Hero Inc.

where heroes are an everyday occurrence

Archive for the ‘Other’ Category


The Panoramic Bay

This past week, my parents made the trip from coast to coast in order to visit Northern California and me. This was their first trip up here so we had a full week of activities planned. Napa/Sanoma to Pacific Coastal Highway to Alcatraz to Fisherman’s Wharf to Golden Gate to East Bay to Muir Woods. We did it all or as much as we could in a seven day trip.

Thanks to the Android app, Pano, I was able to capture some great panoramic shots with my Android phone with ease. Click each image for the full size version.

Golden Gate Bridge

This is one of my favorite spots in the city and it is an even better site at night. Maybe that’s why I chose this location to propose.

The Seven Sisters

Maybe I should rename this the 8 sisters since my work with the panoramic didn’t go so well. That’s what happens when it is a beautiful day and you can barely read the screen on your phone.

View of the Bay 1

On our way up to Muir Woods, my first time, there was a wonderful lookout point where you could see the bay.

View of the Bay 2

Here’s a slightly better view of that lookout point from above.


This may seem quite touristy, but it is a really good tour and attraction. Also gives you a great view of the bay when you are on the island.

Muir Woods 1

It’s amazing that you actually need to take a panoramic shot just to get a full view of these trees. I was really glad that we made it here to view this wonderful site.

Muir Woods 2

Simply amazing.

Posted under Other

Extended Vacation

Well, seeing how I haven’t posted here lately, this shouldn’t come as a shock to anyone. :-O

Due to work and my upcoming wedding/honeymoon there’s no light in the tunnel for free time to post. Therefore, I’ll be taking an extended vacation from Hero Inc. until October or after. Please no tears.

Thanks and I’ll see you when I return.

Posted under Other

This and That


So this is what my website looks like? I’ve been away from it for so long that I actually forgot about it. That can’t be good for whatever readership I might have had or have.

Anyway, let’s see what’s been going on since my last post dated May 2, 2011.

Welcome to the summer of superheroes. Throughout the summer a new or returning set of characters will be filling the silver screen. Yes, I plan on seeing them all and so far I’ve been doing good with Thor and X-Men: First Class already checked off. Next up is my eagerly anticipated Green Lantern. I know others aren’t that hyped but I am. I’m not 100% excited by the look, but certain pieces of the recent trailers really lead me to believe this one is going to be fun and good. Now I just need to find a 3D IMAX near me as this is the first film that I believe 3D will actually help its plot. Then I’m off to Captain America, Cars 2, and Harry Potter. I’ll be broke by the end of it all.

It’s Wedding Season! Yep, most of my time….wait that’s not right. Most of my fiance’s time has been spent planning the upcoming wedding. I’m just trying to keep up and help where I can. I took over the Honeymoon planning. Sounds like fun but not really. I’m super excited about our end location (can’t state here until she finds out later) but trying to book hotels and make sure flight schedules work out can be hectic. I can’t even imagine what the true crux of wedding planning is like. My head would probably explode. Regardless, it will be a very special time for the two of us and I’m really looking forward to it.

I wasn’t that excited after the NFL Draft because of what my Falcons had to give up to get Julio Jones, but I’m getting more excited each day. I need the season to start and start now. The lockout must end so I can see free agency. I then need to hear about practices and see some of preseason competition to learn more about the new players. Then I need a season where I get to see this Madden style offense where we just score and score often. Let’s go FALCONS!!!

This week on Tuesday, Duke Nukem Forever is going to be released. I was a fan of Duke Nukem 3D back in the day so I’m really looking forward to this one. I really just need a funny, pointless video game and Duke Nukem Forever seems to fit the bill. If you’ve never played, just think of a more “mature” version of Doom or Wolfenstein. I’ve been hoarding some gift cards since Christmas so what better time to drop them. I’m also taking 2 days off from work (had to get rid of some available vacation days before the end of the year) so I’ll be holed up in my room playing video games for a 4 game weekend. Man that sounds relaxing. Just wish that IGN hadn’t released this review. 🙁

This past week was E3 and Nintendo’s presenation. I was extremely excited about this one as I knew it would show the new gaming system. Well, I was not left disappointed by the Wii U. I was sold on the name at first as it is a play on Wii 2 as well as “unique” and a wii for you. Then they showed the video of what the Wii U can do and I was blown away again. I don’t know why I’m shocked when Nintendo innovates but sometimes I’m shocked at how creative they can be to achieve it. Sure, all of the “hardcore” gamers will complain for about a year until Microsoft and Sony due the same thing. It’s happened with every console since the N64. Nintendo innovates and others copy. See analog stick, rumble pack, motion controls, etc. for examples. Overall on the Wii U, the graphics look great. The gameplay is creative and fun. The launch titles are diverse. My bank account is already preparing for this one next year.

