Northwoods community credit union ashland wi

Best Credit Union?

2023.05.28 05:14 bluesbb123 Best Credit Union?

Hey, I'm looking to open a checking account at a credit union. Are there any favorites out there? Ethical, good to employees, benefits community, etc.
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2023.05.27 23:41 hippidyhopsguy LINEUP - TriCity Dust Devils at Hillsboro Hops 5/27 Game 5

LINEUP - TriCity Dust Devils at Hillsboro Hops 5/27 Game 5 submitted by hippidyhopsguy to HillsboroHops [link] [comments]

2023.05.27 18:26 discreditcampaign917 May 27, 2023 Update


Over the past year and a half, following my complaint to the EEOC, I have continuously been subjected to harassment and retaliation by my former employer. The situation escalated when I came across an audiotape revealing the company's VP of Finance discussing financial fraud. I have attached my EEOC complaint and rebuttal to provide you with a better understanding of this situation. The company has embarked on a campaign of retaliation and attempts to cover up the truth. Recently, I discovered that my phone was under surveillance by private investigators hired by my previous employer, Socure Inc. As mentioned earlier, this harassment began at my local YMCA, where multiple individuals were instructed to participate in a planned campaign targeting me. Socure extended their actions beyond the YMCA by continuously tracking my cellphone's location wherever I went. Initially, I suspected I was being followed, but I later realized that my phone had been compromised. My messages and calls were being monitored, and even my home internet seemed to be tapped into. Furthermore, I have reason to believe that my bank transactions were being monitored as well. I am being targeted because I disclosed illegal activities involving the VP of Finance, which he was afraid to share. I’m one hundred percent certain that Socure hacked into my cellphone to eavesdrop on all conversations. Any and all things that I discuss with my wife would later be discussed amongst gym goers, at multiple Mosque, and random places I often visit. I have attached my EEOC compliant for further assessment of this situation.

The following individuals, whom I suspect were compensated, were involved in collecting information about me and fabricating false allegations:
* Sonia Atherly, the Director of the YMCA
* Stephin Roberts, a YMCA member who became a friend
* Ade A. (last name unknown), a YMCA member who became a friend
* Andre Nelson, a friend from Downtown YMCA Brooklyn whom I haven't spoken to in two years
* Austin Hill, a YMCA member who accompanied Andre Nelson
* Ethan, a YMCA member (last name unknown)
* Torell Taylor, a YMCA member
* Multiple neighbors: units 5A, 5F, and 2X PHE
* Serdar Cam, former neighbor and new neighbor at 322 Gates Ave
* Trevor (last name unknown), a YMCA member
* Justin (last name unknown), a YMCA member
* An unidentified female YMCA member who unexpectedly appeared at a restaurant where my wife and I were in Puerto Rico
* Gavin Tseng, a former friend who orchestrated a scheme involving real estate and a startup concept

Retaliations took place at the following locations:
* Bedford-Stuyvesant YMCA: 1121 Bedford Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11216
* Brooklyn Mosque Khalifa: 120 Madison St, Brooklyn, NY
* Islamic Mission of America/Dawood Mosque: 143 State St, Brooklyn, NY 11201
* Airport Travels: JFK AirTrain
* Puerto Rico Vacation: Hilton Hotel
* Trip to Milwaukee: Airbnb rental at 1028 East Juneau Avenue, Unit 416, Milwaukee, WI 53202
* Supermarket in Brooklyn: 1420 Fulton St, Brooklyn, NY 11216
* Multiple Banking Institutions: Chase at 1380 Fulton St, Brooklyn, NY 11216 & TD Bank at 957 Marcy Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11216
* Multiple NYC Train Platforms: Hoyt–Schermerhorn Streets station & 125th Street Station
* Apartment Building: 322 Gates Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11216

Types of framing and allegations being built against me:
* Resume fraud
* Real estate fraud
* Influencing people to file lawsuits
* Influencing neighbors to complain
* False restaurant reporting
* False robbery attempt
* And more...

Bedford-Stuyvesant YMCA Director, Sonia Atherly - Staged Office Phone Video Recording:
Sonia Atherly, the director of the Bedstuy YMCA, participated in a retaliatory campaign. On September 29, 2022, she requested a meeting with me in her office. During our conversation, she pulled out her phone and began recording from her work monitor, alleging that a masked individual had entered the gym. She even asked me to view the video footage. While I complied, her phone continued recording, capturing my voice in the process. This action appears to be an attempt to counter the accusations made by the VP of Finance regarding fraudulent activities and manipulate my voice recordings to paint a negative picture of my behavior. In response to my concerns, the YMCA director provided the following reply: "Hi Lou. I believe that it was on Tuesday, and I was actually taking photos, so no, your voice would not have been captured in any way. To be clear, we do not record conversations at the Y in any way, shape, or form unless we have signed event waivers. I hope this clarifies the matter for you." On September 30, 2022, Sonia orchestrated an incident where the same individual showed up at the front desk as I was leaving, hoping to provoke a response from me and involve me in their investigation. For months, non-members of the YMCA were allowed to come into the facility and harass me while surveillance cameras were purposely turned off to destroy any possible evidence.

Bedford-Stuyvesant YMCA Program Coordinator, Jeff (Damian Best):
Upon my arrival at the basketball gym, Jeff, the program coordinator, and a parent with her child were already present. After requesting Jeff to wait a few more minutes, the parent engaged in a heated argument with him, demanding to know why her child couldn't participate since no one else was there. I reassured her that while I didn't mind, Jeff was responsible for setting the rules. She eventually left the gym in an angry state. Their intention was to have me report the incident to management and portray me as someone who constantly complains. On October 4, 2022, I sent an email to myself for record-keeping purposes.

Bedford-Stuyvesant YMCA Member, Ade (last name starting with "A"):
On Saturday, October 8, 2022, Ade and I agreed to meet for a late lunch at "The Green Place" in Brooklyn. I noticed that he kept referencing financial figures related to specific people he worked with. I suspect he has also been recruited to participate in Socure's retaliation against me. Their goal is to capture recordings of me to use them against me, claiming that I habitually record people. Ade also expressed dissatisfaction with the YMCA's adult open gym times during Saturday's basketball hours. He mentioned having discussed it with the front desk. On October 9, 2022, Ade sent me a screenshot of the YMCA's response to his request. It's important to note that I never made any complaints. As someone who lives near the YMCA and often wakes up early, I told him, "I don't want to play." Once again, Socure is attempting to build a case portraying me as someone who incessantly complains and records people to divert attention from their own misconduct. Multiple members were instructed to complain to me so that my name can be implicated. I believe that individuals are being compensated to assist them. In early May 2023, both Ade and Stephin Roberts repeatedly interrupted my workout in an attempt to initiate a conversation with me.

Bedford-Stuyvesant YMCA member, Stephin Roberts - Staged information gathering:
Stephin Roberts, a fellow YMCA member, unexpectedly called me after we crossed paths at the gym, which was an unusual occurrence. We exchanged brief greetings, and I proceeded with my workout. I suspect that his intention in calling me was to record our conversation and use it against me, falsely claiming that I frequently record people, which is entirely untrue. Given that my cellphone was being tracked, it seemed that whenever I left my home, I would coincidentally encounter Mr. Roberts. He had been instructed to fabricate a false DUI incident to elicit personal information from me regarding a case on my record that had been expunged. During our conversation, I shared a past experience of mine involving a car accident I had when I was younger while dating someone, as well as my advice on expungement, recounting a personal incident that happened to me. At the time, I thought Mr. Roberts was a genuine person with good intentions. I believe Socure will be attempting to coordinate and get me arrested for theft or burglary based on the previous expunged records, trying to paint a negative image of who I am. I believe Stephin Roberts has been recording me as a tactic instructed by Socure's private investigator.

Friend from Downtown YMCA Brooklyn whom I haven't spoken with in two years, Andre Nelson at Bedford-Stuyvesant YMCA:
I haven't had any communication with Andre Nelson for more than two years. However, he unexpectedly appeared at the gym I regularly attend on a Wednesday evening, despite it not being in close proximity to his residence. Subsequently, Mr. Nelson started frequenting the gym with his friend Austin Hill. Together, they began coordinating with YMCA members, informing them about my situation with Socure. Within one week, one of Austin Hill's Facebook friends reached out to me, mentioning a potential collaboration with someone they knew, namely Austin Hill. As I stated, I've never met Mr. Hill nor had any connection with people he knew outside of Mr. Nelson. When I encountered Mr. Hill during the following open gym session, he acted as though nothing had transpired, and I played along. Additionally, Austin requested certain documents from me for his business, but I never fulfilled his request. To confirm my suspicions that Austin was attempting to set me up, I orchestrated an event by telling him, "Yeah, man, girls don't care if you have a ring on. They will approach you. Come to this bar tonight." Upon my arrival at the bar a few minutes later, a woman wearing a wedding band tried to get my attention. However, I sensed that it was a staged occurrence. When Andre Nelson and Austin Hill arrived, they infiltrated the group of members, instructing them to provoke me during the basketball game while secretly recording my reactions. At one point, a member named Justin threw a water bottle, and the situation escalated.

Bedford-Stuyvesant YMCA member, Trevor - Staged information gathering:
Trevor started asking and mentioning multiple work-related questions. On October 7, 2023, he mentioned having a quarterly review and asked for suggestions. Within weeks later, Trevor asked me if I knew any lawyers as he was dealing with a housemaid who was suing him. This same situation happened with more than two other members (Stephin Roberts, Kadeem Kirsten) in which they asked me attorney-related questions. I believe he was instructed to record our conversations.
Bedford-Stuyvesant YMCA member, Torrell Taylor:
As previously mentioned, I believe that the YMCA's Director is monitoring my interactions with other gym members in order to collaborate with them. Their objective is to falsely claim that "Lou is influencing people to document incidents," all with the intention of tarnishing my reputation. Additionally, Socure allegedly requested Torrell to open a restaurant in downtown Brooklyn as part of their scheme to build a case against me. YMCA member Justin repeatedly approached me, informing me that Torrell had opened a restaurant with poor-quality food and suggested I visit. Upon receiving this information from Torrell himself, I decided to pay the restaurant a visit. However, Torrell was not present during my first visit. I attempted a second visit, only to discover that the restaurant was closed. When I texted Torrell to inquire about the closure, he responded that there had been an issue with the owner's licensing. It is apparent to me that this was a staged event orchestrated by Socure to fabricate a case against me by falsely claiming that I reported violations against Torrell's restaurant. As mentioned earlier, I strongly believe that my phone was being tracked, and it is possible that a separate line was used to make false reports under my information.
Furthermore, my emails were also subjected to hacking.

Wireless Earbuds Planned at the Bedford-Stuyvesant YMCA open gym by Kadeem Kirsten - early 2022:
To ensure my privacy and personal space during the YMCA open gym sessions, I started choosing a spot away from others. I made sure to thoroughly clean the area where I sat, removing any bottles, wipes, or other items. After finishing my workout, I briefly went to the bathroom, and upon my return, I noticed a wireless earbud near the window close to my chair. I suspect that Khadim Kirsten intentionally placed the earbud there as he kept watching me closely. Mr. Kirsten also asked me for legal advice as well as a UX Designer, the same exact topic that Gavin Tseng asked me. Mr. Kirsten is one of those new members who never came to the YMCA. Upon rejecting Socure's settlement offer in January 2023, that's when all of these new members started coming to open basketball nights.

Mosque Khalifa on Bedford Ave: Sept 2, 2022, at 120 Madison St, Brooklyn, NY, United States, New York:
During the service at Mosque Khalifa on Bedford Ave, the preacher persistently addressed a specific topic related to my case. He made references to "a brother within this community, one of our own, who made a recording" in an apparent attempt to divert attention to the tape I had recorded. Following my complaint to the EEOC through email, the recording was promptly deleted on the same day, which I later submitted to the EEOC. I started attending Islamic Mission of America/Dawood Mosque at 143 State St, Brooklyn, NY 11201, and immediately, I was followed by an individual who repeatedly tried to have a conversation with me. I was also followed to a Mosque in Harlem, NY.

T-Mobile Visit Tracking / Unauthorized new number added at 574 Atlantic Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11217:
Concerned about the security of my internet connection with Verizon, I visited T-Mobile to add a new line specifically for internet access. To my surprise, shortly after arriving at the store, a male approached the same register I was standing at and started asking questions. A few days after leaving the store, I discovered that a new phone line had been added to my T-Mobile account without my knowledge or consent. I promptly contacted T-Mobile customer service to inquire about the data usage associated with that particular number, but unfortunately, I did not receive the requested information. I believe Socure hacked my home network, such as my laptop, tablet, Television and home camera. For the past year and a half, Socure has managed to view all of my browsing history. I believe they kept contacting lawyers that I reached out to after every visit I made on their website to avoid me from being represented. In additional, after noticing that my email accounts were hacked, I wrote a statement indicating that my emails were hacked in which I got notarized at TD Bank.

Grocery Shopping Brooklyn:
During my visit to the local supermarket, I noticed several individuals following me closely, paying particular attention to the food items I was selecting and the card I used for payment. I believe I was being followed long before I started to notice.
* May 8, 2023, at 1420 Fulton St, Brooklyn, NY 11216
* May 1, 2023, at 1420 Fulton St, Brooklyn, NY 11216

Online Job Targeting:
I have been repeatedly targeted for specific jobs and companies, which I believe are staged by Socure, just as they did by involving me in a company backed by their investors to stage multiple events against me while interfering with my employment. I was lured into Plural, formerly known as Civic Eagle, where multiple African American candidates who did not qualify were being hired without my knowledge. All whom I’ve never spoke with. I suspect that Socure somehow gained access to my T-Mobile account and requested my entire call history to monitor my communications. Furthermore, I believe that when I sought legal counsel after receiving the EEOC's authorization to file a lawsuit, Socure clandestinely intervened in my calls to every law firm I contacted.

Puerto Rico Vacation on Dec 23, 2022:
Upon our arrival at our room in Puerto Rico, we noticed a black male who entered a room adjacent to ours shortly after us. However, after a couple of days, we did not see him again.
During a visit to a restaurant in Puerto Rico, I recognized the hostess as the same woman I had encountered multiple times at the YMCA. She had her head covered with a white scarf. As I was seated facing the entrance, she deliberately made eye contact with me, seemingly aware that I recognized her. After finishing lunch, this same woman followed us to the waterfront and watched us closely.

Neighbor Tracking Movement at 322 Gates Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11216:
Every time I left my building, I noticed a consistent pattern where the neighbor from 5F would coincidentally head towards the elevator, wait in the lobby, and enter the building exactly at the same time. This behavior raised suspicions and led me to believe that individuals from 5A were strategically positioned next door, potentially tapping our walls to eavesdrop on our conversations. The neighbor in 5A, whom I knew through the YMCA, repeatedly complained about the building while urging me to submit a work order. I also suspect that Socure assisted one of my former neighbors, Serdar Cam, in moving into the building after they discovered my text messages about potentially moving there. Immediately after moving in, Serdar started complaining as well. I believe Socure was involved in placing a previous female tenant in the building, who also complained to me on multiple occasions about the building.

Uber License Training:
Once again, Socure monitored the location of my phone and deployed individuals to the classroom where I was attending classes in Long Island City in early March 2023. After completing the classes, I became too afraid of potentially facing false rider allegations.

