22 October 2009


UGH! I having really been slacking on this thing. Two whole months gone by without a single post.

Things have been going great, but very tired most of the time, and therefore a bit uninspired. Going to try to get back into a rhythm soon.

The kid and the family are doing great. Sennet is four months old today. We just had his checkup this morning and he is now 27.14 inches long/tall, and weighs 17.125lbs. Both above the 95% percentile - he's a big kid.

And seems like a really happy kid - loves to laugh and giggle. He just recently learned to turn himself over from his back to front, so that was pretty cool.

We had one night where he slept for a seven-hour unbroken stretch, and that was awesome. Lately though he's been back to waking every 3 or 4 hours and wants to feed. So we're still pretty tired most of the time. Happy and loving it, but a bit delirious too.

More to come... (hopefully)!

KJT - Seattle (2009)

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28 August 2009

2-month Recap
(Huevos Verdes Con Jamón)

"I couldn't love you more
If time was running out
Couldn't love you more
Oh right now baby"

Sade, "I Couldn't Love You More" (1992)

The kid is now two months old (as of August 22). He's doing great. Sleeping in his own room now, and generally for a lot longer. One night he actually slept from 9pm until 3:30am. Heaven! Lately, however, he's been back on his every-two-hour feeding schedule during the night. Must be a growth spurt. Stacie and I are mighty weary. Especially Stace, as she's got to get up with him every time to feed and/or pump. I generally hold him and rock him to sleep every night. We sit in his room and listen to Sade and discuss current events (he loves Sade - good taste!) I try to take over when he wakes up early (between 5 and 6am) and feed him and try to give Stacie a few hours of uninterrupted sleep before I go to work.

We've also hired a Spanish nanny for a few hours a couple days a week. Gives Stacie a chance to get some work done outside of the house, and keeps Sennet in familiar surroundings. Erika is great, she sings Spanish songs to him and we've bought a few Spanish books for her to read to him. Dr. Seuss in Spanish is a total trip!

Sennet got a great review at his two month checkup. He's now 25-inches long (2-feet, 1-inch tall) and weighs 14 lbs 10 oz (both in the 95th percentile). He's smiling and laughing like crazy nowadays. Very happy bambino. Check out this short video of him cracking up with Stacie, just after a nap in the morning:

All is well.
KJT - Seattle (2009)

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27 August 2009

11 years on...

Last year I posted the following blog, about the 10 year anniversary of my father's death. This year makes it eleven, and now that I have a son, it makes me miss him even more. Such a big part of my life he missed: going back to school (at the Art Institute), getting a job with Raleigh bicycles, meeting and marrying Stacie, our two dogs, buying our house, and now the birth of our son. I was still drifting quite a bit when he passed - hadn't figured out what direction I was headed. I wish he was here to see where I've ended up today. Sláinte Dad, I miss you.

(Originally posted 8/27/08)

"The measure of a man's character is what he would do
if he knew he would never be found out."
- Thomas B. Macaulay, British writer/poet/historian/politician (1800-1859)

I wrote the following ten years ago, in November 1998:

The last nine months or so have been a juxtaposition of emotional highs and lows and a fierce test of my intestinal fortitude. I've experienced some of the most intense satori followed by the deepest depression and confusion in my life. In between these monumental peaks and valleys have been periods of happiness and wonder, terror and loneliness. My mental stability and emotional constitution have been stressed farther than I ever dreamt they would be, and I'm not out of the tunnel yet. At least now it appears that I can see a light at the end. Maybe...

On August 27, 1998 my father died of pancreatic cancer. He was not quite 61. It came suddenly and was wholly unexpected. During the first part of April he was running five miles a day and playing handball weekly. He caught what he thought was a flu bug that he couldn't shake. A couple weeks later it was diagnosed and four and a half months after that he was dead. My stress was immense and brutal and I can barely fathom what my mother and sister must be going through.

