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Monday, September 3rd, 2001
8:42 pm - various things
Some of my thoughts have seemed like they were interesting enough to be in here lately, and I actually put them into words, so, here they are:

For anyone who is looking for a good sugar substitute; I've heard a few warnings about saccharine and Nutrasweet as artificial sweeteners; I haven't really ever decided whether they are 'totally true', but it seems like it might depend on whether you ingest them often, and in what concentration. I'm pretty sure I've heard that Nutrasweet/aspartame converts to a 'harmful' substance, to some extent, if you put it in a hot liquid, like coffee. I rarely use them anyway, because of the bad taste.

My husband and I put 'stevia extract' in our 'kool-aid'- the best thirst quencher I can find, that I like somewhat, since I don't enjoy water so much. It comes from the root of the stevia plant, I think. It's a good natural sweetener, powdered, that you can get from health food stores. Stevia does have kind of a slight bitter aftertaste, but it went away, for us, after a while - I can't say that for Nutrasweet or Sweet'n'low/saccharine. And, it actually has health benefits, too. What, I can't remember; I read it somewhere.

On school and work lately, and ADD: I'm still working as a student assistant, using the Arcview computer mapping software, but for a new professor in the biology department. It's a very interesting project; I'll probably use some of the data for my senior thesis I have to write next year. The project itself involves measuring the size in area of forest and woodland patches/fragments in the county we live in, Jefferson county, and drawing conclusions about the effect of the size of the patch on the flora and fauna within them, the 'edge effects' (edges of the patches), and the effect of the city on them, depending on how far they are from the city. This will be the study Dr. C will do, and I will probably concentrate more in my thesis on the effect of vegetation on stream levels in the county. I will know more about it once I get a little further into the hydrology ('study of water', both above and underground) class I'm taking, along with three other classes.

Some good things about this job - no supervisor to report to every day, at a certain time (just meeting with them periodically), and often being able to work at my own pace.

Yes, the semester's just begun again. Hope this one will be 'less hellish'. The woman who helps students with dealing with ADD at school is going to be sending me emails of what my assignment due dates are, when tests are, etc.

Not like I can't, theoretically, keep track of all that myself, but, it'll save time, help with forgetfulness...But, it could help break the procrastination pattern, which has long been the main source of the problem. I'm also still working on getting on the right medication. My current, and first psychiatrist I've been to deal with ADD specifically has kept me on one medicine, supposedly for it; Effexor, but I don't think it's working. I am still in the process of trying to deal with talking to the insurance company to get switched to another doctor. This is tedious, because this doctor that someone recommended to me (by a woman working in the office of another psychiatrist I was calling about going to) as being 'the only one in this city who totally understands ADD and the medication for it', is only available to me under my 'out-of-network benefits. So, I need to find out how much it costs. Which is the end result of some complicated insurance calculations, so it's confusing as to what part the patient is supposed to pay, and what part the insurance company is supposed to.

Why they can't just figure it out and tell me, I don't know. Maybe they can; who knows. The insurance company acts like the doctor's office should know; and of course the doctor's office thinks the insurance company is supposed to. I get so easily confused; I don't see why I should have to do it; surely they've dealt with out-of-network provider situation before - and besides - this kind of sorting out complicated details is even more frustrating, as it is another symptom of 'the ADD', or, more specifically, my malfunctioning brain chemistry.

And hey - anybody reading this who doubts the validity of any of what I just wrote - if you don't try to research it, or have someone knowledgeable explain it to you, you probably aren't going to understand it, and you therefore will think it's 'not true'. That doesn't mean it is.

Think about it - there are plenty of proven cases where the neurotransmitter chemicals in peoples' brains are either at insufficient levels for the processes they are involved in to allow the person to function normally in one way or another, or they are blocked from moving to another part of the brain. Manic depression, schizophrenia, psychopathy(?). I believe it is one or both that is either the cause, or a cause of ADD - underactivity of the neurotransmitters between the frontal lobes of the brain, and it is known that these regions are responsible for such functions as attention and fine motor control.

