rumblestrip


2016 Recap


Executive Summary There have been better years. But you know what, to have had a year at all means I was alive, and this is the greatest gift one can receive. The future is uncertain, but I guess it always is/was. Things will work out. Chronological High/Lowlights I marked three years sober I got my first-ever bar muscle up I completed the 2016 CrossFit Open doing all the workouts as prescribed, finishing well above the middle of the pack, worldwide, for my age I had a paper published at Simbuild, documenting perhaps the last bit of Radiance-related development I ever do at NREL (high and low all in one bullet point = efficiency) Brenda & I separated, and I…

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An Adventure Ride


My first "big" adventure ride with the Tiger is in the books. My dear friend Rois was getting married in Gunnison, and Brenda wouldn't be able to make it out due to work, so it made perfect sense to take the bike out there, and while there, do some riding and maybe even some camping, right? Right? Lucky for me, George Furko of Northern Colorado Adventure Riders (Facebook group) had recently put together an introductory adventure ride for people just like me, just two weeks prior. I had loaded my unused sleeping bag and single-use tent onto the Tiger and we rode around the Nederland area, ultimately camping for the night near Gold Hill. After that trip I had a…

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It's More Than Just Exercise


Apparently, it all started two years ago: Dear Rob, This confirms your reservation for Beginners' BaseCamp on 4/22/2013 to 5/8/2013. This event meets Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 6:30am to 7:30am. I was pretty sure that today was the anniversary of my introduction to that thing called Crossfit, and sure enough, a little digging through my email proved that out. Ya gotta wonder, just a little bit, how I could remember such a thing as this. After all, it's just an excercise gig, right? Just two weeks of showing up at some gym, to try and knock the rust off this old body; to find an outlet for some newfound energy; to get "back…

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2014 in the Rearview


It's been a while since I've done one of these, but it's also been a while since I've posted anything at all on this blog. Seems like as good a reason as any to get my narcissism on! This will be more of an admission than anything. 2014 is the first full calendar year since high school that I was sober for the entire thing, and that alone is responsible for everything else. That said, it's been a good year -- a very good one. So yeah, I quit drinking, in 2013 actually. I quit because I had to, and that's all that really matters for our purposes right now. What happened next is what's so interesting; what happened is…

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Ellie the Cat, 2004(?)-2014


Well, our little Ellie passed away last night, the poor dear. Cancer wins again, and while I keep telling myself there wasn't anything I could have done to prevent that, I am beating myself up a little bit over the fact that she died on her own, likely suffocating to death. We knew from the chest x-rays a couple weeks ago that Ellie had metastatic mammary cancer. The Inguinal and Caudial Abdominal glands on her right side were sporting serious tumors, and there was fluid buildup around her lungs. Our excellent Veterinarian was totally straight with me when we reviewed everything last month; surgery was off the table, and chemo was largely pointless--the enemy had simply advanced too far, and…

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Sanity Testing BSDFs


When simulating light transport with light-backwards raytracing, complex macro- or micro-geometry that obfuscates light sources -- especially a small, intense light source such as the sun -- generally cause the alrogithm to break down, leading to gross error. In other words, when doing a lighting calculation, nasty bits at the window can cause the calculation program to take a shit. In recent years, the Radiance lighting simulation system has been adapted to support lighting simulation of complex fenestration systems (a.k.a. nasty bits at the window), by way of the so-called Radiance Three Phase Method. At work, my co-workers and I are integrating this simulation method into OpenStudio, to allow designers and engineers to more accurately simulate the effects…

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Turkey and Cilantro Chili


After listening to Jersey girl Diane Sanfilippo at the gym this afternoon, I was all fired up to make something paleo. It was also kinda grey and cold outside, after a few spectacular sunny and warm days. I always think "chili" in times like these. Standing in the middle of Whole Foods with no plan (which is a really bad idea, BTW) I contacted Google for further instructions. After a breif browse of the options, I settled on this one, for turkey & cilantro chili, serves four. Reasonable enough, but the point of making chili is to have a vat of meat percolating on your stove for a while, so I decided to make some adjustments to the recipe, starting…

