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Iron Filings - 70

 

Whatever happened to TCBY?

 

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That's Outrageous Department:  Found out from a reliable source that one of our neighbors has been trapping squirrels and releasing them out in the country – which explains why we've been wondering why we haven't been seeing many squirrels in our yard. I don't mind them at all. Along with the birds they just add a bit of bounce to the yard and they've never damaged any of our flower beds or other plantings. According to wildlife experts, though, taking them out in the country can be a death sentence since they won't know any food or water sources or how to deal with any unfamiliar predators. Plus, there's a good chance that any of the trapped females will be leaving behind a nest of babies that will surely die. We don't know these people so we're hesitant to confront strangers to inform them of their illegal activity. Lots of stranger confrontations don't seem to end well these days. Any suggestions?

 

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For those of you who find keeping up with pop culture and pop expressions about as easy as eating soup with chopsticks, here's a moment of enlightenment. Occasionally, but not often, you will hear someone, usually of some renown,  referred to as a "Goat." This is not a nasty expression. For example, Simone Biles, the gymnast, is called a Goat. What this means is that someone is the Greatest Of All Time. She is certainly that. Okay – you've been informed.

 

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Wow Security – Recently I had to go into MSN (Microsoft) to change a credit card for my ad-free Hotmail. No problem there so I logged out, not realizing that I'd also logged out of my Hotmail (which I rarely do). Then I tried to log into my Hotmail but, alas, it would not accept my password. Tried again and again (double- and triple-checking the password) and finally clicked on "Forgot Password."  Enter rabbit hole. To change the password I had to answer some bizarre questions such as the date I first started using Hotmail – decades ago – the most recent email addresses I'd sent from the account, and another email address of mine that they could respond to me on – which I fortunately do have. Went to that address and was told their automated system couldn't verify my ownership of the account based on the information I'd sent them. What followed was another series of procedures I could barely understand (and I'm pretty good with Microsoft's rabbit holes) so I said the hell with it and logged out. Enter cyber magic. Sometime later I went to log into my Hotmail account and – poof! – there it was. Problem solved without a solution. I'm convinced we are all insane.

 

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I think I'm beginning to feel a bit marginalized. We all hear the mantra regularly – "Let's keep the conversation going" – with the conversation being about LGBTQ+ issues, black, brown, Asian lives, racism, feminism, and so on. These are all significant issues and worthy of continuing exploration. And explore we are. It's hard to find a newspaper, magazine, television program or even movie that doesn't in some way analyze past injustices and mete out appropriate guilt.  As often as not, too, that guilt is directed toward the white male. I don't have a big problem with that. Our founding fathers were, for the most part, white males, and the country they founded was, for the most part, a patriarchal one. So it's not surprising that those of my ilk – white, older, male – are seen as the problem at the very least, certainly not the solution. So it's a little lonely out here wrapped as I am in my cloak of sympathetic understanding and being ignored as is, perhaps, only proper given the circumstances.

 

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That one was really pretty odd, wasn't it?

 

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It seems so refreshing, and so normal, to see major league baseball fulminating in its concern over the increased use of the spitball by pitchers, especially since spit is no longer the issue; instead, we're seeing the use of various tacky substances, some of which can only be detected by professional chemical analysis. Strangely enough, hitting statistics are down this year, although home runs are apparently way up.

 

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If you need to have your mind blown with a summer read, I recommend The Only Plane In The Sky. It's an oral history of 9/11 by those most intimately involved, from the Twin Towers to the Pentagon to Pennsylvania – hugely sad, gripping, a page turner, and a very fine book.

 

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G. K. Wuori © 2021

Photoillustration by the author