And I guess that’s it. Let’s see how long it is now until my next posting.

Posted under Games, Heroes, Movies, Other, Sports

Cereal For Dinner

Each night when I come home from work my fiancée and I seem to have a reoccuring fight discussion surrounding dinner. I feel guilty when she cooks because I never cook, but I do clean the dishes (unless I try to weasel out). Therefore, I always fall back on suggesting my wonder, satisfying, safety dinner meal.


Cereal for Dinner
So many tasty options

What’s wrong with cereal? It is quick. It is filling. It can be part of a balanced meal, but I usually eat the more unbalanced side and just have the cereal. Is this a sexist debate? I’ve questioned many and more often than not I received the same split. Girls say it is not a meal while guys agree it is a meal.

I mean, I understand where my fiancée is coming from as she wants me to eat something “healthier” for dinner. I’ll give myself some credit. I’ve moved away from the more “sugary” cereals to enjoy the dark side of cereal. I’m talking about the Raisin Brans, Special K, and of course my golden staple, Honey Nut Cheerios. I’m fighting to lower my cholesterol. Are you? Sure, I’d love to fall back down the “adult” ladder and pick up the latest prize filled cardboard box of Fruity Pebbles, Corn Pops, or Captain Crunch, but alas I don’t. I pick up the family size of Honey Nut Cheerios….for one.

So back to the original question. Can cereal count as dinner? Or better yet, can cereal be a meal?

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Year in Review – 2010

As a year ends, its always fun to look back on the good, the bad, and…you know the rest. As this is my site, I can make up some fun, imaginary awards to hand out to individuals who will never show up to receive them. No fancy awards show here. Just text and images that will waste part of your time.

Best Film That I Saw

Winners     Inception       The King's Speech
    True Grit       The Fighter       The Social Network

Now I would love to hand the award to a single winner, but both Inception and The King’s Speech offered something wonderful to watch. Inception provided another new Christopher Nolan and another wild ride for all movie goers. Inception was the most recent film that pulled me back into the theaters only moments after finishing that first initial viewing. The last movie to do that was…no surprise here…The Dark Knight.

The King’s Speech offered something special in terms of performance and story. From Colin Firth to Geoffrey Rush, I feel that any one seeing this film would enjoy it. If you haven’t seen The King’s Speech, find the closest theater and head that way as soon as you can. This will be an award winner, even without my simple Best Of 2010 award.

Best Album That I Heard

Winner     All Day
    B.O.B. Presents - The Adventures of Bobby Ray

This competition was closer than I originally thought it would be when looking back on my 2010 albums.

All Day being free didn’t even factor into this award. The amazing work of the single man behind Girl Talk cannot be summed in words simply because you just don’t realize how good his compilations are until you sit through an entire album. I can tell you that there are certain combinations that I never even dreamed I would hear (“Imagine” by John Lennon with “##” by ## and “##” by ## with “##” by ##). This album may not have been as good as the previous, Feed The Animals, but it was still good enough to take top prize here.

I knew nothing of Atlanta’s own, B.O.B., until I was invited to a free concert at California’s Great America. I was blown away with B.O.B.’s stage presence as well as some of his songs that those around me “assured” I knew even though I had not listened to any Top 40 or R&B radio station in over a year. After the concert, I took to the internet with my always favorite, Napster, and took a listen at several song samplings. I loved what I heard and instantly picked up the CD. Too bad that Girl Talk had to release an album in the same year.

