Welcome to Saturday ...

open thread.jpg

So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.
― F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby

A few things saved along the way:

“We are individually preoccupied by the lives of those we know and expect to know: our grandparents, parents, children, and, if we are lucky, grandchildren. Which is why it is so fantastically difficult for us to recognize that in our frenzied attempt to keep nearly eight billion people fed, watered, clothed, sheltered, and distracted, we are fundamentally altering the geophysical composition of the planet at a pace previously caused only by cataclysmic events, like the massive asteroid that smashed into eastern Mexico, wiping out the dinosaurs, sixty-five million years ago.”

Harvard’s Chetty Finds Economic Carnage in Wealthiest ZIP Codes

The celebrated economist has built a data tool with a God’s-eye view of the pandemic’s damage—and soaring inequality.https://www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2020-09-24/harvard-economist-raj...

A new film reveals how Cambridge Analytica, collaborating with a software company, has created a platform for US churches that targets the poor, the addicted and the disabled — to radicalize them for far-right politics.
Charles Kriel: What initially happened is that a Koch brothers-funded charity commissioned Cambridge Analytica, along with a software company called Gloo, to build a software platform that could be used by churches in order to target vulnerable people.

And these are people who are suffering from addiction, financial distress, who might be struggling with opioid dependence or they might be dealing with bipolar issues. And all of these options are available in the software that has been deployed to the churches. And once those people are identified, they can target them with social media. And once brought into the church, they can also be recruited into the politics of the far right. https://www.dw.com/en/us-religious-data-platform-targets-mentally-ill-vu...

It would be impossible to write at the moment without speaking from within the state of the nation — we’re part of it, I’m part of it. ... I’m depressed by it. I’m ashamed of it and that, I think, communicates itself in the book.” Carre


An entire village lost its broadband at the same time every day for 18 months. Now we know why

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At 7 a.m. -- "like clockwork" -- the device "picked up a large burst of electrical interference in the village."
"The source of the 'electrical noise' was traced to a property in the village. It turned out that at 7 a.m. every morning the occupant would switch on their old TV which would in-turn knock out broadband for the entire village."https://www.cnn.com/2020/09/22/uk/old-tv-breaks-broadband-village-scli-i...

