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20 Overlooked Single Player Indie Games

We're all familiar with the Hotline Miami's, Hollow Knight's, and Celeste's of the world. These are some of the indie games that hit the big time. Of course, for every one of these games, there's 100 other indie games that have been glossed over, relegated to a spot in a digital store few people will ever find themselves in. I wanted to bring attention to some of these lesser known indie games.
I'm going to order them according to Metacritic Critic Ratings. Some of the games at the bottom have pretty low critic ratings. I personally disagree with the low scores of these games, but it's only fair that you hear from more than just me. Keep in mind that games with only one or two User Ratings on Metacritic will not show the score. A game needs at least three User Ratings on Metacritic before the score will be shown. This is not the case for Critic Reviews.
Price will contain the U.S. PlayStation Store link to the game.
1. Hayfever
2. Valfaris
3. Four Sided Fantasy
4. Bleep Bloop
5. Horizon Shift ‘81
6. Daggerhood
7. Momodora: Reverie Under the Moonlight
8. Ultra Hat Dimension
9. Remothered: Tormented Fathers
10. Reverie
11. Inertial Drift
12. Cursed Castilla (Maldita Castilla EX)
13. Pato Box
14. The Count Lucanor
15. The Bunker
16. A Tale of Paper
17. Late Shift
18. SINNER: Sacrifice for Redemption
19. Verlet Swing
20. Neon Drive
Conclusion
My top 5 on the list in order would be the following: (1.) Hayfever, (2.) Valfaris, (3.) Cursed Castilla: (Maldita Castilla EX), (4.) Momodora: Reverie Under the Moonlight, and (5.) Bleep Bloop.
Have you played any of these games? What are some other overlooked single player indie games?
If you’re looking for more indie games to play, see my post here:
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ive got like a years worth of content for you Sam

1. Ching Shih

She was a Chinese prostitute who married a pirate and took over his fleet when he died. She ran her ships with an iron fist and took no shit and was super successful, to the point that the Chinese government sent out an armada to stop her. She kicked their asses and captured 63 of their ships. They fought for two years and even brought in Dutch and British ships before they gave up and offered amnesty to her and her 17,000 crewmen. She got to keep ALL of her loot, spent her later years running a brothel/casino and lived to be 69.

2. Jack Churchill

He was a WW2 Commando who served with distinction in a number of theaters, his exploits earned him the Military Cross. He was known as ‘Mad Jack’ by his men and his fellow officers for his ferociousness in combat. Unlike his more conventional peers his weapons of choice were not the traditional British fire arms of the period, instead he chose to rush in to combat with a fucking long bow, a fucking sword and his trusty bag pipes. In 1943 him and a corporal infiltrated a German held town in Sicily capturing 42 men and a mortar position. With only his bagpipes, sword and bow. When the war ended in 1945 after the dropping of the bombs on Nagasaki and Hiroshima, he was extremely disappointed and was quoted as saying “If it wasn’t for those damn Yanks, we could have kept the war going another 10 years.”

3. Khutulun

This Mongolian Princess insisted that any man who wished to marry her must defeat her in wrestling, forfeiting horses to her if they lost. She gained 10,000 horses defeating prospective suitors.

4. Genghis Khan

“I am the punishment of God. If you had not committed great sins, God would not have sent a punishment like me to you.” Only someone badass enough to know they are badass enough to say that can be considered the baddest ass in history.

5. Simo Häyhä

The White Death

6. “Tank Man”

Tank Man, of Tiananmen Square fame. We tend to think that you need an army at your back to be a badass, but when you’re a true badass you face the army in front of you even when there’s no one behind you.

7. Rasputin

Trusted advisor to the Romanov family and was nearly impossible to kill (poisoned, shot, drowned).

8. Christopher Lee

*worked in military intelligence during WW2, the character of James Bond is supposed to be part based on him (Ian Fleming was his cousin.) About his war service (from wikipedia): Lee spent time with the Gurkhas of the 8th Indian Infantry Division during the Battle of Monte Cassino. -While spending some time on leave in Naples, Lee climbed Mount Vesuvius, which erupted three days later. – During the final assault on Monte Cassino, the squadron was based in San Angelo and Lee was nearly killed when one of the planes crashed on takeoff and he tripped over one of its live bombs. *played Count Dracula in a string of popular Hammer Horror films; a James Bond villain in The Man with the Golden Gun; Lord Summerisle in The Wicker Man; Saruman in The Lord of the Rings films and The Hobbit films; and Count Dooku in the final two films of the Star Wars prequel trilogy. *released a Heavy metal album at the age of 88; has won awards for his metal music; the single he released in his 90th birthday made him the genre’s oldest performer; he had a song in the Billboard Hot 100 in December 2013 making him — at 91 — the living oldest performer to ever chart; released an EP earlier this year, at 92. If he’s not the world’s baddest ass, he might still be the worlds most interesting man.

9. Subutai

Subutai, Ghengis Khan’s primary military strategist. Tore through Eastern Europe like tearing toilet paper, with only a scouting force. Check out the wiki link, because he was unbelievable.

10. Roy P. Benavidez

“Sergeant Benavidez’ gallant choice to join voluntarily his comrades who were in critical straits, to expose himself constantly to withering enemy fire, and his refusal to be stopped despite numerous severe wounds, saved the lives of at least eight men. His fearless personal leadership, tenacious devotion to duty, and extremely valorous actions in the face of overwhelming odds were in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service, and reflect the utmost credit on him and the United States Army.” – Medal of Honor citation

11. Anne Boleyn

I’ll always stand by Anne Boleyn – she manipulated an infamous king into turning away from his beloved religion, kill his supporters who objected (Cardinal Wolsey), and broke with the church to marry her. She’s usually seen as conniving, a witch and evil, but in a male dominated world she cut out her own path and went from low born to the queen of England. She’s such an interesting person in my opinion

12. Frederick the Great

Frederick the Great is one of the most underrated badasses in history. The guy took on Austria, France, Russia, Poland, Sweden, and a bunch of smaller German and Italian states and won with his tiny kingdom-Prussia. He turned a small obscure German state into the nation that would end up uniting Germany and guide it on its path to evoking the most powerful country on Earth…until WW1. He was also a very wise monarch. He was friends with Voltaire and passed reforms that helped out the serfs and Jews.

13. Boudicca

The Queen of the Iceni tribe of ancient celts, she led a ragtag army of Celtic tribes against the invading and highly organized roman army. She burnt Londonium (modern day London) to the ground and wiped out a decent portion of Roman forces. And, oh yeah, this is after the Romans came and ignored her rule, beat her up, and raped her two daughters. Boudicca didn’t mess around.

14. Albert “Hard” Jacka

On the morning of 7 August 1916, after a night of heavy shelling, the Germans began to overrun a portion of the line which included Jacka’s dug-out. Jacka had just completed a reconnaissance, and had gone to his dug-out when two Germans appeared at its entrance and rolled a bomb down the doorway, killing two of his men. Emerging from the dug-out, Jacka came upon a large number of Germans rounding up some forty Australians as prisoners. Only seven men from his platoon had recovered from the blast; rallying these few, he charged at the enemy. Heavy hand-to-hand fighting ensued, as the Australian prisoners turned on their captors. Every member of the platoon was wounded, including Jacka who was wounded seven times; including a bullet that passed through his body under his right shoulder, and two head wounds. Fifty Germans were captured and the line was retaken; Jacka was personally credited with killing between twelve and twenty Germans during the engagement.” And that was the second time he had done something like that. I suspect he was a terminator sent back to save some historically important grandfathers.

17. Daniel Inouye

Second longest serving Senators in US History (representing Hawaii since it gained statehood in 1959) and a WWII vet with this remarkable story to tell: “On April 21, 1945, Inouye was grievously wounded while leading an assault on a heavily-defended ridge near San Terenzo in Tuscany, Italy, called Colle Musatello. The ridge served as a strongpoint along the strip of German fortifications known as the Gothic Line, which represented the last and most unyielding line of German defensive works in Italy. As he led his platoon in a flanking maneuver, three German machine guns opened fire from covered positions just 40 yards away, pinning his men to the ground. Inouye stood up to attack and was shot in the stomach; ignoring his wound, he proceeded to attack and destroy the first machine gun nest with hand grenades and fire from his Thompson submachine gun. After being informed of the severity of his wound by his platoon sergeant, he refused treatment and rallied his men for an attack on the second machine gun position, which he also successfully destroyed before collapsing from blood loss. As his squad distracted the third machine gunner, Inouye crawled toward the final bunker, eventually drawing within 10 yards. As he raised himself up and cocked his arm to throw his last grenade into the fighting position, a German inside the bunker fired a rifle grenade that struck him on the right elbow, severing most of his arm and leaving his own primed grenade reflexively “clenched in a fist that suddenly didn’t belong to me anymore.” Inouye’s horrified soldiers moved to his aid, but he shouted for them to keep back out of fear his severed fist would involuntarily relax and drop the grenade. While the German inside the bunker reloaded his rifle, Inouye pried the live grenade from his useless right hand and transferred it to his left. As the German aimed his rifle to finish him off, Inouye tossed the grenade into the bunker and destroyed it. He stumbled to his feet and continued forward, silencing the last German resistance with a one-handed burst from his Thompson before being wounded in the leg and tumbling unconscious to the bottom of the ridge. When he awoke to see the concerned men of his platoon hovering over him, his only comment before being carried away was to gruffly order them to return to their positions, since, as he pointed out, “nobody called off the war!”

18. Stanley “Swede” Vejtasa

He was an American pilot during WWII. At the Battle of the Coral Sea, he shot down two Japanese Zeroes in an SBD Dauntless – a dive bomber – and rammed a third. Upon learning of this, the Navy transferred him to a fighter wing flying F4F Wildcats. Later, at the Battle of Santa Cruz, he became an “ace in a day”, shooting down seven Japanese planes in a single sortie. At least one of these kills was accomplished after running out of ammunition; he charged an enemy plane (which was also out of ammunition) head-on at low altitude and forced it to crash. He survived the war, as well.

19. Grainne Mhaol (known as Grace O’Malley by the English)

16th Irish noblewoman, when she was a child her father (the chieftain of the Uí Mháille clan) refused to take her to sea and she cut off all her hair to embarrass him into taking her (her nickname means Bald Grainne). She was born at a time when the Tudor conquest of Ireland was picking up the pace. Throughout her life she was a pirate, she was leader of fighters, under her leadership castles and forts were taken and withstood sieges, she was a revolutionary and war-leader and when Elizabeth I captured her sons and brother, she came to the royal court and negotiated their release in Latin, as she spoke no English and Elizabeth spoke no Irish. Her life would seriously fill about ten books.

20. Audie Murphy

Audie Murphy, aka real life Captain America. He was 16 in 1942, weighing 110 pounds and standing 5’5″. He applied to both the Marines and Air Force, but was turned down by both, and eventually managed to get into the Army, where he passed out halfway through training but insisted on going to fight. He contracted malaria in Italy, but was still sent into France in 1944, where he found a German machine gun crew who pretended to surrender, then shot his best friend. Murphy flipped shit, killed everyone in the gun nest, then used their weaponry to kill every Nazi in a 100-yard radius. 6 months later, his company (down to 19 men out of the original 128) was tasked with defending a critical region in France. The Nazis showed up with a ton of guys, so Murphy and his men sent out their M-10’s, which didn’t do much. They were about to be overrun when the skinny short kid with malaria ran to one of the burning M-10’s, grabbed the machine gun, and started mowing down every enemy he could see. He kept going for an hour, until he ran out of bullets, then walked back to his men as the tank exploded behind him.

