57 thoughts on “Our Daily Thread 1-30-20

  1. Your eyes are probably better than mine.
    But all I see is two eyes (really one if you don’t look closely) staring at me.
    Good morning everyone.

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  2. Our cars are parked on the street since we expect delivery of the waste container today. Round two of roofing begins tomorrow.

    The weather feels right for the end of January, in the low 40s. The temps will soon be back up in the 60s. That makes things start to bloom and then get killed with the next cold snap. I think that does not happen up in the north. I think it sometimes creates a special kind of anxiety with people wondering if spring will lack blooms and summer will lack fruit.

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  3. Where is everyone? I asked since Chas did not ask. Maybe everyone is watching the impeachment proceedings. Not. I have watched some since a certain lawyer is from these parts.

    Meanwhile in the news, a whole class of Georgia State Troopers have been fired for cheating on and online entrance exam. A civilian heard one had cheated and turned him in. Then he said he was not the only one. Then each and every one admitted to cheating. I think it was on the part about scammers. They said that section was too hard and they did not think it was fair. The whole thing is very disturbing. Truly blue collar crime since their uniforms have blue shirts. I feel sad for their families. And to think of losing that many from the force at once and all the state/department budget money (our tax dollars) that went into their training.

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  4. Janice, actually it does happen “up north,” or it least it happened in Chicago. We had bulbs outside my building at work that I don’t even know what plant they were, because each year they’d come up green (a bit too early) then die, then not come up again.We did see some bulbs around town eventually, but I don’t think Chicago was a great place for them overall, and that spot must have been a particularly bad one.

    But one year in Nashville we had a hard freeze after a lot of trees were in bud. Up till that freeze, azaleas were everywhere in Nashville in spring, but that killed most of them around town, and future years I missed them! I’m sure that by now a good number have been replanted, but likely not at the level they used to be. I heard it also killed a lot of dogwoods, though I didn’t notice any dying in my own neighborhood, though trees did get cut short in their blooming that year.

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  5. Good morning. We, too, have that here, Janice. The fruit trees may think it is warm enough and start to bud only to be frozen or hit by high winds so the harvest is impacted. It does not usually kill the trees, just that year’s harvest. Lots of the bulbs seem to know when to come up, if the mice and such have left them alone. They may start in the snow but tend to come through fine. It always varies.
    Last year, the cherry trees off the deck were covered in blossoms and in turn, covered in butterflies, but the end result was only about five cherries. I was expecting a bumper crop.
    And the apple trees were coming along beautifully until the caretaker let the sheep devour them last November, but that is not weather related. We still have several apple trees so I won’t whine too much.

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  6. Good morning.

    Continuing the discussion from yesterday on medical records, questions they ask, insurance…

    Every time I went in for the first prenatal visit with a new pregnancy, they’d ask me stuff like how long all my previous labors were, what the baby’s birth weights were, etc. They’ve got all that information already! (Except for the immediately preceding pregnancy.)

    But I was a good little patient and answered all their questions — until the time I was in for my first visit with 6th Arrow, when I simply told them my labor time, etc. with 5th Arrow and told them the rest of it for 1st-4th Arrows are already noted.

    I had my shortest labor with 5th Arrow. What I should have said when I was asked to provide all my labor times at my appointment with 6th Arrow was, “My labor time with 5th was shorter than it takes to answer all these questions you already have the answers for!” 😛

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  7. Regarding medical records and insurance:

    My husband was experiencing pain of an unknown origin for a while back several years ago. When doctors couldn’t figure out what it was, they apparently started to assume it was all in his head, and they asked him if he wanted anti-depressants. He did not, and told them as much.

    Well, they prescribed an anti-depressant, wrote out a paper prescription, gave it to him, and he never filled it. But it was written into his medical record that he’d been prescribed it.

    A couple years or so after that, when my husband switched life insurance companies, they did a medical records search and determined he would not be able to get the lowest rate (which he always had) because of that anti-depressant “red flag” prescription.

    Husband was livid, and told the insurance company what had happened, and let the clinic know in no uncertain terms about the whole racket.

    I don’t know if his medical record ever got changed, but the insurance company did then give him their best rate.

