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Diane Baker: The Best That It Can Be…

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An Article From: The Chris Thomas Files

Honey Bee Shot Image One
06-28-2020

The Best That It Can Be…
On the face of it, this is a good statement: the positive approach to our life and the way we live it. Why should it, our life, not be the best that it can be?

Three events occurred and, together, they drove my patience out the window. First of all, a friend chatted to me about her concern for her son and daughter-in-law, about how they were working all hours to buy new furniture for their new house and, that every time they came to stay, she had to take all the packaging off the food in her fridge, otherwise, they would throw it out if it was anywhere near its date. Then, I watched Countryfile on the BBC and they were showing how a whole new industry was growing around waste food collection and its use to create energy for our homes. Then, I read an article in Positive News where a tribe in India stood to lose their land because a huge conglomerate wished to mine for bauxite (raw aluminum). This is such a toxic substance that mining for it poisons all the land and the people. The article was in Positive News because the tribe won their case. Sadly, there are many other stories where the outcome is not so happy.

We humans, mostly in the west (I regret to say our influence is spreading), have come to believe we deserve the best. We have interpreted the best it can be into all aspects of our lives. This means we should aspire to the best house, best kitchen, the best car, furniture, clothes, television, computer, mobile phone and, of course, the best food. Our food has Best Before written on it so, subconsciously, we see it is not good enough for us if it is near that date or, that the apple has a blemish or, the potato and cucumber are a bit knobbly…so, we throw it away. [A]re we not worthy of the best?

How Much Does Best Cost?
The consequences of all of these choices are that, currently, the world is at war over mineral rights, (Darfur is only one example of genocide and destruction based on the greed of the west for [minerals] used in mobile phones and other electrical equipment). [M]en and women are used as slave labour to make our clothes, the planet is being carved up and, the rivers polluted for the copper, zinc, etc…to go into our newest, and best, electronic toys […]. Billions of tons of food is thrown away each year because it is considered not to be the best it can be, whilst those that live in the countries that grow our food starve.

Bumblebee Image Two
09-14-2019

I am not advocating a hair shirt, sleeping under a hedge or eating rotten food and starving but, in all things, there is a balance. And, yes, I do have a mobile phone which is second-hand, over six years old and works perfectly for the rare emergency calls I make. The balance is, I do not feel I need to change it every time a new, improved model comes on the market. Millions of mobile phones are put into landfill and are not recycled. The price we may pay for misunderstanding best that it can be… is monumental. There are many people affected by our choices that we never see or think of. The people who grow the food or mine the mineral do so at a very high price. If a people [live] on a land that is rich in minerals, that land will be torn away from them, they will be placed in camps and the reason why, is…you. Our misunderstanding of what makes us special, a success [or] admired, is, now, tightly bound up with possessions, material goods and if I do not have the best and newest of everything, I will be judged a failure.

A Complete Consciousness
It is the best that we can be, as a human and, as a complete consciousness. The best that we are is not made up of, or lack of, possessions. It is about how we live our lives in relation to the rest of the universe and, in particular, with each other. It is we, the so called civilised world, who are so insecure in who we are as souls that we need the third world to be plundered so that we can surround ourselves with our props and say to the world Look. I am worthy. I have the best that there can be.

Think About It
In his book The Human Soul, my husband, Chris Thomas, asks that we Think About It. Think about the consequences your actions will have on others and, then, make the choice that feels right to you. It is your choice and you cannot blame the consequences on anyone else. Everything we buy is made from the planet, itself. This is the planet which has given us the choice of physical life rather than a free-floating soul. Chris has said in his book that we are here to prove that it is possible to have a full soul in physical form and, that, the whole of our existence has been to prove that that is possible. Everything that is happening on Earth, our solar system, our galaxy and the universe beyond, is currently happening in order to help us to be the best human beings we can whilst remaining on Earth. The Human Soul can help you to determine where you are within that process. With Christmas fast approaching, your love and affection to your family without buying something that would cause another family [on] the other side of the world pain and suffering? Think about it. Are you the best that you can be?

