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Pandemic is changing our bodies - a solution

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Pandemic is changing our bodies - a solution

Old 02-12-22, 11:31 AM
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To be sure, COVID plus “earlier than expected” retirement plus Winter is taking its toll! Mentally and physically. Motivation and energy have been pretty low and I’ve definitely picked up a few extra pounds of body weight. Some of it might just be water but that’s mostly wishful thinking.

All is not bad though. After 40+ years in healthcare, there is a bit of a “silver lining” to the coincidence of the Omicron surge and my earlier than expected departure from the field. As I approach 70, I saw no need to expose myself to a clear health risk. While some my view this as selfish, my years on the “front line” entitle me to depart without shame.

One thing for sure though, is now I’ve no shortage of time! Unfortunately, that fact has not escaped the purview of my local “List Master”! Anything on the “To Do” list that could have been put off by “I have to work, I’ll take care of it this weekend”, is now in the forefront. Of course, I have my personal project list but many of us know where that fits into the grand scheme of things. My current motivation is knock out a relatively large project on the Master List then hit a couple on the Personal List. Seems to be working!

I’m very much looking forward to the start of the riding season here in the upper Midwest. With Punxsutawney Phil’s prediction of 6 more weeks of Winter, I’m hoping to be out on the road by late March! Going back on Daylight Saving Time in early March will be a motivator too. Sunsets are occurring later and later with each passing day but I do welcome the one hour jump and the continued day length increases.

So, back to the topic i.e. a solution, I’m going to start with the walking suggestion. We haven’t experienced “normal” snowfalls this year (prolly shouldn’t have jinxed that) and streets and sidewalks have been pretty clear. I’ve no real excuse for not doing this sooner (except for bitter cold made worse by the wind). Most of the the errands that I would normally do by car are walkable. Let’s see if I can do it!
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Old 02-12-22, 11:33 AM
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Originally Posted by pastorbobnlnh
For me it was: "COVID and OUT!" Retirement and back to more riding.

After 40+ years of ministry (20 at my last church), I decided late last March that I'd retire in two weeks (on Easter Sunday) after a church leader basically called me "a slacker" in an email. At that moment, I was so incensed I decided to only give two weeks' notice. Since the pandemic had started in March 2020, I had never worked so hard, and had not taken any vacation that entire year.

There were so many new stresses. I was responsible for protecting the health and wellbeing of over 300 people, of which many were elderly and had underlying conditions. I had to produce a YouTube worship service every week. I sat alone in the church building, which normally hummed with activity most days of the week. I could no longer see my congregation "face to face" for worship and pastoral care. And the divisive politics of 2020 seem to seep into every aspect of ministry. I could no longer maintain a "firewall" to shield the congregation from the vitriol.

The next day, I did walk back my two weeks' of notice and changed it to 6 months, and officially retired at the end of September 2021.

I am so happy with my decision! No regrets or second thoughts! I'm back to ridin' and wrenchin' several times each week and sometimes every day. I'm reengaging in previous hobbies and starting new ones. I have no desire to ever be in a pulpit again.

Did my ministry career end the way I had imagined? No. COVID changed all of that. But what I didn't realize until I retired was how much PTSD certain members and colleagues had inflicted upon me and my family over the course of those four decades.

I still have bad dreams about the church at night. However, a vigorous 20-40 mile ride makes a world of difference the next day.

P.S. I'm sorry this was on the long side. However, if you are a member of a religious organization, talk to your clergy, before firing off an inflammatory email.
I understand this via my sisters experiences in being a liturgist. People do not realize how much work and politics there are in Ministry (of any denomination), she got lucky when after 17 years her position at a parish was terminated and she got a much better fit at a religious order's retirement home, which covid hit hard
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Old 02-12-22, 11:35 AM
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Originally Posted by panzerwagon
But what if we looked like this before the pandemic?
Same answer!
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Old 02-12-22, 01:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Spaghetti Legs
I would love to be able to work from home. I feel like every day I go to work now my life expectancy shrinks the tiniest little bit.

Pastor Bob, congrats on the retirement! I know exactly how you felt with your job; different line of work for me but same kind of issues.

