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Odds and sods, part 4
posted by Colleen Shirazi 2009-12-27 at 7:28 PM (Pacific)

dr. hauschka body care kit

Dr. Hauschka Rose Body Oil review

Hermmm...I see this sample pack is a bit over two years old. I've been using up each item slowly--the three creams are gone, the kids got into the Lavender bath oil; the Blackthorn body oil is something no one seems to want to use, so it's slated to be next on my list. I've just shaken out the last drops of the Rose Body Oil.

I wasn't particularly into body oils; they appeared simply a messier alternative to lotion, and the inner cheapskate scowled that a mixture of oils and fragrances had got to be more economical to make yourself. But, hey. The Hauschka rep was nice enough to send a plethora of samples, and I've liked just about all of them--the products are, in a word, engineered.

Rose Body Oil is no exception; you need a mere drop or two of this delicately scented oil to moisturize an area of dry skin. It produces a silkier effect than lotion, and doesn't feel greasy on. As evidenced by my poky use of the product, it keeps at least two years. A full-sized bottle could be a negligible expense.

salux beauty skin cloth

On second thought, I've decided to replace my current Salux Beauty Skin cloth. Its lifespan would appear to be about a year and nine months. Its scratchiness had diminished over time--it never frayed nor developed a hole, making it a bit awkward to throw away, but it is noticeably less abrasive (this is the thing for keratosis pilaris, ingrown hairs, and even some prevention of acne).

a zipper

"Fixing" a zipper

I had a horrific experience: the zipper on my handbag ceased to zip. It'd started out getting sticky; crossed my mind it would need some kind of lubrication, like graphite for a keyhole, but one day the pull simply wouldn't lock the teeth. You'd yank the pull all the way over, and the zipper would gape open.

Sometimes the teeth at the base of the zipper would lock for about an inch and a half; I theorized one of the teeth beyond that point was bent, throwing off the remainder of the teeth. Got out my chain-nose pliers, and looked for something to bend back...but after a close examination, I couldn't find any bent or otherwise damaged teeth.

Finally I googled to get some ideas. One article stated you should lubricate your zipper by rubbing a piece of beeswax on it. I actually owned a piece of beeswax, from way back when, so I got that out and started rubbing it along each side of the zipper. You need to do this several times to make zipping nice and smooth.

Weirdly enough, the zipper works now. It wasn't really damaged; it was the stress of sticky zipping that kept the teeth from aligning.

The morale to this story is--if you can't find broken teeth on the zipper, and the pull starts out working (isn't out of sync at the base), why not try this method?

Edited to add: I'm also not unzipping it quite all the way.

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Troika 3
posted by Colleen Shirazi 2009-06-25 at 8:02 PM (Pacific)

Sixpence None the Richer, "Kiss Me"

Yay! Finally located a copy of the original, "Jules and Jim" video for this lovely song.

aubrey organics camomile luxurious shampoo

(Looks like my old "Lipstick Page" photography, eh? It's not, I'm just saying.)

Ever the shampoo whore, I picked this up on a whim. Turned out to be cool stuff: an archetypal granola-flavored, health-food-store shampoo. Too thin in consistency to please conventional shampoo-ers, and too herbal in scent, this golden liquid feels almost oily on hair, yet rinses almost too clean (not looking for squeaky), leaving hair feeling pretty darn good.

It does build up, used daily over time, but who cares. Just switch to something else for a while.

I'm impressed enough with this to consider trying other Aubrey Organics hair products.
dr. hauschka nasturtium and lemon shampoo

Dr. Hauschka Nasturtium and Lemon Shampoo, revisited.

Cannot laud this enough; even though, as a shampoo, it's a bit of a total rip-off (raised from $13 to $20 a pop). So, I don't use it as a shampoo, but rather as a scalp treatment, applying a small amount to the top of my head, and washing the main part of my hair with a cheaper shampoo.

This has "cured" that top-of-the-head itchy scalp thing I had, when used over time. I don't think it cured it--I think it just doesn't irritate the top of my head, the way just about every other shampoo does.

