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  1. #1201
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    Quote Originally Posted by gerv View Post
    Great post. When I was about 25 or so, I built a small house (about 800 sq ft.)... much of it from scrounged lumber. I learned a lot about resourcefulness.

    Nice photos too. You'll probably look back at your snake house with fond memories some day .
    Thanks, I do have some fond memories of that shack There were ferns everywhere, during the spring I'd munch on them all the time. During the summer there was a lot of goldenrod which I turned into tea. It's quite good. If I had to do it all over again I would definitely do things differently. I learned the importance about building high off the ground to avoid critters. Also would have made a much bigger effort on water proofing the roof. And I think I would have built a log cabin instead. There is a huge county and state forest near by with thousands of small diameter dead fall trees. Would have made for a much more sturdy structure not to mention a more aesthetically pleasing home as well. That nearly free shed I built is a zillion times better than the shack.

    With your own house, how did it turn out?

  2. #1202
    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    PhilJohnson, that's a fantastic story! If it's not too personal, what type of background and philosophy do you have that made this lifestyle appealing?


    "Think Outside the Cage"

  3. #1203
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    Roody, it's mostly because the idea of working 40 hours a week with a couple of weeks of vacation a year for the next 30-40 years is very unappealing to me. As a kid I would read a lot. I would take an encyclopedia and just read about random stuff. I loved looking up other countries and seeing how different those people lived from us. It became obvious to me that living in the USA that I enjoyed a standard of living that would be considered wealthy in 70-80 percent of the world. I figured I could work as little as possible and still be able to live far more comfortably than people living in third world countries.

    I get a chuckle out of people who move to other countries because it's cheap to live there. I've looked at a lot of places and have pretty much determined that if you have to work for a living there is no where that is as cheap to live as here in the USA. Part of that is because there has always been a lot of wealth so there is a lot of stuff that is thrown away or given away that wouldn't even be available elsewhere.

    The other reason is because I believe that within my lifetime oil will be so expensive that one will no longer be able to enjoy the same standard of living we have now. I've just adapted my expectations to that reality now instead of letting it surprise me later. I thought the best way to prepare for that would be to live simple and have low bills and debt.

  4. #1204
    In the right lane gerv's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PhilJohnson View Post

    With your own house, how did it turn out?
    I lived there 7 years. I was working at sea at the time, but when I gave that up, we moved to the city. My wife wasn't that fond of the country and I eventually found it a bit boring... especially after the house was more or less finished. So I sold it and the next owner live there almost 20 years before she moved to Montreal.

  5. #1205
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    ohhhhhhhhh

    Well, my husband and I live in a house built in 1902. We ran a little electricity here and there so we could use a microwave and a computer. Our bedroom has no electricity. We run an extension cord up the stairs if we need light up there. We cook in one electric skillet.

    We heat our house with a wood stove that is inset in an old fireplace and in the winter we cook on top of it. We have many concrete walls in the house. We have propane backup just in case. We put foam board in the windows in the winter to hold heat. We have them labelled for each window. It works beautifully...

    We pump drinking and bathing water out of the creek (not by hand ).

    We live pretty simple. My husband is a policeman and I am a dispatcher.

    We live simpler than anyone we know.

    We have two cars. Both 4-wheel drive for our mountain roads.

    My dream is to own a trek bike. I live 9.9 miles from my job. I hope to one day ride it daily back and forth. In the daytime only... At night could not see the bears or the bobcats....

    I love it! How we live is not for everyone but I would not change it for anything. We have all we need. Food shelter and water. If the economy fails..... we have it all by natural resources. We can trap our food, grow a garden and have free wonderful clean water from the creek. We keep oil lamps for emergencies and one land line. Cells don't work where we live. We have no Tv service.

    We read, watch movies and in the summer we sit and watch the stars and take the dogs on walks.

    Our kids think we're crazy as they have all the "necessities" of life... But we're happy this way.

    And I have a camera... a little cheapo, but I have derived a lot of pleasure from it.

    The dirt road in the pic is a 7 mile road around my mountain. Starts and ends at the house with some pretty steep climbs. Have not rode a bike in 30 years, but I am fixing to buy one......



    Jennifer
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    Last edited by jcribbs; 03-05-12 at 07:26 PM.