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Blog Update


In case anyone is still out there, I just updated my blog again, agian, again. Again. About a month ago I decided to give Ghost a try, and it was a little bit of a rocky start. Ghost is new, started by some ex-WordPress people, and it's super cool. Other cool people are hard at work making gorgeous themes for the Ghost blogging platform, and one very industrious dude wrote a nice import tool for taking your shit from WordPress to Ghost. But Ghost remains rough around the edges, as the developers build and add to what promises to be a great blogging platform. In the meantime, I've learned how to set up my own VPS, taking my hosting experience…

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A New Low


They've done it again; just when you thought you were fully Boulder Whole Foods Battle Hardened, these people manage to redefine solipsism. Lemme tell ya what happened. The other day I'm in the BWF, and I roll up to a cashier with my basket. The cashier was just finishing up with the customer ahead of me, counting change, asking if she wanted her receipt, etc. Meanwhile, I started unloading the items from my basket onto the conveyor belt. As the cashier was done with the previous customer, she turned to me and started scanning my items, and she goes: "Thanks for unloading your basket." Say fucking what?! After doing a Lewis Black-style head shake, I begged for clarification. "Do you…

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f.lux


f.Lux is a cool little utility that appeals to the lighting geek in me. What it does is adjusts the color temperature of your monitor or laptop screen, based on the time of day, "warming it up" at night and "cooling down" during the daytime, because it has been shown that looking at cool illuminants in the evening can screw up your circadian rhythm. This is no joke; when your circadian entrainment is screwed up, it's been linked to all kinds of problems such as depression, several types of cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and obesity. Matter of fact, night shift work -- which generally involves people being wide awake and working, generally under cool fluorescent light -- is so…

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Powered by Ghost


rumblestrip.org is now running on the Ghost platform. More later.…

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Trip to Dry Creek


New camera, same pals.…

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Back to School


I just signed up for an online class at Berkeley (Intro to Statistics). I'm pretty psyched, because I believe all card-carrying lib-ruhls are supposed to have studied "at" Berkeley. I'm also just interested to take part in the whole MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) revolution. Class doesn't start 'till January so I have time to lose interest in the whole thing. I also have to admit that every time I say "mooc", I think of this great scene: Mean Streets - Pool Hall Scene…

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NAHBS 2013


Well, after years of wanting to go, I finally got to attend the North American Handmade Bicycle Show, and it was worth the wait. Started in 2005 by framebuilder Don Walker, NAHBS is an annual trade show featuring bespoke bicycle framebuilders and accessory manufacturers. This year, with the show right down the road in Denver, it was easy (and cheap!) to finally attend this fascinating assembly of bicycle lovers and creators, both new and old alike. I spent several hours at the Denver Convention Center yesterday, ogling the bikes as well as the crowd. I was able to shop for my next pair of hipster glasses, got tattoo inspiration, and learned that wallet chains are still cool, in addition to…

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Elk Insanity


You'd think that after seven years of living in Boulder, CO this shit wouldn't faze me anymore, but, alas. Since there's no way this made the national news, let me tell ya what happened here in our little hamlet of Boulder on New Year's Day. An on-duty Boulder cop shot and killed an elk that was within the city limits. Said elk had been visiting the neighborhood -- which is at the west end of town, right up against the mountains and open space -- for the past few weeks, and apparently the townsfolk had grown fond of the majestic creature. Said cop claims that the elk appeared to be injured, and he euthanized it out of mercy for the…

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The Price of Freedom


I recently read a righty editorial that suggested the notion that the massacre at Sandy Hook was the "price of freedom" -- that the right of all American adults to own firearms is inherently going to make such massacres possible, even regular. And you know what? I totally get that. I agree. Problem is, I said the exact same thing about 9-11, in the context of the impending PATRIOT Act that was being rammed through Congress, which has stripped Americans of their right to privacy in the name of national security. I still believe that another major terrorist attack on our soil is the price of freedom. (And besides, even without the PATRIOT Act, Cheney -- excuse me, Bush --…

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Rebuttal


A friend of mine recently asked me to post a clarification to a comment on one of her Facebook posts. My friend had posted this piece about how climate change skeptics/denialists are so underrepresented in the scientific literature, and someone hit back with many of the standard denialist talking points, including such hits as: There is very much a debate The science is still not settled The government is not financing skeptical science ...when the "piers"(i.e. pier(sic) reviewers) are all alarmist we get--to use a climate science term--a feedback loop there is not one model that has been able to accurately backcast and forecast the climate I'm not a denialist; I'm a skeptic I (now) believe…

