@AP: RT @APWestRegion: A college in the Nevada gambling town of Reno has found an unorthodox solution after an explosion last month closed two of its biggest dorms. Roughly 1,300 students will spend the year in a converted casino hotel. Story: https://t.co/DAmazf4NNa https://t.co/pacD6x4CAY
Unusual options activity on ERI (El Dorado Resorts)
TLDR: I advise buying June 19 20 Calls on ERI. On May 6, significant, and unusual, blocks of options were traded on ERI. A deep-pocketed buyer, likely an institution, made a bullish purchase of approx. 5000 6/19 20C's at the Ask, and a sale of the same amount of 30C's near the Bid. This bullish call was despite the falling price action that day. This represents 500k shares, or approximately 5-10% of daily volume on any given day. What makes this even more unusual is the fact that the open interest on either of those options before the purchase was less than 1000 contracts, meaning this was an incredibly large buy. Moreover, none of the other casino stocks seemed to have experienced a large bullish buy like this. For a quick overview of ERI: Eldorado Resorts is an American hotel and casino entertainment company founded and based in Reno, Nevada that operates 23 properties across 11 U.S. states. In 2019, they entered into a merger agreement with Caesars Entertainment for $18 billion in stock and cash. The merger is expected to be completed by the start of the summer. Because ERI had to resolve anti-trust issues with the merger, they've sold off numerous properties to buyers. Most of these sales were in late 2019. Despite these sales, the casinos are bleeding cash in this climate. In particular, the largest problem is the rent issue. The fact that the trade was a vertical spread, rather than a naked option purchase, means there is still time to get in on the trade. For the mysterious buyer to make any money, the price must go into the mid-20s over the next 2-3 weeks. Even with the news on Nevada taking action to reopen casinos, the stock still closed at $19.38 today. I expect a couple of potential catalysts to drive the price above $20 in the next few weeks: - ERI successfully renegotiates its lease on some of the properties for the year - ERI executes another favorable sale on a property, deleveraging its financial position - ERI gets approval to reopen its Casinos before rivals do. As always, this is just my opinion. It is obviously risky to trade hospitality / live entertainment stocks in a pandemic like this. So do your own DD before you take any action.
I've seen a lot of this stuff pop up before on this sub but I haven't been able to find a post that contains all of this information together. I'm just kind of bored and wanted to highlight the origins/locations/details of all of the album covers used in the band's discography. As a disclaimer, nearly all of this stuff has been discovered and even posted on this subreddit before, so I'm not taking any credit for most of the stuff here. I would like to give credit where it is due, but given the large number of people and non-redditors that have found the same things, I wouldn't even know where to begin on some of these. I simply dug out as much info as I could find and conglomerated this all into a single post. Also, if I'm incorrect about anything here or if there is anything else that you can add, please comment. That being said, here it is... Death Grips (EP) Album Cover The album cover for Death Grips's original project is actually just a negative image of a distorted looking screenshot from the first few seconds of this music video for Full Moon (Death Classic). Here. It begins with a short video clip of a man speaking while a crow pecks at the dead carcass of what looks to be another crow. Although I've tried looking I cannot find the origins of the video. Exmilitary Album Cover As stated from these posts (1)(2) the cover for the Exmilitary mixtape appears to be a old photograph folded and unfolded into quarters from a book called The Dark Australians by Douglass Baglin and David R. Moore. As u/ebbsey said:
While i feel like i am spoiling the end of a movie...... here goes. The photograph was taken in 1968 at or around what was then know as Oenpelli Mission, today it's called Gunbalanya. The photographer was Douglass Baglin, he published a series of books primarily on Australian heritage throughout the 1970s with a few devoted to Aboriginal themes, his photographs also appeared in other Australian publications used like stock photos. In regards to the identity of the Aboriginal man, Baglin, like many photographers at the time never recorded who he was and simply called him "bearded man at Oenpelli".
The photos: (1)(2) The Money Store Album Cover The Cover is a rendition of a photo taken at the Folsom Street Fair in San Fancisco in 2007 painted by artist Sua Yoo, who is also the girl on the cover of Fashion Week. The entire collection of photos can be found here (Warning: VERY NSFW). According to this Pitchfork article, Death Grips describes the cover as follows: "On the cover you have an androgynous masochist on the leash of a feminist sadist who's smoking. The sadist has carved Death Grips into her bitch's chest. There is an overly confident quality to the woman smoking and a calmness to the androgynous masochist." No Love Deep Web Album Cover (NSFW) As most of you already know, this controversial cover is a photo of Zach Hill's erect penis with the album title written across it in black marker. It was taken in a bathroom at the Chateau Marmont Hotel in Los Angeles, which the band stayed in for an entire two months leading to the leak of the album on their website, which resulted in their dropping from Epic Records. The album cover was met with much controversy, and they were forced to censor the image on their website, YouTube, and SoundCloud, covering the penis with a black bar. On some music platforms, the penis is censored via pixelation instead. Wikipedia says: In an interview with Spin Magazine, Ride responded to the interest by saying, "If you look at that and all you see is a dick, I don't really have anything to say, pretty much. I looked at it and said, 'This is a great photo, and I'd love for this to be the album cover.'" Hill further explained, "It was difficult to do, honestly, in general, it was very difficult. It's difficult even telling people that's the source of it; it feels sacrificial in a sense. That idea existed long before, by the way. This is going to sound funny to other people, but we saw it as tribal, as spiritual, as primal. Also, it comes from a place of being a band that is perceived as...such an aggressive, male-based, by some, misogynistic-seeming band... It's a display of embracing homosexuality, not that either of us are homosexual. Am I making sense? People are still going to think that it's macho, but that's not the source of where it comes from." In a separate interview with Pitchfork, Hill expounded, "It's also a spiritual thing; it's fearlessness...it represents pushing past everything that makes people slaves without even knowing it." There is also an alternate cover featuring Ride wearing mismatched dress shoes with white socks that say "SUCK MY DICK." Government Plates Album Cover This is a really simple cover that features what looks to be a slightly tilted 3D model or photo of a California Exempt (for official vehicles exempt from registration fees) license plate that says "DEATH" over a black background. While this is just speculation on my part, California exempt license plates can only have a maximum of six characters, which could possibly be the reason why the license plate says "DEATH" and not "DEATH GRIPS" like some of their other album covers. As u/mutesirens discovered in this post, when viewed on an iPod Classic, the license plate appears completely flat, which is kind of creepy (in a good way). On Record Store Day 2014, 900 new vinyl copies of Government Plates were released with new artwork showing some of the 3D models from the music videos over the original cover. These records also came with a physical replica of the license plate on the cover. N***as on the Moon Album Cover The cover features a blurry, black and white photo of Ride walking through what is believed to be Sacramento City Cemetery. This Cemetery is located in Ride and Zach's hometown and is right off of Broadway. In the song Up My Sleeves (the first song from this album), Ride mentions a "Broadway Cemetery" multiple times. It also appears to be the same cemetery from Black Google, the I've Seen Footage video, and the infamous moth photo. Although this is nothing but speculation, and most people believe "Jenny Death" refers to Marilyn Monroe, there is also a grave in this cemetery for a "Baby Jenny," who was an African American infant who died of worms in 1853. One user on imgur used this info to try and pinpoint the exact location where the album cover was taken here. Although this is very cool, the mausoleum (tomb building thing) from the google Earth view looks to be in a different spot than the one from the album cover, as there is a road directly in front of it. Using the cemetery's website, I found a plot map and grave directory to use with Google maps to try and find the spot myself. Unfortunately, it is a massive cemetery that is covered in trees, and there were no street view photos of the areas I was trying to look in. The plot map is also from 1975 and appears to be slightly out of date, and there may have been some renovations or plant growth since 2014 when the album released. I found it impossible to find a location that looked similar to the one taken for the album cover. I did however, look through photos that tourists had taken and posted online, and found this photo, which shows a mausoleum eerily similar to the one used on the cover, having the same size, shape, door, immediate surroundings, and even similar shadows. According to the grave directory, it should be located at plot 31, which should be well within viewing distance on plot 19, however I still couldn't see anything well from Google maps. Hopefully a fan in Sacramento can one day visit the cemetery and try and find it and post some better photos. Fashion Week Album Cover The chair is located in the Silver Legacy Resort Casino in Reno, Nevada. It sits on the second floor in the hotel lobby and has evidently changed upholstery color since 2015. The girl is Sua Yoo, who also painted the artwork for The Money Store. Jenny Death Album Cover The glass mural of Marilyn Monroe can be found in the Cheetah's Club on Hollywood Boulevard in Los Angeles. Many people speculate that the name "Jenny Death" comes from Monroe's real name: Norma Jeane Mortenson. Jeane = Jenny, Mortenson = Morte = Death. Many elements of the album also revolve around themes of fame and how destructive it can be, which was perfectly illustrated with the later years of the actress's life. Thanks u/Arthurlurk1 for posting the photos. The Powers That B Album Cover The artwork actually made its first appearance in 2012 in some of the music videos for The Money Store. In the Blackjack music video, the outer rim of the circle appears blackened and sits in the center of the screen rotating while videos play on the inside. In the I've Seen Footage video, it appears in full view at one point and shows up again slightly edited out a few more times, something that was pointed out in this post. It's basically just a blue ground light with some condensation on the inside. Here's someone else's post with a similar one they found. I can't find exactly where this particular light is located, but in the Inanimate Sensation music video, it can be seen from multiple angles next to Zach while he's laying down on a sidewalk next to a tree smoking a cigarette. The scratching on the light that says "Death Grips" is not real. You can tell because of the way that the scratching goes off onto the pavement on the left and because there's no apparent dip around the edges. It looks nearly identical to the scratching on the bitch's chest from the cover of The Money Store. Interview 2016 Album Cover This one's easy. It's just a screen grab of Matthew Hoffman from the Interview 2016 video. You can see it at the 12:10 mark. Bottomless Pit Album Cover The mouth on the cover belongs to Liz Liles Brown, confirmed by her own Instagram post. She is also believed by many to be the voice of "Mexican Girl" from Lord of the Game, but nobody has confirmed nor denied this. It is not confirmed where the cover was taken nor do we know exactly what we're looking at, but Liz did post this photo of herself on Twitter in late 2014, where it looks like she is wearing huge lit-up balloon eye balls where her head is positioned in the middle like on the album cover. Link for both photos. Given Death Grips's history of quietly working with people for years and photographing album covers well before the release date, it could very well be possible that the photo was taken in late 2014. It could also be possible that the Twitter photo was something completely different, and the group instead used large balloons like the ones found at teamLab Planet Tokyo. A video loop version of the album cover appears on YouTube for each of the tracks on Bottomless Pit, showing Liz rapidly flipping her tongue between the big balloon things while saliva drips down her chin. There have been a few theories floating around as to what the album cover means, with some saying that it looks like sexual imagery for cunnilingus, which may be supported by the videos on YouTube. The most supported theory is that the balloons are supposed to represent giant eyeballs like the annoying fan in the Inanimate Sensation music video, which sees Ride with giant googly eyes kind of like the Bottomless Pit cover. The photo of Liz in 2014 also definitely looks like giant eyeballs since they have black circles on the balloons. The lyrics for the title track Bottomless Pit mention "Gagballs drooling pools," which could explain the saliva and tongue flipping from the YouTube videos as well. My guess is that the album is supposed to be about rabid fans personified by a drooling creature, who were given "Bad Ideas" from the band and are falling down a "bottomless pit," making their eyes pop out of their head, eternally getting "fucked in half" by new content from the band. Steroids (Crouching Tiger Hidden Gabber Megamix) Album Cover The dragon mural can be found hanging on the wall at Simon's Bar & Cafe in Sacramento. The glowing red eyes are actually real and weren't edited in. In the music video. the dragon is shown flashing different colors rapidly In 2019, the EP was printed on vinyl and shipped with a slightly altered cover that included a white border, the band name, and a parental advisory badge. The vinyl release also included the songs More Than the Fairy and Electronic Drum Solo, using the artwork for the former on the back cover. Year of the Snitch Album Cover If you look closely at the cover, you can figure out that it's a (plastic?) patio table, with someone (probably Zach) sticking their lips and tongue out through the umbrella hole in the center of the table. The mouth was then copied and pasted to other areas of the table at various rotations and sizes, while another shot of the mouth wide open was enlarged and pasted on the table by itself. The hand of the person under the table is gripping the edge of the table for balance on the top left, and you can see part of a patio chair on the top right. You can a closeup of the mouth moving at the 0:33 mark in the Year of the Snitch tracklist video. The location of the patio table is unknown. The album and accompanying media that was released on YouTube features a lot of themes about snitching (obviously) as well as cults. The one large open mouth may represent a cult leader speaking while the other tongue-out mouths could be followers. Maybe the tongue-out mouths represent members of a group/cult while the large open mouth is snitch talking. Or I may just be interpreting it all wrong. Let me know if I missed anything!