I am with you. The last four years have sucked the life out of me. The anger in the air politically, was just as dangerous as the virus. Coming to school every day and wondering if my luck has run dry.

This semester has been much better, but I still wonder if I should come back for my 30th year.

Bottom line...motivating is difficult for everything.
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Old 02-12-22, 04:15 PM
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Originally Posted by jdawginsc
I am with you. The last four years have sucked the life out of me. The anger in the air politically, was just as dangerous as the virus. Coming to school every day and wondering if my luck has run dry.

This semester has been much better, but I still wonder if I should come back for my 30th year.

Bottom line...motivating is difficult for everything.
I’m in year 32 of my career as a college teacher (now a department chair—egads!), and, retirement is on the horizon in three more years. The nature of higher ed is changing rapidly, and few of my colleagues are equipped for that change, instead raging at forces way out of their control and not adapting well at all. I don’t know if I’m equipped for that change either, but have enough sense to see it’s time to go.
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Old 02-12-22, 04:41 PM
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Originally Posted by pastorbobnlnh
For me it was: "COVID and OUT!" Retirement and back to more riding.

After 40+ years of ministry (20 at my last church), I decided late last March that I'd retire in two weeks (on Easter Sunday) after a church leader basically called me "a slacker" in an email. At that moment, I was so incensed I decided to only give two weeks' notice. Since the pandemic had started in March 2020, I had never worked so hard, and had not taken any vacation that entire year.

There were so many new stresses. I was responsible for protecting the health and wellbeing of over 300 people, of which many were elderly and had underlying conditions. I had to produce a YouTube worship service every week. I sat alone in the church building, which normally hummed with activity most days of the week. I could no longer see my congregation "face to face" for worship and pastoral care. And the divisive politics of 2020 seemed to seep into every aspect of ministry. I could no longer maintain a "firewall" to shield the congregation from the vitriol.

The next day, I did walk back my two weeks' of notice and changed it to 6 months, and officially retired at the end of September 2021.

I am so happy with my decision! No regrets or second thoughts! I'm back to ridin' and wrenchin' several times each week and sometimes every day. I'm reengaging in previous hobbies and starting new ones. I have no desire to ever be in a pulpit again.

Did my ministry career end the way I had imagined? No. COVID changed all of that. But what I didn't realize until I retired was how much PTSD certain members and colleagues had inflicted upon me and my family over the course of those four decades.

I still have bad dreams about the church at night. However, a vigorous 20-40 mile ride makes a world of difference the next day.

P.S. I'm sorry this was on the long side. However, if you are a member of a religious organization, talk to your clergy, before firing off an inflammatory email.
No apology needed at all, so much great perspective here and so much good reflection, no surprise you are a great pastor.

Thank you
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Old 02-12-22, 07:40 PM
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Originally Posted by gugie
My wife sent me a link to this article.

For those who have been working from home...
Posture screwed up
Eyes going bad from staring at a computer screen all day
Vitamin D deficiencies from lack of sunlight
Brain going soft from a hermitlike existance.

I texted my wife back. The answer for me is the same as always - ride a bike, preferrably with friends!
I sit at a desk looking at a computer indoors (no sunlight) whether I'm in the office or at home. Who are these people whose job at the office is vastly different than their job in the "home office"?

(Frankly, I have less stress working at home due to:
--the lack of a commute {both not driving in traffic, and not having to get up earlier to compensate for the commute time};
--being able to sit at home comfortably in my pajamas with a cat rather than dressing up to go to the office where I'm too cold and everyone is trying to ignore each other in a low-wall cube farm; and
--having extra time in my day to do what I want or need to do {again, no commute, so that's 30-60 extra minutes twice a day added to "my" time, as well as not having to factor in time to commute home if I have something like a doctor's appointment, or being able to spend my lunch hour doing something I want/need to do because I'm close to home to do it}
--oh, and I guess the money saved on gas.

I dread having to go back to the office full time. The only thing I miss is the gym, which is at my office building-- I thought of joining a Planet Fitness that's not far from home to compensate, but that place is always packed to the gills and so I don't think it's where I want to be during a pandemic.)


