Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Tuff Luff

More Twittering than blogging lately...sorry! *sheepish grin*

this is going to be rapid-fire style:
-obsessed with the new Bird And The Bee song "Love Letter to Japan"
-counting down the days until my arthroscopic hip surgery (and possible microfracture surgery) at the end of January
-Clive had to have part of his tail amputated due to a bad case of "happy tail"
-Mom gave me a hedge trimmer and an edger for x-mas; I thank her, and so will my neighbors
-working through Christmas and New Years for the third year in a row *sigh*
-my best friend Jill is flying down from Indiana to take care of me for a few days post-surgery (yay!)
-made some really damn good hummus this week (in my blender, for lack of a food processor)

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Stuff I Like

1) The Myers Motors new NMG (No More Gas) electric car. I also like their vision for the future:

Sub-$20,000 vehicles that are practical and affordable is the vision of Myers Motors. This vision of affordable, highway speed, electric vehicles, one for every two car garage, can be met today with just a little bit of help. Te help needed is that Myers Motors needs to retool from low volume production to high volume production … and your “vote” will help that process. The help needed is also for you to make your wishes known to your elected officials that you want Middle Class Americans the same access to the $7500 electric vehicle tax credit that the rich and famous now get but that is not available to most of us because we can’t afford a $100,000+ electric sports car. What to ask for: That seven words, “and which has at least 4 wheels” be removed from the IRS definition of a motor vehicle so that all legal, highway speed, vehicles are eligible for this up to $7500 tax credit, greatly helping bring sub-$20,000 electric, highway speed vehicle to the world’s drivers.
We would love to sell you an NmG today, but we know that they cost too much to meet most people’s financial needs today. We are working to bring you practical, affordable, highway speed electric vehicles and our next step is to reduce the purchase price of our No more Gas electric vehicle … and to do it using US technology and US labor to create US jobs that put US citizens for work for products that are sold in the US. Creating additional vehicles to meet other market needs is another step. Coming December 18th, we will be revealing where we are with one of those steps. We hope to see you then.

2) Radical Cross Stitch and the Craft Cartel
I love the quote from the Radical Cross Stitch site:
"I don't regard myself as an artist. I am a craftsman. Fuck art." - Clifford Harper

3) New cupcake transport packaging posted on the Design Packaging site. So smart, and well designed.

The Bailout. Coming This January.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

The Coffee And Tea Wrecks

I am loving this teabag design posted on The Dieline. Such a great, creative, eye-catching design that works perfectly with the company's image and branding.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

I'm not an atheist...

...but I respect those who are. My favorite line?

"So many atheists are in showbiz or the arts,
the simply don't believe that thunder represents God's farts."

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Bless the Beasts and the Children


It was my first Thanksgiving (and birthday) as an official vegetarian, and it was great! I made quinoa salad with black beans and sweet potatoes (high in protein, low in fat), and everyone loved it! The sweet potato pie was so good this year that it topped the pumpkin pie, and that is something I have never said before. I went out to the country to my mom's house and we did Thanksgiving at her next-door-neighbor's house. They have two 5-month-old dalmatian/bulldog puppies, so the puppies, plus my two greyhounds, plus twelve people at dinner made for a very bustling household. My friend Alyssa was nice enough to send me a link to an NPR article about great Thanksgiving vegetarian dishes, so I'm excited to try some more new recipes next year. The day wasn't without drama though, as someone (we never figured out who) didn't take me seriously and decided to let the greyhounds out...ugh. And then Clive suffered from "happy tail syndrome" and split his tail open, splattering blood all over my mom's walls and floors. But what's a holiday without some drama, right?

The day after Thanksgiving, I had to work, but of course I celebrated "Buy Nothing Day." Although unfortunately, a lot of people took Black Friday waaaaay too seriously, stampeding over one man in NY and shooting two others in California. Maybe these people should stay at home and teach their children that kindness is more important than consumerism. I think mortgage payments and credit card debt elimination should take higher priorities right now than 10% off sales.

Today I chilled out, busted out the Christmas iPod playlist and put up some Christmas decorations (see pic). I got to talk to my awesome friend Jill, watched a cheesy holiday movie, and ate some delicious Thanksgiving leftovers. It was a good week.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Virtual High Five

I feel like giving [name left out to protect the guilty] a high five for remembering the dash in this title.

He didn't. I fixed it.

Well, then a virtual high five to you!!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Alternative Parents Encourage Their Children to Learn by Eating Other Children's Heads!

My very good friend Jill (on the left in the picture) was interviewed for this Journal & Courier article about an alternative parenting group she started called CHOICES (Choices in Healthy birth, Offering Information, Communication, Education and Support).

I have so much respect for Jill and all of the research she does on every single aspect of mothering, from vaccinations to diapering to nutrition.

In my opinion it's a shame that in much of America, so many of these ideas are looked down on. Why is breast feeding in public such a taboo? Heaven forbid you feed your child the way God created. And just try bringing up cloth diapering in a group of people! Cloth diapering was the only way of diapering for decades, but mention it now and you must be clinically insane and are deserving of being locked up in a mental institution. Obviously it's a much better choice to spend hundreds of dollars on disposable plastic diapers (not to mention contributing to the carbon output of manufacturing plastic diapers and shipping them), fill up our landfills with stinky poo plastic, and then wash your hands of all of it, so to speak, because "out of sight out of mind." Imagine if parents took every single diaper they used for a year and threw it in their backyard to actually SEE how much their diaper output contributes to our landfills.

Someday if I become a mother, I plan on being open-minded towards alternative parenting ideas, and I hope to find a group like CHOICES where I am not looked down upon for questioning parenting norms, and feel comfortable researching my mothering options and planning the best path for my family.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Pet Peeve

"Supposedly." It's not a difficult word. Note the "d," which is not to be forgotten, nor replaced with a "v" or a "b." It's a four syllable word, people - that's it. And here's the thing; think how silly it would sound if people made this same pronunciation mistake when using the adjective form of the word, "supposed." You never hear "supposeb" or "supposev." It only seems to be the adverb "supposedly" that is hacked to death with mispronunciations.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Black Hole Sun

I happened to see this news story earlier this week, and then by chance today I was doing dishes and looked up just as this same van whizzed down my street! In the video it drives nice and slow, but it was really booking it along my hilly street. All I have to say is that I hope it drove south on Zang, because that street is a mess!

