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My Apologies...

It's been pointed out to me that one of my recent responses came across as harsh, as if I was trying to blame the fandom for the lack of sales on the DVDs. If so, I apologize. I didn't feel like I was blaming the fandom. I'm sorry if it came off that way. And I'm not saying I think Disney shouldn't have promoted the first two releases more. Of course, I think they should have. But I also can't lie and say they dropped a ball they NEVER intended to carry. I convinced Disney that there was a substantial built in audience for the DVDs. Perhaps I was wrong. I'm not trying to blame the fandom so much as get them to think in terms of more productive solutions. Just sitting around and blaming Disney isn't productive.

But again, if I came across as blaming the fandom, I truly apologize. That was never my intent.

gdw


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GARGOYLES COMIC UPDATE

Hey gang,

In an attempt to get back on a bi-monthly schedule, we've invited a few talented fill-in artists to take on a few issues of the comic.

Clan-Building #3 "Invitation Only" is being penciled by regular series penciler David Hedgecock, with colors by our new regular colorist Dustin Evans.

Clan-Building #4 "Masque" is being penciled by guest artist Nir Paniry. Colorist hasn't been decided yet.

Clan-Building #5 "Bash" is being penciled by fan favorite Karine Charlebois and colored by fan favorite Stephanie Lostimolo.

Clan-Building #6 "Reunion" is being penciled by Gordon Purcell. Colorist hasn't been decided yet.

Clan-Building #7 "The Rock" will be pencilled by David and colored by Dustin. I just finished scripting it, and I'm about to start work on #8.

ALL COVERS are by Greg Guler with colors by Steph.

Clan-Building is currently scheduled to last 12 issues total.

It's all very exciting. I've seen pencils and colors from #3 and pencils and inks of #4 and rough pages of #5. All looking very sweet.


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BUFFYVERSE - The final Top 40

BUFFYVERSE STATS

TOP 40 CHARACTER LIST:

Once AGAIN, I'm wasting my semi-valuable time (and hopefully yours) to bring you the FINAL update in my attempt to catalogue the most significant characters in the BUFFYVERSE. Previous CUMULATIVE updates covered the first, second and third years of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. After that, the task became more complicated as Buffy's fourth season aired simultaneously (day and date, literally) with the first season of Angel. So the Year Four update included Buffy S4 & Angel S1. Year Five added in Buffy S5 & Angel S2. Year Six, Buffy S6 & Angel S3. Year Seven brought in Buffy's final season S7 & Angel S4. And now, at last, the final season of Angel, S5, which is also (unfortunately) the final season of the televised Buffyverse.

As you may recall, I've tried to inform this subjective task with an objective formula. Still, I won't deny that subjectives have played a role. It's hard not to take extra notice of a character, whom you know is going to be important later. And numerical ties were broken based entirely on subjective criteria.

The idea behind a cumulative tally is to mimic the original experience of following the Buffyverse. It's a horse race. Some of the winners and losers are decidedly predictable. Others are a bit surprising - surprising enough that it's become absolutely clear that my system is flawed. I've since dreamed up a new system, but it's too late to implement it. Someday, LONG after I've finished this first survey (but ONLY if I prove truly insane), I might just start over and see what the results are with OBJECTIVE SYSTEM 2.0. But for now - assuming you haven't nodded off - you're stuck with System One.

I have a list of ALL the characters that have appeared in both series up to this point. It's so long (including everything from leads to ridiculously minor characters) that I haven't even bothered to count how many there are. But my list of MOST significant tops out at 273 characters.

But I think listing the top 40 is both pleasantly traditional… and plenty. Or largely. I just want to note a few characters introduced (or revisited) in this set of episodes, who will never make the top 40, but whom I believe are memorable enough to merit honorable mention.

Starting with…

[SPOILERS]

#272, 273 - Zach & Trish. The wife and son that Lindsey (and later Gunn) lived with while under a spell in a Wolfram & Hart prison Hell Dimension.

#261 - Blue Fairy. She only appeared in Angel's hallucination, but, hey, Blue Fairy makes Spike a real boy. Gotta love it.

