Lalime Retires As Player, Will Be A Broadcaster

Former Ottawa Senators goaltender Patrick Lalime has retired from active hockey and will become an analyst on Ottawa Senators television broadcasts, the all-sports network RDS announced Wednesday on its website.

Lalime played 444 games for five teams over 12 NHL seasons, posting a 200-174-48 record with a career 2.58 goals-against average and .905 save percentage. The 37-year-old played seven games last season for the Buffalo Sabres. The St.Bonaventure, Que., native is best known for starting his career with a 16-game unbeaten run for the Pittsburgh Penguins in 1996-97, and for his five seasons with the Senators. His best campaign was in 2002-03, when he won a club-record 39 games and helped Ottawa reach the Eastern Conference final.  Lalime, who sits No. 1 on the franchise list of all-time wins (146), shutouts (30) and games between the pipes (283).

Lalime, who spent 5 years in Ottawa, will now settled down there with his wife and their 3 daughters. He also played in St. Louis and Chicago, and spent his last three seasons as Ryan Miller’s backup in Buffalo. However, in 2010-11, he only saw action in seven games — which helped him also see the writing on the wall.

Lalime was acquired by the Senators during the summer of 1999 to be Ron Tugnutt’s understudy, but he wound up playing 38 games that season and taking full control of the No. 1 role. The end for him in Ottawa came April 20, 2004, when his shaky play was the ugliest mark on a Game 7, first-round playoff loss to the Maple Leafs.

He played some great games for the Senators in between. Fans who sneer at that memory may forget that Lalime was also brilliant in the 2002 playoffs, when he allowed two goals in a five-game series win over the Flyers. Three consecutive shutouts have his name in the NHL record book.

Star Trek : Enterprise Season 3

I’ll admit it – when Enterprise first came out, I did not like it that much. I was prepared to hate it cause a) I did not really like prequels b) I did not like most of the cast and c) I did not like Scot Bakula at all! So if you do not like the main star, the captain, that didn’t leave Enterprise with much chance did it? The series was being shown in India on Star World (ooh the name matches) and I started watching season 1 at home in Thrikkakara. I liked the pilot, thought it was promising, and settled in to watch the show on a weekly basis. This must have been back in 2004. However the following few episodes didn’t exactly sparkle my imagination & fascination and I slowly lost a bit of interest. If I missed an episode, so what?

I really didn’t give the show much of a chance than I should have; I mean the very first long range Earth ship that heads out to different planets for exploration and meeting newer races and establishing first contact, beyond the clusters close to us. That alone should have made me cheer for the series and jump on board at the very beginning. But yeah – so anyway. I missed a few episodes in season 1 and then season 2 started and I got interested after a few really  good episodes. But as luck would have it, Star World stopped airing Enterprise and for the next 3 years I didn’t give the show much thought. When I started downloading tv series & movies from Torrent in 2009, Voyager was my first preference, then DS9 and the original series and HD copies of the movies. Enterprise was the last option but I did get to downloading it. I watched season 1 & season 2 and then was wowed by season 3!

The season starts with the premise, shown in the very last scenes of season 2, of a weapon by the Xindi, (a hitherto unknown  alien species) that destroys part of earth and kills 7 million people. And they could be back for more. At first they appeared as violent enemies wanting no interaction with humanity, but common ground gradually emerged as the crew of the Enterprise discovered that the Xindi were being manipulated into this enmity by a more mysterious race called the Sphere Builders. The latter group, calling themselves the guardians of the Xindi, have convinced the Xindi that in the future mankind will massacre them all so they must strike first. Being the most experienced team and the only ones capable of going that far that quickly, the Enterprise is dispatched to the Delphic Expanse to find the Xindi. Joining the Enterprise are a group of MACOs, an elite group of soldiers.

What follows is a dark series arc with a lot of deaths, carnage and gloom and very action filled. About 27 crewmen & women from the Enterprise gets killed. The ship gets the living shit kicked out of it a few times and is nearly destroyed herself. The characters are fully fleshed out & developed over this season. T’Pol & Trip start what is a really complicated relationship and they even have sex. The Xindi aren’t really all bad, as the crew find out, and they even build an alliance against the real villains – the Sphere Builders, who are finally destroyed in the end along with the weapon. And do you think that the crew gets to rest after all that? No, as the season ends, Captain Archer is throw into the past and finds himself, along with the rest of the crew right smack down in the midst of World War 2 in an alternative reality, with another alien species interferring with earth’s past and it’s up to our heroes to put things back in order! Really after all this!

