Amazon Needs To Change Mom To Family

Are you aware of Amazon Mom?

Certainly you’ve heard of Amazon Prime, which features such benefits as free two day shipping on many products, free streaming videos and music, and a few other features.

Amazon Mom works the same way. There are discounts on diapers, baby food and other similar products. Sounds great, right?

The problem is Amazon Mom doesn’t seem as inclusive as it wants to be.

amazon family banner

As the stay at home dad, I’m the one buying 99% of the groceries, the baby supplies, whatever is needed around the house. While I am not offended by the Amazon Mom moniker, I can understand why some would be.

What about the gay dads who adopted their first child? Which one is the mom? The divorced couple who need two separate accounts? Does dad get shut out?

Yes, anybody can join Amazon Mom, which is included in your Amazon Prime membership, but it just isn’t inclusive to all the different types of families there are.

I understand Amazon Caregiver is a bit unwieldy and has the connotation of a hospital. That’s why Amazon uses Amazon Family is other parts of the world. Why not here in the United States?

Currently there is a petition, it isn’t the first, to get the name changed from Amazon Mom to Amazon Family. Will it make a difference? It would help. Thing is, it will take a significant amount of Amazon’s consumer base to show it wants a change for it to take hold. This is where you come in.

Sign the petition. Tell Amazon on social media the change needs to be made. Send a direct email to Jeff Bezos. Email Amazon’s customer support. Then tell your friends and family. Get them in on the action. Spread the message on social media.

Let’s get Amazon as inclusive as they want to be.

It’s a small, but significant, change the company could make.

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Music Monday: Father And Son

I’m a bit distracted today. I had originally planned on writing stuff from Bumbershoot or my 50 Bands post – there’s still so much to go over. Instead I had this song going through my head today as I continue to deal with the news of Oren Miller’s passing.

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For Oren

oren millerOren Miller died of lung cancer yesterday. You may not know him. I didn’t. Heck, I only exchanged a few words with him, literally, over the last couple of years. His loss, however, is great. He touched many lives, including mine.

He started a group, Dad Bloggers, which I participate in. You may notice on the right side of my blog the “button” for the group. It started out with just a few dads who have blogs wanting to connect, to network, and support each other. It has grown to over 1000 members strong. It is an active group. We support each other acting as resource for technical questions, content questions, bouncing ideas off of each other, but more importantly we are there for each other.

In many ways the dad blogger group is a gigantic support group. It is a safe place for us to talk about whatever we need to. When one of us is having a problem we can find whatever kind of support we need there. Logistical, technical, emotional, or simply a dumb joke to alleviate the mood.

We are all types of dads. Stay-at-home dads, work-at-home dads, work-outside-the-home dads, dads who wear pajamas to the bus stop, old dads, new dads, dads to be, deaf dads, dads who are police officers, and so much more. Some of the dads have stopped blogging, but they are still welcome to remain in the group. We are as diverse as could be and the only rule is “Don’t be a dick.”

Last night I dreamt I was at Oren’s funeral. I was one of about 5 people tasked with talking about Oren. I knew it was a dream because somebody else would have been given the honor of talking about him instead of me, somebody who has a blog that is read by more than 4 people, or somebody who writes much more eloquently, but since it was my dream, I guess I chose myself. Anyway, as I was speaking about Oren and what he started, all the other dad bloggers in attendance got up as stood behind me as a show of support and to demonstrate the reach that he has had.

We are all in this together.

Oren Miller leaves behind a family, his wife, two children ages 6 and 4. He also leaves behind a legacy of over 1000 men who care about each other, support each other, both personally and professionally. While there is heartache with his passing, particularly for his family, the impact he has had will live on.

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Phamily Foto Phriday

Let’s take a quick look back over the week, shall we?

Friday is swim lesson day. Here we see Xavier, Ciaran and Dela going into the pool. There is also a “blink and you’ll miss it” cameo by August at the beginning of the video.

Tevye has begun climbing stairs. Unassisted.

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Remember earlier this week when I took Tevye to the doctor? Here is Xavier holding Tevye while we wait for the doctor to come in.