21. Leo Major

For starters, he was part of the D-Day invasion. That very day, he killed a squad of German soldiers and captured a half-track that was loaded with intelligence information. Quite a while later, he ran into 4 SS soldiers and killed all of them. However, one hit him with a phosphorous grenade, blinding him in one eye. He refused discharge, saying that as long as he could see through the scope, he had enough eyes. During the Battle of the Scheldt, Major single-handedly captured 93 German soldiers and was offered a Distinguished Conduct Medal. He refused, saying that the man awarding it, General Bernard Montgomery, was an incompetent, so any award from him was worthless. In the beginning of 1945, he was in a vehicle that struck a landmine. He broke both ankles, 4 ribs, and fractured 3 vertebrae. He still continued, refusing evacuation. In April of that year, his unit came upon the Dutch city of Zwolle. His commander asked for two volunteers for a reconnaissance mission. Major and his friend Willie volunteered. They were expected to go see how many German soldiers were in the town. Shortly into their mission, Willie was killed, and the plan changed. Major was out for blood. He went down the street guns blazing and throwing grenades while yelling in French to convince the Germans that the Canadians had sent their whole force into the town. He captured nearly one hundred German troops who went fleeing from their cover. Later that night, he came upon the Gestapo HQ and burned it to the ground. He barged into the SS HQ later that same night, killed 4, and ran the other 4 out of town. At 4:30 a. m. He discovered that the city belonged to the Dutch again, and the Germans had been run out. He received a Distinguished Conduct Medal for single-handedly liberating the town of Zwolle. But he still wasn’t done. In the Korean War, he was asked to lead a strike team of elite snipers to support an American division. He and his twenty men took the hill single-handedly and held it while nearly 20,000 Chinese soldiers attacked their position. He was ordered to retreat. Instead, he held the hill for three days until reinforcements arrived. For this action, he received a bar to his DCM.

22. Hugh Glass

While the story is probably embellished some, it’s still amazing. While on a fur trapping expedition, he was mauled by a grizzly bear, which he killed with some help, then passed out. Later, he woke up to find his party abandoned him and he had no equipment. So he cleaned his multiple wounds, used the bear’s skin as a bandage, and spent the next six weeks making it back to civilization. Along the way he fought off wolves, made his own raft to travel down a river, and with the help of natives sewed the bear skin in place to replace his own.

23. Witold Pilecki

Witold Pilecki was a Polish soldier and resistance member who volunteered to get imprisoned in the Auschwitz concentration camp in order to gather intelligence and escape. While in the camp, Pilecki organized a resistance movement and as early as 1941, informed the Western Allies of Nazi Germany’s Auschwitz atrocities. He escaped from the camp in 1943 after nearly 3 years of imprisonment.

24. Louis Zamperini

To elaborate, he was a tiny guy that ran track for the US Olympic team in Germany. He got cleated up so bad by the other runners he was bleeding all over the place and he busted it down the final stretch, didn’t win but the crowd was going nuts for the guy so much so that hitler asked to shake his hand after the race. Plane gets shot down in ww2, survives longer a drift than anyone has ever survived while fighting off sharks. Washes ashore a Japanese prison camp, much badassery ensues here. Gets tortured for a couple years and after he’s released, this cat returns to japan to tell his torturer that he forgives him, the coward won’t meet him. This guy even died on the Fourth of July. Oh and some say he was actually the first to run a mile in under four minutes, in the sand.

25. General John J. Pershing

If Commanding General of the American Expeditionary Forces in WWI, John J. Pershing was alive today, he would probably say the following on how to deal with suicide bombers and deter Islamic terrorists: further action can be taken once they blow themselves up; there is an effective substance that can deter these bombers. Its pork, and it will deny any Muslim extremist what they seek after death. During the Philippine Wars 1899-1913, we fought another Islamic terrorist group called the Moro’s, which were decisively quelled by John J. Pershing. One tactic he employed is said to have happened in 1911, when Pershing was serving as commander of a garrison. Following numerous Islamic terrorist attacks, Pershing captured fifty of the Moro’s, and used their religion against them. Forced to dig their own graves, the terrorists were all tied to posts, for execution by firing squad. American soldiers then brought in pigs, slaughtered them, and then coated their bullets with the blood and fat from the pigs. Pershing turned the tables, and terrorized these terrorists; he ensured they saw that once struck by the firing squad’s bullets, they would be contaminated with the pig’s blood. Even worse, their bodies would be dumped in a grave with a pig carcass, meaning that they could not enter Heaven, even if they were engaged in a Jihad. Pershing followed through with the operation. Forty-nine Moro’s were shot, their bodies dumped into the graves, and the dead pig carcasses and entrails poured all over them. The Fiftieth Moro was spared, and allowed to return to his camp, to spread the word to his fellow Jihadists what happened to the others. He must have made it clear what fate awaits any Jihadists caught by the Americans from that point forward, as it brought an end to terrorism in the Philippines for the next 50 years.

