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What happened to Blair Adams? A series of incredibly bizarre events led this Canadian to flee from British Columbia and end up dead in a construction site in Tennessee
2020.10.27 02:01 jessie_berry What happened to Blair Adams? A series of incredibly bizarre events led this Canadian to flee from British Columbia and end up dead in a construction site in Tennessee
Blair Adams (aka Robert Dennis Blair Adams) was 31 years old when he was found dead in a construction site in Tennessee, United States--thousands of miles away from his home in British Columbia, Canada. Blair was a construction foreman who was known to be friendly and generous; his mother described him as “kind” and “ambitious”. He met his untimely demise through a series of extremely bizarre and strange events that remain unexplained to this day.
This is one of the fascinating cases I’ve come across. It’s been posted here before but the circumstances surrounding his death are so mind boggling that I believe the case still warrants discussion. TIMELINE: Weeks Prior:
He began acting very strange in the weeks before his disappearance and ultimately death. He was described to have acted out of character: paranoid, erratic and anxious. He told his friends and mother that someone was spreading rumours about him and that someone was going to kill him. He would not explain who nor why. Other odd behaviour he exhibited include the fact that he stopped attending his AA meetings (he was 2 years sober at that point), left his worksite unlocked and quit his job without picking up his last pay cheque. 05JUL1996:
He started preparations for his departure by withdrawing most of his money from his bank account and valuables from his safe deposit box including gold bars, platinum and jewelry. He would keep these in a fanny pack. 7JUL1996:
His first attempt into the US was via a ferry from Victoria, British Columbia to Seattle, Washington. US immigration officials flagged him because he fit the profile of a drug courier: lone male traveling with a lot of cash. Red flag number one. Red flag number two was raised when he denied any criminal history. However, his background check showed that he had been convicted of drug and assault charges in the past. Thus, he was denied entry. 9JUL1996:
Early morning he tried to cross into the US by foot through the Pacific Highway Border Crossing. He was denied by border patrol once again because he matched the description of a man involved in a car theft and the blue car was found nearby the border crossing. However, Blair denied these allegations and the officials let him go since there was enough evidence against him. They noticed that he had scratches on his hands and feet. Interestingly, his friend would later tell the investigators that she saw Blair driving a blue car that day, not his regular Chevette. He finally makes it across on his 3rd attempt to Seattle via a rental Nissan Altima from Vancouver International Airport. He drove the Nissan Altima from Vancouver International Airport to Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. Strangely, he purchased a roundtrip ticket to Frankfurt, Germany. Why Frankfurt? Well in late 1995 he worked on a construction project near the city and he dated a girl there during this time. However, his German girlfriend told the police later that he never informed her that he was coming. Blair never got on that flight. Instead, he cashed in his credit for a one way ticket ($800) to Washington, DC. Quite a few sources point out the price because it was double the cost of a roundtrip ticket but I think it could’ve been just the earliest flight out to Washington. 10JUL1996
: He arrived at Dulles International Airport in the morning ~6:45am and rented a Toyota Camry. Then he started the 7 hour drive to Knoxville, Tennessee. The first sighting of him in Knoxville was at a gas station ~5:30pm. He had trouble getting into his car with the key and called for a repair service. When the clerk arrived, he realized that Blair had been trying to open the Toyota Camry with his Nissan Altima key (remember the other rental?). However, when he tried to advise him to check his pockets for the right key, Blair was determined that he had the correct key. Ultimately, the clerk dropped Blair off at Fairfield Inn and called a tow truck for the Camry. LAST SIGHTING:
Blair checked in at the inn around 7pm and continued to display strange behaviour. From surveillance footage, he entered and exited the lobby 5 times in 40 min. The hotel staff also described him to be paranoid and anxious, seemingly waiting for someone to attack at any moment. 11JUL1996:
He was found dead in the morning at 7:30am by two construction workers at the construction site of a hotel across from Fairfield Inn. There was $4000 in cash scattered around his body in US, Canadian and German currencies. His socks, shoes and along with his pants were taken off. Knox County Sheriff described it “like somebody else pulled them down for him”. There was also a black duffel bag near his body with maps and receipts. The Toyota Camry key he couldn’t find at the gas station? Yes, it was also by the body. Autopsy showed that the cause of death was sepsis due to a blow that ruptured his stomach--likely from a crowbar or club. Toxicology showed that there was no alcohol or drugs in his system.
There wasn’t much evidence for the investigators:
- No murder weapon: He sustained several injuries and defensive wounds. It looked like he was beaten by the assailant(s).
- Lack of DNA evidence: Certain injuries indicate that he had been sexually assaulted, however no DNA evidence could confirm this. Furthermore, they also could not say when the assault had taken place and thus could have been unrelated to his death if it did happen. The only DNA evidence they found was a single long strand of hair. I couldn’t find any reports confirming whether it was from a male or female (not sure why)
- No witnesses: Security guard nearby heard a scream at 3:30am.
Sexual encounter gone wrong: This was the prevailing theory from investigators because of the way the body was found (naked from waist down), evidence of sexual assault and there was a truck stop nearby and the area was a hub filled with prostitution. So Blair solicits a prostitute, the deal goes bad and they (the sex worker and/or their pimp) try to scam him. A fight ensues and they accidentally kill him. I don’t really buy this theory since there was a lot of cash around the body. If it was just about the money, then why didn’t they take any? Even if they were scared that they had killed him, it’s hard for me to believe that they wouldn’t take any of the cash. I also read that some people believe that they didn’t take the cash because it was in different currencies: either they didn't want it to be traced back to them somehow while exchanging or just didn’t want to exchange it. However, I would argue this took place some time during the night. Unless the construction site is really well lit, then how could they tell it was a different currency? Even if the money looked foreign, wouldn’t they just scoop it up, run and then sort through it later? Also, they didn’t take any of the fanny pack’s valuables.
Sudden onset of mental illness: He was mentally ill and had a psychotic break. His psychosis drove him to create this elaborate escape plan and ultimately he either took his own life or a chance encounter took his life. Supporting evidence of this include his bizarre paranoid behaviour weeks prior to his death, history of mental illness in his family, history of alcohol abuse and age (31). However, he was never diagnosed with mental illness himself. On top of that, his friends all denied that they had seen him display any signs as well. Since there was no concrete evidence, it’s hard for me to believe this theory. To play the devil’s advocate, if he was truly stable and went to many of his friends and family to let them know someone was going aftekill him...why didn’t any of them report this to the authorities? Or even get him medical help? Very strange.
To be honest, he could very well have had mental illness. However, the reality of the threat and possible mental illness are not mutually exclusive. He may have been schizophrenic and his life was in real danger. Or even the threat of his safety may have triggered the psychosis.
Organized crime hit: He was involved in illegal activities (most likely drug related given his past), got in way over his head, pissed off the wrong people and they murdered him for it. This is the theory that I’m leaning towards. This is also related to his time in Germany. Unlike his girlfriend who described him as a “gentleman”, he was seen as “abrasive”, “confrontational” and got in fights with his German ex-workers. He also relayed that he actually feared violence from them! On top of this, a poster from sitcomonline claimed that his ex-girlfriend and friend revealed his trip to Germany ended earlier than expected and that he was different after he came back. But why would they stalk him all the way to Tennessee? Maybe it was just to mentally torture Blair and see him break (which he did) before finally killing him. Finally, his pants being pulled down could be a way to humiliate him.
I could go on for hours on this case but this post is so long already so I'll stop here. What do you guys think happened to him?
- My video on the case
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2020.10.27 00:30 Jean_des_Esseintes Deep Dive into Facedrive (FD.V) - Short Thesis, Target $0.43
Quick Data Current Price:
$11.06 Shares Outstanding:
93,729,980 Market Cap:
1.037 billion TTM Revenue:
0.91 million Price/Sales:
Facedrive is a ridesharing company that is designed to incentivize and empower the green and socially responsible consumer through the use of its carbon neutral ridesharing platform. The company was founded in January 2016 by Imran Ali Khan and Junaid Razvi but only became operational in late 2018. In August 2019 Facedrive completed a reverse take-over with High Mountain Resources and listed on the TSX Venture Exchange. Since listing on the TSX-V Facedrive has also completed a number of small acquisitions to expand its offerings both in the rideshare market and other "Facedrive Verticals".
In its IPO filing statement issued 14 months ago Facedrive outlined a number of growth initiatives including:
As of today Facedrive has only achieved one of these objectives - entering the Ottawa market
- entering the markets of Ottawa, Calgary and Vancouver by the end of 2019
- entering major US markets including San Francisco, Seattle and Austin by the end of 2020
- further expanding into Boston, Philadelphia, and New York in 2021, and Europe and the UK in late 2021
- achieving 3% market penetration by August 2020
- creating new platform offerings including commercial delivery (courier service), executive delivery (subscription service for business executives), and health care delivery (prescription delivery and patient transportation)
. In fact Facedrive has yet to expand out of Ontario with its operations limited to the Greater Toronto Area, Ottawa, Hamilton, London, Guelph, Kitchener, Waterloo, Cambridge and Orillia. Since the beginning Facedrive has been incredibly slow in rolling out their app to targeted cities. Despite being founded in January 2016 and receiving a Toronto license in 2017 the app only became operational in late 2018.
As for 3% market penetration Facedrive's gross revenue for the first 6 months of this year was $999 thousand. The rideshare market for Canada this year (adjusted for Covid) is $1.52 billion ( https://www.statista.com/outlook/368/108/ride-hailing-taxi/canada
). Since Facedrive only operates in about 20% of Canada's markets, population adjusted, the current addressable market is closer to $300 million. Extrapolating Facedrive's gross revenue out to a full year would result in $2 million of revenue or less than 1% of market penetration.
But what about Covid? In the 2nd Q Lyft and Uber reported decreases in rideshare billings of 69% and 73% respectively. Meanwhile Facedrive's gross revenue dropped from $999 thousand in Q1 to $147 thousand in Q2, a drop of 85%. This signals that their market penetration is actually decreasing quarter over quarter
Value proposition for riders? Facedrive's green initiative? The company began with the initiative to 1) offer electric vehicles); and 2) counter emissions from gas vehicles through an offset program. As of today there is nothing to differentiate Facedrive's offerings from its competitors as both Uber and Lyft now have electric vehicle options. There is no dedicated fleet of electric vehicles driving for Facedrive. Facedrive did donate $2,105 to Forests Ontario in Q1 2019 but there has been no mention of any offset program contributions since the company went public. The main benefit of rideshare programs is still convenience. For Facedrive to compete with Uber and Lyft they need drivers. At this point there are just not enough drivers to produce reasonable wait times. Reviews of the app consistently complain about wait times of up to half an hour
. And with the green initiative not being robust enough to differentiate it from its competitors it is just not worth the time.
Value proposition for drivers? Over the last year Facedrive has paid out anywhere from 75% to 83% to drivers. This is slightly higher than Uber and Lyft which average around 75%. But not enough of an incentive for a driver to use Facedrive exclusively. I expect that pretty much all of the revenue Facedrive generates comes from drivers who use multiple platforms. Conclusion:
Facedrive has consistently failed to meet growth targets. Its current market penetration is less than 1% and possibly decreasing. There is no incentive for either drivers or riders to continue using the app when Uber and Lyft are perfectly suitable.
After its IPO Facedrive used a combination of cash and shares to acquire stakes in a number of other ventures which they plan to incorporate into their "ecosystem". Buzz words however do not make a company. None of these ventures generate significant revenue or offer much potential for growth so I'll only cover them briefly.
This is a carpooling app similar to Poparide except no one uses it and it doesn't generate any revenue. There is also a trivia app HiQ which claims to be a social app that you can enjoy while social distancing (in your carpool?). HiQ claims to have 2 million downloads
(Facedrive press releases all of the major milestones) and yet it doesn't rank in the Trivia category for both IOS and Google. I downloaded the app and played for 15 minutes
. The app is beyond basic with the most elementary social element. I tired messaging some other players based on similar interests but no one responded. After 15 minutes of answering both outdated and at times repetitive trivia questions I was ranked 794th all time and earned $1. I am also 74th on the weekly list which leads me to believe the app has less than 100 active users
. Reading the reviews on Google Play it is a combination of obvious fake reviews (multiple reviews showing up the same day with similar broken English) and people complaining they didn't get their money for answering the trivia questions.
This launched in May and generated $7 thousand in revenue. The only products available are apparel from Westbrook Inc. (a content company affiliated with Will Smith). Facedrive partnered with Westbrook last year by purchasing a $1 million convertible note. In return they have the right to sell exclusive Westbrook products to their ridership. Curiously Facedrive failed to disclose at the time of the transaction that Westbrook Inc owned 192,338 shares in Facedrive at the time of its IPO. This is a recurrent theme - I give you shares, you give me shares.
Facedrive Foods + Food Hwy
Facedrive Foods consists of assets purchased out of bankruptcy from Foodora Canada. The cost was $500K. The assets Facedrive received were Foodora's restaurant and customer list. Customers however had to opt in through e-mail in order for their contact details to be released to Facedrive. Facedrive can not use Foodora's name nor did they acquire any of Foodora's technology. The Facedrive Foods app was developed from scratch and going by reviews it is not that good. The restaurants available are mostly second tier chains listed on pretty much all the food apps. On IOS the app is ranked #157 in the food category currently - they have no market penetration
Food Hwy is probably the closest thing to a real business Facedrive has acquired. It is another food delivery app, quite niche as it caters to the foreign student market. Facedrive paid $9.1 million in cash and shares for Food Hwy. It expects it to generate $10.5 million in revenue in 2020. No mention of profit, growth rate, or its revenue from prior years. Just an expectation
Facedrive Health is pretty much an app + wearable bracelet called TraceScan. Through bluetooth technology it can determine if you have come into contact with someone who has tested positive for Covid-19. Ontario already has a contact tracing app that works through bluetooth and can be downloaded onto one's mobile phone (no need for a bracelet). The official Ontario app only has 8% market penetration despite its ease of use. Facedrive is currently running a pilot with Air Canada for their bracelets but the market for these bracelets is so limited when the free Ontario app does a perfectly fine job in 99% of interactions.
