Guess I’m Done…

July 21, 2016

Well it’s warm this morning. Shocking that summer would bring escalating temperatures. Yesterday I finished the chapter I was copyediting, went to the gym, came back and flailed for a bit, and then went to see Macbeth with the kids and the ex (one of those weird family traditions). So I got almost no ironing done. Which sucks. And I want to get it done today, but am not here in the afternoon…and this part of the project isn’t particularly portable. So. Yeah. Ugh.

The play was nice though…even though I prefer the comedies over the tragedies. Balboa Park was nicely lit, and full of Pokemon Go players…huddles and packs of young people following their phones around. Very amusing.

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Girlchild is photobombing the Organ Pavilion…although you can’t really see her…

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So I guess it was a break from the standard stuff I do. I came back and ironed, all after 11 PM, and I was already tired…so really, I just did a lung and a heart…

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I’m starting the 1500s this morning…have to shower first and think about what I’m taking to my sewing meeting, but otherwise, I can iron. And tonight is free for ironing. Although it’s hot. Did I mention hot? Hot and ironing are not a good combination…but I still want it done. I picked up my sewing machine yesterday, all fixed and clean. It was a drive belt issue…he tightened it right up as part of the yearly service, so no extra charge. I was sorta terrified it would be some huge expensive thang. So that’s good. And she’s ready to sew…I probably am too.

Not that I don’t like this part of the quilt process…it’s cool seeing all the bits and pieces come together into one big picture. But I’ve been ironing this thing for hours. It’s time to quilt for hours. I guess I have to stitch down first, but that will be a day or two…not a week, like the quilting. I have a break before I get the next chapter. Need to use it wisely.

Simba is the fluff eater. If there’s fluff on the floor, he eats it. Kinda gross…but since some of it is his fur? I dunno.

Girlchild was trying to Snapchat with him yesterday, but he’s not always ready for a photo opportunity…so she got this…

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Best photo ever of the two of them…

Workers next door doing a lot of yelling back and forth. No music though…I guess they just turn it on when I turn MINE on, which I do to drown THEM out. Meanwhile, I consider what trees I can plant to block more of my view of that house. Sigh. Previous owners were much quieter.

OK, Kitten is on the keyboard and the mousepad, and just put her head on the mouse. Guess I’m done.


If I Did Nothing Else…

July 20, 2016

If you’re a quilter and you hang out on the web (which presumably you must, since you’re here), you’ve probably heard that Quilters Newsletter Magazine is closing up shop. I’m not a traditional quilter (you may have figured that out), but have a special place in my heart for QNM, because in the beginning, they were one of the only fiber magazines that would publish my work, because of the nudity. And they had my back…multiple letters would pop up in the letters section about my work being inappropriate, and then they would post even more letters about how it’s art and really? Seriously? Quilting Arts won’t publish nudity. There’s a few others as well. Fiber Arts Now published one of my pieces last year, and the SAQA magazine has shown one of mine (as part of an article about curating a show), and Textile Fibre Forum recently published some pieces of mine as well, ironically in an article about censorship, so maybe the world is coming around. But QNM, bastion of traditional quiltmaking, was the first. So thanks to them. And I’m sorry they’re gone.

I ironed like a beast yesterday. Really there were other things I should have done, but I just allowed the word IRON into my head most of the day, so that’s all I did. I’m hoping to pick up my machine today (although they haven’t called), so I want to be done soon. Well. It’s not going to be SOON, because even though I put in almost 6 hours of ironing yesterday, I’m still only in the 1300s…so I have about 600 pieces to go. But I’m getting there!

By the way, the bug from yesterday was a tarantula hawk…second most painful sting in the world. For three minutes. Then you’re fine. You just scream for the whole three minutes apparently. Good to know. AVOID.

