Of Monsters and Men

A long night run home. Always pleasant…the magic of the Texas sky, the powerful machine responding to the whims of my soul and fractional, precision inputs to the controls, the cool air, and a warm and willing woman waiting at the end of my ride. There’s not a whole lot more I need.

130 miles out…and the GPS popped a low fuel warning, a common condition on this thirsty beast, vastly exacerbated by my aggressive throttle hand. I don’t ride this machine to be particularly constrained.

One fifth of my range is beyond the reserve on the big cruiser, and I hadn’t hit that yet, so stations came and went as I enjoyed the night and made some time toward home.

I stretch the fuel for many reasons. Mileage can vary significantly depending on weather, fuel quality, and speeds, and lacking a gauge, hitting reserve is often the first clue on how much range I actually have. In most parts of the country, that still leaves enough fuel to reach a station. In this case pushing a little further would make the “distance to home” readily achievable in one stop, and more importantly, for some reason the time just didn’t seem right. Over the years I’ve learned enough not to question those feelings.

Thirty miles later the big machine went lean. I reached down and flipped it to reserve and she immediately resumed her normal beat. I passed one more station and a few miles later, pulled into a lonely pool of light on the Texas prairie.

There were a few cars about, but I noticed no obvious movement as I pulled up to a pump. As is customary for me it was on my left. I stuck my card in the slot and fueled the big cruiser. Ahhh…last stop.

Despite my love for the ride, there is some satisfaction in knowing I can make it home without further stops. The warm, curvy lover waiting for me there has more than a little impact on that.

The ride and the woman. Passions run strong through my soul. I’ve no interest in moderating that.

As I hung up the hose I noticed a flash of motion to my right and before I completely grocked what was happening, a most dangerous thing appeared out of the night and latched on to my right leg.

Yep, accosted. Grabbed around the thigh in a bear hug by a pint-sized little black-haired gal. She buried her face in my jeans and hung on with a strength that surprised me. She couldn’t have been more than three feet tall.

I dropped the bike on it’s stand, leaned into it, and raised my right leg, complete with attachment, and then scooped her off and into the crook of my right arm.

I must admit in my surprise and before I understood what had a grip on me that I had a bit of that, “GAH! GET IT OFF!” reaction happening, but sweeping her up was mostly to protect her. First, a lonely gas-station parking lot is no place for a kid this size to be running around, but more importantly, to keep her away from the scalding pipes and massive hot engine on the big cruiser. High speed runs get them hot enough to burn through jeans, and I could hear them ticking as they were just starting to cool. I shudder to think the size and severity of the burns those could inflict on a small child that stumbled into them.

She had tears on her face, but readily looked up into mine.

“What’s wrong sweetie?”
Deadpan serious, she sniffles and says, “Werewolves.”
“Ah.” I winked at her. “I’ve got ya covered.”

This was the point Frantic Mom ™ shows up. The girl’s face lights up and she leans away and reaches for Frantic Mom. I handed her off.

Frantic Mom was already scolding, “Girl! What are you doing running off like that?”
Still deadpan serious, “Mom. There were werewolves!”

Frantic Mom has a mixed range of strong emotions crossing her face. Fear. Relief. Worry. Chagrin. Wariness. Weariness. I let ’em run, offering a small smile and no explanation for the situation. None should be needed. It was werewolves after all.

Frantic Mom shortly manages a brief apology and mumbles something about the girl seeing a movie she wasn’t supposed to.

I just chuckled, “Well, werewolves ARE serious business.”

That got me a small smile, from both of them.

As they headed for their car I could hear Frantic Mom saying something about, “Stranger danger.”

Just as serious as her previous statements, the little gal says, “But Moooom! Didn’t you see? He was a biker! Monsters are scared of him!”

And they were gone…into the night. I wasn’t quite ready to follow.

I moved the bike off the pumps and grabbed a drink. Suddenly melancholy, I relaxed on a picnic table just on the edge of the pool of light. Leaning back, I stretched my legs, breathed deeply, and pondered.

A lot could have gone wrong tonight. Instead a lot went right…as it should. As I expect.

“He was a biker.”

I stared out at the night and hoped her trust would never be betrayed.

