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Happy New Year!

My goodness it's been a while. I seriously put in a lot of work to come up with a "On the first day of Christmas, Stan Kasten gave to me ..." song, but it didn't come out quite funny enough for actual Journal inclusion. It did feature, among other things, Clint, parking spaces, Screech, brisket and a starting rotation. Maybe I'll pull it out and scrub it up as a way to extend the holiday season.

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday, and in the next 24 hours I hope to post my thoughts on the Nationals' New Year's resolutions -- or at least what they should be. (Put down that burger, Ray. Good. Good.)

Until then, why don't you chime in? Maybe I'll incorporate some of yours.

Have at it.

By Barry Svrluga  |  December 31, 2007; 11:07 AM ET
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Next: New Year's Resolutions Edition


Play "Heart" during the games

No Clint!

Faster lines for food and drink

Bring back Charlie Slowes

Stop making announcements before the contracts are signed

Posted by: WFY | December 31, 2007 11:22 AM | Report abuse

Barry, don't tease! But if you won't share your song, I'll share my poem, with so, so many apologies to Ogden Nash. I have no qualms about the lack of quality in here.

Lineups for Today:

A is for Ayala
Our first set up man
Pitched in the WBC
And earned a lifetime ban.

B is for Bowden
Yo, dawg, how's it going?
How about a trade?
Sure. Our weakness is showing.

C is for Chico
The rookie so new
Struggled all season
But always pulled through

D: determination
Comma of Randy St. Claire
He judges the pitchers
And hides his despair

E is for E-6, our one and only Guzzy
Though at first we were wary
Both of contract and figure
Injury, not his play, made the season scary.

F is for Felopez
And his shiny white shoes
Though sometimes his play
Inspires the blues.

G is for Grady
Not DC's, alas,
In Cleveland he'll score
With that might fine. . . yeah.

H is for Shawn Hill
Of Canadian lore
If he stays healthy, stays fit
He could win World Series galore.

I is for Me
Not a hard-hitting (wo)man
But an outstanding, all-time
Incurable fan.

J is for Johnson
Our own Nick the Stick
Please return to first base
That just might do the trick.

K is for Kearnsy
With the rocket-like arm
But don't run too near him
He'll put you to harm.

L is for Lannan
That American Hero
He broke Chase's hand
And held Barry to zero.

M is for Manny
Our leader now braver
Trot out that pop-fly
And his glare will not waver.

N is for shhhh
Not his name we shall say
Instead go to Church
And remember to pray.

O is for optimist
Of the DC variety
This team will win soon
All they need is some piety.

P is for pitching
Oh, can't we have more?
Or maybe it's for Phillies
Utley's mom is a [expletive deleted]

Q is for quality shot-
Wait, that can't be right
No Gilbert in this house,
But still those who delight:

R for Rivera
With so few dislikes
Like a puppy, only better
'Cause this one throws strikes

S is for Schneider
In charge of DHS
He'll throw out that runner
With enormous success

T is for Tradition
Like that good soccer team
To win like DCU
Can that be out theme?

U: unbelievable
This team of misfit toys
Who showed up to play
Like men, not like boys

V is for validation
When you win the Series soon
The city will love you
Your fans will all swoon.

W is for Wookie
Tallest man ever
The Big Guy, our Jon
Too tired to pitch? Never.

X is for the Rox
And the Curse of Jamey Carroll
Most-missed former Nat
Now puts them in peril.

Y is for Young
Da Meat Hook, Dmitri
Won over the fans
Despite a guilty plea.

Z is for Zimm
The summit of fame
This man is here now
This man is our game.

Happy New Year, Planet NJ!

Posted by: Atlanta | December 31, 2007 11:29 AM | Report abuse

Barry - I new I could wish you back to post by putting something up on the last thread! I will not repost entirely (11:37 AM if you want to look) but here is the hit tracker site's URL for home run data - . Good data on how RFK played, home run distances, and weather and ballpark effects.

As for resolutions - Dmitri to stick to healthy diet to maintain his management of his diabetes.

Elijah to vindicate the well wishers.

JP & Shaun Hill - 150 innings each.

Jon Rauch - avoid burn out from too many innings now that I'm an effective set up guy.

Chad - enjoy my new ballpark, whether it is in DC or elsewhere.

