Death once had a near-Sarah Palin experience.

calendar   Tuesday - July 31, 2007

By the Flip of a Coin (An interesting followup to “I Don’t Believe in Luck")

We are innundated, daily, with the atrocities of the world.

I suppose it’s why they have the “lighter” side of the news.  No need to go completely mad, after all, here’s a water-skiing duck - that kind of thing.

My mom, who’s in her late 70s, thinks the world has gone completely insane.  She’s thought so for years.  I don’t necessarily disagree with her, but I always say “maybe it’s just the same, but we know more about it now”.  I’m not sure I can convince myself of that argument anymore.  We are, after all, at war.  A substantial part of the population doesn’t believe it, but I do.

So with all the brutality, visciousness, and fundamentalist crap we face on a daily basis, how do we stay sane?

Here’s one of my escapes: it’s the audition tape of the man who ultimately won this year’s “Britain’s Got Talent” TV show, hosted by none other than Simon Cowell.  I’ve seen it dozens - if not hundreds of times.

Take a peek at

Go ahead - follow the link now, and then come back.

Back already?  Great.

This isn’t me putting my head in the sand, thinking that the world’ll go away.

Quite the contrary.

To me, this is proof positive that there exists - in some of us - a fundamental beauty and decency that cannot be taken away.  Regardless of your musical persuasion, the sight and sound of an obviously humble and simple man can show us all that we can and must prevail.

The flip of a coin?

Paul Potts said in a recent newspaper interview that he flipped a coin before submitting his application to the show.

It’s lucky for all of us that it came up on the right side.


Posted by Somnambulist57   Bermuda  on 07/31/2007 at 09:51 PM   
Filed Under: • Miscellaneous •  
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I Don’t Believe in Luck

But this guy was damn lucky.

from SayAnythingReaderBlogs


Apparently, this guy ran through the metal barrier and concrete wall on the right, flipped end-over-end to land where you see him.

Yes, there’s more to the story.

See the extended section.

See More Below The Fold


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 07/31/2007 at 10:12 AM   
Filed Under: • Odd-Strange •  
Comments (7) Trackbacks(0)  Permalink •  

Is the Tide Turning?

Are we seeing a change of heart at the NY Slimes?

From Best of the Web:

On Second Thought, Don’t Surrender
In an important and surprising New York Times op-ed piece, Michael O’Hanlon and Kenneth Pollack, both from the liberal Brookings Institution, describe a visit to Iraq, where they find that things are not as bad as--well, as New York Times readers have been led to believe. The piece is titled “A War We Just Might Win”:

Here is the most important thing Americans need to understand: We are finally getting somewhere in Iraq, at least in military terms. As two analysts who have harshly criticized the Bush administration’s miserable handling of Iraq, we were surprised by the gains we saw and the potential to produce not necessarily “victory” but a sustainable stability that both we and the Iraqis could live with.

After the furnace-like heat, the first thing you notice when you land in Baghdad is the morale of our troops. In previous trips to Iraq we often found American troops angry and frustrated--many sensed they had the wrong strategy, were using the wrong tactics and were risking their lives in pursuit of an approach that could not work.

Today, morale is high. The soldiers and marines told us they feel that they now have a superb commander in Gen. David Petraeus; they are confident in his strategy, they see real results, and they feel now they have the numbers needed to make a real difference.

O’Hanlon and Pollack report that Sunni sheikhs in Anbar province “are close to crippling Al Qaeda and its Salafist allies,” that “the Iraqis have stepped up to the plate” in the northern cities of Tal Afar and Mosul, and that “the American high command assesses that more than three-quarters of the Iraqi Army battalion commanders in Baghdad are now reliable partners.”

They say the situation “remains grave,” especially on the “political front,” but they counsel against a quick retreat, as many Democrats on Capitol Hill have been advocating:

How much longer should American troops keep fighting and dying to build a new Iraq while Iraqi leaders fail to do their part? And how much longer can we wear down our forces in this mission? These haunting questions underscore the reality that the surge cannot go on forever. But there is enough good happening on the battlefields of Iraq today that Congress should plan on sustaining the effort at least into 2008.

