the last ridge

July 31, 1917 - Third Battle of Ypres Begins

Pictured - British stretcher-bearers struggle to bring in a wounded man on July 31, 1917. The first phase of the Third Battle of Ypres, or the Passchendaele offensive, is called the Battle of Pilckem Ridge. It lasted from July 31 to August 22. A massive downpour of rain turned the battlefield into a quagmire and made advancing very difficult for the attacking British and French troops.

At 3:50 AM on July 31, 1917, Allied troops at Ypres went over the top, beginning the Passchendaele offensive. Their objectives were set 6,000 yards from the start line. From there their commander, Sir Douglas Haig, planned to slowly force back the Germans and clear the North Sea coast all the way to Zeebruge. Haig was confident he could win, Prime Minister David Lloyd George was not. But with the Russians in turmoil and France on the backfoot, Britain had to fight.

A final 3,000 gun barrage pounded the German front line, then lifted and moved off to rearward targets. Fifteen Allied divisions, nine British and six French, crept out of their trenches and attacked along a fifteen-mile front from the town of Bixchoote in the north to Messines ridge in the south. 

The attackers had mixed success. They advanced further that day than any previous single one in the Ypres salient. Yet the Germans’ thick defensive lines stemmed the assault. The terrain was also difficult. Flanders has a high water table, and three years of artillery fire had made No-Man’s Land a churned up patch of mud. The Allies 136 tanks did well on July 31: only two bogged down. But over the next month constant rain would force many of them to be ditched.

Yet on July 31 the Allies made decent progress, especially on the left, where the veteran French First army showed great skill at offensive tactics. The first-day objectives of Pilckem, Bixschoote, and St Julien ridge were all reached. Yet on the right flank of the battle things bogged down, and by mid-morning the usual problems of communication were starting to show. Telephone cables laid across No Man’s Land were cut, the infantry could not coordinate with the artillery or the tanks, and at two the Germans counter-attacked. A massive artillery bombardment fell on the British XVIII and XIX Corps at Gheluvelt that caused many to break and run.

Both Haig and his German opponent, Crown Prince Rupprecht of Bavaria, reported success on July 31. At the Somme a year earlier 20,000 men had died on the first day; today Allied casualties, both British and French, numbered 35,000 killed, wounded, or missing. The Germans had lost the same. But Rupprecht had not committed any of his reserves, and most of his deep defenses had not yet come into play, so he had the better claim when he recorded in his diary that night that he was “very satisfied with the results.”

Head Games

Pairing: Lance Tucker x reader
Rating: NSFW smut
Warning: Oral female on male, Lance calls reader his slut.
Prompt: Lance decides to take a phone call over you, so you decide to show him you’re not happy with that decision.

Gif is not mine.

Lance had been on the phone with his assistant coach for half an hour talking about a new gymnast they wanted to add to their team. He’d gotten the call right when he was about to go down on you, and he’d apologized before quickly answering the call leaving you naked and frustrated on the couch. Looking over the back of the couch you smirked as you watched him lean back in the kitchen chair, his abs on display to you through the clear glass table.

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Battle of Vimy Ridge Ends

The ruins of the village of Monchy, pictured in May.  On April 14, 10 men from the Royal Newfoundland Regiment defended the village against an attacking German division for five hours.

April 14 1917, Vimy–The Canadians at Vimy Ridge and the British at Arras had had a great success on the first day of the battle.  However, this was not followed up in the evening or on the next day.  In part, this was due to conditions on the ground; there was heavy snowfall for the next three days.  Additionally, the British had not really expected a success, and were not prepared to exploit it.  Over the following days, the Allies consolidated their positions, taking the last parts of Vimy Ridge (the so-called “Pimple,” not attacked on the first day) and then descending onto the plain below.  The Germans, meanwhile, had fallen back to their positions to the east, which were well-prepared in the manner of the Hindenburg Line and which would not be so easily cracked.  

