Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Oven Shmoven

Bummer. He fixed our oven. I know that sounds awful - I should just be grateful that I have a working oven now, and I am, but still it would have been nice to get a new (white?) one.

So, how is everyone doing in the Katrina aftermath? Gas prices suck, don't they? They are probably still cheap down here in TN compared to some of you. It's at $2.78 for us right now. You?

We had some bad rain storms for a few days with a lot of wind. During one of these windy nights we had a close call when a tree in the neighbor's yard (no, not the leaf-dropping one) came crashing down to the ground. It is big enough that it could have easily fallen on our house and caused serious damage. Check it out.

Uprooted - actually I don't see any roots!?Neighbor's tree

If Huz weren't so bold, I could have called into work that day because we live on the end of a dead end street and the tree was completely blocking the road.

Road Blockage

But, do you see that tiny space between the tree and the cars? Well, Huz decided to squeeze the car through it. I think the car got a small scratch out of it, but nothing serious.

Posted by Bird On A Line @ 6:19 PM

Monday, August 29, 2005

Electric Sucks

One of the things we took for granted in Chicago was the fact that we had a gas oven. You don't realize how superior they are to cook with until you get electric. Guess what? We now have electric.

We haven't cooked much in the month (I can't believe we've been here a whole month!) that we've been down here because it's hot as hell and humid to boot. When we have attempted to cook, though, everything burns. At first I thought this was simply because we weren't used to cooking with electric and because the oven isn't exaclty from this decade (or the last one....or the one before that). But, when the California Pizza Kitchen frozen pizza that I was attempting to bake the other night simply refused to do anything but burn on the top and get soggier and soggier on the bottom, I decided to investigate further. I realized that when the button was turned to "bake," only the broiler came on. I figured that the button was removed when someone cleaned it last, so it was now upside-down and "bake" was really "broil." So, I took the button off and put it right-side-up. Now, when I tested "broil" it really did broil. But when I tested "bake" nothing happened. Just a cold, dark oven blinked back at me.

A broken oven - not good news for people who like to cook and entertain. I actually hope that it won't be something the landlord can fix though because we'll get a new one! heh heh.

Broken or not, electric ovens suck.

Posted by Bird On A Line @ 8:13 PM

Friday, August 26, 2005

Body Art

As Huz indicated here, I have been thinking about getting a tattoo for a while now. It seems like a cool, edgy thing to do before I turn 30, but I struggle with trying to find the right one. I mean, it's going to be on my body until I'm dead, so what symbol is meaningful to me now that will still be meaningful to me when I'm old? I'm tossing around the idea of doing something that symbolizes growth and continuous change (or metamorphosis) because I have experienced this through my adult life and it has been a very good journey. I also want to strive to continually grow in my life - in the intellectual, emotional, and spiritual domains. A butterfly could represent this, even though Huz thinks it's overdone and cliche. (Yeah, but so's a cross and everybody's got one of those - yet it still means something to them. *shrug*)

He suggested that I get a big ass tattoo of Cambridge on my back, which got me thinking....and then I found these lovely images that forever changed my mind.

Cat Tattoo

This just screams Elvis on velvet to me. Doesn't it look like something that would be airbrushed onto a blanket that a street-side vendor would sell? (This reminds me of a wolf blanket, but I'll tell that one later.)

So, do I want one of these?


Then, there's this doozy.


I don't even know what to say about this one. There's not much meaningful symbolism going on here, that's for sure. (Hey Cambridge, do you want me to represent your mouth with my ass crack? THAT'S how much I love you!)


Then I found this one, which takes an awful lot of family devotion if you ask me.

Family Devotion, I Guess

Sorry, Mom and Dad, but I don't think I love you enough to have your portrait engraved into my skin.

So, my search for the perfect tattoo continues. Until I find it, I leave you with this lovely picture. You're welcome.


Posted by Bird On A Line @ 10:00 PM

Thursday, August 25, 2005

OCD Idiot Meets Overgrown Bush (part 2)

As requested, here are some photos of the bush that I went OCD batty on.

Ugly Bush

It's kind of ugly now, I know, but it'll fill in eventually (won't it!?). I cut it because it was blocking like half of that window, which made the dining room really dark. Plus, the view while we sat at our table and ate was all bush. It's better now, see?

