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Yay for me, at least on this end.

This is the first time I’ve been truly happy in a while, I could attribute it to many things but I think it’s just the fact that I’ve gotten my life in order. Tonight at DBT we covered interpersonal effectiveness, which entails making sure that our personal objectives are met, making sure that we keep healthy relationships, and self-respect. I feel much more able to work on these things now, which is insanely empowering.

On another note, all noders who live in Pittsburgh: how does a meetup sound? Frisina and I have been throwing around the idea of a bash after finals are over (Pitt is done second week in December) ? We’re in the process of finding a suite for us to crash at, as my teeny dorm and his teeny apartment wouldn’t fit more than three people comfortably. If you’d be up for it (and/or know any noders that might), just send me a /msg.

So.

I've just got off the phone to my girlfriend. She lives in california. I'm in the UK. Its a long way. Its kind of hard to talk when there is an eight hour time difference. Thank goodness neither of us work - it means I can stay up and talk to her at 4pm her time, midnight mine, she can stay up at talk to me at 8am mine, midnight hers.

8800 kilometres
thats a long way

But shes coming to visit me over thanksgiving. Two eleven flights to be with me for four nights. Thats devotion. Its also a pretty much 4:1 time here to flight time ratio. And I love her for it.

I can see the moon out my window
staring at me
the thin clouds give it a rainbow halo

I bought her a present - Channukah starts while shes here. I'd say what it is but I know she knows about e2 and I don't want to take the risk. Its one of the few secrets I've kept from her. Her sister knows what it is though. So does her room mate. Its evil of me to tease her like this - but it does highten the anticipation. I'm sure she'll like it.

Dayloging is hard when you live with noders.

There are things that I could say - but wont. I live with three noders, and one who will not node. So if I were to talk about the people I live with chances are that they will read it and know.

Lemongrass...

We always try to eat togeather every night. Some of us will cook and the others will tidy up. Tonight I cooked. I made chilli - I like it, its easy to make and tasty and nutritious. But tonight the rice burned. Burning rice smells nasty. Dinner was odd, somehow strained and I don't really know why. People are in funny moods. I should of added lemongrass to the chilli.

my server's clock is wrong by 0.16 seconds
it e-mailed me to tell me this

I spent part of my day playing with my server. Its a typical LAMP setup. I wrote a few PHP scripts to track people moving though my site and to display the last 5 IPs that accessed my site. I felt like a voyeur watching people move from page to page. It thrilled me at the same time.

I am ready to move on.

I'm getting tired of the here and now. I want to move into the real world already. I want a job. I want to live in California. I like it here, but I will like there more. I can start to see the rest of my life ahead of me.

3 Kids - 2 Boys & a Girl

We talk about the future - our future. It feels right. It is natural. It is OK to talk about things that will be. Not just might be. I can see our house in my mind. I can see our kids. I can see myself coming home from work to be greated by a loving wife and loving kids. I only care for the simple things. To be comfortable, to have my family, to have a family.

It's OK to dream - and for the dream to be true

This is my first DayLog. I'm not really sure what I'm supposed to do. It doesn't yet feel 'right' but neither does it feel 'wrong' - it just is. I'm enjoying it though. Listening to music - nyman - while writing what I want to write. Just letting the words flow.

Maybe I'll do it again

Days have ceased to drag, and I am scared. It was Monday five minutes ago and I have no idea what happened. The faster time flies the less I have time to finish, the more stressed I become, and the faster the minutes pass. It will never end.

I found a free hour and a half a few days ago. It must have been a Tuesday although it seems like it was this morning, no less. After working for five hours, which I did after going to class for three, I met up with Aaron and went to East Quad to give blood. Being the nerd that I am, I made an appointment ahead of time, and was thus given permission to cut in front of the dozen or so people waiting in line already. I still had to wait for half an hour, but that’s not so bad. In that time Aaron and I looked at handy paper placemats displaying little know facts about the rarity of blood types and donor potentials. It turns out I can give blood to 84% of the population, which is pretty good. I am O+, by far a member of the majority. Most caucasians fit into this blood type. Surprisingly enough, Aaron has the rarest blood type of them all, AB-. But he is the universal plasma donor. I am not sure how that works.

