Random Reader Rant and/or Revel

Photo by PoPville flickr user Erinn Shirley

You can talk about whatever is on your mind – quality of life issues, a beautiful tree you spotted, scuttlebutt, or any random questions/thoughts you may have. But please no personal attacks and no need to correct people’s grammar. This is a place to vent and/or celebrate things about daily life in DC.

99 Comment

  • Rant: This incredibly obnoxious train operator that I somehow always get, probably because I’m always at the station in the same 10 minute window, but dear lord. The worst part is the sing songy good morning he shouts at every.single.station. Ironically it’s the clearest PA system in a train car I’ve ever heard. I had to get off and switch trains because it was too freaking annoying to listen to the whole way into DC. Oh and headphones do nothing, his shouting+PA is that loud.
    Rave: I can now do 3 pullups, which is 3 more than a month ago.

    • That’s ALMOST as bad as the “performer” at the Crystal City metro station who belts out songs about Jesus at the top of his lungs while thunderously clapping his hands. The noise pierces through headphones and you’re assaulted by it the whole time while you get out of the metro, go up the escalators, and cross the street outside. And he’s always there in the morning, not during the evening commute when one might be better able to cope with it.

    • I get this guy every day and he drives me insane too. The first time he said good morning I thought it was nice, but he does it every single time. And of course, he manages to get the only metro car with a working intercom. GOOD MORNING its a BEAUTIFUL day sorry for the DELAAAAAAAAAY! Train MOOOOoOOoooooving!

    • I actually really like this guy. Except if I’m hungover.

      • same here!! even on days when i’m in a really awful mood, he generally cheers me up with his enthusiasm.

  • Rant: Metro Mutts in SE is closing. 🙁

  • Rant: Metro Mutts in SE is closing 🙁

  • Rave: walking down the block with my daughter’s hand in mine, singing the chorus of “I got you babe”. Definitely put a smile on my face 🙂
    Rant: Caps loss last night.
    Rant: 3 wakeups between two kids is rough. Having trouble falling back to sleep afterwards hurts even more.
    Rave: first rave still puts a smile on my face 🙂

  • maxwell smart

    RANT?: Intersting Uber experience last night that I’m not sure how to deal with. Before this turns into a “uber is the worst” reply chain, I have had nothing but great experiences with uber and nothing but awful experiences with DC cabs, including but not limited to refusing to take me to upper NW, not taking credit cards, filthy cabs, driver smoking, on the phone, on multiple phones, etc.

    OKAY – so, I request the uber and it informs me the driver is deaf and it will be helpful to put in the address of where I am going. No big deal, I usually do that anyway and the driver being deaf does not bother me. If anything, it means I don’t feel obligated to make stilted small talk. Driver picks me up, we start driving and uber shows the route, which makes sense (the route uber suggested). We don’t take that route. We follow some other GPS system route, which results in a fairly non-direct route and a wrong turn that results in a 5 minute detour. Normally, I would have informed the driver at some point this is not the best route, turn here, etc. but given the circumstances, I didn’t feel like there was anything I could do except ride it out.

    I have nothing against the driver. Mostly I feel like there should be some way via uber to pre-communicate the route you want to follow if the driver is hearing impaired. Anyway, not sure if anyone else has had a similar experience.

    • when you rate the driver, you should leave a comment to mention that it would be great were he/she to follow the uber route instead of his own gps system route, as the uber route takes into account traffic flows, etc. Uber drivers can read these comments, and so this particular driver would likely appreciate this feedback.

    • One time I got in an Uber with a deaf driver and he pointed at a name on the screen. I thought it was his name so I nodded ok. Then right before he was about to drive off I realized he was trying to verify that the name was mine, and I had gotten into the wrong car! I agree that the app should have a way to communicate by text in these situations.

    • If you’re concerned that you were overcharged, you can ask Uber for a fare adjustment. I’ve done that a few times and it’s really straightforward.

    • My experiences with the route provided by the Uber map have tended to be terrible. To the point that many of my recent Uber drivers are complaining to me about the issues. Waze usually provides a significantly faster route, even if it’s not obviously your normal or most direct route. Traffic matters in DC.

