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Need More Speedier Tunes...!

Friday, October 02, 2009

I've been ramping up my efforts on the treadmill...sticking with those "spikey" intervals and doing more of the 6 mph speeds. This week instead of the old 2.3 miles I've covered during each morning 'mill work I've been between 2.7 - 3.3 miles covered...breaking my old record...woo hoo!

One problem I've noticed, however is that my mp3 player doesn't have enough fast-paced music to pump me up to the 6 mph speeds...!

This morning I was surprised to find Van Morrison's "Brown-Eyed Girl" worked for one of my 6 mph intervals and Steely Dan's "Bodhisattva" and a Santana tune were my others. I'm having to forward through a lot of my formerly comfy 4 mph tracks. Sometimes I find myself creatively doing DOUBLE time on a slower track which can work for me.

Anyone have suggestions for tunes that really rev you up at those higher speeds? :-)


PS...My tastes are kinda weird, running from classic rock, alternative, folk, *some* carefully selected contemporary country, bigtime jazz...but not big band or dixiland, new age, world music and hits from my earlier years, 60s-70s or so. Sometimes even slower music works for me because either the message or the power of delivery has such *punch.*


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

USARUNNERGIRL 10/5/2009 12:07PM

    Woohoo. I am starting to do interval training. On Thursday I did bursts of 6, 7, and once 8 mph. The 8 didn't last long though. I listen to a lot of alternative/ rock tunes when I run.

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TRAINOF4 10/5/2009 1:44AM

    Umm, the Who, Rolling Stones, Hendrix? I know there are websites out there w/music based on beats/min. Maybe Nike has something since they're synching their shoes to people's IPods??

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    Um...6 mph? Nope. My legs don't move that fast. My tunes are probably slower than yours! Lol.

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ZELLAZM 10/4/2009 9:13AM

    I decided to wait and see before commenting on this post. Wanted to see what others suggested. Some goooood ideas here! Myself, I'm currently working out to WOW Worship 2009, and David Ramsey podcasts!

Now I'd like to see you try to workout to Brahms Hungarian Dance #5 in Gminor. ;)

And you're right about taking control over our money - for me it has been the natural outcome of taking control over my health and eating habits.

Thanks for the encouragement, Don!

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AME0809 10/3/2009 7:57PM

    Congratulations on breaking out and moving on up! I can't imagine a 6.0mph WALKING speed. I can regularly do 4-4.3 mph on the elliptical but only 3-3.5 on the treadmill. My short, little legs get all stumbly over themselves if I try to go any faster. I am improving, though, so maybe someday I can better keep up with you!

I don't regularly listen to music while I work out--I need something more distracting like the news. But I did like the look of some things from workoutmusic.com. It has various categories arrange by activity, style and even some by BPM.

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KELLI9001 10/3/2009 6:38AM

    Way to break out of that comfort zone!! My suggestion would be the disco sounds of the 70's!

You are making great progress...keep going!!

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NEWMOMOVER40 10/2/2009 9:25PM

    Zircadia, I'm with you - alternative (and some alt.country, and some alt/pop) is pretty much what works for me. (Although I also like to throw in some slower inspirational songs for those difficult middle stretches when it's tempting to want to throw in the towel ...)

For alternative, in addition to Ted Leo & The Pharmacists, and The Pixies (timeless!), I like ...

- Vampire Weekend (more on the pop side, but great)
- Port O'Brien
- Platinum Pied Pipers
- The Herbaliser
- Okkervil River
- Tullycraft (The Punks are Writing Love Songs always gets me going!)
- Firewater
- Dengue Fever (all in Cambodian, but that doesn't matter a bit)
- Tokyo Police Club
- Thee Emergency
- Telekenesis!
- The Shout Out Louds

BTW all of this and more is available via the wonderful KEXP Song of the Day Podcast, my favorite place to discover new bands.

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WISTFULVISTA 10/2/2009 9:05PM

    How did we exercise before music was added to the mix? I remember having to do calesthenics in seventh grade to "Go, You Chicken Fat, Go!" on a tinny phonograph - not one of my happier memories! Anyway, Don... I hope the tempos of these might be useful to you: Bonnie Raitt's "Hear Me, Lord," James Brown's "I Feel Good," "Mais Que Nada" from Sergio Mendes' "Timeless" album (with the Black-Eyed Peas), Acoustic Alchemy's "Same Road, Same Reason," as well as their "Cuban Heels," Sergio Mendes' "Odo-Ya," from the "Encanto" album. - Susan

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KEEPITMOVING 10/2/2009 3:35PM

    i'm with ORIGAMIFREAK on this one. being a traditionalist in some ways and experimentalist in others, i find a lot of swing, big band, and ragtime/piano rags keep my interest and heart rate up!