So I finished the crane…

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Kitten sleeping away…

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And then ironed the arm in there, with the body as well…

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Seaweed behind the crane…

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It was long and skinny and fit into that space…

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An octopus…because they’re cool…

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He goes on the shoulder, a transition between land of the the torso and water of the head…

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Then I took a break and had dinner, watched a movie, and finished this bird…only two left to do.

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Came back to the ironing room and did a cactus…

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Which belongs there…oooh…forgot about the grass above…

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My setup…the cat moved, because she doesn’t really like the fan on her. And it’s hot, so the fan has to be on. I’m watching Person of Interest at the moment. I bingewatch shows while ironing.

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Late at night, finishing a tiger with a lung above it. I can’t put the whole artery down, because stuff needs to go under it.

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Everything fit into the space! A miracle. The other breast is a cat much like Kitten, plus a bunch of flowers on a vine…

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I didn’t get all the way done with the other breast. It was closing in on 1 AM at that point, and there was a lung and a heart (not difficult) plus a bunch more viney bits and flowers (more difficult), so I quit. So the rest of that section, plus the snake arm, and then the head. And I’m done. Here’s everything I did yesterday…

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A significant chunk. To be done, I’d have to do the same today, and since I’m going to the gym and there’s Shakespeare tonight, that’s unlikely to happen. Oh well. But close! I’m close! Then iron it to the background, stitch it down, sandwich, and quilt. Because that’s not like 50 hours right there. If I did nothing else, I could be done by next week. Except yeah. I can’t do nothing else.

Anyway. I like to see progress. And that I see.


Easier Said Than Done

July 19, 2016

Yesterday was somewhat disappointing in the art arena, but I did finish the first major run through the chapter I’m copyediting. I can sense the author’s attention to detail waning in later chapters. That’s always the way it is, right? It might be why I haven’t yet finished writing the sci fi novel I started a few years back…I’m not sure exactly how to end it. And I don’t want it to flail at the end. I’m sure there’s a way to deal with that, but I don’t see having the spare time to do so in the next year. Maybe that will change.

I also dropped off my sewing machine for cleaning and fixing, so hopefully that will be quick and easy, and I can pick her up tomorrow. I’m not going to be done ironing by then though. I suspect. Although I guess I might be surprised. If last night is any indicator of how I’ll be working today, though, there isn’t a lot of hope of finishing today. Maybe with tomorrow as well. I don’t know…I haven’t been doing a great job of getting work done during the day…whether it’s the heat or too much other stuff going on…I can feel summer slipping away and it’s kind of stressing me out.

All the more reason to go on hikes with the kids, though, because they’ll be gone soon enough. So I’ve never hiked the Fortunas in Missions Trails Regional Park. I heard horror stories about stairs (and I’m still not sure where those are…and honestly, I’m OK with that), but I figured I could try South Fortuna. Unfortunately, the park closes at sunset (I really don’t understand all the parks that close early in summer…it’s too hot until after 6 to be doing this), so we had to start hiking at 4:30 to make sure we’d get out in time. As it was, we had an extra hour (well, unless you believed the parking lot we were in, which said 7 PM, but was chock full when we got back there right about 7), so we could have gone a bit later…maybe parked out on the street, like other people were.

The hike starts out nicely enough near the Old Mission Dam and through Oak Canyon, but pretty soon, we were out in hot and dry…

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There were a few trees in the beginning.

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This bug was amazingly colored…bright blue and orange.

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And then after about a mile and a half, we start up this. It’s not too bad to start, but it’s hot and dry. So I rest when I get dizzy from lack of oxygen. It’s half a mile and probably most of the 900-foot gain this hike claims. Girlchild is up there, then the boy, and then some other guy, who got passed by the boychild. Long legs and youth help on these things. Unfortunately the girlchild had a muscle issue, so she was in pain. But she wouldn’t stop or take meds.

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I forgot my poles. They would have been useful on the way back down. Here I looked back down. It never looks as bad in photos as it feels going up it.

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In this picture, the top of the hill is right below where the transmission towers are. This is facing North Fortuna, which we didn’t do…but you can see the trail for it winding up.

