Blog on the Run: Reloaded

Thursday, July 21, 2011 7:21 pm

Keeping your head in the game

Filed under: Why, yes, I AM a bad parent. Why do you ask? — Lex @ 7:21 pm

During the drive to take Victoria to the doctor today, we covered the following topics in our conversation:

  • Tiger Woods and his caddy parting ways.
  • The importance of caddies to PGA Tour golfers.
  • The importance of golf to this region in particular and North Carolina in general.
  • The importance of Pinehurst No. 2 to golf.
  • The significance of Black Mountain’s golf course (at least at one time, the world’s only par-6 hole).
  • The fact that Black Mountain’s par-6 hole is a gimmick.
  • What a “gimmick” is.
  • Examples of other kinds of gimmicks.
  • The prevalence of gimmicks in politics and government.
  • The importance of mathematics in determining what is a gimmick and what is not.

And that was just the first half of the trip. Total trip distance: 4.7 miles.

Parenting. It’s a participatory sport.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011 8:05 pm

Heart of a champion

Filed under: Victoria — Lex @ 8:05 pm

As Victoria has entered adolescence, I’ve cut back dramatically on the amount of posting I’ve done about her. There are a couple of reasons for that. For one thing, as kids grow up, privacy becomes more important to them, and this was a child who was shouting, “Pievacy, Daddy! PIE-vacy!” when I accidentally walked in on her in the bathroom shortly after she turned 2. For another, daddy blogging is a perfectly respectable approach, but it was never one of my prime goals for Blog on the Run: Reloaded. And for another, she deserves — and, in my opinion, has earned — the right to forge her own online identity, with only minimal involvement from me (safety issues, technical help), and that behind the scenes when possible.

But I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t proud as hell of what she did earlier this week, not only in and of itself but because it demonstrated a major effort to push herself out of her own comfort zone.

Earlier this spring she tried out for and made her middle school’s softball team. She has thrown, caught and batted in our yard but never played the game before in organized fashion; soccer has always been her thing.

On Monday morning in gym class, she badly sprained her left (non-throwing) forefinger. Her softball team had a game that afternoon, and because of other injuries and/or commitments, the team was so shorthanded that if she didn’t play, they were going to have to forfeit. I took her home about 1 with instructions to ice the finger, keep it elevated and compressed and take Aleve, and to check back with me 30 minutes before game time to see whether she’d be able to play.

When I called her back, she said she was ready, so I took her. And not only did she play, she went 6-for-6. With a grand slam.

Now, this is a kid who, to be honest, is a little bit of a hypochondriac — except where her team sports are concerned. On top of that, she has had some legitimate injuries and related issues: a bad growth-plate bruise, a chronic problem with her right ankle. And in between practices and games, we hear all about it. But when she steps over the white line, she comes to play and she plays to win. She didn’t get that from me, and I’m glad she got it somewhere.

Sunday, September 12, 2010 12:07 pm

Medical report, Chez Alexander

Filed under: Why, yes, I AM a bad parent. Why do you ask? — Lex @ 12:07 pm
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Victoria: Hooper. I am begging you. Will you please take cold medicine? Because every time you breathe, it sounds like there’s vomit up your nose!

Hooper: Well, you would know, Miss Vomitrocious!

Thursday, July 1, 2010 11:16 pm


Filed under: Fun,Victoria — Lex @ 11:16 pm
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Remember my baby girl back in the halcyon days of the late 20th century, blissfully pretending to nap in Mommy’s arms while discretely removing the jewelry from Mommy’s finger for later resale?

My baby girl has turned 12. She’s got a cell phone and a Facebook page and drama and highlights and hormones and attitude and everything.

And tomorrow night, she’s having 12 friends spend the night. Only before they spend the night, the girls are all going to see the latest cinematic installment of the Twilight tetrology tetraology oh, screw it, the third in what will be a four- five-movie series.

Hooper’s spending the night at a friend’s house, the lucky sod.

