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Jul. 30th, 2016 15:37
coffeeandink: (Default)
[personal profile] coffeeandink
Oh, yeah, I have a Twitter: [twitter.com profile] akacoffeeandink

I created it to talk to people about Underground, and also because half my friends moved there. Right now it is full of US election politics, random TV show talk, constant typos, and some surreality due to never proofreading after autocorrect.

Yuletide is coming! Look busy.

Jul. 28th, 2016 20:05
naraht: (other-Yuletide squee)
[personal profile] naraht
Shamefully I haven't been into #yulechat in months now, so it came as a complete surprise that nominations will be opening in only... OK, it's like five weeks from now. But that's pretty early! In Yuletide terms, 'be prepared' is my motto. I have opened up my running list of potential nominations, some of which I remember and some of which obviously seemed like a good idea at some point. Here's my current longlist, from most to least likely.

*** Return to Night - because I must always

*** Tour de France 2016 RPF - maybe I'm going to a special hell but I am so going for it, if only for the joy of writing the letter (which I will likely start soon)

** Ofboðslega frægur - I've meant to nominate this for a couple of years now, I think I finally should?

** Hilda Tablet - one last attempt to create an actual fandom

* Extraordinary Women - if Hilda Tablet fails

* Image of a Drawn Sword - I don't know if this is a good idea or a terrible one, or if I really just want a Charioteer crossover

* Ice Road Truckers - I do know that I mostly want an Aubrey/Maturin AU, so probably a very poor idea

* Turn of the Screw - I remember I was very keen on this at one point, probably after the amazing Halloween production. Less certain what I would request now but it seems like it should be in the tagset somehow.

What are you planning to nominate and/or request?

Latest Reads

Jul. 28th, 2016 10:09
inkstone: Samurai Deeper Kyo's Yuya sighing over a book, caption: reading is money (reading)
[personal profile] inkstone
So I think I recovered from yesterday's excitement. I slept in super late today (haha, mentally exhaustion, what??) and didn't go for my morning pokewalk, but that's okay!

Anyway, the past few months have been tough for me in terms of reading. As in, I'm having problems reading books. Ahaha, guess that's what happens when you judge for book award? But it's been a little upsetting for me because I love books. I adore books. And these days, I can't concentrate on finishing one!

Thankfully, it turns out the same cannot be about manga & graphic novels. I can read those just fine. Thank GOD.

Gangsta 7
Given the state of Kohske's health, this is going to be the last volume for a very long time. In fact, I would tentatively admit that could potentially be the last volume ever. She's not doing well, even deleted her twitter. So eh...

I'd already read a good chunk of these chapters as scanlations but ugh, that still didn't help. Everything hurts. Nothing is okay.

Interestingly enough, while I am a Nicolex shipper through and through and writing them is what I'm known for, this volume made me want to write about the Cristiano family quite a bit.

Monstress
Goodness, what a beautiful, thick book! For some reason, I had the idea that this was more Asian-based fantasy than it was. It definitely has strong Asian influences but it's not quite as pervasive as I'd expected based on reviews and what people had been saying about it.

I really enjoyed the way Marjorie Liu lays out the story and lets it unfold at its own pace. And especially the way the worldbuilding is executed--it trusts the reader to pick up on things without Obtrusive Exposition. It's fabulous.

I'm never going to switch to singles--it's just not my thing--but I am anxious to read what happens next.

Assassination Classroom 3&4
This was a fun change of pace in the shonen genre since I tend to be wallowing in sports series hell these days. Even One Piece has fallen by the wayside due to sports series!! But this was fun and I ship Irina/Karasuma like burning and thanks to Tumblr, I know they become canon and that is GREAT.

What about you all? Read anything interesting within the last week?

It's one of those days

Jul. 27th, 2016 11:51
inkstone: Michiko e Hatchin's Pepe asleep at a bar (zzz)
[personal profile] inkstone
The Plus: 75+ people have joined/subscribed to [community profile] pokestop! Thanks for helping to spread the word! And they say Dreamwidth is dead.

The Minus: A water valve and a pressure regulator failed in my basement, so that was...uh...not how I wanted to wake up this morning. Water everywhere and it was the main line for my townhouse! I thankfully caught it before any real major water damage was caused and was able to get someone out right away to fix it (for a price, of course, so ouch) but gosh. That was scary and stressful.

