Top 10 Home & Garden Affiliate Programs - Highest Payouts

How would you go about monetizing a garden page?

Hi!
I have a garden social media account with 80000 followers, but I have never been able to monetize it. Very few people have clicked through to buy products I have shared in my stories. I am thinking about making a website, but I would like to hear your thoughts on this. Should I even try to monetize gardening or should I treat it as just a fun social media page?
submitted by eturnol to Affiliatemarketing [link] [comments]

Big list of Benefits.

Figured I would make one big list of benefits people might not know about. Compiled from a bunch of Reddit threads, articles, and things I’ve found on my own. A bunch of these I haven’t used personally so if I’m mistaken on anything please let me know so I can change it! Also if you have anything to add ill put it on the list!
EDUCATION:
Tuition Assistance. Up to 4000 dollars per FY for college classes, you can sign up at the local Ed Center or GoarmyEd.com some posts have collages on posts that offer day classes which with your commander's approval you can get out of work for 2 hrs a day to go to class. as well as night classes if in-person learning is more your thing.https://www.goarmyed.com/
Army COOL: Up to 4000 dollars per FY (shared with TA) to get credentials. A great new resource to help get yourself set up Promo points and get recognized for the skills you already possess. I haven’t used this myself so hopefully, someone else can share their experiences.https://www.cool.osd.mil/army/index.htm
CLEPS/DSST: Military personal are allowed 1 free exam per CLEP AND DSST so if you fail one, you can take the same exam again through the other. that’s even more free college credits and you don’t even need to sit in a class for themhttps://clep.collegeboard.org/earn-college-credit/military-benefitshttps://www.dantes.doded.mil/EducationPrograms/get-credit/creditexam.html
Skillport: Lots of IT and Technical classes here, I don’t believe that they give you certs but they definitely prepare you for the exam whenever you take it. I had to sign up for an account on ATTRS (Gov. Computer)https://usarmy.skillport.com/
Pell Grant: Even more free money! get up to a couple of thousand dollars from the government as long as your going to school, and its a grant so you don't have to pay anything back! https://studentaid.gov/understand-aid/types/grants/pell
Posse Veteran's Foundation: They partner with top schools to ensure groups of veterans are successful in elite undergrad programs. The program will pay for the rest of the time it takes to complete your degree regardless of G.I Bill benefits left. U Chicaco/UVA/Wesleyan/ Vassar College are all sponsors and would love to have more veteran students. The program consists of 3 interview rounds and there is no GPA/SAT threshold to reach to be eligible. https://www.possefoundation.org/shaping-the-future/posse-veterans-program
Warrior-Scholar Project: They host academic boot camps to prepare you to perform at elite schools. The boot camps are hosted by Yale/Harvard/MIT/Princeton/Columbia etc. and offer some great exposure college. The instructors exponentially increase your writing ability in the short time they have you. https://www.warrior-scholar.org/
Service 2 School: They match you with a mentor from a Vetlinked school and help tailor your entire application to the schools you want to apply to. They have had incredible success getting veterans to the Ivy League schools by providing 1:1 instruction for as long as you need. https://service2school.org/
Yellow Ribbon Schools: Ever want to go to Harvard or Yale or another big name school, but the tuition is so expensive you don't think GI Bill will cover it? Well, guess what? a lot of big-name schools will LOWER their tuition to the maximum amount the GI Bill pays out! https://www.va.gov/education/about-gi-bill-benefits/post-9-11/yellow-ribbon-program/
FedVTE: Another more technical/Cyber training website for government employees. https://fedvte.usalearning.gov/

LEISURE :
Space A. Travel: Free flights! If they are available, it can be a great way to vacation with a little bit of planning and luck involved.https://www.amc.af.mil/Home/AMC-Travel-Site/AMC-Space-Available-Travel-Page/
Epic Ski Pass: For $170 to get access to over 30 resorts including some big names ones.https://www.epicpass.com/pass-results/military.aspx
VetTix: Great way to get tickets to sporting events concerts and stuff. Just have to pay for shipping.https://www.vettix.org/
Blue Star Museum: HUGE amount of museums offer free admission to military and families. (not doing 2020 because of COVID)https://www.arts.gov/national-initiatives/blue-star-museums
Armed Forces Vacation Club: Weeklong Resorts/House/Hotel stays starting at $359 have locations all over the world. Some places offer shorter stays as well. (There's also a version of this for Veterans which is basically the same thing.)https://www.afvclub.com/
Seaworld / Busch Gardens: Seaworld offers military 1 free admission per year.https://seaworld.com/orlando/tickets/military-discount/active/ https://buschgardens.com/tampa/tickets/military-discount/
National Parks: Tons of National parks offer free admission to military personnel. You have to get it in person from a park but it’s still a great deal.https://store.usgs.gov/faq#US-Military
Disney World: Disney World offers 4 5 and 6 day passes for as low as $265 with the park hopper option.https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/special-offers/military-multi-day-tickets-2020/
TSA Precheck: Free TSA precheck. Just enter your DOD ID number in the Known Traveler number box.Games2Grunts: Free video games. First come first serve but normally they have some pretty good games and addons.https://gamestogrunts.weareosd.org/
Hunting & Fishing licenses: A lot of states offer free or resident rate hunting and fishing licenses. Have to look into your individual state for more details.
ETS:
SFL-TAP: SFL-TAP offers a lot more than just the mandatory classes and resumes reviews that most people, They offer Carrer Skills programs which you can do while you’re still in the Army, Gets you away from the unit for a while, help you learn a skill, and normally they will hook you up with a job when you get out. There are also some other things that are a lot more post dependant, Fort Riley, for example, offers free OSHA10/30 and Defensive Driving classes multiple time a year.
LinkedIn Premium: Free year of premium for Soldiers. Offers resume builders and other great resources for finding a job.https://socialimpact.linkedin.com/programs/veterans/premiumform
Boots2Suits: Resume, Professional picture. And other sorts of career placement help. The same people also offer 2 free business attire outfits.https://www.tailoredforsuccess.org/boots2suits
American Corporate Partners: Free yearlong mentorship in a career field of your choice. From what I've heard its a better more specific version of SFL-TAPhttps://www.acp-usa.org/mentoring-program/veteran-application
CDL: Depending on your MOS (or what vehicles you have one your license) some states will waive the Skill test required to get your CDL (Most states I've noticed will still make you pass a knowledge test.)
OTHER.
ID.me: This verifies you’re military affiliation and enables discounts through sites like apple’s military deals. many other benefits use this to verify your service. https://www.id.me/
Childcare: ChildcareAware offers assistance with paying for Childcare when On post isn't available. Apparently they also help cover summer camps.https://www.childcareaware.org/fee-assistancerespite/military-families/
GOVX: Online superstore with pretty good discounts on a lot of items and big-name brands.https://www.govx.com/
ExpertVoice: Basically same thing as GOVX https://www.expertvoice.com/
Firearm Discounts: many firearms and accessory manufacturers offer discounts to LEO and Military, most just require you to email them your proof. Glock and Vortex optics are just some of the options. https://us.glock.com/en/buy/blue-label-program https://vortexoptics.com/military-law-enforcement
Veterans day Meals: Every year tons of places offer free meals to veterans. There's too many to list here so here's a list I found of last year. should be similar year to year. https://www.blogs.va.gov/VAntage/67508/veterans-day-discounts-2019/
SCRA: SCRA from my understanding allows you to refinance all Pre-military loans to a 6% interest rate. Lots of places go above and beyond for this including AMEX and Chase, Who offer their premium cards to active duty personnel with 0 annual fees. and they all come with a host of benefits including Uber credit, access to premium airport lounges. and lots of other things.
MilitaryOneSource: What DOESNT this site do? They offer free anonymous counseling, access to digital MWR libraries, a guide to space A. flights. an amazing resource for almost all things military. https://www.militaryonesource.mil/
Speech Therapy: This was one I was really surprised about if you suffer from a lisp or stutter or some form of speech impediment, give Behavioral Health a call and ask if they offer this. I was able to meet with a therapist once a week for a couple of months and now the lisp i had my entire life is almost completely gone. All for free
ASAP: Everyone hears about it as this bad thing, but if you feel you have a problem with alcohol this is an amazing resource to help you.

Special Thanks to
u/BlackShadow10020
u/Trick_Delay
u/jeebus_t_god
u/ideal_NCO
u/milo896
u/-bhank-
u/Designer-Lime

submitted by Sethman27 to army [link] [comments]

A Beginner’s Guide to Improving Your Lawn This Spring & Summer

-- PLEASE NOTE: While questions are very welcome in the comments, be sure to check the two part FAQ below this post as it gets into many of them! --

Three points of orientation:

Make sure this guide pertains to you. This guide was written for those who are growing cool season grasses. What does that mean? Well, there are all sorts of different grasses grown on home lawns but they can generally be split into two camps: cool season and warm season. Cool season grasses include fescue, bluegrass and rye, and are most often grown in the central to northern parts of the USA or in milder parts of southern California. If you live in one of these places, you very likely have cool season turf. Warm season grasses include bermuda, centipede, zoysia, St. Augustine and bahiagrass, and are most often grown in the south and southwestern parts of the country. The differences between cool season and warm season grasses are significant and just like you can’t cook a strip steak and a beef shank in the same way, this cool season plan is simply not going to work if you have warm season turf.
Have reasonable expectations. Sadly we have to begin with what for some of you will be a bitter pill to swallow: if your lawn is in really bad shape, following the steps in this guide is not going to take it from a “2” to a “10” by the end of the summer. The reason for this is simple: the time to renovate and truly transform cool season lawns is in late summer and early fall. The goal here is to make big, noticeable improvements and get you ready for fall when you can truly take your lawn to the next level.
About me and about this guide. I am a lawncare DIYer. Like many of you I bought a house and then had a realization that I had to take care of a lawn and had no idea what I was doing. This guide contains many of the lessons I learned in figuring things out. It also contains lessons learned from watching Allyn Hane (Lawn Care Nut), Pete Denny - u/gciturf (GCI Turf), Matt Martin - u/thegrassfactor (The Grass Factor) and Ryan Knorr, along with reading this sub and thelawnforum.com and listening carefully to the golf course professionals I know. That said, all of the writing is my own though I owe a significant debt of gratitude to u/SirThomasFraterson and u/Unabomber007 who generously read a draft of this guide and offered thoughtful suggestions and critique.

Late Winter (aka Where to Begin):

This is where you start. While it is obviously intended for you to complete these steps in February or early March, if you have found this guide later in the season you still want to start here. Every other step will depend on these things being done.

Step #1 - Measure Your Lawn.

This step is not optional. If you don’t know how big your lawn is there is no way you can apply anything to it as you’ll have no idea how much to apply. There are online tools you can use to get a rough idea of your yard’s size, but I have found they can be off by as much as two hundred square feet. My recommendation is to buy an appropriately sized tape measure or measuring wheel and actually walk your lawn. Unless you have a truly tiny yard, you’ll probably want to divide it up into different areas. To do this take your measurements and draw a small map of your property and identify your particular zones. Treat each area separately.

Step #2 - Get a Soil Test.

Like the previous step, this is not optional. When you are ill and go to the doctor, he (or she) performs tests before he takes any action. He doesn't just cut you open or prescribe random medications hoping everything will work out. Before you add anything to your lawn or do any work to it, you have to test your soil. You can do this at any point, I usually do mine in February. MySoil is an easy, though very expensive source for soil testing. A much cheaper option is to use your County Extension Office, which is staffed by state university employees focused on local agriculture and gardening issues. Find their site and then look around for soil testing; it’ll be there. (Once you find your office's website, it is worth bookmarking it. It will offer a lot of advice for lawncare that is particular to your state. Some of the advice might be considered conservative by the standards of many in this sub, but it is worth having, nonetheless).

Step #3 - Buy a good-quality mower, sprinkler setup, broadcast spreader, backpack or pump sprayer and a scale.

Lawncare is an equipment-driven hobby and there are tons of things you can buy but these five are are the essentials. Of course if you already have one of these items, only upgrade if you feel that your current equipment isn't doing the job.

Step #4 - Fix your pH, if your soil test says you need to.

When you get your soil test back it is most likely going to indicate that you have too little of several things, and perhaps that you have too much of one or two. Ignore everything right now except for pH. This is crucial. If your pH is out of whack it is going to affect your grass' ability to make use of nutrients in your soil. If your pH is low you'll want to add lime; something like ‎Pennington Fast Acting Lime will work. Add it according to your soil test's recommendations and in the amounts specified on the product’s label using your broadcast spreader. If your pH is too high, you'll want to add sulphur. Southern Ag Pelletized Soil Acidifier is a good product. You can apply lime or sulphur any time of the year that the ground is not frozen.

Early Spring:

Step #5 - Aerate your lawn… but only if it is necessary.

Lawn aeration is the process of pulling soil cores out of the lawn in an effort to reduce soil compaction and allow air, water and nutrients to reach the root zone of your grass. Perhaps due to the strident marketing efforts of a couple large lawncare firms, beginners tend to think that they must aerate their lawns every spring and fall. This is not true. You should only aerate your lawn in the spring if it needs it. How do you know if it needs it? Do the screwdriver test. Any day that the ground is not frozen, take a flat-head screwdriver and attempt to push it into the soil in several places in your lawn. The screwdriver should easily be able to sink into the ground. It it cannot, water your lawn lightly and try again. If it still cannot, you should consider aeration.

Step #6 - Apply a Pre-Emergent Herbicide.

A pre-emergent herbicide is exactly what it sounds like: something you put down to prevent weeds from emerging. It differs from the more common post-emergent herbicides (discussed in Step #9) that attack weeds that have already sprouted. A pre-emergent won't prevent all weeds - or even most - but it will prevent one devastating one: crabgrass, and because it can do that it is an essential part of spring lawncare. The two main options for pre-emergents are Prodiamine and Dithiopyr. Both work well and both come in a dizzying array of formulations, both brand name and generic, liquid and granular, and mixed with fertilizer or without it. The differences matter to a certain extent - and if you are new and can’t decide, go with this easy to apply granular from Sunniland - but what matters much more is getting one of them down at as close to the right time as possible. What is that right time? When your soil temperatures are approaching 55°F. How do you know when that is? Use this website, going back to 2019 and clicking around looking at the 5 year averages for various spring dates. Doing this will give you a rough idea of the right time. As that time approaches, check the website daily. When soil temperatures are consistently around 52 or 53°F - according to the 24 hour average - go ahead and apply.

Mid to Late Spring:

Step #7 - Throw down some fertilizer!