As great as season 3 was it really left a void in the show’s epicenter. How do you top that? Season 4 became almost anti-climatic and it never really stood a chance after that. The show was cancelled mid-season but the final episodes were aired and the series was allowed to be brought to a conclusion. Albeit a very unsatisfactory one. But that is a blog post for another day! Season 3, I salute you.

The Perfect Age to Retire

The perfect age to retire is….why, I am stumped! How do you know the age that someone is to retire? At one time it used to be that most government jobs had a mandatory retirement age of 57, which was raised to 60 and if I am not mistaken they are mulling over increasing it to 62. And in other jobs it’s between 62 and 67, depending on the nature of the job and which sector it is in. I have always believed that the age should vary depending on the individual and what kind of job he/she is into and a good check by doctors to advice the employers to give a thumbs up for the person to continue beyond a certain age.

I dunno about what I want to do. I am soon to turn 35. I wish I could retire right now and enjoy life for the rest of my life. But some little thing called money comes in the way. I do not have enough of it and I need a lot more. I want a whole lot more. I crave a huge big pile of it, enough for me to swim in for days. Have you seen Uncle Scrooge with his huge pile of money? I’ve seen cartoons of him jumping in and swimming in his huge stash of cash. In fact whenever someone tells me of a rich older person or huge piles of cash I always think of Uncle Scrooge!

So I have to plow on, work for atleast another 25 years or maybe 30 years. Get my PF and some sort of safety net at the end of that period. So I can comfortably live and not have to worry about money for the rest of my days. And wait for death to come and get me. Sigh! So retire when you want to and not when someone else tells you to. Save some cash so that you can do whatever you want after retirement and still be able to enjoy doing it.

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Is The Book Always Better Than The Movie?

Well, what I have found is that the book is usually better than the movie. That does not necessarily mean that the book is way better than the movie. Yes it is true sometimes but it is also because once you read the book, you form a certain perception of how the visualization of it should be and often a movie based on the book will fail to reach the imagination of our minds. The mind is a vastly advanced and entertainingly exciting film maker and unfortunately there are very few instances of anyone being able to re-create the same scenes from one’s mind to the reel. It usually will fall flat.

Take me for example – the science fiction related imaginations of my mind are far more interesting and exciting than anything Star Wars, Star Trek, Stargate, Farscape or any other Scifi franchise or movie can create. However, Gene Roddenberry I ain’t and therefore I cannot even begin to start thinking about create a movie or even a single episode of the stuff in my head – heck, I even have trouble putting it in words! So I must rely on film & tv series makers to get my fix.

Similarly, when you read a book, you create these images in your mind of how the houses, how the people look like. What cars do they drive, what clothes do they wear? How do they talk, walk, smile, cry, yell? How the scene unfolds – all this just from reading of some words in sentences. So when you see a movie based on the book, you are essentially seeing someone else’s interpretation of what you read and created/saw in your mind. It most likely will not match with what you saw and usually you are disappointed and it will fall short. On a few lucky occasions, you will find that the movie far outweighs what you envisioned when you read the novel and are quite happy to praise the movie.

If I think of examples of the exceptions to the norm, I often think of Jurassic Park – there is no fucking way in hell that you were even remotely disappointed to see the Magnum Opus of Steven Speilberg’s work. Yes Michael Crichton wrote a wonderfully detailed novel but the movie did managed to shadow it. Stephen King’s books are fantastic and the man has a very active imagination but Shawshank Redemption & The Green Mile movies do match up to his prose. And although most of you may disagree I did like the Da Vinci Code movie a whole lot and think that it atleast matches the book.

That’s all that I can think of at the moment. Do comment and let me know of any examples that you can think of.

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I Am So Disappointed On My Ship

Remember when I was so excited about getting my own starship? My very own spaceship? Well that was on the 11th of July and I was so happy to be finally able to get a model of the USS Enterprise from Star Trek that I love so much and wanted for so long.