~~

Picture a sun-drenched, white house with a shady courtyard, perched on a cliff-top site in Spain. With the deep blue sea beyond and an olive grove nearby ...

~~~


~

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smiley7's picture

Today's artist: Devon Tsuno

Good to be home for a needed rest. Thanks to the community for carrying on Saturday's conversation. I've missed beautiful essays, i see, and hope to spend this day in them.

Won't bore you with the details, but to say been living in Trump, mask-less, "god-fearing," nigger and queer hating country without outside contact, access to the tubes and very poor cell reception. Sadly, the sweet farming country from which i came; so different back then.
Damn. What a shame

...

Thanks especially to Janis, randtntx, and QMS for their wonderful contributions.

Dealing with the challenges of selling the house my dad built and all that entails isn't done, not yet, in "Due Diligence" right now and have things to fix, negotiations to finalize and moving yet to do, if fortunate ... it's all very fluid and the damn well won't prime.

So, i expect to go down the mountain this week and may be away for one more month. May i ask
the community to keep Saturday's going or for someone to take over or perhaps have a team of Saturday writers.

Missed you all.

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Enjoying the beautiful images herein. Sounds like your project has a challenging future. Wishing you good luck with it. Perhaps the pump is air bound?

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smiley7's picture

@QMS

love it, big smile. Cheers good healing friend. Been waiting to share how much i enjoy wearing the c99 cap; folks stare at it with confused eyes and curious expressions, especially the ones wearing Trump hats. Smile

Yep; corrected the obvious leaks, pump's working and the pressure tanks only two years old; air pockets in the line, and a pain to get out as my plumber is a retired music teacher finding his way as a new handyman; do hope we don't have to pull out the foot valve, such hard labour.

Little to to say about the real-estate convoluted sales process, having interviewed four agents before choosing, i lucked out; she's a pro and good person to boot.

Thanks you especially for the healing essay, good friend, much appreciated.

Peak leaves have come and gone, muted colors now but roads and country lanes crawl with leaf lookers still.

Covid's raging in the community, 16 percent positive testing rate and hospital had six covid beds left as of Thursday. Wish the university would send the students home, like most others in the state have done.

Cheers again for the uplifting tune and for being here for the community.

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magiamma's picture

Thanks for the beautiful Saturday morning OT.

Here’s lookin’ at you kid.

Take good care.

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Stop Climate Change Silence - Start the Conversation

Hot Air Website, Twitter, Facebook

smiley7's picture

@magiamma @magiamma

More than i can handle at times, thank goodness for old acquaintances.

Hope the fire season's winding down for you folks, think of you all often when i see the news.

Good store of apples for the winter comforts me and son got a new job with a state park he's been hoping for. Got to meet my new granddog, Gilbert, a sweety, gold for sure.

Today's artist is an LA native, maybe your paths have crossed.

Good to see you, magi, please be safe out there and thanks for the Dolly. Smile

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mimi's picture

that I have to learn the art of saying something healing. Good people are your friends, and that is a gift from God.

Be well, be safe and stay alive a little longer.

Greetings from a lady i loved hearing sing and I named myself after, as she sang also the beautiful arie

But that is the one for you today specifically.

Give rose Give rose

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smiley7's picture

@mimi

heart-felt greeting. Hope this reply finds you in good health and spirits. I've missed you, too.

The white coats doing their best to keep me going; struggling but undertaking the tests to find out what's up, changed or is it just diseases progressing. Poor healthcare workers are on the line; several confided in me the turmoil covid's causing them personally and of many of their colleagues quitting or taking early retirement because of covid. I feel deeply for them and for the fragile system we have in this country; i see it coming apart from my encounters alone. What used to be immediately accomplished in appointments, tests and consults are taking weeks, months, to do now. makes me feel selfish needing their ongoing care in these times, especially my pulmonary doctors, their technicians and care staffs; many i know working 12 hour covid ICU shifts. Afraid the fabric is breaking.

Again, thanks for the kind welcome and beautiful music.

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enhydra lutris's picture

Soo good to see another of your great Saturday morning columns, not that the substitutes haven't been wonderful, they have been, you can rest assured. This, however, is an authentic smiley morning. Thanks.

