Malibu wide plank vinyl flooring reviews
Buying a house and wife hates the terracotta floors. What to do?
2023.03.25 01:22 Chopstarrr Buying a house and wife hates the terracotta floors. What to do?
Personally, I like the tiles enough to where I would be happy if they stayed, but I also would prefer something else. I’m easy to please as long as it looks good and lasts.
She has brought up painting the tiles and white washing them. If the tiles are staying, I don’t necessarily want to ruin them in case they have resale value when we eventually sell.
I have considered floating vinyl plank above them, but I am concerned with the floors not being leveled and having dips in the flooring.
Additionally, I could just get a flooring guy to come in and do the house, but I imagine removal and install will be around 20k.
What would you do in my situation?
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2023.03.24 22:13 AXXXXXXXXA Whats the best LVP option at Lowes for pets & scratch resistance? The Stainmaster Pet protect has pretty bad reviews as far as the locking mechanism breaking during & after install.
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2023.03.24 20:39 Lanky_Athlete_6805 The Illusion of Trust
We were excited to start fresh, in a new city, with a new home to make our own. But it seems like something has been following us, and it's not letting us settle in peacefully.
The house is a quaint little place, with a brick exterior and a white picket fence surrounding the yard. It has two floors, with a cozy living room, a small dining area, and a spacious kitchen on the ground floor. The upper level has two bedrooms and a bathroom. We both fell in love with the place as soon as we saw it, but now I'm starting to regret our decision.
Lily is a sweet and bubbly woman, with a love for adventure and a contagious laugh. She's always been my rock, and I'm lucky to have her by my side. I, on the other hand, am a bit of a worrier. I tend to overthink things and get anxious easily, which makes me a bit of a buzzkill sometimes.
But since we moved in, strange things have been happening. We hear whispers and footsteps when we're alone, and sometimes we feel like we're being watched. Lily brushed it off as our imaginations, but I can't shake the feeling that something is not right.
On the first night, we were watching a movie in the living room when the TV suddenly turned off by itself. We both jumped, and I thought it might have been a power outage, but when I went to check, everything seemed to be fine. As I walked back to the living room, I saw a shadowy figure move out of the corner of my eye. I turned to look, but nothing was there.
Lily noticed my unease and tried to reassure me that it was just my imagination, but I know what I saw. I can't shake the feeling that we're not alone in this house, and it's starting to get to me.
I don't know what's going on, but I have a feeling that this is just the beginning of something much darker.
The strange occurrences in our new house have only gotten worse since that night the TV turned off by itself. It's like the activity has picked up, and we're constantly on edge. Every creak and groan of the house makes us jump, and we're both having trouble sleeping.
A few night later, I woke up to the sound of footsteps coming from the hallway outside our bedroom. I was sure it was Lily getting up to use the bathroom, but when I looked over, she was still fast asleep next to me. The footsteps stopped outside our door, and then I heard a faint whisper. I couldn't make out what was being said, but it sent shivers down my spine.
Another time, we were sitting in the living room, trying to watch TV, but the signal kept cutting out. It was frustrating, and we were both getting irritated. But then, the static on the screen started to distort, and I swear I saw a face staring back at me. I blinked, and it was gone. But the feeling of unease lingered long after.
The most disturbing experience we've had so far was when we both woke up to find the door to our bedroom wide open. We always lock it before we go to bed, so it was strange to find it open like that. We checked the house, and everything was locked and secure, but I can't shake the feeling that something was in our room with us while we slept.
Lily has been trying to stay positive, but even she's starting to get scared. We've talked about it, and we both agree that something is not right. We just don't know what to do about it. We're starting to feel like we're going crazy, like we're imagining all of this, but it's all too real.
I don't know what's going on in this house, but I have a feeling it's not going to end well for us.
I couldn't take it anymore. The strange occurrences in our house were happening more frequently, and it was starting to take a toll on our mental health. I knew I had to do something, so I decided to set up some surveillance equipment to see if we could catch anything on camera.
I explained to Lily what I was doing, but she didn't take it well. She was angry that I was invading our own privacy, and she thought I was overreacting. But I knew I had to do something, and I couldn't just sit back and do nothing.
I set up cameras in every room, and we went out for the day, hoping to catch something on camera while we were gone. When we got back, I immediately checked the footage, hoping to find some evidence of what was going on.
But to my surprise, there was no entity on the footage. There was no sign of any supernatural presence in the house, but the actions of the entity were there. Doors opening and closing, objects moving on their own, and even whispers could be heard on the audio.
It was unnerving to see it all captured on camera, and Lily was even more upset that I had set up the cameras. But I knew deep down that we needed to see the truth. We couldn't keep ignoring what was happening in our own home.
I showed Lily the footage, and even she had to admit that something strange was happening. We sat in silence for a while, both of us trying to come to terms with the fact that we were living in a haunted house.
I don't know what we're going to do next, but at least we have some evidence to back up what we've been experiencing. The surveillance footage was a reality check, and now we need to figure out how to deal with it.
Things took a turn for the worse after we watched the surveillance footage. The entity in our house became bolder, and its presence was more palpable than ever. But what was even more disturbing was how it started to take on our appearances.
It started with Lily. I remember walking into our bedroom and seeing her sitting on the bed, staring at me with a blank expression. She looked exactly like Lily, but there was something off about her. It was as if she was a completely different person.
"Lily?" I said, cautiously. "Are you okay?"
She didn't answer, but instead stood up and walked towards me, getting uncomfortably close. She whispered something in my ear that I couldn't quite make out, before walking away and leaving the room.
It wasn't until later that I found out that it wasn't Lily at all. It was the Doppelganger, taking on her appearance to try and deceive me. It was playing a game, and I was its pawn.
But it didn't stop there. The Doppelganger started taking on my appearance too, and it would say and do things that I would never dream of doing. It was trying to create chaos and strife between us, and it was succeeding.
One day, Lily came to me, visibly upset. She accused me of saying some hurtful things to her earlier in the day. But I had no recollection of ever saying those things. It was only later, when we reviewed the surveillance footage, that we saw the Doppelganger disguised as me, saying those things to her.
It was terrifying to see it all play out on camera, and it made us realize just how much power this entity had over us. It was like we were living in a nightmare, and we couldn't wake up.
We started to question everything, and we were constantly second-guessing ourselves. Was the person we were talking to really who they said they were? It was a mind game, and the Doppelganger was always one step ahead.
We were at our wit's end, and we didn't know what to do next. All we knew was that we had to find a way to stop this thing before it destroyed us completely.
The night was eerily quiet, as if the whole world was holding its breath in anticipation of something ominous. I was lying in bed next to Lily, who was fast asleep, her breathing calm and even. But I couldn't sleep. The events of the past few days had left me feeling uneasy, and I couldn't shake off the feeling that something was terribly wrong.
That's when I saw her, standing at the foot of the bed. It was Lily, or at least I thought it was Lily, until she spoke.
"I know about your affair, Max," she said, her voice cold and emotionless.
I was stunned, unable to process what was happening. How did she know about that? I had kept it a secret from her, thinking it was the best course of action. But now, it seemed that my secret was out in the open.
"Wh-what are you talking about?" I stammered, trying to buy myself some time.
"Don't play dumb, Max. I've seen the way you look at her. You think you're so clever, keeping it hidden from me. But I know everything."
I felt a cold sweat break out on my forehead. How could this be happening? I had been so careful to keep my affair hidden, and yet here was Lily, accusing me of something I never thought she would find out.
And then, just as suddenly as she had appeared, she was gone, leaving me alone in the darkness.
The next morning, Lily was in the kitchen, preparing breakfast. She seemed distant and cold, not at all like the Lily I knew and loved. I tried to talk to her, to explain myself, but she shut me down, refusing to even look at me.
It wasn't until later that day, when I was reviewing the footage from the surveillance cameras, that I saw what had happened. The Doppelganger had taken on Lily's appearance and had used it to reveal my secret, to drive a wedge between me and Lily.
I felt sick to my stomach, realizing that the Doppelganger knew things about me that even Lily didn't know. And I couldn't shake off the feeling that things were only going to get worse from here on out.
I sat across from Lily, my heart pounding in my chest as I waited for her to speak. I knew that the revelation of my infidelity had hurt her deeply, and couldn't help but feel a sense of guilt and shame wash over me.
"Lily, I'm so sorry," I said, my voice barely above a whisper.
Lily looked at me, her eyes cold and distant. "You should be," she said. "You lied to me, Max. You kept this from me for years."
"I know, and I'm sorry," I said, my voice trembling. "I was scared. I didn't know how to tell you. I didn't want to lose you."
Lily's expression softened slightly. "Max, I don't know what to do," she said. "The Doppelganger, the affair... It's all just too much."
I reached out and took her hand, squeezing it gently. "We can get through this, Lily. I'll do whatever it takes to make things right."
Lily shook her head. "I don't know if I can forgive you," she said. "I need some time to think."
I nodded, feeling a knot form in his stomach. I knew that I had hurt Lily deeply, and I wasn't sure if I could ever make it up to her.
As we sat in silence, the sound of footsteps echoed through the house. We both looked up, our hearts racing as we saw the shadowy figure of the Doppelganger standing in the doorway.
It all came to a head that night. The air was heavy with tension, and Lily and I were on the verge of a complete breakdown. We had been arguing for hours, and it seemed like we were getting nowhere. The Doppelganger had taken on our appearances and personalities so well that we couldn't even trust ourselves.
Then suddenly, Lily's eyes glazed over, and I knew that the Doppelganger had taken control of her directly. I tried to approach her, but she lashed out at me with a strength that was not her own. I knew then that we were truly at the mercy of this malevolent entity.
But Lily wasn't going down without a fight. She dug deep within herself and found the strength to drive the Doppelganger out of her body. As it flew out, I saw it enter me, and I knew then that I was in for a rough ride.
The Doppelganger taunted Lily with everything it had, bringing up the other woman and all of the things that I had kept hidden from her. It was like a part of me wanted to hurt her, to cause her pain. But Lily was determined to end this once and for all.
She took a deep breath and focused all of her energy on me. With tears streaming down her face, she told me that she loved me, and that we were going to beat this thing together. And with that, I felt the Doppelganger's power slipping away from me.
It was then that I realized the truth. The Doppelganger was not some external entity, but a manifestation of Lily's own anxieties and fears. I had created this monster out of her insecurities, and it had grown into something uncontrollable.
As we held each other, we both knew that we had a long road ahead of us. We would have to work through our trust issues and our past betrayals. But we also knew that we had each other, and that we were stronger together than we ever could be apart.
In the end, the Doppelganger's game was just a symptom of a much deeper problem. But we had faced our fears and come out on the other side. And that, in and of itself, was a victory.
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2023.03.24 17:22 Intelligent_Berry914 New porcelain tile
Hi, thanks on advance for any and all advice.
We are just starting to renovate or kitchen and are basically going to bring everything down to the studs. Our house is from the 1920's and the current kitchen is probably from the 50's.