  6. #1206
    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jcribbs View Post
    Well, my husband and I live in a house built in 1902. We ran a little electricity here and there so we could use a microwave and a computer. Our bedroom has no electricity. We run an extension cord up the stairs if we need light up there. We cook in one electric skillet.

    We heat our house with a wood stove that is inset in an old fireplace and in the winter we cook on top of it. We have many concrete walls in the house. We have propane backup just in case. We put foam board in the windows in the winter to hold heat. We have them labelled for each window. It works beautifully...

    We pump drinking and bathing water out of the creek (not by hand ).

    We live pretty simple. My husband is a policeman and I am a dispatcher.

    We live simpler than anyone we know.

    We have two cars. Both 4-wheel drive for our mountain roads.

    My dream is to own a trek bike. I live 9.9 miles from my job. I hope to one day ride it daily back and forth. In the daytime only... At night could not see the bears or the bobcats....

    I love it! How we live is not for everyone but I would not change it for anything. We have all we need. Food shelter and water. If the economy fails..... we have it all by natural resources. We can trap our food, grow a garden and have free wonderful clean water from the creek. We keep oil lamps for emergencies and one land line. Cells don't work where we live. We have no Tv service.

    We read, watch movies and in the summer we sit and watch the stars and take the dogs on walks.

    Our kids think we're crazy as they have all the "necessities" of life... But we're happy this way.

    And I have a camera... a little cheapo, but I have derived a lot of pleasure from it.

    The dirt road in the pic is a 7 mile road around my mountain. Starts and ends at the house with some pretty steep climbs. Have not rode a bike in 30 years, but I am fixing to buy one......



    Jennifer
    It looks beautiful there, Jennifer--kinda reminds me of eastern Tennessee. Sounds like you and your husband have a great life there.

    Just being nosy--it sounds like you have grown up children, so I'm wondering how you think your lifestyle will work out as you and your husband get a little older????


    "Think Outside the Cage"

  7. #1207
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    Well, we are in our mid 50's now. We live in Arkansas. NW area. I want to retire at 62 and that is 7 years away. I see myself swimming daily, cycling, walking and enjoying life. I can't wait to retire. I love where I live and I love our life out here.

    How we live is very cheap and easy. We are transplanted from Texas. We used to be the Jones next door but as we have aged we have gotten cheaper and cheaper and simpler. Living this way, you really find out "who you are".

    But realistically, as we age more, naturally we will not be able to cut wood, but we have propane backup so heat would never be a problem. Our only bills are propane (300 a year), electricity (60) and a land line (25). We have no other bills other than car insurance (100 a month for two houses and all veh).

    I actually think how we live would not be that bad 15 years for now. The major issue and really the only issue is hospitals.

    We are 10 miles from town but it is 30-45 min drive depending on snow, rain and weather. We drive across 6 creeks to get to a paved road which is several miles away. If the creeks are flooded in the spring, we have to drive the long way around the mountain which put town at around 25-30 miles.

    We have only had to call paramedics out once and it took them nearly an hr to get here due to the creeks being flooded. They had to drive the long route around the mountain. That is the only issue...

    The thing is people get confused with "what they want" and "what they really need". We have all that we need.

    We also own a little house in Missouri and we have not decided if we want to retire there or here. The Missouri house is a little cabin on a little land on Table Rock Lake that is only 7 years old. But leaving this place would be very very hard to do.

    We could live on soc sec in either house with ease. This house is much larger but we don't use the upstairs per se.

    I think life when we retire will be awesome in this house and on this land. I would miss it horribly if I retired to our Missouri house.

    After work, in the spring, all summer and through October, after work, we throw our swim clothes on and swim for an hour like kids. Good times, you know? Our last swim of 2011 was Nov 1rst.

    When you make really good memories, it's hard to leave them behind.

    Jenn
    Last edited by jcribbs; 03-06-12 at 10:01 AM.

  8. #1208
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    I don't live so simply. I used to be very minimalist. I had a pile of clothes, a bed roll, toiletries and, my bike. There are things I really like and don't want to give up. This last year I have bought 16 dvd's of music performances I wanted. I have never bought that many dvd's in the span of my life. I also purchased cd's -a lot. I picked up a friends bike to rebuild and some tools with it so, I have 3 bikes now. I still have my truck but, that is getting used a lot less. I really want to get The Complete Calvin and Hobbes V1,2,3. I've got a lot of books. I want my cultural comforts because they provide a lot of relaxation, comfort and joy in my life. I also derive a lot of pleasure from sharing these posessions with friends and family. I like having things but, I really think through my purchases because, quite frankly, I love having the money in the bank. There's no doubt in my mind that simplicity is a healthy pursuit. What was simplicity 15 years ago has changed for me. Today the most important aspect of living a simple life is in the way I eat.
    I love to commute and ride. Keeping a positive focus.