“Monsters are scared of him.”

Mostly. Sometimes.

There are monsters in the dark…I’ve met them, up close and personal.

Werewolves are the least of them.

Monsters and men. It can be hard sometimes…to tell the difference.

I’ll see you on the road.

Daniel Meyer

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Bring it…

Lying here in the deep night, pondering the future.

And not the far future…no…for deeply disturbing reasons best left unexplored in these hours, those days seem past…rather, I’m looking much nearer. Tomorrow as a point of fact.

Oh there’s nothing specific…no impending doom…at least nothing new. Nothing direct and physical. I would almost relish a physical threat…an upfront attack. Those I can deal with.

Rather, it’s a daily grind now. Who am I going to have to fight tomorrow…to keep what I’ve earned…to collect what I’m owed…to pursue my dreams…to retain my right to simply exist and care for me and mine?

I fought a long way to achieve what I have. When did it become a battle to just hang on? Swimming hard against a current that is sweeping me away…and it’s a new challenge every day. The criminals institutionalized. The theft legalized. Required by law even. Pushing back a crime. To even question merits punishment.

The framework of civilization gone feral, turned inward to consume those it’s supposed to protect.

It’s hunger is immense. It’s appetite is insatiable. The force behind it unassailable.

Who’d have thought?

My thoughts spinning…questioning. For the life of me I can’t see what I should have done differently…at least…anything I could have done that fits within my range of “moral flexibility”. Every solution…every legal solution anyway, involves sacrificing something I hold dear…something I struggled for.

I finally realize there’s nothing to accomplish here…burning my brains to the core deep in the night…and I shift my focus to the present…to the now.

That shift is what keeps me sane.

Now. This moment.

My lover is sleeping beside me, her warm curves pressed hard against me. Her arm draped across my chest, my fingers gripping her inner thigh…I squeeze lightly and am rewarded by a soft moan as she snuggles even closer. I slide my hand upward and she wakes enough to whisper in my ear, “I’m yours.”

And that’s all it takes.

Doesn’t matter what battles I face tomorrow…no matter how veiled or disguised as “business” they are. Doesn’t matter where the fight takes me, or in the end, what it may cost. Me and her…against the world. Me and her…together as always.

Despite the trials…despite the fight…life…this moment…is pretty damn good. That’s the line in the sand.

What matters is THIS moment, and others like these.

…and woe be unto the man or god that tries to take them from me…

I’ll see you on the road.

Daniel Meyer

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A clean screen…

Cracked her view...(not in this pic though)

Cracked her view…(not in this pic though)

Caution…a little language… LOL!

Last week the Wife called. Banging down the highway and got zinged by a rock/such that took out the windshield on Da’AltimaDaSequal (note to self…get her to name that thing!). Star/crack/etc (not in this pic). Crack went its own gleefully thorough road-trip across its rather limited landscape.

Windshield is toast. Gonna need a new one.

I think she thought I’d be upset…25 years and she ain’t figured it out yet. I don’t relish additional expenses, but really, could care less about the damage.

Thing did its job. Got her where she was going and unharmed. *That’s* what I care about.

Absolutely anything else I can fix…only variable is how big a mess I have to make.

In the case of car glass…the mess I have to make is accomplished by opening my wallet. Annoying but simple.

So…’Da Altima (the sequel), needs a windshield. I emailed my insurance guy to see if it was covered and what I needed to tell the glass shop.

“If it’s over $500 you’ll just need to give them your policy number.”

Now, I’ve not needed glass on a covered vehicle in decades…but that sounded off to me. What happened to glass coverage?

Now…no worries either way…windshields are not terribly expensive, but I DO want to make sure I’m getting what I pay for out here…which is disturbingly difficult nowadays…

So, anyway, I gave the insurance guy a call to clarify.

“So, I *don’t* have glass coverage other than comprehensive?”

“Correct. If you have a repairable star or crack we’ll waive the deductible for that, but otherwise it’s covered under your comprehensive and $500 deductible.”

“Mmm. Okay. Didn’t there used to be glass coverage?”

“Yes, but this company stopped carrying that in Texas a few years back. It’s covered under comprehensive. You declined the third-party policy that could replace that coverage that has a $50 deductible.”

