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What is it about nice people that attract total idiots?Nice people are martyrs. Idiots are evangelists.


Tuesday, August 15, 2017

The Rock

I have thought long and hard on whether I should say anything beyond my last Sunday Message about the Charlottesville thing.  You see, I believe the only true thing said from anyone on this whole deal was when Trump said there was hate on both sides.  But, that's been said.

  There are whys and wherefores aplenty to be had, depending on who you want to listen to- of course, to be a MODERN pundit, you must split what you "listen to" into 2 camps.  One is the side you agree with, and those on that side must be agreed with- or, if you aren't particularly comfortable with a particular point, ignored.

  The other side is "the enemy", and your interaction- at least from what I've seen- is to combat conversations with news clips (doctored to your specifications), memes, and insults.  By no means act like you have heard or understood what someone from this group says, and should they try to convince you to look at both sides as they have (IF they have), you should immediately accuse them of ignorance of your brand of revisionist history, declare them to be "self-righteous", or just accuse them of posting stuff that someone else posted, because after all they all look the same.  Your only purpose in reading their posts is to use the weapons of troll-dom to launch sophomoric personal attacks.

But, y'know what? Pundits are a penny a pound, and the only ones getting paid are the ones who have a vested self-interest in teaching us how to act like absolute assholes in conducting "intelligent debate."

And here am I, another pundit, with something for you to think about.  I want you for just a moment to cast off the politics, the agendas, the cameras, the he said-she said and allow me to boil down what happened Saturday to its essence.

That essence starts with a beautiful young woman, with all the potential in the world, who died Saturday.  Now, I want you to think about why she died.

Here are some of the reasons that are NOT why she died.

She didn't die because she was in the wrong place at the wrong time.
She didn't die because some politician, or groups of them, stirred the pot a bit too much.
She didn't die because some people were defending their heritage, speaking out for racial equality, expressing their small-minded and petty hatreds, or getting paid to show up where they had no business being.
She didn't die because Donald Trump didn't say white bigotry, Obama didn't say Islamic terrorists, George Soros or the Koch Brothers spent money, or Robert E Lee had slaves.
She didn't even die because some mentally-challenged individual was off his meds.

Now, let me give you the core reason why she died.

She died because she was protesting in favor of the removal of some hunk of damned rock that never hurt anyone.

She died because part of our society said that rock was evil, and others said it was good.

It was a damned ROCK.  Not evil, not good, just a hunk of carved marble.

Sure it symbolized something.  But who decides that?  Did she die for or against a symbol?

No.  She died over a damnable ROCK.  Do you get that?  Do you see what this society has become?

If we want to achieve peace and unity here on this world, then we have to stop fighting and dying over symbols.  But everything has to be one side or the other nowadays.  If this damn rock is a symbol to someone else, I can't just walk away.  I can't just "change the channel".  And I sure can't listen to why the damn rock means something to the next guy.  I have to polarize it, vilify it, blow it up until it becomes a caricature of a caricature of what it was intended to be.

And if someone has to die because of how they feel about the rock, so be it.  As long as I get to have MY way about the rock.

Martin World News

Well, I hit one story after work Monday that really kinda forced the issue on whether to post Tuesday.  So let me go in reverse order and save the best for last.

ITEM:  I can see HOW this would happen, but I am not entirely sure of the WHY you'd let it happen...

A Ukrainian man has been rescued after he fell asleep on an inflatable toy and drifted out into the Black Sea, it's reported.
Russian coastguards near Crimea responded to a call on 5 August and found the "distressed" 19-year-old security guard Mykhaylo Doroshenko on an inflatable trampoline. He had been stranded on the contraption without food or water for almost three days, Russia's Ren TV reports.
He had fallen asleep on the inflatable on a beach in Kherson Region in southern Ukraine and was swept out to sea shortly afterwards, travelling some 35 nautical miles (40 miles; 64 km).

So this inflatable "toy", as they call it on the BBC, was basically a large air filled raft- so large, in fact, that he was never in any danger of falling off.  I'm suspecting Stolichnaya may have had a hand in the tale.  Especially after he had a couple of days to sober up...

 Mr Doroshenko told Ren TV "on the second day, when I couldn't see the shore, I didn't think it was funny any more. I started crying, I was in shock, and tried to cover myself from the sun as best I could." 

