A Baboon By Any Other Name

A blog with a name like “Trail Baboon” that is headed by a photo of a trail must also feature a baboon.

You may have noticed the occasional appearance of a curious face in the banner across the top of this blog.   Sometimes there.  Sometimes not.  This, it seems to me, is natural and right.  A real baboon would not just sit there.

The name “Trail Baboon” comes from the name of my earlier blog, “Trial Balloon”, which I was not able to bring with me to this new environment.  (I consider “Tribal Loon” to be a better pun, but a baboon is a more friendly and engaging character, I think.   Loons tend to be regal and a bit remote.  And those red eyes!)

One of the first things the reading community did with “Trial Balloon” was to come up with a name for a computer that plays music.  Now there is a move afoot to name the baboon.

History repeats.

I feel compelled to point out that a group of baboons is sometimes referred to as a “congress”. In congress, whether they are baboonish or otherwise, they vote. And so we will do the same, to name our baboon.

Everyone gets to vote once, so choose with care.

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129 thoughts on “A Baboon By Any Other Name”

  1. Congress is a wonderful coincidence, Dale, Thanks for pointing it out.
    Okay, all, Rhonda is the sentimental favorite, back from Garrison’s days in the morning time slot when he played “Help me, Rhonda” so often and it got voted into very near the top on a top 40 classical music favorites.
    Will, if work is dull, gather up the haiku inot one place.
    Good morning, barb.

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  2. It was a hard choice to make, I ended up liking them all. Well, maybe not Babs so much, they might start calling me Babs, the baboon.
    Good morning, everyone.

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  3. It is queer, but when making what should be a whimsical choice, I find myself getting all serious. In point of fact, I’ve spent much of my life struggling with issues related to the split between high and low culture. As a small kid, I used to conduct fierce debates in my head, arguing that “low” culture deserved respect. Later, when my father and so many of his generation jeered at Elvis, I realized that Elvis represented something far bigger than a passing fad, and I envisioned a time when there would be a hall of fame to celebrate people like Buddy Holly. Much later, when Time magazine greeted the arrival of “Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” with a cover story, I foolishly thought the conflict of high and low culture was finally over.

    Alas, no. When classical music fans wanted Garrison fired because he played cowboy records, I knew the old split still generated emotions. So I was hardly surprised when MPR tried to axe The Morning Show and blue-haired ladies from Edina were shocked by the MPR deejay who played earthy Bonnie Raitt songs.

    I have fierce historical context, I’m saying, about this split. I’m prepared to march into battle again to the rhythm of “Help Me Rhonda.” Anyone who wants to say Beethoven was a “better” musician than BB King had better be prepared for a fight. And I have the help of a baboon named Rhonda on my side. Rhonda it is and must be.

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    1. My freshman year in college, when the whole world of all of the arts was exploding before me for the first time, we had to read an essay on high brow, middle brow, and low brow by some well known thinker/writer. The basic point of the ssay was just don’t be middle brow. I thought it was pretensious in 1963, but it sure has hung in my mind.

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      1. Someone must remember what Peter Schickele aka PDQ Bach used to (maybe still does) say about music…? Help…it was something along the lines of any music is good music…anyone?

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      2. cynthia in mahtowa – he used to say “All musics are created equal.” I’m not sure if that’s the quote you’re looking for, but it’s one I remember. I used to love listening to his show on MPR “Schickele Mix.” Thanks for reminding me about him. I’ll have to see if any of his stuff made it to podcast :)

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    2. I agree with your thinking, Steve and will vote for Rhonda as the name to use. I could have been influenced to vote for one of the other names, but didn’t get any “under the table” offers for my vote.

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    3. Steve, I agree with your thinking and having not receiveved any “under the table” offers to vote for another name, I will cast my vote for Rhonda as the name to use.

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  4. That is a good list of names. Since I only get one vote, I’m going to wait a little to cast mine and take time to carefully consider my choice. Voting requires one to be well informed, right? Also, there is always the possibility of some how getting a pay off for voting the “right” way. Well, I probably shouldn’t expect any reward for casting my vote a certain way here, right?

    Good molrning to all.

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      1. I don’t know….but I might change my mind anyway. I had Help Me Rhonda running continually through my mind while walking to work.

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  5. Greetings! I was hoping for one of the more exotic names (I have a penchant for those) to be on list, but these are good. I have an early and full workday — catch you all later.