And today, the courier guys called me to confirm my residence so that they could bring it to me. Man was I jumping for joy. Until I opened the damn thing. It came in a box that shows the damn ship the way it looks like in the movies. But that is not what it looks like. Here is the box they couriered it in and here is the damn ship after I assembled it.

It is so flimsy and it took me almost 90 minutes to assemble the fucking thing. Plus it is kinda fragile since the material is so cheap and flimsy. I spent a long time on it. And it’s decal but I have never done decal before and I find it to be a pile of elephant dung. Here is the box that shows you the ship as to how it should look like.

And here in the bottom photo is the damn thing 90 minutes after I started to assemble it. Decal sucks. Although it is something that you can moist and then stick onto the model, it as has got almost 70 decals and is gonna take me a long time to get it done but I do not like the way that it looks like. Shit! A waste, a big waste.

If any of you know of a good realistic model of the USS Enterprise please do let me know. I’d like one that looks like the model in the link to my previous post on buying this on 11th July.

Why I Do Not Like Malayalam Classical Music

I can’t stand most classical music, singers and instrumentalists in India. Make that in Kerala, which is my homeland, especially. It’s not that I am not into the music; I actually can appreciate it even if I do not particularly have a taste for it. There is a reason why I do not like it, nay hate it – it’s the attitude of Malayalam classical music lovers. They are so fucking blindly arrogant! Well not all of them but a vast majority of them, the ones who only listen to that music.

Here is their reasons as to why their music is so superior:- Classical music takes an individual many years of classes and training under a master to learn? So? It still sucks! Most music is like that, you have to practice a lot, take as many lessons on learning your instruments as you can and if you are a vocalist, your vocal chords! If you want to be really good at guitars, drums, bass, keyboards or any instrument, there is a sort of discipline and dedication that it takes. But classical music is superior? And the arrogance is even more massive; only Malayalam classic music is great and it is the most superior form of music. Please, your musical attitude sucks donkey’s balls! And the music is boring to say the least.

When I see these concerts on tv, the audience is so lifeless. It’s almost like they came there to stare like idiots and I’m not sure that they are even enjoying it. There is no audience participation and you can never feel like one with the music. It’s all standards and there is nothing of the individual in the music. Music is not supposed to be like that. It’s all about the individuals playing/singing it and their expressions and their feelings & ideas and sentiments coming through in the words and music. Classical music is so limiting in that, there are no individuals just the songs and lyrics and you have to do it in a certain way. That is so restricting and it doesn’t even remotely interests me.

But here is the biggest thing that puts me off – Malayalam classical music is very closely associated with temples and religion and gods – no chance of me ever getting into it. I can enjoy a classical music instrumental like with the sitar, sarod, tabla or sarangi. They are beautiful instruments and melodies just flow from it. I won’t ever be able to enjoy the vast majority of the classical music with lyrics. I would try it out if they change their attitude and if they be more open to other forms of music and not try to judge it as being lesser than their art form. Me? I used to be just a metalhead but I listen to a whole range of stuff now. Hard rock, pop rock, heavy metal, extreme metal, blues, alternative, flamenco, world music, some Indian classical, some jazz, even some pop and very little rap. I even have some Arabic music and celtic music in my list. I can’t say for sure but if you went through my huge mp3 list, I bet mine would be one of the most varied in terms of different categories of music, if not the one with most variety.

I’ve learnt to open my ears and heart to various types of music way back in my early 20s and developed a lot of appreciation for various artists over the years. I like bands that aren’t afraid to experiment too although not all experiments are successful. That’s ok, atleast you gave it a shot. Unlike all you Malayalam classical aficionados. Peace and Cheers! Drink a beer once in a while along with your moore!

Golden Liquid Delight

I love beer! I love to drink beer and would love to taste a whole lot of different brands from across the world. Unfortunately where I live in, my options are limited. Kingfisher rules the roost and in most  bars it’s getting harder to find other beers. The other Indian ones I like are Haywards & London Strong, while I have also had Kalyani & Sandpiper – the latter of which sucks!