Facedrive invested $3 million in cash and shares in this sports prediction company founded by Russell Wilson. Tally's main asset TraceMe was sold last year to Nike. Nike had no interest in the tech that remains under the Tally umbrella. All the top execs at Tally also left for Nike so it is unclear at this point what potential the remaining assets have. https://www.playtally.com
An electric vehicle subscription platform based out of Washington D.C. Another company on the verge of bankruptcy where Facedrive offered up $3.25 million USD worth of shares and in exchange the parent company of Steer purchased $2 million USD worth of shares - I give you shares and you buy some of them back
. Again no mention of revenue, profit margins, growth rates or anything in the press release. Just a bunch of buzz words concerning the total addressable market.
Does Facedrive have the management in place to successfully take on the behemoths of Uber and Lyft? Or to penetrate fresh verticals and successfully create a socially responsible ecosystem?
Co-Founder and Executive Vice President of Facedrive, Razvi currently owns 8,751,930 shares or 9.3% of Facedrive. Prior to founding Facedrive Mr. Razvi was the CEO of an IT company in the Middle East https://www.panarabia.ae
. Not much else is known other than they have a horrible website.
Current CEO of Facedrive and owns 32,395,180 shares or 34.75% of Facedrive. He assumed the position of CEO in March 2019 just prior to Facedrive's TSX-V listing application. Mr. Navaratnam at first glance has a respectable resume. He was CEO of A.C. Technical Systems, specializing in security and surveillance systems. From 2014-1019 he was the CEO Connex Telecommunications Corporation. He has an investment arm called the Malar Group which purchased control of both A.C. Technical and Connex. Between 2017 and 2019 Mr. Navaratnam and Malar also took a substantial stake in Facedrive. I suspect Mr. Navaratnam connected with the co-founder Mr. Razvi as they both worked in the IT telecommunications sphere. It appears Malar has an impressive portfolio of companies but most of them are subsidiaries of Connex. Both Mr. Razvi and Mr. Navaratnam are telecommunication and hardware experts who are trying to create a social enterprise digital ecosystem geared towards milennials. They are not millennials.
Heung Hung Lee
Current CFO of Facedrive. Ms. Lee has been working with Mr. Navaratnam since 2004 when she was the CFO of A.C. Technical Systems. She then became the CFO of Connex before taking the position at Facedrive. Ms. Lee has never been employed by a billion dollar corporation let alone been the CFO of one. Perhaps this position is too overwhelming as Facedrive has failed to file their last 2 quarterly financials on time.
Jay Wilgar was appointed the chief strategy officer of Facedrive earlier this year. Formerly he was CEO of Newstrike Brands (cannabis company) and prior to Newstrike he was CEO of both a pharmaceutical and a renewable energy company. He has a history of building companies and selling them at opportune times. However he has no experience in technology and again has never been responsible for growing a billion dollar company.
And that's pretty much it for the brains of the company.
Mr. Navaratnam's Cash Cow
Prior to becoming a public company, Mr. Navaratnam was generating significant revenue for his companies by billing Facedrive for his companies' services. Mr. Navaratnam's companies under the Malar Group were responsible for not only developing the Facedrive app, but also providing customer and driver support, leasing office space, and marketing the app. Talk about an ecosystem! Here are some snippets from Facedrive's filings: As at September 30, 2019, $917,236 (December 31, 2018 - $436,626) was due to Dynalync 2000 Inc., a related company controlled by our Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. The amount owing is a result of the related company providing consulting services and product development, and the amount is included in the Company’s trade payable. The total expenses charged to the Company for the nine months ended September 30, 2019 were $1,200,300 (2018 - $397,100), which were included in research and development expenses of $702,300 (2018 - $241,300) and operational support expenses of $505,000 (2018 - $155,700). Facedrive also engages DependableIT through Dynalync, a related company controlled by Sayanthan Navaratnam, the CEO, director and co-founder of Facedrive, to provide call center services to Facedrive. Facedrive subleases office space in Richmond Hill, Ontario, Scarborough, Ontario, North York, Ontario, Toronto, Ontario, Hamilton, Ontario and Kanata, Ontario from Connex pursuant to a sublease agreement dated April 1, 2019 for $5,000 per month plus applicable taxes.
Since Facedrive has gone public they have moved most of their operations in house and hired their own developers cutting off the related transactions. But what this does show is that Facedrive basically began as a vehicle for its CEO to enrich himself, not only through the issuance of cheap stock (more on that later) but also through Facedrive's expense account.
There is a group of posters on Stockhouse that just post the same gibberish day in and day out. Their only posts are on rideshare and big tech bullboards. These are not typical Stockhouse pumpers who own shares as they show up at the same time each day and in collaboration each cover a different talking point. No rocket emojis or "to the moon" memes - just buzz terms taken from press releases spun in a positive light. And they don't discuss any other stocks. You can find some of them here https://stockhouse.com/members/shirleyarman https://stockhouse.com/members/tylermathew https://stockhouse.com/members/xavier https://stockhouse.com/members/tianaa https://stockhouse.com/members/richardsondilam
Their grammar and erudition are also very similar to the fake reviews on the app stores.
The most egregious example of Facedrive's stock promotion is their agreement with Medtronics Online Solutions. Supposedly this is an arm lengths company and yet Google returns nothing. Pursuant to a Consulting Agreement, Medtronics provided and performed marketing and strategic consulting services for and on behalf of Facedrive. In return Medtronics received $8.2 million worth of stock or 800,000 shares.
Medtronics may be responsible for not only market making services (propping up the share price) but also various paid promotion that Facedrive has been engaged in. An example, https://oilprice.com/Energy/Energy-General/The-30-Trillion-Trend-Thats-Bigger-Than-The-Entire-US-Stock-Market.html
You may have also seen Facedrive heavily promoted on Motley Fool as the next Uber or Tesla or whatever is in vogue that week.
Misleading Press Releases
Pretty much all of Facedrive's press releases are misleading or overly promotional in one way or another. Take for example the press release announcing the appointment of Jay Wilgar. The release states, Mr. Wilgar launched renewable development firm AIM PowerGen Corporation (“AIM”) and built it and successor companies into energy projects worth approximately $2.5 billion before AIM was acquired by global renewable power firm International Power Canada (IPR-GDF Suez) in 2009
AIM was acquired by International Power in 2009 but not for anywhere near $2.5 billion. In fact AIM was acquired for USD $109 million https://www.evwind.es/2009/10/23/international-power-canada-acquires-aim-powergen-from-renewable-energy-generation/1936
Then there are the HiQ press releases, first announcing 250K downloads, then 500K downloads, then 1 million, then 1.5 million, and then 2 million. From the July 14th press release, The App has ranked Top 10 Trivia App in over 100 countries, and ranked Top 10 App in over 50 countries. Additionally, HiQ has ranked as the Number 1 Trivia App in Bolivia, Ecuador, Egypt, Nepal, and Pakistan.
None of this is true. The app is lucky to have 100 active users. Furthermore there is no AI algorithm involved as is claimed nor is their any matching based on interests even though this would be incredibly easy to program. The suggested friends appears completely random.
True Value of Facedrive
Is it worth $1 billion?
The market, both private and public has never valued the company anywhere near $1 billion. Since 2017 Facedrive has issued stock at the following prices (all issues are split adjusted to correspond with the current share count, and converted to CAD): 2017
- 4,248,012 shares at 13.7 cents
- 970,839 shares at 13.2 cents
- 22,480,113 shares at 2 cents
- 1,923,529 shares at 39 cents
- 247,299 shares at 39 cents
- 1,236,498 shares at 8 cents
- 5,427,724 shares at 9.1 cents
- 9,915,581 shares at 9.9 cents
- 2,596,653 shares at 39 cents
- 741,900 shares at 39 cents
- 4,429,555 shares at $1.58
The shares issued at $1.58 were issued in connection with the amalgamation agreement (IPO). The shares issued at 39 cents were all shares for debt transactions.
Think about this for a second. 22,480,113 shares or 24% of the outstanding shares were issued at a price of 2 cents! The price today is $11.06.
What has changed since these shares were issued other than Facedrive has failed to meet any growth objectives and its market penetration along with brand power has dwindled to pretty much irrelevance.
Why is Facedrive trading at a $1 billion market cap?
As at June 30, 2020, the Company had 85,593,657 Shares subject to contractual lock-up restrictions which will be released on a rolling basis beginning March 16, 2021. 15% of the shares will come out of lock up on March 16, 2021, and for each subsequent 3 months another 15% will become free trading until September 30, 2022 when the final 10% will be released. This leaves only about 8 million shares in the current public float. It does not take much to move the share price in either direction.
Secondly, Facedrive has been promoting the stock in absolute desperation. They have enlisted an army of users to promote the stock on Stockhouse; they have posted fake reviews on both the Apple and Google app stores; they have paid for promotion in various investing publications; they have hired a mysterious marketing company to provide services in exchange for $8.2 million worth of shares. And yet they have done nothing to actually make a dent into their main competitors. Since its listing Facedrive has been more concerned with propping up its share price through stock promotion than it has been promoting its actual business to end users.
But, but intangibles!
There are none. There is no genius at the helm; there is no disruptive tech; there is no vision. Facedrive's best chance for success was to carve out a niche in the sustainable ridesharing market - capture the 1% of people that would be willing to wait 30 minutes for a ride in an EV. Not a billion dollar proposition but maybe something. Instead they opted for an endless dictionary of buzz words and delusions of grandeur.
So what is Facedrive's true value? The core of their operations, the ridesharing app, has made virtually no progress since it was developed in 2017. The ridesharing market is indeed a duopoly, and despite Facedrive's worst efforts to promote itself as an eco-conscious alternative it has failed to resonate with its target audience. If Uber or Lyft would be generous enough to purchase Facedrive's customer base (the tech is worthless to them) they might pay 20x net revenue or $20 million.
Given that management has done nothing to grow the business and its business plan is non-existent at worst and schizophrenic at best, it is hard to ascribe any value beyond what Facedrive has paid for the distressed assets they have purchased this year. So maybe another $15 million here (being extremely generous).
Then there is cash on the balance sheet which as of today given the recent acquisitions and burn rate is maybe $5 million. So $40 million total. This actually sounds like way too much money for what one is getting but it still only equals 43 cents/share.
Facedrive is currently trading at $11.06. Even throwing in another $50 million margin of error would still result in a 90% return from a short position.
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2020.10.26 23:25 FUCKYOUGUNGHO 27 year old looking for thoughts and suggestions planning for the future
I won't inundate you all with the backstory, but some kind person from /wsb
recommended I reach out to a more reasonable crowd for advice on my recent windfall.
Essentially I was very reckless and irresponsible and went far outside my acceptable risk limits, but I have ended up with a gain of ~$520k CAD from $138k CAD (a total of $658k CAD) from doing very short term options. Let me be very clear:
I fully recognize the foolishness and gravity of the situation and I fully intend to take a timeout to allow my excitement and mood to subside lest I squander this fool's luck of a windfall. I'm also confident that I will do not anything similar again but talk is cheap and I'd like allocate good chunks of this into less liquid instruments so it's not readily available.
A bit of necessary background information about myself:
I'm 27 living in Vancouver, B.C, Canada and worked a decent paying (for local standards, which is extremely depressed) job in tech as a developer up until I got laid off 2 weeks ago. In terms of the job situation, I've been frantically applying and interviewing, and as of this morning, have received verbal offers on hand, so that front is (hopefully) settled given we are able to hash out the details.
I purchased a small, modest, condo just shy of 10 years ago that I reside in and has appreciated in value. Never missed a mortgage payment to date and never intend to. It's effectively cheaper for me to live here than to rent anywhere else in the city even after the strata fees, so I have that going for me. I have no intentions to sell said property anytime soon, and I also have a home that I put 20% down on (using a HeLoC) with the equity I own in this condo.
The home is currently rented out to a family, albeit not for a great amount and it does not cash flow (as is the case with pretty much all properties in this place), but the plan was stow away as much income as I possibly could while I'm earning decent money, because who knows what comes tomorrow?
Interest rates in all cases are between 2.5~3%, I have great credit score also. I am fairly okay with my current exposure to real estate and don't intend to take on too much more exposure on that front, and I'm of the belief that interest rates will stay low for the foreseeable future so I'm not too keen on throwing cash at that so long as I'm able to continue to service the mortgage payments. As of this morning, I am positioned to have no worries servicing those payments in that regard, and I do prefer to keep them as I can write off part of the interest against my rental income.
I would love to put this money to good use to create a nest egg for my future family and to be able to have more freedom in what I choose to do so I can better contribute to society and teach my kids to be great people. I'm expecting (and will) keep my income either the same or increasing for the next few years so I'd like to plan around that (about 160k CAD or so pretax), allocate a portion for respectable dividend companies, pay the taxman his significant cut
and have the rest generate a return outpacing interest rates (but am not concerned if I have a down year or three). I guess what I'm asking for is for opinions on what you would do if you were in my situation, with one caveat: I have no interest in bonds or paying % fees annually for someone to manage my funds for me (aside from ETF MERs)
I grew up from a really rough background and lost every single member of my family along the way, including my parents, and I also live frugally and a minimalistic life so lifestyle inflation is not a concern. I've lived and spent more or less the same since I was keeping the family alive at 14 vs now.
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2020.10.25 05:09 foes2 AWD / 4WD recommendations for BC Canada / Sea to Sky around <10k CAD
First time buying a car out here in BC. Moved over from Europe 3 years ago and not bought a car yet, so really not clued up on autos / North American car models at all.
Based in Whistler but will likely be buying from Vancouver / surrounding areas with hopes to find something not rusted out and hopefully with up to date maintenance.
- Budget up to $10k CAD or so, pretty firm ceiling.
