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 veryhotthread  Author  Topic: Stuff & Nonsense  (Read 127793 times)
philliman
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xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #525 on: Aug 9th, 2010, 06:30am »

Angelia Joiner's latest radio show with guest Gary Bekkum. Quite interesting and insightful:
http://media.podcastingmanager.com/64024-83474/Media/joinerreport080610.mp3
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xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #526 on: Aug 9th, 2010, 06:56am »

on Aug 9th, 2010, 06:30am, philliman wrote:
Angelia Joiner's latest radio show with guest Gary Bekkum. Quite interesting and insightful:
http://media.podcastingmanager.com/64024-83474/Media/joinerreport080610.mp3

*downloads*. Hope I remember to listen.
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xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #527 on: Aug 9th, 2010, 07:55am »

Good evening/morning Pen and Phil,

Here's the link to that peacock photo.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/chi-liu/123909406/

It looks to be real, not digitally created.

Crystal
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xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #528 on: Aug 9th, 2010, 07:56am »

on Aug 9th, 2010, 06:56am, CA519705950 wrote:
*downloads*. Hope I remember to listen.


Good morning CA519705950,
Phil always has good links. Hope you enjoy.
Crystal
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« Reply #529 on: Aug 9th, 2010, 08:00am »

New York Times

August 8, 2010
Early Struggles of Soldier Charged in Leak Case
By GINGER THOMPSON

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — He spent part of his childhood with his father in the arid plains of central Oklahoma, where classmates made fun of him for being a geek. He spent another part with his mother in a small, remote corner of southwest Wales, where classmates made fun of him for being gay.

Then he joined the Army, where, friends said, his social life was defined by the need to conceal his sexuality under “don’t ask, don’t tell” and he wasted brainpower fetching coffee for officers.

But it was around two years ago, when Pfc. Bradley Manning came here to visit a man he had fallen in love with, that he finally seemed to have found a place where he fit in, part of a social circle that included politically motivated computer hackers and his boyfriend, a self-described drag queen. So when his military career seemed headed nowhere good, Private Manning, 22, turned increasingly to those friends for moral support.

And now some of those friends say they wonder whether his desperation for acceptance — or delusions of grandeur — may have led him to disclose the largest trove of government secrets since the Pentagon Papers.

“I would always try to make clear to Brad that he had a promising future ahead of him,” said Daniel J. Clark, one of those Cambridge friends. “But when you’re young and you’re in his situation, it’s hard to tell yourself things are going to get better, especially in Brad’s case, because in his past, things didn’t always get better.”

Blond and barely grown up, Private Manning worked as an intelligence analyst and was based east of Baghdad. He is suspected of disclosing more than 150,000 diplomatic cables, more than 90,000 intelligence reports on the war in Afghanistan and one video of a military helicopter attack — all of it classified. Most of the information was given to WikiLeaks.org, which posted the war reports after sharing them with three publications, including The New York Times.

WikiLeaks has defended the disclosure, saying transparency is essential to democracy. The Pentagon has denounced the leaks, saying they put American soldiers and their Afghan allies in grave danger.

And while that dispute rages on, with the Pentagon having recently demanded that WikiLeaks remove all secret documents from the Internet and hand over any undisclosed materials in its files, Private Manning is being held in solitary confinement at Quantico, Va., under suicide watch.

Private Manning’s military-appointed lawyer, Maj. Thomas F. Hurley, declined an interview request.

Much remains unknown about his journey there from Crescent, Okla., the small town where he was born. But interviews with people who know him, along with e-mail exchanges between him and Adrian Lamo, the computer hacker who turned him in, offer some insights into Private Manning’s early years, why he joined the Army and how he came to be so troubled, especially in recent months.

“I’ve been isolated so long,” Private Manning wrote in May to Mr. Lamo, who turned the chat logs over to the authorities and the news media. “But events kept forcing me to figure out ways to survive.”

Survival was something Private Manning began learning as a young child in Crescent. His father, Brian Manning, was also a soldier and spent a lot of time away from home, former neighbors recalled. His mother, Susan Manning, struggled to cope with the culture shock of having moved to the United States from her native Wales, the neighbors said.