      • maxwell smart

        Yes and no. I’ve had a couple of instances lately where, what I am assuming waze, decided the best route was to take Beach Drive through Rock Creek Park. In theory, yes this is the “fastest” route since there are no stop lights or traffic. But it’s a fairly slow speed limit with a lot of windy turns, rutted out roads and unclear signage, which has 3 times resulted in the driver taking the wrong turn, which is why I usually direct them to take city streets.

    • I feel bad saying this, but I’m not hiring a car where I can’t direct the driver. Especially given the lack of familiarity of some (most?) UberX drivers with the area, and the traffic we may encounter en route. If I don’t like the route s/he (or the GPS) has chosen, I want to be able to tell them to alter it. If we hit traffic, I want to be able to tell him or her how to avoid it. I’m not interested in giving up all control in how I get to my destination to someone I’ve never met. Unfortunately, that means no deaf drivers. As I said, I feel bad about it, but that’s the way it is.

      • maxwell smart

        The timing was ironic since I had just 2 days prior read an article how Uber was teaming up with an organization to provide work opportunities for deaf / hard-of-hearing drivers.

      • Just to play devil’s advocate, not disagreeing with you – but I’m sure there are plenty of not-deaf drivers who would be happy to completely ignore the passenger’s request for a certain route, too.
        Tbh, I’m almost wondering if I’d feel more comfortable with a deaf driver since I wouldn’t feel like I was supposed to make conversation, and I think its a great step towards equal career opportunities for all.

      • This is an honest question- is it legal to drive when you’re deaf? I mean, I guess it must be, but it seems to me that it would be less safe. I feel the same way about when people listen to music too loudly or have earbuds in while driving- it seems unsafe and you should have your senses available (except smell and taste, I guess)

        • Yes, it’s legal to drive-while-deaf. That is, if you have a driver’s license. Which is, of course, legal in all 50 states. Maybe you’ve confused deafness with blindness?

          • +1
            Also I’m colorblind and they let me drive, which is arguably a bigger safety issue than lack of hearing in terms of driving.

        • I’m deaf and I can drive perfectly fine. If you think about it, what role does sound have in driving? Ambulances have lights that alert me to pull over for them to pass, etc. etc.

      • Accountering

        Meh, I would be 100% confortable riding with a deaf driver. Presumably they are 100% focused – no phone calls, music etc.

        My pizza delivery driver is deaf, it works out fine for him. I see absolutely no reason to put a barrier in front of a deaf person trying to make a living.

        • To be clear, it’s not that I feel unsafe, it’s that I’m a control freak who is unwilling to deal with the barriers having a deaf driver imposes on me. I couldn’t care less if my pizza delivery guy was deaf, it has no impact on me at all.

      • HaileUnlikely

        FWIW I have a couple of acquaintances who are deaf. I do not know any sign language. We can’t exactly have the same kind of conversation that I can have with somebody else who can hear, but we can generally convey basic meaning ok. If I was getting a ride with somebody who I was aware was deaf, I’d make a point of going over the directions with them on their or my phone before we started (I do this with drivers who can hear, too, because I often disagree with app-based directions). I mean heck, I’ve ridden with lots of drivers (both taxis and Uber/Lyft) who do not speak English very well (I don’t say that to pick on their grammar, I mean recent immigrants who really can’t converse in English. I speak enough Spanish to get by. User name notwithstanding, I don’t speak a lick of Amharic.)

        • “We can’t exactly have the same kind of conversation that I can have with somebody else who can hear, but we can generally convey basic meaning ok.”
          I’d imagine that would be pretty difficult if your acquaintance’s back was to you.

          • One idea would be, if you knew he was deaf before arrival — just type up a note on your phone to show to him when you get in the car.

          • HaileUnlikely

            Yes, agreed. I’d do what I could to agree on a plan before we started driving, which I usually do anyway.

  • Does anyone know why 5th Street NW between Kennedy Street and Missouri was closed off and had so much police activity this morning?

    • hmmm that’s my block I left a little before 8am and it was busy but nothing unusual.. wonder what happened?

    • There were 3 or 4 cars sitting on 7th between Longfellow and Missouri this morning (one blocking the Shepherd alley), then after about an hour three tow trucks showed up, the cops left, and the tow trucks sat around for another hour before they towed three vehicles from behind the apartment building on 7th between Longfellow and Shepherd. Two of them looked like the windows had been smashed (or shot?) out, and none had plates. No idea if the police activity + towing was related, or even if this was related to whatever you saw on 5th, but it felt like it would have been quite a coincidence not to have been connected. A neighbor couldn’t get a straight answer from the cops when they were still there–just were told “police investigation.”

