Cage Manager - Casino Salary Salary.com

"I think I've lived long enough to see competitive Counter-Strike as we know it, kill itself." Summary of Richard Lewis' stream (Long)

I want to preface that the contents of this post is for informational purposes. I do not condone or approve of any harassments or witch-hunting or the attacking of anybody.
 
Richard Lewis recently did a stream talking about the terrible state of CS esports and I thought it was an important stream anyone who cares about the CS community should listen to.
Vod Link here: https://www.twitch.tv/videos/830415547
I realize it is 3 hours long so I took it upon myself to create a list of interesting points from the stream so you don't have to listen to the whole thing, although I still encourage you to do so if you can.
I know this post is still long but probably easier to digest, especially in parts.
Here is a link to my raw notes if you for some reason want to read through this which includes some omitted stuff. It's in chronological order of things said in the stream and has some time stamps. https://pastebin.com/6QWTLr8T

Intro

CSPPA - Counter-Strike Professional Players' Association

"Who does this union really fucking serve?"

ESIC - Esports Integrity Commission

"They have been put in an impossible position."

Stream Sniping

"They're all at it in the online era, they're all at it, they're all cheating, they're all using exploits, probably that see through smoke bug got used a bunch of times"

Match Fixing

"How many years have we let our scene be fucking pillaged by these greedy cunts?" "We just let it happen."

North America

"Everyone in NA has left we've lost a continents worth of support during this pandemic and Valve haven't said a fucking word."

Talent

"TO's have treated CS talent like absolute human garbage for years now."

Valve

"Anything that Riot does, is better than Valve's inaction"

Closing Statements

"We've peaked. If we want to sustain and exist, now is the time to figure it out. No esports lasts as long as this, we've already done 8 years. We've already broke the records. We have got to figure out a way to coexist and drive the negative forces out and we need to do it as a collective and we're not doing that."

submitted by Tharnite to GlobalOffensive [link] [comments]

Perpetual Debt, Gambling Addict, Big Win, Unbanked.

Hi PersonalFinanceUK, I hope I can get some advice here, long time lurker and using a throwaway to protect my identity for obvious reasons.
I'm a gambling addict, I've been gambling for as long as I can remember, it started small but for the last 15 years it's consumed all of my money, from the day I get paid, I pay my bills and i buy myself gift cards for the supermarket so I can survive a month then that same day I either win up to around £15,000 or loose the lot, but by the second week in the month I can promise you all my money will be gone until my next pay day. I earn 60k p/a out of London, I had nothing to my name and I know gambling is bad for me and has destroyed my life until now.
Over the year's i've ran up debts, I don't really have a clue how much I owe, looking at my credit files I think around £30,000 many times I've managed to get a basic bank account and get it overdrawn some how to the point that It's useless to me and eventually gets sent to collections then closed. I've been in a position where I can't open up a bank account for the last two years. Up until about 4 months ago I was using Transferwise as my main account but they closed it on me as using an account for solely gambling transactions is against their ToS.
Since then I am using a pre-paid card to receive my salary and spending. I've tried approaching banks about getting an account with them and i essentially get a "Computer says No". I have checked I do not have any fraud markers against my name with CiFaS of the other agency which name currently escapes me.
I've never been ready to change until the thing happened to me that I always wanted but never expected to happen. I have a cheque from a well known land based casino for more than I could expect to earn for the rest of my life, or even more money that I would have expected to earn in my career. But I'm unbankable. Literally no bank will touch me and I guess I deserve this but I don't know where to go from here.
I'm at the point now that I want to turn my life around, I have spoken to my account managers at all the casino's I play at and explained my situation and joined SENSE and GAMSTOP. From this point on I can't gamble anymore, and I'm seeking help for the mental health side of things.
I want to pay off my debts and start again property, It's like I have every penny back I ever paid into casino's and then some but I'm unable to touch it.
Can anyone point me in the direction on where I can go from here on how I can gain banking facilities again? I assume that there must be a bank that will take the circumstances into account rather than just running the numbers on a screen.
submitted by lathrowawaydec2020 to UKPersonalFinance [link] [comments]

I am 36 years old, make $66,900, live in Portland OR and work as a Data Coordinator.

Section Zero: Background
Hello all, happy hoildays! I stumbled upon this subreddit not long ago and have enjoyed the commentary and experiences everyone's shared. Wanted to add another perspective from a mid-30s first-gen American. I've had some missteps regarding careers and finances, but I feel like I'm in a slightly better place now. I tried YNAB in the past but I wasn't consistent enough with it. These days I use Mint to monitor my finances and have a "Finance Friday" each month to review all my accounts and spending. I currently live with my partner TJ and his dog RR. We do not combine finances, but he has been unemployed since March. I have helped him with some bills and basic necessities here and there until he finds his next job or career.
My current financial goals are to just maintain a status quo and not get any debt until pandemic times are over. Then I will focus on a house remodeling fund and savings for taking care of my parents.
Growing up, what kind of conversations did you have about money? Did your parent/guardian(s) educate you about finances? My parents taught us about money from a frugal perspective. They are immigrants who worked in food service/factories. There was always this “save save save” mentality. Even when they started their own small business, we saved like there was no tomorrow. In high school, my calculus teacher bought us all “The Millionaire Next Door” book and had us read it as an assignment - that was my first structured introduction to finances.
Did you worry about money growing up? No, there was always food on the table and a roof over our heads. I knew that our extended family would support us if needed.
Was there an expectation for you to attend higher education? Did you participate in any form of higher education? If yes, how did you pay for it? Yes. My dad didn’t finish the high school-equivalent in their country, while my mom did finish high school, but no college. My older and younger siblings took a different path in life after high school. I am the first and only in my family to graduate from college. My parents covered all tuition for my two bachelor degrees with the agreement that I support them fully during their retirement and send them gifts/extra money whenever I can. I feel very lucky and privileged that they were able to provide that education for me.
At what age did you become financially responsible for yourself and do you have a financial safety net? 24 when I went on a work holiday abroad. My family was always available to help when needed, but the experience abroad helped me stand on my own feet. As an adult, I also inherited that “save” mentality and put a lot of my earnings towards savings. I didn’t date until my 30s, lived frugally, didn’t go out to eat/hangout with people, shopped thrift stores, and had very few hobbies. I am starting to “live a little” now though.
Do you or have you ever received passive or inherited income? Aside from the tuition, my parents have helped with a down payment for my first house and living costs during periods of unemployment.

Section One: Assets and Debt
Retirement Balance
If the place I was working at offered a 401k, I would always contribute up to the company match. I started my IRA in my mid-20s and would try to contribute the yearly max. I've stopped that the past 2-3 years though. My Other Brokerage is some play money, but I got tired of staring it and switched to index funds. I haven't contributed anything to it in a few years.
Equity if you're a homeowner
Purchased my first home for $382,000 with 20% down, right before lockdown earlier this year. Perfect timing, right?? I plan to live here until my retirement. My parents contributed $15k while I used most of my savings for the rest.
Savings account balance: $3,073
Checking account balance: $7,800
Credit card debt: I charge everything on my credit card for the points, then pay it off each month using my checking account balance.
Student loan debt: Traditionally no student loan debt as mentioned in Section Zero.

Section Two: Income
Income Progression (listed as gross income with cost of living area):
High School
College and first “career” job
Mental health break
College (again) and second “career” job
Third “career” jobs

Main Job Monthly Take Home:
Monthly Net (paid bi-weekly): $2,758
Deductions:
Side Gig Monthly Take Home:
No side gigs at the moment, but I am thinking of signing up on Upwork.com and doing Excel/data entry projects to help pay the mortgage.
Other Income: TJ’s friend will be staying with us for a month in January, who will pay rent of $800 including utilities. Depending on how that goes, we may take on a roommate in the spare bedroom long-term.

Section Three: Expenses
Mortgage - when I bought the house, the plan was that I would charge TJ a portion of the mortgage costs as “rent”, but since his unemployment I am now covering it all myself.
Regular Monthly Payment: $1677.57
HOA: $30/year
Retirement contribution: Nothing additional than what's been mentioned.
Savings contribution: I used to do $50-100/month, but since COVID I’ve stopped contributing to my savings account.
Investment contribution: None at this time.
Debt payments: $100/month towards TJ's credit card balance of $2,307.
Donations: $10-20/month, usually towards Omaze or Planned Parenthood.
Utilities:
Cellphone: On my parents plan.
Subscriptions:
Gym membership: Pre-COVID I did Orangetheory for a year. I started to pick up free exercise equipment from Craigslist this year, so we have a small garage gym now and utilize YouTube exercise videos instead.
Pet expenses: $10/month. TJ has stockpiled some Costco canned dog food before unemployment, but once that runs out I will likely cover the costs. We also started to make homemade dog food to help supplement.
Car insurance: $460 every 6 months. Car is paid off.
Regular therapy: I will start in the new year. Not sure what the costs are yet, but I will use my HSA to pay.
Vitamins/Medications: $20/month
Groceries & household items: $75/month
Miscellaneous (eating out, house purchases, gifts, etc): $100/month