It took two days to cease being funny?  With no food or water?  Stupid AND tough.  At least until...

Bad thing for this dude, whom I'm sure we'd all want as a security guard, is he ended up being taken to shore in CRIMEA- which means he's in Russian hands now, and that makes his return home a little problematic.


ITEM: On a similar subject, again we turn to the topics of Russia, cannon fire, and security guards...

A "stolen" 10m-long (35ft) Soviet-era anti-aircraft missile has exploded at a recycling centre in eastern Russia, killing two and injuring one.
Russian media were alerted to the explosion of the large-scale missile in the city of Chita after a YouTube user uploaded a car dashcam video showing the moment of the blast.
The missile was an S-200 Angara, known as the SA-5 "Gammon" in Nato countries. They have been in service since the 1960s, but are nowadays superseded by the S-300 and S-400 surface-to-air models.
It is unknown how the missile came to be at a recycling plant. Local news website says that the seven tonne missile "had been stolen" from a military base by persons unknown and taken to the facility in exchange for cash. It had likely exploded while recycling workers were trying to dismantle it.

We go to the film...

So many questions:  1- STOLE a 7-TON missile...  2- From a MILITARY BASE... 3- Exploded while DISMANTLING...  and we're seriously worried about these guys messing with our election?

Hey!  You got that Doroshenko guy?  We're ready to strap him on... uh, got any bungee cords?


ITEM: This next tale wouldn't go with the flow as well as our last one, but like I said, I'm saving it for last.  So, with a little change of pace, we go to China...

A Chinese restaurant has come under fire for offering discounts to women depending on their bra size, it's reported.
According to the Qianjiang Evening Post, local people complained to the council after seeing posters advertising discounts for the Trendy Shrimp restaurant at a mall in Hangzhou, the main city of coastal Zhejiang province.
The company's adverts showed a line-up of cartoon women in their underwear with the slogan "The whole city is looking for BREASTS". It listed discounts for women depending on their cup size, with greater offers available to women with bigger busts.

First thought:  I guess we are learning Chinese for breasts is XIONG.  "Man, she had big XIONGS".  Could be the new catch phrase.

Second, smooth marketing move.

The posters first appeared on 1 August and have since been removed, but Trendy Shrimp general manager Lan Shenggang defended their sales strategy. "Once the promotion started, customer numbers rose by about 20%," he said, adding that "some of the girls we met were very proud - they had nothing to hide".

Makes one wonder if the Hooters in Fort Wayne might have survived if they would have passed t-shirts and short-shorts out to female customers.

Okay, maybe not....


And now, the grand finale...

ITEM:  Life imitating (commercial) art, MWN edition...

A Florida couple transporting a propane barbecue grill inside their SUV was injured Sunday after a woman lit a cigarette, sparking an explosion.

The grill was turned on and the propane tank was open in the back of the red Kia Sorento when the couple left a barbecue at the Central Florida Fairgrounds, Orlando police Lt. Cindy Lane told the Orlando Sentinel.

Except this was a REAL thing...

...and reminiscent of this MWN post from June which featured the 153 petroleum martyrs in Pakistan who were collecting gas from an overturned truck when- yep- someone lit a cigarette, and everything went sky high.  Now, to me it looks like the windows in this car were up, so I hafta ask... PROPANE FUMES?  The stuff stinks for a reason.  I can tell when they change the tank on the forklift at work half a plant away.  I'm really curious how you DON'T smell it in a closed car.

"Herbert, I TOLD you to lay off those damn onions on your burgers!  Good God, now I'll have to light up a smoke just to clear the air!"

"But Wanda, dear, I didn't..."

To be continued in the next life...

Actually, though the couple survived with some burns.  Will they be any wiser?  I don't know.  But I bet the gang back home gets a BANG out of THEIR vacation pics...

Monday, August 14, 2017

Vacation aftermath: Out like a lamb...

So the rain that wasn't on Friday kept us from doing a lot at the end of things (though we had a pretty fun Thursday night in anticipation of the washed-out wash-out).  Still, we did have some notable stuff to fill you in on.

