April 25, 2013 at 8:43 pm (creative writing, culture, entertainment, exploring interconnectedness, fiction, food, humor, life, random, Writing)
Tags: bar, Breakfast Special, chance, creative, creative writing, culture, Eggs, exploring interconnectedness, fiction, food, humor, life, love, meeting, random, romance, story, tavern, Writing
Enjoying crunching the snow beneath his boots Sarge ventured along the street of small bars filling the west side of Schmall’s Falls lack of eating establishments catering to the needs of early risers, night owls, and swing shifters until Big Bob’s window sign on bright yellow paper touting “Sunrise Special: 2 eggs, toast & coffee for a buck” caught his stomach’s attention.
Entering the tavern currently conducting its own version of fast food service for the dawn dwellers. he stood to the side and held the door open for an exiting trio of grumpy construction workers. Toe kicking the rock salt from his boots he scouted for an empty stool at the bar crammed with white plates featuring steaming eggs, butter brushed toast and a constantly flowing, heady stream of coffee into squat thick cups vying for countertop space with slippery side dishes flashing crisp thick bacon and fat spitting sausages. After some careful navigation between the hands passing plates from the bar to the fully occupied booths, he managed to slide onto a still warm shiny red stool where the bar snuggled flush up against the far wall. Upon opening his paint speckled wool army coat, he generously contributed his share of body heat to that already creating streaking condensation on the bar’s large front window. He commenced pounding the alternate ends of an unlighted cigarette on the counter while patiently waiting for the barkeeper to take his order.
After setting down four full plates for the customers seated at the curve in the bar near the entrance, the lanky, middle-aged barkeeper smoothed a few slack grey hairs back into place with the rest of a backcombed wave and turned to make eye contact with him. “What it be today?” he demanded while wiping his hands with his waist apron.
Imitating the barkeep’s thick Polish accent Sarge replied, “Ve vant da special. Overeasy, if you please, Stanley.”
Smirking, Stanley nodded. “You gonna be a smartass today, eh? Forget it, Sarge. No mood for funny business.” Stanley scratched the order on a small pad of white paper, clipped it to the wire across the top of the serving window, then picked up the waiting filled order. Plate in hand, Stanley strode to stand across from the customer sitting beside Sarge, before setting down the plate, Stanley growled, “No mood for your funny business, either. F’n poached eggs. Not again. Messes up cook’s grill timing. Got it?”
A hoarse female voice croaked out, “You asked how I wanted ‘em and I told you. You didn’t say “no poached eggs.” Now you gonna give me my order or you wanting to eat them dead chickies yourself, Stan?”
Holding back a laugh in consideration for the barkeeper, Sarge watched Stanley scowl as he set down the platter covered with a double order of milky eggs whites wrapped around gentle hints of yellow yolk and perfectly browned toast drenched with melted butter. Right gray eyebrow arched high, Stanley silently filled the poached egg orderer’s cup with coffee. He started to work his way to the other customers, then, with the nearly full fresh pot of black coffee in his left hand he stopped and looked from Sarge to the customer sitting next to him. Stanley’s pale blue eyes flashed between the two. “You two at same time not good on Stan’s nerves. Don’t get any ideas or eggs go kaput!” Without waiting for a response, Stanley set about filling the coffee cups of the other customers at the bar.
Sarge leaned sideways to set his shoulder against the wall so he could turn and get a better look at the young woman sitting next to him. The Hudson Bay Blanket coat cut in old French Canadian trapper style drapped around her shoulders immediately culled her from the variety of working girls who frequented the bar during alcohol serving hours. It also separated her from the nearby telephone company’s swing shift working women. That left college student pulling an all nighter or some variation thereof. But the last wasn’t quite fitting the bill either in Sarge’s mind since there was no need for such creatures to venture off the perpetually buzzing college grounds for a cheap breakfast special in a working class bar. Hoarse Voice was busy poking the pointed edge of toast into what he considered an obscenely salted egg yolk. “Having a little egg with your salt, huh?”