#258 - The Immortal. Buffy's new (never truly seen) boyfriend in Rome. Gotta say, I HATE THE GUY easily as much as Angel and Spike do. That's impressive for a guy I never met.

#222 - Initiative Founder - In the WWII episode, the Initiative is ret-conned in… nicely.

#221 - Hamburger Loa. The fast food mascot CGI statue that Wesley consulted in a previous season that totally steered him the wrong way about Angel and the baby Connor makes a last flashback appearance here, which raises his significance enough to make the list. BUT… he represents a flaw, I think. The Loa seems to have lied to Wes in hindsight. WHY? Was he working for Jasmine?

#220 - Ilona Costa-Bianchi. Head of the Roman branch of W&H.

#214 - Matthias Bavane, the Reaper. The ghost haunting W&H, keeping it evil.

#210 - Rutherford Sirk. Wesley's last season introductory guide to W&H. This year he took Wesley's place for an episode (while Wesley was recovering from NOT killing his father) - but Sirk was secretly working for Lindsey.

#207 - Lawson - The only vampire that Angel ever sired AFTER he got his soul back. The guy had a bit of soul, and it tormented him. A neat idea.

#188 - Lawyer #1. Recurring comic relief Wolfram&Hart lawyer.

#178 - Leader of the Fell Brethren. Funny, evil demon cult leader and member of the Circle of the Black Thorn (was that the name?), who really was gaga over this baby he had purchased.

#173 - The Wrath. The demon/executioner that ripped Lindsey and later Gunn's heart out daily.

#161 - Numero Cinco. Retired luchador, bitter ex-hero and mailboy.

#160 - The Roger Wyndom-Price Robot. Wesley's dad, only not. Not sure why they didn't just make it Wes' dad.

#159 - Izzirial, or Izzy for short. Clichéd looking devil and member of the Circle. Also played racket ball with Angel.

#154 - Peepee Demon. Demon servant that Angel poisoned to kill Archduke Sebasis (because Sebasis fed off the servant's blood).

#138 - Senator Helen Brucker. Demon posing as a Senator with Vampire campaign workers. Member of the Circle. Just wish it had been someone (ANYONE) we had met before on Buffy or Angel.

#130 - Drogen the Keeper. The Batttlebrand. Angel's mystically honest buddy and sacrifical lamb. The friend he kills to get into the Circle.

#97 - Archduke Sebasis. Another nasty member of the Circle. The shame of Angel's ending with little warning for the creative staff - and the only real disappointment for me (beyond the fact that I'd be Whedon TV free without the series) - was that the Circle was made up of villains who were either largely unestablished or shoe-horned in at the last minute. Sebasis at least spanned the season, but I do wish they had culled the eleven (combined) years of Buffy and Angel to find more significant and memorable baddies to be part of the Circle. Of course, all the BIG BADS were dead, and most of the little bads too. But what about, say, D'Hoffryn? Hell, I'd have settled for Dracula even.

#95 - Nina Ashe. Angel's werewolf girlfriend. I liked her. I liked the idea that Angel could love someone without being in love. Take comfort. Sex without that perfect happy Angelus-inducing perfect moment.

#94 - Dr. Sparrow. The guy who made Gunn a lawyer… and kept him a lawyer (and Gilbert & Sullivan expert) at the expense of Fred's life.

#89- Cyvus Vale. Played by the always amazing Dennis Christopher, he was a wizard, who gave Connor his rebooted new life. Also a member of the Circle, who kills Wes before being killed by Illyria.

#57- Marcus Hamilton. After Eve betrays everyone (including W&H) to help Lindsey, Hamilton takes over as the new liason to the Senior Partners. Get's busted by Angel in the end.

#45- Eve. I was almost rooting for Eve to make the Top 40. She was a really fun character. The liason to the Senior Partners for Angel. Lindsey's main squeeze. She even slept with Angel and shrugged it off.

And before we start, a fond Top 40 farewell to Graham Miller (now at 42). Well, not really. I'm glad he fell out of the 40. It's shocking to me he lasted as long as he did.

