Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Back to the grind.

Well the holidays have come and gone for another year. I'm back at work today, the only one in my department that is here today. Actually, as of 8:30am I'm the only one in the office who sits on the west wall of the building. Pretty crazy.....

Christmas was very low key this year. We drove to Olympia on Christmas morning to spend the holiday with Chris's family at the Grandparent's house. The grandparent's computer had recently died and so we brought a new one with us. They may be in their 90s but they can't live without their email!! We even found a site that had the old versions of AOL so we were able to install the version that they were used to (from 1997). We had a really nice afternoon and wonderful dinner before driving back home. Pretty mellow, but enjoyable.

Yesterday I made the mistake of coming downtown to do some post Christmas shopping. One of the gifts I received was Seasons 1&2 of the OC. However, I already had Season 2 so I thought I'd take it back and exchange it for Season 3. I waited in line at SunCoast for about 30 minutes before I finally got a warm body to talk to. After I explained what I wanted to do she started ridiculing me in front of the crowd for trying to swindle them. I had no idea what she was talking about, but come to find out Seasons 1&2 were part of a 2for1 deal. Season 3 was not part of this deal. And since I didn't know that, and I had the audacity to ask to trade them, I was apparently an idiot trying to swindle them. Needless to say, I left in a huff stating "well I'll bring them both back and never shop here again".

This brings me to my tirade for today. CUSTOMER SERVICE is killing me!!!! In the past year about 7 stores that I like to frequent have made it to my black list due to poor customer service. I'm now adding Suncoast to that list. Why is it that people in Customer Service positions think it is ok to treat you like an imbecile. Is it because they think no matter what you'll still shop with them? Well I can tell you that because of her poor attitude I will never shop in that store again. Because of the lady at Magic Mouse toy store that so rudely told me she was too busy to help me and hung up on me I will never shop there again either. And then there was the girl at Rock Bottom this past year that was our server. My friend ordered another beer to get it into the Happy Hour time frame and the girl said "And who is this beer for". Like we were trying to swindle her too. Well I'm not going back there anytime soon. Whatever happened to the Customer is Always Right? I've worked customer service, in MANY different positions, and no matter what, no matter how wrong they may be, you NEVER argue with a customer. You never yell at them, or scowl, or ridicule them in front of others. *steps down from soapbox*

Now for my dream sequence for today.
I had a dream last night that Chris and I moved into a new house and were were throwing a huge party. All of our friends were there, and oddly, quite a few celebrities. Robert Downy Jr. was there with some little hottie. He kept reminding me of the time he and I climbed some mountain. Heather Locklear and Denise Richards were there. Together! They were drinking all of the vodka. Lots of my co-workers were there. They were all hanging out by the pool gawking at the celebrities that we knew. Kid Rock was out there with them playing guitar.


Monday, December 25, 2006

Merry Christmas

Well, it is Christmas morning and I have to wait for Chris to get up before I get to see what is in my stocking. It appears as though Santa came at some point during the night (!!) but it will be a good 2 more hours until I get to see. Typically I really enjoy these early morning day off hours before anyone else in the house gets up, but it's CHRISTMAS. I'm ready to open presents NOW!

Back to work on the surprise for my family....more later.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Holiday Madness

Today was sheer madness. I made the mistake of going to Southcenter to do a little last minute shopping. What a mad house!!! I think all the people are down from the hills to do their shopping. If one more person talking on their cell phone cuts me off in a parking lot I'm going to exhibit some serious RAGE!

Chris's grandparents need a new computer. Mind you they are something like 93 & 91 years old, but they need their AOL NOW! So I went to best buy and got them the best computer I could find for under $500. I can't believe how CHEAP computers are now. This thing I got them is about twice as good as my machine and cost me 1/2 as much only 3 years later. Now I must get to work loading on a 1995 version of AOL so they won't be confused. I'm not even sure Windows XP will support it......wish me luck.

Friday, December 22, 2006

And there was light!

Yay! As we drove up to the house last night from Chris's birthday dinner we saw our Christmas Lights on the horizon. We had power!!! It must have come on right after Chris left the house because it was nice and toasty in here. What a relief. I'm not prepared for a disaster by any means. Perhaps this experience will teach me a lesson and I will assemble a disaster recovery kit. Or perhaps I'll fool myself into believing it will never happen again.....

