareness to force government bodies and businesses to act. Please help in keeping your community safe! Report any unsafe businesses immediately! Report businesses in Ventura County. You can also call the Ventura County COVID Compliance hotline: 805-202-1805; or email them @ [email protected]
   
Helpful Links:
California Department of Public Health (CDPH) website
What to do if you start to develop symptoms of COVID-19 & want to get tested (courtesy: CDPH)
COVID-19 CA Emotional Support & Well-Being Resources
 
editor's note:
Happy July 4th weekend venturacounty! Remember folks, spread the love, not the virus!
submitted by Noanswer_merelyapath to venturacounty [link] [comments]

Residential for sale - 19707 SE Turnberry Way # 11G, Aventura, FL 33180

COMPLETELY REMODELED Modern and Sleek Condo!! Luxurious high-end finishes. 2 Beds, 2 Full Baths + Den. Custom made Italkraft Italian kitchen, Quartz Waterfall Countertop, New Sub-Zero Stainless-Steel Appliances, LED spotlights, polished marble floors throughout it, and an impressive new Infinity Glass Balcony. New plumbing, AC, electrical system, and doors. Marvelous Direct Ocean, Intracoastal, and City Views. The building offers full-service amenities that include a restaurant, tennis court, marina, cinema, 24/7 concierge, billiard room, and more. Great location close to Aventura Mall, Park Square, Gulfstream Racetrack & Casino, beaches, and restaurants. Excellent Schools. Walking distance to House of Worship. Fast access to airports and highways. Come and experience The Art of Living!!! Bedrooms: 2 Bathrooms: 2 Square Feet: 1522 Price: $518,000 MLS ID: A10937807 For more information about this property, please contact Home Owners Listing Team at (954) 342-6180‬ or [email protected]. You can also text 6515555 to 67299.
submitted by scottlehr to u/scottlehr [link] [comments]

The Irishman is a masterpiece and is nothing like Goodfellas or Casino (which are also masterful, of course).

The Irishman is one of Scorsese’s best works. A brilliant corrective to the gangster film. This is a necessary postmortem on the romance with gangsterism in the 20th Century. It’s incredibly compelling how hollowed out and drained of any human interest De Niro’s character is. This is not what we have come to expect from movie characters. These are people completely emptied out of their souls. We have never seen Scorsese explore these particular themes in this milieu. He hasn’t plumbed such depths of redemption in this world. What redemption is, what it even means to Sheeran (De Niro’s character) and the viewer for that matter. The Irishman is based on a subjective account. One man’s perception, and memories. That being the case, the de-aging is very effective. It’s how memories work after all. You remember people as young and as old all at the same time. It works as memory does, not giving us the exact age of a character or giving us an exact date in time. We are encouraged to look for signs of aging and decline. The film is brilliantly structured and edited.
Unlike the more muscular, sweeping visuals and style of Goodfellas and Casino, The Irishman has a subdued approach. The assuredness of Scorsese’s craft is very apparent in the steady gaze of the film. Sheeran’s incidents and misdeeds pile up with precision, rapidity and clarity until the film comes to a complete halt in the breakfast scene between Sheeran and Bufalino. Before this is an exquisite scene involving Hoffa speaking at a teamsters event. The scene is a masterclass in building paranoia between characters in a room. Once the film halts the audience finally feels the descent that has been taking place. The climactic passages of the film are marvelously pared down. The directing; the style; the tone; the performances; the themes explored and the degree to which they are explored are all very different from Goodfellas and Casino. Even the superficial elements like the cinematography are very different. The necessary weariness is present instead of the buoyancy of those earlier films. The Irishman is a beautiful film, and a devastating one.
submitted by Scoobydooby4 to movies [link] [comments]

I worked with a serial killer

Kind of a longer story...but it's crazy for sure...forgive my grammar
It's been 2 years since I worked maintenance in two really shady apartments in Birmingham Alabama. I had made so poor choices and my life was rock bottom, 200 bucks a week and a shitty apartment, not bad for a struggling drug addict. I had been working with the Nashama apartments for about 3 months when I met "Tony". He was an average height late thirties early forties Native American man. He kinda came outta nowhere but that's not uncommon in that kind of living situation, he dressed nicer than most in our situation but other than that he seemed normal.
Now these apartments are "under code" at best. Their whole purpose is to get the homeless of the street so I was grateful for what little I had, but these units where in such terrible shape that Tony and I's job of "maintenance" is almost comical. Tony was very skilled in flooring and plumbing, and he was a pretty funny guy, real quite but he'd make quips every now and then with a northern accent. Over the next 2 months Tony and I became "friends" well if you can call it that, we worked together, lived next door to each other, and...used together. You see Tony was very reserved until he did a line of coke, then he'd start opening up, he'd start talking about an "Indian mafia" up north and north mid west, he talked about how he was born into it, and I've got to be honest I was high and so was he, so I started laughing because it sounded ridiculous and I was pretty sure it was a joke. However, I'll never forget the look on his face and in his eyes...it was this dead stare with a slight smirk, like he was somewhere else reliving something...and it was terrifying.
I said " hey man if you ever need to talk...."
He said "nah man....it's fine...another life....let's go get some soft (coke)"
So we call up dude and went to meet him up the hill like usual. The guy cousin called back and said our dude got hymed up and hung up.
Tony said "shit well, I know this other guy" and he proceeded to call him up, and as the guy rolls up I kinda' had this feeling in my stomach, something wasn't right.
(Now forgive my language by this how it went down)
Tony had our money and was leaning in the car....and that's when I heard Tony yell " nah fuck that" and the guy tried to peel off...
Tony had a death grip on this man dragging him through the driver window.
Tony screamed " you trying to stiff me bitch" "huh!!!?"
He hit this man so hard I swear he was trying to punch through his face! He wouldn't stop Blood and flesh mixing with gravel on the ground. I screamed "Tony stop! Fuck this man let's go"
"Fuck you man, check his pockets" Tony yelled
I said "I've got the shit, man let's go, please"
His face...his eyes...he just looked possessed... with one more kick to this broken man's head we fled we fled into the dark....
"What the fuck have you done Tony!? What did you do!? I'm a fucking white guy bro, you're a Native American! We stick out you idiot!They're going to fucking kill us, you've killed us!!!" I shouted with tears in my eyes
"They won't do shit, I punked him out. Beside that bitch didn't see ya'. If he comes around again flashes 9mm I'll dome him." Tony said in a cold 'matter of fact' tone of voice
His tone of voice sent chills down my spine. I've never met someone as terrifying Tony in my life.
The next morning he told me a bit more, still coked out mind you...look with out saying too too much, Tony told me he "worked" in a series Native American Casinos, as some who dealt with..... loans and collections, if you couldn't pay up...Tony and another like Tony would show up and "handle it". He said "things are different on the Reservations, that what people don't get" as he took a sip of his beer.
I'm not gonna lie I was pretty fascinated with his stories and I mean come on they were just stories....right?
Over the next few months my worry that someone would come for us settled down some, and we moved on with life fixing up apartments, doing drugs, rinse and repeat. Until one day we were working on a sink kind of tweaking a little, and up until this point I would listen to his "mafioso stories" with a child like wonder, but on this day he told a story...that kind of made me feel sick.
He told me about this social security scheme that basically consisted of him and his "bosses" cashing social security checks of people that had "cashed in their souls".
He said "we had 6 going until it started falling apart...some one tipped off... "
"Y'all finished yet!?" The drunk tennant said
"Yep" Tony smiled and said cleaning up his tools
He smiled and walked out, right by me, I was still stunned from what I just heard.
If he was telling the truth...then he's a coldhearted monster that's also on the run...and if he's lying then he's incredibly fucked up in the head.
At 3am that night...I found out.
I was woken up by the loudest 'bang' I've ever heard! After the bang a flood of blinding light filled the entire apartment complex! A lot of shouting from outside
" what the hell is happening!?" I yelled to my elderly roommate
I ran to the front door and opened it to an armed and armored US marshal and a sea of blue lights. "Get back inside! Right now" the marshal said sternly with a rifle pointed down wards but definitely in my direction. So that's what I did. Seeing cops rush our apartment complex is nothing new, but this is the most intense I've seen!
The next morning when I came outside, i noticed Tony's door had been smashed in.... "holy shit" I thought while I was walking to the apartment manager's office,
I asked "what the hell happened last night?"
She proceeded to tell me that "Tony" had been on the run for a while, and had some how fooled his way into a government funded HUD apartment complex and job with said Gov't funded apartments....with an assumed identity. She then turned to me and said with a shocked look "Tony....hurt a lot of people "
Every hair on my body stood on end, and all I could get out was "oh..."
I'm not much for "conspiracies" but there was nothing on the news about this arrest, I can't find anything on google about it! Then again it's pretty embarrassing that a state funded homeless program let in an on the run fugitive and then paid him to work maintenance lol
I only mention this because we had a murder on the apartment grounds (btw this guy was also on maintenance), and what little news there was so incredibly vague, that you'd never really know where they were and were really careful to not mention they were HUD houses.
I guess you never really know what's going on in the head of the man next to you
TL:DR - I got a maintenance job with a guy that appeared out of no where but I thought was cool, turns out he's a serial murderer being hunted by the Marshalls
submitted by vince_of_hearts to creepyencounters [link] [comments]