On April 14, the major Allied attacks around Vimy Ridge and Arras came to an end.  They had advanced two-and-a-half to five miles, taken the high ground in the area, inflicted heavy casualties, and captured 13,000 German prisoners.  Strategically, it accomplished its goals as well, bringing a large number of German reserves to the area.  Five days after the end of major operations (and three days after the French would attack on the Aisne), the Germans had twice the number of troops in the area than they had had before April 9.  Of course, this came at a high cost, with the Canadians suffering just over 10,000 casualties and the British 8,000.  

Today in 1916: Austria and Germany Disagree on Future of Poland 
Today in 1915: British Defeat Turks at Shaiba

Sources include: Randal Gray, Chronicle of the First World War; Alexander McKee, Vimy Ridge; E.L. Spears, Prelude to Victory.

The craziest restrooms I ever used, whether pissing or shitting. The restrooms are not in order as best to worst, visa versa. The restrooms I am mentioning are active, interior changed, moved or defunct. I’m mentioning men’s room as far as the 1970s. Some of you might have occupied.

-Washington Square Park, NYC (defunct), no doors, no booths, no privacy lines of 5 toilets in the rear of the restroom with a chain of tp at the entrance of the area. An area of urinals across each other. Now torn down and replaced with a modern restroom.

-Tompkins Park, NYC; entering with a podium of urinals, 2 regular stalls with no toilet seat attached and a large spacey handicap stall all 3 with no privacy and 3 basins directly in front, popular with homeless and vagrants.

- 71st & Continental, Forest Hills, NY subway station, began restroom with as you see in the pic above 2 toilets with low partitions and no doors in front to the model pic, to toilet stalls with doors to being shutdown when a modern restroom on the other side of the station open with a long, large handicap booth with a door, a urinal and a sink.

-Union Turnpike, Kew Garden subway station, restroom like the 71st, 2 booths with low partitions and 2 urinals side by side, last check , the rear stall has no toilet. But seen used condoms on the floor lol.

- Jamaica Center subway station NYC, 3 steel toilets with doors and no latch to lock and the handicap opens from the outside and cracks are a little wider that someone could view the other especially on the bowl. 2 streel toilets and sinks.

-179th Street F train Jamaica subway station, restroom with 2 toilet booths with doors a lg. Urinal and a small urinal along with a sink. The restroom started as a 3 stall RR with doors in front.

-NYC Penn Station Amtrak, defunct, back in the 1980s in the lower level sits 2 large men’s room with toilet stalls facing each other in the rear, where some of the doors had doors with no lock, some had no doors and 2 or more toilets in a row, in a large row urinals and basins as soon as you enter, around the early 90s the restrooms shut down were replaced by a smaller restroom on the upper level.

-NYC Penn Station Amtrak, upper level before it switch sides with the ladies room, though the stalls had doors you can still view the someone sitting on the toilet, in fact the middle stall you look right through the crack and view your neighbor in the handicap booth to your right on the toilet.

-Staten Island Ferry on the JFK boat, Don’t know if it’s still active or not, on the lower level on the left with urinals on 1 side, basins in the middle at the entrance and 4 doorless toilet stalls line from front to back with the last guy in the last booth with more privacy but he can be seen sitting on the toilet, but not directly in front as the other 3.

-Wendy’s @Union Square back in da 80s and early 90s. Open the door to the 2 stall restroom in the basement near the dining area there is a doorless toilet where anyone especially with the door opening can view your on the bowl and the urinal in the rear side. Defunct.

-Central Park, lower west side near Columbus Circle sits 2 toilet stall the first with no door and the last and handicap booth with a swinging door and no lock.

-Central Park, South of 79th St. Traverse with 3 doorless stalls at the entrance and the 1st one behind a wall entering towards 3 urinals and 2 sinks.-

-Staten Island on the Andrew J. Barberi boat, on the mid-level, though the stalls have doors, you can still view someone on the potty and the urinals on both left and right end sides are directly in front the toilet stalls

-The Prospect Park Zoo, stalls with no doors back in the late 70s, early 80s. Interior Probably change.

