107 thoughts on “Our Daily Thread 2-1-20

  1. Good morning everyone.
    I didn’t have time to read the entire post about the watch on yesterday’s thread.
    However, it reminded me — I may have told you.
    I still have a Whittnaur watch I bought in Saudi Arabia for $53.00. That was a sizeable amount in those days, (1952) but still cheap in the PX.
    It still keeps good time, but the spring is weak. I wound it Sunday morning, and the time now shows 12:25. So? It doesn’t run long on a winding.
    I don’t use it every day.
    Now I need to set my calenday.

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  2. “Good Saturday morning to you!” That is a direct quote from the Fox news lady.

    Waiting for the roofers. I saw a daffodil in bloom at the neighbor’s planting by their mailbox. It suppose to be around 50Β° today. “Surprise 70Β° on Sunday!” Quote from the weatherman.

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  3. We attended the Bridges fundraising dinner last night. Bridges is the name for our local crisis pregnancy center.

    Two things stood out in the presentation: 40% of abortions in the US today, and the number is probably higher, are chemical abortions–the two-step pills women take in the privacy of their own bathrooms.

    We had predicted something like this would happen with the technique first became known.

    It’s here.

    The second is the center now provides the treatment that will reverse a chemical abortion before a woman takes the second pill.

    It only costs $206 per woman to provide the abortion reversal pill.

    Thanks be to God it’s available in my town.

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  4. The header photo: I have loved creeks all my life, since I was a little girl and we would travel as a family around Arizona, seeing the sights. On occasion we would come across a creek, and it was always a delightful surprise. We walked around the Sedona area once, and we came across a creek winding through lush vegetation and fruit trees, and my though was I could not imagine a prettier place to live: a burbling creek, fruit fresh off the tree, and red rock beauty!

    When I moved to Nashville, I planned to rent for two years and then buy, but the house where I was renting a bedroom soon proved not the best option for me. (I put half my possessions in storage and rented a bedroom, which I was using as a bedroom and an office, and it turned out really to be far too cramped for that. Plus the landlady was reluctant to use the air conditioning–she’d set it on 78 and turn it on for about two hours every other day–and later I happened to meet someone else who rented from her, and found out she was equally reluctant to use heat in winter. Her husband was a pilot, and he’d recently been transferred to fly out of Dallas, so they were trying to keep up two homes and keeping costs down–but every couple of weeks he would be home for a long weekend, and then I tried to stay in my crowded bedroom and give them some time with the house virtually to themselves. Finally I did the math and realized that with what I paid to rent a bedroom, plus a storage locker, I could pay a mortgage, and if I rented out a bedroom to someone else, I’d actually be ahead on the deal, so I went ahead and started looking for a house–the down payment and more was already sitting in the bank and waiting.) Anyway, that house didn’t work inside, but the outside was lovely. It had a butterfly bush that drew lots of species of butterflies and got me really noticing what a variety butterflies have. And down past a large backyard was a creek. I’d go and sit and listen to the water, and from the house I once saw a kingfisher diving for fish. When the landlady found out I was looking to buy, she offered to sell me the house–she’d move to Dallas–but it would cost more than I could afford and I didn’t want to mow that huge lawn. But it made me think about buying a home on a creek. Unfortunately, real-estate listings just didn’t mention that particular feature, and I never did look at a house that was on a creek.

    When my husband and I got talking about moving, we discussed features that were essential and features that were nice extras. He said he loved ponds, and I said I loved the animals that came to ponds, but I could take or leave the pond itself. But I love creeks and waterfalls, running water. He also misses living on the ocean, but I’ve never lived near one. In Chicago, two different places I lived (five years total) were within walking distance of Lake Michigan–and I hardly ever walked there, and didn’t often find beauty when I did.

    After we bought our condo, I went outside to take a photo, and I went far enough back to get the whole unit in the frame . . . and realized that from that direction, a creek flows by our home! (When we came with the real-estate agent, we came from the other direction.) It is part drainage ditch, part creek, meaning that now it has concrete pipes flowing into it to channel the rainwater from other places into a set area rather than letting water run where it will and erode the wrong areas. But that creek had a mallard family on it or first summer, and I frequently see muskrats in various places along it. When I walk to the pond where I have seen beavers and herons and once even an egret, I basically walk down the sidewalk that runs along this creek practically the whole way.

    At the end of the first block of its flow, the edge of our condo development, the creek plunges in a mini waterfall. It isn’t a very steep one, but it’s still pretty. This is what I have included in the photo above. As you can see in the photo, where the spray hits plants in cold water, it freezes into ice. I’ve gone by this corner when it is as cold as 13 degrees and the creek is still flowing–I have yet to see it freeze, though I imagine someday I will. But after two or three days below freezing, the ice buildup on the plant can be pretty heavy, with the water behind it continuing to flow. I’ve had days when I can see water, ice, frost, and/or snow all in the same little area–it’s impossible to tell which is ice and which is snow in such scenarios, but I have gone by when there is probably some of each on top of the ice and next to running water. Sometimes I can even see the mist rising from the creek, not really steam but it looks like it, with the air temperature and the water temperature distinctly different.

    So, I didn’t have “creek” as a must-have on my list, but God gave me a bonus one. And I knew about the walking trails fairly soon after we made an offer on the home (before we closed on it), but I didn’t know about the pond with turtles and herons until we’d lived here more than a month. Another bonus!

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  5. There is a brook right over our property line in the back of our yard. My next-door neighbors own that property, too (they own a bunch of property in the neighborhood), and have a couple little bridges over it. (The bridges do not have railings as they are not that long, but they are wide enough to not feel like you’ll fall in.) When it rains a lot, that brook gets pretty high, and flows fast.

