Las Vegas Collectible Individual Casino Chips for sale | eBay

Las Vegas Craps stories (forgot to post from my Dec trip)

Story one - This story happens at South Point Casino, just a few miles south of Mandalay Bay. Locals place. $5 tables (almost always). They had 4 tables open, 3 were 5 and 1 was 10. I was on the 5 dollar tables, left of stick. The dice were straight out on the other side of the table. Old guy, 70s or later was in the middle of a decent roll. An older Asian guy walks up beside him, drops 5 $100 bills before they could send the dice to the shooter. Guy says "All of it on the field". The table kinda glares at the guy. The dealer across from me says "Just look straight forward, don't look around. Everything will be fine". They put 5 black chips in the field. Shooter rolls a 3. Nobody gets hurt since a point is established (I feel likt the point was 9, but I don't remember). Field guy picks up $500 and leaves $500. Says to the shooter "Do it again". Shooter rolls a 4. Asian guy throws a black in, asks for change. Dealer gives the guy 4 green chips. The field guy tosses the shooter a green chip and leaves with $1475 and doesn't tip the dealers. Dealers grumble, we all look around and continue with the point. That's a lot of action for a $5 table. I just shrugged.
Story two - Bally's. $10 table. Their tables has the repeater bets. There are 3 of us on the table, mostly playing 3 numbers or a few come bets. Guy buys in for 2K, just wants green. Puts $50 on the line, $25 on the 6 repeater and $5 on the 6 repeater for the dealers. He also put $25 on the 3 and 11 repeater. I get the dice. I'm having a pretty decent roll. I hit 5 6's, so I need one more 6 to hit that repeater bet. All of the sudden everyone is betting the hard six, pressing their six etc. Money is all over the place. I had my 6 at $60 if I remember correctly. I hit the 6 on the next roll. The dude jumped up and down, came down to me and I thought he was going to hug me during the pandemic. Instead I get an elbow dab. He makes (if I did the math right 25*90) $2250 and the dealers got $450 (to which they thanks the shooter and myself). I think I hit a few more numbers and 7ed out. I was down pretty low on my $200 buyin before the roll and left with $350 or so. That was fun, crazy and scary all at the same time.
Story three - Jerry's Nugget (N. Las Vegas, just a few miles north of El Cortez). $3 table. It's full. At the far end is a dude (with face tattoos) and his friend. Things were going smoothly. Table was luke warm. Shooter would hit 1 point and 7 out. No really good rolls. Guy beside me is shooting and hits a point. The face tattoo guy quickly makes a passline bet with odds (which he didn't have) as the dealer is paying people. The dealer notices and starts yelling at the guy "We don't pull that shit here. You do that again and you will be on your ass outside. Don't cheat at our casino". Box guy comes over, warns the guy. EVERYONE decides it's time to color up. The face guy's friend tells him to knock it off. Don't be an asshole. I got to Jerry's a few times each trip and haven't seen this before.
Story four (and final story). - Binions, downtown. $5 table. Nothing too special to talk about. The girls aren't in their cowboy outfits, instead have referee jerseys on. Still they look pretty good. Guy walks in and starts chatting with the stick girl. Decides to buy in beside her for 4K. $4000 on a $5 table. Playing all greens, being a big tough guy and flirting with the stick girl. I'm always nervous seeing that much money out on a $5 table, glad I wasn't rolling. A few bad rolls wipes him out and he leaves. He was power pressing and trying to make a big score. No dice!
submitted by necrochaos to Craps [link] [comments]

This game is a masterpiece. (long post)

I love this game so much. I have been paying for this game for 5-7 years and my opinion has never changed. Everything is just so good. I am not going to put a section about side quests because I cover a few side quests in a few sections. I will briefly cover the main parts of the base game. ( maybe I will make a post covering the amazing DLC) SPOILERS AHEAD. I apologize in advance for tangents, grammatical and spelling issues.
TLDR at the bottom
START/TUTORIAL
The way NV starts is a pretty good. It teaches you about the aspects of the game in the small town of Goodsprings. In "Ghost Town Gunfight", the game teaches you about skill checks. To convince Chet to help you pass a barter check, to convince Easy Pete, you pass an explosive check, Trudy requires a speech check, and Doc Mitchell requires a medicine check if you choose to do "Run Goodsprings Run". It also teaches you about the reputation with the two quests I just mentioned. If you help the Powder Gangers, they will like you, at the cost of wiping out Goodsprings, and if you choose to help the town, the Powder Gang hates you, but Goodsprings likes you.

MORALITY
Morality is not black and white in NV for the most part. For example, in the quest "The White Wash", you are asked to investigate the case of NCR Corporal White, a soldier who went missing. You face a dilemma at the end when you find out that a Follower Of The Apocalypse is taking water from the NCR to give to the people of Westside who really need it. He tells you that he killed White to hide the secret about the water, and he feels bad about it. So you have to choose what you think is the best option, do you (A) tell the NCR that their water is being stolen so they can use it, or (B) do you keep the secret at the cost of some NCR working peoples livelihoods? There is no clear good or clear bad, it's all grey. Of course there are some obviously evil people in NV like the Fiends, especially Cook-Cook. But there is a lot, and I mean a LOT of grey.

MINOR FACTIONS
The minor factions are really great in NV. You obviously have the Brotherhood of Steel, the tech hoarders themselves. But there are also other small factions, like the Followers of The Apocalypse. They are a group of scientists and doctors whose purpose is to help people (I believe they debuted in the original Fallout. Can't remember if it was the first or second one.) You also have the Great Khans, a group of nomads who are modeled after the Mongolians. They raid, take chems, sell chems, and kill anyone who gets in their way. But as I said earlier, the morality is not black and white. The Khans hate the NCR because of the Bitter Springs Massacre, an incident in which the NCR slaughtered Khan women, elders, and children. There is also the Boomers. The Boomers are a group of former vault dwellers who stay at Nellis Airforce base and shoot at any outsiders. This is because they do not trust them, but you can help them to prove that outsiders are not as bad as they think. The last minor factions I will cover are the Families of the Strip. The Omertas are an old school mafia inspired group that run the Gomorrah casino. They have shady business that ranges from abusing the prostitutes to killing everyone in the Strip for Caesar's Legion. The White Gloves are a society of people who see themselves as above everyone else in class. They run the Ultra Luxe casino. But there are a handful in the society who want to bring back their old tribal tradition of cannibalism. The Chairmen run the Tops casino and they are the "coolest" family. They use old school slang and are the most laid back family.

Companions
The companions are great. Although I want to cover every single detail about every companion, I will limit myself to brief explanations on my 2 favorite companions (I love the other but do not have the time to cover them) and why I like them.
I will cover Arcade Gannon first. I love Arcade so much as a character. He is a Follower of The Apocolypse and he has an interesting origin and great writing. He has an intense hatred for Caesar's Legion. You trigger his personal quest by siding with anyone but the Legion (and maybe House. I have never tried siding with House while Arcade was in my company). He pulls you aside at certain places and, depending on how you reply, makes him like, or dislike you more. When you reach max affinity, he pulls you aside and reveals his story. He was born in the Enclave and he wants you to reunite the remnants that he knows to fight against the Legion at Hoover Dam. You can tell Arcade to stay in Freeside as a doctor to help people in the aftermath of the battle or you can tell him to fight with the remnants. If you tell him to stay in Freeside, he will give you his fathers Enclave tesla armor. If you tell him to fight, he will wear the armor at the battle for the dam. You will be rewarded with power armor training and remnants power armor. This will affect (effect?) his fate in the ending slides.
The other companion I will cover is Boone. He is former NCR First Recon sniper who participated in the Bitter Springs Massacre that I mentioned earlier. You meet him in Novac and he asks you to find the person who sold his wife into slavery. You can either find who did it or you can make him kill a random person of your choice. By doing things he like and asking him about his past, Boone will open up about the Massacre and you can take him to Bitter Springs. After killing Many Legion bois, you can tell Boone to let go of the past and he will finally move on, or you can tell him to become vengeful and more aggressive. This will affect(effect?) his fate in the ending slides.

MAIN QUEST LINE SUMMARY
To keep this very short, the main plot is to decide who should win the second battle for the Hoover Dam. Your choices are the NCR, Caesar's Legion, Mr. House, an independent Vegas with the help of Yes Man.

THE NCR
The New California Republic is a, well, a republic whose goal is to recreate the government of the old world, like the U.S government. It is a bureaucracy and has the positives and negatives of one. The characters in the NCR are diverse and very well written. Like how Colonel Hsu is a sensible and calm man who can resolve violent situations, as seen in the "Kings Gambit" quest where if you go to Hsu, he offers Freeside extra food and water to stop the violence. But in the same quest, you can tell Colonel Moore about the Freeside situation. Moore is a no nonsense lady who will not hesitate to fight violence with violence, which is what happens if you tell her about the Freeside situation. She sends a squad of soldiers and you to the Kings school to give the King an ultimatum. In conclusion, the NCR is an army that wishes to use the governing methods of old world America. But they also have the flaws of that system, like corruption.

CAESAR'S LEGION
Caesar's Legion is more than a faux Roman Empire. Caesar is a man who is educated on the old world, on old world government and was even an NCR citizen and Follower of The Apocolypse. Caesar thinks that the best way to lead is through dictator control. He tells you this when you ask him about President Aaron Kimball. He says that democracy slows down progress. He actually has an amount of respect for Kimball. The Legion is made up of 86 tribes that Caesar has conquered. These tribals are stripped of their identity and are indoctrinated into essentially worshipping Caesar as a living deity, as Arcade Gannon said. The legion does not believe in modern medicine. They only use "natural" sources of healing like powder. Which is not great when (plot twist) you find out about Caesar's brain tumor. Lets talk about how women are used in the Legion. Woman are used as slaves and mates for the men. When tribes are conquered, the women are forced into slavery, while the boys and young men are made into Legion soldiers. The Legion see's women as less than men. The men are trained to fear their leaders rather than their enemies, because if they fail, they are killed, like what Caesar attempted to do to Joshua Graham when the Legion lost the First Battle for Hoover Dam. The Legate Lanius, who probably has the best voice in the game, is a figure of fear. He kills anyone that gets in his way and has been a full member of the Legion since he was a child. Caesar says that Lanius has no care for the men of the legion. In conclusion, the Legion is a slaver group that is led by an educated warlord who has interesting philosophies.

MR. HOUSE
Robert Edwin House is the founder of RobCo, the company responsible for many of creations in Fallout including the Pip Boy. He predicted the Great War and prepared to survive it, through weird means. The platinum Chip was running late for delivery while the Great War started, so House did not get it. House is very interesting. He is very smart, yet makes very risky gambles, like trusting you (a stranger) in not destroying his secret army of robots. He single handedly saved Vegas from the war and built it up again. He wants you to help him fulfill his wishes for the future. He thinks he deserves the Dam because of what he can do for Vegas. His plan is to remove the Legion and lower the influence of the NCR in the Mojave so that he can bring back the glory of pre war Las Vegas. As another redditor said on the fallout subreddit, House seems to be the only one with long term plans for the future, whether they are good or bad is your opinion. In conclusion, Mr. House is an ambitious man with ambitious plans for Vegas and the Mojave. He is very confident in himself and his ability to predict the outcome of situations.


YES MAN/ INDEPENDANCE
This is going to be the shortest description. Benny had help reprogramming a securitron to help with anything, most notably taking over Vegas. You choose what factions you like and which ones you do not like and you kick both the Legion and the NCR out of the Mojave wasteland to establish independence.
FREEDOM AND DETAIL
This game is a game where you have complete freedom. You don't like Caesar, go ahead and kill him. There's no quest to do it, but you can still do it. You can kill anyone you want and you can make many decisions that impact the world. If you allow the NCR train to blow up, or if you do it yourself with the Legion, people will talk about it. I made a post showing Legate Lanius's reaction to you confronting him while wearing Legion faction armor. Obsidian has done such an amazing job putting so much detail in this game. Another example of detail is wiping out Camp Forlorn Hope. The NCR will talk about that if you do it then talk to the troopers. There are more examples of this that you will see during your own gameplay.

THE WORLD

The games world is so good. The world is great, especially from a 2010 game. The locations are great. The unmarked spots like the Sarsaparilla sign where the Lonesome Drifter is are pretty cool. The spot where you find a dead person with remnants power armor is a pleasant surprise if you just find while exploring. I also feel very immersed in the world when I'm just walking around and see a legion patrolling or NCR patrolling.
SOURCES
https://www.reddit.com/Fallout/comments/3izps8/lets_talk_about_why_mr_house_is_the_best_option/
https://fallout.fandom.com/wiki/Caesar
https://www.reddit.com/falloutnewvegas/comments/klc6ff/in_my_near_57_years_of_playing_this_game_this_is/
A few Oxhorn videos

TLDR: I love Fallout: New Vegas.
submitted by thepenismonke to falloutnewvegas [link] [comments]

