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Posts posted by bsaggcmom

  1. Perhaps, and I don't know if this is possible,  we could have a locked thread/page that those that are closely following the bankruptcy and the proceedings could enter a layman's version of what happened, maybe the docket info too, and no comments would be allowed. Comments could be on a linked thread.  Then those that wish to just stay up to date on the court case can do so without having to shift thru pages of commentary. 

    I think there needs to be a place to vent/what if/share experiences and thoughts/concerns is very important.  But I also think a place for 'just the facts' is important too. As someone who can't always check the forum on a regular basis a 'just the facts' thread would be awesome. 


  2. My council has a disabilities troop. The young men in that troop are mostly Down's Syndrome and other mental disabilities. The troop has turned out quite a few Eagle Scouts over the years. Some of these gentlemen were in there 30's or 40's when they finally finished up Eagle. The troop goes camping, to summer camp and works on community service projects. They are a really neat group with some of the most dedicated scouters I have ever met. What really impressed me with this group was watching a scout in his 30's guide a younger guy maybe 20 something thru an activity on a community service project. The older gentleman had done this project dozens of time in the past and he remembered how to do it and taught a younger man how to do it. True boy/man led scouting.  The troop leadership pushes each scout to achieve his maximum, some make it thru Eagle, some only make Scout after years in the program.

    Unfortunately, the leadership for this troop is aging. Most of them are in their 60's or older. There doesn't seem to be any younger adults stepping up and stepping in. I fear this remarkable group will end soon without new blood. A sad thought.

  3. Not quite an answer to the question, but something I thought I'd share. After I finished reading this thread I went looking thru a box of scout memorabilia in my son's room, I was looking for a particular neckerchief, anyway I found my father-in-law's 'I survived Philmont' plaque. Dad went to Philmont in 1956. Do individual trek members still get their own plaque or is just a crew plaque now? 

  4. Let's look at a couple of things regarding this young lady. If my memory (which can be flaky at times) serves the scout in question completed her Eagle Scout project prior to Feb. 1. If that is the case then she did a service project not an Eagle Project as one must develop, have approved, lead and complete their Eagle Project while a Life Scout. Said scout couldn't be a Scout until Feb. 1, let alone a Life Scout, so if the approval/completion dates on the project are before Feb. 1 it doesn't count. 

    No camping nights can be counted from before Feb. 1. Whether she was a Venturer or not no camping nights counted. Therefore, she hasn't completed camping merit badge, unless she has spent 10 weekends camping in a tent since Feb. 1. It was a fairly mild winter in most of the northern climes, but 10 weekends out of the 21 possible weekends since girls were allowed to join Scouts BSA is a stretch. There have been no long term camps that I'm aware of since the first available joining date. Maybe said scout found a spring break week long camp somewhere, but I've never heard of a spring break camp. Summer camp of course, Christmas/winter break camp yes in some places including one here in the Great Lakes State.

    Next, one must be a Life Scout for 6 months and serve in a POR for that time period. Said scout, if granted advanced standing by her council, wouldn't be eligible for her Eagle SMC until at the earliest August 1. With her EBOR thereafter. Is she still serving her troop and in what capacity? Or is she trying to get past credit for that too?

    Finally, has she met with her 20 MBCs to get the badges signed off since Feb. 1? One can negotiate with each MBC about previous work credits, but one can't earn MBs without being registered as a Scouts BSA member. Therefore, no MBs dated before Feb. 1 can be counted. And since no MBs can be earned before being registered, is she really a Life Scout or just a First Class Scout? If you truly follow the MB earning rules, she came into Scouts BSA as a 1st Class Scout. 4 months of POR service/time in rank and some MB haggling,  then she is Star somewhere around the 1st of June. 6 more months of POR service/time in rank, more MB haggling and Life Scout in December. Eagle shouldn't be possible until June of next year IMHO.