Data For Better Roadways

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Hackers and Spending Sprees: Secrets of the 2008 Campaign

Full Newsweek Article Here

NEWSWEEK has also learned that Palin's shopping spree at high-end department stores was more extensive than previously reported. While publicly supporting Palin, McCain's top advisers privately fumed at what they regarded as her outrageous profligacy. One senior aide said that Nicolle Wallace had told Palin to buy three suits for the convention and hire a stylist. But instead, the vice presidential nominee began buying for herself and her family—clothes and accessories from top stores such as Saks Fifth Avenue and Neiman Marcus. According to two knowledgeable sources, a vast majority of the clothes were bought by a wealthy donor, who was shocked when he got the bill. Palin also used low-level staffers to buy some of the clothes on their credit cards. The McCain campaign found out last week when the aides sought reimbursement. One aide estimated that she spent "tens of thousands" more than the reported $150,000, and that $20,000 to $40,000 went to buy clothes for her husband. Some articles of clothing have apparently been lost. An angry aide characterized the shopping spree as "Wasilla hillbillies looting Neiman Marcus from coast to coast," and said the truth will eventually come out when the Republican Party audits its books.

... McCain himself rarely spoke to Palin during the campaign, and aides kept him in the dark about the details of her spending on clothes because they were sure he would be offended. Palin asked to speak along with McCain at his Arizona concession speech Tuesday night, but campaign strategist Steve Schmidt vetoed the request.

Hoosier Daddy?!

1) Indiana is officially called for OBAMA, BABY!
There will most definitely be some celebratory euchre this weekend here in honor of it.

2) Dallas County was 60% BLUE, and McCain won the state of Texas by LESS than a 10% margin, which is awesome. And for a while there, the state of Texas was BLUE on my computer screen:

3) New ObamaBats font already released.

5) Though I am very saddened that it seems California will pass Prop 8, I am also very happy that the state passed Prop 2 to provide humane conditions and rights to factory farm animals.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Yes We Can?


Trying To Understand...


Will Obama's Grandmother's Absentee Vote Count?

Will Madelyn Dunham’s Vote Count?
I was talking with a coworker earlier today about how sad it was for Barack Obama’s grandmother to have died on the day before the election. My coworker took the sadness one step further, wondering if Madelyn Dunham’s vote (she voted by early absentee ballot) would now not be counted.
Not knowing the answer, I called the Office of Elections in Hawaii. Kevin Cronin, chief election officer for the state, just got back to me. Here’s what he said:

Ms. Dunham’s absentee mail ballot was received and reviewed under the Hawaii standards for processing absentee mail ballots… She was alive at that time. Her ballot will be opened tomorrow, and it will be counted in the same way that all absentee voters would be treated under our law.

The key point appears to be that Ms. Dunham was alive at the time her absentee ballot was received and reviewed, and that it met the standards for review at that time.
Madelyn Dunham’s vote will count, even if she is not here to learn the final tally.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Are we getting closer and closer to, like, socialism and stuff?

A few weeks before she [Sarah Palin] was nominated for Vice-President, she told a visiting journalist—Philip Gourevitch, of this magazine—that “we’re set up, unlike other states in the union, where it’s collectively Alaskans own the resources. So we share in the wealth when the development of these resources occurs.”

Like, Socialism
by Hendrik Hertzberg November 3, 2008

Sometimes, when a political campaign has run out of ideas and senses that the prize is slipping through its fingers, it rolls up a sleeve and plunges an arm, shoulder deep, right down to the bottom of the barrel. The problem for John McCain, Sarah Palin, and the Republican Party is that the bottom was scraped clean long before it dropped out. Back when the polls were nip and tuck and the leaves had not yet begun to turn, Barack Obama had already been accused of betraying the troops, wanting to teach kindergartners all about sex, favoring infanticide, and being a friend of terrorists and terrorism. What was left? The anticlimactic answer came as the long Presidential march of 2008 staggered toward its final week: Senator Obama is a socialist.

“This campaign in the next couple of weeks is about one thing,” Todd Akin, a Republican congressman from Missouri, told a McCain rally outside St. Louis. “It’s a referendum on socialism.” “With all due respect,” Senator George Voinovich, Republican of Ohio, said, “the man is a socialist.” At an airport rally in Roswell, New Mexico, a well-known landing spot for space aliens, Governor Palin warned against Obama’s tax proposals. “Friends,” she said, “now is no time to experiment with socialism.” And McCain, discussing those proposals, agreed that they sounded “a lot like socialism.” There hasn’t been so much talk of socialism in an American election since 1920, when Eugene Victor Debs, candidate of the Socialist Party, made his fifth run for President from a cell in the Atlanta Federal Penitentiary, where he was serving a ten-year sentence for opposing the First World War. (Debs got a million votes and was freed the following year by the new Republican President, Warren G. Harding, who immediately invited him to the White House for a friendly visit.)

As a buzzword, “socialism” had mostly good connotations in most of the world for most of the twentieth century. That’s why the Nazis called themselves national socialists. That’s why the Bolsheviks called their regime the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, obliging the socialist and social democratic parties of Europe (and America, for what it was worth) to make rescuing the “good name” of socialism one of their central missions. Socialists—one thinks of men like George Orwell, Willy Brandt, and Aneurin Bevan—were among Communism’s most passionate and effective enemies.

The United States is a special case. There is a whole shelf of books on the question of why socialism never became a real mass movement here. For decades, the word served mainly as a cudgel with which conservative Republicans beat liberal Democrats about the head. When Barry Goldwater and Ronald Reagan accused John F. Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson of socialism for advocating guaranteed health care for the aged and the poor, the implication was that Medicare and Medicaid would presage a Soviet America. Now that Communism has been defunct for nearly twenty years, though, the cry of socialism no longer packs its old punch. “At least in Europe, the socialist leaders who so admire my opponent are upfront about their objectives,” McCain said the other day—thereby suggesting that the dystopia he abhors is not some North Korean-style totalitarian ant heap but, rather, the gentle social democracies across the Atlantic, where, in return for higher taxes and without any diminution of civil liberty, people buy themselves excellent public education, anxiety-free health care, and decent public transportation.

