Vince’s Place, Revised

So you talked me into a fire place on the comments which means the shower had to go off the bathroom outside which actually works (although cold as hell in the winter, I’d think; fortunately southern Ohio winters are only bitter for a short time). So, happy now, Argh People?

I also added his grandma’s couch, aka, a “snuggle couch.” (See Bob’s discussion of the snuggle couch on He Wrote, She Wrote. Is that site still around?)

104 thoughts on “Vince’s Place, Revised

  1. A snuggle couch and a fireplace, good times ahead. Everyone loves a snuggle couch.

  2. Love the snuggle couch idea! Why not combine the shower with a mud room that contains a back entry door? Your Vince could go do something manly then come into the mud room, take off those sweaty, muddy clothes and get cleaned up without tracking thru the cute diner. Also,if you eliminate the shorter part of the L -shaped counter top and 2 of the stools, Vince could have more bedroom space for closet and storage. Just a thought!

    1. Yes, but then anybody who wanted to go outside would have to step over the toilet (that’s a tiny little bathroom original to the diner).

        1. That’s my plan. In the scene, she opens the door and there are two of those prefab storage things that are always sitting in the parking lot at Lowe’s, one on each side of the door with a fence across the back. I don’t know what’s in there, I just knew he was going to need storage. But now, I really don’t know what’s in there. He wouldn’t have much. Maybe stuff from his grandmother’s house.

  3. Maybe Vince gets storage ideas from the ways they make storage space on yachts. Yachts have some of the same qualities as Mary Poppin’s carpet bag.

    1. Yeah, my sailboat was small, and even she had great storage. I miss that baby. *sigh*.

  4. That’s so cozy and unique. Kind of a cabin in the woods feel. Yep, and I like the snuggle couch and the fireplace.
    I can see Vince doing the shower in the cold bathroom and then running out to warm his buns in front of the fire. ; )

  5. Nowdays, concrete slabs do not have to be cold. My husband’s new machine shed has hot water heating tubes in the poured floor complete with themostat. The diner and added shower could be toasty warm as needed! We want our hero manly but not frostbitten!

    1. True! Vince sounds like the kind of guy that would have radiant heat, not to be fancy, but to be practical. The floor is warm.

      1. I love radiant heat, I have it in the bathroom. And he would tile the whole place, too, for practicality. I’m just not sure he can afford it. Especially since he’d be doing the work himself. Hmmmm.

        1. I used to know a guy who lived in a shack in the woods, and he had loose bricks all around the wood stove, for their thermal mass. It looked nice and felt nice on bare feet,as long as you didn’t think about the dirt between/under the bricks.

        2. Tile is both cheap and easy to DIY. Also, they now have DIY radiant heat systems. Hot water radiant systems can be connected to solar heaters and wood stoves, too. You could swap the fireplace for a long-burn glass-front wood stove.

          1. I’ve had wood fireplaces and gas fireplaces and I like gas. I suppose wood is more manly, though. Although then you have to put in a chimney; I remember putting in the chimney when I put in a wood stove.
            I hate wood stoves, but that’s probably just me.

    2. Yes, but he’s also broke. He spent everything on the trucking and the slab and rehabbing it. And he’s too frugal to go into debt, so I think he’d just slab it. Plus he’s fairly young, late twenties, so I don’t think he’s watching HGTV to get the tips. He just wants a place to eat and sleep. You know. He’s a guy.

      1. I know a lot of guys (straight ones) in their late 20s who watch HGTV, especially those buying/rehabbing/etc their first home.

        One friend who grew up doing everything on his dad’s rental houses in Cleveland always has the best stuff in his rental homes because he makes a deal with the owner to let him do stuff on his own. For a guy, best shower ever.

        Also, all the guys I know hate cold bathrooms for an important, um, aesthetic turtle reason.

        1. Yeah, but I don’t think Vince really enjoys home improvement that much. He’s not a handy kind of guy. More like a guy who will learn how to do what he needs to do in order to live there. He wouldn’t touch the plumbing or the electrical work, but he’d read up on the rest to save money. I think he’d frame out and insulate the shower for the first five feet and then put glass block around the top three feet so that when the sun shines he’d get all that natural light, and I think that’ll help with cold. But I five foot bump-out is always going to be cold (let me tell you about my breakfast room).

