Monday, October 11, 2010

Life Goals!!!

I sat in my front room thinking, looking out the window, past the balcony and into the mountains, and I started getting sentimental... thinking of home and my family and some of the dreams I have. Sounds cheesy I know, but it happened, and here is the result ~ a new and improved list of my life goals. I'm thinking of doing like my friend Sara and posting the list on my sidebar, right under "Quotes from my Mom." And when I accomplish them, they'll go on the bottom of the list with a little checkmark by them. Let it be known that every single item on this list will someday be accomplished, and this is in nowise complete! I'll add to it as I remember/think of new ones

The bolded ones are goals I've had that I've already accomplished.

Speak fluent German
Read the Old Testament
Read the Old Testament in Hebrew
Visit Sedlec Ossuary in Prague
Go to Mecca and walk around the Ka'ba
Visit the Gates of Paradise in Florence.
Visit the Vatican
Visit the Garden of Gethsemene
Visit to Machu Picchu
Go sky diving
Become scuba certified
Visit Dracula's Castle in Transylvania
Actively invest in real estate
Run a full marathon
Compete in an Iron Man competition
Face my worst fear
Go cliff diving
Go on a gondola ride in Venice
Base jump
Learn to rock climb
Camp in a snow cave
Make my own sushi
Sing in General Conference
Go surfing
Drive a race car on a real track
Jump a motorcycle
Learn to hip hop
Build a five-foot sand castle
Own a corgi
Run a horse in an open field
Sell a sculpture
Bowl a 200
Sail on a boat
Go paragliding
Swim with a dolphin
Save someone's life
See a tornado
Defend someone's honor
Live somewhere foreign
Have a book published
Learn to play the violin
Learn to play the piano

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Dear Charlotte Church

Here's a letter I wrote to Charlotte Church when I was 16, in 10th grade:

Dear Charlotte Church,

Wow. How convenient that I found your address. The Internet is seriously amazing these days. All I had to do was search you on Yahoo, hack a couple secure pages, and wham! ...Now you're getting this letter. The next challenge is making it persuasive enough that you'll actually read it and respond.

So, I'm in a pickle (pick hold?). I'm currently needing a date to homecoming, and you're currently 10,000 miles away. Do you see the problem? Let me begin with the official asking: Charlotte... I would be honored if you would be my homecoming date! Will you go with me?There.

You do not need to worry about this date at all. First, I wouldn't showcase you by making you sing. Other people might get excited about that, but I'll tell them you're here for the dance, not to entertain. Any singing would take place as a personal serenade in our limo or when we go for that romantic walk near the gezebo. Second, I would try to not introduce you as my official girlfriend. Instead, I would just tell people that "we're working on it" or "her fame keeps us apart." Third, I insist that our colors be orange and teal because I already have a vest in those colors. You will want to find a dress that matches (not skimpy). Fourth, absolutely no dancing with other guys. You're obviously going to be the hit of the night, so let's not make it complex. You're with me, and the rest of them can be satisfied with what they asked! Lastly, the goodnight kiss would not need to be longer than 10 seconds. I understand if your body guards need to be present, but please, tell them beforehand to not watch. I might get shy.

Okay, I anxiously await your reply. You have two months in which to prepare for the greatest dance-experience of your life. If you have any questions, you are more than welcome to call me on my home telephone number.

(contact info)

(That little brat never got back to me!!!)

Friday, July 23, 2010

Late Books and Library Fees

I guess I've always had a mischievous side. I've never been rebellious or what some would call "bad"--I have too much natural remorse for that (and I like to think I have too much moral direction, too). But mischievous is a good label.

My mom and I have always had too much in common in that way. Now she's mischievous! Just take one car ride with her and listen to her ideas and schemes and you'll know what I'm talking about. Listening to stories of her when she was my age: HA...we would have been best friends! As a elementary school teacher, my mom would often come home and complain about the stupid things her students would do, but I could do the exact same thing and she'd think it was funny. It was because she trusted me, and she knew I had a lot of energy and ideas (not to be used for evil). ...Like the time my friend and I went to Vegas instead of a sleepover because we wanted some cheap crab legs. My mom laughed after she heard about it (I told her about it myself) because she knew I wasn't trying to prove or get-away with anything! "Just never tell me before you do these things." ...Or like the time I tried to sell the house while she was working late at parent-teacher conferences. (I figured it would be good money. And I can split responsibility with Zack Morris. It was half his idea!!!).  "It was a good idea, I'll give you that!" she said. "What were you gonna do with the money?" She still trusted me.

