Sun. Dec. 30, 2018 – so close

46F and saturated. Good thing I don’t want to take down the decorations yet, they won’t dry in this weather.

Did I mention that I ate the two oranges I got off the tree this year? Tasty, but almost/kinda/soon to be woody. So I waited a bit too long. I don’t know if they were too long on the tree, or in the fridge. Hopefully we’ll see next year.

Got a tiny bit of stuff done. Replaced the tail light bulbs in my Expy. The right side burned out, so I changed them both, and the reverse lights while I was there. Took some scrap metal to the scrapper. LOTS more just waiting for the time and weather…

I dropped my phone again and got some more little cracks in the corner. The digitizer is starting to lose accuracy, so I think I might have to replace it. It’s the Samsung S7 (non-‘splody version). It is showing its age after a bunch of updates with some increased lag, and the battery isn’t lasting as long. I don’t really want to go thru the whole phone search again, don’t want anything bigger, or much smaller, don’t want wrap around edges, and WILL be buying a case this time. New old stock of the same phone is very cheap, but that won’t solve the bloat and lag issue.

ATT fiber continues to suck. It goes down several times a day. Usually only for a minute or two, but that breaks streaming. It happens often enough that it breaks my pages reloading when I’m just messing around reading sites. It’s fast. But not stable.

Unrelated, but I use Kodi on a SFF pc to watch youtube in bed on the TV. It works well and has a decent interface. BUT on weekends, especially late at night, it runs out of whatever licensing scheme it uses to connect to youtube, and youtube refuses the connections, saying it will reset at midnight Pacific time. There is a workaround involving signing up as a developer, getting your own keys from youtube, then installing those keys on Kodi, but it’s a pain. WTF does youtube gain by limiting connections? I usually just read or close my eyes early when it happens but it is puzzling.

Along with everything else, it’s time to start thinking about my garden, and getting the beds ready. More manure. More soil. Some veg seeds. Beyond that, I haven’t a clue yet.

And I should get this up and the kids fed,

n

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54 Responses to Sun. Dec. 30, 2018 – so close

  1. Greg Norton says:

    I dropped my phone again and got some more little cracks in the corner. The digitizer is starting to lose accuracy, so I think I might have to replace it. It’s the Samsung S7 (non-‘splody version). It is showing its age after a bunch of updates with some increased lag, and the battery isn’t lasting as long. I don’t really want to go thru the whole phone search again, don’t want anything bigger, or much smaller, don’t want wrap around edges, and WILL be buying a case this time. New old stock of the same phone is very cheap, but that won’t solve the bloat and lag issue.

    I have a Moto E4 that I carry as my “stock Android” phone. Similar size/weight to the Samsung S7, but not much app bloat since it was in the design pipeline when Google unloaded Motorola.

    16 GB internal storage, but capable of handling 128 GB microSD. I’ve never felt it lag, but YMMV. The phone supports all US carriers.

    Amazon has lots of cases for the E4. I bought the one that had decent ratings and was fairly slim. Skip the OtterBox — it is a POS unworthy of the brand IMHO.

    The only other unmodified Android phone in the house currently is my son’s G5. Good phone, replacing his first gen Nexus capability for capability. However, the 5.5 inch screen size may be a deal killer.

  2. Nick Flandrey says:

    So a western Doctor, working with solid protocols ends up possibly infected with Ebola anyway…

    Doctor Exposed To Ebola Quarantined In Nebraska

    An American doctor exposed to Ebola while working in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) was placed into quarantine in as secure area at the University of Nebraska, officials said.”

    maybe Aesop’s mid-January timeline was pessimistic…[or optimistic depending on how you look at it]

    n

  3. lynn says:

    maybe Aesop’s mid-January timeline was pessimistic…[or optimistic depending on how you look at it]

    Are you talking about this post, “Last Thoughts For Now: The Nightmare ”
    https://raconteurreport.blogspot.com/2018/12/last-thoughts-for-now-nightmare.html

  4. Greg Norton says:

    So a western Doctor, working with solid protocols ends up possibly infected with Ebola anyway…

    The US has a drug treatment, ZMapp, but it is in insanely short supply, certainly not enough to treat a mass outbreak in Africa.

    The doctor is probably getting ZMapp now as a precaution.

