So school has begun and that means crew is starting, and that means we need managers. This year that means I guess we're into the crazy scheme.
This evening I've got all the schemers coming in and I'm going to explain just what I have been thinking since we first wrote "crazy scheme" in all the TD, ATD, and Master Carp slots last spring.
Sure hope it works.
Interested in what makes for a crazy scheme for production support? I am fairly certain you too can get the "What was he thinking" presentation if you click here.
Tuesday, August 30, 2005
So school has begun and that means crew is starting, and that means we need managers. This year that means I guess we're into the crazy scheme.
Posted by David at 4:55 PM
Monday, August 29, 2005
Sunday, August 28, 2005
The other day I got a copy of this article, and as if to help to make the point of the article I got it as hardcopy in my box rather than as a forwarded email. The reader's digest version is that although people keep trying to create a paperless office that it will never happen, and that there are actually heuristic and social advantages to paper over virtual documents.
The article is a review of the book "The Myth of the Paperless Office."
Really I think this person got it wrong. Their biggest issues seem to be over collaboration, mark up, and organization. They go at these things with an analysis of affordances which talks about the things that physical paper actually allows one to do.
I haven't read the book, but the synopsis of the argument seems awfully shortsighted. The lack of traction of paperless processes seem to me to be more about what virtual documents can't do yet rather than any special properties of paper documents. Actually, in many cases it isn't even things that paperless systems can't do yet, but rather the expense of getting set up to deal with things virtually combined with traditional practice - an "if it ain't broke don't fix it" attitude.
In one case, talking about collaboration, the article quotes the book:
"Because paper is a physical embodiment of information, actions performed in relation to paper are, to a large extent, made visible to one's colleagues. Reviewers sitting around a desk could tell whether a colleague was turning toward or away from a report; whether she was flicking through it or setting it aside. Contrast this with watching someone across a desk looking at a document on a laptop. What are they looking at? Where in the document are they? Are they really reading their e-mail? Knowing these things is important because they help a group coordinate its discussions and reach a shared understanding of what is being discussed"
So this is saying that the actual handling of a document tells us something about the content of the document, and gives us the tremendous insight that something hidden on a laptop screen is inaccessible to the rest of the room.
But why on Earth if the purpose was to discuss a report would one have it on a laptop screen?
Proper implementation in this case would be to utilize a projector so that everyone could see. To make it worse, I have been in meetings where we have used multiple copies of paper documents and nobody is going to notice whether the speaker is turning toward or away because their own eyes are buried in the text of their document copy. Having been in meeting using a projector and meetings with reams of paper, I much prefer the projector.
Seems to me the large impediment here is the cost of the projector, not what you gain from having hardcopy documents at the meeting.
Next the author goes on to talk about organization & archiving:
"The correspondence, notes, and other documents such discussions would produce formed a significant part of the documents buyers kept. These materials therefore supported rather than constituted the expertise of the buyers. In other words, the knowledge existed not so much in the documents as in the heads of the people who owned themÃ—in their memories of what the documents were, in their knowledge of the history of that supplier relationship, and in the recollections that were prompted whenever they went through the files."
Again, this doesn't seem to be about paper at all, but rather about remembering to archive things. Does it matter if it is scraps of paper or if it is a scan of scraps of paper, or something scribbled on a PDA, or even an audio clip from a voice recorder? One job I had convinced me that one of the golden rules of commercial theatre is that there will be nothing in the file except fax cover sheets. Nobody ever took the time to archive anything. The important thing is to make sure the right things get in the file, not what format they are in. If everything would be transcribed and saved, not only would you have it, but it would be searchable. Even if this were just scans of notes, it could still be tagged to be searchable, a vast improvement on a paper file.
This section also talks a lot about piles. That people that have desk jobs like to have things in piles, and that there are inherent informational tags demonstrated by the kind of piling. Now, its hard to argue that the closest pile is probably the most urgent things, and the top of that pile the most of the most; but really, this is making lemonade from lemons. Clearly a file folder labeled "most urgent" would be better than a pile placed closest to the 18" square of clear space next to the computer keyboard. Aside from other things, that space is most likely to get coffee spilled on it, or be covered from the last comparably unimportant thing to find its way onto your desk.
My desk, or rather the credenza I got specifically to deal with the problem, at work is covered with piles. At least it is when I am able to wrangle things long enough to make piles. Often it is one large pile, or more like a smear as I try not to cover things I might need soon. But this is in no way an optimal practice for my deskwork. I don't do it because it is easier or more efficient. I do it because I have too much to do.
In two previous desk jobs I was able to keep things nicely broken out and in their places so that I always had what I needed at my fingertips. If I needed pricing I went to the pricing binder. If I needed information about a project I went in that project's folder. I almost never had the blizzard of paper on my desk I so often have now. Piles are not about piles being good, piles are about being just a little less organized and not having enough time (or choosing to prioritize other things in such a way) to do things properly.
Also, we once had a time management expert come in and talk to our students. He had numbers regarding "pile document management." The assertion was that for ever 8 hours of work the average person spends 10 minutes looking for things in piles. That would mean at the end of a typical week that average office worker had basically wasted an hour and 20 minutes searching through piles. And that's an average week, people in my business don't work average weeks.
As further evidence, I would also argue that the piling behavior doesn't limit itself to the hardcopy world. People who manage by piles also use virtual piles, often having a single folder for documents on their hard drive and managing hundreds of messages in their inbox rather than create a directory structure. Surely the advantages for this type of behavior sighted in a paper world don't exist in a paperless one.
Curiously, even though I am barely able to keep the piles from forming on the credenza, my virtual desktop is very orderly with project and resource folders right where I need them. Maybe I ought to start scanning everything as it comes into my office and then filing it right in the recycling. I'd need a big hard drive - but why would that be a problem? The school tells us we are supposed to archive every assignment given to us for 5 years. If I did that I would almost certainly have to do it virtually.
I've begun to ramble, but the point was that I can't see any real organizational or archival advantages to hardcopy.
The argument also makes a lot of references to the ability on hardcopy to make notes in the margin. Just two days ago I was working with a meeting program that allowed the user to simultaneously show a single document on several desktops, mark it up virtually, and record the markups for later. For a couple of semesters now I have worked with other faculty on documents using the collaboration and review features of the various MSOffice apps. Though I am still not good at it, I've also never been trained or even sat down to try to figure out how to use them myself. Even with the lousy understanding I have, I still manage to do good work with these people. Plus any inconvenience I have in doing the actual markup is worth the benefit of webposting and email over fax and mail - and spellcheck over, well, nothing.