I'm taking a day off from freelance writing. Fuck it. I've had a day and it's not even noon yet.

Cycling thoughts

Jul. 27th, 2016 07:18
naraht: (Default)
[personal profile] naraht
So I'm always embarrassed about splashing new interests across my journal, when everyone has got used to a non-stop procession of something else entirely. (I ended up making a new Beatles journal for this reason, back in the day.) But I suspect this interest will last about two more weeks, max. And if you can't post about your enthusiasms on your Dreamwidth, then where can you? Have some random observations...

• I knew I'd actually taken something in when I watched these top 10 rider impersonations and actually guessed more than 50% of them. (No costume or makeup, it's just based on riding style.)

• Now that the Tour de France is over, the next big event is the Olympics road race... which I'll be in the Faroes during. I am unreasonably cross about this. At least I won't be missing Peter Sagan, who's decided to compete as a mountain biker instead. Because Peter Sagan.

• Was highly amused to revisit the Peter Sagan body hair controversy. This is some serious red-carpet levels of body policing, only directed at a man for a change. Entirely earnest quote from fellow cyclist: "If one rider can get away with riding with hairy legs it’s him. What a legend."

• Came across this quoted Twitter exchange:

David Millar: Definition of Pro Cyclist Fear? Being in front group at #ParisRoubaix & hearing on the radio, "Cancellara and Sagan are coming."

John Galloway: I would have gone with "The police are searching your flat."

In retrospect I don't know whether this counts as cruel, obvious, or both, but my first reaction was 'sick burn,' and god I laughed out loud. David Millar, former pro cyclist, now ITV commentator, was indeed raided by the police and arrested for possession of performance-enhancing drugs. Served 2-year suspension, returned repentant. I have a soft spot for him mostly because he is a clever chap and can write. I bought one of his books last weekend.

• When the film is made, Benedict Cumberbatch will have to play David Millar, won't he?

• I've managed to find an LJ cycling comm of the fannish sort (that fannish sort), but it's been dormant for about a year, like most of LJ. Bah, this means I'm going to have to venture onto Tumblr/Twitter, doesn't it?

• Finally, it's always a bit weird to develop an interest that doesn't fit your mental model of yourself – and, more so, other people's. I'm always surprising people with my random enthusiasms that don't seem to jive with what they expect of me, whether that's Goth music or America's Next Top Model. I can only conclude that I come across as more straitlaced and academic than I am deep in the heart of my soul. But professional sports was a surprise even for me.

rigged

Jul. 26th, 2016 22:11
thistleingrey: (Default)
[personal profile] thistleingrey
Madeline Ashby, Company Town (2016): Hwa's union job is as safe escort to sex workers on a five-tower rig, à la oil rigs in our time, off the coast of Newfoundland---eastern Canada. The rig is owned by Zachariah Lynch, who wants Hwa to guard his youngest child and heir, teenaged Joel, and Hwa takes the job despite many misgivings. Through the whole thing I kept wondering whether Zachariah is a descendant of the Lynches of Galway, an impression reinforced by the fact that Zachariah's factotum and Hwa's eventual supervisor is named Daniel Síofra, a remarkably loud moniker for them as can read it. (I've known another Lynch with delusions of grandeur, Stateside.) There's a certain subtext of recapitulated imperialism amidst the tensions between/amongst socialism and capitalism, the story's class structures, gender roles, a nanotech near-future setting with AIs on the brink of Singularity and rare unmodified humans, and not only qui parle but quis agat.

I was wary of the whole thing (hey, it's a congenitally disabled half-Korean pseudo-ninja/assassin who was abused in childhood! and a perfect-looking supervisor! together they, uh, fight crime by reinforcing awkward hegemony), and now I am not, due to good management and exploration of Hwa's misgivings. I do side-eye a scene with a magical Inuit character (like a magical Negro but different), however, and I very definitely side-eye the ending. If Ashby writes another book in this setting, I really expect her to revisit the final scene's aftermath even if the focus is upon other characters. :/ Aside from those two things, I liked it! I don't often like fiction well enough to come out and declare it---picky---so it's worth the emphasis. Here, unlike in Thomas's Hidden Blade, being part stuff (as I prefer to call it, srsly) is not a curse or a plot trick. And Hwa's mother could so easily have been a caricature, as a former member of a kpop girl group, yet for me she escapes that writerly fate.

