Posts Tagged With: Smoking

7 Quick Takes Friday, Vol 16

1: Meatless Fridays

We’ve decided to go meatless on Fridays year round. How’s that going for us?

Actual exchange late last night (or about 3am) in the Fletcher house:

Me: We’re almost out of fish filets? *runs frantically to deep freeze* Well, actually, there 2960134096_135f9b0703are six here. Two fishes are a serving, so there’s at least 3 servings.

Scott: Two? I usually have 5 at a time…

Me: What?!?!?! Two fishes is more than plenty!

Scott: Not for me, it isn’t!

Me: Two fishes is more than enough. I mean, Jesus could feed, gosh, probably 5,000 people with two fishes.

Scott: IT’S NOT LENT YET!!!!!

It’s going well. Really well.

2: New Years Fitness Resolutions

Not doing so well. I’ve been working out like a champ, I mean really. My shin splints have flared up horribly, but I’m working around it. I dialed back the intensity of my circuit training (I went a little EXTREME!!! way too soon) and started mixing in some biking and Zumba. However, I’m washing away all of my hard work by over-snacking all night. Ever since I quit smoking, I’ve had snacking issues, which is weird because I never used to be a snacker. The real low point for me was when I ate a half a bag of Sun Chips in one sitting. I’m bored, and I’m at home by myself all evening, but I’ve got to stop this nonsense! I’ve just got to throw myself into prayer like I did when I was quitting smoking. NO MORE SNACKING!!!

3: If my fear was irrational, I wouldn’t be afraid of it. Duh.

Sometimes I wonder, whilst flailing about the living room, “dancing” to my Zumba XBox game, if perhaps my Kinect sensor is recording my performance and sending it off to Microsoft headquarters so they can laugh at it.  

Do you doubt it? I mean really? This is why we don’t have flying cars. The geniuses are all watching fat ladies show of their spasmodic dance skills in their living rooms. Brave new world.

4: We All Need Humbling

Last week, I mentioned I would be painting the Devon tower at a Wine and Palette painting class. So, here’s the tower:

images (12)

And this is my painting (keep in mind, the picture above is at an angle, mine is head on):


Well, we can cross pride off the list.

5: Marriage Challenge–Just in Time for Valentine’s!

Hallie Lord, my personal marriage guru, is hosting a 41 day marriage challenge! Yesterday’s task was to slip a love note into his wallet. Done! He didn’t find it, though. So, I put it in the little envelope he keeps his debit card it, and hopefully when he takes his card out to pay for something he’ll find it?4343621338_1bddfe2369

Today’s task is to send him a sweet text message. I did! I told him I loved him..and gave him an update on the garage door situation. Does that count?

I suck at this.

6: I  Still Want My Monies!

Last week, I ranted about not having my W-2 and wanting our refund money. Well, I got my W-2, and had exactly 5 second of happiness about our refund before I realized our refund would be going entirely toward our medical debts and it wouldn’t even be enough to cover all of them. Unfair! Last year, we bought a new refrigerator and I was able to squirrel enough away to buy a Hawaiian vacation package for Scottie. This year, all of it is going to bills!?!?!?

All but a small portion that will be set aside for my Real Estate school. In another 6-12 months (or however long it takes for me to finish the darn thing) I’ll be starting a brand new career!

7: Pope John Paul II 

In Evangelium Vitae, Bl. Pope John Paul II included a special message for women who have had an abortion. In commemoration of the grim anniversary this week, I think it’s important to share what he had to say:

Pope John Paul II in ArmchairI would now like to say a special word to women who have had an abortion. The Church is aware of the many factors which may have influenced your decision, and she does not doubt that in many cases it was a painful and even shattering decision. The wound in your heart may not yet have healed. Certainly what happened was and remains terribly wrong. But do not give in to discouragement and do not lose hope. Try rather to understand what happened and face it honestly. If you have not already done so, give yourselves over with humility and trust to repentance. The Father of mercies is ready to give you his forgiveness and his peace in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. To the same Father and his mercy you can with sure hope entrust your child. With the friendly and expert help and advice of other people, and as a result of your own painful experience, you can be among the most eloquent defenders of everyone’s right to life. Through your commitment to life, whether by accepting the birth of other children or by welcoming and caring for those most in need of someone to be close to them, you will become promoters of a new way of looking at human life.  