That reminds me of a story. After that last one, I thought you might all enjoy a short follow up. After Al, Chuck, Leo, returned to their other lives back in the world, they kept getting requests from various Agencies and Bureaus for more mine closure data, mostly focusing upon lines of documentation. The various Bureaus desired monographs, road guides, technical reports, and most importantly, detailed step-by-step “How To” manuals. My guys, now my fully credentialed doctored colleagues, were predictably reticent to write up “How To” manuals for something that was obviously not of their authorship nor inception. “Fuckin’-A, Rock,” Leo tells me in a phone call, “They want me to fuckin’ basically claim-jump you writing up mine closing procedures. What’s with these goatfuckers? They figured they paid you enough and are now trying to run a goddamned end around? Collective shitheels. No fucking way I’d even think of crossing, even accidently, the Motherfuckin’ Pro from Dover.” I replied that I had no idea, as after the initial contacts after the field season, I had heard precisely dick from any of the bureaus. Which is fine, as I’m busier than a one-armed paperhanger in a windstorm getting ready to shift the family some 12,700 kilometers east. I thanked Leo for the intel and told him not to worry, it’s just bureaucracy misfiring at its finest. “Fuckin’-A, Bubba,” replies Leo as he hangs up. It suddenly goes all dusty in my office. “I’ve trained that boy well,” I sniff and chuckle heartily. A short while later, Al wrote me that he’s been contacted by the Bureau/Agency and they are desirous that he lead a field trip with a gaggle of professors from various universities. They are also not all geologists, but Environmental Scientists, Hydrologists, something called an “Environmental Engineer,” and other forms of societal detritus. He tells me that they wanted him to lead a group of these characters out into the desert for a couple of weeks and show them the mine closure procedures which he developed. He was most adamant in assuring me that they contacted him, and that the terminology was also theirs. He was already otherwise engaged, so he naturally had to decline. However, he made it abundantly clear that he would never even entertain such a notion like the one they had posited. I wrote him back, as he was down in Patagonia doing something more or less interesting and/or exciting, thanking him for the information and wishing him well on his expedition. Since he was in the field, I also included a couple of the recipes we enjoyed back in the Nevada desert. He later tells me that the Gauchos he was working with down there have never heard of Pineapple Upside Down Cake and they absolutely were delighted by it. Come to find out, they also like potato juice and citrus drinks as well. “Good ol’ Dr. Good-deed. Aide to all men.” I pondered. I talked with Esme about all this and she was of the opinion that either they knew I was headed east or they wanted me to have some time off. I had been doing a lot of ad hoc work for both Agencies and Bureaus over the last few years. “Of course,” I replied, “Never ascribe to malice what can best be defined by governmental bureaucracy and officiousness.” So, time puttered on. We were holding weekly ‘GROJ (Get Rid Of Junk) sales’ on our weekends. Since everything electrical we possessed was 120 VAC, and the rest of the world, it seems, is 220 VAC, I had to part with all my antiquated electronics. My Fisher Studio-Standard stereo system, Akai reel-to-reel 16-track tape machines, EMI TG12345 MK IV recording console, and Harmon-Kardon turntables and amplifiers. It was painful. However, I rationalized, if I were to stick them in storage for a decade or two, I’d have re-paid for them via rental fees a couple or three times over. Plus, and all that sitting unused in a storage locker certainly wouldn’t be good for these vintage electronical gizmos. Still, it was a painful time to pack them into the back of someone else’s vehicle. I had to take all my firearms to my Brother-in-Law for safekeeping. Since he’s in Kentucky, he was both happy to accept and vowed to give them regular workouts. Even though he’s some form or another of mechanical engineer, I guess I could trust him. One day, the home phone rings. It’s Chuck and he’s livid. “Rock!” he hollers, “You know what those chapped bastards at the Bureau want from me? They want me to step in on your turf, and take a clan of idiot pseudo-geologists out in the field for a couple of weeks and train them in mine closing. Can you fucking believe that?” “Chuck,,” I say, “Whoa. Cool down. Leo and Al report the same, so it just looks like you were next on the list. So, going to take them up on their offer?” “Don’t make me laugh, Doc!” Chuck asks, “First: I’m busy. Second: I wouldn’t have the foggiest idea how to handle logistics, camping, explosives, and all that other bureaucratic horseshit you somehow put up with. Third: I really don’t want a midnight visit from you and your bag of tricks because I’ve pissed you off by taking credit for what’s rightfully yours.” “What is the fucking deal?” I ask Chuck, “I’m not like that at all. Everyone thinks I’m going go out and frag them because the Bureau asks them to do a job I did previously. Damn, I’m the most laid-back, gregarious, and even-tempered person on the planet; and I’ll mutilate the miserable manky motherfucker that says I’m not.” Chuck laughs nervously. “Hyperbole aside,” I continue, “It’s just that they know I’m headed out to the Middle East and don’t want to bother me right now; I suppose.” “Umm, Rock,” Chuck clears his thought, and gulps, “That’s not the reason they told me.” “Is that a fact?” I ask, “What did they give as a reason?” “Now, Rock, don’t take this wrong. This is Bureau-speak, not me,” Chuck wants to make the point vodka-clear, “But they felt you were the wrong person to lead this group of ‘scholars’. They were concerned with your…” Hesitation. “Spill it, Chuck,” I say. “Demeanor,” Chuck says, “Your conduct, your deportment, your behavior…” “I see someone got a Thesaurus for Christmas,” I said. “Rock, that’s them, not me,” Chuck continues, “They said you are too ‘wild and wooly’ to conduct this field expedition of ‘noted scholars’.” “Is that a fact?” I ask, rhetorically. “Just reporting to you what they told me, Bossman.” Chuck offers. “I appreciate it, Chuck. Thanks.” I reply, “Don’t sweat it. I’ll take it from here.” You could hear an audible expression of relief when we broke connection. After a couple of cocktails, I had simmered down a bit. Esme says that I need to call my Agency buddies and get the lowdown on the situation, as they’ll know what’s going on. For once, Esme is also very, very pissed off about the whole situation. Mama Bear’s claws were getting sharpened. “You are gone for months,” Es exclaims, “Train a bunch of greenhorns, exceed project requirements by over 200%, supply crucial scientific data on forensic activities, and take out a disaster they didn’t even know existed in that mine with the locker full of explosives!” “Yeah,” I reply, “Does seem a wee bit unappreciative.” “And then they pull this kind of shit!,” Es yells further, “Those ungrateful bastards. Fuck ‘em. Let them stew in their own futility. They call and you tell them to get stuffed. After all you did for them…” “Now, now, Dearest,” say, “Let me call Rack and Ruin. If anyone has the skinny on all this, they’ll have all the latest dope.” “Bastards!,” Es cries, “You damn near get killed several times over and this is their thanks?” “Yeah, I know, Darling,” I say, “Does seems a bit ungrateful and duplicitous.” Esme hands me the phone. “Phone. Call. Now.” She orders. Looks like I just got my marchin’ orders. “Yes, my love,” I reply. Even I know when I’m out-matched. RING RING RING Agent Rack answers and we go through the usual pleasantries… “What the flying fuck you mean ‘I’m too dangerous’?” I question Agent Rack. “Well, Doctor,” Rack tries to explain, “Your ‘cavalier’ attitude towards explosives. More of your ‘relationship’ with them. Not showing the proper deference…” “WHAT?,” I roar, “Ask anyone that has worked with me in the field! ‘Safety first, last, and foremost’. Just that I don’t fret and quail around explosives like a bunch of phonophobic, jumped-up, wet-pantied shuddering schoolgirls, when I have to demolish something, doesn’t mean I’m anything other than a goddamned consummate professional.” “Plus, Doctor, ” Rack continues, “It’s not the 1880’s any longer. A Stetson? A sidearm? A .454 Casull Magnum at that…” “You have got to be yanking my crank here, Rack.” I angrily reply, as I really hate it when someone calls me Doctor like that, “The hat keeps the sun off my head so I don’t get addled like those fuckers you’re talking with at the Bureau. The sidearm is for safety. Oh, yes; there’s that word again. It’s a fucking tool, just like my Estwing hammers or my galvanometer.” “Can’t kill anyone with a galvanometer,” Rack replies. “But I could with a hammer, myriad ways” I reply, “And give me five minutes, I’d figure out a way to ‘extract’ someone with a galvanometer...” “Doctor, do let me let you talk with Agent Ruin; I’m needed elsewhere,,” he tells me. Agent Ruin takes the phone. It’s the old Agency Two-Step. “Doctor is distraught,” he observes. “No, ‘Doctor’ is just plain damned mad.” I reply, “They contract me for a job that has never been attempted before and I complete it beyond their wildest expectations! This is my recompense?” “Well, Doctor,” Ruin continues, “I’m sure it’s strictly a business decision. It’s obviously nothing personal.” “It sure as fuck sounds personal,” I gripe back, as now I’ve gone from annoyed to genuinely pissed off, “I’m surprised they didn’t say something derogatory about my Hawaiian shirts.” “Oh, they did,” Agent Ruin lets slip. “Oh? OK, Fine. That’s is then,” I reply, “The joyfulness of this whole experience has left the building. Tell them to strike me from their fucking list. I’m done with them. I wash my hands of them. I’m off east anyways. Fuck that bunch of paper-pushing, deskbound, pencil-necked dickheads. Fuck them. Fuck them solid. Fuck them ‘till they bleed.” “Strong message to follow,” I add. “Doctor,” Agent Ruin reminds me, “Do I need to remind you that all our conversations are recorded?” “Oh, fuck no. I know that. So fucking what?” I growl, “Like I’m going to get tossed in Guantanamo for expressing a personal opinion? I can still do that in this fine country. Or has the First Amendment been repealed in my absence?” “Doctor, you’re obviously agitated,’ Ruin adds, “Perhaps we’ll talk again later when you’ve calmed down before you head to the Middle East.” “Yeah, about that,” I reply, “You shady characters can cross me off your fucking list as well. You’ve done nothing for me on this latest concern. Nothing! You couldn’t even give me the courtesy of a motherfucking heads-up. Guess that tells me all I need to know about the future of our relationship. Goodbye, Agent Ruin. Give Agent Rack my ‘Da Svidonya. I won’t be answering your calls any longer. “Doctor, I, um, wait…”Agent Ruin sputters. I continue: “And as long as I’m at it, tell that other Bureau to go hang as well. They want more data or shit from me, tell them to go find it elsewhere. And also tell them good luck with that. The three experts that exist in the world apart from me already told them to get bent. At least they possess loyalty and a dollop of comradeship. I’ll be shipping your phone and other items back via parcel post. Hasta la vista, Herr Ruin. Have a day.” CLICK-KER -FUCKING-SMASH! I hang up in the rudest way possible. “Clapped-out assholes,” I muse. “All those years of working together. All those years of building relationships around the world. It’s all kyboshed over a fucking Hawaiian shirt. I guess it was inevitable. Either I became too specialized or evolved myself out of being useful to them. Ah, well, their loss. Can’t be helped…” I take a healthy swig right from the prime vodka bottle. OK, several. “FUCKERS!” I scream at the wood-paneled ceiling, shaking my fist in vehement rage at the clouds coolly cruising by outside my window. Esme doesn’t come running. She doesn’t have to. She knows the score. I ship the Agency’s toys back to them with a terse note: “Thanks for all the nothing. Here’s your shit back. Dr. Rocknocker. PS: Get stuffed.” Not my best effort, I’ll agree. However, I was really pissed at that point. Now I have the time to devote solely to relocating my family and I overseas. Gad, there’s so much crap one must go through. What to sell, what goes in storage, what to trash, what to give away…the lists are endless. First to go are all my power tools. Fuckbuckets. It took me decades to amass that collection. I got a good price, sure, but now I’m more or less without a hobby. We decide to put all Esme’s lapidary equipment in storage. It’s too specialized to generate much interest, much less a decent price. Besides, they won’t rot in our absence. I can ship my fishing gear and golf clubs overseas. They’re American, but at least not 120 VAC. Our house goes on the market and we have to get it spiffed to within an inch of its life. Got to have that ‘curb appeal’. Good, let someone else do it, I’m busy. More unexpected expense. I give our house contractors out in New Mexico their marching orders. It’s going slow and will be a seasonal thing, but they guarantee me the house will be ready by next summer if they can source the slabs of Baraboo Quartzite I want. Splendid, that’s something I don’t have to follow up on every day. Then there’s our aquarium. 250 gallons of treated Houston water, loaded with native Texan fish and a couple of cranky Jack Dempseys. All the gear, filters, pumps, water polishers, heaters, treaters, all of it. Has to go. My ex-Utah Mormon drinking buddy down the road expresses interest. I basically let him have it gratis on the one condition he takes everything, fish included. He has to keep the fish alive and happy their entire lives. I’ve raised some from minnows and have grown attached to a couple of the gaspergou and a certain smallmouth bass with those big brown eyes… Digger, my stalwart mechanic, is going to purchase my truck. It’s a bittersweet parting, but at least I know it’ll have a great home. Digger is going to use it as both his personal truck and his company’s hot-shot vehicle for pick-up and delivery of everything from batteries to full drivetrains. I know the vehicle will be in good hands. Our Land Rover is up for grabs. Few are interested, though; buyer’s market. It’s a couple of years old and has lots of miles, due to Houston being so stupid-big. I order an extra-large bottle of AstroGlide as I know I’m going to be taking it up the ass on this one… Finally, our pets. Reluctantly, I’ve agreed to take the cat. It’s a stupid little feline that I figure we can just toss in a suitcase and drag it with us overseas. No, I guess we’ll get a cat-carrier and figure it out with the airlines. Then there’s Lady. 135 kilos of dopey puppy. She’s getting up in years, as well, especially for a giant breed. Luckily, overseas we’ll be living on a Western compound. So if we go through all the rigmarole of quarantine, getting her a ‘pet passport’, and shipping via a specialist service, Lady can bark at the tenets of pre-Islam (dogs really aren’t haram), and actually join us in our new home. This is going to cost a fortune, but I don’t care. She’s an integral part of the family, she is going to join us. I find a Pet Relocation Service and begin the masses of insane paperwork. It’s an ‘all-in’ service, basically door-to-door. But do not be deluded, they charge every micrometer of the way. Vaccinations, chipping (she already was fitted with an RFID chip), booking, boarding, securing vet services, obtaining health certificates, securing import permits, dealing with all issues related to customs clearance, interacting with foreign agents, supplying IATA approved crates, and obtaining Municipality tags registration for new arrivals. Gonna cost me a couple-three-four kilobucks. Worth every penny. Esme, the kids and I are working on beginning packing, tossing this, wrapping that, sentimentalizing over the other thing when we get a ring at the door. It’s a bonded courier. He has a package for me. It’s of the size that would contain about 6-months’ worth of Playboy magazines, and has no external address. I sign for the thing and walk back to the kitchen. “What you got there, Rock?” Es asks. “Not sure,” I reply, “But it came via bonded courier.” “Well, open it,” Es smiles. She loves surprises. I do so and it’s a series of articles, re-prints, and other information regarding Nevada, mine closures, and the Mine Closure Act. There’s also a number of newspaper and magazine clippings that had been photo-copied into a dozen-page document. All of them, write-ups and reviews from different newspapers, house organs, and journals citing my work with the guys out in the field. I open it further and there’s a personal note from Dr. Sam Muleshoe, and a certified check, made out in my name. Seems I was correct. After exhausting their leads with Al, Leo, and Chuck, they have spent near a month trying to find someone to take over the project. “To fill my shoes,” as Dr. Sam Muleshoe notes. They came up totally empty. “Told ya’ so.” I gloated. Esme smiles a wide schadenfreude-fueled smile. I look at the check. It’s plenty healthy, but not superhero strength. I show Es and she laughs out loud. “So,” Es whoops, “They think they can get back in your good graces by buying you