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Showing posts with label video. Show all posts
Showing posts with label video. Show all posts

Wednesday, May 02, 2018 3 comments

Charlie Talks to the Birds

I had Charlie out in the gazebo Sunday evening, because he likes to be outside and I wanted him to see the low beach chair I found in the garage for him. He saw it, gave me a big grin, and sat in it for a long time.

Soon enough, he got up and played on his slide a little… then he heard the birds. They chirped, he squeaked… and I was thinking, “Is he doing what I think he’s doing?” Yup. I got video. You might have to turn the sound up a little; I boosted it as much as I could, though.



Sometimes, the normal FAR Manor weird gets delightfully weird…

Tuesday, January 23, 2018 No comments

Horsing Around

BIG doggie!
Charlie continues to get therapy for his developmental issues. Besides the occupational therapist who makes house calls on Thursdays, he goes to a clinic for speech and physical therapy.

Part of the latter involves horses—they say it helps with his balance. The clinic has a large indoor area where they can control the situation as well as the climate.

Charlie’s first encounter with a horse went rather well, I’d say. At least he didn’t freak out. i could imagine some kids being intimidated by a critter that size.

So he was comfortable getting face to face with a horse; how about getting on and taking a ride? That went pretty well, too. He sat up straight and enjoyed it:


Check out that big grin as he goes by the wife. He’s loving every minute of it.

Of course, with so much excitement, he didn’t get a nap today. I finally finished a work project that has been dragging on FOREVER, and we celebrated with a night out. Charlie was enamored of the service dog at the table next door, and managed to eat fairly well. But he refused to go down for the night until he had his bottle. Priorities! But he did go down early…

Thursday, August 03, 2017 1 comment

Hitting My Stride, and Other Stuff

Sunday morning, I went to get something from the kitchen, when I realized I was walking my like old, pre-knee-issues self—long, brisk strides that covered ground with only the tiniest twinge of discomfort from the Whiny Quadriceps. Hey! I thought, I’m back! That, more than anything, convinced me I’m close to fully recovered. After a week of my feet giving me grief, one or both at a time (while Charlie is cutting molars and wants to be held more than usual, which is a lot), it felt really good to walk instead of limp or shuffle.

I guess cutting those molars is really rough on a baby. Charlie is trying to be his normal happy self, but he’ll start crying at anything or nothing at all. But here’s a pic from a couple weeks ago, when Mason also felt like cutting up:

Just me and the boys… Charlie's trying to grab the phone, of course.

With school starting today(!!), we swapped our Labor Day timeshare week for one in July, and so we escaped FAR Manor last week. We spent a lot of time at the pool, and Charlie loves the water. We have a float he can sit in, with his legs in the water, and he can reach out and splash with his hands. Definitely his happy place. But mid-week was when he started cutting molars, and started getting rundown and moody later in the last few days.

Meanwhile, Mason wanted to try this zipline place near the resort, and Skylar stayed with us for the first half of the week, so we took them over there. The big ziplines were beyond their ability, but they had smaller "adventure" runs over a rope bridge, a rolling platform… and finally, a short zipline:



So that’s pretty much the end of summer at FAR Manor, even if we have all of August to get through.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017 2 comments

Water, Water Everywhere!

Among his other issues, Charlie has some dietary restrictions. Specifically, he doesn’t tolerate most kinds of formula—Similac Sensitive is the only one we’ve found that 1) doesn’t cause unpleasant reactions; 2) he doesn’t spit out. As he became one year old, WIC added Lactaid (a lactose-free milk brand) to his approved list. “Woohoo,” we said, “maybe a chance to break loose of the formula!”

Nope. It gave him a really bad case of the runs, leading to a bad case of diaper rash. Thus, it fell to me to let him soak in some soothing baby wash while the wife went to baby-sit her dad for a while. Oh, did I mention Charlie loves the water?



So he had a great time. All I had to do was wash his hair, and make sure he didn’t slide forward and bang his head on the back of the sink.

Monday, August 01, 2016 1 comment

Giggle Fits

Yesterday afternoon, after a lawn-mowing session, followed by some fixes and improvements to Mason’s slide and climbing wall, Rosie the Boston Terrible was moaning and woofing at the thunder coming in. Charlie thought that was highly amusing, but that was nothing compared to when I started making fake thunder noises myself.




