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We took the final flight from Los Angeles to Melbourne before total lockdown and were lucky enough to be put up by the Crown Casino Metropol Hotel for our quarantine. It was eerie how quiet everything was. Please ask us questions as we're happy to answer to pass the time!
We took the final flight from Los Angeles to Melbourne before total lockdown and were lucky enough to be put up by the Crown Casino Metropol Hotel for our quarantine. It was eerie how quiet everything was. Please ask us questions as we're happy to answer to pass the time!
Victoria records 3 new local cases and 0 new overseas cases
New cases reported in the last 24 hours
+3 new local cases:
All three of the locally acquired cases in the community have been identified as primary close contacts of the existing cases in the Mentone and Mitcham clusters.
There are now exposure sites in Albert Park, Bairnsdale, Black Rock, Box Hill South, Brighton, Camberwell, Cape Schank, Caufield, Cheltenham, Doveton, Forest Hill, Fountain Gate Shopping Centre, Hallam, Glen Waverley, Lakes Entrance, Leongatha, Mentone, Mordialloc, Melbourne CBD, Moorabbin, Mount Waverley, Oakleigh, Southbank, and Wonthaggi and we expect this list of exposure site to increase over coming days as contact tracing continues
+0 new overseas cases.
Recap from yesterday:
All 18 of the locally acquired cases in the community have been identified as primary close contacts to the existing cases in the Mentone and Mitcham clusters.
Genomic sequencing results have been received from the samples from the Victorian outbreak, and it has established they are directly linked to the New South Wales cluster.
There are now exposure sites in Black Rock, Brighton, Cape Schank, Cheltenham, Doveton, Forest Hill, Fountain Gate Shopping Centre, Hallam, Glen Waverley, Lakes Entrance, Leongatha, Mentone, Mordialloc, Melbourne CBD, Moorabbin, Mount Waverley, Oakleigh, Southbank, and Wonthaggi and this list of exposure site will increase over coming days as contact tracing continues.
⚠️ There are new case exposure sites, please see information below.
Viral fragments have been detected in a sample of wastewater taken from the inlet to the Lakes Entrance wastewater treatment plant on 29 December. The Department of Health and Human Services is urging anyone in the Lakes Entrance area with any coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms, no matter how mild, to get tested and stay home until they receive their result. Bairnsdale Regional Health Services drive-through testing site is open from 9am to 5pm on New Year’s Day and over the weekend.
MARS77 Slot online merupakan suatu permainan yang biasanya dapat kita jumpai pada suatu tempat yang bernama casino, di berbagai negara yang sudah melegalkan permainan ini. Setidaknya kalian dapat mengunjungi 7 Negara yang telah melegalkan permainan judi ini. Untuk dapat melihat langsung permainan slot anda harus berkunjung pada 4 negara yang memiliki casino dan merupakan casino-casino terbesar diantara lain seperti :
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Last night Kobe Bryant visited my hometown of Melbourne, Australia for a one off, live interview event. I attended and here are some insights he gave:
EDIT 2: Thanks for the gold kind stranger! EDIT 3: And Platinum + Silver... appreciate it! EDIT 4: shit I forgot some absolute gems which I’ll post at the top here for those who have already read it.
Asked who he would start a franchise with today: Kobe said Giannis and he didn’t think very long about it.
Asked what Ben Simmons potential is: Kobe said the sky is the limit, but obviously he needs to develop a jumper. Kobe said he needs a jumper because otherwise he will regret it, one day retiring and not knowing what could have been if he had developed one.
Image for proof: http://imgur.com/bEAnQ7O The event was held the Palladium in Crown Casino. Kobe, unlike many other celebrities at various events, arrived at his scheduled time on the dot (what else would you expect from this man?). The interview touched on his childhood and all the way through to his current goals and future aspirations. Of course, a chunk of the interview focused on his insane career. Maybe he has said some of these things before, so forgive me if these aren’t “new”. My memory isn’t fantastic, but here are some of the noteworthy things I do remember:
Kobe said that when he was 10 or 12 years old (can’t remember exact age, but it definitely wasn’t 11) he didn’t score a single basket in a 35 game season. His dad told him it’s ok and he still loved him (or something to that effect). Kobe thought “fuck that” and that’s when he started ramping up his training and taking things more seriously
Kobe’s daughter plays basketball nowadays and he said some parents are way too impatient with their kid’s progress. He said he reached out to MJ via text asking “what drills and skills did you practice at the age of 12?” so that he could advise the parents. MJ responded: “I played baseball”. In other words, chill out and don’t put so much pressure on these children.
Probably been said before, but his all time starting 5: Magic, Jordan, Bird, Russell, Hakeem
Strange question, but he was asked if him, LeBron, Magic, Shaq and Kareem were all on a team together, who would get the loudest cheer from the crowd when the team is introduced? He said it was an easy answer: Magic.
How close was he to leaving the Lakers? So I’d never heard this story. I knew that he had once demanded a trade and was close to joining the Bulls, but he actually said he was also close to joining the Bulls after their 2004 finals loss. Obviously it was a case of Kobe or Shaq - one of them had to go. He says his family had already been looking at homes and schools in Chicago. While he was on vacation his agent (Pelinka) called him and said Shaq had just demanded a trade, and so Kobe stayed and you know how the rest goes...
How long did it take him to write “Dear Basketball” (his Oscar winning short film)? He said he pretty much wrote it in one helicopter ride from his home to Staples. Obviously it was tweaked and worked on further until it was a polished product, but the bulk of it was done in that 20-25 minute ride. Side note: I find this hilarious, considering that some people spend a lifetime trying to achieve this accolade, and here is Kobe utilising his travel time to come up with the basis of an Oscar winning script. Extra side note: it wasn’t just a fluke, as Kobe considers himself a writer and says it is a skill he has been working on since about 2000. So he has been writing for close to 20 years now, but still...
This one has been said time and time again, but it’s still so damn crazy to hear. Kobe’s routine was to wake up at 3:30AM (Three fucking thirty!) so he could be out on the track at 4ish and be home to have breakfast with his kids before school. He said part of the reason for this was also the feeling that “I don’t have to be out here at this time, but I am, and others aren’t” so it was empowering to know he was working harder than everyone else.
Regarding breakfast, he said Vanessa is the superior pancake-maker but he can “scramble the shit out of some eggs”.
What his goal in 20 years time is: Kobe wants his younger daughters to find it hard to believe he was a professional basketball player. Meaning, he wants his writing and production company to be so successful that they think “my dad is a famous writer and producer.. why are people saying he is a basketball player?”. To which Kobe would tell them “YouTube me”. To which he imagines them saying (in the future) “what is YouTube?”
What he wants his legacy to be when he leaves this Earth: to be remembered as a hard worker, obsessed with his craft and to have inspired at least one person to do the same. (I’m sure he’s already reached that goal a million times over).
How he felt after the famous air balls against Utah in his early Laker days: He apparently went straight to a gym after arriving home and put up shots until the sun came up. He kept making the same shots that he missed, sometimes 15 times in a row and thought how easy it was, wondering how he’d been so off in the game.
Career regrets: ‘04 and ‘08 finals. Especially ‘08 he felt like he didn’t prepare his team to be tough enough. He said he went back to his hotel room and “trashed the place”. The interviewer asked “something like the scene from the hangover?” and Kobe said “yeh, kinda like that.”
He said the Oscar was more special than an NBA championship, because people would sort of laugh and dismiss the idea that he could write and make a career of it post-basketball. So he said the doubt made the accomplishment special.
for any locals, there were a bunch AFL guys in attendance. I saw Brodie Grundy close by, and the interviewer said there were a few more around (Marcus Bontempelli, I think Jaeger O’meara was mentioned.. probably others).
Kobe said he went to see the Harry Potter play (only part 1) the day prior in Melbourne. He was walking and saw a billboard advertisement. It is sold out for ages apparently, but it’s Kobe. So he called his agent and naturally she set him up with seats.
Kobe was asked what kind of people he hires at his company. He said “curiosity” is the main trait he looks for and of course people who are passionate at what they do.
Kobe said the reason he skipped college was because he wanted to learn from the best. He also knew some of his idols, such as MJ, Stockton and Hakeem were on their way out and he wanted a chance to play against them.
If I think of more I’ll add it on. All in all it was a really fun hour or so. Kobe was very insightful and nice to listen to. He’s clearly a smart guy and really well spoken. I feel very fortunate to have heard him speak live after being a huge fan throughout my teenage years and early adulthood. EDIT: I thought of some other things while massaging my client’s calf (I’m a physiotherapist and my mind wonders while doing boring tasks):
The interviewer seemed to have a fetish for Roger Federer as he brought him up several times. He recalled a time when Roger said that “it clicked” that he was or could become one of the greats. He asked Kobe when it clicked for him. Kobe said it was on his farewell tour. He said the way the fans received him at each final away game, he realised “I must have done something special”.
