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This evening, we will be saying goodbye to this beautiful creature. He has been a part of our family for more than 17 years; almost as long as we've been a family, and only a few months less than the kidlet has been alive. He will be missed tremendously.

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For most of his life, he was between 18 and 20 pounds. When our other cat died about 2 and a half years ago, he lost a good bit of weight; down to probably 12-13 pounds. In the past few weeks, he's become a shadow of his former self; he was down to 9 pounds as of Wednesday. We took him to the vet to see if there was anything we could do, and, after some tests, they told us his kidneys had almost completely failed; they said that they could try hospitalizing him for a few days, but he'd still need weekly treatments for the rest of his life, which wouldn't be long. We brought him home so the kids could see him one more time; we'll bring him back tonight to have him put down.

 ‎· Mr. Noodle
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Rip angel ^^

 ‎· Sosyalulas
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Today did not go as expected at all. This morning, our extra refrigerator died, so, we had to go looking for a new one (I realize an "extra" fridge is a privileged item to have, but, we've really come to rely on it, especially with the way our primary fridge is laid out). Only a few places actually have fridges you can buy immediately; most have display models and will let you order one to be delivered a week or more in the future. While we were looking for fridges, Thing 1 called and asked if we could come get the kids, because her doctor told her to go to the emergency room for some pain she's experiencing. So, we bundled the grandkids in the car and continued shopping for fridges. Eventually, we found one, but it was a lot more than I was hoping to spend (we were originally just going to replace the extra fridge with another crappy fridge, but, even those were $600-700 for any decent size, so, we ended up buying a new primary fridge on sale for $1300).

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Now, we have to wait for my dad to pick it up in his truck and bring it here. Then we'll have to unbox it, take the doors off, and move it into the house. Then we get to take the doors off the old primary fridge and move it to the garage (after taking everything out of it and transferring it to the new fridge). Then we have to take the doors off the dead fridge and move it out of the garage (after we move everything that's in there into the old primary fridge).

 ‎· Mr. Noodle
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That’s a lot of unexpected and all kinds of logistics navigation for one day! I hope Thing 1 feels better soon, and that all the fridge moving happens easily without injury or spoiled food!

 ‎· Galadriel
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Took the S/O to an eye appointment this morning. At the eye doctor, her new glasses were going to cost $202 after insurance and discounts. Checked at Walmart (since she has Walmart insurance), and basically the same glasses ended up costing us $59 (actually, only $32, but they think something went wrong in the computer, so they expect there's a possibility we'll get a bill for the other $27).

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The days of the $1k glasses should be over.

 ‎· Christina Pikas 3
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@cpikas: Could not agree more. I spend at least $200-300 each year on glasses for the kidlet, and even that's too much (the handful of times I had to get sports goggles for her, they were another $300-400). And we have really good vision insurance.

 ‎· Mr. Noodle 2
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I might have made a grave error in judgment when I RSVP'd to a friend's event for this fall. The event is in the evening, so, we're planning to stay overnight that night. However, I just started looking at lodging in the area. In order to get a hotel room for less than $350/night, we'd have to stay about an hour away from the venue. Ugh. I thought, maybe, there'd be something in the $200/night range (which, while pricey, was something I'd figure out how to swing). This is not in a major city; it's just in an extremely gentrified area, I guess.

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And then the question becomes, if we were to stay almost an hour away from the venue, how expensive would it be to hail a rideshare from our hotel to the venue and back.

 ‎· Mr. Noodle
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is there something like Air BnB?

 ‎· Christina Pikas
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@cpikas: Good question. I might look into that.

 ‎· Mr. Noodle
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My whole week was building to this awesome lunch: grilled chicken breast (too much so in fridge already cut into strips), 6 pack of romaine - half a head already washed and cut up in the fridge, grated a ton of extra Parmesan yesterday for spaghetti, brand new bottle of Cesar dressing acquired ... at some point? YUM! and ever so fancy. Plus eating standing up in my kitchen (to take a break from sitting to work) I could just shovel and didn't have to worry about salad-eating niceties :)

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We do grilled chicken Caesar salads for dinner pretty regularly. They're wonderful.

 ‎· Mr. Noodle 1
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Dinner tonight.

