April 2003 - The Fog Of War
RayzRealm (c) April, 2003

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"If a bomb falls and explodes in the desert
and there's no one around to hear it,
does it make a sound?"

"Hear the marching,
Hear the drums.
Suppose they give a war,
and no one comes?"

Saturday April 5

My brain has been in a total state of read/write lock. I really doubt many people read these entries anyway. It's April 5th Saturday April 5 snowing again, cold and raw well into next week, and maybe more snow on Monday. I wonder if it's global warming, or are we headed into a new Ice Age? Here's a bunch of articles which I pretty much nod agreement to.

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Sunday April 6

I feel a bit more like ranting today. Yesterday I was in the bluest of funks. This past week I met with an Area51 visitor and guy I chatted with a few times on line about a year ago. We had tried to meet for coffee last year, but it never materialized. I saw him online and messaged him. After we typed away for an hour online we spoke again on the phone, then met for coffee. I'm still in the "trying to make new friends and establish new alliances" mode, in hopes of replacing some of the people I knew who have passed away or left the area. Since we live only about 2 miles apart, agreed to meet in the middle at a Starbucks (Ugh!) for coffee.

I used to like Starbucks in their earlier days, before they became a yuppie and dot bomb American icon. It's only my own opinion, but their coffees taste like battery acid or dirty crankcase oil. I suppose I lack the gen-x yuppie sophistication to appreciate their blends of Java. Some people like Starbucks, others prefer Dunkin Donuts. I'm odd, I still like the old A&P 5 O'clock ground beans when I can get them, but almost always buy my whole bean coffee at Trader Joe's. Why spend $10-12 for a bag-o-beans at Starbucks when I can get a pound of Dark roast Colombian beans for under $5 at Trader Joe's. The Starbucks we met at sits next door to/attached to the Trader Joe's in Arlington (heh heh).

The guy I met with and I enjoyed a nice leisurely 2.5 hour meeting over coffee, while we listened to the chirping of cell phones around us. It was like sitting in a meadow on a Spring night listening to peepers, except peepers don't bark into cell phones, "no sell the 1000 shares of Amalgamated Cluster Bombs while the price is spiking." or "I'll pick up the Lexus at the garage after I close this deal."

He and I seem to share the same irreverent view of our political system and people of power in general. I asked if he wanted to have dinner, but he had out of town visitors staying with him to suggested we meet again real soon. Hmmmm, we'll see, I've heard that one before. We did seem to hit it off socially though. I can usually tell within 10-15 minutes if an initial meeting is going to go anywhere. Most meetings over coffee or lunch I have had with Area51 abductees barely make it past the splitting of the check.

Today I took a ride into Harvard Square. It was cold out, but at least the sky was clear. After making my usual first stop at Au Bon Pain, browsed again in The Harvard Bookstore. I made mental notes of a dozen books I want to add to my reading list, but I have to wade through the pile of semi-read books I already have in the queue.

One thing I have to thank mom for is my love of books and reading. I was barely out of diapers when mom began dragging me to the library with her. By the time I was in Kindergarten I could already read, spell and knew (but didn't like) basic math.

I was walking along Mass Ave when a guy stopped to ask me a question. Pointing at the epaulet on the left shoulder of my black leather jacket he asked, "I'm just curious what is that hanging from your shoulder, I see a lot of guys in motorcycle jackets wearing them. Does it mean something?" I didn't want to bore or frighten him with all the details, so basically replied, "oh this, "tugging on the 2.5" ring, "it's a napkin or towel holder. Or if I get stuck in quicksand they can pull my out by it."

I was going to stop at Micro Center, as the gravitational pull to buy a new PC is returning again, but decided not to and had a late lunch at John Harvard's Brew House again. Mmmm, a nice double chicken breast grilled in stout and mushrooms, with mashed potatoes and asparagus and carrots on the side.

After lunch I browsed at HMV and picked up "Cher's Greatest Hits." CD.

In closing, last night I had a re-run of a very strange dream I had 18 years ago. Let's see what all you armchair dream analysts can decipher out of this. It was the same dream but updated. Strange thing is that it took place in Chelsea, Mass where I Lived in 1985.