So Thursday afternoon, Laurie brought up the possibility of rain Friday just as I was looking into what we might do for a road trip that day.  So I decided another go at Mitchell's would be an appropriate diversion, and while we didn't meet another orange-peel-clad patron, Laurie did enjoy thumping me 3-1 in pool and everyone enjoyed the last of my glasses of beer.  That is, we enjoyed the bartendress dropping my empty final glass and her buddy claiming she spiked it.  The football reference was due to the Bears playing preseason football on the big screen.  Their opening drive interception prompted the on-air analyst to say, "The Bears weren't expecting THAT to happen on their first drive..."

Friday brought a morning walk in the "pouring rain".  As we went down the canal trail, just after a man with another doggie way ahead of us passed, a deer sprung from the canal and into the soccer pitches...

I recognized her from earlier because she had a lame front leg.  She was still pretty graceful until she thought about it...

And no sooner had I put the camera away than her partner erupted from the same spot...

At a guess, I thought they had been sleeping in the canal...

...but that being approximately where they came from, I bet they were actually just passing through.

After that, another of our famous backyard picnics...

Saturday we had the annual Fantasy Football draft.  Which amounts to a 15-week-long guess on who can pick the most players who are alive at the end.  After that, I decided to spend a little time trimming the front bushes...

From this pic here, you can kinda see that the bushes were somewhat similar to Albert Einstein and his kids.  Now it is my understanding that the apartment complex and their quality crew of cheap Mexican labor are responsible for maintaining this, but they don't.  And so we set out with our only weapons- a pair of scissors and a pair of tin snips- and to work we went.

And the after pic, with enough of the neighboring bush to get a before-after sense.

And Sunday, in between battling agendized idiots on Twitter for far longer than it was really worth, me and Scrappy stumbled onto a crime scene...

Apparently they found a body on the boat ramp by the PFW footbridge about an hour and a half before our arrival.  I messaged the FWPD that around sunset, there were two vehicles where they were putting down their little evidence markers, and a dozen or so people seemingly enjoying the river view from lawn chairs about 20 yds or less from the bridge.  I also mentioned that in my late night walks I had often noticed young Latinos meeting there of late, and I kinda wonder if this wasn't a drug deal gone bad.  It is a dead end, and one can never tell if a car parked there is someone fishing somewhere, or hitting a lunchtime joint, or whatever.

Laurie's vacation was up Sunday morning; mine's up tomorrow.  Way too short, as always, and I wonder if I'll be any better prepared to face life for the effort.  But, like she said, we had a pretty good time, accomplished most of what we planned to do, and didn't have to enter the rectum of Toledo or get an emergency rent-a-car to do it.  Here's hoping I'll be able to reclaim my optimism about humanity in the next 12 hours (my time, as it is Sunday night as I type).  But with a world that wants to know nothing but arguing and killing, I have my doubts anymore.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Sunday Message: Solomon's fools and the new Tower of Babel

I truly am coming to despise this world of men.    Take for example the events in Charlotte.  You have the increasing illogical progression of PC in the desire to remove a statue of Robert E Lee- a man who in his own way was doing what he could to alleviate the curse of slavery, but felt as a warrior he had a duty to his state.  So instead of being a Christian who freed his slaves willingly, he becomes this gigantic racist who must be erased from history.  You have, on the other hand, a group of idiots who never got the memo that race hatred is a thing of the past- or should be- and they use the removal of said statue as an excuse to explain why race hatred is justified.  Which of course, gives all of these people the right to accuse President Trump of being racist/fascist/hateful for not using the magic words "white supremacists" in his statement, just like others named Obama the Right Hand of the Mahdi for not saying "Islamic Terrorism".  And while everyone is labelling everyone else, some mental deficient takes out his rage with a car.

And then "internet detectives" track down the son of the previous owner of said car and blame him for being a drug-taking, whack-job leftist (which he may be) hired by George Soros to cause Chaos (Maybe if I adjust my tin hat).  And guess what?  He was a totally different guy- a registered Republican wrapped up in whatever this "Alt-right" crap is.  And because of his none-too-tight grip on his marbles slipping, well, that's Trump's fault.

Is it? NOT my point.  The point being, there are a plethora of Proverbs in the Biblical book of the same name that cover this entire story and all its participants, and most of them go something like this:

Pro 12:23  A wise man conceals knowledge, but the heart of fools cries out foolishness. 

