starlady: Twitter quote: @magneto "come home" (my offer still stands)
[personal profile] starlady
Omoide no Maanii | When Marni Was There (2014), dir. Yonebayashi Hiromasa

When I realized, a few hours before I was supposed to meet my friend to see this movie in Shibuya, that the newest Ghibli movie was directed by the same guy who directed Arrietty, which I thought was basically a flaming pile of poo, I was very worried. But I actually enjoyed the movie quite a lot! It's not a major work, but I liked it a lot, and in a lot of ways it actually reminded me of Maleficent in that the most important relationship is between two female characters, and that it is chock-a-block with lesbian overtones.

The movie shares Arrietty's general concept of "Western children's literature transposed to Japan" (it's adapted from a British novel by Joan G. Robinson) and follows friendless adoptee Anna, who is put on a train to Hokkaidou to spend the summer vacation with her adopted mother's family. She's a loner whose only real pleasure is in her sketchbook, and so it's not surprising that she becomes obsessed with an abandoned Western-style mansion on the far shore of the tidal bay. Despite being told that it's uninhabited, one night she meets a girl named Marni there, and they soon become fast friends. Of course, that's when things get interesting, and to say more would be spoilery (although to be fair, the audience never entirely shares Anna's obsessive disregard for facts, so we're always waiting for the other shoe to drop for some reason).

The movie is fairly direct about Anna's loneliness and the joy she finds in her friendship with Marni; partly because Anna is a little older than most Ghibli heroine, her emotions are often quite affecting, and the supporting characters, particularly Sayaka and Hisako, are well-drawn. Quite a few people teared up at the end, which although somewhat melancholy was also very satisfying. I definitely recommend seeing it if you can, although of course I can't vouch for what horrors may or may not be inflicted on the movie in the dubbing process.
dragovianknight: The logo of the World of Warcraft guild Guardians of Cybertron (WoW - Guild of Awesome)
[personal profile] dragovianknight
...I find another to play in.

By which I mean, there is still a WOEFUL LACK of perfumes based on Pandaria, which makes me SAD.

But there is also Adagio teas, which will let me (and my partner in crime, [personal profile] darthneko) make PANDAREN TEA BLENDS, which mollifies me somewhat. Because tea.

Neko, obviously, is responsible for the beautiful labels and the descriptions. We are equally to blame for the blends, except Wandering Isle, which is all her fault, (I quote, "shen zin su is going to BURN with spices - explorers are crazy.") There may possibly be a spreadsheet with 14 blends already created, just waiting for art and descriptions.

So, if you are a fan of Adagio teas, watch this space, because I expect Beyond the Mists to grow quite a bit once Neko has a chance to finish making labels. When we're done, we intend to have eight locations and eight factions, and yes, as much as possible we will be shipping the factions with their locations ("as much as possible" because the Celestials are all over and the Golden Lotus got nuked out of the Vale).

Why, YES, we are the geekiest Pandaren-loving gamers in the world, why do you ask?

Project Runway.

24 Jul 2014 10:06 pm
villeinage: (Default)
[personal profile] villeinage
I'm watching the runway show and cringe-screaming as the outfits come down the runway,

No! No! That is WRONG! That's WRONG!

Oh god.

Mishalak Day 1100

24 Jul 2014 06:37 pm
mishalak: A fantasy version of myself drawn by Sue Mason (Nice)
[personal profile] mishalak
Massive amounts of weeding happened today near dawn and nearly every time clouds went over. I am still trying to get the *&^% bindweed under something like control. Also I had to cut about a third of the branches off my apple tree. I look out my window and am somewhat morose, but it had to happen due to fire blight. If I am lucky that will have stopped it. We will see.

The kale is getting quite large in my garden so I went out and cut off about a pound of leaves and cooked them today. It was pretty tasty and went well with fish, though the fish (being a freezer burned gift from a friend emptying a freezer) was not great. Still I was able to make the fish acceptable with lots of herbs.

Now I am having and ale and then I will weed while drunk and then read a book. Possibly The Similarion.