-Roosevelt Av. Subway station, Jackson Heights NY. First entered years ago with one toilet to a wall and no doors for privacy and another toilet directly nest to two urinals and change to one sink, one small urinal and a toilet with door .

-Central Park at Bethesda Terrace, nyc; toilet stalls are low partitions and high from bottom up. 

 -Baltimore bus station, toilet stalls are low tops and high tops -White Castle, downtown Brooklyn, sink and urinals on one side and an wide open toilet with no toilet on the other defunct. 

 -95th street subway station, Bay Ridge, Brooklyn last stop R train entering the restroom with 2 toilets next to the other open with no privacy, changed, the toilets have privacy, 

 -Metropolitan av/Lorimer Av subway station early 80s nasty with 2 urinals and 2 toilets with no doors and low partition. I remembered once enter with some dude standing in the end stall lounging and another sitting in the previous with his trousers down, looks like a gay porn scene, with other guys hanging, I was in my teens at the time and had to hurry and pee badly, defunct.

-Hoyt/Schemerhorn St. Subway Sta. 2 urinals, with 1 toilet low partition and the last booth full partition no door, defunct.

Jay Street/Boro Hall now Metrotech; Broadway/ENY now Broadway Junction, Euclid Ave & Church Avenue (F) Brooklyn, NY. All began as restroom with low partition toilets with no door, changed to full partitions with doors, move to restroom with one large handicap toilet stall or so.

-Stillwell Ave./Coney Island subway large restroom with some stalls have doors, now 2 stall restroom.

-Grand Central Station, at the west side entrance, where many booths have no doors, from late 1980′s to mid 1990′s, changed from different spots throughout the terminal now in the food court area with 2 men’s room.

-Albee Square Stall, 2 open toilet stalls with rows of urinals directly in front and the handicap has a wall, but no door. late 1980s to the Early 1990s now defunct.

Over the years, I have used plenty of crazy restroom and there are many to add, oh the restroom at Bloomingdales downstairs where there is no stalls, but private toilet rooms.

-Rockerfeller Plaza, the toilet stalls with doors across from other, while you sitting in one, you can peek at the other guy sitting across from you.

-Union Square, on the 14th street West entrance sits a restroom with 2 toilets with no partition beside the other.

-Last, Rockaway Parkway, Canarsie, NY. Entering 2 stall with the entrance door open and there sits a toilet with no door and a urinal in the other.

videogame genres; racing games

racing video game is a genre of video games, either in the first-person or third-person perspective, in which the player partakes in a racing competition with any type of land, air, or sea vehicles. They may be based on anything from real-world racing leagues to entirely fantastical settings. In general, they can be distributed along a spectrum anywhere between hardcore simulations, and simpler arcade racing games. Racing games may also fall under the category of sports games.

Letting Go

Zuko asks Aang to provide a miracle and restore hope to a village on the brink of destruction due to a famine. Aang realizes it might be time to let go of his excuses to not propose.  This story is for the Kataang Week 2017 “clouds” prompt and has some sweet fluff at the beginning and end, but it has a section that is much more dramatic in the middle.  This story preceeds “My Heart in My Pocket” and starts to set up some of the context that will ultimately lead to Aang and Katara’s betrothal.

Rating: T; 4,774 words

The hawk had come late in the afternoon as they had been packing up to move on after helping an Air Nomad settlement recover from a mud slide that had nearly buried the entire village.  The hawks always sought Katara out, even though they had been sent to Aang because they knew she was the one more likely to reward their efforts with a strip of dried meat.  Katara recognized this one at once as once of Zuko’s.  Rather than alighting on her proffered arm, it landed carefully on Katara’s shoulder and affectionately leaned into the side of Katara’s face, nipping gently at her ear.

