Hotel BLUE CHIP AT THE SIGNATURE in Paradise – HOTEL DE

The Cheap Quality of American Homes

The Cheap Quality of American Homes
Before I start, I wanted to say that I've lived in many different countries (brick/concrete buildings) & I never experienced so many problems as I have with US homes. The use of cheap plywood and wood chip, poor or no insulation, flimsy siding and roofing that either blows off in high winds or just rots away after a few year, in addition to high prices have made life a living miserable hell for the average American.
I've lived in US for the past 20 years, mainly in the west coast. I owned a nice peaceful house in Seattle area back in the 90s, things were not this expensive & I had a great mortgage rate until the collapse of housing market happened in 2008, and my mortgage rate went up from 3.25% to 6%, although I paid my mortgage onetime & didn't do anything wrong. Around the same time, my utilities, and taxes went up drastically. The house was built in the 80s and the constant rain & termite damage & carpenter ants had made the wood rot underneath the house, not to mention the leaky roof & many other issues with plumbing, mainly to do with wood-structured houses.
Long story short, my house was peaceful, but because of high taxation, crime, constant rain & cold, & other problems like high utility & mortgage rate, I made a decision to sell the house and move to California.
I rented a two bedroom luxury apartment unit in Orange County around 2015 for $2500/months, but everyday there was an issue with the management, constant noise of performance cars revving their engine, garbage trucks, leaf blowers & landscapers, you name it ....
After a year, I finally got sick & tired of high rent & high taxation in Cali & moved to Nevada, Las Vegas. The apartment I moved in was ok for a few months until a loud motorcyclist moved next door to me. The guy worked all odd hours and he used to love revving his bike at nights, like 12 am, 3 am, 5 am, multiple times, when he commuted back & forth to work every day ... Calling the police, talking to Management or leaving nice notes on his bike, none of them worked, until I was forced to move out.
Everybody said rent a house, apartments are crap. oh how little I knew
So I ended up renting a home (paying $2100) to have more privacy & peace of mind. The house was fine for a few years (except the loud neighbors kids screaming & swearing, dogs barking all day & night, neighbors doing landscaping at 8am Sunday morning, etc etc), but I still put up with it, at least I had few hours of quiet at nights & I used white noise machine to drown out some of the noise. Until one day, out of the blue, the house started making weird noises, mainly coming from the ceiling/attic. It started with one loud knock/snap every morning at 8:30 am, and over a week period, the knocks went from one loud one to 20 knocks a day. Within a month, things became so bad that every time the sun would come up or go down, the roof would pop like 200 times. At nights, I would hear a lot of loud banging/popping noises coming from chimney and the attic. I let the landlord know right away (which they didn't believe me at first), I even paid for pest control (we thought it maybe rats or some other animal in the attic), which no trace of any animal was found in the attic. We brought roofers, inspectors, you name it, no one had any clue what was going on. Things got so bad that I couldn't sleep more than couple of hours every night, waking up with a very loud knock or bang, sometimes every 30 min. I lived in that house for 3.5 years, and didn't hear a beep from the structure of the place, so I have no clue how a building that quiet could go suddenly crazy & it was so frustrating that no one had any clue what was going on . Haunted house?
I was forced to move out of the lease & find another place. I ended up living in another house (1,900/mo) that had severe zapping issues (the floors were made out of cheap laminate & they wouldn't let you ground), so every time I touch a door knob or kitchen appliances or doors or windows, I would get zapped like crazy. I also would hear loud banging from pipes when I took a shower & once every two weeks I would hear loud banging from the roof/siding of the house. But at least the structural noise of this house wasn't constant, like the other property. But a few months to my lease, I discovered that the house is foreclosed and the owner has no intention to fix anything, so I moved to another single family home in a very nice area & gated community (paying $2,300/mo).
Oh boy, renting this new place was probably one of the biggest mistakes I have ever made. I moved there around December last year & the first night I slept there I realized that I have made a giant mistake. There were LOUD snaps/pops once every 30 min all over the house, I mean snaps as loud as gut shots that could be heard overheard all over the house, even in the closet or bathroom, day & night. It wouldn't go away. When the heater ran, the snaps & knocks would become so loud, as if wood is splitting in half on top of your head. No amount of white noise or ear plug could block that noise. I work from home & my clients could hear the loud snaps over the phone & often asked me what is that loud noise in the background and if someone is shooting.
Because I had moved twice in less than 3 month I ended up putting up with it & staying there for 7 month, I have a background in structural/civil engineering, so I thought I could bring inspectors & could figure out a way to minimize the constant loud popping & snapping noises. I talked to PM & they send people who had no idea what was going on, charging the owner thousands of dollars in roof & pest control. I paid out of pocket myself, bringing contractors to screw the ceiling drywall, in case the nails holding the ceiling boards were moving in & out of 2x4s. We tried re-screwing the ceiling in one room & to my surprise it made the popping noises a lot worse & even more often. By then I knew the property has serious foundation & possibly truss uplift issue. I even got covid during this whole mess around January & not sleeping, constant stress & loud noises made my illness prolong for 4 months Dry coughs, severe diarrhea, shortness if breathe, severe joint & muscle pain & high fever. At that time I was so devastated & all I wanted was to sleep & I couldn't I couldn't even go rent a hotel room for a few days, since around March the Gov had shut everything down, so I was stuck inside a big house that I couldn't sleep in any of the rooms.
Eventually when I recovered from covid, I thought I've had enough of homes with severe structural/roof issues & it's time to go back to condo/apartment living. At least, they wouldn't have serious foundation/roof issues, right? I moved to this condo a few months ago & of course it's another wood-structure multi-family home made with flimsy roof & floors. What I didn't know about this building is the fact that there is absolutely NO insulation in between the units, over the floor & walls that I share with other neighbors, NON, whatsoever, so I could hear normal conversation, dogs barking, constant door slamming, banging noises from other units. Also because of covid, some neighbors work from home, sometimes repairing heavy machinery & auto parts! Imagine , only sharing a thin plywood with the unit underneath and the loud obnoxious neighbor next door! Another issue with this condo is the shaky floor, when I walk around my unit or neighbors walk around their own unit, my floor shakes violently & ends up shaking my heavy coach as well as the bed. If I'm sleep & the noise doesn't wake me up right away, the shaking of the floor definitely would. I never thought I could hear this much from units downstairs or on the side, because I had lived in other apartments before, and I had never experienced this level of noise traveling up from downstairs neighbors or the hellish neighbors on the side.
My neighbor on the side works night-shift, I hear her coming home, all odd hours (like 1am or 4am, every day- it's Vegas so people work odd hours at the casino), I hear everything, when she is taking a shower, slamming the hell out of her bathroom door, her dogs barking, walking around her unit, I've tried to reason with them & talk to them to at least not slam doors 10 times an hour day & night, but had no luck. Unreasonable people can't be reasoned with. As a matter of fact, I think they are doubling down on their door slamming & banging noises. My neighbor downstairs also has a habit of slamming every door & drawer & leaves the house at 7 am (every morning) & my floor shakes violently every time she goes in & out of her building, which is 5 or 6 times a day
I have moved 4 times, in less than a year. I lived in single family homes as well as condos that were uninhabitable, because of poor construction & use of cheap plywood, if these structures were built with concrete/brick, none of these issues would have happened. Trust me, I have lived in many concrete/brick structures before, my first apartment in Seattle was an old building made out of brick & you still may hear loud trucks or bikes, but there is no way you would hear your neighbors talking in normal voice, taking a shower, wiping their ass, or closing their door.
This is so depressing that we pay so much in mortgages or rent in America, yet we have to live in such horrible living spaces that are uninhabitable. American houses often have the appearance of having brick walls, however these are just stuck onto the outside of the plywood walls giving a false sense of quality and strength. I understand that using flimsy wood is much cheaper than using stone, brick or concrete, but this is not really evidenced by the prices of houses. Even multi-million dollar new houses in the States are being built from the same cheap plywood, poor insulation, shabby roofing material as cheaper houses. The fact that walls are paper thin and conversations can be heard a room away is nothing strange in American houses. I'm not even gonna mention horrible loud structural problems/noises that no one has any clue how to fix (god help you if something goes wrong inside the attic), rotting walls, water getting into insulation, pest issues, termite damage or leaking roofs.
You will be surprised that the average material cost (cost of wood chip) for a cheap flimsy American home is around $5,000, but since we live in a mafia state, by the time the city, the contractors, & the utility companies are all done with you, you will end up paying hundreds of thousands of dollars, in some case millions of dollars for a home that's gonna end up having too many problems, in just 10 years or less.
Sorry for the long rant, i know this has been a tough year for many with people dying alone of covid, but I'm penniless, sleepless, stressed & exhausted & I can't bare the idea that I have to move again soon , to another wood chip rental, I wonder what kind of a horror is gonna be waiting for me there? costing me thousands of dollars in rent & moving cost.
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Which Male Actor had the best run in the 60s?