My father, not surprisingly, was quite Zen about the whole process. He did not want to die, and fought hard, but it was too far gone. I'm thankful that there seemed to be less pain than some cancers that I've read about. The cancer had spread so thoroughly that no surgery or chemotherapy could be attempted. Alternative and holistic methods that he tried seemed to help, or at least slow the advance (even to the degree of surprising his western doctors). Unfortunately it had become too pervasive. One estimate said he possibly could have had it for over a year, and it would not have been detected by a 'normal' course of bloodwork or tests.

He stoically planned the funeral, down to the last detail - even interviewing the morticians to determine which one he liked best. This took much of the burden off my mother and the rest of the family. One of the great things about my mother and father is that they are extreme realists. They understand that you do as much for yourself as you can in life, but some is left to chance and destiny. They accept that and deal with it. That attitude and their incredible strength through the whole bizarre and terrible event helped both my sister and I deal with it as best we could.

I'm still trying to come to terms with it, and I still in many ways don't realize what has happened. Days seems to drift by without me really being connected. It oftentimes feels like everything else is moving just a shade faster than I am and I have to squint and concentrate to catch up. Sleep has become somewhat of a joke and drifting in and out of consciousness throughout the night would be a more accurate description. Depression and insomnia have become unwelcome staples in my diet.

And so now, here I am ten years on. The depression and insomnia have finally been left behind like worn out shoes that were no longer needed. The anxiety attacks and agoraphobia have all but ceased. It's been quite some time since I woke up not remembering he was gone, and then having the crashing realization all over again. The ache is still there, but it's now an old wound that I've become familiar with - I worry it and pick at it, but it doesn't hurt the way it once did. I still miss talking to him, especially after I've read a really good book, seen an interesting movie, or just caught a particularly beautiful sunset. I don't discuss it with anyone hardly at all. Not my wife, not my mother or sister, not my friends. I think that's my defense mechanism. Shove it down inside, tamp it down, hide it, cover it up, but keep it there like a precious stone to selfishly polish in the dark of the night. I am sorry I couldn't or didn't talk about it more with my family, I'm sure that didn't help them, but I had to figure out the journey the best way I could. It wasn't, and isn't, easy.

R.I.P. Gene Timmermans, a man of good character, I miss you dad.
(4 September 1937 - 27 August 1998)

KJT - Seattle (2009) (Not sure when the picture was taken, maybe in the early 90's)

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26 July 2009

Tour de France

I've been getting up early every day since July 4th to sit and watch the Tour de France with Sennet. I love the Tour, and have since I was lucky enough to be in Paris in 2000, on the Champs-Élysées, to see Lance Armstrong win the second of his seven straight Tours de France.

It's been a fun time, holding my boy, feeding him, rocking him to sleep, and watching the intrigue and madness of the Tour. Today was the last stage, Alberto Contador of Spain won - as he should have (being the strongest rider), Andy Schleck of Luxembourg was second, and Armstrong - after being out of the sport for almost 4 years and breaking his collarbone this past March - came in third.

This was probably a great disappointment to Armstrong, who really wanted to win again, but was a huge accomplishment for someone of his age (37) who had been away from competition for that long. He is the second oldest rider to finish on the podium.

What was most pleasing for me was his statements about this year's race. They are words and thoughts I hope to instill in Sennet as he grows:

"I'm realistic, I did everything I could," Armstrong said before the final stage. "For me, and even more for my kids, it's probably a healthy thing for them to see, because they saw their dad that never lost, and the kids in their class (say) 'your dad never loses,' so it's good for them to see dad get third and still be cool with that and still be happy."

That's a great gift to give to your children. Vive la Tour!

KJT - Seattle (2009)
Armstrong quotes from the Seattle Times, photo by Sirotti.

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22 July 2009

One Month

Sennet is now one month old.

He weighs 12lbs 2oz and is 23.5 inches long.

Last night he actually slept from about 10:15pm to 1:30am and then from around 2am to almost 6am! We were very happy about that, as he's been getting up every two hours for the past few weeks... quite exhausting.