Kobe was asked what was the most fun he’s ever had playing basketball. Kobe said it was his high school championship game. He said scalpers were paying 1-2k for a ticket and the atmosphere was electric.
He was asked about how he managed his wealth in terms of family and friends. Kobe said it was important to empower people and help them grow but not just give money and make them dependent on you. Otherwise you actually disempower them and stunt their growth, as they lose their drive to excel and prosper.
He had some cool insights into his matchups with Jordan. He spoke about their back and forth trash talking, saying MJ was obviously very good but Kobe could hold his own. He said the first time they played he knew what MJ was going to do on a particular play in the triangle, but fell for it anyway. On the way back down the court MJ said something to the effect of “it’s a lot quicker in real life, isn’t it?”
Kobe was asked who put their arm around him as a 17 year old rookie and guided him through those early days. He said no one really did and he had to fend for himself. He did say Byron Scott was nice to him and he would pick Byron’s brain about the Showtime Lakers a lot.
Kobe said after his final game (60 points against Utah) his daughters praised him for “finally having a good game”. As they’re young, they wouldn’t have much of any memory of his prime.
He also referenced a discussion with a free agent, who he didn’t name, basically telling them what he demands of them if they were to stay on the team. He said that player ultimately didn’t sign with the Lakers. I personally think he was referring to Dwight Howard, as he also said something along the lines of “that person walked out the door... and subsequently many other doors”. UPDATE: VSVPROCKY95 pointed out that the exact quote was: "There are uncomfortable conversations that need to be had and if you can't have those uncomfortable conversations, you're not going to get better."
Kobe said during a game (it might have been against the Pistons in ‘04) Tex Winter said to Phil Jackson: “the team is playing like shit, but you’re also coaching like shit”. This was in reference to Tex always saying what he thought.
Kobe had some good things to say about Phil. I can’t remember specifically what, but he did say Phil was an interesting/strange character.
The Australian casino was found to have violated the ban on admitting minors!
The regulator fined the Australian casino 63.7 thousand Australian dollars for admitting three underage customers to the gambling hall and allowing them to play slot machines. Australia’s The Star casino came under sanctions by the national gambling regulator in New South Wales after surveillance cameras at the institution caught a 12-year-old girl playing video poker in a slot machine in one of three incidents involving minors. casino administration. By law, allow players to play from the age of 18 after checking the documents that confirm their identity. The girl’s mother allowed her to enter the game room and held the entrance doors to the room so that the security service would not interfere with her play. The minor spent 17 minutes playing the game, during which she made 20 bets inonline poker. The security of the institution discovered a violation when the mother and the girl had left the hall. Another incident occurred with a 16-year-old girl who was led through a VIP entrance by a man with a club membership in the casino. The guards did not check the identity of the offender, and she unhindered entered the gambling hall. She was served alcoholic drinks at the bar, and at the entrance the club was asked to show the passport. The document was fake, and the photo did not match the reality. https://preview.redd.it/bogoxif10rh51.png?width=1087&format=png&auto=webp&s=ddfa2ed130baee8af14a1c3d3fe55993b6116838 In the third precedent, the 17-year-old was in the gambling hall for more than three hours. Observation videos show that the teenager crossed paths with the casino staff at least 15 times, playing more than 40 rounds of roulette, over 20 poker hands and drinking a few alcoholic beverages. In 2019, 30 similar cases were recorded, each of which the casino reported to the regulator independently. The Star — the second largest casino in Australia. The first is called the Crown in Melbourne. The establishment is owned by Star Entertainment Group, a public Australian gaming company. The resort has been operating for over 25 years. It houses gambling zones, a hotel complex with 300 rooms, more than 15 bars and restaurants.
Coverage of the Victorian Premier Dan Andrews press conference and current measures in Victoria
Premier Daniel Andrews has announced a special taskforce of 500 police to enforce a shutdown of pubs, clubs and other venues and restrictions on social gatherings.
The Premier said Victorians had been "acting selfishly" by flouting social distancing rules
Teachers are planning online learning for if schools close for term two, after the term one was brought to a close early
Police will conduct spot checks to ensure people are complying with the shutdown
It comes as Victoria recorded another 59 cases of COVID-19 on Sunday, bringing the state's total to 355. The announcement follows the Prime Minister's declaration yesterday that venues across the country would have to close from midday today to curb the spread of coronavirus. While the National Cabinet agreed on the shutdown together, it was up to the individual states and territories to put the measures into law. The "stage one" shutdown in Victoria includes pubs, clubs, nightclubs, Crown Casino, gyms, indoor sporting venues, places of worship, cinemas and entertainment venues. Restaurants and cafes will only be allowed to provide home delivery or takeaway services. Bottleshops can remain open. Mr Andrews told ABC Radio Melbourne any business not on the list could stay open, as long as it adhered to social-distancing measures such as ensuring there is 4 square metres for each person on the premises. Indoor gatherings are still limited to fewer than 100 people. Mr Andrews said many Victorians had been "acting selfishly" by ignoring social-distancing rules, and warned "people will die" if the measures were not followed. He told ABC Radio Melbourne stricter measures were likely to be enforced after the next National Cabinet meeting on Tuesday.
What must close in Victoria:
Pubs, clubs, hotels, bars and nightclubs that supply alcohol under a general licence (but bottleshops, takeaway meals and accommodation can continue)
Indoor sporting centres
"A cinema, nightclub or entertainment venue of any kind"
Restaurants and cafes (but takeaways and deliveries can continue)
Places of worship (but weddings and funerals can continue)
The Premier flagged a shutdown of "non-essential" services yesterday afternoon, ahead of a meeting of the National Cabinet last night. He today denied suggestions his statement on Sunday caused confusion and panic, saying "this is not static. This is moving fast". Mr Andrews acknowledged it was "frustrating and challenging" that the advice was changing. "But it's nowhere near as challenging as people doing the wrong thing, and then we have 10,000 people who can only survive if they have a machine to help them breathe and we don't have enough machines and doctors to get that done."
Schools prepare for online learning in case of shutdown
Mr Andrews yesterday announced the school term would end at the end of the school day today, rather than at the end of the week as originally scheduled. The National Cabinet last night agreed to keep schools open across the country. "Term two is scheduled to begin on April 14, unless I have medical advice not to proceed with term two," Mr Andrews said this morning. But he said: "I'm not making that announcement today." Tuesday will be a pupil-free day for teachers to plan for online learning in the event schools need to remain closed beyond the school holidays. Childcare centres and kindergartens are deemed essential services under the shutdown measures. "But this is step one. There will be further announcements to be made," Mr Andrews said.
Police able to fine, detain, arrest
Police and authorised officers will also be enforcing a mandatory self-isolation period for anyone entering Victoria from overseas. Under Victoria's state of emergency legislation, those breaking the rules face fines of nearly $20,000 for individuals and nearly $100,000 for businesses. Mr Andrews warned the closure of pubs was not an invitation to have large gatherings at home. He said last week, one person at a dinner party had coronavirus and by the end of the evening almost everyone had contracted the virus.
"This spreads rapidly. If you act selfishly people will die," he said.
"Many people are doing the right thing and I'm grateful to them." Mr Andrews said it was people's "civic duty" to distance themselves from others. He told ABC Radio Melbourne that the Government was arranging temporary accommodation for people experiencing an escalation in domestic violence because they were forced to stay at home Emergency Services Minister Lisa Neville said police saw "quite a number of breaches in relation to indoor gatherings" over the weekend. "We are upping the ante … this is such a significant issue in terms of people's lives, Victoria Police will have a dedicated team tasked with doing those spot checks and making sure people are following the rules in terms of social gatherings," she said. "Police have the power to fine you, arrest you, detain you and they will use those powers where needed in the interest of community safety." Mr Andrews said nobody had been fined or charged for disobeying the self-isolation rules.