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The actual summit of South Fortuna is pretty low-key. Just this sign…

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And facing south, there’s Pyles Peak and Cowles Mountain…which we’ve done multiple times.

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Girlchild is truly irritated and in pain, so she’s throwing rocks. The trail continues south, but we weren’t sure how far, so we went back the way we came.

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I saw one of these bushes last time, with the feathers, but didn’t photograph it well…

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And a blurry picture of a rattlesnake disappearing into the brush. Not a young one…nice long rattle at the end.

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It was just under 6 miles and plenty hot, but we did it. I can’t seem to beat the heel blister this summer. I’m really frustrated about it. I’d blame the boots, but I wore them for three months with no problems. Blisters suck.

After dinner (which I made in the afternoon, like a smart woman…see, I do learn from experience), I flailed for a while, because the thought of standing and ironing was daunting, but I eventually overcame it and started ironing…a pine branch for an arm…

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And the fingers beyond it. All this will be better delineated once it’s quilted.

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And then I had hoped to get the whole crane ironed last night, but my SIL called after the 21 Pilots concert, and I talked to her and my nephew, who is kind of a crack-up. And after that, it was midnight plus, so I went to bed. Crane half done…

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It’s hard to see on a white background anyway.

So I have both arms and the upper torso and the head to do. Quite a lot, really, although I’ve now passed the halfway mark in the pieces…just started the 1100s. I have just under 16 hours into this. I think I guessed 24 hours? Or 26? Can’t remember. Probably closer to the latter. Although at some point, the pieces get bigger, so they’ll be easier to iron. An equivalent quilt from last year took 27 hours plus to iron together, so that’s a good estimate. If there’s another 11 hours, I’d have to do a serious chunk today and tomorrow to be done. It’s not like it’s impossible. I just need to get my act together (wake up!) and do it.

Easier said than done. Last run through on the chapter? Then iron. Maybe. Yeah. Do it.


Words First

July 18, 2016

Mondays are hard, even when you’re supposedly on vacation. Maybe it’s because the weekend brings all this hope of getting stuff done AND enjoying yourself and Mondays just feel like the day you have to work. And I do! I usually am copyediting on Mondays because I took the weekend off. So maybe that Monday feeling is my fault. I need to do the words first because they actually take more mental energy. Then I can do the art.

I redid the calendar on the fridge yesterday and realized that school is only four weeks away, but also, the girlchild is leaving before I even start school. And the boychild leaves less than a week after that. It’s certainly easier with other people in the house. Plus they entertain the puppy. I’m not looking forward to the exodus.

I ironed most of Saturday, over 4 hours…so I’m at 13 hours and 40 minutes so far. My sewing machine goes into the shop today, pick up on Wednesday…I don’t know if I’ll be done with the ironing Wednesday, because I have to copyedit today, plus we’re gonna hike. So those are kind of time sucks.

I started Saturday morning with the giraffe on the right…I think he started out in the 400s.

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I finished the giraffe and went on to do grapes and grape leaves…it’s fussy in here, because the ribs go over some stuff and under some stuff. Which is my own crazy.

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When I’m drawing, I don’t think about HOW it will get made, whether it will be a pain or not. When I was drawing all this earth-related stuff, I drew a homeless woman in there. Because she seemed like something an Earth Mother should be paying attention to…carrying close to her.

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She’s tiny, but she’s in there. With her shopping cart. The homeless population in San Diego and El Cajon has always been there…but lately it seems like we aren’t really helping them. Can we house all of them? I’d like to think we could house those who wanted it. I know a few don’t, but most of them do. But instead we do sweeps and tear their camps down, and we put up sharp rocks so they can’t sleep there or even sit there, and we carry all this fear about them. I’m sure they carry fear too.

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Then Saturday night, I went to the Visions opening and to watch a band in Pacific Beach…I got to see the sun go down at the pier.

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It was quite pretty out there, which makes up for the fact that most of PB smells like vomit and pee.