KJT - Seattle (2009)

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18 July 2009

Chelsea FC & Link Light Rail

After getting permission from El Jefe (she had to watch the kid), I joined about 66,000 other people downtown today for the Seattle Sounders FC game against English Premier League powerhouse Chelsea FC. Gorgeous day, in the low 80's and sunny. Chelsea started Frank Lampard, Michael Ballack, Nicolas Anelka and John Terry - pretty fun to watch those stars live in action. I just bought the ticket yesterday, and was lucky to get a seat. I was in the upper deck, but still had a great view of the pitch.

Seattle ended up losing 2-0, which isn't too surprising considering we faced one of the best teams in the world (scores were Sturridge 12', Lampard 35'). Even though Chelsea was hardly in mid-season form (there were a
few of their passes which weren't on the money) - they were still a great team. And fast. Chelsea closes FAST. A lot of the Sounders' passes were probably pretty good for the MLS, but against "the Blues" most of them were picked off.

It was a fun game though, and Seattle had a few good looks and a few chances to score, but just couldn't convert.

After the game I walked to Pioneer Square and took Seattle's brand-new, never-before-used Link Light Rail to the Mount Baker station fairly close to our neighborhood. Then caught a bus up to Union and the quick walk home. Today was the grand opening day of the light rail, and I'm very excited about Seattle's newest mass transit option. Having ridden the underground in London, Paris, New York, Hong Kong, Berlin, Vienna, hell even Istanbul and Prague; I have been waiting for this to come to Seattle since I moved here. At 14 miles, it's not a terribly long line right now, but it's a start. It is underground through the length of downtown and then becomes at-grade near the stadiums. It bores through Beacon Hill underground and emerges in the Rainier Valley were it becomes at-grade again until almost Tukwila, the remaining few miles are elevated. And by the end of the year the line will go all the way to the airport. By 2016 it will stretch to the University District, and by 2021 it is supposed to go north to Northgate, south to Federal Way, and east across Lake Washington to Bellevue and Redmond (Microsoft) for a total of 55 miles. I, for one, am very pleased. I'll even be able to use it to go to work occasionally. I can ride my bike down to the Mount Baker station, take the rail to Tukwila and then bike to the office in Kent.

KJT - Seattle (2009)

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04 July 2009

First Fourth

"Think what a better world it would be if we all,
the whole world, had cookies and milk
about three o'clock every afternoon
and then lay down on our blankets for a nap."
- Barbara Jordan, American politician (1936-1996)

Well we haven't been getting quite as much sleep as we'd like, but overall I think we're doing pretty good. Sennet seems to be waking up anywhere between 1 and 3 hours for feeding. I'll help change him sometimes, and give him the bottle if he's still hungry after Stacie feeds him. Also trying to give her a few hours each morning where I'll sit and rock him and snooze with him while she tries to sleep. It's all working out pretty well.

I took him for our first walks with the dogs the past two days. First in the stroller and then in a harness. He seemed to enjoy them both.

This morning was the fourth of July, and he was pretty fussy early so I sat up with him for a few hours until he slowly fell back asleep. We listened to John Coltrane's Blue Train. Then I napped with him. After I gave the dogs a quick walk while Stacie fed him, he and I settled in on the couch to watch the first stage of the Tour de France. Kudos to Fabian Cancellara, the big Swiss world champion smoked the field in the individual time trial. Then I put up the American flag and puttered around the house.

We took a bit of a nap later in the afternoon, and soon we'll be grilling burgers and keilbasa on the deck, where we can also see the fireworks show over Lake Union. Nice, lazy holiday with the family.

KJT - Seattle (2009) (Photo of Cancellara by Sirotti)

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02 July 2009

Bath Time

“Everything is a miracle. 
It is a miracle that one does not dissolve
in one's bath like a lump of sugar.”
- Pablo Picasso, Spanish artist (1881-1973)

I'm seeing what a great mother Stacie is, and is going to be, every day. She is so patient and kind with the little man. He just lights up whenever she holds him.

