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July, August & September 2019

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Oh Give Me a Home

Where the Cowboys wyome
They’re wyoming all day and all night
They wyome up the field
They never will yield
‘Til their opponents board their homeward flight

I actually forgot there were college football games last night, so today I decided not to look at the results and just watch the Tivo’d UNLV at Wyoming game, Boy, howdy. The Cowboys won, 17-53.

I didn’t watch the Mississippi State game. There was an update during the Wyoming telecast, at which time home team Auburn was leading something like 9-42. Final score was 23-56. Ouch.

Here’s hoping this merely proves to be another Cowboys week, and that Dallas will add a W tonight at New Orleans.

Update: Went to submit “wyome” to Urban Dictionary with the following definition:

To thoroughly dominate one's opponent on the football field at Laramie.

But apparently now only people with Facebook accounts or Gmail addresses are allowed to submit. So, scroom. I will not submit.

Sunday,  September 29, 2019   12:43 p.m.   McGehee



We Have a Word for This

This morning, I received an email from a local Italian restaurant-slash-pizza place, touting its newly established delivery arrangement with DoorDash.

This afternoon, an online security vendor emailed with news of a data breach affecting... DoorDash.

The word for timing like this is, “Oooooooooops.”

Friday,  September 27, 2019   5:20 p.m.   McGehee



Could They Be Any More Blatant?

The White House released a complete, unredacted transcript of Trump’s telephone conversation with Ukraine’s president, and what do the Derp State Media do? They put headlines on a heavily and misleadingly redacted version designed to make it look as if the only topic of the conversation was “investigate Hunter Biden.” That version leaves out more than 500 words. To put that in perspective, when I was assigned to write a paper in college, a properly formatted page was expected to contain at least 250 words. If I used that estimate, I never had to count words in a paper I submitted for a grade, only pages.

The media, in their frantic haste to protect the Biden family and incriminate Trump, elided more than two pages worth of conversation.

You don’t have to like Trump to see this for what it is.

Program Note, Friday, September 27: This entry is now the first item on the Fall 2019 archive page, though it will also display on the July-August-September page, as will all subsequent September 2019 posts. I have decided to simplify my page labels by using season names, and that means each archive page will begin and end with solstices and equinoxes. The autumnal equinox for 2019 took place at 3:50 a.m., Eastern Daylight Time, on September 23. The winter solstice will occur at 11:19 p.m., EST, on December 21.

Thursday,  September 26, 2019   1:52 p.m.   McGehee



Po’ Sneezy Calamity

With apologies to Queen, music lovers everywhere, and the creator of this meme who inspired the ensuing lyrical crime against humanity.

Sniffling and sneezing
No escape from my misery
Look up to the skies
With red bloodshot eyes
And wheeze...

I’m just a poor soul
Can’t get no sympathy
‘Cause my sinuses run
Like a hose
And my eyes turn red
As a rose

Pollen gets in my nose
That is what’s the matter
With me...
With me

Mama
Can’t go to work today
Just gonna stay in bed
Pull the covers over my head
Mama
The work week’s just begun
But I haven’t got the strength to face the day

Mama, ooh ooooh ooh
Didn’t mean to make you sigh
If I can’t go to work again tomorrow
Carry on, carry on
‘Cause you know what’s the matter

Too late
The boss just called
Read me the riot act
He’ll dock my pay and that’s a fact
Sorry, everybody
I had to come in
‘Cause I cannot afford to lose this job
My friends, ooh ooooh ooh (Pollen gets in my nose)
I don’t wanna get fired
Though today I wish I hadn’t been hired in the first place

I see a pathetic figure of a man
ACHOO! ACHOO!
Will you cover your mouth please!?
Sniffling and sneezing
Very displeasing, EW!
Send him home!
(Send him home!)
Send him home!
(Send him home!)
Won’t you please just send him home!

I’m just a file clerk
Suffering from allergies
He’s just a file clerk
Wallowing in misery
Please send him home so we don’t have to hear him wheeze!
Easy come, easy go, will you send me home?
Send him home!
BE STILL-A! NO! I will not send him home!
Send him home!
BE STILL-A! NO! I will not send him home!
Send him home!
BE STILL-A! NO! I will not send him home!
Send him home!
I will not send him home!
Send him home!
I will not send him home!
Send him home!
I will not send him home!
NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO!

