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Howard Stern – One Man, Changed our culture forever; For Better or For Worse

October 31st, 2011 by Michael Tabor
Incidentally, this is the only picture you can find of Howard Stern back in the 1980s. He is so incredibly vain that he pays people to remove pictures of himself from the web. So take a good look because I’m sure it won’t be up for long, I’m sure his people will urge me to remove it.
This is an incredible claim but it is absolutely 100% true. I have been hesitant to write about what I knew for a decade because it is such a sweeping and bold statement and we here at WhaDaWeThink are not in the business of making frivolous proclamations just for the sake of being outrageous. Just as MTV and Michael Jackson changed the music world (Before Michael Jackson, young white people listened to what is now called classic rock and black people listened to R&B – and after writing about Howard I will elaborate on it in another blog) Howard Stern obviously not only changed the talk radio universe (incidentally, Howard and the Howard Stern copycats like Opie and Anthony are basically passé but are still popular on Satellite radio) he changed our culture.
Allow me to elaborate: I was a freshman in college and in my car listening to Rush – (8 -track tape) 2112. I pulled out the tape and I accidentally ended up on AM radio and there and then I heard this nasally voice coming through the airwaves. I was surprised to hear that a radio station would allow a man with such a funny voice be on the radio so I listened and it wasn’t long until I understood why.  First, I heard the word “penis”, then “lesbian” and I was shocked beyond words – mind you this is 1981 in the middle of the afternoon on a weekday. I listened some more and more and I was CAPTIVATED. It wasn’t just the dirty words – this man was interesting and unspeakably different and original. It was as though I were “listening in” on something private and personal; as if the DJ had forgotten to turn off the on button when one breaks to a commercial and I was privy to what was going on BEHIND THE SCENES of a radio station. That was the MAGIC – behind the façade, an honest person speaking his mind and courageously spewing prodigiously intimate details like the fact that he had a small penis and that he masturbated too much. WHAT?
Needless to say I was narcotically hooked. I listened to him every day and told all my friends about this Howard Stern – they all got hooked and they in turn told all of their friends (no one listened to AM radio back then except for baseball games. )I couldn’t get enough of this guy; I would even listen to his show live, tape it and listen to it again the same day. I was a fan, perhaps the biggest Howard Stern fan in the world and I wanted more.
I was a huge fan and I didn’t even know what he looked like (before internet folks). I didn’t know what I expected to see but the first time I saw him he was on David Letterman (BTW, I’m not gay) I was surprised. [Appearing] on TV was this really tall guy with glasses and a mustache; no he didn’t have the rock star look yet, that came later. I’m going to finish this blog tomorrow (there is obviously so much) and suffice it to say I’m 48 years old now and I don’t listen to him anymore although strangely enough some of my friends still do. I’m not being elitist here because Howard is still a funny guy and the way he and Robin cover the news is still amazingly good. However, you will have to wait until tomorrow; I haven’t even touched on how he changed our culture and why I personally turned against him. (hint: same old show– strippers,etc. and his cruelty to disabled people)
So WHADAWETHINK ? What do you Think? Younger people who read this probably don’t understand the prodigious impact Howard Stern had on us but people my age do. A lot more to come; See you tomorrow everybody.
Check out this old video of Howard Stern on David letterman – 1984. The material is tame and dated but this was shocking to us, no one ever did these things on TV before. He subsequently got fired from WNBC and went on to super- stardom. He was making $200,000 a year then and actually started his career making 20k. Now Sirius pays him 100 million a year – unreal !
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If You Love Animals, Help Save Feral Cats

