54 thoughts on “Mon. Feb. 19, 2018 – President’s Day”

  1. 56 and cloudy in South Cacalacky right now. Just passing through. Expect to e home in time to get the kids to bed.

  2. Prepper verification for the day, and other thoughts…

    For breakfast this morning I ate a bowl of granola with hemp milk. Both “expired” a year ago. There was nothing overtly different with the food, except maybe the “milk” was a touch darker in color. The hemp milk comes in a Tetra Box, and other than chilling and shaking before use, it is just fine.

    I actually like the hemp milk on granola. The hemp milk is a sort-of dietary hold-over from when I was caring for my wife before she passed. I have maybe two gallons of the stuff in my deep pantry. I tend to go through phases in what I eat for breakfast. I stopped eating it for most of the last year, but I expect I will go through much of this lot by summer sometime. Then I will decide if I will buy another case of it.

    I have found the expired applesauce in the larger Costco PET jars keeps well. I don’t use much of it personally, but a few of my daughter’s friends like it just fine and will go through much of a container in a short time. It is at least 18 months past the “best-by” date. Nevertheless, the oldest containers are on my rotate-out list, to be donated in some fashion and replaced in the coming weeks. Hungary college kids are a likely destination.

    On a side note, from a conversation I had with my daughter last night, we both are a bit surprised at how college kids are unprepared for daily culinary functions. I have had similar conversations with my nephew, now in graduate school. Young adults either can’t cook, or have no resources to cook with or from if they do.

    My daughter will be in college next year, where is as yet undecided. Even if she is in a dorm, I will make sure she has a box of supplies with tools and a store of food for quick and easy preparation from her room. An electric kettle is good for more than making just coffee or tea. She and I will experiment over the next month or so using a small thermos and noodles for single servings of food. If she shares an apartment, I already have a collection of household goods, and will make sure she has basic staples in bulk. Her roommates will appreciate the efforts, I think.

  3. @nick, good luck with the Craig’s List “deal”. I do hope you have backup and surveillance (been watching too much NCIS lately).

    Temperatures have returned to February normals, low and mid-20s today.

    Windstorm on Saturday blew over our community mailbox box that has withstood nearly 40-years of our wild winds with devastating selective micro-bursts. Ol’ Mom Nature must have figured the mailbox had stood long enough. It will be a real hassle getting it fixed. We do not have an HOA (THANK GOD) so getting the “residents” to pay their fair share will be a hassle. Of course the U.S. Postal Orifice is of no help or understanding. According to the legal paperwork for our “subdivision” the “builder” is responsible. The “builder” (carpet-bagger from Seattle) is long ago out of business. I’m too old and cranky for this battle.

  4. WRT Craigslist, if they really sound at all sketchy I just beg off. Even for normal sales though, I make sure the phone number actually reaches them, do the exchange under at least 3 of my cameras, cash only, and I’m armed. I also lock the house doors, close up the garage, and sometimes, mention the cams….

    Most of the people are honest and decent. I’m not selling stuff that the ‘bangers want. I won’t sell drums or speakers (too many stoned calls), I won’t sell phones or electronics, and don’t do deals for much cash. The only CL I do is items too big or heavy to ship. Even then, I shipped 1200 pounds of lifting equipment once. Worked out well.

    n

  5. WRT people unable to cook, there’s a fun fisking and much commenting over at Larry Correia’s place (Monster Hunter International books) regarding a really stupid article in the local free rag about “Stop telling poor people to learn to cook.”

    http://monsterhunternation.com/2018/02/12/fisking-the-stop-telling-poor-people-to-cook-doofus-with-special-guest-my-mom/

    I cooked in my dorm. We had a shared lounge with a kitchen on each floor. Basically mac and cheese and frozen pizza. I cleaned and kept several pots that had been abandoned there and used them for the next couple decades…

    I really learned to cook working in restaurant kitchens and then practicing on my own.

    I recommend “A Simple Fools Handbook to Cooking” by Cliff MacGillivray in the ’81 or a newer version. Subtitled “A manual for the college-bound gourmand.”

    Most of the recipes start out “brown the meat, add….” but there are a wide variety of tasty and easy dishes, including a month of main meals.

    Beyond that, The Joy of Cooking, in any version pre-1990. Full of really basic info, straight-forward recipes, and lots of humor, this is my go to cookbook.