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  6. Thanks for the poll Dale! I know I’m mixing habitats here, but now and then I’d be delighted to spot a goat peering out from the trail along with our friendly soon to he named baboon. A cheerful lurker, as it were, tidying up the errant greenery. Thanks to Barb in Blackhoof for the sharing her brood with us (the shot of the goatmobile travel is classic)!

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  7. Morning all! Any name is OK with me – I enjoy the process though. I’m also enjoying my first morning of summer vacation. At least that’s what it feels like to me – no dragging the teenager out of bed for three months. Aaahhhh, sweet summer.

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    1. Darling Daughter was also able to sleep in today – though why the garbage trucks decided to come through early today (and wake her up at 6 am – waking me up at 6 am…thankfully we were both able to go back to sleep) I don’t know. Never mind the airplanes and the birds…noisy morning in our corner of S. Mpls.

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  8. So, how does polldaddy know if you’ve already voted? and what if there are 2 legitimate votes at one email address?

    I’m with Ben and cannot click the update box-when I logged on this morning, I thought you guys had been playing blog poker all night!

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  9. Okay, if we only get one vote, how is this managed? Is it an honor system or will there be a way that the voting “machine” can check to make sure every one gets only one vote. I hope there will not be any voting fraud. Oh, this is just for fun, but will it be good clean fun?

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      1. The way it usually works (on other sites) is that the site places a cookie on your hard drive when you vote. Then if you come back for seconds, the voting site sniffs for the presence of a cookie.

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  10. Okay, but I think Nancy should be the middle name… congress reference and all…LOL!

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  11. Catherine, we seem to be thing along the same lines. I entered my last comment berfore I saw yours.

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    1. Also, I seem to be having my usual trouble with typing. I intended to type thinking not thing in the reply.

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    2. Yes, but I really liked your point about-all in good fun, but let’s be sure it is good, clean fun.

      I’ll have the son and heir vote and see what happens.

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  12. Such a well-mannered program this is-the response we got was, “Thank you, we have already counted your vote”. Which is NOT strictly speaking true, but there it is.

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    1. Okay, thanks Catherine for testing how the “voting machine” works and finding out about it’s well mannered response to any attempt at voter fraud.

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  13. this morning during milking i listened to KUMD; suddenly i heard a familiar song and had such a pang of sorrow – the Margaret song (“come let us go to the ocean, i think, and Dear Margaret….”) anyway, there i am crying and milking. no tears in the milk, but lots on my glasses.
    busy day – so i’m off. you kids have fun
    thanks for the kind words, Catherine, about Steve’s blog

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    1. Ah, Barb, the Dutchman by michael smith…indeed, tears anytime….but especially now. At least you can get KUMD in your barn…I can too…had to leave RH in the house when I went to do chores…very sad.

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  14. Steve made a comment about all of the wonderful public radio access up there, but that was when Dale was on MPR. I miss KUMD.

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      1. Duh, never thought of that. My son had a blues program on KUMD when he was in HS.

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  15. I went to the Animal Fair
    The birds and the beasts were there
    The old baboon by the light of the moon was coming her auburn hair

    The monkey he got drunk
    And stepped on the elephant’s trunk
    The elephant sneezed and fell to his knees
    But what be came of the monk, the monk? What became of the monk?

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    1. Hiya, Beth-Ann My parents made a difficult decision to leave Iowa, where they’d lived their whole lives, and start up a new business in Minnesota. Dad was a stuffed toy animal designer. The name they chose for the new toy factory was Animal Fair, based of course on this old song (usually sung in rounds).

      Alas, the monkey he did got drunk, but not before my folks had made enough money to retire comfortably.

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      1. I think I had Animal Fair animals when I was a kid…though I may be remembering a logo from something else.

        Loved the Animal Fair song – and had kinda forgotten it. Will have to teach it to Daughter (every kid needs a good repertoire of monkey-related songs).

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  16. Can I put on my red “I Voted” sticker today? Will I get odd stares (more than usual anyway)?

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  17. I like the name Rhonda, too – but I think the name Blevins is a bridge. It can be helpful to bring something from the past as a type of transition to the future. It is neither high brow nor low brow – it’s a good memory, its funny and most important, it starts with “B”. Blevins the Baboon. It could be the first line in a haiku – poetry for our own graduation into a new blog.