The Cheap Quality of American Homes

The Cheap Quality of American Homes
Before I start, I wanted to say that I've lived in many different countries (brick/concrete buildings) & I never experienced so many problems as I have with US homes. The use of cheap plywood and wood chip, poor or no insulation, flimsy siding and roofing that either blows off in high winds or just rots away after a few year, in addition to high prices have made life a living miserable hell for the average American.
I've lived in US for the past 20 years, mainly in the west coast. I owned a nice peaceful house in Seattle area back in the 90s, things were not this expensive & I had a great mortgage rate until the collapse of housing market happened in 2008, and my mortgage rate went up from 3.25% to 6%, although I paid my mortgage onetime & didn't do anything wrong. Around the same time, my utilities, and taxes went up drastically. The house was built in the 80s and the constant rain & termite damage & carpenter ants had made the wood rot underneath the house, not to mention the leaky roof & many other issues with plumbing, mainly to do with wood-structured houses.
Long story short, my house was peaceful, but because of high taxation, crime, constant rain & cold, & other problems like high utility & mortgage rate, I made a decision to sell the house and move to California.
I rented a two bedroom luxury apartment unit in Orange County around 2015 for $2500/months, but everyday there was an issue with the management, constant noise of performance cars revving their engine, garbage trucks, leaf blowers & landscapers, you name it ....
After a year, I finally got sick & tired of high rent & high taxation in Cali & moved to Nevada, Las Vegas. The apartment I moved in was ok for a few months until a loud motorcyclist moved next door to me. The guy worked all odd hours and he used to love revving his bike at nights, like 12 am, 3 am, 5 am, multiple times, when he commuted back & forth to work every day ... Calling the police, talking to Management or leaving nice notes on his bike, none of them worked, until I was forced to move out.
Everybody said rent a house, apartments are crap. oh how little I knew
So I ended up renting a home (paying $2100) to have more privacy & peace of mind. The house was fine for a few years (except the loud neighbors kids screaming & swearing, dogs barking all day & night, neighbors doing landscaping at 8am Sunday morning, etc etc), but I still put up with it, at least I had few hours of quiet at nights & I used white noise machine to drown out some of the noise. Until one day, out of the blue, the house started making weird noises, mainly coming from the ceiling/attic. It started with one loud knock/snap every morning at 8:30 am, and over a week period, the knocks went from one loud one to 20 knocks a day. Within a month, things became so bad that every time the sun would come up or go down, the roof would pop like 200 times. At nights, I would hear a lot of loud banging/popping noises coming from chimney and the attic. I let the landlord know right away (which they didn't believe me at first), I even paid for pest control (we thought it maybe rats or some other animal in the attic), which no trace of any animal was found in the attic. We brought roofers, inspectors, you name it, no one had any clue what was going on. Things got so bad that I couldn't sleep more than couple of hours every night, waking up with a very loud knock or bang, sometimes every 30 min. I lived in that house for 3.5 years, and didn't hear a beep from the structure of the place, so I have no clue how a building that quiet could go suddenly crazy & it was so frustrating that no one had any clue what was going on . Haunted house?
I was forced to move out of the lease & find another place. I ended up living in another house (1,900/mo) that had severe zapping issues (the floors were made out of cheap laminate & they wouldn't let you ground), so every time I touch a door knob or kitchen appliances or doors or windows, I would get zapped like crazy. I also would hear loud banging from pipes when I took a shower & once every two weeks I would hear loud banging from the roof/siding of the house. But at least the structural noise of this house wasn't constant, like the other property. But a few months to my lease, I discovered that the house is foreclosed and the owner has no intention to fix anything, so I moved to another single family home in a very nice area & gated community (paying $2,300/mo).
Oh boy, renting this new place was probably one of the biggest mistakes I have ever made. I moved there around December last year & the first night I slept there I realized that I have made a giant mistake. There were LOUD snaps/pops once every 30 min all over the house, I mean snaps as loud as gut shots that could be heard overheard all over the house, even in the closet or bathroom, day & night. It wouldn't go away. When the heater ran, the snaps & knocks would become so loud, as if wood is splitting in half on top of your head. No amount of white noise or ear plug could block that noise. I work from home & my clients could hear the loud snaps over the phone & often asked me what is that loud noise in the background and if someone is shooting.
Because I had moved twice in less than 3 month I ended up putting up with it & staying there for 7 month, I have a background in structural/civil engineering, so I thought I could bring inspectors & could figure out a way to minimize the constant loud popping & snapping noises. I talked to PM & they send people who had no idea what was going on, charging the owner thousands of dollars in roof & pest control. I paid out of pocket myself, bringing contractors to screw the ceiling drywall, in case the nails holding the ceiling boards were moving in & out of 2x4s. We tried re-screwing the ceiling in one room & to my surprise it made the popping noises a lot worse & even more often. By then I knew the property has serious foundation & possibly truss uplift issue. I even got covid during this whole mess around January & not sleeping, constant stress & loud noises made my illness prolong for 4 months Dry coughs, severe diarrhea, shortness if breathe, severe joint & muscle pain & high fever. At that time I was so devastated & all I wanted was to sleep & I couldn't I couldn't even go rent a hotel room for a few days, since around March the Gov had shut everything down, so I was stuck inside a big house that I couldn't sleep in any of the rooms.
Eventually when I recovered from covid, I thought I've had enough of homes with severe structural/roof issues & it's time to go back to condo/apartment living. At least, they wouldn't have serious foundation/roof issues, right? I moved to this condo a few months ago & of course it's another wood-structure multi-family home made with flimsy roof & floors. What I didn't know about this building is the fact that there is absolutely NO insulation in between the units, over the floor & walls that I share with other neighbors, NON, whatsoever, so I could hear normal conversation, dogs barking, constant door slamming, banging noises from other units. Also because of covid, some neighbors work from home, sometimes repairing heavy machinery & auto parts! Imagine , only sharing a thin plywood with the unit underneath and the loud obnoxious neighbor next door! Another issue with this condo is the shaky floor, when I walk around my unit or neighbors walk around their own unit, my floor shakes violently & ends up shaking my heavy coach as well as the bed. If I'm sleep & the noise doesn't wake me up right away, the shaking of the floor definitely would. I never thought I could hear this much from units downstairs or on the side, because I had lived in other apartments before, and I had never experienced this level of noise traveling up from downstairs neighbors or the hellish neighbors on the side.
My neighbor on the side works night-shift, I hear her coming home, all odd hours (like 1am or 4am, every day- it's Vegas so people work odd hours at the casino), I hear everything, when she is taking a shower, slamming the hell out of her bathroom door, her dogs barking, walking around her unit, I've tried to reason with them & talk to them to at least not slam doors 10 times an hour day & night, but had no luck. Unreasonable people can't be reasoned with. As a matter of fact, I think they are doubling down on their door slamming & banging noises. My neighbor downstairs also has a habit of slamming every door & drawer & leaves the house at 7 am (every morning) & my floor shakes violently every time she goes in & out of her building, which is 5 or 6 times a day
I have moved 4 times, in less than a year. I lived in single family homes as well as condos that were uninhabitable, because of poor construction & use of cheap plywood, if these structures were built with concrete/brick, none of these issues would have happened. Trust me, I have lived in many concrete/brick structures before, my first apartment in Seattle was an old building made out of brick & you still may hear loud trucks or bikes, but there is no way you would hear your neighbors talking in normal voice, taking a shower, wiping their ass, or closing their door.
This is so depressing that we pay so much in mortgages or rent in America, yet we have to live in such horrible living spaces that are uninhabitable. American houses often have the appearance of having brick walls, however these are just stuck onto the outside of the plywood walls giving a false sense of quality and strength. I understand that using flimsy wood is much cheaper than using stone, brick or concrete, but this is not really evidenced by the prices of houses. Even multi-million dollar new houses in the States are being built from the same cheap plywood, poor insulation, shabby roofing material as cheaper houses. The fact that walls are paper thin and conversations can be heard a room away is nothing strange in American houses. I'm not even gonna mention horrible loud structural problems/noises that no one has any clue how to fix (god help you if something goes wrong inside the attic), rotting walls, water getting into insulation, pest issues, termite damage or leaking roofs.
You will be surprised that the average material cost (cost of wood chip) for a cheap flimsy American home is around $5,000, but since we live in a mafia state, by the time the city, the contractors, & the utility companies are all done with you, you will end up paying hundreds of thousands of dollars, in some case millions of dollars for a home that's gonna end up having too many problems, in just 10 years or less.
Sorry for the long rant, i know this has been a tough year for many with people dying alone of covid, but I'm penniless, sleepless, stressed & exhausted & I can't bare the idea that I have to move again soon , to another wood chip rental, I wonder what kind of a horror is gonna be waiting for me there? costing me thousands of dollars in rent & moving cost.
https://preview.redd.it/rc86r7limv261.jpg?width=1200&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=b478a0688a4f977178bccabf38ad3e787839b5aa
submitted by CoolBernie2020 to Home [link] [comments]

