Midweek Mayhem!!

Hello,

Good afternoon, and welcome to Midweek Mayhem, the place where we get to talk about anything and everything, now with the prospect of renewed optimism because “he is risen.”

After months of self-imposed exile, I have recently re-activated my facebook account. Thank you joni, for your immediate kind words of encouragement by the way.

To be honest, I really don’t know why I have a facebook account.

For one thing, I’m not really sure what the bloody thing does – aside from making constant demands upon one’s time and energy to keep the thing updated. “What are you thinking right now?” it demands. How the f**k should I know? I can’t even remember how I got here.

And then you get these “friend requests” from complete strangers wanting to become your friend. Either that or Facebook kindly interrupts you to suggest “so and so might make a good friend for you..” WHY? Because they’re a dysfunctional sociopathic alcoholic drug-f**ked freak?? Or worse still… a Mormon?

And then your email box gets clogged with endless facebook notifications – “so and so has just written on your wall,” “the guy down the road has commented on your status,” “the girl upstairs has left you a cigar..”

I KNOW!!!

Somehow I suspect this re-activation may be short lived.

In much the same way as a few years ago, I ended up smashing my Palm Pilot to smithereens with a sledge hammer screaming “Give Me Back My Life…!!”

Anyway, this week’s Midweek Mayhem features a Guest Post from Sharp Ross of BrisVegas…Mister Ross Sharp..!!

(Warning: this post features language that some wowsers might find offensive)

The following is a “take” on bank service fees if such fees were applied to other types of retail outlets. If you like it and think it suitable for Blogocrats, feel free to post it. Hope you all had a nice Easter break.

YOU’VE BEEN SERVED.
By Ross Sharp

One morning at the department store …

“Hello”

“…”

“Can you tell me how much this fine pair of Egyptian cotton pillowcases will cost less the discount?”

“…”

“?”

“Can you tell me how …”

“I’m sorry, sir.”

“What?”

“In order for me to serve you and respond to your inquiry, I shall be needing a payment in advance of $2.50.”

“What for?”

“Service fee.”

“Service fee?”

“Yes, sir. Service fee.”

“What the f**k are you talking about, service fee?”

“Don’t cuss at me, sir, or I shall be compelled to call security which will incur a further cost to yourself for inconveniences rendered.”

“…?!”

“Sir. Many people enter this fine establishment on a daily basis. However, not everyone will make a purchase. Only a minority will do that. People come here, they mooch and mope about, they paw at the merchandise, they bother the staff with stupid questions and off they flounce leaving us with bugger all to show for our efforts. We’ve supplied them with comfortable surrounds, air-conditioning, heating, lovely carpeting and floorboards, coordinated colour schemes and absolutely spiffing displays of great artistic integrity, many of which defy the laws of physics. Not to mention a fine selection of unobtrusive tunes piped through a ridiculously expensive network of small speakers, courtesy of Bose Acoustics who, if I may say, are not exactly cheap, unlike some … If. You. Get. My. Drift. Sir. And then, there are the toilets and the people who have to clean the toilets. Toilets for people to p*ss and sh*t in, if p*ssing and sh*tting while one is shopping is something one needs to do, though why such people do not go before they come here continues to confound me. And, most of the time, they don’t even bother to lift the seat, the filthy little grommets. We do not provide these porcelain pretty things for people to just wander in off the bloody street in a bloody daze and shoot smack into their bloody eyeballs, only to lurch out again without so much as a buy or leave. That was a play on words, sir. Buy or leave. Did you get that?”

“Yes, I got th-”

“So. In order to respond to your inquiry as to the cost of the Egyptian pillowcases less the advertised discount, you must pay me a service fee of $2.50 so that I may render you some service, and we, a store that exists in order to … Make. Money … May cover the costs of providing gentle men and women such as yourself with a pleasant environment in which to shop. Or not. What-ever. Understand?”

“I’ll work it out myself then. I’m not paying two bucks fifty for the dubious privilege of being snarled at by the likes of you.”

“Ha! Work it out yourself? No. I don’t think so. You’ll pay the fee.”

“What makes you so sure, smart-a*se?”

