Archive for the ‘Velda’ Tag

Velda’s Green Beans   2 comments


  • Two slices of bacon
  • 1/4 of a medium onion
  • 1 pound of fresh green beans
  • Season salt & fresh ground black pepper to taste


Slice & dice bacon into small pieces. Brown in medium skillet until golden. Add finely minced onion. Saute until translucent. Snip stem ends off of green beans. Leave whole, or cut into 2″ pieces. Add to skillet. Season with season salt and freshly ground black pepper. Stir fry 2-3 minutes. Add 1/4 cup water. Cover & cook over medium heat for about 10 minutes, or until green beans are tender.

Posted January 9, 2014 by henrymowry in Recipes

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2013: It’s A Wonderful Year   7 comments

The Mowry Christmas Newsletter

2013 began with family visitors … an uncommon occurrence for us. But this year … THIS YEAR … we had many visitors come through California. The Huberts (who get a GOLD STAR for visiting three different times!), plus Sarah, Grant, Ryan, Maria … all came to see us this year. It was a banner year for family visitors! Family is a rare and wonderful thing, and we were very fortunate to have so many visitors this year.

You know what happens when family comes to visit? Pizza!

2013 - 12

2013 - 01

Mom brought out this family heirloom during my visit. It looks like a pocket watch …

2013 - 02

… but it’s a collapsible shot glass!

January found me traveling to northern Iowa to meet with my team at Smarts Broadcast Systems … did I mention that it was northern Iowa? -2* was there to greet me! But it was a great trip, and I began my second blog, interviewing small market broadcasters. 21 have been published so far; check them out here.

The best part of the trip was being able to visit Mom & Sis in Missouri. It was great, and those opportunities are all too rare.

February saw Velda and I take a long weekend to Phoenix, to visit Uncle Bud & Aunt Connie who were doing the snowbird thing in Arizona again. Love it! We took the opportunity to do a driving tour through a couple of state parks, including visiting Sedona’s Bell Rock. Gorgeous!

2013 - 03

Another February event was our 2nd year hosting UCLA’s Dinner With 12 Strangers. Velda signed up to host with her good buddy, Debi, and they entertained a dozen students at our house. The food was great, the company was fun … and yes, they all did an 8-clap!2013 - 04

In March, Velda and I made a lifestyle change, as we stopped our gardening service, and I built an outdoor shed (woodworking project # 1), and filled it with a lawnmower and a blower. Just like a real gardener! We discovered that we enjoyed the gardening, and enjoyed having the yard and planting beds looking the way we wanted them. It just took us about 25 years to get back to that. Quick, that’s us!

The horizon from our driveway did change with the addition of our first outbuilding.

The horizon from our driveway did change with the addition of our first outbuilding.

I was on the road again in April, going to the NAB convention in Las Vegas. A highlight was going to Cabo Wabo for a free margarita … only to pronounce it swill. We haven’t completed our search for the perfect margarita yet … but it’s definitely not made with Cabo Wabo’s tequila!

Michael completed his Master of Science degree from the USC Viterbi School of Engineering in June. Done with school (at least for now) … and for the first time in 27 years, no one in our family was going to school. Now, that is a big change!2013 - 10

As summer was upon us, it was time for woodworking project # 2: building Payton an ultimate set of blocks. It was only slightly out of control … only 246 pieces, after all!

Muir Woods National Monument

Muir Woods National Monument

Early in July, most of the Mowry family (Christopher, Ally, Payton, Lauren, Eric, Velda and I) went camping in the sequoias for the first time in many years. We got a great site in my favorite camp, Crystal Springs, and spent July 4th weekend under the big trees. Velda and I extended our vacation from there, going farther north to visit 2 more National Parks (making 4 Parks in one week!), and one of my favorite places on earth, the Muir Woods National Monument. It was great to see that wonderful place again … and enjoy the best grilled cheese sandwich on the planet.

Back from vacation, it was time to begin woodworking project # 3: the routed bowl adventure. This one just kept growing and growing, with three rounds of production taking over the garage for four months.

2013 - 11And we may have been back from vacation … but Velda proved she was crazy.