There’s one thing I’d really like to have tomorrow: a pony keg of Buckshot Amber. this:

Jacob, too, plez. kthxbai.

(Note to Facebook readers: If parts of this post seem a little weird, it’s because I did some typographical stuff that shows up on the blog but doesn’t get ported over to Facebook. Click here to see if it makes more sense.)


Saturday, February 20, 2010 2:36 pm

Aw, yeah

Filed under: Hooper,Victoria — Lex @ 2:36 pm
Tags: , ,

Victoria and Hooper celebrate the arrival of not-abysmally-cold weather by having a picnic in the front yard this afternoon. Victoria’s soccer team resumes practice tomorrow afternoon, for which the predicted high is 60. Yeah, baby.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010 10:22 pm

The envelope, please …

Filed under: Fun — Lex @ 10:22 pm
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I guess the Grammys and the Oscars have seeped into Victoria’s consciousness, wedging their way past Duke basketball scores and how Obama totally pwn3d the Republicans last week (her take; I haven’t watched the video). I found one of her notepads with a bunch of categories and winners listed on it. In addition to fairly conventional winners like “Favorite Singer – Miley Cyrus,” there were some more … interesting entries. For example:

  • Favorite character (with utters [sic]): Otis
  • Favorite Slime: Car-Jack Black.

No idea who Car-Jack Black is; Teh Googelz are silent on the issue. But it got me to thinking: As cool as I think it is that my daughter’s awards show includes a “Favorite Slime” category, how much would it have to suck to be nominated in that category but not win?

Saturday, January 16, 2010 12:29 am

The kids are all right

Filed under: Hooper,Victoria — Lex @ 12:29 am
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Hooper and Victoria, January 2010

Saturday, January 2, 2010 12:30 pm

Emptying out the camera

Filed under: Fun,Hooper,Victoria — Lex @ 12:30 pm
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Some recent photos:

Hooper checks out a Christmas gift from Uncle Frank and Aunt Christine, Sunday, 12/27/09

Hooper checks out a Christmas gift from Uncle Frank and Aunt Christine, Sunday, 12/27/09

Off-balance shot from inside the van of Hooper atop a plowed pile of snow in a parking lot.

Off-balance shot from inside the van of Hooper atop a plowed pile of snow in a parking lot.

Hooper gets to go snowboarding for the first time in his life, 12/19/09.

Hooper gets to go snowboarding for the first time in his life, 12/19/09.

Victoria prepares to give Hooper a push-off on his first-ever day of sledding, 12/19/09.

Victoria prepares to give Hooper a push-off on his first-ever day of sledding, 12/19/09.

Friday, November 27, 2009 12:38 pm

Why so many siblings grow up hating each other

Filed under: Fun,Hooper,Victoria — Lex @ 12:38 pm
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That said, Victoria still giggles about the time, shortly after we brought Hooper home from the hospital, when we were changing his diaper and he peed on her.

(h/t: Jill)

Thursday, August 13, 2009 10:12 pm

$32 for all this good cheer

Filed under: Fun,Hooper,Victoria — Lex @ 10:12 pm
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Renewed my driver’s license today.

Victoria: In the new picture, your face isn’t as round. In fact, it’s really bony and craggy.

Hooper: Daddy, can I have your old license for when you die? [V. and I look at him funny.] What? I would miss him, so I want something to remember him by after he’s gone!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009 8:33 am

They came, they read, they conquered, cont.

Filed under: Salute!,Victoria — Lex @ 8:33 am
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Victoria is on her school’s Battle of the Books team. In Battle of the Books, teams from different schools compete to answer questions about books on a preassigned reading list. Earlier, her team won a scrimmage against one of the local private schools. On Monday, her team came in first in the district, topping 29 other schools. Yay, team!

Thursday, January 22, 2009 8:15 am

Davidson 83, Furman 43

Filed under: Victoria,Wildcats — Lex @ 8:15 am
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Took Victoria down to see the Davidson-Furman game last night. I’m perfectly good with blowouts, and that’s what this one was. Davidson led by as much as 48 points late.

