Masterbuilt 3-burner tabletop gas grill reviews

[Top 14] Best Six-burner Gas Grills Reviews For 2023

2023.03.31 05:16 Eatatsunsets [Top 14] Best Six-burner Gas Grills Reviews For 2023

Every successful BBQ party depends on whether the host has the best six-burner gas grill or not. After all, who doesn’t love hearing the sizzling sound of steak melting on burners or biting into tenderly grilled chicken breasts?
Due to the recently oversaturated grilling market, however, finding that perfect fit can be very difficult. Below is a detailed guide on how to achieve that fit, as well as some suggestions.
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2023.03.31 03:25 lunagurl93 How to Bonnaroo, A Guide (Vol. 4)

Hi everyone, I’m late to the party this year! Every year as June approaches, I update my guides (What You Should Wear to Bonnaroo and How to Camp at Bonnaroo) with your comments from the previous year's posts and it has slowly grown!! I decided to compile both versions into one giant guide, and present to you: How to Bonnaroo, a Guide Vol. 4
\**NOTE - I have only ever done GA Camping, but there are still tips for all kinds of campers. I also realized after finally returning to The Farm last year, that there are likely holes of information that need to be updated with all the changes… Help me fill those in and leave your best pro tips to be written next year!! HAPPY ROO!!*
What you should wear to Bonnaroo: First of all, and most importantly, you should wear whatever you want to wear. People wear a variety of clothing at Bonnaroo… from rave gear, to full-on outfits, to t-shirts, to jerseys, to costumes, to toplessness. There is no right or wrong! The best recommendation is to DRESS FOR YOUR ROO. The days are long, and the weather is hot (and sometimes cold at night), there are 15+ hours of music daily and activities spread amongst miles of Farm. If you are planning to run all over and catch as many sets as possible, dress for comfort. Bring your cute outfit or two that you really want to wear for a photo, or to your favorite artist’s set, but then plan to change. Preparation really is key, but us Reddit Roovians got you, so let’s get into it!!!
PREPARE FOR ALL CONDITIONS. Pack sunscreen for the love of god, bring a hydration pack, and decide whether you want a rain jacket, poncho, or are cool with getting wet so be it. Bring a pair of sweatpants, a sweatshirt, and a long sleeve t-shirt. It can get shockingly cold at night and it’s nice to have options. At some point you’ll want to be cozy!!! Keep some warm clothes inside of your tent, then you won’t have to dig through your car trying to find them when you wake up in the middle of the night shivering.
PACKING. If you’ve planned an outfit, pack them separately to keep things quick/organized (like a gallon ziploc or Walmart sack). Overpack some practical clothes and keep them in a laundry basket. Maybe you don’t feel like wearing that planned outfit one day, maybe you get wet (rain, water slide, surprise champagne shower), maybe you get dirty and want to put on fresh clothing. Sunrise sets play until almost 5am, think about how many hours you’ll be wearing the same clothes! Bring 2-3 outfits per day, and if you can, purchase a locker! They’re a great place to store that extra outfit, sweatshirt, pair of shoes, etc. Remember, your campsite could be a 2+ mile round trip side adventure!
FOOT PROTECTION. In 2019 I walked 65 miles, and in 2022 I walked 54 miles, so you need to plan your footwear appropriately… and better yet, go above and beyond!!! Wear in your shoes and make sure they have good soles. Consider packing multiple types of shoes if you have space so you can change them. On god my favorite shoes to wear at Roo are Crocs, otherwise hiking boots or tennis shoes. A pair of flip-flops for mornings at camp are also key! Shoe inserts are another option you can look into. Pack band-aids, moleskin, cleaning/treating supplies, and thick socks (2 pairs per day). Be a pro, don’t wait to protect your feet until the damage is already done, I legit allocate 15mins of my morning to doctoring them. Med Tents will also give you band-aids and cleaning supplies!! PRO TIP: pack a designated feet soaking bowl and bring some epsom salt and/or do a ice water soak with that cooler water you’re about to dump! You can also freeze a canned good/water bottle and roll that under your foot #treatyofeet
EAR PROTECTION. Please wear it, please!!! There are so many brands now that make quality earplugs in a range of affordability. They do not drown out sound, I actually think they make it better. I use Eargasms.
PREPARE FOR CHAFING. Ladies, wear some biker shorts or fishnets. Gentlemen, pack that gold bond. Other recommendations: Body Glide and Boundreaux’s Butt Paste (a diaper rash cream that you can “slather on the inside of your thighs and walk in cool comfort”).
MASKS. Back in the day, the experts knew to wear a mask (or bandana) walking around Bonnaroo. There is seriously so much dust being kicked around, you’ll have a sore throat by day 3 and black boogers every night. The Other Stage was a dust storm by Sunday… bring something to cover your mouth, or be cool with swallowing mouthfuls of dirt.
LONG HAIR. I was unprepared to deal with my hair at my first Bonnaroo. It was knotted and thrown up in a bun by Saturday and Sunday. Pack some detangler, don’t forget a brush, maybe bring a small one for your backpack, and force yourself to deal with it before it gets worse. Don’t be afraid to ask someone to braid your hair around camp, someone would be delighted to do it for you! Keep a hair tie on your wrist at all times and extras in your fanny pack… one time a girl took a bobby pin out of her own hair for me haha! Fellas, if you have long hair, bring a sweatband.
Listen, don’t get me wrong… everyone at Bonnaroo looks ~cute as hell~ but the tenured attendees aren’t treating it like a fashion show, especially if they’re camping. Bring your favorite clothing… pack whatever brings you comfort. Your favorite t-shirt or Hawaiian shirt, anything with a trippy pattern, biker shorts and a bralette, and you’ll be good to go I promise! If you’re interested in purchasing Rave attire… check for local shops on Etsy and/or TikTok, shop at thrift stores for unique finds or look on Amazon! There are bigger brands like iHeartRaves and Dolls Kill, too.
While we’re at it, let’s knockout Showers & Bathrooms...
SHOWERING. You have a couple of options here:
  1. TIER 1 - Pay for a shower. Showers are available at most PLAZA locations and are in private stalls. They cost $10 during peak hours and $5 during “happy hour” (unless they change the pricing). For those that have been keeping up, I finally paid for my first (and second) shower at Bonnaroo y’all… and I have to say, both were totally worth it. I stomped my hungover ass over there with a caddy of supplies and floated my way back to camp wrapped in a towel with a hair turban thrown on, and it was glorious.
  2. TIER 2 - Buy a portable shower to set-up at camp. Here are basic, medium, pro examples of portable showers. This will require fetching water, or if you have space, bring gallons of water with you. They are cheap and if you keep them on the roof of your car, they will keep warm throughout the day for showers. You can also use these to brush your teeth and wash your hands without wasting your drinking water!
  3. Tier 3 - Take an Italian shower… body wipes, face wipes, vagina wipes (yes), deodorant, dry shampoo, etc. It gets the job done, isn’t time consuming, and no one can tell the difference between today’s and yesterday’s dirt.
A WORD ABOUT NUDITY. Just be considerate about it, lol. Swimsuits are an option if you’re worried, which are honestly comfortable to hang out in at camp when it’s hot AF, but it’s easier said than done to wiggle into a leotard behind a tapestry flowing with the wind.
GOING TO THE BATHROOM. I can’t have fun until I know I can safely take a shit, ok? It is what it is.
Last year there were porta potties that had metal doors and flushed near the campgrounds. They were still hot, but nicer than regular porta potties. However, they always had longer lines in the morning because they’re in more populous locations. If you can muster up the regular ole porta potty, I didn’t think they were too bad last year, but that could’ve been a low attendance thing. PRO TIP - bring your own roll of toilet paper and wet wipes, and don’t be afraid to yell out for TP if you need it… been there, done that!
In 2019 there were wristbands you could buy to access a regularly cleaned, better-than-a-normal-porta-potty porta potty, with a sink and air conditioning but I didn’t notice them in 2022? If you do see them, snag a wristband at the beginning of the weekend to squeeze every penny! This was a great place to wash your face and take care of other hygiene-related items, but they did have 3 stalls so aren’t entirely private.
In Centeroo, you’re looking at the same options here, but the key is to get familiar with all the bathrooms as your preferences and priorities will ebb and flow in this regard. Are you peeing for the second time during a set because you chugged a water or are you needing to take a minute and contemplate life? You don’t want to be frantic when the spicy pie hits… but you also don’t need to worry about letting everyone in line know that you’re going to shit your pants if you don’t get on a toilet ASAP, because everyone will gladly let you go… again, been there, done that (and you can also sneak in through the back if needed). For the love of god, please make sure the bathrooms in the back are taken. You can politely check if there are feet in a stall, most of the time 25% of stalls are unused and we’re standing there for no reason.
Last year the Where in the Woods bathrooms were DISGUSTING, as in I could smell them from 20 feet away, and I ended up walking to the closet camp bathrooms. Something to keep in mind but hopefully we see some improvement.
FINALLY, a pro tip for my ladies… I highly suggest purchasing some funnels, they changed my life. Just trust me on this one! There are one-time use and reusable options, and I use these: Pee Buddy. Fuck walking to the bathroom everytime you need to pee at camp once you’ve broken the seal, and tbh, once you get comfortable, fuck sitting on a porta potty at all when avoidable. These knees ain't made for squatting no more.
How to camp at Bonnaroo: If you’re worried about camping, don’t be, it’s a big part of the Bonnaroo experience and fun! You can do it!!!
GET YOUR MIND RIGHT. In 2019 I waited in the Hellsboro line for 16 hrs and got a less-than-desirable-camping-location, and I was not happy about it. BUT it turned out to be quiet, close to the bathrooms (but not too close), and we somehow managed to get an end-of-row spot. In 2022 I waited in NO car line, had a close location, and great neighbors… but it was a 120-degree sweltering heatwave, and legit still in the 90’s going to sleep for two days. We hunkered down under the canopy, wore swimsuits, played games and got through it. Your neighbors will take care of you, and you’ll take care of them… maybe you won’t interact at all. You’ll land where you’re meant to be, go into it with that mindset. Perhaps you’re camped by a “DJ” who blasts music all night, but once the weekend is said and done, it’ll all be a part of your beautiful memories and your “that one time, at Bonaroo'' stories, so embrace the adversities and go with the flow.
GET TO KNOW THE AREA AROUND YOUR CAMPGROUND. Is there a plaza close by? What amenities are offered there? Where are the closest bathrooms? Is there food nearby? Being familiar with your camp surroundings early on will set you up for success. It is especially important to know your pod number and to define some landmarks that can help find your campsite/row (unique flag, tapestry, etc.)
SAFETY MEASUREMENTS. Introduce yourself to your neighbors. Always keep your valuables locked in your car when you aren’t at camp, and bring an extra set of keys with you! If you are participating in “ACTIVITIES,” be weary of your surroundings and use good judgment.
  1. Canopy. You NEED shade, and heavy duty stakes to hold it down… we don’t want that bitch floating away, AND IT WILL. Use a rubber mallet to get those stakes deep in the ground. There has been debate on whether mallets are allowed, but I’ve never had an issue getting mine in?
  2. Canopy Walls. This provides extra shade and privacy when needed. A lot of people use sheets or tapestries. You can also use shower curtains (the rings allow you to open/close them as you please).
  3. Sleeping Arrangements. I always use a tent (don’t forget your tent roof, poles, and stakes!), with an air mattress, fitted sheet, pillow, and blankets. HOWEVER, lots of people are quick to share that a cot or hammock are much breezier options as it does tend to get stuffy in your tent once the sun comes up. If you choose to go the cot/hammock route, make sure you bring warm clothes or a blanket in case it gets cold at night. If you are balling on a budget, I’ve known people to take their hammocks to The Grove and sleep. I’m a late night raver, so I expect to get 5 solid hours of sleep each night, and then usually take a power nap somewhere shady inside of Centeroo!
The weekend will be long, but if you have these items, you can survive! The OZARK brand from Walmart is durable and affordable if you need any of them. Consider practicing your set-up if you aren’t already comfortable setting up a canopy and tent… if you need help, ask your neighbors!
  1. Tarps (to keep dirt away or to keep your stuff dry)
  2. Flashlights (your campsite will be really dark at night)
  3. A portable fan with extra batteries (I have THIS one)
  4. Beach chairs, or something else to sit on, and a table.
  5. Squishy ear plugs that are comfortable to sleep in!
  6. A power inverter (only turn your car on when needed and be mindful of carbon monoxide poisoning!)
  7. A Bluetooth speaker to play some relaxing tunes at a low volume (because we’re respectable people) in your tent to help drown out noise and bust it out during the day for entertainment while you get ready!
Unless camping is a larger part of your experience, stick to the basics when it comes to cooking. Breakfast and late-night snacks are the most practical to cook, and cooking at the beginning of the weekend to save money. You most likely won’t want to return to camp for lunch and there’s so many yummy vendors to try out!!!
Make sure everything you bring is high in protein or has nutritional value. Consider your perishables or plan to eat them early in the weekend. Handle as much preparation as possible beforehand… chop everything, season everything, mix everything. Pre-crack your eggs into a bottle so you don’t have to worry about them breaking! Protect your food with sealable containers, or vacuum seal it, so cooler water doesn’t ruin your food.
I have THIS portable stove top that uses butane, and pack a cast iron, nonstick skillet, and utensils to get the job done.
Things that are pre-made, like Uncrustables (PB&J) and Spaghetti O’s (only needs to be warmed) will save you time, and snacks like Cliff Bars or Beef Jerky are filling. If possible, use pre-cooked meals like packaged grilled chicken or salami to throw in a wrap or sandwich, you can pre-shred some rotisserie chicken too! Bags of frozen veggies are easy to heat up or bring bags or raw veggies and individual hummus packets for a fresh snack. Peanut butter is easy to put on anything. Collect sauce packets from restaurants – they are easier to bring than entire bottles, plus glass isn’t allowed inside!
Don’t forget to clean-up with… dish towels, Clorox wipes, extra water, etc. and beware of ants!!! Take out your trash daily.
Let’s talk about coolers… do some preliminary work so you don’t waste what you bring, and consider using multiple coolers if you have space. Perhaps a large/small cooler, or a food cooler and a drink cooler, as your drink cooler is likely to be opened more and it’s more critical to keep your food cold. Pre-chill your cooler the night before you leave with a bag of ice, and then add new ice with your food/drinks (which should all be cool/cold/frozen beforehand, too). A lot of people recommend using dry ice, but be sure you know how to handle it.
A word about alcohol: you can’t carry alcohol into Centeroo, but at camp each individual may bring in 2 cases of beer, 1.75 liter of hard liquor, and 2 boxes of wine. No kegs are allowed and no glass whatsoever. Also, the Craft Beer Exchange is really fun if that’s your thing!!!
BRING PLENTY OF HYDRATION. Liquid IVs are great and Pedialyte is a fan favorite, although I can’t stand the thickness of it, haha.
CONCLUSION. If you made it this far, thanks for reading, and if you’re feeling intimated, just remember… This post is 4-years of experience, written in my comedic style with other commenter’s pro tips weaved into my personal stories. No matter how much you plan, something unexpected you’re unprepared for will happen, and you’ll deal with it. Don’t be fooled, we’re all out there just trying to survive and having the best time of our lives!!!
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2023.03.30 15:11 Mdkynyc Question about this charcoal grill/smoker

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2023.03.30 10:48 Eatatsunsets [TOP 6] Best Blaze Grills Reviews: Which One Should You Buy in 2023?

Nowadays, users are in greater demand for the best Blaze Grills Reviews than ever before. They want grills in different sizes, shapes, and cooking capacities. As a result, Blaze Outdoor manufacturer has diversified their options so as not to be left behind. If you are new to shopping for gas grills, there is a lot of information to take in and it might confuse you.
Blaze Grills is a long-standing manufacturer and supplier of top-quality grills at affordable prices. Their products always go with impeccable quality and excellent customer service. Blaze Grills’ stainless steel burner design has become an industry standard.
In this article, let’s also review the best value-for-money products from this reputable manufacturer. We offer helpful tips and information to help you choose the best grills without the hassle of searching. Check out these insightful blaze grills reviews to arm yourself with the expertise you need for your shopping spree.
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2023.03.30 09:49 Eatatsunsets [Top 5] Best Kenmore Grill Reviews: Top-Rated & Best Deals For 2023

Maybe you rarely hear about them, but Kenmore has some really impressive gas grills. Customers preferred most of their products because of their low price and full features. However, that alone is not enough to convince you. You need more quality Kenmore grill reviews to help you understand more about this brand.
In this article, we will take you to learn more about Kenmore grill. These are the best Kenmore grills. Finally, we will answer some frequently asked questions for you!
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2023.03.30 09:08 Eatatsunsets [TOP 8] Best Smokeless Indoor Grill for Korean BBQ: Enjoy Korean Food At Home!