Section Four: Money Diary
Monday
6:30am Neighbor starts up their truck. We joke that it's our natural alarm clock. They idle for about 15 minutes before heading off. I go back to bed.
9am My real alarm goes off. I put the electric kettle on for some morning tea. While it's boiling, I do my morning routine: drink glass of water, take synthroid, use bathroom, brush teeth, quick shower. I then make tea - Jasmine Pearl English Breakfast with dark forest mix. I started ordering loose leaf tea in large amounts back in March instead of small bags or single serving packets. Seems more economical since I drink it daily. I let the dog out into the backyard so he can do his morning routine.
9:30am I go through my daily tasks for work. They entail checking processes and reports to make sure they ran successfully overnight. I then answer some emails and catch-up on Slack channels.
12pm Lunch is leftover roast chicken and quinoa from Saturday. I heat it up in the instant pot. Love that thing! Almost every meal of ours involves the instant pot. We hardly use the stovetop. We then walk the dog to the business park across from our neighborhood. There's a very short trail that runs along a drainage creek by the business park. It's quite muddy, but has a nice woodsy feeling. Over the summer, we saw sumac trees there as well. Free sumac spice!
1:30pm Department meeting on Zoom. Our director announces his resignation on the call. Everyone is shocked! Layoffs were announced for next year but this was not a part of it. I think it's a good move for him and he doesn't have to have this worry of layoffs over his head.
3pm I meet with an engineer from another team and talk about a data source they are in charge of. He helps me out in understanding it and we identify most of the fields that I need for a project I’m starting.
5:30pm I check in with my partner. He's been watching LinkedIn tutorials on internal recruiting, job coaching and general computeoffice skills. It's a career change that he wants to make - something where he can talk to and help people. He doesn't have a bachelor's, only an associates, and hopes these tutorials will get him a leg up in the job search. I sent him some entry level HR admin roles the other day and remind him to apply. I then heat up leftovers: homemade chana masala and rice. I add some butter and coconut milk to thin it out, so there's enough for both of us.
10:30pm I take some magnesium, vitamin D and Airborne. I say goodnight to the dog who sleeps in the office. Then I say goodnight to TJ. He sleeps in the spare bedroom on weeknights due to his snoring keeping me up. I'm a light sleeper while he is a pretty deep sleeper.
Daily total: $0
Tuesday
9am I check Reddit Secret Santa. My match seems like a really good person. Not sure what to get, but most likely will purchase something off their wishlist. I wish I was more creative with my gift giving.
11am Meeting with business stakeholder. She submitted a few changes to an existing data process about a month ago. I make the change while on the call and have her test. Success! Marking it off the todo list. I love when we can finish things directly on a call.
12:30pm I come out of my office to make lunch. I notice my partner is not home. I check my messages and see that he's stepped out to pick up a few things. I ask for celery, carrots, and kombucha. $17. I make a quick charcuterie board for lunch: Costco salami, cheese, homemade hummus and Triscuits. It's a simple, fast meal that’s always in our rotation.
2pm My partner is back and we take the dog out for a walk and quick round of disc golf at a nearby park. We mask up and play only a few holes. Disc golf is a pretty frugal activity, you only need 2-3 discs to get started. TJ remarks that my throws are getting better, but then again they weren't great to start with. We talk about Christmas/Birthday gifts on the way back home since he was born on New Years Day. He mentioned snowshoeing but asked to not spend that much. I'll do some research!
5pm I think about personal career projects. Should I put up a portfolio of projects somewhere? I decide to try and pull some Yelp data. There’s not a lot of data points that I was interested in. Regardless, I tinker with it for an hour. TJ asks if I'm hungry. I said not so much, but felt thirsty. Maybe some ginger soup tonight?
7:30pm Dinner is served - ginger carrot soup made in the instant pot. We eat some rice crackers with it. Lately I feel like we've been eating more vegetarian dinners. It definitely helps stretch our food budget. We end the evening by finishing Fargo season 3 on Hulu.
Daily total: $17
Wednesday
1:30am I'm woken up by the dog. He's been sneezing a lot and wheezes at random intervals. TJ doesn't have the money for a vet visit but I've offered to pay as long as he calls to make the appointment. I give the dog some coconut oil, rub his belly until he seems better and go back to bed.
7am Garbage day. We usually put it out the night before but I forgot. I get up to go, but TJ handles it. I think, at least. I'm too sleepy to pay attention and go back to bed.
9am I wake up and rinse some dishes that have piled up and put them into the dishwasher. We both grew up in households that had a home dishwasher, but forbade from using it. It was drilled into us that hand washing saves more water, unless you had a restaurant/industrial dishwasher. I think with modern home dishwashers, that's changed, so I wanted to try it out with our dishwasher and monitor the water bill. Don't have any dishwashing pods or powder, so I put some OxiClean in it.
12:30pm I overhear TJ on a call with a recruiting agency. It seems to be going well, lots of laughing. I heat up some taco lasagna that I freezer meal-prepped last month.
2pm Collaborate on a project at work with an engineer. My manager put me on this project since I was asking for an assignment on a more technical team. I'm learning tidbits here and there, but I don't feel like it's structured enough.
5pm I do an Orangetheory-At-Home workout and try to break a sweat. It's not the same as going to their studio.
6pm Charcuterie for dinner. Our fridge is full of store-bought and homemade pickles that go super well on a charcuterie board.
Daily total: $0
Thursday
7am I wake up tired. The house has been feeling more cold, which woke me up a few times. We keep the temp at 72F during the day, at night around 68F since we thought the bedrooms keep the heat in pretty well. My mistake!
9am I do my usual morning routine and login to work. My team mostly spends the morning sending each other emojis.
11:30am Lunch today is mini quiche, frozen chicken and veggie entree, and hot dogs. Not the most cohesive meal, but it fills the belly.
12:30pm TJ heads out to his mailbox that's 30 minutes away. He is still waiting on his tax return and a 401k withdrawal. His taxes had to be filed by mail for some reason, then the IRS office shut down due to COVID. So he wanted to see if it arrived yet at the mailbox. He also takes the dog to the vet's urgent care on his way. They didn't have any regular openings available until the end of the year, and the dog seemed to be getting worse. I give TJ $40 to mail a gift package to a friend in France and also reiterate that I'll cover the vet bill when he gets it.
4:30pm I pay some bills, my favorite activity (not)! Sewer bill: $59.44 (billed every 2 months). Geico bill: $459.60 billed every 6 months. Then I follow up with my mortgage officer over email. I had sent her some documents for a refinance quote last week, but haven't heard back. Rates keep dropping, so I'm told, but what does that really mean? I do some research on realestate.
5pm TJ messages me and says he'll be back for dinner. I ask him to pick up some Popeyes via drive thru since we both don't feel like cooking today. Popeyes is currently our fancy “going out to eat” food. $24.17 for a 4pc dinner meal and a 2pc dinner meal.
Daily total: $583.21
Friday
8:30am Busy morning at work. My phone is buzzing with emails and Slack messages. I try to answer them while I make tea.
10am Zoom Department happy hour. We reminisce about our director and then play those Jackbox party games. Some of them are hard!
11am TJ asks if he can make me anything for lunch. He suggests savory oatmeal, quick and easy. I tell him that I really appreciate him making meals/doing chores/etc without me prompting. We've been having conversations about "house project management" and mental load because I did most of the chores or I had to continually remind/tell him to do it. I'm really happy to see us progress on this front. I decide to work through my lunch break so I can end the day early. I don't often do that, but I'm ready to get the weekend started.
2pm I check on TJ in the spare bedroom and ask if the dog has been fed yet, since he was nipping at my feet. I notice something off about TJ and ask how he is doing. TJ is depressed about his personal life, career, finances. He doesn't know what to do, spends half the day meditating and reflecting on past trauma. I've been prodding him to get a therapist but he is confused about his insurance. He makes an appointment with a primary care doctor first. I feed the dog some homemade dog-friendly beef stew.
4pm My mom swings by the house (but doesn't enter). She currently works at a school who distributes free USDA food boxes since March. There's often many boxes leftover that would go to waste, so she will grab a box for us. Onions, potatoes, beets, turnips, eggs, cheese, butter, frozen veggies and frozen chicken. She also brought her vintage pasta maker. I asked last week if she ever used it these days and her reply was “no, feel free to have it”. I love pasta and noodles and figure it would be great to make it ourselves as a frugal hobby.
8pm We catch up on Mandalorian and watch silly Youtube videos before heading off to bed.
Daily total: $0
Saturday
9am I open up my web browser and look at Craigslist and NextDoor for free stuff. I've been scouring for free landscape rocks, pegboards, and wood for house projects. I had this grand ambition to redesign our backyard. It faces our neighbor and currently the fence is pretty low. They can see into our kitchen and bedroom and we can see them. But y'know, COVID and going from dual income house to single income means it all has to be put on hold. So I've been looking for free items in the meantime. Over the past months, I've gotten planter pots, plant cuttings, a raised bed, stepping stones, all from free listings. I don't see anything worthwhile so I go and make some tea.
11am I look at Amazon and make some purchases for Reddit Secret Santa. A foodie kit, DVD of their favorite movie, and some cute pens for their writing hobby. $54. I hope they like it!
12pm TJ heats up leftover stir-fry for lunch for us. I put on some Binging with Babish and we watch how to make pasta. We have a plan - TJ makes the pasta, I make the sauce. Perfect date night activity at home. We watch some more videos on pasta and noodles to educate ourselves.
4pm I start prepping veggies. Big batch of onions, canned tomatoes, ground beef and butter in the instant pot. Meanwhile, TJ works on the pasta by following Babish's instructions.
7pm We gorge on fresh made pasta and bolognese sauce. It's so good! We end up watching Fargo.
11pm Usually I'll be in bed by now, but it's a Saturday and not tired yet (probably because of all that pasta). We play some Kirby's Dream Course on the Switch.
Daily total: $54
Sunday
10am Quick walk around the neighborhood with the dog. He's on a new routine now with the medicine he's taking. It seems to be helping his breathing issues.
11am The pasta maker and flour is still out since we didn't clean up yesterday. There's some old pie crust in the fridge so I roll it out with the pasta machine for mini quiches. (Sally's Baking Addiction blog is my go-to place for her all-butter crust and quiche recipes btw). TJ helps by mixing up the eggs.
3pm I play some Genshin Impact (GI) on my phone while TJ plays Starcraft in the office. I don't usually play gacha games, but the Zelda BotW-style of GI appealed to me. A gacha game is a game with randomized characteitem boxes that you use real-money to purchase a “pull” or to spin the wheel. I know the gacha parts of the game can be a real money sink if you get addicted to them, it’s almost like gambling. My main team is Fischl, Bennett, Barbara and Noelle. I level up to AR 22 and look up free-to-play tutorials for the game.
6pm There's some leftover pasta from yesterday, enough for both of us. I throw in some roasted beets to round out the meal. We watch more Fargo while eating. Almost done with Season 3!
10pm I find a tour operator who offers a small, socially-distant snowshoeing tour up on the mountain. I reserve for two people - this will be TJ's Christmas/birthday gift. $75. Off to bed for another workday.
Daily total: $75
Weekly Total: $689.79
Section Five: Reflections
Aside from the car insurance bill, this was a typical week for me, COVID or not. We make the majority of our meals at home and usually splurge on drive-thru/delivery once every other week. I may have overspent on the Secret Santa gift, but I don't often give gifts out to friends. It's not something our family does either. For TJ’s Christmas/birthday gift, we usually talk upfront about costs. I’ve gifted him fancy restaurant experiences the past 2 years, since we can share that experience, but obviously can’t do that now. Snowshoeing is a nice change of pace.
The conversations with TJ this week have given me thought on how to approach him differently about finances and working together in a relationship. I’m still unsure about the future financially, particularly as my parents near retirement age and that TJ has pulled out his 401k to pay his debts. I don't know if I can support both my parents and TJ together, so I am finding ways to upskill and/or side hustles without becoming a workaholic or bogged down by stress.
Writing this money diary was also the first time where I really paid attention to my past income and current income. I might be contributing too much into ESPP that could go towards the 401k or mortgage instead? I also seem to have been underpaid for what I did in past jobs, even in a LCOL area.
submitted by throwaway_md_182481 to MoneyDiariesACTIVE [link] [comments]

Dec/29/2020 news: \\ political party law reformed: idea > individual; transparency; female % \\ Pashinyan responds to "not being enough pro-Russian" \\ who owns which business? \\ protests & snap elect. \\ burglary case & HHK MP \\ humanitarian aid for Artsakh \\ Vitalik flexes muscles \\ bills pass

Your 14-minute Tuesday report in 3589 words.

Pashinyan about pre-war negotiations and "avoiding" the war:

The idea that a flexible foreign policy could have avoided this war is being constantly circulated. Those [former officials] who believe in this thesis must answer at least one question: as a result of their "flexible" policy, why was it not possible to avoid the war of 2016, which was preceded by the unprecedented escalation of 2015 and 2014?
The "flexible" policy adopted by Armenia for many years led to the introduction of Russian proposals in January 2016, which proposed the return of 7 territories (5 + 2) without any legal status for Nagorno-Karabakh.
Why did Russia make such an offer? For one simple reason, as a result of Armenia's "flexible" policy, the Madrid process had come to a standstill because Artsakh could receive a Status outside Azerbaijan only with the consent of Azerbaijan.
It was obvious to Russia and everyone else that Azerbaijan would not agree to this, so it was necessary to find ways to break the deadlock.
And, by the way, if certain people claim that Armenia's foreign policy after 2018 was not sufficiently pro-Russian and this was the reason for the war, then why in the conditions of the "sufficiently pro-Russian" policy of 2016 were Russian proposals born and why did the April war take place?
There was only one way to prevent this war: return the regions and forget about Artsakh's legal status. Now, after the war is over and we know the outcome, the number of supporters of [giveaway of 7 regions] is growing. What they forget is that if we gave away the lands to avoid the war, we would have the same situation in Syunik borders. They used to accuse us of "selling lands" [he means the contradictory statements like Nikol sold the lands, and why didn't Nikol sell the lands earlier to avoid the war].
The biggest failure by the supporters of the "flexible policies" is that they spent years trying to avoid a war instead of preparing for it. Our biggest failure is that we weren't able to recover enough embezzled public property in the past 2.5 years to help us better prepare for the war.
https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1039231.html

businesses owned by opposition leaders

What are the known businesses owned by some of the famous people you might have seen in the public square lately?

Vazgen Manukyan

20% share in Lorva Amrots Ltd which plans to operate two hydro-power plants on Dzoraget river. Manukyan purchased the shares in 2011 after being appointed by Serj as the head of the Public Council.
In 2015-2016, he owned 30% shares in Vanavka Group. In 2015-2017 he had 30% shares in Jermakunq Group. These companies extracted and bottled water. At the time, the director of these companies was charged with illegal bottling and causing ֏55 million in damages to the state. The corruption case was sent to the IRS, which terminated the investigation after "not finding a crime". The companies export the products mostly to Russia.
 

Arthur Vanetsyan

Vanetsyan is a poor boy, according to the public declarations database. But if you have time, take a look at the investigative report I covered in Ap29/2020 news, according to which Vanetsyan's family allegedly used offshore firms and owns mining shares. More on that here. Here is a Hetq investigative report.
Vanetsyan's father owns AV Group flower importing business. About a year ago, the police investigated several flower sellers near a stadium. An opposition outlet claimed that the sellers were "beaten and forced" to testify that Vanetsyan's father was running an underground business. This was never properly proven and the opposition's claim that Vanetsyan was about to be charged did not happen. The police confirmed that there was an investigation against several flower sellers. These flower sellers ended up hiring Vanetsyan's co-party-creator Arsen Babayan as a lawyer.
Vanetsyan's father owns 50% shares of A B Export oil import company that began operating in 2017. It was a minor player that quit the market in 2019. Vanetsyan's father also owns 60% of A B Trans transportation company.
In Nov/2019, CivilNet wrote about Arthur Vanetsyan's cousins' possible involvement with Zangezur Copper factory (massive business). The same offshore firm in Cyprus, which purchased Zangezur shares, was tied to Vanetsyan's cousins' another business in the same offshore.
Vanetsyan's cousins also own a Switzerland-based Exoil wholesale cooking oil and shipping company. In 2019 it had a revenue of $148 million (11 billion Rubles). The cousins don't do this business in Armenia.
Per 2019 registration, Arthur Vanetsyan himself owns one apartment, $10,000, and ֏1 million.
Media reported in May/2020 that Vanetsyan's cousin purchased a ֏300 million mansion in Yerevan, which was donated to then-new political party "Hayreniq", co-founded by Arthur Vanetsyan and Arsen Babayan (the guy who is accused of helping HHK to fabricate documents in 2018 to hijack the Constitutional Court by appointing HHK MP Hrayr Tovmasyan as a judge).
Arthur Vanetsyan's mother served as the chief of the personnel-management department in Serj and Pashinyan administrations, before quitting and working as Serj's aide.
Vanetsyan's wife owns Villa Montessori preschool in Yerevan. She also runs the Young Education Center Ltd.
 