I've let this post jump the queue a bit for two reasons: there are too many non-fiction books in a row, and Town was my first completed read of a novel in months---the second and third days of my new job, which comes with a somewhat longer commute.

This escalated quickly

Jul. 26th, 2016 11:47
inkstone: Nami from One Piece defeated and sweatdropping (sweatdrop)
[personal profile] inkstone
So a day after I asked about the existence of a Pokémon Go community here on DW, [community profile] pokestop is up and running. I made this:

PokeStop - a Pokémon Go community


It's not fancy, but simple and functional has always been my speed.

If you'd like to use the banner to help spread the word, you can use this code:

yet another reshaping

Jul. 25th, 2016 21:16
thistleingrey: (Default)
[personal profile] thistleingrey
Margaret Hubert, Customize Your Knitting (2016): libraries are great because I can't imagine buying so many modification how-tos that are nearly useless for me. The TOC is divided into Customi [sic] Knitting, Professional Finishes, and Stylish Embellishments. CK sorts "most of us" into one of four body shapes---rectangle, triangle/pear, inverted triangle, and hourglass---and instructs us to measure ourselves, no diagram. Then there are a total of four pullover and cardigan patterns, each given in four slightly loose, easy-to-wear versions that balance the overages of each body shape. Pattern sizes are also four, roughly 34-46" (garment not wearer). There's no mention of waist shaping or bust adjustment. All versions are given bottom-up with separate set-in shoulders that are meant to be seamed, and each pattern uses worsted-weight yarn.

The PF section shows how to sew in a zipper by hand, how to add a basic patch pocket, and so on; it's solid. The SE section goes to town in kind of a 1940s-'50s way: make and sew on a little knitted flower or leaf motif, or pick up stitches at the hem to add a picot or lacy border.

In short, it's all right in what it does, but I wouldn't hand it to "most of us" unless "we" were primarily researching the field. "Most of us" flailing around without benefit of a local expert, or without patterns that begin with the same assumptions about proportion as our respective bodies actually have, would probably need more specificity of help. At least, I wouldn't have understood most of this book a few years ago, before I'd read a small pile of others. and I don't see making anything from it now.
inkstone: Nami from One Piece defeated and sweatdropping (sweatdrop)
[personal profile] inkstone
I created it: [community profile] pokestop

I'd like to promote it but alas! I ran out of steam. I'll see if I can make a promo banner over the next couple of days but as you can see by my amazing PokeGo icons, graphics aren't my forte. I feel like I was once better at it but you know how it goes. You get rusty and out of practice. And I'm definitely rusty and out of practice!

For now, spread the word, please. :)

Idle Thoughts part 2

Jul. 25th, 2016 13:47
inkstone: Claymore's Clare looking confused (eh?)
[personal profile] inkstone
Related to this post:

If there was a Pokemon Go community here on Dreamwidth, would you be interested in joining it?

Yes, I'm considering starting one. I figure that with Verizon buying Yahoo, I should become the change I want to see and try to encourage more activity here on Dreamwidth since as far as I'm concerned, there's no point to investing in Tumblr anymore.

Idle Thoughts

Jul. 25th, 2016 10:34
inkstone: Alex from the Gangsta voice card (Default)
[personal profile] inkstone
Is there a Pokémon Go community on Dreamwidth?

Heatwave~

Jul. 24th, 2016 18:27
inkstone: Michiko e Hatchin's Michiko from the opening credits (looking cool)
[personal profile] inkstone
Yes, it is super hot and super humid here in DC these days but honestly, I think the past few summers spoiled us because they were a little cooler than normal. This is the kind of heat and humidity I associate as being characteristic of DC. I just think that as we get older, we're less tolerant of it versus when we were kids and were like Let's go outside and play~

Of course, then again, this is the summer of Pokemon Go, LOL.

Speaking of PokeGo, funny story. Some friends and I went into DC proper last night to watch R is for Robot (we got director's comp tickets) and as we were rolling down H street, I marveled at all the PokeStops. Is this what it's like in the city?! I actually ended up with a full bag and had to ditch some healing potions to make space for pokeballs. Because let's be real. I don't attack that many gyms. (That said, I did take over 4 this weekend haha.) It was nice having that many pokeballs though. I haven't had that many since I first started playing the game haha.