“You’re an Australian, sir. Yes, you’ll whine and you’ll whinge and you’ll bitch and you’ll moan and you’ll carry on like a kitten in a blender. You’ll write a letter to the bloody editor of a broadsheet or ring up a radio talk show to complain and demand that something be done. You’ll email Get-Up and try to get a petition started. You’ll sit up the pub with a mate and indulge yourself in some righteous outrage, at length, and you’ll go on an on and on and bloody on and, at the conclusion of it all, you’ll do nothing more but shrug your shoulders and mutter, “Ah, what can you do, eh? Your shout.”, and that will be the end of it. You’ll roll over and take it like a closeted conservative in an airport toilet. You gutless f**king wonder.”

“I will work it out myself, you supercilious little twat! Watch … The price here is … $32.95. No. Wait. There’s another sticker here. $37.95. Which one is … which one is the disc-?“

“Two and a half bucks, c*ckhead.”

“Screw you.”

“If it’s $37.95 … the discount is 18%. That’s … what kind of a discount is that? 18%. Why can’t you make it an even twenny? Or fifteen?”

“Two bucks fifty, Einstein.”

“Your mother’s a five buck whore.”

“Oo-er.”

“10% is $3.79. Or $3.80 if you round up. That’s … um … $37.95 less $3.80 … Thirty four … FIFTEEN!”

“8% to go, dicky boy.”

“8% … Um. Well, 5% is half of $3.80. That’s … $1.50 plus thirty cents. No! Forty cents! That’s $1.90. Thirty four fifteen less one ninety … is … is … Do you have a piece of paper?”

“Public school education, was it?”

“But is the price $32.95 or $37.95? The pre-discount pri-”

“Two bucks, fifty cents, sh*thead.”

“…”

“In advance.”

“I … I’LL GO TO ANOTHER STORE!”

“Oh, pleeeeeeeease do! There’s one on Level 3! And they charge $2.75! And they’re not having a sale on fine Egyptian pillowcases right now, are they?! NO! THEY ARE NOT! I know … Why don’t you try K-MART!? More your style anyway, from the look of you. DON’T. YOU. THINK?! Mr. 100-thread Polyester-Blend?!”

“Do they have a charge?”

“Two bucks ten.”

“…”

“…”

“Here. Take it. You utter, utter prick.”

“Thank you very much, sir. Now, $32.95 less 18% discount comes to … $27.02, rounded down, $27.00 even. Cash or charge, sir?

“Cash.”

“Bag?”

“Please.”

“Plastic or paper?”

“With handles.”

“That’ll be plastic, then. Fifty cent charge for plastic … $27.50.”

“I hope you die.”

“It’s been such a pleasure, sir. Do come again.”

“I hope you die of cancer.”

“And have a nice day.”

“Up yours. Where are these toilets you mentioned?”

“Five bucks.”

“Five bucks?! … Sh*t!!”

“Number two’s are ten.”

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40 Responses

  1. Heavens above reb, you’re almost as wordy as John McP (currently missing..Min scouts around). Can I read this in two segments aka Janet Albrechtsen’s inputs?

  2. “YOU’VE BEEN SERVED.
    By Ross Sharp”

    Very droll.

  3. And so, I did find a buyer for my vinyl (thanks anyway, Oftenbark, but such is life). All of it.

    And it is gone. All of it. And now, I have money instead.

    I have lost my soul.

    Call me Faust. Or Ishmael if you’d rather.

    Whatever.

  4. Recently sent by a good friend….It’s wonderful! And where is Nasking?

    For all .Stand By Me. And if anyone finds a better version…well you’re wrong!

    http://vimeo.com/moogaloop.swf?clip_id=2539741

  5. Well while we are at it………….my apologies to those who have already seen this .

    An Explanation of the Global Financial Crisis and the Derivative Markets

    Heidi is the proprietor of a bar in Detroit. In order to increase sales, she decides to allow her loyal customers – most of whom are unemployed alcoholics – to drink now but pay later. She keeps track of the drinks consumed on a ledger (thereby granting the customers loans).

    Word gets around about Heidi’s drink now pay later marketing strategy and as a result, increasing numbers of customers flood into Heidi’s bar and soon she has the largest sale volume for any bar in Detroit.

    By providing her customers’ freedom from immediate payment demands, Heidi gets no resistance when she substantially increases her prices for wine and beer, the most consumed beverages. Her sales volume increases massively.