ARF Ishkhan Saghatelyan

Pashinyan appointed Saghatelyan as Gegharquniq governor for a brief period after the 2018 revolution, when Pashinyan created a unity-government, represented by all political parties. The honeymoon soon ended and each party went their way.
Saghatelyan owns shares in i-mega Service Ltd. It's a tourism agency founded in 2006. It operates in Armenia, Artsakh, and Georgia.
Saghatelyan founded Navasar company and serves as director. It's owned by his father.
Saghatelyan family owns the Tsovasar hotel complex on Lake Sevan shores. It's 10,000 m2 (a hectare?).
As of 2018, Saghatelyan declared ownership of 8 pieces of land, 2 apartments, ֏18.5 million, $45,000, and €15,000.
Saghatelyan's father is the mayor of Gegharquniq's Geghamavan settlement. This municipality had recently sent a letter demanding Pashinyan's resignation.
Saghatelyan used to be a shareholder of Shiman Ltd which is no longer active.
 

BHK leader Gagik "dodi gago" Tsarukyan

BUCKLE UP, KIDS! Overall, Tsarukyan runs 54 companies. Студент, комсомолец, спортсмен, u наконец, он просто красавиц.
His business empire was covered in details here. Textile, gas stations, malls, Multi Group empire, Shangri-La Casino, Ararat Cognac & Wine Factory, BMW official office Euromotors (also Hyundai, Gazel, Niva), Multi Motors, Magas Invest, Multi Wellness, Olimpavan sports complex, Kotayk beer factory, TechnAlyumin door & window factory, Multi Rest House hotel chain, Paravon luxury restaurant, Onira Club, Zvartnot's airport's upper-level service company Avia Service, Farm Adama, Multi Pharm pharmacy, Multi Leon gas stations, Multi Solar solar panels.
He owns shares in Frank Mueller Yerevan watch company, Fortsa, Multi Gold, Multi Diamond jewelry firms, several fish-breeding businesses.
He also runs businesses in Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, Czechia, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Latvia.
Per official declaration, he owns $168 million, €29 million, ֏675 million, 14 pieces of land, 6 houses, 2 public buildings, 1 apartment.
 
Details for BHK MP Mikael Melkumyan and HHK Vahram Baghdasaryan in the link below.
 
https://fip.am/14388
https://hetq.am/hy/article/88755
https://www.reddit.com/armenia/comments/gagkyp/apr292020_wednesday_news_armenia_being_sued_fo?
www.civilnet.am/news/2019/11/01/Զանգեզուրի-պղնձամոլիբդենային-Մաքսիմ-Հակոբյանի-ու-նրա-որդու-փոխարեն-նոր-բաժնետերեր-Ժնևից-և-Աջափնյակից/369792
www.1lurer.am/hy/2020/01/29/Բենզինի-շուկա-Արթուր-Վանեցյանի-հայրը-դուրս-է-եկել-ոլորտից-Միքայել-Մինասյանի-մերձավորը՝-խոշորների-մա/182670

opposition continues the demonstrations

The street demonstrations, organized by the former regime and its allies, continue. They demand Pashinyan's resignation and the appointment of their candidate Vazgen Manukyan as the Prime Minister for the duration of a year, after which they agree to hold new elections.
ARF leader Artsvik Minasyan said they don't plan to discuss snap elections with Pashinyan. "Right now, our only demand is Pashinyan's resignation. We demand SIS to immediately hold every criminal accountable". The demonstrators gathered in front of the SIS building to present the demands.
https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1039316.html

Pashinyan meets leaders of several opposition parties

QP leader Lilith: there is a possibility there will be a meeting between Pashinyan and the three Parliamentary political parties. They could discuss snap elections. The impression is that politicians who demand Pashinyan's resignation do not want snap elections in an attempt to bypass the citizen's right to form a government. Our political team reaffirms the position that none of us is clinging on seats. //
LHK MP Gorgisyan: we cannot hold snap elections now, under this chaotic situation. We will discuss snap elections if Pashinyan discusses his resignation and transfer of power. (LHK wants its leader Marukyan to be elected as Prime Minister by a Parliamentary vote) //
Pashinyan met BHK leader Tsarukyan. The latter is against holding snap elections unless Pashinyan resigns now, and presumably, he wants Vazgen Manukyan appointed as PM.
LHK leader Marukyan also wants Pashinyan to resign now so a new Prime Minister can form a new government cabinet "consisted of experts".
https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1039261.html , https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1039268.html , https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1039299.html , https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1039322.html , https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1039323.html , https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1039327.html

felony case: ex-HHK MP charged with armed attack on ex-IRS official

In August of this year, Russia extradited a former HHK MP Alraghatsi Lyovik to Armenia. He was wanted for allegedly burglarizing and shooting at a senior IRS official a decade ago. At the time, his case was "frozen". It was relaunched in 2018. (magic wand)
NSS says: suspect Lyovik, with the help of citizens AK and AN, organized an armed burglary against IRS Chief (?) Avetisyan in 2008.
AK was in the United States. In 2004, he stole $150,000 from jewelry shops in Los Angeles. He got caught but managed to flee to Armenia.
Once in Armenia, AK colluded with policeman AN to organize a similar criminal ring in Armenia.
[MP] Lyovik personally knew AK, and learned about their burglaries. Since Lyovik had bad relations with the IRS chief (victim), he decided to punish the victim by urging AK to burglarize his house. Lyovik revealed the plot to his brother-in-law, who happened to be the victim's personal aide. The latter gave all the personal habits and details about the victim to the burglars.
[read the article for the full story, or wait for a Hollywood movie in theaters near you]
The burglars and organizers are charged with felonies.
https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/203835 , https://youtu.be/brdozVbwQ6A , https://factor.am/274836.html , https://armtimes.com/hy/article/183522 , https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/203835 ,

Russian Orthodox chapel will be built

... in the Armenian settlement near Nakhijevan where Azerbaijan had earlier shut down a Russian helicopter, which killed and wounded Russian pilots. It'll be on a hill in Yeraskh. Construction starts on January 6th.
https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1039259.html

Russian peacekeepers conducted training

... to stay in shape. A report by WarGonzo's Semyon Pegovn who returned to Artsakh to meet the New Year there.
https://youtu.be/-c1BSTkC-a8

Russia and Turkey comment

Russian MFA: The situation in Nagorno-Karabakh should not be used for the infiltration of foreign mercenaries into the region. Here we have exactly the same position as our Turkish partners.
Turkish MFA: we see that a ceasefire has been established. We hope to establish the joint RU-TR monitoring center soon.
https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1039281.html , https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1039282.html

Vitalik Balasanyan will return the lands, kicks junkies, and restrict Facebook

Artsakh President Arayik earlier announced that he will allow his opponents to take jobs in the new coalition government. Kocharyan-ally Vitali Balasanyan became the Security Council chief.
Vitalik: we will return Hadrut and Askeran region with the help of Russian and Armenian military-political efforts. We are in a better situation now to solve territorial issues.
We will soon create border guard forces. It will report to MoD, which will report to the Security Council (his office).
Drugs have no place in Artsakh. Drug users must quit or leave Artsakh now.
We need to return to traditional values of giving women as wives after asking if the man had served in the army.
No public official will be allowed to use Facebook during work.
More: https://youtu.be/DceHyi4AB5g
https://www.panarmenian.net/arm/news/289056/

search operations are paused / the "welcome to Azerbaijan" sign

Azerbaijan received criticism for refusing to allow search teams to enter the Hadrut region yesterday. They also prevented UNESCO from checking the status of several Armenian cultural sights, after complaining that UNESCO was "biased" against Azerbaijan during the war.
HR Ombudsman: Any untrue information can not be a reason to disrupt the humanitarian process [referring to unconfirmed rumors on social media that Armenians opened fire at Azeris in Hadrut. An unofficial Iranian social media channel claims 3 Azeris were killed but due to an internal fight.]
The Human Rights Ombudsman also criticized the Azeri troops for installing a provocative "welcome to Azerbaijan" sign on part of a road that went under Azeri control near Syunik borders. The Ombudsman says it's meant to intimidate the locals.
https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1039233.html , https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1039237.html , https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1039244.html , https://factor.am/325511.html

Parliament votes: BHK MP Naira Zohrabyan's chairmanship

Context: BHK MP Naira Zohrabyan referred to the majority of Armenian voters as human trash *(or as she says: impure), and called for the establishment of forced re-education camps so people won't vote for a "wrong party" again. The ruling QP party launched a process to terminate her chairmanship in Parliamentary Human Rights Committee. Read yesterday's thread for more details.*
QP MP Arthur: the law states that the Parliament can appoint and terminate the chairman. The termination of this seat does not require the same procedures as in the case of MPs and Judges. Armenian Constitution states that in Armenia, human beings are of the highest value, and inalienable human dignity is the inseparable basis of their rights and freedoms. MP Zohrabyan's public conduct is against it. //
The law gives the second-largest political party the mandate to appoint the chairman of this particular Committee. BHK, being the second-largest party, said they wouldn't appoint a replacement if Zohrabyan is voted out.
QP MP Arthur: per rules, if BHK refuses to appoint a new candidate, the largest (QP) party will receive the mandate. //
Parliament voted 78-4 to terminate Zohrabyan's chairmanship. BHK and LHK did not vote.
BHK MP Zohrabyan: this termination was a Constitutional crime.
https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1039245.html , https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1039264.html , https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1039304.html , https://factor.am/325132.html

Parliament votes: registering parties becomes easier / ideology instead of person / financial transparency

The goal of this reform is to have political parties that are more about ideology and less about an individual. The reform will boost internal democracy within parties; it will expand the powers of the Party Assembly.
Parties will be required to add more anonymous voting mechanisms.
The law also requires more financial transparency.
The required membership to register a party is lowered from 800 to 300.
Some of the public funding given to political parties will depend on the % of female members in the administrative boards.
Parliament voted 99-1 to approve it.
https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1039270.html , https://youtu.be/bPuZViCCCxo

Parliament votes: monthly fees towards soldiers' recovery are raised

Most workers pay a monthly 1000 Dram towards the Soldiers' Fund, which takes care of wounded soldiers and families of those who died. The govt found it necessary to raise the fee to cover thousands of new recipients. Here are the new fees and salary brackets:
֏1,500 for < ֏100k/month
֏3,000 for < ֏200k
֏5,500 for < ֏500k
֏8,500 for < ֏1 million
֏15,000 for > ֏1 million
Parliament voted 89-0 to approve it.
https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1039296.html

Parliament votes: ban on public smoking is delayed until 2022

The govt had adopted a law to ban smoking in public cafes and the public display of cigarettes in grocery shops. The ruling party wanted to delay parts of the bill that were set to go into effect in January, citing possible financial issues for businesses caused by the pandemic.
QP MP: the cigarette industry pays $383 million to state coffers.
Healthcare Ministry: it will be a mistake if you delay this bill for the sake of $10 million in tax revenues.
Parliament voted 86-0 to delay the anti-smoking bill until 2022.
https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1039295.html

Parliament votes: no tax on goods donated to Armenia

QP MP: When you donate a charitable product to the Republic of Armenia, you are exempt from customs duties and other tax payments, except for one payment, which we are trying to exempt with this bill as well. //
Parliament voted 80-0 to approve it.
https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1039297.html

how is the Judicial Branch doing?