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ROYALETBONE 10/2/2009 2:56PM

    Songs that make me pick up my feet-
Bonnie Rait- Gnawin on It
B B King- (bunches)- Rock This House
John Mayal - Where Did My Legs Go?
Jp & Suba-Futuro Primitovo
Taj Mahal- Keep Your Hands Off Her

...... I have a 'cardio' playlist, and I'm going to have to delete some of my old favs... some for slow beat, a couple for just weird beats... to 'off'- changes of beats. Good listening, not good for pacing.
Let us know your new ones!

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YAKWOMAN 10/2/2009 2:33PM

    I'm not exactly sure how fast 6 mph running is, since I'm not to that point yet, but what about Sweet Home Alabama or something like that?

Thank you, Don, for being an inspiration to me and for seeming to always say the right thing! emoticon

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ZIRCADIA 10/2/2009 12:52PM

    My favorites for running are Ted Leo & The Pharmacists and The Pixies. :D

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4A-HEALTHY-BMI 10/2/2009 11:15AM

    I wondered when you might decide you wanted faster music - generally the selections you've mentioned before would have put me to sleep on my elliptical...
I am partial to jive and big band swing. They tend to have a distinct rhythm around 120 bpm and they're fun to listen to.

Some favorite groups:

Benny Goodman
Big Bad Voodoo Daddy
Squirrel Nut Zippers
Brian Setzer Orchestra
Atomic Fireballs

Happy Treading...

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L*I*T*A* 10/2/2009 10:45AM

    sorry...............when i'm on the treadmill i meditate so am not able to help you there................am sure someone will though.........all the best............blessings and hugs....................lita

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Windshield or Bug...Keep Moving & One ALWAYS Wins!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

You know the expression "some days you're windshield, and some days you're the bug"...? (found another twist "and sometimes you find out the bug is a rock...lol!).

Well here's my treadmill analogy:

Some days you feel like YOU'RE moving the belt,


Some days it feels like the belt is carrying you along for the ride...!

But either way it goes, you're getting the job done and getting up off your duff and MOVING!

Tonight was one of those "along for the ride" nights...but what counts is that I got 'er done!

Here's a couple of fun links if anyone out there is a Mary Chapin-Carpenter fan like myself:

Lyrics to "The Bug"


A fun, creative YouTube of "The Bug"


Okay folks...time for me to hit the sack and get those 8 hours of zzzzzzzzz's I so badly need! :-)


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    I hadn't heard that before. Thanks for these links, too.

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L*I*T*A* 10/1/2009 10:20AM

    good for you...........way to go!!!
thanks for sharing............blessings and hugs.................lita

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ZELLAZM 10/1/2009 8:05AM

    Oh, yeah, know that autopilot feeling! I like the bug/windshield analogy and had never heard it before!

WTG on getting in your workout - late but DONE!

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ROYALETBONE 10/1/2009 1:14AM

    I'm in the garage right now... flu bug. Your blog made me grin, anyhoot.

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After The Rain

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Earlier today during the rain I went picking Cortland apples. All throughout this rainy autumn day one of my favorite mellow songs has been playing in my mind: After The Rain by John Coltrane. There is something so soulful, serene and restful about this ballad...it just smooths out anything and everything that may be going on for me.

Coltrane can be so frenetic and jarring with avant garde squonks and beeps and his famous "sheets of sound" approach to his sax, but yet on a ballad, backed by his sparse trio of piano (masterful McCoy Tyner), bass and drums, Coltrane just blows such peace, serenity and body and soul through his tenor sax...

This song is suitable as a lullaby, as a meditative reflection, as a pause to soak up life and the world about us, to reassure that all will be well. I know it so well that I suspect if I were to sing the melody along with what I hear in my head I would be right on key with the recording.

It's available at Amazon for an 89 cent mp3 download and invite anyone to treat yourself to such a lovely musical meditation:


Enjoy your autumn everyone...


PS...a bonus song along the same line: Half the Perfect World by Madeline Peyroux...a VERY talented female vocalist, 99 cents at Amazon:


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    Thanks, Don. I'm going to listen!

