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About argonak

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  • Birthday 03/03/1980

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  1. Well this seems like a scam for restaurant owners, i've never understood why the waiter gets a tip and the cook gets nothing. I'd rathe tip the guy who made my food, then the guy who just carried it twenty feet. But then I normally despise tipping culture (covid pandemic time being an exception, I tip extra right now). I normally tip, but I absolutely hate it. Pay your employees, don't make me do it. I'm probably just jealous though, because nobody ever gave me any tips in any of my jobs (none in the waiting industry).
  2. Presidential Pardon power needs to be eliminated. Its too open for abuse.
  3. Yeah I was being a bit dickish, and I apologize for that. No excuses. One person having a dump for a house directly impacts everyone else's property values and the day to day experience of living in the neighborhood. Its about being a good citizen and caring about your neighbor's feelings. Its about not being a selfish dick that all your neighbors despise. Its not having your lawnmower broke for a month. If that happens and you've been a good neighbor, then they'll probably mow your lawn for you, like we did for our elderly neighbors when I was a kid. I grew up in eastern washington and there were houses on our street whose owners treated their back yard's as literal dumps. I am thrilled to live in an HOA where that is not something I have to look at every day. Taking care of your property isn't about being poor. For most of my childhood my parents were low income and they still took pride in having a home that was maintained. We painted the house ourselves, re-roofed it ourselves, and mowed our lawns. When the lawnmower broke, we fixed it. We didn't fill our backyard with garbage, we took it to the dump. We didn't leave abandoned project cars in the drive way for years, rusting away, we got it fixed or we got rid of it. I guess I feel strongly about all this because I've lived in both, and I know which one I prefer.
  4. That is a good attitude to have. I do agree that there should be variety, so that people who don't like HOAs have the option of living where they are not. They're becoming predominant not because people like them, but because developers and city managers like them.
  5. Sounds like the home owner installed a modification to his yard without getting approval from a design review committee. And then he got all childish about it when they showed that he wasn't following through on the agreement he made when he bought the house. If you buy a house in an HOA, you're essentially agreeing to a contract. It boggles my mind that someone will pay hundreds of thousands of dollars for something and not even read what they're signing.
  6. Well, fortunately you're free to go live next to the cars on blocks, the livestock, the trashy unkept yards, the broken down abandoned homes, and yes, meth labs if you want. All of which I regularly see when I drive through eastern Washington by the way. Or find a nice area with good neighbors who take care of their yards without an HOA, and hope they don't change. I'm glad that I can purchase a home in a neighborhood where those requirements are clearly delineated in the title, and a local organization of home owners are able to enforce them to a reasonable and logical degree. Participating in said HOA is the best way to keep it from being over run by busy bodies. I find most people who have bad experience with HOAs were trying to live their lives by ignoring them, which generally goes about as well as you'd expect when you're ignoring your local government. Which is what an HOA basically is, an extremely local and limited form of government.
  7. I'm the Board President (although ironically I was never elected and got the position completely through appointment followed by attrition) for my neighborhood. We've got 180 units, mostly homes, but a few multiplexes and a couple dozen duplexes. We've got a management company for the grunt work, but like someone else said, if your board is lazy your management company will be to. Its a thankless responsibility, but its not too bad if you keep up with it. We've got a sub committee for the design review, and another for budget, and so mostly I just deal with contractors when we hire them and big decisions, along with the budget. We've got less than a dozen people in the neighborhood who seem to care about it though, but people at least pay their dues. Our HOA is responsibly for all the lawn care, the watering, the retention pond maintenance, and the alleys. For the multiplexes we're also responsible for the exterior, but the multiplexes all pay into a separate line item for that work. I like that I'm in a neighborhood with some standards, my parents home is in a neighborhood without that. They got a new neighbor a few years ago who decided to turn her yard into a horse pasture. My parents get along with them, but personally I would have called the city because they're in the city limits, and I don't fancy living next to live stock. The neighbors behind the alley look like they belong in different cities, one is run down and dilapidated, the other extremely well kept.
  8. They'd most likely just ban him if he tried. Reddit conservatives are extremely into having safe spaces.
  9. America's mental health crisis has been weaponized by the GOP.
  10. Spoiler alert, "we won't." Outside of some faux historical like fire and blood, I just don't see any possible way GRRM is finishing this series. If we get one more book we can count ourselves blessed.
