Friday, December 31, 2010

Party of one

Yummy!!! New borosilicate cocktail set.

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On resolutions: Say "no" to crabs.

The idea of taking stock of one's life and setting goals is a worthy thing and I do admire the inclination. Believe it or not, I actually have goals and dreams of my own, as un-plotted as my path may appear to others. However, the thought of year-end reflection and goal-setting for the coming year seems incredibly lazy, to me. If there's something to which you aspire, you don't wait a day to embark on steps which propel you in that direction. In July, you don't say you're going to save your pennies beginning January 1. You drop the .03 from your pocket into a bin that day and get started.

I appreciate that someone took the trouble to figure out our solar cycle and identify our year into quantifiable units, but being a terrier at heart, I resent the tyranny of the calendar and will bloody well do things on my own time. I believe if you wish to alter your course, you must be resolved daily to that end and not functioning on someone else's time-table. Every person is capable of making more of their lives, if they will but choose to do so and there is no time like the present.

Misery is a bitch, and they say she loves company, but I don't agree. Misery doesn't love company. Misery loves miserable company. Negative people have accepted the limitations of life and have stopped looking for a way out of the morass, and want you to stop struggling, too. They want you to hunker down with them and accept defeat and squalor and to sit around licking your wounds with them.

Someone online said this brilliantly yesterday:

There will never be a shortage of people to argue for your limitations. They aren't telling you your story, they are telling you theirs. If you agree it becomes your story, too.

Have you ever seen a crab trap? It has an open hole at the top where the crabs crawl in. The crabs are nimble things and could crawl out of the trap, but once a bunch of them are in, when one canny crab starts to crawl out, the others will pull the fleeing crab back into the pot and to their communal doom.

All this is by way of saying if you must set and aspire to goals, do so at your own pace, on your own time-frame. This is merely a coincidence that today is the last day of the year, but I am resolved to not use someone else's failures and limitations as a template for my own course. That has nothing to do with the coming year and everything to do with me.


This LOLdog never gets old to me-- I giggle just thinking about it.

They have a lot of great PewPewPew! posts at LOLcats.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Hey good lookin! We'll be back to pick you up later!

Whyzzit I feel television was no dumber in the 1970s?

Great fun for the whole fambly.

Oh, I might get a television sometime soon. For reals. Maybe in 2012. I'm kind of too busy right now.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Timelapse of Dale Chihuly Chandelier Installation

This video is seriously cool. I love the sinuous glass forms produced in Chihuly's studio. Nice splitscreen video of the piece emerging and the ambient music is nice, too.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Why I love music.

Because someone understood me once, long before my parents were born, and he wrote this:

Montagues and Capulets from Sergei Prokofiev's Romeo & Juliet.
When you find music that stirs you deeply, you should seek it out and listen to it often, lest the din of life still the singing of your heartstrings.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Cranapeno jam

"Phlegmmy!" they said. "This cranberry/jalapeno jam is not nearly hot enough" they said. You want hot, tootsie? I'll give you hot. I put about 1.5 cups of these bad boys in the jam this time, membranes, seeds and all. Not hot, my foot.

Here's the whole mess, bubbling away.

Jars must be sterilized.

Filled jars must be put in boiling water-bath for at least 10 minutes for my altitude.
BTW - Silicone oven-mitts is the bomb-diggity for all cooking pursuits. I was pining for one and Himself outdid Himself and bought me a pair. Handling hot shit will never be the same. Speaking of Himself and handling hot shit-- yeah, I know that was redundant-- he also got me one of these Kuhn Rikon Cool Gripper for snagging the empty jars out of the water bath. They can be slippery and hard to pick up properly when you're getting them out of the boiling water to fill with your canning product, so this is an incredible tool for that purpose. When picking up with this tool, be sure to turn your palm outward, grip the far rim of the jar while keeping your thumb pointed back to yourself. This way you can dump the boiling water out over the pot without risk of it pouring down your arm. *shudder to think* Probably over time, the foam on the grippy bit will give way, because as with all tools, you need to make sure you sterilize anything that will be touching a surface you'll be sealing food into.

I'm besotted with my Maslin pot. This one is heavy stainless steel, has a bowed-out lip for pouring, a wonderful bail which stops short of the rim so it stays cooler than the pot for easy handling, and inside is a pint-marker for the contents, so you can be sure you have enough jars on the boil to house the fruits of your labour.

[ritual tasting of the product on the pan before washing, this is now pleasantly spiky, actually, but I still wouldn't call it hot. Now about 10 minutes after tasting, that bracing pepper icy-hotness is lingering on my tongue, but this would never break me out into a sweat as a properly hot pepper can do. Or maybe these peppers weren't that hot? Or maybe my hot-taster is throwed off? Anyway, I may be questioning the wisdom of making the mild version of this at all-- I thought this version would light my own fire, but it was not at all like licking a nettle. Hmmm... maybe over some ice cream???]

There we have about 4 pints put by for lessening the odiousness of turkey-sandwiches to come. (There were two more pints going through the water bath as this photo was taken.) Sweet!
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Sunday, December 26, 2010

Sunday, Puppy Sunday: Christmas at Gramma & Grampa's

Teh puppehs had a grand holiday at the grandfolks' house this year. They were very nervous for the three hour drive down, but that anxiety quickly melted away when they discovered that here was a place where lots of folks would give treats to poor, starving pups.

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Saturday, December 25, 2010


Merry Christmas.

All my thanks to the ever tasteful Vinogirl for introducing me to this track from Steeleye Span.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Piano by Boyce Hawkins

Christmas Piano by Boyce Hawkins

ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!!!

A musical interlude for Christmas - scrolly-scrolly/clicky-clicky to hear some delightfully discordant tones in all-too-familiar and all-too-often-played Christmas music. Most refreshing, indeed.


Lookie what I found! Mr. Q Cumber

I woulda never thunk it,

but a little bottle of carbonated cucumber soda was just the tonic in the middle of Christmas shopping. It was sweet and fresh and different. I don't normally drink soft drinks, but I may add this as an occasional player in the beverage rotation. Yum!

