Custom tempo controller for the BeatBuddy drum pedal

This is the result of over a year of causal tinkering. Doesn't look like much, I'm sure. The box to the right is not of my creation, it is a BeatBuddy, probably the greatest drum machine ever created. The device is rich with features, and even has an accessory switch pedal similar to what I cadged together. What it currently does not have, though, is an external tempo adjustment stomp box. Now one exists.

At a future date I'll spell out more details on the build, but the short version is this:

The tempo controller started out as a Fender guitar amp switch. I gutted it out and added an Arduino Nano microprocessor to speak to the BeatBuddy. Pressing the left button decreases tempo 5 bpm. Pressing the right button increases tempo 5 bpm. The BeatBuddy itself has been modified to add an external 1/4" jack for its tempo control knob. A 1/4" TRS cable connects the BeatBuddy to my pedal, which I'll cook up some sort of fancy name for.

So, in the future I'll stick together a better work-up on it, with a parts list, the Arduino Nano code, etc. And yes, I'm aware that there is a MIDI controller on the BeatBuddy, and there are probably a dozen better ways of going about what I built, but it works, right? Right!

Whole 30 Recipe: Spaghetti El Pato

Scratch your spaghetti itch with this flavorful alternative to the typical "jar of Ragu" spaghetti experience.

For those of you not familiar with yam noodle, it is a white noodle made out of some sort of mystery yam. The noodles possess zero calories, carbs, and anything else. You might as well be eating plastic. The noodles have a neutral flavor, but come packaged in a foul smelling liquid that certainly needs to be rinsed off before use.

El Pato is a Mexican tomato sauce that is quite spicy, and contains no sugar or other Whole 30-incompatible ingredients. So, you should be able to enjoy this just fine while eating on the Whole 30 plan.

What you will be enjoying is a bold, hearty spaghetti with very little runny sauce. The sauce, if you can call it that, will be hearty enough to use for other recipes where you need something meaty, such as maybe a dinner salad.


  • 1 14-oz bag Shirakiku Yam Noodle
  • 1 lb organic ground beef
  • 1 7-oz can El Pato tomato sauce
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1-1/2 cup sliced mushrooms (i.e., a bunch of mushrooms)
  • 1/2 carrot, diced or julienned
  • 2 small red peppers, diced
  • smoked paprika, to taste. Add twice as much as you think you should.
  • garlic powder, to taste
  • dried or fresh cilantro, to taste
  • dried or fresh chives, to taste
  • salt, to taste
  • olive or avocado oil

Directions - Yam Noodle

  • Get a large pot of water on the stove and set to boil.
  • Using a fine mesh colander, rinse off the yam noodle in sink.
  • Use a pair of kitchen scissors to snip the yam noodle a few times. You'll find the noodles to be much more manageable if you do.
  • Add yam noodle to boiling water, and turn off heat. Leave yam noodle in water while preparing spaghetti sauce.
  • Drain yam noodle when ready to use.

Directions - Spaghetti sauce

  • Add a splash of olive or avocado oil to wok.
  • Heat wok on high, being careful to not scorch oil.
  • Sautee diced onion and mushrooms. Allow to brown. Add in carrot and peppers, and sautee.
  • Push ingredients to side of wok and allow bottom to heat up.
  • Add in 1 lb. organic ground beef and allow to brown. Use a wooden spoon or similar tool to break up ground beef as it browns.
  • Sprinkle on garlic powder, cilantro, chives, smoked paprika, and salt. Use your discretion.
  • Add in 1 7-oz can of El Pato tomato sauce.
  • Allow mixture to simmer for 10 minutes.
  • Serve over yam noodle.

Whole 30 Recipe: Chili Fire Scrambled Eggs

This quick-to-fix recipe makes a great meal for any time of day. The dish jazzes up otherwise bland eggs, and the walnuts add a nice crunch to satisfy your bored mouth.

This recipe should be compatible with the Whole 30 program; the Sambal Oelek does not have any sugar in it. And of course, being from Huy Fong, the makers of the real Sriracha, you know it'll be fiery.


