Julie with a B

Saturday, April 30, 2005

Saturday night... mm, mmmm  Posted by Hello

Friday, April 29, 2005
Some further ideas for Star Wars television shows..
From Israelly Cool:

"With the last Star Wars movie due for release in 3 weeks time, fans can now take solace in knowing that there are post-movie plans for the franchise."

In the form of televisions series of course! David suggests...

"Some further ideas for Star Wars television shows..

R2 Being Served? - R2D2 wins the lottery, and hires C3PO as his bumbling butler. Hilarity ensues.

Hong Kong Chewie- Chewbacca runs away from Han, and starts a new life in Hong Kong.

The Amazing Mace- Mace Windu hangs with his fellow Jedi knight and fights the forces of evil.

The X Wing- The adventures of Luke Skywalker as he travels the galaxy in his X-Wing fighter.

24 Parceps- Han Solo has to travel 24 parceps in order to prevent terrorists of the Dark Side from destroying the galaxy."

Print Article

Oh geez...

And we need real education....
No, I don't want to talk about politics in education, or religion in education, but EDUCATION as in educating our kids to compete in a tough world. It's not about outsourcing anymore, because they came here to work, they learned, and they went back to their own countries to do there, what they had learned here.

From NYTimes, Friedman:

"Let me translate Mr. Gates's words: "If we don't fix American education, I will not be able to hire your kids." I consider that, well, kind of important. Alas, the media squeezed a few mentions of it between breaks in the Michael Jackson trial. But neither Tom DeLay nor Bill Frist called a late-night session of Congress - or even a daytime one - to discuss what Mr. Gates was saying. They were too busy pandering to those Americans who don't even believe in evolution. "

. . . .""For the first time in our history, we are going to face competition from low-wage, high-human-capital communities, embedded within India, China and Asia," President Lawrence Summers of Harvard told me. In order to thrive, "it will not be enough for us to just leave no child behind. We also have to make sure that many more young Americans can get as far ahead as their potential will take them. How we meet this challenge is what will define our nation's political economy for the next several decades."

What skills do the kids need to compete? They need them.... yesterday.


Be sure to read Guam With The Wind, the heart-wrenching story of a monsoon which devastated one of the Mariana Islands.


Guam.... with no wind Posted by Hello

Thursday, April 28, 2005
I am sure there is some philosophical statement here . . .
On the way to work this morning I was following a large SUV with one of those yellow ribbon magnets on it. I was mumbling to myself about people who don't seem to get the connection between Iraq and oil. Ahead of me off to the side of the road I could see a flock of wild turkeys. As I got closer there were two male turkeys, tails up, squared off for a squabble. As we approached they flew at each other and in heat of battle flopped out into the highway. The SUV slammed on it's brakes, but didn't have a chance of stopping in time. It hit the turkeys at considerable speed and was enveloped in a mass of feathers. The driver barely held the lane and slowed to a stop at the side of the road. I carefully went around and on my way. Looking back there were two dead turkeys on this guy's hood and feathers everywhere.


Tail up and struttin' Posted by Hello


This is why we put up with our thorny friends! Posted by Hello

Thursday pun

I was driving down a lonely northern road one cold winter day when it began to snow pretty heavily.

My windows were getting icy and my wiper blades were badly worn and quickly fell apart under the strain.

Unable to drive any further because of the ice building up on my front window I suddenly had a great idea.

I stopped and began to overturn large rocks until I located two very lethargic hibernating rattlesnakes.

I grabbed them up, straightened them out flat and installed them on my blades, and they worked just fine.

Of course, that's because they were wind-chilled vipers.


pre-windshieldwiper vipers... Posted by Hello

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

American Cities That Best Fit You:

70% San Francisco

65% Washington, DC

60% Los Angeles

55% San Diego

50% Boston

Just for the record
Speaking on Air Force One yesterday, White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan said, "What has happened in this Senate is unprecedented. There has not been a situation like this, where members of one party have blocked nominees from even receiving an up or down vote on the floor." In fact, there have been many situations like this. In the late 1990s, "more than 50 Clinton nominees were not even granted a hearing by the GOP-led Judiciary Committee." Overall, "35 percent of Clinton's appeals court nominees were blocked without a vote while the GOP controlled the Senate from 1995 to 2000." In contrast, Congress has approved more than 95 percent of President Bush's judicial nominees.

h/t Wills4223

Evil poetry meme
Teach from Pirate's Cove has tagged me with the "turd in a punchbowl" meme. Ewww!
The rules are simple: write a poem with "turd in a punchbowl" in the first and third lines, then pass it on to 3 unsuspecting victims. Do check back to Blog d'Elisson and tell him just exactly what you think of this . . . meme.

