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Archive for the 'Conscious Media' Category

HOW TO CONSERVE WATER

Posted in Conscious Actions, Conscious Media, Eco Warriors, Ethical Living, Water War on June 14th, 2008

PAINLESSLY AND EASY TIPS TO USE LESS WATER

180px-drinking_water1.jpg

Much has been written of late, both here at libsearthwatch.com and around the BLOGOSPHERE, about what is being called the coming water wars. While the tendency in most advanced countries is to view the idea of wars being fought over something so basic as drinking water as overblown and the domain of conspiracy theorists, the reality is the worlds supply of potable drinking water is no longer adequate to accommodate the needs of Planet Earth’s ever-growing population without both a serious investment in desalination and other purification technology, and realistic conservation efforts being undertaken here and abroad. Well, that’s the bad news.

The good news is that water conservation does not have to be painful. What follows are some easy to enact, relatively painless ways to reduce one’s water usage and to feel good about oneself in the process. In the interest of disclosure, the inspiration for today’s posting came from a feature in today’s Daily Green.com. In fact the list, minus the comments were pinched from that wonderful site via the Huffington Post’s, Green Page.

INSTALL A LOW-FLOW SHOWERHEAD
The experts tell us that this cuts consumption by 50 – 70%. But just think about the water that you could save if you showered with your girlfriend, boyfriend, spouse, fiancé or that attractive single person down the hall, downstairs, upstairs, across the street, in the next cube, etc?

Best of all, you could sell this liberating idea to your potentially skeptical shower partner as the two of you ‘doing your part for the good of Mother Earth and us all’. What man or woman could resist when the ideas is presented in this way? Talk about a win-win situation…

TURN OFF THE TAP WHILE YOU BRUSH
The EPA tells us that the average bathroom faucet flows at a rate of two gallons a minute. Doing the math, this means that by something so simple as turning off the faucet while brushing, you can save as much as 8 gallons of water per day per person.

There is not that I can add here except, perhaps, to suggest only brushing one’s teeth once a day. Whether this would be done in the morning or evening would depend on one’s social calendar, and whether swapping bodily fluids with another is being contemplated.

WATER YOUR YARD IN THE MORNING
The accepted knowledge here is that it is best to water lawns and outdoor plants in the early morning so less precious water is lost evaporation.

Sadly, during a drought, this advice is about as helpful as reorganizing the deck chairs would have been on the Titanic in that it really doesn’t do all that much to ease the water shortage problem.

A better solution would be to tear the damn lawn up all together and replace it with flora native to your particular environment. Here in Southern California that would be cactus.

Additionally, without the water hogging lawn, there is now plenty of water and space for planting an organic veggie garden. This is another win-win as it conserves water and it guarantees a supply of healthy, non- toxic, locally grown food to eat, which in this time of five dollar gasoline and listeria infected produce is a good thing to have going for you.

For those of you who live in areas with plentiful rainfall, consider also installing a water reclamation system that would capture water run off and store it for use water plants. I realize that I used several potentially scary terms in that sentence, – reclamation system, capture run off. So before you work yourself into a tizzy over having to spend thousands of dollars just to have a few tomato plants, know that a water reclamation system is as simple as a clean garbage-type can positioned underneath your house’s rain gutter. So instead of the rainwater making it’s way to the drain and the ocean or the nearby lake, you the environmentally wise person that you are, are capturing it for eventual re-use. Now, if we could only figure out a way to use this in the Jacuzzi? Talk about what a win –win that would be?

USE A PRO CAR WASH
Here to, the experts tells us that merely washing your car in your driveway uses anywhere from 80 and 140 gallons of water per wash depending, I guess, on the size of your car and how anal you are about getting it new car clean. (Note! Hummers are excluded from these estimates, but we won’t go there as I doubt that there are all that many Hummer drivers reading this blog.) Contrast this to a professional wash, which uses about 45 gallons of water per car.