One neighbor, Jacqueline Radford, recalled that when students at Private Manning’s elementary school went on field trips, she sent additional food or money to make sure he had something to eat.

“I’ve always tried to be supportive of him because of his home life,” Ms. Radford said. “I know it was bad, to where he was left to his own, had to fend for himself.”

At school, Bradley Manning was clearly different from most of his peers. He preferred hacking computer games rather than playing them, former neighbors said. And they said he seemed opinionated beyond his years about politics, religion, and even about keeping religion out of politics.

In his Bible Belt hometown that he once mockingly wrote in an e-mail had “more pews than people,” Private Manning refused to recite the parts of the Pledge of Allegiance that referred to God or do homework assignments that involved the Scriptures. And if a teacher challenged his views, former classmates said, he was quick to push back.

“He would get upset, slam books on the desk if people wouldn’t listen to him or understand his point of view,” said Chera Moore, who attended elementary and junior high school with him. “He would get really mad, and the teacher would say, ‘O.K., Bradley, get out.’ ”

It was something he would hear a lot throughout his life.

After Private Manning’s parents divorced, he moved with his mother to Haverfordwest, Wales, her hometown, and began a new chapter of isolation. Haverfordwest is several times bigger than Crescent. It is also centuries older, with traditions that run much deeper. A bustling market town, it offered a pace of life that was significantly faster.

Former students at his school there, Tasker Milward, remembered Private Manning being teased for all sort of reasons. His American accent. His love of Dr Pepper. The amount of time he spent huddled before a computer.

And then, students began to suspect he was gay.

Sometimes, former classmates said, he reacted to the teasing by idly boasting about stealing other students’ girlfriends. At other times, he openly flirted with boys. Often, with only the slightest provocation, he would launch into fits of rage.

“It was probably the worst experience anybody could go through,” said Rowan John, a former classmate who was openly gay in high school. “Being different like me, or Bradley, in the middle of nowhere is like going back in time to the Dark Ages.”

But life ahead did not immediately brighten for Private Manning. After his troubled high school years, his mother sent him back to Oklahoma to live with his father and his older sister.

He was hired and quickly fired from a small software company, where his employer, Kord Campbell, recalled him as clean-cut and highly intelligent with an almost innate sense for programming, as well as the personality of a bull in a china shop. Then his father found out he was gay and kicked him out of the house, friends said. Mr. Clark, the Cambridge friend, said Private Manning told him he lived out of his car briefly while he worked in a series of minimum-wage retail jobs.

He enlisted in the Army in 2007, to try to give his life some direction and to help to pay for college, friends said.

He was granted a security clearance and trained as an intelligence analyst at Fort Huachuca, Ariz., before being assigned to the Second Brigade 10th Mountain Division at Fort Drum, N.Y.

Before being deployed to Iraq, Private Manning met Tyler Watkins, who described himself on his blog as a classical musician, singer and drag queen. A friend said the two had little in common, but Private Manning fell head over heels. Mr. Watkins, who did not respond to interview requests for this article, was a student at Brandeis University. On trips to visit him here in Cambridge, Private Manning got to know many in Mr. Watkins’ wide network of friends, including some who were part of this university town’s tight-knit hacker community.

Friends said Private Manning found the atmosphere here to be everything the Army was not: openly accepting of his geeky side, his liberal political opinions, his relationship with Mr. Watkins and his ambition to do something that would get attention.

Although hacking has come to mean a lot of different things, at its core, those who do it say, is the philosophy that information should be free and accessible to all. And Private Manning had access to some of the most secret information on the planet.

Meanwhile, his military career was anything but stellar. He had been reprimanded twice, including once for assaulting an officer. He wrote in e-mails that he felt “regularly ignored” by his superiors “except when I had something essential, then it was back to ‘Bring me coffee, then sweep the floor.’ ”

And it seems the more isolated he felt in the military — he wore custom dog tags that said “Humanist,” and friends said he kept a toy fairy wand on his desk in Iraq — the more he clung to his hacker friends.

