Monday, March 30

Those Are Some Old Strippers!

Assuming a minimum age of 18, the oldest would now be near 60.

Seriously...who would pay money to see that? 

(actual story here)

Thursday, March 26

Things I Did Not Say, But Thought (language alert)

"Yes, I've noticed that."

"Well, that's mighty white of you!"

"Kiss my ass.  You are a total prick."

"It's a shame some of the ideas from Heinlein's writings aren't carried out."

No, I won't give any more details, but it was all for one conversation.

Wednesday, March 25

Framed Mountains

I fiddled with the coloring on this, but I took it last Wednesday after our co-op. This was taken through an archway, looking towards the mountains in Jefferson National Park, which is not far from the church we were visiting.

Monday, March 23

More Mysteries of Life

Why is it that my decongestant is making me completely dehydrated while, at the same time, doing nothing to stop my nose from being completely plugged up?

Sunday, March 22


Big Girl took a big tumble off her bike today, and seems to be okay.  But please pray for her, anyway.  Right now, our adrenaline is running high, and, for her, it might mask some pains, and I've impressed upon her that she needs to let me know if she feels sore or hurt, even much later.  

But I nearly threw up, it was so scary.  She isn't even scratched up much, but I'll be watching her closely for the next couple of days.

And she's going to keep her feet on her bicycle pedals from now on, as well as watch her speed down hills.  (No it wasn't over the front of her handlebars.)

Ever Wonder?

How come the kids can have fevers near 100 and it doesn't do much to them, but I hit 99.5 and feel like a truck hit me?

Friday, March 20

Fat Chance, Buddy-Boy!

Travel Man and I took some online quiz called "How Many Kids Will You Have?" tonight.  My answer came back 6, which is about what we said we probably would have wound up with had I not been such a terrible pregnant woman.  But Travel Man's answer was 8.  When he told me that, I asked, "Where will you get the other two?"

Calling to mind the session for Great Adventure Bible Study this week (Genesis 25-50), he shot back, "I'm counting on you to get a maidservant."

Special Olympian Tells It Like It Is

Found via The Corner, from the AP:

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) - The top bowler for the Special Olympics looks forward to meeting President Barack Obama in an alley.

"He bowled a 129. I bowl a 300. I could beat that score easily," Michigan's Kolan McConiughey (KO-lahn Mc-KAHNA-he) told The Associated Press in an interview Friday.

The athletic-minded president made an offhand remark Thursday on "The Tonight Show" comparing his weak bowling to "the Special Olympics or something." He quickly apologized and told the Special Olympics chairman he wants to have some of its athletes visit the White House to bowl or play basketball.

McConiughey, who is mentally disabled, is just the bowler for the job. He's bowled five perfect games since 2005.

The 35-year-old McConiughey has been bowling since he was 8 or 9. His advice for Obama? Practice every day.

You tell him, Kolan!

(And, in case you are reading the rest of the posts dealing with this despicable comment of the president, I don't think that his offhand, "Oh, I didn't mean it to be bad or anything," is enough.  What, does he call short busses "tart carts," too?  Nice people don't make jokes at the expense of the retarded.  Actually, nice people don't make jokes at the expense of anyone else.  I maintain that this comment is just a symptom of his utter disregard for the dignity of human life in general.)

Seriously? Did He REALLY Say That? UPDATED

I don't expect a lot of outrage over this comment, though (a) it is completely well-deserved, and (b) if it was Bush who said it, we'd never hear the end of the whining (though I doubt very much that President Bush would have been so insensitive as to have these words pass his lips).

Towards the end of his approximately 40-minute appearance, the president talked about how he's gotten better at bowling and has been practicing in the White House bowling alley.

He bowled a 129, the president said.

"That's very good, Mr. President," Leno said sarcastically.

It's "like the Special Olympics or something," the president said.

[emphasis added]

Here's the video:

I have gone from thinking that President Obama is unfit to be president and is working to ruin quite a bit of what's good about the country to now thinking he could, quite possibly, be one of the biggest jerks ever.  I cannot tell you how absolutely disgusting this comment is to me.  I'd be upset with anyone saying it, but this man is my president!  

