Thursday, April 29, 2010

Holla!

I don't know if I mentioned this or not--but Saturday I'll be at Maryland Sheep & Wool!

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The button was a freebie at my LYS! I was polite and took one when the owner offered!

So if you see me wandering around, stop me and say hi! And if I don't remember your "real" name, I apologize in advance!

To update on Situation Zorba, I sent him a letter today asking for a itemized list of what he charged us for.

That's all I really want so if they're not bogus charges, we can avoid doing those things here at the new and improved place.

Yes, $971 IS a lot of money. However, I can tell you it's simply NOT there. If the charges are bogus, we won't get it back. You can't squeeze blood from a stone.

Nurse Lady (her last day is May 8) and had viewing privileges to his bank accounts told me way more than she probably should have.

When I spoke to her the day we moved out, he hadn't paid her her last paycheck.

There are many other things about the situation I haven't blogged about--it's not a happy situation.

Moral of the story: Don't get scammed renting from elderly mentally disabled people with poor support networks.

If I don't get my list of charges, fine. I tried and I will cut my losses and be thankful I got more than half my deposit back.

Onto happier things! Dr. Mad Scientist has an interview today at a charter school in Newark today! Keep your fingers crossed!

It's a very interesting premise where by the time the kids graduate 12th grade in addition to their HS diploma they already have an Associates Degree from college. If they decide to go to college after HS they only have to pay for the last two years of school. I would have KILLED for a program like that!

AND this "chain" of charter schools has a school up in Fairbanks, Alaska and they're trying to set one up in Southeast AK. That would be very cool if he got the job and we wanted to go back home when his Newark commitment was up. Of course I don't think I could go back to living in Southeast AK. Might as well just live in Seattle or Vancouver--it's cheaper!!

Keep your fingers crossed!

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Wednesday, April 28, 2010

$971.57

I told you there would be a story.

Because it's never anything boring in our lives!

We had a letter in the mail yesterday from Zorba.

It was a check for $1428.43.

It was our security deposit back.

And he included a blank scrap of paper.

Ok.

Soooo...I pulled out our lease to refresh my memory as to how much we paid three years ago for a security deposit.

$1800 and a $600 pet deposit.

That's $2400.

$2400-$1428.43=$971.57.

Okaaaaaay.

So Zorba, where the hell did you spend our $971.57?

Ok, we left some tack holes in the wall.

Ok, the ceiling of the bathroom was really mildewy (I tried to clean it, I really did, but I'm short and why oh god WHY do people build bathrooms without exhaust fans?!).

But was that what you spent our $971.57 on?

Perhaps, even though it wasn't specified on the lease, the $600 pet deposit was non refundable.

Ok, that's fine. I'm OK with that.

But that still leaves $371.57 unaccounted for.

Dear Zorba, do you think you are above the law?

The landlord must send you the list of damages by registered or certified mail, and the landlord must return to you any money left over from your security deposit. N.J.S.A. 46:8-21.1.

And so here I sit.

All I really want is a LIST of what he charged us for.

Do I go after a decrepit old senile man that shits his pants and doesn't remember how old he is?

Or do I just let it go and just take the high road knowing we did that slumlord a favor putting up with that shithole as long as we did?

I'm so tired of that place, I'm strongly leaning towards the latter.

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Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Guess What?

Chicken butt!

No, seriously.

I still knit!

On the needles now that I'm done with the CSU quilt--which looks smashing above our new Target-clearance particleboard computer desk--

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This is the closest Dr. Mad Scientist will get to a Man Cave till we buy a house--a small corner of the living room.

I'm knitting Summit from the latest Knitty.

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Ok, yes, I realize this is a crappy picture. But I hate laying out my WIPs. WIPs look ugly before they're done and blocked, what's the use trying to make 'em look good before they're done?

I do love this bookshelf-come-end table-come knitting/spinning cubby. It's on my end of the couch with my spinning wheel next to it.

I'm really digging Summit. It's fun to unravel the stitches and it's growing pretty fast. The pattern is easy to remember/figure out and yet still interesting enough not to be a snoozer.

Seriously, I fell asleep in the car this afternoon knitting a pair of socks at lunch!

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Monday, April 26, 2010

It's Like Christmas!

Except it's April there's no snow, no fat dudes in red, and no shopping.

But there is a big fat present coming on May 1!