Part 2 of the Bird


6.
Five years earlier, from the bottom bunk of a holding cell in the Clatsop County courthouse, a younger Jessica made a cackling confession of sorts to the gray-haired guard everyone called Birch. She wore bleached yellow hair at the time, and it was longer. Her name—the name she was going by—wasn’t Jessica, then, either, and she spoke with a fake Texas accent as part of the persona she had been portraying for the last several months in Astoria.
“Tell me, how do you do it?”
“Do what Birch?” She said without looking up and slowly rolling the small cigarette in her crossed-legged lap and her back against the wall.
“How is it you have them chase you like that? Why are they crazy for you?”
“Oh, you mean that out there?” She laughs.
The proceedings of her trial had been put on recess, for a young girl had given sworn testimony from the stand that the bleach haired girl on trial—who went by Audrey Burns—was the same girl with whom she had a relationship and that Audrey Burns was not her real name at all and that she had, in fact, disclosed plans to manipulate the middle aged wife of the late, local banker, Mr. Schilling, through her romantic affair with the older woman, so that she could obtain titles for a small collection of antique automobiles and several acres of coveted land in Thurston County, Washington. The defendant’s plan, so the girl said, had been to leave the older woman by fall of the following year, once everything was in order, and then, she would run away with the witness.
The trial had already been shrouded in scandal. Affairs with wives of successful business men was gossip enough to keep anyone interested in the small town of Astoria and all the more so when that affair, from what it seemed, involved another woman rather than a man. It had attracted many spectators and generated headlines which sold local newspapers faster than they could be printed, so that the courtroom was full when the still pretty, middle-aged Miss Schilling heard the testimony concerning her former lover’s trickery and intentions to leave her for the younger girl.
Miss Schilling had gasped audibly and stood up and rushed towards the bench but was held back by the crowd. The bailiffs stood in her way, besides, and after a moment she fainted, flopped out onto the floor like a sweaty, wet rag of nerves and hurt for all the simple farm folk to see. It was then that the judge’s gavel clapped loudly into the courtroom, calling for order and threatening contempt, and then, he called a recess while this new information could be processed, while it was determined what to do now that the defendant’s supposed identity might not be her identity at all.
The guard continued with his questions to the girl on the bunk. “You know what I mean. That out there, yeah! Where I’m from, girls don’t like girls, at least not as I know.”
“There’s a lot to it, Birch. First of all, some girls do like girls, obviously. You see me don’t you? Secondly, you have to remember that I’ve got a leg up, because I am a woman. Then, most women, maybe 99% of them operate like clocks and horses.”
“Clocks and horses?”
“Yeah. Clocks and horses. You got a match? Light my cigarette,” she asks and stands up to walk over to the guard on the other side of the bars.
“Sure. They say they gonna make smoking in jails illegal one of these days, ban cigarettes in facilities like this one all across the nation,” he says striking a match, cupping one hand and holding out the flame for her to light the smoke.
“I’ll believe it when I see it, Birch… thanks.” Now, she moves back to the bunk, clearing her throat and continuing her dissertation. “They’re like clocks, man. They all need one thing, and once you figure out how to wind ’em up, just like a clock, they start ticking. They can’t help it, and they don’t know why, just like a clock can’t help it. It doesn’t know why it ticks. It just ticks.”
“What’s that?”
“What’s what? What winds ’em up?”
“Yeah.”
“Desire, Birch, desire. They all need, have to be desired. Now, that doesn’t mean just because you desire a woman, she’ll desire you back. No, sir. Not at all!”
“Hmm…”
“Yeah, Birch, like a horse.”
“Like a horse?”
“You ever try to walk up to a horse?”
“Yeah.”
“What happens?”
“They step back, move away from you.”
“Right. And what happens when you turn your back to them and walk away, huh? I’ll tell you what happens, they follow you, try to stick their heads in your business and get your attention. Try real hard. Of course, that’s all a gross oversimplification of the realities at work, there, Birch, but it’s a crude illustration for a crude man. Something even you can understand.”
“Crude? I’m not a crude man. You’re the one in here talking about women like they’re inanimate objects and animals.”
“You’re not? Hmm… well, then what’re you asking about all this stuff for, huh? And, besides, if you only listened to what I’m saying, Birch, you’d understand it’s not that, not exactly. What I’m talking about are mechanics and attraction. You’re a man, though. You wouldn’t get it, and that’s why I do. That’s why I get them.” She rolls her head back and laughs pressing her shoulder blades into the wall behind her bunk.
“All of them?”
“Nah. You can’t bat 1.000, but you can bat .300, and that’s pretty good, Birch. Almost one out of the three and stop wasting your time with the rest.”
The light skinned guard scratches his mustache and stares at the girl on her bunk through the bars and shakes his head. It is nothing he’s ever heard before. And he stares at her more intently, now, pondering her mechanics, what makes her tick, what makes her think like that. Is she human?
“And what about you, girl?”
“What about me?”
“Don’t you need anything?”
“I never thought about it. Funny, huh?”
“What about love? Don’t you want love?”
“Love? Love…” she asks staring at the ground and coldly replying, now, “I don’t know what love is Birch, and I don’t think I’m capable of it. That’s ok, though. That’s how I want it.”
7.
This morning the women brush their teeth in the bathroom. Both stare into the mirror and smile at each other through it, and for a moment, Jessica looks at herself, recalls who and how she was before and during the trial, how she’d ruthlessly manipulated the vulnerabilities of Miss Schilling and meant to rob her of the things her husband had left her. It is hard to imagine that she was that way, and the words she’d said to Birch from the bunk come back to her,
“I don’t know what love is Birch, and I don’t think I’m capable of it.”
She knows that all that has changed and is embarrassed for having ever said it, and now, she spits into the sink and looks at Eleonore who presses a finger into the white line of shrunken scar tissue in Jessica’s chin and mumbles through the foamy toothpaste in her mouth,
“That’s cute.” And Jessica remembers the fight in prison when she got it. It was less than 18 months ago.
Jessica lets the last snow on the ground crunch beneath her shoes as she watches Eleonore feed the animals and do this or that. It is a sunny day. Back inside, they sit on the couch or roll around in bed with fingers twirling hair and wet breath whispers of love against sweaty foreheads or the soft skin of Eleonore’s ear pressed into Jessica’s bony, bare shoulders. There are moments when they wonder what they’ll do, how this will all end.
They forget where they are. They forget about everything. In that time, there is only the other, so that their days and nights become mixed, and as the first blue light of the day comes through the window one morning, both girls startle in bed to stare wide-eyed at each other. Something is stirring in the living room, a mad black being come to execute judgement upon them and their lives of sin. Their hearts drop in their chests, and for a moment, there is a desperate, futile squirming in their bodies trying to get up and run but unable, paralyzed by fear.
Now, the doorknob to the bedroom is turning and the large silhouette of the man Eleonore has betrayed, the man whose life Jessica has destroyed, appears in the doorway. It is a moment of terror for the girls. A speechless choking comes from the man’s throat as he stands over the bed and pulls the covers back to find the two soft white bodies clutching themselves, shielding their bodies from his view. He walks out of the room and returns almost immediately with the splitting maul, raising above his head and putting a hole in the mattress where Jessica lay only seconds before.
He chases the skinny, shrieking naked body around the house with the weapon and catches her in the bony part of her wrist. The cold metal nicks her collar bone and leaves another gash on the side of her head and ear. It is total chaos as the two women flail. Eleonore is pleading with the man and chasing from behind as she tries to stop him, until he smashes her in the head and face with her crystal glass candy tray. She is left a mound of soft white flab moaning and staggered on the cold terrazzo. And Jessica bounces off the couches and slides across the table and crawls on the floor and runs this way and that as the man continues to swing the maul, until she is finally outside, naked and bleeding in the snow.
Steam rises from her sweaty chest in the cold. The sun is just up, now, above the hill. It is too much for her, as her body gives out on her she lies on her back looking up at the man who is raising the heavy wooden handled weapon above his head. She thinks that she never expected this, didn’t expect to die in this way, but here it is. The moment of her death had arrived. And before the maul comes down to end her life, a mortal clang rings out, and the man falls. Eleonore’s cast iron skillet—all 20 pounds of it—has bruised his brain and left a flat indentation in his skull.
The girls shake, pale and bleeding in places, and they get dressed and pull the motionless body into the house. It is quiet for an hour or so as they recover, wiping blood from their faces. Jessica pinches her ear to stop the bleeding. Now, Eleonore is pacing and wringing her hands and repeating over and over,
“Jessica, what do we do? Huh, Jessica? What Jessica?”
And now the other girl screams,
“My name is not Jessica!” The accent from her childhood, the one from Maine, can be heard. “My name’s not Jessica. It’s Christina. Look, Eleonore, there’s a lot for us to talk about. There’s a lot you need to know, but for now, we’ve got to figure this out. Okay?” To which Eleonore nods her head. “Now, the way I see it, they’ll give us both the chair for this. You most of all, so we’ve got to be each other’s everything from here on out. Okay? I’ve got 700 dollars hidden in the lining of my bag and some IDs that’ll work for me. We can get rid of the truck somewhere. We’ll make it.”
Eleonore stares looking dreadfully down at her husband on the floor. A think pink fluid has leaked from his nose, and his chest heaves as he gargles and struggles to breathe. Foamy spittle forms at his mouth. his face is darker, purple in the nose and cheeks. Other parts of his face are turning green.
“What about him?” she asks.
“He’ll die, soon, from the looks of it. The case will be attempted murder, even if he doesn’t, Eleonore. You hear me? We leave him. Before we leave, we have to get your blood on the floor and out to the driveway. No one knows I’m here, right? Right, Eleonore?”
“I don’t think so,” she says with folded arms. “No.”
“Okay. I’ll get the keys. And one last thing, Eleonore. Do you have any money or jewelry here?”
The fatter, shorter woman walks into the kitchen and opens the freezer and pulls out what looks like packages of frozen meat wrapped in white butcher paper and spreads them out on the floor, until she grabs one and stands up and says,
“This is it. Should be about 14,000. Our life’s savings.”
They sit in the house for hours after that, waiting for night and listening to the labored breath of the man dying on the floor. Eleonore cries at different times. Jessica frowns in the corner, occasionally trying to comfort her lover with words and brief shoulder rubs, but other than that, there is nothing to say, just worried looks shared between them. Finally, it is midnight. The girls step out into the cold darkness. They start the truck and leave that house behind them, forever.
8.
The thing which had been shared early in the girls three months together at the house, the thing about Virgos being a reserved and shy woman, waiting for something, open to change and new ways of way life proved to be truer about Eleonore than they could have been for anyone else, Virgo or not. It was a slow journey across the country to Cleveland. The two sat in the cab of the old truck. And Eleonore learned all about the girl she’d only recently learned to love and had called Jessica.
Her name, as she said before, was Christina. The last name was Sullivan, and she spoke quietly to round, pink faced woman in the passenger seat as she drove, spoke about her early life as the only child of an impoverished and married couple on a cursed bog of a property in rural Maine. Her father drowned in drink, and her mother spent nights out with other men, known for her harlotry and the shame her life brought on her family and their Irish ancestors. By the time the young girl turned 12, her mother had moved into an old house and gotten the same strange, androgenous haircut as the other bug-eyed men and women living in the house. They called themselves the Howardites after their leader, the lanky and long faced theologian, Dr. Howard. By 14, the girl’s mother and her new clan moved out west, never to be seen or heard from again by the quiet fishermen and farm folk of the small town.
As her old man lay dying in drink around the house and the adolescent girl starved, the young Christina Sullivan left her home with what could be contained in a small piece of luggage. There were things which made the transition into a life of homelessness at such a young age easier than perhaps it should have been. The difficulty of her life up to then was one. The other was the transient family of grifters who took her in and taught her everything she needed to thrive from a life of dishonesty and tricks. Only catch to it all was the constant need to move from city to city or town to town and change name after name, so that the things they did couldn’t be traced. It was the constant pressure from the traditional clan to marry their second son which pushed her away. She couldn’t do it. They didn’t understand.
By 16, she was once again on her own, only now living from woman to woman for as long as her personalities and selfishness would allow or moving on when she thought the authorities might be sniffing her trail. Like her father, though, she learned to love the bottle. With the liquor came a tendency to abuse her partners. She hurled hurtful words at the women, and two of her younger lovers, one the daughter of a police chief in Wisconsin and the other an immigrant heiress studying to become a doctor in Ohio, had felt the backs of the young Christina Sullivan’s knuckles across their faces. It was shameful for the lost girl when she did things like that, and upon seeing the bruises on her lovers’ faces, she disappeared to a new town with a new name, new accent and a new story about where and how she grew up.
Three and a half years in a state prison had always been a matter of time for her doing the things she was doing. It all just happened to happen in Oregon. She got out, though, and continued living just as before. A significant contact had been made with a man named Jimmy “the Joker” Madsen, who was the brother of Christina’s girlfriend in prison, and the two of them, Christina and the Joker, had spent a month in Slidell, Louisiana basement refashioning the lettering on identification cards and relaminating them or reworking the numbers on cashier’s checks. They’d spent the months before that blowing their loot from the last big score they’d hit. It was a new girl for each at a new five-star restaurant every night and a new penthouse suite afterwards, every night. That’s the way it went for the fraudsters, but somewhere north of Salt Lake City, on the night that Eleonore found her, the Joker had gotten tired of his female cohort’s antics. The drink made her difficult. And apparently, something ugly had been said, and instead of beating her as he would have any of his previous, male partners, he pulled out of the car and left her in the rest stop bathroom outside of Pocatello.
Eleonore watches her lips move in the dark, recounting the events of her life and the way she’d ended up at that quiet farmhouse in southern Idaho in the first place, as they drive through Wyoming and move down into Colorado and across the top of Kansas eventually getting into Ohio. The story is fascinating, more interesting than anything Eleonore has ever known, and as they move farther and farther away from the house where she lived all those years with the man now presumably dead, hopefully dead, the life is something she wants. It is her partner’s life, and so it is her life, too, for this was the way that her life had gone.
“Well, what are we going to do, Jess…” She laughs, “I almost called you Jessica.”
“It’s Christina. If you can’t remember, just call me Bird or Birdy.”
“Bird?”
“Yeah. It’s my nickname.”
“Oh… is that why you have the tattoo?”
“Well… yeah, I guess it is.”
“Okay, Birdy, what are we going to do?”
“I should still have some connections here. We can get rid of the truck cleanly and make a few bucks, besides. Then, I’ve got some people. People we need to make this work. We’ll get what we need and move on over to somewhere else, careful to scrub our tracks. How long you think it’ll be before anyone finds him?”
“Who?”
“What do you mean who? The man, your husband.”
“Well, he’s not my husband, not anymore,” she laughs.
“Are you really laughing?”
“I don’t know. It’s not funny. That’s not why I’m laughing. It’s because I’m nervous, because I feel bad.”
“Well, how long do you think before someone realizes?”
“Months. He won’t be missed until work needs him again, but even then, it might take a lot longer. No one goes out to the house. We don’t see family but once a year, if that.”
“Okay. Good. We have some time, then. We’ll make a pretty penny for ourselves before anyone notices, and by then, we won’t be us.”
“We won’t be us?”
“No. If we’re not us, then we’re not responsible for any murder or stealing this truck or any of the rest of it. Right?”
“Hmm… yes. True!”
“It is true.”
The two exiled women survive through the dishonest means which are available to them. One month they are in Dade County laundering money for drug dealers with casino chips, and the next, they are in Los Angeles creating and selling fake passports. After that they spend several months lying low in quiet Marfa, Texas or somewhere like it.
Eleonore learns to go by new names, learns to be from different places. It is, for that first year, one long honeymoon of romance and crime and the excitement of knowing that it could all crumble at any moment, and if it should, their lives will end behind bars or in the electric chair. Sometimes, they purchase vehicles which they sell just across the border in Nuevo Laredo or Monterrey, and while passing through the bottom corner of Utah, they stop to eat at a diner. The lovers buy a newspaper and see in the back a small picture of Eleonore in black and white, though she looks much younger and skinnier in it. Attached is an article recounting the heartless murder of her husband and how his wife, the Mormon woman pictured, might still be alive, somewhere.
The money they make in their criminal ventures is more than they know what to do with, so after they’ve collected a substantial sum, they stop to live in some quiet place to spend it. They pretend to be sisters or travelling artists. They call it downtime, and during such times, their first fights start. Alcohol shows itself to be a problem. And a black leather baby’s shoe sits on the ledge in the window of whatever domicile they inhabit. Every day the taller of the two fills it with new rice. This is her superstition, a sort of idol or charm that wards off the bad spirits which bring things like attention from the police or trouble from anyone, and it does the job, or at least, it seems to, but it doesn’t make their relationship work.
Eleonore endures the drunken meanness of her long-legged lover, the one she calls Bird, when the drink flows and the money rolls in places like Miami or New York City or New Orleans, and the things she says make Eleonore close-lipped, make Eleonore fold her arms and scowl. Affection between the two dries up, and sometimes, they go a week or more without even talking, so that Eleonore has watched her lover drunkenly bring home prostitutes just to hurt her, just to stick it in Eleonore’s face. And when it gets close to a breaking point, just when it cannot be endured for one more night, apologies are made. They always sound the same, and the peace never lasts more than a few months.
The beginning of their third autumn together, they retire to a small, drafty studio in San Francisco. They’d spent the last part of July and most of August printing cashier’s checks and cashing them in different stores in the suburbs and metropolitan areas around Seattle. Eleonore, at this time, was having trouble healing from a spider bite on her leg and had been to the hospital on several occasions, and because of their visits, questions had been asked, so that both women began to fear an end to their run. It was on the afternoon that they found cops waiting in the parking lot of their hotel when they decided to leave for San Francisco. And by September second, that baby’s shoe—made of black leather—was full of rice and sitting on the window sill of a third-floor apartment with a dirty wooden floor on Market Street.
In that room, Eleonore can barely stand to look at her lover, anymore. They do not kiss. They do not hold hands. There has been too much hurt, even as she has sobered up for the last several months and has taken care of the spider bite, and finally, the one called Birdy is gone for a day and comes home late the next afternoon, stumbling and cursing and pushing the sickly Eleonore around the room. She breaks her finger on Eleonore’s face. Eleonore expected to come at some point. And there it was. In the tumult, the shoe full of rice plummets to the wet concrete below and has spilled its contents all over the pavement.
The next morning is colder and wetter than it should be. And it is grey. Birdy gets dressed and asks Eleonore if she would like to take a walk, to get the leg moving and herself out of the musky room for an hour. By ten o’clock, they are being rained on and take shelter on the underground subway platform by Mission and 24th. It is here that the taller, short haired of the two begins to cry.
She says,
“Eleonore, I love you. I know that I haven’t shown you that. You deserve more from me, but I don’t know if I can do it. I don’t know if I can give it to you.”
“Don’t…” Eleonore reaches out to touch her hand.
But as she does, the D train is entering the station, and with that, Eleonore’s lover, the girl from Maine, falls backwards onto the track. The sound makes Eleonore hold her fingers in her ears, and she stands for a moment looking down at the bottom of the train, and the alarm bells are going off for the body on the tracks, so she runs.
After that, she collects their remaining money and IDs and takes a bus to Portland and over to Las Vegas and over to Cincinnati. She wanders the Midwest and up and down the eastern seaboard as the money dwindles, a shadow of herself. That extra weight comes off of her body more quickly than she’d ever have imagined. Her heart is broken. Food doesn’t taste good, anymore, and everything reminds her of Jessica—or Christina, if that was her real name—her long legged and only true love, Birdy.
Somewhere outside of Austin, Texas she shaves her hair, so that she is bald, and pays 89 dollars for the sign of the Virgo to be tattooed into her forehead, half as an act of mourning and remembrance of her lost love and half as a means to keep anyone from ever being able to identify her. There are 9,000 dollars left in her possession when she hitches a ride out of Albuquerque with a man named David Brown towing an empty horse trailer. He calls himself D and tells her he knows of a few acres of land that already has a dwelling on it in the desert outside of Taos.
“You can buy an acre for 2,000 from my friend Junior Valdez. Would you want it?”
“Yeah. I think I do.”
“What’s your name anyway?”
And Eleonore thinks of the name on the only ID card she has left, the first one they’d made for her after they ran from Pocatello three years ago.
“My name?” she asks.
“Yeah.”
“My name is Mary,” she whispers and then says louder. “Yeah. You can call me Mary.”
submitted by ASavageLost to u/ASavageLost [link] [comments]