The Republican argument of the moment seems to be that the difference between capitalism and socialism corresponds to the difference between a top marginal income-tax rate of 35 per cent and a top marginal income-tax rate of 39.6 per cent. The latter is what it would be under Obama’s proposal, what it was under President Clinton, and, for that matter, what it will be after 2010 if President Bush’s tax cuts expire on schedule. Obama would use some of the added revenue to give a break to pretty much everybody who nets less than a quarter of a million dollars a year. The total tax burden on the private economy would be somewhat lighter than it is now—a bit of elementary Keynesianism that renders doubly untrue the Republican claim that Obama “will raise your taxes.”

On October 12th, in conversation with a voter forever to be known as Joe the Plumber, Obama gave one of his fullest summaries of his tax plan. After explaining how Joe could benefit from it, whether or not he achieves his dream of owning his own plumbing business, Obama added casually, “I think that when you spread the wealth around, it’s good for everybody.” McCain and Palin have been quoting this remark ever since, offering it as prima-facie evidence of Obama’s unsuitability for office. Of course, all taxes are redistributive, in that they redistribute private resources for public purposes. But the federal income tax is (downwardly) redistributive as a matter of principle: however slightly, it softens the inequalities that are inevitable in a market economy, and it reflects the belief that the wealthy have a proportionately greater stake in the material aspects of the social order and, therefore, should give that order proportionately more material support. McCain himself probably shares this belief, and there was a time when he was willing to say so. During the 2000 campaign, on MSNBC’s “Hardball,” a young woman asked him why her father, a doctor, should be “penalized” by being “in a huge tax bracket.” McCain replied that “wealthy people can afford more” and that “the very wealthy, because they can afford tax lawyers and all kinds of loopholes, really don’t pay nearly as much as you think they do.” The exchange continued:YOUNG WOMAN: Are we getting closer and closer to, like, socialism and stuff?. . . MCCAIN: Here’s what I really believe: That when you reach a certain level of comfort, there’s nothing wrong with paying somewhat more.

For her part, Sarah Palin, who has lately taken to calling Obama “Barack the Wealth Spreader,” seems to be something of a suspect character herself. She is, at the very least, a fellow-traveller of what might be called socialism with an Alaskan face. The state that she governs has no income or sales tax. Instead, it imposes huge levies on the oil companies that lease its oil fields. The proceeds finance the government’s activities and enable it to issue a four-figure annual check to every man, woman, and child in the state. One of the reasons Palin has been a popular governor is that she added an extra twelve hundred dollars to this year’s check, bringing the per-person total to $3,269. A few weeks before she was nominated for Vice-President, she told a visiting journalist—Philip Gourevitch, of this magazine—that “we’re set up, unlike other states in the union, where it’s collectively Alaskans own the resources. So we share in the wealth when the development of these resources occurs.” Perhaps there is some meaningful distinction between spreading the wealth and sharing it (“collectively,” no less), but finding it would require the analytic skills of Karl the Marxist. ♦

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Because We Know In Our Souls That We're Gonna Stand Up

Obama '08 - Vote For Hope from MC Yogi on Vimeo.

Get the widget!

With the 2008 presidential election, Americans face a pivotal choice between not just two candidates, but two paradigms. We need someone who understands the complexity of our time. Someone who believes in investing in renewable energy, in education, in women's rights, in civil rights, in healthcare for Americans. Someone who believes in dealing with global issues with diplomacy so we can restore our respect in the world. Barack Obama represents the change we need and can lead us into a brighter future.

“Vote For Hope” was written to encourage and inspire the hip hop generation—and everyone—to get involved, and contribute their time, energy, creativity, and other resources to be the change they want to see in the world. We have been inspired by the artistic and musical contributions that have been pouring out accross the nation in support of Barack Obama's campaign. Vote for Hope is our offering to this creative movement. It is our way of adding our small voice to the collective voice of millions of Americans calling for a change.

To see what we mean, check out this great speech from a worthy leader: youtube.com/watch?v=cM79CxHGhlY

Make sure to Vote on November 4th!
Here is where you can register: VoteforChange.com

MC Yogi has just released a new album, Elephant Power!

For other music by MC Yogi, check out mcyogi.com

"Vote for Hope" was written by M.C. Yogi and produced by Robin Livingston. The "Vote for Hope" video was created at Ursa Minor Arts and Media in San Rafael, CA with chief animator James Curtis, using designs and direction from M.C. Yogi. Video funded and supported by grassroots donations.

Sticks and stones, baby, sticks and stones.

Call me a socialist. Call me liberal. Call me left-wing. Sticks and stones, baby, sticks and stones.

After I voted on October 20th, I got behind a car with this bumper sticker on it. Guess what? YES I CAN. And for your closed-minded information, NO ONE is "pro-abortion." Being pro-choice does not make you "pro-abortion." When Palin came on the scene and we all found out that her teenage daughter was pregnant, she said that the sat down as a family and they made a family DECISION about what to do. That's right, she had a decision. What's a good synonym for "decision"...hmmmm...that would be CHOICE.

This week there has been a lot of news to keep up with:

-Ex-GOP operative Allen Raymond published a book about how to rig an election. Oh shocker, a Republican trying to keep people from voting. I assume it's required reading for the hard-core right-wingers out there, so for your library list, the title is "How to Rig an Election: Confessions of a Republican Operative." "According to federal prosecutors, two top Republican Party officials tapped Raymond's Virginia-based telemarketing firm for the operation. Raymond then contracted out the job to a private phone bank in Idaho. Looking back, Raymond said, he thinks the scheme was ingenious in an 'evil genius sort of way.'"

-TRIVIA for your Halloween parties: When was the last time that a Republican won an election in which there was NOT a Nixon or a Bush on the ticket? 1922!!

-I absolutely love David Sedaris...I own at least two of his books. So when I saw this essay in the New Yorker about undecided voters, I laughed out loud. He sums up what I have been thinking the past few weeks when people tell me that they haven't decided who to vote for. A short little nugget from it:

Some insist that there’s very little difference between candidate A and candidate B. Others claim that they’re with A on defense and health care but are leaning toward B when it comes to the economy.

I look at these people and can’t quite believe that they exist. Are they professional actors? I wonder. Or are they simply laymen who want a lot of attention?