It could be the best in terms of anything
Paul Newman: The Hustler, Cool Hand Luke, Exodus, From the Terrace, Paris Blues, Hud, Hemingway's Adventures of a Young Man, Sweet Bird of Youth, Harper, Lady L, Hombre, Torn Curtain, Winning, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, The Secret War of Harry Frigg, The Prize, What a Way to Go!, The Outrage, and A New Kind of Love.
Gregory Peck: To Kill a Mockingbird, Mackenna's Gold, The Chairman, Cape Fear, Captain Newman, M.D., How the West Was Won, Behold a Pale Horse, Marooned, Mirage, Arabesque, The Stalking Moon, and The Guns of Navarone.
Steve McQueen: The Sand Pebbles, The Great Escape, Love with the Proper Stranger, The Magnificent Seven, The Thomas Crown Affair, The Cincinnati Kid, Bullitt, The Honeymoon Machine, The Honeymoon Machine, The War Lover, Soldier in the Rain, Nevada Smith, Baby the Rain Must Fall, and The Reivers.
Dustin Hoffman: The Graduate, Midnight Cowboy, The Tiger Makes Out, Madigan's Millions, and John and Mary.
Peter O Toole: Lawrence of Arabia, Becket, The Lion in Winter, Goodbye, Mr. Chips, Kidnapped, The Day They Robbed the Bank of England, The Savage Innocents, What's New Pussycat?, The Sandpiper, Lord Jim, How to Steal a Million, The Bible: In the Beginning..., Casino Royale, The Night of the Generals, and Great Catherine.
Henry Fonda: How the West Was Won, Firecreek, Once Upon a Time in the West, Madigan, The Boston Strangler, Fail Safe, Sex and the Single Girl, The Longest Day, Advise & Consent, Spencer's Mountain, The Dirty Game, In Harm's Way, A Big Hand for the Little Lady, Welcome to Hard Times, The Best Man, The Rounders, Battle of the Bulge, and Yours, Mine and Ours.
Toshiro Mifune: Shinsengumi, The Battle of the Japan Sea, Red Lion, Safari 5000, Hell in the Pacific, Samurai Banners, The Day the Sun Rose, Admiral Yamamoto, Japan's Longest Day, The Sands of Kurobe, Samurai Rebellion, Grand Prix, The Mad Atlantic, The Adventure of Kigan Castle, Rise Against the Sword, The Sword of Doom, Fort Graveyard, The Retreat from Kiska, Sanshiro Sugata, Samurai Assassin, Red Beard, Legacy of the 500,000, The Lost World of Sinbad, Whirlwind, Chūshingura: Hana no Maki, Yuki no Maki, Attack Squadron!, High and Low, Yojimbo, The Youth and his Amulet, Sanjuro, Tatsu, Three Gentlemen Return from Hong Kong, Salaryman Chushingura Part 1 & 2, The Story of Osaka Castle, The Youth and his Amulet, Ánimas Trujano, The Last Gunfight, The Gambling Samurai, The Bad Sleep Well, Man Against Man, and Storm Over the Pacific.
Montgomery Clift: Judgment at Nuremberg, The Misfits, Freud: The Secret Passion, The Defector, and Wild River.
Burt Lancaster: Judgment at Nuremberg, Birdman of Alcatraz, Elmer Gantry, Seven Days in May, The Leopard, The Professionals, The Unforgiven, The Young Savages, The List of Adrian Messenger, A Child Is Waiting, The Hallelujah Trail, The Train, The Swimmer, The Scalphunters, Castle Keep, and The Gypsy Moths.
Marlon Brando: Mutiny on the Bounty, The Fugitive Kind, One-Eyed Jacks, Morituri, The Chase, Bedtime Story, The Ugly American, Reflections in a Golden Eye, Candy, The Appaloosa, The Night of the Following Day, Burn!, and A Countess from Hong Kong.
Tony Curtis: Captain Newman, M.D., The Boston Strangler, Sex and the Single Girl, Spartacus, Pepe, The Rat Race, The Great Impostor, The List of Adrian Messenger, 40 Pounds of Trouble, Paris When It Sizzles, The Outsider, Taras Bulba, Goodbye Charlie, Not with My Wife, You Don't!, The Great Race, Wild and Wonderful, Boeing Boeing, Chamber of Horrors, On My Way to the Crusades, I Met a Girl Who..., Rosemary's Baby, Drop Dead Darling, Don't Make Waves, Monte Carlo or Bust!, and Who Was That Lady?.
Robert Redford: The Chase, Tall Story, Situation Hopeless... But Not Serious, War hunt, Inside Daisy Clover, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Barefoot in the Park, This Property Is Condemned, Tell Them Willie Boy Is Here, and Downhill Racer.
Anthony Perkins: Tall Story, Psycho, The Trial, Phaedra, Pretty Poison, Five Miles to Midnight, Goodbye Again, The Fool Killer, Une ravissante idiote, Le glaive et la balance, The Champagne Murders, and Is Paris Burning?.
John Huston: Candy, The List of Adrian Messenger, The Cardinal, Casino Royale, and The Bible: In the Beginning
John Wayne: How the West Was Won, The Sons of Katie Elder, The Longest Day, True Grit, El Dorado, Cast a Giant Shadow, The War Wagon, The Green Berets, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, Hatari!, North to Alaska, The Alamo, The Comancheros, The Greatest Story Ever Told, Circus World, Hellfighters, and The Undefeated.
Jack Lemmon: The Great Race,Pepe, The Apartment, The Wackiest Ship in the Army, The Notorious Landlad, Days of Wine and Roses, Under the Yum Yum Tree, Irma la Douce, How to Murder Your Wife, Good Neighbor Sam, Luv, The Fortune Cookie, The Odd Couple, and The April Fools.
Marcello Mastroianni: 8 1/2, La Dolce Vita, La Notte, Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow, Divorce Italian Style, Marriage Italian Style, The 10th Victim, Adua and Her Friends, Il bell'Antonio, Ghosts of Rome, La Notte, Family Diary, Family Diary, The Organizer, Kiss the Other Sheik, Me, Me, Me... and the Others, Casanova 70, Shoot Loud, Louder... I Don't Understand, The Poppy Is Also a Flower, Ghosts – Italian Style, Amanti, Break Up, The Stranger, and Diamonds for Breakfast.
James Stewart: How the West Was Won, Firecreek, The Flight of the Phoenix, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, Cheyenne Autumn, The Mountain Road, Two Rode Together, Mr. Hobbs Takes a Vacation, Take Her, She's Mine, Shenandoah, Dear Brigitte, Bandolero!, and The Rare Breed.
Robert Mitchum: What a Way to Go!, Cape Fear, The Longest Day, El Dorado, Home from the Hill, The Sundowners, A Terrible Beauty, Two for the Seesaw, The Last Time I Saw Archie, The Grass Is Greener, The Way West, Mister Moses, Rampage, Man in the Middle, Anzio, 5 Card Stud, Villa Rides, The Good Guys and the Bad Guys, Secret Ceremony, and Young Billy Young.
Robert Duvall: Captain Newman, M.D., True Grit, To Kill a Mockingbird, Bullitt, The Chase, Nightmare in the Sun, Countdown, and The Detective.
Jean-Paul Belmondo: Breathless, That Man from Rio, Seven Days... Seven Nights, Trapped by Fear, Classe Tous Risques, The Lovemakers, Two Women, Lettere di una novizia, Love and the Frenchwoman, Le Doulos, Famous Love Affairs, Cartouche, A Man Named Rocca, Mare matto, The Winner, Sweet and Sour, Banana Peel, A Monkey in Winter, Backfire, Greed in the Sun, Weekend at Dunkirk, The Shortest Day, Magnet of Doom, Tender Scoundrel, Is Paris Burning?, Casino Royale, Male Hunt, Crime on a Summer Morning, Pierrot le Fou, Up to His Ears, Ho!, The Brain, Mississippi Mermaid, and Love Is a Funny Thing.
Kirk Douglas: Seven Days in May, The List of Adrian Messenger, Spartacus, Is Paris Burning?, The War Wagon, The Way West, Lonely Are the Brave, The Heroes of Telemark, Town Without Pity, The Last Sunset, For Love or Money, The Hook, The Arrangement, The Legend of Silent Night, The Brotherhood, A Lovely Way to Die, and Cast a Giant Shadow.
Charles Bronson: The Magnificent Seven, The Great Escape, Battle of the Bulge, Villa Rides, Guns of Diablo, X-15, The Bull of the West, 4 for Texas, Lola, Once Upon a Time in the West, Guns for San Sebastian, The Dirty Dozen, A Thunder of Drums, Kid Galahad, Master of the World, The Sandpiper, This Property Is Condemned, The Meanest Men in the West, and Adieu l'ami.
Orson Welles: Casino Royale, Is Paris Burning?, The Trial, Kampf um Rom, The Thirteen Chairs, The Merchant of Venice, Battle of Neretva, Tepepa, The Southern Star, I'll Never Forget What's'isname, A Man for All Seasons, David and Goliath, La Fayette, Austerlitz, Crack in the Mirror, The Tartars, The V.I.P.s, Chimes at Midnight, In the Land of Don Quixote, Marco the Magnificent, House of Cards, The Immortal Story, and Oedipus the King.
William Holden: Paris When It Sizzles, The Wild Bunch, The World of Suzie Wong, The Lion, Satan Never Sleeps, The Counterfeit Traitor, Casino Royale, The Devil's Brigade, The 7th Dawn, Alvarez Kelly, and The Christmas Tree.
Frank Sinatra: Cast a Giant Shadow, The Detective, 4 for Texas, The Manchurian Candidate, Tony Rome, Pepe, The Devil at 4 O'Clock, The Road to Hong Kong, Sergeants 3, Come Blow Your Horn, None but the Brave, Paris When It Sizzles, Lady in Cement, The Oscar, Assault on a Queen, The Naked Runner, Von Ryan's Express, Marriage on the Rocks, and Robin and the 7 Hoods.
Elvis Presley: G.I. Blues, Kid Galahad, Wild in the Country, Follow That Dream, Blue Hawaii, It Happened at the World's Fair, Girls! Girls! Girls!, Fun in Acapulco, Roustabout, Viva Las Vegas, Kissin' Cousins, Frankie and Johnny, Girl Happy, Harum Scarum, Tickle Me, Clambake, Easy Come, Easy Go, Double Trouble, Stay Away, Joe, Live a Little, Love a Little, Speedway, Change of Habit, The Trouble with Girls, Charro!, Spinout, and Paradise, Hawaiian Style.
Edmond O'Brien: The Wild Bunch, The Longest Day, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, Fantastic Voyage, The Great Impostor, The Last Voyage, The 3rd Voice, Birdman of Alcatraz, Man-Trap, Moon Pilot, Sylvia, Rio Conchos, The Hanged Man, The Outsider, Synanon, The Doomsday Flight, The Love God?, Flesh and Blood, The Viscount, and To Commit a Murder.
Ben Johnson: The Wild Bunch, The Rare Breed, The Undefeated, Hang 'Em High, Cheyenne Autumn, Will Penny, One-Eyed Jacks, Ten Who Dared, Tomboy and the Champ, and Major Dundee.
Warren Oates: The Wild Bunch, The Rise and Fall of Legs Diamond, The Rounders, Ride the High Country, Private Property, Mail Order Bride, Hero's Island, In the Heat of the Night, Welcome to Hard Times, The Shooting, Return of the Seven, Smith!, Crooks and Coronets, The Split, Something for a Lonely Man, and Lanton Mills.
Sidney Poitier: In the Heat of the Night, Lilies of the Field, A Patch of Blue, To Sir, With Love, A Raisin in the Sun, Guess Who's Coming to Dinner, Paris Blues, The Long Ships, Pressure Point,All the Young Men, The Bedford Incident, The Greatest Story Ever Told, The Slender Thread, Duel at Diablo, For Love of Ivy, and The Lost Man.
Rod Steiger: The Longest Day, In the Heat of the Night, The Pawn broker, Doctor Zhivago, No Way to Treat a Lady, Three into Two Won't Go, Seven Thieves, The Mark, 13 West Street, World in My Pocket, Convicts 4, Time of Indifference, Hands over the City, A Man Named John, The Loved One, The Girl and the General, The Sergeant, and The Illustrated Man.
Ernest Borgnine: The Dirty Dozen, The Wild Bunch, The Legend of Lylah Clare, Pay or Die, The Last Judgment, Barabbas, The Italian Brigands, McHale's Navy, The Flight of the Phoenix, The Oscar, The Split, A Bullet for Sandoval, Ice Station Zebra, Chuka, Go Naked in the World, Black City, and Man on a String.
George Kennedy: The Boston Strangler, Charade, Strait-Jacket, McHale's Navy, The Sons of Katie Elder, The Dirty Dozen, Shenandoah, The Flight of the Phoenix, Guns of the Magnificent Seven, The Good Guys and the Bad Guys, Cool Hand Luke, The Little Shepherd of Kingdom Come, The Man from the Diners' Club, The Silent Witness, McHale's Navy, Mirage, Hush...Hush, Sweet Charlotte, Island of the Blue Dolphins, In Harm's Way, Hurry Sundown, Bandolero!, The Ballad of Josie, Gaily, Gaily, and The Pink Jungle.
Strother Martin: McLintock!, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, Cool Hand Luke, Hurry Sundown, Sanctuary, Shenandoah, Harper, Nevada Smith, The Sons of Katie Elder, The Wild Bunch, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, True Grit, An Eye for an Eye, The Flim-Flam Man, Showdown, Invitation to a Gunfighter, and The Deadly Companions.
Clint Eastwood: The Dollars Trilogy, Hang 'Em High, Where Eagles Dare, The Witches, Coogan's Bluff, and Paint Your Wagon.
Eli Wallach: How the West Was Won, The Magnificent Seven, The Misfits, The Tiger Makes Out, Lord Jim, How to Steal a Million, A Lovely Way to Die, Seven Thieves, The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, Genghis Khan, The Poppy Is Also a Flower, How to Save a Marriage and Ruin Your Life, Ace High, Hemingway's Adventures of a Young Man, The Brain, Mackenna's Gold, Kisses for My President, Act One, The Moon-Spinners, and The Victors.
Lee Van Cleef: The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, For a Few Dollars More, The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, Posse from Hell, The Big Gundown, Sabata, Death Rides a Horse, Commandos, Day of Anger, and Beyond the Law.
Richard Burton: The Sandpiper, Where Eagles Dare, Ice Palace, The Longest Day, The Bramble Bush, Zulu, Becket, Cleopatra, What's New Pussycat?, The Night of the Iguana, The Spy Who Came In from the Cold, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, The Taming of the Shrew, Candy, Boom!, The Comedians in Africa, The Comedians, Doctor Faustus, Staircase, and Anne of the Thousand Days.
Paul Scofield: A Man for all Seasons, The Train, and Tell Me Lies.
Warren Beatty: All Fall Down, Splendor in the Grass, Bonnie and Clyde, Lilith, The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone, Mickey One, Promise Her Anything, and Kaleidoscope.
Albert Finney: Tom Jones, The Entertainer, Saturday Night and Sunday Morning, Two for the Road, The Victors, Night Must Fall, Charlie Bubbles, and The Picasso Summer.
Lee Marvin: Hell in the Pacific, The Professionals, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, The Comancheros, Paint Your Wagon, Point Blank, The Killers, Donovan's Reef, Cat Ballou, Ship of Fools, Sergeant Ryker, and Hell in the Pacific.
Anthony Quinn: Behold a Pale Horse, Barabbas, Zorba the Greek, Lawrence of Arabia, Guns for San Sebastian, The Rover, San Sebastian 1746 in 1968, The Secret of Santa Vittoria, A Dream of Kings, The 25th Hour, The Happening, Lost Command, Marco the Magnificent, The Visit, A High Wind in Jamaica, Heller in Pink Tights, The Savage Innocents, Portrait in Black, The Guns of Navarone, The Magus, and The Shoes of the Fisherman.
Michael Caine: Hurry Sundown, The Magus, Zulu, The Ipcress File, Alfie, The Italian Job, Deadfall, Funeral in Berlin, Billion Dollar Brain, Battle of Britain, Gambit, The Wrong Box, Woman Times Seven, Play Dirty, Foxhole in Cairo, Solo for Sparrow, The Wrong Arm of the Law, The Bulldog Breed, and The Day the Earth Caught Fire.
Rex Harrison: Cleopatra, My Fair Lady, Doctor Dolittle, The Happy Thieves, Midnight Lace, The Agony and the Ecstasy, The Yellow Rolls-Royce, Staircase, The Honey Pot, and A Flea in Her Ear.