  5. For those bashing Frogg Toggs, were they the full suit for $20ish or the $50 each piece ones? Frogg Toggs has 3 levels of fabric/suit. A cheap, and I would agree with the disposable comment,  rain suit that may make it thru a weekend camp that sells for about $20. These pieces are very thin and flimsy and tear if you look at them sideways. This is the level that ScoutStuff sells (or sold when I worked for National Supply). Then there is a level that sells for about $20 per piece jacket or pants. These pieces have much more body to them and last fairly well. The $20 pieces are no frills, no pockets, decent pieces. I wear them during rainy fall/spring sports as an athletic trainer. I do find the pants wear in the inner thighs, but they are still water resistant after a lot of use this past school year. I got mine at Dick's Sporting Goods. Then there is the deluxe version of Frogg Toggs, these sell for about $50 per piece. They have good durability, zippered pockets in both the pants and jackets, and tuck away hoods. Maybe even arm pit venting, I can't remember for sure. Saw these at Bass Pro.

    I don't support or recommend any store over any other store. Just telling you where I have found what level of material.

    The one thing no Frogg Togg piece, cheap or expensive, will tolerate is being heated. We wore the mid priced stuff during a trip to Alaska and got a little too close to a campfire and the material shrunk up, kind of shrink wrapped itself. The part that shrink wrapped itself was no longer waterproof. 

    Like all things, buyer beware. 

  6. I can highly recommend Camp Rainey Mountain's Whitewater KR program. Eagle son and his Eagle best friend did this camp as their last ever youth summer camp. The CRM staff was awesome in helping two Mitten State Eagle Scouts fit in with mostly southern campers. They really made the boys feel special for travelling such a distance to camp. Believe it or not they weren't the farthest away campers. There were scouts from Texas and Florida that traveled further than they did.

    The guys raved about how great the rafting was and how much fun they had. There only complaint was the quality of the food. An overall great last summer camp.

    The staff was also great to me as I hung out and volunteered at the CRM camp proper. The whitewater camp is held off site.

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  7. My kids worked in the B-52 mosquito hatchery for the last 4 years, AKA a Cub Resident camp on a shallow and somewhat swampy little lake. A great little Cub camp in the non-mosquito season, but not a great place to live your summer. We sprayed their clothes, hiking boots, tennis shoes, and the outside of their sleeping bags with permethrin before staff week. We also sprayed the mattress pads for their beds (they slept on sheets and used the sleeping bags as quilts or for hammocking) and the rug for beside their beds. It greatly reduced the attacks of the mini vampires. They didn't have any adverse reactions to the spray. But it sure helped keep the mosquito bite quantity down, didn't stop it but drastically reduced it. One good spraying before the season and it lasted the summer.

    We used so much of the stuff we actually buy it in bulk at the local feed store. A quart of the concentrate used for livestock and a pressurized 1 gallon sprayer cost me less than 2 containers of the cut down stuff at REI or the scout shop. It only took us a couple of minutes to do the math to get the dilution right. Got 2 summers out of my quart. Just make sure you don't use it full strength, it will ruin your material.

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  8. Putting a little spin on this thread. My daughter arrived at the PTC today to start her summer job at the Craft Center. She thought she had everything she needed before arriving, but NO!! She's been there 12 hrs and I have a 'please send me list'. Namely she needs a folding step stool - she and her tentmate are too short to reach the light switch on the light in their tent. Go figure 5'6" is too short to reach the switch.

    To everyone going to Philmont this summer, either the Training Center or Trekking, know that your staff has/is arriving and working hard to make your trip one to remember. The PTC staff schedule for staff week is pretty hectic and the CHQ staff has been busting butt for a couple of days now. 23 staff arrived with her on her bus from Raton this morning. Enjoy your time at Philmont. Go to the craft center and say Hi to my kid.

    I wish I could go back, maybe someday.

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  9. The young man in the photo must not be taking advantage of the back of his sashes for badges. When my son was in Scouts we got 58 (rows of 3 until the point, then 2 or 1 in a row) badges on the front of his sash. By extrapolation a large sized sash (personally I feel these are the only ones that should be sold, but that's another topic) can fit 116 badges and still leave a strip at the top of the shoulder for a sash pin.

  10. What I want to know is how Ms. Ireland got into Scouts Canada? We live in a border city and I was not allowed to enroll my children that are half Canadian in Scouts Canada. I was told by the local council, provincial council and the National office that kids living in the USA weren't allowed to enroll in Scouts Canada due to reciprocity agreements between Scouts Canada and the BSA. The only way my kids could enroll was to be residents of Canada. 

