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My mom’s funeral was the happiest day of my life. Anyone else?
The day my mom died of cancer I cried, but I’m not sure why. I think it was just a tremendous sense of relief. My mom was a master ‘martyr + manipulator’. In fact, if manipulation was an Olympic sport, she would medal in it. I’m sure many of you feel that way. But the three months leading up to her death were unprecedented, even for her. I discovered mountains of unpaid bills I had to pay, hidden bank accounts and bitcoin transactions, her conman boyfriend (and ex-wife!) tried to steal her money and her car. I kicked her boyfriend out and moved my mom into assisted living in 2 days due to her emergency health situation, and then she quickly turned the entire staff against me, saying that they shouldn’t talk to me. It was like she was trying to take me down in her final days; a grueling test of how cruel she could be to the bitter end. She died near Christmas, so the funeral wasn’t until two weeks later, when everyone could find time to fly in. I spent ridiculous amounts of time wrapping up her affairs, planning the memorial service, and attending to everyone else in my family's needs (can I send them directions? Where’s dinner? Are there gluten-free options on the menu? What hotel should they stay at?). I just wanted this ordeal to be OVER. I was DONE doing ANYTHING more for my mother. I even had to hire security for the service at the church, in case her crazy boyfriend showed up. He was a fan of baseball bats and guns. Writing the eulogy was incredibly difficult because I didn’t want to lie and say nice things that weren't true. So, what do you say? I edited my speech so many times. I struggled with ‘how to say something while not saying anything at all’. I ended up telling benign stories centered on HER (she loved jazz! She laughed with friends!); I didn’t reference memories around what kind of a mom she was (she was horrible)...I had nothing to say. I thought I was especially clever in how I phrased things (I said “she loved HAVING grandkids”; I didn’t say that she LOVED her grandkids, because she didn’t). I arranged a memorial service vs. a casket/full funeral because she wanted to be cremated. I remember sitting in the front pew of the church listening to the other speeches about my mom during the service, trying to look somber and not to smile. I remember the relief I felt after giving my eulogy; I remember trying to find kind responses when people told me how GREAT my mom was in the receiving line. Once everyone left the memorial service, I stood alone in the church and could hardly contain my excitement. I. WAS. DONE! I gave away every flower arrangement. I took her ashes and sprinkled them nearby. I had no words to say or thoughts in my head when I did it. I just threw them. I then drove into town, grabbed lunch alone and was so proud of myself and couldn’t wait to fly home. Did anyone else have similar feelings? Maybe I’m horrible, but the sense of relief and happiness that engulfed me was beyond celebratory. I felt free. I hadn’t even realized just how neglectful she was at that point (I was just starting therapy), but my emotions were overflowing with incredible pure joy.
I’m a commentator for a tournament of nightmares. I’m not sure the participants are willing.
You’d think being a psychiatric ward for 38 months would be enough to deter a guy from ever going back to a sport that involves watching human beings at the height of their physical prowess beat the living shit out of each other. Sometimes regulated, sometimes not. But, here I am, fresh outta the loony bin and reading the most unusual advertising slogan I’d ever laid eyes on; “The most terrifying tournament has come around once again! Conquer your fears in theNFC*…* literally.” This was the business card that accompanied my black envelope as it was handed to me on the discharge ward by a well dressed and gangly fella with an uncomfortable wide smile. He didn’t say much of anything, just that his name was “Watson” before bowing and holding up the envelope. “Heh, like the butler, right?” I said, taking the envelope from his plasticine hands. His smile ripples across his face and he nods slowly, his perfect hair unmoving in the strong wind before he turns on his heel and walks back to the black sedan. The cold air chilled my bones, and I pulled the medical bracelet from my wrist, grimacing at the marks underneath before following Watson to the Sedan and hauling my luggage into the trunk before setting off, not knowing how I came to even be there in the first place. I guess right now, that doesn’t really matter. What matters is where I am now and what I’m doing. "blood strewn across the canvas, frayed brain matter sailing across my head and splattering against the wall, a woman standing in a pool of blood as the deformed creature twitches on the ground" My name is Sal “Motormouth” Sabotta, I’m a sports commentator by trade. Be it combat sports, pro wrestling, death-matches or martial arts tournament, I’ve done it all. I won’t lie; Work can be hard to come by. I’ve spent months struggling for rent and resorting to less tried-and-true commentary methods in order to survive. That has, at times, involved trying my hand at some of the more underground competitions; unregulated fights, sick, illegal games bet on by people on the dark web and worse… Things I’m not going to detail here. Things I’m not proud to have taken a hefty pay-check for from greasy, sweaty fucks in Armani tracksuits and stinking of cheap booze and coke all the way up to well-dressed bitcoin farmers in their 20s who probably own child slaves. In short, I’m no stranger to the grim underworld or the secrecies with which they conduct their work. I see money and an easy way to make it with my voice; I don’t ask questions. So when I received an email the day of my discharge from the hospital and I’m told “you’ll receive a letter from Mr. Watson, take it and follow the instructions to the venue. Pay up front as agreed.”, I don’t question it. Especially when the note is personalised, and the doctor says my medical fees were covered. We drove past numerous landscapes, vistas and neighbourhoods before veering off into an industrial estate and entering an underground tunnel. Half a mile in, Watson stops the car and peers back, smiling. He directs a thumb to the service door in the side tunnel and rubs his neck, a scar running from ear to ear. Was he a former fighter? Gangster? I sighed and got out, still in my medical gown and hauling ass to the door. It opened before I could reach out and a tall, muscular woman in her late 30s greeted me with a smile. She was imposing, powerful in her gait, a black eyepatch with several seals adorning the sides accompanying a thick scar down her face did nothing to stop her beauty. She wore a tank top with a black cloak with white fur on the tops and sleeves, a thick black chain clasp around the neck. I won’t lie; she looked badass. Terrifying, but badass. “‘Bout time ya showed up, Sabotta!” She grinned and put a cinderblock of a hand on my shoulder. I’m 5’10 and 180lbs, but she made me feel like a child in front of her. The power emanating from her fist was unbelievable. “C’mon, the trial match is starting and I don’t want no tourney without a broken in commentator! You gotta know the ropes of this place!” “You know your driver was standing right outside when I was discharged, right? Couldn’t think to give me an extra day or two to freshen up?” I frowned. This wasn’t normal protocol, even for back-alley promotions like this. She just laughed at me and slapped my shoulder. “The tournament waits for nobody, Sal. Times a-wasting.” The hallway is dimly lit and the sounds of a ruckus above us are as impossible to ignore as the sounds of thudding, screaming and snapping. As we pass several doors with one-way mirrors on the front panes, I hear sounds I could have never placed in the animal kingdom or otherwise; gurgles, clicks, grunts and even otherworldly whispers. “What the fuck is that? You guys doing animal fights down here? I mean I called a monkey fight once, but it’s not exactly… pleasant.” I shuddered, thinking of the violence chimpanzees can inflict on one another, let alone humans. She never stopped walking or staring directly ahead when she responded.“Those ain’t animals. Not by a long shot.” Before I can probe further, I’m hurried into a changing room and practically swept off my feet by her strength. I turn back and she’s already poking her head out the door. “You’ve got 5 minutes, get your shit and head up the left stairs, Watson will guide you.” She grinned, and I saw gold filings in her teeth that glinted as much as her bedazzled eye patch. “Ya came highly recommended… I expect good things!” I do as instructed and within 5 minutes I’m back in my commentary clothes; an open buttoned Hawaiian shirt with my old Hotel Inertia shirt underneath, skinny black jeans and shimmering black shoes. I found some old slick gorilla powder in my hair and dusted it up, opting for the dishevelled look as I knew I’d be sweating by the end of the ordeal. “You shouldn’t bother putting in so much effort, y’know. They’re not gonna care how good you look, only how well you talk.” Standing in the doorway was a woman in her 40s, dark-skinned and hair clad in meticulous dreadlocks, tied back into a large bun with a pair draped down the sides of her head. She held a thick book in one hand and pocketed a serrated blade in the other before motioning to me. “We’ll have to do the pleasantries on the way, the match is starting and you don’t wanna miss that. The commissioner isn’t the type you want to upset. Especially when you’re not here by choice.” I looked for a moment, dumbfounded. “I’m here because I was invited, already got my pay from the woman who let me in.” I shrugged, pocketing the envelope and getting my equipment from the suitcase. The woman gave a sad smile and shook her head. “Of course you’d think that. She likes it that way. Bet she didn’t introduce herself either, did she? C’mon.” I follow her down and after a few minutes we come to a fork in the hallway, an elevator system to our right and a stairway to the left. Dutifully, Watson stood patiently, still grinning and motioning us to go up. Once we’re situated in our booth upstairs, I set my equipment up and look down at the table, expecting a slew of papers and fighter information in front of me. I look to the woman to ask, but she doesn’t break her stare in the darkness, looking down at the arena floor some 100ft below us.“You won’t need that. Not for this match.” The lights flicker on and the enormity of this venue reveals itself to me. It’s a structure of imposing steel, dried blood, claw marks and other unknown substances that littered the 40ft wide circular pit the fighters contested in, a black lift on either side from the fighters corners that I can only assume ascended up from their locker room area. Around them were chain-link fences that rose up to the audience stands above, situating around 300 people across all four sides. At the very top sat our booth, the commissioner’s office directly opposite, the judges booth to our right and the fight analysts/medical area to our left. Standing in the centre with a spotlight over them was the commissioner, microphone in hand and an energy that was almost palpable. “Ladies, Gentlemen and Freaks of all kinds out there in the universe. I welcome you once more to the annual Nightmare Fighting Championship Tournament! It’s been a long year, but we have new blood to pit against our resident night terrors and some fresh fears to feast on the fortuitous soul that frolics into their den. As always, our contestants will be fighting for their freedom, a chance to get their wish or to fight for the ultimate prize.” The crowd cheers and the majority are hidden behind thick plexiglass and lighting, but I can see some have Karate Gi’s, weapons in hand and others with demon masks as they whoop and holler. The clientele here were, at least in my estimation, experienced. But I was feeling a lump in my throat at that one phrase The Commissioner so surreptitiously added in without issue; “As always, our contestants will befightingfor theirfreedom*”* I leaned to the woman next to me and as if she knew what I was going to ask; she put a finger up and shook her head. Eyes awash with fear and a grimness I had only seen on that of trainers who knew their fighter was not ready for the bout ahead. She pointed the finger down to my machine, then to the pit. Turning it on, I looked down as the commissioner began to talk, readying myself to commentate on whatever weirdos came up to battle. “But before we get to that, we have an exciting exhibition match for our loyal supporters who bankroll this event every year. Without you elite few, we could not do this. You are the pound for pound goats of support! Now, without further ado; let’s get this show on the road!”The rest of the lights clicked on and spun around the venue as they raised the profile of the bout, the elevators both whirring into action as the right one arose first. “In this corner, from the marionettes shop and accompanied by his Bunraku doll “Mr. Stares”, it’s the man who pulls the strings… THE PUPPET MAN!” Out steps a tall, thin Japanese man in full clown makeup. His head shaven save for two ridiculous strands of hair stretched out and fluffed up to their limits, like red antennae. His eyebrows large m’s that practically cover his forehead, the nose a completely vacant slot with a black hole drawn in and the mouth… the fucking mouth was nailed shut. Literally. Sharp rusted nails had been hammered down through the lips with such force that they’d bent. A sickening crimson red face-paint stretched across the entire bottom half of his face, making it seem far larger by comparison. He carefully held a small bundle underneath a sheet and bowed deeply to the audience before standing at his designated spot. “In the other corner, from the streets of god knows where and the womb of someone who misses him… "Hulked Up" Michael O’Donnell!” I watched with wide eyes and a stomach threatening to evacuate its contents at any moment as the smoke cleared and a boy no older than 17 rushed out, beating his chest and screaming to the crowd as if he was the Incredible Hulk. I don’t know if they drugged the poor kid, but he clearly had no idea where he was. “There are no rules, no referees and judges only exist in case of a draw or unclear victory. Our commentary team will take over and we wish you a phenomenal match.” She drools a little before she speaks again, looking up at me and winking. “Let’s make this a violent one.” She snaps her fingers and leaps for the fence, climbing up with ungodly ease before sitting on her makeshift chair in her office. I have no idea what I’m seeing but every cell in my body is urging me to run; I feel my knees tense and my frame rise ever so slightly before the woman next to me puts her hand on my thigh, pushing me down with great force. “You have a job to do, so do I. Trust me, you think you can leave but if you get out of this chair, not only will YOUR life end. Mine will too.” She unsheathes the serrated blade and looks at me with pity. “We both have a part to play here, so put the headset on and let’s do our job, no matter how hard it is.” Hands shaking, I pick up the headset and connect it to the portable recorder and take a breath. “I… I need your name. What is it you do?” I stutter, trying to calm myself. She hands me a bottle of water as the surrounding lights dim and the spotlight focuses on the spectacle below. “I’m Madame Nelle Lockwood, cryptid hunter and your co-host to guide you through tonight. Good to meet you, Sal.” - NFC EXHIBITION MATCH: "Hulked Up" Michael O’Donnell vs The Puppet Man w/ Mr. Stares “Welcome fight fans from around the world, god knows how you’re listening to this or WHY, but here we are. I’m your host Sal “MotorMouth” Sabotta, wishing this was all a bad dream. Joining me this evening is our cryptid specialist and all round badass Madame Nelle Lockwood. How are you doing, Nelle?” She looks at me with a bewildered look on her face before blinking and coming to her senses. “Uhh… good! All things considered… boy, you really have a professional knack for this, huh? I can see why Commissioner Alduin brought you in." “Ahh, yes. That’s right, folks! NFC Commissioner Alduin invited me here personally and our exhibition match proves to be… challenging. Let’s check in on the action below.” I look down and see The Puppet Man sat down and gesturing to the figure under the sheet, like he’s got a negotiation going on. The boy, undeterred and furious, rushes towards him and takes his back, slapping his head and even pulling on his hair with extreme prejudice. “Well take a gander at that, that kid has absolutely NO fear. When I was his age, I would have stayed FAR the fuck away from a nightmare spectre like that. But hell, this is all part of the show, right? Hope they’re paying that poor guy down there a