Monday, December 18, 2017

pathos, karma, poetry and humor in Alabama, America and Key West politics

Follow up with an Atheist who recently friended and conversed with me on Facebook, as reported in the past two days' posts at this  website:

Sue
I was responding to the “Jesus Christ” lightning part of your response, when you put me in your newsletter.
You’re still being insulting for reasons I can’t fathom. Much as I enjoy your newsletters, I don’t have room for people like you in my life. 

PS: We have met.
And We were friends on FB before I got off for awhile. You have reminded me why I got off.


Sloan
clear skies, fair seas
, to you
Sancho Panza forwarded yesterday:

Fwd: sexual harassment

Virus-free. www.avast.com

(Which claimed to screen out 95+ percent of virus scams. I installed it.) 

Sancho separately commented on yesterday's post:

Alas, the quixotic pathos is gone! Sometimes winning is losing and sometimes losing is winning! Aren't you tired of winning yet?!
 *>:) devil
A true lover of wisdom has hands too busy to hold on to anything! He learns by doing and every pebble in the path becomes her teacher!  Oink

I replied:

A fellow named Paul "Bear" Bryant once said, "Going for a tie is like kissing your sister." Another time he said, "Winning isn't everything, but it sure beats what comes in second."

pa·thos
ˈpāˌTHäs
noun


  1. a quality that evokes pity or sadness.
     
    "the actor injects his customary humor and pathos into the role"
    synonyms:poignancytragedysadness,
    pitifulness, piteousness, pitiableness

    "the pathos of Antoine's predicament"

Poor Donald Trump and his dyed yellow, or is is orange, hair? If they did a poll on who to pity the most, surely Trump would get the most votes. 

In Alabama, Roy Moore.

Shucks, if they (or you) lived in my skin just one day and did not instantly go insane and then, luckily, die, they (and you) just might take off running and never stop 
*B-) cool.

Wish what was given to (befell) me is contagious and infects all of humanity. What a Christmas present that would be. 

Meanwhile, the line of windmills to poke with my tired worn out old lance stretches over the horizon.

Don Q

Sancho wrote back:

Seems to me, "IT" has already befallen... "oh me, oh my, the sky's falling" seems to be the popular meme these days!
Anyway, I could care less about Trump's hair or anything else about him for that matter, there is nothing special about him or the guy who preceded him, to whom you donated $2300 to get him elected... at the end of the day, very little changes in our lives because who gets to be POTUS and if it does change, it's never for the best... but that's the natural built in senescence of all living things, including this nation!

I replied:

Thought you missed pathos.

That $2,300, albeit it not intentional on my part, gave me entry into Barack Obama's soul, which later dreams proved.

I learned that he was fake, while you, and many, thought he was real.

I warned you and many not to vote for him. You and many voted for him.

Last year you and many voted for Donald Trump.

That, Sancho, is PATHOS.

As is the many who voted for Hillary.

Don Q

Sancho wrote back:

Well, what can I say, at least you're consistent! *>:) devil

A bit of pathos, and more, up in Alabama yesterday:
I think God should reward Alabama for its display of decency and integrity with another National Championship.
Comments
Jeff Parker Well... there is the matter of Saban’s silence. Had Saban had the courage to do the right thing and stand up to Roy Moore I would agree. With great celebrity comes great responsibility for leadership. I said the same thing about Paterno. Hats off to Charles Barkley. You don’t get to cherry pick only the easy battles. Saban’s on his own here vis championships.
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Ginger Buck A few weeks ago, I gave Lane Kiffen hell on his twitter account when he was posting his Trump love. I told him it showed bad judgment for a head football coach to get involved in politics, and that you would never catch Saban doing that.
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Jeff Parker Understood. There is merit in what you say. I see Roy Moore as very different than ordinary debates over taxes or who should be state controller or governor. This was an unusual election and one of the rare moments when leaders had an opportunity to influence what this state should stand for. Im not beating Saban up for punting instead. Just disappointed and not too sure he then deserves divine intervention into his games. Probably just me though.
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Ginger Buck We aren't talking about what HE deserves. We are talking about what WE deserve!
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Jeff Parker Ginger Buck ah. Well okay then! 😊. Cheers
Sloan Bashinsky Well, that's an interesting theory. Alabama wins the BSC, because Alabama did not elect Roy Moore. I've seen stranger things happen with Alabama football.