Part 1 part 2 part 3 part 4 2009 was a grand year. I am 23 years old, will turn 24 late in the year. I am starting to settle down on the drugs and alcohol (not completely but a bit). I log a lot of hours and am playing at my peak level. There wasnt much in early 09 I can remember. So I will jump to the late spring/early summer. This would be known as “The Summer of the Israelis!” As best as we were told this is what happened. A very wealthy Israeli man gets ahold of Carbon and wants to play online. Which is illegal in Israel. So Carbon obliges. This wealthy man wants to basically run his own Israeli group. So Carbon accepts massive deposits from this guy and this guy dishes money out to generic accounts that his friends used. All of the usernames were like Momo324 or Momo474. It was blatantly obvious who was Israeli and who was not. There is now dozens if not hundreds of Israelis playing decently big stakes and some were playing nosebleeds and they were all awful. Just fucking awful. This would be the only time I break strict BRM (after the JERRY2009 incident, fwiw I play Jerry a lot more after that he holds his own but I am winner on him). The Israelis were dragging us up to 10knl. There would be 9handed 10knl games with up to three Israelis on them. I sat those games occasionally. I should have sat them more looking back on it. My roll at this point is 200k~ and I keep 100k on Carbon and cash out excess whenever there is some (basically I had strings of checks pending at all times) so 10k wasnt exactly a comfortable loss. I only log 1k~ hands at that stake and I win a couple buy ins at most. I look back at is as a shot I should have taken more, never has there been softer 10knl online. Scout326 (google if unaware of this guy) was better than a lot of these Israelis. My friends made great money that summer. I did too. When it was dying down a bit I had a 300k roll. Made 100k in a matter of 3-4 months. This would draw some legitimate players into Carbon though. There was always more competition after this event but it was still the best site I was playing. I email Poker Stars at some point in 2009 asking to be unbanned and provide details of what I am doing on other sites. They oblige and give me my account back. I grind a bit on there but the games are just not as soft. I book small win rates in FTP and PS cash games. Under 3bb100 when I was doing 2-4x that on Carbon. Was much less stressful on Carbon also. Stars and FTP were mentally draining. Was a lot of really good players at 1knl. So I basically just play Sundays on the big sites and mix games or stuff just for change of pace. At some point in 2009 I am on a big skid on FTP and have literally 1,061$ in account. I am not going to reload it as I honestly hated FTP. FTP had the smallest average win rates of all sites that were tracked (PTR or Sharkscope/OPR the studs of online and win rates were about 70% of Stars win rates). Now logically this is not crazy as FTP was a tougher field than Stars. Stars had more players and the bulk of people who play multiple sites are competent. I have some data that I think proved FTP is goofy. I want to conceal my usernames in this story but here is what I can show you easily. If you look at high volume MTT players, go back to OPR and dig through results. Wins come in bunches. In an earlier part of this story I mentioned I went 1-1-X-2 in the Sunday 200$ Horse MTT on FTP, then dont cash it for a year? I have looked through my MTT history on FTP and when I win one tourney I almost always have two more top 2 finishes on the same day or next day. DuckU wins back to back Sundays majors on FTP which is insane (he was a stud though). Now for the final thing that made me hate FTP. This is gonna branch off into a lovely story about my mom. She wants to learn how to play poker so I give her a secondary FTP account I made which dons the same username as my Carbon name, so I keep it concealed. I dont have sharkscope so I cant go reverify the info but she plays almost exclusively 3$ 90 man KOs. She is a terrrrrible poker player. She color tags every single player she plays with with a base color and changes the color if necessary if she likes or dislikes you. The color tags are nothing poker related, and everything like or dislike related. Aggressive players were disliked because they raised her (or people who beat her in a pot). Passive fish were liked (they never raise her) and everyone else was just the neutral color she chose. My mother plays several thousand of these (I had to xfer her money soooo many times) and loses at an impressive rate. However, if you do detailed searches on those 90 mans an odd statistic is seen. She had considerably more first place finishes than ANY other position at the final table. Which is odd, shes brutally bad (sorry mom). I will say that I in no ways ever thought or think any poker site is rigged for anyone. All sites were beatable. The best players win the money, I just think FTP had a boom switch and doom switch I suppose but nothing was aimed at anyone specifically (I guess the claim would be fish gotta eat too to want to keep playing, fate was given artificially on FTP sometimes, I say this as someone who won a good chunk of money on there over my life) Ok back to having 1,061$ in my account after a big downer on there. Havent cashed any MTT of substance in a while. I dont play much cash on there. Its Monday and I register the 1k Monday. Usually a 300-400 player field. I remember nothing of the early tourney or even mid tourney but I remember a couple hands from the final table. (Yea I register for total account balance and FT) 6 or 7 handed and I had been card dead, blinding away. I open rip KQhh in early for like 10bb and guy behind rips his 20bb and a big stack jams over that. So we are all in 3 ways. All three hands shown are my KQhh, the guy behind me has 99ds and the guy behind him has JJhd Flop animations spread out 2s 3s 9x Gooooood game me. Turn 10s Oh hey I have one out now! River Jc Oh hey I hit a one outer! And just like that I am 30~ bb deep and back in the mix. The 99 busted so I jump a level too. I have a friend who plays for a living who railed that FT who still brings that hand up. Wont ever forget that hand I dont think, just absurdly dead on flop. We get down to 3 handed and I open button with J8cc bb defends get a J high flop and I end up stacking my 20bb~ to J9 for 3rd place. Was 39k. Not bad result for case money. I remember sending pic of my account balance to a friend after registering and it was like 89 cents or something. Some time after that my FTP account crossed over 100k but I dont recall how. I think I had a bit of a cash heater and some marginal scores in MTTs along with trading money from other sites. Just remember having 100k on two different sites which I thought was cool as every dime I ever made from poker stemmed from selling playchips on Stars years earlier. Pretty late in 09 I move into a nice apartment and for the first time in my life buy a nice vehicle. I was driving the same truck I had in highschool (a 98 ford f150 extended cab with 300,000 miles on it with original motor) and needed a new one badly. So i buy a 2007 F150 loaded up with every feature available (was still a used truck) for 25,000$. This was the moment I felt I had made it to be honest. It felt really good making that purchase. I squander money at the bars (a trip to the bar never cost less than 500$ buying shots and shit. My friends were all day laborers basically so I gladly bought round after round of shots, wasnt really showing off I just wanted to have a good time) and on stupid stuff like RC airplanes that I wreck first flight, telescopes, hockey gear etc but I never bought anything that made me flashier, this truck was the first purchase that did that. Late in 09 I am at a local casino on the weekend of a 1600$ mtt. Get hammered drunk (live poker was still just a vacation for me) and lose like 10k. The next day I play that MTT. Bag. The next day we come back and I go on a tear and make FT as chip leader. Continue that tear literally making zero mistakes, everything I did was right. Obviously ran well as thats how you do everything right, but I made a few good folds a few 3b/4b/5b with air that were successful, just everything lined up. I win 80k which made me feel better about the 10k I fucked off on that Friday. It remains the only MTT score live of over 25k. I dont play a ton of them, just when they are local and I skip plenty. Id prefer to just play cash forever where I get no tax forms. After this tournament I am at my peak roll basically. I am just shy of a 400k roll when I peak. Had I been disciplined with my money and put more hours in earlier who knows where I would have been. I would guess at this point in my life I had made 700k playing poker, I spent stupid amounts of money had a few pit spews just was reckless in general. 2010 starts off with a trip down under. Aussie Millions is where I was headed. I had won a seat on Carbon. I pack a bag, grab 25,000 in cash, head to the airport and am on my way. Flying to Australia is a bit of a trip. My flight route went Tulsa to Denver to LAX then to Melbourne. I departed LAX at 10PM on Thursday to show up in Melbourne early Saturday around 9AM. 17~ hour flight and from Oklahoma a 17 hour time difference, forward. Lose a day and a half on that flight. I had taken a few xanax with me for the long flight and had a drink or two right as the flight took off and passed out. I was sitting in a row of 3 seats on the right side of the plane next to a good looking young Australian couple who were headed back from an American vacation. I had the aisle seat (there was a ton of leg room though) and I literally fall asleep an hour ish into flight and wake up at a later time. My contacts were stuck to my eyes from the sleep, could barely open my eyes and I look over and ask them how far out we were. They said “the captain just came on and said were about half an hour out”. Sweet... I slept for like 15 fucking hours, yay xanax, the first time ever drinking and xanax ever did me any good. I get to my hotel which is a block or two from the Crown Casino and I walk down to take a look. A couple 5-10 seats were open and I hand them some cash and they say I have to exchange for Aussie Dollars. This was right after the recession and the exchange rate at that time was strong for Australia. I think they were 93 cents on the dollar. I play some cash for a few days. I drink excessively every day. One day at a 10-20 game I am at the table with LuckyChewy BalugaWhale and several other studs (they have zero clue who I am nor need they know) but my drunken self tries to set up a prop bet. I wanna bet 5000$ that I can have a cocktail every half hour for 12 hours and book a win in the game we were at. No one wanted it (I was drunk and they likely wanted me to leave them alone, they were all buddies it seemed). So my bad ass self decides to just do it anyways. About 6-7 hours in I am pretty fucking drunk and up like 12-13k and my 14-15k stack was made involving 9 1,000$ chips. I remember getting bored of the game that had turned nitty and started putting those 9k chips in without looking. Did it back to back hands and no one called. The third hand I look at AJo and rip the 9 1k chips in the pot again (I kinda remember thinking that this was a value rip after the previous two hands. As if someone would just pile in A8 lol) and a guy with 6-7k calls off. He has QQ and holds. This session that I was up 12,000~ ends up felting my cash for the trip. Literally go from 12k winner to 20k loser (I was down 5k on trip from playing the 5k HU tourney). Fortunately for me my aunt was flying down with her girlfriend (yea shes a lesbian) in two days so I called my sister had her get 25k out of my safe give it to my aunt and she would bring me some cash. The next two days I play online in my hotel room. My aunt shows up a couple days later and were back in action! I end up drinking relentlessly and losing most of that 25k. I busted the 10k main level one barreling three streets with air. I played excellent in Australia to say the least. Probably some of the least disciplined behavior I have ever exhibited. I was in one of the most unique countries on earth for 15 days and never made it more than a mile from the casino and the only reason I made it a mile was I met up with some chick who was an exchange student at my highschool and was from Melbourne (dont worry she wasnt cute). (As a matter of fact I was highly disappointed with the quality of the women in Melbourne). The only other things worth telling from that trip was escorts were legal, I am pretty sure the strip clubs didnt allow you to tip money to girl on stage (only buy dances) and you couldnt tip the poker dealers. A funny story about the escorts. I hire one one night. I had done this in Vegas a time or two but was always shitfaced when I had done it. I do it sober in Australia. She meets me and I am thinking what the fuck am I doing. Was weird for me. Barely mess around (brief bj was peak) and I am like I cant do this. I felt bad about paying for sex. So I give her 800$ for nothing basically. Just weirded me out knowing how bad that life is. Drunk me would never had a second thought, but sober me did. I head home stuck 45k or something. Was a bad trip to say the least. This is about the point where things start trending down for me. Im not long after having a 400k roll (I am still near that at this point) and having a massive year (2009 I won over 250k) but some future events will set in motion my downfall, and not hard to predict Black Friday will be part of it. Will post next one soon.
