Monthly Archives: November 2015

103 – JUST A THING

Fellow Mothers/Mothers To Be/Human Beings With Opinions on Child Rearing:

I promise not to judge your methods. I promise to never see your crying child and think you’re doing something wrong. I promise to never make you feel less-than for your parenting choices. I promise to never undermine you in front of anyone.

I mean…if you let your baby ride on the roof of the car, feed her diet coke from a swirly straw, and let her watch Tarantino movies at an ungodly decibel…then yes, I may judge a little bit. But seriously, that’s the only time.

Basically, the point I want to make is this: Everyone parents differently. No one is wrong, no one is right. We are all in this parenting thing together and just need to support, not judge.

I love you.

**This was triggered by a number of parenting articles shared on facebook recently that made me see red because I felt judged…NOT a good feeling, guys. I’m a good mom. Someone else’s opinion doesn’t change that.**

Here’s a picture of my bottle-fed/sleep trained/well-adjusted child:

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102 – DOCS

**Edited to Add: If you have any recommendations, I’d love to hear them! As well, there are many more that I left out that I’ll put together in a second post.**

I’ve been watching a lot of documentaries lately. I love docs. In particular, I like medical, historial, or true crime docs. Here are my recomendations!

THE SEVEN DWARFS OF AUSCHWITZ
Narrated by and starring actor Warwick Davis, this details the life of a group of seven dwarf siblings, Jews, who were taken to Auschwitz. Despite the odds stacked against them, and despite the fact that Mengele himself took an interest in this family, they survived.

DEAR ZACHARY: A LETTER TO A SON ABOUT HIS FATHER
I stumbled across the one several years ago, I believe it was shortly after Ginny was born. It is utterly heartbreaking. It begins as a way to show baby Zachary the life of his father (who was killed), but becomes so much more as the filmmaking progresses. This is a VERY heavy movie, and it WILL make you mad.

TREBLINKA: HITLER’S KILLING MACHINE
Treblinka 2 was a death camp in Poland, covered up by the Nazis before the war ended. Little to no evidence has ever been found that the camp truly existed as anything other than as a place of transit…until now.

PENTATONIX: ON MY WAY HOME
Clearly this is more lighthearted that the other films I’ve been watching, haha. But it offers interesting insight into Pentatonix, who are just so crazy talented!

IT’S A GIRL
This is another one guaranteed to make you mad. The fact that some women feel they must commit infanticide simply because their child was born a girl, makes me sick and so thankful that I live where I life. Girls face such hardship all over the world, and it needs to stop.

THE DARK MATTER OF LOVE
A family adopts three Russian children at the same time, and this doc focuses on the trials and joys that this brings them. It’s hard watching people who obviously have so much love in their hearts have to break down in order to care for the children they have brought into their homes. This is not a happy film, nor is it one with a bad ending. Just be warned that it’s a tough one.

THE DROPBOX
In South Korea, a pastor is called to build a drop box for unwanted babies. His passion for rescuing lost children is inspiring, and the fact that he and his wife personally have adopted many of the children – specifically those with special needs – is simply amazing.

CROPSEY
This one goes from boogeyman investigation, to story about a convicted child-kidnapper. It’s creepy, and fascinating.

H.H. HOLMES: AMERICA’S FIRST SERIAL KILLER
This guys…this monster…had this amazing house built that was full of body chutes and torture rooms and doors to nowhere. He would lure people in who needed lodging during Chicago’s World’s Fair, and then kill them. Obviously this is a darker doc.

BACK IN TIME
This one is all about Back to the Future! A great movie! Which you should also watch. This takes a look behind the scenes, and at the amazing fanbase.

HIROSHIMA
It’s fairly clear what this one is about. Hiroshima. This is an emotional one to watch, made even more so because it interviews both the victims of the bombs, as well as the men who dropped them.

BLACKFISH
Another hard one to watch – clearly a trend with me. Detailing the horrors committed against the killer whales in captivity at aquariums. The thing I struggle with, is that ALL documentaries should be taken with a grain of salt. Yes, I do believe some animals are being treated poorly. No, I do not believe every aquarium or zoo is like this. Documentaries are meant to present a certain point of view. After I finished the film, I made the personal decision to find out if any future zoos, etc I visit are making conservation efforts and display rescued animals, rather than captured.

