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  • FIRST POST
    • Greying Pilgrim
    • By Greying Pilgrim 27th Oct 16, 9:11 AM
    • 3,782Posts
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    Greying Pilgrim
    The Simple Bare Necessities feat. Gratitude & Recipes
    • #1
    • 27th Oct 16, 9:11 AM
    The Simple Bare Necessities feat. Gratitude & Recipes 27th Oct 16 at 9:11 AM
    Hello

    I think that the time may be right to start a new diary. So much has changed since I started my 2nd diary, which can be found HERE and we're a whole lifetime away from my first diary, which can be found HERE

    Whilst my first 2 diaries concentrated on living a simple life, concentrating on debt-avoidance for my (then) DP and I, we had a 'bit' of a tumultuous 2015, which meant that my DP became my DH and we 'Two' became 3, with the safe arrival of Baby Greying

    Our focus has changed dramatically. Far from contemplating 'downsizing' (a bit of a misnomer in terms of our house, honestly, I've been in bigger 'flats'! ) and somehow achieving early retirement; we now have a future focus that needs us to be super fit and active for as long as we can be. Also, as older first time parents, we are both committed to try to be in Baby Greying's life for as long as possible, without being a burden. Because whilst being older does have some distinct advantages when applied to parenting, there is no denying there's a downside too..............

    Also, the economic climate is changing once again. Blame it on whatever you like, but there is always some reason why prices of x, y or z rise. There is always a reason why, when you find a way to combat inflation; someone comes along and changes the rules of the game. A good example of this is our wood burner. When we had it installed, we had access to a goodly amount of free wood, we both had the time and energy to process it and we could live with parts of the house being cold. Forward 10 years; more people have stoves - and are all chasing that 'free' wood, 'purchased' logs are now very expensive around here and we've no time to stack nor chop wood. It's become easier, and 'as expensive' to flick the on switch for the central heating....... a cleaner in-house option, that can keep the whole house a manageable temperature and Baby Greying at a safe and comfortable temperature.

    Now it does matter if our hair-brained money saving wheezes make our teeth fall out or our toes freeze orf, because it impacts on our ability to look after Baby Greying in the now and in the future. Our health and well-being is a priority - but still not at any price. We want to have it all,;but with only a modest budget available, we're gonna have to get creative. I rarely shop in the 'big 4' supermercados. We purchase some things from mrL, some from mrAl. A smattering from mrW, mrT and m&$ (bananas mostly), with h0me bargins and h3ron f00ds being the sources of our regular shopping. We also have access to a food co-operative and I occasionally get to go to the next city along to get bulk purchases of pulses and spices.

    Our focus now (that we've got over the shock of Baby Greying ) is to move on from Greying Towers. The long and short of it boils down to it not being the right environment for us to bring up a child here. There are nicer places. We need to find them. So a move is on the cards. However, some renovation of the towers is necessary, and whilst funding has always been an issue; now we have the added upheaval of trying to do work around a baby. Not impossible, but not ideal. It's also still proving impossible to find reliable tradespeople. We're looking for a plumber, again

    The one thing that I've come to recognise with age is that there is always 'good stuff' in every life. Even when you're really going through the mill. There are good people, who say or do good things to help you. There are the wonders of nature to take in at every turn. There is humour everywhere, even if you have to look under a few rocks to find it. It is important to be thankful, even on the dark days. And I try to do that - and find writing it down, in my online diary a good exercise in stopping. And thinking.

    We like food at Greying Towers. I write about it alot. I take pictures of me tea. We're vegetarian (at present) and so vegetables feature. Alot. When it's gifted HG produce, it's even better

    So, do you fancy climbing aboard for the new adventure. Taking some time out to Fall apart in my backyard with Me, DH and BG?