The Supreme Court protects or punishes judges. It also handles complaints. It's separate from the Constitutional Court.
bad boys
19 complaints against judges were heard, 14 of which were petitioned by Justice Ministry and 4 by Judicial Ethics Board. 10 judges ended up receiving disciplinary penalties, 3 received a warning, 3 were reprimanded, 2 were terminated, 4 were cleared.
the system is overloaded
61 judges are handling 6470 felony cases.
86 judges handle 175,940 civil cases.
24 judges handle 17,390 administrative cases.
The number of Arbitration cases rose from 3100 to 9900.
finances
This year, Supremes appointed 20 new judges. Supreme's budget remained the same this year. They returned ֏607 million in savings back to state coffers.
https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1039249.html , https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1039284.html

anti-corruption: SIS busts an IRS agent

SIS says: IRS border inspector took a bribe from a citizen to help him avoid paying Millions of ֏ in import taxes by splitting a large load into smaller pieces, so each piece would fall below the taxable threshold.
https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1039293.html

IRS wants you to file less paperwork

IRS says the latest reforms will help the exporters and simplify the process in which Armenia is used as a transit country for trade. Some tasks can be done online.
More: https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1039247.html

update: electricity prices

...won't go up for low-income families or those using less than 400 kWh. That's 90% of consumers. The rest will pay 3 Drams more. The rates are presented (6-10¢):
https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1039285.html

police to guard Lake Sevan against poachers

Police and Nature Ministry have set up additional checkpoints as part of measures against whitefish poaching in Sevan. 24/7 monitoring on all alleys leading to the lake. They will also travel across markets to catch contraband whitefish.
Why? It's the egg-laying season. Fishing is banned for now. The legally-allowed fishing tools were temporarily removed from the lake.
https://youtu.be/8ZyRGpEazMQ
https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1039339.html

rare Caucasus Leopard is spotted by cameras again

https://youtu.be/2nidC5QJaIg

"only 10% of villagers should do agriculture"

...the rest should have access to other jobs. There is an opportunity now because many businesses operate remotely. Call Center workers don't have to visit an office. Businesses would rather pay less to hire a rural remote worker than more to hire someone in a Yerevan office.
The High Tech Ministry has an ongoing program to teach IT to 5,000 citizens. We must help workers to expand their skillset. We're working on a program to allow a worker to quit the job, not worry about the food on the table, and have enough time for education and learning new skills.
The villagers should ideally lease their smaller lands to large agricultural producers," said Economy Minister Qerobyan.
Full interview: https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1039319.html

State regulators bust another price-fixing ring: fruit mafia

Yesterday, the Economic Competition Committee busted the egg industry's alleged price-fixing and anti-competitive practices. Today they say a similar collision was observed in the orange, mandarin, kiwi, lemon industry.
The companies Best Fruits, Art-Fruits, and Promout were slapped with a ֏39 million in penalties for colluding to raise the prices for the products that had an increased demand during the pandemic period.
http://www.competition.am/.../resources/Vo370_17_12_2020.pdf
https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1039269.html

Lenovo slapped for "anti-competitive practice"

The Economic Competition Committee heard a petition filed by Oazis Computer company against Lenovo. The latter was issued a warning for anti-competitive behavior.
Public Regulator: "Lenovo" company had the ability to influence the process of importing Lenovo computers to Armenia from non-EAEU trade bloc countries. "Lenovo" took steps to reduce the import of Lenovo computers from non-EAEU states, by discriminating against Oazis Computer importer. Lenovo is given a month to correct the issue and fix the requirement and standards related paperwork.
(Facebook next?)
https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1039333.html

Artsakh will also increase childbirth benefits

First child: ֏300k instead of ֏100k
Second child: ֏300k instead of ֏200k
(or ֏500k if one parent is disabled)
As for monthly child care subsidy payments, it goes from ֏15k to ֏27k until the child turns 2.
https://factor.am/325487.html

year wrap-up: births in capital Yerevan

girls 2019: 10173
girls 2020: 10489
boys 2019: 11251
boys 2020: 11430
https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1039278.html

year wrap-up: tax revenues

2018: ֏1.257 trillion
2019: ֏1.458 trillion
2020: ֏1.379 trillion
https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/203846

COVID stats

+2483 tested. +348 infected. +22 deaths. +1267 healed. 13881 active.
https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1039240.html

chess news

Levon Aronyan has advanced to the Airthings Masters quarter-finals where he will play against Hikaru Nakamura. He is 1pt behind the leaders. The winner receives a $60,000 prize.
https://www.chess.com/news/view/airthings-masters-chess-day-4
https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1039228.html

French city of Valence to name a street

... after Artsakh capital Stenapakert. It already had Ijevan Park, Armenia Street, and Yerevan Street. Stepanakert Street will be located in a newly built district. There will be Toros Street as well.
https://youtu.be/EuQV5bt4Ytc
https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/203833

Italian city of di Lovere has officially recognized the Artsakh Republic

https://www.facebook.com/HayastaniDespanutyun/posts/3499573803472410
https://factor.am/325379.html

Kapan Medical Center has a new CT scanner

... thanks to generous diasporan donors like you. The first one was installed during the war in Goris city.
https://factor.am/325090.html

Artsakh children receive New Years' gifts

Focus on Children Now charity organization distributed gifts to hundreds of Artsakh kids residing in Gegharquniq province. Backpacks, clothing, items of basic necessity, money, and postcards written by kids living in the United States.
https://www.focusonchildrennow.org/
https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1039302.html

Himnadram donates to refugee families

700 Artsakh families continue to live in 40 settlements of Gegharquniq province. The All Armenia Fund (HimnaDram.org) has provided food and household items to 241 families ahead of New Year.
https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1039313.html

daily life in Syunik bordering villages Shurnukh and Vorotan

https://youtu.be/E1UJd4NtLLs
https://www.civilnet.am/news/2020/12/29/Շուռնուխ-Որոտան․-կյանքը-անկոչ-հարևանների-հետ/414772

donations for Artsakh & recovering soldiers

www.1000plus.am (recovering soldiers & their families)
www.HimnaDram.org (for Artsakh & Armenia)
www.ArmeniaFund.org (U.S. tax-deductible)

archive of older posts

Armeniapedia's archive of my daily news threads:
http://www.armeniapedia.org/wiki/Daily_Anti-Corruption_Reports

disclaimer

All the accused are considered innocent unless proven guilty in the court of law, even if they "sound" guilty.
submitted by ar_david_hh to armenia [link] [comments]

[OC] Vegas Pulls a Fast One at the Expansion Draft (An Alternate Reality)

(Previous parts of this series include: Jack Eichel Takes Over the Sabres, Jim Benninging the Canucks, Mike Milburying the Islanders, Don Cherry Drafts the Leafs, Tom Wilson-Proofing the Penguins, Dundon DIYs the Hurricanes, Re-Chiarelling the Oilers, Moneyballing the Sens, Covertly Tanking the Wild, and Frenchifying the Canadiens.)

https://preview.redd.it/4jom5v4fozv51.jpg?width=1136&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=84718db72ccc97995974e501ccec3f65c931deb0

Part I

It’s June 18th, 2017. There are three days before the National Hockey League’s first expansion draft in seventeen years, and the boardroom of T-Mobile arena, the future home of the Vegas Golden Knights, is buzzing. Months of scouting, speculation on who might be available, and discussions about possible trades are finally nearing their fruition.
Bill Foley, the team owner, steps out to grab another cup of coffee when a thought suddenly strikes him. He works it around in his brain for a second, then runs back into the boardroom. A pro scout who focuses on goaltending is making his pitch to General Manager George McPhee.
“...Well, if we don’t take Grabovski, Jaroslav Halak is available as a potential backu-“
Don’t you DARE speak that bastard’s name to me!” McPhee screams. He quickly snaps out of the PTSD flashback that the goalie’s name inspired and moves on. “We’ll take the centre from them and... what about that Rangers backup instead? That Raanta guy?”
On the whiteboard behind them is a set of handshake deals that they have made, pending registration with the National Hockey League's office.
Anaheim trades: Shea Theodore for Expansion Draft Considerations. (Clayton Stoner)
Columbus trades: 2017 1st, 2019 2nd, jack johnson, for Expansion Draft Considerations (William Karlsson)
Florida trades: Reilly Smith for Expansion Draft Considerations (Jonathan Marchessault) and a 5th round pick
Minnesota trades: Alex Tuch for Expansion Draft Considerations (Erik Haula) and a 3rd round pick
New York trades: 2017 1st round pick, 2019 2nd round pick for Expansion Draft Considerations (Mikhail Grabovski)
Tampa Bay trades: Nikita Gusev, 2017 2nd, and 2018 4th for Expansion Draft Considerations (Jason Garrison)
Winnipeg trades: 2017 1st round pick and 2019 3rd round pick for Expansion Draft Considerations (Chris Thorburn) and Columbus 1st
Foley interrupts the goaltending conversation - this can't wait. "George, can I talk to you quickly?"
They take a sidebar. "George, I just had a thought. These deals you made - you just traded 'expansion draft considerations,' right?"
"Yes, we'll select the player that they want us to."
"But what if you don't? What if you just take whoever you want? Would it be against the rules?"
"I... well...no. Technically we could do that. But it would be dishonest and would make everyone furious at us."
"So? I didn’t buy an NHL team to make friends. I bought an NHL team to win a Stanley Cup, and also to let people know that I went to West Point. Did you know I went to West Point?”
“Yes Bill”
“I trust you George. Now go out there and get me a championship.”

Part II

Tensions are high in the green room on June 21st. General managers are walking in and out to greet and chit-chat with George McPhee and Bill Foley, the newest members of their exclusive fraternity of NHL executives. They laugh and exchange stories: Joe Sakic tells them about the gas leak in the Pepsi Centre that they noticed as soon as the season was over; Peter Chiarelli asks them to give him a call if they draft a right handed defensive defenceman (because that Draisaitl kid isn't really working out); John Chayka asks them if they're hiring. McPhee is having a hard time keeping things light and friendly, knowing that he's about to betray all of these men. Just submitting an offer sheet is enough to get you kicked out of the GM Secret Santa, let alone dishonesty at this level.
Gary Bettman walks into the green room excitedly. “Bill, George, I am so excited for us to get going. Everyone in this building is so energized, I even just saw Evgeny Kuznetsov doing some smelling salts in the bathroom!"
~
The Las Vegas Hard Rock Hotel and Casino is packed with new Vegas Golden Knights fans. The award show itself is highlighted by the best NHL.com intern-written jokes that unpaid can buy. Host Joe Manganiello is dutifully following the Jack Johnson model on stage: he might be bombing out there but boy is he eating up minutes. After Brent Burns finishes his Norris trophy victory speech, and the PA quickly wipes the crumbs and beard hair off the microphone, the time has come for Vegas’ first picks.
"From the Anaheim Ducks, Vegas picks…”
McPhee looks out at the smiling faces in the crowd. He sees Bob Murray, sitting with his plus-one for the evening (Randy Carlyle). He sees Jim Rutherford trying to turn his blaring ringtone off with his screen brightness turned up all the way. He sees Lou Lamoriello, sitting with a slightly less murderous look in his eyes than usual. He knows that the friendships he has fostered with all of these extremely normal and competent people will never recover from what he is about to do. He takes a deep breath.
Josh Manson!"
The Vegas fans go wild. The attached trade is announced too: they have picked up Shea Theodore in exchange for “draft considerations.” The general managers’ faces contort with fury as it dawns on them what has happened. Things only get worse as McPhee and Foley continue to announce their picks.
Instead of taking Erik Haula from the Wild, they take Matt Dumba. And they still get Alex Tuch.
Instead of taking Mikhail Grabovski from the Isles, they take Brock Nelson. And they still get a 1st and a 2nd.
Instead of taking Jason Garrison from the Lightning, they take Yanni Gourde. And they still get Nikita Gusev.
~
After the show, twenty-nine general managers storm the green room with murder in their eyes. Bettman tries to deflate the situation.
“Good evening gentlemen. I understand you’re upset, bu- Wait, where’s Jim Benning?”
“He got stuck in the revolving door somehow. But we have him on speakerphone.”
Benning's voice bellows out of Pierre Dorian's team-issued Motorola Razr.
“That was an embarrassment! A mockery! An insult to everything that hockey is supposed to be! Who even wrote those 'jokes' anyway?! And by the way, the expansion draft was bullshit too!”
Bob Murray’s face is an angrier shade of red than usual. “George you scumbag, we had a fucking deal! We only traded you Shea Theodore so that you would take Clayton Stoner!”
McPhee says “Well actually, Bob, the trade was made for “draft considerations.” And I promise you we really considered taking Stoner.”
The room erupts in anger again.
Garth Snow is irate as well: "You bastard, how could you take Nelson?! Resigning Tavares would've been a sure thing if you had taken Grabovski instead! I can't imagine how this franchise's cap situation could possibly be any worse!" Lou Lamoriello smirks.
Bettman sighs and tries to be diplomatic.
“Gentlemen, I’m sorry, but he’s right. It says in the transcripts of the official trade calls that the trades were made purely for ‘considerations’, not for the selection of specific players. There’s nothing we can do about that. That being said, George, per the NHL’s licensing agreement with EA Sports we will need to confiscate a few of your phones.”
The managers walk out of the room grumbling. On the way out, a confused Dale Tallon says “There's one thing I don't understand: If George went back on all those other deals, why didn’t he take Alex Petrovic from us instead of that Marchessault guy? And he still took that cap dump Reilly Smith from us too! What an idiot.”
~
The Knights’ players were already fired up by their respective teams’ willingness to let them go – now they’re extra motivated by everyone else in the league hating their guts.
Jonathan Marchessault – William Karlsson – Reilly Smith David Perron – Brock Nelson – Yanni Gourde Tomas Nosek – Vadim Shipachyov – James Neal Ryan Carpenter – Pierre-Edouard Bellemare – Alex Tuch William Carrier Brayden McNabb – Matt Dumba Nate Schmidt – Josh Manson Shea Theodore – Colin Miller Jack Johnson Marc-Andre Fleury Antti Raanta 
They claim the President's Trophy and the Stanley Cup in each of their first three seasons. The league's general managers conspire to exact revenge on these scoundrels, and all agree that Marc Bergevin should offersheet their best young players, a plan that immediately backfires when Bergevin inadvertently saves Vegas considerable negotiating time and helps them lock up their core at reasonable numbers. The Knights later find a loophole in the salary cap that allows them to add high-salary free agents seemingly at will. After they sweep through the bubble playoffs in 2020, it becomes clear that no other team can compete with them, and TV ratings hit a dismal low. Amid financial uncertainty caused by COVID-19, the National Hockey League officially folds in late 2020. Agent Allan Walsh, desperately trying to secure spots in the KHL for his stunned clients, soberly sums up the feelings of the hockey world:

https://preview.redd.it/q9p41mrmnzv51.png?width=560&format=png&auto=webp&s=5db5d08168a2c897b4f57e8473f73612f191398c
(Thank you for reading, it's been awhile!)
submitted by jfresh1999 to hockey [link] [comments]

