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Dying Breed?
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foeslts16


Dec 30, 2007, 9:28 AM
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Re: [healyje] Recollections of the First Free Ascent [In reply to]
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Well damn, if that isn't the whole trick of it, but sometimes the eye just fixes on something that the soul has to either follow or walk away from the whole affair that is climbing. Some of those obsessions are not without considerable peril. If you aren't sufficiently driven, it's stupid to leave the ground for that level of commitment. Assuming responsibility for navigating the unknown, including substantial risk, is what the heart and soul of onsight FAs and climbing is all about, regardless of how foreign the concept has become these days.

I never said anything about "substantial risk". That is part of the game we play, everytime I lead trad - I am ready for substantial risk.

The unknown factor is part of the reason I do alpine, ice, and rock climbing

But to say, hey lets jump on that route over there. I know the 2nd pitch has no pro, and if I can't stick every move I will take a ground fall and probably die. But i have to do it, that line is just to good to pass up. - that is as you stated an "obsession".

Your assumption that the concept of assuming responsibility for navigating the unknown, including substantial risk is a thing of the past - That is total crap.

A pathetic way to make people that fit into yr way of thinking sound hardcore.


healyje


Dec 30, 2007, 11:25 AM
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foeslts16 wrote:
Your assumption that the concept of assuming responsibility for navigating the unknown, including substantial risk is a thing of the past - That is total crap. A pathetic way to make people that fit into yr way of thinking sound hardcore.

I didn't say it was a thing of the past, I said it's a thing of the past for about 85% of today's climbers - there's a substantial difference between the two. The illusion that's marketed is substantial, but anyone who thinks the majority of today's climbers are interested in assuming risk as opposed to entertainment is kidding themselves - and that has nothing to do with me and my perception of myself or my climbing and everything to do with the reality of today's demographics.

How many FAs or FFAs have you done? What were they worth to you at the time? For most that I know, onsight trad FAs are exactly that - passionate and/or dark obsessions. Obsessions that can displace other priorities, goals, even dreams. And yes, they can easily cause one to dance the line between reason and what you'd likely consider intemperance. But then, not many accomplishments of note occur without accepting responsibility for a commensurate level of committment and risk.

The FAs of an endless number of rock lines, getting on an A5 aid line, or contemplating countless alpine objectives require no less committment than Haan describes from my perspective. Clearly the best way to manage risks is to lower your aim. But then, however sad, for some that just isn't an option once a seed of the plausible gets planted.


dingus


Dec 30, 2007, 3:04 PM
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Re: [foeslts16] Recollections of the First Free Ascent [In reply to]
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foeslts16 wrote:
If your life and persona is so tied to your climbing successes, that you would be willing to give it all up for that assent – I feel sorry for that person.

The guys that I really respect are those who can do an extremely challenging climb and return to tell about it.

Hmmm, Peter Haan wrote that article in his 60s. He seems to be doing quite well to this punter.,

I've exchanged some posts with him over the years. He makes the point, repeatedly, about off width climbing in particular, that in the golden age and the 70s, when many of those fierce OWs first succumbed to the caress of men, they were done largely unprotected.

Things have changed. They have. Seems Mr. Haan has beeb fairly nimble in that regard, and here he is at this late date reminding us of how the world has turned.

It will turn back one day too. We Merkins are too rich now, to fucking fat as a people, to risk much of anything at all.

Is that weird? When you have nothing, risk doesn't seem to carry the same pack weight as when you have the rest of your life load in the pack right along side it.

I never festered about getting killed in the mountains till I had children....

DMT

ps. Climbers often put their lives in their own hands for momentary comfort issues, thru lapses, thru poor judgement, through haste. Here is an example of someone laying it all out apurpose. Takes stones, to do that?


dingus


Dec 30, 2007, 3:13 PM
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healyje wrote:
and everything to do with the reality of today's demographics.

I was thinking about this notion yesterday. Healyje comes from a generation of idealists - boomers. Idealists are usually if not always put ideals ahead of people.

To this generation that brought us clean climbing, brought us cams, and sport climbing, and lycra, and a host of other new fangled ideas - THANKS!

You are a bunch of rabble rousers, the lot of you.

I was born on the border, one foot in boomer country, the other in cynical X land. Xers are those who looked at all the hippies growinhg up, KNEW in their bones those whacky bastards were going to RUIN EVERYTHING. Now Xers go around in their mid 30s saying in cynical voices - 'told ya so.'