    *******
    Here’s part of an article in our local Patch about X’s arrest:

    “[X], 31, of Enfield, was charged this week with second-degree criminal trespass and sixth-degree larceny for the missing packages and with criminal attempt at third-degree burglary for trying to enter a shed, according to a warrant.

    A resident told police that he witnessed a man pull into the property in a gray Honda Civic, rummaging through a collection of packages delivered to the home and stopping to “play with the pigs,” on his way to a shed, from which he took nothing, according to a warrant.

    The packages were found in [X]’s possession and he explained he paused during the caper to give the pigs “treats,” he found near a shed, according to a warrant.”

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  6. Good morning. We were told he is not sleeping through the night. We were told correctly. But it was not too bad. He was awake for less than three hours. Hmmm, that does not sound so good.

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  7. Do you realize we have five Saturdays this February? That’s only going to happen two or three times in your life, so enjoy them!

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  8. I broke down last night, fixed a cup of lemon-ginger tea, added some lemon juice, a generous amount of honey and a shot of bourbon. I hauled myself off to bed. I awoke about 2am and decided I was back among the living. I am on the mend and should be fine by Monday. I am not one to “take to my bed and lounge about enjoying my infirmity.
    I watched the post from yesterday with a sinking feeling. I think I have told you that College Boyfriend has my father’s Rolex. It was purchased sometime between 1957 and 1961. At this point he has had it about as long as my father had it. I have the two Omegas. One was my father’s everyday watch. It is an Omega Seamaster. I have it put away. If something happened to it I would be devastated. I have worn the other one for a period of time but the stem has broken twice. I need to send it off to Atlanta and have it restored and then I can wear it again. It is massive, the face is about the size of a half dollar, which about covers the top side of my wrist. I have been using my phone to tell time, but recently have decided I would like to start wearing a watch again.
    Somewhere I have my mother’s Bulova watch. I don’t know if it was a graduation present or a gift from her first husband. I suspect the latter. The older I get and the most distance I get from my mother, I think her first husband was probably the love of her life and spoiled her. To that end I am glad she had 6 years of marriage to him before he died. I don’t think she and my father were a good match and probably brought out the worst in each other. It is true that time heals all wounds. I find myself finding more compassion for my mother the older I get. I don’t forget the hurt, but I understand a little better why she did the things she did.

    I was given my first watch the end of my 7th grade year. I had straight A’s and that was the reward. It was a black faced Bulova. I still have it in a box although it hasn’t worked in years. No one knows how to repair these things now. You just throw them away and buy a new one. So sad.

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  9. You know I have to do it. This song has been begging to be played for days now. And even though we’ve covered a lot of the lyrics — and a little creative offshoot of them πŸ˜‰ — well, how about that guitar solo the last two minutes? A must-hear. πŸ™‚

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  10. I recently bought a watch (haven’t worn one for years). It was marked $20.00, but I found out at the register that it was 50% off, so I got it for $10 plus tax. Yay! Probably nothing that will be of any long-lasting value, though.

    The studio where I’m teaching has no clocks inside the teaching rooms, reportedly because students stare at the clocks. So I got a watch so I could stay on schedule. My phone screen stays lit for only a few seconds, and I don’t want to keep turning it on to see what time it’s getting to be.

    Now I just have to remember to put on my watch when I go teach there!

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  11. All the things wrong with the Hotel California and why a Christian should not listen to it.

    On a dark desert highway, cool wind in my hair
    Warm smell of colitas, rising up through the air (Colitas – marijuana buds)
    Up ahead in the distance, I saw a shimmering light
    My head grew heavy and my sight grew dim
    I had to stop for the night.
    There she stood in the doorway;
    I heard the mission bell
    And I was thinking to myself
    ‘This could be heaven or this could be Hell’
    Then she lit up a candle and she showed me the way
    There were voices down the corridor, (Voices could be of demons)
    I thought I heard them say
    Welcome to the Hotel California
    Such a lovely place (such a lovely place)
    Such a lovely face.
    Plenty of room at the Hotel California
    Any time of year (any time of year) you can find it here
    Her mind is Tiffany-twisted, she got the Mercedes bends (Tiffany twisted materialistic of this
    world)
    She got a lot of pretty, pretty boys, that she calls friends (Sexually promiscuous or gay men)
    How they dance in the courtyard, sweet summer sweat
    Some dance to remember, some dance to forget
    So I called up the Captain,
    ‘Please bring me my wine’
    He said, ‘we haven’t had that spirit here since nineteen sixty-nine’ Wine= The Holy Spirit. The
    Church of Satan was founded in 1969)
    And still those voices are calling from far away,
    Wake you up in the middle of the night
    Just to hear them say”
    Welcome to the Hotel California
    Such a lovely place (such a lovely place)
    Such a lovely face.
    They livin’ it up at the Hotel California
    What a nice surprise (what a nice surprise), bring your alibis
    Mirrors on the ceiling,
    The pink champagne on ice
    And she said, ‘we are all just prisoners here, of our own device’ (Addictions)
    And in the master’s chambers,
    They gathered for the feast
    They stab it with their steely knives,
    But they just can’t kill the beast (Obviously this doesn’t need explanation the
    BEAST being Satan)
    Last thing I remember, I was
    Running for the door
    I had to find the passage back to the place I was before
    ‘Relax’ said the night man,
    ‘We are programmed to receive.
    You can check out any time you like,
    But you can never leave!’ (Once you sell you soul to the Devil….)
    Source: LyricFind
    Songwriters: Glenn Lewis Frey / Don Felder / Donald Hugh Henley
    Hotel California lyrics Β© Universal Music Publishing Group, BMG Rights Management

    And you wonder what all I learned in Christian School. I could break down the meaning of Alice Cooper’s song Cold Ethel but will spare you….and remember I learned all of this IN ELEMENTARY SCHOOL!!!!!!!!!