Such as, the University of Alabama did not announce that its team would not play Florida State in any postseason game, if Florida State's star quarterback accused of rape, Jameis Winston, played. Winston was from the Birmingham area. Auburn then beat Alabama in the Iron Bowl with a weird no time remaining on the clock runback for a touchdown of a missed long Alabama field goal. Auburn did not announce it would not play Florida State postseason, if Jameis Winston played. In the BSC championship game, Auburn ran off with the 1st half and it looked like it was going to be a slaughter, but Auburn hardly showed up for the 2nd half and Florida State won. This year, Alabama beat up on Florida State, knocked its star quarterback out for the season, but Alabama lost 4 1st team linebackers, which became Alabama's weak spot, most evident in the Mississippi State and Auburn games, but plainly visible before then. All karma relating back to Jameis Winston. All in the college football context. All of which I published.

I don't see Roy Moore v. Doug Jones in the college football context. I imagine about as many Alabama fans voted for Moore as voted for Jones. I don't think it was Nick Saban's place to mix college football with that U.S. Senate race. However, and again, it would be a bit of poetry and a message of sorts, if Jones' win spiritually translates to Alabama winning the National Championship, but, and again, would Roy Moore and his base ever see it that way? I kinda doubt it. They can't even see the vote on December 12 indicated Moore was not God's candidate.
Nancy Wildman Cole Ginger, I think that sound a bit Moorish! 🤣😱🙄🤣
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Ginger Buck We can do without your negativity, missy.
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Sloan Bashinsky In the sense of Moors being Islam back a ways in time, the Moors looked for signs of God's activity, just as fundamental elements of Christianity, Catholicism and Judaism did. That's still the case. And they still seem incapable of even imagining God is not on their side about some thing(s) dear to them.