My friends, I like a clean car as much as the next person, and because my hybrid is black, probably more so than most. However, it is more important to me that the inside is clean, it’s odor free (except for my essential oil air freshener), and the carpets are free of dust, coffee spills and food droppings. So why not do as I do. Once every six weeks or so, I have my car professionally washed inside and out. This I have done at one of the many car washes in my area that recycle their wash water. (Note! You can tell which vendors recycle their water pretty easily, because recycled water smells bad – much the way rainwater smells when puddles of it sit in your yard without moving for a few days.

Then on alternate weekends when my 10 yr old nephew comes to visit, I toss him a few bucks to vacuum the inside and wipe down the dash and console with a damp cloth. This way I’m conserving water, have a relatively clean, odor free car, and am employing the youth of America as they learn the value of working for a dollar in today’s economy. Score this a win-win!

FIX THAT LEAK
The experts tell us that ignoring a dripping faucet, leaky pipe joint or dripping sprinkler head can waste a minimum of 3 gallons of water per day per leak. By itself, this is not a lot of water, but these things do add up. As one not that technically astute, particularly about things that get you dirty or could potentially injure your hands – and plumbing is definitely one of those – I have heard that it is amazing what a two-dollar pack of washers can do to remedy most leaky situations.

However, I can speak from experience, that ceasing to park cars, trucks, motorcycles and other weighty objects on the lawn will go a long way toward stopping leaky sprinkler heads. Plus the oil, which all of these vehicles have a habit of leaking will kill what remains of your lawn, which is bad, unless of course that is part of your plan. Then it is merely another win-win.

To summarize, while each of these changes, my snarky comments notwithstanding, are valid ways to reduce one’s water consumption, nothing will really get any better for the long term as long as environmentalists continue to dance around the real cause of today’s water shortages; the water being wasted daily on the tens of billions of sheep and cattle currently grazing on the world’s great plains as they wait their turn to become steaks and hamburgers.

Drastically reducing our consumption of red meat would not only be healthy, but would go a long way to insure that the nations of the world will not one day be battling over the world’s remaining drinking water.

- Denis

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QUERY! WHY ISN’T EVERY DAY EARTH DAY?

Posted in Conscious Media, Eco -Chic on April 22nd, 2008

WILL THIS BE THE YEAR THAT WHAT IS GOOD FOR THE EARTH BECOMES THE PRIORITY OF ALL OF THE EARTH’S PEOPLE?

globetemperature2033.jpgWith her recent ascension to the throne atop LA’s City Beat newspaper, regular friend of this site and our sister site, The Recovering Liberal, , Rebecca Schoenkopf, better known to fan and foe as “Commie Girl” has put together a fantastic, fitting earth day issue, the lead story of which I have linked to below.

Written by investigative journalist, Jim Washburn, formerly of the award winning Orange County Weekly, as was Ms. Schoenkopf, this posting says neatly and concisely much of what I would be touching on today, if this was not also my birthday and I didn’t have other plans. But rest assured, with Jim and Rebecca, you are in good hands.

See you all tomorrow.

-LIB

HEADIN’ FOR THE TAR PITS, ONE AND ALL
by Jim Washburn,
LA City Beat

“Mother Earth is pregnant for the third time …”
– Come on, you know the words, intone along –
“… for y’all have knocked her up,
I have tasted the maggots in the mind of the universe,
I was not offended,
For I knew I had to rise above it all,
Or drown in my own shit.”

That’s the intro to “Maggot Brain” by Funkadelic, in case you were absent when American History stopped dead as 10 minutes of Negro fuzztone lamentation washed over it in 1971. “What the truckful of fuck was that?” you might have asked then, for this was not progressive supergroup fuzz guitar; it was a raw cry, Funkadelic guitarist Eddie Hazel operating under first-take instructions from George Clinton to play as if he’d just heard his mother had died. Clinton didn’t tell him it was Mother Earth. That’s where that was coming from.

CONTINUE READING:

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NEWS WATCH! GORE TO FORCE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES TO DISCUSS CLIMATE

Posted in Clean Energy, Conscious Media, Eco Warriors, Global Warming on March 31st, 2008

KICKS OFF $300M ADVERTISING BLITZ TO PERSUADE AMERICANS THAT PROTECTING THE PLANET TRANSCENDS POLITICAL DIVISIONS

gore_nyu1.jpgWhile George Bush was being roundly booed as he threw out the ceremonial first pitch at the Washington Nationals baseball game last night, in a New York television studio, his one time opponent, Al Gore, was kicking off a 300 million dollar ad campaign, a significant chunk of it self- financed, to force the issue of global warming and climate change into the nation’s political discourse.