Barbecue is a favorite dish of ours on weekends. But sometimes, traditional baking, such as using wood stoves and gas stoves causes many inconveniences. Eatatsunset will help you to review and rate the best indoor grill for Korean BBQ. Besides, our experts also give specific instructions to choose the most suitable indoor grill for yourself.
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2023.03.30 06:28 Eatatsunsets Best Griddle Grill Combos Reviews 2023: Gas & Blackstone

Customers have many choices of the best gas grill and griddle combo with lids size and features. Multitasking and flexibility of these combos bring buyers convenience. Thus, with the help of grills and griddles, cooks can be creative in their cooking. As a result, the griddle and grill are gaining incredible popularity in modern kitchens.
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2023.03.29 22:54 RingoCross99 The Adventure Games (Section 4 of 4)

The Adventure Games (Section 4 of 4)
The Adventure Games
By Ringo Cross
(Chapter 4: continued...)
“Bro. No they don’t,” Brock chuckled.
“What do you think, Sarah?” I asked.
She shrugged and said, “Who cares.”
“Moody teenager,” Brock mumbled.
“He ate the one sandwich I made.”
“Yeah. And I’m surprised he didn’t die like Aaron did! Oh, I’m sorry, ‘choked to death,’” Brock stated.
“You’re an asshole,” I said.
“Okay, so what, he ate your stupid sandwich. They eat but don’t have to eat!” Brock shouted. He couldn’t care less that what he said didn’t make sense. He wasn’t being crude or rude either, that’s just how the guy was.
“You sound crazy, man,” I told him.
“Let’s ask Roger when he gets back.”
“Sure,” I told him rather dismissively.
“How much do you want to bet?”
“Twenty bucks?” I said with a snicker.
Brock came over and said, “Shake on it.”
“Fine,” I said before shaking his hand.
“Hell yeah! This is going to be the easiest twenty bucks I ever made! I can’t wait to go home after tonight’s vote, so I can tell all my buddies how easy of a mark you are,” he hooted while returning to the stove. He sure was in a lively mood. I could tell by the way he flipped the burner on. “Damn, bro, it’s not working.”
“What’s not working?” I asked.
“The burners to the stove, dummy.”
“It’s a gas stove, dummy,” I replied.
“Shush. I know what I’m doing. And watch who you call a dummy,” Brock said while examining the stove. “Damn. You’d think they’d have an electric one.”
“I don’t know, Brock. Gas is probably better for an underground bunker, considering all things.”
Brock looked over at me as if I was ignorant and just shook his head. For the first time in his obnoxious life, he kept his obnoxious thoughts to himself.
“Maybe there’s a manual?” Sarah proposed.
“Why would there be a... humph, I swear, you guys are useless,” he murmured under his breath. “Neither one of you would survive a week in a zombie apocalypse.”
“Whatever, man,” I hissed.
“Why are you upset?”
“Who said I was?” I asked him.
“Ok. If you’re not. Tell me this. How do you clean dirty water without a stove?”
“You boil it.”
“Yeah, if you want hot water,” he chuckled before having the nerve to add, “And I’m sure you probably don’t know how to start a fire.”
“Oh, trust me, I know how to start a fire,” I snarled while staring him down.
“Is that so?” Brock asked, taking my statement as a clear threat. “If you’re so good, come find the gas line, buddy. If not, then watch your mouth.”
“Why? You scared of a little fire?” I asked.
“F off, I’m sorry everyone can’t be as self-righteous as you. At first, I thought your whole little hero-boy routine was a ploy to get the heat off your back, but then I realized, you really are just a moralizing dweeb.”
“Tch. So annoying,” I mumbled.
“Try to ignore him,” Sarah whispered.
When she said that, the two of us started laughing. It was one of those heavy, heady moments that helped us relax and release some of the pent frustration and anger we had gathered up from yet another painful morning and from yet another set of terrible circumstances.
“Oh my God, I needed that,” I said while wiping the tears of joy from my eyes.
Brock just looked at us like we were the ones getting on his nerves. He grumbled, “I can’t wait to get away from you guys,” before returning his attention back to the stove.
“I wonder what’s taking Roger so long?” Sarah inquired.
“Who knows, maybe he’s plotting his next kill,” I told her.
“I bet he’s back there feasting on her blood.”
“Yeah. I wouldn’t put it past him.”
We stared at each other for a moment in shock. The thought of him tearing her body apart was the image nightmares were made of.
“You know what I don’t get,” Brock said while fidgeting with the knobs to the stove.
“What’s that?” I asked, glad to have the thought of a vampire desecrating a corpse out of my mind.
“Why don’t more killers hide out in the woods?”
“What do you mean?”
“If I were the killer, or a killer for that matter, and the police were hot on my heels, I’d just pack up all my camping gear and hide out in the woods.”
“You really think it’s that simple?”
“Yeah. They’d never find you. The hardest part would be the hike. I mean, obviously, you wouldn’t want to hide out anywhere near where you live.”
“Looks like you’ve got it all figured out.”
“What’s that supposed to mean?”
“Heh, I think you already know.”
“Dude. I swear I’m not the killer. Trust me on that. If I was the killer, you’d be the first person on my wish list, hero-boy.”
Roger entered the picture before I could respond to Brock’s disturbing comment. He looked unnerved, like a prince who had been forced to take a cold bath. His eyes darted around the room. “Sorry I’m late,” he said breathlessly and messily, causing more than a few suspicious glances in his direction.
“It’s cool, you didn’t miss anything,” Sarah told him with a watchful eye of her own.
“Good. I’m glad I didn’t miss anything.”
“You ok, man?” I asked.
“Yeah. I just wanted to make sure we finished today’s task before it was too late.”
Brock glanced at me for a second time. So, it wasn’t just me. What he said, well not only what he said, but how he said it, and how he was acting was strange. Why Brock, with his cavalier approach to anything and everything. I just knew he was going to be the one who said what we were all thinking. He paused; some might even say hesitated over the words instead.
When I saw this, I went on ahead and said it, “What do you mean by, ‘Before it’s too late?’”
“Um. Nothing.”
“You sure?” I asked.
“Yes. Why the odd stares?”
“I don’t know, man. You sure were back there for a long time,” Brock chimed in.
“You’re free to go see for yourself. Just because I’m a vampire doesn’t mean I’m not indifferent to my surroundings,” Roger expressed with a look of injury.
“Ignore Brock,” I told him.
“That’s easy to do,” he replied.
“Turncoat,” Brock muttered out.
“Whatever,” I muttered back.
“Shall we begin?” Roger asked.
“I couldn’t care less about those stupid cards,” Brock said before turning his back to us.
Roger raised the object of his ire and told him, “Careful how you speak. I’m sure they’re not giving us these just to be facetious. I know elites. There’s always a reason behind the things they do.”
“Whatever, just read the thing,” Brock grumbled before returning to his original, obviously more important task of trying to figure out how to light the stove. It seemed he had progressed a bit because now, instead of looking dumb, he was looking for a lighter.
“Hey, Brock, you sure you don’t feel like joining us?” I asked him facetiously.
“Dude. Go away. I can hear you guys just fine from over here,” he protested after noticing he was the only one not at the kitchen table.
“I don’t know if that’s a good idea,” I said.
“Dude. I’m good. Screw that stupid nonsense. You guys want omelets or not?”
“So much for being a team player,” I said while gesturing for Roger to begin.
He thanked me for some reason, pulled the card from the envelope, and stared blankly at it. I was about to ask if everything was alright, but then he spoke, just in the nick of time: “Task 3: Ok. So, it’s a scripture number. From the Bible no less. All it says is James 2:19.”
He flipped the card around to show us, including Brock, just to prove that he wasn’t lying. As he was doing so, I glanced around the room and asked if anyone saw a Bible laying around.
“There’s one on the table in the rec room,” Brock quickly replied.
“Huh? There is?” I asked.
“Yeah, you had it the other day, dumbass.”
“Oh yeah, that’s right,” I huffed out.
“It’s fine, we all have our moments,” Sarah said while smiling at me as if I were an adorable pet.
“Can you grab it for me?” I sheepishly asked.
“Ew! No way! I’m not touching that thing.”
“Teenagers,” Roger muttered with an eyeroll to die for. “Ahh. How I miss the days of sweet levity and naiveté. Alas, we must all grow old, even us poor vampires.”
Her comment surprised me, but I figured it was just a phase or something. I remember my sister having a weird, but similar anti-religious phase when she was around her age. She styled herself as ‘irreligious.’ I used to tease her and restyle her as ‘emo.’ Ooh wee, she would get real hateful whenever I called her that. I’m talking vengeful little devil. Just thinking about triggering her was reminiscent bliss. God. I miss her. I miss her so much. I had to get out of here so I could see her again.
“Fine, I’ll get it,” Roger announced.
“Wait. I thought vampires couldn’t touch the Bible?” Sarah asked.
“This isn’t the movies, sweetie,” he said with an amused smirk.
“I never said it was,” she grumbled rebelliously under her breath.
I laughed under my breath and told her, “You’ve got to learn how to let stuff roll off your back.”
She frowned a bit, but I could tell my words gave her something to ruminate over. Hopefully with enough meditation they’d germinate into an idea.
Roger returned, Bible in hand, and dropped it on the table. When he did this, Sarah jumped. Roger and Sarah exchanged hostile glances. This turned into a brief standoff—staring contest would probably be a better description for it. Not wanting their childish behavior to last any longer, I grabbed the Bible and began thumbing through it until I found the scripture in question:
“You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder.” (James 2:19 NIV)
“Humph. That’s odd,” Sarah said.
“It is indeed, but I think I might have a theory,” Roger stated while studying her.
“Theory about what?” I asked.
“How the scripture relates.”
“Good. Because I have no clue,” I said while looking over at Sarah.
She curled up in her chair and said, “So cold.”
Roger continued to study her. Here he goes again, formulating some wild theory about how she was responsible for all the mayhem. I’m not stupid, I knew she could be the killer. I also knew I was biased because of the collection of sentiments I wore on my sleeve for my sister.
“Hey, Roger, let me borrow your lighter for a second,” Brock’s shrill interruption snapped Roger and me out of our little mental game of chess.
Roger rustled through his pockets before walking over and handing him a lighter.
“Thanks,” Brock said in a very untrusting tone and expression to match. He examined the lighter just to make sure it wasn’t rigged.
“You’re welcome,” Roger winked.
“You can go, I’ll return your precious lighter in one piece unless it’s boobytrapped.”
“It’s an antique. I won it at a party in a game of... never mind,” he said before twirling around and making his way back over to us. “Now where were we?”
“Eh. You were about to tell us what the scripture means,” I reminded him.
“Ok. So—” Roger paused and even jumped a bit when Brock lifted the heavy metal cover to the stove. He glared at him like prey. His look... It stabbed into his thoughts from across the room like a pair of imaginary fangs.
Without even looking back, Brock said, “Sorry! It’s the only way I can get to the burner!”
Roger rolled his eyes before groaning. The clicking and banging sounds Brock made must have been annoying to his vampire senses because it really didn’t bother me all that much. Roger raised his hand but before he could speak, he sighed in frustration. His grand conspiracy was thwarted a second time by Brock’s incessant tinkering.
“Just try to ignore him,” I said.
“I can’t.”
“Brock!” I shouted.
“What’s up?”
“Knock it off!”
“I’m almost finished.”
“Ugh. Hurry up!”
He closed the cover which made a loud crashing noise. This startled Roger, which made me and Sarah chortle. I looked over at Brock and saw a big grin on his face. Yup. He had slammed the cover on purpose just to irk the very irksome Roger. He turned the dial all the way up on one of the burners, brought the lighter to it, and flicked it once it was close to the gas vent. “Got it!” he exclaimed after succeeding on the first try. Then he added, “What did I tell you guys? Nothing comes before a bodybuilder and breakfast!”
“You never said that,” I told him.
“Hater,” he grumbled under his breath.
“Yay! Omelets for all!” Sarah cheered.
“I don’t know, Sarah. Maybe he’s not so bad of a guy after all,” I told her with a sarcastic smile.
“Whatever. It wasn’t that hard. The gas line was off. All I had to do was turn it back on. Tch, what a waste of time,” he grumbled in vexation.
“Do you guys want to hear my theory or not?” Roger asked.
“Not really,” Sarah moaned.
“Yeah. Not really,” Brock seconded.
“The floor is yours,” I said with a smirk.
“I’m glad you find this amusing. You shouldn’t because it’s about your evil little minion.”
“What are you talking about?” I asked.
He pointed at Sarah. But before his lying mouth could wobble together a tale for the ages, we were interrupted by a loud clang and a guttural cry. It was a yelp that oozed with pain and misfortune. We all whipped our heads around and saw Brock engulfed in flames.
It was... it was terrible. The thought... the smell... the sight of him wildly and hopeless flailing about made me flush with fear and anxiety. I jumped from my chair and looked for something—anything to put out the flames! His cries for help did little to aid in his salvation and so much to aid in the chaos and confusion that ensued.
He must’ve cried out to God half a dozen times. Death by fire was slow, much slower than the movies portrayed. He collapsed to his knees like a fallen angel who had been christened by hellfire for the very first time. The agony of it all must’ve been too much for his soul to take. The hellish glint in his eyes, right before his soul vacated his body, was one I’ll never forget.
I took a step back and let his body fall to the floor. There was a soft thud and hard crunch when his body reached its ignoble destination. Skin and clothes baked and crackled as his dead body simmered like a hog that had been charred over a roasting pit.
“What do we do?” Sarah cried out.
“Ok, everyone just stay calm!” I exclaimed in vain.
“Screw this!” Roger said before heading over to the toolbox near the entryway.
“Hey! What’re you doing?” I asked.
“I know what’s going on!” he shouted back.
I looked over at a teary-eyed Sarah and asked if she had any idea what he was talking about.
“How should I know?” she cried out.
“How the hell did this happen?” I mumbled to myself.
“It’s Roger! He’s the killer!”
“No! No, it can’t be.”
“Please! You have to believe me! He was using Roger’s lighter and now he’s dead!”
Roger marched towards us, shouting, “Shut up! Just shut up already! Enough with the lies, devil! I’m sick of your games! I know who you are!”
“Woah, woah, woah, what are you doing with that hammer?” I asked before quickly hopping in front of Sarah, to protect her from this maniac. “It’s ok, just stay behind me. I’m not going to let anything happen to you, I promise,” I told her without thinking.
“I’m not after you!” he sneered.
“Dude! What are you doing! Are you the killer? I should’ve known it was a vampire!”
“I said shut up!” he shrieked. Pure rage was in his eyes. I could tell just by looking at him that he had turned. This was bad. There was no way I could possibly take him on. His wild grin said as much. I could see the tip of his fangs peeking from his mouth. He looked more like a crazed animal in the dim light than a being that could be rationalize with.
“You can’t win,” he sneered and snickered.
I backed away from Brock’s grilled body, pushing Sarah back with me. The whole time I was pleading with Roger, “Hold on, man, let’s talk.”
“Get out of my way! Now!” he yelled and snarled while tightening his grip on the hammer.
“What the hell are you doing man! Were you really the killer this whole time?”
“Of course not! It was her I tell you! Can’t you see?!... No, no that’s right, you can’t! Ha! You don’t know. You’re not a vampire!”
“Roger, snap out of it, man! You’re not making any sense!” I exclaimed, hoping my words would be enough to convince him that he was mad.
“Ha, ha, ha! I should’ve known but I didn’t want to believe it! I thought it was legend. You have to be in the know to know, you know,” he cackled madly. “That’s what all those parties were about! That’s what all those strange rituals revolved around. So, it is true, you are real?!”
I looked back at Sarah and saw her staring coldly at Roger. She said nothing. I had no idea what this lunatic was talking about. I suppose we all handled stress differently, but killing an innocent girl was not the answer. I hated vampires. A vampire was the reason I was here in the first place! Rage began to take over as I thought more and more about my sister.
“Take one more step and—"
“And what? You’ll kill me?” he asked.
“I-I don’t know. All I know is that I won’t let you lay a finger on the girl, you hear me!”
“You humans... your reaction to realizing the futility and inevitably of your demise at the hands of something bred to hunt you down like the filthy dogs you are is a thing to behold.”
“Sarah, run!” I cried out.
“Where am I supposed to go?”
“I don’t know. Just run!”
“Enough! If I have to go through you to get to her, I will!” he hollered while raising the hammer and charging headlong.
I closed my eyes and raised my arms in front of me. This was it. I was about to be some mealy snack for a vampire. I embraced my fate. Knowing there was nothing I could do to stop him. At least I’ll die doing what I knew to be the right thing, I thought. Just when I thought it was over, a funny thing happened. His assault never came. When I opened my eyes, I saw him standing there. It was like he was stuck in place, prevented from moving by some unseen force. I welcomed the miracle as a sign from God. Maybe he did exist? Maybe this was my chance to make it out alive all thanks to the Divine Creator.
It was odd to see fear in the eyes of my predator. What was he doing? Why was he afraid? I glanced back and saw Sarah standing there with her arm raised towards him. Was my mind playing tricks on me? Had she really stopped him dead in his tracks with the raising of a hand? I... I didn’t know what to think. Bearing witness to this made me question everything I knew. He thrashed, rattled, and snarled wildly, like a wolf caught in a bear trap.
“Help me!” Roger screamed.
“Kill him!” Sarah demanded.
“What? No! No!” I exclaimed.
“Do it before it’s too late! I won’t be able to hold him for much longer!”
“Who—who are you?” I asked.
“That’s not important! Take the hammer and strike him with it! Hurry!”
“No! I-I can’t!”
“I thought you wanted to save me?”
“I-I do...”
“Then do it! Please!”
“O-Ok...” I muttered while slowly and cautiously approaching Roger. My hands trembled as I pried the hammer from his sweaty clutch.
He looked me dead in the eyes and warned me not to do it. His warning gave me pause. I thought about sparing him, but I didn’t want him to hurt Sarah.
I unleashed all the anger and pain that was inside me in a flurry of pitiless blows upon my wretched foe. His sorrowful throes and mournful gurgles did nothing but fuel me with more bitterness. This was for my sister! This was for all the hurt you had caused my mother and father! Her suffering nearly destroyed us! How dare you! “Take this! Take that! Die, you rotten vampire! Burn in misery with the rest of your twisted, perverse kin!”
I watched in awe as his body turned to ashes. All that was left was the sick memory of my twisted deeds. When I turned around, I saw her. She... She looked so beautiful. Tears slipped from my eyes. I-I couldn’t find the words. Only thing I could contemplate was how grateful I was to see her one last time.
“You did it, Josh! You killed him!”
“I-I can’t believe it’s you.”
“I’m so proud of you!”
“I-I don’t know. I-I didn’t—"
“It’s okay. I’m here now.”
“Is that really you?”
“Of course, it’s me, dogface.”
“I wanna go home.”
“Pfft. You’re such a killjoy.”
“I love you, sis.”
“Aw. I love you too.”
I gripped her hand when she placed it against the side of my face. It felt so real, too real to be a lie or a dream. She was even wearing the ring I had given her on Halloween. It’s a long story. What I thought was a joke turned out to be her favorite piece of jewelry.
“May I ask a favor, dear brother?”
“Yes, I’ll do anything you want.”
“Anything?” she asked with a smile.
“Yes, of course. Anything.”
“This might hurt.”
“I don’t care.”
“Bash your head in with the hammer. Do it for me, and we can go home and see mom and dad.”
“Ok. Will it be just like old times?”
“Yes, I promise.”
I arched the hammer above my head and with a crooked smile served up, “Ok. Wish me luck.”
“Good luck, dogface,” she giggled.
The first blow didn’t even hurt or make me so much as flinch. The second and third weren’t so bad either. I did feel a bit of pressure, but that’s about it. The fourth tingled, but only a pinch. The fifth and sixth were the best and worst pain of my life. Crunching and grinding followed by a short seizure accompanied the seventh and eighth blow. She egged me on, giving me the strength to bash my skull in for a ninth time. My fingers started to twitch, causing the hammer to slip from my grasp.
Blood and stringy grey fluid oozed from my head and ears. My mouth twisted unnaturally when I tried to speak. The words wilted away with every writhe and grunt. My head was a jumbled, fractured, pulpy mess of bone fragments and empty euphoric haze. No matter how hard I tried to tell her I was ready to depart, the words just wouldn’t slip from the sticky, syrupy maze that was my mouth.
Great. My vision was starting to fail me. Reality flickered and faded like an odd reoccurring dream. I saw her snap her fingers, or did I? When she did or didn’t, the emergency lights and sirens took over. The blaring rang violently in my ears. The red strobes flashed wildly, wreaking havoc on what was left of my visual cortex.
I looked around in a panic. The reality of what had happened suddenly dawned on me. It wasn’t my sister! No! No! No! God No! It was Sarah? How? Why? The pain, oh the how the pain washed over me like a waterfall filled to the brim with razorblades. Blood oozed and bubbled from the cracks and fissures on my head. It was so painful. It was so hot and viscous like molten lava.
I coughed and choked on a rush of confusion. What little that was left of my senses had been completely overtaken by the darkness. To have my life end like this, in such fear and agony. It was so cruel and unfair! Was there no justice? If there was a God, where was he? This was my last thought. A miserable one, I know. What was left of my very existence slipped away. I... I heard her... Her words were the most painful part of it all:
“Aw. Poor Joshua. Sorry for mesmerizing you. I thought it would’ve been better this way. I guess not. I guess it was cruel to pretend to be your sister like that. Oh well. You humans and your strange emotions. I see why God finds you filthy beasts so fascinating.”
Chapter 5: Hindsight
The doors to the bunker crept open, causing the entire underground shelter to tremble. Sarah skipped down the dark hall and made her way towards the elevator. She entered the code and hopped on, whistling dixie the whole time as if her psychotic deeds were an afterthought.
She quickly made her way to the ground floor. The two acolytes guarding the entrance into HQ stepped aside. She joyfully skipped through the lobby, and playfully waved at the camera above the door leading into the command center. The facial recognition system verified who she was and allowed her access into what was possibly one of the most esoteric rooms above ground.
Inside were countless monitors, elaborate lab equipment, fancy computers, servers, and a fleet of technicians working frantically to maintain it all while simultaneously finalizing this year’s results on what had been deemed the Endgame Trials, by the Department of Paranormal Investigations.
Sarah ignored the fearful glances from scientists and acolytes who had heard the rumors of her return from the pits of Hell. She ignored the blank looks of confusion and dismay, as if a fate of hardship and everlasting torment had been a walk in the park. She skipped and hymned her way into the belly of the room. Her destination only made clear after she had reached the mysterious puppet master behind the first annual Adventure Games.
Seated in the middle of all the maddens was the man, or should I say fallen angel himself. The one who secretly pulled the strings and had thus far put on such a striking performance. He stared deeply into her eyes yet said nothing. Grim silence was something the few who knew him, knew all too well.
His black hair was slicked back and greased. His velvet tie, pinstriped suit, gold timepiece, and black cufflinks, made him look like a wolf in sheep’s clothing. He was tall and cast a very imposing presence. He grabbed a crystal decanter and filled two glasses about a third of the way with whiskey.
Sarah sat down across from him and said, “What an unpleasant surprise. I wasn’t expecting to see you here. I thought you would’ve been busy doing stuff only you do.”
“Such as?” he smoothly asked.
“Whispering into the president’s ear.”
He handed her one of the glasses before mentioning, “Intelligence is my department.”
“I know. I’m not stupid.”
“Excellent,” was all he said.
“How are you, Lord Haven?”
“Wonderful. And you?”
“Nice and full, from the games.”
“I figured you’d say that.”
“So, where is this rising star you wanted me to meet?” she asked while looking around.
“Before you ask. The answer is no. She’s not the next antichrist. Far from it.”
“Ugh. How many of those have we had?”
“Hah. That’s a loaded question.”
“Some things will never change,” she sighed.
“To our credit, we did rethink the whole process after Hitler. This new candidate, I have to admit, he’s got a lot of potential,” Lord Haven mentioned.
“Interesting. Tell me more. You know how slow news travels in Hell. Now that I’m back on earth, I’m trying to catch up on everything I missed.”
“We’ll have all the time in the world to catch you up to speed,” he said before taking a sip of whiskey. Then he turned and signaled for one of the lab assistants before politely asking the gentleman to, “Fetch Agent Harris for me if isn’t too much trouble.”
Sarah took a sip. She nearly spat the whiskey all over his executive desk. The sturdy antique stuck out in what was otherwise a modern setting. This small addition to what was otherwise rather stale and sterile décor was enough to quietly demonstrated his power and panache.
Lord Haven studied his old friend for a moment. Then he said, “Hope it wasn’t too stiff.”
“Dear devil! How do you drink this stuff? It was stiff alright. Stiff like an angel with a weighty stone! Seriously, how do you manage?”
“If you can get used to Hell, you can get used to anything. I prefer scotch. Oh, and the richer the expense the finer the flavor.”
“Where is my beloved, Jurael?”
“Busy. He sends his regards.”
“But he swore he’d be here.”
“I know. It’s a long story. Lyrael ordered him to begin the unholy Sacrament of Fire.”
“So, it’s true. His son passed the first test. Which must mean he defeated Jurael? Really? A vampire that strong? I find it hard to believe.”
“I was skeptical at first, considering the many setbacks we’ve had. If it helps, the fight was far from equal. He was afforded a few allies. Even with help, they barely managed to win. But a win against one of us is a win, no less. I must say. It was wise of him to tie his blood with a son. We’ve already taken over the world. Now it’s only a matter of time before we find a more, economical approach to unleashing our forces from the very bowels of Hell.”
Before Sarah could respond, the agent Lord Haven had summoned came into view. Agent Michelle Harris, being the beautiful workaholic she was, seemed a bit jittery and jolted at being pulled from her work.
The much older, more experienced, Agent Adams had accompanied her. He was more relaxed. He hadn’t been doing much of anything, besides monitoring the hidden cameras in Bunker 17, sniffing for clues only his wrinkled nose could discover. He took a big hit from his vape pen before letting out a healthy sized cloud.
Agent Harris tore her eyes away from her clipboard and glared at him. You’d think she’d be used to his addiction by now. She was about to tell him about himself, but when she looked over and saw who was sitting across from Lord Haven, she was too thunderstruck to speak.
Like magic, her annoyed demeaner was replaced with a rush of anxiety and anticipation. She fumbled around with her clipboard, nearly dropping it, while holding out a shaky hand for the lady to shake.
She had done her homework and knew that this woman’s youthful appearance hid a monster that had seen and done the unfathomable. She brought literal life and meaning to the phrase “going to hell and back.” Only her journey was more electric and had left a trail of bones upon the darkened highway to Hell.
“Michelle, this is Sarah,” Lord Haven said.
“Pleasure to meet,” Michelle stumbled and stuttered.
“Aw. Isn’t that cute, you’re afraid of me. Don’t worry we’re on the same team,” Sarah said while making kissy faces as if Michelle was an adorable puppy.
“Uh, sorry. I-I wasn’t expecting to see you so soon after... you know—the experiment.”
“Oh, so you’re one of those beings who always needs to feel in control. Me catching you off guard didn’t give you time to prepare for our encounter.”
“Uh. I don’t know how to answer that.”
Adams chimed in, introducing another element, “I’m surprised you followed the rules.”
“Excuse me?” Sarah said a bit incredulous by his dry tone and crude insinuation.
Agent Adams returned her scowl. He took a hit from his vape pen and just stood there for a moment. The two having something of a little stare off. Revealing or reliving with their eyes and not with their words, touchy history, and painful, unsettled business.
He let out a hefty cloud before explaining, “You voted for yourself. I’m surprised.”
“Why are you surprised?” she asked.
“It’s not like you to follow rules.”
She smirked wickedly. “Are you impressed?”
“I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t.”
“Are you impressed by the outcome, as well?”
“No. The likelihood of humans working in their best interest is slim to none.”
“Wait, is that what this experiment was about?” Michelle sheepishly asked.
“Wow. They really don’t tell you much of anything, do they?” Sarah chuckled.
Michelle ignored her comment but hesitated. Her grip on the clipboard was a bit firmer than usual. A few odd stares later, she worked up the courage to say, “May I ask a question about the project?”
“Shoot,” Sarah grinned.
“What if the subjects would have voted correctly? Hypothetically speaking, of course. What would you have done if the humans and vampires would have worked together?”
She shrugged. “Then I would have kept my word and let them live.”
“Yes! I’m so not a monster, contrary to what everyone thinks. I’m sweet and innocent and yeah... I probably would have devoured them—who am I kidding. Especially the yummy vampires. Their blood is to die for. Human blood, not so much. It’s too watery and irony and is irony a word? I mean, I know it’s a word and all, but is it the right word for the job? Tch! Human nomenclature is so strange. It’s something I’ll never get used to.”
Lord Haven chimed in. But before doing so, he kicked his feet up on the desk. His presence was like a cold chill that never left the room. His eyes felt even colder and darker than usual. Here was a fallen angel who stood somewhere between shadow and light. He was as wise and complicated as the scotch that swirled in his glass. Speaking of which, he finished his drink, and held the empty, sparkling glass in front of him.
“Cooperation was never in the cards. The human ego is much too elegant and fragile. All it takes is the right push to plant the seed of curiosity into your mind. Ideas take time to bloom. That’s where I come in. That’s when a trick of the light blossoms into reality.”
The glass turned black when he waved his hand across it. Not just any black. A deep, shifting darkness that was soft on the eyes and intricate on the mind. The glimmering glass held its original quality and artistry. He studied his work while continuing to talk down on humanity as well as their bitter arrangement with vampires:
“You see. There is a certain brilliance to power. An éclat behind the curtains. It’s not easy, turning harden followers away from God, but the trick, you see. The trick isn’t sleight of hand but sleight of word. Sorcery to be exact. Spells if I’m being technical. You use the weaker more flexible against the harder more inflexible. It takes time but with enough patients and practice the impossible becomes possible. Here. See for yourself,” he said before handing Michelle the glass.
She stared at it, completely mesmerized, not only by his handiwork but the maze of ideas running around in her head. “Was that the purpose of all this?” she asked without pulling her eyes from the glass.
Agent Adams answered her question. He could’ve been talking to a brick wall because she wasn’t paying any attention. “Experiment 4470. Part of Project 07, or the Endgame Trials. Officially it is a way to stress test G-HUN. Understand, the individuals forced to live in the underground network will be under a great deal of stress. I think we’ve gleamed a lot from our initial trial. What do you think, Lord Haven?”
Lord Haven said nothing. His eyes as well as his mind were focused on something not of this world. He was prone to random bouts of deep reflection. Breaking him out of meditation could cost you your life.
Knowing this, Agent Adams turned his attention to Sarah. She stared back at him as if she had murder on the mind. The two continued to exchange unpleasantries as he addressed Agent Harris’ concerns:
“That’s the official reason anyway. The real reason is a bit more tricker to nail down. Oh, and to avoid politics, we kept it on a need-to-know basis. You see, we already know there’s no hope for humanity. We’ll never come together to defeat the ‘common enemy’ unless the common enemy is waving around a giant swastika. We wanted to see how well humans and vampires would do and interact when it came to stopping the unseen enemy. We’ll use the data to adjust our strategy for the end times accordingly.”
“What about Mr. Graham’s sister?” Michelle inquired.
“What about her?” Adams asked.
“She’s a vampire. She can’t go home.”
“Don’t worry. I’ll take care of her,” Sarah stated with the most wicked of grins.
The End
For Now...
submitted by RingoCross99 to u/RingoCross99 [link] [comments]