    My daughter wanted to be a Scout so bad she could taste it in first grade. There were no GSUSA troops in our area that would take her. So I called Scouts Canada to find a unit near my Mom's house for her. They told me no. So I called Girl Guides Canada and they helped us get her in to unit near Grandma's house. She went all the way thru their program. A weekly trip across the border for Scouting for 9 years. During much of that time she was in a great GSUSA Cadette/Senior/Ambassador troop 25 miles one way from the house.  Life would have been so much easier if I could have just put her and her younger brother into Scouts Canada's program. But we were told no.

    If kids that are half Canadian are refused by Scouts Canada how did a US kid get in? We didn't force the issue. We didn't fake papers or residency, we accepted what we were told. I'm not saying that Ms. Ireland lied or cheated to get in but I am confused. She was part of the same provincial council we would have been in and we were told no. Something seems fishy on that front too. Ms. Ireland needs to play by the same rules as everyone else, not have lawyers and money buy her what she wants.

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  11. My son's first troop was an Eagle Mill/Factory in the true sense of most definitions. Troop meetings started with the SM handing the SPL a sheet of paper with the announcements for the the opening. After the opening the troop broke into 2 groups and went to MB instruction for the next hour. One of the 2 badges was an Eagle required and the other was usually an elective. Sometimes there would be 2 Eagle required badges running at the same time. All scouts that had not completed the Eagle required badge were required to attend that session. The only way a scout could attend the elective badge session was if he had the required badge. No choices allowed. Badge instruction usually took 4 troop meetings and then the scouts were signed off for the badge. 90 day badges had the usual 4 weeks of instruction, then monthly check ins for progress.

    There was no T-2-1 instruction at troop meetings, no games, no activities other than MB instruction. If the scout wasn't interested in either badge offered or already had them, too bad, hope you brought a book to read. T-2-1 skills only happened on campouts and were only signed off on campouts. The meetings ended with the SM handing the SPL another piece of paper with the closing announcements on it. Campouts ran on a schedule, 30 minutes for each skill then sign off and go to the next one. Adults did the teaching, older scouts helped but never lead the process. Higher rank scouts not involved in helping with skill practice just lay in their tents and read or take part in merit badge classes run by adults. The scouts did cook and clean for themselves, but only under the strict supervision of adults.

    Campouts had just as many adults as there were scouts. Even at summer camp. The troop was adult run and advancement driven. There was only one path with these guys. They turned out Eagles on a regular basis. Palms flowed freely. But it wasn't scouting.

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  12. Our council banned this skit a few years back citing that it glorified bullying and hazing both of which are not allowed in scouts. My guys (cubs and scouts) used to loved JC Penney and centa-peed. They can't do them anymore. It's ashame adults have to ruin kids fun. Kids think bodily functions are hilarious, too bad the up tight PC adults won't let kids be kids. We're raising a generation of hypersensitive kids, I'm scared of the thought of these soon to be adults running the world in my old and grey days. 

  13. My son the former camp lifeguard recommends a good pair sandals. Think Chaco, Teva, or some other sturdy, hard soled, arch supporting sandal and don't use them as shower sandals. The dock can can get hard and hot. He also said a good pair of water shoes, think aquatic tennis shoes, will come in handy especially if your beach has a rocky bottom. He wore those when he worked boating. He also said have multiple bathing suits and change them regularly, dry them thoroughly and wash frequently. He changed his after polar bear swim, after lunch, and for evening flags.  He learned the hard way that chaffing sucks.

    My daughter said to make sure that you take a few minutes everyday and 'escape' camp to keep your sanity. Take a walk, read a few pages of a book, listen to your go to playlist, watch part of your favorite movie that you downloaded to your phone, draw, write a journal. Just do something that removes your brain from camp mode each day.

    They wish you all the best. Have the time of your life.

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  14. My kids found the following things helpful sometimes indispensable while camp staffing for 4 summers. They had the time of their lives at camp. Daughter is staffing Philmont PTC this year and son is staffing a snowboard camp on Mt. Hood. You never know where a camp staff job will lead. Have a great summer.


