Ask me no questions


Today’s old comic strip is from a mere three years ago. I was in the middle then of a rather lengthy experiment with drawing with felt-tip pens. I knew many cartoonists drew beautifully with felt-tips, and they are so much more convenient than dealing with India ink and pen nibs. However, I found felt-tip pens more difficult to control, and in my hands they rendered a monotonous line. I have gone back to the old ways. I now draw with a dip pen and a bottle of ink. A medieval monk would have no problem comprehending the technology.

Buy the new book, "Beaucoup Arlo & Janis!"Today's "Arlo & Janis!"

122 thoughts on “Ask me no questions”

  1. TR, I’ll add my congratulations to your daughter!

    Bear, “If at first you don’t succeed, skydiving is not for you.”

    Debbe, I still have the flannel sundresses, but as it is suddenly 80 degrees around here I’m not wearing them much. πŸ™‚

    Jackie, my dentist is fighting an uphill battle to see that I keep all my teeth in their proper place and not in a glass on the bathroom sink. The way things are going I wish him luck.

    Ghost Sweetie, πŸ˜‰

  2. Jackie, as a law-abiding American citizen, it seems that my smallest firearm and I would be much less welcome in Canada than the most fanatical and extreme terrorist from any other country in the world. Go figure.

    Also, if I can successfully pilot an aircraft I could probably pilot a powerboat. Very few problems that occur in an airplane can be solved by a life preserver or a call on Channel 16. πŸ™‚

  3. My brother and his family spent last weekend in West Virginia watching a niece perform as Juliet in Romeo and Juliet. The niece has been getting a theater arts degree along with other education. She graduates this summer and already has a job lined up in New York. My brother said some director had been watching her work at the college and offered her this job. She not only acts, but can build scenery too. I told my brother she would have to join two unions, then.

    Congratulations to your daughter, Trucker,

    And belated birthday wishes to NK in AZ.

  4. Last summer around these parts was a bust for sundresses (no pun intended). I’m hoping this one will make up for the resulting eye candy deficit. Meanwhile and fortunately, there are still yoga pants. πŸ˜‰

  5. Hey Jimmy, after you scan them do you have to adjust the contrast in PhotoShop to get the large dark areas to be black? Or do you do more than one wash to get them black? I find my lines come out fine, but large areas are never completely black.

  6. Today’s TIP blog’s subject is what I was afraid it was: http://thatispriceless.blogspot.com/

    Yesterday, as usual, I attended an annual scholarship recognition event. Everybody fully dressed, of course, but some e.c. nonetheless. And lots of really sharp students. One prof told me that the one who got my scholarship has a 4.0. I didn’t tell her that my wife had done that.

    Peace,

  7. Kind of reminds me of the Millennials discovery of vinyl records. My son thinks they sound better than CDs. When CDs came out, we loved how they sounded better than vinyl.

    Snow White is a beautify work of art. While today’s animation looks nearly real, there is less beauty. Of course it is all in the eyes of the beholder.

  8. Steve from Royal Oak, Snow White is a hand drawn masterpiece, as were all the animated movies and cartoons until the invention of the copy machine and computer animation. The old ones retain the special touches of the artists who drew these images. Find a copy of the old edition of The Art of Walt Disney in hardcover. It is a beautiful book with many double page foldouts of the images. Author is Christopher Finch, and it came out in 1973 or 1974.

  9. Caution: Actual discussion of cartooning follows…

    It’s Friday afternoon (aka The Time One Could Fire a Canon Through The Admin Building Without Hitting A Single Vice President”), so I’ve been thinking. Yeah, I know, that can be dangerous, sometimes even leading to such thoughts as “Just what the hell is wrong with people who didn’t cry when Old Yeller died, anyway?” Actually, though, it’s when I do some of my best work-related thinking.

    But what I was thinking this time came to light due to recent comments regarding Gene’s apparent change of hair color. To wit, does second-party colorizing of the art work produced by a cartoonist in black-and-white add anything to that art? Or (and not to revisit the colorization of classic B&W films controversy of several years ago…”Hey, I’ll bet Citizen Kane and Psycho would both be a lot better if they were in color!”) does colorizing the art work produced by a cartoonist in black-and-white actually diminish that art?