- AWD / 4WD but not in need of very high clearance, just looking for something relatively reliable in heavy snow (to make up for my inexperience)
- Something I can still buy a hitch receiver for (for bike rack most likely)
- Ideally I want to buy a vehicle with under 150k(km) but this is a relatively arbitrary figure I've made up
- (Optional) maybe something easy-ish to work on as intend on taking care of basic maintenance / service intervals myself where possible
- Something roof bars / racks are easily obtainable for still also (if possible)
I WFH most of the time so this will primarily be used for the brief drive to the hill in winter on powder days as well as occasionally further afield for roadtrips.
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2020.10.22 15:12 portlane Raymond Nicholson (July 24, 1948 - October 13, 2020)
RAYMOND VAIL NICHOLSON
July 24, 1948 - October 13, 2020
Raymond Vail Nicholson, 72, of Vancouver, WA, passed away at his home alongside his loving wife and children on Oct. 13. Ray was born in 1948 in Plainfield, NJ, but was raised primarily in Salt Lake City, UT.
Ray graduated from Westminster College in 1970. Prior to graduating, Ray enlisted in the United States Navy and served two years active duty and four years in the reserves. After his service, Raymond went to work for PPG Industries where he held many roles. Ray retired in 2006 after 30 years.
Ray had a lifelong love of the English language and literature, particularly the works of William Shakespeare. He also enjoyed music and classic English sports cars.
He was a devoted and loving husband to his wife, Stephanie Nicholson, for their entire 50 years of marriage as well as a loving father to his three children, Thomas, Ellie and Jeff. Ray also loved his grandchildren, Charlotte and Noah, very much as well as his brothers, Paul and David, and numerous extended family & friends.
Funeral arrangements will be held at a later date.
Please share a memory @ www.columbian.com/obits
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2020.10.20 09:42 uwuuwuuwuwu If anybody’s internet (Freedom/Shaw) just went out like mine’s...
This might be why:
Oct 20 - Vancouver Internet, WiFi, Television and Phone Interruption
Affected Area: Hastings - Sunrise & Surrounding areas
Affected Services: Internet, Business Internet, Phone, Business Phone, Digital TV, VOD, Gateway, BlueCurve TV, WiFi Access Points
Reference Number: CHG0294608
Date: Oct 20, 2020
Start: 00:00 MT
End: 04:00 MT
Summary: Some customers may experience an interruption of the affected Shaw services between midnight and 4:00 am MT. This interruption is expected to last approximately four (4) hours. Services will be restored automatically when the maintenance is complete. https://support.shaw.ca/t5/service-updates-outages/oct-20-vancouver-internet-wifi-television-and-phone-interruption/ta-p/27589
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to vancouver [link] [comments]
2020.10.19 19:20 kjonesatjaagnet The real promise of synthetic data
| || | submitted by kjonesatjaagnet to JAAGNet [link] [comments]
After years of work, MIT's Kalyan Veeramachaneni and his collaborators recently unveiled a set of open-source data generation tools — a one-stop shop where users can get as much data as they need for their projects, in formats from tables to time series. They call it the Synthetic Data Vault. Credits: Image: Arash Akhgari MIT researchers release the Synthetic Data Vault, a set of open-source tools meant to expand data access without compromising privacy.
Each year, the world generates more data than the previous year. In 2020 alone, an estimated 59 zettabytes of data
will be “created, captured, copied, and consumed,” according to the International Data Corporation — enough to fill about a trillion 64-gigabyte hard drives.
But just because data are proliferating doesn't mean everyone can actually use them. Companies and institutions, rightfully concerned with their users' privacy, often restrict access to datasets — sometimes within their own teams. And now that the Covid-19 pandemic has shut down labs and offices, preventing people from visiting centralized data stores, sharing information safely is even more difficult.
Without access to data, it's hard to make tools that actually work. Enter synthetic data: artificial information developers and engineers can use as a stand-in for real data.
Synthetic data is a bit like diet soda. To be effective, it has to resemble the “real thing” in certain ways. Diet soda should look, taste, and fizz like regular soda. Similarly, a synthetic dataset must have the same mathematical and statistical properties as the real-world dataset it's standing in for. “It looks like it, and has formatting like it,” says Kalyan Veeramachaneni, principal investigator of the Data to AI (DAI) Lab and a principal research scientist in MIT’s Laboratory for Information and Decision Systems. If it's run through a model, or used to build or test an application, it performs like that real-world data would.
But — just as diet soda should have fewer calories than the regular variety — a synthetic dataset must also differ from a real one in crucial aspects. If it's based on a real dataset, for example, it shouldn't contain or even hint at any of the information from that dataset.
Threading this needle is tricky. After years of work, Veeramachaneni and his collaborators recently unveiled a set of open-source data generation tools — a one-stop shop where users can get as much data as they need for their projects, in formats from tables to time series. They call it the Synthetic Data Vault. Maximizing access while maintaining privacy
Veeramachaneni and his team first tried to create synthetic data in 2013. They had been tasked with analyzing a large amount of information from the online learning program edX, and wanted to bring in some MIT students to help. The data were sensitive, and couldn't be shared with these new hires, so the team decided to create artificial data that the students could work with instead — figuring that “once they wrote the processing software, we could use it on the real data,” Veeramachaneni says.
This is a common scenario. Imagine you're a software developer contracted by a hospital. You've been asked to build a dashboard that lets patients access their test results, prescriptions, and other health information. But you aren't allowed to see any real patient data, because it's private.
Most developers in this situation will make “a very simplistic version" of the data they need, and do their best, says Carles Sala, a researcher in the DAI lab. But when the dashboard goes live, there's a good chance that “everything crashes,” he says, “because there are some edge cases they weren't taking into account.”
High-quality synthetic data — as complex as what it's meant to replace — would help to solve this problem. Companies and institutions could share it freely, allowing teams to work more collaboratively and efficiently. Developers could even carry it around on their laptops, knowing they weren't putting any sensitive information at risk. Perfecting the formula — and handling constraints
Back in 2013, Veeramachaneni's team gave themselves two weeks to create a data pool they could use for that edX project. The timeline “seemed really reasonable,” Veeramachaneni says. “But we failed completely.” They soon realized that if they built a series of synthetic data generators, they could make the process quicker for everyone else.
In 2016, the team completed an algorithm that accurately captures correlations between the different fields in a real dataset — think a patient's age, blood pressure, and heart rate — and creates a synthetic dataset that preserves those relationships, without any identifying information. When data scientists were asked to solve problems using this synthetic data, their solutions were as effective as those made with real data 70 percent of the time. The team presented this research
at the 2016 IEEE International Conference on Data Science and Advanced Analytics.
For the next go-around, the team reached deep into the machine learning toolbox. In 2019, PhD student Lei Xu presented his new algorithm, CTGAN
, at the 33rd Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems in Vancouver. CTGAN (for "conditional tabular generative adversarial networks) uses GANs to build and perfect synthetic data tables. GANs are pairs of neural networks that “play against each other,” Xu says. The first network, called a generator, creates something — in this case, a row of synthetic data — and the second, called the discriminator, tries to tell if it's real or not.
“Eventually, the generator can generate perfect [data], and the discriminator cannot tell the difference,” says Xu. GANs are more often used in artificial image generation, but they work well for synthetic data, too: CTGAN outperformed classic synthetic data creation techniques in 85 percent of the cases tested in Xu's study.
Statistical similarity is crucial. But depending on what they represent, datasets also come with their own vital context and constraints, which must be preserved in synthetic data. DAI lab researcher Sala gives the example of a hotel ledger: a guest always checks out after he or she checks in. The dates in a synthetic hotel reservation dataset must follow this rule, too: “They need to be in the right order,” he says.
Large datasets may contain a number of different relationships like this, each strictly defined. “Models cannot learn the constraints, because those are very context-dependent,” says Veeramachaneni. So the team recently finalized an interface that allows people to tell a synthetic data generator where those bounds are. “The data is generated within those constraints,” Veeramachaneni says.
Such precise data could aid companies and organizations in many different sectors. One example is banking, where increased digitization, along with new data privacy rules, have “triggered a growing interest in ways to generate synthetic data,” says Wim Blommaert, a team leader at ING financial services. Current solutions, like data-masking, often destroy valuable information that banks could otherwise use to make decisions, he said. A tool like SDV has the potential to sidestep the sensitive aspects of data while preserving these important constraints and relationships. One vault to rule them all
The Synthetic Data Vault combines everything the group has built so far into “a whole ecosystem,” says Veeramachaneni. The idea is that stakeholders — from students to professional software developers — can come to the vault and get what they need, whether that's a large table, a small amount of time-series data, or a mix of many different data types.
The vault is open-source and expandable. “There are a whole lot of different areas where we are realizing synthetic data can be used as well,” says Sala. For example, if a particular group is underrepresented in a sample dataset, synthetic data can be used to fill in those gaps — a sensitive endeavor that requires a lot of finesse. Or companies might also want to use synthetic data to plan for scenarios they haven't yet experienced, like a huge bump in user traffic.
As use cases continue to come up, more tools will be developed and added to the vault, Veeramachaneni says. It may occupy the team for another seven years at least, but they are ready: “We're just touching the tip of the iceberg.”
Originally published by Laboratory for Information and Decision Systems October 16, 2020 MIT News
2020.10.18 15:08 portlane Paul Onge (March 1925 - October 2, 2020)
PAUL B. ST. ONGE
March 1925 - October 2, 2020
Paul Bernard St. Onge passed away at the age of 95 in the early morning of Oct. 2, 2020, at the Chestnut Fields Memory Care facility in Muskegon, MI.
Paul was born March of 1925 in Marquette, MI, to parents David J. and Netty (Berry) St. Onge. Paul joined the Army after graduating high school the summer of 1943. He married his high school sweetheart, Pearl Johnson in March 1944, prior to shipping out to serve in World War II in the Philippines. Paul was honorably discharged as a technician fifth grade with the 779th Tank Battalion in 1946.
After returning home, Paul and Pearl moved to Carlsbad, NM, due to Pearl’s poor health. Pearl ultimately succumbed to her disease in 1954.
Paul married Nora Knight in June 1955 in Carlsbad. At this time, Paul began a long, successful career with International Minerals & Chemical Corporation starting out as a laborer loading bags of Potash on railcars to retiring as a product transportation director in the company’s head office in Skokie, IL. Paul retired from IMC after 32 years of service and took on the role as a product transportation consultant with the Port of Los Angeles for another 10 years. Paul enjoyed doing home improvement projects, fishing and spending time with his friends and family.
Paul is survived by his two stepsons, Court (Carol) Manns and Jon (Carma) Manns; son-in-law, Jim Mullen; grandchildren, Paul (Stephanie) Manns, Whitney Manns, Jeff (Rebecca) Manns, Collin Manns, Cheston Manns, Catherine Manns, Kim (Mike) McCoy, Tracy (Matt) Izor and Christopher Mullen; four great-grandchildren, Parker, Oliver, Maeve and Leland; and nieces, Allison (John) Sexson, Sheridan (Lynn) Curtis.
In addition to his parents, his wife, Nora; daughter, Cynthia; sister, Mary St. Onge and brothers, Henry, Edward, Arthur, and Leonard St. Onge preceded Paul in death.
A memorial service will be held at Church of the Good Shepherd, Vancouver, Paul’s church at a later date, followed by a burial service in Indianapolis, IN.
Please share a memory @ www.columbian.com/obits
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2020.10.14 20:42 insureincanada Super Visa insurance Cost Insure in Canada
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2020.10.14 20:09 ComfortableTailor102 Moving to Toronto from Vancouver next summer - car? place to live? life?
I will be graduating from SFU here in Vancouver at the end of this year and was lucky enough to secure a job in Toronto with a start date of next year September. I'm an international student and have spent the past seven years in Vancouver for high school and university. For all the years I have been here, I have never visited Toronto, so my understanding of Canada is pretty much limited to Vancouver only lol. So I do have a couple of questions for you Torontonians:
- My workplace is right beside the St. Clair subway station, I'm debating between the option of finding a place right beside my company/along the yellow subway line (possibly north york?), or live further and get a car to commute to work. I have heard mixed opinions about traffic and public transit here so just would like to hear what you guys think. One thing is that I love equestrian so will possibly go to the barn once or twice a week, in that case, if I use car-share services, would it get really expensive? I've checked google map and the nearest suburb barn from the Toronto core area is like a 40-50 mins drive.
- If I get a car, is all-wheel drive necessary? Is front-wheel drive + snow tires good enough for your winter?
- I'm originally from Shanghai so I'm accustomed to the big city life and hot humid summers, but I've truly enjoyed the past years I have spent in Vancouver - beautiful beautiful nature and people. So I guess how should I be mentally/physically prepared for Toronto?
Thanks for reading and any answer is appreciated!
submitted by ComfortableTailor102
to askTO [link] [comments]
2020.10.14 14:03 m1sscommunication Hi I'm from the Netherlands. Looking for info on Vancouver resident
Hello people, for a long time I've been trying to get in contact with my half brother. I'm from the Netherlands, he's from Vancouver WA. We are from the same father. We lost contact when I was about 14.
We met two times, when he visited our country with his mom. Later it was just letters and birthday cards. Now there hasn't been contact in years. My father lost their details. I have always had this vision of meeting him as adults. We were <10 when we last met.
I've done some research, but never found anything useful. Every year or so I Google his name, hoping to find some info. No results until this summer, when all of a sudden I found an obituary with correct name and birth date. I felt a strange kind of loss. I would really like to know what happened.
I have no contact info, except for a full name and birth date. There's a lot of paid services for information, but none of them seem to accept my Dutch credit card. I emailed the Vancouver police and the city. No results yet.