    Greying X
    Last edited by Greying Pilgrim; 29-10-2016 at 8:24 AM.
    'Ich habe genug'

    'I am not in the pursuit of happiness, only in the discovery of joy' - Joyce Grenfell
Page 75
    • redofromstart
    • By redofromstart 14th Sep 17, 9:28 PM
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    redofromstart
    ooh the pasta thing looks perfect (sans yucky pasta obviously), I have courgettes and squash to use, and the last tiny corner of parmesan so that will work perfectly. Maybe substitute broccoli stems or runner beans for the pasta. Thanks GP!
    • Greying Pilgrim
    • By Greying Pilgrim 15th Sep 17, 6:58 AM
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    Greying Pilgrim
    Good Morning

    rtandon - little too much laughing -

    beanie - it is, and with HG courgettes, it's fab & frugal, 2 of my watch-words

    redofromstart - excellent choice, it'd make a good risotto too, if you like rice. You wouldn't need the cream, but could still use parmesan. Leanne Brown's recipes are good. Look out for her (freely downloadable) cookery book 'Good & Cheap', which she wrote specifically for people on food stamps in the US (she herself is Canadian ), there are some great tasty yet frugal recipes in it. She also has another (freely downloadable) recipe book on line too - called 'From Scratch'. The gal is a marvel, a generous, talented marvel

    Well, the weather was utterly pants yesterday. I got out of the house to the post box in between 2 severe downpours. I was pleased for the exercise (in blazing sunshine for 10 minutes), but frustrated at being cooped up all day

    It wasn't a nsd, as DH got some bits and pieces from mrL.

    Tea last night actually veered away from a 'buddha bowl', as I found reference to a recipe that I made for the first time last year, and made that again instead. I made Cypriot Vegetable Stew (Turlu) and served it with the last of the bulghar wheat from the jar. It used up 1 portion of gifted runner beans, the last gifted courgette and the remaining passata from the box in the fridge. It was easy to make, sat whilst DH was putting BG to bed, tasted nice and used gifted produce in an authentic fashion. Gets my vote

    This evening, I plan on making pizza - hopefully 'Two tomato', to use up the yellow and red tomatoes that were gifted from the gardening parental I'll have to check if I have sufficient potatoes for wedges, or may have to buy a bag from HB. According to their website, my favourite 'big bag tatties' aren't available until October, so I've got to hop from one foot to the other in anticipation for a while longer yet *clutches unicorn tighter*.......

    Right, best get to it. The washing machine is already on and there is snap to prep.

    Ta for popping by. Appreciated. As ever.

    Greying X
    'Ich habe genug'

    'I am not in the pursuit of happiness, only in the discovery of joy' - Joyce Grenfell
    • Greying Pilgrim
    • By Greying Pilgrim 16th Sep 17, 7:20 AM
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    Greying Pilgrim
    Smart, or not so smart?
    Good Morning

    I had a phone call yesterday afternoon. On my mobile. For 'normal' folk, this is no big deal. But for your friend 'Greying 'luddite' Pilgrim', this was a bit odd, as I rarely give out my telephone number for that phone. I answered this 'unknown' number to be speaking to someone 'purporting' to be from my energy supplier, telling me that they were rolling out smart meters in my area and wanted to know what date was good for me next month.

    It's the first I've heard of it.

    Yes, I know 'about' smart meters, I know there is a national roll-out plan. I know your energy supplier fit 'em. But I didn't know that Greying Towers was in line for fitment. I had no notification - just this call out of the blue........ As it was, I don't know if the individual was p1ssed off by my seeming indifference to them - or whether I moved my head slightly in the wrong direction, as the call ended at that point. But is this how companies go on?

    I'm asking because I got a call, out of the blue, on a phone that I don't routinely give out my number - and I'm still pretty sure I've not given it to that company - from a stranger, wanting to gain access to my house. With no notification in any other format. Can you see why I find it odd? Or am I being an 'uber-luddite'? destined to live in a cave and wear tattie sacks for the rest of my life?