          1. He will also have to deal with frozen pipes in the shower in the winter with the shower bump out. The weather doesn’t have to be bitter, but anything at or below freezing in a poorly insulated room will freeze the pipes. Trust me on this one. I grew up in a drafty house. I have a friend who renovated her house to move the bumped out bathroom to an internal location for the same reason.

            FWIW, there is a 6 stool Valentine diner inside Kansas Museum in Topeka, Kansas. They have mini juke boxes on the counter. Each one has twelve songs, and you got two songs for nickel. It’s too bad they don’t work.

          2. The pipes are on the interior wall, so they should be okay.
            Never put plumbing on a exterior wall. You’re just asking for trouble.

          3. Wish someone had told that to the farmer who put the plumbing in this house. Hard to know what was going on in his head. Also when designing where to put rooms. It’s just all so backward.

          4. I see where you are going with the finances — even if he is handy. I didn’t realize he was that young. Now I feel kinda creepy for my little crush. ๐Ÿ˜€

      2. My bother when in his late twenties (hates debt, does everything himself) would consult books & magazines before starting large projects and would definitely have done the radiant heat to reduce ongoing expeneses. And my brother, while trained to put the seat down, is definitely a guy.

  6. Vince has all he needs in a bed, snuggle couch, fireplace and shower. Sounds like a steamy good time… now if only he weren’t fiction ๐Ÿ˜‰

    1. I think it”s gone — aka inaccessible. My link didn’t work — that was a while ago now though. I assumed it was because HWSW was over. I haven’t tried after that. I had to whack my hard drive shortly after that, and my shortcut was deleted.

      1. I think it’s still out there, but we cut the links to it or something. Bob and I were talking about it tonight and we both saved the writing blog, but I don’t think we saved the first year. Mollie can probably find it. Mollie can find anything.

        1. I think it is on the Cherries Forum site. It is locked. Am waiting for permission.

  7. So I was geeky and googled “glass block insulation” and discovered a .pdf from Pittsburgh Corning that lays out thermal resistance and solar heat gain levels for their different windows. I can’t understand all of the numbers, but it looks like having glass block walls doesn’t necessarily mean that it will be freezing.

    I just have two questions that you may shoot me for…where are his bookshelves and hot water heater? And does he go to a laundromat? For the bookshelves, maybe he’s got a shelf that runs along the wall close to the ceiling…hmm.

    Okay, I’m going to stop poking holes in Vince’s house (which I love) and go watch the duck couple who’s decided to spend their nights in our apartment complex pool. They’re cute, but I’m worried they’re going to die of chlorine poisoning…

    1. I changed things around so the only outside glass blocks are three feet close to the ceiling of the shower, so I don’t think it’s a problem now. Bookshelves are over the bed; basically, they’re his headboard( if you look in the lower right hand corner of the Lavender collage, they’re the white shelves behind the bed). He doesn’t collect things so the only books he holds onto are the ones he re-reads. I don’t know what they are yet. Probably Pratchett. Michael Gilbert, maybe. Some old stuff of his grandma’s. The hot water heater is on the wall at the back, one of those new tankless gas heaters. They’re very small and they mean you get hot water instantly. I bought one for here and let my contractor talk me out of it, and I’ve been sorry ever since. Those things are genius.
      Laundromat, definitely.

      1. Wow…I totally didn’t expect a response to that other than perhaps a version of “Darn it, leave the design alone.” ๐Ÿ˜‰ The depth of thought you put into little details is awesome, and must be one of the reasons I like your stuff so much.

        And now I’m going to be coveting one of those water heaters…*wistful sigh*

        1. If I put something up here, I’m going to assume you all will come at it. Otherwise, it’s sort of like putting candy out for kids and then yelling when they reach for it. I know you people. No respect whatsoever. Sigh.

          1. No respect whatsoever. Sigh.

            If we showed you respect you would either leave in confusion or die of fright. So we show our true snarky, questioning selves.

      2. As a plumbing designer, I can tell you that those instant gas water heaters work great – IF – you size them correctly. Most people don’t. They never size them big enough, because bigger costs more. If you use more water than they are sized for, everyone gets cold water. Then nobody is happy. Trust me, having your shower go suddenly cold really sucks. So don’t feel too bad you don’t have one. The salesmen never size them big enough.

