Sunday, November 15, 2009


It's been ages since I blogged here, and even longer since I got on my soap-box to rant about something. Quite awhile back I was posting stories about the infamous Pig Farmer who is now in prison (and appealing, of course!) for the murder of countless women.

Having grown up wanting to be a Crime Reporter (that was during my apprenticeship days working in the Vancouver Sun newsroom) I guess I've always had an interest in criminals and their stories. And lately, in our papers and newscasts, there are a number of stories that have given me cause to want to rant and rave. That is, the stories emerging about this infamous gang of brothers who I will simply refer to as The Breakfast Boys, because their last name is really a breakfast food. (Funny thing how this all ties in somehow with "pigs" aka the famous Pig Farmer case.)

These young thugs are either in prison or awaiting trial for numerous gang killings, drug busts, illegal weapons charges and countless other criminal activities. They live at home with their apparantly adoring parents. And recently there was a sob story in the news about how the mother was so protective of her boys, insisiting they should wear bullet proof vests, because the police might shoot them. (These bullet proof vests, by the way, are very expensive items, along with the bullet proof vehicle the Breakfast Boys had on order. Just in case some other rival gang members or the police might happen to shoot at them.) I have to wonder what kind of parents these are who have obviously condoned the illegal and murderous behavior of their three darling sons. I mean, really! wouldn't it be enough to have one renegade criminal kid in your house (which, if they didn't shape up I'm sure most parents would show out the door), but three of them is a bit unbelievable and especially since the parents are obviously living off some of the avails of their crimes. ("My kid doesn't have a job but he drives an expensive car, has weapons hidden around the place, wears a bullet proof vest and has on order an armoured vehicle that only security and police are suppose to have." Give your head a shake, lady! These are not your innocent angels. These guys are killers and drug dealers.)

I guess all of this make one be grateful that their own son (or sons) are decent, hard working, honest, kind and talented human beings who really make a mother feel proud. I simply can't imagine what has been going on in the Breakfast Boy's mother's head -- or their father too, who, I have heard, is a school teacher. (Or was!) He hasn't appear in court so far so there's no telling what story he'll come up with to 'protect' these thugs. But lately the paper is full of sob stories about the one brother who is in solitary confinement in prison because (boohoo!) he can't see his TV from his bed, among other whines and gripes he has. Stay tuned for more of this incredible saga. And kudos to the mother of one of their innocent victims for initiating a law suit against them for the murder of her young son. She is one brave lady, who lost a son who was truly worthy of honor and respect, to these goons and their criminalf friends.

Monday, August 10, 2009


At Maple Ridge
On Saturday, August 8, I was lucky enough to get a free pass into the Maple Ridge Blues & Jazz show where my son Steve's band The West Coast Blues Revue was playing. What a treat to enjoy such excellent music all day long, on a day that wasn't too hot (cloudy but no rain!) with good friends.

Playing at the Maple Ridge Blues/Jazz Festival

There were several talented groups performing, among them my son's band. I went along with Connie who is a harmonica (harp) player and we had a great time chatting and listening and dancing. Truly a memorable time.

Then I was equally fortunate to be offered tickets the next day to the Burnaby Blues and Roots Festival. My son was very generous to give me tickets that had been designated to band members who weren't able to attend. It was the first I'd been to this huge festival, held at Deer Lake Park in Burnaby B.C. And the biggest thrill was being able to see the fabulous Smokey Robinson perform.

Unfortunately I didn't mosey down to the stage like I did at Maple Ridge so I didn't get very good photos (Steve did! He was right there!) But still it was excellent to watch Smokey perform, a real Vegas type show, very dynamic and with the sweetest, most angelic singing voice.

So that was quite a weekend -- filled with music, fun and friends. What a great way to top off the summer!

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Wednesday, May 20, 2009


Last Sunday my friend Cheryl invited me out for dinner to the Greek taverna near my place. We often go there as we have known Stan, the owner, and his wife for quite a few years. Cheryl came in the late afternoon and we hung out awhile, then mosied over to the taverna. When we arrived, and I walked in, what a surprise!
There were all my friends, and not only that, my daughter Alex was there. She and her partner had come all the way from Salmon Arm. I was speechless.