It's good to have familial trust. ...But I will never, ever have the library's trust. The library and I have what marriage therapists would call a dysfunctional relationship, filled with neglect, hostility, and stonewalling--a veritable disaster to any type of relationship.

It's even more like a marriage in that I know what I'm getting myself into. When I swipe that card, I'm making a vow: "I, Dallen Johnson, take you, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, for my lawful library checkout, to have and to hold, for the next three weeks, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, until three weeks do us part."

I fail in my vows every time. I never hold the book. I never experience the better/worse crap (what the characters go through, I suppose), and three weeks inevitably turns into three months. The library is so giving and I am so taking. This is clearly neglect.

(Charlie Brown fails at a lot of things too)

Because of my neglect, I ensure myself the late fine. It's not the library's fault. It's mine. I've realized that my library card has become more like a credit card. I scan it, take my "merchandise," and secure to myself at least a dollar or two of debt later (for each book).That's where the hostility comes in. I get sad and upset because of the imposed fine that I am now responsible for--that was really all my fault.

(This fee is now up to about $2.50 I think)

And now I'm stonewalling. I'm not going to read their stupid books anyways, so why go there? Why even think about it? ...I'll read books my mom suggests and gives me. I always keep my vows to those.

Well I don't know where to go from here. ...I just decided to write about it because I took back late yet another book. Actually Sara took it back for me because I was too lazy. And no I'm not going to tell you what book it was either. I'm embarrassed.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Never Have I Been More Convinced

Am I impressionable? ...A lot more than I realized! It all started with an Old Spice Commercial.

I guess that's where it ended, too. Old Spice commercials. Usually the only commercials that influence me (in ANY way) are those made by Applebees and Tucanos, and I'm only susceptible to them when I'm hungry. Or when I'm eating something repulsive (again) (I hate you cheap chimichangas!). Once during a Tucanos commercial my mouth started watering so much that I almost drooled. Sickening. ...Besides those, commercials usually just become background noise, or else they get muted by my roommate Dave. He and I then commence to have two-minute, awkward half-conversations which end as soon as the commercials are over.

Well never have I been more influenced to buy a product than now. Entertaining? Yes... and boy do I wanna be an Old Spice man!

After seeing this commercial, I actually scoffed a little at my spray-on Right Guard (Right Guarde?) and recalled the time when, right after applying it, a girl told me I smelled like bug spray. Forever influential. I think of it every time I put on deodorant (but, yes, I thank you for your honesty!!!). I think her comment, combined with of the confidence and style of the Old Spice man (a true man's man!) is enough to get me to switch. I wanna swan dive through the air onto a hot-tub motorcycle, and I know how I'm gonna do it: Old Spice.

I was so easily influenced. My laughs were long and loud. Corporate America, you finally got me. I didn't realize it until I was planning exactly where and when I could buy my new magic formula and become an Old Spice man, not Bug Spray man. Here is one more commercial for your entertainment!

(and I'm still whistling the theme song)

Friday, July 9, 2010

Wipeout Application: SUBMITTED!

Dear Casting Director:

Hi, I'm the Red Baron, also known as "Dallen Danger" to my friends, and I'm the greatest and best looking "Ace" that has ever lived. I'm a commercial pilot ready to shoot down the other 23 Wipeout contestants. I'm not afraid of showing myself to the enemy. Let them see me, and let them be afraid!!! That's why I go red. Red for love, red for blood, and red like the big balls.

I'm typically the first to dive in. I'm typically the first to pull through, and I'm usually the only one to get out alive. That's why Wipeout is perfect. Bring on the hits. I'm used to them, but I've got a few sucker punches of my own. The $50,000 is more than in reach, and I'm going to fly through the course, if you know what i mean. Go Red or Go Home!

Dallen Danger

(I was going for cocky and ridiculous!)

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Dear Dallen...

