Happy Happy Birthday Birthday

Happy Birthday to my wonderful wife and my sweet sister! Yes, they have the same birthday and it’s two days after mine.


I was remiss in not noting that yesterday was the third anniversary of my taking delivery of my 2016 Corvette Z06. I have driven the car about 10,400 miles, 3,800 miles in the mid-Atlantic and 6,600 miles in Arizona. In about two months I will have owned the car as long here as I did there.

I have to admit that, on occasion, I wonder why I am obsessed with acquiring a “companion” for my car. Without trying to ruin my karma, my Z06 is easily my favorite car among all of the cars I have owned, which I believe now numbers nine cars. That includes the one SUV I have owned outright, my 1988 Chevrolet Blazer, but not the SUVs I have owned jointly with my wonderful wife. Four of the nine vehicles were purchased new.

“Happy Birthday” to my Z06!



Here is a collection of links to posts from Why Evolution Is True, some of which I have been “saving” for quite some time:


Lawrence Krauss: Stop indicting science for systemic bigotry

Washington Post runs rare column that praises atheism

University of Virginia student paper criticizes freedom of speech

The first words of this post are, “. . . well, not all speech—just the speech that the editors of the student newspaper The Cavalier Daily don’t like.”

Michael Shermer argues that transitioning to the female gender after puberty is equivalent in sports to “doping”

I agree…

Infantile Yale Law students disrupt campus free-speech event

Woke is a cult.


Here is a link to a video, courtesy of Mac’s Motor City Garage, of the knowledgeable Jason Fenske explaining why corn-based ethanol is a bad idea. From the brief text accompanying the link:


“The major benefit that corn ethanol originally promised—a net reduction in carbon dioxide emissions—is proving to be an illusion, at least according to recent studies from the University of Wisconsin and Harvard Law Research.”


For those blinded by ideology the operative axiom is never to let the facts get in the way of a priori beliefs.


Here are some photos from the recently concluded Mecum auction in Glendale, Arizona. Their next auction, from Houston, begins in just three days.



I took this photo two days after my very pleasant conversation with the lovely Katie Osborne.



I guess that, in the moment, I just didn’t realize all of the “extraneous artifacts” in the picture of this 1975 Ferrari 308 GT4. By the way, one can buy a Ferrari for under $100,000; this car sold, all in, for $66,000.



I don’t know how much input the consignor has on the pre-auction estimate shown for some lots. This 1991 Buick Reatta, with fewer than 3,000 miles, had an estimate of $40,000-$60,000. I love the way these cars look, but that’s just insane. The car did not sell at a high bid of $15,000.



It wouldn’t be a major car auction without some C2 Corvette restomods. This beautiful 1965 Vette restomod on a custom chassis sold for $231,000 all in. This year’s Glendale auction had the highest total sales and highest attendance of the four held at this venue.


I may or may not post tomorrow. My next post will be the last installment of the Cars A To Z series with the “X” “Y” and “Z” cars being shown together.








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Sunday String Theory

Quick update: my wonderful wife was discharged from the hospital yesterday and is resting semi-comfortably at home. In the back of our minds is the reality that we don’t have all of the results from the surgery, yet.


No, today’s post is not about string theory, which as stated in Wikipedia is: “a theoretical framework in which the point-like particles of particle physics are replaced by one-dimensional objects called strings. String theory describes how these strings propagate through space and interact with each other.”

Obviously, string theory is much more complicated than that description, just like the real world is more complicated than ideology of any stripe. Related to that notion is that I strongly believe intelligence and curiosity are highly and positively correlated.

André Gide: “Trust those who seek truth but doubt those who say they have found it.”


Hopefully, you can see the reason I am showing this photo:



Can you see the curved cloud “lines” in the sky? I can’t recall ever having seen anything exactly like that before.


I have to admit that on many days I think any automotive content is sort of forced, or inorganic. On some occasions “forcing” myself to write about cars does lead to inspiration, but other times it does not.

I also admit that I repeat myself in terms of automobile selection. That is the main reason that Frugal Friday has been “retired.”