Sorry to hear that the hassles continue and there is still much to do. Perhaps this next round will be the last for at least this project. The dawn chorus is louder now, with both the white and golden crowns competing for attention and the traffic noise nicely depleted, though fall colors don't happen much in my neighborhood. Mini heat wave here, over 100 yesterday, 98 predicted today, but it will be higher here in our immediate locale and, of course, farmers market looms across the morning, creating an artificial "appointment" in what is otherwise a sea of freedom.

be well and have a good one

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

smiley7's picture

@enhydra lutris

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Glad to hear from you this morning and hope all runs smoothly on the real estate front. Glad you have a good agent! Due diligence can be problematic. Why we sold two of our properties "as is where is". Didn't make total sense but worked.
Glad to hear good news for son and grand dog.
Always glad for Saturday morning with your open thread and thanks to all who jumped in to help you. C99 is a special place

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Life is what you make it, so make it something worthwhile.

This ain't no dress rehearsal!

smiley7's picture

@jakkalbessie

Wonderful to read your voice. Yep, this whole process of real-estate ain't for me. Been fortunate that the agent's masterful staging drew buyers from Greensboro, Durham, Charlotte and Fayetteville, all cities more than 60 miles away and to have gotten into a bidding war with competing offers. Tough decisions had to be made in those first 18 days; went with the first highest bid and after a week their financing wouldn't work, so back to the table and same thing the second weekend, more competitive bidding. On the way with this offer though, inspector's been there, appraiser was there Friday, so, hopefully it's just the little things comparatively speaking and all the packing up and moving to somewhere for storage, yet to be decided.

Yes, a special place because of you and all. Thanks for being here and the kind 'ello.

Please be safe in you ventures out and about and enjoy this day.

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smiley7's picture

wonderful to see you as well and happy the dawn chorus has center stage. At times these past weeks, i've enjoyed the quiet, the giant trees creating a surrounding womb on my father's back patio; even had a young coyote visit several nights. I talked to it, it was very curious; as the house has been empty, the animals must have felt safe in the back yard.

Just returned from our farmer's market, brisk day, hands got cold. Good haul: fresh Hawaiian turmeric, turnips, beets, cabbage and special mustard seedlings for the window garden.

Had long conversations with an old childhood friend, who does lawn maintenance and helped me find other workers to fix up the house; we all talked a lot and each one seemed driven to justify their hated for Black Lives Matter to me, needing my approval or something, which they did not get, of course. A deeply disappointing journey to me as otherwise these are good people. They get it from the churches and the tubes proving propaganda works.

Rode over a couple miles to the old family church founded in 1703 to see Mom's new tombstone engraving and sad to share, all those blood-kin boast huge Trump signs in their yards.

On a good note, Bear Creek, the town's water supply and the creek of my Mark Twain childhood now has trails all along it, making it easier for the water moccasins to get around. Smile

Can't resist thinking about what to do when the house sales. Lots of options. if and when that happens, i'll probably call upon you folks for your advice and creative ideas.

Good to be in virtual touch, el. Do take care and be safe.

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Lookout's picture

Glad to hear things are moving the right way.
This made me think...welcome to my world

been living in Trump, mask-less, "god-fearing," nigger and queer hating country

(Although I must admit my little corner has several mixed couples and a large gay community.)

The break down of the broadband from an old TV reminds me of the time I spent in Greenbank, WV at the Radio Astronomy observatory. They regularly had community interference. They had a truck that looked like one of those WWII radio detecting truck. Sometimes it was something like an electric blanket going on and off. They would buy them a new blanket. Other times it was a poor contact with power line insulator. They had a large rubber sledge hammer they would rattle the pole till the insulator worked. They use old diesel taxis to go to the telescopes cause gas cars with spark plugs cause spikes too.

Well best of luck with the sale. Lots going on in the young farmer movement in those areas. Eat healthy and be well my friend!

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“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

smiley7's picture

@Lookout

Good to see you, too.

Sad, our area was very progressive when i grew up; nearest Klan were 100 miles away. Ministers, the mainstream ones in town especially fought segregation--the fire and brimstone ones kept their tent poison focused upon the bible, pocket-books and stayed out of politics.
Edward R. Murrow was a hero.

Now, it's tits and ass and trump.

Appears to me, my distant cousins and their offspring are the new landed aristocracy, all the land making them wealthy.

Generations to turn this tide, just as it took generations to bring this polluted one.

