I have friends all over the US who keep me informed about things using the Internet. Things I normally donít even think about. Vickie in Oregon keeps me informed about happenings there and sends interesting pictures.

Vicki, who is interested in Geneology, found me about three years ago while searching for kin. She indicates I might be her cousin. Maybe, from what I read in the paper weíre both cousins of Dick Cheneyís wife or Osama Obama, the one running for president, not the other one.

I have a friend who resides down in the Hill Country who writes for a cooking program on the Internet. He writes nearly every day about something he cooked. Yesterday, he bragged that he had just cooked the best venison stuffed peppers that had ever been cooked in the history of man. He also keeps a close watch on bridge rail damage, something we all need to know.

Then, thereís Bud who keeps me informed on the cotton crop in West Texas and all about bales to the acre. Bud lives in a little town which for years had one stoplight. Now, it seems that I heard it was removed. I recently heard a song on TV during a crime show that featured Bruce Springsteen singing about being stuck at the one stoplight in Stanton. I guess Stanton was famous and I didnít even know it.

Anyway, Bud recently e-mailed; ďThe cotton on the girlís place east of town has been harvested. They used two eight-row strippers, two boll buggies and two module makers.Ē

Iím not familiar with this stuff. I never saw a stripper in our cotton patch. In fact, the only one I ever saw was at the Fort Worth Stock Show when I was 8. That cost me a whole quarter.

From what Bud says, it looks like the cotton crop in West Texas will make a bale and a half per acre. The good thing about all this is that I donít have to pick it.

Bill, who lives in Nashville, keeps me up to date with the happenings of country musicians. Actually, not much is happening these days. Music has finally progressed to the point that musicians are no longer needed. The words to the songs donít rhyme and the songs have no melody. Anything that can be shook or beat is good accompaniment.

Having thought about the current ages of the musicians and singers whom we loved in the í50, I arrived at a horrible conclusion ó theyíve got to be 80. Is Merle Haggard 90? Can Hank Thompson no longer ďSpin his wheels at that green light? Porter Wagner is currently dying in a Nashville hospital of an incurable disease. Yep ó heís 80. I played Steel guitar in bands off and on for 40 years and I donít feel too good myself. Actually, I donít think I ever did.

Around the rest of my world, things seem to be fine except California. Things are good in Alabama, dry in Georgia, hot and dry in Arizona where two of my grandkids live and everybody is reasonably happy in Houston and Port Aransas. New Orleans had 8 inches of rain and Fema is passing out money again.

Down in San Antonio, bless her heart, Desi Harlow tells me she is reading my columns to the third grade class she teaches in the inner city school, making me feel a lot better about the whole ball of wax.

I guess Iíll just settle for what Iíve got instead of what I might get.

Harry Marlinís column is featured every Tuesday on the Brownwood Bulletinís Viewpoint page. E-mail him at pilgrimB17@verizon.net.