New Open Gym Invitation by Bedford-Stuyvesant YMCA member Ethan, Andre Nelson was present on March 2, 2023, at 300 Adelphi, Brooklyn, NY 11205:
Ethan, a fellow YMCA member, invited me to join him at a nearby gym. To my surprise, Andre Nelson was also in attendance. While playing on the court, I noticed one of the players guarding me had a conspicuous microphone attached to them, and an Asian woman diligently captured footage from different angles with a video camera. I believe they were recording my voice and actions on the court. Additionally, it seems that after complaining about what happened at the YMCA, members are being instructed to engage me outside the YMCA to diffuse the situation. This incident further raised my suspicion that our apartment might be under surveillance, as I had previously mentioned Andre Nelson's presence at the open gym to my wife. Moreover, during the open run, I noticed the unexpected presence of multiple YMCA members from the Downtown Brooklyn location, whom I hadn't encountered in the past four years. I firmly believe that Andre Nelson orchestrated their participation and that they were strategically placed as collaborators by Socure.

New Gym Invites
After fully understanding that I knew about all of the plans in place at the YMCA, with the help of the YMCA Director, Sonia Atherly, multiple members were told to invite me to other gyms to built a campaign of “ this is Lou everywhere he goes”. Over six plus individuals were asked to invite me to new open gyms and men’s league to play in. This is all to avoid further problems at the gym.

Real Estate / Startup Venture Inquiry by Gavin Tseng:
Due to ongoing targeting, I decided to distance myself from everyone for months. However, my friend Gavin Tseng, whom I knew while living in Downtown Brooklyn, repeatedly invited me to his upstate home and wanted me to see properties he was interested in purchasing. It was quite unusual that Mr. Tseng would frequently text me, asking about my availability on specific days. I suspect that Mr. Tseng was recording our conversations during the trips and multiple phone calls, where he sought my help with UX Designing for his apartment rental car service. I believe Socure conducted research on my past work history, including my involvement in a Delegate campaign in Maryland for a real estate professional. I suspect that Socure fabricated false accusations against this individual and used my information to create misleading claims, leveraging my network and devices.

Subways / Stores Staged Evidence Building:
Regardless of the subway station I find myself in, I consistently experience being followed by random individuals who are instructed to approach me closely while holding their cellphones up to my face and posing questions. On multiple occasions, I recall three females approaching me seeking guidance regarding subway directions, and I willingly offered my assistance. However, I have recently become aware that individuals, including camera operators, have been capturing these interactions on film as part of what appears to be a deliberate campaign to discredit me.

March 28, 2023 - Travel to Milwaukee:
While traveling to Milwaukee for a getaway from my wife after several disputes, I noticed that I was being followed at the airport. The surveillance continued throughout my stay at the Airbnb located at 1028 East Juneau Avenue, Unit 416, Milwaukee, WI 53202, from March 28, 2023, to April 11, 2023. I also experienced being followed at the Hertz car rental at 804 Vel R. Phillips Ave, Milwaukee, WI 53203, on April 6, 2023, and at the Pleasant Prairie Premium Outlet at 11211 120th Ave, Pleasant Prairie, WI 53158, on the same day.

April 12, 2023 - Returning back from Milwaukee:
Immediately after arriving back in New York City from my two-week vacation, at around 3:45 pm ET, just two minutes after landing, I received a text message from a YMCA member whom I hadn't communicated with in over three weeks. The message mentioned something along the lines of "See you tonight," which I promptly deleted. This unmistakable occurrence served as a clear indication that my phone was under surveillance and being tracked.

April 21, 2023 & May 7, 2023 - Vitamin Shoppe at 12 4th Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11217:
As I entered the Vitamin Shoppe in Downtown Brooklyn on Atlantic Ave, I noticed that I was being followed. While at the checkout counter, an African American gentleman positioned himself next to me, seemingly eavesdropping on my account information and the items I was purchasing. I strongly suspect that a similar incident occurred during my previous visit on April 21, 2023, although I was not actively observing at that time.

On May 6, 2023, between 11:30 am - 12:45 pm - JFK AirTrain:
Once again, I became aware that my phone was being tracked. I accompanied my wife to the airport as she was departing for Milwaukee. Upon arriving at the station, an assertive African American woman in her late 30s hurriedly approached us, despite the presence of multiple station operators. She aggressively stopped us and began asking for directions. Sensing something amiss, I promptly distanced myself from the situation while my wife attempted to assist her with the directions.

Friday, May 11, 2023 at Costco Eyewear at 517 E 117th St, New York, NY 10035: While I was sharing my information, a woman in her late 50s approached the counter and closely observed my personal details. I have come to believe that Socure has someone at Chase informing them of my location whenever I use my Chase bank card. The day before, I made purchases with my Chase card at Costco.

Friday, May 11, 2023 at Costco at 517 E 117th St, New York, NY 10035: While conversing with a product representative at Costco, a young female employee in her late teens or early twenties approached with an older Senegalese gentleman in his late 60s. The gentleman sought assistance with a product due to his limited English proficiency. As he showed me his phone up close, I noticed someone recording our interaction from a distance. Once again, I felt as though I was being followed. It seems that a private investigator was aware of my recent purchase of fish oil at Vitamin Shoppe on May 7, 2023, as well as my pursuit of becoming a personal trainer. They orchestrated the scenario with the gentleman asking me specific questions about fish oil. It's worth noting that the material I was studying for personal training explicitly states that trainers should not recommend any medication to individuals.

Saturday, May 13, 2023, at Hoyt Station in Brooklyn: Once more, I found myself being followed into the train station. While I was waiting there, a woman approached me once again, seeking directions. Without hesitation, I gestured towards someone else nearby and firmly replied, "No, ask her." Interestingly, there was a man across the platform holding two cameras, capturing the entire interaction between us. Following the unsuccessful attempt, the woman conversed with the man briefly before they both boarded the train.
Saturday, May 13, 2023, at Bedford and Quincy in Brooklyn: As I neared my apartment building, I noticed two cameramen once again attempting to record me. Sensing their presence and their intention to cross the street, I quickly changed course and crossed over to the other side, putting some distance between us.

Saturday, May 13, 2023 - TD Bank at 957 Marcy Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11216: While I was withdrawing cash from the ATM, a white male in his late 20s, accompanied by a dog, was recording me from outside. I also believe Socure did some digging into all of my transactions at my local banks, such as Chase and TD Bank.

Saturday, May 13, 2023 - Credit Card information altered: When I logged into my Discover Credit Card account, I observed that my information had been modified.

Monday, May 14, 2023 - Best Buy Brooklyn at 625 Atlantic Ave Ste A7, Brooklyn, NY 11217: Upon reaching the printing department at 12:14 pm ET, I was harassed by an African American woman in her late 60s. I ignored her and left through the opposite side, but she continued to follow me and tried to engage in a conversation.

Tuesday, May 16, 2023, at Target 517 E 117th St Suite 201, New York, NY 10035, at 10:46 am ET: Upon realizing that I was aware of the cover-up occurring, where individuals were tailing me and inquiring with their phones in hand, Socure strategically positioned an African gentleman near the entrance of the targeted bathroom. They had been closely observing my actions. Remarkably, this man was dressed identically to me during the incident that unfolded on Friday, May 11, 2023

While waiting in line, I believe a Senegalese couple were instructed to chat about illegal activities intentionally while I was behind them and they absurdly moved to another line.

Tuesday, May 16, 2023 - Cohen’s Fashion Optical at 86 W 125th St, New York, NY 10027: While retrieving my reading glasses from Costco, I discovered that the prescription was stronger than what was indicated in the eye examination. The lenses ended up negatively impacting my vision. I requested to review the physician's notes from the exam, but despite waiting for over 30 minutes, they were unable to provide any documentation as the physician was acting very strange. Instead, they gave me evasive responses, leading me to ultimately leave without a resolution.

May 18, 2023 - Chase Bank at 1380 Fulton St, Brooklyn, NY 11216 @ 12 PM ET: Around 12 PM ET on May 18, 2023, at Chase Bank on Fulton Ave in Brooklyn, I experienced another incident I believe involves Socure. An individual was sent to tail me, and it began at TD Bank where this person approached the teller in an ostentatious manner, loudly expressing their intentions. I suspect this encounter was being recorded in an attempt to frame a robbery on me. It seems that Socure is continuously monitoring my activities, possibly as a diversion from the fact that their former CFO was untrustworthy. Regardless of where I go, I am constantly being followed, with new tactics being devised every time I step outside my home.
I’m writing to put a stop to this targeting and ongoing harassment.
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2023.05.27 04:48 RobotTomPeterson OnPoint Community Credit Union awards 2023 Educator of the Year winners

OnPoint Community Credit Union awards 2023 Educator of the Year winners submitted by RobotTomPeterson to PortlandOregon [link] [comments]

2023.05.26 20:38 EnvironmentalAsk4556 Best credit union in the area

I recently graduated and moved from Indiana. I really like credit unions. I think they are an excellent organization involved and focused on the development of the community they are part of. I was wondering if anyone has any experience with a really good credit union in San Jose area? Thanks!
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2023.05.26 15:42 litcityblues Dreams of Hope