A mass of long black hair crackling with static electricity was pushed back over a shoulder hunched inside the Hudson Bay Blanket coat, then a white face, made paler from the lack of any real sun during weeks of perpetual snow, with assessing dark brown eyes turned towards him. She sipped coffee to mix with her mouthful of eggs and toast, chewed slowly, then swallowed, all the time staring directly at him. She sniffed a little, then said, “Yep. Three spoons of sugar in my coffee too. You wanna make something of it?” Caught off guard by the effect on him of the unexpectedly sharp lines of her cheeks and bold aggressive eyes, Sarge simply shook his head of brown shaggy hair in reply and Hoarse Voice’s attention immediately turned back to her food.
Sarge watched her small fingers set a fork to work covering a slice of toast with egg, fold it over and stuff nearly all of it into her thin-lipped mouth. More salt was shaken over the remaining eggs, more sugar, along with a very generous amount of cream, mixed with the new coffee that flowed quickly into her cup via the pot wielded by the quick sighted Stanley. Questioning his interest, Sarge continued his surveillance of her liberal saltings, pokings and smearing of eggs until his own plate arrived and distance required him to ask her to pass the Tabasco sauce. She complied readily then made a point of watching him rain red sauce upon his eggs until it pooled along the plate’s upward crease. Deciding to let her know he was aware of her watching him, Sarge twirled his fork in anticipation but turned toward her, clearly waiting for some comment. None came. Unable to resist, Sarge quipped, “What? Want a taste?”
She responded by looking his long broad frame up and down, slowly taking inventory of the well-worn jeans, heavy work boots and dark grey plain sweater. “Nope. Wouldn’t dream of depriving you.”
Sarge thought the better of uttering the sexually suggestive reply that skipped to his lips. He’d had a way too long night of loading freight, hunger for a great deal more than food had been gnawing at him for months, and he already knew his overtired body wasn’t going to settle down for the deep oblivious sleep he mentally craved. Instead of verbally needling the hoarse voiced woman, he commenced slicing and swirling his eggs through the Tabasco sauce and finally satisfying his stomach. Eggs, spices and black coffee worked their usual soothing magic.
After mopping up the remaining streaks of red sauce on his plate, Sarge took note of the departing early morning rush crowd, held up his empty cup for a refill then pulled a half read paperback copy of Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency from the inside pocket of his long coat. With the still unlite cigarette now resting between his lips, he pushed his plate away and flipped through the book. As he smoothed out the creased page corner, Stanley cleared Sarge’s plate and laid a cinnamon roll wrapped in a paper napkin on the counter in front of Hoarse Voice. Taking the cigarette between his fingers, Sarge looked up just enough to allow him to see Hoarse Voice’s reflection in the mirror behind the bar. Standing up she shucked her black sweatered arms back into her coat sleeves, hauled a thick orange backpack off the floor and onto her stool, fished out a man’s style wallet from the pocket in its flap, laid out enough to cover the bill and the sort of tip an appreciative regular customer leaves, then yanked the Hudson Bay Coat belt tight enough to reveal a waist Sarge was frankly surprised to see considering the double breakfast special she’d just slammed down. Black straps went over both shoulders centering the pack. Her eyes slid sideways to the book in his hand just long enough to read the title as she picked up her sweet roll. When she pulled up the coat’s hood she caught him observing her in the mirror. She nodded at his reflection then turned and left.
Leaning back on his stool, Sarge watched her stop outside the tavern door while unwrapping a portion or the roll before walking off. He turned to lift his cup and found Stanley staring at him with a serious degree of curiosity as he poured himself a cup of coffee to enjoy in the current lull of customers. He set a side plate with Sarge’s usual sweet roll on it next to the paperback.
Sarge frowned at the barkeeper, shrugged then picked up his book. Sarge glared at the cover for a few moments before pulling a fiver out of his pocket and tossing it on the counter. Book in one hand, he grabbed the roll from the plate then made a fast exit leaving behind Stanley’s amused laughter.
Once outside in the snow hazy bleak excuse for morning sunshine, Sarge surveyed the street. Hoarse Voice was quickly jaywalking diagonally through the empty four way stop designated by red flashing lights. With his longer legs all that was required was a slightly quicker pace to close the half block distance between them. Setting the necessary pace, Sarge took a big bite of the sweet roll, focused his sights first on the orange back pack then her black leather boots and went in pursuit of quenching more than what overeasy eggs swimming in hot sauce could ever dream of satisfying.
