January 31, 2007

Black Hawk Stout

Despite a couple of ďfriendsĒ trying to get me to sample a new beer, I decided to go with something that isnít for the dogs. This weeks choice was difficult in that I found 4 six packs that I thought would be either worth a try or I should take one for the team and review for all of you. This week I decided to be a little selfish and try one I thought I might enjoy, Black Hawk Stout by Mendocino Brewing Company in Saratoga Springs NY.

black hawk stout 001.jpg

It comes in a 12 oz brown bottle; on the label you have the picture of a black hawk along with the name of the beer on it. The neck label has a description of the beer along with the name of the brewing company. There really is nothing all that eye catching about the label. It does have a nice older look/design to it.

This beer pours a dark coffee color that light doesnít pass through. Itís not as dark as Guinness, but itís pretty close. There was a one-inch thick tan head that slowly turned into a ring around the glass. There is some lacing, but not a lot of it. The look of this beer is very enticing.

The smell is very appealing. It is a mixture of deep roasted chocolate malts, a touch of coffee, a dash of hops with a very mild and almost unnoticeable hint of cherry. The first whiff makes the taste buds stand up in anticipation. The taste is nothing less then spectacular. You can taste dry roasted malts with a coffee and chocolate blended accents. There is a good mix of hops that awaken the taste buds and makes this an exceptional beer.

It is a medium bodied beer with a nice dry finish. There is a slight creaminess to it. For Stout it was a little thin, itís not as thick as one would get from an Irish Stout. Still there is a nice texture to it.

I truly enjoyed this beer. Itís one of those that I can see myself craving or requesting if I go to a bar that stocks microbrews. Definitely worth a drink if you can find it. Iím going to rate this 7 out of 10.

Posted by Contagion at 08:49 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

January 30, 2007

Mad Hate for the Bears.

There has been a lot of speculation and opinion in the local media lately regarding the upcoming Super Bowl. Itís not what you are thinking itís for either. Sure the local team, the Chicago Bears, made it to the Super Bowl. They arenít talking about ďAre the Bears going to winĒ, nope itís all ďThe Bears are going to winĒ. What they are spending all this time discussing is, ďCan a true Packer Fan cheer for the Bears to win the Super Bowl.Ē Yea, our local media is really on top of those important issues.

This topic has made it on the evening news a couple of times. Itís all over the radio, and it even was a headline in the local Newspaper. Iíll admit that Iíve even had this conversation with fellow Packer, Viking, Lions, Bear and even Rams fans, and Iíve discovered one thing. There is a lot of hate between fans of a team and opposing teams in their division/region. Before I go any further, Iím a Packer fan as you may all have realized by now. I have been since the early 80ís. They are my team of choice and I support them. The thought of picking a different favorite team has never crossed my mind.

Iím rooting for the Bears this Sunday, GO BEARS!

Why? Because they are from the same division the Packers are. They are part of the NFC North, the once NFC Central, the true Black and Blue division. The one that has two of the most historic teams in the NFL, the Packers and the Bears. Once the Packers were eliminated from the playoffs, (which honestly should have been long before the last weekend of the seasonÖ what right does an 8-8 team have being in the playoffs?) I started pulling for the Bears. They represent the division my team is in. They carry with them the honor and the tradition that both my beloved Packers and the Bears have so valiantly fought for over the years. I have no animosity toward the team, and since my team is obviously not in the big game, why shouldnít I root for them?

Well, apparently I am the only person in the whole damned country that feels that way. Every Packer, Lion, Viking and Ram fan I talked to said, ďHell no Iím not rooting for the Bears, Iím pulling for the Colts!Ē Some of them used much stronger language then that. Every Bear fan I talked to made a comment along the lines, ďWhen the Packers went to the Super Bowl I rooted for New England and/or Denver.Ē Again some used much stronger language then that. Okay, a lot of them used much stronger language then that. There was a lot of hate there. Which, I just canít understand.

I love my team, but damnÖ they arenít there! Iíd rather see a respected rival win it then some AFC team with a media whore QB that will put his likeness or image on anything for a buck (And also has a tendency to choke in the big games). Yea the Bears handed the Pack their arses opening weekend, but we returned the favor on New YearsÖ maybe not as bad, but we still did. Plus if the Bears win I can always hold onto, ďYea the Bears won the Super Bowl, but even the Packers could beat them that year.Ē

I just canít understand how my fellow Packer fans canít be magnanimous about this like myself. If the Packers arenít in the Super Bowl and another team from the NFC north makes it, I shall cheer for them.

Unless itís the Vikings, then they can burn in hell those rotten sons of goats!

Posted by Contagion at 07:15 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

January 29, 2007

Use this!

What is the Illinois ďuseĒ tax? Well until today I had never heard about it. Now that I have, it just confirms that governments would rather squeeze every penny they can get out of their citizens. The Illinois Use tax basically means that if you buy anything outside the state of Illinois physically or online and you are charged less then the 6.25% base sales tax, you are supposed to claim that on your annual tax forms and mail the difference to the state.

n Wisconsin, you pay a base sales tax rate of 5 percent on those purchases. Since Illinoisí base sales tax rate is 6.25 percent, you are required to pay Illinois 1.25 percent on all of those purchases when you file your yearly income taxes.

What this means is that if I go on a vacation to states that have a lesser sales tax rate then Illinois, which I think is most of them, then Iím supposed to keep tract of all of my receipts and when I do my annual taxes send that extra money to the state government. When I take my annual pilgrimage to Green Bay to see the Packers play, Iím supposed to send extra money to the State. If I buy something online, and am not charged sales tax or charged a lesser amount. Iím supposed to track it and send it to the state. If I purchase something online and am not charged sales tax over Illinois 6.25%, you got it, I send money to the state. Think Iím kidding? Hereís the State of Illinois official guide to the Use Tax. The most interesting things on this is that this law has been around since 1955,yet Iím just now learning of it.