“I know how men in exile feed on dreams of hope”
IT WAS JUST PAST sunrise on Herenveen Prime and Charlotte Elizabeth Mackenzie-Nanda, Queen Consort of the Herenveen Staats-Republic, was still enjoying her coffee when she heard the distant rumble of a sonic boom that indicated an arriving shuttle had entered the upper atmosphere, bound for the spaceport. She set her cup down on the small table next to her.
“Yes ma’am?” Her ever-present steward stepped forward.
“Do you have the omnioculars close at hand?”
“Always ma’am,” he replied. He stepped over to a small cabinet on the far side of the terrace, opened it, and, retrieving the omnioculars, brought them back to her. “Here you are, ma’am.”
“Thank you, Grimsby,” she said. Raising the omnioculars to her eyes, she began to scan the skies. Let’s see, she thought to herself. I’m on the eastern side of the palace, overlooking the gardens and that means the approach vector to the spaceport in Herenveen Town should be about… there. There was a faint trail of exhaust. She pressed a green button on top of the omnioculars and the readout confirmed her findings. There was a ship and it was- the readout directed her to move to the right and she did so, hoping that she would be able to catch a glimpse of the arriving ship before it disappeared behind the Palace and-
She froze and pulled back from the omnioculars. It couldn’t be. It couldn’t- she made herself look again. There was no mistaking it this time. It was a clipper ship, one of the ultra-fast pickets that the Star Union’s defense contractors were marketing to every buyer from here to the rim. Along its prow was its registration number (SU-76463) and its name, the Star Clipper. None of that was particularly of note. What was, however, was the red, white, and blue roundel of the Star Union’s space force and, she noted, the golden gryphon symbol of the Duchy of New Georgia underneath it.
She set the omnioculars down on the table and picked up her coffee again, staring out at the Palace Gardens. She was not ill-informed, of course. Even now, after decades in exile, she still had friends in the Star Union. She had heard about the failing health of her Grandfather, the King-Emperor, and- there’s only one reason why they would send a clipper ship. The thought whispered to her. Only one.
A step forward. “Yes ma’am?”
“Where is she this morning? She usually tells you, doesn’t she?”
“I believe Her Majesty was convinced that the roses needed some attention this morning, ma’am.”
“Ah yes, Grimsby, but which roses? She has so many.”
“The Austins I believe were her primary concern, ma’am. She is worried about how they are adapting to our soil after the long journey from Terra.”
“Very well.” She made herself sit and finish her coffee, drinking in the view and soaking up the peace and serenity of the early morning. There was no better view than she could think of and if she was right- but what if you’re not? The Star Union has plenty of clipper ships. It could be anything.
Keep telling yourself that, she told herself, but no good news comes early in the morning. She drained the last of her coffee, placed the mug on the saucer and stood up, walking towards the edge of the grand staircase that lead down into the gardens, Grimsby just behind her, a constant presence at her side.
Decades before, she had been too young to know what was going on in the Star Union. She had been carefully shielded from the politics of it all. She knew the history. Everyone knew the history, but… she remembered the hands shaking her, waking her in the night. Urging her to get up, quickly, there was no time to pack. She remembered her mother’s face, creased with worry and realizing that she was afraid, seeing her fall behind on her little legs and sweeping her up into her arms. She was safe there. She was happy there.
There were only flashes of memory now, The sound of shoes echoing on the deserted hallways of the Palace. The night sky, so warm, so clear, the stars shimmering above her. She was placed in the transport, near the window and soon they were lifting off. The city was half cast in darkness, flickers of fire and columns of smoke dimly visible, split by the sinuous line of the River Nanda, running through the capitol city.
She remembered her face, pressed against the window, clutching her stuffed gryphon, Archie close as they reached the terminator line between night and day and she caught one last glimpse of the beautiful oceans and the green land of Astralis Prime, heart of the Star Union and then…
Then it was exile and her family had gone back to the Potentate of Cosmara once again, barely a generation after the First Restoration of their dynasty back to the great throne of the Star Union.
A delicate cough interrupted her train of thought. “Ma’am.”
“The roses are… that way,” Grimsby nodded to her left.
“Thank you, Grimsby,” she replied, annoyed at her absent-mindedness. It’s because it’s early, she told herself. No good news comes early in the morning. Father would say it all the time. Mother believed it. You believe it too, she admitted to herself.
Finally heading in the right direction, it was the work of a few moments before she finally came around the well-manicured hedge, ducked under a delicate moongate and stepped into the rose garden. There, she caught sight of her wife, Chief Stadtholder and Queen of the Herenveen Staats-Republic, Chief Executive Officer of it’s associated trading conglomerates and companies, Juliana Beatrix Oranje-Nassau, Fifth of her name.
“You bloody thing, I don’t know where you’re coming from, but I will find you and I will-” Juliana was on all fours, gloved hand buried deep into a rose bush, trying to trace back an offending weed of some kind. Charlotte stopped and just watched for a long moment. They were both getting older now. Their children were grown and in the case of their son, Eduardo had just secured the line of succession and made them both grandmothers. Even with the prolong treatments, streaks of grey were creeping into her hair now, but still-
“Enjoying the view?” Juliana asked archly, turning her head to notice her for the first time.
“You know I always do,” she replied. “You also do know that we have gardeners that can do things like this.”
Juliana growled and gave the offending weed an almighty pull before pulling her gloved hand out of the rose bush and holding it up triumphantly.
“We pay them quite a bit of money, you know,” she continued idly as Juliana stood up. “They’re experts at-”
“I know, Charlotte,” Juliana rolled her eyes. “It’s just, I like to sneak out-”
“-leaving me alone in our bed-”
“-and just get some gardening in before the tedious business of the day begins,” Juliana continued.
Charlotte smiled fondly at her wife, fully aware of how quickly she would abdicate should the Staats-General ever get around to deeming Eduardo to be a worthy successor to her. Juliana was a creature of nature, more than anything, far more at home puttering about the Palace gardens or strapping on big, practical waterproof boots to go tramping through fields. She was happiest getting her hands dirty. “I love you, wife.”
Juliana’s face softened and she stepped towards Charlotte, slipping her ungloved hand into hers and leaning forward to kiss her firmly on the lips. “And I adore you, my queen.” She creased her eyebrows, realizing something. “What brings you out into the gardens at this hour, anyway? You should be eating your breakfast still.”
“I started early when I woke to find an empty space in my bed,” Charlotte replied somewhat tartly.
“But, I came looking for you when I heard the ship coming in.”
“Is that what that was? I wondered, but I was…” Juliana raised her gloved hand, still clenched around the offending weed and looked a little sheepish.
“Preoccupied?” Charlotte finished.
“Yes, let’s go with that. So, a ship? It’s a little early for a ship.”
“I thought so as well, so I tracked it with the omnioculars.”
“Anyone important?”
“It was from the Star Union,” Charlotte said. “One of their new ultra-fast pickets. It…” she sighed. “It had the livery of the Duchy of New Georgia on it.”
“Your cousin. David, no, Dean, no-” Juliana frowned in irritation.
“Drake,” Charlotte supplied.
“Yes, him. That’s the one,” Juliana said. “Has he sent any messages? Any word that he’s coming?”
“No,” Charlotte admitted.
“So, it could be just another ship on urgent business for anything, right?” Juliana said. “There might be no need to worry at all.”
“Maybe,” Charlotte said. “But-”
“No good news comes early in the morning.” Juliana finished. She pulled the glove off of her hand and tossed it next to the pile of weeds she had placed to one side along with the garden implements. “Would it ease your mind if we went and find out what the ship wanted?”
“It would, my love, but…” she glanced pointedly at the mess and Juliana flapped her hand dismissively with a mischievous grin playing about her face. “The gardeners can get it.”
“Juliana!” Charlotte sounded scandalized.
“As you pointed out, my love, we do pay people- experts, some of them, to take care of things like this,” Juliana slipped her arm into Charlotte’s and with Charlotte rolling her eyes, but smiling as well, the two of them began to walk arm in arm back out of the gardens and toward the Palace, Grimsby an ever-present shadow in their wake. Charlotte was just about convinced that maybe Juliana was right and maybe she had nothing to worry about, but just as they turned the last corner and the terrace came into view, her heart sank. There was Mr. Vanderbeek, Juliana’s chief secretary, waiting at the top of the stairs for them.
Juliana felt her stiffen and gave her hand a reassuring squeeze. “Pieter,” she called as they made their way toward the steps. “Good morning!”
Mr. Vanderbeek bowed. “Good morning, your majesties.”
“You’re up early,” Juliana noted as they reached the bottom of the steps and climbed up onto the terrace. “What brings you to the Palace at this hour?”
“A delegation from the Star Union has arrived, your majesty. They’re requesting to meet with Queen Charlotte most urgently.”
“Did they say what about?” Charlotte tried to make the question sound casual but realized she probably failed at that and shook her head ruefully.
“They did not, your majesty,” Mr. Vanderbeek said. “But I am told that his Grace, the Duke of New Georgia is the head of their delegation.”
“Drake?” Charlotte broke in, surprised. “He’s here himself?”
“Yes, your majesty.”
“Who else?” Juliana asked.
“Intelligence is working on that,” Mr. Vanderbeek said. “But so far, we have identified the Archbishop of Astralis Prime, the Earl of New Shaftesbury and a Parliamentarian we believe to be Beatrice Boothroyd.”
“When do they want to meet?” Charlotte asked.
“As soon as possible, they say, your majesty,” Mr. Vanderbeek replied.
“Has the government been informed?” Juliana asked.
“Yes, your majesty.”
“Very well, since they’re still renovating Noordiende, we’ll have to receive them at the Voorhout Palace. See to it, please and prepare a ground car for her majesty and myself. We won’t keep them waiting long,” Juliana ordered.
Mr. Vanderbeek bowed. “As you wish, your majesty.” He retreated the requisite five steps, taking care not to turn his back on either woman before, having reached the appropriate distance, he turned and hurried away to make the arrangements.
Receiving an official delegation from a foreign power required more of the Queen than it did the Queen Consort, so while Juliana allowed herself to be herded away by various functionaries and ladies in waiting to be cleaned and dressed, Charlotte was left to her own devices. Having decided on a sonic shower over the more decadent option of a water shower, she soon found herself opening the door to her closet, robe wrapped tightly around her.
It was less of a closet and more of a room, but that was the privilege of being a Queen Consort. There were dresses and suits and uniforms for every occasion. The chattering classes tended to notice if she wore the same dress twice, which had bothered Charlotte when she was younger, but now, she no longer cared. Dresses could be worn more than once. She had done so throughout her childhood on Cosmara if for no other reason than her family's reduced circumstances had made it a necessity.
She walked down the length of the closet, lightly running her hands along the dresses, wondering what she should wear. Cousin Drake, the Archbishop, the Earl of New Shaftesbury, and whoever that Parliamentarian is… there is only one reason to send a delegation like that to see me. Her hand stopped and, reaching up, she pushed the dresses back to reveal a simple, unadorned red dress.
Even with the prolong treatments, humanity was not immortal. Her father’s cancer had advanced, inexorably, resistant to every treatment they had tried.
Grandfather even sent his personal physician, she remembered. The Doctor arrived in secret, towards the end, in the dead of night, and tried her best, but… Juliana, always so careful to never even give the appearance of asking for favors or getting special privileges had made a quiet call to the government and bundled her onto the fastest ship Herenveen Prime had. It had not been enough. She arrived an hour after he had gone, quietly, without much fuss, as was his way.
He had not wanted an elaborate funeral. Juliana had brought the children. Cousin Drake had arrived as well, which had been a surprise at the time. All of them, clad in their funeral red, on the lip of the hillside of their small farm, the towers of Cosmara City in the distance, watching as the flames of the funeral pyre climbed higher and higher.
She ran her hands over the red mourning dress, remembering. She had not worn it since that day. It seemed a lifetime ago, but there was only one reason they would be sending a delegation like this. Charlotte took the dress down out of the closet and carried it back into the bedroom laying it across her bed. Then she went back into the closet and walked all the way to the back where the jewelry was kept. She did not hesitate this time. Opening the top drawer, she pulled out her mother’s sapphire necklace, the famous Star of Astralis, the one thing she had taken from the Palace when they had fled into exile.
Charlotte held it up to the light and, leaning forward blew some offending dust from it before nodding to herself in approval. “Yes, this will do quite nicely.”
Half an hour later, Charlotte made her way down the grand staircase to the main entrance of the Palace, where Juliana was waiting for her. She was dressed more modestly- in her usual grey suit with a simple string of pearls and a matching purse, but her lips pursed appreciatively as she watched Charlotte descend, Grimsby behind her as always.
Reaching the bottom of the stairs, Juliana smiled at Charlotte and then said, “Grimsby?”
“Yes, your majesty,” Grimsby stepped forward.
“Can you check to see where our ground car has gotten to?”
“At once, your majesty,” Grimsby inclined his head and then crossed over to the front doors of the palace and, opening them, slipped through.
Once they were alone, Juliana, cocked an eyebrow at Charlotte. “Red? That’s the color of mourning in the Star Union.”
“There’s only one reason I can think of for them to send an urgent delegation to meet with me,” Charlotte replied. “If my Grandfather has finally died, I will not show anything less than the utmost respect for his memory.”
“Well, you look lovely,” Juliana said. “Every inch an exiled Princess of the Star Union.”
“I hope so,” Charlotte replied.
Grimsby was returning and Juliana stood up as they both walked over to meet him. “You said you can only think of one reason,” Juliana noted.
“What else could it be?” Charlotte asked.
Juliana looked as if she was about to say something, but instead, shrugged and gave Charlotte a reassuring smile. “You’re right,” she said. “Let’s go see what they have to say.”
It was half an hour later when they finally arrived in the grand hall of the Voorhout Palace. That wasn’t entirely unexpected. They were both Queens (well, Juliana was the Queen, Charlotte was the Queen Consort,) and as the two of them, arm in arm, walked out of the antechamber onto the dais of the Throne Room, Charlotte had to admit that they both looked the part. Juliana guided Charlotte to her throne at Juliana’s right, before stepping up onto the main dais and taking her place on the Oranjetanuki Throne.
Mr. Vanderbeek was already in place off to Juliana’s left and after a moment to smooth out her skirt, she nodded to him Mr. Vanderbeek stepped down off the dais and walked the length of the throne room before opening the door and vanishing for a moment onto the other side. Charlotte felt her heart begin to beat faster and forced herself to take a slow deep breath to calm down. Juliana is right. Let’s see what they have to say. Another slow, deep breath and she became irritated with herself. Why are you acting like a spoiled Princess? You’re a grown woman and Queen Consort
The doors opened and Mr. Vanderbeek lead the delegation into the throne room and walked about halfway down before stopping, bowing, and then saying: “Your Majesties, an urgent delegation from the Star Union wishes an audience.”
“Their request is granted,” Juliana replied.
Mr. Vanderbeek stepped smoothly aside and the delegation advanced. As they came closer, Charlotte recognized her cousin, Drake. He was grown now, of course, but even behind the beard, she could still recognize him. The delegation advanced and went down to one knee as both Charlotte and Juliana rose to greet them.
“Your majesty,” Drake said. “We bring sad tidings. Your grandfather, the King Emperor of the Star Union is dead.”
Even though she had been expecting the news, the words fell like a hammer blow and Charlotte was surprised at the surge of emotion she felt. After the Revolt that sent her family into exile, her grandfather had been dragged out of retirement as the only acceptable option to both warring factions in the Star Union. Quietly, he had done what he could to make sure her family was comfortable in exile but had never once contacted them. Her only memories of him were happy ones, from her childhood, before they were exiled. She couldn’t bring herself to resent the old man, even now– and if either of her parents had harbored any bitterness towards him, they had never shown it.
“These are sad tidings indeed, cousin,” Charlotte replied. “I appreciate you coming all this way to tell me in person, but a vid-message or a tight beam would have been just as welcome.”
“Your majesty,” Drake said. “While those tidings are the official reason for our visit, we have another purpose here. A purpose of great urgency and import.”
Charlotte frowned. “What other purpose could bring you here so urgently, cousin?”
“We are here to offer you the Crown of the Star Union.”
If the news of her grandfather’s passing had been a hammer blow, this was news that nearly made her stumble and Charlotte felt herself swaying in shock, her mouth open in astonishment. Suddenly, Juliana was there beside her, gently tucking her arm into hers and steering her safely back into her seat. Charlotte smoothed her skirts out, trying to compose herself as she grappled with the enormity of what Drake had just said.
Juliana stood beside her, hand on her shoulder. “On whose authority do you make such an offer, your Grace?”
“Your majesty, with me I have representatives from the nobility, the church, and the commons. Our common desire is that which her majesty’s father and those who came before fought for and represented: a Monarch who governs in the name of the duly elected Parliament of the Star Union.”
“And how is that different from what you have now?” Juliana asked. Charlotte was dizzy with shock, but still managed to nod in agreement, still not trusting herself to speak. This had to be a joke, a prank, something- whatever it was, it couldn’t be real. The Crown? Her?
You could go home. A whisper from deep inside of her.
Drake grimaced. “The succession is contested. My Uncle Phillip-” Drake smiled knowingly as he saw the expression of disgust flash across Charlotte’s face, “-believes that he has the strongest claim. He is opposed by my cousin Hubert-” and his smile was genuine now as Charlotte covered an incipient laugh with a well-timed if artificial cough. “Your majesty, may I…” he shifted uncomfortably. “May I speak freely to my cousin for a moment, not the Queen Consort of Herenveen Prime?”
Juliana glanced down at Charlotte who nodded her assent.
“Cousin, I understand your skepticism and even your hesitation, but…” Drake sighed. “Invite me to dinner tonight. We can have a real conversation about what this actually means.”
Charlotte and Juliana exchanged glances for a long moment before Charlotte nodded and Juliana looked at Drake. “Your grace, it will be our pleasure to have you join us for dinner tonight at our residence at Het Loo. Seven o’clock, sharp.”
Drake inclined his head. “Thank you for your most gracious and kind invitation, your majesty.”
“We will withdraw then and make preparations,” Juliana said slipping her hand from Charlotte’s shoulder. She stood and the two of them left through the entrance they had come in, arm in arm once again.
Charlotte felt like she was in a daze, but allowed Juliana to lead her back towards their ground car. Mr. Vanderbeek was waiting at the courtyard entrance. “Mr. Vanderbeek, I take it you heard?”
“I did, your majesty.”
“If you would inform the Prime Minister and ask him for a full briefing later tonight. I would like to know the government’s opinion of this… unexpected offer.”
“Yes ma’am,” Mr. Vanderbeek replied. “Will the two of you be returning to Het Loo?”
“Yes, we will. The Duke of New Georgia will be joining us for dinner as well,” Juliana said.
“Very well, ma’am.”
“Thank you, Mr. Vanderbeek.”
He bowed and then stood as still as a statue until they had both walked out into the courtyard proper and reached their ground car. Charlotte slid into the seat, still trying to process the offer that Drake had made back in the throne room. The crown? Me?
You could go home, that whisper again, tinged with hope. But where is home? Charlotte replied in the silence of her head as the ground car manuevered out of the courtyard and onto the city streets. She watched as they made their way down the row of embassies from across the galaxy and then a thought occurred to her.
“Yes, darling?”
“Did you know?” Charlotte said. “When I said I could only think of one reason why they would want to see me…”
Juliana said nothing for a long moment before finally taking a breath. “I wondered.”
“But did you know?”
“No,” Juliana replied. “I didn’t. I about fell over when he made his offer..”
Charlotte chuckled. “That makes two of us.” She pursed her lips again and stared out the window, the brief burst of amusement leaving her. “I just wish I knew how real it was.”
Juliana reached over and took her hand. “My love, as soon as we are back at Het Loo I am going to be making all kinds of vid-calls to all kinds of people to see if I can get you an answer to that question.”
It was much later. Juliana had withdrawn after the main course, informing them she had some late calls to make. The stewards cleared away the last of the dessert and Drake leaned back in his chair and emitted a loud groan. “God, that was excellent food. I haven’t eaten that well in years.”
“The position does have some privileges,” Charlotte smiled. “We pay our chefs very well.”
“How well?” Drake asked. “That chocolate mousse was to die for.”
“Hands off,” Charlotte said with mock ferocity. “You can’t have him.”
Drake raised his hands in mock innocence. “All right, I surrender,” he said. Charlotte pushed back her chair and stood up, making her way to a small cart of liquor bottles at the side of the dining room. “Shall we adjourn to the terrace?” Charlotte asked.
“With whiskey, one hopes?” Drake sounded eager but pushed his own chair out to stand up.
“Of course,” Charlotte said. She unstoppered a decanter and poured out two generous measures into a pair of elegant crystal glasses before putting the stopper back in the decanter and turning back to Drake. She held out a glass to him and he closed the distance between them and took it from her, Grimsby having heard her proposal and waiting patiently, holding open the door to the terrace, the two of them walked out onto the terrace, and the warm summer night. Charlotte lead them to a pair of lounge chairs and gestured for Drake to sit down before smoothing out her skirts and sitting opposite him.
Charlotte took a sip of whiskey, unsure of how to begin. Happily, Drake did it for her.
“Ask me the question, cousin.”
“What question?” Charlotte asked, a picture of innocence.
Drake snorted in derision. “The one you’ve been wanting to ask me all night. The one we’ve been dancing around through an appetizer, two main courses, a dessert, and now a glass of whiskey.”
“Direct as always, Drake,” Charlotte smiled. “But, very well.” She took a sip of whiskey. “Why me?”
“Why not you?” Drake leaned back in the chair. “Your claim is just as strong as Phillip’s and it’s certainly stronger than that idiot Hubert’s. You have just as much right to the throne as they do if not more.”
“That’s not enough of a reason,” Charlotte replied. “My family has been in exile from the Star Union for a lifetime now. My children grew up here. My life is here. To the people, I would be a historical relic trotted out to serve some political agenda at best and at worst… a foreigner.”
“You say that your life is here now, but you knew the news we were bringing you and still wore your funeral red. Your sleeves hide them well, but you wear the bidari bracelets as well. I’m willing to bet if asked your children, they would tell me of the food and the traditions you still practice as well-”
“So, we celebrate Diwali and Christmas,” Charlotte said. “What of it? There is a thriving emigrant community here and on a dozen other worlds as well. Maintaining and honoring my heritage doesn’t mean I’m fit to lead a country I haven’t seen in decades.” She took another sip of whiskey. “You need to work on your pitch, Drake. I’m not persuaded.”
Drake considered that for a moment, taking another sip of whiskey. “You could secure your father’s legacy, once and for all.” He sat up straight. “Grandfather’s health had been failing for the past five years. Phillip has been defacto regent the entire time and his regency has not been a happy one. Your father was ousted for backing a government that at the time was seen as dangerously radical.”
“I know the history.”
“Yes, but what you don’t know is that your father was ultimately right,” Drake said. “Back then, he knew the Radicals were right. The tax avoidance of the entire nobility was a weight around the neck of the Star Union. The people resented it. The government was drowning in debt because of it, but when the Radicals tried to move their bill through, it was blocked in the Lords, and the only remedy they had to get it through after the second reading was-”
“The Royal Prerogative?” Charlotte asked, surprised.
Drake nodded. “It was a risk, but one he felt worth taking- unfortunately the nobility disagreed- but after the banking crisis a decade back, even the most diehard of the Lords was forced to concede that the tax exemptions were fiscally ruinous and it ended up being a Conservative government that suspended them.”
“And what of it?” Charlotte asked. “My father took on the Star Union’s political elites and it touched off a rebellion that cost him his throne.”
“Phillip has made it clear that he views the suspension as temporary. More importantly, he’s indicated that he doesn’t believe Parliament has the authority to overrule him on the question of taxation and many are beginning to be concerned that he doesn’t believe in the necessity of a Parliament at all.”
“So he’s a would-be Dictator in the making?” Charlotte grimaced.
“That’s what I’m afraid,” Drake said. “But you, on the other hand, would be untouched by the politics of the Star Union. Your father is remembered with affection amongst the common people and Grandfather, to his credit, did nothing to discourage that. You would be able to preserve the Union without plunging us headlong into either an economic crisis or worse, a Civil War.”
“Uneasy lies the head that wears the crown,” Charlotte sighed. “You’ve fitted me for a crown that I have yet to agree to take and already my head itches at the thought of it.”
“It doesn’t have to be forever,” Drake said. “With prolong treatments these days you could a decade or two, secure your family's legacy, and then step aside for someone else. You could even unify the crowns of Herenveen and the Star Union if you wanted to.”
“Do you ever find the notion of crowns and all this frippery to be a bit ridiculous in this day and age?” Charlotte asked. “Humanity has become a space-faring civilization. We’re spreading further and further out every year, terraforming as we go, and yet they still want us to put crowns on our heads. I’m surprised we haven’t grown beyond it yet.”
“Human society organizes itself somehow into strata. Doesn’t matter what flavor or ideology. We have the titles we have merely because our family was amongst the first stakeholders of the original colony of Astralis Prime. Doesn’t make us better than anyone, not anymore.” Drake drained the last of his whiskey.
“Well said,” Charlotte chuckled.
Drake grinned ruefully. “I’m not selling you on this, am I?”
Charlotte said nothing for a long moment before she too drained the last of her whiskey. “Do you remember that summer lodge Grandfather had down by the coast? Near the village with the funny name?”
“Etretat?” Drake said.
“Yes, that’s the one… named after some old Terran painting.”
“I saw it once when we went to Terra,” Drake said. “The cliffs near that village look nothing like the ones in the painting. And they pronounce it differently too.”
“How do they pronounce it?”
“Etret-ah,” Drake said. He shrugged. “Some weird quirk of an old Terran language. They were surprised that the locals pronounced the ‘t’ at the end.”
“Anyway,” Charlotte said. “Do you remember the hill, right by the beach?”
“I remember it being more of a vertical climb,” Drake said. “But yes, I do.”
“I loved the view from the top,” Charlotte said. “It’s one of the clearest memories I have. You could see that whole stretch of the south coast…” she trailed off, lost in the memory.
“And?” Drake prompted.
“I think,” Charlotte said slowly. “I think it would be nice to climb that hill again.”
Drake smiled. “So you are thinking about it?”
“I might be,” Charlotte said. She stood up and Drake stood with her. “But now, cousin, I need to go to bed.”
“Until tomorrow, cousin.”
Charlotte slept better than she expected and still managed to slip out of bed the next morning and make her way out onto the terrace where Grimsby awaited her with her usual morning coffee. She wrapped her robe around her tightly, for the cool of the evening still hung in the air. In the light of the day, she was forced to admit the uncomfortable truth to herself: she didn’t know what to think.
Part of her was tempted: she hadn’t been lying to Drake last night and even though he had shamelessly tried to trade on her nostalgia for her childhood at first, his arguments about her father’s legacy had been more persuasive than she wanted to admit. Phillip would be a disaster for the Star Union and if several members of the extended Royal line were suddenly afflicted with terminal illness or enough of them dropped dead that Hubert’s claim went from punchline to reality, he might be an even worse choice for the Star Union.
There were others, of course, but no one had a stronger claim than she.
On the other hand, this was home. This was where she and Juliana had built a family, raised the children, and- the sound of footsteps behind her broke her reverie.
“Now it’s your turn to leave me alone in our bed, I see,” Juliana smiled as she pulled her robe tightly around herself and sat down in the lounge chair opposite her. Grimsby produced another cup and held it up questioningly for a moment before Juliana nodded and he poured a cup, placed it on a saucer, and handed it over to her.
“I was up late enough and still didn’t hear you come in,” Charlotte replied. “What were you up to last night?”
“Meetings,” Juliana replied. “Too many to count, I’m afraid. Did you and Drake talk?”
“We did.”
“I don’t know,” Charlotte said. “It’s tempting. But-” she gestured around her. “We built all this together. It’s our life. Our home. I’m not sure I want to leave it, however tempting it might be.”
“Would it help to know that his offer does appear to be genuine?” Juliana asked. “Our intelligence people were working all night to confirm it, but they’ve got enough sources to be sure that he’s on the level.”
“That doesn’t solve the question of how we do it.”
“The General Staff is of the opinion it wouldn’t take much. Their best plan calls for a lightning-fast surgical strike. You isolate and blockade key points, proclaim yourself, and proceed to Astralis Prime to take the throne.”
“Oh, that easy, huh?”
Juliana shrugged. “That’s what they tell me, anyway. The government also doesn’t hate the idea and is frankly enthusiastic about the possibility of gaining more direct access to their markets.”
“But what about you?” Charlotte asked. “I can’t go to rule the Star Union by myself and leave you here alone. I would… miss you.”
“As I would miss you, my darling,” Juliana replied. “That’s why, if you decide to do this, the government would convene the Staats-General and appoint Eduardo regent in my absence. It’s well past time he was given some real responsibility, anyway, and that way- what? Have I done something-” Juliana looked concerned because Charlotte’s eyes were full and the first tears were beginning to roll down her cheeks.
“You would…give it all up? For me?” Charlotte asked, in a voice thick with emotion.
“Of course,” Juliana replied. “I love you, after all. For decades now, you’ve stood by me, had children with me, and been the best Queen Consort I could have wished for. It is more than past time for you to be Queen in your own right.” She smiled. “Besides, I hear the royal gardens on Astralis Prime are a mess. Your grandfather evidently did not have the greenest of thumbs.”
Charlotte smiled. “I think the real expert was my grandmother, to be totally honest.”
“The only question, my love, remains the biggest one of all. Our children are grown. I have been looking for an excuse to give Eduardo some responsibilities mainly so I could tend to the roses here, but I could just as easily fix up the gardens on Astralis Prime. Drake’s offer appears to be genuine. We can bring the military force to bear quickly enough and easy enough to put you on the throne. So, what do you want to do?
“It seems absurd. I haven’t been back there in decades. I’ve lived in exile my whole life. This is home.”
“It’s not absurd. It also doesn’t have to be forever.”
“Drake said that too,” Charlotte said. “Also said we could unify the crowns if we wanted to.”
“So you are thinking about it?”
Charlotte nodded. “Do you remember the first time we met?”
Juliana smiled. “How could I forget? I chased you up a hill near the University on Cosmara. There was a beautiful view at the top.”
“I loved that hill because it reminded me of a hill along the coast near my grandfather’s summer lodge,” Charlotte said. “If I- no, we do this… will you climb it with me?”
“Yes, my love, I will,” Juliana said. “I won’t ask you to decide now but know this. I think it is well past time for you to be Queen in your own right on a throne of your own. I think the people of the Star Union would welcome a ruler who will respect the government they elect and actually advocate for their welfare. I think everyone who lives in exile harbors a secret dream, a hope of returning home someday. But, my love, my home is with you. Wherever you go.”
It came down to that in the end. That one simple sentence decided it. Charlotte Elizabeth Mackenzie-Nanda, Queen Consort of the Herenveen Staats-Republic looked over at her wife, Juliana Beatrix Oranje-Nassau Chief Stadtholder and Queen of Herenveen Staats-Republic, Chief Executive Officer of it’s associated trading conglomerates and companies. She reached over and took Juliana’s hand in hers. “My Queen, my love, my life,” Charlotte said. “I think I would like to go home again.”
submitted by litcityblues to HFY [link] [comments]