[MISC] A locals guide to Melbourne for the OpTic boys
Let me clear up some stuff about Australia or Melbourne specifically for you. I live about 15 minutes away from the Airport you’ll land into. If you want to see Kangaroos you’re basically only going to see them here, as you’ll be driving into the city from there I’d assume (the airport is on the outskirts of Suburbia and Kangaroos need a lot of grass). I Spider wise I doubt you’ll see anything like what I’ve heard you mention in Vlogs/podcast. I’m 20 and I’ve never seen a bird-eating spider and I am genuinely as scared as you are about them. Huntsman’s are common, but they are actually really easy to kill (like hit with a shoe and they’re done) and I doubt you’ll see one given you’ll be in the city which isn’t really their habitat. They’re also like the size of your palm at best. It’s too cold here now for pretty much any snake other than one you’ll find in a Zoo so I won’t even mention that. I I’d assume you’re staying at Crown which is where the event is being held, Crown is awesome and is probably Melbourne’s best hotel so you should have no problems there. It’s also a pretty good casino so you can hit the tables after you win on Sunday. I The drinking/club/casino entry age here is 18 so you should have no dramas getting in anywhere. Except they don’t take lightly to letting robots in Casinos so Crim will have to stay in his room. I’d recommend checking out Melbourne and it’s laneways/tourist stuff too if you’ve got time. I’ve highlighted the some tourist stuff in red and given a list of the best street art below. I The best places to eat are in my opinion South Bank (where crown/the event is), Lygon Street (a big street filled with Italian food and the food is soooo good) as well as a few other laneways and stuff. I’ll include a map of Melbourne with references of all the good places I’m talking about in green. I I’d also suggest that you guys get hooked up with some Australian food. I’d recommend trying Tim Tams, Vegemite, Cheezels, Lamingtons, meat pies (I know you obviously have pie in the US, but I mean like a real dog’s eye with dead horse) and if you’re really game there’s also fairy bread. That could make a sick squad video for your OpTic nation channel. Like who can eat the most or something idk. I It’s heading into autumn here and the temperature is a around a 16C or 65ishF. So it’s not like super hot, like don’t pack clothes for the beach unless you’re crazy. I There are also some really sick graffiti lanes in Melbourne, look up: Hosier and Rutledge Lane Caledonian Lane Union Lane Rear of 280 Queen Street in Finlay Avenue 21 Degraves Street Cnr Flinders Lane and Cocker Alley 122 Palmerston Street, Carlton Centre Place, between Collins Street and Flinders Lane These places would be sick for photo-shoots and the drone. I What would also be amazing with the drone is, out the front of crown on Southbank there are these flames that go every night over the Yarra River. See photo. Flying the drone in over that would be an amazing shot. I https://www.crownmelbourne.com.au/getmedia/de79bffb-d82d-4421-aaec-6013c1b651ef/150706-Melb-General-GasBrigades-1960x400_1.jpg.aspx?width=1960&height=400&ext=.jpg I I’m not sure what the laws are here, but the police in Melbourne can be kind of bitchy about stuff like this, so just play dumb if they say anything and say you didn’t know it wasn’t allowed if they say you can’t. I Other wise have an awesome event and I can’t wait to see you take on Millennium and MindFreak. http://imgur.com/kXJ7nHZ For the Map, cool laneways are in red, food in green. Apologies, I'm still learning how to edit reddit posts
Gambling and your team: Just how firmly entrenched has gambling become in the teams we follow? Club-by-club.
The Crows currently have no poker machines.
They recently discussed buying an established poker machine venue (hotel) as a revenue stream but this has not eventuated. The idea was put forward by ex-CEO Steven Trigg, who is now with Carlton.
Adelaide has no discernible association with any online sports betting companies.
They do have a sponsorship deal with Adelaide Casino.
The Lions’ social club, [email protected], has 200 poker machines in its gaming lounge. The club is the “official community headquarters” of the Brisbane team.
Brisbane has no discernible association with any online sports betting companies or casinos.
Brisbane has a sponsorship deal with online sports betting company SportsBet.
The Blues have five poker machine venues: Club Laverton, the Royal Oak in Richmond, Vic Inn in Williamstown, the Manningham Club and the Yarra Valley Country Club. The first four of these are operated by Carlton FC Ltd, while the Yarra Valley Country Club is operated by Yarra Valley Country Club Inc. Both companies include Carlton General Manager Martin Shannon (and several others) on their lists of approved associates.
Carlton now has more poker machine venues (five) than any other AFL club. This dubious honour was previously held by Collingwood (four).
The Royal Oak had previously been run by Richmond and the Vic Inn by the Western Bulldogs; in 2010 ALH boss and former Carlton director Bruce Mathieson terminated their leases and handed them over to Carlton. The Manningham Club had previously been partnered with the Brisbane Lions.
New Carlton CEO Steven Trigg (formerly of Adelaide) has previously favoured using poker machines for revenue.
Carlton has a sponsorship deal with online sports betting company William Hill. (Edit: Agreement has expired)
The Magpies currently have two poker machine venues: The Club, and The Coach & Horses.
A third venue, the Diamond Creek Tavern, was a massive loss-making exercise and was eventually sold by Collingwood back to its original owners.
A fourth venue, The International, was closed with the original intention of moving its poker machines to a new venue, the East Ridge Club. However, the East Ridge Club hasn’t opened and The International has re-opened under the ownership of local club Vermont.
Collingwood has no discernible association with any online sports betting companies or casinos. They formerly had a deal with online sports betting company Sportbet but this has now ended.
Collingwood is one of six Victorian AFL clubs to sign the Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation (VRGF) Responsible Gambling Charter. In doing so, they agree not to undertake deals or partnerships with sports betting companies. However, the charter does not preclude them from owning/operating poker machines.
The Bombers have two poker machine venues: the Melton Country Club and the Essendon Football & Community Sporting Club.
Essendon has no discernible association with any online sports betting companies or casinos. They formerly had a deal with online sports betting company Centrebet but this has now ended.
Essendon is one of six Victorian AFL clubs to sign the VRGF Responsible Gambling Charter. In doing so, they agree not to undertake deals or partnerships with sports betting companies. However, the charter does not preclude them from owning/operating poker machines.
The Dockers, being a West Australian club, have no poker machine venues.
Fremantle has a sponsorship deal with online betting company TABTouch. The club also has a sponsorship deal with Burswood Casino (Crown Perth).
The Cats have two poker machine venues: the Geelong Football Club (located onsite at Kardinia Park) and The Brook On Sneydes.
Geelong has no discernible association with any online sports betting companies or casinos.
The Suns have no poker machine venues.
Gold Coast do have a strong association with local club the Southport Sharks, listing them as a patron partner. The Sharks earn considerable revenue from poker machines.