        1. Mine was supposed to be just for my bathroom (farthest from the water heater) so it would have been fine, just the tub, sink, and shower.
          I’m still bitter about it. But I’ll get over it. Probably.

          1. It’s never too late to get a tankless hot water heater. I’m sure you could figure it out if you really wanted to.

        2. My husband who is an energy analysist decided about 5 years ago to get a tankless gas hot water heater and we have never run out of hot water. Since it heats the water as you use it, the hot water doesn’t run out. I don’t understand why it would go cold. Also our electrical bills dropped dramatically since we did gas. As I understand it, the gas hot water heaters live longer than the electrical ones. My niece (husband, 4 kids, 1 dog, 1 cat) lived in a trailer that had one (electrical) and said she never ran out of hot water.

    1. I don’t think Bob has a snuggle couch. I’m not close enough to him to know. I know he was going to put one in Agnes, but there wasn’t room in Agnes’s kitchen so it went in favor of Shane giving her the air conditioner. The winch, however, he has, which I know because he has sent me pictures, and he insists that Vince’s car would have one. And evidently, judging from the reaction here, he was right. I hate it when that happens.
      Also Vince does not think of the Big Chef as Pemberley. He’s never read Austen and you’d have to drag him kicking and screaming to an Austen film. Liz probably read Austen, but she wouldn’t think of it as a Pemberley moment either, that would be out of character for her. I think of it as a Pemberley moment, probably because that’s one of my favorite moments in Pride and Prejudice, when Elizabeth confesses to Jane that she first began to fall in love with Darcy when she saw his house. My kind of woman.

  8. That’s one of my favorite moments too, not because I relate to house-lust but because I find it honest with an appealing Lizzie-like wryness.

    I get that Vince doesn’t quote Jane Austen; I’m still fascinated by the construction of a Pemberley–not the original in P&P but other people’s Pemberleys, those holy grail home-places that shape their own views of the world and the world’s view of them.

    1. That’s interesting. I was going to say that people find houses that fit the shapes of the world view they already have, but I think it’s both, I think they have an idea of the house that fits the kind of person they are, and then a lot of the time they find a house that isn’t that one but could be or is okay for the short term and move in their idea of what they need, evolve to meet the house maybe? Maybe not. I’m house obsessed.

      1. I’ve known people who thought they were a certain kind of house, but the fantasy was better than the reality. More often people don’t know what kind of house they really are until it finds them. It’s all wrong, doesn’t fit the fantasy in your head, your furniture doesn’t work, etc. BUT, it feels like home as soon as you walk in the door.

        1. McB, you’re so right. I love two-story houses, especially American Four Squares. A well-crafted stairway . . .

          But, having rehabbed and lived in this 60’s ranch w/full basement for ten years, I have to confess having full access to all the wiring and plumbing is my new version of heaven. ๐Ÿ™‚

      2. If someone’s house doesn’t appear to fit them, maybe their own version of Pemberley isn’t about the house. After all, the Austen Pemberley is both a house and grounds. And even beyond that scale, some people’s sense of home is about a region or anyplace with a particular view.

        Speaking of which, in one of the completions of Sanditon (by Another Lady/Marie Dobbs), the Parkers fall in love with a town and happily swap houses to experience different parts of the town.

      3. I’m In Love with GPS coordinates and In Tolerance with the house that’s here. Room by room, though, it is looking less like the pink-confectioned dream home of the woman who built it 25 years ago and more like a normal house inhabited by people who spend a lot of time outdoors or indoors looking out.

        Really all it had to have was insulation and plumbing. I can adjust to or modify anything else. (Though the textured wallpaper with apple blossoms has got to go pretty soon.) It’s all in the GPS coordinates for me. Which would be different for different people, obviously.

  9. Love the shower and fits with what you have said of Vince. I LOVED He Said She Said – I found it again a couple of months ago and re-read. I was bitterly disappointed when you guys never did one for any of the other books, although I’m sure it was just extra work piled on, but it was so fun to read.

    1. That first year was really about the start of the partnership and how we built the Crusie-Mayer brand through that insane forty-cities-in-one-year time. After that, we stayed home a lot and just e-mailed each other which wasn’t nearly as interesting as looking for Speen St. or getting stuck in a B&B full of teddy bears. I read some of the earlier posts in this blog, and it sounded like we were having fun–the publicity photo shoot–but mostly it was just grueling and we just collapsed under the weight of it. And then the writing blog was good for both of us except our personal lives (separate personal lives) went to hell so we’d drag ourselves to the blog and post, kind of waving at each other and then going back to deal with things, and that wasn’t good.

