How to Win at Greyhound Racing - Betting School

I Read It So You Don't Have To: Little Kids, Big City (by Alex McCord and Simon van Kempen)

Inspired by the overwhelmingly positive response to my previous 'book report' on Ramona Singer's Life on the Ramona Coaster (seriously, thank you all -- truly supporting other women 🙏🙏), I decided to try my hand at writing up yet another of the embarrassing number of Housewives books in my personal collection: Alex McCord and Simon van Kempen's Little Kids, Big City: Tales from a Real House in New York City with Lessons on Life and Love for Your Own Concrete Jungle.
After reading just the title of this book, I'm already exhausted. It's pretentiously long and awkwardly phrased while somehow still managing to be entirely devoid of meaning. In other words, a perfect encapsulation of Simon and Alex. The summary on the back cover describes the pair as the "breakout stars" of RHONY, an assessment that I would charitably call 'debatable,' before going on to inform me that I can look forward to "informative and often hair-raising stories of life in the urban jungle," and that "Alex and Simon use their own hard-won experience as a springboard to discuss a host of parenting topics." I anticipate that this content will be quite useful to me, the guardian of four cats that I spoil endlessly and treat like my actual children.
One of the pull-quotes on the back cover allegedly comes from our very own Bethenny Frankel. I say 'allegedly' because I refuse to believe that the following passage would ever come out of Bethenny's mouth (or keyboard or whatever):
Alex and Simon don't take themselves too seriously, which seems to be essential to parenting. Their fresh 'he said, she said' perspective on parenting is both humorous and insightful!
Please, take a moment and do your very best to picture mention-it-all, betting-on-horse-races-at-age-five Bethenny unironically using the phrase "fresh 'he said, she said' perspective." To describe Simon van Kempen and Alex McCord. Right, didn't think so.
My experience reading Little Kids, Big City started on an unexpected high note when I opened the front cover to find that my copy (purchased used through Better World Books for the low, low price of $5.31 with shipping) had been signed by Ms. you-are-in-high-school-while-I-am-in-Brooklyn herself, Alex McCord! Truly a gift I do not deserve. Samantha and Debbie (whoever and wherever you may be), thank you for your service. I am forever in your debt.
Unfortunately, as would soon become painfully clear to me, after starting off on such a promising note, I would have nowhere to go but down.
The book, which is written in alternating passages from Alex and Simon, begins its introduction with a chronicle of Alex's "fashionably nomadic" early adulthood. Ever the proto-edgelord, she recalls, "I did all those things our mothers warned us about and had fun doing them." We switch to Simon's perspective to hear the deeply embarrassing story of the couple meeting through a dating app while Simon was on a business trip in New York City. No, there is absolutely nothing embarrassing about meeting someone on a dating app. But there absolutely is something embarrassing about using the profile name "Yetisrule" to meet someone on a dating app. To clarify, this was apparently Alex's username, and I remain hopeful that we will get a more thorough explanation of her connection to the elusive Yeti as this book continues.
Alex tells us that, while she and Simon hadn't initially planned to have children, they eventually started to have "clucky feelings." I have never heard this phrase in my entire twenty-five years of life, but based on context clues and also a Google search, I learned that it means they wanted to have a baby. Don't worry, though! As Alex tells us, "You can be eight months pregnant and wear a leather miniskirt." Personally, this is life-changing news -- I had always believed that I couldn't have kids unless I was willing to compromise my 90s goth aesthetic! Maybe I'll rethink this child-free thing after all.
The next bit of advice seems like it actually could potentially be sort of helpful. "No one is a good parent all the time -- nor is anyone a bad parent all the time," they reassure the reader. "You can become a parent without losing yourself." Unfortunately, as soon as I catch myself nodding along, the modicum of goodwill I'd built up is promptly trashed by a gag-worthy line from Simon: "If you take nothing away but a wry smile after reading our little tome, then we've done our job." I immediately vow not to smile until I'm finished reading this book. Excuse me, this little tome.
The book starts in earnest with Chapter 1: "Does a German Shepherd Need a Birth Plan?" To be perfectly honest, I was not expecting a riddle at this juncture, but I am nevertheless excited to hear Simon and Alex tell us "why childbirth is not an intellectual activity." First, however, we get a passing reference to "Park Slope, home of the ParkSlopeParents.com message board made famous in 2007 with a so-ridiculous-it-got-headlines discussion on gender-specific baby hats and where feminism can be taken to extremes." And despite the lame alarmist allusion to ~*XTREME feminism*~, this line did manage to lead me down an interesting Internet rabbit hole, so thanks for that, I guess?
Jesus Christ, I am on PAGE 4 and I am already so done with Simon. Presented without comment:
With the Park Slope OB-GYN, we had the first sonogram and saw the little blip on the screen -- our child-to-be. They say seeing is believing and as nothing was happening inside me, seeing confirmation on the video monitor that indeed my spermatozoa had penetrated and infiltrated one of Alex's ova made me aware that my days as a footloose and fancy-free guy might be coming to an end.
Y'all, I am currently working on my PhD in Molecular Biology. Which, if you were not previously aware, gives me the authority to decree that Simon is never allowed to use the word "spermatozoa" ever again. And so it is.
I was about to say that Alex's passages are at least more tolerable, but it appears I spoke too soon.
The stats they quoted referenced a 40 percent cesarean section rate in the city, and I wonder how that can be acceptable? Are we heading toward Brave New World, where babies are scientifically created in petri dishes and gestated in artificial wombs? Oh wait, we're already there. Are we heading towards a Wall-E existence, where we ride around in carts everywhere and do nothing for ourselves so that our bodies break down and we're all fat, oozy blobs drinking protein from a straw? Somebody slap me, please!!
Truly, Alex, it would be my pleasure.
As a Type-A person, just reading the story of Alex's first pregnancy and delivery gave me anxiety. She says that she just never really "felt the need to establish a birth plan" and that she "gave in to any craving [she] felt." Don’t worry, though -- "If I had suddenly craved chalk, ecstasy or Elmer's Glue, I'd have thought twice." I feel like there is some symbolism here to unpack (Could the Elmer's Glue be a metaphor for the childlike spirit of connection and unity???). Simon describes himself as "a learn-on-the-job guy" and tells us that he and Alex "failed to attend the last couple of [birthing] classes as by then we both just wanted to let instinct take over when the time came." As someone who has never trusted my instincts even once in my entire life, I cannot relate.
Twelve days after his due date, baby François is born. Except it turns out that he actually was born right on time, but Alex "didn't keep regimented track of [her] periods" and miscalculated. What a bummer that modern medicine hasn't advanced to the point where doctors can guide you about that sort of thing.
I don't even know what to say about this next bit, but God help me, I still have 215 more pages of this book to go.
Although the final stages of labor were very, very painful, I [Alex] never used our code word (tin can) for "game over, give me drugs." I definitely recommend using a code word, because it was kind of fun to scream, "I want drugs, give me drugs" through a contraction and have the midwife, nurse and Simon all know I wasn't serious. Once he [François] was finally out of my body, I experienced a tsunami of endorphins that was almost orgasmic, and I understand completely the stories other women have written about ecstatic birth. Simon was sitting behind me at the point of birth, and later when we untangled ourselves he discovered he'd actually ejaculated though hadn't felt any of the normal lead-up to that. It may seem distasteful to some, and definitely neither of us was thinking of sex at the time, but with the rush of emotion and my lower nerve endings going crazy, it's not too far a stretch to say that it's a profound experience.
Johan is born two years later, although it's unclear from the text whether either parent reached orgasm during the event.
The chapter ends with a top-ten list entitled "10 Things We'll Remember That Happened During Pregnancy." These include useful tidbits like
  1. Best advice I heard: men's genitals grow and change shape regularly, then go back to the way they were before. Don't worry about your female delicate bits being able to retract.
Which is…a lovely sentiment. But one that is slightly undermined by phrasing the first part in the grossest way possible, as well as by the use of the phrase "female delicate bits." I do like the idea that they "retract," however, because I think it's very cool to imagine the vagina as an SUV sunroof. By the grace of God, Chapter 1 comes to a close.
In Chapter 2 (titled "No Sleep 'Til Brooklyn, What's My Name Again? and Who is This Alien?" -- seriously, were they padding their word count with chapter titles?), we get more questionable parenting advice from the McCord-van Kempens. They glibly dismiss concerns about co-sleeping ("Simon and I both slept with cats and dogs our whole lives without squishing them"), which I honestly would be more annoyed about if I hadn't immediately gone on to read Simon's account of "the midnight race to the 24-hour pharmacy to buy a breast pump as Alex's breasts were seemingly engorged with too much milk and she thought they were about to explode and fly off her chest." As it stands, I'm truly too defeated to care. Again, just to be perfectly clear: no shade to having issues breastfeeding, all shade to using the word 'engorged.’ And also for giving me the mental image of Alex's breasts desperately struggling to flee from her body (though to be fair, who could blame them?).
Proving that she does not inhabit the same world as the rest of us mortals, Alex tells us that she expected that her state of sleep-deprivation as she raised two young children would "spur [her] creativity with graphic design." For some reason, this does not seem to be the case. Alex is puzzled.
Finally, we've come to this chapter's top ten list ("Top 10 Memories of Random Things We Did While in the Post-Birth Haze"). While these lists have so far been utterly irredeemable, they also mean the chapter is coming to a close, so I can at least take some solace in that. This particular list ranges from the irritating…
  1. We subversively took sleeping babies to as many non-child-friendly places as possible to prove the point that children can be seen, not heard and not bothersome, such as dinner at the Ritz in London, the Sahara Desert, shopping on Madison Avenue, Underbar in Union Square and film festivals.
…to the truly unnecessary.
  1. While changing François' diaper on day one or two, we both stood mesmerized by the changing pad as meconium oozed out of him. It was really the most bizarre and fascinating thing I'd seen to date.
With the couple's general backstory and credentials now under our belts, Chapter 3 ("The Screaming Kid on the Plane is NOT Mine! (This Time)") focuses on advice for traveling with children, which Alex admits "can be a complete pain in the you-know-what." I cannot describe the rage I feel at the fact that she has -- in no fewer than 50 pages -- forced me to read about both her newborn son's excrement and her husband's ejaculate, but cannot bring herself to use the word "ass." Alex, we're really far beyond that at this point, don't you think?
Not to be outdone, Simon shares a conversation he had with François that is remarkable not for its content, but for the fact that one of Simon's nicknames for his son is apparently "F-Boy." Thanks, I hate it.
This chapter's list ("Alex's Top 10 Travel Memories") includes the entry:
  1. Both boys charging down Saline Beach in St. Barths like something out of Lord of the Flies.
So, like a horde of primal sadists? I'm wondering if Alex and Simon have inadvertently confused Lord of the Flies with the hit 2007 reality show Kid Nation. I really hope that's what's going on here.
Chapter 4 ("'Mommy, Johan is Gone!'") promises to teach us how to handle accidents. I'm not sure how comfortable I feel taking emergency advice from the authors of this particular book, but (in large part due to the fact that I have slept since reading the previous chapter, giving the pain a chance to dull somewhat), I am willing to at least hear them out.
After relaying a story of François needing emergency surgery after a foot injury, Alex tells us that at one point, she and Simon realized they had spent "nearly $5000 on Indian takeout" in the past year. For the mathematically averse, this works out to a monthly budget of roughly $100 worth of Indian food per week, making my quarantine Uber Eats habit seem downright quaint by comparison. The chapter-ending list walks us through the "Top 10 Things We Do in a Crisis," and fortunately, the tips seem pretty benign.
  1. Knowing what calms the children down, such as making silly faces or reciting Shel Silverstein poetry backwards.
Wait, hang on. What?
reciting Shel Silverstein poetry backwards
I'm sorry, please forgive me if I have missed some recent, paradigm-shifting development in the field of early childhood education, but what?? As in, "ends sidewalk the where?" "Sdne klawedis eht erehw?" I am truly befuddled.
Maybe the next chapter ("'Is Today a Work Day or a Home Day, Mommy?'") will have some applicable wisdom for me, as I will, in fact, be working from home every other week for the foreseeable future. And, I cannot stress this enough, I am a psychotically overinvested cat mom. Alas, we are instead treated to an unnecessarily detailed breakdown of how important it is to delegate, and specifically that Simon cleans up vomit and Alex cleans up "feces in the various forms that come out of children's bottoms at appropriate and sometimes inappropriate times such as the middle of Thanksgiving festivities." As if we needed another reason to consider Thanksgiving problematic.
The chapter takes a brief commercial break…
When an everyday product can do double duty such as Dawn Hand Renewal with Olay Beauty, a dish soap that seals in moisture while I'm tackling cleanup, sure, I'll buy it.
…before closing out with a list of the "Top 10 Things We Do Because We Were Here First." I am happy to confirm your worst suspicions and tell you that item number one is indeed "Have passionate sex."
In Chapter 6 ("I Saw Your Nanny…Being Normal?"), I find myself actually sympathizing with Alex for the first time in this book. Which is mostly just because the chapter starts by talking about all of the awful, catty parental competitions that seem endemic to a certain crew of white Manhattan moms, and it makes Alex come off at least slightly less irritating in comparison.
That is, at least until a few pages later, when she starts to complain about a previous au pair:
She was sullen, melodramatic and kept a blog about how she hated Americans, hated France, hated us and the children but loved New York. I think she must have thought we were idiots, and when she asked us to leave early we were only too happy to get her out of our home.
I would love to meet this woman. I think we could be great friends.
This chapter's list is even more difficult to parse than previous ones, because while it's titled "Top 10 Things Caregivers Have Inadvertently Done to Amuse, Annoy or Thrill Us," it's not at all clear which descriptors apply to which points. When a babysitter "accidentally used a household cleaning wipe when changing a diaper," were the McCord-Van Kempens amused? Annoyed? Thrilled? The world may never know.
In Chapter 7 ("'Putting To Death Is Not Nice,' a Duet for Two Boys and A Guitar"), Alex and Simon share some of their hard-earned childrearing wisdom with us. Which basically amounts to Alex telling us that, while normally misbehavior from the kids incurs a warning followed by a time-out, she has also developed an ingenious new strategy where she actually steps in to intervene when the stakes are higher. Let's listen in:
A third permutation is when there's a behavior that has to stop immediately, say if Johan has a big blue indelible marker and is running through a white hotel suite. I swoop in and grab the marker as to risk a three count [warning] would be to risk decoration of the sofa.
Take the marker from the toddler immediately instead of trying to reason with him? Groundbreaking.
Side Note: At this point in my reading, I am incredibly satisfied to report that I have discovered my first typo in the book, and in one of Simon's sections no less! ("These toads secret [sic] a poison…"). This is wildly pedantic of me and proof that I am a deeply sick person.
We run though a list of "Top 10 Things We Never Thought We Would Have To Explain" ("10. Why hot pizza stones do not like Legos.") before moving right along into Chapter 8, "Don't Listen to the Well-Meaning Morons." Strangely, I have a very vivid memory of Alex saying "I have a chapter in my book called, 'Don't Listen to the Well-Meaning Morons" in some distant RHONY episode or reunion. I guess she was telling the truth.
The chapter opens with a series of passages in which Alex and Simon respond to various comments that have been made about their parenting over the years. I think this device is supposed to be a bit of lighthearted snark on overbearing strangers, but instead just comes off as weirdly defensive and passive-aggressive. A few examples:
"My daughter is perfect. Her table manners are excellent, she never speaks unless spoken to and we've always had white sofas at home since she was a child, with no staining."
-A woman with one preteen daughter, no sons
Your daughter sounds boring. I wouldn't want my sons to date her..
Zing!
"Why are you outside?" - A bagel seller in Montreal, in February
I'm hungry and the stroller is well protected under the plastic cover. Johan is warm and cozy, the others are asleep in the hotel and I'm going stir-crazy. Is that enough, or should I buy my bagel from someone else?
Got 'em!
"Excuse me, your baby is crying." -- Someone said to Simon as they peered into the stroller to try and determine the cause of said noise.
You don't say! Do you think, you stupid idiot, that I don't hear that? Do you think I think it's just loud music? Do you think I don't want him to stop and that I like it???
Sorry, did I say 'passive-aggressive'? Let's change that to just 'aggressive.'
But despite bristling at being the recipient of unwanted advice, far be it from Alex to shy away from giving her opinions on the shortcomings of other parents.
There was a mom at another table who wore all black and told her hyperactive daughter that they had to have a family meeting to decide what to do next. The type of woman who might ask her daughter to "process her feelings" about which color to choose. The type of woman who wanted make [sic] a big huge hairy deal about including her daughter in the decision-making process and "negotiating" the next best step for the family to take in the pottery shop. Pardon me while I shoot myself.
I'm sorry, but I just cannot respect this take coming from a woman who calms her sons by reciting comedic children's poetry backwards.
We next learn that there are "many websites out in cyberspace," some of which offer child-rearing advice. Simon summarizes their useless "vitriol" as such:
They say that hell hath no fury like a woman scorned, whereas for the 21st century surely hell no longer hath fury, as it's all been hurled at the belittled and scorned Internet mom.
I'm honestly not entirely sure what this is supposed to mean, and my confusion continues all the way through this chapter's "Top 10 Ways We Make Ourselves Feel Better When It's All Getting To Be Too Much." We begin reasonably enough…
  1. Check to see whether the person offering advice has children. How old are they?
  2. Do they have a point? Are they right? It is entirely possible.
…before quickly losing all sense of self-awareness and flying completely off the rails.
  1. Will we ever see this person again? If not, can we get away with unleashing our fury on them? Note, if you're reading this and decide to try it for yourself, go big or go home.
The last few chapters have been a bit Alex-heavy, but never fear -- Simon pops back up in Chapter 9 ("If I Wouldn't Eat That, My Kid Won't Either") to tell us a charming story about how the family refers to his Bolognese sauce as "Dead Cow Sauce," and this is because his children are incredibly enlightened and understand the circle of life and where food comes from. Or something along those lines.
This chapter also provides a lot of really incontrovertible proof that, even though you may swear that your kids say the most hilarious things all the time, you are wrong. I love kids. I can play cool aunt with the best of them. But this "recipe" for "Johan's Concoction" tries so hard to be cute and funny ("whisk violently -- making sure to spill a little out of the top") that I could barely stifle my groans. For anyone who happens to frequent RebornDollCringe, I am strongly and inexplicably reminded of Britton.
A list of "Top 10 Things We Don't Like About Children's Restaurants" culminates with
  1. Where would you rather be? A bistro devoted to race-car driving, with 1950s toy cars on the walls, or T.G.I. Friday's?
Excuse me, ma'am, you must be unfamiliar with the concept of Endless Apps®.
The title of Chapter 10 is "You'll Give in Before I Do!" and although the subtitle lets me know this is referencing "the art and warfare of bedtime," it's hard not to take it as a personal taunt from the authors. Most of this chapter is just transcriptions of 'cute' things François and Johan have said to try to avoid going to bed, but we do get this gem:
Slaying the dragon is our family euphemism for using the toilet (drowning the dragons that live in the sewer) and is fun for the boys to talk about, though probably not forever.
Before giving us a chance to adequately process this revelation, Alex goes on to reflect:
Hmm, perhaps I should delete this -- I don’t want obnoxious classmates getting hold of this book in 10 years and asking the boys if they need to slay the dragon in the middle of geometry class.
Alex, I assure you, you truly have nothing to worry about. Any self-respecting bully will be far too focused on the fact that Simon ejaculated at the moment of his son's birth to pay this comparatively trivial factoid any attention.
The authors shake things up and end this chapter with lists of both "Top 20 Bedtime Stories" and "Top 10 Lullabies," both of which are thankfully inoffensive.
In Chapter 11 ("Children Like Shiny Objects"), we follow Alex and Simon as they purchase the townhouse we see them renovating on RHONY. Although other (read: lesser) parents might store breakables out of reach or limit children's toys to playrooms and bedrooms, Alex and Simon were blessed with two boys whose aesthetic sensibilities are already quite developed:
One kind of funny thing that I noticed recently is that the toys the boys tend to leave upstairs in our red and black living room often tend to be red and black as well. I'm not sure whether that's intentional, but it's funny that the room always seems to match regardless of its contents.
The list of "Top 10 Craziest Places We've Found Objects" is mercifully absent of any orifice-related discoveries.
After reading just the title of Chapter 12 ("Raising Baby Einsteins"), I'm bracing myself for the self-satisfied smugness to come. This preparation turns out to be duly warranted. Baby sign language is dismissed as "a scheme dreamed up by ASL experts who wanted to sell classes to easily influenced new parents," Mommy and Me classes are "not really for teaching anything," and we learn that Alex and Simon have instituted a bizarre family rule that "if a talking toy came into our house, it had to speak a foreign language or speak English in an accent other than American."
We learn that Simon apparently does not know what antonyms are (for the record, Simon, the word you're looking for is homophones) and that New York City is replete with "wailing, nocturnal, type-A obsessed harridans willing to sleep with persons not their spouse if they think it will help their child get into THE RIGHT SCHOOL." Uh, yikes. After a tediously long description of François' pre-school admissions process, Alex informs us:
As a former actor, I've always gotten into play-acting and dressing up with my children. Perhaps a little too much. But I've taken the opportunity to show off a few old monologues, complete with bounding around like a puppy. If you have knowledge, why not share it? If you happen to know Puck's speeches from a Midsummer Night's Dream by ear with tumbling and staged sword play, why the heck don’t you share that with your boisterous boys, who love it and run around shouting, "Thou speakest aright!"
I am suddenly compelled to call my mother and thank her profusely for never making me put up with anything like this. Maybe I'll also get her thoughts on one of the tips listed in "Top 10 Favorite 'Developmental' Things To Do": "if they want something that you want to delay giving them, make them ask in every language they can before giving in." To me, this seems like an effective way to encourage your children to learn how to say "Fuck you, mom" in French as early as possible.
In Chapter 13 ("Urban Wonderland"), Alex and Simon promise to share their unique perspective on "taking advantage of raising a child in the urban jungle." But mostly, we just get a rant about how everyone thinks their kids have weird names, and that makes Simon mad. This chapter's "Top 10 Reasons New York is the Center of the Universe to a Kid" list reminds us what truly matters: "there are more songs with NYC in their titles than any other city."
Immediately after telling us how great it is to live in a city (excuse me, urban jungle), Alex and Simon switch tack and spend Chapter 14 ("'Daddy, a Cow! And It's Not in a Zoo!") expounding on the importance of exposing kids to nature. Sounds great, I'm on board. Unfortunately, we almost immediately take a hard left turn into a story from Simon's childhood where he and his brother are "befriended by this old guy, Dick, who lived on the outskirts of town in a small tin shed." We hear that Dick "occasionally pulled out an early Playboy magazine back from the days when the lower regions were airbrushed out," and that "there had been pretty strong rumors of pedophilia," before promptly returning to the main narrative with no further explanation. I can only describe the transition as 'jarring.'
I can tell how exhausted I am at this point in the book by how hurriedly I skimmed the list of "Top 10 Differences We've Noticed Between City Kids and Country Kids." To be honest, I'm almost annoyed when a particularly bizarre quote manages to catch my attention, because that means I have to think about it for the full amount of time it takes me to transcribe from the page. I'm beginning to think that my initial hope that I could glean some useful cat-rearing advice from this experience may have been overzealous.
Chapter 15 ("You're Such a Great Parent, You Should Be on TV (LOL)") is the only chapter to directly address the family's time on RHONY. It starts with this (attempted) comedy bit in which Alex and Simon pretend to be hilariously self-aware and self-effacing (Alex: "Look up 'Mommylicious' in the dictionary and you will see a photo of me in a ball gown, breast-feeding an infant while making Osso Buco and directing carpenters to build a bookcase for my Dickens and Shakespeare."). This posture would be infinitely more believable if I hadn't spent the previous 205 pages watching these two take themselves deadly seriously.
But rather than share any juicy behind-the-scenes tidbits (or, indeed, convey anything of substance at all), Alex and Simon spend exactly 3.5 pages blustering about how it wasn't harmful for their children to be on TV before giving us a list of "Top 10 Hilarious Things The Boys Have Done While Filming or at Photo Shoots." Spoiler alert: none of them are 'hilarious.'
Chapter 16 is literally titled "The Light at the End of the Tunnel," which makes me feel like this whole experience may have just been Alex and Simon playing some sort of twisted game with me. Alex tells us this is "the chapter of hope," but given that she then tells us about a time when she "spent one full hour discussing why magic markers cannot be carried around with the caps off, particularly in a hotel suite with white couches and walls," I'm not sure exactly where this hope is coming from. Also it seems like this markers-in-a-hotel-room thing happens weirdly frequently. We are then treated to Alex and Simon's "Top 10 Moments of Getting It,'" which includes
  1. Apropos of nothing, Johan said, "You give us time-outs because you are teaching us to be good grown-ups."
This is a thing I'm sure Johan said completely organically and not in response to hearing his parents say "we're giving you a time-out so that you learn to be a good grown-up" approximately seven zillion times.
This brings us to the book's Epilogue (a mercifully short two pages) featuring the line "If you made it to the end of this book, we salute you." Honored to accept this hard-earned accolade, I can finally close the book and start figuring out a way to erase the memory of Simon busting a mid-childbirth nut from my aching brain. Wish me luck!
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I Can Make You Hot!: The Supermodel Diet (by Kelly Killoren Bensimon) -- Part One