    Between those two books, anyone can feed themselves and their family/friends well, and cheaply.

    nick

    Added- special mention to “A Man A Can A Plan” for a recipe book that might be even simpler (and for preppers, a good way to use all that canned food.)

    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B000SEIX02/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?_encoding=UTF8&btkr=1

  6. I’ve found that if the box has directions, following them will usually produce something tasty. But I am reminded of the pre-teen day when Mom used the recipe on the side of an off brand container of oat meal to make cookies. She remarked it odd that flour wasn’t listed and the result was edge to edge cookie sheet cookie. Ate it anyway.

    Might have been here, but someone mentioned a youngster flummoxed by a can without a pull top. Many of the formerly American, now Chinese made openers are junk. This one isn’t:
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0071OUJDQ/ref=oh_aui_search_detailpage?ie=UTF8&psc=1

  7. I second “The Joy of Cooking”. It has a recipe for cooking RICE. It also has a section on substituting herbs and making the various varieties of cream from milk and heavy cream. It turns out that it is basically making the fat content in the right range. And a recipe for squirrel in some of the older versions. I have had 3 copies stolen from me so far. I need to replace it again.

  8. “And a recipe for squirrel in some of the older versions.” yep, mine has a whole section for cooking game. The trick with squirrel is removing the glands on the back by the tail, then you can use it anywhere you would use chicken.

    IIRC their advice for possum was to avoid it, but if you couldn’t, to feed it on bread and milk for a couple day before killing and cooking. My thought is if you have bread and milk, you FOR SURE don’t need to eat possum.

    I check my Joy for the cuts of meat chart, for the time/pound of each kind of meat, etc. FULL of info.

    n

  9. My thought is if you have bread and milk, you FOR SURE don’t need to eat possum.

    Fixed it for you.

  10. Of course the U.S. Postal Orifice is of no help or understanding.

    The Post Office here in Texas controls the keys to the community mailboxes. I always assumed that they installed/maintained the boxes.

    The responsible households will end up eating the loss to have mail service, unfortunately. When we left, real adult unemployment in Clark County (Vancouver, WA) was 37%.

  11. “Best Recipes From the Backs of Boxes, Bottles, Cans, and Jars”

    Does it include Mock Apple Pie from the old Ritz Crackers box?

    What about Faux Pate from Philadelphia Cream Cheese?

    Hmmm. Fake goose liver.

  12. WRT Craigslist, if they really sound at all sketchy I just beg off. Even for normal sales though, I make sure the phone number actually reaches them, do the exchange under at least 3 of my cameras, cash only, and I’m armed. I also lock the house doors, close up the garage, and sometimes, mention the cams….

    Our police station in Sugar Land has a special area in their parking lot for Craigslist transactions.

  13. Might have been here, but someone mentioned a youngster flummoxed by a can without a pull top. Many of the formerly American, now Chinese made openers are junk. This one isn’t:
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0071OUJDQ/ref=oh_aui_search_detailpage?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    I bought this KitchenAid soft grip opening can opener at HEB for the wife. She likes it so much that I got another. It is very easy to use. Recommended.
    https://www.amazon.com/KitchenAid-Gourmet-Soft-Opener-Magnet/dp/B004PWXEQG/

  14. My thought is if you have bread and milk, you FOR SURE don’t need to eat possum.

    I have heard that the only things worse that possum are skunk and buzzard. I am unwilling to verify any of this.

  15. Windstorm on Saturday blew over our community mailbox box that has withstood nearly 40-years of our wild winds with devastating selective micro-bursts. Ol’ Mom Nature must have figured the mailbox had stood long enough. It will be a real hassle getting it fixed. We do not have an HOA (THANK GOD) so getting the “residents” to pay their fair share will be a hassle. Of course the U.S. Postal Orifice is of no help or understanding. According to the legal paperwork for our “subdivision” the “builder” is responsible. The “builder” (carpet-bagger from Seattle) is long ago out of business. I’m too old and cranky for this battle.

    Huh, the house I lived in about 17 years ago had an idiot texting on his phone run over the community mailbox. Flat on the ground. I went to the Postmaster and complained. Several times. He got a new box installed about two months later. In the meantime, all of us had to go to the Post Office to get our mail. It was a major pain as the Post Office was about 8 miles away.