    Tea last night was pizza and wedges. I did buy another bag of tatties from HB, simply because I was a bit light on 'wedges' sized tatties. I have some 'baker' size ones now, and several that are good for mash, so it all adds to the stock cupboard. The bakers will probably be used on Sunday, as it is only half way through the month and I'm two-thirds of the way through my grocery money I've decided to eschew buying my 'convenience' tea this week, and we'll make do with what we've got - I've got some ideas. Especially since I don't know whether we'll make it out anywhere for a trip, so.......

    Anyhoo, the pizza was 2 tommie, to use up gifted tomatoes. I put some herbage on the wedges for a change, and to use to oven heat, I made a crumble with the apples that I got off a roadside stall, back in August. They were slightly underripe when I got them, they ripened and needed using. They weren't the best apples I've ever had, but were £1 for a big bag. DH says that they were sweet - I've not tried the crumble - so that is good enough for me. Picture of tea plus crumble here;



    Tea tonight should be curry - utilising gifted produce. So it will feature runner beans, everything else is up for grabs.

    Right, best greet the day and all.

    Ta for popping in.

    Greying X
    Last edited by Greying Pilgrim; 16-09-2017 at 9:46 AM. Reason: 2 thirds, not one third!
    'Ich habe genug'

    'I am not in the pursuit of happiness, only in the discovery of joy' - Joyce Grenfell
    • Pippilongstocking
    • By Pippilongstocking 16th Sep 17, 7:43 AM
    • 14,825 Posts
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    Pippilongstocking
    Morning lovely lady and family and virtual chums.

    I'd be a bit off if someone did that to me - in fact it did happen a couple weeks ago with someone wanting me to sign up for the local new sooperdooper internet in me house (I'd actually signed up a few days before) so without asking any private account details they launched into a whole - so its here and its so cheap shall we sign you up. But, the call started odd - no please verify your address, he actually had all that and was confirming with me - most odd. Had I of found it odd if I hadn't have already signed up - I'M not sure. But, like you I don't give my number out to anyone house or mobile so it did seem perplexing. I'm glad you girded those loins and had your alert radar on.

    Food looking lush as always - I've clicked on the Leanne Brown recipe pages - what a lovely resource thank you. Some incredibly wholehearted folks in the world.

    Must do a tottle up on spends and a wee rally round the foodstuffs as its mid month and I was woefully lax last week.

    I am AWASH with tommy's my gardening parental turned up at work with two baskets of apples and a kilo of tomatoes (I aint complaining) - the irony of our work orchards escaped her as it was TOO wet to walk around the garden, so she declined a tour. Quite right too.

    I am not even thinking of the mountain of runner beans at work - I'm sure you can see it from where you are.

    Have a great day I'm going to have a wee read back and catch up on myself and the boards

    XOXO
    Overdraft 1 £1000/£100, Overdraft 2 £1000/£0, Credit Card 1 £1044.93/£520, Credit Card 2 £2710.57/£2400
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    • Greying Pilgrim
    • By Greying Pilgrim 16th Sep 17, 8:39 AM
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    Greying Pilgrim
    Aw, thanks Pippi - I'm glad it's not just me that thought it all a bit odd.

    I mean, I know that eventually most properties will have these meters. And I know that they have some plus points - although presumably the job of 'meter reader' will be defunct, which, on the basis of the extremely low-calibre individuals that we've had try to shuffle into Greying Towers over the years with their dirty/smelly clothing and their *goodnessonlyknowswhatthatis* encrusted on the bottom of their shoes, is, not such a bad thing........... But *if* we are to believe that it could allow companies to monitor your usage, and *ration*?????? supplies, well then.......Do we really need to walk, zombie-like into accepting them, at the first opportunity?

    I feel I don't know enough about them - I don't mind if someone tells me that the companies can't 'ration' supply, the smart meter can't turn off the gas - I really don't, but I don't know if they can or they can't and the energy company just wants to bang one in my house, without a by nor leave.

    Yes, I'd thoroughly endorse Leanne's recipes. Not all of them will be to folks tastes, but I rather think that there is 'something' in her books for most people.

