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» Inflation Run Wild?

Keith Glowka   


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Post #21

QUOTE(shewhoflutesincaves @ Aug 13 2017, 06:06 AM) *
It's a can of worms, isn't it... ohmy.gif

I honestly view flutes as a need rather than a want for me, because, to me, they are my Medicine, which means they are a very high priority in terms of spending... I don't drink, smoke, do drugs, buy fancy clothes, need fancy car or spend up on exhibitions or movies etc, and, since discovering the NAF, I've stopped spending anything much on crystals or even books, so I'm fairly cheap to run... biggrin.gif That means our family budget can allow for an occasional flute. I'm forever grateful that we do have sufficient income to cover our basic needs and even simple comforts.

If I find a flute that I'd like but which lies outside of my economic reality, I need to either be patient or just let go of that desire. I can't begrudge other people being able to enjoy that same flute, though... I'd wish that I was the happy owner, yes ( rolleyes.gif), but I'd be excited for them just the same, and then ask the Universe to be more accommodating another day. Sometimes, unexpectedly, it is! biggrin.gif

I know I actually was quick to jump into the "OMG" response earlier re the difference in flute prices, but I'm slapping my own wrists, because comments here have caused me to think upon this more carefully.... I don't think we can too readily assume that everyone who has an expensive flute to sell is wealthy. They may have been in the right place at the right time, or made canny judgements, or just be people who can no longer physically enjoy their fancy/rare flutes... Selling them at prices that are achievable allows them to accommodate other needs...

I truly would love to see all people able to buy the flutes they want, but, for some, finances are so dire that any flute will be out of reach, until absolute needs are covered. That is a really sad thought, but it is a reality for many. Short of sharing our incomes, or offering up our own flutes as gifts, I don't think it is within our power to make that happen for people.

This really is a confusing topic, because I honestly can't see that keeping flutes to a 'realistic' or 'fair' price will accommodate everyone's needs... A lot of people have lots and lots of flutes... I personally was planning on stopping short of 5, let alone the baker's dozen I have left after gifting two... Some people have many, many more. I guess if those people are serious enough about owning a very expensive flute, some would have the real option of selling off some less rare, special, or affordable items and pooling all the funds to buy one really fancy beast biggrin.gif Granted, not all are in that position..... mellow.gif ❤️


Very well said, Linnie.

As a flute maker, I know many other makers. I have never met one that didn't give away lots of flutes. The spirit of the potlatch runs deep in this community!

Actually, Rick's admirable goal of putting quality flutes in the hands of those who can't afford them can be fairly accomplished through a charitable organization. It takes effort on the part of those who run the organization, but it eliminates the oppression of a "system" that sets what it chooses to be "fair" compensation for a maker or seller's wares. We all know the economic term for such a system. Charity has been around far longer than systems that redistribute wealth, and it has a far better track record of success!

This post has been edited by Keith Glowka: Aug 13 2017, 04:51 AM


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Rick McDaniel   


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Post #22

I am NOT advocating any price controls at all. The attitudes of people make them read into statements, things that were NEVER said, in today's world. What I said was, it makes NO SENSE to contribute to price gouging by those who obviously are doing that, by playing that game.

Get real people. Seriously. It seems there is little to be gained, in being sensible, in today's world.


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Keith Glowka   


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Post #23

QUOTE(Rick McDaniel @ Aug 13 2017, 07:54 AM) *
I am NOT advocating any price controls at all. The attitudes of people make them read into statements, things that were NEVER said, in today's world. What I said was, it makes NO SENSE to contribute to price gouging by those who obviously are doing that, by playing that game.

Get real people. Seriously. It seems there is little to be gained, in being sensible, in today's world.



QUOTE(Rick McDaniel @ Aug 12 2017, 07:10 AM) *
What we should be advocating, is a system that puts folk instruments into the hands of as many players as possible, while providing fair compensation to maker / sellers, for what they make.