  16. I have heard that the only things worse that possum are skunk and buzzard. I am unwilling to verify any of this.

    The craziest thing I’ve eaten is Bird’s Nest Soup, made from a real bird’s nest.

    I thought they were kidding about the main ingredient.

  17. I talked with our postman XXXXXX postperson on Saturday. We were laughing about the picture with all of the Big River (Amazon) boxes thrown under the community mailbox a couple of days before Christmas. The incident even got a video on Channel Two News. He said that the person did not get reprimanded much less suspended. He really griped about the new supervisor hires in the Post Office as no one hired there lately has any “qualifications” according to him. All political hires that have never delivered a mail route.

  18. I talked with our postman XXXXXX postperson on Saturday. We were laughing about the picture with all of the Big River (Amazon) boxes thrown under the community mailbox a couple of days before Christmas.

    “Nomadland” is one of my books in progress … ironically on the old 2nd gen Kindle that goes with me everywhere.

    The author notes a certain cynicism that sets in among the Big River warehouse labor force regarding the “cr*p” Americans buy from the site. It sounds like the attitude is creeping down to the delivery end of the business.

    The contracted Sunday Amazon delivery people driving USPS trucks for $12/hour are not standard postal carriers.

  19. @Greg, did you take that C++ job that you were writing about ? Was it a significant pay raise ?

    I have a theory. Just as the cryptomining stuff has raised the price of graphics boards, the demand for C++ programmers that can program the crytomining algorithms is causing the pay for C++ programmers to increase significantly.
    https://techcrunch.com/2018/02/14/blockchain-engineers-are-in-demand/

    My embedded C programmer friend at church that jumped ship a couple of months ago told me that he is now the sole maintainer for an eleven thread embedded O/S. He asked for system documentation, they laughed and told him to read the code. He is now trying to figure out the threading code.

  20. Even then, I shipped 1200 pounds of lifting equipment once.

    Hopefully it all fit into a Priority Mail Flat Rate box!

  21. I pay for and maintain my own mailbox at the curb. Just because it’s a community box why should it be any different?

  22. they laughed and told him to read the code. He is now trying to figure out the threading code.

    Good luck with C, or C++, that write once language. Going thru someone else’s code is tough. Add in the obfuscation of C, game almost over.

  23. @Greg, did you take that C++ job that you were writing about ? Was it a significant pay raise ?

    I start a week from today. The pay raise put me back at where I was when I worked for Death Star Telephone. Money wasn’t the issue as much as the challenge of the work.

    At my current job, the challenge is the bureaucracy and the boredom. The new company gave me an IQ test before even talking to me; I guess I passed.

    As for supply-vs-demand, in both of my (recent) CS programs, most of the young’n’s weren’t learning C++ or even much C beyond what they need for Systems Programming class, and the 30-50 year old demographic with some exposure to the language are rejected by the HR droids for lack of the keyword “Boost” on their resume. I speak from experience on the latter point, especially with droids from Wall Street.

    Also, DoD projects can go C++ now if they justify the necessity.

    I’ve never had a call for a Cryptomining gig. I’d imagine that work is fairly boring since the hashing algorithms are well known and the developer’s job is to simply make them run faster. The right person for that would be a PhD CS grad, way on the right end of the IQ curve and a similar position deep into the Aspbergers spectrum — not easy to find any of those outside of Wall Street basements or DARPA.

  24. “The year humans caused irreversible damage to Earth: Scientists pinpoint 1965 as the start of the Anthropocene era”

    Yes, I have my own era. Or maybe I should apologize for being born and causing this. My dad can’t even remember who was playing in the 1965 New Years Day Bowl Games let alone remember the scores. He just remembers the nurse interrupting the game to let him to say, “It’s a boy!”

  25. I pay for and maintain my own mailbox at the curb. Just because it’s a community box why should it be any different?

    When the USPS mandated community mailboxes in new communities, they supplied the mailbox. Looks like that promise has changed.

    At one point, the USPS was going to go through established neighborhoods and force convert them to community mailboxes. I am surprised that they never did that, the cost savings of visiting one community mailbox instead of up to sixteen homes would be enormous.