So this point would seem to be more about training and software than about something special about paper.
Can I say that the costs of the added equipment, software, & training would be cheaper than what people spend on paper, ink, & toner now? No. I really don't know. So I will say that it is possible that in the end paper might still be cheaper. Do I know that the disposal of all that tech gear as it obsoletes would have less environmental impact than paper? No. The power consumption and disposal of electronics might mean that paper is ultimately better for the environment. But as far as any hardcopy affordances to collaboration, mark up, and organization, I would argue than any advantage people might see are vestigial, or because they are not properly equipped, or equipped to change their ways.
Posted by David at 11:04 PM
I was just watching Bill Maher, who I actually think might qualify for one of my elusive left wing whackjobs except that with the exception of one cause - legalizing drugs - he too is a critic and not a true believer. As part of the round table the group was discussing something that I swear I heard on Air America months ago as if it is breaking news: there are more Abu Ghraib photos, and apparently a couple of videos.
Those of you not remembering the first time through this nightmare can go here.
The root of the discussion was whether American citizens have a right to see the photos. The right honorable governor of Arkansas posited that even if we do have a right "do we need to see them?"
The Pentagon apparently believes (probably correctly) that releasing another round of photos like the last one will fuel resentment of American forces throughout the world and just generally be a bad thing in the entire campaign against terror.
Should this matter? Probably. Will deferring the release make a difference? Possibly. I mean if these photos were released now we would have a likely idea about where the worst of the animosity would be. If we sit on them until things are more calm I believe that won't be the case. Isn't this like a band-aid we know we have to take off? Why are we peeling it off hair by hair when we know one good tug is the best way?
But whatever. I think if they believe now is really the wrong time then I would be ok with an independent commission reviewing the photos and then sealing them for a known period of time. In this case I think something less than 5 years would be in order. If we haven't calmed things down to where the release wouldn't be incendiary by then we obviously have bigger problems at hand.
A delay for tactical purposes set aside, I believe that there is more than a right involved here. I believe that we not only have right to view these images, we have a responsibility to see these images. We have a responsibility to witness things that are done by our forces, authorized by our government, done with our mandate. Even though the rhetoric about the war has been pretty balanced with one side saying there have been numerous atrocities and the other saying there have been tremendous achievements. Curiously though we haven't really seen much of either. What we have seen have been real bland images of burnt out vehicles on the one side and uneventful government proceedings on the other.
Why haven't we seen pictures of Iraqi students returning to schools? Why haven't we seen a parade of images of power stations and water pumping stations working? And then why haven't we seen the other prison images? Who is it that is keeping this portrayal so down the middle? It's like the government is trying to fight a war without bothering us. We have a responsibility to be bothered.
Its not just pictures either. The government itself is playing hide the ball a little with casualty figures. Yesterday on Fresh Air a former soldier who had been in the Iraqi theatre asserted that for every solder killed 10 were substantially wounded. We've heard lots of stories about how advancements in battlefield medicine have kept people alive. We haven't heard much about what consequences they then have to live with. I've heard several times that as long as you are still alive when they move you out of Iraq, if you then die you are not counted as an Iraqi fatality.
This is the wrong place for spin. We have a responsibility to hear it straight.
Go ahead people, bother us. This is a big deal. If we have things to be proud of, let us see them. If we have things to be ashamed of, let us be ashamed. If we have things to celebrate, let us celebrate them. And if we have things to mourn, let us mourn them. People are dying on both sides every day. It shouldn't just be another day at the office.
Posted by David at 1:33 AM
Saturday, August 27, 2005
When did the mainstream become so conservative? To listen to the radio, or watch TV these days one would just assume that we are a nation of conservatives. Yet every day I see people I know not to be conservatives, and the last couple elections have been so close really the fact that one side or the other won doesn’t prove anything.
Makes me wonder a few things.
The first thought is that perhaps there should be a required margin of victory in federal elections of more than a majority. We all know it is actually possible to win with a minority of the popular vote, but maybe we ought to require a supermajority of the electoral vote. Prove you engaged some people. Just a thought.
The next thought is that really this has nothing to do with conservative and liberal. That is just one continuum, but in reality many of the things that divide us don’t fall anyplace on that continuum. Abortion rights aren’t a liberal or conservative cause. Campaign Finance Reform isn’t a liberal or conservative cause. Conservation of the environment isn’t a liberal or conservative cause. Education isn’t a liberal or conservative cause. We keep measuring candidates with this scale and yet the scale we are using doesn’t meter the things we care about.
We might as well be measuring a room for carpet using an hourglass.
I think this is more dimensional than we give notice of. Certainly there are liberal and conservative agendas. But equally certainly there are issues that transcend those labels. We need to be looking at more.
Equally as telling I think is progressive versus traditional. Do we want things to be a’changin or do we long for the way things used to be. Some might say that liberals are the party of change, but I believe that if that ever did apply it doesn’t any longer. Maybe this should be slugged “Momentum vs. Inertia” to take the flavor inherent in the other words away.
Lately I think there is a religious vs. secular tension manifesting in our government. Again, people might label all religious politicians as conservative. And once again I think in this time and place that that is close minded.
The thing that has really got me thinking though is that the current lib vs. con, right vs. left, red vs. blue set up is really working for the people that do the promotions and the media. I believe one of the reasons it does work has to do with ridiculousness, counterpunching, and the middle.
See, somehow the people the media has taken to calling the left have got themselves in almost an exclusive counterpunching mode. They’ve made a full time job out of critiquing and highlighting problems with the people on the right. This is problematic for many reasons, but the dimension of it that is most troubling to me is the definition of the center.
The political center is something that is perceived when you look at the discourse as a whole. A person takes in everything they are hearing, judges what is on one end of the spectrum and what is on the other, and then determines from the extremes where the center is.
Right now the American Left, the blue people, the libs, the Democratic Party, however you want to name them; right now these people have ceded the middle. And truth be told, in my own somewhat untrained opinion, the middle is where the engine is. If in some way you are able to move the middle to the right of the absolute spectrum, then the average person is going to be less inclined to do anything to defeat policies that appear to be in that middle (but as I think we will see are actually well to the right of the absolute center). If you want to energize the populous against many of the initiatives and the policies of the current administration you have to move the center to expose just how right of center they are.