Aubrey Organics shampoo image courtesy www.nonasties.com.au

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Dr. Hauschka shampoo review: Nasturtium and Lemon, part 2
posted by Colleen Shirazi 2008-12-28 at 12:01 AM (Pacific)

dr. hauschka nasturtium and lemon shampoo

See Dr. Hauschka shampoo review: Nasturtium and Lemon, part 1

I see this was initially reviewed October 30 of this year--one great thing about blogging is you don't have to remember anything, you just have to know how to look it up. :D

I started out using this more or less regularly, then began using it daily, on my scalp. On the rest of my hair, I alternate other shampoos, such as Avalon Organics Lavender or Lemon.

Pretty much, it's gotten rid of my long-term itchy scalp. Before I came across this, I had read many posts and some articles about itchy scalp, and not one recommended this shampoo. The typical recommendation was Nizoral or tea tree oil shampoo. I tried the latter, never got around to trying the former, but over the long term I can't say it worked.

I've become a great fan of German skincare. It's not the cheapest stuff, but it is affordable, particularly when used judiciously. It's not luxe, but it works. You have to stick with it...which again makes sense (I'm suspicious of skincare which works immediately, miraculously, because it tends to be too harsh used over the long run).

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Dr. Hauschka shampoo review: Macadamia and Orange (part 2)
posted by Colleen Shirazi 2008-12-16 at 12:01 AM (Pacific)

dr. hauschka macadamia and orange shampoo

See Dr. Hauschka shampoo review: Macadamia and Orange (part 1)

I've utterly ditched the concept of using this on my hair...which is naturally oily, and colored at home (ergo, dry ends). This shampoo is far too moisturizing, even for the ends of my hair.

Unlike Hauschka's oily-skin skincare--also abundantly emollient--Macadamia and... does not work, at least on me. I just get oily hair.

That doesn't mean I've tossed it, by any means, as it makes a great moisturizing additive to my shower gel. The shampoo doesn't lather sufficiently to use alone for this purpose, but shaking in a few drops on top of my usual gel has been hydrating for wintery-parched skin. Its scent is rich and somehow almost ambery, for being comprised of oranges and nuts.

I can't claim I'd purchase this for use as a shower gel addition, since it makes more sense to, ah, just buy a shower gel. It's a nice-enough product though, and I have to speculate whether it would work sublimely for super dry hair.

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Yadda yadda
posted by Colleen Shirazi 2008-12-08 at 12:01 AM (Pacific)

Joan Armatrading - Me Myself I

Sorry about the plethora of musical videos, paired with an utter dearth of content. I haven't had much time to blog in a while.

I had to post that one anyway as I'd completely forgotten about the song, though not about Armatrading. My friend back home was heavily into her (as I was into Chrissie Hynde), but it's hard to resist lyrics such as these:

I sit here by myself
And you know I love it
You know I don't want someone
To come pay a visit

I wanna be by myself
I came in this world alone
Me myself I

I want to go to China
And to see Japan
I'd like to sail the oceans
Before the seas run dry

I wanna go by myself
I've just room enough for one
Me myself I

I wanna be a big shot
And have ninety cars
I wanna have a boyfriend
And a girl for laughs

But only on Saturdays
Six days to be alone
With just me myself I
Me myself and I
Just me myself I

Don't want to be the bad guy
Don't want to make a soul cry
It's not that I love myself
I just don't want company
Except me myself I
Me myself and I
Just me myself I

I sit here by myself
And you know I love it
You know I don't want someone
To come pay a visit

I wanna be by myself
I came in this world alone
Me myself I
Me myself I
Me myself and I
Just me myself I

Once I stumbled across this on Youtube, I recalled the song blazing out from the radio (yes, we had "radios" back then), and the idea of a woman standing up and saying she wanted to be alone was (and is) quite radical. I suppose a Greta Garbo comes along every few decades or so. :D

So, what have I been up to, beauty- and fashion-wise. Not much. I replaced my MAC Blot pressed powder, after months of parsimoniously chasing the ring o' powder left in the compact. It lasts a surprisingly long time that way, assuming you don't want a lot of powder at once. I've long fallen out of love with MAC, but you can't beat MAC Blot pressed with a stick; nothing like it anywhere.