 ‎·  IMG_20210610_185931.jpg ‎· Mr. Noodle 1
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I wish I'd known before last night that, apparently, there is no way to buy more chlorine tablets for our pool (well, someone on Amazon is selling a bucket that usually costs ~$100 for >$400 right now). Apparently a chlorine plant got wiped out last year, and that means that there's no chlorine to be had this year; I totally understand that situation, but it would have been nice to know that before now, so I could have bought another bucket last time I saw one. Now I just have to hope we have enough chlorine to get through the summer, and that chlorine will be available sometime in the future.

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can you switch to bromine or whatever - i know there's a salt thing you can do ... i'm hazy on the whole process... but can you switch?

 ‎· Christina Pikas
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Unfortunately, I think bromine is considerably more expensive than chlorine usually is (at least, the tiny little bottle of bromine we have for our hot tub was pretty expensive), and, as far as I know, to switch to salt or another chemical, we'd have to wait until all of the existing chlorine in our pool dissipates. I think we'll have enough chlorine for the season, but it might be tight.

 ‎· Mr. Noodle
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We are currently putting in a small pool and am happy we decided to go with salt water given what I've heard about the chlorine shortage!

 ‎· sshreeves 1
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RT @cgrymala: “Oh, look. Things still aren't getting better in Berkeley County, despite the fact that the governor seems to think COVID is over.” https://twitter.com/cgrymala/status/1386707356629807104

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IDK - your Governor has been begging people to get vaccinated. Talking about body bags and whatnot. He did loosen up the masking in gyms requirement (sketchy). I feel like he's in a position like Whitmer - have to tread a line over what he can actually enforce and what is needed. (I watched his whole press conference last Wednesday for a report I was working on)

 ‎· Christina Pikas 1
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@cpikas: Yeah, I understand he's in a difficult position, and I have been mostly happy with the way he's handled this situation (and the fact that WV has fared much better - in a matter of total cases/population, although we've fared much worse in the matter of total deaths/case), but I also feel like removing a lot of the restrictions statewide was the best move he could make. If he'd gone back to a county-by-county basis, that would have been one thing. Around here, people have been flouting the regulations from the start, but, at least when there was some governmental support, individual businesses had a leg to stand on when trying to curb bad behavior. Now they have no support at all.

 ‎· Mr. Noodle 1
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And, it should be noted that the numbers coming out of Berkeley County over the past month or so are worse than I think they have been at any other point in the pandemic (and certainly staying that way for longer than they ever did previously).

 ‎· Mr. Noodle
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^yeah, I feel for you. The vaccination was leading the country until they ran through the people who really wanted to be vaccinated and then hit a wall. It's going to be a trudge.

 ‎· Christina Pikas 1
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On the plus side, in another 10 or 15 years, the kidlet will have $100 (since the governor is sending out $100 savings bonds to everyone between 16 & 35 that gets vaccinated).

 ‎· Mr. Noodle 2
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Getting old sucks. I just pushed a weed out of the way with my foot, then bent down to pick it up, and, all of a sudden, I got a shooting pain just below my butt cheek, and my leg almost gave out on me.

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:-( Ouch! Did the pain subside or has it continued?

 ‎· Galadriel
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Sounds like sciatica? No fun at all. Hope you're feeling better.

 ‎· LB. Just LB.
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The pain has gone down, but it's still there. Last weekend, I felt like I probably strained the same muscle group while we were bowling, so, I'm guessing it's just a flare-up of that same issue.

 ‎· Mr. Noodle 2
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RT @cgrymala: “Hooked up to my old soundbar, our new projector works really well. Almost like being in the theater. I just wish we could sit a little further away from the "screen", but none of our rooms are big enough to do that. Will be fun to try it outside some other time.” https://twitter.com/cgrymala/status/1383602294776684546

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There were a *lot* of really bright lights in Godzilla vs Kong, so, my eyes kind of hurt through a decent part of the film.

 ‎· Mr. Noodle 2
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RT @cgrymala: “Sitting outside the dentist office while the S/O gets a tooth fixed; I look out the car window and see these guys just wandering up towards the front door. Do you think they have an appointment?” https://twitter.com/cgrymala/status/1376861788319408132

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Probably just stopping by to settle their bills. Or at least to make a down payment.