NOTE: Although I was originally planning on posting this whole review at once, I was about a third of the way through the book when I realized that I was already quickly approaching the full length of my previous posts. So, in the interest of making this a pleasant experience for us all, I'm sharing the first half now, and will follow up with the second half in a few days. And honestly, KKB's writing reminds me of Inception in that it's almost certainly hazardous to spend too much time immersed in any single sitting. So fasten your seatbelts, and enjoy the ride!
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So, a lot of you guys have been asking about Kelly Killoren Bensimon's I Can Make You Hot! (wow, is this what it feels like to be an influencer?), and I am thrilled to report that my adventure through this book's 264 pages was even more confounding than I could have possibly anticipated. I have a feeling that I'll need every ounce of my strength if I want to have any shot at conveying to you all exactly how bonkers this purported self-help book is, so -- without further ado -- let's begin.
I Can Make You Hot!, subtitled The Supermodel Diet, has a fairly straightforward premise. Kelly, who "has done it all when it comes to nutrition and her body," will share her hard-earned wisdom with us, her humble readers. Or, as she says in her own words on the back cover:
In I Can Make You Hot! I'm going to clue you in to all the tricks I've learned from a variety of experts and that I now use to live my own life. I want you to be the best you -- happy, attractive, shapely, interested, interesting, and most of all, smokin' HOT!
The blurb promises that the experience of reading this book will be "like rooming with a supermodel and going on a diet together." Truly, only someone with Kelly Bensimon's tenuous grasp on reality would say this as if it were something exciting, rather than a scenario taken directly out of the third circle of hell.
But before we can truly learn what it means to be HOT!, we're treated to a foreword by none other than Russell Simmons. As he shares with us:
Kelly is a great mother and is constantly instilling strong principals [sic] in her daughters. In my opinion, that's the essence of being HOT. Kelly is smokin'.
And just like that, I Can Make You Hot! is knocked out of the running for First-Book-I've-Read-By-A-Bravolebrity-That-Is-Also-Free-From-Glaring-Typographical-Errors. Better luck next time, champ!
In case you were at all hesitant about Kelly's suitability for the job of helping the less fortunate among us reach their maximum potential, Russell clarifies:
Her beauty truly comes from within, and her clear internal compass and well-balanced lifestyle is what makes her an arbiter for what's hot. She has always had her own individual road map and is one of those people who beats to their own drum. Many are amazed by her leaps of faith and courage, which are products of her sustainable soul. And back to that energy! I used to think: If we could only package it. And now Kelly has!
I would kill to be a fly on the wall during a conversation between Russell Simmons and Kelly Bensimon. But all of these endorsements are making me impatient to dig into Kelly's advice, so I skim over the next few pages and arrive at the introduction: "What's HOT and What's Not." Almost immediately, Kelly reassures us that she was not always the gorgeous, talented socialite she is today -- "No. Let's just say that I was never one of those tiny, cute blonde girls who guys named their hamsters after." Excuse you what? I literally just walked away from my laptop to go talk to my boyfriend and make sure I'm not just ignorant of some otherwise well-known traditional male courtship ritual in which young men adopt rodents and christen them after the women they love. That doesn't seem to be the case, although please reach out if you can shed any additional light on this situation.
Reasonably enough, before we can learn how to be hot, we have to know what hot is. Fortunately, Kelly wastes no time in getting us up to speed:
When I was trying to come up with a title for this book, I kept asking myself how I would define what I love. "HOT" is the word that best describes what I love, and it's not a word I throw around lightly. "HOT" is attractive, unique, and first-rate -- never mediocre. Avril Lavigne made a video called "HOT." There are "HOT" issues of all my favorite magazines. Hotmail.com was given that name to indicate that it was the best e-mail service, and www.urbandictionary.com, whose definitions are created by their readers, defines "hot" as (among other things) attractive, the best, and someone who makes you wish you had a pause button when they walk by because you don't want that moment to end. (I want you to feel like that "someone.") Health, wellness, and fitness are always hot topics. "HOT" may be a buzzword but it's also how I describe the best there is and the best you can be. I've used the words "smokin' hot" for everything from a killer chicken wing red sauce to a coveted couture gown.
There is…a lot to unpack here. My leading hypothesis is that Kelly must have accidentally exposed her internal circuitry to water and started shorting out while writing this passage, causing her to string together a rambling parade of incoherent sentences with no relationship to one another, save a tangential association with the amorphous concept of hotness. Also, it's factually inaccurate. A cursory Google search reveals that Hotmail.com was not "given that name to indicate that it was the best e-mail service." Rather, the service's name was selected as a reference to the use of HTML to create webpages, as is more apparent from the original stylization, HoTMaiL. I know from her savvy allusion to "www.urbandictionary.com" that Kelly is capable of navigating the Internet, so I'm disappointed that she's made such a careless oversight within the first three pages of the book proper.
Kelly next takes us through a few scenes from her past to illustrate how she has come to understand the true meaning of "HOT." Here are just a few of the assorted pearls of wisdom that Kelly is gracious enough to share with us:
Is skinny hot? Naturally skinny is hot. Starving yourself in order to change your natural body type in order to get skinny is not hot.

For me, the ultimate HOT girl is the nineteenth-century Gibson girl.