off? Hah! Fat chance,” she says and regards the check, “Hell. They’re not even close.” I agree with Esme passionately. I write a quick, hand-scribbled note to Dr. Muleshoe, thanking him for the information. I give several options, some admittedly anatomically impossible, regarding what he can do with the check and the Bureau’s offer. I wrap it back up with duct-tape, call the courier service, and return it to Reno, COD. A couple of days later, I receive a phone call. Surprise, surprise, it’s from Reno. “Rock, it’s Reno!,” Es tells me. I shake my head “no!” slicing my hand through the air in the head-chop mime. “Tell him I’ve gone bush in darkest Outer Albania and you have no idea when I’ll be back,” I say. Esme looks a bit sheepish, as we can hear the phone remark: “I can hear you, you know.” “Fuckbuckets,” I think, “OK, hand me the rap-rod.” “Yeah?” I growl, very grizzly-like into the infernal communication device. “Hello, Rock. This is Sam Muleshoe,” the phone reports. “Damn,” I exclaim, “I guess you characters can’t take ‘no’ for an answer. Which word fucking confused you?” “Rock, what’s the god damned deal?,” Sam asks innocently, “Why all the bloody hostility?” “Oh, double-fuck me!” I say metaphorically, “Don’t act like you don’t know. Try and snake the latest field mine closing job out from under me and try to snag my guys. Then, when that fails, give some sort of bullshit report to Rack and Ruin. You think I’m ‘too cavalier’, too “wild and wooly’, and think I’m some goddamned 19th-century throwback that loves horrible Hawaiian shirts…” “Doc?,” Sam asks, “Are you currently fucking drunk? What the actual fuck are you rabbeting on about?” “Sam, I’m stone-cold fucking sober,” I reply, “Yeah. I know, that’s a first. But listen here Scooter. You must have balls of brass trying to sweet-talk me into running another field course after all you did…” “Rock,” Sam pleads, “Please, believe me, I have no idea what you’re on about. Can we talk and maybe figure this thing out?” “No!,” I holler, “I’m done talking with the likes of your Bureau. Nothing you can do or say to rebuild the bridges they’ve burned with me.” “OK,” he says, “Doct…, err, Rock, buddy. Calm your tits. Give me the Reader’s Digest version. I’ll look into it, because I have absolutely no idea what this is all about. This really sounds serious, with fuck-up overtones. Trust me, I’m serious as the last cold can of beer on a field trip.” “Marvelous.” I say, “I guess I owe you that much. Professional courtesy. At least one of us has the grit to employ some.” So, I run through the tale of the travails of Al, Chuck, and Leo. Then my little difference of opinion with Agents Rack, Ruin, and the Agency. Plus my severing of ties with both that Agency out on the east coast and the Bureaus in the great American Southwest. “Doctor,” Sam says intently, “I know it’s going to be difficult, but I swear on a box of your finest cigars with a vodka chaser that I didn’t know anything about all this nor did it come from this office. Por favor señor, let me do some digging. I’ll be back in touch.” “Sam,” I say, thinking over the situation, “Yeah…I must apologize for my previous outbursts. I should have known you’re not behind this idiocy. Yeah, go do some fossicking. Let me know what you dig up. Again, sorry. I was a bit…animated.” “Rock,” Sam chuckles, “Do you think that I’d dare anger someone like you? You must think I’ve got a serious case of cranial lithification to cheese-off the Motherfucking Pro from Dover!” At this point, I knew that Sam was also only collateral damage; he too was caught in the crossfire. Ground zero for the original attacks lie elsewhere within the Bureau. Esme and I go back to preparing for our trip coming up in 2 months. But Jesus Q. Christwagons, there’s so much to do. Everything you own; it gets packed, stored, or trashed. It’s the decisions that get so tiring. Keep. Toss. Sell. Burn. Leave on someone’s doorstep. I propose to Es that we just do the basic necessities. Then we hire some firm to finish up for us. It’d be worth the cost since just think what we’d be saving on aspirin and Ace Bandages. Esme readily backs the idea that we should turn the job over to someone else. Plus in the interim, we can take a trip back home to Baja Canada so the kids could visit their grandparents, we visit our family, and all of us could cool out a bit before the big trip east. I need to drop by Big Ray’s Tap for a few hours/days anyways. Old commitments. We’d go the beginning of our last month here in the States, spend a couple of weeks visiting family at home, leave the kids with the grandparents to get spoiled rotten. Es and I would return to Houston to finalize everything. Then Es and I would fly from Houston to that damn sprawling annoyance of an airport on the big lake in Illinoise. The family would meet us there, handover the kids, and we’d all haul ass eastwards to the Middle East. I readily agreed. Anything has to be better than dealing with this crapola. Lady and the stupid cat would go to the pet schleppers a little early. Sure, it’d cost a few more dinars, but that’s one big headache sorted. So, late one afternoon, I’m sitting in my office, trying to figure out exactly what reference works I couldn’t live without. Compton’s? Save. Field Guide to Fungus? Toss. No, wait a minute. Could prove useful. That’s why this is taking forever. The phone rings. It’s Sam. “Hello, Sam,” I say, “What news?” “Goddamn it all to fucking hell and back,” Sam roars. “That’s a unique greeting,” I reply. “I finally drilled down to the bottom of all this horseshit.,” Sam replies, “And it’s a real bowl of fuck all the way south.” “I’m listening,” I say, “Actually, Sam, hold on. I need a drink. Moment.” I give Es the high sign, note it’s Sam on the phone, and that I’ll be in my office if she hears any screaming. I amp up my drink and return to my office, closing the door behind me. Lady is here, waiting to keep my feet warm. “OK Sam, your nickel,” I say, “What’s the scoop?” “Would you believe?,” he begins, “That all batshittery this came from accounting and bookkeeping?” “Well,” I reply, “I’ll have to admit that I’m not overly surprised.” “Yeah,” Sam continues, “I was off on holiday. My first two weeks off after 5 years. My very temporary replacement received a memo from the head of the Bureau that there was great interest in you leading a shortened version of your last trip to demonstrate to a bunch of different university PhDs in the care and feeding of abandoned mines. Seems the Bureau Chief was very impressed with what you and your team accomplished.” “OK,” I reply, “With you so far. So, where did things get wrapped around a tractor’s nuts?” “Right,” he replies, “Here’s where things first went off the rails. Whoever vetted the list of potential attendees sorted the list alphabetically, not by field of expertise. Of course, the obvious first choice would be for geologists; especially those with mining, field, and blasting experience.” “Ah,” I replied, “No wonder it was such a miscellaneous bunch of baloney-loaf whole-grain enviro-types that Al had mentioned.” “Yep,” Sam agreed, “But before anyone with any brains got sight of that list, some fucknuts in the Bureau’s University Liaison department sent out invitations.” “Invitations?” I asked, “To what?” “That’s just the thing,” Sam continued, “They sent out invites to a program that didn’t yet exist, run by someone who had yet to be contacted, much less secured.” “Oh, hey! That’s some good work you guys do down there.” I snort. “Indeed,” Sam agrees, “So once that hit the mail, we started getting back replies and acceptances.” “And there was no project, no leader, no logistics…?” I asked. “No shit,” Sam scoffs. “So, what did these idiots here do? Contact the attendees and explain the problem. Take a little flack, but get it sorted out then try again?” “Let me guess,” I said, “No?” “Nope,” Sam sighs, “By that time, it was in the works and in the hands of accountants.” “Oh, fuck,” I commiserated. “I feel your pain.” “Yeah,” Sam continues, “They see that you’re the hookin’ bull on the last one and they dig into your contract. They figure, ‘Whoa, he’s way too expensive, just look at these expense accounts’, so they do an end-around and contact your colleagues.” “Al, Chuck, and Leo. They’re damn good guys,” I said, “Fine field scientists, all. But I don’t think any of them have the moxie or experience yet to run a whole field course.” “These accounting shitheads never bothered to find out,” Sam groans, “It was all ‘bottom line’, so you got caught in the squeeze.” “OK,” I reply, “I see how that happened, but what about all the shit about me being a 19th-century throwback, that I’m unsafe, wear horrible Hawaiian shirts, and all that shit?” “Comedy of bloody errors,” Sam says, “Actually, the Bureau Chief likes your fashion sense; you should see some of his shirts. But your slime campaign was based on unreliable evidence, tall tales, folklore, and outright fabrications. It was easy to pimp someone with a personality like yours, it’s been said. Someone was trying desperately to cover his ass. However, we have identified the perpetrator.” “Next time I’m in Reno,” I said, “I’ll pay him a friendly little visit and arrange his transport to Neptune. One way. Y’know, it’d be easy for someone with a ‘personality like mine’.” “Ah, yeah. He won’t be here,” Sam says, “In fact, we don’t know where the hell he went. He was immediately sacked, as were a couple of the more boneheaded accountants.” “That’s redundant,” I smirk, “They really don’t want to talk with or see me anytime soon.” “Right, then Rock,” Sam says, “We green again?” “Yeah, Sam,” I reply, “Sure. Green as a New Saigon. But you’ve got to call Rack and Ruin for me. You have to let them know how this whole clusterfuck came to be. We had some words a while back.” “Oh, yeah,” Sam remembers, “I talked with them the other day. They said they’ll be in Houston in a couple of days.” “Cor! Just what I fucking need right now,” I lament. “Ah, it is what it is.” “OK, Rock. Now, back to reality. You interested?” Sam asks. “Send me a JD (job description) and the project particulars. The price of poker’s really going up this time, Sam. Stratospheric. Sorry, it’s all just business.” I relate. “Yeah…,” Sam sighs, “I figure we’ll really owe you if you can drag our ass out of the campfire on this one.” “You have no idea,” I chuckle. We exchange farewells and ring off. Now I have some talking to do with my significant other. Since we were all set to go back to Baja Canada, I could use those two weeks to go to Nevada, if necessary. I can be back in Houston with Es for the last two weeks before we’re slated to travel, and we can sort out the house. “This won’t be an easy sell,” I muse, before chatting with my darling, brilliant, and ever-so-forgiving partner. “I’ll need a drink first”, I declare. Esme notes that it would be nice to have a little spare cash with us when we move overseas. You could have dropped me with a Claymore. Es never fails to flummox me. So, provisional OK from the powers that be. Now all I have to do is wait on Sam’s prospectus. The next day, the doorbell rings. It’s Agents Rack and Ruin. One is holding a box of very expensive cigars, and one is holding a bottle of very expensive bourbon. I turn to Es and remark, “Look here, darlin’. Geeks bearing gifts.” “Hello, Doctor,” Rack says, bristling, “We need to talk. “ “Why?” I ask, “I do seem to recall that I’m no longer associated with you people any longer.” “Doctor,” Agent Ruin cocks his head contritely, bowing ever so slightly, “May we please have a moment of your time?” I look to Es. She shrugs her shoulders. Luckily I’m partial to Es’ opinion. I am also partial to good bourbon and cigars, especially when someone else is paying for them. So I shrug my shoulders as well and tell them to make entry. “My office, “ I say, “You know the way. Mind the boxes.” Once in my office, the Agents stack their offerings and go on in great detail, basically collaborating Sam’s story. I remain steadfast and stony as the Harney Peak Granite of Mr. Rushmore fame. I’m not giving anything away any longer. “Well, Doctor,” Agent Ruin finalizes, “That’s the story, warts and all.” “Yep, it is pretty warty,” I agree, “So?” “We would like to rekindle our relationship,” Agent Rack reports, “These are for starters.” He hands me the cigars and booze; plus another box. “Thanks,” I say, “But just because I accept your peace offerings, that doesn’t mean we’re going to turn back the clock.” “What are you suggesting?” Agent Ruin asks. “No more consulting,” I reply, “I want in. The ‘Full Monty’, as it were. If I’m going overseas and work for some twitchy Middle Eastern sandpit’s national oil company, I want perks, tabs, and my ass duly covered.” “Work two full-time jobs simultaneously?” Agent Rack asks. “However you want to structure it,” I say, “No more consulting. From here on out, you want me, you’re making me a full-fledged full-timer.” Agents Rack and Ruin look at each other, enquiringly. “Doctor,” Agent Rack replies, “We are prepared to offer you an ad hoc Agency appointment. You will be fully attached but you will be also doing your full-time job in the other country.” “I’m listening. Tell me more,” I ask, “What exactly are you offering?” “Full access to all pertinent information,” Agent Ruin continues, “Full entrée to appropriate facilities and, um, assets. Security for you and your family in case of, well, shall; we say, ‘difficulties’. Monthly minimum payment of [$$$] to any non-US bank of your choice. Extra duties would be duly compensated. Top clearances. An enhanced potential payment package, bonus possibilities, and full benefits for you.” “Full benefits for me and my family,” I say, “Or there’s the door. Non-negotiable” I point out. “Very well. That had been anticipated.” Agent Rack replies. “Gentlemen,” I say, “Let us shake on what I hope turns out to be a beautiful relationship.” We shake hands and I sign my life away. I’m really in it now, up to my neck. I have to learn to shut up more and just listen. “Now, gents,” I say, “In order to seal the deal, let us break out the drinking stuff you’ve brought along. We will also smoke together so that we will know there will be no lies or deceit between us.” “Also anticipated, Doctor,” both agents agree. My ‘new’ old colleagues prepare to leave a while later, after a cigar, and far too much of what was a full bottle of expensive gift booze. They always get you in the end. Contained within the other small box were my new Agency credentials, updated version satellite phone, secure codes, and a nifty new Swiss Army Knife, with a built-in cigar cutter. With renewed dedication and expectations all ‘round, Agents Rack and Ruin take their leave. They hope to be able to meet me and the family, remember, they are Uncles Rack and Ruin, overseas one day in the not too distant future. My information, further updated cards, registration, and all that official business guff will come to the specific Middle Eastern country’s US Embassy for me once we arrive and get settled. “Marvelous,” I muse. I receive an Email from Dr. Muleshoe explaining what we talked about and his hopes for my stickhandling a ‘quick’ 2-week field excursion for the approximately 15 Ph.D. types from around North America. Seems there’s a couple of Canadians and one Mexican professor that expressed desires to join. They had actually forwarded funds to be included in our number. Sam suggests I drive out in my truck and proceed as per the last trip. Get the trailer, fill it with noisemakers, and the Bureau would sort out transportation and lodging for the attendees. Seems some want to camp, like real geologists, and some want to lodge in hotels, like real non-geologists. I write Sam back: First item: this is a 2-week sojourn into the desert. It’s a field meeting, emphasis on the field, not a tour of Nevada’s many fine hotels, resorts, and casinos. Item two: I no longer possess my truck. The Bureau will provide me with the appropriate vehicular equivalent. No passengers, this will be the Camp Chief truck from the onset. Besides, I am the only one licensed to drive the vehicle when coupled to an explosives-laden trailer. Item three: I will be flown to and from Reno from Houston. No buses, trains, or automobiles. It’s business class or zilch. Item the fourth: the Bureau will source the necessary support logisticians to provide food, drink, and toilet paper for the 16 professionals while we are in the field. They will also need to provide cooks, dishwashers, camp tidiers, and the like as I don’t have time to deal with 15 potentially field-fresh, whiny waterhead PhDs. Item the fifth: The Bureau will provide for all pre- and post-trip handling of participants. They can handle hotel rooms for the early arrivers or late-stayers. They can manage arrivals, registration, signing of necessary documents, and assuring vaccination records are up to snuff, waivers are signed, etc. They will also handle the transportation of participants to/from and during the field project, when and where necessary. Item the sixth: I include a new version of my contract. Force Majeure, ‘Take or Pay’ clause. Door to door coverage. Plus my, ahem, augmented day rate. Absolutely non-negotiable. Item seven: I have final say over what is done in the field. I am in command, the boss, the head cheese, the head honcho, and I require absolute discipline, especially where explosives are concerned. “My way or the highway” will be the theme of the trip. Gain, non-negotiable. To be continued.