AND NOW THE TOP 40
Abbreviations for previous rankings…
Y1 - Buffy Season 1.
Y2 - Buffy Season 2.
Y3 - Buffy Season 3.
Y4 - Buffy Season 4/Angel Season 1.
Y5 - Buffy Season 5/Angel Season 2.
Y6 - Buffy Season 6/Angel Season 3.
Y7 - Buffy Season 7/Angel Season 4
NR - Not Ranked that year.

#40 - Glory. Y7: 39. Y6: 34. Y5: 30. Y4: NR. Y3: NR. Y2: NR. Y1: NR. Year Five's big bad drops one more ranking but holds on to the Top 40, something that neither Adam nor the Master managed. (And Jasmine never cracked the Top 40.) It feels like Big Bads deserve to be here. But again, a system skewed toward screen time is gonna favor supporting characters over villains. But I'm still glad Glory hangs on.

#39 - Kennedy. Y7: 38. Y6: NR. Y5: NR. Y4: NR. Y3: NR. Y2: NR. Y1: NR. Kennedy, potential Slayer, eventual Co-Slayer and Willow's new main squeeze - or I should say squeezer - only drops one ranking. Of course, Kennedy is no Tara, but I think that was the point.

#38 - Maggie Walsh. Y7: 37. Y6: 31. Y5: 27. Y4: 18. Y3: NR. Y2: NR. Y1: NR. Maggie Walsh? Adam doesn't make it, but his creator Maggie hangs on, though she's dropped 1 last slot.

#37 - Illyria. Y7: NR. Y6: NR. Y5: NR. Y4: NR. Y3: NR. Y2: NR. Y1: NR. Illyria (named after a PLACE in TWELFTH NIGHT) enters the countdown at #37 with a bullet in less than half a season. Fred's transformation into what I thought for a second was going to be yet another Big Bad created from the Regular Cast, wound up being one of the most brilliant and affecting moment in eight years of watching the Buffyverse. WOW!!

#36 - Mayor Richard Wilkins III. Y7: 36. Y6: 33. Y5: 29. Y4: 19. Y3: 14. Y2: 40. Y1: NR. The Mayor maintains at 36. Gotta love the Mayor.

#35 - Ben. Y7: 35. Y6: 30. Y5: 26. Y4: NR. Y3: NR. Y2: NR. Y1: NR. Glory's alter ego holds his position. Again, like Maggie being ahead of Adam, there's really something wrong with Ben being ahead of Glory. My system was too much about screen time, not actual character significance or OOMPH.

#34 - Jenny Calendar. Y7: 34. Y6: 29. Y5: 25. Y4: 17. Y3: 13. Y2: 11. Y1: 15. Jenny also holds position. (Not a lot of movement possible in the Top 40 in a final season. Not enough episodes for a new character to pass some of the old faithful.) Says something about Jenny's original significance that a non-regular like her is holding on for so long. And of course she was pretty much the first character we ever saw as the First, way back in Y3.

#33 - The First. Y7: 32. Y6: 143. Y5: 120. Y4: 85. Y3: 52. Y2: NR. Y1: NR. The original evil drops one ranking. I was never satisfied with the First, especially in the Season Finale, but I can't deny that he/she/it belongs in the Top 40.

#32 - Warren Meers. Y7: 31. Y6: 36. Y5: 82. Y4: NR. Y3: NR. Y2: NR. Y1: NR. Warren, the most evil of the nerves, also falls one ranking.

#31 - Kate Lockley. Y7: 30. Y6: 27. Y5: 22. Y4: 23. Y3: NR. Y2: NR. Y1: NR. Angel's cop friend is gone and largely forgotten now… She falls one more ranking.

#30 - Daniel Holtz. Y7: 28. Y6: 25. Y5: NR. Y4: NR. Y3: NR. Y2: NR. Y1: NR. Captain Holtz, Angel's Century spanning arch-nemesis falls 2 rankings. His influence still very much felt.

#29 - Francis Doyle. Y7: 27. Y6: 23. Y5: 20. Y4: 15. Y3: NR. Y2: NR. Y1: NR. Doyle falls two ranks. He has an important video-taped cameo in Cordelia's final episode. Something pulled right from Season One. It was lovely.

