Nostalgia, A Human Condition

Nostalgia, this is a road that we all travel. What and how we remember isn’t important, since it’s mostly about those romantic memories that bring a smile to our faces and warmth to our hearts. And many times, it only takes a certain smell, a special sound, a piece of music, or a spoken word or phrase from our past to bring it immediately to our mind, and those hidden, but not forgotten memories arise, taking us back. We know, in truth, that even those good and happy memories have parts that aren’t so happy. Yet, is it not better to dwell on the good?  Yes, we’ve all done stupid things, and too many times have paid the price for doing them. Again, even here, we can usually find something good, something that came out of the incident that brings those smiles as we shake our heads because we now know better.

What brought this to mind, was something that my wife and I was watching, and afterwards we needed to have something done that would eliminate the repetition that it presented and thusly had become stuck in our minds. So I went to our music collection and began to play a few memorable songs. All of these I have converted to the MP3 format so that they are easily accessible and easily played. It was here, listening to these old songs (old by today’s generation), and with the music, memories began to flow. For me, all the way back to junior high school and the one and only school dance I attended. It was the first time I had ever danced, and of course the first time I did this with a girl. Too many years have passed since that time to even remember who the girl was, and I’m sure that if she were to think about it, it would be the same for her. After all, at this time in one’s life we are awkward, and self conscience of what we are trying to learn. And as luck would have it, it was a slow dance. Although one did not slow dance close together, as it is now, but more towards the waltz style with one hand on waist, and other hands together. Oh what was the song you ask? If I reveal that it gives away just how long in the past this was. Okay, the name of the song is Sleepwalk, an instrumental by Santo and Johnny, released in 1959.

Is it important that we look back? Personally, I believe the answer to be yes. Whether we are doing it nostalgically, or for other reasons, it allows us to see where we’ve been, how we felt at that particular time, and be able to compare it to where we are presently. It helps ground us, and show us our personal history and what in our past may have influenced us and placed us where we presently are in life. It can give us a chance to see, in our mind, ones who are no longer with us, and may have left a lasting impression upon us. Sometimes this individual is someone who may not have known us personally, but because of the example that they left, it left an important memory for our lives.

We’ve all walked into homes, maybe our own, where there are knickknacks everywhere and each one of those items have their own story to tell. Sometimes it’s like entering a musty old museum with the smells of the home reflecting all that is present within. When one asks the owner of these items, one can see the smile that is on their face, and that distant stare as the remembrances, the nostalgia come to life in the mind of that individual. After a brief pause, after they’ve organized those memories, you hear how this became theirs, and the adventure that surrounds the item. It can change what one sees from just an ordinary everyday object to something that can be magical making it worth much more than its cost – but only to the one who has attached those special memories. In a sense when one enters such places within a home, you see that individual’s personal history before you, even though it is something that isn’t necessarily apparent.

We are all guilty of attaching affection to inanimate objects, and as our collections grow over time, we find that we’ve run out of room to store those important personal items. It is probably one of the reasons that storage facilities have arisen. Even the search and the understanding of the past is because of such objects being recovered by the archeologists. Without them, much would be unknown about the past, not that there isn’t much still to learn. It shows that nostalgia is a human condition that has always been there. Whether we go back to the time of when we were hunter-gatherers, to now, every individual had something they considered special, something that they kept, and many times was buried with them once they passed into death. These objects were so important that they were buried with them so that if there was an afterlife they would have it with them so that they could continue to enjoy its special properties.

Of course, one of the greatest items available to us for our nostalgic thoughts are those many, possibly thousands of photographs which can take us physically, as well as mentally, back to a certain moment in time. It is not unusual to see a whole afternoon disappear, as one peruses the photo albums, and riding the time machine that these images create in our minds. We see friends, long gone from our lives, family, vacations, images of ourselves in our younger years, and so much more. Each producing a memory that can be happy, warm, and fulfilling, or many that brings forth a sad memory, no more, or no less than the others in importance in our lives. After all it is both sides of this coin that makes us complete. And if photos and what they represent cannot bring us to that nostalgic mood, then, and most likely, there is nothing that can.