And I won't even get started (here) about how inappropriate it is for him to be jetting all over making stupid appearances like this in these economic times as he simultaneously tells me that I need to drive less and save gas and turn my heat down.  (I'll save those rants for the Soccer Mom blog, where I keep most of my political comments.)  This isn't about politics, though, it's about his absolute disregard for the dignity of human life.  Absolute and total disregard.  To him, those people in the Special Olympics are better not to be born (as if 90% of them being aborted isn't enough!).  They're better off as medical waste.  

Every time I turn around, he finds a new way to disgust me with his slavish dedication to the Culture of Death.


Sarah Palin speaks about her son and the Special Olympics.  God bless 'em.

Seven Quickies

Thank you as always to Jen, who finds time to host this every week in spite of having baby #4 in the last month.  

  1. Little Girl is in a dance competition on Saturday - her first - and is both excited and nervous.  Excited because her class knows their stuff and are ready, but nervous because she is going to be on stage at a real performing arts center in front of people she doesn't know.  She's painfully shy (though she's a truly friendly child), and the thought of strangers watching her dance - strangers who aren't a part of the dance studio "family" - almost made her refuse to participate.  I think she'll be glad when it's over, both that it is over and that she participated despite her introverted nature.  I think the latter will be a real victory for her.

    Update: This is the song she's singing and dancing to:

  2. Big Girl is gearing up for Spring soccer.  This will be her first year on one of the "big kid" teams.  Up until now, she's been on the 6-8 team, which they allow girls to stay on until they are no longer 9.  But now, she'll be on the 9-12 team.  This means bigger kids, bigger boys, more strict following of the rules.  She is going from being one of the most experienced kids on the team (and one of the biggest) to the bottom of the totem pole.  It's going to be interesting to see how she adjusts to the new environment.

  3. Travel Man has donned his Super Travel Suit again.  He's gone every week this month, and all but two in April.  But on the "non-travel" days for March, he's working from home.  This is nice for us girls, who get to give him drive-by smooches as he works from the kitchen table.  Plus, he gets to avoid work on his birthday (next Friday).  He doesn't want some big fuss, over the hill nonsense, black balloons, etc.  So instead, he'll stay home and then go work the Fish Fry at the parish, where I'll bake that chocolate cake that floats on a layer of melted chocolate.  Oh, yeah, baby!  I'll be posting that recipe ASAP.  (Sorry, Stacey, for not getting to it sooner!)

  4. My work is going well.  Well, my JOB is going well, but I sometimes lament not being able to focus properly on my VOCATION.  However, we are really humming along on that debt snowball.  I just keep my eyes on the prize and plug along.  The girls know that when we pay that last debt off, we'll save up and take a trip to Disney World.  THAT is their motivation and what helps them put up with Mommy working from home.  I enjoy the job, really, but it's tiring, and I'd much rather spend these beautiful Spring days at the park with the kids, feeding the ducks and new baby ducklings.  Soon, though.  It'll happen again.

  5. There was a poll somewhere (Fox News?) that asked who was most at fault for the financial meltdown.  The choices were: Congress, Greedy Businesses and CEOs, or Greedy Comsumers.  Hallelujah!  The third answer is probably the most correct, though I doubt ordinary people see themselves as the problem.  I was a part of it, even though we didn't default on anything.  But we were absolutely greedy - purchasing things on credit that we couldn't afford, not wanting to wait for something, buying into the consumeristic lifestyle that our country has become mired in.  What is really sad is when I hear commentators say that our economy is driven by debt and loans.  And then we get angry that Congress doesn't balance the budget!  You know that old addage that says if you don't vote, you haven't got a right to complain?  Well, I propose that if you don't balance YOUR budget, you can't complain about Congress not doing it.  If everyone stopped borrowing money to buy crap they don't need and paid off their debts, then started paying cash for everyday purchases, we'd be a whole lot better off.  But enough of that soapbox...

  6. I'm finding that I can't watch the news without feeling totally aggravated.  I'm aggravated that Congress didn't read a bill they passed, then complain about the contents.  I'm aggravated that the president tsk-tsk's at us over carbon usage, then flies out to California on Air Force One just to make read some stupid speech about his glorious plans.  I'm aggravated that we're such a bunch of peeping Toms that we have to gawk at some family's loss just because the couple involved are "celebrities."  I'm just sick of it.  I'm avoiding the news more and more these days, choosing to read here and there online instead.  