  • Rave: Tried out a new recipe for baked doughnuts that failed miserably as a doughnut but it was one of the best chocolate sponge cakes I’ve had in a long time. The recipe still needs some tweaking but I think it might be a keeper.
    Rave: Happy hour on the patio last night with the other Mrs. Rabbit. I love the weather at this time of the year.
    Rant: Stupidly aggressive carpenter bees in our backyard. We’ve named the one that likes buzzing in our faces Dante the Infuriater.

    • Carpenter bees are the worst! They terrify my daughter so badly that she’s sometimes scared to play in our back yard & garden with my wife. Ugh.

  • Rant: When I went to plug in the coffeemaker this morning it killed the power to some of the outlets in my kitchen. Tried resetting the GFCI and checking for tripped breakers to no avail. I guess the next step would be to open up the outlets and see if anything is loose or burnt out?

    • Sometimes GFCI outlets just wear out and need to be replaced. That happened in my kitchen a while ago.

    • My next step would be to call an electrician, but that’s just me. If electrical matters are more complicated than “change the lightbulb” or push the GFI reset button, I’m calling the pros. I’m not going to die of electric shock if I can help it!

      • So long as you can confirm that the circuit is off (confirming with a voltage meter), it’s not hard to replace a GFCI outlet. Mostly a matter of disconnecting wires from one outlet & reconnecting them in the same pattern to the new one.

    • HaileUnlikely

      Are the outlets in question controlled by a circuit breaker that gets tripped fairly often? And did this happen as soon as you plugged the coffee maker in (while it was still turned off) or did you turn the coffee maker on first and then lost power? If the coffee maker was on, were any other things whose sole purpose in life is basically to produce heat (toaster, microwave, waffle maker, electric skillet, you get the idea) also turned on and plugged into outlets that now also don’t have power?
      The reason I ask is that breakers that get tripped a lot eventually fail and just stop working. If you were using another thing that draws a lot of current (mainly heat-producing things) and lost power after you turned the coffee maker on, I’d bet on it being a breaker that just went bad and needs to be replaced. I’ve seen breakers trip and fail in the “off” position such that they cannot be reset, but I’ve also seen them trip and fail but with the switch still on the “on” position such that they no longer allow current to flow even though they appear to still be “on.”
      It is also possible that the GFCI has gone bad and cannot be reset, but if that is the case, unless the coffee maker plug or outlet was wet, it would have to have just been some oddball freak occurrence for the GFCI to go bad right when you plugged in the coffee maker.

      • To follow on to this, was there another appliance (even one in another room?) that was on that normally isn’t? In our old place, our microwave had a bad habit of tripping the breaker. We discovered that it was n the same circuit as several outlets in the den, one of which had a computer plugged into it. The electrician was appalled when he looked at how overloaded it was, but since not all of the load was a constant draw, it wasn’t immediately apparent that there was a problem. We separated the microwave onto a separate breaker, and never had a problem again.

      • I don’t think this breaker has ever tripped before. The coffee maker has a finicky switch that I keep switched to the ON position but sometimes you have to wiggle it to get the coffeemaker start, so I can’t say for sure if it was on when I plugged it in.
        I keep the heat-producing things unplugged but the Vitamix was also plugged in (and not turned on) at that time.
        Not sure if it matters for troubleshooting purposes but the GFCI was the outlet I was trying to use.

        • HaileUnlikely

          Other idea, though admittedly a whole lot less likely: Is your home relatively newly-renovated, like within the past few years, or more to the point, are the outlets and/or panel relatively new. It is possible, though in my opinion highly unlikely, that you have an AFCI (arc fault circuit interrupter) breaker or an AFCI outlet on the circuit. Plugging in a high-draw appliance like a coffee maker while it is switched on can occasionally cause nuisance tripping in an AFCI. (They’re made to detect dangerous arcing from like a damaged wire or a bad connection between a wire an an outlet, but occasionally the normal non-dangerous arcing that happens when you plug in an appliance already turned on can trip it.)
          Also regarding what dcd said – did any outlets in other rooms also lose power? Did one of those have something like a space heater / hair dryer / curling iron / dehumidifier / vacuum cleaner running on it? If YES to any of that, it’s probably that the breaker went bad.