We have wide plank sub flooring for most of the kitchen. We are planning to pull up the layers of sticky tile and the pine flooring underneath. Unfortunately we don't have leftover pine floor from other Reno projects in the house to fix and fill in areas without the wood floor.
We would like to use a self leveler on the floor before putting the tile down, bc the tile itself is long and the house has settled over the years and is definitely no longer level. I'm assuming we need to put down something over the wide plank subloor first, then the leveler. After that we're planning on putting durock down... But I'm seeing here many are suggesting using ditra. What would you do?
Any advise is greatly appreciated.
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2023.03.24 16:42 PRobinson87 Built-in Bookshelf around window and on flooring
Hoping to get the opinion of some of you more seasoned home improvers. I am planning on building some built in bookshelves around a bay window. But I don't know how to approach two aspects of it.
First, I currently have vinyl floor planks in the room. Is there any good reason I should tear up some flooring before building the bookcase or is building on top fine. If it was carpet I'd 100% pull it up but the vinyl does create a nice, flat surface.
Second, the bookcase will surround a bay window (probably) original to the house (1980). Should I leave a gap between the window trim and the bookcase for any reason? The window seems to be in pretty good shape but I'm wondering if the bookcase to the trim would cause issues of it ever has to be replaced.
I'm in Illinois if that makes any difference.
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2023.03.24 15:14 chocolatebarvulture Home Depot Promo Code for Vinyl Flooring
Visit this page for Home Depot Promo Code for Vinyl Flooring
. The website offers a wide selection of coupons, promo codes, and discount deals that are updated regularly, just visit the website to find the perfect one for you.
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2023.03.24 14:31 tilewarehouses Choose the best Vinyl Flooring in Trinidad and Tobago
Vinyl Flooring in Trinidad and Tobago
At Tilewarehouse you'll find a vast selection of Vinyl Flooring in Trinidad and Tobago
in all sizes, shapes, and colors. With a reputation for top-notch products and excellent customer service. It also offers a wide range of paints. Get in touch with us please visit our site tilewarehouse.tt or call us at 868-671-4151 for more information.
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2023.03.24 05:33 MaiMir Intel 27th March to 02nd April 2023
Monday 27.03.23: Mont Blanc
Timing: 40” work 20” rest
Tuesday 28.03.23: All Star
- YBELL SIDE LUNGE SINGLE ARM UNDER GRIP
- AGILITY LADDER DIAGONAL QUICK SLALOM
- DUMBBELL SINGLE RIGHT HAND EXPLOSIVE JUMP INTO RENEGADE ROW
- DUMBBELL SINGLE ARM OVERHEAD SIT UP
- AGILITY BOX LATERAL RUN WITH TAP
- SINGLE DUMBBELL ALTERNATE HANG SNATCH + ALTERNATE REVERSE LUNGE
- STEP TRAINER HIGH SEAT SQUAT JUMP + FOOT RELEASE
- SKI ERG STAGGERD STANCE
- SANDBAG DRAG FAST FEET SPRAWL
Pods: 4 (3 stations per POD)
Timing: 40” work 20” rest
Wednesday 29.03.23: Foxtrot
- DUMBBELL TRICEP EXTENSION PRONATION
- KETTLEBELL ALTERNATE FLOOR ROW NEUTRAL GRIP
- SWISS BALL PLATE WEIGHT CRUNCH
- REVO ALTERNATE STAGGERED GOODMORNING FRONT
- SANDBAG 45 DEGREE LUNGE
- SANDBAG SUMO SQUAT BICEP CURL PRESS
- SUSPENSION TRAINER CLOSE GRIP ROW
- DUMBBELL FLAT BENCH ALTERNATE CHEST PRESS
- MEDICINE BALL STRAIGHT LEG HOLD
- BARBELL SUMO SQUAT
- REVO DOUBLE ROMANIAN DEADLIFT
- YBELL DOUBLE HAMMER CURL + ALTERNATE REVERSE LUNGE CENTER GRIP
Set 1: 45” work 15” rest
Set 2: 20” work 10” rest
Set 3: 45” work 15” rest
Set 4: 20” work 10” rest
Some studios will be doing Wellmania.
- YBELL SINGLE ALTERNATE CLEAN + PRESS OUTER GRIP
- 1 X INCHWORM + 2 X JUMPING JACK
- MEDICINE BALL CRUNCH + BUTTERFLY
- PLATE SUMO SQUAT + BICEP CURL
- SKI ERG EXPLOSIVE
- 3 X BENCH HOPS + BURPEE
- AGILITY LADDER SCISSORS
- SINGLE DUMBBELL FORWARD LUNGE + DIAGONAL CHOP
- BALANCE TRAINER JUMP ON OFF + 4 X MOUNTAIN WIDE CLIMBERS
- ROWING MACHINE
- DYNAMIC SOFT BOX CROSS OVER
- DEADBALL OVER SHOULDER THROW
This is a one off workout.
The extended warmup will provide an opportunity for members to get warm and have fun doing it led by Celeste Barber and Morgan Mitchell.
3 Sets per station
60" work 20" rest
1 lap of the room
60” hydration break after 5 stations
- Frog squats + push ups
- Bike seated
- Ybell double swings
- Ladder ikky shuffle
- Lateral shoot through
- Lunge jump + burpee
- Rowing machine
- Squat Jack
- Step trainer lateral hops + reverse shuffle
The end of the workout will be a guided meditation from Celeste barber and provide a perfect bookend to an amazing workout. Thursday 30.03.23: Red Diamond
Pods: 3 (3 stations per POD)
Set 1: 45” work 15” rest
Set 2: 40” work 20” rest
Set 3: 35” work 25” rest
Set 4: 30” work 30” rest
Friday 31.03.23: Loyals
- DUMBBELL ALTERNATE FLOOR PRESS
- BARBELL BICEP CURL TEMPO 4-0-1
- YBELL TRICEP KICKBACKS
- CHIN UP UNDERHAND GRIP
- DUMBBELL BENCH PULL OVERS
- REVO STANDING DOUBLE SHOULDER PRESS
- POWER BAND SEATED WIDE GRIP ROW TEMPO 4-0-1
- PUSH UP DIAMOND PAUSE
- PLATE UPRIGHT ROW CUBIN PRESS
Pods: 6. 3 stations per POD (A, B & C).
Laps: 4 per POD
Lap 1: 30” work 20” rest
Lap 2, 3 & 4: 20” work 10” rest
Saturday 01.04.23: Track: Partner workout
- YBELL SQUAT UNDER GRIP
- YBELL SINGLE CRUNCH + PUNCH
- YBELL SINGLE ALTERNATE TRICEP PUSH UP TOP GRIP
- AGILITY BOX HURDLE U LINE BEAR CRAWLS
- AGILITY BOX HURDLE HIGH PLANK HURDLE TAP
- AGILITY BOX HURDLE U LINE SHUFFLE
- DUMBBELL ALTERNATE SINGLE BENT OVER ROW 5X5
- SINGLE DUMBBELL FORWARD LUNGE + DIAGONAL CHOP
- DUMBBELL SINGLE ARM PUSH PRESS 5 EACH SIDE
- FEET OFF CORE HOLD
- FEET UP TWIST CRUNCHES
- HIGH PLANK + SHOULDER TOUCH
- SANDBAG KNEELING ARC PRESS
- SANDBAG SNATCH
- SANDBAG BENT OVER ROW WIDE GRIP PULSE
- PUSH UP TEMPO
- PULLUP SUPERMAN (LYING) 18, BURPEE
Lap 1: 90” work 10” rest. Lap 2: 60” work 10” rest.
Members will work in a you go I go format, by alternating every 15” during the working sets or completing 5 reps each one partner at a time
Sunday 02.04.23: MKatz
- SOFT BOX STEP UPS YGIG
- SQUAT PULSE YGIG
- YBELL PUSH-UP + BENT OVER ROW YGIG
- PLATE GOODMORNING YGIG
- DUMBBELL CURL PRESS YGIG
- SKI ERG & HIGH KNEES COMBO
- SUSPENSION TRAINER BICEP CURL YGIG
- BICYCLE CRUNCH PARTNER HOLDS HOLLOW BODY POSITION YGIG
- 4 X BENCH HOP + BURPEE YGIG
- DUMBBELL ROMANIAN DEADLIFT YGIG
- PLATE THRUSTER YGIG
- BURPEE + JUMP ON PLATE YGIG
- BIKE SPRINTS STANDING YGIG
- SWIMMER PUSH UPS YGIG
- YBELL SINGLE CLEAN AND LUNGE YGIG
- COMBO RUSSIAN TWISTS + 10 X MOUNTAIN CLIMBERS YGIG
- SKIPPING YGIG 18, SLED PUSH
Set 1: 35” work 10” rest
Set 2: 20” work 10” rest
Set 3: 20” work 20” rest
With a little surprise at the end: a 2 minute plank (30” x 4 variations of plank).
- BARBELL UPRIGHT ROW
- DUMBBELL ALTERNATE REVERSE LUNGE
- BARBELL PUSH PRESS
- KETTLEBELL ROMANIAN DEADLIFT
- DUMBBELL GOBLET SUMO SQUAT PAUSE
- SANDBAG BENT OVER ROW OVERHAND GRIP PAUSE
- DUMBBELL FLAT BENCH PRESS
- REVO GOOD MORNING - BACK LOADED
- YBELL DOUBLE BICEP CURL TWIST CENTRE GRIP
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2023.03.24 03:57 hanbo_beijing24 Pinus sylvestris, an underrated wood!
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When it comes to planks of sylvestris pine, it is a common pine species that is widely used in construction, decorating and furniture making.is pine, it is a common pine species that is widely used in construction, decorating and furniture making. https://preview.redd.it/836mepajplpa1.jpg?width=1417&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=d6d7276dc3e512f8634c1a3f29ae4f5010a53796
Pinus sylvestris is a drought-resistant, cold-resistant and adversity-resistant pine variety.
It is very popular in the timber market because of its strength, durability and light weight. https://preview.redd.it/ktrifswpplpa1.jpg?width=1417&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=d72e734e55da80040b530684b056484f61232b19
Pinus sylvestris board has excellent compressive and flexural strength, and also has good corrosion resistance. Therefore, it is often used in construction and furniture manufacturing.
Scotch pine planks are widely used in the construction industry, especially for building structures such as roofs, floors and wall panels.
It can also be used to make exterior walls and decorative panels because of its obvious wood grain, excellent texture and beautiful appearance.
Pinus sylvestris boards are also widely used in furniture manufacturing, such as tables, chairs, cabinets, etc. Due to the excellent processing properties of sylvestris pine boards, it is easy to design and carve when making furniture.
In conclusion, sylvestris pine planks are a common species of pine wood, characterized by hardness, durability, light weight and beautiful appearance, and are widely used in construction, decoration and furniture manufacturing. If you need woodworking projects or need building materials, contact us, our factory can meet your material needs.