And I agree, as long as that "system" is voluntary and the "fair compensation" is determined by agreement between buyer and seller. That system already exists. A high price is not gouging for items of high value, and MGA flutes have entered that realm.


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Footmandog   


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Post #24

QUOTE(Rick McDaniel @ Aug 12 2017, 06:10 AM) *
What we should be advocating, is a system that puts folk instruments into the hands of as many players as possible, while providing fair compensation to maker / sellers, for what they make.

I read that as a call for price control. Apologies Rick if that's not what you meant.


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Rick McDaniel   


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Post #25

Let's be realistic. If everyone decided to mark their flutes at $1500. per flute, we would simply not have a flute community at all. There might be a few people who would buy at that price, but darn few. All I was saying, is that if you play advocate for gouging, you are encouraging that behavior, and it will result in negative impact on the flute community. You might not see it that way, but human behavior is quite predictable.

We already have, a wide range of pricing within the community, which includes those who sell at very moderate prices, and those who sell at relatively high prices. The type of product you get, is not always relative to the price paid, either. That is a normal marketplace, where you have lots of options, and you need to acquire the knowledge to know what you are going to be paying for, and how that equates to value for you, the individual. Competition will provide some control over the high end, and quality demands will have some control over the low end, and there will be some great values, and some not so great values, among the mix. The individual must decide for themselves, what is a good value. Even then, some products may not fit within the individual's ability to pay, while some do not offer the quality that is sought. Those are the trade offs.

New people enter the market all the time, and unfortunately some are lost, due to aging, loss of interest, personal issues, etc. The mix of makers remains in constant flux. That is a normal market, also, in spite of the fact, no one likes to lose a favorite maker, especially since it is no small task to acquaint yourself with new makers.

The after market, however, is another animal altogether. That is based on reputation (not always reliable), demand, speculation, and market control. This is where most gouging takes place. You can support that concept, or not, as you wish, but I think there have to be limits to that market, or the market will begin to impact the "normal" market, in ways that are not related to the normal business model. That will impact the entire community, in a more negative way, in my view. I do not support those who I perceive to be gouging buyers, in the prices they ask. That doesn't mean I don't support the maker setting his own prices, on his own business model, whether that makes sense in terms of the marketplace or not. That doesn't even mean I don't support some premium for after market sales for those who acquire items in after market demand. It simply means there needs to be some sensibility in the after market, as well as the normal market.

You see...........in the after market, prices don't just go UP.............they also go DOWN. It is pure speculation, as to which way it will go. I have already seen some go down, as well as seeing some go up. Some only go up, because they are antiquities, to be preserved, and not to be played, at all.

So, no..........I don't believe that overpricing is a good thing, because one of the things that happens, is it actually devalues the same goods, not currently in the marketplace, as well as appreciating the same goods, not in the marketplace. Stability in markets, is very important in the after market, to maintain a viable market, without extreme changes in market values. Obviously, the "normal" market also impacts on the after market, as well, in that value to the individual buyer, is impacted by current normal market prices, for similar goods, and "used" goods, like most things, tend to lose value, from a variety of factors, like wear and tear, obsolescence, etc. Only those goods that remain in high demand, increase in value, and that is quite unpredictable.

For myself, I have never invested in less than excellent quality, once I learned how to discern what was excellent, and what wasn't. (I think we all make a few mistakes in the early stages of being a flutie.) On the other hand, I also have budgetary limits on what I can afford to buy, so most of my flutes are the best I could acquire, on my limited budget. Some of those were in the after market, and a lot of them were not, irregardless of the price. Some I actually paid more for, than was asked, because I felt the maker deserved more than he was asking, for what he made. I also have a few that were gifts, and in most of those, at least, I gifted something of value, in return, because I have always tried to give fair value for things gifted to me, as I feel I should earn what I have.

Perhaps that makes me different from a lot of people. I don't really know, but I'm sure it won't be that different from a lot of other people.

