Sunday, July 8, 2018

I can vouch for that. The passing of Rufus. Reloading. Satellite television. Moon Beams on Guns.

Read an article this morning that says more "refugees" were dumped off on the United States in 2017 than any other country. I can well believe it, given our situation here.




Lucky us.




When all this first started, we could look at Europe and see what was happening.  But we had Barrack Hussein in the White House, and the Snow Flakes and Wing Nuts were all for it.  Now I'm living with the consequences, but I doubt Barrack has any "refugees" in his neighborhood.




Well, no point in wringing my hands about it. I'm not the only one dealing with this issue in North Georgia. All I have to do is turn on the Atlanta news at 0700 in the morning to have that fact reemphasized.




It's relatively cool this morning, 68 at sunrise, and drier with humidity about 80%.  It will warm up as the day goes on, but there's a nice breeze blowing outside and it's pleasant.   



Rufus passed away last night.   He ate a good supper, and had his usual break out in the meadow about nine in the evening. Then , around ten, he was asleep on the couch in the living room and he went peacefully.  He was very old, we think he was over 17, and he had a good life. Most of it, he lived with an old lady in Cincinnati, in an apartment. But he came to live with us a year or so ago, when she went in the nursing home. He was a very lovable little guy, and got to be part of the family in no time. We buried him up on the edge of the meadow that has a good view of the mountains, next to the ferrets. Being the pagans that we are, we put his grave goods in with him. Some costume jewelry and some of his toys.





Reloading:





I have agreed to teach one of the young fellows I met at the "get together" how to reload .  I was mentored by an old guy in his sixties when I learned how in 1986.  He was one of Johnny Rowland's supporters up here, and that's how we met.  He's long dead now, but I appreciated his help back then and I suppose I should pass it on down the line.





His grandfather gave him a mint condition M-1 Carbine, so that's what we will start out on. These days, carbide dies are de rigieur , though I still use a lot of old dies you have to use lubricant on the cases with.  We''ll get him set up with the "Rock Chucker" kit .  I started out with the Lee Reloader basic kit and then expanded over the years .  The plan is to set up a reloading bench in one of the buildings on his farm.  I'm a firm believer that if you are reloading, you need to be completely away from any possible distractions.

In this young man's case, grandpa gave him 4000 rounds of M-1 Carbine ammo , sealed in the original metal cans.  Good news, that means he has 4000 rounds of Boxer primed brass. Bad news, it probably has been "crimped"  so the primer pockets will have to be swagged out.

Removing the crimp from primer pocket on military brass.





Reloading has a lot of positive aspects.
  1. It's peaceful and relaxing, and you can do it when the weather keeps you inside.
  2. You can work up your own loads once you know what you are doing.
  3. You can reload ammo for old guns that commercial ammo isn't available for.
  4. You can get lots of use out of the brass, so it's not wasteful .
  5. You can store vast quantities of components, stretching your ammo if Janet Reno comes back.
  6. It's more cost effective than shooting a round once and buying another one.
  7. It's fun.




What to do today.   We don't have any plans.  In the last few days, we've done a lot of driving. Mostly, shopping for the wife, but we went out to dinner and just did some sight seeing as well.  Today, it might be a good idea to just stay at home. I have things I can work on.

For instance, satellite television equipment.

I started out with satellite tv when we got here in 1986.  There was no over the air television, because of terrain masking, and there still isn't.  I set up a C band system. That's the ancient gear with the huge dish made of steel mesh that you used to see everywhere. It was susceptible to lightning strikes, so much so that you had to keep spare down block converters, which you used to replace the damaged ones, then you sent the damaged ones back to Uniden or whoever to have them repaired.

There wasn't much on the satellite, and what you were watching was actually the feeds from ground up link stations to down link stations. It was not encrypted so you could watch TV from all over the world, for free.




But when programs like The Disney Channel, CNN, and The Weather Channel started coming on line, you had to buy receivers that could decrypt the "pay channels."

C band eventually just phased out in favor of the two satellite television providers who emerged.  That was Dish Network and Direct TV.


I've had both and neither are particulary good. Their technical support is a joke, and they are constantly trying to rook you with "special deals."   They change programming without warning. You buy a "package" that has the channels you want, and then they replace one you like with "the Philippine underwater basket weaving channel" or something equally ridiculous. But, they are all there is.


Now there's another issue.  I called Direct TV yesterday to order a second receiver for one of  the outbuildings. I had satellite tv out there before, so the dish is already there and all I have to do is plug into it.