October 30th, 2011 by Magdalena Tabor

Winter is fast approaching and if you’ve been feeding those feral cats all summer long, they’ll need a warm  dry place to stay. People have all kinds of misconceptions about cats. Because of their independent nature, people tend to think cats can fend for themselves and to a certain extent they can. But the sad truth is, these animals won’t live very long if they’re forced to endure extreme cold wet weather year after year. It takes its toll. So, you’ve been feeding that feral cat? Good for you! Now take the extra step in prolonging that precious little life.
I never intended to become the Cat Lady. It happened one winter when I was feeding the birds in my backyard. A small white cat would visit the feeder each day and in ignorance I would shoo her away. What I believed to be mischievous behavior was completely misunderstood. That pile of feathers revealed something more. Put simply, she was starving. I caved in. “Catherine” was fed from that day forward and was my friend for nearly ten years. Others came during this time – her sidekick Heathcliff. And a male I thought I’d been feeding (Mr. Linton) gave birth one Spring to three healthy kittens. I trapped and kept one. My intention was to trap and neuter them all but before I could bat an eyelash, three months later Mrs. Linton got pregnant again. This time there were four. God knows what happened to the other two from the first litter after a not so neighborly neighbor trapped and brought them to a local animal shelter. I was determined this would not be the fate of the second litter. But I needed help and fast!


I queried and I called but it wasn’t until I sought the expertise of two dedicated people at a local organization that things finally began to take shape. They lent me their Have-A-Heart traps for free and helped me to trap all four female kittens along with their mother. Oh, it wasn’t easy. It took round the clock supervision to trap them one by one but in the end it was worth it. When they were brought to be neutered, they discovered that Mom was “in the family  way” once again and so was one of the kittens at just three months old!
So, number one. You must trap and neuter your feral cats. As humans, we are responsible to take on the challenge and reduce the number of feral cats safely and humanely. After all, the problem exists because of us – beginning with the domestic house cat we failed to spay or neuter. Since this is the root of the problem, it’s also the means to its end. And just because you have a male cat, it doesn’t mean he shouldn’t be neutered too. What do you think he’s going to do with all that unharnessed energy? Contact any feral cat organization for help and information. They’ll also put you in touch with how to house your furry friends.
Mine are bundled all safe and snug on my backyard deck which happens to have an awning. Three separate units (small dog houses or large plastic pet crates) are clustered together with warm wool balnkets and rugs inside each one. Or you can even use straw for warm dry bedding. Styrofoam sheets for insulation along with plywood for stability (purchased at Home Depot) are stacked around the units and the whole shebang is covered with a heavy duty plastic tarp to keep out all that wind and snow. They love it. It’s like winter camp. When Spring arrives, simply take it apart, wash the blankets and store them for next season. Replace the winter blankets with some soft cotton ones as shelter against the hot sun and the occasional summer thunderstorm or if we happen to have a rainy season.
My five lovely ladies are happy, healthy and a source of constant joy all year long. Although I’ve given up feeding the birds (an unfair disadvantage to them with five cats to battle) I wouldn’t trade what I have now for anything in the world. They’ve gone from feral to friendly as nature intended. And the glow I feel inside having given them the life that they deserve goes beyond all measure. They give me so much more in return. Keep in mind, if you want to domesticate your furry family, you need to invest in the time. You can gain their trust by keeping perfectly still and letting them go about their business. Attempt to give them treats and eventually they’ll eat right out of your hand. I made it a daily habit of sharing my dinner with them. It took several months but now we’re friends for life.
I want to publicly thank Rob and Joanne at All About Spay & Neuter for their invaluable help four years ago. Please do your part and help support your local feral cat organization or get involved by writing to your congressman to stop the senseless killing of feral cats. The answer is “Trap, Neuter, Return”, an effective measure in eliminating feral cat colonies over time.  To learn more, log on to Alley Cat Allies. Give cats a voice.
So…………..whadayathink? Was this article helpful to you? Will you get more involved and help spread the word? Thanks for reading.

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Video Killed the Radio Star: Aug. 1, 1981