26. Leroy Jenkins

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My RE3 Remake Treatment

Hey guys, so I wasn’t very satisfied with RE2 Remake’s treatment of the story so I decided to write my own treatment. Got it done and I was happy with it. Now I have to admit, I wasn’t a big fan of RE3 Remake’s treatment either but I much prefer it over RE2 Remake. I felt the plot was actually expanded upon even if little (finally explained the vaccine’s origins) as well as flesh the characters out much more than what RE2 Remake did for theirs. Overall, yes I like RE3R over RE2R even if it “cut” out more (though I believe RE2R’s cutting of B scenario is a bigger sin than any in RE3R), so sue me!
I’m not here to write a novel, just a Wikipedia/walkthrough style summary of how I would’ve done RE3R same as I did for RE2R. Here’s my treatment of RE3 Remake.
The game’s intro was alright. I’d like to expand on it by including news footage of police and UBCS forces fighting against zombies. So a bit of a mix between the classic and the new intro. Remember how they did the Birkin vs USS in RE2R by turning it into found footage instead of a flashback? I didn’t like it in RE2R but felt it would work better for this one. So found footage of police body cams, reporters’ cameras, etc. They are filming the fall of Raccoon City. Its last stand on September 28th. This intro is interspersed with scenes of Umbrella experimenting on and creating Nemesis. The intro ends with one of the police officers getting massacred and dropping dead, his body cam focused on a helmet of a deceased officer. Sort of a reference to the final and iconic/memorable shot of the original RE3’s intro with the zoom-in.
Now here’s what I didn’t like with RE3R’s prologue. Jill somehow slept through all of the chaos going on outside and it all happened instantly? Hmm… something isn’t right. Then again in RE: Outbreak, the eight protagonists were chilling in J’s Bar while there was already an army of the undead just a few blocks away but whatever.
So in my version, Jill is already aware of the chaos going on outside. My redesign of Jill is quite similar to the remake version except she doesn’t have an elbow brace and is wearing a t-shirt with a sweater wrapped around her waist. She has her belt and leg holster on, her Samurai Edge on her, and she’s ready to move. She delivers her classic speech of “this is my last escape” and prepares to leave. She gets a phone call before she leaves and answers it, hearing Brad from the other line warning her about something and telling her to meet him outside. Jill hears a loud crashing just outside and the electricity goes out in her apartment which also cuts Brad off the line. Jill exits her room and finds her neighbor feeding on someone. She raises her gun at him and he does the classic RE1 zombie turn.
Jill is forced to kill him before heading for the elevator. As she waits, she hears loud steps and breaks coming for her. She turns and the wall bursts as a large masked man enters. It goes after her and attacks her, she manages to escape it as she heads down the stairs. She sees the lower levels of the apartment has been set on fire and she keeps running as the man chases after her. She manages to evade him by jumping off a window as an explosion envelopes the area.
Jill lands albeit as safe as can be on the street just outside her apartment building. Standing up, Jill finds herself surrounded by zombies. She fights her way through the end of an alley and is cornered, forcing her to break open the door. Jill makes a run for it and enters a small warehouse before locking the door behind her. As she moves, a paranoid old man appears from behind some boxes aiming his gun at her. Jill tells him to stay calm and put the gun down, and he refuses, telling her that this is his hiding place and she should get out. Jill talks him down by telling him she’s a police officer before quickly disarming him one-handedly (reference to RE1 Remake Jill with Barry before the Lisa fight). Jill then puts the gun down and tells him they have to survive together. He tells him his name is Dario Rosso and that his wife and daughter were killed outside and he has nothing left, instead he makes a break for a container and locks himself in. Jill tries to talk him out of it but he refuses to leave and would rather starve to death than be eaten.
Jill exits through the other end of the warehouse and navigates herself through the ruins of Raccoon City. She runs into some people running away and she hears cries of death echoing throughout. Jill eventually crosses paths with Brad while he’s running away from zombies. Jill eliminates them and catches up to him. Brad warns her that something is coming after them and Jill realizes it might be the same one who attacked her in her apartment. She asks if he’s seen it too and he nods yes. They then hear a faint cry of “STARS” from the distance and Brad suddenly gets scared, telling Jill to run away as more zombies follow after them. They run inside a bar and try to shut the doors and Brad gets bitten. He stays behind as Jill is forced to leave.
Jill keeps looking for her way out of the city and spots helicopters passing by. One of them spots a light on her and calls for her to go the rooftop of a nearby parking garage. Jill heads for the parking garage and ascends the stairs. Jill gets to the roof as the chopper lands. She hears the elevator ring from behind her and wearily aims her gun at it, only to see Brad come out of the elevator. The two are briefly reunited as they both make for the chopper. Suddenly, a rocket shoots through and destroys the helicopter. Jill and Brad turn to see the large man from behind them armed with a bazooka. It makes a huge leap and lands in front of them. The man shoves them both to the ground and aims the bazooka at them. Jill aims and shoots just in time to blow up the bazooka, setting the man on fire and burns off his mask, revealing his monstrous face. Surviving the explosion, the man keeps walking towards them. Jill gasps when she realizes this now unmasked creature is a B.O.W.
Jill gets up to shoot at the monster until she runs out of ammo. Cornered, Jill has nowhere to go and Brad sacrifices himself by pushing her out of the way as he himself is grabbed by the man. He lifts him by his head and he starts violently shaking as Jill helplessly watches. A tentacle bursts through and impales Brad’s head as he convulses in shock and terror. Jill reloads and faces the creature. Nemesis turns towards Jill and she is forced to fight him. Using the environment around her, Jill manages to subdue the creature. Believing it to be a tyrant, Jill leaves in case it gets up again.
Scouring the city once more, Jill finds a cop car with a radio attached. She enters and uses it to get in contact with Raccoon City Police Department, asking if there are survivors. She hears Marvin on the other end, and learns that the RPD has created a safe haven for survivors. Jill gets ready to head there. On her way to the RPD, Jill hears gunshots and follows them, hoping for more survivors. She encounters a handsome mercenary finishing off a small group of zombies. She compliments his work and he introduces himself as Carlos.
My version of Carlos would be a mix between remake and original, he has the boyish looks and accent of the original but the build and hair of the remake version.
Carlos flirts with Jill, telling her she’s the very first cute “chica” he ran into that’s not dead. She notes that he doesn’t look like an officer nor a member of the National Guard. He tells her he’s a contracted mercenary, part of a paramilitary unit sent in to rescue civilians. Jill tells him that the RPD has several civilians in need of help. Carlos volunteers to escort her there. Together, they journey through Raccoon and eventually reach the RPD’s front gates.
Before they enter, Jill notices the Umbrella logo on Carlos’s sleeve. Realizing he’s working for Umbrella, she starts an argument, questioning his intentions. Carlos doesn’t know what she’s talking about and that all he’s there for is to truly help civilians. Zombies begin showing up and Carlos asks if they can continue this conversation later and enter through the front gates, locking it behind them.
Jill and Carlos meet with Marvin, who’s holed up with 20 other survivors in the main hall. The East Wing of the RPD has been overrun and thus was locked down and quarantined. Carlos asks if there’s a radio he can use to contact his unit (he lost his radio) and Jill suggests the STARS office. Jill asks if the STARS office is safe to go to. Marvin tells her to go for it if she needs something from there.
Both Jill and Carlos make their way to the STARS office via West Wing and Jill finds her lockpick. She grabs more gear to put on (torso holster). Carlos contacts his unit and learns the comm systems are down (a possible sabotage by Irons). Jill asks Carlos if genuinely believes he’s helping the people and he tells her she doesn’t have to trust him if she doesn’t want to. Realizing there’s no way to get in contact, the duo decide to return to the main hall. They hear a crash from somewhere nearby. Upon investigating, both are horrified to see that Nemesis is still alive and has crashed through the West Wing, allowing zombies to enter and invade the station. Many of the survivors are killed and Marvin is bit during the struggle. Jill is horrified to realize that Nemesis was tracking her and followed her to the RPD. A remorseful Jill and Carlos lure Nemesis away from the station as she bids goodbye to Marvin, apologizing for letting this happen.
The two manage to evade Nemesis out in the streets when they hide inside a restaurant. Carlos asked what the hell was thing and Jill quips that it’s a co-worker of his, a creation of Umbrella. Carlos is shocked by this. He then tells Jill that his team made a small shelter in the train station, and that they should head there. Just then, Nemesis discovers them. Jill forces Carlos to leave her as she promises to meet him at the train station. Jill proceeds to lead Nemesis away as she heads for the sewers.
In the sewers, she manages to evade him by crawling under a vent. Jill encounters Hunter Gammas in the sewers before finding her way into the train station. She follows through and makes it the outdoor train station where the UBCS unit is stationed. Jill runs to meet Carlos and the rest of the team: Nikolai, Tyrell, Murphy, and squad leader Mikhail. Nikolai is hesitant to let Jill in but Mikhail overrules him, revealing he knows of Jill and her identity, and that she could be of great help to them. Carlos reveals they have trouble getting the train back in order as the power is down. Jill knows where the power plant is to bring that part of the city’s power back in working order. Mikhail sends the team in separate units to run other errands while Jill volunteers to go to the power plant, with Mikhail thanking her and Carlos wishing her luck. Jill tells them she’s not doing this for them but for the civilians they have rescued. Carlos hands her a radio to stay in contact. Before Jill leaves, she overhears Mikhail talk to Carlos and Tyrell about a Doctor Bard.
Jill makes her way back to the city, with Nemesis secretly in pursuit and ambushing her at any opportunity. Jill has to go through an abandoned factory, a casino, and the park to get to the power plant. She also requires sets of items to progress and has to search around the city, making it even more difficult since Nemesis is in stalker mode and can pop out anytime.
Jill goes through an autoshop where she hears cries for help. She witnesses Murphy being confronted by Nikolai. Murphy calls for her and Nikolai promptly shoots him in the head and the shocked Jill asks him why he would do that. Nikolai tells her that he suspected Murphy was bit and therefore infected. Jill asks him if he’s sure and Nikolai invites her to check on Murphy’s corpse, and she declines. Nikolai lets her know that he still does not trust her and will keep his eye on her to make sure she doesn’t ruin things for them. Jill questions why he’s so hostile with her even though she’s already helping and Nikolai briefly hints at her involvement in the mansion incident, causing Jill to wonder how he knows of such information. Considering Irons did everything to bury the story.
Nikolai advises her to walk away before she gets hurt, which she takes as a threat. He then leaves the autoshop and Jill collects the parts she requires to progress. Jill soon passes by outside the park where she meets with Carlos and Tyrell, asking them what they’re doing there. The gate to the park is locked and Carlos volunteers to scout the area and clear it. He climbs over the fence and investigates the park upon learning the gate is electronically locked. Jill thinks he’s doing it to impress her and Tyrell backs her on that. Carlos winks at her and she tells him good luck. He says he promises to not leave her in a cold, cruel, Carlos-less world.
Carlos searches around and encounters multiple infected. He radios Jill and Tyrell while he searches around and looks for the generator to turn on the power and unlock the electronic gate. He cannot enter through the south exit as it is locked with a simple lock. As Carlos investigates further in the cemetery, an earthquake occurs and the ground burrows from beneath him. He falls and witnesses a gigantic worm-like monster emerge. The Gravedigger begins to chase Carlos and he manages to climb out the tunnel. The Gravedigger hunts for Carlos while he sees the fountain break and pour water into the tunnel. Realizing he could use this to his advantage, he breaks some wires and tosses them into the water. This sequence is similar to the Iluzija boss fight (invisible snake) in RE6. Carlos then turns on generators one by one while evading the Gravedigger and its spawn. Eventually, he manages to lure Gravedigger into the puddle and turns on the last generator, electrocuting Gravedigger. Thinking its dead, Carlos checks on it, only for it to rise one more time. Carlos throws a grenade in its mouth and destroys it from the inside. With the power back on, Carlos releases the lock on the gate and lets Jill and Tyrell in. They see the large worm and congratulate Carlos on its kill. Carlos and Tyrell reluctantly leave Jill on their quest as they head out on their own mission while she continues hers, using the lockpick to go through the park’s south exit.
Jill finds her way to the STAGLA gas station as the way forward is blocked and the only way is through the garage. She enters and Nikolai appears to be already there. Still distrustful of one another, they briefly form a truce to investigate the area. Zombies begin to ambush the gas station. Jill and Nikolai join forces and fight through. They are able to go through the garage and Nikolai lifts the shutter for Jill to squeeze through. Nikolai tells her to run for it and a spontaneous spark ignites a fire. Jill is forced to leave Nikolai and she runs for her life as STAGLA gas station explodes, seemingly killing Nikolai. Jill sadly bids him farewell, admitting she was wrong about him. She radios Carlos, telling him Nikolai is dead, much to his dismay. Nemesis appears again to stalk Jill, forcing her to hurry.