Best Wishes,
Diane

© Diane Baker 2010

Cygnus Review Magazine (Issue 12, Page 12, December 2010/Download & Share)
The Blog Post (Cygnus Review Blog…with the wrong author credited)

Town Tuesday: Yellow House 1768

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William Courtney’s Yellow House

This is one of a few of the oldest homes in Hillsborough. ~Vic

William Courtney Yellow House Image One
Downtown Hillsborough
Taken: 04-04-2020
William Courtney Yellow House Image Two
Steps leading from the driveway
to the front door.
Taken: 04-16-2020
William Courtney Yellow House Sign Image Three
Sign Marker

Additional Information:
William Courtney’s Yellow House 1768 (Facebook)
Walk Through Historic Hillsborough (Historic Hillsborough)
William Courtney’s Yellow House (Open Orange NC/Built date is wrong)

Shutterbug Sunday: Solstice Shots

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I dropped the ball and missed posting about our Summer Solstice. I did catch some pictures, though and a Shutterbug Sunday is a perfect reason to post them. I posted about the Solstice in 2018, shortly after I had started blogging, again, after a four year absence. I did an Almanac write-up on the Solstice in 2019. This year’s Solstice occurred at 5:44pm EDT, yesterday. ~Vic

Daisy Group Image One
Daisy Family
Sea Turtle Cloud Image Two
It looks like a Sea Turtle, swimming towards me…sort of…
Cone Flower Image Three
Cone flowers in the Pollinator Garden
Feather Cloud Image Four
Big Feather
New Growth Image Five
New Growth
Bird Flight Image Six
In Flight
Stonehenge Image Seven
Photo Credit: Farmers’ Almanac 1818

Some Folklore:
♦ In ancient Egypt, the summer solstice coincided with the rising of the Nile River. As it was crucial to predict this annual flooding, the Egyptian New Year began at this important solstice.
♦ In centuries past, the Irish would cut hazel branches on solstice eve to be used in searching for gold, water and precious jewels.
♦ Many European cultures hold what are known as Midsummer celebrations at the solstice, which include gatherings at Stonehenge and the lighting of bonfires on hilltops.

Strawberry Moon 2020

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I did a complete write-up on the Strawberry Moon last year with two videos. No need to repeat. Full illumination occurred at 3:12pm EDT. Howl for me! ~Vic

Late add:
I forgot to mention that there was a penumbral eclipse (space.com link) of this Moon but, we weren’t in the path of sight. We will be in the path of sight for the early July eclipse and the late November eclipse.

Gibbous Moon Clouds Image One
Waxing Gibbous with a Sky Eagle
06-01-2020
Gibbous Moon Trees Image Two
Through the limbs.
06-03-2020
Gibbous Moon Trees Image Three
Happy Waxing Gibbous
Gibbous Moon Trees Image Four
Growing Gibbous
06-04-2020
Waning Gibbous At Night Image Five
Clouds moved in.
Little bit of rain.
Spooky
06-05-2020
Waning Gibbous Clouds Image Six
Lovely glow.

Shutterbug Saturday: Animal Friends 4.0

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Update: I am changing the headings from wildlife to Animal Friends. ~Vic

Animal Friends 3.0

Tree Frog Image One
Ray caught this guy on
the side of a wall in Illinois.
I think it is a tree frog.
09-03-2019
Photo Credit: Ray Tutterow
Riverwalk Toad Image Two
Riverwalk Toad
These guys come out at dusk
and head towards the river.
09-28-2019
Deer Trio Image Three
Evening walk.
Deer trio.
10-15-2019
Yard Rabbit Image Four
We got a bunny.
Side Yard
03-27-2020
Black Snake Image Five
Another poor dead snake.
04-18-2020
Squirrel On A Post Image Six
Barking squirrel.
04-24-2020

Shutterbug Sunday: Pooh Bear

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Pooh In The Backyard Image One
My Pooh Bear
Stumpy-tailed Manx
05-14-2008

Pooh was not originally my cat. When the Marine and I moved to Texas, Pooh (the owners called him Oliver) lived three doors away. He was very friendly and walked the sidewalks like a person. The story we got from the owner was, he was purchased as a kitten for her son. Her son developed allergies to the cat so, she put him outside. He could get in and out of the garage and, had a sleeping pad on a bench on the front porch.