I thought *I* was easily amused.

Friday, August 28, 2015 3 comments

Pain in the… [UPDATED]

It’s off to the doctor’s office with me. If you’re wondering what’s happening, I’ll give you a hint:



UPDATE: In at 10:30, out at 12:30. They put me OUT for the procedure, so I didn’t feel a thing besides the IV… and the horrible purging procedure yesterday, anyway. Doc said “we removed one polyp, nothing evil.” There shouldn’t have been anything evil up there… all that got shot out the tailpipe last night.

The nurse said I’d probably want to have a nap when I got home to sleep off the rest of the anesthesia, and she was right. She also told me no booze until tomorrow, which kind of shot down my plan for this evening. Tomorrow is, however, another day!

Monday, August 24, 2015 5 comments

The Tooth Will Out

One of Mason’s teeth has been loose for some time now, and getting ever looser. Tonight, it was hanging by a thread… first figuratively, then literally. Wife decided it needed to come out lest it fall out and get swallowed in his sleep. Join us for the action, the drama, the complete lack of blood…


Now he’s eagerly awaiting his first visit from the Tooth Fairy, of course. He’s been trying to amass enough money to get some kind of toy… not sure if it’s a set of toy soldiers or a Lego thing this week. I guess we’ll see.

I got him to curl his lip down for a clear shot of the tooth. He isn’t distressed, he’s just mugging.

It’s outta there!
Man, those milestones are moving by fast…

Saturday, May 16, 2015 4 comments

Ten Years Later…

Still bloggin’ after all these years…

A lot of stuff has happened in ten years, since I began with a post about replacing rotted siding on the gables, racing to beat an incoming thunderstorm. Finding a niche for my writing and ending up with a grandkid were maybe the two biggest changes.

Still, lots of things haven't changed. The in-laws are as much of a PITA as ever, Daughter Dearest is still close at hand (although there are signs on the horizon), and I’m still working at the same place.

TFM has turned into mainly a writing blog in the last few years; I posted serials, short stories, and a lot of #FridayFlash. I plan to change that in the coming year. I got out of the habit of writing flash fiction every week—and with the demise of FridayFlash.org and its move to Facebook (a place I avoid like the in-laws avoid reality), I probably won’t be writing much more flash anyway. On the other hand, I have a couple serials in the works, and I’ll likely be posting them… at writeon.amazon.com. I’ll let y’all know when they’re going up. I’ll continue to do my somewhat-weekly Writing Wibbles on Wednesdays, and maybe an occasional flash. But I’m going to try to redirect TFM to once again being mostly a blog about the people in and around FAR Manor. I’ve made similar pronouncements on earlier blogiversary days in the past, and they didn’t pan out, but that won’t stop me from trying again.

So, here’s to all of you whose comments have kept me blogging! I leave you with the traditional video… I think you’ll guess why I picked this one when you hear the lyrics. I would have rather included this lyrics video, but it isn’t embeddable. Oh well.

And now we start the next ten!

Monday, November 10, 2014 4 comments

Piling On

The last few days have been the good part of November—sunny, cool, perfect for getting outside and doing stuff.

Sunday afternoon, I hunted for the rake… and I could have sworn it was in the garage just last week. Oh well, I was able to lay hands on the leaf blower and a really long extension cord, and got to work on one section of the back yard. It wasn’t long before I had a big pile of leaves, and let Mason have at it:



Very soon, he insisted that I jump in and join him.

Deep in the heart of autumn

Oh… why not. It’s been quite a few years since I’d buried myself in a leaf pile. Laying in the leaves, I took a shot of the deep blue sky:

We won’t see skies this nice for a while

So we played in the leaves until it started getting dark. He complained mightily about having to go in, of course, but maybe we’ll have another shot later. That arctic blast is on the way, and things will get cold in a hurry after tomorrow.

Saturday, October 26, 2013 8 comments

Weekend Roundup: Sliding into Fall

Last night brought frost to FAR Manor, the first October frost in three years. It’s all downhill from here:



I committed myself to write reviews for three books I’ve read in the last few weeks, so I wrapped those up last night. Links go to Goodreads:


They’re all good, go check 'em out!