Do you guys know any way I can find out what happened? Thank you for reading!
submitted by m1sscommunication
to vancouverwa [link] [comments]
2020.10.08 14:20 OIF-DV $MSNVF Mission Ready Announces New Purchase Orders, Provides SOE Protest Update
VANCOUVER, British Columbia, Oct. 08, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Mission Ready Solutions Inc
. (“Mission Ready” or the “Company”) (TSXV: MRS) is pleased to announce that, further to its September 18, 2020 news release announcing new contract awards valued at an estimated $127 million, with a ceiling of $435 million (the “C&TContracts”), and its September 25, 2020 news release reporting that it had received an aggregate of approximately $96 million in purchase orders (each purchase order, a “PO”) across the C&T Contracts, the Company has received $16 million in additional PO’s bringing the total received as of the date of this announcement to approximately $112 million.
All purchase orders received to date across the C&T Contracts call for delivery of the products between October 2020 and March 2021. In accordance with the terms of the C&T Contracts, the Defense Logistics Agency will remit payment to Unifire within 30 days of delivery of the products pursuant to each purchase order.
The related announcements referenced herein can be viewed at www.MRSCorp.com
or via the direct links below: September 25, 2020 – Mission Ready Announces $58.5 Million in New Purchase OrdersSeptember 18, 2020 – Mission Ready Awarded New Contracts for an Estimated $127 Million with a Ceiling of $435 Million
SOE Protest UpdateThe Company provides the following update with respect to recent developments – and next steps – in the Company’s efforts to reverse a December 2019 decision by the U.S. Defense Logistics Agency (“DLA”) to exclude Unifire, Inc.’s (“Unifire”) proposal from the competition under SPE8EJ-18-R-0001 (Special Operational Equipment (“SOE”) Tailored Logistics Support (“TLS”) Program) (the “Pre-award Protest”). Further to a Company announcement dated March 11, 2020
related to the Pre-award Protest filed with the U.S. Court of Federal Claims (“COFC”), on October 6, 2020, Unifire filed a Notice of Appeal of the COFC’s judgement in response to a September 24, 2020 decision by the COFC denying Unifire’s challenge of the exclusion of its proposal from the competition. Unifire will pursue an appeal in the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in addition to seeking a continued stay of the competition for the SOE TLS follow-on contracts while its appeal is pending. Unifire believes that it has a meritorious claim that DLA’s decision to exclude Unifire’s proposal was made in a manner inconsistent with prescribed U.S. federal government regulations. Unifire intends to prosecute its appeal vigorously. The outcome of this proceeding cannot be predicted with certainty, and there can be no assurance that this protest will be resolved in a manner favorable to Unifire.
Buck Marshall, President and CEO of Mission Ready, states, “We recognize and appreciate the value of our incumbency as a prime vendor on the SOE TLS contract – and will certainly take all proper steps to continue in this capacity – however, it is important to note that over 90% of Unifire’s sales captured during 2020 have been entirely outside of the SOE TLS contract vehicle. We remain optimistic that we will have the opportunity to continue performing on the SOE TLS contract for the foreseeable future. While it is true that a piece of our heart belongs with the SOE TLS contract due to the fact that it has helped shape the Company into who we are today, the opportunities to do business with the United States Department of Defense are nearly immeasurable and we have full confidence that we will continue to accelerate along our current sales trajectory, irrespective of our future status as an SOE TLS prime vendor. The exponential growth that we have achieved through entirely unrelated channels so far this year is a testament to the fact that we are nimble, adaptable and empowered to reach new heights in our quest to become a foremost leader in the world of government contracting.”
Monetary values referenced herein have been converted from US currency (USD) to Canadian currency (CAD) using an exchange rate of 1.32 and rounded down to the nearest 0.5 million.
About Mission Ready Solutions Inc. Mission Ready specializes in providing comprehensive government contracting solutions through its privileged access to a host of government contracting vehicles including its Special Operational Equipment (“SOE”) Tailored Logistics Support (“TLS”) contract administered by the United States Defense Logistics Agency (“DLA”), and Multiple Award Schedule contracts administered by the United States General Services Administration (“GSA”).
Mission Ready’s wholly-owned subsidiary, Unifire, Inc. (“Unifire”), is one of six companies, globally, authorized to provide equipment and designated services under DLA’s SOE TLS program. Unifire is a designated Small Business and an industry-leading manufacturer and distributor of over 1.5 million fire, military, emergency, and law enforcement products. As an incumbent awardee of the SOE TLS contract, with extensive knowledge and experience in providing solutions to the US Federal Government, Unifire utilizes its highly-efficient, scalable technology infrastructure to provide procurement solutions for program managers, military and federal contracting offices, base supply centers, and other governmental supply agencies.
Mission Ready trades on the TSX Venture Exchange under the symbol MRS.
For further information, visit MRSCorp.com
Investor RelationsT: 1.877.479.7778 – Ext 5E: [[email protected]
Mission Ready Solutions Inc.
(Signed “Buck L. Marshall”)
Buck L. MarshallChief Executive OfficerPh: +1 877.479.7778
Neither TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.
Forward-Looking InformationThis news release contains "forward-looking information" within the meaning of applicable Canadian securities legislation. Generally, forward-looking information can be identified by the use of forward-looking terminology such as "anticipate", "believe", "plan", "expect", "intend", "estimate", "forecast", "project", "budget", "schedule", "may", "will", "could", "might", "should" or variations of such words or similar words or expressions. Forward-looking information is based on reasonable assumptions that have been made by Mission Ready Solutions Inc. as at the date of such information and is subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause the actual results, level of activity, performance or achievements of Mission Ready Solutions Inc. to be materially different from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking information. There can be no assurance that such information will prove to be accurate, as actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such information. Accordingly, readers should not place undue reliance on forward-looking information. Mission Ready Solutions Inc. does not undertake to update any forward-looking information that is included herein, except in accordance with applicable securities laws.
Source: Mission Ready Solutions Inc.
Price Performance Comparison As of 10/07/2020
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2020.10.06 03:22 LegendarySuperMario Item got shipped to the wrong house despite correct info on my shipping label.
| || | submitted by LegendarySuperMario to CanadaPostCorp [link] [comments]
This is the reply I got to my service ticket in regards to my package that they sent to the wrong house despite my shipping address being correct on the shipping label. The problem is the reply I got doesn't say what actions were actually taken so now I'm worried that I could be completely out of luck for not just the package, but the reimbursement too.
My tracking for example is still in the same state of affairs. This package was headed for the correct address in Courtenay for an Oct. 1st delivery date when for some reason it shipped to North Vancouver a day early and delivered without a signature as well. Now I don't even know if it was truly received by a human being or not or where it is in general.
Also, I have gone and replied to the e-mail in hopes that it gets looked over further. If someone here could help me I'd greatly appreciate it as this package was very valuable to me. https://preview.redd.it/dmjkyre2mdr51.png?width=1095&format=png&auto=webp&s=e424e51ca702c6603b49e9c947203d7afa111647
2020.10.05 15:09 origamidreaming I am 33 years old making $335,000, live in London, and work as a lawyer
This is my first MD, a little scary! I've been reading Refinery29 for ages and found this group after the disappointing, fake lawyer MD from "Salt Lake City". Section One: Assets and Debt
I'm single so all amounts are my own, although I've had help from my parents at various points in my life (which I'll note) and I'm very lucky to also have them to support me if life goes completely to the gutter. Everything in this diary is converted into USD and rounded (to the nearest cent for the diary, but nearest $1k more generally) for simplicity using google's exchange rates when I was writing this over the last week.
Section Two: Income
- Retirement balance: $273,000 I worked for the first 7 years of my career in the US and maxed out my 401k every year, none of my employers matched. After leaving both employers, I've rolled them over into IRAs totalling $227,000. I've worked for 3 years in the UK and my employer contributes the minimum required by law ($2,200 per month). I have two "pension pots" in the UK totalling $46,000.
- Home equity: $622,000 I own a 2-bedroom in Vancouver (my parents gifted the deposit of $175,000, I pay for the mortgage) and a 1-bedroom in London (I saved up for the deposit of $165,000, and my other one-time costs to purchase (property tax when buying is most of it but also includes lawyers fees, surveys, etc) totalled $40,000). I have been aggressively paying down my mortgages as I have no idea how better to use my money, I calculated the home equity by taking the purchase price of the apartment minus the remaining mortgage. The apartment in Canada should have appreciated a bit as it was purchased 5 years ago, but the London apartment was purchased last year (not sure this was a good "investment" in terms of money, but it's been an amazing investment for my mental health during COVID -- makes WFH much better).
- Investment account balance: $208,000 in a US account invested in ETFs that track a variety of sectors. I don't buy individual stocks, both because when I used to work in a law firm it was very hard to get clearance to do that (because we had material information) and because it feels too risky to me.
- Checking & savings account balance: $267,000 I don't think of these as much different (I just think of it as very very liquid cash). I keep a couple of thousand pounds in an account that I use for daily purchases on a debit card and this is also where my paycheck goes into, and just transfer money into and out of the account as needed into a separate savings account in the UK. I also have two random checkings accounts in the US and one in Canada which I should probably consolidate but unsure. I probably need a financial or tax advisor . . .
- Credit card debt: None, I don't have a credit card in the UK. In the US, I only used a card to accumulate points (I'd pay off the balance at the end of each month)
- Student loan debt: None, my parents paid for both my undergraduate education in Canada as well as law school in the US (crazy cost difference though, 4 years in Canada was the same as 1 year in the US)
- Main Job Monthly Take Home: $15,000 per month, after taking out $1,400 pre-tax to go into my UK retirement fund and after taking out $11,500 for taxes and national insurance contributions (this is like social security). No deductions for health insurance, because it's the UK :)
- Side Gig Monthly Take Home: None
- Any Other Monthly Income Here: Sort of None My baby brother lives in the 2-bed in Vancouver rent free (I figure it's my way of paying back my parents, he can live here for $0 until he's in the workforce). But he collects about $600 from a roommate, which he then uses to pay the building fees (it is a doorman building with a gym) and property taxes, he also takes care of small maintenance costs.
On income progression, I've been working as a lawyer for 10 years:
Section Three: Expenses
- Year 1 at big law firm in NYC: $165,000 annual salary + $7,500 bonus (bonus was guaranteed unless you were a terrible performer)
- Year 2 at a law firm: $170,000 + $10,000
- Year 3 at a law firm: $185,000 + $20,000
- Year 4 at a law firm: $210,000 + $27,000
- Year 5 at a law firm: $230,000 + $70,000
- Year 6, I moved in-house to a private company: $135,000 (no annual bonus) + some stock options (which are pretty much worthless today). 6 months in, my pay was increased to $175,000 as my boss acknowledged I was performing above what he had envisioned when hiring for the role
- Year 7: $185,000 (no annual bonus)
- Year 8: $215,000 (no annual bonus)
- Year 9: $290,000 (no annual bonus), big jump due to significant promotion
- Year 10: $335,000 + $135,000 target bonus (I don't think of this as earned money at all until it's in my bank account), big jump due to promotion / move laterally
Section 4: Diary DAY 1 SUNDAY - $33.50
- Mortgage: $3,800 for 1 bed in London (I intentionally pay more since I can right now, my actual mortgage is $2,500 per month), $2,800 for 2 bed in Canada (similar, the actual mortgage is $1,400 per month)
- Retirement: See Income section
- Savings/Investment contributions: See Assets & Debts section
- Debt payments: Nothing other than my mortgage
- Donations: Varies by month, I think I donate about $1,000 to $1,500 per month but I don't do a good job tracking because I do not take the charitable tax deduction (in the UK, when you donate, you can click a box which allows the charity to claim your tax relief instead of you personally taking the deduction -- this means that, if you're in the 40% tax bracket, every £1 you donate is worth £1.25 to the charity). I give $250 per month to the ACLU, about $300 per month to two different dog shelters, $100 per month to a mental health crisis line and then donate to causes as they come up primarily through GoFundMe (usually climate or dog related causes).
- Utilities (Electricity, Gas, Water): $150 per month
- Council Tax: $150 per month (this is additional tax in the UK that goes to your local government and used for things like rubbish collection, maintenance of local roads, parks and libraries, and social services)
- Wifi & Cellphone: $75 per month
- Pet: $35 per month for dog food (I feed half kibble and half fresh food), $90 per month for insurance, $80 per month for a dog walker until October (this is $20, once a week). I only need a dog walker once a week because pre COVID times I usually took Doggo to work three times a week, worked from home one day and had a dog walker one day. Now that I'm WFH, when COVID cases were really bad in London, I continued paying the dog walker but we stopped the walks. We re-started the walks when lockdown lifted and I now use the hour to go grocery shopping. See my diaries below for why this is only until end of October, we'll restart in the new year.
- Other: $60 for cleaner (3 hours, once a month); $20 per month for Netflix, Apple storage and Amazon Prime. I don't have a car or gym membership.
I wake up at 7 am . . . My biological clock in COVID times is all sorts of messed up, and I feel like I've been sleep deprived for months. Doggo hears me moving in bed and jumps up for a 15 minute cuddle. I then put on a coat and take her outside for a bathroom break. I feed Doggo and make a cup of tea for myself and then go back to bed. DAY 2 MONDAY - $0
By bed, I mean I scroll through IG and the news for an hour. I doze off eventually and then wake up at 10:30 for a second cuddle session. I finally get dressed while listening to NPR's Consider This. I'm 4 episodes behind, it's the perfect start to the morning. I make avocado toast with a fried egg at 11:15.
I head out to walk Doggo for an hour at noon and regret it 15 minutes in. London has skipped Fall, it feels very much like Winter and I'm not prepared. By the end of the walk, I'm sniffling behind my mask. I treat myself to a blueberry financier from my local cafe ($4.72). I eat half of the cake at home with a second cup of tea, decaffeinated this time, and also eat a box of cherries. Doggo eats her lunch and then passes out.
I spend most of the afternoon decluttering, I go through and organise, swapping out seasonal clothes. I have been watching the Home Edit on Netflix and am obsessed!!! I'm thinking of placing an IKEA/Amazon order for "Product" but hold off. Amazon delivery guy drops off a parcel at 3 pm -- I bought a plant saucer and a trio of pots last week. I've been growing some plants on my patio but now that it's getting cold, need to bring them all in. I spend an hour repotting some herbs. I place a second order for the pots and saucer as they're perfect for the remaining herbs ($28.78).