    Large plastic tote boxes with tight/snap on lid - keeps stuff clean/dry and reduces critters in your snacks

    battery alarm clock - cell phones don't always charge or stay charged, have a back up

    phone charging brick - for above, you can get them cheap and cheap ones work just as well as expensive ones

    a small rug or carpet squares for beside your bed in your tent - nothing worse than stepping out of bed and getting a splinter

    a folding chair - good for kicking back in staff village

    cards, books, board games

    SNACKS!!!! - put in box listed above

    A rain suit and a poncho & rubber rain boots - if you have to do a severe weather round up at 2:30 AM boots are nice to pull on and keep your hiking boots dry for the day

    Clothes hangers, clothes pins, and a length of paracord - you can make a makeshift laundry area and air out those staff uniforms

    Small fridge - my kids camp allowed a small bar fridge in each tent, kept drinks cold, had to be unplugged if tenters left camp for the night. They used my ancient college one, but now is the time to look in thrift stores near colleges for them, they are cheap 

    lots of small flashlights and extra batteries - flashlights are worth their weight in gold and disappear all summer long, get cheap ones to give as 'loaners' that never come back

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  15. Not doubting you, he's your kid.

    But in my experience as a severe allergy sufferer for decades and the mom of an Eagle Scout with asthma I have never seen an allergy attack cause a fever. Not even a low grade fever. After 14 years of scouting what I have seen is a kid(s) that may have seemed fine on Friday develop a cold/flu while at camp over the weekend and end up sick by Sunday afternoon/evening. I had one mom accuse the troop of poor sanitation because her kid got sick after every campout. It wasn't until she keep her scout home from  a campout, so he couldn't have caught it from camp, and he got sick that weekend just like 3 others in the troop on the campout. Turns out it was a bug they picked up at school and it manifested over the weekend. 

    Allergies can lower resistance and make 'catching something' easier, especially if the kid is either blowing or wiping their nose a lot or if they are coughing and sneezing and covering their mouth as they should be. This can happen anywhere, home, school or on a campout. The other things that can happen on a campout that can lower resistance to bugs include: not dressing appropriately for the weather; not changing clothes regularly, although this causes more in the way of rashes; poor eating habits/diet; and finally some level of sleep deprivation.  If your scout isn't changing his clothes regularly at camp then any smoke particles and other allergens (pollen, dust,etc) are on/in his clothes and he's breathing them in even when he's in his sleeping bag at night. If his sleeping bag isn't being aired out and maybe washed per manufacturer's instructions between campouts then he is sleeping in accumulated 'yuck'!

    My recommendations: follow above advice; stress the importance of changing clothes regularly at camp; have a set of fresh PJs that never went outside near the fire for each night of camp, store them in a Ziploc bag if needed to keep them clean and separate from 'contaminated' clothing; fresh pillow cases every night of camp stored in Ziplocs if needed; finally air out or clean sleeping bag between trips. These steps should reduce his exposure to allergens/smoke while he sleeps.  It may add slightly to his luggage for camp but as long as he isn't backpacking he should be okay. It's worth a try for a couple of trips. The fresh PJs and pillow cases (every couple of days for summer camp) help me survive summer camps and peak pollen season.

    Hope it helps and you can keep him camping.

  16. As a swimming and first aid MBC I have a couple of reservations with scouts taking these badges in their first summer camp. First, can they actually swim and will they be successful in the swimming MB. Many parents/scouts/SM think swimming is blow off badge and are disappointed when Junior doesn't complete the class. Liking the water and playing Marco Polo, aren't the same as actually being able to swim well enough to pass the required distances. Also, will they swim in a lake if that is where the MB takes place. It's amazing how many good swimmers freak out about being in a lake with fish, bird poop, turtles, etc. I watched a swim team member freak out about no googles, and seeing a fish swim by him as he jumped in so bad that he had to rescued by the lifeguard doing swim checks. He couldn't bring himself to retry the swim test in the lake. Because of his freak out he had to change three MBs (canoeing, swimming, and kayaking) to land based MBs. Camp only had a lake to swim in.  

