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# /r/Peloton Pre-TDF Survey 2020

Gentlemen, Ladies and those otherwise addressed - we know you've been waiting for a good thing, and the survey results are finally ready!
The answers were collected from you all during August 2020 with 1428 unique replies. That's a participation of 0.5% of all subscribers! That's really not too bad, when you keep in mind how popular these kind of surveys are. But we here at /peloton want to show you that this is all about presenting the information in the subreddit to cater better to our audience!
Updated after a few hours to include some more historical data the final edit that for some reason wasn't copied properly
Year 2013 2014 2015 2016 2018 Mar 2018 Aug 2019 2020
Results 2013-06-12 2014-06-25 2015-08-07 2016-11-17 2018-03-06 2018-08-20 2019-07-22 2020-10-12
Replies 351 598 1395 892 630 928 986 1428
Without further ado, let's get cracking on the response

You and Cycling

1. Where do you live?

Country 2015 2016 2018 Mar 2018 Aug 2019 2020
USA 32% 28.3% 22.84% 25.32% 20.23% 24.59%
UK 18.6% 17.6% 14.70% 20.13% 15.48% 14.80%
Netherlands 6.4% 9.4% 11.50% 11.58% 10.01% 11.01%
Germany 3.73% 3.4% 4.95% 6.39% 7.84% 6.65%
Denmark 3.9% 3.6% 4.31% 3.79% 7.64% 5.79%
Belgium 3.8% 2.7% 8.15% 3.57% 5.78% 5.36%
France 2.01% 1.08% 2.88% 2.27% 5.26% 3.50%
Canada 4.9% 7% 6.39% 4.22% 4.95% 4.50%
Australia 5.2% 4.7% 3.83% 4.00% 4.33% 3.93%
Slovenia 0.73% 0.32% 1.30% 1.14% 2.14%
Norway 2.58% 1.8% 1.60% 1.95% 2.58% 1.86%
Sweden 1.08% 1.09% 1.44% 1.41% 1.75% 1.43%
Ireland 1.00% 1.09% 1.44% 1.19% 0.72% 1.36%
Portugal 1.65% 1.8% 2.40% 1.52% 1.34% 1.14%
Italy 1.45% 1.44% 0.65% 1.03% 1.07%
Largely the same picture as ever, with the US leading the way, the UK in second and then a sliding scale of Europeans countries. Slovenia continues to pick its way up the pile for obvious reasons!
World Map to demonstrate

2. What's your age?

u17 17-19 20-25 26-30 31-35 36-40 41-50 51+ Total
2015 2.22% 12.04% 41.51% 24.66% 10.68% 4.87% 2.94% 1.08% 1395
2016 1.5% 8.9% 40.8% 24% 12% 5.4% 5.2% 2% 887
2018 Mar 1% 7.1% 33.5% 27.4% 16.2% 7% 5.7% 2.1% 617
2018 Aug 1.7% 9% 33.9% 26.4% 15.5% 7% 5% 1.5% 905
2019 1.5% 6.6% 33.2% 27.5% 16.4% 7.1% 5.8% 2% 972
2020 1.3% 6.8% 31.7% 28% 16.6% 7.2% 5% 2.5% 1420
Pretty much the same as last year, with the usual reddit demographics of majority 20 somethings dominating.

3. What's your gender?

'13 '14 '15 '16 '18 (1) '18 (2) '19 '20
Male 97.2% 97% 94.9% 93.4% 93.3% 93.6% 95.1% 94.9%
Female 2.8% 2.7% 4.8% 5.3% 5.3% 5.4% 3.7% 4.8%
Other - 0.33% 0.29% 0.78% 0.76% - -
Non-Binary - - - - 0.64% 0.99% 1.2% 0.4%
More normality here for reddit.

4. How much of the men's season do you watch/follow?

Type March '18 (%) August '18 (%) 2019 (%) 2020 (%)
Grand Tours 84.7 92.0 90.2 87.3
Monuments 79.1 74.9 79 75.9
WT Stage races 67.4 62.4 70.5 71.7
WT One day races 73.3 59.8 62.3 60.7
Non WT Stage races 32.6 16.7 17.4 25
Non WT One day races 34.8 13.7 17.4 20.7
Literally everything I can consume 35.9 18.1 21.1 27.1
Whilst GT following may be down (somehow), all the lower level stuff is up, which makes sense considering how desperate we have been for any racing during the season shutdown.

5. Do you maintain an interest in women's professional road racing?

Do you maintain an interest in women's professional road racing? '19 '20
Yes 49.8 49.2
No 50.2 50.8
Still very much a half/half interest in women's cycling on the subreddit.

6. How much of the women's season do you follow?

The following is true for the half of you that follows womens cycling.
How Much %
Just the biggest televised events 63.15%
Most of the live televised/delayed coverage stuff 29.08%
All televised racing 5.09%
Down to .Pro & beyond 2.69%

7. How long have you been watching cycling?

How Long %
Under a year 2,95%
1-3 years 19,50%
4-6 years 19,85%
7-9 years 14,10%
10-12 years 13,81%
13-15 years 7,15%
15-20 years 10,73%
20-25 years 6,17%
25 years + 5,75%
Simplified the years a little this time, but whilst we have a fair number of newbies, most people have picked the sport up since around 2013/14.

Sporting Favourites

8. Do you have like/dislike feelings about WT teams?

Once more, 14.4% of people really don't have feelings on the subject.
Of those that do:
AG2R Astana Bahrain Bora CCC Cofidis Quick-Step EF FDJ
Like 352 213 127 770 156 116 847 724 423
Meh 775 620 773 415 889 896 310 448 700
Dislike 52 356 263 31 112 141 71 37 53
Karma 300 -143 -70 739 44 -25 776 677 370
Israel Lotto Michelton Movistar NTT Ineos Jumbo Sunweb Trek UAE
Like 135 364 517 231 101 304 925 279 383 118
Meh 740 764 626 646 931 414 282 805 765 734
Dislike 302 40 52 326 121 562 53 97 42 331
Karma -167 324 465 -95 -20 -258 872 182 341 -213
So, the most popular team this year is Jumbo-Visma, followed by Quick-Step & Bora-hansgrohe. Least popular are Ineos & UAE.
As per usual, no one cares about NTT & CCC, with nearly 81% of users rating NTT as meh. Pretty damning stuff.
Lastly, we have the usual historical comparison of how teams have fared over time, normalised to respondents to that question on the survey.
Things to note then, firstly that the Astana redemption arc is over, seeing them back in the negative, maybe Fulgsangs spring issues helped aid that? The petrodollar teams of UAE & Bahrain are stubbornly negative too, with Israel keeping up the Katusha negative streak. Meanwhile, at the top end, EF & Jumbo go from strength to strength, whilst some others like Sunweb are sliding over time - their transfer policies no doubt helping that.

10. Do you ride a bike regularly?

Answer 2018Mar 2018Aug 2019 2020
For fun 61.5% 63.4% 59.9% 62.9%
For fitness 59.3% 59.6% 54.8% 59.8%
For commuting 46% 46% 45.6% 40%
For racing 20.6% 20.6% 15.9% 17.7%
No, I don't 14.2% 12.9% 14.8% 13.6%
Still a fairly small group of racers out of all of us

11. Out of the sports you practice, is cycling your favourite?

Yes No
58,29% 41,71%
A new addition to the survey prompted by a good point last time, just over half of us rate cycling as the favourite sport we actually do.

12. What other sports do you follow?

Sport #
Association Football / Soccer 50.78%
Formula 1 35.81%
American Football 26.27%
Basketball 22.46%
Track & Field 17.58%
Esports (yes, this includes DotA) 17.30%
Rugby 14.27%
Skiing 14.12%
Ice Hockey 13.63%
Baseball 12.15%
Motorsports (Not including F1) 10.59%
Cricket 10.52%
Tennis 9.53%
Chess 8.97%
Triathlon 8.69%
Biathlon 8.12%
Snooker 7.06%
Golf 6.92%
Swimming 6.85%
Ski Jumping 6.78%
Climbing 5.72%
Martial Arts 5.65%
Handball 5.44%
Darts 5.01%
Speed Skating 5.01%
Football always tops the charts, and Formula 1 continues to rank extremely highly among our userbase. Those who have a little following below 5% include Sailing, Fencing, Surfing, Boxing & Ultra-Running.
Other cycling disciplines
Sport #
Cyclocross 22.10%
Track Cycling 14.34%
MTB 8.97%
BMX 1.20%

13. Out of the sports you follow, is cycling your favourite sport?

Yes No
61.79% 38,21%
Good. Makes sense if you hang out here.

Subreddit stats

14. How often do you participate in a /Peloton Race Thread whilst watching a race?

2015 2016 2018Mar 2018Aug 2019 2020
I always participate in Race Threads during races 2.8% 2% 2.2% 4% 2.5% 3%
I follow Race Threads during races 41.7% 36.7% 38.1% 42.1% 42.5% 38.9%
I often participate in Race Threads during races 16.8% 19% 16.5% 18.9% 15.2% 13%
I rarely/never participate in Race Threads during races 38.7% 41.3% 43.1% 35% 39.8% 45.1%
Slightly less invested than before, reverting back to an older trade.

15. How do you watch Races?

Method 2018Mar 2018Aug 2019 2020
Pirate Streams 62% 46.5% 50.2% 47.9%
Free Local TV 55.7% 64.5% 59.6% 53.9%
Desperately scrabbling for Youtube highlights 37.9% 30.2% 28.2% 24.9%
Paid Streaming services 32.3% 35.4% 38.3% 46.3%
Year on year, paid streaming services go up - the increasing availability of live content legally continues to improve, and so do the numbers on the survey.

16. Where else do you follow races live (in addition to watching them)?

Type 2018Mar 2018Aug 2019 2020
/Peloton race threads 86.2% 83.4% 80.2% 76.9%
Twitter 30.5% 34.7% 33.3% 38.3%
PCS Liveticker - - 30.2% 32%
Official tracker (if available) 24%
The Cyclingnews liveticker 26% 23.5% 21.5% 18.9%
Sporza (site/ticker) 1.89% 9.5% 10.8% 10.8%
NOS Liveblog - 6.8% 7% 9.2%
Steephill 0.52% 13.5% 10.2% 8.2%
/Peloton discord 6.5% 5.4% 7.5% 7.2%
Other cycling forums 15.1% 8.1% 7.6% 7%
feltet.dk - 2.2% 5.4% 5.2%
Facebook 3.8% 5.4% 4% 4.2%
BBC Ticker - 3.5% 2.1% 4.1%
DirectVelo - 1.3% 1.6% 1.8%
Non Cycling Forums - 1.3% 1.2% 1.2%
/cyc/ - 1.3% 1% 0.6%
/peloton IRC ~0 0.8% 0.4% 0.5%
The PCS liveticker continues to have a strong following, whilst the cyclingnews ticker slowly slides into less usage over time.

17. Do you use /Peloton mostly in classic reddit or redesign when on the desktop?

Type 2018 Aug 2019 2020
Classic 75.1% 67.2% 46.2%
Redesign 24.9% 32.8% 53.8%
Time to abandon ship. The end has come.

18. With what version of reddit do you browse the sub?

Version 2019 2020
Official App 17.9 31.1
Desktop Classic 37.8 25.8
3rd Party App 18.3 17.2
Mobile Web 12.4 14.7
Desktop Redesign 13.7 11.2
Phone browsing is very much in vogue.

19. How did you find the sub?

How %
Through other forms of reddit, f.e. /bicycling 48.33%
Too long - can't remember 38.65%
Google search 9,11%
My friend told me 2,28%
I wanted to talk about my exercise bike 0.78%
Twitter 0.5%
Lantern Rouge Youtube 0.28%

Other bits and bobs

20. Did you think back in March we would see any more racing this year?

Yes No
52,81% 47,19%
Despite the threat, we have seen racing again

21. Will we manage to fulfill the rest of the UCI calendar without further Covid-19 issues postponing more races?

Yes No
25.3% 74.7%
Sorry to you 25%, Amstel, Roubaix & a bunch of other races have falled foul of COVID-19 related cancellations.