This summer, one of the local yoga studios is offering free yoga classes on Sunday mornings in a park. (It's honestly less a park and more a patch of grass in front of a movie theatre but whatevs, it's free!) After talking about it for a month, two of my friends finally joined me today. I think they liked it alot even though it was so hot today, we might as well as have been doing hot yoga. Doing the outdoor yoga these past few weeks though has made me realize that it's time to get a new yoga mat. Mine is over a decade old and it's starting to flake. It's served me well for being a cheapo mat that came as part of a set from Walmart, but I think it's finally time to invest in a good one. I still plan on keeping the one I currently have for outdoor yoga and things like that. But yeah. Time to upgrade.

That said, between the morning PokeGo walks and the yoga, I'm feeling pretty good physically and mentally. Sometimes it's hard to strike a balance when you do freelance from home.

And as part of my ongoing quest to level up my culinary skills, I made lumpia earlier today! It's the second time I've made a batch by myself without any help from Mom. My rolling still needs help but it's improving. I think I'll just have to resign myself to the first one being something of a visual disaster. Will report back with taste results when I actually fry the things up. ^^v

[Wow, I need to update my icons or make new ones or something. A lot of mine are mega old! Some of them I still love. But some really don't fit me anymore!]

Cycling fanvids

Jul. 24th, 2016 14:46
naraht: Scully, with the reflection of a computer screen on her glasses. (xf-Spook)
[personal profile] naraht
So there's good news and bad news. The bad news is that there don't seem to be any cycling fanvids, in the sense of "vids coming out of the media fandom tradition." The good news is that ITV do some amazing annual Tour de France montages that are almost as good.

They aren't just narrative-light pairings of energetic music with energetic clips (unlike, say, NASA fanvids). ITV actually seem to put some thought into the lyrics and into building up a picture which has a few shades of grey. Sometimes more than a few.

(Note: Cycling involves quite a bit of carnage on the roads. No one died in any of the crashes featured here, but I did have to check to make certain...)

2013 has a fair amount of suffering set to Tom Odell's Can't Pretend: "I want to fight, but I can't contend..."

2015 uses an absolutely banging Florence and the Machine track to ask "what kind of man loves like this?" Possibly the most intense of the bunch. (Sadly this is only on the ITV website, not on YouTube. It's possible to get it to play eventually. Gets rolling around 0:55.)

And then there's 2012, which was made in the wake of the decision to strip Lance Armstrong of all his Tour de France victories for doping.

Pick up my guitar and play
Just like yesterday
Then I'll get on my knees and pray
We don't get fooled again...


They put a few interview clips about doping and "the cleanest we've ever been," right in the middle, just in case the lyrics weren't enough for you. "Get on my knees and pray" is a very apt shot of David Millar – now one of ITV's commentators – who served a two-year suspension for doping before resurrecting himself as an anti-doping campaigner. Sadly they followed this up with a very wide landscape shot for "we don't get fooled again." I suppose they can only get so cynical in professional sports, but it still is pretty impressively cynical, considering. Someone at ITV must have a lot of fun making these.

Actually ITV do a little mini-montage at the end of every stage. You can get the playlists but sadly the videos don't seem to be collected anywhere. I want to see the Bardet Ragga again. :(

Archiving Fanfic from Tumblr

Jul. 23rd, 2016 10:25
inkstone: Air Gear's Ringo pulling down her glasses (you can count on me!)
[personal profile] inkstone
I figured I might as well!

Three-Sentence Drabbles (421 words) by inkstone
Chapters: 7/7
Fandom: Gangsta. (Manga), Claymore, Skip Beat!
Rating: Not Rated
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Alex Benedetto/Nicolas Brown, Clare & Teresa (Claymore), Mogami Kyoko/Tsuruga Ren
Characters: Alex Benedetto, Nicolas Brown, Clare (Claymore), Teresa (Claymore), Mogami Kyoko, Tsuruga Ren
Additional Tags: Drabble Collection

Summary: A collection of three-sentence drabbles originally posted on Tumblr in February 2016.