Jim Bo - trade from excess and not to overvalue my players.

Posted by: jon | December 31, 2007 11:58 AM | Report abuse

I knew I knew a new . . . post.

Posted by: jon | December 31, 2007 12:00 PM | Report abuse

Happy new year is right, I just got my seats!

I donno about songs Barry, but I recently wondered if you might be able to provide us with Nats pitchers' ERA while pitching to Schneider vs. to Flores. Maybe PLD and his backup too.

Great stuff so far in the offseason.

Posted by: Nattaboy | December 31, 2007 12:01 PM | Report abuse

AWESOME Atlanta!

Posted by: NatsNut | December 31, 2007 12:15 PM | Report abuse

Kudos, Atlanta, truly awesome!

I started collecting Nats Journal poetry about July 31 - all the double dactyls, haikus, that incredible Howl from Natscan, not to mention your own Austen-esque submission, so this will make a good capstone to the collection.

Posted by: Traveler | December 31, 2007 12:22 PM | Report abuse

Cruel as it is to hammer on the point, Clint just ain't workin' for me.

Neither is the generally crappy at-bat music. A general musical overhaul would seem to be in order, in fact.

Train the fans, somehow, not to move around during the inning, especially when a man's at bat. This should be pretty easy: when you get up before a half-inning for refreshments or relief, you should be able to view the rest of the half-inning comfortably from the concourse (which you just couldn't do at RFK, except on TV).

Get me my season tickets sometime before the last week of March. I'm hardly an exemplar of promptness in anything, so I can't be too doctrinaire about this, but it seemed to leave a bad taste with quite a few fans early in the season.

Do whatever it takes to get us back to .500, the first rung in the respectability ladder.

Stay involved in the community. Folks want to believe in this team. And they will if they can expect to see a few of their favorite players around during the offseason. (Note to local dude J-Max: Get hot, kid, willya?)

Posted by: Hendo | December 31, 2007 12:31 PM | Report abuse

Oh, and by the way: Many thanks to Barry for the post (figured you'd be in Mass. or Minn. for the holidays!), and to Atlanta for the worthy tribute to Nash.

And a Happy New Year to all.

Posted by: Hendo | December 31, 2007 12:46 PM | Report abuse

On the stadium conduct, I agree with Hendo, and I would like to see more that is exclusively Nats - I would be quite happy to never hear Sweet Caroline again. There was some discussion a while back about distinctive cheers, so that Go Go Nats does not sound like Go Go Mets - one suggestion was Go Go Nats Go Go, which I like a lot. I want all of this to be positive, for our team, so that we continue a rep as strong supporters of our team, and also develop a rep as friendly fans. Regardless, some focus on this sort of thing, and the music choices, would make for a more distinctive fan experience, not to mention drown out the Mets and Phillies fans.

Posted by: Traveler | December 31, 2007 12:48 PM | Report abuse

Here's my resolution list:

1. Buy a moral compass for Elijah Dukes. He can loan it to Lastings Milledge occasionally. I'm rooting hard for those guys and the people they've hurt to find some peace.

2. Repentance from Paul LoDuca. He's needs to publicly apologize so we can all move on.

3. Find a quality medical staff for the Nats. They need to prepare their players better in order to avoid injury.

4. A healthy season for Patterson and Johnson. They deserve it after all that they have been through.

5. Realistic expectations and some patience for Nats fans. This team will be lucky to be .500, but I'm going to enjoy watching the building process continue.

6. Parking, parking, parking. Mostly because to compete in the NL East this team will need to draw well.

7. An innings eating starter to add to the rotation. Rauch, etc will have their careers shortened by thee years if they keep pitching in 75 games every year.

8. A close to ready SS in the June draft. Middle infield is the organization's most glaring weakness.

Posted by: #4 | December 31, 2007 1:28 PM | Report abuse

Oops... One more:

9. Signs for the ushers that say, "Please wait until the half inning is over to return to your seat." They have these in Phoenix, and the ushers stand at the top of each section and do not allow fans to enter unless the game is between innings.

Posted by: #4 | December 31, 2007 1:39 PM | Report abuse

Oops... One more:

Posted by: #4 | December 31, 2007 01:39 PM

9. Signs for the ushers that say, "Please wait until the half inning is over to return to your seat." They have these in Phoenix, and the ushers stand at the top of each section and do not allow fans to enter unless the game is between innings.