The Vow of Silver Dawn Chapter 2 - English Translation

Finally had a chance to get around to the second chapter of the Chinese-exclusive High Republic novel The Vow of Silver Dawn! Since the book has ballooned to over 30 chapters now, finishing it will be a long time coming. I appreciate everyone's interest in this project and your patience during the wait.
Significant portions of this translation are derived from the work of u/Art3mis4266 and u/woodledoodledoodle through our shared Google Doc of the first 10 chapters. They have done a fantastic job, and I recommend reading u/woodledoodledoodle's own individual translation of the novel as well (he's both an excellent writer and likely to be more reliable than I am at consistently posting). Consider our projects complementary takes on the same source material.
Chapter 1: https://www.reddit.com/starwarscanon/comments/kg2r8v/the_vow_of_silver_dawn_chapter_1_english/

Chapter 2
Simple Solution
Were it not for the tone of absolute sincerity in the boy’s voice, without even a trace of sarcasm, the Quarren would have smacked the desk with his suction-tipped hands.
“You’ve met the Mythrol, then?” Mostema asked the hologram.
“I have.”
The Quarren couldn’t help but ask, “The Mythrol? The same Mythrol who calls himself the pastry chef of the mansion, but constantly hangs around at bars and casinos in the Lower City?”
Sean laughed, “Yup, thanks to your investigative report, which made the workload much easier, I was able to pinpoint the target directly.”
“That Mythrol is very cunning, and very dangerous. You must be cautious around him!”
An expression of wry agreement crossed Sean’s face in response to the Quarren’s words. “Yes, very cunning indeed. It took all of two hours to find and get some answers out of him.”
The Quarren wanted to say that even his best agents couldn’t get close to the Mythrol with two weeks of work, but the words died in his throat.
But then, of course, the young lad was also a Jedi; all it would have taken was a mind trick, and the Mythrol would have spilled everything…
However, Mostema asked, “No using the Force?”
“Of course not, Master. I kept your teachings in mind.”
A puzzled look came over the Quarren, as if to say Wait, what in the galaxy are you two going on about? Why wouldn’t you use the Force?
Spotting the Quarren’s confusion, Mostema explained, “Sean isn’t particularly gifted in the Force. His sensitivity is below average when compared to other Padawans his age. So while he needs to work harder to strengthen his connection, he also should not form the habit of being overly dependent upon it. The Force is more than just a tool for the Jedi to wield.”
Sean seemed ashamed of himself as he said, “The three pillars of being a Jedi: the Force, knowledge, and self-discipline. I’ve been lacking in the first since birth, so if I tried to rely on it to do whatever I want, I’d just be even more of a disgrace...”
Okay, the Quarren thought, whatever you guys say, but without the Force, how did the Padawan make the chef talk?
As if reading his mind, Sean said, “I went around to all of his favorite bars and casinos until I found him, got him drunk, and won all of his possessions by gambling. It was easy to get him to tell me everything after that.”
The Quarren looked down to his own report, at the section about the Mythrol. It noted that he was “An experienced career criminal, a highly-practiced gambler, and a heavy drinker.”
But, as a Republic agent, the Quarren quickly regained his composure and asked “He gave you the location of the manor?”
“He told me how to make a Seven-Layered Kashyyykian Cake. I’m confident I could make one better than he does, now!” replied Sean.
The Quarren frowned. What has a dessert recipe got to do with all this?!
“He only worked his way into the manor with the secret recipes of his desserts. Now that I can bake them even better than he can, I can replace the Mythrol as the pastry chef in the manor at Green Dawn Hill…” Sean explained.
The Quarren couldn’t help but interrupt: “Wait a moment, the president’s mansion is at Green Dawn Hill?!”
“Yup, on the northeastern side. Hard to miss.”
“Did the Mythrol tell you?”
“I just followed him there.”
“...‘Followed’ him there?!” the Quarren asked incredulously, while looking at the report files on the datapad in his hand, which, in meticulous bloody detail, described the countless elite agents who had attempted to tail the manor’s staff, and had suffered brutal deaths.
“I spent a couple of days tracking the Mythrol’s whereabouts before I formally made contact with him, and found that he took a different route to the mansion every time, before suddenly disappearing. If I had tracked him any further beyond that each time, he might have noticed me.”
The Quarren nodded his head; finally something that matched his kriffing report!
“But these seemingly hidden pathways revealed the truth, because careful observation showed that no matter where he disappeared, the locations were always near sewers or similar underground facilities. It wasn’t hard to deduce from there that the manor has special entry routes leading directly to it via the sewage system.”
Come on lad, did you really have to add “Wasn’t hard to deduce!” and rub salt in the wound?
“It’s actually not an uncommon method; the ‘New Agent Handbook’ published on Corellia documented 27 similar cases in which other hidden mansions utilized similar methods to move personnel. I found the local construction company responsible for building the sewer, retrieved and analyzed all of the architectural drawings from their database, determined the structure of all the hidden passageways, and traced them to the location of the manor. All in all, these Outer Rim despots are pretty simple thinkers.”
The Quarren silently deleted all the research files stored on his datapad, swearing to himself to never mention his past few years’ work to another living soul.
Sean was still enthusiastically going on, “Also, according to my investigation, in five days the president will be entertaining a number of mob bosses over at the manor. I think that’d be a great opportunity to make a move!”
Mostema knocked a fist on the desk, and said: “In five days? This could be our chance.”
The Quarren was shaken, “Master, are you planning to execute Jamie’s entire criminal syndicate?”
Both of the Jedi simultaneously gave him a bewildered look.
His voice serious, Sean elaborated, “How could we? Jedi don’t seek to start fights, and I can’t even imagine assassinating a legitimate head of state. The reason we’ve worked so hard to gather clues and evidence is so that Jamie can receive a fair trial according to the law, to show the public his criminal activities, and to encourage the ideals of peace and justice to root deeply in the hearts of Bergamore’s people. Using violence to end violence will only give birth to another dictator who violates law and discipline.”
The Quarren felt ashamed. Understanding the spirit behind the rule of law had not yet taken root deeply in his own heart, either.
He quickly gave voice to another question, however. “If not an execution, then what kind of opportunity does this banquet in five days present? Why do we need to wait until then to sneak in? Couldn’t we simply get in, get the evidence, and get out?”
“A man this careful wouldn’t leave behind anything concrete lying around, even in his own mansion,” Sean replied.
The Quarren couldn’t help but continue his questioning, “Even the existence of the mansion itself constitutes a crime! With his President’s salary, he wouldn’t have been able to acquire such an estate in a thousand years, not to mention that he always claimed back on Coruscant to never spend more than five thousand credits a year! What’s more, rumors abound of his manor’s extravagance, of it being filled with all kinds of rare treasures…”
“He could easily say that the manor is owned by someone else, and that he is only living there temporarily. Actually, according to my research, the owner of the manor is a shareholder of the Bergamore Heavy Industries Corp, not the President himself.”
It’s only been a few days – has he checked out everyone in the manor by now?
The Quarren kept up his line of questioning. “But he’s lived in the mansion for so long, there has to be some evidence of crime, no? Skeletons in the closet, so to say…”
“There is the possibility, but I believe a criminal this conniving would never let down his vigilance, even in his own home. For example, he might use code words while issuing illegal orders, which couldn’t be used as direct evidence even if the orders were recorded.”
The Quarren finally grew quiet.
“Also, according to some witnesses from the manor, I have reason to believe that a sufficiently cautious crime lord will carefully manage the risk involved in all the positions of his organization, so that no one person has full knowledge of the extent of illegal activity taking place, or even that he or she is complicit in a crime. This further adds to the difficulty of collecting strong evidence. At the same time, multiple layers of task management and one-way communication makes it harder to trace back to the President himself, even if we were able to penetrate a certain line of contact.”
Hearing all this, the Quarren almost felt faint. “Jamie Brasen is hardly a lunatic! Who would set up such elaborate safeguards in their own mansion? Is he not afraid he’ll die from overwork?”
“Jamie Brasen is a very dangerous tyrant, and they all tend to be more than a little paranoid, sometimes downright mad, which makes it safe to assume we can’t predict his actions using conventional logic. Nor can we afford to underestimate him; after all, he had elite intelligence agents of the Republic running in circles for years,” Sean pointed out.
The Quarren’s eyes filled with sadness. “You make it sound as though it’s impossible to get to him! If the risk is as high as you describe, then how do you even plan to carry out the mission at all?”
“Our way in is through the banquet, five days from now,” Sean replied. “He can train his underlings in the mansion to communicate using code, but with other gang leaders they will most likely have to speak in Basic or some other common language-”
Mostema interrupted before Sean could finish speaking. “We can’t rule out the possibility that they make use of some form of specialized comlinks, encrypting and decrypting transmissions on the fly, and self-destructing afterward to avoid leaving evidence behind.”
“Yes, Master, I had considered this as well. Which is why I will be there personally five days from now, while Jamie Brasen is stressing over his inability to rely on his codes.”
Mostema nodded, “Very well, I leave it up to you.”
“It’s not ‘very well’ at all!” the Quarren interjected. “Master Jedi, you mean to have Sean infiltrate the estate? It’s too risky!”
Mostema replied sternly, “I know. Having a Jedi Knight perform this sort of infiltration, with the target still being a legitimate political leader, will naturally cast doubt on the outcome of the investigation. Further, it will prove especially controversial if we use the Force to coerce the thoughts of anyone involved in the investigation. Such actions would easily come under attack following scrutiny by a team of skilled lawyers. The risks in this matter still bear consideration, and you are right to remind of us them. So Sean, you must be mindful that you are not to use the Force during this operation.”
“I understand, Master.”
The Quarren cried out dejectedly, “I’m sorry, Master Jedi, but I don’t understand! Are we really having a conversation in Basic right now? Why do I feel like you two, master and apprentice, are always speaking a language of your own! Have you understood anything I’ve said? Jamie Brasen’s manor is an ice tiger’s den that has been kept strictly secret for so many years. The tyrannical maniac has been operating out of it for decades; who knows how heavily that place is rigged with traps, and you’re letting a 17 year-old Padawan infiltrate it, Master, without using the Force, on the day when every underworld kingpin on-planet will be there having a banquet?!”
Mostema looked to the Quarren again. “So, do you have any suggestions for Sean?”
Sean looked at the alien expectantly.
The Quarren’s facial tentacles spread so wide in shock, he thought they might split apart.
Don’t look at me like that! He thought. I really don’t understand the world of you Jedi. Priming the explosive and then asking me for advice on how to defuse it? Yes, I’ve got advice for you: go take a long walk out a short airlock! You Jedi even treat the Force like some kind of basic appliance you can unplug, and you’ve willfully blocked yourself off from it!
What more was there to say?
“Be careful, and stay safe,” the Quarren said dryly.
Sean thanked him in earnest. “Understood! The more complex and difficult a mission is, the more one needs to focus on the fundamentals. It’s no wonder you’re an elite agent of the Republic; with so few words, you manage to say so much.”
The Quarren barely managed to muster a “Yeah, sure.”
“Do you have a preliminary plan for the operation, five days from now?” Mostema asked Sean.
“Yes.” Sean replied, “Though I may need to improvise some of the specifics, using the resources at hand I’ve developed a rough framework. I’ll share it with you, so I’m hoping you could lend me some constructive criticism.”
Following this, Sean brought up his bracelet communicator and pressed a number of keys in short succession. A stream of data began to quickly transmit as an indicator light blinked continuously.
The transmission continued for quite some time.
The Quarren couldn’t help but tap his screen, thinking his datapad had malfunctioned. “Has the transmission been interrupted? My end shows that the file has not been received yet.”
“Rest assured, operation plan files are usually fairly large, so the transmission may take some time,” Mostema answered.
The Quarren was dumbfounded. Quite large? This comm channel could transmit a full galactic encyclopedia in less than ten seconds, and five minutes had already passed. Were these two sharing a hologram of Coruscant’s global blueprint, with over five thousand levels filled with some one trillion inhabitants?
As the Quarren was starting to get impatient, a green confirmation light lit up on his datapad, indicating that the transmission had completed. Fingers beginning to tremble, the Quarren opened the file.
Wave upon wave of files came into view, video clips scattered about like stars in the sky, all connected together with an array of complex lines of many varying colors, forming a visually dazzling and complicated network.
Inwardly, the Quarren wanted to say “You actually did send Coruscant’s global blueprint, huh? A ‘rough framework?’ Your definition of ‘rough’ is an insult to Galactic Basic as understood anywhere in the Republic!”
But he bit his tongue.
Of course, Mostema pondered for a moment before saying to Sean, “It is rather simple, but it’s acceptable at this stage to get its point across. I will help you tidy up the prose, so let us proceed with what you have.”
“Gladly!”
Mostema then looked towards the Quarren. “Mr. Squak, do you have anything more to add?”
The Quarren could only give a dry, sad chuckle.
submitted by GoRienMoss to starwarscanon [link] [comments]