About two to three weeks after your first pre-emergent goes down you’ll want to apply fertilizer. This can get very complicated very quickly but I am going to try to keep it as simple as I can via the following sub-steps:
  1. Figure out how much nitrogen your lawn needs. Grass requires a lot of things, but chief among them when it comes to nutrients is nitrogen. What you want to do is apply between .75 pound and 1.5 pounds of nitrogen per thousand square feet of grass this spring in two split doses. Lean towards somewhere between .75 to 1 pound if you fertilized heavily last fall. Go heavier if you didn’t - particularly if you have never applied fertilizer to your lawn - or if your lawn was seeded or sodded in the latter half of last year. Do not exceed 1.5 pounds of nitrogen. More will not equal better in this context.
  2. Choose a fertilizer. Like lawn mowers, there are nearly endless options when it comes to fertilizer. The generalized nature of this post precludes an in-depth discussion of fertilizer brands. That said, if you are a true beginner, it is hard to go wrong with Milorganite. It is easy to apply and its iron content will give your lawn an enviable dark green color. Yes, there are cheaper fertilizers, better fertilizers, liquid fertilizers, etc. but Milo is a good place to start and available pretty much everywhere in the country.
  1. Translate this “x pounds of nitrogen per thousand feet” (from sub-step #1) into actual pounds of fertilizer. To do this you’ll need to do some very simple, middle school-level math. Any fertilizer you buy will show its analysis on its label. The first number in the trio refers to the percentage of nitrogen in the fertilizer. (The second refers to phosphorus, the third to potassium). To get the “pounds on the ground,” use the following formula: the amount of nitrogen you want to apply ÷ the fertilizer’s nitrogen percentage in decimal form.
  1. Take this ‘x pounds fertilizer per thousand square feet’ information and apply it to the different areas of your property.
  1. Split up your total fertilizer amount into two applications. The first application, to be done two to three weeks after your first pre-emergent goes down, should amount to 2/3rds of your total fertilizer. Your second application which should go down three weeks later should consist of the remaining 1/3rd.
  1. Apply using the same technique discussed in Step #4. As discussed there, lower your spreader setting when you are first beginning so as to ensure an even application.

Step #8 - Apply some humic acid and sea kelp.

This step is optional but I wouldn’t skip it unless you lack the money or time. Humic acid is derived from compressed organic mattter mined from the earth and in that sense it can almost be thought of as like an essence of compost. Humic acid will help improve your soil chemistry and structure and allow your grass to better take up the nutrients you provided it in Step #7. It will also encourage positive microbial growth in your soil. Sea kelp contains two major plant growth hormones that are thought to encourage root growth. There are products like N-EXT RGS and this blend from Simple Lawn Solutions that combine both humic acid and sea kelp (both are liquid products and are best applied using a cheap hose-end sprayer attachment) but you could also buy them separately: The Andersons makes an easy to apply humic acid granular and kelp4less.com offers a variety of sea kelp products. The latter two suggestions offer great value.

Step #9 - Kill your weeds.

Your lawn probably has weeds and spring is going to be a time they are going to rapidly grow. Getting rid of them is important as many weeds will outcompete your grass if given the chance. There are thousands of herbicides available but you’ll need just a couple:
  1. An all-purpose. This will be what you will use on most of your broadleaf weeds like dandelions and plantains. Bayer Advanced makes a product that is effective and available basically everywhere. Compare-n-Save makes an incredibly cheap version that works about as well. SpeedZone is a step up, a “higher power” product used by many professionals, but is not something I would recommend if you have never sprayed weeds before as over-spraying it can do serious damage.
  2. Something for clover. The above products will damage clover, but with the possible exception of SpeedZone, probably won’t knock it out. If you want to kill it - along with its “cousins,” oxalis and chickweed - you’ll need something that contains triclopyr. Your best option is the easy to find Weed B Gon Chickweed, Clover, Oxalis Killer.
  3. Specialty items for grassy weeds and other hard to kill items. A favorite of this sub, Tenacity works great on things like crabgrass, annual bluegrass, nimblewill, and yellow nutsedge. Quinclorac also works on crabgrass but if you put down a pre-emergent (Step #6) you shouldn’t have much to deal with. I’d hold off on buying either of these until you see if you actually need them.
A few details to note regarding herbicides:
How to spray weeds: This video from the Lawn Care Nut covers the basics of spot spraying. A few additional points that Allyn didn’t cover: Avoid watering or mowing for at least 24 hours after spraying. The point is to let the herbicide get absorbed into the weed and work its way through it. Washing the herbicide off with water or cutting the sprayed parts off with a mower will obviously hinder that effort.

Step #10 - Treat your lawn for grubs (if they are an issue in your neighborhood) and, if needed, treat for other insects.

Grubs are the larvae of beetles, to the untrained eye they look almost like little white shrimp. They commonly feed on the roots of grass plants and in doing so can devastate a lawn. Grubs are not present in every lawn or even in every neighborhood. I obviously can’t tell you if they are present in yours. You can ask around in your local garden center or chat with a neighbor who is into lawncare and see if he or she is treating for them. If you think grubs might be an issue for you, I suggest a two-pronged attack:

Summer:

Cool season grass has the name it does for a good reason: it thrives during the cooler days of spring and fall. And it struggles in summer, at least in any place where daytime highs exceed 85°F with any regularity. Thus, the proper approach to summer is to hang on, keep the grass healthy and prepare for fall when it can be at its best again.

Step #11 - Mow your lawn!

While I put this step in this section as it is most relevant to summer, make no mistake about it, you should begin mowing as soon as your grass beings growing in the spring. A few tips to help you along:

Step #12 - Water effectively.

If you live in a cooler, rainier place you might be able to get away without watering much in the spring but virtually everyone is going to have to water in the summer. Here are some tips to water effectively:

Step #13 - Prevent fungal diseases if you live in an area where they might strike.

While humans and animals are most often stricken with viral or bacterial diseases, these almost never occur in cool season grasses grown for home lawns. What do occur are fungal diseases. Fungi, as you might have learned in high school science, are a separate kingdom of organisms apart from plants, animals and other tiny things. Fungi that affect lawns require two things in order to grow: heat and humidity. If you have conditions where the temperature (in degrees Fahrenheit) and the percent humidity added together equal 150 or higher, you are at risk for disease. Things you can do to lower your risk include:

Step #14 - Plan for fall.

Fall is the optimal time to seed cool season lawns. If your lawn is thin, you’ll want to overseed it. The best time for this is when your soil temperatures fall to about 70°F. (To find out when this is use the tool linked to in Step #6). If you didn’t aerate in the spring, doing so in the fall - and then seeding - is generally a good idea. Spend some time figuring out what type of seed to plant, what type of starter fertilizer you are going to use, how you are going to control weeds and how you will handle watering. The more detailed your plan going into fall, the better your chances for success.

Plan Review:

NOW
WHEN SOIL TEMPERATURES APPROACH 55°F:
TWO TO THREE WEEKS LATER:
WHEN SOIL TEMPERATURES APPROACH 70°F:
THREE WEEKS AFTER FIRST FERTILIZER APPLICATION:
THROUGHOUT SUMMER:
submitted by wino_tim to lawncare [link] [comments]

35 F With a lot of questions. Sorry for the long post.

I am joining this "adult" self harm sub because I feel the problems I am having with self harm are in the realm of grown up problems. Simply put, I can't find a doctor to help me and I just dont know what to do, where to go, or how to manage this sickness. This is long, and you don't have to read it! But if you are a grown up living successfully with a self harming habit, can you maybe give me some advice? I'm feeling trapped and out of options.
I have called more than 30 therapists leaving some version of the following message:
"Hi... uh....my name is ______ and I was referred to your office by (my insurance provider). I am 35 and am seeking immediate therapy for bereavement counseling and swlf harm. Two years ago I would have told you I am a healthy, normal, active 35 year old woman. But after the loss of my mom, my world sort of fell apart and I have started hurting myself and I don't know why and I just can't stop on my own. I need help. Please call me back to schedule a consultation. If you aren't accepting new patients, please call me back to tell me that you received this message. If you know anyone in network who is accepting new patients I would really appreciate the information. Thank you so much for your time." I list my phone number at the beginning and twice at the end.
You know how many have returned my call? Not a single one. I went through this same battle a year ago in January. By March I had gotten one person to finally return an email, but none of the 27 calls I had made. I wasn't totally thrilled with the experience, but I trusted this young man with a LOT. Six months into therapy he relocated. We continued online sessions until he just stopped asking me to schedule them. It's like the care plateaued and he had other, more important clients to deal with. I'm sure that is the, "crazy woman who lives in my head" talking but... I felt like an inconvenience to him. He was tired of hearing the same problems and symptom week after week. He never reached out again to see how or if I even was anymore. It has taken me a year of procrastinating to start the process again. I hate it. Almost as much as I hate me.
What do you do, when you share such an intimate part of yourself with someone and they don't care/don't respond? How are you guys keeping it together? How do you get affiliated with professional help when no one will return the repeated calls for help?
I'm not a cutter. (No shade... it's just not something I have ever done) Instead, I repeatedly and forcefully punch, scratch, and slap myself in fits of fury and rage. In the middle of a normal day, seemingly out of nowhere, I will realize some stupid fucking thing that I did or did not do that I should have and I totally lose my shit at myself. I use foul language either out loud or to myself. I flagellate until marks appear which sort of brings me back around to myself again. Then I am despondent and tired for hours or through the next day. I have gained 60 pounds in a year. I will have weeks or months where I am normal and then it starts up again. I am sad a lot, but mostly I am just really, REALLY pissed off.
My partner knows. My immediate family knows now, because it's pretty hard to hide. I often have a black eye hiding under many layers of makeup. I currently have two large scratches on my cheek that when asked by outsiders, I'll blame on the cat. My thighs have bruises all over them from digging my nails into them through my pockets when the feeling overwhelms me in public. I have permanent ringing in one ear from a really good punch last summer. There are light scars from scratches that drew blood on my forehead and neck. I know this is wrong. I know that it is ridiculous. I know that I am jeopardizing my job, my relationship, and my friendships. I just don't know how to control it.
I have sought professional help. I really, truly have. But none has come through yet. I made the terrible mistake of sharing the problem to my PCP last summer when I came in for a weird lump in my neck and she would not stop lecturing me about my weight gain (it was about 25 pounds gained then in the wake of my mother's recent death.) I explained that I had other more pressing issues to deal with than my diet, but that I acknowledged and understood the health risks of being obese and knew how to go about losing the weight. (I weighed more than 300 pounds during my 20s, and successfully lost 140 pounds through healthy diet and exercise. I was about 190 lbs at 5'9 during this appointment) She wanted me to join weight watchers immediately. I declined. When she asked what could be more important than my physical health I explained that I was going through some mental health issues after a debilitating injury that resulted in recent spinal surgery and losing my Mom unexpectedly was traumatizing and that I was worried starting a new diet would lead to new bad behaviors like starvation and deprivation. I broached the topic by saying I was having hard time being kind to myself and that a diet wasn't going to help things at present. I was open to exercise, which I was doing at the time. I explained that I knew how to count calories, owned a beautiful food scale from William Sonoma, had a fitbit to track my activity, but that I just wasn't at a mental place to get going yet. I did not deny that the weight gain was bad, I expressed that I was more overwhelmed with other aspects of my mental health.
She wrote me a prescription for Zoloft and said I was clinically depressed. She matter of factly said that once I got over my little bout of depression with this medication I could "start on that weight watchers program pronto." I left the office quietly stunned. When I went to have the script filled, two things happened. 1) the pharmacist pulled me aside because I also filled my script for meloxicam (an anti inflammatory for injury related pain) and 2) she asked me some disturbing questions. The pharmacist said that taking the zoloft with meloxicam would totally destroy my kidneys. She also said that if I had any history of suicidal thoughts or self harm this medication could increase the risks of suicide ideation. Greeeeat.
I then talked with my therapist (still local at this time) about deciding between the medication for my pain or the one for my brain... and he said loudly to toss the pills out and that depression was NOT my issue. I have a lot of ups. I have a regular range of emotions. I make my bed every morning because I have ambition. I look forward to many things. I am sad and angry at myself a lot, but not what you would describe as "clinically depressed". He said my symptoms were more similar to coping with ptsd than anything else and that Zoloft was not only NOT going to fix the self harm behavior it was probably going to add the risk of suicide when my ups were no longer so "uppy" from the medication.
At a follow up two weeks later with the PCP she became irate when I admitted to not taking the zoloft. I explained the pharmacist's warning about the meloxicam and the advice from my shrink. She asked what I was so afraid of by taking the meds? Upset and overwhelmed, I began to cry. I said, "I don't want to kill myself and I am afraid that taking this medication will be the thing that tips me in that direction." She asked what I meant. I showed her the bruises and explained that I had been self harming for several months and seeing a psychologist for it but that I would prefer any medications for mental health to come from an actual psychiatrist or specialist whom I could talk with regularly, not my general physician I see only once a year. I begged her to just give me any referral if she thought I needed depression meds and asked if I could just please, please have an ultrasound on the weird lump I made the appointment for in the first place?
She dropped me. She fucking dropped me as a patient. Amid my sobs pleading for the care I came in seeking she told me that I obviously had no faith in her as my doctor and that she could no longer trust me as her patient because I would not follow her advice. I asked if there was anyone else in the office I could see and she said she did not feel comfortable referring me to anyone else there. I asked about the psychiatrist and she scoffed that no one was taking new patients and the waiting list would be months long, which was why she had tried to help me with a script in the first place. I understood all of that too well and begged her to reconsider. I told her I would take the medication if that was the problem. It had taken me years to find an office where I could see the same doctor each time and I didn't want to start using urgent care for maladies again. It made no difference. I didn't even know that my doctor "firing" me as a patient was an option before then.
It was 3 months later when my psychologist stopped scheduling me. I have no urge to contact him and I dont really trust him for leaving me out at sea. I probably am depressed now. I have gained all that weight my doctor was so afraid of. My boyfriend of 6 years has been great through it all, but he is exhausted from doing damage control. It's like he's living with an abusive partner... but instead of me abusing him, he has to watch me do it to myself.
I teach 10th grade English. I look like a normal put together adult. My friends think I am just your average 30 something woman who loves gardening and her pets. I refer students who show signs like mine to see professionals all the time. But I can't seem to get help for myself. I am trying to handle it on my own in the interim but am busting at the seams. Working from home is a whole mental clusterfuck. I feel like a lazy piece of shit for sitting on my ass in front of a computer all day while my house is in shambles around me. When I try to do housework, I feel like I am neglecting my students who need (and deserve!) constant attention. The district I work in canceled our Spring break because they were worried about losing engagement. I have been in disaster mode for months and am frazzled and tired and especially hard on myself. We get one week off next week and then summer school begins. The program is even more rigorous than the last 13 weeks and I'm just not sure how I'll do it.
If you made it this far. Thanks. Thanks for listening. Not sure what I'm looking for or why I'm here, but it feels kind of good sharing my secret. I don't want it to be a secret because I want to stop. I am trying. But I am not succeeding. How are you doing it? How are you getting better?
submitted by orangejuicenopulp to AdultSelfHarm [link] [comments]