- Totally agree. They do the same thing at capitals hockey games.

Posted by: mac | December 31, 2007 1:54 PM | Report abuse

At hockey games you only have to wait until there's a stoppage in play -- a penalty, a face-off, etc. -- to return to your seats. Baseball half innings can sometimes last ten, twenty minutes. I think it would be okay to make fans wait until an at-bat is over, though.

Posted by: Scott in Shaw | December 31, 2007 2:01 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, Barry, for the New Year's post. I'd like to see the 12 days post, rough or not.

I absolutely agree re. the fan etiquette idea, but they also need to tell the vendors that! I can't tell you how many times a vendor has blocked my view of an at-bat.

Posted by: natsfan1a | December 31, 2007 2:21 PM | Report abuse

Oh, and very creative, atlanta!

Posted by: natsfan1a | December 31, 2007 2:22 PM | Report abuse



NO More City Council Whining (When's that Fanfest and Gala happening anyway)

The Navy Yard Metro all finished.

The statues finished? Since we moved up Opening Night, will they be done by then?

The HOF will change the history on the Nationals Locker to reflect that the 1924 WS belongs to DC and NOT Minnesota's History!

Posted by: CALSGR8 | December 31, 2007 2:27 PM | Report abuse

pitching, pitching, pitching

Posted by: Jim Bowden | December 31, 2007 2:41 PM | Report abuse

Less of you people.

Posted by: Stan Kasten | December 31, 2007 4:16 PM | Report abuse

Welcome back Barry! How are you going to get used to the newly minted 4 bit edition now that the Post has raised the price? I read online and get the Sunday edition so I don't worry about it.

Posted by: Medium-sized Mac | December 31, 2007 4:20 PM | Report abuse

Please ignore the second "bit", I don't know where that came from.

Posted by: Medium-sized Mac | December 31, 2007 4:22 PM | Report abuse


It's a bug in their blog software. It sometimes repeats words on the wrap.

Posted by: Wigi | December 31, 2007 5:00 PM | Report abuse

Drop "Sweet Caroline." (Stolen from Fenway)

No more "e-very-bod-y clap your hands... clap clap clap clap...." (stolen from Shea)

Do not use "Jo-SAY, Jo-say, Jo-say, Jo-say..." in the event Jose Vidro comes back or anyone else named Jose is on the team (stolen from Shea/Reyes)

Did I mention... drop "Sweet Caroline."

In short--stop stealing ballpark gimmicks from other teams and get our own trademarks.

Posted by: Steven on Capitol Hill | December 31, 2007 5:06 PM | Report abuse

and pleeeeeeeeease get rid of Clint.

No more "volare" on the throws to first (no one knows what that means)

And bring back Charlie.

Posted by: Steven on Capitol Hill | December 31, 2007 5:07 PM | Report abuse

1. Bowden should resolve to get a quality shortstop.
2. The players should resolve to stay away from HGH.
3. The Lerners should resolve to get Zim signed up long term.
4. The fans should resolve to not complain about parking, take Metro, walk, whatever, and get to the game.
5. I resolve to limit myself to one hot dog per game.

And I dig Sweet Caroline, I say keep it, the Bosox don't have a sole rights to catchy pop song, it works for me.

Posted by: Cabraman | December 31, 2007 6:36 PM | Report abuse

What happened to Charlie Slowes? Did someone hear something?

Posted by: 6th and D | December 31, 2007 7:47 PM | Report abuse

I think the Nats should resolve to play a home game on October 1, 2008.

I'd go.

Posted by: Wigi | December 31, 2007 7:58 PM | Report abuse

I know the schedule is set, but, as long as we're fantasizing here ... bring back at least a few weekday day games. Nothing beats being at the ballpark when the rest of the world is at "work".

Posted by: reno bertoia | December 31, 2007 8:59 PM | Report abuse

I kinda like the Sweet Caroline, and I quite enjoyed the Jose, jose, thing. (I liked the 007 thing too) I do hope they give Clint a non speaking job. I love the President's Race. I am looking forward to a good sound system and scoreboard. What I do not want is an over programmed bombardment of sound. PLEASE, I pray they do not feel like they have to fill every second between innings and pitches with some sort of sensory overload. I want to have conversations with my firends and family. I remember the first games at RFK in 2005 the sound was so loud we had to give up talking. It was weeks before I could get the wife and kids to go back.