There is nothing wrong with nostalgia. It ties us to our past, our history, and while the memories and objects may not be important to any other, they are part of what defines us as human, as being more than those creature living out their lives, unknowing, and only existing in the now. It gives us warm memories, and emotions that help identify us as us. Makes us the individual that we are, and we will always be unique to our own. It is our personal history, it is who we are, and by attaching feelings to our memories it defines the very nature of mankind on an individual by individual basis. Providing the great tapestry that is us. Nostalgia whether what we remember is accurate or not, is unimportant, it is those memories, warm memories, that make us feel alive. After all, every day, every month, and every year that passes us by we have more personal history, and more reasons to look back, trying to understand the whys of life, and those nostalgic trips down memory lane allows us to do just that. And in the end, what more can any of us ask? May those nostalgic memories be good, may they define who you are, and remain happy throughout your life.

To look ahead – For April, I’m posting a 4 part, obviously 4 week post titled In an Emergency. Having lived through a disaster, as well as having read a few articles on the subject, I felt that I would give my take on preparedness, as an overview.

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I am a Conservative

Being a writer this might come as a surprise that I should be this way. After all, it seems that this field is filled with liberals and they appear to be shouting all the time that their way is the only way. In a sense, it shames me, to find that this chosen field is so full of liberals. After all, one would think, and I’m one who does, that by being a writer and with all of history to study and research, the failures of liberalism time and time again, would make the ones who are, really think about their position, their politics, their zealotry. If nothing else, history shows that such positions always fail. Yet, they always return to try again.

Unfortunately, along the way to that failure, liberals have a tendency to destroy. Not only to destroy, but to attempt to change everything to their way of thinking. This includes the way history is taught, social interaction, views and actions dealing with each other, and the world. And if you do not agree with their narrow view, expect to find yourself under suspicion for almost anything. I can almost come to the conclusion that it was a liberal who coined the phrase – “My way or the highway”.

Before I continue, I need to put some things into perspective. First off extreme anything is a bad thing. So when I say I am a conservative it means that I lean a little right of center. Sometimes a little of either side of the question is a good thing. But when it becomes, as the phrase describes above, then there is no room for debate, no room for compromise, no room for change. And if any present a different side than what the liberal sees, the attacks come out in full force. Using whatever there is at their disposal to not simply state their position, but to utterly destroy the opposing view. We are seeing this clearly with this liberal administration.

They are using everything at their disposal to shut up the opposing views, including illegal use of the departments within the government, such as: The IRS, NSA, CIA, FBI, and others, to go after any who may have a difference of opinion. It seems that while liberals have a tendency to shout foul play if anything is brought forth to accuse them of anything, anything at all, yet they have no qualms of using whatever means, whether legal, illegal, lying, taking as much out of context as possible, and raising such an uproar over nothing that they force their will, their ways, their narrow point of view, on all. After all, everybody had better understand that they, as liberals, are free to use everything, but all others must play by the rules – their rules.

We, as a society, pay dearly for their excesses. And if nothing else, history repeats, and what we are facing now, even though it is more extreme, and more out of control, is similar to another administration who attempted the very same things that this one is doing presently, although that administration did not have the support of the press as the present administration seems to have. While this post seems to reflect politics, it really isn’t the intention. But when you start identifying where you stand – to the left (liberals), or to the right (conservatives), politics just naturally come up. So, as I write this post, some of what is here will reflect that aspect.

Maybe my conservatism comes from experience, and my time in this world. Or it could be the simple fact that I was raised that way, growing up on a small ranch deep in the backcountry. Where you learned early on that you could only depend on yourself, your family, and the abilities gained to make things work and continue to work. That lifestyle taught you the value of life because you saw death a lot. As animals died that you tried to keep alive, and because of the difference in life expectancies, your working dogs would pass on leaving a hole in your heart. It leads to a belief in yourself and in God. Such things have a tendency to move one in the direction of just right of the center.

And most Americans can say that is where they are. They have no time for the games, no time to worry about how the government will be run. Their time is spent on providing for their families, to do the best they can, and when the day is complete, the children safely in bed, they can take a few moments of downtime before they head off to bed, so that they can do it all again the next day. They know that it is God, and family that is the most important things in this world. They expect, from their government, an understanding of this, and not the intrusion that liberalism brings into their lives – trying to control every aspect of their personal lives. They expect the government to respect the Constitution, to uphold the laws, and to not change this country to their (liberals) personal view of how it should be.