Poor Quality of American Homes

Poor Quality of American Homes
Before I start, I wanted to say that I've lived in many different countries (brick/concrete buildings) & I never experienced so many problems as I have with US homes. The use of cheap plywood and wood chip, poor or no insulation, flimsy siding and roofing that either blows off in high winds or just rots away after a few year, in addition to high prices have made life a living miserable hell for the average American.
I've lived in US for the past 20 years, mainly in the west coast. I owned a nice peaceful house in Seattle area back in the 90s, things were not this expensive & I had a great mortgage rate until the collapse of housing market happened in 2008, and my mortgage rate went up from 3.25% to 6%, although I paid my mortgage onetime & didn't do anything wrong. Around the same time, my utilities, and taxes went up drastically. The house was built in the 80s and the constant rain & termite damage & carpenter ants had made the wood rot underneath the house, not to mention the leaky roof & many other issues with plumbing, mainly to do with wood-structured houses.
Long story short, my house was peaceful, but because of high taxation, crime, constant rain & cold, & other problems like high utility & mortgage rate, I made a decision to sell the house and move to California.
I rented a two bedroom luxury apartment unit in Orange County around 2015 for $2500/months, but everyday there was an issue with the management, constant noise of performance cars revving their engine, garbage trucks, leaf blowers & landscapers, you name it ....
After a year, I finally got sick & tired of high rent & high taxation in Cali & moved to Nevada, Las Vegas. The apartment I moved in was ok for a few months until a loud motorcyclist moved next door to me. The guy worked all odd hours and he used to love revving his bike at nights, like 12 am, 3 am, 5 am, multiple times, when he commuted back & forth to work every day ... Calling the police, talking to Management or leaving nice notes on his bike, none of them worked, until I was forced to move out.
Everybody said rent a house, apartments are crap. oh how little I knew
So I ended up renting a home (paying $2100) to have more privacy & peace of mind. The house was fine for a few years (except the loud neighbors kids screaming & swearing, dogs barking all day & night, neighbors doing landscaping at 8am Sunday morning, etc etc), but I still put up with it, at least I had few hours of quiet at nights & I used white noise machine to drown out some of the noise. Until one day, out of the blue, the house started making weird noises, mainly coming from the ceiling/attic. It started with one loud knock/snap every morning at 8:30 am, and over a week period, the knocks went from one loud one to 20 knocks a day. Within a month, things became so bad that every time the sun would come up or go down, the roof would pop like 200 times. At nights, I would hear a lot of loud banging/popping noises coming from chimney and the attic. I let the landlord know right away (which they didn't believe me at first), I even paid for pest control (we thought it maybe rats or some other animal in the attic), which no trace of any animal was found in the attic. We brought roofers, inspectors, you name it, no one had any clue what was going on. Things got so bad that I couldn't sleep more than couple of hours every night, waking up with a very loud knock or bang, sometimes every 30 min. I lived in that house for 3.5 years, and didn't hear a beep from the structure of the place, so I have no clue how a building that quiet could go suddenly crazy & it was so frustrating that no one had any clue what was going on . Haunted house?
I was forced to move out of the lease & find another place. I ended up living in another house (1,900/mo) that had severe zapping issues (the floors were made out of cheap laminate & they wouldn't let you ground), so every time I touch a door knob or kitchen appliances or doors or windows, I would get zapped like crazy. I also would hear loud banging from pipes when I took a shower & once every two weeks I would hear loud banging from the roof/siding of the house. But at least the structural noise of this house wasn't constant, like the other property. But a few months to my lease, I discovered that the house is foreclosed and the owner has no intention to fix anything, so I moved to another single family home in a very nice area & gated community (paying $2,300/mo).
Oh boy, renting this new place was probably one of the biggest mistakes I have ever made. I moved there around December last year & the first night I slept there I realized that I have made a giant mistake. There were LOUD snaps/pops once every 30 min all over the house, I mean snaps as loud as gut shots that could be heard overheard all over the house, even in the closet or bathroom, day & night. It wouldn't go away. When the heater ran, the snaps & knocks would become so loud, as if wood is splitting in half on top of your head. No amount of white noise or ear plug could block that noise. I work from home & my clients could hear the loud snaps over the phone & often asked me what is that loud noise in the background and if someone is shooting.
Because I had moved twice in less than 3 month I ended up putting up with it & staying there for 7 month, I have a background in structural/civil engineering, so I thought I could bring inspectors & could figure out a way to minimize the constant loud popping & snapping noises. I talked to PM & they send people who had no idea what was going on, charging the owner thousands of dollars in roof & pest control. I paid out of pocket myself, bringing contractors to screw the ceiling drywall, in case the nails holding the ceiling boards were moving in & out of 2x4s. We tried re-screwing the ceiling in one room & to my surprise it made the popping noises a lot worse & even more often. By then I knew the property has serious foundation & possibly truss uplift issue. I even got covid during this whole mess around January & not sleeping, constant stress & loud noises made my illness prolong for 4 months Dry coughs, severe diarrhea, shortness if breathe, severe joint & muscle pain & high fever. At that time I was so devastated & all I wanted was to sleep & I couldn't I couldn't even go rent a hotel room for a few days, since around March the Gov had shut everything down, so I was stuck inside a big house that I couldn't sleep in any of the rooms.
Eventually when I recovered from covid, I thought I've had enough of homes with severe structural/roof issues & it's time to go back to condo/apartment living. At least, they wouldn't have serious foundation/roof issues, right? I moved to this condo a few months ago & of course it's another wood-structure multi-family home made with flimsy roof & floors. What I didn't know about this building is the fact that there is absolutely NO insulation in between the units, over the floor & walls that I share with other neighbors, NON, whatsoever, so I could hear normal conversation, dogs barking, constant door slamming, banging noises from other units. Also because of covid, some neighbors work from home, sometimes repairing heavy machinery & auto parts! Imagine , only sharing a thin plywood with the unit underneath and the loud obnoxious neighbor next door! Another issue with this condo is the shaky floor, when I walk around my unit or neighbors walk around their own unit, my floor shakes violently & ends up shaking my heavy coach as well as the bed. If I'm sleep & the noise doesn't wake me up right away, the shaking of the floor definitely would. I never thought I could hear this much from units downstairs or on the side, because I had lived in other apartments before, and I had never experienced this level of noise traveling up from downstairs neighbors or the hellish neighbors on the side.
My neighbor on the side works night-shift, I hear her coming home, all odd hours (like 1am or 4am, every day- it's Vegas so people work odd hours at the casino), I hear everything, when she is taking a shower, slamming the hell out of her bathroom door, her dogs barking, walking around her unit, I've tried to reason with them & talk to them to at least not slam doors 10 times an hour day & night, but had no luck. Unreasonable people can't be reasoned with. As a matter of fact, I think they are doubling down on their door slamming & banging noises. My neighbor downstairs also has a habit of slamming every door & drawer & leaves the house at 7 am (every morning) & my floor shakes violently every time she goes in & out of her building, which is 5 or 6 times a day
I have moved 4 times, in less than a year. I lived in single family homes as well as condos that were uninhabitable, because of poor construction & use of cheap plywood, if these structures were built with concrete/brick, none of these issues would have happened. Trust me, I have lived in many concrete/brick structures before, my first apartment in Seattle was an old building made out of brick & you still may hear loud trucks or bikes, but there is no way you would hear your neighbors talking in normal voice, taking a shower, wiping their ass, or closing their door.
This is so depressing that we pay so much in mortgages or rent in America, yet we have to live in such horrible living spaces that are uninhabitable. American houses often have the appearance of having brick walls, however these are just stuck onto the outside of the plywood walls giving a false sense of quality and strength. I understand that using flimsy wood is much cheaper than using stone, brick or concrete, but this is not really evidenced by the prices of houses. Even multi-million dollar new houses in the States are being built from the same cheap plywood, poor insulation, shabby roofing material as cheaper houses. The fact that walls are paper thin and conversations can be heard a room away is nothing strange in American houses. I'm not even gonna mention horrible loud structural problems/noises that no one has any clue how to fix (god help you if something goes wrong inside the attic), rotting walls, water getting into insulation, pest issues, termite damage or leaking roofs.
You will be surprised that the average material cost (cost of wood chip) for a cheap flimsy American home is around $5,000, but since we live in a mafia state, by the time the city, the contractors, & the utility companies are all done with you, you will end up paying hundreds of thousands of dollars, in some case millions of dollars for a home that's gonna end up having too many problems, in just 10 years or less.
Sorry for the long rant, i know this has been a tough year for many with people dying alone of covid, but I'm penniless, sleepless, stressed & exhausted & I can't bare the idea that I have to move again soon , to another wood chip rental, I wonder what kind of a horror is gonna be waiting for me there? costing me thousands of dollars in rent & moving cost.
📷
https://preview.redd.it/w0o83sb21w261.jpg?width=1200&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=0254055ceda9d51434d3b20ad1ed1df96fff2c0b
submitted by CoolBernie2020 to Construction [link] [comments]

The Cheap Quality of American Homes

Before I start, I wanted to say that I've lived in many different countries (brick/concrete buildings) & I never experienced so many problems as I have with US homes. The use of cheap plywood and wood chip, poor or no insulation, flimsy siding and roofing that either blows off in high winds or just rots away after a few year, in addition to high prices have made life a living miserable hell for the average American.
I've lived in US for the past 20 years, mainly in the west coast. I owned a nice peaceful house in Seattle area back in the 90s, things were not this expensive & I had a great mortgage rate until the collapse of housing market happened in 2008, and my mortgage rate went up from 3.25% to 6%, although I paid my mortgage onetime & didn't do anything wrong. Around the same time, my utilities, and taxes went up drastically. The house was built in the 80s and the constant rain & termite damage & carpenter ants had made the wood rot underneath the house, not to mention the leaky roof & many other issues with plumbing, mainly to do with wood-structured houses.
Long story short, my house was peaceful, but because of high taxation, crime, constant rain & cold, & other problems like high utility & mortgage rate, I made a decision to sell the house and move to California.
I rented a two bedroom luxury apartment unit in Orange County around 2015 for $2500/months, but everyday there was an issue with the management, constant noise of performance cars revving their engine, garbage trucks, leaf blowers & landscapers, you name it ....
After a year, I finally got sick & tired of high rent & high taxation in Cali & moved to Nevada, Las Vegas. The apartment I moved in was ok for a few months until a loud motorcyclist moved next door to me. The guy worked all odd hours and he used to love revving his bike at nights, like 12 am, 3 am, 5 am, multiple times, when he commuted back & forth to work every day ... Calling the police, talking to Management or leaving nice notes on his bike, none of them worked, until I was forced to move out.
Everybody said rent a house, apartments are crap. oh how little I knew
So I ended up renting a home (paying $2100) to have more privacy & peace of mind. The house was fine for a few years (except the loud neighbors kids screaming & swearing, dogs barking all day & night, neighbors doing landscaping at 8am Sunday morning, etc etc), but I still put up with it, at least I had few hours of quiet at nights & I used white noise machine to drown out some of the noise. Until one day, out of the blue, the house started making weird noises, mainly coming from the ceiling/attic. It started with one loud knock/snap every morning at 8:30 am, and over a week period, the knocks went from one loud one to 20 knocks a day. Within a month, things became so bad that every time the sun would come up or go down, the roof would pop like 200 times. At nights, I would hear a lot of loud banging/popping noises coming from chimney and the attic. I let the landlord know right away (which they didn't believe me at first), I even paid for pest control (we thought it maybe rats or some other animal in the attic), which no trace of any animal was found in the attic. We brought roofers, inspectors, you name it, no one had any clue what was going on. Things got so bad that I couldn't sleep more than couple of hours every night, waking up with a very loud knock or bang, sometimes every 30 min. I lived in that house for 3.5 years, and didn't hear a beep from the structure of the place, so I have no clue how a building that quiet could go suddenly crazy & it was so frustrating that no one had any clue what was going on . Haunted house?
I was forced to move out of the lease & find another place. I ended up living in another house (1,900/mo) that had severe zapping issues (the floors were made out of cheap laminate & they wouldn't let you ground), so every time I touch a door knob or kitchen appliances or doors or windows, I would get zapped like crazy. I also would hear loud banging from pipes when I took a shower & once every two weeks I would hear loud banging from the roof/siding of the house. But at least the structural noise of this house wasn't constant, like the other property. But a few months to my lease, I discovered that the house is foreclosed and the owner has no intention to fix anything, so I moved to another single family home in a very nice area & gated community (paying $2,300/mo).
Oh boy, renting this new place was probably one of the biggest mistakes I have ever made. I moved there around December last year & the first night I slept there I realized that I have made a giant mistake. There were LOUD snaps/pops once every 30 min all over the house, I mean snaps as loud as gut shots that could be heard overheard all over the house, even in the closet or bathroom, day & night. It wouldn't go away. When the heater ran, the snaps & knocks would become so loud, as if wood is splitting in half on top of your head. No amount of white noise or ear plug could block that noise. I work from home & my clients could hear the loud snaps over the phone & often asked me what is that loud noise in the background and if someone is shooting.
Because I had moved twice in less than 3 month I ended up putting up with it & staying there for 7 month, I have a background in structural/civil engineering, so I thought I could bring inspectors & could figure out a way to minimize the constant loud popping & snapping noises. I talked to PM & they send people who had no idea what was going on, charging the owner thousands of dollars in roof & pest control. I paid out of pocket myself, bringing contractors to screw the ceiling drywall, in case the nails holding the ceiling boards were moving in & out of 2x4s. We tried re-screwing the ceiling in one room & to my surprise it made the popping noises a lot worse & even more often. By then I knew the property has serious foundation & possibly truss uplift issue. I even got covid during this whole mess around January & not sleeping, constant stress & loud noises made my illness prolong for 4 months Dry coughs, severe diarrhea, shortness if breathe, severe joint & muscle pain & high fever. At that time I was so devastated & all I wanted was to sleep & I couldn't I couldn't even go rent a hotel room for a few days, since around March the Gov had shut everything down, so I was stuck inside a big house that I couldn't sleep in any of the rooms.
Eventually when I recovered from covid, I thought I've had enough of homes with severe structural/roof issues & it's time to go back to condo/apartment living. At least, they wouldn't have serious foundation/roof issues, right? I moved to this condo a few months ago & of course it's another wood-structure multi-family home made with flimsy roof & floors. What I didn't know about this building is the fact that there is absolutely NO insulation in between the units, over the floor & walls that I share with other neighbors, NON, whatsoever, so I could hear normal conversation, dogs barking, constant door slamming, banging noises from other units. Also because of covid, some neighbors work from home, sometimes repairing heavy machinery & auto parts! Imagine , only sharing a thin plywood with the unit underneath and the loud obnoxious neighbor next door! Another issue with this condo is the shaky floor, when I walk around my unit or neighbors walk around their own unit, my floor shakes violently & ends up shaking my heavy coach as well as the bed. If I'm sleep & the noise doesn't wake me up right away, the shaking of the floor definitely would. I never thought I could hear this much from units downstairs or on the side, because I had lived in other apartments before, and I had never experienced this level of noise traveling up from downstairs neighbors or the hellish neighbors on the side.
My neighbor on the side works night-shift, I hear her coming home, all odd hours (like 1am or 4am, every day- it's Vegas so people work odd hours at the casino), I hear everything, when she is taking a shower, slamming the hell out of her bathroom door, her dogs barking, walking around her unit, I've tried to reason with them & talk to them to at least not slam doors 10 times an hour day & night, but had no luck. Unreasonable people can't be reasoned with. As a matter of fact, I think they are doubling down on their door slamming & banging noises. My neighbor downstairs also has a habit of slamming every door & drawer & leaves the house at 7 am (every morning) & my floor shakes violently every time she goes in & out of her building, which is 5 or 6 times a day
I have moved 4 times, in less than a year. I lived in single family homes as well as condos that were uninhabitable, because of poor construction & use of cheap plywood, if these structures were built with concrete/brick, none of these issues would have happened. Trust me, I have lived in many concrete/brick structures before, my first apartment in Seattle was an old building made out of brick & you still may hear loud trucks or bikes, but there is no way you would hear your neighbors talking in normal voice, taking a shower, wiping their ass, or closing their door.
This is so depressing that we pay so much in mortgages or rent in America, yet we have to live in such horrible living spaces that are uninhabitable. American houses often have the appearance of having brick walls, however these are just stuck onto the outside of the plywood walls giving a false sense of quality and strength. I understand that using flimsy wood is much cheaper than using stone, brick or concrete, but this is not really evidenced by the prices of houses. Even multi-million dollar new houses in the States are being built from the same cheap plywood, poor insulation, shabby roofing material as cheaper houses. The fact that walls are paper thin and conversations can be heard a room away is nothing strange in American houses. I'm not even gonna mention horrible loud structural problems/noises that no one has any clue how to fix (god help you if something goes wrong inside the attic), rotting walls, water getting into insulation, pest issues, termite damage or leaking roofs.
You will be surprised that the average material cost (cost of wood chip) for a cheap flimsy American home is around $5,000, but since we live in a mafia state, by the time the city, the contractors, & the utility companies are all done with you, you will end up paying hundreds of thousands of dollars, in some case millions of dollars for a home that's gonna end up having too many problems, in just 10 years or less.
Sorry for the long rant, i know this has been a tough year for many with people dying alone of covid, but I'm penniless, sleepless, stressed & exhausted & I can't bare the idea that I have to move again soon , to another wood chip rental, I wonder what kind of a horror is gonna be waiting for me there? costing me thousands of dollars in rent & moving cost.
> I have a masters degree in civil/construction engineering. I used to do cost analysis for different projects & I know the material cost, for just the framing of a house (the cost of timber & plywood) is around $5,000, I have worked with many reputable construction companies all over the NW. All of them used the same cheap crappy plywood, even for the construction of multi-million dollar homes.
> I have owned & rented many homes/condos, town homes/apartments all over US (mainly in NW), new & old. I understand there are individuals who have ulterior motives & are doubling their already doubled profit by enriching themselves off of consumers. But these of the realities of wood-frame residential buildings: the use of weak beams, cheap plywood, poor insulation, flimsy siding and roofing that either blows off in high winds or just rots away after a few year, termite damage, carpenter ants that chew and push out wood by finding crawl spaces underneath your house & you wouldn't even know until half of the house is gone, high expenses regarding pest control (over the years, I've spent at least 20K regarding pest control - rats, squirrels or ants, that will chew the wood & will find a way to get inside your attic/basement again & again) ... Rotting walls, water getting into insulation, moisture damage & mold, termites, leaking roofs, etc, etc. Houses built of plywood and low quality beams will not last all that long. Using staple guns to hold plywood to beams that ends up shabby. Contractors using the cheapest materials to throw up buildings as soon as they can in order to maximize profits. For some reason this shabby building tradition has become the norm in US. Simply using concrete, brick or stone will prevent all these issues related to wood.
> If the price of these flimsy wood-frame buildings were as cheap as the cost of its materials, it wouldn't be that big of a deal. At least, it's not costing consumers an arm & leg. The argument I've heard over & over is that we can't afford to build homes made of concrete or brick in US, but this is a gross lie. Even multi-million dollar homes are built with the same material as the cheap ones & how come other countries can afford to build homes made of concrete & still make money? There are so many newer technologies like building homes with precast concrete, so cost effective because they are modular homes (many parts can be per-manufactured) & are a LOT MORE cost effective & durable
> Loud popping/snapping noises in wood structured homes are a recent phenomenon, which I believe has occurred as a result of rapid changes in the climate. Super dry or humid & hot summers depending on which side of the country you live in, long cold winters, constant rain, moisture & high winds are taking their toll on wood-frame buildings. Three out of the three recent homes I lived in had severe issues to do with constant loud snapping/popping noises coming from the structure of the house, mainly from ceiling joists as well as walls. Never experienced this issue ever before & here is a video that even new constructions are not immune to this disease
Buyers be aware, there is no way to know that a property has this particular issue until you spend a week sleeping & living at the property. I know homes with this problem that were sold & the problem was concealed & the inspector never found anything wrong, because the issue is hidden from naked eyes, check out truss uplift & the effect of rapid changes in the climate on wood-frame buildings. I believe more & more buildings are gonna end up having this issue in the near future. This issue is NOT related to normal expansion/contraction of the wood, these noises are not normal home noises, they are as loud as gunshots, happen all the time, & no one can even figure out what is going on. The building you buy might not have this issue right away, but there is no guarantee that within a few years, you will not end up with this nightmare.
> I have lived in homes as old as 300 yrs old, in Germany & UK, built from brick/store & I tell you they are as solid as a rock. They are warm & cozy during winter & cool & pleasant during summer. As far as sound insulation goes, concrete, brick & stone have high mass density, and they muffle & dampen sound quite a bit, whereas wood echos the sound by reverberating it & transmitting it all over. In fact, stealth plans are mainly made of wood, in order to reduce reflection/emission of radar, so they CANNOT be detected, where as signals would bounce off other solid materials. Knock on a wall made of wood & see how it feels hollow & void, whereas concrete or brick will dampen the echo quite a lot. If you punch a concrete wall, you will end up breaking your hand, where as you can easily punch a hole in a plywood wall & if you live in a multi-family home, you may end up in your neighbors unit.
Many US houses or buildings will not be around, let's say 500 years from now, as a result of a wasteful consumerism system & a mindset of bulldozing the old & buying something new, even if it's cheaper quality. All great civilizations have left structures for us to admire: Rome, Egypt, Greece, Byzantium, Incas, Aztecs etc. Unfortunately, it doesn't seem likely that American civilization will leave any impressive physical structures behind.
submitted by Bernice2020 to offmychest [link] [comments]