2023.03.24 02:30 mcsard Choosing a recorder mainly for acoustic guitar
I was hoping to get some advice from people who actually used a few recorders I am considering.
Models: Tascam DR-40X Tascam DR-07X Zoom h4n Pro Roland R-07 TASCAM Portacapture X6
I work from home and since several years I improvise on acoustic guitar over short breaks, typically 15 minutes. I often come up with bits that I would like to record for later reference, but in the flow I do not stop. I tried setting up sound card and microphones to record on my DAW, but it takes too much time and I forget. So I would like a device which can I start recording quickly, with integrated microphones, so at the end that I can cut whatever sections I want to keep and leave them on the recorder for later listening or use. I would typically place the microphones 40cm from the guitar.
Some less frequent uses would be plugging an electric guitar (I do not necessarily need an amp simulator or effects for what I play) and field recording (so I would prefer both XY and AB) . Occasionally I might want to overdub, but it is not essential. I would not use it with external microphones, mainly. When I do, it would be either a cardioid or a lavalier.
I use pretty wide dynamics when playing, so clipping might be an issue, and occasionally I might want to use what I recorded in the DAW. So I was looking for decent sound quality and reasonably low noise floor (low enough not to struggle too much with noise reduction).
Features I would really need:
- Immediate recording pretty much, ideally one button press, and automatic creation of a file named after time and date or similar.
- High quality headphones output, not much for monitoring but for listening back later.
- Ability to mark certain points and to split the file quickly when the segments I want are still fresh in my mind.
- Microphones that will not pick up too much sound from the back and sides of the recorder in XY configuration.
- Reliable recording without interferences or clipping (I would not be monitoring when playing).
- Ideally a device which can double as an acceptable low latency sound card when travelling and can be powered via USB when possible to save battery.
Features which I would like but I can live without - Sturdy chassis - Not too much noise in the recording when touching the recorder - Not too much noise when using external microphones (but I would not use them often)
I know very little about recorders and I spent the last days reading a lot and watching videos, but many are sale pitches I feel, and reviews do not seem to agree on many things. I was attracted to the Tascam 40 and 07, which is my ideal price range, but I heard several complaints that they are very badly shielded. The house is very small and full of electronics, so I am worried about interferences. Also, some says that they are noisy.
The Zoom h4n Pro has no AB, battery life is not great and some limitations here and there, reading around.
Could somebody point me in the right direction?
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2023.03.24 00:23 dogsRgr8too Toilet leaking again after new wax seal placed.
We used an extra thick wax seal and are wondering if we should add a regular wax seal on top of it? Can they be stacked like that? If they can be stacked, is it better to get a new extra thick one or can I reuse the one we put down 1.5 weeks ago?
The pictures below are from the original post. Flange looks close to flush with the floor if not exactly flush.
For the original leak, we removed a portion of the floor and the toilet, replaced the toilet on the old alternative wax seal (green foam) and had no leaks for the entire time the linoleum vinyl plank was not in place. (we left it off several days to dry out and sterilize the floor and check for continued leaks.)
Once we put the floor back down, we switched to an extra thick wax seal with plastic horn to try to ensure no leaks. We caulked the flooring to the concrete-like subfloor to try to prevent water going under the floor again, hoping it would leak on top of the floor if it happened and be noticed more easily.
Today I noticed again when I step on the plank, some water squeezes up to the top of the floor.
Any advice would be appreciated. https://imgur.com/a/htcp3h5
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2023.03.23 20:06 SabatonBabylon The HEL Jumper Chapter 6.2
Book 1 of The HEL Jumper Year 2 of The HEL Jumper Year 3 of The HEL Jumper Year 4 of The HEL Jumper Year 5 of The HEL Jumper
----- Previous Patreon
Thanks to Darth_Android, Fern_Vale, Mamish, Vikairious, Gruecifer, Benjamin Durbin, Daddy_Talon, and everyone else supporting me on Patreon.
A/N: Thank you all for your patience.
“Well, that was certainly something,” Antoth remarked to himself as he looked over the sum of his people, who were obviously not ready to retire for the evening. Thanks to plentiful computational power aboard the ship, Io had not run into any snags synthesizing Cauthan language voice overs for The Princess Bride. Thantis had even gotten himself a cameo, his voice used for the role of the grandfather and narrator. Unfortunately for those interested in a quick dispersal, Io had forgotten to include any sort of disclaimer regarding the fictional nature of the tale, inducing a riot of discussion among the villagers. Ratha turned her nose up and wore a sour expression as even her hunters found themselves debating the best way to bring down an aggressive rodent of unusual size. The AI had a self-satisfied smile on her face as she approached the village leaders for feedback.
‘I’d say the movie was a hit. Did you like it?’ she wondered. Antoth spent some time gathering his thoughts, but Ratha shot from the hip as usual.
“This happily ever after business is nonsense. There were at least seven different opportunities where the pompous one could have permanently disposed of his rival. I suppose that idiocy is why he wound up where he did in the end though,” she said of the ignominious Prince Humperdinck. Antoth and Io shared a glance for the briefest of moments. The blonde haired woman smiled warmly.
‘I see the tale was quite captivating then.’
“It was. But there are other matters to attend to, as I may have mentioned earlier,” Antoth reminded her, looking up at the twin moons which shone brightly overhead. A leaden weight settled into his stomach as he contemplated a night sky without them. The Cauthan leader took a fortifying breath. “We are prepared to negotiate our departure from Mara. Please inform Natori at your earliest convenience. He has been mentioning more frequently that he feels the pressure of time.”
‘Oh I would not worry so much about that if I were you,’ Io told them with a wink, her green eyes reflecting a couple of the small fires scattered about the central plaza. ‘Certain circumstances have arisen that may lengthen our stay here, but that is no reason to delay talks. I have already notified the Admiral of your request. I assume you’d prefer for him to meet with you here?’
“I think that would be for the best,” Antoth agreed as Ratha remained alert but silent at his side. “There are notable items that Staroth and Nerazek wish to discuss. We must understand his vision on how we will be… acclimated to human society.”
Io nodded seriously and bowed to the two of them, doing her best to contain her excitement. ‘I understand. The-’
Antoth tilted his head questioningly as Io’s train of thought was derailed. “Spirit?”
She recovered quickly, however, and smiled at him. ‘There’s nothing to worry about. That was just Natori confirming that he would be happy to join you all first thing tomorrow morning, if it suits you.’
“The cub enjoys kicking me to the outhouse first thing in the morning,” Ratha grumbled. Io was happy to be deferential with someone else’s timetable.
‘Late morning it is! Should give everyone time to wake up and have breakfast at a minimum. I’ll just let the Admiral know that… hmm, that’s odd,’ Io said to herself, having suddenly lost connection to Natori’s personal device. While Ratha could have cared less, stalking over to her guildmates to oversee their conversation, the AI clarified for the sake of Antoth’s perpetually concerned visage. ‘It seems that the Admiral has entered an important and private meeting. I will be sure to confirm the time with him afterward.’
“That would be best, thank you,” the Cauthan replied before casting his gaze over his charges. “Looks like it’s going to be a long night. I hope not all of your… motion pictures are so captivating.”
Io chuckled as she crossed her arms under her bust, taking Antoth’s words as a compliment. ‘Oh just wait until they discover video games.’
“That is wonderful news, Admiral Kaczynski. When will the negotiations begin? I’ll need time to prepare my-”
“If I may be so rude, Emissary, I would ask you to kindly hold your proverbial horses,” the dark-skinned man requested of the horned alien, who had stood abruptly in his haste. Kaczynski gestured for Qul’Roth to take his seat once more, his expression passively polite. Even with the alien sitting on the floor, the two were approximately eye level.
“There are some among your species who would consider such jokes offensive, Admiral,” Qul’Roth noted. Kaczynski smiled.
“I think it’s clear that beyond the hooves you bear little resemblance to Earth’s equine species, but if you took offense I assure you none was intended.”
“Oh no, perish the thought,” Qul’Roth replied, more agitated at having been made to wait instead of any wordplay. “If anything, the hand wringing itself is more grating. We don’t look anything like horses.”
“It is an ancient tradition for humans to take offense on behalf of others and make problems where there are none,” Kaczynski explained humorously as he folded his hands together on the surface of the conference table. “But I do intend to risk your offense by stating in no uncertain terms that this negotiation will take place between myself, as a representative of humanity, and the Cauthan. The Ghaelen will not be a party to the proceedings. Though if there is anything you wish to mention now, I will be sure to take it into account.”
The more honest members of Alpha Division were happy to admit, in private, that one of the joys of intergalactic diplomacy was trying to watch a Ghaelen adapt to an unforeseen situation. Natori shared that particular view, and his voyage to retrieve the Lancer
had provided no shortage of opportunities. He did feel a twinge of guilt as Qul’Roth composed himself. It was the older, most self-assured advocates of the Order who were truly entertaining when ‘out of water’. “I request an explanation, Admiral Kaczynski. We are discussing the induction of another species into the galactic community.”
“With all due respect, Emissary, we will have to disagree on that point,” Natori said, using an index finger to adjust his glasses. “These proceedings are a direct continuation of the treaty of mutual assistance and protection that was signed weeks ago between my people and the Cauthan.”
“That may be so, Admiral, but I don’t see how that contradicts my assertion, unless you intend to permanently quarantine them somewhere,” Qul’Roth insisted. Natori’s nostrils flared as he took in a strong breath.
“We have already discussed the Udanis IV pacification on this trip, Emissary. What say you about the manner in which the Gorgons were… ‘inducted’ into the galactic community?”
“Admiral Kaczynski, I understand that the Udanis incident was both an unfortunate and formative deployment in your career. You have my condolences, but I fail to see what it has to do with the situation at hand,” Qul’Roth replied politely. Natori shook his head.
“That is kind of you, but unnecessary. I would not be the man I am today were it not for witnessing our war with the Gorgons firsthand. Are you aware that we are opening an embassy on their planet?”
Natori again found himself savoring the sight of flat-footed Ghaelen. Qul’Roth checked the data disc that hung from his neck, eyes narrowing in disappointment as he discovered the corresponding information. “Why was I not informed of-”
“This information is… was classified up until a week or so ago. It’s unfortunate that we missed the official announcement. There are a few individuals whom I would have very much wanted to observe in their ‘live reaction’, so to speak. But duty called, as it were! Your High Council is no doubt aware of this development already.”
The Admiral stroked his chin thoughtfully as Qul’Roth seemed troubled by the news. The alien rubbed his antlers for a moment before adjusting his position on the floor of the conference room. “How can this be? Those primitives- er, Gorgons were irredeemably violent! Our diplomatic attempts were met with silence or outright hostility!”