I think I'll at least go buy firewood this weekend! If I can find any.....

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Update - Grrrr

It is 5:11pm on Chris's birthday and he just ran home to check on our situation. Still no power. According to the Seattle City Light website 99% of their customers have power. That puts us in the lucky 1%. I find this most unacceptable.

To celebrate his birthday he will be heading downtown to meet me for a dinner at Union Square Grill and then home to a dark cold house to open presents. I kind of wish I had splurged and got him some firewood, a lantern or a generator for his birthday. I guess it is too late for that.

Today is also the 1 year anniversary of our engagement. It was one year ago tonight that we had dinner to celebrate his birthday at Anthony's @ Pier 66 and then when we arrived at home he proposed out on the end of our dock at the Portage Bay apartment. What a crazy, fun, eventful year it has been!

Happy Birthday Chris! (aka no power part 2)

Yep, we have no power at home. Yesterday right before Chris left for work in the morning the power went out. When we got home last night we still didn't have power. At that point the house was 58 degrees. Not as bad as last time but still cold. So you ask yourself, Chris and Courtney must have wised up after the last bout with no power and at least gotten some real firewood and maybe a lantern. No, sadly no. We're just not that smart. When I was at Safeway last Sunday they had huge piles of firewood and batteries and flashlights. But did I buy any? No. Why would I?? We had our power back. *kick kick kick* So, we packed up and headed to Safeway to get some of said wood. Sadly, they had sold out of it on Monday. They did however have a few logs of compressed coffee grounds ( They actually work really well! So we got a couple of those and a 12 pack of beer and headed home to ride out the situation. We even ordered a pizza and played Yatzee. Good times. Luckily the house stayed around 58 degrees. Not too bad really. I ended up going to bed around 8:30pm due to lack of activities that didn't involve me getting out from under my down blanket with the penguins on it. At around 2am Chris woke me up saying "We have power!!". I was so excited, I leaned over to re-set my alarm clock and as my nice warm arm touch the cold air outside of the blankets the power went back out. Heart wrenching. Luckily my internal clock woke me up around 5:50am and I was able to take a shower in the dark and make my bus. I am happy to say that as I left our house there was a power truck across the street working on the lines. Hopefully Chris will wake up to power on his birthday!!!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

It was a RE-ROUTE!

Ok Mr. Crazy bus driver from yesterday. If the bus is re-routed it is ok to let your passengers know so that they're not in the back of the bus thinking that they are being driven to their deaths. This morning, so as not to repeat yesterday, I drug my sorry butt out of bed at my usual time, even though I was up really late last night and may have had a few too many winter beers, and caught my normal bus. As we made the turn towards the bridge my usual bus driver came on the intercom and said "Well folks, just like yesterday we've been re-routed and will have to go down 1st Ave S". *Sigh of relief* So that explains the route we took, but golly gee it in no way explains the crazy erratic bus driving. I, like many other folks, would probably be very happy being a few minutes late because of a re-route, rather than dying in a fiery crash!!!!!

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Listen Up Bus Drivers

Ok, this will teach me to hit snooze two times and come in on a later bus. But geeze! You've got to be kidding me....

I get on the 7:05 bus instead of the 6:43 bus this morning. Not a big deal I figure. The first thing I notice is that it is a short bus and not my usual long double bus. I also notice that it is filled with about twice as many people. There isn't a single seat and two people are already standing. Ok, I can stand. Everything is going ok until the bus driver guy doesn't stop at the last stop in West Seattle. This provokes people waiting for the bus to begin to hit the sides. For some reason this angers Mr. Bus Driver and he takes off. And I mean...TAKES OFF. He speeds down Avalon way and onto the West Seattle Bridge. He bullies people out of his way and zooms down the bus only lane at about 70 MPH. I'm feeling a little nervous when all of a sudden instead of moving over a lane and getting on the 99 he slams his way down the 1st ave s exit. Now I'm a little freaked out. We have a maniac bus driver and we're off the route. He turns onto 1st ave s and begins zooming down the street at about 50 mph, running red lights, forcing bikers to the sidewalk, etc. By this time I'm frantically looking around the bus to see what the other passengers are doing, but no one really looks that concerned. Finally we enter downtown and he slams to a stop about 3 feet from a police officer directing traffic. He slowly makes his way to the normal bus stop and opens the doors. I make a mad dash for safety.