2023.03.29 19:40 NativeTxn7 On the Hunt for a New Gas Grill

I've had a Weber Genesis for about a decade, but I'm in the market for a new gasser that I can hook up to our natural gas stub on the patio. I know Weber has a conversion kit, but I'm ready to move on from the Genesis and take a step up the ladder.
I already have a Weber kettle for my charcoal needs and a Mak 2-Star for pellet smoking and some grilling. But I want some of the versatility of the gas grill to do quick cooks during the week and have some extra space when we have folks over and things of that nature.
Natural gas; Freestanding; Rotisserie; Sear burner
Ceramic briquette style flame tamers (maybe? Not 100% sure on this); as much stainless as is reasonable and necessary; soft close cabinet doors.
I will generally use it 3-5 times a week pretty much year round. I live in the Dallas area, and the grill will sit under a covered patio on a concrete area, so it won't generally be exposed to extremely harsh elements (depending on the way the wind is blowing sometimes it will blow the rain on the grill, but it will never be subject to a direct downpour.
I won't need to move it more than a few feet around the patio, so while I don't want garbage wheels and cart construction, I'm not sure that it necessarily have to have the most heavy duty wheels.
BUDGET: Around $2,500(ish). Willing to go a bit higher if justified, but I feel like there are some extremely solid options around $2,500 or so.

I had sort of been set on the Napoleon Prestige Pro 500. However, as I've looking into other options, I've come across Blaze (LTE line), Lion, Artisan/Summerset, and Bull as other brands that appear to have options in that $2-3K price range (give or take).
So far, feels like:
Napoleon - seems to be pretty good bang for the buck. You get the side sear station, rotisserie with rotisserie kit included, overall solid construction, and good warranty.
Blaze LTE - more stainless steel, heavier duty burners (thicker stainless steel versus the tube burners on Napoleon), but perhaps a bit more "bare bones" in terms of what you get for the base price. Option to add the sear burner in place of one of the regular burners (trying to figure out if this is a better or worse setup than the separate side burner on the Napoleon), get a rotisserie kit, etc. Also very strong warranty. Seemingly more expensive when outfitted the same as Napoleon (though it appears that BBQ Guys is having a sale on them at the moment and appears to be about $200 more than the Napoleon if you add the sear burner and rotisserie kit to the mix).
Lion - seems to have a good amount of stainless and other features that it feels like you'd find on higher end grills for a comparatively reasonable price, but can't really find as much about them as some of the other options.
Artisan/Summerset - I saw these in my local grilling store and piqued my interest. Seem maybe a touch "bare bones" but seem to get strong feedback and reviews too, but admitted haven't dug too deep here.
Bull - looked into them online some, and look to be quite good, but also maybe a touch pricier than some of the others here. So, not sure if any price delta is justified or not, but admittedly haven't dug too deep here.