It was an early birthday party for me as I will be away in Greece at the time of my birthday in June. And this one is a Big One so very special. But I had no idea at all. Even my LQ friends were there and I'd seen them last Friday but nobody let on. My son and his wife, too, and I'd spent Saturday afternoon with them. They all had kept the secret very well.
We had an excellent Greek meal (I had arni - lamb) and of course there was a delicious birthday cake. Then I was presented with a beautiful bouquet of white roses. I felt like a bride! There were gifts of cards and money in a 'treasure box' and other gifts too. One is a plaque that says "IT'S NOT THE YEARS IN YOUR LIFE, BUT THE LIFE IN YOUR YEARS." How appropriate!

I can't thank my friend Cheryl enough for planning and plotting this fantastic event. I think it's the first time in my life I've had a surprise party and it was truly unforgettable. And I also can't thank my friends and family enough for their generosity. Thanks to them, my vacation will be even grander!

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Sunday, May 03, 2009



I haven't budged with my weight for weeks. I was a bit off my diet program for a couple of them, but found I am (as always) just standing still. One pound up, one pound down. And although I have been exactly following "the plan" I have been getting lots more exercise. So all this is rather discouraging.

It's a busy time for me with classes, lots of writing to catch up with, and trip plans. In just three weeks my sister, niece and I will be embarking on our big adventure, first to London, then Caerphilly Wales for a family reunion, and on June 1 we fly to Athens to celebrating my Big Birthday. I'll be on the road for a month but will try to post at least one or two blogs while I'm away. And maybe all that Greek sunshine and hiking around will help to move me a big forward toward losing some of this mass of body fat that seems to be stuck around my middle!
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Sunday, April 19, 2009


It's been a couple of weeks since I posted the updates. That's because I got a little off track for one week (too many social events, partying and I tried some different recipes that weren't part of the usual menu). Then my computer blew so I couldn't post. Anyway, there's not much progress to report. I decided to get back on the proper menu this week and step up the exercise now that the weather is improved. I can only get to my waterfit once a week (well, I'm going to try for two but my schedule is pretty busy) however I can walk more now that it's Spring time in the city. I'm heading off for a Sunday walk as soon as I finish this post from the local web cafe.

My holidays are coming up in just over a month and I really want to look better in that swim-suit i just got. So that's a good incentive to get back on track again. My son has been following the same program and he's looking mighty good these days. Says he hasn't lost that many pounds, but he's lost a lot of inches which looks good on him! So maybe there's hope for me as well.

Sunday, March 22, 2009


Here I am checking out David's thigh. He's in pretty good shape. Must be all that time he spends in the gymnasium! As for me, I think the reason things are going slower than I'd hoped is that I am not getting the amount of aerobic and floor exercises that I need to tone up. My weight hasn't budged again, although last week's measurements showed I'd lost a bit off my bust and hips (none off the middle which is my major problem area.

So I will try and increase the exercises now the weather seems better. Today I went out for an hours' walk. And I am able to get back to my old waterfit group for the next two weeks, which I find is a much more strenuous workout than the new place I was attending. (And besides, there's not a lot of Asian ladies talking the whole time which I find distracting.) At the Brit pool there are singing Italian mermaids instead.

I will try to make time to get to the gym now that my morning classes are finished for the Spring break. It means taking 2 buses but if the weather is OK I don't mind that too much. It's standing around bus stops in the pouring rain and icy cold that has deterred me this winter.

Now it's Springtime and surely the weather will warm up so we don't have to bundle up in heavy coats every time we go out, which I find makes taking brisk walks a little more difficult

I was away for the weekend and made a few slips on the food plan -- nothing too serious til last night when I went out dancing (good exercise!) and drank red wine which isn't exactly on the program at this point in time. But it's my one little 'sinful' cheat and doesn't happen every day. However, I'm going to have to be more diligent because soon it will be bathing suit time (I need to get a new one) and I don't want to look like an over-stuffed sausage on the beach. A voluptuous mermaid, perhaps. But not a sausage!