SO - give people with ADD 'a break', if you happen to come upon on an opportunity to do so - you know if you had something wrong with you that you had limited control over, especially until you were treated, you would prefer to not be bitched at, criticized, blamed, or judged because of the symptoms that other people happen to have to encounter by being around you. Not to 'be negative', but we really do have to put up with a lot of uncalled for shit from people, and it gets old. Absolutely nothing against certain people I may have talked to about this before, though - I'm not referring to you all at all. : )

current mood: glad to have expressed it all

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Saturday, August 18th, 2001
2:46 am
Hey - here's some pictures. Mostly from a few years ago, so far. They're on snapfish.com, so you'll have to give them an email address and password once you click on the link. pictures

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Sunday, June 3rd, 2001
2:02 am
We've been back for a week now, from the cruise, so I guess I'm 'recovered' enough to say what happened. It was wonderful, of course - not too hot, being May, and the bays we swam in were just the right temperature! - not too warm or cold - I'm very sensitive to both. It all began with a long drive down from Louisville to Miami - and we really didn't want to waste money in a hotel, so we did the hour or two-long naps inbetween me, my husband, matt, and my sister, Kim driving. We then had the inevitable but amusing experience of, while matt was unconscious in the back seat, my sister forcing me to stay awake while she was driving, and both of us at the rest stop at 2:30 a.m. after having left at 7 a.m. previously, our brains barely functioning, trying to figure out where we were, and scanning the high-res. map of Miami for her friend's address, where we would leave the car for the week. Her friend was out of town also for the weekend, but Kim neglected to ask her for a key so we could crash - so we ended up trying to find a spot at the airport to get a few hours sleep in; limited to old, uncomfortable chairs with inconveniently placed armrests, at Miami International. There were a few big cushy chairs, but they were all taken - after those people left, an airport guy told us only people waiting to be taken to hotels could sleep there. That was ok; we realized sleeping in the car wasn't so bad after all [a '93 Nissan Sentra ; ) ], especially since matt had had the most sleep, and drove around with the a.c. on, checking out Miami neighborhoods while we slept. Plus, we found a nice park on a bay near Kim's friend's house - in the Coconut Grove neighborhood. This was the first time seeing Miami for all of us. I loved the sand in much of the soil, and all the different types of palm trees, along with all the tropical 'house plant' type plants just 'growing like weeds'! Can't imagine living somewhere that hot and humid for that much of the year, though - Louisville is bad enough, with only a month at the most of temperatures in the 90's. Miami's stucco pastel buildings, and some of the old architecture; what I saw of it, anyway, were cool.
We had a good breakfast at a diner in South Beach - need to check out that neighborhood again someday, too - we even saw a guy roller-skating down the sidewalk in his tight (black?) 'hot pants'!
It was still early, about 9:00, so we went down to the Port of Miami to check out the ship (The Explorer of the Seas - Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines), and see if we could get some last-minute information as to what we needed to do with our luggage later on, etc. We then went back to where we'd leave the car, organized our stuff, and caught a taxi a few hours later. We ended up getting there when multiple other loads of people from airports did, and had to stand in line for a while to be processed, but finally we got on, and were able to shower and have the buffet in the big 'cafe' near the top of the ship - maybe about 7 or 8 stories up? - somewhere around there. Nice big windows, so even if you weren't by them, you had a good view. Well, I think I'll have to post more tomorrow. Do check out some pictures from the trip on the- Cam de Freek site - Chuck and Tammy's site. They're the people who invited us on the cruise! They're in the 'Images' section - then click on the 'Caribbean Cruise' link.

current mood: contemplative

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Saturday, April 28th, 2001
1:40 am
Hey all - thought I'd going on and do a post - I've even had a request for me to! Nice. : ) Well, today was essentially the last day of school until next semester. Cruise in 3 weeks - woohoo!! As it were. Ready for day after day until then to budget$, try to get a little sun with as little damage as possible, doing the garden thing, getting rid of much superfluous stuff to make packing and coming back home after driving to and from
---Miami (of all places; I'm a little nervous to be going, temporarily,anyway, to such a large "southern suburban ghetto"? I've never been there, just seen stuff on t.v., but I have a stereotypical picture in my mind of a over-sunbaked region that's kind of aesthetically unpleasant, and used up in a uniquely human way - kind of the way I imagine Los Angeles, (Cathy, I hope you're going to 'make it' trying to exist up in there - I don't know how you're doing it), and in part, New York to be. I imagine Chicago's getting there, but I also think I'd like more of it if I had to imagine living there.

