I saw someone else share their one year streak and figured you all might find my inspirational as well. Up until age 35, I never ran more then a mile in my life. I just didn't think it was enjoyable to force myself to run that distance (or longer). But after gaining about 70 lbs from age 18-35 I realized I needed to do something. So my wife and I started running. Over the next six years we worked ourselves up to running a marathon. And I lost about 50lbs of that 70 I have gained since HS. But not being satisfied with my accomplishment, I searched for something else to do. So on January 1, 2016 I started my streak of at least one mile every day. Overall, it has been a huge positive to my life. I tell people all of the time that it is easier then you think. Getting up in the morning knowing you need to run at least a mile, takes so much pressure off of your life. Get up, run, feel better. Over the past five years I have been lucky enough to do most of my runs in Florida, with great (hot) weather. But here are some of the highlights if you will.
Have run on three different continents
One ocean - cruise ship
12 different countries
15 different states
Ran outside during two different hurricanes
Ran one week when the temperature was about 5 degrees Fahrenheit
13 marathons - 9 of them different (Ran Disney a lot)
I get migraines a lot, so my best guess is I have run with a migraine about 80-100 times. The running actually helps with the pain, but it comes right back after I stop
I have run over 2,000 miles in a year twice (that I tracked) and my guess is about 9,000 miles in total
I have run with a fever (cold/flu) about a dozen times.
Ran with a broken hand and cast for 6 weeks. Ran with a broken hand and no cast for one day. Also ran a marathon during this time (against the opinion of my Dr)
Ran before a surgery on broken hand (above) and then again 24 hours later with a numb arm after the surgery.
The best runs during this period were those runs on vacation in new areas. Going someplace you have never been before and waking up before the rest of the world and seeing "everything". Here are some of my most vivid memories
Historic Anacostia - Waking up early enough that it is just me and a few remaining drug dealers left on the street. As a white male in a predominately black neighborhood, the number of times I heard someone mention the cops when I was running past was very humerous.
Vegas strip - Similar to Anacostia, but with prostitutes. At 5am you tend to see a lot of women walking out of the casinos by themselves. They are all dressed well, and are carrying handbags with high heel shoes sticking out of the top of the bags
Salzburg Austria - had the opportunity to run through the hills and see sheep wandering around
Munich Germany - Outside of Munich had the opportunity to run through a few small villages and talk to a few locals that early. Also found a cemetery that overlooked three different villages. It was a spectacular view in a very serene environment
Paris - This is the city I have run the second most miles in. During runs you can go from parks to quaint little streets with bakeries that have been there for hundreds of years. The smell of flowers to flour be prepared. Everything about all of these runs has been spectacular.
NYC - This is the city that I have run most in. This is the only place I have run were I have been overwhelmed with people and distractions. It is one of my favorite places to run for that reason, but not somewhere I could run every day (that is relegated to my rural home in Florida).
Edit to add... Thanks for all the love. So here is a little bit more backstory to this. In my profession (Actuary) we have a professional journal that used to be printed on a bi-monthly basis. Years ago (maybe 2005) they did a feature on an actuary who had a running streak for 40+ years. At the time I was not a runner. But the story has stuck with me. His story was obviously much more extraordinary then mine. I do hope that I could encourage someone to take a similar journey.
The death of George Smith aboard a cruise ship on July 5th, 2005, is it another cruise ship suicide or foul play?
George Smith was an American man who, while on his honeymoon in 2005, was reported to have fallen overboard and drowned. Due to his remains never being located and the suspicious details of his apparent death the case remains unsolved. Background George Allen Smith was born on October 3rd, 1978. At the age of 26 he had been helping his family run their liquor store in Cos Cob, Connecticut. Described as clean-cut and smart, George was planning to take over the running of the liquor store once he had married his Fiancé, Jennifer Hagel. Jennifer Hagel was 25 in 2005 and was about to begin a job as a third grade teacher, she had studied and graduated from Roger William's university with a Masters in Education the year before. The couple had married in June 2005 in what friends and family described as a the perfect story-book wedding at the Inn at Castle Hill, Newport, Rhode Island. For their honeymoon, the couple had decided to take a Mediterranean Cruise. The Cruise Ship The Cruise Ship that the newlyweds would be travelling one was the 'Brilliance of the Seas', the ship is a 90,000 Ton, 292 meter cruise ship operated by Royal Carribean Cruises and in 2005 was operating the Mediterranean route between Italy, Greece and Turkey. With over 850 crew and capacity for more then 2,500 passengers on board, the ship is a large hotel complex at sea. The trip that George and Jennifer Smith elected to take was the longest of the trips offered at the time by the company, a two week round-trip that took in several stops in Italy, Greece and Turkey along the way. The Events of July 5th 2005 The couple had boarded the ship with thousands of others in Barcelona, just a few days after their wedding in late June. They were said to be very happy and quickly made friends with some other couples, notably fellow honeymooners Paul and Galina Kvitnisky who described them as normal down to earth people who were great to talk to. The Cruise Ship was travelling off the coast of Turkey on the night of July 4th. The Kvitniskys and the Smith's reportedly had dinner before going to the Casino around 1-2am on the morning of July 5th. The Kvitniskys later said that George was a competent gambler and with his Breitling watch and prosperous appearance he fit right in. While at the casino George met up with a friend he had made on the trip named Josh Askin, he was teaching him to play craps and Josh's friends, cousins Zachary and Greg Rozenburg joined them with their friend Rusty Kofman. This was apparently interrupted when George noticed a cruise ship employee was getting close with his wife. Witnesses later said that a Croupier named Lloyd Botah had been showing Jennifer a lot of attention as the night went on. A fellow cruise ship employee said that the nature of their relationship wasnt known to him but that what he had seen certainly went beyond professional boundaries. When the casino closed at 2:30am, George, Jennifer, Lloyd, Josh, Zach, Greg and Rusty all headed for the disco, sitting at a table together the group had been reportedly drinking absinthe that had been smuggled onboard when George got into an argument with Lloyd Botah about his conduct around Jennifer. The argument reportedly moved to the dance floor and Jennifer and George had a loud argument infront of everyone before she kicked him in the groin and stormed out of the disco. Lloyd Botah then left to follow Jennifer while a clearly drunk George was helped back to the table by the others. Shortly after the men were seen helping an unsteady George out of the disco. The 5 men walked back to George and Jennifer's Stateroom but when George saw that Jennifer wasnt there he became annoyed and set off to search for her, the other men later said they waited in the room until George returned and the men continued to drink. Clete Hyman, the man staying in the room next to George and Jennifer, reported that there was loud noises coming from the room next door around 3am, he later explained it sounded like a party or loud card game and had reported the couple previously on the trip for making a racket. Josh Askin, Greg and Zachary Rozenburg and Rusty Koffman all claim they left George alone in his room shortly after this complaint was made, Clete Hyman says he saw only three men leave the room at that time through his peep hole. Clete Hyman said he had then tried to return to bed but within a few minutes heard a loud thud, assuming someone had knocked something over or drunkenly collapsed he went to sleep. Jennifer Smith was found passed out drunk and lying in a hallway in another area of the ship by several crew members and was helped back to her room around 5am, she said that George wasnt there and she slept for a few hours before then waking in the morning and going to a spa despite not knowing where he was. When questioned later about this lack of concern for her husband, Jennifer explained that they had both slept in other staterooms at different times on the trip so she had assumed he had spent the night somewhere else. Before she had finished her massage at the spa, Jennifer Smith was paged over the ships intercom and summoned to her Stateroom. Blood had been found smeared on the canopy of a lifeboat that lay beneath the rooms balcony by a passing passenger and the ships captain had wanted to check that neither her or her husband had been injured. It was at this time it was discovered George was no longer onboard the ship and the alarm was raised. Investigation Jennifer Smith was taken ashore along with Josh Askin and they were both questioned by Turkish police within 24 hours of George's disappearance. Jennifer was found to have an alibi though it wasnt made public what this was other then the moment the crew members found her passed out in a hallway around 5am. Josh claimed that he and his 3 companions had returned to their rooms and ordered room service before staying up to watch tv, the Turkish police found that while calls had been made around the time they said, no food was recorded as having been delivered to them. Josh then reboarded the cruise ship to continue the journey while Jennifer immediately flew back to the U.S. It was 48 hours later that George was declared likely drowned at sea, his remains were never found. Josh, Greg, Zachary and Rusty were all expelled from the cruise ship several days later when they allegedly raped a female passenger and taped it on a camcorder they had with them. The Italian Police investigated this and once they reviewed the footage declared that no rape had occurred and the