It's alright! Have a good time! 
Cause it's alright!
Whoooooa, it's alright!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Jacob Keele: Modern Man or Mammoth Myth?

Superman was my first hero. Then I realized my grandpa was WAY better than Superman. Then I realized my mom was WAY better than Grandpa. Haha. just kidding. Both are champions! And that is why my family is ranked number one in my book.

But today is not about Superman or Grandpa or Mom or any other well-known super-heroes. Today's blog is about Jacob Keele--the man, the legend. A hero!

From ordinary beginnings grew a boy. Now Jacob, 19-years-old, is about to leave on a two-year volunteer mission in Peru for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I'm almost eight years older than this remarkable young fellow, but, truly: I've come to regard him as one of my best friends.

Want a better feel for Jacob? Watch this video.

(This was for a competition. Jacob WON... $2,000 bucks!)

Jacob's good with people. He's good with art. He's good with basically whatever he decides he wants to be good at! Like film. Did you see that $2,000 work of art he made above. What's great is how willing he is to serve. Now he's the type of do-gooder this world needs.

For those who don't know what a mission is, Jacob is going to represent his church by teaching the principles he believes and serving the people however he can. His schedule is beyond full-time. From 6:30 in the morning until 10:30 at night, he will do nothing but missionary work. And no one sponsors him during his two years. He pays for the plane, where he lives, what he eats, and every other thing that he needs for the entire time. He's spent the last couple years saving so he could afford to go.

People of Peru: listen to his message!
People he knows: write to him!
Girls: He won't be gone long, Don't waste your time on anybody else....

(Although there may be some heavy competition. Check it out!)

Jacob. Peace out for two years, bro. Thanks for being a true friend. Don't die, because I wanna have more river-rafting, movie-making, fake-punching, boy-banding, batman quoting, Troll 2-watching adventures, k? See ya suckaaaa!

Friday, July 2, 2010

If You Want To View Paradise, Simply Look Around and View It!

Willy Wonka holds so many life lessons worth living. I mean the old Willy Wonka! One of the reasons I didn't like the new Wonka is that a lot of the cool lessons were lost. It was just more about being weird and entertaining. ...I'm really of daddish that way, though. I love shows and books that make you think. That change you. I can totally see myself pausing movies like Willy Wonka and preaching to my kids. "Now what is something you think Mike TV should have done better? How are we like Mike TV?"  ..."Dad! FREAK! Stop pausing the movie!"

Well ever since my blog post a few days ago... the one with the Wonka song in it... I've had that song stuck in my head. And I've been known to suddenly start singing, "If you want to viiiiiewwww paradiiiiise simply look arooouund and view iiiiiit!" Usually in the shower. Or to myself. But mostly in my head!

And while I was working at 4 this morning, there it was again. And I started pondering how true those words are! I realized just how good I have it. In spite of it all, I can honestly say that I thoroughly enjoy my life.

:: My Personal Paradise ::

1. Church
I'm a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Been a member my whole life! And I listed this as my first one because religion, doctrine, principles, covenants, and etc etc etc help me to find understanding, direction, hope, and peace in this life.

(The Salt Lake Temple)

(Missionaries. I was one of them once)

2. Family.
Okay... my mom's hilarious and one of my best friends. Just so you guys can get an occasional taste of our daily interactions, I've made a "Favorite Quotes from my MOM" section over there on the right. Oh, so funny. Mom, you're the greatest! And just to spare you the embarrassment, I won't post your picture. You're welcome.

3. Friends
The best friends money can buy! wait.

(We hang out anywhere, even in strangers' trucks)

4. The career I've always dreamed about!
I've wanted to be a pilot since I was 3 years old. I started flying when I was 14. ...and I haven't crashed yet!

(Preflighting the Katana, Summer 2009)

5. A future filled with hope.

6. A past filled with trials.

7. A present filled with stability and cleanliness.

(This isn't quite what I meant, but... oh well)

Now I'm not naive. Things can be really hard. Things can be downright miserable. But what I'm saying is that if you really sit back and think about it, and kinda look deep inside... maybe to the more innocent part of yourself... you'll realize that you can still manage to see the paradise. If you're having trouble with that... write me and we'll talk about it a little further! :)

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

I Basically Just Wanted Another Award

I've only followed Blog O' Cheese for a few days, but for some reason I feel like I can relate to that guy. Especially his last post about commenting and following. True 'dat Cheese Man. You hit the nail on the head for me too. I haven't been blogging long, but I already feel outnumbered by women in this blogging community!'s like being a male nurse!