The Cheap Quality of American Homes

Before I start, I wanted to say that I've lived in many different countries (brick/concrete buildings) & I never experienced so many problems as I have with US homes. The use of cheap plywood and wood chip, poor or no insulation, flimsy siding and roofing that either blows off in high winds or just rots away after a few year, in addition to high prices have made life a living miserable hell for the average American.
I've lived in US for the past 20 years, mainly in the west coast. I owned a nice peaceful house in Seattle area back in the 90s, things were not this expensive & I had a great mortgage rate until the collapse of housing market happened in 2008, and my mortgage rate went up from 3.25% to 6%, although I paid my mortgage onetime & didn't do anything wrong. Around the same time, my utilities, and taxes went up drastically. The house was built in the 80s and the constant rain & termite damage & carpenter ants had made the wood rot underneath the house, not to mention the leaky roof & many other issues with plumbing, mainly to do with wood-structured houses.
Long story short, my house was peaceful, but because of high taxation, crime, constant rain & cold, & other problems like high utility & mortgage rate, I made a decision to sell the house and move to California.
I rented a two bedroom luxury apartment unit in Orange County around 2015 for $2500/months, but everyday there was an issue with the management, constant noise of performance cars revving their engine, garbage trucks, leaf blowers & landscapers, you name it ....
After a year, I finally got sick & tired of high rent & high taxation in Cali & moved to Nevada, Las Vegas. The apartment I moved in was ok for a few months until a loud motorcyclist moved next door to me. The guy worked all odd hours and he used to love revving his bike at nights, like 12 am, 3 am, 5 am, multiple times, when he commuted back & forth to work every day ... Calling the police, talking to Management or leaving nice notes on his bike, none of them worked, until I was forced to move out.
Everybody said rent a house, apartments are crap. oh how little I knew
So I ended up renting a home (paying $2100) to have more privacy & peace of mind. The house was fine for a few years (except the loud neighbors kids screaming & swearing, dogs barking all day & night, neighbors doing landscaping at 8am Sunday morning, etc etc), but I still put up with it, at least I had few hours of quiet at nights & I used white noise machine to drown out some of the noise. Until one day, out of the blue, the house started making weird noises, mainly coming from the ceiling/attic. It started with one loud knock/snap every morning at 8:30 am, and over a week period, the knocks went from one loud one to 20 knocks a day. Within a month, things became so bad that every time the sun would come up or go down, the roof would pop like 200 times. At nights, I would hear a lot of loud banging/popping noises coming from chimney and the attic. I let the landlord know right away (which they didn't believe me at first), I even paid for pest control (we thought it maybe rats or some other animal in the attic), which no trace of any animal was found in the attic. We brought roofers, inspectors, you name it, no one had any clue what was going on. Things got so bad that I couldn't sleep more than couple of hours every night, waking up with a very loud knock or bang, sometimes every 30 min. I lived in that house for 3.5 years, and didn't hear a beep from the structure of the place, so I have no clue how a building that quiet could go suddenly crazy & it was so frustrating that no one had any clue what was going on . Haunted house?
I was forced to move out of the lease & find another place. I ended up living in another house (1,900/mo) that had severe zapping issues (the floors were made out of cheap laminate & they wouldn't let you ground), so every time I touch a door knob or kitchen appliances or doors or windows, I would get zapped like crazy. I also would hear loud banging from pipes when I took a shower & once every two weeks I would hear loud banging from the roof/siding of the house. But at least the structural noise of this house wasn't constant, like the other property. But a few months to my lease, I discovered that the house is foreclosed and the owner has no intention to fix anything, so I moved to another single family home in a very nice area & gated community (paying $2,300/mo).
Oh boy, renting this new place was probably one of the biggest mistakes I have ever made. I moved there around December last year & the first night I slept there I realized that I have made a giant mistake. There were LOUD snaps/pops once every 30 min all over the house, I mean snaps as loud as gut shots that could be heard overheard all over the house, even in the closet or bathroom, day & night. It wouldn't go away. When the heater ran, the snaps & knocks would become so loud, as if wood is splitting in half on top of your head. No amount of white noise or ear plug could block that noise. I work from home & my clients could hear the loud snaps over the phone & often asked me what is that loud noise in the background and if someone is shooting.
Because I had moved twice in less than 3 month I ended up putting up with it & staying there for 7 month, I have a background in structural/civil engineering, so I thought I could bring inspectors & could figure out a way to minimize the constant loud popping & snapping noises. I talked to PM & they send people who had no idea what was going on, charging the owner thousands of dollars in roof & pest control. I paid out of pocket myself, bringing contractors to screw the ceiling drywall, in case the nails holding the ceiling boards were moving in & out of 2x4s. We tried re-screwing the ceiling in one room & to my surprise it made the popping noises a lot worse & even more often. By then I knew the property has serious foundation & possibly truss uplift issue. I even got covid during this whole mess around January & not sleeping, constant stress & loud noises made my illness prolong for 4 months Dry coughs, severe diarrhea, shortness if breathe, severe joint & muscle pain & high fever. At that time I was so devastated & all I wanted was to sleep & I couldn't I couldn't even go rent a hotel room for a few days, since around March the Gov had shut everything down, so I was stuck inside a big house that I couldn't sleep in any of the rooms.
Eventually when I recovered from covid, I thought I've had enough of homes with severe structural/roof issues & it's time to go back to condo/apartment living. At least, they wouldn't have serious foundation/roof issues, right? I moved to this condo a few months ago & of course it's another wood-structure multi-family home made with flimsy roof & floors. What I didn't know about this building is the fact that there is absolutely NO insulation in between the units, over the floor & walls that I share with other neighbors, NON, whatsoever, so I could hear normal conversation, dogs barking, constant door slamming, banging noises from other units. Also because of covid, some neighbors work from home, sometimes repairing heavy machinery & auto parts! Imagine , only sharing a thin plywood with the unit underneath and the loud obnoxious neighbor next door! Another issue with this condo is the shaky floor, when I walk around my unit or neighbors walk around their own unit, my floor shakes violently & ends up shaking my heavy coach as well as the bed. If I'm sleep & the noise doesn't wake me up right away, the shaking of the floor definitely would. I never thought I could hear this much from units downstairs or on the side, because I had lived in other apartments before, and I had never experienced this level of noise traveling up from downstairs neighbors or the hellish neighbors on the side.
My neighbor on the side works night-shift, I hear her coming home, all odd hours (like 1am or 4am, every day- it's Vegas so people work odd hours at the casino), I hear everything, when she is taking a shower, slamming the hell out of her bathroom door, her dogs barking, walking around her unit, I've tried to reason with them & talk to them to at least not slam doors 10 times an hour day & night, but had no luck. Unreasonable people can't be reasoned with. As a matter of fact, I think they are doubling down on their door slamming & banging noises. My neighbor downstairs also has a habit of slamming every door & drawer & leaves the house at 7 am (every morning) & my floor shakes violently every time she goes in & out of her building, which is 5 or 6 times a day
I have moved 4 times, in less than a year. I lived in single family homes as well as condos that were uninhabitable, because of poor construction & use of cheap plywood, if these structures were built with concrete/brick, none of these issues would have happened. Trust me, I have lived in many concrete/brick structures before, my first apartment in Seattle was an old building made out of brick & you still may hear loud trucks or bikes, but there is no way you would hear your neighbors talking in normal voice, taking a shower, wiping their ass, or closing their door.
This is so depressing that we pay so much in mortgages or rent in America, yet we have to live in such horrible living spaces that are uninhabitable. American houses often have the appearance of having brick walls, however these are just stuck onto the outside of the plywood walls giving a false sense of quality and strength. I understand that using flimsy wood is much cheaper than using stone, brick or concrete, but this is not really evidenced by the prices of houses. Even multi-million dollar new houses in the States are being built from the same cheap plywood, poor insulation, shabby roofing material as cheaper houses. The fact that walls are paper thin and conversations can be heard a room away is nothing strange in American houses. I'm not even gonna mention horrible loud structural problems/noises that no one has any clue how to fix (god help you if something goes wrong inside the attic), rotting walls, water getting into insulation, pest issues, termite damage or leaking roofs.
You will be surprised that the average material cost (cost of wood chip) for a cheap flimsy American home is around $5,000, but since we live in a mafia state, by the time the city, the contractors, & the utility companies are all done with you, you will end up paying hundreds of thousands of dollars, in some case millions of dollars for a home that's gonna end up having too many problems, in just 10 years or less.
Sorry for the long rant, i know this has been a tough year for many with people dying alone of covid, but I'm penniless, sleepless, stressed & exhausted & I can't bare the idea that I have to move again soon , to another wood chip rental, I wonder what kind of a horror is gonna be waiting for me there? costing me thousands of dollars in rent & moving cost.
> I have a masters degree in civil/construction engineering. I used to do cost analysis for different projects & I know the material cost, for just the framing of a house (the cost of timber & plywood) is around $5,000, I have worked with many reputable construction companies all over the NW. All of them used the same cheap crappy plywood, even for the construction of multi-million dollar homes.
> I have owned & rented many homes/condos, town homes/apartments all over US (mainly in NW), new & old. I understand there are individuals who have ulterior motives & are doubling their already doubled profit by enriching themselves off of consumers. But these of the realities of wood-frame residential buildings: the use of weak beams, cheap plywood, poor insulation, flimsy siding and roofing that either blows off in high winds or just rots away after a few year, termite damage, carpenter ants that chew and push out wood by finding crawl spaces underneath your house & you wouldn't even know until half of the house is gone, high expenses regarding pest control (over the years, I've spent at least 20K regarding pest control - rats, squirrels or ants, that will chew the wood & will find a way to get inside your attic/basement again & again) ... Rotting walls, water getting into insulation, moisture damage & mold, termites, leaking roofs, etc, etc. Houses built of plywood and low quality beams will not last all that long. Using staple guns to hold plywood to beams that ends up shabby. Contractors using the cheapest materials to throw up buildings as soon as they can in order to maximize profits. For some reason this shabby building tradition has become the norm in US. Simply using concrete, brick or stone will prevent all these issues related to wood.
> If the price of these flimsy wood-frame buildings were as cheap as the cost of its materials, it wouldn't be that big of a deal. At least, it's not costing consumers an arm & leg. The argument I've heard over & over is that we can't afford to build homes made of concrete or brick in US, but this is a gross lie. Even multi-million dollar homes are built with the same material as the cheap ones & how come other countries can afford to build homes made of concrete & still make money? There are so many newer technologies like building homes with precast concrete, so cost effective because they are modular homes (many parts can be per-manufactured) & are a LOT MORE cost effective & durable: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KZxskJojRLY
> Loud popping/snapping noises in wood structured homes are a recent phenomenon, which I believe has occurred as a result of rapid changes in the climate. Super dry or humid & hot summers depending on which side of the country you live in, long cold winters, constant rain, moisture & high winds are taking their toll on wood-frame buildings. Three out of the three recent homes I lived in had severe issues to do with constant loud snapping/popping noises coming from the structure of the house, mainly from ceiling joists as well as walls. Never experienced this issue ever before & here is a video that even new constructions are not immune to this disease: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c07aIV-ddR0
Buyers be aware, there is no way to know that a property has this particular issue until you spend a week sleeping & living at the property. I know homes with this problem that were sold & the problem was concealed & the inspector never found anything wrong, because the issue is hidden from naked eyes, check out truss uplift & the effect of rapid changes in the climate on wood-frame buildings. I believe more & more buildings are gonna end up having this issue in the near future. This issue is NOT related to normal expansion/contraction of the wood, these noises are not normal home noises, they are as loud as gunshots, happen all the time, & no one can even figure out what is going on. The building you buy might not have this issue right away, but there is no guarantee that within a few years, you will not end up with this nightmare.
> I have lived in homes as old as 300 yrs old, in Germany & UK, built from brick/store & I tell you they are as solid as a rock. They are warm & cozy during winter & cool & pleasant during summer. As far as sound insulation goes, concrete, brick & stone have high mass density, and they muffle & dampen sound quite a bit, whereas wood echos the sound by reverberating it & transmitting it all over. In fact, stealth plans are mainly made of wood, in order to reduce reflection/emission of radar, so they CANNOT be detected, where as signals would bounce off other solid materials. Knock on a wall made of wood & see how it feels hollow & void, whereas concrete or brick will dampen the echo quite a lot. If you punch a concrete wall, you will end up breaking your hand, where as you can easily punch a hole in a plywood wall & if you live in a multi-family home, you may end up in your neighbors unit.
Many US houses or buildings will not be around, let's say 500 years from now, as a result of a wasteful consumerism system & a mindset of bulldozing the old & buying something new, even if it's cheaper quality. All great civilizations have left structures for us to admire: Rome, Egypt, Greece, Byzantium, Incas, Aztecs etc. Unfortunately, it doesn't seem likely that American civilization will leave any impressive physical structures behind.
submitted by Bernice2020 to CasualConversation [link] [comments]

2020 Anagrammed NFL Draft

In peak offseason form, I decided to anagram all the draft picks. I did have two rules, I could not use the original player's name (Example: Brian Burns, could not be Brain Burns), and I couldn't add a suffix to the name. There could definitely be better ones, I used this website.
I also, did this last year!