So here it is...

Turd in a punchbowl
Politicians debating and attacking
Turd in a punchbowl
Drinking . . then looking . . . and gacking

Now to tag three much more talented bloggers - Jess at LOSLI, Jeremy at American Warmonger, and JR at Texican Tattlers.
(I was on a "J" roll here...)

I'll link JR as soon as his site gets back up. Poor fellow has Verizon and its been down more than up lately . . .

Wednesday's pun
The economy, stocks, investments or rather bad investments seem to be running thru the newspapers and my head lately:

The abbreviation for Mad Cow Disease is MCD, which is also the stock ticker symbol for McDonald's of hamburger fame. Note: I attempted to make a pun identical to the preceding one--this time regarding Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)--but was unable to find any (stock symbol) WMD because there is no WMD.


Y'all watching your 401k plans? Posted by Hello

Tuesday, April 26, 2005
Another leaning to the Blue state
Bradford Plumer points out an aritcle in Time "on why Montana is turning Democratic, or at least vaguely blue-ish, is worth the flip:
"The outlaw Montana that I moved to 15 years ago and that my Eastern friends had apprehensions about--many of them quickly dismissed once they visited and fired a few rounds from the target pistols I own or took a pickup down to a local bar with a poker table in its back room--is setting like the evening sun. Ragged former cow towns like Bozeman are turning into suburbanized high-tech meccas for Ph.D.s who like to go rafting and snowboarding."
The rest HERE

My picks of . . .
Things Stressed Woman Say at Work
from Smiling Dynamite

1. Okay, okay! I take it back. Unfuck you.

3. Well this day was a total waste of makeup.

6. Do I look like a people person?

7. This isn't an office. It's hell with fluorescent lighting.

8. I started out with nothing and I still have most of it left.

9. Therapy is expensive. Popping bubble wrap is cheap. You choose.

10. Why don't you try practicing random acts of intelligence and senseless

acts of self-control?

12. Sarcasm is just one more service I offer.

13. Do they ever shut up on your planet?

21. Chaos, panic and disorder...my work here is done.

24. Earth is full. Go home.

26. I'm not tense, just terribly, terribly alert.

27. A hard-on doesn't count as personal growth.

30. Look in my eyes...do you see one ounce of gives-a-shit.

Read all of them HERE

Those Coyote Democrats....
From the LA Times:
"A Blue Tinge in the West
Just as Americans have come to accept the idea of a gulf between red and blue states, a grass-roots (or tumbleweed) shift has begun to blur the colors in the Rockies and the Southwest.
The trend is evolutionary, not revolutionary. The GOP remains entrenched in Idaho and Utah. Most state legislatures are Republican and the presidential vote was solid crimson. But statehouse shifts of the last several years are signals of a changing Western political identity and independence. The social conservatism that keeps the South red may not be enough for the West. Old-fashioned individual liberty and Democratic populism are getting a hearing. The national Democratic Party seems interested, but unsure how to get to the new rodeo."

. . . "The political factors are many. Nevada is at war with the federal government over the proposed nuclear repository at Yucca Mountain. Environmentalism, once sneered at in the spacious, resource-rich West, is gaining a foothold as tourism and adventure sports gain economic importance. Winning candidates have brought fiscal conservatism, pragmatism and workable ideas to the job, generally leaving ideological baggage behind."

. . ."Wyoming Gov. Dave Freudenthal, a native farm boy and former U.S. attorney who took office in 2003, persuaded an initially balky Republican Legislature to spend some of this year's $1-billion budget surplus from mineral and energy industry tax revenues instead of socking it all away. The state boosted spending on highways, a wildlife habitat trust fund, bonuses for teachers and community college scholarships."