This brings me back to counterpunching and ridiculousness, both of which contribute to our current situation. Starting with the latter, one cannot argue that the middle of anything owes its position to the extremes. Drag one end of the spectrum further out and you shift the middle by half as much. It’s sort of a leverage thing, or a torque thing, the greater the radius the less force is required to do the same work. Put simply, the far right opinion makers are way farther right than the far left opinion makers. That all by itself shifts the center to the right. For some reason we do seem to see and hear nutjobs out on the right end, and yet never really hear anything truly insane from the left.
I think this is because somehow far right wing opinion doesn’t seem as ridiculous to media outlets as far left wing opinion. Mostly I think because the people espousing this sort of thing from the right all seem to have either Rev. before their name of $$$ under their name. Occasionally we hear something from someone that has Prof. in front of their name that would qualify as left wing ranting, but rarely. I guess all in all the people who have been the most successful this way on the left would be PETA. But I’m not sure they really are a liberal group. From time to time actors and other celebs take up vocal positions that might be left wing, but they carry little weight as they are too easy to dismiss. People have much less difficulty discounting what is said by a film star than by a preacher, and frankly I don’t know if that is wrong.
So where is the liberal extreme? Could part of the problem be that that is a linguistic tautology: liberal extreme? It’s a contradiction in terms. But not secular extreme, not progressive extreme perhaps part of the problem is in the nomenclature. Another part of the problem though is that if in fact it is a liberal media, it seems much to hesitant to embarrass itself. They have no problem putting Falwell on a major network news show and setting the right up to soil itself, but rarely if ever do they let that happen on the left. The curious thing though is that that embarrassment would probably help rather than hurt. It would give a voice to the left extreme and just by virtue of its presence it would both slide the middle to the left and let people toward the middle see the extreme right in reference to the extreme left and see it as the lunacy it really is.
When they trot out someone telling us there should be no taxes, we have to trot out someone that thinks the government should have all the money. Anyone know any communists? We need them for Meet the Press. When they trot out someone that says there should be no abortion we need to trot out someone that believes that congenitally ill newborns should be put to death. Hello? Calling Dr. Kevorkian. If they trot out someone that wants to commercialize public lands, we need to trot out someone that favors seizing private land and turning it into wildlife reserves.
It isn’t enough to counterpunch, we have to balance. The current people on the left spend all of their time basically legitimizing the ideals of their opponents. They would be better served building the proper perspective regarding those aims rather than simply opposing them at face value.
Nobody has to actually believe that the ultra-left solutions are what we want. We just need to remind the people that those opinions are there, and not really so they can evaluate them for their merits, but more so they color the opinions all the way at the other end of the spectrum – and help us more accurately place the middle.
Posted by David at 1:49 AM
Thursday, August 25, 2005
So this is cool:
it sounds dirty but it isn't. What it does is let you make pictures like this...
You can then download it as a .pdf and print it out. A little trimming and a little tape and poof it's art.
Have the big fun. I know I did. Another link of the day brought to you by StumbleUpon.
Today, before I got to tell them what we thought education meant to a drama education, in a typical, annoying, first day of school kind of way we asked them to tell us. Here's what the new frosh said...
- To teach the artist about a professional approach
- Gaining experience
- Getting rid of bad stage habits
- Technical knowledge in itself
- Vocal work
- Developing tools
- General education: sciences, English, history (need to build upon for interesting theatre)
- The first step toward developing a good career
- A strong base to build on
- A variety of different skills
- Personal growth
- Developing ourselves
- Learning from your mistakes, finding out what works
- Nurturing environment
- Safely experimenting
- Supportive and firm working environment
- Exchange of ideas
- Constructive and open criticism
- Sharing of ideas
- It is important to have an open and curious group of students
- Learning from your peers what you do not already know
- Learning from faculty and other students
- Learning possibilities
- Teach you new ways of thinking, finding different ways to solve problems
- It's important to have an open mind and throw away any old feelings
- Education must be ongoing
- History of drama - it's evolution
The rest of my list? I started talking about our responsibility to provide opportunities for learning and their unique position attending a conservatory within a university. I gave them instructions to look for inter-disciplinary opportunities in and out of the theatre building and told them they need to take ownership of their education to best take advantage of the opportunities they find - or make.
We talked a little about the idea of a partnership. I got my biggest laugh for explaining that they did not find us standing in a funny hat with a name tag standing behind a register, and that they weren't here to get an order of "learn," and that in all likelihood we would not ask if they wanted fries with that. That this is a partnership, a collaboration, and that if we were lucky we would learn from them as well as them learning from us.
I used the quote Kevin likes to use:
That's actually a pretty fair description of our program, especially at the higher levels.
It was at this moment, which I have to say was further along than last year, when I ran out of time. Someday I must craft this into a tighter package. So I rushed to add the following thoughts:
- we want to develop an appreciation of the form
- we need to foster a posture of professionalism
- we want to encourage their curiosity and creativity, their courage and ability to risk
- that we can't teach them everything
All in all a fairly good experience for all.
Posted by David at 7:02 PM
Wednesday, August 24, 2005
I have been of the opinion so far that although I like doing the blog, and some people maybe like reading the blog, that all in all it doesn't really serve anything like a purpose.
But maybe I was wrong.
Tomorrow is the day of orientation where students first get to meet their own department. As option coordinator I have to be one of the stiff intimidating bodies up on the stage when we do the welcome thing. As part of that I will have to speak. The group will be highlighting some of the central concepts of the School of Drama. I will be talking about education.
The central concepts (ie "Pillars") come from strategic planning work we did ages ago, and although I am certain that education is a pillar, and I might be able to riff on why it is a pillar, this morning when we went over it I could not for the life of me remember what our actual reasoning was, or what I had said last year.
Then I came home and found this.
Which is the blog post I did after tomorrow's session last year, and there it was, everything I did say and everything I wanted to say but didn't.
"I got to extemporize about Education. My big points were to be sure to recognize the resources around you, to be aware of opportunities for inter-disciplinary experiences, and to take ownership of one's own education in order to maximize and create more opportunities for one's self. I was just getting to the part about how our program is not a service environment, but rather a collaboration between students and faculty and maybe to use a quote that Kevin had given me: "it is the responsibility of universities to but together talented people and then duck." when I paused just a hair to long and Liz said thank you. Which is too bad because I never got to talk about learning more than just skills, but to appreciate the artform, establish a level of professionalism, learn to learn, and to learn from and to teach all the people around you."