So much for a little extra sleep!

Fight for your right to purchase!

Last night I went with Chris to help him finish up his Christmas shopping. Apparently half of Seattle had the same idea. Most people put off shopping last weekend to deal with the clean up from the storm and now they are on the move to buy buy buy. The downtown retail corridor was packed to the gills. People were pushing and grabbing and what not. Sad.....

Our friend Matt, as of 6:00pm last night, still didn't have power so we invited him over for dinner. Poor guy, can you imagine almost 96 hours with no power. His poor kitty Gerball will probably be ticked off at him for weeks. He did get a call though while he was here from a neighbor saying that she had just gotten power back. So hopefully when he got home last night the lights were on.

Lets hope that January is a little least down here. It can dump tons of snow in the mountains so I can go skiing!!!

Pics of the Winter Storm 2006

The Bow of the Lady Mary as a result of the storm :(

On the rocking Christmas Ship with Scott and Josie!

Hanging out in Pike Place Market to avoid the cold house.

Frank the Elf on the Christmas Ship - keeping us warm with Hot Toddies.

Monday, December 18, 2006

I've been South Parkized

I found a link to in my MySpace bulletin board today. I find it amusing to make a cartoon version of myself. Complete with beer. You can't really tell here, but she has nipple rings. Ha!

Sunday, December 17, 2006

I *heart* power!

Holy Cow. I am so thankful for power, and power crews, and for heat. Yesterday was miserable. We called every hotel within 30 miles of Seattle (except for those - as my mom puts it - the hookers use). Even those were probably booked. Not a room to be found. Although the Salish Lodge at Snoqualmie Falls had rooms, um, but no power. "We have wood stoves!". So, Chris and I decided that perhaps we'd go get some wood and use our fireplace. So we went to 2 home depots, Costco, and a bunch of other places we could think of. All had signs that said "No wood, duraflame logs, lanterns, D or C Batteries". Basically we were SOL. We decided to regroup at the Elliott Bay Brew pub to decide our next move. Over a very yummy dinner we remembered that we had all the wood from the dismantled sand box in our garage. So, after dinner we came home and went to work. I moved the Christmas Tree away from the fireplace and blew up our blow-up mattress. Chris went to work cutting up the wood with the only saw we had. A little tiny hack saw. After about an hour we were ready. We built a fire in our fireplace (which we'd never used before). And finally the house warmed up to about 49 degrees. About 3 minutes later - bam! the POWER CAME BACK ON!!!!! We then did the YAY WE HAVE POWER dance for about 10 minutes and the house began to warm up. The kitties were thrilled! We were thrilled! Yay!!

Today we begin the clean up. Apparently when you don't have power you just put things anywhere when you come home. Dirty clothes can't even make the extra foot to the laundry hamper. They just pile up on the floor. I'll also have to clean out our fridge. 48 hour of no power and we have 1 stinky fridge.

Side Note - Movie Review - Eragon
While downtown with Matty yesterday we went to see Eragon a the Pacific Place theater. None of us have actually read the book, so we went into it blind. I thought it was great. Chris and Matt complained about the costumes. I think I was just blinded by the hottie playing Eragon. It's a really short movie though, only about 1.5 hours. I think I'll go buy the book today. I'd love to know what was missing from the movie.

Saturday, December 16, 2006


Still no power at home. We're back at Chris's office searching the internet for a hotel room. No luck so far. Our house is still 47 degrees.........

Major Bummer

Well, I am currently sitting at a desk in Chris's office typing this. I had to come into work with him so that I could dry my hair. We are currently at 32 hours without power at our house. Our thermostat reads 47 degrees. After about 30 minutes of driving around this morning I found a Starbucks open. Most of the southern part of West Seattle is still without power and it is supposed to be even colder tonight. I'm trying to find a hotel room in downtown Seattle for us to spend the night at but they are all full. Probably people Christmas Shopping. They should go home and leave the rooms for those of us with a freezing house. Chris made the mistake of opening the fridge this morning. Ewwww....that's a smell I don't want to encounter again. We had to call my brother and cancel their visit. We're just not even sure when we'll get power back. They say it could be as long as 48 more hours. The cats are at home curled up in the pile of quilts on the bed. They just can't figure out why we're making them suffer. We ended up at the Beveridge Place Pub last night since they had a generator. The place was packed! We even found a pizza place with power that delivered to the pub. We played a rousing game of hearts with Matty. I lost. I tend to do that if there is drinking involved.