So then it was time to talk to an RN behind a black screen (in a pathetic attempt at privacy). They use laptops to take donor info now, very smooth. She typed in my SS# and other vital info while sticking a disposable thermometer under my tongue and wrapping my arm with the cuff of a sphygmomanometer. She tried to take my blood pressure, and then called another nurse over to give it a go. They came to the conclusion that I was indeed coming up at a steady 78/56, which they deemed unacceptable. I was prescribed three laps around the building, which would have taken a good half hour to accomplish, but I settled for a jog up and down the crowded hallway past kids in pajama bottoms and slippers. No one really noticed.

I got back to the nurse and the black screen a few minutes later, but she had taken on another patient in anticipation of my long absence. So I waited and waited, feeling my heart settle back into its pathetic, lethargic beat. So I hopped up and took another run, this time sprinting past the sign in desk and running all the way to the elevators and back. The nurse was free, thankfully, and took my BP again as my heart pounded. I clocked in at a whopping 100/70, which still worried her but made me happy. At least I kind of resembled a living person.

I was passed on to a new line, papers in hand, and waited for a bed to free up. Aaron was waiting there too. We were sitting next to one cot where a curly-haired blond girl, no more than 5'6" and painfully thin, was being watched over by a strikingly beautiful nurse and a doctor wearing scrubs. The blond girl was babbling about never being able to give a full pint, how she always fainted and was sent home. I rolled my eyes and bit my tongue to keep from saying that that was why one must weigh at least 110 pounds to donate. Why was she wasting everyone’s time?

I got a bed by an open window, and was frozen by the time a rotund, short-haired brunette nurse came over to take care of me. She told me to roll up both sleeves, which I was reluctant to do due to the drafty location, but I knew it was necessary. So I complied and displayed my two incredibly veined inner elbows to her shocked eyes, which quickly became happily ecstatic at her good fortune. She begged me to let the nurses gather round and observe my humongous veins; they all poked and prodded them, made such statements as "you could drive a truck through that left one," and then reluctantly wandered back to their not-so-impressively endowed patients. My nurse chuckled in delight as she opened the sterile package containing the needle.

I looked away as she set about inserting the thing into my arm, and was dismayed to feel a sharp jab of pain instead of a tiny, dismissible discomfort that should have lasted a millisecond. It was excruciating, sort of, but I have a way of ignoring pain that would shame most people. So I didn’t say anything. I figured it would work just the same, pain or not.

Thirteen minutes later, the beautiful nurse I had seen earlier came over to check on me, since my friendly round lady had gone to dinner. She looked quizzically at my ¾ full bag, then lifted the bandages to check the needle. She gasped and immediately fiddled around with it, and the pain disappeared as quickly as it came. She patted my head and said "Didn’t that hurt??" in an very concerned voice. I nodded, shrugged, and asked what was wrong. In her enthusiasm, the rotund nurse had managed to plunge the needle through a valve inside my vein (you know, those things that are responsible for making sure the blood only flows one way) and then into the vein wall. That’s why, thirteen minutes later, the bag was not full, and the reason I was silently hurting. Good to know.

After the adjustment, I was done in a minute or two. A different nurse fixed my arm up and sent me over to the cookie and juice table. Aaron was already there, surrounded by the volunteer students who were helping with the blood drive – all of them were girls of course, and all were hanging on his every word as he told some dramatic tale that made them giggle and drool. I glared at everyone, grabbed sixteen oatmeal raisin cookies, and deliberately sat next to Aaron. And glared at him too.

He drank a few more containers of OJ, and together we polished off an entire plastic container of cookies. Bedecked with stickers, we left.

It was dark and cold, but I had my trusty scarf, hat, and mitten combo. We walked back to my apartment, dropped off my bike, and then walked the mile or so to his car. My entire left arm was feeling incredibly heavy, and it was impossible to bend it, but I was hungry, so we went to TGI Friday for a late dinner. I had the crispy orange chicken and a house salad with bread; he had chicken bruschetta and a Caesar salad with Italian dressing. It was nice.

And now it is somehow going on Friday morning, and I have a million things to do.

Long day / week / month / year... where to begin...

Fuck it, I'll just start and end with today. Today {being midnight Thusday morning} began with me reading web comics till four AM at which point my roommate came and asked me if I wanted to try the "One Must Fall" beta. I thought it was a neat idea, which instantly told me I needed to be asleep instead because the game is shit, so if I thought that was cool I HAD to be tired.