d100 Businesses

  1. Insurance Place
  2. Adventurer's Life Insurance Place
  3. Tavern
  4. Bar
  5. Inn
  6. Winery
  7. Meadery
  8. Brewery
  9. General Store
  10. Jewelers Shop
  11. Soaps and Perfumes Shop
  12. University/ School
  13. Library
  14. Bookstore
  15. Scroll Shop
  16. Wood and Furniture Shop
  17. Carpenter Workshop
  18. Warehouse
  19. Mailing Service
  20. Shipping Service
  21. Spell Component, Ink and Paper Shop
  22. Drug Store
  23. Illegal Drug Store
  24. Apothecary
  25. Herbalist
  26. Magic Item Shop
  27. Instrument Shop
  28. Magic Trick Shop
  29. Mundane Item Shop
  30. Ice Cream Parlor
  31. Pretzel Shop
  32. Bakery
  33. Church/ Temple
  34. Pet Shop
  35. Pet Trainer
  36. Pet Adoption Clinic
  37. Child Adoption Center
  38. Candy Store
  39. Chocolate Factory
  40. Graveyard
  41. Crematory
  42. Spa
  43. Coffee Shop
  44. Tea Shop
  45. China Shop
  46. Restaurant Supplies Store
  47. Cheap Trinket Store
  48. Dojo
  49. Pawn Shop
  50. Restaurant
  51. Food Stall
  52. Foreign Food Restaurant
  53. Magic Services
  54. Building Services
  55. Paining Services
  56. Plumbing Services
  57. Hole Digging Services
  58. Grave Digger
  59. Moving Services
  60. Archery Range
  61. Fighter Pit
  62. Tool Shop
  63. Fruit Shop
  64. Blacksmith
  65. Whitesmith
  66. Weaponsmith
  67. Armorsmith
  68. Brothel
  69. Wheelwright
  70. Tack Shop
  71. Stables
  72. Farm Animal Shop
  73. Engraver
  74. Buncher Shop
  75. Fish Market
  76. Tannery
  77. Tailor
  78. Barber
  79. Salon
  80. Tailor
  81. Pottery Shop
  82. Cheese Maker
  83. Carriage Rental/ Services
  84. WainWright
  85. Repairman
  86. Cooper
  87. Translator
  88. Accountant
  89. Bank
  90. Real Estate Agency
  91. Jeweler
  92. Mechanic
  93. Mechanical Pet Store
  94. Entrance to Underground Market
  95. Entrance to Underground Slave Trade
  96. Casino
  97. Beast Racing Front
  98. Cobbler
  99. News Center
  100. Gunsmith
  101. Museum
  102. Bodyguard/ Security Services
  103. Dressmaker
  104. Glass Blower
  105. Gallery
  106. Roof Crafting Services
  107. Curiosity Shop
  108. Oddities Shop
  109. Stone Mason
  110. Leather Worker
  111. Cartographer
  112. Hunting Supplies Shop
  113. Shipyard
  114. Locksmith
  115. Zoo
  116. Aquarium
  117. Totem Maker
  118. Hat Shop
  119. Monster Information Center
  120. Organ shop
  121. Curse Removing Services
  122. Liquor Store
  123. Toy Maker
  124. Wordsmith
  125. Siege Machine Manufacture
  126. Coffee House
  127. Tea Shop
  128. Beard Braider
  129. Recycling plant
  130. Tattoo Parlor
  131. Swimming Pool/ Lessons
  132. Cosmetic Surgery clinic
  133. Candle Maker
  134. Coffin Maker
  135. Fortune Teller
  136. Oracle
  137. Mask Maker
  138. Oil Merchant
  139. Rope Maker
  140. Rug Shop
  141. Spice Merchant
  142. Talismonger
  143. Office Space
  144. Wig Maker
  145. Auction House
  146. Clock/ Pocket Watch Shop
  147. Tourist Trap
  148. Abandon Building
  149. Empty Lot
  150. Law Firm
Adding everyone's suggestions, I made this into a d150 list, guess you can now roll 1d3 than a d100 and divide it by 3 ;) Unless we can get another 50
submitted by illegalcattoss to d100 [link] [comments]