But I was told that Direct TV doesn't manufacture or sell non- HD equipment.   This came up some time ago when I tried to switch to the HD system , ordered new gear, and the installer came out and told me I couldn't get HD service out here due to terrain masking.

Now they tell me that when the receiver I have now either breaks or is "phased out" they will only offer HD and if I can't get it, I'm SOL.  (Surely out of luck.)

I can't believe they actually intend to lose all the business from people like me, but I can't get in touch with anybody at Direct TV that knows anything. They don't speak English, they read from scripts. You ask a question ,and they just go back and start reading the script again. Direct TV has always been pretty poor at customer relations , but since AT&T bought them out, they are abysmal.  I tried "chat" and had no luck there. They don't let you get an email address for them. I guess I will have to send a certified letter to their "investor relations" department. I don't own any AT&T stock, but they don't know that and I've found that's the best way to get action out of a corporation.






The installer who came out to put my new system in told me that the HD receiver won't work with the "old style" one satellite system I have now.  So, if that's true, I'm pretty much out of luck, I guess. Unless I blow the top off an adjacent mountain, which seems a bit extreme.

These people are making laws? (language warning)

 

 Thought for the Day:





Video Recap:






34 comments:

  1. So sorry to hear about Rufus. What a cute little guy he was and I know he will be missed. He was very blessed that he came to spend his final days with you and M. So many older dogs go to shelters and end up being put down. Jana

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    1. Jana, I will miss Rufus, but it was kind of like when your 97 year old grandpa dies. It's not so sad because he had a good life. Rufus was going to be killed. The old lady who went into the nursing home gave him to a friend from church, who promised to take care of him. But the "friend" made an appointment to have Rufus "put down" immediately. Her son worked with my daughter, and my daughter was outraged and got Rufus, then brought him down here to the mountain top home for unwanted cats, dogs, horses, ferrets, and chickens.

      He had a good time living here and we had fun having him.

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  2. Wow, Harry, you outdid yourself today. Sorry about Rufus...you gave him wonderful last years. We should all be so lucky. Loved the video about our dumbarsse politicians. Especially the one about when you use a magazine clip, all the bullets are gone, ha ha ha. Yesterday morning it was 38 degrees and I actually had to turn the heater on. Humidity is down to 15% so we are on fire watch. I will be emailing you for some advice.

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    1. Wow, it sounds like weather out there is wintery! I could handle some 38 degree weather and some heater time. I know my power bill this month is going to be up around $300 because of all the air conditioning and dehumifier equipment I am running non stop. But it's the only way to take care of the equipment and supplies, and to stay comfortable.

      Rufus did well. He really lived a life that worked out right, and the end of it was about as good as you could hope for. I'll miss the little guy, though.

      I'll check for your email.

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  3. Sorry about the loss of your little friend. Dogs are the best people I know.

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    1. Without dogs and ferrets, I doubt I could get along. They've always been my pals up here. Rufus passing is sad, because I'll miss him. But he did grab the brass ring. No sickness, no pain, and a long, long life in comfort. He was always with people who cared about him.

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  4. I have seen old C band dishes Turned into cute Gazebo's . Sorry about Rufus its never easy. Glad you went to that shoot and had fun. I was beginning to think you were becoming a hermit.

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    1. Gary, I've actually been a hermit for a long time, in a manner of speaking, and much more so since I retired 5 years ago. I just don't get on easily with people and I'm happier without the complications of social interaction on a personal level. Just a character flaw I guess. The gathering I went to was really a social/political get together, the shooting was like the food and drink, just part of the event but much enjoyed.

      Hope all is well on your end. Maybe you will get some of this good weather we are having in North Georgia there in Alabama!

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  5. Well that's a shame about Rufus. That's two of them in a short time frame now. Not to mention the cat too. You are having a rough go of it in that department. At least Rufus went on his own accord and you did not have to put him down. That is rarely the case these days.
    I am self taught when it comes to reloading, but I have a friend who was in the coastguard and is looking to buy an M1, so he recently asked me to teach him reloading.

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    1. Yes, I'm down to one dog now, and she's retired. I'm looking for some young dogs that need a home. Still would like to get a whippet but they don't seem to be much in evidence in North Georgia.

      I don't euthanize my elderly animals unless they are in pain. I had to do that with Jiggles, he had cancer really bad, had already had one serious operation, and a second would only have prolonged the agony. But most of mine die at home, with the people and animals they know around them. I'd like to go that way. I've seen what happens when someone elderly gets parked in the hospital to check out, and I don't plan on going that route. I know you have been down the long road with this kind of situation so you know what I'm talking about.