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  8. Guess who woke up this morning feeling like she got hit by a freight train and sounding like she is up to two packs of cigarettes a day?
    You think it might be me? Well you would be right. I don’t do sick well. I am not a model patient and, and, and….
    Not only that, but yesterday I reached behind my left side and turned my head to the left. That wasn’t a good idea. Have I mentioned what a horrid patient I am? Be glad you don’t have to deal with me.
    The hardest part is Little Miss is here and keeps saying “Hey, Mimi!” I can’t pick her up or do anything with her. She doesn’t understand.
    I am also having a sinking spell. I have something to watch on line at 9 and may go back to bed after that.
    My husband needs your prayers.

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  9. DJ, I just read your SpaceX article. Nice write-up. And I loved the “YIMBY” T-shirt in the photo.

    My son Flyboy is a huge SpaceX fan, so I’m going to forward the article to him. When we were in California two years ago, we spent our last day before our flight back home at a Hawthorne hotel to be nearer the airport. He wanted so much to see the SpaceX rocket that he took a couple-mile walk. I’m sure he’d love to visit the Terminal Island facility if that’s possible and if he gets out there again.

    (I was going to say “when we get out there again”, but it occurs to me that may have been our last family trip together. The young’uns are all grown up and doing more and more of their own things, and he expects to move out on his own this year.)

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  10. One year we had a warm March and the lilac bushes leafed out. Then we had a freeze in April that killed all the leaves. I hoped the bigger bush would leaf out again, but it didn’t. So the next Spring I was getting ready to uproot it, but noticed it had buds again. I left it and it grew back full of flowers. I called it the resurrected lilac.

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  11. Rudy on red satin 🙂

    Thanks Kevin, we’ve been sitting on that one since last week sometime, it was promised to us by the council office who thought it would all be a ‘go’ after a city hall meeting — but then it began to get at least preliminarily mired in red tape as the building and safety bureaucrats got hold of it and so then spacex didn’t want it publicly released yet. Every day the conversation was “can we go with the story yet?” And the answer would be “not yet.”

    The story was linked on a couple of our very active community/group FB pages with lots of comments, most favorable But here are concerns now coming out among some residents about environmental issues (rocket fuel, other kinds of materials that could be involved) — but I don’t think there will be a lot of impacts since the launching isn’t here, they’re just putting the components together and then shipping them out by barge (and a lease was already previously approved before spacex pulled out). Colonizing Mars — get your ticket now, Chas.

    6 arrows, I don’t mind medical history questions but all the questions they had about ‘are you ever anxious’ (who isn’t?) and moods irritated me. And your husband’s experience is a real concern. As I said, I’m sure these now very personally probing records are shared to some degree and I think they can very likely affect things like that. Big Brother. I’m guessing we ‘older’ people are more cautious and resistant than people in their 20s who are maybe used to divulging everything in these settings when asked.

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  12. Kim, feel better. I’ve had a couple of those wicket cold viruses in recent years, they’re really miserable.

    Clearing out the food cupboards last weekend, in fact, I tossed a number of half-used but now expired OTC cold pills, some spare cans of soup, all things I’d buy when I was sick but never completely used up after I felt better.

    So far this year I haven’t been stricken, but sounds like there’s a lot of stuff going around.

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  13. DJ, yeah, some of the medical questions are definitely pertinent and not at all out of line. Others, well, none of your *&^% business.

    The thing with my husband was that the original mention of anti-depressants was mainly a do-you-think-you-might-want-this statement. When he said no, they wrote a prescription anyway, as a just-in-case-you-change-your-mind option.

    There was apparently no record of his saying he didn’t want anti-depressants, only that he was prescribed them. The insurance company saw that notation as enough evidence that he was a greater “risk” health-wise because of his “needing” that prescription.

    Some drugs that are prescribed for people are certainly necessary. But other times they’re used as a band-aid for normal human reactions. For example, our elderly neighbor’s first wife died a decade or so ago. When he went for a doctor visit some months after her passing, the doctor asked how he was coping. Well, he was naturally feeling sad, but the grief wasn’t anything that was interfering with his normal functioning.

    But the doctor right away wanted to prescribe him an anti-depressant. To which our neighbor responded that, no, he didn’t need those. He asked, “Shouldn’t I feel sad?”

    Why is a normal human reaction to a life-changing event viewed as an issue that needs drugs to control?

    But, anyway… yes, Big Brother. (Incidentally, I’m reading 1984 right now, for the first time.) Those questions about moods and such — they don’t need to know the entirety of a person’s thoughts and reactions to living in this imperfect world. They can’t fix the root issue — sin — anyway.