Slept for approximately 6 hours during which I dreamt about my ex-SO, one of my best friends who everyone seems to THINK is my current SO, and some odd happenings which I can't completely remember, but I know I didn't like them

Awoke naturally at 10 AM, which was strange. I do not usually rise prior to 2 PM if I don't wake to an alarm, so I was rather unnerved when my roommate told me how early it was. I partook of a game of Madden NFL 2K3, in which my roommate had a miraculous comback from me being up 24-21. He intercepted a pass for a touchdown. Then did it again the very next time I got the ball. Then injured my quarterback. Then intercepted on my back up. He won the game 35-24.

Went with two of my three roommates to Pockets Sports Bar and Billiards for the lunch special (buy a burger for two bucks, play pool from 11AM-4PM free). Oggled a woman at the next table who knew damn well how sexy she was and was using it to her advantage. There needs to be a law about what women can wear in a pool hall. I cannot freaking shark when I keep staring at a woman with gorgeous legs in a mini skirt with black hose on and a black low cut tank top. It's just not right...

After thouroughly grounding my roommates' egos to dust, we headed back to the apartment to find our friend John already on our balcony (we pretty much gave the guy a key, he's there often enough anyway). I then proceeded to play around online a bit and get IM'd by this girl in NY (Long Island) who always has this odd desire to try to start cyber-sex sessions with me. Eventually I type along with it such that she'll go away, but it doesn't work. A quick block and screen name switch does the job fine.

Later, I hopped onto eBay and purchased a few Playstation controller to USB adapters such that I can use my DDR pads with Stepmania. DDR - good exercise, fun game, still can't understand those that obcess over it. Oh well.

At a peak of boredom, I took a walk to campus to talk to the honors program advisor to see if I was indeed in the honors program for next semeseter. She was not in and would not be for the whole day. Annoyance.

Played a few more vid games, read more web comics. I still contemplate the possibility of getting back with my ex though I know she will not speak to me - which kinda hurts my chances. I know not what, if anything I did to damage our relationship (though she assured me nothing when she left me), I just know I'd take it all back if she'd be with me again. I love her more than anyone or anything I've ever known and I simply wish her happiness. If I could get a simple response from her affirming that, things might be ok.

And now I come to you, fellow noders, with this text filled representation of the past 22.5 hours. I feel a mild amount of guilt for writing, as I seem to be daylogging almost as much as factual noding lately (something I try to avoid). I'll probably turn off XP from voting... I dunno... What do you see when you read these logs? Do you attempt to picture myself, my roommates, possibly even my ex SO as I mention my day to you - the average internet user, browser, random person. The entire world can read this, yet at times I feel comfortable posting even my most private of thoughts. You read, skim, or possibly even simply pass over, these paragraphs of text and make a rather snap judgement of good or bad. Perhaps you don't care either way and click randomly, but I subject my thoughts for your approval. Why?...

Thoughts on Spain

It is raining when we reach Madrid Airport, just like it was when we left J.I.A. nine and a half hours ago, and just like it will be when we reach Malaga three hours from now. It is a persistent, unexceptional rain; we barely blink when it blows against the huge windows and falls fruitlessly onto the tarmac outside

My brother may be calling me; I am not certain, in this mid-morning pre-dawn confusion. He left me a few minutes ago, armed with a plastic bag filled with the thick bronze Spanish Pesetas to find a Coke.

My brother may be calling me; I am not certain. I am suffering from that jet-lag unique to the nine p.m. from Johannesburg to Madrid. A dull aching; no variance in emotion, oily and bruised.

My brother may be calling me; I am not certain.


The English, as a culture, and its bastardised brethren the United States of America, and to a lesser extent South Africa and Australia, are single-handedly responsible for destroying paradise. Their innate curiosity, and their adopted problem child capitalism has transformed the untouched beaches and startling jungles of Spain, Africa and the East into souvenir shops and McDonalds'.

Perhaps that is the flaw: that wherever the British or their brethren may travel, they always long to create another London; a place of dark blues and greys far more poignantly reminiscent of the North-East of England than a simple spray of wild flowers. Only the dark optimism of the American psyche saved New York from being New London. And maybe this would explain the British passion for overpowering Scotland: the longing so built into the national character that almost from the womb, the typical Brit longs for the penance and subdued formality of the Highlands.