Best New TV Show That I Started Watching

Winner     How I Met Your Mother
    The Avengers – Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, The Big Bang Theory

Yes, I know I’m late to the party for How I Met Your Mother but thanks to the encouragement of others and some extra openings in my weekly lineup, I joined the bandwagon. The cast of friends is perfect. The humor is side splitting and solidifies many new items into the pop culture universe (Slapbet, The Bro Code [actual book now], etc.). I even enjoy the “mystery” of finding out who is Ted’s wife and the said mother of the show’s title. The choices are narrowing and I’m really hoping the answer is provided prior to the end of the show, whenever that may be.

Best Sporting Moment

Winner     Falcons Rise Up!
    New Orleans Saints losing to Seattle Seahawks in Wildcard NFC Playoff game (I just couldn’t pass on this opportunity to enjoy the Saints’ misery just a little more)

It doesn’t get any better than the entire Atlanta Falcons season. As a Falcons fan and season ticket owner, this season has been phenomenal. With an NFC South title in our grasp and playoffs only a week away, the season has looked brighter than many could have hoped for. More than anything else, I’m proud of the team that has been put together both in terms of physical play and all round character. Besides, when Samuel L. Jackson is telling your fans to RISE UP, you can’t do anything else but answer the call.

I would love to give any type of real honorable mention here but my other team of choice (Georgia Bulldogs) had a painful year and bulldog nation should just be happy the season has ended. Oh well, I guess I’ll just wallow in the misery that is the end to the New Orleans Saints’ season.

Best Personal Accomplishment

Winner     The Ring
    Athens Half Marathon

I’d be in real, possible loss of a limb trouble here if my engagement was not the clear winner here. Sure, my first half marathon was amazing but I only get one shot at asking that key question, “Will You Marry Me?’, and have the answer be an excitingly quick “Yes.” I’ve told the story before here on the site as well as countless times in person, but I smile more and more each time I think of my fiance and the life we will soon be starting in the coming year.

What’s Up in 2011?
The coming year will hopefully hold many new possibilities for me. I would assume that the wedding will be the biggest event for me this year and will take up much of my time (and finances). However, I know that this will not be the only event for me this year and those that I don’t foresee now will probably be just as good as those that are already planned.

Here’s to 2011 and a happy new year.

Posted under Movies, Music, Other, Sports, TV

2 Book Review

Everyday, I have a 45 minute commute (each way) to my current work client. Previously, I was using a multitude of podcasts to deal with the daily grind. However, I recently moved away from just podcasts to audiobooks thanks to the deal for 2 free audiobooks from Audible.com (courtesy of TWIT).

I was introduced to audiobooks first through the Harry Potter novels (I highly recommend listening to Jim Dale as a narrator) and then most recently enjoyed Catch-22. For those who have not tried audiobooks, it is very different from reading a book yourself. I see it more as reverting back to a little kid as someone else (who’s better skilled at doing so) reads you a story. It really becomes all about the quality of the story as well as the way the reader reads the story (Are their voices for various characters? Is the voice pleasant to hear? Does the voice not sound like your own? [See Seinfeld episode]).

Daemon by Daniel Suarez Before Daemon, the list of authors I enjoyed was narrowed to simply Michael Crichton and Chuck Palahniuk. However, after hearing Daemon being recommended multiple times by Leo Laporte and friends, I decided to finally break down and give it a try. Upon finishing the book, I’m extremely glad that I did.

Daemon tells the story of a former computer game programmer / super genius who builds a daemon process that begins killing people in brutal, automated fashion. As more is uncovered about the daemon, it is discovered that there is more to this daemon than just the killings of “innocent” people.

When the professional reviews state that this is one of the best techo-thrillers, they really are not kidding. I was on the edge of my seat throughout the book thanks to Suarez’s intense writing and Jeff Gurner’s wonderful narration. There were many times where I was yelling at my radio just like you might when watching a movie alone when you see what is coming for doomed characters. I was so enthralled by the book that I instantly ordered the follow-up (see below) immediately after finishing the book.
[Rating: 5/5]

Don’t continue any further if you are fearful of any possible spoilers.

Freedom  by Daniel Suarez Freedom picks up a few months following Daemon. The Daemon is now completely integrated into the entire internet and has built a large population of followers. Many are still trying to destroy the Daemon but are their true motives justified and valid? Those that are followers of the Daemon are a mixed bag themselves as they work to prove that the Daemon is something the world doesn’t need to stop by use to make a better world. As a potential apocalypse of the internet and financial system is on the horizon, can the Daemon’s followers fight to survive and show the world what good the system is capable of doing?