    Pippi - I am not in the least bit a-jellymouse of your tommie mountain, of your apple monro or of your runner bean corbett........much

    Have a great day hun

    Greying X
    'Ich habe genug'

    'I am not in the pursuit of happiness, only in the discovery of joy' - Joyce Grenfell
    • Cheery Daff
    • By Cheery Daff 16th Sep 17, 9:06 AM
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    Cheery Daff
    I must confess that I actually signed up for a smart meter when I first switched to this company I hate people coming in to read the meter and I always forget myself.

    My meter has been no bother, I can't see how it'd be able to shut off the supply from looking at it (although I'm no expert of course!). Never had trouble with it at all and I don't think about it from one minute to the next. Displays how muh you're using but we just keep our display unplugged in a drawer which I'm sure wasn't the idea

    Our house buyers weren't too pleased that we had it I don't think as they hate them No idea if you can switch back once you've got one - might be like a water meter and you can switch back, but once you sell the house the mew person is stuck with it.

    Having said that, a random phone call sounds dodgy and I'd be expecting at least an email first!
    Saved for house move: £15,116.35
    • Greying Pilgrim
    • By Greying Pilgrim 16th Sep 17, 9:53 AM
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    Greying Pilgrim
    Cheery - I think that's it. I'm not against smart meters per se - i'm sure they have there plus points and minus points, and it's just 'progress'. But I think that I would rather my energy supplier had contacted me in a different fashion. I mean, it was nearly tea-time when they rang, I had no forewarning they were considering October, had Baby Greying with me, so couldn't go off pootling to look at calendars etc. I would have preferred a letter/email to say what they were contemplating, and a little bit of warning that, 'we'll be ringing you up to set a date' etc etc. Or, 'we need to do this, and will be in your area in October, when can we fit yours?'.

    How do the meters work if your electricity and gas come into the house at different points? Do you have 2 meters? Does anyone know?

    Greying X
    'Ich habe genug'

    'I am not in the pursuit of happiness, only in the discovery of joy' - Joyce Grenfell
    • apple muncher
    • By apple muncher 16th Sep 17, 10:10 AM
    • 6,302 Posts
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    apple muncher
    We bought ourselves a smart meter before the companies gave them out for free and much prefer it to the official one. We prefer the way it reads, the way it doesn't default to a certain 'page' of readings - the one we never want.

    So dh disconnected their one!
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    • in need of direction
    • By in need of direction 16th Sep 17, 11:16 AM
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    in need of direction
    I'd contact your power company and ask if they have engaged in the purported rollout. There's a data protection issue if your details are being shared without your consent.
    Mortgage at 01.01.14 £119,481.83 today £81,750.18, target £75,000 by 31/12/17 Offset fund today £3,975.43 target £5,500 by 31/12/17
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    • redofromstart
    • By redofromstart 16th Sep 17, 11:30 AM
    • 316 Posts
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    redofromstart
    Our gas and electric meters are separate - they had to fit smart things in both areas, but we have one plug in thingy that shows the spends. What I didn't realise was that the automatic transmission might not work if we move supplier, and the whole point was that I hate having people in the house.
    • Greying Pilgrim
    • By Greying Pilgrim 16th Sep 17, 11:40 AM
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    Greying Pilgrim
    That's a very good point INOD.

    Coincidentally, I have just come out of my energy supplier account, and whilst there is mention of the roll-out, I have received no notification via letter/nor e-mail, and there is no message to me 'sitting' on my account (to be fair, they send e-mails, but tell you that they've sent them on the account - if that makes sense?).

    All I saw on my account was, 'there's a roll-out', 'more about smart meters' and 'call us (a general message, not for me personally) to find out more/book an installation'.

    There's a difference between general information sitting on an account site that you may or may not visit frequently, and some random, out of the blue phone call. There's a difference between them inviting you to call them to find out more information/make an appointment and some random, out of the blue phone call.

    apple - I think the parentals have some sort of meter, got as a freebie from..... ageconcern? or somesuch organisation. It sits on the side, pootling away. I think at first, it was checked every 2 minutes and everything got switched off! Now it just sits on the side, and pootles away....... I can see that if they work how you want/need them too, they are a good idea. I'm just narked about unexpected phonecalls I think. Unprofessional.