#28 - Principal Robin Wood. Y7: 26. Y6: NR. Y5: NR. Y4: NR. Y3: NR. Y2: NR. Y1: NR. Robin Wood, son of Slayer and Spike-victim, Nikki Wood, falls two rankings. This is a character that I would have LOVED to have seen a spin-off built around. D.B. Woodside is great; Wood has no super-powers, just training. And I would like to know who Robin's dad was and what happened to him. And the fact that a Slayer could survive long enough to have a kid… Loved this idea.

#27 - Lindsey McDonald. Y7: 29. Y6: 26. Y5: 21. Y4: 29. Y3: NR. Y2: NR. Y1: NR. Lindsey makes an impressive comeback, jumping up two rankings. (Never completely understood why he STILL hates Angel so much.) Has a non-good death, which was very cool.

#26 - Jonathan Levinson. Y7: 25. Y6: 24. Y5: 33. Y4: 24. Y3: 17. Y2: 19. Y1: NR. Jonathan, another dead geek - but a beloved one - drops one ranking.

#25 - Principal Snyder. Y7: 23. Y6: 21. Y5: 18. Y4: 12. Y3: 9. Y2: 10. Y1: 12. Snyder falls two more rank, but holds on. Clichés, even fun ones, rule.

#24 - Andrew Wells. Y7: 24. Y6: 37. Y5: NR. Y4: NR. Y3: NR. Y2: NR. Y1: NR. Andrew, back with a couple of memorable Scooby Gang-Representing appearances, holds on to the #24 slot.

#23 - Darla. Y7: 21. Y6: 18. Y5: 19. Y4: 28. Y3: 23. Y2: 23. Y1: 11. Darla loses two rankings w/only a brief flashback appearance in this season. Love Darla.

#22 - Drusilla. Y7: 22. Y6: 19. Y5: 16. Y4: 16. Y3: 11. Y2: 8. Dru has a couple nice flashbacks and once again leapfrogs over Darla simply by maintaining her #22 ranking,.

#21 - Lilah Morgan. Y7: 20. Y6: 22. Y5: 31. Y4: 31. Y3: NR. Y2: NR. Y1: NR. Geez, you're dead for a year, and you drop out of the Top 20. Lilah falls one position.

#20 - Harmony Kendall. Y7: 33. Y6: 28. Y5: 23. Y4: 25. Y3: 20. Y2: 26. Y1: 18. Harmony, who becomes a regular (finally) halfway through the season, jumps up ELEVEN ranks to crack the Top 20 for the first time since Season Three of Buffy. Always nice to see a character who stayed in the hunt for ALL eight years of the Buffyverse.

#19 - Faith. Y7: 19. Y6: 20. Y5: 17. Y4: 13. Y3: 10. Y2: NR. Y1: NR. Faith maintains her position.

#18 - Connor. Y7: 18. Y6: 41. Y5: NR. Y4: NR. Y3: NR. Y2: NR. Y1: NR. So does Connor, who is SO much more fun to hang with this season in two great appearances.

#17 - Riley Finn. Y7: 17. Y6: 15. Y5: 12. Y4: 11. Y3: NR. Y2: NR. Y1: NR. Riley maintains.

#16 - Tara Maclay. Y7: 16. Y6: 13. Y5: 15. Y4: 20. Y3: NR. Y2: NR. Y1: NR. Tara maintains.

#15 - Joyce Summers. Y7: 14. Y6: 14. Y5: 11. Y4: 9. Y3: 8. Y2: 7. Y1: 7. Joyce falls one ranking to her lowest slot ever.

#14 - Daniel "Oz" Osbourne. Y7: 13. Y6: 12. Y5: 9. Y4: 7. Y3: 7. Y2: 12. Y1: NR. Oz falls one more ranking to his lowest point yet.

#13 - Lorne. Y7: 15. Y6: 17. Y5: 24. Y4: NR. Y3: NR. Y2: NR. Y1: NR. Lorne jumps another couple rankings in a brutal season for his character… probably the guy (next to Fred, who dies and becomes someone else) who goes through the biggest emotional change from the start of the season to the end.

#12 - Winifred "Fred" Burkle. Y7: 12. Y6: 16. Y5: 50. Y4: NR. Y3: NR. Y2: NR. Y1: NR. Fred holds her position, despite dying. In fact, if she hadn't died and ceded most (but not all) of her screen time to Illyria, she might have past Dawn.