Type me? (questions + extras)

How old are you? What's your gender? Give us a general description of yourself.
I'm in my late 20s and biologically female, but uncomfortable (at best) with the concept of gender. I don't wish I were a guy, but I wish that gender just.. wasn't a thing I have to deal with. My main hobby is WoW mythic raiding, and I also draw a bit. I have no interest in pursuing a career in either. I wouldn't describe myself as competitive, but if I find something interesting enough to be worth committing time and attention, then I want to excel at it. It's more a mindset of wanting to do better rather than be better than others, if that makes any sense? I would also rather become top tier at something I'm naturally good at, than to try really hard and be merely okay at something I'm not.
My closest friend described me as quiet, pensive, forgetful, quirky, clever, intensely focused on a select few topics, opinionated (but only on specific topics), and socially oblivious. I don't consider myself a 'fan' of anyone/anything and have a "there are no idols, only rivals" mindset. Both respect and disrespect have to be earned.
Is there a medical diagnosis that may impact your mental stability somehow?
No - or to be specific, I've never actually had a psych evaluation so who knows. I don't think I'm mentally unstable in general (I'm consistent in how I react to a given situation), and not a volatile person in general, but I can go from 0 to 100 in an instant if lines are crossed which must not be crossed.
Describe your upbringing. Did it have any kind of religious or structured influence? How did you respond to it?
As a kid my parents made me go to church every Sunday, but I slept through most of service! I'm not religious or spiritual. I consider myself agnostic - I don't feel like I have enough information to either accept or reject religion, but I want to decide for myself later in life as opposed to being 'born into' religion and never questioning it.
What do you do as a job or as a career (if you have one)? Do you like it? Why or why not?
I work as an interdisciplinary project manager. As a kid I never knew what I wanted to be when I grew up - although I can't say this is my dream job (I don't have a dream job!), it's a really nice work-life balance and I don't have to do much public speaking. I just prepare documents and send emails all day. I'm okay with keeping work and play separate, as long as I'm able to find fulfillment some way or another.
If you had to spend an entire weekend by yourself, how would you feel? Would you feel lonely or refreshed?
Spend an entire weekend at home? Sounds like a regular weekend to me! I care about feeling like I'm valued and accepted as part of a group, but I don't actually feel the need to socialize much. As long as it's not a very extended period of solitude, I can always come up with something to do, something to think about, or get very lost in reading Wikipedia pages. :^)
What kinds of activities do you prefer? Do you like, and are you good at sports? Do you enjoy any other outdoor or indoor activities?
I prefer to be on the computer! Besides RPGs and drawing, I also enjoy coding, writing, and coming up with imaginary worlds/characters. I like activities where I can succeed through creativity and analysis (being proactive), not repetition and reflexes (being reactive). The only sport I enjoy is archery. I like the sense of mastery and the fact that it's a meditative solo sport. I have decent body awareness but slower-than-usual reflexes, and dislike breaking a sweat.
My other favorite indoor activities are sleeping and cat naps.
How curious are you? Do you have more ideas then you can execute? What are your curiosities about? What are your ideas about - is it environmental or conceptual, and can you please elaborate?
I can be very curious, but I don't "learn for the sake of learning." The subject matter has to have some kind of significance or use to me. I'm already a very forgetful person as is; my long-term memory will only retain information that matters to me. I'm terrible at trivia games and my friends jokingly say that I live under a rock because I have no awareness of pop culture or names/dates. I don't care that some person set a bizarre world record 50 years ago or whatever.
Psychology is a big area of curiosity for me (it started with me wondering why I'm the way I am), along with animal behavior, human physiology (I can never remember the names of different bones, though) and disease processes, language, cultural, and social phenomenon (I was quite chuffed to learn the word 'doomscrolling' this year).
I have a hard time verbalizing my ideas for the most part, even after they've been realized. I have to "reverse-engineer" my own ideas in order to describe how they tick. My ideas typically begin as a passive observation or a gut feeling - like "this process seems inefficient" or "how can I solve this?" Then I start wondering how it came to be, how it works, what could be done with it/how it can be implemented, how it could be made better. I will turn a single idea in my head over and over very thoroughly until I feel like I've looked at it from all angles (that I'm aware of, anyways) including all possible interpretations, outcomes, and courses of action. The way I describe my creative and learning processes is "problem/prompt -> ??? -> implement solution." That's it. By the time an idea becomes practical enough to actually put into action, it's already been refined to a point where I'm just 'doing it' without relying on trial and error. For example, I have a pretty good success rate with code working correctly on the first try.
When dealing with interpersonal issues or overly complex systems involving people I frequently suffer from analysis paralysis because I feel like there's no way to know which outcome(s) are actually more likely to happen - or I might not even be interpreting the situation correctly to begin with. People are the ultimate wild card. On a societal level humans may tend to behave a certain way, but individuals can and will prove you wrong.
Would you enjoy taking on a leadership position? Do you think you would be good at it? What would your leadership style be?
Definitely not! I have strong opinions at times, but prefer to take more of an advisosupport role to help guide the leaders as opposed to being one myself. Charisma is my dump stat and I'm very bad at acting and public speaking. It also makes me incredibly anxious.
Are you coordinated? Why do you feel as if you are or are not? Do you enjoy working with your hands in some form? Describe your activity?
I have good hand-eye coordination which manifests in drawing and music (I play the piano at an advanced level). I would say I have above-average hand dexterity but my agility as a whole is average. I rarely work with my hands unless you include typing on keyboards, holding a pen, and petting my cat. I lose interest in other hands-on activities (e.g. cooking, knitting, gardening) quickly, especially if they are repetitive or tedious.
Are you artistic? If yes, describe your art? If you are not particularly artistic but can appreciate art please likewise describe what forms of art you enjoy. Please explain your answer.
I draw digital (2D) art with a pen and tablet. However, I'm not passionate about it, and wouldn't describe myself as "artsy". I appreciate having the functional ability to create my own artwork and graphics on demand but only if there's a specific motivation to do so (for example, making myself a streaming overlay, or visualizing my original characters) - I don't enjoy making art for its own sake. I'm very focused on trying to understand "art technique" and I improve my art skill by actively analyzing existing artworks as opposed to simply Drawing A Lot or gradually improving over time. I don't have the interest or motivation to draw regularly and couldn't imagine trying to force myself to draw for the sake of improvement - that would just make me want to draw even less.
Why did I even start drawing if I don't feel strongly about it? Originally, it was an extension of role-playing. When I was young I made up entire fantasy worlds and storylines for my toy characters. That transitioned to drawing comics, so that I could keep coming up with stories even when I didn't have access to my toys. I still have the same love of world building and character design to this very day, and drawing is part of how I'm able to express it.
Also, I would say I have a distinct sense of aesthetic style - but it's not one with universal appeal. Good thing I'm only appealing to myself.
What's your opinion about the past, present, and future? How do you deal with them?
The past doesn't define me, but makes me who I am today, and will forever leave its mark on me. It's not good to be stuck in the past but it's also important to recognize its influence.
The present.. is the present. I don't really have an opinion. It just is.
The future is unknowable, full of potential, and full of terrors. I'm awful at dealing with it - I'm just anxious ALL THE TIME. I also catastrophize about literally everything, but especially things involving difficult social situations and/or people acting unreasonably.
How do you act when others request your help to do something (anything)? If you would decide to help them, why would you do so?
That totally depends on who's requesting help and what they're requesting help with. If it's something with mutual benefit, I'll gladly help out. If it's something really inconvenient or unpleasant for me, I would only help if I'm feeling nice/have nothing else going on, or feel like I owe them a favor. I dislike owing anyone anything and also avoid asking others for help unless I'm truly desperate and unable to accomplish it myself. I don't feel like anyone has a right to my time and I project this on others as well, so I don't think I have a right to ask them to inconvenience themselves for my sake either.
How I respond to a request for help could range from dropping everything I was doing to help them immediately, say I'll help them when I have time, decline to directly help but connect them with someone who can help, decline nicely, to a very delayed response (or not responding at all), if my social batteries were too drained to deal with declining them at the time.
Do you need logical consistency in your life?
YES and I will devolve into uncontrolled anxiety (or rage.) if I feel like the people around me are being fickle or irrational. I feel that I'm internally very consistent, so my struggles with logical consistency are more a result of other people.
How important is efficiency and productivity to you?
Efficiency is very important. I love to optimize and when I do something I want it to count. I want to write the cleanest code possible and always seek to min-max on any game I play.
Productivity, on the other hand, not so much. I'm lazy and frivolous, and while I have intense bursts of productive energy at times, I'm also a big procrastinator. I care more about the quality of my work than the pacing or volume of work completed. As long as I'm not missing any deadlines, isn't it better to focus on quality?
Do you control others, even if indirectly? How and why do you do that?
I don't want to control or be controlled. This is a core value for me. If someone breaks this unspoken agreement first by attempting to control me, then all bets are off - they can't be reasoned with, and I'll use all the manipulative psycho/social tricks in my book to try and regain some sense of autonomy.
What are your hobbies? Why do you like them?
I like WoW raiding because it requires teamwork, I'm good at it, and I feel like my team appreciates me for it. The eternal question is whether I'm good at it because I like it, or I like it because I'm good at it. The two tend to go hand in hand for me.
I rather specifically like the MMORPG game genre. Other game genres such as FPS, RTS, and MOBA don't appeal to me because they don't have a strong sense of character progression. I like to invest my time and effort into really refining a single character and giving it an immersive identity and story over time, as opposed to merely viewing the player avatar as a tool/skill-set to win against an enemy team.
What is your learning style? What kind of learning environments do you struggle with most? Why do you like/struggle with these learning styles? Do you prefer classes involving memorization, logic, creativity, or your physical senses?
I need to know why the learning material is important. I'm terrible with names and dates, but can give you a summary of the concepts - just not when or by who. I will struggle with any learning model or subject that relies on rote memorization. I kept confusing the Krebs and Calvin cycles in biology class, although I could describe the actual cycles themselves just fine. I learn best if the tl;dr is presented first, and then the supporting details. My favorite classes involve logic (e.g. programming) followed by creativity, research, and designing solutions to hypothetical real-world situations. My grades in school were all over the place. Teachers either loved or hated me. I write concisely and regularly lost points on assignments due to the word count being too low. The longer I work on a paper, the shorter it gets, as I figure out additional ways to phrase things even more succinctly.
How good are you at strategizing? Do you easily break up projects into manageable tasks? Or do you have a tendency to wing projects and improvise as you go?
I improvise and procrastinate pretty much everything!
What are your aspirations in life, professionally and personally?
I don't really know. Professionally I want a stable income at a job that I do well and enjoy, and to have a good work-life balance. Personally, I'm not interested in romantic relationships and just want to have some good friendships founded on mutual interests and respect.
What are your fears? What makes you uncomfortable? What do you hate? Why?
I rarely meet people IRL who I get along and share mutual interests with. This has made my online friendships/group affiliations extremely important to me. Over the years I've experienced a variety of gender-based discrimination ranging from people not taking me seriously after finding out I'm a girl, being "girlfriendzoned" by the guys I meet, and being "replaced" by flirtier girls because I wasn't reciprocating. Sexism in gaming is no doubt a problem of its own but essentially I feel triply penalized for a) being a girl online, b) not fitting stereotypes of girls online, and c) trying to establish myself through male-dominated metrics (game leaderboards, etc.)
With that being said, what I fear and hate is that even if I am more than qualified as a player, I might still be excluded simply because I'm a girl or I'm not outgoing/flirty/social/etc. enough for a gaming group to want me around. This started in the 2000s and it's 2020 now, things have improved somewhat, but it's still a constant fear.
What do the "highs" in your life look like?
I don't experience strong bursts of excitement but I'm happiest when I have a stable group of friends and gaming teammates, and feel accepted and valued for who I am. I also find coding and solving puzzles to be very satisfying.
What do the "lows" in your life look like?
People acting selfishly/emotionally in a way that hurts me. Over time I've taken a more cynical stance on this and although I might feel that it was unfair, I now understand that people are merely looking out for themselves--nothing personal--, and I just happen to be on a completely different wavelength. I don't feel too hurt if there's a rational reason for why someone made a certain decision, but decisions based only on emotion frustrate me to no end because emotions are a raging storm that can be manipulated, often predicted, but never trusted.
How attached are you to reality? Do you daydream often, or do you pay attention to what's around you? If you do daydream, are you aware of your surroundings while you do so?
I get lost in thought all the time, but never daydream (if you define daydream as "a series of pleasant thoughts that distract one's attention from the present"). My thoughts originate as specific topics/problems/worries/etc. and wander from there. I don't seek escapism, I want to analyze the problem from all angles and understand it better. I ruminate a lot. I don't pay attention to my physical surroundings while in my own mind.
Imagine you are alone in a blank, empty room. There is nothing for you to do and no one to talk to. What do you think about?
How long am I going to be in this room? How did I get here? Is there a door? Am I waiting for someone/something? Do I have magical powers?
After I've exhausted all the questions relevant to analyzing the blank empty room scenario, I'd shift my attention to ruminating about the various things in my life that still worry me. Or I might just lie down and try to take a nap.
How long do you take to make an important decision? And do you change your mind once you've made it?
Forever. No, seriously. I'm so afraid of regretting my decision that I let lots of opportunities pass me by while I sit there hoping for more information that'll help me make a decision with more peace of mind. I never feel like I know enough to make an informed decision, since the future is unknowable. (And that's what makes it so scary.) The higher the stakes, the more paralyzed I get. I'm a lot better at protecting what I have right now, than taking risks for potential gain.
I'm very prone to regret and second-guessing, especially in the face of new information coming to light after I've already committed to a decision.
How long do you take to process your emotions? How important are emotions in your life?
Oh no...
My negative emotions are like a storm. I can't resist immediately trying to tackle my emotions when they happen, although I know it would probably be better to let them calm down before going into analysis overdrive. I'm not good at "accepting" my emotions, I want to aggressively solve the problem that triggered negative emotions and come up with a solution or at least understand it better.
I'm of the opinion that regardless of whether you tend to trust emotion or reason, at the end of the day, humans are inherently emotional creatures. Even logic can be bent and twisted to serve the agenda of one's emotions. It's even worse if you delude yourself into thinking that you're not affected by your emotions, because that just makes it harder to self-identify their influence on your motivations, behaviors, and thought processes. When I was younger, I used to try and ignore my emotions entirely. Now, I try to quarantine them before they wreak havoc on my life, in a place where they can be safely studied.
Do you ever catch yourself agreeing with others just to appease them and keep the conversation going? How often? Why?
To keep the conversation going? No. I frequently keep my mouth shut to avoid pointless drama, but I won't directly contradict my own opinions and values just to appease someone else.
If I do, then my relationship with the person has already been damaged beyond repair (see: question on controlling others).
Do you break rules often? Do you think authority should be challenged, or that they know better? If you do break rules, why?
I break rules on a case by case basis. I have my own sense of morality and it's a balancing act of what's acceptable or pragmatic.
Authority is about who's in power, not who is right.