    Second concern centers on scouts taking T-2-1 class and also taking first aid class. The requirements for FA state that the scout has completed the T-2-1 requirements before taking doing the MB. If they didn't do them at home before camp and are just learning them in T-2-1 then they really haven't done a prerequisites. The scouts will also probably be bored out of their gourds if they do FA in T-2-1 and then go do it again in FA class. SMs aren't doing their scouts any favors if they sign off on the T-2-1 skills that haven't really been learned so a scout can take the FA badge at camp. I've had dozens of SMs sign off the prerequisites so a scout could take class because it was a timing issue. It just puts the scout at a disadvantage.

    Finally, swimming and FA can be matters of life and death. I teach both topics for Red Cross as a paid professional, so I don't underestimate their value. Do you want your scout to get good and competent instruction in these topics or are you looking to tick a box? Summer camp staff members are more times than not are not experts or even well versed in these fields and usually only have a minimal working understanding of the topics. There are some great summer camp staff members, but usually they are just at a station because they have an interest in the topic or the camp couldn't find an appropriate instructor for the topic. Quality of instruction needs to be a consideration when deciding what merit badges to take. Misinformation from a poorly skilled leatherwork counselor is one thing, misinformation from a FA instructor could kill someone.

    Scouts should take what they want provided they meet the prerequisites, have fun and enjoy the outdoors. Swim, hike, stir up the muck at the edge of lake to see what they see, watch the clouds go by. What they shouldn't do is take classes from dawn to dark and have no free time.

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  17. Run Forest Run!!  Get to a new troop if you can. This SM is out of control and will continue to be an obstacle to your son's advancement just because he can be.

    We had the same issue with my son's SM in troop #2. He was not pleased the son was 13 and starting an Eagle project. No scout in his troop deserved Eagle before their 18th birthday. In troop 2 no scout had a an EBOR until after they turned 18. And he wasn't going to change his stance. My son did everything this man demanded and the SM just kept adding to the demands because he could. He delayed my son for 6 months, when I threatened an intervention with the district advancement chair he relented and signed the proposal. The SM interference didn't stop with the proposal. He tried to shut down both of my son's work days on the project itself. First shutdown was because most of the scouts couldn't help on first work day, MLK Day, cuz their school was in session and my son's school was off. The school wanted the work done that day  for obvious reasons. Son had several friends from school to help him all were Boy Scouts or Girl Scouts. Then he said it couldn't go cuz he couldn't be there, and on and on. It wasn't until the school principal called him and said she'd turn him into council for abuse of power that he relented this time.

    Second work day SM tired to shut it down cuz it was rainy and cold. Then he tried that son and school hadn't cleared the site with MissDig for buried wires, there was already a playscape in place there with deep footings. Then he tried to argue about cement mixing procedures. This time we had a friend that was on the district advancement team for the neighboring district working with the group. He pulled the SM aside and put him in his place. Project complete. SM threatened that he'd never give a now 14 year old an SMC for Eagle, especially after how he was treated during the project. So troop #3 here we were.

    This man will never change. So as stated earlier. RUN, RUN FAST. 

    Side note - Just saw on Facebook that 2 boys from troop 2 just made Eagle, they turned 18 in mid fall. They were college freshmen when their projects and completed EBORs 60 days after 18th b-days. Somethings never change. The scouts are the same age as my son.

  18. As a Camping MBC I feel if a scout and his troop can't find 2 of the 6 options to do then they aren't trying very hard. A 4 mile backpack can happen just about anywhere all it takes is a little planning. My troop did an urban backpack around a small city then spent the night in a local metro park that let us camp the night. The same can be said for the 15 mile bike ride, a neighboring troop bikes along a foot/bike path beside a major interstate, no lunches or bathroom worries they hit a fast food place at an exit when needed. Whether the scout is a good rider or not isn't the issue - he can improve if he TRIES. As others have mentioned the requirement is about adding value/excitement to a campout and possibly introducing a new horizon stretching skill to a scout. Every scout camp I've been in over the last 12 years has a  climbing/repelling wall and at most you don't have to climb to repel. 