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Also earlier this week we were able to take time during a trip to Fred Meyer for a ride on the horse.

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Finally, here is Dela hamming it up on the stairs.

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Family Practice

I was reminded Tuesday morning why I like having the doctor we currently see.

We have always had a doctor for our kids, but Laura and I have not always been the best about our own medical care. When Kyle came to live with us I was working at Virginia Mason, and I had some medical insurance through them and found a pediatrician.

That worked well enough for a long time. Kyle’s pediatrician became August’s pediatrician and so on. The pediatrician went on to do other things, and another one took his place and we liked him even more. As we got more kids things were fine, we could take all the kids in to get seen at once even if only one was on the schedule.

It was a pain to get to the pediatrician, but it was worth it because he was so accommodating. The clinic moved a few years ago and suddenly parking got more bothersome. Not only that, it wasn’t that much closer, only a couple of blocks, so it was still quite a bit of trouble to get over there.

So we switched.

Of course that job at Virginia Mason dried up a long ago, and we had to get private insurance. We always maintained consistent care for the kids, but it wasn’t until relatively recently that Laura and I got our own regular physicians. The insurance we had allowed us to keep the pediatrician we had to maintain the consistency of care, which we felt was important. But after having a lot of kids, well, having the pediatrician closer was more important.

When Laura and I were picking our doctor, we wound up picking the same one. A family physician. We figured as the kids got older and stopped seeing their pediatrician they would still need a doctor. When it got to be too inconvenient and bothersome to take the kids to their pediatrician we decided to migrate them to our doctor.

Now all of us, the whole family, we are seeing the same doctor. Tuesday as I took Tevye to his 9 month checkup I asked the doctor about an related to my own personal care. It was a small matter, but one that needed addressing, but also did not necessitate my making an appointment. 45 seconds later it was taken care of. This was what I liked about our previous pediatrician, being able to have kids seen because of proximity not because of schedule. Now we can all benefit from this.

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9 Month Visit

I took Tevye to the doctor this morning. It was his 9 month check up. Past due, I know, but our schedule has been crazy what with all the kids we have as well as moving back into our house.

tevye feb doctorFortunately I was able to schedule the appointment for early in the morning. normally we walk to school, living a block and a half away, but today we drove. I dropped off the kids at school a little early and continued driving to the doctor’s office. We arrived right at the appointment time, which, after checking in, made us a couple of minutes late.

We didn’t wait too long. That’s the advantage of making an appointment early in the morning. There hasn’t been a heck of a lot of time and appointments to get behind schedule.

Tevye’s weight is just over 28 inches, his weight just over 25 pounds and head circumference just over 19 inches. Yes, a big baby.

Everything went just fine, developing normally, etc. The only thing we needed was a second flu shot. Apparently when you’re just getting your first flu shots you need to come back and get a second one. I apparently forgot to do that with Tevye. And we all went in November to get our flu shots as a family.

Whoops.

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Music Monday: 50 Bands

I am taking this idea from Dawn, who took the idea from somebody else who took the idea from somebody else.

“Sarah specified just a few rules: 1) Be sure to note your first concert. 2) Bands you’ve seen as openers or as part of festivals count, but try to come up with 50 headliners first. 3) Don’t worry about what order these are in — a stream-of-consciousness list is fine. And I’ll add one more: 4) Any additional notes you want to add are encouraged.”

This is my no means nearly as inclusive as it should be. After I wrote out this list I came up with nearly 50 more off the top of my head. So much so I decided to place more bands in and took out individual musicians (such as Prince, David Bowie, Mojo Nixon, Nick Lowe, Laurie Anderson and Cher). The title of this project is, after all, 50 bands.

Included are bands that I have seen at festivals, which is sort of impossible to not do at this point in my life and with as many festivals as I have attended. Each of these bands, however, if I have seen them at a festival are also ones that I have seen as a headlining act or at another show. Bands that I have only seen at festivals (such as The Replacements, Brave Combo, Depeche Mode, Spinal Tap, Echo & The Bunnymen, or The Sex Pistols) are not on this list.