    At best, I can’t see that color particularly adds anything to Jimmy’s work, and at worse it risks changing his vision and intent. Off the top of my head I can think of two occasions (“river bank” and “seagull dumps on Gene at the wedding”) where the work of syndicate colorists changed the cartoon to the point that he felt it necessary to clarify here on the blog what he intended when he drew the strip.

    I realize that selling the publication rights to one’s work often means giving up a certain amount of creative control of it, but how much loss of his/her creativity does the artist have to tolerate? (And yes, I realize that whatever else A&J is, it is also a business endeavor.) I don’t recall Jimmy ever addressing this per se, and I’d be interested in knowing his thoughts on colorization by the syndicate and his perceived impact (if any) on his work.

  10. My, we ARE deep aren’t we? Funny because I was thinking same thing about art as it related to an artists proof low number signed silk screen signed and dated, numbered by artist and a $95 print off net.

    And yes, it is both art and a business. And Jimmy is an artist.

    About that original we get to bid on?

  11. Just saw a very long snake swimming in my beautiful stone ditch. I do not know where he will go and my yard is full of cats. Dickens and I went inside. I would say he was about 5 feet, based on his swimming length which undulated.

    Where is a snake killer when you need one? I would fall in with snake.

  12. Drying off in air to put clothes on to fold laundry. Go figure.

    Ghosr, that is an interesting thought you brought up. Do you still have a pilots license and I know you flew Pacific northwest. Did you fly any float planes? As in tree topping to Alaska?

  13. To paraphrase (you’re welcome) Samuel L. Jackson, “Enough is enough! I have had it with these blankety-blank snakes in my blankety-blank stone ditch!”

    I still have my licenses, haven’t had a need to renew my medical certificate lately. Have single engine and multi-engine land ratings, never needed or got seaplane ratings.

  14. Thanks again for belated birthday wishes. Debbe, I am now 74—not a particularly exciting number like, e.g., 70 or 75 even. On the other hand, as I may have already said here (memory failing, you know), I don’t mind growing older, since I intend never to grow up.

  15. Or as I once heard it aptly put, “Growing older is mandatory, but growing up is optional.”

    I’m a firm believer in what Arlo noted yesterday, remembering not to walk like an old man. For many people, perception is reality, so why let them perceive you as old. I also remember to never make what Jerry Seinfeld called the “Old Man Noise” when I get up from a chair. Or for that matter, to not use my arms to push myself up unless it is a deep upholstered chair or sofa.

  16. Old Yeller? There are people (sort of) out there driving vehicles 80 mph who could not tell you who Walt Disney was because they were not even alive in the 20th century. CD’s? Just wait for someone to ask you what a CD has to do with music. I started this line of thought yesterday when I remembered every word of Glenn Campbell’s songs as I sang along with the CD although I had not heard many of them in-what?- 30 + years? Yet I couldn’t remember what my wife had just told me for the fifth time. Oh well, poor Glenn can’t remember the words, OR even recognize his family so I’m doing great.

  17. Mark, this is your moment to post that article you sent me about the 100 year old model but you have to read to the end where they put photos of best looking septgenarian celebrities like Raquel Welch, Goldie Hawn, etc.

    It made me feel good knowing I beat some of them in looks without benefit of surgery. Nancy will like it too.
    Heck, Jerry will too.

  18. Good might, we had storms last night, more tonight’s. Tornadoes all around this afternoon. Just watches but they are close with real rotating funnels.

  19. Apparently tornados in Oklahoma cause earthquakes. Speaking of which, a 6.6 today just sw of Mexico right exactly at the intersection of 3 plates.

  20. Speaking of Arlo, I was in a certain store recently when I saw the name Arlo on a box. When I checked it out, it was a home video security system. Jimmy, you getting any royalties on that?

  21. Thanks Mark. I think our Village is full of elegant ladies like Miss Charlotte too who will appreciate this one. Keep going until you find the 70 year old sexy hot babes at the end. They are all rather elegantly and fully clothed.

    Did you know there are magazines full of porn with older women? I am shocked! There aren’t even Polaroids of me floating around. I think that is a bit much but if I ever did take off clothes for a photo it will be professionals and no amateurs. Professionals with lots of filters!

  22. Remember what Arlo thought when Janis asked if he found younger women attractive? “No, it’s the older ones.” The young ones may have more surface prettiness, but it’s the person inside who counts, and they have barely had time to begin finding out who that person really is.