Jill makes it to the power plant where she loses Nemesis, and the plant is now infested with a gigantic Drain Deimos nest. She powers through and manages to turn the generators on. In my version, it’s going to be more intense and less annoying. No impregnating or deep-throating, just latching on to Jill and attempting to suck her brain out and she has to push them off like she would any other zombie.
Jill turns on the power to the substation and is ambushed by Nemesis just outside the plant, now armed with a minigun. This is basically the rocket launcher sequence from the remake but this time it’s with a minigun. Jill tries her best to escape and goes through a building while Nemesis shoots after her, imitating the intro to CODE Veronica. Jill runs as fast as she can to escape Nemesis’s clutches and she heads for an office building, jumping into a trash chute to get away from Nemesis as he runs out of ammo. Jill makes it out of the office basement/parking garage and she gets on a car. She drives it out of the garage where she finds Carlos alone outside, having followed her and separated from Tyrell.
Carlos enters the vehicle and together they drive away with Nemesis in pursuit. They are both stunned to see that Nemesis is quite fast and is able to latch on the car with his tentacle. Jill manages to put enough power to pull the car away from Nemesis, and she crashes into a street lamp while Nemesis is pulled and falls flat on his face. Carlos, seeing no other way to escape, gets out of the car and instructs Jill to do the same. Jill spots Nemesis about to get up. She locks the door to prevent Carlos from getting back on and utters “It’s my turn, bitch” as she plows the car and rams Nemesis into a wall. Nemesis is pinned between the car and wall and he reaches into the car, using a tentacle to briefly stab Jill in the arm. Carlos uses his rifle to shoot Nemesis, causing him to let go of Jill.
Injured but still alive, Jill manages to climb out the car and walk away from Nemesis as he tries to push the car off him. She sees that fuel is leaking out of the car. Carlos asks her what are they supposed to do now. Jill asks if he has a lighter and he gives it to her, she lights it and throws it at Nemesis, setting the fuel on fire and exploding the car, seemingly killing Nemesis. Carlos jokes that it was his “grandfather’s lighter that he kept as a remembrance of him.” Jill laughs with him, relieved that the monster is destroyed, before she begins wincing in pain. She realizes Nemesis’s tentacle injected a toxin in her and she is now infected. Jill begins to collapse as her infection takes hold of her, with Carlos holding her in his arms and telling her to stay with him. Carlos remembers Doctor Bard and how he may be able to help her. He carries Jill and radios Tyrell to meet him at the hospital.
Carlos brings Jill to the hospital where he places her in a safe and contained treatment room. Jill awakes and tells Carlos that she can’t feel anything. He tells her that’s a good thing but Jill tells him that she can’t feel *anything* and what would happen to her if she doesn’t feel human. She begs him, if it comes to it, he must kill her. Carlos can’t bring himself to and promises to make her better. Jill slips back into unconsciousness.
Carlos scours the hospital. This part is still very similar to the hospital section in the actual remake so I would change very little about this. So the Hunter Betas still stay the same. Maybe make it a much bigger and expanded hospital with more enemies. Carlos eventually finds Dr. Bard but he’s already dead. He sees recorded footage of Dr. Bard confessing all of what he knows about Umbrella, thus Carlos realizes Jill was telling the truth. He’s been duped by his own employers. Tyrell appears, paranoid and aiming a gun at Carlos. Carlos questions him and Tyrell asks if Carlos is the traitor, to which Carlos has no idea of what he’s talking about. Tyrell tells Carlos that the vaccine is worth a lot of money and they’ve been backstabbing each other for it, to which Carlos still has no idea. Tyrell goes for the container and opens it, only to realize too late it was booby trapped. A grenade explodes and kills Tyrell as Carlos jumps for safety. Carlos realizes the original vaccine has been stolen and he has to make a new one himself as per instructions in Bard’s research documents. Carlos uses what he can of the hospital and Bard’s resources to formulate his own vaccine. With the vaccine, Carlos makes his way back to Jill. He injects Jill with it, hoping she would get better. While waiting, he falls asleep.
Jill eventually awakens and sees Carlos asleep. She wakes him up and he becomes cheerful she’s still alive. She thanks him, and apologizes for being a bitch to him earlier. However, both realize much time has passed and it’s already near midnight of September 30th. They see the news and learn that the United States government made the decision to nuke Raccoon City by sunrise on October 1st. Jill and Carlos then get out of the hospital to head back to the train station. Carlos radios Mikhail, only to hear static with short cuts of screaming from the radio. Both Jill and Carlos are getting incredibly worried.
The two make their way back to the train station and find it in ruins. Dead bodies everywhere and all the civilians and the rest of the UBCS squad are dead. They hear gunshots and run for it, seeing Mikhail fight against zombies and throws a grenade at them to blow them up. Carlos and Jill run for Mikhail and help him back up. Carlos asks what happened and Mikhail tells him they’ve been set up. Someone betrayed them and turned everyone into guinea pigs. The mission was already a failure from the minute they landed. Carlos then realizes it was Nikolai who set them up which surprised Jill as she thought he was dead.
Mikhail reveals that Nikolai was the traitor and it is shown in flashbacks what Nikolai has done. And thus Nikolai was the one who set the base up to be ambushed by zombies, Mikhail is the only survivor. Jill and Carlos help Mikhail up and to the train, as it is in working order now. There is a National Guard post set up by the Saint Michael’s Clocktower and they should get there. They board the train and start it.
As the train goes on, Mikhail rests in the back car while Jill and Carlos commandeer the train. They then talk about how they’re going to escape once they make it to the Clocktower. The train suddenly shakes and they hear Mikhail screaming. Jill turns to investigate and finds Nemesis still alive and aboard the train. Nemesis has now mutated into his shirtless 2nd form from the original. Both Jill and Mikhail try to take him on but Mikhail stops Jill and tells her they should get to the front car. Jill moves to the front car but Mikhail locks the door from behind her. Jill turns and begs Mikhail to come with them, but Mikhail stays behind to sacrifice himself and give the two more time to escape. Mikhail confronts Nemesis and Nemesis shoves him away. Before Nemesis can kill Mikhail, he activates a grenade and blows himself and Nemesis up. Nemesis is thrown from the train and back out on the street. The train becomes unstable and both Jill and Carlos realize they can’t stay. The train begins to decouple on the bridge and the duo open the doors of the train. Jill and Carlos agree to jump out together and into the river below. Jill is able to jump but the force of the train knocks Carlos back as it crashes.
Jill lands in the water and screams for Carlos as the train crashes. Believing Carlos to be dead, Jill sadly goes on her own way. She swims to the docks and finds herself at the waste disposal treatment facility, or Dead Factory for short. She goes through there while encountering BOWs of any kind. She also learns that Nemesis is inside, hunting for her. It becomes a cat and mouse game inside the dead factory until Jill required a key card to escape. She runs into Nikolai, who ambushes her and fights her. He tells her she’s a tough cookie but her time is up. Jill asks him if it was worth the lives of all those people he got killed. Nikolai snidely comments that there is a price tag for everything, even a person’s life. To him, he does not care and he’s still going to get rich from this. He reveals to Jill he has the stolen vaccine, and intends to sell it to the highest bidder. Jill tells him the world needs the vaccine for good. While both of them have their guns at each other, Nemesis bursts through the wall in-between and separates them. Nikolai leaves Jill to be distracted by Nemesis as he makes his escape.
Jill is cornered by Nemesis in an arena-like area, filled with acid tanks and bodies of deceased and disposed Tyrants. With no choice but to confront him, Jill calls him an ugly motherfucker and it’s time for him to let go. Using the acid tanks to her advantage, Jill manages to subdue and take down Nemesis once again. Nemesis is defeated and partially melted down by the acid. Jill takes the key card from a dead employee and makes it out. Unbeknownst to Jill, Nemesis survived and begins feeding on dead Tyrants in the area to recuperate.
Jill finally makes it out of the Dead Factory and begins heading for the Clocktower. Upon arrival, Jill finds the gate to the courtyard closed and the area empty. Wondering what happened to the army stationed there, Jill assumes they too have been taken over. Jill is forced to enter the Clocktower through the back in order to find a way to open the gate. So basically the Clocktower sequence from the original but instead of ringing the bell, it’s to open the gate, so puzzles galore!
Jill goes through the mansion-like area. She is ambushed by zombies inside and when cornered, suddenly someone begins shooting them down. Jill turns and is happy to see that Carlos has survived and has come to her rescue. They run to each other and he caresses her cheek, telling her he promised to not leave her in a Carlos-less world. She smiles and embraces him, and the two agree to work together and split up to find a way to open the gate. Jill manages to finally open her part of the gate but is ambushed by a heavily mutated Nemesis, now in his 3rd form (2nd form in the remake but a little smaller). Horrified, Jill attempts to escape Nemesis and Carlos appears just in time with a grenade launcher to blast the ceiling. This causes a cave-in and crushes Nemesis underneath all the debris.
Jill and Carlos get out to the courtyard and find Nikolai. Nikolai tells them about the helicopter just by the courtyard. He offers to give them a split of the profits if they fight Nemesis and allow him to record the combat data. They refuse and tell him that the world needs the vaccine. Nikolai dangles it out and threatens to drop it if they don’t comply. The rubble begins to vibrate as Nemesis starts to break free. Nikolai uses this opportunity to retreat and both Carlos and Jill are left to deal with Nemesis, who has grown bigger and stronger. Carlos finds a large rail gun established by the National Guard. The two realize they can use that to their advantage and Jill sends Carlos to operate it while she deals with Nemesis. Suddenly, an alert sends out a siren warning that the nuke has been launched and the missile is approaching the city in T-minus 10 minutes.
Carlos goes to use the rail gun and Jill lures Nemesis into its path. Nemesis is knocked on its back by the cannon, which misfires and causes three power plugs to unplug. Carlos can’t operate it if those aren’t plugged in. Jill then fights Nemesis while plugging those back in at the same time. With those finally back in place, Carlos begins a countdown as to when Jill can trick Nemesis into facing the rail gun. After an intense and lengthy battle, Jill lures Nemesis into the path of the rail gun and the overcharged cannon unleashes all its energy into Nemesis, obliterating the creature. Jill and Carlos are relieved and are about to walk away when what’s left of Nemesis (the parasite, similar to how the final form look in the original but smaller) rises and tries to kill them. Jill tells Carlos to go deal with Nikolai while she deals with this herself. Carlos leaves, knowing she’ll be okay, and Jill faces this dying creature one last time. Jill finds a dead soldier’s magnum and unloads all of it into Nemesis, telling him if he wants STARS, she’ll give him stars. The final shot explodes the parasite’s head, thus killing it for good.
Jill follows after Carlos and makes it to the helicopter, only to find Carlos unconscious. Nikolai ambushes her and aims a gun at her. He throws the vaccine at her and shoots it, destroying it much to her anger. The pissed off Jill tells him he’ll regret that. Nikolai laughs, telling her she should have accepted his offer when she had the chance. Carlos rises and fights Nikolai. Both Jill and Carlos tag team Nikolai, who was still capable of taking them both. He manages to overpower them and knocks Jill back and takes a knife against Carlos’s neck. Jill aims her gun at Nikolai. Nikolai is also aiming a gun at her, threatening that she can’t shoot him fast enough to save Carlos. Carlos tells her to take the shot and don’t worry about him, to save herself. Jill pretends to surrender and drops the gun. Jill quickly drops to the ground to catch it and shoots Nikolai in the chest (another reference to CODE Veronica). Zombies hear the gunshot and start making their way for it.
Nikolai drops to the floor and both Jill and Carlos watch him as he pathetically begs for his life, even offering to give her information on Umbrella. Jill tells him he’s not worthy to come alive with them and that she can do her own detective work. Both Jill and Carlos take the helicopter and leave Nikolai to die as zombies begin to circle him.
Jill and Carlos fly out of Raccoon City as daylight approaches. Both witness as the nuke passes by and heads for the city. They watch the nuke detonate, destroying Raccoon City. So pretty much the same exact ending as the original except this time I would have liked to add close-up shots of the city and its iconic locations blowing up. You know, just like the original? I will also get rid of the post-credits since that has like almost nothing to do with the plot anyway. I’ll keep Jill’s end speech the same as the remake’s with the human greed and all for the woke points lol
Anywho, all done. I hope you guys enjoyed it as well as I did writing it out. So I pretty much just took the basics of the original and remake, mashed them together, and made my own version! Thank you for reading and have a great day :D
submitted by KDRain395 to u/KDRain395 [link] [comments]