And I am one month from shutting down my Livejournal account at long, long last. I have finally become too annoyed by the interface there.
mm_writes: Sheep go to heaven, goats go to hell (Default)
[personal profile] mm_writes

It seems the vast majority of our Comcast problems are finally resolved. I could write a post that would take me days to finish describing the 15 or so hours we've collectively spent on the phone in the last few weeks trying to straighten out everything from signal to converter box to billing issues, the fact that for three different TV converter boxes they've sent out they've had to replace all but the last one at least once and had to replace the next-to-last-one twice, that I've had over $120 credited back to my account in the last few weeks for everything from $45 service calls (I can't be billed for service calls because I pay $3.95 a month for a Service Protection Plan - and thank God I do, because there's been a tech in my house every week for the last month now to straighten out everything from shipped-broken converter boxes to the day multiple techs falsely accused me of no longer having Internet because our privately-owned cable modem was broken - which turned out to have nothing to do with our modem and everything to do with a downed above-ground line at least a mile away from us!) to charges for shipping us converter boxes to replace the broken crap they sent out in the first place (I have a general rule that you won't be charging me shipping to replace anything YOU sent out busted in the first place, but nice try, guys) to overcharges for all kinds of channels I don't want and don't get God, it's been endless.

I could write that post in all its gory details; how bad the customer service was at times would shock anyone. For instance, after sending us a new DVR/HD/DVD converter box yesterday they told us last night it didn't work so they'd have to send us out another tech to fix it. That would be the fourth tech I've had here in a month. My fiance was on the phone call and went ballistic: "I'm sorry ma'am, but with all due respect that is BULLSHIT. How come every time you send us a box we need a tech out here? How come every box you've ever sent us has been broken right out of the box? How come even after you send us new boxes to replace the broken boxes we STILL need another tech out here to make the box work or to get another box that does work? I'm sorry but this company has been nothing but problems since the day we signed up for service with them." Of course that tirade resulted in the box working no more than - I'm not kidding - 30 seconds later. That's the sort of customer service we get: perfectly unreal.

Upshot is that for all the bad ('bad' mostly in the range of unhelpful to falsely accusatory) customer service we've had, we get, despite what the body of the following email calls it, Internet Plus (25MBs) with Expanded Basic (77 channels), HBO, Streampix, and a freshly added DVR/HD/DVD converter box for just $44.99 a month, base charge (this is the replacement makeup offer for the one I rejected after multiple techs accused us of having a broken modem: that offer, which I turned down immediately, was for them to add a phone line to our service for "just" $10 more a month. I don't want their damn phone.) There is a modem rental they're still charging us for, but they've already credited my account $50 for renting it for nothing each month for the last year - simply because we never used it nor even took it out of the box it shipped to us in - and they claim they will back credit all additional monthly modem charges by next month when the returned modem is finally fully processed on their end.

This is the account as it stands now:

XFINITY Bundled Services
Internet Plus Includes Limited Basic note: that's Expanded Basic, HBO, Streampix, a standard definition digital converter note: that's an HD/DVR/DVD converter and remote for the primary outlet and Performance Internet Promotional Rate.
Promotional Rate for 12 months $ 44.99

Additional XFINITY TV Services
Addl Outlet $ 0.00
Digital Converter $ 0.00
Digital Adapter Additional Outlet $ 0.00
Digital Adapter Additional Outlet $ 1.99

Additional XFINITY Internet Services
Modem Rental $ 8.00 note: this charge will eventually be credited
Additional Products & Services
Service Protection Plan $ 3.95
Other Charges & Credits
In-Home Service Visit $ 39.95
note: this charge got credited
Install Fee In-Home Service fee $ 0.00
Broadcast TV Fee $ 1.50
Taxes, Surcharges & Fees $ 7.24

Grand Total $ 107.62 67.67

The reason the account is listed as Limited basic is because in my area of Florida Comcast has not yet added rate codes into their computers that allow me to have the actual package they offered me on the phone, so I had to spend yet another afternoon with a service tech last week to straighten that out. After he determined the problem was not with the converter box (for once!) nor with our lines nor cables (though while he was here, he did give us a much needed signal amplifier because our cable runs over 330 feet from the house out to the nearest tap across the street, which causes us to lose 5dB for every 100 feet of line we're running, or something like that, which was messing up our TV signal big-time) I had to spend another few hours on the phone with reps who ultimately claimed the problem could not be addressed until the following Tuesday because 'weekend' and 'go screw yourselves', apparently. It was Friday night by then. So I got my fiance on it that night and whaddaya know, the reps he spoke to got it straightened it out within minutes. Sometimes...I'm not trying to be sexist, but sometimes I think female call reps take men's complaints much more seriously than they take the same exact complaints when they come from women. So when things go south for me with Comcast - which, on average, is once a week - I'll just sic him on the reps and bam! Damned if everything I could not get through with them because it was like an endless morass of bullshit just smoothes right out with him on it.