While I did enjoy Freedom, it was not at the same high level and grade as Daemon, but it was pretty close. The main interest I had in Freedom was the technology that Suarez so brilliantly described. As Crichton often used truth in science to drive his books, so does Suarez. The technology he describes is possible and seems only a few years away. I am eagerly waiting that day as Suarez’s HUD glasses made me easily want to drop $2,000+ if they were at my local Best Buy today. I also really enjoyed the way in which Suarez provided one of my favorite characters the ability to return from the previous novel. I don’t want to say too much so as not to spoil anything but the manner in which this character returned was very well suited.

[Rating: 4.5/5]

Now that I am hooked on audiobooks, I’ve already moved on to my next selection, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, so that I can better prepare myself for watching the Swedish and American movie versions of this book.

What will I listen to after that? Maybe Crichton’s final book, Pirate Latitudes. Maybe Age of Spiritual Machines: When Computers Exceed Human Intelligence by Ray Kurzweil (see Our Lady Peace reference).

Anyone have any other suggestions for this particular picky reader/listener?

Posted under Internet, Music, Other | Tagged as ,

Thanksgiving Cake

On this wonderful day of being thankful (and a day or two away from work), I wish everyone the best holiday. For those needing a great future Thanksgiving meal to prepare, I give you Thanksgiving Cake.

Thanksgiving Cake
Click for more photos of the Thanksgiving Cake creation

For those already downplaying this new meal, please don’t judge until you have a chance to taste the greatness of it. I really believe the layer of the cranberry mixture put it over the top.

By the way, this was not my Thanksgiving meal for the day. We did this a few weeks ago in preparation for the holiday. This is what we had today.

Happy Holidays.

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Recount of GDGT

Last night I was fortunate to finally attend one of San Francisco’s tech events. This one happened to be a GDGT show which is just another way for saying let’s show off some really cool gadgets to a bunch of nerds. Ooo! Ooo! Pick me!

Therefore, I met up with two friends and all of our significant others (they were super excited too…) and headed to the free show. I’ll get to the SWAG in a bit, but first what we all came to see: TOYS.

GDGT was no different than the rest of the electronics world as phones seemed to be king. We began with a viewing of the history of phones and AT&T, which of course included such hits as the Palm Treo, Blackjack, a briefcase phone and THE ZACK MORRIS phone (yeah that’s what it was called). The person managing the booth even offered Zack’s phone to us to call Slater or Screech if needed. We passed.

From the phones of the past, we cast our eyes on the phones of the here, now, and future. T-Mobile’s booth was showing off the latest in Android, Windows Phone 7, and the 4G network. Let’s start with the last one first. When I thought 4G previously, I thought of it more as just another marketing campaign. Well, with a room full of cell phone users, this phone was still able to pull in a 3MB speed test. We were informed it even did at least 7MB before the room really started filling in. That’s freakin’ fast for a phone in my eyes.

I really enjoyed the look and feel of the G2 as well as its more vanilla flavor of Android. Its processor and running Froyo really helped with the speed and reaction time of the OS. This is now on my possible list for new work phones even with its big drawback of weight. After seeing Android’s offerings, we moved on to the Windows Phone 7 phones which seemed to be very popular at the event as there was also a separate booth for just these phones. I have to say that if Microsoft had arrived at the Phone party (iPhone vs. Android) it could have made it a legitimate 3 way fight. However, they just might be too late to make it count. That really is a shame though as I really liked what I saw in terms of the interface and usability. Windows Phone 7 will be my second option in the future but it will probably take a lot to get me to move away from it.

Enough with that Windows Phone 7 (too long to type) stuff. Let’s get back to Android. I saw several phones from HTC and Samsung, but Samsung really won me over thanks to their AMOLED screens. These things were beautiful and probably the closest you might find to the iPhone’s screens. It was also great that they were able to have such a gorgeous screen but keep the weight and width of the phone to be so small.

