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One small step…

Keys2Locks_Locks2Doors

Some of you know a little, some of you don’t know very much. I’ve seeded bits of information among those I could speak to in person over the past couple of years. However, now that it’s official, I wanted to let you all know.

It has been an arduous process, not made any easier by living half an ocean away from the location. The escrow phase was a bitch complicated by a big problem (not of our making) I’d rather not go into yet as it still makes my blood boil. Regardless, yesterday escrow closed and the place is officially ours.

To those of you who haven’t known, no, I did not win the lottery. I just spent my inheritance. In fact, my mother has taken out the loan since I am effectively a non-entity to the U.S. from which I have been separated for over a decade. This was my way of killing two birds with one stone. At some point, I know I’ll have to care for my elderly mother. I’m not going back to Ontario or California, or the mainland to do that; and Japan was completely not an option for her. So, I am literally going halfway.

Whereto from here? As the title suggests, this is just the first step. I will be renting it out for a couple of years while we get our ducks in a row (and use the rental income to fund our move). With luck, sooner than later.

UPDATED

The E asked for some pictures. Instead of loading a bunch, I just made this collage to give an overall sense of the place.

Some notes: the wide exterior shot at the top-left is our building with the slightly brighter looking unit (tweaked in PS) being our place. The top-right shot is from the balcony which is beyond the blinds in the center-right photo. The bottom-right is essentially another living room on the 1st floor (my office). Questions? Just ask.

Macross Delta

The E found this first. I’m not sure yet if this is going to be a new series or a film, but it’s obvious this is going to be a follow-up to Macross Frontier. A press conference will be broadcast live on the web on October 29. I’ll try to update with details as soon as they become available. Stay tuned true believers! —er.

MacrossDelta-sm

Satoshi Kon

Thoughtful analysis of Satoshi Kon’s editing style. I need to watch these movies.

New Cadre Blog

I love this blog. It’s a great and private way for us to keep in touch and I don’t see any reason to change that. I would like some new features though, mostly the ability to notify subscribers when someone has posted. So before the end of the month, I will be updating the platform to it’s latest version. I should be able to do this without losing any content. So The Cadre Blog may be down for a couple of days.

I will be starting an email thread to let you all know also.

Messed up mornings…

I’m pretty sure I’m the oldest here… so I imagine only my mornings were plagued with shows like this…

Scary Broken Lip Synch Beasts

or…

Creepy Single Neighbor Guy

perhaps…

Make it stop… my soul is bleeding

maybe…

Yes.. your imagination is a great substitute for actual friends.

That being said… thank god there was this..

5am Nirvana

5am Nirvana

j

Feel true?

http://www.cracked.com/article_20118_5-things-nobody-tells-you-about-living-in-japan.html?fb_action_ids=10102033464592514&fb_action_types=og.likes&fb_source=other_multiline&action_object_map=%5B294005830716553%5D&action_type_map=%5B%22og.likes%22%5D&action_ref_map=%5B%5D

http://www.cracked.com/article_20118_5-things-nobody-tells-you-about-living-in-japan.html?fb_action_ids=10102033464592514&fb_action_types=og.likes&fb_source=other_multiline&action_object_map=%5B294005830716553%5D&action_type_map=%5B%22og.likes%22%5D&action_ref_map=%5B%5D

Love These Visuals

I really wish they would get their shit together and do something like this in live-action (view after the break):

Read more »

A friend of mine was wondering if these prints on this Japanese site were for sale?

Anyone able to make heads or tales of this?

http://touch.pixiv.net/member_illust.php?id=4873996

LANCE HENRIKSEN + OLD SCHOOL MAKE UP & EFFECTS = GLORY

HARBINGER DOWN

Non sequitur and out of context…
Non sequitur and out of context…

Promised videos…

Hey there… I’ll try and make this quick, just in case the video links don’t work. I have some Gothic Cowboy stuff to share…. but I know you said you don’t like to see your own stuff E. If you don’t mind me “throwing up” the in progress trailer, I’ll upload that next.

This first video is a short commercial I’m working on. I need to do some audio tweaks and ADR the actress’s voice near the ending. I’m still thinking about putting a voice over on top of the whole thing. We’ll see.

Aroma

Here’s a second version of the same video with some slight differences.