Yet, when it is learned that the biggest breaker of these laws is that same government, they lose faith. And when it gets right down to it, liberals could care less. After all, no matter how it comes about, if they get their way, it’s as it should be, and who cares what damage is done, or who is hurt along the way. After all the results are worth it, aren’t they? I’ve heard it say that liberalism is a mental disorder, and the more I see it, the more I witness it, the more it seems to be fact. So many things that liberals do defies logic, and makes absolutely no sense.

I guess in many ways I can say, because of my age; been there, done that. I’m one who is usually willing to let things go, and allow others their freedoms. But with the damage that has been done, and is still being done by the liberals, I have to admit that I will be glad to see them out of power. I do not know how many generations it will take to repair the damage that they have done, but it will be more than one – if it can ever be repaired. So with what I have seen, both in the past, and in the present, I will remain a conservative, because the other side of this coin is much too costly.

Published in: on March 22, 2014 at 8:12 am  Leave a Comment  
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Discovery – An Excerpt

This is an excerpt from book 2 of the Discovery Series and actually is the second book that I have written. To give a little background, since picking up a story at this point, could leave one wanting and asking,  what is going on? In book 1, The Ones Before, Fauul (one of the six protagonists in this series) meets the brother (Laaut) and sister (Lauma), and in book 2, eventually comes down to live with them. In book 1 this chance meeting is full of tension and suspicion, but is eventually resolved. In book 2, and where we are picking up this excerpt, at this point in the story, Fauul is out and working with the brother repairing waterholes for their livestock. As is usually the case, conversations start and take on a life of their own.

Again, as stated earlier, I’m in the middle of edits on 4 manuscripts, and since this is a continuing story, I worked through the edit on book 1 and continued into book 2. The months have been flying by, and with this work that has been completed so far, there is still far to go before either of these are ready for prime time, let alone the other 2, which have remained untouched since initially written. Still I’m hopeful to release all 4 this year. And because I’m presently doing these edits, what is presented here can change before the book’s or books’ release. In a sense this gives you, as the reader, an inside track in the process of editing and revision, especially if there are changes made. It allows you to see how it is written now (actually have worked through this portion with additional work still ahead), verses the final outcome. So for your pleasure here is the excerpt from Discovery:

They were silent for a while as both Fauul and Laaut thought about what they had been discussing. They continued to work the small water holes to make sure they were clean and safe for the beasts. This gave both of them time to think about what was happening and how it would affect each one. Fauul said, after some time had passed, “I do agree at times that interest in someone can be misplaced. I guess it can be both ways.”

“What? I’m not following here Fauul.”

“Oh, sorry. I was just thinking about what you last said, and then realized that it can be both ways. I know personally that I have been attracted to some female, and probably bothered her too much. Since, if I wanted to be honest, I could see that she was attempting to run away. Still when those romantic feelings arise, it’s sometimes difficult to separate reality from the imagination. So if it is that way with me, I am sure it is that way for the females also.”

“Oh, you are referring to my comment about having someone interested in you as a possible mate, and you are trying to get as far away from them as possible, right?”

“Exactly. I have found life to be, if nothing else, interesting. We seem to live in the moment – day by day, and then cycles, which becomes turns. While in the immediate moment it’s like we don’t really notice the time going by until one day we look and see and are shocked at how much time has actually passed. We then begin to wonder how it is we are here and what happened to that time, and where did it go? Did we actually live it or was it some dream? Yet, in this moment here we stand looking back.” Shaking his head he continued, “It’s such a mystery to me, how you live minute by minute and then suddenly a turn is gone.”

“So how does that relate to what we were just talking about anyway?”

“Really it kind of just all ties together. I mean take your sister for example, or even yourself. A turn ago all is as you probably remember it. I wasn’t in the picture, and in truth as far as I was concerned my path was different. I would have been thinking probably of some of those members of the opposite sex that I wanted to avoid, and going about my live ignorant of what my future held. Yet, now I am here next to you talking about a totally different future and it involving your sister as my mate. Yet, now what we see is the present, and that meeting between all of us is now history, in the past. How quickly it became that, I don’t know quite how to say it but now looking back it’s like this has always been this way, but I know it is not. So how did it go from being a future event to being a past event allowing us to talk about it now, in the present?