So yeah, I could go on and on (the day they accused of us of trying to connect with a broken modem - about two weeks ago - was the worst thing I had to go through; literally exhausting and very frustrating every step of the way; we spent four hours collectively on the phone over that and had maybe six so-called techs swear that they could see no Internet signal on our end simply because our modem no longer worked - the damn thing still works fine to this day and the problem, as I said, turned out to be a snapped cable line at least a mile away, but we now own - not rent, own - an Xfinity modem that my fiance found on the job a few weeks ago, so it supports DOCSIS 3.0 and all that good stuff so we don't have to worry about using a non-supported modem anymore) but I can't because I don't really hate Comcast. Or big companies, as a matter of routine. To get me fired up enough to make the rest of you think it's a terrible company by way of simply describing how bad it's been to be their customer, I'd have to feel that way very deeply (thus my anti-AOL and anti-Google tears over the years: I feel that way very deeply, so much so that to this day my feelings about AOL remain completely unchanged). But Comcast is more mismanaged and misguided than truly a threat to anyone's pocketbook or peace of mind so I just can't muster up enough 'give a damn' to go on and on about all the problems we've had with them - I've given a lot of thought to it, but I just don't see the point.


24 Jul 2014 03:54 pm
[personal profile] dsgood
Years ago, I was diagnosed with ADD/ADHD.

Tuesday, a doctor said I don't have ADD. I have depression, plus some symptoms from my cerebral palsy.

This calls for a good deal of rethinking, to put it mildly.


24 Jul 2014 04:36 pm
silmaril: Quote from _The Game of Thrones_, v. 1. of _A Song of Ice and Fire_ (Fear)
[personal profile] silmaril
Keep looking at your data
Keep looking at your data
Keep looking at your data
Keep looking at your data
Keep looking at your data
Keep looking at your data
Keep looking at your data
Keep looking at your data
fine, now do some analysis on it

(Of course ILLITERAL.)

(no subject)

24 Jul 2014 10:20 am
the_rck: figure perched in a tree with barren branches (Default)
[personal profile] the_rck
We had a softball game last night. It was at Scheffler, fortunately, so there was shade. Next Monday's game won't have a scrap of shade, and Scott's parents are currently planning to come, so we'll let them use the shade umbrellas. Time to break out the sunscreen. After Monday's game, we'll have one game left. That's currently scheduled for Friday the 1st, but that date is squishy as it depends on both teams having enough players to make it work. That game was originally scheduled for Saturday, but the other team would only have five girls, so we couldn't play then.

Cordelia's team won the game. They had three innings during which they scored the maximum number of runs (seven). Cordelia batted last, so during those innings she would just get on base and then have the inning called. She did make it home in a later inning, getting from second to home on a long grounder that went right between the outfielders. (The coach has promised that, if anybody hits all the way to the trees, he'll buy the entire team ice cream. He's unlikely to have to buy.)

It got fairly chilly by the end of the game. I'd intended to change into long pants before we left, but I lost track of that, so I was cold by the time we started for home. I'd rather have the chill than the heat, of course. I hope it's that cool on Monday-- Scott's father is still recovering from his surgery, so mild weather is better for him.
starlady: (Rick Roll'd!)
[personal profile] starlady
Books Read
Catherynne Valente, Six-Gun Snow White (2013) - I really like Valente's work, and I liked this a lot; it's a feminist retelling of Snow White with a half-Crow protagonist, rather like Maleficent in that the central relationship is between the protagonist and her evil stepmother. It was too thin at some points, but quite a good read.

CLAMP, Drug & Drop vol 2 - I'm liking this restart of Legal Drug much more than that of xxxHoLiC so far, although it turns out it's a massive crossover with an older CLAMP series, leading to the immortal question, "If angels don't have gender, is this series still BL?" It totally is BL; I am very much down for Kazahaya and Rikuou clutching each other while in the grip of strong emotions. Yes, please, I'd like some more.