Aroma 2.0

This next video is a behind the scenes moviette for the Trophy Wife video I shot with my friend Shane. I never put it up on YouTube because of the copyrights for the songs. If you haven’t seen the music video, check it out here first…

Trophy Wife Video

Trophy Wife Video

I hate that line running along side of the video… need to fix that. Anyways, here’s the behind the scenes thing most people never saw.

BTW

As soon as I can drive, I need to come see you E. Audrie is up there in LA as well, so I could do both of your ADR’s over a weekend. I’ve already done Steve’s. And I’m about to do Ron’s and Lance P’s. I don’t mean to be so assumptive with you willingness to participate E, I would understand if you thought GC was dead… it’s just that I’ve never given up… I really want to complete this bad boy, bad. Trying to finish it with the comic work and life has just been a bit difficult, to say the least. I’m going to do a Kick Starter in the next month or so to push the whole thing over the top and finally wrap up the damn thing. Fingers crossed.

I hope these video links work… I guess I’ll fix ‘em if they don’t. The mp4′s seems to work in Safari but not Chrome. Not sure about Firefox or IE. Let me know…

J

Okay… before you hear from some place strange.

Hi Guys,

I know I’m never on here… but I just thought I’d pop on with some good news.

I”m feeling the best I’ve felt in over a decade. Healthy.. amazing… ah man.. not even I can treat this like a joke. I actually am feeling the best I’ve felt in over a decade.

I’ll just drop the news and let you know that I’m doing amazing and everything is really really good.

11 days ago, I went in to the hospital for an elective heart valve replacement surgery and it worked wonderfully. I made a speedy recovery and I’m in no pain. My breathing, which I didn’t realize was as bad as it was, is like 200 percent better. I’ve lost 27 pounds in 11 days… but it was a healthy loss. A week of low calorie hospital food that I continued once I got home. Both Claudia and I are doing great and are real happy. Her nerves are obviously shocked a bit. My heart is preforming up to it’s potential now that the bad valve is out. I am now part robot… or I’m a cyborg… not sure.

I chose not to tell anyone, so don’t feel left out. Please don’t share the info with anyone. Claudia and I are trying to recoup in peace and I’m really nervous my Facebook is going to be bombarded, and I don’t want that.

Love you guys and I’ll try and keep you updated…

Jeromy

Here’s a long form letter that I’ve been sending around to sort of catch people up.

Okay, so, the morning of Thursday April 4th I went in for elective Open Heart Surgery in Kearny Mesa about 5 minutes from my house. The surgery was to replace a deteriorating valve in my heart. The valve, like the rest of my body is affected by my connective tissue disorder. The doctor later told Claudia that my old valve was “floppity”. That went excellent. I did great in ICU and was let out early to my own room on the cardiac recovery floor where my speedy recovery continued. All the doctors and nurses say I made a speedy recovery. Apparently, I was in the 98th percentile of recoveries. My surgeons assistant nurse said I was the ideal patient. My entire focus had been to listen to everything they told me to do. I think that listening to them was and is the key to how well I’m doing. Lot’s of rest mixed with walking to get my body and circulation moving. The walking (shuffling)would also get some of the anesthesia out of my deflated lungs.

On Saturday, the 6th, after a walk around the cardiac recovery floor, I sat in my chair and coughed up some phlegm. That’s when it felt like a light bulb turned on. Oxygen rushed into my lungs and through my now better preforming heart and everything has seemed to be getting better from there. I started passing all my tests and my vitals all perked up. My breathing exercises improved immensely. Everything got  much better from that point. (I did have some difficulties, but I’ll save those for a different conversation.)

I was ready to be released Sunday the 7th, but part of having a new mechanical valve (cybernetic organism) is I have to be on a blood thinner the rest of my life, so blood platelets don’t get damaged as they pass through the valve and clot further down my circulatory system.

I arrived home on Wednesday. Basically a week after the surgery. I sort of ran to my backyard and took in all the oxygen from the different trees. The sun was rather warm and felt amazing. A strange side effect that I imagine will wear off is my senses were all extra sensitive. Leaving the confines of the hospital felt like going from an aquarium to a loud crazy world. Like Lee Lo from Fifth Element. I swear I can taste different kinds of oxygen in the air.

