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Sunday, January 31, 2010
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Photo © Kjirsten Swenson
Harvesting fresh ingredients for Thai food cooking class.
(Scroll down to the Travelogue for the story.)

Updates -

Photo © Shari Larson
Jeni, Kurt & Madi Larson welcome new baby, Liam.

UPDATE -- Liam John Larson arrives right on schedule
by Jeni Larson
New Prague, MN

Liam John Larson was born to Jeni and Kurt Larson on Sunday, January 17th, at 11:23 p.m. He weighed 7 lbs. 13 oz. and was 20-1/2 inches long.

Big sister Madi (who turns 3 on January 30th!) is warming up to him nicely and is quite the little helper.

Mommy and Daddy are both doing well, despite the lack of sleep.

Madi holds her baby brother; Kurt cradles newborn son.

Shari Larson cuddles a sweet new grandson.

Photo © Rich Weiland
Old farmhouse with snow and hoarfrost.

UPDATE -- farm buildings on a frosty afternoon
by Rich Weiland
Coon Rapids, MN

Last Tuesday, Verlaine and I drove out to Litchfield to attend the funeral of Freda Huisman.

It was a cloudy afternoon and the frost was forming on everything. There were so many opportunities for a photo shoot but these two seemed just right.

It is of a random place on Highway 37 between Maple Lake and French Lake. We don’t know anything more about it, other than it was a neat setting.

Photo © Rich Weiland
Sagging farm building with snow and hoarfrost.

UPDATE -- the unspoken subject
by Patty Anderson
Isanti, MN

Just a quick update on the subject "of which we do not speak" -- Donnie's bunion. Now many of you have had the misfortune of seeing Donnie's feet at a barbeque or on the beach ... and politely averted your eyes to mask the look of surprise and then blatant horror at his left foot deformity. Well, avert no more!

Donnie's been aware he was "different" much of his life. When he was 18, the ski boot salesman, assuming he had been in some horrible accident, exclaimed, "Ughh! What happened to your toe? Did you break it?" Donnie looked down at his foot that day and realized for the first time that not everyone has a golf ball size knot at the base of their big toe. He managed quite well for years, learning where to buy shoes and boots that would stretch to fit, avoiding sandals at all cost, and never showing his feet to a woman he dated until there was a formal commitment.

And last summer it finally happened. After 35 years of denial, he could no longer buy boots or shoes that wouldn't cause agony as his now almost perpendicular big toe was smashed into the second toe with each step. An excruciatingly painful bump grew on the tender inner skin of the second toe -- yes, young folks, this is known to us older folks as a "corn." This little bump did what the golf ball-size knot never could -- sent him running to an orthopedic surgeon.

The first surgeon he saw just paced the floor and shook his head after Donnie removed his sock. He said on a scale of 1-10, Donnie's deformity was an 11. He was amazed he was even still walking on it and said if Donnie had been a woman he would have been begging for surgery 10 years ago. (I wasn't sure if I was supposed to be proud of my husband's perseverance or offended as a woman.) He told us simply shaving off the golf ball would not work. He needed a special surgeon who could do a procedure that involved removing pieces of bone in both the foot and big toe, metal pins and baling wire. Trust me, you don't want to know.

Turns out there are only two surgeons in the Twin Cities who do this fancy reconstruction and neither is at the hospital I work at. Oh, well. Off we went to the competition for a second consultation last summer and found out that the surgery would involve two months of disability, which Donnie was NOT going to put up with over the summer. Sooo ... he hobbled through his summer work season, being very creative with tape, little pieces of foam and anything else that would keep his toes apart.

Today, January 29th, he finally had the surgery. The surgeon saw him in the recovery room and gleefully exclaimed, "Wow, did you have a BUNION!"

Turns out he even had some EXTRA bones in his toe joint that were compounding the issue.

Donnie's home now, tucked in with his foot up in the air for the next week, some excellent painkillers and a personal nurse attending to his every wish. (I draw the line at giving him a bell.) He is minus the bones now but does have an extra complement of metal in his foot to cause endless irritation at airports and public buildings.

He'll get a CAM boot next week to immobilize the foot and allow him to walk some but he won't be able to wear a normal shoe for about eight weeks. He can now look forward to sandal season with the rest of us!

That's all, folks!