Looks to me Alabama was picked over Ohio State for the BSC this year, because Ohio State got slaughtered by Clemson in the BSC semi-final game last year, and Ohio State got slaughtered by unranked Iowa earlier this year, and it's been a while since any team slaughtered Alabama, and the BSC championship games between Alabama and Clemson last year and the year before were about as good for spectators as championship games get.
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Ginger Buck Ha! I don't think that was the kind of "Moors" Nancy was referring to. She's Methodist.
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Nancy Wildman Cole Ginger Buck you know I’m kidding. Couldn’t resist!!
Ginger Buck The same naysayers who were saying Alabama wouldn't make the playoffs (WRONG) were the ones saying Alabama was not going to elect a democrat and we were wasting our time (WRONG). So the two things are intimately connected. I don't know how in the world y'all don't see that.
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Sloan Bashinsky Ginger, after the Auburn-Alabama game in November, I published that I did not think Alabama deserved to be in the final 4, and I've been an Alabama fan since I imagine before you were born. The night after I published that, I had a dream which left me thinking I might wish to rethink my thinking Alabama would not be in the final 4. The BSC games will shed MOOR light
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Sloan Bashinsky Just as the vote on Dec 12 shed more light.
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Ginger Buck Moore light, Moor light, or more light?
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Sloan Bashinsky MORE.
I dreamt in a nap yesterday afternoon of my college fraternity (Kappa Alpha Order, Vanderbilt) intramural football team was on the field, I was supposed to be out there with them, but was not there. Was on the right sideline. The opposing team 
 was ... Florida State. Even so, the KA quarterback, one of my dearest friends back then, from Bradenton, Florida, high school all- American turned engineer at Vandy, turned and threw a long pass my way It was just a bit too far, it seemed I would run head-on into the wall separating the spectators from the field trying to catch it, and I didn't really try to catch it but perhaps I could have anyway. Then, it was Florida State's turn with the ball. It felt in the dream like I had let a big opportunity get away. I had no clue what that dream meant. Now I'm thinking maybe it's about your post, Ginger. That sure would be a hell of a statement, if the Tide beat Clemson, then beat the winner of the Oklahoma- Georgia semi-final. Since they killed prophets in the old days, and still sometimes do, I think maybe I will not predict but will simply hope it turns out as you hope, Ginger. If it does, perhaps even the Moors, the evangelists, the Republicans and Roy Moore might stand up and take note. But then, perhaps not.
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Sloan Bashinsky Oh, the Kappa Alpha creed is: Dieu et les dames (God and the women). Kinda looks like Alabama women tilted the earth's axis enough to toss Roy Moore off his horse. That, and it seems a heap of Republicans, maybe close to 23,000, wrote in Nick Saban and other people's names. Perhaps in that backhanded way, Saban got involved in that race anyhow.
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Ginger Buck Well, no doubt KA (the civil war guys) is the old south in your dream. Roy Moore is the Florida State QB with his sexual misconduct allegations. Not sure why they were on opposing teams in your dream since they were kind of on the same team in this race. Unless, those old south frat boys now inhabit places like Mountain Brook which voted against their own party to eschew the child molester.
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Ginger Buck You could have been one of those boys - one of those old south boys who now inhabit Mountain Brook. But you chose a different path. Maybe that's what that pass you let go by is. It would have cost too much of yourself to try to catch it.
Sloan Bashinsky Ginger Buck Actually, I was one of those Old South boys who inhabited Mt. Brook, but life brought bumps and my views changed (understatement). I was not on the Florida State team in that dream game. I was on the team playing against Florida State. My old friend, the KA quarterback, was not an Old South guy. We had plenty of Old South guys in the fraternity, far more retro than I was, to the point they pissed me off at times and I let them know it. We also had quite a few members from above the Mason-Dixon line, including New England. The secret initiation of KA is modeled after the Holy Grail tradition, nothing whatsoever to do with the Old South. That's something perhaps KA should make publicly known. It's something I reminded a bunch of my old KA brothers in a Facebook thread several years ago, and some of them didn't like it, although one of them wrote in that what I had said was true. I think the pass I missed maybe was I was not fully on board with Alabama deserving to be in the BSC final 4, maybe because I was not thinking about the Florida State Jameis Winston karma still playing out for the Alabama football team, which karma, yeah, Roy Moore represents in my opinion.
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Lissa Jay Ginger, there is no man blinder than one who will not see.
Steve Gregory Some of you have started drinking way too early, and on Sunday at that.
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Ginger Buck Its the communion wine.
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Sloan Bashinsky Hard to for me to imagine Jesus wanted Roy Moore
2008 Key West Citizen 

Not to be outdone, down here in Key West yesterday:

Yesterday around noon, I bumped into an old member of The Resistance on the sidewalk in front of the home of two other old members of The Resistance, Arnaud and Naja Girard, who for some years have published Key West the Newspaper (thebluepaper.com) online every Friday. Key West’s version of Al Jazeera. Deserving of several Pulitzer awards for investigative journalism. I rent an efficiency apartment in Naja and Arnaud’s home.

The old member of The Resistance once attended city and county commission meetings regularly, and spoke her thoughts during citizen comments. Not so much anymore. Yesterday, she said she finally realized that local government officials don’t listen to citizens who attend public meetings. I said I had figured that out a long time ago.

She said the people who have said they are running for mayor in 2018 don’t excite her. I said the angels started telling me early this year that I would run for mayor in 2018. I thought it was a dumb idea, but I do their bidding. She said she had voted for me in the past. I asked if she thought people would vote for me, if I run in 2018? The question had no answer, although the results of the previous 5 times I ran for mayor might be the answer. I came in last or next to last.

She said she wished Naja would run. I agreed, said, I tried to get her to run and she was not interested. She would win, the old member of the Resistance said. Without even campaigning, just file to run, and she gets elected, I said, but she is not interested. I did not say Naja and Arnaud are worn out trying to help Key West and the Florida Keys. They busted their butts with the blue paper, and their thousands of ardent readers did not ardently respond with donation$.