Originally Posted by repechage
I have been trying to choose bike over auto for errands.
Today, Bank and grocery store.
a bit slower than car, but with the bank run, stop and get coffee on the way back, round trip as no parking lot to find a space, walk to car etc.
A total win.
But most here know that.
I find that "park and lock the car" and "park and lock the bike" take about the same amount of time. Sometimes dealing with the bike takes longer ("find a place to leave it" is sometimes/often faster with the car, and "lock car" involves "push a button or turn a key." "Lock bike" involves "unlock lock, uncoil lock from bike frame, fight lock around my chosen locking object, lock"). And, "Go down to basement, unlock storage unit, get bike out, pump up bike tires, carry bike upstairs, look over and make sure bike is otherwise road-worthy, put on helmet" (never mind if I install my milk-crate that I use for carrying more/larger items than a backpack will handle) takes longer than "walk out door, unlock car, get in car."

I enjoy riding and do it, but for me it is not usually easier than the car in any way and so convenience is not the reason I choose bike over car.


Originally Posted by merziac
True that, but I only love it when I'm doing it for myself, the proper amount of time, energy, effort and $$$$$ as necessary can be expended.

Whenever somebody else is paying for your services, they have expectations of compromise, doing it their way, substandard resources, escalated timetable and "cooperation" that is rarely reciprocal "just do it my way and we'll get along just fine, we didn't ask how you wanted to do it, that's not what we're paying for".
Never mind dealing with the customers!


Originally Posted by Andy_K
That happens after you retire? That’s an almost perfect description of my job.
Or the home life you try to have after you get home from the job... never understood the people who say they could never retire because they don't know what they'd do all day. I'd be excited to retire to finally have time to do the things that working full-time keeps me from doing to the extent I'd like to!
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Old 02-12-22, 07:51 PM
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Originally Posted by repechage
You are supposed to be in the Caribbean
My wife and I stayed in Canada for the second year in a row. Next year, unless I am dead, I will be riding my old Bianchi and my Movements in Jamaica...

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Old 02-12-22, 09:24 PM
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Originally Posted by merziac
No shop has much use for a grumpy old C+V hack.
I've managed to infiltrate the system by having a modern 11 speed steel bike, but I still love riding and working on old bikes.

This coming Monday I have on my repair schedule a full overhaul on a pretty clean Nishiki Prestige. It's going to be such a good day - I already know that it's going to look phenomenal once it gets cleaned up a bit
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Old 02-12-22, 10:11 PM
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Originally Posted by abshipp
I've managed to infiltrate the system by having a modern 11 speed steel bike, but I still love riding and working on old bikes.

This coming Monday I have on my repair schedule a full overhaul on a pretty clean Nishiki Prestige. It's going to be such a good day - I already know that it's going to look phenomenal once it gets cleaned up a bit
Same here, have plenty of both and love it all, love working on it all, at my place, my pace, my way, period.

No need for any modern, disposable, throw away, cartridge, threadless BS or crap beyond what we need to retrofit great steel frames to bring them into the 21st century.

And I am not knocking any of the great new bikes and tech for what they are, fine for the masses that don't know any better and or decide they have a need for it but all the old tech is being cast aside, make no mistake.

Rim brakes, almost gone.

Mechanical shifting, almost gone.

Whats next?
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Old 02-13-22, 07:39 AM
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I only got to work from home for about 3 weeks during the pandemic and it was as glorious as I imagined but maybe I should be glad I had to go back in
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Old 02-13-22, 08:27 AM
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@randyjawa, where did you find that blue crankset? Stunning!

Here on the Georgia coast, we have wired-trash-plastic whales and dolphins. A great reminder of the impact of our throw-away tendencies.
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Old 02-13-22, 09:45 AM
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I had to stay home and Zoom for a "training" Wednesday and my back was killing me. Being back in the classroom running around again between commutes is the only way I will stay in the game past 65 and I think regular resistance work and longer rides as I plan to not stop on the Eroica climbs has me on the right track -- my wife complains that my arms look like cyclist's arms and that I'm not eating enough.
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Old 02-13-22, 05:44 PM
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Originally Posted by pastorbobnlnh
@randyjawa, where did you find that blue crankset? Stunning!