To put them in perspective, I think of being on an airplane. The flight attendant comes down the aisle with her food cart and, eventually, parks it beside my seat. “Can I interest you in the chicken?” she asks. “Or would you prefer the platter of shit with bits of broken glass in it?”

To be undecided in this election is to pause for a moment and then ask how the chicken is cooked.

I mean, really, what’s to be confused about?

What else has been happening? For those of you who only watch Fox news, you missed a lot:
-The Washington Post reports that chatter on Al-Qaeda website shows their support for McCain.

-Most major newspapers have now backed Barack (not to mention, um, COLIN POWELL), including the very conservative, very Republican Salt Lake Tribune. One of the most conservative newspapers in the country getting openly behind Barack is just fantastic.

-We all know about the RNC shelling out $150,000 for Sarah Palin's wardrobe in just the last 6 weeks. But did you realize that while she was decked out in the finest, Barack Obama's shoes looked like this? Or that, if Palin's new wardrobe were to come to life, it would get a tax cut under Obama's tax plan??

Also, did you know that McCain was AGAINST SPENDING CAMPAIGN MONEY ON CLOTHES BEFORE HE WAS FOR IT? Ooooh, a McCain flip-flop, I am so shocked. On May 25, 1993, McCain said, and I QUOTE:
"...The amendment before the senate is a very simple one. It restricts the use of campaign funds for inherently personal purposes. The amendment would restrict individuals for using campaign funds for such things as home mortgage payments, clothing purchases...If we are truly going to have campaign finance reform, I do not believe that campaign funds should be used for such things as country club dues, tuxedos...If we in congress learned one thing from President Clinton's $200 haircut last week, it should be that the public does not approve of its elected officials being treated as royalty. We should be no different."

To quote one of my favorite bloggers:

"The problem isn’t that the wardrobe cost so much. It’s that Ms. Palin has said on numerous occasions that she’s just a “hockey mom” and part of the 'Joe Six-Pack' nation. There were problems with this assertion before this latest gaffe.

The weird thing is that conservatives BUY IT. They believe that a couple making over a hundred grand a year is 'just like me'. The other people on the ticket all make more money than Palin, to be sure, but come on. Joe Six-Pack if your six-pack includes six bottles of expensive champagne. When was the last time YOU spent $75k on clothes from Neiman-Marcus?

Conservatives got all crazy about John Edward’s $400 haircut and fashion expenditures of Hillary Clinton. The shoe is on the other foot now. And that foot appears to be in the self-righteous mouth of the GOP."

-INDIANA has become a swing state. After 44 years of going Republican, Barack has so many Hoosier support that McCain has been forced to really start campaigning in a state that Republicans haven't had to sorry about in decades. ha!

-AP reports that "Sarah Palin considered herself intellectual" and that she "always wanted a child named Zamboni."

-And just in case you have forgotten John McCain's opinion on women's rights, specifically equal pay for equal work, here is a link from the US Senate Website showing how he voted on a bill that seeked equal pay for equal work.

Friday, October 24, 2008

First Day Of My Life

Went out and voted on the first day of early voting in Dallas (took these pics when I was there...wish I had seen the Geezer/Dingbat sign there!), and I could not have been prouder of my county - there was a line out the door!! Of course, Dallas will most likely swing democratic (yay!), and we SMASHED the previous early voting record, especially in my neighborhood.

I have already done some volunteering/campaingning (phone calls) for moveon.org and will hopefully have time to do a little more before November 4th. Man, I wish I had 150K to spend on campaign clothes!!

But oh, it felt so good to finally vote after being decided for so long.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

At the tone, please record your voice message.

"At the tone, please record your voice message. When you are finished recording you may hang up or press pound for more options."

You know that stupid recorded notification you get after someone's voicemail beeps? As if you do NOT know how to leave a voicemail for someone? Several people have asked me how I turned mine off. Sooooooo.....

If you have Sprint, this is how you turn it OFF (hint, hint):

Call your voicemail, then from the main menu choose:
3 - Personal Options
2 - Greetings
1 - Main Greeting
3 - Add or Remove Caller Instructions
2 - Do not play the instructions

Thank you, and goodnight.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Leapin' Liars, Batman!!

"I believe McCain...errr...The Penguin... will lead of the debate."

Thursday, October 16, 2008

My Thoughts Exactly


"Joe the Plumber"

-My name is not Joe, I am not a plumber, and thanks to Republicans, I cannot afford a six pack.

"Well, Americans have gotten to know Sarah Palin. They know that she's a role model to women..."

If Sarah Palin is a strong role model for women, then this must be 1890. Sarah Palin does not represent me or any of my friends.

-I do not believe that dinosaurs roamed the earth 5,000 years ago.

-I do not believe that religions other than Christianity are witchcraft and sorcery.

-I do not believe that a 12-year-old girl who is raped by her father should be forced to have his child, a baby that would be both her son and her brother.

-I do not believe that polar bears (or beluga whales) should be removed from the endangered species list just so that drilling for oil will be easier in Alaska.

-I do not believe that people should use their power in an elected office to seek revenge on others because of personal vendettas.

-I do not believe in banning books, or even inquiring about it.

-I do not believe that folksy anecdotes or winking belong in a political race; they only reinforce her lack of experience and knowledge, and prove that she has to lower herself to flirting to get the job, something that is the most anti-feminist thing she could do. Feminism is about equality, not using your sex appeal to seem more "relatable." Would you wink in a job interview? How about a job interview with an entire country?

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

lovely 2009 calendar by Orange Beautiful

I love this new calendar! The best feature, aside from the gorgeous typography, is the perforation at the bottom allowing you to re-use it year after year. I could see all twelve months grouped on the wall in frames painted all in the same color. And it's only $28, on pre-order now. Such a fantastic gift idea (hint).

Monday, October 13, 2008

A Run On the Banksy

My favorite guerrilla street artist Banksy, has opened a new "store" in New York City. I saw his fantastic, infamous Barely Legal exhibit in LA, and have been hooked ever since.

(article from Wooster Collective)

The "Village Pet Store And Charcoal Grill" Opens in New York City


While New Yorkers have been consumed by the stock market meltdown, a tiny little pet store quietly opened four days ago at 89 7th Avenue between West 4th and Bleeker Street in the West Village of New York City.