  7. Spring is just around the corner now!  Our household has Spring Fever, big-time!  Flowers are popping up, the Lilacs are nearly in bloom, the grass is green (thanks in part to three solid days of rain), and we are able to shed our winter coats much more frequently.  Pretty soon, I'll go ahead and post some pictures of the happenings in the garden.  But have you ever given thought to just how beautiful it is in the Spring, how it mirrors the promised Resurrection?  Yes, Passover is in the Spring, and that has to do with why Easter is, but God planned that from the beginning of Time.  So that, as the Earth awakens from its slumber and begins life anew, we also remember Christ's death and resurrection and the new life promised to each of us who know, love, and serve Him in this life!  I feel oh-so-proud of myself when I am able to plan an elaborate meal so that everything is finished at the same time.  Can you imagine planning all of time so everything goes off "just-so"?  Of course, He can do anything.  But it's still amazing to consider.

[image source: "GREED"]

Thursday, March 19


At Shoved to Them, we find a story about the sixth child reacting to his big brother, #5, who screams suddenly, startling #6 out of a nap and causing him to cry.  On the surface, this sounds like a boring, everyday story. 

But #6 won't be born for five months yet.

Read the whole thing (especially the insensitive nurse), but here's my favorite part:

Then came the midwife with the ultrasound machine. (Hooray!) The children all piled around me to get their first peek at our littlest one.

It was clearly sleeping. Nestled in peacefully and curled up in the fetal position. Then the machine beeped and #5 screamed.

#6 threw its arms wide in the classic infant startle. Then, the little hands flew instinctively up to cover the ears from a big brother's offensive racket.

The little face turned towards the direction of the crying brother, and it's mouth opened slightly. Then, its chin began to quiver. Clearly, obviously crying.

What a beautiful story!

In Which We Find That Contraception Does Not Benefit Anyone

The disconnect between sex and the procreative nature thereof is seen a recent study, in which we learn that nearly 3/4 of all Black children are born into single-parent families.  And that no group is below 15%.  And that every group's illegitimate birthrates are up.  

Pope Paul VI was right.  And this is very, very sad news.

Wednesday, March 18

Weekends With Will, Part III

We're into the third Shakespeare play now - "Romeo and Juliet" - and the girls insist that I need to be Juliet to Travel Man's Romeo.  Who am I to argue?  Every girl wants to be Juliet and do that balcony scene, right?

If you've never experienced the love of your life reading those lines to you, ladies, I recommend it highly.  To stray a bit from my straight-laced image (*cough!* HA!), let me say this: it is practically an aphrodisiac!  WHOO!

So, anyhow...

The next time we pick up the play, I say, "Hey, let's go back and do the balcony scene again before we do the next part.  Okay?"

Big Girl was pretty blunt.  "Mommy, it's not all about the balcony scene.  You need to move on."

Tuesday, March 17

Saint Patrick's Breastplate

New Advent has a lot of information on Saint Patrick, as well as this prayer.  I love the entire thing.  What a beautiful way to pray!

I bind to myself today
The strong 
virtue of the Invocation of the Trinity:
believe the Trinity in the Unity
The Creator of the Universe.

I bind to myself today
virtue of the Incarnation of Christ with His Baptism,
virtue of His crucifixion with His burial,
virtue of His Resurrection with His Ascension,
virtue of His coming on the Judgement Day.

I bind to myself today
virtue of the love of seraphim,
In the obedience of 
In the 
hope of resurrection unto reward,
prayers of Patriarchs,
In predictions of 
In preaching of 
faith of Confessors,
In purity of 
holy Virgins,
In deeds of righteous men.

I bind to myself today
The power of 
The light of the sun,
The brightness of the moon,
The splendour of fire,
The flashing of lightning,
The swiftness of wind,
The depth of sea,
The stability of earth,
The compactness of rocks.

I bind to myself today
God's Power to guide me,
God's Might to uphold me,
God's Wisdom to teach me,
God's Eye to watch over me,
God's Ear to hear me,
God's Word to give me speech,
God's Hand to guide me,
God's Way to lie before me,
God's Shield to shelter me,
God's Host to secure me,
Against the snares of 
Against the seductions of 
Against the lusts of 
Against everyone who meditates injury to me,
Whether far or near,
Whether few or with many.