    A young and dynamic vice-president at the local bank recognizes these customer debts as valuable future assets and increases Heidi’s borrowing limit. He sees no reason for undue concern since he has the debts of the alcoholics as collateral.

    At the bank’s corporate headquarters, expert traders transform these customer loans into DRINKBONDS, ALKIBONDS and BARFBONDS. These securities are then traded on security markets worldwide.

    Naive investors don’t really understand that the securities being sold to them as AAA secured bonds, are really the debts of unemployed alcoholics. Nevertheless, their prices continuously climb, and the securities become the top-selling items for some of the nation’s leading brokerage houses who collect enormous fees on their sales, pay extravagant bonuses to their sales force, and who in turn purchase exotic sports cars and multimillion dollar condominiums.

    One day, although the bond prices are still climbing, a risk manager at the bank (subsequently fired due to his negativity), decides that the time has come to demand payment on the debts incurred by the drinkers at Heidi’s bar.

    Heidi demands payment from her alcoholic patrons, but being unemployed they cannot pay back their drinking debts. Therefore, Heidi cannot fulfil her loan obligations and claims bankruptcy.

    DRINKBOND and ALKIBOND drop in price by 90 %. BARFBOND performs better, stabilizing in price after dropping by 80 %. The decreased bond asset value destroys the banks liquidity and prevents it from issuing new loans.

    The suppliers of Heidi’s bar, having granted her generous payment extensions and having invested in the securities are faced with writing off her debt and losing over 80% on her bonds.

    Her wine supplier claims bankruptcy, her beer supplier is taken over by a competitor, who immediately closes the local plant and lays off 50 workers.

    The bank and brokerage houses are saved by the Government following dramatic round-the-clock negotiations by so-called leaders from both political parties.

    The funds required for this bailout are obtained by a tax levied on employed middle-class non-drinkers.

    Finally an explanation I understand…

  6. Or worse still… a Mormon?

    *laugh* You know something? My family’s Mormon and I really don’t have a problem with that characterisation of most I’ve had the pleasure of debating… If there is one thing they do well, it’s educating (brainwashing) their youth on the in’s & out’s of their religious scripture. As such, those of us that leave have all we need to know to counter their arguments. 🙂

  7. Re Tol et al..Mormon’s are not to be sneezed at..or else we family historians would up the proverbial without a paddle without their databases. ie the MEGA database and all free to view (and free to download) is at:
    http://www.familysearch.org/Eng/Search/frameset_search.asp

  8. Walrus,

    The bit you forgot to mention was at the beginning when the government, concerned that unemployed alcoholics were being discriminated against because of their low socio-economic status, legislated that bar-owners had to supply a certain percentage of total bar sales to unemployed alcoholics on credit.

  9. Posted to another thread..I now have to choof due to dinner duties. It’s Stand By Me.

    http://vimeo.com/moogaloop.swf?clip_id=2539741

    Will catch up as soon as I can. Hugs to all.

  10. Actually..

    Those clean-cut Mormon boys in thier crisp white shirts n’ bicycles are very spunky.

    If only they’d stop trying to ‘convert’ me….

    May I should try to convert them instead…

    Hmmm…now there’s a thought…

  11. Mormon’s are not to be sneezed at..or else we family historians would up the proverbial without a paddle without their databases

    Yeah, my grandmother was really big on the whole genealogy bit. Thing is the use for said database is a little creepy. “Baptisms for the Dead”. That’s right folks, you might not want to be a Mormon in life, but they’re patient. As soon as you croak – it’s open season.

    Fun fact, their founder, Joseph Smith Jr, is in their databases too. Along with the recorded fact that he took other men’s wives as his own and that he married children as young as fourteen. And most Mormons I met have no clue about this!

  12. Reb…

    Before the move up to north coast NSW, out of the blue these very nice ladies dropped by. I was thinking WHY. Surely the hints such as ‘we’re not religious/husand is Catholic’ should have been a deterrant.

    Then I spotted the problem…ah ha..it was youngest daughter. I asked daughter..did you invite these people in while dad and I weren’t home?

    Answer to the affirmative.

    You can imagine it a 3/4 hour debate via youngest who is always polite but who is also a vegetarian and who can argue the leg off a wooden broom.

    No wonder they kept turning up on the doorstep. I reduced one of these ladies to tears (for which I am very sorry) by saying, What the heck we’re all forgiven.