…Bethany Hamilton, the young surfer who lost an arm in a shark attack and didn’t let it stop her from pursuing a sport she loves. She's smokin' HOT.

pregnancy is smokin' HOT
I'm distracted from my diligent note-taking by a line that truly makes me laugh out loud.
I don't want to pretend that I'm "just like you." To do that would be disingenuous, and you wouldn't believe me anyway. But I may be more like you than you think. My hair may be ready for Victoria's Secret, but my values are still Midwestern.
I appreciate the honesty! As I continue reading, I am pleased to learn that I am, in fact, already consuming this piece of literature in the appropriate way. As Kelly says:
I urge you to make notes as you go along, either in the book itself or, if writing in a book is anathema to you, in a little notebook to use as your own personal guide. Jotting down ideas as they pop into your head is the best way to process them and be sure that they don't leave again before you've had a chance to commit them to long-term memory. Then, if you've made a mistake, when you go back and see it there on paper, you'll remind yourself not to do it again. Or, as I like to say, you'll avoid getting bitten by the same food dog twice!
Bitten…by the same….food...dog? Never change, KKB. (As an aside, what's the oveunder on Kelly having even the slightest idea what the word 'anathema' means?) If I'm being totally honest, this book is making me feel a little superfluous. What more can I add when the source material is so impenetrable to begin with? How does one parse the unparseable? Newly humbled, I suppose I'll have to be content with just gaping in confusion alongside the rest of you. And now that I think about it, what better book to build me up from these insecurities and encourage me to be my best? In the words of Kelly herself:
After all, why wouldn't you want to be HOT? What's the alternative? Being "not so hot"?
The book is organized into seven chapters, one for each day of the week, focusing on seven distinct facets of hotness. We start our journey on "Monday: Make a List -- Plan and Prepare!" and are immediately blessed with another one of Kelly's philosophical ramblings:
To me, living well is the only option. What, after all, is the only alternative? Living badly? Who aspires to live badly? I want you to live well, and that's going to take some planning.
Eager to improve myself, I read on:
What are your goals for yourself? If you're going to make changes in your life, you need to have a plan, you need to prepare, and you need to take the time to get it right -- so that you don't wind up wasting your time. This is my plan, and from now on it's going to be yours. Monday is going to be the day you make a HOT plan and prepare for the rest of your week. Let's get started together!
I can't help but feel like this is one of those answers that beauty pageant contestants give when they don't actually know how to respond to a question. Or like a motivational speech written by a rudimentary AI. I can't quite articulate exactly what it is that makes Kelly's writing seem so utterly devoid of logical coherence, but it truly falls into the literary equivalent of the Uncanny Valley.
Reminding us that "this isn't just about budgeting your food; it's about budgeting your life," Kelly peppers us with even more helpful tips -- "You don't want to be that person who is snacking while you're shopping. That's not hot -- period." and shares a stream-of-consciousness-style list of "Staples I keep in my house." Which may possibly be some kind of freeform postmodern poetry. Judge for yourself.
Kelly advises the reader to "get out your calendar or PDA" to get a sense of your schedule. "Then use your PDA to find the closest well-stocked market and go there. Making life easy for yourself is what it's all about." Now is as good a time as any to clarify that this book was published in 2012. I'd be lying if I said reading so many consecutive Housewives memoirs hasn't made my grasp on sanity a bit shaky, but I am fairly positive that 2012 was not a banner year for the Personal Digital Assistant.
Kelly has taken the time to pluck out a few particularly incisive pearls of wisdom throughout the book to highlight as "Kelly's Cardinal Rules." I would love to help clarify exactly what this one means, but I'm afraid I'm utterly clueless. One thing I do know for certain, however, as the chapter comes to a close, is that "human contact is HOT; texting is not!"
The week continues with "Tuesday: A Little Ohm and a Little Oh Yeah! -- It's All About Balance." It is imperative that you work out, says Kelly, adding, "I've never met a smokin' hot couch potato and I bet you haven't either." Her personal exercise routine, as she shares, combines aerobics and yoga "because life is all about balance." As she quips, "I'm sure even Gandhi cracked a smile from time to time." A panel titled "HOT Tip" admonishes the reader: "Don't call it working out because exercise shouldn't be work!"
If you'd like to spend a morning in the style of Kelly Bensimon, it's as easy as eating "a couple of oranges" and drinking coffee -- "I love coffee; I would probably marry coffee if it proposed." She also lets us in on some of her secret, highly advanced workout routines designed to maximize your time in the gym and propel you towards your full potential. Such as the "Happy Twenty," in which you run for 18 minutes and then do 2 minutes of squats.
We get further instruction on the hottest ways to run on the following page, where a two-page spread advertises "a few of my HOT tips for having a fun run." To ensure that you're able to start your journey to HOT as quickly as possible, I've taken the liberty of transcribing one of her most valuable nuggets below:
Run in the street instead of on the sidewalk. I took a lot of flack for this when they filmed me on Season 2 of the Real Housewives of New York City. The thing is, I think that people walking down the street while texting are a lot more dangerous than a car. Drivers will go out of their way to avoid you (accidents are too much paperwork, and they really mess up a day), but strolling texters will walk right into you without even seeing you. You could also get smacked by a shopping bag, a stroller, or even an oversized purse. Sidewalks are really obstacle courses. Beware!
Kelly shares some standout tracks from her workout playlist ("It's much more fun exercising to music!"), including the perennial pump-up-the-jam classic, "Skinny Love" by Bon Iver. With no regard for thematic continuity or overarching structure, the next page is dominated by the header "Get Leggier Legs."
An April 10, 2009, article about me in Harper's Bazaar captioned one of the photos "She's got legs." I was born blessed with long lean legs, but I work very hard to keep them looking the way they do. I'm tall, but I could just as easily have long, large legs. And long and large is not hot. Unfortunately I can't give you my legs. But I can help you to be the best you can be.
Truly inspirational. I think.
We continue on with Kelly's advice for "how to avoid the 'freshman fifteen," accompanied by a list of what she refers to as "Kelly rules." These run the gamut from near-sinister
Get rid of any negative thoughts. Negative-town isn't Fun-town.
to nonsensical
For every cheeseburger and fries, you owe me 12 cartwheels on the quad with your friends.
to bizarrely specific and also racially insensitive.
If you starve yourself for a day because you want to lose weight for Homecoming, you owe me 5 minutes of sitting Indian style in a corner and meditating on why you thought that was a good option.
Upon further reflection, I think I would actually be extremely motivated to stick to a diet if the alternative was being reprimanded by Kelly and forced to think about my poor life choices.
As a scientist myself, I was ecstatic to see that Kelly has drawn from a diverse array of scientific disciplines to develop her HOT tips and tricks. Physics, for example:
From Isaac Newton's First Law of Motion
A body in motion stays in motion. The velocity of a body remains constant unless the body is acted upon by an external force. So if you want to step up your exercise routine, try running in sand instead of on the pavement, or bike through gravel. That way your body will have to work harder in order to stay in motion.
Even biology has something to teach us about how to be HOT:
You are a living organism; life is an organic process. You need to be up and active, ready to enjoy the process. Be open and available and ready to do fun stuff. Participating in what you love is HOT.
I'm truly impressed by Kelly Bensimon's unparalleled ability to reframe the most basic common sense as divinely inspired wisdom. We see this in lines like
If you're feeling a bit frazzled and you need to calm down, you might want to take a yoga class.
or, as we read in another "HOT Tip" panel
Don't be afraid to drink water while working out.
I refuse to believe that this is a problem any person has ever faced. Even Aviva Drescher is not afraid of drinking water while working out (although, for the record, she is afraid of aluminum foil). Kelly closes out this chapter by encouraging the reader to "do one thing every day that takes you out of your comfort zone." If you find yourself lacking inspiration, she provides helpful suggestions, such as "try a fruit you've never eaten" and "try tap dancing." As she asserts, "there's nothing more foolish than sitting on your butt when you could be moving your body and having fun."
I turn the page, and the clock rolls over to Wednesday -- "Diet = 'DIE with a T.'" Cute. I bet Kelly would find that Tumblr post that's like "she believed" to be unbearably clever. She wastes no time in letting us know:
I don't believe in diets; diets are for people who want to get skinny. I want you to be happy. If you feel good about yourself, you'll make good choices. If you starve yourself to be skinny, you'll be undermining your sense of self-worth and you'll be unhappy every day. Eating well -- a variety of high-quality, fresh, unprocessed foods -- is for people who want to be happy -- and if you're not happy you won't be hot! Happy is always better than skinny.
This is starting to feel like some sort of word problem from Algebra II. If happy is better than skinny, but hot is equal to happy, diet = die + t??? Kelly tells us that all women fall into two categories: overachievers and underachievers. Being an overachiever is good, and being an underachiever is bad. Here are some things you can do to become an overachiever:
Make good choices.

When in doubt, have fun.

Keep smiling.
Kelly's motivational-phrasebook app apparently starts to glitch out right about here, but she continues on:
Stay positive and move forward. This is your last try at today. Yesterday may not have been great, but, today is better -- you just need to see it that way. The choice is up to you.
The idea of someone being in such a dark psychological place that they are able to find inspiration in those words is so deeply sad to me that I can hardly bear to consider it. Thankfully, Kelly has already taken a hard left turn into what I think is some sort of extended metaphor:
I've already said that you need to treat your body like a Ferrari, but maybe you prefer a Maserati, an Aston Martin, a Corvette, or even a Bentley. Whatever your luxury car of choice, if you treat it well, it will increase in value; if you treat it like a bargain rental car, it's just going to wear out -- and being worn out is not hot!
Ah, yes, I'd momentarily forgotten that cars almost always increase in value after they're purchased, and don't have a culturally ubiquitous reputation for losing most of their resale value immediately. Solid analogy. Apropos of nothing, we get a "HOT Tip" list of "model diet secrets that DON'T work." I'm extremely glad that Kelly encouraged us to take notes while reading -- I'd be devastated if any of these pointers had escaped my attention.
Eating Kleenex to make yourself feel full does not work.

The Graham cracker diet does not work.

Drugs do not work.
Well, I suppose this clears up some Scary Island confusion. Had Kelly indeed been doing meth (as the reported cat-pee smell might suggest), she would be fully aware that many drugs are, in fact, extremely effective ways to lose weight. But lest you start to lose faith in the expertise of our fearless leader, read on: "when it comes to food choices, I've probably made every mistake in the book." By which she means that she ate Chinese chicken soup before giving birth to her first daughter and it made her sick, so she ate a turkey sandwich before giving birth to her second daughter and she didn’t get sick. To be perfectly honest, I'm struggling to find a way to apply this wisdom to my own life, but I'm sure it will become clear in no time!
Kelly is relatable for the first time so far in the following passage:
When I was accused of being a "bitch" on national television, I was really upset. My response was to find comfort in Mexican food and margaritas for lunch and dinner three days straight.
But we promptly return to form on the next page as she recounts her daily diet of "2 green juices," "a KKBfit lunch," and "a KKBfit dinner." I'd like to take a moment to appreciate how generous it is of Kelly to share her wisdom -- earned through a lifetime of catastrophic missteps -- so freely. It certainly didn’t come without a cost, as the following anecdote illustrates:
On the last day of my juice fast, I took my older daughter to a Yankees game where we gorged on sushi. (Yes, they have sushi at Yankee Stadium) As a result, I was stuffed and blinded by carbs when A-Rod came up to bat and hit a home run. Was I able to savor that A-Rod moment with my daughter? Absolutely not. I was in a food coma. Will I ever let myself be thrown into a food frenzy again? No! Lesson learned: I made another stupid food choice, and because of that choice I missed that home run moment with my daughter. From now on, when I go to a Yankees game I'll have a small hot dog instead….I want you to do the same.
Verily! Heed her words of wisdom, lest ye not also lose the precious chance for thine own A-Rod moment.
But don’t think this caution means that you have to get caught up in the minutia of your day-to-day. On the contrary, appropriate planning means "you can stop obsessing about your carrot intake and concentrate on what it is that's going to make you a great person in life." To help illustrate this point, Kelly introduces us to the "Kelly pie." Otherwise known as a pie chart. This is a helpful way to really visualize how much time you'll have now that you can cut that pesky carrot-pondering out of your day! Kelly even offers some thoughtful "hints" to divide your pie:
  1. Celebrate your own health. We take health for granted.
  2. Get up in the morning and say, "I'm so grateful to be where I am and look the way I do," no matter what your size is.
  3. Tell yourself you look HOT, because you do.
  4. Believe in your ability to make good choices today and every day.
  5. Be mindful of what you eat. If I have to be mindful of what I eat, so do you. We're in this together.
Ooh, sorry Brad, I won't be able to make it to this afternoon's meeting -- it actually conflicts with my daily session of believing in my ability to make good choices today and every day. No, I understand how that could seem like an abstract sentiment rather than something that actually takes up time within your daily schedule, but if Kelly has to do it, so do I! And to be honest, my day is packed enough as it is -- it takes at least a second or two for me to tell myself I look HOT (because I do!), and I'm just worried that if I try to squeeze anything else in, it will cut into my mid-morning health celebration. Wish I could help!
In a strangely threatening aside, Kelly commands: "Write down what you ate for the last two days. Don't lie. We can start fresh tomorrow, one bite at a time."
In a section titled, "What I Eat Every Day," Kelly enumerates her "three go-to breakfasts": "two oranges or a plate of mixed berries if I'm not going to be very active, all-bran cereal or some other high-fiber cereal with almond milk or unsweetened coconut milk if I'm going on a long run, riding, or doing something else that requires extra energy, and on weekends, I love making pancakes to eat with my girls." As should be apparent, this is far more than three breakfasts. I am irrationally angry, in the same way I was when a Bachelor contestant said their favorite food was a charcuterie platter. That's cheating. (And yes, I do strongly identify with my Virgo moon, thanks for asking.)
Kelly inexplicably (apologies if I've used that word for the zillionth time already) tells us that "a plastic cup that says 'Forced Family Fun' from www.themonogramshops.com makes the smoothie go down with a giggle." Also, "sitting alone in front of the TV eating ice cream is not hot!" We are then introduced to one of Kelly's more advanced strategies, which she calls "Energy Economics." This means that you might need to eat more on days when you are busy and/or exercising, and less on days when you're relaxing. So many innovative ideas, this book has really packed a punch for its < $5 price tag!
Another ingenious idea? "Stuff cabbage, sweet peppers, tomatoes, or even onions with ground meat, chicken or turkey seasoned with salt and pepper. Bake until the meat is cooked through and the vegetable is softened." Granted, I have been a pescatarian for almost a decade at this point. But disemboweling an onion, jamming it full of hamburger meat, and cooking it for some indeterminate amount of time at an unspecified temperature seems…wrong.
Circling back to her theory of Energy Economics, Kelly explains,
If I don't eat [well], I'm violating my own laws of energy economics and my body goes either into inflation mode (too much energy when I don't need it) or recession mode (not enough energy in the bank for me to draw from). The key is to create economic equilibrium: eating well so that I feel good, which allows me to be happy.
I am begging someone to start a GoFundMe where we raise money to pay Kelly to explain how the economy works. The next page introduces us to "The KKB 3-Day Supermodel Diet," which is less of a diet and more a random assortment of miscellaneous health-related sentiments that reek of the 2009 pro-ana tumblrsphere:
Chew your food 8 times instead of 3 or 4.