Posted by: NatBisquit | December 31, 2007 11:10 PM | Report abuse

thank god no one in the NFC has talent otherwise the team from washington (i refuse to use their racist nickname) would never sniff the playoffs.

Posted by: love | January 1, 2008 3:02 AM | Report abuse

Me, too, seeing as how it's my birthday and all. :)


I think the Nats should resolve to play a home game on October 1, 2008.

I'd go.

Posted by: natsfan1a | January 1, 2008 7:55 AM | Report abuse

"I think the Nats should resolve to play a home game on October 1, 2008.

"I'd go."

Now there's a New Year's wish we all can share. And given this year's edition of the NL East -- not to mention the Nats' hopes of improved health -- it's a worthy one.

May all the Nats and all of you have a successful and fulfilling 2008.

Posted by: Hendo | January 1, 2008 10:21 AM | Report abuse

NY's resolutions:

* Long term contract for Zim
* Lopez to figure it out
* The moral compass for Dukes that was mentioned earlier
* Day games in '09

And, of course, October baseball in DC.

Go 'Nats!

Posted by: Nats fan in NJ | January 1, 2008 11:37 AM | Report abuse

Major League Ready Shortstops in the June draft--great idea, but looking through the BA listings there is not one that jumps off the page. Bowden would do better to trade for a young shortstop. Adrian Cardenas who played with Chris Marrero in Miami--playing for the Phillies in A-ball could arrive about the same time as his former mate.

Posted by: Julia's Dad | January 1, 2008 12:21 PM | Report abuse

Barry: "but it didn't come out quite funny enough for actual Journal inclusion."

When you first started this blog you told us about your lunch at the Viera Panera. Don't think for a second that something you've written isn't good enough "for actual Journal inclusion."

But since you now capitalize it and call it by its proper name you're approaching it differently. Don't hold back on us! We won't think less of you for an unfunny attempt in your blog (if it showed up in the printed version, we'd blame the editor anyway).

Can't wait for spring training!

HNY Planet NJ!

Posted by: i hate walks | January 1, 2008 1:22 PM | Report abuse

Such attempts have never bothered us before. Zing-a! Just kidding, Barry.


We won't think less of you for an unfunny attempt in your blog (if it showed up in the printed version, we'd blame the editor anyway).

Posted by: Anonymous | January 1, 2008 1:25 PM | Report abuse


Is Nick Johnson finished as a player?

Will Charlie Slowes return to the Nats as play-by-play man?

Posted by: 2 Questions | January 1, 2008 7:15 PM | Report abuse

The Post is reporting that NJ may not be ready for the start of the season.

My problem with the guy is that he let himself get very heavy, which only causes more problems for his leg.

I know a lot of people are in love with NJ, but to me he doesn't seem to exhibit the desire to return to the field I would like to see.

I have to wonder if this quality was a factor in the Yankees deciding to cut him loose.

Posted by: Ed | January 1, 2008 9:04 PM | Report abuse

I'm an admitted junkie when it comes to the NJ --- so I've been missing it. Glad you're back. Next year, please warn us when you're gonna be gone, so I won't go clicking on every day to see if you filed... I'd like to hear some news about Mr. Bowden's comment... pitching, pitching, pitching. Thanks.

Posted by: randycop39 | January 1, 2008 9:35 PM | Report abuse

Just wanted to echo others and say that I'm glad that you're back, Barry. Hope you enjoyed the time off.

And it's a little late to ask this, but did Superman also post from the winter meetings? We are very lucky fans to have such a terrific reporter covering our team.

My wish for the new year ... a big raise for Barry!

Posted by: dcbatgirl | January 1, 2008 10:43 PM | Report abuse

Where's it being reported that Nick's not going to be ready for the start of the season?

Posted by: joebleux | January 2, 2008 12:45 AM | Report abuse

I sure hope that Nick Johnson isn't done as a player, and that Charlie Slowes is not done as a Nats announcer. I admit that it took a few months to get used to Charlie in 2005, since I didn't think he was capable of modulating his volume. However, that has not only improved, but I quickly got hooked on "Bang! Zoom! Go the fireworks!" and "A Curly W is in the books!"