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  9. #1209
    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=hotwheels;14061892]I really want to get The Complete Calvin and Hobbes V1,2,3. QUOTE]

    Calvin & Hobbes! Great comic....

    Do you follow Frazz? The author (Jef Mallot) is clearly influenced by Watterson. The main character is a recent college grad who chooses to live the simple life as an elementary school janitor. And he rides a bike!

    http://www.gocomics.com/frazz


    "Think Outside the Cage"

  10. #1210
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    [QUOTE=Roody;14061939]
    Quote Originally Posted by hotwheels View Post
    I really want to get The Complete Calvin and Hobbes V1,2,3. QUOTE]

    Calvin & Hobbes! Great comic....

    Do you follow Frazz? The author (Jef Mallot) is clearly influenced by Watterson. The main character is a recent college grad who chooses to live the simple life as an elementary school janitor. And he rides a bike!

    http://www.gocomics.com/frazz
    Thanks, Frazz looks good, I added it to my comics page. I also like Red and Rover. I'm a dog lover and it is very much influenced by Watterson but, not a rip off or anything. Watterson's art keeps giving us more and more.
    I love to commute and ride. Keeping a positive focus.

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  11. #1211
    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    Comic strips must surely be one of the greatest simple joys. When my grandson visits me, he pulls a little role reversal. He crawls into my bed and reads me bedtime cartoons until I fall asleep. Hiis favorite is Garfield, and we both laugh at the rather obvious jokes. But when he reads Calvin & Hobbes, we sometimes laugh at different meanings in the same strip--an indication of Watterson's sheer genius. I remember how sad I was when he quit writing new strips, but I[m glad the old ones are still available.


    "Think Outside the Cage"

  12. #1212
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    The complete Calvin and Hobbes was one of the first books (three of them) that I would haul around between moves. Man is that thing heavy. It is also about a foot deep, so it doesn't fit in a lot of book shelves.

  13. #1213
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan The Man View Post
    The complete Calvin and Hobbes was one of the first books (three of them) that I would haul around between moves. Man is that thing heavy. It is also about a foot deep, so it doesn't fit in a lot of book shelves.
    Stop tempting me. I'm going to buy it but, I have to wait because I have a policy of reading books I already have before I buy more.
    I love to commute and ride. Keeping a positive focus.

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  14. #1214
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roody View Post
    Comic strips must surely be one of the greatest simple joys. When my grandson visits me, he pulls a little role reversal. He crawls into my bed and reads me bedtime cartoons until I fall asleep. Hiis favorite is Garfield, and we both laugh at the rather obvious jokes. But when he reads Calvin & Hobbes, we sometimes laugh at different meanings in the same strip--an indication of Watterson's sheer genius. I remember how sad I was when he quit writing new strips, but I[m glad the old ones are still available.
    I'm convinced that it's universal.
    I love to commute and ride. Keeping a positive focus.

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  15. #1215
    Senior Member Smallwheels's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hotwheels View Post
    Stop tempting me. I'm going to buy it but, I have to wait because I have a policy of reading books I already have before I buy more.
    It's not on the Kindle and probably isn't available on the Nook or iPad either. If they do make it for them then it would be much simpler to have that version. The data would be just as good.
    Smallwheels

    Take my stuff, please. I have way too much. My current goal is to have all of my possessions fit onto a large bicycle trailer. Really.

  16. #1216
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    Quote Originally Posted by Smallwheels View Post
    It's not on the Kindle and probably isn't available on the Nook or iPad either. If they do make it for them then it would be much simpler to have that version. The data would be just as good.
    I prefer a tactile experience when it's a special book or academic. I do like the Kindle.
    I love to commute and ride. Keeping a positive focus.

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  17. #1217
    Senior Member kookaburra1701's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan The Man View Post
    The complete Calvin and Hobbes was one of the first books (three of them) that I would haul around between moves. Man is that thing heavy. It is also about a foot deep, so it doesn't fit in a lot of book shelves.
    I have the complete collection too, no need to buy dumbells with that beast in the apartment! The nice UPS man also dropped of the Complete Far Side collection last week too. I remember reading them when I was a kid, but now I get the jokes in both C&H (sadly, it took until a college philosophy course before I got the joke in their names) and The Far Side on a whole different level.