Arizona Cardinals A Lizard Ran Casino
Isaiah Simmons So I Smash A Mini
Josh Jones N/A
Leki Fotu Kite Foul
Rashard Lawrence Draw Lean Archers
Evan Weaver Never A Wave
Eno Benjamin Join Bean Men

Atlanta Falcons Tan Canal Floats
A.J. Terrell Jar Teller
Marlon Davidson Donor Vandalism
Matt Hennessy Neatest Hymns
Mykal Walker Mark Wall Key
Jaylinn Hawkins Lanky Shin In Jaw
Sterling Hofrichter Fresh Her Tiring Colt

Baltimore Ravens Irremovable Ants
Patrick Queen Quaint Pecker
J.K. Dobbins Bi DJ’s Knob (u/oprimaelocho)
Justin Madubuike Junkie Autism Bud
Devin Duvernay Nude Navy Diver
Malik Harrison I Shank Oral Rim
Tyre Phillips They Rip Pills
Ben Bredeson Bone Benders
Broderick Washington Jr Jacking Wind Or Brothers
James Proche Major Speech
Geno Stone Onto Genes

Buffalo Bills Fulfills A Bob
A.J. Epenesa Pee A Jeans
Zack Moss N/A
Gabriel Davis A Visible Grad
Jake Fromm Jam Me Fork
Tyler Bass Bras Style
Isaiah Hodgins I Has Indigo Ash
Dane Jackson Can And Jokes

Carolina Panthers Chaparral Tension
Derrick Brown Worn Red Brick
Yetur Gross-Matos Our Moss Strategy
Jeremy Chinn Me Rich Jenny
Troy Pride Dirty Rope
Kenny Robinson No Skinny Boner
Bravvion Roy Rob Ivory Van
Stanley Thomas-Oliver Antislavery Lost Home

Chicago Bears He Car Go Basic
Cole Kmet Elk Comet
Jaylon Johnson N/A
Trevis Gipson Pig Investors
Kindle Vildor Old Evil Drink
Darnell Mooney Modernly Alone
Arlington Hambright Lightning Bath Armor
Lachavious Simmons I Viscous Ham Salmon

Cincinnati Bengals In Incest Balancing
Joe Burrow Rue Row Job
Tee Higgins Genie Sight
Logan Wilson Slowing Loan
Akeem Davis-Gaither I Gave A Shrieked Mat
Khalid Kareem Mad Lake Hiker
Hakeem Adeniji Media Jean Hike
Markus Bailey I Mauls Bakery

Cleveland Browns Blend Low Caverns
Jedrick Wills Will Jerk Disc
Grant Delpit Pelting Dart
Jordan Elliott A Jointed Troll
Jacob Phillips A Spill Chip Job
Harrison Bryant Ran Barn History
Nick Harris Rink Chairs
Donovan Peoples-Jones Snoop On Develop Jeans

Dallas Cowboys Classy Wood Lab
CeeDee Lamb A Emcee Bled
Trevon Diggs Dog Rig Vents
Neville Gallimore Ever Legal Million
Reggie Robinson Sobering Region
Tyler Biadasz A Stylized Bar
Bradlee Anae Enable A Dare
Ben DiNucci Iced Cub Inn

Denver Broncos Born Conserved
Jerry Jeudy N/A
K.J. Hamler N/A
Michael Ojemudia I Had Ale Juice Mom
Lloyd Cushenberry Sorry Lynched Lube
McTelvin Agam Given Calm Mat
Albert Okwuegbunam But Unworkable Game
Justin Strnad Din Stunts Jar
Netane Muti Neat Minute
Tyrie Cleveland Evidently Clear
Derrek Tuszka Raze Dusk Trek

Detroit Lions Tried Lotions
Jeff Okudah A Huff Joked
D'Andre Swift I Dent Dwarfs
Julian Okwara Ruin Koala Jaw
Jonah Jackson John Jack A Son
Logan Stenberg Gargle Bonnets
Quintez Cephus Nut Speech Quiz
Jason Huntley Enjoy Lush Ant
John Penisini Join Ship Nine
Jashon Cornell Recalls On John

Green Bay Packers Grab Peak Scenery
Jordan Love Old Oven Jar
AJ Dillon A Jill Nod
Josiah Deguara Said Jaguar Hoe
Kamal Martin Main Ram Talk
Jon Runyan Jr Nun Ran Joy (N/A with Jr.)
Jake Hanson Sneak A John
Simon Stepaniak Mistaken Pianos
Vernon Scott Consort Vent
Jonathan Garvin Java Ran Nothing

Houston Texans Haunts Onto Sex
Ross Blacklock Rollback Socks
Jonathan Greenard And Rear Jean Thong
Charlie Heck Chick Healer
John Reid Join Herd
Isaiah Coultier Sea Oil Haircut

Indianapolis Colts Spinal Dislocation
Michael Pittman Jr Inject Primal Math
Jonathan Taylor Jot Than Any Oral
Julian Blackmon Jumbo Clink Anal
Jacob Eason A Canoe Jobs
Danny Pinter Dinner Panty
Robert Windsor I Borrow Trends
Isaiah Rodgers Sad Hair Orgies
Dezmon Patton Zap Tom Tendon
Jordan Glasgow Log Dragon Jaw

Jacksonville Jaguars Jail Vocal Gas Junkers
C.J. Henderson N/A
K'Lavon Chaisson I Shank Volcanos
Laviska Shenault Native Salsa Hulk
DaVon Hamilton I No Moth Vandal
Ben Bartch Bench Brat
Josiah Scott Jots His Taco
Shaquille Quarterman Tan Ham Equal Squirrel
Daniel Thomas Mad Hailstone
Collin Johnson Oh Conn Son Jill
Jake Luton Joule Tank
Tyler Davis Stray Devil
Chris Claybrooks Richly Book Scars

Kansas City Chiefs Satisfy As Chicken
Clyde Edwards-Helaire Sewed Elder Chairlady
Willie Gay I Wage Lily
Lucas Niang Suing Canal
L'Jarius Sneed Injured Seals
Mike Danna I Man Naked
Thakarius Keyes I Shakes A Turkey

Las Vegas Raiders A Visa Regardless
Henry Ruggs Shy Erg Rung
Damon Arnette Nematode Rant
Lynn Bowden N/A
Bryan Edwards Dew Barnyards
Tanner Muse Nest Manure
John Simpson Mops In Johns
Amik Robertson Not Smokier Bra

Los Angeles Chargers Gas Rose Challengers
Justin Herbert Thin Rub Jester
Kenneth Murray Hurry Men Taken
Joshua Kelley Easy Hull Joke
Joe Reed Jeer Doe
Alohi Gilman Hang Oil Mail
K.J. Hill N/A

Los Angeles Rams Angler Molasses
Cam Akers A Smacker
Van Jefferson N/A
Terrell Lewis Let Reel Swirl
Terrell Burgess Less Regret Blur
Brycen Hopkins Skinny Herb Cop
Jordan Fuller Full Drone Jar
Clay Johnston Jot Nylon Cash
Sam Sloman Slams Mason
Tremayne Anchrum Mean Than Mercury

Miami Dolphins Midshipman Oil
Tua Tagovailoa Auto Goat Avail
Austin Jackson Asks A Junction
Noah Igbinoghene I Bone Hanging Hoe
Robert Hunt Brother Nut
Raekwon Davis Invoked As War
Brandon Jones No Nerd Banjos
Solomon Kindley Old Lion Monkeys
Jason Strowbridge God Brews Janitors
Curtis Weaver Recruits Wave
Blake Ferguson Forsaken Bulge
Malcolm Perry Merry Mall Cop

Minnesota Vikings Mistaking Venison
Justin Jefferson Rejoins Jet Snuff
Jeff Gladney En Fed Jag Fly
Ezra Cleveland Even All Crazed
Cameron Dantzler Crazed Lemon Rant
D.J. Wonnum N/A
James Lynch Lynches Jam
Troy Dye Dyer Toy
Harrison Hand Ran Rhino Dash
K.J. Osborn Nork Jobs (u/oprimaelocho)
Blake Brandel Banked Baller
Josh Metellus Just Some Hell
Kenny Willekes New Elk Skyline
Nate Stanley Teen Analyst
Brian Cole No Caliber
Kyle Hinton Then In Yolk

New England Patriots Petting A Landowners
Kyle Dugger Gurgled Key
Josh Uche N/A
Anfernee Jennings Gene In Fern Jeans
Devin Asiasi I Invade A Sis
Dalton Keene Not A Kneeled
Justin Rohrwasser Injures War Shorts
Michael Onwenu Nice Humane Owl
Justin Herron Injures North
Cassh Maluia Has A Musical
Dustin Woodard Dad Riot Wounds

New Orleans Saints No Slant Weariness
Cesar Ruiz Us Crazier
Zack Baun N/A
Adam Trautman Mama At Tundra
Tommy Stevens My Venom Tests

New York Giants Knew Gyrations
Andrew Thomas Homeward Ants
Xavier McKinney I Even Mix Cranky
Matt Peart Tat Tamper
Darnay Holmes Harmony Deals
Shane Lemieux Exhume Aliens
Cam Brown Warn Comb
Carter Coughlin Crouching Alert
T.J. Brunson BJ Turn Ons (u/oprimaelocho)
Chris Williamson Choir In Sawmills
Tae Crowder Cowered Rat

New York Jets We Snot Jerky
Mekhi Becton No Meek Bitch
Denzel Mims Slimmed Zen (u/TimDunkan)
Ashtyn Davis This Shy Navy
Jabari Zuniga I Ruin A Zag Jab
La'Mical Perine Prime Alliance
James Morgan Major Men Gas
Cameron Clark Crackle Manor
Bryce Hall Belly Arch
Braden Mann Damn Banner

Philadelphia Eagles Illegal Headship Ape
Jalen Reagor A Jog Learner
Jalen Hurts Ten Lush Jar
Davion Taylor Toad Oar Vinyl
K'Von Wallace Clank A Vowel
Jack Driscoll Call Jock Rids
John Hightower How He Thorn Jig
Shaun Bradley Husbandly Ear
Quez Watkins We Stank Quiz
Prince Tega Wanogho Opera Ace Nightgown
Casey Toohill Loyalist Echo

Pittsburgh Steelers Brightest Slurp Tees
Chase Claypool A Locale Psycho
Alex Highsmith Thigh Leash Mix
Anthony McFarland Jr My Damn Jolt Ranch Fan
Kevin Dotson Invoked Snot
Antoine Brooks Rain Notebooks
Carlos Davis Saliva Cords

San Francisco 49ers 49 Carcass Infernos
Javon Kinlaw Know Van Jail
Brandon Aiyuk Okay Ruin Band
Colton McKivitz It Mock Volt Zinc
Charlie Woerner Heroine Crawler
Jauan Jennings In Jag Nun Jeans

Seattle Seahawks Weakest Hat Sales
Jordyn Brooks Sky Nor Rod Job
Darrell Taylor Lordly Real Art
Damien Lewis I Mind Weasel
Colby Parkinson No Skip Carbonyl
DeeJay Dallas Add A Sea Jelly
Alton Robinson No Barn Lotions
Freddie Swain Dawn Fireside
Stephen Sullivan Valentines Plush

Tampa Bay Buccaneers Bet Cabana Supremacy
Tristan Wirfs Warns It First
Antoine Winfield Jr Final Twin Rejoined
Ke'Shawn Vaughn Shaven Hawk Gun
Tyler Johnson Only Horn Jets
Khalil Davis Kill Via Dash
Chapelle Russell All Lurches Sleep
Raymond Calais Irony Mac Salad

Tennessee Titans Nineteens States
Isaiah Wilson A Liaison Wish
Kristian Fulton Afro Tit Unlinks
Darrynton Evans Yarn Ant Vendors
Larrell Murchison Rim Roll Launchers
Cole McDonald Called Condom
Chris Jackson Hijacks Corns

Washington Redskins Rethinking Ass Downs
Chase Young One Cash Guy
Antonio Gibson Boasting Onion
Saahdiq Charles N/A
Antonio Gandy-Golden No Tango And Yodeling
Keith Ismael I Metal Sheik
Khaleke Hudson Hole Head Skunk
Kamren Curl Murk Lancer
James Smith-Williams His Wise Mammal Jilts
submitted by pterodaktyl4 to nfl [link] [comments]