I do realize that, for better and for worse, personal transportation is undergoing a sea change. I believe that much of that has been forced on the public from the top down, by governments and big car companies deciding what we are going to drive instead of by market forces. I also think that if a concept is constantly hammered into people’s heads, many of them will adopt that concept when they probably would not have otherwise.

“Never say never” is a good rule of operation, I think. One can never really predict the future with great accuracy. Still, at this point I do not envision a day when I will drive an EV–whether it’s powered by batteries, a hydrogen fuel cell or something else. I like the visceral experience of driving a car powered by an Internal Combustion Engine (ICE).

I’ll wrap up today’s post with a picture of my current car, my wonderful C7 Corvette Z06:









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All Done?


The good news is that the work completed yesterday on my Z06 increased horsepower at the rear wheels by 11 percent and torque by nine and a half percent. The bad news is that the work previously done in the mid-Atlantic didn’t increase power anywhere near as much as advertised.

It was exciting to look at a dyno sheet for the first time on any of my cars. Thanks to Cordes Performance Racing. Speaking of Cordes…the power outage of last week made our dryer unable to function properly. The company from which we purchased the dryer sent two techs yesterday to look at it.

We began chatting and the lead tech is quite the car guy. I told him my car was at Cordes and he showed me a picture on his phone of my car in an Instagram post by Cordes. Small world!

Based on the dyno figures I would say that Chevrolet understates the stock torque figure for the LT4 engine. Remember that Chevrolet introduced fuel injection in 1957 and advertised the car as having 283 HP from 283 cubic inches. In reality, the average fuelie engine produced 291 HP on the dyno, but the Chevy marketing people liked 283/283.

Fast forward to 2015–the year the LT4 was introduced–and I think the same dynamic was at work. The LT4 was advertised at 650 HP/650 LB-FT of torque. However, as best as I can figure, my Z06 now has more torque at the rear wheels than the claimed torque at the crankshaft out of the factory. Since HP didn’t show that kind of overall improvement from stock, I’m a little skeptical of the stated torque output. Perhaps someone more versed in these types of calculations/estimates can chime in.

When Joe Cordes handed me the key to my car, he said that if I ever wanted to do more to the engine he would be happy to oblige. I just told him that I have learned to never say never. By the way, with the racing headers (beautifully ceramic-coated), the car is really loud now.

I was embarrassed after we returned home. Joe Cordes had opened the hood to show me the headers and the new heat exchanger for the supercharger. All I could talk about was how awful the engine cover looked. I did mention it to him and he suggested powder-coating instead of paint. I guess you can powder-coat plastic. If I were braver, I might try to freshen the engine cover myself with some red epoxy paint to match the exterior. If my aunt had had balls, she would have been my uncle.

While I once again will not say never, I think that for the near future I am finished with Z06 improvements, unless I stumble into a lot of money.






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Fried Chicken

In one of his books Bill James wrote something like, “It’s hard to compare the pizza you’re eating now to the fried chicken you ate three weeks ago.” He was trying to illustrate the importance of temporal proximity to judgment.

In A List For Saturday I showed a list of my favorite songs with lyrics. Even though I wrote that it was probably an incomplete list, one omission was quite glaring: “Riders On The Storm” by The Doors, of course.

I have the 45, but don’t think I have a digital copy (at least not as I write this) so I just don’t hear it when I listen to music from my iPhone. What reminded me of how much I like the song was hearing it today on the way back from a breakfast run to Chick-Fil-A.

Maybe I just need to stop worrying about lists, about trying to make order out of chaos. (Yes, I should just ignore my OCD. Why haven’t I thought of that before? [sarcasm]) One of the reasons I haven’t published my Ultimate Garage 3.0 is I am agonizing over the Cadillac XLR and Saturn Sky.

In Ultimate Garage 2.0 I left both cars out because familiarity with them had left me a little sour. I had a friend who bought two XLRs new and both had to be repurchased by Cadillac under our state’s lemon law while my wonderful wife and I had test-driven a Sky and were put off by the interior.

I have not driven most of the cars that are likely to be a part of 3.0 if it is published. Is it fair to exclude the XLR and Sky because I am more familiar with them? This reminds me of the obstacle that caused my Masters Thesis to be completed much later than I had hoped.