At 6:30, I make myself some skillet pizza with a side salad for dinner, and eat while addressing some weekend work emails for about 30 minutes. I hop into the shower at 7:30 and spend my evening with a face mask and the Home Edit. Doggo gets her last walk at 9 pm, and then we head to bed. I have a hard time falling asleep so I light a candle, move the phone to another room, and lie in bed for hours.
I wake up at 7:30 am and take Doggo out, make myself a cup of tea, and eat the leftover cake along with strawberries for breakfast. I start work at 8 am, replying to emails and reviewing memos until 10, when I have an hour call with one of my direct reports. DAY 3 TUESDAY - $46.27
After the call, I take Doggo out to the park for an hour. I keep an eye on emails, but nothing too exciting comes up as I work for an American company and it's still early there. When we get back, I heat up leftover pizza for lunch at noon and dive back into work. I start a marathon of calls from 1:30 pm to 4 pm, and then finally turn to other work.
The Amazon delivery guy arrives at 5pm, I take a 30 minute break to repot the remaining herbs before the sun sets, and then head back to work until 7 pm. I feel lazy so make myself avocado toast, peel an orange and eat a spoon of nutella for dinner. I spend the evening listening to the How I Built This podcast and watching the last episode of The House Edit. I'm in bed by 10.
I wake up at 7 am and take Doggo out -- big mistake not wearing a raincoat, so we make it as quick as possible. Doggo gets her breakfast while I make a cup of tea and eat two portions of strawberry yogurt. I work from 7:30-8:15, and then head out to take Doggo to the vet. I'm back home at 9:30, but sadly without Doggo who has been having leg issues this year. The vet recommended that she stay with them until the afternoon for x-rays. Thank goodness for pet insurance, the x-rays cost $940 but it is all covered by the insurer as I've already met my deductible. DAY 4 WEDNESDAY - $59.02
I work from 10 to 12 before taking a quick 15 minute break to make some noodles (Thai inspired peanut noodles -- I made the sauce last week and defrosted overnight). I eat my meal while browsing Reddit and various blogs, and then spend another 15 minutes vacuuming the flat (Doggo sheds!).
I restart work at 1 pm until I pick Doggo up at 5 pm, she's lethargic from being sedated and the vet recommends booking her in for surgery (another £2,600 covered by the insurer). I join a call from 6-7 and then finish addressing other work emails that are time sensitive.
I stop work at 8 pm and let my friends, family and the dog walker know about Doggo's upcoming surgery next week. I'm stressed and decide to place an order on Glossier for cloud paint, balm dotcom and stretch concealer. I use a 10% coupon and it comes out to $46.27. I wash up, browse through the news, and go to bed at 10:30 pm.
I wake up at 7:30 am and take Doggo out, the morning is lovely today (bright blue skies, air nice and crisp!). I work for 45 minutes from 8 while eating granola with milk, and then head to the farmers’ market for some groceries. Meanwhile, the dog walker comes by at 9 to take Doggo to the park (cost is included in my monthly expenses). I ended up buying daikon, coleslaw, brioche rolls, pork ribs, roast turkey, gouda, and salmon ($26.97). DAY 5 THURSDAY - $123.76
I come back from grocery shopping to see a delivery of flowers ($32.05). This is a subscription service where I get a delivery about once every three weeks (approximately how long they. last), but I’ll skip if I don’t like the arrangement. I used to not buy flowers, but it's given me such joy this year. This weeks’ arrangement includes pale pink roses, snowberries, bright pink alstroemeria, purple irises, white lisianthus and eucalyptus.
Doggo comes back from her walk, and she goes to sleep while I restart work. I do a load of laundry at noon, take a 30 minute yoga break, and then make myself a sandwich with coleslaw, turkey, sliced cheese (thank you to the CupofJo blog for the idea, delicious). I finish off the rest of the nutella. Doggo also gets her lunch and a bit of playtime. I dive back into work at 1 pm after putting my clothes in the dryer. I'm on back to back calls from 4 to 6, and then end my workday at 6:30. I make myself some ramen spruced up with bok choi and salad onions from my indoor herb garden.
I decide to shower early at 8 and then watch Schitt's Creek while reading up on the news (last night's debate, omg). I decide to go to bed at 10:30 and pop Doggo into her crate and try locking the door. It's a disaster, she cries and whimpers until 2 am. I wasn't expecting it to be this bad: she used to sleep in a locked crate as a baby and, even as an adult, alternates between sleeping in the crate (unlocked) and on my bed. Once she has her surgery, she'll need to sleep in a locked crate for two months while her legs heal as jumping will undo all the good work. It's devastating and I can't sleep either, I think I fall asleep at 3 am but who knows when.
I'm exhausted but my body wakes up at 7 am anyways. Doggo is quite happy and seems not exhausted at all. I take her for a short walk, give her breakfast, make myself some tea and get to work at 7:30 -- I'll nap later if I can. I catch up on emails, review some documents, and look at candidate resumes for a role that's open on my team. I break at 9:30 to fry an egg to eat with toast and a second cup of tea. I take a 45 minute call at 10, which results in a massive headache (mostly because of the 4 or so hours of sleep, but the call was a mess too). I decide to take Doggo out so we can both get some fresh air. DAY 6 FRIDAY - $45.61
At noon, I get a delivery of plants that I purchased last week! This makes me so happy and motivated to work again. If anyone else is as plant obsessed, I bought Zamioculcas zamiifolia, polyscias fabian, sansevieria moonshine, clusia princess and a new pot. I take a break at 1 pm to eat a lunch of daikon soup and ribs (leftover, defrosted from last week), which watching Criminal on Netflix. It's the French series, I've already finished the UK set. I also feed Doggo her lunch inside her crate with the door locked, a little bit of whimpering but so much better.
Back to work at 2 pm with back to back calls from 2:30-4:30 (way too many calls in COVID times). I finish work at 6:30 after my last call is cancelled. At 7 pm, the doorbell rings again -- my groceries are here! I order online once every two weeks and supplement with weekly trips to the farmers market. Today's grocery bill is $82.27 for baby wipes (for Doggo), toilet paper, hand gel x2, shampoo x2, kleenex x2, toothbrush heads, decaf tea bags, soy sauce, chilli oil, sugar, peanut butter, rice noodles, tomatoes, onions, chicken thigh, melon, salad onions, pizza, mandarins, green beans, bananas, grapes, broccoli.
After unpacking my groceries, I buy a box of roasted cauliflower and greek salad from the cafe downstairs for dinner ($9.67). I place an order for Doggo from Amazon: some powder for small cuts to add to our first-aid kit and a raised dog bowl (supposedly better for her spine) totalling $31.82. We do some training in the evening (tricks for treats!) so she's nice and tired, cuddle in the bed while watching Schitt's Creek, and then I place her into the crate (minimal crying for about 10 minutes tonight, thank you Doggo).
I wake up at 7:30 am, take Doggo out quickly and start a laundry cycle for my sheets, duvet cover and pillow covers. At 8 am, the cleaner comes to do a much better job than I can (included in monthly expenses) and also makes my bed (is anyone else useless at putting duvets in duvet covers?). I give Doggo her breakfast, make myself a cup of tea and I eat some leftover carrot cake. I work from 8:30 to 11, when the cleaner leaves, with a break in between to put the laundry into the dryer. DAY 7 SATURDAY - $17.96
Doggo gets a 15 minute walk (it's pouring!) and then we both eat lunch. I make an arugula salad, with tomatoes, mozzarella and mint & balsamic dressing. I read Lean In for an hour while eating. Yes, I know I'm late to the book club but was curious after seeing all of the comments!
I restart work at 12:30 and end at 5:30 to quickly walk Doggo in the rain and then play with her. I leave her with dinner at 6 and then take an Uber to Boy's place (it's our 4th date). I've been disappointed with Londoners on the tube as many people don't wear masks or don't do it properly so prefer to walk or take Ubers even though it's obviously more expensive.
Boy has been cooking up a storm, we polish off a bottle of wine and then some more, a tomato salad and pasta with lots of cheese. I Uber back right before midnight ($45.61 for two Ubers), I'm not concerned about the Uber turning into a pumpkin but I would never leave Doggo by herself. Sorry Boy (and boys generally), I don't do sleepovers without Doggo. Doggo is the happiest girl and I'm feeling pretty good myself, so we go on a long midnight walk and then some playtime at home. I'm not in bed until 2 am.
I wake up at 10 am and Doggo and I head to the park. The skies don't look great, so we keep the walk relatively short and choose not to take a detour into the farmers market. It's the right decision as it starts pouring at around 11 once we're home. Doggo gets her lunch, while I make myself a BLT with some grapes. I then spend an hour catching up on work emails that came in Friday (evening London time, but business hours America time). I draft a couple of responses so they're ready to go, but wait to send them until Monday. Weekend emails are the worst. TOTAL SPEND: $326.12
I text Boy to say thank you again for the dinner, we flirt a bit and then I get on a call with a group of my best friends at 2 pm to catch up. We all turn the video off because of Zoom fatigue but just hearing their voices is perfect. I spend the afternoon reading up on surgery aftercare for Doggo and place an order for a cold press and an inflatable pet collar that looks soft so that Doggo won't need to wear the cone of shame ($17.96). I then finish Lean In and also go through Criminal (France) on Netflix.
At 7 pm, I start making dinner (salmon with honey and sriracha plus a side salad) and call my brother in Vancouver in the evening to catch up over my dinner and his breakfast. I shower early, put on a face mask, and watch When Harry Met Sally. Doggo joins me during the movie to enjoy some belly rubs, takes her last walk and then we're both in bed by 10:30.
- Food + Drink: $123.63
- Fun / Entertainment: $0
- Home + Health: $60.83
- Clothes + Beauty: $46.27
- Transport: $45.61
- Other: $49.78
This week wasn't too unusual apart from Doggo's costs. Apart from food and treats when we're running low I rarely buy anything for her anymore as we've accumulated a ton of toys, leads, etc. Pre-COVID times I spent more money on transport and food (as I used to eat out for my lunch almost every day in the office), but less money on home and health (I have bought so many plants and spruced up some of my decorations). The beauty purchase is a once a month cost, but I would spend that money in other categories other weeks.
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2020.10.05 05:38 GoneRampant1 [Video Games] The reboot that got rebooted: The rise and fall of DmC: Devil May Cry
Let's cut through the pre-amble:
What is Devil May Cry? Devil May Cry
is an action series developed and published by Japanese company Capcom, beginning with Devil May Cry 1 in 2001 for the Playstation 2 (Here's an advert showing it as part of Sony's holiday lineup
that included landmark gaming titles such as Final Fantasy X, Grand Theft Auto 3, Metal Gear Solid 2 and... Baldur's Gate Dark Alliance). The game series began as a prototype build for Resident Evil 4 that had more of an overt action focus than the acclaimed horror franchise was known for. Rather than scrap the build, Capcom saw potential in the idea of a stylish action game, and gave director Hideki Kamiya
permission to make it a full title.
Kamiya would involuntarily leave the series after DMC 1 as Capcom didn't ask him to work on DMC 2. Instead, a still-to-this-day unknown phantom director was put in charge of the game and he ran it into the ground. With less than half a year before DMC 2's 2003 release, Capcom brought in a new director to course-correct and get the game out for release: Hideaki Itsuno. In less than six months, Itsuno would rally the team, basically make the entire game, and create several features that would go on to become series staples, and while DMC 2 sold well, it was critically panned for being a very boring game. Itsuno, not wanting his reputation to be sullied, came back in 2005 with Devil May Cry 3, generally considered one of the greatest action games of all time. From here several core traits are instilled: chief among which being style meters that track the player's skill with combos and Dante having a style system that lets him use different movesets.
And it's in 2008 with the release of Devil May Cry 4, marking the series going multiplatform for the first time as it came out on the PS3 and Xbox 360, that this story really begins:
The build up to 2010
With DMC 4's release in 2008, Capcom set the sales expectation
that the game would sell 1.8 million units by the end of the fiscal year. DMC 4 would sell two million units in under a month
, but Capcom were a bit unimpressed. They were hoping that now that DMC was on a wider range of platforms that the sales would correspondingly go up, but instead the game just saw a modest increase over DMC 3. The cost of game development had also shot up in the new console generation, making Capcom more concerned about DMC4's sales just being fine,
especially coming off of huge sales juggarnauts from 2007 such as Halo 3, Call of Duty Modern Warfare and Bioshock. (It doesn't help that DMC 4 had a very rushed development leading to the now infamous case of Dante's playable chapters just being Nero's but backwards)
Japan at the time was also in a weird place when it came to gaming. The mobile phone gaming market was about to take off, and the playerbase in Japan was already smaller than the worldwide market for obvious reasons. In the home regions, it was safer to look into handheld gaming, and while Capcom had dallied
with the idea of a DMC game on the Playstation Portable (at one point considering a remake of the first game that reached in-game screenshots and box art that was quietly shelved for unknown reasons, alongside a prequel focusing on Dante's father Sparda), these ideas never left the ground. Seeing how Western markets were more traditionally concerned with console gaming at this time (and the success of the God of War franchise proved Action was a genre people wanted), Capcom's idea was simple:
Give their IPs to Western studios and let them take a crack at it, with the idea being their knowledge of what the West wants
would let the games sell better. The results were mixed. The Bionic Commando reboot is nowadays more known for the twist of YOUR WIFE IS THE ROBOT ARM and only sold 27,000 units in a month,
but Dead Rising did fairly well under a Capcom Vancouver branch until Dead Rising 4 happened
and uh... kinda killed the series because it was awful.