#11 - Dawn Summers. Y7: 11. Y6: 11. Y5: 14. Y4: NR. Y3: NR. Y2: NR. Y1: NR. Dawn plateaus at 11. Just had too much padding to fall, despite zero screen time. Again, Fred's death protected her too.

#10 - Anya Kristina Emanuella Jenkins. Y7: 9. Y6: 9. Y5: 10. Y4: 14. Y3: 22. Y2: NR. Y1: NR. Anya drops a slot but stays in the Top 10.

#9 - Charles Gunn. Y7: 10. Y6: 10. Y5: 13. Y4: 37. Y3: NR. Y2: NR. Y1: NR. A powerful season arc pulls Gunn up a rung to 9, a personal best.

#8 - Wesley Wyndam-Price. Y7: 8. Y6: 8. Y5: 8. Y4: 10. Y3: 15. Y2: NR. Y1: NR. Wesley plateaus at #8. I know it must seem like everyone would plateau this high up, and from this point on they are…

#7 - Spike. Y7: 7. Y6: 7. Y5: 7. Y4: 8. Y3: 12. Y2: 9. Y1: NR. Spike doesn't quite have the juice to pass Giles.

#6 - Rupert Giles. Y7: 6. Y6: 5. Y5: 3. Y4: 3. Y3: 2. Y2: 2. Y1: 2. Giles maintains.

#5 - Willow Rosenberg. Y7: 5. Y6: 5. Y5: 6. Y4: 6. Y3: 4. Y2: 4. Y1: 4. Willow holds her Top 5 slot, but finishes behind both Cordelia and Xander, which surprises me. As she was a Big Bad. And as she really should be equal with Xander, it demonstrates another significant flaw in the system. But at least she's in the Top Five.

#4 - Cordelia Chase. Y7: 4. Y6: 4. Y5: 5. Y4: 4. Y3: 5. Y2: 5. Y1: 5. Cordy maintains. She has one of the best exit episodes EVER though. Frankly, Angel's last season is FULL of great exits.

#3 - Xander Harris. Y7: 3. Y6: 2. Y5: 2. Y4: 2. Y3: 3. Y2: 3. Y1: 3. Xander stays in the Top 3, which is right where he started eight years earlier. Making him - with the exception of the two series' leads, the MOST important character in the Buffyverse.

#2 - Angel. Y7: 2. Y6: 3. Y5: 4. Y4: 5. Y3: 6. Y2: 6. Y1: 6. Angel maintains. Buffy just was too far ahead for him to catch up, which is probably how it should be. Still, a fantastic last season for Angel.

#1 - Buffy Anne Summers. Y7: 1. Y6: 1. Y5: 1. Y4: 1. Y3: 1. Y2: 1. Y1: 1. Duh. It ain't called the Buffyverse for nothin'.


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Flip Books...

Our good friend Dennis Woodyard, one of the producer-directors on the second season of GARGOYLES, has a website I'd like to plug...

http://dragonflyent.blogspot.com/

Check out his cool flip books!


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FYI

Appropos of nothing, I thought you'd like to know that my current draft of the "Gargoyles Universe Timeline" is 272 pages long and runs from 9386 B.C.E. to March 22nd, 2198. (And I know about some stuff that happens both before and after that range, but not with precision as to the dates.)

272 pages!


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everything is connected...

So is Paris Geller (of GILMORE GIRLS) related to Monica and Ross Geller (of FRIENDS)? And if so, would she also be related to Rachel Green the mother of Ross' child? And is Rachel Green related to the late Mark Green (of E.R.)? I mean, it can't just be a coincidence that Mark's eldest daughter was also named Rachel Green, can it?


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Hyppolyta

It's not like I have copious amounts of free time. I really, really don't. But I do seem to have a near endless desire to procrastinate. So I wrote this. It's the START of something... stylized. Might someday use it in the comic or something. I dunno.

Anyway, it's called "Hyppolyta".

This was why she loved him. (She could use that word now, with herself at least, even if she had never said it aloud, had never said it to him -- let alone to friends and family or anyone else.) Not for the world-saving and the other heroics. That was why she admired him to no end. But she didn't love him for being a comic book character. She loved him, ironically, for being human.