Oh mama mia! Mama mia!
Mama mia, send him home!
Beelzebub has an intray full of work for me!
For me!
For me-e-e-e-e!

So you think you can make me work when I am ill?
So you think this can be fixed by taking a pill?
Oh, boss-man!
Can’t do this to me, boss-man!
So I’ll just walk out
Just gonna walk right out of here

It’s discrimination
Anyone can see
Wrongful termination
Wrongful termination
Of me

‘Cause pollen gets in my nose...

Tangentially related: there’s an old Gilbert O’Sullivan song called, “Alone Again (Naturally)”. Here’s a link to the actual lyrics.

When it was on the radio when I was young, as God is my witness I heard one lyric as:

But as if to knock me down
The allergy came around

In those days, my allergies could do that to me, so it seemed perfectly reasonable.

Sunday,  September 22, 2019   12:50 p.m.   McGehee



Um, Reddit?

One of those “Ask Reddit” videos asks:

Have you ever felt the presence of someone or something not human?

Well, Mrs. McG has cats...

Friday,  September 20, 2019   8:15 p.m.   McGehee



To Whom It May Concern

As evidenced by my reduced blogging frequency in recent months, the loss of my only known occasional reader is not the sole cause of the Tally Book’s dearth of content; it’s a cause, but not the only one.

Another big part of it is that, when it comes to things political and social, the only thought that ever occurs to me anymore is to wonder whether it’s possible to roll one’s eyes so hard and so often that they eventually just pop right out of their sockets.

I started blogging back when facts and logic still held sway, and I never quite developed the knack for screaming simply to hear my own voice, or to generate sympathetic howls from others in a comment section or a social media feed.

So, starting October 1 (or whenever I actually post something after that date), McG’s Tally Book will be archived quarterly rather than monthly.

Or maybe I’ll just start now, retroactively, with July, August, and September.

Worst case, my blogging frequency will continue to dwindle and I’ll eventually fall back to archiving a whole year per page. Won’t that be fun?

Wednesday,  September 18, 2019  McGehee



The Ice Age Cometh

That’s California. Wyoming got snowed on last week.

Tuesday,  September 17, 2019  McGehee



A Milestone of Sorts for Western Civilization

For the past few years, Americans reaching voting age have had a dwindling chance of having any personal memory of the events of Tuesday, September 11, 2001. Today, that chance vanishes away completely.

Now, granted, there wasn’t a realistic chance of anyone turning 18 yesterday having any personal memory of 9/11, but today brings an absolute finality to the notion. New voting-age Americans over the next several years will have some memory of the consequences of the attack, but will only know of the attack itself what others — increasingly, a public “education” establishment hostile to Western civilization — tell them.

Today the memory of 9/11 is old enough to vote, but it probably won’t.

Wednesday,  September 11, 2019  McGehee



Blogger in the Hospital

Charles G. Hill, Squire of Surlywood and proprietor of Dustbury, is in the hospital after a vehicle accident. Some of us had begun to worry because he hadn’t updated his site — nor his Twitter timeline — since Tuesday morning. However, fellow blogger HollyH left a comment to Charles’ most recent post with the information.

Charles has been having health issues in recent years, and has occasionally had difficulty driving because of some of the resulting complications. Of course, he has always had to contend with other people’s lousy driving habits on his daily commute too, so until we hear from him we won’t know whether this was a result of the former or the latter.

Update, Friday: This tweet was posted yesterday but I just found it.

According to his own blog, Charles has been chronically depressed for most of his life, yet he has also borne up against trials that might have crushed a man of a more sanguine disposition. Like all of his friends I fear the worst, but I’m also hopeful that, if he possibly can, he will get through this too.

Update, Sunday night:

I’m too busy stuffing cash into my swear jar to comment at this time.

Update again, a bit later: I managed to find some G-rated words that I posted in the thread on Charles’ last post:

Many of his loved ones went before, and his pain is behind him.

Ours is just begun.

Update, Monday: Fellow Dustbury reader and Friend-of-Charles Roger Green offers a eulogy.

Update, Wednesday, Sept. 11: The Oklahoman’s Steve Lackmeyer offers a tribute of his own.