In a way, though, what is most telling about this piece is the introduction:

Viewed from Iraq, where we just spent eight days meeting with American and Iraqi military and civilian personnel, the political debate in Washington is surreal. The Bush administration has over four years lost essentially all credibility. Yet now the administration’s critics, in part as a result, seem unaware of the significant changes taking place.

For the sake of argument, let us suppose that the authors are right when they claim the Bush administration has “lost essentially all credibility.” Does this excuse the administration’s critics for being “unaware of the significant changes taking place"--especially when some of those critics have, for reasons of partisanship, ideology or just plain animus, actively campaigned to destroy the administration’s credibility?

In the critics’ defense, one may say that they have not, by and large, been in positions of responsibility; that if things have gone wrong in Iraq, the administration deserves the lion’s share of the blame.

On the other hand, those critics now include the leaders of both houses of Congress, as well as several politicians who would like to become president. For them, at least, it is a serious failure of leadership if they base their views on Iraq on their own disdain for President Bush, or the hope of exploiting voters’ disdain for him, rather than on reality.


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 07/31/2007 at 08:53 AM   
Filed Under: • IraqMedia-Bias •  
Comments (3) Trackbacks(0)  Permalink •  

calendar   Monday - July 30, 2007


This story broke over the weekend. 

NEW YORK (AP) _ A 23-year-old man was arrested Friday on hate-crime charges after he threw a Quran in a toilet at Pace University on two separate occasions, police said.

Stanislav Shmulevich of Brooklyn was arrested on charges of criminal mischief and aggravated harassment, both hate crimes, police said. It was unclear if he was a student at the school. A message left at the Shmulevich home was not immediately returned.

The Islamic holy book was found in a toilet at Pace’s lower Manhattan campus by a teacher on Oct. 13. A student discovered another book in a toilet on Nov. 21, police said.

Muslim activists had called on Pace University to crack down on hate crimes after the incidents. As a result, the university said it would offer sensitivity training to its students

Tasteless? Sure.  Foolish? You bet.

But a FELONY?????


If someone took a Bible and put it in the toilet, would it be a felony charge?
If someone took a Book of Mormon and put it in a toilet, would it be a felony charge?
If someone took the Writings of Buddah and put it in a toilet, would it be a felony charge?

Is anyone here a Pace student?  Want to be a test case?

** Update **
According to Allahpundit, both of these charges are misdemeanors, but were elevated because they were HATE CRIMES.  In other words, my fellow countrymen, he had bad thoughts about someone during the commission of this crime and therefore deserves to be made into a felon.

MM has a copy of the complaint. Turns out the newspaper reports were wrong: he hasn’t been charged with any counts of aggravated harassment, just two counts of fourth-degree criminal mischief (one for each Koran he flushed). As we saw yesterday, fourth-degree mischief is a misdemeanor. So how did Shmulevich end up with two felonies? Simple — they used the state hate crimes statute to elevate the penalty. You’ll find it here in section 485.05; criminal mischief is specifically identified as a covered offense in subsection 3. The provision ordering the court to enhance the punishment is in subsection 2 of section 485.10, right below the hate crimes statute. In pertinent part:

When a person is convicted of a hate crime pursuant to this article and the specified offense is a misdemeanor or a class C, D or E felony, the hate crime shall be deemed to be one category higher than the specified offense the defendant committed, or one category higher than the offense level applicable to the defendant’s conviction for an attempt or conspiracy to commit a specified offense, whichever is applicable.

Presumably, Shmulevich is looking at two Class E felonies now instead of misdemeanors. What’s the penalty for a Class E felony in New York? If the judge is feeling uncharitable, four years. At a minimum, per the same statute, one year.


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 07/30/2007 at 03:19 PM   
Filed Under: • Outrageous •  
Comments (13) Trackbacks(0)  Permalink •  

Little Rich Girl Gets a Spanking

And boy-oh-boy, this one is going to hurt.

Paris Hilton loses inheritance

PARTY princess Paris Hilton is $60 million out of pocket after her billionaire grandfather - appalled by her jail term for drink-driving offences - axed her inheritance.

Family patriarch Barron Hilton was already embarrassed by his granddaughter’s wild behaviour - notably when her home sex video was leaked on the internet.

