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Deal 1422 Preview

Vexing Vexillography:
The flag: Purity, Disguise, Levitation, and Learning
On a field of green (#b3de69)
Bordered in blue (#0000CC)

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Deal 1379: Lit

The stick was just sitting there, but when I picked it up, I heard a quiet growling noise.

I put it down.

The growl stopped.

I couldn’t just let it lie there, so the battle of minds between owner and cat got underway.

The stick had a string with a feather bob on it. The cat was attached to the feathers, and unwilling to let go of his prey. He clearly knew that anyone picking up the stick was going to attempt to take the prey.

As the game continued, my gaze wandered among the knickknacks collected where they were safe from the cat. A plasma ball. A line of Hummels. A magic eight ball. And in its own alcove, a lava light. The slow circulation of the waxy goo was hypnotic. It drew the eye and held it there while the background music (and the cat) did their work.

The cat was still growling.

The door opened, and one ear twitched as if to confirm that the right person had arrived.

He was dressed slightly oddly, as if as displaced in time as his tchotchkes, but his suit was also somewhat threadbare and worn.

The he held his hands out in seemingly empty space, and the most hauntingly beautiful music appeared. The slightest wiggles of his fingers were translated into audible liquids that washed over us.

Even the cat seemed impressed.

But not enough to let go of the stick.

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Deal 1378: May

We’ve got a live one for sure, now.

It had fooled us before, but we were on our toes. Pretending to be dormant wasn’t going to get past us. Again, at least.

Some of the people living down hill may not have been so lucky.

The lahars were not small this time, and once verdant river valleys were scrubbed clean.

On a geologic scale, they needed that scrubbing.

On a human scale, a little more warning would have allowed the residents time to escape with more than their socks on. And there wouldn’t have been quite so many teddy bears caught in the trees.

But that would have required better monitors, better observations, and better predictions.

And above all, the foresight to know that we needed those things.