October 29th, 2011 by Michael Tabor
On Aug. 1, 1981 at 12.01 am a revolution in music was spawned  when MTV, the all music channel,  debuted with the apropos song “Video Killed the Radio Star” by the group – The Buggles. Yes, I had just graduated from high school, I was enjoying my last summer before heading off to college, and I was narcotically hooked to MTV.
When one is in college, he or she has a prodigious amount of time on one’s hands – especially during the day (for the first time in a young person’s life). This so-called “free time” is supposed to be filled with earnest study, but more often than not I found myself glued to the TV like Beavis and Butthead (Sorry a digression – I am laughing out loud by virtue of the fact that I am sadly correctly capitalizing the “B”s in Beavis and Butthead; so much for high culture. Actually a decade and a half later Beavis and Butthead would be a hit show on MTV…STOP – another blog) getting my daily fix of MTV.  What was the appeal? What was so great about it? Why did I almost fail out of college because instead of going to class, I was watching MTV.
Well, for me at least there were a couple of reasons: 1) I was a neophyte at guitar [BTW, 30 years later I’m still playing] and I delusively thought I was going to be a rock star. 2) There was nothing like it – EVER before. Music and the pictures, images, and videos to go with it was a new experience. The only other time one was able to see one’s heroes on TV was if you caught “Don Kirshner’s Rock Concert” (very ‘hippieish” man; besides the cats were old rock n’ rollers and included just the band performing) which aired for an hour bi-weekly and “Saturday Night Live”[again just live performances].
MTV changed music forever and in my opinion for the worse. In the past, before MTV, listening to music conjured up all kinds of personal images and they were mine; subsequently with MTV the performing artist, band, group, etc. imprinted an image[s] for you and the musical experience became prodigiously passive – we became zombies – true couch potatoes. Now every time I hear the song Jump on the radio I don’t fantasize or think of images myself, all I can see is David Lee Roth sporting spandex pants and doing jumping double leg splits and Eddie Van Halen (the coolest dude on the planet with an axe in the ‘80s) playing his red and white signature Fender guitar with his lit cigarette lodged in the nut and headstock (oh and who could forget Eddie blowing smoke rings into the camera). And, of course Madonna in Borderline and her slovenly dressed/gum-chewing/punky/New Wave style and her Latino boyfriend that made her a star beyond anybody’s wildest hankering dream. Which incidentally brings me to my final thoughts and conclusion.
Madonna and especially Bon Jovi would be nobodies had it not been for MTV. What was of paramount importance was “a look” and an image which supplanted the music itself.
So WhadaYaThink ? What do you think? Certainly, there was a lot of creativity and talent involved in the making of the videos. The video was an art in itself .Yes, Madonna and Michael Jackson could dance and Bon Jovi was good-looking but [isn’t] the music important?
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Barack Obama’s Accomplishments –Part 2

October 27th, 2011 by Michael Tabor
Let us start where we left off – some more of Barack Obama’s accomplishments:
  • Established partnerships to share environmental technology with other countries.
  • American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. (This is simple Keynesian economics; John Maynard Keynes is considered to be one of the greatest economic thinkers of all time. In a nutshell Keynes believed that when times are good, the free market will work and correct itself. However, when things are dire and the market is stuck, as a last resort, Keynes suggests that the only way out is to stimulate the economy by investing in markets that create job such as: infrastructure, education, health, and energy. In even simpler words, provide money for the movers and shakers who know how to turn money into more money. The stimulus plan was working and we were on our way to recovery, 3.7 million jobs were created, however we ran out of money. Now the solution is so simple – WE NEED ANOTHER STIMULUS PACKAGE ! And this is exactly what Obama is trying to do.)
  • Put into law largest reform of student aid in 40 years.
  • Passed Children’s Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act.
  • Created incentives for farmers to use more renewable energy and be more energy efficient.
  • Provided tax breaks to promote public transit.
  • Passed Oil Spill Recovery bill in order to remove liability CAP for oil companies.
  • Barack Obama works hard unlike his predecessor, W., he has visited more countries and more world leaders than any first term president in the history of the presidency.
  • Authorized Bill Clinton to secure the release of two Americans held in N. Korea.
  • Made 20 billion dollars in budget cuts.
  • Canceled contract for new Presidential helicopter fleet (28 helicopters, 11.2 billion dollars).
  • Established Standards For Accessible Medical Diagnostic Equipment.
  • Required large employers to contribute to a national health plan.
  • Required insurance companies to cover pre-existing conditions.
  • Prevented children from being refused health insurance coverage.
  • Helped Families Save Their Homes Act, helping millions avoid foreclosure – as a result foreclosure fell by 2%.
  • The Daniel Pearl Freedom of the Press Act, advancing press freedom and safety for journalists.
  • Awarded 2009 Nobel Peace Prize.
  • Donated 250K of Nobel prize money to Fisher House.
  • Signed the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
  • Increased infrastructure spending (roads, bridges, power plants) after years of neglect.
  • Recommitted the U.S. to a policy of “no torture” and full compliance with the Geneva Conventions.  (Barack is a class act; we are better than our enemies.)
  • Initiated a new policy to promote federal hiring of military spouses.
  • Removed restrictions and provided support for embryonic stem-cell research and new biomedical research.
  • Imposed limits on lobbyists’ access to the White House.

