The Weekly Watch

Variety, Varmints, and Victims

It's been a week of protest around the world. Do any of you remember such a global protest movement? Thousands of people have been arrested world wide.
I've been struggling with a groundhog all week. The varmint mowed down my broccoli in one night. Its groundhog day all over again.
We're losing diversity and variety of our food plants. This week we'll examine some attempts to maintain and grow many types food producing plants.
This first clip is dedicated to 'The Voice In the Wilderness' our resident tree grafter (11 min)

We have lost many food varieties in the last century as agriculture became big business. The old fruit varieties in the previous clip are good examples. However, we have also lost many vegetable crops and livestock breeds too. If they don't ship well, you can't sell them, and the old varieties die out.

Here are some of the facts about loss in Agrobiodiversity published by
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO):

- In the last century, 75% of the plant genetic diversity has been lost since local farmers and food producers have left their local farms for more industrialized and high-yielding varieties.

- While six breeds of livestock are lost every month, 30% of livestock breeds are at higher risk of extinction.

- Currently, 75% of the world’s food supply is generated from only 12 plants and five animal species.

- Off of 250 000 to 300 000 known plant species that are edible, only 150 to 200 are used by humans, whereas only three (rice, maize and wheat) make up for 60% of calories and proteins obtained by humans from plants.

-30% of human food and agriculture are dependent on animals and 12% of the world’s populations live almost entirely based on products from livestock.

-Many farmers have lost more than 90% of their crop varieties and half of the breeds of many domestic animals have been lost. In fact, all the world’s 17 main fishing grounds are fishing above the sustainable limits and many fish populations are going extinct as a result.

http://www.seattleorganicrestaurants.com/vegan-whole-food/lack-of-biodiv...

There are efforts to save the remaining varieties...
The United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) Target 2.5:
“By 2020 maintain the genetic diversity of seeds, cultivated plants and farmed and domesticated animals and their related wild species, including through soundly managed and diversified seed and plant banks at the national, regional and international levels, and promote access to and fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from the utilization of genetic resources and associated traditional knowledge, as internationally agreed.”
https://www.croptrust.org/our-mission/crop-diversity-why-it-matters/

Here are several projects to maintain agricultural diversity.
http://agrobiodiversityplatform.org/cropbiodiversity/

Various seed savers are preserving heirloom varieties.
https://caucus99percent.com/content/weekly-watch-110

Grafting many varieties on one tree like the 1st clip is another preservation technique.
Grafting different varieties of trees isn't too difficult but there is a knack to being successful with them. Like everything, practice improves your outcomes. Here's a couple of fairly helpful articles with pictures...
https://ladyleeshome.com/grafting-fruit-trees/
https://extension.psu.edu/fruit-tree-propagation-grafting-and-budding

Speaking of variety, the XR protests around the world showed great variety too.
Check out these pictures and stories from all over the world...
https://rebellion.earth/2019/10/08/rebel-daily-1:-the-sun-rises-on-a-new...
https://rebellion.earth/2019/10/10/rebel-daily-3-they-gave-their-lives/
https://rebellion.earth/2019/10/12/rebel-daily-5-non-violently-hitting-o...

Chris Hedges talks to activists Dr. Margaret Flowers and attorney Kevin Zeese, who run Popular Resistance, about power and the effect of organized, sustained civil disobedience and forms of no-cooperation when it comes to issues of war, internal security and corporate domination. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dPsejRx4dsU (29 min)

Chris was on Matt and Katie's show 'useful idiots' this week.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GjMiUJuEPPE (Chris comes on at the 37 min mark)

Now on to Varmints...

Groundhog, woodchuck, or whistle-pig.
This has been my first encounter. Wouldn't you know after building a 9 foot fence here comes a burrowing critter to plague me. That's the way of it isn't it? Well after discovering my young plants were gnawed down, we got cayenne pepper and garlic powder spread around them and that's kept the rascal from eating anymore. Next step is a strand of electric fence around the bottom. Then the live trap baited with cantaloupe.

Here's several approaches to getting rid of them. Doc's idea in the song above is to eat them. Perhaps they are tasty. We've been without a dog for a couple of years and that is why I suspect they have moved in on us. They are wary creatures.
https://www.pestcontrolgurus.com/how-to-get-rid-of-groundhogs/

Of course there are plenty of two legged varmints too.