LONG WAY ROUND
Ewan McGregor! Motorcycles! The world! Ewan and his chum decide to bike around the world, taking a camera crew with them for the ride. It’s funny, scary, and interesting. Consists of episodes, which makes it easier to watch.

THE BUSINESS OF BEING BORN/MORE BUSINESS OF BEING BORN
I put these two together because clearly they are of the same series. I watched this while I was pregnant and was really pleased with all the information I got out of it. Most of it was not relevant to me, as I live in Canada where my only hospital fee when Ginny was born was the $25 for a private room, and where I did not feel any pressures whatsoever to take drugs or have a c-section or anything. However, I really enjoyed the look into American infant/pregnancy care and if you are interested in that kind of thing, it’s a good watch.

TWICE BORN: STORIES FROM THE SPECIAL DELIVERY UNIT
This is a 3-parter about fetal surgery. I love watching surgery and I love learning about babies and the body, so this was right up my alley. FETAL SURGERY IS FASCINATING LIKE CRAZY!! The fact that a doctor can open the mother up, open the uterus, and then perform ridiculously delicate surgery on a minuscule human is so SO amazing.

THE COVE
More sea creatures! This one is about dolphin hunting in Japan. It’s fairly graphic at times, and the folks making the doc definitely had to break some laws to do so. Still, it’s a fascinating look at an issue that certainly doesn’t exist over here in Canada.

I KNOW THAT VOICE
This is a lighthearted look at the world of voice-acting. It doesn’t get enough attention, and I was so excited to put faces to the familiar voices that I hear in so many cartoons.

ROOM 237
The Shining is one of my favourite horror films, and this doc takes a look at the various theories of what the REAL message of the movie is. It’s a crazy movie guys, so there’s a lotta theories.

MANSOME
Being married to a beardtacular man, I decided to delve into this look at male grooming. There’s beard growing contests happening in the world…who knew? Also, it’s made by the same guy who did Super Size Me (which I also love).

EVEREST
A film about tackling the beast that is Mount Everest. During filming, the disaster of 1996 occurred, so it also takes a look into the truth of that situation, which is sad.

 

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101 – NANOWRIMO 4, etc.

Well…there has been zero progress. ZERO. I made it to 10,000 words and hit a massive concrete wall. And honestly? I don’t seem myself recovering. It’s a shame, but! I’m proud of the progress that I did make. I am still hopeful that I may pick up the pen again, so to speak, but I won’t hold my breath.

In other news…

I finally have my living/dining/kitchen rooms looking the way I want them to. It involved finally just giving up on the toys and tucking them all away into Ginny’s bedroom. She’s much more into video games at the moment anyways – an activity we are currently encouraging because it’s improving her finger dexterity and problem/puzzle solving. Seriously…the kid is beating this game ALONE and she’s only 3. And it’s a newer Mario game – one that I personally struggle with.

I’ve been REALLY trying at eating better lately and it’s been going well. For a few weeks I was staying up every night til 2 or 3, and since I changed my diet things have been going better. I try not to drink any caffeine after 7 (thankfully Tetley makes a lovely decaf tea), no big snacks, and I’m trying to give myself healthier options for lunches and suppers. I’m also attempting to curb my picky habits…I’m the type who doesn’t like to eat something unless I’m in the mood for it. I am making progress. In a couple weeks Bryan and I are finally heading out to get a gym membership. We figured we should do this NOT in January, as that feels like a good way to fail, not to mention that is what basically everybody does. I’m looking forwards to evenings spent sweating my face off with my sweet husband as we both work on getting fit. Feels good to have the money set aside for this purpose already. NO BACKING OUT!!

Christmas shopping…I’ve made a dent in it. For some reason, despite my artisticalness, I rarely do homemade gifts. This year, so far, I have 3 paintings completed to give to people! I even bought frames for them!! Here’s one:

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A family tree for my mother-in-law. I’m really REALLY hoping that I’ll have a reason to update it in the near future. NOT BECAUSE I’M EXPECTING! Hahahaha. Nor am I planning to. But because I want my brothers and sisters in law to have babies. I have one nephew, and he is ridiculously adorable. I want more!