After typing the list out I took a few days to go through adding the notes to each band. This all underscores my need to do a blog post about my top 5 concerts of all time (so far) as well as some other musical adventures.

In no particular order, I present my list.

1. Siouxsie And The Banshees

I recently detailed this, not necessarily my first concert, but the first one I went and bought a ticket for. I wish… well, read the post.

2. The Blasters

I have seen a lot of bands and musicians, but this was easily one of the top five concerts of all time. The first saw them on the “original recipe” tour back in 2002 or 2003 in a small club here in Seattle – The Crocodile Cafe. They played two sets, well, one really long set and they rocked so hard they had to take a break in the middle. I recently saw the band again, and while it wasn’t the full original lineup it was still a phenomenal show. I would go see them again in a heartbeat.

3. The Mighty Mighty Bosstones

I have talked about this band at length before. I hope to have the opportunity to continue to do so.

4. The Presidents Of The United States Of America

I think the first time I saw the band was at Bumbershoot, the local music and arts festival. It was a great show, sure, but not one of the best I had ever seen. Over the course of time I would catch the band again either at festivals or in the clubs here in town. When The Presidents Of The United States of America closed down local club The Backstage it was something so transcendent it stands the test of time to rank as one of the greatest shows I have ever seen.

ramones 1990 set list5. The Ramones

This band changed my life. I should be writing more about this band. I just wish I could remember if the first time I saw them if it was July 4 or July 5. Seriously. It matters because the latter date is Dee Dee’s final show with the band. I think I saw the night previous, but I’m not sure. I have seen The Ramones 4 times, the first two of which deserve blog posts.

6. Devo

What can I say? This blog takes its name from one of the bands songs. Why isn’t this band at the top spot?

7. The Who

Another band which deserves to have a specific blog entry regarding the concert I saw. I will simply mention here I saw the band in 2002 right after John Entwistle died on the first night Townsend smashed a guitar on stage in a long while.

8. Barenaked Ladies

I saw them before Steven Page left. I wouldn’t mind seeing them again.

9. The Rolling Stones

I took my mom to see them during the Voodoo Lounge tour. One of the few concerts I got to see in The Kingdome. The Spin Doctors were the opening band and after two songs I was done with them and haven’t liked them since. As for “the stones” I would see them again in a heartbeat – but I also know the ticket prices would be ridiculous.

public image limited seattle10. Public Image Limited

The band has released an album since I saw them. That was unexpected.

11. U2

Seen twice. Once on the PopMart tour, then again on the Elevation tour. I like the band a lot, but I’m not sure I need to see them again, especially with the price of tickets. Smash Mouth opened the first time we saw U2 and I don’t remember who it was the second time.

12. Love And Rockets

The big tour in 1989 when “So Alive” was massive hit. I didn’t have the opportunity to see them before this, and didn’t get the chance to see them since. I think I would have rather seen them on the tour before this one. Still glad I got to see them. The Godfathers opened.

13. Bauhaus

The band got back together in 1998 for a “Resurrection Tour” and this was my opportunity to see them. I had forgotten how much they rocked. I like the band much more now.

14. Monks Of Doom

Nobody else seems to remember this band. Formed from parts of Camper Van Beethoven that didn’t make up Cracker.

15. Shonen Knife

Another band I need to blog about having met. Twice.

16. Green Day

Kyle and I were supposed to go. We had tickets and were both looking forward to the concert. He started being an ass and as punishment he didn’t get to go. As a result I didn’t get to go either. I took my youngest brother Kagan to see Green Day on the next tour for his birthday. It was the first night of the 21st Century Breakdown Tour in 2009. I don’t remember who the opening act was.

17. The Police

Retroactively part of the 10 Bands 10 Countries project. I need to blog about this concert, and I’m sure I will soon enough.

