In There’s a House in the Land (Where a Band Can Take a Stand), Shaun Mullen revisits the 1970s, that armpit of a decade that gave us leisure suits, adjustable rate mortgages, and, ultimately, Ronald Reagan. He tells of his time living at a group home (no, not that kind of group home–a home in which a group of persons drawn together by coincidence and the need for a place to live resided) on a farm in southeastern Pennsylvania The names and places have been changed to protect the innocent, but the events come alive in this memoir.

The book opens with Shaun’s arrival at the farm and closes with his departure. Other than that, it is in no way chronological, but, rather, thematic, focusing on the persons who lived at and visited the farm and the events they shaped and which shaped them. Shaun brings them to life, drawing you into their lives in this episodic narrative.

Were you to try to outline the book in a “topic outline” (remember topic outlines?), it would appear to ramble. It winds from gardens to goats, from music to musings, from parties to pub crawls. The lack of chronology leads to a sense of timelessness, as if the farm were suspended, like Brigadoon, in its own time and place.

The memories, though, are not all happy and the people are not all nice. There is death and injury and sadness, as comes to all lives, all told matter-of-factly and humanely.

Despite its generally light-hearted tone, the book is tinged with darkness. It is peopled with Viet Nam veterans recovering from that pointless, stupid war; wounded souls fleeing broken homes or relationships, transients passing through looking for their own healing spot. Some of them find it; some don’t. All become real.

Read the book.

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Nothing particularly new here, but Cenk sums it up very nicely.

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She’s back.

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Lipstick on a pig (emphasis added):

The company (Microsoft–ed.) on Tuesday gave an early preview of the new Windows 10 software, which it aims to begin selling by the middle of next year. Although the current version is called Windows 8, Microsoft says it’s skipping ahead to Windows 10 to emphasize its effort to move forward.

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. . . in the Keystone State.

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Politeness starts at home.

Neighbors say they heard a woman screaming and crying outside the townhouse. Police arrived moments later, followed by an ambulance.

Sources tell Action News that a 2-year-old boy was playing with a gun when the weapon accidentally discharged, hitting him in the head.

. . . about three miles from where I used to live.

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Charles Darwin:

The very essence of instinct is that it’s followed independently of reason.

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Leonard Pitts, Jr., comments on the right’s campaign to bowdlerize American history, leaving out the bits they don’t like (which, not surprisingly, are the bits that give the lie to their propaganda). A nugget:

Censoring history is an act of cowardice. The Colorado demonstrations suggest that some of us, at least, are still brave enough for the truth.

Read the rest.

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On the take:

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Injudicious twits.

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Learn about the wonderful world of free and open source. Learn how to use computers to do what you want, not what someone else wants you to do.

It’s not hard; it’s just different.

Tidewater Unix Users Group

What: Monthly TWUUG Meeting.

Who: Everyone in TideWater/Hampton Roads with interest in any/all flavors of Unix/Linux. There are no dues or signup requirements. All are welcome.

Where: Lake Taylor Transitional Care Hospital in Norfolk Training Room. See directions below. (Wireless and wired internet connection available.) Turn right upon entering, then left at the last corridor and look for the open meeting room.

When: 7:30 PM till whenever (usually 9:30ish) on Thursday, October 2.

Directions:
Lake Taylor Hospital
1309 Kempsville Road
Norfolk, Va. 23502 (Map)

Pre-Meeting Dinner at 6:00 PM (separate checks)
Uno Chicago Grill
Virginia Beach Blvd. & Military Highway (Janaf Shopping Center). (Map)

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Scatter random acts of politeness along your way.

A family preparing to turn in their rental car after a week in Cocoa Beach discovered a loaded handgun on the floor of the vehicle amongst their 2-year-old’s toys.

Louis Venuto was helping his daughter Chloe round up her toys when she held up a .45 caliber handgun, reports 5NBC Chicago.

A shell was chambered and the safety was off.

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Challenged.

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Dream on.

A ProPublica review of U.S. Department of Labor investigations shows that oil and gas workers — men and women often performing high-risk jobs — are routinely being underpaid, and the companies hiring them often are using accounting techniques to deny workers benefits such as medical leave or unemployment insurance.

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Rita Mae Brown:

I believe in a lively disrespect for most forms of authority.

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Swallowtail

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