But the 79-year-old considered her 23-day sentence last month the last straw.

“He was, and is, extremely embarrassed by how the Hilton name has been sullied by Paris,” says Jerry Oppenheimer, who wrote a biography of the clan called House Of Hilton.

“He now doesn’t want to leave unearned wealth to his family.”

Hilton senior, the only member of the family left with a sizeable stake in the huge hotel chain, has let it be known that he intends to donate to charity the $2.4bn he will gain from this month’s sale of the company to private equity firm Blackstone.

The money will go to the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, the charity set up in the name of the founder of the family business.


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 07/30/2007 at 02:25 PM   
Filed Under: • Stoopid-People •  
Comments (3) Trackbacks(0)  Permalink •  

Fred on Eminent Domain

Yes, I know he hasn’t announced yet.  yes, I know he is not the best on every topic in the political arena.  What I do know is he starts with the Constitution.

Mrs. DuToit said it best:

Let me be clear about something.  I don’t agree with Fred Thompson on everything.  In fact, I probably disagree with him on a number of things, but I like the fact that he STARTS with the Constitution and the law.  We can disagree over Original Intent.  We can come to different conclusions after studying the history, but at least we’re not making it up out of whole cloth, or deciding that some laws should be selectively enforced, because we don’t like the laws.

If we don’t like the laws, then we should elect people who will overturn them (in the great conservative tradition), not ignore them.

I think Fred gets that and I don’t think many others do (certainly no others in the pool of conservative candidates).

So despite my disagreement with him on some fairly major issues, I think he’s probably the best man for the job.

Today’s article deals with Eminent Domain.  Here’s a snippet:

Last week, California officials in National City voted unanimously to use eminent domain to take over more than 600 properties—including a nonprofit youth center dedicated to keeping local kids out of gangs and off the street. They plan to give this land to local private developers for a group of condominiums.

It’s said that a man’s home is his castle, but across America some property owners are being rooked by local bureaucrats and politicians and having their private property confiscated by local governments for the supposed public good.

And he ends it well.

Our Founders placed respect for private property as a key principle when writing out nation’s Constitution, and the protection of private property resulted in the United States becoming the greatest economic power in the world and a beacon of freedom to all. This principle is even more important today, as homeownership has become an increasingly integral part of our citizens’ aspirations for a better future for themselves and their loved ones. If the Supreme Court will not protect our right to ownership, then political leaders must step up to the challenge.


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 07/30/2007 at 10:32 AM   
Filed Under: • Politics •  
Comments (3) Trackbacks(0)  Permalink •  

calendar   Sunday - July 29, 2007

“How close were we to seeing an armed nuclear conflict?”

Mangun sends us this story:

US Sinks North Korean Ship Bound for Iran

“How close were we to seeing an armed nuclear conflict?” That is the question being asked as Syrian nationals temporarily vacated Beirut, Lebanon and the Jordan Valley during mid July according to sources close to ACG-CIS. Many security and intelligence officials believe that this behavior may have been related to the US sinking of a North Korean ship approximately 100 nautical miles from the coast of Iran. 

It was not immediately clear why, around July 10, 2007, the Syrian nationals, primarily engaged in construction, trades and agricultural occupations, should have vacated Lebanon without notice.  The nationals were noticed to have returned to Beirut and the Jordan Valley by July 21, 2007.

I’m not familiar with this source, and cannot quickly find anything to back it up, so the BS meter is twitching.


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 07/29/2007 at 07:05 AM   
Filed Under: • IranNorth-Korea •  
Comments (11) Trackbacks(0)  Permalink •  

calendar   Saturday - July 28, 2007

Fred on Federalism

On Federalism

By Fred Thompson

The Framers drew their design for our Constitution from a basic understanding of human nature. From the wisdom of the ages and from fresh experience, they understood the better angels of our nature, and the less admirable qualities of human beings entrusted with power.

The Framers believed in free markets, rights of property and the rule of law, and they set these principles firmly in the Constitution. Above all, the Framers enshrined in our founding documents, and left to our care, the principle that rights come from our Creator and not from our government.