OBLIGATORY FILLER MATERIAL – Just take a hard left at Daeseong-dong…5

Continuing
“Hey, Viv!”, I say, as we’re all being shuttled onto the bus which will take us to our hotel, “Toss me one of those miniatures, if you please. Yeah. Of course, Vodka’ll do. It’s bloody dusty round these parts.”
Viv chuckles and asks if anyone else wants anything. He’s a consummate scrounger and somehow sweet-talked a demure and pulchritudinous female Air China cabin attendant out of her phone number, Email address, and a case of 100 airline liquor miniatures.
That he looks like a marginally graying version of Robert Mitchum in his heyday and speaks fluent Dutch, French, and Italian might explain his success. I mean, a guy with four ex-wives can’t be all wrong, right?
He’s a definite outlier in this crowd. We could be characterized as a batch of aging natural geoscientists who collectively, sans Viv, add up to an approximate eight on the “Looker” scale. Besides the years, the mileage, the climatic, and industrial ravages, it’s a good thing we all have expansive personalities, as most of us are dreadful enough to make a buzzard barf.
But, save for Viv, no one presently here is on the make. Oh, sure; we’ll all sweet talk some fair nubile into a free drink or a double when we really ordered a regular drink, but we’re all married, most terminally, that is, over 35 years and counting. The odd thing is that save and except for Viv, none of us married folk had ever been divorced.
That is strange, considering that the global divorce rate hovers around 50%, and we are often called to be apart from kith and kin for prolonged periods. However, we are always faithful and committed to our marital units and those vows we spoke all those many long decades ago.
But, hey, we’re all seriously male and not anywhere near dead; and there’s no penalty for just looking, right?
Continuing.
We’re all loaded on a pre-war, not certain which war, by the way, bus which stank of fish, kimchee, and diesel fuel. We really don’t care even a tiny, iotic amount. It’s free transport, we’re tired of traveling, and not keen on walking any further than we absolutely have to.
Viv has been passing out boozy little liquor miniatures, and I’ve been handing out cigars since I bought a metric shitload back in Dubai Duty-Free and somehow got them all through customs.
We didn’t light up, as there was neither a driver nor handler present. So, we figured we’d all just wait on the cigars, and concentrate on having a little ground-level “Welcome to Best Korea” party until the powers that be got their collective shit together and provided drivers, herders, and handlers.
We sat there for 15 long minutes. Being the international ambassadors of amity and insobriety, we started making noises like “Hey! Where’s our fucking driver?” and “I am Doctor Academician! Of All State Russian Geological Survey! How dare you make me wait?
Suddenly, a couple of characters in ill-fitting gray suits and fake Rays Bans are outside the bus having a collective meltdown. Somehow, someone fucked up and put us on a ‘regular’ bus and not the ‘VIP’ bus. In other words, we got to see what the locals really got to ride around Pyongyang on instead of our supposed to be impressed by the bus that wasn’t there; but was now just arriving.
A spanking new purple-and-chrome Mercedes long-haul bus shows up. It even has our group name emblazoned above the placard that normally tells where the bus is headed or who it is for: “’국제 석유 지질 과학 연합’ [Gugje Seog-yu Jijil Gwahag Yeonhab] or ‘International Union of Petroleum Geological Sciences’”.
We are brusquely ordered off our present bus and into the opulent, obviously bespoke, bright yellow faux-leather interior Mercedes-Benz Tourismo RH M. It’s so new and so obviously a ploy to get us to think that all things here are so new and opulent, it even smells of that new car, ah, bus, aroma.
“Well, we’ll take care of that soon enough”, I muse, as the bus is equipped with ashtrays and we’re going on the scenic route to our hotel, which is only 25 or so kilometers from the airport. However, it was announced that it’ll take us about 2 hours to get to our hotel since we need to see the city in its best light and get a feeling for the town if we should ever find ourselves lost and alone.
We all know what’s going on. They’re getting our rooms ‘ready’ for our arrival and need some extra time to make sure everything’s all wired in and transmitting properly.
“Guys”, I muse to our new handlers, “I’ve been to the Soviet Union, pre-wall fall. I stayed in places where I was definitely among the first westerners ever to grace their porticos. We’re a busload of natural scientists, of eight different nationalities, covering the economic spectrum from staunch capitalism to sociable socialism to hard-core communism. You even think for a second we’re going to spill any beans about anything you’d find interesting or useful? Think again.”
In fact, it would become a running joke between us all to see what sort of fake bombshells we could drop into the normal conversation what would give the listener’s the greatest case of the jibblies.
But for now, our bags were all loaded into the cargo compartment of this very, very nice, I must admit, mode of conveyance. Our handlers: ‘Yuk’, ‘No’, ‘Man’, and ‘Kong’, are all seated upfront and please with their latest tally of bodies. We have a couple of shady fellow travelers with the knock-off Ray-Bans and shiny gray suits that just appeared out of the woodwork in the back, seated by the loo, watching over all of us, and we’re going on a fucking city tour, whether we like it or not.
We’re all present and accounted for. Let’s keep our camera in our bags for the time being as the drinking and smoking lights had just been lit as the bus fired up its new German-engineered and machined precision diesel engine.
The bus rumbled to life and after a moment or two of checking that all dials, gauges, and indicators were where they were supposed to be; without so much as a cursory glance, we pulled out into traffic.
Except there was none.
Not another bus, pushbike, tap-tap, scooter, car, truck, hover-board, or motorcycle in sight.
Nothing.
Seems we were a big deal. They shut down the main drag so we wouldn’t be encumbered by such proletariat things like traffic jams or people-things cluttering the roadway, clambering for a look at the Western scientific cadre.
So, away we whizzed, sans traffic and into the very belly of the beast, and onward; eventually, towards our hotel.
Our handlers were very kind to point out passing scenes of interest.
“Look, look! There’s the Potong River. Notice all the lovely birds, ‘eh what? See the Norwegian Blue? Beautiful plumage!”
“See here, look. Here’s the Taedong River. Many forms of fish in the river. Maybe we’ll see some fishermen. If you like, we can stop, and ask them about today’s catch.”
We all declined, as we were certain that the fish the ‘random fisherman’ we’d talk to was flown in fresh from elsewhere earlier in the day.
Besides, we were comfortable. We had our drinks, our cigars, and we were leaving the driving to someone else.
After being driven around the city and seeing all the wonderful monuments, like the faux Arch of Triumph, which looks exactly unlike its namesake Arc de Triomphe de l'Étoile in Paris.
The Arch of Reunification, a monument to the goal of a reunified Korea, which, by necessity, is unfinished. Then there’s the Tomb of King Tongmyŏng, where people are lining up, just dying’ to get in.
Finally, we all called for our hotel, the Yanggakdo, after yet another mausoleum, the Kumsusan Memorial Palace of the Sun.
Arches or tombs. Such a stunning array of monuments and places of less than moderate interest.
We were interested in Mirae Scientists street (Future Scientists street). It is a street in a newly developed area in Pyongyang to house scientific institutions of the Kim Chaek University of Technology and its employees. But we were told that it was too late, there was not much there to see, we needed to express written permission to visit, and we’d be going there tomorrow or next week.
We wheel into the parking lot of the Yanggakdo Hotel and are immediately unimpressed by the pseudo-Baroque concrete fiasco that appears to stand, wobbly, before us. It’s a page right out of the Soviet Construction-For-The-Masses Handbook. A cold, gray concrete edifice with multitudes of seemingly little, tiny windows. A perfect metaphor for our travels thus far; look at the expansiveness of Best Korean wonders, through this pinhole.
However, we judged too soon. We were told to go inside and check-in, whilst our luggage would be de-bussed for us and handled by the expertly efficient hotel staff. The lobby was opulent, tastefully laid out in earth tones of facades of veneers of marble, granite, some garnet-mica schist, if my hand lens doesn’t lie, some Prepaleozoic anatectic migmatite, displaying intricate and intense plication, xenoliths, and graphic delineation of minerals by segregation through melting points. There was a gigantic well-appointed and well kept up aquarium, complete with snuffling sharks and nuclear-submarine sized groupers.
Very handsome indeed. Impressions increasing slightly.
Then we see that there’s a bloody casino on the bottom floor of the hotel, several bars interspersed throughout the hotel, and karaoke, of which I’m not terribly fond, but some of my European counterparts almost swooned at the prospect. There are a large pool and weight rooms/gymnasia, saunas and places to relax outside of one’s room, but still under the watchful eye of the thousands of ill-concealed video cameras at every turn.