  5. Nick Flandrey says:

    Not the intentional spread, but the timeline based on reported numbers (corrected for the african effect) before it shows up outside of africa. His estimate was mid-january.

    He’s a bit of an alarmist on the far end of the scale, but a solid realist on the shorter end of ‘what might happen.’

    n

  6. Nick Flandrey says:

    and LO! what’s this I see? A skeptical article on the front page? Oh, but it’s just a tabloid….

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6539067/Why-youve-told-polar-bears-WRONG-Inuits-different-story.html

    TL:DR – lots of bears, locals say they’re fine and want to kill some, foreign and distant “scientists” believe they’re in decline because of globull warmening, for “reasons”. The distant “scientists” are basing their belief on dogma and observations with admittedly huge error bars.

    n

  7. Nick Flandrey says:

    Eiffel Tower is shrouded by smoke as Paris burns into the night: Iconic landmark shines through choking black pall after Yellow Vest protesters set cars ablaze for the seventh weekend as they call on Macron to go

    Protesters set cars alight and left them to burn in the streets of the Capital city as demonstrations resumed
    Earlier today yellow vest demonstrators clashed with riot police who fired tear gas at the crowds in Paris
    Tear gas also fired in Nantes, western France, and protests were expected in Lyon, Bordeaux and Toulouse
    Small groups took to streets in Paris and elsewhere in France calling for resignation of President Macron

  8. brad says:

    I’ve read good reviews of the new Nokia phones. Apparently, they are trying to re-enter the phone market, and their big feature at the moment is that they deliver “stock” Android. No crappy custom apps. According to the review, they have very good phone at low- and mid-price points, but nothing really high-end. I’m not currently in the market, but if I were, I’d have a look…

    Kodi – I have a Vero 4K, which is a nice little box that comes with everything pre-installed. It works great for playing stuff off our local server, but I find the apps frustrating. A typical example would be the Eurosport app: You can only configure it if you have a paid account, but I only want to buy a subscription if I’m sure that the app will actually work. Chicken, meet egg.

    What I don’t get are the “Smart TVs” (or, in our case, we have a “smart tuner” attached to a beamer). The interface sucks big green ones – it’s just horrible. It’s like some teenage kid was let loose with an interface designer, it includes a web browser that cannot render any modern sites, there are “apps” just as bad as the browser. Really awful – which is why we bought the Vero 4K. Why don’t the TV manufacturers just use Kodi, instead of trying (and failing) to re-invent the wheel?

  9. CowboySlim says:

    Did I mention that I ate the two oranges I got off the tree this year?

    My Navels are now fully ripened. Juicing them daily for breakfast. Before they are all squeezed, my Valencias will be ready for juicing.

  10. Nick Flandrey says:

    Maybe because Kodi has a rep as a pirate tool? From what I could tell with a cursory look, the vast majority of the Kodi video apps are for watching stuff you don’t pay for…

    n

  11. paul says:

    Tasty, but almost/kinda/soon to be woody. So I waited a bit too long.

    Too long on the tree. In the RGV they pick the oranges while still green and use gas to make them orange.

  12. lynn says:

    We’ve had a sad day at the McGuire household. Lady, our 16 year old British Cocker Spaniel, passed away last night. Lady had been having a tough year and passed away in her sleep. I already miss my walking buddy, we have walked thousands of miles together over the last 16 years.
    https://www.facebook.com/WinSimInc/photos/a.388692241192280/533378343390335/?type=3&theater

  13. DadCooks says:

    @lynn, you have my deepest and sincerest condolences. I know your loss seems infinite at this time, but Lady is frolicking over the Rainbow Bridge, no more pain. She will be waiting for you.

    Peace and Love.

  14. ITGuy1998 says:

    @lynn, sorry for your loss.

  15. lynn says:

    Arlo and Janis: 2019 Approaches
    https://www.gocomics.com/arloandjanis/2018/12/30

    Heh.

    Nope, changing this one: “Get off my carpet !”.

  16. Clayton W. says:

    Lynn, Sorry for your loss. They are with us for far too short a time. 🙁

  17. paul says:

    I’m sorry Lynn.

  18. lynn says:

    Lynn, Sorry for your loss. They are with us for far too short a time.

    Thanks all. And true, so true. Their light shines so brightly for such a short period.