Capcom eventually set their sights on giving the West a crack at DMC, leading to them eyeballing several studios. This worked out well for them in that Itsuno was also burnt out. After having spent five straight years on DMC and having redeemed its image after DMC 2, Itsuno was ready to take a break and make his dream game: Dragon's Dogma,
a dark fantasy game that is very fun. It got a Netflix anime adaptation recently that is... not as fun. But while Itsuno was making Dragon's Dogma, Capcom had some time to spitball handing the series off. They eventually settled on Ninja Theory, an up and coming British team best known for Heavenly Sword (a very pretty game with mediocre action combat and a priority on storytelling), and Enslaved: Odyssey to the West (a modernisation of Journey to the West that was very pretty but priotizied story over gameplay). Rumors began to circulate in early 2010
that Ninja Theory had acquired the license and would be making a prequel focusing on Dante's early days, but it would only become clear at Tokyo Games Show that year when DmC: Devil May Cry* was formally announced.
And the fanbase collectively hated it.
(* Yes that does technically mean this reboot's name is Devil may Cry: Devil May Cry. I'm going to call it DmC from here to differentiate it from the core series)
The TGS Trailer
For those unaware of DMC, I should stress that by 2010, it had a reputation for a certain flair and theatics. Dante was known to be a goofball in cutscenes, taunting enemy demons and making a mockery of them. He has an entire cutscene in DMC 4
where he acts like he's on the stage of a theatre with how grandious he is. People liked Dante for this reason, he was a breath of fresh air in a time when most protagonists were stotic, gritty jerks who only talked in curse words and gravelly shouts. And his flowing white hair was also certainly iconic. So here comes the new take on Dante, the West giving him a go and oh... hoo boy.
There's no charisma, there's no panache. The trailer has no gameplay. Dante doesn't look like a trash talker, he looks like a meth addict. He's smoking, something the DMC 1 design documents said Dante would never do as (per Kamiya) smoking is uncool. His hair isn't even white!
Now let me be clear: I am not opposed to a new take on Dante. Certainly, the idea presented in the reveal trailer that Dante is imaging the demons he fights as an acute case of psychosis is an interesting idea, as it raises the question of whether or not the demons are real or if he's senselessly killing random people. But the execution would have had to be perfect, and opening with just a fancy trailer that had no signs of gameplay for an action
franchise was not the right foot to start on.
What doesn't help was that the entire Western Capcom initiative was one pushed by a very controversial figure in gaming called Keiji Inafune,
who would leave Capcom right after DmC's announcement in 2010. Inafune was the one most strongly advocating for the western development approach (Something Capcom were quick to stress in 2010 after his departure)
, but with his departure the movement had less steam. Inafune would go on to make Mighty Number 9, a Kickstarter that went miserably wrong on every turn and is usually seen as one of the most disappointing games of the 2010s.
I should also point out here: Dante's radically different design
from the norm of the series was a mandate imposed by Capcom. Ninja Theory's original concept art for Dante was much more closer to his traditional design-
white hair, red coat and all. But Capcom, and Itsuno especially, were adament that if Ninja Theory were going to be doing something new with the franchise, that they needed to go off the cuff- in Capcom's own words, "Go crazy."
So Dante got a new color palette, a darker jacket and black hair. But at the time (this news only came out two years after the redesign was revealed), people didn't know about Capcom explicitly telling NT to go off the rails, and what they saw... was Ninja Theory going off the rails in the wrong
So from the word go, fans aren't happy. Fans are usually never happy but I mean they were unhappy.
Chief Creative director for Ninja Theory Tameen Antionades said after the reveal: “The vitriol was immediate, aggressive and relentless for the next two years. Without a second of gameplay being shown, it had been written off as a disaster in the making.”
Tameen would become the ball and chain around DmC's marketing, which is quite apparent in how Ninja Theory would dial back on his appearances as we get closer to the game's release. The backlash to the launch clearly surprised Ninja Theory and caught them off guard, with Tameen publically lashing out at the original fanbase for writing the game off or being unhappy at Dante's visual redesign. This would go on to dominiate the discussions about DmC for its pre-release cycle, as it became less about the game and more about the community and whether or not the response was justified (alongside in typical internet fashion, a few death threats being tossed around which apparently included a full metal song)
. No matter which side of it you lean on though, Tameen had habit of putting his foot in his mouth in regards to PR:
- When asked by Venturebeat how he felt about the fan reaction to the TGS trailer, Tameen (and I am quoting them word for word here) “took a drag of his cigarette and without blinking or pausing to exhale the smoke from his mouth, said: ‘I don’t care.’”
- Tameen went on to insult Dante's original costume in a later interview when saying that what was and wasn’t cool had changed in the years since DMC1: “If Dante, dressed as he was, walked into any bar outside of Tokyo, he’d get laughed out.”
- Finally, he disparaged the original series for its depiction of women, particularly the demon hunters Trish and Lady, saying: "I've nothing against big tits - I'd rather have my head resting on a pair right now - but if you're going to try and stimulate someone on different levels, there's better ways to do it... We did that in Enslaved with Trip. People loved her, not because she had big breasts and high heels, but because she felt like someone who could be your girlfriend. That to me is more attractive than a prostitute walking around with a big gun." The idea that Tameen was dismissing Lady and Trish (Lady especially has basically the largest character arc in DMC3 and it's as much her story as Dante's) irked the fanbase.
Capcom likely stepped in behind the scenes and encourged a few changes. Notably, Dante's design underwent a few shifts, including making him more muscular and rewriting portions of the game to give him a few more of Old!Dante's trademark quips. A few voice actor was also cast, named Tim Phillips... though NT wouldn't budge on the haircut as it was part of the story. The Dante psychosis/prisoner angle from the TGS trailer was also completely scrapped from the final product, having Dante instead be confirmed to be sane and fighting demons, not people. Even though Capcom had encouraged NT to go off the rails... money still reigns supreme and Capcom wanted to turn a profit. So closer to release, Capcom made a point of stressing that Itsuno and several other DMC veteran staff were supervising the combat system and offering guidance. Combat designer Rahni Tucker spoke positively of the exchanges she had with Itsuno:
While Capcom Japan kept a close eye on Ninja Theory’s work on DmC’s characters, story and world, its greatest focus was, naturally, on the game’s combat. Itsuno and other key personnel would visit the studio in Cambridge every few months to check in on its progress, Ninja Theory staff would often make the trip out to Japan, and in between those times there would be regular video conferences and daily email updates. All that communication helped to unify the two companies, despite a fundamental split between their approaches to game development: Ninja Theory liked to start with the visual design, and Capcom with the mechanics. Modestly, Itsuno admits he learned a lot from the collaboration; Tucker believes she picked up an awful lot more. “I learnt so much,” she says. “Itsuno would speak philosophically about how he approaches combat and enemy design. They build most of the player’s set of actions first, and then think about the things they can build to allow players to exploit particular elements of the system they’ve designed. They really put the emphasis of the baddie design back onto the player’s actions. It’s kind of obvious, but just the way that he spoke about it was inspiring, and it made a lot of sense to me.”
The damage however, was long done. Even with the post-TGS revisions, DmC was facing an uphill battle from the community, with a minority waiting to give it a try themselves before casting judgement, but the majority either being apathetic or downright hostile to the game, not helped by Tameen's attitude creating the idea that Ninja Theory inherently hated what made Devil May Cry good (again, keep in mind most players wouldn't learn that Capcom were pushing for the radical Dante changes until years post-release). Ultimately though, Capcom themselves are to blame for the choices that impacted DmC: Ninja Theory were only doing their jobs to the best of their abilities and for the most part many of the staff clearly loved getting to work on such a popular franchise and boosting their studio's name. It came down an unfortunate blend of Capcom misreading what people wanted from future projects, an attempt to appeal to a Western market that fell on its face, and a director unprepared for the mass backlash his product got.
Either way, the game finally came out in early 2013.
The game itself
Eh, it was OK.
DmC launched in March 2013 and got decent reviews on all platforms, getting a consistent 8/10 on all platforms on Metacritic. The PC port was especially praised for its sheer variety of features including an uncapped framerate. Critics quite liked it, praising the story and art direction, feeling it was a necessary step for the series to make the games somewhat easier to let newcomers in without facing as daunting a challenge as the games could be (I'm pretty sure learning how to fly a plane is easier than mastering Dante in Devil May Cry 4). Old Dante's most famous voice actor, Reuben Langdon, spoke on a podcast about the game and admitted that while he wasn't fond of the new Dante's characterisation, he applauded Ninja Theory's craftsmenship.
The fanbase were colder, even with the pre-release biases set aside (this wasn't helped by Platinum, helmed by several ex-DMC 1 developers including Kamiya, releasing Metal Gear Rising Revengeance also in 2013. Metal Gear Rising is a very good game that involves flipping giant robots
and fighting a very actractive Brazillian man with a gun-sheath sword
). The game's framerate on consoles was capped at 30FPS for technical reasons when all prior games ran at 60FPS. Dante had lost a lot of his mechanical complexity (including DMC 3 and 4's style system which offered Dante special abilities he could switch between such as more sword and gun combos, blocking and dodging) in favour of a more universal moveset. The Devil Trigger super mode was pretty lame and automatically knocked all enemies into the air, which people didn't like as it made most encounters too easy. Building up style was too easy and the game had no systems to stop you spamming the same combos over and over. The game's weapon system of angel/demon themed weapons included color-coded enemies that forced you to use the right gear or you'd be punished. There was no Turbo Mode, a feature in most games that automatically boosted the game's speed by 20% on average.
Ninja Theory still made a good action game, albeit one that needed a bit more refinement to reach its true potential. But the lack of several core features (or worse, poorly implemented iterations of said features) led to the fanbase adopting a term:
"It's a good game, but it's not a good Devil May Cry."
The fanbase were willing to concede to the good aspects of the game- especially in audiovisual aspects. Enemies now got a subtitle during their first appearance, weapons getting a slight glint when the player pauses to let them know they can launch a pause combo attack, the soundtrack was now dynamic and evolved up the higher your style rank got, alongside the killing blow at the end of a fight getting a cinematic camera angle. Ninja Theory's sense of style itself was something that impressed the Capcom team, as all of these aspects were modified and adopted into the mainline games come 2019. The game was also very beautiful in places, leaving the Gothic archetecture of the main games for a more European feel in Limbo City. Madrid in Spain and Genoa in Italy are clear influences on the archetecture, and the design team adapt them well in making Limbo a city that is itself a weapon trying to kill Dante through compressing alleyways, closing off paths or mocking him through writing on the walls, Splinter Cell Conviction style. Combichrist and Noisia's collaberations for the soundtrack were also praised between their licensed work and new music composed just for the game, especially the songs Never Surrender
and Throat Full of Glass.
But for all the praise, reluctant or otherwise, that game got mechanically, the story that the critics had acclaimed as mature and a right step forward had few supporters among the playerbase. There's been a lot written and said about DmC's story so I'll cap off the highlights here:
- Dante, even after the TGS revisions, was still far too crass and unlikeable. A scene early on in the game was also seen as a potshot at fans of the old games as a response to the TGS backlash where a mop falls on Dante's head, making him look like his older self, before he snarks "Not in a million years" and throws the mop aside. Fans quickly took to several creative nicknames to refer to this new iteration of the character, with the most popular being DINO (Dante In Name Only) or Donte. Fans hated Donte's personality so much that they began unironically championing the Spanish dub of the game due to his dub actor having more fun in the role, leading to people making mods to highlight the misadventures of Donté, el exterminador de demonios. Dante being changed from a half-human half-demon to half-angel half-demon also led to mocking jokes comparing Dante to the Adam Sandler film Little Nicky.
- The game relied far too heavily on swearing, with the exchange between Dante and Succubus becoming infamous for the lines "Fuck you!" "Fuck you!" "FUCK YOUUUUUUUUUUU." A scene with Dante and Vergil where the two engage in brotherly banter only for Vergil to end the argument with "And I've got a bigger dick" also went viral for all the wrong reasons.
- Dante's brother Vergil in the core series is a man of MOTIVATION who would sooner cut his throat than admit to anything being stronger than him, alongside someone who hates firearms. Entire essays have been written about how amazing Vergil is in Devil May Cry 3 and in some communities, his name has become synonymous with the rival archetype. Here, he's presented as a thinly veiled analogue to the Anonymous movement (you can carbon date this game to early 2010s in general with the Anonymous analouges and WAKE UP SHEEPLE energy), openly admits to Dante that "I'm powerless to stop you" from just leaving his goal to stop the demons, and in the most infamous scene of the game, uses a sniper rifle to shoot a pregnant woman in the chest, blowing out her entire stomach, before headshotting her. To make things even worse for the reputation of this version of Vergil (who had been mockingly named Vergin), the launch version of DmC had him wearing a fedora. In 2013. I don't think I need to add anything to that if you remember what became of the fedora around 2013.
- Despite Tameen's comments about women in video games and "prostitutes with guns," DmC was reviled for how deeply mysoginistic the game truly was. Kat (the one heroic female character in the game and the only female character to survive the game), had several far more revealing costumes planned in concept art (Alongside the idea that Kat fought with a violin weapon pre-Lindsay Sterling which was pretty cool). Here's one of the better pieces of art where Kat was planned to be a biker chick with platinum blonde hair. Kat is ultimately a vehicle for Dante's character development as he softens up around her, only for her to be kidnapped and brutalized by the police. Dante and Vergil then kidnap the mistress of Mundus (the main antagonist) who is pregnant with his child, and trade the two women off like Pokemon cards (the camera in the trade scene, linked above in the Vergin section), leading back to the Sniper Rifle Abortion. The fanbase got very creative with memes relating to that part of the game. Kat's main involvement in the final act of the game is just to give Dante a map of the building she was tortured in, then hide behind a dumpster when Dante and Vergil come to blows over whether or not they should rule humanity. And in the re-release of the game, the final cutscene is modfied so the last shot of the game is Dante copping a feel of Kat's ass.