The only nation more detestable for picking up this expansionist philosophy is the Japanese, who not only do it knowingly, but faster, cheaper, and with advertising campaigns starring Sylvester Stallone and Tom Hanks.

One day we will wake up and find Bali gone; and in its place huge billboards proclaiming 'You Can't Beat The Real Thing' and 'Over 1 Billion Served'. And quick as a flash, in one last glorious burst of exploratory discovery, Sony will purchase the moon, and sell pieces of it to visiting tourists.


The clouds here on the south of Spain have an impressionistic, three-dimensional look to them, a foreign feeling of depth and texture. Equally distressing is the inability for the sky to control the eye-widening salmon-pink colour it invariably turns at sunset, instead of the usual baby blue.

As we walk to dinner, I am reminded of the impression I received when I first arrived: this is weather with a purpose, undeniably indifferent to popular opinion; without malice, but certainly without favourites. Cliff and I take photos of the Castle Bil-Bil as the clouds, silver linings afire with rosy flame, fade into the the blue-black of ten o'clock.


Cliff and I sit up late at the sidewalk tables of a Spanish tapas bar. After sampling everything but the tripe, I am almost, but not quite, driven to buy a box of cigarettes.

The effort involved in getting change, coins for the monolithic, brooding cigarette machine puts me off, and we walk back to the Sahara Sunset swinging bottles of Aguilar and watching the youths on scooters racing suicidally through the midnight streets of Benalmadena.


The N340 is a narrow, silver highway that runs from near Rincon de la Victoria in the East to Cadiz and Gibraltar in the Southwest; through the permanent metropolitan beachfront bustle of Malaga, though Torremolinos, Benalmadena, Fuengirola, Marbella, Alcantara and Estepona.

But if you leave the beachfront road and turn north somewhere near Marbella, you will travel towards the lower Southern foothills of the Spanish mountains. Here, you will climb more than a kilometre up the face of the aptly named, volcanically-coloured Pink Mountain, and if you turn around and gaze back towards the coast, you can see, past chestnut trees, Kashogi's mountain hideaway, and thirty kilometres of rolling fields, all the way into the clear waters of the Costa del Sol.

But if you continue onward, over the equally descriptive White Mountain, you will crest one final rise and find yourself staring down into a bowl filled with sunlight, and the medieval Moorish fortified city of Rhonda.


What kind of strange colonial magnetism can make 30 000 people cling desperately to the jagged edges and steep cliffs of a home on a mountain so small it's actually called a rock? What incredible patriotic fervour must be contained in each one of those souls; to wake each morning and be definite of others cradling the certainty of your existence; the incontestable knowledge that you sit, solitary, a somewhat nearer fighting fortress in what remains of a far flung empire.

I dwell on this on the long road from Malaga to Jerez, and imagine as explanation God's obsidian arms pushing an enormous hand into a perfect corner of Darling England, and transplanting a piece of the Isles into a dollop off the coast of Spain.

Sometimes, when the mist is thick, the Gibraltans do not have to see the coast.


We are delayed for an eternity. After laughing at a flight to Caracas that befell a similar fate earlier on, we are visited by the hand of justice and are grounded while technicians sort out deliberately vague terms like 'technical problems', terms that span a range of possibilities from engine failure to drunken pilot.

The announcements at this time of the morning are croaked out by a mumbling mongoloid, obviously a fan of the Marlon Brando school of vocalisation. They are also made in a kind of obscure Oriental dialect of Spanish, rendering all facts completely incomprehensible.

The stewards on gate duty also seem completely incapable of telling time, and so we do not know how long our plane is grounded, whether we are at the right gate, or even whether we have any chance of leaving Madrid Airport alive.

They have closed the coffee bars and restaurants; no one has any food or drink, and the more restless passengers are eyeing my muscular thighs hungrily.

My family form a circle around our duty-free shopping bags, and wait for the worst.


Monday night, and I'm sitting on a narrow footpath. A small metal table, a steaming plate of food.
a light drizzle occasionally falls - not quite stopped by the thin awning out the front.

"Would you like to come inside?"

          "No, I'm ok out here"

......

"Are you sure you don't want to eat inside?"