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  12. The watch segment from last night is about 6 minutes.

    I always wear a watch, for the past few years it’s been a Timex Expedition — something practical and tough and easy to read. I will also look at my phone but it’s frankly handier to just look at my wrist πŸ™‚ I think watches are making a comeback, anyway.

    I slept for 9 hours, so lovely. That is (partly) what Saturdays are for in my world.

    I’m going to spend the day continuing to catch up in the house, I have the wood open shelf in the kitchen all cleared and cleaned/polished — now to decide what goes there, both to look nice and also to be practical. Goal is to not clutter it up again. But you know how that goes …

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  13. Kim 12:20 – wow. πŸ™‚

    From the folks who actually wrote the song:

    ~ The song is about “excess in America”

    While there have been many theories that contemplate what the song represents, the Eagles’ band members have revealed in multiple interviews that the true meaning behind “Hotel California” is a commentary on the hedonism and self-indulgence of America. ~

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  14. And

    ~ “Hotel California” is the title track from the Eagles’ album of the same name and was released as a single in February 1977. … The lyrics of the song have been given various interpretations by fans and critics alike, the Eagles themselves describing the song as their “interpretation of the high life in Los Angeles” ~

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  15. The Eagles played and sang this song at Aloha Stadium while we lived in Hawai’i. We sat in our backyard (not far away but across the water) and listened to most of the concert–including this song.

    Curious memory.

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  16. I’m worn out tired, too, DJ, but get to attend a 10-year-old’s basketball game in about 90 minutes. Someone has to drive her and that someone is me!

    I’ve always worn a gold Timex on my left wrist. Forever.

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  17. Chas, 12:07, I really like the beginning of the video, too. Sublime guitar playing. But I also enjoy the sound of Don Henley’s voice (singing lead there), so that makes the whole song enjoyable for me. πŸ™‚

    Kim, right? And if the lyrics don’t put an eternal curse on you, the backbeat will.

    /sarc

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  18. I knew what Kim was talking about. I also grew up with all that. My childhood church’s decision to introduce contemporary music brought a lot of that to the surface from those who vehemently disagreed, while ATI preached the evils of rock music as gospel truth (if you weren’t struggling, maybe the music you were listening to had a back beat – so many songs had that backbeat, even the Gaither’s music did). I was thinking the other day how paranoid the 90’s were in my circle, how everything seemed so dark and evil seemed to lurk just around the corner. Some genuinely horrible things did happen that directly affected families around us that only increased the sense of darkness – two suicides by teens and a teen who murdered his mother, all of whom were known to families in the church; the murderous attack by a stranger on one of my extended family members; the declaration of three youth, including a son of a church member, that they were neo-Nazis that was published in the local paper – all contributed to that sense of darkness. But the response was incorrect, the adults around focused on the growing darkness, instead of the light of the world, and panicked, like Peter looking at the storm rather than Christ.

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  19. Speaking of dark, driving home last night, I had a nasty experience. Some speed demon who passed me took exception to the fact that I still had my high beams on after they had passed me. So the driver pulled off the side of the dark and lonely highway, waited until I drove by, pulled back on behind me, tailgated me, and turned on his high beams. I didn’t care about the high beams. I know how to use the night setting for my rearview mirror and I have had many cars behind me with high beams on. It was the obvious malice behind the actions that frightened me (also, I drive a small car and it was a truck doing this to me). The driver hung on my back bumper for several kilometres, before speeding past me again at an extremely high speed.

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  20. Now, speaking of light, something odd happened today. All of a sudden, we could not turn off the bathroom light. My father replaced the light switch, it still would not turn off. So, he took out the fuse for the light, removed the switch entirely, and put the fuse back in just to test it, and sure enough, even without the switch, when the fuse was in, the light was on. Now he is trying to figure out what is going on. The fan for the bathroom is on the same circuit, and it turns off and on, so it is mystifying as to why the light will not turn off.

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  21. Kim- I often wondered what the symbolism in the Hotel California lyrics were, but I’ll take the word of the writers. Also, as a Christian I can discern that the lyrics are a warning, especially since the narrator tried to escape.

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  22. Cheryl, 3:27, there’s that word “sweat” again … just like in the lyrics to Hotel California.

    “…sweet summer sweat, some dance to remember, some dance to forget…”

    Just can’t escape that song! πŸ˜€ (Good thing I like it.)

    Roscuro, I grew up in a conservative congregation, but fortunately there wasn’t the nonsense you and Kim were exposed to regarding contemporary music composition, intent, etc.

    Some years after I started homeschooling, though (late 90s, early 00s), there was a VHS tape circulating in the Christian homeschool community about the evils of contemporary music. I ordered it from a company that was very restrictive in what it would sell, as if homeschooling parents couldn’t be discerning enough to determine what evil influences were out there that children, in the company’s opinion, should not be exposed to.

    They devoted a whole page of their catalog to explaining how they chose what they would sell, and why other things (like Laura Ingalls Wilder books, for example, and almost all fiction) was not good for Christian children. (C.S. Lewis’ The Chronicles of Narnia were off limits, too.)

    But, anyway, the video about the evil in just about any kind of music besides old hymns, was right up the company’s alley, with regards to their serious-Christians-don’t-partake-of-these-things philosophy.