men and their families were put on a flight home. George's family arrived in Europe by the end of the week, appearing on tv appealing for information and passing out flyers to cruise ship passengers, they criticised openly at the time Jennifer's actions in flying home so quickly and not returning with them. Jennifer and George's family both stated at the time that they believed George had been murdered. Later Developments George's family found Jennifer becoming more distant and argumentative with them as the months went by, they said that she once became angry that they had used a cropped photo of George with Actress Tara Reid instead of a photo that included her for missing posters and badges. In 2006 the Family hired a private investigator, the investigator claimed they had information that indicated a video tape existed showing Jennifer having sex with other men prior to the night of George's disappearance, this tape failed to be located but some in the family have alleged it is in the possession of Royal Caribbean Cruises. Josh, Greg and Zachary later appeared on Geraldo Rivera and maintained the same story they had already told, Rusty didnt appear. In late 2006, Jennifer Hagel accepted a $1.1million settlement from Royal Caribbean Cruises, this was far beyond the legal required amount of $70,000 at the time. George's family criticised Jennifer for accepting the money and took her and Royal Carribean to court over the amount of money and the circumstances of the settlement, they alleged Jennifer was trying to avoid details of sexual affairs that occurred onboard during the cruise being made public. Jennifer stated shortly after receiving the settlement that George likely died as a result of a drunken accident. The FBI became involved shortly after George's disappearance and began a lengthy investigation which found evidence that the Turkish Police had missed. Blood stains were located inside the cabin as well as on the balcony above the lifeboat canopy. Most telling for the investigation was that the blood stain on the canopy was in the distinctive shape of a man, an unusual thing to be found in accidents on cruise ships, typically little blood is left when someone falls from a cruise ship at sea but this seemed to suggest George had already been bleeding badly when he had landed on the canopy and then had slipped off into the sea. The FBI investigation officially ended in 2015 finding they couldnt rule in the case in any way and returned an open finding. George's family immediately began petitioning the courts to refer the case to a new jurisdiction in order for it to be investigated. Theories George Accident George was heavily intoxicated according to witnesses and cctv from the cruise ship on the night of July 5th, it is possible like in many circumstances of deaths on Cruise Ships that he had stumbled over the Balcony railing and to his death before eventually sliding off of the canopy and into the sea. This is disputed by his family but supported by the accounts of Josh, Greg, Zachary, Rusty and Jennifer. George Suicide George may have been despondent about Jennifer leaving the Disco with Lloyd Botah on the night of July 5th, once he was alone in the stateroom and began to sober up he could have been overcome with grief at the failing of his marriage and considering the alleged other sexual partners she had on the trip likely had become depressed and jumped from the balcony, in the dark he may not have seen the canopy below and lay there injured or dead for some time before falling from it into the sea. George Murdered George may have gotten into an altercation with whichever of the men had remained behind on the night of July 5th, Clete Hyman has said only 3 left but never publicly identified who he didnt see leaving. George may have been attacked or robbed by the man who stayed behind only to die and then be thrown from the balcony in an attempt to cover up the crime. It has also been alleged that he may have gotten into an argument with Jennifer due to her whereabouts not being publicly known while the Turkish Police have said they were satisfied her movements had been accounted for. Lloyd Botah had also been suggested as a suspect in the case as he and George had already almost come to blows earlier that morning, his whereabouts on July 5th after leaving the Disco have not been made public. Regardless of the circumstances of his murder, Georges family supports the theory he met his end through foul play and people close to him that night have answers. Jennifer Later Developements Jennifer later went back to being known as Jennifer Hagel, left the search in 2007 and went to work at the Michael J Fox Foundation for Parkinsons Research in New York. She then moved to Fairfield, Connecticut to work with Near and Far Aid, a non-profit that supports the homeless. In 2009, Jennifer Hagel married Jeff Agne, a Financial Advisor who worked in Global Healthcare Equities for Pinebridge Investments. The couple went on to have three children as of 2015, Jennifer's family said they couldnt be happier that she has moved on with her life. The Death of Greg Rozenburg 15 years after George was lost at sea, Greg Rozenburg was murdered on the doorstep of his home by an unknown perpetrator or perpetrators. Police in Davie, Broward County, Florida said in September of 2020 that they hoped their continued investigation into Greg's death might reveal more about George's. Conclusion George Smith's case remains unresolved, it has torn family and friends apart and set different jurisdictions investigations at odds with each other. Without his remains being found it's unlikely a satisfactory conclusion could ever be reached in this case. What do you believe happened to George Smith on July 5th, 2005? Wikipedia Link News Article Photo of Bloodstained Canopy below balcony
Stories of what happened to the Covenant Contingent that tried to enter earth in the year 2020
In the year 2020, when humans gave themselves a virus named after a beer company and were having race wars and WW3s, the Covenant actually made an effort to try and research and do shit on Earth, and learn about humans. They all died but were never seen in public eye. Here is a list of all the incidents. Covenant Team 1 - Covenant Team 1 landed near a furry convention, and no one knew they were aliens. While they were in the convention, they got raped by furries and died. Covenant Team 2 - Team 2 landed in Florida, and were eaten on a barbecue in Miami. The Sangheilli were served as, "Dinosaur crocodile" alongside stuffed crocodile meat, Unggoy served as appetizers, and Kig-Yar served as turkey. Covenant Team 3 - Team 3 was filled with brutes, and they landed in the Cincinnati Zoo. They were shot immediately, being mistaken for gorillas. Covenant Team 4 - They landed in Brazil. No one knows what happened to them. No one knows what happens in Brazil Covenant Team 5 - Landed in California, died of regret, cringe, embarrassment, and more. Covenant Team 6 - Landed in China, were immediately sent to internment camps but the CCP has denied all allegations. Covenant Team 7 - Landed near Area 51, at first the Air Force did find them, but since weed is legal in Nevada they were all high and decided to take them to Las Vegas and the casinos, the Covenant gambled all their credits and are now rich, but whatever happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas. So the Covenant Team still can't get out. Covenant Team 8 - Landed in India Covenant Team 9 - Landed in South Korea and got addicted to KPOP, died because they realized that however much they stan their favorite bans, the KPOP bands don't give a shit about them Covenant Team 10 - Landed in Britian, died immediately Covenant Team 11 - Landed in Tom Cruise's home Covenant Team 12 - Landed in Japan and got addicted to 2D waifus, died realizing 2D waifus aren't real, and their body pillows won't come to life. Covenant Team 13 - Landed at some kid's birthday party, got killed because the kids thought they were pinatas. Covenant Team 14 - Landed in France and became baguettes.
Warning: massive amount of text ahead. I created a mostly functional race route around the world (all loactions like buildings, businesses, landmarks, etc. are REAL locations and could theoretically actually work in the race). I tried to have a good variety in locations and types of challenges, but it's really hard! I find it a lot harder to complain about challenge design after making this. Even though this could technically happen there are probably some safety concerns in going to South Africa and Lesotho and it's probably not possible for the American Amazing Race to film in Cuba, but I decided to do it anyway. If you have any questions or feedback please let me know! RACE #2 Leg 1 (USA - Japan) Leg 2 (Japan - South Korea) Leg 3 (South Korea - India) Leg 4 (India - Oman) Leg 5 (Oman) Leg 6 (Oman - South Africa) Leg 7 (South Africa - Lesotho) Leg 8 (Lesotho - Greece) Leg 9 (Greece) Leg 10 (Greece - North Macedonia) Leg 11 (North Macedonia - Cuba) Leg 12 (Cuba - USA) LEG 1 USA - Japan Start at Cloud Gate, Chicago, Illinois Run to clue at Millenium Monument Clue #1 Make your way to the Gunma region of Japan, and travel to Sarugakyu Onsen. However, to get your tickets to Japan, you must make your way on foot through the busy streets of Chicago to Navy Pier, where flights will be given out according to the order of your arrival. Flights go to Tokyo, and you must make your own travel arrangements from there. Flight 1 (5 teams): Chicago - Los Angeles - Tokyo, arrives 8:00 AM Flight 2 (4 teams): Chicago - Tokyo, arrives 9:30 AM Flight 3 (2 teams): Chicago - San Francisco - Tokyo, arrives 9:45 AM Clue #2 Both team members must go into the hot springs and search it for the partly submerged cluebox to get your next clue. Clue #3 Travel to Sarugakyo Bungy for your next clue. Clue #4 Roadblock: Who’s ready to take a jump? Bungy jump at the largest bungy jump in all of Japan at 62 meters, or over 200 feet! Once you’ve taken your leap of faith, you’ll receive your next clue. Clue #5 Travel to Uenokunirokunomiya Haruna Shrine, Takasaki, for your next clue. Clue #6 Create one string of paper cranes in Senbazuru. Senbazuru is the crafting of 1000 paper cranes for good luck. Following the demonstration, learn how to craft paper cranes. Once you have created forty of them and strung them together, deliver them to a Shinto priest at Akiba Shrine. He will give you your next clue. Clue #7 Travel by train to Akihabara, Tokyo, and go to the top of the Tokyo Skytree to receive your next clue. Clue #8 Roadblock: Who can ‘go’ kart? The teammate who did the first roadblock cannot do this