“Oh. Okay. How much is that coverage?”

“$100/yr per vehicle.”

“$100 a year! That’s fucking crazy! Windshields are usually only a couple hundred at most!”

“Yeah, I have a note in your file from when you declined it…you said, and I quote, ‘Y’all are fucking crazy, you know that right?’ ”

I almost had to hang up I was laughing so hard…that sounds exactly like me, and yep, would still decline it. That’s a terrible deal!

It also sounds like my “records” out and about in business and government land are finally starting to “get” me.

Called the glass shop and set up an appointment. ‘Da Altima’s new view…$239.95.

We’ll see you on the road!

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Zotted off the highway this morning on one of my routes into work in Downtown Dallas, decelerated, stopped for a light, and then in the next block section, almost died.

Well…that’s a little strong. WOULD have died, had I not been paying attention.

Three lanes, I’m in the middle. Dude in the left lane driving a “crossover” (not quite a mini-van, not quite an SUV) pulls away from the light with me.

He strays a bit into my lane. I see this immediately and start braking and drifting right (making space). Reaching for the horn button I look over at him to see if he’s looking, texting, sees me, or what.

He was looking right at me. I saw him mouth “Fuck it.” or perhaps, “Fuck him.” and jerk the wheel right, swerving hard into my lane. He crossed right through where I should have been and clear into the right lane.

Since I was already aware, I “made” plenty of room (inches at least!)…but had I been looking right, or up ahead, or pretty much anywhere else but straight at him, he’d have gotten me.

Since the DPD frowns on me leaving dead bodies all over their city (they can be SO picky about this), I backed off and stayed well clear of the “gent” until we went our separate ways.

The rest of the ride in was slow and uneventful and left a few moments for pondering.


I’ve no answer for his motivations, but I do for his knowledgeable choice of actions.

Pure and simple, sociopath. No regard for others’ lives, safety, property, etc. People are just something else to be used or abused as suits his purposes. Pretty much everything goes as long as he doesn’t get caught. Certainly he felt no compunction about wiping me off the planet. He is fortunate I don’t feel the same way.

Sadly, not a rare thing anymore. We TRAIN people to be like this. Successful businessmen, politicians, sports figures, etc often have ridden these traits to their position. So have the criminals. There is little degree of separation anymore.

I found myself wondering what the guy was…a CEO? Lawyer? Politician? Rapist?

I found myself wondering how many folks he’s hurt in one way or another…and how many more are to come…and wondered if I will bear some guilt in his future escapades because I didn’t do a 45acp extended mag dump right through the back of his driver’s seat.

I’ll see you on the road. I just hope it’s not…yanno…ON the road.

Daniel Meyer

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A shift in the tide…

Some roses for my lady...

Some roses for my lady…

Some of my faithful readers may recall that due to a flaw in my cunning plan, I embarked on a quite successful impromptu rose delivery expedition a couple years back.

Today, I embarked on a similar errand.

Whipping the big cruiser through the city in a series of errands before heading to work…errands connected by high-speed zoomages…I found myself back in my neighborhood, in front of the grocery store, shoving gasoline down the gullet of the thirsty beast.

Since it was something like $1.85 a gallon I was disappointed when the pump clicked off at 4.4 gallons and she wouldn’t hold any more. Man. $1.85 a gallon! I was tempted to fill up my pockets!

Abandoning the “gasoline in the pockets” plan and eyeing the grocery store, I surmised that by applying a little extra-enthusiastic zoomage for the commute to work, I could squeeze just a few minutes out of my schedule to stop by the house and grab my wife on the butt…ur…give the wife a kiss.

Butt…uh…but…I mean but…first…a surprise.

Roses. Yep, been married right at 25 years now and I still buy her flowers. Surprise flowers even…the “just because” kind, not the “I really messed up” kind. I know, I know…supposed to be the old ball and chain and tired and bored and stuck in a routine all that…but nope.

My heart still skips a beat when she comes into a room. So…some roses for my lover are an order.

Also, she still lets me grab her on the butt…so I figure we’re doing okay.