2023.05.26 14:33 subillusion Ad / crediting issues - question and clarification

I've seen a number of posts recently about issues with ads freezing, blank, not crediting, and other issues.
It got me to thinking, as I am a technical person by nature (and worked in tech support for years). Often, issues chalk up to not "user error" but more "user not aware of how stuff works" ... and I do not mean that in a negative way. Often times programmers and technical types have a tendency of using computer logic which is counter-intuitive to the average well-thinking individual, causing a disconnect.
With that said, I have not had any real issues with any of the ads mentioned (even temu, shein, and those still pictures with the X in the corner that is not the real ad-is-finished x)
This is not to brag, but to ask some diagnostic questions to try and help the community and ease some frustration:
1. Are you connected to wi-fi, or mobile network? I have seen several posts over the last several months where posters have later followed up that either connecting or disconnecting have resolved ad boost issues. Some cases were poor signal areas, and wi-fi provided a more reliable connection. Others the wifi was connected to a proxy (common on public/ corporate wifi, and increasingly popular on home wifi for privacy concerns) and that proxy server was causing information to be blocked. Disconnecting the wifi/proxy and defaulting to only mobile resolved the issue. In my case, I am in a large city and thus cell signal is strong, except at work where my office is near a ton of industrial equipment that causes interference. I do often have issues with boost/ ab ads in my office until I connect to the wifi in my office.
2. Do you have ad-blocking software installed? ad-blocking software and other privacy software by nature can cause issues with ad-supported content, as required data is either deleted or masked. Sometimes these conflicts are actually deliberate, as the content provider (ad agency) is not getting credit for showing the ad, and thus does not give credit in turn. Other times (such as freezing/blanking) it may not be deliberate, but the ad-processing software hangs and cannot continue without the data/ variables that are missing. As I enjoy a lot of ad-supported content and services, I specifically refuse to use any type of ad-blocking/ privacy software for this reason. I suspect this is also why I never have issues with ad-supported content. I have a friend who has 2 phone drvices: one his main phone with privacy software and ad blockers that would make Fort Knox proud, and the other connected to the first through mobile hostspot, and wide open that he uses for ad- supported games. Might be an option for those who are having issues and don't want to give up their privacy software (like my friend)
3. Have you tried waiting at least 60 seconds? I've seen a growing number of ads, both still-image (more common) and video, which include an X in the corner. Examples are the mtn dew and Jimmy Dean sausage at walmart ads recently. Without fail, if I wait at least a minute, I will see a second X show up. Sometimes over the first, sometimes in a different corner. Additionally, there was one (I think it was mtn dew, but I dont remember) where if I clicked the first X, the screen would go black and appear to "freeze". What I found out was that if I waited a minute, the real X would still show in the corner for me to close the ad session and receive credit.
I hope this helps. I'll edit this post to add more issues/ causes/ solutions as they come up.
submitted by subillusion to AtlasEarthOfficial [link] [comments]

2023.05.26 02:38 ProfessionalSky6729 Firefighting and part time military or finance/accounting, career help!

Firefighting (trucking on side) and part time military or finance / accounting career?
Career change
I work in the finance industry making 54k a year good benefits, decent company, and 35 to 45 min commute. I have been working for this broker dealer for 1 year and 5 months in the operations department. I have been torn between going back to school to get my MBA and MS in accounting with the intention of getting my CPA and become an Accountant OR should I stay to get my licenses to become a financial advisorep. What is the best course of action?
Furthermore, I am torn between going to community college to be a firefighter which takes a 1 year and a half while working part time at a Credit Union in the call center (I'll quit my current job since it's not too flexible with school) and then join the military in the national guard (I always wanted to serve) as a part timer.
I am really confused right now I am confused between choosing the financial benefits and stress in one career but personal satisfaction and possible risk of not making it in firefighting and or making it but breaking down physically. Please help!!! Thanks!
Background: I am 24 years old, live with my parents, got my degree in BS Bus Admin. I was supposed to get my SIE and 99 license but never got to due to personal procrastination and grind of work and personal life.
submitted by ProfessionalSky6729 to FinancialCareers [link] [comments]

2023.05.26 01:04 Objective_Campaign82 Sins of the Father Ch32 (Hellworlder pirates 2)