Entertainment Boxes
Next on the horizon is the battle for the living room. From TiVo, Revue by Logitech, Sony Google TV, Roku, Slingbox, and Boxee. Thoughts? Well…

Box Review
TiVO The new HD interface looks really good and very well done. The TiVO team seems to be trying really hard, but with most cable providers providing boxes that perform similar activities, I’m not sure there’s as powerful of a future here. The plus is that it will aggregate media from your network and provide it during search on the box.
Revue How can I give a review when all they would really show here is Twitter? I can tweet from my TV? That’s great. Not a game changer. What? I can also use for video chat? Still not a game changer. When I watch TV, I want to watch TV.
Sony Google TV Due to some jerk not really allowing others to talk to the rep, I’d say I’m still not impressed by this one. I was happy to see that the remote was not as bad in person as I thought it would be. It would of course still scare most users away.
Roku Out of all boxes, this is probably my winner in terms of price and features. It doesn’t have the big name of a Google or Apple which could hinder it in terms of deals with studios and companies for delivery on the box. Of course, they already have MLB, NHL, and Hulu Plus lined up so there is a future here. Interface could still use some modifications and a rep that wasn’t a little too intoxicated would have been another plus.
Boxee A box designed to look sleek and awkward enough to not really fit well with your other living room entertainment boxes. However, Boxee ranks high along with Roku for what I was able to see. The part that really grabbed my attention was its remote because it seemed that their team was able to conquer the complexity of an internet TV device by merging the remote with a keyboard. Well played Boxee. You’ve created a remote/keyboard that will not bring the general mass TV audience to running due to its complexities. I salute you.
Slingbox Now slingbox may not belong in the same way that the other devices here do, but I really wanted to point out this device for its streaming capabilities to iPhone, Android, and Windows Phone 7. Its this last one that I really want to point out because of the clarity that it provided in terms of over the air streaming. Both the iPhone and Android were streaming to a decent resolution but it was the WP7 that really knocked your socks off as it displayed a live basketball game with no buffering and HD resolution. I was really impressed with this one.

Laptops and Keyboards
Why does 3D seem to be the next big thing? I really don’t think it adds much if anything to the medium it is presenting. I think possibly that sports could change my mind here, but I’m going to remain skeptical. I saw several 3D laptops and they all left me going “well that’s nice but what else do you have?”

Logitech did have a keyboard that was solar powered that raised an eyebrow or two. It could be charged with solar or internal lighting and could last several months without needing a new charge (so we were told). It was also sleek and thin. Total cost around $90 seemed reasonable to those who might be interested.

So celebrity might be a relative term as it is highly dependent on who you ask. For me, it came in the form of Ron Richards, who is a podcaster for iFanboy and revision3’s AppJudgement (remember this post?). No, I didn’t go talk to him because I didn’t want to be one of those people but I was tipped off it really was him when I walked by and he was wearing a Green Lantern pin.

One of my other buddies met his celebrity in the form of Bre Pettis. I had never heard of him but Brett was super excited and had to get several pictures. I was too busy learning about the machine standing behind him from his company, Makerbot. Wouldn’t you be interested to if you saw this machine trying to make a Green Lantern ring? Nicely done.

Overall, a great show and I’m really glad I was able to make it out. I leave you with this picture taken from my Android phone (HTC Droid Eris, don’t buy as it is discontinued now). Now this is how one should be playing online video games.

Kid with 3 Monitors for online gaming
Now that’s how you should play an online game.

Posted under Heroes, Internet, Other | Tagged as , , , ,

Memory Walk 2010 – Year Four

In 13 days (September 11th, 2010), I will be participating in the Alzheimer Associations’s Memory Walk in San Francisco, California. This will be my fourth Memory Walk, but first in San Francisco. I originally started participating in the yearly Memory Walk as a way to raise money and awareness for Alzheimer’s.

Alzheimer’s is a terrible disease and one of the worst in my eyes. It certainly affects the one infected in negative ways, but it also impacts all of the loved ones around them. My grandmother was diagnosed with this disease while I was in my late middle school, early high school years. Since I was unable to drive during that time, I would go to my mother’s school after the day ended at mine. From there we often would drive to the nursing home where she was later placed in order to check on her. These visits didn’t have the effect on me then that they have on me now. Maybe I was too young to really let it all sink in, but after her death it hit me the hardest. I soon realized that the woman who I had seen in the last years of her life was no where near the woman that I had known for the first many of mine.