International beer that I have had, and enjoyed quite a bit, are in the order of preference – Carsberg, Tuborg & Fosters. I’ve had Fosters a whole lot more but that’s because it seems to be more readily available in the bars that I frequent. I guess that it’s because of cricket and Australia playing India all the time. So one good thing comes out of cricket (ugh, I do hate the sport)! Recently, atleast that’s how it seems to me, Tuborg has been made available in India and it’s becoming quite popular in Kerala now. I’ve only had Carlsberg twice and loved every sip of it.

But that’s it as far as international beers are concerned. I wish we could get a whole lot more of them beers like Heineken, Guinness, Amstel and beers from Unibroue. In 1996 while in Bangalore I became friends with the son of an Indian diplomat who got us Labatt’s & Molson beers from Canada. I was ecstatic and gratefully drank two each of them beers but have never been able to get my hands on any more. Ironically enough, 19 was when I first started to actually drink and enjoy beer. I’ve had beer from the age of 17 but rarely drank it.

One point to note is that most beers in India come in the 650ml bottles and not the usual 341 (or is that 350 ml) bottles that I usually see in North America. Not too sure of the rest of the world.

Drive Angry

Released this year, Drive Angry is a Patrick Lussier directed movie starring Nicholas Cage as John Milton who escapes from hell to rescue his baby granddaughter from the clutches of a satanic cult leader, Jonah King, who not only killed Milton’s daughter but is also panning on sacrificing the baby in 3 days time. He picks up the trail in Oklahoma and recruits a pretty waitress Piper (Amber Heard) who gives him a ride in her car. Milton is also being pursued by The Accountant (William Fichtner), a man with special powers sent by the Devil to retrieve Milton.

What does this movie offer you as a viewer? Not much, unless you like the mindless violence tye of movies with a few nude scenes that show up here and there just for your entertainment and to tickle the fancies of teenage boys who might see this movie. Piper finds her lover having sex with some woman, so she drags the nude woman, right off his dick, and out into the streets. She also decks her with a couple of hits and knockers her out cold – a passing fat man takes out his mobile and snaps a few photos of the naked woman!

So Piper & Milton go on the hunt for King’s party and they stay at a bar/inn where King comes. While waiting for the cult members to arrive, Milton has sex with a woman, without taking his clothes off. The reason, she asks as she bounces up and down, is that he does disrobe before a gun fight. Bam the bad guys come in and Milton shoots and kills most of them…..while stick having the chick attached to his…well you know! How cool is that? Anyway, he moves her this way and that to avoid her getting shot and Piper comes in to kill the last goon.

Well we also find out that Milton, being actually dead, can’t be killed again and bullet wounds get healed quite quickly on him. He also gets some help from an old friend name Webster (David Morse) and then gets into a final shootout with King’s men. The Accountant, who is actually friends with Milton but cannot let him stay away from hell (apparently he is Satan’s accountant) does help him out and finally King and his men are killed and the baby is saved. Piper is asked to take care of the baby and Milton & the Accountant rides back to hell.

I can’t believe that Cage actually acted in this shit movie. Amber Heard is pretty hot but that can’t save this dud. Fichtner does he  best job in this film, he is even funny in some scenes. Action scenes are good, so 4 outta 10.

 

What Do You Worry About?

What does a guy my age worry about?

  • I worry about losing my job, or something happening to it, without a backup in place and struggling for one
  • I worry about health & illness – my folks and mine
  • I worry about death
  • I worry that I will die without finding real happiness
  • I worry about money
  • I worry that I will end up alone
  • I worry that a war will break out and we’ll all get in trouble
  • I worry that stupid dance music, rap, Bollywood music, Tamil music & crappy pop is slowly closing in on me
  • I worry that all them fucking religious fundamentalists & terrorists will blow up  the entire goddamn planet!

Have You Lived In Other Countries Other Than Where You Were Born?

Yes I have – and I'm still living here! Although I am Indian, I was born in Kuwait and lived in Darwaza, a neighbourhood of the capital city, Kuwait City, from birth till the age of 11 (1976-1987) with my parents & sister. We then moved to India and I have lived here ever since. Other than Kuwait, the only country that I have visited is the UK, Newcastle to be exact, for a couple of weeks. That's it folks, that is the extent of my travels outside of the nation. I have barely been to other places in India myself.