Wrestling Observer Rewind ★ Mar. 4, 2002

Going through old issues of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter and posting highlights in my own words. For anyone interested, I highly recommend signing up for the actual site at f4wonline and checking out the full archives.
PREVIOUSLY:
1-7-2002 1-14-2002 1-21-2002 1-28-2002
2-4-2002 2-11-2002 2-18-2002 2-25-2002
NOTE: I mentioned it in the first post of 2002 but a lot of y'all are aware that a few months ago, SaintRidley picked up the Observer Rewind reins after I stopped and started doing his own recaps from the 1980s. Well, he's been doing great work with it and he just finished posting the year of 1987. I went ahead and added it the Previously" section up there. ↑↑↑ Just wanted to make sure to bring it to everyone's attention.
  • It's been awhile since we've had major PPVs going head-to-head with each other, but it happened this week when WWA aired it's 2nd ever PPV live from Las Vegas, going head-to-head with PRIDE. Dave recaps the history of head-to-head PPV battles, specifically the WWF vs. Crockett war in the late-80s. How Vince McMahon created Survivor Series specifically to run it in direct competition with Crockett's first ever PPV, Starrcade 87. The resulting loss of needed revenue was a huge reason why Crockett eventually had to sell the company to Ted Turner and, in retrospect, set into motion everything that led to WCW's eventual death last year. He goes on to recap how Royal Rumble was created and aired on free TV to go head-to-head with Crockett's next PPV attempt, Bunkhouse Stampede. Then Crockett responded by creating the first Clash of the Champions and airing it against Wrestlemania IV. Not sure PRIDE vs. WWA is up there in the same league as that PPV battle. Which, to be fair, Dave admits it's not the same thing.
  • Anyway, the PRIDE show was among the greatest events of all time, one of the very few times in the history of the Observer that a show got a unanimous 100% thumbs up vote on the reader poll. It aired in Japan live and in the U.S. on a bit of a delay, with the matches edited in a different order. In Japan, the card was headlined by Vanderlei Silva vs. former UWFI wrestler Kiyoshi Tamura, which was an excellent fight that Silva won. In the U.S., the show was built around Ken Shamrock vs. Don Frye in the main event (in Japan, it aired 3rd from last) and the 2 men had an absolute war that should shut up critics who say both are too old. Shamrock lost a split-decision in a fight that Dave thinks should have legitimately been a draw. (This fight is considered to this day one of the all-time wars in MMA history. An utter slobberknocker. Neither fighter was the same again afterward and Frye has said that the damage Shamrock did to his legs in this fight led to him later getting addicted to painkillers). After the fight, Shamrock went over to ringside and hugged his girlfriend Alicia Webb, who you may remember as Ryan Shamrock. The girl that played his sister in WWF.
WATCH: Don Frye vs. Ken Shamrock - PRIDE 19: Bad Blood (2002)
  • And then there was WWA. A low-budget, amateur-ish event, marred by bad production and no-shows. Not that the crowd would even know, because most of the lineup was never even announced ahead of time anyway. The scheduled main event of Jeff Jarrett vs. Randy Savage didn't happen because Savage held promoter Andrew McManus up for more money at the last minute. Savage originally had agreed to work the show in exchange for a 30% ownership stake in the company, which was agreed upon. But three days before the show, Savage upped the ante, saying he wanted the 30%, plus an extra $50,000 in cash. At that point, they started haggling back and forth to try to strike some kind of deal. Ownership got pulled off the table and then Savage asked for a flat $250,000 fee to work the show. WWA turned that down and came back with a flat $150,000 offer instead. Savage turned that down and at that point, everything broke down. For what it's worth, a lot of the lower card wrestlers on the show worked for $300. Last second attempts to bring in Sting to save the show didn't work either. Road Dogg was also supposed to appear on the show but couldn't because of legal issues. Word is he got arrested 2 days before the show in Florida on a probation violation. As a result, the PPV was headlined by Jeff Jarrett defending the WWA championship against Brian Christopher.
  • The whole show was simply an embarrassment. The production was completely minor league and the crowd was totally dead for all these long matches with guys nobody cares about. The in-ring work was fine, but the booking often made no sense, with overbooked three-ways and 6-way undercard matches that ended up being more clusterfuck than match. It was also one of those Russo-type things where the commentary team made endless inside-references that only the hardcore internet fans would get. But then again, this show only drew hardcore internet fans anyway, so why not? They also constantly made reference to WWF, which came across as desperate and sad. In particular, Larry Zbyszko was given the chance to cut a meandering promo, challenging Vince McMahon to a fight over some unspecified grievance from 20 years ago and criticized them for having Chris Jericho as their world champion. Dave thinks Zbyszko was actually angling for a job from WWF by trying to start his own angle and says this promo was basically his job application. And he thinks it was pretty pathetic. Backstage, the disorganization was apparent and most even within the company saw what a mess it was and have already given up on the promotion as a lost cause. Dave said this PPV made it clear that nobody will be challenging WWF anytime soon.
  • Other notes from the WWA Revolution PPV: yes, in case you're wondering, that Japanese man sitting behind the commentary table all night who very briefly (literally blink and miss it) got involved in the Scott SteineDisco Inferno tussle was indeed NJPW star Hiroyoshi Tenzan and yes, they flew him all the way from Japan (and had him bring his ring gear just in case), only to have him do almost nothing and never be acknowledged on camera. Eric Bischoff was backstage, as a guest of Ernest Miller. Bischoff laughed off any questions about going to WWF but said the ol' "never say never" shtick. The crowd was about 2,800, most of them freebies and they were desperately giving away tickets in the casino before the show. During the first match, the building looked practically empty so they quietly began moving everyone closer to ringside to pack the area around the ring to make it look presentable for TV. Opening 6-way match featuring all the hottest indie stars was a sloppy mess, with too people flying everywhere trying to get their shit in and the cameras missing most of it. Bret Hart came out and cut a long, rambling promo before announcing Brian Christopher was replacing Randy Savage in the main event, to zero crowd response. By the 5th match, people in the crowd could be seen leaving, never to return. Jerry Lynn showed up, interrupting an Eddie Guerrero interview, at which point Dave mentions, oh yeah by the way, the WWF released Jerry Lynn 2 days before the PPV. Considering WWF has been talking about reviving the cruiserweight division after Wrestlemania, Dave doesn't know why they'd get rid of a guy who could be one of the best in the division. Anyway, yeah, this show sucked. Here ya go, enjoy.
WATCH: WWA: The Revolution PPV - 2002
  • WWF's latest investor conference call took place and wasn't particularly newsworthy, but there's some stuff to note. The new agreement with DirecTV is until August of 2003 and is under the exact same terms they were operating under last year, which means WWF gained nothing while losing an estimated $4.4 million in revenue over the last few PPVs. Following the brand split, WWF plans to run 16 PPVs per year, and increasing the price by an extra $5. Linda McMahon said Wrestlemania 18 has sold 58,000 tickets as of the time of the call, for a record gate of $3.96 million, breaking the record set by last year's WM. Dave goes through all the numbers and for the most part, in comparison to previous quarters, almost everything is down. Which is no surprise to anyone who has been paying attention because WWF is clearly on the downswing. Linda also said they're currently interviewing new writers and are hoping to double their writing staff, which Dave thinks is a terrible idea (and time has damn sure proven him correct). Finally, Linda was also asked how the purchase of the WCW library has benefited the company, which Dave thinks is an interesting question since revenues have declined since then and the Invasion angle flopped so hard that it killed any brand value the name "WCW" may have had. Linda talked about the value of the tape library but Dave points out that it's been a year and WWF has done practically nothing with that library (of course, in the end, they found ways to monetize that WCW library and it more than paid for itself).
  • In his first match as an official member of the AJPW roster, Keiji Muto lost the Triple Crown championship to Toshiaki Kawada in a match nearly a year in the making, before a sold out crowd at Budokan Hall. He hasn't seen it yet, but the match was reported to Dave as a near-classic (he ends up giving it 4.5 stars). The other 2 NJPW stars who jumped ship, Kendo Kashin and Satoshi Kojima, also worked their first official AJPW matches. Kaz Hayashi, formerly a member of Jung Dragons in WCW and who worked in WWF's developmental until asking for his release a few weeks ago, also debuted on the show and will be part of Muto's faction.
WATCH: Keiji Muto vs. Toshiaki Kawada - AJPW 2-24-2002
  • Obituary time for Swede Hanson, who worked primarily in the Carolinas and had a brief run in the WWF as a cult favorite babyface in the early 80s. Sadly, he passed away in a mental hospital because he had advanced Alzheimer's disease which made it impossible for his family to handle him and they had him put away. Jeez, that's rough. He also had a litany of other health problems. Dave gives an in-depth history of his career in the 60s and 70s as a heel in the Carolinas before talking about the WWF run. Vince Sr. brought him in as a monster heel to challenge Bob Backlund, and Dave thinks someone else must have backed out at the last moment or something. By this time (in 1979), Hanson was well past his prime and hadn't been a major star anywhere in years but he was a big dude and so they brought him in to face Backlund and they actually sold out Madison Square Garden with Backlund vs. Hanson in the main event (though Dave says Bruno Sammartino working the undercard sure didn't hurt). The match sucked and almost immediately after, he became a jobber in the WWF, but Vince Jr, on commentary, just loved to call him "Rawboned Swede Hanson" and the "Rawboned" nickname caught on. Vince said it with such gusto that Hanson briefly became a cult favorite jobber from it and the crowd turned him babyface at damn near 50 years old. It led to a brief career resurgence and him having a small role in the Backlund/Billy Graham feud for the title before he finally faded into oblivion.
  • Mark Henry won the "world's strongest man" competition at the Arnold Classic bodybuilding and fitness event. Henry has been out of WWF for the past 2 months training for this competition and the training paid off, with Henry capturing first place and making a legitimate viable claim to his "strongest man in the world" moniker. During the event, Henry became the first man in 50 years to cleanly press the 366 pound Apollon wheel weight above his head. In another event, he carried an 800 pound block of bolted together railroad ties up a 40-foot ramp faster than the other competitors. For his victory, Henry won a $75,000 Humvee and some other cash prizes. Over the same weekend, he also won another $1,000 in a contest where he was able to lift an inch dumbbell (which weighs 172 pounds) to his shoulder with one arm. There's a bunch of other weightlifting stuff here, but you might be surprised to find out....I dunno shit about any of this. I got winded lifting pizza to my mouth earlier. Mark Henry strong.
WATCH: Mark Henry at the Arnold Classic 2002
  • Another obit for former wrestler, promoter, and father of 80s valet Baby Doll, Nick Roberts who died of pancreatic cancer. Once again, a bunch of details and stories about someone I've never heard of in wrestling history that Dave somehow knows everything about. I know I've said it before, but these obituary pieces are some of the greatest reasons for subscribing to the Observer.
  • Masahiro Chono says he wants to take NJPW in a more serious, realistic direction. No sports entertainment gaga nonsense, they want it to be like a real sports product. So much so that, in his own match with Manabu Nakanishi at the last big NJPW show, Chono wouldn't even bounce off the ropes, saying that it's not credible and no one would do that in a real fight. Ah yes, Inoki's gonna love this.
  • FMW wrestler Kodo Fuyuki has said he plans to try to keep the promotion running after it was announced it was folding last week. FMW still has 8 shows scheduled for this month and Fuyuki said he plans to try to run them himself and keep the company going (no such luck buddy).
  • Japan Today, an American newspaper that covers Japanese news daily, had a story on Antonio Inoki battling diabetes. It says he was first diagnosed in 1982, which Dave says is right around the time Inoki's in-ring work dropped off considerably when he lost his stamina. The story said for the last 20 years, Inoki has eaten a ridiculously healthy diet and is in better health now at 59 than he was then at 39.
  • Dave said he got tons of positive feedback on the debut of RF Video's Ring of Honor promotion in Philadelphia. The show was sold out in advance, was well organized, and had several really good matches. They limited a lot of the mistakes that most indie companies fall victim to, such as too many matches, too many run-ins, too much mic work, too many guys trying to do too much stuff, etc. Steve Corino and CZW announcer Eric Gargiulo did commentary. Eddie Guerrero faced Super Crazy in an excellent match and the main event was a three-way featuring Low-Ki, Christopher Daniels, and American Dragon that Dave has heard rave reviews for. And thus, ROH was born.
WATCH: Highlights from ROH's debut show in 2002
  • Vic Grimes took the most insane bump of all time at an XPW event before 1,500 fans in Los Angeles. Grimes was facing New Jack in a scaffold match said to be at least twice as high up as the fall Mick Foley took off the Hell in a Cell. The ring below had tables stacked 4-high to break his fall, but Grimes ended up missing most of the tables when New Jack overshot him. Perhaps on purpose. Grimes missed all but the corner tables at the edge of the ring before coming down on the corner turnbuckles. After the bump, they tried to rush fans out of the arena since it was almost 1am and gave many the impression Grimes life was in danger. But he was surprisingly okay and was walking around backstage after, although he was definitely banged up. Grimes was really nervous about the bump earlier in the day, as you might expect and Dave says he's pretty damn lucky he didn't miss the ring because he almost certainly would have died if he took that bump straight to the floor. Elsewhere on the show, there was a match where porn star Lizzy Borden (wife of XPW promoter Rob Black) faced another porn star, Veronica Caine, in a match that was supposed to end only when someone was stripped totally naked. But right before it happened, the lights went out and the women were rushed out of the ring and when fans realized they'd been ripped off, they were so pissed the arena feared a riot. (Anyway, here's the bump and yeah....Grimes very easily could have died from this. No mention from Dave on the fact that New Jack also tazed him before this)
WATCH: Air Grimes goes long
  • Shane Douglas is expected to take over as XPW booker when his WCW contract with Time Warner expires next month.
  • Former WCW journeyman wrestler Chip Minton's primary career was bobsledding. He only wrestled in WCW occasionally while doing that, primarily as a jobber on the C-shows. Minton was part of the US bobsledding team in both the 1994 and 1998 Winter Olympics and was planning to compete this year, but failed to make the team. Soon after that, he failed a steroid test and has been suspended from the sport for 2 years.
  • Remember a couple weeks ago, it was mentioned that Roddy Piper was in a car accident but he was playing down how serious it was? Turns out....very serious. Piper suffered 4 broken ribs, one of which punctured his liver and nearly killed him. He also suffered severe back injuries and shattered his ankle. Piper was taken to the hospital and was near death but obviously, he managed to pull through and has still been making all his appearances for XWF in recent days. (Yeah I think in Piper's autobiography, he dedicates the book to the guy who saved his life by rushing him to the hospital and even says he was clinically dead for a few moments. Then again, Piper was like a lot of those old time guys and was prone to exaggeration, so who knows).
  • Eric Bischoff is teaming up with Mark Burnett, the producer of the hit show Survivor, to produce a MMA reality show called Skien. From Dave's understanding, it will basically be a reality show with K-1 kickboxers leading up to a PPV event. (Here's an article about it from Variety at the time, but this ends up going nowhere).
WATCH: Variety article on Eric Bischoff's new reality show
  • Notes from Raw: only one thing really notable, they filmed a segment at referee Tim White's bar The Friendly Tap. The bar really is owned by White and WWF pretty much always films angles there when they're in town (Providence, RI). This time, the skit featured the APA going into the bar to drink and the bar was filled by a bunch of gay men and drag queens (played by a bunch of wrestlers from indie promotion Chaotic Wrestling) while the APA guys acted all grossed out by it all. Then Billy and Chuck attacked them. Dave thinks this played on all the typical homophobic stereotypes and he seems pretty irritated by it. Anyway, among the wrestlers from Chaotic were Todd Sinclair (better known now as ROH's senior official), Rich Palladino (ring announcer for Beyond now) and John Walters (indie wrestler and former ROH Pure champion).
  • Next week's Smackdown hasn't aired yet but it was taped and Dave has details. Notably, this is the episode where Austin chases down the NWO and tries to shoot them with a net gun. Dave says this was a mess, with the gun going off but no net being fired from it and they'll have to fix the whole thing in post-production. It went horribly when they filmed it and it aired for the live crowd and it killed the crowd and basically forced them to improvise on the spot (on one of the Something To Wrestle podcasts, Bruce Prichard tells this story and how frustrated they were with this net gun being a piece of shit). This episode also featured Stephanie yelling at Chris Jericho for getting her the wrong hand lotion and Booker T and Edge feuding over a Japanese shampoo commercial. (Rock/Hogan was great, but man, the build for everything else at Wrestlemania 18 suuuuuucked.)
  • Prototype won the OVW title from Leviathan at the latest OVW tapings. After the match, they did an angle to set up David Flair as the #1 contender for the title. Prototype's only singles loss in OVW came last week, when Flair beat him, so there ya go (this video covers ALL of that. The FlaiCena match, the Leviathan match, the post-match angle, etc).
WATCH: Prototype vs. Leviathan for OVW title - 2002
  • Wall Street Journal did an article talking about the decline in Smackdown's ratings, saying they were down 28% from last year and down 42% from the year before that. The article blamed it on Smackdown changing networks. Here's the thing though....it hasn't. Raw changed networks in 2000. Smackdown has been on UPN since its debut. Also, UPN has grown overall in ratings while Smackdown has declined. So....no. It's just because the show sucks now.
  • Charlie Haas, fresh off returning to the ring and winning the HWA title after the death of his brother, tore his ACL this week. He just had surgery and will be out 4-6 months. Rough few months for that dude.
  • A Washington newspaper did a story on James Dudley, who you may know as....WWF Hall of Famer James Dudley and little else. On-screen, he's never really done much. But Dave says Dudley started working for Vince Sr. back in the 1940s, when Sr. was a boxing promoter, and was essentially his Vince Sr.'s driver and assistant. Dudley did a lot of odd jobs for the company during those early years, working ticket booths and stuff like that, but to most people, he was just kinda known as Vince Sr.'s limo driver. So when he was indicted into the WWF Hall of Fame a few years ago, it was a pretty controversial decision among a lot of people, given that someone like Bruno Sammartino isn't in, by the company's limo driver is. Anyway, before his death, Vince Sr. made Vince Jr. promise to take care of Dudley and keep him on the payroll. So for the last 18 years or so, even though he doesn't work for the company, Vince McMahon has continued to pay him a salary. He also bought him a new car as a gift some years back.
  • Billy and Chuck's recent tag team title win makes Billy Gunn the most decorated tag team wrestler in WWF history, as he's now held the tag titles 9 times (3 as part of the Smoking Gunns, 5 as part of New Age Outlaws, and now once with he and Chuck). The previous record was Mick Foley, with 8. (to the best of my research, if we're only talking WWF/WWE tag title reigns, that record is now held by Edge).
  • USA Network CEO Barry Diller took part in a lecture at Syracuse University and talked about losing the WWF to TNN. When asked why it happened, he responded, "Because I'm a dope." He said he didn't fight hard enough to keep the WWF and admitted the loss hurt, but also said it may have been the best thing for them in the long-run because pro wrestling doesn't really fit the direction they're planning to take the network. He said wrestling fans came for wrestling and left immediately after it was over and there was never any cross-over fans who stuck around to watch the next show or anything like that. He said they could never figure out what to connect wrestling to within the rest of their properties.
  • WWF held a try out camp in Cincinnati and reportedly, nobody was particularly impressive, including AJ Styles. The knock on Styles was that he's average looking and too small. Wrestler Sonny Siaki was said to be the most impressive, but he also rubbed people the wrong way with his attitude so probably not gonna make the cut this time. Matt Morgan, who was on the Tough Enough casting special last season got a tryout and since he has no formal training, he was pretty awful but he's big so Dave seems to think he'll get a chance anyway. The other one they were impressed by was a woman named Erin Bray, who was one of the final 25 picked for the original Tough Enough. But then some other contestants spotted her out on a date with one of the show's judges and they threw a fit, which resulted in Bray not making the final 13. Another wrestler, Travis Tomko, is a guy who has worked some indies and is a former bodyguard for Limp Bizkit ("Tomko, gimme a beat." "No.")
  • Rock was a presenter at the NAACP Awards and Dave thinks he looked pretty great for a guy who was almost murdered in an ambulance by the NWO a few days earlier. Cheeky Dave is just the best.
  • Speaking of, Dave throws in a random paragraph to backhandedly shit on Kevin Nash. For years, people in the business joked that Lex Luger made the most money with the least ability or drawing power of anyone ever in wrestling. Dave says it's gotta be Nash. For example, Nash is not wrestling and is only going to be in Hall's corner for the match at Wrestlemania (his knees really are giving him problems), but he has been promised that he's going to get the same type of payoff as if he was the guy in the match working with Austin in the semi-main event. Not to mention all the huge contracts he signed in WCW, or how he got a huge-by-WWF-standards deal here, plus got Vince to cave to almost all his other demands regarding schedule and bringing back Scott Hall, among other things. (I mean, while Dave is being kind of a dick here, I don't think he's really wrong either. When it comes to top draws in the history of the business, Nash isn't anywhere near even the top 10 or 20. And he's never exactly been a great wrestler. But since the 90s, Nash always managed to make sure he gets PAID like he's in that upper echelon. Nash is one of those very few wrestlers who isn't entranced by the fame or the fake accolades. He treats wrestling for what it is: a business. It's the way they pay their mortgages and buy groceries, just like you and me at our jobs. I love it. I laugh my ass off every time I hear "Brock Lesnar signed a huge new contract to only work 6 matches a year." Good for him. I hope he gets even more money for less dates next year. You should always know your worth and never let your employer take you for anything less. Nash has always been one of the guys to do that and he's probably going to die comfortably in a nice house while these other guys from his era are still clinging to fame at 60 years old doing $300 indie shows on crippled knees. Anyway, that's my soapbox). Dave seems to feel the same way and admits, love him or hate him, you gotta give Nash credit for being one of the smartest guys in the biz.
  • Fear Factor featuring the Hardyz, Lita, Test, Molly Holly, and Jacquelyn aired this week. First they had to climb up a rope ladder hanging from a helicopter over the river and they all made it up except Jeff Hardy who slipped near the top and fell (knowing Jeff, he probably purposely let go so he could take the big fall for fun). Lita also got eliminated for being the slowest one up the ladder. Next they had to chug a gross drink that included bile, rooster testicals, spleen, and some animal brains all blended together. Molly Holly almost vomited after one sip and was out. Jackie and Matt succeeded. Test refused to even try. So then it came down to Matt vs. Jackie and they had to walk across the tops of high poles and move flags around. Matt Hardy ended up winning the whole thing and won $50,000 for charity.
WATCH: WWF stars on Fear Factor, Pt. 1
WATCH: WWF stars on Fear Factor, Pt. 2
WATCH: WWF stars on Fear Factor, Pt. 3
  • Sunday Night Heat is being converted into one of the B-shows like Metal and Jakked. Awhile back, they started airing Heat from the WWF New York restaurant but the production costs of that were high. So in a cost-cutting move, they're just gonna tape dark matches and throw them on Heat the same way they do those other shows, featuring all the nobodies that can't ever get TV time on the main shows.
  • As mentioned last week, Scott Hall has been taking a drug called Antabuse, which makes him violently sick when he drinks or even smells alcohol. It caused him to get sick after Raw last week when Austin poured beer all over him in a bit after the cameras were off. Hall has said he is clean and has been clean for awhile, except for the incident a couple weeks ago where he fell off the wagon. Others are skeptical and question if Hall only takes his medication on TV days and needless to say, there's some doubt here.
  • Everywhere he goes, Brian Christopher has been telling people he's coming back to WWF after Wrestlemania, but contrary to what he's saying, Dave says there are zero plans for that (indeed, it does not happen).
FRIDAY: More on WWA's PPV disaster, the landscape for any new promotion attempting to start up, WWF huge show in Japan, WWF loses appeal over "WWF" initials, Bret Hart given offer for Wrestlemania 18, and tons more...
submitted by daprice82 to SquaredCircle [link] [comments]