Lately we think he's been on a growth spurt, he wants to feed all night long - she can hardly keep up with his breast milk needs. In between feedings she is pumping, and I am able to feed him this breast milk from the bottle and help her, as well as hold him more often. We were a little worried that if we introduced a bottle so soon that he wouldn't want to breast feed, but that sure hasn't been a problem - where ever and when ever there is breast milk available, he's up for the task. Hungry little bugger.

We also gave him his first bath at home a couple days ago. He wasn't overly happy about the whole affair, but calmed right down once the trauma was over. Clean and sweet.

To quote a (bad) Loverboy song, we are "Lovin' every minute of it."

KJT - Seattle (2009)

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24 June 2009

Gently In The Night

"Don't let your mind get weary and confused
Your will be still, don't try...
Don't let your heart get heavy child,
Inside you there's a strength that lies..."
Ray LaMontagne, "Be Here Now" (2006)

Got up while it was still dark this morning. Sennet was a bit fussy so I took him into the nursery and held him - hoping to give Stacie a few hours of rest. Standing at the window I could see the Cascade Range off in the far distance to the northeast. A pre-dawn light just beginning to illuminate the highest peaks. The sky still a dark slate with a myriad of stars.

I sat in the rocker and gently held my boy in the dark. I remember stories my mother told me about her holding me in those first months. We lived on the Presidio in San Francisco and she would get up in the night and rock me in an upstairs window. On clear nights she said she could see the distant lights out on the Farallon Islands, lonely pinpoints out in the Pacfic. On foggy nights the house was enveloped in a quiet shroud. The haunting fog horns marking their melancholy warnings to the ships plying the waters around the bay.

I turned on some soft music and rocked. Sennet settled in, content in the crook of my arm. Occasionally he would squeak or coo. He seemed to have an early affinity to the songs of Ray LaMontagne and Elliot Smith.

Slowly the sun rose, but I remained where I was - profoundly happy. Stacie got up and whispered if I wanted a break. Not yet. She brought me a coffee and I held the quiet little man. Kramer wandered in and sniffed the baby - giving him an approving lick on the top of his head. Puppy-flavored kisses. The morning progressed and I felt like I was just where I wanted to be. This moment etched forever in my memory. First morning at home.

KJT - Seattle (2009)

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22 June 2009


Sennet Tiernan Timmermans
Born 6/22/09

11:10am Seattle WA

9lbs 12oz.
22˝ long
9 on the APGAR scale

We went in yesterday afternoon around 4pm. Contractions really started around 2am this morning. By 8am Stacie was pushing in earnest. 11:10 our boy was born.

Mom and the kid are doing great. Dad is greatly relieved.

More later, we're both exhausted. (She much more than me, of course...).

(Also, pix of Stacie and the baby together will come later... she made me promise not to post any of her until she gave her approval of them...)

KJT - Seattle (2009)

Here's a great shot of Stacie & Sennet (and it's Stacie approved!):

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31 May 2009

Kayaking Lake Union

“Wherever there is a channel for water, 
there is a road for the canoe.”
- Henry David Thoreau, American author, poet, naturalist, philosopher (1817-1862)

Man, have I been slacking on this blog lately. Been pretty busy getting ready for the impending birth. We're less than three weeks out now. Things are going well. Sennet is, to quote Elmore James, "Rollin' & Tumblin'."

Yesterday I took the morning for a little "me time."

Got up early and took the dogs down to Seward Park and ran on the trails through the woods for about 40 minutes. Then we walked down to the shores of Lake Washington and the dogs went swimming while I lounged in the early morning sun.

Once back home I went down to the University District and rented a sea kayak from the Aqua Verde Paddle Club and tooled around Lake Union for a few hours. Great shoulder workout, and a much-needed mind-cleanser. The weather was brilliant, upper 70s, and being out on the water is always a welcome diversion. One of the many reasons I love living in Seattle.

I'll try to get back on here a little more often.

KJT - Seattle (2009)

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14 May 2009

Party Cat

"I like to party."
- Gene James

Do yourself a favor, 
and go see the whole series here: Nedroid.com

Absolutely HI-LARIOUS. A friend of mine turned me onto Party Cat, and I must say... I am now a fan!