22. When did you become aware of Alexander Foliforov?

When %
Before the 2016 Giro 3,25%
22nd May, 2016 15,55%
On /pelotonmemes in 2020 21,13%
Who? 60,07%
If you didn't know of the man, watching him demolish the Giro field in 2016 on the stage 15 ITT should help to gain understanding

23. Who will win the 2020 Tour de France?

Rider %
Roglic 52,12%
Bernal 16,57%
Pinot 9,24%
Dumoulin 7,9%
N.Quintana 2,82%
Pogacar 1,41%
Richie Porte 0,35%
We can safely say that most of us were wrong about this one.
That's not a lot of confidence in Richie Porte either, the man who was to finish on the third spot of the podium. Alexander Foliforov (0,23%) had just a tiny number of votes less, and that man wasn't even in the race.

24. What for you was the defining cycling moment of the previous decade?

We had a lot of brilliant suggestions, but these were the clear five favourites when we tabulated the results.
Honorable mentions go to the Giro 2018, which had Tom Dumoulin winning, and of almost identical fascination to many of you - Tom Dumoulin going on someones porta-potty in the middle of the stage.
Little bit of recency bias perhaps, but that's better than ignoring that this was for the last decade and firmly insisting Tom Boonens 2005 WC win was the biggest thing. Special shoutout to almost all the Danes present in /peloton who voted for Mads Pedersens WC win last year. It's an understandable reaction.

25. Any suggestions for the Survey?

New Questions
We promise to feature one of these suggestions in the next survey
Suggestions
We will try to implement this. But it will also skew results.
About the Survey
The subscribers are torn on Women's cycling, nearly a 50/50 split there as the survey showed - The moderators at /peloton are firmly in the "more cycling is better" basket, and we will continue to get as good coverage of womens cycling as possible.
Are you trying to give the moderators PTSD? Because this is how you give the moderators PTSD.

26. Any suggestions for the sub?

ALSJFLKAJSLDKJAØLSJKD:M:CSAM)=#/()=#=/")¤=/)! - Your moderator seems to be out of function. Please stand by while we find you a new moderator
The Weekly threads are great for these types of questions, where several people can contribute and build up once it is understood which information is relevant.
Our experience is that "limited" will never be so, if we're going to moderate it fairly. Moderating is not a popularity contest, but believe it or not, we're actually trying to be as fair as possible. and for that, we need rules that are not subjective. Unless you have a stationary exercise bike.
All of these are good suggestions, but remember that all of you can also contribute - The mods are sometimes stretched thin, specially in the middle of hectic race schedules. It's easier if one of you has a way to contact a rider or a person of interest and can facilitate the initial communication.
We've worked on this! The Official Standard is now as follows: [Race Thread] 202x Race Name – Stage X (Class)
This sounds as a nice community project for the after-season, and hopefully many of you subscribers can contribute.
Come with suggestions on how to tidy it up!
We have chastised all the mods. They are now perfectly trained in gender-neutral pronouns. Be well, fellow being.
If we can implement this for hard liquor, you know we will.
The spoiler rule is one that is discussed frequently - in general - some users absolutely hate it, but a majority love it. Perhaps we'll include a question in the next survey to see how this divide is exactly.
We actually do - whenever there is a matter of life or death, we think public information is more important than a spoiler rule. But at the same time, we try to collect all the different posts into one main thread, so to keep things focused and letting very speculative posts meet with hard evidence from other sources.
This is a tough ask of the internet. While we can agree that voting should be done accordingly to what insights they bring, not subjective opinions, it is very hard to turn that type of thinking around. We can ask of you, our subscribers, that you please think twice about hitting that downvote button, and only do so because of you think a post is factually incorrect, not because it differs with your own subjective opinion.
That's the primary analysis of the survey! Feel free to contribute with how you experience things here!
submitted by PelotonMod to peloton [link] [comments]

Results of First Official /r/Chihayafuru Survey

On May 3rd, 2020, a survey was conducted on /Chihayafuru. This was the first official survey held in the community, the results of which can be found here.
A total of 173 people responded over the 10 days this survey was open.
Wiki Post with easy navigation
/Chihayafuru's Favourite Shoujo and Josei Anime/Manga
/Chihayafuru's Favourite Anime and Manga (excluding Shoujo and Josei)

Demographics

Age Demographics

Age Range Percentage (Number)
25-34 years old 38.4% (66)
20-24 years old 34.9% (60)
17-19 years old 16.9% (29)
35+ years old 5.8% (10)
12-16 years old 3.5% (6)
Under 12 years old 0.6% (1)
A total of 172 people responded to this question. The results are surprising, to say the least. The median age trends much higher than that of other anime communities with most people being in their 20's and 30's. We have a decent number of teenagers but most people here are adults.

Gender Demographics

Gender Percentage (Number)
Male 56.6% (98)
Female 41% (71)
Prefer not to say 1.2% (2)
Non-binary 0.6% (1)
Agender 0.6% (1)
All survey respondents answered this question. The male majority was expected since reddit is predominantly male. Still, the somewhat balanced demographics are refreshing to see considering most communities are far more skewed towards male (/anime is 85%+ male for instance) although our numbers may be lower.

Country Demographics

Country Percentage (Number)
United States 38.8% (64)
India 6.7% (11)
Philippines 6.1% (10)
United Kingdom 5.5% (9)
Canada 5.5% (9)
Germany 3% (5)
Brazil 3% (5)
Australia 3% (5)
France 1.8% (3)
Sweden 1.8% (3)
Norway 1.8% (3)
Malaysia 1.8% (3)
Other 21.2% (35)
165 people answered this question. There's an even split between NA and other timezones. Roughly half the community lives in NA while the other half is divided between other regions. A surprising amount of people come from SEA regions.

Chihayafuru Related

When did you first get into Chihayafuru?

Answer Percentage (Number)
Between 2013 and 2018 (before Season 3 announcement) 38.2% (66)
Between 2018 and 2019 (before Season 3 aired but after it was announced) 16.8% (29)
Around/before Season 1 started airing in 2011 12.7% (22)
While Season 3 was airing 12.1% (21)
After Season 3 had ended 12.1% (21)
Between 2011 and 2013 (before Season 2 aired) 4.6% (8)
While Season 2 was airing in 2013 3.5% (6)
All survey respondents answered this question. Considering that 72.8% of our users have been watching anime for longer than 5 years, it makes sense that many of them would get into it so early considering its status as a sleeper hit and older fans' willingness to check out less mainstream anime. Many people seem to have picked it up after the Season 3 announcement, likely owing to seasonal culture becoming more widely adopted. Overall, we seem to have quite the mix of veteran and new fans.

Which of these made you watch Chihayafuru?

Answer Number
I watched it without much outside influence 70
Fan response/discussion on /anime or other forums 33
The MyAnimeList score 31
That one ProZD Video 29
Recommendation/Gift from friends/others 25
Anime Youtubers/AniTube in general 12
Ads and Promotions on Streaming Services 7
170 people answered this question. It was the first question where you could write-in an answer. Most write-in answers were grouped together since many people mentioned various blogs/websites which were grouped into "fan response" while people who found it on their own regardless of why they were looking for it were grouped into "watched without much outside influence." As a result, that answer dominates because as Chihayafuru isn't a major topic in other online communities, many people end up discovering it on their own whether they're looking for sports, josei or romance.

How have you watched the Chihayafuru anime?

Answer Percentage (Number)
Illegal streaming/torrenting/sailing the high seas 59% (98)
Legal streaming 55.4% (92)
Physical BDs/DVDs 4.2% (7)
166 people answered this question. More than half have streamed Chihayafuru legally although many of them have pirated it on occasion. Only 7 people own the physical BDs/DVDs.

Which of these translations do you prefer for the Chihayafuru anime?

Answer Percentage (Number)
I don't favour one or the other 50.9% (83)
Official Translation 31.3% (51)
Fan translation by Commie 17.2% (28)
Other 0.6% (1)
163 people answered this question. Aside from people that don't favour either translation, it's strange that so many prefer the official translation when Commie goes above and beyond with typesetting, translating signs and karaoke. Either way, it seems like people have issues with Commie's work or they have not checked it out and prefer the translation on Crunchyroll.

Which season of Chihayafuru is your favourite?

Answer Percentage (Number)
I don't have a favourite 29.1% (50)
Season 3 27.3% (47)
Season 2 22.1% (38)
Season 1 12.2% (21)
My favourite season is still unadapted 9.3% (16)
172 people answered this question. With Chihayafuru being a single narrative that isn't traditionally divided into arcs, it's natural that a large percentage of people don't have a favourite. Season 3 appears to be the most-well liked season and there's yet a considerable number of people that are more interested in unadapted events.

Which Chihayafuru anime OP is your favourite? (Please consider both song and visuals)

Answer Percentage (Number)
YOUTHFUL 45.9% (79)
I don't have a favourite 20.3% (35)
COLORFUL 19.2% (33)
STAR 14.5% (25)
172 people responded to this question. YOUTHFUL seems to be the most beloved OP. It's often considered synonymous with the series and repeated quite often which is common in sports anime. A large number of people don't seem to have a favourite OP while the rest are in much closer contention with each other.

Which Chihayafuru anime ED is your favourite? (Please consider both song and visuals)

Answer Percentage (Number)
I don't have a favourite 33.3% (57)
Hitomebore 31.6% (54)
Soshite Ima 21.1% (36)
Akanezora 14% (24)
171 people responded to this question. People seem to be more indifferent towards Chihayafuru EDs compared to OPs which does make sense because a lot of anime fans do skip EDs. This could be a poll option in the future. Season 3 ED seems to be the most favoured one with Season 1 ED only just behind. No overwhelming majority for any option in this case.

Do you read the Chihayafuru manga? If so, how?

Answer Percentage (Number)
I exclusively read for free on manga aggregate sites/sail the high seas 48.8% (82)
I am an anime-only 31.5% (53)
I buy the volumes legally but read ahead of the official translation via other means 16.7% (28)
I buy the volumes but don't read scanlations 3% (5)
168 people responded to this question. We clearly have more manga readers here than anime-onlies and a considerable number of people seem to buy the volumes even though they read the scanlations.

Have you watched the Chihayafuru live action movies?

Answer Percentage (Number)
No 73.3% (126)
Yes 14.5% (25)
Only some of them 12.2% (21)
172 people answered this question. Quite an overwhelming number of people haven't seen them while a fair few haven't seen all of them. People seem to be largely indifferent about the live-action medium but the movies aren't exactly known for their quality so maybe it's better this way.

Who is your favourite Chihayafuru character?

Answer Percentage (Number)
Mashima Taichi 43.9% (75)
Ayase Chihaya 20.5% (35)
Wataya Arata 11.1% (19)
Wakamiya Shinobu 8.2% (14)
Ooe Kanade 4.7% (8)
Harada Hideo 3.5% (6)
Suo Hisashi 1.8% (3)
Sudo Akito 1.8% (3)
Nishida Yusei 1.2% (2)
Hanano Sumire 1.2% (2)
Yamashiro Rion 1.2% (2)
Sakurazawa Midori 0.6% (1)
Inokuma Haruka 0.6% (1)
Komano Tsutomu 0% (0)
Tsukuba Akihiro 0% (0)
Kinashi Hiro (Retro) 0% (0)
Other 0% (0)
171 people answered this question. Taichi seems to be the favourite for roughly half the subreddit while Chihaya and Arata seem to have a lot of support. For side characters, Shinobu and Harada perform well for their limited screentime. On the bottom, you have the unloved who received 0 votes although one of them really does deserve it.

Do you ship characters in Chihayafuru? If so, which ones?