“As were many of ours, and after brutal subjugation I might add,” Kaczynski replied, not wanting to rib the alien unnecessarily. “However, that did not stop us. A pair of incredibly brave individuals from both of our species sowed the seeds of this diplomatic fruit over a decade ago. I don’t blame your species for cutting your losses early on, but too many young men and women died on that moon, Emissary.”
“Yes well,” Qul’Roth began with uncertainty. “While we are most grateful for humanity’s sacrifices in resolving that dreadful conflict, I fail to see its relevance to the Cauthan question.”
“Are you familiar with the White Man’s Burden, Emissary?” Kaczynski asked instead, leaning forward over the table as he did so. The Ghaelen remained mute as he processed the non-sequitur. After consulting his data disc and skimming over a handful of notes he shook his head.
“My education on your species and its particularities doesn’t seem to have touched on this concept, Admiral. I assume it is-”
“I have my reasons, I assure you,” Natori cut in, assuming a less overbearing posture as he leaned back in his chair, crossed one leg over the other, and made slow, circular motions with his hand to help gather his thoughts. “Human history is, sadly, often defined by race and racism. It is an unfortunate but natural tendency of our minds’ desire to sort and categorize. For instance, there was an entire body of anthropological science dedicated to proving out the hypothesis that humans who look like me or my mother are biologically inferior to fairer skinned peoples, or even a different species altogether. I actually have a few of those manuscripts and documents in my possession back on Earth. Fascinating stuff, now that it’s been put behind us.”
“I…” Qul’Roth began, but Natori waved him off before pouring each of them a glass of water.
“This was not intended to make you feel uncomfortable, Emissary. It goes both ways as well, to be fair. My father was not initially accepted by certain portions of my mother’s community, and not all of them came around even after many years. That being said, these individuals were similar to the classmates I had to divest of the notion that they were related to Egyptian Pharaohs on account of their dark skin. You cannot imagine the looks on their faces when I told them they were more likely related to Ghengis Khan than Tutankhaman! I was… not very popular with them after that. But let us talk instead of the White Man and his Burden, as they called it. It was a convenient line of argumentation, a jump from the observation that European society had exceeded and surpassed many others on the planet to equating that success with the race of that civilization’s inhabitants. Once convinced of their own superiority, it was a foregone conclusion that it was incumbent upon them to spread their gifts to the lesser, darker races of the planet.”
“How barbaric!” Qul’Roth exclaimed. “And you said this line of thinking is only a couple hundred years old?”
“Rudyard Kipling, 1899,” Natori dictated, clearly having memorized the factoid. “And while I agree that it is a barbaric way of thinking, would the Philippines have been a founding member of the HEL without its history as an American colony? I wonder.”
“But surely you don’t mean to excuse-”
“No more than your species excuses its own atrocities in the name of progress, Emissary Qul’Roth,” Natori said calmly, his eyes narrowing. “I told you I had a point in all of this messy history.”
Gears turned behind Qul’Roth’s black eyes as he understood Kaczynski’s equation of his own species to imperialistic Europeans and Americans. “Admiral, you are out of line.”
“Oh? And you intend to put me back in my place?” he laughed. “Tell me, Emissary. What was it about humanity that caused your species to negotiate with us as you did? Were we special in some way, or just the first species you found capable of effectively shooting back?”
“That was before I was born, Admiral,” Qul’Roth replied carefully, his tone cold. Natori smiled.
“Indeed. First and foremost, Emissary, I am a human. Second, I am a scientist. In that spirit, please understand that what I am doing is not out of hatred for you, your people, or your Order. I intend an experiment, a trial, if you will, for the noble savage,” the man explained in broad terms. “Because I disagree with how our alliance has treated species it deems unfit for modern society.”
“Then what is it, exactly, that you intend to do?” the Ghaelen demanded reasonably. Again, Natori met him with a grin.
“I am not sure yet, Emissary. But I can tell you what I intend not to do. I will not impose upon them tenets of your Order as a condition for safe passage to Earth. They will be expected to not endanger themselves, my crew, or this ship, but otherwise I intend to allow them to live as freely as they would like. They will be offered education, job training, and employment, but it will not be mandated. Given the size of their population and the aforementioned issues with their remaining on Mara, I’m sure this will not be too great of an imposition on you?”
“What is that saying among your people, Admiral? It’s the principle of the matter?” the alien suggested. “Your executive decision to exclude my people outright from this matter is inappropriate at best.”
Natori raised his water glass slowly to his lips, taking only enough to wet his throat. The glass made the lightest of noises upon its return to the table before the Admiral presented his perspective on the matter. “Emissary, if I were excluding your people and their interests from this matter then I would be making arrangements for the villagers to remain here along with a portion of my crew, in the interests of establishing a human science colony on this planet. I have already seen and experienced enough in our brief time here to suggest that, were it not for the restraints imposed upon both of our species by what I consider to be generally prudent first contact protocols, this course of action is the only
suitable one. Out of deference to our alliance, however, and consideration for the other Cauthan populations on the planet, I am willing to leave that decision up the HEL and your High Council. I will not, however, compromise the treatment of the village that gave aid and succor to our lone survivor, despite having barely anything beyond what they need to survive themselves. It is the duty of humanity to reward that kindness.”
The two men were interrupted by a knock on the metal door to the well ‘fortified’ meeting room. Thanks to the various surveillance countermeasures in place, Natori was required to stand and walk over to the door. Once there, he used the lock panel to verify the identity of their guest. “Thank you for taking time away from your charges to deliver this,” he said to Anita, accepting a bowl of greens and a coffee from her. “I will be sure to note that delivering me a coffee is above and beyond your job description.”
It was difficult to miss the fact that Kaczynski was meeting alone with Qul’Roth, verified by Anita simply leaning to the side and observing the contents of the meeting room. “Um… it’s no problem, sir. Is something-”
“All will be revealed when appropriate, Engineer Prakash. Don’t ask how the sausage is made, as they say, hmm?” he advised, sending her politely on her way before returning to his discussion with the Ghaelen emissary. “A little something for each of us?”
“I would have expected you to bribe me before explaining your plans for unilateral action on the Cauthan issue, Admiral,” Qul’Roth stated curiously, though that did not stop him from sampling the fare before him. Natori just turned a smile and leaned back in his seat.
“That’s because it’s not a bribe, Emissary. It is, however, late in the evening and I did not want to rush you out the door,” the man explained. The alien chewed thoughtfully for a moment before replying.
“I would like to think that I’ve learned better than to contest you directly when you set yourself on a course of action, Admiral Kaczynski, though you should have no doubt that my superiors will hear of this unilateral decision making of yours. This is not what our species agreed upon at the outset of this project. That being said, I have rarely heard you speak with such conviction as now. So let us set aside this Cauthan question in favor of your comments about Mara and a human colonial presence here. What makes you so certain, Admiral?”
“Was the ancient, advanced, alien technologies tampering with the warp point and altering space-time itself not enough?” the man replied incredulously. The Ghaelen held up a hand as he chewed thoughtfully, only speaking once finished.
“My understanding of the situation is that installations were found all over this system, including one on one of the moons of this planet. Surely those could be studied instead?” he proposed. Natori allowed the point.
“While scientific exploration on a habitable world is easier, I concede your point with regards to minimizing our impact on the planet and its inhabitants. That being said, Emissary, such an approach would paint an incomplete picture. The alien system, presumably active for millions of years, ended its operations and engaged in a controlled self-destruct sequence in response to a Cauthan. We believe the keyword was their god of death, Kel. If that was an accident, it was a one in a billion event.”
Qul’Roth straightened his back as he stroked the long tuft of hair that grew from his chin. His antlers almost scraped the ceiling of the human-sized room. “I must have missed that tidbit of information, Admiral.”
“That’s because it’s not publicly available, Emissary, and the soldiers there at the time have been made to understand that this subject is highly classified, at least for the time being. I hope you understand the implications of my sharing this with you here and now,” Natori elaborated before opening the leather-bound folder he often carried with him. A single piece of paper was slid across the table for Qul’Roth’s perusal. He took it between his fingers and read the title.
“This is… from the team that was ambushed by the ursae, yes? Dreadful affair that was. I’m not sure I’ve ever felt such visceral terror before!”
“Exactly,” Natori said, providing some context as Qul’Roth read the small, official, typeset text. “The plate tectonics of this continent are similar to those found on Earth near the Himalayas. This makes the central ranges, especially the older one to the east, of particular interest in examining the geological record of this planet.”
“Indeed,” the Ghaelen nodded, checking for himself to ensure he understood the proper meaning of the scientific term. “And what exactly was this team looking for in… this can’t be right.”
“Oh? And why not?” Natori wondered with childlike glee. “We’ve already found a nuclear powered endoskeleton and a formerly functioning robot. Why not nuclear war?”
“But there is no… I see,” the Ghaelen suddenly realized, raising his head from the paper and leaning forward. “You would stay behind and search for these clues. Have you found any corroborating readings at other sites? Ruled out natural causes such as volcanism or meteorite impact?”
“My dear Emissary, now you are beginning to sound like a crew member of the Event Horizon
!” Natori complimented the alien, who responded with an indignant noise from within the hollow cavities of his skull. “We are still waiting for analysis of the samples gathered by other teams, and I ask you to keep in mind that the initial wave of geological sampling was intended to probe several locations as well as several eras in this planet’s geological history. With this sort of reading confirmed, we will be able to narrow our future searches.”
“Mmm, yes. I understand. I was not trained as a geologist though,” Qul’Roth explained before handing the paper back to the Admiral. “This report is quite confident in its conclusions.”
“Cobalt, Barium, Americium… you don’t see those elements in those isotopes following meteorite impact or volcanic eruption, Emissary. I have requested that Io forward the relevant literature to your device for review in your spare time. We will do our best to confirm this result before our departure.”
“Yes, yes indeed. If this is the case that village is most certainly an afterthought. Perhaps even the entire population? No matter, I will not be able to resolve this issue today,” Qul’Roth concluded after a moment of mumbling. “I do not know whether to call this serendipity or the worst of luck, Admiral. For the sake of the Order, I urge you to devote all available resources to answering this question.”
“You need not invoke the Order in this case, Emissary. I assure you that we will do all within our power,” Natori promised earnestly. The man paused for a moment, tilting his head towards the ceiling with his mouth slightly open, as though a thought were on the cusp of crystallization.
“Is there something the matter, Admiral Kaczynski?” Qul’Roth asked formally. The man returned to a relaxed posture and shook his head.
“No, thank you Emissary. I was just wondering if you might check your own species’ records for data on this system. It could be anything from anomalous light readings to scout ships gone missing, as with the Lancer
. I hope we can both agree that while the possibility of a nuclear war on this planet is distressing and headline catching, the true question is who was able to seal the system off from the rest of the galaxy, and why did they do it? No matter what our subsequent geological surveys return, that question will remain outstanding.”