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ROYALETBONE 9/28/2009 1:45PM

    I've been listening to some old favorites myself, lately.
Turning Toward the Morning by Bok, Muir & Trickett, The Feet of a Dancer by O'Connel, and Ranchers Lullaby by Neal and Leandra.
Thanks for reminding me of 'After the Rain'. Coltrane has such a wonderful range.
Good music makes such a difference.
Not on my 'hard core cardio', but sometimes I'm hiking up steep hills, or doing long, slow stretches, and need the switch down.

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L*I*T*A* 9/28/2009 11:10AM

    yes............very nice thanks for sharing.....................have a great week...........blessings and hugs.................lita

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MNABOY 9/28/2009 12:48AM

    Thanks, very mellow.

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Connected: The Surprising POWER of Social Networks & SparkPeople!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Yesterday's NPR program Science Friday featured an interview with the authors of this FASCINATING new book:



All throughout the radio show and now, looking up reviews about the book I can't help but get SO EXCITED because this is the SCIENCE behind how SparkPeople works! I HIGHLY suspect Chris Downie will be incorporating some of these thoughts into his upcoming book "The Spark":


I've pre-ordered two copies of The Spark and hope everyone out there has ordered at least two yourselves...at least ONE extra copy to pass along! :-)

But in the meantime I'm getting so PSYCHED to hear more and more about the POSITIVE and GROWTHFUL POWER that we've built amongst ourselves here at SparkPeople!

Here are some quotes from reviews which, to me has SPARKPEOPLE written all over:

"Connected argues convincingly that itís not enough to understand how individuals behave. The book details examples of how individual behaviors affect other members of a social network. In short, you are your brotherís keeper. And your motherís best friendís brotherís keeper, too."

"Our connections matter much more than the color of our skin or the size of our wallets...When we lose them we lose everything"...and my follow up thought to this is "when we GAIN them we gain EVERYTHING!" Woo hoo!

"This wonderful book by Christakis and Fowler could well be one of the most important works of the decade. In a clear and engaging way, the authors apply their creative and provocative findings on social networks to understanding not only our social relationships but also the forces that shape our world. Full of fascinating stories and examples, this book is essential in understanding our very nature. A must read."

"Margaret Thatcher said there is no such thing as society. Hillary Clinton wrote that it takes a village. In their new book, Christakis and Fowler write, "We don't live in groups, we live in networks," and they back this up with dozens of interconnected stories of research findings by themselves and others, ranging from bank runs to suicide prevention, from nut allergies among schoolchildren to epidemics in virtual worlds, from the spread of happiness to the spread of voting. The combination of speculation and science is fascinating and leaves me eager to learn about the next wave of research in this area." ...and the spread of healthy and well LIFESTYLES! (my addition)

"What makes us human -- for good and bad -- is our social nature. Nowhere is this complex, wonderful, and sometimes dark part of us more clearly revealed than in Connected. In a social world exploding with new ways to interact, Connected is a user's guide for ourselves in the 21st century."

"A God's-eye view of social relationships that may make you dizzy. Every business leader, teacher, and parent should see their life from this vantage."

From Amazon: "Your colleague's husband's sister can make you fat, even if you don't know her. A happy neighbor has more impact on your happiness than a happy spouse. These startling revelations of how much we truly influence one another are revealed in the studies of Drs. Christakis and Fowler, which have repeatedly made front-page news nationwide.

In CONNECTED, the authors explain why emotions are contagious, how health behaviors spread, why the rich get richer, even how we find and choose our partners. Intriguing and entertaining, CONNECTED overturns the notion of the individual and provides a revolutionary paradigm-that social networks influence our ideas, emotions, health, relationships, behavior, politics, and much more. It will change the way we think about every aspect of our lives."

This is the science that explains how we can make each other healthy, happy and fulfilled human beings!!! Which is what we're accomplishing here at SparkPeople!

"I loved this book. Sensitive, aware people perceive on a daily basis that actions, behaviors and emotions impact the lives of those around us, but the science that proves conclusively that your behaviors are impacting mine, my spouse's and friend's in Idaho offers such hope for improvement in the cosmic social network of which we all have our "connectedness". I loved the anecdotal stories - Nicholas and Erika meeting, the Starbucks employee, crazy unstoppable laughter - to which each reader will add additional network stories. We are connected, like it or not, so perhaps we can all start behaving in ways that benefit the entire network. Everyone who reads this will think twice about the impact of cutting someone off in traffic. Dr Christakis and Dr. Fowler have written for the scientific world, NY Times and lay reader - all who are part of the network."