Closest Mario Kart 8 Game (and Switch) to Mountain West Schools
It has been said that the Mountain West conference is “At the Peak,” and to me, nothing illustrates that more, than the fact that there are 12 teams competing in the only NCAA Division 1 conference that sponsors e-sports. Of course, since the matches are played head-to-head, Boise State has an advantage because they tint the monitors blue, and play with all blue avatars; an advantage that is confirmed in their winning of League of Legends and Overwatch, but with the Spring season being cut, next year the Mountain West has announced that they will be playing Mario Kart 8, for the Nintendo Switch. Due to the large amounts of people in the Mountain West cities suddenly having $1200 burning a hole in their pocket, every store that sells Nintendo Switch has sold out of their allotment; yes, even, Amazon. So, thus the conundrum becomes: How can these players, prospects, and ordinary people practice in order to “git gud” as the gamers would say? Well, that’s where I come in. For, you see, since I am allowed out on the streets again, finally, due to both my prison sentence being cut short, and my work being determined to be “essential,” I had the time to scope out some places. Alas, while my cough and fever are not improving as much as I had hoped since I last got back from Italy, I did manage to find some time to visit all of the Mountain West cities in order to find the easiest place to get a Switch and Mario Kart 8 location. For simplicity’s sake, I am going by the football stadium since it’s a well-defined point in most locations – San José State fans, the football stadium is that big ovoid building at the corner of E Alma Ave, and S 7th St… It’s the place where the people aren’t on Saturday’s is September. Should you get hungry during your travels, I have also managed to find a some breakfast locations in the same vicinity
Okay, so I lied a little; I tried to get into the university, but, unfortunately the men with guns wouldn’t actually let me get beyond the gate on S Gate Rd, and I was still a little jet-lagged having just gotten in from Frankfurt after having woken up for my 0610 flight for the Linate to Frankfurt leg (stupid weather prevented the flight from Denver to ABQ, but my loss is your gain). So, while this may not be the closest, it certainly will fit the bill. Tyler-Jay Rowland who lives at 3075 Navigation Drive, in Colorado Springs was more than willing to help out, especially since his son, Jeremiah, was grounded for a month for staying out after curfew two weekends in a row. As the falcon flies, this location is 5.2 miles away; in a car, it’s not too much further than that.
Now, I don’t, technically, hate the way that Boise is laid out with the river running right through the center of town, but even though Maci Drew lives in the Clearwater Apartments, unit 323, which is in a straight line, only a quarter of a mile from the stadium, you will have to go the Exxtramile, to get to her apartment. Also, she would like me to point out, that times for a waitress like herself are a little rough, so please, if you’re hungry, skip Taco Bell, and eat at the Bar Gernika in downtown Boise, right next to the Central Plaza and Century Link Arena. “We have wifi” she said.
This is, by far, the most remarkable location; I had completely forgotten that they moved to an on-campus stadium, so I initially went to the Hughes Stadium location, and found a big pile of dirt. And not much else – well, if you exclude the trees that formed a nice line, that brought me back to my college days. Having corrected my too old Garmin in-car GPS, I found Tim Thatcher on 604 Balsam Ln; he’s a little deaf, so you might need to knock like you are ram-ing down the door. He bought the Switch after his wife of 35 years died to help him grieve and spend his retirement, “but it’s just making me too sad lately, and I’ve never been very good at vid’ya [sic] games. I still don’t know how I’m supposed to save the princess when she’s trying to beat me… That reminds me of my princess, who I lost last year. She was so kind, we met in high school, I had an onion on my belt as was the style in those days. They didn't have any white onions, because of the war. The only thing you could get was those big yellow ones.” I’ll be honest, at this point I started zoning out because, again, fever. He honestly looked really sad as I was talking to him, so you might want to try to cheer him up, since he’s just a lonely guy bein’ a dude. In a straight line distance, you’re only going .3 miles, and it’s not too much further by car.
This is by far the closest location to the stadium. The UNM Lobo Club is a non-essential business in the state of New Mexico, and UNM and the Athletics Department realized that funding would need to be cut dramatically throughout the state, and with the sweetheart deal they got from the legislature this year, they decided to close all athletic facilities, including the Maloof building, home of both Eddie Nuñez’s office, and the Lobo Club. I suggest using the side door closest to the field level entrance of the stadium. That’ll take you to the weight room; an alarm will go off, the code is “1892” the year the football team first played (interesting tidbit: the marching band was founded in 1889, the same year as the university); from there enter the main hallway, and go to the first door on the left after you pass the restrooms. The last time I was there, they had a vending machine that dispensed free Mountain Dew; I was howl-ing with laughter after I found that. Also, if you see Señor Manta, say “Hola!” he’s been down on his luck since his family were killed in the accident, and now he wanders the street like a lone Lobo.
It was like a bomb went off. No one was around; maybe they were busy playing Farmer, or having a bonfire out in the dirt behind the stadium, wit their brown-eyed girls, but Jeff Field’s dorm room, Aggie Village Community building 17, first floor, third window from the right (he leaves it unlocked, so don’t worry about access) has a Switch just sitting there on the bed, as though he borrowed it from someone, but never managed to return it before he left. Go on, take it, just say that it was yours and he left it, no one will check.
Cowboys and Cowgirls are just different, I guess; I could not find a Nintendo Switch in town for the life of me. I found many Switchblades, Light switches, and many wooden rods, so I took my horse down to Cheyenne, and found a recently laid-off Subway Sandwich Artist called Dom, who knew just where to look. He directed me to 803 West 21st St, Suite B. He told me, “yeah, the guy who runs this storefront, has a little son, about 6 years old. He keeps a Switch in his desk’s keyboard tray for when he picks his son up from school.” Because of the ordeal in Laramie, I asked him to clarify, and he did, “yeah… Nintendo switch.” He said as he looked around shiftily. If that doesn’t work you can always try Suite C, I heard they stock Switches… oh wait, not that kind.” I was going to ask him for more information, but he entered what looked like an abandoned brick building just passed the railroad tracks, “You didn’t see me,” he said. And I also didn’t hear the gunshots that went off as I walked back to my car.
Distance Driving (mi)
Straight Line Distance (mi)
Variance (from all schools)A
A: Variance is calculated based upon DDD’s distance from the standard deviation of DDD… Why DDD? Because, DDD is King.
Note: SDSU currently does not field an Esports team; I am including them because it seems likely that they will in the near future
Hawai’i is interesting because the Honolulu airport has a much better open air location than the El Paso airport; there’s a water path, it’s weird man, it reminds me a lot of the Tiki Room at Disn… oh, yeah, Hawai’i, Polynesia, that makes sense. Anyway, the stadium is home to the largest swap meet’s I’ve ever seen. Unfortunately, I did not find any Switches, but I did find a guy swapping Macadamia Nut cookies for a few dollars, so naturally, I bought some. It started to rain, so even though many people are Rainbow Warriors or Wahine, as the women prefer to be called, I am not. I stopped in at the ‘Aeia Public Library for a spell, and my phone was dead, so I needed a place to charge for a bit. The nice librarian, Akela (“it means graceful,” I was told. After I asked, “like the wolf-spirit in Hindi myths?”), pointed out, that, “We loan out all sorts of stuff here; pots, pans, sewing machines. Believe it or not, we even rent out video game systems. Our most popular is probably the Nintendo Switch, but we also have a couple of Xbox’s and PS4’s.” I guess I looked very shocked because Akela continued, “with the military surrounding us, we, the library system, get a lot of goods from contractors who don’t want to have a lot of their goods shipped back to the mainland.” Seeing how much it cost to ship out, I completely understood, and bid ¬¬Akela aloha, and failed the Hawai’I test by passing out at the nearest Embassy Suites, in Kapolei, if I remember correctly (I probably don’t, I was tired).
A nice cow brought me to Clovis. Much like what happened in Las Vegas, it was not the cool one, but instead the one in California. She (I saw udders), brought me specifically to 264 Clovis Ave, and said, “what you seek, from my master, is in there.” I’m not sure if it was my fever, jet-lag, a combination of them, or something else entirely, but then the cow vanished as though she was just a thing on the internet. A stray puppy passed by me in downtown, so that was probably the highlight of the trip.
Look, I’ll be honest, Reno to me always makes me feel like I’m going to be leaving the city without one or both of my kidneys. I don’t know why I expect Renoirs to chew my body like a Pack of Wolves, but there you are. Diedre Thomas of 128 Keystone Ave, fell on hard times. She poured herself a glass of vodka, neat, and said, “you can have anything you want,” she paused briefly to wink at me, “for the right price.” I specifically enquired about the Switch, “Anything,” she replied. She pulled out what appeared to be a small glass bowl that looked like an incense holder, and a baggie of chalk dust, and… Oh my god, she was going to smoke cocaine. Anyway, as she pulled out the pulled out the baggie, I hastily took my leave. I then went to the airport and went to my next stop….
Nevada – Las Vegas
Can you believe parents still bring their children, like elementary school aged children to Las Vegas. And it’s not the cool Las Vegas, in New Mexico, it’s the one in Nevada; well, I guess, technically they bring their kids to Paradise, and not Las Vegas, but c’mon man, there isn’t that much difference. Anyway, head to the Excalibur hotels because Carla, the housekeeper said that on average 3 Switches get left by guests every day. I then felt really depressed while walking around the hotel, so I left to check out the Mirage, where I normally stay on these Mountain West trips. I also learned that if there’s one thing that freaks me out more than the throngs of people walking the Strip, it’s when there’s nobody around. Once the new stadium gets completed it will be vastly easier to get to the casino than at the current location.
San Diego State
I stayed with Dominic, at his house of Friars Road. I was starting to feel sick to my stomach with the lack of green chile, so it was so enjoyable to spend time with a fellow New Mexican (and my roommate junior year). He took me on a little tour: Balboa Park’s stadium (home of the former Harbor Bowl, and the first tie in UNM Football history), the USS Midway, and Ocean Beach. I had forgotten about the assignment until I looked down at my feet and found a working Switch. When it was still there after an hour, I borrowed a small boat, realised, I need a bigger boat and headed out to the Ocean. Having claimed rights, I then put it back, so you might also find it.
San José State
Look, there are a lot of people who depart from the San Jose Airport. The kids who travel on these flights are slightly scatter-brained because of the adrenaline of taking a plane ride (and passing through the checkpoint), and leave some of their electronics, and I found a shoe! A shoe! Who only puts one shoe on and then walks-off? It was an adult shoe, so it’s not like a child/toddleparent left it, no, someone made a conscious decision to leave their shoe… Maybe it was a protest? Anyway, just tell the guy that you left your Switch at the checkpoint, if he asks you what color it was say, it had yellow grips that slide off, but the screen was bounded by black.
Distance Driving (mi)
Straight Line Distance (mi)
Standard Deviation (all schools)A
Nevada – Las Vegas (SBS)b
Nevada – Las Vegas (NVS)c
San Diego State
San José State
A: Variance is calculated based upon DDD’s distance from the standard deviation of DDD… Why DDD? Because, DDD is King. b: Sam Boyd Stadium c: New Vegas Stadium (Allegiant Field)
Even if the stores are sold out of Switches, there are always places you can go to get them, some are definitely within walking distance of your house, maybe even right next door. If you do choose to do that, there are a few things to keep in mind: 1. Milk 2. Eggs, specifically from Natural Grocers, if they still have member pricing.