. . . "Former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean, the new Democratic Party chairman, has been advising Democrats nationwide to cool their rhetoric, if not their beliefs, on hot-button social issues such as abortion.
But what's needed is less a retreat than a recasting of privacy issues (Terri Schiavo's ordeal, for instance) that will resonate with the hands-off individualism of the mountains and deserts."

h/t to Cocoposts for the article
and to Ralph for "Coyote Democrats"

Academy of Sciences, guidelines for stem cell research
An article today in the NY Times discusses guidelines for stem cell research. Normally the federal government would be doing this, however, they are stuck in denial mode.

"The academy intends its guidelines to provide a uniform system of regulation that applies to both the public and private sector, assures the public and scientists that their work is ethical, and provides continuing review of issues raised by new research. "

. . . . "The academy's guidelines are intended to bring all researchers under the same rules, while at the same time imposing limits on experiments that involve incorporating human embryonic stem cells into animals. The purpose of such experiments is not to create some nightmarish menagerie of half-human animals, but simply to test first in animals the human organs that could be grown from the embryonic stem cells. "
The rest is here.

Something they don't mention in the article, is the possibility of additional "cross-over" diseases from other species of animals.
The research has the chance to change the lives of so many people for the better.

Tuesday's pun
Something about birds lately... first the duck, T-Bill, then that silly goose over at Teach's place, now another bird pun. Sort of.

If Keith Richards and Mick Jagger are in a plane and it crashes is that killing two stones with one bird?


One bird... or is it two? Posted by Hello

Monday, April 25, 2005
First the kiss, THEN the walk down the aisle...
And this lovely shot of the couple, contributed by Adam at The Questions to Your Answers.

Caption? Bush mumbles to his partner "Look, just smile and pretend you're happy about this!"


First the kiss... THEN the walk down the aisle... Posted by Hello

Caption contest!
Hope they don't want to adopt in Texas....

Take your shots -
Major thanks to Gary at American Regression

Caption from Teach at Pirate's Cove: Bush "Please stop rubbing my palm."


Hope they don't want to adopt in Texas... Posted by Hello

The WaPo blogger...
I have been enjoying reading Howard Kurtz. His focus is on what is brewing in the blogs.

Today he has a bit on Drudge. Kurtz's summation of Drudge is that he's a lot like the Enquirer always with hints, pokes, often with only bits of "truth", but pulling a tremendous amount of traffic to the advertisers on his site. He ends with:

"What Drudge provides, by constantly trolling for tidbits and titillation, is one man's eccentric take on the news, feverishly updated so that people keep clicking back. "There so much freaking information out there," he says. "There's clutter danger, no doubt about it." He says he's not bored but understands he's no longer a novelty.

"At some point you still become old. People may grow tired of the Drudge sensibility."

Footnote : Drudge later zinged Time by quoting his friend Coulter as saying her cover photo -- in which her legs took up half the page -- was distorted. But Executive Editor Priscilla Painton says Coulter went through the photographer's portfolio in advance: "She has great looks. She has great legs. She has great ankles. All of that was on full display on the cover. Lots of women would kill for that kind of display."

Kurtz also talks about a couple journalists who have been removed from their respective jobs for bad, sloppy, or un-researched reporting. Hmmm. Sort the journalist pointing out the flaws of other MSM journalists...

His commentary includes discussion of Bolton and GOP woes and he quotes Josh Marshall and Belgravia Dispatch in the process.

He seems to have a fairly even handed Left/Right commentary. The MSM taking the blogger bull by the horns?


Make that three beers, mate. Posted by Hello

Monday pun
I met this guy who owns a drinking establishment for black birds. When negotiating a loans, his crow bar can be used as leverage.

Sunday, April 24, 2005
Liberty by Ambrose Bierce
From the Devil's Dictionary:

One of Imagination's most precious possessions.

The rising People, hot and out of breath,
Roared around the palace: "Liberty or death!"
"If death will do," the King said, "let me reign;
You'll have, I'm sure, no reason to complain."
Martha Braymance

You scored 10!
Congratulations, you are a very tolerant and muticultered person! No one could ever accuse you of being a racist!

My test tracked 1 variable How you compared to other people your age and gender:
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 0% on racistpoints
Link: The Are you a racist? Test written by hexlaux88 on Ok Cupid

hat tip to Jess at LOSLI

Sunday pun
The carnival was in town at Nottingham, so Robin Hood told the boys they could go in and have some fun.
There were lots of games and at one booth, you could win a prize by hitting a ten cent silver coin with a lance thrown from twenty paces.
As Friar Tuck was passing the booth, the guy running the game called out to him: "Hey,Brother, can you spear a dime?"