It's been a long while since I looked at gas grills, so just trying to get up to speed on what's available, from whom, and what brands stand out in that general price range.
Anyone have thoughts, opinions, experiences, etc. on these specific brands, or any other brands I should be looking at in that general price range? Any help/feedback appreciated. TIA.
submitted by NativeTxn7 to grilling [link] [comments]

2023.03.28 18:58 BroMandi [Home Depot] Weber Spirit II E-310 3-Burner Propane Gas Grill - $499 [Deal Price: $499.00]

[Home Depot] Weber Spirit II E-310 3-Burner Propane Gas Grill - $499 [Deal Price: $499.00] submitted by BroMandi to ShoppingDealsOnline [link] [comments]

2023.03.28 12:14 mdanonomy21 Follow-up diary: I am in my mid-30s, work in nonprofits, and make $125k a year ($180k joint). This week we found out we need to cash flow $11,000 worth of dental procedures in 2023, and I still spent $396 on spring things. 🌱✨

Hi friends! I submitted a diary in February 2021 that you can find here! Since then we’ve sold one house, started higher-paying jobs, moved states to be closer to family, rented a kind of busted house, bought another charming fixer-upper of a house, and given in fully to lifestyle creep, especially when it comes to plants and gardens.
❤️ Section 1: Assets and Debt
Total Net Worth: $108,763 if you believe the equity calculator I reference below. Negative tens of thousands if you think the housing market is about to crash or even just reset!
Retirement Balance: $10,000 for me, split just about evenly between a Roth and a 401k; $25,500 for my husband, L. This will make more sense when you get to the “income progression” section, and after you accompany me as I spend money like I have money to spend, every day.
Savings Account Balance: $17,000 split between an “upcoming house repairs & dental fund.” The first $7k is spoken for already between a big chimney repair ($3k) and an expensive upcoming dental appointment for L ($4k), both in April. The remaining $10k we don’t touch – it’s for an emergency fund.
Checking Account Balance: About $1200. I try to keep this pretty low to discourage my own spending, which works only sometimes.
Credit Card Debt: $12,100 left from our home renovations and move last October. We got two 0% APR cards to finance this, and will pay both off before the APR jumps at the end of this year.
Student Loan Debt: $80,000 for L’s undergrad and MAT. $18,000 for my undergrad and (unfinished, womp womp) MAT. We aren’t paying on this til we have to, and are hoping it will be forgiven – mine via Biden, since I was a Pell Grant recipient, and L’s via PSLF.
Equity: $145,000. This number is from an online equity calculator, and is for our century-old house in a very walkable neighborhood in a popular Southern city, but who knows whether it’s real or not. Numbers that are real: We paid $575,000 for the home last fall, including a 20% down payment that my dad split evenly with us – his portion from his recent inheritance, our portion from the sale of our previous home.
When we started looking in 2021, our “stretch budget” was $450k, but the housing market exploded and it seemed like overnight the base budget for kind of place we were looking for was more like $650k (I’m committed to city living, and we wanted to make sure there was enough space for my sister, J, and her boyfriend to continue living with us, given the skyrocketing rent prices). We bit the bullet on this place after my dad offered to pay for half the down payment. That gift helped us avoid PMI, so that the rent we were paying for a worse place was comparable to the monthly payment on this one. We spent the remaining $15,000 from our previous home sale buying down the rate and on moving costs, repairs, furnishing, gardens, appliances, etc, and then still took out about $12,000 more in credit card debt to renovate the bathrooms and make a few other upgrades.
❤️ Section 2: Income
Monthly Take Home: My base pay is $125,000, and L’s is $55,000. We bring in about $11,400 a month after taxes. The whole family’s health insurance is paid in full by my work, and our pre-tax retirement contribution details are below.
Income Progression: I’ve been working since I was 15 years old, moved out at 18, and paid my own bills starting that year, but income below starts the year I graduated college.
Year 1: $15,000 (part time ABA therapist, full time baby anarchist)
Years 2-8: $28,000 (This is a rough average of my income across these years. I accepted a spot in Teach for America right out of college in order to have a salary, despite my maximalist politics at the time, and kept working with young people for years after my TFA service ended. I paid for L’s expenses in college and supported a few other family members off and on while I taught. When I took a big pay cut to do youth organizing work for a couple years, L’s teacher salary helped support us).
Year 9: $45,000 (got a full-time nonprofit fundraising job, quit teaching)
Year 10: $55,000 (got a raise)
Year 11: $65,000 (got a raise and promotion)
Year 12: $75,000 (was promoted again, realized I was still underpaid)
Year 13: $98,000 (was hired by my current employer)
Year 14: $125,000 (was promoted!)
❤️ Section 3: Expenses
Mortgage, Taxes, & Insurance: About $3,000. My sister and her boyfriend currently live with us and contribute $600 of this total payment each month, but we budget as if we pay the full mortgage ourselves.
Investment Contribution: L’s retirement is pulled out of his check before he receives it: it’s $289 a month. I put $170 into my 401k, directly out of my check. I also contribute $100 to a Roth IRA through Acorns each month. Through Acorns we also have a UTMA/UGMA account for B which gets $100 a month, and we put $40 a month into a taxable brokerage account.
Savings Contribution: We tally an extra $1.5k-$3k a month beyond expenses, and are expecting $6k back from our tax return this year. But we aren’t prioritizing savings right now, and instead are: 1. cashflowing L’s timely dental work (found out in the course of this diary that we’re looking at about $11k this year); 2. paying down the debt on our credit cards ($12k, see above); and 3. cashflowing a few must-do house projects (estimating about $8k for those).
Debt Payments: See above! As I mentioned, we have student loan debt to the tune of $100k but aren’t paying right now. I actually paid my loans down by $10k during COVID with money from our first house sale. But I panicked when Biden said he was going to forgive loans and got my full payment during the pandemic – all $10k – reversed. That money is now our emergency savings account.
Electric/Gas: $150ish, varies significantly. We installed a high-efficiency wood stove when we moved in, which cuts down on the cost of our old furnace a bit.
Internet: $80
Water: $75
Cellphone: $100, for L & I both
Subscriptions: $10 Spotify; $10 Youtube music; $2.99 Apple data; $22 NYT, for newspaper and cooking app; $5 for Acorns. I also pay yearly: $40 for the Freedom app, $20 for Hobnob, and $60 for Insight Timer.
Car Payment and Insurance: $200 for insurance. This covers both of our used cars and my dad’s used handicap van. We paid off our 2012 Honda Fit when we sold our last house, and recently paid cash for a Honda CRV with 180k miles which we use for family trips.
Medical/Therapy: $0. My therapist is $181 a session, and I see her twice a month – but this is covered by my job’s MERP card. I also get an inhaler at least twice a month - that’s reimbursed too, but would cost $60 otherwise.
Pet Expenses: Our precious pittie suffered some injuries before we adopted her. She’s on Gabapentin daily for pain management which is about $60 a month.
CSA: $40/week minimum – this is a special CSA service that has all kinds of tempting goodies, so I usually spend more.
Coworking space: $150. I expense $100 of this to work.
Gym memberships: $75 for a family Y membership, and $120 for my spin studio; I also buy 10-packs to the yoga studio down the street every few months, which are $120 a pop**.**
Donations: Varies. We give $10 monthly to our local Democratic Socialists of America and $10 monthly to the Working Families Party. We give one-off donations when asked or when we come across a need, usually $50-$100 at a time. Once we have less immediate debt, I plan to up our recurring gifts.
Childcare: $600. B goes to the best public preschool in the land – he was on the waiting list for 18 months. We previously paid double this for a subpar Montessori school run out of a church basement. Often babysitting is an extra $100 or so a month.
Kids’ Activities: $120 every three months or so – think swim lessons, toddler soccer, etc.
Outdoorsy memberships: $110 yearly for memberships to nonprofit parks, botanical gardens, etc etc. These are not too expensive and a fun way to spend a day with little ones.
House cleaner: $320. They come twice a month and charge $160 each time. This is some of the best money I spend each month.
Nuuly: $94. This has been a gamechanger for work travel.
❤️ Section 4: Money Diary
5:00 am: I wake up wheezing with two pudgy legs draped right across my chest. My three-year-old, B, gave me a cold that I’ve just recovered from, but my asthma is still a bit aggrieved. I disentangle myself from B and head downstairs to make a french press and get some work in before everyone’s up.
6:30 am: B comes running downstairs, naked and boisterous as ever. I spare a thought for my little sister, J, and her boyfriend, who share a wall with him. J and her boyfriend have been living with us since the deep pandemic when we all moved together, which has been a blessing for us. But the early mornings and constant circulating upper respiratory infections are doing them in, and they’re moving to a nearby apartment in May. This very basic one-bedroom will double their monthly rent D: And, since J is finishing up school right now and doesn’t have a steady income, L and I had to cosign their lease in order for them to even qualify for the place. Big sigh on housing across America right now.
7:15 am: B and L head out, and I get dressed and do a little more work. At 8:30, I head to my first-ever dermatologist appointment. My mom recently treated me to a mothedaughter facial where I learned that the creeping redness on my nose is likely hereditary rosacea! The facialist suggested I make an appointment with a dermatologist after I informed her that my skincare routine has to date involved only a wet rag and a heavy moisturizer.
The dermatologist suggests a gentle papaya cleanser; a phyto vitamin c serum; a rosacea triple cream; and a moisturizing sunscreen. The cost for the appointment itself ($150) is covered by my MERP card from work**,** but I pay for the cleanser, serum, and sunscreen from his office ($141) and the rosacea triple cream from an online pharmacy ($49) out of pocket. Thus begins my first-ever skincare routine. Sadly, the dermatologist’s proprietary packaging is ugly, so if you use something similar but cute, please share a link.
10:00 am: I’ve walked the dog, made another cup of coffee, turned on Freedom, and am settling into my laptop for a day of toggling between Google Docs and Zoom rooms.
12:30 pm: M barks rancorously as I’m wrapping up a Zoom call. The Tubies I ordered last week for me (and B) were delivered. It’s SPRING and we are about to eat SMOOTHIE POPS, everybody. It’s also time for lunch, so I heat up this very yummy soup (we subbed veggie sausage and it worked well) and toast a piece of focaccia. I read “I Went On A Package Trip for Lonely Millennials” while I eat. It is every bit as unsettling as it sounds.
1:40 pm: L calls — B has had diarrhea at school and needs to come home. B’s preschool is in the public school where L teaches, which means L handles all pick up and drop off, but my work schedule is much more flexible than L’s so I often do early pickups like this one. I shift my afternoon meetings, notify my direct reports that I’m signing out early, and stop for gas on the way to pick up poor little B. ($40)
4:30 pm: B and I spent the afternoon doing quiet things together – he took a bath, played with toys, and watched some PBS Kids, and I took a few minutes to tie up some loose ends at work. When L gets home at 4:30, we set up the sprinkler on our tiny front “lawn” (currently actually a patch of very-tilled dirt), where we recently seeded low-growing wildflowers.
6:00 pm: I want to drink wine with L while we make veggie fried rice for dinner, but think better of it given that I just got over a cold. L offers to make me a hot toddy (yesssss) but then realizes we’re out of lemons. He and B head to the grocery store around the corner while I finish up dinner. They get lemons, a lime, and a giant bag of lollipops for L’s students. ($11) The hot toddy is delicious.
9:00 pm: B’s bedtime routine is a wrap and my new skincare routine is complete – turns out my face does feel cleaner after a cleanser! I take a nebulizer treatment and read my favorite book that has completely transformed my life, Overcoming Unwanted Intrusive Thoughts: A CBT-Based Guide to Getting Over Frightening, Obsessive, or Disturbing Thoughts, until we turn out the lights. Goodnight!
5:00 am: I wake up wheezing deeply again. I head downstairs to eat a cold banana and take a prednisone left over from the last time my asthma was aggravated by a cold. I decide to sit for a little Sarah Blondin meditation by the woodstove before I start my early-morning work block. Lesson 8 in this course is my go-to, and is alone worth every bit of the yearly Insight Timer fee.
7:00 am: B and L are awake, but B is staying home from school today so things are a bit slower. I make a mango smoothie for B and then add kale and protein powder for L and I. At 7:45 I don my favorite lilac workout onesie (I have it in black too) and head to my spin class.
9:00 am: I am but one month into spin classes and totally enamored. The dark room and loud music extremely do it for me. After class I stop at the coffee shop next door and buy a big drip coffee to split with L, a sticky bun for L and B to share, and a bag of coffee beans cause we are almost out at home. ($28)
9:30 am: Take a quick post-spin shower while I listen to Iris Dement’s new album, which serves the sound I grew up on and a very earnest progressivism that reminds me of my parents and their sweet Boomer friends who care deeply about abortion access and post anti-racist memes on Facebook. I cover my body in Warm Feelings, spritz on Winter (the best), wriggle into some cheetah-print overalls, and head down to work until L leaves in about an hour and a half.
12:00 pm: My meeting with my boss ran over so L had to leave for work while I was mid-call. I extricate B from Disney+ (we use J’s login) and receive only a moderate tantrum in response. After some breaths, B lays on his blue rug and pretends he’s eating his lunch (a mango pop, grilled cheese, & berries) in the shallow end of a swimming pool. Pre-nap, we read Gabito, a recent fave, and B’s eyes flutter closed during the last few pages. Back to work!
3:30 pm: B comes running into my office but I need to wrap up an important task, so we listen to superhero stories together while I tappity tap. It’s raining out, and L isn’t due home til 6p, so I make a gametime decision to spend the afternoon doing one fun inside thing for me (pick out berry bushes for our garden!) and one fun thing inside thing for B (ride rides inside the mall near the garden center!). B and I gather $2.50 in quarters for his rides, and he dons his Ironman costume and rainboots for the occasion.
At the garden center, we pick out two triple crown blackberry bushes, two chandler blueberry bushes, one heritage everbearing raspberry bush, and, after a quick phone consultation with L, one black tartarian cherry tree. L loves cherries and is very excited to use them in his cocktail-making. We also pick up a galvanized steel watering can since my old thrifted one keeps leaking all over the floor when I water my inside plants. The total is $253. Because I am very excited about this purchase and it’s for our house, it counts as free in my heart.
4:30 pm: B and I are the only nerds in the mall wearing KN95s and clutching quarters in our fists. So far B has purchased a ride on a train ($1) and some tiny banana candies ($.50). He settles on a very exciting race car for his final four quarters – but the greedy car eats his money!!! ($1) We are both very sad, and start searching for a ride that might take a debit card. Then, suddenly, to our left, appears a LEGO STORE. B dashes in and we find that you can build your own tiny Lego person. He happily obliges and I spend $5 on a three-inch-tall Lego man with a spider face and a big helmet.
6:30 pm: Back at home, L and I discuss our most exciting news of the week – L’s youngest sister and her partner arrive at their new apartment in our city TONIGHT! They’ve been living several states away for years. L’s whole family lives in the area and we are all thrilled these two are coming back home. L, B, and I plan to help them unpack tomorrow, and I think we should take them a gift. L heads out to the bottle store down the street to buy two bottles of Morphos (one for us!) ($52), and then goes to the grocery store to buy White Claws and some pull-ups for B. ($25) We could save more money but life is for living.
Dinner is leftover fried rice, and B doesn’t fall asleep til 9. L and I take our favorite CBD gummies before bed and I read the “soft fruits” section of Down to Earth to prepare for our big planting this weekend.
🌿 DAILY TOTAL: $365.50
6:00 am: I wake up late today – I had trouble sleeping because I couldn’t breathe all night. I make my favorite smoothie for breakfast (which is something like this but incorporates protein powder and frozen kale and cayenne), L eats oatmeal, and B eats two mango smoothie pops plus a cereal bar. They leave around 7:15 am and I get myself together to walk the dog before heading to my coworking space for the day.
8:30 am: I pack up my stuff and ride my bike to my pretty coworking space. The sun is out! It’s spring! The trees are blooming! Everyone is glad.
1:45 pm: I heat up fried rice and drink some of the on-tap kombucha. While I eat, I read Today in Tabs and consider adding it to my monthly expenses so that I can read it more. Our cleaner texts that they’re done at the house, and I Venmo her $160 (included in monthly expenses).
3:10 pm: I decide to bike home before the final Zoom call of the day. I cannot stress enough how glorious it is outside. It’s also glorious inside, thanks to our fabulous cleaner.
Post-call, I make some smol avocado toasts and L calls to say his sibling is not in fact up for a visit tonight – they are whelmed by boxes. We pivot: bike ride to the playground! While at the playground, B is the first kid to hear the ICE CREAM TRUCK approach. Chaos ensues and we spend $5 on one scoop of cookie dough ice cream.
7:00 pm: For dinner we make mini pizzas on TJ’s cauliflower crust. I also make asparagus with a delicious flaked salt left by my bestie the last time they stayed over, and the result is pretty enough to text to them. L makes us gin fizzes with strawberries and with mint from the garden. 🌱
8:00 pm: Teeth brushing is always a slog with B, but on this night I am visited by a stroke of genius. Tonight, I explain to him that the tooth fairy has been hired for a residency at our place and is listening in while he brushes his teeth and uses the potty. If he does a good job, she’ll leave him a coin somewhere in his bedroom. L overhears and makes tooth fairy sounds (think tinkling giggles) from the hallway – B is delighted and brushes his teeth with aplomb. This is a big win! While he uses the potty, I steal away and hide a quarter under the toe of his stuffed Spiderman. He requests tooth fairy bedtime stories and falls asleep listening. ($.25)
🌿 DAILY TOTAL: $5.25
6:00 am: Another late wakeup for me. I have a spin class at 8 and a packed workday, so I make my favorite smoothie again and walk M while it’s still dark out. Afterwards, I help B with his teeth brushing/potty routine, and it continues to be so much smoother than ever before thanks to our friend the tooth fairy. This time, L stashes a dime under B’s stuffed bear. B proudly puts the dime and last night’s quarter in his coat pocket and, as I buckle him into his car seat, announces he is NOT sharing his money with his teacher today. I suppose the discussion about whether money should be treated as a public good or a personal asset can come later. On the way to school, L stops for gas. ($25 for gas, $.10 for the tooth fairy)
8:00 am: I arrive at the spin studio and learn that the teacher I expected overslept. His sub unfortunately leaves half the lights on and plays lots of Eminem. I survive the weird vibes and head home for a quick shower before work – no coffee shop stop this time! I am a disciplined and frugal Recessionist millennial.
10:15 am: Our CSA is delivered! It includes spinach, heirloom tomatoes (!! new this week!), apples, lacinato kale, meyer lemons, limes, oyster mushrooms, shiitake mushrooms, red onions, shishito peppers, and mixed cherry tomatoes, plus a delivery charge, for $63, $23 more than the monthly minimum I included in set expenses. I fetch it from the sunny porch and am reminded that urgently want a pair of white platform Birkenstocks for spring. I find a pair in my size in EUC on Poshmark and buy them now: $60 with shipping, a steal compared to $110 new!
1:00 pm: My delightful neighbor and I take lunch together! We walk to a nearby eatery where I get a tempeh reuben and diet soda (my vice), $18 including tip. Over lunch we discuss parenting, gardening, her upcoming major home renovation, and how squirrels can sometimes relocate crocus bulbs. Meanwhile, B and L have early release at school so they head to a kid’s play place as a special treat to B. ($23 with snacks)
3:30 pm: B is home early but, curses, I still have much work to do! He and L chill while I tappity tap for a while longer. I eventually wrap up, but will have to do more work over the weekend.
L wants to work in his shop for a while, so B and I take the bike to the playground. He is a very good friend at the playground, running around happily with a couple of 7-year-olds he’s never met and then, when they leave, chatting amicably with an 18-month-old and his parents. He periodically begs me to let him take his pants off so he can better pretend he’s in the pool. The answer is no, but he is shirtless, shoeless, and covered in “tattoos” (washable marker), and I think that’s a pretty good compromise.
7:00 pm: Back home, L is making dinner (avocado tacos!), and I announce to him that we need a few more spring items: new (unscratched) oversize sunglasses and a beaded eyeglass chain for me, and little kid Tevas for B. I use my dad’s Amaz*n to buy the glasses and chain for me ($20) and three pairs of Tevas for B to try on. They’ll only charge us for the ones we keep, which will be $21.
L and I spend the evening drinking the Morphos he bought earlier this week and hanging out with J and her boyfriend. We turn on the AC for the first time which reminds us that we need to get an HVAC repairperson out here to check out some weird details of the old AC system our inspector caught. I mentally add it to my to-dos for the week.
We get B in bed late again – around 9 – and we watch Schitt’s Creek til almost 11. We will never tire of re-watching this show.
🌿 DAILY TOTAL: $185.10
6:45 am: I wake up breathing easy today! Blessings, prednisone; blessings, springtime.
8:00 am: L and I make eggie toasts with heirloom tomatoes, and L reveals that he had a long-awaited budget chat with the medical hospital where he’s been getting dental work done. They’re estimating we’ll need to spend an additional $11k this year to get L’s teeth in order. This kicks off a Big Conversation, during which we realize we absolutely need to be spending less than $8k monthly in order to cash flow his teeth, cash flow our must-do house projects, and pay down our cards by end of year. This should be doable, in theory, but will be a big adjustment as for months we’ve been splashing out on everything from gifts to travel to furniture to tools to fabric to support my baby-clothes-making hobby. As the conversation drags on, tension rises, and we’re both mad at each other but not sure why.
After a few breaths, I realize: we are just launching big numbers back and forth across the room, completely unmoored! I offer to make us a big fancy draft annual budget with monthly projections and schedule a date night to review. HOW FUN! L obliges after I convince him that I actually, truly, want to do this, and I find a very nice budget template on Etsy. ($20)
10 am: I run down a hill and across a parking lot to yoga, and slip in some vom along the way. Meanwhile, L and B head to the gym together.
12 pm: I take our e-bike (the one we’ve been riding around all week) to the shop and tell the bike guy that the lights and the breaks are in rough shape. He tells me they’ll fix it up, but that we should consider replacing it with a Yuba Spicy Curry which is $5200. I think not, but in my heart, I do really want to sell this one and buy a RadWagon or a Blix Packa Genie. Ebike moms and dolls, send thoughts.
When I get home, L heads to Aldi and spends $125 on berries, lots of bananas, eggs, rice, oat milk, oatmeal, snacks for B, frozen berries, fresh broccoli, yogurt, and a bunch of other stuff including Aldi swag that he is very stoked about: a matching pullover, socks, and tumbler. He then goes to Ace Hardware and buys s’mores sticks for use with our fire pit and some light bulbs ($37). B takes a nap and I plant the berry bushes and cherry tree while he snoozes!
6 pm: We head out to dinner to celebrate the big move with L’s sister and her boyfriend. It’s a long walk to our favorite taco place, but a beautiful day. B rides his pink scooter and is very cute, but reader, he is a spirited child and today he is having A Day. We field multiple meltdowns and lots of not-listening on the way to the restaurant. Dinner itself is delicious, though, and we watch the sun set over the water as we eat. It’s $58 with tip for the three of us, including a coconut margarita for L and a watermelon sangria for me.
5 am: Up and thinking about parenting. L and I had a long conversation after B fell asleep about what we could do differently to help him manage his emotions. He’s a big child in size and in personality – at 3 he’s wearing size 6 clothes and talking as much as any child that age too. He has big joy, big wonder, big imagination, and also big anger and big sadnesses. We’ve tried to follow Janet Lansbury’s teaching since B was born, but at times gentle parenting, which Janet teaches, has seemed too lax for B. I decide to return to her work anyway. I read the transcript to her newest podcast episode, and wonder if maybe we’re overengaging with B’s big feelings. Then I read this one about another child struggling with aggression, and am glad that B is at least not spitting, I guess?
10 am: B’s morning is going great after all, and we decide to pack a lunch and head out for a hike. B makes himself a ham, cheese, and hummus sandwich, and I make L and I veggie sandwiches with pesto. We happen upon a plant sale on the way home and L approves a “Fuzzy Mystery” peperomia for our bathroom. ($8) Afterwards we drop off my Nuuly at UPS (prepaid!) and head home to watch a movie while it rains. I do work things and start our new annual budget spreadsheet during the movie.
5 pm: J takes a walk with us and M the dog to a playground nearby, and while we’re out, our neighbor texts to suggest once-a-week family dinners on Tuesday (yes please!). For dinner tonight, I make Smitten Kitchen’s tomato sauce with onion and butter using the heirloom tomatoes from our CSA and it’s very good as always. L and I drink some Pinot with dinner, and B eats his spaghetti with his hands.
9 pm: My anxiety (her name is Esther) visits while I’m putting B to sleep, so after he’s down, I decide to get to the bottom of a few things via Google. As usual, this is a bad idea! I walk to bed crying and lay on L’s chest. I cry a lot more, including about the trailer for You Hurt My Feelings which I saw three days ago, and about how scary it would be if L were to die, and about how L’s parents’ best friends’ lives have never been visited by tragedy and is that possible for us too?
Therapy is on Tuesday, everyone! We will make it.
6:30 am: I wake up later than I wanted to after a fitful night. B was coughing a lot (post-nasal drip, ick), and I was thinking a lot. I have back-to-back calls today with lots of prep beforehand so I get dressed quick and grab a pre-made smoothie from the freezer for breakfast. B and L leave at 7:15; I light my Gardener candle and tuck in to work.
1:00 pm: Lunch is fried rice with a chonk of a Trader Joe’s milk chocolate hazelnut bar, yum. I eat on a call but politely turn off my camera.
4:00 pm: B and L are home and I’m still wrapping up. On the way home, they picked up some natural honey cough syrup stuff for B ($12).
6:00 pm: L and I drop B off at the Y childcare, and find out they are hosting a spring break camp for 3-5 year olds. L wants to build B’s long-awaited tree house over the break, so we sign B up for four days of camp. Very cute! And also less than half the price of other camps in the area. ($100)
6:15 pm: I check the NYT as I start up the elliptical and am sent reeling by news of the school shooting in Nashville. I try to distract myself with The Crown. Unfortunately, Princess Di is really going through it, so the distraction is a bust. I turn on Sarah Blondin’s Learning to Surrender meditation instead, and listen to it twice. I’m trying desperately to trust the universe but the hellscapeness of it all makes that difficult sometimes.
Life marches on anyhow: After our workout, we head to Trader Joe’s to buy the items Aldi didn’t offer over the weekend (fancy bag salad, plantain chips, challah, frozen greens, a Galia melon, a few other things), plus a lot more broccoli because we need it for the tofu and veggies we’re making with the neighbors tomorrow. I love this peanut butter tofu recipe, in case you’re looking for one. ($31)
8 pm: We three look at videos of baby B over dinner, and L says maybe he is ready for a second. I think I am too.
adrienne maree brown posted today,
put your attention on suffering – which is constant and everywhere – and it is all you will see. joy will come, and laughter, but you will find it brief, possibly a distraction.
put your attention on joy, being connected and feeling whole, and you will find it everywhere. your heart will still break. you will know grief. but you will find it a reasonable cost for the random abundance of miracles, and the soft wild rhythms of love.
return to love as many times as you can.
❤️ Section 5: TOTALS
Total Expenses: $1228.85
Food & Drink: $376
Fun & Entertainment: $130.85
Home & Health: $557
Clothes & Beauty: $101
Transport: $64
❤️ Section 6: REFLECTION
This week was spendy for us between the plants and the skincare routine – but I’d say we usually have at least one week a month where we spend like this. I know that needs to shift if we’re going to pay for all the things we need to pay for this year without drawing from our life savings. I’m also aware that N’s student loan payments will likely resume, and that having a second baby isn’t cheap – so I’m excited to finish our budget spreadsheet and treat it like a goal rather than a suggestion (I currently track our spending obsessively in Mint but treat the budget limits like unsolicited advice).
I do like everything we spent money on this week, though, and feel very lucky to be able to cover so many wants and needs in a given week. Thanks for reading!
submitted by mdanonomy21 to MoneyDiariesACTIVE [link] [comments]