Anyway, a quick run into the store and I grab a batch of roses. It’s not anywhere near Valentines day so they cost about $6 instead of $437.68 (if you’re a guy, $8 if you’re a girl).

The florist lady, evidently overloaded with roses and figuring I must have really pissed off my girl to be buying flowers on a weekday morning handed me another dozen on the way out of the store and said, “Good luck.”

Ur. Yah. Okay.

So…flowers acquired. Extras even! Quick trip through the neighborhood accomplished with minimal screaming and no blood at all (and not even a single squirrel!)

Wife spotted. Roses delivered. Butt grabbed…ur…I mean kiss kissed…on the whole, the day has so far been a complete success.

Butt…ur…but then it took a darker turn.

I had this second bunch of roses ya see…an odd number it turns out (11), and wrapped only in plastic instead of a pretty wrapper…so I left them on the bike and decided to duplicate my previous expedition. (hint: If ya haven’t…ya probably should read the story at that link)

This time…it was a dismal failure. The atmosphere has changed. Fear, division, distractions…I don’t know…but what I do know…is in encountering nearly 30 pedestrians…I only managed to give away a single rose. I was refused, avoided, or fled from with varying degrees of urgency nearly every time.

Just one rose. She, at least, seemed pleased.

I hope it made a difference.

But…the tide has shifted. The atmosphere has changed. This does not make the city a better place.

Food for thought.

I’ll see you on the road.

A story in the picture...

A story in the picture…

Daniel Meyer

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Well, looking at the price of trucks and the state of my career has me convinced that the older vehicles in the Meyer “fleet” will simply have to keep going (and going and going…).

Unfortunately Big Iron, the big horsey 4×4 Dodge was suffering from a case of what I call “Re-entry burns”…that rather famous Dodge dramatic paint failure.

Since her engine and transmission and other running gear should go another 100,000 miles at least…and the AC still works…I decided to give it a refresh.

See, Big Iron was looking sort of decrepit and I was getting tired of answering the question, “Sir, do you know why I’ve pulled you over this evening?” pretty much ANY time I drove it to east Texas. East Texas…btw…is among the worst places on all the roads I’ve bopped about in this great nation for the “Your car is ugly and I don’t know you so I’ll pull you over and go fishing for something” phenomenon.

The last excuse was, “One of your taillights is a little brighter than the other one no no don’t get out to look at it license and insurance please and just where are you going tonight?”

The one before was 71 in a 70.

We’re all too grown up to play such games. Stop it.

Anyway, re-entry burns:

Re-entry burns. De-orbiting can be fun!

Re-entry burns. De-orbiting can be fun!

After a trip to the body shop:

New Paint!

New Paint!

She’s all nice and pretty again. Had a couple dents repaired…one of them it came with…and a basic paint job applied.

Not perfect, but well worth the money. BTW…that’s not a dent in the driver’s door…that’s a reflection…

There’s one obvious booger on the edge of the hood…body shop said they’d fix it but it needs to cure for 30 days first. I’ll bring it back and they’ll color-sand and repaint the hood after that.

Heh…she’s probably “slicker” now and will get better mileage. (grins).

I’ll see you on the road…

-Daniel Meyer

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Punching through the pain…a bit of a walk-about at lunch. Been meaning to get a good shot of the new (old) Mobil Pegasus…so…TWO Dallas icons in one shot!

The Pegasus in this picture IS the actual original…but not in the original location.

It was taken off the Magnolia for restoration in the 1990’s…but it was in such bad shape that they just built and installed a new one. THIS one was then found in a warehouse recently, restored, and put on the lawn of the city-owned hotel, The Omni.

Two Dallas Icons...Reunion Tower and the Mobil Pegasus.

Two Dallas Icons…Reunion Tower and the Mobil Pegasus.

You can see the one in the original location on the Magnolia from the site of this one…

The newer Pegasus...in the original location.

The newer Pegasus…in the original location.

I am conflicted as to how I feel about the one at the Omni. It’s cool (I love the Mobil Pegasus) and it’s nice to be able to get close…but it sort of dilutes the “icon-ness” of the thing to have two of them…

It also sort of steals the thunder of the Magnolia…which IS also a hotel…to have the city-owned one put a duplicate of its icon on the lawn…

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Big D has for some reason, designated itself as a target.