18. Slint

I blogged about this concert recently.

reverend horton heat bumbershoot 201419. The Reverend Horton Heat

Most recently I saw them at Bumbershoot, but the first two times it was in a (large) club setting. The second time I saw the band it was “guy’s night out” and the evening took a turn for the worse when my friend saw his ex-wife with her new boyfriend. We went from having getting lit up and having a good time to… well, my friend threw a beer at the stage and we left as the bouncers moved in on us. Not one of the better nights.

20. Cheap Trick

I can’t remember if I have seen them twice or three times.

21. The Fastbacks

Local legends. More drummers than Spın̈al Tap.

22. The Cowboys

First saw these local boys in 1982 at the inaugural Bite Of Seattle (when it was held at Green Lake). I did not see them again until many years later, perhaps 1991, at The Central Tavern as it stopped showcasing original music and would shift to cover bands for its live entertainment. The Cowboys were the last “original” band to play the club as a reunion gig. And I was there.

23. Squeeze

I thought I blogged about seeing the band a few years ago but can’t seem to find anything. It was in 2011 (I think) when the band toured the U.S. and featured some newer members though the core songwriting and singing team of Difford and Tilbrook were there.

24. Neurotic Boy Outsiders

Duff McKagan, Matt Sorum, Steve Jones, and John Taylor – this was a fun night. The group recorded an album as a lark after jamming around after hours in Los Angeles. The album was mostly covers so I didn’t pick it up, which I am regretting now.

25. Rancid

Laura and I saw the band in Chicago as we were … well, that’s another story. It was 1996 and Goldfinger was on the bill as well as, I think, Voodoo Glow Skulls. I saw the band once more later that year and would like to see Rancid again.

26. No Doubt

In 1997 we saw the band at The Gorge for the Tragic Kingdom tour. Sometimes bands shouldn’t be that big with only one album under their belt. Sure, there was an earlier release, and yes I had it along a compilation of even earlier releases such as singles, but the band almost all but only acted as if Tragic Kingdom was their debut.

27. Frosted

I was disappointed in my interaction with Jane Wiedlin after the show. A shame the band didn’t stick around for more than one album.

28. The Posies

I don’t know how many times I have seen this local band. Really disappointed they made such a big deal about breaking up only to get back together and then go nowhere.

29. The Dickies

The second time I saw this band my best friend at the time proposed to his girlfriend in the middle of their set.

30. Hoodoo Gurus

I got to see the band at a “secret” free show held by a radio station. Wound up meeting the band as well. I would like to see them again.

31. The Cure

Another one of the greatest shows I have attended – the 1992 Wish tour.

32. Cherry Poppin’ Daddies

I saw them and liked them before their first album came out. I don’t know how many times I have seen them. Great live act.

33. The Briefs

My friend had been trying to get me to go see the band for a couple of years. It was Bumbershoot (the local music & arts festival) that got me to finally see them and I was instantly a fan. I purchased all the CDs I could. Then after the band’s 5th album came out I got to see them in a small club. That was an even better show. Then they broke up.

the hives live34. The Hives

What can I say about a band I have seen both here at home, in Japan and in Europe?

35. Motorhead

Seen both in a festival setting and in a club as a headliner. Both times I stayed back from the front, atypical of me.

36. The Pogues

I never thought I would get to see this band, especially with frontman Shane MacGowan. It was … what… 2006? Hard to understand what Shane was saying partially because he was so drunk and partially because half his teeth are missing. Don’t regret seeing them then, and would see them again in an instant.

37. Supersuckers

Once when they were playing at a club here, I think it was a Thursday, and the audience wasn’t really doing much, Eddie Spaghetti, the bass player and lead vocalist, said to the crowd that Rolling Stone was in the audience doing an article on the local scene and encouraged the audience to do something. We all threw our beers at the stage.

38. The Go-Gos

1999 when they did one of their first reunion tours. Not sure if I need to see them again.

39. The Beach Boys

Back in 1983 after a Mariners game. In the Kingdome.

40. Flipper

I won tickets from a radio station. It was 91 or 92.

cramps 1989 promo41. The Cramps

1990 and the Stay Sick album was released. They might have been playing the biggest venues of their career on that tour.

