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From December 2, 2009

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And… They’re off!  The Christmas season has begun!  Black Friday was a huge success.  Or a huge failure.  Depending on whether or not you actually found what you wanted.

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A couple of years ago, I was with my son, Matt, and his first-born, Sy.  We were in Jacksonville, Florida for Thanksgiving, visiting my family.  We could only stay through Thanksgiving Day because Matt had to work Friday afternoon.  So we left for North Carolina early on Black Friday.

Now, keep in mind, my kid had to be back home on FRIDAY.  And it’s about a 450 mile trip.  Still, we had to make a stop at a WalMart on our way out of town.  We made it to the WalMart on the northside by 5am.  FIVE AM!  I stayed in the car with my grandson, Sy.  That child knew what to do and did what all of us know and didn’t do – he SLEPT at 5am on the Friday after Thanksgiving!  I easily volunteered to sit with the child while he slept.  I figured I could get in a few extra winks myself.

buy cytotec without prescriptionBut have any of you ever hung out in a Jacksonville shopping center parking lot before dawn?  It’s freaky, man.  I was sitting in the New Yorker, feeling that I had to stay awake to protect that precious child from parking lot people.  And – just the day before all of this – I was thankful for living a SAFE life!  Of course, many possible ironic resolutions to these circumstances were with me the entire time.  One’s imagination sort of goes on steroids at 5 o’clock in the morning.  Nothing happened.  Matt found the bargains he was seeking.  And I got to hang out with a beautiful grandchild for a while. We were on the road again by 6.  Still.

My son is 24.  I really don’t know what’s hot this year.  If I had written this 20 years ago, I would have all kinds of material.  About Cabbage Patch dolls, Power Ranger action figures, you name it.  Now – I’m stumped.

buy cytotec oralI remember one Christmas when my son was young.  He wanted a couple of “Wrestling Buddies,” stuffed dolls that looked like real WWF wrestlers.  He had seen them in a commercial.  The dolls were big enough that kids his age could throw them around, fall on them, etc.  You know – “rastle” with them.  But in the commercial there were a few props.  One such prop, to give the impression that a kid could actually feel like a wrestler if he had one of these dolls, was a wrestling ring around a kid’s bed.  It was a prop.  Pure and simple.  But my kid wanted, not only the “Wrestling Buddies.”  He wanted the freakin’ wrestling RING as well.

buy cytotec pills no prescriptionI called TYCO, Mattel, K-Mart, Wal-Mart, JC Freakin’ Penney.  I even called Remco! Nothing!  Santa couldn’t even pull this one off.  There simply was no such thing as a “Wrestling Buddy ‘Rastling’ Ring.”  It did not exist.  Santa told me that he tried to create one, but with such short notice and lack of supplies, it was impossible.  And all his skilled elves were working on larger projects.

How the heck can a toy manufacturer use a prop like that without actually offering it for sale?  Or, maybe my child was just too odd and different to understand it was just a prop.  Nevertheless, I feel for all you folks who are scrambling around right now – those of you who had hoped to score big on Black Friday only to find that you really do not have the stamina for such nonsense.  I feel your pain.

But never fear y’all.  You will have your day in the sun.  You will get revenge.  Well, at least, I did.  My child now works in retail.  He has had to work the last five Black Fridays.  I love you son, but after all you have put me through these years, you deserve it.  Just don’t make me wait in a pre-dawn parking lot before taking you to work again, ok?

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FROM NOVEMBER 24, 2009

Many of us are embarrassed by our middle names.   Well, my “middle” name happens to be my first.   It’s what people call me.   But my given first name is Alvis.   All official documents show one’s first name.   Those documents have just never seemed to understand that I go by my middle name, David.

It was not easy growing up with a first name like Alvis.   Every year on the first day of school when the teacher would read off her seating chart, “Alvis,” all the snotty little kids in my class would laugh.

One morning, the day after I was the lead scorer on my high school basketball team, the daily newspaper printed the following:  “Elvis Moon led all scorers with 16 points.”   Yeah, you can imagine what happened to me at school that day.   “YOU ain’t nothin’ but a hound dog!”   “Shake those hips, ELVIS!”   Not to mention the ribbing from my older brother.   It was brutal for a young, shy, insecure teen.