In the article in the Rockford Register Star, a representative of the state claims;

ďItís a self-reported tax and we realize many people donít know they owe it,Ē Klemens said. ďWe work hard at getting the word out. We send notices to tax preparers to remind them. We have it in our tax booklet. In fact, we project weíll collect about 10 percent more this year because we displayed it prominently on our cover. We believe 90 percent of the people will pay the tax if they realize they owe it.Ē
Emphasis Mine

Shyea, right. Iíve always joked that Illinois bureaucrats are on crack, but I never thought Iíd get confirmation. The state of Illinois is bleeding its people dry with all the different taxes. What makes them think that these people are going to voluntarily fork over more money? According to a couple of sources online, the only states with a higher Income tax then Illinois are California, Mississippi, New Jersey, Tennessee, Rhode Island, Minnesota and Washington. Alabama and Texas have the same rate as Illinois. I highly doubt that the citizens of the state of Illinois are going to start forking over money because they went on a vacation to any one of the other 40 states not listed and bought a souvenir, gift or anything else to bring home.

First off, who is going to keep all those receipts for a year just to pay extra money? Secondly, who is going to keep all those receipts at all? Hell, when I buy something I generally toss the receipt as soon as itís out of the checkbook. If I pay in cash, I tend to toss the receipt as soon as I see a trashcan. The chances are that by the time I take my next out of state trip, Iím going to forget this law even exists. The sad thing is that apparently there are a lot of other states that have the same or similar law. So keep that in mind when you travel, especially if you live in one of the states I listed above.

Posted by Contagion at 05:50 PM | Comments (8) | TrackBack

January 27, 2007

My finger controls the fate... of nothing.

I wonder if I can get one of these shipped to me in the U.S.


An Armagedddon USB HubÖ Iíd love just to have this on my desk at work. Whenever one of my employees gets out of line, I could launch the nukes!

If I get that, I'll need to get one of these to go with it!


A USB Missile Launcher!

Posted by Contagion at 08:38 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Scary Mary

I remember when my parents got our very first VCR. It was the Christmas of 1980. They also bought a membership to a local video rental store so we could rent movies to watch on the VCR. They gave it to the family on Christmas morning and long with the movie they rented, Mary Poppins. I think we watched that movie 3 times on Christmas Day.

I wasnít a huge fan of the movie, it was just the novelty of it.

Well someone most have had a similar experience and wanted to make telling the story a little cooler. They came up with an alternative cut for it.

It actually looks like it would have been a lot more interesting this way.

Posted by Contagion at 08:31 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Tailgating, denied!

This is unconscionable. The NFL is prohibiting tailgating at the Super Bowl. Thatís right, they have banned tailgating.

"There is no tailgating allowed in the Dolphin Stadium parking lots," Sue Jaquez, a member of the Super Bowl XLI Host Committee, confirmed on Tuesday. "And there is no tailgating anywhere within a one-mile radius of the stadium." "And there are no RVs allowed."

Now, this isnít something that the Dolphinís organization did. Itís the NFL.

Tailgating is permitted during regular- and post-season games for Dolphins fans, a team official on Tuesday said it would indeed be allowed at the Super Bowl. According to Jaquez, however, the official has been seriously misinformed.

The Dolphins do not organize and oversee the Super Bowl, Jaquez pointed out. Instead, those duties are left up to NFL officials. And because of security reasons, no pre-game partying on (or very near) the premises will take place. Fans spotted tailgating could face charges, Jaquez said.

Emphasis mine

Okay, there are some things that are sacred to football, and tailgating is one of them. As many of you know, Iím a huge football fan. Heck, my obsession with football can almost be labeled as unhealthy. With that being said, the NFL is starting to piss me off. First with their stunt of moving games to Thursday night and only showing them on their network. Now this.

I have to stick up for my NFC central rival fans. I know that if my team was going to the Superbowl, I had tickets and wasnít allowed to tailgate; Iíd be pretty damned pissed off. Bears fans that make it to the game are being denied the joy and pleasure of tailgating at the most important game of the year. The tradition of tailgating is almost a sacred thing, and especially if your team is in the big game. To take away that tradition would be like having the Fourth of July without fireworks, Christmas without presents, Thanksgiving without turkey or St. Patrickís Day without green beer! Time honored traditions them all.

Iím wondering how they are going to enforce no tailgating within a one-mile radius of the stadium. I mean seriously, the NFL may have jurisdiction over what can be done on the stadium grounds, but once you get off the stadium property, they have no authority. Did the city of Miami and Miami-Dade county officials approve this as well? I mean, you would think this would be an enforcement nightmare. Then again the officials are probably bending over and taking it from the NFL just so they can host the Super Bowl. Iím not sure how the Dolphinís Stadium is set up, but if I lived with in that mile radius, I think Iíd be having a big arse BBQ that day. Just to see what they did, or tried to handle it.

So NFL, shame on you! Shame on you for once again giving your fans the shaft!

Posted by Contagion at 08:17 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

January 26, 2007

More taxes?

Well it looks like the city of Rockford and Mayor Larry Morrisey have their wish, to own a hockey team. The county board voted on the issue last night and approved to not only allow the city to own a team, but to help provide funding for the upgrade of the Metrocentre.

After months of about-faces, the Winnebago County Board voted Thursday to allow public ownership of the Rockford IceHogs and contribute $9 million to the renovation of the MetroCentre.

Folks, Iím still not convinced this is a good idea. If it was a ďno brainerĒ as the Mayor called it, then why do no other cities own a sports franchise? Something about this whole deal smells foul to me. Currently the Rockford IceHogs are a UHL team; they are in the black and have a pretty decent fan base. I think average attendance of around 3,600, I maybe wrong on that. Sure they are operating in the black right now, but hereís some things to think about.

With a move from the UHL to the AHL, they are moving up in leagues. That means the players need to be paid more. Through this whole thing, they kept telling fans that the ticket prices arenít going to increase. If the ticket price isnít going to increase, then how are they planning on paying the extra wages and still operate in the black? If the books are in the red, who is going to have to pay that difference? I donít know that answer to the first question, but Iím pretty sure the answer to the second will be, ďThe tax payersĒ. IE increased taxes, or decreased public functions to pay the deficit. Maybe the Mayor, since this was his idea, will foot the bill out of his pocket?

This while situation has disaster written all over it in my book.

Posted by Contagion at 07:10 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

January 24, 2007

Winter's Bourbon Cask Ale.