    1. Wow, you found it. It’s like an old movie you remember as being hilarious and then you go back and look at it and it really drags. There are reasons we never made a book out of that.

      Although if I’d kept my e-mails, I could have combined the blog posts with them and you could have seen what went on behind the scenes. Mostly violence.

      1. Itโ€™s like an old movie you remember as being hilarious and then you go back and look at it and it really drags.

        Funny you should say that. I was organizing old papers this weekend and went through my stash of “book/author related” papers including things I’d printed out from your various and sundry blogs. One was on some topic that seemed Important and Relevant at the time, and I’d printed out all 96 comments then read through and marked the ones I felt were Necessary. But reading it a couple years later, I wound up saving one set of about 3 comments and throwing out everything else. Even the things I’d starred were just kind of confusing, in retrospect. But there were other good things that I kept.

        And for anyone thinking I have some Fortutude for going through those papers, I pay an organizer to come help me throw things away. I just don’t do it on my own and need someone to poke and prod me into it, and to talk to about whether or not I really need to keep things. The place is starting to look more like me and less like someone’s clutter after about 20 hours of help, which means 40 woman-hours of hard, hard work. Of course, I’d started adding new things before I’d fully moved in, which complicated everything. It took me two days to move out of my motel room that I’d lived in for 2 months, no way could I move into a house, any house, in a day. (referencing the previous post’s comments.) Plus, I’m with all y’all. MUST clean it first. My squalor is fine. Someone elses squalor is disgusting and I can’t handle it without being really, really, really drunk.

    2. I found the site right away just by Googling “He wrote, She wrote,” but still haven’t been able to figure out what a “snuggle couch” is. Is it a loveseat? The only snuggle couch on ebay looks like two chairs shoved together, but there’s only one, and I’m not sure if this is definitive of the snuggle couch or just a bizarre hybrid of some sort.

  10. Oh, I looked again and apparently the archives are back. Mollie’s doing, I presume. Thank you, Mollie.

  11. The CBs consider the HW/SW blog the way Vince does the diner. And yes, we do plot but we get distracted easily so you don’t need to worry.

  12. Maybe we’re the “Look! Something shiny! But if you add this silver hubcap, a spoon and some glitter it’ll be even shinier!” group. Kind of like magpies or whichever bird.

  13. Where’s the closet? Maybe it’s there, and I’m just not seeing it? I assume Vince is no clotheshorse, but everyone needs at least a small space to store clothing.

    1. There was a closet but I took it out to put in the couch. I’m thinking he puts his stuff in drawers under the bed and hangs the rest on hooks at the foot of the bed. He really wouldn’t need much.

      1. If he was the kind of guy I know, he’d put a TV set at the foot of the bed and make room for clothes someplace else. But then, alas! – there goes the need for a snuggle couch. Which I suppose, while not being acquainted with the expression, is a really comfortable soft place to hang out on. Or is it not?

  14. I think the problem is too many turning points. Like one a paragraph. Our beats are more staccato rhythm.

  15. Sheesh. My comments keep popping up in the wrong places. Merry, could you move up two places?

  16. I was just wondering where the tv goes. And I guess a satellite dish? The tv can be small so he can take it outdoors, weather allowing. So he needs an outdoor table and chair. Don’t get me wrong, reading is great, but what about football? And a dog, he needs a dog. And a microwave. And lots of pegs to hang things up on. Pegs are good, forget the hangers. He needs a shed for tools, sports equip., fishing gear, etc. The used, beat up ones can be cheap. Add in a fridge, ice cold beer, and he’s golden.

    1. There’s a small TV over the sink so he can watch while he’s sitting at the counter, but then in the revised plan, I put a flat screen over the fireplace. A dog, not so much. I think he’s a low maintenance guy and dogs need attention. The microwave is there in the kitchen under the counter along with the fridge units. He doesn’t need sports equipment, he has a winch. But yeah, I’d put storage units, two of them, flanking the back door, so your Man Crap can go in there, R.