The next issue of Knitcircus!

Oh yeah baby. Summer knitting.

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And summer eating!

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Hee hee!

Those are pictures from Jaala the Knitcircus editor of my latest Cookie Czar submission. I hate bragging, but c'mon, they're cookies! They're delish!

This past weekend I decookievirginized my oven making these:

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Pecan praline cookies. Dr. Mad Scientist had an AAer who had sampled my cookies at one of the functions I've baked for them and she asked if I'd be willing to donate a couple of batches for a fundraiser she was helping organize for an animal shelter.

Oh yes, someday I WILL quit my day job and become a Cookie Czar full time!!

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Sunday, April 25, 2010

Back!

Sorry for the silence!

It was a crazy week.

In addition to moving in last weekend, I took Monday off to clean the old apartment.

It took me 8 hours to clean that place from top to bottom.

We gave back the keys on Friday. So now the clock is ticking for Zorba or Zorba's son to get us back our (pretty hefty) deposit that we paid. I'm not sure how it works, the lease we signed in 2007 said he had to get it back to us in 30 days. But that lease expired in 2008 and we started living month-to-month. Stay tuned, I'm sure that will be a "funny" story.

I'm not sure what's going to be going on with Zorba though. They took the house off the market and I was talking to his Nurse Lady on the Friday we moved out. She put in her notice. Her last day is May 8.

Then she's off to Poland for three months. Good for her. She deserves it. She's worked for Zorba for three years 24 hours a day with only one day off a week--and even then not always.

There was a month there where I seriously considered looking into what one would have to do if they suspected someone was engaged in white slavery. She worked for like six weeks straight without a day off. Yikes.

Anyway--on to happier things!

Our new apartment! Would you like a little tour now that I have (most of) the boxes unpacked and I vacuumed?

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Our new living room--what you see when you walk in. I'm waiting for some stupid flake of a human from Freecycle to pick up those boxes next to the couch.

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My new ginormous kitchen! I guess it's an eat-in kitchen, complete with snazzy 80s style pink and green accent sponge painting near the ceiling. Bitchin'! I love this kitchen, well except for the fridge. It's old and the doors don't swing shut so I'm constantly yelling and Chunky to come back and close the fridge door after he's grabbed something out of there.

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View from the couch--the living room is SO huge! I mean look at how much room Squeaky has to lick her cat-armpit!

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Directly off the living room is the dining room. The previous tenant left that air conditioner. Apparently it's a $400 a/c that she bought last year. Sweet! (Well except for the electric bill that thing will create.)


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Off the kitchen is the hallway to the bedrooms and bathroom. Moochie is at the very back and has the biggest room. Not sure how that happened. Chunky really wanted the smallest bedroom and Dr. Mad Scientist and I wanted the room with the best closet. I don't have any pictures of the inside of Mooch's room because he was napping when I took these pictures!

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Chunky's room. Although he said he would enjoy sleeping in without having his brother there to wake him up in the morning, he's always up on his own 15 minutes after Moochie anyway. Ha ha!

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The bathroom--sporting more of the pink and green (this time in the form of tulipped wallpaper) theme.

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I'm very excited about this! A linen closet in the bathroom! Before we had to keep our towels and stuff in the storage closet off of the living room. So if you forgot to grab a clean towel before you got in the shower you'd either have to yell for someone to bring you one, or you would have to do a naked wet sprint through the whole house!
You'll also note this is the new home of The Beast. While this apartment is larger, we don't have as much storage space. The garage storage we have about a 1% claim to. The other two tenants have the rest. I guess that comes with being the "new kids."

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The infamous pink tub! Actually its more like the color of an old bandaid. But hey! The hot water is AMAZING here! You can flush without being scalded! And I'm not ankle deep in water 2 minutes in my shower!

Finally, the master bedroom:
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It's bigger than our old bedroom. Again, you'll see here that lacking storage space is something we're missing. As such I've dubbed my side of the bedroom Crafty Corners. I've got my craft supplies set up under my knitting bags, next to my knitting books with my fabric stash in between!

The master bedroom lacks curtains. I've got an order for some fabric though to remedy this problem and we should be walking around naked with no fear of being seen in no time! No, we're not nudists, but in northern New Jersey where the houses are built one car-width apart, it's hard to get dressed in the morning with no curtains!!