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Flagstaff


Let's talk about rarities. It's rare that an individual discovers his passion at five years old; it's also rare that an individual follows that passion through high school, against great odds and bias. It's rare for an individual to love a thing, a sport, and a place so much, and yet wait 36 years for him to finally call that place home. I've done those things, and yesterday was a validation of all of it. Yesterday, Brenda & I volunteered for the USA Pro Cycling Challenge. First off, let me say it was all Brenda's idea, and mad props to her because I never would have volunteered otherwise, and may have skipped the event altogether, save to watch the peloton…

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The Way it Should Be


Today I stopped in at my credit union, to get a credit card. I had recently told Bank of America to go fuck themselves, and to take the credit card account I had with them for years and shove it up their asses, because they are the devil and all of their upper management should die. Hopefully, my wish will come true. The card is canceled, at least; we can hope for a positive outcome on the execs who should all die. Meanwhile, I'd still like to have more than just my debit card in my wallet, especially when I travel, so I have at least two magnetic stripes to get me access to food, plane tickets, booze, hotel rooms,…

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Intern Punks, and the Failure of Science to Teach (Movie) History


The education system in the United States is broken, we all know that. There are several theories about why this is, but that's not what this post is about. This is about intern punks. I work at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, and I am happy to do so. I also commute by bus more often than not, which I'm also happy to do. But now that we're into the summer season, a huge influx of dorky college kids have flooded into Boulder, and we all compete for seats on the "GS" regional bus from Boulder and Golden and back each day, and this has been a source of irritation for me these last couple weeks, as the intern population…

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Next to Normal


Yesterday Brenda & I trekked down to Denver to see "Next to Normal" at the Denver Center. It's been a while since we've seen something there, and even longer since I've seen a musical anywhere. It was great. I know, I'm generally known for liking hardcore punk rock, grunge and anything on the far side of commercial. But you know something folks? Along with professional baseball games, sunsets, and airshows, a big loud musical performed by pros and bolstered by lights and sets -- all under a towering opera house roof -- is simply magical. These are all live events that involve power and emotion and skill, and you just gotta see one once in a while. And so on…

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2010 in the Rearview


It's been a while since I've posted anything at all on this blog. I blame Facebook; too easy to snap a photo with my phone and upload it, too easy to link to funny or interesting things on the interwebs via FB or Twitter. But something has been lost in the process. And so begins the list of resolutions: I will try to migrate back to this blog for my vocal and visual outlet, my complaint outpost, my therapy. 2010 was a mixed bag, but I suppose that's the way it is for anyone alive. So, here in 2011, being alive, I suppose I'm up on points -- as are all of you. Specifically: In January 2010, my dear sweet…

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Thank You, Contributors!


Thanks to all who contributed to my fundraising efforts for the 2010 Cause for Paws, benefiting the Humane Society of Boulder Valley. About 500 people (plus dogs!) participated in either the run or the walk, and together we raised $50K to help the shelter help animals and their owners alike. Team Hooper (Hooper, Rob & Brenda) did the walk, and it was fairly hysterical to see what amounted to a giant dog walk unfold on the paths around Boulder on a beautiful day. After the walking, there was food, music, dog massage, and Hoop even got to refresh his chops on the agility course, which led to the funniest event of the day. Hooper tried the "chute" obstacle, which is…

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Published


So, last month, I presented a paper at SimBuild 2010. Today, the lab I work for published a link to the preprint, which enters me into the scientific roll call. I am stoked. Check it out: http://www.nrel.gov/docs/fy10osti/47522.pdf…

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That Awful Day


In memoriam, I'm reposting my September Eleventh Account. I'll save my Armory story for the decade anniversary, a story I have never actually gotten out of my head, but should; but I would like to say something here: The flags and ribbons are showing up again, along with imaginary controversy, xenophobia and hatred, much of it for political gain. Once again, the annual reminder of how we have lost our way. I remember the day after the day after The Day (September 13, 2001), because that was the day we all went back to work in Manhattan, a day when people were all "oh no, after you, go ahead" in the coffee line at the corner deli; there were no…

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Cause for Paws 2010 Pledge Request