Back to the search for a hotel!

Friday, December 15, 2006

Oh what a night....

Wow. Wow. Wow. That pretty much sums it up. Last night the storm of the decade blew through Washington State. It started yesterday morning when we were sitting in the office and someone said "is it getting darker outside?". And it just got worse from there. By noon when I ran out to get lunch I had to pick the closest joint, a not so good teriyaki place, for lunch because the wind and the rain were so strong. By the time I left at 4:30pm it had only gotten worse. I made it about 1 1/2 blocks from our building before I was completely drenched - and I was using an umbrella. About 2 blocks later my umbrella blew out of my hands and into the grill of a bus. I waved and retrieved it carefully. By the time I got to Chris's car, below the market, I was completely drenched. We were both sopping wet and knew we didn't have time to go home (there was also a Seahawks game last night so traffic was INSANE) before our trip on the Christmas Ship from Fisherman's Terminal so we stopped at Fred Meyer in Ballard and got new pants and socks. By the time we got to Chinooks at Fisherman's terminal the rain had stopped but the wind was really picking up. Scott and Josie were the only ones that made it to our boat outing. Everyone else was stuck in traffic. Of the 400 passengers scheduled for the Christmas Ship last night only about 150 showed up. It was actually really great for those of us that made it. Lots of seats, leftover boxed meals that needed eating, and no line at the bar. Captain Paul was at the helm and he did an amazing job of jockeying the boat from Fisherman's Terminal to the Locks to the Clark's house and then back through the Locks. The Ballard High School choir was on board for entertainment and they did a great job. All in all it was a really fun trip! When we got home last night we found a fairly large puddle in the basement. Luckily this time it wasn't from our sewer pipe but rather from the huge puddle that had formed in front of the garage door and decided to move into the house. The new rug that my mom recently gave us soaked up most of the water but the poor kitties had to wade to their litter box. I'm sure I'll hear about that from them later. At around 2am our power went out and at this time it remains out. West Seattle was a mess this morning when I rode the bus to work. I even saw a HUGE tree fallen over onto someones house. We were lucky with the little flooding we had. I've heard some horror stories of 4 feet of water in people's basements, skylights blowing off, bricks blowing away, and trees on cars. The storm of 2006 will be one to remember!!!

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Some New Wedding Pics

Have you seen my husband?

We are now on day 14 of the Christmas ship festival and I haven't seen Chris since.....Sunday morning? I mean, I see him, and he's asleep. He sees me, and I'm asleep. I get up and leave for work at 6:30am. He gets home from work no earlier than 10:30pm (way past my bedtime). We are like boats passing on a foggy night. We know we're there because of the radar, but we can't quite see each other. Tonight we're going on the Christmas ship with a large group of our friends. Unless the winds get too bad today I might actually get to hang out with my husband for a couple of hours on the boat.

Saturday my nieces are coming to stay with us for the weekend (oh yeah, and my brother and his wife). We're going to take them all out on the Christmas ship! This will be their first adventure on one of Uncle Chris's boats. I think they're really going to enjoy it. I might be a little more excited than they are......

Pictures of November

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Blowing and Flashing and What Not!

Wow, the weather is an angry beast. It took me twice as long to get to the bus stop this morning because the wind was so strong. And I kept seeing all these huge flashes. I'm not really sure at this point if it was lightening or power lines crashing into things. I'm sitting here in my office and it sounds like the whole building is swaying. I'm pretty sure we're not actually swaying, but it sounds like it.

Today my department is going to see Casino Royale to celebrate the Holiday Season. Yes, most departments do a silly gift exchange, or drink nog, but we go see James Bond. At least we'll all be happy instead of sitting around uncomfortable pretending that we like each other... :)

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Blind as a ...