Extra stuff!


TIA!
submitted by gildedplume to MbtiTypeMe [link] [comments]

bprs07 Case Study Month #1

Hello again, /juststart! (Long time, no see.) Welcome to month 1 of my case study.

Who am I?

I'm bprs07 and I ran a 17-month case study here from March 2017 through August 2018. (Link) It was my first foray into affiliate marketing with my site making $8,551 in that final update.
When I first joined this sub I think there were 9,000 subscribers. It's over 50,000 now, so looks like there's a lot more competition for me to beat this time around!

What have I been up to?

Since that final update, a lot has happened:
Plus a ton more stuff, much of which I'm sure I've forgotten until I look through my photos.

How's my flagship affiliate site doing?

Things were chugging along splendidly until the November 2019 Google update when I lost about 40% of my traffic. Interestingly, that traffic loss doesn't seem to be unique to my site. It seems nearly every affiliate site in my niche (household products) lost similar amounts of traffic except for 2-3 industry-leading competitors.
It seems like Google changed up their SERPs to display more features, like product listings, while pushing affiliate sites down to the bottom of page 1 or onto page 2.
Now, I'll be completely honest here: It's been a busy last 18 months for us and we've definitely been doing more living than working. I left this site mostly to its own devices, only putting in a couple of hours per week (some weeks no work) maintaining it. I published almost zero new content and hardly did any backlink outreach. I was asking for this to happen.
Instead, most of my time went into a few side projects:
Regarding consulting, I can't believe I ever decided to get back into that. One of the primary reasons I got into affiliate marketing was because I hated reporting to other people. But after nearly a year of only reporting to myself, I found I missed collaborating on different projects.
Having a set schedule with clients also helps me stay accountable.
Once we adopted Olive in January, we found ourselves staying home more often to help her adjust to her new nomadic lifestyle. That meant a lot more time working, so I decided to build out my consulting business more while planning a new affiliate project (the one you're reading about here).
Truthfully, I missed the accountability of posting monthly updates. I'm excited to share my journey with you all again!

Niche Selection

I launched my first affiliate site on February 24, 2017. I thought it would be poetic to launch this new site on the same day: February 24, 2020.
I don't plan on spending big bucks buying backlinks for this site, which means niche selection is hugely important. I'm looking for that Goldilocks zone where there's enough traffic upside without TOO much competition.
I also firmly believe in being at least SOMEWHAT interested in your subject matter, so I brainstormed a few ideas and did an hour of high-level research into competitors and available affiliate programs.
Ultimately, I landed on my new niche: Homes, Home Improvement & Backyard/Gardening.
It's basically a "be a King of your castle" blog with a bunch of potential sub-niches I plan to target.
The next question becomes: Where should I start?
I found a bunch of my competitors and downloaded their backlink and traffic stats from both Ahrefs and Majestic.
CLICK HERE FOR THE COMPETITOR ANALYSIS
The list goes deeper than the top 30, but that's a good idea of what I'm up against.
Then I scraped the top pages from these competitors to figure out what keywords they're ranking for. I compiled all of these keywords in an Excel file and went to work categorizing them all into my theoretical sub-niches (think of these as WordPress categories) and organizing them by search intent into four different groups:
  • "Best of" roundups
  • Single product reviews
  • Comparisons (this vs that)
  • Questions (keywords that start with who/what/when/where/why/how)
Then I loaded it all into RStudio (my plotting program of choice) and visualized everything to figure out where to focus my initial efforts.
CLICK HERE FOR THE PLOT

The age old question: money or info content?

I like to start with informational content for two reasons:
  • I want the site to look like a legit authority and not a quick cash-grab affiliate site (this is good for backlink outreach).
  • Early money content won't rank for months anyway and I'm in it for the long haul.
From the image above, I decided to start with two categories: Grilling and Tools.
Why? On the "question" and "comparison" charts above, I liked their higher volumes with relatively low keyword difficulties, and I think a site that's initially based on grilling and tools fits my vision to a T: "be the King of your castle."
All told, I spent 6 hours on niche selection and keyword research before doing anything else.

Then the usual setup stuff

It took 90 minutes to find and purchase a domain. I ended up going with something brandable instead of keyword stuffed, though the domain is easily recognizable as being related to this niche (so I didn't pick something like "Noom" where you don't know what it is at first glance).
I purchased the domain through my host, A2 Hosting, then did the various things you need to do when launching a new site:
  • Installed WordPress
  • Set up SSL using LetsEncrypt
  • Created an email address ([email protected]...)
  • Installed a theme (StudioPress/Genesis)
  • Uploaded and configured plugins
(Oh yeah, my name is Bryan.)
These are the plugins I use:
  • Akismet (spam)
  • Atomic Blocks (Gutenberg formatting/blocks)
  • Autoptimize (site speed)
  • ConvertKit (email list)
  • Easy Hide Login (security)
  • Easy Table of Contents
  • EWWW Image Optimizer (site speed)
  • Genesis Simple Hooks (easy edits)
  • Rank Math SEO (better than Yoast)
  • WP Word Count
  • WPForms Lite (contact forms)
This whole setup process took me another hour.

Site Design

I don't spend a ton of time on this in the early going because I want to make headway on content. I can always improve this later, so for now I created a basic text-only logo in Canva, picked a color scheme, added the custom CSS elements I always use (for things like call-out boxes, image borders, etc.) and then started writing.

Content Creation

I skipped the About and Contact pages altogether and barely touched the home page. I'll get to that stuff in the next month (or whenever traffic starts coming in).
With my initial categories chosen (grilling and tools) it's time to get started on the informational content. In this first week, I published 7 articles with the following stats:
Article Category Format Ahrefs KD Ahrefs Searches Length (Words)
Article 1 Grilling Question 0 KD 2,600 950
Article 2 Grilling Comparison 3 KD 3,400 2,500
Article 3 Grilling Question 0 KD 1,100 2,750
Article 4 Grilling Comparison 2 KD 2,400 3,300
Article 5 Grilling Review 1 KD 4,700 1,900
Article 6 Grilling Comparison 0 KD 900 3,100
Article 7 Grilling Question 0 KD 1,700 1,700
All told, that's 7 articles and 16,200 words (2,314 words per article).
I want to talk about Article 4 more. It was a Brand X vs Brand Y comparison. I love these articles for four reasons:
  • The searcher usually is ready to buy and has narrowed down their decision.
  • These posts serve as good "hubs" to link out to individual reviews.
  • You need to do a lot of research about the niche to really nail the content.
  • Extensive product research sets itself up well for one of my favorite content upgrades: downloadable, sortable files of product specs.
Regarding that last one, those product spec lists are awesome because they make it incredibly easy to write future reviews and product comparisons. I'll need all that info eventually, so I might as well do it all at the beginning while the research is fresh in my mind.
Between these two brands, I identified 42 products and 19 product specs (e.g., size, weight, etc.). Some specs are easy to complete looking at product photos. Others require reading product pages on various retailers' websites. Sometimes I have to read the user manuals (the URLs of which I saved as well because user manuals are always useful).
That Brand X vs Brand Y comparison changed up my strategy. I wanted to pound out more info content, but I felt like I had some product knowledge momentum and decided to keep with it for Articles 5 (a review) and 6 (Brand X vs Brand Z comparison this time).

Total Time Invested: 73 hours in Month 1

One thing I didn't do with my first case study was log my time invested in the site. That's something I want to do this time around.
My goal will be to work 20-30 hours per week on this project, but my consulting gigs take priority.
Thankfully, we're in the middle of a stay-at-home quarantine! (Sarcasm.) The silver lining? Plenty of time to work.

Traffic Stats

Month Organic Referral Social Direct Total
Month 1 (Mar) 7 0 0 0 7
Total 7 0 0 0 7

Earnings Stats

I haven't joined a single affiliate program and don't plan to until I have sufficient traffic. While I will join Amazon Associates, I think much/most of my revenue will come from other programs.
Month Clicks Ord Items Ship Items Conv Revenue Earnings Rev/Ship Clicks/Sess
Month 1 (Mar) 0 0 0 0 0 $0.00 $0.00 n/a
Total 0 0 0 n/a $0.00 $0.00 $0.00 n/a

Money Stuff

Earnings Breakdown
Month Amzn Aff Non-Amzn Aff Ads Total Rev Rev / 1K Sess %Amzn
Month 1 (Mar) $0.00 $0.00 $0.00 $0.00 $0.00 n/a
Total $0.00 $0.00 $0.00 $0.00 $0.00 n/a
Expenses
Many of the costs below are shared across multiple projects, so the per-project cost is lower than shown here. However, I have included the full costs to simulate this being my only project.
  • Ahrefs: $82.00 per month (annual billing rate)
  • Majestic: $49.00 per month
  • Domain Reg + WHOIS Protection: $24.90
  • A2 Hosting: $27.99 per month
  • Genesis Theme (StudioPress): $54.95
  • Month 1 Total: $238.84
  • Case Study Total: $238.84
Net Income
Period Income Expenses Net Income
Month 1 (Mar) $0.00 ($238.84) ($238.84)
Total $0.00 ($238.84) ($238.84)
Thanks as always for reading. Comment below with any questions/clarifications.
It's good to be back!
submitted by bprs07 to juststart [link] [comments]

The Importance Of Having Your Own Website

I joined an affiliate program and they gave me 3 free websites. Why do I need to have my own website? There are so many people out there on the Internet who want to run a successful home business. They decide to join an affiliate program that offers them the possibility of making huge bucks. Then they realise they aren’t making any money. Then they realise they have to advertise to actually get any visitors to their sites let alone actual customers.
When your new to the world of running an online home business there seems to be a million and one strategies to learn and implement. It’s easy to get distracted and head down the wrong path. You can easily waste precious time and money on tactics that just don’t work. You can become lost and disheartened in the process. I’m sure that many new online would be business entrepreneurs just give up because they get lost, overwhelmed, frustrated and start to doubt that they will ever be successful.
Having been through the process myself I know how this can feel. However, in my heart I knew it was possible. I did what so many others must be doing. I was using the trial and error method. I’ve come a long way. Now I look back on it all and I can see the pathways I took. I won’t go on about all the mistakes I’ve made because in the long run my so called mistakes brought me to a much greater understanding of the best things to do. This article is about the importance of having your own website. It’s one step of many of the best things to do to get your home business up and running smoothly. You MUST have your own website otherwise you will be wasting precious time and money. You will struggle to create a successful home business on the Internet if you do not have your own website. Get one and then learn how to make it the best possible site for your particular business. All I can say is I wish I had mine up and running sooner.
STAND OUT IN THE CROWD. When you have your own website you can stand out amongst the crowd of many sites that may be selling the same or similar product. There are billions of websites on the Internet. Many of them are very average. When you join an affiliate program you will be given your own free websites to advertise. Everyone has the same site and depending on which affiliate program you joined there may be thousands of the exact same sites out there. It is highly likely that someone coming across your site will just skim right over it and go onto the next site without stopping to read the same thing over again. When you have your own site you can make it unique. Put your personal stamp on every aspect of the site. This will attract people to stop their surfing for enough time to see what you are all about. When they spend a little time viewing your products or services then they are half way to actually making a purchase from you.
IT’S ALL ABOUT RELATIONSHIPS. Network and Internet marketing and sales isn’t necessarily about what you know. It’s all about how much you care and the relationships you develop over time. How often have you heard this statement? How does this relate to you having your own website?
If you have your free website that looks exactly like everyone else’s it will be more challenging for you to start developing those personal relationships. Sure, you may have been given an auto-responder with your website so your visitors will receive some ongoing contact with your product but they won’t be getting to know more about YOU and what you stand for. Why should they buy from you and not the exact same website they came across last week when they were surfing?
If the site is selling membership to a network marketing or an affiliate program then the person behind the website is the person who is going to become your mentor. Many people don’t realise the importance of this. The quality of the mentoring that Internet newbie home business entrepreneurs receive can make or break them. You can use your website to tell your prospects more about what you can do to help them. You need to decide what it is that you would like to offer your customers. Make your website a portal for developing that personal connection.
CONTROL OVER CONENT When you have your own website you have control over the content. This means you can do everything possible to maximize your site for organic search engine optimisation. You may wish to add extras like a positive quote for the week. You may decide to share some other personal details of your life. For example what your background was and how you over came adversity to become the successful person you are today. You may have some photos you’d like to share. Perhaps you have some shots you took on your travels or maybe some snaps of your beloved off your home or your garden looking its very best in the springtime. What you chose will, in part, depend on what your business is all about and the message you are trying to get across. Start to create a more personal connection with your visitors.
ADVERTISE YOUR BUSINESS ON ONE PAGE You may have more than one business going at the same time. If you have more than one site to advertise you’ll be spending more time and money than you are able to. Having one site for all of them is a much more refined way to go and will streamline your advertising campaign. Obviously you would want these businesses to connect in some way. Even if you think you have a wide variety of businesses there will still be a way of making a connection between them. Spend a little time of thinking about what that connection could be. You may decide to make your site a review centre where people can come to get a great review of what the best thing available in a certain topic is. You could make your site a directory where all the best site links can be found on one easy to access page. If you add a new business to your existing ones then you will be in a position to do this and not have to change your campaign radically.
LINKS AND LINK EXCHANGE. Links are what search engines use to travel from other pages to your page and visa versa. They are one of the ways the search engines use to rate your website. The higher your rating with the search engines the closer to the top of the thousands and in some cases millions of websites with businesses similar to yours. Links also mean traffic to your site. When someone clicks on your link they will be taken to your web page. The more traffic the more likely you are to make a sale.
There are two types of links. There are reciprocal links i.e. you link to me and I’ll link to you. These are the most commonly used links. They are often free and they aren’t very valuable to you but they are better than nothing. The second type of link is the one-way link where the person linking to your site doesn’t ask to be linked back to their site in return. These types of links are of great value to you. There are other aspects to links that I won’t go into detail about here. Suffice it to say that links to non-related subject pages and links from a page where there are already lots of other links present won’t be of much value to you either.
Having a great link program running is vital to developing a successful home business online. When you join an affiliate program you will be given banners. The idea is to place these mini advertisements on other peoples web pages. More than likely other people won’t be interested in you doing this unless you put their links on your pages. If you have your own web page then you’ll be able to partake in link exchange. If you are not using your own website it will be very difficult for you to get those high quality one-way links. Your rating and hence your home business will suffer because of this.
ENTRY CARD INTO EXCELLENT SITES. Having your own website will give you access to areas you would otherwise be unable to go. If you only have your affiliate web pages then some sites will not accept you. For example some article distribution services will not allow affiliate links in your resource box at the end of your articles. You can still post your articles but you wont benefit so don’t even waste your time doing this.
Some forums will not allow you to take your affiliate links with you. Some of the top forums for Internet marketing come into this category. These are fabulous places to be. Anyone with an online business will benefit from the knowledge that can be gained simply by becoming involved in such forums. Of course you can always go there and not take your affiliate links. You may not appreciate this fact at this stage but when you spend time in forums it is best for you to leave your domain name with every entry.
MAXIMIZE YOUR ARTICLE LINKS. You know you need to write articles to get your website links out there in the wider community. Your articles will contain links in the resource box. These links will continue to work for you in years to come. You will have no idea as to where these articles may crop up in the future so it’s imperative that the resource box has something in it that is going to be relevant in the future.
I personally regret not knowing about this when I started writing my articles. Now I have my own site and I know that my previously published articles have links in the resource boxes that are pointing to my affiliate pages. This is better than having sent out articles with no links and certainly better than not writing the articles in the first place. All my articles now direct people to my primary website which has a home for my affiliate links.
You’ve spent good time and energy on writing your articles. They are important so don’t waste your article links.
IT’S COST EFFECTIVE, EASY AND FUN TO DO Having your own website is very affordable. You will need to shop for two things. You will need a domain name and someone to host your site. Do a search to have a look at the cost of the various companies providing these services. One thing I learnt is that it is best to buy these two things at the same site. You can buy them at different sites but it will save you a lot of mucking around if you don’t have to transfer anything after you’ve made your purchase.
Don’t be afraid of designing your own web page! Even if your only experience with the Internet has been reading and sending out personal emails. You will find that creating your own site is really very easy. There are some excellent free sites that will guide you every step of the way. I strongly recommend using NVU. They can be found at www.nvu.com/index.php . I have personally used this free resource. It takes a bit of time and dedication when it’s your first time but it really works and you’ll have fun too. It may take you a week and in some cases a bit longer but once it’s done you’ll be proud of your efforts. You will never regret it. If you really don’t think you are up to it then you can always pay someone to do it for you. http://forexmarket.site/news-66-network-marketing-why.html
submitted by Giuelith to WealthClub [link] [comments]