 Aang laughed.  “Those hawks are entirely too fond of you!  What have you been feeding them?”

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The Matterhorn.

This is one of those images that you need to see big and I hope Tumblr doesn’t compress it too much. I made this out of 45 images stitched using my long 200mm lens (400mm on the Olympus). The detail is incredible. It is almost large format. When I was editing it, I was zooming in every now and then finding new things: there is a series of tiny little huts on the last ridge line to the North face of the Matterhorn, there are chairlifts crossing everywhere and you can make out people too. Download the image and tell me what you guys can find too. {EDIT I found a helicopter at the summit and the famous cross that some tenacious dudes carried up there in the early 1900s}

The Matterhorn is a huge chunk of rock and I can see why it is so famous, hopefully this image passes of its enormity.

Kung-Futopia Chapter 1

It was a morning like any other. The sun was shining, mammals were out and about, and, Judy mused as she stared at the prone form in front of her, Nick Wilde was dead to the world.
“Nick.” She said, jostling his shoulder. The fox turned and buried his head deeper in the pillows. “Nick!” She raised her voice, shoving the sleeping vulpine harder. He pulled the blankets over his head. “NICK!” she shouted, rolling him off the bed. Nick landed with a dull thud and opened his eyes.
“Whas goin on?” he asked groggily. Noticing Judy, he scrambled to cover himself with the fallen sheets. “Carrots, what’re you doing here?!” He exclaimed nervously, successfully covering himself. Judy chuckled at his embarrassment.
“You’re fine Nick.” She laughed. “You slept in your clothes.” Nick looked down and saw to his chagrin that he was dressed in his usual Hawaiian shirt and khakis. “The jet lag really got ya huh?” Nick looked puzzled for a few moments before he remembered where they were and his confusion cleared.
“Oh yeah,” he said as he yawned, “so what’s the plan Carrots?”
“Well,” She began decisively, “I thought we could go see the ruins of the Jade Palace and then go on to the Pool of Sacred Tears.”
“Sounds good Fluff.” Nick responded, stifling a yawn as he walked to the bathroom. “Also,” he added before he went in, “why’re we in China again?”


Two Days Earlier…
“Hopps! Wilde! My office now!” Chief Bogo roared. Judy turned to glare at Nick who was seated in the chair beside her.
“What?” Nick asked.
“What did you do this time?” Judy said exasperatedly as they walked out of their office. Nick shot her a hurt look.
“Officer Hopps, I am a police mammal of outstanding character. How could you ever suggest that I antagonize our dear chief?” he replied, maintaining his air of hurt dignity. “How am I to know that it wasn’t you who was the cause of this incident? Hmmm?” Judy stopped Nick cold with a glare that could melt ice.
“Did. You. Antagonize. Chief Bogo.” She asked slowly and menacingly. Nick gave her a lazy smile.
“Of course I didn’t Carrots. I may like to have some fun, but I don’t have a death wish.”
“Nick!” she shouted, “Last week you replaced the filling in Clawhauser’s doughnuts with mayo and then offered one to the chief!”
“That my dear,” he replied as they knocked on the chief’s door “was fun.”
“Come in” the chief rumbled as they opened the door. The pair entered his office and Nick hopped into the chair opposite the desk, helping Judy up as well.
“Sir,” Judy began, “is something—”
“Hopps.” He cut her off, while viewing a piece of paper “Wilde. You two need to take a vacation.”
“What?” They replied, the confusion evident on their faces. Bogo put down the paper he had been looking at and slid it across his desk to the two mammals.
“Do you know what this is?” He inquired.
“Well sir, it looks like—”
“Rhetorical question Wilde.” Bogo interrupted, frowning slightly at the fox’s smirk. “This,” he said tapping the paper, “is the time sheet for both you, and Officer Hopps. As you may know, I am required by law to give both of you two weeks of paid vacation per year. And you have yet to take it.”
“But sir,” Judy pleaded, “We don’t need to take a vacation.”
“I wouldn’t exactly say no—” Nick started to say before a glare from his partner silenced him.
“Hopps,” Bogo said tiredly, “it’s not a matter of want or need. It’s a matter of labor law, which as the chief of police I am both morally and legally bound to uphold. You will go on vacation and that is final.” He said sternly, chuckling to himself as the bunny’s ears fell. Only Judy Hopps needed to be forced into two weeks of paid vacation.
“That’s all. Dismissed.” He said, pulling out his phone. The pair descended from the seat and headed out the door, one dejected, one barely holding in their excitement. “Oh and one more thing,” Bogo called as they were about to leave, “enjoy your vacation.” He finished with a smile. Nick paused and smirked as a thought occurred to him.
“Hey Chief,” he said slyly, “do you want to come with us?” The chief froze with surprise.
“Why would I go on vacation with you two?” He sputtered in confusion.
“Well,” Nick said with a mischievous gleam in his eyes, “As chief of police, I’m sure you don’t get much free time to do the things you enjoy. Like dancing.” Bogo froze and looked at the fox with horror. “ And as I’ve heard, you are one hot dancer.” Bogo’s eyes bulged out of his head as he bellowed with rage.
“WILDE GET OUT OF MY OFFICE THIS INSTANT!” The fox left the room at a sprint, closing the door behind him. Bogo sat back down at his desk and started banging his head against it.
“I. Am. Going. To. KILL. Clawhauser.” He said, each word punctuated with a thud.