At least we can eat and see now.

Here's the normal bush on the other side of the door that is short enough not to cover the window and still filled in; I'm hoping this is what the one that I cut will do next Spring.

The normal bush

Here's the one that I went nuts on and basically cut down to the roots. I still need to dig it up completely because it's such an eyesore now, but believe me it was worse before. It'll look MUCH better gone.

Did I go overboard on this bush?

Here's an annoying tree growing RIGHT next to the house that drops leaves EVERY DAY onto our roof, lawn, steps, etc.

Pesky leaf-dropping tree

It's actually too close to the house and should be taken down, but the owner won't do it because it'll cost them $3,000. Hopefully it won't cause us any problems other than the annoying leaves, but they had to fix the ceiling in our living room right before we moved in because of water damage caused by leaf-blocked gutters. (This is why we had to paint it last weekend - they still had the spackle on it.) Oh, and notice how close the house next door is? That's the window to the attic, where those guys were playing music every day of our second week here. Thankfully, they've stopped!

Here's our entrance that is sprinkled with leaves (I eventually want to put flowers in all of those empty pots, by the way). Oh, and see that hose? Well, I learned the difference between cheap hoses and expensive hoses this weekend. I bought the cheapest one I could find because I don't think I'll use it much (I have to pay for the water, so that kinda dissuades me from going ape shit on the landscaping) and, guess what? It burst the first time I used it! It's lying there to remind me to take it back to Home Depot and get my precious $7.95 back.

Leafy Entrance

That's it so far on the yard.
Are there any more picture requests?

Posted by Bird On A Line @ 5:53 PM

Knock, Knock...

Is anybody out there?

I'm just wondering if anyone still reads me. If so, drop me a line! I know it's been dull around here, but come on! I just moved and am adjusting to a new state and a new job. The good news is - I now have cable internet! SWEET! I'll post some photos when I get home tonight.

If you're reading, please say hi! Thanks.

Posted by Bird On A Line @ 10:47 AM

Monday, August 22, 2005

OCD Idiot

You've heard that people generally dislike qualities in others because they have those same qualities themselves, right? Well, I hate obsessive compulsive people (I've known a few and they're whacko) and apparently this means that I hate myself. I clearly demonstrated OCD traits yesterday when I got my mind set on a project and found it very difficult to stop, despite the fact that it was making me sick.

Case in point: ever since we moved to this house in Nashville, I have hated an overgrown bush that is right in front of the dining room window. So, as Huz and I embarked on our one major chore for the weekend (which was to paint the ceiling in the living room because the owner did some repair work on it right before we moved in and never had it re-painted - grrr), I got it in my mind to take care of the pesky bush.

After painting, I decided that the mini-blinds were filthy and needed to be cleaned. I brought three of them outside and started to clean them by hand and quickly decided that I needed a hose to make quick work of it. So, I drove to Home Depot to get a hose. Somehow, much to Huz's surprise, I came home with a hose, a rake, and garden shears. *shrug* Don't ask me how THAT happened! :)

After I cleaned the blinds, I embarked on working on the bush that had been bothering me for weeks. It was so overgrown that it was blocking half of the big window that really could be letting in more light. So, I started cutting it down a bit. I made it pretty short and then started my attack on an ugly bush right in front of the other bush (whoever did the "landscaping" on this house was a genius). Eventually, the front bush was gone and several hours had gone by with me working outside.

I haven't mentioned how hot it was yesterday. I almost passed out because it was in the high 90s with super high humidity and I had been working outside (like an OCD idiot) in the afternoon for several hours. My face was beet red, my heart was pounding, and my hands were shaking as I came in and tried to drink a glass of water. Not good. Huz finally made me sit down and drink another glass of ice water and then he restricted me to the house because, like an OCD idiot, I wanted to go back out and finish the job. He wouldn't let me leave and go back outside AT.ALL. I was secretly glad that he asserted his will over me (which he never does) because my OCD sickness was driving me back out into the heat and I probably would have passed out and melted into a little pool of sweat never to be seen or heard from again. Thank you Huz.

Sheesh. So what qualities do YOU hate in others that's lurking in yourself? Hmmm?

p.s. Here's a recent picture of pure cuteness.
Expect to see more pictures in the future because tomorrow we (drumroll please) get cable internet installed!