Also repurchased Dr. Hauschka Nasturtium and Lemon shampoo. I'd brought my first bottle to Jamaica, where I needed to wash my hair twice per day--I'm picky about having clean hair in the morning, and you have to shower off the salt water in the evening before you dress up and eat dinner. Nasturtium and... did very well there.

Its claim to calm itchy scalp is valid, with consistent use. In fact I use Nasturtium and... on the top of my head, and some other shampoo on the rest of my hair. That way I get neither bored nor buildup, and it cuts the cost some.

Other than that, I've been doing more recession-ista shopping. Even as the prices of things you have to buy skyrocket, the prices of things you could probably live without have dropped dramatically. It's well to stock up; you don't need to bring out everything at once.

Joan Armatrading: Ma-Me-O-Beach (04/19/1980)

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What I've been into, lately
posted by Colleen Shirazi 2008-11-02 at 12:01 AM (Pacific)

Wore this:

sundance catalog twill skirt

It was longer than I'd recalled; certainly longer on me than on the model (the "model height skirt factor"), plus I'd lost some weight, which wasn't planned. Still it's a cool skirt. I'm going to cook it in the dryer to shrink it (if you decide to do this, it's at your own risk!).

The skirt is a sort of dark grey green, and bells out at the bottom. Plus it's actually quite warm. It won't do ya the same as a wool skirt, but the weather here veers to the chilly more than to the outright cold.

dr. hauschka nasturtium and lemon shampoo

I've used this four times now. My scalp (irritated and itchy) feels better. To this point I'd been using Giovanni Tea Tree Triple Treat shampoo, which seemed to work better at first than over the long run. It's a decent basic shampoo, mind you, but this sort of itchy scalp...reminds me of my experiences with adult acne. You can't treat it by using what they tell you to use. You have to find something that works, not by stamping out the problem--which either creates new problems, or else loses effectiveness over time--but by gradually countering the cause of the problem itself.

dr. hauschka lipsticks

I'm so glad I replaced my Dr. Hauschka lipstick! I dunno...Hauschka isn't the most soigné brand out there, but it suits me. Somehow it evokes a lab...with mad scientists, working day and night, drinking beer on the job, yet what they produce is brilliant.

Between the time my last tube of Dolce wore down, and the sticky seal of my new tube got peeled away, I survived on an old tube of Clinique Apple Brandy Butter Shine lipstick. The color was pretty...dare I say even a bit prettier than Hauschka Dolce...but the formula! Ugh! Ugh! Ugh! Sorry, it was not moisturizing enough, at all, it was just depressing. One or two days into the new Dolce, and I felt quite at home again.

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Dr. Hauschka shampoo review: Macadamia and Orange
posted by Colleen Shirazi 2008-11-01 at 12:01 AM (Pacific)

dr. hauschka  macadamia and orange shampoo

Dang if this thing doesn't smell...sumptous...the polar opposite of the austerely scented Nasturtium and Lemon shampoo...which smells neither of nasturtium nor of lemon, particularly. Nasturtiums grow wild here, if you can picture legions of East Coast gardeners with their jaws agape--and they don't smell much (the nasturtiums that is).

But Macadamia and Orange shampoo smells exactly that--macadamia nuts and orange, and not in the horrifying fake fruity-nutty way it sounds. It's incredible. If I were to use a shampoo purely for its scent--you're looking at it.

All of that said, I found it a tad touch too moisturizing the first time I used it. Yet the same may be said of the Hauschka facial cleansers; it's their philosophy that "like treats like." Macadamia and... is marketed toward people with oily hair, so it stands to reason it would be a touch too moisturizing, counter-intuitive as it seems.

Hm. It's a bit too early to judge. I feel Nasturtium and... is better for irritated scalp, as claimed. If only Nasturtium and... smelled like Macadamia and... But then I'm not above using two shampoos at a pop, one for scalp, the other for the rest of the hair (it's faster and easier than it sounds), because typically one is better for scalp and the other one smells better. grumbles...