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  18. I propose an amendment ot he motion: REhonda Blevins. I know, out of order.
    I like Blevins for the same reason.

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  19. I’m not sure where Bruneau came from, and I may be totally off on the name, but it seemed to me a more “frenchified” version of a French name. Bruno is a name people name their children in France (well, ok, not very many of them), while the “eau” also makes the long “o” sound in French. And “brun” means brown, so I figured it was a version of Brownie. Perhaps only in my mind, but it sounded cute.

    It seemed humorous initially, but now, after writing it out, the humor has somehow disappeared. Oh, well, I still voted for Bruneau.

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    1. Excellent-I’ve met very few other Catherine’s (outside of books) who spell it “our” way-invariably, people start to write a K when putting my name down.

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  20. I have no firm opinions on naming the baboon – and I’m sure Shakespeare would agree that a baboon by any other name would be as silly, or friendly, or inquisitive (though I’m pretty sure baboons do not smell sweet).

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  21. Mike in Albert Lea – most definitely, wear a red “I Voted” sticker. If you have a goat pin, you could wear that too. If you wear the sticker and the goat pin together, you may get more than the usual amount of stares, but no one will be brave enough to bother you with questions.
    Mike Pengra -The music selections have been great.
    Just in case you can take requests, does JASPER have the song, “Animal Farm” in the archives? Thanks!

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  22. Hello everybody. I’m home for the day from Suzuki string camp and will return to Bismarck this evening. Dorm life with my daughter has been great fun. She’s excited to be independent and resourceful and spend the day without me. I think Blevins is a great name for the baboon.

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  23. Personally, I would have opted to call it ‘Trivial Monsoon’…but that doesn’t have the friendly animal imagery. Hm…maybe ‘Argyll Salloon.’ I also like, ‘Meanwhile Rangoon.’ But, again, no fuzzy animalia. ‘Beguile Buffoon’ leaped to mind but was quickly dismissed. ‘Style immune’ just didn’t seem appropriate either.

    As far as naming the baboon him/herself, I suppose ‘Red Butt’ is way out of line…perhaps ‘Spanky’?

    …whoops…have to go to a meeting…

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      1. See, the implication would be ‘Spanky and ~Our Gang~’ AKA ‘Lil Rascals.’ Somewhat appropriate on numerous levels.

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      2. i really like the spanky reference the more i think about it. lets figure out another way to sneak that in later in the tb life cycle

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    1. I was going to ask everyone today if we had lost That Guy in the Hat – perhaps I missed an earlier post by you. Welcome back!

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  24. Only one correction needed on Dale’s post today. Instead of ‘congress of baboons’, shouldn’t it be ‘Congress = Baboons’ ?

    Chris in Owatonna

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  25. I don’t like to disillusion anyone, but cookies are, of course, deletable, thus allowing multiple votes. Technology is human based you know, thus imperfect. Or maybe perfect, I think cookies should be deletable. I don’t like vendors or viruses really understanding my habitual behavior!

    Anyway, I first voted for Babs (sorry Barb!), then the prevailing Rhonda, Dale if you want to discount one of them feel free, your pick!

    Enjoy this sunny but windy day before the humidity hits!

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    1. Well, yes, one COULD delete the cookies and get around it that way, but that would be WRONG.

      I’m at the work computer and logged in the s&h’s vote.

      We think JASPER has lost his sense of humor.

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  26. I prefer looking at the monkey from a greater distance, to be truthful. Today he looks like he was out all night at a SD bar and is suffering from a hangover. Had to go with Blevins.

    Tim – answer to your late night trivia question: Robert Duvall play Boo Radley and significance was it was his first starring role. Is that correct?

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  27. Man I’m getting lazy – without Dale’s music, it doesn’t seem to matter what time we get on the blog… lots more late morning, afternoon, evening, LATE evening posting going on! Joanne, I too came home late hot and sweaty, but from folk dancing. :)

    I’m gonna start posting my replies like I used to, and hope more people do too… the Reply button is easier, but it takes so much longer to come back later and find the subsequent replies…

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    1. but the problem is that if you are not right there at the correct time it is difficult to decipher what posting your response is in reference to, i really like this new feature

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  28. I didn’t say that very clearly – Clyde did better a couple of days ago:
    “1. I like the reply feature but it does not tell me what are new replies up above the bottom entry. I can tell by the number they are there, so I have to go search for them.”