Bonus this year for me is i've been visiting the old orchards down home and have many more varieties than usual stored for the winter.

Beautiful fall day here, imagine the same on Lookout mountain, rather cool, too.

Time to make sauerkraut.

Happy harvesting and be safe out there.

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Anja Geitz's picture

So good to see you!. Have missed your particular brand of musings and creative inspiration. Although, your Saturday OT has been taken care of very well in your absence.

Been very busy myself these days putting my website together and juggling the endless to do lists that come with this business of working for myself. Had an interesting encounter yesterday when I ran into a former manager from Trader Joe’s who didn’t know I wasn’t working there anymore. Strangely enough she wasn’t very surprised by the news but seemed very happy for me. But the best part of bumping into someone from Trader Joe’s management who is sure to tell the Captain of my store? I had just come from the printers where I picked up my new business card and was able to give her one. I’m official, folks!

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Good luck with the house stuff and please take care Give rose

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There is always Music amongst the trees in the Garden, but our hearts must be very quiet to hear it. ~ Minnie Aumonier

smiley7's picture

@Anja Geitz

missed you as well. Great to see you.

Congrats on the new business. Perfect outlet for your creativity. Have a virtual toast on me.

Imagine you're relieved to be away from those demanding shoppers and hey, just in time to miss the crowds at holidays.

TJ's don't know what a good emissary they just lost.

The best fortune to you and please stay safe.

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Anja Geitz's picture

@smiley7

No!!! I will not have to suffer the holiday insanity. Woo hoo! A brutal time of year on both the psyche and the body. Now I can just be a customer. Shop early! Stuff disappears fast!

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There is always Music amongst the trees in the Garden, but our hearts must be very quiet to hear it. ~ Minnie Aumonier

Transitions
Moving from the familiar
to the unfamiliar.
Transition.
Changing from one existence
to another.
Transition.
Accepting the unfamiliar.
Transition.
Accepting the new existence.
Transition.

I’ve missed you, smiley. You bring out the poet in me.

Enjoy the day! Pleasantry

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"When will our conscience's grow so tender that we will act to prevent human misery rather than avenge it?" Eleanor Roosevelt

"The secret of change is to focus all your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new." Socrates (469-399 BC)

smiley7's picture

@Raggedy Ann

How the hell are you? Missed you, too. Good to be reading your work again.

Transition for sure. Smile Not sure of easy acceptance, but hey, one might give it a try.

Imagine you're busy harvesting grains for the animals and prepping for snow. Had a frost up high this week and a few snowflakes.

Thanks for the poetry and welcome. Please be safe out there.

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myself
@smiley7 .
Not harvesting, moving. The universe has a new plan for me. When you ask how I am ~ well, I’m living in a challenging time, but it should be better soon.
Here’s to you my friend! Drinks

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"When will our conscience's grow so tender that we will act to prevent human misery rather than avenge it?" Eleanor Roosevelt

"The secret of change is to focus all your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new." Socrates (469-399 BC)

smiley7's picture

@Raggedy Ann

on the path, the destiny smelling of sweet flowers, the water tasting of fresh rain and the stars ever shining along the way.

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@smiley7 my friend.

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"When will our conscience's grow so tender that we will act to prevent human misery rather than avenge it?" Eleanor Roosevelt

"The secret of change is to focus all your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new." Socrates (469-399 BC)

Granma's picture

Artwork and pictures. I appreciate them and you. I'm glad things are moving along for you, and the end is in sight. Take good care of yourself.

People readily accept many differences in other people without a thought. It amazes me that differences in skin color are unacceptable to some people. It is such an incredibly foolish a way to attempt to judge people.

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smiley7's picture

@Granma

Great to see you. Hope you and your family are well and in good spirits.

Agreed, simply stupid to be full of hate in a world full of beauty and wonderful children.

Docs cautioned me to do things the heart enjoys, like more walking and to avoid things the heart doesn't like. Thanks for your concern. Been taking it real easy, napping a lot these past few days. Like a bear, storing up energy for the next challenge. Smile

Covid's marching on, so please take care and be safe out there.

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travelerxxx's picture

So nice to see your Welcome to Saturday again. It's always a mood-setter for me ...and probably others as well.