  13. B.Tolputt, on April 15th, 2009 at 5:09 pm. Certainly Mormonism is an odd one such as identifying the deceased ancestors (hence the emphasis re genealogy) so that the deceased oldies will become part of the risen at next coming. Therefore an obligation is to identify one’s ancestors and then they can be baptisted post-mortem.

    I would say that 99% of genealogists world-wide use the resource FamilySearch.org. One cannot not use it because it’s the most efficient database available especially for prior to 1856 (being the introduction of civil records).

    End of waffle…

  14. Not waffle – it’s amazing what alot of money & the dedication of a million brainwashed… er, “devout believers” can accomplish.

    But while I’m on my favourite hobby horse, I think a religion devoted to bringing everyone to god could think of something better to spend over a billion dollars on than a shoppiing mall. Yup, the good ole Latter Day Saints spent a billion dollars putting up a shopping mall rather than, say, wiping out poverty in some part of the world… for good.

    Hmm, for a billion dollars – I’m pretty sure they could wipe out the mortgage debt of all their US members up for foreclosure. Just a thought…

  15. Tol..and FamilySearch.org is losing it’s credibility as well. Imagine a squillion young Mormons all with the obligation to find one’s ancestors or to assist others in finding their own. Eventually one runs out of credible records such as Bishops Transcripts and start popping in other people’s very inaccurate imaginings.

    Shopping Mall. Sistine Chapel. The Crystal Castle. And all this because of a young jewish bloke who preached poverty.

  16. I was going to make comments on the 3 stories. I’m going to the family database instead. If I can track my son down on facebook, then who knows what other family members I’ll find?

  17. From the Sydney Gazette:
    “Catherine Quin, Mary Ward, and Elizabeth M’Donald, all free, but who had been found at unseasonable hours drunk and disorderly in the street were brought up on separate charges, and sentenced as follows; Catherine Quin, to the stocks for half an hour; Mary Ward, to ditto, for three hours, Elizabeth M’Donald, to ditto, for one hour.”
    Passed on without comment.( Wonder who these Blogocrats are!)

  18. Reb, re facebook. I joined to find my bad boy, which I did. I sent him an email, and a couple of weeks later I received a reply. At least he’s alive.

    Min, I don’t know if i should say thank you or not. I can’t find myself, or my Mum and Dad. The disappearing family!

    Lang Mack, not me. We arrived in the 20th century, while the rest of the family went to the USA.

  19. At the risk of sounding like a gumpy old man, again, here’s a question or three for musically minded blogocrats.

    With the news yesterday that global music sales fell by 11% in the past 12 months to hit their lowest level in 20 years, does this mean popular culture is really eating itself ? Or is it just an ignorant new take on the same old “no one ever went broke under-estimating the intelligence of the audience” mind set – a trembling corporate hand on the Titanic’s tiller?

    Too much bigging up of Hip Hop, a genre that appeals to a small demographic group and turns off a much bigger group of consumers?

    Too little creativity and exploration? Am I the only one getting really tired of hearing Garage Band library sounds on the radio every day? I know I’m not the only one tired of hearing endless versions of yesterday’s tunes. Of hearing the Joy Division, Manchester and Motown sounds being passed off as belonging to the hip new brood.

    What about the hear (sorry) and now?

    I’m happy with the quality of Apple’s AAC music files but my trusty ears refuse scratchy MP3s …

    Obviously, I don’t think falling music sales are an accident. How about you?

  20. Nobel didn’t grab me this time around. Either the guy doing Diablo, the 15 year old with the huge voice or Splatt. Personal preference 15 year old.

    Ray, it could be that everyone downloads from the net. or we are all broke.

    Maybe you need a decent mp3 player, or a hearing aide? (Sorry) 🙂

  21. Angel, you and me both-not a trace of any of my mob from either side of the family, nor my husband’s although did find a (presumably Norman) chap who was kicking around in 1294.

    My parents and grandparents would be quite pleased they’re not being baptised into the Mormon (or any other) faith, though.

  22. Talking about mormons, this series is very good. Currently into the 3rd series in the US and a 4th is planned. Anyone else into it?

    BIG LOVE

  23. kittylitter, on April 15th, 2009 at 11:44 pm

    Yeppers, Big Love is brilliant.

