Rambling through central Illinois, pondering the latest headlines outlining the end of our world.
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The band is getting back together in Farmington. After an estimated 40-year absence, Farmington will have a community band this spring and possibly this summer. Farmington High School Band Director Allison Smith has been organizing the new group, which has its first concert next Thursday (March 30) at 7 p.m. in the Farmington High School auditorium. “Our first rehearsal only had 12 people attend, but it has grown since then and we’ve had 38 people interact with our group since then,” Smith said. “While we don’t have every person at every practice, our full ensemble for the concert on March 30 should have 29 individuals playing.” Band members range in age from 12-75. “We have engineers, teachers, students, a chemist, healthcare workers, stay-at-home parents and more. Some members of our ensemble play regularly and others hadn’t played for many years,” Smith said. “It’s really cool when so many seemingly random people get together and make wonderful music.” Smith said more musicians are welcome. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Plans call for an outdoor concert on Memorial Day and possibly more later in the summer at Reed Park.
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Two veterinarians have expressed their unease to me about House Bill 1533, which would make it illegal to declaw cats in Illinois and establishes fines for those who violate the law. Only New York and Maryland currently ban declawing, according to Springfield’s State Journal-Register. The Illinois bill passed through the House last Thursday, 67-38, and is now before the Senate. In addition to comments from vets, I’ve heard from one person who thinks it is barbaric to declaw cats and says the bill is a good idea. As in most things, there are opinions on both sides. What I do find very ironic is that if HB 1533 passes, people will have to cross state lines to get their cats declawed, since that practice is still legal in all neighboring states. At the same time, Illinois is advertising itself as the go-to state for women seeking abortions.
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The wife was wondering out loud why all the males in her house were excited about watching the NCAA college hoops tournament. So she sat down for four minutes, watched Furman pull off a thrilling upset of Virginia and said, “Well that was fun.” She hasn’t watched again but has left the TV to the hoops-heads in the house. … During sports seasons, it’s hard not to see a lot of commercials. Some are enjoyable, but now and then there’s one where the product is clearly flawed. Like those flip-phone cellphones. “No way that screen won’t crack,” I yell to anyone who will listen. Satisfyingly enough, the techs at our Verizon store confirmed that hunch. While they say the “second generation” is a good product, the first generation screen was not. How quickly did things go bad? “Usually a few months.” … Well, my Spidey Sense has been tingling ever since seeing LeBron drive a Hummer EV that can crab walk. Can that possibly work without huge problems? So far, Googling uncovers no problems (except for issues with the electric batteries and the $80,000 base price for those bad boys). A lack of recalls makes me smile, since you can’t help but like that little crab riding next to LeBron with a seat belt on. … Parting shot: For all the NCAA upsets, there’s too many familiar faces in the Sweet 16. Here’s hoping Alabama, UCLA, Texas, UConn and Gonzaga get waxed and an upstart takes it all. Just not Princeton.
Contact Jeff Lampe at (309) 231-6040 or email@example.com