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Thursday, December 23, 2010

Praline, Praline: sweet and nutty.

You can't imagine how impossibly sweet Miss Praline is.

She's a classic Jack Russell Terrorist which means she is Deathbringer for squirrelses and sockses, but even more than that she loves to cuddle with a reading or napping person. She is smart and attentive and wants very much to please. Sometimes I think she is looking to me with earnest, wanting desperately to convey some deep, important thought(feed me!), but then I remember that she more likely has that Indian head test pattern on permanent loop in her brainpan. The first time he saw her, Himself picked her up as she wiggled with all her might and he said "she's like a salmon on meth!" An apt description. When I come home from work, she wags so ferociously that it looks like she has a dozen hinges in her spine. How can you not smile every day with an exuberant creature like that around? I smile a lot.

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Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Want. One. The Washlet by Toto

I always went to a sushi bar in Dallas that had a high-tech terlit seat that had instructions in kanji/katakana/hiragana, and the little figures on the push-buttons had been worn out. I never tried to push them, because it struck me as grody to push a button where someone may have pushed it after messing with their fiddly bits.


Anyway, I'm not wishing I'd tried it then and I'm not saying my butt is dirty or that I'd find any pervy pleasure out of having one, but I'll tell you one thing: if Ed McMahon ever comes a'knockin', the very first thing I'll do is grab my bonnet and right right out and pick me up one of those Toto Washlets.

It's funny the way a lot of folks think Americans are obsessed with their own nethers, but I think we're not a stitch on Japanese.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Fly Klutz.

A klutzy fly interrupts a high-speed camera filming and manages to look like it has 6 left feet. Putz. Haw haw haw!

*smack!* *bounce!*

He was super-mad when all the larvae were jeering "what a douche!"

Monday, December 20, 2010

I know this is sick, but...

...this makes me giggle:

Jingle Bells!

The Puppini Sisters

The ultimate in recycling...

Ever wonder what happens to artificial body parts when someone is cremated?

Yeah. Me too.

Actually, I wonder about breast implants-- that stuff burning can't be good for anyone, right? Are after-market knockers poking holes in the ozone layer?

From a site which boasts funky crematorium facts:

"Another medical device that causes crematoria problems are silicone breast implants. The cremains stick to the residual silicone, which means you’ll wind up with clumps of Aunt Erma instead of gritty ash."

Um. Ew.

Then there's the not insignificant matter of the artificial joints-- that titanium ain't cheap, baby. According to one site, post-cremation, dental gold and silver is not recoverable(though they refer to the precious metals as "jewelry" which seems more perverse to me than to simply call it what it is). My speculation would be that the folks who prepped the body already picked that out, but they don't actually expand on that. They seem to want us to think it's incinerated along with Aunt Erma. Again, all those heavy metals being converted to gas form prolly ain't doing us a world of good.

Apparently the titanium and other artifical parts are re-sold by crematoria to manufacturers for use in-- wait for it-- more artifical joints. There seems to be a sort of toothsome symmetry to that-- sort of a book-end type arrangement.

Yeah, I know it's icky to consider this, but it's stuff we wonder about and I think the wondering is way more spooky than putting on one's big-girl panties and facing the truth.

Speaking of, I've said so before here, but I've told my folks that whatever means of dispensation should suit them will be fine should I shuffle off this mortal coil leaving them to plan my sendoff. I've heard some say they are freaked out by the thought of their body having been destroyed and not being all together when it is swept up to Heaven sometime down the road. Well, sweetie-- I think the Lord of All Creation who made the universe and everything can re-congregate the earthly bits of you, should He so desire, so I think that's a lame argument against cremation. The thought of cremation squicks my Mom out, so I only ask that they don't choose some meringue, hideous casket, but merely a simple Trappist Casket from those lovely monks at the monastery in Peosta Iowa will suit me fine, if I get the standard un-fired burial.

I actually strongly urge everyone to watch Penn & Teller's episode of Bullshit! which focused on the funeral industry. (I think you can actually see bits of this episode on YouTube) I think we often are taken advantage of due to the sheer unpleasantness of the topic, when, in fact, death is as natural as birth around here. If you live long enough, it'll happen to you.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Sunday, puppy Sunday: pups on a pillow

The floor in the house is cold so I pretty much need a puppy bed in every room. Praline gives these guilt-inducing stares that say "shouldn't you be snuggling us in bed?"

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Saturday, December 18, 2010

Anonymous 4 - Ave Maria

Medieval liturgical music seems a much more fitting embodiment of the spirit to me than all the music we generally associate with Christmas. I love the elegance of the lines and the astonishing contrast of voices then merging to sound like just one person. Plain-chant unison is incredibly challenging singing and this group does it breathtakingly well.

I remember seeing them one night in Fort Worth about a dozen or so years ago. It was cold out and late and I was tired and really wanted to blow off going, but I went anyway. I'm so glad I didn't miss it because this is all the more effective in person. I once heard one of the women in Anonymous 4 say this is mystical without being religious. Here's to the mystical enchantments devoid of oppressively zealous cant.

Friday, December 17, 2010

London Calling

Wow. Joe Strummer and the Pogues in 1988. Could be really wrong, but it actually really works.

It's Friday, weekend is here and I'm runnin' for the barn, baby. I guess that means I'm working for a working weekend. :P

Thursday, December 16, 2010

dear Santa...





Carol Rocks by Irregular Choice

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

What time is it?

It's Hammer Time!

omg! Is that Jello Biafra at 1:37??? Check the bald older guy in the sport jacket and headband. There's just such rich meet food here.

This is my kind of mob, but their degree of organization belies the mob label. I mean, who puts this much energy into a one-off or two-off prank? Who paid for the pants? Did all these people actually already know the entire Hammer dance? I don't know, but it sort of doesn't matter. Loved it. It would have been rendered perfection if someone shouted "don't tase me, bro!" in the middle.

Weird and wonderful.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

school starts in one month...