      I'm glad I had someone to show me the ropes on getting started. I had a lot more confidence and he got me on the right path. I think if you can teach your friend you will be doing him a great service. Those Philippine M-1 should start showing up at DCM here soon.

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  6. Sorry to hear about Rufus, my friend. But he had a darn good life with you.

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    1. He was a good dog. He earned his keep. I always felt better with an indoor dog to augment the big dogs outside. Old Rufus had it pretty good. He didn't have many teeth left, so he got boiled chicken breasts, cut up very fine, or cut up baloney, which he doted on. He also liked certain kinds of cat food, which had to be rationed as it interfered with his digestion. The old guy had his own dog bed on the couch, and my wife would bring him his water bowl so he didn't have to move his old bones to get down and get a drink. He had a lot of personality. I hope he's doing fine where ever he is now. I can't see how , if people live on after death, then animals wouldn't. Not like people are God's greatest creation, by a long shot.

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  7. Sorry to hear about Rufus. Losing a furry friend is hard, but you gave him a good life, and the little guy knew he was loved.

    Bought an RCBS "Rock Chucker" setup, dies, shell holders, and all the accessories for the calibers we shoot. It's still all in the boxes, but at least it's gone from being under-the-bench to on-a-shelf, so eventually it'll get used.

    So you have the small, single LNB dish? Gee, I didn't know they still allowed those. The new multi-satellite dishes are more oval than round, and have three LNB's on them. When they made me upgrade my receiver for the new HD format, they also replaced the dish and LNB's.

    I was going through some boxes of clothing the other day so I can take stuff to Salvation Army, and I found one of my T-Shirts from DirecTV celebrating their one-millionth customer, and my "I Survived Y2K!" shirt.

    C-Band is still widely used, but it's gone almost completely digital, and it's usually encrypted. We got a lot of our programming (HBO, Cinemax, etc) from C-band satellites, processed it, and then sent it back out to the DirecTV satellites. Local programming usually came direct from the local TV stations on fiber.

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    1. Yeah, I've got the old timey gear, with one LNB. That's my problem. Everybody is going HD, like you did, they just make you do it. But I can't because I'm living in a niche carved into the side of a mountain with other mountains around me. I can just hit the one satellite, but no way I can do three and the HD stuff needs three. I'm not sure what the resolution will be. There's never going to be cable out here, and my internet connection is rudimentary at best, can't "stream" television on it.

      That Rock Chucker is great for a guy who doesn't have to have a progressive press that does all the work for him. I love mine.

      I remember Y2k and Gary North all too well. I bought his Y2K newsletter, read it religiously, and prepared for the collapse. I learned a lot anyway, but I had to suffer the ridicule of my siblings.

      When I think of C band I think of the good old days, where there was no encryption and no real programs to buy, you just watched what you could find. Then the pay for service bunch came in and that was that.

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    2. I had some preps laid in for Y2K, like a bunch of cash on hand, and some food and water, but I wasn't exceptionally concerned about it.

      The shift to C-Band being mostly digital was far more than just a money grab. Satellites using digital methods can carry far more traffic than one using analog methods. And since very few ordinary people were using C-Band, most of the satellites started carrying "premium" programming that other companies (cable TV and satellite TV) charge extra for, so the providers of that programming (HBO, Cinemax, and most others) started sending it encrypted. There's still a lot of free stuff there like network feeds and PBS stuff, but since all the money is in the "small dish" area, C-Band slowly turned into a service for other providers.

      Have you looked into "Free To Air" (FTA) systems. They're "small dish", and there's a LOT of programming available.

      http://www.ftalist.com/

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    3. Dr. J, I have never heard of "free to air" but I will certainly check into it. The old systems, you had a device that actually rotated the massive dish outside, as you changed satellites (I am sure you knew that), but I like the fixed dish systems. I also like being able to pick one package that has the things I need, so I put up with Direct TV or Dish. I may be out of luck though, if both go to a three satellite system which I have no hope of getting.

      Thanks for the link on the FTA. I will take a good look.

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    4. Yes the actuators used to muscle the C-Band dishes could get pretty big.

      Basically a ball-screw drive with an electric motor.

      Some of the FTA antennas have positioners on them as the free stuff is on multiple satellites.

      The dishes are smaller than C-Band, but bigger than DTV or Dish.

      I've been toying around with getting one "just because".....

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  8. Good on you for saving Rufus's live, and giving him a good place to die. Your a good man.