Kumota Haruko, Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu vol. 1 (2011) - The author is an up and coming BL writer, though I've just started this manga about an ex-con who wants to do Rakugo and I'm not sure whether it's BL yet. If not, there's always doujinshi.

Sofia Samatar, A Stranger in Olondria (2012) - Yes, still, I'm busy and exhausted, as good as it is. I was saying to [personal profile] jhameia it reminds me of The Secret Service, which I need to think more about why.

Book-Shaped Space for Acquisitions
Arakawa Hiromu, Silver Spoon vols. 4 & 5 (I got the special edition of 4 with the spoons!)
Suetsugu Yuki, Chihayafuru vol. 1
Vonda McIntyre, The Moon and the Sun
umadoshi: (read fast (bisty_icons))
[personal profile] umadoshi
I'm not properly doing a reading meme tonight, but I've been getting more books read this month than I have in ages, which is awesome. (I've just started my eighth or ninth novel of the month, depending on whether one factors in the new Newsflesh novella.)

Really, I probably shouldn't have started the new book until I read the next chunk of Feed so I can comment on it tomorrow at [community profile] aftertheendtimes, but we're coming up to one of the parts of the series that upsets me most*, so I think maybe I subconsciously put it off. >.> So I'll have to read and write about it tomorrow. Because it's so much better that way.

*I have a list. Some days I think it's a little weird that my favorite series shatters my heart in so many places/ways. Other days I feel like it's more that that's a key element.

Anyway, in a freak development, the current book (The Girl With All the Gifts) is a book I own, rather than a library book. I got to actually go stand in front of the physical to-read bookcase in the living room and choose something!

In highly relevant news, I've crossed the 300-book mark on my list of library holds. O_O (305, to be precise, not counting the three that are waiting to be picked up tomorrow--although all three of those are graphic novels.)

And speaking of counting things...I've now been hanging out at over 300 open tabs for long enough that it apparently feels normal (although I don't like it). I've been putting a fair bit of time into whittling away at them in the last few days, alongside my work, and have gotten down open tabs. *facepalm* Although I've also managed to do a fair bit of sorting, so my main group is down to only about two and a half rows of tabs (last week it was usually more like eight or nine rows).

On the work front, I think I have five rewrites due by September 1. And three lettered volumes to proofread within the next week. O_o (Some deadline adjustment may happen there. That'd be nice.) Combine that with the fact that I'll be in Ontario for two and a half weeks next month, and things start to feel a little tight. But I'm still hoping to get at least somewhat ahead before I fly out. That's just over a week away, and things will be fairly quiet on the home front between now and then. We'll see.

Media consumption Wednesday

23 Jul 2014 01:54 pm
firecat: red panda looking happy (Default)
[personal profile] firecat

Blood: The Last Vampire (live-action)
A pretty different movie from the anime, except for the opening scene, the general setting (a US army base in Japan during the Vietnam war), and the main character (the monster hunter). I liked the anime better and the OH liked the movie better. I saw the anime first and the OH saw the movie first. Do you usually like best whichever version of a story you took in first? I think I generally do. Some differences between the anime and the movie: It's made clear right away that (spoiler) the monster hunter is a vampire. The person she is trying to protect is the daughter of the general who runs the army base. (In the anime, the person is a middle-aged fat nurse.) She is trying to kill the most powerful demon, which turns out to be her mother. I liked the demon/mother character a lot. Refrigerator moment: It isn't clear to me why she needs any human handlers. They supply her with blood, but surely she could figure out another way to get that. How did she survive the centuries before the human handlers showed up? (end spoiler)

Funny Face
Highly recommended if you can ignore the loud buzzing of the sexism fairy. Late 50s movie with Fred Astaire, Audrey Hepburn, and Kay Thompson. Kay Thompson is more well known as the author of the Eloise books, and this was her only starring film role. The movie is about a fashion magazine. Two of the characters were apparently based on real people -- Avedon the photographer and Diana Vreeland the editor of Vogue. Kay Thompson plays the editor character, Maggie Prescott, who is middle-aged and FABULOUS. She pretty much upstaged Astaire and Hepburn. OK, I did keep saying that she reminded me of Rex Harrison* but in an absolutely fabulous way (plus she can sing and dance much better). The sexism fairy has been hard at work on the romantic plot  (spoiler)(being a model married to a guy who doesn't give a shit about your intellect is much better than being a single woman studying philosophy and working in a bookstore) (end spoiler), but when Hepburn's character isn't subsuming herself to a man, the character is great.