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Sunday was busy…Calli got to run after the ball a lot, which made her hot.

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Grandpa got gnawed on by Simba.

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And then I kept ironing…butterflies, cocoons, and poppies…

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A gecko…he was fun.

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And sometime after midnight, this happened. Because playing with the puppy after midnight means he might sleep through the night. Maybe. Actually, he was asleep, but we were trying to deal with a giant fur matt in his nether regions, and he woke up vicious and bitey. Both kids are involved…you just can’t see the boychild except in the shadow. If you throw balls down the hallway long enough, puppies get tired.

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While all that was going on, I was finishing the left side, ironing passionflowers, like you do.

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Luckily that whole piece ironed easily onto the flesh background, so that’s the lower torso done. Next is the arm that bisects that…and I’m now in the 900s. Still not halfway, sadly. Close! But not quite.

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Here’s a closeup of what I was doing most of Saturday and Sunday.

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It’s really not a huge area of the quilt, but there are a lot of pieces and details.

In the last Earth Mother, I wasn’t allowed to do any nudity or politics. I’ve obviously blown that off this time. Although the nudity isn’t really a huge deal. Someone asked me what this one was FOR. It’s for…well…I just needed to do it. So I did.

Anyway, I probably won’t get to iron more until tonight, and I’ll be tired from hiking. Oh well.

Kitten is still living under the ironing board, playing with the strings…

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It’s been hot, so that fur-free belly is probably a good thing. OK. Back to work with words. Then maybe I’ll get to the fabric.


I Really Want Waffles

July 16, 2016

Summer quiet. Birds singing. Mornings need caffeine, sure, and nights are getting warmer, but there’s still a breeze. The days aren’t unbearably hot yet (give it time…this isn’t really our summer).

What did I get done yesterday? Not much. Honestly. I’m not sure why. Well, that’s not entirely true. I shipped a quilt, which meant going to get a box and then coming back and making a label and packing it up and then driving back to the place where I got the box and shipping it. So that was about 2 hours. I always forget how long simple tasks like that take. And I finished a book. And I gamed in the evening, and that went longer than usual. But I was not my usual efficient self. I find summer does that to me. My brain remembers what it’s like to be a normal human, instead of a teacher on work overload, and it tries to make me act that way…like a normal human. No, you should flail a bit and lie around on a couch or maybe read some stupid articles about whatever. Stop doing all the works!

I finished Philip K. Dick’s Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep and all I could think was that question was not answered by the book. And it’s different than the movie Bladerunner. Which is fine…I don’t mind that part, but damn. I still want to know if they dream. And I’m glad I didn’t remember the Bladerunner connection while I was reading it, because I made my own pictures in my head instead.

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I was looking for cool covers and found these. And I’m still disturbed by the androids’ behavior with the spider. I guess I was raised on Star Trek androids. Data had a significant influence on how I view them. And Battlestar Galactica as well. But the later series.

Anyway. I’m reading a lot. This is not a bad thing.

I didn’t iron until late. You hear that a lot. Because it’s true. Today I plan to iron all day.

I did the daisies in the top left, and now that side is done all the way up to the arm that bisects the body.

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And then I started on the right side…

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Today I’ll be ironing a million spots on a giraffe. And a uterus…see that blank spot in the middle? Easy to figure out what that will be.

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We have renamed Puppy by the way (not really). Nugget of Idiocy. It’s a great name for a puppy. Seriously though…the first owner called him Fluffy Teddy (godawful name), then the second called him Simba. We call him a variety of things, including Asshole and You Little Fucker and Vladimir and Fanny, none of which he answers to…Nugget it is. Last night’s conversation revolved around how sweet he is when he’s tired and what a jerk he can be when he’s hyper. Plus all the moods in the middle. He’s not a bad dog…he is learning to behave. He’s just a puppy. Puppies are jerks sometimes.

OK. Ironing. I really want waffles though.