In my own writing endeavors, I’ve finished up the first part of The Lost Years. I need to get cranking on the next part, which is sort of plotted out in my head, but The Sorcerer’s Daughter is the priority at the moment. I’m going through +Helen Howell’s beta comments, which were more encouraging than I thought. I figured I’d have to rewrite all of Chapter 2, but Helen said it was the first half of the chapter that needed work. So if I can get that fixed in the next few days, maybe the editor can get it back to me and I’ll still be good for that November launch.

And, this song has been stuck in my head on auto-repeat all week:



I bought the album so I could play the song at will, because that usually kills the earworm, but this one is a little tougher to shake loose.

My shoulder is getting better, finally. I need it to be 100% NOW, though, since it’s firewood season. I have to remember to bring in wood with my right arm and use my left for opening doors, the opposite of how I usually do things, to not hurt it. And I’m nowhere near ready to sling a chainsaw around for an entire afternoon. I started to hit a depression last week, but I think it passed. I don’t need that on top of everything else.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013 3 comments

The Drumbeat of Life

Sometimes, instead of writing wibbles, you just need to put on your ear protection, pick up the sticks, and have at it:


A lot of stuff has happened this month, and somehow I managed to not blog about it. Mason’s 4th birthday was earlier this month, a day that kicked off our vacation at the retreat near Helen. This time, The Boy came, new girlfriend in tow. She and Mason hit it off pretty well, and her family has a racing team. (Mason approves.) One of the highlights: The Boy wanted to go tubing, so we piled in the van. Well before we got to Helen, Mason was asleep. “You guys can go,” I said. “Just call me when you’re done.” Then the tubing places were closed. Oh well, it never really got hot this summer, so that water was pretty chilly. Mason ran his hand in it the next day, and was glad he didn’t try to go tubing.

The proper tool needs
to be the proper size.
Then there was the steps project. The manor came with this little brick-lined walkway going from the driveway into the back yard. It has eroded a little, and Mason has always had trouble taking that big step down. Wife has been poking me about building some steps there, and I tackled it. First, we dug out the step-down, which was easier than usual because it has been so rainy this summer (making the ground nice and soft). We have a shovel that’s a perfect size for Mason, so of course he got into the act. And he actually helped. He scooped up loose dirt and tossed it into the wheelbarrow.

I poured a concrete footing, which involved horking 80lb bags of concrete down to the worksite. My brilliant idea was to lay a board across where I wanted it to stop, dump the dry concrete in, and add water. It worked, but it took a lot more water than I’d expected. But after a lot of raking and stirring and hosing, I got all the stuff wet, then smoothed it out. Then, I stacked the concrete blocks I was using for steps in the wet concrete, using more to glue the layers together.

As I was working on the last of it, my left shoulder decided it had had far more than enough, and went on strike. I worked through it, carrying the last bag with one arm—I was like 90% done, and I couldn’t walk away being that close to finishing (defined as being able to walk up and down ugly steps, the esthetics can wait until I’m better). It slowly improved, but I went to the doctor just to make sure I didn’t have a torn rotator cuff or something equally bad. She opined that it’s a tendon, and gave me a round of steroids. In some ways, it’s worse now because it’s better—I can use it for light duty, and it wants to instinctively reach for things that I’d usually use my left hand for, so at bedtime it’s aching quite a bit. I might end up going in for physical therapy… depends on what the doc says when I go in for my usual 6-month checkup today [UPDATE: yes, physical therapy].

Oh, and Mason has started pre-school. He’s in the 4yo class, despite still being 3 when he actually started. The teacher listened to him talk and what he talked about, and said “he belongs with the 4 year olds.” So he’s going to have some regular interaction with a lot of other kids, for the first time in like ever. He should get to really like it in a few weeks. Right now, he’s in a contrary phase, which for the in-laws is constant. I hope it’s just a phase with him.

Sunday, June 26, 2011 3 comments

Nostalgia Trip

The Boy, like his progeny Mason, hated naps and would often fight sleep tooth and nail. But I had a secret weapon:



I had an Amiga 500 back then, and “demo” writers would compete to create the most mind-blowing graphics and sound effects that would run. You might not think it much, but remember this was running on 23-year old hardware. Amigas had special graphics and sound hardware built-in, taking the load off the CPU — the name “Wild Copper” came from the nickname of the graphics co-processor. Modern CPUs are hundreds of times more powerful these days, and don't need all the help.