Saturday, April 23, 2005
A pharmacist's job is to fill prescriptions...
Column by Leonard Pitts. He presents a very clear picture with examples.

"You go through basic training and are sent to Iraq. One day, your unit comes under fire. Everybody shoots back except you. When your commanding officer demands to know why, you explain that as a Christian, you have moral objections to killing people.

I'd wager most of us would think you a couple companies short of a full battalion. If you agree, then you're going to love what's happening with your local pharmacist.

Well, maybe not. Maybe your pharmacist isn't one of those who are refusing to fill prescriptions on religious grounds, imposing their moral decisions on your medical decisions. Maybe yours isn't one of the crazy ones. If so, count your blessings. Some of your fellow Americans are less fortunate."

Read the rest

Saturday groaner
OK, it's a no pun day, but ran across this and, since the horse is a major player, had to post it. Now fair warning to those with tender minds it was rated "R".

Rescue Attempt

A bunch of Indians capture a cowboy and bring him back to their camp to meet the chief. The chief says to the cowboy, "You going to die. But we sorry for you, so give you one wish a day for three days. On sundown of third day, you die. What is first wish?"

The cowboy says, "I want to see my horse." The Indians get his horse. The cowboy grabs the horse's ear and whispers something, then slaps the horse on the ass. The horse takes off.

Two hours later, the horse comes back with a naked blonde. She jumps off the horse and goes into the teepee with the cowboy. The Indians look at each other, figuring, "Typical white man -- can only think of one thing."

The second day, the chief says, "What your wish today?" The cowboy says, "I want to see my horse again." The Indians bring him his horse. The cowboy leans over to the horse and whispers something in the horses ear, then slaps it on the ass.

Two hours later, the horse comes back with a naked redhead. She gets off and goes in the teepee with the cowboy. The Indians shake their heads, figuring, "Typical white man -- going to die tomorrow and can only think of one thing."

The last day comes, and the chief says, "This your last wish, white man. What you want?" The cowboy says, "I want to see my horse again." The indians bring him his horse. The cowboy grabs the horse by both ears, twists them hard and yells, "Read my lips! POSSE, damn it! P-O-S-S-E!"

Friday, April 22, 2005
Mom news. . .
My mom has been in the hospital all week. She has had over a dozen tests, telling us not very much. We know pretty much what we knew last Sunday night. There is about a 97% chance that she has pancreatic cancer. She has been in considerable pain. However, she now has pain medications, instructions on how to eat, and medication for the ulcer that the tumor created, so the doc let her out. The future isn't good.

But right now she is at home, sitting in her chair, her arm around her purring cat, peacefully asleep. Tomorrow is another day, but today . . . is just fine.

Note to Liberals..
Interesting ideas on Liberalism from Thomas Friedman. This excerpt is a ways down the article, but, something to think about . . .

In sum, Tony Blair has redefined British liberalism. He has made liberalism about embracing, managing and cushioning globalization, about embracing and expanding freedom - through muscular diplomacy where possible and force where necessary - and about embracing fiscal discipline.

Along the way, he has deftly eviscerated the Conservatives, leaving them with only their most fringe policies - another reason American Democrats could learn a lot from him. Their own ambivalence toward globalization and the new New Deal our country needs to make more Americans educated and employable in a world without walls, and their own ambivalence toward muscular diplomacy, cost Democrats just enough votes in the American center to allow a mistake-prone Bush team to squeak by in 2004. So if Mr. Blair does win in the U.K., I sure hope that Democrats in the U.S. are taking notes."

Thursday, April 21, 2005
This is not actually news to me . . .

It's still the economy. . .
I think . . . therefore . . . I'll probably lose money on this. Many assume that because I am an accountant that I know something about investing. No. Uh, really, and I'm pretty bad at it. I bought a house in California and 8 years later had to sell it for what I had paid for it, and lucky to get that. Really it's all in the timing. My 401k? Worth $20,0000, then $30,000 and now about $15,000. hmm.

