I can't remember when I first posted here. I know it had to be after 9/11. Probably a couple years after that.
The one loss that hit me hard was when Sheepy left us.
I'm like you in that there are a few people we don't see anymore that I miss.
I donated before, when I was working and, today I would donate again if I could: I am recently retired with no retirement funds (had more than 10 years of government enforced vacation that took me out of the work farce for those years.) As a prospective vagrant, I have only what the government will donate to me to pay almost all of my rent. Food... well, I can stand at highway exit ramps with my hand out and limp like I'm a war vet. Maybe an eye patch? I thought of selling a pint of blood every month but with the old-age chemicals I must take every day, my blood is classified toxic by the Canadian Red Cross.
I do have a car that I can't afford to put gas in and, later this year, I will have to pull the license tag off due to lack of renewal funds. I have a sailboat that has summer slip fees paid for in advance (when I anticipated the retirement money dry-up.) After that, I'm afraid I will have to let the yacht people try to sell it or haul it off to the junkyard. It's $500 to haul it off but I'm going to laugh when they try to get that from me.
Since I hit the streets, things have gone from the haters yelling obscentities at us, to the government scrounging around for anything that it can find to invade not only our individual rights and privacy, but everyone else's too.
If I may quote: We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America. That was the thought, at least. A nice start but, today, it's been such a slow death to the concept that people haven't even noticed.
The one GOOD thing that has gotten better is communication throughout the masses. Us included. GC being case in point. VoA being another. My two internet homes. Then there's the MeTube and P2P sharing. Oh, and encryption. Poor NSA suddenly met super-mathematics and now relies on the unenlightened, unknowing apprentice-criminals failing to lock their data in impregnable digital vaults.
Government accountability has actually gone sideways a bit but in a good way. While government self-oversight has twisted into a Gordian Knot, public scrutiny has discovered just how powerful that little cellphone can be. And, of course, the MeTube validates that.
The one immutable, unchanging, gift of life? Pretty little girls are still pretty. (I've never seen a little girl that wasn't. I don't believe they exist otherwise.)
Will it ever get to where we (who regularly post here) will be acceptable members of Clan Earthlings?