Thursday,  September 5, 2019  McGehee



Pass the Hot Cider, It Must Be Fall

Yesterday your blogger got to watch two college football games of the NCAA variety: Mississippi State visiting Louisiana-Lafayette at the Superdome in New Orleans, and Wyoming hosting Missouri at War Memorial Stadium in Laramie.

Mississippi State’s Bulldogs scored first in their game, but couldn’t seem to keep the Ragin’ Cajuns from tying things up again until the third quarter when they opened a 14-point lead. Louisiana narrowed that to seven in the fourth, but State scored a field goal near the end of the game and finished 38-28.

Wyoming’s game started less auspiciously, with Missouri leading 14-0 at halftime, but the Cowboys emerged from the locker room ready to come back; soon they had opened a 17-27 lead, and the Tigers never again saw daylight. Long pass troubles by Wyoming’s quarterback in the first half evaporated, and the Wyoming defense ceased to be caught flat-footed by Missouri’s ground game. When it was all over, Wyoming had defeated Missouri, 31-37.

Both losing teams suffered from costly turnovers, but the winners weren’t immune — a Louisiana punt bumped an inattentive Mississippi State player’s leg from behind, freeing the Cajuns to reclaim possession. They went on to push into the end zone on the resulting drive, scoring one of their first-half game-tying TDs. That Bulldog player will certainly be looking forward to next Saturday when hopefully some other topic of conversation will emerge from their game against Southern Mississippi.

The NFL regular season starts next weekend.

Sunday,  September 1, 2019  McGehee




What a Way to End a Month

As I write this, in the late afternoon of August 31, passes Hour 20 of the Stupidest 24 Hours of 2019. So far.

What has made them stupid isn’t necessarily what people have said or done — but that when called out on it, they defended it. And I’m not talking CNN employees or Democrat officeholders or anti-Trump “Republican” pundits, but people who read and snicker at and joke about the antics of CNN employees and Democrat officeholders and anti-Trump “Republican” pundits. People whom one would therefore assume ought to know better.

I can only hope it’s a temporary madness that will have become but an embarrassing memory for the perpetrators once September has begun.

God help us all.

Saturday,  August 31, 2019  McGehee



Well, Then

I won’t say that I agree wholeheartedly with the court’s conclusion here, but the schadenfreude is quite tasty.

The 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday that the Colorado secretary of state violated the Constitution in 2016 when he removed an elector and nullified his vote because the elector refused to cast his ballot for Democrat Hillary Clinton, who won the popular vote.

The ruling applies only to Colorado and five other states in the 10th Circuit: Kansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Utah and Wyoming.

It could influence future cases nationwide in the unlikely event that enough Electoral College members strayed from their states’ popular vote to affect the outcome of a presidential election, constitutional scholars said.

The court may actually be right about the constitutionality of “faithless elector” laws, but what I like is the complaint from Colorado’s Democrat Secretary of State:

Colorado’s current secretary of state, Jena Griswold, decried the ruling Tuesday in Colorado but did not immediately say if she would appeal.

“This court decision takes power from Colorado voters and sets a dangerous precedent,” she said. “Our nation stands on the principle of one person, one vote.”

Colorado, you see, is a signatory to the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact, a scheme whereby the votes cast by Colorado’s own voters can be overruled if the aggregated total of votes in all 50 states and the District of Columbia (what the Compact erroneously refers to as the “national” popular vote, which does not legally exist) disagrees. If, say, in 2020, the Compact were in effect, and the majority of the “national” popular vote went to Trump, the Compact would require that Colorado send its Republican electors’ votes to be counted in Washington, D.C. on January 6, 2021 even if the Democrat ticket received 100% of the vote in Colorado.

Colorado and the other states that have signed on to this Compact have no moral standing whatsoever to complain about this ruling “tak(ing) power from (their) voters” — especially since Colorado’s decision to join this Compact was taken without the voters’ input.

The article goes on to note, however, that this ruling is at odds with a May ruling by the Washington Supreme Court, which could mean the U.S. Supreme Court might choose to hear an appeal. It’s not as likely as if the tension were with another federal appeals court, but it’s possible. But there’s another wrinkle.

It wasn’t immediately clear what impact the ruling would have on a new Colorado law that pledges the state’s Electoral College votes to the winner of the national popular vote if enough other states with a total of at least 270 electoral votes do the same.