Tour de France

Jul. 23rd, 2016 12:32
naraht: (Default)
[personal profile] naraht
Just sitting down with great relish to watch the penultimate stage of the Tour de France.

It has been rather a summer of sport for me, which is very odd (and dismaying to [profile] e_pepys, who keeps coming into the sitting room and doing a double take at what I'm watching). I voluntarily watched several Euro 2016 matches because Iceland, though I can't say that I enjoyed it much. I'm watching Tour de France now. And I imagine I'll watch a decent amount of the Olympics - which are starting surprisingly soon.

I started with Tour de France on the theory that it might be a bit like watching Sigur Ros Route One, only with cyclists in the foreground. So it is, with an amazing amount of bonus historical commentary. (Madame de Sévigné's chateau and all.) But I also found myself interested in the cycling, though it took me at least a week to figure out the mysteriously multicoloured jerseys and to stop wondering whether what I was seeing was strategy or collusion.

With the end approaching, I'm now able to ask slightly more interesting questions, like: is Chris Froome actually an android? Should he consider taking up the triathlon? And is there any more mellifluous and fantastical expression in professional sport than 'riding the Sky train'?

Now it is, predictably enough, time to check for fic and vids. ITV4 do their own little vids at the end of their highlights show - and how cool is it that they discovered a theme song for Romain Bardet? (I also have been singing around the house because the results music on ITV4 seems to be a knockoff version of Outcast's "Hey Ya.")

I may well look up future races, if I have the time. It turns out that I do have Eurosport, so such a thing is possible!

(Note: May be spoilers in comments.)
inkstone: Michiko e Hatchin's Pepe asleep at a bar (zzz)
[personal profile] inkstone
As I get older, I find that the symptoms accompanying my periods fall into one of three categories: feverish and manic, weepy and sad, or tired and unable to think. This month's cycle was a "tired and unable to think" kind of deal.

Thankfully, it's the second day of my period and my brain's returned to me. I really do appreciate it because I have stuff to write!

In Pokemon Go news, I've gotten into the habit of taking a morning walk most days. It's the only way I can get pokeballs. I mean, yes, I can buy some from the store but I'm refusing to do that. Anyway, today was a leveling day, so I evolved lots of pokemon and hatched a few eggs. I'm now Level 17! I also trained up a gym owned by Team Valor another level so I could leave a defender. (I chose to leave Kurama, my cute little flareon. The eeveelutions are my favorite, I won't lie.) It's a joke in my area to take over gyms since they're constantly switching hands, of course, but it's still fun. I think the longest I've ever held a gym was 6 hours, haha.

In writing news, after attempting two failed novels, I think I've settled on one. I don't want to talk about it too much because I feel like that jinxes me. So I won't! But keep your fingers crossed for me anyway.

Despite that, though, I feel like I've gotten out of the writing habit. This month has been hard. So I might write a fanfic over the next day or so to ease in. We'll see.

don't step on the

Jul. 20th, 2016 13:32
thistleingrey: (Default)
[personal profile] thistleingrey
Gayle Laakmann McDowell, Cracking the Coding Interview: self-published. I've read substantial chunks of the sixth (2015) and fourth (2008) editions. The book is aimed towards CS graduates who want to brush up, not someone like me, who has had to review ancient history (middle-school and early high-school math) and to learn things just to understand the material at a basic level.

The sixth edition is much expanded. It contains not only some bloated prose and typos, but a bunch of code that isn't labeled as pseudo-code yet is buggy. For someone who couldn't tell at the outset which examples are full of bugs (and who didn't discover that link till writing the current post [some months ago]), it has been frustrating to memorize something, then have to replace it with something more complex while under considerable pressure. (Many little naps.) In general the problems are better than the chapter examples in this regard.