– Pope Blessed John Paul II’s Evangelium Vitae, 99 (1995)

Be sure to keep Jen in your prayers as she continues her recovery and be sure to stop by Conversion Diary for more quick takes!

Yes,  yes, if you click on the little Amazon link on this page and buy something, I’ll make a teeny, tiny profit! 

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7 Quick Takes Friday, Vol 15: “Don’t try to assign a theme to it” Edition

1: Words Fail Me

I’ve gotten a bit backed up on blogging and actually have several half-finished posts, most of which I’m sure will be deleted. With everything that I’m hearing as far as guns and gun violence goes, I felt the need to pitch in my two cents. After many attempts at beating around the bush, I decided to just be blunt and say what I feel. Sometimes, blunt is best.

2: The Tooth Fairy Cometh4749403760_e6fce91d73_n

My darling Scott has finally come to terms with the importance of proper dental maintenance. Last week, the poor dear had an abscessed tooth and we got him in to see a dentist on Monday. Unfortunately, (long story) it was a very expensive dental office. Marble counter tops. A Keurig machine in the waiting room. Giant bowls of complimentary chapstick, key chains and gum. The place looks like a flipping palace. So, when he received a quote for a root canal and crown, I scoffed. Being the evil wife that I am, I refused to schedule an appointment to have the work done and told Scott we’d be shopping around. He was so unhappy with me! I forgot to grab a few handfuls of the free chapstick and gum on the way out the door, but I did my share of the Keurig coffee. We got him an appointment at Dental Depot yesterday, and he was able to get the root canal, crown, and deep clean for only slightly more than just the root canal and crown would have been at the spendy place. Poor thing. He had the root canal and half the deep clean done yesterday (same day as his initial exam at Dental Depot!) and he’ll get the rest of the deep clean and the temporary crown on Wednesday. Between now and then, he’s on a soft food diet and in a decent amount of pain. I made him some homemade potato soup, and that seemed to help.

Next time, he’ll go to the dentist when I tell him to. I’m sure of it.

3: It’s Official!

The holidays are over. In addition to Sunday being the liturgical end of the Christmas season, we celebrated 2 family birthdays on Saturday and my in-laws flew back to Saudi Arabia on Monday morning. No more big family meals. No more get-togethers over cake. It’s time to get back on a regular schedule!

4: Rebecca Monet!

I’m going to be working on a new masterpiece tonight at Wine and Palette. My sister, Betsy, and I went last month and did our renderings of the “Peace Angel.”


Tonight, we shall be doing a rendering of the Oklahoma City skyline with the Devon tower. I am particularly fond of the Devon tower since my husband, the iron worker, built it.

New Image

It was the first job he was sent on as an iron worker two years ago, and he’s still out there working on the finishing touches. Isn’t it just beautiful?

5: Smoking Hot!

166215927_48b7336d26Today, a coworker was on her way out for a smoke break and had to go back out to the front to help a customer. On her way, she put her cigarette down on the counter in the break room. I picked it up and sniffed at it. It was strange. 5 months ago, I couldn’t imagine not being a smoker. It was part of who I was. I set the pace of my days by my smoke breaks. Now, holding the cigarette in my hand, it seemed strange and unnatural.

Another coworker came in the break room and started to flip out. “Don’t do it!” he cried out. “You already quit!”

“You know what’s silly?” I said, thinking of the absolute torture of quitting and the divine intervention required to quit. “After all that, the main reason I don’t want to start up again is that I don’t want to stink.”

“That’s not silly at all,” he said.

I don’t know if I’ve addressed this already, but I honestly did not realize how bad I smelled when I smoked. Now, when I smell a smoker, I feel mortified that I walked around smelling like that. I really don’t want to stink again!

6: I Want My Monies!

It’s that time of year! For Rebecca to complain and moan because I SHOULD have my W-2 by now. This is a modern, advanced civilization, is it not? Everything is electronic, any information can be obtained with a mere touch of a button–except my W-2!