Gold Coast have recently investigated buying an established poker machine venue as a means of revenue; however, this has not happened yet.
Gold Coast has a sponsorship deal with online sports betting company UBet.
Greater Western Sydney
The Giants have no poker machine venues. They have recently investigated buying an established poker machine venue as a means of revenue; however, this has not happened yet.
Greater Western Sydney has a sponsorship deal with an online sports betting company, but there seems to be some confusion as to which one! The Giants website lists ACT TAB as a partner, whereas sports betting company Ladbrokes states on their website that they are partners of the Giants.
The Hawks have two poker machine venues: Vegas at Waverley Gardens (operated by Hawthorn FC Ltd) and the West Waters Hotel (operated by CSJV Nominees Pty Ltd). CSJV Nominees is essentially Hawthorn FC, with a few extra people.
Vegas at Waverley Gardens is the highest-earning poker machine club venue of any of the Victorian AFL clubs.
Hawthorn has no discernible association with any online sports betting companies or casinos.
Hawthorn is one of six Victorian AFL clubs to sign the VRGF Responsible Gambling Charter. In doing so, they agree not to undertake deals or partnerships with sports betting companies. However, the charter does not preclude them from owning/operating poker machines.
The Demons have two poker machine venues: Leighoak and The Bentleigh Club.
Melbourne has no discernible association with any online sports betting companies or casinos.
The Kangaroos have no poker machine venues, having handed back their licences several years ago. They also have no discernible association with any online betting companies or casinos.
North Melbourne have taken an anti-gambling stance. At one stage they signed a deal with World Vision, which precluded them from earning any future revenue from gambling for the duration of their association. That deal has now finished.
North Melbourne was the first of six Victorian AFL clubs to sign the VRGF Responsible Gambling Charter. In doing so, they agree not to undertake deals or partnerships with sports betting companies. However, the charter does not preclude them from owning/operating poker machines.
The Power have two poker machine venues, The Port Club and the Prince of Wales.
Port Adelaide has a sponsorship deal with online sports betting company UBet. They also have a partnership with Adelaide Casino.
Port Adelaide is the only AFL club with poker machine, sports betting and casino partnerships.
The Tigers have one poker machine venue: the Wantirna Club. They formerly had a second venue, the Royal Oak, but in 2010 ALH boss and former Carlton director Bruce Mathieson terminated the lease and handed it over to Carlton.
Richmond has a sponsorship deal with online sports betting company SportsBet.
The Saints have one poker machine venue: the St Kilda Football Social Club.
At one stage St Kilda were the public face of sports betting in the AFL, with Centrebet as their major sponsor. In recent years the Saints have moved away from this position, ending their partnership with Centrebet and taking on a lesser partnership with Ladbrokes. In October 2015 St Kilda signed the VRGF Responsible Gambling Charter and committed to ending their partnership with Ladbrokes by the end of the month.
Consequently, as of November 2015 St Kilda has no discernible association with any online sports betting companies or casinos.
St Kilda is one of six Victorian AFL clubs to sign the VRGF Responsible Gambling Charter. In doing so, they agree not to undertake deals or partnerships with sports betting companies. However, the charter does not preclude them from owning/operating poker machines.
The Swans have no poker machine venues.
Sydney has no discernible association with any online sports betting companies. They do have a partnership with The Star Casino.
The Eagles, being a West Australian club, have no poker machine venues.
West Coast has a sponsorship deal with online betting company TABTouch. The club also has a sponsorship deal with Burswood Casino (Crown Perth).
The Bulldogs have two poker machine venues: Club Leeds and the Peninsula Club (formerly the Dromana/Red Hill RSL).
The Bulldogs were building a third venue, Club Edgewater, which experienced considerable opposition from local government. This deal recently fell through (in August 2015) and the Bulldogs have withdrawn their involvement.
The Western Bulldogs have no discernible association with any online sports betting companies or casinos.
The Western Bulldogs are one of six Victorian AFL clubs to sign the VRGF Responsible Gambling Charter. In doing so, they agree not to undertake deals or partnerships with sports betting companies. However, the charter does not preclude them from owning/operating poker machines.
My feet hang over the arches of the balcony, where I can see the lights of the Etihad Stadium hang in the sky like a faraway island. It’s late at night, and the exhaustion washes over me like a wave; after a day of talks and book signings and endless handshakes with potential publishers. On the coffee table, by an empty bottle of wine, a book cover reads: “A Forgotten Four Years: My Journey From Psychosis To Wellbeing” How is it that loneliness kicks in at these hours of the night? How is it, that after hours and hours of being surrounded by an adoring mass of people, do I feel like being alone - only to be starved of human interaction when the quiet hours roll through? It’s fucking absurd. I’m listless; I’m restless. I walk to the kitchen with my bathrobe snagging on everything I touch - I’m drunk and high as a kite. A sigh rushes out of my throat as I open the cupboard doors and find it empty of cheap Shiraz or Malbec or whatever fucking poison I expected them to have. I turn around, back into the lonely nights of the city…and then there’s you. I don’t remember your name. But a part of me remembers you. You float through the air like a spectre, your white dress billowing in an invisible wind only you can feel. Your light, brown hair suspended in a breeze; kind, green eyes staring straight into me like warm spotlights. “Hey Karl,” you say. It’s not my name; not the name that people know me by. Not the heavy-handed pseudonym I chose to carry for my new life. Not the name on my birth certificate - blotted out of my memory after four years of…whatever the hell happened. It’s a name from the past; a name used by people who knew about the person I was. It’s a name I barely remember. “Who are you?” I ask. You skip happily, and plant yourself sitting on the kitchen counter. Your feet dangling in the air like loose rope. You give me a sly smile, a wink of someone utterly familiar. “Don’t tell me you don’t remember,” you say. “You said you won’t ever forget.” A part of me wonders if it’s the alcohol talking, or the fists of ketamine on my nose - but a hidden part of me knows. You must have been someone from back then, in those four years I forgot. “You’ll have to…refresh me,” I say. “Things happened. I can’t remember anything important from back then.” You scoff, then flash me a smirk that makes my blood boil a little. “You really don’t remember?” you ask. “No, not at all,” I reply. “Here’s the thing, Karl,” you say. “Once upon a time, we were married.”
"We met at this...student demonstration," you say, as you twirl your fingers around your hair. "We were young, idealistic. We thought we could change the world, you know?" It's the first time I register that your legs are melting into the kitchen counters. But I don't feel a strangeness, no oddity. There's only an odd familiarity, as I suddenly realize that there's a ghostly glow surrounding you - a barely-visible streak of blue that colours your pale skin. It's like seeing an old acquaintance, someone you once loved a lot. "What were we protesting?" I reply. You shrug. "I don't know. Capitalism? Feminism, maybe? It doesn't matter anymore. I don't think it really mattered back then," you say. Your bone-white fingers dig through the crevasses of the plunge in your dress, until you pull out a cigarette. You stare at me for a good three seconds before lighting it. "I think...to be honest? We were really just covering up the fact that we had problems of our own. Problems we couldn't fix." Something wells up suddenly, like a muscle memory suddenly stirred. I want to grab your feet and run my thumbs through your souls. Random fragments pop up: your closed eyes, as you savor the touch of my fingers, your hands pulling my hands into your hair. The memories flood, and I feel a growing lump in my throat. "What was...your problem?" I ask. You flinch for a split second, before blowing smoke in my face. It doesn't smell like anything. You tilt your head, squint your eyes like you're trying to remember something, and then you smile at me. "I had depression. I think you knew it too, the first time you saw me." "What makes you say that?" I ask. "You came up to me, in the middle of a protest. It was before they broke out the tear gas," you giggle. "You held my hand and said, 'Your sadness is something beautiful. You're like a broken bird I want to heal.'" A chuckle escapes my throat - it sounds like a terrible line. But it sounds like the exact same thing that people told me I did say - before the insanity and psychosis took my memory away. Not a lot of people want to talk about what happened, so a part of me felt like I needed to know. "What kind of person was I?" I ask. Your lips curl into a shy smile. "You were perfect and loving and charming and...gosh," you sigh. "You were absolutely bloody perfect. We were perfect together." "Then what happened?" I reply. An overwhelming sadness suddenly burns into a slow fire behind your eyes. You tap out the rest of your cigarette into my wine glass. "I happened," you say sadly. "It was good, until the rest of my depression kicked in. I got worse, Karl."