Singapore expat jobs under threat in recession, local hire push

https://www.businesstimes.com.sg/government-economy/singapore-expat-jobs-under-threat-in-recession-local-hire-push
Singapore has long been the city of choice for Western expats wanting an easy entree into Asia. Clean, efficient, with low tax rates, it's often seen as rivalling Hong Kong, especially with that city hit by street protests and unrest over China's new national security law.
Yet just when Singapore should be a magnet for global talent, some recruiters say the barriers to entry are mounting. The city is facing the worst recession in its history, forcing a rethink for some firms on expansion and hiring plans. Alongside soaring unemployment has come a spike in rhetoric against foreigners, seen by some Singaporeans as taking jobs from locals.
An experienced nurse from New Zealand is finding out how tough it can be. She seemed, on paper at least, the ideal expat - arriving with her partner right before Covid-19. But 11 months and over 200 failed applications later, she says she's on the verge of going home, unable to land a work pass.
She was told by companies that they have a quota and the quota is met, she said, asking not to be identified for fear of jeopardising her partner's work permit. When attempts to volunteer at hospitals were similarly rejected, she said she felt like she didn't belong.
The uncertain job prospects, online commentary and stricter conditions risk making Singapore a less welcoming destination just as the city-state needs foreign investment the most. And as workplaces clamp down on hiring it could further limit the options for expats who have long seen a stint in Asia as an important and lucrative experience.
The Singapore government has added to their angst by taking steps to promote local hiring, raising concern that it will come at the expense of expats. Earlier this month, it put 47 companies on a watch list for suspected discriminatory hiring practices. The list includes banks, fund managers and consulting firms that may have pre-selected foreigners for jobs or not given Singaporeans a fair chance. This adds to the 240 companies already under scrutiny. The names of the firms weren't disclosed.
And in May, it tightened the framework that governs employment passes for foreigners, increasing the minimum monthly salary to S$3,900 and further expanding rules requiring employers to advertise job openings to locals first. The government said on Wednesday it plans to raise that salary threshold further.
"I wouldn't be surprised if there was a contraction in the number of visas issued because the demand for foreigners is going to be less" in the near term, said Hays regional director for Singapore Grant Torrens, citing the sharp contraction as the main driver.
The role of foreign workers became a key election issue this year, with several opposition candidates campaigning on claims that overseas talent is taking local jobs. The Workers' Party, which clinched more seats than ever, published a manifesto that included tightening employment pass approvals.
"The only reason we have foreigners here is to give an extra wind in our sails when the opportunity is there," Minister of Foreign Affairs Vivian Balakrishnan said in a televised election debate in July. "Now we are in a storm, and we need to shed ballast." Dr Balakrishnan's office said in response to Bloomberg queries on the comment that there will be a disproportionate impact on the foreign workforce in a downturn.
Foreign workers on employment passes - the sort issued to highly skilled workers as opposed to work permits for blue-collar jobs - typically comprise around 5 per cent of the total workforce. Yet among top managers and professionals in some key sectors, the ratio of foreigners can be much higher. Non-Singaporeans made up 57 per cent of senior management roles across the financial services sector, the government said in August.
Andrew Zee, team lead for financial services at Selby Jennings, said some of his job candidates were recently denied permits - a first for him in more than four years - though they were later approved on appeal.
Sirva Inc, which owns Allied Pickfords, said inquiries from people wanting to move to Singapore in the first seven months of the year were down 23 per cent from the same period in 2019, according to Amanda Jones, senior vice-president of sales and account management. Ms Jones doesn't expect to see expat executives coming to Singapore at pre-Covid numbers until 2022 at best, especially given travel curbs and the recession.
EXPATS LEAVING
The shift is starting to be felt in the real estate market. Ella Sherman, an associate executive sales director at Knight Frank in Singapore who specialises in expat housing, says she normally signs about four rental agreements a month this time of year. Now she's lucky to secure one, and knows of several clients heading home.
Beyond the economic woes and the pandemic lies an unease over foreigners in the country of just 5.7 million people. This has surfaced in public calls, often on social media, for more hiring of locals. When a Facebook post targeting foreign executives at US$215 billion investment giant Temasek Holdings went viral this month, chief executive officer Ho Ching responded with a post of her own describing it as "a cowardly act of hate". JOB CUTS
Companies are taking pains to describe their efforts to retain Singaporean jobs. When Millennium Hotels and Resorts laid off 159 employees this month, it noted that the move lifted its "core" Singaporean workforce to 69 per cent. After casino operator Resorts World Sentosa (RWS) reportedly cut 2,000 jobs last month, the Ministry of Manpower issued a statement saying the majority of affected workers were foreigners.
"After the retrenchment exercise, RWS has a stronger Singaporean core," the ministry said.
Even expats abroad are feeling the pinch. One worker was overseas and between jobs when the pandemic struck. Though he quickly found a new position, he said his employment pass submission has been rejected several times with no explanation.
He's now stuck in Europe paying rent for his empty home in Singapore, unable to return until his visa gets approved. He declined to be identified for fear of jeopardising his application. He said the rising anti-foreigner rhetoric was equally worrisome.
For some, the social tensions were brought to the fore when a few expats were caught breaching government-imposed lockdowns by drinking and mingling outdoors without masks in May. The incident sparked an ugly debate on social media and prompted a minister to caution against the "visceral reaction" by locals. The offenders were fined and banned from working in Singapore, as were 134 others over May and June.
GREEN CARDS
To be sure, some politicians are urging calm. Singaporeans want assurances that the government will continue to create opportunities and provide fair treatment, but a vast majority "understand that staying open and connected is very important to Singapore", Manpower Minister Josephine Teo said on Wednesday.
Singapore isn't alone in fighting for local jobs. US President Donald Trump signed an executive order this month barring federal agencies from replacing citizens or green card holders with foreign workers.
And the city-state's status as a finance hub ensures it will always be magnet for foreign talent. Citadel, the hedge fund run by billionaire Ken Griffin, announced this week it's opening a Singapore office, as did Sun Life Financial, Canada's second-biggest insurer.
ATTRACTIVE HUB
"Singapore remains an attractive destination," said Rahul Sen, the global head of private wealth management at Boyden, an executive search firm. "New businesses that were thinking of setting up in Hong Kong to attract Greater China wealth are thinking of setting up shop in Singapore."
Even so, the avenues for many are narrowing. The nurse from New Zealand has started reaching out to healthcare providers back home. They're eager to hire so she may head back.
"Singapore is an amazing city, and we hoped that if we stayed long enough, things would change," she said. "But the longer it takes, the further away it seems."

submitted by dhoust1 to singapore [link] [comments]

Debt free after nearly a decade of Gambling, a new life and new mindset.

I was contemplating posting but I hope someone might benefit from this as I have from this subreddit, I have read a few posts with similar stories and they have kept me going when things got a little shaky.
Started Gambling at 17/18 – I had an apprentice job and for my age it was a decent salary. Safe to say I did not know the value of money and was led into the bookies by someone I knew, that’s how it all started, it was always the roulette machine for me. I stopped going with the person who introduced me and started going by myself. I was trapped for 9 years, in the ever-vicious cycle of gambling. I’ve had highs and low lows, In the last 3 years, it escalated from bookies to Casino, more of a rush and higher risks. Towards the end of 2017 I made a silly amount in one night 5 figures(casino), close to what I made in a year around £30k. And Lost it in a space of two weeks my whole life revolved around gambling, the best I managed to do by then was stay away for 3 months, but after I had a bit of savings I thought yes, I had it under control and would go back only to spiral out of control and loose it all again this happened several times. I had payday loans, credit cards, and a bank loan. I defaulted and my credit score ended up really bad.
My total debt was around £20k. I joined step change, around 2017 and set up regular payments, which was meant to be affordable for me, I didn’t stick with it and I flaked a few times, needing to restart my DMP with Step-Change (debt management plan). In the last two years however I stuck it out, I had some gambling incidents, but going from gambling every pay day to only twice a year is a significant improvement in my eyes. The amounts I played increased every time and I felt I needed to play larger amounts. I am 27 Now, and I cleared my last debt this month, next month I will be paid and I don’t have any debts for the first time in 9 years it feels a little strange and surreal. (exception paying for a web-development course)
Gambling for me, kept me in a mental trap, I felt powerless once I was in its embrace. The debt was like an anchor holding me captive surrounded by guilt and shame.
I am looking to change careers, into tech (web-development) to start with, mostly self-thought. I Still feel I need to get to better grips with money at times I feel guilty/un-comfortable spending money. As in the past all I used to do was spend it on gambling without hesitation.
Next steps, save for emergency fund 3-6 months, then save for mortgage (LISA)
I enjoy hiking and exploring new places so I will look to add one new place a month.
Thanks to my Family and friends who supported me throughout.
This site has also been really helpful https://debtcamel.co.uk/
I do have a few questions, how do you spend without feeling guilty about your purchase.
How do you combat the idea you need to make up for all those lost years, I am trying to avoid saving really hard and being frugal i need to find the balance.
Lastly Thank in advance for any advice.
submitted by Tymerr to UKPersonalFinance [link] [comments]

DD on Loop Insights ($MTRX.V)

Hi everyone, there's been a lot of news about Loop Insights ($MTRX.V) and I know a couple of friends who are/thinking of investing in it too, so I decided to do a little DD -- pulled out whatever data I could find about the company, had the company mail me their investor package, read/listened to company releases, and dug into it. I thought I'd share my findings and my outlook, in case this is helpful for anyone thinking of investing.
I like Loop Insights’ mission. I like the markets in general that it’s targeting. Its technicals are often cited as a reason to shovel more and more money into the stock while it still trades in dimes. I agree there’s momentum with this one, so I’m inclined to say this is a short- to mid- term play, but there are serious concerns about its long-term prospects. As with all businesses, execution trumps ideation. This is what’s got me stuck about Loop.
(1) Its cash burn has been somewhere near 14 million a year. That’s not how much money they raised. That's just how much they've been spending per year. For a start-up of just a couple years and one, as far as I can tell, whose products are mainly software, this screams lack of financial discipline.
(2) Because of (1), it’s now fairly deep into negative shareholder equity territory. This means its liabilities exceed its assets. Hypothetically, if you were to liquidate the entire company, it still wouldn’t be enough to offset losses. This doesn’t usually happen, but it does forewarn about the company’s next steps in response to this situation (below).
(3) Because of (1) and (2), it desperately needs more cash in the eight figures, which raises the possibility of doing so through more debt or equity.
(4) I’m a little concerned about how the management’s been handling the cash burn conundrum. The CEO and COO salaries combined amount to roughly $450,000. I can’t stress how incredibly rich this is for (a) a start-up of just a couple years, (b) most of all when said start-up is this far in the red.
It’s short-sighted and financially imprudent to siphon out half a million each year from a pre-revenue, early-stage start-up, adding more to its existing short-term cash flow stress, when it’s already well-past its cash runway and skidding on concrete. The CEO of Loop is pretty respectable, but he's a CEO in another, much larger company (Fobisuite Technologies Inc), so it reads as if Loop is just a pet project/cash cow for him (which might be why he feels sucking the cash out of Loop at such a critical time is acceptable).
Add to this the fact that the leadership are all 50+ year old business executives, none of whom are programmers or engineers. It’s important to have in-house tech so you avoid outsourcing or commissioning as much of the heavy-lifting in early development and design as you possibly can and lower your cash burn (1).
(5) Loop Insights only JUST filed provisional patents and trademark registries for its products (contactless solutions and contact tracing software) early this month in October (https://www.globenewswire.com/news-release/2020/10/05/2103339/0/en/Loop-Insights-Files-Provisional-Patents-And-Trademark-Registries-For-Venue-Tracing-And-Contactless-Solution-Applications-In-Wake-Of-Growing-Demand.html).
That’s a really slow pace, given that these are their main (and only) products and which they’ve been attempting to sell to clients for the past quarter already. Patent and trademark registries themselves also take a year or two on average to pan out, after which Loop may or may not even receive them (even barring the possibility of larger competitors blitzing the market ahead of this date). We won’t find out till 2021-2022, but at the moment, they don’t even own the name of their products.
(6) It’s pre-revenue and the company’s financial data is pretty hard to find. Without an inkling about how much this company can even sell, let alone stand to profit, you can’t put a multiple on it or apply any kind of valuation model. The leadership has been fairly conservative as well about providing concrete projections for investors to go on.
This problem is exacerbated by the fact that the forward guidance and market outlook that Loop does provide in the investor information package that they mail out has highly unrealistic valuations of their future market. “31.88 trillion from Brick and Mortar Retail”? “614.5 billion from Sports & Entertainment”?? “565.4billion from Casino Gaming”??? It’s cringey that these whole-market valuations are what Loop pitches to investors as its potential market, as if it could capture even a dime, let alone the full dollar, of every dollar a consumer spends on a shirt and a beer just because consumers use their payment system.
(7) It’s fighting on too many fronts at once. It intends to create its own independent cloud server (Loop Cloud), its own payment system (Fobi), and contactless NFC reader (SmarTap). Any meaningful disruption to any of these markets could easily cost tens and hundreds of millions. To attempt to compete in all of them threatens to bleed your company dry before you even start.
And as Apple learned in the adolescent days of Apple Pay, it’s easier, faster, and significantly less costly to collaborate and tap into an existing distribution network like Mastercard’s, especially in a saturated market – rather than compete against it.
How would Fobi and SmarTap capture any ground from a payments systems market already dominated by big players like Mastercard, Visa, AXP, or even up-and-coming growth players like Square and PayPal?
At this point in the game, how would Loop Cloud steal market share from an already-saturated space lorded over by Microsoft, Google, Amazon, or even young bucks like Cloudflare, Salesforce, etc? It cost Alibaba close to a billion dollars to crack the US cloud market.
How would SmarTap add any value to retailers or consumers? It seems SmarTap has a hardware component that allows it to contact trace people and, at the moment, is being pitched to retailers and consumers. I'm not too clear on how it works, but from what I gather, the software attached to it then publishes information about what kinds of people (in terms of their exposure to previously identified hotspots) have been flowing in and out of retail stores. SmarTap seems like a pitch for government clients, not retailers or consumers.
How would retailers benefit from adding contact tracing? Retailers benefit more from not having any contact tracing information about their stores published, so that consumers can give them the benefit of the doubt and still visit their stores. Ignorance is bliss.
How could you convince consumers to use this network service? I’ve received pitches from network service startups in the past, so I know a little about this space and I can say adoption and churn rates truly can’t be underestimated (and they’re ridiculously expensive to keep low) for anything attempting to be a new network service. Don’t underestimate how hard it is to convince more and more people (think network effect here) to adopt a new technology/network service. Again, it'll cost an astronomical sum to gain and keep any traction in the network service space (and the payment system space and the Cloud space, let alone all of them).
All in all, I think Loop has potential, and I congratulate anyone who’s made buck on the recent momentum. But as a long-term investment, it has an incredible amount of work cut out for it that could well take years to iron out, provided it doesn’t bleed out on the way there. Thanks for reading.
EDIT: lol @ the snowflakes screaming shorter. Unclench. No company's ever gone bankrupt or hit the moon because of a Reddit post.
I have no intention to short Loop (or any company whose market cap is so small no analyst has even bothered to measure its beta).
Everything I wrote is a publicly available fact from Yahoo Finance, Loop's own materials, and public filings. As I said, I think Loop has potential, but its poor financial health deserves attention -- and some questioning as to how it got here and where it wants to go. That's all. GLTA.
submitted by brightskies2 to CanadianInvestor [link] [comments]