There are no puppies or kittens in the windows here.

Instead, a live leopard lounges on a tree in the window.

Or is it?


In other windows, things get a bit more bizarre.

McDonald's Chicken McNuggets sip barbecue sauce. A rabbit puts on her makeup. A CCTV camera nurtures its young.



Clearly, that this isn't your typical pet store.

So who's the "owner" of the Village Pet Store and Charcoal Grill at 89 West 7th Avenue?


Once inside Banksy's pet store, you discover such things as breaded fish that swim in a large round bowl while hot dogs are living the high life under heat lamps in cages near the cash register.



This is the first time that Banksy has used animatronics, and the effect is absolutely amazing.

A clear departure form last year's behemoth show in Los Angeles, Banksy's first ever show in New York City (the others have been fakes) is being held in a tiny storefront that's less than 300 square feet and can't hold more than 20 people at any one time.

One of our favorite things about what Banksy has done is that the entire show is completely visible to the public both day and night through the store front windows. And unless you're a hard core Banksy fan, or until someone like us tells you, it's absolutely impossible to know that the work has been done by Banksy. There are no paintings or graffiti in the entire space.

We're sure that as soon as people start reading this, photos and video will be all over the web. But Sara and I don't want to give too much away. It's just too much fun to be surprised (and delighted) in person.

So here's just a taste of what you'll experience in Banksy's "Village Pet Store and Charcoal Grill":

Friday, October 10, 2008

Don't Mess With Dallas

Just because Bush is from Texas and is moving to my city doesn't mean that the citizens want him here...trust me (the irony of a Bush Presidential Library is far from lost on us). And just because Sarah Palin has the same reproductive organs that I do doesn't mean that she's good for women. Well, unless you want to rewind history about 40 years.

Most people outside of Texas seem to view Dallasites as confederate-flag-loving, gun-toting, good ol' boy idiot carbon copies of our current world leader, but that simply isn't so. Sure, some of those people exist (most of them in the suburbs, outside of the county line, thank God). But Dallas county went DEMOCRATIC in the primary, and is a battleground county right now.

As much as I wanted to attend the anti-Palin protest (she spoke downtown at the Fairmont) held in Dallas this past week, my schedule would not allow it. Thankfully, 300 people showed up to protest this folksy, backward, winky-dinky, secessionist, anti-feminist candidate, who does NOT represent the ideals, morals, and values of any modern women. She is basically just another Bush in a skirt, but scarily in some respects is worse than Bush, and is of course, just a heartbeat away from the presidency if McCain is elected.

Anti-Palin protect in Dallas, 300 strong:

Monday, October 6, 2008

Quotation Mark Friends

In life, there are "quotation mark friends." You know, those "friends" who because of various reasons (romantic relationships, children, work, sheer laziness), drop off the face of your life. There was a time of course, when you were very close. When they were in your Top Five. When you would've used them as a Life Line or maybe even your One Phone Call from jail. But one day you realize that you haven't heard from them in weeks, months, maybe even a year. Or if you have heard from them, it's only when they need/want something from you. They never actually call to see how you're doing, just to get a ride when they're stranded at the airport or something.

Now, friendships definitely go through phases and cycles. Sometimes your schedules just don't match up for a while, or your friend has a new baby and you know you won't see them for say, six months or so 'til they get in the swing of things. This is normal. But say, a year or two without a single personal phone call (I reiterate, a call that does not involve a favor or a bailout), is a BIG SIGN that your are no longer friends, but "friends."

In my life, I have noticed that it tends to be important life events that bring these "friendships" into the light. Like a major breakup, a big cross-country move, or a serious health problem. This past Thursday I had an arthrogram and an MRI for some hip pain that has been worsening since college. It was a relief to find out that it was not all in my head. It turns out I have a torn labrum in my left hip and will need arthroscopic surgery to prevent the tear from continuing to scrape on my cartilage and causing further osteoarthritis. As I was leaving the MRI, I had several thoughts running through my head , one of them being "oh my gosh I have so many people I need to tell about this; who should I call first?" But then as I thought about it, the list quickly dwindled, DRASTICALLY. Which of my friends really care about this? Who deserves a call, who can I just text, and who hasn't called me in two years? I quickly came to the consensus that I needed to call just FOUR people, and that this list of four people is completely different than the people I would've called, say, 3 years ago. I mean, these four people are the ones who I know I can call and will ANSWER their phones. (Why do people have cell phones that they NEVER ANSWER?! That's a whole other blog entry right there.) These are friends I can call when I am in recovery and need help doing laundry, picking up the dog poop in my backyard, or changing a light bulb - whatever. Actually, one of these friends lives in another state, but if I really needed her I can tell you right now that she would jump on a plane with her six-month-old and come to my rescue.

I think one of the hardest things about being out of that high school/college bubble, where I saw the same people every day and friendships that just sort of kept themselves, is admitting that some people aren't as interested in maintaining their friendship with me as I am with them. It takes two, and I can't do it alone. Unfortunately, I still take it personally and it's hard to let the friendship go. But I am starting to see the signs. If I feel I am being taken advantage of, I will stop being the one to always initiate contact, and sort of sit back and see if the other person will ever take the lead and call me for a change. If they don't and they easily drop off the face of my life, then I know that the friendship has probably run its course and I should stop trying so hard. However, sometimes these quotation mark friendships still sneak up on me, and it's always disappointing to realize that I care more about someone else than they do about me.

So if you haven't called to see how I'm doing in over a year (or, um, two), then don't expect any heartfelt e-cards from me on your next birthday.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

We Are Destroying the Song

There is so much stuff to post that it's hard to keep track! A list seems in order.

1) McCain vs. the Des Moines Register editor board (click on link):

Shakin' in his boots and lyin' through his teeth. Or should I say, dentures.

-the beginning when he refers to himself as a dictator
-he admits he has never been without cushy health insurance that was paid for by American taxpayers (oh yeah, except for when he was a POW, what a shocker, a POW reference)
-he LIES yet again about Obama teaching kindergarteners about sex education
-he LIES when he says that Palin is the most popular governor in America (her approval rating in Alaska has dropped significantly and she is no longer tops)
-he LIES about his record of LYING
-he says that Palin's qualifications include the PTA and lists "mayor" TWICE

2) Palin can't think of a SINGLE newspaper that she has ever read

3) Palin can't name a single supreme court ruling other than Roe V Wade that she disagreed with. SHE CAN'T EVEN REMEMBER EXXON VS. BAKER which effected her OWN state. Which is funny, considering that she seemed to have an opinion about it when it actually happened.