Silent for a moment before answering Lauut said, “That’s a lot to take in, I’ll have to think about that before I answer.”

“True, it is much to think about. But, let’s confuse the issue even more. You are what your history says you are. For Lauma and myself, our histories started long before we met, and these will have influences on our relationship. Then we will create our own with our relationship. From there we will either look back nostalgically or maybe with no good feelings, all with what is happening at the time. Even with those ‘then made’ common feelings and events, we will still see them differently. Partly because of our sex, but mostly because of our life histories – this is a part of us individually before we met.”

“Okay, I think I am following, so please continue.”

“We forget, when we observe the world, that everything that happens, even though it’s something outside of ourselves is being interpreted by ourselves. What I mean is this; say we look at this mud hole we are cleaning here, and this is a poor example for sure, the way you view it and the way I view the same mud hole is different. Not only because you are there, and I am over here, but because I was raised a township whelp, and you here in the outback. For me this is all new and for you not so new. So the way we see and understand what we do is an inner experience colored by all the past experiences in our lives, so no two individuals will see the same thing in any event. So when I say, for example, that this flower over here is the color yellow, why is it considered so? Because somewhere in our youth it was explained that this was what that color was. Now, there is no way to know if the yellow I see and the yellow you see are the same. It has just been explained somewhere in our past that this is what the color is. Now to my eyes it might actually be blue, but since it was identified as yellow I would always say it was yellow, and then you would figure that it would be that color over there. Since we are not capable of seeing through each other’s eyes we cannot say for sure what another is really thinking or seeing.

“Again since everything really is an inner experience even our language has many problems. Again, for example, let’s take this conversation, I feel I know what I am trying to convey to you, and I figure I am doing a pretty good job, but because language is so inexact, and the previous experiences of your life color how you will view what I am saying, the meaning could be completely different to you than to me. Then when we agree, both thinking we have it right, in truth we see two completely different views and conclusions.  Yet, because we agree we really have no way to confirm that indeed the conclusions were different.”

“Wow that is really deep. I really have never thought about such things. I mean you basically, out here, act and react according to what is being thrown at you at the moment. It keeps one sharp that’s for sure, but I really never realized that everything that happens really is an inner experience. Yet, after you just explained it, I can really see it’s true. It almost makes one not want to talk at all, or to come up with better ways to explain things.”

“Yeah, sometimes you need to be able to explain things in many different ways so that someone else can at least possibly see, again from their perspective, what you are trying to explain to them. Still by not seeing into their mind’s eye you really will never know if they have it right.”

“You know you’re giving me a headache here. You’ve given me enough to think about for next couple of turns. Look I think we have finished this water hole. From my point of view it is safe and clean for the beasts, and besides it’s time to head back anyway. We will need to assist Lauma on the finishing of the work back at the main shelter.”

Published in: on March 15, 2014 at 7:50 am  Leave a Comment  
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No Distractions

And at this time, wherever you may be, it is difficult not to be distracted. In fact at times, distraction is exactly what one needs because of the mess that is out there. Many times we go out on the web – definitely a wasteland of distractions – to take a break from reality for a moment or two. And whatever your mood, your tastes, your mental state, there is something out there for you to visit. Blogs seem to occupy much of that direction for many. And, of course, this is just one of the too many that exist in cyber space.

Yet, here, at this site, there are no distractions. Many blogs out there are busy, leading your eyes in many directions, distracting one from whatever the subject may be that has attracted one there in the first place. In a sense there are many themes I could have chosen for this blog, but settled on something simple. Rarely will you find pictures, and when they are included they are directly (not that other blog pictures do not reflect the post) related to the post and usually only consist of a single image. Here it is about the word, about the subject, and few run less than 1000 words.

I find, to cover a subject well, that for me, it takes close to that 1000 words. I know that when I submitted a couple of my novels to a contest that one of the comments I received is, “wordy”, and that may be why I require this many words to cover a particular subject. Yet, one of my gifts is teaching. It is something about myself that I learned in my youth. And I feel that it is one of the reasons that I became, as that person stated – “wordy”. I want to be sure that what is out there can be understood by whoever reads it, whether they agree with the subject and conclusions or not. Even this post, talking about this site, and how I write will be pushing that 1000 words.