So there's everything I needed. Quick print, a little highlighting, and I'm ready to go for the morning. Cool.
Posted by David at 11:58 PM
So today I stumbled onto Firefox and decided to load it. Having done so I guess I should use the Netscape I have at the office to look at the blog, because it doesn't really look the same in IE and Firefox. I nudged one of the settings a little bit to try to get the margin to work better in Firefox. I'm not sure I like what it did in IE though.
And, it looks like the Google Random Image Search thing doesn't work in Firefox.
Otherwise, it looks real cool. I like how I can open an entire folder of links with one click - sort of like having my own aggregator. Ooh, and the spell check window is much better in Blogger.
Want to try it? Get Firefox!
Posted by David at 1:00 AM
Tuesday, August 23, 2005
I've said before I listen to a lot of conservative talk radio. From time to time I hear what they have to say and wonder to myself just who they think is swallowing it. Often I wonder if they've swallowed it and what we're hearing is an act.
Sometimes I think I should call into one of these shows and ask that question:
"Do you really believe this crap?"
and then in my head I hear them saying
"Well why wouldn't you believe?"
I would tell you, but the Congressman from Ohio does it better.
How come we haven't seen that on TV? Wouldn't the liberal media just snap that up? And yet they didn't. Hmm.
Posted by David at 11:18 PM
Anyone out there that is around my j-o-b, did I forget anything?
Anyone out there in the tenure/promotion game, am I doing enough?
Anyone else, wonder why I am pooped?
Teaching and Academic Advising
- Introduction to Production
- Production Planning
- Technical Direction
- Rigging Seminar
- Computer Applications for the Theatre - AutoCAD
- Precollege Drafting
- Precollege Stagecraft
One-on-one/small group teaching, independent studies
- PTM Thesis
- Technical Design
- DP Foundation Independent Study
- Production Prep
- Three week technical drawing workshop in Media Studio - Drafting
Development of Teaching Materials
- Advising & Handoff of ITP
- New Production Planning group project
- Addition of more writing projects to Technical Direction
- Beginning to change Rigging Seminar to fit the ETCP standard
- Additional feedback forms for all classes
- Established deliverables for production Technical Directors
- Facilitated DP curricular development discussions
- Organized the addition of Production Management I, Production Management Seminar, Introduction to Stage Management, Stage Management I, Stage Management Seminar
- Added Precollege Metals Stagecraft, Precollege Stage Management, Precollege Production Management
- Significantly expanded Precollege Stagecraft
- Continued management of the PTM Course Sequencing
- Collaborated in the implementation of the MEIM presence in the School of Drama
- Advisor to undergraduate PTM students
- Advisor to graduate PTM Production Managers
- Advisor to precollege students
Research, Creative or Other Scholarly Activities
Publications, presentations, performances, etc.
- Summer 2005, TD&T, "Exam Certifies Professionalism And Experience", article with Katie Geraghty
- Summer 2005, TD&T, "The Long Road to Certification", article
- August 2005, Lighting & Sound America, "Automation or not Automation", letter
- March 2005, USITT Conference, "Get Your Show on the Road", panel presentation, chair
Editorship of Journals or other learned publications
- March 2005, USITT Tech Expo Catalog, co-editor
Research or creative agenda
- ETCP Rigging Subject Matter Expert
- Draftsman, CMU School of Drama spring Television Project
- Facilitator, PIFOF, Theatre Titanik feasibility study
- Facilitator, Grisha Coleman, ECHO
- ESTA Essential Skills project
- Named to Phi Kappa Phi academic honor society
Service to Profession
- ETCP Rigging Subject Matter Expert
- Project Leader, USITT Technical Production Commission, "Commercial Outreach"
- USITT Technical Production Commission, Tech Expo Committee
- ESTA Publications & Assessment Committee
- ESTA Rigging Skills Working Group
- Apple Tree Theatre Creative Advisory Board
Service to the University
- Facilitated the design and fabrication of the Carnival Midway Entry Icon
- Assisted Professor John Wesner with the Entertainment Engineering Class
- Assisted Architecture School with future planning of a Theatre Architecture program
- Consulted for visiting fellow Grisha Colman
- Begun discussion with various stakeholders on an Entertainment Engineering Program
Service to the School of Drama
- Production Technology & Management Option Coordinator
- Facilitated Design & PTM Cross Option Agenda
- Computer Applications Working Group
- Curricular Review Committee
- Common Course Content Committee
- "The Committee Formerly known as the Season Selection Committee" Committee
- Sound Professor Search Committee
- Stage Management Professor Search Committee
- Precollege DP Coordinator
- Production Management Consulting
Service to the Community
- Technical Support to the Propel Homestead Charter School for a stage project
Posted by David at 12:49 AM
Monday, August 22, 2005
I am that. Wiped out. We had a few people over and I think I may have overdone it. That's what happens when you get out of practice.
One of the reasons for the gathering was to get together with some local people who weren't at the wedding. To add a little more authenticity to the event I thought we should have a cake, and to make it even more like the real thing we got a cake with a picture of our wedding cake on it. Very meta.
The gathering seemed like a success, and the new dining room was a big hit. Both good things. Now if I could just get myself up to the speed of regular people again I think everything will be peachy.
Posted by David at 10:58 PM
Saturday, August 20, 2005
Nearly there. We thought we were getting the server and waiting for the china cabinet. Turns out we're waiting for the china hutch and the server, and getting the base now.
So far so good. Even made the blinds work even though they turned out to be the wrong size. We need to do some framing for some wall art, and replace the ceiling fixture. But all in all it is very presentable.
(the image stitching make this look like it is an after the earthquake photo - pretty cool.)
Posted by David at 10:49 PM
10 years ago: What year is it now? 2005, so 1995. August 1995. Living with my Aunt and Uncle in New York, and just finishing up an internship at Hudson Scenic Studios. Playing in the Purchase Summer Ultimate League, and preparing to go back to Yale for my 3rd year of grad school.
5 years ago: August 2000. Taking unemployment and packing my Vegas apartment in preparation to move to Pittsburgh to begin teaching at CMU.