--back to what I'll be doing before (and after) the cruise - inserting some files of recent and old pics onto our 'site, last trip of clothes shopping. I'm sure we'll have some fascinating cruise footage - video and pictures, most all of it digital. What will make it really good will be all the extraneous, probably even middle of the night trips to videotape people. I hope to not irritate any subjects of this - I guess i should adopt the attitude of - "I guess they'll just have to deal with it." - pretty much one of my 'quotes' - and hope I'll not get too distracted when they glare at me, which will get me thinking simultaneously, "They really don't like me doing this", and, "Some security guard person is going to come fuck with me eventually", after which, I will lose the opportunity to get any more, and for any more of my people to do the same, and, "I am profoundly disappointed because I didn't get the images of people/things/situations i can't imagine dealing with not having, so I can show all my other people". (The last one was a bit intentionally exaggerated) So. No big deal - just my initial thoughts - I'm sure it'll all work out if I am 'sneaky' enough - doing the recording random stuff while holding the camera at a certain angle, then watching it through the viewfinder to see if it was able to catch people's faces.

So. Once we get the new additions up, hopefully someone will see them and enjoy them - one of my favorite things to do - share audio and video with people, especially video, when I get to watch it with them, and simultaneously talk with them about it, get their reactions. Especially when it's an event I've videotaped. I really look forward to doing this with my husband with my videotapes from this semester's 'guest lecture series' on topics in Geography/Geosciences. He considers this to be mental torture (exaggerated, but partly true), partly because I have asked him when we'll be able to watch some of them more than once, and definitely a total of somewhere around 10 times, give or take a few, and partly because he sees no benefit in watching something with someone so you can get their reactions. Oh well - one of our more perpetual disagreements. That man is very unmoving and discriminating in how he spends his free time. I can respect that, though - it's important to, for both of us to, so we can each feel free enough in our relationship, I guess.

Mmm...gardening in the sun is going to be nice tomorrow - a little breezy, sun massaging my muscles, having been dry-rotting them, esp. during the all-nighter the other night, finishing up much of my group's project (definitely getting too old for that - i can't imagine not getting sick automatically after doing that in the future), forcing myself to try to figure out what to put next or do next into/on the computer. And too much languishing under fluorescent light - the cosmos, basil, nasturtium, coreopsis, marigold and a few dianthus sprouts have done well under it, though. ; )

Nice end-of-the-semester party tonight at my man Bob Forbes' house. Lots of fun - everyone, even the professors, seemed a bit intoxicated, which is always amusing. The dogs were too funny. 'Sparkle' the long kind-of skinny beagle going "Owwoooh" - I guess all beagles do that? and chasing her tail around in circles and biting it at the same time. Then, when someone would start to play with her, she'd tear through the yard, round and round the circle of the lawn chairs, then zigzagging between them, not knocking over any of the beers in plastic cups on the thick, slightly too-long green grass under, beside, and in front of the chairs. Then the big St. Bernard/chow/shar-pei dog kept staring down the little albino bunny in the big rabbit hutch - it is still nagging at me that I didn't get a shot of them nose-to-nose on either side of the chicken wire - looked away just for a second, then the bunny had to walk away.

Should be a few of them and others from the party I can post on the site eventually - from Bob's digital camera - I don't think he would mind. Have to put up some pictures of the yard/garden, too - maybe tomorrow night if I can get matt's assistance. If he's not too preoccupied with his agenda of the hour. "Just joking", matt, don't freak out or anything.

current mood: relatively calm, ready to read

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Friday, February 16th, 2001
10:17 pm
I recently read the journal entry of an interesting person, named Krystyn, or her nickname, 'red', of the www.redchainsaws.com site. One of her entries from today was, for one, about a large amount of stuff that was taking up most of a room, where her husband had brought it down from the attic. She is not happy about that, since she knows it will be there for a long time.