sizeable sum to throw a fight to a child. What do you think, Nelle; is this the weirdest make-a-wish fulfilment task or what?” I look over to her, hoping she’d indulge me and that I could believe this was just going to end with a pissed off actor storming away when the child hit him too hard. But Nelle was scanning her now open book and looking for information on dolls. “He’s talking to his doll because it’s desperate to be let loose. He’s trying to bargain with it to spare him. This is the nature of the puppeteer and his master.” She pushes the book to the centre of the table and shows me a faded illustration of a pristine Bunraku doll; a kind of meticulously crafted Japanese take on the ventriloquist doll. The limbs are thinner and the face is more minimalist, but still no more frightening. “They usually have a symbiotic relationship, but it seems this one obeys the doll and will not want to face more punishment.” “What do you mean more punishment?” I ask, looking back down at the feverish puppet man as he tries signing frantically under the sheet, even putting his head under as the kid bites his arm and kicks him, screeching. “The nails, Sal. Those aren’t to silence him, they’re to punish him.” The rest happened in slow motion; the sheet fell down. The puppet man stood up and walked to his side of the fighters corner, facing the elevator and placing his face into his forearms as he shook. The boy followed to keep attacking, but with one swift kick to the midsection, the boy was propelled back to the centre of the pit where the doll sat. If there was a human face, I didn’t see it. Instead, I was staring down at a small wood carved spider, the head sporting black geisha hair and the makeup still present, but rows of sharpened black teeth protruded from the clicking mouth and two larger eyes jutted out from the base of the skull, smaller ones dotted closely around it. It was like seeing a puppet ogre spider. “Looks like The Puppet Man has let Mr. Stares out to say hi and I can certainly see why he was under that sheet, this one isn’t pretty folks! The face doth fit the name. The question is, what’s he doing to do ne- “I didn’t need to finish the question. My hands shook, and the world spun around me as this creature crawled towards the still wheezing boy with ungodly speed and perched itself expertly beside him. I don’t know if it was my eyes or the distance from where I sat, but this was NOT a small puppet. He was easily half of the boy’s height and that became more unnerving when he reared up on his back legs, the head clicking up and the raspy voice hissing out like a gas leak in a building. “Hey, hey, kid! Wanna make a deal?” The kid rubbed his eyes, seemingly realising where he was as he calmed down and an air of utter confusion around him. “If you let me be your new master and you promise to take care of me, I’ll let you go!” His head spun around and the jaw clicked ferociously as he giggled, extending out a clawed paw. “Whaddya say?” The boy, still confused, slowly reached out his hand and the moment immediately reminded me of a slew of nature shows I’d seen as a kid; where a predator waits until the prey is lulled before striking. I felt the chill up my spine as he extended his hand and grabbed Mr. Stares. In that moment, he leapt up the arm and bore his way into the boy’s mouth, down his throat and shredded his flesh. The sound was so horrifying, so visceral that it outshines any backyard stabbing, joint snap or broken nose. The boy didn’t even have time to scream, he simply looked up with tear-stained eyes as the puppet disappeared. Then he started walking without him realising. He looked down at his limbs, terrified, looked over at The Puppet Master, who still had his head to the elevator and pleaded with someone, anyone to help him. I looked to Nelle who refused to take her eyes away, studying the battle in an almost morbid scientific curiosity, detached entirely from the scenario. I couldn’t fathom how she did it, how she ignored this boy begging us to get him out of there. I wanted to. Every instinct in me as a fight fan and a decent human was to scream “STOP THE FIGHT!”. But clearly, when my own life is at risk and money is involved... I am not a decent human. Instead, with bile in my throat and a sweating forehead, I did my job. “M-My goodness! The P-uppet, I mean, “Mr. Stares” has BECAME the puppet master, surely the fight will be over with our young competitor incapacitated? What does our commissioner have to say about this?” She stared at me, her one eye gleaming and her face elated with the violence. “It ain’t over yet, church boy. We haven’t even seen the finale, have we Puppet Master?!” She laughs and slaps her knee, the puppet master sobbing as he sinks to the floor and she continues. “He ain’t done feeding, not yet.” The way she said that word “feeding” nearly made me lose what food I had in me. That was a young man, somebody's baby boy… “What does she mean by that, Nelle? What is the strategy to victory here?” Nelle looked down at her book and traced her finger across a passage before wiping her forehead and pushing the locks aside. If her composure wasn’t breaking yet, it would do soon. “This kind of parasitic doll feasts on its prey and targets non-essential organs first, controls the host with the neurotoxin in its tail and then, when it’s finally content, it gives the brain a second injection.” “What happens then?” I asked, my own professionalism hanging on by a fucking thread at this point. She shook her head and pinched the bridge of her nose.“I guess you’ll see in a moment, I sure as hell don’t want to. Not again.” Before I can prompt her further, the boy lets out an ear-piercing shriek and falls to his knees, gripping at his head before it turned red, then purple and finally an ugly shade of puce before… The sound of a watermelon hitting the ground from a great height is the best comparison you’re going to get without making me want to rush to the toilet to puke for a third time. But that’s what happened. His head burst and chunks of his skull, flesh and brain matter sprayed the pit and the walls, some hitting my desk and making me audibly shriek, much to the commissioner's delight. “HA! You didn’t run! I like you, Sal. You pass for the tournament!” She hauls her body up and slams down to the pit, applauding as the microphone descends from the heavens. “And your winner; The Puppet Man and Mr. Stares!” The crowd erupts with applause as the weeping puppet man pulls the blood-soaked puppet out, places him under the sheet and silently begins to walk back to the elevator while attendees clear up the boy’s corpse. “What… what the fuck IS this place?” I ask Nelle, pausing my recording. “This is where nightmares are kept and set upon mostly unwilling competitors for the world’s amusement. You HAVE done dark web fights before, right? Mafia snitches being put into lions pits, bum fights, addicts fighting women to score… this can’t be THAT unusual to you?” I stared at her incredulously. Was that even a question? “I did the dark web ONCE and it damn sure didn’t involve monsters!” She scoffs and closes her book, stretching before looking at me with contempt. “Oh, it did. Just not the ones you hear about in fairytales. Good luck with the selection process. I’ll be back for the opening round. Don’t try to run, they’ll devour us both in minutes, if you think this is the pinnacle of what lurks beneath this club, you're in for a rough night.” She sauntered off, leaving me deflated, sickened and terrified. Unable to leave and frustrated to the point of tears that I couldn’t express that concoction of emotions, I did what I always do; I regressed and pressed “record” on the device as Commissioner Alduin continued. At that moment, however, I was deaf to it all. The gravity of the situation had fully enveloped me… They weren’t kidding about the unwilling participants, I just didn’t realise I would be one of them.On every side of me sits men and women with a desire for violence that goes beyond the norm, beyond the sane and beyond the boundaries of humanity.Below me are an untold number of creatures rattling their cages and howling for blood. Across from me is a woman so powerful she could crush my skull beneath her boot with the utmost ease if it so amused her. That invitation was nothing more than my own ransom note in pretty colours and flattering platitudes. I was in a tournament housing nightmares incarnate. And it would only get more violent from here on out. - The opening round was a blood bath.
This is a continuation of the Mandela Effect story.For the introduction, clickhere. How did you first become aware of the Incident? I have a lot of fans, and I often hold events that allow me to mingle with them. They have all sorts of interesting careers, and I like to ask them questions about their lives. Maybe it’s my sincerity, or maybe it’s just part of being a celebrity, but when they open up and tell me about their lives, they frequently share things that they might not tell another person. I was in a deep conversation with one of these fans, and he says “You know, I work for (the Silicon Valley Mogul) and there is just the strangest project that he’s working on. It involves you, interestingly enough.” I mean, obviously I want to know more, so I ask him more questions and he tells me about this weird guy that the NSA is surveilling. They’re tracking his internet habits and it turns out that he repeatedly googles and reads whatever are the most recent news articles on the same five people: Donald Trump, (The Silicon Valley Mogul), Kanye West, Vladimir Putin, and me. So I’m surprised, like “Wow. That’s really weird.” And obviously I’m a little worried too, because I’ve had a lot of stalkers, and it’s a really unsettling experience. So I tell him “Hey, this is really scary, and I’m kind of worried that I may have a stalker that I don’t know about. I’m not asking you to say or do anything that would endanger your job, but if he does anything else that involves me, would you please let me know?” Anyway, a few weeks passes, and I hear back from him and he says “You know, it’s the weirdest thing. He just granted you limited power of attorney in regards to IP infringement. He thinks that the NSA is trying to infringe upon his IP!” I’m like “WHAT?” It turns out that you’re verbally allowed to grant power of attorney and he did so until the end of 2019, to be extended in the event that I file any lawsuits on his behalf. What did you do? Well, I mean, what does one do in a situation like that? I talked to my friends about it. They also thought it was the weirdest thing, and one of them was laughing that we should try to get a message to him. My fan, the guy who works for (The Silicon Valley Mogul), told me that this guy reads Daily Mail a lot. It’s sort of this trashy British tabloid that has a lot of pictures in it. It’s not too expensive to insert a paid article there: in fact a lot of Z-list celebrities and Instagram influencers do it when they’re trying to get their glow-up. So as a joke, one of my friends puts a paid ad in there about me… and the guy answers! But here’s the weird thing, he doesn’t hit the post button. He responds with a thoughtful comment and then deletes it. Like what? Anyway, once me and my friends find out that we can communicate with this guy through Daily Mail, it becomes a thing for us and we try to find out his opinion about all sorts of different things. When you move through our world it can be hard to get a genuine opinion, and this guy is painfully honest. I mean, why wouldn’t he be? He deletes the posts, so there’s no evidence that they even exist. We’re the only ones who know. Anyway, it eventually becomes this sort of… game. We occasionally post paid articles in Daily Mail and ask him his opinion on things. Sometimes it’s serious stuff, like politics or racial issues. Sometimes it’s totally trivial, like… just the other day, a popular actress was asking his opinion about her ankles. Weird stuff like that. We ask his opinions through Daily Mail and my friend who works for (The Silicon Valley Mogul) relays his typed but deleted message back to us a day later. Eventually, we hear his comment about the colors. “Monochrome with a little red if you pledge your loyalty to me, blue and pink if you think I’m sexy.” And we do that too, because, hey, it’s fun. A lot of us are into fashion anyway, so this is like, a… a cool little thing to let other people know that you’re in on the secret, that you’re in the know. 21 is a special number for him for some reason - so every month, on the 21st, we dress up in hiscolors. Someof us even work themintomusicvideos, trailers for coming movies, or the colorscheme of our musictours. Even corporations are doing it too now, using these color schemes in their commercials. There are symbols, too. Like the “OK”symbol, or the illuminatisign of the trianglenearyoureye. Those apparently have some sort of significance to him also, so we try to sneak it into our paparazzi shots or poses. And then one day, I look around, and I’m like… wait a second, this is a cult. I’m in a secret cult. We have weird symbols, and similarclothing, and strange rituals we do on a certain day of the month, and a huge secret shared only by us that the rest of the world doesn’t know about. (Laugh) What is your interpretation of the Incident? Well, it’s pretty obvious. Shortly after I realized we were in a secret cult, he posted a link to a book on Amazon. It’s written like a cross between a Spellbook, an unhinged Twitter rant, and some sort of science handbook. Except this isn’t any sort of normal science. This is something called “Game Theory” and “Memetics.” Basically, those are sciences of crowd manipulation, except right now they’re still speculative – people can’t agree whether or not they exist or are just wild fringe ideas. But this guy’s theories are like, two decades ahead of everybody else. Apparently, for the past twenty years he has secretly been doing mad science experiments on how to manipulate groups, and he just proved it by starting a cult in Hollywood without even ever meeting a single one of us in person. But here’s the crazy thing – there’s no proof of any of this. Like I said, he never hit the post button on any of his comments, so there’s no proof any of them existed. If it wasn’t for the fact that we’re all doing the same things, you wouldn’t know. He’s covered his tracks perfectly. If not for the fact that you came here to interview me about it, I’d never say anything, because who would believe me? What part of the Incident would you categorize as paranormal or outside the bounds of understanding? OK, this is really going to come off as narcissistic, and I really don’t mean it to come off this way… (laughs) Go on. Well, the impression I initially had of this guy is that he was a stalker who was obsessively into me. Even after I changed my mind about that, it seemed pretty clear that he was attracted to me. I mean… to be entirely honest, I got curious and asked him about it on Daily Mail once, and he flat-out admitted it. But, the weird thing is… Yes? After January 1st, 2020, he didn’t read even a single Daily Mail article about me. Not even one.
Attention incoming interns! Here's a list of TIPS I WISH I KNEW starting my intern year, some things you can start working on now and some less commonly discussed but very important parts of your job
It’s that time of year and yet again I’ve seen plenty of incoming interns asking what they can do to prepare. I wrote this post to share some tips for all of the not-exactly-medical stuff I wish I knew before I started intern year and to share a few things that interns can do before they start to feel like they’re well prepared for the long white coat. As a quick background, I was a surgery intern in the first half of the 2010s and much of this is informed by my notes and memories from that time in addition to everything I’ve learned since, particularly about professionalism both in medicine and in the business world with work I’ve done in the healthcare startup arena. I’m also not perfect and very much a work in progress myself and, outside the intern-specific items here, I try to do most of these things myself—sometimes more successfully than others. So take what you think are good ideas here, leave what you don’t think would be useful, and if anyone else has anything to add, please feel free to chime in. TL;DR: Intern year is hard. Here are some not-so-commonly-disucussed tips that may help.
1. Being an effective intern is, at its core, about being responsible, effective and reliable.
Your day to day responsibilities are nearly always dominated by the need to get things done and to do so in a manner that lets your other team members focus on their own roles and responsibilities. What about learning clinical medicine? You'll learn plenty and fast. Don't worry. When reading through these tips below, view them from an angle of “would this help me develop an effective system for making sure everything gets done and nothing falls through the cracks?”