one. Travel to Akihabari Street Kart 1 and dress up in one of the many ridiculous costumes the company has to offer. Then, join a fifteen minute go-karting tour around the streets of this bustling region and look for three enormous signs in race colors with three different Japanese characters on them. If you can spot and write all three characters down correctly during the rush of Tokyo, you’ll receive your next clue. If you can’t get it right, you’ll have to join the next available tour. Clue #9 Travel to Horin Park on foot to find the first pit stop! The last team to check in here may be eliminated. Pit Stop, Leg 1 trip to Canada last: eliminated LEG 2 Japan - South Korea Clue #1 Fly to Busan, South Korea! Upon arrival, make your way to Beomeo-sa for your next clue. Fast Forward, Leg 2 Go to Songdo Beach and swim out into the ocean, locating the five whale statues in the water. At each statue, pick up marked letter tiles. Once you have all seven (two statues have two tiles), you can go back to the beach and unscramble the letters that spell out the name of a traditional South Korean delicacy that the other contestants eat at their first challenge. If you get the right word, you’ll be given a clue that takes you straight to the end of the leg. Clue #2 Master the art of Korean meditation. If you can master all of the moves correctly, then your instructor will give over your next clue. Clue #3 Head to Taejongdae for your next clue. Clue #4 Roadblock: Who’s desperate to eat? Take the marked path over one mile uphill to the marked food stand, and finish one serving of Soondae, a traditional South Korean delicacy that is made of pig intestines and pork blood. Once you have finished the food, you can run down to your partner and get your next clue. Clue #5 Take the Songdo Marine Cable Car from Songnim Park to Amnam Park to receive your next clue. Clue #6 Detour: Fish Identity or Fish Delivery Fish Identity: Go to Jagalchi Fish Market and search for the marked stall. Once there, sort an enormous box of fish and organize them. Once the stall owner approves, put them up for stock in the stall to receive your next clue. Fish Delivery: Go to Jacky’s Seafood and take three orders and three addresses that need to be delivered. Once you have delivered all the fish to all the correct addresses throughout the Gamcheon Culture Village, you will receive your next clue. Clue #7 Make your way to the pit-stop at Haedong Yonggungsa. The last team to arrive may be eliminated. Pit-Stop, Leg 2 -first: trip to Belize -last: non-elimination LEG 3 South Korea - India Clue #1 Fly to Hyderabad, India, and go to the Charminar for your first clue. Clue #2 Travel to Ramoji Film City Main Entrance to receive your next clue. Speed Bump, Leg 3 Make your way to Saha’s Adventure Park and zorb down a steep hill. Once you’ve made it, you can continue racing. Clue #3 Detour: Birdy Woods or Bollywood Birdy Woods: Dressing up in clumsy bird costumes, search through Asia’s largest aviary for a cutout of the bird your partner is dressing up as. Once you’ve found the two cutouts, head to the Bonsai Garden. If you match the right bird, you’ll receive your next clue. Bollywood: Head to Ramoji Movie Magic. Dressing up in traditional Indian outfits, memorize a short dance to the tune of some Bollywood music and perform it to the live audience and judges. If you meet their standards, you’ll receive your next clue. Clue #4 Head to Nehru Zoological Park where your next clue will be waiting. Clue #5 Take an amazing elephant ride! With both teammates on the elephant’s back guide it through a short course. If you can reach the end in under two minutes, you’ll receive your next clue. Clue #6 Make your way to Bidar Fort by public transport for your next clue. Clue #7 Roadblock: Who’s itching to get etching? One team member must help in the process of the creation of bidriware. First, you must chisel one section in the piece of bidriware very precisely. Any error and you must restart. If given the clear, then you must then make their way inside Bidar Fort and collect a total of three baskets of soil for the artisans to use later in the process. Finally, you must use some of the soil you collected and coat a piece of bidriware in it. If every part of the challenge was done to the satisfaction of the artisans, you will receive your next clue. Clue #8 Make your way to the Bahmani Tombs and the pit-stop! The last team to arrive will be eliminated. Pit-Stop, Leg 3 -first: trip to Japan -last: eliminated LEG 4 India - Oman Clue #1 Fly to Muscat, Oman! Once you have arrived, make your way to Al Alam Palace, where you will find marked cars waiting outside. Your clue will be waiting on the car. Clue #2 Drive all the way to the Nizwa Souq in Nizwa, Oman, where you will find nine different tags, each releasing teams at different times the next morning, when you will be given your next clue. Tag 1: departure at 7:00 AM Tag 2: departure at 7:05 AM Tag 3: departure at 7:10 AM Tag 4: departure at 7:15 AM Tag 5: departure at 7:20 AM Tag 6: departure at 7:25 AM Tags 7-9: departure at 7:30 AM Clue #3 Detour: Selling Goats or Weighing Dates Selling Goats: Navigate through the souq to the weekly goat market. You must select a seller and help them sell their goats. First, thoroughly clean five goats so they are ready for selling. Then, parade five goats around the “walking circle,” where potential buyers will inspect which goats to buy. You must finally buy a goat yourself, haggling for a price under 100 riyals, or 260 US dollars. Once you can purchase a goat, you will receive your next clue. Keep the goat for the next challenge. Weighing Dates: Find the marked stall in the souq that is selling dates. Your goal is to weigh out 200 grams of Ajwa Dates, 175 grams of Barhi Dates, and 125 grams of Hayani Dates. To do this, you must travel across the market to a scale at a different date stall. If you can get the perfect amount of dates, you will receive your next clue. Keep the dates for the next challenge. Clue #4 Travel on foot to the Contemporary Mosque with either your goat or dates and trade them with the man waiting out front for your next clue. Clue #5 Make your way back to the souq, and head to Omani Craftsman's House where you will find your next clue. Clue #6 Roadblock: Who can work and weave? The teammate participating in this roadblock must help create a small basketwork bowl. After watching the example, you must use the provided materials to finish off the bowl. If it meets the requirement of the shop owner, you will receive your next clue. Clue #7 Make your way to the pit-stop for this leg of the race, Nizwa Fort! The last team to arrive may be eliminated. Pit-Stop, Leg 4 -first: continue racing -last: continue racing LEG 5 Oman Clue #1 Drive yourself to Bimmah Sinkhole in Muscat, Oman! You will receive your next clue after having a cup of delicious locally-made coffee. Caution! Double U-Turn ahead! Clue #2 Detour: Script Write or Shipwright Script Write: Drive to Bait al Zubair and go into the Manuscript Room. Using a provided paper and translation guide, figure out what the marked manuscript says in English. If anything is wrong when submitting it, though, you must start completely over. Shipwright: Drive to Oman Maritime Boatyard and find the marked boat. Oman Maritime has been reviving the craft of making the traditional wooden boats of Oman’s past, and you must help with the process. First, you must hand-sand a small section of the marked vessel. Then, you and your partner must work together to stitch coconut palm fiber through twenty holes, or eighty total stitches. Once you’re done, you’ll receive your next clue. Clue #3 Make your way to Mutrah Souk for your next clue and the U-Turn board! Clue #4 Search through the enormous market for one of three marked stalls. One you’ve found a stall, search through their wares for a trinket with a red/yellow flag on the bottom. Give the correct trinket to the shop owner, and they will hand you your next clue. Clue #5 Drive yourself to Qurum Beach, where you will receive your next clue. Clue #6 Roadblock: Who will pass the shells? For this challenge, one team member must watch the demonstration of two fishermen playing a traditional Omani game, Al Hawalees. You must first create a “board” in the sand and collect the required amount of shells to play. You must then challenge a local fisherman. If you can win while following all of the rules correctly, you will receive your next clue. Clue #7 Make your way to the pit-stop at Wadi Bani Khalid. The last team to check in will be eliminated. Pit-Stop, Leg 5 -first: trip to Tanzania -last: eliminated LEG 6 Oman - South Africa Clue #1 Fly out of Oman to Durban, South Africa, on one of two flights. Flight 1 (2 teams): Muscat - Durban, arrives 7:30 AM Flight 2 (6 teams): Muscat - Dar es Salaam - Durban, arrives 8:00 AM Upon touching down, make your way to Moses Mabhida Stadium, where you will find your next clue. Clue #2 Roadblock: Who will swing for the skies? One team member must strap in and complete the Big Rush Big Swing, the largest swing in the world! Dive 263 feet down. Once you have finished the swing, you will receive a section and seat number. You will search the stands for your next clue. Clue #3 Make your way to Umhlanga Lighthouse for your next clue. Clue #4 Shake it up! In this challenge, you must create Lighthouse Bar’s famous “Umhlanga Schling.” Use the provided recipe to create fifteen drinks to perfection, and you will receive your next clue. Clue #5 Head to Addington Beach and dig underneath one of the large sandcastles for your next clue. Clue #6 Detour: Tree or Sea Tree: For this detour, go to Durban Botanical Gardens. Use a provided golf cart to make your way to the famous Wood’s Cycad, a tree dating back to the age of dinosaurs. It has been cared for here since 1848. Once there, use one of the provided pieces to put together a large 3d puzzle of the tree. Once it has been approved, you will be handed your clue, and you can drive back to the front of the gardens and continue racing. Sea: Go to uShaka Marine World and help out with some chores! First, help the kitchen staff and prepare 5 pounds of specially made vegetables for some of the aquarium’s fish. Second, travel around the park and take water samples from each of the specified exhibits. Finally, record blood test results taken during routine health check-ups. If you’ve completed all of the steps correctly, you will receive your next clue. Clue #7 Head to the pit-stop at Suncoast Casino and Entertainment World! The last team to check in may be eliminated. Pit-Stop, Leg 6 -first: 5k each -last: eliminated LEG 7 South Africa - Lesotho Clue #1 Drive yourself through Qacha’s Nek and into Lesotho! Once in Lesotho, drive yourself to Maletsunyane Falls where you’ll find your next clue. Fast Forward, Leg 7 By completing this fast forward, you will skip an overnight rest point and will be able to head directly to the pit-stop. Head to Sehlabathebe National Park. Once there, using the provided map and compass, ride by horseback to the nomadic tribal people’s current village. At the village, help cook pap-pap, a type of porridge common in Lesotho. The first team to complete the challenge will be able to head directly to the pit-stop. Clue #2 Drive yourself to Seshoeshoe Decor and Fashion Designers in Maseru for your next clue. Clue #3 Who can cut up a pattern? One teammate will choose one of the complicated tribal Lesotho designs, and must find five pieces of fabric that match it perfectly. But be careful, the designs have miniscule differences between them. Once you’ve found all of your fabric, cut them at the directed places to receive your next clue. Clue #4 Make your way to the Subeng River Dinosaur Footprints, where you will find seven tags, each releasing you at a time in the morning when you will receive your next clue. Tags 1-2: departure at 7:00 AM Tag 3: departure at 7:20 AM Tag 4: departure at 7:40 AM Tags 5-7: departure at 8:00 AM Clue #5 Detour: Cave or Maze Cave: For this challenge, go to Liphofung Cave. You must memorize all of the rock paintings in a specified section (15 paintings), and then run approximately a quarter-mile away and select the correct paper cutouts and put them in the right order as they were shown in the cave. When you have everything selected and ordered correctly, you’ll receive your next clue. Maze: Make your way to the second largest dam in Africa, Katse Dam. Enter the first marked gallery and record the air temperature and the humidity. Use those observations to crack a complicated code, and enter the parallel gallery it directs you into. Be careful, it might be hard to find! If you enter the correct gallery, you will find a boat key, which you must give to the boatmaster. He will then give you a small ride around the reservoir and you’ll receive your next clue. Clue #6 Drive yourself to Sani Stone Lodge for your next clue. Clue #7 Help a local Basotho Shephard and their dogs move their sheep to a new grazing location. Don’t let the sheep get away! Once they’ve all been successfully moved, you’ll receive your next clue. Clue #8 Make your way on foot to the pit-stop at Sani Top Chalet! The last team to check in may be eliminated! Pit-Stop, Leg 7 -first: trip to Egypt -last: non-elimination LEG 8 Lesotho - Greece Clue #1 Via Maseru International Airport, make your way to Athens, Greece, known to be the home of the first democracy! From there, make your way to the Theatre of Dionysus on The Acropolis, where you will take part in a U-Turn vote. The two teams with the most votes will be sentenced to an automatic U-Turn when they arrive at the detour. After the vote, teams will be given their next clue. Clue #2 Fly to Chania, Greece on the island of Crete! Upon touching down, use the provided cars to make your way to the Agora and search for the marked stall. Speed Bump, Leg 8 Together, team members must eat through a total of twelve Greek figs. Once all of the fruits have been stomached, that team can continue racing. Clue #3 Detour: Traverse or Immerse Traverse: Make your way to the Maritime Museum of Crete, and find the small yacht model outside the museum. Your goal is to remember as much as you can without writing it down, then make a half mile walk through the streets of Crete to the yacht harbor, where you must find a marked yacht and rearrange the items until it is just like it was in the model. Once the actual yacht matches the model, you’ll receive your next clue. Immerse: Travel to Minoan’s World 3D Museum, and get treated to a five minute long “9D movie” on Cretan History which engages all of your senses. If you can answer all five questions correctly, you’ll receive your next clue. However, only two teams can participate in the show at once. Clue #4 Drive to the Palace of Knossos for your next clue. Clue #5 Use the provided map to navigate through the ruins, collecting puzzle pieces at each of the marked rooms. Once you have all ten bundles of pieces, head outside and recreate the large painting using the pieces you collected. Once it has been finished, you’ll receive your next clue. Clue #6 Drive to Cretan Olive Oil Farm for your next clue. Clue #7 Roadblock: Who is feeling oily? In this challenge, one teammate will help in the process of creating olive oil. First, set up special tree-shaking equipment and a net, used to efficiently get olives out of the tree without bruising them. You will then sort the olives between bruised and fair. Finally, crush both bruised and fair olives with a traditional granite olive press. Once they have been successfully grinded into a paste, you’ll receive your next clue. Clue #8 Find the pit-stop along the coast of the small village of Loutro back on the west side of Crete. You will soon discover, however, that the village is completely blocked off from the mainland by mountains, so you will have to find alternate transportation. Hurry, because the last team to arrive will be eliminated. Pit-Stop, Leg 8 -first: trip to Austria -last: eliminated LEG 9 Greece Clue #1 Fly back to the mainland in Thessaloniki! When you’ve arrived, search Aristotelous Square for your next clue. Clue #2 Detour: Serve or Observe Serve: For this detour head on foot to Bougatsa Giannis, a renowned restaurant in the Ladadika area. You must take the orders of twelve total people and retrieve the correct dishes for them from the kitchen. Each person also has a dessert, which must be retrieved from nearby pastry shop Trigona Elinidi. You may take notes, but if you mess up someone’s order, you must start it over again. Observe: Go by taxi to the Thessaloniki Science Centre Technology Museum and make your way to the main planetarium. The night sky will be projected above, and will be moving around you at one hour of regular movement per second. Using the provided key, identify five Greek constellations first identified by Claudius Ptolemy- Orion, Ursa Major, Cassiopeia, Centaurus, and Perseus. Be careful, it might be dizzying! Once you’ve found all of the constellations, you’ll be rewarded with your next clue. Clue #3 Find the Arch of Galerius for your next clue. Clue #4 Use one of the marked cars to drive yourself for the rest of the leg. Go to the Thessaloniki Concert Hall for your next clue. Clue #5 Roadblock: Who can blow a note and hold a tune? Macedonian brass bands are extremely popular in the Macedonia region of Greece, so for this roadblock, learn how to play the trumpet, a popular instrument played in these bands. If you can play a few notes of the folk song with the band, you’ll get your next clue. Clue #6 Drive to Dalamara Winery. Once there, follow the guide to the directed area, where you must load two empty kegs onto a horse drawn cart. Direct the horse approximately half a mile through the vineyard and return back to the kegs. You will continue to load and deliver a total of eight kegs to receive your next clue. Clue #7 Drive to Ski Center Voras and take the lift to the top where Kajmakcalan, a chapel right on the border between Greece and North Macedonia is situated. The last team to arrive at this pit-stop may be eliminated. Pit-Stop, Leg 9 -first: trip to Colombia -last: eliminated LEG 10 Greece - North Macedonia Clue #1 Drive yourself across the border into North Macedonia to Popova Kula Winery! Once there, pull a tag that departs you at a certain time the next morning. Tag 1: departure at 8:00 AM Tag 2: departure at 8:10 AM Tag 3: departure at 8:20 AM Tags 4-5: departure at 8:30 AM Clue #2 Roadblock: Who is a master chef? The teammate doing this roadblock will use the provided recipe to cook the national dish of North Macedonia, Tavche Gravche, a special type of baked beans. If it is cooked to perfection, you’ll receive your next clue. Clue #3 Drive yourself to the Millenium Cross in Skopje for your next clue. Clue #4 Detour: Art Block or Charity Walk Art Block: Drive to the Art Bridge, which is home to 29 statues of important Macedonian artists and musicians. Wandering on and around the bridge are 29 people dressed up as those artists and musicians. You must match nine total people to their statues. A maximum of three teams can complete this challenge. Charity Walk: Drive to the Mother Teresa Memorial House and load a trolley cart with a marked group of items that will almost completely fill the trolley. On foot, travel to the SOS Children’s Village National Office where you are to deliver the items. If you do not choose this option, your items will still be donated after the leg. Clue #5 Drive to the city of Struga, where the North Macedonian national anthem was created. Make your way to the Saint Archangel Michael Cave Church for your next clue. Clue #6 Teammates must work together to memorize four total stanzas of the Macedonian national anthem- in Macedonian. If you can perform it with the orchestra without forgetting the lyrics, you’ll receive your clue to the next pit-stop. Clue #7 Drive to the Monastery of St. Naum and the pit-stop! The last team to check in may be eliminated. Pit-Stop, Leg 10 -first: trip to Indonesia -last: eliminated LEG 11 North Macedonia - Cuba Clue #1 Make your way back to Skopje, then fly to Havana, Cuba, on two predetermined flights. Once there, go by taxi to Taller Calle 8, a car repair shop, where you will receive your next clue. Flight 1 (2 teams): Skopje - Paris - Havana, arrives 6:30 AM Flight 2 (2 teams): Skopje - London - Miami - Havana, arrives 7:10 AM Clue #2 Roadblock: Who can fix it up? The teammate doing this roadblock must follow the example to repair one of the classic Cuban cars. If it makes it past inspection, you’ll receive your next clue. Clue #3 For the remainder of the leg, you’ll have to drive the car you just fixed. Head to Fusterlandia, where you’ll find your next clue. Clue #4 Find where the attached image is in person throughout the folk neighborhood of Fusterlandia. If you can find where the image actually is and show the judge, you’ll receive your next clue. Clue #5 Sell the Box or Find the Band Sell the Box: Drive to Santa Maria del Mar Beach and sell the provided boxes of boxed rum, the “juice box for bug kids.” While never selling any box for under 25 Cuban Pesos, make 375 Cuban Pesos (around fifteen US dollars). Once you’ve made your sales, you’ll receive your next clue. Find the Band: For this detour, drive to the Cuban Art Factory and observe