KJT - Seattle (2009)

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06 May 2009

Belly Shot

A couple weeks ago went went to Seward Park and had some pictures professionally taken of the pregnant belly. Here's one of our favorites.

Not long now... 5-1/2 weeks left.

KJT - Seattle (2009)

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19 April 2009

The Kid, cont.

“I like nonsense, it wakes up the brain cells. Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living, It's a way of looking at life through the wrong end of a telescope. Which is what I do, And that enables you to laugh at life's realities.”
- Dr. Theodor Seuss Geisel (1904-1991)

Stacie went for another ultrasound this week and happily the placenta prævia is completely gone! And Sennet keeps growing, we've got less than 10 weeks to go and he's 16˝ and 5lbs 6oz. Stacie is doing good, but wonders how her belly could get any bigger...

Meanwhile, I've been working on some paintings for the baby's room. With apologies to Dr. Seuss, I'm enlarging two of my favorite childhood stories: The Cat in the Hat and One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish. These are painted on board with acrylic, about 2 feet by 3 feet. I'll also be doing four smaller pieces to hang above the dresser, probably 8˝x 10˝. Thinking of the Star-Bellied Sneetches, "Thing 1 and Thing 2" from Cat in the Hat, Green Eggs & Ham, and Horton (from "...Hears A Who" fame). Later on I'll start working on some of my own ideas for some more paintings.

Not much longer now...
KJT - Seattle (2009)

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14 April 2009

I Dig the Pig

"...not by the hair on my chinny chin chin."
"The Story of the Three Little Pigs" from English Fairy Tales by Joseph Jacobs (1854-1916)

Been really busy lately and haven't had as much time to write or blog, but I'll get back to it when I can.

Meanwhile, I thought this was great. Wolf chases pig. Very creative.


KJT - Seattle (2009)

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04 April 2009

Not 'that' Nick Cave

"And what costume shall the poor girl wear
To all tomorrow's parties?
For Thursday's child is Sunday's clown
For whom none will go mourning."

- Velvet Underground, "All Tomorrow's Parties." (196

These 'sound suits' by artist Nick Cave are magical. At first I thought they were produced by the musical artist, whom I greatly admire, but after watching the video interview found out is actually another Nick Cave, an associate professor at the Art Institute of Chicago.

About the sound suits, Cave says, "I believe that the familiar must move towards the fantastic. I want to evoke feelings that are unnamed, that aren’t realized except in dreams." These are truly dream-like works of art. I love 'em.

More pictures:

Video interview with the artist:

Andrew Sullivan.

KJT - Seattle (2009)

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30 March 2009

Seattle to Portland by Bicycle
(210 miles)

"The bicycle is the most civilized conveyance known to man.
Other forms of transport grow daily more nightmarish.
Only the bicycle remains pure in heart."  

- Iris Murdoch, Irish-born British author/philosopher (1919-1999)

July, 2006. Woke up at 3:00 AM in order to stretch, have coffee & eat a light breakfast.

I clicked into my pedals in front of my house at 4:15 in the morning, up the street a few people were just getting home from a Friday night of partying. As I rode past them, they looked at me as if I was insane. It was still full dark.

I rode over to the start line at the University of Washington campus and met up with my co-worker, JJ. It was just the two of us together, as all the rest who had said they were going to ride with our group had dropped out for various reasons. We joined the 9,000 other riders milling about, and we ended up rolling out for the start of the ride just before 4:45 AM. The first 25 miles or so wound along Lake Washington Blvd, past Seward Park and along the route I take when I ride to work...

We stopped at a rest stop near my office in Kent for a couple of minutes to get rid of the early morning coffee and have some energy bars. We got to "the Hill" in Tacoma (as the ride organizers like to call it) before 7:00 AM. It was a fairly steep, mile-long ride - but no different than many of the hills we ride all the time. A few people were walking their bikes up, but not many.