Answer Percentage (Number)
Chihaya x Taichi 47.4% (82)
Chihaya x Arata 30.1% (52)
Kana x Tsutomu 28.9% (50)
I don't ship characters 22.1% (38)
Chihaya x Taichi x Arata 3.6% (6)
Shinobu x Arata 3% (5)
Chihaya x Shinobu 2.4% (4)
Sumire x Taichi 1.2% (2)
Chihaya x Sudo 1.2% (2)
Taichi x Shinobu 0.6% (1)
Arata x Taichi 0.6% (1)
Shinobu x Suo 0.6% (1)
Sudo x Taichi 0.6% (1)
All survey respondents answered this question. That was an absolutely clusterfuck to figure out with all the weird answers I got. All the Character x Happiness answers were grouped into I don't ship characters and most ships that made sense are listed out here. I expected more people to not ship characters but it seems that the top 3 ships are significantly more popular than staying neutral.

Which medium do you prefer for Chihayafuru?

Answer Percentage (Number)
Anime 81.4% (140)
Manga 18.6% (32)
Live Action 0% (0)
172 respondents answered this question. Anime seems to be the preferred medium for most people. This is by far the most overwhelming majority for any one response throughout the whole survey meaning people are really satisfied with Morio Asaka's work on the Chihayafuru anime. On the other hand, there isn't a single soul that prefers live action despite a considerable amount having seen those films.

Is Chihayafuru your favourite anime/manga?

Answer Percentage (Number)
It's definitely up there 72.3% (125)
Yes, it's the best 16.8% (29)
I've seen better 7.5% (13)
The anime is in my favourites (not the manga) 2.3% (4)
The manga is in my favourites (not the anime) 1.2% (2)
All survey respondents answered this question. Unlike more mainstream anime communities, there isn't an overwhelming number that has Chihayafuru as their favourite anime ever even if the vast majority has it among their favourites. It speaks more to the community's maturity as anime fans rather than a lack of dedication when you consider that Chihayafuru fans are likelier to be willing to try out a more diverse array of shows.

How would you rate Chihayafuru on a 1-5 scale?

Answer Percentage (Number)
5 65.3% (113)
4 33.5% (58)
3 1.2% (2)
2 0% (0)
1 0% (0)
All survey respondents answered this question. Most people seem to have it at a perfect score while a fair few rate the series closer to perfect. Pretty much expected results all around.

How much Chihayafuru merch do you own?

Answer Percentage (Number)
None 80.1% (136)
Physical manga volumes 11.8% (20)
Karuta cards 11.2% (19)
Soundtracks or OP/ED singles 4.7% (8)
BDs/DVDs 4.7% (8)
Storyboards/Lineart/Official Art 0.6% (1)
Other merch 3.6% (7)
170 people answered this question. The lack of availability for merch is quite evident but some people haven't let that stop them.

What are your opinions on the Chihayafuru fanbase?

Answer Percentage (Number)
Minor gripes aside, I love most aspects of the fanbase 49.1% (78)
It has its problems but so does every fanbase 28.9% (49)
I love the fanbase unconditionally 20.1% (32)
The fanbase is worse/more toxic than others 1.9% (3)
159 people answered this question. Most people seem to acknowledge that parts of the fanbase has problems. However, most fanbases do and they're still happy to be a part of it. Some do love it unconditionally and very few seem to think it's overly toxic. Overall, a really mature response.

Other anime and manga

How many total anime have you completed to date?

Answer Percentage (Number)
100-250 30.4% (52)
50-100 25.1% (43)
250-500 17.5% (30)
Less than 50 13.5% (23)
500-1000 7.6% (13)
1000+ 2.9% (5)
I don't know/don't watch anime 2.9% (5)
171 people responded to this question. It's a bit surprising to see that most people's numbers aren't super high considering the relatively high mean age and Chihayafuru's more niche status. Still, give it a year and a lot of these numbers could crank up during the COVID pandemic.

How many total manga have you completed to date?

Answer Percentage (Number)
Less than 50 59.1% (101)
50-100 17.5% (30)
100-250 7% (12)
250-500 7% (12)
I don't know/don't read manga 4.7% (8)
500-1000 2.9% (5)
1000+ 1.8% (3)
171 people answered this question. It's pretty evident that people read manga a lot less than they watch anime here. Still a lot of people that have read a lot despite the nature of a lot of manga to publish for many years.

How long have you been watching anime/reading manga?

Answer Percentage (Number)
10 to 20 years 34.7% (60)
5 to 10 years 31.8% (55)
2 to 4 years 22% (38)
20+ years 6.4% (11)
Only for a year 4% (7)
I only started a few months ago 1.2% (2)
All survey respondents answered this question. Most people are older anime fans despite not having very high numbers as I pointed out earlier. Very few people seem to have started watching recently. It is rather bleak prospects as a lot of newer anime fans seem to be less willing to step outside of their comfort zone and discover shows like Chihayafuru. We can only hope this changes as time passes.

Which of the following are you particular about?

Answer Percentage (Number)
I am willing to watch any anime regardless of age and popularity 79.9% (135)
I do not watch anything from the 90's or earlier 9.5% (16)
I do not watch anime from the 80's or earlier 7.7% (13)
I only watch very recent popular anime 1.2% (2)
I only watch anime seasonally 1.2% (2)
I do not watch anything made before the 2010's 0.6% (1)
169 people answered this question. As overwhelming as the response is for most people being willing to watch anything, it's still strange to see a considerable number still refuse to watch oldeless popular anime despite being fans of a less popular show that will inevitably fall off the radar of newer anime fans. Y'all need some Cardcaptor Sakura, Utena and LoGH in your lives.

Which of these mediums do you actively consume?

Answer Percentage (Number)
Anime 95.9% (164)
Manga 68.4% (117)
Live action TV/Movies 23.4% (40)
Light Novels 21.6% (37)
Visual Novels 14.6% (25)
171 people answered this question. Very high interest rates for anime and manga aside, live action TV and movies are more preferred to LNs and VNs despite both being a part of the animanga-sphere.

Do you consume shoujo and josei media?

Answer Percentage (Number)
I like a lot of shoujo classics 58.1% (97)
I like prominent josei anime 39.5% (66)
Chihayafuru is the only shoujo/josei anime I like 22.2% (37)
167 people answered this question. Over half the respondents love their shoujo classics and a fair few are into josei as well while a lot of them go out of their way to read shoujo and josei manga. Fairly nice results considering the larger anime community's indifference to media that falls under these demographics.

Do you like sports anime/manga other than Chihayafuru?

Answer Percentage (Number)
I only watch sports anime if they look good/are critically acclaimed 40% (68)
I actively consume a lot of sports anime/manga 38.8% (66)
Chihayafuru is the only sports anime/manga I like 12.4% (21)
I only like Haikyu!! and Chihayafuru 8.2% (14)
I only watch anime featuring sports I've played 0.6% (1)
170 people answered this question. Considering that sports anime are largely ignored by the larger anime community and Haikyu!! is often considered the 'exception', it's good to see that mindset isn't incredibly prevalent here (although it could be less prevalent yet). I'd kinda like to poll people on their favourite sports anime and make a recommendation wiki entry on that too at some point.

Which shoujo and josei anime/manga would you recommend to Chihayafuru fans?

We had 59 responses for this question. I have created a shoujo and josei recommendation wiki based on these responses. The cutoff was 2 votes. Some suggested entries that weren't shoujo or josei were excluded from the wiki.

Shoujo and Josei Recommendation Wiki

What are your favourite anime and manga aside from Chihayafuru?

We had 117 responses for this question. Similar to the shoujo and josei wiki, I have created a general recommendation wiki for the responses to this question. Unlike the shoujo and josei wiki, the cutoff here was 4 votes to keep the number of entries down.

General Anime/Manga Recommendation Wiki

submitted by EpicTroll27 to chihayafuru [link] [comments]

TrapoChapHouse just released a user survey. It's about what you'd expect. tl;dr inside

As part of a 125000 subscriber special, ya bois in CTH released a survey(archived) of their users. If you've been wondering what makes the average commie tick, there's some good info to be gleaned here.

Data

The survey had a total of 6,672 responses as I write this - this was a self-select poll, so there should be some skew expected, but we can expect this to be more than a representative sample, with a 1.53% margin of error at a 99% confidence level.

Age

Nearly 2/3 (61.5%) of CTH users are at or under under the age of 25, with the single largest group being 18-21, at 26.4%. More than a third (36.6%) are at or below the legal drinking age.
Reddit, on the other hand, has the largest category of its users in the 30-49 age range at 34%, and 22% between 18 and 29. https://www.techjunkie.com/demographics-reddit/#Age_and_Gender.
Chapo's userbase is therefore a great deal younger than most of Reddit.

Gender

Mostly guys - 79.6% male, 12.4% female. This shows a troubling lack of representation, being more skewed Male than Reddit as a whole at 67-69%.
Chapo, for all their bluster, is another patriarchy-dominated space with comparatively little female representation. Yikes. Perhaps women just aren't into advocating murder?
The next option down is mentally ill non-binary with 5.6%, with a smattering of troll answers and "rather not say" claiming the last 2.4%.
Speaking of mental illness, nearly one in ten (9.2%) identify as transgender, with that number going up to 13.1% if we include the "I am unsure" responses. (Quick show of hands, who here is sure whether they're trans or not?)

Race

Mostly white, as if that were a surprise. 77.6% of Chapos are white. Going down the list from there, we have 6.3% Hispanic, 2.8% black, 2.5% Indian (dot, not tipi), 2.3% Arab, 2.1% east Asian, with smaller groups claiming insignificant percentages from there.
This makes CTH less diverse than Reddit, which is 65% white, 15% hispanic, and 12% black as its largest groups.
So, we can conclude that Chapo is not only sexist, it is also racist. After all, big tech has taught us that identity is everything, and it's the color of your skin, not the content of your character, that matters.

Mental illness (again)

Nearly a fifth (18.6%) of Chapos identify as "neurodivergent". If that sounds like some bit of intersectional pomo newspeak horseshit, you'd be right.
The classification of neurodivergence (e.g. autism, ADHD, dyslexia, bipolarity) as medical/psychiatric pathology has no valid scientific basis.
In any case, you can substitute this term for the phrase "mental illness", either self-diagnosed or otherwise, and be correct.

Celibacy

51% of Chapos engage in a bit of the old in out in out, while 49% are some variety of incel.

Language

13.6% of Chapos do not speak English as their primary language. Given the USA's most common language is English, 80% of the time, some percentage of these people are likely not US citizens. We'll get back to that in a minute.
I'd be willing to bet, but cannot prove, these are the people most vocal about how the US should be run.

Religion

Okay, before reading further, just guess what the primary religious beliefs of the average ersatz-communist is.
Guesses made?
50.8% of Chapos claim to be atheist, with a further 26% claiming to be agnostic (a pretty meaningless term).
So, communists are mostly godless. This isn't exactly unknown.
As to the remaining 76.8% of Chapos who don't disclaim religion outright, 7.6% (with some sub-0.1% amount +/- since the chart doesn't go into detail on the tiniest responses) claim some sort of Christianity.
Someone wanna explain that one to me?
Comparing that to Reddit.. there's not a lot of good data. We can make a guess though, given the general popularities of /atheism vs /christianity (and its offshoots like /catholicism and /orthodoxchristianity). The educated guess would be that Reddit skews atheist, but it's impossible to say with certainty how this stacks up vs Chapo.

Country

67.6% of Chapos live in the USA, which means just under a third (32.4%) live outside the country. The largest group of the non-Americans are A FUCKING LEAF (Canada) with 6.6%, the limey Brits claiming another 6.6%, and Old Zealand with 3.6%.

Where in the USA (is Carmen Sandiego?)

The single largest region claimed by Chapos is the Midwest, with 22.7%, followed by northeast at 19.6%, southeast at 13.7%, and the west coast with 11.8%.
If we divide the entire group of respondents into whether they're "coastal" or not, that gets us roughly 56.9% (plus or minus a few, since the region categories are fuzzy).
Either way, the "coastal left" stereotype seems mostly confirmed.

Education conditions

The "do you have a degree" split is right down the middle, with 50.5% of Chapos having no degree, and 49.5 having an associates or better. The largest category, 29.8%, has a bachelors.
5.7% of Chapos never finished high school, and 29.2% started and never finished college.