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Dr. Hauschka shampoo review: Nasturtium and Lemon, part 1
posted by Colleen Shirazi 2008-10-30 at 12:01 AM (Pacific)

dr. hauschka nasturtium and lemon shampoo

Day One.

First sniff: health food store. The faintly sweet, herbal-y, mysterious scent of all health food stores, from Charlottesville to Berkeley.

Commenced to use it...like most non-sulfate shampoos, you don't get tons of lather. There's a trick to it; you mix the shampoo with a bit of water, on your hair, to get it going. But don't use too much shampoo in order to get more bubbles; the usual amount is fine. This stuff produces a denser, almost creamy lather instead of the foamy airy sort.

Nasturtium & Lemon began to smell rather soapy, more than herbal or lemony. Quite pleasant; perhaps a bit more utilitarian than mind-blowing.

Hair: easy comb-out (I use a separate conditioner on ends, but hair wasn't stripped), and fluffy when dried. I didn't jump to conclusions, since switching shampoos usually produces fluffy hair at first anyway.

Scalp: seems less irritated and itchy, actually. I didn't expect it to immediately work 100%, for the same reason I don't expect good skincare to work 100% right away. It's usually a sign the product is too harsh--you get instant results and believe the product is working, but it's really screwing up your skin over the long run.

Day Two.

Yup--classic eau de health food store. Today Nasturtium & Lemon seems to have worked even better.

I've had this itchy, irritated scalp for a long time actually. Before, I used to get it only in winter, and speculated whether it was caused by indoor heating drying out my scalp (I get dry itchy skin in winter in general).

This year, irritated scalp seems to have expanded into a four-season issue. It appears to flare up when I've spent long periods of time indoors, i.e., no sun on hair...which would also explain the winter flare-ups, since I tend to remain indoors in cold weather.

Research on the Net netted the usual skin-problem gibberish: no cure, no information as to the cause of the problem, and a recommendation to use mainstream medicated products. Since I already went through all of this with my adult acne, I don't have much faith in this type of advice.

I'll post an update when I've used it more.

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Skinbotanica.com order arrives
posted by Colleen Shirazi 2008-10-28 at 12:01 AM (Pacific)

dr. hauschka #09 dolce lipstick

That was fast! Everything was to spec: the Dr. Hauschka #09 lipsticks and their Macadamia & Orange shampoo, and Nasturtium & Lemon shampoo. They chunked in two samples as well: La Roche-Posay Nutritic Ultra-Fine Cream and Dermalogica oil control lotion (clearing--presumably the same as the "Clearing Mattifier" on the site).

When I was registering my account, they did ask what skin type/problems I had, and carelessly I declined to fill it out. Bleh? Better to fill it out next time.

Anyhow, quite pleased. I'll review the shampoos later on when I try them.

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My skinbotanica.com order
posted by Colleen Shirazi 2008-10-24 at 12:01 AM (Pacific)

dr. hauschka lipsticks
#01 Amoroso, #09 Dolce

Several days ago, I ran out of my Dr. Hauschka #09 Dolce lipstick. Research showed that tube was purchased May 27, less than five months ago (okay, it was a matter of pulling up an old blogger post).

Given the lifespan of this lipstick, logic dictated the purchase of two tubes at a pop, not one. No longer a casual endeavor, not to be done in haste. I decided to try replacing #09 online, in hopes of a better price.

Enter...my own blog. :D My Internet label is a "bookmarks" tag, to keep track of potentially useful sites. I'd posted earlier about a sale code for a site carrying Dr. Hauschka products, namely SkinBotanica.com, so I checked there to see if they had the Hauschka lipsticks (which aren't that hard to find anymore; drugstore.com carries them too).

SkinBotanica is not a small site. They feature a slew of "natural" brands besides Hauschka--John Masters Organics, Jane Iredale, NVEY Eco, REN, Eminence, Juice Beauty, many more...

And it's linked to two other sites, Skin Care Rx and AnneMichele.com. (The Banana Republic-Gap-Old Navy-Piperlime concept, where you put everything into one cart with one flat shipping fee.)