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  29. mort will answer to whatever you guys come up with. he and i will wait to see what moniker you hang on him

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  30. Renee – what did you do at Suzuki string camp? Are you a teacher or a student? Where did you attend camp? Am I being too nosey???

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    1. I am a Suzuki parent, which means that I accomany my daughter to her classes and take notes-at least that is what I used to do. Now that she is 15, she wants to go to her classes herself, so I loaf while she fiddles. Its so nice to see her be independent, although she insists that I be present when she practices ( as long as I keep my comments to myself). The camp is a small one in Bismarck. Later this summer we are going to Waterloo, Ontario for a larger and longer Suzuki Institute. I also connect with other parents and attend recitals and concerts during the institutes. Last evening we heard a woodwind trio from the Bismarck-Mandan Symphony and a string quartet made of up some of the camp faculty.

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      1. How great that you can share this musical interest with your daughter! Hope you have many more years to be together via practices and performances.

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      2. that is a cool requirement of suzuki. the parents need to be involved and trained right along with the students so there is a continuity to a much greater than with a standard teacher/ student/ parent interaction .

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  31. I kind of agree with Barbara, but also like the replies next to what they are replying to.
    For instance, Cynthia in Mahtowa- I believe the quote is “if it sounds good, it IS good”.

    I really miss him too.-May have to sleuth out some of his cds to aid in the musical eduacation of the s&h this summer. I’m a little worried Mike had to take all the music that made me laugh out loud out, and also makes me wonder what then has happened to that amazing library.
    St Paul Public has a way of getting rid of (not just entombing in Central, from which I can still request it) a fair amount of stuff if it doesn’t get checked out enough. You then have to resort to interlibrary loan, which while wonderful, takes awhile and you can’t renew things. Wonder if I can also get music that way?

    It’s only a matter of time before I have to get an mp3 of some sort and start downloading.

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      1. I strongly suggest an Ipod. I bought a SanDisk, which has been a bit dicey and has about 3 hours of battery in it if I am lucky, when it claimed 15 . But setting it up is quite straight forward; after all I did it. Then you have the music on your computer and can play it there too,
        Say, did I catch yesterday that you were at Luther with Weston Noble?

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      2. I was indeed at Luther, both as a student and a fill-in prof. for one year during Weston Nobles tenure (the year I taught was his last, so was there for some great farewell events).

        I was, alas, never in Nordic-always made the callbacks, but my throat would just close during final auditions.

        Did sit in Valders Hall of Science for many a Messiah rehearsal and was also in his Oratorio choir one year.

        Thanks for the tech recommendation. May have to have the s&h set it up for us, as my time these days is pretty pressed.

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      3. My daughter graduated in 1995. She was waiting for the try-outs for Nordic at the end of her sophomore year, was likely to get in, and realized she did not want to do it but wanted to devote her time to classwork and other things. So she was in Cathedral Choir (right name?) for half of the next year, but felt she was seen as tainted and dropped that. Has never regretted it. Has never gone back to Luther, says it will never be as wonderful as was when she was there.

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    1. Catherine – Yep, that is the quote that I recall Peter Schickele using at the end of “Schickele Mix” too , but Schickele was quoting Duke Ellington. Someone asked Ellington a question about how to tell when you are listening to good music. Ellington said, “If it sounds good, it IS good.” I would love to hear “So You Want To Write A Fugue?” by PDQ Bach.

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      1. Another Luther reference (forgive me-that is where I first started listening to TMS)-I was not a music major, but knew a lot of them and spent a lot of time in Jensen(the music building). PDQ Bach pieces were s a featured finale of many a recital when I was there. The is a visual component to many of them.

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  32. I think Blevins is going to be it; so is mort male then? Today he looks like a Blevins or, as Donna suggests, hung-over.
    By the way Dale is gathering up the haiku, not I.

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  33. I was born in the 80s in a tropical country on the other side of the world, so had to look up and listen to “Help Me, Rhonda” on Grooveshark (www.grooveshark.com – streaming music by request, without loud annoying ads — at least for now ).

    Thank you all for this wonderful music education!

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    1. which country mn tx? welcome to a musice education for sure. you are coming in to a blank palette as far as the sound goes this weekn but i would bet there will still be lots of music references.