Employment

Place your bets..
40% of Chapos are unemployed or employed less than full time.
18.5% claim "employed student", but this could be either full or part time. Given what communists think of capitalism and hard work, the answer is likely part, but it is not possible to say definitively from the answers.
If I make the easy generalization and say that those employed students are all working part time, the previous figure jumps to 58.5% of Chapos being unemployed or employed less than full time.
35.6% are employed full time or self-employed. You may now proceed to speculate about what "self employment" is for a capital-hating communist.

Finances

Now we get to the good stuff.
43% of Chapos make less than 20K a year. Given the previous stat that places most of them in coastal areas, likely with high costs of living, I would venture an educated guess that most are below the poverty line.
Remember that 30K a year is $15/hour before taxes. With that line in the sand drawn, it means that 44.3% of Chapos are making at or below entry level wages.
A few of them (4.6%) claim to make more than $100K a year. These users should leave immediately, because they'd be first up against the wall when the communist revolution takes hold.
94.7% of Chapos are in some kind of debt with 48.2% of that debt being, unsurprisingly, student loans. 42.2% of Chapos have a debt value below $1K, with 52.5% having more than that.
71.8% describe their material conditions as "comfortable" or "adequate".

Living conditions

Again, place your bets, and get ready to have a stereotype confirmed
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
41.9% of Chapos live with their parents!
20.8% live with friends or roommates, with an additional 20% living with a significant other. 13.7% live alone.
Only 8.9% of Chapos are homeowners.

Ideology

Some form of extreme leftism is, shockingly enough, the most common ideology claimed.
This was clearly a "pick multiple" answer because the percentages given go above 100%, but "democratic socialist" was the most common choice with 35.2%, 22.2% communist, 18.1% Marxist, and so forth.
2% actually claimed Juche (the extreme socio-political system North Korea runs under) - whether this was for pure meme value or sincerely held, it's hard to say.
54.2% of Chapos claim to be a member of a political part or organization.

Voting

Only 37% of Chapos voted in the 2016 primaries. Of those that couldn't:
30.4% were not American (shock!) 18.2% were too young 12.1% just didn't vote 2.3% lost the right to vote
(These numbers are roughly the same for voting in the Presidental election, only varying by a few percent)
Speaking of which, 52.7% of Chapo voters voted for Bernie, with 39.9% voting for Hillary during the primaries. WHen it came to the presidential election, 45.4% voted for Hillary, with a full third deciding not to vote outright once Bernie was out of the running.
Maybe CTH should shut the fuck up about American politics if they can't/won't exercise their ability to do anything about it?
If the Dem primaries were held today, 71.8% of Chapos would vote again for Bernie.

Conclusions:

The average Chapo:
submitted by Shadilay_Were_Off to ShitPoliticsSays [link] [comments]

Where’s the best place to live in light of collapse?

Ok we are 323 comments in on the collapse post and 98% didn’t bother to make even a slightly thoughtful answer. So... i guess i will be the change i want to see in the world
First off, If you are the fatalistic nihlistic type you can just go where you think it will be nice to die, maybe that is with friends and family, maybe it is on a beach in mexico, or feeding your body to the last polar bear. For everyone else that still has the instinct and drive for self-preservation….
What are the best places to be leading up to or during collapse?

First let's question the question.

What difference does it make to know "What are the best places to be leading up to or during collapse"?
The answer is dependent upon your own personal situation. Your personal situation has limiting factors.
Your personal Limiting Factors constrain you usually somewhere between those extremes, everyone has different options.
If we assume you are asking the question "What are the best places to be leading up to or during collapse" because you want to have the best standard of living available for as long as possible or simply survive the incoming population bottleneck, then the practical question becomes ...
"What are the best places to be, leading up to or during collapse, that i can get to, and establish myself in such a way that I can maintain the best standard of living possible for as long as I can or simply increase my probability of surviving the incoming population bottleneck."
It is important to ask this question to constrain the search space to the possible. It makes fuck-all difference if a somali goat herder knows about the ToP SeCret ElitE mULtibiLLioNaIre New ZEaLand sOUth IsLaNd ReDoUbt BuNkeR CoMmUnITy It is not going to help him and should not be in the search space as a survival strategy.
TL:DR Constrain your search space to what is realistically achievable for you.
  1. Start with your baseline probability of survival and increase it.
  2. Don't let a search for "best place" stop you from achieving "good enough place" or "better than where i was previously place".
  3. You are just trying to be an early adopter of increasing your survival probability stats before the non collapse-pilled masses.
  4. Think of surviving bottlenecks like surviving a charging bear attack, you don't need to be able to outrun the bear, you only need to be able to outrun the slowest people in the group up to the point the bear's appetite is satiated.
  5. Remember working with others can leverage group synergies and massively increase the realistic capabilities, but this requires you establish social cohesion with sane cooperative people that have a similar goal orientation. /greencommunes
.............................................................................................................
What are the best places to be, leading up to or during collapse, that i can get to, and establish myself in such a way that I can maintain the best standard of living possible for as long as I can or simply increase my probability of surviving the incoming population bottleneck." 

Ok now lets question the new question some more...

In order to answer this we need to untangle some of the subjective and objective elements.
The objective elements of human survival are well known.
Optimizing location is a series of subjective trade-offs. There is no perfect place, they all have advantages and disadvantages.
So you must decide your personal preference of which goods and bads you most desire and what your scenario expectations are of the future.
Your personal preferences and collapse expectations mean the “best area” is specific to you.
What you can achieve and what do you desire, find the overlap between the two, then do research to find the place that gives you the most goods with the least bads and increases your probability of survival and standard of living.
One of the best strategies is to adapt yourself to your local circumstances to take advantage of the advantages, and plan ahead to mitigate the disadvantages, it is really all most people can do for themselves.
Do you like not living in unbearable heat, maybe moving to greenland is NOT a better option than just buying 400watts of solar panels and attaching it to a small efficient AC that keeps one room of your house cool even during summer electricity blackouts. Most problems have multiple solutions, it is worth it to take time and think about things from an economic perspective and different time horizon perspectives.
Increasing your optionality is better than narrowing it when it comes to survival, rather than the binary thinking, of “go way out into the northern mountains, farm and live in a bunker” versus “be a full time yuppie and ignore collapse issues”. Getting 2 acres you can put a cheap used rv camper on and go do permaculture on during weekends, near enough your place of employment/where you live, is probably a better plan. Indeed the small dacha’s and country gardens helped many people survive the collapse of the USSR. They would spend weekends and haul potatoes/veggies back to the city with them on the bus. Hedge your bets to cover the most scenarios including the most likely scenarios like losing your job or getting in a car accident. Survival and thriving always has and always will involve dynamic adaptation.
Here is a very short list of some of potential trade-offs that you may need to think about and some brief descriptions of how they can affect things. This is NOT meant to be a systematic or exhaustive analysis, this is just me stream-of-conscious flowing on strong coffee to help others start thinking about it for themselves. There are unlimited variables
Most of these maps are of the USA. If you have other maps please post them in the comments and i will edit this post to squeeze them in. From these maps and a little critical thinking you can figure out where is best for YOU. If you need to figure something out go to google images and search for maps it is easier than ever to find what you need. But remember the map is not the territory, there are great spots maps don't have the resolution to show.These are just some random things i pulled up real quick. mapporn is a good source
https://gain.nd.edu/our-work/country-index/
https://ourworldindata.org/charts
https://ucanr.edu/blogs/dirt/blogfiles/37486_original.jpg
https://www.plantmaps.com/
There are a lot of submaps,for example if you click california then it brings first and last frost date maps, heat maps etc…
http://www.bonap.org/
On the left hand side there are lots of links to climate and biogeography maps
https://www.firelab.org/sites/default/files/images/downloads/whp_2018_classified_midsize.jpg
Firehazard map
https://imgur.com/a/drI7nZB middle of nowhere
hdd+cdd= change in energy requirements for climate control https://energyathaas.files.wordpress.com/2017/10/caldeira.png
https://fitzlab.shinyapps.io/cityapp/ Find out what your city will be like in 60 years
human development index https://imgur.com/a/VDmTac7
https://imgur.com/a/XoGw1Ic solar and wind potential combined
https://imgur.com/a/97XEe22 1% of population lives here
https://imgur.com/a/Ki4Zegq land quality
https://imgur.com/a/kYzus5H Fig. 2 Spatial distributions of projected damages. County-level median values for average 2080 to 2099 RCP8.5 impacts. Impacts are changes relative to counterfactual “no additional climate change” trajectories. Color indicates magnitude of impact in median projection; outline color indicates level of agreement across projections (thin white outline, inner 66% of projections disagree in sign; no outline, ≥83% of projections agree in sign; black outline, ≥95% agree in sign; thick white outline, state borders; maps without outlines shown in fig. S2). Negative damages indicate economic gains. (A) Percent change in yields, area-weighted average for maize, wheat, soybeans, and cotton. (B) Change in all-cause mortality rates, across all age groups. (C) Change in electricity demand. (D) Change in labor supply of full-time-equivalent workers for low-risk jobs where workers are minimally exposed to outdoor temperature. (E) Same as (D), except for high-risk jobs where workers are heavily exposed to outdoor temperatures. (F) Change in damages from coastal storms. (G) Change in property-crime rates. (H) Change in violent-crime rates. (I) Median total direct economic damage across all sectors [(A) to (H)].
https://i.redd.it/x9a2x7627vm31.png Nuclear targets
https://i.redd.it/s8stxdk9a6i31.jpg Chernobyl fallout, demonstrates the nonlinear patterns of distribution
https://i.redd.it/al06n7nofwi21.png Reliance on nuclear energy.
https://i.imgur.com/AbcjwaD.jpg
https://imgur.com/6o2XcHD
https://i.redd.it/jvp1e7maxhr01.jpg Global solar potential
https://i.redd.it/zk0hbo2bhf4z.png Renewable electric supply
Power plants http://i.imgur.com/esUA6iN.jpg
https://i.redd.it/6s781fax1cs21.jpg Red and orange have same populations
https://i.redd.it/cbndvblgz0x21.jpg Agricultural suitability
https://i.redd.it/cpkaqv5h11d31.jpg how america uses its land
https://i.redd.it/2w1va9h2w7431.png Life expectancy by congressional district
https://i.redd.it/kgrz9rweksx21.jpg food for humansgreen versus animal feed purple
https://i.imgur.com/TOlZ2SD.gif line that separates wet and dry USA
https://imgur.com/oqJXKsV Is food a human right? See paupericide
https://i.redd.it/xbvng0ul8nz01.jpg food self sufficiency
https://www.researchgate.net/publication/315066937/figure/fig2/AS:[email protected]/Worlds-hybrid-PV-Wind-power-plant-cumulative-FLh-map.png combination wind+photovoltaic capacity
https://www.nasa.gov/centers/goddard/images/content/95539main_fig1.jpg human appropriated net primary productivity
https://www.nasa.gov/centers/goddard/images/content/95543main_fig2.jpg avoid the pink and orange unless your strategy is cannabilism in fast or hard crash.
https://nimaehsani.files.wordpress.com/2016/03/water_scarcity_map.jpg?w=748 water shortage
https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/8/84/Global_malnutrition.png malnutrition
https://science.sciencemag.org/content/sci/354/6309/aaf8957/F5.large.jpg
submitted by MakeTotalDestr0i to collapse [link] [comments]