The end was an OK game let down by a bad story. The tale of many a game. And unfortunately, partly thanks to the game just not being good enough for the DMC pedigree, DmC underperformed. Capcom initally hoped for 2 million units to be sold like DMC 4, but later quietly lowered their projections down to 1.2 million. Some rumors speculate
that Capcom had to artifically boost the game's sale numbers by counting anyone who downloaded the game when it was for free as part of Playstation Plus in January 2014 (games that go on PS+ or Microsofft's Xbox Live Games with Gold service are usually games that are either selling so well they can take the hit, are past their lifespan and looking to reignite the playerbase, or did very badly and this is a last ditch effort to get interest into the game). While not speaking directly about DmC, Capcom spoke frankly in a financial report regarding their Western outsourcing, attributing the lack of success to a "delayed response to the expanding digital contents market," "insufficient coordination between the marketing and the game development divisions in overseas markets," and a "decline in quality due to excessive outsourcing"
. The long and the short of it was: DmC flopped commerically, failing to meet the sales of DMC 4 in the West (which remember was Capcom's entire reason for the reboot)
when it was released on the exact same platforms, and the consoles had a larger install base due to five years having passed. For what it's worth, Itsuno himself support the game and approved of Ninja Theory's efforts, even saying he'd have been honored to work on a DmC Devil May Cry 2 had Capcom gone with that project.
Some post-launch support would follow, including DLC costumes based on concept art for Dante and several alt skins based on his DMC 1 and 3 appearances, Bloody Palace (basically a time trial gauntlet run) and a campaign focusing on Vergil that sets up a sequel hook which never gets followed up on.
Some Ninja Theory staffers didn't take the news well, especially as they knew that their reputation was going to take a large hit after DmC. Art director Alessandro Taini gave a GDC talk
where he went on a weird rant involving editing DMC 4 Dante into stills from... Brokeback Mountain and Batman and Robin, while also saying reboot Dante was based on... Tyler Durden from Fight Club (for those who don't know Fight Club, you're not meant to agree with Tyler or find him a role model)
. Keep in mind that this is Taini basically shit-talking character designs he had no hand in making. In a hilaripus twist of irony, Dante would later in the series get a cowboy hat
as a weapon. Revenge is a dish best served cold.
Capcom up to this point had been going back and forth on what DmC even was- was it a prequel, a reboot, an alternate universe? They seemed to change the answer every month. But after the game's failure to meet expectations commercially, they quietly settled on it being based on an alternate universe, as was confirmed in of all things, Donte appearing as a DLC alt skin for Dante in Marvel vs Capcom Infinite.
(While I'm on the topic of weird fighting game trivia, Donte actually also got a full fighting game appearance in the "classic," Playstation All Stars Battle Royale as an attempt to market DmC ahead of its release. Yes, Donte technically didn't even debut in his own game. This story is so weird to me! In the trailer he even fights the protagonist of previous Ninja Theory game Heavenly Sword)
In 2015, Capcom re-released the game for the new consoles as DmC: Devil May Cry: Definitive Edition.
This was largely helmed by the Capcom team in Japan who modified the game to make it more in line with DMC's series standards of gameplay. And you know what? It's really good! Genuinely, it actually makes the game and takes it from "A good attempt" to "one of the best Western attempts at action games period." 60FPS on consoles, all DLC included, Turbo Mode was back, a new mode called Must Style where you have to get an S Rank in combos before your attacks do damage, all alongside an insanely detailed changelog penned by Rahni Tucker.
The one downside? It never got released on PC for unsaid reasons, presumably that most of the new gameplay additions... were based on mods made by the PC fanbase. Mods you can no longer find as the site storing them has gone down.
However even with this, DmC would get sand in its eye one more time. In the same year, Capcom released a similar re-release of DMC 4 called Special Edition. It was far more bare bones than DmC: DE, only adding three new playable characters in Lady, Trish and MOTIVATION Man himself, Vergil. Despite the game only getting a physical release in Japan and being digital only here in the West (whereas DmC: DE got a full release), Capcom eventually said that DMC 4 SE obliterated
the DE in sales, with Capcom specifically saying that 4SE's digital sales led to a better quarter in 2015 than they were anticipating.
As of 2020 (due to Capcom counting their re-releases of games separately than the original release when it comes to sales), we know that DMC4SE has sold 1.5 million units,
while DmC: DE sold 1.1 million.
However, ultimately, I'm very joyful to admit that everyone got a happy ending!
No, literally, everyone came out of this for the better. Ninja Theory in 2017 would release Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice,
a critical and commerical darling made on a self-styled "AA" budget that was praised for its handling of mental health through the lens of its MC Senua. It made its budget back easily, they're now owned by Microsoft and they're currently working on a sequel called Senua's Saga: Hellblade 2. Capcom would bounce back from their slump in the Early 2010s, beginning in 2017 with the releases of Resident Evil 7, Monster Hunter World and a certain title I'll mention in a minute. They've been releasing hit after hit for the last four years and they have more on the horizon. And Itsuno, now having made Dragon's Dogma, came back raring to go with more Devil May Cry. Though there are some rumors by Dante's voice actor that he had to threaten to leave Capcom to get it, at E3 2018 as part of the Microsoft panel, Itsuno took to the stage and announced: "DMC IS BACK!!!"
(Watching people react to this trailer and freaking out when they see it's DMC gives me so much serotonin)
Thanks for reading this... long disaster of a post. Have a good one, and remember to keep this party crazy. Let's rock. :)
Additional reading if you'd like more words on this reboot:
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to HobbyDrama [link] [comments]
2020.10.04 15:16 portlane Christine Katica (January 10, 1946 - September 10, 2020)
CHRISTINE MARY KATICA
January 10, 1946 - September 10, 2020
Christine Mary Katica passed away peacefully on Sept. 10, 2020, in Vancouver, WA.
Christine was born on Jan. 10, 1946, in Seattle, WA, the second of eight children. She attended St. Anne Elementary School, Holy Names Academy and Gonzaga University, where she received her BA in Humanities and met her future husband, John Henry Harrison.
John and Christine had two sons, John Benjamin Harrison and Daniel Christian Harrison. They settled in Vancouver. While working full time and raising her two sons, Christine returned to school and received her MBA from the University of Portland.
In 1982, she began her career as Marketing Services Manager at Columbia Sportswear Company. In her position with the company, Christine traveled extensively and gained a great love and respect for other cultures of the world. She remained with the company until 2008, when she retired after a 26-year tenure.
Christine had a passion for outdoor activities, and with her sons spent many weekends windsurfing and fishing lakes and rivers of the west. She loved salmon fishing and crabbing on the many trips she took to Whidbey Island, WA, throughout her life. Her energy and talent were boundless. She was an excellent cook and a gardening enthusiast. She loved to read, was an accomplished violinist, and sang in the choir at the Church of the Good Shepherd.
Christine was beautiful, graceful, artistic, sassy, smart, and a lot of fun. She will be sorely missed by her family and her many friends.
Christine is survived by her two sons, John and Daniel Harrison; sisters, Eileen and Jane Katica, Molly Thompson (Jack); and brothers, John (Annie) and James (Sally) Katica.
She is preceded in death by her parents, John Katica and Mary Aylward (Richard); and her brothers, Thomas and Philip Katica.
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, there will be no memorial service, though a celebration of life is being planned and will be announced at a later date. Condolences can be sent to [email protected]
Please share a memory @ www.columbian.com/obits
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to deadpeoplepdx [link] [comments]
2020.10.03 23:51 onehumpedcamel Clarification on CERB payment length 28weeks
So I am an Irish citizen who has been living in Canada for the last 4 years. I was on a 1 year working holiday visa in Melbourne when covid happened (I stayed from Sept 2019 to June 2020) and lost my job there in hospitality due to covid as well. I have proof of this as well. Before I left I was working full time hours in a club in Vancouver in 2019 and have an ROE stating before September 2019 I have worked over 120 hours. I returned to Toronto in July and have been received CERB through the cra for July, August and September and have applied for countless number of jobs since then. I also believe they are going to bring back Phrase 2 as well, so jobs will be even more scare.
My question is 2-fold. 1) To my understanding and from the cra website I was eligible to receive CERB when I returned in July - it doesn't state anywhere you had to lose your job from Covid IN Canada or that you had to have been resided in Canada since March or earlier this year in order to receive it. Was I correct in this assumption or does anyone else have information to suggest otherwise?
Further financial assistance through EI/ CRB EI: Depending from what date I have to have worked the 120 hours in Canada, I may or may not be able to apply for EI. The question is when are those dates from (I believe covid and have been receiving CERB changes that as well). Anyone know? I know I can apply for EI through my service account right now - but I do not have a PAC (am going to call tomorrow to try and get one or an appointment for one).
CRB: I appear to be eligible. - To my understanding I will be able to manually reapply through CRA for CRB when that option opens on October 12th.
I'm getting nervous about the amount of time this may all take as I will be close to broke trying to pay my rent on November 1st if I don't get any financial assistance before then - although if I do receive it, I know it will be back-dated. Does anyone know if me being a returning permanent resident or anything else will hinder my eligibility for having received and for receiving financial assistance going forward through EI or CRB? Thanks everyone in advance. Just trying to control my stress and find out some answers that sadly the internet has failed to provide me!!
submitted by onehumpedcamel
to EICERB [link] [comments]
2020.10.03 02:30 Sober_Friend Hello, friends!
Hi friends, just want to introduce myself.
My name is Wendy and I'm an alcoholic. My sobriety date is December 11th 2010. I was 26 when I came into AA, and I haven't had a drink since my first meeting. I have a Higher Power, I have a sponsor, and I am a sponsor. I have a home group, and I have a service position at my home group. I read the Big Book, and I work the 12 Steps. I live in Vancouver, Canada.
I have lurked Reddit for a long time, and decided to make an account only so I can post on sober subreddits and hopefully be of service somehow! When I need to get out of my own head but I only have a moment to spare, I think it might be nice to open up this app and spread some encouragement here. I thought it would be better to introduce myself first before I start randomly commenting!
Step 10 says:
Continue to watch for selfishness, dishonesty, resentment, and fear. When these crop up, we ask God at once to remove them. We discuss them with someone immediately and make amends quickly if we have harmed anyone. Then we resolutely turn our thoughts to someone we can help. Love and tolerance of others is our code.
So thank you all for participating in my recovery!
submitted by Sober_Friend
to alcoholicsanonymous [link] [comments]
2020.09.30 19:45 PathViz Key Grip / Film Technician - Sets Worked on: Altered Carbon, SEE, Pacific Rim, The Witcher... (Vancouver, BC)
Publish Date 7/14/20
Total Compensation $122,000
Years of experience 5.0
Recommended Education No Education
Job/Career Demand 4.5
Positive Impact 1.5
Work-Life Balance 1.5
Compensation & Benefits 4.5
Work Environment 4.5
What's a day in the life of a key grip/film technician?
Before COVID, you would show up and eat breakfast with everyone (meal provided), have a meeting with the Assistant Director, review the call sheet (lists the scenes planned and the required specialty equipment), and let the actors rehearse the scene. Meanwhile, we set up the lighting and cameras, and all-day-long, we are taking directions from the Director. For example, the Director might say, “I want a 150 ft. dolly tracking shot from here to here,” the lighting director would indicate where the lights are going and set everything up. Essentially, our core job is to light the scene and to get the cameras set up where they want. Rinse repeat for 12-14 hours a day, 60-70 hours a week. A TV show can run anywhere from 6-10 months, a feature film might run 3-6 months, and nowadays, streaming services can last anywhere from 2-12 months. Because the work periods are so long, I will often space in extended 2-3 months breaks to travel and live my life a bit.
Within the grip department, there are different specialties: dolly grip, crane technician, rigging grip. The dolly grips operate camera dollies, maintain the track, and operate the camera cranes; rigging grips use ropes to hang cameras from ceilings, cars, buildings and often work from considerable heights.
What's the best part of being a key grip/film technician?
The cool thing about working in the industry is every job you could ever imagine goes into making a film. From paints to construction, sculpting, costumes, makeup, camera, lighting, electrical, there’s probably 15 different departments on a set. If you don’t think gripping is for you, there’s always another area that might pique your interest. I’ve personally worked as a lighting technician and a camera assistant when there was a need, and the opportunity arose. You’re always one person away from being able to ask the question you want, and most people will give you advice on how to break into their type of work. Once you’re in the system, you can go anywhere, but getting in can be quite challenging.
To be successful, you need to get the timing right, it needs to be busy, and you have to be in the right place at the right time. Some of its luck, but if you’re there long enough, you’ll usually get an opportunity. I like to say, “stand next to the person whose job you want and wait for them to get fired.” Surprisingly, this happens all the time, and I got promoted on several occasions.
Once you’re in the role, the pay can be pretty well; I’ll typically make about $1,600 - $2,400/week (Canadian Dollars, after-tax). All of the films I’ve worked on have been out of Vancouver, Canada, but my understanding is that you can make even more for the same type of work in Hollywood. For a job that doesn’t require a university education or any prior technical training, it’s one of the best out there. If you did this straight out of high school, you could set yourself up for a great future.
There’s a lot of sub-par grips out there; it’s easy to be big fish in a small pond (be in the top 10%) if you’re motivated and have half a brain.
What's the downside of being a key grip/film technician? Words of caution?
It might take longer than you think to get where you want. I got my union membership in 3 months, but it takes a couple of years for most people. The hours can be long and very draining, and there can be a lot of uncertainty with your next job, especially when you are just starting. If you get invited for a day call, do the best you can because if you don’t do a good job, you most likely won’t be invited back. It helps to know as much as you can so you make the most of your limited opportunities.
You need to be continually hustling, so if that’s not in your nature, it’s going to be difficult. Be prepared to have thick skin, don’t take things too personally if people criticize your work; it’s a high-stress environment. People who come in with a lot of attitude or big egos, typically don’t last long. Respect the old-timers, laugh at their stupid jokes, and do what they tell you. There’s a hierarchy present, and you need to learn to play the game.