We got to the rest stop at 50 miles and had some bananas and more energy food. As we rolled out, we jumped on a train of about 20 bikers and picked up the pace. We flew over the next 50 miles without stopping and arrived at the half-way point, Centralia, 100 miles into the ride, at 10:50 AM. Our goal had been to be at 100 miles by noon so we beat that by over an hour. It was the easiest hundred miles I had ever ridden - we averaged 19mph for the whole hundred, and that included the hill and the rollers.

JJ's girlfriend was driving support for us along with his dog, and met us in Centralia. Most of the 9,000 riders who participate in the STP ride it in two days, and Centralia is where most of them stop for the night. We were among the (foolish?) minority who had determined to ride it all in one day.

We relaxed in Centralia, rested, had a big spaghetti feast, lots of water, stretched, and then rolled out again just after noon. We had planned on going somewhat easy for the first 10 miles or so after Centralia, but it was clear pretty fast that JJ wasn't feeling good. We stopped at the next rest stop and he laid on the ground, complaining of a stomach-ache. After a bit I convinced him to get back on the bike and continue on. I kept hoping he would ride himself back into form, but he continued to get worse. He said the food was sitting in his stomach like a rock. We stopped in Winlock and he laid in the shade for about 20 minutes.

We mustered on. He would seem to look better and so I would pick up the pace and then look back and find him about a quarter mile behind. It seemed to take us forever just to get to a mini-rest stop at mile 137. Again he laid in the shade for about half an hour. I felt bad for him, but was getting antsy and frustrated at our slow pace. We had been cruising so well for the first 100 miles, but our momentum was now broken. We nursed ourselves to the rest stop at mile 145 and met up with JJ's girlfriend again. We told her she had better stop at every rest stop from now on, just in case.

I wouldn't have pushed him so hard, except that this wasn't the first time he had gotten sick on a ride. We had ridden the Flying Wheels Summer Century a few weeks previous. It was a 100-mile ride around northern King and southern Snohomish counties, with over 3,000 feet of climbing. After the first steep climb, just 8 miles into the ride, JJ had puked. He had had a triple latte and an egg McMuffin before starting (idiot!) and that didn't sit well with the exertion. After throwing up he felt better and was able to continue and finish that ride. With that memory in mind I just assumed he would eventually get better and be OK.

JJ rested again, ate a bit, and laid down. He said he thought we was feeling a little better. This would proof false however, as soon as we started again. He was still feeling pretty bleak & weak, and our slow pacing had really brought my energy level down as well and I began to feel the miles a lot more.

We passed through Longview, Washington and crossed into Oregon at mile 152, over the huge, steep Lewis & Clark bridge across the Columbia River. I paced JJ up and over the bridge and we continued on. The rollers were a little less steep now, but our pace was still well below where I wanted it to be.

Eventually we made it to mile 175 and I told JJ I thought he had better call it a day. He had had the dry heaves for the last few miles and was wobbling on his bike. Since his stomach was so upset he wasn't able to eat and drink enough and so that compounded his problems. He had come to the same conclusion, that he was done, and crawled into the back of his girlfriend's Blazer. I told them I would see them at the finish line.

Extremely tired and sore at this point, I decided to try to ride the rest of the way in as fast as I could. I jumped on the wheel of two really strong riders and drafted behind them at about 24mph for the next 15 miles, then stopped to refill my water bottles for the final push. Riding solo, and basically trying to time-trial home to finish the damn thing as fast as I could, I tried to stay between 18 and 22mph, I finally crossed the bridge into Portland and rolled across the finish line sometime after 8:00 PM.

Even with all the meandering and rest stopping, I still managed to average about 17.5mph for the entire 210-mile ride. Just over 12 hours of actual saddle time.

I met up with JJ and his girlfriend and went immediately to the beer garden. A cold one had never tasted so perfect. JJ was feeling a bit better - he had eaten and napped - but was still not well. After resting a bit with some more beer, we climbed into the car, got some food, and began the long drive back up to Seattle. Got home about 1:00 AM, took a long, hot shower, and fell into bed...

KJT - Seattle to Portland (2006)

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