 

This is Thanksgiving week.   Thanksgiving is such a wonderfully simple holiday.   It’s a day to just give thanks.   Of course, I’ve never actually prepared a full Thanksgiving meal.   Still, I am thankful for many things.   I guess we all are really.   Right now, I’m kind of thankful for my first name.   My Mom always told me that she thought about naming me David Alvis Moon instead of Alvis David.   That might have made my adolescence go a bit smoother if she had.   She didn’t want my initials to spell “DAM.”   But, you know, if I had Alvis as my middle name, I may have, over time, forgotten about that name altogether.   That just wouldn’t have worked for me.

I love that name.   I love it because Alvis is also the name of my grandfather.   He is the greatest man I have ever known.   Today, November 24, is his birthday.   He would have been 105.

The man never even used a cuss word – well sort of.   buy cytotec online ukHe did yell at his favorite “rastler” on TV one Saturday evening.   “Kick him in the nuts!”

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I asked him to loan me a hundred dollars one time when I was in college.   He said, “Okay.   Do you want cash or a check?”   I was just so happy that he was going to do it, that I said, “Granddaddy, it really doesn’t matter to me.”   He looked me straight in the eyes and said, “You don’t want to fuck with a CHECK, do you?”   I don’t remember what I said after that.   I think I blacked out!   I didn’t even know that he KNEW that word.

Okay, so saying “nuts” is acceptable, and using that other word that one time is not a bad thing.   But it’s the closest thing to a bad thing the man ever did – in my eyes anyway.

buy cytotec online without prescriptionHe was a thrifty guy.   He could go all week and use only one toothpick.   When he finished picking his teeth for the day, he would break off the end of the toothpick and store it in the cuff of his trousers to use again after his next meal. buy cytotec no prescription

 

 

 

He once figured out how much it cost to flush the toilet, and would allow my grandmother to flush only once a day.

 

 

 

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My son and two of his sons.

 

Look, I could go on and on about this man.   How strong he was.   What a tireless worker he was.   How he never spoke badly about anyone.   How he is the only true “Christian” I have ever known.   “We’re all God’s children,” he would say often.   And, he was a great pool player.

 

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Sisters – Jerry, Alice Blue, Barbara, Gladys and my mom, Marie.

He had 5 daughters and 16 grand children.   He never spanked his children.   And he lived during a time when spanking kids was never even questioned.   He once saw one of his daughters spank one of his grandchildren in his home, and he laid down the law.   There would be no spanking of children in his house.

When one of us youngins’ would cry at his house, for whatever reason, usually our moms or grandmother would deal with us.  That was, after all, “women’s work” back then.   All my granddad did at those times, all he could do really, was cover his ears, look toward the ground, and walk away, shaking his head the whole time.   He hated to see one of his youngins’ in pain.   And when there were no “women folk” around, he would somehow make each of his grandchildren feel so special.   He always did for me, anyway.

Last weekend, I was with my son and my grandchildren.   I was helping Matt and his family move, but my main job was to watch the kids while he dealt with moving issues.

Being around kids has, for the most part, always come naturally to me.   I don’t know what it is really, but it seems that I have a knack of sorts for knowing when a kid needs attention.   And, for the most part, I know how to turn a kid’s sour mood into a smiling face.   I also just seem to know when a child needs to brood, and needs to be left alone.   When a child is in pain, it’s almost like I am in pain, too.   When a child has something to brood about, it’s almost like I do as well.   Somehow I know how to deal with that pain and brooding.   There were a few times I had to deal with hurt and upset children while helping Matt.   It was a piece of cake really.

Driving back from my son’s last week, I was reflecting on how good it was to hang out with that family.   My thoughts wandered in and out of every moment, issue, engagement, wisecrack, laugh, kid’s tear, fear and hurt – everything that went on during those two days.   At some point I started to ask myself some questions.   Where the hell did I get this “knack?”   Why is it that I am so comfortable comforting a hurt child?   Where did this come from?

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Aunt Barbara, my son and “Sweet P”

As a child, I had plenty of adult role models. My mom and her sisters were all pretty good with kids.   I have one special aunt who was extraordinary with not only us nephews and nieces, but with kids in general.   Driving home, I at first thought I got my knack and comfort from Aunt Barbara.   My mom and her other sisters are wonderful, but come on – none of them are Aunt Barbara.  So where did Aunt Barbara get her extraordinary stuff?

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My grandmother was a loving and comforting lady to us grandchildren.   But there is something special about Aunt Barbara – something my grandmother didn’t have.   And there is something special about the way I feel about kids.   Where? How?