This week I was all excited about writing this review. I was walking down the isle of the liquor store looking for a good beer when a six-pack caught my eye, Winterís Bourbon Cask Ale. What? Another beer aged in a bourbon barrel? I didnít think it would be as good as a Dragonís Milk, but I figured it had to be decent. It wasnít until I got home with it that I noticed that it was made by Anheuser-Busch. Dammit! If there is one thing that Anheuser-Busch can do, itís taking something good and watering it down. This is one of their limited edition seasonal brews.

Cask Ale 001.jpg

Standard 12 oz brown bottle with a white and blue label. There is a snowman holding a pint on it, and the name of the beer. Along with the tag line, ďAle aged on Bourbon barrel oak and Vanilla beans.Ē Which I misread when I bought it, thinking it was aged IN a bourbon barrel, and I completely missed the part about vanilla beans. The neck label states, ďBrewed with all-imported hops and aged on bourbon oak casks and whole Madagascar vanilla beans for a smooth, robust taste.Ē So they bottle the beer and lay it on top of a bourbon barrel filled with beans? Yes, I know they probably mean that the bottom of the tank they aged it in had floaty bits of barrel and vanilla beans in it.

When poured into a pint glass there is almost no head. What head that does form disappears quickly into a ring around the edge of the glass. There is no visible lacing. The color is a nice ruby color. It is a good-looking beer, very enticing.

It has a very sweet smell to it. It was a mix of Vanilla, bourbon and beer. The vanilla was so overpowering that it reminded me of a beer and vanilla ice cream milkshake. It was too sweet for a beer. The taste was overpowering vanilla. There were bourbon, oak and malt under tones to the vanilla, but it was difficult to separate. What bourbon flavor there was seemed almost artificial, like it was a chemical extract. The aftertaste is almost completely non-existent.

This is a light bodied beer. There is an above average amount of carbonation to it. Very typical of Anheuser-Buschís Budweiser line of beers.

I was very disappointed in this beer. People who want to drink beer, but want something sweet will like this. Itís just too sweet for my tastes. I like oak aged and malty beers, and this one did not live up to my expectations at all. Iím going to give it a 3.5 out 10.

Posted by Contagion at 09:29 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Go for the head shot.

It looks like Graumagus is once again rose from the grave. I think this is just another sign that Zombies will rise up and take over the world.

Of course his first post contains a video that I told him and Harvey not to watch on New Years Eve. Some people just never listen.

Do we start a pool on how long before he drops off the grid again? (Hides from Grau)

Posted by Contagion at 06:55 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

January 23, 2007

Awwww, it's not so cute.

There is a peer of mine that has a habit, which is annoying the living hell out of me. In the middle of a conversation, she will start talking like sheís a 4-year-old girl. She even has some of the same mannerisms, the shaking of the head and the giddy clapping. She doesnít do it during the meetings, but when Iím talking to her one on one she will throw out every couple of sentences this way. People, itís like fingernails on a chalkboard. Iíve never met another grown adult that does this. Well, except when they are imitating something their kid or grandchild said.

Folks, I canít begin to explain how this grates on my nerves. Every time she does it, I want to reach out and slap the snot out of her. During the day, I tend to avoid her so I donít have to listen to her. If there is an issue and I do have to speak with her, then I try to do it as quickly as possible.

She really is a nice person. Yet during our conversations in the past she has stated that she doesnít have many friends and that people tend to not like her. Iím pretty sure Iíve identified why. I havenít said anything to her about it, mainly because I really donít think it would be appropriate for me to do so. On the other hand, it might piss her off enough that she stops and my brain wonít scream at me every time she does it.

Farking sensitivity class is working.

Posted by Contagion at 06:37 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

January 22, 2007

Paying off a bet.

The Bears won the NFC championship. This means that after 16 years I have to fulfill a bet. Many years ago Graumagus and I made a bet regarding the Bears and the Packers. I know Iíve mentioned it before, but I canít find the post. Anyway the bet that was made way back in the early 90ís was: If the Packers make it to the Super Bowl, then Grau has to wear a Packer shirt. If the Bears make it to the Super Bowl, I have to wear a Bearís shirt.Ē The now extinct Frizzen Sparks (Itís gone folks, Iím not bothering to link to a 404 page.) had a post on it. I just happened to have a copy of it.

Once opon a time, there were two football fans.

One was a lifelong Bears fan.

One was a lifelong Packers fan.

Regardless of this, they became lifelong friends, even resulting in the rare event of the Bears fan being best man at the Packer fanís wedding.

Long ago, they made a bet. More of an arrangement, actually.

If oneís team made it to the Superbowl, during the game the other fan would be required to wear team gear of that team. IE: If the Packers were in the big one, the Bears fan would be wearing green and gold.

If you havenít already guessed, Iím talking about Contagion (Packers fan) and myself (Bears fan).

And, yes, Iíve already had to wear the uniform of the enemy. Twice. .

Now here is where it gets interesting...
The Packers have some fucked up fan gear. Youíve probably seen examples.
Cheese wedge hats, cheese bricks, cheese cowboy hats, cheese baseball caps, cheese ties, cheese bricks for hurling at the TV, etc. Contagion has said that if the Packers make it to the Superbowl, the bastard is going to make me wear a cheese bra. A Cheese-Fucking-BRA. I told him it may be the first time I ever welch on a bet.
I was wrong. Iíve been thinking on it, and I canít. I cannot welch on a bet, itís almost an obsessive/compulsive thing with me. Itís why I donít make bets lightly.
So hereís how it is, if the Pack gets to the Superbowl, not only will I wear the fucking bra, Iíll do it sans shirt in all my pasty, hairy beergut, lard-assed glory, and Iíll post pics (Iíll be nice and do it in extended entry, to avoid making any readers out there go blind).

Howís THAT for honoring a goddamn bet? With the Packerís secondary the way it is, Iím not too worried, but I will still honor ďThe BetĒ And Iím STILL not going to root for the goddamn Vikings. There are just some things a man wonít stoop to.