Judy looked up as Nick sashayed into their office, looking as smug as she’d ever seen him.
“Oh no.” she muttered. “Nick, what did you do this time?”
“Moi?” he replied, pointing at himself with both paws, “Why I just invited Bogo to come with us on vacation. And he very rudely refused my offer I might add.” He finished with mock indignation.
Judy shook her head and buried her face in both paws.
“Why do you antagonize him?” she asked to nobody in particular. “And why do we have to take a vacation?”
Nick jumped up on the chair with Judy and she looked up at him.
“Carrots, this isn’t a bad thing.” Nick began, “In fact, this is an opportunity!” Judy looked at him blankly. “Ok think of it like this: is there any place that you have always wanted to go to?” Judy cocked her head thinking. “Is there any place that you never thought you’d have the chance to go to?” Nick asked.
“Actually, there may be one…” She replied thoughtfully. “When I was little, there was this one storybook that was my favorite. It was all about the deeds of the Dragon Warrior and the Furious Five. Kung-Fu masters and heroes of Ancient China.”
“And?” Nick pressed eagerly.
“It was fictional of course.” Judy replied. “Just a children’s story. But the setting of the story, The Jade Palace, really did exist! And I’ve wanted to visit the ruins since I was a kit!” Judy finished her introspection and realized what Nick was saying.
“Nick,” she said eagerly, “do you want to go to China and visit the ruins of the Jade Palace?!” Nick laughed at her enthusiasm.
“Now you’re in the vacation spirit!” Nick replied. “Of course I’ll go with you! Who else would I take a vacation with?!” Judy grinned and logged into her computer, pulling up airline fares to China and hotel rates.
“Yes!” She shouted triumphantly after ten minutes of furious typing. Nick, who had returned to his desk, looked over at the beaming bunny with an amused smile.
“Find something interesting Fluff?” he inquired.
“We’re booked for our flight to China tomorrow night!” she said excitedly. Nick was visibly impressed.
“You work fast.” He replied. Judy continued as Nick wandered over to her desk.
“I also got us a hotel room at a resort and,” she added proudly, “we get a discount because we’re ZPD.”
“One hotel room?” Nick asked skeptically.
“With two beds in two different rooms.” Judy retorted, bemused at Nick’s skittishness. “Don’t worry Slick,” she teased leaning back in her chair, “I won’t assault you when you’re sleeping.”