    Ray Hunt, on April 15th, 2009 at 8:13 pm

    Some un-researched thoughts…discretionary spending is down (both for consumers and creators/management), and piracy sharing is up??

  24. Ray Hunt: So much to be said about your posted topic.
    Firstly I shall presume that you are neither grumpy nor old, merely mature in your musical preference.
    One CD purchased by one teenager can now be ripped onto computer, converted to mp3, downloaded onto the ipods of perhaps 3 to 4 friends of that teenager. With the compression of music file sizes from wav, cda to mp3 (wav to mp3 compression ratio of 10 to 1) enables the downloading of hundreds of tunes to i-pods, or stored on CD.
    More and more performers are producing their own music CDs for sale worldwide, or, for download off the internet for a price.
    Example: Radiohead’s ‘Rainbows’ cd album. More will follow.
    BTW, the Beatles’ first 4 albums Please Please Me, With The Beatles, A Hard Day’s Night, Beatles For Sale, digitally remastered cds are due to be released for sale in early September/09. They will no doubt each hit No. 1.
    McCartney and co have sworn never to allow individual Beatles tracks to be sold off computer.

    ‘hearing garage band library sounds on the radio every day’
    Um. I agree, to a point. You can blame Triple J and Rage for that Ray. Quality does not appear to be the criteria those two outlets insist upon (then again, I recall reading from one of my favourite paperback novels ‘what is good, what is not good Phaedrus, and who is to tell us such things’?) Personally, I think Molly Meldrum got the ball rolling with ‘junk’ music on Countdown in the 80s, prior to that show’s extinction (keeping in mind that the love of or indifference to any artform is totally subjective). Time for sleep. More later.

  25. Angel,

    If Facebook was a way in which you were able to connect with your son then no one can argue that it has been incredibly helpful in that respect.

  26. Hello Blogocrats, taking a week off and decided to have a look over here for the first time in a while.

    I’m looking at buying a thousand acres at least in the Stanley River Valley to build a sustainable house and run cattle as scaping is becoming boring and I’m sick of Brisbane.

    I’m sure the three hyenas are lurking somewhere waiting to strike in their gutless fashion, I think I’ll call the property “Crapperville.”

    Bumped into Brian Sutton and Bob of QLD on the blogs I am visiting this week…might point them this way so the hyenas can have a feed…hate to see them eat each other, LOL!

  27. Hey Scaper,

    Please, please let Briannie know that we’re here….

    It’s not quite the same without his/her “commentary”

    🙂

  28. Feels like a holiday today for me, I am out at our datacentre in Homobush. Feels weird to be so far away from the CBD.

  29. scaper…, on April 16th, 2009 at 10:46 am

    I must admit that I still derive some satisfaction at the thought of the small sacrifices made by Rabbi Bobshe of Tizzmania in his late conversion to Judaism. 😉

  30. Re – Crapperville*

    I intend to have the first Deep Fried Flies Franchise in the Stanley River Valley.

    *Note – Crapperville is the registered Trade Mark of TOM. It denotes any nominated place populated by the delusional, provided that such a place is also characterised by excessive dust, a sky black with flies and an ambient temperate of 48+ degrees.

  31. Re – Crapperville

    *Also Note, that Crapopolis and Crapapolia are registered trademarks of Joni and Reb.

    Scaper,

    Looks like you may need to come up with another name for your vision of Utopia…

    “Shitesville?”

    I don’t think anyone has registered that one yet….

  32. A second try at this one as previous posts have apparently ended up as Spam.

    http://www.theage.com.au/national/deaths-on-asylum-seekers-boat-20090416-a831.html

    Son phoned. I said, well it’s probably asylum seekers. He said, but it could also be Naval personnel.

  33. I just did a seach through ASIC…Crapperville it is!

  34. Hi Oftenbark, have you tried AAC (or MP4) files? 50% to 70% larger than MP3s, sweet as, they sound like they’ve got something approaching the analogue spectrum. Music becomes an audio delight once again. MP3s really are convenience over quality – junk food for the ears.

    Be warned once, you’ve listened to AAC format, you will never listen to crappy MP3s again. Ever. If you want to try AAC, go to the advanced menu on Apple i-tunes ( no can do for PC owners ). Select a tune and then click on the convert to AAC menu option. It takes about 10 seconds per song and you can do the conversion offline! My 80GB ipod holds 11,000 legal AAC tunes.