I’m particularly anxious to get mine because….I cheated! I borrowed against my return! When we had our glorious trip to Hawaii, we hadn’t saved up very much money, so I changed my tax filing status to single with 9 dependents, so no federal taxes were taken out for 4 or 4 checks. When I changed it back, I had an extra 100$/check taken out to make up for it, but I’m still a little worried. And yes, I did use the estimator at HR Block to see how much it should be based on our recent pay stubs, but until I get the final result, I’m going to worry!

7: At Last!

When I was 13 or 14, I read Les Miserables, then when I was done with it, I realized it was a8269937687_f7163b369a condensed version. Dangit. I’ve read the first half of the full version 2 or 3 times since then. After reading the condensed version, I bought the soundtrack to the musical and listened to it over and over again, wishing I could see it.

Last Friday, I got to. I’m not going to do a big commentary. It was Les Mis. It was done right. It was beautiful and glorious. I bawled at the end. It was worth every second of the wait.

I can hear the people sing!

Be sure to keep Jen in your prayers as she continues her recovery and be sure to stop by Conversion Diary for more quick takes!

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7 Quick Takes Friday, Vol 13: Getting Back on Track Edition

First of all, my prayers are certainly with Jennifer during this dreadful, uncertain time. Let’s petition all of Heaven for the protection and care of the Fulwiler family!

I’ve been absent from the blogging world for the last few weeks. The holidays were busy, busy! In addition to endless Christmas shopping, and running around, I decided about a week before Christmas to get a jump start on my fitness goals for the new year. So, instead of blogging, I’ve been using what precious little time (and energy) I could muster to jump around the living room like a maniac so I could feel the burn! The result? Now, 5 days into 2013, I’ve already increased the length and intensity of my workouts . Woot!

I did so well last year. For 6 months, I worked out, and I was training to do a 5K, but…life got in the way and I got off track. Then, I started having health problems and didn’t want to risk making things worse. Well, not working out hasn’t made my health any better, so I’ve decided to work through the pain. In the 6 months that I did manage to stay on track last year, I learned a lot, so I’ve decided to pass on some of those lessons with 7 things I recommend for getting in shape.

1: Shoes. Proper ones.

When I started working out, I wore 10$ sneakers from Walmart. Within a few weeks, I was on cloud nine. Every day, I could feel myself getting stronger, I had more energy, and I just felt….better! Then came the pain. Shin splints. The worst part about shin splints is that there is no gradual progression. One day, perfectly fine, the next you’re in screaming agony at the slightest exertion. Walking becomes strained, squats and lunges become painfully difficult, and jumping jacks? Jogging? Butt kicks? Ha! No way! I ended up having to decrease the intensity of my workouts for a few weeks to allow myself time to heal. At a time when I was moving forward so brilliantly, to have to step back was a slap in the face. Not knowing very much about shoes, I bought a pair of Skechers Sport sneakers for 50$. After some heavy mileage, I recently ordered a replacement pair through Amazon, that are pretty much identical, but with pink trim! They came with pink laces, too! 😀

I’m sure a good many people would say they weren’t up to snuff since they didn’t cost an arm and a leg, but the difference was amazing. My feet not only felt supported, they felt loved. I also used a calf support, and continue to use it to prevent further injury.

Bottom line: GET SOME DECENT SHOES!!! And using a calf support from day one probably isn’t a bad idea. Having to dial down your intensity when you’re making progress sucks.

2: A Fitness Plan

You simply can’t just jump around your living room doing random exercises and expect consistent results. Last Christmas, I bought my husband an XBox 360 (which he was DYING to have) and I bought a Kinect as nice little add-on for the both of us. Oh. My. Gravy. It was money well spent, let me tell you! I bought a bundle that included my choice of game, and since I was being such a generous Santa, I chose a game for myself!

I highly, highly recommend The Biggest Loser Ultimate Workout for Kinect!  Having Bob as a virtual personal trainer is just fantastic, and there are just so many ways to customize your program. You choose the length, (As little as 20 minutes. I mean, come on. You can start out at 20 minutes, right?) the intensity, and the muscle focus. You can also set it to utilize equipment you have, but I don’t actually recommend that. I set it to use my resistance band, but it didn’t use it for a few weeks, and then when it did, I was scrambling through the house searching for it while Bob was screaming at me to get with the program.