According to Wired magazine, Private Manning told Mr. Watkins last January that he had gotten his hands on a secret video showing a military helicopter attack that killed two Reuters photographers and one Iraqi civilian.

In a computer chat with Mr. Lamo, Private Manning said he gave the video to WikiLeaks in February. Then, after WikiLeaks released it in April, Private Manning hounded Mr. Watkins about whether there had been any public reaction. “That was one of his major concerns once he’d done this,” Mr. Watkins told Wired. “Was it really going to make a difference?”

In his computer chats with Mr. Lamo, Private Manning described how he downloaded the video and lip-synched to Lady Gaga as he copied hundreds of thousand of diplomatic cables.

“Hillary Clinton and several thousand diplomats around the world are going to have a heart attack,” he boasted. But even as he professed a perhaps inflated sense of purpose, he called himself “emotionally fractured” and a “wreck” and said he was “self-medicating like crazy.”

And as he faces the possibility of a lifetime in prison, some of Private Manning’s remarks now seem somewhat prophetic.

more after the jump
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/09/us/09manning.html?_r=
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xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #530 on: Aug 9th, 2010, 08:03am »

on Aug 9th, 2010, 07:55am, WingsofCrystal wrote:
Good evening/morning Pen and Phil,

Here's the link to that peacock photo.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/chi-liu/123909406/

It looks to be real, not digitally created.

Crystal


Morning Crys grin

Yes, you are right it looks to be real. I was reading about white peacocks... I always thought they could be albinos but they aren't.....: The White Peacock is frequently mistaken for an albino, but it is a colour variety of Indian Blue Peacock. Its white colour makes it looks really magnificent and elegant. So the picture you posted must be a mixture of the blue and the white.... its just so beautiful. I would love to have a property large enough to have peacocks wandering around it.

Pen
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« Reply #531 on: Aug 9th, 2010, 08:08am »

Guardian

First robot able to develop and show emotions is unveiled
Nao, developed by a European research team, models the first years of life and can form bonds with the people he meets
The Guardian, Monday 9 August 2010

When Nao is sad, he hunches his shoulders forward and looks down. When he's happy, he raises his arms, angling for a hug. When frightened, Naohe cowers, and he stays like that until he is soothed with some gentle strokes on his head.

Nothing out of the ordinary, perhaps, except that Nao is a robot — the world's first that can develop and display emotions. He can form bonds with the people he meets depending on how he is treated. The more he interacts with someone, the more Nao learns a person's moods and the stronger the bonds become.

"We're modelling the first years of life," said Lola Cañamero, a computer scientist at the University of Hertforshire who led the project to create Nao's emotions. "We are working on non-verbal cues and the emotions are revealed through physical postures, gestures and movements of the body rather than facial or verbal expression."

In future, say the scientists, robots are likely to act as companions or integrate with the web to order groceries online. They could also provide support for the elderly. In these uses some form of emotional display will be important in making those interactions more natural and more comfortable, Cañamero said.

While Japanese researchers have led advances in robot engineering, many European roboticists have instead focused on studying how robots will interact with humans. Kerstin Dautenhahn, a professor of artificial intelligence at the University of Hertfordshire, has developed Kaspar, a robot in the shape of a two-year-old boy, which can make facial expressions and play games such as peek-a-boo. She has also set up a flat in Hatfield, where a home-help robot interacts with volunteers, to study longer-term relationships between people and machines.

Nao has been programmed to mimic the emotional skills of a one-year-old child, learning and interpreting specific cues from humans and responding accordingly. He can use video cameras to work out how close a person comes and sensors to detect how tactile they are. "If you want to tell the robot it's doing well, you might show your face or smile or you might pat them on the head," said Cañamero.

Nao can also work out where his human companions are looking, follow their gaze and memorise different people's faces. Using a neural network brain, he can remember interactions with different people. This understanding, plus some basic rules of what is good and bad for him learned from exploring his environment, allows Nao to indicate whether he is happy, sad or frightened with what is going on around him. The display actions for each emotion are pre-programmed but Nao decides by himself when to display each emotion or combination of emotions.