Pooh With Rabbit Image Two
He decided that my Ty Beanie Baby Rabbit…was HIS.
01-01-2008

He didn’t visit our house too much because we had Buddy. When we lost Buddy, he got closer and closer to the front door, unsure because he wasn’t allowed in his own home. One day, we opened the door and he walked in. We fed him some tuna and…he stayed. We taught him how to use the cat doors we already had and he returned to us every day. His previous owner, at this point, had re-married, had two more kids (plus the husband’s kid) and three dogs. I’m not sure they ever noticed.

Passed Out Pooh In My Chair Image Three
Passed out in my office chair.
01-24-2011

He didn’t look like an Oliver to us. My Marine made the remark that he looked like a little bear walking up the sidewalk. I immediately went to my childhood days and thought “Pooh!” He got a new name with his new home.

Pooh On The Couch Image Four
Couch Kitty
Pooh liked to watch TV.
02-25-2009

Poor Pooh had spine problems related to his stumpy tail. The entire time he was with us, he had spells…twice a day. Something in his spine would move or catch and he would howl in pain. Then, he would chase the pain…until he was dizzy. It was something bizarre to watch and you couldn’t miss the sound. Think Looney Tunes’ Tasmanian Devil. When he regained his faculties, he would begin to groom as if nothing had happened. Unfortunately for me, some of those spells occurred in my lap. I still have scars…bless his heart.

Pooh On The Couch Image Five
So. You gonna change the channel or what?

He was our baby for three and a half years. He developed pancreatic cancer and had to be put down February 17, 2011. He was a character. When he wanted your attention and you weren’t fast enough, he made this sound of frustration that always reminded me of Number 5/Johnny Five from Short Circuit.

Passed Out Pooh Image Six
Passed out in the hallway.
06-20-2009

Foto Friday: Alton, Illinois

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My buddy Ray is from Illinois. He routinely returns to visit family and his girlfriend, Gloria. Sharing some lovely photos from Alton.

Addendum: I had to correct a credit. Thanks, Gloria. ~Vic

Along Mississippi River Image One
Along the Mississippi River
The Great River Road
10-29-2019
Photo Credit: Josh Major
Piasa Bird Image Two
Piasa Bird Painting
Photo Credit: Ray Tutterow
Clark Bridge Sunset Image Three
The Clark Bridge
Photo Credit: Ray Tutterow
Morrisons Irish Pub Image Four
Morrison’s Irish Pub
This place almost closed during massive flooding.
The city rallied around it and kept it afloat.
Now, they have a food pantry, giving back.
05-03-2020
Photo Credit: Gloria Lawrence
Alton Lake Image Five
Alton Lake
Part of the Mississippi
05-02-2020
Photo Credit: Gloria Lawrence
Backwater Wetlands Island Image Six
Backwater Wetlands Island
Photo Credit: Gloria Lawrence
Water Retention Pond Image Seven
Wetlands Water Retention Pond
Photo Credit: Gloria Lawrence

Flower Moon 2020

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I did a pretty extensive write-up last year with Native American names and two videos. I won’t repeat all that here. I am including a shot from 2017 (before I was blogging again) and a shot from 2019 that wasn’t part of the previous post.