What do I remember of Kuwait? Well I probably spent my most carefree years over there. I had tons of friends, lots of fun childhood stuff to do and plenty of good times. We really had the community thing going on over there, being Malayalees or Indians in an Arab land that never fully allowed you to integrate yourself into their country. No rights and no citizenship and therefore you always got the feeling of being a limited access renter in a country. Make your money, have a good career and then get out! Still, I love Kuwait and I would love to visit her some day. Hope it is sooner rather than later.

I would love to see, visit or live in Canada. Maybe someday I will see her and do all of the things that my Canadian friends enjoy ever there. Some Canadian beer and poutine will go down well and take in a hockey game. I would love to Spain, Germany, France, Britain, parts of the US, Australia, Hong Kong, Singapore, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Holland and that's just some of the places that I would love to see.

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SG1’s Other Guys

I watched The Other Guys, a hilariously funny episode of Stargate SG1, season 6. The episode focuses on two guest stars who join SG1 on a special under cover mission – while totally unaware of the actual situation but end up helping in saving the day. The guest stars are Patrick McKenna & John Billingsly, two actors I have seen in many roles over the years – none as funny as this.

McKenna (the actor on the right) is a Canadian actor I used to watch on a series called Traders and in many guest roles in various tv series and a movie or two. Billingsly, on the left is a beloved actor to most Trekkies as Dr.Phlox in Star Trek: Enterprise and in the low budget but highly acclaimed movie The Man From Earth. The third actor in the middle doesn’t have much of a role in the episode. McKenna & Billingsly play two scientists – Dr. Felger & Dr. Coombs respectively – who are on a planet along with SG1 researching a set of Go’aul transport rings. The SG1 team gets attacked by Jaffa soldiers and are caught. Felger & Coombs, who were ordered by Col. O’Neill to gate back to the SGC, instead only send the 3r scientist back and on Felger’s urging, Coombs and he sneak into the Go’auld ship in an effort to rescue the team.

Felger is the more ambitious one and he worships the SG1 team while Coombs is more scared and just follows his colleague. The duo stumble into the room where the SG1 team is kept and join them but there they are informed that SG1 purposely let themselves be captured to get info from the Tokra who are posing as Jaffa & Go’auld onboard the ship. However their plans hit the wall when the Tokra are found out and killed. The comical duo manage to help the SG1 members escape and infact actual contribute a lot more, even though they more or less fluke their way through. What also sets this episode apart are the one-liners that Col. O’Neill blasts out to the Go’uald.

Jaffa: This is nothing compared to what Anubis is capable of.
O’Neill: You ended that sentence with a preposition! Bastard!

And when the Jaffa leader has the team hauled off into the shielded room, O’Neill says “What no gloating? Take some pride in your work, son!”

On Drinking Tea

I have an upset tummy. It must have been the porotta and chicken curry that I ate last night. Well  the chicken curry to be specific. While I ate the chicken I sensed that he wasn’t quite dead yet and was putting up a fight. Unlucky for me, the battle continued after he went into my belly and well, he won. Damn stupid bugger!

The food reacted badly inside me and I’ve had to visit the restroom on many an occasion today from 2 am onwards and I’m getting tired of it. I couldn’t eat breakfast or rather didn’t want to eat any and had a very light lunch of rice, curd and some veggie stuff but my tummy is still upset and so I’m taking the day off from work (the night off from work as I work night shifts) today. I’ve had two cups of hot soothing black tea with lemon squeezed into it this evening, hoping to calm the beast inside me.

Interestingly enough, I’ve been drinking a lot more tea since the last month or so. That is more due to the fact that there is only tea stocked in the office and so I drink atleast a cup a day while in the office. I drink it black and sweet. Once in a while when I am in cafes I might choose an iced tea, either raspberry or lemon flavored. I just can’t stand milk in tea, yuck. But I love ice tea. Funny enough, when I lived in Bangalore all those years ago, in the hostel that I stayed in they used to serve us a hot concoction during breakfast and in the evening. Although it tasted the same, they claimed that it was coffee in the morning and tea in the evening! Even if you argued that the blasted thing tasted the same, the cooks stood by their claims!

I guess I might settle to drinking more tea from now on, especially in the evenings. I need my coffee in the morning, sometimes at least 2 cups. Evenings can be tea. Or the other way since I work 10pm-7am shifts. Tea in the morning once I reach home and coffee in the evening.

