Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Christmas 2008 In New Olreans

Photos courtesy of Logan (5 years old) and a new digital camera. I love the perspective he put on the photos.

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Friday, December 19, 2008

New EBook Reader Foxit eSlick

Foxit just announced a new ebook reader, the Foxit eSllick. At less than a half inch thick, it has a built-in MP3 player and it uses the same eInk technology that Amazon Kindle uses. It comes with an SD slot and a 2GB SD card. It doesn't have wifi but it comes in at $100 dollars less. It also lets you update the device via USB and supports rich PDF documents, that means that you can load your own documents painlessly (unlike the kindle that makes you jump through hoops and does not support rich documents).

It will be temporarily available for $229 (MSRP is $259). That's still more than I would like to pay. I think $99 is the ideal price point for an ebook reader. For that price, I'd like to see an FM tuner and some kind of video playback. I know the eink technology doesn't refresh fast enough for video though. Still $229 is a bit steep.

Since it supports PDF, that means that any of your business documents can be converted (software included). .doc, .ppt, open office, cad and just about any other document can be viewed on the device. PDF can be zoomed for better reading and an interesting feature is reflowing. That means that if you use a large font for easier reading, the device will flow the text so that you don't need to pan around the screen.

As a bonus, you can listen to your music while reading. I don't know anyone who doesn't already have an MP3 player or a cell phone with MP3 capabilities. Having an MP3 player in the reader is a nice touch, I guess, but I would prefer it to be MP3-less and $50 cheaper.

The OS is an embedded Linux running in 128MB of ram on an ARM 400MHz processor. The SD can take up to a 4GB card. The rechargeable lithium ion battery will last 8000 page turns. That's like reading Battlefield Earth 8 times. That's a lot of reading.

I am somewhat tempted to get this. I don't have a kindle or a sony reader and I am an avid reader. I'm also a gadget freak. Still, I can do so much to my EEE PC or my laptop with $200 and both of those are far more useful to me than an ebook reader. I'll have to think about it some more.


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Thursday, December 18, 2008

Temperature in Riverview, FL 20081216

The local temp on 12/16, 82 degrees. The reason to live in Florida.

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Picture of the Day. Dakota, the Siberian Husky, relaxing his old bones in the sun.

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Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Temperature in Riverview, FL 20081216

The local temp on 12/16, 92 degrees:

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Picture of the day (I got a new camera). I doubt I will really do a picture a day but I like this one. It's some really fuzzy clouds in a weird pattern.

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Friday, December 12, 2008

Darth Leo - Dark Lord of the Sith

There is a new dark Jedi in town

Darth Leo

The force is strong in this one

Darth Leo

Your Jedi mind tricks are no match for my....Oooh. Bright lights.

Darth Leo

Check out these moves!

Darth Leo

Bwahahahahaha! Take THAT stupid pillow!

Darth Leo

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Sunday, August 10, 2008

Logan's Planet

My 5 year old son, Logan, likes to draw pictures. The other day he drew me a map of the house and the neighborhood. He made sure to include the local Walgreen's because that's his favorite store.

Last night he decided to draw me a picture of an asteroid field, some suns and a space ship. I thought he did an excellent job.

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I have no artistic skills at all. My wife is the artistic one. I think it's amazing that he is so technically capable (I think he will be an engineer) and artistic.

The Plam was an oopsy. The Plane was an out of space issue.

And that's pretty much how I have been spending this weekend. ;-)


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Sunday, July 27, 2008

Chainz 2 Game

Chainz 2. I love this game. No, I hate this game. Whatever, I am addicted to this game.

I can't seem to make it past level 9. I was on level 8 forever and finally got to 9. Each level has 5 sub-levels. The furthest I have gotten on 9 is 9-2. At least I have some decent high scores though.

Has anyone gotten all the way to level 10? Even better, has anyone completed the game? Any tips for generating stars? I think it is totally random.


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Thursday, July 24, 2008

Creating a post via mini-opera

Hi. I'm just verifying that blogger will let me post via mini-opera on blackberry.

It seems to be working.

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Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Yahoo Music Shutting Down

Yahoo Music is shutting down. I knew it was coming but it kind of sucks. I like the Yahoo Jukebox. Anyway, I got this email today:

The Yahoo! Music Store Will Be Closing; Important Information About Backing Up Your Music Files


The Yahoo! Music Store, along with the ability to purchase and download single songs and albums, will no longer be available as of September 30, 2008.

Songs and albums that were purchased through the Yahoo! Music Unlimited Store are protected by a digital rights management system that requires a valid license key before they can be played on your computer.