    Legion, would you please explain why overall revenues from gigs, concerts and merchandise are way up at the same time? History shows people are happier to pay for entertainment in bad times. Escapism is usually all the go when reality looks so bleak. To underline this, cinema ticket sales are also up notably. The point I’m getting at it there is, demographically, a bigger audience for pop music than ever before but not much bait. Yes, the recession is playing some part but it is simplistic to put growing audiences and falling sales down to this alone. Record labels grew fat selling little but back-catalogue for two decades and lost the ability to spot talent with a broad appeal and nurture it. Now, perhaps, they are harvesting the bitter crop they planted.

    Point two, there is so much recycling – of songs, of sounds – there’s not a lot of ‘new’ music or creative ‘exploration’ about.

    Angel, the sales slump includes ‘legal’ downloads.

    Agree illegal downloads are a big problem in some ways. Yet the web is also letting bands reach an audience, without the need for recording and publishing companies creaming 90% of their earnings off the top.

    My friends in the know say that artists are now recording to promote tours and the sales spin-offs that go with it. Hence all the give-away music on bands official sites. So what if this is the opposite of the business model the music ‘business’ was built on – when performers often ended up with less than 10% of their gross income? If the web lets performers keep a much greater share of their income, it’s a good building block for something better in future.

    Large newspaper companies are not the only media businesses that have to change rapidly or face extinction in the online age.

  35. “I’m looking at buying a thousand acres at least in the Stanley River Valley to build a sustainable house and run cattle as scaping is becoming boring and I’m sick of Brisbane.:
    Scaper, knowing that area and as a Bumpkin , I wish you well, main thing is that you have capital to prop up your relief from being bored. Also a sound knowledge of agriculture would be of advantage,usually gained through years of passed on and on hand experience,and a solid foundation of stock, markets and capitol costs. And patience. Do you homework first, unless your capital rich.(Return on your investment may cause you to pause), that is if your not being cavalier in your statement.Also, an acre is not a hectare .(talking cattle).

  36. Ray Hunt: Thanks for the info. I have not yet heard an AAC file.
    I’m currently using a free programme ‘Express Rip’ to upload my CD library tracks for conversion. However, although Express Rip supports conversion to some formats, it does not allow conversion to AAC in the free ExRip prog.
    I shall find one that does allow same, on the web.

  37. Gotta love the “real media”….This is their idea of a news reporter…no bias here nope, none at all….

  38. Lang Mack, thanks for the encouragement as that is a rare commodity here.

    I have owned a Poll Hereford stud before, albeit many years ago so will need to brush up a bit on knowledge.

    There used to be another farmer in that area called Sid Mack and our fuel bills used to get mixed up and we paid each others until the fuel company picked it up.

    I still retain the knowledge of pasture improvement, machinery operation and maintenance and of course cropping.

    I hope to run 300 breeders on a paddock rotation but will need to cultivate forage crops, which will be either lucerne of sorghum but soil conditions will dictate such…this will have to carry the stock through winter and to finish them off for market.

    I have received valuations of other assets and it looks like I have more than enough capital to cover property purchase, improvements and stock but I will heed the advice of my accountant in regards to the percentage of equity to finance for taxation purposes opposed to self funding outright.

    I’ve approached this with a level head and know the income to investment ratio is not substantial but money is not the driver, the lifestyle is my aspiration and if it gets boring I am in close enough proximity to the Sunshine Coast to recommence landscaping if the want or need arises.

    Again, thanks for the encouragement.

  39. Hi Oftenbark, if your computer is an Apple Macintosh you can set it so all music downloads are automatically converted into sweet AAC files … It’s a format all music lovers should chase up.

  40. Meant to say, Ray, that I found your update on concerts and cinema tickets seems promising as another source explanatory force in the form of substituion, perhaps with the addition of a widening of competitive pressures for entertainment dollars, to include the newer digital entertainment genres, like games and the internet, etc. Maybe, as entertainment industries spread and new markets are created for newer products, the music industry segment shrinks as a proportion. Just a thought, and not necessarily unrelated to the mainstream music industry possibly boxing itself into an uncompetitive niche through its internal practices.

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