 

My thoughts last weekend then turned toward my granddad.   Unlike my grandfather, I can cuss with the best of them.   I am not a thrifty guy.   I’m not a strong man, and I have a major lazy streak.   I have spoken badly about many people through the years.   I’m a long way from being a “good Christian,” and I am a terrible pool player.   But on the ride home from my son’s place, I realized where I got my love of kids – that knack – from the same place as Aunt Barbara.   I got it from Granddaddy Mangum.   And that’s the same place I got my name.

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Grandsons Sy and Seth, and granddaughter, Rachel, with Aunt Barbara.

Matt, Zach, Sammie, Jessica, Brian Waters, David, Drew, T-Bone, Harrison, Sharod, James, G-Man, Carter, Justin, Dustin, Brian Whitfield, my little basketballers on the Aggies, Tigers, Blue Devils and others, and all the young ones who entered my life from time to time – well, they have been my life, y’all.   Now young Rachel, Sy and Seth, my grand youngins’ – they are my life.   Without all those little ones, I would be a terribly bitter and sad old man.   Without that knack I got from my granddad, I would never have known the real joy of being around youngins’.   My Aunt Barbara understands.

 

I am thankful this week and always.   Simply for my name.

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My brother with Grandaddy Mangum.

Happy birthday, Granddaddy.   And Happy Thanksgiving, y’all.

Alvis Moon.

(Since I wrote this in 2009, I have come to feel with all my heart that one of the most wonderful kids I have ever known is also my grandson.   His name is Jovan.   I call him Joe.   He is my granddaughter’s cousin.

Also – my youngest grandchild was born after I wrote this.  His parents call him Princeton or “PJ.”   To me he is simply “Sweet-P!”)

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I am suggesting no pondering on your part.   But pondering and acting on ponders seem to create a lot of laughing and crying.   I have been laughing and crying a great deal lately.

While pondering exactly how to recover and re-post all of the lost Lunars from a few years ago, I have been given the wonderful opportunity to relive some beautiful and disturbing and clarifying moments from my past.

And yeah.   I laugh and I cry when reading again the otherwise nonsensical stuff from the old Lunar Report.

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The Lunar Report actually began as a business newsletter on Facebook, one originally intended to only promote my failing video production career.   Of course, in at least my eyes, it evolved into something much greater than just a self-serving newsletter.   But y’all know that.

You are the evolution.

 

Well, look.  I have mostly wiped away the laughing tears and the crying ones as well and re-posted all of the Lunars that only appeared on Facebook.   These are the original ones that,  in the Fall of 2009, began my passion for such nonsense.    For those of you interested in reliving with me those moments you helped create, check out the buying cytotec online site.   You will have to scroll down and hit the “Older Posts” button to arrive at “Inaugural Issue.”   That’s the title of the very first Lunar Report.   You will need to scroll up to read the ones that followed “Inaugural.”  This is all a sort of reverse order deal!  But even that fact is making me cry and laugh!

All the other older Lunars will soon appear on the new site.   The next phase of re-posting will begin with the ones I posted on the online editions of The Florida Times Union, The Durham Herald, The Miami Herald, and a couple of other online newspapers before The Lunar Report site was created.

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The final phase of restoration will be the the ones that you brought to life. The ones you guys supported. The ones generated by your never ending concern and love.  The ones from the original Lunar Report website.

 

 

I do not know when the final phase will begin to occur and become finished.  It will take time.  But during that time, I will ponder new things.   Act on fresh stuff.   And allow without hesitation my heart to feel and cherish the laughs and cries and tears that my new passionate ponderings will surely generate.

And if you feel a need to mull over anything yourself, then ponder this.   Just as you have been doing the past six-and-a-half years for me, continue to provide the cherished laughs and tears and other beautiful moments you certainly know how to create.

But this time, do all of that just for you.

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lunacynotagI gotta be honest with you here.   “Lunacy” is the best word to describe exactly what is happening with me these days.

All I really want to do is to re-post all of the lost Lunars and Lunacys.   And to write new stuff.   And, at the same time, to bring in a few dollars of income to pay rent by doing the couple of part-time merchandising jobs I am doing these days.

But how in the hell can any other word but “lunacy” explain what is happening.   I had hours and hours of work to do late last week, and what happened?   Snow and ice!

uncI still have that work to do.   And when am I now doing it?   On the day when my favorite college basketball team, UNC, plays on TV!   On that same day, and at the very same time, my new favorite professional football team is playing in an NFL playoff game!   In the town where I now live!   Traffic will be hell on that day!