December 31, 2012 at 10:58 pm (creative writing, culture, environment, exploring interconnectedness, humor, life, nature, poetry, random, Writing)
Tags: "47 white buffalo", adventure, Badlands, Bison, buffalo, creative writing, culture, Dakota, driving, humor, life, poem, poetry, random, Sage Creek Road, winter, Writing
“47 white buffalo”
looking for a short cut to Wall
How sane is that?
seeing yellow road gate open
it’s an irrational driving choice
Sage Creek Road under ice
lures with access
Badlands on a still winter day
5, 3, 2, 1 miles an hour
who needs speed when
47 snow whitened buffalo lounging
on, beside, across the frozen road
turn and stare
December 23, 2012 at 8:06 pm (art, creative writing, culture, entertainment, exploring interconnectedness, food, history, humor, Independent film, Indigenous People, life, movies, music, Native Americans, nature, photography, poetry, random, Writing)
Tags: A Hunt for Tonto, art, canyon, Canyon de Chelly, Canyon Divides, creative writing, donation, entertainment, exploring interconnectedness, film, history, humor, Independent film, Johnny Depp, Land Use History of North America, Leon Chee, Life on the Farmlet, Navajo, pixilated2, poem, poetry, random, Relatively Calm Production, short film, supply, video, Writing
Poem for Lynda aka pixilated2, as promised for her art supply donation to Cheryl Locke’s third grade class.
Lynda’s Life on the Farmlet –>> http://pixilatedtoo.wordpress.com/
Chelly like all canyons
moon self admiring nights
your presence erodes
tugging, shoving, pushing
stone of lime and sand
tiny universes explode
forget iron cables
cement towers will not do
tossing tightly woven rope
spider strong edge to edge
below busy water swells
canyon wills be-ing
keeping juniper company
hogan resides between rivers ancient striding
canyon lies under raven eyes
searching peaches sweeter in memory
before the Navajo sheep cried
Canyon de Chelly, Arizona at Land Use History of North America, Colorado Plateau http://cpluhna.nau.edu/Places/canyon_de_chelly.htm
Somethings light, lively and lovely in this Relatively Calm Production by Leon Chee.
December 19, 2012 at 5:05 pm (art, creative writing, culture, education, entertainment, environment, exploring interconnectedness, humor, Independent film, life, movies, nature, photography, play, random, Uncategorized, Writing)
Tags: ballet, Balog, Broadway Cafe, cafe mocha, Chasing Ice, Cinemas, climate change, coffee, education, email, entertainment, environment, exploring interconnectedness, extreme, film, food, humor, ice, independently owned, James Balog, Kansas City, London, loss, movies, nature, non-chain, Nutcracker, opera, photography, random, Royal, snail mail, subscriptions, Ted Talk, theatre, time-lapse proof, Tivoli, Tivoli Cinemas, Writing
Chasing Ice website http://www.chasingice.com/ Complete with link to James Balog’s photography and much more.
With all the ways there are to share information and communicate in this time of technological multitasking galore “mail” remains a constant source as both snail mail (those hard copies that are deposited in your own private hard copy mailboxes) and email (all the electronically created and delivered “soft” efforts to communicate via cyberspace complete with “in boxes” and mailing options. Anyone else recall the attempt by the American government to charge US all five cents per email we sent? Have I got that right? So far that effort to get a slice of the internet mail pie has failed. So far. I think. I may be wrong about this failure to milk us.). Why do we so enjoy getting all our forms of “mail”? One reason I enjoy my mail is because of the information it brings to my attention that I may well have otherwise missed or overlooked or simply never discovered. There is something to be said for “subscribing” to business websites for updates and notifications. Are you all bored and wondering what the heck any of this has to do with the Chasing Ice video? Okay. I subscribe to the Tivoli Cinemas in Westport (an area of Kansas City, Missouri) and as a result I receive a weekly email regarding which films are being shown and when at the hard copy theatre complete with big screens, comfy seats, and the rare option to buy or bring your own yum yums for consumption while viewing all sorts of films. If I did not have this subscription I probably would never have known that Chasing Ice is appearing exclusively at the Tivoli for the Kansas City area. Heck, I might not have even known it was appearing in any theatres if not for this email. Luckily the Tivoli is within reasonable driving distance for moi–who, as you’ve all guessed by now has the “yappy yaps” this morning.