An orphan was discovered in the parking lot at her facility, and she agreed to adopt this tiny 4-week old kitten, that was soon named Walter. He’s all kitten, and now, four months later he is STILL finding new ways to terrorize the older cats and cavort around the house. That is what kittens do, yes?

In November, I took on another client and joined RAIN Enterprises as Account Manager. RAIN will stage 4 Summits next year (New York, Las Vegas, Indianapolis and Europe) … plus we have a daily newsletter that covers every facet of the developing marketplace of online audio. Check it out,

Velda and Alley have several products, each in many fragrances that they are now offering. They have one retail outlet ... a boutique in northern California's wine country.

Velda and Alley have several products, each in many fragrances that they are now offering. They have one retail outlet … a boutique in northern California’s wine country.

Velda and Alley decided to launch a homemade lotion business, called Mrs. M’s Handmade. What caused them to do this is unknown … but there is now a nascent lotion business in the family. Big talk about the future … a website may happen in 2014. Hopefully they’ll figure out what their actual expenses and sales have been sometime before they jump farther into the marketplace!

2013 has truly been a wonderful year … family, fun, a bit of adventure and new doors opening at the end of the year. Can’t wait to see 2014!

My official best photography of 2013 ... Payton discovering a flower's shadow on her arm.

My official best photograph of 2013 … Payton discovering a flower’s shadow on her arm.


2012: It’s A Wonderful Year

When She Calls   4 comments

Velda, on a happier day, with Payton.

Velda, on a happier day, with Payton.

When your significant other calls to you after an incident … you know when there is something wrong. You know what I’m talking about. When they call, their voice is different.

Different enough that you actually pay attention to what they’re saying (or maybe that’s just me).

Different enough that you get an adrenalin rush when they call your name.

Different enough that you prepare for anything – anything – that you might need to do.

In two days, Velda has done this twice.


And that is quite enough, m’lady.

Angry At Plastic

Last night, she was preparing dinner, making lotion, and flitting about the kitchen with too much on her mind. She was making Pasta Carbonara when she couldn’t get the garlic out of the Ziploc bag.

It. Wouldn’t. Open.

Velda didn't get the fruit arrangement quite right ... but then, no knives or plastic bags were involved. Just Walter.

Velda didn’t get the fruit arrangement quite right … but then, no knives or plastic bags were involved. Just Walter.

She violently tore the bag open, and her hand flew across the cutting board only to contact the blade of her newly sharpened Santoku knife, neatly fileting the skin on the middle knuckle of her middle finger. She said it was the worst cut she has sustained while cooking.

And she wasn’t even holding the knife.

She called my name, and I came running. Of course.

She assured me that she did not require stitches. She said so each time I asked. 5 times. I did supervise her first aid, got her the appropriate antibiotic ointment and knuckle Band-aid. And then I went out to get her more knuckle Band-aids.

Did I come running when she called? You bet.


The incident this morning is much darker in nature, unfortunately. She called me shortly after 9am, after arriving at her place of employment (she’s a nurse practitioner, stationed at a skilled nursing facility, AKA nursing home). She told me that a gunman had entered the nursing home, shot his sister – a patient – and then told a nurse that he would wait for the police to show up.

Velda, completing the Turkey Trot in San Dimas last month. I couldn't be prouder.

Velda, completing the Turkey Trot in San Dimas last month. I couldn’t be prouder.

She called me while this was going on. While the gunman was still loose in the facility. While her safety was my only concern … and she refused to leave. She called me again after the police arrived and took the gunman into custody. No one was in danger after the shooter shot his sister, come to find out.

One of the news reports, below, is calling this a mercy killing. I’ll leave that judgement to God. What I do know is this:

  • Velda called her boss right after she called me, and got her boss and her boss’ boss to the nursing home quickly.
  • She helped the bosses craft a communication strategy, and the team now on site began telling their patients and patients’ family members what had happened ASAP. They didn’t wait for corporate permission – they just did the right thing and started communicating.

I couldn’t be prouder. I could be a little more happy with her … after all, she called me with that voice and then refused to come home as soon as possible. Rather, she stayed on site and took care of her patients.

I’ll forgive her for that. After all, she called me first.

More SCV Man Arrested….

LA Times: Man Kills  Wife, Then Goes To Nursing Home….