The old resistance fighter said the city’s tree commission is deplorable. The mayor should not get to point all seven tree commissioners. I said I agreed, but that power was given to the mayor long before the current mayor took office.

The term-limited 5-term mayor, who cannot run for reelection in 2018. The term-limited 5-term mayor the resistance fighter said had done very little. I said he’s okay, but not imaginative. He runs good city commission meetings. Agreed, the old resistance fighter said. But he agrees with what his tree commissioners do. Yep, I said.

I said the assistant city attorney, who advises the tree commission should be in prison, based on what I have personally observed of him at tree commission meetings and in other government meetings and in court cases he represented the city.

As if something was in the wind …
In today’s Key West Citizen, my interjected thoughts in bold italics:

Tree board members defend decisions

By Scott Unger Key West CitizenDecember 18, 2017
Four members of the Key West Tree Commission refuted a resident’s recent claim that the board rubber stamps removal requests and fails to properly inspect trees.
The way to determine rubber-stamping is to look at the statistics: ie., how many tree removal applications are made and what percentage of the applications are granted.
Board members Glenn Kapsch, Neil Mellies, Robin Robinson and Sue Sullivan all said they sometimes make site visits and any removal requests have been thoroughly vetted by Urban Forestry Manager Karen DeMaria by the time it comes to the board for a vote.
Ah, but what deals are made with the applicants, which result in their applications being approved?
The responses came after resident Russell Pope spoke about the number of trees being removed and accused the board of not visiting sites with trees slated for removal at Tuesday’s meeting.
“I feel we as a group make every effort possible looking at the facts prior to the chain saws coming in,” Kapsch said.
Kapsch visits sites to discuss problems with homeowners and many times an arborist is hired to inspect the tree and their opinion is also weighed by the commission, he said.
Sullivan said she visits the majority of sites but sometimes can’t if the property owner is out or the tree is unaccessible. In those cases, Sullivan said she relies on DeMaria’s analysis.
“DeMaria is an arborist and biologist and does exceptional research on the trees,” Sullivan said. “Photographs and background information are available and are a reliable source for decision making.”
Mellies said he visits tree sites when the request is based on property location and also praised the work of DeMaria.
“I have a great amount of respect for Karen and I am never uneasy voting in favor of or denying a permit based on her recommendation,” Mellies said.
Ah, but what deals are made with the applicants before DeMaria makes her recommendation?
Although she has concerns about asphalt parking lots with no shade and the visual impacts when large street trees are removed, Robinson said overall the board does a good job at maintaining the island canopy by enforcing the planting of replacement trees after a removal.
“Check out the number of inches of new native trees that have been planted as replacements last year as a result of the work of the Urban Forester and commission,” Robinson said. “Compare Key West’s tree coverage with that of other small cities. We stack up very well.”
Now we get to the deals. You see, what the Tree Commission does is extract mitigation from applicants, in the form of planting new trees, buying or giving the city new trees to plant on its right of ways, or money, in exchange for a tree removal application being granted. The new trees are young trees, which will take decades or longer to become the size of the tree allowed to be taken down. The property owner cannot plant all of the new trees on his/her property, because eventually the new trees with take over the property and require being taken down. So, what is going on is the Tree Commission allows old, beautiful trees, most of which are not causing trouble, but a trouble is invented to justify the removal, in exchange for the applicants reforesting the city’s rights of ways with small trees. Furthermore, what is a protected tree in Key West is a moving target. What was protected, say, 10 years ago, is not protected now. The Tree Commission has levied enormous fines for “overtrimming” protected trees, such as royal Poinciana, which today are viewed as invasive trees and okay to remove entirely.
The board often unanimously approves requests because they have already been vetted by DeMaria, the homeowner and a certified arborist and all attempts to save the tree have already been made, Robinson said.
“Witness the number of unanimous votes without disagreement,” Robinson said. “Seven disparate people reaching the same conclusion.”