**creamy alfredo sauce with linguine...I could eat three servings of it at once, but I don't.

Our house is perpetually cluttered to varying degrees. Not just one room. I'd say each is at least 25% filled with 'stuff', in some way; around the perimeter, on the floor, piled up part way in boxes, overflowing out of some of them, stuff just practically thrown up on shelves, or filling up a corner of a room. Not many closets here, for one thing, and I have what they said was 'severe ADD'; Matt has it moderately, I guess. Plus we usually don't throw much away except for regular weekly garbage. It's easy to accumulate it all, but harder to actually make ourselves sort through it. We usually really plan every summer, once I'm temporarily out of school, to attack it and make a dent in it, but doing gardening and the housework that 'has' to be done seems to take up most of the time, along with hiking, spending time with people, being on the computer, etc. A friend of ours recently said that she thought that as long as we spend as much time on the computers as we do, that we may actually never really get the house cleaned up. That would be matt on his machine(s) more than me ; ) She didn't mean anything by it - just an observation, since we talk about it to her sometimes, and because she uses her computer a lot to do stuff for her webpage, learn Flash, etc. - so she knows how much time it can take up. Her pages are 'One Opinionated Bitch' and 'catherineclay.com'.

Well, more hopefully sooner than later. Please just post a quick 'comment on this entry' saying you glanced at this - just so I can get an idea of how many people, if any, come here. I know I could do it with a counter, but I haven't gotten to that yet.

current mood: full

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Monday, November 27th, 2000
12:18 am
Oh, and Thanksgiving! Went to Aunt Patty's as usual - it's great - she has a big kitchen, and always makes juicy turkey and all kinds of fun side stuff and desserts, and everybody else brings whatever else. We brought chai, 'Indian Tea with cream in it', which most everyone seemed afraid of. A few people, especially the vegetarians I made it for, liked the 'Indian tomato curry', though, complete with garlic, chickpeas, and ginger!

We got to see some good friends from out of town, too. I was so happy they were able to make it - Cathy Clay, who has the amazing website(s) One Opinionated Bitch.com / Catherine Clay.com . Also, her new (French) husband, Florent, and Joseph Bironas, who has a cool page at josebiro.com .
We love you all!

Hope everyone's been enjoying the cam stuff - if you don't get to see it in the next hour or two, it should be up again tomorrow evening.

current mood: happy but working

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Sunday, November 26th, 2000
11:57 pm
Oh, and Thanksgiving! Went to Aunt Patty's as usual - it's great - she has a big kitchen, and always makes juicy turkey and all kinds of fun side stuff and desserts, and everybody else brings whatever else. We brought chai, 'Indian Tea with cream in it', which most everyone seemed afraid of. A few people, especially the vegetarians I made it for, liked the 'Indian tomato curry', though, complete with garlic, chickpeas, and ginger!

We got to see some good friends from out of town, too. I was so happy they were able to make it - Cathy Clay, who has the amazing website(s) One Opinionated Bitch.com / Catherine Clay.com . Also, her new (French) husband, Florent, and Joseph Bironas, who has a cool page at josebiro.com .
We love you all!

Hope everyone's been enjoying the cam stuff - if you don't get to see it in the next hour or two, it should be up again tomorrow evening.

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7:18 pm - bulletin
check out this - my and my husband's very limited cam page: Matt and Susan's House of Extacy - for the next few hours, we will be kind of streaming, or at least playing some of our cool videos on it - no sound, but still cool ; )

current mood: busy

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11:28 am
Sunday morning... ; ) "Hanging chads" ; ) Matt has the one of the cable news stations on - so we can keep up with the absurdity.

Yeah - there's no reason why I can't put something here more often - it just takes me a while to get into the cycle of doing something new, no matter what it is.

Neffie's just had a little catnip, and is now sitting on my lap purring. : )

We've been hanging out with Tammy and Chuck lately - they came by and had Indian food takeout with us last weekend, then we went to Zen Garden Vietnamese restaurant on Frankfort Avenue last night. And saw some movies - haven't done that in awhile. We exchanged stories of our past experiences - pretty cool.