Grandmother and Me
She’d probably kill me for posting this picture, but I love it.

Sure during those bad times, my family tried to find a way to laugh and we did, but that was only as a way to get through those times, such as when my mother had to retell the death of her father to someone who was expected to remember it. Alzheimer’s is a disease that many fail to understand until they have someone close to them be affected by it. The memory is one of the most powerful things that we have. To have it all disappear almost makes you think that life may not be worth it. In everything that you do and with every memory you make, you assure yourself that you will remember this for years to come. What if you don’t? What if you forget those very special memories that make you you?

This is the real reason I do the Memory Walk. This is why raising money and awareness is so important to me. My biggest fear is that I will end up like my grandmother and many others. That I will forget all of my friends, family and loved ones. That I will essentially let all of these important people down and not be able to look them in the eyes later in life and remember who they are or anything about the times that we had shared. This is not how I want my life or anyone else’s to end.

Now I’d love to end this post saying that’s it but I can’t. With a fund raising event such as the Memory Walk, I must advertise it. I must tell as many people as possible that I have a goal that I want to reach and I have 13 days to meet it. However, I want to state something even more than that. If you have the time, find a Memory Walk near you. If you have the funds, donate to the cause. It doesn’t have to be the Memory Walk, mine, or anyone else’s. Just find a way to donate or spread the word to others who may be interested in the cause. If you want to learn more or share how you have been impacted by Alzheimer’s leave a comment or send me a note. I’ve finally found that talking about it has helped me more than those years I kept to myself.

For those interested in donating towards my participation in the Walk, please use my personal Memory Walk page. Thanks to the generous support of many, I’ve already been able to increase my intended goal from $1,000 to $2,000. Hopefully I will hit this secondary target before the Saturday of the event.

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Update on Me

I have a laundry list of posts I want to make but I’m being lazy at the moment (shocker there) so something quick and simple of an overall update might just work out better….mainly for me anyway.

New Face
Ok, that header isn’t exactly accurate but it works. After trying to order more contacts, I had to make an appointment in an effort to update a prescription that was well over 2 years old. Well, in the appointment I heard the usual speech about my eyes and the blood vessels within them. For those that don’t know, if you wear your contacts too much, your eye will create more blood vessels in an effort to bring more oxygen to the eye. That’s great unless it keeps getting worse. Long story short, you could end up needing a cornea transplant.

Since I didn’t want to have that, I decided to just update my glasses and stick to just them for a few months in an effort to reduce those pesky blood vessels. And of course in San Francisco, you just can’t buy normal eye glasses. They have to be a fashion statement. Well, here’s my fashion statement of “I’ve got to see.”

My New Glasses

Pencak Silat
Thanks to my roommate, I’m trying out a new form of martial arts. New in the sense that I’ve never done anything like this before. I’ve only ever worked out via weights, sports, or simply not working out at all. Pencak Silat is an Indonesian form of martial arts that, according to my knowledge thus far, is centered around the use of weapons. Hey, anything sounds awesome if I will be taught how to wield the coolest weapon of them all. I have many years (and years and years) before anything like this.

I’m not into this for the true self defense or fighting aspect. I just wanted to try something new that would also offer me a great way to workout.

With the World Cup coming to a close (and on such a terrible finale), a friend of mine and I have decided to adopt an MLS team in an effort to follow the American soccer federation. After a brutal decision making process of about 5 minutes (probably much less), we settled on the newly formed Philadelphia Union. I’d love to state that we chose them because of great players or supreme talent, but I can’t. It was more of “Hey, they are a new team” from David and “Those uniforms are awesome” from me.

Besides, who can resist the tagline of JUNGITE aut PERITE or for those non-Latin speaking readers (and myself), JOIN or DIE.

Athens Half Marathon
Speaking of “JOIN or DIE”, I’ve decided to join up with my old roommates in our old town of Athens, GA to run the Half Marathon. I have never ran a full marathon or a half marathon or probably not even a quarter marathon. But you have to start somewhere and I guess this is where I’m starting or at least I’ll be starting here. I only have a few minutes to train so hopefully I train well enough that I don’t embarrass myself too much. At least the workout regime has helped me find a new tool in mapmyrun.com and even comes with a cool Android app.

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