DEMOLITION DAYS, Part 47

continuing
As I was picking myself up off the shooter’s shack floor, I glanced over to the TV.
The ballplayers were all wandering around the field, looking skyward. Evidently, there was this hellacious explosion…even the television sports commentators were speculating as to what happened.
Whoops.
I looked out into the quarry. The wall that I had charged had receded some 75 feet.
There was rather a large amount of shattered, blasted dolomitic limestone now in the quarry. Enough, I found out later, for a full month’s worth of orders.
We never did find the blasting mats. I think they sort of evaporated.
Luckily, the quarry is essentially an open amphitheater in plan view; basically a big hole in the ground with vertical limestone walls. The shockwave of the blast that didn’t spend itself shattering the limestone into which it was housed, blew out laterally, hit the opposite quarry wall, rebounded, and then dispersed, rather energetically, vertically upward.
I set off car alarms for a 20 block radius.
There were no broken home windows, as the lion’s share of the shock wave was redirected upward.
Good thing there were no low flying zeppelins or dirigibles in the area...
I waited the requisite time to allow for any loafers. There were none, so I jumped into the nearest wheel loader and began clearing the quarry floor. Hell, I had to so I could open the front gate.
As I was clearing the floor, making pile number eight of the loose rock I had liberated, I heard the characteristic whoop-whoop of emergency vehicles.
I parked the wheel loader, opened the front gate, and raised the green flag. That was enough blasting for one day.
A few minutes later, three police cars zoom into the site. Two were local city cops, and one was a state trooper.
“Hi, guys!” I waved, “Nice day, innit?”
“Doctor Rock! We should have known.” One of the local boys groaned.
“Hey, I did call you beforehand, as per procedure,” I said.
Polack the cop walks up, just knowing I was responsible. “Yeah, but we didn’t figure on you terrorizing the entire city.”
“Polack! How goes it?” I asked.
The other local cop and the state trooper look to Polack, “You know this maniac?”
“Oh, hell yeah. For years. Don’t worry, the good doctor is mostly harmless.” He chuckles.
“Damn. OK. I guess everything’s OK. Just no more shooting today, please, Doctor. It’s going to take hours to calm everyone down.” He laments.
“Yes, sir. I’m done for the day.” I reply, snickering slightly.
The one local and state trooper depart, shaking their heads in amazement. This left Polack to follow me over to the shooter’s shack to mooch a cigar and whatever else he can find.
“Jesus Hula-Dancing Christ, Rock. What the hell was that? I was all the way out in Whitewatosa and heard you.” He asks as he sneakily snakes a smoke out of my case.
“Just some common chemicals in the proper proportions.” I snicker.
“Which were?” he asks.
I go in the back of the shed and toss him an empty container of one of the parts of the binaries I used. He catches it, reads the label, and drops it like a live grenade.
“Binaries? Fuck! Like what you used at the tower?” he asks.
“Yep. I used just a little more.” I reply.
“Little more? Damn, as I said, we’ve been briefed on the stuff. This shit’s nasty.” He shakes his head.
“Yeah. Fun, too.” I reply.
Polack grabs a Sprechler’s Cream Soda out of the fridge as I opt for a cold Cream Ale and shot of potato juice. Hell, I was done for the day, so…
We sit around and have a chat, just shooting the shit, as it were. Manly topics, so the conversation eventually steered over to guns.
“Hey!” Polack remembers, “That’s right! You fucking owe me. Let me borrow that fucking cannon you carry. I want to show the chief a thing or two.”
“Yeah, that’s right”, I agree, “When do you need it?”
“This Friday, after shift. It’s the monthly qualifiers for us.” He notes.
“Are pyromaniacs allowed in?” I ask.
“To observe? Sure. To shoot? Nope. Insurance regulations.” He says.
“What time?” I continue.
“1800 hours.” He tells me.
“I’ll be there. I’ll bring my gun and an assortment of loads. Hey, this could be fun!” I evilly smile.
“Doctor. You’re doing that thing again. You’re grinnin’ like a shithouse rat. You know how much that scares me. Stop it.” He pleads.
“No worries. Friday at 1800 hours.” I reply, grinning.
Polack slurps down his Sprechlers, snitches another stogie, and squeals out of the quarry in a cloud of dense dolomitic dust.
I arrive back at our flat, after stopping for two frozen custard Turtle Sundaes, to go. I give one to an appreciative wife and I ask her about her day.
“Oh, went shopping with Oma. Got the cutest shoes, and a new purse, and…oh well, never mind. You’ll see.”
Between bites of Turtle Sundae, she asks how my day went.
“Oh, my dear. I had a real blast.” I replied, not lying in the least.
Monday, after my first classes, I’m back in the faculty lounge, savoring a Greenland Coffee.
There was the usual instructor chatter when Dean Vermiculari walks in.
“Good morning, Dean!” I say. “Care for a sit-down and a coffee?”
“Good morning, Doctor Rock. Yes, please to both.” He replies.
I fix us both a fresh Greenland Coffee and return to our table. I hand him one and sit down to savor my soupçon.
“How was your weekend?” I ask the Dean of the College.
“Oh, very nice. Had a fine time catching some perch and crappie out on Lake Genever. I see you had a victorious weekend as well. Twice.” He smiles.
“Twice?” I asked.
“Well, your handling of the tower demolition made all the papers. Very, very well done, Doctor. I congratulate you.” He smiles.
“Thank you, Dean. That means a lot. Just doing what I can with what I’ve got. But twice?” I replied.
“It wasn’t front-page news, but I saw there was some, well, let us just say, ‘energetic activity’ out at the Silurian reef limestone quarry yesterday.” He grinned.
“Oh, yes. I had a job to do and well, as I always say: ‘Nothing succeeds like excess.” I smile back.
“Quite. This beverage you’ve created is really rather extraordinary, Doctor. Again, I thank you.” He tips his mug my direction in the age-old Midwestern salute.
“It’s a little recipe I picked up on my last expedition to the northlands. I grew rather fond of the concoction.” I replied.
“Ah, I see. Marvelous.” He smiles.
“Thank you, Dean. High praise indeed.” I reply.
“Which leads me to…ah, Doctor Rock. I have another favor to impose upon you.” He says, all serious.
“Yes, Dean? How can I be of service?” I ask.
“We, as you no doubt know, have many, many fine extractive mineral company connections. We actually receive quite a large amount of funding and endowments from them. They recruit here extensively for our young geoscientists. Now, since Dr. Pataariki has left for industry himself, I would like to appoint you as the College of Natural Sciences corporate liaison.” He explains.
“Indeed?” I replied, too stunned for words for once.
“Yes, indeed.” He continues, “It will require travel, mostly domestic, and delivering symposia at various companies on differing extractive geological subjects. You will also serve as host and university coordinator when they are present on recruiting tours. There will, of course, be additional remuneration to accompany the added responsibilities.”
I slurped my coffee, thinking furiously.
“Could I please first discuss it with my wife before I answer?” I ask.
“Oh, Doctor. Of course, of course. Take your time. I will not require a reply until… tomorrow.” He smiles, finishes his coffee, thanks me again, and toddles out.
“Yow, Es!” I exclaim, “This is one hell of an opportunity. It’s never before been offered to a junior professor. This will cement my tenure-track. It’s going to be a bitch with time, though. What do you think I should do?”
“Well, Rock, honey, I think you should do…” Es begins.
“No! None of that ‘do what you think is best’ stuff. I want your own thoughts, just like when I decided to go after my doctorate.” I explained.
“OK, then.” Esme looks all serious like she’s going to deliver a bipartisan political speech.
“Yes.” She says, firmly
“That’s it?” I ask.
“Yep. You asked I answered. We’ll make it work. We always do. You can’t let the Dean down. You will accept tomorrow without fear or qualms of your wife’s hesitations, of which I harbor none.” Esme proclaims.
“Did I ever tell you of the myriad reasons I love you so?” I ask.
The next morning I meet with Dean Vermiculari. He’s pleased that I accept and hands over to me the charter. Then the lists of company representatives, their contact information, and some other secret stuff that I can’t divulge right yet.
A raft of oil companies will be coming in the late spring semester, so I need to contact each and every one to solidify dates, times and positions for which they’re recruiting. But that’s for then, I have something more proximal for now.
I have a Friday appointment with Polack the cop at the town police shooting range.
I arrive spot on time with my Casull .454 Magnum pistol, in its carry bag, along with a small duffel crammed with Pyrodex, Tannerite, and selection of specialty loads I had Herman the German, the inveterate gunsmith, create.
Herman the German, his actual sobriquet, was this incredible gunsmith, craftsman, and all-around artillery specialist. Have any sort of problem with a rifle, shotgun, or pistol? See Herman. Gun holding too high? See Herman. Barrel warped? See Herman. Need solid gold projectiles for a certain one-off job? See Herman.
Herman the German can sort it out.
Just never ask him: “How?”
“Ach! I’ve lived so long to learn, and you want it free? I’ll fix it, you pay, but I am only one knowing how!”
Herman was a cranky old Kraut, and has lived here for as long as anyone can remember. Even my Grandfather had deferred to Herman when he had some particularly delicate machining operation that need special attention and was unique.
As far as anyone knew, Herman had no family, but was never at a loss for friends. He was one of the most popular, and well known, but still oddly really unknown, kind of mysterious, old bastards in the entire community.
Herman the German liked me because I could obtain for him certain high-energy things he couldn’t. All were entirely legal, but some were sort of out there in the gray zone.
He also liked that I was educated, as he held education in the highest esteem. He also liked that I was of German extraction myself.
I often made it a point to drop by with odd and unusual high-octane potables while never expecting anything in return other than a story or a shared cigar.
Herman created some special loads for my .454 Magnum, which he prized.
“I like your gun, Doctor Rock, it is so big! I can still see well enough to build things for it.” He told me one day over cheroots and Schnapps.
Herman was a character to be certain. It must have been the pixie in him to dream up some of the specialty rounds he created for me to share with the local constabulary.
He lived out in the county by himself in an old farmhouse. He had a full machine shop in his basement, complete with forge, metal handling equipment, and a firing test range.
He handed back my .454, rather solemnly.
“Doctor, I am afraid to say I couldn’t test all the special rounds I’ve created for you. I need to patch the hole in the cinder blocks in the downstairs range. Your gun punched right through the back…” he apologized.
Now, Herman does all sorts of work on the local’s deer rifles, the police’s ordinance and has even worked some with the Baja Canada National Guard. Some of the little novelties he’s dreamed up for me are the first to escape his homemade basement test range.
I felt oddly honored.
After proving who I was to the nice range officer, I looked around trying to find Polack.
“It’s 1550. Where the hell is Polack? I wondered.
“Rock! Over here.” Polack calls to me.
He motions me outside to the police department’s tactical outdoor range. I had thought all along he was referring to the indoors police target range. This might pose some problems.
The tactical range was a series of clapboard shacks, all setup and designed to represent some downtrodden urban inter-city landscape. There were a couple of junked cars, broken sidewalks, storefronts, houses, bus stops…in short, all things necessary to replicate the seediest sections of a settlement where malefactors live and breed.
The cops all run around this range, shooting at bad guy pop-up cut-outs and avoid the not-bad-guy pop-up cut-outs. They’ve got music blaring, firecrackers going off, all trying to re-create a shady deeply urban environment. Points are awarded by the accuracy of fire on the run, time to maneuver the course, and the ability of not gunning down innocent bystanders.
It is not the best place to test a .454 Cusall. This hand cannon recoils like a fundamentalist Christian being solicited for donations to Anton LaVey, shoots flames and incandescent gasses like Smaug after a hard night of drinking and a stop at the Taco Bell buffet, is louder than a dime-store Karen demanding to see a Manager, and more powerful than a Ghost Pepper suppository.
To quote Joe Piscopo: “It shoots through schools.” Especially faux-schools made of plywood.
A .32 or .38 cop special is the correct weapon here; even a 9mm is a little heavy. Enough power to make a serious dent, easy on control, light on the recoil…a good tactical weapon.
But, nothing succeeds like excess.
Polack’s Chief is running around, capping off his ‘big ol’ .44 Magnum, and making the valley echo. He punches considerable holes in the pop-up cut-outs, but has such a hard time handling the recoil, his score is barely passable.
Polack runs his test with his standard 9mm sidearm and qualifies easily. However, he’s nowhere near done with his Chief yet.
I suggest to Polack we have a shoot-off. And since a .44 Magnum bullet ‘is so close to a .454 Magnum’, which it isn’t…the .454 Casull generates nearly 85% more recoil energy than the .44 Magnum; that we’d need something other than holes punched in plywood to judge the efficacy of each.
We are literally just down the road from Max Yazzer’s farm and market. They’re the place you go for your Halloween jack-o-lantern. However, now, he has a surplus of melons.
I think you can see where this is headed…
I borrow Polack’s personal conveyance and run down to Max’s farm. I return with a trunk-load of elderly, overripe, cheap as chips, melons. Watermelons, Honeydews, Musks, and Casabas.
We place them in strategic areas on the course, five for the Chief to find, and five for Polack.
A .44 vs. a .454 melon-wise results in pretty much the same sort of mess: high-velocity fruit spatter. Although, the Chief was very impressed by the report of the .454. So, after running the tactical-melon course, clear demarcation of a winner was elusive.
OK, OK, clever dicks. How about this? A standing shoot-off? We’ll set up 3 melons each at 30, 20, and 10 yards. Beginning at 30 yards, your time will be until you take out all three melons. But, they’re not going to be in a straight line, we’re going to make them somewhat camouflaged. You will stand in one small demarcated area, hunt those miscreant melons, and bring them to justice. Fastest time and greatest display wins, as determined by the Police Peanut Gallery.
Polack and the Chief agree.
The Chief goes first and dispatches the melons, with a fair amount of spatter, in 15.3 seconds.
Not bad.
Polack is next. He wipes out all the melons and creates some thoroughly impressive displays with Herman’s ‘special’ rounds. Normal ballistics for the .454 are, for a 250 grain (16 g) bullet, a muzzle velocity of over 2,400 feet per second, developing up to 2,800 ft-lb of energy.
Herman’s hot loads are double that.
Polack wins the day on impressive high-velocity melon distribution, but misses, so close, with a time of 17.0 seconds.
Recoil’s a bitch.
Then there are Herman’s ‘specialties’.
The Chief is duly impressed and even comments that his ears are ringing even with the ear protectors. He asks to inspect the weapon. He is even more than duly impressed.
Polack knows what’s up and asks the Chief if he’d like to give a whirl.
Of course, the Chief can’t back down.
Polack loads the .454 with 5 of Herman’s specialties: hollow-point rounds loaded hot, compressed, and tipped with alkaline earth metals, like metallic sodium and metallic potassium…
We set up the nastiest, glorpiest, just barely-holding-together, overripe, laced with Tannerite (an impact-actuated low-explosive) watermelon at the ‘Concealed Carry’ distance of 5 meters.
We slowly fade back into the distance to avoid the inevitable ‘Gallagher reaction’.
The Chief fires one, and just nicks the top of the melon. Don’t laugh, with the type of recoil and heft of the sidearm, and tensing up in anticipation, it’s easy to be off the mark initially.
The second round impacts dead-center. Now, alkaline earth metals and water don’t get along really well. In fact, their relationship is explosive. Especially explosive when delivered at 2,900 feet per second.
The Chief catches a huge smattering of vitamin-packed watermelony back blast goo.
He’s not entirely happy. He looks positively grisly with all that blown-up melon schmoo on his nice, neat uniform.
He returns my gun and bans me from ever showing up at the police range again.
Polack is on traffic duty for the next month.
He figures it was well worth it.
Back at the flat, Esme is shaking her head and wondering if I’ll ever grow up.
“I may grow old, but I’ll never grow up.” I reply.
I see I have several missed phone calls. Ah, me; no rest for the weary. Back to company-university liaison duties.
After I had contacted these companies, I receive no less than 12 requests for symposia, talks, and seminars to be given to various level of industrial scientific employees in their respective companies.
I am now slated to give academic conferences on stratigraphy, sedimentology, and seismic structural geology to different companies in Houston, Oklahoma City, Denver, Casper, Corpus Christi, New Orleans, and Tulsa. In the next 12 weeks, I’ll be giving no less than 8 talks in seven cities.
I speak with Dean Vermiculari on how best to handle the situation. He understands and appoints two graduate student teaching assistants to handle my classes while I’m on the road. That relieves me of being physically there, but I still have to grade papers, compose lesson plans, and keep things running smoothly until finals.