  11. The second act has been planned a long time ago, but it hasn't started yet. Aegon VI has only conquered Storm's End in (hopefully the beginning of) The Winds of Winter, waiting for a confrontation with the Tyrells. Daenerys would hang around the Dothraki in the first half of that book and must first return to Mereen before she sails towards King's Landing. The war against the Others: this was originally planned for the third book of the trilogy, after the Dance of Dragons. We know almost nothing about these mythical creatures. I believe that Brandon Stark with his supernatural powers will find out something about their culture or motives. There is nothing that hints at a fight against the Others in the short term. We still have two books with two story acts to start. I see the (second phase of) the War of the Five Kings only end when Aegon VI conquers the Iron Throne and with the restoration of the Stark-rule. Both will happen at the earliest (although unlikely) only halfway TWOW. The Second Dance of Dragons can only begin when Daenerys lands on Westeros, after the coronation of Aegon VI. There is then only a maximum of one and a half books to cover the two upcoming story acts, which is very tight. That worries me a lot, which means that the upcoming story acts will have to be shortened, in a very rushed timespan. Even the tempo of A Storm of Swords doesn't seem to me sufficient to complete both acts with just two books. I'm afraid that a very rushed timespan will be at the expense of worldbuilding, which is George R. R. Martin's best talent after all. Note that in addition to the three story acts, the storylines of about twenty POV characters also need to be completed. As it stands now: The Wall and beyond: Jon Snow was murdered by his own men as a result of violating the political neutrality of the Night Watch. This causes absolute chaos in the Night's Watch, with three warring parties. The Baratheon camp (under Selyse) that wants to marry its own men to the wildlings (without success). the wildlings themselves who want to leave the Night's Watch to save Mance Rayder. Bowen Marsh and his men who simply want to put order back into the Night's Watch. Mellissandre is the only POV currently at the wall. I have my doubts that Jon Snow will be brought back to life in her first chapter. Brandon Stark is still in ADWD just starting his training as a greenseer, with the three-eyed crow, Brynden Rivers. I'm assuming this will largely happen off-page, except for events like "Hold the Door" (actually Hold the Pass). The North: Stannis is still preparing to defend the Crofter's Village, where an attack by the Frey's and Manderly's is expected. Stannis is expected to win this battle (possibly according to the Night Lamp theory) and later to conquer Winterfell for the Starks. There are few other options: it is unlikely due to distance and weather conditions that Stannis will lose, march back and burn Shireen, who is now at the wall. This will only happen later in other circumstances. But the whole Stark-restoration does have complications: Davos Seaworth will spend some chapters in Skagos, where he will probably find Rickon Stark, who may become the Lord of Winterfell. However, one must also take into account the time of the outward and return journey. On the other hand, we have Jon Snow (who lies dead on the Wall in the present), who can somehow be legitimized with Robb's Will and thus be crowned King of the North. Here, too, the distance has to be taken into account. And nobody knows how Robb's Will will be made known and when. This whole succession of the North will not happen without problems, there will probably be a succession conflict between Jon Snow and Rickon Stark, a conflict with two possibilities: independence or service and subordination to King Stannis. Sansa might also want to make a claim. The Vale: Sansa Stark may or may not be married off to Harry Hardyng. Petyr Baelish will also get into trouble with his rule over the Vale and the Riverlands (he doesn't have an army). I don't expect Sansa to stay in the Vale either. The Riverlands: Brienne and Jaime will be judged by Catelyn Tully, now known as Lady Stoneheart. What will happen to them is still rather unclear. There are hints that point to a second Red Wedding and a fairly important role for Nymeria, Arya's wolf. Crownlands/Westerlands/Reach: We will see the decline of Cersei after she somehow regains the role of regent. Because they are surrounded by the throne pretenders Euron and Aegon VI, it will be an enormous chaos. Expect the preparation for these wars, a reaction to Kevan's murder, a confrontation with the High Sparrow, the return of Myrcella Baratheon and the fact that Nymeria Sand will participate in the small council. According to George R. R. Martin, we will also see Highgarden and Casterly Rock in TWOW. We may also meet Willas Tyrell in one of the two books, as once said - the Tyrells will continue to be a significant player. Euron and House Hightower: Euron is now at war to conquer the Reach, which I think will be mostly off-screen (some will be viewed from the perspective of Samwell Tarly or Aeron Greyjoy). As