[...]

Tuesday’s ruling could undermine the law by prohibiting the state from requiring electors to vote for the popular vote winner, said Frank McNulty, an adviser to Protect Colorado’s Vote, which wants voters to overturn the law. But the ruling could also free electors to decide on their own to support the candidate with the most votes nationally, he said.

Go long on popcorn futures.

Update: On further consideration, I fear I may have found a hole in Frank McNulty’s reasoning.

Thursday,  August 22, 2019  McGehee



All of Them Witches

United States Senators were poleaxed to discover that other legislative bodies manage to enact budgets and avoid chronic deficits without dancing naked with Satan under the full moon. (Paywall warning.)

In Wyoming, the constitution mandates that the Legislature pass a balanced budget, (Republican state Sen. Eli) Bebout continued, recommending a similar rule be put in place in Congress. Once that balanced budget is in place, Bebout said, Wyoming lives "within those revenue streams."

He referred again to the Wyoming Constitution, which bars the state from incurring debt that exceeds 1 percent of the assessed value of the taxable property in the state.

That lack of debt made it difficult for Bebout to answer a question from Kaine about debt management policies in Wyoming.

"We don’t have anything in place," Bebout said. "We don’t have any debt."

Sen. John Kennedy, R-La., spoke later, saying he was "still trying to get over the fact that Wyoming has no debt."

"I’m trying to get my mind around that," he said.

U.S. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., also wanted to talk about debt in Wyoming: He asked Bebout about the state’s capital construction fund, assuming that Wyoming’s balanced budget amendment must not apply in that area.

Bebout clarified that Wyoming’s budget includes capital expenditures.

"It’s all one package based on our revenues," he said. "(The budgets) includes capital construction and capital spending."

"So the year-to-year spending on a particular building is right in the constitutional budget?" Whitehouse asked.

"Yes," Bebout replied, recalling the state’s recently completed capitol renovation project that cost $300 million.

The idea behind the testimony in question was to help Congress find ways to get federal deficits and long-term debt under control. Wyoming’s senior U.S. Senator, Mike Enzi (R) invited Bebout — a longtime Wyoming lawmaker and a onetime GOP nominee for governor — to tell about how his state does it. You can almost see the other Senators’ jaws agape and their eyes bulging from their heads as they grapple with the alien ideas to which they were being exposed.

Enzi and others who spoke during the Senate hearing expressed a desire to see a biennial budget process applied at the federal level. The change would "give Congress more time (for) executive branch oversight and policy development and reduce the potential for government shutdowns," Enzi said.

Bebout spoke about Wyoming’s two-year budget process during his testimony, offering support for the idea of a biennial federal budget that would provide more certainty for those impacted by government spending decisions.

He also suggested the federal government base more of its budget process on revenue predictions, like Wyoming does.

"The thing that really drives our budget is not what we want to spend but the revenues available to us," he said. "That’s where we start ... rather than having the spending side of it drive it."

Senators Kennedy and Whitehouse were later seen piling cordwood for a bonfire, with a Bebout-sized stake on the top.

Saturday,  August 10, 2019  McGehee



And Now With Even Less Google Than the Last Time I Had Less Google

I recently discovered that I didn’t need to create a brand new Google account when I first wanted to get rid of the Gmail address attached to the old one. Or rather, I wouldn’t have needed to, if the option to detach the Gmail address from an existing Google account had always been available. I don’t think it always has been, but it sure is now.

I discovered this while in the process of disencumbering the old account — which had a Gmail address — of the last few remaining bits of non-transferable intellectual property (meaning ebooks) so that I could delete the account once and for all. I had already transferred everything from that account to my new, Gmail-free Google account that I could, and I had replaced the Google ebooks I had bought on it with Kindle versions so that if I ever lost my sanity and wanted to switch Google accounts yet again I wouldn’t need to worry about them.

In the course of doing some last housekeeping on the doomed old account, I followed a link and found that among the services associated with that account that could be deleted, was Gmail. All I needed to do was provide a non-Gmail address that wasn’t attached to another active Google account, and voilà! — no more Gmail address.

I’m positive this wasn’t an option when I created my current account. If you know otherwise, don’t tell me.