I was trying to figure out a way to apply the significant cost of player development in baseball to a player’s Marginal Revenue Product (MRP) in the hopes of being the first to calculate a net MRP. I just couldn’t get my head around how to apply player development costs to each player, in large part because much, sometimes even most, of a team’s major league roster was originally in another team’s organization.

One of my former professors finally told me that I was worrying too much about nothing, that any reasonable solution would suffice. That pushed me to an idea that had been percolating for awhile and I used it in my thesis, “Pay and Performance in Major League Baseball, The Early Free Agency Era.”

So, what should I do about the XLR and the Sky? I’m all eyes; I can’t be all ears because I can’t hear you.


See the source image

See the source image


I found each of these pieces to be interesting reads, Article 1 and Article 2. It might be difficult for those of you reading to realize they were written by a Democrat. I suspect he would be labeled a traitor by the lunatic component of the party, a group that–in my opinion–grows larger all the time. One of these pieces addresses my pet theory of increasing temporal arrogance.


It’s only about a month until I take my Z06 in for the “bolt-on” application that will increase horsepower, torque and decibels. Of course, one of the cool things about the NPP exhaust option for C7 Corvettes (standard on the Z06) is that with a couple of touches on the screen I can quiet the exhaust. The cost is 5-10 HP.



Will that be the end of the performance upgrades? If you ask me now I would say yes. If you ask me in a year, I don’t know what I would say.









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PS, this post about the disturbing trend of ideology being injected into science is also worth reading. I will note, though, that since science is an endeavor of human beings it can never be purely objective.


Walkabout Wednesday

From Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary: walkabout; noun, a short period of wandering bush life engaged in by an Australian aborigine as an occasional interruption of regular work

I hope this blog is a daily walkabout for those who read it. Also, today’s post is EXTREMELY random or wandering.


My wonderful wife and I watch episodes of Frasier on Cozi (via Hulu + Live TV) from time to time. Yesterday, we watched “The Last Time I Saw Maris.” From frasier.fandom.com a synopsis of the episode:


After a relieved Niles learns that Maris’ mysterious three-day disappearance took her on a shopping spree to New York, Frasier tells him to demand an apology from her instead of giving her a welcome home gift. Niles takes his brother’s advice and reads her the riot act, but when he later refuses to apologize, Maris asks for a divorce.


Frasier telling Niles to confront Maris leads to Niles smashing all sorts of vases and statuettes. He then says, “Smashing things is therapeutic.” I can relate: I think this happened a few months after I had been fired from my first full-time baseball job. I bought an answering machine, but one without tapes. It was a “newfangled” electronic type that digitally recorded my greeting and incoming messages.

The problem was that no matter how many times I recorded my greeting, 24 hours later it was gone. I would record the greeting, play back the greeting, and then play it back again a few hours later. It was always gone the next day.

I don’t know what catalyst caused me to do the following, but after the 15th or 20th time the greeting disappeared, I yanked the machine out of the wall, threw it down the stairs and then proceeded to smash it into hundreds of pieces with a hammer. I have to admit that felt good.

Oh, in a 2006 poll taken by Channel 4 in the UK of professionals in the TV industry, Frasier was voted the best sitcom of all time. I have all of the episodes on DVD and have streaming access to all of them on Hulu. Frasier, Taxi and The Big Bang Theory are my three favorite sitcoms ever. I think the phrase “modern sitcom” is an oxymoron, now without exception with the end of The Big Bang Theory in 2019.

Also, while I acknowledge that Seinfeld had moments of comic brilliance, its internal motto of “no hugging, no learning” left it a bit short compared to other sitcoms. The occasional poignant moments make the comedy better, in my opinion.

The word is that a Frasier reboot will begin airing next year on Paramount+, a streaming service. Sorry, I’m not going to pay more money every month just to watch one show. Three of the service’s main offerings are channels I would never watch: Comedy Central, nickelodeon and MTV. I will be quite happy occasionally watching an “old” episode.