    Waste of money, buying that video. I watched it once (by myself, not with the kids) and never again, but threw it out some years later after a big purge. I was glad for the solid upbringing I’d had that didn’t involve extra-biblical teachings like that. It helped me not get sucked into the goody-goody, look-at-us-well-behaved-homeschoolers-who-only-listen-to-one-kind-of-music (their approved music) mentality.

    (I did fall somewhat under their influence for a while, though, with the books I bought from their company. They only sold books whose characters’ righteousness it was implied came through their own efforts and good deeds. It took me a number of years to see the damaging effects a steady diet of books like that, without any of “the evil influence” books mixed in, had on my two oldest daughters.)

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  23. 6 Arrows, was that Vision Forum by chance, which company no longer exists because of its founder’s not-so-good deeds? Hypocrisy often hides under legalism, in my experience.

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  24. Cheryl, 5:09, no, it was another company, but Vision Forum did certainly have some of its own legalistic characteristics. VF, in one respect, though, was not as blatant as the company I mentioned, in that VF sold a lot of fiction/adventure-style books. Fiction was frowned upon, except in very rare cases, by the other company. Their view was something like Fiction = Fantasy = Not Real = Not Truth. (That’s my paraphrase, but that was the general gist behind their rejecting most fiction — that it wasn’t truthful or something. I don’t remember their justification for selling the very few copies of fiction that they did.)

    Vision Forum’s legalism included their idea that girls and women must never work outside the home, whether married or unmarried. But there was more, according to a friend of mine who researched their history further than I did. Women’s so-called “silence in the church” became a rule that women must never speak in a mixed (men and women) Bible study. A woman also must never have a conversation with a man outside of her father’s or husband’s presence.

    Highly hypocritical then, yes, what the founder did with the live-in nanny (went into her room repeatedly with sexual intent, and did act on that intent). He put her in the very position he preached was wrong — for a man and a woman who were not married to each other to be alone together, having any sort of interaction.

    The whole men-are-the-protectors-of-women got turned on its ear with that act. He didn’t protect that woman; he violated her.

    I hope that this post doesn’t provoke a “yes-but-women-are-sinners-too” reaction like there’s been in the past. Of course they are, but sexual abuse and every other form of abuse is still abuse, and it’s not men-bashing to call it out when it’s a man who is doing the abusing. (And it’s far and away more often that the abuse is man-to-woman rather than vice versa.)

    Alright, time to fix supper. Thanks for listening to my chatter today. Yesterday I got (all, I think) my stuff together to take to the music studio Monday. So I had a lot of free time today — my last pretty open day for a while. Next week I jump to 10 students, start accompanying university choir again after a several-week hiatus, and keep up with the homeschooling. (We’re not behind! Yay! All caught up from having been sick for 2 1/2 weeks in early/mid-January!)

    Happy February, all! I’ll pop in now and again with updates from the β™ͺHotel Arrow-Householdβ™ͺ. πŸ™‚

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  25. 6 Arrows, there were many different sources for the same paranoia. They tended to overlap, so that there was a homeschooler who independently stocked her own handpicked catalogue of homeschooling materials who also happened to be a member of ATI. Like attracts like. We were guilt tripped for reading Narnia by another homeschooler long before we joined ATI – she claimed her background in the occult had made her more sensitive to spiritual forces. That family was one of the irreparable tragedies we witnessed. We had connections with a great many Christian homeschooling famies in our area, not to mention the even wider international connections through ATI. My mother was a bit of a pioneer of homeschooling in our area, so her name was passed from person to person and many women sought her out, asked to borrow her materials (some of which were never returned), and poured out their woes to her. We, being present in the same house as a great many of these conversations, could not fail to pick up what was going on. So, when I comment on any issue related to homeschooling and the surrounding conservative Christian culture, I am drawing on a very large pool of firsthand experience.

    I am observing that the cultural Christian immigrants from southern and eastern Europe are only just now dealing with some of the same foolishness bred by fear of loss that the older cultural Christian immigrants of British background did one and two generations ago. Fundamentalism, or as Pastor A called it “Funnymentalism”, with all of its paranoia, conspiracy theorizing, and desperate longing for a past that never really existed has found another life among the Eastern Orthodox, etc. Metaxas is an example of this; I get his FB feed and he will share things that make the same wild claims of demonic oppression, etc. that I last saw or heard in my youth from those fearful adults around me – his posts frequently produce a sense of deja vue in me. I am not really surprised, as I recall Armenian Christians and other more recently immigrated cultural Christians who joined ATI in the last years that we were a part of the program. Culture shock can make people do unwise things. What I find weird is how Muslim immigrants have picked up Christian conspiracy theories about things like Rock music and made them their own.

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  26. I slways liked the Eagles guitar solo for “Hotel California”. I was thinking about that solo when I listened recently to an Egyptian alt rock band. How does the guitar solo in this compare (the famous Egyptian folk rhythm called Saidi can be heard in this piece):

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  27. As for those who believe we should not listen to contemporary music, but only traditional hymns- they miss something. Those hymns were contemporary music when they were written.

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  28. When I was homeschooling I found the Son Light curriculum appealing, and also the Elijah Co. although we did not use their materials. We went to an annual homeschool fair and I bought a mixture of deeply discounted used curriculum of all sorts. I tried to stick with Saxon Math and Apologia for upper level science courses. We used Wordly Wise workbooks for vocabulary training. For his 1st through 5th we used Calvert school in a box with a correspondence teacher so he was a registered correspondence student in the state of Maryland. That was a great entry into homeschooling because he got use to it as the norm and had to submit tests to another teacher besides just mom. I was the true teacher with full responsibility to ensure learning kept on track, but the other correspondence teacher was a great force for support.