HomeTownStation: Santa Clarita Shooting Death….

Being Human

Posted December 12, 2013 by henrymowry in Living Life

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Herb-Roasted Tomatoes   1 comment

Velda said she wanted me to get her a big lug. Two, actually.

So I got her 2 big lugs. Come to find out, that’s about 60 pounds of tomatoes. Who knew?

Here’s what she did with them.


8 cups of fresh, ripe beefsteak tomatoes

1 medium onion, diced

8 cloves of garlic, coarsely chopped.

1 cup of fresh basil, coarsely chopped

2 tsp, fresh rosemary leaves, chopped

2 tsp salt

1 tsp, freshly ground black pepper

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil


Pre-heat oven to 375*.

Spray jelly roll pan with non-stick spray.

Coarsely chop tomatoes. Combine with other ingredients, toss to combine.

Pour into prepared pan. Spread mixture to single layer. Bake for approximately for 90 minutes, stirring half way. Bake until there is carmelization on the tomatoes and most of the liquids are absorbed. Tomatoes will turn a deep red color.

Transfer to a clean glass bowl and let sit at room temperature until cool. Cover and refrigerate for up to 4 days or freeze for up to 6 months.

Serving Suggestions

Toss with pasta. Grate parmesan cheese over top for a vegetarian entree.


Brown 2 pounds of lean ground beef. Add 1-1/2 to 2 cups of fresh sliced mushrooms. Add 1 large can (16 oz) of tomato sauce. Add approximately 3 cups of the Herb-Roasted Tomatoes. Simmer for about 1 hour until sauce thickens. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve over pasta with freshly grated parmesan.

Posted October 8, 2013 by henrymowry in Recipes

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13 Signs That You Need A Break From Woodworking   1 comment

Workbench1. When Velda’s comments change from “I love what you’re making” to “Stop tracking sawdust all over my house.”

2. When you can’t work in the shop anymore until you clean it.

3. When you need wood for the next project and you don’t have time to go buy it.

4. When the wood budget begins to resemble a weekend getaway.

5. When a weekend getaway begins to look better than a full rack of wood.

6. When so many tools are spread out you don’t have any place to put your work.

7. When you volunteer to make things for people and they say, “Uh, no.”

8. When watching ACC football sounds better than going to the garage workshop.

9. When watching Grey’s Anatomy sounds better than going to the garage workshop.

10. When the landscaping looks perfect for Hallowe’en … and that’s not a goal.

11. When your hands are numb from all of the sanding. And stay numb after a 5 minute break.

12. When Velda’s placing orders for display pieces to go with her mythical hand-made lotion business.

13. When you realize that you’re working harder than Congress is.


From The Shop: Sawdust

Football Snack Bowl

Making A Snowman

Posted October 7, 2013 by henrymowry in Woodworking

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The Lady One Lane Over   1 comment

textingI have one habit that annoys Velda.

OK, settle down out there. That’s a true statement: I do have one habit that annoys Velda. Really, I do.

And that’s all I’m admitting to. One habit. Velda annoyed.

Sometimes, when I’m backing out of a parking space, I’ll not put my seat belt on until I’m moving forward. Drives her nuts. Now, understand, I never drive any significant distance without a seat belt … its only when I’m backing out, and then when I turn back around to face forward I put the car in drive and put my seat belt on.

Drives her nuts. Sure way to hear nagging, every single time.

But, IMHO, that’s not a huge safety risk. Apparently she disagrees. Vocally. Predictably. Vociferously.

But that’s not today’s story.

Today, I was driving at 65 miles an hour in the #2 lane on the 210 … that’s something we Angelenos do, you see (seat belt firmly in place). In the # 1 lane, there was a lady driving a Surburban, going about 75. And she was texting. She looked to be 40 something, so I’m going to say she was old enough to know better.

But then, she was old enough to drive so she MUST know better.

I thought people understood that driving and texting don’t mix. Honestly, I thought the message had gotten through already.

Apparently it hasn’t.

So: Don’t text while driving. I’ll stop backing out without a seatbelt … you stop texting while driving.