Yesterday saw blog views from the usual countries outside the US (Canada, France, Malta, Nigeria) except one: Chile. The South American nation was second in views by country behind only the US and more than half of the views for the year from Chile happened yesterday. From Wikipedia a map showing Chile’s location:


Chilean territory in dark green; claimed but uncontrolled territory in light green


The green slice of Antarctic land shown is claimed but uncontrolled territory. Chile is about 2,700 miles from north to south, but only about 220 miles at its widest east-to-west point.

The strongest earthquake ever recorded (M 9.5) happened off the coast of southern Chile in May of 1960. From this NOAA report:


This earthquake generated a tsunami that was destructive not only along the coast of Chile, but also across the Pacific in Hawaii, Japan, and the Philippines…The number of fatalities in Chile associated with both the earthquake and tsunami has been estimated to be between 490 and 5,700. The Chilean government estimated 2 million people were left homeless and the damage was USD $550 million [my note: almost $5 billion in today’s dollars]. In Hawaii, the tsunami caused 61 deaths, 43 injuries, and USD $23.5 million in damage… The tsunami hit the Pacific coast of Japan almost a day after the earthquake causing 139 deaths and destroying or washing away almost 3,000 houses in the Hokkaido, Aomori, Iwate, and Fukushima Prefectures. Waves observed in Japan were higher than other adjacent regions nearer to the source due to the directivity of tsunami wave radiation. At least 21 people died in the Philippines due to the tsunami.


Waves as high as 35 feet were observed more than 6,000 miles from the epicenter. Oh, the earthquake lasted 10 minutes, an extraordinarily long time for such an event. Anyway…if you’re reading, thanks to those of you who read Disaffected Musings from Chile yesterday.


David Banner (not his real name) sent me a text in which he wrote, “I don’t get an EV Hummer…that’s like a sugar free donut.” Yes, GM is going to reboot the Hummer brand as an EV AND is introducing an EV Silverado pickup truck. My response to his text was, “LOL! It’s 2021 and come hell or high water most “car” companies are going electric. What better way to engage in virtue signaling than to produce an electric Hummer?”

For the nth time, I realize that some form of “alternative” power for cars will become the dominant paradigm some time in the future. I also realize that most of the market still wants to buy cars powered by Internal Combustion Engines. For at least the next 10-20 years, a significant market opportunity will exist to cater to those buyers. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. Of course, I’ll be sticking to this car for some time to come:



Since I am now fully vaccinated, I may speed up the timetable for the second round of modifications (Modificata!) to increase engine output. The powertrain warranty expires in about three months and since the shop is booked 8-10 weeks out, will it really make a difference if I get the work done a couple of weeks before expiration?

I have babbled on enough today. For only the third or fourth time in the three-plus year history of this blog, a post is 1,000+ words long. I hope you have enjoyed it.











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Two Z06 Years

First…if views of this blog are a proxy for the number of viewers of the current Barrett-Jackson auction, then that number increased from Wednesday to Thursday and again from Thursday to Friday. More specifically, views of Where Is Cristy Lee? followed that pattern. Overall, the total number of blog views yesterday was about 70 percent higher than the average since October, when blog views took another quantum leap up. Thanks for reading.


Incredibly, it was two years ago today that I took possession of my 2016 Corvette Z06. Overall, I have driven the car about 5,200 miles. In the 20 weeks we have lived in Arizona, I have driven the car about 1,400 miles. That means, so far, I am driving the car more here than before we moved, as I suspected would happen. Of course, I will show some photos of “The Red Rocket:”



So, do any of you think I should say “Damn The Powertrain Warranty” and schedule the engine work as soon as possible? I was waiting to be fully vaccinated, but by mid-April my wonderful wife and I will be at “maximum” immunity, barring some awful unforeseen event(s). The warranty expires in late July. The shop where I am very likely to take the car is booked 8-10 weeks out. Does it matter if I have the work done in late May or early June?

Even though I don’t need the work to be done, a life spent only doing the things that one needs to do is an unfulfilled and incomplete life, in my opinion.



After lunch yesterday, my wonderful wife and I went for a little drive. At one point, I made her stop the car so I could get out and take some pictures of our surroundings. The photo above is just one of those pictures. Once again, the view looked better in person than it does in this picture. In distilling the three-dimensional world into a two-dimensional picture, much can be lost.