    Baby Greying has finally gone down for a nap. They have eaten me out of house and home already this morning

    I've crossed off the last thing that needed to be done in the living room (on my Try harder Trimester list), so that is 2 rooms completed. OK, not within the target time, but it does mean that 3 rooms in the house are as 'finished' as they need to be. Of course, the time it's taking, it'll be time to repaint them etc when we come to sell/rent out

    We've more chance of winning the lottery than leaving this place, and we don't even do the lottery.....

    Greying X
    'Ich habe genug'

    'I am not in the pursuit of happiness, only in the discovery of joy' - Joyce Grenfell
    • Greying Pilgrim
    • By Greying Pilgrim 16th Sep 17, 11:45 AM
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    Greying Pilgrim
    Our gas and electric meters are separate - they had to fit smart things in both areas, but we have one plug in thingy that shows the spends. What I didn't realise was that the automatic transmission might not work if we move supplier, and the whole point was that I hate having people in the house.
    Originally posted by redofromstart
    Oh, that's interesting redo - we'd most likely have to have 2 smart meters then. See, I'd prefer to have someone take a look at our set up, and show me the size of the meter and where it would need to be located etc. But 2 meters is a definite faff. And no, I'd not heard about the transmission issue either - that's just totally not on, if we're encouraged to switch regularly, you don't need the meters changing/resetting each time - well, not in location, anyway, if they can reset remotely well then, that's slightly different.

    Greying X
    'Ich habe genug'

    'I am not in the pursuit of happiness, only in the discovery of joy' - Joyce Grenfell
    • greenbee
    • By greenbee 16th Sep 17, 1:44 PM
    • 12,090 Posts
    • 214,743 Thanks
    greenbee
    Our gas and electric meters are separate - they had to fit smart things in both areas, but we have one plug in thingy that shows the spends. What I didn't realise was that the automatic transmission might not work if we move supplier, and the whole point was that I hate having people in the house.
    Originally posted by redofromstart
    Oh, that's interesting redo - we'd most likely have to have 2 smart meters then. See, I'd prefer to have someone take a look at our set up, and show me the size of the meter and where it would need to be located etc. But 2 meters is a definite faff. And no, I'd not heard about the transmission issue either - that's just totally not on, if we're encouraged to switch regularly, you don't need the meters changing/resetting each time - well, not in location, anyway, if they can reset remotely well then, that's slightly different.

    Greying X
    Originally posted by Greying Pilgrim
    Unfortunately there was no industry standard for the first generation of smart meters, but for anyone who doesn't like them this has an advantage as you can turn them back into a dumb meter by switching supplier.

    If you want to keep a smart meter then you need to wait for the next generation (SMETS2) which will be suitable for all suppliers. Some of the current ones may be upgradable.

    At the moment all they can do is show you what you are using and send meter readings back to your supplier. In the future they hope to be able to provide variable pricing at different times of day as hey do for business so you (or your smary appliances) can decide when to use energy based on cost.

    Remember, it is a criminal offence (not to mention dangerous) to interfere with your electricity or gas meter. They belong to the energy companies, not you (actually to the network company not the supplier despite the suppliers rolling them out, which is why you don't get a new one with every switch). Clip on monitors are fine to change, but these are just displays, not the meters themselves.
    • Greying Pilgrim
    • By Greying Pilgrim 16th Sep 17, 2:27 PM
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    Greying Pilgrim
    If you want to keep a smart meter then you need to wait for the next generation (SMETS2) which will be suitable for all suppliers. Some of the current ones may be upgradable.
    Originally posted by greenbee
    Can I wait though, greenbee? It was my (current) energy supplier that contacted me to install one, I didn't approach them. I'm not against smart meters per se, but if waiting x months would mean I could be fitted with a SMETS2, then maybe I'd be prepared to do without one for that long? We've managed thus far......