I've followed all GI recipes the last two weeks and found them to be tasty and satisfying. So now it's grocery shopping time again and I will sit down tonight and plan my next week's menus. Generally I use either the GI recipes or some from Weight Watchers and South Beach Diets, both of which fit in the scheme of things.
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Monday, March 09, 2009



A small victory today when I weighed myself and found I'd actually gone down a pound. Not much, but after the plateau I've been on which I'd found so discouraging, this was a good sign. I think perhaps the stepped-up exercise program is helping. Not that I'm doing as much as I should. But I've manaed a couple of longer walks, got to waterfit today, and I have a plan in place to help me get back into the old exercise routines that I used to be so faithful at doing.

One thing I love to do is dance, so I try to go dancing on the weekend. I like salsa dancing a lot but we also go to hear my son's Blues band and then we dance rock 'n roll. I also like waterfit and swimming and although I haven't been that fond of the new pool I've been going to, it has helped. But now that pool is closed for Spring cleanup and I will go back to Britannia which I like much better (even though it's farther away and takes me 2 buses to reach there). I looked at their Spring recreation program and discovered a couple of fitness and yoga classes that suit my schedule. So I plan to try and enroll in them when they start up. And once the weather clears I'll get the bike out and do more of the Jenny Craig fitness walks that I used to lve doing.

Meanwhile, I am following the GI recipes in the book and really enjoying them. This week I made the hamburgers (on 1 side of a bun only and cole slaw on the side) and the meat loaf, which was absolutely delicious. No need to deprive oneself and starve on this program. And my fridge is full of good things to make gourmet meals, so I will, as usual, sit down and make my week's menu up and from there will choose each day what I want to eat. Most of the recipes are for 4 servings so I put the extras in the freezer and have ready-made TV dinners when I don't have time to cook.

I'm hoping for more weight loss this coming week. It seems much slower to lose on this than when I was following Weight Watchers so I am thinking of counting the points as well, just to make sure I'm not eating too much, although I've been pretty careful and trying hard to stay away from the RED things. They do seem to creep in though. Sneaky!
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Tuesday, March 03, 2009



It's week #7 of the GI diet and I had felt sure I'd lost more weight. What a disappointment when I weighed in at the pool yesterday and the scale had not budged. In fact it may have gone up a fraction or two. I've been tracking my food, marking in red any time I went out of the green zone and tried real hard not to do that. But still no results.

About the only thing I can think of doing is upping the exercise regime. I know i'm not getting nearly enough and not half as much I used to do before the winter laziness set in. I got out all my videos and DVDs for exercises, my hand weights and stretchy rope and so far all I've done is look at them as they sit there cluttering up my coffee table. I'm trying mentally to devise a plan of action. Today I thought it would be good to start going for a Jenny Crait fitness walk early in the morning before I plunk myself in front of the computer. And yes, I will do that but first let's get some decent weather. One moment it's raining, then a bit of sunshine as a teaser, and then rain again and it's way too cold. I think when the sun is out to stay for awhile it will be more inviting to think of getting out and doing my fitness walks, going to the gym and other things. Meanwhile, I really must get out the yoga book and try to resume some floor exercises. I can't believe how lazy I've become. I've also become so stiff I can hardly walk sometimes. That is NOT good!

So, keeping in the spirit of the Games (after all the 2010 Winter Olympics will be held here in Vancouver) I will get back at that starting line and make a run for it! Go for the Gold, as they say. I have to get myself into good shape for my holiday in Greece which is coming up pretty soon.
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Monday, February 23, 2009


I had to admit I was a trifle disappointed when I weighed in today and found I'd only lost barely a pound. I was hoping for a bit better than that to make up for the plateau I found myself on last week. I have been trying harder to eliminate those naughty little red items from my menu but they do seem to slip in occasionally -- especially on the weekend when I want to go out and party with my friends.

This Saturday was another example of that when I joined the gang a Amberjacks for an evening of Blues with my son's band, and a whole lot of beer (although it was "lite" beer). And the other thing is, I am not getting enough aerobic type exercise and I know that counts for a lot.