2023.03.27 21:22 black_anarchy Gas Grill Recommendation

Hi /grilling
My apologies in advance because this question gets asked a lot, and mods, please let me know if I should post this elsewhere!
I need a new grill and wonder what you recommend because it's been a minute since I bought one. I had a 2012 Charbroil Grill.
I checked some recommendations (+ this, this, this, this, and this one... and so many more), and I planned to get this one, but upon checking it at Lowes, it had some rust which made me reconsider.
While I was at Lowes, the guys said this grill was worth it, and it is probably as good as Weber is, but it has no good reviews at I read that Weber went downhill, and the Charbroils I checked at Lowes were rusty.
Is Monument a good brand? What about this Blackstone? What about KitchenAid?
I want to get a Grill in the $300-$800 realm, with as many burners or big as the budget allows, with Natural or Liquid Propane gas or both, if possible.
I am really starting, so I can't tell what I need/want other than the size and fuel :)
This one looks great, but it's expensive for me but ideally that's what's I'd get I had the cash for it.
submitted by black_anarchy to grilling [link] [comments]

2023.03.27 15:50 SouthernMarylander Buying a grill. Help me make a final decision between four options!

I have a kamado charcoal grill, but we'd like to have a gas grill for easier weeknight cooking.
We had an old natural gas grill that kicked the bucket not long before our deck was redone, so the line is already in place.
Here are the four options I've narrowed it down to:
The two Rogue grills are closer to the price range I was looking at, while the Weber and Prestige are more of a stretch (but doable if can be justified).
Primary usage will be weeknight cooking (steaks, burgers, etc.) for 3 people, with occasional parties for 20+ people on weekends. My fiancée has said she'd like a side burner for frying fish or anything else that would normally stink up the kitchen but could be moved outside. Ask me anything that'll help make a decision.
submitted by SouthernMarylander to grilling [link] [comments]

2023.03.26 22:26 murlocksoup Seeking advice on my next grill / smoker. Kettle? Drum? Verticle smoker? Gravity Masterbuilt?

I've run on a Weber Performer for... 18 years or so. I love the charcoal but the the gas starter has been great. The thing is on its last legs, however, the grate support posts are rusting out, one is gone completely (So I'm holding up that corner with a rock), the grates are all bent and rusted, and there are 2 holes in the kettle bottom.
So, what's next? A 22" Weber kettle? A 26" though they are double the price of the 22? But more space would be great for my needs.
I've been on the lookout for deals on the Masterbuilt 1050 but they haven't really gone on sale. Missed a decent sale on the 800 recently at Costco though that may have been YMMV. But while I hear people slow cook really well on it and yet it's versatile to grill hot, the overall workmanship is not great? Thinnish metal, issues with electronics.... And I'm not sure even with a cover if it would survive long with all the rain and snow we get here.
Or maybe the compromise is get 2: a 22" Weber for day-to-day, and for low/slow smoking a vertical smoker like the Masterbuilt 40" charcoal smoker or the Weber Smokey Mountain, or a drum smoker?
I'm not sure if I should get 2 grills or one that does both low/slow and indirect/direct grilling.
It might help if I described what and how I cook.
And if I could, I'd want to try low/slow/smoking chickens and turkeys.
I'm not sure what to do other than dive in and experiment but would rather get it right so money isn't mis-spent. How effective is it to cook burgers or even steak reverse-sear on the WSM? Have people here in this reddit enjoyed the Masterbuilt Gravity series? Or the Masterbuilt smokers like the 40" charcoal? Would a 26" Weber kettle help me with longer cooks with the fuse method and to allow more distance from the heat source?
I would love some input. I love reverse searing steaks, but would love to set and forget a long cook of 6-12 hours, or at least reduce the effort and temp variance that I've experienced with my holy kettle with fuse method.
Thank you!
submitted by murlocksoup to Smokingmeat [link] [comments]

2023.03.26 19:12 Standard-Scene5606 I'm 36 years old, make $167k as a Product Manager in a MCOL city, and this week I worked on my estate plan