At rest

Posted by Bird On A Line @ 5:33 PM

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Martha Stewart Grasshopper Tart Recipe

Here's the recipe you asked for. It's from Martha Stewart Living Annual Recipes 2003.

3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
3 1/2 TBS creme de menthe
1/4 tsp peppermint extract
1 tsp unflavored gelatin
2 1/2 cups heavy cream
2 cups fresh mint leaves
5 eggs yolks
1 whole egg
3 oz. semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
Chocolate-Wafer Crust*
35 chocolate wafers
3 TBS sugar
4 TBS butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350. Chop wafers into crumbs in processor - add sugar and butter until combined. Place six 2 3/4-by-2 inch ring molds (I used glass pyrex ramekins) on baking sheet. Pat 5-6 TBS of crust mixture into bottom and halfway up sides. Bake about 8 minutes. (If you can't find the wafers, which I couldn't, just buy an oreo pre-made crust, break it up into crumbs and press into bottom of ramekins, then bake for a few minutes until it sets.)
1. Combine sugar and water in saucepan over med-high heat; stir until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and cool slightly. Stir in creme de menthe and extract. Sprinkle gelatin over; let soften about 5 min.
2. Heat 1 1/2 c. cream in another saucepan until almost boiling. Turn off heat, add mint leaves; cover and let steep 10 min.
3. Prepare an ice bath and set aside. Whisk egg yolks and egg in top of double boiler pot. Strain mint/cream mixture through a fine sieve into egg mixture; place over bottom part of double boiler pot that has simmering water in it. Add gelatin mixture and whisk constantly until mixture begins to thicken and is 160 degrees. Transfer pot to ice bath; stir occasionally until cool.
4. In med. bowl, whisk remaining cup of cream to soft peaks. Gently whisk in the mint mixture and fold in chocolate pieces. Fill each crust with about 3/4 cup mixture. Put ramekins in refrigerator until set, at least 2 hours. To unmold (which I don't bother to do with ramekins), warm each ring with your hands and shake gently until tart slides out. Serve garnished with a sprig of mint and chocolate shavings.(These are also good frozen - try it both ways!)

Posted by Bird On A Line @ 7:24 PM

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Holy Shit

Man, am I tired. I have been training for 3 days and it's been insane. Not only am I new to Nashville and the place I work at, but I'm also new to the whole medicine language. A very scary thing happened right before I left work today - an email went out to about 300 people that I was now the new person in charge of coordinating their courses, so contact me. YIIIIIKKKKEEEESSSS! I don't know this shit yet! There is an amazing amount of stuff to know and I feel completely overwhelmed and terrified. Why on God's green earth was I so anxious to get back to the work environment!? Being a student and getting up for a 10a.m. class is a piece of cake compared to this! (So much for not mentioning work, huh?)

I think Cambie misses me now that I'm a working woman. She just jumped up in between me and my laptop and gave me a big ol' kiss (this entails pushing her nose on my face and rubbing her cheek on me to mark me with her scent - sounds gross, but it's rather nice). Sigh. Huz has been a great househusband this week. He's done chores around the house everyday (dishes, trash and recycling, some painting of a wall and ceiling that still had to be done, and various moving-related things like getting the car insurance transferred and the cable internet (hopefully) ordered). He's also made dinner every night this week. Yes, I'm spoiled, but it won't be forever. It's just this week while he's not yet in school and just home hanging out. We'll have to work out a cooperative schedule once he starts classes.

Isn't it strange that I started reading The Feminine Mystique this past weekend and after about 3 hours of it, I started cleaning the windows in the house? I find that rather paradoxical.

Posted by Bird On A Line @ 5:25 PM

Monday, August 15, 2005

The Job That Must Not Be Named

I will not be talking about my job again (hopefully) to ensure that I won't be "Dooced" because of blogging about it, but I wanted to tell you that I started my new job today. I'm currently really overwhelmed with all there is to know, but I'm sure it will be better soon - I'm typically a fast learner. The people there are all really nice and it's challenging work that offers quite a lot of autonomy (yes!). I share an office with someone else, which kinda blows, but it's better than a cubicle.