I did managed a few small walks and today I made it to waterfit, but my schedule is so full these days I haven't as yet had time to go to the gym. I found all my hand weights and exercise videos last night though. I have one for Tai Chi, one for Jane Fonda, one for Yoga, and one I bought some time ago from Weight Watchers. So I am really going to try and get myself into a routine again. It seems that once you break your routine it is so hard to resume it. I used to be good about doing stretches and floor exercises every single day and for months now I haven't even attempted it. Laziness, I suppose. I also have some very good Jenny Craig fitness walking tapes and now the nicer weather is returning I will defintely try to get out with those as they keep you stepping at a very good pace. There are stretching exercises before and after you start your walks too, which is important to remember.

The menus themselves have been delicious and easy to stick to. (It's the occasional extras that cause me grief. Last night while watching the Oscars I ate a big bowl of popcorn with a bit too much (lite) marg on it. I should look for the WW popcorn and use that instead. But last week I cooked most of my meals from the G.I. book and their menus are excellent. I just made up this week's grocery list and have included most of their menu suggestions along with a couple from Weight Watchers.
Can't go wrong there.

I swear though that my metabolism has died somewhere over the past few years. And it's my aim to revive it. Otherwise I am not going to see any remarkable results (as usual). they say: "Slow and steady wins the race". So like the pokey old tortoise I hope that by May I can have lost at least ten pounds.
(**I think it's important to say though, that people have been remarking how well I look. My friend asked me Saturday if I"d lost a lot of weight. She was surprised when I said it was only four pounds so far. So there's hope yet!
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Monday, February 16, 2009


OK, I goofed. But it was Valentine's Day and my friend invited me out for dinner at an Italian restaurant. So you can't eat pasta without Italian wine, can you? And I did. I also indulged in a delicious taramisu dessert. (I have to say here that I DID leave half the tortellini, however!) wasn't entirely the Italian dinner. I went dancing later. More wine. But I did have some exercise doing the salsa. (Excuses, excuses)

And then there was yesterday --- the ceviche was perfect and the sole was too. But did I need to sample those glasses of excellent Argentine and Italian wines? How can you eat ceviche and sole without a nice glass of crisp white wine?

So today I got up early enough to make sure I headed for the pool for a waterfit class. Weighed in. Do the scales lie? I was exactly the same weight as last week.
And I have to admit that if I'd not overindulged this weekend I'm quite sure I'd have been down at least a pound.

Whine, whine, whine....It's my own fault for not being stricter with myself. Also not getting enough aerobic exercise these days. So my resolution for this week (week #6) is to be more careful and try to work harder at this. It really isn't difficult. I just have remember to stay away from that wine!
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Sunday, February 08, 2009

WEEK 4 OF THE G.I. PLAN: I'm Shrinking!

(No, the sweet and sour spareribs were NOT on the plan!)

Well I'm finished WEEK #4 of the G.I. Diet Plan and although I'm still finding myself making a few little slips (as in the photos), basically I am finding it a very easy program to follow. My biggest problems is drinking the required 8 glasses of water a day and getting more aerobic exercise. This weekend I had a bit of free time and went dancing Friday night (that's one of my favorite exercises -- dancing salsa). And today I went for a two hour walk (also another favorite exercise pastime of mine)
But -- I need the pool and the gym!

These meals I have photographed aren't what I've been eating this week. This week I have been making menus from the G.I. book and cooking up some delicious meals.
So far I've tried the Egg & Ham Rollup; The beef and kale soup (excellent!); tuna cassarole; stuffed portabello mushroom; linguine with clams (so delicious!) and the best of all: orange chicken with almonds. I can't say I've been starving or feeling deprived. I also have learned to like the no-fat yoghurt (with fruit) and squirrely bread is really good too. I always try and remember to take my snacks with me and find that by doing so I am not starving when it comes to meal times. (For snacks I'll usually have almonds and a piece of Laughing Cow cheese.)

The good news is, although I haven't been to the pool yet to weigh myself, I did take my measurements today and discovered I have gone down an inch from last week. So I am shrinking, slow but sure and that's good!