Sean Connery: The Longest Day, Dr. No, Marnie, Goldfinger, From Russia with Love, Macbeth, The Frightened City, On the Fiddle, Anna Karenina, Shalako, The Red Tent, You Only Live Twice, Un monde nouveau, The Hill, A Fine Madness, Thunderball, Woman of Straw, and The Bowler and the Bunnet.
Spencer Tracy: Judgment at Nuremberg, Guess Who's Coming to Dinner, Inherit the Wind, The Devil at 4 O'Clock, and It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World.
Chishû Ryû: Late Autumn, Otoko wa Tsurai yo, The Human Bullet, Japan's Longest Day, The End of Summer, An Autumn Afternoon, The Human Condition 3, and The Last War.
Martin Balsam: Psycho, A Thousand Clowns, Trilogy, The Good Guys and the Bad Guys, Around the World of Mike Todd, Me, Natalie, Around the World of Mike Todd, Hombre, Among the Paths to Eden, After the Fox, Harlow, The Bedford Incident, Seven Days in May, Suspense, Youngblood Hawke, Everybody Go Home, Breakfast at Tiffany's, Ada, Cape Fear, Route 66, and Who's Been Sleeping in My Bed?.
Alan Bates: Zorba the Greek, Georgy Girl, Far from the Madding Crowd, Women in Love, King of Hearts, The Fixer, The Entertainer, Zorba the Greek, Nothing but the Best, Whistle Down the Wind, A Kind of Loving, The Caretaker, and The Running Man.
Alain Delon: Is Paris Burning?, Famous Love Affairs, Rocco and His Brothers, Purple Noon, The Leopard, Le Samouraï, The Yellow Rolls-Royce, Lost Command, L'Eclisse, The Joy of Living, The Devil and the Ten Commandments, Love at Sea, Carom Shots, Any Number Can Win, Joy House, The Unvanquished, Once a Thief, Texas Across the River, Adieu l'ami, Jeff, The Sicilian Clan, La Piscine, Spirits of the Dead, The Girl on a Motorcycle, The Last Adventure, and Diabolically Yours.
Peter Sellers: What's New Pussycat?, Casino Royale, Woman Times Seven, Dr. Strangelove, Lolita, The Millionairess, Never Let Go, Two-Way Stretch, The Wrong Arm of the Law, The Dock Brief, The Pink Panther, Only Two Can Play, Mr. Topaze, Waltz of the Toreadors, Heavens Above!, A Shot in the Dark, The World of Henry Orient, A Carol for Another Christmas, Casino Royale, Woman Times Seven, The bobo, The Party, The Magic Christian, and I Love You, Alice B. Toklas.
George C. Scott: The List of Adrian Messenger, The Hustler, Not with My Wife, You Don't!, The Flim-Flam Man, Dr. Strangelove, The Power and the Glory, The Crucible, The Yellow Rolls-Royce, The Bible: In the Beginning..., This Savage Land, and Petulia.
Walter Matthau: Charade, Fail Safe, The Fortune Cookie, The Odd Couple, Strangers When We Meet, Lonely Are the Brave, Mirage, Ensign Pulver, Island of Love, Who's Got the Action?, Candy, Cactus Flower, Hello, Dolly!, The Secret Life of an American Wife, and A Guide for the Married Man.
Jean-Louis Trintignant: Z, A Man and a Woman, The Great Silence, Austerlitz, Horace 62, Un homme à abattre, La Longue marche, Trans-Europ-Express, Le Combat dans l'île, So Sweet... So Perverse, L'Américain, Mata Hari, Agent H21, Journey Beneath the Desert, Il Sorpasso, Col cuore in gola, Death Laid an Egg, Les Biches, My Love, My Love, The Man Who Lies, Metti, una sera a cena, My Night at Maud's, The Libertine, The Sleeping Car Murders, Diamond Safari, Spotlight on a Murderer, Nutty, and Naughty Chateau.
Max von Sydow: The Greatest Story Ever Told, Shame, Hour of the Wolf, The Virgin Spring, Through a Glass Darkly, Bröllopsdagen, 4x4, Winter Light, Hawaii, Adventures of Nils Holgersson, The Mistress, Made in Sweden, The Passion of Anna, The Quiller Memorandum, Svarta palmkronor, The Reward, and Here Is Your Life.
Richard Attenborough: The Sand Pebbles, The Great Escape, Doctor Dolittle, The Angry Silence, Upgreen – And at 'Em, The Dock Brief, Only Two Can Play, The League of Gentlemen, All Night Long, Séance on a Wet Afternoon, The Third Secret, The Flight of the Phoenix, Only When I Larf, Guns at Batasi, The Magic Christian, Oh! What a Lovely War, and The Bliss of Mrs. Blossom.
Melvyn Douglas: Hud, Hotel, The Crucible, Companions in Nightmare, Rapture, Inherit the Wind, Lamp At Midnight, Advance to the Rear, A Very Close Family, The Americanization of Emily, and Billy Budd.
Woody Strode: Spartacus, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, Sergeant Rutledge, The Last Voyage, Two Rode Together, The Sins of Rachel Cade, Che!, Once Upon a Time in the West, Boot Hill, Genghis Khan, Shalako, Black Jesus, The Professionals, Tarzan's Three Challenges, and 7 Women.
Yûsuke Kawazu: The River Fuefuki, Ken, Manji, Kiri no Hata, Cruel Story of Youth, Genocide, Fighting Elegy, and Black Lizard.
John Cassavetes: The Dirty Dozen, Rosemary's Baby, A Child Is Waiting, The Killers, Devil's Angels, Roma come Chicago, If It's Tuesday, This Must Be Belgium, Machine Gun McCain, and The Webster Boy.
Laurence Harvey: The Outrage, Kampf um Rom, The Manchurian Candidate, The Ceremony, The Alamo, The Long and the Short and the Tall, BUtterfield 8, Walk on the Wild Side, The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm, The Running Man, A Girl Named Tamiko, Darling, Of Human Bondage, Summer and Smoke, Two Loves, The Doctor and the Devil, Rebus, The Spy with a Cold Nose, The Magic Christian, L'assoluto naturale, The Charge of the Light Brigade, A Dandy in Aspic, Life at the Top, The Outrage, and The Winter's Tale.
Omar Sharif: Mackenna's Gold, Behold a Pale Horse, Lawrence of Arabia, Doctor Zhivago, The Poppy Is Also a Flower, The Fall of the Roman Empire, Funny Girl, More Than a Miracle, Che!, Mayerling, Trois hommes sur un cheval, The Appointment, Genghis Khan, The Yellow Rolls-Royce, El mamalik, The Night of the Generals, Lawet El Hub, Nahna el talamiza, Gharam el assiad, Hobi al-Wahid, The Beginning and the End, The River of Love, A Rumor of Love, and There is a Man in our House.
George Peppard: How the West Was Won, Breakfast at Tiffany's, The Carpetbaggers, House of Cards, Home from the Hill, The Victors, The Subterraneans, P.J.,What's So Bad About Feeling Good?, Pendulum, Operation Crossbow, The Third Day, Tobruk, Rough Night in Jericho, and The Blue Max.
James Garner: The Great Escape, Grand Prix, Duel at Diablo, 36 Hours, The Pink Jungle, A High Wind in Jamaica,Hour of the Gun, The Americanization of Emily, Cash McCall, The Children's Hour, Boys' Night Out, Action on the Beach, The Art of Love, Grand Prix: Challenge of the Champions, The Thrill of It All, Move Over, Darling, The Wheeler Dealers, Marlowe, Support Your Local Sheriff!, The Man Who Makes the Difference, Once Upon a Wheel, The Racing Scene, A Man Could Get Killed, How Sweet It Is!, and Mister Buddwing.
Donald Pleasence: The Great Escape, The Night of the Generals, You Only Live Twice, Creature of Comfort, Will Penny, Fantastic Voyage, The Greatest Story Ever Told, The Hallelujah Trail, The Caretaker, Suspect, No Love for Johnnie, The Shakedown, The Flesh and the Fiends, The Hands of Orlac, Hell Is a City, The Wind of Change, Circus of Horrors, Sons and Lovers, The Big Day, Dr. Crippen, Cul-de-sac, The Inspector, What a Carve Up!, Eye of the Devil, Matchless, Arthur? Arthur!, The Other People, The Madwoman of Chaillot, A Story of David, and Spare the Rod.
James Coburn: Charade, The Americanization of Emily, The Magnificent Seven, Hell Is for Heroes, The Great Escape, Our Man Flint, In Like Flint, The Man from Galveston, The Murder Men, Hell Is for Heroes, What Did You Do in the War, Daddy?, Duffy, Candy, The President's Analyst, Dead Heat on a Merry-Go-Round, Waterhole No. 3, Major Dundee, A High Wind in Jamaica, The Loved One, and Hard Contract.
Cary Grant: Charade, The Grass Is Greener, That Touch of Mink, Walk, Don't Run, and Father Goose.
Horst Buchholz: The Magnificent Seven, One, Two, Three, Fanny, Nine Hours to Rama, Marco the Magnificent, The Empty Canvas, Ankle Bone, Cervantes, That Man in Istanbul, Johnny Banco, and How, When and with Whom.
Jackie Gleason: Soldier in the Rain, The Hustler, Gigot, Requiem for a Heavyweight, Skidoo, Papa's Delicate Condition, How to Commit Marriage, and Don't Drink the Water.
Arthur Kennedy: Lawrence of Arabia, Barabbas, Hemingway's Adventures of a Young Man, Claudelle Inglish, Cheyenne Autumn, Murder, She Said, Anzio, Shark!, A Minute to Pray, a Second to Die, Hail, Hero!, Nevada Smith,Murieta, Fantastic Voyage, Attack and Retreat, Joy in the Morning, Monday's Child, and Day of the Evil Gun.
Peter Finch: Kidnapped, The Trials of Oscar Wilde, The Day, No Love for Johnnie, In the Cool of the Day, I Thank a Fool, Girl with Green Eyes, The Pumpkin Eater, The Flight of the Phoenix, Judith, First Men in the Moon, Far from the Madding Crowd, 10:30 P.M. Summer, Come Spy with Me, The Greatest Mother of Them All, The Legend of Lylah Clare, and The Red Tent.
Hugh Griffith: How to Steal a Million,Exodus, Mutiny on the Bounty, Oliver!, The Counterfeit Traitor, The Citadel, Point of Departure, The Day They Robbed the Bank of England, The Inspector, Tom Jones, Term of Trial, The Poppy Is Also a Flower, Hide and Seek, The Bargee, The Amorous Adventures of Moll Flanders, On My Way to the Crusades, I Met a Girl Who..., Oh Dad, Poor Dad, Mamma's Hung You in the Closet and I'm Feelin' So Sad, The Sailor from Gibraltar, The Fixer, Il marito è mio e l'ammazzo quando mi pare, and Brown Eye, Evil Eye.
Jason Robards: A Big Hand for the Little Lady, Hour of the Gun, Long Day's Journey into Night, A Thousand Clowns, Act One, By Love Possessed, Isadora, Tender Is the Night, Divorce American Style, A Big Hand for the Little Lady, The St. Valentine's Day Massacre, Any Wednesday, Once Upon a Time in the West, and The Night They Raided Minsky's.
George Seagel: The Southern Star, No Way to Treat a Lady, Invitation to a Gunfighter, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, Lost Command, The Quiller Memorandum, The St. Valentine's Day Massacre, King Rat, Act One, The Young Doctors, The Bridge at Remagen, The Girl Who Couldn't Say No, Bye Bye Braverman, and The New Interns.
Rod Taylor: Chuka, The Time Machine, Sunday in New York, The Glass Bottom Boat, 36 Hours, The Birds, Hotel, Nobody Runs Forever, The Hell with Heroes, One Hundred and One Dalmatians, Seven Seas to Calais, Colossus and the Amazon Queen, Dark of the Sun, The Liquidator, Young Cassidy, Fate Is the Hunter, Do Not Disturb, and A Gathering of Eagles.
Robert Ryan: Ice Palace, Billy Budd, The Longest Day, The Wild Bunch, The Dirty Dozen, Battle of the Bulge, The Professionals, Anzio, Captain Nemo and the Underwater City, A Minute to Pray, a Second to Die, Hour of the Gun, Custer of the West, The Busy Body, The Canadians, King of Kings, and The Crooked Road.
Christopher Plummer: Battle of Britain, The Sound of Music, The Fall of the Roman Empire, Inside Daisy Clover, The Royal Hunt of the Sun, Lock Up Your Daughters, Nobody Runs Forever, Oedipus the King, The Night of the Generals, and Triple Cross.
Michel Piccoli: Le Doulos, Contempt, Diary of a Chambermaid, La Guerre Est Finit, Les Creatures, The Young Girls of Rochefort, Belle De Jour, Danger: Diabolik, Dillinger is Dead, The Milky Way, Topaz, Lady L, The Day and the Hour, Masquerade, L'Invitée, Climats, Les Petits Drames, Adieu Philippine, La dragée haute, Le Bal des espions, Amazons of Rome, All About Loving, The Sleeping Car Murders, The War Is Over, The Game Is Over, Belle de Jour, Benjamin, Shock Troops, La Chamade, and La Prisonnière.
Tatsuya Nakadai: When a Woman Ascends the Stairs, Yojimbo,The Human Condition: A Soldier's Prayer, Immortal Love, Sanjuro, Harakiri ,High and Low, Kwaidan, The Sword of Doom, The Face of Another, Samurai Rebellion, Kill!, Goyokin, Portrait of Hell, Get 'em All, Daughters, Wives and a Mother ,Miren, A Woman's Life, Pressure of Guilt, Love Under the Crucifix, The Blue Beast, The Other Women, Kumo ga chigieru toki, Hakari, The Legacy of the 500,000, Saigo no shinpan, Blood End, Arijigoku sakusen, Kwaidan, Saigo no shinpan, Fort Graveyard, Cash Calls Hell, Illusion of Blood, Kojiro, The Age of Assassins, The Daphne, Today We Kill... Tomorrow We Die!, Rengō Kantai Shirei Chōkan: Yamamoto Isoroku, Blood End, Hitokiri, Eiko's 5000 Kilograms, and The Battle of the Japan Sea.
James Mason: Lolita, Duffy, Mayerling, The Sea Gull, Age of Consent, The Blue Max, Stranger in the House, The Deadly Affair, Georgy Girl, The Fall of the Roman Empire, The Pumpkin Eater, Genghis Khan, Lord Jim, The Uninhibited, Hero's Island, Torpedo Bay, Tiara Tahiti, The Trials of Oscar Wilde, The Marriage-Go-Round, and Escape from Zahrain.
Vincent Price: The Last Man on Earth, Witchfinder General, Convicts 4, Confessions of an Opium Eater, Tower of London, Tales of Terror, The Raven, Diary of a Madman, The Haunted Palace, The Masque of the Red Death, The Tomb of Ligeia, Twice-Told Tales, Dr. Goldfoot and the Bikini Machine, The Comedy of Terrors, City Under the Sea, The House of 1,000 Dolls, The Pit and the Pendulum, Nefertiti, Queen of the Nile, Rage of the Buccaneers, Beach Party, House of Usher, Master of the World, Dr. Goldfoot and the Girl Bombs, Spirits of the Dead, The Trouble with Girls, The Jackals, More Dead Than Alive, and The Oblong Box.
Jack Nicholson: The Raven, Easy Rider, The Little Shop of Horrors, The Shooting, Head, Hells Angels on Wheels, The Trip, The St. Valentine's Day Massacre, Psych-Out, Thunder Island, Back Door to Hell, Ride in the Whirlwind, Flight to Fury, The Wild Ride, The Broken Land, Studs Lonigan, Too Soon to Love, and The Terror.
Rock Hudson: Lover Come Back, Send Me No Flowers, The Last Sunset, Marilyn, The Spiral Road, Come September, Strange Bedfellows, Man's Favorite Sport?, A Gathering of Eagles, A Very Special Favor, Seconds, Tobruk, Ice Station Zebra, The Undefeated, Blindfold, and A Fine Pair.
Charlton Heston: El Cid, The Pigeon That Took Rome, 55 Days at Peking, The Greatest Story Ever Told, While I Run This Race, All About People, The Agony and the Ecstasy, Number One, Planet of the Apes, Counterpoint, Will Penny, Major Dundee, Khartoum, The War Lord, The Five Cities of June, and Diamond Head.
John Gavin: Psycho, Midnight Lace, Back Street, The Madwoman of Chaillot, Thoroughly Modern Millie, OSS 117 – Double Agent, Tammy Tell Me True, Spartacus, Pedro Páramo, A Breath of Scandal, and Romanoff and Juliet.
Stephen Boyd: Lisa, Billy Rose's Jumbo, Fantastic Voyage, The Poppy Is Also a Flower, The Big Gamble, Slaves, The Caper of the Golden Bulls, Shalako, Assignment K, The Bible: In the Beginning..., The Fall of the Roman Empire, Genghis Khan, The Oscar, The Third Secret, and Imperial Venus.
submitted by Britneyfan456 to criterion [link] [comments]