After the Store closes, Yahoo! will no longer be able to support the retrieval of license keys for music purchased from Yahoo! Music Unlimited, and Yahoo! will no longer be able to authorize song playback on additional computers.

After September 30, 2008, you will not be able to transfer songs to unauthorized computers or re-license these songs after changing operating systems. Please note that your purchased tracks will generally continue to play on your existing authorized computers unless there is a change to the computer's operating system.

For any user who purchased tracks through Yahoo! Music Unlimited, we highly recommend that you back up the purchased tracks to an audio CD before the closing of the Store on September 30, 2008. Backing up your music to an audio CD will allow you to copy the music back to your computer again if the license keys for your original music files cannot be retrieved.

For further information on the closing of the Yahoo! Music Store, please refer to the Frequently Asked Questions or contact Customer Care.

Stay tuned! While the Yahoo! Music Unlimited Store will no longer be available, Yahoo! Music has partnered with Rhapsody so you can still purchase your favorite tracks. Plus, Yahoo! Music will continue to offer users a complete online music experience with the largest collection of music videos, Internet radio, exclusive artist features, music news, and more!

Thank you for using Yahoo! Music.

The Yahoo! Music team

A few minutes later I got this one:

Important Notice: Yahoo! Music Unlimited will become Rhapsody

Keep your current plan, and get access to even more music.


You may now transfer your Yahoo! Music Unlimited account to Rhapsody. Get more music for the same price when you transfer your account before September 30, 2008.

You'll continue to have unlimited access, but the Rhapsody catalog is even more expansive, and playlist sharing, recommendations, and custom Rhapsody Channels offer a more personalized music experience.

If you have remaining download credits, your balance will also transfer to Rhapsody and can be used to purchase MP3s. After September 30, 2008, your Yahoo! Music Unlimited account will be closed -- so make the move to Rhapsody today.

To transfer to Rhapsody, visit: http://transfer.music.yahoo.com

If you do not take any action, your Yahoo! Music Unlimited subscription will be canceled on September 30, 2008. Yahoo! will not transfer any information to Rhapsody unless you agree to the terms presented in the transfer process. Click the link above to start this process.

For frequently asked questions about Yahoo! Music Unlimited becoming Rhapsody, click here.

Thank you for using Yahoo! Music's services.

The Yahoo! Music team

I went to the transer link but it said they were going to send my credit card info to Rhapsody and would automatically renew at close to $80/year. Thanks, but I'll switch to Pandora. It should be an option to switch to Rhapsody and NOT send my credit card info. I don't care if I can change the preferences in Rhapsody. I don't want them to have my info at all.


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Sunday, July 20, 2008


Well, I bought a Wii. I told my son it was mine but if he behaves, I'll let him play with it. That worked for a while. ;-)

I got legend of zelda: twilight princess, a spongebob action game, a cart racing game and it comes with a sports game. The sports game is my favorite. Bowling is amazing and I like tennis quite a bit. Spongebob was winning with my son until the wife went to blockbuster and rented lego star wars. My son is totally addicted now. He may have withdrawels when it goes back on tuesday.

It is a neat game. It has its hard points but over all is pretty easy. My son has become a master pod racer. I was watching him play and was getting dizzy but he didn't have any problems. He even laid down and played it prostrate.

The only downside is that now I don't have a TV. If he's not Wii'ing, the wife is DVRing.

C'est la vie. If you are able to get a Wii, go for it. It is worth the money. The wife wants Wii Fit when it becomes available. She'll probably get more exercise wresting the Wii away from my son. ;-)


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Saturday, July 19, 2008


I took my son to see WALL-E on sunday. He had a blast. It is a very entertaining movie even for adults. Like most cartoons that I have seen lately, there are adult under currents running concurrently to the children's story.

The basic story is that Earth has been abandoned due to human pollution. The rivers are toxic, the cities are trash, nothing will grow. Technology has reached a point where humanity boards a spaceship for a five year tour. A company, Buy-N-Large, will under take a cleanup and return Earth to the humans. Unfortunately, it's so bad that the company abandons the effort and leaves humanity to spend an eternity in space.

Fast forward 600 years. WALL-E, a rolling, sentient trash compactor is relentlessly carrying on his directive, clean up. He's built towers of trash and lives in a small crate where he collects trinkets, spare parts and doodads. He watches a corny old human movie for a hobby and is really lonely. His only companion is a pet cockroach.