By the way, even though we were probably no more than about ten miles from our house, the temperature where I took this picture (53°) was nine degrees colder than at our house (62°). It’s difficult for people who don’t live here to understand the dramatic changes in elevation in short distances and how much those changes can affect the weather. I would guess this was about 1,500 feet higher in elevation than where our house is.

Even though I might be singing a different tune in July when it’s 108° here, so far I am very happy with our new surroundings. I can certainly understand why the population of metro Phoenix has increased five-fold in the last 50 years.









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A Hiatus

As I have some important personal business to conduct, both individually and with my wonderful wife, after today I will not post for 7-10 days. Wish me/us luck as I/we will need more than our share. Good luck and I have been estranged for a long time.

Please don’t forget this blog; I will return, barring an unforeseen disaster. Here are the three most-read posts so far this year, not including the About page:


Where Is Cristy Lee?

Another Weird Dream…

Monday Mishegas


What is the life span of the average blog? Two blogs I followed regularly have either been discontinued or are not likely to be continued. According to some research, the average blog is “dead” after just 100 days.

Today is day number 979 for Disaffected Musings. I guess I should feel good about that, but people can keep writing a blog even if no one is reading. I am grateful for the boost in readership since April, even though I know much/most of it is due to bad circumstances beyond my control.


This recent article from Classic Cars is titled, “Dreaming of doing a restoration? Read this to avoid a nightmare.” I think the sub-title is quite funny, “Seriously, do not pass Go and do not collect $200 until you’ve considered the time and the cost and the labor involved.”

Here are the two key paragraphs in the piece, IMO:


“However, car restoration is not for the faint hearted and it is never — I repeat — never inexpensive. There are no bargains on restorations, only bad restorations or good restorations. There is also no such thing as a driver-level restoration. There is only one way to restore a car and that is completely. Any car that is described as partially restored is likely to have had a brake job and a fresh coat of paint, and not a bare metal respray just a scuff and a new paint finish over the old one. That is not a restoration.”

“Yes, there are a number of shops that will say you can restore your car inexpensively and will give you a quote for say $25,000. Do not believe what they tell you. If you go this route one of two things will happen, either you will get a bad quality job or you will have the shop owner calling you every few weeks to tell you that again your car’s restoration requires more money. This is what people in the industry call the elevator ride.”


The author advises people who want a driver quality car, and not a concours level automobile, to simply find such a car and buy it without attempting any major work.

I have often written that I do not want to own a de facto museum exhibit in the form of an automobile that is too nice to drive. While I would upgrade an older car with modern systems (such as Electronic Fuel Injection) where possible, I would not attempt a full-blown “restoration.” Even the resto-mod C2 Corvette I thought about having built would have been my daily driver, not that I drive much. (I’ve driven my Z06 about 3,700 miles in 18 months.)

On the other hand, I absolutely do not believe in being penny-wise and pound-foolish when it comes to cars or anything else. Cars need maintenance and maintenance usually costs money. Any used car we buy after (if?) we move will immediately go into a shop for service.

Speaking of my Z06, here’s a recent photo that I am 99% sure has not been displayed here before.



See you on the flip side, I hope. I would still welcome another guest post from a regular reader.








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A Z06 Year

A light year, of course, is not really a unit of time, but instead is a unit of distance. (5.88 trillion miles, to be exact—the distance light travels in a year at its amazing, but finite, speed)

A Z06 year is a year spent with what I think is the most amazing car ever made, dollar for dollar. Today is, indeed, one year since I took delivery of my 2016 Corvette Z06. (That fact is absolutely mind-boggling to me!)

I do wonder, though, why I have not driven the car more. I have put about 2,750 miles on the car in a year, only about 230 miles a month. I drove my 2009 BMW Z4 about 295 miles a month and that car was in the shop a lot.

When I am driving the Z06 sometimes I say out loud to myself, “I love this car.” So, why aren’t I driving it more? My wonderful wife and I do travel some, but I still have plenty of days in which to drive the Z06. In all honesty, I don’t really know why I don’t drive the car more. Perhaps advancing age is playing a role.