Besides giving the talks, there’s travel to oil fields, production facilitates, manufacturing plants, hotels, restaurants while I’m in town…the pace is excruciating. I’m gone more than I am at university. Plus in my time back home, I’m still the ad hoc master blaster for the limestone quarry.
Then, there’s the companies arriving on campus, and the roles are reversed. Now I’m the welcome wagon and have to sort out the logistics of receiving the company representatives. I need to set up the colloquia to introduce the companies to the prospective students, arrange lodging, arrange passes for the university, transportation, “Meet-and-Greet’s, ad infinitum.
I knew this was having a bit of effect on me when I came back to the flat after one particularly grueling ordeal of canceled flights, full hotels, missed connections and lukewarm reception by the company workers.
“Hello”, I said, as I walked in the flat, “I believe you have a reservation for…”
Esme just stood there, wondering if I was having a laugh.
No, I wasn’t. I was completely hallucinating from road weariness, lack of sleep, jet lag, and total disorientation. This continued on for the next approximately 18 months.
Esme was beginning to have second thoughts about all this.
My teaching load was diminished by one whole introductory course. However, I was still flying hither and yon, delivering symposia, meeting with young geoscientists and getting to know the ins-and-outs of the Oil Industry.
I found it particularly fascinating.
Time marched on and it was once again it was the recruiting season. We had no less than eight oil companies visiting the university in their quest to swell the roster of their junior scientists.
I’m still busier than a one-armed paperhanger in a windstorm, but have settled into a groove of sorts. I know the company recruiters and they now know me. I’ve actually struck up friendships with several. Particularly since I take them to the best local restaurants and bars after their recruiting duties are finished.
I’ve met with recruiting representatives of Shrill Petrol, Mexxon, Nobil, Nocono Oil, Flug, Geddy, Brutish Petroleum, and Qexaco.
The recruiting season is winding down and I find myself with Red (not Adair), of Nocono Oil.
“Well, Doctor Rock”, Red states, “Another fine recruiting run. We’ve snagged two of your young geologists and one geophysicist. I’d say it was almost a perfect score.”
We’re sitting in the Norton’s Steakhouse. After a couple of prime pink porterhouses, we’re working on the post-dinner double vodka and bitter lemon for me, and Lagavulin for Red.
“Almost perfect?” I ask.
“Yeah. There’s been this one small nagging concern from our company higher-ups.” Red continues.
“What’s that?” I ask.
“We need some more senior people. For one thing, we’ve recently opened a new petroleum laboratory down in our Houston office. Going to need some serious talent to run that show.” Red says.
“I see”, I reply, “And…?”
“We need mentors. Those with varied and far-flung knowledge. They must be well educated, global in experience and stature, with an [ahem] diverse set of skills.” Red notes.
“Whew”, I agree, “That’s a tall order. You want my help with names of possible candidates? Is that it?”
“Not as such, Doctor.” Red drains his drink, motions for me to do the same, and orders another round.
Our drinks arrive and Red downs half his in one gulp.
“Well, then”, I continue, “How can I help?”
Red chuckles, “For someone so educated, you can really be thick as two short planks at times.”
I sit back, and sip my Old Thought Provoker.
The mercury-vapors light off.
“No!” I say, incredulously.
“Oh, yes.” Red smiles.
“No?” I ask, slowly taking in the possible effects of what he’s hinting at…
“OK, Doctor Rocknocker”, Red gets all serious and corporate, “We’d like to offer you a position at Nocono Oil as Senior Laboratory Manager and Head of Corporate Continuing Education.”
You could have knocked me over with a grenade. I was stunned. I fumbled with my drink.
“Red, you old con artist” I reply, “Is this a set-up?”
Red, serious as a heart attack, looks directly at me and replies, “Doctor Rock, absolutely not, it’s a genuine offer.”
He slides over a folder with some papers inside. “Here are the particulars.”
Reeling, I accept the folder. I open it and right after the corporate logos and legal bullshit, I see a tall figure with a whole raft of zeros trailing behind it.
I read furiously. The job would be both interesting and challenging. It would be in Houston, with travel and teaching at all other company outposts on a regular basis. I reexamine that figure from before and verify that I’m not now hallucinating.
The job comes with furnished, corporate-paid housing, incredible benefits, loads of opportunity for advancement, more opportunity to travel, really generous vacation time…
“Right. On the level?” I ask again.
“Yep.” Red bluntly says.
“Well”, I gulp, “you know I have to discuss this with Esme”, whom he’s met several times previous.
“Of course, and you probably want to finish out the semester, correct?” red asks.
“Oh, yes.” I reply. There would be a monsoon of paperwork and other grunt work I’d need to conclude or hand over if I were to accept this offer.
“OK, then”, Red finishes his drink, motions for me to do the same, a real rarity; but I was in another dimension at this point. He orders another round and sits back, waiting on a refill.
“You have two weeks to reply” Red states.
“I know that’s not a terribly long time, but we need to fill this position ASAP. Can I ask for that? Your answer, yea, or nay, within a fortnight?” Red demands.
“Yes”, I reply. “I at least owe you that.”
And that was the end of the discussion for the night about me joining the private sector. We stayed a few more hours, chatting, smoking my cigars, and discussing everything but the lumbering elephant in the room.
We part outside as I need to head back to our flat. Red wants to go downtown to one of those “Gentleman’s Clubs” he’s heard were so famous at the time.
I was flummoxed the whole cab ride home.
It was late when I returned, but I simply had to wake Es with the news.
“Rock, for pity’s sake, its 2 o’clock in the morning!” Es protests. “Can’t this wait until later?”
“Sorry, my dear” I reply, probably as serious as I ever had with Esme. “This is a potential game-changer.”
“What is it? Are you OK?” Esme trembles.
“Oh, I’m fine. Better than fine.” I reply.
She’s relieved.
“Then what’s so important?” she asks.
“Um…how would you like to move to Houston?” I ask.
“You going to teach at Cougar High (University of Houston)?” she inquires.
“Nope. Brace yourself. I’ve been offered a job with Nocono Oil.” I finally spill the beans.
Esme is slightly stunned and sits down.
I go to the wet bar, fix me a bracing potato juice and citrus and Esme a stiff white Zinfandel.
I hand her the wine and she is still semi-dazed and digesting the information.
I slurp a good portion of my drink, retrieve her Sobranjes and me a cigar from my Turkmenistan humidor.
I sit on the couch next to her and hug her soundly.
“Esme? Es? Earth to Es? You in there?” I joke.
“Oh, Yeah. Rock. Really? Hang on”, she leaves, returning with her housecoat as this might take a little time.
“So?” I ask, “Your thoughts. Now! Immediately! Initial reaction!” I try to jar her back into reality.
“Well, what do you want?” she asks.
“C’mon, my dearest. You know I hate that. No, what do you think? What do you honestly think?” I reply.
We both fire up our smokes, and I refresh our drinks. We return to the dinner table where Red’s folder lies.
“Es, here. Look at this.” I say, sliding the portfolio over to her.
She reads like a hungry man at a Vegas casino buffet. I can tell where she was stopped by something extraordinary.
“This is for real?” she asks, “Red’s not pulling a fast one?”
“Nope. It’s the genuine article”, I tell her, “He needs my reply within two weeks.”
“Rock, Rock…I just don’t know. It’s a lot to process at 0230 in the morning. Let’s go to bed and have a think in the morning. You have the luxury of at least that amount of time.” She notes.
“Right again, as usual”, I say, “Stuff it. It can wait.” We toddle off to bed.
The next morning, over Cuban omelets and Greenland Coffees, we sort through the particulars.
“Rock, it’s an extraordinary offer. But, do you want to leave teaching? I remember how you got all animated by Dean Vermiculari giving you the corporate liaison job and how that would improve your shot at tenure.” She notes.
“I just don’t know. I’m still shell-shocked.” I tell her. “Let me go to school and we’ll pick this up tonight. We both have work to do no matter what. Oh, bloody hell. I hadn’t considered your job. Another wrinkle in the mess.”
“Don’t you worry about that”, Esme smiles. “One catastrophe at a time.”
“I do so love you.” I hug her soundly. “Think I should mention this offer to anyone at school?”
“No. Definitely not.” Esme shakes her head. “Let’s figure this out on our own.”
“I agree”, I say, kiss her and depart for school once again.
The next week was a blur. Recruiting duties were dragging and I was being preoccupied.
Even my students noted the lack of in-room explosions lately.
I spend the next Saturday at the quarry, doing some small amount of blasting. I quiz the quarry owners about their progress in acquiring a new master for the quarry’s operation.
“Oh, Doctor Rock” they gush, “You’re doing such a fine job, we haven’t really looked. Why do you ask?”
“No particular reason at this time, I reply, “But perhaps you might want to begin looking”
The chinks in my armor were finally starting to show.
Sunday was spent out on Sliver Lake, with Esme and me chasing the elusive crappie, perch, and bucketmouth bass. It also gave us a chance to clear our heads from work, school and other such intrusions. We both needed a bit of downtime.
Later that night, after a meal of beer-battered fillet of crappie and perch on the barbie, we sit down at the dinner table.
The portfolio sits there, taunting us.
I get up, makes us both our drinks, sit down and declare that this is it.
“Es, darling” I say, “its nut-cuttin’ time. We need to make our decision.”
“You’re right.” Es agrees, “Time for risk-reward analysis. Get some paper and some pencils.”
We spend the next few hours listing the pros and cons of accepting the Houston position or staying here and pursuing my tenured professorship.
After several hours, I stretch, stand, and go to the fridge. I retrieve the bottle of Bollinger Les Vieilles Vignes Francaises I had purchased the other day.
I return to the table with the wine and the glasses, pop the cork and pour us both a glass of high-brow bubble water.
I hug and kiss Esme like I had just returned from a long, solo expedition.
“Esme, my darling. I’d like to propose a toast. First to us. Hа здоровый!”
“Cheers!” Esme replies.
“Secondly to Red, Dean Vermiculari, the quarry guys, Polack the Cop, and all the others that makes our life weird around here.”
“Seconded”, Es echoes.
“Finally: to Houston, Texas. Our new home!” I finally add.
The next morning, Dean Vermiculari peers over the top of his pince-nez glasses. He’s not looking overly happy with me right now.
“Why is it, Doctor, that everyone that receives the job of corporate liaison ends up going with corporate?” he asks.
“Perhaps it’s just the exposure to another world that exists beyond academia.” I reply, truthfully.
“Doctor Rocknocker,” the Dean gravely states, “I am not at all happy about your decision. We had great hopes for you here and you were riding right up the tenure track. Another five years and it would have been assured.”
“Five years is a long time, Dean”, I state the obvious.
“Yes, indeed.” The Dean replies frostily. “However, you are young. Perhaps you need to get this private sector nonsense out of your system, then you can return to academia where you belong.”
“Perhaps, perhaps”, I reply.
“Please, do consider this option down the road. You and your antics will be missed here, by students and faculty alike.” He says.
“I will, Dean, I promise.” I reply “However, for now, it’s time for my boot heels to be wanderin’.”
“Doctor, I will miss your strange and unique way of looking at life. I reluctantly accept your resignation at the end of the current semester and wish you all the best in your newest endeavors. Please remember us when corporate support for academia is mentioned in your new company.” he says.
“I promise you, Dean, I will not forget what I’ve learned here and what you’ve taught. It’s the least I can do,” I reply. “I will never forget my roots.”
“All I can ask”, he concludes. He stands to shake my hand. We shake and my audience is over.
I resign from the quarry a week later. They haven’t found a new blaster but wish me well on my new journey. I tell them I’m here until the end of the semester, so I won’t leave them high and dry.
I tell Polack the Cop about all the goings-on.
“Who the hell can I roust for beer and cigars now?” He whines. “Let me know when you get to Texas if they need any cops. I wouldn’t mind trying’ that. Hell, maybe a Texas Ranger!”
“A Cheesehead Ranger…?” I assure him I will and pass a box of cigars to him as a parting gift. He gives me a mayoral-signed get-out-of-jail-free card.
“Now you can drive that old Harley just as crazy as you want.” He chuckles.
“Thanks, Polack.” I say, shaking his hand. I didn’t have the heart to tell him I sold my bike a week earlier.
Red was very chuffed with the news.
“Snagged me a big one this time!’ He laughed, over the phone.
There was enough paperwork, considerations and decisions to be made to last the remaining time Esme and I had in-state until our move. Already, a moving company had arrived, done inventory, and was preparing for our move to Houston.
Esme resigned her position and decided she wanted to take some time off. She wanted to be a housewife, a colleague, and not have to work for once at an outside job. My new position allowed for that in spades. Besides with her credentials, anytime when she wants to re-join the workforce, there are myriad opportunities in the Bayou City.
We made the choice of housing out west of town, in Katy, Texas. We could have chosen Sugarland, Addicks, Greenspoint, Greenway, or the Memorial area. However, these west Houston company properties were closest to the job and largest in square footage.
My students got wind of my resignation and relocation. They threw me an unexpected farewell party at the Gast Haus. It was nickel-beer night and since they were footing the bill, it all worked out just fine.
I would miss the old place. The camaraderie, the seasons, the university; hell my home these last many years. I’ve been on many, many expeditions, but I always returned home.
Now, home was moving and was awaiting our arrival.
Esme and I said our farewells to our families as well. We were the first through college, the first ones to travel international, the first Doctor in the family, and the first to leave the state.
That’s a lot of familial firsts.
I had to keep reminding everyone it wouldn’t be the last. Hell, we’re just moving to Texas, it’s not like we’re off to Greenland or Mongolia…
[Gasp]
We saddled up Es’s old Chevy Nova, took one last, lingering look in the rearview mirror, and said fare thee well to our previous lives.
“We’ll be back. Someday. I promise” I told the city of our youth and young married adulthood.
We decided to drive to Houston because we had the luxury of a bit of time. We needed the stretch to chew over some interpersonal and private things on the way to the next chapter in our lives. Besides, the weather was good, the roads ahead open and clear, and Texas had no ‘Open Container’ law, yet.
We pointed the old Nova south and hit the gas.
A week later, we’re wandering around our new house in Katy, Texas. Our belongings, scant though they may be, arrived the day after we did. Esme and I spent the next couple of day rearranging the house, buying necessary domestic bits and pieces, and getting to know our new neighborhood.
First thing, though, Esme wanted to replace the old Nova. I concurred, but insisted we keep it as a second car and went out to purchase our first new car as a couple.
I wanted a Land Rover. We ended up with a glossy black Toyota 4-Runner. Close enough.
I was scheduled to show up at my new job the next Monday.
I had my own parking spot, complete with “Reserved for Dr. Rock” painted on the bumper block. I was shown my new lab and was introduced to my seven laboratory assistants. I was shown the catalogs I could use to order what I needed and went over the requisition procedures.
I was trotted around to meet the company CEO, CFO, CIO, VPs and many, many more company executives and managers. I’ve met with presidents and heads of state, I was impressed but not overly. They seemed like a more or less nice bunch of chaps.
Almost exactly five weeks to the day from our arrival in Houston, I come home, yelling “Darling, I’m home!”
Esme comes to greet me with a rib-rearranging hug. She tells me to sit at the dinner table, where my long hard day at the office drink, cigar, ashtray, and lighter are already set.
“How was work, dear?” she asks, sitting down with her Perrier water.
“Oh, it’s going great. The knotheads let me have an open-ended budget until I get the labs sorted just the way I want it. These guys pay their bills on time and I have carte blanche at Wards Scientific, and other supply houses. My crew is great, no interpersonal crapola, and hard workers. I can smoke in my office and no one dares give me shit about my cigars. I’m getting to know the exploration department quite well. They’re really interested in our expeditions and are more interested in my opinions of their new exploration directives.”
Esme just smiles and sips her water.
“Odd”, I thought.
“That’s great, dear.” She says. “I am so glad to hear it.”
“Me too”, I say, “How are you holding up after all these weeks alone?”
“Oh, I’m getting used to it.” She smiles.
And smiles. Beatifically. Glowing.
“What?” I ask.
“Remember what we talked about in the car on the way down here?” She asks.
“We talked about a lot of things…” I say, suddenly my eyes grew very, very wide indeed.
“Yes. You’re going to be a father. I’m pregnant, Rock.” Esme smiles.
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2018 Survey Results