Present Day
“You know,” Nick said as he exited the bathroom, “you broke your promise.”
“What promise?” Judy asked innocently. Her keen ears detected some grumbling from Nick as he retreated to his room about sly, abusive bunnies.
“Hurry up and get ready! Otherwise I might have to, what was it? ‘Abuse you’ again!” She shouted with a smile
“I guess those ears aren’t just cute after all!” Nick called back. Judy was about to respond when the door reopened, revealing Nick in a white linen shirt and green shorts. Her retort died in her mouth as she looked at him.
“What?” he asked defensively. “I can’t wear my usual stuff, it’s gonna be a long walk.” Judy just shook her head.
“How is it,” she pronounced slowly, “that in your home town of Zootopia, you wear the touristy Hawaiian shirt, yet when you are actually a tourist, you don’t look like one?”
“My shirts are not touristy Carrots,” he said airily as he walked past her, “they’re vintage.” Judy stared at him incredulously.
“Are you ready to go yet?” He asked smugly, poking his head back into the room. Judy shook her head and followed him out.
“Let’s go!” She said slyly, “I’m sure you’ll enjoy it.”


Nick looked up at the seemingly endless staircase then turned to Judy.
“Carrots, this was supposed to be a vacation!” He complained. Judy shot him a smug smirk of her own and replied
“So there are two choices; this staircase, which leads to the ruins of the Jade Palace” she said, gesturing towards the unforgiving ascent, “or that mountain, home to the Pool of Sacred Tears.” She finished with an elaborate flourish towards the nearby peak. Nick looked at the merciless and seemingly endless staircase, and then at the mountain, which while equally high, appeared to have a more forgiving path. He returned his gaze to Judy’s face, noticing the vengeful gleam in her eyes and regretting his earlier snark.
“I choose death by mountain.” Nick responded dejectedly, trudging towards the imperious mountain.
“Excellent choice.” Judy said with an evil smile as she followed him