Nevada Yang Gang, Bring friends & family to go vote early for Yang (2/15-2/18)! (Up vote for visibility Please)
Yang Gang in Nevada, we need you to Yang as many people as possible during the 4 early voting days (2/15-2/18), and bring them to one of the early voting sites to vote Yang! Nevada caucus rules are different from Iowa. Nonviable groups from round 1 cannot come together to become a viable group, they can only realign with the viable groups (or leave). So we cannot risk being nonviable in round 1. Luckily, early votes count the same as caucus votes, and we have 4 days to get as many votes as possible. So many workers in Vegas are at risk of automation: casino dealers, valets, some hotel workers, bartenders etc. It shouldn’t be difficult to persuade them to vote for the Freedom Dividend. Please sign up for events below to help Andrew win! Thank you! Las Vegas early voting event: https://www.mobilize.us/yang2020/event/226687/ Reno early voting event: https://www.mobilize.us/yang2020/event/229892/ Sign up to volunteer for Vegas Yang Gang events here: https://vegasyanggang.com
2020-07-23 -- Las Vegas Thomas Reeg appointed as new CEO of Flamingo About Flamingo: The Caesars Entertainment corporate legacy began in 1937 when Bill Harrah opened Harrah's Bingo Club, a modest establishment in Reno, Nevada. What began as a single property expanded over the years to offer more than 50 dazzling casinos worldwide. In 1947, Flamingo Hotel & Casino became the first ca.. Website: flamingo.com
My sister is downtown hearing gunshots running for her life and there is no news coverage what the fuck is going on down there ROUTE 91 HARVEST FESTIVAL A video of the concert being interrupted by gunshots. 9:34AM 10/2/2017 MOVING EDITS UP HERE TO THE TOP. IF YOU ARE LOOKING FOR A LOVED ONE: 1-866-535-5654 FAMILY REUNIFICATION CENTER: Metro Headquarters at 400 South MLK Blvd Building B Donate blood at United Blood Services at 6930 W Charleston or 601 Whitney Ranch Dr. PLEASE DONATE BLOOD. Confirmed info: One shooter , 64 year old man , shot from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay into the festival. He then turned the gun on himself after 10-15 minutes of shooting. He has 8-10+ rifles in the room with him. Man is from Mesquite (not Las Vegas) , Nevada , and is said to have operated alone. The alleged man with a rifle walking in the Bellagio employee entrance was CONFIRMED TRUE, it was a good Samaritan, trying to help, in the least helpful way. The man just had his guns on him , and took of to try and save lives. The thoughts were right, the process was not. Reports of gunfire from anywhere BUT the Mandalay Bay are false, all shots originated from the Mandalay. Again: Shooter acted alone, and it is believed his girlfriend was not involved. As of right now, 9:39am the casualties are 58 people killed, and 500+ injured, in the deadliest Mass Shooting in American history. There are plenty of videos of the gunfire, before during and after, however I do not feel the need to keep linking them here. Thank you everyone for your thoughts, prayers and compliments. I do not see myself a hero im just a 19 year old kid he needed his sister alive and home, though there were many REAL heroes on the strip last night, people assisting in loading the injured to hospitals, officers and LVMPD and LVPD came together to neutralize any threats, and save as many people as we could. This is a tragic day I will certainly never forget, and I urge everyone to fully read my live edits below, as even now as I look back through them, it still scares me to relive the panic I was in trying to locate my sister. I might reiterate my story and my sisters below, but don't count on it yet. There is a lot more to her story and I'm not fully willing to ask her if I can tell the whole world about it. Lastly, I'd like to comment on my lack of confirm able information: Anything I said was "CONFIRMED" was information I was hearing off the Police Scanner, or information off the news. Much of this was later unconfirmed, but during the live events I felt it was best to be posting ALL information from the event so that if anything was true, people would know where NOT to go. The Rifleman in Bellagio was true, and I didn't want anyone running there, even though the guy wasn't involved. I was doing my best to condense as much information as I could, and i was not totally accurate. To those saying: "don't post the live details of police" I really don't think if you're the shooter(s) in this event, the first thing you're doing is updating Reddit, but if youre being shot at, you might be checking Reddit for a "what the fuck where do i go whats going on" update. ( First gun shots were 10:08 PM. I believe this post was at 10:11 PM, it was posted before officers arrived, and before there was anything on the Scanners. First EDIT was around 10:17 or 10:18, and the edits there after were about a minute apart until the 10:29 Edit where i started using Timestamps. ) EDIT: SAYING IN MANDALAY HOTEL ROOM SHOOTING DOWN EDIT: SISTER SAYING GUNSHOTS HAVE SLOWED/STOPPED. EDIT: POLICE SCANNER SAYING MULTIPLE DOWN/DEAD. FOX5 REPORTING ACTIVE SHOOTER. 32nd FLOOR MANADLAY SECURITY GUARD SHOT. 32ND FLOOR OF MANDALAY OF POLICE SCANNER 29-32ND FLOORS 10:29 : POLICE SCANNER 2-4 SHOOTERS SOME OFFICERS PINNED DOWN 10:30 MY SISTER SAYS A TRUCK RAN THRU THE AIRPORT GATE SHE IS NOW ON THE TARP RUNNING TO SUNRISE HOSPITAL AT THE AIRPORT 10:31 POLICE SCANNER TALKING PEOPLE RUNNING THRU MCARREN ON THE RUNWAY (my FUCKING SISTER) 10:32 POLICE SCANNER TRUCKS LOADING PEOPLE INJURED TO HOSPITAL. BLACK CHEVY?? 10:34 WHY THE FUCK ISNT THE NEWW COVERING THIS 10:35 POLICE AT CONVENTION CENTER MOVING TO FIRST FLOOR 10:35 FOX NEWS SHOWS FUCK TON AMBULANXES AND POLICE. POSSIBKE ACTIVE SHOOTER. POSSIBLE MULTIPLE FATALITIES 10:35 VEGAS BLVD CLOSED. 10:38 POLICE SCANNER SYAS NO SHOTS 10-15 MINUTES 10:40 FOX 5 CONFIRMED 1 ACTIVE SHOOTER, UNCONFIRMED 2+ SHOOTERS 10:42 MOTEL 6 ON TROP OLDER WHITE MALE WENT INTO MOBILE HOME TROPICANA MOTEL 6 STAY AWAY COBALT AND TROPICANA WHITE RV WHITE MALE WITH A BLACK BAG 10:45 NORTHERN MOST ROOM OF 32ND ROOM MANDALAY BAY 10:47 SCANNER SAYS TWO SCENES. INJURED PERSONEL 10:49 RENO AND TROP 10:51 NSFW VIDEO SOUND OF THE SHOTS https://youtu.be/bobkg9-hGtE 10:53 CONFIRM TWO SHOOTING MANADALAY AND PARKIGN GARAGE?? 10:55 NO GUNSHOTS AT LUXOR CONFIRMED. MY SISTER IS AT THE AIRPORT 10:56 SCANNER KEEPS COMFIRMING MANY SHOT MANY INJURED 10:59 at least 8 critical injuries on scanner in last T minutes. Many going to Sunrise Hospital 11:00 2 LOCATIONS CONFIRMED AT MANDALAY BAY AND ALI BABA 11:02 so many injuries being confirmed on the scanner. 11:03 FOX5 News says All clubs are closed and locked down. My sister is MGM employee her boss says ALL MGM properties ( all the strip really ) is on LOCKDOWN. STAY SAFE PLEASE 11:05 scanner just said 3 shooters UNCONFIRMED. HACIENDA AND TROP/ VEGAS ?? Has bodies / shooters. Not sure when last shots were fired. Tropicana Offramp Is CLOSED 11:06 so many fucking injuries being reported. SCanner says multiple 419's? Scanner saying DO NOT WORRY ABOUT INJURED, NEUTRALIZE THREAT. WHITE CAR DRIVING DOWN VEGAS TOWARS MANDALAY 11:07 OFFICERS OUTSIDE ALLEGED SHOOTER ROOM AT MANDALAY. SO MANY INJURED BEING REPORTED. 11:09 FOX JUSTSHOWED VIDEO OF THENSHOTS. LIKE 80 SHOTS FIRED, PROBABLY RELOADED TWICE , SOUNDED AUTOMATIC 11:11 VIDEO BEFORE AND DURING SHOOTING HOLY SHIT. https://twitter.com/davidsakach/status/914730995147870208 11:13 NYNY SHOOTER IS HEADING TO THE EXCALIBUR 11:13 my sister saying airport feeling unsafe maybe more gunmen fuck fuck fuck 11:15 HEARING MORE SHOTS MORE SHOOTERS MANDALAY BAY. ALI BARA. NYNY GOING TO EXCALIBUR. 11:16 BLACK DUALIE POSSIBLE CHEVY RIPPED OUT OF EXCALIBUR. PLEASE BE SAFE GUYS 11:17 SAYING LUXOR I AM READING ALL COMMENTS AND ADDING TOCTHOS PLEASE KEEP COMMENTING HELP ME KEEP PEOPLE SAFE 11:19 KEEP SAYING MORE SHOOTERS PLEASE BE SAFE 11:20 TROPICANA 11:22 STRIKE TEAMS CLEARING MANDALAY 32 29 and CASINO FLOORS. Teams on starwells 11:24 UNCONFIRMED SUSPEDT DOWN MANDALAY BAY 11:25 WHITE RV ON SCANNER AGAIN 11:26 REDDIT LIVE THREAD IS UP BUT IM STILL UPDATING POLICE SCANNER AND MY FUCKING SISTER 11:26 MANY CALLS FOR MEDICAL STILL 11:28 ONE SHOOTER FOUND DEAD MANDALAY ?? FOUND ?? 11:30 IM LOSING SCANNER. GOING FROM COMMENTS FOR NOW. SISTER MOVING FURTHER INTO AIRPORT. NEWS KEEPS SAYING ONE SHOOTER BUT SCANNER CONFIRMING WAY MORE 11:34 UNCONFIRMED SHOTS AT PARIS. MEDICS BEING SHOT AT TROPICANA. 11:37 CAESAR AND BELLAGIO MAYBE 11:39 SHOTS CONFIRMED EVERYWHERE. ALSO COMFIRMED NO SHOTS ANYWHERE. CHAOS PEOPLE. ITS CHAOS. ASSUME SHOTS EVERYWHERE STAY SAFE. outside world , assume shots only Mandalay Ali baba and Tropicana. Maybe NYNY and maybe Excalibur 11:41 LOTS OF MISINFO. SCANNER CONFIRM NO SHOTS NYNY BUT SHELTER IN PLACE. NO SHOTS NY NY 11:42 MAN WITH RIFLE ENTERS BELLAGIO. CONFIRMED POLICE SCANNER. 11:44 BELLAGIO EMPLOYEE ENTRANCE RIFLE CONFIRMED. 11:46 I'm hearing way less injury , way more negative gunshots. 11:47 I AM LEAVING I AM GOING TO GET MY FUCKING SISTER. I CAN NO LONGER UPDATE. PLEASE BE SAFE GUYS Freeways are dead, cops all over. UPDATE 12:15 215 IS CLOSED BY AIRPORT FUCK OP is wlive. Got my sister. OP is home and safe. One suspect down. Two dead. 1:34 METRO PRESS CONFERENCE. 20+ DEAD. 100+ INJURED. TWO SUSPECTS DEAD ONE DETAINED. ONE POC. ALL THREATS ARE REPORTED NEUTRALIZED. My story: sister was 20 ft from the stage, texted us immediately "gunshots." She hid behind a bar, had ricochets hitting the bar, thought shooter was on floor coming closer. She ran out, someone hooked their truck to a fence and pulled it down. She jump through the fence with her boyfriend , and they ran to a private airport thing. Stole a golf cart, got a bunch of people to safety. I left to get her , she made it to just north of McCarran airport , I broke some laws to get there , but pulled in and grabbed my sister her boyfriend , his aunt and 4 other girls piled into my car. One girl was shot in the leg . Dropped the 4 girls off with a friend of theirs at the airport, drove to fire station 19 and dropped his aunt with his uncle there. Drove home , and currently am at home. That's the jist. I may update more details. I am a 19 year old UNLV student. She is 21. Thank you everyone for your kind words and helping the information flow. I apologize for inaccuracies throughout the night and I'm just glad it's all over. Goodnight everyone. See you in class tomorrow ! 9:04am : I'm awake now, reading some comments and replying. I've calmed down quite a bit , but what a stressful night. I'll update with any confirmed info I can find 9:34am: Moving edits to the top now.
Reminder that buying standard capacity magazines in neighboring states can be monitored by CADOJ
There are multiple comments in /firearms and other subreddits about "just drive to Reno/LV and buy there, no one will know". I'd like to remind that not only that would be illegal to bring such magazines back to California, but also CADOJ Bureau of Firearms agents regularly look for people from California buying standard mags in Nevada and there are at least two documented proofs of that. First case is People v Verches. Here's a PDF of ruling, it was referenced in Duncan v Becerra at some point to show that standard magazine capacity ban is enforced. Extract:
On May 21, 2011, a task force of California law enforcement agents, including special agent Bradley Bautista of the California Department of Justice, Bureau of Firearms, surveilled a gun show in Reno, Nevada. Their objective was to identify suspected California residents who entered Nevada to purchase weapons or accessories that would be illegal in California. Agents observed an individual, later identified as Verches, purchase an upper receiver for an assault rifle and three large-capacity automatic rifle magazines capable of holding 30 rounds of ammunition. They also heard Verches ask the vendor if he had a "lower" receiver so he could build an assault rifle. Agent Bautista observed Verches leave the gun show carrying a white plastic bag, which he placed in the rear compartment of a black Mercedes Benz bearing a California license plate. Agent Bautista did not know if the plastic bag contained the items that Verches had purchased. Verches was accompanied by an unidentified man. Agent Bautista confirmed that the Mercedes was registered to Verches at a residential address in Morgan Hill, California. He observed Verches and the unidentified man drive away in the Mercedes, with Verches in the passenger seat. Agents followed Verches in the Mercedes to various stops around Reno, where Verches exited the vehicle for short periods of time, before eventually arriving at a casino-hotel valet parking lot around 6:33 p.m. Agents twice lost sight of the vehicle during the time they were following it. Agents terminated the surveillance after confirming that Verches was a registered guest at the hotel until May 22, 2011, the next day. However, agents placed an electronic tracking device on the Mercedes. Records from the tracking device show that the Mercedes made 15 stops between leaving the gun show and arriving the next day at Verches's house in Morgan Hill. Agent Bautista conducted a California Automated Firearms System records check that showed Verches did not have any assault rifles registered in his name. He and another agent also made a positive identification of Verches by comparing his DMV photograph with video taken of Verches's purchase at the gun show. Agent Bautista conducted an automated criminal history check and public database search, and later verified Verches's address with the Morgan Hill Police Department. The address matched the registration address for the Mercedes that agents followed from the gun show. On May 24, 2011, Agent Bautista went to the residence and did not see the Mercedes, but observed Verches exiting the house and leaving in another vehicle that was parked in front and registered in his name. Two days after observing Verches at his house, Agent Bautista obtained a search warrant for unregistered AR-15 type or assault rifles and large-capacity magazines, to be found on Verches's person, in his vehicles, or in his home. The warrant affidavit summarized Agent Bautista's training and experience, including four years as a special agent with the California Department of Justice, Bureau of Firearms and five years with the Bureau of Narcotic Enforcement, preceded by nine years with other federal and state law enforcement agencies. Agent Bautista opined based on his training and experience that people who buy "`upper receivers,' high capacity magazines and/or other AR type or series parts, generally possess assault weapon(s)" and keep those "illegal guns and related items, on their person, in their homes, or in any vehicles and or storage buildings that are under their control." The affidavit did not mention the electronic tracking device or the information it had recorded. Agents executed the search warrant at Verches's house on May 31, 2011. In response to questioning, Verches told Agent Bautista that he was at a gun show in Reno on May 21, 2011 and had purchased "magazines and other parts." Verches provided the combination to the safe in his bedroom. Agents found the following items: a .40-caliber assault rifle pistol-type; 2,454 grams of marijuana mostly packaged in one-pound black plastic bags; large-capacity magazines; shotguns, rifles, accessories, a butterfly knife, a throwing star, and another firearm with a large-capacity magazine; $20,500 in United States currency; and a digital scale.