  26. It means the existing carriers would have to do more work, after they finished the community boxes. No way those guys are looking to do more….

    n

  27. It means the existing carriers would have to do more work, after they finished the community boxes. No way those guys are looking to do more….

    Our community mail boxes have two package delivery boxes of about 12x12x16 inches in size. That used to be sufficient for the 16 homes for each community mailbox. But with all of the mail order boxes now, that may be less of a savings than before if the postperson has to deliver very many boxes to the different homes.

  28. I start a week from today. The pay raise put me back at where I was when I worked for Death Star Telephone. Money wasn’t the issue as much as the challenge of the work.

    At my current job, the challenge is the bureaucracy and the boredom. The new company gave me an IQ test before even talking to me; I guess I passed.

    Congrats on the new job and congrats on passing the IQ test !

  29. My letter carrier for the last eight months or so:

    1. Is female
    2. And Caucasian
    3. Speaks English with an Australian accent with just a hint of some Slavic language underneath. (She’s named Natasha, I kid you not!)
    4. AND she actually rings the doorbell when there’s a package too big to fit in the mailbox.

    You can bet that everyone on the block was especially generous to her this past Christmas. She’s definitely a keeper!

  30. AND she actually rings the doorbell when there’s a package too big to fit in the mailbox.

    I have no idea whether our letter carrier does this or not. Our dog, Castrato*, goes into full bark mode before anyone gets near the door. On another note, I must be much less intelligent than Bob, because I can’t tell a difference between “those men are stealing our garbage again” and “there is a package for you.” Which should be the easiest two barks to distinguish, given that nobody delivers packages first thing Monday morning.

    *everyone else in the family calls him a different name, as do I when other family members are around

  31. “I’ve found that if the box has directions, following them will usually produce something tasty.”

    AND…. there is a cookbook for that. It has all the famous recipes from the back of cans, boxes, bags, etc. I have a copy somewhere…..

    One of my favorite dinners is Salsa Chicken from the back of a bag of Kraft shredded cheese.

  32. A meal of fresh possum beats the living hell out of going hungry. There’s even a town near here that has a Possum Festival every August, in memory of hard times when possum and hunger were your options.

  33. Well, playing with a just inherited iPad. Sort of inherited. It was in the bag with a laptop that was given to a friend. And then tossed to me a couple of months ago to cleanup and clear of the deceased wife’s data. I think the iPad is couple of years old. It didn’t seem to have every been set up but I reset it anyway.

    Updated to 10.3.3. It seems ok. The screen is very clear. I don’t think I’m keeping it. A– I don’t see what it does that my kindle fire or my phone do not already do. And B– the thing is heavy and hard to hold compared to my fire. I can carry the fire in the back pocket of my Levi’s, iPad, not so much.

    Keyboard doesn’t swipe, may be a setting.

    The laptop is an HP two core amd thing. Slow compared to an i5. But laptops are all slow. It had win10. I made the restore dvds and back to win7. It’s not bad with a mouse attached.

    Inherited? Uh. Well, I finally got to the laptop chore on Monday. Jerry tends to lose his phone..,, so after a couple of days of no answering of phone calls, roommate drives out to the lake….

    BRB

  34. And C– I still have to wear glasses to see the screen.

    Anyway. Roommate drives out to Jerry’s house on Tuesday and he looks like he’s taking a nap. But can’t wake him. EMS checks his vitals and other than no action in the pupils, everything looks good. Big time stroke. This was Tuesday noonish, Jerry passed about 4 am Wednesday.

    No will, that’s for old folks, no family that gives a shit enough to ever drive up from Houston for as long as I’ve known the man. So we started cleaning the house out on Thursday. Filled one of the green wheelie trash cans folks have now. Eh, why did he have eight loaves of wheat bread? And nothing in the way of peanut butter or sandwich meats or even fixings for grilled cheese sandwiches?

    Anyway.

    Took Friday off. Went back Saturday to finish. We still have to get his Harley and pickup truck. The truck will have to be parked just inside of the gate here …. because I have his dog. Payton is doing well…. she doesn’t need to hear or know anything of the truck. “Ride!!!!”

    For extra FUN, I called DirecTv and canceled his account. Blah blah, and they are going to send a recovery kit. Or not. Whatever. I told the lady he’s dead so his SS has stopped.