This post was made January 5, 2005. The Packers ended up losing to the Vikings. Thus we never did find out if Grau would or would not wear the infamous Cheese Bra. He also has one piece of misinformation in there. He actually did welch on the bet the year Green Bay went to Super Bowl 32. He felt that it wasnít fair that he had to wear Green Bay gear two years back to back, I let him slide tooÖ with the caveat that I get to slide one year.

Now of course that means that I could get out of it this year and not have to wear a Bear shirt during the game. However, since the Bears making it to the Super Bowl only happens once every twenty years, I figured I would live up to the bet. So on Super Bowl Sunday I will have to sully my reputation by wearing that ugly Blue and Orange.

Posted by Contagion at 05:23 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

January 21, 2007

Worst announcers.

Itís snowing again! YAY! I love the snow. Itís fun to drive and play in; it just makes for great fun.

That and the Saints/Bears game is today, and if itís snowing here, that means it is snowing at Soldier field. We get to see some real football today. Football wasnít meant to be played in a dome or just in warm weather. No, football was meant to be played out in the elements, the cold, the snow, the wind and rain. Fans huddling together for warmth and Tony Siragusa steeling heaters from the players to warm his own sideline-reporting arse.

That reminds me I need to start the voting for the Worst Announcer/Reporter of the season award. If you would like to make any nominations, please do so in the comments. Make sure to give me the correct spelling of their name AND the reason why you think they are the worst. Right now the three that I have in mind are:

Tony Kornheiser AKA Cornholer (ESPN Monday Night football) for his complete and utter lack of being able to talk football and actually comment on the game. This guy gets so off track that Iím convinced he had someone else doing his analysis for his other shows that werenít live.

Bryant Gumble on the NFL networks Thursday Night Games for his utter non-sense he spouts off during the games and his inaccurate information. During the Packer game he actually said something like, ďThe Packers are 0 and 7 for penalties tonightĒ then two sentences later he said, ďThis is the Packers second penalty of the night.Ē Both referring to the same penalty.

Finally the above-mentioned Tony Siragusa (FOX Sports) for his utter banality and annoying reporting during the games. Although he did prove to be amusing when they showed him moving a heater away from a player so he could warm himself. I know Tony; the game is all about you.

Posted by Contagion at 10:04 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

January 20, 2007

It's been a week.

I think itís time for me to retire from the game. I finally broke my previous high score of 36,001. Now I reached 147,933 points.


High Score 2.JPG

If I spend anymore time obsessing over this stupid game, I think my wife might leave me.

UPDATE: Okay, I lied and tried it one more time. This is an actual screen shot, the numbers on it were not altered.

Highest score.bmp

Now of course there was a little matter of a small bug in the game that I took advantage of, so it's not a legitimate high score.

Posted by Contagion at 02:30 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Rose by another name?

Just in time for Valentines day, I found something for those that are too cheap donít want to buy roses, but want to give their someone a little something.

Over at instructables, they have Duct Tape Roses, and step-by-step directions on how to make your own.

Me, Iím going to buy flowers, this just sounds like work.

Posted by Contagion at 12:32 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Come sail away...

This is just cool.

According to You Tube, this is done by using sulfur hexafluoride. This gas is significantly denser then air, and gives the foil ďshipĒ the look as if itís floating on water. Apparently this gas is 5.11 times denser then the air we breathe. Itís non-toxic and if you inhale some, it has the opposite effect of helium; it makes your voice sound deeper.

Posted by Contagion at 12:28 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Talk about whiplash.

For the love of all that is good, WHY?!?!?!

That just looks like a broken back waiting to happen.

Posted by Contagion at 12:20 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

Snow balls.

I had to go to work this morning. A couple of my peers are leaving and Iím picking up the slack so that things run smoothly. In doing so I fell behind in some of my work. We also had mandatory OT for our people today due to the high volumes of inventory we have that needs to get out. Since my people were working and I was going in, I decided to follow a long-standing tradition.

I wear a kilt to work on Mandatory Saturdays.

Folks, this seemed like a good idea yesterday, but this morning I kind of regretted making it. First off, scraping the windows of my truck wearing a kilt in negative 2 degree weather is NOT fun in any shape or form. It gets hard breathing around my daddy berries. The cold hit the good time boys and they just retracted all the way up to my throat. Secondly, climbing in to my truck while wearing a kilt and not exposing yourself to the world takes some skill. When itís cold like this, it takes even more. Finally, climbing out of the truck is pretty easy, but that snowy blast on Mr. Happy was enough to make tears well up in my eyes.

Next time Iím going to think this through a little better.

Posted by Contagion at 12:12 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

January 17, 2007

PranQster, not just a clever name.

While walking through the store I saw a four (four?) pack of beer that caught my eye. It had an old Dutch style picture on the box, and I figured it would be interesting to try. The name gave me a moment of hesitation, but I figured I needed to try this beer. I placed the four (four? Who the hell sells in four?) pack of PranQster by the North Coast Brewing Co. in the cart.

PranQster 001.jpg

It is in the standard 12 oz brown bottle. The label is quite interesting in that itís based on a Dutch wood carving of the 1800ís. Other then that the label has the standard information on it, nothing to really make me sit up and take notice.

Pouring the beer into a pint glass, it gives a nice inch thick head that fades at a decent rate. There really is no lacing on the glass to describe. The color is a cloudy golden yellow. You canít see through the glass, but light passes through easily enough.

Up until this point the beer seemed promising. Then I took a whiff, the first thing I smelled was liver. Folks, I kid you not; I thought I smelled liver. It was so predominant that I thought I might have some kind of liver residue from a liver dip my wife made, that I pulled out a virgin, untouched by anything other then sterile water glass and poured a new beer. The same thing happened. Even Ktreva smelled liver. After further examination, the scent is a mix of yeast, cloves and coriander. Due to the lambic style of the beer, it gives it a slightly musty scent as well. The beer tasted much like the scent, there were some malts, cloves and coriander, but it tasted like liverwurst. This is not a selling point in beers to me. I spent 15 minutes scouring the label and the box looking for the disclaimer. ďPranQster is named that way as a joke because it tastes like liver! Itís great at parties and to unsuspecting friends to get them to drink this and see their reaction.Ē Unfortunately, they really want it to taste like this legitimately.