MDP

MEREDITH CORP operates as a diversified media company in the United States, Europe, and Asia. It operates in two segments, National Media and Local Media.
The National Media segment offers national consumer media brands through various media platforms, including print magazines, digital and mobile media, brand licensing activities, database-related activities, affinity marketing, and business-to-business marketing products and services. It publishes media in entertainment, food, lifestyle, parenting, and home categories, such as People, Better Homes & Gardens, InStyle, Allrecipes, Real Simple, Shape, Southern Living, Martha Stewart Living, and other brands, as well as 300 special interest publications under approximately 80 brands.
This segment operates approximately 60 Websites and applications. It is also involved in the affinity marketing, third-party marketing, consumer database, and other related operations, as well as provision of magazine advertising and circulation, digital and customer relationship marketing, other custom publishing project, and ancillary products and services. In addition, this segment operates The Foundry, a creative content studio, which develops content marketing programs across various platforms comprising native advertising that enable clients to engage new consumers and build long-term relationships with existing customers for a range of industries.
The Local Media segment operates approximately 17 television stations that include 7 CBS affiliates, 5 FOX affiliates, 2 MyNetworkTV affiliates, 1 NBC affiliate, 1 ABC affiliate, and 2 independent stations. It also includes 12 Websites, 12 mobile-optimized Websites, and approximately 30 applications focused on news, sports, and weather-related information. In addition, this segment sells geographic and demographic-targeted digital and print advertising programs to third parties. The company was founded in 1902 and is headquartered in Des Moines, Iowa.
52 week high/low
60.85/10.85
It's currently trading at 10.97.
Financials
Cash on hand: $21 million
Current Ratio: 1.19
Book Value: $20.50/share
Price target 2021: $23/share
Potential Plays:
MDP 12.50c 12/18
MDP 15c 12/18
submitted by Reeeetail_Investor to smallstreetbets [link] [comments]

How they traffic children across the globe...The Art in Embassies Program gave Podestas, Jeff Koons, Rockefellers, Clintons, Marina Abramovic, Rothschilds even James Alefantis access to a private shipping channel that BYPASSED SECURITY COMPLETELY! Mods this is all Public and not Doxxing anyone!!!