Back to The Boy. At Mason’s current age, he was fascinated with “Copper,” with its spinning wireframes and scrolling text. When he needed a nap, I’d ask him “Do you want to see Copper?” and he’d sit still to watch it, sometimes bouncing to the music, until he slowly leaned back against me then turned around to fall asleep on my shoulder.

Display the video full-screen to get the full effect.

Sunday, February 14, 2010 4 comments

Mason and a Slew of TB/SN/TS Errors

Amazing sometimes, how the baby can be what keeps you sane… (video by Daughter Dearest)



We can pretty much count on The Boy giving us a TB03 error every weekend these days… he claims to have “band practice” on Saturday night but we often don’t see him until later on Sunday or even Monday. Most of the time, we don’t know for sure, but we can assume a TB22 during those “outings.” Snippet kind of gave away the plan yesterday: she said something about going to a birthday party. Mrs. Fetched nixed it, but they most likely went anyway… seems like they have a “birthday” party to attend just about every weekend.

Last night, however, a TS02 led to an error that has happened before but I had neglected to categorize: a TB28 (calls us at 3 a.m. having an emotional, probably alcohol-fueled, meltdown). He texted and called my phone twice before I woke up enough to answer it. “Come and get me,” he wailed, “I don’t want to have anything to do with these drug addicts.”

“Where are you?” I asked.

He managed, on the second attempt (a personal best), to give me coherent directions that would at least get me somewhere.

“What about Snippet?”

“I don’t know, and I don’t care.” There was more, but suffice it to say a TS02 had happened.

As I was getting ready, he called Mrs. Fetched’s phone and he poured out all his issues to her while I got dressed and loaded my pockets. About the time I was ready to leave, Mrs. Fetched held her hand out at me and mouthed, “Wait.” The Boy has inherited his mom’s penchant for jerking people (especially me) around, first “needing” me to go somewhere, then canceling about the time I’m ready. The upshot was, he would stay because he didn’t want the drug addicts getting vindictive somehow, and would call us in the morning when he was ready to get moving. And of course it’s 6 p.m. and we haven’t heard from him yet.

The good part about this was, I finally got smart: instead of getting gas Friday, I simply drove home, figuring if he wanted to take my car anywhere he’d have to put gas in it. He and Snippet managed to get Cousin Splat to drive them to not-band practice. We have a little gas in the detached garage, so I’ll just dump it in the car when I need to go somewhere then tank up later. Since tomorrow’s a holiday, it’ll wait for Tuesday.

The error codes list…

Saturday, September 19, 2009 2 comments

Weekend Roundup

Mrs. Fetched with MasonYet another pic of Mason, just because I can. We haven’t seen him all week, which is probably a good sign because it means The Boy and Snippet haven’t needed our help.

And happy birthday to the great-grandparents, Mom (tomorrow) and Dad (on Monday)!

FAR Manor being FAR Manor, there’s still plenty of stuff going on even without a grandson in the house. Even when it has rained pretty much every day since we got back from vacation, and rained here a few times while we were gone. You know all that rain we didn’t get in May, June, and July? We’re getting it now. But we get a break most mornings, which means this morning I took care of most of the “go outdoors” stuff before breakfast: replace the kitty litter, empty the compost bucket (a coffee can) into the composter, pick a few tomatoes. Today ’s rain, as seen on radar, is moving in a little slower than I expected — but it finally got here.

After taking care of those little chores, then scarfing some breakfast, DoubleRed shocked the living daylights out of me: she asked me to follow her to the bank and (almost) caught up on all her rent… since May! I now have something in my pocket that Mrs. Fetched might like to get her hands on for a change.

I’ve mentioned problems with the manor windows before — not only do they have aluminum frames, which aren’t exactly wonderful for keeping out the winter chill, the funky mechanisms that are supposed to hold them in place when you raise them are pretty much all wrecked. Mrs. Fetched got curious recently when someone at Home Despot was trying to interest anyone in their window installation services, and considerably brightened the day of a rather discouraged worker. She made an appointment for their window guy to pay us a visit, and he did so late Thursday afternoon just as I was wrapping up my work at home day. With 18 windows that need to be replaced, fortunately all standard sizes, the total bill came to $12K. Um… thanks for your time, dude. I still want to replace at least the two windows in the bathroom, but with standard sizes and a friend who’s done that kind of work giving us advice, I might be able to get to that before winter. Meanwhile, I have a roll of window film that has been waiting for me to put it on the bay window in the kitchen, and I’ll be getting to that shortly. It helps that I figured out (on Thursday, while Window Dude was measuring) how to go about it with the least amount of waste.