Poor Quality of American Homes

Poor Quality of American Homes
Before I start, I wanted to say that I've lived in many different countries (brick/concrete buildings) & I never experienced so many problems as I have with US homes. The use of cheap plywood and wood chip, poor or no insulation, flimsy siding and roofing that either blows off in high winds or just rots away after a few year, in addition to high prices have made life a living miserable hell for the average American.
I've lived in US for the past 20 years, mainly in the west coast. I owned a nice peaceful house in Seattle area back in the 90s, things were not this expensive & I had a great mortgage rate until the collapse of housing market happened in 2008, and my mortgage rate went up from 3.25% to 6%, although I paid my mortgage onetime & didn't do anything wrong. Around the same time, my utilities, and taxes went up drastically. The house was built in the 80s and the constant rain & termite damage & carpenter ants had made the wood rot underneath the house, not to mention the leaky roof & many other issues with plumbing, mainly to do with wood-structured houses.
Long story short, my house was peaceful, but because of high taxation, crime, constant rain & cold, & other problems like high utility & mortgage rate, I made a decision to sell the house and move to California.
I rented a two bedroom luxury apartment unit in Orange County around 2015 for $2500/months, but everyday there was an issue with the management, constant noise of performance cars revving their engine, garbage trucks, leaf blowers & landscapers, you name it ....
After a year, I finally got sick & tired of high rent & high taxation in Cali & moved to Nevada, Las Vegas. The apartment I moved in was ok for a few months until a loud motorcyclist moved next door to me. The guy worked all odd hours and he used to love revving his bike at nights, like 12 am, 3 am, 5 am, multiple times, when he commuted back & forth to work every day ... Calling the police, talking to Management or leaving nice notes on his bike, none of them worked, until I was forced to move out.
Everybody said rent a house, apartments are crap. oh how little I knew
So I ended up renting a home (paying $2100) to have more privacy & peace of mind. The house was fine for a few years (except the loud neighbors kids screaming & swearing, dogs barking all day & night, neighbors doing landscaping at 8am Sunday morning, etc etc), but I still put up with it, at least I had few hours of quiet at nights & I used white noise machine to drown out some of the noise. Until one day, out of the blue, the house started making weird noises, mainly coming from the ceiling/attic. It started with one loud knock/snap every morning at 8:30 am, and over a week period, the knocks went from one loud one to 20 knocks a day. Within a month, things became so bad that every time the sun would come up or go down, the roof would pop like 200 times. At nights, I would hear a lot of loud banging/popping noises coming from chimney and the attic. I let the landlord know right away (which they didn't believe me at first), I even paid for pest control (we thought it maybe rats or some other animal in the attic), which no trace of any animal was found in the attic. We brought roofers, inspectors, you name it, no one had any clue what was going on. Things got so bad that I couldn't sleep more than couple of hours every night, waking up with a very loud knock or bang, sometimes every 30 min. I lived in that house for 3.5 years, and didn't hear a beep from the structure of the place, so I have no clue how a building that quiet could go suddenly crazy & it was so frustrating that no one had any clue what was going on . Haunted house?
I was forced to move out of the lease & find another place. I ended up living in another house (1,900/mo) that had severe zapping issues (the floors were made out of cheap laminate & they wouldn't let you ground), so every time I touch a door knob or kitchen appliances or doors or windows, I would get zapped like crazy. I also would hear loud banging from pipes when I took a shower & once every two weeks I would hear loud banging from the roof/siding of the house. But at least the structural noise of this house wasn't constant, like the other property. But a few months to my lease, I discovered that the house is foreclosed and the owner has no intention to fix anything, so I moved to another single family home in a very nice area & gated community (paying $2,300/mo).
Oh boy, renting this new place was probably one of the biggest mistakes I have ever made. I moved there around December last year & the first night I slept there I realized that I have made a giant mistake. There were LOUD snaps/pops once every 30 min all over the house, I mean snaps as loud as gut shots that could be heard overheard all over the house, even in the closet or bathroom, day & night. It wouldn't go away. When the heater ran, the snaps & knocks would become so loud, as if wood is splitting in half on top of your head. No amount of white noise or ear plug could block that noise. I work from home & my clients could hear the loud snaps over the phone & often asked me what is that loud noise in the background and if someone is shooting.
Because I had moved twice in less than 3 month I ended up putting up with it & staying there for 7 month, I have a background in structural/civil engineering, so I thought I could bring inspectors & could figure out a way to minimize the constant loud popping & snapping noises. I talked to PM & they send people who had no idea what was going on, charging the owner thousands of dollars in roof & pest control. I paid out of pocket myself, bringing contractors to screw the ceiling drywall, in case the nails holding the ceiling boards were moving in & out of 2x4s. We tried re-screwing the ceiling in one room & to my surprise it made the popping noises a lot worse & even more often. By then I knew the property has serious foundation & possibly truss uplift issue. I even got covid during this whole mess around January & not sleeping, constant stress & loud noises made my illness prolong for 4 months Dry coughs, severe diarrhea, shortness if breathe, severe joint & muscle pain & high fever. At that time I was so devastated & all I wanted was to sleep & I couldn't I couldn't even go rent a hotel room for a few days, since around March the Gov had shut everything down, so I was stuck inside a big house that I couldn't sleep in any of the rooms.
Eventually when I recovered from covid, I thought I've had enough of homes with severe structural/roof issues & it's time to go back to condo/apartment living. At least, they wouldn't have serious foundation/roof issues, right? I moved to this condo a few months ago & of course it's another wood-structure multi-family home made with flimsy roof & floors. What I didn't know about this building is the fact that there is absolutely NO insulation in between the units, over the floor & walls that I share with other neighbors, NON, whatsoever, so I could hear normal conversation, dogs barking, constant door slamming, banging noises from other units. Also because of covid, some neighbors work from home, sometimes repairing heavy machinery & auto parts! Imagine , only sharing a thin plywood with the unit underneath and the loud obnoxious neighbor next door! Another issue with this condo is the shaky floor, when I walk around my unit or neighbors walk around their own unit, my floor shakes violently & ends up shaking my heavy coach as well as the bed. If I'm sleep & the noise doesn't wake me up right away, the shaking of the floor definitely would. I never thought I could hear this much from units downstairs or on the side, because I had lived in other apartments before, and I had never experienced this level of noise traveling up from downstairs neighbors or the hellish neighbors on the side.
My neighbor on the side works night-shift, I hear her coming home, all odd hours (like 1am or 4am, every day- it's Vegas so people work odd hours at the casino), I hear everything, when she is taking a shower, slamming the hell out of her bathroom door, her dogs barking, walking around her unit, I've tried to reason with them & talk to them to at least not slam doors 10 times an hour day & night, but had no luck. Unreasonable people can't be reasoned with. As a matter of fact, I think they are doubling down on their door slamming & banging noises. My neighbor downstairs also has a habit of slamming every door & drawer & leaves the house at 7 am (every morning) & my floor shakes violently every time she goes in & out of her building, which is 5 or 6 times a day
I have moved 4 times, in less than a year. I lived in single family homes as well as condos that were uninhabitable, because of poor construction & use of cheap plywood, if these structures were built with concrete/brick, none of these issues would have happened. Trust me, I have lived in many concrete/brick structures before, my first apartment in Seattle was an old building made out of brick & you still may hear loud trucks or bikes, but there is no way you would hear your neighbors talking in normal voice, taking a shower, wiping their ass, or closing their door.
This is so depressing that we pay so much in mortgages or rent in America, yet we have to live in such horrible living spaces that are uninhabitable. American houses often have the appearance of having brick walls, however these are just stuck onto the outside of the plywood walls giving a false sense of quality and strength. I understand that using flimsy wood is much cheaper than using stone, brick or concrete, but this is not really evidenced by the prices of houses. Even multi-million dollar new houses in the States are being built from the same cheap plywood, poor insulation, shabby roofing material as cheaper houses. The fact that walls are paper thin and conversations can be heard a room away is nothing strange in American houses. I'm not even gonna mention horrible loud structural problems/noises that no one has any clue how to fix (god help you if something goes wrong inside the attic), rotting walls, water getting into insulation, pest issues, termite damage or leaking roofs.
You will be surprised that the average material cost (cost of wood chip) for a cheap flimsy American home is around $5,000, but since we live in a mafia state, by the time the city, the contractors, & the utility companies are all done with you, you will end up paying hundreds of thousands of dollars, in some case millions of dollars for a home that's gonna end up having too many problems, in just 10 years or less.
Sorry for the long rant, i know this has been a tough year for many with people dying alone of covid, but I'm penniless, sleepless, stressed & exhausted & I can't bare the idea that I have to move again soon , to another wood chip rental, I wonder what kind of a horror is gonna be waiting for me there? costing me thousands of dollars in rent & moving cost.
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https://preview.redd.it/w0o83sb21w261.jpg?width=1200&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=0254055ceda9d51434d3b20ad1ed1df96fff2c0b
submitted by CoolBernie2020 to Construction [link] [comments]

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submitted by Lendrial12 to u/Lendrial12 [link] [comments]

The Cheap Quality of American Homes

Before I start, I wanted to say that I've lived in many different countries (brick/concrete buildings) & I never experienced so many problems as I have with US homes. The use of cheap plywood and wood chip, poor or no insulation, flimsy siding and roofing that either blows off in high winds or just rots away after a few year, in addition to high prices have made life a living miserable hell for the average American.
I've lived in US for the past 20 years, mainly in the west coast. I owned a nice peaceful house in Seattle area back in the 90s, things were not this expensive & I had a great mortgage rate until the collapse of housing market happened in 2008, and my mortgage rate went up from 3.25% to 6%, although I paid my mortgage onetime & didn't do anything wrong. Around the same time, my utilities, and taxes went up drastically. The house was built in the 80s and the constant rain & termite damage & carpenter ants had made the wood rot underneath the house, not to mention the leaky roof & many other issues with plumbing, mainly to do with wood-structured houses.
Long story short, my house was peaceful, but because of high taxation, crime, constant rain & cold, & other problems like high utility & mortgage rate, I made a decision to sell the house and move to California.
I rented a two bedroom luxury apartment unit in Orange County around 2015 for $2500/months, but everyday there was an issue with the management, constant noise of performance cars revving their engine, garbage trucks, leaf blowers & landscapers, you name it ....
After a year, I finally got sick & tired of high rent & high taxation in Cali & moved to Nevada, Las Vegas. The apartment I moved in was ok for a few months until a loud motorcyclist moved next door to me. The guy worked all odd hours and he used to love revving his bike at nights, like 12 am, 3 am, 5 am, multiple times, when he commuted back & forth to work every day ... Calling the police, talking to Management or leaving nice notes on his bike, none of them worked, until I was forced to move out.
Everybody said rent a house, apartments are crap. oh how little I knew
So I ended up renting a home (paying $2100) to have more privacy & peace of mind. The house was fine for a few years (except the loud neighbors kids screaming & swearing, dogs barking all day & night, neighbors doing landscaping at 8am Sunday morning, etc etc), but I still put up with it, at least I had few hours of quiet at nights & I used white noise machine to drown out some of the noise. Until one day, out of the blue, the house started making weird noises, mainly coming from the ceiling/attic. It started with one loud knock/snap every morning at 8:30 am, and over a week period, the knocks went from one loud one to 20 knocks a day. Within a month, things became so bad that every time the sun would come up or go down, the roof would pop like 200 times. At nights, I would hear a lot of loud banging/popping noises coming from chimney and the attic. I let the landlord know right away (which they didn't believe me at first), I even paid for pest control (we thought it maybe rats or some other animal in the attic), which no trace of any animal was found in the attic. We brought roofers, inspectors, you name it, no one had any clue what was going on. Things got so bad that I couldn't sleep more than couple of hours every night, waking up with a very loud knock or bang, sometimes every 30 min. I lived in that house for 3.5 years, and didn't hear a beep from the structure of the place, so I have no clue how a building that quiet could go suddenly crazy & it was so frustrating that no one had any clue what was going on . Haunted house?
I was forced to move out of the lease & find another place. I ended up living in another house (1,900/mo) that had severe zapping issues (the floors were made out of cheap laminate & they wouldn't let you ground), so every time I touch a door knob or kitchen appliances or doors or windows, I would get zapped like crazy. I also would hear loud banging from pipes when I took a shower & once every two weeks I would hear loud banging from the roof/siding of the house. But at least the structural noise of this house wasn't constant, like the other property. But a few months to my lease, I discovered that the house is foreclosed and the owner has no intention to fix anything, so I moved to another single family home in a very nice area & gated community (paying $2,300/mo).
Oh boy, renting this new place was probably one of the biggest mistakes I have ever made. I moved there around December last year & the first night I slept there I realized that I have made a giant mistake. There were LOUD snaps/pops once every 30 min all over the house, I mean snaps as loud as gut shots that could be heard overheard all over the house, even in the closet or bathroom, day & night. It wouldn't go away. When the heater ran, the snaps & knocks would become so loud, as if wood is splitting in half on top of your head. No amount of white noise or ear plug could block that noise. I work from home & my clients could hear the loud snaps over the phone & often asked me what is that loud noise in the background and if someone is shooting.
Because I had moved twice in less than 3 month I ended up putting up with it & staying there for 7 month, I have a background in structural/civil engineering, so I thought I could bring inspectors & could figure out a way to minimize the constant loud popping & snapping noises. I talked to PM & they send people who had no idea what was going on, charging the owner thousands of dollars in roof & pest control. I paid out of pocket myself, bringing contractors to screw the ceiling drywall, in case the nails holding the ceiling boards were moving in & out of 2x4s. We tried re-screwing the ceiling in one room & to my surprise it made the popping noises a lot worse & even more often. By then I knew the property has serious foundation & possibly truss uplift issue. I even got covid during this whole mess around January & not sleeping, constant stress & loud noises made my illness prolong for 4 months Dry coughs, severe diarrhea, shortness if breathe, severe joint & muscle pain & high fever. At that time I was so devastated & all I wanted was to sleep & I couldn't I couldn't even go rent a hotel room for a few days, since around March the Gov had shut everything down, so I was stuck inside a big house that I couldn't sleep in any of the rooms.
Eventually when I recovered from covid, I thought I've had enough of homes with severe structural/roof issues & it's time to go back to condo/apartment living. At least, they wouldn't have serious foundation/roof issues, right? I moved to this condo a few months ago & of course it's another wood-structure multi-family home made with flimsy roof & floors. What I didn't know about this building is the fact that there is absolutely NO insulation in between the units, over the floor & walls that I share with other neighbors, NON, whatsoever, so I could hear normal conversation, dogs barking, constant door slamming, banging noises from other units. Also because of covid, some neighbors work from home, sometimes repairing heavy machinery & auto parts! Imagine , only sharing a thin plywood with the unit underneath and the loud obnoxious neighbor next door! Another issue with this condo is the shaky floor, when I walk around my unit or neighbors walk around their own unit, my floor shakes violently & ends up shaking my heavy coach as well as the bed. If I'm sleep & the noise doesn't wake me up right away, the shaking of the floor definitely would. I never thought I could hear this much from units downstairs or on the side, because I had lived in other apartments before, and I had never experienced this level of noise traveling up from downstairs neighbors or the hellish neighbors on the side.
My neighbor on the side works night-shift, I hear her coming home, all odd hours (like 1am or 4am, every day- it's Vegas so people work odd hours at the casino), I hear everything, when she is taking a shower, slamming the hell out of her bathroom door, her dogs barking, walking around her unit, I've tried to reason with them & talk to them to at least not slam doors 10 times an hour day & night, but had no luck. Unreasonable people can't be reasoned with. As a matter of fact, I think they are doubling down on their door slamming & banging noises. My neighbor downstairs also has a habit of slamming every door & drawer & leaves the house at 7 am (every morning) & my floor shakes violently every time she goes in & out of her building, which is 5 or 6 times a day
I have moved 4 times, in less than a year. I lived in single family homes as well as condos that were uninhabitable, because of poor construction & use of cheap plywood, if these structures were built with concrete/brick, none of these issues would have happened. Trust me, I have lived in many concrete/brick structures before, my first apartment in Seattle was an old building made out of brick & you still may hear loud trucks or bikes, but there is no way you would hear your neighbors talking in normal voice, taking a shower, wiping their ass, or closing their door.
This is so depressing that we pay so much in mortgages or rent in America, yet we have to live in such horrible living spaces that are uninhabitable. American houses often have the appearance of having brick walls, however these are just stuck onto the outside of the plywood walls giving a false sense of quality and strength. I understand that using flimsy wood is much cheaper than using stone, brick or concrete, but this is not really evidenced by the prices of houses. Even multi-million dollar new houses in the States are being built from the same cheap plywood, poor insulation, shabby roofing material as cheaper houses. The fact that walls are paper thin and conversations can be heard a room away is nothing strange in American houses. I'm not even gonna mention horrible loud structural problems/noises that no one has any clue how to fix (god help you if something goes wrong inside the attic), rotting walls, water getting into insulation, pest issues, termite damage or leaking roofs.
You will be surprised that the average material cost (cost of wood chip) for a cheap flimsy American home is around $5,000, but since we live in a mafia state, by the time the city, the contractors, & the utility companies are all done with you, you will end up paying hundreds of thousands of dollars, in some case millions of dollars for a home that's gonna end up having too many problems, in just 10 years or less.
Sorry for the long rant, i know this has been a tough year for many with people dying alone of covid, but I'm penniless, sleepless, stressed & exhausted & I can't bare the idea that I have to move again soon , to another wood chip rental, I wonder what kind of a horror is gonna be waiting for me there? costing me thousands of dollars in rent & moving cost.
> I have a masters degree in civil/construction engineering. I used to do cost analysis for different projects & I know the material cost, for just the framing of a house (the cost of timber & plywood) is around $5,000, I have worked with many reputable construction companies all over the NW. All of them used the same cheap crappy plywood, even for the construction of multi-million dollar homes.
> I have owned & rented many homes/condos, town homes/apartments all over US (mainly in NW), new & old. I understand there are individuals who have ulterior motives & are doubling their already doubled profit by enriching themselves off of consumers. But these of the realities of wood-frame residential buildings: the use of weak beams, cheap plywood, poor insulation, flimsy siding and roofing that either blows off in high winds or just rots away after a few year, termite damage, carpenter ants that chew and push out wood by finding crawl spaces underneath your house & you wouldn't even know until half of the house is gone, high expenses regarding pest control (over the years, I've spent at least 20K regarding pest control - rats, squirrels or ants, that will chew the wood & will find a way to get inside your attic/basement again & again) ... Rotting walls, water getting into insulation, moisture damage & mold, termites, leaking roofs, etc, etc. Houses built of plywood and low quality beams will not last all that long. Using staple guns to hold plywood to beams that ends up shabby. Contractors using the cheapest materials to throw up buildings as soon as they can in order to maximize profits. For some reason this shabby building tradition has become the norm in US. Simply using concrete, brick or stone will prevent all these issues related to wood.
> If the price of these flimsy wood-frame buildings were as cheap as the cost of its materials, it wouldn't be that big of a deal. At least, it's not costing consumers an arm & leg. The argument I've heard over & over is that we can't afford to build homes made of concrete or brick in US, but this is a gross lie. Even multi-million dollar homes are built with the same material as the cheap ones & how come other countries can afford to build homes made of concrete & still make money? There are so many newer technologies like building homes with precast concrete, so cost effective because they are modular homes (many parts can be per-manufactured) & are a LOT MORE cost effective & durable
> Loud popping/snapping noises in wood structured homes are a recent phenomenon, which I believe has occurred as a result of rapid changes in the climate. Super dry or humid & hot summers depending on which side of the country you live in, long cold winters, constant rain, moisture & high winds are taking their toll on wood-frame buildings. Three out of the three recent homes I lived in had severe issues to do with constant loud snapping/popping noises coming from the structure of the house, mainly from ceiling joists as well as walls. Never experienced this issue ever before & here is a video that even new constructions are not immune to this disease
Buyers be aware, there is no way to know that a property has this particular issue until you spend a week sleeping & living at the property. I know homes with this problem that were sold & the problem was concealed & the inspector never found anything wrong, because the issue is hidden from naked eyes, check out truss uplift & the effect of rapid changes in the climate on wood-frame buildings. I believe more & more buildings are gonna end up having this issue in the near future. This issue is NOT related to normal expansion/contraction of the wood, these noises are not normal home noises, they are as loud as gunshots, happen all the time, & no one can even figure out what is going on. The building you buy might not have this issue right away, but there is no guarantee that within a few years, you will not end up with this nightmare.
> I have lived in homes as old as 300 yrs old, in Germany & UK, built from brick/store & I tell you they are as solid as a rock. They are warm & cozy during winter & cool & pleasant during summer. As far as sound insulation goes, concrete, brick & stone have high mass density, and they muffle & dampen sound quite a bit, whereas wood echos the sound by reverberating it & transmitting it all over. In fact, stealth plans are mainly made of wood, in order to reduce reflection/emission of radar, so they CANNOT be detected, where as signals would bounce off other solid materials. Knock on a wall made of wood & see how it feels hollow & void, whereas concrete or brick will dampen the echo quite a lot. If you punch a concrete wall, you will end up breaking your hand, where as you can easily punch a hole in a plywood wall & if you live in a multi-family home, you may end up in your neighbors unit.
Many US houses or buildings will not be around, let's say 500 years from now, as a result of a wasteful consumerism system & a mindset of bulldozing the old & buying something new, even if it's cheaper quality. All great civilizations have left structures for us to admire: Rome, Egypt, Greece, Byzantium, Incas, Aztecs etc. Unfortunately, it doesn't seem likely that American civilization will leave any impressive physical structures behind.
submitted by Bernice2020 to offmychest [link] [comments]