Analysis: Does Robin charge you too much for house upgrades and how I concluded she is a diety.

Analysis: Does Robin charge you too much for house upgrades and how I concluded she is a diety.
Ever since a Let’s Play got me into Stardew Valley, I’ve fallen in love with the world. It’s something special, a place to relax and get away from the world’s problems. Here, you can pay bills with the sweat of your own brow, make friends, fall in love, and can escape the drudgery of modern life. It’s magical in its own way.
I’ve played hundreds of hours over multiple save files. I’ve been wondering one thing just recently, however. I remember when I first asked Robin for house upgrades and the sheer bowel-emptying amount she asked for. Seriously? That much for a kitchen? Now that I haven’t left my house for the past several weeks, fear human contact, and have deep dived into the paranormal, I’m overthinking something constantly: with regards to modern housework, does Robin the carpenter over or under charge you for her work?
To figure this out, it’s going to require a fair bit of math and a lot of guesswork. I’m going to have to establish a lot of ground rules but I’m going to try and be as accurate to real world costs as I can. We need to learn four things:
  • What year does the game take place so we can calculate accurate inflation?
  • What is the square footage of the house and its upgrades?
  • What is the exchange value of gold, the game’s currency?
  • What is the cost of Robin’s labor?
Let’s tackle the first. To do this, I scoured around to look for modern conveniences. Primarily, I found these five:
  • Leah mentions she has a laptop
  • The carpentry shop sells Plasma screen TVs.
  • There is what appears to be an old Apple computer monitor in Harvey’s clinic and Maru’s room.
  • Sam has an electric guitar and what looks like a plasma screen computer monitor in his room.
  • In Mr. Qi’s casino, the slot machines do not have a lever. This is important because that gives us a firm earliest date of 1963.
Another interesting factoid is the number of Cathode-ray TVs you see in Stardew Valley. These are the precursors to plasma screens, which were in turn succeeded by LCD screen TVs. Additionally, a large number of your starter houses comes preequipped with Cathode-ray TVs. Granted, this may be because the farmhouse was abandoned for many years before you came along, but there exists another such TV in 1 River Road where we often see George watching his shows. I will concede that George and Evelyn are quite old and may not have the tech savvy nature of Sebastian to get something more modern, so that can’t be an accurate measurement. Plus, Alex’s mental acumen is a little... questionable.
As for crafting recipes, there really isn’t anything worth talking about. Magic items I won’t talk about because it has no real world comparison; that also throws out the wizard shop’s items. The furniture catalog has nothing of note to pinepoint a date, and nor does Pierre’s General Store, Joja Mart, Joja Warehouse, the Blacksmith, Stardrop Saloon, or Marnie’s ranch. Leah doesn’t mention anything about her laptop, so that is of little help.
So the casino gives us a low bound. Although manufacturing of the plasma screen TV stopped in the US in 2014, plasma screen TVs were losing their market shares around 2007 and factories were shutting down. As you can buy them like hotcakes and fill a shed with them, 2007 is our upper bound.
The price for plasma screens was quite pricey for residential homes. 1995 was the year 42 inch plasma screens became commercial, and some had home installation priced somewhere around US$15,000. Still not quite the size of the queen or king sized bed you and your spouse have (the size of the plasma screen in the game), but sixty inch plasma screen TVs were sold around the year 2000, and that is plenty big. Given the size of the screen in the game is roughly three tiles just like your bed, I think it’s safe to say this is around the size of our estimate. Our rough year range is now 1995 to 2007. Let’s split the difference and say the game takes place in 2001.
We have our year.
To calculate the size of our farmhouse, we need some baseline measurement. Luckily, the game is pixelated so we can be quite accurate in our measurements. Unluckily, we have no confirmed height of anything, so we have to intuit some things. Reddit user asparagus made this excellent size chart, so while I can just use that and save myself a lot of work, let us do some measurements of our own and then measure the farmhouse with both this method and asparagus’ method.
First, there is the height of plants, but those can vary widely. For instance, you can pot prickly pear cactuses in your farmhouse, but their height can vary anywhere between one and seven feet. Plant height is a no go. The average height of a minifridge is forty three inches (109 cm) tall, so unless you are a dwarf, that’s not right either. The fences are also a good starting point, as most agricultural fencing stands at four feet (1.2 m).
Here we don’t have to do much; all fences are forty eight pixels in height. Four feet equals out to forty eight inches (121.92 cm). It doesn’t get more perfect than that!
Trigger warning: incoming math.
Now comes the really tricky part: getting the dimensions of each iteration of your farmhouse, and squinting at my computer screen like a mole in order to count pixels; we must include walls as well as that is included in square footage. Our first iteration has pixel measurements of 704x496. Add in the doorway (136x64pixels), and then we’ll still convert for square feet. 704 * 496 + (136 * 64) = 318,452 pixels/sq, which (dividing by 12^2) converts to 2,211.47 ft/sq. Damn, we’re well on our way for most modern mansions.
I have to have messed something up (205.45 m/sq, btw). The average firebox (the inside of a fireplace where you burn wood) tends to be around 32x20 inches (81.28x50.8 cm). Ours is... 72x40. Twice as large. I also haven’t even begun to calculate the farmhouse’s height because Robin is beginning to scare me.
Alright, new plan, we’re going with asparagus. I married Haley and took her measurements. She is 104 pixels tall, and since she is 65 inches (165.1 cm) according to asparagus, that gives us a measurement of .625 inches/pixel (1.5875 cm/pixel).
Side note, I really want some Twizlers right now.
So instead of having pixels as at a 1:1 ratio, we have something a little more lenient, but things are looking a little... grim. We’ll have to convert each individual amount, so we have (704 * .625) * (496 * .625) + ((136 * 64) * .625^2) for 124,395.31 inches/sq, 863.86 ft/sq., 80.25 m/sq. But still, we haven’t even begun to calculate the actual volume of our farmhouse yet, so these numbers are going to explode.
I’m beginning to think Robin is Hestia. Yoba is not the only deity in this town.
Alright, calculating the rest of the floor spaces is a little boring so let’s speedrun this.
Wall height for the farmhouse is 140 pixels, so (140 * .625) * 124,395.31 inches/sq / 12^3 = 6,298.95 ft^3 (178.36 m^3) for the farmhouse, and 25,800.51 ft^3 (730.58 m^3) using my method.
Just... let’s move on.
Second iteration has me doing a fair bit more work.
Wall height is 135 pixels, and rightmost—wait, the walls are shorter? Weird. Anyway, the rightmost room has dimensions of 486 for width by 375 for depth (and the same cubby dimensions), giving us cuboid dimensions of 24,603,750 pixels^3, which converts to 14,238.28 ft^3 (403.18 m^3), and 3,476.14 ft^3 (82.83 m^3) using asparagus' method
Middle corridor has a dimensional width of 42 pixels by 87 depth, giving us a total of 285.47 ft^3 (8.08 m^3), and 69.69 ft^3 (1.97 m^3) using asparagus' method.
Leftmost room (the kitchen) has a width of 870 and depth of 375, with a doorway of 136x64. That gives us a cuboid area of 314,019.38 ft^3 (29,173.11 m^3), and 6,388.74 ft^3 (180.91 m^3) using asparagus' method.
That gives us a grand total for a tier two home of...
... 328,543.13 ft^3 (29,584.37 m^3) using my method and
... 9,934.58 ft^3 (281.31 m^3) using asparagus' method.
So Robin added at a minimum 3,635.63 cubic feet to your house in three days by herself. Even if you extend the days and months to roughly align with our own calendar, that would be a mere nine days. How much powdered starfruit did she snort in order to do that by herself? I 100% believe Emily is the town’s dealer. I didn’t even calculate the length of the farmhouse loft. It’s doable, and even though you can’t enter it in the game, a bigger farmhouse means a bigger loft judging by the look of it.
Anyway, I’m not going to calculate the loft area right now. I’m not going to calculate the other tiers of your farmhouse either, even though that was my intent when I started this analysis. The math is easy enough, but it gets boring to type, and no doubt to read. Plus, I’m a little stunned by Robin's carpentry acumen. C’mon Robin, stop upgrading my house. Exercise with the girls, dance with your husband, smoke some weed, I dunno, RELAX.
But in a strange way, it makes a weird sort of sense. Pretty much no one plays the game with auto-run turned off, but do so for a moment. See how fast you move. That is your normal pace, and auto-run is you, an Olympian god, sprinting around town every second of every day, helping the shit out of everyone whether they want it or not, snorting the same starfruit mixture you got from Robin to keep going, who may have gotten it from Linus (my money is still on Emily). We’ve become so accustomed to seeing the run animation as our default I almost didn’t realize it doesn’t translate to modern life. The boards in your house, I almost took those as your normal 2x4 planks of wood (which actually measure 1.5x3.5, the world lies to me). They are not. They are almost the width of your entire body, and your walking pace (sorry I can’t get an exact pixel measurement) covers roughly one and a half boards, a similar length to a normal human gait. The art style fooled even me until now, but your house is massive.
Let’s just answer our other two questions. What is the exchange rate? Calculating the exchange rate of a fictional world is always tricky as they have different concepts of rarities, but I’ll give it the ol’ college try. Once again, I can’t do anything with magic. Let’s first list some things of note:
  • Iridium is fairly easy to get around Stardew Valley once you are able, and that is a rare and valuable metal, with a current price of US$1,510 per troy ounce.
  • You can purchase a golden column to place on your farm, and gold has a current price of US$1,643 per troy ounce
  • Conversely, while the first two are rare and valuable metals, crops such as corn are valued at prices like 150g, a very unusually high amount if exchanged 1:1 to USA dollars.
  • Going back to plasma screen TVs, we can use its price history and then convert currencies to Stardew Valley gold.
Now you may be tempted to say we can’t translate iridium and gold’s prices to real world market values, and normally you may be right, but there are some extenuating circumstances in the game: the town is right next to two very large mines. It is even a plot point once you clear the glittering boulder that the water carries ore from deep inside the mountain. Yes, gold and iridium are valuable, but your location to ore veins is important; gold and iridium may be uncommon resources but you have access to very specific places where they are more common, otherwise known as the scarcity heuristic). This also explains two facts about iridium: discounting magic, iridium is quite rare in the game, just like real life. Secondly, Clint’s prices make a lot more sense not only because it’s endgame material, but because iridium is super dense and has a very high melting point, thus making it a very difficult material to work with.
But by far the biggest challenge of this question is figuring out whether or not items you produce factor in the cost of your labor or not. For instance, lace is made of simple materials that even in the days of Victorian England, it was easy to get. However because lace was so time consuming to make, it could command absurd prices. Thus, one of the first things we need to discover is whether or not the game takes into account cost of labor or not.
So I am going to take you all back to school and talk about someone who’s old and dead: Adam Smith. It was he who talked about the cost of labor in his book The Wealth of Nations, and because of that, I bring up this particular line:
“...From century to century, corn is a better measure than silver, because, from century to century, equal quantities of corn will command the same quantity of labour more nearly than equal quantities of silver.
Why did I mention corn above? This is why. Prices may vary, but agriculture has been around for thousands of years and the cost of a farmer’s labor equals about the same.
According to Dylan Baumann, Stardew Valley corn plants have a profit value of 535 gold per plant. Our corn plant profits are about as high as they can get without adding something new into the mix, and we don’t want that yet.
Let’s set some ground rules:
  • Cultivatable farm space on the standard farm equals out to 3,427 spaces, but we’ll round that down to 3,350 for iridium sprinklers, iridium watering can, and scarecrows, equaling maximum farming with no loss of crop.
  • We’ll keep Dylan’s ground rules, so no fertilizer.
