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I took this picture from my front yard just before Christmas. It was, as advertised, near sundown and I was facing east. This struck me as an ideal metaphor to frame my thoughts of the passing year and my hopes for the new one.

I can’t remember the last year I was as glad to see the end of as 2019  So much anger and hate, so many people so wrapped up in their own shit, myself included, that it gets hard to see what even matters.

Merriam Webster’s Dictionary named “They” as the word of the year, whatever that is, but I’m not rooting for it. My vote goes solidly behind “Outrage”. While the outraged may cry out for justice, it seldom seems to be what they actually want and, if these outraged persons make enough noise and get enough attention then, right or wrong, they can get it. No justice there.

I’m not saying the idea of equating justice with ruining someone’s life over what amounts to hurt feelings is a new thing, it’s just so much easier to do now and, now that it is, more and more people seem to want to take a turn sitting on the judge’s bench. The thing that seems to escape many of us regarding this matter is that any of us could be hauled up in front of the court of public opinion, tried by a jury of people who really couldn’t care less and condemned on the weight of ten seconds of cell phone video that may or may not tell the whole story. All this for nothing more than walking into a confrontational situation while minding your own business. I’m not sensing an earnest quest for justice here.

How about here? Kyler Murray, Heisman trophy winning quarterback of the Oklahoma Sooners, was found by some enterprising seeker of justice to have used some words like “Queer” in some twitter posts when he was fifteen. Oh, the Horror! Thank you, seeker of justice, for using the utterances of a foolish child to ruin the biggest moment of this guy’s life. Real smooth.

 

For all that, there are things I truly enjoyed experiencing and memories I will treasure. Here are some pictures:

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We were all very sad and lonely after Milton’s most untimely demise,, especially our other friend, Archie. After eight cats, though, we know that the only cure for losing a beloved cat is to bring home a sweet little kitten. Therefore, I take great pleasure in introducing miss Betty Spaghetti.

 

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Here’s my sister (pink jacket) along with her kids and grandkids. Such lovely people.

 

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Here I am, making friends wherever I go. Photo: Kenny Nines, King of selfies.

 

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Paul Reed Smith SE Custom 22 semi-hollow body. Yabba dabba doo! I can’t even look at it without wanting to pick it up and play it.

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Epiphone ES-335 Dot. See comment above.

 

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On the left we have Big Red’s little buddy, known simply as the Orange Guitar. It was the first one I built, so it needed professional help. Now that it’s properly set up, it can really talk.

 

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Archie and Betty , sitting in the window of my shop. They took their time making friends, but now they’re good.

 

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Here’s Willie the ghost, scaring the crap out of children since 2002. He gives me the willies a little bit, too.

 

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Doughty Yokels take on Godawful monsters in my very own wargame. I never said I wasn’t a geek.

 

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I don’t drink much, I’d rather smoke pot, but Cathy got me to try a cosmopolitan. It was pretty good, but the real story is my hair.

 

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Here’s some bee balm, and here’s some different bee balm.

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Here’s Cathy. She’s feeling good because her monsters are beating the Hell out of the Yokels. Good times.

 

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That’s my dogwood tree, viewed from my bedroom window. Needs a bit of cropping.

 

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Here’s Milton. I have tears in my eyes right now.

 

Boy howdy, have I ever got a lot of pics! I’m really glad for all the good things in my life and I look forward to the good things that will come my way in the coming year. That’s why I’m facing east. I hope all of you are feeling the same way.

OK this is why I don’t do drafts. Like most of us, I hated all the political unrest and bullying. For all that, I’ve got to admit I like the widespread disease, of the body and the spirit,, even less.

When this is all over, we’re all going to have to find a way to move on and get back to being friends. Good luck, everyone.