Qul’Roth looked down at his shimmering data disc as he chewed a green leaf between his molars. “We have deviated significantly from the original topic of conversation, Admiral. But I think this has been productive nonetheless. In the spirit of cooperation and discovery, valued as they are by the Order, I will immediately consult the records I have access to. I do not want to over promise, however. Even with this ship’s significant data storage capabilities, a preponderance of our species’ records relating to galactic exploration remain on Ghaela. Your people follow the same principle, no?”
“To an extent,” Natori agreed. “Though in our defense I would describe it more as information filtering. The vast majority of scouting data is released to the public promptly, though I know as well as anyone that some remains classified. That will likely be the case with much of what we have seen here, reminding me that I have a most difficult situation to attend to before we reach Earth once more. I am discussing paperwork, Emissary.”
“Oh, thank goodness. I was worried there would be yet another unexpected twist to this already stressful dialog,” the Ghaelen almost laughed with relief. “I presume you’re speaking of the need to bind members of your civilian crew to non-disclosure agreements?”
“And the Cauthan,” Natori agreed with a chuckle of his own. Qul’Roth cleared his throat and pushed off his hind legs to assume an upright, if hunched position.
“As you requested, I will leave those details to you, Admiral Kaczynski. I will instead return this bowl to the good engineer in hydroponics so as to deliver my thanks in person. I am sure we will speak again shortly. May our actions serve to uphold the Order.”
“And a good evening to you as well,” Natori allowed the alien to depart the conference room, effectively terminating the various countermeasures in effect. Left alone, he placed his feet on the table, propped his elbow on the arm of his chair, and rested his chin against his knuckles. “I suppose I did deserve that little jab about the Cauthan situation. He’s become wittier over the last year or so.”
The Admiral glanced out of the corner of his eye as a familiar form shimmered to life and looked around the space before finally focusing on him. ‘Ah, there you are. I’ve been looking all over for you. With an expression like that you seem to be missing a stiff drink at your side, Natori.’
“I think we both know you could have taken down the countermeasures if you had really wanted to, Io,” the man responded. She crossed her arms.
‘I have lived my entire true life in a village where privacy is basically non-existent. I know the meaning of a do not disturb sign when I see one. But you give your engineers too little credit, Natori. Even I am not exactly sure what would have happened if I had tried to brute force my way in here. Well, I know what’s supposed to happen, but not if I were to defend myself. Given you were not in any appreciable danger I chose not to. Who were you conversing with so secretly?’ she wondered, pulling up a gilded table, seating herself in a plush, Victorian armchair, and pouring herself a glass of blood red wine. ‘The Princess Bride was a smash hit, by the way.’
“Hello, my name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father… prepare to die,” Natori quoted with admirable gusto but a less than perfect accent. “He was always my favorite, the man dead set on revenge who manages to achieve it without letting it consume and warp him. Do you have a moment?”
Io looked down at her comfortable setup, having even donned a pair of outrageously fluffy slippers that looked like stuffed hyrven. ‘My alternative engagement for the evening is watching a shirtless hunk of a man snuggle with his naked and now quite rotund wife. And while I never tire of watching true love play out between them, it has gotten decidedly less intense since Veera came down with a case of babies. The rubbing of fluffy tummies and gentle, unobtrusive, lovemaking just doesn’t get my circuits overheated the same way as when they were fumbling around and biting each other like horny teenagers.’
Natori’s head quickly returned to his hand, downing the last of his coffee and finding it lukewarm. “Is there anyone in particular I should blame for your voyeuristic subroutines?”
‘The aforementioned lack of privacy and a dead engineer with a penchant for maids,’ Io explained before turning the conversation on a dime while crossing her legs above the knee. ‘Was it the Emissary you were speaking to here?’
“It was indeed, and I may have dug myself into a bit of a hole out of pride,” Natori admitted, looking away from her for a moment.
‘Shall I bring my body over from the hangars? This sounds like it might be a long conversation,’ the AI deduced. The Admiral nodded, turning his chair to face her fully and returning his feet to the floor.
“An updated copy of the ship’s status report and another cup of coffee would be much appreciated as well,” he added. Io conjured a stack of paper and ‘flicked’ it at him, its arrival heralded by a small ping from his device.
‘The coffee will take a little longer,’ she explained the obvious, content to watch quietly as Natori’s eyes skimmed line after line of ‘all clear’ and the occasional ‘within acceptable parameters’.
“I won’t hold it against you,” he promised before setting aside the piece of technology and looking directly at her. “And it would seem that I still have some time to speak.”
‘Yes, you mentioned a hole you’ve been digging?’ Io probed pointedly, receiving an abridged version of the conversation the Admiral had undertaken with Qul’Roth. ‘I see. Well, I can hardly fault you for wanting the Ghaelen out of the picture, not that I think any of the villagers will find the Order particularly compelling. I do feel the need to point out that race was, in all likelihood, a convenient excuse for the equally basic human penchant for territorial expansion and empire.’
“Perhaps,” Natori agreed, pushing his chin up and to the side with a hand in an attempt to crack his neck after sitting still for too long. “Not that that sort of historical nuance would well persuade those for whom race still matters today. Some make it difficult to forget.”
‘And I’m sure Qul’Roth absolutely appreciated the completely accurate comparison,’ Io guessed with a smug expression. ‘So that’s what you wanted me to help you with? Come up with a plan to elevate the Cauthan technologically without enlightening them morally? Do you have any idea how irresponsible that sounds, Natori? I’m sure the Aztecs would have made incredible discoveries in the field of astronomy alongside industrializing the institution of human sacrifice if you suddenly pulled them forward two thousand years.’
Natori blinked twice, opening his mouth to reply only to find that Io had vanished. “Scolded by an AI, on matters of morality no less?”
‘And I’m sure you’re positively giddy about it,’ came Io’s true voice as she entered the room in the biomechanical flesh, depositing another steaming cup of coffee in front of the man.
“Quivering in my seat,” he chuckled, bringing the coffee to his lips and inhaling deeply before taking a sip that almost burned his tongue. “And you’ve taken to wearing perfume, it would seem?”
‘Oh shut it, you,’ Io glared at him as she settled into a seat. ‘I was surrounded by cooking fires all night.’
“Well I find the combination to be mildly intoxicating, as though your beauty were not enough. You don’t get much wood smoke on a starship. But we have bigger fish to fry, do we not?” he pointed out, assuming a more neutral sitting position and sterner expression. Io nodded curtly.
‘Flatterer; but you should start, Natori. Was I mistaken in my diagnosis, or is that really what you were planning?’ the AI wondered, her tone more curious than accusatory.
The Admiral shrugged. “I’m not sure I would go that far, but I did insist that we humans would handle the issue of Cauthan uplift, nor was I particularly subtle about it. I believe I implied that it was necessitated, in part, as reciprocation for taking care of you and the First Lieutenant. Am I mistaken in my opinion of them?”
Io’s expression softened as she prepared to show him a short video using her built-in palm projector. ‘No Natori, I don’t think you are. But I think you are focusing too heavily on the ones you know personally, Antoth and Ratha, Nerazek and Gentia and Thantis. Your opinion of the Cauthan is based primarily on those among them whose passions are tempered by the burden of leadership. You spoke of race and racism with the Emissary? The Cauthan are just as capable of racism as man. Watch.’
Natori did just that, leaning over the table and observing almost unblinkingly a recording that Io had saved from their very first day within the walls of the village, the day when a starved, outcast Veera was slated to be tortured for the crime of ‘aiding and abetting’ a servant of Kel. With the benefit of time and hindsight, it was easy for Io to translate a good deal of the ambient chatter from the audio. Natori placed a hand over his face, covering his left eye and half of his forehead. “I see,” he mumbled sourly. “So I was blind, then?”
Instead of answering directly, Io reached across the quarter of the table that they sat at to take his unoccupied hand in hers. She gave him a gentle squeeze before retreating. ‘Udanis was hard on you, wasn’t it?’
“No harder than it was on the soldiers who fought and died in that hellscape, nor the Gorgons who saw their world unjustly invaded in the name of peace,” the Admiral insisted. Io scoffed.
‘Foolish human, that wasn’t what I asked,’ she pointed out, throwing him a quick smirk as he perked up at her choice to refer to him by his species. ‘You did what President Truman did, Natori. You and the rest of Delta aboard the Resplendent Dawn’s
fleet took the fight directly to the leaders of each faction as best you could. You killed many, and likely saved more than that number. At least that’s what the after-action projections show. Do you really believe Admiral Friedrich would have ordered a genocide of the Gorgons had the Ghaelen ordered it?’
Natori looked at Io with wide eyes before breaking into a tired laugh, full of complicated memories. “That stubborn old German? He would have destroyed all communication buoys in the system and then ordered all guns turned on the Ghaelen. And when word eventually reached the Ghaelen homeworld… he probably would have led our strike force.”
‘And there is your answer, Natori,’ Io assured him. ‘Do not think the Cauthan unimpeachable because of their idyllic, pristine existence. Have more faith in your species.’
Kaczynski leaned back in his chair and shook his head slowly, unable to believe what he was hearing. “How the hell can you be so sure, Io?”
‘You mean other than behavior modeling and more than a year of hands-on experience with the Cauthan? I used to be a tool, Natori. The Order would approve, no doubt. Now I am free, which should strike terror into the tiny part of your lizard brain that still values threat avoidance… but I was guided by a good man, and a good woman. The Cauthan need that now, just as the Gorgons did. Civilization, morality, and technology go hand in hand. I honestly don’t quite understand how humanity managed the technological jump without immediately killing one another en masse, but here we are!’
“It certainly wasn’t due to a moral uplifting from the Ghaelen,” Natori replied, feeling the weight of a population settling on his shoulders. His brow furrowed. “But I am in no place to be what you think I should be.”
‘And maybe I would agree if I accessed Dr. Lamont’s notes on you, but that’s neither here nor there,’ Io insisted. ‘Natori, you have two of Marshall and Sandra Winters' children on this ship. You have the good Doctors Dupuis, Anita, Darius, Lance Corporal Mendes, and so many others, many of whom you hand selected for this mission. You need only impress upon them the weight of the historical moment that seems to be upon us; or the negotiations could go south tomorrow and we can leave without them!’
The Admiral’s head bobbed lightly as he held in another chuckle. He looked at Io with sincerity, returning at last to his coffee. “Then I believe we should discuss any and everything you think will be brought up tomorrow morning. I’ve had a long and winding career, but I refuse to fail at a boast made to a Ghaelen. It is long past time that humanity has its chance to demonstrate proper uplift protocols.”
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2023.03.23 18:12 ktovin11 Should you put a subfloor in the basement on top of concrete floor?
I have a basement I am trying to finish. I am trying to find more information if a subfloor is necessary to be placed on top of the concrete floor prior to installing vinyl planks.
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2023.03.23 17:53 Killtec7  Pre-Draft Rankings
As always the point of these posts are about dialogue, communication and potentially opening people's eyes to different threads around players that may not be widely known.