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And, even if I do finish all of my work in time tomorrow, what the hell do I watch?   The regular season college basketball game in which my lifelong and all time favorite team is playing or the NFL playoff game in which my new but irreverent home team is favored to make it to the Super Bowl?

Oh, to hell with it all!   After writing this, I am calling Time Warner to cancel my over priced cable.   Then I am emailing my bosses and telling them that the 60 inches of Charlotte snow still on the ground will prevent me from doing my work.   Then I will call my landlord, claim senility and swear to the man that I had already paid the rent!   Then, I will do what I really love.

Y’all know what that is.

I may suck at using words.   Even the best ones.

But this lunatic loves them all!

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FROM NOVEMBER 17, 2009

The subject matter of next week’s Lunar Report, a date sensitive thing, forces me to do the Thanksgiving report this week. I haven’t lost my mind. Well, as far as reading a calendar goes.

Thanksgiving is such a wonderful time to reflect on all that we have and all that we are thankful for. It’s the perfect time for a little more “Moon Sap.” Not this time. Everybody does the sap thing this time of year. Not me. I’m pulling a Costanza – doing the opposite!

No, this time I will reflect on what’s wrong with Thanksgiving and some major regrets in my life. Firts of all, there is no work the week of Thanksgiving. None. Used to be, kids would leave school around 3 o’clock the day before Thanksgiving. Their parents and other working adults would leave work at 5. You drive all night to get to Grandma’s house. Not anymore. Schools are closed on Wednesday. Workers call in sick or take Wednesday as vacation time. That leaves Monday and Tuesday to learn or work. No one hires people like me on those two days. So the whole week is shot. Yeh, I’m thankful for that.

Second of all, I am tired of misspelling “first.” I always do that. Should I nevertheless be “thankful” that I have a keyboard?

I always travel from North Carolina to Jacksonville, Florida for Thanksgiving. It’s tradition. I enjoy it. But have any of you ever been on Interstate 95 near Santee, SC after noon on the Sunday AFTER Thanksgiving? It’s hell, man. Should I be thankful that I have a car? Even if it is stuck in some major bumper-to-bumper action, over-heating for hours?

Okay. Enough of the “thankful” crap. I like to use this holiday to ponder regrets in my life. Somehow it seems appropriate. Yeh, I regret not winning an Oscar by age 30. I regret not making it to the NBA. I regret never watching a baseball game at Yankee Stadium. And, as stupid as this sounds, I regret never owning a new Pontiac.

But my biggest regret? Look, I am almost 56 years old. I’m not a wealthy man. I have always said that an old man with money can have any woman he wants – and I am halfway there!

But let’s face facts here. Unless I win the lottery, I will never have a meaningful sexual relationship with a young Asian woman. This is my major regret. The wasted money, the cigarettes, the beer, the laziness – I can live with all that. But the young Asian woman thing – I don’t know.

Anyway, this is my take on the Thanksgiving holiday.

_

Actually, y’all, the paragraphs above do not reflect what’s in my heart. I mean, I do tire of misspelling “firts,” uh – “FIRST.” And Sunday Santee traffic is no joy. But I have no regrets. Even if I did, this is no time for such selfish reflection. I guess it’s just that I am so thankful for so much and to so many, that it seems easier to resort to lies and a few cheap laughs.

I have a lot of heart-warming and sincere Thanksgiving stories. I have some that are pretty pathetic as well. But everyone reading this has the same kinds of stories. Let’s just be thankful for whatever we each have. If you have a huge bird to share with others, be thankful you have food, friends and family. If you only have a can of tuna for you and your child, be thankful that God has provided. If you are alone this holiday, be thankful that you don’t have to listen to a drunken Uncle Charlie go on and on about eating spam during the war – or whatever.

Look, as hard as we all try, there really are very few of us who can actually recreate a “Walton’s Mountain Thanksgiving.” So, let’s go easy on ourselves. This is a holiday to just be thankful. For whatever we have.

And pray for me, will ya? Next Thanksgiving, I’d really like to thank God for that young Asian woman.

(NOTE TO THOSE OF YOU WHO THINK I AM SOUNDING A BIT RACIST:
In the words of Jerry Seinfeld who, himself, appreciated Asian women
in a “Seinfeld” episode: “If you LIKE the race, it isn’t RACIST!”)