          • No to the first question.
            Since it happened this morning and I had to run to work I haven’t had time to check the other outlets; I just know it impacted two in the kitchen. But nothing was running that draws a lot of current or isn’t normally running.

    • HaileUnlikely

      p.s. I wouldn’t start opening up the outlets unless you know what circuit breaker controls them and are able to turn that off, and more generally, have experience working with electrical stuff safely (if you do, great!) It is obviously more difficult to ascertain that the power is off if the outlets aren’t working.
      If you have sufficient experience with electrical to do this safely and confidently, I’d pull out the outlet with the GFCI and hold a non-contact voltage tester up to the “line” side of the GFCI (while the breaker is “on”). If the voltage tester indicates that there is voltage there, then it appears highly likely that the GFCI has gone bad and needs to be replaced. On the other hand, if the voltage tester indicates there is not voltage there, it is very likely that the breaker has gone bad, unless there is yet another GFCI between this one and the breaker (would not make sense from an electrical standpoint, but they are often installed like that by installers who don’t know what they’re doing).

      • I’d agree with this suggestion for testing.

      • Also agreed with HaileUnlikely’s advice. I was pretty freaked out the other week when I was attempting to install something and there seemed to be current flowing even though I’d turned off the individual circuit breaker. (I need to add “Buy a voltage tester” to my to-do list.)

      • I’m NOT certain which breaker controls them because my breakers are poorly labeled and I can’t find my multimeter. But I figured I could just switch off the main power, since it stays light so late these days, for the purposes of doing a visual inspection. Maybe I’ll swing by the hardware store on my way home and pick up a new voltage tester before starting.

      • P.S. Thanks for the advice, I’m an engineer but I don’t have much practical hands-on experience with this stuff!

  • Rant: Extremely quiet day at work, no boss in the house…makes for a really long day of just sitting here. I could work on my performance review but that’s a RANT in itself.

    Rave: Later I will be taking my laptop *outside* to work on said performance review!

    Rant: “Adulting”

    Rave: Got my bike fixed up so now I can cruise around the Hill (in the safety of the bike lanes). Not as scary as I thought!

    • Where did you get your bike fixed up and how much did it cost? I live in Capitol Hill and have been thinking of taking in my beater but I’m intimidated by Bike People.

      • I went to Bicycle Space, which recently moved to H & 4th NW. Not quite on the Hill, but I dig their vibe and trust the guys there. It was approx. $100 for a tune-up on a bike that had been sitting in a garage for 10 years, plus had to get new brakes, new handlebar grips, and a kickstand. Altogether with parts and labor it was ~$230. I still have to go back for a new seat and new pedals!

  • Andie302

    Rant: The puppy mill that was busted in Wicomico County and 300 dogs had to be rescued
    Ravish: This was a few days ago so I keep seeing updates about the dogs being slowly distributed to area shelters. If you know someone interested in adopting a small dog, I think most of these were Pomeranians. Talbot county is getting 22.
    Mantra: I will not go to a dog shelter to look at puppies, I will not go to a dog shelter (while I’m on the eastern shore tomorrow) and look at puppies, I will not.
    Rave: Home inspection tomorrow in Cambridge, which means today is my Friday, tomorrow is a big exciting day (hopefully), and then it’s the weekend again.

  • Rant: Caps taking a crap penalty and looking sloppy for 2 periods.
    Rave: I can make it to a round 1 game afterall.
    Rave: my dog looks adorable in his Caps bandanna. His favorite player is Jay Beagle.
    Question for the ladies: when you go hiking do you wear a regular bra, a sports bra, or something else? I’d take suggestions for any and all ladies hiking gear, except day pack and boots, I have those. Also, all of my underwear is synthetic, do I really need to buy wicking undies?

    • I have two types of sports bras–one I wear for yoga with less support/compression (more of a run-of-the-mill sports bra that I can get at Target), and one I wear for running that has more support/compression. For hiking, I’d wear the same kind I’d wear for yoga. Where are you hiking/for how long? You might also want to have some body glide on hand if you’re doing longer hikes–it’s useful in case you end up with chafing somewhere. I like under armor shirts for that type of outdoor activity, and shorts/pants with extra pockets might be nice. If you’re anticipating temperature changes over the course of the day, zip-off pants/shorts might be handy. You probably don’t need to buy new underwear.