“Covert surveillance” may be a thing in Best Korea, but it’s a practice still leaves a lot to be desired. The Eastern Siberian Russians back before the wall fell were more covert with their obvious button audio microphones woven into the fabric covering the headboard of your Intourist bed than the Best Koreans here. Their cameras were ‘disguised’ as flower arrangements, overhead lights, and speakers inexplicably placed into things like standing ashtrays, refuse bins, and randomly placed holes in the wall.
The floors were all covered with exquisite what looked to be hand-woven rugs of most vibrant crimson and gold; the usual Communistic colors. Always with some sort of floral pattern or pattern that’s supposed to be reflective of nature, as I was told. Evidently, for workers to remember what nature was as they don’t get out much with 14 to 16 hours workdays here in the Worker’s Paradise.
Enough of the travelogue; we all wander up to the front desk, and each with their own passport in hand, request our reserved rooms. We supposed that we would all have rooms on different floors as the reservations were made, expired, re-made, juggled, rebooked, allowed to expire, re-jiggered, and finally formalized a scant week before we left the UK.
Nope. No such luck. We were all on the 39th floor. The place boasts 47 floors, of which, the top floor is a revolving restaurant. Evidently, food tastes better when you’re rotating.
However, it won’t spin unless you first buy a drink.
We had that thing whirling like a NASA centrifuge after its discovery the second night.
Yeah, all 12 of us are bivouacked on the 39th floor. A floor with approximately 30 rooms.
I guess we could have played “Room Roulette” and see who got which room and who’s luggage. Or we could switch every day or two to drive our handlers nuts. Or, we could just take our assigned rooms, which were conveniently located one empty room apart.
Meaning, no one had adjoining rooms. Why? Fuck if I know. We didn’t spend much time in our rooms, and that time was either sleeping or showering. We’d all meet at the bar, casino, restaurant, karaoke, bowling alley (all three lanes) or actual meeting rooms every once in a while when we thought we should get together and compare notes. It was the most inexplicable situation.
Plus, we spent an inordinate amount of time waiting on the fucking elevators to take us to our room. These elevators, and if you think you’re going to get a batch of aging senior scientists to schlep it up 39 floor’s worth of stairs, think again; are the slowest elevators in the civilized world. And that was the consensus of scientists representing not only Europe and North America, but Russia as well. 15-25 minutes added to each journey, up or down; stopping on every floor, except 5, on the way down..
Jesus Q. Fuck, dudes. If you can’t construct a bleedin’ elevator that works better than those at the Sozvezdie Medveditsy Guest House in Lesosibirsk, Eastern Siberia; then I suggest you seriously rethink your plans for world domination and new world order.
Grako and Erwin once, while waiting for the fucking elevator, figured out that we were earning some US$25 each just to wait for the lift to arrive and take us to our rooms. Every day. Sometimes several times per day.
With that, we all agreed to toss our “waiting time” funds into a kitty and on our last day of captivity here, blow it all in the hotel casino. Whatever became of that would be donated to the Koreans we thought most deserving of our largesse.
Would it be our handlers? How about the Korean Scientists we’d be meeting? The affable and most accommodating concierge? Or that plucky little Korean charwoman who was always on our floor and kept everything spotless, right down to our freshly laundered and pressed field clothes and newly polished field boots; done without our requesting or knowledge?
Only time would tell.
It could be a fortune or it could be bupkiss. Just like our expectations of the Heavenly Kingdom where we were currently sequestered.
As it was, with our official protestations, they kept only photocopies of our passports as we roundly refused and threatened a full-scale karaoke battle right here in the lobby if they didn’t relinquish our passports immediately. I had broken out my nastiest cigar and was primed to offend.
With that, we all had our keys and trooped over to the elevators for our first, of many, inexplicable waits. We made many uncharitable and potentially nasty remarks about the Anti-Western posters that made up some of the wall décor. Once we finally made it to our floor, we all fanned out to find our rooms. Viv found his first and was quite pleased to report to the rest of us that there was a “Welcome” basket in his room.
We all hoped that we would be receiving one a well.
I was in room 3914; which I considered a close call, but later only wondered as there was no 3913. Upon entering, I saw it was 1980s Hotel 6 opulent, but with an excellent over-city view. True it was late, dark, and the city was only somewhat lit up; I was looking forward to the view of the town in full daylight.
The room had a ‘king’ bed; that is if the king in question was Tutankhamen, the stubby, Egyptian boy king. The bed had no mattress pad and no box spring but it was hard enough for my liking. Many of my compatriots didn’t agree and complained bitterly. They eventually received thin mattress pads for all their kvetching.
There was an ancient Japanese color television, which only had 2 English language channels - Al Jazeera and the BBC, which was on a dated news loop. Watching the local channel is amusing though; the ads for ‘personal enhancements’ were hilarious, even without understanding a word of the language.
There were a couple of chairs and a low table, built-in dresser drawers for our clothes, a rusty and probably unusable room safe with corroded batteries, a small table built out of the wall that would serve as my travel office, and would-you-believe, a rotary telephone; how’s that for nostalgia?
There was an old-model radio built into the nightstand next to the bed. I was very surprised to find it not only received AM, FM but shortwave as well. I had brought along a pair of Bose headphones and during some rainy down days, spent many fun-filled, and I mean that sincerely, hours DXing from the comfort of my ‘enormous’ king bed.
Beyond that, the room was very nondescript. Like any other of the millions of rooms in hotels around the world that unlike here, aren’t claiming a 5-star rating. I mean, it was clean, if not a little long in the tooth. But didn’t smell too terrible, even after I took care of that with my Camacho offerings. It was utilitarian, everything worked, even the water pressure, which surprisingly could strip off layers of one’s skin if you weren’t careful.
The bathroom, though no Jacuzzi, had a large enough bathtub for the occasional soaking period. Western accouterments in the bathroom were also welcome additions. My knees can’t handle the traditional squat-holes any longer.
There were an electric teapot and several brands of tea, but no coffee. A quick “Gee! I sure wish I had some coffee!” to the four walls and damned if 30 minutes later, a porter didn’t arrive to replenish my tea and courtesy in-room coffee…
There was a small Japanese brand in-room refrigerator which I thought might house a mini-bar. Oh, no! It was actually a complimentary larder stocked with all sorts of Best Korean goodies. Multiple cans of Taedonggang beer. Several bottles of Pyongyang Soju, in various flavors ranging anywhere from 16.8 to 53 percent alcohol by volume. My fridge was skewed towards the right-hand side of the bell curve; the more heavy-duty boozy side.
Evidently, my reputation had preceded me again.
There was a selection of German-style wheat beers from the Taedonggang Brewery and the more familiar ales, steam beers, and lagers. There were some imported beers like Heineken, Bavaria, Pils, a couple of Japanese brands: Asahi and Kirin, and something called ‘Hello Beer’ from Singapore.
There were also ‘sampler’ bottles of Apricot Pit wine, and a couple of high-alcohol fruity liquors made from constituents such as apple or pear, and mushrooms. There were also special medicinal liquors like ‘Rason’s Seal Penis Liquor’.
That is going home with me unopened.
There were a couple of bottles of local sake, called Chonju. Finally, there was a couple ‘samplers’ of homemade alcohol known as Makkoli. Plus there was something called ‘Corn Grotto’, which for the life of me, looks and tastes much like a very passable Kentucky Sippin’ Bourbon.
I put our concierge on instant danger money the very next day. He’s yet to source me more than a fifth of the stuff so far.
I found that there is a popular drink here which mirrors the Yorsch of Mother Russia. Beer and soju can be mixed to create *somaek’; a foamy, frothy, funky drink of many flavors, depending on the soju chosen.
Is ethnoimbibology at thing? The science of how different cultures drink and the effects of drinking culture on different societies. If not, now I have another Ph.D. to pursue after I endow a chair at some likely Asian university.
Anyways, in everyone’s room was a “welcome” basket, just chock full of Best Korean goodies. Postcards, stamps, ads for coin sets, stamp proofs and other goodies that could be purchased at the hotel. There was a field notebook, which I thought was a very nice addition, newspapers, cookies, crackers, biscuits, candies, fruit drinks, and some fresh fruit; although tamarind chewies and durian chips aren’t on my list of personal favorites.
There were a couple of tour books, just chock full of staged photos. These were very nice as well, as so far, we haven’t had much time for shopping outside of government stores or smaller family-run shops in town or out in the boonies.
A few of us were hungry and decided to see what the hotel had to offer room service-wise.
Bupkiss.