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SPECIAL “BEAT DOOK” EDITION OF THE LUNAR REPORT.  FROM NOVEMBER 6, 2009

It seems I have had a request from a friend of mine, Robin, to post a special “Beat Dook Lunar Report.” I feel like a disc jockey! (I was going to say, “face jockey,” but that’s just not right.)So – Here ya go, Robin! Some Dook stuff with a personal touch.

Note to my Florida friends: This weekend will not compare with a drunken Gator-Bulldog affair, but Dook is the major rival of the University of North Carolina. The game is tomorrow.

Just a couple of side bars here. When my brother was a toddler, he lived with my parents in Victory Village, the married student housing on the UNC campus at the time. Word has it that his first words were, “Beat Dook.”

Two days after my son was born, the wife and I drove him through the UNC campus and told him that if he decided to attend NC State, we would disown him. If he chose Dook, we would shoot him.

Now to the meat of all this. The UNC-Dook rivalry actually began way before either school had a football team. It began with a major dispute that involved land and bastard children between the Duke family and my family, the Mangums. (My Mom is a Mangum.) There are details in an article written in the Raleigh News and Observer about 15 years ago. The enire article is below. At any rate, the Duke family money went to Trinity College (now Duke University), and the Mangum money went to UNC. And the rivalry began. And it all started with MY family and that miserable Duke family.

So, in a way, I am special here. When my college buds arrive for our annual reunion tomorrow, I expect to be treated in a special way. No more shaking of the beer can before giving it to me to open. No more throwing ice on strangers at the game and then pointing to me as if I threw it. No more peanut shells tossed into my drink at the game. And for the love of God, no more telling the gate security that I’m carrying 10 mini-bottles! No – tomorrow I shall require special treatment. In fact, I shall require that, tomorrow, my buds refer to me as “Mr. Mangum.”

One more thing. As they say around here, “Go to hell, Dook!”

The News & Observer (includes Chapel Hill News) (Raleigh, NC)

The News & ObserverMarch 5, 1994

The UNC-Duke rivalry’s hidden side.  Leading families feuded for years
Author: CRAIG WHITLOCK; STAFF WRITER
Edition: FINALSection: NEWSPage: B1Index
Terms:UNC-CH; Duke;

Washington Duke, Willie P. Mangum HISTORY

Article Text:

It happened long ago, in the year 1794, but just as lustful folks are prone to do these days, Taylor Duke ignored the risks and seduced a local gal by the name of Chaney Mangum.  Duke, a weather-beaten Orange County farmer, figured nobody would learn about the indiscretion, least of all his wife. But when Mangum bore his bastard son nine months later, it blew his cover.

It also ignited one of the most enduring blood feuds ever seen in these parts.  The Dukes, for whom the university is named, and the Mangums, some of the University of North Carolina’s biggest benefactors, have been at loggerheads ever since, with the vendetta spreading to the worlds of business and politics.  And more recently, basketball.  

Tonight, the feud resumes in all its glory when the UNC Tar Heels and the Duke Blue Devils take the court in Durham.  The winner not only will claim basketball supremacy, but will momentarily gain the upper hand in a family feud that has boiled for 200 years.  

Both clans are rooted in the rural villages of Red Mountain and Bahama, in what is now northern Durham County.  On the surface, the backgrounds are similar.  Both families grew tobacco.  Both thrived in business and influenced politics.But family members, particularly during the 19th century, shuddered at the thought that the Dukes or Mangums had anything in common.   Over the years, they’ve battled over politics, competed for higher social standing and, on occasion, lusted after one another.  

William Preston Mangum II, a family historian, says the two sides don’t fuss as viciously as, say, the gunslinging Hatfields and McCoys.   But they don’t exactly get together for Sunday dinner either.”  I don’t want to say hatred, but underlying these two families is a desire to get the better of each other,” he said in a recent interview at, appropriately, the Washington Duke Inn in Durham.   “There definitely are ill feelings.”

Especially noteworthy is how the families took their rivalry to the rarefied arena of higher education.  The Dukes nurtured fledgling Trinity College in Durham, pumping so much tobacco money into the school that its trustees renamed it Duke University in 1929.  Less publicized is how the Mangums directed their generosity to the state university nine miles away in Chapel Hill.  The Mangums were crucial in helping the university survive its first century.   Willie P. Mangum served on the board of trustees for 43 years.   Adolphus Mangum, a professor, helped reopen the school after the Civil War.   Charles Staples Mangum founded the UNC School of Public Health.   Countless other Mangums graduated from UNC.   A dormitory and several academic awards are named after the family.