1 year ago: Running my cat back and forth to the UberVet for surgery. Finishing up summer league and pre-college. Unpacking slowly but surely in my new house. Getting ready to return to work.
Yesterday: What did I do yesterday? Meeting regarding the impending Theatre Architecture program. Meeting regarding the scheduling and disposition of Frosh, Soph, & MEIM students on productions. Shopping for bits of the dining room and for our weekend suare. Install blinds in the dining room even though they don't fit. Wander around all evening after a cat who had curiously sprung a leak.
Today: Watched Runaway Jury and then DS9. Received the new dining room furniture. Met a prospective student (probably sound design). Milled thresholds for the dining room and living room. Installed said thresholds. Hung the wedding chupah. Hung some other things on walls. Took the leaky cat to the Vet - he shaved her butt. Got Chinese food. Watched SciFi Friday. Gave the cat anti-biotics. Filled out meme.
Tomorrow: More of the same I guess. More shopping and remodeling. Have to make a trash run. Too exciting, yes?
5 snacks I enjoy: Skittles, Klondike Bars, Chocolate Chip Cookies, Keebler Fudge Sticks, Peanut Butter Wafers
5 bands/singers that I know the lyrics of MOST of their songs: MLE, Indigo Girls, Chicago, Genesis, Phil Collins - any band regularly played on PLR or like station that gets played every damn day when you work in a scene shop.
Things I would do with $100,000,000: T-Bills, retire. Me, my sister, my parents, my wife, her sister, her brother, her parents. Live well, and spread it around some.
5 locations I'd like to run away to: Maui, Vegas, Boulder, Saratoga Springs, Door County
5 bad habits I have: staying up late, blogging obsessively, procrastinating, driving too casually, arguing
5 things I like doing: staying up late, blogging obsessively, procrastinating, driving too casually, arguing
5 things I would never wear: koolots, earring, eyepatch, pegleg, parrot
5 TV shows I like: SG-1, Battlestar Galactica, West Wing, The Wire, Best Week Ever
5 movies I like: The American President, High Fidelity, Midnight Run, Almost Famous, The Natural
5 famous people I'd like to meet: MLE, Bill Clinton, Al Franken, Orson Scott Card, Connie Willis
5 biggest joys at the moment: Marisa, cats (to easy to say Trinity, RoLaren, Bra'tac, & Freya), family, good work, close friends
5 favorite toys: Laser Level, Razr Phone, New Watch, Ionic Breeze, Boat Motor Blender
5 bloggers tagged (if they made it this far): hmm, Katy is poaching my friends. Answer in your own page or in the comments section here if you have no page (or don't really use your page. maybe Marisa will guest blog it): Ellen, Shellie, Kate, Marisa, Deano.
Posted by David at 12:52 AM
Thursday, August 18, 2005
So here we are, one year later. And even though the url for the blog is no longer ranting like a moron, I certainly have done my fair share. Blogger has stopped showing the total number of posts on the profile page (that caught me by surprise) but I am sure it is over 360 total posts, something like a dozen "Ellipses...", a half dozen guest blogger entrys, 49 memes, 3 contests, and over 220 images. Quite a bit to read, seeing as how I know the author, you guys do it for some other reason. For that I thank you.
These two posts were something I was really confused to see. I don't know if this is the only times this happened becuase there is really no mechanism to find them. Except in these two cases someone followed a link from the page back to my page, and I happened to see it in my referrers list. Both of these posts were picked up by aggregators and put onto other pages on the net about specific topics. This one wound up on a page about biodeisel fuel:
and this one on a page about prescription drugs:
There were actually several posts with 8 comments, this one managed 8 without me. I think I would like to see more comments overall. But I know people are busy, and that a lot of my content is just easier to move on rather than take me to task.
There were 2 posts with 20 images. They both found a place in this post, so this one felt ok here.
I hope the Dilbert people don't get mad at me for poaching their comic. Of all things I really had difficulty figuring out why a comic about subject matter experts would get so many hits. I think its because there are a lot of people out there doing Google Image Searches for graphics to put on meeting agendas, and this image has "meeting" in the filename (I used it on an agenda myself).
It isn't surprising to me that the Bachelor/Bachelorette weekend post had the most outbound links. It was sort of a post about links.
Cutest Overall Post
Its not like I try to be cute, but sometimes it just happens. I really like the 2xTrinity pic. I think I'll make a poster.
My top 10 Favorite Posts:
I origially had 15 picked out, and I could have picked another 10 when I made my pass, but I think these are a nice representative section: some political, some teaching, some media, some just musing, some art, a little poetry of all things - a nice balance. I hope I continue to do as well.
And finally, the Reader's Top Five Posts:
Also very cool choices. That first one was the first post Marisa's mother ever saw. Maybe not the best timing. The commencement post made its way into my Dad's toast at my wedding. And that last one, well, it speaks for itself.
Thanks for a year of reading. I hope I have earned your attention.
Posted by David at 10:01 PM
Wednesday, August 17, 2005
Some changes for the upcoming anniversary...
- We have a new, and hopefully less annoying tagboard. I think I have already noticed a stop in the pop-ups.
- There's a stumble button in the links section pointed at my account. Check it out, you can see what I see.
- We have a new "Referrers" section, so we can see where people are coming from. This will need a little tweaking, but it is one of the things I like looking at most on my counter report, so I thought I would try to find a way to share.
- I rolled up the past links of the day. New links will be like before, and the old ones will be stored in one post.
I'm thinking of adding a "cool tools" section and a "time wasters" section - like you're not already wasting time once you're on this page.
Only one day left to get your anniversary feedback in. I'm waiting to hear from you (I'm worse than an NPR pledge drive).
Posted by David at 11:41 PM
Another day, another renovation picture.
Today, carpet up, pad up, clean floor, tape & paint base, replace electrical covers.
Its a wonder to me what people will cover with cruddy beige carpeting. The furniture people called to confirm delivery today. So I guess we're right on schedule.
Posted by David at 11:35 PM
Tuesday, August 16, 2005
So there's this woman down in Texas camped out in the President's driveway or something. The story goes that her kid died in Iraq and she's got some questions for W. At least that was yesterday's story. Today's story is that she's actually already met with him in the past, that she's being spirited off to a hotel at night and brought back in the morning, and that she is in fact a loon.
Nice to see that the mud slingers on both sides haven't lost their touch.