Possible trigger warning: Discussion of chronic illness, death, and suicide
Section One: Assets and Debt
*Note: My husband (M) makes around $180k but we have separate finances so all income, debt, and expenses listed here are mine, unless otherwise noted*
Retirement Balance:
· My poor 401k has taken a beating in the last year or so; it’s currently sitting at about $338k despite recently increasing my contributions significantly
· I contribute 16% to my 401k and my employer contributes 8%
· I receive a small pension from my employer; they contribute 3% of my pay per year to this fund but it doesn’t perform well and I’m not including this in my retirement planning
Equity if you're a homeowner:
· M and I purchased our home in early 2020 for $615k, right before the housing market went WILD
· We put down $100k (which was from sale of previous home), and our rate is 2.99%; we refinanced in 2021 and took out $50k equity for bathroom renovations and kept our same interest rate (thankfully!) so current mortgage balance is $515k
· Our home is now worth approx. $950k so we have about $435k in equity
Savings account balance:
· My personal savings is really low right now at $3k
· M and I have a joint savings account we use for home expenses and a 529 for our child, A, who is currently 7; I’m hoping to increase our 529 contributions soon
Checking account balance:
· Currently $137; I keep this pretty low and just use it to pay for day-to-day expenses after all my bills are paid
Credit card debt (and how you accumulated it):
· $19k in total, across 4 credit cards
· It makes me physically ill to type this out, but I am actively paying it down using my remaining funds after expenses are paid each month
· This debt accumulated over a number of years and was largely due to expenses/inflation drastically outpacing my income
Student loan debt (for what degree):
· $0
· I had a private student loan for part of my MBA but I paid it off in early 2022. I’m really fortunate that my company pays up to $10k per year for education so my undergrad and most of my graduate degree were covered under that program
Other debt:
· $6k for an unsecured loan I used to pay for a surgery that wasn’t covered by my insurance
· $15.5k remaining on my auto loan
Section Two: Income
Income Progression:
· I got my first job at a fast-food restaurant when I was 13; I worked all through high school, sometimes two jobs at once, to pay for all my clothing and school supplies. My parents provided food and housing but everything else was up to me
· I started working at my current company when I was 18 years old; my starting salary was $19k per year. My mother kicked me out the month I turned 18 so it was a really hard year, but I learned a lot about self-reliance
· Fast-forward to the last few years: I made $85k in 2019-2020, $95k in 2021, and $100k in early 2022
· I started my current role at the end of 2022 and my current base salary is $140,000; I receive bonuses which bring my total cash compensation to approx. $167k annually
Main Job Monthly Take Home:
· My net pay is approx. $6230 per month
Pre-tax deductions are-
· $22 Dental insurance
· $154 FSA contribution
· $150 Medical insurance (for me only; M has A on his insurance due to my MS expenses)
· $995 401k contribution
· $11 Vision insurance
After-tax deduction-
· $20 charity; employer matches
Side Gig Monthly Take Home
· None right now; in the past I have delivered for Uber Eats, mainly for the tax write-offs
Any Other Monthly Income Here
· None
Section Three: Expenses
Monthly expenses:
· $1500 Mortgage payment (this is my half; M pays the other half)
o This includes homeowners’ insurance and property taxes
· $150 contribution to a joint savings account with M
· $150 contribution to savings account & 529 plan for A
· $335 auto loan payment
· $311 surgery loan payment
· $370 minimum payments for credit cards
· $112 term life insurance payment
· $350 electric/gas/watetrash/internet (this varies each month but $350 is avg.)
· $89 cellphone (just mine; M has his own plan with another carrier)
· $3 Apple storage
· $48 gym membership
· $10 Uber Eats subscription
· $80 pet expenses (my half, split with M; this covers food, meds, etc.)
· $60 auto and jewelry insurance
· $72 A’s private soccer lessons (my half; split with M)
· $100 A’s regular soccer team expenses (my half; split with M)
· $700 groceries/restaurants (my half; split with M)
· $60 gas for my car (blissfully low since I work from home and A’s school is close to us)
· $0 for Netflix and HBO-Go; we have friends & family who kindly share with us
· $65 for pest control (scorpions are bad here) *
Quarterly expenses:
· $90 HOA fees (split with M, this is my half)
· $120 monitored home alarm system *
Annual expenses:
· $99 Duolingo
· $129 Amazon Prime
· $450 professional memberships (related to various certifications I hold)
· $99 annual fee for travel credit card; airfare savings more than make up for it
· $30 PTSA membership fee
*Since M covers A on his health insurance, I pay for the pest control and home alarm system since it ends up being about the same cost
Day 1-Sunday:
7:00 AM: Slept in a little and it was glorious. Got out of bed, took my morning meds, chugged some water, and headed downstairs to check on A. He was already up for the day and he was watching a kids’ show on Netflix with M
7:15 AM: Made a green tea for my caffeine fix using half bottled, unsweetened green tea and half water to dilute it a little bit. Made breakfast for A; he wanted half a bagel with cream cheese and some green grapes. No breakfast for me since my morning fatigue med suppresses my appetite and I usually don’t start to get hungry until late morning or early afternoon.
7:30-8:15 AM: Hung out with A while he ate his breakfast, then I got dressed and headed to the gym
8:30-9:30 AM: Took a really fun cycle class where the instructor works with a live DJ. It makes it a really cool environment with great music, which makes the hour fly by
9:45 AM: Home from the gym, took a quick body shower and threw a load of laundry in the washing machine. Made some avocado toast with Ezekiel gluten-free bread, goat cheese, and eggs. I recently removed cow’s milk from my diet and I’m trying to also limit gluten; they’re both really reactive for my body so as much as I love ALL THE CHEESE and bread and pasta and ice cream, I know that reducing them may help with some of my MS symptoms. Sigh.
10:25 AM: Moved the laundry to the dryer and started the next load, then played Minecraft Dungeons with A for 30 minutes. He is an only child, so M and I play games and do various activities with him a lot. It’s sometimes hard when I’m really fatigued but I truly cherish all the time we get to spend playing with him and doing things he enjoys. I know I’m going to miss it when he gets older and decides he’s too cool to hang out with his parents.
11-11:30 AM: I only took half of my fatigue medication today, so I am dragging. I try to give my body a break from that medication once per week because I don’t want to become dependent on it. Unfortunately, I am exhausted on those days where I take a smaller dose or skip it. I made a chai tea latte with almond milk to try to get a caffeine boost (spoiler alert: it did not work). Talked on FaceTime with my mom and my little brother, who’s deployed overseas right now. Did light makeup and put my hair in a half-up/half-down thing while I was talking to them. I got dressed in comfy jeans, a coral-colored sweatshirt, and pastel Birkenstock sandals. M, A, and I left to go meet M’s family for lunch to celebrate M’s brother’s birthday.
12-1:30 PM: Had a really nice lunch with M and his family; I adore them and feel abundant gratitude for having in-laws I really like and enjoy spending time with. I wasn’t super hungry since I had a late breakfast, so I ordered some beef sliders and then drank 2 honey blonde ales. M’s family kindly treated everyone to lunch so no cost to us ($0).
1:30-3 PM: Took a little nap to sleep off the honey ale, while A and M hung out downstairs. Got up from my nap and made a snack for A of grapes and some chips. I munched on some grapes and gave myself a silent talking-to for overdoing it at lunch. Took my afternoon meds.
3:00-5:30 PM: A and I played outside with the dogs, throwing tennis balls for them to fetch and tossing a frisbee back and forth. We also practiced some soccer stuff. I did my daily French lesson with Duo Lingo, picked up the yard (dog owners-you know), and then A and I picked some fresh lemons, oranges, and tangelos from our citrus trees. We are really fortunate to have a huge backyard with tons of fruit trees and other plants. I washed all the fruit we picked, then used it to make a centerpiece for the kitchen island. We played some Mario Kart and another round of Minecraft Dungeons before getting ready for dinner.
5:30-6:30 PM: We had a quick dinner of leftover pizza, chicken wings, and salad. I cleaned up the kitchen while M did the dishes. M and I played a card game (Pinochle) while A took a shower and got his jammies on.
6:30-7:45 PM: M, A, and I finished watching “Rock Dog” on Netflix-it was cute. I packed A’s backpack and snacks for school tomorrow. It’s his first day back after Spring Break but he really enjoys school so he’s excited.
7:45-8:15 PM: Read stories with A for half an hour before he fell asleep. He wanted to know how to say some silly phrases in French, so we practiced that for a few minutes before I headed to my room to get ready for bed.
8:15-10 PM: I did my nighttime routine-brushed the dogs’ teeth (they both enjoy it and follow me to the bathroom at night when they know it’s time) and did my skincare routine. I have been loving products from The Ordinary and the granactive retinoid emulsion I use at night has been a game changer for my skin. I scrolled Reddit for a while before passing out.
Daily total: $0
Day 2-Monday:
3:30-5:00 AM: Woke up in the middle of the night after having a really stressful dream and could not get back to sleep. Scrolled Reddit and checked personal e-mails and texts until I finally fell back to sleep at 5 AM.
6:30 AM: Woke up after snoozing my alarm repeatedly. I checked my work e-mail and Slack messages to get caught up for the day; my team are all on the East Coast so they’re three hours ahead of me. Took my morning meds and drank a bunch of water.
6:45-7:45 AM: Went downstairs to grab my daily green tea and checked on A, who was doing a quick workout with M. A is very much into fitness right now and loves participating in whatever workouts M is doing. Made breakfast for A (bagel and cream cheese and grapes again), put away two loads of laundry, fed the dogs, showered, got dressed (pastel sweatshirt and yoga pants), helped A brush his teeth and get ready for school, picked up the yard again, and made an almond milk smoothie for my breakfast with pineapple and some of the citrus we picked yesterday. Before we headed out the door for school, A spotted a little rabbit sitting in our back yard, so we kept the dogs inside the house and gently chased the bunny out our gate to the front yard. I’m sure poor Peter Rabbit was terrified, but we didn’t want the dogs to get him. I realized that I have grown up to be Farmer McGregor!
8-11:30 AM: Dropped A off at school and sent a Venmo payment to A’s soccer coach for his soccer lesson later today ($35). Called my cellphone provider to inquire about an incorrect charge on my bill (they refunded it-$10), called my pharmacy to refill two prescriptions, and hopped on Amazon to order a new sports bra, some vitamins for the dogs, and some fancy gold sprinkles for cupcakes I’m making at the end of the month ($71.23). My first morning meeting got moved to later in the week, so I got caught up on all my e-mails, helped a coworker with some questions she had, and made a to-do list for my work tasks today.
11:30 AM: I made a quick lunch (breakfast?) of a breakfast burrito and finished an episode of “How to Get Away with Murder”; I am OBSESSED with this show and kicking myself for not starting to watch it until recently! I ate 2 cookies for good measure and headed back to my home office.
12-5 PM: Attended some meetings, prepped a presentation for tomorrow, and did other admin work. I talked to one of my sisters about issues our other sister is having while I emptied the dishwasher. I also completed my daily Duo Lingo lesson and typed up some of my Money Diary. Took my afternoon meds.
5-7 PM: M and A got home from A’s private soccer lesson and we heated up dinner (more leftovers) and ate quickly before A and I headed back to the soccer center for his regular practice. A was a rockstar and put so much energy into practice, as usual. I completed another Duo Lingo lesson while watching him practice.
7:15 PM: Home from soccer, ordered Dairy Queen delivery through Uber Eats ($26.73). It was a special treat for A since he did so well at his soccer practice and soccer lesson today. Am I going to feel terrible tomorrow after consuming so much dairy? Probably. Is it worth it? We shall see!
7:30-8:30 PM: A took a quick shower then M read him stories and put him to bed. I did my nighttime routine, watched another episode of “How to Get Away with Murder”, and then it was lights out.
Daily total: $132.96
Day 3-Tuesday:
4:45 AM: My alarm goes off and I begrudgingly crawl out of bed. I drink some water, take my morning meds, and make my green tea, before getting dressed for the gym. It’s still dark outside and it’s raining like crazy so my motivation to go to the gym is waning.
5:30-6:30 AM: I took a cycle class at my gym, with a different instructor and format than the one on Sunday. It wasn’t as challenging as the other cycle class, but it was also super early, so I am not complaining.
6:30-7:45 AM: Head home from the gym, shower, get dressed (a gray t-shirt and yoga pants), and hang out with A while he eats breakfast (bagel with cream cheese and some grapes again). I responded to Slacks from my team and checked my calendar for the day while I made another green tea. After A was done eating breakfast, we played some Minecraft Dungeons together. He doesn’t usually get to play video games before school, but he got himself dressed and ready to go in record time, so I didn’t mind making an exception.
7:45-8:15 AM: Dropped A off at school and headed home to finish getting ready for the day. I put on some light makeup and dry shampooed my hair so I would be presentable for the multiple meetings I have today.
8:30-11:15 AM: Took a bunch of meetings, two of which I thought would be really tough but ended up going well. Made a brunch of Ezekiel toast with peanut butter and strawberry jam and ate that while I typed up more of this Money Diary before my next round of meetings began.
12-4:30 PM: Lots of meetings and work to do in between them. I took a quick snack break and ate 2 cookies while I did today’s Duo Lingo lesson. I also took my afternoon meds while I had a break between meetings. I’m thankful for modern medicine but I would be lying if I said it’s not a pain to manage so many pills at different times throughout the day.
4:30 PM: Signed out of work for the day and-you guessed it-played some Minecraft Dungeons with A and M. A finished all his homework at school so we let him have some extra video game time before dinner.
5-8 PM: We had dinner (grilled chicken, quinoa, peas) then A and I had a dance party in the kitchen while I cleaned up from dinner. I snuck a leftover brownie and treasured every bite. We all watched a movie together then I read stories with A and put him to bed.
8:30-10 PM: I did my nighttime skincare routine, brushed the dogs’ teeth, scrolled Reddit for a while, then lights out.
Daily total: $0
Day 4-Wednesday:
5:45 AM: Woke up to the sound of a furious rainstorm outside. I live in a very dry climate so getting rain always feels like a luxury. I remembered today is the day I can begin making dining reservations for an upcoming trip to Disney World, so I log in to my Disney account and start looking at options. I’m surprised and delighted to get 3 different reservations I was hoping for right away. The last time we went to Disney World in 2021, I had to check daily for reservation openings, and I ended up just paying for a service that monitors restaurant availability in order to get the reservations we wanted. I was not expecting it to be so easy this time around! I had to pay to hold our reservations ($344.79) but will end up splitting them with my sister and her partner, whom A and I are going on the trip with. I have funds set aside in a travel sinking fund so using some of that for this expense. Note: A doesn’t know we are going on this trip and my sister, and I are planning to surprise him the morning we leave. I cannot wait!!!
6:00-7:45 AM: Made breakfast for A (Cheerios today) and got him ready for school while I drank my green tea. I got dressed (striped sweatshirt and yoga pants) and put on some light makeup since today’s schedule is pretty meeting heavy. I took my morning meds and started responding to Slacks, then checked my calendar to ensure I wasn’t added to any new meetings since yesterday afternoon. I started mentally preparing for a meeting I know is going to be difficult today. I try to treat everyone with kindness but there is a person I have to meet with today who does not seem to share that same value. Oh well, c’est la vie.
8:00-10 AM: After dropping A off at school, I got fully logged in for the day and jammed through all my e-mails and morning meetings. I took a quick break to work on the Money Diary and do today’s Duo Lingo lesson. I made a chai tea latte with almond milk and it went down a treat.
10-10:30 AM: Break between meetings so I used the time to empty the dishwasher and start a load of laundry. The rain finally petered out, so I picked up the yard and checked the mail while listening to a true crime podcast.
10:30-1:30 PM: More meetings, one of which was really fun! I really like my team and I appreciate that we can have a good time together, even when our work is stressful. Between meetings, I found a dermatologist with good reviews and called to make a Botox appointment. I paid a deposit to hold my appointment ($50); it will be deducted from the cost of my service. I’ve been hesitant to start getting Botox since I’m bad about keeping up with beauty routines, but I just need to do it and force myself to maintain it. I ate a quick sandwich with some turkey and grainy mustard on Ezekiel bread.
1:30-4:30 PM: Took my afternoon meds. Did some admin work, tried pulling a report in Snowflake but couldn’t wrap my brain around fixing the syntax errors so I called it quits for the afternoon. I really need to carve out time for SQL practice each day; my brain is not naturally good at coding and it feels impossible that I’ll ever get more comfortable with it. M and A got home and we celebrated A’s progress on his reading comprehension grades. He is extremely gifted with math and spelling but he has struggled a little bit this year with reading comprehension, so we try to really celebrate any growth he shows in that area. I downloaded some songs from iTunes ($5) and listened to those while I worked.
4:30-5 PM: I put together my to-do list for tomorrow, did one final sweep of Slacks and e-mails, and logged out for the day. A and M played Minecraft Dungeons for a few minutes while I finished working.
5-7:30 PM: M smoked a prime rib today, which we had for dinner, along with salad and leftover quinoa. A and I tossed around a football while M finished cooking the meat. I ordered invitations for A’s birthday party next month ($36, split with M so my total is $18). He is all about Minecraft right now so naturally that is the party theme he chose. I vacuumed the downstairs floors and cleaned the kitchen then we finished watching the movie we started last night. I ordered some clothing for myself and used a small credit I have from the store to bring down the total cost ($120.81).
7:30 PM: M put A to bed and read stories with him while I brushed the dogs’ teeth and did my nighttime skincare routine.
Daily total: $538.60
Day 5-Thursday:
4:45 AM: Woke up when M’s alarm went off; looked at my phone and saw how early it was then promptly fell asleep.
6:05 AM: Woke up to my alarm and dragged myself out of bed. I have a meeting at 7 AM my time so I need to get moving a little earlier than normal. M is taking A to school today so I get dressed (gray shirt, light pink Vuori pants), take my meds, put on some light makeup, and start checking Slacks and e-mails.
6:45 AM: A is still sleeping so I wake him up for the day. The dogs are so excited to see him so they accompany me to his room and jump up on his bed for kisses. I help A pick out clothes for the day and leave him to get dressed while I make his breakfast (Cheerios and grapes today).
7:00-7:30 AM: I log in to work and attend the early morning meeting; it’s a frustrating conversation and nothing gets accomplished, so will have to follow up with the stakeholders early next week.
7:30-8:00 AM: I make a Chai tea latte with almond milk for myself, fill A’s water bottle, and do a final check of his backpack to make sure he has everything he needs. I always pack A’s backpack each night with snacks, his homework folder, and any library books he needs to return the next day. It makes mornings a little less hectic and sets the tone for a less-stressful day for us. I kiss A and M goodbye as they head out the door, then go back to work. I had signed up for a short cycle class later this morning but I am not feeling it today; I cancel my registration and promise myself I’ll do a workout at home later in the day (spoiler alert: did not work out later).
8:00-10:00 AM: I listen to a podcast someone mentioned in their Money Diary (“I Will Teach You to be Rich”) while I do some admin work and put away the laundry I started yesterday. I have back-to-back meetings later today so trying to get any household and admin things done first so I can fully focus on those calls. I ate a quick breakfast of a tomato, goat cheese, and egg scramble with two pieces of Ezekiel bread toast.
10:00 AM-1:00 PM: Attended back-to-back meetings and coordinated follow-ups for our team as needed. My previous roles were always very meeting heavy, but a lot of those meetings felt pointless; I like that in my current role, people tend to only meet when it’s really necessary, so we get more out of the time we have together. Took my afternoon meds.
1:00-4:30 PM: Finished work for the day, had a brownie and a Dilly Bar made with coconut cream for snacks. I have definitely noticed a correlation between my level of stress at work and how much sugajunk food I eat. I stepped outside for a few minutes to get some fresh air and check the mail. I received my Disney redemptions gift card for $77 from my Chase Disney Rewards credit card. I browsed the Shop Disney website and debated buying some Snow White themed “Minnie ears” for the upcoming trip, but I already have a few pairs I will bring so I decided to hold off on buying it. I did purchase a new Magic Band + for the trip ($26.96). I got it at a discounted rate since we have an upcoming reservation on-property. While the Magic Band isn’t required, it does make life easier since you can use it as your room key, to purchase food and other items in the parks, etc. I had previously bought one for A which I plan to give to him when my sister and I surprise him the morning we leave for the trip. I completed my Duo Lingo lesson for the day and got about 90% of the questions correct! I feel like it’s starting to “click” and I’m making good progress.
4:30-6:00 PM: M went to see the new John Wick movie, so A and I decide to order burgers and fries via Uber Eats for dinner ($27.35). M usually cooks dinner each night and while I know how to cook and can make basic things, I was really tired so I took the easy route. While we waited for dinner to arrive, I helped A with his homework and hung out with him while he played Minecraft Dungeons for a few minutes.
Daily total: $54.31
Day 6-Friday:
6:30 AM: I slept in a little this morning since I have no meetings until later today. I checked my Slacks and e-mails in bed for a few minutes, then took my morning meds and headed downstairs to make my green tea. A is already up and dressed so we hung out for a few minutes and then got his breakfast ready. He wasn’t very hungry this morning, so I let him have a granola bar and grapes instead of a bigger meal. Every single morning, he tells me he isn’t hungry and I remind him he needs to eat something or he will be hungry and distracted once he gets to school, so this is a well-rehearsed conversation for us.
7:00-8:00 AM: A ate his breakfast then finished getting ready for school while I took a super quick shower and got dressed (a blue sweatshirt and workout shorts). I only have one meeting today so I decide to skip makeup and hair and just put on my moisturizer and some lip balm. I drop A off at school and get fully logged in for the day.
8:00-9:30 AM: I chat with my team on Slack about some data analytics we got asked to provide today; I feel very grateful to work with smart people who view things differently than I do. It challenges me to think outside of the box and I feel like I’m constantly learning new things. M and I decide to increase our contributions to A’s 529 account, so I update my budget binder to plan for $100 per paycheck to his account instead of the $75 I have been doing. M puts in the same amount each pay period. Note: I know there are so many online budgeting tools I could use but I really love having a place to write it down and make it a little more fun by using different colored pencils for different categories.
9:30-11:00 AM: I had an awesome meeting with someone I mentor; part of it was career-related and part of it was just catching up on life. We make plans to meet again in two weeks and I’m excited to talk to her again. After the meeting, I quickly catch up on admin work and e-mails.
11:00 AM-12:30 PM: M and I worked on our estate plan. It’s been on my mind for a while because of my MS and we recently lost a loved one at a very young age so we decided to finally get this done. We utilized a free legal service through my company’s Employee Assistance Program, which walked us through filling out the different documents we need. We created a trust and will to ensure A and our dogs go to the guardians we’ve chosen for them and specified how we want our assets and property to be divided up. We also put together a living will/healthcare power of attorney for me, which was way more emotional than I anticipated. I’m on a high-efficacy treatment but MS is progressive and as of now there is no cure. I’m doing what I can to stave off my disease progression, but I want to specify my wishes regarding my long-term care in case I ever become incapacitated (physically or cognitively). Assisted suicide isn’t legal in my state but I let M know that would be my preference if my disease progresses to a certain point; maybe by then it will be legal here and if not, we can go to a state where it is legal. I know it was difficult for M to talk about this but I feel better knowing he understands my wishes and is willing to do what I ask.
12:30-1:30 PM: After the estate planning conversation, I needed an emotional palate-cleanser, so I scrolled Reddit for a few minutes and made a quick lunch (breakfast) of scrambled eggs with goat cheese, tomatoes, salsa, and guacamole. I called my sister and caught up with her for a few minutes and then went back to work to wrap up some admin tasks. Took my afternoon meds.
1:30-3:00 PM: I reviewed some proposed documentation to provide feedback, listened to another episode of “I Will Teach You to be Rich”, and watched a how-to video for SQL database creation. I placed an Amazon order for some health and beauty items ($58.59) and talked to M about the plans for tonight. The PTSA at A’s school is hosting a family game night so we chatted about what time to go and whether we should eat dinner first. I am currently running for a position on the PTSA Board at his school and I love events like this so I’m looking forward to it.
3:00-3:30 PM: M picked up A from school and they did some soccer drills in the backyard while I finished work. I also did my Duo Lingo lesson for the day and confirmed my reservation at a local restaurant tomorrow morning. My family and I try to get together every few weeks and tomorrow morning we are meeting there for an early breakfast.
3:30-4:30 PM: It has been a long, stressful week and my work is done for the day so I log off a bit earlier than usual. I check the mail, pick up the yard, and relax for a little while before it’s time to leave for the family game night.
4:30-6:30 PM: We ate a quick dinner of leftover pizza and salad then headed to the family game night. A had a really nice time playing the different carnival games and hanging out with his friends.
6:30-8:00 PM: We played Minecraft Dungeons for a while, M mixed a delicious cocktail for me, then M put A to bed while I did my nighttime routine.
8:00-10:00 PM: M and I watched a movie together then lights out.
Day 7-Saturday:
6:30 AM: Woke up with my alarm, took morning meds, and headed downstairs for green tea and cuddles with A. We watched some cartoons on Netflix then A and I started knocking out our Saturday morning chores while M was at the gym.
7:30 AM-10:00 AM: A and I went with my family to breakfast and it was delicious. A ordered pancakes and sausage and I had a delectable avocado eggs benedict dish and a cold brew with almond milk. My stepdad paid for everyone which was really nice ($0). After breakfast, my family came back to our house for a few minutes. We showed them our garden since A is really proud of the progress his fruit trees and veggie plants are making. M went grocery shopping for the week (my half was $90).
10:00 AM-1:30 PM: My family left and M, A, and I spent a couple hours just hanging out, playing some video games, doing laundry, and having lunch. I dropped off a return at the local post office (will be $35 once refunded) and put some gas in my car while I was out ($30).
1:30-4:00 PM: A had a soccer game in the afternoon; his team lost but he played pretty well and received good feedback from his coach. M headed to a friend’s house for a party and A and I went home. I did more laundry and played outside with A and the dogs since it was a nice, warm day. I placed an Instacart order for some candy for A’s Easter basket and a couple other items I forgot to have M grab at the grocery store ($40.78). A and I drew and colored for a while then made paper airplanes.
4:00-8:00 PM: A and I played some Minecraft Dungeons then had a dance party in the kitchen while I made dinner for the two of us. We had gluten free pasta with meatballs, garlic bread, and peas. After dinner I cleaned up the kitchen and more dancing ensued. We watched some TV and then put away A’s laundry and made the beds with the bedding we washed today.
8:00-10:00 PM: A and I watched some TV and I let him stay up later than usual since it’s a weekend night. A fell asleep around 9:30. I did my nighttime routine and scrolled Reddit until 10 or so when M got home from his friend’s house, then lights out.
Daily total: $160.78
At the end of each day please tally up your daily expenses. Then at the end of your diary please tally up all expenses in the following categories:
Food + Drink: $184.86
Health + Beauty: $108.59
Clothes: $120.81
Transport: $30
Travel: $344.79
Other: $156.19
Total: $945.24
Lastly, reflect on your diary!
Man, I have so many thoughts on this diary. I’m in this kind of weird space where I want so badly to pay off my debt because I have a lot of shame associated with it. On the flip side, I want to travel and enjoy the time I have right now because I don’t know if my health will permit that in the future. Overall I spent less on food than I usually do, partly because our families generously treated us when we went out with them. I feel grateful to make enough money to start paying off my debt more quickly, even though I have a long way to go. I’m also proud of how far I’ve come from the terrified 18 year old who didn’t know how I was going to pay my rent and still eat each month. If you made it through this super-long diary, thanks! I’d love to hear from anyone in a similar place with their health regarding how you balance responsible finances with having fun and enjoying your life.
submitted by Standard-Scene5606 to MoneyDiariesACTIVE [link] [comments]