However, since the market is dropping like a stone and inflation is rising, I'm going to shift a bit of money into the money market side of my investments.

From the NY Times:
"Fears of rising inflation sent stocks to new lows for the year yesterday after the government reported a sharp increase in consumer prices that all but guaranteed that the Federal Reserve would continue to push interest rates higher even as the economy may be slowing.
Last week investors were worried about the effect of slower economic growth on corporate earnings. The addition of inflation fears to the mix could put nerves on Wall Street even more on edge."

. . . . "Stocks fell further in the afternoon after the Federal Reserve reported its summary of economic activity around the country. The major theme of the report was that cost pressures have been rising and that businesses had been able to pass them on in higher prices."

I will also point out that wages have not been part of the rise in costs. We are paying higher prices but our wages have not increased, yup, that's a net loss to most of us.

From the Washington Post:
"Inflation and interest rates are rising, stock values have plunged, a tank of gas induces sticker shock, and for nearly a year, wages have failed to keep up with the cost of living.
Yet in Washington, the political class has been consumed with the death of a brain-damaged woman in Florida, the ethics of the House majority leader, and the fate of the Senate filibuster. "

For much of the nation, the outlook is not rosy. The issue is that Washington doesn't seem to be noticing. Now this is a bi-partisan "not noticing" so don't get on my case here about a Left/Right complaint. It isn't. I think there is going to be some general shaking of the political tree in the next election and that it may be hard to predict what will fall out.


Who knows what will shake out of the political tree? Posted by Hello

Thursday funny
Well, heck, two jokes back to back... for today though, just word play phrases . . . they were fun and I thought of a couple more on the way to work:

a hassle of errands,
a magnum of hit-men,
a quarrel of lawyers, or perhaps a remora of lawyers
a shortage of dwarves,
a sulk of teenagers.
an encroachment of fence-builders.
a fascination of on-lookers/listeners.
an embellishment of fishermen.
a treachery of spies.
a thrombosis of heart specialists.
a nano of sub-atomic particles.
a conflagration of arsonists.
an assassination of gangsters.
an incantation of witches/wizards/warlocks.
a density of meatheads.
an obfuscation of philosophers/economists.
a clutch of mechanics.
a spider of webmasters.
a clique of computer mice.
a plurality of collectives.
an enterprise of trekkies.
a 404 of lost web pages.
a ___ of nihilists.
a brace of orthodontists.

a scalpel of surgeons
a worry of patients
a rant of blogs

Hey these are fun....

Wednesday, April 20, 2005
Nun pun
You knew it was just a matter of time before there was a nun pun, so since it's Tuesday it must be time...

Mercy Hospital in Chicago is run by a group of nuns who came from Australia. Through the years the years they have gone out of their way to maintain ties with their native land -- putting up a large map of the country in the recpetion area, and serving Australian tea from tins decorated with koala bears.

One night a patient calls a nun into his room and tells her how much he likes the hospital and the care. But he has one small complaint: he found some leaves in his tea.

"Oh," the nun says, "the koala tea of Mercy is not strained."

Tuesday, April 19, 2005
The new Pope...
Not my place to have an opinion about the new Pope. There was a riffle of concern in my mind when I heard about a bit of his background. This helps to explain a bit. I hope.

From The Scotsman:
"Some have questioned whether the new Pope showed pro-Nazi sentiment as a teenager in Germany during the Second World War. But in his memoirs, the new Pope says he was enrolled in the Hitler Youth against his will when he was 14, when membership was compulsory, and that he was allowed to leave to study as a priest.
Paul Spiegel, head of Germany’s main Jewish organisation, dismissed concerns over Pope Benedict’s past, saying: "We are certain that he will continue on the path of reconciliation between Christians and Jews that John Paul II began."

Today is my oldest son's birthday. He is a wonderful kid and he and his brother are my best friends. You won't recognize him from these pictures. . . and I wanted to share.

In City Slickers, Billy Crystal's mom calls him up every year on his birthday at the time he was born. I won't call Evan this year. However! He was born at 4 am on April 19th, in Montgomery County Hospital, in Olney, Maryland. He weighed 7lbs 5oz. and was 22 inches "tall".