Please, don’t feel I left you out of something by not telling you about this. I told 10 people about the surgery,  including 4 work related, Claudia and my Mom.  I made my decision to limit the scope of how many people to tell so I had more time to focus on how to be strong going in for the operation and recover as fast as possible by listening to exactly what the Doctors said. They’ve basically told me to relax, eat protein to heal my sternum and go for walks. My friend Mark who is a great physical therapist recommended the same. So I’m chillin’ and relaxin’ in the meantime. I feel and look so much healthier today than last week, that I imagine when you see me, you’ll think “He didn’t have an operation.”

I’m feeling a bit euphoric from the whole ordeal. It’s actually to the point where I imagine it’s annoying. So if I go on and on about how life is so great and let’s all be nice to each other. Just tell me to shut up. I’m just feeling such a massive amount of gratitude, it’s hard to let it all off. If I were a tea kettle, I would be squealing joy. That sounds like a bad band name.

Please, if you could, don’t tell anyone about this. I understand if you have a significant other, obviously you can tell them. But please tell them how important limiting the scale of how many people know about this effects the amount of time I have to help speed my already speedy recovery. I also just don’t want it to become a Facebook thing that snowballs out of control. Also, if you don’t see someone’s name on here.. it means I probably haven’t told them yet…

Two funny anecdotes…

• My new valve makes a rather loud tick. So that’s hilarious. You have many many new ways to make fun of me, as if you didn’t have enough already. I get a lot of “Crock” from Peter Pan. My poker game is screwed. And yes, it can be fairly loud. I don’t care though… to me, it’s a metronomic reminder of a second chance I’ve been given. A second to second reminder to stand up straight, breathe in deeply, eat healthier, and love my family and friends as much as possible.

• Upon getting out of surgery, I was taken to ICU. My memory of it was rather blue/grey somber. Machines, drain tubes running out of me. EKG’s. They brought Claudia in and I was still rather out of it. One of the nurses was yelling at me “Time to wake up, Jeromy.” I had a breathing tube in, which I luckily have no memory of. Apparently they are uncomfortable. I tried mumbling to Claudia that I wanted her to massage my right hand. It had swollen a bit and was tingly like the circulation wasn’t all there. Claudia massaged my hand which felt like heaven. She said I kept dozing in and out of consciousness. Groggy and not really there. Then I perked up and said in a half sleepy excited voice “Claudia. Del Mar Fair starts on Tuesday.” Claudia, I believe, laughed to herself and decided to play along. She asked me, “Really, what are you going to see?” I exclaimed, “Pigggiieessss!!!” Claudia then asked, “Reallly, what else.” I paused and thought very seriously and then answered in a very low determined voice, “monster trucks.”

I’ll try and keep in touch as much as possible. I’m not allowed to drive for a month. Love ya..

Merry Christmas,

Jeromy

Italy

Huh, I just realized I never posted this trip from over a year ago. This was when I was still staying in Amsterdam with my girlfriend. It’s a small read, nothing like my bigger adventures.

Day 1-My arrival at Eindhoven airport proved to be very unpleasant. The night before, I was up until 2am working on freelance. I then was about to go to bed and wake up at 4am to catch the 5:30am train when I quickly rechecked the train schedule online, and realized that I had to catch the 3:17am train in order to make it in time to catch my 8:50am flight for Pisa, for the next train was after 7am. Arriving at about 4:45am at Eindhoven Station, I was freezing, tired, and hungry while waiting for the first bus to the airport to arrive at 7:14am. Fortunately, the rest of the journey was smooth, from arriving at the airport to taking the train from Pisa airport to Florence. Though I had no detailed map of the city, and was not willing to buy a map, I already know from experience that many hotels will have maps available for you to take for free. Using a simple hand drawned map, I made my way to a hostel.
italyduomo
Along the way, I could see the Duomo looming ahead. Though I remembered studying about this church during college, it was nothing compared to seeing it in person. As ornate as the exterior was, I was really surprised to find the interior to be very plain. The hostel I originally headed to had no more rooms, but the receptionist indicated an area where I may be able to find other hostels. I eventually found one for 15 euros per night. It was much cheaper than the other hostel, but I found out later the next morning that it had no hot water! I mentioned this to one of the Italians staying in the same room and he beat his chest and roared, “Be man!”. No thanks, I’ll wait for the next place that I check into for a nice hot shower.
img_2212
The rest of the day found myself wandering the streets, encountering various sculptures and tempting foods. One of my main objectives was to find a good vantage point of the city for some evening shots, which I eventually ended up at Piazza Michelangelo. With the combination of great weather and a beautiful city, I made the tough decision to move on the next day.
italyflorence