Plan Chaos
Plan Chaos had not gone as planned. Though really Astarte felt that she only had herself to blame for that. Unity station was a pit a vipers coiled around each other, and she had tried to disturb that pit by dropping unsuspecting mice into it. It had worked to reveal some of the vipers venom, but one misstep could have cost her the lives of her loyal crew.
It shouldn’t have been as bad as it was. The Union for all its many, many flaws at least tried to be reasonable when it came to deathworlders. It was how she got away with half her antics back in Femeri. But Unity wasn’t even trying to maintain a pretext of being reasonable, they had just brought the hammer of the “law” down on them. Crewmen arrested for littering after tossing trash into a trash can, Limey dragged out of a Balikstro bar for flirting across species lines, and her Marine Captain and Chief Medical officer tazed and beaten for helping a little Drohodron girl find her mother.
Astarte sat in her chair, tapping her fingers in a staccato rhythm after reading Gato and Alwen’s reports. Something was up in this station, some plot that she was unaware of and had blundered into face first. She thought back to her first meeting with Rachel, dressed as the Arbiter at the time. Their first meeting had been confrontational and antagonistic, but now Astarte wondered if there had been some sort of manipulation at play as well?
It seemed unlikely.
For one the Arbiter would have to have a deep and intimate understanding of how Astarte did things, and she was fairly confident that the ADCU didn’t have that kind of knowledge on her. Not unless Domnall had decided to take her out using the ADCU as a proxy. But that seemed unlikely as well.
Rachel also didn’t strike Astarte as a master manipulator on the same level as Domnall. Still, if it hadn’t been some devious scheme then Astarte had to acknowledge that she had made a major miscalculation.
A soft knock broke her out of her musing. “Come in” she called and Karega stepped into her office.
“Limey has been finally released from custody.” He said as he handed her a file
“About time, anything to note?”
“Well for one, they appeared to be trying to link him with some sort a sex trafficking operation that was shut several years ago.”
She frowned “Why?”
“Unclear, they seemed to be grasping at straws as our Horsemen began circling
She sighed. “And second?”
He gave her a wry smirk “Second is that he came out in a women’s dress.”
Aster groaned “Why?” she asked defeated.
Kar chuckled to himself. “The bear spray crap they sprayed him with ruined his original clothes, so they gave him something from their lockup. They claim that the pink poodle dress was the only Terran appropriate clothing they had.”
“They couldn’t just buy him a pair of sweats and a T-shirt.
Kar shook his head. “They said they couldn’t find any Terran clothiers.”
Astarte sat up “that’s suspicious.”
“Indeed, so I looked into and found that they were telling the truth. There really aren’t any registered Terran clothing shops on this station.”
“On a station with four million Terrans?” Astarte said skepticall
“Yes, according to what I dug up Terran businesses have been closing down in mass over the last two decades.”
“Best I can deduce from scanty sources, the regulations pertaining to Deathworlder building requirements have been getting progressively more and more stringent.”
“Building regulations?”
“Yep, the city development board will require an extra inch of concrete in Deathworlder stores, the store closes down for renovations, and then reopen just in time for the latest round of changes.”
Astarte scowled “Rinse and repeat until the business runs out of funds and you’ve successfully driven an ethnic group out of business.”
“Legal business at least. There’s four million Terrans who still need their daily necessities.”
Aster pondered the implications of that statement. Running an illegal business on this station would come with heavy consequences, especially with the SS so focused on Terrans. “Or, maybe some friendly xenos helping out. Humans are by nature social pack animals, driven to make friends and integrate into their community. Not hard to image the neighbors lending a hand.” Another thought occurred to her “How the Hell did four million Terrans find themselves fifty thousand lightyears from Sol anyway?”
He looked up from his report and gave her a puzzled look “You don’t know about the Deathworlder Exodus, it’s in literally every history textbook.”
She glared “Homeschooled, enlighten me.” She said flatly. Her mom and the other old Maidens had taught her as best as they could, but sometimes there were things they neglected to tell her that had bitten her in the ass more times than she cared to count. No one had thought to mention to her that Mars had previously been a cold barren red rock, in her head Mars had always been habitable. It was still hard to look at the Capital of Terran interstellar society and imagine a dusty red world.
“It was pretty major event a little over a century ago, like the Irish potato famine. As Earth death sentence became widely known and the seawalls were being built a lot of people who were less optimistic left Earth for the stars. Lots found new homes on Venus, Mars, Ceres, Titan, and Triton, but another couple million went further afield to Union stations.”
“Right, I know all that, but how the hell did so many people find their way to the core, the sector gates weren’t operational back then.”
Karega shrugged “No, but a lot of major Terran Business’s were setting up shop here at the time. Amaterasu made billions just by being the mediators between Union conglomerates and Earth. People made the long journey to join growing enterprises, and eventually some smaller business moved in to supply the growing Terran populace. It was huge news at the times, millions of Deathworlders immigrating to stations that hadn’t had Deathworld inhabitants for two centuries, it caused a major panic. The occasional passing Human was fine, but whole families coming to put down roots in your neighborhood? A whole litany of laws regarding Deathworlders were passed in record time.”
Astarte snorted “that sounds about right, really what else were they expecting? If you force a deathworld to join your stupid little Union then you should expect some immigrants.”
“Most species are a bit more sedentary than us. Humans are the anomaly in settling literally every corner of our brutal home world.
The idea needled Astarte as just plain wrong. With so much galaxy to explore who could be content staying in one place? She shook her head. “Okay, so what changed? You said the people moving here had good stable jobs, but now a majority of the Terran population lives in poverty.”
The look of total confidence on Kar’s face wavered like it always did when the conversation dipped away from things he was very knowledgeable about. “Not sure. The immigration slowed down about fifty years ago, after that…” he shrugged.
“Another thing to ask The contact.
“They agreed to a meeting?”
“Yup, this afternoon.”
He looked surprised “so soon after a week of asking?”
Aster nodded “I think they wanted us to see how dangerous this station was before meeting us. Which means they have been watching as plan Chaos blew up in a our face.”
“I don’t like the sound of that.”
“Neither do I, but what choice do we have right now. Somethings going on here, and we know frighteningly little. I don’t like anything about this situation.”
Kar chuckled darkly “Seems we may have bit off more than we can chew.”
Wasn’t that the truth. Aster had thought she was approaching this situation with more than ample consideration. She had been confident from years of running circles around the local authorities in Femeri that she hadn’t given the Core enough credit. This was the center of a galaxy spanning empire, one that had persisted for thousands of years. That wasn’t an accident.
She had been overconfident. After her victories over Kazlum and the High Vicar of the Draxori she had thought the Union would easy. But both the Draxori and Aunviry were the shattered foes of the Union. Her hard won victories should have been proof that the Union was no pushover.She leaned back in her chair and sighed. And if the local situation wasn’t bad enough there was her father to consider. She had looked into the man, son of the very influential Gin family, founder of the ADCU, and chief of all SS precincts on this stupid station. Hanzo Gin, or Gin Hanzo if she were using Japanese naming conventions, was not an easy person to murder in cold blood.
And killing him could cause complications down the line in retrieving the Terra forming equipment. She had to face the troubling prospect of letting the scum sucking bastard live while they accomplished their mission. And that didn’t sit well with her.
Astarte wasn’t a vengeful person, not in the same way Lucile was. Oh sure, she burn like a supernova with rage and fury. But her anger was a quick, bright thing. Not the slow burning hate that revenge required.
It took serious dedication to hold the slow burning torch vengeance close to your heart for so many years and not succumb to utter despair. How her mother had done so for decades and still remained sane was one of life’s great mysteries.
No, Aster’s hate for her father wasn’t like Lucile’s ever burning flame. Hers was a like a horrific burn on her heart, the scarred over remnants of her rage when Lucile had first talked about the man that fathered Astarte.
The fire itself was long gone, but the burns remained and ached at the memory of it.
Aster looked up at the wall clock as another minute ticked by. “I should freshen up. can’t be late when meeting one of the most powerful contact’s in the galaxy.”
“Need backup?” Kar asked.
“No” she said with a shake of her head. “The contacts only ever met with the leader of any faction, its supposed to prevent any stupid mistakes like trying to kill a contact.”
He nodded “As long as your sure then I’ll leave you to it.” he stood up, reached over, and gave Aster a firm pat on the shoulder. A quiet and unsubtle attempt at calming the roiling turmoil he could see in her eyes.
submitted by Objective_Campaign82 to HFY [link] [comments]

2023.05.25 20:59 NerVez12 Looking at buying a car, need advice on if I'm going at anything the wrong way

I'm 19 and I currently have a full time reliable job that makes 22/hr with lots of opportunity for overtime. I'm currently using my parents car to get to work as my dad is full WFH and my mom is unable to work, however I am starting community college this summer and so I will need to get my own car as the times won't work out anymore (mom needs car for doctor appointments and PT, etc). My parents are completely supportive and I am currently living rent free, I will be financing my self for college as my parents are unable to pay however luckily my district community college is good and cheap so for summer and fall semesters tuition it is $2800 (I plan on not taking out any loans for college).
Currently the used car market around me is insane and so I think it'd be best to finance a new car that can last me for the next multiple years throughout college and past. I have been looking at a Mazda Cx30 at my local dealership that is going for $24,495 and I think it would be a good fit for me. I decided to look at outside financing and chase approved me at 25k for 7.14% apr, $496.71/month, 60 months which I think is good however I am unsure. Insurance I'm not expecting to be an incredible amount as I will be able to add it to our family plan.
I mainly am just wanting to check with you guys to see if this is stupid as hell and I am digging myself into a hole or if it's a reasonable plan? Thanks for any help!
TLDDetail Summary:
Age: 19
Monthly Income after Tax: $2800
Checkings Account Currently: 7k ish
Rent: $0
Credit Score: 755 TransUnion
Car: Mazda Cx-30 at $24,495
Approved Loan: Chase, 7.14%, 25k, 60 months, $496.71/month
submitted by NerVez12 to personalfinance [link] [comments]

2023.05.25 16:59 ThatBox9772 Ready to serve our city in a bigger way! Today I file for Louisville Metro Council District 3:-)

Ready to serve our city in a bigger way! Today I file for Louisville Metro Council District 3:-)
Today is the day y'all! I took off work this afternoon so I can file to be the next Louisville Metro Council Woman for District 3 💕✨️💕 Who's coming with me?
If you have time today, please join #TeamShameka at 12:30pm at the:
Jefferson County Elections Office located at: 1000 East Liberty St, Louisville, KY 40204
I really appreciate all the support and encouragement. My Treasurer, Carla Wallace, and Team are working on a new website and setting up online giving, but you can always mail in a donation to support the campaign here:
The Campaign To Elect Shameka Parrish-Wright P.O Box 16208 Louisville, Kentucky 40256
Or drop off your donation to ANY Park Community Credit Union using the member number & your contact information so we can thank you and document for reporting as needed. Just go into any Park Community Bank and give them the following to make your donation:
The Campaign to Elect Shameka Parrish-Wright member number: 1320325 (Use member# for drop-off donations at Park Community)
There will be plenty of ways to support this campaign, so please share and share again, and when it's time to show up, PLEASE bring a friend! If you don't live in #Louisville or District 3, you can still help Get Out The Vote for Me by donating what you can monthly and asking others to support. More to come, y'all!

Shameka4District3 #ShamekaforMetroCouncil #Shameka4Louisville



submitted by ThatBox9772 to Louisville [link] [comments]

2023.05.25 06:08 ProfessionalSky6729 Firefighting (trucking on side) and part time military or finance / accounting career?

Career change
I work in the finance industry making 54k a year good benefits, decent company, and 35 to 45 min commute. I have been working for this broker dealer for 1 year and 5 months in the operations department. I have been torn between going back to school to get my MBA and MS in accounting with the intention of getting my CPA and become an Accountant OR should I stay to get my licenses to become a financial advisorep. What is the best course of action?
Furthermore, I am torn between going to community college to be a firefighter which takes a 1 year and a half while working part time at a Credit Union in the call center (I'll quit my current job since it's not too flexible with school) and then join the military in the national guard (I always wanted to serve) as a part timer.
I am really confused right now I am confused between choosing the financial benefits and stress in one career but personal satisfaction and possible risk of not making it in firefighting and or making it but breaking down physically. Please help!!! Thanks!
Background: I am 24 years old, live with my parents, got my degree in BS Bus Admin. I was supposed to get my SIE and 99 license but never got to due to personal procrastination and grind of work and personal life.
submitted by ProfessionalSky6729 to careerguidance [link] [comments]

2023.05.25 04:24 meowsoulless Zero Private Acceptances for Liberal-artsy CS applicant

Demographics: MENA White, Midwest public school, 100k < EFC < 150k, male
Intended Major: CS, second choice Econ.
GPA: 4.30 W, 4.00 UW (AP = 1.2x weight, DE and honors = 1.0x weight)
SAT: 1580 (780 EBRW, 800 Math)
12 AP classes (by time of application) — of 12 5s of 12 exams taken so far — mech e&m bio chem lit lang micro macro gov ush wh psych. Latin score pending.
43 credits of dual enrollment at my state flagship — Calc 1 - 3 in grades 9-11, senior year: a 4xxx linear algebra class, a 5xxx graph theory class, a 3xxx stats class, a data structures and algorithms class, 2 3xxx classes in latin, among others
Extra Curriculars:
  1. PF Debate Captain
  2. Voice – royal conserv of music gold medal recipient, roles in several operas + several solos with ensembles of local colleges
  3. Violin – playing for fourteen years, numerous orchestral leadership positions, perfect pitch moment
  4. (paid) Finance Director of a small but established and reputed education nonprofit, fairly comprehensive grant-writing experience
  5. (unpaid) SwE Internship at some non-exceptional university
  6. Family Responsibilities (care for a relative w/ cancer)
  7. A mid leadership position in some community service club for elementary kids
  8. TA/Tutor – self explanatory
  9. Chess – don’t compete just flexed my online rating percentile
  10. A selective accelerated math program I took
  1. Ranked #2 nationally in PF Debate by the NDCA (at the time of applying)
  2. State Econ Challenge Winner
  3. PVSA
  4. State Bilingual Literacy Seal in Latin
  5. National Merit
Personal Statement 8/10 – discussed experience w/ vocal change through discussing arias in an important work that I sung at different points in my career.
Supplements – Pretty compelling in my opinion. I’ll post some for reference eventually.
Letters of Recommendation:
Nothing super super crazy. APUSH teacher whom I TA for, AP chem teacher whose class I aced, and the prof with whom I did EC #5. All strong but unlikely that any were extraordinarily exceptional.
Yale – 30 minutes in person. Didn’t know what to think of it — we chatted and got along but that is about it.
UPenn – lasted 65 minutes online, scheduled for 30 – we agreed on a lot of values, I had a lot of things to say (had three months to develop my thoughts from the previous interview) and asked good questions,
Results: 8/22 accepted, with 7 rejections, 7 waitlists
Acceptances [8/22] (to the CS major unless otherwise noted)
University of MD - College Park (EA)
University of MN - Twin Cities (EA)
University of WI - Madison (EA)
Purdue University (RD)
University of CA - San Diego
University of MI - Ann Arbor (EA to LSA CS Major)
University of IL - Urbana-Champaign (EA to CS+Econ)
Georgia Institute of Technology (Deferred EA, Attending)
Declined Waitlist Positions [7/22]:
Swarthmore College
Pomona College
Harvey Mudd College
Rice University
Duke University
Brown University
University of Pennsylvania
Outright Rejections [7/22]
University of CA - Los Angeles
University of CA - Berkeley
Yale University (Deferred REA)
Cornell University
Carnegie Mellon University (rejected ED II)
California Institute of Technology
Stanford University
Thoughts on college list – I believe that my initial college list was balanced and healthy. I applied to 7 schools EA (6/7 acceptances) with the intention of not applying to others if I was admitted to REA; I ended up applying to 11 more in December as I planned, tacking on 4 more in early January just to be safe. I applied to many public schools because transferring my dual enrollment credits is important to me. I visited all the East Coast and Midwest schools before applying. Many, but not all, of my choices were informed by various CS T20 lists.
Analysis of college decisions – I predicted that I would get into less public schools and more private schools, because I’m not a super hard-core CS kid, and my skill set is very diverse and strong, including in liberal arts. I still don’t understand how that analysis could’ve been more wrong. I recognize that I didn’t apply to any mediocre private colleges, because if they both were not prestigious and didn’t transfer my credits, I wouldn’t attend. Nevertheless, I expected to get at least a couple. I was not particularly heart-broken by any of the decisions, though getting four rejections on my birthday wasn’t my favorite experience. Perhaps I think too highly of my application in comparison to others, or perhaps my application doesn’t adequately illustrate my competence. I likely would have done substantially better had I engaged in more academic competitions, such as olympiads, especially at CMU / Cal / Caltech. Overall, I am very happy with my public acceptances, and happy that my 100+ credit hours from dual enrollment and AP won’t be going to waste. Someone who read my chanceme guessed my decisions almost exactly, but that’s now deleted (not by me).
Other thoughts about the college application process: I think that the current procedure is pretty silly. Millions of productive hours are wasted every year, and with dubious goals and outcomes. All aspects of the process are heavily influenced by race, wealth, and geography, and measures that are least impacted by these are actually deemphasized by the college application process. I think potential to learn is by far the most important criterion, and 90% of the college application does not assess that. People say that academics are a bad measure because i) too many people at the top for too few spots and ii) it’s influenced too much by backgrounds. I’ll refute that i) it is because academics at the high school level are categorically too easy, especially compared to other countries, achieving similar breadth but lesser depth [if I am prepared to proper ace upper division college STEM classes, then my peers should at least be prepared to pass lower division but not introductory STEM classes], and ii) that academic skill is far less reflective of status than essays or extracurriculars or really any other aspect of an application. The process in other countries, both in Europe, and my native Turkey, is far more streamlined, rapid, and does the same if not better job with placing students.
I’ll briefly talk about the idea of expensive college counselors – they are so unnecessary. I have several friends whom they gave awful advice to. People with counselors also tend not to do real research and not understand what they really want or need from a college. They are also the pinnacles of wealth-bias in college apps. I made the choice not to get a college counselor, and I don’t think that it negatively impacted my application. And, your high school teachers (and your friends) are generally better essay reviewers than counselors.
Finally, I’ll list several bullet point pieces of wisdom and advice for future classes:
  1. Create a college list where you’d be content attending every college on the list, informed by what you need from a school rather than its perceived prestige.
  2. Stay organized. My google sheet which I started two years ago served me well, taking me from preliminary research to finalizing lists to individual applications to making four-year ( or less ) plans for the colleges that did accept me.
  3. Draft your essays early, especially personal statements.
  4. Having a great why-us template is critical — one that seems specific even if it’s not, can be easily customized with fifteen minutes of research, and can vary in length to fit various prompts.
  5. Spend considerable time on your common application and how you present your activities. Make sure all your application materials are internally consistent [especially hour estimates], and reflect what you are answering in college-specific questions.
  6. Fall in love with a college for the 3 hours you spend writing its supplements, and then fall out of love just as quickly as you fell in love.
  7. Take challenging senior year courses, and don’t slide. Academic momentum is important going to freshman year of college, not to mention a decent factor in college decisions as well.
  8. Have some sort of a narrative in your activities and application, but don’t engineer your application to be perfect starting in Kindergarten.
  9. Find productive ways to employ your anxiety about the process. I’m not going to say not to worry, because that’s inevitable.
  10. Submit applications earlier than they are due, double check for SAT/ACT score send requirements, pay your deposit earlier than May 1st, etc.
  11. Meet with your high school counselor regularly throughout high school, so they can write you a good reference and get your stuff done when you need it done. (You’re great Ms. P, if somehow ever see this and recognize me)
  12. Discover yourself throughout the process. Writing about yourself is a great way to learn about yourself, but don’t base your self-worth on your results or the results of your peers. Show yourself compassion, not toxicity.
Thanks for reading my post. Best of luck in college for the class of 2023 and best of luck in college applications for the class of 2022.
submitted by meowsoulless to collegeresults [link] [comments]