It doesn't however, change my view on how markets should work, as that is pretty much standard theory. As I have suggested, in the past, buying in the after market is basically a gamble. Is the item really superior, or special enough, to justify buying it, over a new item from the normal market, when the new item is actually less costly? That's an individual decision, but I think you should never buy in the after market, at a premium, without the right of return for refund. Or, simply refuse to buy without an audition. Paying more in the aftermarket than you could buy for, in the normal market, for a comparable item, is simply wasteful. I don't know many people who will admit to being wasteful. Of course, that assumes you are buying as a player, who intends to play, and not as a speculator, yourself.

This post has been edited by Rick McDaniel: Aug 13 2017, 10:40 AM


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Keith Glowka   


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Post #26

QUOTE(Rick McDaniel @ Aug 13 2017, 07:54 AM) *
I am NOT advocating any price controls at all.




QUOTE(Rick McDaniel @ Aug 13 2017, 01:33 PM) *
You can support that concept, or not, as you wish, but I think there have to be limits to that market, or the market will begin to impact the "normal" market, in ways that are not related to the normal business model.


Since price controls are limits, I'm not sure what you mean, Rick. Not trying to be confrontational here; just trying to understand which/what you're saying.

Setting "limits to that market" sounds like price control. I can understand advocating for folks to set personal limits on their purchases, a form of boycott. Although I rarely participate in boycotts, they are perfectly legit in a free market system as long as they are voluntary. One of the finest examples of a free market boycott was that on English tea by the American Colonists...as American as apple pie! 🇺🇸🍎🍰

Are you advocating a boycott of any flute that a buyer senses is overpriced?...and does the individual buyer get to determine what is overpriced?...and wouldn't that determination likely preclude them from buying that flute in the first place? 🤔

This post has been edited by Keith Glowka: Aug 13 2017, 12:49 PM


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shewhoflutesinca...   


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Post #27

QUOTE(Rick McDaniel @ Aug 13 2017, 10:33 AM) *
For myself, I have never invested in less than excellent quality, once I learned how to discern what was excellent, and what wasn't. (I think we all make a few mistakes in the early stages of being a flutie.) On the other hand, I also have budgetary limits on what I can afford to buy, so most of my flutes are the best I could acquire, on my limited budget. Some of those were in the after market, and a lot of them were not, irregardless of the price. Some I actually paid more for, than was asked, because I felt the maker deserved more than he was asking, for what he made. I also have a few that were gifts, and in most of those, at least, I gifted something of value, in return, because I have always tried to give fair value for things gifted to me, as I feel I should earn what I have.

Perhaps that makes me different from a lot of people. I don't really know, but I'm sure it won't be that different from a lot of other people.

It doesn't however, change my view on how markets should work, as that is pretty much standard theory. As I have suggested, in the past, buying in the after market is basically a gamble. Is the item really superior, or special enough, to justify buying it, over a new item from the normal market, when the new item is actually less costly? That's an individual decision, but I think you should never buy in the after market, at a premium, without the right of return for refund. Or, simply refuse to buy without an audition. Paying more in the aftermarket than you could buy for, in the normal market, for a comparable item, is simply wasteful. I don't know many people who will admit to being wasteful. Of course, that assumes you are buying as a player, who intends to play, and not as a speculator, yourself.

Rick, I don't think that makes you very different from many of us at all. I too was a little confused by what you were actually trying to say, and thank you for clarifying...

Like you, I try to get the best value for my dollar, as $$ are not in endless supply in my household, either. I can't imagine there are any who wouldn't take that approach, as no-one, even the more well-heeled, is likely to actively throw money away.

I have a variety of flutes. Some I have paid more for to help out a friend (the seller, rather than the maker who is no longer alive), or because I knew no better, or because it was the regular asking price but the flute's voice and aesthetic didn't actually warrant that amount. When I went really, really cheap, I got exactly what I paid for.