Day 2-After a 5 euro brunch, I took the train to Carrara to see their marble mountains. Unfortunately, this was the start of inconveniences for me. By the time I finished my brunch, it was overcast. The overcast turned to rain when I arrived in Carrara. Things reached their lowest when I was wandering for hours not being able to find any hotel. It was ridiculous that I already walked my way into the mountains, but couldn’t take any pictures because of the rain and it was night time. I finally found a open store selling cheese and sausages, and went in to ask if there was any hotels available nearby. Though they said there weren’t any, a nice gentleman offered to give me a lift back to the train station, where I know for sure that there was a hotel, since I previously passed by it to get a map. Checking in, I finally had the means to call my friend Jenn Hamilton, whose family was living in the next town north because of her husband’s work. With the likelihood of rain the next day, we arranged to meet at the train station in Sarzana, her town, and then decide whether to stay at Sarzana or to visit Cinque Terre.

Day 3-Complete overcast with light showers, I left Carrara for Sarzana. With a 20 minute delay, I finally arrived before 9am to see Jenn and her baby son, Logan. With her husband at work, we made the plan to visit Portovenere. But once there, the wind and rain was too fierce, so we headed back to her place since I couldn’t take any photos whatsoever, which was a shame since I saw some interesting spots that I wanted to shoot. At 5pm, the rain finally started to settle down, so Jenn gave me a tour around Sarzana. I finished the day by having pizza for dinner with Mike, Jenn’s husband. Though I’m not as close with Mike as I am with Jenn, we had some great conversations.

Day 4-Things did not look promising with the rain the next morning, but I still headed out to take the train to Cinque Terre. Most trains do not go directly to Cinque Terre, so I had to transfer at La Spezia. While waiting in La Spezia, it was raining hard and thunder can be heard rolling in. I contemplated returning to Sarzana, but I decided to stick it out. I arrived in Riomaggiore, the first of five towns in Cinque Terre, and I was surprisingly greeted by nice weather! Clouds were still passing through, so there were light showers here and there, but by sunset, the sky was almost completely clear. I spent my time in Cinque Terre going back and forth between their two eastern most villages, Riomaggiore and Manarola.
italymanarola
I would have liked to visit the other villages, but I heard those two were the most picturesque, and indeed, I was very happy with my shots. Taking the train back to Sarzana, this is an excellent example of how something that appears simple and straightforward can lead to problems. I bought a direct train ticket for Sarzana, but like many trains in Italy, it was delayed, in this case, by 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, a train arrives, but the monitor made no mention that my train arrived, so I assumed that I still had to wait for my train. It turns out, I was wrong, so I had to take to next train to La Spezia, then transfer there to Sarzana. Despite this frustration, I was able to make it back to Jenn’s place to have a home cooked dinner with her and her family.
italyriomaggiore

Day 5-Parting ways with the Hamiltons, I gave Carrara one more chance. The weather was surprisingly warm as I walked towards one of their marble excavation sites. At one point, I was walking through a tunnel that was barely wide enough to accommodate the trucks hauling the huge slabs of marble. So, paying attention to the oncoming trucks, anytime I saw headlights emerging, I quickly tucked myself in these nooks that appeared on the side of the tunnels every now and then.
italybriges
After taking my photos up in the mountains, I decided to head back to the train station to arrive at Pisa. While walking, I was hoping to find a clear view of the mountains, especially during the sunset. Ironically, I finally found a spot just beyond the end of one of the train platforms. It was also a spot where the trains comes dangerously close. The grey mountains turned to a pink hue as I quickly fired off some shots before rushing to the train that just arrived.
italycarrara
Compared to everything else that I had already seen in Italy, I felt Pisa barely had anything to offer, so I was glad I allocated only one night for Pisa. Since my flight out from Pisa was 6:30am the next morning, I decided to sleep/stay at the Pisa train station, then start walking from there to the airport around 4am. I wound up not getting much sleep, mostly due to how cold it was in the station. However, it was quite interesting to be in the company of other travelers, bums, and crazies.