Mrs. Fetched had been asking me to cash in some stock for some time, just to cover Daughter Dearest’s college for the rest of the term, and (during vacation) it got to where I thought it was worthwhile. The “problem” was, I thought I was cashing in stock options when I was actually cashing in restricted stock… so I ended up with a check for four times as much as I was expecting (but not enough to cover the window replacement). That caused a moment of panic, thinking the guy cleaned out my account, but when I pulled it up again I realized what happened. We’re going to kill off a couple of nagging bills and cover most of Daughter Dearest’s second term. Mrs. Fetched suggested I go ahead and accessorize my camera — so I ordered a smart flash and a 100-300mm lens last night — that should pretty well cover everything now: I have the 50mm f1.8 and the flash for indoor venues, the 28-135mm zoom for some indoor and short- to mid-range outdoor work, and the new lens will cover long-range work. What DoubleRed handed me this morning more than covered it.

Finally, if you haven’t seen it yet: this is NSFW, but very funny. Check out the woman’s expression about 6 seconds in. Besides, it’s good advice: I learned long ago, what you don’t do to the chicken, the chicken will do to you.

New story starts Monday… it’s coming along well, so I’m pretty comfortable with the head start I have.

Friday, May 29, 2009 4 comments

Weekend Cinema

Your wallet’s dry, attention span too — Weekend Cinema’s the place for you!

With gas prices down from last year (but creeping up), the urban tanks are back on the road. So top up your Suxpedition and take that solo drive to SUV City!

[Thanks to Nudge for finding this one.]

Friday, May 08, 2009 6 comments

Post-pourri (including Weekend Cinema)

The usual collection of stuff that kind of kicked around all week but I never got a chance to post. And since it’s already Friday, a short-and-silly video awaits…

From the “Stupidog is one word” files: Mrs. Fetched decided she wanted to breed Crissy, her thoroughly obnoxious Austrian Shep mix who happened to be in heat, and got Luke (another shep) from her mom and put him in the pen with her. And he proceeded to… do nothing. Well, that’s not completely true: he forced his way out of the pen through a hole in the gate. I got him back in and wired the hole shut. He proceeded to open the latch (he knows how to do that) and ran home. (Maybe he’s gay?)

After most of a week of not seeing Sasquatch around, he came by Wednesday evening with Jar Jar in tow. The latter needed to get away from his family for a while, so naturally he came to the manor. :-) He was hoping for a chance to work and earn a few bucks, but all he got was raking up the grass in the (small) front yard after I mowed it yesterday afternoon. At least Jar Jar managed to not do anything spectacularly clumsy this time — about the only thing that went w0rNg on his watch was DD’s computer’s audio cutting out for a few hours overnight. He’d been using the laptop a lot, so I figured it overheated then brought the sound back after it cooled off a bit. He, Daughter Dearest, and Sasquatch played a fair amount of Magic: the Gathering while they were here. Sasquatch also managed to clear a clog in the upstairs sink; he used a bent hanger to fish out the clog and an earring that got caught in it. He said, “it looked like an Amish guy’s beard fell off and went down the sink.” YUCK GAG GAG

Speaking of Sasquatch, he got so hooked on the “Mouse Hunt” game on Facebook that he started playing in meatspace. Using a really simple string/stick/box setup, he managed to catch six specimens of Mus musculus (aka the common house mouse) at his place. He has them in an aquarium, with a screen lid they jump onto and walk around on like flies on a ceiling. He’s so excited about his new pets, that’s pretty much all he wants to talk about lately… which is annoying the living foo out of Daughter Dearest. Personally, I’d find a snake owner who wanted some free chow… or at least release them somewhere far away. Maybe in the Atlanta Country Club, where they could aerate the golf course.