"It started well..." you begin, as your fingers sink through the gray marbletop of the kitchen. "...But then again, that's always been the case with you, hasn't it? Everything's good and dandy while it's interesting. Then you start to drift away when the boredom kicks in. I wish I knew sooner." Your face betrays a tinge of something sad, and I feel sudden pangs of sadness kick in. I feel like I should be apologizing - for what, I don't really know. The world is off-kilter: you're here, floating through my apartment, defying the laws of everything physical, and it's not registering as strange or terrifying or concerning. It feels comfortable, somehow. My hands rummage through the draws to find a glass, and I go to the tap to fill it with cold water. "How...how were we, as a couple?" I ask. You sigh, as you walk through the kitchen counters. The lower part of your body melts through it, then reappears as soon as you pass through. Where your hips have passed, a pale blue light leaves cloudlike trails that glow in the dark of the hotel. "As I said, you were good...at first. I'd have my panic attacks, and you'd step in like some sort of sentinel against what I could do to myself. You'd spend late nights curling up with me in bed until I calmed down. We'd smoke weed until I couldn't feel the world anymore-" And just like that, a few more snapshots kick in. A day in the park, a picnic by the botanical gardens. Holding hands by a bridge that overlooked the river at night. Watching the flames from the Crown Casino balloon up, as I watch your face in utter delight, bathed in pyrotechnics. It's a memory I haven't seen in a while. I feel my eyes well up in tears. Your hands graze across my left cheek. The touch doesn't register. Instead, I feel a creeping cold from the trail your fingers draw. "You had this weirdass habit," you chuckle. "Like, I was depressed and all, right? But you had this weird...idea that reading Sylvia Plath to me at night until I slept would help. What was it. The Bell Jar?" "What a man is is an arrow into the future and-", I mutter. "-what a woman is is the place the arrow shoots off from," you finish. "Do you remember now?" I look at your kind eyes, and find it in my to brush the hair off the side off your face. What greets me when I lift your locks of hair are burn scars - stretching from your temples, all the way to the back of your head. Lines of singed flesh like a lattice of hurt I once knew. "I remember trying to save you," I say. "I remember trying to keep you in this world." "Do you remember what happened after?" you say. I feel the balloon of something heavy, something expanding very quickly, at the back of my head. There's a memory I can't quite access yet. You give me that same kind smile, and your arms wrap around me in a cold, airy embrace. I don't feel any warmth from it.
We sit on the balcony, you and I, as the night lights of Melbourne fade into the background like a fog of fireflies. Your cold hands on my shoulders. A sad, sad smile. "There was this time," you begin. "There was this time. It was the day after I had a really bad panic attack and you stayed awake throughout the night to make sure I was okay. We were walking by the pavement that lined the Yarra. You held my hand and smiled the whole way...I spent the whole way apologizing, saying sorry for the night before, you know? I knew how bad I was, I knew the toll it took. It wasn't the first time either - we had gone through the same thing already, so many times before. Do you remember what you said, eventually?" I shake my head. "You said you wouldn't forget," you mutter. There is a spark of something painful and bitter, but it's too faint to register. "You said that someone as memorable as me needs someone to keep me in mind all the time." I can't help but smile. Another cheesy line. I lean in to give you a kiss on the cheek; but all I feel is cold air. "But...something must have happened," I say. "Otherwise, you'd still be with me. Otherwise, I'd remember those four years." Your face twists into something sad, something betraying the slightest hint of anger. Suddenly, the hollow in your eyes turns deeper, darker. Your fingers slowly creep towards my head, your hands circling the base of my neck. "Then it happened, again and again. And again and again and again and again and again." A discomfort suddenly springs. I feel the fear I should have felt earlier. "And you'd help me at first, you'd help me like the good guy you are..." you hiss. Then, the speck of hate in your face melts away into an incredible sadness. "But eventually, you know what happened?" "What...what happened?" I stutter. "Eventually, you stopped trying to save me," you say. "Do you remember everything now?"
Once upon a time, there was a girl who loved me. We met in the smoke of protests; drawn to how broken we both were. I thought I could fix her, I thought I could mend her. But that's not how stories like these go. She succumbed to her illness, one cold Friday night. I found her body on the kitchen floor. Her head stuck in a lit oven, much like the author of the books I read to her. There was no note, no hum of a final goodbye. I never saw it coming. Every night, she visits me. Every night, she makes me remember. When I asked her why, she said: "You said you wouldn't forget. So I'll never, ever let you."
Calling all fans in Australia (possibly last time this season)
I have made a previous post this season and a few last season. Just wanted to put an announcement out just before FCB's big few weeks. Welcome to Red Kangaroos Australia, the Australian home of FCB. Feel free to join if you have Facebook, or you can message me on here if you don't, I can ask on your behalf if there are watch parties in cities other than Melbourne! Melbourne info: We are gathering at the Imperial Hotel (corner Bourke and Spring Streets, across from Parliament House) for: FC Bayern vs Dortmund - 9/4 2:30am FC Bayern vs Real Madrid - 13/4 4:45am Real Madris vs FC Bayern - 13/4 4:45am We will meet for all Champions League games should we advance, and we met for the game against Red Bull RB Leipzig in the first half of the season, we will probably discuss meeting again during these games. For other cities that have events at the moment: Perth: FC Bayern vs Dortmund 9/4 12:30am at Sports Bar, Crown Sydney FC Bayern vs Dortmund 13/4 4:45am at Sports Bar Star City Casino Although these events may not end up going through if not enough people say they are turning up. If anyone tells me that they will turn up but don't want to go through the facebook, I can message people to let them know! G'day from Down Under!
It was raining lightly. I slinked along the Yarra Promenade, heading away from the crown casino amidst the somber Melbourne crowds. I spotted Kenny standing on the Evan Walker bridge, looking down into the water, staring at patterns of concentric circles of raindrops hitting water— cigarette hanging out of his mouth. He was in off duty clothing. Brown fleece collar jacket, characteristic sunglasses and exposed balding head with tufts of stringy black hair. I’ve been spying on Officer Lothar for over a month. Ever since the yellow envelope turned up on my desk, addressed, ‘Urgent. For the eyes of -P. Dronefire’—inserted, a photograph of our mate Kenny, and a stack of hundred dollar notes. That’s me, Pharlap Dronefire’, (I work as a private investigator, from my inexpensive offices in South Yarra.) Kenny’s been staying in a hotel in Southbank since Monday. I watched with binoculars— and waited till he left this afternoon, then followed behind him on the busy bridge crowds, crossing the river as the last glimmering rays of the sun fell behind the skyline of skyscrapers, domes and architraves on the Hexton North bank. They say there are no corrupt cops anymore, well it’s true the old boys clubs were all taken down by the commissions in the 90’s and 00’s. They aren’t hiding in plain sight perhaps, but the smart ones just evolved, Kenny Lothar is one of the most cunning corrupt cops I’ve ever reviewed. A real bastard. If my hunch is right, Lothar dropped business mogul Art Herraway off the very same bridge I now watched him standing on, chopped up body parts in a green garbage bag —submerged now beneath ice cold, turpid Victorian water. That was three years ago today, it’s no wonder Kenny was staring down so melancholically into the green water of the Yarra river. He’s got a lot to think about. We cross through the Flinders Street Station tunnel, and I follow at a safe distance in the busy commuter crowds. I almost lose sight of him as the green and yellow tram pulls past, ringing it’s gentle chime— but I just catch his frame as Kenny ducks into a small Vietnamese restaurant on the other side of the street. Shortly, I sneak in and take a seat at a small table behind a patterned screen, where I can see him but he can’t see me. I order a raw beef Pho, taking a moment to absorb my surroundings and re examine Kenny’s case files in my mind. Something happened whilst Lothar was on the beat in Sydney, I’m sure he was involved with a murder that happened on Mcellhorne stairs in Kings Cross. Then he gets some contacts in the Victorian Police and transfers to Melbourne, but whatever he was up to in Sydney— he’s continuing it down here—I’m sure of that. There’s an underworld of clues, from the Walsh street massacre, to the gangland killings of the nineties. Unsolved murders and connections that create a puzzle leading straight to Kenny. Twenty two orange gold fish swish their tails longingly in a nearby fish tank next to a wooden statue of Bhudda. Fumes and aromas float over the counter adorned with green dragon carvings and a row of ceramic maneki-neko cats waving their arms in unison, below— Kenny’s balding head wrinkles with tension as he waits for his food. I won’t pretend he doesn’t scare me. If it were just for Kenny’s underbelly credentials, and links to the Melbourne mafia— that would be enough to make me think twice about taking the case. But there’s more to Kenny Lothar than just power and murder. He is into some strange things— the occult. Pacts, rituals, self flaggelation. The case is so out of my usual line of work, I can’t help but wonder what the fuck I am doing taking it up. I was slurping cautiously at my pho for two or three minutes before I got the break I needed. Kenny stands up to use the bathroom, leaving his wallet on the table. I know I’ve only got a slim chance to get it right, standing up as if I’m also going to relieve myself, then the subtle yawn, and sleight of hand. Before anyone notices I’m back out on the street, not having paid