 ‎· LB. Just LB. 8
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@laurabotts: That's fowl.

 ‎· Mr. Noodle 3
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@cgrymala: :)

 ‎· LB. Just LB.
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Our governor announced today that anyone (16 and older) who wants the COVID vaccine is allowed to get it, now. There are no more restrictions. The S/O and I are already signed up to get ours in a little over a week, but, now we can start looking to see if we can get the kidlet vaccinated, as well.

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I'm hearing rumors that Walgreens is doing walk-in vaccinations, but I haven't gotten confirmation on that yet.

 ‎· Mr. Noodle 2
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Your state is kicking butt and taking names with respect to vaccinations. Go you!

 ‎· Christina Pikas 2
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@cpikas: Yeah, it's one of the very few things WV actually seems to be getting right. I will say, in fairness to our governor, that he has done a _fairly_ decent job managing the pandemic crisis, but that, sadly, does not make up for all of the other crap our state is responsible for.

 ‎· Mr. Noodle 1
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RT @cgrymala: “Planning to observe Pi Day and St Paddy's Day today. Just prepped the corned beef. It's a big enough slab, I have to use our roaster oven, because the meat alone took up the whole crock pot. Had no room for the veggies.” https://twitter.com/cgrymala/status/1371055792439320578

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We'll be having dutch apple pie and blueberry pie for dessert (my mom is making those), and my mom is also making irish soda bread to have with the corned beef. Both of my parents are fully vaccinated (they both got their second shots about a month ago), so, we should be able to safely have a small gathering with them.

 ‎· Mr. Noodle
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Bought some Tillamook cream cheese at the store the other day, and was excited to try it this morning with a new batch of homemade bagels. Unfortunately, none of us were really impressed with it; honestly it just doesn't have the flavor or even quite the texture we've come to expect from cream cheese.

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The texture is strange. It's almost a little grainy, but it also spreads fairly easily, and, very strangely, once you spread it, it almost lays like a slice of very soft cheese. Like, you could almost peel it back off of the bagel.

 ‎· Mr. Noodle 1
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I'm not sure how to describe the flavor; it's almost like Philly or any store brand cream cheese, but there's something missing, and I can't quite put my finger on it.

 ‎· Mr. Noodle
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Huh. I don't think I've seen that in the stores around here. I swear by their sour cream (it's a lot thicker than most of the other brands I've found,) but hadn't see that. Good to know - I'm a bit fussy about cream cheese.

 ‎· Jennifer D. 1
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hmm I've bought that multiple times and it doesn't match with what i've had.

 ‎· holly 3
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@hollysue: Interesting. I wonder if we just got a bad batch or something.

 ‎· Mr. Noodle 1
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Just updated our cell phone plan this morning. Previously, we had a "family" plan where we shared 15GB across 3 lines, with rollover. The base charges for our plan were $138.50. For a base charge of $140, I was able to switch all 3 of us over to "unlimited", plus I get access to HBOMax, and 30GB of hotspot usage on my phone (it would have cost $20 more to add the hotspot usage to the other 2 lines). So, basically, we should be getting HBOMax for what amounts to an extra $1.50/month, and we get the added benefit of having unlimited data on our phones, now, too.

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In order to get it for $140/month, I had to sign up for autopay; this is the first >$50/month bill I've done that with, so, I'll have to pay more attention to things, now, but, I think it would cost $30 more per month to turn that off.

 ‎· Mr. Noodle
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The new grandniblet came to visit for the first time yesterday. :) We'd gotten to meet her once a week or so ago, but this is the first time she's come to our house.

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And, yes, they are in our "bubble", and we are in their bubble. Aside from the S/O having to go to work, and Thing 1's fiance having to go to work, Thing 1 & her household are the only folks we spend time with outside of our household (we see my parents occasionally, but always at a distance, and always with masks), and we are the only folks they spend time with outside of their household.

 ‎· Mr. Noodle 8
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Oh, so very darling. Thank you for sharing with us!! ❤️

 ‎· StephAnie Wear A Mask 6
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Welcome to the world new grandniblet!

 ‎· Galadriel 1
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She’s a cutie!