  • No preserves, jams, wine, and juices.
  • No farming efficiencies and crop selling bonuses.
  • No use of the greenhouse to grow crops outside of the growing season.
If you plant the entire farm with corn and stop harvesting on Fall day 28 when the growing season ends, that lets you harvest a total of 11 ears of corn per plant. Multiply that by 3,350, we get a total of 36,850 ears of corn for your entire farm. Corn is measured in bushels, and a bushel of corn can be anywhere between 40 and 60 ears of corn, but we’ll say you really pack it in for 60, meaning your growing season for corn produces 36,850 / 60 corn for a total of 614.17 bushels per year.
The USDA has a 2001 labor value of corn at US$2.92 per acre (and that matches the Iowa labor statistic), and using 156 bushels per acre, that brings our labor cost per bushel at... US$00.02. That’s a real pittance. Considering bushels of corn retailed around $2.11 per bushel in 2001, that is an incredible markup of 184.85 times.
We’re almost done with the dreaded math, I swear.
Corn retails at 100g apiece in Stardew Valley(You get 50 gold from Pierre, so he has a 100% markup), meaning the labor cost should be around 184.85 times less that amount, meaning it takes about 0.54 gold to make one ear of corn.
Your average US farmers salary $55,000 and $100,000, and we’ll take the middle of $77,500 for our measurements. Dividing the farmer’s salary by the total ears of corn our farmer grows in Stardew Valley, we get a labor cost per ear of corn in US dollars of $2.10 per ear of corn. Now we multiply this by our markup ratio to get the IRL retail cost of corn in Stardew, getting US$237.08! Damn that better be some good eating! We divide that number by the Stardew Valley retail cost of corn, netting us a real world conversion of gold of, drumroll please, $2.37 US dollars per gold in 2001.
Now just for funzies, let us calculate the actual salary of your famer in Stardew Valley. Multiplying your 36,850 ears of corn by 50 gold (your selling price of gold, not the retail price of 100g), that nets you 1,842,500 gold per growing season. Multiply that by the dollagold conversion we just calculated and your real life gross income comes out to be US$436,672,500.
Give me all of the golden clocks, wizard.
Three questions down, one more to go. Currency conversion was rather tricky because it involved quite a lot of math, but this last question, what is the cost of Robin’s labor, that requires the most assumptions. There’s an easy answer and a hard answer.
Robin’s upgrades, except for the last, require you the farmer to give her resources in addition to gold. The simple answer is you are providing materials in order to keep the raw gold cost down. This means that the first house upgrade, 10,000 gold, is strictly her labor cost as the 450 wood is all the raw materials she needs to build. 3 days * 3 months (to adjust Stardew month lengths to our month lengths) comes out to Robin working an IRL equivalent to 9 days. Taking 10,000 gold / 9 days equals a cost of 1,111.111 gold per day, and considering Robin has snorted enough powdered starfruit to have 20 hour work days, that comes out to 55.56 gold per hour.
Just to be sure, let’s see if the math holds up for the last upgrade. That one requires a cost of 100,000 gold and comes preequipped with 33 casks. You do not provide the resources for the casks, meaning that comes included with the cost. Casks cannot be sold, but the materials required to make them are 20 wood and 1 hardwood, which Robin will provide for the same 100% markup (meaning 4 gold and 30 gold respectively). 4 gold * 30 gold * 33 casks comes out to 3,960 gold. Using the same calculations for the first house iteration, we get (100,000 gold - 3,960) / (3 days * 3 months) / 20 hours for a total of 533.56 gold per hour.
Not even close to our first estimate. We could just average them together for (533.56 + 55.56) / 2 = 294.56 gold, and that would be the easy answer. It would be nice to settle for the easy answer.
Let’s find the hard answer. We are going to calculate labor cost per square footage, and luckily most of the work has been done over the course of several google spreadsheets. To find the cost of materials and money per upgrade volume we get the formula (Upgrade volume - Base Volume) / 10,000 gold. This gives us a grand total of cubic material built per gold of...
...2,573.26 in^3/gold, 30.27 ft^3/gold, 2.89 m^3/gold using my method and
...628.24 in^3/gold, 0.36 ft^3/gold, 0.01 m^3/gold using asparagus’ method.
Let’s see if the math holds up for the basement upgrade and dammit I just realized I got to do more pixel measurements now. Hold on, be back in an hour.
Alright, I’m back. We don’t need to do any subtraction for the previous volume of the house considering the cellar is its own little area, but we still need to subtract the value of the materials used for the casks. The cellar comes out to a grand total of cubic materials built per gold of...
...386.91 in^3/gold, 0.22 ft^3/gold, 0.01 m^3/gold using my method and
...94.46 in^3/gold, 0.05 ft^3/gold, 0.0015 m^3/gold using asparagus’ method.
Huge discrepancy.
Before I get into my reasoning why, let us outline what we know first.
  • We’re pretty sure the game takes place in 2001.
  • We have the exact sizes of each house upgrade calculated with two different methods.
  • We have a certified exchange rate of US$2.37 at that point in time.
  • We have two different methods of calculating the cost of Robin’s labor.
  • The amount of work Robin does during her three(nine?) day job is absolutely obscene.
I come to one conclusion: Robin is a god that has settled down in the world of Stardew Valley.
Here me out. I have three pieces of evidence.
The first is when Robin is hired to take on a house upgrade job no one helps her, not even her husband Demetrius. Your house is right next to hers, so you’re not paying for travel. As we have shown by our calculations above and in the gDoc spreadsheet, that is a massive amount of work. It’s simply not possible for a human to accomplish such a monumental task. Robin claims she built her own home herself with this line from the game...
“Have I told you that I built our house from the ground up? It's definitely been the highlight of my career so far.”
...so we know her carpentry acumen is impressive enough for the job, but she has severely understated her skill. Homeadvisor pegs a house costing anywhere between US$150,000 to US$500,000 (US$102,005.53 to $340,018.44, adjusted for 2001 inflation), but even adjusted for inflation, Robin absolutely underbids the current housing market. Those inflation adjusted values, when converted to gold, come out to a range of 43,040.31g-143,467.70g. Granted, these prices are for a complete house, not adding onto a current house, but even if we half the value you are getting one hell of a discount.
The second piece is Robin’s language. The sheer passion for her work speaks wonders..
“Wood is a wonderful substance... it's versatile, cheap, strong, and each piece has its own unique character!”
...but perhaps she is just passionate about what she does. Many people are, but knowing what we do about how dirt cheap and blindingly fast she works let’s go into more detail about some things, specifically three lines. The first...
“Our little plan worked out well, don't you think? Pam and Penny seem really happy.”
...is said after Pam’s house undergoes an upgrade. “Our” plan? Sure, you are the one that buys the upgrade and Robin has to build it, but I can’t help but feel there is a double meaning behind this language. It is done out of the kindness of Robin’s heart and the materials have to come from somewhere, so she can’t do it for free, but it wasn’t about the money, as we have stated previously. It was about Penny.
Pam is a somewhat contentious person because of slobbish and slovenly nature. She is immediately and irrationally angered when Penny tries to pick the place up. She drinks heavily...
“\sigh*... My mother definitely has a problem with going to the saloon too much. But it's best not to dwell on bad things, right?”*
...doesn’t seem to understand not paying her tab has some consequences, and doesn’t realize what her habits have done to her daughter’s psyche.
Then you, the player come along. Pam is okay with the simple things in life, but you help Penny with her worries and insecurities, and then with you and Robin together, you give Penny everything she needs to help her shed those worries. She has a house that doesn have problems with rain, two friends who look out for her, her mom has a job, and most importantly she has peace of mind and in a world fraught with problems, that is truly priceless.
This is the second line...
“Hey! I heard some weird noises last night, and woke up this morning to find the quarry bridge completely repaired! It's a miracle of woodworking!”
...and it occurs once you offer items to the community center junimos to get the quarry bridge repaired.
It is also a bald-faced lie.
The junimos are good, don’t get me wrong, but we’ve seen what Robin can do with our own two eyes. She is absolutely incredible at her job, and while I may give it to her she has no idea what junimos are or what they are capable of, we have proof that the act of restoring the bridge in one night is not out of the realm of possibility for her. A miracle, yes, but I’m certain she can beat the junimos’ time.
Lastly, there is one quote from her that is just... it opens up some very interesting questions. When she says...
“My parents were bewildered when I told them I wanted to be a carpenter. They were pretty old-fashioned.”
...how old are her parents when they consider carpentry too new-fashioned for them? Carpentry is one of the world’s oldest professions. If they were old-fashioned, why were they bewildered?
This line is just so fascinating to me. Robin is incredibly skilled, but I cannot rationalize carpentry being too newfangled for parents to wrap their head around. Who were they? Where are they from? I know your secrets, Robin, I know your parents are gods, too.
The third and final piece is the contrasting pieces of the world at large. Just like ours, it’s a little depressing. Joja Corp runs dozens of what even Cyberpunk would consider a dataslave farm. The world is flooded with consumerism run amok, Orwellian surveillance, and rampant urbanization. The Ferngill Republic is in the middle of a war with the Gotoro Empire and Kent still suffers PTSD from being in a prisoner of war camp.
Stardew Valley isn’t just a town to retire in, it is a place of respite and healing. There are three confirmed magic users deeply tied to the town’s mystical roots. The bears speak and encourage you to manage the world around you. You are rewarded for restoring balance to the valley by being able to recycle things you don’t need. Your main resource in the game, gold, also doesn’t matter that much; if it ever slips into the negative, nothing bad ever happens. You must just work to raise it back up. There is no lose condition in the game.
In many respects it is similar to the Gaiaism philosophy that all living beings are connected, each relying and depending on each other in order to maintain a peaceful coexistence. You help Shane with his nihilism and depression, Sebastian with his ability to express and accept affection, Sam with his dreams, Kent with his problems, Leah with her ambitions, Haley with her generosity and narcissism, or even simple goals like Penny’s idea of a quiet domestic life.
Whether it is the addicted, lost, or scorned, everyone is welcome and everyone can have a home in Stardew Valley. No one embodies this more than Robin who just wants a simple life. Whether it is her own house or her own boat during the Dance of the Moonlight Jellies, Robin builds it herself. The feel of wood grain, the smell of lacquer, the stickiness of stain, the thrum of the saw, and the bite of the axe. Robin doesn’t charge you nearly enough for your house upgrades because it is not about the money. Woodworking is what she loves and she lives in a place where barterism, kindness, family, and friendship substitute so many of life's modern problems and inconveniences.
Friendship increases in the game aren’t just a measurement of achievements, a means of getting more recipes, or more candles lit on a grave. You are making friends and getting to know these people for who they are and everyone’s life is bettered because of it. The amount of love I’ve seen for Linus is just staggering. Shane, in all of his melancholy and despite him not being a suitor in the original version of the game, is loved by so many. I know some despise Haley, but I love that I was able to show her what kindness can do for people.
You are in a gentle and loving place, and you are loved.
What a better place for a god to reside? A quiet town filled with peace and love, seeped in nature and the old magics of yore. A loving mate, a family to raise. Land to share with those that forage from its bounty. It’s all she needs.
Robin’s role in all of this? She desires neither worship nor admiration. She is just a friend. A god, certainly, but a friend first and foremost who is just settling down in a quiet town looking for a little peace.

https://preview.redd.it/fkugiuh4nwv51.png?width=507&format=png&auto=webp&s=146d3dabaa63c0ce3bfd281712434e9b2a655be8
Image by MagicallyClueless
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