"Those responses make a huge difference for people to be able to interact naturally with a robot," said Cañamero. If people can behave naturally around their robot companions, robots will be better-accepted as they become more common in our lives, she said.

Nao can also be programmed to have different personalities. A more independent robot is less likely to call for human help when exploring a room, whereas a more needy and fearful robot will display distress if it finds something in the room that it knows is potentially harmful or unknown.

Chimpanzees, which provided much of the data for the emotional responses Cañamero used in her work, have already benefited from some of the work that has gone into programming emotional robots. "Lots of them live in sanctuaries and research institutes and they're miserable," said Cañamero. "They're living in enclosures and they behave in non-natural ways. They enjoy interacting with robots. One of our colleagues put a robot outside the enclosures and the chimpanzees went to fetch their friends to look, and they got excited and motivated to move around."

Nao's programming was developed as part of a project called Feelix Growing, funded by the European commission. It was a collaboration of eight universities and robotics companies across the UK, France, Switzerland, Greece and Denmark.

Other members of the project have used robots, each programmed with different emotional "personalities", with autistic children to study the kinds of social partner which are best for these children to learn social skills.

Cañamero's team will take its emotional programming forward into medical applications as part of a new commission-funded project called Aliz-E, which will be co-ordinated by Tony Belpaeme, a researcher in cognitive robotics at the University of Plymouth. Part of that project will look at ways to use robots such as Nao in hospitals, to support the roles of doctors, nurses and parents.

Cañamero said that children might find that a small, friendly-looking robot that can understand their emotional state could make them less anxious when it comes to preparing for medical treatment. "We want to explore different roles – the robots will help the children to understand their treatment, explain what they have to do. We want to help the children to control their anxiety," she said.

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http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2010/aug/09/nao-robot-develop-display-emotions

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xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #532 on: Aug 9th, 2010, 08:12am »

UFO Stalker

Detail for Event ID 25040x Case Number: 25040
Log Number: US-08092010-0012
Submitted Date: 2010-08-09 08:41 GMT
Event Date: 2010-08-08 00:00 GMT
City: Langhorne
Region: Pennsylvania
Country: US
Longitude: -74.9226665
Latitude: 40.1745538
Shape: Fireball,Square/Rectagular,Triangle

Description: Sitting on my back porch watching a very bright light at dusk & realizing it was not a star . It would drop in the sky about 2 feet until it was behind trees ! Came insisde & told my husband & then he went to the front yard & called me out there was 7 " unidentified flying Objects " that circled above our house for 2-3 hrs . I have watched many planes , helicopters & jets fly over my home in the 23 yrs I have lived here and these were not any of the above !! Very quiet and would just circle , following one another tried to get pictures but all ya really see is a light in the sky !! This is not an airplane , jet or helicopter , this has been going on approx . since the end of June & almost every night between 9 pm & 11 pm !! I was very shocked , and had to call my children to have them see these objects !!
Media: None

http://www.ufostalker.com/event/25040?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+ufostalker+%28UFO+Stalker%29&utm_content=Twitter

Crystal
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« Reply #533 on: Aug 9th, 2010, 08:24am »

Telegraph
Patricia Neal was in "The Day The Earth Stood Still"
r.i.p.

Actress Patricia Neal dies
Patricia Neal, the actress who won an Academy Award for 1963's "Hud" and then survived several strokes to continue acting, has died aged 84.

Published: 6:32AM BST 09 Aug 2010

Neal, who was married to Roald Dahl for 30 years, had lung cancer and died surrounded by her family at her home in Edgartown, Massachusetts, on Martha's Vineyard.

"She faced her final illness as she had all of the many trials she endured: with indomitable grace, good humour and a great deal of her self-described stubbornness," her family said in a statement.

Neal was already an award-winning Broadway actress when she won her Oscar for her role as a housekeeper to the Texas father (Melvyn Douglas) battling his selfish, amoral son (Paul Newman).