Brush your teeth and chew mint gum as soon as you finished eating. When your mouth is fresh and minty, you'll be less tempted to eat again.
The final tip ("nurture yourself") includes a reminder to "blush your checks [sic]." Which may be a typo, but could also very well just be some strange Kelly saying that no one else has ever used in the history of the English language. On the next page, we're introduced to "Kelly's Food Plate." Which other, less sophisticated people typically refer to as the food pyramid. Kelly also takes a brief aside (in a feature box labeled "hot button issue") to expound upon her favorite delicacy, the humble jelly bean:
If you're a fan of the Real Housewives of New York City you probably remember that on Season 3 I took a lot of flack for eating jelly beans and talking about processed and unprocessed foods. I was actually making light of that food snob moment. Who stops at a gas station and asks for carrots? Did you bring your organic food cooler with you on this road trip? The important part is not to be a food snob; but when in doubt choose the best option. Sometimes it's better to be happy than it is to be right. Was I able to make my point? Clearly it wasn’t in the cards at that moment.
This is a truly stunning synthesis of her experience. Underestimate Kelly at your own peril -- this girl has been playing 4D chess for longer than we know.
The chapter continues with some tips from Kelly on how to make the most of your meal planning and shopping experience. And no -- you have no excuses:
There's absolutely no reason why you, wherever you live, can't eat "colorful" foods. All over the country there are "gi-normous" supermarkets where fruit and vegetable aisles are bursting with every color of the rainbow.
I am starting to get a "gi-normous" headache trying to make sense of this chaos. Kelly's advice that we can "mix and match what's there to make a FrenAsian or an ItaloGreek meal" is not helping. We also get some tips for how to grocery shop responsibly:
  1. Always go with a list and never buy more than two items you planned on taking home.
This is incoherent, right? I know I need to wrap up Part 1 of this write-up pretty soon, because I've read this sentence at least two dozen times trying to make some sense of it, and am still at an utter loss. I assume she's left out a negative somewhere, but at this point, I realize I've already thought about this tip for approximately ten times longer than Kelly ever has, so I'll move on.
For the third or fourth time so far this book, Kelly segues into a literal grocery list. To be fair, this is a very effective strategy to take up several pages with minimal text. And what could be more compelling than
Shitake/oyster mushroom combination packs

Dog treats

Lavender pepper
Truly the voice of a generation! Decades from now, English teachers will be teaching their students about a fabled wordsmith who once uttered those eternal words, "shitake/oyster mushroom combination packs." Because this book has absolutely no respect for logical cohesion, we are hurled immediately into a diatribe about how expensive it can be to buy organic -- "I recently walked out of an organic market having paid $400 for just three bags of groceries." As I read on, however, it becomes quickly apparent that Kelly has no idea what the concept of 'organic' even means:
"Organic," in any case, seems like something of a misnomer to me. I know the Food and Drug Administration has regulations for certifying foods organic, but to me, for foods to be truly and totally organic, they would have to be grown in a test tube or a greenhouse with no exposure to the natural elements.
Well, sure Kelly. If that's what you would like to use the word "organic" to mean, be my guest. She tosses us another crumb of helpful guidance, but it only serves to make me feel exceptionally sorry for Kelly's daughters and everything they have to endure:
Plate your food as if it were being served to you in a fine restaurant. Use a fancy foreign accent as you invite everyone to come to the table. Or try saying it in French. My girls love it when I announce, "Le dîner est servi!"
We learn in yet another "HOT tip" that "fast food doesn't have to be fat food," and Kelly tells us for the eighth time that she eats two oranges every morning. In what has already become a recurring theme for me in this book, the following passage makes me desperately curious to know how Kelly thinks science works:
One question people frequently ask me is whether I believe in taking vitamins or supplements, and the answer is "yes, I do," because, even though I know my diet is healthy, I can't be sure that I'm getting all the nutrients I need. All the vitamins and minerals we need can be found naturally in foods, but how do we know, even if we're eating a healthy diet, that we're getting everything we need?
I flip back two pages to confirm that Kelly told us quite recently how important it is to read nutrition labels to know what is in the food we eat (to make sure we avoid foods "whose labels are full of words you can't pronounce"). Exactly how she is reading these nutrition labels yet still manages to have no inkling how anyone could possibly begin to assess their vitamin and mineral intake eludes me. She continues:
I don't want to take that chance. I think of the food I eat as fuel and vitamins as my oil -- my body's engine needs both. Vitamins and supplements are not food replacements, but we're exposed to so many environmental toxins on a daily basis that I believe we need to supplement our diets to counteract all the harm those substances can cause.
I can certainly think of something that is causing harm to my psychological stability at this particular moment, which I should probably take as a sign to wrap things up for today and go read some incredibly dense Victorian prose or something to remind myself what a properly constructed sentence looks like. Promise I won't leave you waiting for long!!
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Meet The Freak 4