A. The last two years we've conducted surveillance of the gun shows that occur in Reno, Nevada at the exhibition building and at the Hilton Hotel. Q. Okay. And why are you there? A. We're aware that numerous illegal transactions occur there from Nevada residents to Californians and they bring the guns back or accessories like high capacity magazines back into the state illegally. [...] Just about every show we go to we come back with and we do detain someone who has purchased firearms or high capacity magazines illegally. The last show we went to -- Q. I'm going to interrupt. When you say shows in this context, you're talking about the shows in Reno, Nevada? A. Yes,sir. I'm sorry. The last show we went to we were -- our surveillance has identified by the suspect and we later visited him in his Grass Valley home and he surrendered to us three assault weapons that he purchased at the Reno show. So, every show we've gone to, we've been able to watch an illegal activity occur in the parking lot or in the show itself and we have no authority in the state so -- Q. In the state of Nevada? A. Nevada. So we have made an agreement with the Reno PD that we would be there, but we would not take any action until we were able to come back into California.
Worth noting that one of the witnesses in the previous document is Alison Merrilees from the same BoF. During Haynie v Pleasanton hearing, her emails were FOIAed and confirmed that she indeed was in cahoots with Brady Center and CADOJ is regularly reading social media (specifically, CalGuns, but those were pre-reddit times). Hello officer, btw, I know you're reading this. So, filter out everything that could incriminate you before posting online, or even better: don't have anything incriminating to begin with, and also don't try to buy standard magazines in neighboring states. I'm sure Becerra along with the whole CADOJ are pissed off by the recent court decision so don't expect those "surveillance tasks" to stop.
Email I received this morning: Dear Caesars Rewards Member, For the well-being of our valued guests and team members, all Caesars Entertainment properties in the state of Nevada will be closing temporarily. Earlier today, the Governor of Nevada, Steve Sisolak ordered all Nevada casinos to suspend gambling and hotel operations through April 16th, 2020, as a precautionary measure due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This includes: Las Vegas: Harrah’s Las Vegas, Rio, Caesars Palace, Bally’s, Flamingo, Linq, Paris, Cromwell, and Planet Hollywood Lake Tahoe: Harrah’s Lake Tahoe, Harveys Lake Tahoe Laughlin: Harrah’s Laughlin Reno: Harrah’s Reno All hotel reservations from Wednesday, March 18 - Thursday, April 16, 2020 will be cancelled. Any prepayments will be refunded within the next few days. Please visit us online at: caesars.com/updates for more information. Caesars Entertainment will monitor the evolving situation and work with our local officials on a confirmed reopening date. Thank you for your continued loyalty and we look forward to serving you in the near future. Our team wishes you stay safe and well during this time.
The year is 2016, Alex Turner has returned home from 30th birthday celebrations to discover a brand-new Steinway Vetregrand piano. It was a gift from his manager, and it opened a whole new world for him. “Looking back now it seems really... significant. It changed everything really.” He states about it within an interview from Mojo Magazine. He was correct. The piano sparked everything to life becoming the “centre of the universe” for the album. Guitars were just not giving him ideas anymore, but the piano was. Stored in a spare bedroom within his LA home, this became “The Lunar Surface” his almost makeshift recording studio. The name coming from the theory that Stanley Kubrick faked the moon landing. Alex even stating to Radio X that, “It was amusing to say, “I’m going down to the Lunar Surface.”” The makeshift studio also helped shape the album title, it was “instrumental” to the process. But the piano wasn’t the only thing within the makeshift studio. There was a drum kit, a Vox Continental organ, and a Tascam 388 eight-track recorder. The eight-track recorder would serve as a substantial part in making the album. “I sat with all my instruments and recorded the songs into the machine. That way, I could hear everything at once, whereas in the past it was all in my imagination until I could play the songs with the band.” He also considered it “a writing tool” as much as a recording tool. Working in isolation, he recorded tapes that would later remain on the record in forms of elements such as vocals and various instrumental parts. The eight-track even served as part of the album cover with the “lobby model” of the Hotel + Casino sitting overtop of it, with an earlier version of the record as the tape on it. The model itself was constructed by Turner. The model itself was birthed from the album title and the fact that this is the 6th Arctic Monkeys album. Thus, explaining the hexagon imagery, 1 side per album. The model first started as cardboard, left over scraps from this model can be seen in a photo from inside the Lunar Surface shot by Zackery Michael. Then it was built more and more until we arrived at the model showcased on the album’s cover. The model has a rotating sign bit that was inspired by the House of Pies rotating sign.
VOX, LA FRETTE, & BRINGING IT TOGETHER (Enter the Others)
Upon assembling some of the track, Alex took them to fellow bandmate, guitarist Jamie Cook. Jamie is considered the “gatekeeper” to band, almost like the human bullshit meter. Alex almost feared that he would underwhelmed with it. But Jamie was the one told Alex, “This is definitely what we should be doing.” This led to the pair adding guitar parts to the songs. The majority of these, like the demo tape vocals, stuck with the album. From here they took the album to Vox Recording Studios on Melrose Ave. in LA, in May 2017. This is where the first full band sessions were recorded. Some of the “more interesting” keyboard sounds within the album came from these sessions. But this did not really work out for the band. So, later in September, the band went to La Frette Studios, a residential recording studio on the outskirts of Paris. This was where the album really came together. The band spent about 5-6 weeks recording here. This was Jamie’s idea. La Frette ended up seeing the band bring in an extra 9 musicians to play with them. This also led to a ‘Pet Sounds’ style of recording. This was a large ensemble recording style with these multiple musicians and the band themselves on multiple different instruments including multiple of the same type. So, 2 drum kits, 3 guitars, a couple of pianos. This did not work for every track but did work for a few. (Specifically, The Ultracheese, but I will talk about this more later) Alex stated to BBC Radio 1 that, “A lot of the energy I feel like came from that session. It was all like together in La Frette.” Some of the La Frette sessions can be seen in the Warp Speed Chic short film shot by Ben Chappell.
THE ALBUM (Natural Progression and Influences)
The album overall is 11 tracks. Many believe that the album is a concept album revolving around the Hotel + Casino, but that is not the case. Each one is a “short story” in the words of Turner. Four Out Of Five and the title tracking being the most connected of the collection. "But in other ways it does seem like a collection of short stories and we named the collection after one of the stories which is this one [Tranquility Base Hotel + Casino]. The other ones belong in the same place as this." (Radio X Track by Track interview). The title of the album itself came from a variety of things. The two most prominent being: the fact it is a “place”, and the location of the Apollo 11 moon landing. One thing should be known about the idea of the hotel and casino being a place, Turner loves to think of albums of places. “I think of some of my favorite records as places that you can go and stay for a while, and sort of spurred me on to give this record the name of a place.” (iHeart) The other part of the name itself coming from the Apollo 11 landing may be considered more interesting. This is due to the fact it may have come from cups themed with the lunar landing. The title of course is not the only interesting thing about the album. The sound itself is a departure from their last, AM. But the band all feel like this was natural progression. But the AM era was where they felt they had went a little too far. Bassist Nick O’Malley told Mojo Magazine that he felt that they had lost the “realness” in a sense with that era. “I think we'd gone as far as we could go. I had these crazy ‘80s hair metal leggings on-stag. I'd worn ‘em on Halloween, which I'd done dressed as Macho Man Randy Savage, the WWF wrestler. That was a big sign that it was time to have a break.” And with that they took a break, a five year long one. Turner himself was also aware that he could not do what he did on AM again, “I was aware of the idea that, I don’t think I could have been singing about the things I was singing about on AM anymore.” (Studio Brussels) This was not the first time the band has faced this “challenge” of switching it up. The same thing had happened with their 3rd album Humbug. Drummer Matt Helders states, “We’ve had that challenge before, after the first album success where we had to just get on and make the second, or else forever be dwelling on it. But this one didn’t feel like that. I mean, maybe there’ll be fans we gained from AM that will be a bit confused now. Like, that was their first experience of the band... ‘and now they’re going this?’” (Mojo Magazine) But the band did not want to make AM 2.0. Guitarist Jamie Cook stated to Mojo Magazine, “If we were worried about that we would never have made Humbug. And to disappear for a couple of years then come back with AM2? I think people have been, ‘Fuck off.’” But of course, this move was not met without criticism. Many fans and critics found themselves in a state of “What the fuck happened to Arctic Monkeys?” upon their new era and album due to the departure of sound from AM. But Turner himself does not see this a full-fledged departure, “There’s an idea that this album’s radically removed from where we’ve been. I can sort of see that, but I don’t think it’s as much of a move as people suggest.” (LA Times) The album takes multiple film influences, science fiction influences, and musical influences from film scores to help make these “short stories”. Science Fiction inspired Turner to explore other worlds to create the album. Worlds he made up as he went along. Three films from Jean-Pierre Melville served as main influences on the album. The films being Un Flic, Le Cercle Rouge, and Le Samouraï. The films mostly center around a jazz club. The set interiors of these films piqued Turner’s interest. “So, when I would sit at the piano and play these types of chords, I was thinking about those Melville interiors a lot.” (Pitchfork) Overall, the sci-fi influenced led to Turner accessing sort of a “vocabulary” to say, that helped paint this picture of this hotel and casino on the moon. The album also has this “magic” that they just could not get upon other recording sessions. This led to many of the demo tapes and early session elements making it to the file cut. They wanted to make an intimate experience but just could not get it to be as intimate as some of the early recording. The album itself is also “autobiographical” in a sense. Turner sees it as him talking to himself all throughout the 11 tracks. But this wasn’t his first time trying to write things towards himself. “I tried to write this kind of thing before, I just didn’t know how to, really. I think I tried and recognized, thankfully, that I wasn’t ready. It's like the natural place to have gone, after that first record, was somewhere around ‘ere.”