Gore, accompanied by wife, Tipper made the announcement during an interview on CBS Television’s, 60 Minutes.

The ad campaign, which is expected to begin airing on broadcast and cable as early as this Wednesday, teams unlikely allies together to address the seriousness of the Global Warming issue and the need for all Americans to work together for our common good.

In the sample clip aired by CBS last night, fiery black preacher, Al Sharpton was featured sharing the stage with conservative wack-job, Pat Robertson. Now two men with less in common probably do not exist, and thankfully so. But this is what makes the campaign so fresh and exciting and is probably what will strike a cord with many Americans who to now have not formed an opinion on this oh so critical issue. Other odd couples expected to appear include current House Speaker, Nancy Pelosi, trading lines with disgraced former congressional leader, New Gingrich, he of the numerous wives, mistresses and the abysmal, Contract with America.

When asked about those who still profess skepticism where the issue of climate change and global warming is concerned, among them the President and the Vice President, the former Vice President observed that their line of thinking “had been isolated as a fringe group” and compared their line of thinking with those conspiracy theorists who “still believe that the moon landing was staged in a movie lot in Arizona or that the earth is flat.”

Good job, Mr. Gore. I couldn’t have said it better, myself.

-LIB

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GREEN MOVIES WORTH VIEWING

Posted in Conscious Media, Ethical Living on July 6th, 2007

Inconvenient-Truth_v150.jpgAn Inconvenient Truth (2006)
Mr. Gore went to Washington, and we all know how that turned out. But when Al hit Hollywood, it was a different story altogether. An Inconvenient Truth let the former veep shout his climate message from the proverbial rooftops. Who would have thought a documentary about a politician with a whiz-bang computer presentation would make such an impact, let alone win a couple of Academy Awards? But Gore’s star turn changed climate conversations forever.

Erin Brockovich (2000)
Julia Roberts lends star power — and plenty of cleavage — to this based-on-a-true-story epic of wronged Californians rallying against a shady corporate polluter. The title character, a stereotype-bucking, working-class mom, transforms her professional inexperience into an asset, helping to coordinate one of the largest class-action lawsuits in U.S. history.

Winged Migration (2001)
Before penguin peregrinations became all the rage, this documentary captured the grandeur of nature by following the migrations of more than a dozen bird species, spanning four years, 40 countries, and all seven continents. French filmmaker Jacques Perrin, working with a 450-person crew, used planes, gliders, helicopters, and hot-air balloons to capture the impressive journeys, which make waddling across ice look like child’s play.

List continues after the JUMP

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BREAKING THE LINK BETWEEN DRINKING MILK AND LOOSING WEIGHT

Posted in Conscious Media, Health Watch, News Brief, Toxic Food on May 13th, 2007

Milk_glass.jpg A national advertising campaign that associates dairy products with weight loss will be curtailed because research does not support the claim, according to the Federal Trade Commission.

The advertisements, conceived by the promotional arm of the dairy industry and overseen by the Agriculture Department, feature slogans like “Milk your diet. Lose weight!” and suggest that three servings of dairy products a day can help people be slim.

The effort includes a campaign called “Body by Milk” that is aimed at teenagers. It features Alex Rodriguez, the third baseman for the New York Yankees, and Carrie Underwood, an “American Idol” winner.

The assertion that there is a link between weight loss and dairy consumption has long been contested by the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, an advocacy and research group that promotes a diet free of animal products.

Read On…..

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ONLINE PUBLISHERS STRAP ON THEIR BIRKENSTOCKS AND GO GREEN

Posted in Conscious Media, Sustainable Living on April 24th, 2007

TARGET AUDIENCE, THE 95 PERCENT OF PEOPLE WHO WANT TO BE 5 PERCENT GREEN

alinewsonbono.jpg Buoyed by the breakaway success of “An Inconvenient Truth,” the film documentary of Al Gore’s environmental lecture, publishers like The Washington Post, National Geographic and others are increasing their offerings of “green” content, hoping to attract readers and advertising revenues from manufacturers and retailers who are suddenly walking the earth-friendly path.