Hi folks; asking for money. It's not for me, it's for the animals. I am raising pledges for A Cause for Paws Doggie Dash on September 11th. Your support will help the Humane Society of Boulder Valley provide food, shelter, medical treatment and behavioral rehabilitation to animals in need. I'm not gonna pull a Sarah McLachlan on you and show you a bunch of doggie and kitty sad-eyes here, I'm just going to appeal to your greater sense of kindness and throw on a heaping dose of guilt. I was baptized as a Catholic, after all. That shit works. Some of you may know that my beloved dog Hooper was sprung out of the Boulder Humane Society a few years…

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For Hikers, and the Merely Ambulatory


Just wanted to point out a great, great article on a "peakbagging club" in New Jersey: New Jersey's undeveloped peaks rise above the rest Yes, you heard me. A club devoted to cataloging and "climbing" the many precipitous peaks in the grand state of New Jersey; high point: eighteen hundred feet, complete with monument to memorialize the majestic magnitude of the, uh, hill. Five of the peaks aren't even mountains per se -- they're called hills -- and one of the more modest, Guerin Benchmark in Randolph, is about a five-minute jaunt from the parking lot. The guys are totally tongue in cheek about it but at the same time it really does celebrate the hiking in NJ, of which…

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Radio Radiance


Last Thursday, I hit the airwaves, yakking about lighting simulation. For some reason the Boulder Green Building Guild was interested in my take on the use of simulation in optimizing the energy efficiency of building designs in the US, on the latest installment of Footprint Radio. It was a thrill to share the half-hour with Kostas Papamichael from the California Lighting Technology Center, and my buddy Mike Plann from Lightlouver. I hope one or two people listen, and are intrigued enough to explore daylighting design, or at least turn off the lights once in a while. The cool thing is I'm now in the iTunes Music Store. Check it out by listening to the show on the BGBG's website, or…

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Revamp


You know what the problem is, the reason for my site's appearance looking like a front for the mob (like the candy store in my hometown that had all this old, shitty candy because the real business was being transacted in the back room)? It's Facebook et al. pulling me away. Same reason I don't do Digg or Twitter, or post enough pictures. Some stuff ends op over here, other stuff over there. I only have so much time in the day to come up with this shit, and I feel like my fantastic wit should always end up back on my website. So I've been thinking lately that I should redo my website with a setup that pulls in…

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Update


Still alive. Brenda saw her third production season at the Colorado Shakespeare Festival to fruition; all shows are up and running, her crew gets tighter every year and she seems to like it more all the time. Riding my bike again; still outta shape. The four eggs nesting in our hanging plant out front have hatched; got a couple of crappy pictures, lack motivation to get them off the camera. Hooper weighs 58 pounds, a 16% increase from past vet visits; still considered normal, but he could stand to lose a few lubs, just like his owner. The goddamned TV is busted, on the final week of the Tour; parts on order, will arrive after the Tour. In one week…

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Six Years Gone, and Good Riddance


Six years ago this past week, my dad died. I think I'm finally coming to terms with it all, coming to terms with the fact that he was no father to me, that he literally left my sister & me to fend for ourselves almost twenty years prior to his death, when my sister & I were merely teenagers. Ahh, but that was just the legal part (if it's even true, but who cares, because to delve deeper would involve characters in my life that I hate and care not to associate with ever again). In retrospect, "dad" left me and my sister behind, many years before that. Recent revelations make a lot of shit make sense and at the…

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James


James was a little boy. Nine years old. We say "old", as in "nine years old", but nine years on earth is not a long time and does not make you old. Certainly not old enough to die. One of my former co-workers had a son. His name was James. I think you can tell what happened. Doing some research the best I can tell is that James had acute lymphoblastic leukemia, but the exact diagnosis is irrelevant at this point. Suffice to say, it was cancer. The Big Casino, as Uncle Junior called it on "The Sopranos". Indeed. One never knows how Lady Luck is gonna deal the cards, and James got a shitty hand -- years ago. And…

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Art & Copy


So, I finally saw this movie I've been meaning to see for a while, "Art & Copy". It's a sad, disgusting (read: excellent) documentary about the collection of whores and egomaniacs working in the advertising business, and, by extension, about everything that is wrong with our society. "By the way, if anyone here is in marketing or advertising...kill yourselves..." --Bill Hicks It was difficult to watch - painful, even; for a variety of reasons. Because my father's best friend (Jim Durfee) is in the film; because my father, my mother-in-law, and college friend all work(ed) in that horrible business. Because I knew from an early age that my father's profession had absolutely no nobility -- getting paid large…

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Hidey Hole


Brenda's been telling me about this tree, this tree they pass on their walks, she and Hooper. Apparently there's a knothole at the base of this tree, where Hooper keeps one of his prized possessions -- a tennis ball. I was told where the tree was, and all I had to do was unclip his leash when we got close and say "go get your ball", and off he ran. He bounded across the tall grass and hooked around the tree I suspected. I found myself running so I could catch up and see where he was hiding this ball, but, too late. He trotted out from behind the tree with a celebratory strut and a faded tennis ball jauntily…

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Now Why Didn't I Think of This Sooner?