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  14. At medical appointments the last couple years I’ve also been asked a few times whether I had been abused, or some words to that effect. I wonder what they’d do if I answered yes. I’m not sure I would, even if it were true.

    The question I fudge on is whether I have fallen recently. The fact is I have fallen a couple of times in the last two years, once from hitting a step wrong at the bottom of the stairs, and my “ice dancing” episode a year ago. But I always answered No anyway. I think they want to know if a declining sense of balance or a shuffling gait increases my fall risk. I don’t want that on my chart. My balance and gait are fine, thank you.

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  15. Kevin, my hunch is they ask that of anyone over 50. The reality is, a fall can present a serious danger, more so the older we get. I’ve fallen twice in the last five years, and both times it caused pain for several days, and one time I ended up with a wound that didn’t heal. I take those falls as a warning that I can fall more easily now (I’ve always been a little bit clumsy) and that they can do more damage now, and so I’m extra careful. I actually think I’m more sure-footed now than I was two years ago, before the second fall, because I work harder at it. But I’m also much more cautious. When I was younger, if I was heading downhill and I lost my footing, I would just start running and eventually I would be able to safely stop. Today I wouldn’t dare do that, partly because I’m older and partly because the terrain where I live is different–the “bottom” is often a pond, for instance. So I have to go more carefully so I don’t end up in that situation.

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  16. What’s new in teeth cleaning? I was given the choice between having the teeth polished after cleaning or blasted with lysine. Recently I had been having the blasting with baking soda but that is no longer an option. I went with the lysine. I like baking soda better, but lysine is okay. I use to be able to park for free but today cost $11.00 for parking. Really outrageous. And I had to fill out one of those medical questionnaires which I was told I had not done in a decade. It did not get too personal, but I sure was fortunate to have so many of the “No” boxes checked.

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  17. Yeah, don’t end up in the pond.

    I also got the question of having ever been abused.

    It’s true, falling is a danger the older we get so I can see their asking the question — but I can also understand Kevin’s ‘no’ answer in the instances he mentioned (plus he’s not that old!). But indeed, that would go into the chart: “Falling episodes” as if he were slipping and tumbling about on some kind of a regular basis.

    An urgent care doc told me that falling becomes more frequent after the first couple (I’d slipped on the front porch 2 Christmases ago when I had a new outdoor mat — flimsy and slippery material — when putting out decorations, banged up my knee) so to be extra cautious, which I now definitely am. Walking the dogs at night, I’m hyper aware of sidewalk cracks (we have some very buckled sidewalks in my neighborhood). I once caught my toe on a tiny crack and down I went, this was a few years ago walking the dogs. So I also try to remember lift my feet.

    I’m pulling a late shift today, LAPD brass will be in town at what will be a packed meeting to discuss opening the new local jail & homeless issues, among other things.

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  18. Janice, I think they sill polish where I go but I really don’t pay that much attention as the hygienist is a talker so we’re both preoccupied, maybe not a good thing 🙂 One thing I like is the laser or electronic gizmo that blasts some of the gunk off to avoid the hammer-chisel process. But parking is free, a few years ago they built their own stand-alone building (they were in the old medical building where my GP also is for many years) and it has a (easy, free) surface parking lot. right outside the door.

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  19. Home. Great trip, beautiful flight up California today. I took a bunch of photos.

    I drove past DJ’s street yesterday, but had gotten held up by traffic and was late to meet old friends. LA was gorgeous yesterday. I went up to the Griffith Park Observatory (yes, I was all over the LA basin yesterday!) and took some photos. A perfect day, with a bit of haze, to be at that home.

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  20. I was working from home yesterday but locked away in the back ‘office’ space with spacex and a port story. It was a long day.

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  21. I am substantially over 50. And I get that falling can be more dangerous as we age. When I fell at the bottom of the stairs I basically sat down hard and am sure no medical follow-up was warranted. In the “ice dancing” episode I did conk my head pretty hard, and particularly with my use of blood thinners knew I should go immediately to the ER, which I did (with my wife driving).

    I think next time they ask me that I’ll ask them out of curiosity what would happen if the answer were yes.

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  22. My dentist’s office is in a medium size bank building in the downtown of our county seat, Decatur, GA (town older than Atlanta). Of course it is within the whole giant metropolitan Atlanta area. The bank building parking lot where I parked for free for years has now been remodeled into a highrise condo complex with a parking deck. I use to park on street level and walk right in. Today I was on level four of the parking deck. This whole area has exploded with growth and this is just another example of it and the inconvenience it has brought. Truly, it seems that in the span of ten years it seems I am living in a whole new city. My church has all changed in looks . . . so many things are different. I saw new condos on the far side of the church vicinity with signs posted showing selling prices starting at $700,000. It just seems crazy!!!