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    1. My daughter is the one who finds all these animals that need homes. She has rescued 8 ferrets, who came to live with me, and got me hooked on ferrets so that I found some more who needed a place to live. She has brought home exotic chickens she got in pet stores who were supposed to be snake food, cats who got run over and were crippled, dogs like Rufus, billy goats, and others in need. We have plenty of room up here, both for inside and outside animals, and I think they really contribute a lot. Especially since the kids grew up and went off to make their way in the world, the animals play a big part in keeping the wife and I from being lonely. They certainly pay back everything we do for them, in spades.

      Rufus was a good guy. He was funny, he was very alert and a great indoor watch dog. We thought it was pretty horrible that somebody from that old woman's church would promise to take care of him and then plot to just have him killed.

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  9. I'm sorry about Rufus, but it sounds like he passed very peacefully and had a long life.
    Direct TV is the worst! When I wanted to cancel I had to make phone call after phone call and they just wouldn't shut it off. They wanted to keep getting my money. Even now, it's been over ten years, and they STILL send me junk mailings every single week trying to get me back.

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    1. I hope I go out the way Rufus did. No pain, no furor, just peacefully from one sleep to another. The last years of his life we saw to it he had everything he wanted , and the hold lady who owned him most of his life took good care of him.

      I could just tear my hear out sometimes, trying to deal with Direct TV. They have always been terrible in terms of service, and customer service. Since AT&T bought them they've passed from simple incompetence to criminal incompetence.

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  10. We had at one point dish TV got rid of that, Hughes Net. Got rid of that. We now have cable. internet is fast. Tried the phone company. It was like all the rest. If you ask just about anyone about reloading they think your talking about your cell, computer, tablet, Dick Tracy watch. Anything but a gun

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    1. I had a satellite service called "Blue Sky" for awhile, but it was purely internet connectivity, no television feeds. It was pretty worthless as you paid for a certain amount of "band width" and after you used it, they slowed down your internet to the point where it wasn't worth fooling with. It was also very prone to weather disruptions. We'll never get cable out here, too far out and not enough people live here to make it worth the cable company's time or money.

      Reloading is pretty common here, the general store sells all the components you could ever want at a reasonable rate. But then, there are probably a lot more gun people here than in a suburban or urban environment.

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  11. I just wish the kids wouldn't get separated from their families.

    I understand that we need to deal with less immigrants coming here because of space and other reasons. There has to be a way to keep the kids with their Mom's though.

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    1. I can understand your feelings as a mom. But the people doing all the whining knew this would happen, and they came flooding up here anyway. It's on them, not us.

      We should deport the whole bunch the instant they get caught breaking into the country, then we wouldn't have to separate them. There is also a school of thought that since illegals tend to be repeat offenders, they should get "constructive labor" time, and be used to do manual labor that benefits the country, exactly as we do here in this county with our prisoners. They don't sit on their butts watching tv in air conditioned recreation rooms. They are out there working on the roads six days a week.

      The liberals are playing on public sympathy, Alissa, to advance their own agenda.

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    2. Alissa: The whole thing about the children being separated is total media artifice. 100% theater produced by the alphabet soup news for the willing consumption of the uninformed. It was also happening under O-bumer but no one gave a crap. All of the media photos of the "separated children" being used to promote the story are dated as far back as 2004. Second point no one is talking about is that this is only happening because the supposed parents are second time offenders. That means they have already entered US territory illegally once, and were caught processed and deported. The have a documented criminal record here in the USA. There is roughly 2000 of them in this case. They are second time offenders and that under US law makes the crime they have committed a felony. Now, if you as a US citizen commit a felony, your children would also be taken from you. And if they could not be placed with a close relative that can pass proper vetting, your children also go in to a DHS holding facility. Thirdly there is one embassy and eleven consulates in Mexico, any one of which any Mexican subject or foreign citizen can freely enter and apply for asylum without being separated from their children. But then they could not take advantage of the catch and release program they were told by the Soros organizers they would get away with. But you see the media is not really interested in telling you all of that because it goes against the political agenda they are being paid to promote. In the interest of full disclosure I am a legal migrant to, and now citizen by choice of the US of A.

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    3. Alissa is a great mom, like my wife, and I think mom's are more inclined to look at the immediate impact on kids rather than giving a whole lot of thought to the political implications. Hope I don't get myself labeled a sexist for saying that, but there are differences between the way the different sexes see the world. It's just a fact.

      I've wondered about how you came to America. You told me once you were originally a Venezuelan, didn't you? You must have come mighty early in your life because you fit here like a glove.