I took the wrong bus home last night. Apparently after 2 beers the number 22 looks like the number 21 to me. How pitiful is that? I think the worst part is that I had no idea I was on the wrong bus until it was too late. The 21 and the 22 take basically the same route until 35th and Avalon in West Seattle. At that point the 22 takes a sharp right and heads towards the water. There I was, riding along, dozing in and out, listening to NPR and all of a sudden I look out the window and we were passing Easy Street Records. Fairly shocking I must say. So, I realized I was on the wrong bus and I had no idea where I was going. I walked up and asked the bus driver, who laughed, what bus I was on. Then I grabbed the pamphlet that told me the route. Luckily the 22 heads down California Avenue towards our house. I was able to get off the bus at 41st and Holden and then walk a mere 3 blocks to my house. I'm sure glad it didn't turn out like that time I was trying to go to Ballard and ended up in Sandpoint. *phew*

Monday, December 11, 2006

American Idol - Allstar Fitness Edition

There must be something in the shower water at my gym, but today people were singing like the world was theirs. Here I was, on the elliptical trainer, minding my own business, reading the OK magazine article about TomKat's wedding and this guy gets on the elliptical right next to me. Now mind you we're the only two people in the entire gym and he gets on the machine RIGHT NEXT TO ME. Deep breath, I just keep going. About 2 minutes later, said man wearing 1980's headphones attached to his Sony WALKMAN begins to sing. Not humming along with his music but outright SINGING. Loud! It probably wouldn't have been so bad if I could have understood what exactly he was singing, but I'm pretty sure the words that were coming out of him weren't in a logical order. After a little while I begin to tune him out at which time a woman enters the gym and gets on the treadmill 3 machines to my right (crazy man is 1 machine to my right). She begins her run and about 30 seconds into it starts yelling at the front desk attendant (Jen) to come change the music on the boom box. Once Jen changes it for her she begins to, yep you guessed it, SING. At least she was singing along with the music so I knew at least the gist of it. But there they were, lady and man, signing, like they were the only two people in the room. Did they not see me there? Needless to say I went up and sang in the shower.

Where does it go...

Wasn't it just Friday? This weekend was a blur of parties and shopping....
Friday night we went out to dinner in Fremont with Chris's sister and her beau. We went to Dad Watson's, the site of Chris and I's first date. They have the best burger....the Communication Breakdown...order it with Tots and I'm a happy camper.

Saturday I joined the Warming Hut Hotties for a training walk. They are a team for the 3-day 60 mile breast cancer walk in August. I'm going to join their team this year. Should be a good experience for a very good cause.

After the walk was over I hit the stores. The big huge box stores. Yep that's right, I used my powers for evil and bought from the evil empires (Costco, Target, GI Joes, ToysRUs, Ross, etc). I got all my shopping done and I still have money in the bank. Now I see why the little guys are going out of business. I feel bad, yes........

Saturday night was the night of parties. We were invited to 6 parties. We attended 3. We dressed up all fancy. It was a blast. Great food, good friends, happy times.

Yesterday was a catch up day. Wrapped presents, grocery shopped, cleaned the house, watch romantic comedies on TV. I also went to a Holiday open house an ex co-worker of mine was throwing. Lots of other current and ex-coworkers standing around talking about work. The food was amazing though, and sparkling pomegranate juice spiked with 7-up and vodka is QUITE tasty....mmmm.....

Friday, December 08, 2006

Supporting the Little Guy is Expensive

I went Christmas shopping after work yesterday. I went to a local toy store downtown in the market to see what they had. They had the gift I'd been wanting for one of my nieces. I had seen it at Toys 'R Us the other day for $24.99. I thought, well it can't be much more expensive here, and I'll be supporting independent stores! Go me. Well, I pick it up, turn it over, and find out they are charging $44.99 for the same item. Now, I really would like to support them. But, being on a budget this year I'm very conscious of the price of things. If I went back to Toys 'R Us and got the item I could also get the books that go with it. Thus making the package complete. But, if I get it from the Dragon Box Toy Store I'll feel better about myself. Oh the dilemma. Needless to say, I bought nothing last night.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Ta Da

Last night was the best class ever. We put our projects up on the wall (printed out on a plotter!). The teacher said our Network Diagram (that I did all by myself) was the best he'd ever seen in all of his years of teaching the class. Go me! Then we went for drinks. That should be the way class goes every night.