2023.03.26 16:52 Groundbreaking-Bid78 Has only one ever had their bonus taken BACK??!!

Okay new to reddit and new 2 Lyft driving so going to ask a lot of questions sorry.

Has anyone ever had their bonus paid out and then actually taken back ? Leaving your current earnings in the negative -??

Sorry if it is too long of a question in sory format

I was offered a $700 bonus to do so many rides I can't remember how many (I think 60?) by 8am on Saturday morning (the day after St Patrick's Day) . I work all night into the next morning but I just couldn't do it and I'm five rides short. Figuring I'm not going to get the $700 bonus because I've only got like 30 minutes left I decide I'm tired and done. So I go offline and call my ex-husband to tell him that I'm going to head to his place (an apartment) to pick up our son on my way back home. He says no problem and proceeds to tell me that he's out in the screened in patio watching his neighbor (who we will call Bob), stumble around still absolutely crap-faced drunk from the night before, yelling into his phone about someone better not leave without him to go to the beach and they better wait for him so he can keep the party going. Yes, all of this useless info is important !

So as Bob is stumbling his inebriated self back towards the apartments he starts a conversation with my ex on the patio and proceeds to tell him that he is angry because he has some people who are supposed to come pick him up to go to the beach but they don't want to come all the way to the apartments because of the ridiculous speed bumps and the gate is always a problem yada yada. They want to pick him up down the street. He's is WAAAy to wasted to walk and find his way to them but they told him they will leave him behind if he's not over there in the next 10 minutes. (Guessing they had already had enough of ol'bobs crap the night before lol). Anywho, my ex asks why he doesn't just take a lyft. He says he doesn't have that app or know how to 'do it'. My ex tells him that his ex-wife (me), drives for Lyft, on my way over, almost there and maybe i could Lyft him to his buddies. He then proceed to show him how to download the app and helps him out in his cc info because ol'bob can't tell his Sam's club card from his cc with both his liquor laced eyeballs looking in different directions 🤣😳. Mind you I've been offline for the last 20 or 30 minutes or so and haven't talked to my ex since the first phone call. When I get there Bob walks up and starts saying let's go let's go while stumble-running towards my car as I'm trying to park! Uhmmmmm?? ..... Needless to say, I was a little taken aback and extremely confused. I only know the neighbor in passing for the most part because my ex has only lived there about 6 months. My ex tells me all of these reindeer games that happened before my arrival and asks if I can drive him. I tell him it's only my third/fourth day driving and I'm not exactly sure how the lyft algorithm works exactly yet and that I had no guarantee that if I log back on Lyft would match us up but I could give it a try. If it didn't match him with me as a driver it would match him with one of the other drivers somewhere close by and he might have to wait a bit. Bob is freaking out to get going and not get left behind and orders his Lyft. I log on to see if he gets lucky and if it matches us up. And good thing for Bob- I tell him it does. Bob hurls himself head first into my backseat with my ex helping him remember he has legs that have to go in to before he can close the door. And off we go! I learned in my very first day that if you don't want Lyft to keep dumping people into your ride list, that you need to mark it as a last ride as soon as you slide the pick up passenger button. So I have already made a habit of doing that for about 80+90% of my rides. It gives me time to make sure no one left anything in my car and to clean, sanitize, and wipe the seats making sure the inside of my car looks 💯. So like usual, I do the same and log last ride. I rush him out of the apartment complex.......and like.... two buildings down. 😳 As we're stopping up at the drop off he yells NOPE ITS NOT THIS ONE! He gets really animated and squirrely because he's worried they are going to the beach without him and he can't be left behind and begs me to please not leave him there and to keep driving. I explained to him that this is the drop off location that he requested in his app. It's only then that he tells me he's not sure which building it is and that if it's not this one then it's the next one or two down. So I tell him not to worry I won't ditch him in the parking lot but he will have to order another ride and put the right drop off in because I already hit the drop off button when we pulled up and parked. I also tell him that I'll try my best to get him where the heck it is he's going. So he puts in his meet up spot, I again log on, we get matched, I accept, go offline, and off we go again. This time the next building over. Surprise surprise. Nope. It's like some sort of private disabled school building or something. So here we go again, third time is a charm right??? He picks another address off his Google maps, books the ride, I go online, pick him up and then log off again. This time he tries a little further and we go about 4-5 buildings up. Now I can't lie....I was rushing his butt as fast as I could and each ride only lasted a couple of minutes and only scored me like $3.-$5. But it was already 8am and tbh I figured his buddies probably already left him and I would be lyfting him a ride right back to the apartment by the time Bob gave up his daisy-chain trip of alcohol-sweat and beer burps. 😵😖But now I was invested.... On a mission! Get Bob to the beach! Hahaha🎉We get to the last stop and guess what. It's not this building or parking lot either. Poor bob. But just as he's about to tell me he wants to try again we hear yelling, hooting, and someone attempting to make a rhythmic song out of their car horn. Behold!! Bobs buddies. Sat in a parking lot on the other side of the friggin road . Bob rolls down the window and frantically waveds them to drive over. And they do! They drive right over the median grass in the middle and cross to our lot. Bob throlls (like a throw with a little trip, and half roll at the end)out of my car into a patch of grass at the parking lot and his buddies peel him off the ground and away they go. I'm already logged off remember, as I had done so after I accepted bobs last ride. So decide to go grab fast food b+fast and while I'm roaming I see a little bubble pop up telling me to log back online to pick up a pretty good price ride. So...i do. After that drop off I happen to see another so go back online and take that rider too! But by now, I'm exhausted and so very very done. And my car now smells of beer and Bob. So I stay logged off. It worked out well because my son hadn't woke up to get ready for me to pick him up yet. So I called my ex and told him I was gonna go home take a nap and be back. The next day I log onto the app and HECK YEAH I GOT THE BONUS SAY WHAT??!! Well, turns out I didn't need 5 more rides...I only needed 4. Bobs little drunk road derby race, and the two others I took after him gave me six more rides. I was super hyped because I hadn't even made all 60 rides by 8am. We'll find out it wasn't was 8:0*5* am 🤯🥳👍 so still not sure how it works. Either bobs drop off time came in just under(if they go by rides completed till end) or the two after bobs are what did it(if they go by the time you actively log someone into your car while still in the same day/shift). All the quick starting and stopping did make a message pop up that my account was in jeopardy for poor customer experience. It's a blow but I told myself It was a godsend because I had just lost my job and my son's cat was admitted into the animal ER the night before. I wouldn't have to choose between the mortgage or my son's best friend. So I cashed out including the bonus, paid the mortgage and the vet bill. Even so his poor little kitty still didn't make it but at least I had the money to allow the vets to fight to try to save her ...or so I thought .. ☹️😭Skip ahead a day or twos. I'm no spring chicken and honestly was wiped between driving for so long and being up with my son many a night worried about his kitten. So few days later I fill my gas tank with all the money I have left. No biggie.. I'll make it back and then some right? Open the app And start driving my Lyft. On the app I have the earnings hidden was only after taking a couple rides and tips I decided to hit the button and see how much Ive made. It shows -599.64????

I look at earning history and can clearly see where they giae me the $700.00 bonus . I can see me cash it out the next day. Then I can see it removed from my account a few days later. I lost my [email protected]#. Ever since the exact day and within a short while of them paying me the bonus, it seems everytime I log on within the first few drives I get another new email about cancelling rides and starting and stopping drives to quickly to confuse and overcharge riders. Happened today. Only had 4 rides. 5 stars on all. Tips on 2 or 3. None of them quick. No start and stops. Haven't cancelled a single one but they are claiming I did. Beginning to think that they are starting this all on purpose so they don't have to pay out or rather back...the $700. Also, today when I got another notification on my phone about another new email stating my account was again in peril (for the same two things yet again I mentioned above that again, have not happened today at all!!) I decided to use the search tab in the email for all things Lyft has sent me. And go figure! There's an email about them taking back my $700 bonus. Here is the email I received:

arper (Lyft)arper (Lyft)
arper (Lyft) 
arper (Lyft)arper (Lyft)

Mar 21, 2023, 1:51 PM CDT

Your account has been flagged by our system due to a misuse of the Lyft platform. There have been several recent charges, which have been flagged by our system and submitted for review for their validity.

After further review from our risk team, we will be deducting a total of $700.00 from future earnings for the Churned Driver Bonuses we paid you the week of 3/13/23. Please note, Lyft reserves the right to withhold all or a portion of Ride Fees if it believes that you have attempted to defraud or abuse Lyft or Lyft’s payment systems.

**Moving forward, it is important that you do not prearrange rides with users outside of the Lyft platform. All ride requests must be matched organically through the Lyft system, and any attempt to defraud Lyft or Riders on the Lyft Platform or in connection with your provision of Services could put your account at risk of deactivation.**

So long post I know. But I'm just trying to give every piece of info I have to everyone so hopefully you guys and gals can give me some advice on how the heck I'm supposed to deal with this??!! It's like they think I went out and got another phone to put in the seat of my car and drive around giving rides to it to rip them off. I mean there is no way people actually do that sort of nonsense. That's a snl skit not real life! Arrrggggg!!!!!!

So has anyone else had to deal with this? What am I supposed to do?

I've read a lot of your posts about Lyft ripping drivers off left and right of bonus, pay,surge, and even guarantee it a losing battle I should Let go? Consider the $700 bonus a payday advance and work myself to death to get my account back to $0.00 to start making money again? I have kids and bills and I'm not sure I can make $500-$600 dollars for them to take back the rest of my so called bonus and then another $500.-600. on top of that in this last weeks of the month to pay my bills as well. Wth??!!

Or is there a way to dispute this and tell them to cough my hard earned bonus back up? Have them call Bob and the last two riders I had and ask and verify that they are in fact real people and not burner phones and blow up dolls I strapped into the backseat of my darn car??? There was another choose your bonus challenge again this week and honestly I didn't even pick one to try for. Why bother if they are just going to find a way to not pay it out or to take it back? It's not worth the stress.

Any experience or advice on this would help greatly. If you made it all the way through thank you so much and thanks to everyone who might have any ideas. :-).
submitted by Groundbreaking-Bid78 to lyftdrivers [link] [comments]

2023.03.26 01:16 ElTedChuck Are These Temperatures Accurate?
I know this isn’t technically smoking, BUT, I trust you all for all things smoking/grilling so I’m posting it here anyway.
I finally have my new Masterbuilt 560 assembled along with a LSS Mods manifold cover. I’ve never really monitored my grilling temperatures with my gas grill (because it was a cheap POS and was basically pointless) but now that I have an easy way to set a temperature on the grill, I want to make sure that I’m cooking at the right temperatures.
I grill a lot of chicken breasts, steaks and veggies. What do you find produces the best results?
Once I get a handle on the grilling side of things with this 560 I will start using it for smoking duties instead of my stand LP smoker.
Edit: To clarify, I do have probes for monitoring the temperature of what I’m grilling. I’m questioning the temperatures that I should have the grill set to while grilling.
submitted by ElTedChuck to smoking [link] [comments]

2023.03.25 13:49 thecheeseking9 Blackrock Drive Yards 0.9.1a Destroyer ship tier list, by thecheeseking9