2023.05.25 04:12 Jnisenberg01 Bank connectivity?

Bank connectivity?
is anyone familiar with this message and how to potentially troubleshoot?
submitted by Jnisenberg01 to Earnin [link] [comments]

2023.05.25 01:27 zoeygirl69 Something Funky Rentals Are Starting That Might Affect Bilt

A friend of mine just got their lease renewed for their apartment.
It has a $2 payment fee as an ACH convenience fee. The only form of payment is ACH. This started in 2020.
This year starting in July their lease has something new, It states that on top of the $2 convenience fee, a $15 fee will apply If it is paid from an account that is not from their preferred bank.
Basically if an ACH that comes from any institution other than Sanibel Captiva Community Bank there will be a $17 total fee instead of just a $2 total fee.
We're starting to see that more and more even with car loans and personal loans with community banks and credit unions "payments will automatically be deducted from your checking (or savings) account at [institution name]" and "payment accounts other than [financial institution] will not be accepted".
Several investment properties are doing that in Florida saying the renter must have the same bank as them, some condo associations are doing that, this is the first time I've seen this with an apartment complex, granted the apartment complex owner owns several properties.
As of the first of this year my mortgage must be paid with my credit union account or I have to pay a 5% penalty. Starting next year no other payment accounts other than my credit union accounts will be accepted. The only way to pay other than through your credit union account is by money order by mail or in branch for free.
I'll see if they will give me permission to take a picture of the apartment lease and then blur out their information except where it says
"A $15 payment fee will be charged on all transactions not originating from Sanibel Captiva Community Bank. A $15 payment fee will not charged if transactions originate from Sanibel Captiva Community Bank. All transactions will incur an additional $2 convenience fee per transaction."
Speculation is that bank holds the mortgage on the property.
submitted by zoeygirl69 to CreditCards [link] [comments]

2023.05.25 00:30 AutoModerator General Questions Thread, May 24, 2023

A thread for new collectors to ask basic questions of the community.
Frequently Asked Questions below!
A longer version of the subreddit rules is here.
For questions specifically concerning bootlegs or vendor legitimacy, please ask in the Bootleg Megathread.
NSFW & Spoiler Guidelines
  • For Self Posts: include a bolded NSFW note next to links in that post.
  • For Links to sites/images: If the figure is NSFW, or the website has any NSFW content (including ads) be sure to tag your post NSFW and use the appropriate link flair.
Any collection posts containing bootlegs, comments advocating buying bootlegs, or links to sites selling bootlegs, recasts, or unlicensed merchandise will be removed.
People often ask about the legitimacy and/or safety of a number of websites which sell large resin statues. The more commonly-asked of those deal primarily in resins from studios which do not have a license from the Japanese IP holders to produce merchandise. Therefore links to those sites are not permitted here. Another sign is if MyFigureCollection doesn't list the either the statue, its manufacturer, or the shop it's being sold on.
My Figure Collection is like MyAnimeList... but for figures! Their database includes thousands of items which been produced during the last couple of decades, along with reviews of shops and other helpful articles. One can also list their own collection and post gallery photos.
AmiAmi HobbySearch Mandarake (sells rare figures) Good Smile Company Online Shop (often has exclusives) Good Smile Company US shop Crunchyroll Shop Hobby Link Japan (aka HLJ) Solaris Japan (MFC partner) BigBadToyStore (MFC partner, US retailer) Big in Japan (also has proxy service) Tokyo Otaku Mode Right Stuf FigureHaven Archonia (EU) Yorokonde (EU) Figuya (EU) Dekai Anime (UK) Gamersheek (UK) Jungle
List of retailers on MFC
/AnimeFigures' List of Retailers
Community Guide to Shopping in Japan
Nekomagic (News/Previews) NyaaFigurines (Reviews/Releases) Kahotan's Blog (News/Reviews) Figma Blog (JP)

Buying & Shipping

1. What’s the best place to buy my anime figures from?
That’s going to depend a lot on what works for you, but most people around here buy them from Amiami, Big in Japan, Hobby Search, HobbyLink Japan, or Tokyo Otaku Mode. If none of those work for you for whatever reason, there’s a list of reputable retailers in the sidebar that you can check out at any time. Be extra careful when ordering figures from websites like Amazon or ebay, as there are a lot of bootlegs on those sites. Don’t be afraid to ask in our Bootleg Megathread if you’re unsure.
2. What differences are there between the shipping options I get from most Japanese shops?
Below is a rundown of the main shipping choices you’ll get at most retailers. Keep in mind that if an order is large enough you will be forced to use one of the more expensive options, as SAL shipments have lower size and weight restrictions.
  • Unregistered SAL: Sometimes referred to as uSAL, is usually the cheapest method. It does not come with any tracking or insurance. Usually takes up 2-4 weeks for delivery.
  • Registered SAL: Sometimes referred to as rSAL, is insured for the declared value up to 6,000 yen. It comes with a tracking number and usually takes 2-4 weeks for delivery.
  • EMS: This method of shipping is much faster than either SAL options, usually arriving within a week of shipment. EMS shipments are insured for the declared value up to 2,000,000 yen.
  • Airmail
  • E-packet
  • Surface: Shops don't offer this very often. It's an actual cargo ship and slow as a result.
  • DHL: Becoming more available as an alternative to EMS on AmiAmi and other sites. Can be less expensive than EMS and of comparable speed, but may be more reliant on the specific geographical area being shipped to. The price is also determined by the size of the box. Offers their own tracking.
3. I placed two+ orders for figures at different times. Will my items be shipped together, or will I have to pay shipping twice?
Most shops will ask you to pay shipping on a per-order basis, but here are some that will allow combined shipping:
  • Amiami: You can combine orders here, as long as the orders ship in the same month. It doesn’t matter if the item is new or preowned. Any preorders that are set for that month can also be combined with other orders for that month. However, be aware that if the preorder gets delayed, Amiami will remove that item from that month’s shipment and place it on a new order. To combine orders on Amiami, use the “Combine Orders” feature under “My Account”.
  • Hobby Search: Hobby Search will let you combine orders that release in the same month, but you cannot combine in stock items with preorders. If you want to combine multiple preorders, or multiple in stock items, you can do so using the “Order Recombination” feature on your account page.
  • HobbyLink Japan: At HLJ, you have the option to send paid orders to their “Private Warehouse”, where you can store them for up to 2 months. When you’re ready to ship the items, you simply select which items to ship and HLJ will combine them into one shipment for you. To use this, just select the “Private Warehouse” option as shipping when you order.
If you’re unsure about whether or not a shop we haven’t listed will combine your orders, please refer to their individual FAQs.
4. When will I get charged for my preorder?
Most Japanese shops charge you once the item is in stock and ready for shipment. When that happens, they will send you an email asking for payment. Some shops (mostly overseas ones), will allow you to pay for the item up front though, if you’d like. A few with that option are:
  • Big in Japan (Japanese store)
  • Tokyo Otaku Mode
  • Anime Island
  • Crunchyroll
Keep in mind that overseas stores will likely get the figure a few months after Japanese ones, so pay attention to the release date stated on the website you are buying from so as to avoid that confusion.
5. Should I expect to pay customs fees when importing figures?
That depends on where you live. Here’s a quick rundown:
  • Australia: 10% GST is now assessed up front.
  • Canada: Minimum declared value for charges is around CAD$20 for regular shipments, and CAD$60 for gifts (gifting something only seems to lower the declared value by about CAD$40, not deplete it completely). When using Amiami, try their Small Air Packet option. It comes with tracking, gets there in about the same time as EMS, and is better at avoiding customs.
  • European Union: As of 1st July 2021, VAT has to be paid on all goods imported from outside of the EU. Retailers are supposed charge VAT for purchases under €150, however many Japanese retailers currently do not, so VAT will be charged when your order arrives in the EU. Orders that are >€150, VAT and duty will be charged by your local customs.
  • UK: As of 1st January 2021, VAT is to be charged by retailers for orders <£135. However, customs isn't currently charging VAT on parcels valued at <£135, even if the VAT hasn't been paid. Goods >£135 will have their VAT and duty calculated and charged by customs.
  • Mexico: Minimum declared value for customs fees is USD$300 for shipments by post, and USD$50 for shipments by courier.
  • United States: A shipment has to have a declared value of USD$2,000 before customs starts hitting you with fees, so you most likely won’t have to worry about them at all.
6. The figure I want is an exclusive, how do I go about ordering one outside of Japan?
You have three options for this:
A. Big in Japan is known to stock exclusive figures and ship to other countries. Usually the price is higher because they build in their proxy fees, but it’s easier than worrying about using a forwarder or proxy service. If you live in the US, Crunchyroll, Right Stuf, and Tokyo Otaku Mode also get exclusives sometimes, but out of the states the shipping can get expensive.
B. Forwarding Services: A forwarder is someone who you ship an exclusive item to so that they can forward the package on to you, usually for a flat fee + shipping. When using a forwarder you still make the purchase yourself, and enter their address into the shipping field. When the box arrives at the forwarder they will then stick your address onto the package and send it on its way.
Some popular forwarders are:
Be sure to read each sites instructions on forwarding carefully!
C. Proxy Services: With a proxy, you tell them what the item you’re looking for is and they will purchase it in your stead. This is handy for when a company doesn’t accept foreign credit cards, or you’re having trouble navigating a Japanese website.
Some popular proxies are:
Again, be sure you thoroughly read through each sites proxy instructions.
7. I see a bunch of really cheap figures that ship from China on ebay. Are those okay to buy?
Generally, no. They’re most likely bootlegs. If you want a second opinion on that, feel free to ask in the Bootleg Megathread that’s always stickied at the top of the sub.
8. What’s a bootleg, and how can I avoid buying them?
A bootleg is a counterfeit figure often made using rejected molds of the official product. They are usually priced significantly lower than the genuine article, and in order to make their profit, bootleggers use lower quality materials and have less attention to detail- resulting in a substandard figure.
The Bootleg Megathread that I mentioned in question 7 is a great tool to avoid buying any bootlegs. It has a few tips and tricks to avoiding them to begin with, and a few more on how to spot them if you’re worried you might already own one.
9. Does anyone know when figure X is going to be released? How do I know if it was delayed?
My Figure Collection (sometimes referred to as MFC) does an excellent job of staying on top of information like release dates and delays. If you’re curious about an upcoming figures release date, check there first. This information can be found directly under the “Releases” section on a figure’s entry. If you only see a month and a year in that section, it means the release date has not yet been announced by the manufacturer, and there is still a chance the figure could be delayed.
If you make an account on MFC you can also subscribe to comments, changes, and pictures via a checkbox on the right hand side of a figure’s listing. Subscribing to any of these things will allow MFC to send you an email anytime the subscription in question updates. Subscribing to “changes” is a great way to keep up with release dates and delays, among other things.
10. The figure I want is long sold out at normal retailers! What’s the best place to pick it up in the aftermarket?
A list of reputable retailers can be found under the “Shops” section of the /AnimeFigures sidebar. They all sell legitimate products, and many of them also sell figures second hand. However, the most frequently suggested second hand sites are Mandarake and Amiami- who has a preowned section that they update every night save Sundays and Japanese holidays around 1PM JST and again around 6PM JST.
AmiAmi grades their pre-owned items on a letter scale. The general consensus from buyers is that their ratings are conservative, so unless the item and/or packaging is specifically indicated as having significant flaws, pre-owned items from them are usually in at least as good a condition as their rating suggests.
Note: When you search Mandarake, you’ll get the best results by using the Japanese characters for whatever you are searching. If you don’t know them, you can find them on MFC by clicking on any of the “details” in that figure’s listing.
11. Amiami has a figure I’m interested in labeled as “For sale in Japan only”. Does this mean I can’t order it without a proxy or forwarder?
No, you can still order it. Amiami’s English site has that warning on many items, and it’s mostly meant to inform you that this product was made for a Japanese market, and as such, will have Japanese speaking/writing in it- so don’t expect any instructions to be in English. If Amiami doesn’t want foreigners buying a certain product, they won’t even list it on their English site.