So there you have it! This place is pretty awesome. The people above us and the guy below are very friendly and the landlord rocks.

I went to put Moochie to bed the first night we were here and realized his room had no door!!! The landlord came by the next morning to check and see how we were doing and I mentioned this to him and by that evening we had a door! Wow! Zorba would have NEVER done that for us!

The only downside to this house has got to be the parking. Now that we're across the street from a nice lounge and banquet hall, and we're heading into wedding season, parking is a bitch.

Never mind that the Hall has 2 parking lots. Last night there was a quinceanera happening and no one bothered to park in the second lot, they all parked on the street. So when I got back from doing laundry I had to park 3 blocks away and haul the laundry home. Ugh. Not cool.

Oh and we probably won't be getting our own washer/dryer. The previous tenant left her machines and kind of "bequeathed" them to the guy downstairs. He's offered to share them with us, but um, well I dunno. I feel kind of weird doing that at this point in our neighbor relationship. Plus to be honest, I don't know how to work a 40+ hour a week job and do laundry for a family of four in just one washer and dryer...I've never done that!! My mom was a SAHM and Mondays were dedicated to laundry. By the time she was back at work we were teenagers and doing our own spattering loads when we could and slowly moving out.

I'll just revise my goal of having my own washer dryer by the time I'm 35 years old to when I'm 40 years old! Someday!

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Sunday, April 18, 2010

All Settled!

Whew!

We're in and we're settled!

Friday Dr. Mad Scientist and I took the day off. He burned the 2nd of his allotted three days off he gets while Student Teaching (the other one was burned a few months ago with vomity goodness).

We dropped off the boys at school and daycare and went to pick up our beloved Penske truck. As a seasoned mover, I can't recommend Penske enough for DIY moves. Uhaul sucks.

Nurse lady downstairs was nice enough to pull her car out and park on the street so we could back directly in to the driveway and load the truck up.

We loaded the truck until 11:00 a.m. when I popped down the street to meet New Landlord and the fire inspector so fire inspector could do an inspection of habitability.

The next few hours between 11:30 and 5:30 p.m. involved much more loading and unloading, sweating, swearing, and small injuries (pinched fingers...etc.) as Dr. Mad Scientist and I worked to get all the crap out of the old place and into the new place.

We got about 90% of everything out of the old place and into the new place by 5:30.

As we left new place to go pick up Chunky from school, we noticed there was a hubbub at the Boobie Bar.

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And as a parting gift for living there for three years--I GOT TO SEE THE INSIDE OF THE BOOBIE BAR! For reals! We left the truck at the new place and walked to the old place to grab my car to pick up the boys and as we walked through the gaggle of "dancers" I saw that the door was WIDE open and I got to see inside! Ha ha!

Not sure what was going on there, but it was an awesome way to end our tenure at Squirrel Gables.

Now when I look out the window I see this:

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The lounge/bar is on the right and the banquet hall is on the left. Every night it's all lit up like that and kinda pretty.

I'll have more to post later.

Right now I need to get to bed. Tomorrow I'm off work (the boys are all going to work/school/daycare) and I'm taking the day to clean up the old place.

I stopped by there last night to pick something up and it was kind of depressing to see it all empty. Even though you can still hear the squirrels scratching and smell the faint waft of that nasty lemony cleanser they used in the basement to clean up the crap, it's bittersweet.

It is after all the first place we lived in New Jersey and it is where we brought Moochie home and where he celebrated many milestones.

Of course ask me if I still feel this way this time tomorrow night after I've cleaned like I've never cleaned before!

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Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Genetics

So I swear I don't mean for this to be a "awww...look at my cute kid" blog.

But right now I don't have much to blog about, and tonight after I saw this particular thing, I had to laugh because this is so my child.

Chunky was selected as one of 10 or so kids from his school selected for the Town Art Show.

This is pretty impressive considering this town has 8 elementary schools, and Chunky's (one of the smaller schools) has more kids than I had in my high school!

I can also say that he obviously gets his creative-artsy-ness from me. Dr. Mad Scientist couldn't create his way out of a paper sack!

Anyway, we walked up to the middle school this evening to check out his accomplishment.

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It's a still life of a dinner table.

However, do you see what's on the plate there next to the turkey legs?

Cookies! Ha ha! That's my boy!!!