What a USL D1 league might look like

TL;DR: Man with too much time on his hands goes deep down the rabbit hole on a concept this sub already didn’t seem that enthusiastic about. If you really want to skip ahead, CTRL+F “verdict” and it’ll get you there.
Two days ago, u/MrPhillyj2wns made a post asking whether USL should launch a D1 league in order to compete in Concacaf. From the top voted replies, it appears this made a lot of people very angry and has been widely regarded as a bad move.
But I’ve been at home for eight weeks and I am terribly, terribly bored.
So, I present to you this overview of what the USL pyramid might look like if Jake Edwards got a head of steam and attempted to establish a USSF-sanctioned first division. This is by no means an endorsement of such a proposal or even a suggestion that USL SHOULD do such a thing. It is merely an examination of whether they COULD.
Welcome to the Thunderdome USL Premiership
First, there are some base-level assumptions we must make in this exercise, because it makes me feel more scientific and not like a guy who wrote this on Sunday while watching the Belarusian Premier League (Go BATE Borisov!).
  1. All D1 teams must comply with known USSF requirements for D1 leagues (more on that later).
  2. MLS, not liking this move, will immediately remove all directly-owned affiliate clubs from the USL structure (this does not include hybrid ownerships, like San Antonio FC – NYCFC). This removes all MLS2 teams but will not affect Colorado Springs, Reno, RGVFC and San Antonio.
  3. The USL will attempt to maintain both the USL Championship and USL League One, with an eventual mind toward creating the pro/rel paradise that is promised in Relegations 3:16.
  4. All of my research regarding facility size and ownership net worth is correct – this is probably the biggest leap of faith we have to make, since googling “NAME net worth” and “CITY richest people” doesn’t seem guaranteed to return accurate results.
  5. The most a club can increase its available seating capacity to meet D1 requirements in a current stadium is no more than 1,500 seats (10% of the required 15,000). If they need to add more, they’ll need a new facility.
  6. Let’s pretend that people are VERY willing to sell. It’s commonly acknowledged that the USL is a more financially feasible route to owning a soccer club than in MLS (c.f. MLS-Charlotte’s reported $325 million expansion fee) and the USSF has some very strict requirements for D1 sanctioning. It becomes pretty apparent when googling a lot of team’s owners that this requirement isn’t met, so let’s assume everyone that can’t sells to people who meet the requirements.
(Known) USSF D1 league requirements:
- League must have 12 teams to apply and 14 teams by year three
- Majority owner must have a net worth of $40 million, and the ownership group must have a total net worth of $70 million. The value of an owned stadium is not considered when calculating this value.
- Must have teams located in the Eastern, Central and Pacific time zones
- 75% of league’s teams must be based in markets with at a metro population of at least 1 million people.
- All league stadiums must have a capacity of at least 15,000
The ideal club candidate for the USL Premiership will meet the population and capacity requirements in its current ground, which will have a grass playing surface. Of the USL Championship’s 27 independent/hybrid affiliate clubs, I did not find one club that meets all these criteria as they currently stand.
Regarding turf fields, the USSF does not have a formal policy regarding the ideal playing surface but it is generally acknowledged that grass is superior to turf. 6 of 26 MLS stadiums utilize turf, or roughly 23% of stadiums. We’ll hold a similar restriction for our top flight, so 2-3 of our top flight clubs can have turf fields. Seem fair?
Capacity is going to be the biggest issue, since the disparity between current requirements for the second-tier (5,000) and the first tier (15,000) is a pretty massive gap. Nice club you have there, triple your capacity and you’re onto something. As a result, I have taken the liberty of relocating certain (read: nearly all) clubs to new grounds, trying my utmost to keep those clubs in their current markets and –importantly--, ensure they play on grass surfaces.
So, let’s do a case-by-case evaluation and see if we can put together 12-14 teams that meet the potential requirements, because what else do you have to do?
For each club’s breakdown, anything that represents a chance from what is currently true will be underlined.
Candidate: Birmingham Legion FC
Location (Metro population): Birmingham, Ala. (1,151,801)
Time zone: Central
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Legion Field (FieldTurf, 71,594)
Potential owner: Stephens Family (reported net worth $4 billion)
Notes: Birmingham has a pretty strong candidacy. Having ditched the 5,000-seater BBVA Field for Legion Field, which sits 2.4 miles away, they’ve tapped into the city’s soccer history. Legion Field hosted portions of both the men’s and women’s tournaments at the 1996 Olympics, including a 3-1 U.S. loss to Argentina that saw 83,183 pack the house. The Harbert family seemed like strong ownership contenders, but since the death of matriarch Marguerite Harbert in 2015, it’s unclear where the wealth in the family is concentrated, so the Stephens seem like a better candidate. The only real knock that I can think of is that we really want to avoid having clubs play on turf, so I’d say they’re on the bubble of our platonic ideal USL Prem.
Candidate: Charleston Battery
Location (Metro population): Charleston, S.C. (713,000)
Time zone: Eastern
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Johnson Hagood Stadium (Grass, ~14,700)
Potential owner: Anita Zucker (reported net worth $3 billion)
Notes: Charleston’s candidacy isn’t looking great. Already disadvantaged due to its undersized metro population, a move across the Cooper River to Johnson Hagood Stadium is cutting it close in terms of capacity. The stadium, home to The Citadel’s football team, used to seat 21,000, before 9,300 seats on the eastern grandstand were torn down in 2017 to deal with lead paint that had been used in their construction. Renovation plans include adding 3,000 seats back in, which could hit 15,000 if they bumped it to 3,300, but throw in a required sale by HCFC, LLC (led by content-creation platform founder Rob Salvatore) to chemical magnate Anita Zucker, and you’ll see there’s a lot of ifs and ands in this proposal.
Candidate: Charlotte Independence
Location (Metro population): Charlotte, N.C. (2,569, 213)
Time zone: Eastern
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Jerry Richardson Stadium (Turf, 15,314)
Potential owner: James Goodnight (reported net worth $9.1 billion)
Notes: Charlotte ticks a lot of the boxes. A move from the Sportsplex at Matthews to UNC-Charlotte’s Jerry Richardson stadium meets capacity requirements, but puts them on to the dreaded turf. Regrettably, nearby American Legion Memorial Stadium only seats 10,500, despite a grass playing surface. With a sizeable metro population (sixth-largest in the USL Championship) and a possible owner in software billionaire James Goodnight, you’ve got some options here. The biggest problem likely lies in direct competition for market share against a much better-funded MLS Charlotte side due to join the league in 2021.
Candidate: Hartford Athletic
Location (Metro population): Hartford, Conn. (1,214,295)
Time zone: Eastern
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Pratt & Whitney Stadium (Grass, 38,066)
Potential owner: Ray Dalio (reported net worth $18.4 billion)
Notes: Okay, I cheated a bit here, having to relocate Hartford to Pratt & Whitney Stadium, which is technically in East Hartford, Conn. I don’t know enough about the area to know if there’s some kind of massive beef between the two cities, but the club has history there, having played seven games in 2019 while Dillon Stadium underwent renovations. If the group of local businessmen that currently own the club manage to attract Dalio to the table, we’re on to something.
Candidate: Indy Eleven
Location (Metro population): Indianapolis, Ind. (2,048,703)
Time zone: Eastern
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Lucas Oil Stadium (Turf, 62,421)
Potential owner: Jim Irsay (reported net worth of $3 billion)
Notes: Indy Eleven are a club that are SO CLOSE to being an ideal candidate – if it weren’t for Lucas Oil Stadium’s turf playing surface. Still, there’s a lot to like in this bid. I’m not going to lie, I have no idea what current owner and founder Ersal Ozdemir is worth, but it seems like there might be cause for concern. A sale to Irsay, who also owns the NFL Indianapolis (nee Baltimore) Colts, seems likely to keep the franchise there, rather than make a half-mile move to 14,230 capacity Victory Field where the AAA Indianapolis Indians play and expand from there.
Candidate: Louisville City FC
Location (Metro population): Louisville, Ky. (1,297,310)
Time zone: Eastern
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Lynn Family Stadium (Grass, 14,000, possibly expandable to 20,000)
Potential owner: Wayne Hughes (reported net worth $2.8 billion)
Notes: I’m stretching things a bit here. Lynn Family stadium is currently listed as having 11,700 capacity that’s expandable to 14,000, but they’ve said that the ground could hold as many as 20,000 with additional construction, which might be enough to grant them a temporary waiver from USSF. If the stadium is a no-go, then there’s always Cardinal Stadium, home to the University of Louisville’s football team, which seats 65,000 but is turf. Either way, it seems like a sale to someone like Public Storage founder Wayne Hughes will be necessary to ensure the club has enough capital.
Candidate: Memphis 901 FC
Location (Metro population): Memphis, Tenn. (1,348,260)
Time zone: Central
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Liberty Bowl Stadium (Turf, 58,325)
Potential owner: Fred Smith (reported net worth $3 billion)
Notes: Unfortunately for Memphis, AutoZone Park’s 10,000 seats won’t cut it at the D1 level. With its urban location, it would likely prove tough to renovate, as well. Liberty Bowl Stadium more than meets the need, but will involve the use of the dreaded turf. As far as an owner goes, FedEx founder Fred Smith seems like a good local option.
Candidate: Miami FC, “The”
Location (Metro population): Miami, Fla. (6,158,824)
Time zone: Eastern
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Riccardo Silva Stadium (FieldTurf, 20,000)
Potential owner: Riccardo Silva (reported net worth $1 billion)
Notes: Well, well, well, Silva might get his wish for top-flight soccer, after all. He’s got the money, he’s got the metro, and his ground has the capacity. There is the nagging issue of the turf, though. Hard Rock Stadium might present a solution, including a capacity of 64,767 and a grass playing surface. It is worth noting, however, that this is the first profile where I didn’t have to find a new potential owner for a club.
Candidate: North Carolina FC
Location (Metro population): Durham, N.C. (1,214,516 in The Triangle)
Time zone: Eastern
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Carter-Finley Stadium (Grass/Turf, 57,583)
Potential owner: Steve Malik (precise net worth unknown) / Dennis Gillings (reported net worth of $1.7 billion)
Notes: We have our first “relocation” in North Carolina FC, who were forced to trade Cary’s 10,000-seat WakeMed Soccer Park for Carter-Finley Stadium in Durham, home of the NC State Wolfpack and 57,583 of their closest friends. The move is a whopping 3.1 miles, thanks to the close-knit hub that exists between Cary, Durham and Raleigh. Carter-Finley might be my favorite of the stadium moves in this exercise. The field is grass, but the sidelines are artificial turf. Weird, right? Either way, it was good enough for Juventus to play a friendly against Chivas de Guadalajara there in 2011. Maybe the move would be pushed for by new owner and medical magnate Dennis Gillings, whose British roots might inspire him to get involved in the Beautiful Game. Straight up, though, I couldn’t find a net worth for current owner Steve Malik, though he did sell his company MedFusion for $91 million in 2010, then bought it back for an undisclosed amount and sold it again for $43 million last November. I don’t know if Malik has the juice to meet D1 requirements, but I suspect he’s close.
Candidate: Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC
Location (Metro population): Pittsburgh, Penn. (2,362,453)
Time zone: Eastern
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Heinz Field (Grass, 64,450)
Potential owner: Henry Hillman (reported net worth $2.5 billion)
Notes: I don’t know a ton about the Riverhounds, but this move in particular feels like depriving a pretty blue-collar club from its roots. Highmark Stadium is a no-go from a seating perspective, but the Steelers’ home stadium at Heinz Field would more than meet the requirements and have a grass surface that was large enough to be sanctioned for a FIFA friendly between the U.S. WNT and Costa Rica in 2015. As for an owner, Tuffy Shallenberger (first ballot owner name HOF) doesn’t seem to fit the USSF bill, but legendary Pittsburgh industrialist Henry Hillman might. I’m sure you’re asking, why not the Rooney Family, if they’ll play at Heinz Field? I’ll tell you: I honestly can’t seem to pin down a value for the family. The Steelers are valued at a little over a billion and rumors persist that Dan Rooney is worth $500 million, but I’m not sure. I guess the Rooneys would work too, but it’s a definite departure from an owner in Shallenberger who was described by one journalist as a guy who “wears boots, jeans, a sweater and a trucker hat.”
Candidate: Saint Louis FC
Location (Metro population): St. Louis, Mo. (2,807,338)
Time zone: Central
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Busch Stadium (Grass, 45,494)
Potential owner: William DeWitt Jr. (reported net worth $4 billion)
Notes: Saint Louis has some weirdness in making the jump to D1. Current CEO Jim Kavanaugh is an owner of the MLS side that will begin play in 2022. The club’s current ground at West Community Stadium isn’t big enough, but perhaps a timely sale to Cardinals owner William DeWitt Jr. could see the club playing games at Busch Stadium, which has a well established history of hosting other sports like hockey, college football and soccer (most recently a U.S. WNT friendly against New Zealand in 2019). The competition with another MLS franchise wouldn’t be ideal, like Charlotte, but with a big enough population and cross marketing from the Cardinals, maybe there’s a winner here. Wacko idea: If Busch doesn’t pan out, send them to The Dome. Sure, it’s a 60k turf closed-in stadium, but we can go for that retro NASL feel and pay homage to our nation’s soccer history.
Candidate: Tampa Bay Rowdies
Location (Metro population): Tampa, Fla. (3,068,511)
Time zone: Eastern
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Raymond James Stadium (Grass, 65,518)
Potential owner: Edward DeBartolo Jr. (reported net worth $3 billion)
Notes: This one makes me sad. Despite having never been there, I see Al Lang Stadium as an iconic part of the Rowdies experience. Current owner Bill Edwards proposed an expansion to 18,000 seats in 2016, but the move seems to have stalled out. Frustrated with the city’s lack of action, Edwards sells to one-time San Francisco 49ers owner Edward DeBartolo Jr., who uses his old NFL connections to secure a cushy lease at the home of the Buccaneers in Ray Jay, the site of a 3-1 thrashing of Antigua and Barbuda during the United States’ 2014 World Cup Qualifying campaign.
Breather. Hey, we finished the Eastern Conference teams. Why are you still reading this? Why am I still writing it? Time is a meaningless construct in 2020 my friends, we are adrift in the void, fueled only by brief flashes of what once was and what may yet still be.
Candidate: Austin Bold FC
Location (Metro population): Austin, Texas (2,168,316)
Time zone: Central
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Darrel K Royal – Texas Memorial Stadium (FieldTurf, 95,594)
Potential owner: Michael Dell (reported net worth of $32.3 billion)
Notes: Anthony Precourt’s Austin FC has some unexpected competition and it comes in the form of tech magnate Michael Dell. Dell, were he to buy the club, would be one of the richest owners on our list and could flash his cash in the new first division. Would he have enough to convince Darrel K Royal – Texas Memorial Stadium (I’m not kidding, that’s its actual name) to go back to a grass surface, like it did from ’96-’08? That’s between Dell and nearly 100,000 UT football fans, but everything can be had for the right price.
Candidate: Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC
Location (Metro population): Colorado Springs, Colo. (738,939)
Time zone: Mountain
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Falcon Stadium (FieldTurf, 46,692)
Potential owner: Charles Ergen (reported net worth $10.8 billion)