      1. Yep, I already knew there was a flat screen over the fireplace. It’s a guy’s living room, so all furniture must be directed toward the TV. Otherwise, why would there be furniture there?

  17. Kinda off topic, but Jenny, did you have a doll house as a kid? You have such a tendency toward the cozy and warm, and there’s something about doll houses that fulfills that need to create such a space. I had one, and it was great. I wish I still did. All those tiny rugs and toilets (grin) and tables and chairs…! And you could move ’em around and make new “looks.”

  18. So no dog. I’m thinking maybe he had a mouse. Well, not “has” exactly, but one came with the place (because of the food from the diner) and he doesn’t have the heart to kill it–even though he’s all manly and has a winch and all–so he eventually starts leaving out little bits of cheese and stuff. And maybe talking to it on occasion. But no, that would be quirky. And none of your characters are ever quirky.
    I have a guy friend who has a tiny efficiency apt, and he has hooks, and stores a lot of stuff overhead.
    And..oh, wait, what’s that? ooh…shiny… *wanders off*

  19. Among the things I love about this floor plan is that the cooking/eating/drinking area is so dominant. I think that means that Vince is my kind of good guy — knows his way around a kitchen, owns a place where people feel comfy having a beer.

  20. Men don’t need a closet. After all, there’s the floor. A BIGBIG laundry bag is enough. Two maybe. One for dirty; one for clean. A winch, a chain saw (gas, so’s it makes the good vroom vroom racket). A can opener. A grill. A frig (beer). Paper towels and a couple of plastic spoons instead of china and silverware. There. kitchen’s furnished. Bathroom: 1 towel, 1 washcloth, lava soap, roll of t. paper, roll of p. towels. There. bath’s furnished.

    Pullease! I can’t be bought with new and shiny. It needs to be metal and techy, too.

    1. “Men donโ€™t need a closet. After all, thereโ€™s the floor. A BIGBIG laundry bag is enough. Two maybe. One for dirty; one for clean.”

      FYI, that system works just as well for women.

      1. Uh, you mean you don’t sort into:
        blue-black-dark purple
        white-light pastels
        like I do? Not enough laundry bins in the world if you ask me… But I suppose you didn’t. I did wonder about laundry, but he can drop it off at the wash-dry-fold pretty easily for not much money ($1/pound last time I used it). Many guys I know did this (and I did too after it wasn’t convenient to do laundry at friends’ homes, before I got my own laundry which is nearly the best thing ever.)

        As someone who is grateful to have 720 square feet after years of 400 to 500 sq feet, it is totally fascinating to see this layout. (Although I hate changing sheets when beds are snugged into even 2 walls, maybe Vince’s super-manly-strength will make it easier…) At least it *has* running water. I got an invite to stay with a friend this summer where there isn’t any. Um, about that…

        I LOOOOVE the idea of an old diner as a house. My parents were always looking for something odd with potential, and I swear nothing would make my dad happier than to live in an old converted silo or lighthouse, but this diner, it is genius. If I wasn’t already going to buy the book for the author, the hero’s diner-living arrangement would convince me. As far as houses in books, I think they’re great when incorporated well. Like Stephanie Plum’s boyfriend inheriting his Aunt’s house but making it his own. I hadn’t realized until these threads how much houses play a role in most of Jenny’s books, but I noticed and enjoyed them individually, certainly.

  21. I love houses- mine is 100 years old and is one of the first houses in my town to be built on spec- it also has one closet and one bedroom, which are about 8 feet from each other, and a bathroom that is 10′ tall, 9′ long, and 4′ wide. It’s funky and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

    Knowing there is some Joss love around here and in the spirit of “Shiny!” I give you naked Joss on a fuzzy rug in front of a fireplace.

    1. CC! Thank you, that is all kinds of awesome.
      I found this particularly relevant because my grade 3’s had to practice writing Jj today. LOL! I’m glad I only saw this now, else I would have spent mosst of the lesson time trying to stifle my grin!

  22. Are you leaving the counter in? A TV that swivels so you can see it from the bed or the couch would work (-:. It’d be like his very own personal sports bar, too (-:. Otherwise, I think the place is a perfect bachelor’s pad.

    1. You can fold uniforms. You can fold just about anything, but he can also put hangers on the hooks at the foot of his bed. Or in the bathroom where everything will steam out when he showers. There are drawers under the bed, hooks on the wall, he’s okay.