Here’s Victoria with the Wildcat statue across from Belk Arena before the game:

Victoria with the wildcat statue outside Belk Arena vs. Furman, 1/21/09

Victoria with the wildcat statue outside Belk Arena vs. Furman, 1/21/09

Here’s Victoria with her face painted:

Victorias cat-claw face paint vs. Furman, 1/21/09

Victoria's cat-claw face paint vs. Furman, 1/21/09

And after the game, Stephen Curry (30 points, 5 rebounds, at least 2 steals) was officially recognized as the Sporting News 2008 College Athlete of the Year:

Stephen Curry is officially recognized as Sporting News 2008 College Athlete of the Year

Stephen Curry is officially recognized as Sporting News' 2008 College Athlete of the Year

V. had a blast, the ‘Cats won big and Steph got some well-deserved recognition. It’s all good.

Saturday, December 27, 2008 9:36 pm

Christmas ‘n’ family

Filed under: Fun — Lex @ 9:36 pm
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As the family (both nuclear and blended) grows more extended, it gets harder and harder to get everybody together in one place at one time for Christmas, even on just one side of the family. So we didn’t do that this year. But we still had a lot of fun.

Before we got together, of course, Hooper and Victoria had to register their demands requests with Santa. Santa had new digs at Friendly Center this year — bigger and airier — and we were fortunate to catch him at a time when there wasn’t much of a wait.

Victoria’s old enough to know better but quite happy to play along.

On Sunday 12/20, my brothers and I gathered at Mom’s condo, along with Frank’s girlfriend Christine and her kids. The kids, seated from left: Avana, Hooper, Taylor. Standing, from left: Whitney, Victoria, Jordan, Matthew.

This is how my brother Hugh, whose son Dylan is grown and gone, deals with the sound of seven kids in one condo.

On Christmas Day, we had Christmas dinner with friends in Chapel Hill. My friend’s uncle brought tissue-paper crowns for all the kids. Here’s Victoria in hers. Note, as she would insist you do, her new top and matching hand socks.

This weekend, V, H and I returned to Mom’s to get together with my stepsisters and their kids. As it happened, my cousin Lynn Margaret, her husband and their two kids were passing through en route from Connecticut to Florida, and so they stopped in for a bit as well.

Here’s Hooper playing Nintendo DS with his stepcousin Benjamin.

Lynn’s older daughter, who is 5, is also named Victoria.

Here are the two Victorias. You can tell they’re Alexanders. They’ve got that whole blue-eyes thing going on.

Victoria W., who is in kindergarten, is scary smart, just like her second cousin was at that age. She was practicing her cursive writing, and I asked her how she learned it. She said, “Well, I go to a Christian school, which means pretty much nobody does any bad things, so the teachers use the extra time to teach us cursive.”

Because Satan’s handiwork is a real timesuck and all.

Here’s Victoria W.’s 13-month-old sister, Isabella, who was just as charming as her big sister, albeit somewhat less talkative. She’s mildly annoyed here only because the phone isn’t beeping when she pushes the buttons. As is true of many toddlers, she don’t truck with no TOY cell phones.

And last but not least, our newest family member: my stepsister Kristi’s 4-month-old daughter, Madelyn. In this unfortunately unfocused picture, she’s opening her present from cousin Benjamin. We dubbed it the Maddy Lion.

I hope your Christmas was merry. And if I don’t blog again before then, Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008 7:07 pm

Let’s play Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader?; or, you know people are paying attention to the Rod Blagojevich story when …

Filed under: Aiee! Teh stoopid! It burns! — Lex @ 7:07 pm
Tags: ,

… your 10-year-old starts asking intelligent questions about what he did and how he did it. Bonus: After having her questions answered, she responds, “That’s really stupid.”