I realize this post smells like a spam sandwich right about now, but I'm not affiliated with SkinBotanica, and would certainly say so if I were.

Skin Care Rx carries La Roche-Posay, ah, a bunch of other skincare brands...I'm not into topical skincare much, but there are quite a few if you are.

AnneMichele.com carries Jurlique, Etro, Annick Goutal, Laura Tonatto, Zents, Nuxe, bunch o' other brands.

What's sweet: free shipping on $49 orders, and I found a coupon code for 20% off both SkinBotanica and Skin Care Rx (didn't seem to work for AnneMichele products, but worth a shot):


They deducted the coupon before calculating shipping, so I had to throw in extra product to avoid paying shipping (don't laugh--adding the last item made the total smaller).

I decided to try two Hauschka shampoos, on the reasoning: a.) They're actually not that expensive--$13 for 8 oz.; b.) "Washing hair" is two separate entities: washing hair and washing scalp. My scalp has been irritated lately, and I'm wondering if the Hauschka shampoos are as good for problem scalp as their skincare has been for problem skin.

I have contemplated trying Nizoral in fact, but years of adult acne make me leery of harsh chemical treatments for skin problems. They don't work for acne, that's for sure; the tendency is either "works at first, then stops working" or "works by destroying your skin." The better way is long-term, gentle products with boatloads of research behind them.

So, let's see how these guys are! I already got the two shampoos for $8.72.

(42 * 1.0875) vs. (42 + 26) * (0.8)

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On finding the right lipstick, and Dr. Hauschka lipstick review (#09 Dolce)
posted by Colleen Shirazi 2008-10-15 at 6:23 PM (Pacific)

dr. hauschka #09 dolce lipstick
dr. hauschka #09 dolce lipstick
"Same roof, different climates."

It took me years to find a lipstick I cared to use up and repurchase. To be fair, lipstick has a mess o' variables, beyond the obvious shade (which itself can appear very different depending on the natural color of your lips and skin). Factors include texture, taste, scent, lasting power, versatility, transfer, tendency to bleed, moisturizing properties, packaging, price and availability, and--seldom mentioned but quite key--how well this lipstick suits your personality.

In the art of lipstick-seeking, the Indian makeup blogs deserve mention. They seem to fully appreciate the toil of choosing the right lipstick--and the rewards in doing so.

A gem mined from a quick google on "indian lipstick blog":

The Indian Make-up Diva: Besame Noir Red: Deep, Dark Red Lipstick

Is it killer or what?--lipstick, photo, and clarity of prose. It's a rather general search, to pull up something completely useful.

And a quote which has lingered in my mind for years--"Manners maketh a man but a lipstick maketh a woman!!"--was also from an online Indian makeup article, predating the blogs.

Serendipity found "my lipstick" for me: an exceptional Dr. Hauschka PR rep sent some samples to me. In those days, I was still wearing MAC Sophisto and Viva Glam V. That summer, I tried Hauschka's #01 Amoroso lipstick:

dr. hauschka #01 amoroso lipstick

...and ended up scrapping it in favor of their #09 Dolce, as the latter proved far more versatile and less seasonal (Amoroso was too much color come winter). As I write, I'm nursing the last sliver of my second tube of Dolce.

#09 has a certain level of brown as well as its sheer coral-toned rose. It doesn't look much brown on me, but then most lipsticks don't. It's a bit shimmery, and has an odd herbal Hauschka scent.

If I could fault it, it has a certain amount of transfer, but that would be nitpicking. (It's not as smeary as, say, a Clinique Butter Shine I owned before.) Dolce lasts reasonably well on (I refuse to use any lipstick requiring more than three or four touch-ups per day), and they give you a fair amount in the tube. Packaging isn't that crucial to me, but the simple brushed gold-toned metal tube is pretty decent.

It costs about as much as I'd care to pay for lipstick--$21, the same range as Chanel and Nars.

My second choice would have been Chanel, on the basis of their Moiré lipstick, which I've tried in sample form. The two shades are not dissimilar: both decidedly warm (Dolce more so than Moiré), blended with dibs and dabs of brown and rose (Dolce more to the coral, Moiré to the plum, with an interesting brick red tone), both with a scrim of shimmer.