As long as I’m using an Android phone, I’ll still need a Google account; and also as long as Mrs. McG depends on Google for her calendar. But I have found alternatives to almost everything I used to depend on Google for. I even found a contact manager that is as flexible as Google’s, something I had despaired of repeatedly over the last ten years or so.

I just wish being able to de-Googlify to this extent didn’t feel just a little bit... too easy.

Monday,  August 5, 2019  McGehee




Four Years-ish

Has it really only been four years (give or take half a week or so) since I resumed “serious” blogging, under the name “Ridin’ Fence” (which I changed to the current name a couple of years later)?

It probably seems longer to you because you have to read it — whereas I only have to write it.

What will the next four years bring? I’m not even sure about the next four weeks — but at least I know that, blogging or not, I won’t be going back on social media.

The other day I was reading some Reddit posts about why people have deleted their Facebook accounts (no, I’m not on Reddit; the AskReddit YouTube videos have become a guilty indulgence), and it brought to mind my own experience with that... platform.

When I first joined Facebook, I friended pretty much everyone whose name or handle looked familiar to me from the blog comment threads I was already frequenting. This was back when sites like JunkyardBlog, Ipse Dixit, Gut Rumbles, etc., were still going concerns, so there was a lot to work with. And since I’ve always used my own name in one form or another in blogdom, they recognized me and friended me back in turn. It was a heady time, and my “friend” count quickly rose into triple digits. In meatspace I would have had to reach back to my college, or possibly high school years, to get my total that high. And I don’t mean just during those years, I mean then and since, cumulatively.

I don’t remember what caused me to reconsider this pattern, but I decided that I wanted my Facebook circle limited to people I had actually met in meatspace. Only one of the hundreds of “friends” I unfriended at that point noticed, and asked about it, and even she accepted my reasoning. For the rest of the time I was on Facebook, I adhered to that rule (with only one well-deserved exception) for the remainder of my time on the platform, and it worked — until Facebook stopped letting me order my feed the way I wanted.

In retrospect it was a small reason to abandon the social media juggernaut, but I saw it as a warning of things to come, and my misgivings were prophetic.

The reality is, actual personal news — significant events of real interest to the people that genuinely care — doesn’t happen every day. If you’re lucky it doesn’t even happen every year. Wading through sharings of memes and of outrages-of-the-moment only serves to make me less interested in those pieces of actual news that might inadvertently get shared (and promptly buried under the deluge of trivia — maybe that was why I unfriended those people I only knew online, way back when).

I frankly wonder how it is Facebook’s algorithms can wade through all the pictures of restaurant food and fashion selfies shared so widely by people who don’t even know, haven’t even heard of, the original posters, to develop a useful profile of any Facebooker. That may be the saving grace of the chaos: its abysmal signal-to-noise ratio. It’s that same ratio that drives people like me away, people who don’t chase every ephemeral FOMO craze, thus also protecting us from being much more effectively catalogued.

If someone ever did perfect a social media platform that stayed securely in my signal-to-noise comfort zone, that characteristic would itself put it outside my comfort zone in a bigger way.

As for Twitter, it’s what I have in mind when I say that social media constitute a dystopic alternate reality that drives mad anyone not already insane. It takes Facebook’s noise and distills it, elevating the intensity to the pandæmonic. If you ever watched Joss Whedon’s Serenity and remember the scene where the heroes’ ship is sneaking past the Reavers, with the howls and screams from the Reavers’ fleet coming though the cockpit speakers, you know how Twitter sounds to me these days. If only it could be padlocked shut from the outside.

So, even if my blogging frequency were to subside to the point where whole months might pass between posts, don’t bother looking for me on those other platforms, nor on any new ones that may arise. If you don’t find me saying anything here, it’s because I literally have nothing to say. At least in public.

Wednesday,  July 24, 2019  McGehee



“The Eagle Has Landed”

I don’t remember “watching” the landing itself, but I do remember sitting in front of the TV waiting what seemed like an eternity for the astronauts to finally leave the Lunar Excursion Module and set foot on the Moon.

Fifty years later, NASA describes the moment:

They reconfigured Eagle’s cabin for depressurization, donned their helmets, visors, and gloves, and then opened the valve that vented the cabin.