  18. #1218
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    some very interesting and inspiring reading here guys. i am currently anything but simplistic in my living. my wife and i are both packrats. we have 1 child and hoping for 1 more. i collect everything(comic books, baseball cards, hot wheels, dvds, cds, books, and who knows what else). i have however been trying to cut down over the last few months, i stoped buy all those things and sine started listing them on ebay or other forums to a. sell them and make money and b. to clean out the house. i don't know that i will ever be a simplistic as some of you, but i defianly see myself going in that direction. any more i only have a couple hobbies(cycling, fishing,hunting/camping, and photography). so i do see myself getting ride of almost all of my collections. i' ve got a great camera, good bike, hunting/camping gear, just need the boat. but when it comes down to it i can see all of this gear fitting into a few boxes. one reason i want to trim down is being military we move alot, and i think i have trashed half the stuff he moved on the last trip, that tells me i don't need it, so trash it. so basically i wanted to say thanks for inspiring me a little more to get rid of some of the things i have. not to mention i could put the money made to good use for my kids college or that new bass boat. i am sure some might think having a bass boat is not simple living, but if all you do is bike and fish and don't have many other belongs, then i don't see a problem with it.

  19. #1219
    Senior Member Smallwheels's Avatar
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    This is a video of Teresa Carey. One of her videos about living simply on her sailboat has been posted here in the past. I don't recall seeing this one. It is a TEDx talk where she comments on simplicity. She brings up points about simplicity that go beyond possessions. She talks about personal attributes that should also be a part of simple living.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wvNWPJjiZw0
    Smallwheels

    Take my stuff, please. I have way too much. My current goal is to have all of my possessions fit onto a large bicycle trailer. Really.

  20. #1220
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    I wont lie i dont own much. Personally in our apartment, my girlfriends and I that is, I own my commuter bike, polo bike, a decanter with some nice scotch in it, a tv, and this laptop that cant stay charged even when plugged in...everything else is technically bought by her...

  21. #1221
    Senior Member ukoro's Avatar
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    I'm in my mid twenties, I still live with my parents (semi comfortable with it), own a computer, small accessories (like backpack, sunglasses, pens), air mattress, average amount of clothing, folding bicycle, dog and a titanium spork. Literally nothing more than this.

    When I first moved into this new to me home a few years ago I landed a job providing tech support for a major player. I found myself home a lot, working from home not knowing anyone and working odd hours. My room began to be my office and my play room which was a fully decked out home theater room. Once the home theater chairs came and I sat in them something inside of me literally snapped while soaking into plush cushioning. It was that feeling you get when you broke up with the first love your life.

    I then started to feel trapped and weighed down; It all had to go. From that point forward to now, it's still quite hard to put into words why I felt the way I did at that moment and currently do about living towards a minimalist state, but I really like the idea and feeling of being able to pick up and go if I ever have to, easily and lightly.
    Last edited by ukoro; 06-17-12 at 12:45 AM.

  22. #1222
    I STILL miss East Hill :) Rollfast's Avatar
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    Sorry kids. no car...

    two bikes
    Two Pioneer SX-D7000 receivers (among many)
    Spent a few Benj to repair a primo 1978 Pioneer turntable (that and the 7000 are my birthday presents to myself!)
    Pioneer, Altec and KLH speakers, plus what I built
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    Laserdisk and CED players, SVHS, SuperBeta, DVD, media
    3 CRT projectors
    old TV sets back to 1963
    tube radios 1937-70

    I didn't spend a lot

    Fine by me and when it breaks there's me oscilloscope!
    Quote Originally Posted by 10 Wheels
    They can't fix expansion joints, because they expand.
    Smile at Miles with a ROLLFAST!

  23. #1223
    Senior Member Smallwheels's Avatar
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    I've got a personal problem with getting rid of my stuff. I feel it must be sold and not given away. Something inside me demands that. Even though the absolute freedom would be wonderful, giving away things makes me feel like I'm cheating myself. If you owned a huge painting worth $20,000, and you were moving to a much smaller place, could you just give it away, never to get it back, just so you could fit into your new small apartment? That is a made up extreme example, but I couldn't do it with such an item, nor can I do it with perhaps the $3000 worth of things I don't want to keep around anymore.