Overall, it’s fantastic. It’s like having 100 workout DVDs in one, but better. Bob constantly gives me feedback (sometimes quite unwelcome) when I fall behind, when I’m not kicking my leg up high enough, and when I’m nailing the routine. Really, it’s also safer than regular DVDs because if I’m arching my back when I need to keep it straight, Bob always lets me know so I can avoid injury.

If you don’t have an XBox, you can still make a plan! Here are some ideas:

  • Workout DVDs: I’ve used “The Firm” workouts in the past and they’re great. 
  • The Gym: I’m way too introverted to work out in front of people I don’t know and take the chance of running into people that I do know! However, it’s the best way to get access to a wide range of equipment. A few hints: Do some research online and build a plan for what machines you want to use and what kind of routine you want to do. Also, be sure to utilize the staff and don’t be afraid to ask questions. That’s what they’re there for! It’s better to risk looking silly for not knowing what you’re doing than to get hurt or not get what you’re paying for.
  • Spark People: Whatever your plan is, tracking it via Spark People is a great way to track your success, get motivation, tools, and support.
  • My Fitness Pal, My Net Diary, and probably a bajillion other smartphone apps: I really love My Net Diary, but it’s not available on my Kindle Fire tablet! So, I’ve been using My Fitness Pal, which is working out pretty good for me so far. The bottom line: look around and try a few out and see which one works best for you. 
  • Endomondo: Endomondo doesn’t track your meals, strictly fitness, so I put it in a different category. If you’re running, biking, hiking, walking, Endomondo will track how fast, how far, and how many calories you burned. It’s great for competing against yourself, and seeing how far you’ve come.

3: A Heart Rate Monitor

The Biggest Loser Ultimate workout estimates calorie burn, and so does Endomondo. But there were times when I felt like my efforts weren’t accurately recognized. Especially when my Kinect sensor couldn’t see me doing my hiplifts because my living room is so small it couldn’t see me on the floor. At the end of the day, I wanted to know for sure. I looked at different products, but my research led me to the conclusion that the heart rate monitor was the best way to check my calorie burn.

It’s so much more than that!

Just knowing my target heart rate zone and where I am has made a big impact on my workouts. I can just glance at my wrist and know when I need to dial up the intensity. It’s also nice that an alarm will sound if I’m about to have a heart attack. We fat people worry about that. Knowing when my intensity level is dropping and knowing I’m not actually dying has really helped me to give my best at every workout.

I use an online calculator to check calorie burn based on average heart rate because the monitor seems to calculate calorie burn based on me being male. And it’s pink. It turns out, though, that I do burn more calories than the game and apps tell me.

‘Cause I’m intense like that.

5: Nutrition

Last year, I was dead set on dropping pounds. I used Weight Watchers at first, because that’s what’s always worked for me in the past. As the weeks went by, however, despite sticking to my plan and working out regularly, the pounds were lingering, and I started having trouble getting enough energy to do my workouts. I looked over my food journals and checked the details. Turns out, points aren’t enough. It needs to be a little more complicated than that.

I wasn’t getting enough calories, for one thing, even though I met my points goal. I also wasn’t getting enough protein, hence the workout lag. I upped my calories, upped my protein and dropped some pounds!

The last few months, however, I’ve learned a lot more than that. Since I’ve been having health issues, I’ve started looking at food a lot differently, and focusing on getting the right nutrition. I only eat meat once a day, and make sure to get at least 5 servings of vegetables daily and 3 servings of fruit. More energy? Absolutely. Despite pain, pain, and more pain, I have the get up and go to get through my workouts because I’m cutting out the crap and cramming in the good stuff. There are some exercises I couldn’t get through before even after months of working out that I can do now. Eat your veggies! Cut out the processed crap! No sugar!

Well, that and…


I have not once had to stop while working out because my lungs were searing. I still need a break after an intense exercise, but I no longer need a break after every exercise.

7: The Right Motivation

Vanity is a powerful motivator, but it’s not strong enough for most people, and the rewards aren’t very meaningful. Focus on improving your health, your mobility, and extending your life. Do you want to walk with the greatest of ease when you hit 80 or do you want to hobble around at 50? Do you want to die at 50? Or do you want to run your 50th 5k at 50? I’ve lost a lot of weight since I was my all-time heaviest and the biggest victory I had wasn’t fitting into a pair of jeans or turning heads. It was the day I realized I could get in and out of my car without struggling.