4) In short, watching a Palin interview is a lot like watching, well, Miss Teen South Carolina:

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Pillow Fight

If only this demographic would get as excited about the upcoming election as they are about Facebook.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Green Arrow

Since we're all on a tight budget these days, it's easy to choose conventionally grown produce over organic. Have you ever wondered if certain fruits and vegetables should be organic over others? Here is a list of "The Dirty Dozen," fruits and vegetables that SHOULD be purchased from the organic section of the store because the Department of Agriculture says that even after washing, they retain much higher levels of pesticides. (via Apartment Therapy)

Here are the must-buy organic fruits:

  • Apples
  • Cherries
  • Grapes, imported
  • Nectarines
  • Peaches
  • Pears
  • Raspberries
  • Strawberries

And the must-buy organic vegetables:

  • Bell peppers
  • Celery
  • Potatoes
  • Spinach/lettuce

These generally don't have pesticide residue. For the full list of rankings, click here.
Don't worry about going organic with these fruits:

  • Bananas
  • Kiwi
  • Mangos
  • Papaya
  • Pineapples


  • Asparagus
  • Avocado
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Onions

The results are based on an analysis of government tests by the Environmental Working Group (EWG), a research and advocacy organization based in Washington, D.C.

Car Song

This is my friend's dad's car wash. Hmmmm...I definitely know which side I would drive into!


Thursday, September 25, 2008

But The Post Helps The Turtle See Russia!

While suturing a cut on the hand of a 75-year old Texas rancher whose hand was caught in a gate while working cattle, the doctor struck up a conversation with the old man. Eventually the topic got around to Sarah Palin and her bid to be a heartbeat away from being President. The old rancher said, "Well, ya know, Palin is a post turtle."

Not being familiar with the term, the doctor asked him what a post turtle was.

The old rancher said, "When you're driving down a country road and you come across a fence post with a turtle balanced on top, that's a post turtle."

The old rancher saw a puzzled look on the doctor's face, so he continued to explain. "You know she didn't get up there by herself, she doesn't belong up there, she doesn't know what to do while she is up there, and you just wonder what kind of dumb-ass put her up there to begin with."

I'll Tap the Brake While You Crack The Window

Guerrilla gas signs go up in Los Angeles...oh how I love this one!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Some of Those Who Burn Crosses are the Same Who Hold Office

So, some interesting footage from the Wasilla Assembly of God has emerged. It shows Pastor Muthee of the Wasilla Assembly of God praying over Sarah Palin. He says, and I quote:

"If we have God in our schools we will not have kids being taught, you know, how to worship Buddha, how to worship Mohammad; we will not have in the curriculum witchcraft and sorcery."

This is a man who conducted an actual witch hunt in Kenya. He accused a Kenyan woman of causing car accidents and of witchcraft, and after he spoke out against this woman, many villagers demanded that she be stoned. What does Palin say about Muthee? She calls him "awesome." Seriously. You can see her speak about him (just 3 months ago) in the below footage.

Of course, it's not getting much press, because Governor Palin is a white conservative Republican (can you even imagine how the Republicans would rake Obama over the coals if this was footage of him, his pastor, and his church? Or for that matter, if he had a pregnant teenage daughter?) Put an African American in the race and Republicans accuse him of being Muslim (which he's not). But they don't seem to mind that Palin's pastor is an actual witch hunter, and still boasts about it to this day.



Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Unequal Pay for Equal Work - THANKS MCCAIN

John McCain voted 19 times against raising minimum wage.

John McCain has consistently voted NO on increased funding for the head start program.

John McCain is against equal pay for equal work and says that women need more education and more training to do the same job as a man. He openly opposed a bill that would seek equal pay for equal work.

Ha. Maybe he chose Sarah Palin for VP because she needs more training and education, and he could therefor pay her less?

Liar Liar Pants on FIRE!

For the people out there who "can't decide who to vote for" (that's a direct quote from someone I know, ahem, very well)...how about you vote for the one whose pants aren't on fire?


#2) Tiiiiimes is on my siiiiide:


Truthiness Stages a Comeback

NOT until 2004 could the 9/11 commission at last reveal the title of the intelligence briefing President Bush ignored on Aug. 6, 2001, in Crawford: “Bin Laden Determined to Strike in U.S.” No wonder John McCain called for a new “9/11 commission” to “get to the bottom” of 9/14, when the collapse of Lehman Brothers set off another kind of blood bath in Lower Manhattan. Put a slo-mo Beltway panel in charge, and Election Day will be ancient history before we get to the bottom of just how little he and the president did to defend America against a devastating new threat on their watch.

For better or worse, the candidacy of Barack Obama, a senator-come-lately, must be evaluated on his judgment, ideas and potential to lead. McCain, by contrast, has been chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee, where he claims to have overseen “every part of our economy.” He didn’t, thank heavens, but he does have a long and relevant economic record that begins with the Keating Five scandal of 1989 and extends to this campaign, where his fiscal policies bear the fingerprints of Phil Gramm and Carly Fiorina. It’s not the résumé that a presidential candidate wants to advertise as America faces its worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. That’s why the main thrust of the McCain campaign has been to cover up his history of economic malpractice.

McCain has largely pulled it off so far, under the guidance of Steve Schmidt, a Karl Rove protégé. A Rovian political strategy by definition means all slime, all the time. But the more crucial Rove game plan is to envelop the entire presidential race in a thick fog of truthiness. All campaigns, Obama’s included, engage in false attacks. But McCain, Sarah Palin and their surrogates keep repeating the same lies over and over not just to smear their opponents and not just to mask their own record. Their larger aim is to construct a bogus alternative reality so relentless it can overwhelm any haphazard journalistic stabs at puncturing it.

When a McCain spokesman told Politico a week ago that “we’re not too concerned about what the media filter tries to say” about the campaign’s incessant fictions, he was channeling a famous Bush dictum of 2003: “Somehow you just got to go over the heads of the filter.” In Bush’s case, the lies lobbed over the heads of the press were to sell the war in Iraq. That propaganda blitz, devised by a secret White House Iraq Group that included Rove, was a triumph. In mere months, Americans came to believe that Saddam Hussein had aided the 9/11 attacks and even that Iraqis were among the hijackers. A largely cowed press failed to set the record straight.