Jimmy describes several varmints in the demockratic party... (23 min)

Now let's look at some of the many victims

victim.jpg

Julian is being tortured for leaking our war crimes (as is Chelsea)
A British judge ruled Friday that WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange is to remain behind bars pending the outcome of extradition proceedings currently scheduled for February 2020.

Assange appeared in London’s Westminster Magistrates’ Court by video link from Belmarsh Prison and was remanded to custody following a brief hearing, according to news outlets in attendance.
https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2019/oct/11/julian-assange-remanded...

In the hospital ward, Assange is kept in isolation for 22-23 hours each day. Guards lock down the prison when he is moved. And thus far, he has only been allowed two two-hour social visits each month. He is denied access to a computer, and his ability to work with his lawyers on his defense is undermined by punitive restrictions imposed on him.

The U.S. formally requested Assange’s extradition for charges that include allegations of violating the Espionage Act, making him the first journalist to be charged under the 1917 law.

Around the time that the U.K. showed they would continue to serve the U.S. and keep Assange in detention, the Spanish newspaper El Pais reported that a Spanish security company bugged the Ecuador embassy with devices for audio and video streaming.

The company, Undercover Global, provided the CIA with access to the streams so the agency could spy on Assange. The CIA was eavesdropping on the women’s bathroom, where Assange held regular meetings with human rights attorneys defending him.

The major revelation was largely omitted or ignored by the U.S. media establishment.

https://shadowproof.com/2019/10/07/cia-spying-against-julian-assange-is-...

Aaron Mate' talks with Fidel Narváez, former Ecuadorian diplomat who served at the London embassy while Julian Assange lived there under asylum.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4UDX-4hmArM (13 min)

The precise timing of the revocation of asylum, on April 11, appears to have been aimed at stymying the exposure of the illegal surveillance of Assange. Weeks earlier, WikiLeaks lawyers had filled a complaint with the UN Special Rapporteur on Privacy, alleging that Assange’s right to privacy had been violated within the embassy. He was due to visit Assange in late April.

Less than 24 hours before Assange was expelled from the embassy, WikiLeaks held a press conference, documenting the pervasive surveillance within the building. Photos and videos of Assange, apparently collected by UC Global, had come into the possession of Spanish criminals, who had sought to extort money from WikiLeaks in exchange for the material.

The Associated Press reported in April that Moreno gave the final decision to cancel Assange’s asylum on April 9, apparently after learning that the press conference was to be held the following day.

https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2019/10/11/ciaa-o11.html

In an administrative hearing yesterday, a British judge decreed that he would remain behind bars indefinitely as a “flight risk,” despite the end of his custodial sentence for bogus bail offenses on September 22.

In other words, the WikiLeaks founder is explicitly being held as a political prisoner. All of the pseudo-legal grounds for his continued detention have been dispensed with. He is being jailed by Britain at the behest of the US government, which is seeking to extradite him so it can put him on a show trial and condemn him to a life sentence of up to 175 years for the “crime” of publishing the truth.

https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2019/10/12/pers-o12.html

The CIA’s War On WikiLeaks Founder Julian Assange another good article...
https://medium.com/discourse/the-cias-war-on-wikileaks-founder-julian-as...

Maybe there is still hope the UK will not extradite him.
https://21stcenturywire.com/2019/10/10/why-opposing-us-extradition-of-ju...

It isn't just individuals who are victims, but also entire countries. Consider what the US is doing to Venezuela in the name of demockcrazy... Ben Norton explains what he saw recently in that country.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lpBY2Sgi2Tc (9 min)

Anya Parampil explains how the Trump-backed right-wing opposition has essentially liquidated Venezuela's most valuable foreign asset, Citgo, enriching US and Canadian corporations. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y1WwYOzEqY0 (17 min)
https://thegrayzone.com/2019/09/03/the-citgo-conspiracy-opposition-figur...

Rodríguez ultimately appeared at the podium to deliver a jeremiad against US meddling in her country’s affairs and what she called “capitalist violence.” Her commanding presence at the UN delivered another blow to the Trump administration’s regime-change efforts, and signaled that the majority of the world’s countries still recognized the authority of Venezuela’s elected government.

https://thegrayzone.com/2019/10/02/how-venezuela-defeated-washingtons-co...