for my Pho, running —and holding the keycard for Kenny’s hotel room in my pocketed hand. The rain increases. You get some weird cases as a Private Investigator. Most are straightforward; spying on cheating partners, divorce cases, over protective parents. Then there’s the ten percent, the odd cases from secretive private contractors, where you only learn bits and pieces about your client, what they want to find out and why. No doubt a lot of it is criminal linked, even though I do my best to filter out those types of clientele. Some of them are just perverts, mad eccentrics. This particular client was extremely secretive. Dealt only in cash, and written correspondence. I’d have hesitated entirely from being involved, but it’s good pay— and I’d do just about anything to help nail that prick Lothar. As I’m walking back over the bridge towards Kenny’s hotel I start thinking about the objectives. The guy wanted pictures of Kenny’s hotel room— he was very specific about that. Seems very hung up on Kenny’s private activities. Wanted detailed notes and photographs on any occult rituals he was conducting. I mean—What the fuck, right? Ever get the feeling you’re getting caught up in the dangerous weekend games of eccentric rich people? I pulled my collar up, ducking out of the rain inconspicuously into the Travelodge lobby. Trying to appear casual and sure of myself as I walked past reception and entered the elevator. Kenny’s apartment was on the tenth floor, apartment 1001. Fortunately there was no one else in the lift, and I guiltlessly approached Kenny’s door once in the top floor. He had the ‘No servicing- do not disturb’ card over the door handle. The keycard tripped the beeping lock, and the door opened. There was a strange musty smell that hit me the instant I opened the door to his room. Then the vision hit my eyes, he had been busy! Kenny’s hotel room was messy. It was a fairly big room, one huge decorative pillar marking the left wall, and drawn velvet curtains adorning broad, thick windows overlooking the city. There was a hexagonal table beneath the window covered in papers, and an adjacent chair on top of a zebra patterned rug which seemed to be concealing something staining the floorboards. The floor of the adjacent room was covered in curious objects that required detailed analysis. I resolved to first examine the table and the rug. Moving aside the chair, I quickly flipped up the zebra rug, and gasped as I observed the curious design beneath. I took three photographs of the symbol with my phone, before continuing my analysis. It was a huge symbol, inked on the floorboards. The pattern was a kind of triangle with three six-shaped arms attached to all the vertices. My first thought was that the red stain was painted with blood, but as I touched the wet surface I concluded that it was more likely some thick kind of ink, pigment or paint. Certainly the symbol had been created for ritual occult purposes, thus far unknown. I carefully placed the rug exactly where it was, so everything would be found exactly where Kenny had left it. From my current vantage point I could see that there were two more symbols painted red on the walls in the first room; a circle with a serpentine line running through it on the left wall, and a symmetrical triad of lines on the right wall. I took some more photos of the symbols, and the layout of the first room with my phone. I sat down at the table now, quickly examining the note books, covered in scrawled handwriting, books and reference material scattering the surface. It was immediately clear to me, that all of the written material was directly related to the ritual which Kenny had been enacting in the adjacent room— so I figured I’d better get a look at that room before any of the written material would make a lick of sense. I walked cautiously towards the doorway marking the dark room beyond. I tried the light switch, but it appeared that Kenny had tampered with the power circuit. I turned the flash feature on, and snapped a few more pics of the dark room. A friend of mine was a cop, who investigated the Hotel room of Vegas Shooter Stephen Paddock, the guy who turned his hotel room into a fortress of guns, before killing 58 and injuring 515 people at a country music concert. My friend had told me going inside that room had filled him with such a sickness and revulsion at being in the lair of such a demented mastermind he’d had to take psychological leave for a month. I was starting to feel the same sickness exploring Kenny’s hotel room. The most obvious aspect of the layout of the darkened room was the kind of checkerboard Kenny had painted in the middle of the room. The entrance to the room was marked in each corner by two pillars, with square plinths, and miniature stair cases leading down each side. Leaning against the ridged pillars were an ornate Axe, and on the other side was a heavy, Ancient gold shield emblazoned with a red scorpion. Scattered all around the checkerboard were a vast array of objects which could at first be construed as random clutter, but only slowly developed a sense of order — that chilled me to the bones. Drawn on squares of the checkerboard I could make out an upside down crescent moon in the lower corner, and a thin, narrow isosceles triangle in the upper right corner. To my horror, I saw too, in the centre of the checkerboard was a yellow piece of parchment — upon which appeared to be resting ; a bleeding, severed human hand. I now realised with abhorrent terror that the red liquid pouring from the severed hand was the same texture of the symbols in the first room, they had indeed been inked in somebody’s blood. Victim currently unknown. The smell of death became suddenly more disconcerting. At the back of the room, lining the entry to the bedroom there were two classic statues, of Ancient Greek appearance, depicting the forms of two voluptuous women. Immediately in front of me, at the foot of the doorway to the darkened room was a sigil— two circles joined together by a malignant double-U. I was unable to process the other scattered objects at that time, so resolved to return to Kenny’s notes which would hopefully bring some clarity or closure as to the meaning of these horrific scenes. Once more, I sat down at Kenny’s chair. I flicked through several lined note pads, until I found a diagrammatic illustration of some of the items in the other room. This did help provide context to at least some of the items in Kenny’s ritual. Nothing about the severed hand. The illustrations were grotesque and horrific. The placement of items in the other room mimicked very closely the items in the illustration, but the labels didn’t provide much more than a superficial meaning to the display. The shield leaning against the left pillar, with the scorpion engraved on it was marked as ‘Soldier’s Shield from Motaris’, whilst the decorative axe leaning against the right pillar was labelled ‘The Axe of Sagron’. Scanning the other illustrations I saw that the W shaped sigil was revered as the ‘Sigil of the Star Diver’, whilst the two statues of naked women were labelled ‘The Godess of the Dawn’ and ‘The Sister of the Moon’ respectively. These sculptures were given particular significance—as an ethereal field between the feminine statues was labelled ‘The Gateway’. Another marking got my attention, and I had to return to the darkened room to confirm its presence, because I hadn’t noticed it the first time. Sure enough, inlaid beside the checkered board there was a cornucopia wedged on a tripod from which fumes were emerging- grey streamers billoughing through the darkness. Based on the diagram I gathered that there was ritual incense burning in the cornucopia and that this was the origin of that strange smell I had noticed on first entering the apartment. Returning to the diagrams, I began to panic as I realised that the herbs burning in the cornucopia weren’t in fact incense as I had first deduced, but some form of hallucinogen— utilised to accelerate the heightened state required for completion of the ritual. Instantly I started to feel light headed, wondering if the hallucinogen was already taking some effect upon me. I must have inhaled quite a large amount already, I covered my mouth with a handkerchief to create a temporary toxin mask. Just then, my paranoia was exacerbated, as I heard a clanking noise at the front door. I shivered, my soul sinking. Had Kenny returned early and been granted a spare keycard from reception? I cowered beneath the door, my heart began to pound in my chest like a professional’s basketball. Once more the door latch quivered and shook as though somebody were jangling the latch on the other side. Finally a voice called out, it was a vibrato tone, female, with an Eastern European accent; ‘Mr Lothar? This is cleaning. Do you want the service? Clean sheets? Mr Lothar?’ I breathed a sigh of relief, and summoned the deepest voice I could; ‘No thank you. Busy thank you.’ The sound of trolley wheels slinking away indicated the woman had taken the hint. I breathed heavily, trying to recuperate from the trauma. As I stumbled away from the door, suddenly I felt a terrible sensation within. I realised that the hallucinogens were indeed taking effect. My head throbbed, and my face grew red, filling with blood. Then my eyes began to mist up, and I felt my body growing weak— soon I fell to the carpet upon my knees. My vision was drawn to the terrifying sight beyond the large glass window— framed by red, velvet curtains. Something had occurred outside. Something uncanny and horrific. The day had changed. The sun was gone. Nature had somehow leapt off its natural track of organic physics. That which we call daylight and night had lost dimensional form, and their aspect had merged with the vast indescribable void of the universe. It is almost impossible to describe the hallucinations I saw outside that window, except to say that the Melbourne skyline was changing rapidly, in the nature of a time-lapse video. Architecture, once familiar became foreign and disorientating. It was as though I was watching the build up of human culture along the Yarra from a perspective outside of the usual constraints of time. I remembered from my history classes, that the aboriginal Wurundjeri tribes had called the Yarra river Birrarrung, meaning "Place of Mists and Shadows". Never did this description seem so apt, for what appeared to me now — a world only perceivable as a kind of fog of place. First, all of civilisation seemed to vanish, as indigenous tribes gathered beneath gum trees for their corroborees, then did I see white