For me, I am grateful to the portal folks who pointed me to Kuz, as, without a doubt, his flutes suit me well and his flutes are the best value for a well-tuned and playable flute. Hawk is also someone I'm very grateful to have heard about. His flutes are more highly priced, yes, but still worth every cent, as there is more physical labour and time involved in them. I love all my Kuz and Hawk flutes, and know they were made with love, to boot.

I think where confusion lies is that you are talking about both gouging and about the injustice that poor people suffer in their inability to enjoy flutes. Sadly that lack of joy is not restricted to just doing without flutes, but food, shelter, health, respect, and so much more.

I think the Kuz types in the world do damage to your argument that the gouging occurring in respect to the top, top end rare flutes will elevate the price of your everyday (and by that i simply mean more affordable, not any less worthy!) flute, which is where most people start, after all. Kuz's passion is to get flutes into the hands of as many people as possible. Rich Dube has the same aspiration. I'm convinced that many flute-makers do, and I'd be unsurprised to find that it is their calling, truly. I simply don't believe that these people will ever up the price of their flutes out of the reach of the many, just to satisfy the desires of the few.

What started this conversation was a very special, high end, limited edition flute that someone asked a good deal of money for. Once researched, we found that the asking price wasn't so unreasonable given the flute's quality and and rarity. I can't afford it, because it's a lot of money to come up with from a budget that doesn't cater to that market, and even though it's beautiful i'm not a collector, and I don't feel a yearning from deep in my soul to adopt it. Someone will, and that someone may not have all the money in the world available to them, but they will do everything in their power to find the money in that instance.

That is precisely what I had to do to finance Hawk LJ's beautiful flute. As I noted, I ended up getting it for a bargain compared to the seller's initial asking price, which is why I could even attempt to pull enough money together to claim it. In the case of the Om price, shortly after Stephen had passed, I simply gave up, very quickly, because the reality was that there was no way I could ever buy that flute at that asking price. End of story.

The Hawk LJ's flute, though, I'd seen, held, played, and heard it's voice, and it wasn't so far out of my reality that I couldn't aim high and do my best, so it was worth the hardship of stretching my finances to accommodate it. Not everyone can manage that, no matter their desire, and I am sad for them, but that does not equate to those people not ever being able to buy themselves a more accessible flute.

To me, gouging really is only gross greed in over-pricing something. If those asking prices have been paid before, and the item is extremely limited in its availability, and it's reasonable to assume that the next person selling one would ask a similar amount, one could be altruistic, and offer it up for less, but it would still be a relatively well-to-do person who could afford it, and not someone defined as impoverished. It would therefore be a generosity that meant missing out on another flute oneself to aid someone who also has ready cash enough to buy that rare flute, albeit at a somewhat reduced price. That would be kind of silly as the generosity isn't really directed to where it is more authentically needed, and would be poor business practice if one was interested in that side of things... and the reality is that flutes are almost an addiction for some people on this forum, and I include myself in that!

I don't like equating the $$s that are spent on flutes with business, though, as, like I said, to me flutes are my Medicine, and I cherish them, so it doesn't come anywhere close to 'business' decisions that drive me.

I think we'll have to agree to disagree on this. It's clear that you are very passionate about this, and I respect you for that concern for your fellow human beings, Rick. Being a flute-lover, please believe that I also sympathise with anyone who hankers after a flute but simply can't afford to adopt it. It's happened to me, and will happen again, I'm sure. But I don't believe that even the astronomical cost of a handful of high-end flutes can be held responsible for those with very limited incomes not being able to afford a flute by makers determined to get a flute in everyone's hands.

This post has been edited by shewhoflutesincaves: Aug 13 2017, 09:42 PM


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Rick McDaniel   


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Post #28

I am also done with this topic, as the attitude that anyone should be able to ask any price, for what they sell, no matter what, is obviously a foolish notion, and that is all the original post was about, in the first place. I have clarified, as much as anyone can, and those who don't get it, simply don't get it.