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Wallace
The sun was a little higher in the sky than I meant it to be by the time I made it to the street where I was to meet Valentine. I'd meant to get up early, take what would probably be my last bath in a while, grab my coat, and make myself scarce before the rest of the manor had really woken up. Unfortunately, I'd spent a bit more time in bed than I'd meant to, and was still a little drowsy. I was thankful then for the brisk early morning breeze and the light rain it carried.
It wasn't quite cool enough for my wool winter coat, but it was what I had so it's what I wore. If I'd just been out and about I might not have minded the rain too much, but if I was going to be travelling all day then it would be best not to do it wet. So I turned up the collar, but left the front open so it wouldn't get too toasty.
My gaze was drawn by a little purple hand waving at me from a ways down the street, and I joined Valentine in front of a small cafe. The tables were sheltered from the rain by a small white and tan striped awning, but Valentine was the only one of the patrons braving the weather.
She was wearing the same bulky flight suit as I'd last seen her in, and she was leaning forwards with her elbow on the table, her cheek resting in one hand. A small teacup sat empty on the table in front of her.
"You're late," she observed.
Her demeanour was more like a tough old sergeant than a noble lady, and she wore a generally unimpressed expression.
"Sorry," shrugged, as I took the seat across the table, "It took longer than I thought it would to get out of there without arousing suspicion."
"Round two took a while?" Valentine guessed, a small smirk creeping into her stern expression.
"I-" I stammered, and already I could feel my cheeks starting to burn, "That's not-"
"Fey have very sensitive noses," Valentine informed me, as the smirk started to creep into her eyes.
"I took a bath," I replied defensively.
"Very, sensitive noses," she reiterated, "And didn't I warn you that Temerity had certain plans for you?"
Dammit, now I was really blushing, "Actually, it seemed like what she really wanted was my political help. Everything else was just, uh..."
"Sweetener?"
I was rescued by the approach of the waiter, who bore yet more tea for Valentine and asked for our orders. I prompted Valentine to order first while I glanced over the menu I'd yet ignored. I asked for only a little bacon and sausage, as I still wasn't sure if the meat they ate was the same as what I had back home. Most of my order was fruit and pancakes. Still a risk, but I judged it to be less so than the meat. Besides, the potatoes and vegetables I'd had the night prior had at least been what I'd expected them to be. Truthfully, I was probably just being paranoid, but all the same, it wouldn't do me any good to be stumbling about the wilderness while suffering from food poisoning.
Grateful for the interruption, as it gave me a chance to collect myself, I waited until the man had retreated before asking about the concern I'd been ruminating over since I'd left the manor.
"Temerity mentioned that there are a few physiological differences with fey," I pointed out.
Needling me had brightened Valentine's expression considerably, but now it soured once again.
"Did she now?" Valentine grimaced.
"Look, as long as you're serious about your promise to teach me magic, I'll carry you on my back if that's what it takes," I promised her, "I mean, ideally you'd get a horse or something, but whatever. The point is, I'm good with our deal as-is. But you've got to tell me what's up with fey biology so I know what I'm getting myself into. Same goes for the pheromone stuff, I don't think it's unreasonable to expect some explanation of how that works if we're going to be travelling together."
Valentine nodded slowly, "That's fair. But if I'm going to tell you about how our pheromones work, then in exchange I think it's only reasonable if you share how it is that humans are able to influence minds. Our pheromones are not something we speak about with non-fey, if I'm to share those secrets then I think it's only sensible to expect secrets in return."
I frowned, "Humans can't influence minds. I mean I guess we can threaten, bribe, whatever, just like anyone else. But it's not like we've got something like your pheromones. That I'll tell you for free."
"I'm serious Wallace," Valentine insisted, leaning low to the table and speaking in a near-whisper, "You tell me how humans do it, and I'll tell you what fey can do."
I furrowed my brows. Clearly, this Simon guy had done something to convince her of this. I just didn't have any idea what it might be.
"Valentine," I began, leaning in a little as well, "This isn't me trying to protect the secret by acting as if one doesn't exist. I can't do anything like what you seem to be imagining. That said, I'm guessing Simon has done some freaky shit and you'd like to know how."
Valentine nodded, and I continued, "What I can promise, is that I'll help you figure out how he's doing it. It's possible he's from a different world than me, maybe a really different world, but I bet we're working with a lot of the same information. If he's relying on something that came from Earth, then I should be able to get some idea of what he's doing."
"That's not terribly satisfactory," Valentine replied, "But it will have to do."
She opened her mouth to speak once again, but stopped and glanced to the side.
The waiter delivered our food, and after asking if there was anything else he could do for us, retreated back within the cafe.
"I take it Temerity covered the basics?" Valentine asked, after taking a bite of her omelette.
"Cartilage skeleton, not very strong, and prone to fainting at the slightest physical exertion. I take it she was exaggerating?"
"No," Valentine replied grimly, "She was not."
Valentine reached into the neck of the flight suit and withdrew an amulet. The chain was very solidly built, at least as jewellery went, with alternating links of silver and gold. Hanging from the chain was a diamond about as large as her thumb. Not very large as thumbs go, but really quite large as diamonds went. Stout as the chain was, it wouldn't be great if someone got hold of it and tried to shake her around, but at least the diamond wasn't coming loose any time soon.
"This gaudy thing isn't just for decoration, it holds an enchantment. Other fey might baulk at the thought of so much as a brisk walk, but I refuse to be limited by what the gods gave me. This diamond provides a significant source of both Body and Strengthen mana, which is used to greatly enhance my stamina," she explained, "You'll not need to carry me on your back, and in fact, you might find it difficult to keep up with me."
I smiled, "We'll see, I can go all day if I need to."
"Is that why you were so late this morning?" she teased, hiding her smirk behind her teacup.
"Aren't you supposed to be a noblewoman or something?"
"Or something," she agreed.
I waved a hand dismissively, "What about the chain, does the gold and silver mean anything or do anything?"
"The gold provides greater Protection mana," she provided, running the thick chain between her fingers, "It's not as much as the diamond provides, but few materials provide as much mana as gemstones do. The silver provides Mind mana. Together they are meant to shield the mind against intrusion."
"Does it work?"
Valentine spread her hands, "Not against Simon's trickery, whatever form it takes. But enchantments like this are common enough, they're intended to stop magical intrusion, and for that purpose, they are more than sufficient."
"So when you say that something 'provides mana'-" I began, but Valentine made a cutting gesture with one hand.
"Eat, there will be plenty of time to talk when we're on the road, if you continue to bombard me with questions then you'll never finish at this rate."
I let Valentine lead me out of the city, she was the one who actually knew the way after all, as I hadn't really been paying attention the first time I'd been through.
There were guards on both sides of the city's gates, armed with pikes, but they didn't see fit to bother us. Maybe they recognized Valentine, or maybe they didn't much care. Probably the latter, as the elves on duty, all of them women, seemed pretty relaxed.
Which I supposed was sensible. Guarding the gates must be pretty low-stress, at least once you got over your fear of heights.
There was a sort of landing just beyond the gates, and beyond that, a sheer drop to the valley floor below. To the right, a cliff face, and to the left, the long sloping road down the side of the mountain. It was just wide enough for two carts to pass, and while there was a railing fencing off the landing, it ended only a few hundred feet down the slope.
I'd probably be pretty relaxed too if I had to guard the place. Sure, you could sneak pretty close to the base of the mountain if you stuck to the forests, but at that point the guards would still have a good couple hours to prepare for your arrival as you made the climb.
"We won't have to walk," Valentine assured me, "The chain lift takes people to the valley before noon, we'll take one of the carriages down."
The chain lift she referred to looked like what I'd seen at small ski-slopes, only scaled up. At a ski-slope it would be a simple loop of cable or rope, anchored top and bottom, and run at a constant speed. A skier would grab on by hand, and the cable would pull them to the top. The only difference was they'd swapped out the cable for chains as thick as my wrist. I couldn't make out how it was anchored down in the valley, but up here the chains led up into a wooden hoarding built into the side of the city wall.
Just underneath the hoarding was a parking lot, there's probably some old-timey word for it, but I thought of it as a parking lot, with several carriages. They appeared to be purpose-built for use with the chain lift, with one axle set quite a bit lower than the other. Up here on the landing, it meant that the passenger compartment would be uncomfortably slanted, but it appeared to match the grade of the slope and looked like it would level out once the carriage was on its way down. There were no horses hitched to any of them, and instead, they had a metal linkage where the harnesses would usually attach.
There were a few elven men standing nearby. They kept an eye on a couple of mules while passing the time with a game of dice. Valentine got their attention, and they pulled the carriage Valentine had picked out into position near the chain.
I briefly wondered if I should be holding the door for her, but she didn't give me the chance. She flipped the latch, and took a seat inside on the high side, holding onto a grab bar inside to keep from slipping off.
Valentine had evidently picked this carriage out for a reason, as waiting inside were a pair of travel packs, and what looked like the 19th century version of a softshell rifle case. A little over six feet long and made of oiled leather, I guessed that it held the weapon I'd been promised. I moved one of the packs aside and took a seat across from her on the low side of the carriage.
She banged a fist on the carriage wall, and there was a lurch as it started to move. I heard a metallic thunk thunk thunk as the linkage tried to find purchase on the moving chain, and then a ka-chunk as the carriage surged forwards.
I felt a strangling tightness in my stomach as my mind threw up the image of us hurtling down the miles-long slope with no way to stop until we either hurtled off the side or crashed into the trees at the bottom of the mountain.
"This is the brake," Valentine explained, indicating the lever by her hand, "If anything happens I'll throw this and we'll come to a stop."
"A very good sense of smell," I muttered, eyeing her suspiciously.
"You're not fond of heights," she observed.
"Not overly no."
I began to relax as the carriage levelled out and I heard the linkage clanking as it took the weight of the carriage. I wasn't very confident in sixteenth-century braking technology, but on the other hand, we weren't moving much faster than a jog. A horse would have drawn us faster, at least on level ground, so if Valentine were quick with the brake, we would probably be okay.
"So. You can smell fear," I said matter of factly, "What else can you do?"
"I suppose this is private enough," she agreed, "Is Temerity the one who first told you about the pheromones?"
"Eh, sorta. I ran into a fey leading a bunch of sprites when I first showed up," I began, "He was putting out some musky scent, drove me half-mad, and I'm guessing it's how he was able to get the sprites to fight to the last man while Temerity and her buddies cut them apart."
Valentine blinked, "What."
"What?" I asked, a confused expression on my face.
"You're saying that you were affected? You're sure?" she demanded.
"Yeah, should it not work on me?"
"The pheromones only work on sprites," Valentine insisted, "This has been tested extensively."
"Valentine, I was a pretty good distance away from the guy and it was all I could do to not lose my shit. It works on humans. Haven't you had Simon around to try it on?"
Valentine clasped her hands under her chin and spent a long moment gazing down at the floor.
Finally, she spoke, "By the time Simon happened along, we'd already come to the conclusion that it didn't work on anyone else. I bet no one bothered to try it on him, and the pheromones he's likely to catch a whiff of by happenstance are a great deal less potent than what's used on the battlefield."
"Can you do more stuff than just get people mad?"
"Anger, fear, and arousal," she listed, lifting her gaze to meet mine, "We can also calm the same emotions, and sense them in others through scent."
"The scent thing, I take it that works on anyone- any species I mean?"
Valentine nodded, "It's not the same scent for every species, but it's not hard to learn a new species. Some of us have also figured out a way to use the pheromones to make the sprites giddy, some combination of the pheromones to increase arousal and calm both fear and anger. I never bothered to learn though."
"Why not?"
She scowled, "It's just another tool to control the sprites, a way to reward them when they do what you want, just like the fear pheromones are used to punish them when they don't. And I refuse to treat another person like they're an animal to be trained."
"I'm sorry," I said honestly, "I didn't mean to needle you."
"You were just curious," she allowed, "I'm not mad at you."
"Last question about the pheromones then," I promised gently, "Is there a limit to how much you can use before you run out?"
"Not particularly, the fey you saw leading the sprites, they might run out if they were spreading pheromones for a couple hours. But as I mentioned, outside of a fight, no fey is going to use nearly that much. Though, I suppose," she continued, raising her eyebrows thoughtfully, "it does sometimes happen with young fey still going through puberty. They'll get startled, or something will set them off, and all their pheromones will be released at once. Very embarrassing, but that's about it."
"Alright. You held up your end, what's the deal with Simon?"
She smiled just a little, "I'm surprised you haven't asked about magic yet."
"Oh god, you have no idea. I have so many questions rattling around my head that I feel like I'm gonna explode," I pitched my voice up a little in a poor attempt to mimic hers, "'Oh yeah, this diamond is full of magic, it turns me into a marathon runner, no big deal. Anyway, want some more tea?' I mean seriously, it's driving me nuts. But once I start asking questions I'm not going to be able to stop myself."
"Well, I don't know the man's life story," she said, smiling, "but I've found out as much as I can since he came to my attention. His play for power is a relatively recent development, but since learning magic he's always been peripherally involved in politics."
"He's that strong with magic?" I asked.
"No, not at all," she said with a shake of the head, "Granted, his expertise with Body magic is considerable, but he seems incapable of using any other type of mana. The political involvement is more to do with having so many loyal spellcasters. Though in fairness, his inability with non-Body magic may all be an elaborate deception, but it would need to be one he planned since before he cast his first spell."
"The mind is part of the body, maybe that's how he does it then?" I suggested, "The mind control I mean."
She shook her head emphatically, "No, Mind and Body magic are different. If Simon were using Mind magic on people then he would have been found out almost immediately. If the first thing we fey discovered upon landing here was Mind magic, then the second was how to defend against it," her expression was already less than pleased, but it soured further, "The sprites have been used as test subjects since the beginning, experimenting with how a mind might be invaded, broken, or defended. Elves, gnomes, goblins all come to Pelignos to learn from the best, and the amulets made by fey are thought to be the best when it comes to protecting against Mind magic."
"My first instinct would be to say that he really was playing the long game from the start," I granted her, "But that would make learning any other type of magic such a pain. He'd need a teacher that he knew would be absolutely loyal, and I don't know how he could possibly know such a thing. Probably a bunch of teachers actually, since I'm guessing everyone has their own specialties. He might be able to strongarm one person to keep quiet, but no way in hell he could keep more than one or two people under his thumb. Someone would talk, they'd either wriggle out of his grip or just say to hell with it and spill the beans."
Valentine grimaced, "You say that, but it's exactly what it seems he's done."
"You've got to explain what that means. Because it's starting to sound like this guy might be the first person in history to actually pull off a big conspiracy without anyone leaking the truth, and if he can do that, I'm pretty sure he's actually a unicorn."
"It started with his first tutor, or at least, everything I've learned seems to suggest she was his first tutor," Valentine clarified, "At some point- and again, this is a little unclear since it wasn't until recently that anyone realized they should have been paying attention to what Simon was doing. At some point, she appears to have become completely smitten with Simon. He picked up more sorceresses as he went, quickly inspiring the same devotion, and taking control of their assets along the way. Houses, land, money, everything."
"All female?" I asked.
"Yes and no. He has this manor in the city where all his sorceresses live, and he's invited no sorcererers, or men of any kind in fact. The serving staff is female as well, but from what I've gathered I believe he's pulled the same trick with men, but only so as to get them out of the way."
I rubbed my temples, I could already feel a migraine coming on.
"So you're saying," I began, "That after arriving from another world, he's somehow managed to assemble a harem of women who are inexplicably interested in him, despite the fact that he really doesn't have anything to offer anyone?"
"That's about it," she agreed.
I sighed, "For fuck's sake."
Valentine's end of the carriage began to pitch up, and the light streaming into the carriage dimmed. A moment later I heard the linkage clank free of the chain, and felt the carriage rock as it was guided off to one side.
We'd barely come to a halt when Valentine slung one of the packs over her shoulder and leapt down.
I followed her out, and found that we stood within a large cave. The walls were too regular and the corners too square for it to be a natural formation, but beyond that, little work had been done to make the place look pretty.
We were near the back of the cave where the rest of the carriages were parked, with yet another team of elven men passing the time as they waited for the next carriage to make its way down.
The area was lit by a few sputtering oil lamps, but it seemed wasteful, as the daylight streaming in through the mouth of the cave was near to blinding. I suppose it said something about the elven perception of light, I don't know exactly what it said, but it said something.
A metal pillar had been embedded in the stone near the middle of the cave, almost a foot thick and running from floor to ceiling. It was set with several rollers, and was where the chain looped around to head back up the ramp to the city.
Valentine tilted her head towards the opening, and I followed her out into the late morning sun. The rain had since passed, so I threw my coat over the top of my pack.
"We still good for time?"
Valentine spread her hands, "Typically surveyors like to head out at first light, but you had to finish burning your bridges."
I winced, "Perhaps I was a little self-indulgent."
"We don't live forever Wallace, and we only get one chance to enjoy it," Valentine advised sagely, "If I was going to be mature about things, I wouldn't be running away from all my responsibilities with a man I'd only just met."
"Think she'll be mad?"
"Oh. She'll be fucking livid."
"Think she'll come after us?" I asked, peering back up at the city.
Valentine shook her head "I doubt it. By the time she realizes we've left the city, we'll have enough of a headstart that she won't have a chance."
"You say that, but I don't see any horses around here," I observed.
Forget the horses, there wasn't even a road. We were now well within the area susceptible to the tides, and it showed. The last few hundred feet of the ramp was poorly defined with no sharp edges, and it blended smoothly into the hills around. Even the grass underfoot looked fresh, as if I were the first person to ever tread on it, which didn't track with this being the sole way into a city of thousands.
Looking back, I saw how the cavern was able to persist, despite the tides and the mists conspiring to wipe the slate clean.
Two steel doors, each a few inches thick and set with leather seals, rested in tracks that ran across the mouth of the cave. When pulled closed they would seal the opening, with only a little gap for the chain. I still wasn't certain of the exact mechanics of how the tides and mists worked, but from the looks of things, the door would be flush with the stone around once closed. With nothing for the tide to sweep away, I supposed that the only risk would be if the mists dropped something on top of the doors.
"Do you know how to ride?" Valentine asked wryly.
"No," I admitted, "I don't even know where you'd find a horse large enough for me."
"Quite," she observed, "And I don't ride anymore, so I have no need of one either. Come, we may talk on the way."
I adjusted the pack on my shoulder and matched her pace. I wasn't about to argue with her, having a horse for her might up our pace a little, but in the grand scheme of things, it likely would make little difference. Besides, if the landscape down here in the valley had as chaotic a potential as it seemed, then for all I knew the horse may end up being more a liability than an asset. But I wasn't certain we'd make it that far, if Temerity was really on the ball...
"My only concern is that Temerity seems really fond of horses, being a knight and all," I pointed out, "And I don't fancy a fight, especially if she brings friends."
"Temerity's not going to start a fight," Valentine assured me, "She'll be mad, and if she gets the chance she'll try to strongarm you back under her influence. But she'll not turn to violence. And in any case, she'll have a hell of a time getting horses down from the city," she gestured back over her shoulder at the ramp, "The slope is so steep and so long that it's tricky to take horses down it in the best of times, try to rush and like as not she'd just injure her horse."
"Hmm, fair enough," I mused.
We left the clearing at the base of the ramp, and ventured into the thick evergreen forest that spread across the foothills at the base of the mountain. Again there was the feeling that I was the first person to take this path. There was little underbrush, just the odd bush or fern, with most of the ground covered by fallen pine needles, turned brown with age. The pine needles were so thick on the ground that I may as well have been walking through snow, with each step kicking up little puffs, leaving clear tracks behind the two of us.
There was an all-encompassing sense of calm, and for a brief moment, I thought that Valentine might be the cause. But was only the musty scent of the pine needles underfoot, and the verdant smell of fresh vegetation carried through the forest on a gentle breeze.
No, it didn't take any tricky manipulation, after all, this was how I'd usually relax when things were getting to me. I'd go for a walk, and not come back until I'd found calm once again. Since moving to the city I hadn't the chance to take a walk anywhere that wasn't a carefully landscaped park, but all the same, the forest felt very familiar.
I grabbed the soft leather case from where it hung behind me, and swung it around in front so I could take a peek inside. The clasps were bits of polished horn, pushed through loops of cord, like the sort of thing you might see on the front of a trendy knit sweater. I undid them, and reached in gingerly.
"Wow," I breathed, as I withdrew the weapon.
It was a poleaxe. The haft was six feet long, stained a very dark brown, and a little more than two inches thick. The head was steel, with a broad but narrow axe blade on one side, with a small hammerhead opposite, and topping it off was a nine inch spike. The langets, reinforcing straps that held the head on, ran nearly two feet down the haft, and had been recessed so as to be flush with the wood. The other end of the haft was also capped in steel, with a blunt pyramidal protrusion that would enhance the effect of striking with the butt of the weapon.
I'd been doing historical European martial arts for a good long time, and while I wasn't the most experienced with the poleaxe, it was my absolute favourite. I'd placed in tournaments with the rapier, won tournaments with the greatsword, and just generally found it funny to fight with a smallsword, but it was the poleaxe that I enjoyed the most. The trouble with the poleaxe is that it's hard to practise with. It's easy to make a sword safe, even a great sword. As long as it's blunt and you've got enough padding you've little to worry about. You'll end up with some bruises, sure, but on the whole, you'd be safe.
The poleaxe, on the other hand, was specifically designed to fight fully armoured knights. So while a blunted sword might be safe to use no matter how much force you put behind it, if you hit someone with a poleaxe and really meant it, it wouldn't matter how well padded they were, you'd lay them out flat.
"That box of old tools covered the cost of this thing?" I asked incredulously.
"The broker I did business with was particularly interested in the bracelet you had," she related, "Cryptic bastard didn't tell me what sort of mana it contained, but it was interesting enough that he was willing to give me the axe on trade for it and the tools."
"My fitness tracker had magic in it?" I frowned.
"Everything has mana within it. The more exotic the material, the rarer the sorts of mana," she explained, "I'm glad you're happy with the weapon, but there is something I want to make clear."
She unzipped the front of her flight suit, drawing the zipper down to mid-chest, and pulled one lapel aside. She'd modified the flight suit, using scraps of something synthetic to create a pair of improvised holsters, each of which held a large double-barrel wheellock pistol.
"I don't want you to get the wrong idea, or to take offence, but I want to make sure that we both know where we stand." she said slowly, "If you touch me, I will shoot you."
I put the axe away and spread my hands, "It's okay," I said gently, "I understand."
"You do?" she asked, eyebrows raised.
"I know what I look like, Valentine," I shrugged, "It's not like I want people to feel unsafe around me."
She nodded slowly, and re-zipped the front of her suit while I closed the clasps.
The pistols were a bit of a surprise, but more that she had them, rather than their existence in the first place. Full plate armour and gunpowder had been contemporaries on earth, so it didn't surprise me that a society that could turn out armour like Temerity wore, also had firearms.
Being threatened with the pistols though, that was a little startling. But upon consideration, it actually put me at ease. It was as she'd said, now I knew where we stood. If Valentine had a problem, I now knew I could count on her to tell me what it was, even if the problem was me. And while I wasn't super keen on the fact that she seemed a little wary around me, it was an understandable sentiment and one that told me I'd ultimately made the right choice by siding with Valentine.
With her, the power dynamic was more or less balanced. I needed her to teach me magic and navigate, and she needed me to help her deal with whatever the wilds would throw at us. And if it came down to a fight, while either of us could give the other a lot of trouble, neither of us could really 'win'. So if she turned on me, I was strong and tough enough to get loose, even if she did shoot me. If I turned on her, well she had guns and magic to fight me off while she got away.
In short, it was a much better state of affairs than I had with Temerity. Even if I could take her in a fight, and I wasn't even sure of that, she was still top dog in the city. Whether I was sleeping with her or not, just staying in Parabuteo would place me within her power. And after hearing her speech yesterday, I'd realized that having silk sheets and amazon on-tap was not worth giving up my independence.
"We'll need to push hard to make it," Valentine began, changing the subject "But there's a pass several miles north. It's going to be our first chance to get to the other side of the mountains, and I'd like to make it through before we stop to sleep tonight."
"I take it that my dawdling is what's going to make things tight?"
"It's not the end of the world, we have the whole Long Night to travel through as well, but this is all the daylight we're going to get and I'd like to make the most of it."
"Twelve hours of daylight and thirty-six of night," I recited, "how are we breaking things up?"
"Well we keep pushing hard till nightfall," she said, and indeed she'd been setting a good pace so far despite her short stature, "And stop for our first rest a little after dark. We'll eat dinner, sleep, should take a little less than eight hours. Then we carry on, it will be dark without The Father, but I can light our way. Typically survey teams I travel with will try to aim for another ten hours, but if you can keep up with me I'd like to go for twelve. Then we have another rest break to eat and sleep, before making the final push."
"At which point, we'll either have made it, or we'll drown."
"We will make it," she assured me, "Even with us leaving a little late, we've several hours of margin."
"You said earlier that he can only use Body magic, what exactly does that mean?"
We hadn't bothered to stop for lunch, instead eating as we walked so as not to waste more time. We were actually moving more quickly than I might have expected, travelling through a dense pine forest. But with the underbrush nice and light, and without too many roots to trip on, our path was actually fairly clear.
"Can he only heal people, or use magic only on himself?" I continued, "Whose body does 'Body magic' refer to?"
"It's the body as a concept," Valentine clarified, "So his, or someone else's, it doesn't matter."
"What can he do to a body then? Does he just get some Body mana from a, what is your necklace, diamond? So he gets some Body mana from a diamond, waves his hand, and then reality rearranges itself however he likes. As long as what he likes involves screwing with someone's body?"
"No," Valentine replied with a shake of her head, "Well, not quite. If you want to do it properly, magic always requires two types of mana. One noun, which refers to what you wish your magic to act upon, and a verb, which describes what you wish to do," she reached into her collar and came out with the amulet, "So my amulet, I want it to make me stronger and increase my stamina. So it uses Body mana and Strengthen mana. There are limits though, the more substantial the change the more substantial the source of mana needs to be."
"And diamonds have a lot of mana in them?" I guessed.
"Yes, any gemstone does, in fact."
"Simon then, the only noun he can use is Body?" I asked, and Valentine nodded in agreement.
"What about the verbs, any limits there? Or do you know?"
"What you describe is exactly the problem, when it comes to Simon I'm certain of nothing. But to the best of my knowledge, he can use any of the verbs. He's particularly fond of Strengthen and Transform, however."
"Can Transform be used offensively?" I asked, wincing at the thought of the sort of body-horror that Simon might be able to inflict upon people.
"Yes, though that's not what he uses it for. Instead he uses the Strengthen-Transform combination to enhance his physical characteristics for short periods. I believe he has some permanent enchantments on his body already, his physique is suspiciously impressive, but the magic pushes it yet further and makes him capable of great feats of strength."
"Does it turn his hair yellow?" I sighed.
"No," she frowned, "Does the colour have some significance among humans?"
"It's, complicated. Complicated and not important. If he can use all the verbs, then what actually are they?"
She counted off on her fingers, "Communicate, Control, Create, Heal, Movement, Protect, Sense, Strengthen, Transform, and Weaken. Weaken is what's typically used in offensive Body magic, and Communicate is hardly used at all. Any combination of noun and verb, is possible, but not all need to make sense."
"Can you use more than one of each? I take it that you need at least one of each, but could I use two nouns and a verb, or a noun and two verbs?"
She nodded, "There's no true limit, at least as far as I know. Perhaps someone has found one and isn't telling, but there are practical limits. However much mana one might be able to gather, ultimately it comes down to the mind of the caster. A spell, in all its complexities, must be held in the mind as it is cast. Creating a blast of fire, however large it might be, is simple. With sufficient mana, even a novice might melt a city wall. Heating a piece of metal to a specific temperature, that's more complex, even if it requires a great deal less mana. Setting a trap, now that's one of the most complex uses of a spell, as it requires the caster to hold in their mind the conditions necessary to activate the trap. Typically it also requires including a second spell, Sense Body or some such, which adds yet more complexity."
Continued in comment
submitted by ThisHasNotGoneWell to HFY [link] [comments]