Another reviewer @ Amazon: "As an author, psychotherapist, and teacher, I read a lot of books. Most are read, enjoyed, and soon forgotten. However, occasionally I come across a book that is hard-hitting, informative, and changes the way we understand ourselves, each other, and the world.

Connected is such a book. To give you an idea I usually put little flags on pages with information I think is significant and want to remember. I usually have 10 or 12 little flags in a good book. In this book I have 120 flags and many of the flags have little notes I've written.

For instance, I've flagged this important point: "So while the observation that there are six degrees of separation between any two people applies to how connected we are, the observation that there are three degrees of influence applies to how contagious we are. These properties, connection and contagion, are the structure and function of social networks. They are the anatomy and physiology of the human superorganism."

Why is that important to everyday people? Well, how about because happiness as well as depression can spread along our social networks and make us joyful or sad, or because your future spouse is likely to be your friend's friend, or because your friends' friends' friends can make you fat, or thin.

If you really want to be happy, healthy, wealthy, and wise, I recommend you read Connected: The Surprising Power of Our Social Networks and How They Shape Our Lives."

SparkPeople.com harnesses the power of surrounding ourselves with the healthiest, most positive community which influences you and I in the most positive and healthiest way!



  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KEEPITMOVING 10/2/2009 3:39PM

    awesome blog....love your insights, too! i preordered and am looking forward to cracking the cover, digging in, internalizing everything, and finally having that lightbulb stay on in my head, instead of an on-and-off flicker. i am open, receptive, and willing. i'll go there with you, ok?
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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ROYALETBONE 9/26/2009 2:52PM

    Looks like a good read... but sort of 'coals to Newcastle' for us Sparkies. On the other hand... understanding WHY coals work, and how they work, and when they work... can keep us fired up at times when we want to be slackers.
My love books, num, num. I can always use a good referral... or 10. Tee hee.

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JCORYCMA 9/26/2009 12:18PM

    The beauty of SparkPeople is although you are anonymous being on the internet and thus freer to express yourself, the connections you make seem more intimate. I've made some friends that I really care about without the inevitable prejudging that takes place in person. I'd love to meet them in person someday. Maybe go to a SparkPeople convention!! Thanks for sharing with us Don. I always love good book suggestions!

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Aging, Dodging Bullets, Reaching Goals

Friday, September 25, 2009

Coach Nancy's latest blog got me thinking...I'll share my post and other thoughts related to aging:


This 52-year-old is just waking up to the potential that my body has for ACTION, for MOVEMENT! I just don't want to HEAR about the aging process slowing me down just when I'm getting my GAME ON! I see, hear and feel various signs of evidence that I am NOT being spared the aging process and I don't like it one bit!

Part of me hates to complain at ALL about anything physical as I know MANY of you out there are struggling with medical matters far more serious than anything be-deviling ME these days. My personal reference, however, is that despite all the abuse I've inflicted on myself through the years, my health has pretty much held up admirably well. And in many ways I am healthier now than I've been all my life.

NOW, however, I've got these *issues* cropping up which are such NUISANCES and also giving me cause for some worry. I really begrudge taking the time away from work to see doctors, yet I know I've got to take care of business also.

For the squemish among you, feel free to pass over the next section about my colon...I REALLY didn't want to post this, but I'm struggling to find a solution and felt I couldn't pass up running this by all you knowledgeable folks! :-)

I recently *attempted* to have a colonoscopy screening. For some off-color, scatological (you've been forewarned...lol!) humor about colonoscopies, check out Billy Connolly's skit on Scottish Colonoscopy:


It was quite serendipitous that a friend who knew nothing of my recent attempt had forwarded this to me...!

Anyhow, I flunked! Took all the pills and mixtures, waited for Mt. Vesuvius to erupt...nothing happened! Went to the hospital anyway and they attempted to *assist* my colon, thought things were clear and put me under for the procedure...but no dice...still not clear. Now I've never ever had this sort of problem before in my life! What's worse? I'm four days out from the attempt and have yet to have a bowel movement. I'm usually a once a day, two days at most kind of guy! I've followed up with the gastroenterologist and we have another date set for attempt #2...not until Oct. 16th...ugh, what a birthday present to myself...! But I've alerted them to my problem and am awaiting further instructions. In the meantime I've been doing my own 'net sleuthing and just about the only thing I'm turning up is info about the "lazy colon" syndrome, which sounds like it fits my symptoms, but doesn't fit ME!