STAR TREATMENT Opening the album, we have Star Treatment, an almost 6-minute-long track. The track itself beings with the line “I just wanted to be one of The Strokes.” A polarizing opening line for a polarizing album. This lyric was originally meant to be replaced, but Turner kept it in. He was using the “Scrambled Eggs” method for the album. The “Scrambled Eggs” method comes from Paul McCartney where he used “scrambled eggs” as temporary lyrics while writing The Beatles’ song ‘Yesterday’. This just happened to be one of those lines. But he took a liking to it the more time went on. The Strokes of course were a big influence on the band, they were even coined “The British Strokes” upon debut. But truth is, time has passed since then. About 12 years to be exact. “But when I circled back around to it I felt like it was right where it ought to be because of how it makes me think, “Shit. The last 12 years just flashed by.” There’s an honesty and a truth to it.” (Pitchfork) The passage of time is a constant theme within this track, with references to the ‘70s, the ‘80s. This track was the first thing Turner had written for the album. It came about during the last run of The Last Shadow Puppets (Turner’s side-project with Miles Kane). But this is also the most direct Turner was with himself on the album. Specifically, about songwriting. Lines like “The golden boy’s in bad shape,” refer to the fact he was lost with his songwriting and did not know where to go. But like how the track had started before the album itself had started, there’s a particular line that had existed since 2009. “Here ain’t no place for dolls like you and me,” That was the line. He had tried giving it away to others to put in a track, but no one would take it. So, he saved it because he didn’t have “follow up” per say yet but found it within this track. Another focal point for the track is the lounge singer and his backing band. This lounge singer theme can be seen through, but this is where it starts. This is where the lounge singer gets the name for his band. “I think I like the idea that there would be a longue singer sat at a bar, overhearing somebody being cut off from having another martini and hearing them say “Who are you to cut me off? The martini police?” and then this lounge singer thinking “That would be a good name for my backing band.”” (Radio X) But this track serving as the opening track overall sets a tone for the album. Upon sharing the music with others, they decided this would be the best place to start the album, a way to get people to hear it first and foremost. The other way to do this would have been releasing it as a single. But they took what can be seen a controversial move in this era of streaming and singles being more prominent than albums to release no singles. Like how this track led to Turner writing the rest of the album, it leads you, the listener, into the rest of the album. ONE POINT PERSPECTIVE One Point Perspective is the shortest track on the album, but it does pack quite a bit of a punch. With the title coming from a filming style, specifically one used a lot by Stanley Kubrick, a main influence on the album, we dig a bit more into the sci-fi roots. The track itself focuses on conversations, dreams, and how they are often interrupted. “It was informed perhaps by conversations I may have heard or been involved with. Under the influence of some narcotic draft or another. And fragments of those things are appearing the lyrics on this tune.” (Radio X) The track also focuses briefly on a made-up documentary called “Singsong ‘Round the Money Tree”. “I think specifically in the case of this documentary, there was something else there. And it came from the “If I’m gonna end up singing to a quiet room, like what comes before that.” Perhaps someone had told me they’d been singing along to a score or something.” (Radio X) Of course this brings us to the quiet rooms. What exactly are the quiet rooms? Well they’re exactly what they sound like, literal quiet rooms. But they also refer to isolation experienced by Turner while recording the album. With the vocal takes, especially the early tape ones, it would just be him, alone in the Lunar Surface with his eight-track. Of course, there’s also the line “Bear with me, man, I lost my train of thought.” This one is followed by a pause in the vocals and is usually played up for the live shows, but it represents that spot in a conversation where you really do lose your train of thought. Maybe it’s your mind wandering, maybe it’s that you are being interrupted and then trying to resume what you were talking about but forgot. But, it’s a universal feeling that ties together this track. AMERICAN SPORTS American Sports is an interesting track. Not just musically, but lyrically. Music wise an organ plays a main part in the track. The organ though was strangely organized upon recording. With Turner doing one bar, recording it, stopping, doing another bar. Eventually in later recording sessions they attempted to play it all together but just could not get the same effect/sound as the one from the eight-track tape, so they stuck with that. The vocals were also from the eight-track tape. Lyrical wise the track was pulled together by a line given to Turner from his grandfather. “I visited me Granddad one day and he said to me, ‘You know, I often think of phrases even there that I think you might be able to do something with.’ And I sort of went ‘All right.’ He likes to watch the horse-racing, and he began to tell me that whenever there’s what’s called a ‘steward’s inquiry,’- All you ever hear back after the steward’s inquiry is the phrase ‘the trainer's explanation was accepted by the steward.’ Which, as he said it I just thought was loaded.” (iHeart) This was what sparked the rest of the track. But there’s one question left, what the fuck is Lola? Well, a Lola is his writer’s block. Seen within the chorus with the line “And I never thought, not in a million years, that I’d meet so many Lolas.” He gives the writer’s block a bit of a personification. The track also gives us more callbacks to technology, another overlapping theme within the album. The narrator describes a video call with God, and a virtual reality mask stuck on ‘Parliament Brawl’. The parliament brawl also allows this track to get a little political. This can be seen heavily within the first line of the second verse, “Breaking news, they take the truth and make it fluid,” mostly referring to the phenomena of ‘Fake News’. Overall, the track makes for an interesting take combining writer’s block, political problems, and technology. TRANQUILITY BASE HOTEL + CASINO The title track serves as the fourth track to the album. Opening with imagery of Jesus in a day spa. But the track itself is built upon the idea of the character Mark. Mark of course is a character in the track who answers phones, mostly stating the name of the hotel and casino while asking where he can direct your call. First Turner pictured Mark at this phone, then he pictured where the phone was after that. This led of course to the album title, but it also leads back into the track itself. This of course is played off well in the video, but we’ll get to that in a bit. As the track builds you a bit more of this world of the hotel and casino on the moon, it also leads to some interesting lines. One in particular being “Kiss me underneath the moon’s sideboob.” Question of the year being, what the fuck is the moon’s sideboob? Well, the term was coined by guitarist Jamie Cook. “There was a really thin crescent moon in the sky, which Jamie from the band described as the moon's sideboob and I thought that was like quite profound.” (Studio Brussel) Another odd line within the track is “Technological advances really bloody get me in the mood”, this is a bit of a satire. But is also a slight observation. This observation being that technology sometimes changes society, especially when advances are made. These changes can be reflected in the way we talk to others, the way we act, and many other aspects of our life that we may not fully realize at first. For the record though, technological advances do not turn him on. Onto the video, this was the second single from the album, and the second video. The video was released on the 23rd of July. Directed by Ben Chappell and Aaron Brown, the video continues an overlapping Kubrick inspired theme. Unfortunately, Turner is the only one from the band who fully makes an appearance in the video. The others are briefly shown through footage from their BCC Maida Vale Studios session appearing on displays though out the “sets”. Throughout this video there’s sections where the track and video break a bit for some flashing red lights followed by some “doots” taking over the audio, like the Four Out of Five video. The video was filmed at the Peppermill Reno, a hotel and casino within Las Vegas, Nevada. The Peppermill Reno were nice enough to write a blog post about the video breaking down the locations of the video. The video took two days of film to shoot within the area. The first location they filmed at was the Fireside Longue. This is the first time Turner, playing out the character of Mark, is handed a phone. The phone was handed to him by a worker from the Café Milano within the hotel and casino. Two different suites are featured throughout the video. The first being the Safari Adventure Suite. This is home to many of the hot tub scenes. The other being the Roman Opulence suite, this was the all gold room. There’s also the elevator shots that came from the 17th floor elevators. The wandering around the hotel and casino shots, mostly shot within the cube bar and the island buffet. And some phone call answering with the Tuscany Tower’s courtesy phone. There’s one other particular phone scene within this video I decided to save for last due the fact that it is going to come up a bit later. The second phone call is answered within a replica of the 1966 Batmobile via the Batphone. This serves as a nice callback to one of the later tracks on the album titled, Batphone. During these shots he also is fake driving with a projected image of a tunnel in the background, this also comes up in the Four Out of Five video, but we’ll get into that on that track. GOLDEN TRUNKS Believe it or not this the “love song” on the album. Yeah. The track is described by Turner as being a conversation between him and an unnamed female character he is falling for. But that all gets overshadowed by the semi-titular line, “The leader of the free world, reminds you of a wrestler wearing tight golden trunks.” The line does steal the show for being out there in a sense. The beginning of the line is a bit cumbersome to say the least, but it is almost melodic in another sense via the delivery. But this overall is just another part of the conversation with this female character. It may even be part of her imagination, you know, something she’s saying. Almost giving us a retrospective into her thoughts, feelings, and sense of humor. This all leads towards the bridge of the track. “Bendable figures with a fresh new pack of lies, Summat else to publicise, I'm sure you've heard about enough.” Almost showing us how fast the conversation is moving along. But also showing that you get to a point where you don’t know what to believe in the conversation or really what to believe in the track. The bridge also brings another interesting point forward. The words in particular, ‘Bendable Figures’ was almost the track’s title. “Which was because, someone got me a toy Batmobile, and it came with bendable figures of Batman and Robin, I assume, among others possibly. I’ve made a bit of a name for me since, and I mean, I am a fan of the old Batman book. I remember looking at this box and on the box it said ‘bendable figures’ and I don’t know. The news might have been on in the background, and here we are.” (iHeart) Another interesting point of the track is how straight the narrator and this female character are with each other. They both are basically telling each other that they fantasize about each other. She says it by whispering in his ear, he says it by responding to her straightly. FOUR OUT OF FIVE Another track with an interesting open, this one was originally different lyric-wise. Originally the words were ‘Karaoke and raspberry beret, in imaginative ways, and I get signed right then and there by a hotshot executive / I wasn’t expecting it that easy.’ Quite a departure from the final version that appears on the track. Four Out of Five served as the first single to the album. The track describes a taqueria on the roof the Tranquility Base Hotel + Casino, and more particularly how it is boasting four stars out of five. Mostly just how perfect scores are unattainable so a four of five is great enough, “Because the people that are in charge of giving the scores, they never give a perfect hundred.” (Beats 1) The taqueria itself is named “The Information-Action Ratio” this comes from Neil Postman's book ‘Amusing Ourselves to Death’. “I was attracted to the idea as soon as I heard that phrase; even though it was in this book from  it still seemed relevant—more relevant than it probably was when the guy made it up.” (Pitchfork) The phrase itself explains that we don’t need the vast amount of information we receive and that we don’t do much about this information. But it’s a great name for a taqueria on the roof of a hotel and casino on the moon. The track itself also gives us more of the story about the hotel itself. Mostly its location, other than the moon itself. We learn that the entire moon is getting gentrified due to an exodus. There’s also a really cool play musically where the last chorus literally is lifted up another semitone after it’s said at the end of the bridge. Onto the video for this one, the Kubrick fantasy filming begins here. Directed by Ben Chappell and Aaron Brown, the video was released on the 13th of May. The video was filmed at the Castle Howard in Yorkshire and the Munich Marienplatz station in Munich, Germany. The video starts with Turner playing a piano but then stopping to go look at the model of the hotel and casino. Throughout this video there’s sections where the track and video break a bit for some flashing red lights followed by some “doots” taking over the audio. Then, the video sees Turner taking the role of a director for some “Video Lifestyle Packages” for the hotel and casino. But it also gives us two different Turners. One with a beard, one without. The two doing seemingly parallel tasks within different areas. The other band members are also seen within the video, mostly jamming out. Especially with the nice little jam session with beardless Turner in the end. Due to the fact there’s two seemingly different Turners this has led to fan theories surrounding the video. Some stating that maybe the hotel and casino is some cover up for a mental hospital, another stating that maybe it’s both sides of his life (regulaprofessional). Assistants are also seen throughout the video setting up sets and other things, almost as if this was a film set. There’s also one scene in particular I’d like to touch on, the car scenes. This one is a bit important because it almost calls back the “haunt you via the rear-view mirror” line from Star Treatment. This scene was originally intended to be used in a video for Star Treatment, but they used it here instead. Overall, the video a bit of a visual treat with its cues from Stanley Kubrick and was more than a fitting visual return for Arctic Monkeys going into this era. THE WORLD’S FIRST EVER MONSTER TRUCK FRONT FLIP Yeah that’s a title to get your attention. The title comes from the actual event of the world’s first ever monster truck front flip. This was something that had caught Turner’s interest and will probably catch yours too upon just reading it. Sure, he may have only watched the video once, but the headline itself was what caught his attention. Later on, he used it create the base for what he was imagining with the track. “I think I imagined a sort of old presidents’ men style news room with just enough men in there. And sorta trying to get the editors attention like “You'll never believe it, somebody's done it forwards” and I think going off in my mind, perhaps and I thought, I don't know... It seems like that's where were at now innit, that sort of things are happening." (Radio X) The track itself lyrically describes TECHNOLOGY. More specifically, how people love their devices. “You push the button and we’ll do the rest” a repeating line that refers to how we’ve gotten so far that you can just push a button, and something will happen. Whether it be something within an app or data storage. Data storage is another important theme within the track. Our data is being stored everywhere. The track uses the data storage as a metaphor in many ways, with things like someone trying to breach into it. But overall the track itself just shows us how technology is changing us, references to technology changing us lie throughout. But we also see a bit of a jab at how no one wants to explain what the technology is exactly doing, “There are things that I just cannot explain to you, and those that I hope I don’t ever have to.” This wraps everything back around because it ties into the theme of just pushing a button and having everything done for us. We don’t see the background process, we don’t know what exactly they do, we just know that we can push a button and it will be done. SCIENCE FICTION True to the title, the track explores the themes of Science Fiction. Science Fiction is the “lobby model” of the album, as in it brings it all together. The track started with the idea of exploring Sci-Fi further and exploring worlds created from this, same with the album. One of the things in particular that sparked this was the Fassbinder film ‘World on a Wire’. Sci-Fi takes these themes and attempts to connect them to the real world and even Tranquility Base. Continuing the overarching theme of technology, this one takes the focus on how we’re viewing society due to technology, again. Making light touches on religion, we can see how in this “area” per say, science has won. But we also see how it feels like Sci-Fi is taking over in the form of a reality that feels strange and almost fictional at points. Technology keeps becoming a bigger part of our lives to the point where it almost disconnects us in a way. The narrator in this track wants to avoid that, he wants to stay within the life of his love. But it’s hard with things changing so much and society also changing. He states that he wants to make a “simple point” about peace and love but not too obviously. And this track almost feels like that point. But then it takes a bit of a turn at the end. We see the narrator take this back a bit and Turner begin to doubt if he’s wandering on too much with the track itself. “So, I tried to write a song to make you blush. But I’ve a feeling that the whole thing, may well just end up too clever for its own good.” Describing it as too clever shows that he feels like he’s overthinking it all. With a track with an almost double meaning like this it is a bit easy to understand why it may be “too clever”. SHE LOOKS LIKE FUN Ah yes, the rock and roll song of the record. Or well, the rock and roll without the roll. IT’S ALL ROCK MUSIC TO ALEX TURNER DAMMIT. This track has been described as frenzy but controlled. The structure of the track itself reflects that, “It goes like 3 verses in this tune before anything else changes. And I think like by that third one you get this sense of like you shouldn't be doing it again, it's time to move somewhere else. And eventually it does happen.” (Radio X) The main idea for this track came from the fact we almost create these “characters” within the virtual world. You know, your online presence through social media. The title itself is refrained throughout the track as the chorus and refers to how we just look a photo and decide what people are like. In this case the female titular character of the track is described to look like “fun”. Furthermore, this is joined but what may seem to be a non-sensical string of words. But, it’s meant to represent scrolling through a social feed like Instagram. “As far as the “cheeseburger” line, I was actually watching an episode of the show “High Maintenance,” and there’s a part where the person’s taking their picture with a cheeseburger and posting it and all this.” (Pitchfork) The verses focus more on the internet culture and the behavior of those within. Whether this behavior be something like a VR experience of New Year’s Eve at Bruce Wayne’s Manor or being a dickhead to someone. It’s about how we can almost do whatever we want with almost no restrictions in this virtual landscape. The bridge brings it to a point where we realize, it almost feels like everything is online nowadays. This follows by some lines of Turner criticizing himself for constantly talking about marital arts to people in bars. This mostly draws from Turner’s frequent kickboxing sessions. “Maybe sometimes I put stuff into a song to stop myself from doing it - I think I’m just realising that’s true. Like there’s a line in the middle of She Looks Like Fun about waffling on to strangers about martial arts in bars, and that was definitely something I was doing a lot of and was aware I needed to stop doing.” (Mojo Magazine) Also this marks the second time within the album where he says something regarding the music and it happens. This time being in the form of a key change. The last chorus features a key change that is in time with him stating it in the track. BATPHONE The all mighty Batman comes into a focus theme upon this track! Okay... Barely. A “Batphone” in the sense of this track is a direct line to Turner via his phone. The track deals with analysis and criticism of technology all at once. Opening on Turner realizing that he can just use a search engine to find a more interesting word to describe what he’s trying to say. Which, it wasn’t always like this, there was a time where you’d have to go through whole thesauruses to find this interesting words or phrases. Now they’re just a click/tap/touch away. Moving along we see that the narrator in the track specifically is of high class, stating that there’s much to discuss over a game of golf. Of course, that is phrased better within the track itself but for simplicities sake I’m just going to leave it at that. Then he gets into the fact life is a “spectator sport”. Through social media we sit and watch other people’s lives unfold like watching a sport almost. Then we get to a line that may seem more polarizing that it is. “I launch my fragrance called ‘Integrity’ I sell the fact that I can’t be bought.” Upon hearing this line for the first time you may think “What the fuck kind of pretentious bullshit is this trying to be?” Well, that’s exactly where you’re wrong. The idea of a fragrance called ‘Integrity’ is literally just that. “With something like that, I can’t sit here and tell you I wanted to make some comment about integrity and my relationship to it, and then make a fucking perfume out of it and write a smart-ass line like that. It’s more like I see the shape of the letters of “integrity” on the perfume bottle in my mind’s eye—once you know what that font looks like, then it writes itself after that.” (Pitchfork) Yeah, the line came from the visualization of perfume literally called ‘Integrity’. (Which, hilariously, there is one now called that.) Back to the lyrics, we see Turner talk about how he got “sucked into a hole” through a handheld device, this means his phone. Of course, we do all get a bit sucked into our phones now and again. It happens. And now it’s easier than ever. This being due to things like updates to make it easier to access things. The glow of the low beams within this track may be the car lights of your lover. But we do know that he will be by the Batphone if you need to get a hold of him at all. With our phones so close to us at all times, it’s almost like we all have personal Batphones. Then we get into how phones have changed over time. Coining them as “re-decorated” with new lights and sidebars upon them changing. Back the chorus again we see Turner sitting in his living room, with blinds closed, watching the lights of cars going by, but knowing that he'd know those of the car of his lover. Ending upon the panoramic windows again. These are said to be “looking out across your soul”, this is simply just our phone screens. They’re glass, windows are glass. But we look and see things on display including our souls, you know, our lives. Thus, making your soul being put on display through these “windows”. Sure, it’s not just your own soul, there are other people in this world, but it’s important you know that it is yours first and foremost on display. Always remember, whatever you put online, others will see. THE ULTRACHEESE Our closing track is a something that could be called Turner’s “Default Position” at this rate. But that does not mean it’s a bad thing. This track in particular is one where we see the Pet Sounds influenced recording style come to life, with multiple drum kits, multiple guitars, and pianos within the recording. The track sees Turner reflect on his past and how things have changed overtime. The title comes from the fact that the track may be a bit too “Cheesy” for everyone except himself. Songwriting of course has changed over time the most for him, upon talking about old tracks he stated, “It feels like we’re doing a cover or something when we play the first album, really, but that’s fine. I don’t hate doing that. It’s just come to the point where I play ‘Mardy Bum’ or something like that and it doesn’t even feel like mine anymore.” (BeatRoute) He feels disconnected from his old lyrics, which is sad but true statement. Of course, this track also touches quickly upon the themes of technology and politics throughout the track. But overall, it’s more just a personal reflection upon everything. Turner even describes himself as not being deep in thought, even if it looks like he was. He’s just living his life, good or bad, it’s just how everything is going down. The track ends the album on the line “I’ve done some things that I shouldn’t have done, but I haven’t stopped loving you once.” We all have things we regret in our lives. Sometimes that shit gets us out of nowhere and ends up on our minds. But we also see Turner telling his lover that he just loves them throughout it. Throughout all the good, the bad, the dirty bullshit, he still loves them.