I’m hoping to perhaps make a couple more gifts to give out, and after Christmas I’ll share them all here on the bloggiewoggie.

That’s it for now, I suppose. I have some water to drink and maybe a nap to take??!

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100 – Sims Series 1

I love interior design. Before we nixed the cable, I lived and breathed HGTV (and the Food Network). I could watch home design shows all day long. Unfortunately…I have no money and I live in a rented apartment. So that vastly limits my options. I do what I can, but when you live in a small space and don’t have the funds or permission to do as you would please, it’s tough.

That’s where The Sims comes in. I love that game. I’ve been playing it since 2002-ish. It makes my interior design dreams come true. And starting today, I’m going to share some of those dreams because I’ve become pretty good at my computer-game craft. So without further ado…today’s creation! Even if you’re not a Sims player, you should check it out! It’s a house I wouldn’t mind living in, even if it’s a bit small.

This is a small home for a family of 4 – a mom, dad, and 2 daughters. I built it from the ground up, and uploaded it to the gallery so it is downloadable.

11-13-15_11-07-35 AM

Street View

Street View

Living Room/Kitchen

Living Room/Kitchen

Dining/Living

Dining/Living

Kitchen

Kitchen

Dining/Entry/Living

Dining/Entry/Living

Powder Room

Powder Room

Backyard

Backyard

Landing/Office

Landing/Office

Landing/Office

Landing/Office

Master Bedroom

Master Bedroom

Master Bedroom

Master Bedroom

Kids Room

Kids Room

Kids Room

Kids Room

Upstairs Bath (I forgot a mirror)

Upstairs Bath (I forgot a mirror)

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99 – My First Time

It was a Sunday in 1997.

I was 7 years old, just a few months away from my 8th birthday. My dad told me that he was taking me to a movie after church. I was quite excited. Who wouldn’t want to spend the day with their dad? Especially without siblings (especially since mine were 3 and under).

We went to the theatre and took our seats, close to the front. The lights dimmed and then the movie began. The 20th Century Fox logo appeared. And then the ‘Lucasfilm’ logo. Finally, I read:

A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away…

And the epic Star Wars fanfare music began to play. I was instantly transported. I remember every minute of that movie, and every feeling I felt the first time I saw it. I remember being excited and scared and delighted. It was a Moment. One of those memories that I have carefully treasured, and that I will continue to treasure forever.

When the movie ended, we got Wendy’s for dinner and then I got to stay up a little bit late even though it was a school night.

It was an amazing day.

An amazing day with my Dad, seeing Star Wars for the very first time.


Here are some of the Star Wars art pieces I’ve made over the past few years:

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98 – NaNoWriMo 3

Well I hit a block on the 6th day of this challenge. Had my laptop primed and ready to go all day, and wrote nothing. I’ve been having a terrible time sleeping lately so once the clock hit 1am, I actually forced myself to write a bit. I’m still quite blocked, having trouble making all the necessary connections in my story, but I’ve found something to write about and I think I can hit my goals with this if I keep at it…and stop pausing midway through to make blog posts and check facebook.

I just wrote a description of a main character’s wedding dress. This was fun because a) who doesn’t love a wedding dress? and b) who doesn’t love a 90s wedding dress? and c) who doesn’t love Becca’s DREAM wedding dress from the 90s? Guys…it was pretty bad. I am SO glad that I changed my mind when I grew up. I’m going to see if I can find a picture online of what I had in mind.

Bah. Can’t find a picture of what I’m thinking of. I’m sure I’ve seen dresses like it before. But anyways! I’ll just show you the description from my story. It’s so awful. I don’t know why this was my dream dress. It is so utterly and completely NOT ME.