Less than two years later, she suffered a series of strokes in 1965 at age 39. Aided by Dahl, she battled her physical disabilities, having to relearn how to walk and talk. She returned to the screen to earn another Oscar nomination and three Emmy nominations.

In her 1988 autobiography, "As I Am," she wrote, "Frequently my life has been likened to a Greek tragedy, and the actress in me cannot deny that comparison."

In 1953, she married Dahl with whom she was to have five children. They divorced in 1983 after she learned he was having an affair with her best friend.

Neal herself had an ill-fated affair with Gary Cooper, who starred with her in "The Fountainhead."

"I lived this secret life for several years. I was so ashamed," she told The New York Times in 1964.

The strokes at first paralysed her and impaired her speech. After recovering, she limped and had bad vision in one eye.

Born in a mining camp in Kentucky, Neal was the daughter of a transportation manager for a coal producer. After leaving Knoxville, she attended Northwestern University and then struck out for Broadway.

Her Broadway credits included "A Roomful of Roses," "The Miracle Worker" (as Helen Keller's mother, Kate) and a revival of Lillian Hellman's drama "The Children's Hour."

She made her screen debut in 1949's "John Loves Mary," that also starred Jack Carson and Ronald Reagan.

Her three Emmy nominations were all for roles in notable drama specials: Besides "The Homecoming," they were "Tail Gunner Joe," a 1977 drama about Sen. Joe McCarthy, and a version of the tragic World War I story "All Quiet on the Western Front."

Among Neal's children is Tessa Dahl, who followed in her father's footsteps as a writer. Tessa Dahl's daughter is the model and writer Sophie Dahl.

The statement from the family said that the night before her death, Neal told them, "I've had a lovely time."

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/film/film-news/7933990/Actress-Patricia-Neal-dies.html

Crystal
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« Reply #534 on: Aug 9th, 2010, 08:28am »

LA Times

North Korea fires artillery rounds into the sea
The move comes a day after the North seized a South Korean fishing boat. Pyongyang had vowed to respond to South Korea's naval training exercises.
By John M. Glionna and Ethan Kim

Los Angeles Times

5:46 AM PDT, August 9, 2010

Reporting from Yichang, China and Seoul

In a pointed example of escalating tensions on the Korean Peninsula, North Korea on Monday fired more than 100 rounds of artillery into the waters off its west coast, according to South Korea's Defense Ministry.

The move came one day after the North seized a South Korean fishing boat and its seven-man crew that officials claimed had violated North Korea's exclusive economic zone.

In recent days, North Korea had vowed "strong physical retaliation" in response to South Korea's launching last week of five days of naval training exercises near the disputed sea border between North and South. The exercises ended Monday.

South Korea had also participated last month in a series of joint naval exercises with U.S. forces. Pyongyang has routinely said that it considers such operations as preparations for an invasion.

Analysts said it was still too early to link the boat seizure and the shell firings as any comprehensive North Korean response.

"That's what they said they were going to do, come back with some physical response, but if that's what they had in mind, it's too hard to tell at this point," said Daniel Pinkston, an expert in North-South relations for the think tank International Crisis Group.

He said it was important to know where the fishing boat had been taken into custody. Contrary to earlier reports, some of the artillery shells fired Monday have fallen on the southern side of the northern limit line.

The incident is expected to stir up even more tension on the peninsula. Tensions have remained high since late March, when North Korea torpedoed a South Korean military ship on patrol near the naval border, killing 46 crewmen aboard.

Although a South Korean-led investigation of the incident has pinpointed North Korea as responsible for the sinking, Pyongyang has denied any involvement.

During a briefing late Monday, the South Korean Defense Ministry confirmed that the North had fired the shells into the Yellow Sea and that authorities had evacuated fishing boats in the area, according a source who asked not to be identified.

North Korea first fired some 10 shots around 5:30 p.m., then 120 shots between 5:52 and 6:14 p.m., South Korean officials said. The South's navy raised its alert status and sent warning broadcasts to the North at 5:49 p.m. officials said.