The entire biosphere is victim to our addiction to fossil fuels....and it is getting worse as natural systems respond in amplifying the feedback.
Paul Beckwith explains...
A group of Russian scientists led by Igor Semiletov, aboard one of the world’s largest research ships, the RV Akademik Mstislav Keldysh over the Arctic Ocean’s Eastern Siberian Arctic Shelf have directly measured extremely high methane levels in the water column and atmosphere above. Seafloor permafrost sediments are thawing with high ocean temperatures and the organic material is then decomposed by microbes to produce methane which bubbles up to the surface. Methane levels in air were as high as 16 ppm which is 9x higher than global average levels. This is very serious, given methane’s global warming potential of 34x, 86x, and over 150x with timescales of 100 years, 20 years, and a few years, respectively.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tyJvtDdGls4 (15 min - part 1)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ubc-KlcMIdw (15 min - part 2)

variety.jpg

Well this was a variety edition of the weekly watch....a disconnected hodgepodge of thoughts and stories. I know impeachment is the 24/7 story, but we discussed that last week. There was so much more to write about victims...other people, countries, and ecosystem problems...but I wanted to focus on Julian this morning because I find his situation so problematic on many different levels. Spying on his conversation with his lawyers and now not allowing him access to his lawyers to plan his defense. It is insane and cruel. The same could be said of Chelsea. The list of countries the US has victimized would be long indeed. And ecosystem collapse is evident from loss of insects and birds to wild erratic weather. But corporate news has their big story and they will use it to distract most people for the next year or so till Ukrainegate fizzles like Russiagate. Meanwhile, I hope you can all get out and enjoy the natural world and appreciate your ecosystem. I look forward to your thoughts, stories, and comments below...

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Thanks as usual for the weekly watch. Found the talk on grafting fascinating. Project on Governors Island sound very hopeful.
My varmint I am dealing with is mice. Do not know how they are getting in. Have got all food products in canisters but they are eating labels off cans. Peppermint oil seems to hold them at bay BUT, grrr.
Resilience of the population of Venezuelans should shame citizens of the US if they knew what was really happening.
What is happening to the real whistle blower, Julian Assange is sickening and it is hard to listen to news about the current whistle blowers.
Enough from me. Will go spend some time enjoying the aspens as their leaves keep changing. Have a good week!

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

This ain't no dress rehearsal!

Lookout's picture

@jakkalbessie

I run traps and usually get them. When we put in the radiant floor heat we spray foamed the bottom of the floor and that helped to eliminate their access. We leave doors open in the warmer months and they get in under the screen doors sometimes. That's when I put traps around where I've seen them.

Thanks for the visit...

Enjoy your walk in the aspens.

Telluride aspens (27).jpg

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

Raggedy Ann's picture

@Lookout
I find cats the most effective way to control mice. We have two outdoor cats. They have limited indoor spaces, but I'm not one for animals in the house - has to do with my upbringing. Anyway, cats, which I love, anyway, because they are so low maintenance.

My son and wife were here for a few days and we attended the Balloon Fiesta, which I hadn't been to in about 15 years. I forget how fun it is. It's just so much trouble for those of us that live far from the venue. Anyway, it was a fun time. We also took a hike to our favorite canyon in the Manzano mountains. The trees were turning beautifully.

Have a leafy day! Pleasantry

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“The trouble [with injustice] is that once you see it, you can’t unsee it. And once you’ve seen it, keeping quiet, saying nothing, becomes as political an act as speaking out. There is no innocence. Either way, you’re accountable.”
-- Arundhati Roy

Lookout's picture

@Raggedy Ann

I hate she goes for birds too, but nature has its ways which I think we should respect.

We used to feed birds so we could enjoy watching them. But then the squirrels came, and then the racoons, and now we don't put out sunflower seed even in our squirrel proof (yeah right) feeders. When our old dog died we moved the cat's food inside. She has her way to get us to open up early and feed. Kinda an alarm cat. Anyway, much of our varmint problem disappeared when we removed the outdoor feeding...almost no racoon nor opossum have messed around by the house since. She wants to be outside and eats gets petted and leaves. Amazing how they train us.