Driving while texting

More Everything You Need To Know About Distracted Driving

FCC: The Dangers Of Texting While Driving

13 Reasons I Love Friday The 13th   6 comments

131. Velda was born on a Friday the 13th. How can I not love this day? (So, you think I’m in her good graces now?)

2. Everyone knows Friday the 13th in unlucky. That pretty much ensures everyone is wrong … everyone is never right.

3. Our 13th President, Millard Fillmore, is famously known for installing the first bathtub in the White House. Which he didn’t do.

4. There’s a name for being scared of 13: Triskaidekaphobia. There’s also a name for loving this number: Triskaidekamania. That’s a lot of confusion for just a number. I mean, does anyone know what fear of the number 7 is called? 12? 5?

5. My first date with Velda was on a Friday the 13th … and I proposed on that date. Good times.

6. It’s Friday. Work is almost done. How bad can it be?

7. The Dodger’s magic number now is 5. And that has nothing to do with 13.

8. Wait. The magic number is four. Doesn’t everyone know that? (and I can prove it)

9. I’ve never seen any of the Friday the 13th movies. I mean, who would want to see them?

10. It is believed Michelangelo began work on his statue of David on September 13. Great art deserves our respect.

11. The Hollywood sign was first unveiled by the owner of the LA Times newspaper, Harry Chandler, on Friday the 13th of July, 1923. Originally the sign spelled out “Hollywoodland” and was erected to advertise a new housing development Chandler was constructing nearby.

12. Benjamin Franklin wrote it on Friday the 13th, 1789:  “Everything appears to promise that it will last; but in this world nothing is certain but death and taxes.”

13. Remember how I proposed on my first date with Velda on a Friday the 13th? She said yes. It was a good day.


ThePracticalHistorian: The Completely Radional Fear of Triskaidekaphobia

Wisdom City: Number 13, My Shadow Is In Love With Your Shadow

Colgate University: Lucky 13

Taylor Swift Explains Why 13 Is Her Lucky Number

It’s A Big World Out There   Leave a comment

My DrivewaySo there I was, sitting on the driveway painting boards. I had laid out plastic, and I was brushing away.

I have been here before. Many times. Applying finish to wood is something I do, and building projects that outgrow the garage workshop is a common thing. I build big things, which often test limits … like the 80% complete gardening shed you can almost see behind the gates to the right of the house.

I heard the neighbor across the street taking his daughter to cheerleading practice, and I realized that I had never seen him painting boards on plastic sheets spread out on his driveway.

I stopped & thought. He’s lived there for … more than a decade. And I have never seen him doing work in the driveway. Wow!

And then I realized that I was the weird one. I was the one pursuing an idea that apparently makes no sense to my neighbors.

But I’m not alone.

I worked with a lady that is a serious adult figure skater. She travels, competes and judges.

I know a guy that’s got a collection of every 45 record ever to appear on Billboard’s charts. His house is a museum to music.

I know another guy that’s worked in Africa almost his entire adult life. He works for the UN, helping people learn better agricultural practices.

And then there’s the guy that’s done 3 tours in Iraq/Afghanistan.

Velda cooks meals from scratch several days a week. A complete meal from scratch in 60 minutes? No big thing. Feeding 2? Feeding 8? No big thing. Oh, and she’s got a very demanding job, too.

I’ve traveled to Nashville just to run 26.2 miles.

It’s a big world out there.

And isn’t that wonderful?

Posted April 21, 2013 by henrymowry in Living Life

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Ode to Effort   3 comments

MrsMowryA long time ago, not very far away, I began a phase in my life where I tried to cook. Things didn’t go smoothly. The food I made in my parent’s kitchen as a 13-year-old wasn’t good enough for the dog to eat, let alone my human family. However, I had to cook for someone in order to practice for my Foods class at school. My poor family suffered (Don’t let me make cinnamon rolls. EVER.).  Anyway, after I passed this junior high elective (How? I still don’t know. Thank goodness for group work.), I gave up any hope of  learning how to cook…until I met my future mother-in-law.