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  29. Peter, I might be wrong, but I never thought the “contemporary” aspect to be the problem, but issues with the music itself. In some cases the shallowness of the music (not true of all contemporary music that made its way into churches, but surely of the largest percentage) and in some cases with the quality or style.

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  30. Peter, the belief was not so much the new music was wrong, but that the new music – specifically the rythmn – was essentially evil. The anti-rock speakers that I heard at a 2 week ATI music training session made claims not only that the rock beat was demonic but also that it imitated sexual rythmns. It makes me laugh to think of how those very strait-laced and strict men talked about something so explicit to a group of teens of both sexes (who were forbidden even to date one another) now, but that was the kind of stuff they fed us repeatedly. They talked about how placing the emphasis on the second and fourth beat of the metre, rather than the first and third beat, was unnatural and could change brain waves and inhibit the ability to reason (it really cannot, but none of us were medical experts to refute the nonsense). One speaker gave a whole lecture on how the backbeat was derived from the demonic practices of African slaves. Now, I have actually heard traditional West African drumming, and the rythmns in no way resemble popular rock beats – they are actually based on a much more sophisticated and complicated rythmic structure than what exists in popular Western music, and the village drummers in West Africa made the best Western rock drummers sound like amateurs. So I know that whole origins of rock music story is made up of pure speculation, but looking back, it was also an extremely racist and offensive argument to be making, as if Africans had more inherent demonic tendencies in their music than any other culture. ATI sold plenty of bluegrass style hymn arrangements, and if the demonic potential of music was to be based on song titles, the entire gamut of British origin folk styles, which includes bluegrass, would have to be included, judging by the the number of traditional fiddle tunes with titles like ‘Devil’s Dream’, etc.

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  31. Came back to say pardon the clumsiness of my 5th paragraph at 6:10pm. I sensed confrontation coming and didn’t want to deal with it. (Though I was just stepping out of here and in that way wouldn’t have had to deal with it anyway. [I’m obviously not the brightest bulb.])

    Anyway, folks can react to my writing however they react, and that’s not on me. Duck off a water’s back.

    (Lame attempt at humor in the above graph, ha ha.) πŸ˜‰

    Roscuro, thanks for sharing your observations from your homeschool years and current times.

    Janice, I enjoyed The Elijah Company, and my sister the Son Light curriculum. I also used (and still use) Apologia. They have well-constructed courses.

    Have a blessed Sunday tomorrow, everyone.

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  32. 6 Arrows, you’re OK. As for VF, I got their catalog, and I even ordered from them a time or two (for my nephews). And I actually think that children’s toy manufacturers have gone out of their way to create toys of no practical usefulness (meaning toys that don’t prepare you for skills that will help you as an adult). I cringe at such things as telling a child not to touch something because “It’s not a toy” as though the child’s only proper sphere is with toys and items for amusement and never with tools.

    I think there is–and should be–a huge overlap between toys and tools. Balls are toys, but they allow children to exercise, learn their bodies, and learn social skills. Blocks help children learn hand-eye coordination and practice building and design. Dolls help girls practice mothering–or at least baby dolls do. Barbies don’t, and neither do American Girl dolls, and I’m inclined to prefer baby dolls. (My girls would not have had Barbies had I borne children.)

    But the thing I noticed with VF was that they worked way too hard to say “These toys are for boys only, these for girls only.” One expects a VF parent not to put in a sandbox until deciding whose side of the yard it is appropriate for. Little girls sat in wagons pulled by their brothers; they didn’t pull them. For Christmas, we asked our daughter what to get our granddaughter (then 16 months old). She gave us a size for clothes (to grow into), a couple of books she doesn’t have that would be good, links to a couple of baby-friendly sets of cars because “she loves cars right now,” and so forth.

    Well, my husband is on his third female offspring, and he zeroed in on getting the set of vehicles. Meanwhile I am from a family with nearly all boys, and my sister didn’t have her one girl until after I went freelance and no longer had the money to buy fun clothes “just because,” so I wanted to buy clothes. And I’m a reader and writer, so I also bought a book. On Christmas when the gifts were opened, I was amused that the auntie (our younger daughter had also bought clothes, a book, and a set of vehicles (a different set). I mentioned that to one of my brothers (the bachelor), and when I mentioned buying toy cars, he immediately said, “This isn’t one of those gender-bending things, is it?” And I was taken aback. No, she’s just a toddler and likes things that roll! When she was born, we bought her a stuffed animal, and she has stuffed animals and dolls, and we bought her girly dresses. But little girls also like blocks and some like toy cars. And little boys and girls both like to draw and both like to play with instruments, too. And I was a little girl who, typically, loved horses, but atypically I also loved insects. And when my oldest brother once bought my youngest brother one of those science kits that you can use to make a doorbell or rewire to make something else, and told him that when he was a child he had always wanted one, I was a girl but I thought it a really cool gift since science was my “thing” (probably more than it was the “thing” of the gift giver–an artist–or the recipient). Yes, give your little girl dolls and toy dishes and buy or build her a dollhouse. But it’s OK to build her a sandbox and give her a dump truck, too.

    Liked by 1 person

  33. OK folks, it’s official.

    The stupid rodent did NOT see his shadow this AM, so Spring will be early this year.

    Like starting now judging by our temps predicted for this week. πŸ™‚

    Happy Rodent that Lives in the Ground Day to all.

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  34. Cheryl, Eldest Niece always preferred cars and trains and was completely uninterested in playing with dolls when she was small. That continued through her entire childhood – she would rather be building robots than making doll clothes (though she handstitched wonderfully detailed soft sculpture toys from felt). She is an entirely normal young woman now, and loves to hold and play with her baby cousins.