Sorry to hear of having to put up with "...Trump, mask-less, 'god-fearing,' nigger and queer hating country," but that's what a lot of America is. I've lost almost all but immediate family to it (sadly, "immediate family" does not include parents or brother), so I know what it feels like.

The link to the Bloomberg article re Raj Chetty was blocked for me, but luckily I was able to get to it with the old "dot after the dot-com" trick – that and quickly opening the article in reader-view before the blocking text arrived on the screen. Chetty's data page is open to us, though, and is really something. I had no idea it existed, so thanks.

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smiley7's picture

@travelerxxx

Good to see you.

Yes, fascinating data collection and analysis. Thanks you for finding and providing the link.
Knowing minds like Chetty are working in the background does help alleviate some of the pain and fear from the science-less, propagandized sections of our society.

Discovering how passionate their hate--the painter said he hated progressives along with Black Lives Matter in his morning diatribe over the free coffee he was drinking from my cup on my front porch--troubles me the most. My good cousin explains it as their fear that other people my benefit in some way from the government and they will get left out. Looks like selfish inbred bias and greed to me. But very difficult to understand.

One childhood friend, my age, well a year younger, had to show me his new Glock pistol. I told him he didn't need to shoot it and again to please don't and he shot it anyway like a child with a toy. Unfortunately, we were standing under a shelter and my right ear rang with pain and something's wrong with the ear as i write, still. Damn it, all the years of loud music and no problems, one damn Glock and i've ear problems. Anyways, they are set in their ways, they will tell you that as well. Lord help the children.

Been a good day talking with you folks, really is a medicine to the soul. Thank you for being here and be safe out there.

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Unabashed Liberal's picture

and hear that things are falling in place very nicely.

We have all missed you very much. Give rose

Of course, your Saturday OT was left in the hands of super members, who knocked themselves out to deliver an excellent essay as a placeholder for you, each week.

My thanks and gratitude to all of them. Clapping

(I believe there were '4' of you, only hesitate to name you individually, for fear that I may leave out someone. Occasionally, I do not get to drop by on weekends.)

Quite puny today, so, gonna have to take a nap. And, for a change, will make this short and sweet. (for me Smile )

BTW, I posted a link to countries that are allowing American citizens to travel to them (as of now, anyway) over at EB, last night. Although Malta is not on the list, it's an option, but, by an indirect route.

As usual, Smiley--thank you for the gorgeous art, beautiful quotes, prose, and essays.

BTW, here's the link I referenced above.

Where Can Americans Travel Right Now? A Country-by-country Guide
From lounging on Caribbean beaches to sightseeing in Serbia, Americans now have options when it comes to international travel.
BY ALISON FOX UPDATED OCTOBER 14, 2020

We share your sentiment about universities and colleges needing to shut down, until a vaccine can be widely distributed, or, the case load lightens considerably. Cases and deaths shot up like a rocket when students returned (here). Few deaths ('5' in 7-1/1 months) prior to students being allowed on campus the last week of July--for second summer session. Now, suits are flying--although our state legislators have given 'immunity' to many entities--so, not sure how much good it will do.

Mr M says 'hi.' Glad you got to see 'Gilbert' and Son and Family.

Take good care of yourself. Stay safe, and well.

Bye

Mollie

"The leaders of this new movement are replacing traditional liberal beliefs about tolerance, free inquiry, and even racial harmony with ideas so toxic and unattractive that they eschew debate, moving straight to shaming, threats, and intimidation."
~~Matt Taibbi, The American Press Is Destroying Itself, June 12, 2020

“If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die, I want to go where they went.”
~~Will Rogers, Actor & Social Commentator (1856-1950)

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Everyone thinks they have the best dog, and none of them are wrong.

smiley7's picture

a treat to catch up with you. Hi to Mr M, too. I missed you as well and many good essays and conversations.

Cheers for the link, i'll look at those places; but, how can we travel there safely? I don't know. I'm ready to go but with a couple more problems: i'm presently tied to a drug which the company will only grant a 30-day supply for; remember the one doc and i had to go to court for and need time to reacquaint myself with the does and don'ts, telephones, money, train schedules and so on; been six years now and that knowledge atrophied and for sure things have changed.

Perhaps, we could all meet up somewhere, eh?

Sad to see covid breaking down the good University health care systems, too. So difficult to bring multifaceted working systems back up to speed after catastrophes. Replacing lost trained staff takes years, normally.