$DBVT: DBV Technologies SA

TL; DR: David gives Goliath a run for the money in peanut allergy treatments. May need to hold for a week or two, so no spaghetti hands please.
(Edit: I have also posted this in PennyDD & DueDiligence. Please feel free to comment and share your opinions
DBVT is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical working on treatments for food allergies. The Company is focused on immunotherapy that works through skin absorption. Market cap. is about $600M.
What the galaxy says:
According to a study done by the Centers for Disease Control (adapted from company website):
The pilots of the ship
The flight guidance system
The stock traded between $8 and $10 pre-covid. It is currently trading around support at $4.5. In fact, the last time it traded around these lows was in December 2018 when the company voluntarily withdrew their BLA application for the Viaskin Peanut product due to “insufficient level of detail about the manufacturing and quality controls”. (Keep in mind, the new CEO joined in November 2018 and he is a thorough man). The price fell from $16 to $4 and they were subsequently sued. The hearing is pending in New Jersey. Previous to this, the price dropped from $42 to $28 in October 2017 when the company announced that the Viaskin Peanut clinical trial failed to achieve statistical significance in the lower end of the 95% confidence interval by a small margin (target was 15%, results indicated 12.4%)
Competitor $AIMT (market cap. $1B) benefited from both of these price moves, but lost the gains as swiftly as they came. In fact, they were unlucky that the approval of their oral tablets for allergy treatment was on January 31st, but they didn’t benefit from the price move due to covid. Furthermore, their drug is priced at $890 per month, only shows benefit after 2 years, and is still dogged by side effects like abdominal pain, vomiting, nausea, tingling in the mouth, itching (including in the mouth and ears), cough, runny nose, throat irritation and tightness, hives, wheezing and shortness of breath and anaphylaxis. This drug must still undergo a Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy (REMS). i.e. it can only be administered in a controlled environment (parents have to take their kids to a certified hospital every 2 weeks) and the administering nurses, doctors and patients all have to register for the REMS.
Wallet situation
In their most recent press release, the company indicated that their cash runway (€262 million) can last through 2021.
The financials are lacklustre. In the past 3 years, revenue has stagnated at around $10M (although they beat estimates). However, since the new CEO was appointed, EPS grew 7% in the first year and 29% in the second year, and they have secured $200M in financing. Not too bad, not too good either, but given the CEO’s strong track record, the good things are yet to come
The rocket fuel
Viaskin technology is currently under review by the FDA. Taget action date for Viaskin Peanut is set for August 5. Viaskin Egg & Viaskin Milk will follow soon after. These products have a US FDA Fast Track designation. You may ask why a French company is developing treatment therapies in the US, and the answer would be that because on average, the process of drug review is 2-3 months faster in the USA than in the EU. If the FDA accepts the test data and gives a way forward on a date for inspection of the manufacturing facilities, then the race for allergy treatments would be blown wide open. It could probably soar back to the $16 range where it was in 2018 before that damned BLA withdrawal, or we can dream about a Saturn landing and aim for $42 where it was in 2017 before the clinical trials failed by the small margin. Nine (9) analysts have given it a short-term price target of $9 and mid-term target of $25, but I like the CEO’s track record and I prefer to dream bigger.
Some other windows to to stargaze
  1. The big boys are in on this one, many since February 2020 and some as recently as June 2020: Baker Brothers (11m shares), Arrowpoint Asset Management (4m), Perceptive Advisors (4M), Boxer Capital (3m), Morgan Stanley (2m), Amundi (1.4m), and Fidelity (574k). Sabby missed this rocket, which makes stargazing all the more beautiful. In total, institutions own 44% of the shares.
  2. There are also also recent acquisitions of stock in (in June 2020) by a number of index funds like FTIHX, IMRFX & JCCIX..
  3. The FDA had questions about the impact of the patch adhesion to its efficacy (remember, no safety issues were reported during the clinical trial). The company has already responded to this query but the FDA has given no further feedback apart from that the data was being reviewed. At this point, it is a coin flip game. High risk, high reward.
  4. The data mentioned in point (iii) above has been published in multiple peer-reviewed scientific publications (this one and this one and this one32155-4/abstract)). All reviews show positive data.
  5. The company recently trimmed down its workforce (something that is notoriously difficult to do in France) and scaled down other clinical programs in order to focus on the Viaskin Peanut product which is coming up for review on August 5th. (This simply indicates that they are very serious about this niche, or that they are prepared for a possible delay of the FDA’s decision)
  6. DBVT is collaborating with Nestlé in a deal worth €100M to develop more product candidates (e.g. Viaskin milk). Nestlé is the largest food company in the world with over 2000 brands and generates $93 billion plus in revenue each year since 2008. However, Nestlé is as notorious as all big companies are, and food allergies have been one of the legal thorns in their flesh for a while. They are personally invested in this peanut allergy product and this collaboration has not been affected by the covid crisis. (Fun fact: Nestle also owns 18% of $AIMT, the competitor company. They are hedging their bets)
  7. Skin patch therapy is potentially more marketable among the market segment that they are targeting (childen & infants) than pills. In addition, they would have potentially less side effects because the active compound gets directly into the bloodstream, and does not get absorbed via the liver.
  8. Consider that it is a French company and the big influence France has in the EU. If they get approved, they might get approval support from the French government too.
submitted by Allegrettoe to pennystocks [link] [comments]

$DBVT: DBV Technologies SA

TL; DR: David gives Goliath a run for the money in peanut allergy treatments. May need to hold for a week or two, so no spaghetti hands please.
(Edit: I have also posted this in pennystocks & DueDiligence. Please feel free to comment and share your opinions
DBVT is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical working on treatments for food allergies. The Company is focused on immunotherapy that works through skin absorption. Market cap. is about $600M.
What the galaxy says:
According to a study done by the Centers for Disease Control (adapted from company website):
The pilots of the ship
The flight guidance system
The stock traded between $8 and $10 pre-covid. It is currently trading around support at $4.5. In fact, the last time it traded around these lows was in December 2018 when the company voluntarily withdrew their BLA application for the Viaskin Peanut product due to “insufficient level of detail about the manufacturing and quality controls”. (Keep in mind, the new CEO joined in November 2018 and he is a thorough man). The price fell from $16 to $4 and they were subsequently sued. The hearing is pending in New Jersey. Previous to this, the price dropped from $42 to $28 in October 2017 when the company announced that the Viaskin Peanut clinical trial failed to achieve statistical significance in the lower end of the 95% confidence interval by a small margin (target was 15%, results indicated 12.4%)
Competitor $AIMT (market cap. $1B) benefited from both of these price moves, but lost the gains as swiftly as they came. In fact, they were unlucky that the approval of their oral tablets for allergy treatment was on January 31st, but they didn’t benefit from the price move due to covid. Furthermore, their drug is priced at $890 per month, only shows benefit after 2 years, and is still dogged by side effects like abdominal pain, vomiting, nausea, tingling in the mouth, itching (including in the mouth and ears), cough, runny nose, throat irritation and tightness, hives, wheezing and shortness of breath and anaphylaxis. This drug must still undergo a Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy (REMS). i.e. it can only be administered in a controlled environment (parents have to take their kids to a certified hospital every 2 weeks) and the administering nurses, doctors and patients all have to register for the REMS.
Wallet situation
In their most recent press release, the company indicated that their cash runway (€262 million) can last through 2021.
The financials are lacklustre. In the past 3 years, revenue has stagnated at around $10M (although they beat estimates). However, since the new CEO was appointed, EPS grew 7% in the first year and 29% in the second year, and they have secured $200M in financing. Not too bad, not too good either, but given the CEO’s strong track record, the good things are yet to come
The rocket fuel
Viaskin technology is currently under review by the FDA. Taget action date for Viaskin Peanut is set for August 5. Viaskin Egg & Viaskin Milk will follow soon after. These products have a US FDA Fast Track designation. You may ask why a French company is developing treatment therapies in the US, and the answer would be that because on average, the process of drug review is 2-3 months faster in the USA than in the EU. If the FDA accepts the test data and gives a way forward on a date for inspection of the manufacturing facilities, then the race for allergy treatments would be blown wide open. It could probably soar back to the $16 range where it was in 2018 before that damned BLA withdrawal, or we can dream about a Saturn landing and aim for $42 where it was in 2017 before the clinical trials failed by the small margin. Nine (9) analysts have given it a short-term price target of $9 and mid-term target of $25, but I like the CEO’s track record and I prefer to dream bigger.
Some other windows to to stargaze
  1. The big boys are in on this one, many since February 2020 and some as recently as June 2020: Baker Brothers (11m shares), Arrowpoint Asset Management (4m), Perceptive Advisors (4M), Boxer Capital (3m), Morgan Stanley (2m), Amundi (1.4m), and Fidelity (574k). Sabby missed this rocket, which makes stargazing all the more beautiful. In total, institutions own 44% of the shares.
  2. There are also also recent acquisitions of stock in (in June 2020) by a number of index funds like FTIHX, IMRFX & JCCIX..
  3. The FDA had questions about the impact of the patch adhesion to its efficacy (remember, no safety issues were reported during the clinical trial). The company has already responded to this query but the FDA has given no further feedback apart from that the data was being reviewed. At this point, it is a coin flip game. High risk, high reward.
  4. The data mentioned in point (iii) above has been published in multiple peer-reviewed scientific publications (this one and this one and this one32155-4/abstract)). All reviews show positive data.
  5. The company recently trimmed down its workforce (something that is notoriously difficult to do in France) and scaled down other clinical programs in order to focus on the Viaskin Peanut product which is coming up for review on August 5th. (This simply indicates that they are very serious about this niche, or that they are prepared for a possible delay of the FDA’s decision)
  6. DBVT is collaborating with Nestlé in a deal worth €100M to develop more product candidates (e.g. Viaskin milk). Nestlé is the largest food company in the world with over 2000 brands and generates $93 billion plus in revenue each year since 2008. However, Nestlé is as notorious as all big companies are, and food allergies have been one of the legal thorns in their flesh for a while. They are personally invested in this peanut allergy product and this collaboration has not been affected by the covid crisis. (Fun fact: Nestle also owns 18% of $AIMT, the competitor company. They are hedging their bets)
  7. Skin patch therapy is potentially more marketable among the market segment that they are targeting (childen & infants) than pills. In addition, they would have potentially less side effects because the active compound gets directly into the bloodstream, and does not get absorbed via the liver.
  8. Consider that it is a French company and the big influence France has in the EU. If they get approved, they might get approval support from the French government too.
submitted by Allegrettoe to PennyDD [link] [comments]

$DBVT: DBV Technologies SA

TL; DR: David gives Goliath a run for the money in peanut allergy treatments. May need to hold for a week or two, so no spaghetti hands please.
(Edit: I have also posted this in pennystocks & PennyDD. Please feel free to comment and share your opinions
DBVT is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical working on treatments for food allergies. The Company is focused on immunotherapy that works through skin absorption. Market cap. is about $600M.
What the galaxy says:
According to a study done by the Centers for Disease Control (adapted from company website):
The pilots of the ship
The flight guidance system
The stock traded between $8 and $10 pre-covid. It is currently trading around support at $4.5. In fact, the last time it traded around these lows was in December 2018 when the company voluntarily withdrew their BLA application for the Viaskin Peanut product due to “insufficient level of detail about the manufacturing and quality controls”. (Keep in mind, the new CEO joined in November 2018 and he is a thorough man). The price fell from $16 to $4 and they were subsequently sued. The hearing is pending in New Jersey. Previous to this, the price dropped from $42 to $28 in October 2017 when the company announced that the Viaskin Peanut clinical trial failed to achieve statistical significance in the lower end of the 95% confidence interval by a small margin (target was 15%, results indicated 12.4%)
Competitor $AIMT (market cap. $1B) benefited from both of these price moves, but lost the gains as swiftly as they came. In fact, they were unlucky that the approval of their oral tablets for allergy treatment was on January 31st, but they didn’t benefit from the price move due to covid. Furthermore, their drug is priced at $890 per month, only shows benefit after 2 years, and is still dogged by side effects like abdominal pain, vomiting, nausea, tingling in the mouth, itching (including in the mouth and ears), cough, runny nose, throat irritation and tightness, hives, wheezing and shortness of breath and anaphylaxis. This drug must still undergo a Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy (REMS). i.e. it can only be administered in a controlled environment (parents have to take their kids to a certified hospital every 2 weeks) and the administering nurses, doctors and patients all have to register for the REMS.
Wallet situation
In their most recent press release, the company indicated that their cash runway (€262 million) can last through 2021.
The financials are lacklustre. In the past 3 years, revenue has stagnated at around $10M (although they beat estimates). However, since the new CEO was appointed, EPS grew 7% in the first year and 29% in the second year, and they have secured $200M in financing. Not too bad, not too good either, but given the CEO’s strong track record, the good things are yet to come
The rocket fuel
Viaskin technology is currently under review by the FDA. Taget action date for Viaskin Peanut is set for August 5. Viaskin Egg & Viaskin Milk will follow soon after. These products have a US FDA Fast Track designation. You may ask why a French company is developing treatment therapies in the US, and the answer would be that because on average, the process of drug review is 2-3 months faster in the USA than in the EU. If the FDA accepts the test data and gives a way forward on a date for inspection of the manufacturing facilities, then the race for allergy treatments would be blown wide open. It could probably soar back to the $16 range where it was in 2018 before that damned BLA withdrawal, or we can dream about a Saturn landing and aim for $42 where it was in 2017 before the clinical trials failed by the small margin. Nine (9) analysts have given it a short-term price target of $9 and mid-term target of $25, but I like the CEO’s track record and I prefer to dream bigger.
Some other windows to to stargaze
  1. The big boys are in on this one, many since February 2020 and some as recently as June 2020: Baker Brothers (11m shares), Arrowpoint Asset Management (4m), Perceptive Advisors (4M), Boxer Capital (3m), Morgan Stanley (2m), Amundi (1.4m), and Fidelity (574k). Sabby missed this rocket, which makes stargazing all the more beautiful. In total, institutions own 44% of the shares.
  2. There are also also recent acquisitions of stock in (in June 2020) by a number of index funds like FTIHX, IMRFX & JCCIX..
  3. The FDA had questions about the impact of the patch adhesion to its efficacy (remember, no safety issues were reported during the clinical trial). The company has already responded to this query but the FDA has given no further feedback apart from that the data was being reviewed. At this point, it is a coin flip game. High risk, high reward.
  4. The data mentioned in point (iii) above has been published in multiple peer-reviewed scientific publications (this one and this one and this one32155-4/abstract)). All reviews show positive data.
  5. The company recently trimmed down its workforce (something that is notoriously difficult to do in France) and scaled down other clinical programs in order to focus on the Viaskin Peanut product which is coming up for review on August 5th. (This simply indicates that they are very serious about this niche, or that they are prepared for a possible delay of the FDA’s decision)
  6. DBVT is collaborating with Nestlé in a deal worth €100M to develop more product candidates (e.g. Viaskin milk). Nestlé is the largest food company in the world with over 2000 brands and generates $93 billion plus in revenue each year since 2008. However, Nestlé is as notorious as all big companies are, and food allergies have been one of the legal thorns in their flesh for a while. They are personally invested in this peanut allergy product and this collaboration has not been affected by the covid crisis. (Fun fact: Nestle also owns 18% of $AIMT, the competitor company. They are hedging their bets)
  7. Skin patch therapy is potentially more marketable among the market segment that they are targeting (childen & infants) than pills. In addition, they would have potentially less side effects because the active compound gets directly into the bloodstream, and does not get absorbed via the liver.
  8. Consider that it is a French company and the big influence France has in the EU. If they get approved, they might get approval support from the French government too.
submitted by Allegrettoe to DueDiligence [link] [comments]

d200 Ability Checks by skill

Strength Skills:

Athletics
  1. A rushing river (waist deep) needs to be crossed
  2. A steep hill/cliff/scree needs to be ascended
  3. A marsh/quicksand/thick seaweed needs to be crossed
  4. A chasm needs to be jumped
  5. A large tree blocks the road (for party or other travellers)
  6. Large rocks fall in front of the party (in a canyon, road, cave path)
  7. A wagon needs to be pulled out of the ditch/sand/water
  8. An undermanned barn-raising is occurring as the party passes
  9. A large man (or creature) needs to be restrained
  10. A blacksmiths anvil has fallen out of his wagon
  11. A draught animal has fallen over the edge of a (cliff, riverbank) but is still tied up
  12. A strong man (or giant, or large creature) wants to arm wrestle
 

Dexterity Skills:

Acrobatics
  1. Thin ice needs to be crossed
  2. A narrow tree fallen across a river near a washed out bridge
  3. A river needs to be crossed, but the bottom is covered in algae
  4. A shaky rope bridge needs to be crossed
  5. A small chasm needs to be traversed (over or through)
  6. Swing across a rivechasm
  7. Small stones poke out of a river that needs to be crossed
  8. Maneuver through a tight area lined with jagged rocks
  9. Flame/Hot water spurts up throughout the swamp
  10. A narrow ledge along a cliff needs to be traversed
  11. Climb up a small cliff
  12. Wriggle out of being tied up
  13. Rescue something out of a tree/crumbling tower
  14. Escape a grapple
  15. Keep balance on a moving wagon/ship
  16. Escape a tar pit/quicksand/seaweed
  17. Dodging a falling boulder (or any large heavy things)
  18. Wriggle out of a web/net/trap
 
Sleight of Hand
  1. A locked gate blocks an overgrown trail
  2. An empty house nearby could be a good place to sleep, but the door is locked.
  3. A merchant has lost the key to his chest, will reward with some of the gold inside
  4. An obvious swinging log trap sits off the side of a road ready to demolish the next wagon wheel that passes
  5. An indiana jones-esque pressure plate with a golden egg on top
  6. A slavers cage has fallen in a rivepool, with someone in it!
  7. Travelling slaver keeps the keys to shackles on his belt
  8. Member of a caravan had an item stolen, and needs it back, discreetly.
  9. Townsperson needs an item planted in a neighbours house
  10. A slaver (or bandit group) offers release of a prisoner over a game of cards or dice
  11. A chest that can be picked open (DC 10) with a false lid that another key (DC 20) unlocks
  12. A gentle wild animal is stuck in a bear trap
 
Stealth
  1. A townsperson or farmer asks to keep an eye on another traveller
  2. An angry dragon flies overhead
  3. A mob of bandits or angry townsfolk come across the party’s camp
  4. A blind (or poorly sighted) creature comes across the party
  5. A large group of guards/bandits have set up a blockade of the road
  6. A large group of inattentive guards/bandits are holding the party hostage
 

Intelligence Skills:

Arcana
  1. A circle of (salt,blood,sprigs) surrounds a (alter,cross,sapling)
  2. Magic vines entrap the party, regrow quickly when cut but retract in the face of fire/cold
  3. A staircase goes on infinitely unless the party skips every 3rd step (marked with runes)
  4. A rune/pillar of feaconfusion can be controlled with arcane knowledge
  5. A hallway continues infinitely unless the party walks backwards (runes under paintings on walls)
  6. A vampiric tree provides an area effect of Blood Drain (1d4 hp every 30 ft) from it’s roots
  7. A travelling merchant/noble will pay for information about his magical item
  8. A young wizard is unable to read a spell written in strange runes (an old cantrip)
  9. A pair of wizards need an argument settled about the effects of a spell
  10. A family wants information of a magical heirloom they posses
  11. Road signs are written in ancient runes
  12. A large stone door will not move unless words are spoken (runes only appear in moonlight)
 
History
  1. The party passes a statue
  2. The party passes old ruins
  3. The party passes a battleground long grown over
  4. A great (stone) owl blocks the way, no party can pass without a piece of knowledge the owl has never heard
  5. A hall of statues of historical figures, moving the ___ reveals ___. Knight/weapon, wizard/book, thief/treasure, adventure(path/key)
  6. A genial Dragon (large creature) that has lived here for centuries, passes overhead.
  7. Party finds an old journal which describes events from a nearby town (villagers will reward it’s return)
  8. Travelling merchant wants to know the age/history of an item in their possession
  9. A family is trying to console a child who wants to know a story about an ancient hero
  10. Travellers arguing when the next holiday is
  11. Party crosses the path of high ranking officials from the nearby city
  12. A guard recites an old law in which adventurers are taxed based on what they are carrying, history reveals the law has since changed
 
Investigation
  1. A tipped over wagon sits on the side of the road, nearby is a half buried chest with treasure
  2. A man or creature is hanged from a tree, nearby are a group of bandits/goblins that harass passerby
  3. A crumbling bridge lays ahead, the left side is strong enough to support the party, but the right will collapse under weight
  4. A group of creatures are found dead on the side of the road (investigation leads to some poisonous plants nearby)
  5. Papers litter a road, wagon tracks head off the side of the trail (papers are documents of merchants wares/taxes, investigation reveals they are faked), trail leads to ambush
  6. A bookcase holds a fake book (with treasure inside, or a lever to secret door)
  7. An empty chest has a false bottom on closer inspection
  8. Fake bank notes posted on the side of a tree
  9. There is a strange lump running across the road, on closer investigation the dirt is covering a tripwire to a nearby (crossbow) trap
  10. A large group of trees have markings on them, investigation will lead to a small house in the woods
  11. The party passes an old empty well, halfway down is a loose stone with treasure hidden behind it
  12. A secret entrance hidden behind an illusion wall
 
Nature
  1. The skies are restless, a distant (sandstorm/blizzard/Hurricane/thunderstorm) is forming
  2. Slight tremors are felt in the ground, soon there will be an earthquake (or forming chasm)
  3. While foraging, a party member comes across a plant he has not seen before (is it edible or poisonous)
  4. A tree/large plant in the distance the party has been using for navigation seems to be moving
  5. A field of flowers the party is walking through release a poison on contact with (metal/leathefuskin)
  6. A travelling group is looking for one last ingredient to cure their sick child
  7. Animals in the area are being overly aggressive (mating season/magic/plague/rabbies)
  8. The the quickest path is up a gulley but is dangerous because of rockfall/avalanche
  9. The rocks along this path are volcanic rock, and have recently been disturbed (molten pools underneath/lava geysers)
  10. A passerby asks about a large bird flying overhead
  11. Large lillypads/vines snake across a river, they might be strong enough to cross
  12. Fools gold (or fools adamantine) line the sides of a road.
 
Religion
  1. A shrine to the deity of travel on the side of the road, knowing the prayer grants a safe journey
  2. Strange markings are engraved on the sides of trees, signs of a dangerous cult practicing deeper in the forest
  3. A group of priests carry a man on a litter (just a strange man), a religious check reveals the leader is in the back of the group and will grant a boon.
  4. A lesser deity claims to be more powerful than they actually are (offers to help or hinder party, but actually cannot)
  5. A travelling group, not easily recognizable as dangerous cultists, walks by the party
  6. A man on the side of the road asks for help burying his wife/child properly
  7. A large group of (aggressive/docile) undead approach the party
  8. A woman who slightly glows, offers the party food and rest. She is actually a celestial who can grant much greater things (healing/boon)
  9. A woman who slightly glows offers the party food and rest. She is actually a fiend who offers poisoned food and possibly a fight
  10. A rune on the side of the road (or cave) depicts a beast destroying a village. It warns people of spending time in this area.
  11. A young acolyte passes by doing something against their own religion (without realizing)
  12. Religious perception check - a powerful fey/fiend/celestial has stumbled onto the material plane nearby
 

Wisdom Skills:

Animal Handling
  1. A merchants horse/mule needs to be guided over a narrow ledge/bridge
  2. A draught animal is spooked by circling predators
  3. A mount needs to jump over a small chasm
  4. A shepherd's flock is blocking the road
  5. A merchant is unsure if his mount can make it through a high river
  6. A draught animal for a family wagon is behaving wildly
  7. A mount needs to be coerced across thin ice
  8. A pack of stray dogs approach the party and will follow if fed
  9. A cub approaches, you notice the mother sleeping not too far away
  10. An owlbear (any aggressive creature) blocks the path
  11. A shivering animal approaches the party’s camp. It is starved and cold
  12. A small animal runs through camp, it is being chased by a larger predator
  13. The party stumbles upon the nest/den of wild animals.
  14. A wild animal is caught in a snare/tangle of vines/quicksand
  15. An large injured animal blocks the road
  16. A timid deer in view is actually an elven druid who will offer food
  17. A giant blind tortoise can be used to cross a river or lake
 
Insight
  1. A merchant makes his wares look like +1 items through illusion
  2. An old woman tries to pass herself as a princess in need of help
  3. A couple is travelling together, their smiles are odd though. (one is fake smiling, in distress because they are being held against their will)
  4. A sketchy man begs for money/food on the side of the road, if a character gets close he will slash them with his dagger.
  5. A wounded man passes by asking for help (he robbed a caravan further up the road)
  6. A merchant sells items below their usual price (they are stolen/broken/he doesn't pay taxes)
  7. A priest wants to bless the members of the party (he is actually a pickpocket)
  8. A group of travellers have been behind the party for a few days, if questioned they will say they are headed to a town ahead, but they are bandits waiting to rob the party one night.
  9. A traveller speaks a language no one in the party can understand, but through hand gestures can warn the party of danger on the road ahead
  10. A travelling merchant doesn’t want the party looking to closely in his wagon (he is hiding stolen gems or slaves)
  11. A traveller recommends a different path than the party is currently on because of danger up ahead (the new path might be an ambush, or he is telling the truth)
  12. A group of travellers are slavers and slaves selling and being sold in the next town
 
Medicine
  1. A sick/poisoned/bleeding animal wanders into the party camp.
  2. A very pregnant animal gives birth in camp (or farmer needs help delivering)
  3. An animal or person is drowning in a river, washed up on shore
  4. A caravan family has a sick child (their water supply is tainted/he ate a poisonous plant/is sick with fever)
  5. A roaming group (bandits/soldiers) want to know how their leader died (poisoned)
  6. A wary traveller shuffles up to you, he is badly hurt. The wounds are recent and he is out of breath from running
  7. A courier sprains/breaks his ankle, he is trying to deliver an important message
  8. A draught animal breaks its leg/gets sick, family cannot continue until it is helped.
  9. A group of nerdowells suspiciously wants to know if a plant is poisonous so they don’t “accidentally eat it”
  10. An old caravan driver has slowly been losing his sight (from the weeds he always chews on)
  11. A group of people screaming about a dragon (dangerous creature) up the road, actually high on mushrooms found nearby
  12. A man is about to give his child too much herbal medicine (will kill/hurt the child)
 
Perception
  1. A fight is going on between a couple in a nearby house/cottage
  2. A group of (angry/friendly) animals are wandering through the forest
  3. Faint Candlelight/torchlight can be seen flickering through the woods
  4. A group of (bandits/soldiers) are lying in wait on the sides of the road
  5. A large (aggressive/docile) flying creature can be spotted in the distance
  6. A bird call can be heard in the brush (it is actually a bandit with a whistle)
  7. A man is walking in the distance (it is actually 2 goblins/kobolds in a suit)
  8. The smell of perfume is in the air (to mask dead bodies nearby)
  9. A character stubs his toe on a rock (it is much denser than stone - some useful metal perhaps)
  10. A travelling butcher is handing out samples (the meat is human/elf/dwarf)
  11. A foul smell rises from under a bridge but it is actually a (dead body/creature)
  12. A travelling caravan offers a meal (the smell gives away the fact it is inedible) the taste will make any creature gag and insult the cooks.
 
Survival
  1. A storm has come in and the party needs somewhere to hide
  2. A few gold coins lay on the side of the road, tracks lead off the main path
  3. Droppings around this location indicate many owlbears (creatures) in the area
  4. Some of the food has rotted, luckily sounds of rustling not too far off in the bushes (deer)
  5. Character notices a large swampy area is actually quicksand
  6. A draught animal has run off into the bushes and needs to be found before the caravan can continue
  7. An animal has been stealing livestock for the past few weeks, the farm is going hungry
  8. Character is able to find a spell/potion component after some searching
  9. Leather is wearing thin on some of the party members shoes
  10. Wooden handle of a weapon is wearing down
  11. A wounded creature has acidic (dangerous) blood but needs to be put down
  12. The hill above looks as if it could slide at anytime (avalanche/rockfall)
 

Charisma Skills:

Deception/Persuasion/Intimidation/Performance
  1. A travelling merchant/family thinks they recognize a party member
  2. A lonely (large) creature never wants the party to leave (his camp, bridge)
  3. Friendly argument: Settle a bet who’s beer is better between two dwarves
  4. A cleric and some soldiers heading the opposite direction ask for information of the area
  5. Two noblemen argue the price of certain trinkets in the region
  6. A beautiful maiden/prince walks by carrying an interesting item
  7. The party meets someone running away from their partner, asks not to mention them.
  8. A tax collecting caravan passes the party and wants to collect dues
  9. Two witches/hags argue who is more beautiful
  10. A spat between caravan members has broken out regarding travel pace and food supply
  11. A child/teen running away from home/to a new town
  12. A group of mercenaries lead by a dwarven (elven,human) captain
  13. A group of poachers
  14. A lone travelling priest with lit censer and acrid smell
  15. A recognizable faction member brings news
  16. A drunk, looking for a place to sleep
  17. A knight sharpening his sword on the side of the road
  18. Villagers/Bandits burning a pile of bodies
  19. Party runs across a well armed encampment (friendly/hostile?)
  20. A singing bard strolls down the road
  21. A travelling salesman/merchant (weapons, armor, adventure gear, clothing, food, jewelery)
  22. The party overtakes a slow travelling farmer, bickering with his wife. They know nothing useful.
  23. A group of excited gnomes bounce past the party. If the party is polite to them, one gives them a useless gizmo that makes a chirping noise when wound up
  24. Guards/jailer, convinced the party are outlaws
  25. A freshly caught convict won’t give up the location of his nearby compatriots to the guards
  26. A group of thugs are just hungry
  27. An priest is furious with the party for their sinful deeds
  28. A group of passersby try to goad a party member into a fist fight for money
  29. A dragon shows up in the camp before the party goes to sleep for the night and asks the party to entertain it.
  30. A travelling caravan is in low spirits, they could use some cheering up
  31. A group of chanting (monks/priests) will give the party a boon if they join in song
  32. A father has run out of bedtime stories for his children
  33. A gang of merry (bandits/bards) challenges the party to a dance off
  34. A King/Queen/Lord has been missing their jester and would gladly pay for a bit of entertainment
submitted by tritgoodman to d100 [link] [comments]

364 Discs found over 3 years - Here's Some Data!

Last year, I made a post about finding 184 discs and some of data and breakdowns and patterns I’d noticed. It was well received so I figured I’d do the same this year with a few tweaks and bonus information.
Slight caveat – the documentation for these numbers is pretty good, especially for 2018-2019. Data was collected via a disc golf journal I’d been keeping using Google calendar in 2018 until I swapped to UDisc and a spreadsheet when I realized the data I had was interesting and warranted organization. I started playing in 2017 though and do have some earlier records I was able to reconstruct using text messages, memory, and the discs themselves if I happened to have them. That means roughly 30 discs have…slightly questionable pedigrees or incomplete information. I’ve included them for now mostly because it would be a nuisance to remove them and I think there is still value in the numbers. If you notice some numbers being slightly off I likely had to adjust and remove some discs from the data pool because I simply didn’t have the information written down. The biggest missing data culprit would be accurate dates on when a disc was found, which won’t affect most data, but there’s a little bit of everything missing for one disc or another.
To date, I’ve found 364 discs, or an additional 180 discs from last year’s post. Similar to last year, prior to reading the numbers, I’d like to provide you with an opportunity to take some guesses about trends in lost/found discs.
 
Before your questions, here’s some context on where discs were found.
 