About a month ago I set the wheels in motion to go back to school. I applied, had transcripts sent, went to a little orientation thingie and I'm all set to take one or two classes in the spring semester. Most of the prerequesites have been fulfilled by my earlier times in school, but I still have a couple to get out of the way, worst of which is the algebra requirement, so I'm eating the frog and taking that on next semester. I may only take that class, but we'll see.

Midday Monday I left work and went to wait in line to register for classes, which was a requirement for new students. When I arrived, there were about 20 people ahead of me. No big deal, right? I waited for 2 and a half hours. The younger students were whining and blathering. I thought how the guy playing some song on his phone repeatedly should be publicly beaten, and I gasped with astonishment when the young mother took her herself and her infant away from the line when the cooing baby transitioned to wailing siren. *whew*

I played Scrabble for 2 hours. I decided if this is the worst discomfiture the next couple years' study affords, then it won't be too bad. Still, I could just feel my work piling up back at the office. Most of the other folks in line were much younger than me, and I felt more like a dinosaur than usual. Still, I'll tuck in the task and see where it takes me. Sorry if this seems like I'm congratulating myself. I don't feel like I'm doing something bold and groundbreaking, but I did feel a teeny bit exultant that I didn't just blow it off and keep settling for whatever (poorly compensated) jobs the local economy will bear for my uncredentialed skill set. This is going to be a lot of work. I think I deserve to whine a teeny bit here. :P

Monday, December 13, 2010

and now for something completely different.

Changes are afoot. Tomorrow I'll most likely have news of some new training I'll be getting in anticipation of a fairly abrupt career change maybe a couple years down the road.

As far the American workforce is concerned, we are at an interesting juncture, and I think some of the only really secure professional fields are and will remain in the service industry. Couple that with a marketplace in which fewer and fewer young folk are imbued with anything like a reliable work ethic, and I think things are really going to take a tumble in our economy. I have seen several fields where the old hands have been fired to facilitate the hiring of two others with ages halved and experience and work ethic at below ground-level. The tragedy here is that the older worker may be more expensive, close to retirement, etc., but an experienced and reliable longtime worker is worth more than the sum of their parts.

I was talking to a girlfriend who got laid off from her graphic design job a few months ago. She's been working in her field for 30 years and has taken computer graphics courses routinely to keep up with the march of technology. When I first met her - mid- 80's, she worked in the art department for a newspaper that was changing over to computer-based graphic layout/design. I remember walking through the newsroom with her, and her mentioning to me later how all those typesetter guys were an endangered species-- wondering what would become of these guys who had news ink in their blood and who had worked steadily, stalwartly for decades. People doing that kind of work went in to work in the evening and worked into the wee hours to get the paper to your door by 5 or 6 am. She and I were talking recently about her layoff, and I asked about the typesetters, asking if she remembered that. She said "I think of those guys every day." She said that after the paper set up with computers for layout/graphics, that the typesetters were all gone in a matter of months. That was about 23 years ago, and now a new cycle has come around. I think the kids they are hiring today are going to enjoy an even shorter lifespan with their current, computer-based design careers because their current skills will merit dinosaur status in a decade. Or two years. Or 6 months.

I understand that we need to march forward with technology, but I have serious reservations about an economy in which the august workhorses are put out to pasture prematurely in favor of fresh horses who may not have the backbone to hoe the row when things get really tough. I don't know where this will all end up, but I know I have to change or be left in the dust, so I'll just do what I can to adapt, react and kick some ass.

Watch this space.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Something nice to say, day 11

At work I have to talk dozens of times a day with dispatchers at truck terminals all over the country. It was a strange transition to learn the rhythm of language with those folks, and to understand their role and how their time has to be respected. I thought they were gruff and impatient at first, but I've really come to respect that they all have huge responsibilities directing the flow of transport, and most of them are keen to help accommodate the wishes of the customers on whose behalf I liaise with them. They seem like a hybrid of a truck driver, a choreographer and an air-traffic controller, no mean feat. Here's to 'em.

Sunday, puppy Sunday: bedtime for Chuy

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Saturday, December 11, 2010

R.I.P. Nana

On January 2, 2009, I posted the following about Nana, Grandmother of my Beau:

I was fortunate to have occasion to talk to a little old lady recently. She was very sweet and spoke in a warm, clear voice as her mind cast back to her younger years, and days which must seem more present with her than a moment a few hours ago. She knew what she was saying and this was clear, but sometimes, she'd hesitate an instant as she flipped through her files to produce the apt word to come next in the sentence. She is meticulous in her language, erudite and well-spoken.

I held her hand as she spoke, and she smiled at me and said my family had been kind to me, that my coloring and features were lovely. She looked into my eyes and we chatted quite a while, mostly her speaking and me listening. What a rich and interesting life she has had. And a good one- one in which she can take great pride and comfort.

I said how lovely her hands were. Her fingers seem impossibly tiny and are quite elegantly formed without the signs of arthritis which seem so common in the hands of the elderly folk in my own family. I thought of my own hands, and how the rigors of my leisure pursuits seem to have taken their toll on my little mitts. Nails very short for my new guitar practice. Years of flower gardening, working with wire and tools in jewelry manufacture and of course, the shooty arts wot am hell on a manicure. Still, I like the way my hands look - the hands of an artisan. My hands say I am capable, and I like that. But I look at her hands and consider the X number of decades she has on me - hers still have a look of refinement which age can not mar. Her hands say who she is: a Lady.

She said she'd been a pianist and people loved watching her play and always commented on her pretty hands, and that she'd considered being a hand model. She chuckled. She looked at my left hand holding her left hand and raised her right hand, turning it in the light, considering. Her fine skin is corded with vessels draped over her bones under too-thin skin. The lines of her hands are beautiful and yes-- they show her age. She looked at her hand a moment longer and then pointed to her own left hand and said "this is what your hands look like when you're old and ...bony. And this [now pointing to my hand] is what your hands look like when they are young and..."

I waited for the word, knew it would be a good one.


We both threw our heads back and laughed.