Displaying Your Figures

12. What display cases do you recommend?
If you live near an Ikea try out one of these:
*If you decided on a Detolf, you might find that there is a lot of wasted space. Here are a few tutorials on raising the shelves or and adding extra ones in.
If you don’t live near an Ikea, Amazon has a few display options, though they are more expensive. Also keep an eye on your local Craigslist (or your country’s equivalent) and stores near you that are closing up.
13. What lighting do you guys recommend?
Ikea’s Dioder LED strips were discontinued after a long run. A current version is the Vattensten, if you're inclined to buy your case and lights at the same time.
LED strips have become very commonly available in recent years; most hardware and home furnishing stores carry a selection now. Just make sure that the lights don’t get too hot!
14. What are those clear plastic boxes that I see under everyone’s figures in their collection posts, and where can I get them?
Those are called risers. Most of us use standard acrylic risers like these. Some other, easy to find things that have been suggested are:
Check your local hobby store for the first 2 options, or your local hardware store if you want to make your own.
Another common suggestion is to visit The Container Store if you have one near you. They have a lot of things to choose from that can suit a variety of needs. Be sure to check out their standard acrylic risers, their Amac boxes, and the various display cases they sell (baseball cases, mini car cases. hockey puck cases, etc).
15. Should I keep my figures sealed?
That is, of course, up to you really, but here are a few things to keep in mind when debating this question:
  • Keeping it sealed can actually damage your figure. PVC figures usually have something called plasticizer in them, and that plasticizer needs to be able to breath. If a PVC figure isn’t exposed to oxygen, after a period of time the plasticizer starts to break down and form a sticky substance on the surface of the figure. Simply opening your figures and taking them out of the box prevents this from happening. If you happen to find plasticizer goo on one of your figures, Kahotan has a handy guide for dealing with it.
  • Unlike some other figure markets, keeping an anime figure sealed won’t raise its value by a whole lot. In fact, because of the plasticizer problem mentioned above, your figure could actually be in better condition if you open it versus keeping it sealed.

Finding the Right Figure(s) for You

16. What are "scales" and "prizes"? What is the difference between them?
Those are classifications for figures based on a few factors.
  • "Prizes" are generally more simply produced figures which are intended to be given as prizes for playing arcade games. They are inexpensive and lack the detail of scale figures, though some prize figure lines have standouts which may approach lower-end scales in quality. That is uncommon and often depends on the individual figure.
  • "Scales" are called such because they are nominally designed to be proportional to the dimensions of the character which they are based on. They are generally of much better manufacture and materials than prize figures, allowing for more detail in painting, accessories, or complex poses.
  • "Trading" figures appear in gashapon machines or as blind boxes on shop counters, often as sets which include multiple characters. As suggested by the class name, the randomness encourages trading. They are usually very inexpensively-produced, though as with prizes, some series are better than others.
  • "Non-scale" encompasses a variety of other categories. It is often used to describe poseable figure lines such as figma and Nendoroids.
In recent years producers such as Good Smile Company attempted to further bridge the gap between prize quality and scales by introducing figure lines which are intended to be moderately-priced while retaining a higher level of detail than the typical prize figure, to varying levels of success.
17. There are so many figure companies! Who makes good figures?!
Obviously this is a very subjective question, but as a general starting point, here are a few well renowned figure companies:
  • Alter
  • Max Factory
  • Good Smile Company
  • Kotobukiya (usually hit or miss for people. Use your best judgement based off of the prototype)
  • Flare
  • Stronger
18. I really love “series X / character X”- how can I check if any figures were ever made for it?
My Figure Collection can be your best friend here. Simply do a search on the name of the series or character using the search bar located at the top right of the screen, and all associated figures pop up!
Alternatively, if you’re looking at a figure’s MFC entry, most of the text under the “Details” section can be clicked on and used to run a search.
19. How can I commission a custom figure?
None of the major figure companies (Alter, Kotobukiya, Good Smile Company, etc.) will take a commission for a single figure. This thread has a few websites in it that you can check out, or you can look into garage kits. Some kit painters would be willing to resculpt, frankenstein together, or otherwise modify kits for the right price.
If you're looking for help completing a garage kit, /brushforhire may be useful.

Keeping Up with New Announcements

20. How can I keep up with figure news (announcements, updates, etc.)?
Most people use a MFC combined with any or all of the following news sites:
Many figure companies are active on Twitter, so following them there is recommended for quicker news.
To use MFC for this I’ll quote question #9.
If you make an account on MFC you can also subscribe to comments, changes, and pictures via a checkbox on the right hand side of a figure’s listing. Subscribing to any of these things will allow MFC to send you an email anytime the subscription in question updates. Subscribing to “changes” is a great way to keep up with release dates and delays, among other things.
Most companies have one or more Twitter accounts. Some examples: Good Smile Company sales, Good Smile's USA branch, Max Factory, AmiAmi Hobby News.
21. Everyone’s excited about something called Wonfes….. what the heck is that?!
WonFes (short for Wonder Festival) is a biannual figure expo where many figure producers (both large and small) show off new sculpts and updates to figures already under way. Most companies save their most exciting announcements for WonFes, so we all look forward to the expo whenever it rolls around! Winter Wonder Festival is usually held in February, while Summer Wonder Festival is usually in July. The event has also spread to Shanghai, in the late spring.
22. One or two (or 15) figures were announced at WonFes that I’m really excited about! How can I keep track of their progress once the event is over?
MFC is always really quick about getting new WonFes announcements (or any others throughout the year, for that matter) listed in their database, so we suggest using that. To find a figure from the event you can search any number of things, including the name of the character or the name of the show. You can also use the tag search to search “WonderFestival 20xx_[season]” to see all items announced at that event.
submitted by AutoModerator to AnimeFigures [link] [comments]

2023.05.24 16:19 SchlesingerMindy323 [HIRING] 25 Jobs in FL Hiring Now!

Company Name Title City
Hoffer Pest Solutions Pest Control Technician Coral Springs
Ace Handyman Services Handyman Zephyrhills
Alera Group, Inc. Benefits Coordinator Boca Raton
Manatee Health at Home Home Health Manager Bradenton
trustaff Ultrasound Technologist Bradenton
HealthMarkets Health Insurance Agent Bradenton Beach
HealthMarkets Insurance Agent Bradenton Beach
HealthMarkets Healthcare Benefit Provider Bradenton Beach
Boeing AWS Engineer Bryceville
Prime HealthCare Staffing Physiotherapist Cape Coral
TAMPA BAY FEDERAL CREDIT UNION. Personal Banker - Bilingual preferred Clearwater
Forward Owner Driver Coral Gables
Aequor Healthcare Services Travel RN Crystal River
American Mobile Healthcare Travel RN Davenport
HealthMarkets Insurance Agent Elfers
HealthMarkets Health Insurance Agent Elfers
HealthMarkets Healthcare Benefit Provider Elfers
GetMed Staffing, Inc. Travel RN Englewood
HealthMarkets Health Insurance Agent Eustis
HealthMarkets Insurance Agent Eustis
HealthMarkets Healthcare Benefit Provider Eustis
Jobot UI Engineer Fort Lauderdale
Trinity Health Head Chef Fort Lauderdale
trustaff Travel RN Fort Lauderdale
Hey guys, here are some recent job openings in fl. Feel free to comment here or send me a private message if you have any questions, I'm at the community's disposal! If you encounter any problems with any of these job openings please let me know that I will modify the table accordingly. Thanks!
submitted by SchlesingerMindy323 to FLjobs [link] [comments]

2023.05.24 15:23 Dismal-Jellyfish A deep dive into the shrinking money supply: Banks get sweetheart programs from the liquidity fairy while households are forced to take on debt and in some instances DIE while being priced out of their lives in favor of rising interest rates to fight an inflation problem the Fed created.

A deep dive into the shrinking money supply: Banks get sweetheart programs from the liquidity fairy while households are forced to take on debt and in some instances DIE while being priced out of their lives in favor of rising interest rates to fight an inflation problem the Fed created.
Good morning and Happy Wednesday Superstonk! Before I get started, fun fact, did you know a group of jellyfish is called a smack?
With that, I hope y'all will join me as we 'smack this fish up' while we dive into today's topic: Shrinking M2.
I would like to take a minute to review some of the data around the shrinking money stock, the borrowing banks are able to take utilize vs the debt households are taking on.
I hope by the end of this post, it will be clear that Banks and Households are not experiencing this current economic environment the same way.
In my opinion, inflation is the big bad boogey man that has kicked off the need for all of this borrowing.
While this post is not about inflation specifically, it is fascinating to watch inflation continue to rage even as money stock continues to drop.

Let's get to it!

M2 (U.S. money stock--currency and coins held by the non-bank public, checkable deposits, and travelers' checks, plus savings deposits, small time deposits under 100k, and shares in retail money market funds) is decreasing:
  1. M1 consists of (1) currency outside the U.S. Treasury, Federal Reserve Banks, and the vaults of depository institutions; (2) demand deposits at commercial banks (excluding those amounts held by depository institutions, the U.S. government, and foreign banks and official institutions) less cash items in the process of collection and Federal Reserve float; and (3) other liquid deposits, consisting of other checkable deposits (or OCDs, which comprise negotiable order of withdrawal, or NOW, and automatic transfer service, or ATS, accounts at depository institutions, share draft accounts at credit unions, and demand deposits at thrift institutions) and savings deposits (including money market deposit accounts). Seasonally adjusted M1 is constructed by summing currency, demand deposits, and other liquid deposits, each seasonally adjusted separately.
  2. M2 consists of M1 plus (1) small-denomination time deposits (time deposits in amounts of less than $100,000) less individual retirement account (IRA) and Keogh balances at depository institutions; and (2) balances in retail money market funds (MMFs) less IRA and Keogh balances at MMFs. Seasonally adjusted M2 is constructed by summing small-denomination time deposits and retail MMFs, each seasonally adjusted separately, and adding the result to seasonally adjusted M1.
  3. Currency in circulation consists of Federal Reserve notes and coin outside the U.S. Treasury and Federal Reserve Banks.
  4. Reserve balances are balances held by depository institutions in master accounts and excess balance accounts at Federal Reserve Banks.
  5. Monetary base equals currency in circulation plus reserve balances.
  6. Total reserves equal reserve balances plus, before April 2020, vault cash used to satisfy reserve requirements.
  7. Total borrowings in millions of dollars from the Federal Reserve are borrowings from the discount window's primary, secondary, and seasonal credit programs and other borrowings from emergency lending facilities. For borrowings included, see "Loans" in table 1 of the H.4.1 statistical release.
  8. Nonborrowed reserves equal total reserves less total borrowings from the Federal Reserve.
A little less than a year ago (July 2022) the M2 high was hit at $21,703 billion
Date M2 (billions) Down from all time high (billions)
July 2022 $21,703 0
August 2022 $21,660 -$43 billion
September 2022 $21,524 -$179 billion
October 2022 $21,432 -$271 billion
November 2022 $21,398 -$305 billion
December 2022 $21,358 -$345 billion
January 2023 $21,212 -$491 billion
February 2023* $21,076 -$627 billion
March 2023 $20,840 -$863 billion
April 2023 $20,673 -$1030 billion
\Bank run in commercial banks picked up in February 2023.)

While M2 is dropping, deposits at all Commercial Banks are Shrinking:

Domestically chartered commercial banks divested $87 billion in assets to nonbank institutions in the week ending March 29, 2023. The major asset item affected was the following: securities, $87 billion.
Domestically chartered commercial banks divested $87 billion in assets to nonbank institutions in the week ending March 22, 2023. The major asset items affected were the following: securities, $27 billion; and loans, $60 billion.
A little over a year ago (4/13/2022) the high was hit at $18,158.3536 billion
Date Deposits, All Commercial Banks (billions) Down from all time high (billions)
4/13/2022 $18,158 0
2/22/2023 (Run picks up speed) $17,690 -$468 billion
3/1/2023 $17,662 -$496 billion
3/8/2023 $17,599 -$559 billion
3/15/2023 $17,428 -$730 billion
3/22/2023 $17,256 -$902 billion
3/29/2023 $17,192 -$966 billion
4/5/2023 $17,253 -$905 billion
4/12/2023 $17,168 -$990 billion
4/19/2023 $17,180 -$978 billion
4/26/2023* $17,164 -$994 billion
5/3/2023 $17,149 -$1,009 billion
5/10/2023 $17,123 -$1,035 billion
\April is the most up to date M2 numbers)

However, borrowing from the liquidity fairy is spiraling to make up for it!:

Bank Term Funding Program (BTFP)
Tool Bank Term Funding Program (BTFP) Up from 3/15, 1st week of program ($ billion)
3/15) $11.943 billion $0 billion
3/22 $53.669 billion $41.723 billion
3/29 $64.403 billion $52.460 billion
3/31 $64.595 billion $52.652 billion
4/5 $79.021 billion $67.258 billion
4/12 $71.837 billion $59.894 billion
4/19 $73.982 billion $62.039 billion
4/26 $81.327 billion $69.384 billion
5/3 $75,778 billion $63.935 billion
5/10 $83,101 billion $71.158 billion
5/17 $87,006 billion $75.063 billion
  • Association, or credit union) or U.S. branch or agency of a foreign bank that is eligible for primary credit (see 12 CFR 201.4(a)) is eligible to borrow under the Program.
  • Banks can borrow for up to one year, at a fixed rate for the term, pegged to the one-year overnight index swap rate plus 10 basis points.
  • Banks have to post collateral (valued at par!).
  • Any collateral has to be “owned by the borrower as of March 12, 2023."
  • Eligible collateral includes any collateral eligible for purchase by the Federal Reserve Banks in open market operations.

“Other credit extensions”
Tool Other Credit Extension Up from 3/15, 1st week of program ($ billion)
3/15) $142.8 billion $0 billion
3/22 $179.8 billion $37 billion
3/29 $180.1 billion $37.3 billion
4/5 $174.6 billion $31.8 billion
4/12 $172.6 billion $29.8 billion
4/19 $172.6 billion $29.8 billion
4/26 $170.3 billion $27.5 billion
5/3 $228.2 billion $85.4 billion
5/10 $212.5 billion $69.7billion
5/17 $208.5 billion $65.7 billion
"Other credit extensions" includes loans that were extended to depository institutions established by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). The Federal Reserve Banks' loans to these depository institutions are secured by collateral and the FDIC provides repayment guarantees.
For example, $114 billion in face value Agency Mortgage Backed Securities, Collateralized Mortgage Obligations, and Commercial Mortgage Backed Securities about to be liquidated 'gradual and orderly' with the 'aim to minimize the potential for any adverse impact on market functioning' by BlackRock.
How I understand this works:
  • The FDIC created temporary banks to support the operations of the ones they have taken over.
  • The FDIC did not have the money to operate these banks.
  • The Fed is providing that in the form of a loan via "Other credit extensions".
  • The FDIC is going to sell the taken over banks assets.
  • Whatever the difference between the sale of the assets and the ultimate loan number is, will be the amount split up amongst all the remaining banks and applied as a special fee to make the Fed 'whole'.
  • It can be argued the consumer will ultimately end up paying for this as banks look to pass this cost on in some way.
There has been an update on this piece recently:
Whatever the difference between the sale of the assets and the ultimate loan number is, will be the amount split up amongst all the remaining banks and applied as a special fee to make the Fed 'whole'.
FDIC Board of Directors Issues a Proposed Rule on Special Assessment Pursuant to Systemic Risk Determination of approximately $15.8 billion. It is estimated that a total of 113 banking organizations would be subject to the special assessment.