  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup uncooked spinach
  • 1/4 cup walnuts
  • 2 Tbsp Sambal Oelek
  • 1 cup (or one small can from Costco) diced mushrooms
  • Garlic powder (optional)
  • 1 Tbsp coconut oil


  • Heat wok to cooking temp.
  • Add coconut oil.
  • Add mushrooms, and brown. Sprinkle with garlic power if desired.
  • Add eggs and stir, so as to scramble the eggs.
  • Add spinach and walnuts. Stir and continue to cook until spinach is wilted and eggs look done.
  • Add Sambal Oelek. Be careful, this can fill your home with pungent vapors if the Sambal Oelek gets overheated.
  • Serve immediately, and enjoy

lifehack: fresh gym bag

See this car air freshener? If you leave your gym bag in the car like I do,  you may be tempted to get this air freshener and hang it from your rear view mirror. The overpowering"laundry soap" scent of "Black Ice" renders the car uninhabitable, but what to do about it?

Toss the air freshener into the gym bag.

The potent power of Black Ice overcomes typical gym bag funk, leaving your gear smelling like freshly laundered clothing. Your car will smell better,  your gym bag will smell better.

Slightly better print quality when using painters tape for 3-D printing

UPDATE 26 Mar 2016: The below suggestion to scuff the tape only helps with small objects, with maybe a couple square inches of contact surface on the bed. Any larger than that and you'll be lucky to obtain a useful print at all with the Da Vinci Jr.

In a previous post, I mentioned using ordinary blue painter's tape as a cheap alternative bed tape for 3-D printing. I'm using a XYZprinting Da Vinci Jr. 1.0 3D Printer printer. While blue painter's tape works, it does have some drawbacks. The surface is a bit too smooth, resulting in prints where the far corners of the surface touching the bed end up lifting slightly. The result is a print where the edges are peeled up a bit from the middle, distorting the shape.

There is a cheap fix for the cheap tape, though: A wire brush.
















After laying down the painter's tape, scuff the top surface with the wire brush. This will give the surface enough texture for the PLA material to stick to it during printing. I have not had difficulty removing a print after trying this out.








If scuffing the tape surface produces any "fuzz", you'll want to remove that with a lint roller, a vacuum, or another piece of tape.



Excellent not-cheese Cheese Sauce

not-cheese sauce

This is not cheese. This is not Velveta, or worse yet, that evil yellow wax-in-a-can known euphamistically as "Nacho Cheese". This is a suprisingly good (trying to avoid the word) vegan cheese-substitute sauce that in no way tastes "vegan", "substitute", or anything detracting at all. It is most excellent.

So anyhow, I got an email from Bendtec and it had the recipe in it, and you can find the recipe here. You'll also get the nutritional info, etc. there as well.

I did tweak the recipe ever so slightly; using Chinese hot mustard instad of Dijon mustard. So, without further ado, here is my tiny twist on the "Amazing Vegan Cheese Sauce" found at Blendtec.


  • 4 potatos, peeled and diced
  • 4 carrots, pelled and diced
  • 3 tbsp avocado oil (its what we had on hand)
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp Chinese hot mustard
  • 1 tsp Shoyu (aka "Soy Sauce" to you not-from-Hawaii folks)
  • 3/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 cloves garlic


  1. Boil the diced up potatos and carrots, and two cloves of garlic and a bit of salt (use your imagination, I just pour a bit in the water) for at least a half-hour or more. I used a pressure cooker and blasted them for 20 minutes.  You're going to be blending this so its okay for it to be soggy. You do not want al dente potatos here. Worth mention, the salt I describe here is in addition to the salt used in the ingredients list.
  2. Get your Blendtec blender (because you have a real blender, right? If not, buy one here.) WildSide or FourSide jar, and put in all the other ingredients.
  3. Drain the potatos and carrots and add to the blender jar. When I did this, with my FourSide jar, the carrots and potatos went almost to the top of the jar.
  4. Blend on "Dips" cycle. When I did this, it only blended about the bottom 1/3 of the contents, so I used a wooden spoon to get it pushed down a bit, then did another blend. I ultimately did three cycles total before it all got nicely blended.
  5. Serve immediately. And soak the jar in hot soapy water or that garlic smell will eat into the plastic.

I served this sauce over baked asparagus, and it was just excellent. I found myself shamelessly eating the sauce as soup; and looking at the ingredients, there is no reason why you could not. Some celery sticks were used to sop up the remainder of the sauce. The original recipe suggests using this for mac and cheese; and I will certainly be trying that in the future with some rice pasta.

Cheap bed tape for the Da Vinci Jr. 3-D Printer

Here you see my DaVinci Jr 3-D printer chugging away at printing out an Arduino Nano case that I downloaded from thingiverse.

Notice that the printer bed is covered in something blue. As in ordinary 2"-wide blue painting tape, the stuff you'd pick up at Home Depot.