      He’s a minimalist.

      1. A cop buddy says when he was in uniform, he got a uniform allowance and some extra towards dry cleaning along with a tax break for the expenses he picked up himself.

      2. Both the sofa and the bed can be built on platforms with lots of drawer space underneath. Voila, storage for clothes. A few pegs for whatever’s left that has to hang, and he’d be fine.

  23. Doesn’t Vince wear a uniform? Unless he’s ironing every morning, I think he needs a closet of some kind, for uniforms and maybe a suit/sport jacket or two. And, since I never met a floor plan I could resist playing with, I have a suggestion.

    Put a ‘hidden’ closet where the TV is, same depth as the counter next to it. By hidden, I mean the front of the closet would be a hinged wall that swings out like a door. Mount the LED flat panel TV on the outside. If the wall’s hinged on the left, when swung part way open, Vince could watch TV from the counter/kitchen area. Very simple to do; just hanging a sheet of plywood on a heavy-duty piano hinge. It needn’t go all the way to the ceiling or floor, but if it does, put vent grills in bottom and top so heat gets in/out. Run TV power/signal lines like a car door, through a piece of flex cable around the hinge. Have somebody give him a Instant Fireplace DVD since he loses the fireplace. Put shower plumbing and water heater on inside right closet wall. Actually, if he took the legs off the snuggle couch and set it on a row of drawer units from a kid’s captain’s bed, maybe put a mirror on the back of the closet door, then that end of the diner would multi task as a dressing room.

    I started to ask how he was going to make the bed, but then I remembered my sister’s best friend in high school who stapled her top sheet, blanket, and spread together so all it took to make every morning was one good snap of the wrists. Ingenious, even though it must have been hell on the bedding. I do want to ask if the front door of his Valentine could have that glass inclement weather add-on shown in some pictures. Seems like a good place to leave the mud and snow.

  24. I know the fridge and microwave are under the counter, but it’s a long counter – are there cupboards under there as well? If so, he could use one of them as a wardrobe for his uniform etc – being all seperates, it’s not like he’d need a full length wardrobe. Though I suppose it would harm the asthetics (and be harder for the non-handyman type to do) to put a cupboard door on the ‘customer’ side of the counter, near the bed, and be a bit odd having his clothes stored in the kitchen. Just a late night thought, and now I should really go to bed.

    1. Good idea. I need another blog.
      This is it, folks. I’m not starting another blog. I can’t keep this one fed.

  25. I want my own house so badly. Never owned one. My parents haven’t owned one since I was 8. I’m pushing 40. *sigh* Someday.

    1. Me either. I dream though. I have notebooks full of ideal houses and what I want. When the time comes, I’ll be ready. Also someday. *sigh*

  26. OT or rather PT (previous topic) Can one of the crocheting participants of this blog please look at this link and tell me if it resembles what I’d need to do if I was to crochet a Boa scarf? Cause I really want to, but I’m a visual learner. Written instructions don’t do a thing for me.

    OR if you’re feeling very helpful you could record yourself crocheting a boa scarf and post it!! Yes? Pretty please? What? You are all too busy writing? Rats. Well I tried!

    1. That’s a different pattern, but all of the curly patterns are based on the same concept which is putting too many stitches in one place for the fabric you’re making to lie flat.
      I’d find a tutorial on the chain stitch–very easy–and one on the double crochet.
      Using the chain stitch tutorial, make a chain as long as you want your scarf to be.
      Then using the double crochet tutorial, do a dc, ch, dc, ch, dc, ch, dc, ch, dc, ch in each chain stitch of the first row. (Or do [dc, ch1] five times in each chain in the first row.) Then in the next row, put a dc/ch1 in each previous dc and in each ch in the previous row. If you want it thicker, do another row.

      1. Ok. I’m gunna give it a try – although my gut feeling is that it’s going to be a mess. Or maybe, instead of a mess it will be my own version. Or rather series of own versions. Because I have the feeling it’s going to be different everytime I do it. Unless I can see it it’s not going to sink in.

        Kind of like how I finish loom knitted stuff. (I’m knitting challenged). I think I’ve done it the same way everytime, but when I compare with pieces of done before? Completely different.

        I have a very strange brain.

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