In discussion of this vigil and its merits there is a line of conversation that keeps coming up that has really began to bug me. One side says:
"My child ought not to have died in Iraq!"
and then the other side says
"The US has an all volunteer force, they knew what they were getting into when they joined."
I find a disturbing lack of symmetry in that argument.
I mean, yes, people that join the armed forces, or for that matter right now, or international security firms are doing so of their own volition. They ought not be surprised when they are called on to do the job they signed up for. And yes, there is no draft, and nobody made them volunteer - the odd family pressure aside. But I think the current leadership is missing the boat when they defend the possibility of casualties with the "all volunteer" argument.
Even the "what did you think you were signing up for?" argument hasn't rung real true in the past. Round about the first Gulf War, the first major engagement since the all volunteer army, there were many people that refused to fight when called upon because they hadn't thought we would go to war. They were signing up for job training, travel, or money for college. The fighting part always seemed like a distant improbability.
At that time, I had little patience for this argument. You join the Army, you might go to war.
This time though there are subtle differences, and they make all the difference in the excuses.
People did not volunteer to go to a war of choice. We haven't heard the "shouldn't" thing nearly as much from Afghanistan as from Iraq. That's because people believe we had a legit reason to be in Afghanistan, whereas we went to Iraq on our own timetable, without any real exigency - whatever mushroom cloud Condeleeza was afraid of.
People did not volunteer to go to a mismanaged campaign. The supplies, armored vehicles, body armor, troop numbers, issue after issue that comes up highlights how the leadership has mishandled the Iraq mission. Nobody thinks they are going to be killed due to incompetence when they volunteer. Their parents have a right to get upset after the fact when that is the case.
People didn't volunteer for the reserve or to stay beyond their tour so they could be full time soldiers in Iraq. The stop loss orders aside, there real story here is about the National Guard and Reserve. While these forces have always been there as a contingency, it would be very difficult to argue that their mission hasn't been significantly refocused for the Iraq war. Someone who signed up to help with flood victims and give "one weekend a month and two weeks a year" might be double peeved to find themselves on their second tour of a mismanaged, improperly supplied, war of choice.
So yes, it is an all volunteer force, and yes people need to know what they are getting into when they sign up. But the voices crying out about the injustice are not upset that their child died in service to their country. They are upset that they died as a part of this campaign, and "its an all volunteer force" does not address that at all.
Posted by David at 11:22 PM
Sort of a one year clean up. Its not the full year yet, but I thought I would round up the past "link of the day" entries and put them in one place for the future. So here they are:
Global Rich List
Suedy's Koo-Ki Sushi
LEGO.com Star Wars Homepage
Pollstar -- The Concert Hotwire
What The Font
Googlewhacking: The Search For The One True Googlewhack
Duct Tape Fashion Gallery
Jesus Christ Superstore
Matthew Shepard Foundation
Guerrilla News Network
Porn For Progress
The Scenic Route
LEGO Shop: Star Wars
Do you think if there were a true radical left in the media that it would make the radical right look radical for a change?.. I still don't know what an "enemy combatant" is... I really am beginning to dislike the clearance sale post, just too long... Less than two weeks until the first day of Production Planning, guess I ought to get my crap together... If you are a kitchen cabinet salesman and you are going to give a today only price, you really ought to give fair warning... Between the camera phone and the Blogger image hosting I think the number of images is really on the rise... Are people really listening to the stuff that comes out of the mouths of the people running this country?.. How long do you have to live someplace before you are no longer a "settler"?.. Football is back, I hadn't missed it, sorta like hockey... Getting married causes one to have an unbelievable number of cardboard boxes, maybe even more than from moving... What do you get a one year old kitten for its birthday?.. Is texting someone about work when they are on vacation as bad as calling?.. Just where do those songs go when you buy them from the iTunes online store?.. The stumble button makes web surfing just like channel surfing, you ought to get one... When the summer is over and I look at the list of things that I did, I hope I have the presence of mind not to make a list of the things I didn't... I believe that after two locations it is ok to retire a piece of custom furniture... I don't care about celebrity news, why do I watch it?.. Home satellite dishes are ugly... Cats hate remodeling projects... I can't find a new blog template I like... Only a few days left, get your anniversary feedback in ASAP!!!
Monday, August 15, 2005
Renovation begins. Remove all the furniture, tape the ceiling for paint.
All way too much fun. Tomorrow is painting day. All in all this should go much faster than the living room. We know what we're doing this time, there's no stripe to contend with, and its half as much square footage. That and furniture is being delivered Friday, so we better get a move on.
Anyone out there got nothing to do for a few days?
Posted by David at 9:42 PM
Sunday, August 14, 2005
We, are the champions, my friends...
So we won our two games today. The semi went 13-11 (game to 15) at cap. We stormed out 3-0, got a little sleepy to find ourseves down 4-6, but then rallied to take half 8-6. Then after halftime we jumped out to 10-6 and then ground it out to the final at 13-11. It was a real good game and we really clamped down and focussed when it mattered.
The final started off the same, 3-0, and was fairly non-descript until we got to like 12-8 (again, game to 15) and we could not shut the door. The final turned out to be 15-13. We had a scary moment at 14-13, right at the end, where if they had scored we would have been tied. You have to win by two and they would have had the momentum. But at that moment, when it really counted, we finally managed to close the door.
My eye kept getting blacker and blacker through the day. I hope it is clear by the time school starts. I played very little, mostly due to Melissa using her first line more exclusively - but also because she was trying to spread the PT to the people that had gotten out more during the season, which is only fair. It couldn't help that when I did get in I threw two lower percentage passes - one I thought should have been caught that wasn't, and the other I should have put away rather than throw. So mostly I helped the zone from the sideline and tried to keep everyone's head together.
Overall pretty cool. I'll have to try to get out more next year.
Posted by David at 11:08 PM
Saturday, August 13, 2005
or "Sorry About Your Face!"
We had two games today - after we got parked, which was bizarre because there is some kind of regional paintball festival happening in the other half of the park. I've always wanted to drive around on the grass at Turner Valley. Today I got to.
Game 1, 9:30, Long Haired Hippy Freaks (us) vs. Backseat Handlers (them): We won this game 13-5. I didn't play much and pretty much didn't factor. This was the first game of the bracket and we are seeded #2, so they were #15 and not much of a challenge.