I know my 7 must-haves are hardly exhaustive, but I hope they help you on your journey to better health! And head over to Moxie Wife for more quick takes with Hallie!

Note: While writing this post, I realized I was linking to a lot of Amazon stuff. So, I joined the affiliate program. If you should click on one of the fine products featured here and buy something, I’ll make a tiny bit of money that I’ll probably just spend on more stuff from Amazon. Anything recommended here is the exact product I own. (Except the calf support. I have it in EXTRA large, not large as featured.)

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7 Quick Takes Friday: Vol 2


Back in January, I made my 1 millionth pledge to lose weight and started doing The Biggest Loser Ultimate Workout on Xbox Kinect. I gradually added other workouts: on my Gazelle, my step deck, my bike, Zumba, and next thing you know, I’m running in the park! I lost 30 pounds in 5 months and was in the best shape of my life. I started training for my first 5k and then….things happened. We had illness in the family and things just got busy. I let myself go right around the beginning of June. I didn’t gain any weight back, but I stopped working out and I stopped losing weight. Almost 4 months later, I’ve decided to get back on track. So, I did my Kinect workout. I nearly died. That was two days ago and my legs are still screaming in pain. I keep telling myself I’m going to get in shape and stay in shape so I don’t have to go through this again. Maybe this time?


It’s been 3 weeks since I stopped using the nicotine patch. I’m not going to lie, I’ve had a couple of cigarettes since then. Maybe 3? In  That’s a long way from smoking 25-40 a day! I’ve also cut my coffee consumption after learning that coffee can indeed cause anxiety. I went from about 5 or 6 cups a day to 2 cups a day. Mentally, I want a cup of coffee and a smoke right now. That’s a “break.” However, physically, I’m okay. I don’t feel anxious or jittery. Here in a little while, I’ll go do a decade on the rosary and feel right as rain. I’m going to make it.


Scott and I are going to do a fast with 40 Days for Life starting Sunday. We have a few intentions we need to offer and it seems like a good time to regain some self discipline. Since we haven’t been smoking, we’ve been allowing ourselves to be lax in other things, but we can’t build new bad habits to replace old ones. This is the first time we’ve done anything like this together, so it should be interesting!


I’ve learned that in order to find a new job, you have to look for one. This is where I lose interest. I hate and despise filling out endless applications, faxing, mailing, emailing my resume–hey, what’s the point of a resume when you’re going to make me give you all the same information again on the application? It’s so tedious. Would someone out there just like to hire me “as is?”


I haven’t been reading a lot of books lately, so that’s yet another thing I’m trying to get back on track with. I just downloaded Bad Religion: How We Became a Nation of Heretics by Ross Gregory Douthat. So far, WOW. Expect a full book report soon! Better still, read along with me! For more info, here’s the review from the National Catholic Register.


I now have all my favorite blogs set up on Google Reader. Yay! Now I can check all my blogs in one handy dandy feed. Bad news: it only takes 2 seconds for me to see that I have nothing new to read!


About a month and a half ago, I deleted my Facebook, bid adieu to my 118 “friends,” and made a new page with just my immediate family, about 10 people. I was tired of election year shenanigans, specifically all the ugly things people had to post. No one, but no one posted anything good about their party or their candidate, it was all trash talk. It was difficult at first because I typically spend soooo much time on Facebook. Hours a day. Seriously. However, I’ve found it’s surprisingly wonderful to disconnect. In fact, the time I’ve been able to spend building this blog–as well as reading other Catholic blogs and websites–is the time I used to spend on Facebook. Going Faceless has been wonderful. I highly recommend.

Did my Quick Takes leave you longing for more? I always do, don’t I? Never fear. Head over to Conversion Diary for more Quick Takes!

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7 Quick Takes Friday: Vol 1

I finally decided to join the fun at Conversion Diary and do a 7 Quick Takes Friday! Which is hosted at Camp Patton today since Jen is too busy becoming a reality star this week.