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Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Sorry Obama!

Here you thought you were the first Hawaiian President...

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Looks like Abe Lincoln has you beat! Ha ha!

Chunky's teacher sent his book report back (he got a check plus) along with a picture she took of him in character. She did this for all the kids.

I obviously forgot what day his report was the day he walked out of the house wearing his Hawaiian shirt. Shoot. I'm just happy I remembered to make him pack his stovepipe hat, beard and bow tie!

In other news: T-minus three days and counting!!

Tomorrow I pick up the keys and meet the landlord and Friday we officially move in!

It still hasn't hit me.

95% of everything is packed and a good majority of it we can move on Friday and over the weekend. We still officially live in Squirrel Gables at Shit Corners until April 23rd so we don't have to move EVERYTHING in one fell swoop.

Which is good.

Because now that someone has FINALLY learned how to put one foot in front of the other...
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Moving and chasing this little booger around is going to be a PITA.

Which is why we hope to get most of it done on Friday when someone's at daycare.

In the meantime I will leave you with a big bag of comfort that will make even the shittiest of basemented homes home.

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Sunday, April 11, 2010

Tripping Over Boxes

But at least I'm tripping over boxes wearing new socks.

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I give you the last FO of Squirrel Gables at Shit Corners.

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These were primarily car knitting though. I haven't been spending too many evenings in front of the TV lately. When the monkey boys go to bed, it's packing time.

The details:

Yarn: Lorna's Laces in "Tahoe"

Pattern: I just grabbed a rib pattern from a stitch dictionary that translated nicely to ankle circumference. In this case it was a Double Eyelet Rib.

Needles: US 2s

Notes: What's there really to say? That's one of the things I like about socks. It's not hard to just plug in a stitch pattern and go. These are knit from the top down, on DPNs, with a boring old heel flap using a round heel pattern. No toe-up, no circulars, no short row or mindblowingcatbordhimumbojumbo heel. Plain old boring socks!!!

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Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Buyer Beware

Warning! Large Rant Ahead!

Oh how I can list the problems with this listing for this house:

Multi-family Property Status: Active
County: Essex 2 total unit(s)
Year Built: 1920 Handicap features
Complex features: Unfinished Basement,Total Bedrooms: 5,Total Full Bath: 3 Hardwood floors
Parking space(s): 4 Heating features: 2 Units, Radiators - Steam,Gas-Natural,Gas Water Heater
Forced air heat Central air conditioning
Cooling features: 1 Unit Exterior features: 2 Car Width Driveway, Blacktop Driveway
Exterior construction: Vinyl Siding Roofing: Asphalt Shingle
Unit 1 has 6 room(s) Unit 1 has 3 bedroom(s)
Unit 1 has 2 bath(s) Unit 1 features: Bedrooms, Dining Room, Eat-In Kitchen, Laundry Room, Living Room, Porch,Carbon Monoxide Detector, Dryer, Kitchen Exhaust Fan, Range/Oven - Gas, Refrigerator, Smoke Detector, Washer,Handicapmodified
Unit 2 has 5 room(s) Unit 2 has 2 bedroom(s)
Unit 2 has 1 bath(s) Unit 2 is renting for $ 1250
Unit 2 features: Bedrooms, Dining Room, Eat-In Kitchen, Living Room,Carbon Monoxide Detector, Kitchen Exhaust Fan, Range/Oven - Gas, Refrigerator Unit 3 has 1 room(s)
Unit 3 features: Attic, Den Approximate lot is 54 X 105
Corner lot Approximately 0.13 acre(s)
Lot size is less than 1/2 acre Utilities present: Public Sewer,Gas-Natural,Public Water
Middle School: BLOOMFIELD
High School: BLOOMFIELD


Yeah, its OK, I know you won't read all that crap. I originally wanted to link directly to the listing but thought better of it. I did on Facebook. I don't think that's as traceable. Although it probably is. I dunno.

The listing irks me because:

1. Refrigerator in Unit 2 is NOT INCLUDED. We bought that damn fridge with our own money. If I have to bring it to our new apartment and put it in our living room, I will! (The new apartment has a fridge. Any Jersinians wanna fridge? 3 years old, will sell for cheap!)

2. The driveway is 3 car widths wide. Well, when there's not a dumpster in it.

3. Unit 2 does NOT rent for $1250. That's not what we pay. And it won't be renting come April 24th! Unless he's got someone lined up. But I doubt that.