This is a medium bodied beer that has a slight carbonation bite. There is a coating of the mouth that makes the liver taste stick around for a while. It also is kind of unpleasant in the aftertaste.

If you couldnít tell, I did not like this beer. I like liver, I like beerÖ but the two should never meet in one product. Just because Iím slightly nauseated by the fact that I drank three bottles of it to give this review, Iím going to have to give it a 2 out of 10.

This really is a joke waiting to happen.

Posted by Contagion at 06:27 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

January 16, 2007

So it's more then an Hour.

Since I first linked to this game, I've spent a lot of time playing. I had been having troubles winning, and then I read Harvey's post regarding the game. Then I realized I was thinking too in-line. I needed to be more flexible with my strategy. Now, I've gone and made the leader board.

High Score.JPG

I have to go now, Ktreva has threatened to call the lawyer if I play another round.

Posted by Contagion at 07:10 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

January 15, 2007

Does creepy dance.

What ever you do, do NOT click this link.

Itís sick, itís wrong, its NSFW, and it will make you look at fast food mascots in a different light.

Posted by Contagion at 11:45 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

Bad Ammo.

Yesterday Ktreva, Graumagus, my friend Bob and I went shooting. It was time to get some range time in. We had a great time and all had fun. Yet, to put a blemish on the day, we did have an incident early on.

I was at my station waiting for the next shooting break to put up a clean target. We had just arrived and the target on the stand down range was left over from a previous shooter. I figured this was a good time to get rid of some older ammo I didnít like. In my ammo locker was a box of American Eagle .357 rounds. I had picked two boxes of this up about 6 months ago. The last time I went shooting I used the first box and I didnít like the way it shot. It was dirty and the fouling kept gumming up the revolver.

I brought this box along just to burn it off, so I started shooting it. About twenty rounds into the box, the range officer comes over to me and asks what I was shooting. Of course I started with, itís a Taurus .357 Tracker. He clarified he meant the ammo. To which I responded with, American Eagle .357. He then stated, ďSo youíre not using reloads?Ē No, these were factory loads. At that point, I asked him why. He told me that there was an incident and the guy next to me stated he got hit in the face with something from my revolver. Okay, itís a revolver. Anyone that has ever shot a revolver knows that there is side discharge from the gap between the cylinder and the barrel. I apologized, and stated that the .357 does spray a lot.

The range officer said the kid stated something came off my revolver and hit the kid in the face cutting him. I allowed him to expect my pistol and everything looked fine. There was no damage to my revolver and nothing looked out of sorts. When the kid came back to get his stuff, he had a small cut on his right cheek. After asking if he was okay, I rechecked my revolver and the ammo. It all looked okay. I continued shooting, with the every couple of rounds having to wipe the fouling off the gun, the cylinder would start to not rotate. I also started paying more attention to the spray. Grau, who moved into the station the kid just left stated there was a lot of spray coming off the revolver. At one point I caught a burning ember on my hand while shooting.

Then on my second to last shot my revolver jammed. The cylinder would not rotate or open. Finally after some manipulation it opened and out fell a chunk of the copper jacketing from the bullet. It was a pretty good-sized chunk too, About 2 millimeter wide and 4 millimeters long. About this time, I started wondering if there was something wrong with my revolver. After wiping it down, I inspected it and everything looked good. The chambers and the barrel lined up properly; there was no play on the cylinder, any burrs or blemishes.

I figured I should try a couple of .38 loads from Aguila and see if I have any problems with it. If I do, I know then that I need to take the revolver to a gunsmith. I put 25 rounds through with out one problem. Next I tried some Remington .357 rounds to see what would happen. 50 rounds went through with out a problem. No fouling, reduced spray, no sluggishness on the cylinder. I was unable to duplicate any of the problems I was having with the American Eagle ammunition. We ended up putting over 300 rounds through it yesterday and only had a problem with the American Eagle.

I ended up having to fill out an incident report, apparently the kids father (Who was with him) complained, after they left the range. Poor Grau, Ktreva and Bob ended up having to sign as witnesses. Unfortunately, they didnít see anything. Hell I didnít see anything. I didnít know there was a problem until the range officer came over and started talking to me. Now, Iím just waiting to see what this is going to turn into.

But I will tell you this; Iím never buying the American Eagle ammunition by Federal ever again. It was dirty, it fouled up my revolver and now with this Iím just going to assume itís unsafe. Sure, I have no way to prove that what the kid said is actually what happened or that what hit him in the face even came from my revolver, but with the rest of the facts Iím going to assume it did.

So shooters, heed this warning, stay away from the American Eagle Ammunition.

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January 14, 2007

One and done?

I would just like to take this time to extend an olive branch to the Bears and the Bear fans out there. Good luck in the game today, hopefully you do well. Remember you are now representing the NFC North and I expect you to uphold the fine tradition of the true Black and Blue Division.

But just in case, I want to prepare you for the worst-case scenario.

Remember, this was their last game, and Rex (Wrecks?) Grossman seems to like to bend over for the opponent.

Oh Sexy Rexy!.JPG

Now Iím off to go shooting.

(Thanks to I Hate My Cubicle(NSFW) for the photo)

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January 13, 2007

There's an hour of my life I won't get back.

Hereís a fun little time waster. Itís a game based on the game Warcraft III. You build and upgrade towers to prevent monsters from getting through the trail.

If you have a couple of hours you want to kill, go have some fun.

Posted by Contagion at 10:05 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

They're making a come back!

Did you ever have a video game you really liked, one that you would go out of the way to play? After you got tired of the game, or moved on to a new one, did you ever wonder what happened to the characters? Well, neither did I. Until now, that is. When I was in high school my friends and I were into Street Fighter 2. It didnít matter if it was the arcade version or the one that was on the Nintendo.

This morning while sirfing the net, I found these:

Street Fighter: The Later Years
(Click the square to start each video)

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

It appears more are coming.

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January 12, 2007

There's one for the counselor.

Something happened last night that I just canít put words to. Iím still a little scarred from the whole thing. Since itís happened Boopie really hasnít been able to look me in the eye. Last night I walked into Boopieís room and well, Iím going to let this song tell the story for me.

Warning: Language and song lyrics NSFW. Don't play unless you have headsets on and small ones can't hear.