    To compound this problem I'm a procrastinator. Getting rid of stuff is taking way longer than it should. In 2005 I was forced to shed hundreds of items when I moved away from New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. The moving truck couldn't hold all of my things. I ended up leaving most of the contents of a full single car garage behind. I just took tools, the mower, and the laundry machines. Anything else you can imaging that would be kept in a garage was left behind. Months before the hurricane I had started selling furniture. It felt good to sell the pieces. Even though I was receiving money, I felt the prices were still too low.

    Maybe I've got the mentality of a poor person who feels they just can't let go of things. That might just be the biggest barrier I have to achieving a lifestyle with very few possessions. Do you think there are many people who have this barrier? Nobody I know is working toward such a goal. One of my friends just can't believe that I want to move into an RV.

    I suppose I could look at my situation in a different way. Right now I want to get rid of a couple of hundred items that I don't use. Most were inherited. They're just taking up space. If I got rid of them for free I would have the space and lose the worry about them. I would still be in the same financial position but I would be free of them. I'm going to ponder this for a while.
    Smallwheels

    Take my stuff, please. I have way too much. My current goal is to have all of my possessions fit onto a large bicycle trailer. Really.

  24. #1224
    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Smallwheels View Post
    I've got a personal problem with getting rid of my stuff. I feel it must be sold and not given away. Something inside me demands that. Even though the absolute freedom would be wonderful, giving away things makes me feel like I'm cheating myself. If you owned a huge painting worth $20,000, and you were moving to a much smaller place, could you just give it away, never to get it back, just so you could fit into your new small apartment? That is a made up extreme example, but I couldn't do it with such an item, nor can I do it with perhaps the $3000 worth of things I don't want to keep around anymore.

    To compound this problem I'm a procrastinator. Getting rid of stuff is taking way longer than it should. In 2005 I was forced to shed hundreds of items when I moved away from New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. The moving truck couldn't hold all of my things. I ended up leaving most of the contents of a full single car garage behind. I just took tools, the mower, and the laundry machines. Anything else you can imaging that would be kept in a garage was left behind. Months before the hurricane I had started selling furniture. It felt good to sell the pieces. Even though I was receiving money, I felt the prices were still too low.

    Maybe I've got the mentality of a poor person who feels they just can't let go of things. That might just be the biggest barrier I have to achieving a lifestyle with very few possessions. Do you think there are many people who have this barrier? Nobody I know is working toward such a goal. One of my friends just can't believe that I want to move into an RV.

    I suppose I could look at my situation in a different way. Right now I want to get rid of a couple of hundred items that I don't use. Most were inherited. They're just taking up space. If I got rid of them for free I would have the space and lose the worry about them. I would still be in the same financial position but I would be free of them. I'm going to ponder this for a while.
    Sounds like you need to have a big yard sale or auction. Or you might be able to find a store or dealer who would give you a lump sum to take away everythng you have. Of course they will only give you pennies on the dollar, but you would be rid of the stuff and you wouldn't be giving it away.

    The alternative would be to just break down and giive some things away. Maybe you would feel better about it after you were done. Or at least you would probably feel bad for a short time, but be rid of unwanted stuff forever.


    "Think Outside the Cage"

  25. #1225
    Senior Member Smallwheels's Avatar
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    I'm in East Helena Montana for now.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roody View Post
    Sounds like you need to have a big yard sale or auction. Or you might be able to find a store or dealer who would give you a lump sum to take away everythng you have. Of course they will only give you pennies on the dollar, but you would be rid of the stuff and you wouldn't be giving it away.

    The alternative would be to just break down and giive some things away.
    I've considered all of these options. Each of them has merit. Due to my annual lay-off from work I have no income. This year I need more money due to unplanned events and can't just sit out the summer. If I don't get a job in another week my new self employment will be ebay as I sell my possessions faster. It seems like the best solution to two problems. It will get rid of things and bring in money, though slowly. My biggest problem is acquiring boxes and packing materials. The second biggest is weighing the items. My bathroom scale is just too inaccurate. I've read that post office scales are sold on ebay, but that is money going out instead of coming in. Everything is working out, just slower than the ideal.
    Smallwheels

    Take my stuff, please. I have way too much. My current goal is to have all of my possessions fit onto a large bicycle trailer. Really.

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