Game 2, 11:15, Long Haired Hippy Freaks (us) vs. Chironex Fleckeri (them):
These are the Jelly Fish and they have a couple of starts of Pittsburgh Ultimate. This team was seeded #7, and with their players looked to be a much more difficult game. Again I didn't play a whole lot (we had good team turnout and we were subbing a little less frequently being that we're in a tournament this weekend) and on the whole didn't factor. I did however get kicked in the head. I'd caught a swing pass going to my right and faked a big, low release backhand riser, give and go pass. So that has me lunging and stepping forward some. My defender was sliding from his right to left and went for the fake with a foot block - kneeing me in the eye in the process. It rung my bell pretty good, although I did finish the point. I was dizzy and saw stars for a bit, but I got some water, ice, and shade as was ok to return for game point. We won this game by the improbable score of 13-2.
Now I look a little bit like I have purple eyeshadow on my right eye, and its a little puffed up. Can't wait to see what it is like in the morning. Perhaps I will tell people that my wife beats me.
Tomorrow, we return to Turner Valley at 1pm for the Semi-Final match, and then perhaps the finals. Fans and the morbidly curious are of course invited. Directions to Turner Valley are here.
Posted by David at 11:25 PM
So as usual, when presented with three choices, we opted for choice number 4.
In the end we thought that this one was a little nicer, more our style, and a better deal. Plus, we can have most of it this week, which makes the party thing still possible - although still not a done deal. Guess we'll figure that out tomorrow.
Again, we're reminded that the squeaky wheel gets the oil. Making our last shuttle between stores, having already made up our mind to buy, M posited whether this was like buying a car - i.e. was there a deal to be made? So we figure what the hell and when we go back we'll tell the guy we're still torn between his set and another, that basically all things were equal and was there anything he could do to sweeten the deal. He tentatively asked what we had in mind and since we'd talked about it in the car I had ideas and asked if he could throw in the protection/service, or a set of pads, or if we could have the 9AM price at 8PM. The store was doing a "beat the clock" sale. Prices were 20% off from 9-noon, 10% off from noon-5, and 5% off from 5-close.
They gave us the 20%. This is sort of surprising for two reasons. First, I was expecting a counter of 10%, not the full 20 and would have agreed. And second, the extra 15% seemed to me to be the most expensive of the three things I asked for. But I didn't complain, and just like the truck, even if we actually got taken at least when we left the store we felt like we'd taken them a little. I actually felt a little dirty.
So, now we have a deadline for the home renovation parts of this project: pull up the carpet, tear down the shelves, hang the blinds, and paint. For Friday, when the new dining set arrives. More fun to come.
Posted by David at 10:18 PM
recall that a party around this time of year a year ago produced a grill, patio furniture, and two kittens.
As usual, our buying power is more than our will to spend money. So we didn't do anything today except scout
around. Pictured here are three options we think might do nicely. They all have a table with two leafs, six chairs (but will sit 10), a china cabinet, and a server. We're talking real furniture here too - no pressboard (although a trip to IKEA may be in our future before we pull the trigger).
And so, reading public, we turn to you once again for your advice. Like anything you see?
Posted by David at 12:23 AM
Friday, August 12, 2005
Hey there. Ultimate summer league finals are tomorrow (Saturday) and Sunday at the Turner Valley Soccer Complex. If you have wondered just what I am talking about when I talk about this game, here's an opportunity for you to come out and see it played - and played well.
Directions to Turner Valley are here. It takes about 30 minutes from Sq. Hill.
The finals schedule is here. My team is LHHF. If you are hoping to see us play, I would come out on Saturday, as there is no guarantee we will even play on Sunday. Also you better hope they play zone. I don't play much against the man defense - or play much defense at all, being that I am old and infirm.
My captain thinks we have a legit shot at winning the tournament. I will be happy just to not fall over dead from heatstroke. Watch this space for details. Or better yet come out and root for us (Marisa will need someone to talk to).
Posted by David at 10:59 PM
Thursday, August 11, 2005
I save these things up... sometimes they don't format so good...
Which Horrible Affliction are you?
A Rum and Monkey disease.
Which Survivor of the Impending Nuclear Apocalypse Are You?
A Rum and Monkey joint.
INTJ - "Mastermind". Introverted intellectual with a preference for finding certainty. A builder of systems and the applier of theoretical models. 2.1% of total population.
You're a Trumpet. Biggest balls in the band.
What is your inner musical instrument?
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Your Birthdate: October 26
Your birth on the 26th day of the month (8 energy) modifies your life by increasing your capability to function and succeed in the business world.
In this environment you have the skills to work very well with others thanks to the 2 and 6 energies combining in this date.
There is a marked increase in organizational, managerial, and administrative abilities.
You are efficient and handle money very well.
You're ambitious and energetic, while generally remaining cooperative and adaptable.
You are conscientious and not afraid of responsibility.
Generally sociable and diplomatic, you tend to use persuasion rather than force.
You have a wonderful combination of being good at both the broad strokes and the fine detail; good at starting and continuing. This birthday is practical and realistic, often seeking material satisfaction.
I'm a O65-C74-E9-A38-N66 Big Five!!
You are 57% Rational, 0% Extroverted, 57% Brutal, and 42% Arrogant.
|You are the Spiteful Loner, the personality type that is most likely to go on a shooting rampage. You are a rational person and tend to hold emotions in very low-esteem; not only that, but you are also rather introverted, meaning you probably bury any emotions you feel deep inside yourself. Combine these traits with your hatred of others and your brutality, and it seems that you would be quite likely to shoot innocent people in a rampage. Not only that, but you are also a very humble person--not a braggart at all--meaning you could possibly have low-self esteem. This is only yet one more incentive to go on a shooting rampage, because you wouldn't care if you died as a result. Granted, you probably haven't gone on a shooting rampage and probably never will, but all the motivations are there. In conclusion, your personality is defective because you are too introverted, brutal, insecure, and rather unemotional. No wonder no one hangs around you, you morbid, cold-hearted freak!|
To put it less negatively:
1. You are more RATIONAL than intuitive.
2. You are more INTROVERTED than extroverted.
3. You are more BRUTAL than gentle.
4. You are more HUMBLE than arrogant.
Your exact opposite is the Televangelist.
If you scored near fifty percent for a certain trait (42%-58%), you could very well go either way. For example, someone with 42% Extroversion is slightly leaning towards being an introvert, but is close enough to being an extrovert to be classified that way as well. Below is a list of the other personality types so that you can determine which other possible categories you may fill if you scored near fifty percent for certain traits.