This blog consists strictly of the post, posts listed in the sidebar by months and by subject, and that is all that you will find. This means that when you come here that the posts will be here, unadorned, without any dressing, standing on what they say. After all, I am a novelist, a writer of short stories, a writer that will deal with any number of subjects, as the title of this blog suggests. Some may wonder, when they look at the URL, why windmills, or the title, Words in the Wind? For me, again, as the URL suggests; windmills metaphor for writing, reflect writing as it is in the purest form. Because like writing, windmills change direction with the wind to catch the best of what is offered and thusly the title Words in the Wind to reflect and tie in with windmills. After all a windmill shifts all the time with the wind and we can reflect on the idea that each blade represents a subject, each independent, yet all working together to allow the windmill to perform its function.

All of us have our abilities that are gifted to us. If you think back to your time in school and those essays that were required, some of us could spend days, hours, of serious work and end up with a very low grade. While others seem to only spend minutes and produce what seemed to be masterpieces. Always frustrating, if you were one of the ones who honestly tried but failed, verses the ones that seemed to put forth no effort at all. In my family my two sons are quite different. Well, no surprise there, right? Yet the youngest has the ability to write, and write so well that he is well above me. While I do okay, I am willing to admit when someone is better, and he is. While my oldest son couldn’t write a sentence, let alone a paragraph and not struggle. Yet his natural abilities are in imitation. What I mean here is that he can hear an accent, an actor, a friend, a cartoon character, or character in a movie, and instantly pick it up and state it right back to you – his gift. Although with both of these sons, neither has the confidence in themselves to take advantage of their gifts.

Life is like that, and unfortunately, many times it is well beyond the time where one can take advantage of their personal gifts when the realization and understanding hits. We, each one of us, also face reality. And this can impinge upon our gifts, requiring us to place them on the back-burner, so to speak, until such time arrives to allow us to use them – if ever. We can call reality distractions also, since reality can pull us away from what we consider the better direction, but without means to make it happen, to make that change, it is all for naught.

So when you come here, caught by something that might interest you, know that the only distraction you will face is yourself. After all, as stated above, there is only the word, thoughts, and ideas. Maybe this site will inform, maybe entertain, give you another thought or view on something that you’ve been thinking about. Whatever it may be, whether you consider this a brief distraction out of your busy workday, schedule, or life, many times it is a welcome break and one that we must take to keep our sanity.  Or maybe the information is important. That is for you to decide, and if entertainment is your goal, I hope to have fulfilled that role. Come here, read, enjoy, and know that what you read – the word – is all that can be found here.

Published in: on March 8, 2014 at 8:47 am  Leave a Comment  
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Thoughts on History – A Personal View

Sometimes it takes some personal history to begin to see history as it may truly be. Unfortunately, because times and attitudes change, and the way things are seen by the common man and woman – let alone academia, this changes what is understood, in the present, leading to a very poor and inaccurate translation of the era that’s being viewed. Words  change, go out of favor, change their meaning and direction, the human consciousness shifts and changes, placing things that were in favor, out of favor. Tolerance becomes intolerance and visa versa, and so much more that changes the overall society, as a whole. It makes one wonder if there is anything from the past that can be interpreted accurately, let alone correctly?

We have to be careful, in our educational systems, to understand that many times, what is taught is being taught is being taught in such a way that it reflects an ideology, making points that isn’t necessary there, but will help carry their ( the ones behind the ideology) agenda. After all, if they can convince the youth that their views are correct then this same youth will carry these beliefs into their personal lives, and thusly that ideology. Unfortunately, it takes getting beyond school to begin to see the truth behind the lies, but that means that one must pursue personally, history on one’s own time. And in today’s world time is a rare commodity.

For example: How many of you know the Federal Reserve is a private bank? Most would believe that it is part of the government, but it isn’t. This, in many ways, makes no sense. After all, every government has the right to print their own currency, so why doesn’t ours? By using this existing system it means that our government must borrow money from a private bank to conduct business. Seems strange to me. And this means that the ones who control the monetary system, controls the government. Hmmm, maybe that explains some of what is happening.