Moiré is more "lipsticky" than Dolce, if that makes sense, and it's a cooler, more elegant color. Ultimately I was more attracted to the warmth and "brightness" of Dolce (as well as to the more natural Hauschka formulation).

That is the personality factor, which I feel is lacking from most "how to find the right lipstick" articles. Much has been penned on coordinating lipstick with skintone and hair color, but there is always a wide range of lipsticks to match those.

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Does Dr. Hauschka skincare ever go on sale?
posted by Colleen Shirazi 2008-09-06 at 12:25 AM (Pacific)

dr. hauschka skincare trial kit

The short answer is yes, I do believe it does, but the only place I've ever heard of discounting Hauschka is Whole Foods. Once in a while they'll put it on sale.

I've found the far better solution is to use less of the stuff. lol Seriously--who says you have to use every item in the regimen? that each item works only when used with all the other items? It's well to pick it apart and see which items you really need.

Take the Cleansing Cream. I use this myself. If I did it the way they say to do it...take half an inch of the stuff at a pop...I'd go through the tube in a New York minute. This amount is not necessary imo. I use a pea-sized blob and massage it using one hand.

The Cleansing Milk is the other Hauschka product I use--only at night. Again I use just enough to work...one pump will do it, or a bit more...and one hand. I don't need to clean my hands with this stuff, just my face!

All of that said, I've been more than happy with Hauschka. Typically I'm the last person to contemplate spendy skincare. I've calculated the cost for Cleansing Cream and Cleansing Milk--used in this stingy fashion--to be $60 every five months, or $12 per month.

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Happy Labor Day!
posted by Colleen Shirazi 2008-09-01 at 12:33 PM (Pacific)

Apparently we're the only nation in the world that celebrates Labor Day in September. Everyone else does so on May 1st. Why the change? International Workers' Day commemorates an incident which happened in the U.S. It's all quite strange, yet I didn't know about it until I was an adult.

I work an eight hour day, so it's well to mention where the eight hour work day came from.

Lessee...I repurchased Dr. Hauschka Cleansing Milk:

dr. hauschka cleansing milk

And I'm doing my hair today:

This video was primarily a test of converting analog data to digital. I didn't have a mini DV cassette handy, so I made one with my kids. It's unscripted, unrehearsed, unplanned, and my segment of the video simply included the fact that I'd just done my hair. I still use the same hair stuff in the video.

That's about all I'm doing today, except some random ironing.

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Dr. Hauschka Cleansing Milk review
posted by Colleen Shirazi 2008-08-23 at 10:09 PM (Pacific)

dr. hauschka cleansing milk

I'm on the dregs of my Dr. Hauschka Cleansing Milk. It's good skincare, no doubt about it...the strength of Hauschka seems to lie in treating oily or problematic skin.

The packaging...truly sucks. It's bottled in glass, so the only way you could use it in the shower would be to port it into plastic. When you get towards the end, the stuff stops coming out of the pump. You have to pump in water and shake it around. Cheap skincare is easier to use.

All of that said, I've never tried anything like it. The philosophy of Hauschka--"like treats like"--sounds simplistic, but it works. Oily skin fares best with oily products--not products which remove oil. As counterintuitive as that sounds.

I've been playing with the idea for some years, since a poster on the old Lipstick Page board turned me on to jojoba oil in 2001. I went from that to jojoba butter, and now to the Hauschka Cleansing Milk, as well as their Cleansing Cream. All of these products leave a delicate film of oil on the skin, rather than rinsing clean.

This has lasted me a good five months and then some, so I shouldn't complain overly much about the cost. (I will anyway, I'm just saying.) The Cleansing Cream lasts about that too, making my skincare cost in the range of $60 every five months, or $12 per month. Not that bad.

On a side note, I stumbled across this...


It's a song people loved to make fun of..."aaaaaaaan-jay"...but here, it's rendered beautifully. And I always liked that song, when I was a kid. Recall we didn't have cable tv or Internet in those days. Radio was king.

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