A spaceship lands and a new, sleek robot scans around looking for something. WALL-E falls in love and follows "her" around. This new robot posses powerful weapons and has no problem blowing things up and even comes closing to blowing WALL-E up. Eventually, the two make contact and WALL-E learns that his new love is named EVA. I would say her name is EVE but becuase of the way she pronounces her name, my son insists it is EVA.

Anyway, she continues her scanning directive and eventually finds what she is looking for, a living plant. She loads the plant into an internal compartment and goes comatose. I'll let you see the movie for the rest.

I couldn't believe how into the relationship between WALL-E and Eva my son got. He kept whispering questions to me, "Does she like him?" "Why does he love her?" "Is she mad now?" My son is 5, BTW.

The ending is what you expect from one of these, everyone lives happily ever after. This is not a complaint. That is how it should be. That's the movie we wanted to see. I think we'll probably buy this on DVD when it comes out.

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Thursday, July 10, 2008

Black Hole Idiots

I was browsing the web, reading the news, looking for good stories to blog about and found a doozy. It's hard to believe the idiocy that has entered our country and mainstream life. I'm tired of the forces of political correctness, I'm tired of racists who validate it and I'm tired of race baiters and serial offendees.

According to this blog entry, a black commissioner of the Dallas County Commission was offended when when another commissioner said the collections department had become a black hole because paperwork was regularly being lost. The offended commissioner then said loudly, "Excuse me!" and said the office was a "white hole!". I think he's an A-hole. What a freaking race baiting idiot.

If you read further, the blogger explains what a white hole is and why the commissioner should be glad the office did not become one. My favorite part though, is a comment further down, "You know, when *I* look at a collapsed star, I don't see color." I actually burst out laughing at that one. It still makes me giggle. Carl Sagan would have loved it. ;-)


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Thursday, June 26, 2008

Wife's A Blogger!

Here's a link to my wife's blog. She's very artsy where as I'm more techie. She can paint, carve stamps, make jewelry, and do many other arts and crafts. I think she is an awesome photographer. Check it out at Tyggereye Art.

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Monday, June 16, 2008

This might take a little while

LewisC's Random Thoughts

I was unzipping a set of files from a zip file in Vista Ultimate 64 using the built-in unzip. The individual files were not very big, 17.8MB but there were a lot of them, > 3000. The file system is NTFS. The funny thing is that the amount of time shown below is not the largest number it showed.

I actually waited for about 20 minutes but it was running very slowly. The time remaining was all over the place. I decided not to wait. I unzipped with 7-zip instead. I'm not really sure what the issue was but it was kind of funny.


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Sunday, June 01, 2008

Dead and Deader: A Review

Just so you know, I don't review every movie I see. A movie has to have something in it to make me want to write about it. It has to be worth me recommending others to see, it has to be exceptionally bad, or it has to be just quirky enough to make an impression. Dead or Deader is one of the quirky ones.

This is a SCI-FI channel movie. You can tell because it starred Dean Cain. ;-) Dean Cain seems to be this generations Vincent Price, the king of low budget sci-fi and horror movies. That's not meant to be an insult. Price is a legend. In 50 years, I bet people will talk about all the B-grade movies Cain did.

Dead and Deader is about a special forces type team sent into the jungles of Cambodia to check on a humanitarian relief team that has not been heard from. The team finds some dead bodies of what looks to be military men and a bunch of creepy scorpions in terrariums. While they're looking around, they're attacked by some undead soldiers. While fighting, a still live scientist looking guy hurls a grenade and blows up the room.

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The next scene is Dean Cain getting autopsied. As the doctor is about to cut into him, he opens and his and asks what the heck the doctor thinks he's doing. Seems the whole team was killed and the doctor is trying to figure out what killed them. The doc calls in a female doctor, a superior officer. She tells Dean that he's really dead but Dean doesn't buy it.

Dean wants to see his team and about that time finds out that he has some kind of mental connection to his undead team mates. He takes off to find one of them at the same time his undead team mate decides he's hungry. Only protein will do! While fighting the undead team mate, the female doctor is bitten and becomes undead. She quickly becomes really dead (the ceiling fan episode is completely unrealistic but fun to watch).

It's here that Dean meets his side kick and things really heat up. If this sounds like a really bad movie, you would mostly be right. The thing is that they built in a lot of humor into this movie. Sight gags and one liners abound.

It's not as funny as Army of the Dead and it's not a particularly gory movie. Some nasty bits with body parts, fluids, vomit, etc. Can't touch the really gross movies though. Special effects are ok but most of the body parts look like fake body parts.