(Just like Ben Stiller)

But really, this post is about accepting his award, simply because I don't think Blog O' Cheese expects anybody to do it. And I guess I like to claim that I'm all about paradigm breaking--or maybe just doing things for the sake of reaction. So yes... Cheese... I accept your free "The Taking Names and Kicking Butt Award." I found an appropriate picture, too.

(I'm cool because I added the words myself)

So sweet man! Thanks! And by the way, I'm giving you back your own award! The only expectation I'm giving you is that you'll accept it without doing anything!

Monday, June 28, 2010

So, umm, sorry! This is for a date!

I have determined that people will do just about anything for you if you let them know they're helping your date. It's simple enough: all the two of you have to do is look a little embarrassed and say, "So, umm, sorry! This is for a date...," then you continue on to make your unusual, absurd, and creepy demands. Whatever you ask of them now seems doable. Acceptable. Automatically attached to any request is an element of fun and adventure.

Times this phrase would come in handy:

1. When you need food!

             "So, umm, sorry... We're on a date, and we need two bowls of ice cream. 
Could you by chance spare some?"

(Why sure! You two dears look so cute together. Is this like a scavenger hunt?)

2. When you break something!

              "...So, umm, sorry... We're on a date, and we just broke 
one of your lawn chairs."

(Oh, nobody ever sat on that old thing anyways! 
Your adorable date wasn't hurt was she?)

3. To invade boundaries.

"...So, umm, sorry. We're on a date, and we saw a trampoline in your back yard...

(Hey! Grandpa would like to join you if that's okay.)

4.  To get away with something

So, umm, sorry Officers. We're on a date, but we'll take off if you want us to!

(Oh you little raggamuffins! What fun you must be having. Ah, the joy of youth!

One of my own stories: A few years ago, my date and I decided we really wanted ice cream, but, bless her dear little heart... she felt bad that I'd have to spend money. So I had an idea, and it would work perfectly since we were right in the middle of an apartment complex! We went to the first door, knocked, and I said, "So, umm... we're on this date... do you happen to have an egg?" The person looked a little confused at first, but immediately perked up, and with a "just one moment!" went and got us an egg! "There you are..." Next door: Knock Knock. "So, umm... we're on this date... would you be willing to buy this egg from us for 25 cents?" ..."Oh... umm... yeah! Sure." Ca-CHING! So easy! ...We went door-to-door for about 10 minutes asking for eggs and selling them, and pretty soon we had about five bucks for ice cream! Next stop: The Malt Shoppe! Yeahya!

I'm actually thinking of basing an entire date based around this idea. Beforehand, the other guys and I would get together and come up with a list of challenges (which, knowing my friends, might be pretty embarrassing). Then we'd give our dates a chance to help out with (or reject) ideas. Man... I'm kind of getting excited about this. If I ever do it, I'll be sure to report to you.

...PS: One note. I have a strict honesty policy! If you're ever going to use this little technique, you dang well better be on a date! 

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Wanna Change The World? There's Nothing To It!

I saw this commercial on TV, and I felt inspired!

What do you really want from life? What do you expect from the world? Go ahead, sit back, and think about it! Write down whatever comes to mind. Then write down how you can be the change you wanna see.

Do you want:

Greater Happiness? Then Do What's Right!

More Love? Then Go Serve!

More Respect? Give it!

More Forgiveness? Ask for it!

Better Leaders? Be one!

A Better Society? Be the change you want to see in the world. -Mahatma Gandhi

OH... and go listen to that song again! Doesn't it just make things seem so simple? :)

Friday, June 25, 2010

Wipeout Application -- I need your help!!!

If you don't know what Wipeout is, you better get yourself out of your books and back in front of your television set. I promise you, this is one hour wasted that you'll never want back!

Wipeout is enough comedy to make even cynical, cranky old people wet their pants in laughter (even though that might not be that hard). 