  19. Nick Flandrey says:

    Oh jeez Lynn, that sucks.

    I’m sorry for your loss of such an old friend and companion.

    n

  20. lynn says:

    “I was arrested for nunchucks. Now, justice at last.”
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/i-was-arrested-for-having-nunchucks-in-new-york-im-glad-the-law-was-overturned/2018/12/26/e2559dbe-092c-11e9-a3f0-71c95106d96a_story.html?utm_term=.28c4ea175a6d

    “When news broke last week that a federal judge had ruled a New York law banning possession of nunchucks unconstitutional, I felt vindicated. You see, as a teenager growing up in New York City in the 1980s, I was arrested and thrown in jail for illegal possession of nunchucks. Really.”

    “I always knew my arrest was a travesty. Now three decades later, the law under which I was arrested has been declared unconstitutional. Citing the Supreme Court’s decision in District of Columbia v. Heller, which applied the Second Amendment to the states, U.S. District Judge Pamela K. Chen, who was nominated by President Barack Obama, ruled that “the possession and use of nunchaku is protected by the Second Amendment” and that the sections of the New York law banning them are “an unconstitutional restriction on the right to bear arms . . . and are, therefore, void.””

    Wow, is there hope for us after all ?

    Hat tip to: The Fort Bend Herald opinion page.

  21. Nick Flandrey says:

    Still has a knife ban, which is way worse IMO.

    n

  22. Nick Flandrey says:

    Have I mentioned how unreliable ATT fiber to the home is?

    SUCKS

  23. Nick Flandrey says:

    Up and down like a freaking yoyo

  24. lynn says:

    Still has a knife ban, which is way worse IMO.

    “Citing the Supreme Court’s decision in District of Columbia v. Heller, which applied the Second Amendment to the states, U.S. District Judge Pamela K. Chen, who was nominated by President Barack Obama, ruled that “the possession and use of nunchaku is protected by the Second Amendment” and that the sections of the New York law banning them are “an unconstitutional restriction on the right to bear arms . . . and are, therefore, void.”””

    I would think that knife bans and gun bans would be going away also, very soon.

  25. paul says:

    Up and down like a freaking yoyo

    Do you have another router you can try?

    And… I’ve had switches act up.

  26. Ray Thompson says:

    Change your cables.

    @Lynn: Sorry for your loss. She had a good life.

  27. Nick Flandrey says:

    Or how maddening MS is with the Xbox family? They have things that are named exactly the same thing, but are completely different, they’ve F’d up any sort of account management by requiring a MS account, but allowing it to be one of a dozen existing things, with accounts and settings already associated with them. They only allow ONE gamertag to be associated with the account. There is no way to combine or move between accounts. Gamertags are NOT xbox360 names, apparently.

    what a mess.

    n

  28. Nick Flandrey says:

    I’m using ATT’s router and everything in the house goes down, the stuff thru my big switch and the stuff on the router’s wifi. It’s def on their side.

    n

  29. lynn says:

    I bought the wife her final Christmas present last night, a 2019 Toyota Highlander LE V6. This is our first Toyota. We got the base model with only the V6 and metallic white options with a MSRP of $35,000. Paid $31,043 for it plus TT&L (tax, title, and license). The dealer added all of their options including front windows film tint (nice to have !), clearcoat film on the front of the hood and doors, mud flaps, etc, etc for another $1,500 that I refused to pay.

    Supposedly zero to sixty mph in 7 seconds, feels like it. Plenty of power, even rated to pull a 5,000 lb trailer which I would not do. The third row seat is a joke except for maybe kids 4 and under. The ergonomics of the interior are simply amazing, I have more leg room in the rear seat than in my Expedition. Yet my 5 ft 4 in wife is very comfortable driving it. I’ve got both the Highlander and the Expedition in the two car garage now with a very tight fit. You really need a 18 ft wide garage instead of a 16 ft garage for a full size truck and a midsize SUV. Good luck finding one.

    They tried very hard to sell us a Toyota warranty extending the 36 month warranty to 84 months for $1,400. I passed but I suspect that they will hit us up again.

  30. Nick Flandrey says:

    ATT outage map shows clusters in all the big cities.

    n

    The MS xbox account madness continues. Daughter one seems to have a gamertag, she’s a child on our family account, but the freaking xbox wants HER MS account name and password, which is lost to the sands of time.