Yesterday, for instance, Washingtonpost.Newsweek Interactive, the online arm of The Washington Post Company, introduced Sprig.com, a new Web site aimed at environmentally conscious women. The site is the first new property the company has built from scratch; it bought Slate.com and operates BudgetTravelOnline.com in partnership with Arthur Frommer’s Budget Travel magazine and Newsweek. Analysts said the initiative is well-enough timed and executed.

“If you looked at 10 new markets to go after right now, this would probably be close to the top, because the number of companies advertising green stuff will explode in the next couple of years,” said Josh Bernoff, an online media analyst with Forrester Research, a consulting firm. “And having an established company behind it is a good way to kick something like this off.”

Read On….

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IMUS: TWO OTHER PERSPECTIVES

Posted in Conscious Media, Miscellaneous on April 15th, 2007

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COWARDS KICK AWAY ANOTHER PIECE OF AMERICA’S SOUL

By Kinky Freidman

April 15, 2007 — Author, musician and former Texas gubernatorial candidate Kinky Friedman has been friends with Don Imus since 1975, when they met on stage at The Bottom Line.

I MET Imus on the gangplank of Noah’s Ark. He was then and remains today a truth-seeking missile with the best bull-meter in the business.

Far from being a bully, he was a spiritual chop-buster never afraid to go after the big guys with nothing but the slingshot of ragged integrity. I watched him over the years as he struggled with his demons and conquered them. This was not surprising to me.

Imus came from the Great Southwest, where the men are men and the emus are nervous. And he did it all with something that seems, indeed, to be a rather scarce commodity these days. A sense of humor.

There’s no excusing Imus’ recent ridiculous remark, but there’s something not kosher in America when one guy gets a Grammy and one gets fired for the same line.

Read On…..

cover2.jpg IMUS, AUTISM, AND AMERICA

By David Kirby

Imus is gone, but not everyone is cheering. Thousands of parents of autistic children around the country are reeling at the loss of the one true friend they had in the mainstream media. For them, the silencing of Imus could not have come at a worse time.

Of course the messy-headed host said a reprehensible thing, and some form of punishment was not only imperative, but desirable. Comeuppance, almost always, is a good thing.

Many enemies of racist and sexist trash talk wanted Don Imus gone, and they got their wish. If you are reading this blog, you may count yourself among them (though it’s not clear if the Rutgers basketball players who accepted Imus’ apology shared in this sentiment).

But consider, for a moment, who is cheering right alongside you. Certainly everyone who thinks the war in Iraq is going swimmingly, and deserves our full support, is happy to see the end of Imus – and that goes for the Vice President on down.

Read On…..

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DISCOVERY NETWORKS TO SPIN OFF GREEN CHANNEL IN 2008

Posted in Conscious Media, Eco Warriors, News Brief, Sustainable Values on April 7th, 2007

REBRANDS DISCOVERY HOME INTO THE FIRST 24-HOUR NETWORK DEDICATED TO GREEN LIFESTYLE PROGRAMMING

5.jpg Discovery Communications Chief Executive David Zaslav announced Thursday at the network’s upfront presentation plans for Discovery PlanetGreen, a multiplatform initiative that aims to reach consumers on varied levels.

The PlanetGreen project includes rebranding the existing Discovery Home Channel into the first 24-hour network dedicated to green lifestyle programming; it is expected to reach 50 million U.S. homes when it debuts in 2008. Discovery also is investing $50 million in original programming and creating an online environment with original video content and interactive forums.

The network will set up an advisory board to aid in global endeavors, host a PlanetGreen Innovation Conference, attempt to make its global headquarters a carbon-neutral building and work with partners such as the Nature Conservancy.

In addition to PlanetGreen, Discovery will announce more original programming for its HD channel, Discovery HD Theater, during the upfront presentation to advertisers.

Eileen O’Neill, a senior executive and former general manager of Discovery Health Channel, will lead the Discovery PlanetGreen initiative.