I’m about a half-block off the bullseye.

Ground zero?

Ground zero?

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Last week I posted a story about rage, conflict, and fear.

This one is about empowerment.


Banging north on US 75, downtown behind me, as fast as the traffic would allow, I came upon a disabled car.

Newer mid-sized car stranded on the left shoulder, just at the end of the canyons. This is never a good place…especially at this time of day. The heat and the noise make it extremely hostile…lethal if given sufficient time…and the traffic and speeds ensure your annihilation should you try to cross out of the center median on foot. As a character in a favorite childhood animated film stated, “Sudden, instant, and even immediate…death.”

The heat? Many “not from these parts” may not view that as a threat…but it is. A surprisingly fast one too, if you are not prepared or accustomed to it. Once I carried a meat thermometer on this route during this part of the year just as an experiment. The wife saw me pulling it from her kitchen and raised an eyebrow as she started to ask a question…then shook her head and said (as she does for many of my endeavors), “I really don’t want to know, do I?”

The result? Air temps of 134 degrees.

A later trip with a laser thermometer measured the pavement at 150 degrees.

Oh, yeah, back to the car. Rear trunk open, spare tire leaning against the bumper. Tall, thin, olive-skinned young lady leaning against the concrete freeway divider. This setup (the tire/etc) is almost a universal sign of “I could use a hand.”

I took in the scene in an instant. A flash decision. You get good at those if you’re a motorcycle rider…at least…if you’re a motorcycle rider for very long.

I found some holes, hit the binders hard, a quick cut, and chirped the big machine to a stop just a car-length or two in front of hers. There’s a reason I keep the maneuvering skills honed and these brakes in tune.

I dismounted and walked back toward her, stopping a car-length away, just at her front bumper. Distance seemed appropriate. She was watching me warily. A front flat. The tire was partially off the rim and tangled. I doubted the (front wheel drive) car was capable of moving.

“You need some help with the tire?”

“No. I could change it, but the spare’s flat too.” She held up her phone. “Road service is on the way.”

“Cool. Would you like me to wait with you?”

This city, like any this size, is a predator of the highest order. She…if she’s unwary or unprepared, is it’s ideal prey, and here…with literally, 300+ cars per minute passing her by…some of the worst inhabitants are bound to notice her. Most of the rest are actively striving not to…

“I’d rather you didn’t. I’m okay, and they’re on the way.”

I get it. The motorcycle thing…and the “male” thing…and the “stranger” thing. It is the way of the world now…at least in the cities…and sadly, there is some reason for it. It doesn’t offend me or bother me in the least to be dismissed in this way by her…but neither does it moderate my concern…or relieve me of the obligation.

“Are you sure? I just want to make sure you’ll be okay. I can stay right here.” I patted the hot concrete divider I was now leaning on.

Not much reassurance I know…if I was up to no good the 20 feet separating us would be no hindrance at all, and comparing her build verses mine doesn’t take much pondering to know I could break her in half in an instant. With the concrete and traffic, there’s simply no where to go without a vehicle.

At this she turns a little hip towards me and momentarily pulls her shirt down tighter against her jeans, and chuckles. “No, I’ll be fine.”

I immediately felt better and returned her smile. “Okay, excellent! Good girl. You take care then!”

“Thank you!”

And I was off…mounting the big cruiser and hitting 70 within a few car-lengths so I could safely enter the traffic.

She stood as good a chance against any evil that may see her as an opportunity as could be reasonably prepared for. What she had revealed in that moment she tugged her shirt down, was the silhouette of a holstered, semi-auto handgun. Yep. Good girl. Empowered. The great equalizer.

Empowered. Yep. She would be fine.

That didn’t stop me, however, from hitting the next exit and a couple bat-turn-lanes, and hanging out on the service road right near a freeway entrance and a mile or so behind her where I could keep her (barely) in sight until the wrecker showed up.

And yep, some will say I’m a sexist douchebag I suppose. Would I have done this for a guy? Not really, I would have stopped, but once dismissed I’d have been on my way without a second thought.

Deal with it.