Xers are not the heir-apparent. They done had their time in the sun too. So the late 20s crowd, the 30-somethings? Move over too kids, the Ys are coming. They don't give a SHIT about old ideals, I assure you. They aren't cynical either, so get the fuck out of their way.

Me? My duality affords me all the idealist baggage of the boomers with the cynicism of knowing its all going to hell anyway.

I am a Bad Man.

DMT


punk_rocker333


Dec 30, 2007, 6:02 PM
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Re: [foeslts16] Recollections of the First Free Ascent [In reply to]
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foeslts16 wrote:
That fact that he was ready to give it all up for this one assent - either do it or die seems rather careless to me.

If your life and persona is so tied to your climbing successes, that you would be willing to give it all up for that assent – I feel sorry for that person.

Haan expressed this ascent as beyond a religious experience. By taking such a large risk (death) he was living to the fullest. Life is about experiences and I bet that ascent accented his life. I don't understand how you can feel sorry for a person that was living their passion to the most ultimate level. I respect his bravery and hope that I may one day experience something like this.

(This post was edited by punk_rocker333 on Dec 30, 2007, 6:02 PM)


foeslts16


Dec 30, 2007, 6:24 PM
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Re: [healyje] Recollections of the First Free Ascent [In reply to]
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The illusion that's marketed is substantial, but anyone who thinks the majority of today's climbers are interested in assuming risk as opposed to entertainment is kidding themselves

I just don't see that, where are all these people who climb for entertainment? I can think of probably 1-2 people (out of about 100 climbers that I know in this area) who might fit into the entertainment climber category.

This mind-frame that the new generation of participants are: “doing this or that wrong”, “not living by the old way of thinking”, “not in the sport for the right reasons” is so funny.


foeslts16


Dec 30, 2007, 6:45 PM
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Re: [punk_rocker333] Recollections of the First Free Ascent [In reply to]
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punk_rocker333 wrote:
Haan expressed this ascent as beyond a religious experience. By taking such a large risk (death) he was living to the fullest. Life is about experiences and I bet that ascent accented his life. I don't understand how you can feel sorry for a person that was living their passion to the most ultimate level. I respect his bravery and hope that I may one day experience something like this.

I guess you could see it that way.

As for "living life to the fullest" - If it takes these kinds of Life/Death decisons to make you feel like you are living life to the ultimate level - try jumping off a high bridge, throw yr rack away and start soloing 5.12 trad routes.

Any idiot can "bet it all" and throw caution to the wind and risk their very existence in the pursuit of a single thing. It makes you seem dangerous; willing to die for a cause, total commitment – willing to die for something must mean it is much more valid than anything else – Right? This may be why we don’t see a lot of these people around.

One last thing.....
Have you ever actually been in a situation where you were giving direct care/assistance to a person with life-threatening injuries. It changes things....


(This post was edited by foeslts16 on Dec 30, 2007, 7:23 PM)


dingus


Dec 31, 2007, 3:07 PM
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Re: [foeslts16] Recollections of the First Free Ascent [In reply to]
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foeslts16 wrote:
Any idiot can "bet it all" and throw caution to the wind and risk their very existence in the pursuit of a single thing.

Sure. And they do.

But every now and then a person comes along who is not an idiot and chooses, once or a few times, to cross the line apurpose.

When these guys live to be old men, what's that say about their idiocy?

Cheers
DMT


foeslts16


Dec 31, 2007, 4:30 PM
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Re: [dingus] Recollections of the First Free Ascent [In reply to]
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dingus wrote:
When these guys live to be old men, what's that say about their idiocy?

That they were lucky enough to have lived. How many others weren't so lucky. So if someone plays Russian roulette and actually lives, does this make them any different than Peter Hahn.


In reply to:
Peter Hahn:
..."I thought I could only answer these big emotional and spiritual questions in terms of this one climb, so to retreat now was also a major undertaking---it meant my complete demoralization and the trivialization of all eight years of my hard climbing and my search and yearning for true integrity."...

..."My whole climbing career was in front of me at that moment. I lashed at myself with this question: was I really going to do IT or was I going to be just another one of many who climbed in the Valley for a while, undistinguished, and then forgotten, left to bumble through the rest of a dim life empty-handed in some big spiritual way....

In reply to:
Peter Hahn:
"These two men came along because the puzzle of my life required I be on this major quest with no real competitors, only friends and hopefully, neutral parties, and enough bodies to handle my likely emergency. And guys that could keep our efforts a secret until the experience was complete."....