NOTE: **This is ALL in the Public Domain. No social media posts or links to Doxx anyone.
Summary
Welcome to Skull and Bones. The Foundation for Art and Preservation of Embassies is made up of dozens of billionaire families and politicians with ties to the global elite who are able to ship artwork around the world without passing through conventional security channels. They have partnered with the Rothschild, and Alefantis, The Podestas and Hillary Clinton are involved.
Group Photo ( http://i.imgur.com/DuSqSGy.jpg )
Body
50 years ago, the museum of Modern Art decided to spread “cultural diplomacy” by establishing a program whereby artworks could be spread around the world through American embassies. This matches similar exchange programs by the UK (GAC) and France (Foundation Pompidou, French-American Foundation). Hillary Clinton wrote an article for Vanity Fair 1 celebrating the 50th anniversary of the program. Here are some of them posing for a photo. 2
1 ( http://www.vanityfair.com/news/politics/2013/02/hillary-clinton-art-embassies )
2 ( http://i.imgur.com/6bxyWUV.jpg )
Here is a detailed listing of the FAPE board members, which includes such figures as The Rockefellers, the Annenbergs (funded Obama), Tony Podesta, the Estee Lauder family, John Kerry and Meryl Streep.
( http://www.fapeglobal.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/2015members.pdf )
Here is another member's list and event worth looking at.
( http://www.bluemedium.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/FAPE-Annual-Events-2015_Wrap-Up-Release_VIPlist-140430_FINAL.pdf )
Take a close look at that member list. It’s absolutely baffling how much money they all own.
Tony Podesta at FAPE
( http://i.imgur.com/qsXoHQZ.jpg )
The M.I.T. Negropontes, tied to allegations of pedophila/Epstein Island by Japanese journalist Yoichi Shimatsu 1, are in FAPE (Pictured: Diana NegroponteJ 2). Also, the M.I.T. Negropontes, tied to allegations of pedophila/Epstein Island by Japanese journalist Yoichi Shimatsu, linked him to a Cambodian location. This is another connection to the D.C. ring that few are seeing but is right out in the open. This is another connection to the D.C. ring that few are seeing but is right out in the open. 3
1 ( http://rense.com/general95/swartz.html )
2 ( http://i.imgur.com/QZ6MAUd.jpg )
3 ( https://voat.co/v/pizzagate/1770143 )
Jeff Koons with Rockefellers at FAPE event.
( http://i.imgur.com/nuYq3fZ.jpg )
My research into the Embassy Art shipments began when the Howard Gutman Belgian embassy pedophilia scandal appeared on Voat, and somehow no one in the state department did anything to stop Gutman from doing his job.
( http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/10114694/US-state-department-accused-of-covering-up-prostitution-investigation.html )
An ambassador, believed to be Ambassador to Belgium Howard Gutman, who "routinely ditched ... his protective security detail," and inspectors suspect this was in order to "solicit sexual favors from prostitutes," some of whom were underage. The investigation into Gutman was called off after his meeting with Undersecretary of State for Management Patrick Kennedy.
Beth Dozoretz
Today, Art in Embassies in run by Beth Dozoretz, a close friend of Hillary Clinton and famous for helping Bill Clinton pardon Marc Rich on his final day in office. 1 To quote Vanity Fair, Dozoretz became drew attention to herself when "she played a key role in persuading her friend Bill Clinton to pardon her fugitive billionaire ex-husband, Marc Rich”. As is the case with most Hillary Clinton confidantes, the more effort they put into covering up international crime and trafficking, the higher they climbed. And even though Hillary’s state department did little to oversee embassies during her tenure as SoS, she still invested a ton of time and effort into promoting Art in Embassies.
1 ( http://www.vanityfair.com/news/2001/06/rich200106 )
Dozoretz has worked with Alefantis before and they are closely linked among the D.C. elite. This shows that Alefantis, at the very least, is closely tied to the center of globalist power in America, and with the podesta brothers & company.
( https://voat.co/v/pizzagate/1770143 )
Skull & Bones, kings of opium and smuggling
The Art in Embassies program is run by many members/alumni of the Yale circle of elites, including John Kerry, Hillary Clinton, Robert Storr (Dean of Yale School of Art) and many other industrialist families behind some of America’s best-known brands. The Sackler's, the family behind Purdue Pharma (Valium and Oxycontin), clearly took time away from their role as drug-pushers to promote the arts with the global elite. Here they are with their esteemed lapdog Alec Baldwin.
( http://i.imgur.com/F9wpq7x.jpg )
This is an important detail I can’t stress enough. They literally controlled the Opium market with a prescription drug, exactly as the United States did in Afghanistan, all the way back to the era of the Opium Wars in China…which Skull and Bones controlled. Remember, these families are primarily located around connecticut.
The Sacklers, who have coordinated events with James Alefantis, 1 presented medals to Marina Abramovic and Jeff Koons, whose former wife stated that Koons made his Child touch his private area 2 both of whose work have been transported on these aircraft multiple times, some directly through the Tony and Heather Podesta collection. In fact, Podesta “gifted” transported some of Abramovic’s "bloody" work to Whitechapel, London, 3 supported in part by the "UK Friends of the National Museum of Women Artists". Notice how they conceal their organizations--diplomatic groups functioning within art galleries.
1 ( https://voat.co/v/pizzagate/1530742 )
2 ( http://www.vanityfair.com/news/politics/2013/02/hillary-clinton-art-embassies )
3 ( http://www.whitechapelgallery.org/exhibitions/terrains-of-the-body-photography-from-the-national-museum-of-women-in-the-arts/ )
The event shows that it’s not simply celebrating art, but actually announcing the sending of the paintings.
The event marks the beginning of a landmark collaboration between the Sackler and Art in Embassies. In coming years, the Sackler will host exhibitions of works by contemporary Asian and Asian American artists before their installation by Arts in Embassies at new U.S. embassies overseas.
Here’s where it gets weirder. Jeff Koons was actually socializing with Philippa Rothschild days before the event. 1 Previous parties where they’ve been seen together in France include cameos by The Hearst family, the Lauders and other globalists. [Jeff Koons had literally just met the Rothschild Family in Paris, an annual meeting that appears to be coordinated with the Art in Embassies event.
1 ( http://www.gettyimages.de/ereignis/jeff-koons-honored-at-french-american-foundation-gala-157184148#american-artist-jeff-koons-attends-the-annual-gala-evening-of-the-picture-id157049776 )
In light of the French election, it’s worth knowing that the Rothschilds and the Clintons are two major pieces in a secretive, international group with access to cargo planes.
Please Note Koons had literally just met the Rothschild Family in Paris, an annual meeting that appears to be coordinated with the Art in Embassies event.
( http://www.gettyimages.de/ereignis/jeff-koons-honored-at-french-american-foundation-gala-157184148#american-artist-jeff-koons-attends-the-annual-gala-evening-of-the-picture-id157049776 )
Rothschild with Hearst and Ronald Lauder of FAPE.
( http://i.imgur.com/2okn0sB.jpg )
Rothschild/Koons/Hearst/Lauder.
( http://i.imgur.com/MjOmYVK.jpg )
Conde Nast Europe connection to FAPE/Rothschild Events. Conde Nast (Vogue's owneReddit's former owner) is deeply involved in event organizing for this group.
( http://i.imgur.com/QCOGap6.jpg )
Masterpiece INTL Shipping - Proof of Security Bypass
One of the standouts on the Art in Embassies program is Masterpiece INTL, a Manhattan-based cargo shipping service specializing in fine art. While that’s not exceptional in itself, information on the Masterpiece website proves that (1) there is proof that the works of art can bypass security, and (2) that they also permit the shipping of “perishables”.
( https://www.masterpieceintl.com/finearts/history.php )
( http://www.multimodalintl.com/ )
The description of the services of Masterpiece, located a literal stone’s throw away from the Rockefeller Standard Oil Headquarters, shows that FAPE’s shipping service gets special privileges when crossing national boundaries.
This includes in-house consultation and coordination of shipments requiring specialized expertise with other US regulatory agencies such as US Fish and Wildlife Service (for shipments that contain endangered species or animal products), the Office of Foreign Assets Control (for shipments containing objects whose country of origin is under current embargo with the U.S. or where cultural property restrictions are in place), Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms (ATF – for those works that contain such products), among others. We also operate and maintain a TSA Security Program which includes National TSA Security Coordinators on each coast, and worked closely with the TSA during the preliminary phases of the Certified Cargo Screening Program to facilitate the early approval of museums, galleries and fine art warehouses into the program.
While their corporate headquarters are in Manhattan, Masterpiece International has other 'public' locations which are interesting, including West Palm Beach and Miami Beach; places famous for all kinds of "cargo" so bypassing security is very convenient for them.
The founder of this shipping outfit is David B. Epstein (his genealogy is scrubbed as it that of Jeffrey Epstein, so I couldn't see if they might be actually related. Not much about David on the web, but there's this in the public domain.
( https://www.corporationwiki.com/New-York/Great-Neck/david-b-epstein-P4269592.aspx )
When I noticed that Masterpiece International has a business relationship with the largest shipping container firm in the world which is 49% owned by the govt of Israel, then it got interesting. You can see ZIM on this rate increase PDF from Masterpiece Intl:
( https://masterpieceintl.com/Newsletter2012/GRI_SEPT_1.pdf )
And on this sample bill of lading (scroll down):
( https://panjiva.com/Masterpiece-International-El-Segundo-Ca/25759501 )
About ZIM
( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zim_Integrated_Shipping_Services )
ZIM is global, even has a port in Turkey
( http://www.zim.com/countrysites/asia/turkey/en-us/pages/aboutzim.aspx )
Information that ZIM moved radioactive remains of WTC and sold this "steel" to China had been completely scrubbed, but most people have heard of them because they broke their lease to get out of the WTC before 9/11, losing $50K in the process, which is maredly interesting.
The Zim-American Israeli Shipping Co. moved their North American headquarters from the 16th floor of the WTC to Norfolk, Virginia, one week before the 9/11 attacks (VIRGINIAN-PILOT, 9/4/2001). More than 200 workers had just been moved out; about ten were still in the building making final moving arrangements on 9/11, but escaped unharmed. (JERUSALEM POST, 9/13/2001; JOURNAL OF COMMERCE, 10/18/2001)
There's a lot on that topic, but here's a link with documentation
( http://historycommons.org/entity.jsp?entity=zim-american_israeli_shipping_co. )
When ZIM moved out of WTC, an Israeli moving company occupied their floors but escaped unharmed on the big day as well. [How many Muslim owned companies moved out of the WTC complex just before Sept. 11, 2001? 0]
A year later, ZIM was busted with US/Israeli weapons heading to Iran.
( https://100777.com/node/83 )
So, crime scene evidence, armaments, what else? The closer to the top of the pyramid, the more interconnected it all is. Don't forget that all major art transactions are highly suspect and that "modern art" which is a farce, at best, is without value but is great for money laundering. See Miles Mathis excellent paper on this topic here
( http://www.mileswmathis.com/launder.pdf )
Anyone with an Art Gallery whose part of the program can ship large, cumbersome, ridiculous, bloody, pedophilic works of art around the world under the supervision of the Podestas, Kennedy’s, Kerry’s and people connected to history’s largest smuggling rings?
This is the big picture that everyone is missing. And they’re pulling this off right under our noses. The Rockefellers run the folk art industry and are prominent donors. Tony Podesta is a record-breaking collector. They all visit the Venice Biennale and go to major art events all over the world. If you do not know what the Venice Biennale is, google the logo. Exactly logo to the FBI Boy Lover symbol.
James Alefantis and the Comet Ping Pong Link
The Transformer Gallery hosts an annual silent auction, but few have picked up on the detail that every auction requires the transportation of art from another country that we can now know is shipped through diplomatic channels and part of the same larger network of diplomatically-exchanged art. Per the Gallery program:
This is the 13th Annual Auction and a celebration of Transformer’s 15 year anniversary. The Italian Ambassador is our diplomatic chair this year – highlighting year long collaboration with the Italian Embassy in D.C., and artistic exchange with artists and art spaces in Rome and D.C.
From BrightestYoungThings 1
1 ( https://brightestyoungthings.com/articles/preview-transformers-13th-annual-auction )
There’s more than 175 works up for silent bidding this year – I think we actually have 190 works! We say this every year – but I truly feel this is our best selection of work up for bidding yet.
For more on James Alefantis and his friends; Google Heavy Breathing, The Apes Band and Pedophilia.
Be warned, what they say and the images and videos the bands produce are pedophilic in nature and depict torture. Did I mention the main singer of The Apes was a former Special Needs teacher. You can also google her name, I'll let you find it and search her alter-ego drawings of weird creatures. It's as if all of these people were abused in child hood and so too are they doing the same.
Connection to Skull and Bones
Alefantis’ connection to Skull and Bones is rather subtle, but it’s telling that all news media has reported Alefantis’ role as an event organizer for this group. This is two-pronged. First, he coordinates events with the Sackler Freer gallery owned by the Opium family. Secondly, regular Comet performer Kid Congo Powers is married to the curator of the Yale University Art Gallery. 1 You know, the former headquarters of Skull and Bones.
1 ( https://vimeo.com/67959660 )
Kid Congo powers performs with DJ Baby Alcatraz, sometimes at Planned Parenthood events. 1 Remember DJ Baby Alcatraz was the one who owned what appeared to be Pizza Map near Marfa. 2 I won't be getting into the details of how perverted these bands are, as that isn't the premise of this post. Do know though, if you google some of these bands do not click tumblr posts of Google+ posts as many lead to boy lover forums and offputting and pedophilic pictures.
1 ( http://i.imgur.com/F5E0E8a.jpg )
2 ( https://voat.co/v/pizzagate/1647807 )
Kid Congo Powers, former member of Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, shows a few suspicious habits on his Tumblr.
( https://imgur.com/a/ip3ZO )
  • Making Erudite references to actual Bavarian Illuminati members and strange comments about the tomb at the Skull and Bones headquarters.
  • Wearing a Bavarian Illuminati-themed Jacket
  • Showing up at Transformer auction around ambassadors
  • Vampire Teeth, and references to pizza and blood; so not a normal guy.
We can’t forget Alefantis’ hosting of the Roosevelts and CFR-connected reporters like Wolf Blitzer. 1 A pizza owner who just so happens to know media affiliates for years, who would have thought. The fact that he and Dozoretz are closely linked in hosting these parties, and that major news networks seem just as involved in the afterparties, there’s no question why the entire Beltway wanted to shut this all down.
1 ( https://voat.co/v/pizzagate/1770143 )
Note that you see the exact same pattern with Susan Alefantis and the Chris Kloman case. 1 Those who defended Kloman include CFR-connected anchors like Charlie Gibson and Clinton cronies like Ken Starr.
1 ( https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/835134-kloman-letters.html )
Uribe and the Colombian connection
The Colombian ambassador to the United States worked for a law firm that, around the time that Comet Ping Pong first became a household name, became involved in a case of satanic abuse homicide in Bogota. The murder of Yuliana Samboni by Rafael Uribe would not be so intriguing were the diplomatic chair at Alefantis’ 10th annual Transformer Gallery auction not connected to the same law firm as the assailant.
The blog ‘Blueberry Perspective summarizes the link very well.
James Alefantis has political ties to the same colombian oligarch family where the rich architect son is involved in a satanic ritual abuse case with other people of a rape and murder of a seven year old poor girl, and it's being covered up in the colombian media, and by the colombian police, and colombia is a country that at the same time has the clinton foundation, carlos slim and frank giustra heavily involved in raping the natural resources, fake foundation activities, that all deal with youth and children, and banking regulations, are tied to haiti, robbing oil money killing union leaders and workers rights abuses, running illegal investment slush funds, etc
( http://www.transformerdc.org/special-events/overview/the-10th-annual-transformer-silent-auction-benefit-party )
Art world connections
The reason that the wealthy run art galleries is that they have a lot of money and want to engage in improving civic culture. That would be all fine and dandy if nearly every major family involved in the Skull and Bones network seems to have a connection to this Shipping lines. James Alefantis, in a sense, works for the Maccoby family because of their links to the Folgers, one of the families involved in FAPE.
The Folgers are heavily involved in the so-called Skull and Bones power circle, and they share both the credentials of being an early connecticut settler family and having an ancestor who was ambassador to Belgium. Notice Alefantis’ proximity to the Folger family. From this Voat Post:
( https://voat.co/v/pizzagate/1673862 )
The Folgers, are a secret power elite family since at least the administration of President Dwight D. Eisenhower. Lee’s mother is Barbara Sue (Bitsy) McElroy.[8] She was the daughter of Harvard’s Neil H. McElroy, former president of the multi-million dollar corporation, Procter & Gamble, and October 9, 1957, appointed President Eisenhower’s Secretary of Defense. Neil’s grandmother was Mary Camilla Fry of England- baroness, suspected British Knighthood bloodline lineage.[9]
Neil’s father is financial advisor Lee Merritt Folger– a child sacrifice (Moloch, also spelled Molech) pagan member of the Bohemian Grove.[10] Lee’s father was investment banker, John Clifford Folger (1893-1981), U.S. Ambassador to Belgium (1957-59)- Alfalfa Club.[11] The Folgers are descendants of Peter Folger. Peter was an early 17th century English settler of Martha’s Vineyard.
Ellen Susman & Pay 4 Play
Texas Democrat writes to John Podesta asking to be Ambassador to New Zealand after her and her husband donate to HRC. This fits in line with the pay-to-play allegations surfaced by Guccifer 2.0, when he released the ambassador names and the amounts paid to Obama/HRC to get an ambassadorship.
But what’s more interesting is the Ellen Susman sits on the 2015-2016 National Leadership Board of the Blanton Museum of Art in Austin, Texas.
( http://blantonmuseum.org/national-leadership-board/ http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/19/us/politics/well-trod-path-political-donor-to-ambassador.html )
Not everyone wants a gilded posting in a European capital. Ellen Susman, a Texas philanthropist who contributed $100,000 to the “super PAC” supporting Mr. Obama, has alerted people involved in the decision-making of her interest in serving as director of the State Department’s Art in Embassies program, responsible for managing the art collection that hangs in American embassies around the world.
Amman, Jordan
But the Transformer gallery not only takes art in from other countries, but also ships the art outward, as well. The presence of art by Matt Sesow, the artist involved in several Transformer auctions and who once painted an uncanny ‘cumpanda’ 1, was featured in a Jordanian art exhibit. Notice the imagery of the gallery and it’s pederastic “Da Vinci Children’s Exhibition” and the all-seeing eye out front.
1 ( http://i.imgur.com/bdVvSBg.jpg )
An interesting tidbit to add is that a Syrian diplomatic cable showcases one of the Jordanian gallery’s 1 exhibitions (Wikileaks - A Shout Out From My City 2), and explains that the exhibition occurred under the patronage of the Ambassador to France. What is important to note is that the auction at the Transformer gallery hosted by James Alefantis was always patronized by a guest ambassador, who made a special art donation to the gallery. Is it proof that he’s smuggling children? No. But does it prove that his connections—including to the Rockefeller’s through Luzzatto, to the Rothschilds, to Skull and bones.
1 ( http://www.foresightartgallery.com/ )
2 ( https://wikileaks.org/syria-files/docs/665100_-32-foresight32-a-shout-out-from-my-city-2-hello-salut-hallo.html )
EXTRA INFO
Historical precedent to Comet Ping Pong -- an 18th century occult club that lured politicians, lobbyists and ambassadors into a web of blood ritual
Germaine de Staël, was not only connected to major American diplomats, but also to a mysterious building in Switzerland that Tony Podesta seems to be visiting today. Given their current relationship with ambassadors and actual nobility, it is highly plausible that the Podesta brothers and James Alefantis are involved in the same type of operation.
Body
During the French Revolution, several notable figures at the highest seats of power in Switzerland and France played decisive roles in overthrowing Louis XVI and guillotining the royal family. It's worth knowing that Soros-type bankers still lorded over Europe at the time--after all, this was the age of Rothschild. Jacques Neckar, from Switzerland, was one such rival and became a finance minister under Louis XVI for France. During the revolution, he barely managed to hold France together, but according to Wikipedia, he also helped spark one of the bloodiest days of the Revolution:
Necker's dismissal on 11 July 1789, provoked by his decision not to attend Louis XVI's speech to the Estates-General, enraged the people of France and sparked rumors that the king meant to attack Paris or arrest the deputies. These fears provoked the storming of the Bastille on 14 July.
But there's so much more to this. His daughter, Germaine de Staël, was a gifted writer and power player in the French Salons. She would end up being one of Napoleon's sworn enemies as she tried to subvert his power on several occasions. She was also married to the Swedish ambassador in France. While still young, she ran her own salon in Paris with the ambassador, and they quickly gained a reputation as being a hotspot for the actual Illuminati and Swedenborgian Cult. Quotes from the book "Mistress to an Age: A Life of Madame de Stael" reveal she was known to the American political elite as well.
Germaine’s salon in the rue du Bac had become a political meeting place for the liberal aristocracy which soon was to carry out the first phase of the Revolution. Gouverneur Morries, a frequent guest, described Germaine to George Washington as “a woman of wonderful wit, and above prejudices of every kind,” and her house as a temple of Apollo.
Evidence also suggests that the Illuminati/Swedenborgians were involved in some bizarre sorcerer deep-state activities, as we see now with Jimmy Savile, 'Especially' Michael Aquino, wikipedia page scrubbed and the 'Podestas' activities.
[Monsieur de Stael] had also turned to the Swedenborgian sect, was deeply involved in the mysticism of the Illuminati, and indulged in conjuring spirits...In the Age of Reason, at at the court of the enlightened despot Gustavus, two opposed schools of sorcerers and soothsayers were engaged in secret and mortal combat. King Gustavus’ clairvoyant, Miss Arfwedsson, whose oracle he consulted on every important occasion, was all-powerful, but she was decidedly outnumbered by the soothsayers who surrounded the King’s brother, Duke Charles of Sudermania, for whom they predicted a glorious future. Most influential among them was the Duke’s friend, Baron Reuterholm, who, before witnesses, had put the Duke into a hypnotic trance to make him prophesy the role he was to play in the regeneration of Mankind.
Baron de Stael already had attached to his embassy a Swedenborgian named Halldin, whose specialty it was to make spirits appear in mirrors (he thus produced John the Baptist) and to read the future in books stained with blood. Under Reuterholm’s influence these innocent pastimes took a more serious turn.
At one of the seances held in 1790 in Stael’s presence, a medium revealed that Duke Chatlr was “in possession of the truth itself” and that Reuterholm be his only instrument…”Mention of the King was also made; what has been said concerning His Majesty is of great interest but of such a nature that I dare not trust it to my pen.”
They were literally performing mind control/hypnosis to major political figures to help them carry out political goals. This is congruent with allegations of both the CIA and Globalists blackmailing VIP pedophiles to further their aim. What's also interesting is that Le Bac was a favorite among lobbyists, and was actually known to court the most powerful American diplomats at the time. Staël met Jefferson, Washington, Adams; but what's most interesting is that Madame de Staël is (1) in such an identical position to American socialite James Alefantis, who frequently courts ambassadors from his art functions. Think I'm exaggerating? Here he is hosting the Swedish ambassador. 1 Another Transformer event was even held at the French embassy, and Alefantis has helped organize events with actual French nobility. 2 History repeats itself, and there's even MORE proof.
1 ( http://www.transformerdc.org/special-events/diplomatic-chaitransformer-11th-annual-silent-auction-and-benefit-party ) 2 ( https://voat.co/v/pizzagate/1530742 )
In some amazing coincidence, Stratfor leaks indicate that Tony Podesta was subscribing to Stratfor from a property in Lausanne. 1 Turns out, he's actually connected to Lausanne through his family and through the art world: Several pieces by Giovanni Battista Podesta, one of the purported "founders" of Art Brut, appear at the Collection Art Brut, 2 located in a castle in the town called Le Chateau Beaulieu. He is a worshipper of Mammon. 3 If you want a better idea of what art brut is, please look here. 4 Art brut is essentially "trauma art", 5 where victims of trauma, including satanist abuse and pedophilia, paint their experiences. I have spoken to actual art brut collectors who have confirmed this, and who have also admitted that many of the artists come from "transcendental cults". Also, abuse victim Kim Noble's work is Art Brut. 6
1 ( https://wikileaks.org/gifiles/docs/13/1318076_bawl-of-whacks-.html )
2 ( http://web.archive.org/web/20160817013327/http://www.artbrut.ch/f21004/1022/auteurs/podesta--giovanni-battista )
3 ( https://www.choisir.ch/arts-philosophie/theatre/item/download/298_60322ed8320e02a81899ee14d28a953f )
4 ( http://artbrut.com/ )
5 ( http://artbrut.com/about.shtml )
6 ( http://www.outsiderart.co.uk/noble.htm )
We also know that Tony Podesta is connected to this Art Brut art movement for three reasons: (1) He opened the "Art Blu" café in Venice, where he owns another property, (2) 1 he owns countless paintings that are or could be deemed Art Brut and (3) James Alefantis is one of the biggest patrons of art brut on the East Coast, if not America. And the painters he helps showcase have painted pedophilia 2 and cumpandas 3 (Matt Sesow, the artist in question, appears to have been a regular at Comet Ping Pong). So what's the big deal with this castle that Podesta is secretly visiting?
1 ( https://voat.co/v/pizzagate/1561189 )
2 ( http://web.archive.org/web/20160817013327/http://i.imgur.com/NcCrOhw.jpg )
3 ( http://web.archive.org/web/20160817013327/http://i.imgur.com/oc10aJ4.jpg )
  • It's the old home of Jacques Neckar and Madame de Staël. Literal Illuminati members use to live there and held unimaginable financial power over Europe. Now Tony Podesta is directly involved with visiting the same property as one of the top--if not THE top American lobbyist--in the world.
  • The group at the Chateau Beaulieu appears to be still tied to pedophilia. There is a call to the board at the bottom of the page to go on an excursion "every leap year" 1 to Sciacca in Sicily. It's the home of a sculpture garden and art brut artist pictured here. 2 Now it's owned by a vineyard called Strada Del Vino Terra Sicane. This is their logo. 3 That logo is one we've seen time and again--and yes I am going to make the case that Comet Ping Pong is far, far more than just a one-off fake news hoax. I think it's at the very heart of this organization, whether it be a place to blackmail people or meet secretly with members of the global elite. It's a perfect cover.
1 ( http://web.archive.org/web/20170210093523/http://www.artbrut.ch/en/21045/ )
2 ( http://www.artbrut.ch/en/21035/302/ )
3 ( http://web.archive.org/web/20170322164648/http://i.imgur.com/Lh5qQm9.jpg ) As Blatent as it gets!
EDIT: link for the Strada Del Vino Tierra Sicane has since been updated by the web host and conveniently no longer shows their logo... I have since found another link so you can see what their logo happens to be... https://www.tigulliovino.it/strade_del_vino/strade_del_vino_sicilia_terre_sicane.htm
submitted by TheGrainLantern to PedoGate [link] [comments]