    I need to dig into my files and find the almost local bank he used. DirecTv hits his Mastercard. Tho… I don’t know if he had an actual Mastercard or if it was a debit card. Because from the hospital in Marble Falls to Killeen, Scott and White lost his effing wallet. That had everything…. and $80 cash.

    And without ID the funeral home won’t take him.

    Not our problem.

    All we gotta do is get the truck and Harley to Houston. I’m not sure we really have to do that….

  35. Home from Floridia. I cannot recommend LegoLand as an amusement park. Long lines, onerous security, and hard sells at every turn.

    On the other hand, the public beach on the Gulf Coast made for a FANTASTIC morning. The youngest found some shells she was happy with, and the others just did what kids do.

    Back to LegoLand – the security getting in seemed thorough enough. Good attention to bags & running a metal detector. I don’t blame them for missing the belt knife. Most people do. But then, it’s not a very good weapon. Just useful when you need it.

    Drive home took 1.5 days – and I’m more sore from it than many of the races I run. Glad to be home.

  36. It appears someone in our subdivision is stealing gas out of cars. Apparently happened to us last night and to someone who lives a few blocks away last week. There is a street light on our cul de sac, and our neighbors the next street over have two marked law enforcement cars parked in their driveway every day, one county sheriff and one town police department.

  37. Possum: Friend of ours can occasionally be coaxed into recounting a woeful tale of his youth growing up a poor farming kid. Fooling around with his .22, shot a possum for sport during persimmon season. Mother found out and after she tore him a new one for thinking he could shoot and not eat, made him eat it. Thing had been feeding on persimmons and while normally an edible beast OUTSIDE of persimmon season, apparently not so much during. Took him a week and a bottle of Texas Pete’s.

    Gas thievery: Common crime in Anchorage these days. Jerks have taken to drilling a hole into the gas tank and emptying that way.

  38. DirecTv and canceled his account. Blah blah, and they are going to send a recovery kit

    Had to deal with Charter (I think) when my mother died. Called them and told them to come get their equipment. Charter said No, I had to bring it to the office. I said, No, I don’t have the time, you want it come get it. Charter threatened to send my mother to collections. I said fine, I doubt she will care and I certainly don’t. I left the equipment.

    Discover Card had a $500.00 balance. Called Discover and told them to cancel the card. Discover asked who was going to pay the balance. I told them no one so they will have to write it off. Discover said no, they would keep the card open until the balance was paid. Told Discover that was not going to happen and I will just drop the card in the sleaziest part of town I could find and hope whomever finds it will run up a huge bill at Best Buy. Discover they would just send my mother to collections to which I replied, go ahead, I doubt she will care.

    Do these companies not understand that when someone passes away no one really cares what the company threatens as it does not matter.

    Jerks have taken to drilling a hole into the gas tank and emptying that way.

    Yikes, causes more in damages than they ever recover in gas. When I was in San Antonio someone punched in the lock to my truck to steal a 5 year old GPS. Tore the power cable leaving the plug in the truck. GPS might have fetched $3.95 if anything. But the damage to truck was over $500.00.

    Had my car busted into while at a local football game. Broke the side window. Stole the wife’s purse. Immediately blocked the credit cards so none got used. Got $2.87 and a set of keys out of the wife’s purse. Cost to me was about $1,000.00 to replace the window, change the key fob security, and replace the door locks on the house. Purse was found three years later on the roof of a building by some A/C maintenance guys. Everything was still in the purse including the hidden $20.00 that the cretins never found.

  39. It’s about 4:00 AM in Big River town and I’ve had a belly-full of laughs reading this. I am too lazy, and too warmly ensconsed in bed, to check _Joy_ for squirrel or ‘poosum receipts, but I do recommend a pressure cooker for any dormbrat one might be raising. Ye olde Hawkins works well enough, don’t need no stinking bells or whistles. (OK, I keep one in reserve, just in case)

    In re CL and the right end of the Bell curve, I have a funny story ’bout that.

    The recipe book itself is classic.
    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00F3ECE6G/

    When I arise, I will check _Joy_ and Mrs Beeton’s for squirrel or ‘possum.

  40. On the other hand, the public beach on the Gulf Coast made for a FANTASTIC morning. The youngest found some shells she was happy with, and the others just did what kids do.