But, they did have a selection of restaurants. There is a Chinese restaurant, a European restaurant, and a Korean restaurant on site but they all serve the same food...a Best Korean attempt at western food. And it was weird being the only ones in the restaurant even though it was fully staffed.
We grazed lightly and decided to do some late-night perambulations around our hotel. Our handlers admonished us to stay within the confines of the hotel, or see them if it was absolutely necessary to go walkabout. In the hotel, we were on our own.
We found that there were tunnels in the hotel’s basement. The basement tunnels were a real bonus. There’s a bar with pool tables, a karaoke room, bowling, and a massage parlor, where I was beaten and pummeled into submission by tiny, diminutive, little Korean lassies fully 1/5th my size.
It was wonderful.
There was a hairdresser’s, who were completely befuddled by my shoulder-length silver-gray locks and full gray Grizzly Adams beard. They did provide a lovely shampoo/cranial massage though for the equivalent of US$2.
There were a couple of shops selling Chinese goods rather than local stuff, which was sort of disappointing, a cold noodle bar, and another casino. No shops selling Korean Communist propaganda posters, as I wanted to augment my Soviet-era collection. Perhaps I’ll find something in-country later on.
We were shocked to find that the casino had WiFi that was uncensored and we were able to access; after a fee of liquor miniatures and a cigar or two. We were supposed to have access to the global internet, not local intranet, from the universities that we would be visiting. However, all of that was under the heavily squinting eyes of handlers and guys in shiny suits wearing fake Ray-Bans.
I still had my secret satellite internet lash-up available, but that was iffy, a pain in the ass to set up, and ridiculously expensive. However, it did work on the 39th floor and the times I used it instead of wandering down to the tunnels, no one appeared to be the wiser. Thus far.
So typically, we’d just head to the basement casino with our laptops, iPads, and phones. Bam! Robert’s your Sister’s Husband, we could connect more-or-less free with the outside world; hence how you are reading this now.
Herro! “Yes, I’d sure like another beer. This time a porter, if you please.”
The more they overthink the plumbing, the easier it is to stop up the drain. Or the more they put into locks, the easier they are to pick.
Besides, we were told we’d have access to unfettered and free internet. OK, so we just found it for ourselves. Whaddya expect? We’re scientists, motherfucker, back off.
Ahem.
Back to reality.
The breakfast buffet the next morning had a wide choice of Asian and Western food, although the choices seemed to be the same every day. The main event was to beat the Chinese tourists to the egg station every morning. Breakfast always included fried eggs, a limited selection of pork, kippered fish, potatoes, rice, fruit, and a very Titanium-dioxide-white white bread
After a while, I took to going to the small market behind the lobby, buying some imported Chinese or Japanese nibbly bits and heading to the tunnels for a few breakfast beers before the long hard day’s work. It took almost a week, but I gained the trust of some of the workers in the tunnels and they showed me the on-site microbrewery at the hotel. It produced very passable, and very, very cheap beers of several varieties.
Liquid bread. Beer. Is there nothing it can’t do?
After breakfast our first day at the hotel, we were told to meet in the Conference Room “Il-sung” as we were going to have a ‘Welcome foreign imperialist scientists’ introduction and indoctrination.
Besides our handlers and the shiny-suit squad, there were several Korean folks we didn’t recognize. These were students, scientists, and scholars from the Kim Chaek University of Technology, Kim Il-sung University, the Pyongyang University of Science and Technology; all hailing from Pyongyang, and the University of Geology from North Hwanghae Province.
“Oh, marvelous”, Erlen remarked, “It’s going to be a bloody Chautauqua. We’ll be here all day.”
“Well”, I replied, “It could be worse. We could be on a bus headed off on another unscheduled road trip.”
As we found our seats, our Korean counterparts were busily setting up portable screens, like the ones your grandfather had for showing his 2.1 Googleplex worth of travel slides every Christmas or Thanksgiving get-together. They had a couple of ancient Chinese brand laptops that could have doubled for body armor, they were so thick and heavy.
While they fiddled with running cords for the overhead projectors and 16mm film projector; yes, it was going to be movie time as well, the hotel’s restaurant folks wheeled in carts laden with scones, cupcakes, and other sweet sorts of bakery. Another cart was wheeled in with pump-pots of hot water, tea, and coffee. Usual scientific meeting fare.
There was one final cart that made the day bearable. It held a pony keg of hotel micro-brewed beer on ice, with several dozen frosty mugs available for all who wanted to partake.
There were instantly 12 mugs that were spoken for.
I grabbed a cold beer and wandered around the conference room, sipping beer, chewing on an unlit cigar, and just trying to be pleasant to our hosts and their scientific guests. I was surprised when one North Korean professor, who spoke amazingly British-tinged English, offered me a light for my cigar.
“Is smoking allowed here?” I asked.
“Allowed?” he laughed heartily, “My good man, it’s practically a prerequisite.”
“Here then”, I said, offering him a nice, unctuous Camacho, “Try one of mine.”
Dr. P'ung Kwang-Seon of the North Korean University of Geology became my instant and lifelong friend at that moment.
We had a very nice chat, much to the chagrin of the gray suit cadre, who could hear what we were talking about, but probably didn’t understand anything beyond every 8th word.
After a while, we were asked to take our seats, after refreshing our drinks, and introduced to the group of Korean geoscientists we’d be interacting with during our stay here in Best Korea.
I tried to record every name, but between the students, other scholars, and professors from the various universities, I decided I’d ask for a list of participants once the day had worn on. After all, they had all our names, references, and resumes if the thick folio they kept referring to was any indication.
There were a couple of hours of introductions, as every one of the Korean geoscientists there introduced themselves, mostly through translators, told of their personal area of specialty, and their latest work.
Most were what would be considered geoscientists, but oddly enough, not one that you would consider a petroleum geoscientist, however tangentially.
There were geomorphologists, structural geologists, petrologists, mineralogists, marine geologists, engineering geologists, and seismologists. However, there were no stratigraphers, sedimentologists, paleontologists, or geochemists. We were all geoscientists, but apart from the obvious Korean:English disparity, it was as if we spoke different scientific languages as well.
That would be our first hurdle to overcome.
They had no oil industry here; none whatsoever, therefore why one would bother with the geosciences that fed directly into petroleum? That, in and of itself, would make it difficult to explore for oil in the country. Couple that with the fact that they’re so insular, think their version of ‘science’ is the best, at least that’s the official line, and think all other’s ‘science’ is capitalistic, substandard, and inferior doesn’t bode well for your country discovering anything either oily or gassy.
We were having another conclave around the beer keg, ack, err…a ‘coffee break’ and I mentioned this fact to my scientific colleagues.
“Guys”, I need input here, “We’re going to get precisely nowhere if they won’t even acknowledge that they have major problems from the start.”
Ivan replies, “Very true. I’ve seen this before back home. You get a group so entrenched in their own little corner of science, they can’t even accept or acknowledge that others exist. Not only exist but actually know more about a certain problem than do you.”
Dax joins the fray, “Sure, that’s very true, but who’s going to tell them this unfortunate fact? They could take that as a personal, national, and global insult. Imagine you’re at an international conference and a bunch of foreigners walk in just to tell you you’ve been doing it all wrong for the last 75 years.”
I add, “Remember, though. These characters are scientists as well. I think it’ll be a good measure of seeing what sort of science and scientist we’re dealing with here. If they are truly researchers, they’ll listen to and evaluate what we say as for veracity and accuracy. If they’re just a bunch of Commie goons; no offense, Comrade Academician Ivan, they’ll get all pissed off, kick us out, and we get to go home and enjoy our triple Force Majeure pay.”
Ivan walks over and deliberately steps on the toes of my newly polished field boots.
“In Soviet Russia, field boots walk on YOU.” He laughs in his heavily inflected, and scary, Soviet-era speech…
“Yes, I agree”, Joon adds, “But who is going to address this issue with our hosts? Perhaps one of our Russian comrades, as they are, or were, more politically aligned with our Korean friends and perhaps best understand the issue?”
Ack speaks up, grinning maniacally, “No, I disagree. We should have the one person here who so encapsulates the ideologies and political leanings that they love to hate here so much. You know; the quiet, diminutive, and soft-spoken North American…”
Dax recoils, “Oh, no! I’m not going out in front of this mob of ornery Orientals…”
I smile wanly and tell Dax to cool out.
“Relax, Dax. They’re talking about me.”