If I Had A Magic Wand

There is a song called Presto off Rush’s 1989 album of the same title. It’s a gentle rocker about the positive things that one would do if he had a magic wand that he could wave – I’d make everything alright; I’d set everybody free! That’s an idealistic way of looking at things. And a very positive way of trying to live life and wishing the best for our earth and our fellow human beings. Wondering of all the good that I could do, or you could do, if we really had a very powerful magic wand that obeys our every command and can do anything that we wish with just a wave of it; think of the possibilities!

What would I do? I’d get rid of all the useless pests like mosquitoes, cockroaches, sewer rats and spiders. I’d clean all the drainage & gutters and make the roads clean and safe. I’d get houses built in an instant wave for all the homeless and for those who have poor housing. I’d get 3 full meals, and snacks for the evening tea as well, and plenty of safe drinking water and beverages for everyone. Every ailment, injury, missing limb and disability will be fixed within the time that it takes to say “heal the world”. No more pollution, no more accidents, no early deaths and no harm done to anyone. There would be no violence, no need to kill, rape, maim, loot or hurt anyone. Everyone has safe means of transportation, health care, education, entertainment and no one needs to feel left out.

Money is no longer an objective for living, working & studying is to better oneself and for making progress. Clean air, clean water, safe streets, no hunger, no pain, no thirst, no hurt. And most of all, no religion, no wars, no animosity and no bullshit! Enjoy life in peace and really live. I realize that I am a dreamer and perhaps not too grounded to reality but that is what I would wish for. Oh and space exploration – you have to give me my Star Trek dream!

If I could wave my magic wand!

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Terror Attacks India Once Again

India & Bombay has been struck by terrorist attacks yet again! Between 18:54pm and 19:06pm IST, in what was a well co-ordinated attack, 3 bombs exploded in 3 separate areas of Bombay.

The blasts occurred at the Opera House, Zaveri Bazaar, and Dadar West localities. So far the death toll has reached 21 and around 120 people were injured. Following the explosions phone lines were jammed and communicated were affected badly in the city for the next few hours. In the times of crisis it was still heartwarming to see the outpouring of offers to help that flodded Twitter yesterday evening. Lots of people were offering to house those who were stranded in the explosions affected areas – apartments, houses & even offices being used as temporary guest houses for the evening.

Also a lot of help lines were immediately released and made available for people who were directly affected by the attacks or those who were in search of the status of loved ones. Other major cities in India were put on high alert and security forces were being deployed to deal with such attacks if they happen.

Things I Am Good At Remembering

I am quite good at remember song lyrics. And songs that I have heard a long time back and haven’t since then. But when I hear the first few notes of the song, it all comes rushing back to me. Just like that, a light bulb switches on inside my brain and I remember. I am good at remembering trivia; I was very good at general knowledge quizzes and competitions. Country capitals and stuff like that.

Movies too – an obscure movie will come on and I’ll stun people by remember which movie it is and what the scene is about to enfold. Not just English movies but Malayalam movies too, ones that I barely watched out of the corner of my eye, as other watched and I read a book in the same room. My relatives always are stunned by that. I’ll remember dialogues and comments in the movies as well. Old movies from the 70s and the 80s too.

I used to love playing these fun quiz competitions that we used to have in the family and enjoyed the ribbing and the funny wrong answers. When I in NIIT I entered a competition for 2 member teams and we won 3rd prize, despite the fact that my partner had to back out and I got a random guy I knew to join me on the stage! Still 3rd place was not bad, considering that my partner knew almost nothing and was only vaguely interested in the competition.

Funny incident from that quiz contest way back in 1999. The quiz master was the person who ran the institute, a very distinguished & refined gentleman and well traveled. And the question that was passed to us was “What is a female cat called?” the answer is “queen” or “molly” and either would have given us 3 points and possible 2nd place. Neither me nor my partner knew the answer and we scratched our heads and finally just to give an answer I said “Pussycat?” Rather innocently too I must mention, I didn’t think too much before answering. The decent, distinguished gentleman looked at me, smiled and said “Good answer but no”.

Get it? I was shocked at what he thought that I meant but who has the dirty mind, me or him?

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