Tell me PLEASE ! What am I missing ? I can write another blog on some of the administration’s achievements but I think we covered the major ones. We are suffering terribly economically but rest assured, there is no better man to have in the White House during these difficult times than Barack Obama.
So WHADAYATHINK ? What do you Think ? One can’t deny the facts, the president has done a lot and we are certainly in better hands than that lazy, bumbling, idiotic George “Dubya” Bush. Oh, and by the way English as a second language does not apply to President Obama as it did for his predecessor.
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Barack Obama’s Accomplishments

October 26th, 2011 by Michael Tabor
I am tired of hearing people say that Barack Obama is a doing nothing in the White House and that he is a bad president. Are we in the midst of a horrible economy? Yes.  Is it the President’s fault? No. I have some news for you skeptics out there – The entire world is suffering economically!
For those of you who have been casting aspersions on our great president, here is a laundry list of what he has accomplished thus far:
  • Ordered and successfully found and killed Osama Bin Laden. This was something the last administration tried to accomplish and failed.
  • Put into law the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, the biggest financial reform law since the Great Depression of 1929.
  • Closed offshore tax safe havens and tax credit loopholes.
  • Reformed deferral rules to curb tax advantages for investing overseas and additionally established new offshore investment policy that promotes in-sourcing. (W. Bush never did anything to promote in-sourcing.)
  • Financial reform has strongest consumer financial protections in HISTORY.
  • Appointed the first Latina to the Supreme Court.
  • Appointed the first black Attorney General.
  • Responsible for creating new sentencing laws for powder and crack cocaine. (Before Obama, judges would give harsher sentences for crack cocaine offenders  as opposed to powder – this was just blatant racism)
  • Enforced a more thorough criminal history background check for pilots by passing the Pilot Extension Act of 2009.
  • The U.S. jail population declined for the first time in decades.
  • Cut prescription drug costs for Medicare recipients by 50%.
  • Increased funding for the National Endowment for the Arts to the highest level since 1992. (If you are a republican, you hate this and if you are a democrat, you love it. I am a democrat and I think this is important; besides, if one is not short-sighted, it’s obvious that this will ultimately help the economy. Wealthy people spend a great deal of money on the arts and spending is obviously the key to stimulating the economy. I know, I know –in my last blog I said STEM, science, technology, engineering, and math, is the key to getting back on track but not everyone has the aptitude for these disciplines.)
  • Obama and the Department of Treasury sold 1.5 billion shares of Citigroup at a profit.

 

  • Negotiated a deal with Swiss banks to permit U.S. government to gain access to records of tax evaders and criminals.
  • Put into law Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act that ensures equal pay for women. (Sorry male chauvinists – women can do the same job we males can do and they ought to be compensated for it.)
  • Initiated the National Export initiative, which is expected to double U.S. exports by 2015.
  • The Obama administration is aware of the fact that the key to full economic recovery is building small businesses. To facilitate this the administration has made it substantially easier for small businesses to get loans, has passed the Small Business Act and the Small Business Investment Act.

This is just the beginning; this president has accomplished so much in such a short period of time that I have to split this blog into two or even three parts. Sadly, 90% of the people who criticize this president know absolutely NOTHING about his accomplishments. I will see you tomorrow and if some ignoramus should ask you what has Barack Obama done for this great country of ours, well you will be ready and armed with the FACTS ! WHADAYATHINK ? What do you think ? Much more to come.