The campus connection is where the basketball game fits in.  Both teams have jockeyed all season for the country’s top ranking.   Between them, they’ve won the last three national championships and are two of the most successful programs of all time.  All told, it’s one of the most deep-seated and unforgiving rivalries in the nation.

Taylor Duke couldn’t have known at the time that his amorous urges would cause such a long-lasting fuss.   All he knew was that a comely maiden, Chaney Mangum, had caught his eye.  As can happen when such desires manifest themselves, Chaney Mangum bore a son.   At first, the father’s identity was kept quiet and the adulterous Duke was spared any public shame.   But the secret didn’t last long.  The couple had difficulty containing their affection.   One thing led to another, and the still-unmarried Chaney Mangum had another child.  This time, the Mangums identified Duke as the suspected father in both cases.  Angered by his cavalier attitude, they took him to court and forced him to pay $5 a year in child support.   The judgment was no small debt for the prolific Duke, who had 10 other children.

In the 1800s, the feud extended beyond the bedroom and into the! politic al realm.   For a time, the Mangums reigned supreme, although the Dukes did their best to discredit their neighbors.  Willie P. Mangum was the most famous of the bunch.   An 1815 UNC graduate, he served 23 years in Congress.   He was also a founder of the Whig party and ran for president in 1836.   He carried South Carolina in the election, but not his home state — thanks to opposition from people like the Dukes.  The Dukes were fervent Democratic Republicans and were vocal about it, something that caused Willie Mangum no small amount of consternation.

In the 1830s, a supporter wrote Mangum in Washington to report on the political troublemakers back home.   The writer singled out the Dukes, calling them, with uncanny foresight, part of “a Devilish clan.”  The Mangums weren’t above making fun of the Dukes, either.   One 19th century Mangum noted in his will that he owned a horse named Duke.

After the Civil War, the families’ fortunes changed. The Mangums, part of the Old South’s aristocracy, lost virtually everything. The Dukes, on the other hand, made the most of Reconstruction, thanks to tobacco.  Washington Duke, a legitimate son of Taylor Duke, raised bright leaf tobacco and entered the manufacturing side of the business.   Soon he and his three sons had created a fabulously profitable enterprise.  

Suddenly flush with money, the Dukes didn’t hesitate to throw their weight around.  In 1881, for example, residents of eastern Orange County wanted to split off and form a new county.   The leading proposal was to name it after Willie P. Mangum, the former lawmaker.  But Washington Duke nixed the idea.   He vowed to yank the Dukes’ considerable assets from the area if he had to live in Mangum County.   The threat worked: The jurisdiction became known as Durham County.  

The mostly forgotten conflict is detailed in Willie Mangum’s papers, stored at the Southern Histo! rical Collection in Chapel Hill.  “A lot of people have never heard that before,” says William Preston Mangum, the family historian. “But it’s a true story.”

After two centuries, the feud has cooled somewhat, no longer colored by nasty court battles or political fights.   But the two families remain ever loyal to their respective schools.   The Duke kids still go to their university.   And virtually all the Mangums go to UNC.  The bumper sticker on William P. Mangum’s Oldsmobile reveals as much: “Tar Heel by birth, Carolinian by the grace of God.”

Copyright 1994 by The News & Observer Pub. Co.Record Number: RNOB172307

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FROM NOVEMBER 3, 2009

It’s Lunar Report time again, and frankly I am stumped. I’ve been trying to live by a self-imposed deadline of 5pm every Tuesday. You know, I’m trying that discipline thing. I’m beginning to think that writing discipline is as full of crap as the contents of this week’s Report.

I started to write a sleazy appeal for work in the tone of a Billy Mays OxiClean television commercial. It might be funny. But, I can’t seem to stoop that low. At least not today.

Some good stuff happened today. I could write about that. Okay. I’ll give it a try.

Thanks to my furniture friends from Virginia, I paid rent on time this month. But doing that kind of put me in a funk. I really look forward to the nasty notes from my landlord. I know. Maybe I will grill burgers on the balcony tonight. That should generate this month’s nasty note.

I went to the YMCA today for some “Geezer-Ball.” I hadn’t been in a couple of weeks, again thanks to my furniture friends. It was good to see all the geezers. And I played pretty well, too. I just wish they had a smoking section at mid-court. The longer I play, the more irritable I become.