All in all, I give this movie two thumbs up. As long as you go in expecting a funny, semi gory sci-fi channel movie, it won't disappoint. It's a couple of hours you won't ever get back but pop some corn and get a cold beverage on a boring night.

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Saturday, May 17, 2008

Juno: A Review

So, my wife has been using Netflix to catch up on all kinds of TV stuff like Desperate Housewives and Next Top Model. Stuff I really have no interest in.

On Friday, a movie showed up. It was Juno. Now, I have heard of Juno but didn't really know what it was about. I asked the wife and when she told me, I figured "chick flick". I was right too.

The movie is about a 16 year old girl who gets pregnant and wants to give the baby away for adoption. Tears, laughs, etc. Yeah. It is that.

I decided to watch it with the wife. Brownie points if nothing else, you know.

Even though it is a chick flick (your girl will cry at the end, I'm sure), it is actually a very funny movie. I don't recognize the main girl from anything but she plays the offbeat Juno with a straight face and her timing is excellent.

The boyfriend, Bleeker, was in superbad. He plays pretty much the same part in Juno that he did in that. He's funny.

Jennifer Garner and Jason Bateman are both in it. Odd casting for an odd movie and it all works somehow.

So, if you are a chick, you want to watch it. If you are a dude, you want to watch it with your chick. The women will enjoy it and the men get some painless cuddle points. Everybody will get a few laughs.

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Friday, May 09, 2008

Day Zero

I caught another movie on Netflix.com tonight. It's another movie I have never heard of. The synopsis said it was scifi but it's not really. It's more speculative fiction. That's nitpicking though. The movie is Day Zero.

It's a very near future biopic of three friends who are New York City residents. In this near future America, the draft has been reinstated so that we can fight the war on terror all around the world. All three friends lose the lottery and are drafted. They have 30 days to present themselves for induction.day zero poster

The three friends handle the issue very differently. The successful lawyer, who has just been made a partner, doesn't want to go and asks his father to try to get him out of it. The successful writer, who hasn't actually lived at all (but has been to Malaysia), completely freaks out and goes off the deep end. The not successful cabbie, the fighter with a troubled life, handles it the best. He supports the draft and while not eager to go, accepts it as his duty.

They picked some really good people for this movie. You can get the entire cast list at the wikipedia entry above. I just want to say that Elijah Wood puts in another excellent performance. He plays Aaron, the writer. He sees a psychiatrist, is afraid of his shadow and has never really lived. He is so meek it's almost painful. Most of the funny scenes are his. By the end of the movie, he is creepy scary as he descends into his top 10 list.

This is another movie that I expected to suck that surprised me. This movie is definitely worth watching. Regardless of you political views, if you wonder at all where the "war on terror" might go, you should watch this. The gamut of political viewpoints are shared in the story but the director does not preach. No view is made to be "the truth". This isn't a liberal or a conservative movie. It's just the story of three people and how they respond to being drafted.


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Monday, May 05, 2008

Logan Makes 5

My son Logan recently made 5 years old. He's really more like 5 going on 30 but he really enjoyed his birthday this year. It was a two day event. One day was a kid's birthday party with a jumpy castle and a pinata. The second day was spent at Disney World in Orlando, FL. Disney is about 50 minutes from my house.

Logan is crazy about Bionicles right now.

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He got a boatload of presents but his favorites were the bionicles. My wife got him a cowboy dressup outfit which he really likes too.

After presents was time for the jumpy castle. If you don't know what a jumpy castle is, they are also called Moonwalks. They're giant, heavy latex baloons that you climb inside and jump around.

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The day started off with me climbing a tree to hang a pinata. Logan thought it was quite amusing the see the old man climb a tree. I still got it!

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Day two was spent at Disney World. We all had a really good time.

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Waiting to get on "It's a small world."

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On the way to Tom Sawyers island.

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Mom, Logan and Leo

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Dad, Logan and Leo

I think this was Logan favorite birthday so far. He is so proud to be an entire handful old. That's a handul of fingers. heh


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Sunday, May 04, 2008

Primer: A Movie Review

I had some free time tonight and decided to hit Netflix Instant View to see what was available. I've watched just about everything that has any interest to me. There are quite a few documentaries that I haven't seen yet but I have to be in the mood for one of those.

Anyway, I noticed a 2004 flick called Primer. I didn't really think I would like it as I had never heard of it. I like B movies though so I was hoping it would be one of those classically bad movies that I can enjoy.