Bottom line for me at least:
This was nothing more than someone who wanted to "Be remembered and accepted by his peers, and justify to himself that all of his previous climbing meant something." ........Nothing special here.


dingus


Dec 31, 2007, 4:47 PM
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Re: [foeslts16] Recollections of the First Free Ascent [In reply to]
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foeslts16 wrote:
So if someone plays Russian roulette and actually lives, does this make them any different than Peter Hahn.

Do you REALLY equate the two or are you just trying to make a point? The reason I ask is this... ANY fool with a finger can play Russian Roulette. Just as any fool could try the Left Side of the Hourglass in the style of the FA.

But it wasn't just any fool. It was Peter Haan, a man who'd tried and tested himself time and again, honed his skills and fitness and knew well the Rubicon he was about to cross before he left the ground.

All climbing is descretionary, Well, most of it is anyway, certainly the recreational part. And all climbingf is inherently risky, ultimately deadly to the Russian Roulette Fool.

You, me, Peter Hann, we each assume potentially deadly risks, or we don't climb. Climbers put a premium on 'self-control,' that ability to command one's mind and body and get them to obey. We congratulate ourselves when we advance that control, we admire those who exhibit the qualities we seek.

Here is one climber, and not the only one of course, but here is one climber who stepped out knowingly, crossed the line, danced on the razor's edge, and stepped back again, successful.

Of course he sought the approval of his peers. His peers were folks like Hot Henry Barber. That 'ultimate' self-control is something they were seeking and risk was the medium.

There are other ways to pursue ultimate self-control, just as there are other styles of climbing. Viva la difference! They're all good.

Finally, if you ever get the chance watch the vid taken in the mid-70s of Henry Barber on-sight soloing a couple of UK sea side routes, The Strand in particular - they show an unpolished grittiness to the business often lacking in today's Smoothfests where some practiced technician powers so easily through some outlandish solo it looks like 5.6. Here you see a top flight climber get into serious trouble, and then climb his way back out of it again.

Its disturbing (and nothing bad happens). And yet.... its CLIMBING.

Here is one of Peter Haan's peers today: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YPATnqHMiaE
Cheers
DMT


(This post was edited by dingus on Dec 31, 2007, 4:56 PM)


foeslts16


Dec 31, 2007, 5:25 PM
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Re: [dingus] Recollections of the First Free Ascent [In reply to]
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I agree with a lot of what you just said Dingus.

We have veered from the original discussion point that me and you started (mainly my fault).

I have a couple things that I want to make clear:

- As stated in my original post, I have no problems with accepting potentially deadly risks - it's just part of responsible of climbing.

- Peter Hann is just another climber to me. I can't understand why people have so much admiration for what they call "the great ones, or the hard-core climbers." There are SO many other old-school and new climbers that have done comparable feats, for the right reasons. Not for recognition by their peers, not to prove anything - they do it for themselves.

---
hero-worship
love unquestioningly and uncritically or to excess; venerate as an idol; "Many teenagers idolized the Beatles"

hero-worship
he·ro-wor·ship
tr.v. he·ro-wor·shiped or he·ro-wor·shipped, he·ro-wor·ship·ing or he·ro-wor·ship·ping, he·ro-wor·ships
1. To revere as an ideal.
2. To adulate.

http://www.thefreedictionary.com

---


(This post was edited by foeslts16 on Dec 31, 2007, 11:14 PM)


brutusofwyde


Dec 31, 2007, 8:45 PM
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Re: [foeslts16] Recollections of the First Free Ascent [In reply to]
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foeslts16 wrote:
- Peter Hann is just another climber to me. I can't understand why people have so much admiration for what they call "the great ones, or the hard-core climbers." There are SO many other old-school and new climbers that have done comparable feats, for the right reasons. Not for recognition by their peers, not to prove anything - they do it for themselves.

Whatevah.

Truth is that trad died years ago. Old growtch grandtraddys and dad sporto's, move over. We thirteenyearold Bolderers shall inherit the earth!


paintrain


Dec 31, 2007, 11:10 PM
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Re: [dingus] Recollections of the First Free Ascent [In reply to]
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I appreciate the perspective, I do. But I don't think these heros of yore would have shrugged off a big fat #6 camalot if someone handed it to them prior to their ascent. They mitigated the risk as best they could. They invented a good number of tools and techniques to help with that as well.