This tier list is made to attempt to rank the destroyer ships included in the Blackrock Drive Yards mod by Cycerin. It is heavily based on and inspired by the many great tier list of the base game made by user Grevious69, who was inspired by the tier lists made by user PureLSD. This list will follow largely follow the format of the tier lists by Grevious69 where I will include 2 ranks (first rank being in AI control, second rank in the player’s control) if there is a significant performance difference in rank between an AI piloted VS a player piloted. If either person of the tier list feel that this list should be removed or changes made, please inform me to do so.
A disclaimer, technically the version I use to review Blackrock Drive Yards is an unofficial patch by user Sebaa called Black Rock Drive Yards Unofficial as the current Starsector version 0.95 1a-RC6 is incompatible with the Blackrock Drive Yards 0.9.1a and Cycerin had not updated Blackrock to the current Starsector version. There are no gameplay differences as far as I know.
Cetonia: B-
A combat freighter similar to the Mule, its decently fast and has the Arc Jet Burner ability, charging the ship in a similar fashion to Burn Drive. Weaker in combat overall than the Mule though it has the Civilian Grade Hull which if you have the Bulk Transport skill lets it function alright as a fleet anchor for frigate fleets if you don’t mind the increased sensor profile but I wouldn’t use it in any real fleet battle.
Desdinova: A- / A
A heavily armed and armoured destroyer, the Desdinova functions similarly as a Falcon light cruiser, hunting down weaker targets such as destroyers with its great speed and armament. It can even punch up a little with its weapons and speed though will still falter against stronger opponents. All of this comes at a cost of 16 DP to deploy, a very high cost for a destroyer. If you need a ship to hunt down destroyers, the Desdinova is a good choice though its pretty pricy for what it does and is probably best used by the player instead of AI hands.
Dynastos: B+ / A-
If you ever wanted a ship that could do the same thing as those cartoons where you throw a bug zapper into the water and the fish all die, I have just the ship for you. The Dynastos is a fast destroyer with the Core Discharge ability. When activated, the Dynastos begins charging up during which flux is gained and weapons are disabled. After charging up, EMP arcs to enemy targets before finally releasing a strong burst of EMP damage in a 360 degrees radius and 500 range. Incredibly effective at destroying fighters and missiles and there is no friendly fire. You could do some shenanigans and fly up close to enemy ships and use this ability but its pretty dangerous as the EMP damage doesn’t arc over shields, requiring you to hit their unshielded armour and hull as well as the Dynastos having a rather fragile hull but the Dynastos hilariously has the BRDY Dimensional Engine hull mod built in which among other things causes the ship to explode twice if it gets disabled. Unfortunately, this hullmod also doubles the ships sensor profile though it you’re using this ship, you probably want to use it to escort larger targets like cruisers or capitals anyways. The Dynastos also has several built-in weapons, the Scalaron Pulse Beams which mainly function as PD though can be used against ships at extremely close range and the Flash APC, a medium range energy cannon that does good energy and EMP damage at the cost of efficiency. It also has several mounts letting it equip missiles and energy weapons. It’s probably best to use the Dynastos as a heavy escort for larger ships though it could potentially be built as a close-range ship for players but I think there are better ships for that.
Eurypterus: A
Functioning very similarly to the Manticore, the Eurypterus can function as an artillery ship or even as a glass cannon hit and run ship as it is decently fast with its Burst Jet ability, letting it retreat when needed. Its also slight cheaper to deploy though this comes at the costs of losing 2 medium missile slots in exchange for 2 small composite slots causing it to have weaker missile support. Most importantly however is the change of the large ballistic turret being changed to a large hybrid turret, letting you equip energy weapons as well. Blackrock has energy weapons such as the Sunstorm PDE if you prefer a more aggressive, closer range build or you could just equip a Tachyon Lance or High Intensity Laser if you prefer a longer-range energy weapon. If you’re looking for mainly an artillery ship with ballistics and missiles, you might prefer the Manticore though if you want energy weapons, a faster ship or don't mind losing 2 medium missiles in exchange for small missiles and 2 less DP to deploy, the Eurypterus isn’t a bad choice.
Gonodactylus / Gonodactylus (P): B / B+
A fairly durable destroyer, it’s very similar to an Enforcer with its Arc Jet Burner ability, good armour, hull and decent number of mounts though its mounts are overall weaker due to most of them being small though can still function decently as a fleet anchor. Probably the most distinctive thing about the Gonodactylus besides looking like a gas station lobster is its built-in weapon, the Hammerclaw. The Hammerclaw is a single shot dumb-fire missile that is fast, durable and does very high kinetic damage. It also bonks ships backwards a little which while amusing isn’t that useful. While the Hammerclaw does great burst damage especially to shields, it only has a single shot and after using it, the Gonodactylus just becomes a weaker Enforcer so you better pray it doesn’t miss.
Megaceras: B
A freighter and tanker bundled into one ship, the Megaceras is somewhat similar to a Mule though it’s not as durable but is much faster in combat. Its quite similarly armed though instead of a medium composite it has a medium hybrid, letting it equip energy weapons. All this means that its generally better as an aggressive ship instead of a tanky ship like the Mule. It also has 1 flight bay with a built-in fighter, the Kutos Attack Drone. The Kutos are fast fighters equipped with light weapons that can help shoot down missiles, fighters and do some light damage, allowing them to harass enemies a little or stay near the Megaceras and allied ships as PD escort. All of this comes at the cost of 11 DP compared to the Mule’s 7 DP so I would only use it against weaker foes and wouldn’t use it in any real battle.
Morpheus: B- / S
A phase ship with quite a lot of unique properties, the Morpheus is capable of being an incredibly powerful ship if piloted well. It’s very fast and has the Slip Jets ability, a short speed and manuverability boost ability with up to 3 charges. Instead of the usual Phase Cloak of phase ships, the Morpheus has the Scalar Repulsor which when activated can only be cancelled by venting and last a short duration instead of the full activation control of Phase Cloak. During its duration, the Morpheus phases as expected but doesn’t slow down time and also sucks all including friendly projectiles, energy bolts and missiles in a frontal cone, causing them to vanish. After the Scalar Repulsor duration ends, the would-be damage from what is absorbed is released as multiple powerful homing energy bolts, the number of energy bolts depending on the number of things sucked. In large battles this can be devastating especially since the AI is incapable of learning and will continue shooting the Morpheus when it’s giving the good suck. That’s not the only way for the Morpheus to defile its enemies, it comes with several built-in weapons. It has multiple Scalaron Pulse Beams which mainly function as PD but can be used as a weapon up close, 8 Arclight LFOs which are individually decent damage homing energy bolts but the sheer number of them greatly increases the Morpheus’s firepower and finally the Void Buster. The Void Buster is a frontal facing energy weapon which after a short charge up fires a continuous death beam. The beam has some unique properties, it does higher damage at higher flux levels. It also provides up to 50% damage resistance the higher your flux levels. All of this means the Morpheus is incentivised to live life dangerously and try to maintain a high flux level though be careful as the Void Buster will get disabled temporarily if you reach max flux, leaving you stranded without its damage resistance buff. The Morpheus also has another way of helping it survive besides its speed, phase cloak and Void Buster damage resistance buff. It has the Nanolattice Armor hull mod which gives it armour regeneration, having higher regeneration at lower flux levels further emphasizing the Morpheus’s hit and run nature. It only regenerates armour and not hull so careful play or skill investment is needed for longer battles but the Morpheus has low peak performance time like most phase ships. It also costs a whopping 30 DP to deploy and consumes a monstrous amount of supplies to maintain. The AI is not absolutely terrible with the ship, they mainly use its Scalar Repulsor to dodge attacks and return the damage but its quite reluctant to use its weapons and the AI is of course not able to manage flux as well or make good decisions on when to retreat etc. Overall, the Morpheus should probably be only used by a player who can utilize the meme level strength of it in the short duration the Morpheus is able to.
Scorpion: B+
A destroyer fleet anchor, the Scorpion it’s also somewhat similar with an Enforcer but its nowhere near as durable with its lower armour though it has a decently fast speed, letting it pull back instead of just face tanking like an Enforcer. In terms of armament, the Scorpion loses 2 small missiles and 2 medium mounts though it exchanges the remaining 3 turrets for 2 hybrids and 1 universal, letting it equip a medium missile and energy weapons. If it was just the base game energy weapons, the Scorpion would be much worse but thankfully the mod adds great energy weapons including the Sunfire PDE for mid-range fighting or Scalaron Repeater for a more aggressive close-range build. Instead of Burn Drive, it has the Stinger Drones ability which deploys 2 drones armed with a HE weapon that stay near the Scorpion in a similar way as a Xyphos, adding a little more HE damage without flux costs. The Scorpion isn’t a bad ship but if you’re going to only use ballistic weapons, you will likely prefer the Enforcer considering it also costs 4 DP less to deploy and has more mounts however if you want to utilize some powerful and exotic energy weapons, the Scorpion is a very solid fleet anchor for smaller fleets.
Typheus: B+
Destroyer carrier with 2 flight bays, its very similar to the Condor. It costs 2 more DP in return for several mounts including 1 small universal turret, letting it have just a little more missiles. It also has higher OP than the Condor, letting it equip more pricy fighters while still having missiles. The inclusion of more weapon mounts and Heavy Manuvering Jet lets the Typheus have more survivability and does not need to be babysat like the Condor but it’s still quite fragile so I wouldn’t use it in direct combat. I’d use it over the Condor if you want to use some more expensive fighters, otherwise the Condor is really similar and slightly cheaper.
submitted by thecheeseking9 to starsector [link] [comments]

2023.03.24 22:52 kcheves Concrete Block BBQ Island Project

Following up on a comment i made in a post by u/Hop1226, here are some details of a project I’m just wrapping up. I did the design and material selection and my very talented stone mason did the work.
We were originally planning to use modular cabinets, but my landscape contractor talked me into using block. As you’ll see in the photos that follow, it is a very flexible form of construction, at the cost of diminished internal volume due to the wall thickness. We had a big space so we compensated by making the island bigger.
This was the original concept.
This is a Visio sketch I made to convey the dimensions to the mason. The calculations are for the amount of tile and architectural stone that we needed.
Here are photos of the finished product. You’ll notice that the patio cover is missing. The original plan was to fabricate this from Corten steel, but the cost spiraled and we deferred this until later. We also did not carry the architectural stone onto the adjacent stucco walls - one of many cost trade offs we made in the larger backyard project.
Here’s the rough gas line, electrical, and drain work.
Even though we had it rough plumbed, we ended up not putting in a sink because a) I had one in my old BBQ island and rarely used it, b) the outdoor kitchen is adjacent to our indoor kitchen, and I have a hose nearby if I need it, c) the island was already getting huge, and there was not a great place to put a sink, and d) sinks are where crickets and lizards go to die.
We trenched and then placed the first course of block. The electrical was run under the block and then brought up to a central location in the back wall of the island. Where needed, the mason poured short concrete walls to achieve the final dimensions. You can see this in the second photo below, where he used block as a form.
Here’s a view with most of the island built up. The slab that will support the smoker has already been poured, and he’s starting to build the forms for the countertop.
You can see two of the j-boxes on the back of the island. There are three outlets total on the outside walls, plus one between the BBQ and side burner for a rotisserie. There are 4 inside the island for appliances, and I ran conduit between the BBQ island and an adjacent fire pit area for future use. Photos of the fire pit are at the end of this post.
All of the conduit is burried in the block or in the poured countertops. My mason used a propane torch to bend the conduit smoothly so we could pull wires later. Very cool.
Here are some shots of the forms he created for the countertops.
There were several pours required to create the openings for the appliances and storage drawers and doors.
Here’s a pic with the countertop poured. I really like the way the cantilever was constructed. We debated having two counter heights with a backsplash between them, primarily so i could install outlets at counter level, but I think this looks cleaner.
It’s not shown, but the inside of the island is brown coated and the floor is poured concrete.
The outside was brown coated, and then covered with architectural stone.
We decided that we didn’t like how the bottom slab poked out under the various openings, so it was trimmed back.
Our original plan was to use granite for the countertops, but we couldn’t find any we loved. We ended up using large format porcelain tiles that a have a cool concrete look, which saved several thousand dollars. We kept the grout lines as thin as possible to make it look more like a slab. We also used a 4” tall strip of tiles to cover the exposed edge of the slab, and coated the underside of the counter overhang with smooth cement.
A few other details…
My daughter gave this to me, it’s from a local brewery and adds a nice touch.
The grill is a 32” natural gas Artisan, which is the budget brand from Alfresco. I was originally going to get a 36” DCS grill, but we didn’t need something that large, and I’ve got an XL egg for turkeys and other big cooks. In the past I’ve mostly cooked with charcoal, and I considered not having a gas grill at all. But I’m glad we put one in.
Here’s how I plumbed the gas for the BBQ and side burner. The valve that is horizontal is for the BBQ and has a pressure regulator on it.
There are stainless access doors under the BBQ to get to the gas valves and outlets, and storage doors on the far side of the smoker for storing charcoal and accessories. There is also a unit with a double trash bin pullout and a storage drawer. I got a deal on these by having my BBQ dealer source them directly from the company (Pacific Coast Manufacturing) that makes the house brand units for Barbecues Galore and BBQ guys. PCM is also the parent company of Blaze BBQ’s.
The egg, side burner and fridge were re-used from my previous BBQ island. I originally planned to buy an outdoor-rated fridge but decided it was overkill since it is on the North side of the house and does not get direct sun.
The stools are teak, also left over from our old BBQ island. I had to shorten the legs because the new countertop is thicker and the height from my knees to the bottom of the counter was tight.
There’s a cheap 55” TV hanging behind the island. It is on an articulating arm so that we can watch from the bar or from a sitting area we have next to the house. It’s under the eaves and covered. I’m not sure how much we’ll use this, but i had to cut into the stucco to add an outlet and network connection, and it would have been harder to add later.
The pavers are pre-cast concrete from a company called Stepstone Pavers. They still need to be cleaned and sealed, which will make them a shade darker and more uniform in color. They are sand set and are 2” thick. We used these for all of the pool and patio decking, and for several walkways through the yard.
Finally, I mentioned that I ran electrical to an adjacent fire pit area. It’s not part of the kitchen, but we like the way it turned out. This area has a concrete border, and the fire bowl and Adirondack chairs sit on smooth 3/8” pebble.
With the exception of the trees, the plants you can see are still in containers, they will get planted this week.
Thanks for looking!
submitted by kcheves to OutdoorKitchens [link] [comments]

2023.03.24 22:25 Onyam3ba I need the weed plug for some of the Walmart customers and employees who put orders like these together 😒

I need the weed plug for some of the Walmart customers and employees who put orders like these together 😒
They're getting out of hand!
submitted by Onyam3ba to Sparkdriver [link] [comments]

2023.03.24 17:10 DarthHarambe666 New Kirkland Signature grill I just saw at my local warehouse (Clearwater, FL). Looks pretty solid for a good price. Anyone use one yet?

New Kirkland Signature grill I just saw at my local warehouse (Clearwater, FL). Looks pretty solid for a good price. Anyone use one yet? submitted by DarthHarambe666 to grilling [link] [comments]

2023.03.24 13:57 kittehgoesmeow What A Day: Calm Before The Stormy by Julia Claire & Crooked Media (03/23/23)

"You're hired!" - Sen. Kyrsten Sinema's (I-AZ) predictable response to a Republican lobbyist showering her with praise

Moving The Troll-Post

As we near the end of this week of will-Trump-finally-go-to-jail limbo, one question remains: What the hell?
Did we get trolled, once again, by America’s Troll-in-Chief?
The unpleasant truth about Trump (is there any other kind?) is that if he is indicted, even if he is convicted (!), he can still run for president. In a normal political party, it would be more difficult for an indicted candidate or convicted criminal to win votes, but we know the GOP is pretty okay with that sort of thing.

Look No Further Than Crooked Media

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Under The Radar

With perhaps the notable exception of New York Times columnist Bret Stephens, most people admit that the United States’s invasion of Iraq stemmed from a mishmash of lies, intelligence failures, intelligence manipulations, and one of the greatest, deadliest errors of judgment in modern history. Two decades later, the disastrous Iraq War continues to cast a long shadow over America’s spy agencies. Iraq spurred a major reorganization of the intelligence community, which demoted CIA from its oversight role over the other agencies, and the implementation of reforms that would allow analysts to more critically evaluate sources and better assess possible bias in conclusions. The hollow echoes of “weapons of mass destruction” still ring in the ears of millions of Americans, and the U.S. intelligence community still has not fully recovered from the deserved demolition of its credibility. Russia’s war in Ukraine has provided the IC an opportunity to rehabilitate its shattered reputation by correctly anticipating the invasion and supplying good information to Kyiv throughout the conflict, but it also incorrectly assessed that Ukraine’s forces would fall within weeks.

What Else?

The father of one of the teenage victims of the Parkland shooting was arrested today during a hearing on gun regulations for yelling at a Republican congressman who was saying typical Republican congressman shit about guns.
South Carolina’s Republican comptroller general (the state’s top accountant) will resign next month after making a $3.5 billion error in the year-end financial report he oversaw.
The Bank of England announced today that it will hike interest rates an additional one-quarter of a percentage point.
Twitter announced that on April 1, it will terminate its “legacy verified” program that allowed long-verified accounts to maintain their verified status without paying for the new subscription service. Organizations will have to pay $1,000 to maintain account verification. It’s like no one has any goddamn respect for April Fools’ Day anymore.
The CEO of TikTok was grilled in a congressional hearing Thursday by lawmakers of both parties, who believe the app is a surveillance and propaganda tool of the Chinese Communist Party and also addictive and damaging to children’s developing brains.
All schools in New York’s Hilton Central School District were evacuated Wednesday after receiving a bomb threat related to books depicting LGBT+ characters and information in the school library. Thanks again, Republicans!
The Nebraska state Legislature voted Thursday to advance a hotly contested bill that would ban gender-affirming care for minors in the state, in defiance of Democratic Sens. Megan Hunt and Machaela Cavanaugh who have promised to filibuster every bill for the rest of the 90-day legislative session
The Biden Administration will invite around 120 countries to join next week’s Summit for Democracy, but Turkey and Hungary will not be on the list.
In one of the largest randomized studies of American transgender adults ever conducted, the majority of trans adults reported that transitioning made them more satisfied with their lives.

What In The World?

Kyiv’s top commander of ground forces said Thursday that Ukraine will launch a long-awaited counteroffensive “very soon” after four months on the defensive. Ukrainian forces and its cities and towns have absorbed Russia’s brutal winter attacks, and now reports indicate that Russian mercenaries “are losing considerable strength and are running out of steam,” as they have not yet taken the crucial city of Bakhmut. Reuters journalists stationed in the areas surrounding the city reported seeing evidence consistent with the claim that the Russian offensive is running out of gas. Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy toured the front lines throughout this week, visiting troops near Bakhmut on Wednesday and those in the Kherson region in the south on Thursday.

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Light At The End Of The Email

Joe Biden’s 2024 reelection campaign staff will be unionized!
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) introduced legislation today that would block bank executives from failed banks like Silicon Valley Banks from serving on regional Federal Reserve boards that regulate the banking industry.
The Federal Trade Commission proposed a rule that would require sellers to make it easier for consumers to cancel their enrollment in subscription services or anything that requires recurring payments.


graham on Twitter: "no one has ever looked more on trial for a skiing incident"
submitted by kittehgoesmeow to FriendsofthePod [link] [comments]