Here is a roll of 2"-wide Home Depot "HDX" (their house brand) painter's tape. While it looks bright blue in this pic, in real life it looks a bit more purple. Anyhow, this stuff is about 100x cheaper than the "three sheets for ten bucks" bed tape you can find, if availabe, at, the retailers for the Da Vinci Jr. come from.

I lay this down in three strips, running back-to-front, on the print bed. Be careful to not overlap the strips. so that you maintain an unbroken surface.

I start from the right-hand side of the printer, as that's where it starts any new print job; by drawing a big rectangle on the far-right. I lay down three strips of tape, going from right to left. This leaves about a half-inch of exposed print bed to the far left side, but I've yet to print anything that wide.

To accomodate the thickness of the painter's tape, I have adjusted the Z-Offset of the printer. From the front panel on the printer, click Utilities > Z Offset. I increased it up by one click; to 1.45 mm. This worked for me, but of course, you'll have to adjust as necessary.

Ah, the print job just completed! Now you can see what I"m talking about. Three strips of 2-inch-wide blue painters tape, running back-to-front, starting from the right-hand side. I still needed a putty knife to remove the completed print job, but it lifted off with very little effort. The tape itself peels off easily.

But wait, I'll add a caveat to this. Around the edges of the print job, the corners do curl up a bit. If your print job has tight tolerances, keep this in mind. I believe this is due to the PLA not adhering to the tape. I did recall reading where somebody used hairspray to overcome this, but I'm unwilling to spray anything into my printer. That'll just make a mess and a possible fire hazard. If I could find something I could roll on that dried tacky, I'd give that a try. For now, though, I just keep in mind that the cheap blue tape is for non-critical print jobs I got a workaround. See this:

So, for all but the most demanding print jobs, I'm using cheap painter's tape for the print bed. If it's something special, I'll spring for the fancy kapton tape, but otherwise, it's 2-inch blue painter's tape for me.

An argument for a Mid-Tribulation Rapture

I would like to offer up to you all the following argument for a Mid-Tribulation Rapture. Start by looking at the Gospel of Mark, chapter 13. This is a passage, similar to Matthew 24, where the disciples ask Jesus about the end times.

[Mar 13:4 KJV] 4 Tell us, when shall these things be? and what [shall be] the sign when all these things shall be fulfilled?

Jesus begins to explain what will occur during the Tribulation:

[Mar 13:7-8 KJV] 7 And when ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars, be ye not troubled: for [such things] must needs be; but the end [shall] not [be] yet. 8 For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be earthquakes in divers places, and there shall be famines and troubles: these [are] the beginnings of sorrows.

[Mar 13:14 KJV] 14 But when ye shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing where it ought not, (let him that readeth understand,) then let them that be in Judaea flee to the mountains:

Now here is the portion which implies a mid-tribulation Rapture (emphais mine):

[Mar 13:24-27 KJV] 24 But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, 25 And the stars of heaven shall fall, and the powers that are in heaven shall be shaken. 26 And then shall they see the Son of man coming in the clouds with great power and glory. 27 And then shall he send his angels, and shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from the uttermost part of the earth to the uttermost part of heaven.

Take a look at Revelation 6:12-13.

[Rev 6:12-13 KJV] 12 And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood; 13 And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind.


I think its pretty fair to say that Mark 13:24-25 go with Revelation 6:12-13.

In Mark 13:24, Jesus indicates what is about to say next comes "after that tribulation". Logically, what He said in Mark 13:5-23 comes before Mark 13:24.

Let's take a look at a large piece of Revelation chapter 6 and 7:

[Rev 6:11-17 KJV] 11 And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they [were], should be fulfilled. 12 And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood; 13 And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind. 14 And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places. 15 And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains; 16 And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: 17 For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?

[Rev 7:1-17 KJV] 1 And after these things I saw four angels standing on the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, nor on the sea, nor on any tree. 2 And I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God: and he cried with a loud voice to the four angels, to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea, 3 Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads. 4 And I heard the number of them which were sealed: [and there were] sealed an hundred [and] forty [and] four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel. 5 Of the tribe of Juda [were] sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Reuben [were] sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Gad [were] sealed twelve thousand. 6 Of the tribe of Aser [were] sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Nepthalim [were] sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Manasses [were] sealed twelve thousand. 7 Of the tribe of Simeon [were] sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Levi [were] sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Issachar [were] sealed twelve thousand. 8 Of the tribe of Zabulon [were] sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Joseph [were] sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Benjamin [were] sealed twelve thousand. 9 After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands; 10 And cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb. 11 And all the angels stood round about the throne, and [about] the elders and the four beasts, and fell before the throne on their faces, and worshipped God, 12 Saying, Amen: Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honour, and power, and might, [be] unto our God for ever and ever. Amen. 13 And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they? 14 And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. 15 Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple: and he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them. 16 They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat. 17 For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.