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  34. tim – Malaysia! I was in Minneapolis from 2005-2009, fell in love with the LGMS then. Been listening to podcasts of the skits (not many available) this past week just to ease the transition. In Houston for another month, before moving to Sudbury, Ontario this summer (same-ish latitude as the Cities/Duluth).

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    1. welcome to the group. i have been to indonesia a number of times and have worked with people form kuala lamour but not been there yet. i hear it is an experience i should make a point of getting on my to do list.
      moving out of houston in july for ontario sounds like a really good move to me

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  35. Saw the Beach Boys at a dance (when there were dances and not rock concerts) before they were really very famous at the Duluth Armory. All I remember was how young they all were, like me. Don’t remember much else; I was not in pursuit of a musical education but in pursuit of something else, a quest at which I was a most miserable failure.

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  36. Gender equality? girl goats and boy baboon (or did the goats have to stay with the late/great Trial Balloon?)

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    1. the goats go where they wish, as you well know Cynthia in Mahtowa. i think i see Alba and Dream, way off in the distance to the far right, in a clearing and nibbling on a rare and endangered tree of some kind. Dodger is banging her head on the baboon and that’s why she/he looks so distressed. the triplets have crawled out of the fence and are dancing on the cars in the parking lot.

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  37. I’m guessing Blevins has a girlfriend named Rhonda hidden in that forset someplace, and they look a lot alike-as Donna pointed out, how would we know?

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  38. Greetings! Back from work — anxious to see the final results of our voting. I guess we’ll find out tomorrow. I also remember Peter Schickele’s show which was always very interesting and entertaining.

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  39. I’m with Catherine, there are 2 baboons there… the little one and the big one.

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  40. OK — I admit to being baffled by the Blevins reference. I see people have quotes from song lyrics, but I don’t recall the song and I just don’t understand most lyrics. Can someone explain the song, the artist and why Blevins is so funny and pertinent to this blog?

    Just sign me off as …

    Cotton in My Ears

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      1. ookaaayy — I remember Austin Lounge Lizards and liked their music. I guess I’d have to hear the song to actually make the connection. Hey, Dale – can you play … ooohh right, never mind. Old habits die hard.

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  41. So, if Blevins is still ahead in the voting, it looks like our sweet, coy, inquisitive baboon will be named after a crazy drunk from a song, ranting advice to a woe begone stranger? okey dokey then …. It would seem we are a bunch of sentimental old hippies … :~)

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    1. You say that like it’s a bad thing…(though, having been born in the era when the Beatles were recording, rather than being old enough to remember their music as “new” I don’t know that I can claim anything about being a hippie…old, yes, but not a hippie…)

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    2. I’m with Ben and Anna. I’ve spent most of my life so far being told by boomers that I’m “too young to remember that”-I don’t intend to spend the rest of my life being told by Gen Xers and millenials that I am “too old to get that”.

      Oh, and not a hippie either-just ecclectically alternative.

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    1. take it from an old hippy. we are old hippies, ben and anna if you’re not god bless you but you are hanging with a bunch of em

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  42. Looks like Trial Balloon blog is back up on Radio Heartland. Maybe this means people can get to the archives if they want?

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    1. I can see her wearing a “Hello, my name is Rhonda Blevins” nametag. Does that make her the woman who dumped Ol’Blevins?

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  43. Would dumping Ol’Blevins be a bad thing?
    I’m so old I am pre-hippy; it was beatniks when I started college.

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  44. we are at 108 votes and 121 comments as i write this. wasn’t the record for the most posts during space goats the movie, about 70 or 80 in a single day?

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  45. I’m late voting. Nothing new to add to the insights. Just that “Help Me Rhonda” was the first thing I thought of and I like a blog with a helping baboon.

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  46. OK – I’ve been looking at all your reactions to my remark. Let me re-phrase — We are mature, eclectically alternative rebels with a soft spot for whimsy, weirdness and offbeat humor. Hats off to Catherine for penning “eclectically alternative.”

    I don’t know if that makes you feel any better — it just sounds more suave and sophisticated. But certainly no disparagement was intended, as I am obviously a part of this group, too!

    What’s the chance I’ll have the last word tonight?

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  47. What’s going on here? No insulting each other? Wow, this is the nice part of the blogosphere. I rarely can read through all the comments of most blogs but this is such a charming community. Thanks, everyone.

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