    The area my son currently lives in for college is on the southern shore of Lake Superior. They started getting snow in late September and will continue getting snow until late April. They average some 20 feet a year with an average of 6-10 feet on ground at any one time from January to March.  Snow is easy for them, but even with the Porcupine Mountains nearby a 1000 foot ascent isn't something they can do locally. Nor is a river float, it is only safe to be on the water for a few weeks in the middle of the summer due to the frigid water temps. Scouts in his area take advantage of the snow, repel at camps and ride bikes and backpack all over the UP paradise.

    If the scout wants the badge he'll find a way to get 2 out of 6 options done. I spend some time each year in Kentucky visiting family. Each time I'm there I wish I could get my scouts to come with us. In Kentucky you have mountains that could give you the 1000 foot elevation change hike. There is Lake Cumberland and other TVA dam lakes for paddling around and many have boat/canoe rentals. There are 100's of miles of backpacking/hiking trails with not terribly for from the road campsites (Cumberland Gap National Monument comes to mind).

    Snow camping is just an option, it isn't a requirement. It's a viable option for some but not all. It needs to be left as an option IMHO. This requirement isn't overly tough. Where there's a will there's a way.

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  19. As the Eagle Coach for my troop I'd encourage him to round out his ideas more. I think it is a wonderful idea and it would be approved in my district provided the scout could articulate how it meets the goals of an Eagle project. ASMmom1976 has your son started filling out his Eagle Project Workbook yet? Or did he just try winging it in his discussion the the advancement person? I have found that when a scout uses the workbook with lots of pictures added to the text that they become more focused and the project starts to fall into place better. If he can't answer a particular question in the pre-plan section help him to find an answer. Sometimes it is as simple as making him think about where his helpers will go to the bathroom during a work day (a key topic in my district for some reason) or where will a work day be held. Once he starts laying out the steps involved and how those steps show leadership things will click better for him and the project reviewers. 

    As others have said he doesn't have to build anything or fundraise for a project to approved. But he does need to think through his steps. The guideline my district folks use for the pre-plan is could another scout pick up the workbook and run the project if your scout became ill on a work day and couldn't come. Are the steps clearly laid out? 

    Finally, if it was a troop level person he presented to and was turned down a trip to the district committee might be of benefit. Have him fill out his workbook as completely as he can for the pre-plan with lots of pictures to show what is going to be done. Sometimes the district folks are a lot easier than the troop level people who can be power tripping. 

    Good luck. I'd be happy to long distance coach a bit if he would like a bit of outside help. Sometimes a new set of eyes on the workbook can find things that the scout and his proofreader don't see. Just send me a message.


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  20. We were in 3 different troops while my son was scout age.  Troop 1 encouraged the Eagle project leader to ask all the scouts to help in some way. Younger scouts were paired with older scouts or adults to learn a new skill if the need arose. or the younger guys were the go-fors. Everyone was encouraged to help if they could and the project allowed that much help.

    Troop 2 the SM refused to sign off the pre-approval unless the troop was included as the main work group. His thoughts were an Eagle project belonged to the troop and this was one of the few ways boys could get service hours signed off. If the Eagle candidate didn't use the troop members to the satisfaction of the SM he'd give the project leader a hard time when it came time to sign off. His other rule was that he had to be at every work session, since he was signing the the candidate showed leadership he had to see it in every session for himself. This caused lots of conflicts with when and how a project could get done. Unfortunately, this is where son did his project. At final sign off the SM wouldn't sign the project as complete as my son used schoolmates and Girl Scouts as part of his crew. Instead he attached a 1 page legal brief type document stating  that in his opinion my son hadn't completed the project because he had used non BSA workers.  This lead us to move to troop 3.

    Troop 3 is utterly laid back. SM doesn't care who, how or where the project gets done. Use scouts or not he doesn't care. He tells the project leader it's his problem solve it. If the SM is available to come help he will. With the new YPT rules he may not get to stay as laid back as he has been.

    Luckily the district advancement people listened to my son at his EBoR and determined that he in fact had completed the project and the SM of Troop 2 was a pompous wind bag. Eagle granted.


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