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  23. I think perhaps the more detailed medical history may be related to screening on the frontlines for mental health issues that might cause mass shootings, etc. Almost all the time consuming hoops the regular Joe and Jill must jump through are because of the few big troublemakers. Better catch them while they can or at least look like an attempt is made. But that assumes the bad and the insane will tell the truth.

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  24. Janice (3:06) same story in our area, Tons of construction, developments planned or already in the works. Traffic, traffic, traffic. Maybe you can get parking validation from your dentist? Seems like that’s a use that would be allowed for a perk like that.

    No Super Bowl things at church but probably individuals will be doing things together; I do think they decided to forego our regular fellowship meal after SS, thinking people would want to get home (or wherever) to watch the game.

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  25. Janice, one of my midwives was lamenting 15 or so years ago how our relatively rural area was becoming so urban looking — big buildings popping up on what used to be farm land or prairie, etc. The small, hometown feel is getting lost more and more as time goes on.

    Questions about falling: they started asking me that at check-ups once I had turned 50. The only times I’ve fallen as an adult were once when I was ice skating at a homeschool skating event (a kid cut in front of me and caught the blade of my skate with his, causing me to tumble) and another time, when I was 27 and pregnant with 1st Arrow. Our driveway was icy, and I was walking down to our mailbox below on the street. I landed on my seat and didn’t hurt anything; baby was fine, too.

    I like to do little balance exercises. I regularly pirouette in the kitchen or living room while I’m stocking-footed. (No carpet.) Sounds silly, but, hey, whatever. 😉

    Previous discussion on stairways and use of railings: most of the time, I don’t use a railing. But I do if I’m taking two stairs at a time — up or down. 🙂

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  26. Janice, I think more generally it is to help people get whatever help they need. Wouldn’t it be better to ask questions of Mumsee’s daughter while she is actually seeking medical care (assuming she were to do so) than have her slip into homelessness with no one ever asking her if she needed help?

    Those of us on this blog are all in several functioning communities: Most (not all, but most) of us live with family, and all of us (as far as I know) have contact with some family members. All of us “regulars” attend church, and most are actively involved in church. Many of us go to work; we are in clubs and/or Bible studies. We aren’t in any real likelihood of “falling between the cracks.” Not everyone is in that situation. For some, the doctor or medical provider may be the only one in a place to ask questions.

    When I was renting out a bedroom in Nashville, I once interviewed a woman who took the bus to meet me because she didn’t own a car. As I recall, she wasn’t employed (on disability or retirement), and of course she was renting and didn’t own a home. I don’t think she even gave me a phone number, just an e-mail address. I felt a little bit of discomfort realizing she was quite a bit older than I was and seemed to have no “roots” at all, so I asked her to provide a reference from a pastor, supervisor, etc. I said if she wasn’t able to provide such a reference, then I would need a background check. She got angry and told me she hadn’t asked ME for a reference. Of course the situations were really different, because I was potentially inviting her into my home and workspace, in among my neighbors, etc. My car was parked in the driveway, and she probably could have checked on its registration; she definitely could have done a tiny bit of research and verified that I owned my home, and she could have found my website and other information about me–or even done a background check if she wanted to pay for one. I’m not famous, but neither am I faceless. She was. I wasn’t trying to lay an undue burden on her, but at the same time, I also wasn’t willing to invite someone into my own home (which was also my workspace) and find out belatedly that she had addiction issues, a felony record, mental illness, and/or other instability. I wasn’t in a place to offer “help” to someone who was a total stranger to me–though I was in the position to offer a home. I ended up turning her down. If my circumstances had been different, and had the laws been different, I might have been able to help her simply by offering her a reasonably priced place to live. But knowing nothing about her, and living in a culture where if she did drugs in my house I could lose my house, or if she refused to move out I could have real problems, I needed someone I could trust before I handed over my house key. But people like her, without any network of support, do fall between the cracks.

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  27. I was asked if I was suicidal at my last doctor’s visit. It’s just a list of questions the nurse has to go through.
    Speaking of suicide there is a tragedy around here. A well known young man took his girlfriend home Saturday night and went home and killed himself. No one can figure out why. The is well liked at college and the president of his fraternity. His funeral is today. I understand the university hired to buses to bring those who wanted to attend.
    So very, very sad.