Just as the Bushies once flogged uranium from Africa, so Palin ceaselessly repeats her discredited claim that she said “no thanks” to the Bridge to Nowhere. Nothing is too small or sacred for the McCain campaign to lie about. It was even caught (by The Christian Science Monitor) peddling an imaginary encounter between Cindy McCain and Mother Teresa when McCain was adopting her daughter in Bangladesh.

If you doubt that the big lies are sticking, look at the latest Washington Post/ABC News poll. Half of voters now believe in the daily McCain refrain that Obama will raise their taxes. In fact, Obama proposes raising taxes only on the 1.9 percent of households that make more than $250,000 a year and cutting them for nearly everyone else.

You know the press is impotent at unmasking this truthiness when the hardest-hitting interrogation McCain has yet faced on television came on “The View.” Barbara Walters and Joy Behar called him on several falsehoods, including his endlessly repeated fantasy that Palin opposed earmarks for Alaska. Behar used the word “lies” to his face. The McCains are so used to deference from “the filter” that Cindy McCain later complained that “The View” picked “our bones clean.” In our news culture, Behar, a stand-up comic by profession, looms as the new Edward R. Murrow.

Network news, with its dwindling handful of investigative reporters, has barely mentioned, let alone advanced, major new print revelations about Cindy McCain’s drug-addiction history (in The Washington Post) and the rampant cronyism and secrecy in Palin’s governance of Alaska (in last Sunday’s New York Times). At least the networks repeatedly fact-check the low-hanging fruit among the countless Palin lies, but John McCain’s past usually remains off limits.

That’s strange since the indisputable historical antecedent for our current crisis is the Lincoln Savings and Loan scandal of the go-go 1980s. When Charles Keating’s bank went belly up because of risky, unregulated investments, it wiped out its depositors’ savings and cost taxpayers more than $3 billion. More than 1,000 other S.&L. institutions capsized nationwide.

It was ugly for the McCains. He had received more than $100,000 in Keating campaign contributions, and both McCains had repeatedly hopped on Keating’s corporate jet. Cindy McCain and her beer-magnate father had invested nearly $360,000 in a Keating shopping center a year before her husband joined four senators in inappropriate meetings with regulators charged with S.&L. oversight.

After Congressional hearings, McCain was reprimanded for “poor judgment.” He had committed no crime and had not intervened to protect Keating from ruin. Yet he, like many deregulators in his party, was guilty of bankrupt policy-making before disaster struck. He was among the sponsors of a House resolution calling for the delay of regulations intended to deter risky investments just like those that brought down Lincoln and its ilk.

Ever since, McCain has publicly thrashed himself for his mistakes back then — and boasted of the lessons he learned. He embraced campaign finance reform to rebrand himself as a “maverick.” But whatever lessons he learned are now forgotten.

For all his fiery calls last week for a Wall Street crackdown, McCain opposed the very regulations that might have helped avert the current catastrophe. In 1999, he supported a law co-authored by Gramm (and ultimately signed by Bill Clinton) that revoked the New Deal reforms intended to prevent commercial banks, insurance companies and investment banks from mingling their businesses. Equally laughable is the McCain-Palin ticket’s born-again outrage over the greed of Wall Street C.E.O.’s. When McCain’s chief financial surrogate, Fiorina, was fired as Hewlett-Packard’s chief executive after a 50 percent drop in shareholders’ value and 20,000 pink slips, she took home a package worth $42 million.

The McCain campaign canceled Fiorina’s television appearances last week after she inadvertently admitted that Palin was unqualified to run a corporation. But that doesn’t mean Fiorina is gone. Gramm, too, was ostentatiously exiled after he blamed the economic meltdown on our “nation of whiners” and “mental recession,” but he remains in the McCain loop.

The corporate jets, lobbyists and sleazes that gravitated around McCain in the Keating era have also reappeared in new incarnations. The Nation’s Web site recently unearthed a photo of the resolutely anticelebrity McCain being greeted by the con man Raffaello Follieri and his then girlfriend, the Hollywood actress Anne Hathaway, as McCain celebrated his 70th birthday on Follieri’s rented yacht in Montenegro in August 2006. It’s the perfect bookend to the old pictures of McCain in a funny hat partying with Keating in the Bahamas.

Whatever blanks are yet to be filled in on Obama, we at least know his economic plans and the known quantities who are shaping them (Lawrence Summers, Robert Rubin, Paul Volcker). McCain has reversed himself on every single economic issue this year, often within a 24-hour period, whether he’s judging the strength of the economy’s fundamentals or the wisdom of the government bailout of A.I.G. He once promised that he’d run every decision past Alan Greenspan — and even have him write a new tax code — but Greenspan has jumped ship rather than support McCain’s biggest flip-flop, his expansion of the Bush tax cuts. McCain’s official chief economic adviser is now Douglas Holtz-Eakin, who last week declared that McCain had “helped create” the BlackBerry.

But Holtz-Eakin’s most telling statement was about McCain’s economic plans — namely, that the details are irrelevant. “I don’t think it’s imperative at this moment to write down what the plan should be,” he said. “The real issue here is a leadership issue.” This, too, is a Rove-Bush replay. We want a tough guy who will “fix” things with his own two hands — let’s take out the S.E.C. chairman! — instead of wimpy Frenchified Democrats who just “talk.” The fine print of policy is superfluous if there’s a quick-draw decider in the White House.

The twin-pronged strategy of truculence and propaganda that sold Bush and his war could yet work for McCain. Even now his campaign has kept the “filter” from learning the very basics about his fitness to serve as president — his finances and his health. The McCain multihousehold’s multimillion-dollar mother lode is buried in Cindy McCain’s still-unreleased complete tax returns. John McCain’s full medical records, our sole index to the odds of an imminent Palin presidency, also remain locked away. The McCain campaign instead invited 20 chosen reporters to speed-read through 1,173 pages of medical history for a mere three hours on the Friday before Memorial Day weekend. No photocopying was permitted.