As Henry has mentioned before, Velda is a wizard in the kitchen (He might have given her other titles, but I lean towards the spell-casting folk. Personal preference, if you will). We’ve spent many a night packed around the kitchen table, eating to our hearts’ content. When our family of ten (now eleven!) gathers for a meal, we need two sets of bowls for each side dish. Otherwise, it would probably take 20 minutes to get a single bowl passed around the table!  The conversation is filled with jokes about making sure there is a bowl of mashed potatoes set aside specifically for me, or casting family votes on some silly topic (usually not in my favor).  We watch as Christopher gets all of his food last (usually Lauren has already cleaned her plate). At meal’s end, we help move empty plates to the kitchen and congratulate Velda on another great meal. Our star chef loves the praise, but doesn’t always want to be alone in the kitchen. This is where I came in.

I began my part in the Mowry Cucina as a sous-chef. I did small things like chop garlic and mix sauces. Occasionally I would season chicken or man the stir-fry. Though my jobs were small, it felt important and I enjoyed doing it. When Michael went away to college, Lauren and I spent time in the kitchen with Velda learning how to cook. We started the clamor for VMICA: The Velda Mowry Institute of Culinary Arts. Later, Jeremy and Michael joined the crew and started cooking. That didn’t last long, but it was definitely fun! Lauren and I were the first graduating class.  As we got more confident we did more complicated things. I would make a side dish, or bake some rolls. Lauren would make sauces or put together salads. When Velda hurt her back at work and couldn’t cook, I was named temporary chef. I remember the first meal I made … it was awful. I put way too much raw garlic in the potatoes. Overcooked the chicken. Burnt the broccoli. It was a Murphy’s Law type of dinner and everyone ate it. They were too kind. It still haunts me.

Years have passed since that day and I like to believe I’ve gotten much better. I love to cook. I’m not amazing, but hope I get an “A” for effort. I have my own set of signature dishes that the family enjoys, and I torture my husband with my cooking at home. Since we’ve gotten so focused on losing weight, finding ways to make healthy meals that taste good has been very difficult. You never know how much whole milk and real butter make a dish taste amazing until you can’t use them. But sometimes, the point of making dinner isn’t to impress your guests with your cooking, it’s to spend time with the people you love. I know that’s cliché, but it’s true. We spend our entire family dinner laughing, telling stories, talking about our lives. We make faces at our beautiful niece and mock each other endlessly. Eating family dinner happens two or three nights a week, which is rare for most families. Before college, family dinner was five nights a week. We’re lucky the food is great, but we’re luckier to have each other.

I cook because I love to assemble ingredients and go grocery shopping. I cook because I love food. But, mainly, I cook because I love to have a reason to surround myself with my friends and family.


Management and Parenting: Making It Work

Tammy’s Top Ten Reasons to Have Family Dinners

(ed. note: MrsMowry cooks fine meals ... and she sets a great table, too!)

(ed. note: MrsMowry cooks fine meals … and she sets a great table, too!)

The Liebster Award!   5 comments

I’m very excited that MowryJournal has been nominated for the Liebster Award!  Ainsley of ManyMuddyFootprints found MJ, and I thank her for this award!  Check out her blog as she explores her local woods … and she has a tortoise named Henry.  We need to see a picture!

Liebster Blog AwardThe Liebster award is given by bloggers to up and coming bloggers who have less than 200 followers.  Believe me, we qualify!  MowryJournal is now 164 days old, and it’s great to be recognized as worth someone’s time.
What is a Liebster? It’s a German word, meaning dearest.  To accept the award, bloggers must do the following:
  1. Each person must post 11 things about themselves
  2. Answer the questions the nominator made for you and also create 11 more questions for the blogs you nominate
  3. Choose 11 people and link them to your post
  4. Go to their page and tell them.
So here we go. Eleven facts:
  1. I didn’t go to kindergarten.  That’s probably a sign of a generational shift.  And a sign that I’m old.
  2. In 4th grade, Mrs. Burns gave me a B- on my Missouri book because I didn’t color the mimeo pictures of Missouri birds that she gave us to put in the book.  I was very upset.  Coloring = not my thing.
  3. I earned the Gold Quill Award in Boy Scouts, which was recognition of my skill and knowledge of journalism.  It just took a while for that to fully develop, apparently.
  4. # in my high school graduating class:  36.
  5. My dream was to go away to college, and when I won a scholarship to pay for tuition, I knew I could make it work.  I will always be grateful to the Skelly Oil Company, my Dad’s employer, for helping me get to Mizzou.
  6. First date with Velda: we went to go see “Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore.”  Horrible choice for a first date, but it does seem that it all worked out for the best.
  7. Worst place I ever lived:  basement apartment on Rosemary Avenue, my junior year at Mizzou.  When it rained, the basement walls leaked and my bed got wet.  But it was cheap!
  8. I dropped out of my MBA program because my marketing professor wanted his class to cut articles out of the WSJ, paste them in a journal, and then write about the articles.  I was done:  cut & paste = not my thing.
  9. My longest running argument with Velda is about the color of our second car.  It was a used ’80 Honda Civic; the color was metallic plum (with a tiny gold pinstripe).  But Velda’s convinced the color of the car was gold.  The fact that Honda didn’t make this car in gold is non-persuasive.  Unfortunately, we don’t have a picture to decide the argument so it will never be resolved.  Ever.
  10. We’ve lived in just 3 homes in 34 years in California.  Mobile, we’re not.
  11. I work from my home office now; I’m in year 4.  Can’t imagine working full time in a traditional workplace again.  But I do miss not having a water cooler.