Nana is to be buried today. Rest well, Nana. I'm glad I got to know you.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Rowley Birkin QC - Cairo

I can never get enough of this adorable Paul Whitehouse character from The Fast Show (or Brilliant! as it was called when shown in the States). Fabulous character actor. :) Brilliant, actually.

Something nice to say, day 9

Chris is more clever than you can possibly imagine. You get a tiny taste of it in his blog, but he has the tendency-- either one-on-one or in a group-- to be skimming the surface of the palaver only to unfurl the most jaw-dropping observation which cuts to the core of the issue in the most delightful way. Clever man, he.

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Something nice to say, day 8

In my little town, and even in the middling-sized city nearby, they still have bag-clerks at the grocery store. Every person is offered help carrying to the car, and if you're female, they'll practically clobber you with kindness rather than let you carry your own. And they refuse all tips. I think it's rather charming and sweet, and hearkens back to another time, in a way. I think it's really nice that folks around here have held on to some things like that.

either this is brilliant...

...or it's a yonder-comes-a-sucker moment, but I'm in love with my new wiper blades. I don't think I've put new wiper blades on LouLou for these 123,000+ miles since 2005, and it was clearly time. There was much pitiful squeaking and the rubber on the one on the back plumb gave up the ghost. Turns out I have to go to a Hyundai dealer for the back one, but I picked up the ones for the front at a parts store and I actually squeed when I saw how well they worked. They were about 8 and 7 bucks more than the lower-end ones, and maybe I've never had really boss wiper blades before, but these are amazing. Well, I liked them with just the wiper fluid, anyway. They hug the windshield better that the boobs on that chick in Cool Hand Luke, and now I'm almost ready for winter. Still have to go by the Hyundai dealership for that blade for the back.

*much eye-rolling*

Did you hear about Pete Sampras' tennis trophies being stolen from a Public Storage space in Los Angeles a few weeks ago?

He says the loss “is like having the history of my tennis life taken away.”

Honestly, are you going to bung your most precious mementos into a mere storage locker if they really mean that much to you? I think not. Even if they never catch the person wot done it, there's a strong likelihood Pete will be reunited with his very distinctive and well-noted trophies because, well, they are bloody engraved, ain't they? While I'm completely sympathetic to how very awful it feels to have your things looted, I think it's a little silly to say the loss of the trophies is like all that history never happened.

I googled Pete Sampras and Google told me it had more than 759,000 results. I suppose they must mean some other, less forgettable Pete Sampras, eh? Somehow, I think that ever-so-slightly overshadows a few silver bowls and service for 48 in crystal plates. Maybe I'm not looking at it right, but I think the fact that his place in [recent] history is pretty well cemented.

Then again, a big ole space rock might be hurtling for us at any minute and nothing of this will matter anyhoo.

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Something nice to say, Day 7

Tam linked this post, and I think it's absolutely brilliant and worth reading.

I waste a lot of time, but I get a lot of things done by not indulging a TV habit. I am, however, trying to make more efficient use of my time, and to take frequent baby steps forward with working on the house. What TJIC says there makes a lot of sense and I've bookmarked it. Maybe you'll find something you can use there, too. :)

What's cuter than nekkid beefcAke on a rug?

That's right: nuthin'.

I asked Himself if it might be possible there could be a cuter pair of pups on the planet. He said he didn't see how, but if there was, it'd be a black hole of cuteness.

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Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Something nice to say, day 6

Holly and JPG are such incredibly dear friends. Every so often we get to meet for dinner and I never feel like we really have enough time, but it's sweet to linger and chat and laugh with them. I'll always be grateful for J taking the time to help me get comfortable shooting a wide array of pistols in search of what I'd choose for my carry pistol. Holly's been supportive in more ways than I can ever convey, and together, they are a dynamic, lovely pair of folks, and I count myself very blessed, indeed, to be among their friends. I hope I get to see them soon.

Decking the halls

In that wonderful way of things, concessions must be made. I am not using my longstanding tree in favor of another tree which at least attempts to approximate the look of an actual, well, tree. The other tree was fabulous, but new beginnings here call for something new. Problem is, though, that concern for budget is at a premium this year. Therefore, I've gotten a nice little artificial tree at the dollar store for about $20, and I think it looks perfectly lovely.
Oh, and another fab find this weekend was this lovely wool rug I found at a yard sale for $30. It's large and looks like it was made for the colors in the house here. Other lucky detail is that teh puppehs didn't seem concerned with it one way or another. Once I bought a carpet at a department store and brought it home, unrolled it proudly and Valentine promptly copped a squat on it-- I concluded that someone else bought it, their dog sullied it and that pretty much guaranteed my dog would do the same. That pretty much put me off fooling with rugs any more, and I feared I'd get this one home only to have someone leave a calling-card on it, but at $30, it seemed worth risking disappointment. Not so. The doglings soon found it was a nice place to wallow about and scratch backs, but otherwise it didn't seem to rate a leg-lift. Yay!
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Monday, December 06, 2010

Something nice to say, day 5

See how that went? Good thing I forgave myself in advance for possibly missing any days on this.

Can I say that as I look at the progress on the house since buying it in February, every day I see things friends have helped with, most notably the ceilings in the bedroom and dining room. Daniel and Tolewyn have been absolute angels to help so much with that. They and Himself have been real troopers to help bring my demented vision to life in this little house, and it's a nice reminder of how generous folks can be. I keep thinking of it like a barn raising or stone soup. Nice friends, and handy, too. They're as handy as a handle on a pig.

Visions of my future carport are dancing in my head. *wink*

New Vegas Showgirl

Miss Praline plopped down

while we were decking the halls and the half-finished cheapie tree looks like one of those enormous showgirl headdress thingies. Hee.

Then I was snapping a photo of the put-together tree and the Chooch had to get in on the act.

So far, the babies love Christmas.

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New omelette pan win!!! (or is it "omelet?)

I'll not frighten you by showing you the first effort, but the second turned out pretty well, IMHO.

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Christmastime in Texas.