settlers, and British red coats come and conquer the land, then suddenly dark and futuristic sky scrapers leapt from the earth. Now something happened that even further defied explanation. My body seemed to grow numb and limp, and collapsed upon the floor. The truly strange aspect however, was that I watched this happen, seemingly from outside my own body. I found myself now, somehow as a ghost inhabiting the space apparently outside of my usual physical and mental constraints. As I looked around the hotel room, everything within seemed ominously different, red hued and sinister. Particularly a curious demonic glow originated from the other room where the ritualistic items had been laid out upon the floor. There was an odd electric energy coming from within that room now. Most of all, there was a plainly visible force field of energy growing, like a vortex, between the statues of the two Greek Godesses. This vortex now seemed to open up, like a gateway—- onto a world with a red sky. Beyond the gate was an immense marble staircase leading downwards into some unknown ethereal city. I summoned up the courage to journey through the gates, knowing that I was surely hallucinating from the unknown drug, but prepared to ride it out. I stepped down the strange marble steps, coming into an unknown, slightly futuristic city. Perhaps it was Melbourne in the future, I couldn’t discern with any confidence. There did seem to be some grand palace or castle where the Crown Casino had been, and Kings Road was marked by a distinct vibrant road built of shiny red bricks. There were no cars, or streetlights- but all around were immense skyscrapers and modernist buildings made of glass and steel. The river water of the Yarra had apparently dried up completely. I soon stood on the ground where once the Waterside Workers Hotel had been, there was now only a curious labyrinth of white, marble stair cases leading up and down in a confused jumble of intention. For a moment I sat on the step, flustered and bewildered by the strange situation and the concrete real ness of my imaginary world. I felt the presence of a kind of grid of familiarity— stretching out on the horizon. I felt strange allures pulling me and enticing me onwards. I feared these forces, and yet could not deny them. There was an odd heat and humidity. Something was compelling me to descend further down upon the staircases, heading underground into the catacombs beneath this strange city. The further down I went, the more intense the heat became, until finally there appeared an open platform which looked out into a vast abyss of plateaued rock and raging flame. Amidst the hades-like landscape in the lower caverns, my hallucinations now took full and plain form. Amidst the acreage of darkness and flame a titanic figure now came forward. The giant’s skin was lush crimson, and his naked body was taught and muscular, his head barely resembling some insectoid creature of earth. But the enormous, many sphered and barbed tail which swung from his buttocks, and his claw-like hands identified him as a giant humanoid scorpion of some form. The scorpion demon, who was half engulfed in flames now bent in the darkness, almost crouching in the opposite direction to me. I soon discerned that he was engaging to speak with another small figure, perched on a plateau of rock far out on the other side of the chasm. Something even more peculiar happened then; my body suddenly seemed to go utterly limp. At first falling in an almost fainting motion, my mind suddenly faded as though into a dream-like place. I was no longer a walking human, but a floating invisible mass, a watching eyeball floating over the caverns of fire. Soon, I drifted and became the voyeur overlooking the terrible scorpion being, and as I grew closer I soon was able to view with clarity the other being he was talking to on the rocky plateau. It was Kenny Lothar. I tried to analyse my dream logic, obviously it made sense that I would hallucinate about Kenny, he was at the forefront of my mind due to the case. But as I began to overhear the conversation of the unlikeliest acquaintances, I marvelled at my mind’s fantastic longing. ‘The ritual is underway’, the sinister balding figure in sunglasses had stated. The immense flaming scorpion being flexed it’s muscular neck, and clamped it’s jaw, leering like an avalanche over Kenny; ‘Do you know what forces come to roost under cover of the red skies of Val Galais?’ Asked the scorpion in a booming voice. ‘My role is not to question the will of the beings outside the dome..’ Kenny replied cunningly; ‘Mine is only to serve.’ The giant red scorpion flushed its face and furrowed its brow in gesticulation; ‘That is a good answer, puny mortal. But I know that your species is incapable of acts that aren’t driven by the most base desires of personal gratification. You follow commands because you wish some of the glory of the coming age to be bestowed upon yourself. Confess it!’ ‘If I am to be gifted any fortune by supporting the armies of the winning side, should there be any discomfort in it?’ Kenny retorted, ‘All that matters is the end goal. Victory for the beings outside the dome!’ The scorpion glowed with wicked pride; ‘Yes! It is true. For the watcher is at hand, and the sacrifices are being made, piece by piece. The vultures move into place, and the shapeshifter reigns in the land of the setting sun. The dead armies shall hold back the forces of Tennylind and a new dark age shall Dawn’... I watched with fascination as my hallucinations played themself out. With intrigue I followed Kenny’s monologue as he spoke about his dark motives. I knew they were not real, just the product of my delirious brain trying to draw loose ends together. Nonetheless, in my imagination Kenny Lothar began to explain to the horrific scorpion demon his back story in this hideous plot. He spoke of the corrupt police forces in NSW, and how they had gone underground during the Royal Commissions of the 1990’s. He spoke of secret meeting places in Bishop’s Valley, Bathurst, Canberra and Ballarat. Organisations united in a common purpose, to protect the agenda of corrupt white men; the Freemasons, the Druids guild, The order of the Red Seal, The Knights of the Roman Grid, The Future guard. He spoke of gangland killings, and shuffled ranks in the Victorian Police. In my dream, Kenny was not acting alone; but conducting his nefarious rituals for wealthy underground cults. I knew the dream was becoming too absurd now, and like my mind was rejecting outright the state of being, I felt my ethereal self begin to drift and return to Kenny’s hotel room where I lay unconscious. Strangely, however, my awareness of that perpendicular plane of existence didn’t utterly fade. I watched with my mind’s eye, as Kenny slowly ascended a labyrinth of marble staircases, until at last it appeared as if I was watching —as Kenny exited the elevator of the hotel. He seemed to walk in a tangent universe just beside my own, walking alongside his hotel room. I was now floating above my own body, which lay unconscious on the hotel floor, as Kenny entered through the vortex of colour. But something was magnificently wrong. Surely, I thought, I was still hallucinating. Yet, why did the room look so enchantingly similar and yet different? As I floated above as an ethereal mist, I noticed that all the ritualistic paraphernalia lay in the adjacent room exactly as it had —- with only one minor difference.... The decapitated hand was no longer placed ceremoniously on the parchment in the middle of the checkered floor. Nor were the strange three symbols painted in blood in various locations in the room where my body lay unconscious. With infinite terror, my mind started to leap to horrorible conclusions. Kenny was rubbing his skin, as if coated in a thin layer of goo. He appeared to be adjusting to his transition back into this reality. How absurd this dream was becoming, I thought to myself. With malice, Kenny now begun to pace around the dark room, as if checking the artefacts for his ritual. He then raced to his desk, checking over his notes, and reading furiously. I tried to move my body, or wake from slumber, but I remained trapped in that elusive immaterial dream space. I continued to watch paralysed. Kenny now turned in his chair with terrible and malevolent purpose. Returning quickly to the other room, he appeared to see something. I watched with horror now, as he came back into the main room holding the decorated Axe from the ritual. I began to curse under my breath with fear, as Kenny methodically approached my unconscious body. He had the most sadistic look of glee in his eyes, and malice on his lips, as he grinned with yellowing teeth. With one sharp movement, Kenny raised the heavy axe above his head, then with a movement as swift as light, the heavy metal carved through the flesh and bone of my left hand. Although still detached from my body, I somehow still felt a piercing pain in my wrist, that ached like swollen agony, and throbbed with pain, yet I had no mouth to scream. Satanically satisfied, Kenny squatted next to my decapitated hand, extending two fingers and dipping them into my freshly drawn blood. Time seemed to flash forward, or backwards as Kenny timelapsed around the room, creating the strange symbols on the walls and floor which I had investigated. Then returning the bloody Axe to the pillar it was resting against, and moving my gored and grotesque severed hand into place on the parchment on the middle of the checkered floor. Somehow this all made some terrible sense in my dreaming mind, that I had perhaps become a part of Kenny’s terrible ritual. That was then. This all stands now, only as some sort of curious dream. The severing of my hand, I can speak about with certainty. For when I awoke in a hospital bed, my left arm was nothing more than a stump. Mercifully the doctors stopped the blood loss, and probably saved my life, though how I got from Kenny’s hotel room to there, I’ll never know. It’s been a significant period of recovering, and for now, the investigation of Kenny Lothar is on hold. Right now I am too fearful for my well being to continue. However, I feel this will not be the last time I have a run in with that dangerous and reprehensible character. (This is the second story surrounding Private Investigator P.Dronefire. You can read the first story 'The Cockroaches Between the Clues' at 'The Weird Fiction of Goitye Powerhouse) https://weirdfictionofgoityepowerhouse.wordpress.com/2017/12/11/the-cockroaches-between-the-clues/
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