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Post #29

This has made for interesting reading (thanks, Lisabeth). To circle back around, the flute in question is one that Michael no longer makes, although he is still making flutes. I'm not sure he would make the birdheads again, so for that specific flute, and the collectible/rarity issue, it may be warranted. If the seller scored a killer deal in the acquisition then they have the right to make the profit. I think Lisabeth and I are caught an irrational and emotional conundrum of wanting the buyer who scored the deal to have really wanted the flute and enjoyed it for what it was rather than looking at it simply as a commodity upon which to make a profit (I'm guessing, I don't mean to speak for Lisabeth). Perhaps that was the case. But the reality is that with anything of value acquisition for resale will happen.

The irony here is that Michael gifts many flutes as well. I purchased a couple of flutes from him at Musical Echoes this year. Aside from being great flutes, I was more than happy to support him directly. What isn't so good, is that I've noticed in many of the listings for MGA flutes the sellers incorrectly state that MGA is no longer making flutes. The description in the bird head flute doesn't say this but I have seen a number of listing that do. Whether this is intentional or just misinformation, it is incorrect. If the seller is stating this intentionally in order to create a "rarity factor" then this is deceptive and wrong. Aside from potentially driving up prices, the misinformation may prevent people from contacting Michael to acquire a flute, which hurts the artist. To me, that is a real harm. If it is just a misunderstanding on the part of the seller, then that is another thing, and underscores the reason why research is prudent.

Interesting topic to be sure. Stephen.


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Keith Glowka   


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Post #30

QUOTE(Rick McDaniel @ Aug 14 2017, 07:27 AM) *
I am also done with this topic, as the attitude that anyone should be able to ask any price, for what they sell, no matter what, is obviously a foolish notion, and that is all the original post was about, in the first place. I have clarified, as much as anyone can, and those who don't get it, simply don't get it.


We were just seeking clarity in what you said, Rick. People are able to "ask any price for what they sell, no matter what." And if they "should" not be able to, how is that to be enforced? On non-essential items, pricing to what consumers will pay is an integral part of a free market system. That is a sincerely held belief of many here and not some "foolish notion."

This post has been edited by Keith Glowka: Aug 14 2017, 04:56 AM


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shewhoflutesinca...   


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Post #31

QUOTE(Northern Lights @ Aug 14 2017, 04:44 AM) *
This has made for interesting reading (thanks, Lisabeth). To circle back around, the flute in question is one that Michael no longer makes, although he is still making flutes. I'm not sure he would make the birdheads again, so for that specific flute, and the collectible/rarity issue, it may be warranted. If the seller scored a killer deal in the acquisition then they have the right to make the profit. I think Lisabeth and I are caught an irrational and emotional conundrum of wanting the buyer who scored the deal to have really wanted the flute and enjoyed it for what it was rather than looking at it simply as a commodity upon which to make a profit (I'm guessing, I don't mean to speak for Lisabeth). Perhaps that was the case. But the reality is that with anything of value acquisition for resale will happen.

The irony here is that Michael gifts many flutes as well. I purchased a couple of flutes from him at Musical Echoes this year. Aside from being great flutes, I was more than happy to support him directly. What isn't so good, is that I've noticed in many of the listings for MGA flutes the sellers incorrectly state that MGA is no longer making flutes. The description in the bird head flute doesn't say this but I have seen a number of listing that do. Whether this is intentional or just misinformation, it is incorrect. If the seller is stating this intentionally in order to create a "rarity factor" then this is deceptive and wrong. Aside from potentially driving up prices, the misinformation may prevent people from contacting Michael to acquire a flute, which hurts the artist. To me, that is a real harm. If it is just a misunderstanding on the part of the seller, then that is another thing, and underscores the reason why research is prudent.