It is well-known in the city, if you don’t take the deal, you don’t get your application to remove a tree granted. Then, you can appeal that adverse decision to the city magistrate, who is paid by the city government and nearly always rubberstamps the Tree Commission’s decision, egged on by the assistant city attorney mentioned above, who already had egged on the Tree Commission to deny your application. Then, you can appeal to the local circuit court for a trial de novo. Which cost a lot more money in legal fees. Which tends not to change the outcome in any event. This process costs the city nothing in legal fees, because the assistant city attorney paid a fixed salary to do all of that.
Robinson said she rarely receives complaints about the work of the board from her weekly gardening column in the Citizen and while attending various meetings in town.
“I wonder at the remarks in the Citizen’s Voice,” she said.      
Fake news, DeMaria. Disregard Citizen’s Voice, just like you and the Tree Commission disregarded this and other citizens’ voices during Tree Commission meetings.
Community members rarely attend meetings or make public comments against applications and the whole community should assist in the care of the island canopy, Kapsch said.
I quit attending and commenting at Tree Commission meetings, because it was obvious the commissioners could care less what I said during citizen comments. It also was obvious they were running a local RICO operation. Which is why, some time before that, the Key West Citizen Editorial Board had written an editorial in which they called the Tree Commission the Tree Taliban. While throughout Key West, the Tree Commission was called “the tree Nazis”.
“It takes all citizens not just a few board members to help keep good trees in place and to help get problematic trees removed to insure a good balance is maintained,” he said.
Board members Denise Bravo and David Jackson could not be reached for comment and Billy Davis is a newly appointed member to the board. 
I told the old resistance fighter yesterday that maybe if I run in 2018, I will run for king. For that’s what the city needs, a king or a queen, who calls all the shots. The city commission is a joke when it comes to getting done what needs to be done. Just attend city commission meetings and see, I said. Amen, the old resistance fighter said.
We said goodbye and I walked into Naja and Arnaud’s home, wondering if people like the old resistance fighter and Naja and Arnaud would actively campaign for me if I filed to run next year?
Naja and Arnaud Girard
I told Naja and Arnaud about my conversation with the old resistance fighter, and again I asked Naja to run for mayor in 2018, and again she said it ain’t gonna happen; she and Arnaud gave the blue paper everything they had, and their readers did not financially support them. They have better things to do. I said I did not blame them. They will be sorely missed by their community after they shut down the blue paper. 
Moving laterally ...
undeveloped Wisteria Island, left, Sunset Key, right, 
Key West in background
Last night, Arnaud and Naja told me about how the people wanting to develop Wisteria Island had singled out different resistance fighters we know, not the woman I met on the sidewalk, and had won them over, one at a time, to Wisteria Island being developed. 
For real?, I asked. 
Yeah, for real, Naja and Arnaud said. We wondered if they had gotten to you, too, and decided that was not possible.
I laughed, said, well they did try to get to me. 
Really? 
Yeah, really. Wanna hear about it? 
Sure.
It was in late 2009, perhaps early 2010, before I moved back up to Little Torch Key for a few years, before there was any question about who owned Wisteria.
My good friend Todd German, who was very pro-Wisteria development, called me about us going out to Wisteria in his skiff and walking around it. I said I would like to do that, because I had never seen the Island except from Key West.
So I met Todd at the Key West Yacht Club, where he then lived on a small cabin cruiser, and we motored out to Wisteria in his skiff. We went around to the back side of the Island and landed and got out and walked over about one-half of the maybe 20-acre island. I told Todd it reminded me of places I used to hunt in Alabama, and if it was left alone, some day it would be beautiful.
I pointed over to nearby Sunset Key, which, like Wisteria, was man-made by dumping channel-dredging spoil a century ago, perhaps. 
Sunset Key was owned by the Walsh family, and it had been turned into a posh vacation resort. The Walsh’s were in partnership with the Bernstein family, which at that time thought they owned Wisteria Island. The two family’s were pushing the city and county governments to turn Wisteria into Sunset Key Deux.
I asked Todd if we could motor around Sunset Key, as I had never seen it up close either. Sure. So around Sunset Key we went. 