So Here's the Deal:
World famous reality television producer Endemol USA (that brought you Fear Factor, and Deal or No Deal,) is casting more episodes of the television hit WIPEOUT. In each episode, 24 contestants compete to win $50,000 while conquering the world's largest obstacle course.

STEP 1: Fill out an online profile and application. Include a brief summary of why you're the perfect candidate for this show. You MUST upload a photo to be considered.
STEP 2: Our casting department will review your application. If they would like to bring you in for an audition, they will contact you to schedule an appointment at our Burbank office.

...If you've ever seen the show, you know they generally have some pretty, um... how do I put this? ...interesting people on there. They're usually colorful, hyper, and downright laughable. So what I need to do is pick some quirky or unique part of myself and exaggerate it up the wazoo. Those who know me, please! I need your help! Point out, even rudely, my most laughable qualities. Whatever idea I choose, I'm going to write my essay and do a photoshoot that will make my application undeniable.

Help me get on Wipeout!!!

And to close, here are some future pictures of me competing on Wipeout.

(me hurtling the big balls)

(I don't know what's happening, but it appears my legs are tied to that flag or something)

(There I am wasting my competitors)

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Indiana Jones and Expectations

We've already discussed how my dreams are psycho and grotesque at times, but usually I absolutely LOVE them. I look forward to going to sleep. For example, I get to be Indiana Jones at least once a month. And so it was yet again last night. After hours of sheer awesomeness and heroics worthy of the big screen, I woke up and said aloud, "That was one of the coolest dreams I have ever had!" Then I texted a few people about it.

...why, as Indiana Jones, I've been conveyed into a South American volcano, been trapped in a collapsible room filled with spikes and skeletons, and explored Mayan caves blocked by a minotaur.

(me in my past life)

So, who saw the new Indiana Jones movie? Who liked it? No one! ...didn't think so. Well I DID! But not the first time. And that leads me to my topic of expectations.

When I went to see the new Indiana Jones movie in the theater, my expectations were unrealistically high. In hindsight I'd say they were nigh unreachable. The previous movies are ground into my life, deep and immovable--some of my favorites.

Well it couldn't meet my expectations. I saw flaws and silliness and scoffed all the way through. Disaster. Well, months later I was over at my friend's place with a few hours to burn, and he wanted to take a nap in his room. So I popped in the new Indiana Jones. To burn time. Something happened that I did not expect. I loved it! I loved every bit of it. ...except the part where Indy's son flies through the trees with all those monkeys.

What made the difference? Expectations!!! They just weren't unrealistic the second time. I didn't expect life-changing action or drama or something to be added that it was incapable of adding.

This and a few other things has got me thinking a lot about expectations. Where are my expectations unrealistic? When is it bad to have high expectations? Are standards and expectations different? Are expectations good/neutral/bad for relationships/life goals/movie watching?

I've done a lot of thinking about it and have plenty of opinions that I'm ready to mold and discuss into something new. Please collective world. Your thoughts!

(this is you... thinking)

King of Tonga: I Miss You

Anyone who knows me well knows that I love the King of Tonga.Well, more specifically I love the late King of Tonga. Sadly, he passed away in 2006. ...on my birthday.

The King of Tonga and I share a special bond! In fact, he was my pen-pal once. Back in 2004, I found his address randomly in a book I was reading, and me... with all my free time... decided to write him a letter.

...The letter was ridiculous! And it certainly carried all the graces deserved by higher nobility. (Sarcasm). After reading my letter, I wouldn't have been surprised if he thought I was a some irritatingly obsessive pre-teen lacking respect and a proper education. My letter ended with me begging him for an autographed photo, promising that if he sent it, I'd frame it and hang it on my bedroom wall.

Months and months and months later, with my letter long forgotten, I got an oddly-shaped envelope in the mail. At first I figured it was a wedding announcement, but I thought it was strange that there was no return address, stamp, or postmark. Only a crest overlaying the backside seal--an official coat of arms exactly like this one:

I read the seal and only recognized the one word. TONGA. I was probably a little more excited than I'd like to admit. I opened it and inside I found a picture of the entire royal family, autographed by King Taufa'ahau Tupou IV himself!

Awww... Look at him! I don't think he has a bigger fan than myself.