 ‎· Soup 1
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RT @cgrymala: “I'm not sure how anyone is expected to keep up with this stuff. I made this flow-chart to show how Berkeley County School students have to determine whether or not they have school on each given day (not shown is the fact that they only check the "red" status 2/week).” https://twitter.com/cgrymala/status/1357356772269297664

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SVG copy of the flow chart: https://1drv.ms/u/s!AvhbHD5kAXrxmMVwLFm-y45awyt-NA

 ‎· Mr. Noodle
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» posted to Halil and history

https://www.silive.com/homegarden/antiques/2010/03/early_pewter_was_beautiful_but.html Early pewter was beautiful, but dangerous.

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It is important to note that early pewter had a very large lead content. Because lead is a poisonous substance, its daily or frequent use resulted in the chemical leaching out of the plate, spoon or tankard and quickly being absorbed into the human body. As a result, many died from pewter poisoning, especially sailors. Pewter is crafted with a much lower lead base today, so it is not anywhere near as dangerous as it was a couple of centuries ago.

 ‎· Halil
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see https://mokum.place/history/2735406

 ‎· Halil
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Since ingesting or inhaling lead affects cognition and personality, I've sometimes wondered how many historical events were affected by the participants suffering from lead poisoning.

 ‎· John B. 4
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@dendroica: I seem to remember being told that it was definitely an issue for Edgar Allan Poe and for Thomas Jefferson, but I can't remember exactly where and when I would have heard that (I think the Jefferson reference was probably while visiting either Monticello or UVA).

 ‎· Mr. Noodle
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A few weeks ago, while grocery shopping, we picked up a box of mini "pretzel dogs" on a whim. We had them for dinner a few nights ago, and they were pretty good. Went back to the grocery store yesterday, and planned to pick them up again, but, when I scanned them to add them to my cart, I noticed that they were $20 (and that's on sale; normally they're $25)! I guess we weren't paying any attention when we picked them up the first time. They were good, but I don't think they were $20-25 good.

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😯

 ‎· LB. Just LB.
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what are pretzel dogs?

 ‎· StephAnie Wear A Mask
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Oh, wow, that's steep. The Auntie Anne's ones in our frozen section are usually $6-8 for 4 full-sized ones.

 ‎· Jennifer D.
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^^ In this case, they were cocktail franks wrapped in pretzel dough; similar to pigs-in-a-blanket, but with pretzel dough wrapped around them instead of biscuit dough.

 ‎· Mr. Noodle 1
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^^ This was a box 36 mini pretzel dogs; the full-sized Nathan's ones were ~$8 for a box of 4. That's what we picked up this time to see if they're as tasty. With a family of 3, though, the 36-count box was a lot easier to split up than the box of 4 full-sized ones will be.

 ‎· Mr. Noodle 1
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'Birthday Rule' Blindsides First-Time Parents With A Mammoth Medical Bill https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2021/01/27/961196647/birthday-rule-blindsides-first-time-parents-with-a-mammoth-medical-bill

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"When a child is born into a family in which both parents have insurance through their jobs, the parents are supposed to "coordinate benefits'' — meaning they must tell both insurers that their child is eligible for coverage under two plans. The parents might be forgiven for thinking they have some say in how their child will be insured. In most cases, they don't."

 ‎· JustDuckie
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@cgrymala, Yeah we both intend to follow up with our HR departments on this, just to make sure. And we're planning to move D to my insurance plan in the next open enrollment period. It will simplify finances and paperwork, especially since he changes jobs more than I do.

 ‎· JustDuckie 1
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So, for $60/visit, we can call and have HVAC folks come out and do regular maintenance on our system, or, for $200/year, we can sign a maintenance agreement to have them come out twice/year to do the maintenance. I know they say we get discounts on other things (for instance, if they have to repair something, we get a 20% discount on the repair) if we sign the annual agreement, but I'm having trouble imagining that it's worth it. Anyone have any insight?

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i actually started doing this. it's nice, because we get automatic reminders for the service (which we have been known to forget). The other thing I like, at least with our plan, is we get priority service for emergencies. I view it more like insurance, in that I may not need it all the time, but it's sure nice when I do need it. like the time our AC went out in the middle of a summer heat wave.