Bonus: even if one knows no Java, one picks up a bit of the syntax and basic concepts from reading, since most of McDowell's examples and solutions use it. Going in, I knew CSS2 and general XML/XHTML/HTML4 stuff well, XSL2 moderately, JavaScript at advanced-beginner level i.e. not yet intermediate (I've successfully isolated and fixed bugs that I don't understand, but [when I wrote the post] I look[ed] up even basic syntax when writing code fresh), and wee scattered bits of PHP, Perl, and Python. Oh, and I'd generated "Hello, world" in C, once; circa 1987 I wrote a bunch of AppleSoft BASIC; in 1985 I wrote some Logo. So. Um. I do think that it's useful to emphasize that a book like this, aimed as it is at holders of comp sci bachelor's degrees, can be comprehensible to some extent to someone who has not ever identified as a programmer but is trying in middle age to claw her way up that cliff. Sure, it helps that I have existed in close proximity to programming, both professionally and non, since I began playing video games in a focused way thirty (!) years ago---but understanding how a program can work is different from being able to generate code or at least pseudo-code unaided, which is required during technical interviews.

All right!

Jul. 20th, 2016 15:09
inkstone: Lambdadelta from Umineko (absolute certainty)
[personal profile] inkstone
Well, I can clearly see the writing on the wall for Tumblr from where I stand. It's not going to be overnight but it's definitely in the future. I've been in fandom for too long not to recognize the signs--especially since we've already been through this with Yahoo before (Geocities, Delicious). And while I do think this is going to be more a Delicious case than a Geocities case, I really have no intention of sticking around while the boat is sinking.

(Many of you have known me since LJ. Since when have I ever done that!)

So I'm going to try to use this DW more often. Actually post more. About shows! And books! Like I used to!

To encourage myself, I updated the sticky post and picked a new journal theme. ^^v

A list in shorthand

Jul. 19th, 2016 21:18
troisroyaumes: Painting of a duck, with the hanzi for "summer" in the top left (Default)
[personal profile] troisroyaumes
I'm supposed to blog about my work for the new job (which I started yesterday), ideally three times a week. I figure I could maybe get into the habit of writing Dreamwidth posts the other two weekdays, since I have not regularly updated here in over a year.

But there is so much I want to talk about, and I'm not sure if I have the energy to get around to all the topics in one post, so have a list for now, and hopefully I will return to expand on them in subsequent posts.

* I finished watching Nirvana in Fire, which I enjoyed so much that I have been giving USB sticks with the episodes to friends in an effort to convince everyone to watch it too. It is so good. There is a sizable K-fandom but sadly the fan translation of the original novel into Korean is no further along than the one into English. Incidentally, the fic that is apparently the most famous one in C-fandom is being translated into English: Peerless [倾国 ENG].

* Then I read Ninefox Gambit and got most of the way through the first volume of Legend of Galactic Heroes. You know, to continue to scratch the itch for brilliant masterminds facing off and multilayered battles of wit/political intrigue. Speaking of the latter, the second volume just arrived today, so I should really finish reading the first.

* A conversation in [personal profile] yhlee's journal led to the creation of [community profile] sewing101: a support group for novice sewists (and any expert sewists who would like to give us advice). Come join us!

* I haven't lost my interest in fountain pens and now own...uh...eight. All in different shades of green. Plus numerous extra nibs. And a truly unspeakable number of green ink samples. I have been using them to do morning pages and have already filled up one A5 notebook. I switch pens every paragraph so I have an excuse to keep them all inked up at the same time (each with a different green ink, of course). It looks a little strange but I get a lot of tactile pleasure out of it. I also want more pens, and now that I have an income again, I want to save up for a Franklin-Christoph pen in emerald acrylic. Which would be substantially more expensive than any of the pens I've bought so far.

* I have been playing Pokemon Go, although I haven't gotten very far. My building is a Pokestop! But sadly, I have not managed to catch all that many Pokemon. I am on Team Blue! Team Yellow seems unusually dominant in my neighborhood though.

* Hamilton is coming to Chicago but the tickets sold out so quickly that the only ones I could find for a reasonable (yet still $100+) price were all ones with "obstructed views". Sigh. I suppose I will just have to hope they'll extend the show here and that the ticket prices might come down eventually...

* Still watching a lot of Return of Superman. 엄태웅's daughter, 지온, is currently about two months older than Kkoma in the episodes we are watching.

* [personal profile] starlady has been making some really insightful, thought-provoking posts on the Lord Peter Wimsey mysteries by Dorothy Sayers.

Er, what else? I'm sure I'm forgetting something, but I think that's enough random topics thrown into the air for now.

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ahorbinski: shelves stuffed with books (Default)
Andrea J. Horbinski

May 2016

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