  31. Nick Flandrey says:

    I just want to freaking play a game, not log in, set up accounts, reconcile what is connected to what, and do it all thru different portals, using different credentials, and useless error messages with out of date web addresses. What a steaming mess.

    n

    In other words, it’s like dealing with windows, with even more fragmentation, fewer tools, and no support

    OH, and I’d like to do so anonymously so some facktard can’t track down me or my daughters in real life.

  32. Greg Norton says:

    They tried very hard to sell us a Toyota warranty extending the 36 month warranty to 84 months for $1,400. I passed but I suspect that they will hit us up again.

    Drivetrain should be six years. Double check if you are considering the extended warranty for that coverage. Another year, effectively, for $1,400.

    We’ve had four Toyotas now, and I’ve never seen anything major go wrong within the first 6-7 years. The *only* non-cosmetic issue with my wife’s 4Runner when we traded it at 14 years was the rack and pinion needed to be replaced: ~$2500. My Solara started eating valve cover gaskets every 10-20,000 miles at 8 years, during our Vantucky sentence, but stopped once we moved to Texas.

    Currently, at 17 years and still rolling, my Solara just needs a front bearing job and power steering hoses to roll like new.

    Remember, it is a Toyota. They can’t do what Tesla gets away with in terms of fit/finish and durability. 8AT cost the company the #1 ranking with Consumer Reports, but they only dropped to #2, just behind … Lexus. And if the transmissions turn to cr*p like Honda’s did about 10-15 years ago, I have no doubt that the response will be similar to what Honda did to take care of the people who bought their vehicles new.

    Dealer service, especially during the first two years free. I will have the oil changed every 5000 miles since I’ve never trusted 10,000. If you DIY, be religious about the schedule for the various fluids.

    Let me know if you want the secret sauce for the USB.

    I just had the dealer install the mud flaps after buying the parts intending to do it myself. The one griple I have about Toyota is the process is not DIY like it was with the Fords.

  33. paul says:

    Sometimes I hate the ‘net. The plan for tomorrow was “cook a brisket”.

    It’s in the fridge, rubbed down with Fiesta Brisket Rub. The plan was to stick in the oven with the door cracked open at bedtime, to get it out of the fridge and let it get somewhere near room temp. The dogs have never shown a sign of getting on counter tops, but in the oven just in case. Er, my fridge keeps milk almost two weeks past expiration date. I like my beer cold. 🙂

    Then in the morning, onto the Trager, set to smoke for three hours and then wrapped in foil or use foil to seal the pan and into the oven at 275F or so until almost supper time. It’s pretty easy.

    And EVERY TIME we cook a brisket it turns into a huge cluster event. Come on, it’s sort of like a big pot roast without the potatoes and carrots. What the heck?

    So now it’s suppose to go on the Trager, set to Smoke, at bedtime. Whose bedtime has not been determined. And then in the oven when we get up in the morning BECAUSE some BBQ place on East 11th in Austin called Franklin’s cooks a brisket 18+ hours and “I don’t want to eat at 10PM”. On New Year’s Eve.

    Never been to Franklin’s. Zero desire to wait in line for two hours to get into the place. And…. $25 for a pound of brisket. I’d rather squat on my patio cooking hamburger patties on a hibachi and sharing the parts that break off with Fido, the cat that would not eat raw meat. (good times with a good cat.)

    Now you know why I have another six briskets that have been in the deep freeze for four or five years.

    When I was in college the routine was to smoke the meat over wood if you had a grill. Toss some wood on the charcoal! Sort of “brown it off”. Then in a pan with half a beer or Coke, sealed in with foil and in the oven for about six hours.

    Add some potato salad.

  34. paul says:

    Change your cables.

    I think Jerry would say the same.

  35. CowboySlim says:

    @ lynn,

    Yes, I know how it feels, we have had dogs for several decades and I had to let one go two years ago. My best wishes to you and family.

  36. paul says:

    I’m going to try the calzone thing again. Last time was a mess. Tho, spraying Pam on a teflon cookie sheet did not help.

    So, just two from a wop biscuit of pizza dough. Add a bit more sauce than last time. And more cheese.