I knew it was going to happen sooner or later, but I would have preferred to catch that, oh uh, never!

Now excuse me, I'm going to go try to drink the mental image out of my brain.

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January 11, 2007

I'm bilingual?

Apparently my brain does have a filter to prevent me from saying things that will get me into a lot of trouble. It also seems that it speaks in different languages then I do.

I had a big meeting this morning at work. We were going over a problem we are having with some of our inventory. This has been something Iíve been working on for 3 weeks to no avail. One of my two managers started making statements that where completely uninformed and outlandishly simple on how to deal with the situations. One of the statements was, ďAll you have to do is make a phone call and itís done.Ē That statement would be the equivalent of saying is, ďAll you have to do is push a button on a camera and you have a picture in your hand.Ē Well, no. You have to load the camera with film, then you take the lens cap off, aim the picture, push the button, take the film to have it developed, the people there do there job and an hour later you have your picture. Sorry, I couldnít come up with a better analogy. The phone call was step one in a 30-step process. Phone calls had been made 3 weeks ago, so itís more then that. There was a bunch of other stuff being said as well.

I tried to explain itís not as simple as he would like to think. He kept insisting this could be done by the end of the day. In reality, even if I had an easy button and the planets aligned just right so that I had the powers of a god, the soonest it could be done is tomorrow, in reality it will be another 2 weeks while all the other departments involved get online. He just kept interrupting me, making outlandish statements and completely being an annoyance. My temper was starting to get the better of me, and it was getting heated in that room. Finally my temper let loose with, ďYou farking idiot. You might want to shut up while the people that know what they are doing discuss this you stupid son of a beaotch.Ē

It was at that point the buffer in my brain kicked in. However, instead of not letting me say anything, it translated it into a different language. A fictional different language. One that only the most hard core of geeks may pretend to know. No, it wasnít Klingon; it was Wookie. Yea, I said Wookie, as in Chewbacca from Star Wars. Thatís right, in the middle of a meeting I let out a very loud Wookie howl. The meeting stopped dead.

My peers are looking at me with that, ďWhat the hell was that?Ē look on their faces. The two managers just kind of stared at me as if I had spontaneously grown a second head. I was so hot that I didnít even realize what I had done until one of my peers started laughing and another one asked me what that noise I made was. Then in my head I heard the sound I had just made. Fortunately, none of the people in the room were big enough Star Wars fans to recognize it, except for one person. They did say it was an impressive Wookie howl.

Eh, at least I didnít get in trouble.

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January 10, 2007

Pilsner Urquell

This weeks review is for Dr. Phat Tony. Heís been asking for a while now that I review a pilsner. Heís been so distraught over me not reviewing one, that he quit posting back on December 12th as a protest. Well, either that or he is doing some ďquality checkingĒ of submitted materials. Folks let me tell you something. Iíve had one hell of a time finding a pilsner. Ktreva and I hit many different stores in the area looking for one to no avail. Finally I was able to find a (A as in singular) six-pack of a pilsner, so I bought it. Tonightís brew is Pilsner Urquell brewed in Plzen Czech. So Dr. Phat Tony, this review is for you!

Pilsner Urquell.jpg

Sadly enough it comes in a green glass bottle. That means it allows light through and can damage the beer on the inside if itís over exposed. The bottle has the name of the beer cast into it. There is a foil neck label. The front label has the name of the beer, where itís brewed and a faux wax seal that says something in what Iím assuming is Czech. On the back label it has all the normal information as well as a story about the beer, ďPilsner Urquell is truly original. Before 1842 beers were often dark and cloudy, until our visionary brewmaster in Pilsen, Czech created the worldís first golden beer. This revolutionary breakthrough delivered an intensely rewarding taste and the original golden pilsner beer.Ē Hey, if they say so, who am I to argue?

True to the description this is a clear golden yellow beer. When originally poured there was a one-inch head on it that quickly disappeared. There is no lacing on the glass to note.

It has a very enticing aroma to it. A mixture of mild malts and hops. There is a sweet grassy scent with a nice accent of bread. (Not yeast). On the tongue it has a light malt flavor mixed with a pleasant hoppy bitterness that isnít distracting. The taste is crisp and clean.

This is a light bodied beer. There is a slight bite on the tongue and a nice level of carbonation. Very pleasant to drink.

This beer pleasantly surprised me. I didnít think I would like it, but itís really not bad. It does have a light beer taste and feel to it, but not a bad light beer. Iím going to give this beer a 6 out of 10.

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Chili Again

Do you add any of the following, if so which?

Shredded cheese
Sour Cream
Other (Please specify)

Weíve determined that Chili should be thick, however the level of thickness varies.

Posted by Contagion at 07:01 PM | Comments (10) | TrackBack

January 09, 2007

Making Ammo?

In my post about buying more ammo, Peter of Shakey Peteís Shootiní Shack made the comment;

For what you spent today you could have bought a Lee turret press and a set of .38/.357 dies and a autodisc powder measure. Then you'd never have to buy .38s and .357 again. And it would only cost about thirty bucks to add a handgun cartridge to your line up.

Factory ammo is a waste of money.

I wonít deny that factory ammo is a waste of money. Itís expensive and the cheaper brands are dirtier and/or are unreliable. There are certain brands I wonít buy because of the way it jams in my firearms and fouls them up horribly.

Iíve thought about getting a reloading press and making my own ammo. The only problem I have is that I donít get to go modern shooting as much as I would like. Is it worth to buy a press to use it maybe 4-6 times a year? Even if it is the other problem is a lack of time to make it. For re-enacting I have a hard time getting all the round ball I need cast up.

So what Iím asking my readers that shoot or have friends that do, is it really worth it for me to look into investing in a press? What are the pros and cons of making your own ammo? I really donít know, and am interested in finding out.

Posted by Contagion at 07:23 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack


My cyborg name is Cybernetic Operational Neohuman Trained for Assassination, Galactic Infiltration and Online Nullification? What the hell does that mean?

Cybernetic Operational Neohuman Trained for Assassination, Galactic Infiltration and Online Nullification

Get Your Cyborg Name

As stolen from Ogre.

Posted by Contagion at 07:00 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack


Should it be thick or thin?