I invoke today all these 
Against every hostile merciless power
Which may assail my body and my 
Against the incantations of 
false prophets,
Against the black 
laws of heathenism,
Against the 
false laws of heresy,
Against the deceits of 
Against the spells of 
women, and smiths, and druids,
Against every 
knowledge that binds the soul of man.

Christ, protect me today
Against every poison, against burning,
Against drowning, against death-wound,
That I may receive abundant reward.

Christ with me, Christ before me,
Christ behind me, Christ within me,
Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ at my right, Christ at my left,
Christ in the fort,
Christ in the chariot seat,
Christ in the poop [deck],
Christ in the heart of everyone who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks to me,
Christ in every eye that sees me,
Christ in every ear that hears me.

I bind to myself today
The strong 
virtue of an invocation of the Trinity,
believe the Trinity in the Unity
The Creator of the Universe.

Why Reinvent the Wheel?

It's Saint Patrick's feast day.  No, that doesn't mean you are supposed to drink unholy amounts of beer or gorge yourself on corned beef and cabbage.  It is Lent, remember?

I'd post about the wonderful man who converted Ireland, but Jay's done such a nice job.  Just go read his summary and links.  :)

No time for lengthy reading?  Just check out this nice, kid-friendly summary:

Friday, March 13

Seven Quickes

(Updated to include link to Jeanne's blog!)

Stop by Jen's blog to find other Quick Takes!

  1. I know my personality is addictive.  Trust me, my family can tell you how I can latch onto something and not be able to let go.  I'd like to break away from that and get more addicted to God, hence my Lenten resolution to begin each day with a Morning Offering and not listen to the radio in the car.  Or the iPod.  Just the kids.  But Jeanne has a great post up that just really inspires me to look at Mass differently.  Here's a snippet for you, but please go read the whole thing.  

    That host that I receive every Sunday, is the only physical form of food for my soul that I receive. It doesn't matter if the priest gives a good homily, or if I have to roll my eyes a bit, or more likely in my case, that I don't even get to listen to the homily because I am busy shushing the kids. It doesn't matter if the priest is a hypocrite who says one thing but does another, or if he is a saint, hiding behind a meek manner. It doesn't matter if the people around me frown at my kids or smile indulgantly. It doesn't matter where the tabernacle is placed, to the side, to the middle, or if there are kneelers or not.

    What matters in the end is that little round host. That is what I am there for. That is what I need to make it through my week. That is what I need to not break down and give up or melt down or go nuts or just do it my way or no way. The rest is secondary. I can read the readings and the gospel at home.
  2. I am finding that it's not difficult at all to just start the day with the Offering, and that I'm even starting to remember much more of it.  And it makes me WANT to pray more, and it really smooths out my day.  It's surprising how, even on a subconscious level, I live my day better when I've told God that I'll be doing it all for Him.  When I am tempted to act badly (and I sure-as-heck can have a tendency towards that when I'm tired or stressed out), somewhere inside, my guardian angel prompts me: You told God all was for Him today - all for His glory, remember?  Is that really a way to honor Him?  And if it's not, I stop and back up and try again.
  3. The weather here is totally insane.  March 1, we had four inches of snow.  A week later, the girls were in shorts because it was in the mid-80's.  Today, I look outside and see snow flurries.  I kid you not, this is SO strange.  I'll bet it's all my fault, too, for not switching all my light bulbs to those annoying florescent ones that don't turn on as soon as I hit the switch.  And I'm sure that the polar bears and kangaroos will all commit suicide because of me, too.  (In case you don't get that kind of humor, I am being more than a bit sarcastic here.)
  4. We joined Netflix again.  Our library has a decent selection of movies, but I am forever forgetting to return them on time, and often need to wait until something appears on the day I'm there, especially with newer movies.  Plus, some older movies (think the original Star Trek movie, for example) are only on video tape.  I have to say that I'd forgotten how hard it is to watch a video when you're used to just zipping all over the DVD.  And how yucky videotapes can get after a gazillion views.  Plus, Netflix also has a better selection and variety of the movies we want for school projects.  For example, there are about two versions of Romeo and Juliet at our library, and one is the Leonardo DiCaprio one.  The other is with Olivia whatsherface (you know...she played the Blessed Virgin in Jesus of Nazareth), and from what I recall from my freshman year, that balcony scene was FILLED with necking and passionate neck and bosom-kissing.  Um, not appropriate for my ten and seven year olds.  So I found a different version on Netflix.  When Hamlet time comes, we'll have another gazillion versions of that, though I doubt we'll get it told with monkeys or seals.  (But we can have it told with lions.)
  5. Speaking of The Bard, our homeschool co-op started up, and we're reading The Comedy of Errors with the middle schoolers.  They all seemed skeptical, but I think they're going to start enjoying themselves before the end.  I've started going ahead in the text, and I'm having a hard time not just sharing with Big Girl, who is in the class.  I'm glad that the boys in the class are being introduced to Shakespeare via a comedy.  Can you think of a less appealing way to do so than with some sappy love story where the main characters kill themselves because of broken hearts?  Sheesh.  If all goes well, maybe we'll read MacBeth next year and get some blood, murder, and betrayal going.  
  6. I just peeked outside again...still snowing.  My flowers are probably completely confused.  Even the crocus flowers look a bit shriveled, though that could be because of the stupid squirrels, who keep trying to dig up my bulbs.
  7. I'm still working, but I am finally starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel.  Despite the expenses we've planned on this year (First Communion celebrations being one of the biggest), we just might pay off our last debt that isn't the house.  I know I've talked about that before, but it's so exciting! If you'd have told me it was possible to get rid of it all in two years, I would've laughed my butt off at you.  But knowing we're so close is motivating me to keep on and work hard while I have to.  It's temporary, God willing.  