Full illumination occurred at 6:45am EDT. Howl for me! ~Vic

Flower Moon Image One
From this evening…
Flower Moon Image Two
Peek-a-Boo
Flower Moon Image Three
I caught the Moon with the setting sun.
It’s a little hard to see.
05-17-2019
Flower Moon Image Four
More Peek-a-Boo
05-11-2017

Shutterbug Saturday: Feathers 5.0

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I used to add a corresponding photo from Unsplash or Pexels up at the top as a lead-in. I have enough photos of my own so, I won’t be doing that anymore. My previous posts, I will leave them. All photos are my personal collection. © ~Vic

Feathers 4.0

Cardinal Image One
Cardinal singing on the Riverwalk
04-18-2019
Cardinal Image Two
Tail Feathers
Carolina Wren Image Three
Carolina Wren out of the nest.
The nest is the black washtub to the left.
04-24-2019
Carolina Wren Image Four
Calling for its mate.
Carolina Wren Image Five
Then, it started to bark at a squirrel.
Washtub Image Six
The washtub is full.
Washtub Image Seven
Nesting material.
Birdhouse Image Eight
This one was just not big enough,
even for the little Wrens.
05-06-2019

Town Tuesday: Old Courthouse

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Yep…another new post heading. I will be doing a series of shots from my town. Hillsborough is one of the oldest towns in North Carolina and was the Capitol for a short time. It’s a very interesting, eclectic place. All photos are my personal collection. © ~Vic

Previous Post: The Town.

Boone Expedition Image One
HendersonBoone to Kentucky Expedition Marker
March 17, 1775
Tablet metal from the USS Maine
Richard Henderson was the presiding judge when the Regulators attacked the Courthouse.
They burned his home in Williamsborough.
Taken 05-20-2019
Boone Trail Highway Image Two
Back of the Marker
Boone Trace or Boone Trail Highway &
The Trading Path 1700
Old Courthouse Image Three
Looking Northeast from the corner of Churton Street & Margaret Lane
Taken 04-04-2020
Old Courthouse Image Four
Looking Northwest from the corner of Margaret Lane & Court Street.
Back door.
Old Courthouse Image Five
Looking WNW from Court Street
Old Courthouse Image Six
Looking due South.
Front door.
The marker, above, is to the right.

Shutterbug Sunday: Sky Gazing 4.0

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A storm rolled into town in July of 2016. I came out of the Food Lion and was just awestruck. It was scary looking and I kept waiting for the lightening, thunder and rain but, nothing happened except a gorgeous sunset.

All photos are my personal collection. © ~Vic

Sky Gazing 3.0

July Storm Image One
Standing in the parking lot. I thought this was going to turn into a funnel cloud.
07-12-2016
July Storm Image Two
It was still turning.
July Storm Image Three
It was like two different skies.
July Storm Image Four
It stayed really dark but, there was no rain at all.

Foto Friday: Virus Humor

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We have a few comedians in town. I can appreciate. These are cute and clever. That being said, I am getting tired of the TV telling me to social distance, stay at home and wash my hands. I heard you the first fifty times. Enough already. All photos are my personal collection. © ~Vic

Crownavirus Image One
Sidewalk railing in front of a house on the corner.
The homeowners are known for wiring things
to the railing.
04-15-2020
Crow With Mask Image Two
Crow demonstrates how to wear a mask.
Crow With Bunny Ears Image Three
Crow with bunny ears…and mask.

Jack With Rider Image Four
This is Jack, which, I’m pretty sure
is short for jackass. He is well known
around town. The green critter on his
back is a Disney character, I guess.
04-16-2020

Shutterbug Saturday: Animal Friends 3.0

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Update: I am changing the heading on all of my wildlife posts to Animal Friends. ~Vic

More shots from the local wild babies. All photos are my personal collection. ©.