Paul Hahn certainly chose to clip the bolt of the FA prior to heading out the roof. So lets give up the idea that lycra, cams, and risk reduction really are part of the argument. If it were really the case, old school trad would be ground up, onsight, free solo. Mr Hahn felt a tracendence by hanging it out, almost a near death/cheating death experience. Would he have not done the climb if he could have protected it? Would the experience be less if he didn't have the do or die moment (probably not).

What was gained and sets the experience apart was a profound experience from sticking it out there. I don't argue about that at all - that is the essence of it. I agree with Healyje, that a good percentage of the climbing populace is risk adverse and chooses to climb for pure entertainment, but there is the 15% that trains on all mediums and does do some pretty remarkable stuff. But even commiting climbs (alpine or trad) we still pack a rope and gear with the attempt at mitigating risk, but with a realization that sometimes we have to stick it out there beyond the saftey of gear.

I don't argue some of the accomplishments of the 70s were remarkable. Climbing grades soared. Look at some of the old Pratt offwidths of the late 50s early 60s and you should be duly impressed. Gear to protect, just lagged behind the generations ability to climb. Some more creative types around here would haul up pre-cut 2x4s to protect offwidths in the desert for lack of anything else.

Todays generation are a by product of yours and mine, whatever group of boomer, X, Y, or wherever you fall. I don't deny that our entire society is risk adverse, germ adverse, too hot too cold too windy too humid too whatever adverse. Most folks don't get out of there temperature controlled bubbles of 60-72 deg F except to walk to their cars in a parking lot.

But some still choose to do it, they just happen to use the tools available to them. It is also purely subjective - one persons hanging it out is another's safe walk in the park. It is often ability level oriented. Some are constantly out there risking their necks because they don't realize their gear is shit - does that make them more trad although they don't realize they are on the verge of getting themselves killed?

Things will always change. Gear evolves. Experience is personal. Risk is risk. but the goal is always to come back from climbing with a smile and better for the experience. To say that todays generation is incapable of having the same experience of old is close minded. Trad isn't dead, it just doesn't use the same gear or read as much Kerouac.

PT


dingus


Jan 1, 2008, 1:36 AM
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Hmmm, not my heros actually. You guys mistook respect for worship. The point in mentioning their names at all is simply to ackknowledge they were each top flight climbers of their era. They weren't some dumbasses playing Russian Roulette as a party game.

Cheers
DMT


cchas


Jan 1, 2008, 4:23 AM
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Re: [healyje] Dying Breed? [In reply to]
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healyje wrote:
cchas wrote:
Now what is a dying breed is hard alpine climbers. There are a bunch of people doing easy alpine but amoung the whole climbing community not a lot doing hard alpine.

There are 'hard' trad and alpine climbers today - but as a percentage of the total population of people who identify themselves as 'climbers' - their numbers have dropped precipitously from the '70s. What we have now is a massive and shallow pyramid of climbers, 85% or so who simply pull plastic and clip bolts at a beginning and intermediate level, with an exceptionally small percentage of the whole who percolate up to do amazing things.

That's a marked contrast to thirty years ago when there was a small total population, but one consisting of few beginners and made up of mostly intermediate and advanced climbers. The very best then were generated out of a much, much smaller base of largely competent climbers compared to today. That's because, before gyms and sport climbing, you learned fast or found another sport and the majority of 'climbers' today wouldn't have been then.

I have a hard time beliving this. I'm more inclined that its your perception based on the peopl ethat you were around. Where I grew up, in the 70's and early 80's (in the midwest) and then in the 80's early 90's (East Coast), I'd say that the vast majority were solid but strikely moderate climbers (not being deregatory though). Most were just trying to find there and found adventure in that 5.6 or 5.8 route. There were a very small group that was pushing it hard, but it was a small, insulated set of groups. I see the same things occuring today as I did back then. Some old farts would talk about the"good old days" and make deregatory comments about todays youth. The youth would at some point step out of the shadows, and make their own marks (good and bad).

I'm sort of like rgold, I've got quite a bit of grey up top, but if I can slam a cam in and crank through the latest crack being put up, sit out in the sun for an afternoon and have todays youth show me how its done, then its been a pretty good afternoon.

As for the old trad climbers (or alpine climbers) that have given it up and now clip bolts, I can completely understand. One of my friends gave up serious alpine when the last of his old partners died on a route in the himalayas in the winter. All of his old friends were dead- and thats a pretty heavy burden. Who's to say anything. -Another old sports climber I know spent his youth putting up R and X rated "hard" trad routes. For him, it lost the appeal- and again- who's to say.