Meaning, with social media driving our society, we have a LOT of fools in this nation just waiting the chance to mouth off and prove the point.  It reminds me of the set up of the Tower of Babel story in Genesis.

Gen 11:4  And they said, Come, let us build us a city and a tower, and its top in the heavens. And let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be scattered upon the face of the whole earth. 
Gen 11:5  And Jehovah came down to see the city and the tower which the sons of Adam had built. 
Gen 11:6  And Jehovah said, Behold! The people is one and they all have one language. And this they begin to do. And now nothing which they have imagined to do will be restrained from them. 

I think we are approaching that time of "having one language" again- the language of the internet.  Through that language, we build up vast movements of blind men and fools, each donning their verbal armor and their shield to keep the words of their opponents from reaching their ears.  And we go forth to war, with artillery blasts of memes and surface to air rockets of news video clips, pounding out a space for our cut-and-paste ground troops to push into the pockmarked Passchendaele where we post our agendas.

Sometimes I wonder why God hasn't sent the confusion back to level our towers- but why should He, because we are building towerS- plural- we are confusing ourselves as it is.  But it is more than that.  Consider this, if you will:

Rev 13:11  And I saw another beast coming up out of the earth. And it had two horns like a lamb, and he spoke like a dragon. 
Rev 13:12  And it exercises all the authority of the first beast before him, and causes the earth and those dwelling in it to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed. 
Rev 13:13  And it does great wonders, so that it makes fire come down from the heaven onto the earth in the sight of men. 
Rev 13:14  And it deceives those dwelling on the earth, because of the miracles which were given to it to do before the beast, saying to those dwelling on the earth that they should make an image to the beast who had the wound by a sword and lived. 
Rev 13:15  And there was given to it to give a spirit to the image of the beast, so that the image of the beast might both speak, and might cause as many as would not worship the image of the beast to be killed. 
Rev 13:16  And it causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark on their right hand, or in their foreheads, 
Rev 13:17  even that not any might buy or sell except those having the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of its name. 
Rev 13:18  Here is the wisdom. Let him having reason count the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man. And its number is six hundred and sixty-six. 

Here we are introduced to the concept of the False Prophet, who will go before the Beast (Antichrist) using the words of the Dragon (Satan).  And he will create an IMAGE of the Beast, that all might worship him.  The internet, and perhaps technology we are just now seeing (remember the news story about the factory chipping its workers?) and tech we've yet to see, are the building blocks of that image.

So, I don't think we'll be seeing Facebook and Twitter Wars going away very soon.  And I think the people that will be willing to share real ideas instead of textual propaganda leaflets will be fewer and fewer.

As I type this, for example, I had just myself (perhaps foolishly) spoke out that I thought the President had expressed himself adequately on the Charlotte situation, even if he hadn't said the magic words.  I was told, in order, that they didn't want to hear it; I was belittled; and then accused of being drunk.  Or self-righteous, whichever fit the narrative best.

Defend myself?  I was told point blank I was being "muted".

Pro 10:8  The wise in heart will receive commandments; but a babbling fool shall fall. 

Like I said, Solomon had a million of 'em.

And I'd best leave it at that, lest I "Come to despise this world of men".

Friday, August 11, 2017

The Great Z

So today we were supposed to get rain (Big shock: nothing close), so we didn't plan on doing anything on Friday of vacation week.  Thus, we merely went out to eat, and as Laurie drove, I got flipping through the new Rand McNally we bought.  I knew the last alphabetically arranged place in Indiana would be my old stomping grounds of Zulu, but I wondered how Zulu fared against the rest of the nation.

As it turns, they were tenth last in the US of A, and I wondered about the places that beat it out.  It made an interesting tale.

9- Zumbro Falls, SE Minnesota.   Zumbro Falls is an actual incorporated city, pop. 207.  It was incorporated in 1898 and founded near a grist mill dam which gave it the falls it was named after, though neither mill nor dam exists anymore.  The latest flood from the mighty Zumbro River in 2010 led to the town's evacuation.  And 15 miles west as the crow staggers is...

8- Zumbrota, SE Minnesota.  Billed as "the only Zumbrota in the world" (with good reason), it is a small city of 3,252 (second biggest on our list, kinda), and is locally famous for having a park built around the last functioning covered bridge in the state, which is additionally the focus of the yearly covered bridge festival.