Aldrin opened Eagle’s forward hatch, which swung inward toward him, giving Armstrong access to the outside front porch. Aldrin added, “About ready to go down and get some Moon rock?” He helped Armstrong navigate through the narrow confines of Eagle’s hatch and onto the front porch. Once on the ladder, Armstrong pulled a lanyard that released the Modularized Equipment Stowage Assembly (MESA) on the side of Eagle’s Descent Stage, on which was mounted a black and white TV camera, allowing hundreds of millions of viewers on Earth to see him descend the ladder down to the landing leg’s footpad.

As a precaution, he practiced the three-foot jump back up to the ladder’s first rung, made easier in the one-sixth lunar gravity. Once back down on the footpad, Armstrong described that the footpads had only sunk one or two inches into the lunar dust which he noted was fine-grained, almost powdery. Armstrong announced, “I’m going to step off the LM now.” And at 9:56 PM Houston time he did just that, firmly planting his left foot onto the lunar surface, proclaiming, “That’s one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind.”

Of course, we all heard it — and still do on playback — without the indefinite article in the first clause, but apparently that was due to Armstrong’s Midwestern inflection.

I remember having a cardboard punch-out LEM model that I don’t think I succeeded at putting together, though I seem to recall that my older brother got his set up the way it was supposed to. (The link was selected because it includes a photo of the model put together.)

We sent six more missions to the Moon, of which five landed — the last in 1972. It’s scandalous that we haven’t landed anyone there or anywhere else since. There are people who weren’t even born yet in 1972, who are grandparents now. Imagine if the Wright Brothers had stopped experimenting with powered heavier-than-air flight in 1906, and in 1953 there were still no prospect of another such flight in the foreseeable future.

Scandalous.

Saturday,  July 20, 2019  McGehee



Am I Ready for Some Football?

Just a bit over two weeks to go. The linked article is four months old, but there never seems to be a lot of news generated about this game, as such, before the Hall of Fame induction festivities actually begin.

The Atlanta Falcons will be the designated home team, “hosting” the Denver Broncos. It’s NFL pre-season football, so a step... below spring football, actually — though that could be because neither team holds any particular allegiance in this household.

Pre-season pro football is only an appetizer until college footbll begins on August 31, with Mrs. McG’s alma mater, Mississippi State, visiting Louisiana-Lafayette. Wyoming’s hosting of Missouri (!) will begin before the Mississippi State game ends, but that’s what DVRs are for.

Update, July 30: 56 hours to go. Fading fast. May not make it.

Update, August 1: I made it! Mrs. McG learned that one of the Broncos’ players was from Mississippi State, so we’re cheered by Denver’s 14-10 victory.

Tuesday,  July 16, 2019  McGehee



But This Is a New One

I do quote myself sometimes, and this will be one of those times.

Over at Instapundit, to a post by Ed Driscoll about the latest Nike idiocy, I commented:

Nike’s target market consists of people who live in an alternate reality called "social media."

Sane people ought to avoid living there, it’s past the point of dystopia.

First we closed all of the insane asylums, then Facebook and Twitter, et al, opened new ones.

Saturday,  July 6, 2019  McGehee



Free As Can Be

I posted the entire text of the Declaration of Independence last year (and the year before), and if you’ve a mind to read it again here (as opposed to, oh I don’t know, any of the thousands of other places online you can find it), you can follow either of those links.

The state of our American union these days may be — and certainly ought to be — of profound concern to many of us, but the rest of the world is no better off. Americans remain more free even now than anyone else in the world. Some countries are dead set on getting worse; others want to get better. I think we’re one of the latter, The Most Busted Name in News™ and its fellow-travelers in the media and in public office to the contrary notwithstanding.

The next sixteen months, give or take a day, will show whether I’m right or wrong about that.

Me, I’ll be celebrating this day with some target practice. Because I can, and nincompoops in Congress can’t stop me.

Update: If you genuinely believe this flag is the equivalent of the Nazi swastika, you have the IQ of dirt.

’Nother update, July 5: A couple of well-timed webcam visits to Wyoming last night netted me these. The first, in black and white because nighttime, was in Evanston alongside Interstate 80. The second came from the Jackson Town Square webcam, which sees in color at all hours.

Independence Day,  July 4, 2019  McGehee



 


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