Here on the Georgia coast, we have wired-trash-plastic whales and dolphins. A great reminder of the impact of our throw-away tendencies.
Both tourists dispose of plastic bottles carelessly and it grieves me to see it. As for that crank set, I believe I bought it in Jamaica at "Boat Anchors Are Us" Ii toasted the original crank set and had to search to find something that would work in Black River, Jamaica. Paid about $12.00 US for it and I do NOT think it to be al that eye pleasing but it does work and that is all I cared about...
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Old 02-14-22, 08:00 AM
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randyjawa I agree, the blue "Velo Lion" looks much better from a distance. Which is how we are supposed to safely watch great felines. Up close, not at all.
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Old 02-14-22, 02:33 PM
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Originally Posted by merziac
Same here, have plenty of both and love it all, love working on it all, at my place, my pace, my way, period.

No need for any modern, disposable, throw away, cartridge, threadless BS or crap beyond what we need to retrofit great steel frames to bring them into the 21st century.

And I am not knocking any of the great new bikes and tech for what they are, fine for the masses that don't know any better and or decide they have a need for it but all the old tech is being cast aside, make no mistake.

Rim brakes, almost gone.

Mechanical shifting, almost gone.

Whats next?
Manual steering? Or maybe inflatable tires? The industry has been trying to do that for decades.

They'll have to take my cantis from my cold, dead hands.
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Old 02-14-22, 02:41 PM
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From the day my boss said to not come in, we were closing down, my motivation took the opportunity and ran away, screaming; I haven't seen it since. I had no idea so much of my riding was because I had to get to work. For two years I've been sitting on the couch, thinking of all the rides I could take, but then I see another interesting Bike Forums thread... And yes, I've noticed my back has been getting a bit achy lately.

My unemployment ran out on September 11 (!), so if we want to keep the house, I have to find a job. I'm nearly 59, obese, diabetic, depressed, and an introvert, and my husband has a kink in his immune system that makes him extra vulnerable to everything blowing by. Yeah, job hunting is a joy.
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Old 02-14-22, 07:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Korina
From the day my boss said to not come in, we were closing down, my motivation took the opportunity and ran away, screaming; I haven't seen it since. I had no idea so much of my riding was because I had to get to work. For two years I've been sitting on the couch, thinking of all the rides I could take, but then I see another interesting Bike Forums thread... And yes, I've noticed my back has been getting a bit achy lately.

My unemployment ran out on September 11 (!), so if we want to keep the house, I have to find a job. I'm nearly 59, obese, diabetic, depressed, and an introvert, and my husband has a kink in his immune system that makes him extra vulnerable to everything blowing by. Yeah, job hunting is a joy.
Oof, feeling sorry for you. If the profession you're in isn't amenable to working from hom (I'm guessing it isn't), that's a tough position to be in, especially with a house to support. Good luck to you!

Go ride, even just a bit. I find it's good for my mental attitude.
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Old 02-14-22, 08:40 PM
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Originally Posted by gugie
Oof, feeling sorry for you. If the profession you're in isn't amenable to working from hom (I'm guessing it isn't), that's a tough position to be in, especially with a house to support. Good luck to you!

Go ride, even just a bit. I find it's good for my mental attitude.
Thanks Gugie; I took a nice walk to go donate blood, but the bloodmobile hadn't showed, so I took the long way home. Kind of sad that our "rain" was intermittent sprinkles.
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Old 02-14-22, 10:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Korina
From the day my boss said to not come in, we were closing down, my motivation took the opportunity and ran away, screaming; I haven't seen it since. I had no idea so much of my riding was because I had to get to work. For two years I've been sitting on the couch, thinking of all the rides I could take, but then I see another interesting Bike Forums thread... And yes, I've noticed my back has been getting a bit achy lately.

My unemployment ran out on September 11 (!), so if we want to keep the house, I have to find a job. I'm nearly 59, obese, diabetic, depressed, and an introvert, and my husband has a kink in his immune system that makes him extra vulnerable to everything blowing by. Yeah, job hunting is a joy.
sharing here is a bit of a start....odd as that may seem.