    I'd never fiddle with the gas nor electricity - we need a new consumer unit - quite happy to pay a qualified electrician to do that. No messing.

    Greying X
    'Ich habe genug'

    'I am not in the pursuit of happiness, only in the discovery of joy' - Joyce Grenfell
    • beanielou
    • By beanielou 16th Sep 17, 2:33 PM
    • 47,214 Posts
    • 169,666 Thanks
    beanielou
    Very odd.
    Like you I am always wary of these things.
    To the point that I will not verify my details over the phone from people purporting to be from xyz unless I am 100% sure where they are actually from.
    They phone me & then want me to confirm my ID with them. Mmmmm.
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    • greenbee
    • By greenbee 16th Sep 17, 2:54 PM
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    greenbee
    Yes, you can wait. Just tell them none of the appointments work for you. My mum managed to put her last supplier off and she is now switching. There's plenty of discussion on the utilities board, so keep an eye out for when the new meters start rolling out.
    • Greying Pilgrim
    • By Greying Pilgrim 16th Sep 17, 5:27 PM
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    • 41,645 Thanks
    Greying Pilgrim
    Yes, you can wait. Just tell them none of the appointments work for you. My mum managed to put her last supplier off and she is now switching. There's plenty of discussion on the utilities board, so keep an eye out for when the new meters start rolling out.
    Originally posted by greenbee
    Thanks love, I'll aim to do that. Can't guarantee I'll make looking for the new generation meter roll-out a priority in my life, but the meters aren't a safety measure, so I'm content to not be a 'early-adopter' of this technology.

    I do have some sympathy with the energy suppliers, I'm sure it was all rushed in as 'green wash' rather than a thoughtful and considered exercise. Don't get me started on the 'new generation' children's car seats that you are not supposed to sell on (OK, have a deal of respect for that position), but which you can't even take 'anywhere' for specific recycling - where perhaps you could be given a 'notional' sum back, say £10 for making sure that the best use could be made of all the textiles and plastic carp that you've paid north of £180 for........

    Progress and technology. Wonderful and disasterous in equal measure at times.

    Greying X
    'Ich habe genug'

    'I am not in the pursuit of happiness, only in the discovery of joy' - Joyce Grenfell
    • Hiddenidenity
    • By Hiddenidenity 16th Sep 17, 5:38 PM
    • 4,745 Posts
    • 20,655 Thanks
    Hiddenidenity
    Still here drooling over food

    I haven't switched over to smart meters either, they've asked twice and I just said it wasn't a suitable time. I'm sure one day I will have no choice but until then they can leave me until last!
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    • greenbee
    • By greenbee 16th Sep 17, 6:45 PM
    • 12,090 Posts
    • 214,743 Thanks
    greenbee
    Just keep saying no until you decide you want to change. I don't get asked as I'm electricity only and no one seems to care.

    As for car seats, you can't sell them on but there is a lot of swapping and handing on between people that know each other. I had several until the kids were big enough to stop growing out of them. They weren't used that much, so as long as I trusted who they came from I was happy to pay £10/£20 for a second had one to a friend.
    • UncannyScot
    • By UncannyScot 16th Sep 17, 7:34 PM
    • 611 Posts
    • 2,695 Thanks
    UncannyScot
    I am on pre-pay meters for both Gas and Leccy and I have been told that I can't switch to smart meters yet anyway
    The ONLY good thing about Pre-Pay meters is that you know what you're paying...
    The bad thing is you're stuck on basic standard tariff, you can't shift from that regardless of supplier switching and if, like me your Sequestrated / Bankrupt you got no chance of changing that...
    I would like to save on my energy bills but because I'm skint, I can't, I have to pay more than everyone else... erm, yeah, that makes sense... NOT!
    Soz... wee mini-rant there
    BUGGRITMILLENIUMHANDANDSHRIMP I TOLD EM! - Foul Ole Ron
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    R.I.P. T.P.
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