It is so difficult to find someone with distinctive calls for your team only, without devolving into the horror show that is Yankee announcer John Sterling ("An A-bomb for A-Rod" and "The Giambino!"). Uhh, shudder!!! I don't know what is holding up Slowes's contract, but I am guessing that we don't have folks lining up to replace him any more than the Lerners were able to replace Bob Carpenter on TV. Since the Lerners essentially let Carpenter he was out at the end of the season, I guess they hadn't made up their mind against Slowes yet.

Posted by: Month and a half | January 2, 2008 9:02 AM | Report abuse

Attention Nats Brass: Please do not incorporate the Fed Ex style of sound at Nationals Park. How about a little throw back organ music (baseball the way it used to sound), and still does in some parks. Continue the Presidents Races, they're great. On Nick, I heard that he's lost some weight should be ready for spring. Now Barry, post the 12 days of xmas...we feel deprived.

Posted by: SC Nats Fan | January 2, 2008 9:13 AM | Report abuse

I agree with everyone else's resolutions and I'd like to add one more:

For the Nats to have more merchandise for sale at the local sporting goods retailers (Dick's, Modell's, Sports Authority). I specifically was looking all over this Xmas for a Zimmerman or Young jersey or t-shirt but couldn't find a thing. Most of the stores had only one or two different style t-shirts (the same ones since 2005), while others had jerseys only with Guzman on the back (although I still found a Guillen and Vidro jersey!).

I realize this isn't baseball season, but amongst all the other NFL, NBA and NHL merchandise, there were more O's shirts than Nats.

Please Stan, make it a priority to stock the local retailers with current product. I know my nephews would have loved a Zimmerman shirt/jersey, but instead they had to settle for a gift card.

Posted by: e | January 2, 2008 9:44 AM | Report abuse

Second the comments re. Slowes contract delays. Is he asking for more than the team wants to pay, or what?

Also second the suggestion re. old-school organ music, the Pres Race, and the 12 days posting.

Re. the merchandise comments, how about having a Nats team store in Virginia? As I walked the malls this holiday season, I noticed plenty of stores featuring that team that plays with the funny ball in Largo, but no Nats stores (I do realize that the merchandise is carried at general sports outlets).

And yes, batgirl, Barry did post from the winter meetings.

Posted by: natsfan1a | January 2, 2008 9:54 AM | Report abuse

Technically, I should say that he posted re. the winter meetings.

Posted by: natsfan1a | January 2, 2008 9:56 AM | Report abuse

No, wait, maybe he was at the winter meetings, but not the GM meetings? I'm sooo confused. At any rate, postings were made, and read, during those timeframes. :)

Posted by: natsfan1a | January 2, 2008 9:59 AM | Report abuse

Also, never mind...

Posted by: Emily/1a | January 2, 2008 9:59 AM | Report abuse

I'm going to dissent from the call for more old school organ music. I find it very trite and outdated. This may be a generation gap thing, though. You can play a recording of an organ for "Take Me Out to the Ballgame," but for everything else, there are better ways to pump up the crowd.

Posted by: Scott in Shaw | January 2, 2008 10:39 AM | Report abuse

Agree with the sentiment that this team is still atrociously marketed, but in fairness, the stuff still there is what *didn't* sell. They do need to get some product out there. I wonder how much MLB (which owns the license, I think, no?) has to do with this?

I realize this isn't baseball season, but amongst all the other NFL, NBA and NHL merchandise, there were more O's shirts than Nats.
Please Stan, make it a priority to stock the local retailers with current product. I know my nephews would have loved a Zimmerman shirt/jersey, but instead they had to settle for a gift card.
Posted by: e | January 2, 2008 09:44 AM

Posted by: CE | January 2, 2008 10:46 AM | Report abuse

I spend this vast stretch of time without baseball reading this Journal, but also looking at sites like It disappoints me that other teams are talking with some of the available pitchers, but the Nats do not appear to be. If they are not, I wonder if it is a matter of trying to save money. If they are, it is another disturbing sign that the local newspapers don't put much effort into tracking what's up with the Nats while the Redskins are playing, blowing their noses, or establishing new radio stations.

Posted by: Month and a half | January 2, 2008 10:51 AM | Report abuse

I spent about an hour yesterday down at the new ballpark, taking pics, etc.