      • I’m going to Glacier and Yellowstone in August. There will be wild temperature swings.
        I’m just trying to get a handle on all the stuff I’ll need to buy in the next few months, some of which I might be able to get on really late end of season clearance from this winter.
        Some of the hikes will be all day, there will be one day of horse riding. I like the idea of a light sports bra type thing. Wearing a serious sports bra all day gets uncomfortable.
        I have two pairs of fast drying pants and one of zip-off pants in my LL Bean cart right now. I have a bajillion synthetic gym shirts. It pains me a little bit that I’ll be dressed like a schlub for two whole weeks, but I guess it’s necessary.

        • Get some moleskin & small scissors that you can take with you as well in case you get blisters. That stuff is the best!

        • People will not care what you look (or, frankly, smell) like on the trail. I second the light sports bra suggestion. One other one, especially if you’re doing serious backpacking: bring your backpack when you go try on pants. It may hit at a spot on your waist where it will hurt and/or rub.

          • “People will not care what you look (or, frankly, smell) like on the trail.”
            I agree with this! For me, the ones who tend to stand out are the ones who seem *too* well dressed or made up. I think if you’re spending a week in the outdoors and you’re worried about how you look then you’re missing the point (or maybe going with the wrong people.)

          • Good call on trying on pants with the backpack. I have all sorts of preferences from running, but none really about hiking.
            And I agree no one cares what I look or smell like…except for me. And no, I will not be wearing makeup hiking, but I’m probably going to pack a small amount for the couple night I’m cities.

    • I always wear a sports bra when I go hiking. Haha, I usually don’t wear underwear because most of my athletic shorts have liners in them.

    • Are you going backpacking, or day-hiking? If backpacking, wicking undies are good, because you can pack 1-2 pairs and wash and wear easily without taking up space and weight. If you’re not concerned about space/weight, then I’d just wear whatever you wear while working out. I usually wear a cheap sports bra, like the champion squishers that really don’t offer enough support for running or anything high-impact but more supportive/sweat-wicking than a regular bra, and fairly comfortable.

    • I always wear a sports bra while hiking. The ones I wear wick away sweat and I just find it more comfortable than a regular bra.
      As for underwear, it depends how long you’re hiking. For either a day hike or a weekend hike, I would just wear normal synthetic underwear (cotton is never a good idea as it stays wet longer once you start sweating). For a longer hike (like a week-long trip with camping), you might want to consider getting some hiking underwear that dries fast. My favorite brand is Patagonia. It’s expensive but it wicks well and dries super fast.

    • I day hike and backpack regularly and would highly recommend the Patagonia Barely Bra for both activities. I wear a serious sports bra for running, a less serious sports bra for yoga/barre, and the barely bra for hiking (and lounging). I find even the less serious yoga sport bras to be uncomfortable for an entire day.

      Jealous of the Glacier trip! I hope to get out there next year.

    • I wear a sports bra when hiking, nothing too fancy just the ones I have for yoga. For long hikes on hot days, wicking undies are great. Target sells cheap pairs under their Champion line if you don’t want to spend tons of money. Before my hiking trip out to Utah and Arizona I spent a lot of time in REI talking to their staff about gear and whatnot, and they were so helpful. Also – good socks are a must!

      • +1 on REI folks being super helpful and friendly and helping me feel not intimidated about being a beginner in the backpacking/outdoorsy field. They also won’t try to up-sell you stuff if you really don’t need it.

        Also I forgot to chime in on the wicking undies: I like mine, but you can get by without them. Comfort is the most important thing. Though if you’re going out for long periods of time, it’s nice to have quick-drying ones.

        Also also: YES to socks, and also bring a pair of shoes for walking around the campsite (I use my old boat shoes). After a long day of hiking you may want to wear something less intense than your boots, and/or let your boots dry out if you’re like me and are bad at crossing streams.

    • I think it also depends on your size. I’m fairly well endowed and, while my running sports bras are awesome for running they get uncomfortable after a long wear and the less intense sports bras don’t give me the same support as my regular ones. So, I usually use a regular bra.