(*and thinking I'd like to see a crossover where Henry Higgins fights with Maggie Prescott over Eliza Doolittle)

Rex Stout, The League of Frightened Men

Tananarive Due, The Good House
This had a slow start but really caught my attention starting around 2/3 of the way in.

(no subject)

23 Jul 2014 11:04 am
the_rck: figure perched in a tree with barren branches (Default)
[personal profile] the_rck
Scott bought me Private Selection's black chai tea to try, and I had some yesterday. I'm not enthusiastic about it. It was too bitter for me, and the only thing that helped was adding almond milk which I'd rather not do. I'll drink the rest of it, but I don't think we'll buy more. I will, though, experiment with steeping time. Perhaps a shorter steep will produce a less bitter chai.

I do intend to try whatever chais we can find so that I can figure out which I like best. I'm not expecting great things from what we can find on the shelf at Kroger, but Kroger is the one source that doesn't require a special trip or a mail order. I'm trying to find a chai that has a strong enough flavor to balance the stevia without being too bitter for me to enjoy.

reading post

23 Jul 2014 10:40 am
annotated_em: Tezuka from Prince of Tennis (anime), chibified, reading a book (reading)
[personal profile] annotated_em
Hello, dwircle, I aten't dead yet, though you may be forgiven for wondering if you aren't following me on Tumblr or Twitter. *wry* I've just been busy with work and settling into my new routine, which is taking a fair bit of adjustment. I have read and reread so much fanfic lately, you have no idea.

I have managed to read actual books, too, while I've been at it! Here's what I've completed since the last time I did a round-up post:

Fortune’s Pawn, Rachel Bach: Devi is a mercenary with big goals and enough drive to take some big risks to pursue them, which leads her to take a security job on a ship known for its terrible luck. If Devi can survive a year's tour on this ship, she'll be able to attain the prestigious position she really wants. However, it quickly becomes apparent that there's more to her new job than mere bad luck--there's the mysterious hottie working as the ship's cook, for one, not to mention the fact that their captain has more than a few secrets up his sleeve and is more than willing to kill to keep them that way.

I ran across a review of this one somewhere or another and was intrigued enough by the premise--milSF with a badass female protag--that I went ahead and picked this one up from the library when I found it on the shelf. And Devi is definitely a badass--one suspects she and Torrin Kerr would make great drinking buddies if they didn't shoot each other on sight--but a lot of things about this book made so much more sense when I got to the bonus material at the end of the book and found that the author's goal had been to write a romance in a milSF setting. Don't get me wrong, there's plenty of action and frankly I think Devi is more in love with her armor and her guns than the hottie cook, and there's enough political intrigue/plotty stuff going on that I'm willing to cope with the instant attraction turned true love romance plot, but it was really weird reading that in conjunction with the giant space murder lizards and the loving descriptions of the guns and the armor. It's just that if you're going to do romance in space, I have been spoiled by the likes of Bujold and Huff and I expect things to be a little meatier on the emotional front. Not to mention that the hottie cook is cut from the "I am terrible and dangerous and you deserve better, let me sacrifice myself to keep you safe" cloth, which, argh. If Devi doesn't punch Rupert's teeth down his throat when she finally figures out the choice he made for her at the end of this volume, I will be deeply disappointed in her.

Honestly, I think she could do so much better and would be better off hooking up with her roommate and/or the ship's mechanic, Mabel, but then, what the hell do I know?

That said, I enjoyed the world-building in this one and want to know more about the set-up of the political system and so forth, because that seems to have a richness and depth that the romance plot sadly lacks (for my tastes). I'll probably try and track down the second book to see what happens next.

Biting the Sun, Tanith Lee: A reread, this one takes place in a sort of far-distant sci-fi future, where humanity lives in three domed cities and are tended to by androids as they fritter away their lives in the pursuit of pleasure. The protagonist, who is never named, is one of the adolescent class and is bored and dissatisfied; the book follows her attempt to make some sort of meaning out of her life, which takes several attempts before she finally lights on something that works for her. Although nothing is ever really that easy, especially when your robotic care-takers are convinced they know what's best for you.