How cute is this??? I love it. In fact, I've been planning to hang some ornaments from Buck's antlers army house. Maybe today.

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Sunday, Puppy Sunday: sweet rolls

They're so fetching when they curl up like a little pair of sticky buns. This photo was Wednesday night when the temperature dropped and I was in the kitchen making jam. They could have been on the down comforter, but then hey would have missed out on any windfall morsels from the kitchen counter, so they braved the cold, sort of. Speaking of, they have discovered they just lurveses their sweaters-- they hate being cold.

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Saturday, December 04, 2010

I larfed and larfed at this jet-bike fail

or sort of.

Something about the bit at the :39 mark when the biker stares at the camera strikes me as sublimely silly. And then there's the 1:04 mark when one of the guys declares the biker a putain. [what's up with French men calling each other whores, anyway? Odd, that.]

something nice to say, day 3

I have a fabulous boss right now(no, she doesn't know about me blog). She's great because she doesn't micromanage but gives me solid support when I need it.

Friday, December 03, 2010

have a beautiful Friday.

something nice to say, day 2

I have tremendous admiration for Christina's daring, can-do spirit. She apparently didn't get the standard self-doubt chip issued to so many folks. Love. Her!

Thursday, December 02, 2010

rain on a metal roof

Wow. Someone put a video (audio?) on youtube of an entire hour of rain on a metal roof as a sleep aid. I want to put a metal roof on this house. It's such a nice sound, s'long as there's no hail.

I love Mince and Tatties!

This lovely little lady recites poem Mince and Tatties by JK Annand.


Mince and Tatties
I dinna like hail tatties
Pit on my plate o mince
For whan I tak my denner
I eat them baith at yince.
Sae mash an mix the tatties
Wi mince into the mashin,
An sic a tasty denner
Will aye be voted 'smashin!'

something nice to say, day 1.

I marvel how this year has passed. I will forgive myself if I fail or drop the ball on this, but I'm going try to take a minute every day this month to observe something nice about people who are precious to me, and the ways they have helped my life, starting with where I started, my Mom and Dad.

My parents never tried to shame me by fretting over what the neighbors/extended family/town gossip mill would think of me or something I've done. I think they don't even consider that, since they have functional moral compasses of their own. Thanks to Mom and Pop for imbuing me with the ability to go my own way and not hold myself up to someone else's (lower) standards.

Mighty Zorro, R.I.P.

I don't have a picture of Zorro, but I have a photo of one of his puppies below, his baby Denver who shared his mark of the masked one. Here's a post about Zorro and Daisy's puppies, born a year ago in November. Here's a couple more.

It's strange how things turn out. Daisy is my sister's miniature wiener dog, and she got a Zorro to be Daisy's baby-daddy. Zorro was always a bit of a pistol, to hear tell, but I never got to meet him, until Friday night. Last Wednesday after work, I went to Mom and Dad's for Thanksgiving, stayed until the afternoon. Loaded the car up and headed for home. Got all the way home only to discover I'd left my purse at the folks' house. Friday night I drove back to Dallas, but needed a key to get in(Mom and Dad had gone out of town), so I went to BlowfuzzyVonSassy's house for the key, and there at long last I finally met the handsome, dashing and sassy Zorro, a neuter blade, of late. He bit me. He was amazingly cute and all wound up. I didn't stay long, but I was so happy to finally meet the famous little masked one. He was a little character, and clearly bent out of shape to find an interloper in the house so late. He was not happy at all that I was there. It was funny and he was a handsome little brute, and I forgave him immediately for the little nip, because it was my little sister he was protecting, bless him.

Zorro made a break for freedom, zipped out into the street last night and got run over. The people just drove away, not stopping. Now I'm glad I left my purse and had to go back to Dallas or I would never have seen his handsome little face in person.

I know the horror of seeing my dog run over by a car, and it's devastating, but in my case with Valentine, she lived several more years. It's so awful for a pet's life to be cut short, though. However long we have a dear pet, their time with us feels cruelly brief. I know, though, that if our sweet little dogs had the ability to consider such things, they'd want us not to be sad. They'd want us to run and play and tussle and raid the pantry and give too many treats and too many hugs and scratches on the belly. And if they had the ability to waste time considering their own mortality, I think they'd rather rush headlong to meet it like the brave, madcap little beasts they are, rather than wasting away to a geriatric state wherein each step brings the agony of grinding old bones and a lost will to chew socks or chase rabbits. I think the short sharp end would be what they'd choose, rather than a lingering agony. It's no comfort to us either way but I picture blaze-of-glory endings for dogs- it really fits them, in a way.

So I'm really sad for my sister and her family - I know the grief is terrible for them. I'm so sad for their loss because I know what a loving, cuddly little guy he was. I'm also remembering the loss of my own dog, and wondering and dreading the loss of other sweet darlings someday. I'm crying now, because the sweet joy of pets must be tinged with such bitter sadness. But I'm going to pull myself together in a minute, and I'm going to cuddle my dogs, and pet their sweet heads, and probably give them too many treats.

Well done, Zorro. You made some awfully pretty pups, and you are loved and missed.
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Wednesday, December 01, 2010

File when ready.

I've always been one for the good puns, as well as the bad ones. Taking a turn through Ulta last week, I came across the above little gem, a purse packet of nail files for a manicure tidy-up on the go. This may seem a small thing, but I found it a fetching nod to the more famous phrase altered by one letter. File when ready. Also buff, polish and chew, if you are so inclined.

I am heartened to see that all the fun has not gone out of us yet, and I am buoyed that despite the steady barrage of its flaccid salvos, political correctness has yet to take all the jubilant cheek out of alluding to storied phraseology connected with the firearm-fueled kicking of wholesale ass as connoted by the saying "Fire when ready."

tee hee!

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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

John Lydon flogs British Butter

I've always found the formerly Rotten Sex Pistols frontman to be endearingly straightforward. I think it's funny and delightful to see him in this setting looking like a wayward Weasley uncle being menaced by sheep, chased by cows and a face in the crowd. He were never a pretty young man, but as a geezer, he's kind of cute.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Nice pears.