Water: 71%
Woods: 15%
Fairway: 8%
Ice: 3%
Rough: 3%
Shore: 1%
Undocumented: 1%
 
Honestly, very similar numbers to last year’s data. This just looks a little different due to how I chose to split up my categories. Once again, water was by far and away the biggest contribution to found discs. There is a slight caveat to that though. This year I used SCUBA twice to dive a local water hazard. I’ll talk a bit about that later on, but it’s not the disc wonderland most people probably assume it will be. Still, SCUBA did contribute to about 10% of the total discs found so I guess strictly speaking I did a little better finding them on land this year if you wanted to remove the SCUBA discs from the data set.
I decided to track changes in total data instead of strictly by year this time around. Maybe next year I’ll drop the 2017 stuff and do a strict 2018, 2019, and 2020 data set comparison.
 
Anyway, here are your questions!
1. How many discs were marked with a name and number?
2. What’s my disc return rate?
3. What brand/manufacturer was lost most frequently?
4. What speed of disc was lost most frequently?
5. What color of disc was lost most frequently?
6. What type of plastic was lost most frequently?
7. What molds were most commonly lost?
 
How many discs were marked with a name and number?  
  1. Name and Number: 47%
  2. Name or PDGA, No Number: 3%
  3. Unmarked: 49%
  4. Illegible: 1%
 
Marked disc rate was down from 53% last year, partially because I made Name/No Number a distinct category as well as Illegible. Still, it’s a 2% drop if you lump them together.
Illegible discs are frustrating. DX and other base plastic was the biggest culprit regarding fading/damage but plain old sloppy handwriting was also sometimes a problem. For the love of god, don’t use one of those fat chisel-tip markers to mark your discs!
 
How many discs were returned?  
Marked Disc Return Rate: 61%
Total Disc Return Rate of total found: 29%
 
Interestingly, while marked discs had an improved return rate over last year (Up from 56%), the total return rate remained unchanged at 29%.
As far as the 39% unreturned marked disc rate, it was a combination of “Keep it’s” from the owner or numbers that weren’t in service or didn’t return my texts.
Amusingly, the total number of returned discs works out to be 100 even.
 
So what happened with all these discs?  
A LOT of them were given away. I really wish I kept track of it, but I would say I gave out in the neighborhood of 60 or 70 discs this year to new players. Whenever a family expressed interest in playing I’d load them up with beginner appropriate discs as well as a few utility and high speed discs just for them to mess with. Combined with last year, over ½ of the unreturned discs I’ve found have gone to folks just starting the game.
 
What about the other half?  
Some I bag, some I kept, some I sold. Currently I bag 3 found discs – a Lucid Renegade from 2018, a TI Undertaker from 2018, and an Opto Air Escape from 2018. In other words, most of the new stuff in my bag this year came from the store – finding discs is not a super effective way to build a bag, though it is nice for trying new discs.
There’s probably around 50 found discs in storage at the moment – most of them are just waiting for a new player to give to but there’s a few nice high speed (11’s, 12’s, and 13’s) that I like the color and plastic on that I’m waiting to grow into. The vast majority of high speed discs get turned into the local shop though for store credit. Usually it goes to new putters to give out as they’re a lot rarer to find, but I’ve used some of it to pick up a disc here and there I’ve had my eye on.
Confession time – this year if there wasn’t a number I didn’t bother trying to track the person down. It doesn’t mean those discs weren’t returned. Some courses had a drop box I could use. Other times I caught somebody on the course. Twice I stumbled across random posts about lost discs on social media. I just stopped playing detective to find and return them. I no longer bother borrowing my wife’s Facebook to message people or look up PDGA numbers. Is it right? Is it wrong? I dunno, but I don’t miss the hassle in the slightest.
 
What’s your return procedure?  
If it’s marked, they get a text. Preferably right there on the course though sometimes mud and grime prevented that. I’ve become a big fan of stashing discs under trash cans and whatnot to return them – SO much less of a hassle and then I’m one and done.
For others I try to sync up a time when I’m out playing with a time they can meet me at the course. I play a lot, so this usually isn’t an issue. It generally works pretty well if it can be done within a week or two. Beyond that and I find the chances of getting the disc back get extremely slim. I’ll keep trying, to a degree, but I’d probably say that at the two week mark only 1 in 10 get back to their owner. They just never bother agreeing to a time or, on occasion, just ghost me. I’m not a date – I’m trying to get you your property back! Some of them will eventually say “Keep it” after the 5th or 6th time trying to arrange a pickup. Some of them just stop replying to me. I’ve had 3 that I’ve made a special trip out for that no-showed. That’s irritating as heck. Two of the three said they “Took a nap” and missed the meetup time – da fuq?
Occasionally I get a disc that has a landline marked on it. I hate those. They get a call, but I almost always end up speaking to somebody’s mom who doesn’t really know what’s going on and it’s just a nuisance.
I don’t ask for a reward when I return a disc – to be honest I get enough unmarked discs that I figure it’s the least I can do. Lately, if a reward is offered, it’s been cash – usually $5 though occasionally $10. Usually I tell them it’s unnecessary, accept it if they insist and don’t mind if they don’t. 2018 had a lot more used discs offered in return but I don’t think any were offered in 2019 – maybe one or two in the spring.
Only had 1 request for a disc to be mailed to its owner. Ended up falling through when I couldn’t get to the post office for a couple of weeks and, embarrassingly, I forgot about it. When I found it under my car seat and texted the guy again he told me to keep it. Eeep! My bad!
For unmarked discs I do try to flag down people on the course. A few have been returned that way – I like to think we’ve all left one on the fairway or in a basket on accident. I’ve had 2 guys return discs I’ve left behind this way and my party has caught me doing it 3 or 4 times so karma has been returned for sure.
Beyond that, if I can get the disc back to its owner I do, but eventually I’m going to pass that disc onto its next life. The oddest one was when I read a random review on a local course in which the guy mentioned losing his disc. Turned out I’d found it the previous week and was able to get it back to him. The odds of it happening were so low that it still amuses me that we were able to connect. Other than that it’s mostly just random word-of-mouth getting to me and I happen to remember finding it. I have not yet passed on a disc I later found an owner to, so that’s nice.
 
What brand was lost most frequently?
 
  1. Innova – 45%
  2. Discraft – 19%
  3. Westside – 8%
  4. Dynamic Discs – 7%
  5. MVP – 6%
  6. Latitude 64 – 4%
  7. DGA – 3%
  8. Axiom – 3%
  9. Prodigy – 2%
  10. Discmania – 1%
  11. Gateway <1%
  12. Legacy <1%
  13. Streamline <1%
  14. Vibram <1%
  15. Millenium <1%
  16. Lightning <1%
 
A couple of changes that may or may not be indicative of what’s going on in the outside world - Innova stays on top but dropped from 48% down to 45%. Discraft stayed in 2nd, moving up from 15% in 2018 to 19% in 2019. Westside moved up from 7th last year at 4% to 3rd this year at 8%.
If we lump together by manufacturer “umbrella” we get something like this:
 
  1. Innova/Discmania – 46%
  2. Discraft/DGA - 22%
  3. Trilogy - 19%
  4. MVP/Axiom/Streamline – 10%
  5. Other
 
Is most lost discs being your brand an honor? I don’t know, but from the hip I’d say the only reason Innova didn’t lose more ground on this was the startling number of DX “starter disc” type Innova discs I came across this last year. Lots more premium Discraft being found and dredged up than previous years.
 
What speed of disc was lost most frequently?
 
Using infinitedisc.com’s ratings as a guide:
 
  1. Speed 13 – 18%
  2. Speed 9 – 13%
  3. Speed 5 – 11%
  4. Speed 12 - 11%
  5. Speed 11 – 9%
  6. Speed 10 – 8%
  7. Speed 7 – 7%
  8. Speed 8 – 5%
  9. Speed 4 – 5%
  10. Speed 2 – 4%
  11. Speed 6 – 4%
  12. Speed 14 – 3%
  13. Speed 3 – 3%
 
The top 5 speeds are very similar to last year’s – only speed 9 and Speed 5 swapped places. Speed 13’s seem to be stretching out their lead as well – moving from 15% last year to 18% this year. Let me tell you, this particular set of data was a bear to organize. So many oddball discs to look up the speeds of. I mean, who throws a Foxbat, honestly?
If we wanted to separate out our discs by “class”:
 
  1. High Speed Drivers (11-14) – 40%
  2. Fairway/Control Drivers (7-10) – 32%
  3. Mids (4-6) – 20%
  4. Putters (1-3) – 7%
 
Probably not super surprising results. Maybe leads one to question if the reason the higher speed stuff is lost more often is because it’s harder to control or because you’re chucking it farther and more likely to lose line-of-sight. It’s nice to see my hunch on not finding putters very often was dead on.
 
What color of disc was lost most frequently?
 
  1. Blue – 17%
  2. Pink – 13%
  3. Orange – 13%
  4. Red – 11%
  5. White – 11%
  6. Yellow – 10%
  7. Green – 8%
  8. Purple – 4%
  9. Tye Dye – 3%
  10. Gray – 3%
  11. Violet – 2%
  12. Peach – 1%
  13. Black <1%
  14. Clear <1%
  15. Gold <1%
  16. Cream <1%
  17. Brown <1%
 
It’s interesting to see how the colors have separated out from last year. The question is whether or not we can attribute it to u/GoldLineEverything ‘s proselytizing for blue discs. Are more blue ones being lost because more people have come to realize how much better they throw, or is the data a direct contradiction to his claims? Maybe it’s a result of losing line of sight betting on blue discs being thrown over them mountains?
And hey look! There’s a couple of black discs in there!
 
What kind of plastic was lost most frequently?
 
  1. Clear Premium (Champion/Lucid/Z) – 34%
  2. Grippy Opaque Premium (StaNeutron/ESP) – 34%
  3. Base (DX/Proline/Pro) – 25%
  4. Flexible (Zflx, GSTAR) – 3%
  5. Lightweight (Air, Blizzard) – 2%
  6. Glow – 1%
 
Champion-type really gained ground here! Near as I can tell this is the biggest shift on the list this year. Otherwise Glow plastic remains elusive, though I did find a handful of examples this year.
And the one most people are probably waiting for….
 
What molds were lost the most frequently? – Given by number found instead of %
 
  1. Destroyer – 20
  2. Katana – 10
  3. Valkyrie – 10
  4. Shryke – 10
  5. Leopard – 8
  6. Wraith – 8
 
Similar to last year, the Destroyer leads with exactly double that of its nearest competitor. Valkyrie and Leopards are the big movers here as neither was in the top 9 last year. Like I mentioned earlier in the post, I attribute this to finding a lot of starter set molds this year. I believe the Shark just missed the list. Interesting that the most lost molds are all Innova this year – there was one Discraft (Drone) previously.
 
And Some Bonus Stuff
 
So there’s some numbers to chew on, but there’s some more numbers that I thought were interesting.
Where are you finding all these discs?
 
I’ve played a total of 30 unique courses. I’ve found discs on 16 of them, or 53%.
I played 306 rounds per U-disc. This doesn’t count another 30 or so games maybe before I got a subscription, but it we’ll work with it. That works out to be .84 discs found per game.
I found 245 discs, or 67%, at one course in particular. It also happens to be my most played course at 87 rounds, or 24% of my games. I find 2.8 discs a round by the numbers, but this is skewed. There were 2 times I visited this park and SCUBA’d the water, netting 36 new discs (and 4 of my own that I’d tossed in there). The numbers are still quite high if you take these out, over 2 discs a round. When I toss one of my own discs in I suit up and fish the water. This yields between 6 and 10 most times. It’s not uncommon to fish another 2 or 3 out from the shoreline just walking and looking as well. I just find a lot of discs as this park. I also find quite a few here in the woods or left on the fairway. It’s not a particularly onerous course, but there’s a lot of…inebriation…going on.
 
When do you find most of your discs?
 
Harder to answer than I thought it would be as there isn’t much of a pattern to the data. I do see that I have consistently found zero discs in December and a mere handful in January and February. I play in the winter, but not very often – maybe a half dozen games a month and NEVER in fresh snow. March does tend to yield up about 20 discs a year – I try and go out when the ice and snow melts to see what’s been tossed in over the winter time. I think by this point I’m also just jonesing for some outdoor time. July is another big one at 20 a year – no surprise as it’s the height of disc golf season in my mind. August is my biggest month at 61 one year and 0 two other years. Weird pattern. If I get super ambitious I’ll break it down by day of the week one of these times, but that’s a bit too much number crunching for the moment.
 
Most discs found in one day?
 
23, and it was a day I used the SCUBA gear. I know there is occasionally a post about some preposterous number of discs being pulled out of a lake by a swimmediver, but it’s not exactly a Discmas wonderland under the sea. Yes, diving is effective, but for me at least you’re blind as a bat swimming through scuzzy water literally feeling through the muck with your hands. I’m going to poke around a few lakes and see what else I can find this summer, but in my experience it’s not like you’re tripping over discs. More like you’re pulling one up every 2 or 3 minutes. Sounds like a lot but you’ve got maybe an hour of air to work with….
 
Most discs found for one person?
 
Same person as last year, he’s now up to 8 returned discs.
 
Most found disc?
A blue rogue that seems to have an affinity for water – I’ve returned this particular disc 3 times to its owner. Haven’t seen it lately so I suspect he’s either stopped using it or somebody else got it.
 
Longest time between finding a disc and returning it?
 
3 months – found it in the spring and finally connected at the end of summer.
 
Longest time a disc had been lost?
 
I can personally confirm pulling one of my own out of the water that had been in there 14 months. I’ve had several that indicate their discs had been gone for over a year. The big winner though is a Grey Ti Nate Dross Buzzz that the owner indicated had been in that pond for 5 years. He was kind enough to let me keep it.
 
What do you use to get discs out?
 
Honestly, I think I’ve tried darn near everything. I’m pretty sure I’m close to the word limit though and will post about that another time.
 
Most interesting thing found?
 
I once found a jar of marijuana - probably 2/3 of a Campbell's soup can in size.
I've found two golden retrievers (the disc retriever, not the dog). One was forgotten by the owner. The other was not held onto very securely when it was chucked. Both were returned to owner.
 
Hopefully you found this interesting. Not sure how useful it is, but I always think it’s neat seeing data compiled in one place.
submitted by 1-Down to discgolf [link] [comments]

Greyhound Tipping Clues for a Sure Win Greyhound Racing Betting Tips #7 Greyhound Racing Betting Tips 10 How to Bet on Greyhound Racing Tote Betting Guide Greyhound Racing Betting Tips 4

Dog betting has been revolutionised with the advent of live streaming. Now you can watch how the track is running and see which dog it will favour in the coming races. A great advantage. Know the tracks: All greyhound racing betting is not the same. Certain tracks can benefit certain dogs. So, it pays to know how each track runs. Wagering on dog races is similar to horse track betting. You will primarily find pari-mutuel bets, which often combine their stakes with the racetrack to provide accurate odds and a larger pot to share amongst winners. There are two basic categories: straight bets and exotics. Straight bets include your picks to win, place, or show. Greyhound Racing Betting Guide. customers will have the chance to back the dog in which they believe will win a particular race, or back their favourite with an each-way bet. As well as this, some bookmakers offer live betting markets when it comes to greyhound racing, with odds changing based on the on-track action. with odds changing the Betfair ones don’t include the sex of the dog.) Our experience during the trial showed us that it took just a few minutes to glance at the cards of each of the tracks scheduled to race each day and to find any suitable lay selections. A very respectable profit from such a simple to follow method. With 110 selections during our 4 week Key Areas for a Greyhound Betting System. Some of the key factors to consider when finding a greyhound betting system that makes money are as follows: Greyhound form – Free statistics are freely available on the internet and these allow you to review some exceptional information. For instance, average track times over the past five races.

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Greyhound Tipping Clues for a Sure Win

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