I'm looking forward to week #5 and determined to get back into a better exercise routine and watch those items off the red and orange list that keep sneaking into my diet!
***weighed in 3 pounds less than when I started. Hoping for more loss next week.

(Uh Uh, not the Tempora either!)
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Thursday, January 29, 2009



We're into the third week of the GI diet plan and really, I have to say it is very easy to follow and stick on. I've still made a couple of slips but nothing too serious. (I went out for Chinese New Years dinner on Monday. I tried to be careful and not eat what's not on the green list. The sweet and sour pork wasn't but I ate a little anyway. Today I went out for breakfast and they served strip bacon and scrambled eggs. I ate a little and didnt feel too bad about it as I was on target the rest of the day and did a fair amount of walking today too.

The most difficult part has been drinking the required 8 glasses of water a day. In summer I don't have a problem, but these cold, wet days I seem to have trouble getting that much water into my system. And the exercise program needs to be increased. I haven't been to the pool due to my schedule and having a bad cold; I haven't been to the gym at all due to my schedule; and I haven't done much walking either. On Sunday I made a point of going to Stanley Park and had a good walk along part of the seawall. Today I walked quite a ways downtown, though it wasn't a 'fitness walk'.

These are the two areas that I need to try and improve next week, as well as decreasing the
red circles that go around any food I eat that isn't on the green list. It's a simple as that. I'm not starving. I'm not hungry. I'm feeling more energetic. And I think I'm starting to look better -- at least it seems to show in my face (always the first part to lose the fat). And this week I've received a couple of encouraging compliments that I really do 'look like' I've lost some weight. (I haven't been able to get to a scale for two weeks now but will try to soon.)
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Tuesday, January 20, 2009


THINK GREEN! I'm trying to keep that motto in mind every day when I make my meals. So far I've mainly done not too bad MOST of the time, but there are still a few too many 'slips'. Especially last weekend when I went to a family birthday party.

I really intended to only eat GREEN, but the buffet that was served, although it was healthy foods, was mostly not on the green list. There were huge trays of sushi (containing rice which isn't OK unless it's a certain kind like basmati) and deli meats and small cheese cubes. Then there was a lot of tasty Chinese and Asian dishes that were mostly OK (but again, there was the rice and noodles.) I tried to take only small portions but I admit I had a taste of everything. There was also wine, of course, and birthday cake. I only had a tiny taste of birthday cake but certainly overdid it on the wine.

One thing I did better last week was the exercise -- waterfit and walks. I was looking forward to more of the same this week but so far it hasn't worked out.
I was supposed to start my Memoir groups this morning but it ended up there were no trolleys due to the wires being frozen so I sat in front of the TV all day long (and all evening too) watching the inauguration. OK, it was a historic event and certainly worth watching. But I did intend on going out to the store, at least take out the trash, just to get some fresh air and exercise. After all, the sun was shining. But by the time I decided to go it was getting dark and foggy so I skipped that idea and continued watching TV or working at the computer. Oh well, tomorrow I'll be running around like crazy all day long.

I did better on the foodie stuff this week except I've indulged in having one of the home-made chocolate chip cookies a friend made for me. That's a no-no!
What I've been doing, in the little book I bought to track my progress, is that every time I slip (or cheat!) I write it in RED so it shows up as a reminder.

Because I was unable to get to the pool today (and won't be able to from now on so must get myself to a different pool for waterfit) I was unable to weigh in. I certainly FEEL better and find it really quite easy to follow the correct menus. It's just those little 'cheats' that are getting in my way. One thing I like about this program is you don't have to count calories or points but you DO have to watch out not to eat stuff that's not on that GREEN list.

I'll try a little harder tomorrow. Every day will get easier, I know!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009



We all have our New Years Resolutions, and some of us actually attempt to follow them. Mine are usually the same two: Finish my novel and Diet/Exercise (lose some pounds and get fit!) And this year is no different only I am much, much closer to finishing the novel (in the back stretch now) and I have decided to try a whole new program of eating and losing weight. A friend of mine and her office mates have all been on the GI Diet, a sensible eating plan that has shown such terrific results. (I've never seen my friend looking so good in all the years I've known her). It really inspired me to see the results and also to recieve 5 large bags of beautiful clothing all top quality, stylish and hardly even worn, from one of her office mates who had lost so much weight she had to buy a new wardrobe. So this week I decided to get on the band-wagon and join the GIs too.