The Cheap Quality of American Homes

Before I start, I wanted to say that I've lived in many different countries (brick/concrete buildings) & I never experienced so many problems as I have with US homes. The use of cheap plywood and wood chip, poor or no insulation, flimsy siding and roofing that either blows off in high winds or just rots away after a few year, in addition to high prices have made life a living miserable hell for the average American.
I've lived in US for the past 20 years, mainly in the west coast. I owned a nice peaceful house in Seattle area back in the 90s, things were not this expensive & I had a great mortgage rate until the collapse of housing market happened in 2008, and my mortgage rate went up from 3.25% to 6%, although I paid my mortgage onetime & didn't do anything wrong. Around the same time, my utilities, and taxes went up drastically. The house was built in the 80s and the constant rain & termite damage & carpenter ants had made the wood rot underneath the house, not to mention the leaky roof & many other issues with plumbing, mainly to do with wood-structured houses.
Long story short, my house was peaceful, but because of high taxation, crime, constant rain & cold, & other problems like high utility & mortgage rate, I made a decision to sell the house and move to California.
I rented a two bedroom luxury apartment unit in Orange County around 2015 for $2500/months, but everyday there was an issue with the management, constant noise of performance cars revving their engine, garbage trucks, leaf blowers & landscapers, you name it ....
After a year, I finally got sick & tired of high rent & high taxation in Cali & moved to Nevada, Las Vegas. The apartment I moved in was ok for a few months until a loud motorcyclist moved next door to me. The guy worked all odd hours and he used to love revving his bike at nights, like 12 am, 3 am, 5 am, multiple times, when he commuted back & forth to work every day ... Calling the police, talking to Management or leaving nice notes on his bike, none of them worked, until I was forced to move out.
Everybody said rent a house, apartments are crap. oh how little I knew
So I ended up renting a home (paying $2100) to have more privacy & peace of mind. The house was fine for a few years (except the loud neighbors kids screaming & swearing, dogs barking all day & night, neighbors doing landscaping at 8am Sunday morning, etc etc), but I still put up with it, at least I had few hours of quiet at nights & I used white noise machine to drown out some of the noise. Until one day, out of the blue, the house started making weird noises, mainly coming from the ceiling/attic. It started with one loud knock/snap every morning at 8:30 am, and over a week period, the knocks went from one loud one to 20 knocks a day. Within a month, things became so bad that every time the sun would come up or go down, the roof would pop like 200 times. At nights, I would hear a lot of loud banging/popping noises coming from chimney and the attic. I let the landlord know right away (which they didn't believe me at first), I even paid for pest control (we thought it maybe rats or some other animal in the attic), which no trace of any animal was found in the attic. We brought roofers, inspectors, you name it, no one had any clue what was going on. Things got so bad that I couldn't sleep more than couple of hours every night, waking up with a very loud knock or bang, sometimes every 30 min. I lived in that house for 3.5 years, and didn't hear a beep from the structure of the place, so I have no clue how a building that quiet could go suddenly crazy & it was so frustrating that no one had any clue what was going on . Haunted house?
I was forced to move out of the lease & find another place. I ended up living in another house (1,900/mo) that had severe zapping issues (the floors were made out of cheap laminate & they wouldn't let you ground), so every time I touch a door knob or kitchen appliances or doors or windows, I would get zapped like crazy. I also would hear loud banging from pipes when I took a shower & once every two weeks I would hear loud banging from the roof/siding of the house. But at least the structural noise of this house wasn't constant, like the other property. But a few months to my lease, I discovered that the house is foreclosed and the owner has no intention to fix anything, so I moved to another single family home in a very nice area & gated community (paying $2,300/mo).
Oh boy, renting this new place was probably one of the biggest mistakes I have ever made. I moved there around December last year & the first night I slept there I realized that I have made a giant mistake. There were LOUD snaps/pops once every 30 min all over the house, I mean snaps as loud as gut shots that could be heard overheard all over the house, even in the closet or bathroom, day & night. It wouldn't go away. When the heater ran, the snaps & knocks would become so loud, as if wood is splitting in half on top of your head. No amount of white noise or ear plug could block that noise. I work from home & my clients could hear the loud snaps over the phone & often asked me what is that loud noise in the background and if someone is shooting.
Because I had moved twice in less than 3 month I ended up putting up with it & staying there for 7 month, I have a background in structural/civil engineering, so I thought I could bring inspectors & could figure out a way to minimize the constant loud popping & snapping noises. I talked to PM & they send people who had no idea what was going on, charging the owner thousands of dollars in roof & pest control. I paid out of pocket myself, bringing contractors to screw the ceiling drywall, in case the nails holding the ceiling boards were moving in & out of 2x4s. We tried re-screwing the ceiling in one room & to my surprise it made the popping noises a lot worse & even more often. By then I knew the property has serious foundation & possibly truss uplift issue. I even got covid during this whole mess around January & not sleeping, constant stress & loud noises made my illness prolong for 4 months Dry coughs, severe diarrhea, shortness if breathe, severe joint & muscle pain & high fever. At that time I was so devastated & all I wanted was to sleep & I couldn't I couldn't even go rent a hotel room for a few days, since around March the Gov had shut everything down, so I was stuck inside a big house that I couldn't sleep in any of the rooms.
Eventually when I recovered from covid, I thought I've had enough of homes with severe structural/roof issues & it's time to go back to condo/apartment living. At least, they wouldn't have serious foundation/roof issues, right? I moved to this condo a few months ago & of course it's another wood-structure multi-family home made with flimsy roof & floors. What I didn't know about this building is the fact that there is absolutely NO insulation in between the units, over the floor & walls that I share with other neighbors, NON, whatsoever, so I could hear normal conversation, dogs barking, constant door slamming, banging noises from other units. Also because of covid, some neighbors work from home, sometimes repairing heavy machinery & auto parts! Imagine , only sharing a thin plywood with the unit underneath and the loud obnoxious neighbor next door! Another issue with this condo is the shaky floor, when I walk around my unit or neighbors walk around their own unit, my floor shakes violently & ends up shaking my heavy coach as well as the bed. If I'm sleep & the noise doesn't wake me up right away, the shaking of the floor definitely would. I never thought I could hear this much from units downstairs or on the side, because I had lived in other apartments before, and I had never experienced this level of noise traveling up from downstairs neighbors or the hellish neighbors on the side.
My neighbor on the side works night-shift, I hear her coming home, all odd hours (like 1am or 4am, every day- it's Vegas so people work odd hours at the casino), I hear everything, when she is taking a shower, slamming the hell out of her bathroom door, her dogs barking, walking around her unit, I've tried to reason with them & talk to them to at least not slam doors 10 times an hour day & night, but had no luck. Unreasonable people can't be reasoned with. As a matter of fact, I think they are doubling down on their door slamming & banging noises. My neighbor downstairs also has a habit of slamming every door & drawer & leaves the house at 7 am (every morning) & my floor shakes violently every time she goes in & out of her building, which is 5 or 6 times a day
I have moved 4 times, in less than a year. I lived in single family homes as well as condos that were uninhabitable, because of poor construction & use of cheap plywood, if these structures were built with concrete/brick, none of these issues would have happened. Trust me, I have lived in many concrete/brick structures before, my first apartment in Seattle was an old building made out of brick & you still may hear loud trucks or bikes, but there is no way you would hear your neighbors talking in normal voice, taking a shower, wiping their ass, or closing their door.
This is so depressing that we pay so much in mortgages or rent in America, yet we have to live in such horrible living spaces that are uninhabitable. American houses often have the appearance of having brick walls, however these are just stuck onto the outside of the plywood walls giving a false sense of quality and strength. I understand that using flimsy wood is much cheaper than using stone, brick or concrete, but this is not really evidenced by the prices of houses. Even multi-million dollar new houses in the States are being built from the same cheap plywood, poor insulation, shabby roofing material as cheaper houses. The fact that walls are paper thin and conversations can be heard a room away is nothing strange in American houses. I'm not even gonna mention horrible loud structural problems/noises that no one has any clue how to fix (god help you if something goes wrong inside the attic), rotting walls, water getting into insulation, pest issues, termite damage or leaking roofs.
You will be surprised that the average material cost (cost of wood chip) for a cheap flimsy American home is around $5,000, but since we live in a mafia state, by the time the city, the contractors, & the utility companies are all done with you, you will end up paying hundreds of thousands of dollars, in some case millions of dollars for a home that's gonna end up having too many problems, in just 10 years or less.
Sorry for the long rant, i know this has been a tough year for many with people dying alone of covid, but I'm penniless, sleepless, stressed & exhausted & I can't bare the idea that I have to move again soon , to another wood chip rental, I wonder what kind of a horror is gonna be waiting for me there? costing me thousands of dollars in rent & moving cost.
> I have a masters degree in civil/construction engineering. I used to do cost analysis for different projects & I know the material cost, for just the framing of a house (the cost of timber & plywood) is around $5,000, I have worked with many reputable construction companies all over the NW. All of them used the same cheap crappy plywood, even for the construction of multi-million dollar homes.
> I have owned & rented many homes/condos, town homes/apartments all over US (mainly in NW), new & old. I understand there are individuals who have ulterior motives & are doubling their already doubled profit by enriching themselves off of consumers. But these of the realities of wood-frame residential buildings: the use of weak beams, cheap plywood, poor insulation, flimsy siding and roofing that either blows off in high winds or just rots away after a few year, termite damage, carpenter ants that chew and push out wood by finding crawl spaces underneath your house & you wouldn't even know until half of the house is gone, high expenses regarding pest control (over the years, I've spent at least 20K regarding pest control - rats, squirrels or ants, that will chew the wood & will find a way to get inside your attic/basement again & again) ... Rotting walls, water getting into insulation, moisture damage & mold, termites, leaking roofs, etc, etc. Houses built of plywood and low quality beams will not last all that long. Using staple guns to hold plywood to beams that ends up shabby. Contractors using the cheapest materials to throw up buildings as soon as they can in order to maximize profits. For some reason this shabby building tradition has become the norm in US. Simply using concrete, brick or stone will prevent all these issues related to wood.
> If the price of these flimsy wood-frame buildings were as cheap as the cost of its materials, it wouldn't be that big of a deal. At least, it's not costing consumers an arm & leg. The argument I've heard over & over is that we can't afford to build homes made of concrete or brick in US, but this is a gross lie. Even multi-million dollar homes are built with the same material as the cheap ones & how come other countries can afford to build homes made of concrete & still make money? There are so many newer technologies like building homes with precast concrete, so cost effective because they are modular homes (many parts can be per-manufactured) & are a LOT MORE cost effective & durable: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KZxskJojRLY
> Loud popping/snapping noises in wood structured homes are a recent phenomenon, which I believe has occurred as a result of rapid changes in the climate. Super dry or humid & hot summers depending on which side of the country you live in, long cold winters, constant rain, moisture & high winds are taking their toll on wood-frame buildings. Three out of the three recent homes I lived in had severe issues to do with constant loud snapping/popping noises coming from the structure of the house, mainly from ceiling joists as well as walls. Never experienced this issue ever before & here is a video that even new constructions are not immune to this disease: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c07aIV-ddR0
Buyers be aware, there is no way to know that a property has this particular issue until you spend a week sleeping & living at the property. I know homes with this problem that were sold & the problem was concealed & the inspector never found anything wrong, because the issue is hidden from naked eyes, check out truss uplift & the effect of rapid changes in the climate on wood-frame buildings. I believe more & more buildings are gonna end up having this issue in the near future. This issue is NOT related to normal expansion/contraction of the wood, these noises are not normal home noises, they are as loud as gunshots, happen all the time, & no one can even figure out what is going on. The building you buy might not have this issue right away, but there is no guarantee that within a few years, you will not end up with this nightmare.
> I have lived in homes as old as 300 yrs old, in Germany & UK, built from brick/store & I tell you they are as solid as a rock. They are warm & cozy during winter & cool & pleasant during summer. As far as sound insulation goes, concrete, brick & stone have high mass density, and they muffle & dampen sound quite a bit, whereas wood echos the sound by reverberating it & transmitting it all over. In fact, stealth plans are mainly made of wood, in order to reduce reflection/emission of radar, so they CANNOT be detected, where as signals would bounce off other solid materials. Knock on a wall made of wood & see how it feels hollow & void, whereas concrete or brick will dampen the echo quite a lot. If you punch a concrete wall, you will end up breaking your hand, where as you can easily punch a hole in a plywood wall & if you live in a multi-family home, you may end up in your neighbors unit.
Many US houses or buildings will not be around, let's say 500 years from now, as a result of a wasteful consumerism system & a mindset of bulldozing the old & buying something new, even if it's cheaper quality. All great civilizations have left structures for us to admire: Rome, Egypt, Greece, Byzantium, Incas, Aztecs etc. Unfortunately, it doesn't seem likely that American civilization will leave any impressive physical structures behind.
submitted by Bernice2020 to CasualConversation [link] [comments]

If You See Graffiti Reading "FOR A GOOD TIME CALL:", follow this "Rule of the Road"...