Here's wishing you a great week. The balloon fiesta sounds like fun. Once got to see the balloons in Albuquerque, and we used to have a fellow that had the "purple people eater balloon" here in our neighborhood. They even had a mini fest in our nearby town...

The once locally held hot air balloon show is back on schedule. This time, however, it will pop up in Floyd County at the Northwest Georgia Balloon Festival scheduled for Sept. 14-15.
The balloon festival used to be held in Menlo. It lasted from 2008-2012.

https://www.thesummervillenews.com/2018/06/09/former-local-balloon-festi...

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

@Lookout
Last year I had a few that wouldn't touch peanut butter. But they couldn't resist leftover Halloween caramels. Cheese is pretty worthless but rodents like nuts. and one famly had an unfortunate sweet tooth.

My daughter has outside cats. That works pretty good too. Once she had a cat that practically lived in her fig tree, hunting squirrels. When it died, they buried it under the fig tree "so that she can always be part of the tree". I like that. I'm sentimental about animals. It's people I hate. Homo sapiens is the worst pest. I'm even sorry about the mice. They are just looking for a warm place to winter. But it's them or us.

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Wally's picture

From Buffy Sainte-Marie:

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Lookout's picture

@Wally @Wally

Never could play a mouth harp like that...afraid of hitting my teeth I guess.
Edit to add...
Here she is with a mouth bow
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DkWMC2zS1fU (3 min)

I know you've seen the ad, but this is a recent interview you might not have caught.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pou2s1ENXMM (6 min)
Independent Videomaker Matt Orfalea describes his inspiration for his viral Bernie Sanders video.

All the best!

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

Lily O Lady's picture

catches the water from the air conditioner. The drought drove him to climb in looking for water. I poured him out in the woods so he won’t go to waste. The crows can have him. I stuck a stick in the bucket so that no more hapless critters drown.

We’re expecting some rain, but it hasn’t hit here yet. Maybe it will break the drought.

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"The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?" ~Orwell, "1984"

Lookout's picture

@Lily O Lady

still dry here, all of it south of us. They've got us getting some Tuesday - 70% chance.

Best of luck with the moisture (for us both!)

Sorry about the chipmunk. Round we all go on the great mandella...

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

Lily O Lady's picture

@Lookout

danger of wildfires it’s so dry. We’ve only seen a sprinkle here so far. It stays dry under the trees.

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"The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?" ~Orwell, "1984"

Lookout's picture

@Lily O Lady

a couple of months after we bought it. There was no infrastructure at that time so we started our project with a (burnt) clean slate. We've fought off a couple of wildfires since then, and I do burn some of my fields periodically to select for the wildflowers and promote diversity. But wildfires can be terrifying.

Let's hope for a good soaking rain!

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

enhydra lutris's picture

@Lookout

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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 --

Lookout's picture

@enhydra lutris

I loved P,P, & M and learned many of their pieces over the years. Never could sing harmony as well as them though.

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

Anja Geitz's picture

But isn't what they are doing to Assange illegal? I would've thought even prisoners are afforded human rights protections. It just sickens me what they are doing to him. God, I hope he outlives them all just to annoy the shit out of them.

The Varmints: While I realize the destruction they cause isn't funny, as soon as you described a groundhog mowing down your broccoli in one night, a cartoon popped into my head, leading me to ask if you are sure it's actually a ground hog and not Bugs Bunny doing the damage?

Speaking of varmints, my cat Ziggy brought a dead mouse to my door last night that I didn't find until I stepped on the poor thing in the dark when I came out to turn my spooky Halloween lantern off before going to bed. Thanks Ziggy.

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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

Lookout's picture

@Anja Geitz

...is the one you have and don't ask. At least that's the line I used with my students.

And yes certainly it is illegal...like most of our wars and embargoes. We are no longer a nation of laws, but an arrogant oligarchy. The eminent collapse is obvious to those who look.

Our cat, Ellie, sometimes leaves us presents too, but she's old and it isn't common these days.

Always good to "see" you.

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

@Anja Geitz
Cats normally don't share their prey. Lions are an exception.

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Granma's picture

I had no idea it was so extreme. I remember reading that in one of the South American counties. The indigenous people used to plant as many as 200 varieties of potatoes, according to which side of the mountain and elevation they were planting. It can't be healthy to have so little variety in our diets.