In other news, Huz and I owe an apology to Thunder. You're right, Thunder. It's arUgula, not argula. Sorry! But dinner the other night was really good, wasn't it? That's right, folks. We unpacked in four days and entertained after only six days of moving to Nashville! I made a yummy salad with a whole-grain mustard vinaigrette; Huz made homemade pasta with pears, walnuts, gorgonzola and arugula; and I made grasshoppers for dessert (It's a Martha Stewart recipe with an Oreo crust and homemade chocolate/mint mousse on top. Anyone want me to post the recipe?).

Posted by Bird On A Line @ 6:19 PM

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Black Hole

Apparently I chose to live in a house that is in a black hole. That's right, for some reason our little house is located in an internet vacuum, where DSL options are just sucked right out. We can't get DSL through our telephone provider, nor can we get DSL through any other provider. I wish someone would have told me that at the outset so that I wouldn't have wasted all of my time researching other companies, being told it was no problem, being on hold forever, and then being told it was impossible (multiply this sequence like 6 times and you get an idea of the ordeal I've been through - I got so upset on the last call that I handed over the phone for Huz to deal with). So, dial-up it remains until we can assess whether or not the black hole includes no access to cable either (and until we can assess if cable is something we can afford - Chicago's SBC Yahoo DSL for $26.99 is now a distant good dream). I don't know if you miss seeing pictures here, but I sure do. That is why there aren't any, my friends. Just to upload the last 6 I took of our house took 45 minutes. It was ridiculous. I hope you stick around until we get a better connection and get more visually exciting around here!

Posted by Bird On A Line @ 10:34 AM

Thursday, August 11, 2005

I'm Gonna Sleep On It

Alrighty, then.

I just got back from a great interview with Vandy and they upped their offer to get me to join them, so it's now $1,000 more than the corporation job. Hmmmm. Tempting. Plus it's a lot more autonomous and challenging work that I wouldn't get bored with. Plus I'm on the same campus as Huz, so we could meet for lunch. Nice, very nice. I think I've already made up my mind, but I'm going to sleep on it. I feel so bad about the corporation, though, because I gave them a verbal acceptance and they were all so stinkin' nice! Ack, I hate guilt.

Thanks for all of your well-wishes, you guys! You rock, Internets! :)

Posted by Bird On A Line @ 4:43 PM

Crazy Employment Stuff

Ok, so I got a job offer yesterday (Admin. Asst. for a corporation - yes, I'm being vague about it because I don't ever want to loose my job because I talked about it!) and then a few hours later Vanderbilt calls me in for an interview for another position I had applied for earlier this week. I told them that I had just accepted a position somewhere else, sorry. I thought she would just say okay and then hang up, but she persisted and said she really liked my resume and thinks I would be great at the position (another Admin. Asst., but this is also a program coordinator for medical students). I told her the salary I was already offered and she said she'd get back to me if they could match it. (Wait a minute! First, nobody wanted me - now everybody wants me!? What gives? :)) So, she calls back a bit later and says that she spoke to the faculty in charge and they were also impressed with my resume, so could I come in the next day to interview? She said that she is pretty confident that they can match the salary I was promised elsewhere. Wow. So, I'm doing that interview this afternoon. I'll let you know how it goes!

Posted by Bird On A Line @ 9:02 AM

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Unemployment Update


It's with a good company and it's not far from Vanderbilt, so Huz and I can commute together AND it's paying me pretty darn well! I don't start for another week and a half, so until then it's sleepin' in and havin' fun! :)