Mark 13:24-25 go with Revelation 6:12-13, and Mark 13:27 goes with Revelation 7:9-14.

My conjecture to you is that Mark 13:24-27 is Jesus describing a mid-tribulation Rapture. Revelation 6 and 7 are the dividing point of the first three and one-half years of the Tribulation from the last three and one-half years of the Great Tribulation. The church is removed, and in their place, 144,000 Jews take over, in a restoration of the role of the Jews. The church is removed before God's wrath is poured out on the earth, as promised in 2 Thessalonians 5:9.

Also worthy of consideration is the great apostasy predicted in 2 Thessalonians 2:3

[2Th 2:3 KJV] 3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for [that day shall not come], except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;

I dare to suggest that of the ones falling away and abandoning their faith, some will be those who hung their hopes on a pre-tribulation Rapture.

And let me be clear: I am not the first person to suggest a mid-tribulation Rapture; many great scholars have put up arguments for Pre-, Mid-, and Post-Tribulation Rapture theories. My encoruagements to you are as follows:

  • Jesus is returning for His people!
  • Be aware that this event may not come at the start of the Tribulation
  • Be aware that no matter how it shakes out, those who believe on Jesus win in the end. [Jhn 16:33 KJV] 33 These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.

Installing a Crimestopper RS4-G5 Cool Start remote start in a 1995 Mitsubishi Diamante

This is more like "Replacing a CrimeStopper RS999 Cool Start with an RS4-G5", but there are still a few bits that might prove useful. My brother-in-law is an auto mechanic by trade, and many years ago he installed a CoolStart RS999 in our mother-in-law's 1995 Mitsubishi Diamante.. Now the car is in my hands, and the remote start is fried. Over the years the car has been jump-started a few times, and I suspect that cooked the brains in the old RS999. On top of that, nobody can find the remote. Time for a new unit.

So I hit up Amazon and pick up a newer model from the same company. I cheaped out and got a RS4-G5 1-way remote instead of a 2-way remote like the old RS-999. The reason I went cheapskate is if I blew the install, I wanted to be able to take it to a shop and get one professionally installed, without feeling like I threw away too much money.

Googling online for manuals confirms that the old RS-999 and new RS4-G5 units share almost identical wiring patterns. Nice. This proved out to be crucial, actually. And let me say, I owe my brother-in-law big. He did a real nice job on the original install.

I had the manuals for both the old and new remote starts. You can find manuals online with some basic googling, so you won't have any difficulty finding manuals.

YouTube did not have much useful information to yield on the installation. But I did find one excellent tip amongst the junk. Check out this video and go in about a minute. The homemade gizmo with two alligator clips? This should be standard equipment with every single soldering iron sold. I wish I had thought of this myself, cuz' I'da been trying to market it for millions. That device is just plain required equipment for auto wiring. It just is. I made one, and if all you get out of this article is this bit about the alligartor clip gizmo, it's worth it.

Whenever I did a splice, I did it like Eric the Car Guy did. I used heat-shrink tubing for insulation, and when all the wires where done, they got a generous black electrical tape go-around. So that covers how I did the splices.

Anyhow, that said, because I was really replacing a remote start, and not installing one from scratch, most of the real blood, sweat, and tears had already been shed by my brother-in-law. I did not have to hunt down a tach wire, install the hood pin safety switch, and most importantly, not have to find the dreaded door lock/unlock wires.

If you google "1995 Mitsubishi Diamante Wiring Diagram", you will find this excellent site for auto alarm installers. With the information here, and an additional look at a Chilton manual for a 1995 Mitsubishi Diamante , I see I'm looking for a red/blue wire with dots, and a red/black wire with dots. Guess what? Those wires were probably the first two wires installed in the factory, installed right against a bright shiny body shell, then overlapped with probably a mile of wiring harnessess, fuseboxes, and so on. I decided I could live without the door lock/unlock capability; a tough decision. But the story has a happy ending, as I shall tell.

Oh yeah, the obvious: Disconnect the car battery before beginning, and if at all in doubt, give up and let an auto shop do the work.