the large, marked piece of sheet music in the first room. Going from room to room in the factory, try to find the band who is playing the music that was in the first room. You must make your guesses ten minutes apart, so be confident in your answers! Once you have chosen the right band, you’ll be rewarded with your next clue. Clue #6 Drive to Vinales Valley Tobacco Field and search the marked area for your next clue. Clue #7 Perfectly roll ten Cuban cigars, five per contestant. Watch the example closely, as any small mistake in rolling the tobacco leaf will cause the cigar to fail. Once all of the cigars have been perfectly rolled, you’ll receive your next clue. Clue #8 Take a long drive to the eastern side of Cuba and the pit-stop at Ignacio Agramonte Park in Camaguey! The last team to check into the pit-stop will be eliminated. Pit-Stop, Leg 11 -first: trip to Botswana -last: eliminated LEG 12 Cuba - USA Clue #1 For the first part of this leg, you’ll be staying in Cuba! Drive yourself using the car you used in the last leg down Neptuno street in Havana, where you will find a guarapo stall with a flag. Clue #2 Using the hand-press to crush sugarcane, make forty glasses of guarapo. Once all of the glasses have been successfully made, you’ll be handed your next clue. Clue #3 Drive to the Tropicana Night Club for your next clue. Clue #4 Roadblock: Who can make it and shake it? For this challenge, one team member must follow the instructions of the costume designer to create a costume for one of the showgirls. If the costume is made correctly and given a pass, teams will be given their next clue. Clue #5 Teams must drive to Aeropuerto de La Habana Ciudad Libertad, where you will embark on a charter flight to Key West, Florida, back in the United States. Once in Key West, teams must go to the southernmost point in the continental United States for their next clue. Clue #6 Make your way to the Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum, where you’ll find your next clue. Clue #7 Roadblock: Who is a reader, a writer, and a decipherer? Ernest Hemingway, known for books like The Old Man and the Sea, had a notoriously bad handwriting, with little regards to punctuation or accuracy. One team member must copy one of Hemingway’s notes perfectly, letter for letter, on the provided typewriter. If it was typed perfectly, you will be handed a decoder key which you can use to find the hidden message, which will reveal the location of your final challenge. Answer: Smathers Beach Clue #8 Now that you’ve made it to Smathers Beach, you’ll partake in a final challenge. Out in between the marked buoys are bundles of letter tiles. You must dive down to retrieve them and bring them back up to shore. Figure out what you’re supposed to spell out with them, and once you think you have the answer, hang the tiles in order on your clothesline. If you have the correct answer, you’ll be given the final clue. Answer: United States, Japan, South Korea, India, Oman, South Africa, Lesotho, Greece, North Macedonia, Cuba, United States (teams must figure out that they have to spell out all of the countries they visited in order on the race) Clue #9 Congratulations! Make your way to the final pit-stop at Fort Zachary Cruise Pier! Go, go, go, the first team to reach the pit-stop will win 1 MILLION dollars! Pit-Stop, Leg 12 10 countries 4 continents over 27,000 miles first: 1 million dollars
Florida is a beautiful state which gets way too much undeserved crap.
I always hear people talk about how garbage Florida is and talk about it like its hell on earth. Heard it described as the waiting place for old people to go and die. I have spent a few months there over the years and I completely disagree. This was all pre covid just for the record and written from a tourist perspective who has been there several times throughout the years. I have been lucky enough to visit several cities in Florida and even drove up the coast which was amazing. Spent time in Miami which has the most beautiful beaches ever (specifically south beach). I literally spent most of the day jumping into the waves and the warm water was amazing. I actually liked the water there better than the Caribbean because it wasnt as salty. Miami is just a beautiful city the way it is designed, the houses near the water, the whole strip of South Beach has such a great vibe. Also been to Daytona which had great beaches and beautiful weather. There are lots of great fun things to do all over Florida like Disney, Universal studios, theme parks all over. Even stopped at a mini casino and won enough cash for a free dinner. I took a 7 day cruise out of their to the Caribbean that was very cheap out of Fort Lauderdale I believe. People who live there have so much fun stuff to do. I rented a car and drove all along the coast and it was gorgeous, the scenery was nice and there were tourist stuff to do everywhere. The weather was beautiful pretty much every day I was there. I always hear people also say how the people in Florida are mean and not friendly. My wife was doing her PhD at university of Central Florida many years back. I went to the university and got a chance to meet people there she knew. All were very friendly. Almost every person I met there was actually very friendly. We even went to downtown Disney just scrolling around and one person cam up and gave us movie tickets because they had to leave. We thanked them very much and watched a movie. We came out and some other stranger cam up to us and said they had to leave to get a flight and gave us cirque de sala (sp) tickets which we were very surprised but grateful for. The tickets were in the second row ( was an awesome show) and the people who gave us the tickets were very kind and very nice. The one bad thing about Florida i would say is the extreme weather. There was a hurricane when my wife was there and she had to go to a gym (luckily they were all ok but their was a lot of property damage). I remember during the housing crisis of 2008 houses were so cheap and I really regret not buying a place there. Still might retire there someday.
In todays log we will discuss the fluffy’s second most common killer. Humans. But before we do that I would like to explain more of the fluffy’s biology. The nutrition of the fluffy in the Neverglades is actually quite good. They are omnivores believe it or not. Meat does have some vital vitamins that they require to sustain good nutrition. However, they can have a full vegetarian diet and survive, however, their muscles and digestive system will not be up to par. Fluffy’s from the north tend to have lots of diarrhea, that is what happens if their only food source is just milk or just grass. Grass is low in fiber and nutrients compared to other vegetables so it is no wonder northern feral fluffy’s defecation is mostly liquid. In Florida, they can eat pond apples. A very bitter but still nutritious cousin of the apples we know and love. Fluffies don’t seem to mind the bitter taste, however, that is because they are feral. Pond apples were given to domestic fluffies and they rejected it. As ferals they will make the most out of any flavor. Other fruits they can eat are seagrapes, coconuts, and the thousands of orange, lime, and peach trees left over from the farms. Such trees are now spreading all throughout the Neverglades. As for meat, they have 2 main sources. Other fluffies, foals, and insects. They will munch on the countless grasshoppers, ants, beetles, and any other small arthropod. So I guess fluffies are above at least bugs in the food chain, however there are plenty of insects that can eat them if they have large numbers. With such a balanced diet, mares rarely have stillborns or defective foals! Also these Neverglade fluffy fecal matter is solid. Their rear ends still get covered in the stuff however… The Neverglades have countless factions that scour the land. Keep in mind fluffies are biologically programmed to love humans unconditionally. Most feral fluffies have never seen a human and yet they still crave their love. Our drones have caught them murmuring to themselves that they want a “hooman huggies.” Humans are practically mythical gods to them at this point. When they do see one, they will become overjoyed and charge towards them asking for “huggies” and “gib upsies.” The human almost always kills them. After a few foul encounters with a human a fluffy will learn to fear us, unfortunately, they can’t seem to teach other fluffies that lesson. In parenthesis is how their standings are with fluffies, from most friendly to least it goes Loving-neutral-aggressive-hostile. Researchers (Neutral): Us, we do not kill fluffies unless required for an experiment or if we are low on food supplies. Rangers (Aggressive): These are the park Rangers, they are one half invasive species hunter, one half SWAT team. They will kill any python, boar, Nile crocodile, or iguana they come across. As for fluffies, they used to kill on sight, but the fluffy population always seemed to bounce back. They were spending countless dollars on ammo and trying to club a whole herd to death could take hours. And again, the fluffies always bounced back, always. They deemed it pointless unless using them for target practice. Also, they will kill them if bored. (Video plays, it seems to be from a phone) Filming Ranger: Duuuuddee got the ‘nade? A herd off fluffies are running to them in the distance, feint “huggies” and “upsies” can be heard. Other Ranger: Yeah dude! Fuckin’ watch. (Now Shouting) HEY FLUFFS, PLAY WITH BALL! He pulls the pin to the grenade and throws it at the herd. The fluffies shout “yay baww! fank 'ou.” They played with the grenade for only a second before it went off, causing blood, shit, fur, and dead foals to coat the surrounding land. The explosion was followed by the roaring laughter of the Rangers. (Video Ends) Armed with assault rifles and large artillery, the Rangers are also in the Neverglades to stop the Cuban Cartels, Brofluff Cultists, Anarchists, malfunctioning robots, and any other nefarious activity in the Neverglades. [Redacted] Man (Extremely hostile, even to [Redacted]!): [Redacted] Man is [Redacted], im*e#sely da^ng3r&s [Red4c1ed] d0 4OT A9pr0c#----- Squatters (Hostile): Not everyone took kindly to evacuate all land south of Lake Okeechobee order. Many demanded to say, and the governor obliged, however, he warned them that there would be no police force or fire fighters to protect them, or corporations to supply jobs. Over the years many Squatters moved back to the inhabited parts of Florida such as the pan handle after life got too rough. Not only that, many Squatters have been killed by the