Pretty maids all in a row.

In that special way I have, I managed to have a grand time at Mom and Dad's on Thanksgiving and remembered the deer head and my suitcase and my retainers and cell phone and cell phone charger, and managed to forget my handbag. *harumph*

So Friday night I drove back to Dallas, very nervously, and spent the night at the folks' house. I got up early Saturday morning and swung by Downtown Dallas' Farmer's Market for some fresh fruit and veg for putting by. Sunday I made a double batch of mild Cranberry Jalapeno jam, a batch of pickled sweet peppers and a batch of canned pears.

The pears were beautiful and they appear to have turned out nicely in the jars. I put a cinnamon stick in the syrup as it steeped while I was prepping the fruit, but it made for a bit of a mess in the syrup. (sorry, sweetie) Someone will just have to forgive me for that. I saw a tip online somewhere that you can use a melon-baller to neatly scoop out the big business of the core and the pips on a pear. Turns out, they're right! Looks super-tidy, actually.

Hopefully, they'll taste as good as they look. :) Sunday tally: 14 half pint jars of cranapeno jam; 5 jars canned pears; 5 jars pickled peppers. That's a chorus of 24 thrilling little jars snapping sealed. *smuck!* *smuck* Always makes me think of Smuckers preserves, because that sound is totally *smuck!*

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Sunday, November 28, 2010

Sunday, Puppy Sunday: Jolly Roger Sweater Puppies

Yes, Live! (nearly)Nood! Puppehs!

Okay, not even close to nude, but here's some live action footage of Miss Wigglebutt and ickle bruvva. What possible thing could rival the delightments of a fine pair of pups got up in such sweet threads?

I can't think of a thing.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

you could have knocked me over with a feather.

I thought I'd never see the day when Gang Of Four music would be used for a commercial campaign. Lo and behold if Natural's Not In It is being used for an XBox commercial. As with all GO4 music, I found them very hooky and memorable and I can see why the rhythm track would seem compelling for an energetic commercial. It's been many years since they were on my frequent flier play list, and yet their biting social commentary comes back to me often in little bits and pieces. (That Essence Rare comes springing to mind, and I quoted Damaged Goods not long ago here).

So, what strikes me as particularly ironic is not simply that they've sold their music for a campaign (and I don't blame them one bit for making a bit of dosh off an old track and hopefully kindling new interest in their work, but that the lyrics of Natural's Not In It always seemed anti-commercialistic in nature to me. But maybe I've always looked at it wrong. *shrug* I still like it. Was shocked, but pleasantly surprised to hear it unexpectedly.

Natural's Not In It

The problem of leisure
What to do for pleasure
Ideal love a new purchase
A market of the senses
Dream of the perfect life
Economic circumstances
The body is good business
Sell out, maintain the interest
Remember Lot's wife
Renounce all sin and vice
Dream of the perfect life
This heaven gives me migraine
The problem of leisure
What to do for pleasure

Coercion of the senses
We are not so gullible
Our great expectations
A future for the good
Fornication makes you happy
No escape from society
Natural is not in it
Your relations are of power
We all have good intentions
But all with strings attached

Repackaged sex keeps your interest
Repackaged sex keeps your interest
an original version below -

Farmer's Market

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Jayne's Hat Costume at DragonCon

Found this costume of Jayne's Hat over at Poorly Dressed FailBlog, but I do not concur. Considering all the abysmal get-ups folks get got-up in for Halloween or whatever, I think this one is actually made of Win. It's funny, and kind of cute, in a scary way. I know a lot of folk are rabidly fond of Jayne, but this is mebbe a bit much. Still, she's having a good time, it was a clever idea and well-executed, in my opinion.

JAYNE: How’s it sit? Pretty cunning, don’tchya think
KAYLEE: I think it’s the sweetest hat ever.
BOOK: Makes a statement.
JAYNE: Yeah, yeah!
WASH: A man walks down the street in that hat, people know he’s not afraid of anything.
JAYNE: Damn straight.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Sunday, Puppy Sunday: matchey-matchey.

[Yes, this is how veddy veddy tired I was when I went to sleep a little after midnight. I was in bed, pupping up a post from my iPhone and reasoned that I'd just had a day off, it therefore must be Sunday today. oops! This week'll just have to be a two-fer!]

I normally don't hold with dressing your babies in matching outfits, but like their skull parkas from last winter, I couldn't resist these sweaters. KEWT!!!

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Thursday, November 25, 2010

I'm thankful for...

my grandparents. Grandpa killed this buck about 25 years

ago. I didn't have to fight any cousins or siblings for this. To my amazement, teh puppehs haven't lost their minds over it. Yet.

Good memories of my grandpa.

(yes, Virginia, my living room ceiling will start going up in the next week or so)
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Got here last night and mom dished me up a bowl of her soup. On non nom. It's sweet to wake up at my folks' house.

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Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Later 'maters.

I had a cherry tomato plant that finally bore fruit this fall. I kept waiting for the one on the bottom to get bigger, but I suppose it decided to ripen before it got freezie around here. They were delicious. Next year it is my hope to have tomatoes coming out of my ears. I'm going to can up the awfulest mess of salsa and tomato stuff you ever saw.

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Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Thank you, India. Thank you, Terror.

Wow. CEO of Rapiscan Systems who makes one of the backscatter x-ray machines used to irradiate folks at our aeropuertos was a guest of the Obamas on their visit to India. Why does this not surprise me?

I wonder how much this guy and his company are making selling their machines to American airports?

I think people bent on terrorizing the flying public would not be deterred by these scanners and I am skeptical about their efficacy as well as their safety for frequent travelers. I think the traveling public should pick a day for a mass protest. I'm thinking everyone who is willing to go through the scanners, albeit under duress, could spell something provocative on their body with reflective tape that would make their feelings known*. I suggest FUTSA, but someone can probably think of something more clever and to the point.