 ‎· holly 2
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Meanwhile, we also have a problem with mice (mainly in the garage, but they occasionally show up in the house, too). We paid $200 yesterday for them to come out and set some baits (apparently the bait they use is safe for cats, because the antidote for the poison is found in cat food), and, it would apparently cost $600/year to sign up for an annual contract with them. Not sure that's worth it, either, but I'll have to spend some more time evaluating that.

 ‎· Mr. Noodle 1
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Finally got all of my media restored on my Plex server (the hard drive died), but, I didn't realize that all of the metadata was stored in another directory alongside my media, so I never backed that up. As a result, I lost all of the meta data I had associated with my media, and now I'm having to rebuild it all (as much as possible; I set it up so long ago, I honestly don't remember what items I had to manually set up). I am, however, using this as a lesson to make sure I back up even more things in more places.

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I've had 3 separate drives die on me in the past 6-8 months (not counting the brand new drive that was corrupt from the beginning - I'm working on getting Seagate to replace that under warranty), so, I'm grateful that I had a pretty robust backup plan in place already, but, I have learned a few lessons about how/where to back things up. Thankfully, because my backup procedures were as strong as they were, I didn't really lose anything that can't be recreated, but I am having to put a lot of effort into restoring things and re-configuring my backup procedures.

 ‎· Mr. Noodle
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TW:suicide <spoiler>a member of the Capitol police took his own life off duty. only reported in the "local" section. https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/public-safety/liebengood... so sad.</spoiler>

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:-(

 ‎· Galadriel
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@cpikas: good, and I hope that continues to hold true.

 ‎· ellbeecee 2
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It sounds like, sometime tonight, I will be a grandpa for the second time.

Thing 1 has been in the hospital for the past 24 hours, under constant supervision for severe preeclampsia, and, after a round of tests performed this afternoon, the doctors have decided they will have to induce labor tonight.

Prayers and good vibes for Thing 1 and the new Grandnugget would be appreciated, as this is not how any of us would have planned this.

It sounds like, sometime tonight, I will be a grandpa for the second time.

Thing 1 has been in the hospital for the past 24 hours, under constant supervision for severe preeclampsia, and, after a round of tests performed this afternoon, the doctors have decided they will have to induce labor tonight.

Prayers and good vibes for Thing 1 and the new Grandnugget would be appreciated, as this is not how any of us would have planned this.

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Fingers crossed.

 ‎· Galen Charlton 1
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Hi little Ivy. We're so glad you're here. ❤️ to your mama & your grandpa too

 ‎· StephAnie Wear A Mask
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When There Wasn't Enough Hand Sanitizer, Distilleries Stepped Up. Now They're Facing $14,060 FDA Fees. "Distilleries just learned that to cap off a brutal year, the FDA is charging them a fee normally reserved for drug manufacturing facilities. " https://reason.com/2020/12/30/when-there-wasnt-enough-hand-sanitizer-distilleries-stepped-up-now-theyre-facing-14060-fda-fees/

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When I scrolled past this, I thought for a moment that this was a photo of Johnny Worthington.

 ‎· Mr. Noodle
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@cgrymala: I absolutely did too, exactly what you said. MoW?

 ‎· Micah 1
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^ #mow

 ‎· Julian 2
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Trump can do us a huge favor by dismissing the whole FDA and replacing them with 4 guys: 3 with the "approved" rubber stamp and a supervisor that will make sure they work in shifts without interruptions

 ‎· Detox и Ebonix 4
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looking at state vaccination plans you can really see their values. For example, while NC includes prisons in all congregate living settings and includes diabetes with sickle cell and other diseases increasing severity, OH pulls out congenital/early onset/developmental and also separates congregate settings prioritizing veterans, then other group homes, and last prisons. (clearly some values statement here because Ohio has had horrible outbreaks in prisons)

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Something I was reading recently said that some Native American tribes are putting people who speak their language natively near the head of the line: https://apnews.com/article/5b2ede2eccb469881a2a68cb5b1b65e1

 ‎· Catherine 2
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after seeing how fast priorities are changing, I'm just standing by. MPOW is generally considered "critical infrastructure" in our state and I have letters from them and 2 federal government agencies I could show if there was ever another real lockdown. I know they're trying to vaccinate on site but it will still probably be March or later.

 ‎· Christina Pikas

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