  23. Those of you who ever had to choke down a C-Rat can of “Ham and You-Know-Whats” may be interested to learn that 2017 will bring a new MRE to our troops in the field (and possibly to us future Civilian Hurricane Survivorsβ„’). Meal, Ready-to-Eat No. 37 will be…wait for it, wait for it…Pizza!

    It contains an actual slice of baked pizza in an individual package that will remain eatable for three years if stored below 80 degrees. The troops will get to enjoy Tactical Pizza, and we CHS’s won’t have to go without a slice until the neighborhood Pizza Hut/Domino’s/Papa John’s/Little Caesars gets rebuilt.

    Ain’t technology sumpthin?

  24. I gave a few seconds thought to question of “why not go with technology you know” about the inland passage to Alaska voyage, hence my question about seaplanes. I thought tree topping over waterfalls and mountains might be a fantastic trip. They do have landing strips.

    Then I remembered the real incredible joy of waking up to those waterfalls and mountains a few hundred feet away while you cooked or swam in water hundreds of feet deep. The boat won out.

    But I did love the tree top flying, along with cotton field top.

  25. May have mentioned here years back. In the mid ’80s, Elaine and I had the pleasure of circling Mt. St. Helens in a four-seater: pilot, our Portland host [who had been our third ‘room and board girl’], and us. You don’t fly right over the crater, because the hot gases are toxic, and I suppose could play tricks with steering. Had seen photos in the Natl. Geogr. and such, but being there was different. Peace,

  26. No stranger to tree-top flying; I had hundreds of hours of petroleum pipeline patrol time back in my full-time flying days, much of it over heavily forested areas, flown so low we had to have an altitude waiver from the FAA. Also flew forest fire patrol for the State Forestry Commission (solo) and the USFS with Rangers onboard. The latter was challenging, due to having to fly tight turns at slow airspeeds and low attitudes while not making the Rangers barf.

  27. Thanks to all for the 100 year old and 70’s ladies. The Vogue 100 lady is absolutely stunning—and an example to us all!!! And I totally agree with you, Jackie, that you should always make an effort to look the best you can.

  28. This is our annual weekend in St. Augustine at the Gamble Rogers Music Festival. One of tonight’s performers, Pierce Pettis, said he grew up in Alabama, “just a fake-ID’s drive from Chattanooga”. He also claimed that if you see a guy wearing an Auburn shirt, you know he went to Auburn; if you see one in an Alabama shirt, you know he went to WalMart.

    That one’s for JJ πŸ™‚

  29. Mark in TT
    We got the Art of WD back in the day – it is a beautiful book
    & Big.

    GR there are cartoonists that ban their work from being colorized-
    just like old films that were conceived in B&W lit in B&W set dressed in B&W
    colorization many times does not enhance the enjoyment. That said there are
    cartoons that do benefit — sometimes.
    Walking young makes you young and pushing out of a chair is part of my daily
    exercise routine. Elbow bending is not.

    emb
    Am looking at a jar of MSH ash collected by my parents back just after it happened.

  30. Our daughter gives us much of the credit of her graduating since we did the babysitting for her two boys (now ages 1 & 3)while she did her student teaching. And we’re still doing it twice a week while she gets in subbing experience in local schools to enhance her chances of being hired for the coming school year.

    Once she’s hired, her husband will play Mr Mom during the days and start boning up in the evenings on the math he’ll need for whatever training he goes for (lineman, welding, machinist). He had a great career going in the oil fields, but the Saudis torpedoed it for now.

  31. I just had a moment of guiltily realization that I am teasing you with thoughts of escaping the real world and responsibilities Ghost. You are a responsible caring son whom I admire for taking such good care of your mom. I shouldn’t do that, say turn off the phones and go off and pretend world doesn’t exist.

    I know you aren’t going to take me up on it but still, I should not do that. You should not want to escape but I can understand if you did.

  32. Not much time today but I must tell everyone this. Tonight, my wife and I will attend my 60th Catholic High School reunion. It will be nice to see some of the old boys. I hope many of the 64 remaining members of a class of 104 will attend.

    God bless us every one.

  33. I have refused to acknowledge this year’s election debacle but I couldn’t ignore this one. Candidate in Howard Stern interview, would you love your wife if she were in an auto accident with oozing wound under eye and a deformed foot?