Notes: Welcome to Colorado Springs. We have hurdles. For the first time in 12 candidates, we’re back below the desired 1 million metro population mark. Colorado Springs actually plans to build a $35 million, 8,000 seat venue downtown that will be perfect for soccer, but in our timeline that’s 7,000 seats short. Enter Falcon Stadium, home of the Air Force Academy Falcons football team. Seems perfect except for the turf, right? Well, the tricky thing is that Falcon Stadium is technically on an active military base and is (I believe) government property. Challenges to getting in and out of the ground aside, the military tends to have a pretty grim view of government property being used by for-profit enterprises. Maybe Charles Ergen, founder and chairman of Dish Network, would be able to grease the right wheels, but you can go ahead and throw this into the “doubtful” category. It’s a shame, too. 6,035 feet of elevation is one hell of a home-field advantage.
Candidate: El Paso Locomotive FC
Location: El Paso, Texas
Time zone: Mountain
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Sun Bowl (FieldTurf, 51,500)
Potential owner: Paul Foster (reported net worth $1.7 billion)
Notes: God bless Texas. When compiling this list, I found so many of the theoretical stadium replacements were nearly serviceable by high school football fields. That’s insane, right? Anyway, Locomotive don’t have to settle for one of those, they’ve got the Sun Bowl, which had its capacity reduced in 2001 to a paltry 51,500 (from 52,000) specifically to accommodate soccer. Sure, it’s a turf surface, but what does new owner Paul Foster (who is only the 1,477th wealthiest man in the world, per Forbes) care, he’s got a team in a top league. Side note: Did you know that the Sun Bowl college football game is officially, through sponsorship, the Tony the Tiger Sun Bowl? Why is it not the Frosted Flakes Sun Bowl? Why is the cereal mascot the promotional name of the football game? What are you doing, Kellogg’s?
Candidate: Las Vegas Lights FC
Location: Las Vegas, Nev. (2,227,053)
Time zone: Pacific
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Allegiant Stadium (Grass, 61,000)
Potential owner: Sheldon Adelson (reported net worth $37.7 billion)
Notes: Sin City. You had to know that the club that once signed Freddy Adu because “why not” was going to go all out in our flashy hypothetical proposal. Thanks to my narrative control of this whole thing, they have. Adelson is the second-richest owner in the league and has decided to do everything first class. That includes using the new Raiders stadium in nearby unincorporated Paradise, Nevada, and spending boatloads on high profile transfers. Zlatan is coming back to the U.S., confirmed.
Candidate: New Mexico United
Location: Albuquerque, N.M.
Time zone: Mountain
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Isotopes Park – officially Rio Grande Credit Union Field at Isotopes Park (Grass, 13,500 – 15,000 with expansion)
Potential owner: Maloof Family (reported net worth $1 billion)
Notes: New Mexico from its inception went deep on the community vibe, and I’ve tried to replicate that in this bid. The home field of Rio Grande Cr---I’m not typing out the whole thing—Isotopes Park falls just within the expansion rules we set to make it to 15,000 (weird, right?) and they’ve found a great local ownership group in the Lebanese-American Maloof (formerly Maalouf) family from Las Vegas. The only thing to worry about would be the metro population, but overall, this could be one of the gems of USL Prem.
Candidate: Oklahoma City Energy FC
Location: Oklahoma City, Okla. (1,396,445)
Time zone: Central
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark (Grass, 13,066)
Potential owner: Harold Hamm (reported net worth $14.2 billion)
Notes: There’s a bright golden haze on the meadow and it says it’s time to change stadiums and owners to make it to D1. A sale to oil magnate Harold Hamm would give the club the finances it needs, but Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark (home of the OKC Dodgers) actually falls outside of the boundary of what would meet capacity if 1,500 seats were added. Could the club pull off a move to Gaylord Family Oklahoma Memorial Stadium in Norman, Oklahoma – home of the Oklahoma Sooners? Maybe, but at 20 miles, this would be a reach.
Candidate: Orange County SC
Location: Irvine, Calif. (3,176, 000 in Orange County)
Time zone: Pacific
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Angels Stadium of Anaheim (Grass, 43,250)
Potential owner: Arte Moreno (reported net worth $3.3 billion)
Notes: You’ll never convince me that Rangers didn’t choose to partner with Orange County based primarily on its name. Either way, a sale to MLB Angels owner Arte Moreno produces a fruitful partnership, with the owner choosing to play his newest club out of the existing Angels stadium in OC. Another baseball conversion, sure, but with a metro population of over 3 million and the closest thing this hypothetical league has to an LA market, who’s complaining?
Candidate: Phoenix Rising FC
Location: Phoenix, Ariz. (4,857,962)
Time zone: Arizona
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): State Farm Stadium (Grass, 63,400)
Potential owner: Ernest Garcia II (reported net worth $5.7 billion)
Notes: We’re keeping it local with new owner and used car guru Ernest Garcia II. His dad owned a liquor store and he dropped out of college, which is making me feel amazing about my life choices right now. Casino Arizona Field is great, but State Farm Stadium is a grass surface that hosted the 2019 Gold Cup semifinal, so it’s a clear winner. Throw in Phoenix’s massive metro population and this one looks like a lock.
Candidate: Reno 1868 FC
Location: Reno, Nev. (425,417)
Time zone: Pacific
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Mackay Stadium (FieldTurf, 30,000)
Potential owner: Nancy Walton Laurie (reported net worth $7.1 billion)
Notes: The Biggest Little City on Earth has some serious barriers to overcome, thanks to its low metro population. A sale to Walmart heiress Nancy Walton Laurie and 1.6 mile-move to Mackay Stadium to split space with the University of Nevada, Reno makes this bid competitive, but the turf surface is another knock against it.
Candidate: Rio Grande Valley FC
Location: Edinburg, Texas (900,304)
Time zone: Central
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): McAllen Memorial Stadium (FieldTurf, 13,500 – 15,000 with expansion)
Potential owner: Alice Louise Walton (reported net worth $45 billion)
Notes: Yes, I have a second straight Walmart heiress on the list. She was the first thing that popped up when I googled “McAllen Texas richest people.” The family rivalry has spurred Walton to buy a club as well, moving them 10 miles to McAllen Memorial Stadium which, as I alluded to earlier, is a straight up high school football stadium with a full color scoreboard. Toss in an additional 1,500 seats and you’ve met the minimum, despite the turf playing surface.
Candidate: San Antonio FC
Location: San Antonio, Texas (2,550,960)
Time zone: Central
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Alamodome (FieldTurf, 64,000)
Potential owner: Red McCombs (reported net worth $1.6 billion)
Notes: I wanted to keep SAFC in the Spurs family, since the franchise is valued at $1.8 billion. That said, I didn’t let the Rooneys own the Riverhounds based on the Steelers’ value and it felt wrong to change the rules, so bring on Clear Channel co-founder Red McCombs. Toyota Field isn’t viable in the first division, but for the Alamodome, which was built in 1993 in hopes of attracting an NFL franchise (and never did), San Antonio can finally claim having *a* national football league team in its town (contingent on your definition of football). Now if only we could do something about that turf…
Candidate: San Diego Loyal SC
Location: San Diego, Calif. (3,317,749)
Time zone: Pacific
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): SDCCU Stadium (formerly Qualcomm) (Grass, 70,561)
Potential owner: Phil Mickelson (reported net worth $91 million)
Notes: Yes, golf’s Phil Mickelson. The existing ownership group didn’t seem to have the wherewithal to meet requirements, and Phil seemed to slot right in. As an athlete himself, he might be interesting in the new challenges of a top flight soccer team. Toss in a move to the former home of the chargers and you might have a basis for tremendous community support.
Candidate: FC Tulsa
Location: Tulsa, Okla. (991,561)
Time zone: Central
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Skelly Field at H.A. Chapman Stadium (FieldTurf, 30,000)
Potential owner: George Kaiser ($10 billion)
Notes: I’m a fan of FC Tulsa’s rebrand, but if they want to make the first division, more changes are necessary. A sale to Tulsa native and one of the 100 richest men in the world George Kaiser means that funding is guaranteed. A move to Chapman Stadium would provide the necessary seats, despite the turf field. While the undersize population might be an issue at first glance, it’s hard to imagine U.S. Soccer not granting a waiver over a less than a 10k miss from the mark.
And that’s it! You made it. Those are all of the independent/hybrid affiliates in the USL Championship, which means that it’s time for our…
VERDICT: As an expert who has studied this issue for almost an entire day now, I am prepared to pronounce which USL Championships could be most ‘ready” for a jump to the USL Prem. A reminder that of the 27 clubs surveyed, 0 of them met our ideal criteria (proper ownership $, metro population, 15,000+ stadium with grass field).
Two of them, however, met almost all of those criteria: Indy Eleven and Miami FC. Those two clubs may use up two of our three available turf fields right from the outset, but the other factors they hit (particularly Silva’s ownership of Miami) makes them difficult, if not impossible to ignore for the top flight.
But who fill in the rest of the slots? Meet the entire 14-team USL Premier League:
Hartford Athletic
Indy Eleven
Louisville City FC
Miami FC
North Carolina FC
Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC
Tampa Bay Rowdies
Saint Louis FC
San Antonio FC
New Mexico United
Phoenix Rising FC
Las Vegas Lights FC
Orange County SC
San Diego Loyal SC
Now, I shall provide my expert rationale for each club’s inclusion/exclusion, which can be roughly broken down into four categories.
Firm “yes”
Hartford Athletic: It’s a good market size with a solid stadium. With a decent investor and good community support, you’ve got potential here.
Indy Eleven: The turf at Lucas Oil Stadium is no reason to turn down a 62,421 venue and a metro population of over 2 million.
Louisville City FC: Why doesn’t the 2017 & 2018 USL Cup champion deserve a crack at the top flight? They have the market size, and with a bit of expansion have the stadium at their own SSS. LCFC, you’re in.
Miami FC, “The”: Our other blue-chip recruit on the basis of ownership value, market size and stadium capacity. Yes, that field is turf, but how could you snub Silva’s chance to claim victory as the first division 1 club soccer team to play in Miami?
Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC: Pittsburgh sacrificed a lot to be here (according to my arbitrary calculations). Their market size and the potential boon of soccer at Heinz Field is an important inclusion to the league.
Saint Louis FC: Willie hears your “Busch League” jokes, Willie don’t care. A huge market size, combined with the absence of an NFL franchise creates opportunity. Competition with the MLS side, sure, but St. Louis has serious soccer history and we’re willing to bet it can support two clubs.
Tampa Bay Rowdies: With a huge population and a massive stadium waiting nearby, Tampa Bay seems like too good of an opportunity to pass up for the USL Prem.
Las Vegas Lights FC: Ostentatious, massive and well-financed, Las Vegas Lights FC is everything that the USL Premier League would need to assert that it didn’t intend to play second fiddle to MLS. Players will need to be kept on a short leash, but this is a hard market to pass up on.
Phoenix Rising FC: Huge population, big grass field available nearby and a solid history of success in recent years. No brainer.
San Diego Loyal SC: New club? Yes, massive population in a market that recently lost an absolutely huge sports presence? Also yes. This could be the USL Prem’s Seattle.
Cautious “yes”
New Mexico United: You have to take a chance on New Mexico United. The club set the league on fire with its social media presence and its weight in the community when it entered the league last season. The market may be slightly under USSF’s desired 1 million, but fervent support (and the ability to continue to use Isotopes Park) shouldn’t be discounted.
North Carolina FC: Carter-Finley’s mixed grass/turf surface is a barrier, to be sure, but the 57,000+ seats it offers (and being enough to offset other fully-turf offerings) is enough to put it in the black.
Orange County SC: It’s a top-tier club playing in a MLB stadium. I know it seems unlikely that USSF would approve something like that, but believe me when I say “it could happen.” Orange County is a massive market and California likely needs two clubs in the top flight.
San Antonio FC: Our third and only voluntary inclusion to the turf fields in the first division, we’re counting on San Antonio’s size and massive potential stadium to see it through.
Cautious “no”
Birmingham Legion FC: The town has solid soccer history and a huge potential venue, but the turf playing surface puts it on the outside looking in.
Memphis 901 FC: Like Birmingham, not much to dislike here outside of the turf playing surface at the larger playing venue.
Austin Bold FC: See the other two above.
FC Tulsa: Everything’s just a little bit off with this one. Market’s slightly too small, stadium has turf. Just not enough to put it over the top.
Firm “no”
Charleston Battery: Small metro and a small potential new stadium? It’s tough to say yes to the risk.
Charlotte Independence: A small new stadium and the possibility of having to compete with an organization that just paid over $300 million to join MLS means it’s best for this club to remain in the USL Championship.
Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC: When a club’s best chance to meet a capacity requirement is to host games at a venue controlled by the military, that doesn’t speak well to a club’s chances.
El Paso Locomotive FC: An undersized market and a turf field that meets capacity requirements is the death knell for this one.
Oklahoma City Energy FC: Having to expand a baseball field to meet requirements is a bad start. Having to potentially play 20 miles away from your main market is even worse.
Reno 1868 FC: Population nearly a half-million short of the federation’s requirements AND a turf field at the hypothetical new stadium makes impossible to say yes to this bid.
Rio Grande Valley FC: All the seat expansions in the world can’t hide the fact that McAllen Memorial Stadium is a high school stadium through and through.
Here’s who’s left in the 11-team Championship:
Birmingham Legion FC
Charleston Battery
Charlotte Independence
Memphis 901 FC
Austin Bold FC
Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC
El Paso Locomotive FC
Oklahoma City Energy FC
Reno 1868 FC
Rio Grande Valley FC
FC Tulsa
With MLS folding the six affiliates it has in USL League One, the league is a little bit thin (especially considering USSF’s requirements for 8 teams for lower level leagues), but seems definitely able to expand up to the necessary numbers with Edwards’ allusions to five new additions this year:
Chattanooga Red Wolves SC
Forward Madison FC
Greenville Triumph SC
Union Omaha
Richmond Kickers
South Georgia Tormenta
FC Tucson
Format of Assorted Leagues – This (like everything in this post) is pure conjecture on my part, but here are my thoughts on how these leagues might function in a first year while waiting for additional expansion.
USL Premier – We’ll steal from the 12-team Scottish Premiership. Each club plays the other 11 clubs 3 times, with either one or two home matches against each side. When each club has played 33 matches, the top six and bottom six separate, with every club playing an additional five matches (against each other team in its group). The top club wins the league. The bottom club is automatically relegated. The second-bottom club will enter a two-legged playoff against someone (see below) from the championship playoffs.
USL Championship -- 11 clubs is a challenge to schedule for. How about every club plays everyone else three times (either one or two home matches against each side)? Top four clubs make the playoffs, which are decided by two-legged playoffs. The winner automatically goes up. I need feedback on the second part – is it better to have the runner-up from the playoffs face the second-bottom club from the Premiership, or should the winner of the third-place match-up get the chance to face them to keep drama going in both playoff series? As for relegation, we can clearly only send down the last place club while the third division is so small.
USL League One – While the league is so small, it doesn’t seem reasonable to have the clubs play as many matches as the higher divisions. Each club could play the other six clubs four times – twice at home and twice away – for a very equitable 24-match regular season, which would help restrict costs and still provide a chance to determine a clear winner. Whoever finishes top of the table goes up.
And there you have it, a hypothetical look at how the USL could build a D1 league right now. All it would take is a new stadium for almost the entire league and new owners for all but one of the 27 clubs, who wouldn’t feel that their property would be massively devalued if they got relegated.
Well that’s our show. I’m curious to see what you think of all of this, especially anything that you think I may have overlooked (I’m sure there’s plenty). Anyway, I hope you’re all staying safe and well.
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