SOURCE: TV WEEK

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BRIT TEACHERS, FEARING MUSLIM BACKLASH, CEASE TEACHING ABOUT THE HOLOCAUST

Posted in Conscious Media, Miscellaneous, News Brief on April 3rd, 2007

POLITICAL CORRECTNESS FINALLY GOES TOO FAR

250px-High_school_students1.jpg While I have no problem attempting to make people of various races feel valued, particularly when the discussion concerns school age children, I do however draw the line when this accommodation necessitates whitewashing history.

Case in point, the current trend in Great Britain to eliminate the teaching of the Holocaust rather than risk upsetting the nation’s Muslim students.

The Holocaust is man’s darkest hour. It is unthinkable that any rational race or culture would attempt to make a case for denying its existence. But this is what is allegedly being done in Britain’s mosques.

Rather than sanctioning by omission these lies, the British school system should stand up for the millions of Holocaust victims who had their lives stolen from them by a ideological madman because he deemed the God that they worshipped, their ethnic origin or sexual preference to be inferior.

Sounds a lot like today, doesn’t it?

It is important to remember here that the schools in question are part of the British school system. They are located in the cities, towns and villages of Great Britain and not in some far off desert land.

Hence, it is the responsibility of the British school system to give their charges the grounding that they will need to compete in the years to come, without regard for the people that it will upset. Study of the Holocaust is an important part of this grounding as it shows man at his worst, but more importantly it documents how a seemingly innocent movement could turn into such a monster that at one time threatened to bring down an entire continent.

If teaching the Holocaust means risking a potential backlash from the more extreme elements of the Muslim community, then they must deal with this now and at not some future date.

Situations allowed to sit and fester while politicians find courage, historically, only worsen over time.

Hopefully the Brits will not allow this to happen.

Perhaps they should follow Australia’s lead when that country was confronted with a similar issue a few weeks back. In this case Muslims in Australia were attempting to institute a religious legal system.

Australia’s answer brief and to the point; comply with our system of laws or leave.

Hopefully, Britain has Australia’s courage. -LIB

Read On….

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COMMENTARY: ON THE PASSING OF THE LONG PLAYING ALBUM

Posted in Conscious Media, Cool Products, Eco -Chic, Miscellaneous on March 30th, 2007

THE “LIB” CONFRONTS HIS INNER CONTROL FREAK

300px-Vynil_record.jpg At the bottom of this posting is a link to an article from last Sunday’s New York Times, telling of the decision by the major players of the recording industry to phase out funding long playing albums by new and up and coming artists.

This is tragic news for many of us baby boomers for whom the album is more than a collection of songs, but a vital part of the soundtrack of our lives.

But no matter how much I realize that time waits for no man, and pride myself on being at the forefront of those willing to embrace new technologies, there are times when this is more difficult than others. The passing of long form album is one of those times. So, let’s all cry in our beer together as we celebrate what once was.

For many of us forty and above, 45-RPM singles were how we were developed our music jones, that quasi-clinical, belly-knawing addiction that as teenagers forced many of us to do what no child should be forced to do.

Now, many years later and after intensive therapy, I feel safe enough to reveal that I was one such child, forced unfairly, I might add, to choose between the momentary oral gratification of the latest junk food craze or of trading up for the near heavenly pleasure derived from owning my very own copy of the hottest new hit single being played to death that week on Top 40 radio.

I’m happy to say that when forced to choose, usually I opted for the latter and fed my music monkey, a condition which plagues me to this day. But I am getting ahead of myself here.

Needless to say, it didn’t take long for my little upstairs bedroom in my parent’s house to be overrun with my music purchases. Luckily, because it was upstairs, I didn’t have to worry about my parents coming up there all that much. The old out of sight out of mind situation, which I would be thankful for later on when I wanted to smuggle my date up there for what was known in those days as submarine races. This is particularly true in the winter as the room was a far better option than either hanging out on a cold corner, or getting the stink eye from the waitress at the local ice cream parlor as my date and I tried to stretch a couple of ice cream sodas into an entire evening.