7- Zuni Pueblo, WC New Mexico.  This is essentially a community of Zuni Indians, somewhat spread out over an area called a "census designated area"- a small community analogous to an "unincorporated area" plus its environs.  The whole thing has a population count of 6,032, of which 97+% are Zuni.

6- Zuni, SE Virginia.  Pronounced "zoo- nigh" to distinguish it from the Indians, Zuni is the remains of a more substantial town that found itself shrinking due to being off the Interstate and then being heavily damaged by Hurricane Floyd in 1999.  Now boasting a grocery store, gas station, an engine repair shop, and a pair of churches (at least one of which is Presbyterian), it formerly had a bank, hotel, peanut processing mill, and dentistry offices, as well as a gun shop that went out of business when the owner was shot in a hold-up.  Its main claim today is being just down the road from Virginia's lone nudist colony.

Tie 4- Zurich, NC Montana and NC Kansas.  The Montana version is an unincorporated podunk which has in common with Zulu the legend that its name was picked with a dumbtack being stuck into a random page of an atlas. (Zurich from the European page, Zulu from the African page.)  While finding much else about it on Google was complicated by the existence of a Hotel Montana in Zurich, Switzerland, this Zurich does have two somewhat famous residents.  The first, one CC Beck, was the original artist of the Big Red Cheese, the original Captain Marvel.  The other is Gus Bradley, who coached the NFL's Jacksonville Jaguars a few years back.

The Kansas edition, pop. 99, might have had a brighter future had two fires in 1918 and 1921 not wiped out half the town, and then half of what was left.  In the 1920's they had a slogan:  "Zurich It's Never Idle".

3- Zwingle, EC Iowa.  Founded by the Court brothers, Daniel and Albert, from Pennsylvania.  An attempt to incorporate it in 1908-9 ended unfinished.  It had the first Reformed Church in the state, for what that's worth.  Pop. 91.

2- Zwolle, WC Louisiana.   Zwolle (pronounced za-wall-ee) was a point on the Kansas City Southern Railroad where builder Arthur Stilwell (for which Stilwell, Oklahoma, home of Oklahoma State U., was named) ran out of bucks.  So he went to Europe, specifically Zwolle, Netherlands, where he convinced Jan De Goejin to invest about $30 mill in its completion.  It has a pop of 1,759.

And the alphabetically last...

1- Zylks, NW Louisiana.  In the very NW corner of Louisiana, Zylks was apparently founded and run by members of the Zylks family, who incorporated it in the late 1800's.  But it soon began to shrink, and by the time they filed to have it unincorporated in 1960, only the family general store was left.  And even it was gone by 1975.  But like many little towns that have since faded from sight, it remains on the map.

As for Zulu, I found a page that says that it found mention of 4 OTHER Zulus in the US of A- but it only had mentions but no locations for three of them,   The fourth, which doesn't even rate a wiki article or a Rand McNally mention (both of which we have, nyah nyah nyah), is in central Alabama inside the rough triangle of Tuscaloosa, Birmingham, and Montgomery.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

And now, the M10 post, AKA co-ordinates VIXV442M10

As this is "Tony Packos recovery Day", I have time to figure out and get the M10  done.  And, I decided- at least this week- to do a "bubbling under" chart.  This list, complete with fake numbering starting at #101, includes  the tunes in the shuffle that have not made the 10 yet, but would like to.  This way, if you get curious about what might be coming, what didn't make it, or just plain are scrolling by this to get to the good stuff, you know what might be coming up or what to look for.

I actually did "109", but to not necessarily overburden the gig, I will share the top "105" with you:

105- Telefono- Phoenix.  The first thing I've actually liked off their Ti Amo lp, and I've heard a good deal of it.

104- Just Look At You Now- Howard Jones.  The 80's rocker has a new Best 1983-2017 lp, and this is a live cut from it.

103- Sweet And Soft- Narcoleptic Dancers.  This duo is actually the first band for Melody Prochet of Melody's Echo Chamber, from I think 2009.

102- In Undertow-Alvvays.  They also have a new lp that I have had a hard time liking as much as the last, but this one is the best so far.

101- Heart In A Suitcase-Pom Poms.  They finally got an lp together around last summer's Betty and 1-2-3.  This was the best of the other tunes, and it's beginning to grow on me from a slow start.