Nick gasped for air as he hauled himself over the last ridge of the mountain.
“Finally!” Judy called from next to the pool, “I was beginning to get worried you got lost!” Nick looked at the bunny, who in her jeans and pink flannel shirt, had yet to sweat one drop. Nick rolled onto his back.
“I…. hate…. you…. so much.” He wheezed. Judy stood up and sauntered over to the exhausted vulpine, helping him up.
“Come on Nick,” she coaxed, “sit down by the pool and have some water.” Nick glared at her as Judy led him to the water’s edge, too tired to protest. He flopped to the ground and guzzled the proffered water.
“I…. will…. have…. my…. revenge…. Carrots.” He continued. Judy couldn’t help but feel a little bad for Nick in this pitiful state.
“Maybe the climb was a bit harsh for the first day of the trip.” She ventured, “But look at the view!” Nick sat up with difficulty and couldn’t help but be impressed. He could see the entire valley from up here, including the distant ruins of the Jade Palace. He smiled tiredly at Judy.
“It is pretty amazing,” he conceded, “but I am not climbing that again.” Judy started bouncing in excitement.
“Ooooooh! And look at that big rock! That’s where Master Oogway invented Kung Fu!” Judy squealed.
“Where who now did what?” Nick replied, puzzled by her sudden outburst.
“Oh, Master Oogway taught Master Shifu, the master of the Furious Five in the old story book.” Judy explained, her enthusiasm slightly dampened, “And he was the one who chose the Dragon Warrior, and this was where Master Shifu trained the Dragon Warrior!” She continued, excitement returning. “It’s just so amazing to be here! To see it in real life!” Nick staggered to his paws, only to be knocked back down by Judy’s tackle hug.
“Thank you so much Nick!  I never would have come here if it wasn’t for you.” She blurted out happily. Nick hugged her back, but soon piped up.
“Uh, Judy…”
“Yes Nick?” she replied, still hugging him.
“You’re crushing my ribs.” Nick coughed.
“Oh! Sorry!” She scrambled to her paws and helped Nick back up with a sheepish smile.
“It’s fine Judy” He replied, “Besides—” Nick was interrupted by a sharp CRACK and a wave of force blasted both him and Judy into the Pool of Sacred Tears. Nick surfaced gasping for air, and looked around wildly for Judy, who was already standing in the shallows, her jaw agape. Nick rushed over to her.
“Are you hurt?” he asked frantically, checking for signs of trauma, “Judy, are you ok?!” He shouted, grabbing her shoulders. Judy looked at Nick and pointed her finger across the pool. Nick’s gaze turned to the opposite side and his jaw dropped too. Where, five seconds earlier, there had been no one, there now stood two figures, a tiger and a panda. The panda was wearing patchwork canvas shorts and the tiger was wearing an embroidered red silk vest and black pants. Their voices carried across the water.
“Hah! I told you I could use the spirit world to teleport us back here Tigress!” the panda shouted triumphantly. The tiger shook her head good-naturedly.
“You were right Po.” She said. Judy gasped at hearing their names and everyone turned towards her.
“Umm, who are you?” the panda named Po called across the water, “And what are you doing at the Pool of Sacred Tears? It’s, y’know, sacred and stuff.”
“That’s them.” Judy whispered as the tiger stalked around the pool.
“That’s who?!” Nick hissed frantically.
“Tigress of the Furious Five and Po, the Dragon Warrior.”
“I thought those were just stories!” Nick whispered.
“So did I.” Judy responded, shell shocked by this sudden revelation. Tigress arrived on the other side of the pool and looked down at them.
“Why are you at the Pool of Sacred Tears?” She demanded. Judy looked up at the tiger with awe in her eyes, but before she could speak, Tigress brushed past her and walked to the edge of the peak.
“Po…” she called uncertainly, “Come see this.” Po jogged around the pool to the edge of the mountain where Tigress stood.
“I’m beginning to think something went wrong…” he said, his face falling as he gazed upon the ruins of the Jade Palace below.
“Oh you think!” Tigress yelled sarcastically. Nick and Judy exchanged a look as Tigress threw her paws in the air and stormed towards them with Po following.
“I think we might have a lot to talk about.” Judy said as Tigress and Po drew near.
“You think?” Nick uttered sarcastically. Judy elbowed him as Tigress came up and offered her paw with a strained smile.
“Hi, I’m Master Tigress and this is Po. I think we might need your help.”


So I decided to try writing a longer story and the result is this crossover. If you guys want me to continue it, please let me know :)

@andyourteeth @ryutolbx @trashasaurusrex

4

I’m still amazed by how that fog looked rising from the ridge last week. It was like something from National Geographic or the Discovery Channel, right here in our little part of the world.

Climbed Mt. Galiano today with Jesse from Bodega Ridge. Last night it stormed and this afternoon the skies parted to reveal infinite Gulf Islands.
(Also to see our other shots from our check my snapchat: andrewomerknapp)

“We see in order to move; we move in order to see.” - William Gibson

Climbers approaching the last headwall on West Ridge of Pigeon Spire, Bugaboos. August 2014

Submitted by A.J. Snyder

instagram @dirtykeith

⇒ Bel: Play commando.

You are going commando, due to a bitter laundry famine, but you are not playing commando.

⇒ Bel: Play ninja.

Since when do ninjas carry rifles? Don’t be ridiculous. Anyway, this isn’t a game. This is a very serious matter. You’re responsible for the safety of a whole bunch of people right now, and there’s a stranger on the island.

⇒ Bel: Play special forces.

For the last time, you’re not playing.

Maybe arming yourself in front of Galley was slightly an attempt to impress him – slightly – but he’s so worn out from everything else tonight that he didn’t even notice. You’re fairly tired as well. Trudging across the moors in the wind and drizzle is not something you would’ve picked to do for fun right now.