THE B-SIDE (Anyways)
Yeah I was not finishing this without talking about the B-Side that was released with the title track on the 7” single. The B-side is titled ‘Anyways’ and was cut from the album. “I had a song that didn’t make this record with lyrics that mentioned both Bing Crosby and Randy Newman. And I just thought, You can’t do that. You can have one or the other. Just fucking calm down! You don’t want to make a song too lumpy.” (Vulture) Anyways here means the topic of a conversation and trying to change it. The narrator keeps trying to change the conversation. This can be seen throughout the track with a change in subject seemingly every few lines. One minute talking about toga parties, the next asking about if Mum and Dad are doing well. It’s just topic after topic in this “race” to Anyways. Technology appears again, with a quick mention of oversharing, something that is prevalent throughout the world of social media. Going back the Four Out of Five video from earlier we have a quick mention of a double life. This of course being the public/personal personas or home/professional personas. Much of the rest of the track just shows Turner bearing his all out there for everyone to see and making light of this. “You sort of reveal a piece of something as you’re writing and recording it. Then you find what you’re attracted to, scribble away a bit more of the dust and discover a bit more of the picture. Gradually, it becomes what it is. Each time you reveal another bit of it, it commits you to take the next step.” (BeatRoute) Some argue that this would have made a more “fitting” close for the album than The Ultracheese, other argue that it could have fit in literally anywhere on the album. Overall, I’m just glad it did get released it in the end.
REFLECTIONS IN THE SILVER SCREEN (An Outro)
I first listened to the album when it leaked. Shit on me all you want but I was just so curious. The whole no singles thing intrigued me alongside the sci-fi theme. I was looking for something different and I found it with this album. At the time did I know this was going to be my album of the year? No. Fuck, I barely knew anything about AM at the time apart from Do I Wanna Know?. I coined it as something along the lines of “What Death of A Bachelor could should been.” Turner constantly describes this album as one where he wanted to take people to a place, to this imaginary hotel and casino, and I was taken there upon first listen. I felt like I was sitting, watching a longue singer belt out tunes about his life. Of course, now on the right night I can recreate that feeling, but not always. But the album has just stuck me. Sure, many upon first hearing it found it off putting, but I loved it since first listen. If anything, this album was what made me a fan. This is what me look at AM and go “There’s something here I was missing.” Sure, it did take me months to act upon that, but I’m glad I did. Do I know where AM are going to go next? No. I don’t think any of us really do anymore. This album proved how unpredictable it is to calculate Arctic Monkeys in a way. Maybe the next record will be guitar based again, maybe not. We’ll only know when it comes, no matter how far away that is.
Live ROH 13th Anniversary Discussion Thread (1/3/2015)
Tonight LIVE from Las Vegas, Nevada, Ring of Honor celebrates its 13th Anniversary on pay-per-view from the SOLD-OUT Mardi Gras Ballroom in the Orleans Hotel & Casino. Champions put it all on the line and challengers bet the house. Join Ring of Honor as they celebrate thirteen years of "Creating Excellence", thirteen years of "Innovating, not Imitating" and thirteen years of the "best wrestling on the planet" from the fight capital of the world! Click here to see if ROH's 13th Anniversary is available through your cable or satellite provider OR alternatively, click here and order it on iPPV through ROHWrestling.com and watch it immediately following the live PPV broadcast. CARD FOR ROH'S 13TH ANNIVERSARY
Jay Briscoe defends the ROH World Championship in a "High Stakes Four Corner Survival" match against "Unbreakable" Michael Elgin, Tommaso Ciampa and Hanson
Jay Lethal (c) w/ Truth Martini defends the ROH World TV Championship against International superstar, Alberto Él Patron
reDRagon defend the ROH World Tag Team Championships against the IWGP Jr. Tag Team Champions, The Young Bucks
IWGP Heavyweight Champion, "The Phenomenal" AJ Styles faces ACH for the first time ever in a non-title match
O.D.B w/ Mark Briscoe faces Maria Kanellis w/ Michael Bennett
Roderick Strong looks to end his issues with The Decade against BJ Whitmer w/ Adam Page & Jimmy Jacobs
Mark Briscoe faces the unbeaten Moose w/ Veda Scott & Stokely Hathaway
Reborn Matt Sydal faces Cedric Alexander
The Kingdom vs. The Addiction vs. The Bullet Club was scheduled for tonight, however as announced on Twitter, Doc Gallows won't be making it to Las Vegas due to flight complications caused by bad weather in Detroit, so the status of this match is currently unknown
Card Subject to Change!
Notes on tonight
Samoa Joe will make his Ring of Honor return after a seven year absence and he has something to say
Independent tag team Reno Scum will feature in tonight's dark match
Knights of the Rising Dawn said in a vignette two weeks ago on TV that they would be watching; will they be watching in-person or at home via pay-per-view?
Dave Meltzer is reporting that that UFC featherweight fighter Shayna Baszler will be in attendance at tonight's show and it is possible that the Four Horsewomen will be too, including Ronda Rousey, and they may feature in an angle
Adam Pearce is reported to be in Vegas and will be backstage at tonight's event
Sort by new to see the latest, or follow along LIVE with the Reddit Stream! Also, join us in the IRC chat! Post-Show Discussion: The post-show discussion thread will be taking place on the Ring of Honor subreddit, /ROH, which you should all subscribe to for all the latest ROH discussion.
AITA for leaving my roommates behind while I take a job in a different state?
I was living with 2 roommates, a woman and a man, both of whom I have been friends with for over 15 years. We lived in a multistory building 2 bed one bath apartment, sharing the rent and bills, food and sundries in an equitable manner. There are no romances between us Roomies. I used to stay there occasionally while I had work in the area, and after their last roomie moved out , I stated paying rent and being more or less a permanent resident. "Ken" is a great delivery guy, but it's a business with mass fluctuations and a seasonal down period, which frustrates himself. "Barbie" is a sales whiz, but had an injury that caused her to gain weight and become more sedentary, which she isn't happy about. I'm a freelance artist , but that isnt lucrative yet so I work for a general contractor and his brother, a high end landscaper specializing in hotel beautification and large property maintenance. I also win a few hold em poker tournaments in casinos on the weekends I haven't booked with hourly work. Ken has become consistently late to work, resulting in a few good situations to fire him. This in turn infuriates Barbie while she tries to work on her exegesis, thesis, or other college work, and it has become a stressful daily cycle of us trying to get Ken to go to work early or on time, not five minutes or more late. He is a gamer guy and will be up all night watching anime or playing video games, eating food not recommended for his Diabetes, and the state of hygiene in his room has fallen by the wayside. We cleaned up after him but that got old quick, and with Barbie's leg and back injuries, she had to quit picking up after him. In addition to some stress factors pushing me to seek life elsewhere, I got a unique opportunity to take a Road trip and work in "Florida" with a friend. The 2 brothers said "go for it you can always come back, we always have a place for ya". So I informed my roommates, packed lightly and drove across the country from Reno Nevada to Port st. Lucie Florida. Now Ken wont take my calls and is telling me I'm a traitor, and a selfish asshole for leaving them in the lurch in uncertain financial times, and moving to "the deep south" or "deliverance country" . Barbie told me to take the opportunity that life is offering me. So I left behind all my community ties and now I live as a stranger in a strange land, with new Hispanic roomies who don't speak German at all, their English is so so, like mine, and my Spanish is piss poor. I'm here until I can find a better spot, or give up and return to "Nevada". Am I the Asshole?
A lot is going on in Tahoe during the summer, so here’s a continuously updated listing of events happening around the lake! Feel free to comment below with any updates, I will periodically edit the post with new events that folks send me. See revision notes at the bottom of this post. Things not included: shows that happen every week all year around (like the Improv at Harvey’s or the Magic Fusion at The Loft), free weekly shows at venues like the CBC and Alibi Truckee (check their event calendars for those!), and children’s camps/classes. I reserve the right to not include every event folks send; a truly comprehensive list would quickly become useless with too many items on it, so I will be a little selective.
Reno Philharmonic: Remember When Rock Was Young - The Elton John Tribute
The Infamous Stringdusters
Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe
Harvey’s Outdoor Arena
Crystal Bay Club
Harvey’s Outdoor Arena
Sierra Nevada Ballet: A Midsummer Night’s Dream – The Ballet
Harvey’s Outdoor Arena
Harvey’s Outdoor Arena
Bikes & Brews
Kirkwood Mountain Resort
Reno Jazz Orchestra: New Orleans, A Night in the Big Easy
ZoSo “The Ultimate Led Zeppelin Experience”
Crystal Bay Club
Hard Rock Hotel & Casino
Reno Philharmonic: Bravo on The Beach: Best of Broadway
Florence and the Machine
Harvey’s Outdoor Arena
“Brews, Jazz and Funk Pre Party” ft. The Floozies w/ Big Sam’s Funky Nation
Crystal Bay Club
Harvey’s Outdoor Arena
Hard Rock Hotel & Casino
Brews, Jazz and Funk Fest
Bloody Mary Competition
Hard Rock Hotel & Casino
Amy Schumer & Friends
Harvey’s Outdoor Arena
Super Diamond: The Neil Diamond Tribute
Steve Miller Band and Peter Frampton
Harvey’s Outdoor Arena
Petty Theft “Tribute to Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers”
Crystal Bay Club
Charlie Puth with Hailee Steinfeld
Harvey’s Outdoor Arena
BB King’s Blues Band
Mindi Abair & The Boneshakers: A Powerhouse Sax and Detroit Funk/Rock Concert
Nahko and Medicine for the People w/ Xiuhtezcatl
Crystal Bay Club
Evening with Donny & Marie
Harvey’s Outdoor Arena
Scorpions and Queensrÿche
Harvey’s Outdoor Arena
Reno Jazz Orchestra: An Evening with Tierney Sutton
Alpen Wine Fest
Dave Matthews Band
Harvey’s Outdoor Arena
Guitar Strings vs. Chicken Wings
Crystal Bay Club
Thunder from Down Under
2018-05-16 - Added Concerts at Commons Beach, Omg Fun Run!, Florence and the Machine, Tahoe City Oktoberfest, and League to Save Lake Tahoe (Keep Tahoe Blue) community events. Modified some of the column names and link formatting.
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Where to stay in Downtown Reno, Nevado? El Dorado Resort ...
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