2. For your in-the-hospital life as well as your outside-the-hospital life, remember this one thing: you will forget.
You will be busy and have responsibilities in a way you likely have never experienced before. This will naturally make the day-to-day things in life more difficult than you’re used to so developing ways to outsmart your forgetful brain will pay off.
3. You are a professional now. This is your career. You’re in it.
It’s easy to view your life as a trainee as a sort of advanced student or something in between a student and a “real doctor”. But that’s not true. View yourself as a professional building your career. Your intern year is just the first step of that career. You’re a real doctor as much as any other now.
4. One of the hardest things about being an intern or resident is dealing with feelings of isolation. It will take work to actively manage and overcome those feelings.
Imposter syndrome, feeling like you don’t know what you’re doing or that you don’t belong, feeling like you’re not the person you used to be, that you don’t have time to do all the “normal” things that other people do, thinking your co-residents or attendings think you’re dumb, feeling that you don’t have time for friends/family/hobbies, ruminating on “what if I screw this up and hurt a patient?”, or “this doesn’t matter -- the patient is going to XX or YY anyway” etc are all common feelings and they all share the same undercurrent of feeling isolated in one way or another. You need to actively work to find ways to confront and overcome these feelings or else they will control you. When they control you, you’re burned out. It may not seem like it at first, but nearly every single tip below is geared towards avoiding feelings of isolation. Feeling like you’re not in control of your finances will make you feel isolated. Feeling like you’re losing a handle on your relationships will make you feel isolated. Feeling like you’re behind on your email and haven’t done all the little things in life you need to do will make you feel isolated. Read these tips through that lens.
What you can do before you start
1. Organize and update your contacts. Seriously.
Here are some ways it can help you maintain and grow your relationships.
Use the ‘Notes’ feature in your contacts for everyone important in your life and all the new people meet.
You will forget your friends’ kids names and ages. Every time you get a birth announcement or see a post on social media, go to your friend’s contact, edit the notes and put in the info. Then, when you reach out to your friends, ask about their kids...by name.
You will forget your friends’ boyfriend/girlfriend/wife/husband/partner’s name, especially if you’ve never met them or haven’t seen them for a long time. Put their name in your friends’ card with a note like “Started seeing Sam in June 2020, he/she’s a software engineer”. Someone you know gets married? Add their wedding date to their card.
You will forget how you knew people in your contacts. Met at a conference? Was a medical student on your heme onc service? Friend-of-a-friend you met at a wedding? Someone shares an interest you have? Make a note in their contact card. Tip: these notes are for you, not them. So if someone reminds you of an actor, or didn’t stop talking about bitcoin, make a note. It will help because you will forget.
Tag your contacts or add them to lists and use those tags/lists to your advantage.
Make lists or tags for your family, your medical school friends, your undergrad friends, your coresidents, your attendings, your medical students, the hospitals you’ll be working at, etc. Put those lists or tags to use like this:
You will forget to stay in touch with people important to you. Set reminders in your phone for every week / two weeks / month, etc to pull up a list (family, medical school friends, etc), pick someone on that list you haven’t chatted with in a while and text them and ask them how they’re doing. Aim to start a conversation, ask about what’s happening in their life. Texts are more personal and meaningful than liking a post on social media or sharing a meme. Initiating conversations with your friends and family will help you feel connected and will increase the likelihood they reach out to you.
Don’t label your medical students like “MS3 Laura” or “Sub-I Juan”, etc. Label them with their full name and treat them like the colleagues they are. Put them on a list, clear it out next year if you want, but don’t treat them as “MS3 XXX“ or “MS4 YYY”. I’m sure you remember feeling like a nameless/faceless medical student at times in school and I’m sure you didn’t love it. So don’t repeat that behavior. Add a note or two about them while you’re at it. Take enough interest in your medical students to treat them well. You never know when or how you’ll cross paths with them again.
If you rotate through different hospitals, you will forget which “ED” or “PACU” or “nursing station 3rd floor” numbers are which. Tag them or put them on a list. It’ll make finding them when you need them much easier.
2. Use a good note taking app and a good task manager app to help with both your in-hospital life and your outside-of-the-hospital life.
Here are some ways to use a notes app.
Make a note for each rotation you’re on. Add in any unstructured tips as they come up, like “Send all of Dr. X’s patients home with Y”, “Use the call room in the basement outside of the locker room, passcode 1234”, “Park in the X lot on the weekends”, “Dr. A likes to manage Z with Y”, “The case manager, NAME, usually sits at the computer behind the 2nd floor nurses station”, etc. Don't overthink them, just write them down when they come up. Review those notes the next time you rotate through because you will forget all those little things and they will help you in the future.
Create a master grocery list of all things you typically get at the grocery store. Share it with a roommate/partner so they can keep it updated too. That way if you ever stop to pick something up, you can review the list to make sure there’s nothing you’ll forget.
Make master lists for other things in your life too like “packing for a conference”, “packing for a family trip”, “Target/Wal-Mart household master list” so you can quickly review anytime something comes up so you minimize the chance of forgetting something
Make notes for all of the other stuff you have to manage in your life like your car, your apartment/house, your loans, etc and update them every time you work on that thing. Change your loan repayment? Add it to the note. Have to get your brakes fixed? Add to the note where you got it done, how much it cost, etc. Talk to your landlord about fixing the shower? Add it to the note. Have to call the medical board to sort something out with a license? Add it to the note.
I like two note apps on iOS: Bear for personal notes since it’s fast and has great tagging and Apple’s Notes app for shared notes
Pick a good task manager app and use it for all the things in your life that aren’t your day-to-day work
Cousin getting married and you can go to the wedding? Make tasks to ensure your time off, book your travel, buy a gift, rent a hotel room, etc. Then put all the relevant info into your note because...you will forget.
Pandemic is over and you get to present a poster at a conference? Make tasks to review your draft with your coauthors, print your poster, book your travel, submit your reimbursement, etc. Then put all the relevant info into a note. Otherwise, you’ll forget.
I like Things and have also liked OmniFocus. There is a ton of content on how to set one of these things up for productivity so review it and use it YouTube search
3. Take charge of your finances
When I was an intern, I figured all I had to do was pay my loans and not go into more debt. I wish I had done the following instead:
Read these two books: The White Coat Investor and I Will Teach You To Be Rich. Both are very good and have different strengths. The WCI is directly applicable to you and will help educate you in ways medical school didn’t about your financial future. IWTYTBR is much more of a “millennial” book but it’s very good for explaining big concepts and for providing a system to set yourself up for success. They’re both easy and relatively quick reads and don’t require any financial background. WCI is fine as an e-book but IWTY has a bunch of dialog boxes that make the e-book a poor experience, get a physical new or used copy.
Set up a budget. I use and swear by You Need A Budget. It’s the best money I spend every year. Their system is easy and straightforward and it doesn’t take long to get the hang of it. I can’t recommend it highly enough.
4. Update your CV now and keep it updated regularly
You will no doubt have to share your CV with someone at some point whether it’s for fellowship or a research project or any number of things. The time to work on it is not when someone says “can you share your CV?” -- that’s a recipe for omissions, typos and mistakes. The only thing you should be doing every time you share your CV is giving it a quick once-over to make sure you don’t spot any mistakes and to make sure it’s up to date There are plenty of templates online and your training institution may even have a preferred format somewhere on their website. Your ERAS application will give you a good head start but most of your medical school CV lines will either be condensed or removed all together unless something was particularly notable. You can almost always find example CVs online from senior people in your department or institution with a quick web search -- use a few as a guide Set a reminder / task to update your CV at regular intervals. Quarterly is good, yearly at least. Save new versions of it each time so you can refer to the old ones if you need to and name them in a way to let you know you’re always sharing the most recent version, e.g., LASTNAME_FIRST NAME_CV_2020-06. You will forget if the one marked “CV” only is the right one you want to share.
5. Subscribe to a couple of newsletters to stay up to date with the world outside of your hospital
For general news, your preferred newspaper probably has a daily email briefing. Otherwise, Axios AM/PM and Politico’s Playbook are both very good quick reads to stay up to date with current events.
Keep up with healthcare news so you know what’s going on in the healthcare system broadly
Politico’s Pulse and Morning eHealth are both very good and have quick facts at the beginning if you just want to skim
Rock Health’s Rock Weekly is a decent summary of each week in the healthcare startup and technology world
Pick a few of these and aim to get through them each day. If you can’t get through them, unsubscribe to the ones you think are least relevant to you so you never feel “behind” in staying up with the news. You can breeze through the few you pick in a few minutes here and there throughout the day -- don’t make it any harder than that to feel like you’re “up to date” on the news.
General tips for maintaining relationships
For any romantic relationship, do these things if you don’t already:
1. Make a rule: no phones at the table. * Don’t put your phone on the table face-up. Don’t put your phone on the table face-down. Keep your phone off the table and set to silent. * Focus on the person in front of you and show them you care about them by paying attention to them. We all know what it feels like to be with someone more interested in their screen than in interacting with you. If you’re on call, say “sorry, I’m on call, I may have to check something here and there”, apologize if you do check it and then put your phone away. 2. Make another rule: no phones in bed * Same principle as at the table. Want to feel like two strangers just passing through life who just so happen to share the same bed? Wake up, reach for your phone and scroll through your feeds like a zombie before getting out of bed. Same idea before bed. Your phone can wait. 3. If you’re at the point where you share finances, set a regular meeting to review how you’re doing. * Ideally, this is a “red, yellow or green” meeting and should only take a few minutes. Money can be a big conflict issue for relationships and avoiding talking about money is a surefire way to eventually turn to conflict. If you have a budget and shared goals, this should be quick. * A monthly check-in is good. Create a recurring calendar event, attach the shared notes or spreadsheet document you use, add your goals for the meeting and honor the meeting when it comes around.
Eat with people who are important to you, if you can.
There’s something about sharing a meal that’s special in human nature. Friends who are important to you? Partners? Mentors you’re looking to get to know better after you’ve had a few chats? Try to eat with them when you can. And keep your phone off the table.
The same idea works with your coresidents and teams in the hospital. Eat with them if you can. Eating with others builds, strengthens and maintains relationships. Keep your phone off the table if you can.
Think about it this way: who would you consider a better mentor, the person you’ve met with a few times in their office where they sit behind their desk and you in front of them while they glance at their computer screen every time it pings or the person who’s invited you to get coffee or food and they kept their phone away the whole time? Now turn that around and realize the power of the message you can send to people you care about by trying to eat with them and show them they have your full attention.
1. Learn to think about tasks as a continuum from start to finish instead of as a binary 'done/not done'.
Let’s say you have to order a CT for a patient of yours.
Instead of marking the task as complete the second you place the order for the CT, recognize that the whole task is not just placing the order, but also knowing when your patient is going down to the scanner, when they’re back, when the CT is up in the system, when the report is up and also that you’ve looked at the CT yourself and have read the report.
When your senior or attending asks you, “Did patient X get their CT?”, a not-so-great answer is “Yes” or “No”. A better answer is “they’re down at the scanner now” or “the scan’s done but it hasn’t been read yet. Want to look at it?” or “Yes, it’s negative for XXX but did show YYY”.
Whatever system you eventually adopt for your day-to-day task management in the hospital, whether it’s a list or index cards or a printed signout sheet, make sure you’re tracking both when orders go in, when they’re complete, when they’re cancelled, etc. Just marking things as complete once you place the order isn’t enough.
2. Signout is taken, not given.
What I mean by this is that when you take signout, that means you’re accepting responsibility for those patients. They might be your patients, you might be cross-covering, it doesn’t matter. What matters is that when those patients are your responsibility, it’s your responsibility to get what you need to know to take care of them. Is someone signing out to you in a hurry and not giving you what you need? Ask them for that relevant past medical history, those exam findings, and so on. It’s not enough for the person handing off to say “we’re worried about x or y”, you’ve got to follow that up with “in case of x or y, is there a plan for what the team wants me to do?”. Get the answers you need. A lot of covering patients on call is playing defense whereas the primary team generally plays offense. But that doesn’t mean you can play defense in isolation. The last thing you want is for the primary team to feel surprised by your choices.
* Here’s two ways for the above example to go when turning the patients you were covering back over the next day or whatever: 1. You: “For patient so-and-so, you said you were worried about x or y. Y happened.” Them: “What did you do?”. You: “Z”. Them: “Shit, my attending’s not gonna like that”. 2. You “Y happened so I did A like you said, it went fine and here’s the current status”. Them: “Great, thanks” * See the difference?
Along the lines of taking responsibility for those patients, that means that if you couldn’t get the information you needed at signout then you have to go and see those patients and get the information you need yourself.
You’ll hear this idea said a bunch of different ways like “trust but verify”, “trust no one” and your comfort level will change over the year as you become more confident and comfortable. But always error on the side of going to see the patient and getting your own information at the start.
3. If you will be miserable without something when you’re in the hospital, bring it with you. You won’t reliably be able to find it at the hospital every time you need it.
Need coffee otherwise you turn into a demon? Bring it with you. You never know when you’ll get caught doing something and won’t be able to run to the cafeteria for your fix.
On call overnight and know you need food so you don’t go insane? Bring it with you. Here’s a hospital food rule: never rely on the hospital's ability to feed you. The hospital will let you down sooner or later, I guarantee it.
Know you always get cold on call? The day you forget your jacket/sweatshirt is the day you won’t be able to find a spare blanket in the hospital to save your life. Put a backup in your locker (if your hospital respects you enough to give you one).
Miscellaneous productivity, professionalism and lifestyle tips
1. Aim to “touch” everything only once
Example: your physical mail. You know, the stuff made of dead trees that accumulates in that box you check every once in a while. For every piece of mail you get, you should either trash it, file it, or act on it. Don’t touch it until you’re ready to do one of those things.