Please tell me which way you like best.

Posted by Contagion at 06:25 PM | Comments (10) | TrackBack

January 08, 2007

Hair of a different color.

Ktreva is running a poll on what color she should dye her hair. My wife is practically perfect in every way, I really donít think she needs to color her hair. Yet I know she is going to do it. So for the love of all that is good and right in the world, go over and pick bright red. Do it for me, címon. You know you want to.

Posted by Contagion at 07:34 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

It's a beautiful thing.

This weekend, in honor of Martin Luther King Day, Iím taking Ktreva, some friends from work, and the zombie Graumagus shooting. What? Itís a national holiday. Just because he was shot doesnít mean shooting is not a good way to honor this completely useless day off of work. What the hell else are we going to do in the middle of January? Sit around and contemplate racial harmony? Nah, weíre going to go hone our marksmanship.

Now as some of you may remember that I bought a crap load of ammo on Black Friday. That was 600 rounds. I already had 700 rounds in the house, bringing me up to 1,300 rounds. Which really should be more then enough for me to go shooting with this weekend and have a little extraÖ just in case. (Read into that statement what you want, at this time I can neither confirm nor deny anything). I figured that Ktreva was not about to let me sink any more money on Ammo until I burned off some of what I have.

Then today on lunch we hit Gander Mountain to say hello to my buddy and pick up some targets and a cleaning kit for a rifle. My old one needed replacing. After so much use they do tend to wear out. While we where there my buddy tried to get me to buy an AR-15. The glare Ktreva gave him for asking, and me for thinking about it, was enough to make other shoppers wince back in fear. Figuring I was done, I was getting ready to check out. That was when my beautiful and wonderful wife said 6 little words that made my heart skip a beat.

ďWhy donít you buy some ammo?Ē

Sure, since we are shooting we could use more ammo. I started with two boxes of .38, then two boxes .380, then two boxes .45. I looked at Ktreva to see if Iím pushing the limit but she was more interested in a pink shotgun they had. So I added one more box of each caliber. Then two boxes of .357. Still there was no reaction from Ktreva. Okay, give me 4 boxes of .22LR. (Yea, I know itís cheap, but itís fun.) Finally, she looked over at the stack of ammo and asked, ďDo you think you need anymore?Ē At that point I decided I was starting to push my luck and told her that should be enough for along with what we have at home to last the weekend.

Just to recap, 150 .38 rounds, 150 .380 rounds, 150 .45 rounds, 100 .357 rounds and finally 200 .22LR rounds for a total of 750 more rounds. That should be enough ammo to keep us entertained for at least two hours.

But to me, the beauty of this story is not the ammo. Itís the fact that my wife loves me enough to support my hobby. What more could you want from a woman? Beautiful, sexy, looks good in tight jeans and lets me buy obnoxious amounts of ammo.

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January 06, 2007

Door-to-door revenge.

There are some things that are just annoying. One of the things that really pisses me off is when I actually get a Saturday morning to sleep in and itís interrupted. Iíll be laying in bed dreaming one of those really cool dreams you hope for when Iím jarred awake by a pounding on my front door. Looking at the clock, you see itís 8:00 AM. When you answer the door, itís some door-to-door bible pusher trying to force their religion on you. You know who Iím talking about, the Jehovahís witnesses or the Mormons. Iíd like to say that Iím usually nice and polite to them when I tell them to bugger off, but Iím not. A couple of times firearms aided in the insistence that they leave my property.

Well one guy got pushed too far. He decided to do something about it

11/21/2006 - Australian filmmaker John Safran is so fed up with mormons ringing his doorbell early in the morning that he flies to Salt Lake City Utah and tries to convert Mormons to atheism. Needless to say, the locals were not pleased.

I love how the one guy says ďThis is inappropriate, take us off your list.Ē

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I would have never guessed.

We all know of all the tragic effects of various mind altering substances on people. Yet some people still deny they do anything negative. A study was done using common wood spiders to see exactly what those effects where.

Beware, the Crack spiderís language is a little harsh.

Posted by Contagion at 10:15 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 05, 2007

Toe Jam.

I took last Thursday off from work. I figured I had some more vacation time coming to me and I needed to use it. Plus it gave me time to help prepare for the party. Since I had taken the time off, I also figured it would allow me to get some extra sleep. Yea, that didnít work.

Thursday morning Clone comes and wakes me up, saying heís hungry. Letting Ktreva sleep, cause she had the whole week off and was just plum exhausted not getting her 10 hours of sleep, I went to feed the boy. After I put him in his chair and got him his breakfast, it dawned on me that the whole house humidifier we have wasnít running. Sure enough, it was out of water. I pulled out the two 2.5 gallon tanks and filled them up. While walking back to the humidifier with the tank, it started to slip out of my hands. I moved really quickly to catch it, and at the same time driving my left foot right into Cloneís chair.

There was a pop and pain coming from my middle toe on my left foot. I looked at it, and it seemed okay. I went, finished getting dressed, including putting on socks and shoes and started about my day. The day was filled with shopping, that meant a lot of walking. By the time we got home that night my foot was throbbing and really aching. I told Ktreva I thought I broke my toe, and explained what happened. She told me to take off my sock and shoe so she could take a look at it.

As soon as I had the sock off she winced. My toe was black and purple. It had swollen up and looked like an over stuffed blood sausage. But most noticeably was the way it bent at a 30-degree angle to the left over the toe next to it. Yea, that didnít look right. She told me to go to the hospital. Why? Why would I go to the hospital? All they are going to do is take some x-rays, say there is nothing they can do and tape it up after straightening it out. Well except take my $50.00 ER copay. I had a broken toe some ten years ago and thatís all they did then.

Ktreva ran and got the bandage tape we have while I straightened my toe. It only hurt for about 20 seconds when I pulled on it. It was the popping, crunching sound it made and the feel of it going back in place that really made the whole experience interesting. I taped it up and off I went. Of course I made sure I had my steel toed boots on at all times, no need for someone to needlessly step on it since it happened. Everything seems to be okay.

Sure itís still a little swollen, and there is a good discoloration to it, but itís feeling much better.