Posted by Bird On A Line @ 3:13 PM


I came home last night and demanded a stiff drink from Huz. Well, okay, I asked for one, but wasn't going to take no for an answer. See, I had two interviews yesterday and it was pretty crazy. First, I had a bright and early 8 a.m. interview, so I had to get up all early (which I'm not used to any more) to get ready and to find the place. As I was pulling up to the parking lot of the place at 7:50 a.m., my cell phone rang. It was the recruiting company (an outside company that the place I was interviewing at hired to find employees) who said that there was a scheduling mistake and could I turn around and go home while she figured out when to reschedule the interview. Sigh. So, I turned around and started back home (about a 10-15 minute drive using the highway). When I was about 2 blocks from my house my cell phone rang again. It was the recruiter asking me to turn around and go back and just be ready so that she could try to reschedule the interview right away. Okaaaay. Getting a little annoyed (unbeknownst to her, of course, to whom I was being very kind and forgiving - after all, I'm at her mercy for a paycheck, right!?), I turned around and drove back. I had just parked in the visitor's parking again when she called me and said that it was now rescheduled for 1:00 p.m. My God. Working with a third party to land a job is a major pain in the ass! I went home and got out of my heels and nice clothes for about an hour and a half before putting them back on again for my interview at Vanderbilt. I was there for an hour and a half and met with three different people: the Office Manager, the Director, and the Events Planner who I would be assisting if I got the job. Well, it all went well except for the frustrating fact that the first one said I was qualified to apply for the better position of Events Planner that they had available starting next week (after all I did this for 3 years at Huz's graduate school), while the middle one said, no, I wasn't qualified for it because I'm not used to such a back-to-back event calendar, while the third one said I was over-qualified for the job I was applying for. Good Lord, people! Make up your mind! I left there not at all sure I wanted the job anymore because of all the different impressions they gave me and I was also convinced that I was in fact over-qualified to simply assist someone plan an event (but desperate for a job, people). It was the overtime required that made me email them this morning asking to rescind my resume for the position, however. They wanted this position to work evenings and weekends on an average of 96 hours every two weeks. Um, yeah. I'd like to see Huz every now and then and have a life outside of work. Thanks. (Also, this position wasn't even salary, but hourly, and health insurance wouldn't begin until 90 days AFTER I started. Bye bye.)

I went to Starbucks afterwards and had an iced (soy) latte and a scone for lunch before my next interview. At this one, I was there for an unbelievable 3 1/2 hours and met with 6 (SIX!) people! I met with HR, with my potential supervisor, with the President of the division, with a Director under my potential supervisor, with an Assistant Vice President under my potential supervisor, with the person I would be replacing, and then again with my potential supervisor (it was a potential supervisor sandwich). OH.MY.GAWD. Was I exhausted at the end of that! YOU try impressing 6 different people for 3 1/2 hours - it's pretty tiring! All in all, however, I thought it went really well. All of the people were nice and comfortable to be around. The corporation has a nice feel to it and is actually community-minded, which is a rarity. The job is not glamorous, but I think I would be happy working with the batch of people I met and I think it pays pretty decently (of course, this is according to the recruiting company I went through and I've already demonstrated how dumb they are). So, I await a call back. Fingers crossed.

My unemployed motto is: Thank God for Visa and for Huz, the Stiff Drink Maker Extraordinaire.

Posted by Bird On A Line @ 8:17 AM

Monday, August 8, 2005

House vs. Apartment

I thought renting a house would seriously kick ass compared to renting an apartment. And it does, for the most part, but it's not ALL THAT. Why? you ask. I mean, come on, I no longer have to search for parking along a dark and iffy street because I have my own driveway. I don't have to climb 3 flights of stairs carrying all my groceries anymore because I live on the main floor. And I don't live above a crazy lady who claps her hands incessantly and growls at her demons anymore. True. But, I DO happen to live next door to some musician dudes who just set up a music studio in their attic, which is only like four measly feet away from my house. I had to listen to the thuds and bangs of a frickin' drum set ALL.DAY.LONG much to my chagrin! UG! I guess I need to move to an island all by myself. I'm such a misanthrope.

In other news, my mom bought us a clothes dryer today! Thank God! I can wash me some underwear tomorrow - I'm almost out of clean ones! Also, I have 2 more job interviews tomorrow - one is a follow-up of one I had last week and the other is at Vanderbilt! Finally! I've been applying to jobs there left and right - I guess they really wanted to see that I lived in Nashville before they showed any interest in me! Wish me luck (again)!

Posted by Bird On A Line @ 6:06 PM

Saturday, August 6, 2005


The Utility Room

The best part of all, we have an entire room for our hobbies! Huz with his beermaking and me with my soapmaking, card stamping, and candlemaking! Yay!

Posted by Bird On A Line @ 6:53 PM


The Study

The study. Huz has a few books, eh? You can't even see them all in this picture. There is one more shelf that is built-in from ceiling to floor - FULL!