Looking at the manuals for the old and new remotes side-by-side, they use the same wiring color scheme. On the high-voltage connector on the old RS-999 unit, there are seven wires; and the new RS4-G5 unit has six wires on the high-voltage connector. The only difference is the white wire on the high voltage connector of the RS-999 matches up with the white wire on the low-voltage connector on the RS4-G5. Otherwise, the other six wires match up color-for-color. I spliced in the new high-voltage connector color-for-color to the old high voltage connector, leaving the white wire from the old conenctor dangling for now.

The low-voltage connector was similar, but there were a lot more wires in there. Fortunately, the colors do match up wire-for-wire, so I spliced in the new connector in place of the old one. The only difference here is I attached that white wire which was on the old unit's high-voltage connector. The wire is for the dome light, and in both the old and new manuals, the even use the same illlustrations so I was pretty confident. Of course, the best thing to do would have been to use a voltmeter and spend a lot of time verifying this, but what can I say? I went for it.

So yeah, I spliced in the new low-voltage wire connector color-for-color in place of the old connector.

Because the old unit was a two-way, and the new unit a one-way, the antenna connectors were not the same, and neither were the antennas, I did run the new antenna in place, and had to pry off the interior trim panel which runs from the roof to the dashboard. It snaps in place, so it fortunately came out without too much of a battle. The antenna is attached with some two-way foam sticky tape, and adheres nicely. I ran the wire by tucking it under the headliner, down that side panel piece, and into the rubber door trim. The wire can then be tucked up into the dash so it is entirely hidden from view.

The new kit comes with little wire harnesses for adding in a temporary LED and pushbutton switch for programming the unit. Because the keys come pre-programmed, I found it unnecessary to use either the pushbutton or LED.

Oh yeah, where to actually install the unit? The previous unit was up under the dash, held in place with zip ties. You could zip tie it up in there, but I found that there is enough space behind the knee kick plate whic surrounds the steering column and steering height adjuster. That kick plate comes off with three 10mm bolts and two screws. Right above the trunk release switch there is enough space to stuff the RS4-G5. Worth mention, taking that knee kick plate out will make the install a ton easier.

So at this stage, I got a RS4-G5 with a high-voltage connector, a low-voltage connector, and the antenna connector. I plug the connectors in, and reconnect the battery.

And it works! No doors, though.

And that is where the miracle occurs. I thank Jesus, and when I come across my bro-in-law, I'll thank him, too. I get to working on installing the RS4-G5 in its permanent home, and I find this small three-wire connector dangling, with a red, green, and blue wire. Which so happens to be the wire colors which plug into the three-connector door control jack on the RS4-G5. And yes, it fit! Which means my brother-in-law, God bless him, had previously tapped into those impossible-to-reach door control wires. And all I had to do was plug in the connector! Amen. No, make, that AMEN. The remote operates the door lock/unlock.

So yeah, I got the unit behind that kick panel, and everything all sanitized and looking respectul. It tooke me almost all of a Saturday to accomplish but it worked. If I had to do this from scratch, I'd say "forget this!" and pay a shop to do the install. But in this case, it was pretty cheap, and a learning experience.

It works. I'm happy.

So in closing, I'll say:

  • If you are thinking of installing an automotive remote start from scratch, and there is no existing remote start in there, you might want to pay somebody else. Save your hair.
  • If you got an existing remote start that is dead, and you are going to be sticking in a similar unit, get online and compare the old and new devices. You might get lucky like I did, and find most of the wiring is the same between the two units. This is a better candidate for do-it-yourself.
  • That two alligator clip thing that Eric the Car Guy has? You need one of those.


Paste into PuTTY with Windows 10, and/or paste into PuTTY from a laptop.

This might be a Windows 10 issue, or maybe my Compaq laptop, or who knows, but, if you use PuTTY (a very popular terminal emulator program), you might find it impossible to copy text from Windows, then paste it into a PuTTy session.

So, I have this laptop, where some of the keys require you to press this "fn" key to do things. Doubtless "fn" is short for "function". Anyhow, it just makes life complicated, particularly when trying to work with PuTTY.

Pasting into PuTTY? This worked for me. I cannot say it will work for you.

  • Highlight the desired Windows text and Copy it to the Windows clipboard.
  • For your own sanity's sake, verify the content is there by doing a Paste into a typical Windows application such as Notepad.
  • Switch over to your PuTTy session window.
  • Press ,and hold down, in this order, the following keys: [shift] [fn] [ins prt sc].

And that shoiuld be it. You hold down the Shift key. While keeping that key down, press the fn key. With both of those keys down, you press the "ins prt sc" key. (that "ins prt sc" key on my laptop is printed with "ins" on the top, and "prt sc" underneath it.

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