         "I'm certain", said with a smile


          I feel alive


Tuesday morning, and I'm woken by the sounds of a city. I'm woken by tens of thousands of lives colliding, merging.
Slipping past each other, and intertwining.
Seventeen floors up, I stand behind plate glass windows, and all I can see is the tapestry they create.

Before too long, my feet hit the pavement, and I add my own thread.

And at the corner of Oxford and Liverpool Streets, an ambulance weaves its way through the traffic, urgent and loud.
Like a ripple through water, this pattern changes. Ever so slightly.
I wonder how far it will travel?


          I feel alive


Wednesday morning, and subway stations. Puzzling over stubborn ticket machines, joining the hordes of humanity on this platform.
Subways are not heard...they're felt. Like standing in the centre of a great bass drum, feeling every bone vibrate.
Creating your own silent harmony.
And before long, I'm in a seat, bag next to me. Alarms sound - stand clear of the doors. Almost silently, we move.
And there's nothing but the swaying of this carriage.


          I feel alive


Wednesday night, and I'm tired legs, unable to stop. Not wanting to spend a second longer than I must, in a too quiet hotel room.
So I'm heading down streets I don't know. Vaguely aware of my direction, not really caring anyway.
Behind me, a man shoves a stick into electronic parking meter coin slots. It doesn't take long before the stick alone is not enough, as the coins fail to drop.
And the blows he gives these machines become stronger.
My feet take me to Oxford Street, and I raise weary eyes to the sky, to see a line of birds flying overhead.

They're not birds.

Bat wings glide overhead, by the hundred. Sleek, black as night. They keep coming, and coming, like travelers on a familiar highway, following well worn streets.
I can't take my eyes from the sky.


          I feel alive


Thursday night, and I'm coming home. Or as close to home as I've found yet.
Hours of travel bring me into my home town, quiet as a grave.
I drive down the main street, the sense of wrongness radiates everywhere I look. Streets are empty. Streetlights seem to be fighting a loosing battle, as they attempt to fill the gloom.
It feels as though the welcoming arms of my city have withered, and died.
This city's heart is struggling to beat.

It's keeping pace with mine.

          I feel...nothing at all

Friends.

Don't talk to me about friends.

Sure, I fucked up a few times. I pissed you off. But I don't think I deserve this.

I take your shit because I don't want to annoy everyone. The times I'm the butt of everyone else's jokes. I can take that.

But if you really hate me, just tell me. Don't make jokes like "It's alright, I'm just trying to make Malcolm feel left out."

I can't stand trying to be your friend if you just couldn't care less.

I don't want the money you owe me back. I don't want you to dump your Girlfriend because you spend lots of time with her. I just want you to talk to me, chill with me like we used to. Before I fucked up.

You'll never read this, but I want my friend back.


Last Daylog * * * Next Daylog

Today my roommate/ex-best friend decided she wanted to talk to me. Ok, so she talks all day and all night. But she feels she needs to corner me to "really have a talk" about anything. That's fine. She told me she had something to ask me. She asked me if I'm truly "sterile" as she liked to call it. First of all, that's insulting to even ask if I really cannot have children. Secondly that's insulting because of the way she phrased it. Thirdly, that's not what she really wanted to talk about. "Yes, I am really unable to have children. What's your point?"

"Ok. Well, the reason I was asking was because, I mean I was asking you. I asked because I found the pregnancy test in the garbage when I was taking the garbage out. You should have told me."

   What should I have told her, by the way? I told her I missed a period. I told her that I'd appreciate her knocking when she came in if Brett (the boyfriend) was over, and waiting for a reply. It's none of anyone's business what goes on between my boyfriend and I, intimately, just between us. I'm not ashamed of it, either, though. So...

"What should I have told you?"

"Well what was the test for?"

"To make sure I wasn't pregnant, what did you think? I have to take care of myself, and I have to make sure that the doctors aren't wrong. I'm not just going to find out nine months later when I thought I had just gained a lot of weight and (lo-and-behold!) my water breaks!"

"well, you know I don't approve?"