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  35. Also about dolls, while baby dolls do perhaps help train a child for caring for a baby – I say perhaps, because changing a baby doll is a very pale imitation of the experience of trying to change the soiled diaper of a real squirming baby – dolls of other ages and sizes have their uses. We had dolls that populated our dollhouses and were made to resemble older ages than baby that we sewed clothes for, which taught us sewing skills.

    As for adults who worry that a young child is gender-bending for liking toys not typical of their gender, I have one piece of advice, shut up about it. That kind of talk is destructive to a child and can lead to other shatp-eared children bullying the child, calling them names – fill in the modern terms used to call a male effeminate or a female masculine – which in turn can cause confusion in the child’s mind. I have mentioned before that Eldest Niece’s younger brother, Third nephew asked for and was given a baby doll. No one suggested to the lad that he wasn’t acting like a boy

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  36. Hit post before I meant to. What I was going to say is that Third’s father set an example of nurturing to his children by helping his wife with their care from the time they were born. When Eldest sibling was exhausted and the latest baby wouldn’t sleep through the night, it was Eldest in-law who would put on the baby carrier sling, and walk the floor for hours, singing to his child to soothe them. His servant’s heart is reflected in different ways in his daughter and sons who saw his example, and for Third, that meant being ambitious to be a husband and father someday and care for his own children the way his father cared for him, hence his request as a child to have a baby doll.

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  37. AJ- Pennsylvania may have been cloudy, but it’s clear here. So we’ll get the winter weather you won’t get. (But it’s supposed to be 55Β° here today.)

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  38. Cheryl and Roscuro- I see your point about the music being the problem. But if I remember correctly, four part harmonies came along in the late 1800s and were considered by some to be sinful. My point is that many of those old hymns people say are “good” music are from that era. My point is that the music the legalists claim is good was frowned upon by the legalists of that day and age.

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  39. Peter, oh I agree that each generation throws up its hands in horror at the next generation’s music. There was a musical interval, the tritone, that in Medieval music was considered to be of the devil, due to the sense of dissonance it produced. Nothing new under the sun.

    Sidenote: it is very difficult to say when exactly four part harmony was introduced. Late Medieval music used polyphony, which led into four part harmony. The German church began using chorales, which are sung in four parts, in Luther’s day. Each country had its own musical traditions, and with the Reformation, those national churches that broke away from the Catholic Church began to move away from the pattern of Gregorian chant the Catholic Church had established and introduce musical traditions derived from their own folk music, such as the English church quire, made up of village musicians who also would play at local dances, etc. Then, there are non-Western music traditions, such as the Maori, which developed have harmony completely independently of any Western tradition.

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  40. The most famous German chorale (the organ introduction is in the slightly later Baroque tradition – chorales were the inspiration for Bach’s ornate counterpoint, who wrote many chorale preludes for organ):

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  41. And here is a group of British folk musicians demonstrating the English quire style, with one of Charles Wesley’s hymns (note the use of the violin or fiddle – an instrument considered secular and worldy when it first came into use in Europe – the electric guitar of its day):

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  42. I’m staying in from church, still catching up on my sleep it seems. And I already had an email from the editor about the stories I need to do on Monday, including an la school board election for the local seat. Groan.

    I spent part of yesterday, in between house stuff, trying to figure out how to get an old iPod up and running again — it sits (and has for years) permanently on a plugged-in speaker dock in the kitchen, I’d turn it on sometimes when I was working in there but hadn’t used it in a while. The iPod is fully charged, but it is unresponsive when I try to swipe the screen to turn it on.

    So I spent a few minutes online with Apple Chat, updated my laptop operating system which she said was the first step to restoring the iPod. But I can’t find the iPod on the computer, only my phone and another device or two are listed, not the iPod.

    Soooo, now I believe I need to connect the iPod with the laptop via a USB cord, which I no longer seem to have (all the connector points change through the years). So I ordered one that’ll fit (I’m pretty sure) for $5 on Amazon. We’ll see if I can get it back onto the computer, which I think now is the first step, then update or restore it so I can unlock and play it again on the speaker. That *should*? fix it. We’ll see. Otherwise, it’ll be back to Apple Chat (where their farewell to you is “Have an Appletastic Day!”

    ++++++++++++++++++++

    I grew up with rock music and still love it, still listen to it in the car often times (“classic rock” from the ’70s is the secular music I most identify with still). I’ve seen the Beach Boys, Beatles, Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, The Who, Elton John, and Rod Stewart (and a few others) in live concerts back in the day in the 1960s-1970s.

    But … hearing an outright (loud) rock-style piece in a worship setting? That’s jarring for me. That said, there are a lot of very solid, good pieces being written for worship today but without the loud rock accompaniment and our church uses old/ancient, and new pieces in our ‘lineup’ for worship. Our instruments vary and include piano, guitars and drums (but instrumentalists are instructed to play “lightly” — the singing should always be the focus and dominant sound). Theological soundness should the first and most important “test” for music used during formal worship services.

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  43. My difficulty with contemporary church music is not the music nor words. It is that it’s unsingable. We sang a song this morning called “Great are You, Lord”. Not that it was a bad song, but it was unsingable. By that, I mean, it doesn’t have a memorable tune.
    No one will ever going singing that like:
    Amazing Grace
    Tell Me the Story of Jesus
    When the Roll is Called …
    etc. The tune is entirely forgettable.

    Another thing. The music is for the musicians, not the congregation. We sang, “To God be the Glory”.. Great song. But after the first verse, we didn’t go into the second until the instruments replayed the last line of the first. You may know the song, but you can’t take your eyes off the song director. I just sense something wrong there.