Wednesday, March 11

Snowy Day

This icicle was a good 2+ feet long!

There are dozens of these now:

More ice.  Very cool!

These reminded me of Billy's adventures in Family Circus.

Sunrise, day two.
I played with the exposure settings to capture the orange glow on the trees and snow.

Tuesday, March 10

Just So's You Know...

Sometimes it looks like you've lost a Planned Parenthood, but they just have changed their name.  Same services, new name.  


Quick and Easy Version of the Dave Ramsey Plan


Lenten morning, as planned:

Wake up with enough time to say Morning Offering, get a cup of coffee, and log into work.  Day begins nicely with prayer and caffeine.  (Caffeine optional, of course.)

Actual Lenten morning:

Wake up and stretch.  Realize that it's a bit too light for 6-something in the morning, not to mention how incredibly well-rested I feel.  Start to panic.  Grab glasses.  Look at clock.  Realize that you are 1 hour late logging into work.  Curse, jump out of bed, start logging in.  As log-in ensues, call husband and berate him moments before his class for turning the alarm all the way off yesterday instead of resetting it the way you like.  Log in late, have a crappy shift, start thinking about stupid customers and their stupid problems.  Finish shift (only 30 minutes left to it, anyway), realize you haven't said a Morning Offering and you were incredibly mean to your husband, who did nothing to prevent you from actually looking at your alarm last night before going to sleep.  Bang head against wall and proceed to apologize online, in email, on voicemail, in person on the phone at lunch time.  Say Morning Offering at 9:30 instead of 6:30.  Thank God husband is the forgiving sort!  

At least I know I'm in good company, what with the doing what I don't want to do and not doing what I want to do.  Saint Paul, pray for me!

Monday, March 9

"ButNowIKnowFourBecauseOscarTaughtMeTheWordForLip -USTA!"

The girls are watching the Silly Song Countdown from Veggie Tales today.  They've been on a Big Idea kick for the last week.  Not that I'm complaining!  I love the veggies!

Our priest is Polish and has confirmed what Larry says in this song.  

I cannot, however, guarantee that I spelled that word correctly.  So if I did spell it wrong, feel free to correct me in the comments section.

Friday, March 6

Seven Quickies

Thanks to Jen for hosting, as always!

  1. I've decided to write this ahead of time because my schedule has been a bit crazy, but it could have been worse.  I was dreading my week because Travel Man has donned his super suit again and started his busy travel schedule.  This week, he's in West Virginia.  In addition to 20 hours of work this week, I had two dance rehearsals, basketball practice, Bible study (he'll phone in for that), co-op, and some editing of videos of two basketball games for the homeschool rec league.  Oh, and some school somewhere in there, hopefully.  