Even before he was born, this kid was on the go. As a newborn, he didn't sleep much - up every 2 hours to be fed, chipper as a bird at 6 am. every morning, and took a 1/2 hour morning nap and an hour long afternoon nap, falling asleep at 11:00 at night. He was busy. I could set him in front of our 55 gallon aquarium for the occasional 15 minutes of peace and quiet. Consequently his first word was "Sishy". Sishy? What happened to mama? Dang.


Evan, 45 minutes old and not liking it! Posted by Hello


A philospher at 1 weekPosted by Hello


Evan 18 mo. Posted by Hello


Evan, 3, San Jose Zoo Posted by Hello


Evan trick or treat on unicycle Posted by Hello

Tuesday's pun
(Heard yesterday from a nurse)
A doctor rushes into the emergency room with a deep laceration across the back of his right hand. A nurse starts to stitch the wound, but the doctor criticises everything she does, "Heck, I could do a better job than that using my left hand."
Finally, fed up, she stops stitching and says, "Okay, doctor, suture self."

(Look out there may be a lot of hospital humor here. Sick isn't it?)

Monday, April 18, 2005
Google this...
I installed Sitemeter because. . . . well, because it seemed "fun" or maybe I just got curious who actually comes to my site. In amongst the obvious sinners, there was a Google search for:

"hip hugger jeans belly aroused"

I'm a little tired and I confess that I read this as "jelly beans aroused" and the next thing you know I'm off wondering just exactly how that would happen, eh? Would stroke you them? Show them pictures? Are blue jelly beans partial to pictures of orange ones?


Jelly Bean dance floor Posted by Hello

It may be quiet here. .
Yesterday I took my mom to the emergency room. After a couple tests and consultations, the doctor told us that she probably has pancreatic cancer. The prognosis is bad. It's not very treatable and she probably has a year at the most.

There are still a couple diagnostic procedures to make sure that's what it is. Then they will do what they can to make her comfortable.

From the National Cancer Institute:
"Carcinoma of the pancreas has markedly increased incidence over the past several decades, and ranks as the fourth leading cuase of cancer death in the United States."

She is really sad. She has things she still wants to do. Over the last 10 years she has taken care of my father who had Alzheimer's disease. He died last July 4th. Now is her turn to do some of the things she had put off.

Her family will make sure that she has a chance to do as many of those things as she can do.

Monday pun
Old lawyers never die they just lose their appeal.

(Ach, it's Monday, what can I say?)

Sunday, April 17, 2005
The "fake orgasm" scene...
Chuck over at Burst Transmission has a great post on the diner scene in When Harry Met Sally.

"Upon first seeing 1989's When Harry Met Sally, I thought it was a pretty good movie. Sixteen years later, I believe the release and subsequent popularity to be one of the worst things to happen to men in my lifetime."

He has a thoughtful discourse on what this has meant for the male psyche. Good comments discussion too.

Read it

The salamander
Yesterday I was out gardening. I turned over a small wooden planter. The bottom had rotted out of it. There was a salamander. I brought him in and took quite a few pictures with the webcam. Hard to get a good picture without enough light, but they really hate the light. I don't know what kind it is, but I find them in my yard all the time. I live about 200 feet from a year round creek, but there are 2 houses and fenced backyards between me and the creek.

Despite a dog and four cats my yard has some really lovely wildlife.

Ring snakes, small smooth mostly olive green/brown with an orange ring around their necks. If you disturb them they coil up like a spring. They are easy to catch and aren't prone to biting.

Racers, slender snakes with yellow and olive green lengthwise stripes, rather delicate looking head with a large eye, makes them look wise somehow. Not so easy to catch, but they will run for the darkness of a small paper bag ;-) They can be handled gently, they will bite if you mess with them too much.

Then the usual suspects, garter snakes and alligator lizards. There's another lizard with a blue throat, can't remember the name of it... The alligator lizards bite but not bad enough to keep a small boy's hands off of it.


Cool salamander walkin' on my knuckles. Posted by Hello

Saturday, April 16, 2005
Why women think men are immature...
Really, think a little more about those pictures you want her to take. And what she might do with it... the picture I mean!


Just wait there, Honey... Posted by Hello


Sigh..... Posted by Hello


At least King Midas turned them to gold Posted by Hello


oh puleeeezzz Posted by Hello


Dreaming of . . . Posted by Hello


Me Jane, you... ? Posted by Hello

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