“Oh, yes”, a collective group of voices replies, “Yes. Let out fearless Team Leader break the bad news to our Eastern Colleagues. That way we can gauge their reactions to being bounced around scientifically by a member of the Evil Capitalist Cartel.”
“OK”, I reply, “I’ll do it. But be forewarned, my fine feathered fiends. I get stuck on a topic that’s not precisely my bailiwick, I’m going to throw your ass to the wolves. Remember, we’re all in this together.”
Whoops, and catcalls were reduced to mumbles and ‘Aw, fucks.’.
Chautauqua resumption was called and I asked for the floor.
It was a bit off the agenda, but since they’ve been chewing the air for the last several hours, they understood it would be appropriate for us to at least try and get a word in edgewise.
I downed my beer, and grabbed a fresh one as what I was going to say was going to be harsh, cut-and-dried, and rather pointed. But delivered in a pleasant manner.
I hoped.
This all had to be filtered through a series of translators, one for general conversational Korean and another for the more technical and scientific transliterations. I realized I was going to be up here for a while. So, I brought a cigar.
One way or another, I was going to deliver our pronouncements and hell, I may as well be comfortable while doing it.
.
“Greetings and felicitations, my Eastern Colleagues. Let me first say how nice it is to be here in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea as part of the ….”
I’m going to fast-forward through all the flowery bullshit and introductory happiness; I’ll going to just cut to the guts of the matter.
“…Now, you do know why there has been virtually no oil, gas nor any other hydrocarbon related deposit discovered here in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea?” I asked by way of a rhetorical question.
I sipped my beer and lit my cigar. In for a chon, in for a won.
I let the buzzing subside on the side of our eastern counterparts.
“Because, and please do not take this as insulting or derogatory, but as a statement of irrefutable fact, no one with the proper training nor experience has been looking. You’re historically guilty of applying the science incorrectly and letting dogma and politics guide your search, instead of the scientific method and the facts. Geology, like all natural science, is just as truth based on the facts for a capitalist as it is for a communist. Reality is not influenced by your beliefs, be they scientific or political, secular or spiritual, ‘trusted’ rather than ‘thought’; any more than by your wish that it wouldn’t rain today during a raging thunderstorm.”
Little Boy over Hiroshima was dropped with less effect.
Our Democratic People's Republic of Korea colleagues erupted into a chaotic mixture of stuttering, internecine yelling, accusations, and sputtering.
Calling for decorum, I figured that since I was this far gone, I may as well push the plunger all the way to the bottom.
“Gentlemen, I do not denigrate the science of geology as taught and practiced here in Best Korea.” I actually said that, sort of a slip of the tongue. Continuing, “However, one would not fish for Bluefin tuna from a rowboat in a pond with a fly rod. One does not hunt bear in the city with a slingshot. Just as one doesn’t search for oil and gas with mining engineers, geomorphologists, and seismologists.”
I let that sink in and after the translation, they calmed a bit and wanted to hear the rest of what I had to say. I could sense a couple was less than thrilled with what I had to say, but forging onward…
“One fishes for Bluefin tuna in the deep ocean with huge rods, reels and a specialist boat captained by someone with deep experience in hunting the elusive fish. One hunts bear in the proper environment, the taiga or forest, with the proper tools and guided by one with the education, learnedness, and experience to know how to make the hunt come out successful.”
Hit them with some analogies they can relate to and digest. Now, go for the carotid.
“Just like one does not hunt oil and gas without stratigraphers, sedimentologists, geophysicists, petrophysicists, and other oil and gas experts who have the education, experience, and knowledge to know where to look. Knowing which environment looks most conductive to hide your quarry, if you’ll pardon the pun, and how best to find them, the guys who know how to corral and de-risk them once you find them, and the engineers and technologists who know how to bring them to the surface so they can be utilized.”
They had stopped being irritated and were listening in rapt attention.
“My colleagues and I have spent the last few days going over, in detail the geology of your country. There is nothing we can see that would preclude the development, entrapment, and preservation of economic quantities of oil and gas. Ture, the geology is quite complex as is the structural history of the entire peninsula. That’s one other thing you will have to accept. Geology doesn’t give the tiniest shit about political boundaries. One must look at the big picture, and that doesn’t stop at some man-made borders. Ignore that fact at your peril, because if you continue to view the geology here as not existing across political boundaries, you are preadapting yourself for failure.”
Drs. Ivan, Volna, and Morse make certain that everyone sees the ex-Soviets agreeing with the bushy-bearded, cigar-chomping American capitalist.
“So,” I said, hoping to bring this little spit-balling session to a fortuitous close, “If we can have an agreement; scientific agreement, on these points, then I am certain we can find a way forward with not only this discussion but the program we can devise for the best Korean (notice phase shift?) geologists to take the project forward both scientifically soundly and economically successful.”
My North Korean counterpart gets up from his seat in the conference room, goes to the keg, taps a couple of beers and walks up to the podium where I was standing.
“Thank you, Dr. Rocknocker, for saying what needed to be said”, he spoke in perfect English as he handed me a beer.
I grinned and gratefully accepted the beer.
“Why, Dr. Chang Kwang-Su”, I said, as that was his name, “You old fraud. You do speak English; and very well, I must add.”
“Yes, almost all of us do”, he relayed, “But, as you said, we are most reserved. We were more or less under orders of the ‘most illustrious’, to play coy, and act as if we spoke no English.”
“I see.” I said, “I’ve worked in several FSU countries as well as Russia and saw that there as well. I guess old habits die hard.”
“That they do, Doctor.”, he replied, “But, we must now tell you the truth. We knew exactly what you said is true, and we agree. We are not as totally insulated from the outside world as some suspect.”
“Well, I was going on what your superiors related to us. Like the police that had all their toilets stolen, I had nothing else to go on.” I replied.
“Ah, ha! Quite!”, he chuckled, “We had long suspected that we were lacking in certain areas of scholarship. What you said cements that fact as it was an independent conclusion. We can now present that to our superiors with the caveat that unless we bolster work and training in these areas, the hunt of hydrocarbon resources here will be for naught.”
“I am relieved”, I said, truthfully. “I was slightly concerned that some might take umbrage to being told their science is not up to specifications. I tried to be the bearer of that bad news but deliver it gently. Here, I find you need that to use that as a truncheon to smack one’s boss upside the head and tell him that an upgrade is required. And fast.”
“Ah, so”, he replies, “We are in total agreement. Now that is out of the way, we would appreciate it if you’d help in designing a course of study for up and coming local geoscientists. Then, we can go forward with a great plan to search for oil and gas here in…Korea. Correct?”
“Absolutely”, I remarked, “You’ve got over 400 man-years of science and exploration expertise here in this room alone. Let’s shoot for the moon, so to speak. Let’s get you up to speed on scientific journals and articles that are available out there in all of academia and industry. Let’s get you communicating on a global basis. Let’s prove that you can talk science with global scientists and still not have it affect your political or nationalistic aspirations one little bit. Let’s see if we can drag you, figuratively speaking, kicking and screaming, into the 21st century.”
“Doctor”, Dr. Chang remarked, “You are the embodiment of what we were always told what Americans are. Brash, loud, confident, and evil. Except for evil, you are American as we were led to believe.”
“Hey, I take that as a compliment”, I exclaim. “You think that’s bad, I’ve got a bunch of earnest Europeans, raucous Russians, and a couple of cagey Canadians on my side as well. Before we’re finished here, we’ll have you ordering hachee, dining on Caldo Verde, snacking on salmiakki, drinking Russkaya vodka with Pabst Blue Ribbon beer, eating poutine, and rooting for the Packers.”
“Doctor, I don’t know what half of that means, but I hope it comes to pass. It sounds most fascinating.” Dr. Chang chuckles.
The rest of the day was spent with various groups crystallizing and breaking off from the main crowd; then reforming as different groups. This was good, as it showed an interest across not only national borders but across ideologies and scientific specialties.
Most everyone here spoke English with some degree of fluency, so the translators were called in only occasionally.
I made certain they were included in everything that transpired that day. I want everyone to feel ‘part of the team’. How better to show the classlessness of Western science to include everyone in on both sides of every discussion and activity?
To be continued…
submitted by Rocknocker to Rocknocker [link] [comments]