Example: your email. Either delete it, archive it, reply to it or do the thing it’s telling you to do right away. Don’t fall into the trap of using your inbox as a to-do list -- that’s a recipe to get burned. Use a task manager for your to-do list and aim to keep your inbox at zero. Realize that email’s true power is communication and use it as a communication tool and nothing else.
I’ll use the example of going to a wedding again as something to “touch once”. Aim to accomplish all the tasks at once or at least create tasks and reminders to complete those tasks all in one go. Respond to the RSVP, create the calendar invite with all the information from the invitation, share the calendar event with your date, book your travel, book your hotel, book your rental car, buy your gift from the registry and set a reminder to get your suit/dress cleaned a few weeks ahead, etc.
2. Lean to use your calendar as a tool
Professionals in the “real world” tend to live and die by their calendars. Some people, especially many senior people in medicine, don’t manage their own calendars. But you manage yours. With it you can:
Make sure all events—even small ones like dates or errands you want to run—have locations so all you have to do is click the location for directions
Send invites to friends / family / coworkers for anything you talk about doing that has the relevant info
Make reminders for yourself to prepare for upcoming events, i.e.., don’t count on seeing your parents’/spouses’/whomever’s birthday “coming up” to remind you to get a gift or send a card. Create an event two weeks before their birthday that says “Buy Mom a birthday card”, set it to repeat yearly and buy a card when it comes up, send it a few days later and don’t worry that it won’t get there in time.
3. Learn to use email well
Ever get an email from someone and feel their tone was terse, condescending or rude? Don’t be that person. Error on the side being polite and professional and writing in complete sentences without textspeak. It’s not hard — you type fast, even with your thumbs, I’m sure of it.
Learn to communicate effectively. Keep it short but not terse. State why you’re writing to someone, be clear if you’re asking a question, and think about it this way: “How am I making it as easy as possible for this person to understand why I’m emailing them and do what I’m asking them to do?
Don’t use a canned salutation like “Best, NAME” or even worse: “Best, INITIALS”. Use your salutation to continue to communicate your message and remember that politeness and professionalism extend through your signature.
I don’t know why “Best,” is so common in medicine but it’s meaningless, unthoughtful, inherently passive aggressive and I seriously read it as if the person writing it were signing off by saying “Go f*ck yourself,”. Same thing for “Regards,” and its ilk, any abbreviation like “vr,” or any form of cutesy quote.
Write your salutation fresh each time. Did you ask someone for something? Say “Thank you for your help”. Are you writing someone senior to you and want to sound somewhat formal? “Sincerely,” never goes out of style. Are you sharing information and essentially writing a memo? Use “Please let me know if you have any questions”. Your salutation is communication, treat it that way.
Sign with your name, not your initials. Signing with initials is a common way senior people will try to remind you they’re senior to you. If you do it, it’s like you’re trying to prove you’re a Cool Guy Big Shot too. It never comes across well -- even for those senior people. Initials are terse. Lowercase initials are even terser. Although they may look different at first glance, all initial signatures functionally come across as ‘FU’. Write your name.
If it’s a few rounds back and forth of email, it’s normal drop salutations and signatures and treat email more like texting. Keep using complete sentences without textspeak, though. I promise you’ll come across better that way.
Use the ‘signature’ feature of your email client to share your professional details and contact information
Your institution (not department) will hopefully have a format for this that’s standardized and includes minimal or no graphics. If it doesn't, then I feel sorry for all the inevitable IT headaches you will eventually endure at your institution since they clearly underfund and undervalue contemporary IT and professional services. It’s the wild west out there so find some good examples of clean, professional signature formats and make one for yourself.
Note: this signature lives below your salutation and sign off. It’s essentially the letterhead for your email that lets your recipient fill in the details you may not otherwise provide like your department, mailing address or fax number. It’s not a replacement for signing off of your communication professionally.
Never use bold, italics, underlines or different font sizes in your emails. They only make emails harder to read and jumble your message.
If you want to highlight something, put it in a numbered or bulleted list.
If you can’t communicate what you want with 2-3 bulleted points, then email is not the right medium to use. Do you like reading long emails? Of course you don’t. Write a memo, attach it as a PDF or shared doc and use the email to tell your recipients to review the attachment.
You will eventually, in some way or another, ask someone to introduce you to one of their contacts and or refer you for something. Learn how to write a good forwardable email that utilizes the double opt-in concept and how to make it easy on the person doing you the favor. Read more here, here and here.
While you’re at it, understand the power of using CC and BCC to communicate effectively.
Aim to answer all emails written directly to you within 24 hours.
If you can’t respond fully right away, respond briefly saying you got the note and that you’ll work on it and get back to them. Set a reminder or create a task to do or review the thing and get back to them once you’ve done it.
Do you hate being left on read in text? You do it in email every time you don’t respond to someone in a timely fashion. It’s better to share a quick, “I got it and I’m working on it message” then not replying until days or weeks later.
4. Don’t let someone else’s negative energy and/or anxiety transfer to you
You will frequently experience things like this in the hospital:
A co-resident disagrees with a management decision made at rounds and mentions that so-and-so is an idiot. So-and-so probably isn’t an idiot. Your co-resident probably isn’t an idiot either. Form your own opinions from your own experiences.
A nurse pages you with a tone that says “THIS IS REALLY BAD”. It might be, go and see. And on your way, stay calm and go over the steps in your head of what you’d do if it is, in fact, REALLY BAD. But don’t freak yourself out before you even get to the room. You won’t be able to make decisions with a clear head if you’re already worked up.
You’re a surgery intern and all your patients are normally on the med-surg floor. Every once in a while, one goes somewhere like heme-onc if the med-surg floor is full. Someone on your team says something like “great, now they’re going to screw up our patient”. Recognize that that floor isn’t full of terrible nurses and may just have less experiences with lines and drains and that the best thing you can do is go down there, talk to the nurse and say “here’s what we want to be called about” and “this thing may look bad but it usually isn’t and we don’t need to be called, here’s why”, and so on. Doing things like this will mean you get fewer calls. Fewer calls are good.
Your attending is having a bad day and you’re not enjoying your interactions with them. Don’t let that make you have a bad day too. Medicine is hard enough as it is, stick to your own bad days instead adopting other people’s. Then pull up your friend list, text a buddy and feel better.
5. Don’t neglect your physical health. Trying to eat well and stay active are even more important when you’re insanely busy.
The #1 thing you can do to help your waistline is cook your own food and pack your own meals. It doesn’t matter what you cook or how good of a cook you are, as long as you’re aiming to pack meals that an adult would eat, it will be healthier than takeout and cafeteria food. It’s better for portion control, you control all the ingredients and you get a sense of satisfaction for being on the ball. It’s better in every way. I know it’s not realistic to always prep and pack your own food on the busiest of services but you should try to hit at least a percentage like 25% or 50% of your meals. There are no lost causes in your own health. It will be hard to exercise and work out. You should still try to do it anyway. You will go long stretches without exercising at times. Don’t beat yourself up about it. Every day is a chance to do the thing you want to do so get back out there.
6. If your social profiles are private, consider doing some housekeeping and making them public.
Instead of thinking about them as a liability to be that needs to be hidden, think about them as a narrative you can control. Nothing is private on the internet. Even your private profile. You never know who knows someone you know or what may get screenshotted and shared down the line. It’s natural to run a web search on anyone you’re meeting for a date, interviewing with for a job, or researching in general. When you search your own name, what comes up? What do you think when you’re searching for someone and they have a private page? Do you ever click on a few links to see professional stuff from LinkedIn, and then some social pages to see what else you learn? So does everyone else. Use your social pages to put forward a version of you that shows who you are, shows some interests true to yourself, makes you seem like a totally normal and reliable person (which is exactly what any potential date, partner, fellowship director or hiring manager is asking themselves about you) and doesn’t share enough information to let a patient show up at your door. Medicine lags behind other industries with people still commonly hiding behind private pages. In the tech world, it’s more strange to not have a public page. A private page says more about you that you might want to hide red flags whereas a public page says “go ahead and look, you won’t find any red flags”. One is much more powerful than the other.
Closing and something to read
When you view your professional life, it’s natural to view your professional relationships as being a binary one between patient and physician. That’s certainly essential and certainly important, but as a professional you now have relationships to consider with so many more types of people: co-residents, faculty in your department, faculty in other departments, administrators, support staff, medical students, and so on. Just as you had to learn how to work with patients, you will have to learn to work with all of the other people in your professional life. Truly effective professionals will treat all interactions importantly and give thought and consideration to each one. All these interactions and relationships will all affect your day-to-day experience, your well-being and, ultimately, your professional experience. You will find yourself being not just responsible for your patients, but also for yourself, your career and your relationships. It takes effort to succeed in all of those areas. And even with effort, sometimes you’ll be winning in an area and losing in others. And in a few months it will be different -- that’s just life. I want you to consider looking outside of books and resources written specifically for physicians when you’re trying to tackle these issues inside the hospital and out. Medicine is a much-smaller-than-you-realize bubble with a long history of personality-driven examples of “that’s just the way we do it” or “that’s how we’ve always done it”. There are good books about medicine out there, to be sure, but you’ll benefit more professionally by learning from the wide world outside of hospitals since there are quite simply many more successful and accomplished people who’ve written great resources for all aspects of professional life that medicine tends to ignore. I’d recommend you start with this book: Andy Grove’s High Output Management (a review by another Valley titan here). Andy escaped communist Hungary, taught himself English and rose to be CEO of Intel and went on to be a sage of Silicon Valley before he passed. This book is a how-to guide for how to be an effective professional in an organization (hint: you're now a professional in an organization) and if you’ve enjoyed this post at all, you’ll love this book. You may think that this book applies to ‘managers’ and ‘business’ and not medicine but you couldn’t be more wrong. Although it was probably written around the time you were born, nearly everything in this book is a lesson that directly applies to your professional life in medicine and when you start seeing it, you’ll feel like you’re in The Matrix. Congratulations! You've worked hard to get here. Be proud of yourself, your degree, your long white coat and be the best doctor you can be.