We developed institutions that allowed these principles to take root and flourish: a government of limited powers derived from, and assigned to, first the people, then the states, and finally the national government. A government strong enough to protect us and do its job competently, but modest and humane enough to let the people govern themselves. Centralized government is not the solution to all of our problems and – with too much power – such centralization has a way of compounding our problems. This was among the great insights of 1787, and it is just as vital in 2007.

The federalist construct of strong states and limited federal government put in place by our Founders was intended to give states the freedom to experiment and innovate. It envisions states as laboratories in competition with each other to develop ideas and programs to benefit their people, to see what works and what does not.

This ingenious means of governing a large and diverse nation prevailed for more than a century. But today our Constitution and the limited, federalist government it established, are considered by many to be quaint or out of touch with the world we live in, to be swept aside by political expediency.

The Supreme Court sometimes ignores the written Constitution to reflect its view of the times. So does Congress, which routinely forgets that our checks and balances, the separation of powers and our system of federalism are designed to diffuse power and protect the liberties of our people. Before anything else, folks in Washington ought to be asking first and foremost, “Should government be doing this? And if so, then at what level of government?” But they don’t.

There’s more at the link.  The more I read, the more I like.  I might have to create a Fred category smile


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 07/28/2007 at 07:39 AM   
Filed Under: • Politics •  
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So, You Want HillaryCare?

Kim over at WizBang, found a great article about Canada’s healthcare system.  This is what happens when you hand the keys to any program over to Uncle Sam.

Michael Moore, call your office.

I was once a believer in socialized medicine. As a Canadian, I had soaked up the belief that government-run health care was truly compassionate. What I knew about American health care was unappealing: high expenses and lots of uninsured people.

My health care prejudices crumbled on the way to a medical school class. On a subzero Winnipeg morning in 1997, I cut across the hospital emergency room to shave a few minutes off my frigid commute.

Swinging open the door, I stepped into a nightmare: the ER overflowed with elderly people on stretchers, waiting for admission. Some, it turned out, had waited five days. The air stank with sweat and urine. Right then, I began to reconsider everything that I thought I knew about Canadian health care.

A five-day wait for an ER visit....I hope its not a, you know, EMERGENCY!

Here’s some more good news:

Government researchers now note that more than 1.5 million Ontarians (or 12% of that province’s population) can’t find family physicians. Health officials in one Nova Scotia community actually resorted to a lottery to determine who’d get a doctor’s appointment.

These problems are not unique to Canada—they characterize all government-run health care systems.

Consider the recent British controversy over a cancer patient who tried to get an appointment with a specialist, only to have it canceled—48 times. More than 1 million Britons must wait for some type of care, with 200,000 in line for longer than six months. In France, the supply of doctors is so limited that during an August 2003 heat wave—when many doctors were on vacation and hospitals were stretched beyond capacity—15,000 elderly citizens died. Across Europe, state-of-the-art drugs aren’t available. And so on.

Single-payer systems—confronting dirty hospitals, long waiting lists and substandard treatment—are starting to crack, however. Canadian newspapers are filled with stories of people frustrated by long delays for care. Many Canadians, determined to get the care they need, have begun looking not to lotteries—but to markets.

Go read the rest and see your futute when the whiners get their way and get .gov to take over your health care.


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 07/28/2007 at 07:31 AM   
Filed Under: • Health-Medicine •  
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calendar   Thursday - July 26, 2007

Moral Conundrum

A couple of weeks ago, our church did an outreach to the local area.  For three days we partnered with a local contractor and did some work on local homes that were in dire need of repair.  Then in the evenings, in the local park, we conducted a “kid’s camp” for any and all kids that were there.  Kind of like a Vacation Bible School, but at the park.

One lady who had her kids there was a Hispanic woman with two boys: age 10 and 2.  They had a great time and in the course of the week, we found out she really wanted to learn English so she could get a job.  She had been watching kids in her home, but since they were all Spanish speakers, it was no problem. 

So my wife and I and another lady from the church have been meeting her and her kids in the park twice a week now to let our kids play together while we help her with English.  She is a quick study and very smart.  I’m confident that she will be conversational within a month of twice-a-week lessons.