(no subject)

23 Jul 2014 10:38 am
the_rck: figure perched in a tree with barren branches (Default)
[personal profile] the_rck
Cordelia's been drinking chai from the powdered mix that Scott bought. I worry a little that she'll get dependent on the caffeine only to have it suddenly vanish. I'm not ready to buy the stuff for her to have it every morning, not when she's still waking up just fine and having no trouble staying awake. As a treat, it's fine. It's just that caffeine dependency is inconvenient in so many ways.

Scott grilled some pork last night. The cuts of meat were exceedingly large and difficult to cut up. Each of us had half of one, and I think that was more than we needed. Scott also grilled some zucchini (Cordelia claimed it was so awful that it made her want to throw up), and I microwaved some redskin potatoes. I think I'd rather Scott grilled the potatoes and I microwaved the zucchini. I prefer steamed veggies to grilled.

My thumb is giving me some trouble again. I used the brace Scott bought me, and it helps (mainly by reminding me not to use the dratted thing), but I had stuff to do yesterday that I couldn't do while wearing the brace. I haven't put the brace on yet today. I'm trying to decide whether or not I need it. I'm much more likely to write if I don't wear it, and my thumb's not hurting right at the moment, but I do tend to do stupid stuff without the brace. I don't know.

wherein Liz meanders onward

22 Jul 2014 11:57 pm
edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over the ocean (Default)
[personal profile] edenfalling
Today I had my first reemployment services appointment with Tompkins Workforce NY. I'm not sure if this is a NY state thing or just a Tompkins County thing, but in order to continue receiving unemployment benefits you are required to have these appointments every three or four weeks -- until you get a new job or the benefits run out, whichever comes first. Today was basically an intro, kind of a "who we are and what services we offer" spiel, along with a whole bunch of informational flyers and some free resume advice. It turns out they have access to a bunch of free training programs (I can learn new office-work type things! yes! this is good and useful!) and also they run one to three workshops a week on various topics. I have sent in a registration request for one on August 1st which is about what Cornell University looks for in employees, and how to tailor your application to best effect. So that's progress.

I have contacted TC3 to request a form that apparently they should have included along with my transcript, but didn't; this is necessary to determine whether or not I have fulfilled ESC's general education distribution requirements. Hopefully they will get back to me soon.

I have paid my credit card bills for the month, and my August rent and health insurance.

I have prepped a batch of chicken soup, which is currently cooking merrily away in my crock-pot. I also baked two chicken thighs, steamed a bunch of broccoli, and put them in the fridge for lunch and/or dinner over the next couple days. And I have six meals' worth of pot roast in two containers -- one which I moved down to the fridge to defrost yesterday, and another still in the freezer -- so I am totally on top of this food business. :-)

I have noticed that I'm cooking a bit more frequently now that I am eating breakfast and lunch at home instead of at work. Of course, breakfast tends to be Eggo waffles, and either lunch or dinner may often be pepperoni and cheese on bread, or bread-and-butter plus craisins plus a hardboiled egg, or cheese and crackers and juice, or something similarly picnic/snack-like, but the point remains. My grocery bills have gone up slightly, but on the other hand, I'm withdrawing cash from my account a lot less often. It's probably cheaper overall this way... or at least if would be if I didn't keep buying wine to go along with dinner. If I'm going to the trouble of cooking actual real food, I want wine to accompany it, because that is what you do in my family: wine with dinner. (It's funny what things you absorb as unquestioned rules from your parents.) I am not buying mad expensive wine or anything, and I usually get five glasses from every bottle, but that does add up.

I haven't written anything over the past few days, and I stalled on AO3 crossposting as well. There wasn't any particular reason behind that. Sometimes you just run out of oomph for certain tasks, even as you simultaneously keep up with others perfectly well. But I think I should be able to get a few done tonight, and maybe even write a couple hundred words of something or other.

So yeah. Life continues, as it tends to do. *wry*


kaigou: Sorry to barge in, but we have a slight apocalypse. (Default)
锴 angry fishtrap 狗

to remember

"When you make the finding yourself— even if you're the last person on Earth to see the light— you'll never forget it." —Carl Sagan

June 2014

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