Since a few people appreciated my list last week figured I'd drop it again for everyone not just the few people that I constantly chat with 8/2 WEEKLY WATCHLIST [P.S. Only enter positions you feel the most comfortable with. Your money is your soldier only send him into the battle you think you'll win. Some of these I have taken positions. Some I am looking to take positions. I've posted how many shares I own of what multiple times ] 💸PENNIES💸 [💎-Long time gold][⁉️-Could go both ways][🚀Rocket Emoji-I think this is gonna shoot up][🔥-This is a HOT pick][⚠️-Already ran a bit be careful][👀-Watching this one closely] 🚀💸PENNYS💸🚀 $AMTX - Golden triangle. Looks to still have fuel in the rocket. $1.10-$1.15 imo isn't a bad entry. $1.12 is the WEEKLY support. Overall support is a freefall to $0.80 I expect a $1.40-$1.45 run. PR on Tuesday⚠️👀[Rocket Emoji]🚀 $BNGO - Big virtual booth Aug 4-5th. Huge biotech upcoming company. Support at $0.74 & $0.65. Resistance at $0.82 than $0.95. This could rip up with the right volume👀🔥 [Rocket Emoji]🚀 $AIM - Web conference Monday 1:30EST. I honestly see this hitting $5 in the long future but should run up Friday into Monday. About 70% shareholders are breakeven or at a loss. Decent support at $2.72. Godly support at $2.44. Resistance at $3/$3.35.💎🔥👀[Rocket Emoji]🚀 $ATNM - Balance sheet shows easily enough money for another quarter without an offering. Earnings Aug 7th. [Estimated 56% growth]. Sabby is playing with this[scary] but this monster "should" RIP UP! Support is $0.52-$0.54. Weak support at $0.57. Resistances at $0.61/$0.64/$0.68🔥👀[Twitter pumping this too] $BKYI - African Contracts need to be finalized and this is gonna ZOOM ZOOM ZOOM! Had a single buyer with a 200k share bid at $0.75. Looks like it made a new support at $0.69 off old resistance levels. Seems to be rough resistance at the $0.71-$0.74 range . After that could run $0.77-$0.82🔥👀[Rocket Emoji]🚀 $BIOC - Insider buys 7/14 of 20k shares. Bullish uptrend. Decent support at $0.68, $0.63 $0.60. DEC 7th until for compliance. So decent amount of time still. I'm bullish AF to $0.80 Maybe $1. Broke $0.725 resistance. Talks of a RESPLIT THOUGH! 6/25 Golden Cross![Chart if you wanna see just ask] $CHEK - 70% of shareholders at a lose. Mad support at $0.53 area. Above $0.61 I'd be super bullish. I see an ascending triangle. This baby wants to break out.Macd is setup perfectly. Volume Friday smacked it up. This company is REALLY dedicated to pushing for $1 for conpliance!🔥💎👀 $IZEA - AUG 18th Webinar. Tiktok partnership RUMOR?!?! Insane Support at $1.02. Small resistance at $1.47 I see resistances at $1.66👀🔥⚠️[Rocket Emoji]🚀🚀🚀 $SXTC - 99% Shareholders breakeven or at loss. Had Insane support at $0.40-$0.40 and broke down. New support is $0.36. Something tells me this is an EASY gap up to $0.42-$0.44 Low float🔥[Rocket Emoji]🚀 $JFU - UNGODLY OVERSOLD 90% Shareholders breakeven or at a loss. MACD setup on daily. Should EASILY gap up to $2.40-$2.60. BITCOIN PLAY🔥[Rocket Emoji]🚀 $MARA/$RIOT -BTC Plays. Mara imo is the better option. They are debt free vs RIOT 200m debt👀🔥⚠️ [Rocket Emoji]🚀 $ENZ- Has FDA approval noone else has this test. Monopoly. Schools testing. State colleges already buying them.98% shareholders are breakeven or loss! REVENUE UP 121% IN 2019. Looks to be at support at $2.35 beyond that around $2.08. Resistainces sitting at around $2.55 and $2.70.👀 $MYT - $0.40 Offering price. I wouldnt mind getting it around $0.38-$0.42. US store in trial phase. $DLPN - FORSEE a HUGE gap up here! Support at $0.82 than a freefall to $0.49. SMALL resistance at $0.91. Than resistance at $1/$1.07. Had an offering at $1.05 2months ago.Only scarey thing is they might split due to compliance👀[Rocket Emoji]🚀 $LPCN - FDA Approval Aug 28th. This has been a CONSTANT RUNNER 💎🔥[Rocket Emoji]🚀 $BOXL - Offering closed Friday. PR is imminent. 99% Shareholders are at a LOSS! Chart looks like a BULLISH pennant.$2.20 is OKAY support. $1.70 is pretty strong support. $2.30 looks like the first soft resistance. $2.45 gets broken we could see a $3 Run👀 $ONTX - Made compliance on Friday. Massive support at $1.12. Dropping Twitter PR like wildfire. Resistance seems to be in $0.05 invervals starting at $1.20. Afte $1.45 Its a straight RIP up to $2.65👀[Rocket Emoji] $IDEX - Looks like old$1.38-$1.40 Support is being rebuilt. Bullish as hell if this breaks $1.51. Earnings August 11th🔥👀[Rocket Emoji]🚀 💰HONORABLE MENTIONS💰 : $VERB - [Offering at $1.10 good around that price]$NAK $UAVS $MVIS $GAU[Gold mine]🔥 $PZG[Gold mine]🔥$JAN🔥👀 💰Non-Pennys💰 $MGM - EPS was BETTER than projected. Revenue in the gutter. Didn't have the sell off i thought. Still a good price LONG. MGM is 1/3 casinos with liscensing in Japan. By 2030 this should be a $40-$45 ticker💎🔥⚠️👀 [Rocket Emoji]🚀 $CZR aka $ERI - COME BACK KING! Hasnt been this cheap since 2017. THIS SHOULD RUN UP to $35-$38 shortly. Biggest casino/hotel chain in the WORLD after buying out caesars. Should be $70-$100 ticker by 2030-2035💎🔥⚠️👀 [Rocket Emoji]🚀 $O - MONTHLY dividend. [5% yearly] GREAT LONG term investment. 💎 $JMIA - Monthly MACD Setup so perfectly for this, Has been running lately but no where near pre-rona levels. HOPING FOR A SELL OFF TO TAKE A POSITION. Offering at $8.59 BUT its a shelf offering which means they don't have to sell it currently. This could drop down to that or continue its run until the offering block is dropped.👀⚠️🔥 $CNTG - Around 80-90% shareholders BREAKEVEN or at a LOSS!600 USA school+3 german airports so far.US mobile semi truck lab. So oversold its asking for change!🔥[Rocket Emoji]🚀 $WIMI - $8 OFFERING. I LOVE OFFERING plays without mass dillution<3 🔥💎 👀[Rocket Emoji]🚀 $SPAQ - Tons of pre-orders aka free revenue without advertising. This should take off like NKLA did eventually. 4hr chart approaching oversold. 94% Of shareholders at breakeven or loss! $10.60 is a strong af support. $13.95 is the first real resistance. If this breaks the $12.45/50 range SUPER bullish. Fisker dropping mad PR Hints on twitter 🔥👀[Rocket Emoji]🚀 🔥🌾Gold/Silver🌾🔥 $AGC - 2x silver. Aka silver -1% AGC -2%. This is a day or swing trade. Depreciates🔥 $SLV - Long term silver hold🔥 $JNUG - 2x Gold/Silver Junior Miners 🔥 $NUGT - 2x Gold/Silver Miners🔥 $GLD - Long term gold holds👀🔥 🔮BET AGAINST THE MARKET🔮 $SPXS - 3X Inverse of SPY [The overall market] Spy +1% SPXS -3%. Spy -3% SPXS +9% $VXX - Fear index/Volatility Index. This goes up with market feaunsurity. USUALLY inverses $SPY🚀🚀 Newfilter.io [USE THIS SITE, LOVE THIS SITE, BEFRIEND THIS SITE] It gives live news [1-5mins delayed]. I refresh the FDA approval constantly and the latest news pretty often PS. I have CALLS for $VXX [I believe market volatility/unsurity is going to SPIKE high as hell this week the longer the feds take with unemployment stimulus and the stimulus in general] I have put spreads on $SPY I believe $SPY is going to drop for the above reason
"You're fucking crazy John," the man in the black T-Shirt announced. "Seriously, you want to pretend to be a paedo, so you can lure in the FBI and fuck with them? That is some next level warped shit." "Chill out dude. That was just an example. Doesn't have to be a paedo." "I don't give a fuck. Anything that's gonna make them zero-day you is some dark shit that you can't just laugh off. And what if they chain the sploits? They'll bounce out of your sandbox and be kicking the door down in minutes." "No, no, it's ok. Really. I bought these laptops from a heroin addict in another city. Totally untraceable. I've had the lid off and de-soldered the camera, microphone and wireless." "That's no use, we've got to get online somehow. And when their payload fires they'll trace us through a ToR bypass." "That's why we need three laptops. Physical separation. This one," he tapped the metallic blue case, "is the bait. It's a regular laptop, but it's only connection is a single wired Ethernet. The only route to the Internet is via this one," tap tap, "which is running hardened Kali and only connects via ToR." "Seriously, you're going to actually do this?" "Come on dude, I've always wanted to try. Live a little." "What's the third one for?" "It's hardened Kali too. We proxy everything from the bait browser through here. When they deliver their exploit we'll catch it here, do some reverse engineering, and get ready for the fun bit!" "What the hell. But you're crazy man. And we never speak of this." "Of course. Goes without saying." "How do we start?" "You get a proxy running on that. I'll get the ToR connection set up. I got a 4G dongle off the same guy." John removed a small ethernet hub from his bag, connected its power but held off from plugging in the laptops. He connected the 4G dongle, started the ToR service and watch its status update. With the connection active he configured the iptables firewall so outbound traffic was permitted only through ToR. Cal started the intercepting proxy, exposed its listener and looked at John. "Ready" They both plugged into the hub, and Cal watched as John connected the bait laptop, accessed the proxy settings and linked it to the listener. He accessed a non-descript site to check the setup. It loaded a little slowly, while the series of requests popped up on the intercepting proxy. "Are we sure it's going through ToR?" Cal asked. "Don't worry". "Seriously, show me a packet trace." John started a sniffer, gestured to Cal to refresh the bait browser, while a series of packets scrolled up the screen, all safely encrypted by ToR. "So what now?" a pause "And definitely no paedo stuff. That's too dark to mess about with." "Old school," John replied, "I guess it's a bit of a cliche. We go on the dark net and try to order a murder for BitCoin. We'll make it an American prosecutor, that'll get the FBI going." Cal stared at him. But that didn't stop him typing and Cal watched with grim fascination as he navigated around dark net markets, registering accounts, searching vendors and sending onimous enquiries. Cal monitored the proxy, configuring ever more intricate filters to weed out the mundane. They'd crossed a line of no return and complicit Cal joined in, weaving convincing tales in their messages, striking the right tone to complete their deception. This went on for hours, with no sign of any incoming exploits. Until the browser popped up with "Do you want to allow this site to access WebGL?" "That's it," John smiled, "there's no way that site really uses WebGL. This is an exploit. Stands to reason too, we always knews that had huge attack surface." He was about to permit it, but Cal stopped him. "No, don't allow it. If we allow it, we'll just get a lame zero day that requires WebGL. Deny it and carry on. They'll send a better exploit soon enough." The intensity increased, Cal identified the malicious code that had tried to access WebGL. But it was just a stager - no exploit there. John carried on his ruse, until he noticed the browser stutter. He grabbed Cal's arm, "this is it!" Fear in the room intensified. This was serious now, some hacker - be it FBI or otherwise - had control of the laptop right in front of them. "Carry on with the messaging Cal. If we stop now they'll know our game." Cal typed into the bait laptop while John began to investigate the exploit delivery. He identified the malware quickly enough, and a lingering connection that could be to the command and control server. Alarmingly, it was transferring a lot of data in both directions, a detail he decided not to share with Cal. He loaded the malware into a binary analysis tool and begun the painstaking process of unpicking its workings. 20 minutes in he told Cal to stop. "That'll do. Sign off naturally and shut it down." Cal joined him with the binary anaysis and gradually they formed a picture of its armory. "It's not like one I've seen before," Cal said, "it's tighter coded than a typical rootkit. Really could be FBI." John nodded. "You can see it repeatedly copying this string. That's gotta be a heap spray. And it looks like self-decrypting machine code. Yeah, that's the payload for sure. We can just plug our own in here." "What if the exploit's been watermarked?" Cal interjected, "We don't know where they could have hidden one." "Who cares? We're gonna deliver it anonymously anyway." They worked industriously to decouple the exploit and payload, build a delivery mechanism, and soon they were ready to test it. They watched in delight as a fully-patched browser accessed their delivery site, churned the laptop's CPU, then registered a ping back on the console. The next step was to incorporate a real payload. "So what's it gonna do John?" "Persist itself to disk, then sit quietly and await further instructions. I've got the C&C software figured out already, it was a fun project from long ago. What I need you to do is use BitCoin to rent a couple of dozen virtual servers in different data centres around the world." As Cal started registering the servers, John used the third laptop to generate a public/private key pair. One by one, the servers came online, and John installed the C&C software, configuring each to only respond to instructions signed by their private key. On the 20th he told Cal to stop. There was a sparkle in his eyes. "We're nearly there! Everything's in place." "How are we going to deliver it?" "That's why we had to do this today. I found something earlier. A cache poisoning vulnerability on a major site." Cal stared at him. The chain was complete. This was not real. They completed their final maneouvers. Scripted a mechanism to dynamically generate payloads containing a random sample of C&C servers. Uploaded the exploit delivery mechanism into the control cloud, and generated a list of exploit URLs. John accessed the vulnerable major site, saved the HTML code locally, and modified it to include an exploit URL. Then he exploited the cache poisoning flaw, so that every visitor - at least every visitor coming through that particular cache cluster - would receive not the legitimate site but his malicious modificiations. They watched the C&C management console. Around the world, thousands of unsuspecting web users experienced an annoying pause while their web pages loaded. Each time, under the hood, the zero day exploit fired, the payload persisted itself to disk, and made a connection to their C&C network to receive further instructions. Each time a new node joined their botnet, a line was logged to their console, and soon the screen was scrolling uncontrollably. John was elated, Cal terrified. Cal watched in horror as John repeated the cache poison process across multiple clusters in different data centres. The rate of scrolling on the C&C console exploded. John cancelled it with a smile. "Lets just look at the numbers" Running a grep count on the log showed over 900,000 payload activations. And their malware had been live for barely 15 minutes. "What are you going to do with it?" "That's for another day. Now, we cover our tracks." John removed two USB drives from his bag. He created an encrypted container, and into it put his decoy. Some nudes of an office chick that had been circulating. Incriminating enough, but not the crown jewels. He then created a hidden container within the free space of the first container, using a very strong password. Into this hidden container he copied the private key for the C&C network. This key put him in control. The only way to control the botnot was having both the USB drive, and his strong password. He repeated the process for Cal, inviting him to choose his own passwords. When he handed over the drive, Cal held it like it was on fire. He shut down the bait laptop, gesturing Cal to do the same with the proxy. Removed the hard drive and connected it via USB to the ToR relay. The ToR relay was unlikely to have been compromised that night, a trustworthy system he could use to erase the others. After a secure erase of both drives, then of the ToR relay itself, John started putting everything in a bag. They left the hotel room in silence. Bag on the rear seat and John drove. Cal was acutely aware of the USB drive in his pocket, the angled corners pressing into his leg. He went out of town, down lanes Cal didn't recognise, and stopped by a chain link fence. They both got out, John retrieved the bag, and with a big hurl, launched it over the fence into the landfill. Back home, John smoked a large joint of double zero hash and fell fast asleep. He awoke a few hours later. It almost felt like a dream. But he ran his fingers along the USB drive and remembered the sheer power it contained.
16 Apps That Will Earn You Passive Cash Back (Best Passive Saving Apps 2020)
This is the updated 2020 Q1/Q2 version of this post. If you remember reading the previous iteration of this post, there are several changes to the list this time around. Some new additions, and some removals. Note: Most of these apps will be US only, with a minimum age requirement of 18. Having said that, let's get right into it.
Pei is an automatic cash back app. When you sign up, you'll link a debit/credit card and you'll then automatically start earning cash back as you shop at certain Pei merchants (listed just below). There are so many merchants with Pei that you'll likely find yourself accidentally earning cash back on the app, without even knowing it. Pei is an app that you can really just link a card and then check back weeks later and surprise yourself with the money you've earned. Pei deserves the top spot in this post because of how consistent it is, and just how many places you can earn cash back with it. You can cash out instantly as soon as you reach $25 in your account. If you sign up with a referral code, you'll get a $2.50 bonus once you spend at a Pei merchant. You can use the referral code found on the most common Beermoney Sites thread here.
Pros of Pei:
Cash Back at a lot of locations, and more are added frequently.
Cash out via PayPal, Bitcoin, or Prepaid Visa.
So with all of that being said, let's talk about the stores you can find on Pei. Just note that these are only stores that are local to me, so if I don't have a certain store near me that Pei offers, I won't have it on this list. Additionally, Pei actually offers so many stores at this point that there's no way for me to actually keep this list up to date at all. There have been countless times where I've shopped somewhere that doesn't even come up as an option to earn with Pei but I'll see cash back listed on the app. It's really quite impressive.