The following contains a transcript from a short radio broadcast that has been picked up by various listeners across the continental United States. Many have been perplexed by its sudden appearance and how it seems to preempt whatever song or radio program they are listening to at the time. It has even been known to appear on streaming programs such as podcasts or Spotify. Listeners have described hearing different episodes and there have been many situations and incidents.
A 23 year old college student named Yuvisela contacted me with her account of hearing the broadcast. She and her boyfriend had encountered the broadcast while driving one sultry summer afternoon from Austin, TX.
So I have this thing with waterfalls. I’m a little obsessed with them. In my free time and when I’m not paying attention in lecture, I like to look on the internet at pictures of them and daydream that I’m there: the roar of the splashing water, the white foamy spray, my bare toes dipped into the icy spring. I’ve got a Pinterest page with hundreds of falls that I would like to visit one day. Niagara, Havasu, Victoria Falls, Gullfoss, Iguazu; they’re all on there. I keep them all catalogued for my bucket list.
Yet, how many people go to the grave with their bucket list hardly finished? I bet a lot.
My boyfriend, Gabriel, likes to mess with me about my obsession. He’ll come up behind me while I’m on my computer or look over my shoulder at my phone and see that I’m looking at waterfalls.
“Don’t go chasing waterfalls, stick to the rivers and the lakes that you’re used to,” he’ll sing when he catches me. It’s this old song he knows, TLC or something. He’s about six years older than me. I’ll joke with him to leave me alone and quit singing that old music, ask him if he used to listen to that on an 8-track or something.
“No, my older sister listened to it on CD. You know CD’s? Those little plastic things with the holes in them? That little slot in your car’s stereo, a CD goes in there. They don’t make ‘em in the new cars anymore.”
We’ve had a variation of this same conversation a bunch of times. It’s kind of a running joke between the two of us—him poking fun at my waterfall obsession and me making fun of how old he is—and while he thinks the waterfall thing is a cute little quirk of mine, he also has been supportive of my passion. That’s why he surprised me with the trip that summer. He knew that I was yearning to see some of these places. He knew that he wanted to make me happy. He knew that my resources were limited. He knew that we weren’t getting any younger; I was 23 and still had a semester to go.
But he also knew that we weren’t getting any richer, either. At least not anytime soon. I know I’m a little bit older for a college student, but it’s taken me a bit longer on account of having to work and stuff. I can’t take a full load every semester. Money’s always tight. I work full time and barely stay ahead, even sending some of my money to help my mom out. Gabriel offered to help me out some and we’d even talked about moving in together, but we had only been together a year at that point and I wasn’t quite ready.
Before my dad had passed, I’d promised him that I was going to get my college degree and I wanted to do it all on my own. While I loved Gabriel and could see myself marrying him, I didn’t want to deal with a transition like that so close to the finish line. Besides, we were getting along so well as it was. Why mess with a good thing?
And it was a good thing that kept better. Just when I thought that I couldn’t love Gabriel more, on my birthday he surprised me with the best present I’ve ever gotten. It was a little black notebook with this kind of leathery cover. While the notebook itself was nice, it was what was inside that was the true present. At some point, he had gone onto my Pinterest page and written down page after page of waterfalls, organizing them by country and state. He had put little squares beside them, boxes to check off. The last two pages were Texas and Oklahoma. He had written a note there. It read:
“Let’s start now...”
-Gabriel
* * *
So far, the trip had been a blast. We had started out in Abilene where we both lived and where I attended college. From there, we went to a place called Gorman Falls at this state park. It was one of the tallest waterfalls in the state and all of the foliage and moss around it was lush and green and for a while, if I crossed my eyes just right it was like I wasn’t even in Texas.
We couldn’t hit all the sites in a day. It was a road trip with multiple nights in hotels. After Gorman Falls and staying at a hotel, we headed towards Austin and stopped off at Hamilton Pool Preserve. The waterfall wasn’t as tall as Gorman, but I have to say I liked it better. The water formed a curtain as it poured off of a rocky shelf and into this sunken grotto of blue green water.
We stayed at this magical place for hours, swimming in the water and soaking up the sun. I could’ve stayed longer, but it was starting to get crowded, so we headed to Austin for a night on the town on 6th Street.
The next day we slept in and got a late start on the road. Lunch was at a Whataburger outside Waco. We sat and ate our food and looked at our phones. I browsed Instagram and my eyes skimmed over a gorgeous site. Yep, another waterfall. I slid my phone over to Gabriel.
“Look!” I said.
“Am I supposed to be looking at the butt or the waterfall?” he asked. An Instagram model was standing with her back to the camera, looking up at the water in awe.
“The waterfall, silly.”
“Seriously, that skinny white girl ain’t got nothing on you. Better let me take a look, just to be sure.”
I stood and twirled around quickly, teasing him. “Ok, so back to the waterfall. Did you look at it?”
“Yeah, it’s beautiful babe. Where was this one?”
“Iceland,” I sighed.
“Oh, right.”
“It’s not looking good for the time being. Maybe in a few years, yeah?”
“Just gotta see how the election goes. I ain’t holding my breath.”
See, neither of us were U.S. citizens. We were what you call DACA recipients. Both of us had wound up in America via illegal means on behalf of our parents, back when we were kids. This was when we were too young to have any say in the matter. I can hardly remember my life before, my life back in Mexico. I grew up here, went to school here. Texas and America is the only home I’ve ever known. Gabriel, he was originally from Guatemala. His situation is more or less the same.
If we were to leave the country, then we might risk not being able to get back in. You could apply for eligibility to travel if you had special circumstances, but they didn’t allow travel for leisure. We didn’t even have passports. Until then, our dreams of traveling—something we both wanted to do—were just that: dreams.
There was a little bit of light at the end of the tunnel. Obama and that DREAM act, I’m sure you’ve heard of it. You know, the dreamers or whatever? That’s what they call us. I guess they call it that because it’s just a freaking fantasy that disappears at the slightest thing—the sunrise, your phone alarm—out of your grasp as soon as you start your day.
Anyways, I applied for the DREAM act, but it hasn’t been a guarantee. We’re all stuck in a sort of limbo, waiting for the people in Washington to figure out what the hell to do with us, using us as a bargaining chip.
Not Gabriel though, he didn’t apply for the act. Part of it was that he was bad about procrastinating. The other part was that he was paranoid about signing up. I told him that he was an idiot and if he blew his chance to become a legal permanent resident, then I wouldn’t follow him to Guatemala if he got deported. He told me that he didn’t trust the program, that once they had you in the system they could track you easier, keep tabs on you. Said he knew a guy that got deported this way. I told him that the guy must’ve gotten into some legal trouble, a DUI or something, to have been deported.
“We’re all just one slip up from some legal trouble. Hell, some people consider us illegal right now,” he had said.
It was hard to argue against that, I guess. At least he knew where he stood, didn’t have that false hope. Sometimes I think it’s the hope that gets you, makes things worse.
Gabriel frowned and handed the phone back to me, looked out the window and took a sip of his Coke. I suddenly felt bad and ungrateful. Here was this amazing man that had planned out an awesome road trip just for me and I was busy looking at other far off adventures, not appreciating what I had right in front of me, the moment I was living in right now.
I leaned forward and kissed him. "I don't care where I'm at as long as you're with me," I said and he smiled.
What I told him just then, it was true. That didn’t mean I was going to grow complacent and quit dreaming.
They did call us dreamers after all.
It was one of those giant truck stops, the kind that was a little smaller than a Wal-Mart or Target, but just barely. We filled up and paced around inside and looked at the aisles and aisles of candy, the funny toys and souvenirs, and the tacky t-shirts.
“Hey Yuvi, whaddaya say? It’s your size.” Gabriel asked, holding up a black t-shirt with glittery letters. “PROUD TRUCKER WIFE” it read.
“Only if you get that one,” I said, pointing at a T-shirt with a semi-truck on it that read “I JUST DROPPED A LOAD”.
“Eww,” Gabriel said, laughing.
We both wandered around on our own. They had a huge candy section and I was looking to see if they had any vero elotes candy. I had just found a bag on a bottom shelf when Gabriel came skipping up.
“We are so getting this,” he said, holding up a plastic CD case.
“What is it?”
“Best of the ‘90s. It’s got your song on there, see? ‘Don’t Go Chasing Waterfalls.’ Can we get it? It’s only 3.99.”
“Ha, ok. But only if you buy me this,” I said, handing him the candy.
There was traffic from hell just south of Denton on account of construction and a car wreck or two. We were stop-and-go for what seemed like an hour. I was passenger side and Gabriel idled along.
“Ok. I think now’s the time to break out this bad boy,” Gabriel said as he started tearing at the plastic wrap around the CD case.
“I think this is the first time I’ve even used the CD player in this car.”
“Aw hell yeah,” Gabriel said as the first song started playing. “Gettin’ Jiggy With It.”
“Getting what, now?”
“It’s your boy, Will Smith. Y’know the Fresh Prince? Betcha didn’t know he had a little music career.”
“That guy from I Am Legend and Aladdin?”
Gabriel rolled his eyes. “I guess. His older work is much better.”
“Well I don’t know. You act like you're this old and wise millennial. You’re not that much older than me, y’know.”
“I’m telling ya, my Gen-X sister raised me on all of this stuff. I think she was Gen-X. I don’t know the damn cutoffs. Anyways, she babysat me a lot growing up while Mama was working and stuff. She cultured my little ass. Ooh, here it is!”
A new song started playing. I couldn’t help but laugh at how it started. “It sounds like porn music!”
“Nah, shhhh. Shhh.” Gabriel bobbed his head along to the beat.
The chorus started to worm it’s way into my head. The song was ok, I guess. I still can’t really listen to it to this day.
“You gotta listen to this dope rap coming up,” Gabriel said.
There was the sound of hissing and popping, wet logs burning in a fire. Whispers intermingled with the sound effects. One of the voices rose above the others and said “Listen!” harshly in Spanish, you know, “Escuchen! Escuchen!”, several times.
We both looked at each other with wide eyes. The traffic crept forward slowly and Gabriel kept his hands on the wheel and I kept mine in my lap and that’s when he started to talk. It was this happy sounding older guy, talking right there on my car’s speakers.
Gooood afternoon folks, Buck Hensley here with a special rush hour edition of “The Rules of the Road”. Hope ya’ll are doing alright out there while you’re idling on the clogged arteries of America’s highways and byways, breathing in those delicious exhaust fumes. I know that good ol’ Mother Earth likes to take a big fat rip of that stuff from time to time, although as of late she seems to be getting quite a contact high from that delicious Co2 and starting to feel the effects just a little too much.
And yet you all keep puff-puffing and passing, never slowing down. What with your jet planes and your driving and your travel and your neverending consumption and your cow farts and whatnot. All I’m saying is that you folks might wanna slow down a bit on that stuff, because I’ve seen the end results and all I can say is that they are hilarious. But I understand if you wanna keep on keeping on and having a good time. All I can say is smoke ‘em if you got ‘em.
Speaking of good times, that reminds me of today’s special “Rule of the Road”. You’re gonna want to listen to this one as it’s all about good times. Why that was Carla’s favorite sitcom for a spell there, “Good Times”. She’d watch reruns on into the night, the TV casting a pale glow that was kinda comforting across the bed, and I’d wake up to live studio laughter and her snoring softly beside me, the serene look of slumber on her face and the years I’d wasted.
Gabriel and I both looked at eachother. He shrugged and reached for the stereo. I shooed his hand away. I wanted to listen to it. The voice continued.
But I digress...well now, on to today’s “Rule of the Road”. If at any point during your journey you stop off for a pitstop or a potty break and you enter a public restroom to do your business, take note of the writing on the stalls. You might notice some graffiti that reads, “For a Good Time, Call” and then a phone number listed after it. If you do notice this, then take the number down for later use. Whenever you are in dire need of a good time, then give that number a call.
Now before you go off with a bee in your bonnet and tell me how you ain’t gonna call no sketchy phone number taken off a lady’s or men’s room wall, let me just tell you that this will be worth it. You can trust me. When has old Bucky ever let ya down?
I know what you’re gonna say next though, you’re gonna say, “Buck, I don’t ever call no numbers on my phone. I’m deathly afraid of voices on the other line. If I can’t text and send little emojis and the like, then forget it. If I can’t use an app to order Thai food or a pizza, then I go hungry that night. I haven’t even made an appointment to a doctor since I’ve lived with my parents. What if since we can’t see each other’s faces we start talking at the same time and we talk over each other and then say, ‘oops sorry, no you go ahead’ and then we both say it again at the same time and then we both start trying to talk again and then get stuck in some sort of infinite loop?”
And to that I say, “fair enough.” Don’t use the phone. The consequences of not following this rule are a little less dire than previous rules you may have heard. If you don’t follow this rule then you will simply miss out on a good time. That’s it. But you wouldn’t want to miss out on anything, would ya?
Welp. That’s all I’ve got on this fine late afternoon. May the wind be always at your back, your picnic basket full of snacks, and your cheese ever be pepper jack. Ya’ll stay sane out there. Stay symbiotic. Stay lonely. I'm Buck Hensley and these are "The Rules of the Road".
The voice instantly stopped and the song returned playing. Gabriel had a dumbfounded look on his face.
"What the hell?" he said and tried to rewind the CD.
"Umm, was that part of the song? Maybe a different version?"
"No way," he said and kept rewinding and playing the song over. The little skit that we heard never returned.
“Weird,” I said.
“Beats the heck out of me.”
“Maybe the CD is haunted. That was pretty spooky, y’know? That voice telling us to listen.”
“Maybe it was like a hidden track or something. They used to put those on CD’s back in the day. And this CD was pretty cheap and has all these songs on it. Could’ve been like a pirated deal.”
We weren’t really scared by the broadcast or whatever it was, just more confused. It was only looking back that we saw the importance of what we had heard and how from there our path seemed to be led a certain way.. At the time it was just this weird little thing, a funny little mystery that was forgettable for the time being.
We crept along for a while without incident, the traffic slowly gaining momentum. The music on the CD played on as usual and we heard no extra voices. The songs played like they were supposed to. Everything was fine.
Of course, outside of Gainesville, it hit me. I had been trying to ignore it and power through until we stopped for the night, but I had the sudden urge to pee. All that slow traffic and iced tea and a bottle of water must’ve caught up with me. This was intense. Usually I could hold it pretty good, but I had to get Gabriel to stop at the first exit we saw.
It was this gas station kind of off by itself and it was all dingy and old and faded and didn’t look the cleanest. Gabriel parked and my lower stomach and bladder ached as soon as I stood up and got out of the car. I burst into the place and made a beeline towards the restroom, over in the corner past the ATM and the glass fridges down a hall with burnt out fluorescent lights.
They were singles that you could lock, one for men and one for women. The floor was sticky and paper towels piled out of a trash can and a strip of toilet paper floated in a pool of standing water. A condom dispensing machine was on the wall opposite the toilet.
It wasn’t the worst public restroom I’d ever used and I didn’t have many options; I was literally about to piss myself. I would have to do the hover move over the toilet seat. No seat covers in a joint like this and I didn’t have time to prep it with toilet paper anything.
So I was doing my business, my thighs burning from the squat, and kind of laughing to myself at the condom dispenser machine with its brands like the “FRENCH TICKLER” and that’s when I saw it, the graffiti written in Sharpie, right there on the vending machine. It said, “For A Good Time, Call 9xx-XXX-XXXX [Redacted]”.
After I finished and had washed my hands, I snapped a pic of the graffiti. I figured Gabriel would get a kick out of it.
“You’re supposed to call it. That’s the rule,” Gabriel said when I showed him.
“I’m too nervous. You call. You heard it, too.”
“Chicken.”
“Yep.”
“How many of those things do you even see? I’ve seen them all the time. I bet it’s just dudes pranking each other or fucking with their ex-girlfriends.”
“Well I found it in the ladies room, so hopefully it wasn’t dudes.”
“Okay, you enter it in your phone and I’ll dial. I’ll try to do a caller ID block or something. Let’s just see what happens.”
“Are you sure?”
“Eh come on. Maybe it’s fate.”
The Texas travel center appeared on the southbound side of the interstate and we were soon crossing the Red River on into Oklahoma as I transcribed the numbers from the picture to the keypad on my dialer.
A large casino came into view. It was ginormous with this sort of facade of all these famous buildings on its outside. I could see Big Ben and that Roman coliseum and all these other world architecture things. The casino just stretched on and on.
“Aw, not again,” Gabriel said.
I had just finished transposing the number into the phone. The crazy casino had distracted me. “What is it, babe?”
“Another jam.”
The traffic was veering into the right hand lane, but it was still moving at a decent clip, like 45 mph or something. After a mile of this, I could see a couple of highway patrol cars parked across the interstate, blocking both lanes of traffic. A state trooper stood out in the middle, waving a flashlight thing and directing traffic to take the exit. There was still about an hour of daylight left and you couldn’t even see the light. He was just using it as a baton. Somewhere off in the distance there was a thick wall of smoke filling the evening sky with this surreal haze.
“Wonder what’s going on?” I asked.
“Who knows? Grassfire, maybe.”
We followed the other cars and trucks down the exit ramp. Some turned right, some turned left.
“Right or left? Right or left?” Gabriel asked.
There seemed to be more cars turning left. Maybe they knew something we didn’t. But then, we would be stuck behind them and it was getting dark and we were already behind schedule. I wanted to get the hell out of the car.
“Um, right! Right,” I said, trying to pull up the GPS on my phone. It was lagging and my service had kicked over to 3G. “Freaking Verizon,” I muttered.
We drove down a highway past empty fields fenced off by barbed wire. There were houses and barns and oilfield pump jacks every so often, but not much else. No gas stations or a sign of a town or much else, really. After driving into all this nothingness for a while, my phone completely lost all signal. The cars around us thinned out and there was only a black SUV in front of us.
“Hey babe, I have no service and can’t pull up the GPS. Wanna turn back around?”
“Nah, let’s just keep going. We’ve come this far, yeah? We’ll hit a main road eventually, get some service.”
I sighed in response as he kept driving, let him know I didn’t approve.
“We’ll turn north soon, ok? All roads lead to Turner Falls.”
I checked my phone every fifteen seconds, looking for a signal.
“C’mon Gabe, we’re gonna get lost out here. Let’s just go back, follow the other cars or see if they’ve opened up the interstate again.”
“Look, this looks like a good road. We’ll cut north here and drive aways and then cut back west towards the interstate. It’s literally impossible to get lost out here. Just trying not to lose any more time.”
But it wasn’t so simple and the nervous feeling in my stomach was validated when the road we drove north on turned to gravel. The sun was long gone and our headlights cut a tunnel through the night as barbed wire whizzed by, separating us from pastures that were elevated above the road on grassy rises. I started to fear the worst, thinking of every horror movie I’d ever seen that had started out this way: the headstrong man refusing to admit that he was lost and didn’t know where he was going and the increasingly pissed off and worried girl that was with him.
Babe, please just turn around,” I pleaded.
“Ok, ok. Still no signal, eh?”
I looked down at my phone. Finally, there was one bar of service. “Yes! Hang on.”
“Oh fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck,” Gabriel said, his voice growing louder.
My stomach dropped as what appeared in the rear view mirror was just as scary as any sort of Freddy or Jason or Leatherface from the big screen.
Part 2
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Coastguard #9 - Those Whose Sins Mark Their Bodies