It is not a B movie. It's a movie written and produced (for USD7000) by an engineer. He wrote the movie like it would be engineers watching it. At times I was a bit lost but the movie proved to be incredibly intense. Much better than I anticipated.

A couple of engineers decide to make a room temperature super conductor. I don't think that was the goal. I think they were trying to do something with gravity but I'll have to watch it again to be sure.

They finally get a proto-type working and one of the engineers happens to notice a slimy film on the weeble they are using as a weight/test subject. The film turns out to be a fungus that could not possibly have grown in the amount of time it did. After some tests with watches, they decide that they really have built a time machine.

Hilarity does not ensue. They decide to travel themselves and make some cash. Things happen. Watch it.

What I liked about this movie is that it is a zero action movie. I don't mean that in a bad way. There is plenty of tension. There are multiple mini-plots arcing around the main plot. There are a couple of mini-plots I got completely lost on but that was still unimportant to the overall story. I'm sure I will get those on the next watching and I will be watching it again.

If you don't give a rat's ass about science, time travel, super conductors or casuality, don't watch this movie. You have to already understand, at least conceptually, the finer points. If you want everything explained and wrapped up for you, definitely don't bother. It just does not happen.

This is a movie like I might make in my head while day dreaming. The writer just happened to think of a few things I might not have. There is plenty of dialog and the dialog sort of replaces action. That's normally a bad thing but in this context it works.

The quality of the film is amazing for how much was spent. I mean USD7000! The actors had to have done this for free. Speaking of which, while no Oscars will be won, the acting was pretty good. Sound quality was good, too.

All in all, two thumbs up.

Check it out.

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Sunday, April 27, 2008

Requiem for a Dream

I just finished watching Requiem for a Dream on hulu.com. I like hulu, free movies and tv shows. Anyway, Requiem for a Dream is about four junkies but not all junkies are the same. The blurb about the movie says:

Drugs. They consume mind, body and soul. Once you're hooked, you're hooked. Four lives. Four addicts. Four failures. Doing their best to succeed in the world, but failing miserably, four people get hooked on various drugs. Despite their aspirations of greatness, they succumb to their addictions. Watching the addicts spiral out of control, we bear witness to the dirtiest, ugliest portions of the underworld addicts reside in. It is shocking and eye-opening but demands to be seen by both addicts and non-addicts alike.
I wasn't sure if I would like it but it had some stars that I like, Ellen Burstyn, Jared Leto, Jennifer Connelly (still hot), Marlon Wayans (spent most of his time naken), and Christopher McDonald (playing yet another smarmy character). It's from 2000 but I am sure I've never heard of it. I decided to watch and am glad I did though it's not always an easy movie to watch. The ending is particularly bad, as drug addiction usually is. Ellen Burstyn plays a senior citizen who starts taking drugs to lose weight and completely self destructs. That's probably the hardest part to watch. All in all, I would recommend this movie. It should probably be mandatory viewing in high schools and colleges.

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Tuesday, January 22, 2008

The 10s, 30s and 40s on Flickr

I'm pretty much a history nut but I don't think you need to be to enjoy the new US Library of Congress Photo Collections on Flickr. The collections is called the Commons and, right now, it contains two sets of pictures. 1615 color photos from the 1930s and 1940s around the US and its territories and 1500 black and white photos from newsworthy events in the 1910s.

These are some incredibly amazing photos. I didn't know photos like this existed back then.

There are photos from all over the country but some of the most intriguing are pictures of the people. Most are in unposed positions. Really absorbing. I can sit for hours and browse through these.

The best part of these are that they are being released freely for use by anyone.

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Thursday, January 03, 2008

My Book Has Been Printed

Well, it's taken over a year but it has finally arrived. I started writing the book back in Aug 2006. I finished in late Jan 2007 and the technical editor finished his work in March. Now, In Jan 2008, EnterpriseDB: The Definitive Reference is available. I'm glad I didn't wait for the movie. ;-) It's kind of ironic. Just this morning, I posted that I am working on my second book. My wife called me at work and told me two boxes of books had arrived. 2008 is turning out to be a good year. I'll have some additional news in the near future. Anyway, the book looks good. I've already found a few typos and grammar errors just skimming around. I like the font and the pages look really crisp. All in all, I have to say I am very happy that the book is out. Check out some photos: EnterpriseDB Book 016 EnterpriseDB Book 020 I think I want to give a couple away. Maybe some kind of contest for the blog readers. Any ideas of something fair? I am willing to pay shipping for a couple but that would only be here in the US. Overseas shipping gets expensive. LewisC

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