I am what I am…and I know the things I know. The world cares not a wit for what folks wish were true.

Y’all be safe out there.

Daniel Meyer

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Keeping it sane…

Interesting morning…in the “people are complicated” kind of way. Caution…profanity…

Had an hour or so of daylight before I had to leave for work this morning, so I tossed on a dirty, white work-shirt and scruffy, oil-stained jeans and headed out to the driveway to finish up some work on Big Iron, the big Dodge beastie.

Seems its transmission has been a bit flugy (that’s a technical term) and before I take it to the transmission shop (where they will scream joyously, “REPLACE ALL THE THINGS!”), it was worth a shot to change the pressure control solenoid, which (says the internet), is usually the problem with fluginess.

But that’s another story…one about complex problems with machines. THIS story is about complex problems that make my mechanical woes look trivial. THIS story is about things I can’t fix.

This story is about people.

Lying under the truck in the driveway, finishing up bolting the transmission pan back on, dirty, greasy, wet (yes, it was RAINING…in Texas…in August!), I hear yelling from down the street. Screaming really.

After a few moments it resolves itself into a heated argument…man and woman…mostly the man yelling/screaming. Obscenities flowed.

Never a good thing. Conflict between couples is inevitable…and even desired on occasion…but this intensity of behavior is a sign that nothing constructive will follow…at least in the short term.

I sighed, kicked my tools out from under the truck, crawled out myself, and dirt and all, walked around the house and down the street.

Four houses down…a rent house I think…we don’t know the couple. An attractive, 30-ish pair.

I walked to within a few feet of the man and stopped, facing him and crossing my arms. It had the desired effect…some of his rage transferred to me.


It was at this moment I realized I wasn’t carrying my cell phone…or my Colt. Ah well. All in.

I took a step closer and said in a normal tone, “Just keeping it sane.”


I kept my voice even, glanced at the woman, “Just making sure nobody gets hurt.”

More of his attention shifted to me. Wasn’t really sure if that was a good thing or not. There was a lot of rage in those eyes. “YOU THINK I’D HURT HER? YOU THINK THAT’S WHAT THIS LOOKS LIKE?”

I locked eyes with him and my voice changed, no longer neutral and the challenge clear, “That’s EXACTLY what this looks like.”

His face registered confusion for a moment, and with effort, he tore his gaze from mine and looked at the situation…and this time, I think he actually saw it the way I did.

He was fully dressed, primed/tensed for a fight…ready, whether he knew it or not, for physical combat. The woman had fled the house in a hurry and was nude except for one sock. She was carrying the other one. She was in the street, sobbing, but keeping her eyes on him and keeping one of the cars in front of the house between them. Fear was plainly evident on her face.

He tried to say something…stopped…looked back at me. I SAW the fight drain away.

He gasps, “Jesus Christ!” looks back at her, then back to me. “Holy shit…” then looks at her again, “Oh gawd no…”

His emotions changed again. Fear I think. Maybe loss. Intense, but there was no fight. Wherever that had come from…it had fled back to its lair, leaving a gaping hole behind.

He fishes his keys out of his pocket, brushes past me and gets in the other car and drives away. He was sobbing.

The woman stepped around onto the sidewalk and starts toward the house. She’s still crying.

I ask, “Do you want the police?”
“No,” she manages, “he’s never hurt me.” as she reaches her front door.
“Do you have somebody you can call, that can keep you company for a bit?”
“Yes.” she steps inside. “Thank you.” and she starts closing the door.
“…and you’ll call them?”
She pauses. “Yes.” and then she’s gone.

Emotions reeling, I wander back to the house, put up my tools, kiss my sleeping wife on the ear, and then shower…the water as hot as I could stand it. I stood there…pondering…until the hot water ran out…

Lives come together, burn bright, and fly apart. When, how, and why I’m not sure I’ll ever understand.

Maybe they’ll be all right…maybe they’ll work it out…but I doubt it. There are a lot of things that are helpful in a relationship…a lot of things that make it work…but there are TWO things that are absolutely REQUIRED.

Love and respect.

…and there’s no room for either if there’s fear.

I’ll see you on road.

Daniel Meyer

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