This is the same tactic of selective document release that the Bush White House used to bamboozle Congress and the press about Saddam’s nonexistent W.M.D. As truthiness repeats itself, so may history, and not as farce.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Alaskan Women Reject Palin - Largest Protest in Alaska's HISTORY

picture from Daily Kos

I grew up in a feminist household with a mother who remembered what it was like to live in a country where abortion was illegal. The quote below brought tears to my eyes and reminded me of some of the horror stories my mother has told me:

"Some of the signs spoke out against Palin's anti-abortion position. Laura Kimmel, a 40-year-old Anchorage woman expecting her second baby in April, wore a clothes hanger with a sign attached that said, "This is not a surgical instrument. Keep abortions safe and legal."

Susan Soule, 65, a part-time health consultant, said she is old enough to remember when abortion wasn't legal and what women went through who wanted to terminate their pregnancies.

"I know the terror of unwanted pregnancy and back-room abortions. I know what that did to women," said Soule."

Just like the "war against drugs," if you make abortion illegal, women will find a way to get it done, whether it be in a bathroom stall with a coat hanger or in a back alley with someone who may or may not be an MD. And on TOP of that, if you remove sex education from schools and preach abstinence only, and make contraceptives more difficult to acquire, it will only make kids more interested in sex, pregnancy will rise, and thus the abortion rates will rise. Women who attempt coat hanger abortions often end up bleeding to death, resulting in 2 deaths.

You don't believe that Palin's policies and beliefs are radical? Then listen to what the Alaskan women are saying about her...after all, they are the ones who know her best.

It says a lot that this was the largest protest in Alaska's history (herstory?)!

Lots of great footage and pics here!

some of my favorite sign slogans:
Bush in a Skirt
Pitbulls Make Poor Diplomats
Real Leaders Don't Have to Cram for Interviews
Blink Before Going to War
Keep Your Laws OFF My Body
McCain/Palin: Incontinence/Incompetence
Blind Ambition Tour
Bristol Got to Choose - Why Can't We?

Friday, September 12, 2008

Friday, September 5, 2008

Acronyms Galore

RATM (Rage Against the Machine) was scheduled to play a LEGAL concert at the Target center outside the RNC. After Anti-Flag played their last song and RATM was about to go on, the police cut power to the stage. MPR (Minnesota Public Radio) did a good YouTube video about it.

Also, The video below shows a lot more of the actual a capella RATM performance:

per BoingBoing:
"Rage Against the Machine had a scheduled legal concert in the Target Center in downtown Minneapolis tonight. Police and media where sitting and waiting outside during the whole concert in heavy numbers just waiting for something to happen when the show got out. The police got what they wanted. Police pepper spraying going on right now."

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

This Devil's Workday

She's pro-life, except when it comes to decorating her Alaskan office.

So how come a human life is more important than an animal's life? Are we not ALL God's creatures?

Answer me that.

Just Palin Wrong

If you haven't read this article yet, you should. Some highlights:

1)At some point in those fractious first days, Palin told the department heads they needed her permission to talk to reporters. "She put a gag order on those people, something that you'd expect to find in the big city, not here," says Naegele. "She flew in there like a big-city gal, which she's not. It was a strange time, and [the Frontiersman] came out very harshly against her."

2) "Stein says that as mayor, Palin continued to inject religious beliefs into her policy at times. "She asked the library how she could go about banning books," he says, because some voters thought they had inappropriate language in them. "The librarian was aghast." That woman, Mary Ellen Baker, couldn't be reached for comment, but news reports from the time show that Palin had threatened to fire Baker for not giving "full support" to the mayor."

3) "We like to call this the Bible Belt of Alaska," says Cheryl Metiva, head of the local chamber of commerce. Churches proliferate in Wasilla today, and among the largest and most influential is the Wasilla Bible Church, where the Palins worship.

At the 11:15 a.m. Sunday service, hundreds sit in folding chairs, listening to a 20-minute sermon about the Book of Malachi and singing along to alt-rock praise songs. The only sign of culture warring in the whole production is an insert in the day's program advertising an upcoming Focus on the Family conference on homosexuality in Anchorage called Love Won Out. The group promises to teach attendees how to "respond to misinformation in our culture" and help them "overcome" homosexuality.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

One Headlight

Dear gold Hyundai driver who passed me on I-35S tonight:

Perhaps you should stop spending money on fancy exhaust pipes, and start spending money on replacing headlights when they burn out.

Just a thought....


Monday, September 1, 2008

Let's get Political, Political...

First I find out that there have been massive preemptive police raids on suspected RNC protesters in Minneapolis. Really...as the Republicans moan about their right to own machine guns and rant about their conservative views on banning abortion even in cases of rape and incest (*ahem* Sarah Palin), young, peaceful activists are fighting for the basic right of free speech, and being violently arrested and raided with SWAT teams and semi-automatic rifles for only PLANNING protests.

I hear on NPR that Magomed Yevloyev, the owner of an internet site critical of the Russian authorities in the volatile region of Ingushetia has been shot dead in police custody.

I'm sorry, do I live in the United States of America, or do I live in Russia? It's starting to seem a bit blurry.

On a side note, here is an example of some not-so-classy behavior of Sarah Palin on a radio talk show, in which she laughs along as a political opponent is called a "cancer," a "bitch," and is mocked for her weight. *oh. so. classy.* Listen to it if you don't believe me (below). Her own hometown newspaper even unleashed an article about it, calling it (among other things), "unbecoming," "unprofessional, childish, and inexcusable."

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Comment Snob Plug-In

New Firefox plug-in "comment snob" filters out misspelled, profane, poorly capitalized YouTube comments. If only they would make a plug-in for the entire internet!

Daily Crime Report - 2 for 1 Labor Day Weekend Special




Friday, August 29, 2008

Bird and Flag

I finally got a couple of shots of the neighborhood peacock hanging out in front of my house before it flew off. Proof!

Thursday, August 28, 2008


Thank goodness for nice neighbors. This is a picture of the amazing, industrial, vintage floor fan that my neighbor down the street hauled to my house in the back of his truck when my air conditioning was out for 5 days. (I'm still trying to figure out how those 2 small wheels work.) So thanks, neighbor!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Children In Bloom

This is my favorite childhood mug. I have no idea how long I've had it, but it still makes me smile.
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