I have not asked directly yet, but my suspicion is that she is probably here illegally.  From what I’ve gathered, her and her husband came from Mexico about 10 years ago to California.  They recently moved to the east coast to be closer to family.

Now, you’ve seen my posts on illegal immigration and know that I’m staunchly against it.  I firmly believe it is an affront to those who stood in line and followed the process. 
But now there’s a name and a face and a family to go with that opinion.

I would not turn them in at this point, mainly because I’m not sure they are illegal (I can speak a good bit of Spanish, but do not consider myself fluent) as well as my feeling that it would not accomplish anything meaningful.  Here are a couple of pretty productive, smart and resourceful individuals (who also have two American sons).  I doubt they would get sent anywhere at this point.

So here’s the conundrum:  Do I continue to help her learn English in hopes that she can progress a little in society and be more productive?  Or do I drop the lessons, claiming the moral high ground because of my stance on illegal immigration?


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 07/26/2007 at 01:58 PM   
Filed Under: • Illegal-Aliens and Immigration •  
Comments (34) Trackbacks(0)  Permalink •  

calendar   Tuesday - July 24, 2007

Bandwidth Hogs

I was looking at the bandwidth usage for the blog back on July 16th.  I was stunned that we, at the middle of the month, had already burned through 110% of our alloted bandwidth.  I knew I had to do something drastic to make sure Hosting Matters didn’t shut us down for overusing the service.

So I made the decision to delete all of the “Weekend Eye Candy” pics as they were showing an enormous percentage of the bandwidth usage (through direct links no less)

I decided to look tonight and see if it had an effect.  What do you think? 


This chart is the daily usage since June 1st.


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 07/24/2007 at 11:40 PM   
Filed Under: • Blog Stuff •  
Comments (13) Trackbacks(0)  Permalink •  


Decided it was time to post another Motorvator…


Posted by Infinity   United States  on 07/24/2007 at 11:17 PM   
Filed Under: • Motorvators •  
Comments (5) Trackbacks(1)  Permalink •  

Civics Lesson Alarms Moonbats

The other day, a responsible citizen gave the city of Norfolk, Virginia a much needed civics lesson, and I think more Americans could stand to learn from it, thusly, I’ll share it with you:

Essentially, reminding people of their Second Amendment Rights.  A non-violent confrontation with the police ensued, resulting in his inappropriate, and possibly illegal, arrest.  This gentleman, acting within his rights as an American to bear arms, eventually had charges dropped against him, as in this case the city was in the wrong.

Our Founding Fathers, for some reason, thought it very important that we, the people, should not be denied our right to keep, maintain, and carry a weapon.  To find out why, lets ask Patrick Henry, one of the greatest Americans.

“Are we at last brought to such an humiliating and debasing degradation that we cannot be trusted with arms for our own defense? Where is the difference between having our arms under our own possesion and under our own direction, and having them under the management of Congress? If our defense be the real object of having those arms, in whose hands can they be trusted with more propriety, or equal safety to us, as in our own hands?”

Or perhaps you have heard of this gentleman:

“Firearms stand next in importance to the Constitution itself. They are the people’s liberty teeth keystone… the rifle and the pistol are equally indispensable… more than 99% of them by their silence indicate that they are in safe and sane hands. The very atmosphere of firearms everywhere restrains evil interference. When firearms go, all goes, we need them every hour.” President George Washington (Address to 1st session of Congress)

The object of this post is not to convince you that it is your duty to possess a firearm and be trained in its use, lest the hands of government seize our liberty, though its been said that “The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.” (Thomas Jefferson Papers p. 334, 1950).  However, it is to make you, responsible reader, aware that our liberties are at stake every day.

Many things are going on today that worry me greatly.

Take for instance the current Supreme Court ruling on Eminent Domain.  Apparently, just because you own something doesn’t mean its really yours if someone else can make more money with it.  Or they want to put a road through.  Or, as happened just recently, a college wants to put up a new sports stadium ( )

Taking away your right to property, all in the name of progress.  Or the “Patriot” Act, eroding our right against unreasonable searches and seizures, in some cases, without a warrant.  Or the continuing debacle of the “Fairness Doctrine”, so against the 1st Amendment rights to freedom of expression it makes me ill to think on it.