Silly me, putting up a gas price poll: prices have jumped from $1.89 to $2.15 here in the last couple of days. (If you haven't voted in the poll, you have plenty of time. I’ll wait.) Of course, the rain has mostly kept me off the motorcycle. Both Little Zook and the Virago are running happy, so all I need is a shot at some dry pavement. That, or find the bottom of my rain suit.

Vacation is postponed for *another* week… we were talking about going this week, but we have to shoot the community chorale tomorrow night. Next week didn’t work for various reasons; we were planning for the week of the 18th but now something else has come up. Maybe the week after… which would let me stretch it an extra day for Memorial Day. Not all bad.

And now… Weekend Cinema! With a hat-tip to Faboomama, who linked to this on Twitter. De Prez and his crew set up nuclear talks with “My Man” Mahmoud:

Friday, March 27, 2009 6 comments

Weekend Cinema

If you haven't voted in the poll, it's open through Tuesday!

Got no money and only a little time? Weekend Cinema thinks about you!

You may not have much time on your hands, but these guys? They have plenty. Perhaps far too much, in fact. But the results are… quite interesting. So put on your wool sweater and marvel at the Baaa-Studs as they bring you Extreme Shepherding!

Friday, March 13, 2009 2 comments

Weekend Cinema

When you’re too drunk to drive to the theater, Weekend Cinema keeps you safe at home!

I was going to write up a detailed analysis of the Stewart-Cramer smackdown (short version: Cramer lost) but I’m too whacked to do it. So I’ll just link to the interview:

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

The thing that still bothers me is Cramer saying something to the effect that “today’s investors don’t want to know about stuff like P/E ratios and the like.” DUH. Dad, if you’re reading this, you would probably agree with me that P/E ratios are one of the fundamental things you should know about investing in a stock… if you’re not interested in fundamentals, you should just spend your money or leave it in the bank.

What’s this world coming to anyway?

Friday, February 27, 2009 9 comments

Weekend Cinema (political edition)

OK, so most of the country tuned into Obama’s “not-State of the Union” address Tuesday night, and some of us stuck around for LA Gov. Bobby Jindal delivering the goplets’ rebuttal afterwards. Mrs. Fetched was busy helping Cousin Splat get some of the business end of the lawn care business dealt with, so I caught the speech on my laptop. After a few minutes, I got tired of hearing my fans winding up, so I switched to an audio-only feed — this was good, because I had to get in the car and could continue listening on NPR without missing much.

President Obama delivered a pretty good address, of course. Even though he had a few zingers aimed at the goplets, he also had them joining the applause and had a few quips aimed at loosening them up, and from what I could tell from the audio they worked pretty well. One could almost feel sorry for Gov. Piyush “Bobby” Jindal, having to follow that act — and indeed, he was working under several handicaps:

1) He’s not Barack Obama.
2) He didn’t have an audience to interact with.
3) He’s a conservative, trying to make a case for the same Epic Fail policies that got us to this point.

Indeed, Jindal’s response was widely panned, by both the Left and the Right. I personally got the impression that he was reading a bedtime story; all it needed was an appearance by the Wingnut Fairy to wave a wand and make everything right… or Right. The happy peons go home to their hovels from a 16-hour workday, the Owners live happily ever after, etc. He lost me the second he started talking about compassion as some kind of conservative value — I bet he’d pretend he never heard about Gretna barricading the road out of New Orleans after Katrina.

But I digress. This is Weekend Cinema, and that means a short (and free) video, right? Tonight’s selection is actually a news report, based around Gov. Jindal’s comments made over an open mike shortly before he delivered his response. It at least explains the “bedtime story” delivery:



It accidentally highlights the stereotype of Indians talking really fast (an example of which appears in the above clip). But you’d think someone who is a governor, one considered a “rising star” in his party, would have started working with with a speech coach a long time ago. Another stereotype: southerners tend to talk slow, and are automatically suspicious of fast talkers… that hasn’t seemed to hurt him. I know I talk fast when I’m nervous… but one would think a former congresscritter and current governor would have long ago shed any public-speaking nerves.

But look. If his name’s really Piyush, why call himself “Bobby” of all things? The freeking president has a funny name, and he doesn’t call himself “Barry”; you’d think that would no longer be a handicap. Oh well. Give the conservatives 20 years or so to catch up with reality…

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