  37. mediumwave says:

    @Lynn: Sorry to hear of Lady’s passing. It’s always hard to lose a member of the family. She was fortunate to have been part of yours.

  38. Ray Thompson says:

    I think Jerry would say the same.

    Who do you think taught Jerry? 🙂

  39. Greg Norton says:

    @Lynn. Sorry about your friend.

    Our cat is 10 and starting to become expensive with every vet visit.

    I just paid $200 for a urine culture to get to the bottom of a seemingly endless bladder infection.

    The cat survived Vantucky and rode with me in a carrier on the 3 1/2 day drive down to Texas. We’ve been through a lot together.

  40. Jenny says:

    @Lynn
    I’m so sorry for your loss. I always enjoyed hearing about Lady, she was a very good dog indeed. I’m relaxing on the couch with our 14 year old boy. His fur is soft under my hands and I watch his chest softly rise and fall. I dread the grief that’s going to hit me when he dies.

    Our dogs are our unjudging comforters, friends, companions. There’s really no relationship that compares. The pain when we lose one that was especially close has a keen sharpness that’s hard to reconcile with how we’re supposed to feel (“just a dog”).

    I hope the years of sweet memories blunt your loss. She sounded like a once in a lifetime pup. She was assuredly loved.

  41. Bob Sprowl says:

    @Lynn: Sorry for your loss. Lost my little friend several months ago. It’s almost time for me to get another.

  42. Vince says:

    @lynn Sorry to hear of Lady’s passing. They are so much a part of our families.

  43. SteveF says:

    Sympathies, Lynn. However, you can put the sad event to good use: guilt your son into getting you a grandchild to fill the void in your life.

    I would think that knife bans and gun bans would be going away also, very soon.

    You must not be familiar with lawyers, activists, and the legal system.

    re brisket, I either cook it covered in the oven for five hours or cook it in the crockpot on low for about ten. Any of a number of prepared rubs or make my own. I’ll generally throw in vegetables in big chunks to cook in the juices. Mostly I don’t fret about getting the “perfect” rub or the “perfect” cooking method — I’ve never had one come out bad and the variable results keeps it interesting. (And Little Miss Piglet likes brisket. Really likes it. Eats two or three times her normal amount when it first comes out.)

  44. SteveF says:

    Jenny, if, hypothetically, I ever get my next children’s book written and editing to my liking and if, even more hypothetically, the artist gets the illustrations back to me before the turn of the century, would you mind it being dedicated to you and your daughter? It would be something like “Dedicated to Jenny and X, for teaching me something about characterization in children’s books.” Send an email with names, or I can say “A mother-daughter pair (you know who you are)”. No hurry on providing names. Going by experience, it’ll take a lot of nagging over months to get the drawings.

  45. lynn says:

    Sigh, living with an older vehicle is the gift that keeps on giving. I have been having trouble getting my 2005 Expeditikon started for the last couple of days. Today, I went over to Autozone to get my two year battery checked out. The battery had indeed checked out, the positive terminal was loose and leaking acid. When the Autozone dude replaced my battery for me, the positive cable terminal tightening screw broke off. At that point, it became my problem. This common Ford problem is … common. I even found a video for a $20 fix instead of buying the $430 battery cable wiring harness from Ford. I will be attempting some variation of this tomorrow on my last vacation day of 2018. Happy vacation day !
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S1iWUTpzN2A

    How did I get home ? Simple, we tried new screws and bolts. Did not work. We tried cutting off the old cable and replacing with a generic battery cable terminal, did not work. I finally thought of, hey, why not use a hose clamp to secure the old battery cable to the positive terminal of the battery ? And it worked ! ! ! The second time that is, the first time I over-tightened the hose clamp and stripped the set screw. I am not sure that I am safe but, I am driving down the road. And, I bought two more hose clamps for, just in case.

    And, the wife’s new Highlander starts just fine. So does my ancient 2005 Expedition with 200,080 miles with that new battery.

  46. lynn says:

    I hope the years of sweet memories blunt your loss. She sounded like a once in a lifetime pup. She was assuredly loved.

    The vet told the wife a couple of months ago that dogs do not live to 16 years without a loving environment taking care of them.