Then there's the folks who insist on a pat-down. While such gear is reputed to be uncomfortable, I think it would be a special treat if the TSA screeners found a lot of folks sporting, uh-- how shall I say?-- under gear of a sexual and bondage-flavored nature. After all, air travel these days is pretty much a form of masochism anyway, so why not mince up to the fondling station wearing a little secret something lewd, bawdy and very personal in nature, but entirely legal and non-threatening? I suggest strap-on day. Chastity Belt day. (don't read this next bit, Dad. I have no idea what that all means. I just saw one when a package broke open on the mail sorting slide in 1987 at the Dallas Bulk Mail Center. I'll never forget that. It wasn't masturbating-monkey weird, but it was definitely weird.) - Buttplug day.

I'm loving the idea of the guy who did an impromptu strip sans tease. How about a whole bunch of people getting pre-emptively nekkid whilst waiting in line?

I think it's ironic that in the name of so-called safety, folks going about their own business are being subjected to increasingly dehumanizing rituals. What then if someone manages to pull off another terrorist act in spite of these machines and invasive pat-downs? After all, no one has successfully pulled off another 9/11-style attack using commercial airliners in those scanner-free years after 2001, have they?

Looks like we're in for it, no matter what we do. Once a candidate for the governor's seat in Austin was on the campaign trail and a storm was looming. A reporter asked him if he was upset about the impending bad weather, he quipped that the weather was just like rape- "if it's inevitable, just relax and enjoy it**." Well, if being fondled or irradiated by the TSA is inevitable, I say we at least go out of our way to have fun with it.

I already detested flying. I feel sad because I don't know if I'll ever feel like going through all that invasive stuff just to see England one more time. I feel a little sad about that.

And to whinge on a bit further-- not a single one of us is guaranteed a tomorrow. Life is dangerous but we are made complacent by the relative ease of the western life we've built around ourselves. I think it's a great joy to not have to worry about the banal horrors of a world without antiseptic and the kind of sophisticated safeguards we have in place, but we should not take that for granted. At this very moment, some great rock could be hurtling through the depths of space and coming right for us. Should we all be standing around, knock-kneed and peeing ourselves because something bad might happen?

Life is pain, highness. Anyone who tells you differently is selling something.

I'd rather take my chances with my privacy and dignity intact, TYVM. On a scale of degrees, the perceived benefit of body scans and TSA-endorsed groping is vastly outpaced by the abhorrent degree of exception I take to having my privacy thus invaded. Our government is perpetually thinking of new ways to bilk yet more money out of us, and they must be perceived to be doing something about threats to our society. Therefore, bodyscans are our dinner-and-a-movie. Either we do something to illustrate the preposterous scenario with which we are faced or we succumb.

* Himself suggested that subverting the process could get someone prosecuted, so mebbe this is not a great idea? I dunno.

** A bunch of us voted for Ann Richards instead

Monday, November 22, 2010

Matchless Music Maven -- fellow music entoosiast...

...well, I say fellow, but I'm not a stitch on her when it comes to sheer voracity of musical appetite... Anyhoo, Bad Tempered Zombie has composed an ode in my honor for correctly guessing which two tunes on her Friday Random Playlist on itunes shuffle were by bands she'd never heard of.

Anyway, it's not every day one has an Ode composed in one's honor, so I'm going to ride that wave of adulation, real or imagined. No matter what she says, I disagree that the ode is a crappy contest prize.

Yours truly,
Post Punk Priestess
[my new title]

I can't remember where I found this...

but it always makes me giggle just to think about it.

Cheeky, cheeky.

There's a tv show called Dancing With The Stars and the viewing public calls, emails or texts in votes for the contestant, with one person and their dancer partner being foxtrotted out the door each week, culminating with a big people's choice sort of finale.

Apparently some people question the numbers gathering methods for these votes, and someone at is outraged that the vote was hacked, netting nascent hoofer Bristol Palin staying power whilst better dancers have been shown the exit sign, possibly because some folks are voting (shock! horror!) more than once for their favorite dancer(an occurrence which apparently only outrages the author if the beneficiary of said extra votes is affiliated with a conservative politician). The author interviews a computer expert who concedes that 'this isn't supposed to be a "one person, one vote" election', but he goes on to identify those votes as fraudulent despite what the expert said about the intentions of this method of data collection. The harangue goes on to say the ramifications here are that with some voter bias and cheating, just as the inept Bristol could take the win with the DWTS competition, so too could we end up with her embarrassing tea-party style mom taking the White House in 2012.

I realize Bristol took the job on that show of her own volition and criticism will come along with the adulation. As long as her mother is a lightning rod, Bristol probably thought she might as well join in and have a laugh and kick her heels up, since she's in for uninvited media exposure every single day anyway. But if she is having a good time and actually enjoying herself, why wouldn't people be drawn to support that? It's supposed to be entertainment, for goodness' sake.

Himself said maybe people are voting for her not based on technical skill but just on moxie. He cites the affection inspired by the Jamaican bobsled team and Eddie the Eagle at the Calgary Olympics in 1988 and says what's wrong with it if people are voting with their hearts rather than with the withering criticism of a ballroom dance judge?

In the case of Eddie, the ski-jumping establishment was outraged that an interloper could waltz in with little qualification, garner so much attention and [in their eyes] make a mockery of their sport. Eddie didn't win at the Olympics in any category-- that went to folks technically more proficient - but Eddie did win the hearts of the world. I suppose when people think things are set up for a predetermined outcome, they get butt-hurt when things don't completely run on rails.

It would be really scary if ignorant people went out and voted without having a lick of sense or the first inkling of what is going on at the highest(er, uh, lowest) levels of our government and how that directly impacts their lives. When that happens, you end up with something like 2008.

I hope Bristol wins. I couldn't give a toss about the show-- I don't even own a TV, but here's to a young woman going out and daring to try despite the naysaying establishment. Here's to Bristol for smiling and not turning into some bitter, pinched emaciated fashion victim, no matter what the critics say. Same goes for her mom.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Sunday, puppy Sunday: sun bunnies

It was cold and the sun was streaming in the window but not at a good angle for teh puppehs to catch some rays. I pushed a trolley to the window and put a towel on the second level. Chuy seemed reluctant but Praline got the idea right away.