Describe the path you took to become a key grip/film technician
In North America, most film sets are unionized, so breaking into the industry isn’t always easy. The path I see most people take is to start as a production assistant, where you’re making minimum wage and at the absolute lowest position on the totem pole. You’re opening doors for people, getting coffee, you’re in the parking lot parking cars, etc. It’s a constant hustle, and you need to make the most out of your limited opportunities. The goal is to get someone to like you enough to give you a shot in one of their departments. I did this for three months, and the entire time I was asking anyone who would listen to give me advice.
My opportunity came in the form of a day call on a grip crew, and I was able to impress everyone enough to be called back. Generally, that’s how it goes; you need to make the most out of your opportunities. Once you have 90 days of experience, you’re eligible to join the union, and once you’re in the union, you’re in the system. It’s a weird industry in the sense that there are no job postings, no interviews, resumes; it’s all word of mouth and connections.
What skills are needed to be a key grip/film technician?
It’s good to have a foundation of hands-on technical skills before you decide to get into it. Ask yourself, “do I like to build things?” “am I a practical problem solver?” Being honest with yourself is crucial. For example, you might have two pipes, an elastic band, and a piece of chewing gum, and you need to mount a camera to the side of a bus with just those materials. Do you feel confident you can figure it out? Is that type of work something you would enjoy? If the answers are no, it might not be a good fit.
It could be helpful to have a background in steel-working, hand tools, ropes, and a general interest in filmmaking and cameras. I think it’s cool to see how things look behind the screen, and my desire to understand how things work motivates me. You might find the same if you want to know how movies get made, work towards making your films, or climb the ladder.
What's the future outlook for a key grip/film technician?
Three months ago, I would have said the outlook for film/television was very strong. Everyone was competing to build the best content libraries to become the most prominent streaming service, and there hasn’t been this much TV creation probably ever. I don’t know how long this will last for and post-COVID, it’s tough to predict. There’s so much close contact required in film making, and it’s unclear how they’re going to solve these technical challenges. I think the prospects are still good because people are consuming more content than ever before, but there’s a lot of uncertainty.
Everything shut down because of the pandemic, and I don’t know what the work-life will be like when it restarts. The enjoyable aspects of it, the social interaction, the messing around/joking may change because of the new measures, and the heightened seriousness. I have a 4-month job coming up so that will be interesting to see. Historically, a lot of the money you make is during overtime, but I’ve heard rumors that hours are reducing to cope with COVID. We’ll see how much this affects compensation in the short-term, but it’s something to consider. I’m still very optimistic about the long-term prospects for the next 3-5 years, but the next 6-12 months might not be the best time to get into it. I can foresee the unions limiting how many new members they accept.
I could also be wrong about this, so take everything with a grain of salt. I’ll provide an update once I know more.
I think being a grip (film technician) is an amazing career for people who don’t fit into other professions. A film set is a bunch of misfits who can’t work in offices, and it can be a great place if you’re looking for like-minded people. You meet a full spectrum of brilliant individuals; in fact, I’m often amazed by how extraordinary some of these people are. The pay is excellent, and there’s a lot of flexibility if you want to take time off, travel, or live abroad for a few months. If you do it right, it can be a great job.
This post originated from the website PathViz
. Comments will be live on our site within a couple of weeks; the original poster may also reply to any potential Reddit comments as well :)
submitted by PathViz
to JobProfiles [link] [comments]
2020.09.27 21:24 zestybestie Looking for an English-speaking priest in São Paulo
Oi, tudo bem? My fiancé (31M) is a Brazilian living in SP and I'm (27F) Canadian living in Vancouver. We got engaged last October and were supposed to get married next month, but due to covid obviously had to postpone (still haven't decided on the new date).
I was raised in a Catholic household, and so my parents request that I have a Catholic wedding even though my fiancé is not religious. He is okay with it, but we have been having trouble getting information on the process.
He went to visit a local Catholic church in his neighbourhood (Paulista) and also a church in the city of the wedding venue (Cotia), but they gave very different suggestions. It doesn't help that he doesn't really understand the process but still has to translate everything to me. For that reason we've still gotten nowhere in our wedding planning hahaha.
I'm thinking that maybe he could talk to an English-speaking priest located in SP for advice so that communication between the three of us go smoothly. Basically we want to ask:
- Because of the pandemic, we can't travel to visit each other. Would it be possible to take the marriage prep class (curso de noivos) online? We see many services offering curso de noivos online and it would be the most efficient for us compared to taking the course in Brazil together and my fiancé needing to translate for me.
- Since my fiancé doesn't belong to any church, could we pick a church anywhere in SP and get married there?
It would be great if anyone knows a thing or two about this topic. We are getting anxious and really need some help. Obrigada!
submitted by zestybestie
to brasil [link] [comments]
2020.09.26 19:55 Joshyboii55 Comfortably misery with current employment. No energy to move forward, but need a change.
Hello everyone, I appreciate you taking the time to read this post. I work as a Unionized Industrial Labourer at a Limestone Plant working with chemicals such as hydrated lime (calcium hydroxide), quicklime, high amounts of silica, as stone is turned to powder for processing, and bagging. I'm dealing with some severe depression, and want to change my career. Not the most healthy of careers, but it pays. I will go through the pros and cons and then move on to my dilemma here.
Great benefits package, pension, etc
$28 an hour wage with 3 percent yearly raise ($30 by 2023)
"Secured" & "stable" union career, Steady year round employment.
Paid vacation 3 weeks a year, 4 weeks at 9 years, and 5 weeks after 18 years of service.
Work is relatively easy and straightforward. So easy work, nothings hard, very simple once learned. Very laid back majority of the time.
All breaks are paid for.
Everything is compensated for gear, coveralls, work gear, $500 work voucher for steel toes and rain gear
The job is close to home
Tons of overtime in the summer if I so desired, with double time after 10 hours. $45 on overtime, and on double time it would be $50. ( I don't work extra hours ever)
50k annual income a year with no overtime at all, and possibilities go up to 80k but unlikely. (I personally don't work overtime because I have grown hating the work, and the people.
Work is extremely repetitive
Very hot in the summer months, very cold in the winter, majority of work is outdoors, some indoors
Traffic route into work is one direction, can back up big time, and even with good time, causes me to become late (industrial area, lots of big slow trucks, and train tracks) *I get attacked for this*
Extremely mentally taxing due to the work being so numbing, especially with long hours in the summer, if chosen to work them (not mandatory). I feel like I've learned everything I could, and have no desire to learn anything else there, as I dont enjoy the work.
Labour intensive at times, mostly in the winter, shovelling, bending, heavy lifting....
Work is DUSTY, VERY DUSTY AND DIRTY, SILICA IS AIRBORNE ALL OVER. Always need to wear my respirator in hot/cold elements outside, which is uncomfortable, and this dust storm of a workplace can't completely be avoided, and sometimes I just don't sue to having so much safety gear on.
Coworkers are older, we don't see eye to eye, and it's like I'm in kindergarten, unprofessional, bullying, gossip, poor management, no fair equality with work rotation for jobs, ie. guys like to try and hide or avoid most of the lame jobs, find myself the outcast at work. We only communicate with work related tasks.
Union laziness basically, very poor teamwork, lack of communication, etc.
I've been here for 4 years, the pros make me stay, but I'm not happy. Outside of work I'm fine, at work, I'm miserable. I walk into the lunchroom to clock into my shift, and I can't even speak with my coworkers as they gossip, and we don't see eye to eye. My coworkers on their breaks talk about absolute garbage, examples being showing each other fucked up memes of graphic stuff, lots of gossip about other people, talking of small minded garbage, etc.. I have separated myself as I have grown sick of everything and what they talk about/who they are as people on breaks. All they talk about is materialistic objects, buying trucks, shootings on the news, negativity, and just being overall unprofessional. This place is all about making money, from what I seen, which is good, but I get no job satisfaction or fulfillment from it. It's just a dirty production/warehouse gig basically. Most guys there are 50+. So, I am also the youngest person at the plant of 34 people, and there is a seniority ranking for hire dates. I'm the third last guy. Maybe I am the asshole, but I just don't know i've grown to hate everything about the place. I also feel like my foreman takes advantage of me work wise, and others get treated better. A whole lot of favouritism as well. I am 29 years old, and thinking of taking up another trade, but did not like trades because of the low pay grade, travel, and workload. If I lost this job, I'd be fine financially, but I have always struggled to find a decent line of work with no education. I feel with a skill behind me, I'd maybe do better long term. But the change and wage drop, commute, may be worse off, and regret it. The job itself really easy, and I am used to it, so it's hard to leave. I've been there for over 4 years, and at this point I go to work, feeling dead inside most of the time, and lack sleep most nights due to just not enjoying going to work. They wont hire anyone so im stuck at the bottom, it's almost equal to being an low level apprentice for years. Wages at this union plant do get a bit better, and I could have a future there once all the older coworkers retire, but feel my mental health has taken a huge toll. I don't know what I want to do, I call in sick frequently, I've stopped caring, I just want to be happy again at this point. I also would like to buy a house, start a family, and to build my life. I've worked so hard to get a decent job with no education, and it was good when I started but now, it's changed, and there is only this hateful feeling left here. I also have degenerative disc disease in my lower spine, a bulging disc, so I'm worried warehousing/skilled labour may make it worse. Which is why I need to leave, or on the same note, haven't left as well, because I could be doing worse. With my background being trades, machine work, and skilled labour, getting into an office job it basically impossible, unless I go back to school full time, and don't work, which is not possible. I have a supportive fiance who works full time graveyards, which helps in this situation. She is supporting of me in whatever I decide, but I just don't know what to do. I could be much worse off I realize, and I am trying to be grateful for my life, and what I have, but it doesn't feel right. I live in vancouver, and it is extremely hard to live here, and I'm fortunate I budget very frugally, and make a decent income. I am with no debt, healthy savings, and we are living at my moms home currently, to support her in her finances. It's been a blessing to have a head start, but it's tough here in this city. I fear that leaving this job will affect me overall financially, and with my goals, then end up in regret. I was laid off for three months before, and although I was much happier, it was impossible to find a good paying job, until I got a call back to work. The lay offs have been stated wont be happening again. I'd like to continue living here though, and build my life. I do need a career change though, but I'm not into school, and have a very hard time with it. I'm just looking to get some professional input form you guys moving forward.
submitted by Joshyboii55
to careeradvice [link] [comments]
2020.09.26 16:29 01gzim MSNVF Issued and outstanding shares of only 188.5 million shares. More big orders coming in and only less than .20/share. Check it out. I do own 20,000 shares, FYI.
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Mission Ready Announces $58.5 Million in New Purchase Orders
VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA, CANADA – SEPTEMBER 25, 2020 – Mission Ready Solutions Inc. (“Mission Ready” or the “Company”) (TSXV: MRS) is pleased to announce that, further to its September 18, 2020 news release announcing new contract awards valued at an estimated $127 million, with a ceiling of $435 million (the “C&T Contracts”), and its September 24, 2020 news release announcing new purchase orders totalling approximately $37.5 million, the Company has received approximately $58.5 million in additional purchase orders. Since being awarded the C&T Contracts on September 14, 2020, the Company has received purchase orders totalling approximately $96 million. All purchase orders received to date across the C&T Contracts call for delivery of the products between October 2020 and February 2021. In accordance with the terms of the C&T Contracts, the Defense Logistics Agency will remit payment to Unifire within 30 days of delivery of the products pursuant to each purchase order. The related announcements referenced herein can be viewed at www.MRSCorp.com or via the direct links below: September 24, 2020 – Mission Ready Announces $37.5 Million in New Purchase Orders September 18, 2020 – Mission Ready Awarded New Contracts for an Estimated $127 Million with a Ceiling of $435 Million Monetary values referenced herein have been converted from US currency (USD) to Canadian currency (CAD) using an exchange rate of 1.32 and rounded down to the nearest 0.5 million. About Mission Ready Solutions Inc. Mission Ready specializes in providing comprehensive government contracting solutions through its privileged access to a host of government contracting vehicles including its Special Operational Equipment (“SOE”) Tailored Logistics Support (“TLS”) contract administered by the United States Defense Logistics Agency (“DLA”), and Multiple Award Schedule contracts administered by the United States General Services Administration (“GSA”). Mission Ready’s wholly-owned subsidiary, Unifire, Inc. (“Unifire”), is one of six companies, globally, authorized to provide equipment and designated services under DLA’s SOE TLS program. Unifire is a designated Small Business and an industry-leading manufacturer and distributor of over 1.5 million fire, military, emergency, and law enforcement products. As an incumbent awardee of the SOE TLS contract, with extensive knowledge and experience in providing solutions to the US Federal Government, Unifire utilizes its highly-efficient, scalable technology infrastructure to provide procurement solutions for program managers, military and federal contracting offices, base supply centers, and other governmental supply agencies. Mission Ready trades on the TSX Venture Exchange under the symbol MRS. For further information, visit MRSCorp.com or contact: Investor Relations T: 1.877.479.7778 – Ext 5 E: [email protected]
Mission Ready Solutions Inc. (Signed “James A. Marks”) James A. Marks Chief Executive Officer Ph: +1 877.479.7778 Neither TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release. Forward-Looking Information This news release contains “forward-looking information” within the meaning of applicable Canadian securities legislation. Generally, forward-looking information can be identified by the use of forward-looking terminology such as “anticipate”, “believe”, “plan”, “expect”, “intend”, “estimate”, “forecast”, “project”, “budget”, “schedule”, “may”, “will”, “could”, “might”, “should” or variations of such words or similar words or expressions. Forward-looking information is based on reasonable assumptions that have been made by Mission Ready Solutions Inc. as at the date of such information and is subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause the actual results, level of activity, performance or achievements of Mission Ready Solutions Inc. to be materially different from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking information. There can be no assurance that such information will prove to be accurate, as actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such information. Accordingly, readers should not place undue reliance on forward-looking information. Mission Ready Solutions Inc. does not undertake to update any forward-looking information that is included herein, except in accordance with applicable securities laws.
September 25th, 2020CORPORATE, NEWS RELEASES
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