It's really not difficult, in particular since I'm usually always following menus from South Beach or Weight Watchers. So first I cleared out the fridge from all the tempting Christmas left overs (such as chocolate and chip dips) and my cupboards too (had to hide the peanut butter but I'll buy some of the kind you can eat).
The book my friend loaned me is excellent and easy to read and follow. Simply eat green. That is, everything from the 'green' list. You'll notice in the photo I am holding a glass of wine. Well, the wine has got to go now until I lose some weight and then a glass with dinner will be OK. Being the social butterfly that I am, that might be one of the difficult points to follow. But the thing is, not to beat yourself up. This is mainly a glucose index guide kind of diet and as long as you stay on track 90% of the time you should be OK.

The moment of truth came when I had to take my Body Mass Index. Yikes! I was two points over into obesity. Not good! And then....a worse shock...was actually measuring myself. You'll see in the photo I don't look too 'obese'. But you have to get a load of the side view. Not good, in fact, very BAD! But that 'shock' was enough to make me realize that things are worse than I was trying to tell myself and it was definitely time for some serious action.

After being housebound for weeks due to excessive snow, we are finally able to get out and about and this week I got back to waterfit again and was actually able to walk without fear of falling and breaking a hip. I can hardly wait til it's a nice day and I can go for one of my really LONG walks. And I have no excuse about missing waterfit now as the pool located nearer to my h ome has waterfit every day and twice a week at night. It's getting to the gym that might pose a challenge unless I force myself. And my wallet is full of gym tickets from last year that went unused as I was too lazy or busy to get myself there. This has to change!

I'll post occasion blogs here about my progress as a means of keeping myself on track and encouraging others who might be doing the same thing.
Trouble is, what do I do with this wonderful new wardrobe once I shrink down a size or two??? Well at least I know everything will look a heck of a lot better on me!
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Sunday, January 04, 2009



It's snowing!
It's snowing!
It's snowing everywhere.
Whirling and twirling
and swirling down.
It's snowing!
It's snowing, everywhere!

It really is. And it's been snowing non-stop is seems (well, a bit of respite with rain in between) for weeks! For the Pacific West Coast this is an unusual abundance of the white stuff and we're all wish it would just go away. As fast the weatherman predicts rain, and it does rain and melt the white stuff into slush, then it freezes over and the flurries start again. Bring out the dog sleds and skis! The roads and sidewalks are treacherous. The city crews haven't been clearing the side roads and a lot of people can't be bothered shoveling like they should do so it makes everything impassible. I've hardly been out anywhere in the past few weeks because it's too risky. Even getting on and off buses has been difficult as there are high banks on snow on the sides of the roads, they haven't cleared paths to the buses and you are in danger of falling getting on and off. I heard a story yesterday about a guy who slipped right under the wheels of the bus. Fortunately the driver saw him and didn't pull away. And a lot of people (not just the elderly) are falling and breaking bones. So far (touch wood!) I've been very lucky. But that's why I've not been going anywhere unless necessary, because it's not worth it slipping and sliding and when it starts melting, sloshing through ankle deep ice water and slush. Enough is enough!


After the first big snowfall I was worried about the weight of it on my balcony, so I built a little snowman. He lasted a few days til the rain came, then he slowly melted away. But it was fun to do and he was cute, with a date for a nose, and candies for eyes and mouth. Don't you think he's a handsome snow fellow?


I have been wanting to make a snow angel but was afraid if I got down on the ground I'd not be able to get up and I'd be stuck there and they'd find me in the morning frozen in the snow bank. (Not too impossible as a couple of dear old ladies have gone outside and been found later frozen to death). Anyway last night coming home by the park I simply couldn't resist any longer. So I put down my bags and laid down and made an angel. Not a very good one as I was afraid to take my feet off the sidewalk just in case. But I think you can see the outline there: head, wings and billowing angel dress. I've always been a kid at heart!
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