I lived in Chelsea when it was a dangerous, festering cesspool of crime and poverty. The town was run down, forever catching fire. When I was living with my friend Bob and we smelled smoke Bob would say, "mmmm Chelsea's burning again." Twenty years ago, Chelsea was filled with the poor, drug dealers and addicts, non English speaking minorities, gays, lesbians and assorted other riff-raff (us among them). Bob and I lived at the base of Admiral's Hill, which is now becoming a snooty yuppie/guppie enclave. Bob and I spent a lot of time in Boston (usually raising hell) and the "snooty and fabulous" residents in the South End, Beacon Hill and Back Bay would exclaim, "UGH! C-H-E-L-S-E-A! nobody lives in Chelsea!" after we told them where we lived. Chelsea was one of the towns on the poor side of harbor/Mystic River inhabited by BATS (bridge and tunnel set). Chelsea is one of a number of what once were toilets; East Boston (Eastie), Revere (Severe), Lynn (Lynn Lynn, City of Sin) to name a few, that sat across the harbor from Pompous Boston. We also were serenaded around the clock every 5 to 15 minutes by the rumbling roar of jets approaching and leaving Logan airport, along with gunshots and other street noise.

All that has changed now since the yuppies and their money have invaded and occupied the badlands, driving out any mere mortal who cannot afford to live there after their monetary feeding frenzies drove out the poorer working class element.

From our kitchen window and back porch we could clearly see the Boston skyline. The dreamscape now begins...

I was in the kitchen watching TV. George Bush was giving some address and was dressed in a clown costume and makeup. He was honking a big horn squirting a seltzer bottle at the camera as he founded his fist on the podium. I wanted to get Bob to some see this as I thought it was hilarious. A deafening rumble and thud hit the house, and as I looked out the window all I could see toward Boston was a blinding flash of light, then the most brilliant read/orange fireball engulfing the city. As I stared across the harbor, the hear blast was heading our way, and all the Chelsea gas tanks began exploding. I ran around the apartment looking for Bob, then ran downstairs to the street. All around me people were bursting into flames and vaporizing. All the houses were also bursting into flames and disintegrating, except the house our apartment was in. I was Bob walking down the street. He was wearing headphones, drinking a martini and eating a dish of vanilla ice cream covered in guacamole, "mmm this is really good Ray, want some?" he asked, seemingly oblivious to the nuclear explosion. I was creaming at him, "Bob Bob, nuclear attack, we're all gonna die!" He casually walked past, "that's cool man, enjoy it!"

The nuclear blast didn't seem to affect him and it was now that I realized I wasn't being killed either. Actually the air inside what seemed to be a protective bubble was cool and fresh. I ran along Washington Avenue waving my arms "nuclear attack! nuclear attack" as people would smile, wave, then burst into flames and vaporize.

I stopped at a street corner, looking toward Boston, which was now only fire. I heard more explosions and kept running, trying to reach a safe area. I saw a cop at an intersection directing traffic. He was also in a clown costume, wearing makeup and funny nose, squirting a seltzer bottle at passing cars, which were all on fire. I ran up to him, "officer! officer! do something! nuclear attack!" He just waved and smiled then burst into flames and vanished. At this point I woke up, heart racing.

What was also weird about this dream was how brilliant all the colors and smells were; it was definitely an HDTV dream in Dolby stereo and smell-o-vision.

I Don't know why, but I had to mention this Twilight Zone screening that my subconscious put on last night.

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Wednesday April 9

I've been performing a little experiment since Sunday night, not turning the TV on at all. I've been catching up on reading instead and finished "Affluenza" (great book) and am now working my way through "Why Do People Hate America?" The lack of idiot box induced anxiety has improved my sleep and resting periods.

I got the following brief e-mail from an Area51 visitor

Date: Tue, 8 Apr 2003 23:56:32 -0400
Subject: Comment

Couldn't agree more, but will Americans ever see the truth through all the propaganda??

My reply to this visitor is basically, "probably never" since we live in a sound byte society that has the attention span of crack babies and is easily manipulated by images and sweet talk. I just hope and pray that we get it over with in Iraq and keep to the promise of helping them out without totally abandoning our own people at home (something the Bush cartel seems to be very good at, with the exception of the upper few percent of the richest of the rich; they're well taken care of). My prayers continue to flow out to the men and women in uniform. Your bravery far outstrips anything that the armchair chickenhawks could ever muster. I just hope that Dubya doesn't keep chopping the Veteran's benefits that you have well earned and justly deserve.