Her dress was easy enough to find. There was only one dress shop in the whole town, and her Aunt Bridget owned it. One day Wooz went in to find a dress, and left a few hours later having purchased the gown of her dreams. It was a beautiful, empire waist gown. The bodice was covered in beautiful daisy-patterned lace, and had a turtleneck and cap sleeves. She would wear dainty lace gloves on her hands, and have her hair piled high on top of her head surrounded by a crown of daisies. On her feet she was to wear platform flip flops in white. It was a winter wedding, but Wooz was a flip flop girl through and through and she knew the bulk of the festivities would be indoors anyways. Her trusty Ugg boots would be standing by for any outdoor activities.

It all sounds very 1999, which is exactly what I want. It is SO much fun to write a story that takes place in 1999. The references I’m making are fun, and I get to do research…plus there’s just a lot of nostalgia which you know I just love. Anyways, time to get back to work. I’d like to at least hit 10 000 words before I finally turn in.

Side Note: As I’m writing tonight, I’m sitting in my living room, in the dark, while wearing a Batman onesie. I feel like this isn’t quite how Margaret Atwood gets stuff done.

Side Side Note Note: I am NOT comparing my writing to Margaret Atwood’s, my gosh. I will never be that good, nor will I ever be that serious. And my hair will never be that curly (which is irrelevant).

Side Side Side Note Note Note: If you haven’t ever read any Margaret Atwood, go read The Handmaid’s Tale and Alias Grace immediately. Both are fantastic (Alias Grace is my favourite though).

Side Side Side Side Note Note Note Note: OKAY OKAY! I’LL STOP STALLING AND GO WRITE!

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97 – NaNoWriMo 2

nano

Here’s how I’m doing so far! I was actually able to get quite a bit of writing done yesterday, which really made me happy. I figure that while I’m inspired, I may as well try to churn out as many words as possible, even if they don’t make sense. Writing with a size 12 font, I’m just about to start on page 13! Even if my book is crap, I’m really excited to print it out and hold it in my hands…at which point I’ll go to town on it with my red pen.

I’m really surprised at how well the writing has been going, actually. When I attempted this back in 2011, things did not go well. Part of that though, I think, was I did zero prep ahead of time. With this year’s story, I actually took the time to think about what I would be doing. I wrote out a loose plot – just a couple sentences, and made a list of some of the characters I’d like to write about – only maybe two of which I’m actually using.

I think the thing I really have going for me right now, is that I stay home all day and am able to just leave my laptop on with my novel document open, ready for me to write whenever the mood strikes me. I am able to pick at my story all day long, and I think that if I can keep doing this, I might just make it to the end. We’ll see though.

If you are also participating in NaNo, please add me as a buddy! My name is: ReallyReilly

Now, here’s another small excerpt. And again…grain of salt, here.

When the Y2K news first reached Ilene’s ears, her first reaction was just confusion. She was almost eighty years old and had never really understood computers, so even when Wooz and Buddy took the time to slowly go over the details with her, she was unsure of what exactly was happening. In the end, she got the message the world was ending, her refrigerator was possibly going to kill her, and if she ever wanted to put her arson plan into action, she was going to have to get busy.

It took weeks to accumulate all of that gasoline. Ilene didn’t own a vehicle, so she had to be fairly crafty and sly. It would look awfully suspicious if she was carting around cans of gas in her little shopping cart. People would be sure to question her, and poor Ilene had never been a very good liar. Fortunately, people only asked questions three times, and each time it was someone different so she was always able to use the same story.

“Well dear,” she would say, “with the end of the world coming, what with the Y2Ks and all, I’ve decided to burn some of my old belongings. I’ve held on to some things for far too long, and it’s time to get rid of them.”

Because she had only been purchasing a little bit of gas at a time, this answer was accepted and she was free to continue on her merry way. Sometimes, the young person working at the store that day would even carry the load home for her. Ilene would thank the person, offer them a cookie, and then once they had departed she would collapse onto the couch and sigh, happy that her nefarious intent had yet to be discovered.

The gasoline canisters began to form a neat line across the rumpus room wall down in the basement, looking uniform against the wood panelled wall. After staring at them for months though, Ilene knew that something had to be done to make them look less threatening. This is where the gas cozy idea came from. Ilene was a champion knitter, so she quickly set to work figuring out how to make a cozy that shape and that big. After about a week, she knew what she was doing and began the process of knitting like crazy. When company would stop by, she’d quickly stick her needles in a half finished sweater, pretending that everything was just as it normally was. All said and done, Ilene had been feeling quite devious since this Y2K thing reared its ugly – and confusing – head.