But losing so many heirloom varieties of food plants means we are losing the ability to feed ourselves as the climate changes. The heirloom varieties have been around for so long precisely because they were more tolerant of varying weather conditions, i think.

Maybe you need to get another dog to scare off some of the critters enticed by your garden.

Thank you for the watch this week.

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Lookout's picture

@Granma

so our old cat won't have to train it....but the cat keeps on keeping on now at 15 yo.

The other advantage to the heirloom varieties is they breed true and you can save your own seed...another major reason they are disappearing. Seems everything operates on the dollar...so sad.

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

@Granma
The Cavendish. A disease (fungal) is spreading across the globe. Soon there will be no yellow bananas, monoculture is not a good evolutionary strategy.

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TheOtherMaven's picture

@The Voice In the Wilderness

Cavendish was not always the top banana. There was a time when the best-seller was the Gros Michel. It was bigger, better-tasting and a better shipper than the Cavendish - but it was incredibly vulnerable to Fusarium wilt.

"Yes! We Have No Bananas" is said to have been a cultural response to the first round of Fusarium attacks that eventually dethroned the Gros Michel in the early 20th century - by the 1950s the banana growers had thrown in the towel and switched to the less vulnerable Cavendish.

But now the Cavendish is showing an Achilles heel....

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There is no justice. There can be no peace.

Lookout's picture

@TheOtherMaven

was a quiet understated man. He worked all over the world as a banana disease specialist. His line was "imagine being a fungus spore landing in 10,000 acres of bananas...it goes bananas!"

Central American markets are full of all types of bananas... little, purple, and so on.

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

Lily O Lady's picture

@Lookout

like those once cultivated around Mt. Kilimanjaro before Europeans brought the plague of monoculture coffee. If I recall correctly something like thirty species of food bearing trees occupied one acre.

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"The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?" ~Orwell, "1984"

Lookout's picture

@Lily O Lady

Geoff Lawton is a proponent
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hCJfSYZqZ0Y (13 min)

The thing I like about them is the minimum soil disturbance, and the diversity of these systems. I'm working on developing a food forest....got my holes dug and manured ready for planting this winter.

All the best!

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

Lily O Lady's picture

@Lookout

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"The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?" ~Orwell, "1984"

Almonds are also in the Prunus family and can be grafted to apricots and plums. They are most closely related to apricots. don't eat the Apricot pits. Most Prunus have dangerous amounts of cyanide. Commercial almonds have much less so they are Okay to eat. There is also one Apricot sold commercially that has an edible pit. but just one.

I have a White Doyenne pear that used to be the most popular pear in America during the early 19th Century. It is known to have existed in France for at least a thousand years. Some think it is an old roman pear. Likewise the Lady apple which is a small red and green decorative apple that is quite nice to eat. it got it's name from the Middle Ages when court ladies would hide them in their fur muffs during long ceremonies, and duck behind a pillar for a quick snack. In France, it's called Api and is beleived to have been brought to ancient Gaul by Appius Claudius who built the Appian Way, making the variety about 2300 years old. Records over a hundred years ld are rather sparse, however.

Many fine old varieties are commercially neglected because they are not pretty or not large or don't ripen all at once. The latter quality is ideal for backyard growers who don't need a bushel of apples all at once but would prefer to pick a few every day, like home-grown tomatoes.

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Lookout's picture

@The Voice In the Wilderness

are an important cultural link to our past IMO.

I thought of you as soon as I saw that clip, hence the dedication.

Thanks for the old variety stories!

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

magiamma's picture

Computer problems, email problems, provider problems but mostly back up. Odd to be out of the interwebs saddle. Felt weird at fist and then sweetly calm. Very interesting. The methane problem is finally bubbling to the surface and all the way up to the msm. Scientists are freaking out, as they should be. Well, thanks for so much good information. Have a good one...

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Stop Climate Change Silence - Start the Conversation

Hot Air Website, Twitter, Facebook

Lookout's picture

@magiamma

...but they seem to have up graded their hardware and things have improved. It is nice to take a break from the intertubes every now and then. It is funny that it seems every time I shut down the desktop about 5 minutes later I think of something I want to look up. It is an addiction I think.

Well all the best. Hope today goes better!

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