My sister started RCIA classes this Sunday. She is officially “just learning,” but I have high hopes. I started RCIA 6 years ago this month, and at the time, she threw a fit about me even considering joining the Catholic Church. Needless to say, I’m delighted at how times have changed. How does one go from emphatically anti-Catholic to RCIA in 6 years? Is this a sign of my ability to articulate the deeper meanings of Catholicism in my daily life? My quiet demonstration of the sacraments? I think that once again, we have no explanation other than the grace of God.


My sister-in-law and I joined the St. Joseph’s Women’s Club this week. Somehow, I signed up to work the concession stand at Bingo and we both joined St. Veronica’s guild. Afterwards, we went to Walmart to pick up a few things. In the car, we were discussing following the church’s teachings in regards to marriage. I remarked that not only is gay marriage a sin, remarriage is also. If my darling husband leaves me, I would be alone (and celibate!) until one of us dies. We both agreed that if (God forbid) such a thing were to happen, we would prefer to join a convent. No surprises there, we’ve discussed our nun-envy before. We were a little gray, however, on whether or not a divorced (in this case, abandoned) woman would be able to take holy orders or even stay on at the convent. My sister-in-law decided the best course of action would be to ask her mother-in-law, a former nun, who is our personal Catholic encyclopedia. We were both satisfied with that decision….for a moment. Until I suggested that she might not ask her mother-in-law about the protocols for Catholic divorce. Might spark the imagination.


Here’s another in-law tale for you. My mother-in-law stayed at our house while we were in Hawaii and looked after our cats. It was such a blessing for us. I worry constantly that some ill will fall upon our home or our cats when we’re not there, so a week without anyone there would have been a nightmare for me. The first few days, as it turned out, were a nightmare for my poor mother-in-law.

My mother-in-law was quite spooked by our chiming clock. She didn’t realize we had one, and upon searching the house, she couldn’t find it. But every hour, on the hour, the chimes went off. Now, I do have quite a few clocks. In fact, I used to collect them, but they’re small and most of them have no batteries because the ticking drives me insane. This is why I stopped collecting them. Batteries or no, none of the clocks chime. So, being the rational creature my mother-in-law is, she decides it’s most certainly a ghost. Certainly some angry spirit has penetrated the veil between dimensions to announce the time. Every hour, my mother-in-law is plagued by the chiming of the ghost clock. Once, she was sitting at the kitchen table on her laptop when the chimes went off and it was as if they were coming from right above her!

One night, the chimes began and my mother-in-law raced to her laptop (I don’t remember why. Maybe to email Ghostbusters?) and saw her new widget she had downloaded to her desktop. It’s the Big Ben clock. What does it do? Why, it displays the time. And chimes. Every hour. On the hour.


Since I quit smoking, my sense of smell has returned. In Hawaii, this was amazing. All the beautiful flowers, the smell of the ocean, the wonderful concessions at the International Marketplace. It made every moment even more beautiful.

Here on the mainland, having my sense of smell back,well, it stinks. Some examples:

  • I was blown away at 7-Eleven by a vile bathroom. I could smell it from anywhere in the store. I could probably smell it from outside the store.
  • When I opened the bag of dry cat food today, I thought there was a dead, whole fish inside. I thought it had gone bad. It reeked something awful!
  • People who smoke. IS THAT WHAT I USED TO SMELL LIKE?!?!?!?!?!?
  • Poop. Poop seems to be everywhere.


I have been jet-lagged all week! My self discipline has not been strong enough to go to bed at a decent hour, so I’ve been up until 4am nightly and sleeping in until noon. I look at the clock at around 11pm and say to myself, “This would be a perfect time to have a sleeping pill and nod off.” Since I lack the self respect to give myself a proper response, I simply shrug, and continue whatever it is I’m doing until 4am.


In the hopes of ruining my last few days before returning to work, I decided to go and get sick. Fine. Instead of deep-cleaning the house, or finishing my quilting project and starting on another, I’ll just wander around the house, sniffling, over-drugged, miserable…and catch myself staring at the wall for the last 2 hours.


I’m ready to head back to work…but not to my job. I think I’m ready for a change. It’s been difficult to find a new job because I make commission so it’s really hard to get a job in the same pay range, but I think it may be time to start looking. I’ve been wanting to get my Real Estate certification. I’m praying we can save up the money to pay for the classes so I can get it done soon!

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