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Saturday, November 20, 2010

Hey Dad - Look at this video of the March 2008 flood in Cherokee Village and Hardy

The first big bridge shot is the bridge over the Spring River as it wends into Hardy. The water is normally 40 or 50 feet below the bridge. Creepy.

Also, see the footbridge at Papoose Park at about the 1:15 part of the video? Wow. Amazing to see such familiar places so flooded... Our family is from that neck of the woods.

Cranberry jalapeno jam - first foray into canning...

With long distance guidance from FarmMom, I've dipped my toe in the pool of canning now. This jam seems like it will be ossum, fingers crossed. I seeded and veined the peppers thoroughly, but I expect it will still be too spiky for some appetites. I spect it'll be perfect on a turkey sammy or with roast pork. The possibilities abound. Yum!

It's a little thrilling when you hear first one, then a chorus of the little lids snapping sealed. Cute!

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from my iPhone

Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter - The Book

Check out this great MSN video: Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter - The Book

hee hee

Friday, November 19, 2010

new music and housecleaning.

One thing I haven't done in a very long while is to plug in a new cd and clean. This is used to best effect when I clean something that's been dirty to which my eye has been drawn again and again. Why I haven't cleaned it before I cannot say. Today it was the ick under the ballfoot bathtub. Apparently water condenses on the outside of the tub and then runs down, and for some reason, dust seems to really stick to those areas. The dirt makes me think it would be great to do a tub enclosure so that dust wouldn't collect under there, but then I'd be laying in bed some morning about 3:37 and I'd have to go after the enclosure with a crowbar because I'd know-- I'd just know it needed cleaning down there. Ew. This gives me pause and makes me think of switching to a modern acrylic slipper tub, even though I hate the way acrylic feels. Ew.

So, it's been this way since I moved in. Yucky. Yeah, I've been a lazy bum, and other, bigger tasks have pulled focus, but Thursday night it was the new cd from Interpol and I was carried in aural trasports as I tucked into the mindless task of cleaning. This was the first listen, but I do like the new cd. Probably my favorite from the cd will be different in a week or a month, but today it's The Undoing, and there's no video and I don't want to embed something here which may disappear any moment.

Instead I'll give you Lights from this album. Peculiar video, but I like it. love the application of the liquid latex glove. Strange video, but par for the course. Or for the coarse. I don't think this album will win over a new herd of Interpol fans, but I do think if you like Interpol already, you'll not be disappointed.

Thursday, November 18, 2010


Very clever rendition of Mozart's Rondo alla turca by two Polish guitarists.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


Breda asked what was on my nails in the beet photo. That was Saturday and two manicures ago, so I've enlarged the photo. I painted a base of Sinful Colors Tapping Nails and layered on two coats of NYC Starry Silver Glitter on top. Tapping Nails is a very bright orange. Starry glitter has holographic micro glitter in silver with larger flecks of pink and blue hexagons that look a little dotty. It's fun to layer them and see what you get. Keeps it interesting, too. Oh, and the NYC glitter stuff was just .99 at the drug store. I feel like I have the fingernail sensibilities of a pre-schooler, and that's alright with me. :)

I'm betting the glitter would look A-mazing on top of my gunmetal gray. OH! Gray with glitter and then a matte layer? Hmmm... I've gotta go paint my nails.Add Image

See ya!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

I predict

that the Australian twins who shot each other on a Colorado shooting range today will turn out to be rabidly anti-gun people who were trying to make a point.

I think it's really crappy they'd work so hard to try to get furriners barred from American shooting ranges for the bad behaviour of just a couple.

I still love...


There should be more girlie rock bands.

Monday, November 15, 2010

"Is this your customer? I can't understand what she is saying."

A memo came out from BossMan to all the coordinators inquiring about a voice mail that came to the general mailbox.

A flurry of responses from my colleagues resulted and I then sent a tongue-in-cheek email to just BossMan:

"Uh, that is my customer. Thank you for parading my shame to my colleagues!"

He sent back an email indicating extreamusement and that the message could not possibly have been English. I responded that I'd secretly feared without listening that the hogwash message came from Ms. Punjab, but I'd employed a cheat and plugged the origin phone number into the dashboard and it pulled up Our Favorite Customer.

Then came a "reply to all" from a superb lady saying "that customer belongs to Operator[not Phlegmmy], but I don't think she's speaking English at all."

My "Reply to All" said "Actually, this is my customer. She was not speaking English. She was speaking Crazy. I have been a Crazy-magnet all my life, and I am fluent in Crazy. Me speak Crazy very well."

Thus resulting in general responses of mirth and relief, for they all get the crazy customers too, as much as it seems I have cornered the market.

I have to say that I get something like an endorphin rush when I send out a Reply To All and hear a murmur of delight tittering throughout the department. This I would liken to the post-tattoo experience, though slightly less painful and with a deficit of its attendant hepatitic paranoia and no outlay of cash at the conclusion.

[All that is by way of saying that one should not refrain from getting a tattoo based on hepatitic paranoia: one shops around and one finds a reputable artist who is fastidious in hygiene and exacting in method. One recommends not acquiring said tattoo in the clink. One is just saying...]

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Sunday, puppy Sunday: puppehs mit beets

Himself had never eaten properly prepared fresh beets, a situation which now has been rectified. On the advice of brilliant cooks Stingray and Labrat, I wrapped them in foil and baked them for about :45. Then I let them cool a bit and simply served with goat cheese. Himself liked them, and so did I. Teh puppehs wanted some but other than a few goat cheese crumbs, they were deprived.

It was a marvel how beautifully the skins peeled off the hot beets, and with a minimum loss of edible flesh. Yes, I have asbestos fingers. About 10 minutes into eating, I noticed steam was still rolling out of the beets and marveled that I'd handled them early. Probably one of those silicon mitts is not a bad idea for holding the beet as you peel.

Well, okay, they did lick the plates.

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