So here's another tip'o the old Bigboote (well worn and yellowed Navy white hat) and salute to the troops in the field, in the air and on the seas from an old salt who was a member of the Tonkin Gulf Yacht Club. Oh I know, I did not serve during the most popular of wars (Nam), nor was our president at that time nearly as loved and admired as George W.

Hi Kids, Saddam here! Area51 Intelligence has learned that Saddam has been living in exile in a small Florida retirement community. Saddam is believed to be running a convenience store and gas station and was seen pumping gas while he puffed away on a big Cuban cigar. I found this picture on an online news source; he almost looks like a comic book villain here, although there's nothing comical about him. In this photo he almost looks like something out of an Austin Powers movie. A comic book villain for comic book times, or so it seems.

Saddam looks so joyful in this picture. Maybe Ed McMahon has just knocked on his bunker door to inform him he's won the Publisher's Clearinghouse sweepstakes.

As an aside, every time I see a photo of Saddam Hussein, it reminds me of a guy I hung out with during the early to mid 80's. This guy could pass as a body double of the Butcher of Baghdad, except the guy I knew was "supposedly" full blooded Irish. The guy I knew was also reputed to be hiding friendly weapons of mass distraction, let me explain. One day he and I were walking along the Esplanade in Boston. He was wearing baggy sweat pants and (I felt don't ask don't tell, none of my business) I noticed (as did every other person walking our way) that there was something big wagging back and forth between his legs. Hey, maybe he had shoplifted a kosher salami from the local deli for all I knew. He was very popular with people of both sexes and in demand (can't figure why). I was at the gym one day and a guy commented after my friend left, "that guy has a schwantz that hangs to his knee. He walked into the shower when I was there, and I ain't gay or nothing, but it was difficult not to look. geeesh!" See all the nifty factoids you learn here, and before you ask, I don't know if he's single, don't have his phone number and don't even know where he's living now.

I went to the cafe to get a caffeine fix and noticed a group gathered around the TV. We may be actually close to taking over Baghdad, the Iraqis are hooting it up in the streets and going out on a looting shopping spree.

I sat and watched as the people tugged at a statue of Saddam, pulling it down. I must have watched too many Bond and other spy thrillers, because I looked at it from the viewpoint of "If I were an arch villain what would I have done top keep all my loyal podlings in line?" So far we don't seem to have found any weapons of mass distraction...yet! If I were as hated as Saddam (in many genteel PC social circles I already am), I would figure the first thing my subjects would do upon liberation would be to either raid my cache of fine Cuban cigars and 12 year old scotch (booby trap my liquor cabinet and cigar humidor), or to destroy a prominent statue of me in the capital city. What better way to have the last laugh than to "booby trap" the statue so that when it falls over, it sets off a doomsday device, killing everyone within a few time zones; shades of Dr. Strangelove.

Beware evil doers everywhere! Today Iraq, tomorrow Iran, Syria, North Korea, France, Germany, Canada, Massachusetts and California. According to the TV Nooze talking heads, we were watching history being made today; Saddam's statue was knocked off it's pedestal and broke. To our men and women in uniform, who are now in Iraq and the Persian Gulf, stay safe tonight, may God watch over and protect you until you return back home. And remember don't snatch any ash trays, shot glasses, cigars or porno from any of Saddma's palaces or barrels of Iraqi crude oil to take home as souvenirs, we Americans have to set an example of fine, honest, upstanding citizens to the world. This concludes a rare mid week posting, here are a handful of Commie pinko subversive articles that may make some people think.

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Tuesday April 15

I didn't do much this past weekend, met Bob from Revere for dinner, who I haven't seen since last Fall. I watched "Signs" again, plus "Independence Day" and "Area51, America's Most Secret Base".

Sunday I took a ride into Harvard Square, which is getting to be a regular Sunday habit. I stopped to chat with a peaceful assembly or war protestors, most of which are older people, many of the men have served in the armed forces. After exchanging hugs and waves, I had lunch at Temple bar, which is moving way down on my list of "must dine" places.