We had enough of the news after a few minutes. ; ) Now he's just flipping channels on his computer while he does his thing on it.

More later - have to get started on that biology lab animal name memorization thing.

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Monday, November 13th, 2000
8:20 pm
This day's been ok - nice and full after some Bearno's pizza. Had it last night, too, only a lot less than last night...Something about the cold, the getting dark early, that triggers some kind of winter-coming on starvation. So begins the struggle to not get any larger than size 16.

I like my new job at school - being a research assistant for a professor there, in the geography dept. - i'm majoring in geography - with a 'concentration' in environmental analysis : ) Got a little break today - he has to process what I did over the weekend and emailed him. Working at home is as perfect as I thought it would be.

So, in this job, i am mostly helping him with the spreadsheet stuff that helps make the maps in the G.I.S. - Geographic Information System, using the ArcView software. One of my favorite things about the job is the convenience and flexibility - it's part-time, and he just mostly has me work whenever I have time - within reason, of course. It's nice to just be able to stop and go collaborate with classmates on some homework I'm stuck on that's almost due, or to have that free hour or two automatically before a test. The dept. is small, and it's very cozy - the whole dept. is in one hallway, in a nice new comfortable building. We have two balconies, and there are soft benches in the hallway.

Plus, this is definitely my first job without supervisors and stuff...probably my only one, too - who knows how it'll be in the actual 'world of work' - but we'll see - i think some people end up doing work in this field like a consultant - that would be fun - that's one of the main reasons i finally decided to major in this - i wanted to work outside, at least some - so, it is a relatively new field, so it's nice that there's lots of possibilities...

I really think i would like to get some kind of web page/cam page started, though -all of you guys have inspired me! so, hopefully matt and i will have a little free time inbetween projects and tasks to get that started...But don't get too impatient - I never know what kind of crisis will come up in my life that will need tending to, often for an interminable length of time...Plus, the house is always driving me nuts with all of our 'pack-rat collection of stuff'; it's very hard, trying to make yourself go through years of stuff to figure out what you want to throw away, when you can always sit your exhausted self down at the computer, or sleep or something. So, just be patient, and check back from time to time - if chuck helps, that may expedite it...if it involves buying much new equipment, that may be a short delay. Maybe Chuck can put up some kind of announcement when it happens.

At least school ends soon - Christmas break should give us some time. I will be pretty busy from now until then trying to wrap up my three classes, though - two big projects - a computer map for Intro. to GIS, a partial computer map, but mostly drawn on posterboard for Intro. to Mapping, and then the last push to memorize the last of the multiple phyla for Biology and Biology lab. The hardest will be the bug ones - they want us to know classes AND orders for those.

I know i want to have a 'cat cam' thing going on - its been fun to watch Chuck and Tammy's just pop up on top of the computer chair all of a sudden! Krystyn and Nik's is cute, too - sitting by the window there all the time...

We have three cats. Misha was our first - we got him as a skinny orange 6-week old kitten from a litter in Oldham County in June 1992 - back when we were in the apartment we lived in on Second St. before we bought the house we have now, in Nov. 1994! (Wow, been here 6 years now...) We had two others after him - both were hit by cars...Then we got Shiva - a stray that my mother-in-law found in the town across the Ohio River - in Jeffersonville. Very fluffy and affectionate. Then we got Neffie (Nefertiti) 2 years ago, from a friend. She is Siamese! So, Shiva has to live outside since she and Neffie don't 'get along', mostly due to the female territorial thing; they then fight and pee all over the house. It's ok - she has a lot of thick fur, and seemed to have lived outside before we got her. She'll come back in if she wants after Neffie's gone. She's 2, and Neffie's 10.