As the end of the year was approaching, Ilene was getting excited about finally putting all her gasoline to good use. She had a long list taped to the mirror of her bedroom dresser, detailing each and every business that she was going to burn to the ground. She would be starting, of course, with Huntsman’s Coffee Shoppe. When Huntsman’s first opened, Ilene had been delighted to go on in and try some of their coffee. However, the young girl working at the counter wrote her name incorrectly on the coffee cup. Ilene had frowned quite severely when the she read ‘Eileen’, the spelling of her name that she loathed intensely. She did not approve of frivolous letters when spelling names.

The next target of the wrath of Ilene, would be the video rental store. Too many times, Ilene had rented a movie and brought it home only to discover that it had most certainly not been rewound. In addition, she had been very disappointed when she rented the film “Groundhog Day”, and it kept starting over. She hadn’t even been back to the store since 1994.

Again, add me! ReallyReilly

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96 – NaNoWriMo

As of right now, I’ve hit the 3000 word mark! To celebrate, here’s a small excerpt.

***FYI: This is most definitely a work in progress, so I haven’t gone back through to fix any spelling or grammatical errors, nor have I fixed the language to make it more readable. At this point, I’m simply trying to work through the novel to hit my word goals and making sense of things isn’t high on my list of priorities. SO! Read this with a grain of salt, and an open mind, please!***

“If only flux capacitors were real,” Harold sighed. He gave the piece of metal he was working on a good whack with the hammer, and then slumped down against the wall. The car sitting before him was certainly no Delorean, but he hoped it would still be just as capable of time travel. The Chevy Sprint had always been good on mileage for Harold, so he figured that talent would carry on into interdimensional aspects as well. “Time to call it a night.” Harold tucked away his tools, threw a cover over the car, and then closed up the garage and went into the house to find his wife.

Janice was busy in the kitchen, whipping up a batch of hot chocolate while watching Law and Order: SVU, her favourite show. “Oh my gosh Harold, you’re not going to believe what is happening tonight on LOSVU,” she said when she was her husband.

“Janice, it’s still really weird when you call it that.” Harold kicked off his shoes and settled onto the plush floral couch that he hated, but Janice loved. “Acronyms that aren’t words are weird.”

“Hush,” said Janice. She poured two mugs of hot chocolate and then joined Harold in the living room. “This guy has been cleared of the crime, but things are still fishy about it,” she explained. “Seriously, I have no idea what’s going to happen, and it is so exciting.”

Together, the Majors sipped their beverages in silence as they watched the story unfold. Janice was thoroughly engrossed, while Harold’s mind had already wandered back to his secret project in the garage. He was so lost in thought, in fact, that Janice had to say his name several times to get his attention once the episode had ended.

“Sorry Janice, my mind was elsewhere. What did you ask me?”

Janice grumbled a bit under her breath. “Well I was going to ask you what you thought of LOSVU, but obviously you weren’t even watching. What had you so distracted that you couldn’t pay attention.” She peeked down into Harold’s mug. “You didn’t even finish your drink, either.”

“I was just thinking about the time machine,” Harold admitted. “I’m starting to run out of time before I need it to be finished. December is approaching quickly and I haven’t even been able to do any hamster tests yet.”

“I really wish you wouldn’t use live animals,” admonished Janice. “It’s cruel.”

Harold shook his head. “It’s only cruel if they get hurt or killed, and I’m not going to let that happen. Bittersweet and Symphony are my pets, and I certainly don’t want anything to happen to them. Don’t worry Jan, I’ll be careful.”

***Thanks for reading! I should probably mention a couple things: This story takes place in 1999 in the lead up to the Y2K ‘scare’. It’s about a small town full of weirdos who deal with it in different ways – Harold is dealing with it by trying to build a time machine. Janice is dealing with it by watching a lot of Law and Order.***

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95 – Meh

I’m just in one of those moods tonight where I don’t want to go to bed. It’s 1:37 in the morning, and I’m laying on the couch watching an Australian dude play The Sims 3. This is not a good plan. I am aware of this. And yet…here I lay.