OBLIGATORY FILLER MATERIAL – Just take a hard left at Daeseong-dong…7

Continuing
Well, when the props fouled the third time, I suggested we call it a day, as we’d already made some 32 sea-kilometers. We were out on the fringes of the worst of the kelp forest beds, and after a good night’s sleep, we’d be ready to deploy bright and early and get some seismic data acquired and recorded.
But, first, there was the first night aboard ship. In a rusty old tin-can with few creature comforts, as the annual winter monsoon winds wane and the seas actually begin to settle slightly.
I took that as both good omens. The bitching and kvetching I head from the locals about the ‘abominable weather they had to endure’, even from the Coast Guard types, really struck me as uproariously funny.
I just chalked it up to being sequestered from the rest of the world for so long. Put these characters in the path of a Midwestern tornado, East Indian summer monsoon, or Siberian blizzard, and they’d shit themselves blind. I didn’t really think too much of it, although it became somewhat of a game when the imperialistic foreigners tried to one-up each other with horror stories from excursions past.
“No shit”, Dax said, “We were snowed in for a full fortnight.”
“No!” several of us recoiled in mock horror.
“Oh, yah, hey.” Dax continued, “It’s just great when blizzards snap the power lines, and all the toilets freeze. The house cat didn't die until we burned up all our wood. Considering we ate her raw, she tasted pretty good…”
Several of our handlers, a few in the Coast Guard and most of the Korean scientists reacted rather badly to Dax’s story; especially when it had been gorily translated.
Seeing this, Dax stood up, got the soju bottle, and asked if anyone needed a top-up. I asked while puffing away on a large Jamaican cigar if anyone needed a smoke.
At this point, Dax was winning. He had seven of the assembled crowd run to the rail to relieve themselves of our canned Chinese dinner.
Not ever one to shrink from a challenge, I related my second-hand story of my Brother-in-law, who was in the US Coast Guard for years and years. I waited for the green crowd to re-join us and regain what remained of their composure. I figured the quasi-military national Coast Guarders here would appreciate the tale.
Mine wasn’t a gory or shocking tale, just one of the incredible water conditions off the coast of California.
I waited until everyone was settled, drink in hand, and smokin’ ‘em if you got ‘em.
“Well”, I said, “It was on board a ship much like the one we’re currently on,” I said as a rascal wave broke over the railing in counterpoint. “About the same size as this vessel, but with smaller wheels. You know these Coast Guard shallow-water boys”, I chuckled. Always meaning to jab one group or another in the place where I know it stings.
Yeah, I’m a real bastard that way sometimes.
The Korean Coast Guarders sneered hardly at me; but not too hard. They liked my cigars, cigarettes, and open disbursement policy too much.
“Yeah, anyways”, I continued, “He was offshore California in one of the US Coast Guard cutters. It was a boat about 26 meters or so in length. They were out doing search and rescue after a mega-nasty storm blew in from the west and scuttled a sailing regatta race.”
I was drawing them in with my ‘just so’ story, nice and easy, until…
“Yeah, there were several capsized monohulls, catamarans and trimarans. Damn, these things were fucking yachts. Owned by rich idiots that almost knew how to sail but didn’t know enough to get out of the way of a fucking severe storm…”
I really had their attention with ‘soaking the rich’.
“Well, the waves grew and grew, but my Brother-in-laws's boat was built to handle severe weather. These patrol and rescue boat has the capability to roll over 360 degrees and self-right within 30 seconds. Like right now, you’d never even notice this degree rock and roll”, I said as I demonstrated with my cigar, tracing out tighter and tighter rolls, and higher degrees of rocking and rolling.
“They were approaching a capsized trimaran, but the waves kept growing and growing…” I said, leading by example and having them watch me with unblinking attention.
“The waves grew and grew, and normally you’d take these head-on. But that was impossible, because when afternoon came it was slashin' rain, in the face of a hurricane west wind. The boat rolled to the left, heeled, almost keeled, a then rolled the other way just as quickly.” I noted.
They followed me as I timed it with the heavings of our own boat, to the left…to the right…
“Then, just as they were about to reach upon the trimaran, a rogue wave! Out of nowhere”, I said, rocking and rolling along with our own little boat, “BAM! Hit amidships! It didn’t roll once, it rolled twice!” I made great and magniloquent gestures of a tiny boat being savaged by a monstrous rogue sea wave.
I stood up, blew a great blue cloud of smoke towards the poop deck, and said, loudly, “Rolled over once. A full 360! Then rolled right over again. A full 720 degrees!” as I demonstrated what happened with my cigar and drink.
The eyes following me rolled and rolled as well. Some straight back into the owner’s head and some to the left, some to the right…it was like ‘Loose Slots’ night in Vegas, they were rolling and rolling.
And then racing for the rails. Topside to deliver the remains of their hearty canned dinners.
“Beat you, Dax!” I smiled as I sat back down, “I got nine with that at one. And two of them were Coasties!”
“Did that really happen?” Ivan asked.
“According to my Brother-in-law. But he’s an engineer if you know what I mean…” I smiled.
We concluded story night as we had drifted free of the kelp forest and the Captain of the boat decided he’d risk an anchorage for the night. The weather was ameliorating, the seas calming themselves down, and the wind dropping a couple of notches on the Beaufort Scale.
“Well, gents”, I said, “I need some air. The aroma down here of Chinese Aplo™ for dinner, those who didn’t make it to the rails, and the solitary head for the entire crew has lost its charm. If you’ll excuse me”, I said as I grabbed a bottle of ersatz vodka, and several cans of Taedonggang beer, “I’ll be on the aft deck; in my comfy chair and contemplating the wonder of it all.”
With that, I ventured up the stairs and out onto the aft deck.
Dax naturally followed and he found his own not-bolted-down deck chair. We had a constant flow of visitors, foreign and nationals alike. It was shaping up to be a fine night for being out under the stars, there was no light pollution at all. We sat in our chairs, drank our drinks, smoked our smokes, and argued the finer points of astronomy as seen from this part of the world.
I had several side chats with the scientists and academicians from the Korean side. They all had one thing on their minds. Well, one thing after cigars and cigarettes. They wanted Western scientific journals. They were actually trying to bribe me to get those copies, any age, any subject; of Science, AAPG Explorer, and SEPM Proceedings, anything of Western science as it is today. I said they were welcome to a couple of copies of Science and SPE journals I had brought with as an afterthought, for free. With 900 won to the dollar, they needed every won they could get. I wasn’t about to take anything for the free dissemination of knowledge.
However, if they saw it fit to buy me a drink or seven, I wouldn’t object.
In reality, I’d buy those as well.
We made secret pacts to meet at the hotel-casino the night before we left, whenever the fuck that would be. We had a lot of work before us as it stands. It won’t be for a few weeks, I reminded them.
They had no problem. If I could ask the other in the team if they’d do likewise, the appreciation would be palpable.
Great. Now I have to go get my field notebooks and make some more new entries.
Dax cratered around 0100. I elected to stay the night and sleep under the stars as the boat slowly rocked one way and rolled the other. It was quiet, dark as a tomb, and brilliantly lit up by the stellar backbone of the night once the clouds fumbled out. Tomorrow looked as if it were to be bright and sunny if the gentle westerlies had anything to say about the next day’s conditions.
The next day dawned early, bright, and ridiculously sunny as it usually does when the monsoons have departed and it had stopped raining.
“OK.”, I thought, “Time for a hearty breakfast. For someone else. I wonder what’s available here.”
I ventured down to the cold galley and there were several boxes of dry Chinese breakfast cereal, “Shredded Tweet” and the like, some sort of obviously aged bakery, and a case of Taedonggang beer.
“Hmmm”, I mused out loud, “Beer and rice crispies. Breakfast of champions.”
Dax walks in, rubbing his eyes. He sees me drowning my rice cereal in foamy ersatz milk.
“Reminds me of field camp!” I smiled as I chowed on the morning’s offerings.
After our ‘hearty’ breakfast, all the scientific parties gathered in the main stateroom. It was cramped, but the walls were magnetic and we could hang maps, well, charts actually since we’re well offshore now, and plots the day’s course.
Out in the Yellow Sea, we were supposedly over a subsurface, and by dint of being offshore, submarine, dome. Salt dome? Unlikely. Probably more of a shale dome, which isn’t a bad thing when hunting for oil and gas.
Looking at the charts, I ask the locals what our current position was relative to the domal uplift.
After several long moments of silence, I asked again.
“Umm, guys”, I said, “If you’re not going to be forthcoming with something as simple as positional data, then turn this boat 1800’s and take us back to shore. I am fed up, as are my team, with this tight-holing of the simplest of data when you are the knotheads that asked us here for help. We get paid either way, and I for one wouldn’t mind being paid triple to sit in the hotel’s basement and drink”
After telling the translator to translate that last part literally, I sat back, pulled out a really nasty cigar, and went through all the threatening moves of firing it up in the enclosed cabin.
“You will have to excuse us”, came the reply from one of the elders, “We are not used to dealing with oegugseon [foreigners].”
“Are you used to following orders?” I asked brusquely.
“Of course!” came the near-unanimous reply.
“Great. Then consider this an order: You will relay the appropriate information when asked by any Westerner on this cruise. Consider it as coming from the Supreme Leader of this expedition.” I noted.
Using the term ‘Supreme Leader’ was both a bow to their current bad-hair-cut in charge and my desire to let them know I was serious as a kick to the scrotum about the whole fucking deal.
There were a couple of gasps and some consternatious talk, but eventually, one brave soul got up, walked over to the chart, and pointed to our relative location.
“There”, I added, “That wasn’t so hard, was it? Didn’t hurt in the least, did it?”
There were a few chuckles amongst our national colleagues, so I figured that was at least a little progress.
“OK, then”, I continued, “Volna? Ack? You’re up to bat.”
I turned the proceedings over to the geophysicists. They would devise the configuration of the towed array, our speed, direction, charge size, which was based on depth, and all the other geophysical flips and twists one has to do in order to acquire the best data.
This shit doesn’t come cheap. The Mesozoic-Paleozoic marine residual basin in the South Yellow Sea where these domes live is a potentially significant deep potential hydrocarbon reservoir. However, the imaging of the deep prospecting target is quite challenging due to the specific seismic-geological conditions. In the Central and Wunansha Uplifts, the penetration of the seismic wavefield is limited by the shallow high-velocity layers (HVLs) and the weak reflections in the deep carbonate rocks. With the conventional marine seismic acquisition technique, the deep weak reflection is difficult to image and identify. We confirm through numerical simulation that the combination of multi-level impulse source (i.e., explosive) array and extended cable used in the seismic acquisition is crucial for improving the imaging quality.
With that, we’re going to be recording a minimum of four stacks, with a receiver interval of 25 meters. The array will have a shot interval of 50 meters, with a 25 meter near offset, and a 2500 meter far offset. We will attempt to record 180 channels, off-end, with a sampling period of 0.5 seconds, and a record length of 5 seconds. We’ll sail the same course 4 times to verify previous records and attempt to add ‘fold’, i.e., extra data from the same point, to the overall records.
That’s the plan, at least.
Loads of preparation, logistics, and execution.
After a half an hour or so, both Volna and Ack are finished with the national scientists.
They set down their notebooks, pens, notes, and pointers; walk out of the meeting room and directly over to the galley.
“Hungry, fellas?” I inquire.
“Rock?”, Ack asks, “You have explosives here, right? Sink us. Just fucking sink us right now.” As he pours himself and Volna a stiff shot of real vodka.
“Uh, oh. Problems in Dreamland?” I ask, utilizing the derogatory name for the geophysical domain of exploration data.
“Un-be-fucking-believable.”, Volna adds.
“Your colloquial American is coming along well, Volna.” I snickered a bit.