Not everyone knows Rashee Rice out produced NFL receivers at SMU. Not everyone knows Kendre Miller was a 3 star recruit that pushed TCUs only 5 star recruit in it's history off the roster. Addison played outside for the first time this past year and Lincoln Riley spreads the ball around historically. Stuff like that.
As always, I don't care about tight ends. I want quality profiles that slip into the third round of rookie drafts--it's just what I do.
NOTE: Before I get into it, I don't really talk about it below but I did review some of the special team stats for all players. Tank got a little play on special teams. No surprise Josh Downs and Gibbs (the best of the bunch) had some upside in this arena. Mims was about the only other player that was grade above average in the return game.
Additionally reviewing pass blocking, about the only guys that look like they’d have legs to have early pass blocking work are Tank, Charbs, and Bijan. Kendre is probably next tier, but he was too uneven to project anything for the NFL.
Quarterback Rankings (tier, expected draft capital) 1. Bryce Young, Alabama (I), Top 2
Statistically the man can’t be shook. You can slice and dice the data in about any way and he’s just great everywhere. 2. CJ Stroud, Ohio State (I), Top 2
No size concerns; if Trevor Lawrence can be 6-6 220, if Stroud can have 5 inches and only 9 pounds on Young and have no size concerns, then we just aren't going to have this conversation with Bryce. Final nail in the coffin, CMC had over 1000 touches in three seasons before missing his first game with a combine weight two pounds lighter than Bryce. Frame this, frame that. 1000 touches at running back. Bryce is fine.
Picking between the top two is a coin flip. Stroud is a killer and has been ripping the ball the last year. I see Matt Ryan when I watch CJ. It’s like my takes two years ago, where I eventually settled on Justin Fields QB1. They are both extremely good players, anyone that is cutting on one of them to elevate the other just isn’t seeing the full picture. 3. Hendon Hooker, Tennessee (II), Round 2
Hooker is closer to the big two than Richardson in terms of passing ability but we cannot ignore the advanced age. Hooker is 3 years older than Richardson; he was in the same recruiting class as Tua. 4. Anthony Richardson, Florida (II), Top 15
The difference maker for me, is that Hooker has been a better thrower of the football every year of his life compared to even Richardson’s best year. While Richardson has more athletic upside, production wise/statistically Hooker is just as capable of a rusher of the football.
Hooker will never go before Richardson in your rookie drafts. But if he slips into the third, I’d smash draft every time, and if the positional value runs out in the second—again smash that draft button.
This valuation is with the expectation that Hooker will go top 70 in the NFL draft. If he didn’t tear his ACL late, I’d guess he’d be a top 50 pick easy, but I’ll give some wiggle to this.
Anthony Richardson is not Cam Newton. 5. Will Levis, Kentucky (IX), Round 1/2
Cam Newton was a force, he was dominant in college football, and arguably has one of the single best individual performances in college football history.
Anthony Richardson is not that. But Anthony Richardson will be a top 3 QB in rookie ADP, he will be the third QB taken in the NFL draft, and he is a rushing quarterback.
I don’t mind Colin Kaepernick comps, I think that could be a potential outcome for Richardson.
But people that think he’s Dante Culpepper, or the next Cam Newton. There is just no evidence that that passing upside has ever existed with Richardson.
Bet on Richardson, that’s fine, but also openly admit you are betting on tools/projection.
I’ve heard some ridiculously lofty comparisons with Levis too. “Joe Burrow”, “Patrick Mahomes”; it’s not fair to grade on the idiot curve, but let’s be quite clear Levis profile is similar to Richardson in the sense that he was forced pushed off the rosteleft on the bench by a player unlikely to even get camp snaps in the league—and he never delivered on his promise or his physical tools.
Running Back Rankings 1. Bijan Robinson, Texas (I), Top 15
Ezekiel Elliott 2. Zach Charbonnet, UCLA (II), Round 2
Three-down back in a three-down body. Graded out similarly to Bijan via PFF. Efficient runner, put through his paces in a variety of schemes. If this was a red-shirt sophomore that only ever played at UCLA we might be talking about this class having two elite talents. Top 50 draft capital seals this evaluation for me. 3. Kendre Miller, TCU (III), Round 2
This one is a projection. He is not Dalvin Cook, Dalvin Cook was an all-time FSU player, and it was abundantly clear that he was great even as a recruit. He was consistently in the conversation for RB1 of that loaded 2017 class. 4. Jahmyr Gibbs, Alabama (III), Round 2
Having said that, Kendre Miller is the closest I’ve seen to Dalvin Cook since then. The contact balance and his ability to string moves together, stay on his feet, and bounce off defenders. If Nick Chubb is number 1, Cook is number 2, Kendre might be 3 for me in this department. (Ignoring the existence of the human goliath Henry because that’s not fair)
Flip side, I said I love stories. What better story than the three-star Kendre Miller chasing a very good and TCU's first five-star recruit in Zach Evans off the roster and refusing to get left on the bench. Kendre Miller might just be Lamar Miller—but this is probably the “my guy” of the season. He was just too electric, and was too efficient of a runner all season long.
Top 50 draft capital again seals this evaluation for me. But I haven’t seen him in anyone’s top 50 prospect rankings and ultimately hope that an NFL team sees what I see.
I’m a blasphemer. Not only is Gibbs not my RB2, but RB4 feels like the right spot for me. 5. Zach Evans, Ole Miss (IV) , Round 3
Gibbs is a tremendous space player, and if you were locking him to Denver, I’d be all in. But he wasn’t quite as efficient as Alvin at Tennessee and like Alvin, it really bothers me that I didn’t get to see a full workload on him. This isn’t a size concern, it’s more so a concern of how NFL teams may be likely to use him. I’m thinking more like a poor man’s CJ Spiller—which hell that is good enough for one 1700 scrimmage yard season. But I don’t expect Alvin Kamara level production. The landing spot is extremely important to me with Gibbs.
Pure projection pick. Hyper efficient any time he gets the ball in his hands, he reminds me of an Alvin Kamara quote from Mike Daniels on how Kamara was like a bull, and you wouldn’t expect him to be as strong as he is and just such a load to bring down. Watching Evans play I get this sense frequently, every bit of contact with Evans is violent. 6. Tank Bigsby, Auburn (IV), Round 3
That pro day doesn’t change anything but might give him some hype that he deserves. Tank as a pure runner is top 4 in the class IMO. Underrated, but I think the NFL will clear this all up for us. I’d be shocked if he doesn’t get day 2 draft capital. Devone Achane, Texas A&M (V) Sean Tucker, Syracuse (V) Tyjae Spears, Tulane (V)
Wide Receiver Rankings 1. Quentin Johnston, TCU (I), Round 1
Movement ability, length, growth opportunities. 2. Jaxon Smith-Njigba, Ohio State (II), Top 20
TCU has historically been a limited program at WR, and he predominantly played outside—but if QJ hits, I think a lot of the doubters are going to be at a total loss (similar to DK Metcalf).
I beg the NFL, send him to Buffalo and let him become buddies with Stefon Diggs.
This is the best receiver in the class. Highest floor, best pedigree. There is only one other receiver in this class that was more productive in high school. He set records at Ohio State. You want to play it safe? Take JSN over QJ. Do it, you won’t be disappointed by JSN. 3. Jordan Addison, USC (II), Round 1
If you put Jordan Addison in Quentin Johnston’s body, he’d be Marvin Harrison Jr. 4. Marvin Mims, Oklahoma (III), Round 2
Addison might be the most complete receiver in the draft, he played inside (Pitt) and outside (USC), and was clearly the best receiver on the roster in both situations. There just might be some physical limitations here that likely prevent him from being a tier I dynasty WR1.
I already alluded to it. Mr Texas Football, high school all-American, Texas receiving yards record holder. Landed at OU a year after OU landed 3 five-star recruits and still outproduced them all as a freshman. 5. Rashee Rice, Southern Methodist (III), Round 2
As a sophomore, at that time, it easy to say Marvin Mims wasn’t supposed to be getting snaps. There were the 3 five-star recruits from 2019, they added another 2 players higher ranked than him by this point and Mims got less snaps and less targets as a result. But he still out produced all of them by about every measure while going from playing 70% outside as a freshman to 75% in the slot as a sophomore.
By his junior year he returned to the outside and was essentially the last man standing outside of Theo Wease.
Great players survive, overcome, and out produce. Now give me a guy with nearly 32” arms, excellent athleticism, and that background. He’ll probably go round 2 in the NFL draft and be available to jump on in the mid second of most rookie drafts. Let people draft the more hyped guys.
I’m back and forth on this one between Mims and Rice. Outside of QJ, this is about the only alpha profile in the class (6ft+, 200lbs+). Similar to Mims he’s outproduced his fair share of talented cohort, the only boon here is that his cohort has played snaps in the NFL including the third rounder Danny Gray. 6. Zay Flowers, Boston College (III), Round 2
Throw in he played all year with a broken toe, played inside/outside throughout his college career.
I’ve already spilled the beans; I like long arms for leverage and late play separation. He strikes me as the next Brandon Aiyuk and I think a smart NFL team is going to identify him in the second round and give him a solid run.
Everyone and their mom will tell me how wrong I am for having him this low. But he’s a smaller frame than Mims, had less competition, and wasn’t quite as productive as Mims when you start adjusting all the different metrics. They are in the same ballpark, and Flowers in tantalizing, obviously I have them in the same tier. But I giggle when I see Flowers as people’s top 2 or 3 WR and then find Mims as their WR15. 7. Josh Downs, North Carolina (IV), Round 3
At face value Downs deserves to be in the same conversation as Mims/Flowers but once you start digging into it a little you find he was used almost exclusively in the slot, had a lower aDoT than you’d expect and IMO is closer to what people thought Rondale Moore was. 8. Jalin Hyatt, Tennessee (IV), Round 2
Still a tantalizing talent, a lot of NFL upside. His raw numeric profile (not including size) is the best in the class. No one else really had the consistent high-level production he did.
If there is anyone that will make me regret having them this low it is Downs.
Long arms, excellent athleticism. You know I want to love him. He was getting some round 1 hype there for a bit too. But almost exclusively worked out of the slot in a good offense. He kind of reminds me of watching Paul Richardson way back when. The comp I wanted to work toward was Chris Olave but I can’t shake 15 pounds and Hyatt only working outside for about 10% of his college snaps. Olave was 85% outside.
If we had some special teams upside I might be more likely to take the swing, but he strikes me as a streaky fantasy player with more NFL upside than fantasy upside.
- Bijan Robinson, RB, Texas
- Bryce Young, QB, Alabama
- CJ Stroud, QB, Ohio State
- Quentin Johnston, WR, TCU
- Jaxon Smith-Njigba, WR, Ohio State
6. Anthony Richardson, QB, Florida
- Zach Charbonnet, RB, UCLA
8. Jordan Addison, WR, USC
- Kendre Miller, RB, TCU
10. Jahmyr Gibbs, RB, Alabama 11. Zach Evans, RB, Ole Miss
- Tank Bigsby, RB, Auburn
- Marvin Mims, WR, Oklahoma
- Rashee Rice, WR, SMU
15. Zay Flowers, WR, Boston College
- Josh Downs, WR, North Carolina
- Jalin Hyatt, WR, Tennessee
- Sean Tucker, RB, Syracuse
Full Ranking Commentary
· Using this more to look at how I view the talents to compare against ADPs to recognize who I’m out
on relative to ADP and find out who I’ll end up chasing.