OBLIGATORY FILLER MATERIAL – Just take a hard left at Daeseong-dong…2

Continuing
“Perhaps that might actually work better.” Agent Rack agrees, after all, he’s been looking at the list of team members and their departure points. I’m the only one from the Middle East, the rest are from Russia, Europe, or places way up north.
“Rack, let me look at the grouping of team members”, I say, “There’s got to be something better than your fly and schlep scheme.”
‘Fine, Doctor. It is, after all, your project.” Agent Rack relates, “Email me with your updated ideas and itinerary.” He says and hangs up.
“Damn”, I snipe, “I knew I should have asked for more than 3x my day rate. No trip is worth this much all fired ready aggravation…”
I get a new cigar, refresh my Greenland coffee, and get to the list of folks I’ll be working with for the next few weeks.
“Sindy?”, I ask my computer, “Open ‘Agent Rack mail #2’ please”.
There’s a grinding of hard drives, satellites are linking up in outer space, computer banks at NASA are lighting off. There's a teletype in Virginia annoyed at being awoken at this ungodly early hour.
A few minutes later, I am reading over my list. Quite the collection.
Two geologists: A Russian, Dr. Morskoy Utes, and a Brit, Dr. Clifford Swandon.
Two geophysicists: A Russian, Dr. Volna Sglazhivaniye, and one Swede, Dr. Aktiv Vågformme.
Two Reservoir Engineers: An Dutch, Dr. Vijver Monteur, and Portuguese, Dr. Graciano Guimarães.
One geomechanic: A Bulgarian, Dr. Iskren Dragomirov Dinev .
Two geochemists: A Canadian, ‘eh, Dr. Erlen Meyer, and a Russian, Dr. Academician Ivan Ivanovich Khimik.
One Petroleum Technologist: A Finn, Dr. Joonatan Vedenalaiset
And one Petrophysicist: A Canadian, Dr. Dax Aceron
And yours truly, Dr. Rocknocker, The Motherfucking Pro from Dover, makes for 12.
Such a nice, round, woody number.
OK, let’s see, before we get to particulars.
Countries of origin: Russia, England, Sweden, USA by way of the Middle East, Finland, Bulgaria, and Canada.
All northern hemispherical types; for the most part.
Great. We can all meet in London and fly British Airways directly to Beijing. Then, it’s Air China to Pyongyang. Besides, I’ll still get my frequent flyer miles and I don’t want to fly Aeroflot if I can avoid it.
I send Agent Rack an Email defining my ideas. He writes back within an hour OK’ing the plan. He will make plans for all of us to meet in London, spend a night at the airport Hilton Garden Inn, then off to Beijing. Then, after a quick layover, on to Pyongyang, Best Korea.
To history. And beyond!
However, there are a few logistical problems that need to be overcome.
With this Cheap-Ass Mexican Beer virus crisis, there’s no flights out of my present home country.
How will Esme make it back to the states and I to London, where there, at least, they’re a bit less ridiculously paranoid, and I can catch a commercial flight out to China?
Calling Agent Rack and Ruin…
With a bit of Agency of intervention, Esme and I are to be transported via one of the military’s flying war machines. It will deposit Esme in Abu Dhabi where she will catch a direct flight to the Windy City.
They say they may slow down before they kick me out in Dubai to catch the BA flight to London. They already know me from previous adventures.
There. All done and dusted. I love flying first class, as it were.
Now, logistics.