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  44. Roscuro, when I said “baby doll,” I really just meant a doll that isn’t supposed to be a grown woman and isn’t (ideally) a doll that already has a life story written for it. I can understand the appeal of “the American Girl” dolls, but they are basically actresses, they’re expensive, and they’re “brands,” and so I would have been inclined to steer kids away from them. (I probably would not have gotten them simply based on the price, but even if they were cheaper they wouldn’t be my first choice for a child’s toy. But yes, my sister and I had dolls of different “ages” and sizes, and different materials, and they all fit into their little families.

    Barbie dolls are something extremely different from a baby doll, and I simply wouldn’t get them for a child (well, for anyone). Paper dolls are fine for dress-up, but Barbie doesn’t seem useful for play.

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  45. DJ, when it comes to loud, the organ can drown out an entire worship band. I only played an electric organ with the worship team, but I never even turned up the volume midway, because when I did, I could wipe out the whole team.

    Chas, the only reason you notice the unsingeable modern tunes is because they have not yet been weeded out. Time gets ride of mediocre music. I have a lot of older hymnbooks and the hymns that are no longer sung are almost all because their tunes are very poor. The modern revival of hymns that is going on (there is one happening, it just is taking time to trickle down to smaller churches) is actually taking some of those old hymns that were set to unsingeable melodies and thus were forgotten and giving them better tunes.

    As to the musical interludes did you listen to the performance of “Ein feste burg ist unser Gott” (A mighty fortress is our God) that I linked? It had several interludes for the organist. Musical interludes for congregational hymns are an innovation that was introduced several hundred years ago and Bach’s organ preludes, which are extremely complicated, were intended to be played in the church service.

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  46. I might add that Bach met with some criticism in his day for his use of instrumental music in church. He was employed for a time by the Calvinist prince of Anhalt-Kohen, who observed Calvin’s minimalist ideas of church music (in the area of church music, Calvin and the Catholic Counter Reformation agreed), so Bach largely confined himself to secular instrumental music during that time in his life and composed, among other works, the famous Brandenburg Concertos:

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  47. I actually like musical interludes, and songs where men and women are singing different lines, once I know them.

    In my church we have a Psalm of the month, which is sung in both morning and evening services for the entire month. Now that I’m teaching Sunday school, I found out it is also sung in opening exercises for the younger kids. And the January tune was largely unsingable, but it was written as only one (long) verse, so it was a lot shorter than most. So the one leading the singing always said, “It’s short, so let’s sing it again,” and the kids would moan. I sympathized with the children on that one–it’s not a good tune, and we’ll sing it three times today even if we only sing it once, so let once be enough! But now we’re into February and a new one.

    Our younger daughter just called, and she is on her way down for a brief visit. At Christmas she had ordered our presents too late, and she said she’d bring them down, but her dad has been sick since Christmas. So now she’s coming to see us, and it will be good to see her!

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  48. Cheryl, we also have psalters, as the Eldests used to attend a psalms-only Presbyterian church (they now attend an OPC), and my father, being curious about the psalm settings (I get my insatiable interest in different kinds of music from him), asked for a few copies of the psalter. I have tried playing them and we tried singing them as a family for a time, but we found the tunes mostly unsingable and the words poorly versified. Isaac Watts’ reinvention of the Psalms, which he did in response to poor versification of the Psalms in his day and for which he was criticized by his contemporaries for introducing a dangerous innovation, really marks the beginning of the era of hymns in English language church worship – Luther had already begun the similar chorale trend in Germany.

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  49. I like musical interludes — so long as I know we’re doing one. I don’t want to be a surprise soloist. But those are usually well noted in our bulletins & on the screens.

    And we also have men/women only lines in some songs, Be Thou My Vision is one in which we’ll have men/women singing lines in response to one another, very nice effect.

    Hollywood Presbyterian Church, where I’ve been several times in connection with taking Carol to Easter/Christmas evening services there, has a magnificent, full organ (it’s an early 1900s brick edifice that is gorgeous inside, beautiful woodwork throughout. The original pipe organ is beautiful, but no, you cannot hear yourself singing when it’s going full throttle πŸ™‚

    https://www.fpch.org

    ~ The church was founded in 1903. A large brick gothic sanctuary was built in 1923, and seats 1,800, with a balcony on both sides and in the back. The church campus covers a full square block on Gower Street, one block north of Hollywood Boulevard and three blocks from the legendary intersection of Hollywood and Vine. ~

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  50. I’ve noticed we’ve been singing more Psalms and our pastor has said he’s speaking w/the other elders now about purchasing psalters. We’d not go “psalms-only,” but his feeling is that the singing of Psalms should be part of the worship service on some kind of a regular/weekly basis.

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  51. We had paperback (Trinity) psalters in my former OPC church, they’d recently been published, but no one liked them much (those with musical backgrounds felt they were poorly matched to the tunes and awkward to sing).

    There’s a new combined Trinity Hymnal/Psalter that now is available but I’m not sure how different it is. Do you know Cheryl?

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  52. The English Renaissance, during the time of Henry VIII and Elizabeth I, actually had some excellent settings of the Psalms, but they were no longer much in use – probably thanks to the Puritans, which thought Elizabeth I too much of a compromiser with Popishness, and the English Civil War – by the time of Watts. The great English Renaissance composer, Thomas Tallis, wrote a setting of Psalm 2 (which seem appropriate, as that is the Psalm on the prayer thread) in the third mode (Western music once had more modes than just major and minor) that is well known today thanks to 20th century British composer, Ralph Vaughn Williams. This is Tallis’s original setting:

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  53. The Psalter that Tallis wrote the above tune for was published by Archbishop Parker, the first Anglican bishop, in 1567. The psalter is available online, and, while the notation is a bit different (each voice is written separately – the psalter notes that when sung alone, the Tenor part should be the part sung), shows that four part harmony was already in existence in church music: https://archive.org/stream/whortran00park#page/n515/mode/2up. The eight tunes that the introductory page in the link is referring to the eight original modes, or scales, then used in Western music.