Photo Editor's Note: Patty didn't send any pictures of Donnie's bunion but the story brought back memories of climbing a mountain known as "Charlie's Bunion" in the Great Smoky Mountains on our Appalachian Trail trek. I didn't find time to locate a personal photo of the mountain with the rocky protuberance and digitize it, but there's a grand photo of "Charlie's" magnificent "bunion" here.

Photo © Donna Johnson
Carol Pokornowski & Sadee at the farm

UPDATE -- thanks for a great stay at the Ashby farm
by Carol Pokornowski
Hutchinson, MN

Sadee and I want to send a special "Thank you" to Beaver and Donna for the extended stay at their home. For all of you who know the two of them, the hospitality was unreal and not to mention the food was delicious.

Donna, I was so happy to help you out and spend time with your (and Beaver's) family. Thank you for the many nights we spent in the sun-room chatting. What a beautiful place to have to entertain all the family and friends! Beaver, you are lucky if you got 12 words in the whole time I was there. Not only did I get to spend time with Beaver and Donna, it was so nice to spend time with the kids.

Becky, it was so nice to see you and your kids. Jayce, you are so special, and now you have a new friend, Sadee. Caity, you are a very sweet girl; if I could have stayed longer, I could have helped you finish your art project.

Lori and Shawn, thanks for letting me come to see the CABIN -- it is just beautiful. Your girls are so cute and I enjoyed them so. I can not wait to bring my suitcase and come for a couple of days this summer. Watch out -- my couple of days turn into longer!

Chris and Jessy, you got yourself a football pro right around the corner. Grady is so cute, if I had him a bit longer I could have taught him some words. He was carrying on a good conversation with me. I loved the pictures Lori took of him. You need to send some of those pictures in to the cutest baby contest. He is a winner, for sure. Keep up the good parenting.

Oh yes, I want to send a special "Thank you" to Duane for the visit he made to Donna and Beaver's house, too.

I want to wish the two of you a "Happy 16th Anniversary" and many more.

Thank you, once again, for everything.

Carol and Sadee

Day to DayR
With Donna Mae
Ashby, MN

All Is Calm In The Eye Of A Winter Storm

I've got bread dough rising for making caramel rolls later. I can smell the yeast! The kids were home today because of a blizzard. Ashley tried to go to work, said she made it to the interstate bridge and turned around and came back home. She said it was very nasty out there.

I should walk up to the end of the driveway and toward Highway 78 just to see it! I know Bridget and Peggy said they couldn't see to each other's houses (where they normally can). From my window, it looks like a very mild winter day! No snow falling or anything else to give any true indication! The hills and trees do a great job of blocking out that type of reality!

Have a good week!

Photo © Donna Johnson
Fresh-baked dinner rolls, made from scratch.

Baking Dinner Rolls From Scratch

I believe I got the following recipe from Patty Anderson some years back. If not, I'm not sure where it comes from. I do know that it is a very easy recipe to follow and has delicious results. I've used it for dinner rolls and for caramel rolls. I've done it by following directions exactly and I've also done it using my dough hook on my large mixer. Both have good results. Thought I'd share, if anyone else wants to give it a try.

2 cups warm water (not hot)
2 pkg. dry yeast
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsps. salt
1/4 cup soft butter or liquid shortening (I use butter)
1 egg, beaten
6-1/2 to 7 cups of flour

Put warm water in large mixing bowl. Add yeast, sugar, salt, shortening and beaten egg. Mix well.

Add about 4 cups of flour and mix with a large spoon. Gradually add the rest of the flour and mix by hand until mixture is neither sticky nor dry.

Cover and allow to rise until doubled in size. Punch down and make into rolls approximately 1-1/2 inches in diameter, or whatever size you prefer. Allow to rise again. For caramel or cinnamon rolls, roll out and spread with butter and sprinkle cinnamon and sugar on liberally. Roll into long log, pinching edges; slice and let rise.

Tips: For faster rising, I put a large pan of hot water in the bottem of my oven, after preheating the oven to get the chill off first. Set your covered dough bowl in oven. (Make sure that oven is OFF! :-) I also spray the dough with Pam or cover with liquid oil, to keep it moist, while rising.

Bake at 375 degrees F. for 15-20 minutes, until golden brown on top.