    What are the breasts like?

  34. Domaucan1, have a real blast at the celebration! You seem to be a year ahead of me, as my 59th – were there to be such a party – would be this year. I have never been to a reunion for HS nor for college. In all these years, I think only one of each has ever occurred.

    In turn, I seem to be about 2 years ahead of NK/AZ [my fellow Jayhawker]…or, will be, in a short while.

    Prayers for the well-being of those affected by storms, etc.

    Good news: Problem in the gas supply caused me to have to pay our quite a few $hundreds for a new fan in the furnace. I asked the gas company to reimburse me and, to my surprise, they agreed! I am returning the required release today, so may have the funds in, say, two weeks.

    The tale of the teeth: It has now been more than 4 months since I had the lowers removed. Just heard this week that it will be at least 6 more weeks before the surgeon will even attempt his final work so that my dentist can attach the new choppers. No doubt, there will be several more visits to get the new ones to fit and be usable, so my guess of July 4th before I can eat again just may be correct. Have lost 15-20 lbs. so far; could lose more, beneficially.

  35. What area were you in at KU, CEP? I’m wondering if we might have crossed paths. I had a double major in French and German and also did a lot of music.

  36. I have a good friend much younger who managed to shoot himself in stomach and almost die. He is still in hospital weeks later and about 20 pounds lighter and looks 290 years younger.

    The extremes you men go to for losing weight.

  37. Nancy, I was a chemistry grad student. My main habitation was Malott Hall, with some math in Strong Hall (or whatever the main administration building was named) and a math course also in Sommerfeld. Forgot where they tried to teach me German – hard, but got enough to be usable and pass the exam – and where the laughable French reading course was held.

    Some of that German is still with me as I do genealogy work. Heck, I can even decipher the old German script, and that is saying something! Perhaps the only good thing Hitler ever did was getting all of Germany to use modern script so that persons in one area could communicate with persons of other areas. If I recall correctly, that was completed only in the late 1940s or even 1950…clearly not finished by AH.

    Back to Kansas: I was there ’61-’67. Wife and I lived in Stouffer Place ’62-’67 in building 3, the one tucked into the NE corner of 19th & Iowa (US 59), on the N side of Bagley Drive. At that time, there were 6 apartments on each floor – since has been changed – and we were in #12. That was on the right end of the 2nd story.

  38. CEP, I think that we remain the only two people who have mentioned Herr Shicklegrubber here. I predict that our record will not stand for much longer.

  39. c x-p et al.: I was at KU, Lawrence, once, in ’57, for an annual mtg.* of the ASM [Am. Soc. of Mammalogists]. Also, while there, measured some KU fossil Pliocene ground squirrel teeth and jaws for a short paper [also a term paper; they had to be publishable] in a U. Mich. Vert. Paleo. course. Got the A grade, but finished the paper here, got it publd. in the J. Mamm. in ’60 or so. Actually used a new tool, an inexpensive “traveling microscope” from the BSC physics dept. to measure teeth and tooth rows more accurately than I’d been able to before. That paper delayed work on writing my doctoral thesis, but I felt the moral imperative to get the work done that I already had a grade for.

    *I’ve been to a total of only 7 altogether: USC, U. Mich., KU, Humboldt SU [Arcata, CA], U.FL, UA [Fairbanks], and UND. There w/b one at UM/Mpls. this summer, but the only people I’d know there w/b the BSU contingent, so I won’t bother. Peace,

  40. Goodnight all. I hope we were all having a good time ND not in storms or ill

    Taking my meds now I had my complex carbs and dairy for midnight snack. Sprouted whole grain bread and Greek yogurt with fresh raspberries. Delight. My retired pharmacist friend explained it but he is of course right. Dairy needs to be part of it and whole grains and complex carbs. No one ever explained to me this important item.

    Thank you, Painen Dias.(aka Joe)

  41. The kitties have been sleeping late recently. No complaint from me. We didn’t get the usual stormy April this year.

    will we get it in May instead?

  42. Have officially lost ten pounds I gained with lengthy vacation from my healthy eating. Since I had already lost it does that mean I lost twenty pounds? And how many times have I lost it?

    Have the orphans been loaded on one of those orphan trains and shipped out into servitude?

    Kitty buffet needs some chow.