I've still been good at avoiding network TV, except for the Simpsons and King of the Hill.

As I watched the news footage of Iraqis (with our help) pull down a statue of Saddam, I wondered why the crowd was so small, if it could be called a crowd at all. When the Berlin Wall came down there was a huge mob. Maybe many Iraqis are still a bit squeamish about visibly acting out in public, maybe they stayed home to watch it on TV, or maybe it was all a media show.

As I've gotten older, I've come to doubt the validity of images I see on news and current events programs. I got to thinking, maybe there was a velvet rope just beyond the camera's range. A small statue of Saddam is placed on the street and each prospective Iraqi contestant is admitted past the rope barrier one at a time by a panel of judges to test his or her reaction to an image of their despotic ruler. Those who act indifferently are disqualified, but those who pee and stomp on the statue, screaming curses are admitted for the taping.

"Ok everyone who the judges have told will take part in this historic act, please step forward. All of you who take part will get a McDonald's happy meal gift certificate, a card good for one free tank of regular gas at Abdul's Mobil Super Gas and Gulp, a free pair of Levis, your very own KJV Bible, talking Jesus and George Bush dolls and 10,000 shares of Enron stock. OK, everyone ready? Satellite uplink established? PLACES EVERYONE! LIGHTS!, CAMERA!, ACTION!"

Well it made me wonder anyway. According to the news talking heads this is history being made, there should be 10's of thousands of jubilant Iraqis here. I had almost as many people show up at the last yard sale I had when Paul was still alive.

Read the article "Jesus In Baghdad" in the links at the end of today's rant. I maybe be Christian, but still refrain from aligning myself at all with Right Wing Southern Bible thumpers. If the real Jesus were to suddenly appear in Baghdad, he wouldn't need an advance strike force and carpet bombing to pave the way for his arrival. The battlefield would become so silent you could hear a soldier farting 1000 yards away. Saddam would probably pee his pants in fear, and I would guess Bush wouldn't be too relaxed either.

Baghdad is a big city, so they must have at least one major sports arena, one that has an Olympic size swimming pool for all the baptizing that'll be going on. I hope the thumpers at least have some dignity and not make a spectacle out of this, "100,000 saved today in Baghdad. 50,000 accept Christ in Tikrit." Brrr! the thought makes me shudder; reminds me of my 7 month tenure in the pubic hair below the Bible belt, when I was stationed in Tennessee for electronics training during my Navy hitch.

Another news article really ruffled my feathers. Falwell was saying something about global warming didn't exist and is a Satanic deception. He went on to say he and the misses both drive Chevy Suburbans. That was one of the many reasons I pulled totally away from fundies, anything they disagree with is Satanic, or if they're questioned, they claim it's Satan doing the questioning. Of course I'm not a good Christian in the eyes of your average garden of Eden variety fundie, but I thought that God entrusted us to take care of this rock in good stewardship, which means in part, don't plunder, destroy, steal, covet all of the planet's resources....leave some for the rest of humanity.

I'm just over half finished reading "Why Do People hate America?" and I believe more firmly now that it should be required reading. I'm sorry but it IS patriotic to stand up and question the leaders of big business and gummint when you clearly see when they are dismantling and destroying a great nation and it's people. Hey! but who the fuck am I anyway, just another rent poor, tax paying slob; what do I know?

I had the nooze on while driving home today, and it looks like the war is ramping down (for now). It was also very good to hear that American POW's were released yesterday and in pretty good health. I'll end today with a bunch of binary eye and brain candy from various net news sites and journals.

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Wednesday April 16

The weather is certainly wacked out, but I sure am glad that Jerry Falwell as assured us all that there is no such thing as global warming or any other environmental damage, it's all a lie and delusion set up by Satan to prevent us from buying SUV's. Jesus wants us to run right out and buy the biggest and heaviest coal powered SUV we can afford, our salvation depends on it.

Whatever it is though, a week or two ago it was snowing and for the past two days we've broken records here in the Boston area with highs in the 80's. Tonight the mercury is supposed to drop back to around 30 and be cold through the weekend; it figures.

Fun with Spam...