Cartels, Anarchists, and even panthers and black bears. The Fort of Fort Myers was completely destroyed by [Redacted] Man. Which used to be the largest Squatter stronghold. Now they are sparse and no longer live in large communities, instead they live more of a hermit life. Fluffies are their main source of meat. They will hunt them; such a task is easily done with fluffies prancing to them. But they will also construct traps. The most effective is a Comfortfluffy. Think of it like a scarecrow but opposite. It is human effigy that it is made to attract Fluffies. As they approach the comfortfluffy, the fluffies will try to hug it. At the base of the comfortfluffy is a large mouse trap device hidden under pine needles. Such a device can kill 5 fluffies in 1 activation. (Video starts) A Comfortfluffy is erected in the backyard of an isolated house in a grassland. Around the Comfortfluffy is tan palmfrawns that hide the killing mechanism. There is even a small radio hidden in the chest of the Comfortfluffy playing songs one would hear on Fluffy TV. A small pack of 5 adult fluffies with 2 mares with foals on their backs happily waddle towards the comfortfluffy shouting “huggies!” They begin to nudge the pants of the comfortfluffy and although metal creaking sounds could be heard, the trap does not activate. Then one of the fluffies begins to jump while singing “upsies!” The jump was just the pressure needed to activate the trap. A rusty screech is heard as the trap activates and 4 mouse trap-like bars swing down around the comfortfluffy. The cheers of the fluffies turn to a quick shriek, a loud crack, followed by some meek crying. 3 of the fluffies died on impact, their scull or chest cavity popped like a pimple. The 2 that survived had their hind ends crushed and their entrails shot out their rear. “Big owwies!!!” They meekly cried as the life in them slowly drained. The Foals that got hit by the bars were completely obliterated. The ones that were not hit were completely unscathed, however, they began to cry about everyone taking the “foweba sweepies.” As shadow then looms over them. “Sandra! Were havin’ foal stew tonight!” (Video ends) Cuban Cartels (Hostile): Even after the legalization of marijuana the Cartels did not slow down. They are still quite in business thanks to the ever-growing demand for cocaine, heroin, and opium. The Cartels will make landfall in the Neverglades if the make it past the heavily patrolled Keys Atolls. They even have some bases the Rangers can’t take out unless they get military assistance. The Cartels will actively lure fluffies into their bases. They will put signs featuring happy looking humans with arrows pointing at the base. The fluffies will gladly follow the signs. Once lured into the base the Cartel henchmen will slaughter them for food. Anarchists (Loving to Hostile): True to the definition of their namesake, they have no set rules or governance, and most anarchist groups have no relation to one another. You’ll have the ones who come to the Neverglades to abuse its low surveillance to torture and murder Squatters, other anarchists, and any other poor human that gets in their way. They will of course have their way with any and all fluffies. Then you’ll have the more hippie kind who just want to have a nice little commune away from corporations. These are usually very loving to the fluffies, most wont even hunt them with the amount of vegans they have. However, these communes don’t last long due to attacks from the Cartels, other anarchists, [Redacted] Man, and even large animal attacks. We’ve even witnessed a massive pack of coyotes kill an entire commune. Brofluff Cult (Loving): This all male cult worships some sort of female equine pantheon. Part of their religion is to be subservient to all fluffies. They will come to the Neverglades and build small fluffly sized homes. They will cook countless spaghetti for the fluffies. They will protect the fluffies, even going as far as killing any human who dare hurts a fluffy. However, do note they will… mate… with a mare they call their “fluffu.” They will also breed fluffies in hopes of reincarnating the “Daughters of the Goddesses.” The Rangers will keep a close eye on them, if they make any aggressive move towards other humans the Rangers will rout them. Pirates (Hostile): Basically anarchists that patrol the seas. They will commonly go ashore to restock on fluffies unless the find a drifting boat full of fluffies. Fathers of Freeport (Hostile): Please remember, when I write “hostile” I only mean to fluffies, these men are actually very kind. The name of their faction was dubbed by me, they are simply Bahaman refugees searching for food. After sea level rise the Bahaman government disbanded, taking the upper class with them to live in Florida’s panhandle. The rest of the civilians were left to fend for themselves. Food is now critically short over in the Bahamas. What little land is left can’t grow food and the coral reefs have been overfished to depletion. However, some savvy fisherman have learned about the fluffy situation in Florida. They sail over to the east coast and collect a hulls worth of fluffies to take back to the remnants of their starving country. This particular group I was monitoring always stocks up at an atoll building at Hallandale Reef. This building is completely surrounded by water and somehow stuffed to the gills with fluffies on all dry floors. I was even able to intercept and question the captain of the fishing boat. (Start of transcript) Researcher: So what brought you to Hallandale Reef? Captain: The reefs ova’ by Miami have too many pirates scoutin’ the seas. But here it is close enough to Seminole Territory dat da pirates shy away. Researcher: Has the Seminoles have any qualms with you? Captain: Nah, dey know we mean no harm. We take only the fluffy ones. Dey seem to not care fo’ them. Researcher: Are you afraid this building will run out of fluffies? Captain: (Laughs) No, no, no. Dees tings have many many babs’. If anyting we be doing them a favor and stoppin’ them from ending up like our own home. Researcher: Have any of your men gotten hurt trying to farm these fluffies? Captain: Yes, a greenhorn died. The floors of dis building be covered in shit. Poor greenhorn slipped and fell down stairs. Researcher: I see, have you encountered [Redacted] Man? Captain: Oh no lord Jesus, nonono! We be going now, good day! Researcher: But… Captain: Our hulls are full, and you reminded me of why our people can’t immigrate here, goodbye! And may lord Jesus protect your soul, science man who pokes tings dat need not be pokin’! (End of Transcript) Seminole Tribe (Neutral): A very powerful faction on par with the Rangers when it comes to control in the Neverglades. With the rising waters the Seminoles have lost lots of their ancestral lands and the USA did not grant them any more territory. However, they adapted. Their crowing hotel, the Hard Rock Hotel was a casino and hotel that is shaped like a giant guitar. Now that it is surrounded by water, they modified it to work also as a yacht club and dock. They even built an underwater hotel near it. People from all over the world fly in to West Palm Beach to take a cruise to their establishment. They also rule the area with an iron fist, killing any pirates, cultists, Cartel, or any other undesirables that try to make a footing in their territory. To fluffies, they are indifferent. See them as nothing more as a pest. They will kill any feral fluffy that is found in the halls of their hotels. But for any fluffy roaming the marshes of their territory, they know culling won’t really solve anything, so they let nature take its course. They also breed fluffies for desirable colors and will even have Fluffy Shows where breeders exhibit their fluffy show-pony. Fighters For Florida (Or the FFF) (Neutral to Hostile): With the right permits and go aheads from government bodies, civilians can enter the Neverglades. The FFF is a hunting force of civilians that is organized to hunt invasive species such as pythons, Nile crocs, and any other invasive threat. However, ones hunting for pythons and such do not target fluffies because they know it will make no difference and their reserve ammo is better spent fighting any human threat that tries to harm them. That being said, some… questionably moraled FFF hunters that call themselves “abusers” come to the Neverglades to only torture fluffies to death. Since fluffies are labeled as invasive animals “to be removed by any means necessary” the abusers are 100% in legal right to… “hunt” fluffies in any way they want. That about covers the humans of the Neverglades. Now we shall talk about native fluffavores, aka native animals that can eat adult fluffies. The Black Bear: This animal is an omnivore in which 80% of their diet was vegetation. Not anymore, now their primary food source is fluffies. Because they are easier to hunt then to forage for fruits. If a heard of Fluffies spots one, they will usually shout and panic and try to quickly waddle away. The Black Bear will make chase and usually eat the one that trips, or it will swipe at the slowest one and kill it. Black Bears can even take out a nest by themselves. Even if the fluffies try to hide in a burrow the bears can dig down to them, but they usually go after easier fluffy prey. Black Bears in human ruins have learned that pushing open doors or breaking into boxes, cars, trash cans, and other containers have a good chance of revealing a hiding fluffy. Also note, fluffies also tend to think ALL land animals fear the water like them and will rush into shallow water to escape the black bear. They will then tease the bear, until the bear effortlessly charges into the water and kills them. Panthers: We have talked about the general hunting habits of the panther in log 1, however I’d like to add on the habits of an alpha male panther. Alphas will patrol a large territory and basically kill any animal it does not want in its territory including other male panthers. One alpha has been documented killing 125 fluffies in a mega herd. It only ate 2. Florida Gar: This fish can grow up to 3 meters in length. It used to be a very rare sight this far south in Florida after overfishing from humans. Now, they have made ma huge comeback thanks to the Neverglades low human population and fluffies as a food source. Unlike smaller gar or bass, these fish can eat an adult fluffy. They will glide into the shallows and scoop up a fluffy wading through the water and then use its serpentine body to slither back into the depth all while the fluffy begs to be let go. If the initial bite does not kill it that is. Raptors: Hawks, Eagles, Osprey, Falcons