My sister is away for a few days so it’s just Bryan, Ginny, and I. It’s been nice. Not because my sister is gone and I wanted to be rid of her, but because it’s just the 3 of us and we like that. It’s been really great having my siblings live with us, but we do look forward to when we have no roommates anymore. Sarah doesn’t cramp our style at all, and neither did Philly, but I find that when we 3 are alone things are just even more chill and comfy than usual.

Anyhoo. I’ve been doing some rearranging of furniture and general tidying up. I’m highly motivated right now for a few reasons. A) It’s never a bad idea to tidy up. B) I was behind in the housework. C) Our dining room table just is a magnet for junk so I almost ALWAYS have to clear it off. D) We are having a bunch of people over near the end of the month and I want the place looking purdry. E) I dunno. Last night and today I worked on swapping two thingies (a bookshelf and a pantry cupboard), and it was a really great decision. It was a LOT of work – had to empty both units, then drag them to their new homes, then refill them more efficiently than they were before. It is so rewarding though, just seeing the difference they have made. I feel like I’ve gained space in both my kitchen and dining room, plus the pantry cupboard looks way better in the dining room, and the bookshelf looks way better in the kitchen. I don’t even know if anything I just said makes any sense. Maybe some pictures once I’ve cleaned, as well as tidied. I gotta say: the tile in our apartment sucks. Even when I mop it never looks quite as clean as I’d like, and the grout just attracts all the bits of dirt and yeah. But whatever.

So…what’s new…

I have a new plan for buying Christmas gifts this year. I really want to get it done earlyish, or at least not at the last minute so I’ve basically just been buying a Christmas gift every time we go out to a store. We’re almost done shopping for Ginny (she’s the only dude we’re getting multiple gifts for), and we’ve got a few other items added to the stash for others. I think I mentioned this before, but I got a new dayplanner and I have this huge list of folks to buy gifts for/folks to send out Christmas cards to, and I love seeing a name checked off the list.

Speaking of Christmas (and yes I realize it’s only November 2, but I’m ALWAYS thinking about Christmas because Christmas means family time and I love me my family), I’m really excited this year because it’s an Us year. We alternate Us – Reillys – Us – Taylors – Us, and so on and so forth. It’s been a good system, because it allows for time with the inlaws on both sides, but also gives us a chance to develop our own traditions, which really makes me happy. Christmas Eve, we’ll head out to the Candlelight Service at the church (one of my fav nights of the whole year…the candlelight, music, and general atmosphere always makes me cry), then return home where Ginny will get to open a gift which contains Christmas jammies, a new Christmas (or just kid-friendly) movie, and a snack. Then we’ll snuggle on the couch and watch the movie before sending Gin off to bed, at which point Bryan and I are likely to just watch Home Alone because that movie rocks. Christmas morning we’ll open our stockings in bed, then grab breakfast (I often do cinnamon buns, so they can bake while we all get dressed or showered or whatever) before settling down in front of the tree to open the gifts. We’re hoping to perhaps go see a movie in the afternoon (maybe the Peanuts movie?), and then in the evening we’ll just hang and play with our new toys and have family time. Either Boxing Day or the day after, we’ll head over to Bryan’s parents’ house to hang with them and do festive stuff there. I’m looking forward to all the Christmas fun stuff.

Ummm…yeah now I’m just procrastinating. I do that a lot, but also I don’t? Like, I used to be super bad for it when I was a teenager and in my early 20s, but typically I prefer to just get stuff done now so that I can relax later. Becca is growing up, y’all. And that is my cue to perhaps shut this here computer down and get to bed. I’m too old to be staying up this late.

I’ll write again soon, blog readers!

Oh! And Also! I’m taking part in NaNoWriMo this year http://nanowrimo.org/
The goal is to write a novel of AT LEAST 50,000 words. I tried a few years ago and only reached about 2000, but this year (after only one day) I’m already doing better so far. At the end of day one my total was 1898 which I think is pretty good. I’ll update here and there on my progress, and perhaps share little snippets of my story.

OKAY! I’M GOING TO BED!!!

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