Best served warm.

P.S. I read from a bread expert: if you want more dense textured bread, cut amount of yeast in any recipe to half what they say is required and let dough rise in a cool location for a much longer time. This is what gives a more authentic, old time bread result.

Photo illustration © Virginia McCorkell; photo by Suzanne McCorkell
Peeling Craft

Canon Creative Park

For those of you who enjoy crafts and challenges, I thought you might enjoy the above site. Good for ideas for Valentines projects and many other paper projects. Check it out.

Ribbons of Highway

Blogspots are becoming the communication tool for the Internet. Today's feature, Ribbons of Highway, chronicles the journey of a mother and her children as she takes her family around the world, inviting her Internet visitors along for the ride. Lori Hein, the author, does a professional job of documenting her travels with prose and photographs and has inserted links to the some of the locations and unusual subjects that pertain to her experiences. That her husband, Mike, and children, Adam and Dana, are her favorite travel companions is obvious. As she states, "An expired passport is not an option in this family!" Everyone can enjoy this family trip without suffering through those umpteen repetitions of "When are we going to be there?"

The Matriarch Speaks W
by Dorothy (Dake) Anderson
Alexandria, MN

Update On The Editor's Fried Computer -- Final Chapter
(we hope!)

I have been mending my address book and our mailing lists, with help from a copy of the first address book (pulled up from the dead computer by our 'puter physician). Using my original (with some updating from a copy that I have in my ordinary files here in my desk), and with help from various contributors, I was able to build up some fairly accurate records. But I will need help from others before I have it in excellent shape. Here's how you can help:

1. If you are reading this on the web page and you want your own copy, write me a note (preferably one we can publish if you are kind of behind). I can get your address from that.

2. If you are reading it on the web page and would just as soon keep doing it that way, you do not need to write. (Certainly, you may, if you want to -- as I always love mail.)

3. If somebody complains to you about not getting the paper, would you please tell them to write to me -- and remember, my address is

We had a great day on Thursday. Rich Weiland tracked my shipped computer. When it was loaded on the delivery truck in the morning release, he and Verlaine packed up a carload of tools and eats, sent me a message of their plans and set out. He kind of thought that, being it was to come from Willmar, it might beat him here. But it worked out perfectly. He and Verlaine arrived and, with Don's assistance, unloaded.

After greetings were said, Verlaine prepared a meal of chili, cheesy-toast, crackers, etc. for all of us.

Rich pitched right in and put a new memory card in Don's computer and then started to dismantle my fallen hero ... and then the bell blatted, telling us someone waited in the outside entry. It was our cheerful deliveryman.

We all got busy doing whatever worked toward removing the old, putting in the new, installing the files, learning as much as possible about the new unit.

Not everything went easily but it was soon evident that, as far as Rich was concerned, every problem has an answer if you have the expertise and patience to find it. While here and working, Rich did several demonstrations of the potential uses to be made of various aspects of the programs. I am finding out every day that the saying "You can't teach an old dog new tricks" is very misleading, as it depends so much on the kind of dog and the kind of teacher!

The final glitch was ironed out at about 5:30 ... and before they left, Don took his turn at the stove and served us pizza, hot dish, and orange juice ... with ice cream for treats.

Immediately after they left for home, I went to work learning and preparing for putting out a Bulletin tomorrow! Wish us success...

Photo Editor's Note: Just as Dorothy and I got our computers more or less back under control, we got a note from Ginny saying that she had promised to pass on a message from Betty. It appears that Betty's computer has been attacked by the same virus that fried the Editor's computer. She has it in for repairs ... so we won't be hearing from her until she gets it back. (She had already sent us this week's Review.) If it's true that bad news comes in threes, we hope that we have now reached the end of this run of bad luck.

Who Is This?

Let's Play a Guessing Game: Whenever it is handy to do so, we will run a picture of someone of the subscribers or staff members of our e-magazine. Tell us who you think it is -- we will let you know who was the first to guess it right -- and the correct guess -- in the following week's Bulletin.

(Send us some to run; we will line them up in our staging area to take their turn. Donna Anderson Johnson supplied last week's mystery photo.

How many can you identify? What's going on?

Answers to last week's mystery pictures (click here to review them):

Editors' Note: Correct guesses appear in bold face type and incorrect guesses in normal type ... generally in the order we receive them, so the first guess received is on top.