I concur with idea of riding your bike a bit, the journey of a thousand miles starts with a single pedal. and single pedal puts a smile on you

your area seems to be picking up with Humboldt becoming a Cal Poly and the big fiber cable coming in, so you timing maybe good for job searching. again just start, can't get to the end if you don't start
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Old 02-15-22, 10:06 PM
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During the pandemic, I fell off a roof. That hurt.

After that, 12 centuries. On one, I could not get off the bike at rest stops. So I didn't.

Last year, 14 centuries in 11 states, as people came out to play.

After the pandemic, while fully vaccinated, I got COVID. Sucked.

I haven't ridden an inch in nearly 3 months, but I'm down 20 lbs.

I retired, which means I now only work about 50 hours a week, for less than half the pay. I enjoy it more.

I have half the bikes I had 6 months ago, but 92% are ride ready, any time.

I'm gonna try gravel.

The world is weird.
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Old 02-16-22, 10:25 AM
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Now fully retired for almost 17 years from my previous engineering gig, I ride when I can which this winter is seldom because of the horrible unpredictable weather. The bicycle workshop rolls along at whatever rate my ambition level is that particular day or week. Just before the pandemic in the late summer of 2019 we were camping/cycling on Manitoulin Island with friends. I could see my wife struggling a bit and when we returned home we checked out the Giant ebikes at our local shop. A test ride on the biggest hills in the area and on a local trail convinced both of us we should have one of these things.

As we were packing the camper van for a spring trip to Myrtle Beach and surrounding areas in late February 2020 the double whammy hit. An emergency ambulance trip to the hospital confirmed Mrs. browngw was having a heart attack. During that time there were a couple of cruise ships floating around with covid including friends from our home town who got their 15 minutes of fame on the TV news. By the time my wife was recuperating, it was a full blown pandemic. The ebikes were a great recovery tool for her and a blast to ride around on to lift our spirits. The fact the campgrounds and trails were mostly still open helped as well. We kept in touch with a few good friends and even enjoyed a weekly picnic with them. Being away from young family was the biggest downer.

This past fall it must have finally got to me though. I decided to sell my 80 Triumph TR7 convertible that I had owned and driven for some 27 years, an unsolicited offer came via BF to purchase my Raleigh DL1 and I sold it too. Then we sold our little used (3000miles!) 2019 VW Golf and bought a silly little 2014 Fiat 500C cabrio to replace it. Maybe looking at life differently was good in some way.

As more of my family and friends are aging, we are finding more of us, including our biking/camping friends, are finding that the ebikes are getting us out in spite of various physical problems. On a camping/cycling week along Lake Erie last summer there were four ebikes a full 50% of the riders. Our average age is around 75.

Meanwhile, I sell a few bikes and keep busy in my basement shop. I find it rewarding and the sales pay for it with a bit of profit


The just purchased Fiat (and our camper van) on route to its new home.

The village of Selkirk Ontario along lake Erie.

Riding in Elora Gorge Park.

Giant Lafree Ebikes loaded up ready to go.

Picture in the winter shop just yesterday.
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Old 02-16-22, 11:38 AM
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Everyone was sure a lot healthier when the career options were peasant/serf/slave farmer, miner, or drudge, for 19 out of 20 people, and landed gentry with sword skills for the remainder
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Old 02-16-22, 02:48 PM
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Originally Posted by squirtdad
sharing here is a bit of a start....odd as that may seem.

I concur with idea of riding your bike a bit, the journey of a thousand miles starts with a single pedal. and single pedal puts a smile on you

your area seems to be picking up with Humboldt becoming a Cal Poly and the big fiber cable coming in, so you timing maybe good for job searching. again just start, can't get to the end if you don't start
Thanks. Being old, I'm also being particular. I have an application in with the city of Arcata for a part time office assistant. Not perfect, but it's a foot in the door. If I get the job, and if I do it well. It doesn't hurt that City Hall is six blocks away.
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Old 02-17-22, 01:39 PM
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Originally Posted by pastorbobnlnh
Is the COVID-19 pandemic over? Did I miss it crossing the finish line?
Depends on who you believe, I suppose.
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