and any large bird that hunts with talons. The red shouldered hawk is very common predator of the skies. “Wingie munstah” as they are called by fluffies are common throughout all habitats and thus Raptors have the largest kill count of fluffies if you don’t count humans. Our camera drones must always use its cloaking device not only to not spook the fluffies, but to hide from raptors. (Video starts) A Red Shouldered Hawk sits on a tall cypress branch as it spots a herd of fluffies waddling into the dried cypress dome. “Fluffy so thiwsty… need some wawas…” They then come across a puddle and joyously begin to drink. That is when the hawk makes its move. It glides down under the branches and before the fluffies can even cry out in warning. The hawk snatches up a small adult fluffy, as it flies the fluffy shits on everything below. The hawk waits for it to stop shitting and carries him up to a branch. All fluffies scatter in fear but one, the victim fluffies mate and her foals. “Wingie munstah! Pwease gib speshuw fwend back!” The foals also cry for their mother’s mate. The hawk then lands on a branch and holds the fluffy down with one talon that has dug into his flesh. The hawk begins to peck at the fluffy’s side and the fluffy begins to cry out “biggest owwies!” The hawk rips out the fluffy’s liver, then a kidney, then more chunks of flesh until the fluffy dies of organ failure. Stated, the hawk then pushes the fluffy off the branch. Its corpse hits multiple branches on the way down until it lands and the mare and her foals begin to cry at his corpse. The mare then is snatched up by a bald eagle and the cycle repeats. The video then shows a clip of two ospreys fighting over a filly midair. It should be noted that not all Raptors kill fluffies by consumption, sometimes they simply drop them. The osprey continue to fight until they drop the filly into the brackish water below. She screams and shouts until she drowns and disappears under the tea-like waters of the estuary. The video then shows a clip of a bald eagle migrating high in the air. The fluffy it is carrying then shits so hard it startles the eagle and it drops it. The video zooms in as the fluffy splats on the abandoned parking lot below. (Video ends) Alligators: These ancient predators are a fluffy’s worst nightmare because it is a “wawa munsta” that can exit the water and kill them. It is immensely rare for an alligator to hunt on land. They are almost entirely ambush predators, laying low in the water, hidden until a land animal needs to take a drink so it can immediately bite the prey’s head and pull it into the water. Such a perfect strategy is why alligators have been relatively unchanged since the time of dinosaurs. Such a strategy is perfect to eat fluffies, to no surprise. However, why wait? Alligators will leave the water, charge at a herd and scoop up one that did not run away in time. If they see trapped fluffies, they can devour multiple. (Video starts) There is a large abandoned Olympic sized swimming pool that has essentially turned into a marsh. Ten fluffies have entered the pool on the shallow end where sediment pile up from draining rainwater has made a ramp. They waddle to the diving well of the pool which has become a small pond within itself. The fluffies begin to drink from the pondwater and a massive alligator from the kiddie pool scurries into the pool marsh. The fluffies finally see her but it is too late. The walls of the pool got them trapped and the alligator blocks the only way out. The alligator slowly gets them to back up into the corner of the pool as they meekly cry and whine and shit. She lunges forward and bites one, then a second, then another! She shallows 3 fluffies down as they scream and defecate. The rest of the herd use this time to escape. However, more alligators enter the marsh pool as their cries altered the whole waterpark. A new video clip starts to show off how some mares will sacrifice foals to save themselves. A mare is cornered in a sewer as a 50cm juvenile alligator hisses and harasses the mare. The foal on her back shouts “Mummah! make wawa munsta go 'way!” She lets out a sad cry “Am sowwy bestes' babbeh.” And drops the foal on the ground, the alligator scoops it up as the mare escapes. (Video ends) Seagulls: Alone they can eat a foal, but a flock can peck a lone adult to death and eat small chunks of them. Those are all the native fluffavores we have for today. Next log we will talk about defective robots that are scattered throughout the Neverglades. And how their glitched programming makes them a threat to fluffies… unless their programming was to kill them in the first place. Then they are not glitched.
[Lost in the Sauce] Trump admin hides Paycheck Protection program details; lawmakers benefit from loans
Welcome to Lost in the Sauce, keeping you caught up on political and legal news that often gets buried in distractions and theater… or a global health crisis. Title refers to: The Trump admin is blocking IGs from getting info on over $1 trillion in relief spending, including corporation bailouts. The admin is also withholding PPP info from Congress, meaning we don't know if Trump or his family took taxpayer money. Additionally, we learned that at least 4 members of Congress have benefited from PPP money, but aren't required to disclose it. Housekeeping:
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Inspectors general warned Congress last week that the Trump administration is blocking scrutiny of more than $1 trillion in spending related to the Covid-19 pandemic. According to the previously undisclosed letter, Department of Treasury attorneys concluded that the administration is not required to provide the watchdogs with information about the beneficiaries of programs like the $500 billion in loans for corporations. Treasury Secretary Mnuchin refused to provide Congress with the names of recipients of the taxpayer-funded coronavirus business loans. After criticism, Mnuchin began to walk back his denial, saying he will talk to lawmakers on a bipartisan basis “to strike the appropriate balance for proper oversight” of PPP loans “and appropriate protection of small business information.” At least 4 lawmakers have benefited in some way from the Paycheck Protection program they helped create.Politico has been told there are almost certainly more -- but there are zero disclosure rules, even for members of Congress.
Republicans on the list include Rep. Roger Williams of Texas, a wealthy businessman who owns auto dealerships, body shops and car washes, and Rep. Vicky Hartzler of Missouri, whose family owns multiple farms and equipment suppliers across the Midwest. The Democrats count Rep. Susie Lee of Nevada, whose husband is CEO of a regional casino developer, and Rep. Debbie Mucarsel Powell of Florida, whose husband is a senior executive at a restaurant chain that has since returned the loan.
Mick Mulvaney dumped as much as $550,000 in stocks the same day Trump assured the public the US economy was 'doing fantastically' amid the COVID-19 outbreak. Mulvaney unloaded his holdings in three different mutual funds, each of which is primarily made up of US stocks. The next day, the value of the mutual funds tanked.
Cases rising in many states
Good summary: There was supposed to be a peak. But the stark turning point, when the number of daily COVID-19 cases in the U.S. finally crested and began descending sharply, never happened. Instead, America spent much of April on a disquieting plateau, with every day bringing about 30,000 new cases and about 2,000 new deaths. This pattern exists because different states have experienced the coronavirus pandemic in very different ways…The U.S. is dealing with a patchwork pandemic. As of Friday, coronavirus cases were significantly climbing in 16 states: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nevada, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, and Washington. Oklahoma is experiencing a massive increase in coronavirus cases just days before Trump’s planned rally in Tulsa. In Tulsa county itself, 1 in roughly 390 people have tested positive. Yet Trump plans on cramming 20,000 people in an event with voluntary face mask policy and no social distancing. Attendees must sign a waiver that absolves the president’s campaign of any liability from virus-related illnesses.
On Monday, Pence lied saying that Oklahoma has “flattened the curve.” As you can see at any of the resources immediately below, this is not even close to true. Over the past 14 days, the state has seen a 124% increase in cases and reports 65% of ICU beds are in use.
Tulsa World Editorial Board: This is the wrong time and Tulsa is the wrong place for the Trump rally. "We don't know why he chose Tulsa, but we can’t see any way that his visit will be good for the city...Again, Tulsa will be largely alone in dealing with what happens at a time when the city’s budget resources have already been stretched thin."
Earlier in the day, Trump tweeted that he is a victim of double standards when it comes to perception of his decision to resume campaign rallies in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, declaring that attempts to “covid shame” his campaign “won’t work!”
Resources to track increases: There are many different sites with various methods of visualizing the spread of coronavirus. Here are some that may be particularly useful this summer… Topos COVID-19 compiler homepage and graphs of each state since re-opening. How we reopen Safely has stats on each state’s progress towards meeting benchmarks to reopen safely (hint: almost none have reached all the checkpoints). WaPo has a weekly national map of cases/deaths; the largest regional clusters are in the southeast. On Monday, Trump twice said that “if we stop testing right now, we’d have very few cases, if any,” (video). Aside from the fact that cases exist even if we don’t test for them, we cannot explain the rising number of cases by increased testing capacity: In at least 14 states, the positive case rate is increasing faster than the increase in the average number of tests.
Reminder: In March Trump told Fox News that he didn't want infected patients from a cruise ship to disembark because it would increase the number of reported cases in the US. "I like the numbers being where they are," Trump said at the time. "I don't need to have the numbers double because of one ship that wasn't our fault."
Fired scientist Rebekah Jones builds coronavirus dashboard to rival Florida’s… Her site shows thousands more people with the coronavirus, and hundreds of thousands fewer who have been tested, than the site run by the Florida Health Department.