The outside of it wasn't as impressive as I thought it would be. I was hoping it would look wide-open, welcoming, with a come-on-in-for-a-game look, but I gotta say, it looks pretty closed off and imposing from the outside. Walking from the metro, the open side of the ballpark *would* be welcoming (a la PNC Park) if it weren't for the two ugly parking structures totally blocking it. You can't see anything but concrete and glass from pretty much every angle (including crossing the bridge). If you stand on one particular spot on South Capitol, you can see the scoreboard, Nationals sign and the big W. But take 10 steps to either side and it's gone.

I'm sure once inside it's going to be pretty awesome, but the outside does not say "come see some baseball" at all.

Posted by: NatsNut | January 2, 2008 11:14 AM | Report abuse

"but in fairness, the stuff still there is what *didn't* sell."

I started looking in all of these stores back in October, during the World Series all the way through to the weekend before Xmas. I never once saw a Zimmerman or Young shirt/jersey and there was no change in the amount of Nats merchandise. When I see the same generic t-shirts that I saw three years ago, that's TERRIBLE marketing.

I agree with natsfan1a. Why isn't there a Nats store in VA? Moreso, why not in Tysons? Don't the Lerners *OWN* Tysons? It's just not feasible for me to to trek to the Nats store downtown and don't get me started on the lame shop on the Nats website.

Posted by: e | January 2, 2008 11:30 AM | Report abuse

My wish for the new year. That people at Washington sports events stop yelling "O" during the national anthem. It's not only disrespectful but, for heaven's sake, we have our own baseball team now! It's not so bad at Nats games, but it amazes me how many people yell "O" during the anthem at Redskins and Caps games.

Posted by: Union Station | January 2, 2008 11:56 AM | Report abuse

Union Station:

I completely agree that yelling "O" is disrespectful. I find it MUCH worse at Nats' games though. To me it's doubly disrespectful in that venue - to the country and to the Nats.

I say we all agree to give death stares to any fan who does it at Nats Park.

Posted by: #4 | January 2, 2008 12:02 PM | Report abuse

Do the Nats have a team store downtown somewhere (other than at RFK)? If so, would someone mind sharing the address? Is it any good?

Posted by: Loggie | January 2, 2008 12:04 PM | Report abuse

I recall reading that the other downtown store had closed, but I don't remember the source.

p.s. I am practicing my death stare, #4.


Do the Nats have a team store downtown somewhere (other than at RFK)? If so, would someone mind sharing the address? Is it any good?

Posted by: natsfan1a | January 2, 2008 12:13 PM | Report abuse

The team store is in a Lerner-owned building near Farragut Square. It's very small, just a few clothing items and trinkets. I was there a couple of weeks ago and bought a few gifts, but it's probably not worth a special trip -- the online store has a much larger selection. Here's the info straight from the team site:

The Washington Nationals Official Team Store is your source for the hottest in team gear to help you support your Nationals!

Washington Square
1050 Connecticut Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20036
Monday-Friday, 10AM - 7PM
Saturday, 10AM - 4PM

Posted by: Cosmo | January 2, 2008 12:33 PM | Report abuse

BTW the RFK store closed right after the last game of the season, and they cleared out the space.

Posted by: Cosmo | January 2, 2008 12:35 PM | Report abuse

The Nats have a team store in the Lerner bldg at Connecticut and L. It's pretty small, much smaller than the one at RFK. I can't remember the street number but it's the office bldg with the post office in the lower level. I totally agree that they should do more with their merchandising--plenty of stuff in stores like Modell's, and some strategically placed stores along the lines of the old Orioles store at Farragut Square, which I am 95% sure is now closed. To weigh in on other stuff--I want Charlie Slowes back, I like organ music if it's imaginative & responsive to what's going on in the game, and I like "Sweet Caroline"--don't care if it comes from elsewhere, I have fun singing along. I think the problem with "Heart" is that the lyrics say something about "we always lose," right?

Just three months till opening day. Oct 1 feels pretty recent, right? Well, March 30 is just as close. Happy new year to everyone.

Posted by: Section 109 (old Section 406) | January 2, 2008 1:00 PM | Report abuse

new post up...

Posted by: Yippee! | January 2, 2008 1:09 PM | Report abuse

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