Posted by Bird On A Line @ 6:52 PM


The Bathroom

The bathroom.

Posted by Bird On A Line @ 6:50 PM


The Bedroom

Our bedroom. Small, but functional.

Posted by Bird On A Line @ 6:49 PM


The Living Room (plus Cambridge)

Here's the living room. Cambridge is chillin' out in her bed, as you can see.

Posted by Bird On A Line @ 6:49 PM


The Dining Room (w/ Victoria's Photography)

I finally have pictures for you! Here's our dining room with some photography of mine decorating the walls.

Posted by Bird On A Line @ 6:48 PM

Friday, August 5, 2005

Adios Box Land

Yesterday was a good day. We bid farewell to our last box! That's right, four days and we're finished unpacking. The place is looking great and feels like an actual home now (pictures soon, I promise - I don't even want to try it with dial-up). Now we just need a few more things, like a clothes dryer (we sold our gas one in Chicago because it's mostly electric down here) and a shelving unit for the study closet. Other than that, we're lookin' good!

When I came down here 3 weeks ago to find us a place to live, I stayed with some awesome friends we met via the internet (oh how I love bloggers!) and they offered to paint the living room of this house for us, while we were going to do the rest of the house at a later time. Well, when we walked into the house on Sunday, I soon discovered that they had in fact done the entire house for us. I couldn't believe it. How frikin' awesome is that!? So my living room is a pale green, my dining room and kitchen are a soft taupe and our hallway, bedroom, bathroom and study are a soft peach (ha! that sounds pretty southern doesn't it? soft peach!). I got to pick out the colors and the landlord bought them. That was pretty cool as I'm used to living in an all-white place. Can you say BORING? So, our new friends are just wonderful and I'm thankful that we met them.

Huz gave a wonderful account of our UHaul experience here. Go read it. We decided, after packing the way-too-small truck up for over 4 hours and then cleaning up the apartment for 3 1/2 hours more, to start our drive to Nashville, rather than leave all of our earthly possessions in the truck overnight. We had people driving by checking out our stuff while we were packing it up, so we were really uncomfortable just leaving it there to be taken overnight. So, exhausted, dirty and sweaty, Huz got into the truck with Cambridge and I got into the car so packed with stuff that I couldn't see out the rear window, and we took off. We drove for 3 hours (which was my limit - I was ready to fall asleep at the wheel) and then stayed in a hotel just outside of Indianapolis that night. A hot shower never felt so good, let me tell you.

We began the next leg of the trip the next morning at 7a.m. and finally pulled into our new driveway at about 2:30p.m. Our cool friends Thunder and Em brought 2 others to help us move and we had arranged for a few more, so the unloading of the truck took and astonishing hour at the most. Unbelievable. It took forever to pack up in Chicago: 1. Because of our three flights of stairs to get everything down and 2. Because a 17 footer is apparently WAY.TOO.SMALL for all our stuff, so it was like putting together an enormous jigsaw puzzle. Ug. We must get a 23 footer next time!

Cambridge is doing very well with her new environment. We had her sedated for two days, which made her eyes look really creepy, but seemed to do the job of making her chill out. She sleeps a lot on our bed during the day (a new thing she's allowed to do) and gets playful in the evenings. So all is well on the cat front.

I'm still waiting to hear back from the 2 interviews I had on Tuesday. I'm started to get scared about having no income. I'll be calling them both this morning to check in and then will continue my job hunt if needed. Wish me luck!

Posted by Bird On A Line @ 9:12 AM

Tuesday, August 2, 2005

Real Quick

First of all, dial-up SUCKS! I'm temporarily using a free AOL dial-up until we figure out if we have DSL service or not.

But, hey! I'm here in Nashville and alive and well! I had a good job interview this morning and have another one in 2 hours (can you say TIRED?). We're tired and sore from all the lifting, but good. Boxes are slowly disappearing which is great! We went out last night with our friends (and neighbors) and have a BBQ invite for tomorrow night with some other friends, so the fact that we have a sense of community already rocks!

That's all for now, folks.

Thanks for caring!

Posted by Bird On A Line @ 1:15 PM

My Food Blog

Quesadillas and Drinks


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Hard-Boiled Wonderland and The End of the World
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