(This post was edited by cchas on Jan 1, 2008, 4:35 AM)


jt512


Jan 1, 2008, 5:30 AM
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cchas wrote:
As for the old trad climbers (or alpine climbers) that have given it up and now clip bolts, I can completely understand. One of my friends gave up serious alpine when the last of his old partners died on a route in the himalayas in the winter.

Has it ever occurred to you that a lot of former trad climbers switched to sport climbing because it is more fun?

Jay


curt


Jan 1, 2008, 6:11 AM
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jt512 wrote:
cchas wrote:
As for the old trad climbers (or alpine climbers) that have given it up and now clip bolts, I can completely understand. One of my friends gave up serious alpine when the last of his old partners died on a route in the himalayas in the winter.

Has it ever occurred to you that a lot of former trad climbers switched to sport climbing because it is more fun?

Jay

Far more of them switched to bouldering--because it's more like trad climbing and not corruptible by weakmos. Cool

Curt


climbsomething


Jan 1, 2008, 6:13 AM
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curt wrote:
jt512 wrote:
cchas wrote:
As for the old trad climbers (or alpine climbers) that have given it up and now clip bolts, I can completely understand. One of my friends gave up serious alpine when the last of his old partners died on a route in the himalayas in the winter.

Has it ever occurred to you that a lot of former trad climbers switched to sport climbing because it is more fun?

Jay

Far more of them switched to bouldering--because it's more like trad climbing and not corruptible by weakmos. Cool

Curt
It isn't?

Then why do I boulder more than anything else now? And why did that guy start his sandy vagina thread about his girlfriend not being able to climb V0 at the gym?

I thought so!


curt


Jan 1, 2008, 7:12 AM
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climbsomething wrote:
curt wrote:
jt512 wrote:
cchas wrote:
As for the old trad climbers (or alpine climbers) that have given it up and now clip bolts, I can completely understand. One of my friends gave up serious alpine when the last of his old partners died on a route in the himalayas in the winter.

Has it ever occurred to you that a lot of former trad climbers switched to sport climbing because it is more fun?

Jay

Far more of them switched to bouldering--because it's more like trad climbing and not corruptible by weakmos. Cool

Curt
It isn't?

Then why do I boulder more than anything else now? And why did that guy start his sandy vagina thread about his girlfriend not being able to climb V0 at the gym?

I thought so!

I think, more than anything else, you have helped to reinforce my point.

Curt


jaybro


Jan 1, 2008, 7:13 AM
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I think if you could see the real numbers, there are more 'trad' climbers now than ever. There weren't enough twenty years ago to support the industry that exists today. Wouldn't have been financially viable to make a #6 friend in '88, for instance. The only cams that size avaiible then stopped production shortly there after (I think).
It's just that there are a LOT more climbers now and 'Trad' (what an annoying descriptor) climbers are a smaller percent than ever before.

Happy new year all!


dingus


Jan 1, 2008, 2:23 PM
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I'm not convinced any of us have our fingers on the pulse. I don't think trad is dying at all. Period. While the Pursuit of Risk has morphed into the pursuit of atheletic performance I think there are folks aplenty seeking out the raw.

Oh, I think The General pretty much summed up in words what a lot of the converted risk climbers thought through. To paraphrase:

"If I kept on pushing routes like that (Burning Down the House) I knew I was going to eventually get killed."

Simple as that. Once again, a top climber known for pushing the boundaries of sanity takes a step back and walks away.

NOT... just another fool with a revolvger it would seem.

Cheers and happy new year
DMT


brutusofwyde


Jan 1, 2008, 6:21 PM
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Re: [dingus] Dying Breed? [In reply to]
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We thirteen year olds are STILL gonna kick all you fat ancient farts aside. Rope, schmope.

Padz are whereizzat!


paintrain


Jan 1, 2008, 6:34 PM
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Registered: Feb 17, 2004
Posts: 184

Re: [brutusofwyde] Dying Breed? [In reply to]
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hahahhaah.

Practicing for the real thing. That is what a friend called bouldering and sport climbing.


jaybro


Jan 2, 2008, 2:42 AM
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Registered: Feb 2, 2005
Posts: 441

Re: [dingus] Dying Breed? [In reply to]
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Well put, Dingus. We will all be eaten (or at least get confronted with the threat...)by the logan's run kids of our own generations like Brutus reminded us.
-could be worse


(This post was edited by jaybro on Jan 4, 2008, 3:14 AM)

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