Gilbert is gold. Smile

Sorry you're feeling puny today; hope that passes with rest, good food and company. Please do take care you three. 'Scritches' to number three.

Be safe out there, so happy to still have you for company in this journey.

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smiley. So glad things are progressing for you and you are working through your projects step by step.

I'm late to the party but your presence calls for a celebratory fiddle tune

It's wonderful to have you and your Saturday morning thread back. It's such a pleasure to see all the old smiley stuff. Smile All your selections of art, books, articles, photos, and music are part of our Saturday staples here and we miss them. Of course we will step in and cover for you until you can back for good. Looking forward to that time, I think you can tell we all miss you.

Take good care of yourself smiley, I know you have a lot on your mind and much to do. Hope it all falls into place with the least of amount of difficulties possible.

Sending you best wishes.

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smiley7's picture

@randtntx

How did you know that i spent lost days fishing in Lady Bird's National Forrest. Smile

Music you bring at this moment fits perfectly with today's feelings as did your wonderful work; please do carry on Saturdays, we all love and learn when you put pen to paper.

Thank you.

What makes a place special is the way it buries itself inside the heart, not whether it's flat or rugged, rich or austere, wet or arid, gentle or harsh, warm or cold, wild or tame. Every place, like every person, is elevated by the love and respect shown toward it, and by the way in which its bounty is received. - Richard Nelson, The Island Within

Tears.

Be safe my friend and keep on loving ...

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janis b's picture

Hearing your voice again is such a pleasure. All the pieces you collect along the way and present so beautifully formed in your essays, from the cataclysmic to the sublime, are always rewarding on many levels. Thank you.

This is one of my favourite artists, whose work I hope you'll enjoy …

ps. modestly asking if anyone would be happy to fill in for me this month while smiley is away?

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smiley7's picture

@janis b

for keeping on the keeping on in community behind the scenes as well as your downstage work. You are special.

Love his tasting the art, the medium.

Your encouragement drives us all to better places. Thank you.

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janis b's picture

@smiley7

Thank you for your gentle love and appreciation. Caring for you is easy.

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@janis b . We'll figure it out. If we have trouble filling the spot we can just have a very free OT on a few occasions.

Thanks for the picture of Wolgang Laib engaged in his work. I also enjoyed the part where he tasted the finished work of art.

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janis b's picture

@randtntx

Thanks again.

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I have never seen the film! I'm going to have to sit down and do that very soon. The sound track is beautiful and of course I've heard it and I know the general plot of the film as well, but now you convinced me to actually watch it. Smile

I looked up Lady Bird Johnson National Forest online and I found a place among the Redwoods. Not sure if that's what you mean. It is a beautiful spot though and looks magical.

R. Nelson has a way with words right? He hit the nail on the head with that paragraph. We recognize what he means absolutely.

That (phenomenal, stellar) group of musicians and their goat rodeo is just awesome. You played one of their clips way back when... and I have become a fan.

Thanks for fabulous music suggestions. I'm happy I caught up with you and I didn't miss you before you went back down the mountain and out of range of these intertube connection thingies.

Take good care down there in the lowlands smiley. I'm sorry about the way our small rural towns have been devolving. Part of the dissolution is due to big box stores and big ag. Many of our small businesses just can't compete with the big guys and our towns are hollowed out. Not sure if that is whats going on where you are. I feel for the people who have to try and make a living in some of those places that have been badly affected.

Keep up the good fight smiley, take care.

a tune for your trip:

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smiley7's picture

@randtntx @randtntx

way for them; same geographic area, but they, this new class of workers, didn't exist 70 years ago in that community. I mean people working full time for starvation wages, rents through the roof and no hope in sight for improving their lot. The new slavery brought to America by? The same oligarchs, the same robber barons and the propagandists using them politically. God Damn the pusher men.

Love the Silk Road.

Cheers.

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@smiley7 . I'm turning in. Know that I wish you the best on your journey and it is apparent that many others here do as well. I'm not sure that helps in any way but I surely hope it does. I'll be looking forward to your return whenever you can make it back. Take good care.

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