Esme is packed and ready to go in less than an hour. Most of her luggage is stuffed with gifts and other sorts of Middle Eastern tat for the folks back home. We haven’t been back to the states in quite some time; there will be much rejoicing.
However, I will have to hear of it second hand. I’m going to Best Korea and have no idea what the climate’s like other than its Oriental Continental. Most of North Korea is classified as being of a humid continental climate within the Köppen climate classification scheme, with warm summers and cold, dry winters.
Currently in the upper teens centigrade, winds light and variable 10 to 130 kilometers per hour, it’ll be a nice day if the tornadoes stay away.
Well now, that’s like mail from home. Equable weather in an unequable land.
Hawaiian shirts? The most garish. Exploration vest? Of course. Field boots? But of course. Ah, hell, the usual travel wardrobe. Into the silver aluminum travel cases go the Scottish high-calf woolen socks, Stetson, cargo shorts, one pair of long chinos, the usual undergarments, spare lighters, cigar-cutters, emergency flasks, flint and steel (just in case), generic Northern European Armed-Services knife with built-in cigar cutter, a couple of fueled Zippos, a couple of different sized Cow-Hide Men tools, a handful of cheap-o butane lighters, bags of beef and camel jerky…just the absolute necessities.
In my day pack, which never leaves my side, are my cigars, cigarettes for gifts, some emergency rations; like a spare pint of bourbon, one of vodka, and some Dammitol in case of headaches. Plus, field notebooks, pens, pencils, hand lens, various geological-geophysical cheat sheets, tickets, visas, tourist passes, and all that other world-traveling guff.
Looks like we’re both ready to travel. I get on the horn with one or the other of my favorite agency denizens and tell them we’re ready to go.
Agent Ruin notes positive and tells us he’ll dispatch our transport to the airport forthwith.
I’m out in front of our villa and the whole city is a god damned ghost town. Virtually no road traffic and absolutely no air traffic. It’s eerily quiet. The whole city’s taking a siesta. Or in a coma…hard to tell which.
I’m scanning the roads looking for our taxi to the airport when the still silence of the scene is split by the sonorous resonant THUMP-THUMP-THUMP-THUMP of a heavy helicopter.
Not just any “Oh, look, Mummy. Up in the sky”, helicopter.
This is a huge black US military transport helicopter and it’s FUCKING LANDING IN THE EMPTY LOT ACROSS THE STREET.
Remind me to be slightly nice to the collective agents next time we meet.
Once the sand, grime, and assorted desert dust settles down, I’m locking the villa as two Airmen are storing our luggage aboard the large black ominous-looking black transport black helicopter.
They escort Esme and me to the passenger compartment. They could see me being crestfallen when they refused to let me ride up front. I mean, I am a fully licensed helicopter pilot.
“Oh, insurance rules and stuff. Right”.
We don our new 3M™ Peltor™ Hummingbird™ Headsets and are asked, very nicely, to strap in as in mere moments, we will be taking off for the local airport.
I smile at Esme and beam: “I told ya’. Stick with me and you’ll go places.”
The way she smiled back at me sustained me throughout my trip above the 38th parallel. I resolved to do my damnedest to bring her back something very nice.
With a smooth, graceful leap due up, we’re airborne. The few neighbors that came out to see us off waved briefly and rapidly became as ants as we titled forward, opened the taps, and hauled ass to the local International airport.
No “International or Business” this time. We landed way the holy earthenware fuck over on the north side of the airport. That clandestine place where all the strange and secretive military aircraft were parked and surreptitiously maintained.
We flared in and, light as an anvil landed. We waited the proscribed few minutes while the airship spooled down and we were allowed egress.
Out of the chopper, across 150 meters of tarmac and into the waiting abdomen of a Lockheed C-130 Hercules. Our luggage was already being stowed in the belly the beast, and we were ushered into the cavernous interior of the plane.
This plane, as I was told, could carry up to 90 passengers, 72 troops, or 65 paratroops.
Today, it would carry Esme, me, and a skeleton crew to Dubai and Abu Dhabi.
We’d be landing first at Abu Dhabi to get Esme sorted out, then wheels up for approximately 5 air-minutes, then back to feet dry at Dubai International Airport. There I would be unceremoniously tossed off the plane and left to my own devices.
The flight crew were fully briefed and truth be told, I’d met several of them in varying circumstances over the years. They knew I was mostly harmless, but somewhat of an eccentric VIP, hence the flight, and they gave me no end of shit about it.
For that, I really appreciated and liked these guys and gals.
I walked Esme to the local international airline's flight desk in Abu Dhabi, business, of course, and deposited her luggage.
“Guess this is it, hon. Have a great time in the States and don’t let the Covids bite. Be sure to give the girls my love.”
“When will you be back, so I can plan my return trip?” Es askes.
“No earthly idea. It could be a month, could be three. I’ll get word to your mother, you guys will be checking in with her all the time anyways. Let’s play it loose and have some fun with all this. Now, off to the Lounge with you; get a massage, and relax. You’ve got 8 hours to burn before you even load up.” I said.
We embrace, kiss smoochily, even though we could get put away for PDA (Public Display of Affection) which is still a misdemeanor here in the lovely, cosmopolitan Middle East; an electric courtesy cart arrives to take Es to the combined Emirates First and Business Class lounge.
“See you soonest”, I say as the cart whisks her away. She waves and tries to camouflage her wiping her eyes. She’s always emotional before I travel to strange places around the globe.
I saunter out the door and back across the tarmac to my transport ship. I’m getting this Captain Kirk vibe being the only one being transported on the flight, and decide to christen the Herkybird “The Enterprise”.
Now, do I go all Bill Shatner or Patrick Stewart?
I arrive at the loading platform and there are a couple of airmen lolling around smoking cigarettes. They’re well away from the aircraft and legal, although I thought the military would have kittens if they knew of this.
I have some 5 hours to kill before my flight to London. I wander over to chat with the airmen and fire up a cigar. Since we’re probably not going to be leaving for a few hours, I offer them tots from one of my emergency flasks.
But, with the Modelo Virus about, one airman begs off and returns moments later with some small, disposable paper Dixie cups.
Necessity, the mother of invention.
We chatted, swapped stories, and they were amazed that I was actually looking forward to going to Best Korea.
They basically informed me that was a post no one wanted. It was a place where one went to watch their military career die.
It was tedious, yet tense.
Important, yet mundane.
Above all, it was massively boring.
Nothing of any substance even happened there and one hoped for that to continue. Yet, some long stripers would relate that even a small thermonuclear exchange would be welcomed to break up the tedium.
I parted with a couple of cigars as we felt and heard the engines of the Hercules being rekindled back into life.
We all scurried onto the plane and after some preliminary warnings, we were wheels up and headed to Dubai International Airport.
And then we were taxiing to the VIP arrivals terminal some 8 minutes later.
Fuck, I hate these long flights. Sure, I could have cabbed it from Abu Dhabi to Dubai, but they were headed this way anyways, so…
Into the arrivals area with all my baggage and a very nice US female airman accompanying me to the British Airways desk. She was wheeling my gear. I felt like such a cad, but I rapidly got over it.
We were at check-in, she made certain I had my passport, visas, tourist and landing cards, and everything else necessary for the trip.
“Yes, thank you, Sr. Airman Mother”, I joked.
She actually blushed a bit. I could have been her grandfather.
Gad. I hated writing that sentence.
She made certain everything was A-OK and a go. We shook hands, and she departed back to the waiting Hercules and back to their local home here in the maddening Middle East.
The airport was dead. Really dead. In fact, I’ve never seen it deader. Call in the bulldozers. Turn this place into a parking lot…
Dubai International is usually a fucking madhouse. It has always been nuts - a shopping mall trying to be an airport. Today, one could have held RC plane flight races around every concourse.
No weird-ass disenfranchised form god-knows-where bums out bothering and panhandling you. No madding crowds trying to sweep you against your will to a far and distant, not to mention, unusable, terminal. Duty-Free shops. Some closed, but the cigar and booze kiosks are open.
Whew. That’s a relief.
I’m checked in flight-wise and the nice BA gate person has to ask me why I’m going where my baggage says I am.
“I’m an agent of the United States, on a super-secret mission to find oil and gas in the best Korea on the planet.”
Her look and raised eyebrow said “Oh, pooh.”, although she smiled and said “Ah. That’s nice.”
Hey. I was telling the truth…
Well, I had some time in an almost deserted airport with a load of pre-flight cash, a hungry look in my eye, and a cheeseburger in my pocket; but that latter story will have to wait for a later time.
My bags were ostensibly ticketed to Pyongyang, but also Beijing. I’d have to check and see if they got transferred to Air China once we arrived. No worries, we should have plenty of layover time in China.
So, off to a leisurely stroll through Duty-Free.
“Oh, this looks nice. Oh. And this. Hmmm…Wild Turkey 101 Rye. That’s a two’fer. Ah, here’s the Duty-Free humidor. Camachos? By the Great Horn Spoon! They have triple maduros. 4 boxes of these go in the cart.” I giggled like a giddy old aunt.
A few bundles of cheap-ass cigars to use as gifts and bribes. Oh, yes. They love to smoke cigarettes in Best Korea. I load up three cartons of Sobranie pastel-colored Cocktail cigarettes.
At least, this way I’d know in an instant who I’ve already graced with my munificence.
Thus sated, I pay for my prizes, and decide to wander off to the Business Class lounge. I have hours left and well, boredom was settling in.
Or, I could go, as I have for years, to the Irish Pub, have a pint of nitrogen-charged Guinness, a bowl of ‘authentic’ Irish Stew and a nice smoke afterwards. I think it’s one of the few places left on the planet where you can actually sit at a bar, have a drink, and smoke without everyone going all C. Everett Koop on your hapless ass.
Oh, sure. In Business class everything’s free. At the Irish Pub, I’d have to pay.
Fuck it. I made a beeline to the Irish Pub.
It’s damn near-deserted. So much so, in fact, I’m seated immediately.
This is odd. It’s never happened before. This place is usually SRO.
Of course, I order a nitrogen-charged pounder of Guinness, a bowl of Irish Stew, a side of their famous real onion rings and a couple of shots of genuine rye whiskey just because.
Sated to the gills, I was feeling fine as I watch the abbreviated sports review on the telly. I dug deep into my recent purchases and drag out a triple maduro Camacho cigar.
No, I’m not shilling for Camacho cigars, they’re just one of my favorite go-to brands. However, if there’s anyone out there that’s affiliated with Camacho cigars, or Wild Turkey Rye and Bourbon, I’d certainly listen to any ideas you might have for sponsorship of this little forum.
Anyways, I was talking with the Sri Lankan bartender, Tharushi. I was, of course, regaling him with one of my endless supply of rude and ribald jokes when I hear a voice say:
“Why don't you save that rapier-like wit for the cheeseheads back home, Rock?
“Tharushi, did I ever tell you of the frustrated petrophysicist Dr. Dax Aceron who’s legendary prowess with a fishing rod is such that he couldn’t catch a cold buck-naked, sitting in a freezer with his feet in a bucket of Moscow river water?”
“Dr. Dax? How the hell are you?” I spin to see my old petrophysical buddy from many long best-forgotten global campaigns.
“Dr. Rock. I am doing fine. Better than fine. I’m going to Best Korea and I know personally the team leader. How the hell are you, you old troublemaker?”
“Dax. What are you doing here? I thought we’d meet up in London.”
“Yeah, that was the plan”, he explained, “I let them think I was still in Calgary. I was actually over here in Dubai doing a little side work. Totally under the table. Completely off the books. You know, the usual. Now give me a cigar and buy me a drink. I do believe it’s your round.”
“So, Dax”, I say, “Flying BA to London in”, as I look at my watch, “three and a half hours?”
“Yeah.” He halfheartedly replies.
“Problem? “I ask.
“Yeah”, he snorts, “Going baggage class. Can’t afford Business. Work’s been kinda thin on the chin lately.”
“Pish and tiddle”, I reply, “Tharushi, please call the BA front desk for me, if you would”, as I slide a US$20 across the bar.
“Yes sir, Doctor Rock, sir!” he rapidly replies.
<RINGRINGRING> “BA front desk”.
“Yes, hello. This is Dr. Rocknocker. I’m sending over one Dr. Dax Aceron with my BA Rhodium Thunder Frequent Flyers card. Please upgrade him to Business on BA Flight 106 to London departing in some 3.5 hours. My security code is <mumblemumblemumble>. Got that? Great. Thank you.”
“Here Dax”, as I hand him my frequent flyer's card, “Go to the BA desk and get yourself upgraded. I’ll sit here and keep the bar from running away. Now, begone with thee.”
Dr. Dax is all smiles as he lights off for the BA desk.
Oh, I could have gone and handled it all, but there was this one crucial problem.
I didn’t want to.
I order another Guinness and light up my cigar anew. This already had the earmarks of an epic adventure.
After a beer or eight and associated shots, I pour Dr. Dax into the courtesy cart and we’re whisked off to our departure gate. Normally, this would take full portions of an hour, the crowds would be so thick. Today, we’re at the most distal of the departure gates and we made it there from the Irish Pub in less than 7 minutes.
The plane was mostly empty. The ground crew did a desultory check of our passport and visas and told us basically to ‘sit wherever you want’.
“We’re already business class.” I replied.
“I hope someone else was buying your tickets.” Was the response.
Dax and I got to our Business Class seats and get comfortable.
We looked around and First Class was full, Business Class had one or two open seats and coach? Well, pretty much empty except for those souls who wanted a whole row to themselves to rack out on the upcoming 7.5-hour journey.
I asked if could get my Dr. Dax Business Class upgrade miles back.
The flight attendant said that ‘she’ll see’. It was more of a rhetorical question, based on the absurdity of international flights these days of scary infectious diseases and global idiocy.
The plane was probably 1/5th full. If we played our cards right and Dr. Dax and I could have our own private airline cabin attendant.
With a minimum of fuss and puling, after the obligatory “Please. Just sit back, enjoy our flight and don’t do anything stupid” lectures, in English, Arabic, and Dutch for some reason, we pushed back, rolled out and were heading off to our take-off position.
It’s Zombie Apocalypse time out here; without the drooling creatures lusting for brains; which is odd, even for Dubai. The airport’s dead, few ground vehicles scurrying around, and very, very few planes doing much of anything. We rolled into takeoff position, sat for less than a full minute, and suddenly went 110% throttle.
“Adios, Dubai. See you on the flip side.” I said to no one in particular, saluting the city one digit at a time.
We were wheels up so fast, I didn’t even get the obligatory “Welcome aboard, Dr. Rock, here’s your complimentary pre-takeoff drink”.
I sought to alleviate that sordid situation straightaway.
We leveled out and were headed generally north-northwestward when I waylaid the unsuspecting cabin-crew worker.
“Hello. How are we today? Good. Good. Might I trouble you for a drink?” I asked, sweeter than 1.23 kilos of jaggery.
“You’ll get a drink when I’m good and ready to get you a drink”, she barked back like an Alligator Snapping turtle with tertiary clap and barbed-wire undies.
“Now, now. See here, Miss. There’s no reason for all this. All I’d like is...” I tried to continue.
“Yeah. We know. ‘Vodka. Ice. Sliced limes. Bitter Lemon’, right? We’ll you’ll get that when I get around to it. Not before.” She snarled back.
“Evidently my reputation does precede me,” I said, somewhat perplexed and a bit miffed. I never am nasty to those who serve my alcohol, so I was genuinely perplexed at this turn of affairs.
“Yeah”, I hear a familiar voice from the back of the plane, “Everyone in existence knows of the one and only Dr. Rocknocker.”
What the actual fuck?
I swivel around and standing there with a shit-eating grin some representational three kilometers wide is Toivo.
“Toivo? What the actual flying fuck? What the hell are you doing in Dubai?” I asked.
“Paying the cabin crew real money to give you a hard time.” He laughs, as the red-faced cabin attendant hands both me and Toivo a drink.
Toivo is sputtering along in delighted laughter.
Dr. Dax is out like a light, snuffling his way westward.
“That still doesn’t answer my question, Toiv: what the blinkered hell are you doing in Dubai?” asked again.
“Well, you know I own an oilfield service company. Most everyone is in a global lockdown, but I can afford to fly where I want when I want. Only ‘essential’ employees are at the office. What better time to drop by some oil companies Middle Eastern HQs, make an impression, and try to drum up some business? If nothing else, they’ll remember me when the need comes for oil field servicing.” He laughs.
“Well, I can’t argue with the logic, but I might with the execution. Why not move up here into Business and we’ll catch up?” I ask.
“Nah, Rock. I’m bushwhacked. I got a nice, little row of four seats all laid out as my own, private Idaho. I’ve got in-flight entertainment, a patented ‘Dr. Rocknocker’ never-emptying glass and a desire to count high-velocity aerial sheep. Give me a few hours kip and I’ll come back and we can catch up. Deal?” he asks.
“Sure. No problem. Just don’t ask what I’m up to because it’s super-secret, really dangerous, and ridiculously ‘Eyes-only’ confidential. Have a nice nap.” I smile and turn back to my drink.
Toivo slowly rises and head back to his nest, shaking his head over what I was on about this time.
“Fuck with my beverage service? OK. I fuck with your head”, I smile quietly to myself.
“Why, yes, I’d love another. Could you make it a double?” I ask the flight attendant, who has now recovered her previous bit of Toivo-induced embarrassment She was well on her way to redeeming herself mightily in the eyes of this grizzled world traveler.
I spent the flight time writing up my field notes. I devised a brand-new form of encryption that no one would be able to break; except for me, of course. I planted primers through the coded entries to remind me how simple this code was, but how unbreakable the code would be if the people trying to decode it weren’t, well, me. There were little asides and personal accounts linked to the decryption key that would be impossible, I fervently hoped, for anyone without certain key pieces of history, to unravel.
I’m going to a primitive and paranoid place, and I’m the one sweating the encryption of my hand written notes.
Weird.
I built up a file system on my really cheap ass-looking Toshiba laptop that would prove to be impenetrable to anyone short of a batch of NSF Crays with nothing to do for the next geological epoch. It was an old, beat-up looking, field notebook computer, circa 1999.
However, looks can be deceiving.
I had it juiced with all the latest computer gizmos and gimcracks that brought its guts right up to 2020 or possibly beyond. It had 6 TB Samsung 860 PRO, 2.5" SSD, with all the attendant bells and whistles according high-juice operating systems today. It runs on Win 7 because I hate Win 10 but it also runs on Windows XP. I had my computer guru do whatever it’s called so I could run both systems simultaneously so I could show it doing XP things to a concerned TSA agent when it really was running Win 7 covertly in the background.
This thing could, in a pinch, process raw seismic data.
The logic? Well, I show customs and that crowd, and it’s an old, beat-up geologist’s field electronic notebook. In the hotel room, I can activate it’s alter ego and have access to all the goodies I need that frankly are equivalent or better than my workstation back home
Truth be told, it’s an old ploy that Rack and Ruin suggested. There are even some packages of ones and zeros that had originated from some shady place in the hills of the East Coat of the US swimming around the guts of the thing. This makes for the ideal situation to keep prying eyes where they belong and yet still allow me to have the access to all my latest geological, geophysical, and petrophysical software; as well as communication and snooping programs.
We secured permission to bring in one laptop or iPad per person on this trip; so I decided with the paucity of the internet in the place I was headed, I’d bring along my satellite lash up and the necessary computer to drive it. No one, unless they’re really tech-savvy, which I‘m not, would realize I have a fully functional satellite Internet machine in that old beat up Toshiba notebook facade and those couple of bags of adapters, wall warts, and patch cords.
That all done, I ordered another drink, pick a bit at the Full English Breakfast I thought sounded good until it arrived, and read some of the latest newspapers.
COVID-19! ALARM! RUN IN CIRCLES! SCREAM AND SHOUT!
Oh, bother.
Toivo finally arrives back from his little trip to the land of Nod and sits down in the unoccupied seat next to mine. We have some time and need every minute to catch up. I must say, thus far, it was the most agreeable part of the trip. It was good to see an old face from back home.
Toivo’s staying in London for a few days, trying to drum up some North Sea business, then he’s back to Houston via Mexico City and overland to Matamoros. The things as citizens that we’re forced to do under the guise of security.
We’re readying for landing when Dr. Dax finally wakes up. He just has time for his morning ablutions before we land in sunny ol’ England.
I had printed out the list of attendees and first thing, after we deplaned, went through all the passport and customs folderol, got to the hotel, checked in and had a couple of drinks. Then I’d requisition a conference room in the hotel for all of us to meet before our flight out to China the next day.
That’s why I get the big money. I can plan logistically like a motherfucker.
Dax and I get through all the entrance formalities and I arrange for our baggage to be sent to the hotel, which is connected to the airport Terminal 4. It was a near thing, though, as we were some of the last guests who were allowed to stay at the hotel before it closed due to the whole Bad Mexican Beer virus absurdity.
However, our rooms wouldn’t be available for a couple of hours, but they’d keep our bags for us until we decide to show up. So, with time in an airport to kill, where else do we go?
Off to the nearest bar.
It was a long walk to our hotel, and since we didn’t care to walk after being locked in an aluminum tube for the last 8+ hours, we found the first pub right after we sorted out our bags with BA. It overlooked the international arrivals area, and had a ringside seat to the comings, but not goings, of international adventurers.
So we were sitting in the Pogo Lounge of the London International Airport...in the patio section, of course, drinking Singapore Slings with mescal on the side.
Dax and I ordered several drinks as I wanted something different for a change. We sat back, got comfortable, and wanted to fire up cigars, but here in the Northern Hemisphere of late, that would probably be an executable offense.
“Y’know, Dax”, I said between sips of a really fine cocktail, “We’ll probably be seeing all our compatriots walk right on by us here. We should let them know that we’re here.”
As another aside, all the team members of this little excursion spoke English. I didn’t mention that until right now because I didn’t think it important, but I suppose it is. With the translations to the native language, to and fro, of where we’re going; additional languages would have just fuckered our timetable, which was long enough as it stood.
Dax agreed, procured some crayons, literally, and a paper placemat and ginned up a fairly credible International Union of Petroleum Geological Sciences (IUPGS) logo and our names for all to see.
So much for anonymity, inconspicuousness, and clandestineness.
Ha! With this bunch? Hardly…
Dax and I ordered another round which arrived expediently, as we pretty much had the lounge to ourselves.
It was weird hanging around a place that I’ve never before seen without bustling, hustling, thronging mobs of people. There were a few fellow travelers, but it was like after a great conflagration, a reverse decimation, where instead of only 10% of the population being laid waste, it was 90% and we were part of the lucky 10% of survivors.
“Yes, thank you. ”, I said to the smiling barkeep. I didn’t know you could double a Singapore Sling. The more you know…
Dax and I sat there enjoying our libations. Well, I was. Dax was having the damnedest of times keeping up; not that I asked him to or challenged him in any way. I was itchily lusting for a good smoke; those Dubai Camachos were taunting me just a foot or two away in my field pack.
To be continued…
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