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In this bizarre year of 2020, another highly unusual event is coming our way. Can you handle anything more? This event will spookily coincide with Halloween, and the fact that there will be a full moon. But this time it’s not just ANY full moon — this one will be special. First, it will also be called a blue moon, but it doesn’t have anything to do with the color of the moon. Rather it’s all about the timing of full moons through out the year.
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It’s never a good thing to be receiving email messages from strange places and people unknown to me, especially when they are billionaires wanting to share their wealth. And yes, I am concerned about the security of my email address, and I probably should do something about it. The thing is, I get these crazy emails on my personal email account as well as my office email account. Both are “ruraltel.net” accounts, so that could be a clue. I certainly don’t open up the messages!
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I am using my space this week to pass along an important announcement that is being shared across the country to gain support of a very important piece of legislation that this newspaper would ask you to support. This opinion piece was written by Dean Ridings, CEO of America’s Newspapers, an organization which advocates for and defends freedom of the press and expression.
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I really don’t remember when it started, but many years ago I began collecting hats. These couldn’t be just any hat; they had to have a personality all their own. They had to be special, weird, crazy, colorful... I really didn’t have a definite rule. They just had to speak to me, I guess. As I waded through antique shops or auctions, anytime a hat spoke to me, I bought it. I just wish I knew the story that should have been included with each hat... who wore this hat, when, and for what occasion.
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If you work with computers at all, you know the frustration when things just don’t work as they should. When you work on a network of several computers connected, that frustration level compounds exponentially with issues that are difficult—no, impossible—to trace. That is, unless you are a network guru who really digs that kind of stuff. But for those of us who are not computer gurus, the general “quick fix” is to simply shut down, sometimes even unplug the computer, and then restart a few minutes later. In many cases, that’s what it takes to get things going again.
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Every 10 years, there’s this thing we do in the United States that is critical for allocations of funding from the federal government. That “thing” is called the Census, and it’s going on right now. The COVID-19 pandemic and the quarantine may have slowed efforts to get it completed, but the process must continue; and so it is.
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Here we are, entering the sixth month of a global pandemic, and in many places, conditions are getting worse rather than better. I don’t think anyone wants to have another shutdown of businesses, factories and services; I certainly don’t. What will it take to get this thing under control? My brain says: “Everyone just needs to be smart and do their part.”
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Hanging around grandkids gives us reasons (or excuses!) to enjoy doing some of the things we haven’t done since our own kids were little, or maybe since we were children ourselves. Things like: • catching fireflies; • running through a sprinkler; • letting your toes squish through mud; • swinging so high you feel like you could touch the sky; • standing in the rain and catching raindrops on your tongue; • waiting anxiously for a parade with a plastic bag to fill with candy; • making soap bubbles, trying to see who can make the biggest or the most in one slow-blow; • watching a caterpillar crawl, and not worrying about what you really “should” be doing; • squatting by a stream to catch minnows or watch a spinning bug; • reading stories at bedtime, and then being tucked in and kissed goodnight.
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Holeymoley. I’m so old.

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Well, I’ve gone and done it. I was asleep at the wheel when it happened, of course, but last week my life’s odometer flipped to another number. A bigger number. An older number. And because of that, I’ve elected to start receiving that monthly paycheck from Uncle Sam. It’s actually my money anyway—money that I’ve been tucking away in a government account, withheld from every paycheck, from every job I’ve ever had, all of my livelong, adult days. It would be more exciting if it wasn’t just one more reminder of how old I am.