    • Accountering

      Agreed – we didn’t look good. Hopefully we can close this thing out in game 5. That should have been a bit of a wake-up call.

    • I usually use a Panache underwire sports bra for hiking or runs over 20 min. I use stretchy Nike sports bras for lifting but any other movement calls for something more substantial.

    • This is all very helpful, thank you so much!

  • That One Guy

    Rant: sleep filled with weird vibe dreams.
    Rant: stopped by Whole Foods where I proceeded to buy some olives from their olive bar. I’m sitting here eating olives. Failing at adulting.

  • Rant: Demoralized at the office. Dealing with imposter syndrome on top of that.
    Rave: Wrote out a long, strong e-mail that outlines my points. Nothing they don’t already know and we haven’t already discussed but at least it’ll be on record.
    Rave: Realized that if I do need to move on, the people who’d serve as my references would have my back and provide me excellent references. So while I don’t want to burn bridges, I also don’t have to pussyfoot around.
    Rant: Husband has a big event tonight so no downtime with him until tomorrow evening.
    Rave: So I’ll hit up Yoga and get rid of some of this negativity…

    • Hey UDPie. I totally understand and have some thoughts on your first three Rants and Raves. If you’re interested, ask PoP if we can be linked…

  • Rant: Office mates who talk way too loudly about personal matters or just stand around near my desk and shoot the shit while I’m on the phone or trying to do stuff. Hoping to hear back soon from my supervisor re: whether or not I can do a couple afternoons a week from home. There’s no way to concentrate in this office. grrrr.
    Rave: I haven’t caught this flu thing going around!
    Rant: There’s a terrible flu thing going around. It’s gotten my boss and a ton of other coworkers. Gulp!
    Rave: My social calendar is filling up fast!

    • Re: the flu thing. I’m terrified. It’s everywhere. I’ve been washing my hands every chance I get and I’m still paranoid. Ugh ugh ugh. I hope you stay well!

      • Thanks! I’ve had my flu shot, but so have ALL the other people who are sick currently, so uh, yeah, guess it’s something else, but it’s still bad and I feel like I’m just waiting to be stricken with it 🙁 ugh.

        • Flu shot was 60% effective this year, which is as good as it ever gets.
          A flu season averages 13 weeks, and began in mid January. So keep washing your hands, it’s almost over!

    • Yeah, whatever this bug that’s going around is – is not fun. I’m not sure where it came from, but most of my co-workers including myself have gotten it!

    • I am the youngest in my office by a good 20 years, and there is a LOT (and I mean A LOT) of talk about colonoscopies. ::shudder:: Keep it to yourselves!

  • I Dont Get It

    Rant: Embarrassed that an old acquaintance that I had not seen in a few years stopped me on the street and initially I didn’t recognize him.
    IDGI: “Sorry, I didn’t recognize you with longer hair!” (And you are extremely skinny!).
    OA: I’m growing my hair out so I can be Jesus for Halloween. (OMG you’ve gotten old!).
    IDGI: You have a bit to go (And I’m not just talking length of hair). (Wait, Jesus was Venezuelan AND calendar-challenged?).
    OA: Bye (Use sunscreenl).
    IDGI See ya around (Eat a porkchop).

    Rant: Two of my twin neighbor houses seems to be dating. First they got matching copper downspouts which are apparently the Promise Rings of House Bromances Today they have a carpenter doing something to their window sills which I think is technically Second Base.

  • Revel: leaving immediately after work today to drive to Michigan with an overnight stop in Pittsburgh
    Rant: it’s a pretty short trip for how long the drive is
    Rant: not looking forward to week of eating crappy passover food

    • Chag Sameach and have a safe drive to MI! And just do what I do – fill up on the matzoh and charoset!

  • Any hop lovers? I have some extra Saaz rhizomes; you can use for growing hops or for growing a green screen for your porch, patio or balcony
    And reposting from late RRR post yesterday: Gin & Gardening gathering this Sunday (Apr 24th), 6:00 pm at Acre 121. Beer drinkers and brown thumbs welcome 🙂

  • Emmaleigh504

    Rant: people that don’t follow directions.
    Rant: I think I have to rethink my wardrobe for upcoming Sweden trip. I was thinking capri’s and sandals, but I fear it will be too chilly for that.
    Rave: Getting closer to trip to Sweden every day!

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