Tivoli Cinemas’ website http://www.tivolikc.com/
Chasing Ice opens December 21, 2012. http://www.tivolikc.com/upcoming.html
Hey, they’re even offering The Nutcracker performed by the Royal London Ballet on December 23. Yes, a movie theatre will show a ballet film. If that’s not enough to raise your highbrows a notch or two then maybe The Royal Opera of London show of The Marriage of Figaro on December 30 will do the trick.
Oh and a film ticket stub will knock 50% off the price of one drink at the Broadway Cafe –which, in my opinion, offers The Best Cafe Mocha–bar none– anywhere. Definitely the best I’ve tasted in several states. (No, sorry, folks trying to staff the little upstart coffee shop in Pierre, SD, that’s not a legit cafe mocha you’re proffering. Not yet anyway. Keep trying though. Practice may pay off in time.) Broadway Cafe site http://www.broadwayroasting.com/
So, guess where I will venture, safe driving conditions being extant, during the week of December 21-27? Yep. I’ll be chasing Chasing Ice with a delicious cafe mocha accompanied by a honey soaked croissant. I’ll be enjoying what this world offers while it lasts.
Now, about all the ice chasing and film festival awards and climate change etc. . . .
December 3, 2012 at 6:57 pm (art, creative writing, culture, drama, education, entertainment, history, humor, life, movies, music, play, random, Uncategorized)
Tags: acting, actor, animation, art, biography, Bugs Bunny, cartoons, Chris Glidden, culture, documentary, entertainment, film, history, humor, laughter, life, Looney Tunes, Mel Blanc, Mel Blanc: The Man of a Thousand Voices, movies, radio, random, television, voice, YouTube
Imagine Bugs Bunny saying, “What’s up, Spock?”
Looney Tunes cartoons are full of glib violence and gore galore. How many times have you seen Elmer Fudd wielding a shotgun? Enough said? Violence aside, the Looney Tunes cartoon catalog features a serious depth of creative production from animation art to acting all aimed at eliciting laughter. Humor comes in many forms. Mel Blanc’s voice brought many animated forms to life. Looney Tunes cartoons aren’t quite my cup of humor tea–but they do tickle the funny bones of many people. So, with much appreciation to Berit for sharing this documentary with me, I offer Mel Blanc: The Man of a Thousand Voices, uploaded to YouTube by Chris Glidden, for your mental health uplift. This video also offers a certain history of the art of animation, radio and the entertainment media industry via Blanc’s story.
Enjoy the best medicine, laughter.
“Love what you do.” Mel Blanc
December 2, 2012 at 6:31 pm (culture, education, environment, exploring interconnectedness, food, humor, Independent film, journalism, life, random, Uncategorized)
Tags: "Water", aquaponics, city, compost, culture, education, farm, farming, food, gardening, Guerrilla Composting Madness, humor, Imphal, Independent film, India, Kansas City, making compost, Missiouri, permaculture, soil, sustainable living, TheUrbanFarmingGuys, Urban Farming Guys, video, worms, YouTube
Ah some things just get better with time–like compost and the Urban Farming Guys’ permaculture antics in, of all places, Kansas City, Missouri. Who’d have thunk it in the city that wages war on its own trees? Mea culpa–indeed I have been remiss in not sharing all their wild and wonderful videos in a timely fashion. But today I’m on target as this is coming straight to you from my “inbox” this Sunday. Whose farming in your city? Hmm? FYI, it is possible to subscribe to TheUrbanFarmingGuys on YouTube if you want to learn about Aquaponics, Morrels, Tilapia farming, Christmas Tree Safety and much more.
If you’re wondering just what’s possible regarding sustainable living in an urban setting, then you need to discover these guys asap because they’re “making it so” all on their own steam.
The Guys have even been to Imphal, India–Seriously.