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  54. One more link, and then I’ll stop ;-). Tallis wrote a tune in each of the eight modes for the psalter. Here they are performed in order, after the description of each mode from the psalter:

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  55. Skipping a few comments up here to respond to the Psalter questions and comments. Roscuro, psalters are all over the place. We had the Trinity Psalter at my previous church, and from it we sang one psalm per Sunday (using the hymnal for the rest of the songs). I didn’t like it; it was awkwardly worded, with parts of speech in seemingly random order “To bed early go I, for sleep mine now inviteth,” that sort of thing–yes, I made up that example.

    After we moved, they ordered the Psalter/Hymnal DJ mentions above (done by the OPC/ URC), and from what I hear, people like it much better. In fact, one daughter asked us for a leather-bound copy for her birthday last year. And my local church uses The Book of Psalms for Worship (Crown & Covenant publisher). Many of the tunes in it are hymn tunes, the sad ones are done well in minor key, and really I haven’t seen many “duds” among them. It’s a steep learning curve, but with some of the tunes already familiar, and with singing the same song every week for a month, and with a limited number of songs used as the closing hymn, within weeks it was comfortable. Besides, people sing out and we have some trained musicians among us, so it’s usually pretty easy to catch on.

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  56. DJ, my husband knew of the psalter/hymnal several years before it was published, since he had conversations with some of the men compiling it. A lot of thought and care went into it, and I was actually disappointed it wasn’t published before we moved. I’ve been able to sing from it two or three times in visits back to that church, but not enough to say how much I like it (or don’t). It was probably long overdue, though, as the Trinity Psalter really did need to be replaced. There were a few of them that we sang and I thought, “Wait, that’s a sad song–why does it have a danceable tune?”

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  57. Roscuro, I really enjoyed that Egyptian piece. Nice guitar playing in the middle – I could see my son playing that, he’s pretty amazing and his fingers just fly over his guitar.

    I was only able to sing 2 songs this morning. The rest were good songs for someone who can sing really well and knows the song, but for a lay singer like me – not so good.

    AB Simpson the ‘founder’ of our denomination, Christian & Missionary Alliance (which wasn’t supposed to be a denomination) wrote wonderfully worded theologically sound hymns, but his music composition was absolutely terrible. I refuse to sing an AB Simpson song.

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  58. Stupid me says “….so Spring will be early this year.

    Like starting now judging by our temps predicted for this week.”

    And now it looks like whiteout conditions out the window as we proceed to leave for a Super Bowl party.

    πŸ™‚

    Thankfully it isn’t sticking to the streets. It is 34 degrees F at the moment too. πŸ™‚

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  59. Kare, the Saidi rhythmn is quite catchy isn’t it (the dum-tak-dum-dum-tak)? It is one of about ten different basic rhythms in Arabic music, upon which rhythmic variations are played, as demonstrated by the tarbuka (a traditional drum shaped like an hourglass) player in that song, who had a freestyle solo while the drum set was keeping the basic Saidi pattern.

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  60. I have napped again today. Little Miss came over with her daddy so he could mow our lawn and edge. I was happy to see her come and happy to see her goi took the nap after she left.
    I really need to get through Monday and Tuesday of this week the. I can take it easy.

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  61. Cleaning and reorganizing in the kitchen, still. Finally got the last few cabinet knobs changed, a job I’ve put off way too long. Along with that, I’m scrubbing down the cabinets.

    Who are we rooting for in the Super Bowl? KC?

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  62. We’re guaranteed at least 8 more weeks of winter. Maybe even 10 but I hope not. Doesn’t matter what the gh says.

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  63. Watered the plants out front — we’re still getting no rain in our forecast, a very dry year looks like — and ordered some GS cookies from neighbor’s granddaughter.

    I put a little tiffany accent lamp in the kitchen, it looks really cute. My mom had given that to me and I’ve always loved it but when I had it near the front of the house some months ago the dogs must have gotten caught in the cord and down it went. Thankfully, it still works but the shade took some cracks 😦 and the top nob is bent. But it still works and I just turn it so the cracked part of the shade doesn’t show. It’s small, sits on a table and the glass design is flowers in different colors, very cute. And perfect for just a dash of light in the back of the kitchen either for when I’m gone or when I want to leave the main lights out in the evenings.

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  64. In its new place it’s on that high wooden shelf/ledge so no danger of dogs knocking it over again. Originally, I had it in the very-large bathroom at my 1920s apartment in LB, there was a built-in dresser (and a claw-foot tub) and it looks perfect on that dresser top. I’ve never found the right spot for it in this house, though, until maybe now. πŸ™‚

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  65. So is everyone watching the Super Bowl? Nightingale and Boy are watching it on my TV, while I read stuff on my laptop. I am paying attention to the commercials, though. Sometimes I look at the TV during the game.

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  66. Yep. Watching the game. Have to admit, even though I’m pretty ambivalent about either of these teams, I did find myself sort of pulling for SF early on — home state and the underdogs, I guess that was what did it for me.

    I liked the Alexa (in olden times) commercial. πŸ™‚

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  67. I guess the Super Bowl is keeping everyone distracted.
    I did not like the half time show.
    I did like the patriotic preshow which honored many.

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  68. I think it was a football game, Cheryl
    Neither the Gamecocks nor Boilermakers were in it. So I didn’t watch.
    I hear some town in Missouri claims the winners.

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