Moving on, the mid to late 1960’s saw the 45-rpm single eclipsed by a new media delivery vehicle, the long-playing album. For me, this coincided with the British Invasion and the release of Meet The Beatles in January 1964.

In the years that followed, my collection expanded to include legendary albums – The Beatles’ Rubber Soul and Revolver, The Beach Boys, Pet Sounds, and The Rolling Stones, Aftermath, being a few of them that would establish the 12 inch long-playing album as the medium of choice for serious musical expression, and a must have for collectors like myself.

Then there were the concept albums, works of art not satisfied with being merely a collection of great songs, but which had a consistent theme throughout. Albums such as Tommy by the Who, Sergeant Pepper by the Beatles and Days Of Future Passed by the Moody Blues, being but a few of the most popular.

But as great as these disks were, they too would also pass into history, taking with them, as far am I’m concerned, the heyday of the long-playing album.

What remained is what we still have today, albums in name only, with little if any cohesiveness, containing at best two or three hit songs rounded out with a lot of what can only be called filler.

Well guess what?

The American music public, commonly more astute than the population at large, is onto this game and has taken what I consider to be appropriate action.

Now rest assured this does not mean picketing the nearest home entertainment store, regardless of how good an idea that that might be to us baby boomers raised on a tradition of civil disobedience.

What it does mean is making a conscious decision to obtain music from other than the traditional sources and in the newer and technologically superior formats. Hence, the rapid growth of the legal download sites and the decrease in non-virtual albums sales, which that the attached article credits as the prime reason for the recording industry’s decision to stop producing albums.

For the music lover, downloading tunes is a win – win situation. Not only do we get the latest digitally mastered / remastered music from the majority of our favorite artists, but we also get to audition each track before hand and purchase only those good enough to be a part of the soundtrack of our lives.

No more crappy filler, music so bad that collectors such as myself have had to burn our own disks so to be free of the sinkers that should have been left to de an ignominious death in someone’s vault.

The other obvious benefit is the cost. Tracks on I-Tunes, the largest and best managed of the legal download sites, cost ninety-nine cents per., with most standard albums available for less than ten dollars.

Putting pencil to paper, downloading represents as much as a fifty percent savings when compared with the average price of a packaged CD, most of which hit the ground somewhere in the thirteen to eighteen dollar range. Think about it, not only do you get to cherry pick the best of the best, but you save money too, a consolation for those still reeling from all those passed up treats as a child. What could be better?

Then, of course there is the environmental benefit, this is after all a green themed website. Less packaged CD’s sold today, means less plastic junk to wind up down the road at one of our planet’s already overcrowded landfills. So buying music downloads rather than CD’s makes one a good environmental citizen to boot.

But I think the thing that I find most attractive; all of the preciously mentioned benefits aside, is the ease of storage that digitally archived music offers.

At our house, CD’s, cassettes and other assorted prerecorded media fill an entire bedroom closet, not to mention the dozen or so banker boxes in the garage, and that does not include the records, either, which is a story for another day.

Whereas my portable hard drive stores the best of that collection in less than forty gigs of space. The best thing is that this is in a package small enough to fit in a corner of my briefcase.

So why then with all of these warm fuzzy positives do I still lament the passing of the album?

I guarantee you that I’m not shedding any tears about what this will mean to the record industry. Chameleons that they are, they will survive this change of events while conjuring up new revenue streams to replace that which they are loosing.

Nor do I feel all that much for the recording artist. For sure, they will suffer from not knowing what it is like to waste tens of thousands of dollars in the name of experimentation.

But what with the availability of low cost digital recording gear and the wealth of lower cost recording operations dotting the landscape, they will do alright as well.

Besides it is time that many or these prima donnas start thinking as businessmen and not as wards of the record company. There are many revenue streams open to modern performers, and more, which I’m sure will unveil themselves in the years to come. All it takes is a little research and determination.

So what is it then? Why does the thought of the passing of albums have me so freaked out?

After much soul searching it dawns on me that the person that I feel the sorriest for in this situation is myself.

Why? I really don’t know

And to be honest, I don’t think I will have a handle on it anytime soon.

Perhaps it is the control freak in me

Yeah, that’s the ticket.

LIB – Editor

Referenced Article: The Album,

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