Closing thoughts:
During my time in Europe, I couldn’t help but notice how minorities were viewed differently here as opposed to the US, especially the Africans. Jenn and I had an interesting conversation about this. From my observation, they tend to not have social interaction with the locals, rather, they only keep in company with others of the same background. And they are often seen hawking miscellaneous items that I have no need for. I feel it’s a shame to see them making their living in this way, and yet I wonder if they’re self perpetuating this. I detest gauging someone by their race, but it’s also difficult to not acknowledge that they’re acting their stereotype. I do feel that the locals tend to see them negatively. However, I don’t think they have an active hatred towards the minorities, but I’m sure they wouldn’t regard them as their equal.
img_1911

I don’t have Cancer…

Or at least I will find out for sure in July…

In the summer of 2010 I begin playing indoor soccer in a game developer league with a co-worker of mine. It was great to be playing again but I quickly remembered how much I didn’t miss all the scrapes, bruises and aches. This reminded me of the small darkened patches of skin that I had around my waist and hips which were abrasion scars from my years of goalkeeping. Vizelle began to notice other patches of dark skin, forming, around my torso and waist. Later she noticed that they were growing. It was odd and there was a slight itchiness to the patches, so I did some research and figured it was some sort of fungal infection. Indoor soccer turf isn’t exactly clean and since I roll around on it for an hour a week, it made logical sense.

I saw my physician and she diagnosed it as a skin fungus. I was prescribed some special soap and a creme and was sent on my way. Needless to say nothing had changed and the follow up appointment ended with me trying to book a dermatologist appointment. The patches were growing still and I started to develop spots that were extremely itchy so I had to settle for a Dermatologist at the bottom-of-the-list just so I could get an expedited appointment.

My visit with the Dermatologist was certainly a bottom-of-the-list experience. The staff was nice enough, but the environment was shabby and rather low rent. The Dermatologist was oddly impersonal and uncomfortable too. I was desperate however and having grown up visiting Kaiser Permanente offices, I was not concerned with “presentation.” They cut a chunk of skin out of me, sewed me up and I returned a week later for the results.

As it turns out, there was no fungus. The spots were some weird viral infection that is a summer thing, that would eventually go away. But I had a new diagnosis. Aconthosis Nigricans. A skin disorder typically found in people with obesity. I was told to lose some weight and my skin should clear up. Ok.

Wait.

I know that I am not fit nor skinny, but I am pretty sure I am not obese. Not to mention I have been this size for my entire adult life so why did this condition crop up from out of nowhere and develop so quickly? Something didn’t sound right. That’s when the nightmare train left the station.

With my laptop, on my lap, I did some searches for Aconthosis Nigricans and found that it was linked to a lot more, less benign, conditions. I immediately freaked out, on the couch, in the livingroom of our brand new house that we had been living in for less than a year, with zero life insurance. Vizelle worries easily, especially about health stuff, so I lost my shit – but had to keep it bottled up. She thought I was acting weird, but I played it off well enough. From what I read, I could have had any number of diseases from diabetes to cancer.

I saw my physician as soon as possible she pulled some strings to get me in to see a Dermatologist at the top-of-the-list. The difference was night and day. There really is something to having doctors that are genuinely interested in seeing you get well. More biopsies and a lot more tests. Diabetes, which was what I sure it was since my Dad was diagnosed with it a few years ago, was ruled out and the tests also looked negative for preliminary cancer conditions. The new Dermatologist wanted to make sure all the bases were covered so he wanted me to see an Oncologist (cancer specialist) just to get his blessing and I told Vizelle what was going on.

The Oncologist appointment at the Cancer Partnership was a real eye opener. I have never felt so completely out of place. As I sat there in the waiting room, surrounded by people 20 years my senior, the emotional toll begin to weigh on me. The gravity of the past weeks had finally started to sink in.

Thankfully the Oncologist was as surprised to see me as I was to see him. We ran through my history and he was ready to give his “blessing” but asked if I wanted to go ahead and do a CT scan just to be safe, and of course I said yes. Funny, but I don’t remember when I reached the point in my life where I started saying yes to doctors when they suggested elaborate over-aggressive tests, just to be safe. I had my first, of many CT scans, the next morning.