Todd asked what I thought? 
I said, the island looks like it was made by a plastic surgeon. All the architecture looks alike. There is no native vegetation. Every tree and shrub was imported from the mainland.
Todd said he liked the development. 
I said I knew that, but I prefer nature to development.
Todd said he wanted to show me another spoil island, which had become a nature preserve. Sure, I said. So we went to Demolition Key, a few miles up the keys from Key West.
Dang, was it beautiful. Completely grown over, bird rookies all over the island. No going onto the island said signs, nature preserve.
Todd said it was called Demolition Key because at one time the US Military tested explosives on it. I said, this is what Wisteria Island would look like some day if it is left alone.
I told Arnaud and Naja that it was not long after my tour with Todd that I came up out of the blue with a notion of the Bernsteins giving Wisteria Island to Key West, as a nature park in perpetuity.
Create a Wisteria Island Society, with a small outpost on the island selling Wisteria Island Society t-shirts, visors, baseball caps, bumper decals, with a small concession stand. Put a small ranger station on the island. Public bathrooms with compost toilets. Solar-powered throughout. All tent camping for a fee. Put a nude beach on the far side of the island, out of view from Key West. Run a shuttle ferry back and forth to the island from Key West, for a small fee.
In return, the city gives the Bernstein and Walsh families a 100-year, $1 a year lease on several waterfront acres on Truman Waterfront, near the Walsh’s 5-star resort next to Mallory Pier. On that gifted waterfront the Walsh and Bernstein families build a 5-star resort with a marina. The city is paid 1 percent of the resort’s gross annual revenue for 100 years.
I asked Todd German to present that win-win to the Bernsteing and Walsh families. He did not seem eager to do that. I urged him to present it. I don’t know if he presented it, but all of the above I reported at goodmorningkeywest.com, and I figured in that way the win-win made its way to the Walsh and Bernstein families, who did not respond, but kept trying to get the city and county’s approval for the development of Wisteria Island. Which both the city and the county shot down, under heavy pressure from citizens.
Then the unexpected happened. In a world-class legal brief, Naja, who is not a lawyer, and Arnaud, who is a lawyer in the French jurisprudence system, persuaded the US Bureau of Land Management that the U.S. Government, not the Bernstein family, owned Wisteria Island.
That led to the Bernsteins filing a federal court lawsuit over who owned Wisteria island, which lawsuit the Bernsteins ended up losing at the trial court and appellate court levels.
I could not help but marvel at how God had worked that out after the Bernsteins and Walshes had blown off the win-win God had given to me for all concerned.
The current 5-term Key West mayor knew all about that win-win proposal. As did the then sitting 6 city commissioners. As did the then sitting 5 county commissioners. 
Yet, as far as I know, only one person besides me thought it was a brilliant idea. Key West attorney Michael Halpern, who told me it was a brilliant idea. Halpern is, I suppose, the most respected and feared lawyer in the Florida Keys. Respected and feared because of his brilliance in local lawsuits.
Maybe Halpern will campaign for me, if I run for mayor in 2018 against a batch of political newcomers who will be a while yet learning just what I have forgotten about what's actually going on down here.
I told Naja and Arnaud last night that it's really hard to remain independent. Not be bought. With money. Praise. Friendship. That's why I have no social life. Don't get invited over for dinner anymore.
Naja and Arnaud said, I get invited over for dinner by them. I laughed, said, I live in your home. They laughed.
In a dream around dawn this morning, a Key West homeless man I know pretty well told me the tracker on my leg had been removed. 

Back in the spring of 2004, his and my tents were beside each other on the bridle path across from Smathers Beach in Key West.


Since the spring of 2004, I have felt like I was spirit-bound to this area.


Maybe I've done my tour of duty here?


How many times did I run for mayor and other public offices down here, and said what no other candidates said, and they got a whole lot more votes than I got?


Nine times. In my spirit code, 9 is the number for completion.

I have a lot of friends down here I would miss and they would miss me.


I can't imagine being missed by developers, elected officials, candidates for office, and people with no sense of humor, God, karma, poetry.
moi introducing the incumbent 
now term-limited out mayor 
at a 2016 candidate forum
he had declined to attend
sloanbashinsky@outlook.com

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