It's said that lazy colons that don't have the peristaltic motion they ought to can occur as the result of too little water, too little fiber, too little physical activity or if one has abused laxatives...of which I've never laid my hands on and am extremely reluctant to do this now! Me, who drinks all this water, eats more veggies than ever and am doing my daily cardio faithfully! Now I'm bumping the water and veggies up even more and adding a Metamucil type stuff to 3 glasses of water a day...and I'm waiting...and waiting...and getting nervous that this is signaling something worse than constipation. Is it possible that in the bad old days of horrible eating that I've stretched my colon out so that it doesn't function the way it should and the only thing that moves food through is MORE food...? Is it taking all this time to fill up what has been cleansed before more can be evacuated...? Nasty questions and thoughts...apologies for these but I'm worried.

Let's add to that the return of the mysteriously disappearing hernia...!

Along with an inner ear pressure problem that likes to get infected...!

I tip my hat off to those of you who struggle so successfully with chronic illnesses...as I just don't have the patience for such things...argh!

Okay, for the good news:

As most of you know, strategy #1 in my quest for ONEderland has been to temporarily swear off nuts. Well yesterday I had to stop off at CVS to pick up a couple of prescriptions. The 5 bell alarm did not go off immediately, it was only when I had the thought of sliding into my old habit of going in to pick up the prescriptions...along with a big can of cashews or some such! Caught myself and went through the drive-through instead...woo hoo!

AND this morning I broke through my 35 min. record and NAILED THREE MILES on my treadmill session...a BIG WOO HOO! :-)


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WISTFULVISTA 9/25/2009 11:42PM

    Hey, Don, emoticon on the fabulous treadmill session!! Question: Did your feet ever touch the ground in those paltry 35 minutes?? That's phenomenal! And thanks for posting the hilarious Billy Connolly piece! I laughed so hard, I cried...and my husband came in here and howled at it, too! It was like listening to Robert Burns sing "Skip to the Loo," in an odd sort of way. He's a stitch! I am stumped by your intestinal torpor, especially since you sound like, well, a "regular guy." Here's how I handled the age-50 "rite of passage" (pun intended). Not wanting to have the cacaphony (pun not intended) Connolly described, I opted for eating just soup the day before my colon prep. The prep just raced right through me like water, and I was clean as a whistle on Up Periscope day. I also didn't have all the cramping and mess others have described. The only unclean portion of my GI tract - and I awoke mid-colonoscopy and saw it on the big screen - was my cecum. It's sort of a tiny, blind alleyway which leads to a dead end (again, no pun...). I apologized to the gastro-doc for not having cleaned it well, and he assured me that it's impossible to get that portion clean. So if you're concerned, you might try just soup the day before your prep day. Good going on avoiding the nuts at CVS and opting for the drive-thru instead!!

And poor Nancy...I didn't want to break it to her about what lies ahead...or behind, perhaps... - Susan

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ROYALETBONE 9/25/2009 12:32PM

    Yeah, like Oragmifreak said... at 55, I have to moniter my fiber. I need LOTS of soluble and insoluble fiber. More than average.
And... I bet the 'quititng' nuts has something to do with it.
Maybe you can share your food log? Or do you track?
I've got arthritis in my EAR, fer gosh sake. Bodies.
Gotta love 'em.
Congrats on the 3 miles on the treadmill.
OOOO_ went and looked at the link... lol!

Comment edited on: 9/25/2009 12:38:00 PM

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L*I*T*A* 9/25/2009 11:22AM

    sorry to hear your difficultties........hopefully the dr's will resolve this quickly...........way to go with your workouts...................you will be there sooner rather than later.................have a great day..........blessings and hugs............lita

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USARUNNERGIRL 9/25/2009 10:55AM

    Sorry to hear about all the issues. Glad to hear that you beat your best time on the treadmill. Before you know it you will be in onderland and able to run longer..

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4A-HEALTHY-BMI 9/25/2009 10:03AM

    Dude, those nuts you just swore off were probably providing a lot of fiber that your body was used to...

You don't have your nutritional intake visible, but perhaps you actually need more fiber than the generic SP guidelines recommend?

I've noticed for myself, two things about my own calorie restriction and increased protein intake. First, there does seem to be a minimum volume necessary to move food through. And second, protein binds things up very very well.

So I add 2t of psyllium (soluble fiber) and 1/8c wheat bran (insoluble fiber) to each of my protein shakes. The insoluble fiber gives the digestive system something to push against. The soluble fiber provides mass and slows down the movement to a reasonable pace and keeps the insoluble fiber in solution while I drink the shake.

Some days I get over 40g of fiber. And that seems to suit my system really well.

Just my 2 cents.

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