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Raynham Hall – A Haunted Walk Through History

October 25th, 2011 by Magdalena Tabor

To experience Raynham Hall (located in Oyster Bay, Long Island) is to transport yourself  back to the days of the Revolutionary War. Built in 1738, it played a center role in General George Washington’s spy ring. Focus your eyes on the house itself, letting the neighboring buildings blur. Imagine it in its original setting situated in lush fields and meadows, an apple orchard that once lay just beyond its front door. Succumb to the lazy drone of summer. The scent off the bay. Smell the hay drying in the sun. Submit to the changing season for it is now October. Shadows fall. A swish of petticoats is heard on the stairs and fades down the hallway with the lingering scent of roses. It mingles with the wood smoke and an apple pie spiced with cinnamon. The stomp of boots. Men in uniform enter, exit. The air pulsates with excitement for what is overheard is a plot to pay Benedict Arnold to surrender his troops to the British. The Townsend family are Patriots forced to house Loyalist troops. In exchange for their hospitality, they will ferry this information to George Washington who will foil the plan and expose Benedict Arnold for the traitor he is.
Meanwhile romance permeates the air; the pipe smoke wreathing a British soldier and young Sally Townsend in a first ever Valentine he presents to her. She will cherish it into her eighties, he having left her behind in the end. The page is creased in sorrow, the words taint the air. The very coldness of it affecting the temperature in her room. The remains of sweet nothings etched onto windowpanes for the love of Sally Townsend are still visible. Is it she who wanders the upper floors at night, candle in hand? Is it he, Lieutenant Colonel John Simcoe, parading his white horse outside her bedroom window? Or is it Major Andre who was captured and hanged for his involvement with Benedict Arnold?
The house is literally alive with history. Every creak, sigh, and shuffle lays claim to what happened in the Townsend household. The smell of wood smoke when there is no fire burning. Apple pies baking when there’s none to be had. The whisper of secrets in love and war, all telltale signs of an ongoing venture. Time does not stand still here. It moves for all eternity. Don’t believe Raynham Hall is haunted? You don’t have to – the spirits will speak for themselves. But don’t ask the elderly gentleman cascading down the stairway. He’s looking for his lower half. Perhaps in life he was told he was only half the man he should have been !
So……………whadayathink? Is a ghost “nothing more than a piece of undigested beef”, as spoken by Scrooge to Marley? You decide. On Saturday, October 29th a live web-cam will be installed at Raynham Hall after 10 pm until the wee hours of the morning. Remember, the museum will be closed…log on to raynhamhallmuseum.org. Happy Halloween!

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Ophelia’s Teapot

October 24th, 2011 by Magdalena Tabor

Ophelia’s teapot is broken.

She cracked the spout

Pouring Shakespeare

Into a cup

But drank it anyway.

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Solution For Our Economic Problems: Science, Technology, and Engineering

October 20th, 2011 by Michael Tabor
Yesterday I explicitly set forth a couple of reasons why we are enmeshed in this terrible economy of ours (U.S.A.): 1) America has had it too good for too long and as a result we have become complacent; we have spoiled our children and hence our children (now today’s workforce) no longer have that edge. We have lost our parent’s and grandparent’s work ethic.  2) We are now more than ever part of a global economy.
I purposely began with our being complacent (again, I am not talking about individuals, there are people who have worked just as hard as the old-timers have – I’m referring to the whole mass or aggregate number of people.) because what I’m going to blog about today perfectly logically follows suit.
The number of people attending, finishing, and earning a college degree (though watered down – another blog) has actually increased and therefore we have a more educated population than we had at the time of the golden era of postwar prosperity (1945 – 1973). So what happened? We are more educated than our parents are (as I stated in yesterday’s blog, my father raised a family of six and carried only a high school diploma) doesn’t it stand to reason that we should continue to prosper and perhaps even enjoy more fruits of our labor?
Look at my first paragraph and read yesterday’s blog and therein lies the answer; we have become more educated BUT so has the rest of the world AND – this is new – the rest of the world (especially China and India) have earned advanced degrees in SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY, and ENGINEERING. You simply cannot go wrong if you pursue science, technology (IT, computers, etc.), and engineering.
Students from Asia come to this country, we educate them (in the sciences, technology, and engineering) in our best colleges and universities, and then they go back home and build up their country. They build infrastructure and create jobs at an exponential rate far surpassing the United States because they earned advanced degrees in SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY, and ENGINEERING.
Well, why didn’t we think of this? Why didn’t we major in S.T.E. ? Answer – because it’s incredibly hard work – plain and simple. Everything is cyclical; we majored in sociology, psychology, film studies, the arts, etc. because it was fun and easy. We weren’t concerned about putting food on the table and feeding our family like the rest of the world was, so we majored in sociology. Trust me, a bachelor’s degree in sociology and a token is just enough to get you on the subway.
So WhadaYaThink ? What do you Think? Hey, I majored in Journalism, do not get me wrong it was no cakewalk, but it pales in comparison to science, technology, and engineering.  What happened to us is just human nature; we weren’t starving, we got complacent and most of us got a liberal arts education. I used the word cyclical in the last paragraph because it’s apropos. We have to suffer a little, and then get back on track. If you don’t want to ever have to worry about getting a job, then get an advanced degree in SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY, and ENGINEERING. The liberal arts are important and we need them. Besides, if you major in computer science, there will obviously be a concentration in that area, however every college will also mandate that one earns at least 60 credits worth of liberal arts and studies in the humanities. If I were to do things over, would I major in journalism? Absolutely! But I would have a double major – Science/Journalism. I would have to work my tail off and I’m sure I would spend every moment studying, but at least I wouldn’t have to worry about money or landing a job. What do you think ?
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Young, Educated, and Unemployed