“I learn from you”, he spat, “Cannot believe this. They don’t record while underway. They tow single array and stop. Then drop dynamite over side. They record. Then they do it again. Claim this gives them good fold. This is bullshit. You said devise program. HA! Take us to shore and let me teach them the fucking basics of geophysical acquisition. Then in a few years, we come back and do it right.”
“Oh, fuck”, I reply, wincing, “That bad?”
“Oh, no”, Ack continues, “It’s worse.” As he down 100 milliliters of booze in one draught and pours another for Volna and is own self, “No on-board demultiplexing. No on-board pre-processing. No-onboard QA/QC. No on-board anything. It’s fucking hopeless. Sink us, I’d rather take my chances with the sharks.”
“They can’t do all that stuff or they won’t do all that stuff,” I asked, expecting the worst.
“Oh, it might be possible, with this museum-grade crap they call a computer they have on-board. It’s just time-consuming, tricky, and will need constant attention. But with this raft of sad-sacks, flub-a-dubs and third rate hobbyists?” Ack and Volna agree as one.
“Consider it job security”, I replied, “How about this? One test loop and we use that data to do what’s necessary; just once. Then we can say we’ve shown them the way. After that, I’ll leave it up to the National scientists.”
“Good thing we have 2 full days, Rock”, Volna said, “Because we do a single AC (acquisition) run, it’ll take the rest of the time to show these buggers how it’s done.”
“Ack? You agree?” I asked.
Ack agreed, in spades.
“OK, gentlemen”, I said, “Let’s make it so. About time, too. I haven’t blown anything up in a couple of weeks. I’m getting antsy. Let’s go tell them the good news.”
“NO! WE REFUSE!” was the cheery response from the nationals when Ack, Volna, and I laid out the rather lengthy program for the next couple of days.
“OK. Someone tell the Captain to head for home. We’re done here.” I calmly told our handlers and the translators.
Panic in Pyongyang.
Immediately, there is this hue and cry about how this was not supposed to be how this trip was going to work. This was to be an acquisition trip only. This was to be a one-off to show Best Korea geophysical prowess. This was supposed to be data gathering trip on the Western scientists…
Oops.
That last one was a bit of a mistake.
I turn to one of the translators and ask them to re-translate that last part, just in case I was hearing imaginary things.
“Oh, yes”, he replied, “He said they were here to gather data on the Western Scientists as well as offshore data.”
“Is that a fact?” I reacted. “Please tell them I need to see all my team members on the fantail immediately if you would. Sorry, translators and nationals not included in this little meeting.”
We reconvene on the fantail a few minutes later. I walk in on this little conclave with cigar and drink in hand.
“OK, gents”, I say, puffing a huge blue cloud, swigging a tot, “Here’s what I think we, as responsible international scientists, should do in this regrettable situation. We were asked to come here, with provisions that we would not be under cynosure, observation, or surveillance. Given ‘Open and Free Access’, no questions asked. We were to be treated as “esteemed guests”. This is obviously a load of dingo’s kidneys. I think we need to get as creative as possible and do whatever we can to provide as much deliberate misinformation to these characters to annoy, amaze, or disgust them as much as possible. Comments?”
There’s a general buzz, but no real dissention. After a few moment's discussion, Dax suggests we get a load of XXXXL condoms, and leave them around packaged as “Texas Medium”.
“That’s the spirit”, I reply. “Anyone one else up for a little Psychological Operations on our not-so-clever-nor-truthful hosts?”
We all agree that we will, in our own little way, start a campaign of deliberate misinformation, misdirection, and general petty bullshit nastiness for our hosts to discover and by which be dismayed.
Everyone’s in agreement. This trip has been a rotund bale of jeers from the get-go.
Promises made, promises broken. Itineraries approved then inexplicably disapproved. We make requests, they accede; and then nothing ever happens. It’s most frustrating.
We’re tolerating a lot of horse, bull, cow, and assorted other farmyard excrements; all in the name of international harmony and scientific goodwill. This has been an outgoing one-way street for too long. We’re mad as hell and we’re not going to take it anymore.
“Hellfire and Dalmatians!” I growl, growing angrier every minute I think about the subject, “We need to take the high, low, and middle ground on this offensive. Nothing too overt or obvious; however we need to jank these bastards good. But they can’t realize they’re being janked…!”
Ack cuts in.
“The esteemed Dr. Rock is right. Psychotic...but absolutely right. We got to take these bastards. We could fight them with conventional weapons. That could take years...cost millions of lives. In this case... I think we have to go all out. I think this situation absolutely requires...a really futile and stupid gesture... be done on somebody's part.”
There’s a general buzz among the assembled.
“And we're just the guys to do it.”
Shouts and catcalls of deep agreement.
“Operation ‘Confound-a-Korean’” is now enacted.
“About fucking time!”
“Let’s do it!”
“Dissen gonna be bery messy! Me no watchin!”
“OK, I think, “Who’s the prequel-series wiseass?”
“OK, gentlemen”, I continue, “We continue with our scientific duties. No fucking around there. But, when it comes to…interpretation…opinion…or personal viewpoint; let’s go full impede. Dazzle them with brilliance or baffle them with bullshit.”
We all agree and after a couple of quick rounds of old thought provoker, we realize this trip has just taken a hard left into Wackyland. We will have to let our comrades onshore know of this, but that can wait until we return. Right now, we all have jobs to do. Real jobs, serious jobs, covert and sneaky jobs…
So, it’s back to the recording shack as we lay out the plans for the next couple of days.
Volna begins: “OK, listen up you primitive screwheads. We’re going to assemble and layout a recording array that’s called a Meisenheimer Triplet. You do know what a simple Meisenheimer Triplet is, don’t you?”
There’s a slight murmur from our national friends, but in the end, they all plead ignorance.
“Right. Thought so. A Meisenheimer Triplet is a central towed array flanked by two shorter, subparallel flanking sub-frammitz arrays. We will assemble this array on-board, even though it’s probably going to take every ounce of silver solder and electrician’s tape you’ve got. The amount of data received is orders of magnitude greater than any single Sheriff-sonde array, like the ones you been using.”
Suddenly, there are nods and murmurs of agreement.
“Right”, Volna smiles sinisterly to me, “With that, we’ll need to devise an explosive package, well, actually, a series of explosive packages based on the harmonia of the pre-bottom fore-sets, water depth, tow vehicle velocity, water column density, and decomposition coefficients of the said water column. Oh, yeah. Fish too.”
Volna is really getting into the spirit of the affair.
“Who is your explosives engineer?” Ack asks, “He’s going to have to do some serious number-crunching with all the pre-blast data we’ll need to supply. “
One quick translation and there’s nothing but long faces and querulous looks from our national crowd.
“We have no explosives engineer”, the head Best Korean geophysicist laments. “Explosives are very, very heavily regulated by the government. That’s why we have several Government Observers on board. They handle the explosives.”
“Oh?” Ack remarks, “Are they fully up to speed on the Barnard-Reichmann equations for hydro-displacement of serial charges? Which subset of the marine rarefication coefficients do they employ?”
“Ummm, don’t know.” was the answer.
“Don’t know? Well”, Volna continues, “Then, they must be pretty good with the Langefors-Kihlström formulae, right?”
“No. Not as such.” Came the response.
“I see”, Ack sighs, “Well, then, I guess they must utilize the Il’yushin algorithms then. OK, it’s a bit old school, but they should still work.”
“Ah. Well. No.” was the rejoinder they offered.
“Well, then what the fuck do they use?” Volna explodes, “A modified Ambraseys-Hendorn model? Ghosh-Damen 1? Ghosh-Damen 2? Indian Fargin Standard? Prejaculated Rai-Singh protocols, fer’ chrissake? Which?”
Nothing but shaking heads and wringing hands.
“They take a case of dynamite, wire it up, and throw it overboard with a long fuse.” Was the eventual answer. “That’s why we stop to record.”
Long, exasperated sigh later, “Jesus Q. Tapdancing Christ on a crème cracker. No wonder you never get anything done.” Volna continues, “You characters are in luck. You just happen to be so lucky to have an internationally-renowned Master Blaster right here on board ship today.”
Volna turns the crowd over to me, “Doctor? Do your damnedest. And good luck.”
“Thanks, Volna”, I say, cigar in one hand, stalwart drink in the other, “OK, guys. Here’s the deal. When it comes to explosives and explosive design, I’m the hookin’ bull. No one has authority over me. Not the Captain. Not the boson’s mate. Not the Captain’s Consort even. Nor the guys in the cheap shiny suits. What I say, goes. No exceptions. No hesitation. We green or are we going back to shore?”
Cholog?” they ask.
“Yes. ‘Cholog’. Green. Are we understanding one another? Are we all in agreement? Are you fuckin’ diggin’ me, Beaumont?
There’s some quick back and forth in Korean, a lot of seeming bad noise. Even the shiny suit squad and Coasties join in the fun.
“Grudgingly, we agree. Green as you say, Doctor Rock. You are the one in charge.” Came the head national’s reply.
“Splendid. I’m in charge of the charges.” I chuckle, puffing an enormous cloud of expensive Oscuro smoke, “Volna, Ack; please get me the required parameters. I’ll be in the ordnance locker to see what we’re working with here. C’mon fellas, chop-chop!”
Volna and Ack take their select set of geophysical wishers and wannabes while I get the rest of the locals, the shiny suit squad in reserve, but in tow.
I head off to the ordinance locker.
Dax runs behind “Hey! Wait for me.”
“We have to”, I snigger a reply, “We’re going to need a drinks runner.”
“Marvelous…” was the one-word response.
We get to the locked ordinance locker. It’s one of the few original structures remaining on the ship. The boat was torn down almost to the waterline and re-built for seismic acquisition, but they had enough brains to realize that the source of the seismic signals was usually explosive in nature. Dinoseis and Mini-Sossie were closed books to them.
Therefore, the locker remained intact, however grudgingly.
“Whew! And what a locker.” I whewed. “And what a lock. OK, who’s got the keys?”
There are general hemming and hawing and no one seems to know where the keys for the ordinance locker are kept.
“Well, gents”, I say, pointedly, “I would suggest that one or more of you toddle off and fucking find the goddamn keys or this will turn out to be a very short and unproductive trip, indeed.”
A while later, a bit longer than I personally care for, the boat’s Captain wanders up, all a-scowl and generally pissed-off looking.
“Who here needs the key to the explosives locker?” He asks in his Captainly, no-nonsense manner.
There’s more muttering and murmuring, but eventually, all fingers point toward me.
The Captain looks at me.
“Hello.”
He’s giving me the once over with a LASER stink eye. I don’t know which irritated him the most; the lit cigar, the drink, the Stetson, Hawaiian shirt, cargo shorts, Scottish knee socks or field boots.
“And who the hell are you”? He asks, oh, so wrongly, through an interpreter.
I stand up, fully puffed to full mammalian threat posture and say in a loud steady voice;
“I’m THE Doctor Rocknocker, the MOTHERFUCKING PRO FROM DOVER!, that’s who.”
Since I had a good 6 inches and way too many kilos on him; my loud, American and very un-oriental answer took him completely by surprise.
His eyes got as big as dinner plates and he shakily held out the ring of keys for the explosives locker.
“Why thank you very much”, I said, bowing in his direction ever so slightly. Wasn’t his fault he wasn’t totally clued in on all the recent goings-on aboard his vessel.
I toss the keys to Dax, “Here, earn your keep.” I snickered.
Dax deftly fields the keys, chuckles back, and begins the game of ‘which key for which lock’?
I thank the Captain and explain that I’m the de facto leader of this special education class, and make some pointed, mild epitaphs about landlubbers, national scientists, and the cargo of the totally clueless on board.
He sees I’m not a total boor and relaxes some. We haven’t really had a real introduction, so I grab a translator and engage the Captain in a short, though insightful conversation.
Cigars were exchanged. Handshakes were as well.
Seems he’s just as aggravated by these know-it-alls who really know-fuck-all. We see eye to eye and part friends once Dax finally figures out the combination to the weapons locker.
“Holy fuck!” I exclaim, “Now that’s a door.” I say looking at the slowly-opening covering of the weapon’s portico. Fully five solid inches of solid steel. Triple reinforced hinges. Deadman's latches. Bringles-jams and solid, non-decabulated cast-steel cross-members.
Just the thing to contain an errant blast and send all that excess energy skyward instead of into the bowels of the boat.
OK, bonus points for that design feature.
I look inside, but it’s dark and fragrant as the inside of an irritated oyster in the bottom of the Tonga-Kermadec Trench.
Dax fumbles around and finds the light switch.