Interesting topic to be sure. Stephen.
That was the original question as I saw it... Our thoughts on that specific flute and its pricing biggrin.gif And mine wavered, I confess. smile.gif

Irrational and emotional conundrums happen when people are passionate about things... Flutes are definitely things that we can become passionate about, huh?! biggrin.gif

I'm with you in hoping that the people who do manage to 'land' amazing flute treasures will cherish them, rather than viewing them as a commodity. The latter instance would be really sad, but I guess that even in that scenario, the flute eventually will reach someone who loves it! That really is not good if people do try to up the price of their sell items by suggesting unsubstantiated 'rareness' regarding providence, or rarity etc though! Hmmm... ohmy.gif blink.gif smile.gif


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Post #32

QUOTE(Keith Glowka @ Aug 14 2017, 05:48 AM) *
We were just seeking clarity in what you said, Rick. People are able to "ask any price for what they sell, no matter what." And if they "should" not be able to, how is that to be enforced? On non-essential items, pricing to what consumers will pay is an integral part of a free market system. That is a sincerely held belief of many here and not some "foolish notion."


I think I understand where Rick is coming from, and I can't deny that I've experienced some disgust at the flagrant greed that manifests from time to time on ebay. However, as others have mentioned, flutes are not necessities of life but total luxury items. No one is going to be harmed by not being able to buy a flute, and for those who desperately want to play a flute and have no money, there is no shortage of info on how to make one for oneself.

I personally think that people should be able to sell instruments for as much money as they want (even if I think them to be greedy). They can buy a flute from me for $300 and freely sell it on ebay for $10,000. I support that freedom, even if it makes me cringe. If they can find someone to pay that, so be it. Buyers do have the option to ignore them, and I also have the option to raise my prices. That freedom is important to me, and I definitely believe in extending those same freedoms to everyone. And while I don't really want to see some gullible person pay $10,000 for one of my flutes, I do think that they should have the freedom to do so. After all, in this day and age it takes minutes to determine if a flute is actually worth that. A Google search will likely find the maker themselves or at least someplace like the Flute Portal where a potential buyer can learn something (such as whether my flutes normally go for $10,000!).

Fortunately, there are plenty of makers doing excellent work at reasonable prices so no one is left out in the cold. For myself, I'm stockpiling a lot of my flutes for the near future when I fake my death and then sell them at a huge profit on ebay using a false name. tongue.gif


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Keith Glowka   


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Post #33

QUOTE(Geoffrey @ Aug 14 2017, 10:38 AM) *
For myself, I'm stockpiling a lot of my flutes for the near future when I fake my death and then sell them at a huge profit on ebay using a false name. tongue.gif

😆😆😆 Hey, I'll manage that faux estate sale for you, Geoffrey...for a modest fee, of course! 😎

This post has been edited by Keith Glowka: Aug 14 2017, 08:11 AM


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Post #34

QUOTE(Keith Glowka @ Aug 14 2017, 09:10 AM) *
😆😆😆 Hey, I'll manage that faux estate sale for you, Geoffrey...for a modest fee, of course! 😎


Done! I'll send over the paperwork...


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Post #35

QUOTE(Geoffrey @ Aug 14 2017, 07:38 AM) *
For myself, I'm stockpiling a lot of my flutes for the near future when I fake my death and then sell them at a huge profit on ebay using a false name. tongue.gif

I assume Portalites will get an advance copy of that inventory list ... right?
I mean, Keith WILL offer us an exclusive "pre-auction" before his estate sale goes public, right????


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Keith Glowka   


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Post #36

Why wait? Let's get this started. Any takers?

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Northern Lights   


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Post #37

QUOTE(Keith Glowka @ Aug 14 2017, 02:01 PM) *
Why wait? Let's get this started. Any takers?


Okay, this is funny.


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Post #38

Good one Keith!! smile.gif


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Geoffrey   


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Post #39

That...was...awesome.

One of my finest pieces, as well. Good choice!


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tootieflutie58   


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Post #40

If he made a green one like that with a cat on it before he croaked, call me! tongue.gif

ETA: (Before Geoffrey croaked - not the cat)! laugh.gif Save

This post has been edited by tootieflutie58: Aug 14 2017, 05:23 PM


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Lo-Fi Version Time is now: 20th August 2017 - 06:42 PM