I doubt that because for some stupid effing reason Realtors from all over are calling US to schedule tours of the home.

Hey! We are NOT the people selling the house.

Call Landlord or Landlord's son, and then one of them can call us to let us know when they'll have walk-thrus of the home.

After getting four phone calls today alone I called Landlord's son to ask him why the hell they're calling us. He said he didn't know why they were calling us and how they got our number and would talk to the realtor.

Really? I didn't give them our number. Someone must have given them our number.

Two hours later another realty company called to schedule a tour.

Dr. Mad Scientist was able to talk to them this time and he informed them they needed to speak to the owner. They told him they were told to call us to schedule walk thrus.

Of course they couldn't say WHO told them this. And now they're allegedly coming through between 4 and 7 p.m. to view the house. Greaaaaaaat. Probably as we sit down for dinner.

Dr. Mad Scientist told me that he told them we'd leave the doors unlocked.

Again, no.

I'll leave the interior door unlocked that gets you to our place via the landlord's place downstairs, but I'm NOT leaving the private entrance door unlocked. Please come into my home and steal my nicely boxed possessions!

Look, I'm not selling this damn house. It's not MY responsibility to effing schedule the damned tours. That's the owner's job.

We're very flexible and don't care when they walk through, but I'm not going out of my way to call three or four different realty companies and schedule times to walk thru the house--and that's only our floor of the house. Am I supposed to call the Landlord and see what his schedule is like?

I do that crap like that all day at work. I'm not getting paid to do it at home.

Grrrr.

Two more weeks. Two more weeks.

In the meantime I will be unplugging the phone.

And leaving this sign up on both doors:

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Dr. Mad Scientist said the fridge part sounded bitchy. But I know that often people use appliances as part of the wheeling and dealing process in putting offers in on homes. I don't want people playing with things that don't belong to them.

Not to mention the realtors in this whole debacle are very misinformed as it is.

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

If Only...

...I was good at those LOLcats captions.

This picture of Squeaky is screaming for one.

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She freaked me the hell out when I was sitting home at night and I heard some rustling coming from the trashbag I have of packing-paper and bubblewrap.

I though for sure the squirrels had invaded!

But no, it's just Little Miss Pink Nose making herself comfortable!

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Monday, April 05, 2010

Bleeding Green and Gold

I started this quilt in order to memorialize some of the Colorado State University T-shirts Chunky wore back when he earned the nickname "Chunky."

That was back in May 2009.

After I finished knitting my One Season Cardi, I did NOT cast on anything new to knit after the boys go to bed so I could concentrate 100% on this quilted wall hanging.

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On Saturday night I finished it!

Sadly, just in time to pack it up into a box for the big move.

No way will this beauty be hanging on the walls of this dump.

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Literally.

Check out that damned dumpster that's been hogging my parking spot for a month. A new person moved into the apartment next door and used it to dispose of their moving boxes.

Really people?

A bunch of savages in this town.

I don't really know how to write up a quilt FO so here goes.

I based it off the style of t-shirt quilts my mom makes. Except instead of machine satin stitching the t-shirt logos to the fabric, I hand blanket stitched them.

For the quilting, I hand quilted the WHOLE DAMN THING. I don't know HOW anyone hand quilts a bed-sized quilt. Yikes. No way.

In the logo squares I merely quilted around the logo.

In the blank squares I quilted footballs.

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And finally, my favorite feature of the whole thing: the border. I quilted the Colorado State fight song. I can't get over how perfect it fit. I thought for sure I'd have to erase and start over when I was marking it.

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LOVE IT!!!

The binding I was feeling lazy and just rolled over the edges instead of making

Don't worry though, I won't be abandoning knitting for quilting. It's nice to say I've dabbled, but I don't think it will ever go beyond dabbling.

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Sunday, April 04, 2010

Hoppy Easter!

If you're into Easter that is!

We basically just dye eggs and consume mass amounts of processed sugar in the form of jellybeans and Cadbury creme eggs.

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I think my favorite was when Moochie gave up trying to figure out what to do with the eggs (aside from smash them together) and just started drinking the blue dye water.

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Happy Easter!

Stay tuned--later this week I unveil an FO finished from betwixt all the moving boxes!

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