Neffie has had a very bad case of ringworm for about the past month. I talked to Joe, the friend of ours who had her before, and all of his and his ex-wife's cats had it, but he said Neffie never got it. Even if she had, I wouldn't have blamed him - it's really contagious, it looks like, if the person, or animal, is susceptible to it. Not too long after we got her, I saw flaky patches around her ears from time time, and she'd lose the fur there, but it didn't look that bad - more like an allergy or something. Then, over the course of about a week, a few weeks ago, it suddenly spread from those spots down to her eyes. Then I took her to the vet, and he gave us cream to put on her twice a day, for about two weeks. It had really gotten a hold by right around after we took her to the vet, and it only slowly killed the original patches...It started spreading a lot - wherever she washed - under her chin and neck, on the sides of her head, on top of her head, and a big area between and behind her shoulders...

Once we were finally able to kill the part by her eyes, he said it was ok to start giving her iodine baths twice a week. She was already starting to feel better, I think, by the first bath, last week, and then a lot better after it. The medicine we had to give her at first made her pee all over everything, even us. She only used to do it every once in a while before, and only on piles of clothes. ; ) So, she's stopped doing it so much now since she's off the medicine, but she'll probably have to stay living in the front room where we can close the doors, and have room for the litter pan and food bowls all together in there.

Poor kitty - she really was sick there for a while. Didn't want to eat - just sat 'catatonic-looking', or asleep on her favorite towel. She loves to in front of the fireplace, though. She didn't want us to touch her or pet her - having lost so much fur, above the neck, anyway. And what she had was all sticky from the cream. And of course, when we tried to pet her, she thought it was time for another treatment again. Can't blame her - it seemed like it was 'all the time' to us, too, doing it twice a day...So I guess it hurt and itched at the same time - all flaky and scabby. It seemed like she was NEVER going to get back to her actual self again. I can't believe Misha didn't catch it. I think she finally got it so bad because she's getting older, and maybe her immune system is also weakening for some other reason(s), too.

I guess that's enough for now ; ) Time to go try to draw the map for homework....

current mood: working

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Saturday, November 11th, 2000
11:06 pm
The first one...I wasn't sure if I was going to actually do one of these or not, but I decided I wanted to.

I just got back from going to Kashmir Indian restaurant on Bardstown Rd., with Matt, a little while ago. Not too full from it - just right. Would have liked more naan bread, but maybe we'll do the buffet tomorrow, or next weekend. I heard the service there was a bit lacking - it was ok, once they were able to get to us. Just too busy, and it seemed like the main kitchen supervisor was doing everything - being the waiter, cashier, in and out of the kitchen...Poor guy.

Plus, we saw Zan Hoffman there. Haven't seen him for a few years. It was funny - he's really tall, and loves to talk. So, he stands right beside our table, telling us all about his recent trip to Spain and a few other parts of Europe, playing 'experimental music'. Fascinating!!! More on that later. But the tables are really close together, and the women at the table cattycorner to ours were pouting and staring at us the whole time he was over there. Attitude! Well, of course he didn't care. ; )

Need to get to work on some stuff on the computer for my job at school. I work for a nice younger, newer professor in the Geography department, as his research assistant. The first project we're working on has to do with 'optimization of commuting routes', for 'excess commuting' in cities. From what I can tell, we're going to overlay a grid on the computer screen over the map of the 'urbanized area' - i.e., downtown and immediately surrounding areas. Then, we will assign a 'centroid' - center point - to each grid cell, and designate that as the starting point for all commuters living within the census tracts in that particular grid cell. Eventually, he will do some kind of calculations with a computer program he will write that will make a line graph that will show the 'commuting distance trends.' A little vague right now, but I will understand it better as we get more into it. Right now, have to work on clicking on the census tracts on the computer map in the ArcView G.I.S. (Geographic Information System) program, and make an Excel Spreadsheet listing the Urbanized area census tract numbers within the main census tract, along with the surrounding non-urbanized area number for that tract. It's tedious, but kind of fun - especially when you're getting paid for working at home, on your computer, with your icq and favorite cams up, just clicking on little areas of a map! We're starting with Portland, Oregon. I guess I'd better get to work - I told him I'd have it done on Monday...I had told him a few times last week I would have that other first part done before last Friday, but between computer viruses and once forgetting to 'save my edits', i ran a little behind. Don't want to get in the habit of overwhelming him with too many lame excuses, as my ADD--afflicted, and thus distracted, and right now rambling, ass tends to do. ; )

current mood: full

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