Let’s look back in history to maybe understand this and at the time of Abraham Lincoln. He was possibly the only president who realized that this was a problem and decided that the US Government would begin to print their own money and refuse to allow the private banks to do so. Thusly, in a short time after he did this, we started seeing, in circulation, the green back dollar, as it was known. At this time when this came about it set the European bankers up in arms. After all, many of the countries in the old world had private banks controlling their monetary systems, and they wanted the same control over the US Government. But Lincoln refused, even with the pressure exerted by these international bankers.

There is a suggestion that they felt that if he couldn’t be convinced to change to their way of thinking that they might be able to have him removed. And here we can begin the conspiracy theories, with the idea that they began to plot his end. We know that the history books state that Booth was responsible for killing Lincoln, and if these foreign banks were involved they probably didn’t have to offer much to this zealot for him to carry out his threat. (The strange thing about this is the results if Lincoln had lived. Lincoln’s plan for the South was  much better than the Reconstructionist movement that basically destroyed the South.)

Once he was dead, then the banks began to pull this money, created by the government, off the market, reducing the amount of money in circulation, and by this reduction creating an artificial depression. This led later to the passing of the laws that put the Federal Reserve System in place. And all that money originally created by our government was pulled out of circulation and replaced by what we have now. Study history and learn why we have many of the problems we face today.

Another interesting fact lie in the wishes of our founders for elected representatives for federal office. First off it was to be a privilege and unpaid. There were no plans for the career politicians that we see today. In fact it was something that couldn’t be imagined at the time when the Constitution was being written. Yet, what do we have now? Career politicians who are well dug in as deep as the Japanese on the islands that they defended during WWII. This has led to deep corruption, favors being passed around the aisles, large organizations created strictly to woo these politicians, and they creating laws that allows them to vote for their own raises, besides other perks – none of this anticipated by the forefathers of this country. And we won’t get into how the senate was to be elected, which is so different from today. Yet, when one receives the lessons on history, US history, during the time of required education, none of this is ever mentioned – I wonder why?

And speaking of the forefathers, it is now, in the present time, that our text books in our school systems find ways to demonize these very people as the worst of the worst and then shift this praise to others who have not earned the right to this, because of the ones in control of our educational systems and it is to their advantage to do so – again pushing their agendas. For example; yes these few helped establish this country, but do you not realize that they were part of the problem? They were slave holders for heaven sake! Absolutely true as slave holders. Yet, at the time they were British subjects, and slavery had been around since the beginning of man, and if one wants to be honest for a moment, it is still here today. But, as British citizens (many forget this, after all they were Americans weren’t they? Well, weren’t they?) it was illegal to free a slave. And let’s be honest here once again – just who was it that sold these people into slavery in the first place? So by changing the emphasis we change history from the truth to whatever we want it to say. After all, take anything out of context and it is yours to control, to do with as you please.

Any way that we look at it, whether on purpose or by accident, the accounts of the past, as presented, will always be tainted with the existing society at the time that this past is interpreted. None of us will be able to say that we actually lived during those times in history, so we end up only seeing a small part, trying to understand it from a great distance, and mostly getting it wrong. Yet, we are stuck with those mistakes, and too many times take the results to be fact, only to find later that what had been revealed wasn’t close to the actual truth. And if there is one thing I’ve learned in my life is that truth is not necessarily the same to all, and that by manipulating the truth you can make it say anything you want it to. And if a lie is heard often enough it can be interpreted as the truth.

Let’s understand that history is rarely as presented. Even though it is taught in our educational systems as if it is fact. When we are learning these things, and we are using the text books that are required, we do not think that there may be a motive behind what we are learning, what we are studying, but unfortunately there is. If one wants to learn more, then one must step away from the “official text”, “the official line”, and discover for themselves what it truly was like, within the confines of the ones who are presenting the information. It is here that we must understand that even these others may not have it right and thusly we must come to our own conclusions, own ideas, and be willing to change them whenever there is something presented that could change our views, thoughts, and knowledge. Again, we must take all of these presentations – text books, studies, authors, speeches, seminars, and such – judge them against our own experience, and come to a consensus. Never accepting that all that is presented is the absolute truth. We must forever question otherwise be led freely in whatever direction the ones in charge want to take us.

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