You told Pancho about the situation, asked her to stay alert and keep an eye on your GPS beacon, be ready to save your ass if things go pear-shaped. She offered to come along, but you declined. The route involves some rock climbing, and besides, if something bad happens, you’d rather she be safe and sound and have some room to act, rather than caught in it with you.

As for your lusus, you didn’t have to argue very hard to convince him to guard the bay. Ever since the seadweller you got the Binsense from took a potshot at him with a rocket launcher, he’s understood what a tempting target he is.

Which means you’re out here alone. It’s kind of nice, actually. It’s been a while. You haven’t thought about it much, because you didn’t want to start resenting Galley for needing help, but it’s still going to be pleasant to have a few hours of solitude. Providing, of course, that you don’t get blown up or shot or something. There’s no telling what kind of troll is occupying the abandoned hive. Worst case, it’s another seadweller, and this one’s not an ultra-civilized airhead like… what was his name? Ambien. Asperg. Started with an A, anyway. The kid that sailed off sweeps ago and never came back.

You waited a full sweep before you assumed he was dead. Even then, at first you only snuck in to test yourself against the hive’s automated defenses, and all you took was the antique rifles, because historical treasures shouldn’t be left to molder like that.

But the seadweller left some carpenter drones still working on the place – probably meant to be back in a couple perigees to supervise them – and they kept setting fresh traps, into which the wildlife kept blundering. This is a big island, but it’s not so big that something like that won’t screw up the ecosystem. Hell, you got rid of that cerulean on the west side because he wouldn’t quit over-hunting, for sport, the same game Pancho’s lusus hunts to live. (Well, and also because he expressed his black puppy-crush on Pancho by means of arson, and you don’t want to let that kind of thing slide.) So you had to go take care of those, and then it turned out you’d missed one, so you had to go back for it…

Point being, you know your way around that end of the island fairly well. Much better than some newcomer who just showed up out of nowhere.

When you see the peak of the tallest spire showing over the last ridge of bare, rocky ground, you slow down and proceed at a crouch. You make sure to keep the rocks between you and the hive. There’s a path that’s fairly well screened almost the whole way, although there are parts where you have to climb. You creep down it, making sure of your handholds, glancing occasionally at the lit windows of the rambling hive…

Careless with fatigue, you put your weight on a foothold without testing it, and it crumbles. Your numbed fingers slip from the rock. It’s not far to the next landing, but that turns out to be slick mud. You crash through the concealing scrub – grabbing at everything that might stop you and getting only handfuls of wet leaves – onto a steep slope of short grass and heather, in full view of the hive.

You basically roll ass-over-antlers down that like a big muddy ragdoll.

When you finally reach the bottom, you just lie spread-eagled for a minute, afraid to move and find out if you’ve broken anything, if you’ve been spotted, if there really is half a gorse bush up your sweater like you think there is. You just really wish you’d stayed home.

All is quiet. No new windows light up. No figures appear.

Okay, so maybe if you just… carefully, slowly get up… pick your route back to cover… move fast, being ready to drop prone at the first sign you’ve been seen…

You take one stride and sink knee-deep in a hole.

It takes all you’ve got to keep from screaming with frustration. It could be worse, you tell yourself. You could’ve broken your leg. This is just the rain-softened remains of an animal burrow, not a leftover trap with rusty spikes at the bottom. You’re fine. You just have to pull your leg out –

You just have to pull –

Pull it out –

Oh, come the fuck on.

8

Miscellaneous shots of plush baby bean bag Garak. He got a pair of pants today, and some neck ridges last night. Most of these are from before then but I figured I’d post some photos?
He’ll have a tunic and a whole Bashir eventually, haha

(Amigurumi Kali made for me by my friend Mab (@relevantbunny).  I totally had her username from somewhere else up here at first)

3

On a trip to the Blue Ridge Parkway last week, I saw my first black-throated green warbler of the year! Though it’s black throat is hidden in these photos, it was definitely the tell-tale field mark. They said Waterrock Knob was a warbler trap, and they were right!