42. The Lemonheads

Their cover of “Luka” was a minor hit though they were still playing small venues. Really small. In 1989 they played The Vogue which for 6 days a week was a dance club with the capacity of 200 or so. I think legally it was fewer than that. That night there was about 10 people in the audience. Maybe 20. I remember slam dancing and nearly falling over there was so much space.

43. Dropkick Murphys

Blogged about them recently.

44. Everclear

Another band that I saw first during Bumbershoot, then a coupe of years later at a club on their own. The first time was as the trio, a hard rocking outfit that was still out to prove something. The second time was as a 5 piece band, the drummer and bass player gone and the “rock and roll spirit” was absent. Everything was mid-tempo and while the songs were the same, they just didn’t have the same “punch” to them.

45. No Means No

This was 1990 I think. I still don’t have any of their music.

46. Fishbone

The Reality Of My Surroundings, the band’s 1991 album, was huge. The tour saw them playing to some large crowds, a couple thousand at a time. While they would play to larger crowds, such as Lollapalooza, but on their own this might have been their peak. ANd they put on a hell of a show. I would love to see them again.

47. The Killers

Got to see them at a Microsoft press event during E3 several years ago.

48. Garbage

My first (or second) E3 and I managed to get myself into Microsoft’s party somehow. I didn’t belong there but am so glad I got in. They were fantastic. I had already been a fan for a while, so this was a really nice surprise. Yet another band I want to see again.

49. Foo Fighters

The first time I saw them was just after One By One came out. They were the surprise act at Sony’s E3 party. When the curtain dropped to reveal who it was I freaked out because I am a fan and hadn’t gotten to see them before. I worked my way towards the front and had a great time. They played a full set even. I was them again. but it wasn’t the same – still a great set, but it didn’t have that same magic.

50. The Gits

I still miss Mia.

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Ash Wednesday

What does Ash Wednesday mean to me?

At times I have a definite idea, so crystal clear, so obvious, it feels like it burns my brain.

Other times I have no idea.

And so I ponder.

Maybe that’s the point. Lent, which began today, is a time of penance as well as reflection. Think of it as a New Year’s resolution for your soul. It isn’t just about what you are giving up, but it can also be about what you are adding. My 11 year old decided to add nightly prayers before going to bed.

This morning I attended the school mass and got my ashes. This in itself isn’t a big deal. The circumstances, however, made it a bit more challenging. Not only did I have Xavier with me, who at 4 is just not interested in what is going on, but I also had Tevye who is 9 months old and teething. And school masses occur right in the middle of what is his morning nap time.

tevye ash wednesday 2015It worked out well enough – I didn’t have to take Tevye to the vestibule, partly because I had a bottle with me and also because he fell asleep for half the mass (though the first half a number of the kids in front of us kept turning around to see the baby). We got our ashes, and were not only able to stay through communion but the very end of mass. This was a good thing, and unexpected. The school masses are rather crowded, so having both the youngest children “make it” to the end felt like an accomplishment.

The Gospel reading got me thinking about Ash Wednesday. The ashes are an outward sign of our penance, our faith. Then there is the Gospel reading.

(Matthew 6:1 – 6, 16 – 18)

Jesus said to his disciples:

“Take care not to perform righteous deeds in order that people may see them; otherwise, you will have no recompense from your heavenly Father. When you give alms, do not blow a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the  synagogues and in the streets to win the praise of others. Amen, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you give alms, do not let your left hand know what your right is doing, so that your almsgiving may be secret. And your Father who sees in secret will repay you.

“When you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, who love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on street corners so that others may see them. Amen, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you pray, go to your inner room, close the door, and pray to your Father in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will repay you.

“When you fast, do not look gloomy like the hypocrites. They neglect their appearance, so that they may appear to others to be fasting. Amen, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, so that you may not appear to be fasting, except to your Father who is hidden. And your Father who sees what is hidden will repay you.”

Why are we, during the same mass, told to do one thing, to fast and pray in secret, to appear “normal” to the outside world, yet we get these ashes as an outward sign?

Catholicism, as with much in life, is full of contradictions.