far as Samwell is concerned, he is still in the process of completing his training to become a maester, although I have my doubts that he will complete it. Dorne: according to George R. R. Martin, Dorne will play a major role in TWOW, which includes the Sandsnakes in King's Landing. It is very likely that Dorne will form an alliance with Aegon VI Targaryen. Quentyn's terrible death may also be made known to Doran Martell. There is also still a hunt for Gerold Dayne Aegon VI and the Stormlands: According to Arianne's two POV chapters, Storm's End has been conquered (although George R. R. Martin also plans to dedicate some POV chapters to the battle - which was originally off-screen. Also expect a decisive battle that will allow Aegon VI to conquer the Iron Throne without too much trouble, for example a kind of Battle of Agincourt against the Tyrells (as Bryndenbfish describes in his essays Blood of the Conqueror). Aegon VI Targaryen will have to sit on the Iron Throne before the Second Dance of Dragon starts. Braavos: George R. R. Martin has already written many chapters for Arya in Braavos, but I have my doubts that she will complete her training to become a Faceless Man. The first opportunity for Arya to return to Westeros is through Justin Massey, Stannis' advisor who wants to hire a mercenary army with a loan. He will only leave after Theon's first chapter in the Winds of Winter. Taking into account the distance it will take some time before he arrives in Braavos. Meereen/Daenerys/Tyrion: Barristan Selmy and later Victarion Greyjoy get involved in the Second Siege of Meereen, which will take place in the beginning of The Winds of Winter. I assume that these will take up quite a few chapters. Tyrion will also join the court of Meereen. Meanwhile, Daenerys will be in the Dothraki Sea (perhaps as a prisoner). It will take a long time before Daenerys and Tyrion will meet (so expect a reasonable late return). Moreover, things have to be sorted out in Meereen before Daenerys travels to Westeros with the help of Victarion's fleet. Moreover, it is possible that Braavos (the House with the Red Door) and Pentos (the Tattered Prince) will also play a role in Daenerys' storyline. You can see how many storylines still have to be completed before act two, the Second Dance of Dragons can take place... A lot happened in A Storm of Swords, I know that, but I still have my skepticism that George R. R. Martin can complete all these storylines even at that pace. I wouldn't be surprised if The Winds of Winter were about the same size as A Feast of Crows and A Dance with Dragons together, If I was GRRM I would just simply drop most of those plotlines in the next couple books. Skip them entirely. Cut down to the main theme and plot and get through the slog before age and weariness prevent me from the finish line. Once that's done, he could always go back and flesh them out in additional books and novellas. But clearly that's not what GRRM is doing, or else we'd have a new book by now. I personally doubt we ever will.
  12. We actually have great rail infrastructure, for freight. And the places where rail actually makes a lot of sense, on the eastern seaboard, the routes make pretty good money. There are two main issues. 1. Rural routes will never be profitable. Distances are too long, with too many potential stops and too few riders. 2. AMTRAK doesn't own 97% of the rail lines it uses, and it has low priority on quite a few of them. When I rode from Tacoma to Portland a couple years ago, we had to pull over into a siding so freight trains could pass. This is pretty common. The real killer is that airtravel is just too cheap and convenient for passenger rail to beat it over long distances, short of something huge changing. And new local routes are a nightmare to build because of land and construction costs in the only places you'd want to build them anyway. Rural people just don't need or want passenger trains given our other transportation options. I think the only attainable goal right now is to push for increases in speed and dedicated routes on the lines that make a lot of sense, like things such as Seattle to Portland. And slowly increase the number of local trains, while we try to find better ways to construct subways. And this is speaking as someone who really likes trains. Is it possible for us to have sit down and spend an enormous amount of money to rejigger our entire transportation network to be more like Japan? Sure, its technically possible. But if it doesn't somehow benefit the military industrial complex, I don't see it happening.
  13. Agreed. And the cities in the red states are relatively blue, while the rural areas in blue states are relatively red. We'd most likely see escalating levels of small scale violence (like we're already seeing) morphing into insurrection combined with civil disobedience and intimidation tactics. Regardless, the US military would be the determining factor. Which ever side it supports will control the result. Whereas before the civil war, the federal military was very weak and unable to be the deciding factor.
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