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  28. I suspect the health professionals would give you access to organizations who can help you with any abuse going on. They used to just ask women, but you cannot do that for almost anything anymore.

    Mumsee, so far I do not like the new magazine design. It is more difficult to read IMO. Time will tell if I adjust and find it easier later.

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  29. Took advantage of my free daytime hours today to clear off a shelf that runs along the back/side wall in the kitchen. It’s an easy catch-all spot and tends to gather old receipts, dog paperwork, etc. But when it’s cleared, cleaned and organized, it’s such a cute (and still handy & useful) spot. I just haven’t gotten to it in a while.

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  30. The world is such a curious place, six degrees of separation and all.

    A friend and I were pregnant together back in the dark ages. We prayed together, laughed together and smiled when she had a boy and I had a girl.

    We got their Christmas letter today–always my favorite one because her husband has such an extraordinary relationship with the Lord. This year, two photos dropped out–two of their children got married, including that little boy . . .

    Henry married Vice President Pence’s daughter.

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  31. That is really nice, Michelle.
    If they succeed in impeaching Trump (they won’), he may be married to the daughter of the president.
    Of Pence may run after Trump is finished. I like Pence.

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  32. Ugh! My daughter just told me of another teen suicide. My grandson knew this young man, although they had not seen one another in a few years. Way too many of those. 😦

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  33. Funny that you should be discussing the questions asked on health questionnaires. I have to ask those questions all the time. Some people get irritated, but most take it in good part, and all have consented to us collecting the information. The questions about falls are significant, as we are trying to help prevent falls, so if someone has fallen recently (there typically is a time limit, i.e. the past 3 months, for asking about falls), we can suggest measures to keep the person safer, perhaps even get them therapy to improve their mobility and help them stay independent. I can build quite a picture of a person through the questions I ask, and that helps me know if they are likely to heal quicker, develop complications, be able to tolerate certain treatments, etc. Some of our treatments for foot or leg wounds, for example, can be bulky, so it would not necessarily be good for someone who has trouble walking or is unsteady to use those treatments.

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  34. Michelle, that is odd that the article mentions only her family and not his! But how cool / odd to have that connection with the family.

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  35. LOL. I just wrote the parents a congratulatory email–especially on their discretion. They never mentioned the VP.

    To me, though, of far more significance is these are truly dynamic believers who operate in a Christianity that sees God at work in amazing ways. I’d have liked that son for my daughter . . . . and the Pences are the blessed ones if only for the prayer support.

    The Navy submarine world is a small one and we’ve had a few other friends with interesting, shall we say, connections. One Navy wife’s parents lived next door to the VP Bushes during the Reagan administration. I can’t remember his job, he may have been the CNO. Her mom was always sharing flowers over the fence with Mrs. Bush.

    That was another son I knew as a baby that got away . . . he’s a doctor now, too! LOL

    And it’s always a conversation stopper when you say, “this friend of ours is an admiral and he says . . . ”

    I’ve had a truly interesting, and very blessed life. My friends–and that includes all of you–have been and continue to be amazing!

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  36. Michelle, my husband just said, “There’s the connection,” because a few months ago we were looking for someone who had a personal connection to Pence (someone we knew was stranded in China–he’s safely home now–and we said that a Christian in Pence’s home state might just well get his interest if we knew a way to connect with him). With the possibility that Pence could be president someday, your friends could be sharing grandchildren with the president.

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  37. I just took the Jeopardy test. I feel confident I did well, but kick myself for not thinking of some of the answers soon enough, like Bull Run, Socrates, Tootsie, and a few others. Did you take it, Kevin?

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  38. Peter, I did last night and tried to get your attention about it on yesterday’s thread Daily Thread.

    I got 31, which is about where I usually come out. I was pleased to nail a few I wasn’t sure of: Stamp Act, Baltic Sea.

    Only one made me kick myself: Numismatics is the hobby of collecting…what? I answered stamps, and just as time ran out on that question I remembered that stamp collecting is philately and numismatics must be coins.

    Fun ones:
    Before and After: Star of the movie “Lincoln” and writer of “Alice in Wonderland”: Daniel Day-Lewis Carroll (I got that one)

    Rhyme Time: Small Scrawny Equine: Bony Pony (I never figured it out but I found it on jboard.tv.)

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