Riding home from work tonight, I was struck by the nice dusk light and wondered aloud to my carpool buddy what it might be like to walk up the Shanahan Ridge Trail toward Fern Canyon. She was all about it. She said she often goes trail running around there with another friend. Suddenly it all made sense. I need to combine my evening walks with Hooper and some actual exercise. I don't exercise, even though I should. Hell, these days I want to exercise. I've decided it's time to exercise regularly, partly because I want to, but partly because I need to. I turned 42 last week, and I officially have a "spare tire". Shirts of the "large" variety now…

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On Skeleton


Hold it, just hold on a fucking second. The last several Olympics, summer and winter, have carried a certain sporting elitist criticism on various new sports added to the games. Sports like snowboarding and BMX have been derided by various idiots as not being true sports, presumably because the sports' elite athletes utter words like "stoked" -- or the more vehement "totally stoked" -- to explain the inner workings of the sport. Frontside. Backside. Fakie. McTwist. Apparently these are unacceptable bastardizations of the English language, but somehow Slachow is perfectly acceptable conversation if you are listening to Scott Hamilton. Well, this shit all annoyed me but I pawned it off as old school stupidity and narrow mindedness -- until tonight,…

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BIFF, again


Wow. So, once again, Brenda & I spent part of a February weekend checking out various films at the Boulder International Film Festival, and once again, we were not disappointed. This year, we had a nice manageable program: a movie a day, Friday through Sunday. Two were at the Boulder Public Library and one was at the fabulous Boulder Theater. The surprise of the weekend was that the library has a great theater; we hadn't seen any screenings over there to date, and I was expecting folding chairs and a temporary screen. But it turns out that the Boulder Public Library has a really nice theater, on top of everything else it has going for it. And on Friday evening,…

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Real Life Has Begun


Flying home I pulled up some Colin Hay on the iPhone. What am I, an idiot? I was just asking for trouble. I stared at Kansas through weepy eyes; the upshot is that I ended up finding Lena's song. Listen to it here. Lyrics below: WAITING FOR MY REAL LIFE TO BEGIN Any minute now, my ship is coming in I'll keep checking the horizon I'll stand on the bow, feel the waves come crashing Come crashing down down down, on me And you say, be still my love Open up your heart Let the light shine in But don't you understand I already have a plan I'm waiting for my real life to begin When I awoke today, suddenly…

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Mass


Good morning. First off, I would like to thank all of you who cared for Lena in these final weeks. Your service is the stuff of sainthood, and I thank you all: family, friends, social and hospice workers, nurses, all of you. Thank you. Second, I am honored, truly honored, to speak here about Lena. Thank you again. Lena's obituary (thank you Barbara) had one sentence fragment in it that said so much: "she gave more than she received". Indeed. And that, in a nutshell, is why this is all so hard. She was known by many names: Lee, Lena, to many; Grandma, Nana to some; Mom, to a select few. To me, she was Grandma. Lena was my grandma,…

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Obit


I still seem to be unable to talk about this, so here's the obituary, as I prepare to head back east. Lena GUGLIELMETTI (Mezzetti) GUGLIELMETTI Lena (nee Mezzetti), 86, formerly of NYC, Lakewood, and Westwood, NJ died on January 21, 2010 in the warm embrace of her family and friends. Predeceased by her husband Ottavio of 61 years, her beloved son Philip, and her sister, Mary Varvi. Survived by her loving daughters Emilie Morse and Maria Dina Giombarrese, cherished son-in-law John Giombarrese, all of Westwood, NJ and brother Bruno (Gloria) Mezzetti. Beloved grandmother of Christina (Bob) McNamara, Rob (Brenda King), and Andrea Guglielmetti, and Gregory and Douglas Giombarrese. Great-grandmother of Jordan Guglielmetti. Retired from Blue Cross Blue Shield of NY…

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