Explore The Guys Urban Farming at http://theurbanfarmingguys.com/
November 26, 2012 at 6:10 pm (culture, education, environment, exploring interconnectedness, food, history, humor, life, nature, random, Writing)
Tags: animals, ants, Ardi, Book, Crohn's, Despommier, disease, Dunn, ecology, education, environment, evolution, exploring, farming, fear, food, gardening, history, humans, humor, interconnectedness, microbes, milk, nature, parasites, predators, reading, review, Rob, rooftops, Science, snakes, species, survival, sustainable living, The Wild Life of Our Bodies, tigers, Tim White, urban farmng, worms, Writing
Click cover to visit Dunn
“Utterly delightful” — yes, I mean that with all sincerity. Admittedly the delight will depend on your sense of humor. If we’re on the same laugh track then all will be in tune. If not, then, ah well, you might not laugh but you still will learn from this highly accessible science writing. Unless you’re in the ranks or trenches –or the trees–with the likes of Rob Dunn, then I assure you there are things to learn in his The Wild Life of Our Bodies: Predators, Parasites, and Partners That Shape Who We Are Today. Okay none of that “oooo yucky parasites” business. Time to put the fear of all the unseen creepy crawlers aside and learn about the garden of our bodies and who’s living in it. This is not an exhaustive inventory of all the strange critters lurking in human stomachs and intestines. That’s not what Dunn is about in this book about very important interconnectedness of all living things. Yes, that’s what this book does–it explores our forgotten interconnections with other living creatures and the natural world at large. Sufferers of Crohn’s disease should read with care–in other words, be careful with whatever ideas you get about worms from Dunn’s book. If you’re into sustainable living and green cities then read Dunn’s text provides a serious foundation for the argument of urban farming on multiple levels. If you’re a “doctor” then it’s time to find out what’s been going with the work of the research scientists Dunn, a scientist with a penchant for ants, connects with all the glee of someone who has a vision of the bigger picture of life from the ant world on up. If you’re ill–or healthy–here are some serious ideas to consider as to why.
Got skin care on your mind? Rethinking your hair–everywhere? Consider what fur is for. Remember that supposedly useless appendix? Turns out it’s not so useless at all. Who says “milk does a body good”? I think it’s all the folks who mass produce that white stuff that is passed off as milk. It’s not. It’s something else entirely in my opinion. Is The Jungle Book one of your favorite stories? If so, I think you’ll enjoy The Wild Life of Our Bodies even more. Yes, it does have a tiger story in it–a real one about man/woman eating tigers. Ever wonder about the connection between our sight and our biology? Why do we behave as we do? Some tantalizing ideas are planted in Dunn’s mind garden–and they’re well worth watering.
Are you simply looking for some very good science writing with comic relief? Apparently Rob Dunn has a sense of humor and is not afraid of sharing it in his writing. This is a very cool thing because it makes Dunn’s writing so very engaging rather than stiflingly pedantic. This is truly an accessible book about very serious science. Do not be afraid of it! Dunn is not out to clobber readers with a massive ego. He’s trying to sow some seriously potential seeds for hope for our future survival as a species. Part VII of his book, “The Future of Human Nature” focuses on “The Reluctant Revolutionary of Hope” — Dickson Despommier. If you read no other part of this book except the last 26 pages–well then let it be these 26 pages.
If you care to read more than twenty-six pages other delicious tidbits await to tantalize your tongue (oh yes, you will learn a few things about tongues and taste buds too): the story of Tim White’s discovery of Ardi; Debra Wade’s struggle to deal with Crohn’s; why the ”bubble boy” died; Reynier’s long, long-term research in Paris to create a germ free world; an appendectomy performed in a submarine –complete with spoons and fingernail clippers; why we’ve done the weird thing of breeding beautiful roses without scent (a choice which baffles me to no end); a great deal about human fear of snakes–and quite a variety of other things–including the ways of leaf cutter ants.
If I were writing reviews for employment, and therefore funds, I’d give Rob Dunn’s The Wild Life of Our Bodies a full five-star rating (as in five out of five possible stars). I don’t currently write for monetary rewards. So there’s no cash incentive for me to praise Dunn’s personable writing, vision, and thinking. But praise I do. Having read enough deadly dry scientific texts in another life I can appreciate what Rob Dunn offers–science ideas presented in a manner that entices one to explore further rather to retreat after being bludgeoned by a massive ego swimming in incomprehensible jargon. Go forth and discover The Wild Life of Our Bodies–read, learn, and share widely. Please! How our future as a species unfolds may well depend on such seeds.