Hi everyone, here we are with some results! The survey was left open for ten days in order to garner a good number of responses, and it's up on spring but we're still far from the peak observed during Summer'15. Seems like there's a mass post-Tour exodus for some reason.
Year 2013 2014 2015 2016 2018 2018
Results 2013-06-12 2014-06-25 2015-08-07 2016-11-17 2018-03-06 2018-08-20
Replies 351 598 1395 892 630 928

Top 15 Countries

Country 2015 2016 2018 March 2018 August
USA 32% 28.3% 22.84% 25.32%
UK 18.6% 17.6% 14.70% 20.13%
Netherlands 6.4% 9.4% 11.50% 11.58%
Germany 3.73% 3.4% 4.95% 6.39%
Canada 4.9% 7% 6.39% 4.22%
Australia 5.2% 4.7% 3.83% 4.00%
Denmark 3.9% 3.6% 4.31% 3.79%
Belgium 3.8% 2.7% 8.15% 3.57%
France 2.01% 1.08% 2.88% 2.27%
Norway 2.58% 1.8% 1.60% 1.95%
Portugal 1.65% 1.8% 2.40% 1.52%
Sweden 1.08% 1.09% 1.44% 1.41%
Slovenia 0.73% 0.32% 1.30%
Ireland 1.00% 1.09% 1.44% 1.19%
New Zealand 1.30% 0.96% 1.19%
No surprise to see that the USA is on top as ever, UK second and Netherlands third, but it's the way that the numbers have moved since spring in particular which grants an interesting insight into what the Tour does. It has a particularly dramatic effect on the number of Belgians, who see their share plummet once the classics are over whilst the anglosphere goes full speed ahead into yellow jersey fever.
Elsewhere, German TV covering the Tour again has a positive effect on sub numbers, whilst a couple of extra nations creep into the top 15, most notably Slovenia.

What's your age?

u17 17-19 20-25 26-30 31-35 36-40 41-50 51+ Total
2015 2.22% 12.04% 41.51% 24.66% 10.68% 4.87% 2.94% 1.08% 1395
2016 1.5% 8.9% 40.8% 24% 12% 5.4% 5.2% 2% 887
2018 Mar 1% 7.1% 33.5% 27.4% 16.2% 7% 5.7% 2.1% 617
2018 Aug 1.7% 9% 33.9% 26.4% 15.5% 7% 5% 1.5% 905
No great changes in the age ranges since spring, with possibly a shade more young people watching than before. Otherwise it follows that the average user is in their 20s, as you'd guess for Reddit as a whole.

What's your Gender?

'13 '14 '15 '16 '18 (1) '18 (2)
Male 97.2% 97% 94.9% 93.4% 93.3% 93.6%
Female 2.8% 2.7% 4.8% 5.3% 5.3% 5.4%
Other - 0.33% 0.29% 0.78% 0.76% -
Non-Binary - - - - 0.64% 0.99%
Sticking with the theme of usual reddit demographics, it's an overwhelmingly male presence, with just 49 female respondents in all.

How much of the season do you watch/follow?

Type March '18 (%) August '18 (%)
Grand Tours 84.7 92.0
Monuments 79.1 74.9
WT Stage races 67.4 62.4
WT One day races 73.3 59.8
Non WT Stage races 32.6 16.7
Non WT One day races 34.8 13.7
Literally everything I can consume 35.9 18.1
So far, aside from a little change in which nationalities tune in, there hasn't been too much of a change. Here though it's plain to see the difference in fan base between spring and summer on the sub. Grand Tour watching increases (as you might expect), monuments & WT stage races lose a little ground, but everything else takes a nosedive.
It's fair to say Le Samyn is not for everyone, but that's quite the drop.