Posted by Contagion at 06:01 PM | Comments (8) | TrackBack

January 03, 2007

You need a stomach of steel to drink it.

After the last two weeks cop-outs I decided I needed to go and get a beer to make all of my beer review fans happy. (Yes Dr. Phat Tony, I know you wanted a pilsner. Iíve been searching for one at the local stores with no luck) While shopping in the store I found a can of Steel Reserve 211 High Gravity Lager by the Steel Brewing Company. It was only $.99 and I had never seen it before. I figured this beer would be a good one to do a review on for all of you. Remember, I put my gastric tract in harms way so that you donít have to.

steel reserve.jpg

It came in a 24 ounce silver can. On the front it has the name in black on a white back ground along with many other things. It advertises that it is 8.1% alcohol by volume. This can is so busy itís hard to describe. It has information all over it telling about the beer and the meaning of the name. Realistically, if someone was going to honestly buy this beer for anything other then to either try it or play a prank on someone else, they are not going to read that much on the label.

The color is a golden amber color. Itís clear, with no sign of cloudiness or distortion. To be honest it looks like urine. You can see light and images through it easily. It pours a thick one-inch white head that quickly disappears. There is no lacing and it barely has a film on it.

The stink of this beer reminds me of some friends from college apartment, a strong scent of stale beer and rot. Not as much the rot as the stale beer. You can smell some malts, but not a hint of hops. There is also a hint of rancidness to it. Unfortunately the smell was setting up the taste. I could taste stale malts and alcohol. At 8.1% Alcohol by Volume, that doesnít surprise me. There was a hint of sweetness to it, but the alcohol overpowered it. For the love of all that is good and holy, do not let this beer get warm. Once it gets warm, itís probably one of the vilest things you can drink.

It is a light bodied beer. There is a very thin feel in the mouth, not that you want it to linger there to long. There is too much carbonation. It bites the tongue and causes you to continuously burp, which makes you taste it again.

Iím not sure at what point my brain decided it hated me, but the fact it let me buy this beer pretty much tells me it does. Lets look at the signs; 24 ounces of beer for under a buck, itís a high gravity lager, 8.1% alcohol by volume and finally the fact that it was 24 ounces of beer for under a dollar! It was absolutely horrible I give it a 2 out of 10.

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January 02, 2007

Why do I have to go back?

Why is the first day back to work after a long vacation from work so hard? I didnít do anything all that taxing, but damn if this day did not suck. It only took 30 minutes of me sitting at my desk to start day dreaming of still being in bed, watching TV or even just blogging. Alas, I had to be a responsible adult and go to work.

Thankfully there is another holiday weekend in two weeks. I need a break.

Posted by Contagion at 04:58 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

January 01, 2007


The 2006 NFL regular season is over. That means that my Pro Football Pickíem and Salary Cap Football league is over. That brings me to won what.

Pro Football Pickíem
2006 Pick 'ems standings

As we can see, our very own Michelle of Quality Weenie is the Winner. With That 1 Winner taking a close second. Yea, I came in fourth, I picked really bad last week.

Salary Cap Football
2006 Sal Cap Standings.JPG

Thatís right, I won this one by a 65 point lead. Iíd like to thank LaDanian Tomlinson, The Bears Defense, Donovan McNabb and Marques Colston for all the insane amount of points they gave me this year. If it wasnít for all your hard work and efforts, I wouldnít have won. Oh, I guess I should point out that Jeebusí Juggernaut came in second.

I will have to give special mention to T1G for his efforts in both leagues. Taking second in both is a notable accomplishment. Iím interested to see how he does next year.

Posted by Contagion at 12:08 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

My not so aching head.

Okay, This morning I have a Three Star hangover according to this scale my wife has listed. Which is a lot better then I thought I was going to be. I started working on the Keg yesterday at 11:30 AM, and finished late into the evening. We had a Virtual whoís who of Northern Illinois Bloggers in the house last night. Well itís a whoís who list to me!

Graumagus of Frizzen Sparks decided that there was a surplus of alcohol in my house and as a definition of a Graumagus states, he must come to alleviate the situation. He also took it upon himself to try to make my guests sick by busting out the olí 27 and forcing it upon others. I allowed this to happen since his beloved Bears took a smack down from the Packers.

Harvey of Bad Example graced me with his presence. Harvey was very grateful for being reunited with his hetero life-mate and partner in spawning half of the bloggers in the blogosphere. I did discover that no matter how much you tell him not to do something, heíd still do it. I.e., Donít watch this video, donít drink whatís in the bottle, and donít let LittleJoe get his hands on your wife.

TNT of Smiling Dynamite took some time away from all of her blogging to visit. Apparently she has a selective memory. She swears that I never invited her to join my Sal-Cap football league. I know I did, I checked the invite list and her e-mail is on it. Iím thinking that since Iím close to perfect, she needed to make something up to give me a hard time about. That and she had an obsession about how I know Barry Williams.

Shadoglare of Refractional Darkness, his lovely girlfriend and his girlfriendís daughter showed up. It was nice to be able to see Candy and Skittle again. The last time I saw them was when I was helping Shadoglare move into his new apartment. However, Clone did take a shining to Skittle, he kept referring to her as ďMy girlĒ, i.e. ďWhere is My Girl?Ē

Wes of Bodhran (Drum) Roll, Please and his beautiful spouse showed up and entertained all with his excellent skills on the Bodhran. I was a little disappointed because he didnít uphold his New Years Tradition of puking in my house. Apparently Iíll need to work on the alcohol combination more next year.

Little Joe of Little Joeís Soap Box (soon to be Miasmatic Review Annexed Soap Box) was here. He spent a lot of time being charming, and trying to pick up chicks (literally) and putting things in their mouths just to hear them moan. Hey, it was some kind of dark chocolate; get your mind out of the gutter!

We did some serious damage to the keg; itís mostly gone this morning. Also this brood drank a gallon of glogg. My lord people, they where hammering this stuff down like they wouldnít get anymore. Oh yea, that was the last of it. I think a brief fight broke out over who got to drink the last couple ounces of it.

It was a great night, with a lot of good people. Of course there were some missing, ones that happen to be out of state. I wonít mention any names, but you all know who you are.

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