There is nothing quite like the taste of blood in your mouth on top of the warmth of shit in your pants. That is the best way to describe what you feel like when iodine is injected into your bloodstream. I seemed to handle it well the first couple of times, but I almost hurled during my last visit. Since I was only required to get my torso scanned, I didn’t have to go into a tunnel. It was more like a giant ring that I had to deal with. Sort of a combination of 2010: A Space Odyssey and the gesture you make, in grade school, using your thumb and forefingers to simulate… well, you know.

Turns out there is a “nodule” in my upper left lung.

One of the malignant causes of Acanthosis Nigricans is lung cancer. So, yay.

After 3 CT scans, over the period of 10 months or so, the nodule has not grown in size. When I was young I was exposed to tuberculosis, so it might be scar tissue. I have another CT scan in July. If the results are the same, I’ll probably get scanned once a year. I still don’t show any early signs of cancer, so fingers crossed.

Currently the Dermatologist thinks the Acanthosis Nigricans is simply genetic.

I’ll let you guys know, when I know.

Also, do me a favor and get a physical done, if you haven’t been to a doctor in a while.

Holy shit.

Tell me everyone is ok.

Taking charity to the next level

Hi gang, it’s been a while. Just popping in to tell you about a new thing going on in the Martin house.

For years, Randy and I have been donating money and goods to places like the ASPCA, Humane Society, and local no-kill shelters. We’ve done our small part in getting a couple of cats off the wild neighborhood streets of Chamblee, Georgia (we adopted one; my parents adopted another). But we’ve been wanting to do more.

Solution: Becoming a foster home for shelter cats.

We signed some paperwork with a local shelter at the beginning of the month, but didn’t hear anything right away. Last week, we got the call: could we take a mama and four kittens? It was a lot for a first-time foster situation, but Randy and I were game. We picked up our tiny wards last Wednesday.

It’s been interesting and educational…and, yeah, kinda gross. Kittens do NOT “instinctively” know how to use a litterbox. Just sayin’. Other than that, the four kittens — two boys, two girls, approx. 9 weeks old — are adorable and hilarious. The mother is extremely protective, and I have to be careful that whatever I do with her kits meets her approval, because she will (and has) cut me if I do something wrong.

We haven’t yet introduced them to our cats, and won’t, until the babies have their first round of shots and Mama gets over a strange cough.

We’re going to have them for another four weeks, or until we leave for San Diego. This will cover the time when the kittens have their first two rounds of shots. It might even bring them up to the age where they can get spayed/neutered. Then they will be adoptable. No, we are not keeping any of them…even though the runt has wormed her way into our hearts. :)

Anyway. That’s what is going on here. if you want to see the day-to-day goings-on, photos, and whatevers, check out my livejournal:

http://hawkward.livejournal.com

– Laura

Manga colors

I’m still waiting for my Mikimoto Macross manga in the mail- hopefully be here by the end of the month. But in the mean time, I couldn’t resist coloring a few panels straight from the ebay pics just for fun- sticking as close to the original series as possible. Ben has suggested I post them so here ya go…macrosscolortrainervalk

Mikimacross

My first post…

For all you Macross fans out there, Haruhiko Mikimoto is “re-imagining” the original Macross series in a new manga called Macross: The First. So cool to see the epic moments from the animated series redone in the stunning detail and style of Mikimoto’s pen. And with the updated designs from “Do You Remember Love?”. Behold the glory…

MMMMMMinmay

MMMMMMinmay

Crash landing!

Crash landing!

giants!

giants!

Kind of sad…

satan

Mr. Satan Dead at 57
Daisuke Gouri (real name: Yoshio Nagahori), the voice actor best known to American anime fans as the voice of Dragon Ball Z character Mr. Satan, was found lying face-down, dead on a street in Nakano, Tokyo yesterday. Gouri reportedly had a bloody wrist and was found with a knife and a last will. Nakano police are investigating Gouri’s death as a possible suicide.

The 57 year old actor was well known for providing character voices including Robin Mask in Kinnikuman, Dozle Zabi and Bask Om in the Gundam franchise, Hiromi Yamazaki in Patlabor, and Heihachi Mishima in the Tekken video game series.
(source: Anime Nation)

Death Star Conspiracy.

Very Funny!

http://www.collegehumor.com/video:1920944

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