It all started yesterday evening. After sundown. She had stopped by to see him before her shift began. He had wanted to go with her, to watch over her from above. But she didn't need protection nearly as much as he did right now. In fact, she didn't need protection period. He had growled at her in frustration, and she had more or less growled back.

She was in a bad mood all night, which didn't escape the notice of her partner. He took her sullen silence in stride, but as their shift ended he said, "Talk this out before your next tour. I don't need to suffer through another guy's silent treatment."

So she drove back to the skyscraper. Used her pass-key for the private elevator. She stomped up the steep stone circular steps and found him there. Staring out into what remained of the night.

She was ready to do battle. But he was quiet and reserved. He simply wanted to tell her a story…

He had been new to command, new to giving orders. The elders understood this and let him learn, let him make his mistakes, offering guidance privately. And his younger charges were impressed enough by his size and strength and office to follow him blindly. Then there was his… his newly named Second-in-Command. She had wanted this for him (and in hindsight probably for herself). So in those early days, she offered unconditional support to his authority.

But his peers… his brothers, his sisters…

He described one of these sisters, one of his many sisters. Tall, strong. Light brown skin, bald head and two sets of brow ridges that ran from just above her eyes to just behind her pointed ears. A warrior. She had never been one to listen much, even before he had been promoted. Now the situation had grown intolerable. If he said glide left, she'd glide right on her burnt-red wings, seemingly just to spite him. They had exchanged few words, just a growl here and there. Most of the actual heat was between this sister and his Second.

He could hear them fighting, almost every night.

"Where does this contempt stem from? You have never fought with him like this before."

"Before, he was simply my brother."

"Now, he is your leader."

"He has no more training than I do. He's never proven himself a more able warrior. Granted he's strong. But I'm not even sure he's that bright."

"He has discipline. Something you lack. And a vision for taking care of us all. Human and Gargoyle alike."

"Do you wish to share that vision with the rest of us?"

As he climbed the stairs, he knew it was time to fight his own battles. "Come with me," he said to his sister. "I will share it."

His voice startled them both. It was the one gift he knew he had at his command. His voice demanded respect, even if the words that came out of his mouth did not.

But she recovered quickly, and he saw the heat flash across her face. That spur-jerk reaction to defy him. But it passed. He had issued a challenge of a sort, and she was no coward.

She crossed before him to the battlements, her wings flaring off from her shoulders and right into his face. "I will come."

He bit down on his frustration and extended his own wings. She extended a wing-arm in mock courtesy, deigning to allow him to lead the way. He launched himself off the castle and heard her do the same. She didn't stay behind him for long, pulling abreast with a skeptical glance, waiting, he supposed, for her leader 'to share'.

He didn't speak. There was nothing he could say. They were the same age, nearly to the minute. She was a fine strong warrior. Fierce in battle. She was not unintelligent. And truth be told, he was no more convinced than she was that he had been the right choice to lead the Clan.

None of that was really the point.

He had been chosen. He trusted his predecessor, if not himself. And he would lead. He would find a way. Even with this sister...

To be continued... maybe... someday....


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A Memphis Reminder...

A Memphis Reminder...

This weekend I'll be at Con-Sequential in Memphis, TN.

I'm participating in panels on Gargoyles, writing comics and cartoons, strong female characters and self-promotion. I'm also doing two signings, and I'll have a table manned by staffers from the Gathering 2007.

For more info on Con-Sequential check out:

http://www.Con-Sequential.com/

Hope to see a few of you there, and if you make it please stop by and say hello!


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R.I.P. Edward Albert

R.I.P. Edward Albert.

Edward did a voice for us on a couple of episodes on Max Steel. I won't pretend I knew him well, but he was a good and talented guy on those two occasions. The son of Green Acres Eddie Albert, Edward was a talented actor and activist. He'll be missed.


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I'm POD-CASTING...

Believe it or not...

I'm pod-casting at http://www.catchdacraze.com/

Tried to listen to it myself, but couldn't make it work. But theoretically one of you might be able to manage it.

Can't hurt to try, right...



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