That out of the way, here is this week's top ten.

Our first debut is from 2006.  It actually already hit the charts back then, cracking the top 40 in the USA, UK, New Zealand, and Austria, and top ten in Canada.  It was off, of all things, the soundtrack to the Curious George movie, and it's by Jack Johnson:

The second debut you already saw last week- Wayne Newton with The Letter at #9.

"YES!!! I made it!!!!"

Amber Bain AKA The Japanese House moves up a notch to #8 with Somebody You Found.

Next up, two songs with 7 weeks on the countdown on the way down.  First is Public Access TV with Monaco, down 3 to #7;  next is the 3-time #1 by courtship., Sunroof, sliding back to #6.

Who says the M10 isn't influential?  Last week, The Killers were sliding down the Billboard Hot Rock Tracks from a peak of #11 down to 34 with The Man.  Then I debuted it, and this week it goes back up 17 spots to #14!  Also at #7 Alternative, they go from 10 to #5 on the M10.

Northern Faces climb from #7 to 4th this week with Cops Come.

And last week's top three is this week's top three- Quiet Hollers and Funny Ways at #3, Cotton Mather's Girl With A Blue Guitar at #2, and for a third week, Foster The People and Sit Next To Me at the top!

That sets up FTP for being the first song to get four straight at #1 since Tangerine's You'll Always Be Lonely over a year ago!  Can they do it?  To stop them, Quiet Hollers would have to become just the third song to make #1 in its 7th week on the chart- and the 5th song to spend week seven or later at the top overall!  But Cotton Mather lurks at #2, and 4 and 5 took big jumps this week!  To find out, tune in 8 days from now when Karen Carpenter guests (as guests go on this show) for a trip through 1971!

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Tony Packos and the rest, Trip # 3

Wednesday was the Grand Trip to Toledo- a city that, outside of zoos, Ft Wayne could learn a lot from.  We started with a stop at the Botanical gardens.

"No, we STARTED by abandoning ME for the day. HMPH!"

This was the first time thru the "turbine zone" that not a one of them were moving.  Not. A. One.  The trip back they were making a full rotation about every minute and a quarter.

Welcome to da Botanical Gawdens, just off of Elmuh Street.

I thought maybe Francis of Assisi from a distance.  Actually, "The Lady With The Birds."

They had a yuge Herb garden...

Love that inscription

This slab had a whole lot of rocks with words on them.  You were supposed to make art shaped sentences with them.  Kind of a cool kids thing.  In Ft Wayne, the stones would prolly all be through someone's window.

A 3D style metal scene at the end of Sycamore Allee`

They had a creek that wound its way around a small lake.

Dude taking a pic of a big fish

I just got wee little ones.

From there, it was off to the day's true goal...

There!  There it is!

My Hot dog and "add another for $1.99", Laurie got the Paprika Chicken.  And for a change we got to sit under the M*A*S*H cast picture

This was new, I believe
 And after acquiring shirts for the occasion, it was off to...

...the beach!

Laurie got a good shot of a whale.

A red-tail hawk patrols the area

Water was a lot worse this year- lots of floating algae

This was my buddy.  We sat and talked for quite a while.

Then Laurie decided to feed the seagulls some Tony Packos Carmel Corn.  Her entourage went from 2 to 2 dozen in about 15 seconds.

"Hey!  Ya missed me, girlie!"
Next a stop at the nature center, where we found not feasting deer but...

Mr Fatty here.

This was one long walk, but a beautiful day for it (compared to the 95+ degree day we visited last year).  In fact, instead of last years' spaghetti-superhighway induced orbit around Toledo's anus, we had no trouble finding anything- with the minor exception of a construction caused side trip through the U of Toledo campus, which was okay because it netted us a journey part-way around the famous Glass Bowl, home of the Rockets.  The combination of not listening to Google Maps the first time and buying a brand new Rand McNally that was much better than its 2009 predecessor worked like a charm.  And all crammed into one 10-hour trip!  I had plenty of time to throw in a power nap, open a cold one with my brand new Batarang bottle opener from the Hall Of Heroes, and even get Boofus his treats before writing this up.

Tomorrow- Who knows?  The major stuff is off the list, but close-in stuff is still available.