DCNext Proudly Presents…!

COASTGUARD

Issue #9: Those Whose Sins Mark Their Bodies

Written by Fortanono
Edited by dwright5252, AdamantAce
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Meet-and-greets were always Marc Silvera’s favorite part of the day. Back in his youth, he loved the thrill of heroism, the adrenaline that came with fighting against dangerous people and bringing them to justice. Now, it was much less about adrenaline as it was before; he got his enjoyment from knowing that he made others’ lives just a little bit safer, helping them sleep more easily. Luckily, Josiah Power’s booths in the Polynesia Resort’s cafeteria boiled that right down to a science.
Dan and Courtney would always get the most fans, considering that they ran their own media platforms at one point; Helga and Curtis would occasionally hang around his booth for the fans. Ray and Thunder each had their own devoted lines, with their fans from Tulsa and Metropolis often making pilgrimages to New Coast to visit them. The ceremonially empty booth to the left of Marc was there for Vibe, who had attracted a lot of people placing down flowers and mementos, paying their respects. It was still hard for Marc to believe that he was really gone.
Marc’s was always the shortest line. He knew why; for a long time, the second Commander Steel was a small-town urban legend whose existence was unconfirmed. The name was also associated with a military group that many disapproved of or outright loathed, Marc himself chief among them after all these years, who was a willing participant in it. Finally, there was the third reason: Commander Steel was not a welcoming figure to most. His helmet kept out any sign that he was even a human, which was no longer a valid assumption for superheroes. In a lot of ways, he understood why children would even be scared of him. He liked to pretend that this didn’t bother him, but he knew deep down that it did, just a little.
Even still, he did have several people who came over to meet him. A tall woman with red hair and excessive amounts of makeup walked up to him, her young son in tow. He couldn’t have been more than seven years old, Marc thought. He sat down on a wooden chair nearby and smiled behind his mask.
“Hello there,” Marc chuckled. “What’s your name, young man?”
“Collin,” he smiled, hiding his face in his hands, his dirty mop of red hair covering his eyes.
Marc laughed heartily, almost as if he were a mall Santa. He felt like the kids needed to know that he wasn’t as scary as he seemed behind the mask, and laughing was the best way of doing that. Collin couldn’t see how wide he was smiling behind the visage, the tear of joy running down one of his eyes. “Now Collin, why don’t you sit on my lap and we can take a picture together?”
“Yeah!” Collin said. “I love you, Commander Steel. I want to be a superhero like you when I grow up.”
“Oh, is that so?” Marc said joyfully, smiling as Collin climbed up into his lap. He hid a grimace; as much as he enjoyed the job, seeing someone so young determined to be someone who put their life on the line was very off-putting to him. The camera flashed, taking a picture of Collin with his hero, and Marc just let the moment rush over him.
“Remember to enjoy your stay at New Coast Polynesia Resort!” he called out behind them as they left the line. He always felt weird saying that, but Josiah told them to, and it wasn’t like he didn’t want them to have a fun vacation.
The next person moved forward in the line, a teenage boy wearing a camo button-down shirt. “Hey, Commander Steel,” he said gleefully. “You’re so awesome. It’s so cool that I get to meet you.”
Marc went through the rounds, but he wasn’t focused on the boy anymore. Instead, Marc stared transfixed as the next woman in line, a middle-aged Black woman with a short bob of shoulder-length grey hair, wearing a black dress with grey and blue accents. His stomach dropped as he finished up with the kid in camo, turning to the woman in front of him.
“Jenna,” he said, coming out as little more than a breath. He stood up from his chair. “Why are you here?”
“Trust me,” she said with her lips pursed. “I didn’t want to come just as much as you probably don’t want to see me. Something came up.”
Marc stared at her, not saying anything.
“Richards’ sentence is up,” Jenna muttered coldly. “I was hoping he’d changed, but he’s on a bus straight to New Coast. I just wanted to warn you and your team, knowing what he’s capable of.”
“Yes, of course,” Marc said as his former wife left the line. He turned to her and called out as she walked away. “Hey, hey, you have a fantastic rest of your life, whatever you’re doing.” She didn’t respond.
Marc turned to the next guest, his mind not fully there. As his experience with Jenna faded from his mind, he realized that something much worse was about to happen, and he had to warn the team about it.
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“Okay,” Curtis said, his back against the wall of Room 103. The members of Coastguard were gathered in their costumes, having come back from the meet-and-greet minutes earlier. “A quick recap on the Phosphorus situation for Courtney: We’ve been able to take out some street-level guys who were peddling narcotics, but none of them claimed they had ever seen the man’s face. He apparently keeps very little company; only those he trusts ever see who he truly is.”
“By the way,” Anissa said, “Congrats to Courtney for the awesome work she’s done in Opal City! We’re starting to see headlines roll in, and it’s very impressive.” Immediately, everyone in the room around them began to clap and cheer, turning to Courtney who was sitting in her new red-and-green costume.
Courtney looked between her teammates and smiled. “Thanks guys,” she said. “It means a lot.” She turned to Curtis, her expression turning more serious. “Anything on ThirteenthFloor? That seemed like a really big deal when I left, but no mention of it so far.”
Curtis nodded. “Yeah, yeah, that’s a thing. Helga and I are working on reverse-engineering the tech in the buildings, but no results yet. Anyone else have pressing concerns?”
Helga raised her hand. “As you may recall,” she began, “Acrata managed to escape from New Coast after arrest. I recently received word that she may be returning to the city, planning something big. If you spot her, do not be light when apprehending her, and bring her to me as soon as you can.”
“Dammit,” Dan said. “I was hoping I’d never have to see her again. That fight kept me sore for days. We’ll be on the lookout if she returns.”
“Anything else?” Curtis asked.
Marc removed his mask and raised his hand slowly. “Yes,” he said meekly. “Unfortunately, there’s… someone else has shown up here. An old enemy. Curtis, bring up records for Mark Richards, also known as the Tattooed Man.”
Curtis turned to a nearby monitor and began searching the web. He pulled out a mugshot of a tall, bald man with a tattoo of a dragon coiled around the top of his head. On the side of one of his cheeks was another tattoo, a small piece that resembled a rose with a thorny stem. “This your guy?”
“Yes,” Marc said. He stood up and took a deep breath, addressing his teammates. “A long time ago, I lived in a small town in Maryland called Liberty Hill. Standard small-town fare; most of the criminals were just normal people who had a bad run. This man was different. He showed up, and within months he had killed any gang members who didn’t work for him. With every man he murdered, he got a new tattoo, and these weren’t ordinary tattoos. They gave him powers, and every time I fought him he had a new trick up his sleeve.”
He sighed and paused before continuing. “I became obsessed with him. It was unhealthy, and it cost me my marriage. Finally, 15 years ago, I caught him. He served his time, and now it seems like he’s come back for revenge. I'd like to humbly request your help in finding him and making sure he doesn't cause further harm. Mark Richards is incredibly dangerous, and we need to treat any encounter we have with him with utmost caution. He will kill us if we don’t.”
The room fell silent for a few seconds before Curtis broke the silence. “Okay,” he said. “The Tattooed Man, Public Enemy Number One. Don’t worry, Marc; we will make sure that we stop him before he can hurt us.”
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Mark Richards knocked on the door of a townhouse in what looked like any other upscale neighborhood. This development was designed by one of Josiah Power’s friends, he had remembered, but it had never seen use as the designer’s company went down for fraud several months ago. Even though it looked like an ordinary housing development, a far cry from the tourist trap in New Coast’s city center, it was also the home of many of New Coast’s more sinister elements. With the development never having been in use, it was the perfect place for shadowy figures to hide in such a bright city.
The skull on Mark’s forearm sensed some sort of danger. Mark willed it to be quiet as a young woman, tall and lanky with blonde hair and blue accents, opened the door. She seemed to have a lot of tattoos herself. “Wow,” she said, staring at him up and down. “I’m going to need the name of your inker. That is some good art.”
“I’ve had a lot of inkers,” Mark chuckled. “My first tattoo was from a slave-driver in Moldora. The second one was from a serial killer. I tend to get them from the worst of the worst, and it pays off.”
“Ooh, nice,” she said. “I take it you’re here to see the big man? I’m sure he’ll be glad to see you. You should hope so, at least.”
Mark nodded. “I believe we already had an appointment scheduled.”
“You are correct,” she laughed. “He's been talking about you all day.”
Mark walked into the house and down the corridor to a room at the end. If an ordinary homeowner lived here, the room he entered would probably be furnished as a dining room, possibly as a playroom for their children. However, the New Coast crime lord that lived here had turned the room into a sort of makeshift casino; slot machines padded the sides of the walls while a poker table served as the room’s centerpiece.
In the far corner were two couches, on one of which sat the man Mark presumed to be Phosphorus. He looked young and arrogant at first glance, reminding Mark of a cocky kid who thought he could run a business back in Liberty Hill, but who would always fall to Mark in the end. The heart tattoo on the left side of Mark’s chest came from him; his sins were driven by his heart rather than his brain, and that’s why Mark had defeated him. It was a fitting tattoo to remember him by. The major difference between Phosphorus and that kid was abundantly clear, though. Phosphorus wore an unbuttoned white jacket with no shirt; across his chest and extending down his left arm, his skin glowed a brilliant red-orange. Underneath the glow, Mark could see his ribcage, lit up by the man’s special ability.
“Heh, on time I see,” Phosphorus chuckled. “I knew I could count on you.”
Mark took a seat on the couch across from the crime lord. “Of course,” he said. “This business is always about impressions, and I’ve come to know that that means dependability as well as fear. Meet your opponents first, before you destroy them. And I believe that in a couple of months, I may have to destroy you.
“So it’s true then,” Phosphorus said. “You’re gonna hang around a while? That’s unfortunate. Oh well.”
“Nice to meet you. I’d shake your hand, but I’ve been told that’s not really a good idea.” Mark stretched out on the couch, throwing his arms behind his back. “So you’re the Phosphorus, huh? I expected someone a little older to have been behind the work you’ve done. It’s impressive.”
“Call me Alec,” Phosphorus said. He paused for a second. “I’m old enough. Besides, I’ve got a damn good reason why I’m doing this. Pardon the wordplay, but it’s a fire in my heart, so to speak, y’know? A drive.”
Before Mark could respond, Alec’s breathing started tensing up. He turned his head to the doorway of the room. “Melanie! Food!” he shouted. The blonde woman from before quickly came over with a man in a suit, tied up and restrained. She dropped him at Alec’s feet before leaving, not saying a single word.
The man’s expression turned frantic. “No, wait, please. Do anything. Ta--take my kids, instead. My wife. I can help you!” He was quickly shut up by Alec’s searing-hot left hand on his mouth, as the man quickly vaporized into thin air. Only a skeleton remained of where he was once standing.
“Wow,” Mark said, shaking his head. “That is impressive, I have to say. Not exactly a good dude there, either. Guess you know how to pick ‘em.”
“Yeah,” Alec laughed. “I only eat the rich types, people who have no spine or soul. That, and people who disappoint me, of course.” Alec paused for a second. “You know, I never wanted to be a criminal. I started this because I had to; if I don’t feed, I’ll die, and feeding ain’t exactly something you want to do in the open. But now? I’d say it feels pretty good. Not perfect, y’know? But it’s getting there.”
Mark nodded. “I get it, I really do. You know, you and I have the same power, so to speak.”
Alec gave him a confused look.
Mark cleared his throat. “I was on deployment in Moldora several years ago. I was a young soldier, about your age, and I had just killed a few men for the first time. Every day, their voices screamed in my head. So we were taking down this horrible waste of a human being; he had enslaved thousands of men, women and children to work for the worst kind of people. And the night before the raid, I asked him how he did it. That man showed me the art of sin-grafting; for every sin he committed, he added just a bit more ink to his body. He kept the memories of those he killed in the tattoos. Well, I thought it was bullshit, but then he tattooed this dragon onto me.” He pointed at his first and favorite tattoo, the dragon that coiled around his bald head.
“From that day on, whenever I kill someone, I tattoo myself with something to remind me of them. And I always use this special ink, which gives the tattoo life. Power. Doesn’t make it right, but it makes it damn near worth it. Now you, you have to kill people to live. I dunno how you got into that predicament, but you realized the same thing I did. If you get power from your sins, then it’s more than worth committing them, don’tcha think?”
Alec’s expression soured. “I think you’re fucking wrong about me,” he said. He stood up, towering over Mark. The skull on his shoulder sensed that he was in an incredible amount of danger. Mark said nothing; he wanted to see where this would go.
“I’m not a monster,” Alec huffed. “I was a good kid who wanted to do the right thing, and this bitch made me into who I am now. And my father just lets her stay by his side. He doesn’t notice shit. He doesn’t realize who that woman is. And so I’m here to fucking destroy the city he’s created, to burn it down to the bedrock on which it stands.”
Mark raised an eyebrow. “Your father is Josiah Power? I see it. I think you’ll realize you’re a lot more like him than you imagine.”
Alec lunged at Mark, nearly putting a hand on him. Acting quickly, Mark summoned the dragon from the tattoo on his head. Immediately, the ink turned into a violet energy construct of a serpent, lunging forward at Alec and releasing a sonic blast. Alec flew across the room, landing among the slot machines on the other wall.
“See, you’ve got this terrifying power,” Mark chided. “But I got so many years on you it’s hard to imagine. That, Alec, is why I will take this city.”