Target - 1%
Uber - 1%
Lyft - 1%
Chipotle - 1.2%
Chick-Fil-A - 1%
Panda Express - 1.5%
Petco - 1%
PetSmart - 1%
Sephora - 1%
Banana Republic - 1%
American Eagle Outfitters - 1%
Gap - 1%
Old Navy - 1%
Taco Bell - 2%
Dominos Pizza - 1.5%
CVS - 1%
Starbucks - 1%
AMC - 2%
GameStop - 1.2%
Subway - 1.5%
7-Eleven - 1%
Dunkin' Donuts - 1.5%
Walgreens - 0.5%
Nordstrom - 1%
Supercuts - 2%
ZARA - 1.2%
Express - 1%
H&M - 1.2%
Urban Outfitters - 1%
+ Local locations - ~5%
In addition to receiving cash back at many locations, Pei also has a 'loyalty bonus' where if you shop at a certain store 5x you'll earn a bonus of up to $100 (but usually way less). Pei Also just released a new feature called "Party Cash". Basically with Party Cash if you ever go shopping somewhere with your friends who also have Pei, you can start a party, and for each friend you shop with, each person will get a +1% bonus. For example, if I go shopping at Target with 2 other friends and we all start a Party Cash on Pei, we'll each get 1% (for usual cash back) plus 2% cash back from Party Cash, for a total of 3% cash back. Most stores do have a $5 daily/weekly earning limit, so do be aware that if you spend more than ~$500, you'll likely reach an earning cap.
Dosh is one fastest growing cash back apps on this list. Similar to Pei, it's a card linked program where you'll automatically earn cash back when you shop at several local and national brands. On average you'll earn 3-5% cash back when you shop at the brands featured on Dosh. As soon as you hit $25 in your balance, you can cash out to PayPal. The biggest downfall of Dosh is that the offers in the app change frequently, and the offers are targeted, meaning that not everyone will see the same offers. Below are some of the current offers for instant cash back that you might find on Dosh. Note that only instant cash back offers found on the app will earn you cash back automatically when you spend with your card.
Sam's Club - 5%
Walmart Grocery - 2%
Dunkin' - 4%
Wendy's - 3%
Uber - ?%
Papa John's 3%
Many local places - 5%
More that I'm not targeted for
Dosh also does have a generous referral program where you'll get $5 when you sign up and link a card, and so will the referrer. If you'd like to, you can enter my code, KJK6 or use my referral link (nonref) BTW, If you've heard of Dosh before, that might make sense. If you use Venmo and have the Venmo debit card, they recently introduced Venmo Rewards, which is powered by Dosh.
HOOCH has earned the number 3 spot on this list this time around because of all the programs on this list, it has remained consistent. HOOCH will automatically earn you cash back when you link a credit/debit card whenever you shop at several national brands. If you understand how Pei or Dosh above works, there's not really much more to say about HOOCH's cash back system. You'll instantly earn 1% cash back at the following national brands:
In addition to 1% cash back at the national brands, here are some other ways you'll earn with HOOCH:
Connecting your first card ($5 bonus)
Drink at a HOOCH Venue (5%)
Book a Hotel (5%)
Dine at a HOOCH Venue (5%)
HOOCH started a long while back as a subscription app where you'll buy a subscription and you'll get a free drink at a HOOCH venue every day. The venues are extremely limited, so a majority of the people reading this won't find any value in that plan. Dining is just as rare. Their referral system appears to be pretty generous. They're currently offering a $5 bonus for signing up, as well as $1 for the referrer, as well as a 20% bonus on their earnings for life.Here's my referral link, and a nonref link :) Here's the downfall of HOOCH: You can only cash out for gift cards, and the minimum is $25. For most people, this is a really big disadvantage of this app. Assuming that most people will only be earning through the 1% cash back brands, the minimum you'll need to spend in order to his the cash out minimum is $2500, which would likely take most people a really long time, since the brand options are not places where you're likely to spend a lot of money frequently...like, for example, a grocery store. But still, you could probably earn yourself a few free gift cards every once in a while for a totally passive app.
Bumped is an investing app, when you really boil it down. When you sign up you'll select one brand in each category (there are a lot of categories, you'll see below), and each time you shop at the selected brand, you'll earn the certain specified purchase back in the form of company stock. This is unique to all of the other apps on this list, because you're actually receiving company stock. Also, because of this, I think it's very important to note that in order to sign up for Bumped you'll need to enter your SSN since you will be opening up a brokerage account. As of posting, the following are the category options that you can choose from: I've bolded the brands I selected. Obviously you should pick a brand that you can find yourself using the most. Do note that if you pick a brand that you might want to change later, you'll get the opportunity to change your brands 3 times a year, at least 30 days in between.
3% at Jack in the Box
3% at McDonald's
3% at Wendy's
2% at Dunkin' Donuts
2% at Starbucks
2% at CVS
1% at Walgreens
2% at Applebees
2% at Chili's
2% at Olive Garden
2% at Red Robin
1% at Kroger Family of Stores
0.5% at The Home Depot
2% at Chipotle Mexican Grill
2% at Taco Bell
1% at Pandora
5% at Spotify
1% at Domino's
5% at Papa John's
2% at Pizza Hut
0.5% at Lyft
0.5% at Uber
1% at Target
1% at Walmart
0.5% at AT&T
0.5% at T-Mobile
0.5% at Verizon Wireless
1% at Netflix
5% at Sling TV
1% at Willamette Valley Vineyards
One thing that is listed on the app is that if you want to move your way up on the waitlist you can refer your friends to join the waitlist as well.
Bits (of stock) is very similar to Bumped. It's better in some ways, but worse in most. Similar to Bumped, there's a waitlist. Note that Bits is currently only available on iOS, but they have teased a version for Android will be coming. So, here's the issue with Bits... There's no brokerage accounts set up. If you're not sure what that means, basically in order for you to actually own and trade stocks, you'll need to do it through a brokerage account. For example, if you use Robinhood, you own a brokerage account at Robinhood. If you use TD Ameritrade, you'll have a brokerage account at TD Ameritrade. So basically the app will say that you're getting stock back as you spend, but there's no way to actually sell your stock. Basically what I'm saying is that until the brokerage account is added, you're really just receiving play money. Bits has been extremely silent about the release of the brokerage accounts... I asked them back in December and they said they were aiming to release it "next month". Three months have passed since then, so I asked last week and they again said the same thing.. the goal is a release next month (April). We'll just have to wait and see. The point here is -- assume you're not earning anything with Bits until they add the brokerage accounts. This post will be updated once the accounts are added. So, as for the actual cash back from Bits, you're able to choose 15 brands (that you can change at any time). I'll list the brands you can choose from below. What's interesting is that when the app first launched, all of the brands offered a 2% CB rate (which is unsustainably high). The rates have since come down to 0.5% for all brands. To save characters, here's a recording of me scrolling through the brands offered. If you don't want to watch that video, just know that there are a lot of brands to choose from.
Ibottais a cash back app that has been around for years, but this is its first time being added to this list. When the app originally launched, you would earn on the app by selecting cash back products that you could purchase and receive a rebate. Once you selected products you wanted to purchase, you would then scan the products after purchasing them to confirm your purchase, and then submit a photo of your receipt. That doesn't sound too passive, now, does it? Well, over the last little while, the app has come a very long way. In most cases you no longer need to select rebates you want to purchase, and in most cases you don't even need to scan a receipt, if you're shopping somewhere where you can link a rewards membership. For example, I shop at Meijer and Target primarily for groceries. Both of these stores allow me to link my accounts with the stores, so for Target any time I shop and spend using a credit card that is linked to my Target account, I'll get cash back automatically. Same thin for Meijer. As soon as I enter my mPerks phone number, I'll get cash back. What's great is that you don't even have to select offers anymore. So this is one of those cases where you might accidentally get cash back. Also, just to clarify, you're getting cash back for the products you purchase, not the place that you're shopping... which is different than most of the other apps featured on this list. Even if you don't purchase a product that qualifies for a rebate, you'll probably find yourself earning cash back almost every time you shop because Ibotta has several "Any" offers, meaning any time you buy "any" kind of a product, say.. blinker fluid, for example, you'll earn cash back for your blinker fluid purchase regardless of the brand. These offers are optimal for cash back. I personally went a whole couple months without opening Ibotta and I showed up to $50 in cash back from purchases I didn't even know I was getting cash back for. Another newer feature of the app (which isn't passive) is Ibotta Pay. Ibotta Pay is basically just a glorified way of purchasing gift cards and receiving cash back for the gift card purchase. In addition to this cash back, you'll also find several bonuses where if you redeem x offers, you'll get a certain $ boost. For example, I currently have an offer for a $10 bonus if I redeem 14 offers before the bonus expires in just a few days. I've redeemed 2 so far, so I'm not sure if I'll be getting there in time. (BTW, if you're ever cutting it close, just note that Ibotta Pay will work where each gift card purchase will qualify for a completed offer ;)) Ibotta also does have a generous referral program. They do referral offers very frequently where you can earn bonuses, but the current offer is $4 for each friend you invite. Please consider using the referral link found in the Most Common Beermoney Sites thread.
Uber Visa Local Offers
Shop or dine out, get Uber credits back.
Use your Visa card next time you dine out or go on a shopping spree at a featured store and earn Uber credits toward future rides. To join, go to settings in your Uber app and tap on Visa Local Offers.
Whenever you shop out at certain places you'll instantly receive uber credits to your account. It's really simple, and yes, this does stack with all of the other cash back apps you might be a part of. The brands they offer do change semi-frequently, so you should check them from time to time. In the past there have been 100% cash back offers for streaming services, and 10-20% cash back at Sam's Club. Considering that these offers do stack, there is some really great potential if you find any value in uber credit. If you're interested in activating the Visa local offers, you'll need to make sure you have a visa card linked to your Uber account first, and then you should see "activate local offers" in the app settings or payment settings of Uber. There's really not much to say about Visa Local Offers, but if you're looking for some FAQ/Terms, feel free to check them all out here.
For those if you who don't know what Cash App is, Cash App is an app by Square that lets you send and receive payments. They've also expanded their app to support bitcoin purchases, and they'll also let you use the app as a checking account. With the cash app you can also sign up to receive the Cash Card, which is a debit card that is funded with your cash app balance. If you have not used Cash App before, they do have a fancy referral program where when you sign up and send $50 you'll receive $5 and so will I. I do want to make this very clear: Cash App referrals can see the full name of the person who refers you, and the person who refers you will have your full name shown to them. If you're really private about personal information, be careful whose referral link you use. If you trust me, here's my referral link. Please note that if you want to use the cash app boosts that I'm talking about, you'll need to be 18 years old and have the cash card (which is free, don't worry)! Cash App announced that their cash card will be seeing 'boosts'. Boosts are their fancy way of saying that when you use our card at certain locations you'll receive a discount. Once you have the cash card, you'll notice on the app below your card you'll be able to select your boost. The following are my personal boost options, as of posting. The boosts change frequently,
$5 Off One Order on DoorDash
10% Off One Visit at Any Grocery Store
10% Off One Visit at Dollar Tree
10% Off One Visit at Walgreens
10% Off One Visit at Nike
10% Off One Visit at Walmart
$5 Off One Ride at Lyft
10% Off Each Visit at Bath & Body Works
10% Off Each Visit at Playstation Network
10% Off Each Visit at Xbox
10% off Each Visit at Chick-Fil-A
10% Off Each Visit at Taco Bell
10% Off Each Visit at Dominos
10% Off Each Visit at Portillo's.
Boosts tend to change every Friday, but several boosts will remain for a long period of time. The longest lasting boost, which just went away in the last week is the $1 off Any Coffee Shop. It stuck around for almost 2 years, and anyone who had that boost applied would automatically save $1 every time they shop at any coffee shop, without any interaction. So there are quite a few things I want to say & clear up.
You can use a boost every 1 hour.
You must select the boost that you'd like to use prior to the purchase. You're able to swap which boost you want to use as often as you'd like. So when you walk into Chick-Fil-A, just check and make sure your boost is set to CFA. If not, swap it.
In order to apply the boost, you must pay with the Cash Card. It's automatic. If your total is $6 and you're saving 10%, you'll only need a Cash app balance of $5.4 for the transaction. Cash App will cover the other $0.60.
If you link your Cash Card to Apple Pay, you can pay with it that way and the boosts will still be applied.
Do realize that just because you have the Cash Card on the app, you won't see the boosts. You need to have the physical Cash Card in your possession for the boosts to show up. I've been really enjoying using the Cash Card for purchases. Especially at CFA & Chipotle. It's really not a hassle. When I'm standing in line at Chipotle I'll open the app and make sure my cash app balance is enough and if not I'll just add funds right away. The boost is applied immediately which makes you feel good. It's like the guac is free at Chipotle after you use the cash card. The only downside to using the Cash Card is that you won't be able to stack discounts with anything else on this list... Unless you find a way to link the Cash Card to any of the things on this list. Regardless, 10% off at Chipotle is the best I have found.
Venmo recently announced Venmo Rewards. Take what you know about Cash App's boosts and then apply something similar to Venmo's debit card. Venmo Rewards is actually a bit easier than Cash App's boosts because it truly requires no input from you whatsoever. The tradeoff is that the cash back rates are lower. If Cash App's average discount would get you 10% off, Venmo would be about 4%. So here's how Venmo Rewards works:
Simply use your Venmo card at participating merchants—stores you know and love— to earn rewards. Zero setup required. See list of participating merchants in the app.
Get a Venmo card Learn More
Swipe your card at participating merchants
Automatically earn cashback straight to your Venmo balance. (Seriously. That’s it.)
As mentioned above in the section about Dosh, Venmo Rewards is powered by Dosh, and similar to Dosh, the cash back options are targeted. I personally can't use Venmo so I don't have the current list that most people will be seeing as far as opportunities go, but Venmo Rewards originally launched (in November 2019) with the following CB opportunities:
4% Sam’s Club
5% Papa John’s
Evan on DoC commented earlier this month with their updated CB opportunities: Dunkin Donuts 4%, Sephora 5%, Macy’s 4%, JCPenney 5%, Sam’s Club 4%, 1-800-flowers.com 15%, Papa Johns 5%, Forever 21 4%, Frank and Oak 5%)
4% Walmart & Walmart Grocery
4% Sam's Club
5% Papa John's
4% Forever 21
5% Frank and Oak
What I can make from this is that the options have not changed much, and have actually expanded, with a couple exceptions. If you're a Venmo user, I think this is a pretty decent reason to get the debit card. The 4% at Sam's Club and Walmart is a pretty good deal for most people, especially if there are no limits to the cash back you can earn.