Sunday, December 7, 2008 6:16 pm

Not just a pretty face and a scary soccer defender

Filed under: Victoria — Lex @ 6:16 pm
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Victoria has taken part this fall in a program called Girls on the Run, which combines lessons and discussions on smart decision-making with, well, running. It culminated Saturday with her running in her first 5K, the annual Mistletoe Run over in Winston-Salem. I had to take Hooper to be in the Jaycees Holiday Parade with his Cub Scout pack, so I didn’t get to see her. Here’s what I do get to see, though:

Tuesday, November 18, 2008 11:10 pm

Unintended consequences

Filed under: Hooper,Victoria — Lex @ 11:10 pm
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Victoria: Daddy, Hooper was playing Minesweeper on Mommy’s laptop when he wasn’t supposed to be!

Hooper: Well! No massages for you!

Victoria: Massages? You’ve never given me a massage!

Hooper: No more!

Thursday, November 13, 2008 11:18 pm

Communication; or, How she stays one step ahead of us*

Filed under: Fun,Victoria — Lex @ 11:18 pm

Memie: I’m getting ready to teach a Sunday school class. It’s going to be on couples communication.

Victoria: Couples communication? Is that when a couple looks at each other and raises their eyebrows because they think that way the children won’t understand?

Memie: (Pause) Well, it can mean that. Are you onto your parents’ raised eyebrows?

Victoria: Yep.

Memie: Well, maybe they need to find another language to communicate stuff like that.

Victoria: I know a little French. And a lot of Spanish.

Memie: Maybe your mom and dad should learn German, then.

Victoria: *I* can learn German.

*Dialogue only approximately accurate.

Thursday, November 6, 2008 9:43 pm

How they think

Filed under: Hooper,Victoria — Lex @ 9:43 pm
Tags: ,

Victoria: Daddy, can I have some Halloween candy for dessert? In light of the economy?

* * *

Hooper (reading aloud from verb-tense homework): “‘The turtle will trick the spider.’ Well, that’s gotta be future, because turtles and spiders can’t talk yet.”

Tuesday, November 4, 2008 10:57 am

Rogues’ Photo gallery

Time to get caught up on a backlog of photos. All these were taken with my cell phone, and to my surprise they didn’t turn out too badly.

First: Victoria rides a horse at our church’s fall festival, held at the farm of two of our more gracious members.
Victoria rides a horse at our church's fall festival, held at the farm of two of our more gracious members.

Next, Victoria took this picture at a Barack Obama campaign stop in Greensboro while sitting on my shoulders. Somewhere up there between the two lights is Obama, although I guess you’ll have to take my word on that.
Victoria took this picture while sitting on my shoulders. Somewhere up there between the two lights is Barack Obama. Really.

Hooper with a friend at the fall festival. As far as we know, Hooper is not a Parseltongue.
Hooper with a friend at the fall festival. As far as we know, Hooper is not a Parseltongue.

Hooper is ready to enter his team’s soccer game at a moment’s notice. Really.
Hooper is ready to enter his team's soccer game at a moment's notice. Really.

The closest we’re going to get to a full team picture of the Fusion.
The closest we're going to get to a full team photo of the Fusion.

The Buttercups, Fall 2008, after their last game of the season, a 2-2 tie.
The Buttercups, fall 2008, after their last game of the season, a 2-2 tie.

First Presbyterian Church at sunset.
First Presbyterian Church at sunset.

I haven’t attempted any action shots with the phone, primarily because you would have to get really close to the subject for it to come close to filling the frame. Still, it works pretty well on closeups, and I’ve got a particularly soothing Lake Norman sunset shot on my desktop at work now. (I’ve still got the Alexander tartan on my desktop at home.)

I sent the photos to Flickr at 800×600 to try to get the width to match the width of the text column of BOTR, but it looks like the biggest Flickr will render them is roughly 500×375. I guess that’s to accommodate smaller monitors than my 19-incher. Oh, well.

Saturday, October 25, 2008 5:38 pm

Family portrait

Filed under: Hooper,Victoria — Lex @ 5:38 pm
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Perhaps the first shot of the four of us together since Disney World in ’05. Not sure what led Hooper to put his finger in his mouth ….