My guess is Jayce and Caity Chap, Devan and Nathan Seaman and Sami Larson.

Rebecca Chap
Ashby, MN

The mystery picture is Jayce, Caity, Sami Jo, Nathan and Devan ... in my motel room hot tub (with LOTS of bubble bath) during the weekend of Kurt and Jeni's wedding ... how fun! And tomorrow I am on my way from sunny Phoenix to Minnesota to see their beautiful new baby boy, Liam, who was born last Sunday: January 17, 2010!

Shari Miller Larson
Litchfield Park, AZ

For the Guess picture, my guess is Jayce, Caity, Sammy, Nathan and Devan.

Lori Ostendorf
Rogers, MN

I definitely pass on the GUESS picture without even a far-fetched guess this time.

Betty Droel
MoundsView, MN

How many can you identify NOW? What else is going on? Where?

Memory Lane

A series of recollections, of the five years when Bill and Lois Dake and their family lived in Minnesota, began with the episode in Bulletin 343. It's too soon to tell just how many parts there will be in this series, just after World War II. In Bulletin 349, I told more about polio (once called Infantile Paralysis) via two links, Polio and Sister Kenny, to minimize disruption of the narrative flow. Both documents are posted as a series of scanned images. We can't edit them or correct typos and they will not respond to font changes or printer settings as regular Bulletin pages do.

Dorothy Dake, 20, hand tinted portrait, 1946.

Winter In Bemidji
by Dorothy Dake
Howard Lake, MN

Mrs. Walters Needs Help

It is out in the open. For the last month or two, I have noticed that Mrs. Walters has been limping. I do not like others commenting about any of my physical problems and so I am careful not to tread on anyone else's feelings. On Saturday afternoon, now that I have my free half day, I am often here in my room -- or with Bertha.

A few weeks back, I went down to see if our bedding was ready to be carried up, and just to check and see how things were going for Belle. (Mrs. Walters feels that, now that we are friends, we might as well call each other by first names -- like she and Bertha have done since I met them first.) And this is what happened that day.

Mangling Sheets And Other Linens

The door to Mrs. Walters' private area was shut. I knocked, no answer, so I knocked a little louder. I was just a bit worried, but then I heard her call (she didn't sound weak or hurt) ... "Come on in!" I have not been encouraged to knock at a closed door -- as she leaves her door open if she is available to talk. So this invitation did surprise me... But I went in.

The next part of my visit was a first time thing for me. I could hear her but I had to step around a corner and through an additional door to reach her. I stepped into a very plain room. It obviously served as the laundry. I could see a washer, tubs, and water spigots. An ironing board was set up and had a stool sitting beside it. There were a couple of cupboards and also a folding dryer. I could see there was a back door leading out to the clotheslines ... and on the porch were draped some lines hung with some sheets, freezing dry, I supposed.

And there sat Mrs. Walters, mangling sheets! What a mess!

No, not really: the mangling, which she was doing, was like this explains: man-gle [mang-guhl]
1. a machine for smoothing or pressing clothes, household linen, etc., by means of heated rollers.
2. to smooth or press with a mangle.

And that is what she was doing, with amazing dexterity, and it held my complete attention. I just stood and stared. To think this genteel lady could do this work so smoothly! She finished the sheet, and it was folded and ready to put on top of the sheets she had in the basket. And then she turned and we became friends. At first she just sat there and looked me in the eye. Her eyes seemed to plead with me to understand. And then she started to explain. Her knees are worn out. They give her such pain. There is nothing to be done -- and then the thing that bothers her most -- she just cannot climb those steps anymore.

Some changes really had to happen. So, for right then, I told her that Bertha and I would do fine.

And this became the problem: There is Bertha, who stays upstairs (as stairs are so difficult -- hardly manageable) and there is Belle downstairs (with stairs too difficult to manage), and then there is me (preferring to avoid stairs when I can -- but still strong enough to navigate them quite handily, really!) ... and from that day, we started working on a course of action.

I took that basket of sheets and other linen and said I would be back for our personal washing ... and went up to confer with Bertha. On the way up the stairs, I ruminated a bit. I must admit I have been a bit afraid of Mrs. Walters. But the conversation we had just had taught me yet another lesson -- being able to help someone makes them seem so much more dear.