I've listed this as "Empyr Apps" because all of these apps are basically just the same thing. I'll take the example of Swagbucks Local since that's what most of you reading this will already be using. If you paid attention in the Visa Local Offers section of this post, you'll find that the Empyr apps are actually very similar to those visa local offers. When you shop at a certain store/restaurant, you'll earn with the empyr app you have linked. It's actually really not that special. Here's a list of some/most of the current Empyr powered apps:
IMPORTANT NOTE: You're only allowed to use one Empyr app at a time! As soon as you link up with another Empyr app, you'll be disqualified from another until you link back up. I do want to go into this list a bit this time around since there seem to be more and more Empyr apps popping up. Swagbucks Local will always be popular among Swagbucks users. What's really nice about Swagbucks Local is that the payouts are always instantly converted to Swagbucks, which can help you cash out sooner. You'll also likely get a slot in the Swago board filled out, which might be beneficial to you. RetailMeNot is a newer one on this list and it's the only one here that I feel like I recommend you go on/off with. RetailMeNot has recently been doing a lot of "Spend $X, get $Y" deals at a lot of the stores they offer. For example, they are currently offering $5 Cash back for in Store purchases of $30+ at Staples. This is a really good deal for an Empyr app, and would probably be my pick for that transaction, but not most of the time since they don't have very many stores as options.
Alright, so Drop has gone through a lot of changes since the last time this post was updated. Drop used to be the best passive cash back app without any debate. It was also one of the first apps to offer a card link cash back program. Over the last several months (and years), their card link program has seen several devaluations. First they removed brands you could pick from to receive cash back (for example, when I first joined, you could choose to earn cash back each time you shopped at Amazon, but new users would later not see Amazon as an option). They later lowered the cash back rate. For example, Target went from 1%, to 0.2%. And finally they limited new users to pick from 5 brands to receive cash back at to just 3. In February 2020 Drop announced a change to the way their card linked cash back would work.. They since have removed their 'power offers' (the offers where you automatically earn cash back at brands), and have replaced it with card link 'Challenges'. These challenges have just recently launched, so it's hard to tell whether or not these will be passive or worthwhile altogether. I currently have one ongoing challenge where if I spend $10+ at Target with a linked card, I'll get 250 points ($0.25), which is pretty insignificant. As far as I can tell, they seem to have ditched all other forms of card linked cash back from their app. If the challenges turn out to have nothing passive about them, or have no proof of being worthwhile, Drop will likely not even be on this list the next time around. So let's talk about some features of Drop since we're on the topic. Drop has clearly moved away from passive cash back, and has focused more on becoming a cash back app in the form of portal earnings and specific offers. Several of these offers are unique to drop, which is good, but when it comes to portal cash back, the rates are often on par or slightly below the offerings you could find on Cashback Monitor. Another thing about Drop that people are (rightfully) upset about is the change that now requires you to save up $25 worth of points (25,000) in order to cash out. The minimum previously was just $5. The only feature about Drop that hasn't been nerfed to the ground is their referral program. When you refer your friends you'll earn $5 once they link a card, and they'll get $5 as well. Overall I'm not too hopeful that Drop will remain passive at all, so this might be the app's last appearance on this list for the foreseeable future.
I've refrained from listing credit cards on this post for a long time. Maybe because I thought it was too obvious, or maybe it was unnecessary, but since the number of younger people using this subreddit has been increasing I feel like I'd be doing a disservice to entirely disclude a blurb about credit cards. If you have a credit card and you don't really care to learn more about credit cards, just skip this section. If you're reading this post and you're 18+ (or if you're about to turn 18) and you don't have a credit card or don't know much about credit cards, I think it's a good idea to look into them. I'm not going to tell you exactly what a credit card is since that's an easy google search, but I will tell you about some benefits, especially about those that pertain to the benefits of this post. Credit cards are great because you can essentially spend money just like you normally would*, but you'll also earn cash back on all/almost all of the purchases you make with them. Additionally, especially if you're young, getting a credit card is a really great because it will start helping you build credit. I'm currently looking into renting a house next year with two housemates and I'm shocked to see that neither of them have any credit. They quite honestly couldn't possibly live in a house without me, since I'm the only one who has credit. *Make sure you're paying off your credit card every month (or however often you need)... Don't let yourself get into debt. I'd argue if you think you're going to get into debt with a credit card, I'd personally suggest you don't get a credit card. While you need to be 18 years old to get your own credit card, if you're under 18, you can still start gaining credit. Most major credit card companies will allow your parents to add you as an authorized signer on their credit card (which basically just means that you'll get permission to use their cards). An effect of this is that you'll start gaining credit. If you're looking to build up credit but you don't think you're ready for a credit card, I'd really recommend you ask your parents about becoming an authorized signer. It's a good conversation to have with your parents. Anyways, let's talk about the cash back benefits, since that's what this post is about, after all. There's a lot of credit cards. This post isn't going to list them all out. This isn't really even the right subreddit for credit card discussion. Nerdwallet has a great list of credit cards, so you might want to check it out here, but I'm going to share my own personal situation and recommend that for anyone who might relate, since the average age on this subreddit is around the 18-25 range. My first credit card was the Chase Freedom Unlimited card. I actually still use this credit card very frequently since it's a pretty balanced card. A couple years back on my 18th birthday I went into my local chase branch and physically had to beg for this card (it's a really beginner card, trust me). After getting denied both in bank and online, I finally found a rep who would give me a calm $500 credit limit for the card. Note: I had no credit before hand. The Chase Freedom Unlimited card offers 1.5% cash back on all purchases with the card... so when you think about it, I'd previously been spending $100 at Chipotle every month with my debit card, but with the Freedom Unlimited card, I would now be getting 1.5% cash back ($1.50) back on those purchases. It's just an easy way to save money on everything. If you use the other apps I suggest in this post, you'll likely earn cash back passively from them on certain brands that are featured, but stacking a credit card cash back on top of all the other bonuses is the absolute best way to earn passive cash back since it's usually 1-5% cash back on your purchases.
ReceiptPal is an app that allows you to upload your receipts from almost anywhere that you go shopping. It's actually a really simple process. When you sign up you'll be presented with almost little scratch cards which contains 4 spaces. Each space is filled with a receipt that you upload. Once you reach 4 receipts, you'll earn 100 points. 300/400 points = $1, so basically every 16 receipts you upload you'll receive ~$1. "So, mr Fishering, how is this passive!?" Unlike most receipt apps, ReceiptPal allows you to link your emails and amazon account and they'll automatically upload receipts for you. I actually let this app alone for several months and came back to thousands of points and cashed out instantly. If you make purchases online, you'll essentially be earning ~$0.07 for every purchase you make if you have your email linked. They'll automatically find receipts and submit them, so it's 100% passive earnings. If you also shop IRL you can submit physical receipts as well. You can cash out instantly for $5 minimum in the form of a gift card. I'd recommend saving up at least 7,500 points for a $25 gift card, since it'll value points at 300/$1.
Paribus is not your typical cash back site. Once you sign up you can link your different accounts (such as your amazon account) and it will automatically track your shopping. Paribus doesn't directly earn you cash back... it acts more like Walmart's saving catcher if you've ever heard of that. If an item you buy somewhere goes on sale shortly after or if there's any other discounts/promotions you may have missed when you originally bought something, they'll quietly get you a rebate on whatever you purchased. It can be very hit or miss. The catch is that they do take a cut of your savings. I believe it is 30% for all new users, but for each member you refer you can cut the cut by 5%. If you save $10, they'll charge you $3 to whatever card you have linked. Personally I've found it to be really hit or miss, but I've found some incredible savings. I bought a gopro and I got $15 saved with Paribus, and I also got $50 back from some really nice headphones I picked up on amazon from Amazon. What's weird is I bought the headphones like 6 months prior to the rebate. Was shocking to see it, but I've really had some good luck with Paribus.
After the last post, I noticed a lot of people enjoyed Paribus, so I figured it'd be good to add some alternatives in this post. So, here's Sift. Sift is a similar site to Paribus, and its key focus is on enforcing credit card benefits that many people don't know about. It's actually pretty nice. It'll let you pick your credit card and it'll tell you pretty much everything about your card. I have the Chase Freedom Unlimited card, and I was actually shocked to hear some of the benefits my card has that I have never been taking advantage of. From Sift's site:
We automatically comb through your credit card policies to show you all your benefits in one place. For every purchase we let you know what benefits you are eligible for. We streamline the claim process to make it as simple as possible to get your money back.
You can link your emails as well as your amazon account as well and they'll make it really easy for you. I have not actually used Sift much myself, so I cannot attest to how well it works, but the app store reviews are generally positive for Sift.
Trim is similar to Paribus and Sift, but there's a certain void that it's trying to fill that the other two don't really seem to be filling. Trim's main selling point is its bill negotiations. Instead of trying to save you money when a price drops, they're going to try and just nip it right in the bud and try to get your bills lower. Right now they're mainly trying to negotiate with cell providers, internet providers, and cable providers. Here's how the process goes:
Submit Your Bill: Submit your most recent cell phone, cable or internet bill to get started.
Trim Negotiates: Trim negotiates with your provider to get you discounts on your bill.
You Save Money: Trim takes 25% of annualized savings, but only on success—otherwise, it's free!
So, similar to Paribus, Trim does charge a fee. In a sense, I guess that's a good thing because it gives them an incentive to make sure to get some sort of bill decrease for you so they'll make some money too. Their rate is currently 25% of your bill negotiation. Of course, if they're not able to negotiate your bill for you, you won't pay them anything. Trim does also monitor your bank account for you and they'll notify you of account changes (that you can set). For example, if they see a transaction worth $xxx, they'll notify me that I've made a large transaction. If there weren't already so many other sites/apps that could do that, I'd say that's a great feature that Trim offers.
Hopefully there's some new apps/sites you found out about in this post. If you sign up for some/all of these programs listed, you should probably find yourself earning some pretty decent cash back, depending on where/how much you spend. These apps are very satisfying to watch your balances build up on, and after a while it's very rewarding to cash out and treat yourself. In this update I added some really great additions like Ibotta, Venmo Rewards, and Bits, but I am very sad to see the turn that Drop has taken. I have been tipped off to some upcoming passive cash back opportunities that will be coming very soon, and I can't wait to share those and hopefully add them to this list in the near future. As always if you have any questions please do leave a comment or send me a PM! Thanks for reading!