· I would expect to be way out of position for Anthony Richardson, Jordan Addison, Jahmyr Gibbs, and Zay Flowers. They’d be long gone before I take them. Doesn’t mean I don’t like them, just means others like them more.
· There are few universes where I see myself taking Zach Evans top 12, I’d prefer him mid second at the earliest.
· At RB, I have no concern over drafting Charbonnet, even at something like the #4 spot. Kendre feels like good value in the late first.
· At WR, Rashee is probably the guy I chase at the 1/2 turn if all my preferred talents are gone. Mims I shouldn’t have to snag until mid to late second.
· If I were to re-rank them slightly, I’d probably be something like #11-#14; Bigsby, Rice, Evans, Mims.
· Feels like the draft runs out of guys at about pick 7/8 and then everyone else is a guy that I’d love to take at 2.04-2.10 but I’m going to get forced selecting 9-12.
· By ADP, I think there is going to be a clear divide at the top 9 prospects. JSN, Stroud, Young, Richardson, Bijan will probably be the favored tier one talents. Gibbs, Charbs, QJ, Addison will probably be the clear tier two talents. After that it'll be the wild west, the predraft 3.01 could become the post draft 2.01 in a flash.
· I don't rank tight ends.
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2023.03.23 17:18 10san2 Removed half of the vinyl plank floating floor thinking there was an expansion issue but found the subfloor buckled. What could have caused this?
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2023.03.23 11:08 Accurate_Number_1818 What is the best flooring option for modern interiors?
Flooring is an essential aspect of interior design as it can completely transform the look and feel of a space. Modern interior design is all about clean lines, minimalism, and creating an inviting atmosphere. When it comes to selecting the best flooring option for modern interiors, there are several factors to consider, including durability, maintenance, and style. Hardwood flooring:
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Another great flooring option for modern interior design is laminate flooring. It is a cost-effective alternative to hardwood flooring, and it mimics the look of wood or stone. Laminate flooring is also incredibly durable and resistant to scratches, dents, and stains. It is an ideal choice for high-traffic areas such as living rooms and kitchens. Laminate flooring is available in various styles, including wood, stone, and tile, making it easy to find a design that suits your taste. Tile flooring:
Tile flooring is another popular choice for modern interior design, especially in bathrooms and kitchens. It is incredibly durable and resistant to water, making it an ideal choice for areas prone to moisture. Tile flooring comes in a wide range of sizes, shapes, and colors, making it easy to create unique patterns and designs. One of the downsides of tile flooring is that it can be cold and hard underfoot, which can be uncomfortable during the winter months. Vinyl flooring:
Vinyl flooring is also a popular choice for modern interior design. It is available in various styles, including wood, stone, and tile, making it easy to find a design that suits your taste. Vinyl flooring is also incredibly durable and easy to maintain. It is resistant to scratches, dents, and stains, making it an ideal choice for high-traffic areas such as living rooms and kitchens. Cork flooring
Cork flooring is another popular choice for modern interior design. It is made from the bark of the cork oak tree, making it a sustainable and eco-friendly option. Cork flooring is soft and comfortable underfoot, making it an ideal choice for bedrooms and living rooms. It is also incredibly durable and resistant to moisture, making it an ideal choice for bathrooms and kitchens. In conclusion, there are many flooring options to choose from when designing a modern interior design. The best option will depend on several factors, including durability, maintenance, and style. Hardwood flooring, laminate flooring, tile flooring, vinyl flooring, and cork flooring are all great choices for modern interior design. One can achieve this by getting in touch with renowned interior design and build firms such as Flipspace who can help you with the same.
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2023.03.23 09:00 Winter_Effort_9797 Home Builders Adelaide: Building Your Dream Home
Building a home is an exciting milestone for many individuals and families, and choosing the right home builder can make all the difference. In Adelaide, there are several reputable home builders who can help turn your dream home into a reality. In this article, we will discuss the benefits of hiring a home builder in Adelaide, the types of homes they can build, and how to choose the right home builder for your project.
Benefits of Hiring a Home Builder in Adelaide
Hiring a home builder in Adelaide
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Home builders are trained professionals who use the latest building techniques and materials to ensure your home is built to last.
Types of Homes Built by Adelaide Home Builders
Adelaide home builders can build a wide range of homes, from traditional single-family homes to modern, contemporary designs. Some of the most common types of homes built by Adelaide home builders include:
Single-family homes are the most common type of home built by Adelaide home builders. These homes typically feature a single dwelling unit and are designed to meet the needs of individual families.
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Choosing the Right Home Builder in Adelaide
Choosing the right home builder in Adelaide is essential to ensure your project is completed on time, within budget, and to your satisfaction. When choosing a home builder, consider the following factors:
Look for home builders with extensive experience in building homes similar to the one you want to build.
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Choose a home builder who communicates clearly and regularly with you throughout the construction process.
Choose a home builder who provides transparent and detailed cost estimates and is willing to work within your budget.
Building a home is a significant investment, and choosing the right home builder is essential to ensure the project is completed to your satisfaction. With numerous reputable home builders in Adelaide, homeowners can choose from a wide range of home styles and designs to create their dream home. By considering the benefits of hiring a home builder, the types of homes they can build, and the factors to consider when choosing a builder, homeowners can make an informed decision and enjoy a stress-free building experience. View Poll
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2023.03.23 05:51 stellardrv Is this floor worth refinishing?Contractor stripped the floor. Debating on original floor or installing vinyl planks.
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2023.03.23 02:27 Still_Performance_39 NOP Fanfic: An Introduction to Terran Zoology – Chapter 3
Credit to u/SpacePaladin15
for the NOP world.
As promised here is the intro to the animal life of our home. Thank you to those who gave examples of the types of creatures we have that would boggle the mind of any Federation scientist who came across them.
I hope you enjoy. [First] [Previous] Memory transcription subject: Rysel, Venlil Environmental Researcher
Date [standardised human time]: 21st August 2136
The first image of animal life on Earth any non-human has ever seen… AND IT’S A FREAKING BLOB!? No eyes, no mouth. Legs and arms? Nope! Not even a nose or tail. I had no clue where to start with this thing. How does it eat, what could it possibly eat, how does it see prey to hunt or on the other paw how does it see predators to flee!?
Trying to be subtle, I glanced around to gauge reactions to this alien being. Thankfully it seemed that I wasn’t the only one completely stumped by the photos. The Venlil that’d been doing breathing exercises earlier seemed as bemused as me, her mouth stuck open in a perpetual “What?” as she tried to guess at what it could be. Others were in the same situation, a few groups already forming to discuss their theories.
Straining my ears back as casually as possible I was able to listen in on a snippet of discussion between a duo behind me.
“It’s prey, definitely, without a doubt.”
“Does that look like it could hunt anything? It’s got no eyes! He said there would be pink dots on the eyes and I can’t see either.”
“Remember this is an alien creature. Maybe they’re very small eyes, very small pink dots we haven’t noticed?”
“Maybe it’s not a prey or predator at all!” A third voice chimed in, “It could be a floating aquatic plant and the human’s trying to trick us?”
“…What were you saying about the tiny eyes?”
Smirking in amusement at the “plant” concept I continued to look around until I reached Mr Buzzcut to my left. Much to my surprise he appeared completely unfazed by the strangeness in front of him and had already moved onto another image, though I couldn’t make out what it was from this angle. What did he know, or thought he knew, about this creature that the rest of us didn’t? Probably just chose unknown, yeah that’s most likely, he doesn’t look like the scientist type.
Looking back to my pad I took a deep breath. Ok, time to focus. Aquatic life isn’t my forte but it’s just a matter of observation and deduction. What can I see? Measurements of the creature were provided in Venlang to provide scale. This one wasn’t that big but that knowledge didn’t help much. It’s almost entirely translucent which could help it avoid detection from predators or disguise its approach from prey. Its body is round and curves into an open bottomed dome, maybe it could trap prey in the space inside it? There are tentacles spreading out from the domes opening but they’re thin and wavy so likely no good for catching prey. It also has four purplish rings within its body at the top of the dome. Purple? Yes purple, not pink so not eyes… no eyes… Speh.
Trying not to show visible signs of frustration at my inability to categorise a blob, I chanced a quick peek at the human. If he was amused, displeased or just plain indifferent to our reactions I couldn’t tell. The visor he wore hid everything. Still, I couldn’t help but feel like he was smirking beneath it. He was probably giddy that he’d managed to stump a room of experts with a single picture. Alright human, I see your game, it’s on.
Reviewing everything I could see in the picture I decided, prey. As alien as it was I couldn’t imagine how it could possibly hunt or eat anything let alone another living being. Not as satisfied with my choice as I would’ve liked, I selected the prey option next to the picture. Both the picture and the categories vanished from the screen, replaced with a “next” option. Alright a new animal, please be land based, I’m so much better at land based, yes!
The creature now displayed was eerily familiar. If I didn’t know any better, I would’ve said that I was looking at a picture of a Sulean with a pigment mutation. The animal’s short fur was brown with flecks of white across its back. It was quadrupedal, legs ending in hooves, and a set of antlers protruded from the top of its head. The face was looking directly towards me but the pink dotted eyes were positioned on either side of it’s face, which itself extended forward, ending in a snout. No teeth were visible but this one was a simple choice; how could this not be a prey creature?
Spirits lifted by the easy win I went to make my selection… but something in the back of my head stopped me, pulling me back to the photo. This picture had to have been taken by a human right? And if the animal was looking directly at the photographer, then it would’ve seen the human. Why was it still there, why hadn’t it run away at the first sight of the predator? Was this an example of just how good humans were at hunting, that they could get so close to their prey and were so ferocious that an animal wouldn’t even attempt to flee!? Disturbed at the thought I decided to move on, making a mental note to ask the human during the next question and answer session.
The third picture proved quick to confirm as prey too, after I got over the initial shock of course. For stars sake, if you’re going to blot out all the eyes with pink dots maybe don’t include an animal that’s almost completely pink, I almost leapt out of my seat at the idea I was looking at a mass of eyes! The insect was a ball of pink and yellow fluff, a set of wings on it’s back patterned in similarly coloured stripes. Its face consisted of antennae and a pair of eyes on either side of its head. I suspected they were compound eyes but the pink dots made that impossible to discern, an unfortunate downside to the humans attempt at sensitivity.