Answer eleven questions from Ainsley:

Here's my dad in his Skelly uniform.  His main job was delivering bottled gas to farmers.  Skelly was later purchased by Getty, and then by Texaco.

Here’s my dad in his Skelly uniform. His main job was delivering bottled gas to farmers. Skelly was later purchased by Getty, and then by Texaco.

1. How many pets do you have? Three cats: Alfie, Ninja, and Sully (actually Lauren’s, but when she came home from college, Sully came with her).

2. Least favorite food? This is a tough one, as Velda has broadened my palate.  But I’ll go with green peppers.

3. Weirdest thing you’ve ever done? I sold accordion lessons door-to-door.  Yup, accordion lessons.

4. What was your inspiration for your blog? Several things, really, but the catalyst was definitely our search for the Perfect Margarita. As the process began, many people told me that I needed to share the results.  A blog was the obvious way to do that. Since I had been thinking about writing for some time … a blog was born.

5. Is this your first award? Yup.

6. What’s your most embarrassing memory? Thanks for this.  I really don’t know how to answer, but I’ll go with this horrible memory: I was singing “O Holy Night” as a featured soloist in the Graham Methodist Church.  It’s a very challenging song, and I was probably in high school.  And I failed.  I simply didn’t have the range that morning … I had sung the song much better.  But that morning, not so much.

7. Place you most love? Kauai has become our favorite getaway, without question.

8. Favorite sport? Baseball.  Love to watch Dodger baseball.

9. How do you feel about hiking?  Love it!  Backpacking at Philmont was one of my great accomplishments: read about it in Get Big Ones.

1o. Where and what would you be doing if I find you on a Saturday afternoon?  Lately, I’ve been watching football and working on the Hepler family photo scrapbook.  Soon, I’ll be back in the garage doing woodworking, and I look forward to that transition!

11. How truthful were you on these questions? A Scout is Trustworthy. That’s never a question with me.

Here are eleven young & beautiful bloggers that I enjoy reading.  Check them out; perhaps you will as well.

Andshelaughs: the title says it!

Corinth Rose: Photography and philosophy

Digital Distraction: Photography and thoughtful commentary, every day

Hiking to Healthy: Kathy’s hiking through Colorado and getting in shape.

I Am Aloha: Philosophy and photography from Hawaii

Jacob Marchio: Astronomy and photography

Maybe someone should write that down…: Genealogy, pictures, and their stories

Much more Muchier: Erica’s photography and thoughts on running and living in Italy

Saltypalette: Photography from Florida

Teiger Family History: Genealogy and family photography

The Days of Mine: Diana’s photography and family in Virgina

Eleven questions for these bloggers to answer:

1. How did you name your blog?

2. Link to your favorite post on your blog.  Why this one?

3. When do you most like to write?

4. What do you do for fun, other than blogging?

5. Who would you like to interview?

6. Why did you start writing your blog?

7. Favorite food?

8. Favorite drink?

9. What are you reading now?

10. Favorite vacation spot?

11. Favorite Musician/Band?


Sopphey Says

Liebster Award

Posted December 5, 2012 by henrymowry in Media

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