Alec writhed in pain as Mark stood over him and left. This was not the pain he felt when he hadn’t fed in a while, nor was it the pain he felt from Mark knocking him into the wall. No, this was omnipresent, coating every nerve of his body like it did when he was hungry, but ten times stronger. He cried out, bringing himself to his feet and stumbling out the door of the room. He had someone he needed to see.
≈≈≈≈≈ 🔱 ≈≈≈≈≈
“Help,” Alec gulped, grabbing Helga’s wrist in the hallway of the New Coast Polynesia Resort. He was wearing gloves, of course; he couldn’t let anyone else know about his abilities. Nearly collapsing, Alec straightened himself using Helga’s body as a support.
“Alec,” Helga said, faking a smile. “You know, you are the last person I expected to see today. I have to say, I am very impressed with what you’ve managed to accomplish with your abilities. Seems like they’re treating you better than I had expected.” She paused for a second, looking around for bystanders. There were none. “Come into Room 104 with me, and we can talk. I don’t want to have to do to any others what I did to you.”
The two of them walked further down the hall, entering Helga’s personal lab as Helga closed the door behind him. It was just as pristine, Alec thought, as the one Helga had imprisoned him in, although it was considerably smaller. Alec had only seen the inside of this lab from the small glimpse he had gotten when he had asked Helga to help save the day. The worst mistake of his life, Alec thought. He cared about his father for one moment, wanted to help save his life, and it cost him gravely.
“I take it you have questions about your newfound powers?” Helga turned to the door and latched it shut. “Don’t worry; I’ve soundproofed the room much better since our last encounter. I could yell at the top of my lungs that you were Phosphorus, and Curtis in the next room wouldn’t do so much as to look up from his computer.”
Alec nodded. “You said that this power would kill me. Everything’s starting to hurt like a bitch; I fed on my way here and it didn’t help. I need answers.”
“Well,” Helga said, “I wish I could give you all the answers you need. Primer is a very imprecise science, and it reacts differently for every person that it works on. That being said, none of the powers triggered by your specific primer have killed anyone in less than 6 months. Trust me when I say I’ve done extensive research on this one.”
Alec winced. He imagined Helga Jace, the kind hearted TV personality dedicated to treating people with metahuman conditions, giving hundreds of people the same treatment he had. It made so little sense, but with what he had seen of Helga in the past few months, it still fit perfectly.
Helga continued as Alec sat himself down on a nearby hospital bed draped in thin paper. “That being said, any sort of pain you might experience is par for the course, and none of it is a sign of your impending death. Most of it will make you want to die, but you’ll be fine for several more months at least. Now, unfortunately, I still have work to do that my team can’t know about, so curing you would not benefit me. But so far, you’ve been exemplary in your discretion about these matters. Not to mention the immense distraction you’re providing for them; they barely have time to think about anything I’m doing.”
Alec nodded. He resisted attacking Helga outright, as he knew she was his only chance at salvation. That did not mean that he wasn’t ready to do so. Instead, he looked her in the eyes and weakly spoke. “Will this new pain go away?”
“Hard to tell. I could help run some tests, but as hard as it may seem to imagine, I don’t know everything about every power that comes my way. Most likely, though, there will be high points and low points, as there are with every disease. I can tell from your demeanor, for example, that you’re feeling significantly less pain than when you literally grabbed me, even if it doesn’t feel that way. By the way, don’t scare an old lady like that, especially with your specific ability.” Helga chuckled wildly. Alec felt sick to his stomach, even though these past few months had hardened him. This, he thought, was what true monsters looked like.
“Fine,” Alec said, standing up. “You know what? I don’t need any more help. I got money, I got power, I got ladies, and it’s all because of your experiment. When the power does start to kill me, I’ll be here. But until then, I’m not coming through this door again.”
Alec left Room 104 and began to leave the hotel. Helga was right; as he got up, the pain had begun to fade. After a few seconds, it had all but disappeared for the time being. He got to the lobby, where he immediately noticed a new complication. Josiah Power, his father, was standing over the desk, talking to the receptionist. Before he could turn the other way, he saw Alec standing there. He fell silent, his gaze softening.
“Alec,” he muttered, coming closer. “I thought… I thought you left the city.”
The rage that Alec felt that first night in the hotel began to bubble up again, but he kept it down. “Hey, Dad. Yeah, I was gone for a while, but I’m… I couldn’t leave.” He paused, considering his next words carefully. “I think I’m ready to talk to you again.”
“That’s fantastic,” Josiah smiled. “Take your time; you don’t owe me anything. But if you want, maybe we could get dinner sometime?”
Alec nodded. “I think I’d like that.” It was a lie, he told himself; he had to come up with something on the spot. But it worked in his favor; if he had a relationship with his father again, the betrayal would be much sweeter when he got to that point. He couldn’t wait to see Josiah’s face as he realized who he truly was. But that had to wait.
As he left the lobby, he smiled. The pain may come back, but those who deserved it would also feel his pain in due time.
≈≈≈≈≈ 🔱 ≈≈≈≈≈
”Alright,” Curtis said through his microphone. ”We’ve spotted the Tattooed Man in Kim’s area. Anyone currently in the field, converge on 44th Street and H. We need to take him down sooner than later.”
“Got it,” Ray said, hovering high above Josiah’s central shopping district in New Coast before taking off due west. Below him, Thunder, Blue Devil and Commander Steel patrolled the streets; each of them began to make their way to the location in question through a series of Dan’s portals. As he arrived on location, Ray began to take in the sites around him.
The area of the city that one of Josiah’s associates, Terrence Kim, developed felt much more like a normal city than a theme park. That said, it still felt like a theme park, if only because of how sleek and untouched the buildings were. Towering white-and-blue skyscrapers surrounded the wide streets of this area, with tropical foliage in planter boxes along the sidewalks. Palm trees dotted the curbsides, which featured parking spaces where the cars would face the curb. What took Ray by surprise the most, however, was how empty this part was. Not all of Kim’s territory was available to the public yet; only the bare minimum was completed.
Ray landed on the street as Dan, Anissa and Marc portalled in behind him. Several blocks ahead of them, the Tattooed Man was smoking a cigar. He quickly noticed them and put it out before turning to them.
The Tattooed Man let out a hearty chuckle as he took a few steps forward. “Well, well, well. You finally found me. Hey Marc, how’s the missus doing? You know, I could tell that she was stalking me when I got out. I served my time, why do I need to get harassed for what I’ve already done?”
“Seems like it was well worth it,” Commander Steel said. “Considering where you ended up, Mark, you can’t take the high ground here..”
“This small talk was never my favorite part. Let’s get this over with.” Two violet wings of energy sprouted from the Tattooed Man’s back, allowing him to tower over the other heroes. Ray immediately met him in the sky. From a sword tattoo on his left arm, he summoned a blade of energy that he immediately gripped with both hands before charging at Ray.
Ray dodged the Tattooed Man’s first attack, responding with a barrage of light blasts. From the ground, Commander Steel fired his own bolts of energy from the wrist-cannons Helga had designed for him. The sword dissolved and was replaced by a shield that grew from a small tattoo on the back of the criminal’s left hand. For several seconds, the Tattooed Man sustained the heroes’ continuous fire, but it was interrupted when the Blue Devil portalled onto the shield and began punching at it over and over again. The Tattooed Man dissolved the shield and dived out of the way, flying higher to avoid further attacks. Ray chased after him and Dan portalled himself back onto the ground.
“Now this, this is fun,” the villain chuckled to himself. “Marc, why couldn’t you learn to fly, or build some glider or something? Sky battles are awesome!” The dragon on the top of the Tattooed Man’s head came loose, chasing after Ray. He fired out a concentrated beam of light while flying away, but the dragon kept going. Before he could stop it, the dragon screamed, letting loose a powerful high-pitched sound, and Ray fell to the floor.
The Tattooed Man landed on the ground, his wings dissolving as he stood over the fallen hero. “Now this will be a fun one to ink. I wonder, how should I remember you by? I’d do a lightbulb, but I don’t think you’re that bright to begin with.”
A bolt of energy from Marc’s cannon stopped the villain from finishing Ray off, hitting his right shoulder and making him turn to the other heroes. Thunder leapt up onto the side of a nearby high-rise, tackling the criminal from behind as he was distracted. She began to force a pair of handcuffs onto him, but the Tattooed Man quickly summoned his wings again, knocking Thunder down as he turned to the skies.
The lightning tattoo on the villain’s right arm began to let out a violet glow. From the skies, he fired powerful beams of lightning. The first hit Anissa, knocking her down; the second and third were fired at Commander Steel. A metal shield expanded from the hero’s own right arm, protecting him. As the Tattooed Man flew down, a portal from the Blue Devil intercepted him and brought him face-to-face with the two heroes left standing.
The Tattooed Man readied another bolt, knocking Dan clean out. “Now,” he chided, “it’s just the two of us. Like old times, isn’t it?” He resummoned the sword and began exchanging blows with the soldier. Commander Steel quickly discharged another energy blast, which knocked the Tattooed Man a few steps backwards as he began to charge up another lightning bolt.
He stopped. The skull tattoo on his shoulder began to sense another presence nearby.
From above, another hero flew down, clad in a pristine silver costume with glowing accents. In the center was the letter “T” in a circle, clearly the symbol of the hero Mister Terrific. He glided on what looked like two green glowing disks that appeared to be made of pure energy. He looked down at some sort of holographic console emanating from his wrist. The Tattooed Man quickly recognized that this must be the Blue Devil’s associate, the one who once worked for Mister Terrific. The villain was used to recognizing Commander Steel’s body language, even behind that mask of his, and he knew that his enemy was just as surprised as he was.
The new hero’s drones quickly surrounded the Tattooed Man, opening fire with green laser-blasts all around him. The Tattooed Man couldn’t take it, and quickly fell unconscious himself.
”Hey,” Curtis said as he flew down. ”I noticed you needed help.”
≈≈≈≈≈ 🔱 ≈≈≈≈≈
“So, wait,” Ray began to say as the heroes converged in Room 103. Helga had just finished performing medical care on the three members of Coastguard who were knocked out during the battle, and they were now calling a meeting to discuss what had happened. “You’re--you’re a hero now? When?”
Curtis nodded. “Not always; I’ll be on comms for a lot of the time. But when you guys need it, Helga and I developed this suit. I’ll be calling myself the Technocrat.”
“Cool,” Ray said. He poked at the Technocrat suit, which was standing up in the corner of the room, connected to a charger.
“I’d have to disagree,” Anissa said. “Curtis, you’re incredibly important to us. We can’t risk something happening to you.”
Curtis nodded. “Well, unfortunately, it’s not really your choice. I’ll make extra sure to choose my battles; don’t worry. But it’s important to me that you are all safe. The Tattooed Man would’ve killed all of you if I hadn’t come out there. And with Courtney in Opal half the time and Cisco… you know… we need more hands on deck.”
“He would’ve killed you, too, if he had known you were coming,” Anissa remarked. “And now, everyone who comes to New Coast will know about you. Nothing’s changed; you just had the element of surprise this time.”
Dan, who was sitting in the corner, finally spoke up. “Look,” he said. “I get why you’re worried, Anissa, I really do. I’m worried, too; like, really terrified outta my mind that my friend’s gonna get hurt doing this. But if there’s someone who can pull off this stuff, it’s Curtis. I wouldn’t try and stop him, either; he’s a very stubborn man.”
“Alright,” Anissa huffed. “But I’m not gonna like it.”
“The only question,” Marc laughed, “is what flavor of ice cream he’s gonna be. I can’t think of any grey ice-creams.”
“That’s for Josiah to figure out,” Curtis smiled. “If I had to pick? Probably mint chocolate-chip. All of your weird fruit flavors are upsetting to the palate.”
Everyone laughed around them, except for Anissa. It still didn’t feel right for Curtis to be going out there, and she knew that feeling wouldn’t change. But they were right; she had to deal with it.
≈≈≈≈≈ 🔱 ≈≈≈≈≈
Mark Richards woke up. His surroundings didn’t feel familiar, but they clearly weren’t any sort of prison. The building he found himself in was some sort of makeshift cabin made of wood. He was tied to a wooden chair on a grass floor. He looked at the ceiling; above him, the panels of wood were ornately painted in patterns of green and silver.
“Where am I?” he asked, dazed.
A man walked over to him in a red-and-brown robe. Draped over him was a green cape decorated with one glowing red gemstone on it. The first thing Mark noticed about his face was his two piercing green eyes, which seemed to see into his soul.
“Greetings, Mark,” the man said. “I know you have many questions, but trust me when I say I am not an enemy.”
Mark chuckled dryly. “When I’m tied to a chair like this, that’s usually hard to imagine.”
“We both know that those bindings would not hold you if you did not want them to,” the man said in a monotone voice. “We simply had to restrain you, as you tended to flail around when unconscious.” He walked over to Mark and untied the knots that kept him tied to the chair. “My name is Samuel, and we have the same goals: to destroy Coastguard and to rule New Coast City. I am gathering people close to the Coastguard, people with vendettas against their members. You fit these criteria easily; another one of these people has already been clamoring to meet you.”
A tall, thin man with pale skin and dark hair walked over to him. He wore a suit and tie that had clearly been hastily put on. Mark stood up and shook his hand.
“Hi,” he smiled, speaking in a nasal voice. “Michael Clarion, occultist extraordinaire. Pleased to meet you. I also just got out of prison. Now, I have a lot of questions about your tattoos. They are mystical in origin, correct? I’m very interested to discuss the finer points of this with you.”
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