I wrote him back, but like I said... he died! My mom called me the day after my birthday and broke the news. Our friendship ended! ...But we will all meet him at the pearly gates someday!

So King of Tonga, again... this post is dedicated to your loving memory! My mom and I both love and miss you. And thanks for the autographed photo. Tonga Forever!!!

PS: I'm thinking about writing the new King, telling my story, and challenging him to outdo the last King, or at least a battle of wits. Whatta ya think?!

Monday, June 21, 2010

A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes...

Disney tells us this is true... and we feel all warm and fuzzy when we hear it because we hope, like Cinderella, that our heart's wishes will also come true! Ah, dreams! ... These are how our soul, in its purity, would have life be.

But me... I don't think my heart really know what's best for me. I wake up some mornings completely unable to interpret the random idiocy that just took place. Other times I awake wondering how I could possibly have come up with such bizarre, violent, or emotionally wrenching situations for myself.

Let's take a gander at a few of my more recent dreams/wishes to see what I wish life would provide:

1) I wish that I would be raised and ruled by penguins.

2) ...that I'd get run down and devoured by dinosaurs.

3) That an alien will kill all my friends and family, and I will be left completely and utterly alone, to walk a void planet filled with noxious gases.

4) That I will be completely and absolutely in-love, but that girl of my dreams will never... could never love me back -- because I'll be a zombie. A heartbroken zombie. :(

 5) And probably the dream that caused me to wake up with more shock and terror than any other (honestly!!!)... that the United States Constitution didn't have a Bill of Rights, and that there was nothing I could do about it!

Like I say, most morning I wake up either confused or bothered. Sometimes shaken. If Cinderella's right and my dreams will come true... we're all screwed!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Happiness is...

  1. A really relaxing day.
  2. A really busy day.
  3. Going to bed early and actually falling asleep.
  4. An adventurous dream.
  5. Finishing something that was really difficult.
  6. Your favorite breakfast cereal.
  7. Payday.
  8. A witty comment where everybody laughs.
  9. Soccer.
  10. Hitting it off.
  11. Being liked back.
  12. Watching your favorite TV show.
  13. Showing someone something you think is hilarious.
  14. Halloween.
  15. A rope swing.
  16. Being liked by an animal.
  17. Eggs, bacon, and toast after sleeping in.
  18. Taking a really awesome picture.
  19. Hearing your favorite song on the radio.
  20. The perfect landing.
  21. A paper airplane that flies well.
  22. Getting a cast off.
  23. Casting off.
  24. The perfect cast.
  25. A new Pixar movie.
  26. Working on a sculpture.
  27. Building a model.
  28. Knowing you can be trusted.
  29. Right before a really good meal.
  30. Eating out.
  31. Catching something you drop before it hits the ground.
  32. New electronics.
  33. Learning a new guitar song.
  34. Old friends.
  35. Camping trips.
  36. Tripping into a pool.
  37. Getting thrown into a pool.
  38. Sound that is very... full.
  39. Performing in a choir when you know your music.
  40. Train tracks.
  41. Rafting.
  42. Tubing.
  43. Horseback riding.
  44. Being scared silly.
  45. Hitting a bullseye.
  46. Rollercoasters.
  47. Dachshunds.
  48. Understanding another language.
  49. Making up.
  50. Understanding engines.
  51. Ferrero Rocher and Ferrero Renoir. Not the coconut kind.
  52. Finishing a book.
  53. Seeing a wild animal when it isn't close enough to kill you.
  54. Scheming.
  55. A full tank.
  56. A slip-to-land.
  57. Putting 57 things I'm happy for when I only meant to put 20.
  58. A passport stamp.
  59. Delivery pizza.
  60. Receiving a letter from a missionary.
  61. Being surprised at how much money is in your account.
  62. A sunday "nice-note."
  63. A heavy blanket.
  64. A super-hero movie.
  65. New slang.
  66. Long boarding.
  67. Biffing it but not getting hurt.
  68. Building something.
  69. Fall.
  70. Spring.
  71. Summer.
  72. Listening to older people tell stories.
  73. Being liked by a little kid.
  74. The dollar menu.
  75. Reliving childhood memories.
  76. Reading past journals.
  77. Ping pong.
Okay, I'll stop for now. I have to get on with things. :)
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