October 20th, 2011 by Michael Tabor

Young, educated, and unemployed – What? You are 25 years old, you have A Master’s degree, and you don’t have a job? I know it’s cold comfort but you are not alone. Unless you come from old money and are well connected, the aforementioned – young, educated, and jobless is a chilling reality.
After World War II and at the height of the baby boom, America was truly the land of opportunity; a college education was for those ambitious folks who were not content with being just middle class. If one had a B.A. or a B.S., he or she was not only assured of a job for life but also more often than not guaranteed to be a mover and shaker. Now a bachelor’s degree is tantamount to having a high school diploma back in the 1950s or not even. My father had one job his whole life and was able to support a wife and 6 children. No, we weren’t rich, but my mother was a housewife, there were 6 mouths to feed and my father never went to college. The point is we were okay.
The United States of America was number one militarily and economically (we still are the only superpower militarily, however our economy, as if I need to even mention it is slipping and sliding since 1973). There were jobs to be had and not just service jobs, we manufactured things back then; now everything is made in China. This country has had it made (we can go back to the early nineteenth century with the onset of the industrial revolution) for so long we have invariably become spoiled. Furthermore, not only have we become complacent, we now live in a global economy and The U.S. is no longer the only player in town.
Well one may ask himself – how could this have happened to this once great economic power?  Certainly, this didn’t happen overnight. There is a plethora of reasons but for the sake of this blog, I will concentrate on just one – complacency. Yes that’s right we have become complacent. We no longer have the work ethic, which our parents and grandparents had (clarification – people born before 1940), and we as a nation are only now coming to the realization that we are not entitled to anything more than life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. In other words, we can have the good things that life has to offer (especially in this country, which is profoundly rich in natural resources) but we have to work hard for everything. Mommy and Daddy can no longer afford to buy Johnny or Suzie a BMW just because he or she graduated from high school.
I will touch on other factors, which we can attribute to our current woeful economic situation. However, first we have to come to terms with the notion and acknowledge that we have become lazy and spoiled. (I am not speaking about every individual here; I am speaking of our country as an aggregate.) The rest of the world has endured a 20% unemployment rate since time immemorial; now in this global economy, the U.S. is just now getting to know how it feels. And to mention third world countries where there is not even enough food to go around – well that’s a whole other story.
So WhadaWeThink ? What do you think? I will be blogging a lot more about our economic problems and the reasons we are here now. Complacency and the fact that we live in a global economy are just two reasons. There are dozens more.  What do you think ?

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The Web

October 18th, 2011 by Magdalena Tabor
She draped her canopy
To dry
Between the hedge
And leafy sky.
A fringe of shawl
For gypsy moth
But it was I
The spider caught.
The sticky threads
Were interlaced
To form a net
About my face.
Such a dance
You never saw,
The spider clung
To Murphy’s law.
She drew her curtain
Across the path
Knowing I
Would not be back.
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