Animal Friends 2.0

Brown Snake Image One
Saw this little guy on the Riverwalk.
Sadly, it was dead.
It cooked in the sun.
Non-poisonous.
06-02-2019
Mama Deer Image Two
She startled us and we startled her.
07-25-2019
Fawn Image Three
Then, we saw her fawn.
Peek-a-boo!
07-25-2019
Mama & Fawn Image Four
They posed for us for a bit, then took off.
07-25-2019
Green Snake Image Five
This was pitiful.
Victim of a vehicle.
The phone couldn’t capture the brilliant green.
Non-poisonous.
07-29-2019
Fawn Image Six
Hey, Baby!
Seeing spots.
08-17-2019

Pink Moon 2020

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Pink Moon Farmers Almanac 1818 Image One
Image Credit: farmersalmanac.com

Our full moon this month is a Super Moon, as was last month‘s…which I totally missed. I did a Pink Moon post last year with all the different names so, I won’t repeat them here.

Perigee Apogee Old Farmer's Almanac Image Two
Image Credit: almanac.com

I also didn’t have any immediate shots because of the weather and wound up posting some older pictures. Earlier, I thought the weather wasn’t going to cooperate tonight, either and I shared some older pix, below. But, it rose beautifully, without much cloud interference. It is a bit hazy, tho. I saved it for last. All photos are my personal collection ©, unless otherwise stated.

Full illumination occurs at 10:35pm EDT. Howl for me! ~Vic

Pink Moon 2017 Image Three
Spooky
04-10-2017
Pink Moon 2018 Image Four
Peek-a-boo!
04-28-2018
Pink Moon 2019 Image Five
Waxing Gibbous four days earlier.
Not sure why I didn’t post this last year.
04-15-2019
Pink Moon 2020 Image Six
Last night’s walk.
Moon over the Library.
04-06-2020
Pink Moon 2020 Image Seven
Got this standing in the middle of the street.
The tree is holding on.
04-07-2020

References:
Full Moons (Moon Giant)
Full Moon Dates & Times (Farmers’ Almanac 1818)
Full Moon Names (The Old Farmer’s Almanac 1792)
Pink Moon (Time and Date)

Shutterbug Saturday: Person County History Museum

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I intended to start posting these pictures yesterday but, I was just too busy. And, I’m nearly out of time for today but, more will be posted tomorrow.

We did not tour the museum as everything seems to be closed and everyone is virus-risk averse. The grounds were open, so we just enjoyed the outdoors. I hope we can return and tour the old home.

All photos are my personal collection. © ~Vic

Person County Museum Image One
This lovely old home in downtown Roxboro
was converted into a history museum.
03-19-2020
Person Museum Sign Image Two
Hours of Operation
Blue Star Image Three
Roxboro Garden Club Plaque
Military Dedication Image Four
Military Dedication
Surrounded by military veteran bricks.
Gazebo Image Five
The lovely gazebo for lunch.
Clock Tower Image Six
Adorable clock tower with the wrong time.

Shutterbug Saturday: Rogue Artistes 5.0

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It’s been nearly a year since I made my first post on our local artwork. Here are parts two, three and four. I’ve gathered up some more, below. All photos are my personal collection. © ~Vic

Slayer Image One
Somebody is a Slayer fan.
06-23-2019
Pipe Support Image Two
Drainage pipe support.
What the critter is, I don’t know.
07-25-2019
Strange Manhole Image Three
Houie?
Howie?
Wowie?
10-04-2019
Uh Oh Image Four
I don’t even remember where I found this one.
10-10-2019
Footy Prints Image Five
This one was curious.
Captured well after Halloween.
It appears to be prints of a one-legged man?
There’s a foot print and a dot.
What do you think?
11-26-2019
Toast Image Six
Toast?
With a “V”?
This one was hard to get.
02-22-2020

Shutterbug Saturday: Snow Pix

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We’ve had cold temps here and plenty of rain but, the two haven’t combined to give us any frozen precipitation. Don’t me wrong. I’m not complaining. I like a good snow storm, here and there but, I don’t like the mess. That being said, since we haven’t had any of the white stuff, I submit…for your approval…some pix I harvested from a FakeBook group back in 2018, when we had two snow bombs. I posted my own photos on December 9, 2018 and added some of my stuff to the same group. These are really good and photographer credit is listed. I will post the rest, tomorrow. ~Vic

Snowman Pooping Image One
Photo Credit: Mike Oechsle
Snow Tree Image Two
Photo Credit: Alex Webb
What Is This Image Three
Photo Credit: Laura Smith
Icicles Image Four
Photo Credit: Becky Johnson
Cold Cardinal Image Five
Photo Credit: Dora Hammond

Snow Moon 2020

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Snow Moon 2020 Image Two
From my front yard.