“The secret that runs throughout this book, the one I hope to have shown more than I have discussed, is that our bodies and our lives only make sense in the context of other species. Only by looking at other lives do we really understand our own.” Rob Dunn
November 23, 2012 at 4:13 pm (art, creative writing, culture, education, entertainment, exploring interconnectedness, fiction, history, life, literary fiction, poetry, publishing, random, Writing)
Tags: Book, Bryce, Courtenay, culture, death, education, entertainment, gift, history, humor, life, publishing, random, read, The Power of One, Writing
Turning on the computer this morning made this Black Friday actually a day of mourning in the world of readers and writers with the news of Bryce Courtenay’s demise due to stomach cancer. Not going to bother relating all the chatter on the various news threads regarding Courtenay’s passing. But I will say this: The Power of One is a damn fine book. If you’re looking for a great read for a young person–whom you don’t mind repeatedly reading derogatory words about certain chickens–then throw The Power of One at them and see if they can catch it. In my opinion, keep in mind the “my,” this is a great reading gift 365 days year round for any reader–or boxing fan. This is a story of guts, spirit and power. Enough said. Salute the late Bryce Courtenay by reading his books. If you’re already a Courtenay fan please feel free to share your thoughts about any of his books.
Clicking the book cover will take you to a Wikipedia page about Bryce Courtenay.
July 22, 2012 at 5:08 pm (creative writing, culture, entertainment, exploring interconnectedness, humor, life, poetry, random, Writing)
Tags: "mystery", addiction, alarm, asphalt, coffee, commune, creative writing, culture, drug free zone, free verse, ganja, humor, insomnia, life, maryjane, meth, poem, poetry, random, sign, smoke, weed, Writing
asphalt exists to provide poison ivy free pathways under overhanging tree branches
walking on yellow stripes right down the center
fresh cup of black coffee in hand
on a quest to satisfy nose incited curiosity
southward: asphalt rises to the top of the hill at 3:37 am
mystery solved: sprawling house’s fireplace
smoking chimney shares maryjane with moon and stars
parting gift to neighbors from
tiny commune of pale-faced young women with groggy babies and string skinny men
quietly packing getaway trucks and cars
wondering how massive weed fog will affect ozone readings at dawn
northward: travelling past passionate oriental lilies courting cooler currents
to corner’s new bare bones plywood sign with the same message as previous white-painted incarnation:
“Got you on camera. You better hope cops find you before I do.”
wondering if sign painter’s smoke detector alarm will sound
arrival of giant floating ganja cloud
as a nonsmoking street-walking insomniac and recovering caffeine addict I am nonplussed
yet bemused that no calls have been made from this ”drug free zone”
demanding the arrest of the dope seeping inside every window open to the summer night
headlights dark the commune’s convoy coasts downhill near silent past
ever friendly as usual, waving greetings and goodbyes at once
unlike the zombie brained meth-makers who go out with window shaking BANGS! instead of whispering weeds
July 21, 2012 at 8:08 pm (culture, environment, exploring interconnectedness, humor, life, music, play, random)
Tags: "Water", baths, beach, birds, culture, environment, heat, how to, humor, life, music, nature, picnic table, plastic dish, play, random, trees, VAbirdwatcher, video
Hey the heat is on and your local wildlife is feeling it big time. It’s easy to offer your neighborhood birds some relief that does not entail opening the doors and windows of your home to the great outdoors to invite our fine feathered friends inside for some air conditioning. Create a little bird beach with whatever you’ve got on hand that holds water, is no more than three inches high and which is fairly durable to avoid breakage. I simply put to use an old children’s plastic picnic table for a level steady base and set on it a durable 20 inch round plastic dish that is about 3 inches high. By placing this all under or near some trees or bushes allows the birds to scan for predators before indulging in drinking and bathing. The plastic dish is easy to clean out every day with a rinse and scrub before refilling with fresh clean water. My local wingers seem to enjoy loitering on the lower picnic bench seats and extra table space. Hence, my calling it a ”bird beach.” Yes, the squirrels like it too. But they’ve not chewed on it or hauled it off. Nor have I witnessed any squirrels mugging any birds. Everyone seems very polite and patient waiting their turns in the branches of the dead pine tree nearby. O yes, they do seem to keep their own sense of order out there where it’s hot even under the trees.
The orange plastic container featured in this video shows how simple it can be offer birds the water they need to survive. A bird bath does not need to be expensive or fancy. It just needs ”to be” in order to offer some life-sustaining water. Please share your bird bathing creations at will.
Thanks to VAbirdwatcher for posting this video complete with music on youtube.
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