D1000 rooms for Draven Manor

A haunted mansion with a twist, it was touched by the shrouded king, an inter-dimensional being of darkness, now the mansion acts as a pocket dimension with seemingly infinite rooms, and phases through time and space, having been photographed before it was technically created....
Feel free to throw in as many horror references as physically possible.
  1. Foyer
  2. Parlor
  3. Anteroom
  4. Wardrobe
  5. Balcony
  6. Study
  7. Master Bedroom
  8. Nursery'
  9. Graveyard
  10. Boneyard
  11. Bathroom
  12. Washroom
  13. Conservatory
  14. Storage
  15. Kitchen
  16. Dining Room
  17. Ballroom
  18. Laundry Room
  19. Butler's Room
  20. Hidden Room
  21. Fortune Teller's Room
  22. Mirror Room
  23. Projection Room
  24. Billiards Room
  25. Courtyard
  26. Rec Room
  27. Nana's Room
  28. Tea Room
  29. Astral Room
  30. Observatory
  31. Twins' Room
  32. Safari Room
  33. Ceramics Studio
  34. Armory
  35. Clockwork Room
  36. Telephone Room
  37. Art Studio
  38. Sitting Room
  39. Guest Room
  40. Sealed Room
  41. Well
  42. Secret Altar
  43. Pipe Room
  44. Cold Storage
  45. Breaker Room
  46. Cellar
Ken_Nt
  1. Sauna
  2. Indoor pool
  3. Broom closet
Keystoneway
  1. Sewing room
  2. Library
  3. Boiler room
  4. Surgery room
  5. Greenhouse
  6. Pantry
  7. Morgue
  8. Exercise room
  9. Room just for a certain kind of pet (Google 'tarantula room')
  10. Game room
  11. Cell
  12. Woodshop
  13. Swimming pool
  14. Panic room
  15. Padded cell
  16. Torture chamber
  17. Alchemy lab
  18. Doll room
  19. Elevator
  20. Darkroom (like for developing photographs)
  21. Mail room
Mythgirl
  1. The lotion room: Dozens if glass shelves hold hundreds bottles of lotion. Footsteps are muffled against the leather floor. The walls are made of living skin hidden behind thin wood panels which fold out of the way like shutters.
  2. The crime scene: A manikin lies motionless inside of a chalk outline. The decor is that of a seedy motel. Flies buzz lazily, crawling in and out of the the sink’s plumbing. Upon inspection a few strands of hair are found in the drain. If you pull them they slide out, slimy and damp, attached to a piece of scalp.
  3. The powder donut: a room with opulent furnishings. Overstuffed chairs and sofa’s welcome visitors. If sat upon, they release a white cloud. Poison? Mold? Anthrax? Powdered sugar? Mites? Only time will tell the effects.
  4. Abandoned room: all the furniture is covered in sheets. If lifted, nothing but dust is found under the cover.
  5. Throne Room
  6. Child’s bedroom
  7. Child’s playroom
  8. Tinkerer’s workshop
  9. Model train room (or world equivalent)
  10. Wood working room
  11. Warehouse storeroom
  12. Dangerous material storage
  13. Pastry kitchen (completely separate from normal kitchen)
  14. Smoke room (for curing meat)
  15. Walk-in closet full of fancy costumes
  16. Emergency supply room (full of water, fire suppressant, weapons, gas masks, and similar. Think prepper)
  17. Room of magically useless curiosities
  18. Statue room (full of statue figures)
  19. Portrait room (full of portraits)
  20. Sculpture room (not figures, more artistic)
  21. Room of stone where everything is made of marble
  22. Golden room (painted or real you decide)
  23. Peacock room (like the famous irl one, beautiful room that was decorated to match the gorgeous painting of peacocks that spans the entirety of the wall and ceiling
  24. Phoenix room (see peacock room, but Phoenix themed.)
  25. Mirrored room
  26. Cozy sitting room (fireplace and hot coco with marshmallows at the ready)
  27. Window room (each window shows a completely different view)
  28. Room filled with sand
  29. Bathroom with dead woman in bathtub (the shining)
Edit: more stuff
  1. Junk room
  2. Tower room
  3. Room of illusion (everyone inside appears to grow either horns or wings, mess with your party as you choose)
  4. Pentagram room
  5. Laboratory
  6. Medical wing
  7. Furnace room
  8. Crematorium
  9. Mausoleum
  10. Embalming room
  11. Padded cell
  12. Suspiciously Empty room
  13. Tavern
  14. Classy bar (like a five star hotel)
  15. Maid’s quarters
  16. Swimming pool
  17. Inhabited swimming pool
  18. Locker room
  19. Movie/play theater
  20. Backstage
  21. Loft
  22. Crawl space
  23. Call center
  24. Scroll room
  25. Interior of Pyramid
  26. Exterior of pyramid inside larger room
  27. Mummy’s Tomb
  28. Automaton room
  29. Trash compactor
  30. Control room
  31. Incubator room
  32. Apothecary
  33. Pharmacy
  34. Waiting room
  35. Stables
  36. Gymnasium
  37. Weight room
  38. Sewing room
  39. Glass cube room (think cabin in the woods)
  40. Rustic Cabin room
  41. Basement
  42. Earthquake room (you feel an earthquake with inside it, but the rest of the house in undisturbed)
  43. Room full of Fragile vases
  44. Room full of cut Flowers
  45. Room with one bloody handprint in the center of the floor
  46. Room with bed (bed has rumpled sheets and is warm to the touch)
  47. Room full of cats
  48. Room with axe stuck in door
  49. Room with typewriter and desk, papers with gibberish written on them are scattered over the floor
  50. Freezer
  51. Room with walls that are made of tree bark. Red sap oozes from it when touched. Smells of pine and mold. Mushrooms grow in patches
  52. Room full of moldy dead rats (perhaps an later temporal space of the live rat room, may seem eerily familiar if they have encountered the living rat room first)
  53. Living rat room: Room of food barrels, when disturbed, rats pour fourth (perhaps an earlier temporal space of the dead rat room, may seem eerily familiar if they have encountered the dead rat room first)
  54. Cheese room
SuperNes