  43. Good morning everybody. Lost power for about an hour’s time last night. It went off and came back about 3 times before going out altogether. About 10 minutes later I heard some kind of emergency vehicle going up the road. If someone ran into a utility pole I hope they made it out ok. Poured rain Friday night. Overcast yesterday and today.

  44. We haven’t had tornadoes or hurricanes yet, but did have about a half inch of much needed rain yesterday and last night. Temps are in the high 70s and low 80s, and our a/c is on the blink. Repair guy says there’s a tiny leak in the coil somewhere, but he hasn’t found it, and of course the procedure that must come next will be even more expensive. I am beginning to think moving to Alaska might not be a bad idea.

  45. Just move to Pacific Northwest or British Columbia. Beautiful flowers and no snow and ice much, real spring and fall. I think of it daily.

  46. Thinking about my comment last night about today’s strip, that Jimmy was looking in my window again made me start thinking how much I do resemble Janis, her weaknesses and her strengths, her hobbies and her style even.

    I don’t believe I have ever identified with a cartoon character before, even if I liked them, nor a television show. I wasn’t Lucy or Laura or any other wives. But I am pretty close to being Janis, down to the black underwear under my jeans and tee shirt.

    Bet I’m not the only one here who feels that way.

  47. Looks like the orphan train left hours ago — and I missed it. A wet and gloomy day so I’m staying home. Daughter Nancy came over this morning, brought me fresh eggs that her hens have laid. Did I tell you that her very pregnant goat, Star, gave birth to FOUR babies a few weeks ago? All were healthy and frisky, and ALL were males! Not so desirable when the ultimate goal is females giving milk that can be sold. They were very cute and everybody wanted to see them. But what to do with them? Nancy advertised them and by great good fortune sold them ALL to a nice family with a farm. Sounds too good to be true, one might say, but apparently it’s the truth and the kids are not destined for barbecue.

    Dear Jackie, I hope you are okay with the crazy weather. Your photos on Facebook are so nice. Beautiful flowers, profuse plants in gardens with enviable stonework, even growing edible vegetables.

  48. Thanks Miss Charlotte. One of Janis’ passions I share is gardening. I am hoping Jimmy puts some gardening strips in this year’s gallery. I bought the one of Janis toting the paper comic gun to shoot the drafted wabbit in her vegetables.

    I love painting of flowers too. I am going to plug Lhees art work here and say it is so lovely and makes me so happy I am buying one of her iris , a great favorite of mine. When I see it in my bedroomph I will see her and it will make me smile.

  49. Aha! I like the sound of your new word, Anon.: “bedroomph” . That one’s a keeper, whether or not you purposely designed it.

  50. Jackie: definitely the same here, for the most part. Pretty sure Jimmy ( and the “Love Is” writer) must be spying on us… πŸ™‚

  51. Watched the young Bob Segar and then 2014 and 2015 tour for his last album. Dang that is a good looking silver headed man! He looks better in that television interview than he did as a young man.

    Love his music. Hard to pick a best. We’ve Got Tonight. Turn the Page. Rock n Roll Music.

  52. So here I am listening to Bob Segar on Pandora instead of my usual classical music. Of course I will have to go back to sleeping music. I leave it on, like white noise. Mostly classical guitar or piano.

    Midnight Train on right now.

  53. Ghost I can tell you are disturbed. You are back to getting out of Dodge and disappearing into wide open spaces like Wyoming or South Dakota. Just a cowboy and his horse and empty country forever.

    Been there in a red convertible or two and some pickup trucks.

  54. Good morning Villagers….

    Just not much to say, been reading though. My ‘ZUZI’ is coming along too slow. That old Ford Ranger really sucks the gas…..to the tune of about $10 a day just to get back and forth from work….patience, Debbe, patience.

    Jerry πŸ™‚

    Ya’ll have a blessed Monday….

  55. Today’s real time strip reminded me of the ‘peddler’ who knocked on my front door wanting to sell me a aerial picture of our house and property….no thanks, wanted to grab it and slam it over his head…now that would have been a Kodak moment πŸ™‚

  56. Kodak? That’s in Alaska, right?

    Re today’s comic, I wonder what % of readers will know what a towhee is? Actually, the comic is unrealistic. Almost every time I’ve seen a towhee, it’s been on or near the ground.