Equipment and supplies
More studies prove wearing masks limits transmission and spread of coronavirus… One study from Britain found that routine face mask use by 50% or more of the population reduced COVID-19 spread to an R of less than 1.0. The R value measures the average number of people that one infected person will pass the disease on to. An R value above 1 can lead to exponential growth. The study found that if people wear masks whenever they are in public it is twice as effective at reducing the R value than if masks are only worn after symptoms appear. Meanwhile, Trump officials refuse to wear masks and Trump supporters copy his behavior… VP Mike Pence, leader of the coronavirus task force, published a tweet showing himself in a room full of Trump staffers, none wearing masks or practicing social distancing. Pence deleted the tweet shortly after criticism. A poll last week showed that 66% of likely-Biden-voters “always wear a mask,” while 83% of likely-Trump-voters “neverarely wear a mask.”
Trump’s opposition to face masks hasn’t stopped him from selling them to his supporters, though. The online Trump Store is selling $20 cotton American flag-themed face masks.
Yesterday, we learned that South Carolina Republican Rep. Tom Rice and family have tested positive for the coronavirus. Just two weeks ago, Rice was on the House floor and halls of the Capitol without wearing a mask.
Internal FEMA data show that the government’s supply of surgical gowns has not meaningfully increased since March… The slides show FEMA’s plan to ramp up supply into June and July hinges on the reusing of N95 masks and surgical gowns, increasing the risk of contamination. Those are supposed to be disposed of after one use. Nursing homes with urgent needs for personal protective equipment say they’re receiving defective equipment as part of Trump administration supply initiative. Officials say FEMA is sending them gowns that look more like large tarps -- with no holes for hands -- and surgical masks that are paper-thin. More than 1,300 Chinese medical-device companies that registered to sell PPE in the U.S. during the coronavirus pandemic used bogus registration data… These companies listed as their American representative a purported Delaware entity that uses a false address and nonworking phone number. Florida is sitting on more than 980,000 unused doses of hydroxychloroquine, but hospitals don’t want it… Gov. Ron DeSantis ordered a million doses of the drug to show support for Trump, but very few hospitals have requested it.
Native American communities struggle
The CARES Act money for Native American tribes, meant to assist people during the pandemic, came with restrictions that are impeding efforts to limit the transmission of the virus. For instance, the funds can only be used to cover expenses that are "incurred due to the public health emergency." On the Navajo Nation, the public health emergency is inherently related to some basic infrastructure problems. 30% of Navajo don’t have running water to wash their hands, but the money can’t be used to build water lines. Federal and state health agencies are refusing to give Native American tribes and organizations representing them access to data showing how the coronavirus is spreading around their lands, potentially widening health disparities and frustrating tribal leaders already ill-equipped to contain the pandemic. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has turned down tribal epidemiologists’ requests for data that it’s making freely available to states. A Hospital’s Secret Coronavirus Policy Separated Native American Mothers From Their Newborns… Pregnant Native American women were singled out for COVID-19 testing based on their race and ZIP code, clinicians say. While awaiting results, some mothers were separated from their newborns, depriving them of the immediate contact doctors recommend. New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham announced that state officials would investigate the allegations.
Personnel & appointees
Former IG Steve Linick told Congress he was conducting five investigations into Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and the State Department before he was fired. In addition to investigating Pompeo's potential misuse of taxpayer funds and reviewing his decision to expedite an $8 billion arms sale to Saudi Arabia, Linick’s office was conducting an audit of Special Immigrant Visas, a review of the International Women of Courage Award, and another review "involving individuals in the Office of the Protocol."
Pompeo confidant emerges as enforcer in fight over watchdog’s firing: Linick testified that Undersecretary of State for Management Brian Bulatao, a decades-old friend of Pompeo’s, “tried to bully [him]” out of investigating Pompeo.
Trump has empowered John McEntee, director of the Presidential Personnel Office, to make significant staffing changes inside top federal agencieswithout the consent — and, in at least one case, without even the knowledge — of the agency head. Many senior officials in Trump's government are sounding alarms about the loss of expertise and institutional knowledge. Trump’s nominee for under secretary of defense for policy, retired Army Brig. Gen. Anthony Tata, has a history of making Islamophobic and inflammatory remarksagainst prominent Democratic politicians, including falsely calling former President Barack Obama a Muslim. Amid racial justice marches, GOP advances Trump court pick hostile to civil rights.Cory Wilson, up for a lifetime seat on the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit, has denied that restrictive voting laws lead to voter suppression and called same-sex marriage “a pander to liberal interest groups.” Interior Secretary David Bernhardt has indefinitely extended the terms of the acting directors of the Bureau of Land Management and the National Park Service, sidestepping the typical Senate confirmation process for those posts and violating the Federal Vacancies Reform Act,
Courts and DOJ
The Supreme Court declined on Monday to take a closer look at qualified immunity, the legal doctrine that shields law enforcement and government officials from lawsuits over their conduct. Developed in recent decades by the high court, the qualified immunity doctrine, as applied to police, initially asks two questions: Did police use excessive force, and if they did, should they have known that their conduct was illegal because it violated a "clearly established" prior court ruling that barred such conduct? In practice, however, lower courts have most often dismissed police misconduct lawsuits on grounds that there is no prior court decision with nearly identical facts. The Supreme Court ruled that federal anti-discrimination laws protect gay and transgender employees. Justice Neil M. Gorsuch and Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. joined the court’s liberals in the 6 to 3 ruling. They said Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits discrimination “because of sex,” includes LGBTQ employees.
Alito, writing more than 100 pages in dissent for himself and Thomas, accused the court's majority of writing legislation, not law. Kavanaugh wrote separately: "We are judges, not members of Congress...Under the Constitution and laws of the United States, this court is the wrong body to change American law in that way."
Just days before the SCOTUS opinion was released, the Trump administration finalized a rule that would remove nondiscrimination protections for LGBTQ people when it comes to health care and health insurance. The SCOTUS ruling may make it easier to challenge the changes made by Trump.
The Supreme Court also declined to take up California’s “sanctuary” law, denying the Trump administration’s appeal. This means that the lower court opinion upholding one of California's sanctuary laws is valid, limiting cooperation between law enforcement and federal immigration authorities. Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito, two of the Court's conservative members, supported taking up the case. A federal appeals court appeared unlikely Friday to stop a judge from examining why the Justice Department sought to walk away from its prosecution of Michael Flynn. "I don't see why we don't observe regular order," said Judge Karen Henderson. "Why not hold this in abeyance and see what happens?" Judge Robert Wilkins told Flynn's lawyer that if Sullivan doesn't let the government drop the case, "then you can come back here on appeal."
Good read: Fiona Hill on being mistaken as a secretary by Trump, her efforts to make sure he was not left alone with Putin, and what the US, UK and Russia have in common. “It’s spitting in Merkel’s face,” said Vladimir Frolov, a former Russian diplomat who’s now a foreign-policy analyst. “But it’s in our interests.”
Russia’s Foreign Ministry welcomed Trump’s plan to withdraw more than a quarter of U.S. troops from Germany.
Op-Ed: Why cutting American forces in Germany will harm this alliance
According to a new book, the Secret Service had to seek more funding to cover the cost of protecting Melania Trump while she stayed in NYC to renegotiate her prenup - taxpayers paid tens of millions of dollars to allow her to get better terms. Additionally, NYPD estimated its own costs conservatively at $125,000 a day. Georgia election 'catastrophe' in largely minority areas sparks investigation. Long lines, lack of voting machines, and shortages of primary ballots plagued voters. As of Monday night, there were still over 200,000 uncounted votes. Fox News runs digitally altered images in coverage of Seattle’s protests, Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone Fox News Mocked After Mistaking Monty Python Joke for Seattle Protest Infighting In addition to holding a rally on the day after Juneteenth (originally scheduled the day of), Trump will be accepting the GOP nomination in Jacksonville on the 60th anniversary of “Ax Handle Saturday,” a KKK attack on African Americans. Environmental news:
Ruling against environmentalists, the U.S. Supreme Court decided that the federal government has the authority to allow a proposed $7.5 billion natural gas pipeline to cross under the popular Appalachian Trail in rural Virginia.
Trump administration has issued a new rule blocking tribes from protecting their waters from projects like pipelines, dams, and coal terminals.
The EPA published a proposal in the Federal Register that critics described as an assault on minority communities coping with the public health legacy of structural racism. The rule would bar EPA from giving special consideration to individual communities that bear the brunt of environmental risks — frequently populations of color.
The Trump administration is preparing to drill off Florida’s coast, but says it will wait until after the November election to avoid any backlash from Florida state leaders.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection used emergency funding meant for migrant families and children to pay for dirt bikes, canine supplies, computer equipment and other enforcement related-expenditures… The money was meant to be spent on “consumables and medical care” for migrants at the border.
ACLU files lawsuit against stringent border restrictions related to coronavirus that largely bar migrants from entering the United States.
Under Trump’s leadership, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has mismanaged its finances so badly that it has sought an emergency $1.2 billion infusion from taxpayers. When Trump took office, USCIS inherited a budget surplus. A large amount of funding is drained by its deliberate creation of more busy work for immigrants and their lawyers — as well as thousands of USCIS employees. These changes are designed to make it harder for people to apply for, receive or retain lawful immigration status.
Asylum-seeking migrants locked up inside an Arizona ICE detention center with one of the highest number of confirmed COVID-19 cases say they were forced to clean the facility and are 'begging' for protection from the virus
ICE plans to spend $18 million on thousands of new tasers and the training to use them
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