Alexander girls, July 4

Filed under: Fun,Victoria — Lex @ 5:32 pm
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Jordan, Victoria and Taylor ride in Montreat’s July 4 parade as Papaw’s Princesses. Papaw is driving the T-bird; fortunately, the reflections on the windshield hide his visage from unwary viewers.

And they didn’t even scream all that much

Filed under: Victoria — Lex @ 5:14 pm
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Victoria with friends at her Nancy Drew slumber party. We got the Nancy Drew solve-a-mystery game for her off eBay, but it was apparently so old that the online component had cobwebbed. But a good time was had by all, they actually got to bed at a reasonable hour and very few of the kids’ possessions were forgotten when they left.

Monday, October 20, 2008 9:24 pm

Buttercups 2, Shooting Stars 1

Filed under: Buttercups — Lex @ 9:24 pm
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I missed this game because it was opposite Hooper’s. But teammate A.’s mom said the coach said Victoria had the best game of her Buttercup career, so it’s not like I missed anything. (Sigh.)

Monday, October 13, 2008 7:34 pm

Buttercups 2, Sharks 1

Filed under: Buttercups,Victoria — Lex @ 7:34 pm
Tags: , ,

The Buttercups have played this team twice already — with only four teams in the league and an eight-game season, they play two teams three times each and a third twice. This was the closest of the three games, and the Sharks led much of the way. In their loss two weeks ago (no games last weekend), all the Buttercups had looked very tired, very slow to the ball and pretty uninspired. They looked a lot better today until about the last five minutes, and even then there were individual bright spots.

Victoria, in contrast to the team, played a bit slow in the first half, but she stepped it up in the second. She also spent an uneventful quarter in goal.

Monday, October 6, 2008 4:47 pm

Panthers 34, Chiefs 0, Victoria 1

Filed under: Panthers,Victoria — Lex @ 4:47 pm
Tags: ,
Victoria picks up a Panthers logo before their game against the Chiefs, 10/5/08

Victoria picks up a Panthers logo before their game against the Chiefs, 10/5/08

Victoria got to go to her first Panthers game on Sunday, and what a game it was. The Panthers killed the Chiefs, primarily on the strength of their running game. It was hot, but V. hung in there. When I get a chance, I’ll add a couple of other photos that she and I took.

Update: Here’s sunset from the evening before. Both of these were shot on my cell phone — not bad quality, all things considered. (I shot them at 1280×960.)

Sunset over Lake Norman, Davidson, N.C., 10/4/08

Sunday, September 28, 2008 10:37 pm

Panthers 24, Falcons 9

Filed under: Panthers,Victoria — Lex @ 10:37 pm
Tags: ,

Any win is a good win, but today’s win against Atlanta was about as bad a good win as it is possible to get.

The AP this morning was very high on the Panthers’ performance. And, yes, the stats were good, particularly yards after the catch for both Steve Smith and Muhsin Muhammad, which boosted Jake Delhomme’s passing yardage.

But the Panthers were fortunate their 11 penalties didn’t make the game much closer, if not lose it for them. Twelve penalties inside Minnesota’s dome might just barely be understandable given the crowd noise, but 11 penalties in Bank of America stadium is just idiotic. And the football gods aren’t likely to be as forgiving if the Panthers pull a stunt like that again.

That’s particularly true if the team doesn’t get its starting tackles back quickly. Both Jordan Gross and Jonathan Jeff Otah left the game. I think I said before the season that the jobs of a whole lot of Panther staff could be riding on the health of Otah’s ankle — he was recovering from a high sprain in the offseason — and losing Gross for any length of time will damage both run game and passing protection.

Speaking of run game, Jonathan Stewart and Deangelo Williams combined for barely a hundred yards against a defense that spent a lot of time sitting back waiting for the pass. I don’t know whether that was because of the O-line problems or because Atlanta’s run defense was just that good. But it’s troubling nonetheless.