I did a Snow Moon post last year on February 18. I covered all the unique names and the history. I won’t repeat the information here.

100% illumination occurred at 02:33am EST. Howl for me!

All photos are my personal collection. © ~Vic

Snow Moon 2020 Image Three
It’s spooky looking between the branches.
Snow Moon 2020 Image Four
I see you.
Moon Giant Snow Moon Image One
Image Credit: moongiant.com

Shutterbug Sunday: Alamance Battleground 2.0

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Two months ago, on December 7, 2019, I visited Alamance Battleground with my buddy Ray. I posted the first batch of pictures on December 8, intending to post the rest on December 14. For obvious reasons, that didn’t happen so, here are the rest.

All photos are my personal collection. © ~Vic

James Hunter Monument Image One
The Colonial Column Monument
Originally located at Guilford Courthouse Military Park
Moved in 1962, “on indefinite loan.”
Colonial Column Marker Image Two
Colonial Column Marker
Monument Plaque Image Three
Front Plaque
It is claimed that the battle was the first of the Revolutionary War.
It was actually the last battle of the War of Regulation,
which lead to the Revolutionary War.
James Hunter Plaque Image Four
Right Side
James Hunter
General of the Regulators
North Carolina Timeline Image Five
Back Side
North Carolina Timeline
1774 North Carolina Provincial Congress
The Mecklenburg Declaration 1775
Battle of Moore’s Creek Bridge 1776
North Carolina is the first to call for independence
with the Halifax Resolves 1776
Regulators Hanged Image Six
Twelve Regulators Condemned At Hillsboro
Six were executed.
“Our blood will be as good seed in good ground,
that will soon produce one hundred fold.”
James Pugh June 19, 1771
Bridge Image Seven
Bridge over the creek.
Highway View Image Eight
View across the highway.
Flag of North Carolina Image Nine
Image Credit: wikipedia.org & wikimedia.org
Dates reflect the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence (disputed but,
possibly Mecklenburg Resolves) and
the Halifax Resolves.

Thanksgiving 2019

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Riverwalk Sunset Image One
Riverwalk Thanksgiving sunset this evening.

As I type this, I am nearly comatose from the tryptophan overload. I’m glad I went for a walk before I ate as I would never have been able to get off the couch. I didn’t prepare a full size turkey as there was only three of us eating. I slow cooked a turkey breast in my crock pot. I did have the usual mashed potatoes, green beans, cranberry sauce and my lumpy mushroom gravy. With a small gathering, no traditional dressing but, stove top stuffing instead. I’ve struggled for years to make non-lumpy gravy. It just ain’t happening. *sigh*

Many well wishes and, safe travels to family and friends. The weather is a mess in many parts of the US. *yawn* ~Vic

Riverwalk Thanksgiving Sunset Image Two
I was actually trying to capture not only the sun setting but,
the crescent moon as well.
Crescent Moon Image Three
You can just see the crescent moon in the center.
Just below it, hard to see, is Venus.
It’s a truly slim crescent but, my phone always blurs Moon.

Shutterbug Saturday: Sky Gazing 2.0

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Beauty when you look up. All photos are my personal collection © ~Vic

Sky Gazing 1.0

Cloud Image One
A “W” with a smile.
06-22-2018
Cloud Image Two
A big feather or…a Gremlin?
06-27-2019
Cloud Image Three
Reminds me of cooked fish.
10-17-2019
Cloud Image Four
Ribbons of color.
The phone couldn’t capture the deep pinks.
11-12-2019