    Lee County, FL has done an amazing job keeping a lid on Sanibel and Captiva, avoiding the kind of development mess that has ruined the Pinellas beaches with the possible exception of Caledesi Island, a state park.

  41. Auto break ins: Back in the 80”s, a college buddy bought himself one of the go-fast model Ford Mustangs as a graduation / first job present. His version included the T-tops. Twice, in the first year that he owned it, someone broke out the passenger side window and stole the T-tops. His deductible was almost exactly equal to the value of the T-tops, so the insurance company bought a new window and he bought the new T-tops. 🙁 He was happy to sell the whole thing to the insurance company a year or two later.

  42. Back in the 80s we had a Datsun 280zx with t-tops. Window broken, tops stolen. Side window cost $300 which was my deductible, tops $1800. When I got the car back from the dealer on a Friday afternoon we headed out of town so only later I noticed the tops while in excellent condition were not new. In fact the small scratches on a narrow painted area were very familiar to me as I had hand washed the car many time. Called the police detective that came out for the initial report and he checked. The dealer had a receipt from the junker they bought the tops from. So I called the insurance company and report the fraud to them. They were interested but I never knew the outcome. I bet the dealer just paid them back and other than being out $300 I was okay. What a fucking racket among a bunch of douches.

  43. I can confirm from misspent youth that in fact the only market for stolen T tops is someone who’s had a T top stolen and the same goes for what used to be called the GM big face radio. insurance adjusters would buy it from the thieves who would steal to order and they would work with small shops. the insurance adjuster would split the difference between new and stolen with the shop and everybody except the auto owner would go home happy.

    At least that’s how it used to work in the Chicago area.

    N

  44. someone broke out the passenger side window and stole the T-tops

    I had not heard of that. Scumbags.

    His deductible was almost exactly equal to the value of the T-tops

    My deductible is $1,000.00 on each vehicle. Thus my breakins were not worth filing as insurance would pay nothing and would put a ding on my record.

    They were interested but I never knew the outcome

    Probably did not do a thing. Not worth their time. Unless you are dealing with tens of thousands of dollars insurance companies just write it off as the cost of doing business. Pursuing against the scum bags will cost more.

    The salvage dealer probably bought the T-Top for a few dollars, asked no questions, knowing full well it was stolen. They do that around here all the time. Guy across the street years ago started accumulating many cars on his property. Myself and the neighbors complained multiple times to the police who basically did nothing.

    Finally the state got involved and got a search warrant. Found multiple vehicles that had been stolen. Inside the building were multiple car parts that were probably from stolen vehicles. The engines and transmissions were traceable, the doors, fenders, wheels etc. could not be traced. Most likely stolen. Got the place shut down fairly quickly.

    We, as in all the neighbors, knew something was going on at the place. People would show up in a pickup with a couple of car doors, we would watch cash change hands, and the people drove away. I suspect there were some drug transactions involved.

    I, with the blessing of the police, called the police every chance I got whenever a vehicle was parked out front. They were partially blocking the road and the police would ticket them. The cretin owners of the place also poured a whole lot of used oil on my and the neighbors property one night. Could not be proved so the police did nothing.

  45. Lynn wrote:

    “…the demand for C++ programmers that can program the crytomining algorithms is causing the pay for C++ programmers to increase significantly.”

    Wouldn’t it be better to write it in assembler?

  46. “…the demand for C++ programmers that can program the crytomining algorithms is causing the pay for C++ programmers to increase significantly.”

    Wouldn’t it be better to write it in assembler?

    You first ! No freaking way !

    I have written quite a bit of code in assembler over the years. Never again !

    My first introduction to assembler was the IBM 370 knockoff at TAMU for CS 304. No freaking stack, all variables had to written to memory somewhere.

  47. Probably did not do a thing. Not worth their time. Unless you are dealing with tens of thousands of dollars insurance companies just write it off as the cost of doing business by raising everyone’s premium by a few bucks. Pursuing against the scum bags will cost more.

    FIFY

  48. “I have written quite a bit of code in assembler over the years. Never again !

    My first introduction to assembler was the IBM 370 knockoff at TAMU for CS 304. No freaking stack, all variables had to written to memory somewhere.”

    Unbeliever! Flog him.

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