    Peace,

  57. I doubt that what Arlo saw and deemed “cool” was actually a “drone” in the sense of being a government-controlled flying killer robot. It was more likely a small whirlybird thingy with a camera attached, the like of which one can buy on-line.

    Janis’s reaction was interesting. She seems to think the “drone” is equipped with some sort of high resolution radar that can see through clothing…or at least detect pokies.

  58. Privacy and accessibility are two issues that will become more serious in the near future because of drones. Think prisons, area 51 , etc, etc.

  59. And that points up an interesting idea. For years the media has been stoking fear of government intrusion into your privacy, when the reality today is that the greatest invasions of privacy are being done by individuals and criminal gangs. The criminals are turning the internet into open season into your “private” conversations. Neighbors are flying eyes in the sky over your homes (and perhaps peeking into windows). Others are piggybacking on unprotected WiFi signals to look up what they would not appearing on their own computers. My mom’s phone rang the other day and I noticed my brother’s name on the caller ID. I also knew he had texted me the family was in the car in Birmingham. So I asked mom what the call was. She said it was the bank calling to ask questions about her card, like they do once a month or so. I told her to never answer the phone when she didn’t know the number, never answer questions to anyone who is not family or friends that she can recognize and never give out any personal or financial information no matter who says they are calling. I looked at the caller ID later and the incoming caller showed my brother’s first initial and last name, AND MY MOM’S OWN PHONE NUMBER! So whoever these scammers were, they spoofed the caller id so we couldn’t even see who was really calling.

  60. Then there’s the quite different aspect of the term. Berty Wooster’s [it wasn’t Worcester’s, was it?] bachelors’ club, The Drones. Peace,

  61. Before we disconnected my mother’s telephone she got several call’s from the IRS letting her know that a suit was about to be filed. Right.

  62. Yes. One way to stop it, probably only way is to take phones away because my mom would answer all calls and tell them anything, agree to anything. She changed long distance server so many times my head whirled like Poltergeist, signed up for insurance groups. Etc.

  63. Off subject but just had fabulous hickory smoked brisket on ciabatta Multigrain with fresh tomatoes, lettuce from garden and cucumbers. Can’t remember taking insulin so I must not have?

    Fed my two workmen out draining yard and ditching. They have been with me so long they have reached feifs of the estate level. Nice guys. They look after the old lady.

  64. Jackie, with all the draining and ditching taking place at your fiefdom, I sometimes wonder if you live “on a lake” or “in a lake”. And if you have by chance observed any moistened bints lobbing scimitars. Seems to be shaping up as a good a way as any to decide who will be our new leader.

  65. Believe me, I have asked the same. My house sits in lowest point of entire subdivision. Water pours from all points because even those above me raised their lots with retaining wallstate and run off gray water in addition. Couple that with fact the original Creek to Lake passes through my property entire length, ending in finger of lake.

    The creek and water reclaimed my property, at least two feet of top soil has washed into lake in past 20 years. When the Red Sea parted across my yard the force of water picked up anything in its way including trucks, planters, scoured the soil of plants, rocks, soil.

    We are licking that hopefully. My late husband picked the property and the flooding never bothered him

  66. Good morning Villagers…

    Emb… πŸ™‚

    Old Bear, just where are you getting all your little ‘quips;? Keep ’em coming.

    Jackie, I believe it would be all three….

    Ya’ll have a blessed Tuesday///

  67. Mark, you gave your mom excellent advice, I pray she listens, and I also pray she doing better health wise. Does she live with you?

  68. Debbe, her foot is healing but she is definitely in a mental decline. I have been living with her since I moved back here in 2010. Over that 6 year period she has gone from being capable to have lived on her own with a little help, to needing help with most things. I’m not sure she can remain here much longer. Brother and sister-n-law want to move her in with them, and I think she would be better off in that situation. I am afraid I may go out on a Saturday and come home to find her in the floor with a broken hip or something.

  69. Good morning. Read a fascinating article on the study that has followed the people who were contestants on the Biggest Loser six year study. Mark, I know you can link it. They are all back fat again but the fascinating part is the science about why.

    Didn’t discourage me but it sure made light bulbs go off in my mind about my struggle and why. I struggle on.

    But fat is like the creek in my yard apparently. The body fights to hold on to what it has or had.

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