What does all this borrowing look like for the banks?
Over the few weeks prior to the FDIC receivership announcements on March 10 and 12, the banking sector lost another approximately $450 billion. Throughout, the banking sector has offset the reduction in deposit funding with an increase in other forms of borrowing which has increased by $800 billion since the start of the tightening.
The right panel of the chart below summarizes the cumulative change in deposit funding by bank size category since the start of the tightening cycle through early March 2023 and then through the end of March. Until early March 2023, the decline in deposit funding lined up with bank size, consistent with the concentration of deposits in larger banks. Small banks lost no deposit funding prior to the events of late March. In terms of percentage decline, the outflows were roughly equal for regional, super-regional, and large banks at around 4 percent of total deposit funding:
The blue bar in the left panel above shows that the pattern changes following the run on SVB. The additional outflow is entirely concentrated in the segment of super-regional banks. In fact, most other size categories experience deposit inflows.
The right panel illustrates that outflows at super-regionals begin immediately after the failure of SVB and are mirrored by deposit inflows at large banks in the second week of March 2022.
Further, while deposit funding remains at a lower level throughout March for super-regional banks, the initially large inflows mostly reverse by the end of March. Notably, banks with less than $100 billion in assets were relatively unaffected.
However, during the most acute phase of banking stress in mid-March, other borrowings exceeded reductions in deposit balances, suggesting significant and widespread demand for precautionary liquidity. A substantial amount of liquidity was provided by the private markets, likely via the FHLB system, but primary credit and the Bank Term Funding Program (both summarized as Federal Reserve credit) were equally important.
  • Large banks increased borrowing the most, which is in line with deposit outflows being strongest for larger banks before March 2023.
  • During March 2023, both super-regional and large banks increase their borrowings, with most increases being centered in the super-regional banks that faced the largest deposit outflows.
  • Note, however, that not all size categories face deposit outflows but that all except the small banks increase their other borrowings.
  • This pattern suggests demand for precautionary liquidity buffers across the banking system, not just among the most affected institutions:
  • So, on the commercial side, as M2 has been shrinking, the banking system has seen a considerable decline in deposit funding since the start of the current monetary policy tightening cycle in March 2022.
  • The speed of deposit outflows increased during March 2023, following the run on SVB, with the most acute outflows concentrated in a relatively narrow segment of the banking system, super-regional banks (those with $50 to $250 billion in total assets).
  • Notably, deposit funding amongst the cohort often referred to as community and smaller regional banks (that is, institutions with less than $50 billion in assets) were relatively stable by comparison.
  • Large banks (those with more than $250 billion in assets), which had been subject to the largest deposit outflows before March 2023, received deposit inflows throughout March 2023.
  • Throughout, banks were able to replace deposit outflows by making use of alternative funding sources--FHLB, Primary Credit, BTFP.
Banks get liquidity while 'we' get inflation and rate hikes. Speaking of households...

During this same period, Household borrowing has also skyrocketed!

From 1st quarter 2022 to 1st quarter 2023, total household debt has increased $1,205 billion to $17.05 trillion (+7.57%)--Mortgage balances ($864 billion), HELOC ($22 billion), Student loans ($14 billion), Auto loans ($93 billion), Credit Card debt ($145 billion), Other ($67 billion):

  • Total household debt has risen by $148 billion, or 0.9 percent, to $17.05 trillion in the first quarter of 2023.
  • Mortgage balances climbed by $121 billion and stood at $12.04 trillion at the end of March.
  • Auto loans to $1.56 trillion.
  • Student loans to $1.60 trillion.
  • Credit Card debt $986 billion.
However, unlike the banks above, there are no fancy programs designed to keep households afloat in this inflating economy--and boy are households starting to feel it, especially in the areas like services and housing (that are BIG components of CPI--and way more 'sticky' than goods).
For example, on the housing front:
April 2023 Rental Report: The median asking rent was $1,734, up by $4 from last month and down by $43 from the peak but still $348 (25.1%) higher than the same time in 2019 (pre-pandemic)
To try and further drive home the shaky ground households are on, let's revisit the Fed's Economic Well-being US Household 2022.
  • "fewer adults reported having money left over after paying their expenses. 54% of adults said that their budgets had been affected "a lot" by price increases."
  • "51% of adults reported that they reduced their savings in response to higher prices."
  • The share of adults who reported that they would cover a $400 emergency expense using cash or its equivalent was 63 percent.
It is the younger generations starting to see itself break into delinquency now:

  • Auto loans are above 3% delinquency for (30-39) and approaching 5% for (18-29)
  • Credit Cards are above 6% delinquency for (30-39) and approaching 9% for (18-29)
  • Student Loan delinquency is being artificially suppressed currently.
    • Speculation: when folks (18-29) and (30-39) have to pay Auto loans, Credit Card debt, and Student loans all at the same time, delinquencies across all 3 will jump bigly.
    • People will DIE being priced out of their lives in favor of raising interest rates to fight inflation for a problem the Fed created to begin with:


  • M2 is shrinking
  • Borrowing is up
    • Banks have access to sweetheart programs from the liquidity fairy.
    • Households are taking on debt that is literally killing them.
  • Some fed governors are calling for 2 more rate hikes this year...
submitted by Dismal-Jellyfish to Superstonk [link] [comments]

2023.05.24 07:28 Far_Mushroom8999 cc transfer -> art major reaches and falls to reality

Intended Major(s): Illustration, Studio Arts
Standardized Testing
Test Optional
Only College ECs
  1. 1 week web dev boot camp, learned to build a (rough) website in teams at end of the week. (html, JavaScript, css) + certificate
  2. Black student Union- Vice President -> President + Social Media Manager. Organized several events and meetings, and designed posters and presentations.
  3. Art leadership bootcamp-> several workshops, panel discussions with art professionals and how to market, brand ourselves in the field.
  4. Math tutor for 2 semesters (weekly)
  5. Self portrait selected and shown at a student art exhibition
  6. Designed a poster for domestic violence week at my school
  7. Studied Japanese for 2 years classwork and independently
  8. Teachers assistant for a digital art course (2 months)
List all awards and honors submitted on your application.
  1. Dean’s List (both semesters)
  2. Phi theta kappa honors
  3. $1000 academic merit scholarship
Letters of Recommendation
1: my art class, my favorite class and teacher truly. She submitted my work to a student exhibition, so I assume her letter was pretty positive.
2: English 2 prof, i got a B in my English 1 class. And then put in a lot of work to do well in this one. I got an A and I did every assignment/extra credit I could 😫
Essays 4/10 It was so mid. I was so stressed from everything going wrong in my app process, that I waited till the last min to do these. It wasn’t horrible but still not good enough for Ivy League standards. I talked about a phrase in Japanese that inspired me to persevere in my studies at school. I tied culture and arts/design into my response. In my columbia supplementals, I wrote a short response talking about my dedication to arts even when it’s inconvenient, and non stable and even messy at times. I thought it was well written.
School of Visual Arts
Binghamton University (Committed)
Rhode Island School of Design ( I very much cried cause this was my perfect fit)
Columbia University
Additional Information:
Id rather die than do these last few months again! When I reached i REALLY reached. I started with a list of 10 schools and was only able to finish apps for 4🥲. I understand more that the college app process has a lot to do with intelligence but also the privilege of education. My parents knew nothing abt this process to help me. My advisor kept trying to ‘advise me’ to stay at my cc for 2 years when I was definitely at risk of losing credits when transferring (art credits are not easy to transfer) And the transfer office was so unhelpful as well. Covid started when I was a junior. And I honestly had no idea what SATs even were and its importance. I dealt with anxiety my whole life as well so that did not help me out in hs either. But after graduation and a gap semester. I was determined to turn around my academics. I went to community college and involved myself when I never did so in my life. I accomplished so much in just 1 year, and excelled. Sometimes you have to look back in order to appreciate what you have right now.
Lastly, I did not commit to SVA for these reasons: * I did not get any aid. Only 5,000 in work study. The tuition was like 60k? * they did not give me an extension to wait for other decisions. * None of my art classes were accepted for transfer credit * They had no language classes from what I knew of * Studio space seemed too competitive * No ‘campus’
Binghamton on the other hand: * also gave me no aid lol except 6500 in federal loans? Yay? * All credits accepted * Ability to explore different interests and majors (japanese minor?) * Readily available art studio space
Thanks for reading this far, I hope this gives prospective to my fellow art applicants. Or fellow students who have no idea how to apply to colleges. It’s so hard especially without a lot of support, but I’m happy, so u got this!
submitted by Far_Mushroom8999 to collegeresults [link] [comments]

2023.05.24 04:06 SevereExamination810 Looking for Roommates for Three Bedroom in Eastie for 9/1

Two bedrooms opening up 9/1/2023. The total rent is $3,350. Total three bedroom, one bath. Rent can be split based on room sizes + utilities, or it can be split equally + utilities. Utilities not included are electricity and gas. Wi-Fi is covered by us (current roommates) and it’s $30 a month, so not really necessary to split. Laundry is shared throughout building (two other apartments in building). It’s a nice apartment, recently updated within past couple years, hardwood floors. Tile floors in kitchen and bathroom, with subway backsplash, and a dishwasher as well. Nice stainless steel appliances. Storage in basement. Top floor apartment, so it gets plenty of sunlight, with the smell of nearby ocean wafting through the windows when they’re open.
Close access to Airport and Maverick on Blue line, plus a few bus lines. And free ferry access with Charlie card from Lewis Wharf to Long Wharf in North End during summer months. Parking is by permit parking on street. Shaw’s grocery store right down the street, plus a CVS and Walgreens as well. Lots of green space in Eastie area. Eastie is a very welcoming community.
About us: we are a couple (30 M and 25 F). We share a room in the apartment currently, and are looking to stay in the apartment, so we would need two new roommates. We both work full time. But in the Fall and Spring I attend college studying Elementary Education, so I return to working part time. I will also be working in a local elementary school. We both work late nights, so hopefully that is okay. We both like to keep a very clean house, and would appreciate if the prospective roommates are the same, at least in common areas. We are outdoorsy and enjoy being at the beach, kayaking, sailing, and going for bike rides. My partner likes to OneWheel as well, so anyone interested in that is very welcome. Female or male roommates, doesn’t matter. Prefer to have roommates between our ages. We also really appreciate honest and open communication between roommates.
Realtor will most likely require background or credit check with application.
submitted by SevereExamination810 to bostonhousing [link] [comments]

2023.05.24 03:43 Vorabbifz $50 Bonus for 10 Debit Card Purchases from Delta Community CU + $25 from Me (USA)

$50 Bonus for 10 Debit Card Purchases from Delta Community CU + $25 from Me (USA)
Delta Community Credit Union is a credit union based in Atlanta, Georgia. I've always really enjoyed their personal touch in customer service. Right now, they're running a referral promo which rewards $50 for the referred person and $100 for the referring person. All that's required is a minimum total deposit of $55 and 10 debit card purchases of any amount. Available nationwide. I will be happy to give back $25 of my part to you if you choose to use my referral link and code.
To get the $75 ($50 from Delta and $25 from me):
  1. Please DM me and tell me your name first, so we can establish our initial communication.
  2. Start your signup at my referral link (Link #1 on this page).
  3. You will have your unique promotion code emailed to you. Save this Promotion Code. Click "Apply Now with Promotion Code".
  4. Start your application as a New Member.
  5. Select the "Checking" account which is fee-free and comes with a debit card.
  6. On the same page, enter your unique Promotion Code you got in step 3 and click "Apply Promotion Code".
  7. An "Personal Savings" account is automatically added. Minimum of $5 deposit is required.
  8. Continue and enter your personal information.
  9. Continue and confirm your eligibility for Delta CCU. A good news is that anyone in the USA can become eligible by donating $5 to "Creflo Dollar Ministries" (select No for the first 3 questions and select Creflo Dollar Ministerial Assoc. for 4th question). For this, go to Creflo's website from Link #2 on this page , click "Give" and choose "CDM - Donations". Save the receipt email. You can wait to make your donation until Step 13 where you your application is submitted. This should be the cheapest method for most people. If you live or work in greater metro Atlanta, you can claim your eligibility for that. To see the list of many other options to become eligible, please see Link #3 on this page.
  10. Continue and enter your personal information.
  11. Select a funding option for your opening deposit. Make sure you deposit $50 or more to the checking account to become eligible for the bonus. ($5 minimum is required for Savings account)
  12. Submit your application.
  13. If you postponed making the donation to Creflo Dollar Ministries in Step 9, you can do so now.
  14. If Delta CCU staff needs ID verification (this has been happening a lot thses days but don't worry, it's just a routine check), they'll ask you to send ID documents. If they ask proof of member eligibility, you can send the donation receipt from Step 9.
  15. Once your accounts are opened, wait for your debit card in the mail. Activate it and make card 10 purchases. Amazon gift cards for $1 each or Reloads for $0.50 each will work.
  16. Your $50 bonus should be credited within a few days of meeting your requirement.
  17. Send me a screenshot of your statement page, and upon confirmation of both of our payouts I will send you $25 via method of your choice (CashApp, PayPal, crypto etc.)
  18. You may earn more by referring your family members and friends from Link #4 on this page.
This offer is good until June 30, 2023. The promo rules are described Link #5 on this page.
No hard credit inquiry. USA only.
If you have any questions, please feel free to DM me. Thank you for using my referral, in advance!
submitted by Vorabbifz to CouponsKiss [link] [comments]

2023.05.24 03:43 Vorabbifz $50 Bonus for 10 Debit Card Purchases from Delta Community CU + $25 from Me (USA)

$50 Bonus for 10 Debit Card Purchases from Delta Community CU + $25 from Me (USA)
Delta Community Credit Union is a credit union based in Atlanta, Georgia. I've always really enjoyed their personal touch in customer service. Right now, they're running a referral promo which rewards $50 for the referred person and $100 for the referring person. All that's required is a minimum total deposit of $55 and 10 debit card purchases of any amount. Available nationwide. I will be happy to give back $25 of my part to you if you choose to use my referral link and code.
To get the $75 ($50 from Delta and $25 from me):
  1. Please DM me and tell me your name first, so we can establish our initial communication.
  2. Start your signup at my referral link (Link #1 on this page).
  3. You will have your unique promotion code emailed to you. Save this Promotion Code. Click "Apply Now with Promotion Code".
  4. Start your application as a New Member.
  5. Select the "Checking" account which is fee-free and comes with a debit card.
  6. On the same page, enter your unique Promotion Code you got in step 3 and click "Apply Promotion Code".
  7. An "Personal Savings" account is automatically added. Minimum of $5 deposit is required.
  8. Continue and enter your personal information.
  9. Continue and confirm your eligibility for Delta CCU. A good news is that anyone in the USA can become eligible by donating $5 to "Creflo Dollar Ministries" (select No for the first 3 questions and select Creflo Dollar Ministerial Assoc. for 4th question). For this, go to Creflo's website from Link #2 on this page , click "Give" and choose "CDM - Donations". Save the receipt email. You can wait to make your donation until Step 13 where you your application is submitted. This should be the cheapest method for most people. If you live or work in greater metro Atlanta, you can claim your eligibility for that. To see the list of many other options to become eligible, please see Link #3 on this page.
  10. Continue and enter your personal information.
  11. Select a funding option for your opening deposit. Make sure you deposit $50 or more to the checking account to become eligible for the bonus. ($5 minimum is required for Savings account)
  12. Submit your application.
  13. If you postponed making the donation to Creflo Dollar Ministries in Step 9, you can do so now.
  14. If Delta CCU staff needs ID verification (this has been happening a lot thses days but don't worry, it's just a routine check), they'll ask you to send ID documents. If they ask proof of member eligibility, you can send the donation receipt from Step 9.
  15. Once your accounts are opened, wait for your debit card in the mail. Activate it and make card 10 purchases. Amazon gift cards for $1 each or Reloads for $0.50 each will work.
  16. Your $50 bonus should be credited within a few days of meeting your requirement.
  17. Send me a screenshot of your statement page, and upon confirmation of both of our payouts I will send you $25 via method of your choice (CashApp, PayPal, crypto etc.)
  18. You may earn more by referring your family members and friends from Link #4 on this page.
This offer is good until June 30, 2023. The promo rules are described Link #5 on this page.
No hard credit inquiry. USA only.
If you have any questions, please feel free to DM me. Thank you for using my referral, in advance!
submitted by Vorabbifz to promocodes [link] [comments]