My wife sold her soul to a crossroad demon twenty years ago. As I write this, the hounds of hell are outside our bedroom door. I can hear them scratching and whimpering as they try to get in. I can smell their decaying flesh through the door. She told me over the phone after our fourth date. She always called me after our dates to check if I got home safe and that night was no different. The connection was spotty, and I was playing a video game on Xbox Live with my friends. I could not tell what she said the first time. I made her repeat it as I lowered my gaming headset, the din of my friends barking orders replaced with the static of background noise from our phones. “I sold my soul,” she said. This time I knew I’d heard it right. It was early on in the relationship and I am the type of person who thinks everything over twice, so I thought about it as I went to plant the bomb. She seemed like a sardonic kind of girl, the kind who had an alternative humor that was rare—the kind who was funny enough and smart enough to catch you off-guard sometimes. She was also kind of weird, but then again, I liked that. And so I replied nonchalantly, “I hope you got a good price.” “I think I did,” she said. “Good,” I said. The bomb's counter ticked down as she wished me goodnight in a cloyingly sweet tone and I told her we'd talk tomorrow. As I hung up, the bomb exploded, and the victory screen came on my TV. My friends were telling me I was a beast when I put the headset back on. We did not talk about it again until the night we got married. By then, I had quit the gaming and bid farewell to my friends. Some paired up, some stayed alone, but we all fell out of touch as we entered our thirties. I never saw myself as someone who got married and logged off, but life happens. You grow up and one day you realize, years later, you are not who you were back then. The only thing that remained the same from those days was I loved her, we laughed a lot at our off-kilter jokes, and we both had a penchant for 2AM runs to the McDonald’s drive thru. We were in her new car, a Range Rover we’d take the mountains every few weeks, and we were eating garbage food we’d regret immediately after. She was looking at her McFlurry, brow furrowed. Her face was illuminated by the parking lot lights and I saw the faint hints of crow's feet around her eyes. “Penny for your thoughts?” I asked. I rustled the bag and grabbed a fry. They were starting to get cold after sitting for ages under a heating lamp. Fast food in the middle of the night was always a gamble, especially when sober. “Why do they have McFlurry’s with Smarties in them in the UK, but not Canada?” I didn’t say anything. I knew her well enough by this time to know she didn’t really want to talk about that in particular. She feared saying something meaningful, so she picked something random to bring up to distract us. She would speak when she was ready to say what she really wanted to say. Only she didn’t speak. For once, she was completely silent. I chewed on my fries, then looked at her after a few minutes. She was crying into the melted ice cream, mascara mixing in with the rainbow-colored puddle in her cup. “What’s wrong?” “We only have nine and a half years left,” she said. “Well sure, the average marriage only lasts that long, but we’re—” “No,” she snapped, turning in the car seat away from me, her shoulders raised. “We only have that time before he comes to collect.” I was completely confused. I looked at her, tried to take her hand, but she pulled it out of mine. She rolled down her window and threw out the McFlurry, casting it from her life violently with frustration. I had never seen her litter or throw something before. “He?” “The devil,” she said, sighing. “I already told you this, why is your memory so shit?” She tended to lash out when she was upset. I didn’t really want to fight so I didn’t say a word. It wasn't a hill to die on. A second later she rolled the window up, she jammed the key into the ignition and started up the car without prompt. I held back the urge to tell her she was being irrational because a part of me was scared she wasn't--that something more serious was going on and it was easier to think it was just a metaphor. She never did get out to collect that McFlurry cup. On the drive home, I watched the stars in the sky as they appeared as we left the city to head back to our countryside hotel room we booked for our honeymoon. It was a peaceful drive. We didn't speak, but we made up once we got out of the car; she apologizing for being the outburst, me telling her I loved her and was there for her, and us both having sex after. She never spoke of selling her soul again and I wrote it off as nerves from actually tying the knot. She wasn’t the committing type, and neither was I. And sometimes, when you really love someone and you’ve spent enough time with them, you decide not to ask questions you don’t want to hear answers to. And I really didn’t want to know what she sold her soul for--if she actually did somehow, if it were a thing that were possible. If she'd gone to a crossroad near a tavern down by the river with a bag of bones and herbs to meet a stranger in the dark. Or if maybe instead she logged onto a website on the dark web and pulled out her Bitcoin wallet one night. I wish I’d asked, of course. Especially now as the hounds' howls split my ears from a few fet away. In the last few minutes of my life, I find that somehow curiosity and fear have created an insatiable itch to understand everything. But this is not a movie and she isn’t the villain explaining her dastardly plan right before she pulls the trigger. In fact, she’s long gone and all that’s left is me. Handcuffed to the bed, naked, and completely alone. Except for the hounds, of course. Ten minutes ago, she stepped out for a glass of water after securing me and never returned. As she stood at the door, before she closed the door, she smiled wistfully at me. Her hair was tangled with sweat from sex and I thought she looked pretty. I’d thought, all things considered, life had turned out well. I'd married a good woman and we'd spent twenty years together and life was satisfying. That was a second before I heard the dogs for a first time. A good minute before I realized she wasn't coming back. A good two minutes before I realized that my wife really had sold her soul to a crossroad demon twenty years ago. A few minutes before I’d realized it was my soul on the chopping block--that she must've sold my soul for another twenty years on her contract. Almost ten minutes before I’d realized I was about to be eviscerated in my bed by their hungry, gnashing teeth. Fuck. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OHAIgpih86E
My Trezor (MEW?) account got compremised, funds were stolen
Hello ladies and gentleman, I hope you can help me out somehow. I put it in bitcoin as well despite its ethereum but its about trezor and the btc part is involved. In mid september all my ethereum and ethereum based stuff was cleared from my MEW accounts for roughly 38k USD. Trezor couldnt help me at all and we went through all the topics and questions they had which lead to nothing exept an basic answer “your seeds got compromised in the past“, which doesn’t make any sense and I will explain why. Lets say, Im a person with some basic tech knowledge and worked as admin and I use common sense to handle my crypto stuff which is part of my business and daily task since 2 years.I check all things again before sending. Adress, amount etc and never had any problems before.I never was on a fake page where I had to give my seed or passphrases inI dont open spam mails nor use my new laptop for something else then work, like visiting porn sites or shady stuff or use cracks etc. I didnt even found a malitous cookie after checking everything. The laptop I used was 3 months old and set up on my own with windows, firwall, antivir and anti malware stuff. Things I am doing form me and my friends since year 2000. No cracks used for programms, everything legal. I use a trezor one since then which is updated accordingly when the tool or page prompts me. I used to use chrome as my default browser (which i learned, over the past months trying to figure out what might have happened, is one oft the worst browsers). No one has my seedsno one knows my pin to entert the trezorI dont store any of this information onlineI dont know my private keys from trezor So what happened was that september 9 in the evening, a few hours after I sent some usdt deposit to my adress, I want to check if everything is there, login to my MEW account (online, not offline and url was correct. no addon used, just the shortcut in my browser which i safed there and always used and later checked i fit was linked to something else which wasnt), and the account was empty. Three ethereum adresses where i stored some coins, eth and usdt. I realised that every transaction below happened while i was standing infront of my laptop (checked time happening), trezor connected cause i did some btc transaction before and chatted to customers on different chat tools like telegram or skype. Obvsly without signing any transaction at all everything was sent to other adresses. It seemed someone got the keys to those adresses before. Now, I dont even know my private keys to those adresses which are stored in trezor right? I wasnt logged into MEW before this incident for about 1.5 days. The btc part on my trezor is MUCH more valuable, but still there. After trezor couldnt help me about what happened and MEW treated me like the standard idiot who gets highjacked and then wonders why his money is gone, I went trough so many possibilities. For the most time I thought some kind of KRACK attack happened. The only problem is trezor says they dont extract the private keys. Some gurus in this topic ( i read on reddit here) say its possible to get them from the network. Even parts are enough to encrypt the whole key after a while which would underline the timeline that it took 6 days from working in this hotel and having the unusual situation with the sending (down explained) till the accs got cleared. The hotel incident happened the week before my accounts got cleared. I was visitting friends and coworking agents in Vietnam and stayed in a red doorz hotel in Ho Chi Minh. Using the Hotel Wifi and a nvpn.net VPN I sent some usdt funds via MEW to a befriended customer and something very stranged happened, which I never had before.I sent 4k usdt to a customer and the transaction took 13 min working working working and then failed. I’ve never had something like that. We thought it might be because of eth network or so but we never had that before, me and him sending a lot transactions every day. Then i copied all details in again and send another 4k and somehow he recieved both! check the screen. The one transaction processed nearly 13 min then failed. 2min later i sent a new one and without any evidence in this screen he recieved both. https://s19.directupload.net/images/200121/27e8uyd3.jpg later https://s19.directupload.net/images/200121/3todak3u.png So he sent me back the additional 4k and I shut down everything not thinking about this much anymore. Only when the accounts got cleared I was searching for any unusual happenings which could have let to this because pretty much all other “typical“ mistakes people normally do we could exclude. If somehow my seeds got compromised why only the ETH stuff? The btc parts on the trezor had much much more value. I never searched for trezor page on the web and used a link to access my wallets or to do updates. I always used the trezor bridge and made a shortcut to my wallet in my browser. For MEW i always used the same shortcut in my browser which worked pretty fine for the past years an everytime when setting the browser or pc new i checked it all before. Because of the unusual thing which happened in Vietnam I flew back there (from philippines) prepared with tools and checking because I couldnt let go and I didnt find any other plausible cause. I even got back my old room. In this hotel there are three hotel wifi network and I remeber 100% that I used the 2nd one before cause it had the strongest signal. Anyway. I switched on wireshark and later on Fiddler, repeated all steps I used to do before. Checking if some rerouting, dns poisening or readressing or so is happening. Nothing unusual happened in the first when entering MEW (I sent some bait funds there). In the 2nd network I used in september the trezor basically totally freaked out. He didnt let me enter MEW, I had to reenter my pin up to 5 times sometimes, It gave me error messages in MEW or it took 30 fucking seconds to enter it. Trezor writes about this: “When you enter an invalid PIN a few times, the Trezor adds a forced waiting time between attempts.You can see this feature on the photo where the Trezor is making you wait for 15 seconds before another attempt.This countdown is then multiplied by the factor of two until you reach the 16th invalid PIN entry. After that, the device automatically wipes its memory - deleting all data from it. The behavior of your Trezor at MEW is undoubtedly not standard or in any form pleasantly functional. Nevertheless, it also isn't anything superbly unusual or unexpected, taking poor internet connection into account.“ The thing is, the pin is 6 digits but pretty basic and I never ever entered it wrong. And I used the strongest wifi and could open webpages very easily . As well as: “Sadly, this does not tell us anything about how your funds could be compromised. None of this could have ever exposed your private keys or made your device vulnerable in any way. The Reddit thread you linked discusses cracking BIP-39 passphrases, which is irrelevant to your case. Cracking such passphrases assumes the person trying to break the wallet already has full possession of the recovery seed (recovery words). See, a passphrase is not your recovery seed or some additional password on your device. It is an extension of the seed, and it is also 100% useless without controlling the full seed. The only threat you are exposed to when using Chrome is using Google itself. When googling "trezor" or "trezor wallet", you might stumble upon a phishing site which will present itself as a genuine Trezor website and force you to go through a fake "recovery" process. There you'd give out your recovery seed, which subsequently grants full access to your wallet and funds. It's reasonable to assume that malware could guide you to such a website. To this day, we are not aware of any such incident ever happening, and even then, there are protections in place to defend you against phishing attempts.“ Basically, something I never did and all funds would haven been gone then. I checked the 3rd network as well, and like the 1st nothing special happened. Only in the 2nd. These are the funds and how the got cleared off the wallets. I always show last transaction from me to the adress as well on the screens. So adress: 0x253ABB6d747a9404A007f57AaDEc1cA2b80694a1 They withdrew this: 1k USDT and the small amount ETH to send stuff https://s19.directupload.net/images/200121/sg2lumg8.png adress: 0x01fd43a713D8F46FF9a7Ed108da2FF74884D8400 They withdrew this:Majority of USDT and small eth for sending stuff https://s19.directupload.net/images/200121/arycubto.png adress: 0xf73c8C30072488d932011696436B46005504A7aeThey withdrew this: Majority of ETh, then all coins from valueable to worthless and then some rest eth https://s19.directupload.net/images/200121/urbgm2y5.png https://s19.directupload.net/images/200121/rdkod59h.jpg So this is what happened at 12th september between 16:49 and 17:15. Sick to see that all happened between 16:49 and 17:00 and its like someone came back checking and saw the 0.014 eth and withdrew it 17:15. Around 10pm i discovered what happened. So, do you have any ideas? Questions? Feel free to guess or ask Im glad for everything which might lead to what might have happened. I somehow can’t let go off the feeling something inbetween the network, MEW and trezor ist he cause, but what do I know.
Deathstroke The Terminator aka Slade Wilson is a DC Comics comic book character that has been around since 1980. This respect thread which may be updated in the future, will be about the "DC Rebirth" version of Deathstroke, which has been the main version/Earth 0 version of the character since he was more or less rebooted back in 2016. The main writer of this Deathstroke is Christopher Priest which is why this Deathstroke may be known as "Prieststroke". Christopher Priest is virtually the Word of God when it comes to this Deathstroke, and he has a site specifically dedicated to this Deathstroke: http://lamerciepark.com/comics/deathstroke/ Most quotations will be from that site, and I recommend reading it for the best intro into the series and an understanding of this Deathstroke. Also for an idea of how this Deathstroke is meant to look, This is Deathstroke's Rebirth Design version 1.1. Now, Who is DC Rebirth's Deathstroke?:
He is not a mercenary, profesional soldier, military subcontractor or any other clever euphemism used to round the edges off of his description. Deathstroke kills people for money. Lots of money. He spends a great deal of that money on a virtual army of lawyers who expertly prevent police and/or covert entities from ever positively proving Lt. Colonel Slade Wilson (Ret.) and Deathstroke are, in fact, one and the same.
Deathstroke is approximately 55 years of age but appears to be 20 years younger due to the tissue regeneration caused by his rapid healing power. He is 6'4", taller than Superman or Batman, (and very intimidating). Slade is an extremely cool customer, much like the first act or so of the Michael Mann-Tom Cruise film Collateral. He occasionally wears sunglasses so the eye patch (a stick-on white patch) isn’t necessarily seen. It is very difficult to get Deathstroke to lose his temper.
Deathstroke is an emotional cripple along the lines of Hugh Laurie's House M.D., a guy who desperately loves and desires to be close to his children, but is too emotionally damaged to ever achieve that. He was a terrible father and is now haunted by a lot of poor choices made with his wife Adeline and his boys, especially.
The only people he actually talks to are his longtime partner Major William Randolph Wintergreen, British SAS (Ret.), his kids and his ex-wife. Wintergreen, approximately 65, is a reluctant partner who has ethical conflicts about DS's line of work. Other than that, Deathstroke is (in my version) much more laconic than as he's traditionally been portrayed. He trusts no one, thinks most everyone is an idiot, speaks only when absolutely necessary.
Deathstroke works for himself, is suspicious of all governments (especially ours). You hire him by posting an offer on the Dark Web along with a six-figure deposit in untraceable Bitcoin.
Deathstroke's basic powers are:
Enhanced Strength: Roughly that of Captain America. YMMV. Enhanced Reflexes: Roughly that of Captain America. YMMV.
Note* Christopher Priest has written Captain America before (The Captain America and Falcon series if i recall), so what his Captain America did may be usable for his Deathstroke. Also YMMV is "Your Milleage May Vary", which means basically it may be different in your view. Deathstroke also has
Enhanced Intellect: Post-Rebirth, we're redefining this a little. We no longer say Deathstroke uses "90% of his brain capacity." If Deathstroke used 90% of his brain capacity, he'd be Charles Xavier. Now we just say he's really, really smart. Deathstroke is probably the smartest guy in the DC Universe. He is easily the equal of Batman in terms of strategic planning. Deathstroke's intellect is deadlier than his sword. He typically out-thinks and out-strategizes everybody in the book. He is a keen observer and expert detective. He usually has several balls in the air at one time.
Rapid Healing: Post-Rebirth, we're redefining this a little. Deathstroke's rapid healing clots blood in seconds and seals wounds in minutes. The time it takes for full healing depends upon the wound: a bee sting, maybe a couple seconds. A gunshot wound: a few hours. It depends on the complexity of the knitting process, how much tissue needs to be regenerated and other factors. It is not an instant process. Deathstroke's rapid healing cannot regenerate organs. It can heal organs, but, for example, it won't regenerate a liver if a bad guy rips his out. Therefore, his rapid healing power did not simply create a new eye (or, in the case of Marvel's over-the-top Deathstroke parody Deadpool, grow a new hand). Deathstroke experiences pain like anyone else. Just because he has rapid healing doesn't mean he'd just sit around and let people gut him with swords. This is why he wears a protective uniform.. Deathstroke experiences trauma like anyone else and is capable of going into traumatic shock from injury. If he does not allow his rapid healing process to properly close a wound, Deathstroke can bleed out and die just like anyone else.
Deathstroke's intellect in Rebirth: "Deathstroke is probably the smartest guy in DC." "Easily the equal of Batman in terms of strategic planning", and He is also an "Expert Detective". "Outsmarting Deathstroke is likely not possible." And "He is at least as resourceful and intelligent and well prepared as Batman."
The 2016 Deathstroke comic book series has concluded and Christopher Priest has finished his Deathstroke series, so, this is likely the end of this respect thread for the foreseeable future. Nevertheless, The Legend Continues..
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