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    4. How far back to go? The abridged version is yes, I was born in Venezuela and grew up in Caracas. Dutch father German mom, both post WW2 migrants to Venezuela. Dad started as a rough neck on the derricks in lake Maracaibo in the early 50s and made it to be head of personnel for Exon of Venezuela. Things in the late 70s were going south fast and we were looking to get out. I applied to a boarding school here with no hopes of ever getting in and was surprised when they accepted me. I came here on a I-20 student visa when I was sixteen. Applied for residency after I got out of high school, and later citizenship. Been here now for 39 years.

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  12. Hi Harry. Here's my Directv story. I had a Directv system in my house that got struck by lightning. I called and called and called and couldn't talk to a human. At the time, I was still working at West Virginia Public Broadcasting, when I came in one morning, there was a message on my phone stating "your television station, WPBY, was off the air for 53 seconds at 3:36AM, please call us back at xxx-xxx-xxxx." Aha a real call back number that a human answers! I called and gave them hell,
    "Well, you can call me but I can't call you heh? You connect me to a real human right now because this is what's gonna happen!
    Your tech service is lousy, your rates are too high, and your programming is junk. Cancel my service. Send a tech over to remove your junk from my house or I'll do it myself and throw the receiver in the trash." A shipping box arrived at my house two days later for the receiver. I took the special card out and threw it in the trash. I took duct tape and wrapped it around the receiver and wrote "lightning damaged" on it before I packed it. No one ever came to take the dish down, I removed it myself later and used it to make a cellphone antenna. I don't miss it at all. In fact, I don't miss watching tv at all. The news is just propaganda and the programming is just junk.

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    1. Don, I always get either an Indian, or a computer when I call. Either one is useless.

      I like to get the local television stations out of Atlanta, because I watch the news at 0600 and 1700 every day. That keeps me up to speed on what is going on in Atlanta, even if all of it is bad.

      I also like The Weather Channel and The Weather Network. My wife likes to watch the women's fashion shows.

      I did get mad enough to cancel it and send all the equipment back two years ago, but after a few months I felt so cut off, and my wife missed her shows so much, I got just the simple receiver and the cheapest package reactived.

      I used to like to watch History Channel, Discovery Channel, National Geographic and the Science Channel, but they all turned into "the crappy B.S. reality show channel."

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  13. I pretty much agree with you on the positives of reloading. I started doing it back in about 1983 or 1984 after I bought a used T/C Contender that came with .44 magnum and .218 Bee barrels. The .218 Bee was pretty much obsolete and hard to obtain ammo for. The .44 magnum cost $10 for a box of 20 rounds. Big bucks back in the day. That's what got me into reloading. I could make a box of 20 full power, jacketed HP .44 mags for about $2.75/box. Sweet. Then I found a couple 50 count boxes of .218 Bee at a little sports shop. Now I was all set for a long time. Unlike you though, I had to muddle through teaching myself to reload. I didn't know anyone who did metallic, only shotgun. The downside of my endeavors was that I would pick up range brass and save it for other reloaders that I came to know over the years. I ended up with many coffee cans full of .32 ACP and .380 ACP that nobody wanted. Not being one to let good brass go to waste I bought a nice, used Walther PPK .380 and a few years later a Keltec P-32. Maybe it's a good thing that nobody leaves .50 BMG lying around or I'd be out pricing a Barrett........

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    1. You know, I scavanged range brass the whole time I belonged to the Gun Club. Most of the members were well off Floridians who lived up here a little in summer and fall. They would blast off a box of ammo and not even bother to pick up the spent brass. I always gathered it all up when I went, kept what I could use, and gave the rest of a fellow I knew who saved up brass and sold it to the metal recyclers in Banks county.

      I was lucky that old boy was willing to teach me the ropes, because I'm not good at reading a book and then putting it into practice. Nothing in the world wrong with a PPK. I have a German one (blued) and one of my carry guns (for hot weather and low threat) is stainless American produced PPK.

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  14. Sorry to hear about Rufus. He was a cute little bugger. Dogs are hard to lose, we can get quite attached to them.

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    1. Rufus (or Rufinius, as I called him) was a good little guy. He kept my wife company all the time, and he loved her , and she appreciated him very much. He really worked his passage up here on the mountain. It's always hard to lose an animal because they get to be good friends. I have a jpg. file here somewhere with a ferret face on it, and it's captioned "your best friend doesn't have to be human." When you live a fairly isolated existence, that's true.

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