While leaving the Y this afternoon, I ran into a man who wants me to do a small job for him this month. That really is great news. It’s something, don’t you think, that playing basketball can lead to work? Mostly, people think I’m wasting time playing ball.

Look. This is boring me right now. I am so tempted to trash this and upload the Billy Mays’ thing. I’m just going to stop.
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FROM OCTOBER 27, 2009

Look. Never mind that it’s damned near November, and I’m still waiting for Labor Day. What the hell happened? By my internal clock, I should be sipping Mai Tai’s while calm evening waves roll up over my toes on some warm, sandy beach somewhere. Instead, I’m thinking about the lousy frozen turkey I need to buy in a couple of weeks. This whole time thing is really freaking me out, man.

Can I be honest here? For the longest time, I have been cheering on “global warming.” I mean – warmth. For the love of God y’all. Warmth is associated with good feelings. The warmth of a mother’s love. The warmth of someone’s smile. The warmth of the freakin’ air so that we can enjoy another summer’s day. And what am I doing? I’m thinking cold turkey. Let the glaciers melt. Just give me a couple more months of summer! Selfish? Maybe. But tell me – who of you would rather NOT have some extra beach resort time?

So, why am I even mentioning all this? Because it’s cold.

More to come….
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FROM OCTOBER 20, 2009

Last week, y’all kind of blew me away with your amazing responses to the Lunar Report. I learned, however, that there are more of us suffering than I originally thought. To those I will say again, “Let’s just own the day.” I will add this week – let’s pass our ownership along to others. Let’s have a “Day Time-Share.” It may not be Myrtle Beach, but I’m guessing our time-shares will be even better. You can make up your own definition of this. I guess I define it as the sharing of whatever one has to share, even if it’s just ownership of the day.

Since last week was sort of heavy, I really wanted to follow up with something either really dynamic or really funny. The problem is, I cannot seem to get my mind off a man who is one of my two most admired people. He is actually living a “Day Time-Share.” He has been for several years. He’s a fellow Facebooker. He is my sister’s life partner.

My 89-year-old Mom has had health problems the past 15 to twenty years, I guess. The past 10 or 12 years, those problems have reached, from time to time, critical stages. She is doing very well. Bedridden, mostly. But she is alert and healthy and still the same Mom I have known for 39 (ok – 55!) years.

I credit my sister for saving her life several times. You know – times when the hospital doctors and social workers gave us 24 hours to make funeral arrangements, times when the medical doses given my Mom exceeded her tolerance – you know, silly times like that. Those times, my sister so firmly stood up and called “bullshit” that even the insurance and Medicare lackeys had to take notice and actually allow my Mother to live. Don’t get me started, ok? This is an entire Lunar Report Series subject, for God’s sake.

When it was so forcefully pointed out by the staff of St. Vincent’s Hospital in Jacksonville that Mama’s insurance and Medicare would only allow us to put the woman in Hospice (and they actually encouraged it -again, don’t get me started! Why are y’all egging me on here?) my sister made the decision to take on the responsibility of caring for our Mom. Somehow, my sister figured, they would manage.

Ya know who has stood by my sister during all of this? Rick Peacock. My Mom’s house is a kind of small two-story house. Taking care of my mother in a house where sleeping and living quarters are so separate would be difficult, at best, for my sister and my Mom. So, my Mom and sister have been living in Rick’s one-story ranch for at least the past 5 years.

Sometime during the first year of my Mom’s stay at Rick’s, his Mother, a woman who was so very close to him, passed on. Still, this man allowed my Mom the comfort of his home. He pressed on when, I am sure, all he wanted to do was to cry alone for a couple of decades.

Today is Rick’s birthday. He deserves a good one. His Mom always made his birthday special. I am not his Mama, but I kind of hope that somehow this will help him recapture, if but for a short moment, that special feeling. Thanks, y’all, for indulging me here. But Rick deserves so very much my thanks. Thank you guys for letting me acknowledge his day, his heart, and his “time-sharing.”

Did I tell y’all that Rick is one of two people I admire most? I believe I did. The other person is the one who brought Rick into the lives of my family, and the one who has saved my Mom (and me!) so many times. Y’all aren’t stupid. You know.

Thanks so much for everything, Marilyn.

Marilyn and Rick INVENTED “Day Time-Sharing.”

And thank y’all again.
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