I will try to enjoy the car more in the future, but as I have written here before I suspect it won’t be until the move to the desert that the Z06 will get a chance to stretch its legs. Of course, I have to show some pics of the car:







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An Almost Post

56packardman sent me two emails yesterday, the subject line of one of those emails was “Blog Fodder.” However, it was the other email that drew me very close to writing a long post in which I would have stated where and why I disagree with most of the policy ideas of both major parties in the US. Ultimately I decided I don’t really want to risk turning this into a political blog.

I understand why many people feel the need to be politically active and, of course, that is their right. However (and once again), I will not and cannot support or vote for a candidate with whom I disagree on 75% of policy even if I disagree with the other candidate on 80%.


This Hemmings piece is one of many reporting that for the Corvette Racing program Chevrolet/GM have developed a 5.5 liter, 4 valves per cylinder, double overhead cam, flat-plane crank engine (a V-8, obviously) for use in the C8.R. This development lends credence to the rumors that existed even before the official unveiling of the C8 that such an engine was in development and would be available in the new Corvette.

As the rumors go, the new engine would be available in the Z06 variant of the C8 and would be tuned to provide 600-650 HP. Then, a twin-turbo version of the same engine, producing 800-850 HP, would be in the ZR1 model. Ultimately, that twin-turbo engine would be combined with electric motors in the “Zora” version of the C8 and that power setup would produce 1,000+ HP. Such a hybrid concept is not new, of course, as Ferrari and McLaren have already produced such cars. (Yes, the Porsche Hitlermobile Company has also produced such a car.) These hybrid hypercars had seven-figure price tags. What if the Zora sold for around $200,000?

Remember that seven percent of US households have a net worth of $1,000,000 or more and that the number of households with a net worth of $25,000,000 or more has increased something like 70 percent since 2008. A $200,000 hypercar might have quite a market and maybe not just in the US.

What do you think of these possibilities?


Time for another gratuitous picture of my car:



How tempted would I be if a 1,000+ HP Corvette became available? Well, I am not a big fan of hypotheticals so I don’t really know, but I guess I would sniff around such a car.







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Goodbye, Mr. Tudball

My condolences to the family and friends of Tim Conway. He brought so much laughter to so many people he could be considered a national treasure. Not a fan of YouTube as it is part of the Google Evil Empire, but here is a Mr. Tudball/Mrs. Wiggins sketch.


I am, once again, “under the weather.” I have a viral infection in my throat that last night gave me the second worst sore throat I’ve ever experienced, second only to the throat pain I felt when I was stricken with mononucleosis in college. It’s only been two months since I got over the nasty upper respiratory bug that knocked me out for almost a month. Any ideas as to how I can avoid being sick like this?


What was Albert Einstein doing when he wrote the four papers that marked his annus mirabilis? Surely he was a professor at an esteemed institution. Wrong! He was working as a clerk at the Swiss Patent Office.

It was a priest (Giovanni Caselli) who invented the fax machine, not someone with a Ph.D. in a science discipline. By the way, the fax is older than the telephone. Caselli’s fax system used telegraph infrastructure.

As I have written before (including here) America is drowning in credential-ism. I must once again rant against the system. My alma mater bestowed upon me an Alumni Award of Excellence. Despite receiving rave reviews from the students I taught there in a couple of classes, the school could not see its way clear to allow me to teach 1-2 classes a semester of my choosing probably because I don’t have a Ph.D. I have accomplished more in sports than any Ph.D. in Sports Management. I have accomplished more in my field than most Ph.D.s regardless of field.

My recent talk at my alma mater received rave reviews from the education professionals in the audience. How is it that the school cannot find a role for me?

Academic achievement is not the only type of achievement that matters or should matter, even in the venue of academia. Accreditation and other such fiefdom-protection schemes are solely for the purpose of limiting and controlling competition. Institutions of “higher learning” have become ossified structures overcome by political correctness and fiefdom protection. Maybe I’m just howling at the moon, but if I don’t express these thoughts on occasion, I will really go crazy.


To soothe my soul:



The Red Rocket aka my 2016 Corvette Z06.








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