The whole point of going for drinks was to celebrate the end of the quarter and to mingle with the people we don't usually mingle with. True to form, all of the project teams got to the bar together, and proceeded to sit together. The teacher came around and made us switch up our seating. I'm actually really glad he did. I met a couple of really nice people and had pleasant engaging conversation.

1 quarter down, 2 to go!!!!!

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Happy Birthday Mom!

Today is my mother's 60th b'day. Seems like just last week we celebrated her 50th. Time sure is flying. Apparently she is having a not so much of a surprise surprise party tonight. I think my father gave up years ago planning anything like that for her......

Tonight is my last night of class until Jan 3rd! I'm so excited I can barely sit still. Oh well, that's not really true, but I am glad for the break.


Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Adventures On The Bus

Me - sitting on the bus, listening to NPR on my new iRiver (!!)
Her - sitting next to me, listing to the left, then to the right, looking very pale
Tap tap on my shoulder, one ear bud is removed.
"Umm...I'm going to pass out. I think I'm going to pass out. I'm 3 months pregnant and...well the morning sickness....can I please lay down?"
"OMG ok!"
I jump up and she proceeds to pass out. I head towards the bus driver, but she comes to. She lays there looking very flushed. I stand the rest of the way to downtown.

Poor lady.

End of the Quarter

Wednesday will be my last day of school before Christmas break. We won't start up again until Jan 3rd. Before we go on break, our teams have deliverables that need to be finished and turned in. Again I note, 7 PMs on a team is 6 PMs too many. Everyone is trying to make the decisions, but no one is doing the work. Yesterday I took it upon myself to quit waiting and just do the damn work. I showed up to class last night with handouts for everyone. I am the Hero. Someone had to do it. Turns out, none of them had even thought of doing this stuff. AND IT IS DUE WEDNESDAY. I find that odd........ Oh well, we're done and on Wednesday the whole class is going out for drinks. Yay for adult education.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

It's the most wonderful time....of the year.....

Ok so it's here already. I recognize that. The lights are on the house, the tree is coming today, and I feel like I've already run out of time for shopping. I love giving gifts. Everyone in my family knows that. Sadly, this year, I'm shopping blanks. Chris is easy. He gives me ideas with model numbers and websites where I can purchase said ideas. My family is a bit more difficult. Luckily my sis-in-law gave me some ideas for their family, but every time I go to the store I just stand there...... And honestly, I have all these great ideas. The problem is I have too many ideas and I can't decide on anything. And then you move to my parents. "We don't really want anything". But if I don't get them anything.....ugh.... Next year, EVERYONE LISTEN UP, next year you're all getting AMAZON.COM wishlists. Chris's entire family has wishlists. Shopping for holidays and birthdays is so easy. They all keep them updated with their most recent wishes. It's awesome. Even I have a wishlist now. Ok so again, my family, listen up....Wishlists are in! This way everyone gets something they actually want! Oh, and shopping is so much easier.....

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Viva La Diva

Today I did my first 5k ever! I set a goal of finishing in 36 minutes. That was before I got there and found out there were 1300 people and a narrow path and a gigantic hill right in the middle of the course. However, I'm proud to report that I finished in one piece in 35:04! Yay me. Of course I'm pretty darn tired now but, I did it. Again, yay me.

Last night Matty and I went on the Christmas Ship. It was great fun! As usual.... It was really foggy at one point of the trip and you couldn't even see the boats following behind the Christmas Ship. On the drive home I almost came to a stop in West Seattle a few times because I couldn't see where the heck I was going. Fog is so kewl.......

Also on my drive home last night, when I was coming across the West Seattle bridge I saw a car that had just driven into the median on the other side of the bridge. It looked like it had just happened. Scary......

Friday, December 01, 2006

Happy First Day of Christmas Ships!

Tonight is the first day of the annual Argosy Christmas Ship Festival. Opening ceremonies are at 6pm in Kirkland and the ship leaves at 7pm. Matty and I will be leaving straight from work to head over to the eastside to partake in the festivities! The first night is always my favorite. Everything is so fresh and new, and the hallelujah song hasn't gotten old yet.

Viva la Christmas Ships!
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