I usually get e-mail spam in two major batches, one late at night and the other later in the day, with a few scattered in throughout the day. Yes, they all get deleted unread, but some are hiding clever JavaScript booby traps that open anyway, even when I mouse over the item in my inbox list. A couple are extra nasty and open a full screen window with no resize, minimize or close buttons. Some of these require a full reboot of my system (I hope the assholes who create these suffer in hell, getting butt fucked by Hitler and bin Laden for all eternity).

Today's two pronged attack contained repeats of yesterday's and the day before, some with slight twists in hopes of fooling me into opening them. Some even call me by name in their subject line. I can almost always pick out the spam since they refer to me as John or Bigbooty. Here is a typical sample...

"You've already won"

"Your paycheck is waiting for you to claim it."

"There is unclaimed money in your name that's waiting for you to claim it."

"Free complimentary pasta pot."

"Ink cartridges and supplies at incredible savings."

"Buy confiscated assets for pennies on a dollar."

"Your perfect match is waiting." (these some in both male and female varieties)

"Buy viagra, propecia online without a prescription."

"Increase your penis length by 2-4 inches and girth by an inch or more, without surgery or pumps, results guaranteed. Don't be left short." (back in the daze when I was a sexually marketable entity, my ex-wife and people I dated all told me that my penis was quite adequate, much larger than normal actually)

"Increase your breast size, most experience bra size increases of 2 or more, with no surgery, drugs or special exercise."

"Get six-pack abs, buns of steel, guaranteed in 30 days without joining a health club or time consuming exercise."

"Hair restoration guaranteed, don't be bald any more."

"Earn $20,000 or more a month by working at home, no up front money required."

"Buy hand painted commemorative Gulf War II plates, sure to become heirlooms." (makes me want to run out and collect the entire set, painted with memorable pictures of Baghdad burning, the statue of Saddam falling, marine wiping American flag in Saddam's face, Iraqis giving thumbs up, dead Iraqi civilians, oil wells being liberated, etc. I'll have to throw a dinner party and invite the Bush cartel over to see my new dinner wear)

"Shocking secrets of Nostradamus that the government doesn't want you to know, but the book now and be prepared." (Yawn, Bush will get re-elected, we'll bomb Iran, Syria, North Korea, France, Germany, California, Massachusetts. Bush will go in to become King George I, the Red Sox will finally win the World Series that year, the Rapture will come leaving behind Falwell, Robertson and Bush. Millions of unemployed, poor, homosexuals, liberals, Catholics., minorities, peace activists and other assorted riff-raff will mysteriously;y disappear. Washington will explain it all away as these Commie turncoats have left to join the terrorist Axis of Evil. After this all comes to pass, Jesus will hit Ctrl+Alt+Delete and the world will experience the blue screen of death, followed by a low level reformatting of the planet. A thousand years of peace will follow, without big business, oil or Republicans)

"Learn secrets of getting government grant money for free to start your own business, attend college and much more." (special interest lobbies and big business have known these secrets for years)

"Earn a Bachelors degree in 9 months through the mail. Guaranteed accredited."

"See Brittany nude." (are they still peddling this crap?)

"See Bambi and her drunken cheer leader girlfriends getting fucked by a German shepherd." (I wish this was not just a joke I made up, but I've received this one a number of times)

I also get a few more personal e-mails, at least they appear personal, claiming they've visited my web site, saw my personal ad or know me from somewhere. Some have male and female names. Curiosity got the best of me the first couple of times I got these mails, but when I opened them there was a brief message telling me how cute, hot, clever I am, and that they wanted to meet me, but first click on a link to their web site to learn more about them. So what did I see?"

"See me fuck my boyfriend with my 11" cock. Pics available for $9.95...have your Visa or MasterCard ready." I get very similar mails but "See me fuck my drunken girlfriend with my 11" cock." Or enticing offers to but pics of the entire football team fucking one of their girl/boyfriends with their 11" cocks. (These guys must have taken advantage of the incredible e-mail deals to increase penis size to Biblical proportions)

Then there are the numerous variations of car, home and personal loan deals, retirement fund deals, off shore banking, etc, etc, too many to list individually.

I wonder how many people actually are dumb enough to click through, attempting to take advantage of these deals. Spam could be a CIA black operation to see how dumb and gullible people really are in preparation for the 2004 election, "Mister president, Americans will believe anything."