How long have you been watching Cycling?

Time (years) under a year 1 -2 2 - 3 3 - 4 4 - 5 5 - 6 6-7 7 -8 8 - 9 9 - 10 10 - 11 11 - 12 12 -13 13 - 14 14 - 15 15 - 20 20 - 25 25 +
March (%) 4 10.5 12.6 9.6 8.1 8.9 - 6.9 4.8 - 6.2 2.2 1.8 0.8 4.5 10.7 4.9 3.5
August (%) 4 10 13.2 9.9 7.7 8.3 5 4.6 2.7 5.4 3.2 2.2 1.8 1.9 1.8 9.5 5 3.8
Simply put, most of us have been watching cycling for less than six years, and just over a quarter have picked it up inside the last three, or since mid-2015.
Time (years) 0-5 5-11 11-15 15 & more
MAR 44.8% 26.8% 9.3% 19.1%
AUG 44.8% 29.2% 7.7% 18.3%
This makes looking at the data a wee bit simpler.

Section 2

Which teams do you like or not like?

This one is sorted by karma, which is simply the number of likes minus the number of dislikes. The 2015 answers come first and are highlighted with 2015, then the 2016 answers with 2016 and then the answers from this survey are highlight with 2018. Hopefully this will give a feel of the changing image of some of the teams in the peloton.
First off, a full 12% of respondents are apathetic about teams, with no like/dislike feelings on the matter. For those that do have them:
Team Karma2015 Karma2016 KarmaMar'18 LikeAug'18 MehAug'18 DislikeAug'18 KarmaAug'18
AG2R La Mondiale 7 124 303 342 424 23 319
Astana Pro Team -389 -343 -115 149 217 212 -63
Bahrain-Merida -185 -125 107 471 206 -99
BMC Racing Team 66 206 244 309 427 49 260
Bora Hansgrohe 177 369 518 267 12 506
Team Dimension Data 351 250 230 473 74 156
FDJ-Groupama -7 72 152 130 554 85 45
Lotto-Soudal 24 151 287 231 510 31 200
Movistar 42 123 125 195 465 121 74
Michelton-Scott 208 556 279 468 301 34 434
Team EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale (nee-Cannondale-Garmin) 54 131 237 299 424 54 245
Team Sunweb (nee-Giant-Alpecin) 29 148 317 489 292 24 465
Team Katusha -13 -101 -4 67 511 194 -127
Team LottoNL-Jumbo 45 183 224 454 323 17 437
Team Sky -3 51 -155 292 236 315 -23
Quick-Step Floors (nee-Etixx-Quick) Step 87 328 347 548 238 33 515
Trek-Segafredo (nee-Trek Factory Racing) 4 175 219 216 527 31 185
UAE-Team Emirates (nee-Lampre-Merida) -20 -28 -125 76 491 218 -142
If reams of numbers scare you (and they should), then instead here's a handy little chart instead.
What conclusions can we draw from this then? Firstly it seems that GT season brings out familiar discontent with teams like UAE & Bahrain, whilst Katusha suffer from being both previously evil and utterly useless. Astana continue on the path towards redemption with the dark winter of 2014 slipping ever further out of memory, whilst Sky sits more or less level as they mostly were prior to spring.
Chief among the favourites though is Quick-Step, outshining PeterBora-hansgrohe, whilst Sunweb & LottoNL are reaching previously unthinkable heights of love with the sub.
Fair to say that no one cares too much about FDJ though.

Do you ride a bike regularly?

Answer 2018Mar 2018Aug
For fun 61.5% 63.4%
For fitness 59.3% 59.6%
For commuting 46% 46%
For racing 20.6% 20.6%
No, I don't 14.2% 12.9%
Similar stats to March as you'd guess.

Is Cycling your favourite sport?

2015 2016 2018Mar 2018Aug
No 40,7% 34,7% 30.6% 39.7%
Yes 59,3% 65,3% 69.4% 60.3%
A palpable difference between spring & summer, with the numbers most similar to the 2015 survey, also held around Tour time.

What other sports do you follow?

Sport # % (/920)
I don't follow other sports 84 9.13%
Association Football / Soccer 477 51.85%
Formula 1 267 29.02%
American Football 208 22.61%
Basketball 181 19.67%
Esports (yes, this includes DotA) 146 15.87%
Rugby 139 15.11%
Track & Field 125 13.59%
Ice Hockey 119 12.93%
Skiing 112 12.17%
Motorsports (Not including F1) 102 11.09%
Tennis 98 10.65%
Cricket 96 10.43%
Baseball 88 9.57%
Swimming 65 7.07%
Speed Skating 64 6.96%
Triathlon 64 6.96%
Biathlon 62 6.74%
Snooker 58 6.30%
Golf 54 5.87%
Climbing 40 4.35%
Chess 39 4.24%
Martial Arts 38 4.13%
Boxing 35 3.80%
Handball 31 3.37%
Aussie Football 28 3.04%
Volleyball 25 2.72%
Field Hockey 24 2.61%
Rowing 24 2.61%
Wrestling 23 2.50%
Weightlifting 19 2.07%
Figure Skating 11 1.20%
Gymnastics 10 1.09%
Darts 9 0.98%
Badminton 6 0.65%
GAA 6 0.65%
Futsal 6 0.65%
Lacrosse 4 0.43%
Sailing 3 0.33%
Sumo 2 0.22%
Surfing 2 0.22%
Curling 2 0.22%
Trail Running 2 0.22%
Equestrian 1 0.11%
Fencing 1 0.11%
Diving 1 0.11%
Did anyone tell you Esports was on the rise? Because it's leaping up the table every year, especially when it includes DotA. Otherwise, Soccer is king, and Formula 1 at last freed from the cruel tyranny of the Motorsports category shoots up to second, with American Football third.
Oh, and that guy who has voted sailing four times, you're in!
Other cycling disciplines
Type Votes
Cyclocross 167
Track Cycling 148
MTB 79
BMX 10
As for other cycling disciplines, /Cyclocross leads /Velodrome as usual.

Section 3

How often do you participate in a /Peloton Race Thread whilst watching a race? 2015 2016 2018Mar 2018Aug
I always participate in Race Threads during races 2,8% 2% 2.2% 4%
I follow Race Threads during races 41,7% 36,7% 38.1% 42.1%
I often participate in Race Threads during races 16,8% 19% 16.5% 18.9%
I rarely/never participate in Race Threads during races 38,7% 41,25% 43.1% 35%
Summer brings more invested users than normal, reversing the trend of less people participating in race threads.

How do you watch races?

Method 2018Mar 2018Aug
Pirate Streams 62% 46.5%
Local TV 55.7% 64.5%
Desperately scrabbling for Youtube highlights 37.9% 30.2%
Paid Streaming services 32.3% 35.4%
The ASO is unfortunately notorious for demanding that streams are legal and just, which sees summer piracy down on average, whilst local TV is up, as is the demand for paid streaming services, be it Eurosport, NBC, Flobikes & more.

Where do you follow races (in addition to watching them)?

Type 2018Mar 2018Aug
/Peloton race threads 86.2% 83.4%
Twitter 30.5% 34.7%
The Cyclingnews liveticker 26% 23.5%
Steephill 0.52% 13.5%
Sporza (site/ticker) 1.89% 9.5%
Other cycling forums 15.1% 8.1%
NOS Liveblog - 6.8%
/Peloton discord 6.5% 5.4%
Facebook 3.8% 5.4%
BBC Ticker - 3.5%
feltet.dk - 2.2%
/cyc/ - 1.3%
Non Cycling Forums - 1.3%
DirectVelo - 1.3%
/peloton IRC ~0 0.8%
Twitter as ever remains an excellent place to get news and up to date live events on almost any race, along with various livetickers.
Worth noting the option list wasn't quite as long last time, which may have affected the outcome a tad.

Do you use /Peloton mostly in classic reddit or redesign when on the desktop?

Type Percent
Classic 75.1%
Redesign 24.9%
Most of you remain true to the old reddit. Via the powers of enhanced traffic stats it's also possible to gauge where sub traffic came from in general. Here's a sneak peak at them.. Tour de July indeed.
Third party apps don't appear because reasons.

When does the season end?

Event %
Giro d'Lombardia 43.4
Men's WC RR 37.1
La Vuelta a Espana 10.4
Tour of Guangxi 3.4
Tour of Hainan 1.6
Now the technical answer to this is as follows:
As a general rule, the international calendar shall start on the day following the conclusion of the previous year’s final UCI World Championships event or WorldTour event and end upon conclusion of the final UCI WorldTour or World Championships event of the year in question.
Which means the technically correct answer is the final stage of the Tour of Guangxi. However, we did establish in spring that the season really begins at Omloop, not down under, and now by an admittedly small margin we've established the season really ends at the final monument of the year.
There were shouts that it doesn't really end. it just gets a bit muddier, or that Paris-Tours is the real end of all things. One person also seems to think that the year ends at the Tour of Britain, which is a slight injustice to the Vuelta.

Rank the Monuments

Event Average Position Rank
MSR 3.32 4th
RvV 2.5 2nd
PR 1.28 1st
LBL 3.25 3rd
Lombardia 4.01 5th
The definitive answer in case anyone brings it up again, it's clear to see that Paris-Roubaix is the No.1 monument for /peloton, with de Ronde a clear second, MSR & LBL tied for third and Lombardy languishing at the end of the season in a distant fifth.

Rank these Titles by Prestige

Winner of: Average Position Rank
Giro 2.48 2nd
Tour 1.17 1st
Vuelta 3.59 4th
WC RR 2.96 3rd
Olympic RR 4.19 5th
Just to get an idea of how clear the lead for the Tour is, a full 89% of participants rated it as No.1. Yellow is the colour of choice. Next up is the Giro in a solid second, whilst the WC RR sits third. The Vuelta is as much an afterthought in this ranking as it is in the season in fourth, whilst the Olympics really doesn't get the level of recognition it possesses in Athletics for example, sitting in dead last.
And that is that! Thank you as ever for participating in our survey, which we'll probably stick to making biannual. We've read the feedback you left at the bottom, and here's a overview of the suggestions for the sub you guys made.
The subject that received the most references (over 20% of suggestions) was the spoiler rule, including love and hate for the current scenario. Both sides present good arguments. For now, the mod-team wants to make it clear that we are not considering to make changes in the near future. However, we will likely raise the discussion again once the season is over.
We had comments asking us to take a harder stance against anti-Sky posts. We allow every opinion, about any team, as long as you respect reddit and /peloton rules. Once that line is crossed, we take action. And, as seen in the section 2 above, the community feeling about Team Sky is currently close to neutral.
Some suggestions asked for more memes and fun - we have our friends @ pelotonmemes to give an answer to your needs!
One of the suggestions was "Promote idea that disagreeable comments do not necessarily deserve downvotes. Upvote comments that promote discussion" which is something we all agree with. Lately we have seen comments that are downvoted despite contributing to discussion, and we condemn that. Don't forget that the downvote button is not a disagree button.
People asked us if we could bring Cyclocross and Track onto the sub. For now, we prefer to keep /peloton focused only in professional road racing. /cyclocross and /velodrome will continue to be the home for the content about Cyclocross and Track.
There was also a suggestion about allowing more non-English content on the sub. You could always bring articles and content written in your own language, whenever it is relevant for the subreddit. And if you bring a translation of the relevant bits, even better!
Finally, we also received feedback about small questions. A while ago we created monday question threads, in response to older feedback, in order to diminish the amount of quick self posts - and recently turned them into 'weekly question threads'. However, some may argue - especially when a mod removes/redirects a thread - that this limits the amount of content in the sub - resulting in days where pelotonmod posts the majority of the threads, which is not an ideal scenario. For now, we will continue to ask you to post very quick questions in a question thread - if there is one sticky - and if the question is about a race underway, a sticky race or results thread may be your best bet - but if you bring a longer post raising a question that respects the other /peloton rules, that continues to be allowed as a separate thread.
submitted by PelotonMod to peloton [link] [comments]

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