I think our Founding Fathers would be shocked and alarmed at the state of our current Republic.

More insidious than a peace-protesting, red-faced, screaming Moonbat, Apathy poses a larger threat to our freedom as Americans than anything else in our history.  Many people do not see the government itself as a threat.

Whoah!  Should I just don my AFDB ( ) now?  Am I being paranoid, or what?  Or am I?  Louis Brandeis, US Supreme Court Justice, once said “Experience should teach us to be most on our guard to protect liberty when the government’s purposes are beneficent. Men born to freedom are naturally alert to repel invasion of their liberty by evil-minded rulers. The greatest dangers to liberty lurk in insidious encroachment by men of zeal, well meaning but without understanding.” (Olmstead v. United States, 1928)

If you do a little reading, you will see that this is a common thought throughout US history.  Until recently.  Somehow, distrust of government has become a “quaint” or “kooky” notion--more what you would expect from some nut-job typing out manifestos in a clapboard shack--instead of a pretty darned good idea.  And there they are, our legislators, slowly, eroding our freedom and telling us its for the common good.

What can you do about it?  Register to Vote.  Then Vote.  Every time.  Send a message to your legislators discussing their voting activity and your views--make sure they know they are being watched.  Get your wife/hubby out there voting too.  Are they claiming they know nothing about it?  Teach and inform.  If you are a property owner, and don’t vote, you are asking for whatever happens to you.  Discuss politics with your kids.  Make sure that when you are fostering a respect of authority in them, you also ensure they always question authority.  Take them out on their 18th Birthday and go with them as they register to vote.  Express your pride that they are taking part in America--make a big deal out of it.  It is after all, a big deal.  Remember:  The cliche that they are the future of America is no less true because they are the future of America.  Discuss politics with your friends and neighbors.  Foster discussion.  Even disagreement is better than apathy.  I would even go so far as to say that disagreement is the preferred path. 

One last thought to send you on your way:

“The spirit of the times may alter, will alter. Our rulers will become corrupt, our people careless. A single zealot may commence persecutor, and better men be his victims. It can never be too often repeated that the time for fixing every essential right on a legal basis is while our rulers are honest and ourselves united. From the conclusion of [their] war [for independence, a nation begins] going down hill. It will not then be necessary to resort every moment to the people for support. They will be forgotten, therefore, and their rights disregarded. They will forget themselves but in the sole faculty of making money, and will never think of uniting to effect a due respect for their rights. The shackles, therefore, which shall not be knocked off at the conclusion of [that] war will remain on [them] long, will be made heavier and heavier, till [their] rights shall revive or expire in a convulsion.” --Thomas Jefferson: Notes on Virginia Q.XVII, 1782. (*) ME 2:225


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 07/24/2007 at 08:36 PM   
Filed Under: • Miscellaneous •  
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Ding dong….

the hippy is gone...


So far FoxNews is the first to break this. Lessee how the MSM spins this, hmm? *breaks out the beer and popcorn*


Posted by Severa   United States  on 07/24/2007 at 07:59 PM   
Filed Under: • Miscellaneous •  
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Not that very many people ever read this far down, but this blog was the creation of Allan Kelly and his friend Vilmar. Vilmar moved on to his own blog some time ago, and Allan ran this place alone until his sudden and unexpected death partway through 2006. We all miss him. A lot. Even though he is gone this site will always still be more than a little bit his. We who are left to carry on the BMEWS tradition owe him a great debt of gratitude, and we hope to be able to pay that back by following his last advice to us all:
  1. Keep a firm grasp of Right and Wrong
  2. Stay involved with government on every level and don't let those bastards get away with a thing
  3. Use every legal means to defend yourself in the event of real internal trouble, and, most importantly:
  4. Keep talking to each other, whether here or elsewhere
It's been a long strange trip without you Skipper, but thanks for pointing us in the right direction and giving us a swift kick in the behind to get us going. Keep lookin' down on us, will ya? Thanks.


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Oh, and here's some kind of visitor flag counter thingy. Hey, all the cool blogs have one, so I should too. The Visitors Online thingy up at the top doesn't count anything, but it looks neat. It had better, since I paid actual money for it.
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