The other personality types:
The Emo Kid: Intuitive, Introverted, Gentle, Humble.
The Starving Artist: Intuitive, Introverted, Gentle, Arrogant.
The Bitch-Slap: Intuitive, Introverted, Brutal, Humble.
The Brute: Intuitive, Introverted, Brutal, Arrogant.
The Hippie: Intuitive, Extroverted, Gentle, Humble.
The Televangelist: Intuitive, Extroverted, Gentle, Arrogant.
The Schoolyard Bully: Intuitive, Extroverted, Brutal, Humble.
The Class Clown: Intuitive, Extroverted, Brutal, Arrogant.
The Robot: Rational, Introverted, Gentle, Humble.
The Haughty Intellectual: Rational, Introverted, Gentle, Arrogant.
The Spiteful Loner: Rational, Introverted, Brutal, Humble.
The Sociopath: Rational, Introverted, Brutal, Arrogant.
The Hand-Raiser: Rational, Extroverted, Gentle, Humble.
The Braggart: Rational, Extroverted, Gentle, Arrogant.
The Capitalist Pig: Rational, Extroverted, Brutal, Humble.
The Smartass: Rational, Extroverted, Brutal, Arrogant.
|My test tracked 4 variables How you compared to other people your age and gender:|
|You scored as Idealist. Idealism centers around the belief that man is moving towards something greater. An odd mix of evolutionist and spiritualist, you see the divine within man, waiting to emerge over time. Many religious traditions express how the divine spirit lost its identity, thus creating our world of turmoil, but in time it will find itself and all things will again become one.|
What is Your World View?
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American Cities That Best Fit You:
50% Los Angeles
50% New York City
The Keys to Your Heart
You are attracted to good manners and elegance.
In love, you feel the most alive when your lover is creative and never lets you feel bored.
You'd like to your lover to think you are stylish and alluring.
You would be forced to break up with someone who was emotional, moody, and difficult to please.
Your ideal relationship is lasting. You want a relationship that looks to the future... one you can grow with.
Your risk of cheating is zero. You care about society and morality. You would never break a commitment.
You think of marriage something you've always wanted... though you haven't really thought about it.
In this moment, you think of love as something you can get or discard anytime. You're feeling self centered.
|Your brain: 140% interpersonal, 100% visual, 60% verbal, and 100% mathematical!|
|Congratulations on being 400% smart! Actually, on my test, everyone is. The above score breaks down what kind of thinking you most enjoy doing. A score above 100% means you use that kind of thinking more than average, and a score below 100% means you use it less. It says nothing about how good you are at any one, just how interested you are in each, relatively. A substantial difference in scores between two people means, conclusively, that they are different kinds of thinkers.|
Matching Summary: Each of us has different tastes. Still, I offer the following advice, which I think is obvious:
|My test tracked 4 variables How you compared to other people your age and gender:|
|Link: The 4-Variable IQ Test written by chriscoyne on Ok Cupid|
Your Geek Profile:
Academic Geekiness: High
Fashion Geekiness: High
Internet Geekiness: High
SciFi Geekiness: Moderate
Gamer Geekiness: Low
Geekiness in Love: Low
General Geekiness: Low
Movie Geekiness: None
Music Geekiness: None
You're Not a Hipster!
Take What sort of Hipster are you? today!
Created with Rum and Monkey's Personality Test Generator.
The Rogers Indicator of Multiple Intelligences
created with QuizFarm.com
|You scored as Donald Duck. Your alter ego is Donald Duck! Try as you might, you have a nasty temper that is hard to control. But you try hard to please, and you arn't one to go down without a fight.|
Which Disney Character is your Alter Ego?
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Holy crap! You are:
|If you had the power to teleport ANYWHERE at ANYTIME, where would YOU go? Actually, you are more rational and spiritual than the average X-Men, Night Crawler is always out to do the right thing. In real life, you're probably the "perfect" man or woman that everyone looks for, but you're too good a friend too see like that. Wow, can't ever get a break, eh?|
|My test tracked 1 variable How you compared to other people your age and gender:|
|Link: The Which X-Man Are You Test written by alexium on OkCupid Online Dating|
Which Survivor of the Impending Nuclear Apocalypse Are You?
A Rum and Monkey joint.
Cor blimey, I taste like Tea.
I am a subtle flavour, quiet and polite, gentle, almost ambient. My presence in crowds will often go unnoticed. Best not to spill me on your clothes though, I can leave a nasty stain. What Flavour Are You?
You Belong in 1980
If you scored...
1950 - 1959: You're fun loving, romantic, and more than a little innocent. See you at the drive in!
1960 - 1969: You are a free spirit with a huge heart. Love, peace, and happiness rule - oh, and drugs too.
1970 - 1979: Bold and brash, you take life by the horns. Whether you're partying or protesting, you give it your all!
1980 - 1989: Wild, over the top, and just a little bit cheesy. You're colorful at night - and successful during the day.
1990 - 1999: With you anything goes! You're grunge one day, ghetto fabulous the next. It's all good!
Take the quiz: "what underground scene stereotype are you?"
you are awesome!!! its all about the music to you and you know what youre talking about! and most of the bands you like no one knows about, which you dont have a problem with because you hate anything mainstream, but you already know this, unlike those posers...but anyway, you have the best taste in music, and are probably the most normal out of the underground scene...i love you
Take the quiz: "What Kind Of Weapon Are you?"
You're a Nuclear Bomb! You are by far the most dangerous and destructive of all the weapons. You're also the most advanced. You're cold and completely indifferent, destroying everything you can without feeling, remorse or regret. You also leave a nasty aftertaste: Radiation. You plague people for years, poisoning and killing the ones you didn't destroy from the get-go. You are the only weapon with the true ability to destroy mankind. You're horrible.
Take the What High School
Stereotype Are You? quiz.
You Are Not Scary
Everyone loves you. Isn't that sweet?
|You are 47% Sketchy|
You Are a Pundit Blogger!
Your blog is smart, insightful, and always a quality read.
Truly appreciated by many, surpassed by only a few.
which sex and the city girl are you?
find out at tell-tale-heart!
|You scored as Director. You are the DIRECTOR. You are a strong leader and you are multi-talented. You are highly respected.|
where do you fit into a drama play?
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