    Lady is the fifth dog that the wife and I have had as a family. And the first to make it past a year. Life is crazy. And the sixth lasted a month also as the wife found a good home for him as he was a cat chaser. A 20 lb dog chasing a 14 lb Siamese cat is as dumb as bag of hammers. Those 20 switchblades came out and 20 lb dog was screaming and running.

  47. Nick Flandrey says:

    Well, I gave up trying to get my xbox (original) connected to my modern tv and just connected it to a small 18″. My wife wanted to play an old game, one we both loved. “Oddworld: Munch’s Oddysee ” It doesn’t play well on xbox360, or at all on xboxONE. The original xbox, with the “high def” cable set has composite or s-video as outputs. It will do native wide screen if the game supports it. Jeez it looks fuzzy, even on a monitor designed for it. I’ve been sitting on the floor in front of a little tv, playing for the last 3 hours. Loved that game.

    Unfortunately I’m now stiff as a board and will be so sore tomorrow. Wife will certainly be sore after that [and no comments!]

    It shouldn’t be so hard to play old games. There isn’t any reason xboxONE couldn’t support an official emulator for xbox, except desire. The hardware is certainly capable, and the MS staff certainly know the secrets of the code.

    It’s also an example of why I own physical media whenever possible. I have the media, and the hardware, so I can do what I want. And frankly it’s not even that old, maybe 13 years?

    n

  48. brad says:

    @Lynn: Sorry to hear about Lady. It’s hard losing someone who’s been part of the family for so long. Remember the good times…

    – – – – –

    @Paul: Franklins?!?! I’ve eaten there. Hmmm, it was fine, but I wasn’t impressed. My biggest objection was the way they served it: piles of (not-so-great) sauce dumped on the brisket. It’s supposed to be brisket with sauce, not sauce with brisket. Anyway, serve the BBQ sauce on the side, because some people like a little and others like a lot.

    I find the idea of paying fancy restaurant prices for brisket ridiculous on the face of it. Last time we visited TX, we had some really excellent BBQ in a diner on the south side of Waco. There’s just no sense to dressing it up – it’s down-to-earth food.

    Up through summer 2017, I put on a Texas-style BBQ for guests of my wife’s business, 4-5 times during the summer. All done in a classic smoker (that’s the current model – ours is 20+ years old by now). I could just fit in enough brisket for about 36 people. We finished the brisket in the oven, so that I could do spare ribs, smoked chickens, and sausages as well. Since she closed her business last Spring, I haven’t done proper BBQ for more than a year. Might be time…yum…

  49. JimL says:

    Franklin’s – probably because he got that PBS show, sponsored by Austin area car dealer. Fascinating show, but how many times can you smoke a brisket and talk about it on TV?

    I like good barbecue, but I’m not willing to pay great prices for it. 20% of the cost can get you 80% as good, and that’s good enough for me.

  50. Greg Norton says:

    It shouldn’t be so hard to play old games. There isn’t any reason xboxONE couldn’t support an official emulator for xbox, except desire. The hardware is certainly capable, and the MS staff certainly know the secrets of the code.

    I’d argue the point as to whether anyone is on the MS payroll from the original XBox development team. I’ve seen Ed Fires (“Halo”) at several retro conferences giving a talk about spending a year learning about Atari 2600 programming, and he can’t be the only one who cashed out the options. Ballmer The Monkey Boy came very close to driving the company over the cliff.

    Also, the original XBox hardware was jointly developed with the contract manufacturer and produced in Mexico IIRC. Based on my time at Jabil, my guess is that the vendor had a lot of the hardware expertise on that first generation of console.

    And I’m not sure who in Redmond had the brain fart to go PowerPC with the 360, but that was another factor in retention of talent (or lack thereof).

    Microsoft seems to have their act together now.

  51. MrAtoz says:

    Sorry for the loss of Lady, Mr. Lynn. One of our Chihuahua’s is 17.5, losing weight, blind and deaf. He’ll passs this year. I love dogs. “Odie” is the longest living dog I’ve had.

  52. lynn says:

    I love dogs.

    Me too. They are such a pain in the butt but they are great companions. Always willing to hang with you and go on a trip. And good protectors, they believe in “the cave must be protected”.

    I like cats too but dogs are special friends.

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    I played with that a bit…. and guess what? View source shows the way the page is rendered. So why bother?

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