    Sunday, though, we got snow, which meant public school was cancelled on Monday morning.  Which meant no dance Monday evening.  So I had a break there, which actually wound up extending to Tuesday.  

    Overnight between Monday and Tuesday, there were freezes bad enough to cancel school for fear of black ice, which is especially treacherous for the busses to navigate on the mountain roads.  This meant that instead of working until 3:20, throwing together the basketball gear, running to practice until 5:30 (where I'd do Little Girl's makeup for her dress rehearsal at dance class), then sprinting back across town for dance rehearsal, I got to come home after basketball (where I still applied makeup to try it out) and make dinner.  We watched "The King and I" together while we ate, snuggling up on the couch as we finished the Mac and Cheese concoction I made.  

    Today, I was to work 7 to 8, then co-op across town from 10 to 12, then back home to work 2:30 to 4, then Bible study tonight at 7 (here!).  But the co-op is taking a week off because several families are going on a ski trip today.  So I've got this morning to finish off that movie project, which I should be able to polish up well before my 2:00 shift.  

    So the week I thought I wouldn't make it through turns out to be all bark and no bite.  I chalk that up to God, you know.  Because when I looked at the schedule on Sunday afternoon, I prayed, "Lord, help me make it through this week!  There's just so much happening!!!"  He took care of the rest. 
  2. It's so funny...we had really mild weather a week or two ago.  So mild that the kids went out without heavy coats for a couple of days!  And, of course, winter clothes are on clearance in the stores, making way for shorts, capris, and other spring fare.  And then we get to March, and it snows!  We got a good four inches by my measurements.  So out came the snow pants we bought for our trip to South Dakota, out came the mittens and hats again, and out went the girls to play in the snow.  It's been really beautiful, and the first layer was wet snow that stuck to all the trees, making it look quite sugar-frosted.  It was just the thing, and just enough snow to build a snowman and sled down the back hill a few times.  Thank You, God!
  3. For Lent, I gave up noise this year.  It's been interesting.  Though I'm still online, I watch a lot less TV, and I won't turn on anything until I've said my morning offering.  That means that I have to plan on mornings I work early to get up early enough to say an offering before I turn on the TV, radio, or even computer.  It's been nice.  I've also given up radio and iPod in the car.  This is really nice, too, since I have had some very interesting conversations with the girls since I gave that up.  I didn't realize how often I retreated into that noise in the car instead of talking to them!  Shame on me.
  4. I know I don't usually get all political here, but has anyone else noticed that every time the president tells us about another New Grand Plan to Save Us All, the stock market takes another dive?  Did you think we'd be below 7000 on the Dow - down more than 15% since the Inauguration?  I'm just stunned - and also very glad that we have been on the Total Money Makeover plan for the last year.
  5. It's almost time to shop for Little Girl's First Communion dress.  She's going to try on her sister's first, but we aren't very hopeful that it'll fit her, since she's taller than Big Girl was three years ago.  She is getting to be such a big girl!  When I did her stage makeup yesterday, I had a glimpse of what we're in for.  Wow.
  6. Travel Man has decided to take the girls out on Daddy Dates.  Daddy Dates involves Daddy taking one of the girls out to dinner all alone.  He said, "This will be the kind of thing that happens when a young man has been courting you, and we meet him and his parents.  Then, later, he can take you out to eat so you can sit and talk and get to know each other even better."  Go, Daddy!  Our girls, should they be called to such a life (as opposed to a religious life), will have very high standards.  Just the way we like it.  Little Girl is first, and she's picked her restaurant out.  
  7.  Bible Study is really going well, too.  I have some work to do before tonight's meeting.  Travel Man will be calling in to lead the discussion, which also includes our girls.  Sometimes the girls have the most interesting answers of anyone, which makes me feel kinda good.  What makes me feel best about it is that I don't help the girls with their answers; they do them alone, then share answers with the group when we meet.  It's been interesting to look at the Bible as a family history, which is how The Great Adventure Bible Study works.  The more we do, the happier I am that our parish is participating and coordinating this whole effort.  The DVDs are phenominal, too - Dr. Cavins really gets into the Catechism along with the Bible, so we are getting a very good education all around of how the Church views the Bible and how it relates to the rest of our Faith.
Who are your heros?


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