It’s Coming Along

July 15, 2016

‘Twas a busy day where some things got accomplished. I’m settling into summer. A bit. Funny, because I go back to school in exactly a month. Sometimes a month sounds like a long time, like “there’s a month of school left,” but sometimes it’s way too short, like “there’s a month of vacation left.” Perceptions…

A couple of my co-teachers are pinning educational stuff on Pinterest (I have to admit to some of that…it’s an easy place to keep stuff so I don’t have to remember it) and some are actually going into their classrooms and doing stuff (oh heck no). And some are doing everything in their power to have a non-school existence for a while, because it encompasses everything when you go back.

I got a great rejection letter yesterday, with a handwritten note to try again next year. Funny…at first, I just assume that she wrote it on everyone’s letter (and maybe she did), but it’s nicer to hope that it was just a few. I wasn’t expecting to get in…it’s “real art” and I work in fabric, dontcha know. It’s like craft. I do it with macaroni and a glue gun. I’m not really trained at all. (all lies. Although I do own macaroni and a glue gun.)

I cut out all the Wonder Under for the commissioned owl yesterday at my sewing meeting. Now I am getting closer to deciding what he should look like too…because I ironed the real one (well, the first one) together yesterday…

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I have to admit that the ironing is going slowly. Too many other things going on, I guess. But I got that part done before I went to the sewing meeting. I think the striped fabric worked out on the wings. There will be stitching that delineates between each feather a little better in the long run, but I think it works.

Kitten has taken to lying under the ironing board and playing with the strings that keep the cover on.

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So then I went to another meeting, an art meeting, and came home with this idea for our feminist coloring book…well, honestly, it would probably make a cool quilt too, but I’d have to significantly enlarge it. Right now, it’s about 8″ square.

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The original idea I had a while ago involved a ruler and a protractor, but this was not so well-divided and organized, and I like it better. I had to figure out how to balance the piece, despite the disparate sizes of the women, and I like how it turned out.

So that was about 2 hours of time when I should have been ironing, but I think it was well spent.

So then I made it back in here for ironing…finished the owl’s wing and another violet, and then moved on to the belly space. I ironed the trees separately, because I can’t see the lines through the background fabric…

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And then I put them where they belong.

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This stuff is pretty time-consuming. I’m almost all the through the 300s. Only. I’m planning on a few hours today as well, although I have some stuff I have to do first. It’s coming along. I never thought it would be quick.

Kitten moved to the other chair…her shaved bits clearly apparent. She’s so much happier now without the cone and the stitches.

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And I’m happy she’s still here too.


Tiny Ironing

July 14, 2016

Late start this morning, not because I woke up late (ha!), but because we walked the dogs early to beat the heat. I usually like evening hikes better, because morning should be sleep time, but my nights have been booked this week.

Yesterday, I managed to finish the chapter I was working on, go to the gym, and then iron stuff…although I don’t feel like I got a lot done. Sigh. Everything takes so LONG! Tiny little pieces.

Well, first I started with the big pieces…and did the mountains and a volcano. A lot of the lighter fabrics will be easier to see once the stitching is in.

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I finished the world all the way across, and then pulled it off the ironing sheet, rolled it up, and put it aside for when I iron the whole thing down.

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Then I started on the Earth Mother portion, which has a lot of tiny little details…on the right are all the pieces for the next violet.

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And at the end of the evening, I have leaves and a raccoon and an ovary (it fit in the hole)…one more violet to do there, and then the owl. I’m gonna be ironing tiny for a good long time…

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So I’m in the 200s, but barely. With about 3 hours of ironing done, I think. It’s gonna take a while. And I’m gone most of today, so I probably won’t get a ton of ironing done, but I’m going to do a little now and then more tonight.

The dogs were tired last night…sometimes they do get played out.

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I think they’re in the same position right now, post walk…except I need to wash the little dog. Whoever thought furry butt hair on a dog was a good thing should come bathe this little beast. I’m gonna shave his butt for him.


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