   What do I care? I mean, if I needed everyone's approval before I did something, I'd never do anything, and it'd be like a beurocracy in which everthing that does get done requires about 32134 days of time to process. I don't think that she realizes that I'm a big girl, in fact older and more independant than she, and that I can make my own decisions. I'm not "lost" or acting "un-Christian" in any means. My relationship with God is up there. I know what she's thinking, though. She's thinking that I'm in a "bad place with God," and that I'm "fallen" or "lost." I'm so sick of people that are supposed to be non-judgemental and loving toward me, supposed to be on my side, instead judging me and treating me like a lost little child. We're all on the same team, but apparently not the same page; you're no better, holier, closer to God than I am, not that you can tell anyway. Only God knows this. So don't get all condescending on me and try and tell me what's what.

I swear, if one more person quotes me church doctrine and tells me I should know better than to go against it, I'm going to tear out my hair and make them eat it, scalp and all.

I've realized that I love school.

I'm a geology major at the University of Western Ontario.

As much as it's hard, and as much as I hate long days and not being able to go out, I really do love it. I really like the people in my program this year, well except a few. There are only about 25 of us, so thats how big my classes are, in comparison to my smallest being 250 last year.

Who knew rocks could be so great?

I dream about them.

You're probably wondering how the hell can someone dream about rocks on a regular basis? Well so am I, kind of. I mean I dream about them more than my boyfriend. They aren't really weird dreams, infact they seem very... normal.

In last nights dream I was camping with my sister and one of her friends. We were very near a large city, which had a ton of beautiful outcrops, some of pure minerals. So we ran around collecting rocks and minerals, illegally. We got some great fluorite, some pyrite and granite. We had our pockets chock full, and were running along paths behind houses. We got to the lake, and jumped in off the dock. Some how our rocks didn't sink... so we just played with them under the water.

I don't know why I don't dream about finding diamonds or some really neat looking stuff.

Anyhow, despite the fact that some days I feel that I can't possibly get out of bed and go to class, I will go on getting out of bed, even if I'm late. And I will keep going to class even though the assignments and exams are sometimes overwhelming.

Another weird note... last weekend I was looking at some newly purchased rocks and looking them up in my guide book, in my bed. I fell asleep in the process. I woke up with a piece of mica, muscovite in fact, stuck to my arm. So not only am I dreaming of rocks and minerals, I'm sleeping with them too.

The sadest part of the whole thing is that I woke up morning and thought about how I loved my rocks, not about what a loser I am to have slept with and on top of them.

Is this what it means to be a geologist?

My wife and I took a holoholo day today. Holoholo is a Hawaiian word meaning, loosely, vacation and more generally "bumming around not accomplishing much of anything but having a good time".

We'll be taking our 16 month old daughter out of day-care in a couple weeks, so this was just about our last chance.

We spent the day together (of course), first seeing the new Harry Potter movie (another excellent rendition of an excellent book) at theater right next to King's Island. We were at the first show, 10:30 AM, and there were an awful lot of kids in the theater that really should have been in school. The mother of the kid behind me explained that he had gone to school, turned in his project, done his presentation, and then was whisked out again to see the movie. Kids today.

Then we headed south to Mason, to have lunch at a restaurant called Copeland's, which bills itself as New Orleans style. A friend had given us a $50 gift certificate to Copeland's a couple of years ago (which he got free when he did some lawyer stuff for them) and we finally got around to using them. We ordered way too much food, all of it quite delicious, and now have food for lunch for a couple of days. The bill came, coincidentally, to about $49, before tip, so we got all of that for only $10 out of pocket.

We then headed north (and west, I suppose) to Waynesville, to go to many antique stores. I did about average for me, perhaps a little better. For one dollar, I got a battered copy of The International Compendium of Practical Knowledge copyright 1895; a 500 page book full of all kinds of useful information. I also spent $3.50 on a fairly good copy of The Rainbow Dictionary which is copyright 1947, but the copyright wasn't renewed in 1975, and so is now in the public domain - woo hoo!. The Rainbow Dictionary is a 433 page children's dictionary, with 2300 entries, large type and simple colorful illustrations. My daughter should grow into it before too much longer. Ruth Anne didn't do so well, the only thing she got was a piece of new lamp hardware.

Then back to The Goddard School to get Amelia, and home again home again jiggity jig. We had nowhere to go, and nothing particular to do, so we just played all evening, in between trying to get food into all three of us. Ruth Anne got Amelia to go to sleep around 9:00 or so, and we'll be joining her shortly.

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