Lots of problems have been faced, lots of changes made, and lots of good things have come since that day. And now I think of my two housemates as my upstairs friend (Bertha) and my downstairs friend (Belle). And in between the two, stretches a beautiful staircase that I keep "clean as a whistle" ... with the railings and the banister shining in all their glory. The very first thing you see when you enter ... after all, we do want to make a great impression -- don't we!

Photo © Virginia McCorkell
Freshly pressed linens, up close.

Travelogue t

Photo © Kjirsten Swenson
Fresh fruits in outdoor market, Chiang Mai, Thailand.

Southeast Asia Extravaganza 2009
by Kjirsten Swenson
Albuquerque, NM

Our next day in Chiang Mai was especially decadent; we took a Thai cooking class! The guide picked us up in the morning and took us to a local market, where we learned about different types of rice, watched a machine make fresh coconut milk, and admired the magnificent selection of fresh produce.

Photos © Kjirsten Swenson
Chile peppers, left; rice & legumes, right.

Later we drove to an organic farm outside the city and learned more about the fresh ingredients that make Thai cuisine so tasty.

Photos © Kjirsten Swenson
Harvesting fresh vegetable ingredients at an organic farm.

And then we cooked! I made yellow curry paste, yellow curry with tofu, papaya salad, tom yam soup, wide noodle with egg, and mango sticky rice. It was all amazingly delicious.

We visited another Wat (temple) on our way back to the city and had a very nice chat with some of the monks who study there.

Photo © Kjirsten Swenson
Buddhist temple interior detail, Chiang Mai, Thailand.

Celebrations & Observances
From the Files of
Hetty Hooper

This Week's Special Days
February 2---Groundhog Day

This Week's Birthdays
January 31---Larry McCorkell
February 1---Kathlyn Johnson Anderson
February 3---Penny Miller Kramer
February 4---Cameron Birkholz
February 6---Melody Printz
February 6---Kelli Nicole Mellon (11 years old)
Happy Birthday!

This Week's Anniversaries
February 4---Jim and Jan Smith (49 years)
February 6---Russ and Judy Miller Riesenberg (29 years)

More February Birthdays
February 7---Rylie Johnson (8 years old)
February 11---Alexander James Indermark (2 years old)
February 27---Bonnie Anderson
February 28---Eric Anderson

More February Anniversaries
February 18---Roy and Betty Weiland Droel (17 years)
February 24---Jess and Louise Cloyd (65 years)
February 26---Tim and Char Morgan Myron (27 years)
February 28---Junior and Doris Anderson (48 years)

February Special Days

February 2---Groundhog Day
February 12---Abraham Lincoln's Birthday
February 14---Valentine's Day
February 15---Presidents' Day
February 22---George Washington's Birthday

Miss Hetty's Mailbox:

Dear Miss Hetty,

Thanks for the anniversary card! Very pretty. We are going to a belated Christmas party, so that will be our anniversary dinner, too! So, not much to report.

Donna Johnson
Ashby, MN

All worn out -- Kurt & Liam Larson catch a nap on the couch.

Keep Us Posted!

Please drop Miss Hetty a line and tell us who, and what, we've missed. And how about a report (photos welcome) of YOUR special celebration?

'Many Thankse

Miss Hetty


Click here to review last week's Bulletin

Just finished The Bulletin and wanted to share how much I enjoyed The Amazing Duddo! Every little detail from the fancy "A" that Dad always had on our garage doors to Duddo's Viking ski hat and the episode ... loved it! So, Lori, do you remember that day?

Also a couple late comments ... enjoyed the puzzle Doug did last week, too. Interesting questions! Also forgot to mention how much I enjoyed the ice sculptures ... would like to see them in person sometime (but I prefer sand sculpting weather!)

Keep up your story too, Mom ... it is so fun to go back in time with the "young you."

Donna Anderson Johnson
Ashby, MN

Thanks for all the "news." It was fun to get a tour by picture of Beaver and Donna's completed sunroom. Well done!

Also, it's so good to have Doug's talents back in The Bulletin: the puzzles and now another comic ... great! Poor Lori, she grew up in spite of us three!

Thanks to all of you for your updates and stories! Fun!