Earlier Monday, South Korea had demanded the release of both the 41-ton fishing boat and its crew -- four South Korean and three Chinese fishermen. The crew had been briefly questioned at sea Sunday before being taken to North Korea's eastern port of Songjin, according to the South Korean coast guard.

South Korean officials said Monday that they were trying to check if the boat had entered North Korea waters. The area is also where the navies of the rival Koreas fought three bloody gun battles in recent years.

Unification Ministry spokesman Chun Hae-sung said Pyongyang had yet to provide any information on the fishermen.

"The government yesterday urged North Korea to take swift action (on the fishermen) in line with an international law and practice and I'm reiterating that," he said.

In 2009, four South Korean fishermen were detained for a month after allegedly entering North Korean waters.

http://www.latimes.com/news/la-fgw-north-korea-artillery-20100810,0,3531004.story

Crystal
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« Reply #535 on: Aug 9th, 2010, 08:36am »

Telegraph

Nude roller coaster ride....... grin

video
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newsvideo/weirdnewsvideo/7934839/World-record-naked-rollercoaster-ride.html

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« Reply #536 on: Aug 9th, 2010, 08:39am »

on Aug 9th, 2010, 08:03am, Luvey wrote:
Morning Crys grin

Yes, you are right it looks to be real. I was reading about white peacocks... I always thought they could be albinos but they aren't.....: The White Peacock is frequently mistaken for an albino, but it is a colour variety of Indian Blue Peacock. Its white colour makes it looks really magnificent and elegant. So the picture you posted must be a mixture of the blue and the white.... its just so beautiful. I would love to have a property large enough to have peacocks wandering around it.

Pen


Hey Pen,
Sure, have peacocks running around until they stand on the porch and poop! laugh
Just being silly. They are really beautiful!
Crystal
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« Reply #537 on: Aug 9th, 2010, 08:47am »

MSNBC

Oregon girl not bitter after lemonade flap
County feels the squeeze, allows 7-year-old to sell drinks again

msnbc.com staff and news service reports
updated 8/6/2010 5:07:36 PM ET

PORTLAND, Ore. — After a county inspector squeezed out a kid's lemonade business, so many Oregonians puckered up in disgust that the county chairman had to pour on a little sugar.

The apology sweetened up some sour feelings and made 7-year-old Julie Murphy eligible to resume selling her Kool-Aid and water concoction for 50 cents a cup.

Last week at a local arts fair, Julie and her mother were surprised when a county inspector asked to see their restaurant license.

They didn't have one. The inspector told them they would face a fine of up to $500 if they didn't stop selling lemonade.

Other vendors urged Julie and her mother not to leave. A second inspector arrived and the two inspectors were surrounded by a crowd of vendors supporting Julie and her mother.

Ultimately, Julie and her mother packed up the stand, and as Julie left the fair she was crying.

But Julie has prevailed.

more after the jump
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/38592078/ns/us_news-life/

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xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #538 on: Aug 9th, 2010, 09:12am »

on Aug 9th, 2010, 08:39am, WingsofCrystal wrote:
Hey Pen,
Sure, have peacocks running around until they stand on the porch and poop! laugh
Just being silly. They are really beautiful!
Crystal


lol laugh grin Yeap, but geese are worse.... shocked

My girlfriend use to have a pet peacock on her property, and it use to follow her into the house and pull her plants to bits so she finally gave it away. It got way to familiar.... laugh But I would still love to have a few....

Pen
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« Reply #539 on: Aug 9th, 2010, 11:08am »

on Aug 9th, 2010, 09:12am, Luvey wrote:
lol laugh grin Yeap, but geese are worse.... shocked

My girlfriend use to have a pet peacock on her property, and it use to follow her into the house and pull her plants to bits so she finally gave it away. It got way to familiar.... laugh But I would still love to have a few....

Pen


My neighbors geese used to chase me when I was a child. They got eaten so I guess I got some sort of revenge. grin
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