Number four was the first to show what I’d dreaded seeing. This was a predator, no mistake. An enormous quadrupedal mass of black and white fur appeared on my pad. Its legs ending in paws equipped with lengthy razor-sharp claws. Its open mouth revealed an array of fangs that set my nerves alight. To top it all off, while obscured by pink dots, the eyes were forward facing. The unmistakable identifier of a predator, binocular vision. I couldn’t press the predator option fast enough to get the beast off my screen. The humans must be insane to allow such a thing to exist on their world! Without even considering competition, the danger it must pose in the wild on a daily basis must result in almost constant combat between the two predators. Another question to ask once this is over I suppose. Ok, calm down it’s just a picture, phew… alright, onto the next one.
As I continued through more of the images, prey, prey, AH PREDATOR!... prey, I realised something. Astonishingly, I was having fun. Despite the fear in the back of my mind of suddenly coming across the image of a fearsome predator, I was enjoying myself. For so long, all I had to do was mind numbing busy work. Annual reviews on soil quality, confirming that data from off world surveys had been received without becoming too fragmented, or being trotted out to try and identify what a pile of ash used to be before the exterminators got to it. It had all felt so, lacking. But here, right now, all that mediocrity seemed to lift from my shoulders as new and exciting life continuously appeared before my eyes.
Avians of all sizes, decorated in an array of hues from the plainest of browns to rainbows themselves, were pictured soaring through the air, perching atop trees or building nests on the sides of mountains. I chuckled, wondering if they could sing and if so, would they sound better than Milam’s screeching Krakotl alarm.
Once again, I was treated to a view into the waters of Earth. Crustaceans that scuttled along the ocean floor, their claws no doubt primed to fight off would be aggressors. Behemoths I could never have conceived, suspend in the water, likely propelled by their enormous, powerful, fins. There were more examples of the aquatic blob, though these were much grander sights. Tentacles trailed from the domed bodies, extending to several times my own height in the largest instance. One had been photographed in total darkness, revealing that it possessed bioluminescence. Its skin pulsed with a display of blue, green, and red lights that stood in stark contrast to the abyssal blackness surrounding it. I’m curious, are the Kolshian’s home oceans holding such wonders?
Insects dazzled my screen, a wonderland of fluffy, colourful arthropods contrasted against shiny armoured exoskeletons. Some in flight, their wings a blur of speed in front of the camera’s lens. Others sported pincers, horns and stingers, a bevy of offensive and defensive traits that made identifying them a captivating challenge. It’d be interesting to see if they had any evolutionary similarities to the Tilfish.
Like all that came before them, reptiles were again a feast of variety. With a wide range of colourful scales and side facing eyes, many of the creatures reminded me of the Harchen. There was even one that had eyes that were clearly facing two different directions at once! Sadly, there were several that were unpleasant to review. I almost dropped my pad at the sight of a toothy maw that bared too close a resemblance to an Arxur for my liking. It’s hide was comprised of thick scales with spines adorning its back like armour. Those few images were the quickest to categorise as predator throughout the exercise, taking time to breath through the instinctive fear response they spurred within me.
Calmed, and with who knew how many photos still to sort, I carried on. I wasn’t going to let a few pictures of predators derail this moment, no sir, not when I’m getting so much enjoyment from exploring the incredible collection of images in my paws. I honestly couldn’t remember a time doing this job that came close to how I was feeling right now. In fact, when was the last time I felt like this?
The thought sparked a distant memory from childhood. My parents and I had been visiting family in the capital. One of things we’d decided to do was visit a museum that was putting on an exhibition of animal species from across the Federation. From the moment I crossed the buildings threshold I was awestruck by the holographic displays of alien life, each one so magical in my eyes. I’d never seen anything like them before, how could I, having lived my entire life in a single part of a single planet?
Noticing how enraptured I was, my parents bought me a couple of books from the gift shop that dove into the displayed animals and dozens more in intricate detail, describing not just the creatures themselves but their environments as well. How they had adapted to better survive their homes, the types of food they ate and how they protected themselves from vicious predators of the wilds.
I read those books with a near religious repetitiveness all throughout my youth. Eventually, one became so worn down with use that its front cover fell off! I was so distraught at the idea of having to dispose of one of my favourite books. It didn’t take long for my Mother to notice the dejected child wandering the house in tears and, ever the caring and intuitive problem solver, she decided to take the pieces and fix it as a surprise to lift my mood. Using some really, really old school knowledge, she created a binding agent by heating tree bark, producing a thick tar like substance from the sap that melted off. After using the plant-based adhesive to glue the cover back to the book’s spine, leaving it ample time to dry of course, she returned it to me. To say I was ecstatic to have my beloved book returned to me in one piece would be an understatement. I probably gave my parents quite the run around as I bounced off the walls with joy… I’ve not thought about that in a long time, too long.
I suppose that’s why I got into this in the first place. Back when that passion was still my driving force. Back when the monotony of busy work hadn’t ground me down. I’d had aspirations that never materialised. There were places I’d hoped to explore but never got the chance, turned down time and again for Federation colony surveys because, “Venlil aren’t well suited for frontier exploration, being more skittish than most.”, a lot of speh! Maybe that was why the new Krakotl chief exterminator back home had riled me up so much, yet another reminder that I’d never achieve what I knew I could because of the galaxy’s bias. Well look at me now! The same skittish weakling is in the room with a sapient predator and is getting a prime look at its home worlds animal life before anyone else. What do you think of that!?
…What would they think of that? How would the rest of the Federation react to the humans and their world when they were inevitably revealed? Oh stars, how would they treat people like me who’d signed up to an exchange with the humans? We’d probably be classed as having predator disease for volunteering to deliberately learn from them!
Feeling myself beginning to spiral I took a deep breath, attempting to calm my shaken emotions to form a coherent thought from the cacophony in my head… You know what? I don’t care what they think.
The jury’s still out on the humans, they freak me out and I don’t know what to think about them, but looking through this gallery has reignited a passion I had forgotten existed. They said they’d come here to build friendships and, in those efforts, they had placed the very thing I’d always wanted into my paws. They hadn’t judged me as weak or skittish for being a Venlil when handing over images of their animal life, only adding pink dots to the pictures to calm our nerves with forward facing eyes! Stars above, this entire exercise had somehow managed to spark memories of my childhood that warmed my heart and set my tail swishing with unrestrained glee… they’d done that, whether they’d intended to or not.
Glancing up from my pad I looked at the human, still sat beside his podium. His face was as imperceptible as ever beneath the mirrored visor, as he tapped away at his own pad doing who knows what. Perhaps, there’s more to them than meets the eye.
I was still sceptical of the humans overall intentions, their ability to function alongside us as predators and their understanding of nature as a whole, but still, I felt somewhat thankful for the opportunity they had provided me.
Smiling as I returned to my pad, I opened the next image. What could it be? Another colourful avian or perhaps one of those strange reptiles that’s one long body with no arms or leg? Oh, it’s another aquatic one and it’s… it’s, a tube. A long colourless tube, floating in the sea. I rescind my thought of thanks human… and I hate your oceans.
submitted by Still_Performance_39
to NatureofPredators [link] [comments]
2023.03.23 00:56 New_Ad_7078 Help please.
We are about to put down vinyl plank flooring in our kitchen, but several screws in the subfloor are not flush with the subfloor itself. Is it okay to hammer them down or just remove them before we put down the new flooring?
What should we do?
Thanks for any help in advance.
submitted by New_Ad_7078
to Flooring [link] [comments]
2023.03.22 21:25 joysticck DWC setup suggestions
I'm looking to make my first hydroponic system and chose dwc because I'm on a budget and not that skills in the realm of DIY. Here's the list:
|Item ||Price ||Notes |
|5 Tier Wide Wire Shelving - Brightroom™ : Target ||$80.00 || |
|Large Modular Storage Box - Brightroom™ : Target ||$5.00 ||Hoping this is enough for 4-5 buttercrunch lettuce heads |
|Amazon.com : 500 Buttercrunch Lettuce Seeds ||$5.69 ||I have no clue if these are "good" seeds, any advice is appreciated |
|Feit Electric GLP24FS/19W/LED - Grow Light for Indoor Plants and Gardens - Full Spectrum 2ft LED Grow Light with Dual Bulb -24 Inch 19 Watt - Energy Efficient Lamp, Aluminum ||$24.77 ||Lights are expensive and I don't want to break the bank... reviews say they're good lights |
|Green hut Grow Tent 96"X48"X78" 600D Mylar Hydroponic Indoor Grow Tent with Observation Window, Removable Floor Tray and Tool Bag for Indoor Plant Growing 8X4 ||$151.99 ||Honestly, 8x4 is probably overkill but I want to expand in the future and incorporate my software engineering experience for automation |
|Amazon.com: xGarden - Lightweight Economy Net Pots - Thin Lip & Slotted Sides - for Hydroponics & Aquaponics - UV Resistant & BPA Free Plastic - Indoor or Outdoor Growing - Black 2" Round Mesh Pot Cups - 50 Pack : Patio, Lawn & Garden ||$11.45 ||2 inch |
|Amazon.com : Mother Earth Hydroton Original Clay Pebbles - 10 Liter, Lightweight Expanded Clay Aggregate : Arts, Crafts & Sewing ||$29.54 || |
|Amazon.com: Aquarium Air Pump for Fist Tank - Small and Quiet Dual Outlet Aerator Pump Fish Tank Oxygen Bubbler with Aquarium Air Pump Accessories Air Stones Airline Tube Check Valves ||$15.59 || |
|General Hydroponics pH Control Kit for a Balanced Nutrient Solution ||$19.95 || |
|JulyPanny TDS/pH/Temperature 3-in-1 pH Meter with ATC 0.01 High Precision Water Quality pH Tester Digital, pH Measurement Range with 0-14, pH Meter for Water Household Drinking, Pool and Aquarium ||$35.48 || |
|Amazon.com : 49 Rockwool Grow Cubes (1.5 Inches) - Growing Medium Starter Sheets (49 Per Pack) ||$13.99 || |
|Amazon.com: VIKITON 1 inch Hole Saw with Arbor for Cutting Metal Wood and Plastic, 25mm Bi-Metal Hole Cutter for Different Project with Smooth and Flat Drilling Edge, Fast Chip Removal, Handy Hole Saw Kit Set ||$9.49 ||2 inch |
|Amazon.com: Ozeri Pronto Digital Multifunction Kitchen and Food Scale, Original ||$9.84 || |
|MASTERBLEND 4-18-38 Complete Combo Kit Fertilizer Bulk (2.5 Pound Kit) ||$39.99 || |
| || || |
|TOTAL $ ||$452.77 || |
Any advice is appreciated, whether it be to help me save money, improve yield or efficiency, etc. Thanks!
submitted by joysticck
to Hydroponics [link] [comments]
2023.03.22 20:48 ajitjain2019 Flooring installers
Looking to replace our engineered flooring that’s got water damage in some places. Most likely will go with luxury vinyl plank. Any recommendations on flooring installers?
submitted by ajitjain2019
to tampa [link] [comments]