  1. Masonry workshop
  2. Museum
  3. Reliquary
  4. Barracks
  5. Stables
  6. Menagerie
Worldofideas
  1. Attic
  2. Boiler Room
  3. Catacombs
  4. Coach House
  5. Darkroom (photography)
  6. Furnace room
  7. Mad Science Laboratory
  8. Music Room
  9. Root Cellar
  10. Safe Room / Panic Room
  11. Sub Basement
  12. Summoning Room
  13. Torture Chamber
  14. Walk in Closet
Vinvladro
  1. Torture Room
  2. Wine cellar with wine press and some bloody rags scattered around the press
  3. Brewery
  4. Golem Workshop
More of my own ideas
178: Dinosaur Containment Units
179: Submarine Bay
180: Western Bank
181: Underground Temple
182: Puppet Theater
183: Agency
184: 80's Room
185: Criminal Hideout
186: Comic Fan's Room
187: Wizarding World Room
188: Space Station
189: Pirate Ship
190: DnD Room
191: Escape Room
192: Slasher's Collection
193: Art Cabin
194: Antidote Lab
195: Motel Rooms
196: Board Game Room
197: Wax Museum
198: Casino
199: Gore Fountain
200: Murderous Little Girl's Room
201: King's Crypt
202: Lurker's Room
203: Skeleton Band Room
204: Spider's Nest
205: Witch's Kitchen
206: Ghoul Stairs
207: Mad Scientist's Collection
208: Library of Spells
209: Gothic Dining Room
210: Fog Room
211: Potion Shop
212: Bone Web
213: Redneck's Shed
214: Indoor Beach
215: Hellish Labyrinth
216: Wedding Chapel
217: Ballet Stage
218: Fun House
219: Castle Gallery
220: Moon Pavilion
221: Psycho Cinema
222: Suburban Garden
223: Racist Club
224: Bloody Playroom
225: VRcade
226: Tribal Arts
227: Robotics Room
228: Funerary Storage
229: Slasher's Wardrobe
230: Ski Lounge
231: Vampire's Crypt
232: Seaside Knick Knack Shop
233: Tree Farm
234: Mutant Bunker
235: Demonic Book-Building Workshop
236: Alien Nest
237: Medieval Gallery
238: Scarecrow Shed
239: Cabin Cellar
240: Room in Tarps
241: Dog's Room
242: Puppet Workshop
243: Candy Shop
244: Post-Apocalyptic Room
245: Christmas Hall
246: Fleece Room
247: Playground
248: Giant Cake
249: Cannery
250: Room Under Construction
251: Moth Light
252: Fiendish Kennels
253: Sheep Tents
254: Alien Court
255: Railway
256: Bunny Bridge
257: Funeral Home
258: Squatter's Warehouse
259: Algae Pond
260: Civil War Battlefield
261: Dollhouse
262: Vampire Party Hall
263: Daughter's Crypt
264: Doghouse
265: Writer's Room
266: Cloning Lab
267: Electrocution Chamber
268: Corpse Pit
269: Boarded Room
270: Snake Island
271: Fossil Cave
272: Arctic Crater
273: Surgical Theater
274: Chemical Silo
275: Psychic Test Center
276: Spider Den
277: Old Aviary
278: Black Magic Strip Club
279: Witch's Warehouse
280: Ancient Egyptian Tomb
281: Pumpkin House
282: Giant Snow Globe
283: Deer Cult
284: Giant's Home
285: Snake Pit
286: Reanimation Lab
287: Reptilian City
288: Drinking Lodge
289: Twin Girls' Room
290: Ancient Altar
291: Asylum Cell Block
292: Vomit Covered Room
293: Time Machine
294: Shaman's Tent
295: Locker Room with steroids in one of the lockers
296: Room of Shadows
297: Elder Brain
298: Giant Board Game
299: Dark Shed
300: Revolutionary Exhibit
301: Limacology Labs
302: Broken Stables
303: Gator Shack
304: Ant's Nest
305: Apehouse
306: Rich Cat Lover's Room
307: Insect House
308: Tengu Shrine
309: Rodents Room
310: Inside a Genie's Lamp
311: Insect Study
312: Reptile Room
313: Parasite Storeroom
314: Athena's Shrine
315: Frog Library
316: Ruined Date
317: Gladiatorial Arena
318: Simulated Haunted House
319: Gorilla House
320: Death Cult
321: A laboratory that looks as though people left in a hurry...
322: A medical room that seems as though someone died here.
323: Japanese VHS Enthusiast's Apartment
324: Prison of the Deformed
325: Room of Stretchers
326: Oni's Hut
327: Mongolian Tents
328: Room of Cloaks
329: Gothic Party
330: Pteradactyl Enclosure
331: Carnivorous Greenhouse
332: Rabid Kennels
333: Space Hangar
334: Hatchet Shed
335: Indoor Swamp
336: Room of Smoke
337: Old Man's Room
338: Murdered Child's Room
339: Weaboo's Room
340: Snuff Studio
341: Warlord's Tent
342: Gamer's Parlor
343: Tentacle Pools
344: Toll Bridge
345: Headhunter's Camp
346: Sugar Mill
347: "Vaginal Torture" Room
348: Dermatology Room
349: Volcanic Room
350: Nile Tomb
351: Farmer's Children's' Room
352: Infant's Play Room
353: Room of Flames
354: Innsmouth Pawn
355: Rabbit Room
356: Maternity Ward
357: Steampunk Workshop
358: Minotaur's Labyrinth
359: Goth Girl's Room
360: Serkhet's Shrine
361: Irish Washerwoman's Room
362: Wild West Shooting Gallery
363: Medusa's Garden
364: Room of Decapitated Heads
365: Toxic Barrel Storeroom
366: Alien Specimens Room
367: Fishing Shack
368: Sushi Farm
369: Shark Bay
370: Alien Plant Cave
371: Butchery
372: Exterminator's Room
373: Elliot's Room
374: Magic Theater
375: Pirate Ship
376: Surgical Bay
377: Viking Long Ship
378: Hag's Barn
379: Vampire Garden
380: Enchantress' Room
381: Mutant Bug Arena
382: Clown Toyshop
383: Underworld Gate
384: Arctic Labs
385: Padded Cell (Someone escaped from it)
386: Gym Supplies
387: Virginial Garden
388: College Library
389: Sex Room filled with Plushies for some unknown reason...
390: Weed Farm
391: Security Office
392: Horror Movie Studio
393: Gadgets Lab
394: Office Cubicles
395: Break Room
396: Superstitious Woman's Room
397: Sexy Nurse's Office
398: Rest Stop
399: Room of Old Dolls
400: Reveren's Room
401: Parental Room
402: Sex Dungeon
403: Escape Room
404: Hoard
405: A.I. Room
406: Technovault
407: Staffroom
408: Ritual Room
409: Hellish Stripclub
410: Criminal's Apartment
411: Military Kennels
412: Femme Fatale's Room
413: Brine Reef
414: Decrepit Police Office
415: Skeletal Ballroom
416: Murder Circus
417: Wolf Den
418: Sulfuric Pit
419: Tribal Room with Snakes
420: Zombie Outpost
421: Law Firm
422: Decrepit Building
423: Creepy Old Orphanage
424: Vampiric Enforcer's Room
425: Sorority Room
426: Leprechaun's Cave
427: Death Row
428: Ghost Finder's Lab
429: Sunken Ruins
430: Faith Chapel
431: Convent
432: Vampire Hunter's Armory
433: Tickling Chamber
434: Fishing Boat Dock
435: Terror Chamber
436: Room of Coffins
437: Agentry
438: Widow's Bedroom
439: Sleepy Hollow Gallery
440: Prisoner's Row
441: Occultic Library
442: Sunken Spire
443: Well of Souls
444: Tomb of the Pharoah's
445: Blood Chamber
446: Pit of the Giant Wolf
447: Victorian Tea Room
448: Gothic Museum
449: Satanic Church
450: Cedar Cabin
451: Halloween Shop
452: Magic Show
453: Skeletal Garage
454: Asylum Common Room
455: Lynching Yard
456: Occultic Garden
457: Dark Post Office
458: Black Wedding
459: Holy Portrait Hall
460: Rl'yeh Gate
461: Victorian Labs
462: Room of Globes
463: Hunter's Parlor
464: Retro TV Room
465: Hall of Miniatures
466: Persian Lounge
467: Photo Freak's Room
468: Maze of Screens
469: Pit of Sharp Objects
470: Pencilhead's Room
471: Puzzle Room
472: Key Cabinet
473: Room of Wooden Cubes
474: Room of Jackets
475: The Giant Cuckoo Clock
476: Rotary Room
477: Room of Lights
478: Swimmin' Hole
479: Typewriter Room
480: Smoking Parlor
481: Cigar Storeroom
482: Second Drawing Room
483: Murder Mystery Parlor
484: Golden Throne
485: Case-File Storeroom
486: Evidence Storage
487: Room of Pulleys
488: Slideshow Theater
489: Cassette Room
490: Room of Newspapers
491: House of Matches
492: Room covered in Duct Tape
493: Room of Plug-Ins
494: Static
495: Relaxation Chamber
496: Lake of Rust
497: Room of Passwords
498: Fishing Pond
499: Detective's Office
500: Pamphlet Office
submitted by RebelTheAnomaly to d100 [link] [comments]

Essential businesses as stated by the Governor

Businesses, Organizations, and Facilities That May Remain Open. The following is a non- exhaustive list of businesses, organizations, and facilities that are included in the federal critical infrastructure sectors. The Order does not require these businesses, organizations, and facilities to close.
a. The Chemical Sector includes, but is not limited to:
b. The Commercial Facilities Sector includes, but is not limited to:
Please note: Casinos, racetracks, simulcast betting facilities, enclosed malls, certain recreational establishments, and certain retail businesses are subject to specific provisions of this and other Orders, and are required to close. Please read the Order carefully.
c. The Communications Sector includes, but is not limited to:
*Broadcasting companies and stations.
d. The Critical Manufacturing Sector includes, but is not limited to, manufacturing of:
e. The Defense Industrial Base Sector includes, but is not limited to:
f. The Emergency Services Sector includes, but is not limited to:
g. The Energy Sector includes, but is not limited to:
h. The Financial Services Sector includes, but is not limited to:
i. The Food and Agriculture Sector includes, but is not limited to:
Please note: Restaurants and bars are subject to specific provisions of the Order, and are required to close (except for carry-out, delivery, and drive-through sales). Please read the Order carefully.
j. The Government Facilities Sector also encompasses private persons and entities that support the judicial system including, but not limited to:
k. The Healthcare and Public Health Sector includes, but is not limited to:
l. The Information Technology Sector includes, but is not limited to:
m. The Transportation Systems Sector includes, but is not limited to:
n. The Water and Wastewater Systems Sector includes, but is not limited to:
o. Supporting Firms. The federal critical infrastructure sectors include firms providing the following to any other business, organization, or facility included in the federal critical infrastructure sectors:
This is not an exhaustive list.
Taken from this document PDF WARNING
submitted by langis_on to maryland [link] [comments]

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