On the plus side, the D held star Atlanta running back Michael Turner to 56 yards on 18 carries. They’ll need to do as well or better against Kansas City, whose Larry Johnson rushed for 198 today as Kansas City didn’t just upset Denver, they beat the snot out of them.

I’m going, and Victoria is coming with me. This will be her first Panthers game, and she’s jazzed. Raise a child up in the way that she should go, and when she is old she will not stray from it.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008 7:14 pm

Well, now I’ve gone and done it

Filed under: Fun,Victoria — Lex @ 7:14 pm
Tags: , ,

Victoria: Daddy, who are you voting for?

Daddy: I’m not saying.

Victoria: Why not?

Daddy: Because voting is a sacred right, and it’s private.

Victoria: Well, we’re studying the Constitution in school, and it doesn’t say that. Hmm. What to do, what to do?

Daddy: Well —

Victoria: I’m going to be a lawyer and argue about the Constitution.

Daddy: Oh, dear.

Victoria: That’s right, you’re raising a lawyer. Hmm, what to do, what to do?

(For the record, my objections have nothing to do with the profession and everything to do with the cost of law school.)

Wednesday, September 10, 2008 9:21 pm

Because nothing says “fun” like a really big fish

Filed under: Victoria — Lex @ 9:21 pm
Tags: ,

Just because I hadn’t posted any photos in a while …

Victoria, Granny and catfish

Victoria and Granny pose with a catfish she caught out at Lake Brandt back during June during Grandparents’ Camp. The pond they let the kids fish in is so small it’s almost literally like shooting fish in a barrel, but V. had fun and that’s what counts.

Sunday, September 7, 2008 9:15 pm

Buttercups 4, Sharks 1

Filed under: Buttercups — Lex @ 9:15 pm
Tags: , ,

The Buttercups picked up right where they left off last spring in league play, scoring two goals early and two goals late for the win.

This year, the girls have 10-person teams and play eight at a time on a larger field with larger goals, so everybody’s getting plenty of playing time — and plenty of running. As a team the ‘cups both were a little rusty and acclimating themselves to the larger field, so the passing, beyond short range, wasn’t all that crisp. But the offense got the job done and the Buttercups keeper came up with some big stops late.

Victoria didn’t score, but she got off two good shots on goal. One was blocked, and the other, otherwise bound for a spot high in the net, hit a Shark in the head. She took a foot in the side of her right ankle during the second half that was hard enough to go through the pad and injure her. She had to be carried off the field, but she returned late in the game.

Memo to self: Always bring sunscreen. Always.

One other note: Last spring, the girls voted to seek a name change for the team, to the Wildcats. Apparently the league said no.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008 9:57 pm

Well, um, yeah; your point being?

Filed under: Fun,Hooper,Victoria — Lex @ 9:57 pm
Tags: , , , ,

(as the curtain opens, we join a battle of wills between father and son that has been going on for 30 minutes already)

Daddy: Spell “list.”

Hooper: No! No, no, no, no, no, no, no! Daddy, I just want to go ride my two-wheeler in the cul-de-sac!

Daddy: We’re going to sit right here at this table until you have spelled your spelling words. Spell “list.”

Hooper: No!

Daddy: Spell “list.”

Hooper: You are. Such. A. Downloader.

Daddy: A what?

Hooper: A downloader! You know, somebody who does too much!

(the father prevails after about another 15 minutes, but we’ll spare you that)

* * *

On a lighter note, Victoria got the new Jonas Brothers CD tonight. All is right with her world.

And because Mommy took Victoria to see the Jonas Brothers last month, Daddy gets to take Hooper to see The Wiggles. This is not quite one of those gnaw-off-your-own-arm-to-escape deals, but, geez, it ain’t good. And they’re performing in the Greensboro Coliseum, which, last I checked, is a 23,000-seat arena, give or take. Assuming somewhere between 30 and 50 percent of attendees to be parents/guardians/babysitters, we’re still talking about more than 10,000 screaming kids in one room.  I’m just gonna go ahead and get my doctor to prescribe me something for a migraine now so I can beat the rush.

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