Patty Anderson Henderson
Minnetrista, MN

Another great edition this week! First off, I loved Doug’s Snow Wars funny. I'm assuming I'm the one who was smacked with the snowball, but if it's a true story, it must not have traumatized me too much because I don't remember it!

Lori Chap Ostendorf
Rogers, MN

Last Week's Bulletin Review JKL
by Betty Droel
MoundsView, MN

Did I just type Bulletin #397? Does that mean there are only three more issues before we hit 400? Every single one has been uniquel and outstanding with such various families included with such various occasion details. The pictures are so easy to see. The size and vivid colors are placed in such a way that you can easily see who they are of.

Can you imagine the births and the birthdays of each one featured, showing an amazing history in pictures and stories that will be keepsake items for the family?

Like this issue #397, showing McKenna having grown so much. Sitting at the table playing, she looks like a little lady rather than the baby she just was a few weeks (?) ago. Looking at the brand new baby, Kierra, having a first birthday just amazes me. Time really does go just that fast.

We are getting older right along with them, but hopefully, we don't age as obviously as those little ones do with their walking and talking and all too soon their graduation and wedding pictures to appear.

I tried to pretend I was looking out that window onto the yard at the Ashby farm, but for some reason I couldn't transport myself back that far to remember just what the buildings looked like. For sure, it has been 30 years, with change of owners and upgrading nearly all that would have been from that era.

What a wonderful feeling to have help with cleaning, DonnaMae. It gives one a lift that little else can compare to.

I had to laugh at Don teaching those sisters of his how to poach eggs; however, microwave egg poaching likely is much different than they would be skilled at, as far as egg poaching is concerned. I wonder if he is selling the poachers? Nice picture of the four, though.

Thank you for the recent pictures of Grady and the other children.

I can't even imagine what a change the new flooring would make in your sunroom, Donna Mae and Beaver. That is a lot of work but it is just beautiful with all the furniture in place. What a useful room that is for all the company you have, and even just for the family.

Oh, and then finally comes MEMORY LANE. What a thrilling story that has been from beginning to this very most recent chapter. To have Dorothy's brother and bride moving back into the family realm was just too great to believe, I am sure. They were likely just as enthused, and would that have been the Lester Prairie farm?

Oh, and then to lose her good friend from Bemidji was just too much to bear. What a depressing event, but possibly the groundwork of quite an exciting event, at least for Louella.

I am so glad we still have a few glimpses of the land and world across the ocean by Kjirsten. Just any long or short Travelogue is so welcome.

I am sure everyone clicked for a larger version of the FUNNNIES. Very good artistry in the people with all their angles and sizes and expressions. We enjoyed that, Doug, and hope you are at work on next week's already.

The Quotation for the day, commenting on the January thaw, is happening today. It is actually a misty rain, and the way it coats everything, we are hoping it doesn't turn to ice, which it likely will. Seed catalogs are not our interest anymore, but I love looking at the pictures, and wonder how they would look in the little space we have left for garden in the back yard. Just dreams.

In fact, because of the nasty weather out today, we are just staying home, which has given me a good opportunity to send our thanks for Bulletin #397, and to try to encourage our editors in their dedication and untiring efforts for us.

Betty Droel

Crossword Puzzle
© Douglas Anderson-Jordet
Click here for the solution.

To search a name in Who's Who or Who's Where: click on the link to open the page, then use CONTROL F on a PC or COMMAND F on a Mac. To search for a second occurrence of the name, use CONTROL G on a PC or COMMAND G on a Mac. (This works on ANY web page with text, unless the text is converted to an image. Chances are, it works in your e-mail, too.) HINT: Search by first name only, as most entries list the family name once but do not repeat the last name for each family member. In Who's Where you can search on state or city names, too.

Quotation for the day: Back up my hard drive? How do I put it in reverse? --Author Unknown

EDITOR'S POLICY: If you wish to subscribe to The Bulletin, simply send me a statement of that fact. If you wish to keep receiving it I hope you will contribute to one of the columns that are running in this family epistle (at least occasionally!). My e-mail address is

This Bulletin is copyright Dorothy M. Anderson; the contents are also copyrighted by the authors and photographers and used with their permission, and the contents are not to be used for any commercial purposes without the explicit consent of the creators.

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