FLIP

“Hmmm.” I hmmed. “Well, we’re all set for dynamite, I see.”
Case after case after case of leaking, cheap-ass Chinese knock-off sort-of Du Pont-style 50% dynamite. Box after box of Pseudo-Dyno-Nobel blasting caps. Delaminating, unwinding spools after spool of “PrimUcord”. Sticky “Korea” brand silk-woven coated Demolition Wire.
“Gads.” I sigh. “What a nightmare. Either this stuff goes off when you give it a dirty look or it doesn’t go off at all.”
Dax looks to me, “So, the trip’s a bust. Is that what you’re saying?”
“If we don’t find something that’ll work, probably,” I reply. “This shit’s worthless.”
We continue to search after I shoo everyone but Dax out of the locker. It’s damp and musty in here, smelling disconcertingly of kerosene, gherkins, and old sardines. That’s one sure sign of dynamite going bad. I warn Dax to be extra careful, that this stuff hasn’t had the best of handling. We could be in for an unexpected surprise.
So, we redouble our efforts and are much more circumspect.
Knock-off this and fake-ass that.
All Chinese in origin. It might have worked one day; but after sitting in here, unattended, unturned, and uncared for? I’m ready to both literally and figuratively pull the plug on this whole fiasco.
Dax is all smiles.
“Doctor?” Dax asks, “What is it that would make you happy?”
“A nice fishing boat, a huge never-emptying bank account, endless cigars, and a comfy chair back in the north of Baja Canada in a tavern on a good fishing lake,” I replied.
“Well”, Dax smiles, “I can’t do that, but how about this?” as he opens a cleverly hidden door.
I look in, let my eyes adjust to the low-light scenario to see no lakes, no huge bank accounts, nor fishing boats; but what I do see makes me smile wide.
It’s a sub-locker full of familiar Made-in-the-USA, True Blue, American-manufacture cyclo-trimethylene-tri-nitramine, or Good Ol’ C-4 explosive. Block after lovely hexahedral block of the stuff.
“Dax”, I say, “Take a gold star out of petty cash. You’ve just saved the mission.”
“I’ll settle for a tall vodka and one of your cigars”, Dax smiles.
“Later”, I say, “We now have a little job which to attend.”
With C-4, designing the impulse charges is seriously a walk in the park. They’re already waterproof, so all I need is water depth and the number of seconds to which they want to record data. I can bundle a series of blocks of the stuff, charge them with a couple-three or four, just in case, blasting caps, and connect them with stout lengths of demolition wire. These will be dragged, with a ‘Herring Dodger’, to control depth, behind the boat as we are underway.
It’s a novel idea, I know. One that’s only been in use in the west for about 60 years.
We’ll drag a daisy chain of C-4 packets. One after another, individual charges in the packets will detonate milliseconds apart. I can bundle the packets so that we can run a charge string of up to 12 discrete packets which will attenuate the amplification of the arrhythmic flux, I tell one of my Korean onlookers.
With this set-up, we can record data for literally sea-miles.
First, we will moosh the C-4 into a flattened, semi-hydrodynamically stable pancake or airfoil, OK, hydrofoil, shape; wire three or five of them together, charge them, then repeat.
Depending on what parameters Volna and Ack supply, the chain will just be a number of similar packets, trailing one after the other, detonating from back to front; down below the hydrophones, but well above the seafloor.
We know that the hydrophones will be at or very near the surface, but we need to know, explicitly, the basal bathymetry of the area we're about to shoot. Wouldn’t do anyone any good if we drove over a seafloor hump and dragged the C-4 over it to have it detonate prematurely.
Or not at all.
So, we need to plot our course and sail it today while we get the hydrophone arrays built and we image the seafloor where we’re going to do some blasting. After that, it’ll probably be an all-nighter to create the blasting strings so we can spend the next day recording, and then head for home as we’re nearly out of victuals and potables.
At least, that’s the plan.
I convene a quick meeting and we plot a course on the latest charts. 30 kilometers of recording.
Shit, that’s going to be a lot of explosives. Doable, but a pain.
Remembering the quality of the recording equipment, I suggest we do a test run in the morning of just 5 kilometers. If that works, and we can up it in increments.
Dax, Sagong the head Korean geophysicist, and I go to visit the Captain.
We visit the Captain and lay out our plans. He has no objections, as were in Best Korean waters and there are no obstacles out here like sunken wrecks, kelp forests, American aircraft carriers, or other impediments.
With that, we tell him to align the ship and let us know when he can begin doing the recon sortie.
He says that he can do that immediately, and before we're out of the pilothouse, we’re recording bathymetric, i.e., depth, data. The technology’s not much different, nor advanced, than a standard Lake Winnebago fish finder, so that’s one disaster sorted.
We are sailing along in a series of parallel straight lines, which when the data are played back and deconvoluted, will give us a good idea of the bathymetry which we’ve been motoring over. It’ll basically give us both a depth map and a surface, ok, bottom, map of the seafloor above which we’re sailing. A little basic submarine hyperbolic quantum trigonometry and well, we have the data we need to plug into the various equations to see what we’ll require when we want to record seismic data to 5000 milliseconds.
With that, there’s not much else to do until we have the survey map. I dragoon Dax and Cliff into helping me inventory the explosives bunker.
“The hell with the dynamite, PrimUcord, and other Oriental-Knockoff Horseshit”, I instruct my helpers, “Let’s just count up the C-4, and see what our tally is. Oh, yeah, give me a tally of the blasting caps. Gotta use those ratty bastards, they’re the only actuators here I sort of, kind of, trust.”
With Dax, myself, and Cliff, we’re done in less than an hour. I decide that I’ll be the keeper of the keys and take them back to the Captain my own self. Rules of engagements, chain of command and all that hogwash.
I hand the keys over to the Captain and instruct the co-pilot to make an entry in the logbook that I returned the key to the Captain, this date, this time.
“By the book. It’s not just a good idea, it’s the law.” I muse.
To be continued
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