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Cub Scout Winter Camp 2015

This past weekend I took August and Ciaran to Cub Scout Winter Camp. It would be August’s last time and Ciaran’s first. The first year we went there was lots of snow. The second year there was lots of rain. This year it started out raining but cleared up nicely.

winter camp 2015 01 red robinAs is tradition now, we stopped off at Red Robin on the way for dinner Friday night. I had it mapped out, where to eat dinner, which exit to take to get to the next highway to get to the next highway to get to the camp. This was the year I was determined not to get lost as we had the previous two years. Leaving Seattle at 4:30 with an hour stop for dinner we made pretty good time considering the traffic and arrived at camp just after 8:00. And we didn’t get lost.

Amazingly we had the cabin all to ourselves that first night. Outside of our three, none of the other 24 bunks had occupants that night. It was a little disconcerting at first, but we were thankful as we were able to shut off the lights earlier than the posted “lights out” time. Saturday morning brought some rain with it and we headed off to breakfast.

After breakfast we saw a few other occupants in our cabin, including another Tiger Cub from Ciaran’s den. I think this helped Ciaran feel more comfortable, though he was already having a good time. The first activity was a split for the two boys. August worked on his Readyman pin which is a requirement to earn his Arrow Of Light award. He is really close to earning it now, especially after this year’s winter camp. It is the only award he can earn as a Cub Scout he can wear on his Boy Scout uniform.

While August was working on that I took Ciaran over to the geology workshop. It kept his attention, which was good, except a couple of thee other kids kept interrupting or commenting with questions or comments that had little if anything to do with what was being discussed. I was really proud of Ciaran for staying focused and being respectful. At the end of the lesson he got to hold some fossilized dinosaur poop.

winter camp 2015 02 geologistwinter camp 2015 03 dino poop fossil

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ciaran took a nosedive into the mud after the geology activity so we went off to the showers. After that the three of us went into the craft lodge to see what we could. Over the course of the weekend Ciaran made a crossbow and August made a keel boat. They both really enjoyed these activities as well.

winter camp 2015 04 camp sheppard

winter camp 2015 05 ciaran august

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After lunch we headed out to archery and BB guns. By this time the skies had opened up. The weather remained really nice the rest of the weekend. We had so much fun at archery we forgot about heading over to the food workshop where they were making smorittos (apparently a combination of smore and burrito). That’s alright, I think the boys had fun where they were.

Ciaran was nervous with the bow and arrow but he did alright for his first time. I wish I had been able to take more pictures and video.

winter camp 2015 06 ciaran archery

 

winter camp 2015 07 august map compassMap & Compass belt loop workshop was being offered, which helps August work towards another of his pins he will be needing to get that Arrow Of Light award. Ciaran also participated so he will be getting the belt loop as well. Earning these awards will go a ong way in keeping his interest in Cub Scouts. At least that’s my hope.

August was always interested in the organization, and was even upset when he couldn’t join in Kindergarten. There was never any doubt he would carry on towards Boy Scouts next year, and this year’s winter camp helped immensely in getting some much needed requirements out of the way for him. Not requirements to join Boy Scouts, just to earn the awards and achievements he wants before he is ineligible.

Saturday night we performed our skit at the campfire, The Elusive Aquatic Moose. I simply can’t describe how much I wish somebody had been able to get a video of it. Ciaran kept waffling about participating, but he did, along with Nathan and the four of us had fun doing it.

Sunday we left a little early and got home in time for lunch. It took less than two hours to get home, partly because there was little traffic and also because it was light out. It’s a lot easier to navigate when you can see where you are going.

Thankfully Ciaran had fun and is possibly looking forward to going again next year.

 

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Music Monday: The Presidents Of The United States Of America

Today is President’s Day. What better way to celebrate than with a song from the band the day is named after. No, wait, the band doesn’t have its own holiday? It should.

“Some Postman” is from the 2004 album Love Everybody – the last to feature founding member Dave Dederer on guitar. In the video you’ll see his replacement, Andrew McKeag. What I like about the video is it was shot entirely on cameraphones, which was a novelty 10 years ago when the video was released.

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