That's it for today, but first, how many fingers am I holding up? Good! Now I'm going to mix them up. How many am I holding up now?

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Thursday April 17

More fun with spam, the sequel...

About 2 years ago I was downloading free (nothing is truly free) copies of the Opera browser and Real Player at home. Like a terrorist slipping across the border unnoticed, Gator, a rather insidious piece of software quietly installed itself without my knowing. Gator is one of many Adware/Spamware programs that raises hell and pesters you with random spam. It took me a couple of hours of windows explorer snooping and registry hacking to nuke every reference to this piece of the devil's work.

This morning I powered up my workstation as I do every day. I had not yet started up mail or IE, when a popup ad appeared offering online gambling. As soon as I closed that window another opened up "Free scratch tickets", close that one and 10 seconds later "Buy Bolt, Rush, Armageddon and Bunker Buster Poppers online". I closed that one, proceeding to start up mail, IE and SQL Server Enterprise manager. There were no new popup ads; 10 minutes later still no ads, so I took a walk down to the cafe to get my first cup of coffee of the day.

When I got back there was a screen filling, stroboscopically flashing, brightly colored ad on my screen with an animated weenie that grew and shrank. In huge bold flashing print, "Increase the size of your penis NOW!" Luckily I get in before most people, and closed that window post haste. Another ad opened up offering BMW Z4 for 1000's less.

I closed everything down, did a cold reboot and was greeted by similar popup ads. I began snooping, checking installed plug-ins and objects in IE. There were 5 very strange unidentifiable entries which I removed. I then checked my favorites, and noticed a series of folders and favorites (about 200 in all) at the end of the list that I know I didn't add; entertainment, adult entertainment, cars, gambling, sex toys, cigarette sales, etc.

Next I went into control panel and under Add/Remove programs noticed 5 program I know were not on my system, so deleted them one at a time. One had a name like Clocksync and appeared to be the ringleader. Once I deleted the offending software, I did a virus then a registry scan. There were no viruses, and the registry cleanup seemed to take care of any lingering traces of these binary weapons of mass distraction. I rebooted and everything returned to normal. Network security at my company is tighter than Area51 and I let know security about the adware attack. I remember reading an article not too long ago about the growing problem of Spy/Spamware, and that most of it is not detected by virus programs or firewalls.

Hmmm, last week I was doing a bunch of web searches in Google, Mamma and AltaVista, containing ASP, Excel, VB, and JavaScript references. When I clicked on one of the search engine result links, a strange gray box opened up that didn't have resizable borders, resize, min , max or close buttons. It opened modally, so took control of the screen. All that the form contained was a big gray "OK" button. Hitting Ctrl+Alt+Delete did nothing, so I clicked the OK button, which I realize now was a big mistake. After a brief silent pause, the box went away and returned control of the screen. This must have been when the spamware installed itself. The morons who create this crap are worse than terrorists, and should be turned over to Saddam's torture goons for a bit of sadistic fun and games. Surfing the web is getting to be like walking around in Baghdad after dark.

The marketing Nazis are taking over the world; telemarketers, door to door, US Snail mail, not to mention the mass media. The net is getting just as bad. Next they'll find a way to invade your dreams while you're sleeping and try to sell products there, "we interrupt this nightmare for a few brief announcements." I wouldn't be surprised if there is not some advertising think tank out there trying to develop a way to get to us in our sleep. Lord God deliver us from this evil if it ever occurs.

The funniest (almost) incident of creative spam occurred when I used a public bathroom in the lobby of a hotel. As soon as I approached the urinal, an LCD screen at eye level came to life, offering investment brokerage offers, ads for luxury cars and pointers to expensive dining and entertainment in the city...take me now Jesus, I've seen enough!

I read some more of "Why Do People Hate America" last night, a chapter about the hamburger as metaphor for American society. It was a very interesting and thought provoking read. America is being marketed to the world like just another product.

I'll close today with a bit of consolation to the handful of people who visit Bigboote's Area51. As long as I'm alive and this site remains on line, you'll never see advertising, spam or self installing Adware here. Area51 may not contain bloody nose cutting edge technology and knock your socks off special effects, but it is spam free. Here is the end of week installment of news articles and journals rounded up during the past couple of days.

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  Shalom, Ray