Mind Your Own Business!

SOMEBODY IS ALWAYS TELLING US IN THE PAPERS HOW TO PREVENT WAR. THERE IS ONLY ONE WAY IN THE WORLD TO PREVENT WAR, AND THAT IS, FOR EVERY NATION TO TEND TO ITS OWN BUSINESS.

Will Rogers 

It’s been a while since I have posted a quote from Will Rogers who is one of my primary heroes in life. The words above were written almost a hundred years ago and maybe things are different now, but the idea is still a valid one. I know that the world is much more connected now than then. Lindbergh had just made is a solo flight between NYC and Paris, television hadn’t been invented yet, and long distance calls were expensive and not terribly reliable. We were just not as connected as we are now.

It seems when someone coughs in the Middle East now the price of gasoline goes up fifty cents.  In Will’s day when something happened in Europe, it often took days for that news to appear on our doorstep. Whatever happens in the world now we seem to know about it almost instantaneously. 

We are more connected now but we could have avoided many of the wars in my lifetime if we had just minded our own business.   “Minding your own business” is pretty good advice in other areas of life. I kinda think it relates to my pillar #7 of “Live and let live”. There are just too many of us today who think it is our duty to tell other folks how to live their lives.  As far as I see it, if what they do doesn’t affect what I want to do, then I should mind my own business. 

I might shock you, but I am not embarrassed to say that this is one of those areas I agree at least to some degree with Trump. Why are we so entangled in the Middle East? It used to be it was because of the oil. But since we are now almost self-sustaining in that area we don’t need their oil as we once did. Let’s let the folks in that part of the world try to settle their own differences. We don’t need to be involved in everything.

How about you?

The Other 90%

There seem to be all kinds of people who are trying to figure out why we have gotten into where we are in this world. Some point to one thing, some to another.  In my opinion, for what its worth, the reason below is one of the primary causes of our current madness.

[They say] Capital was for capitalists — everyone would be better off that way! LOL. What really happened was as predictable as it was grim — capitalists took all the capital they could possibly get their hands on, plundering society after society, and hid it in treasure chests buried around the world. But the result was that there now less capital for everyone less to spend, invest, utilize, share, exchange…

Source: https://eand.co/why-the-world-is-burning-with-fury-2c68df75f879

It’s hard to say just how much wealth is hidden in off-shore accounts because the ones hiding it are getting very good at it.  We do know that the top 1 percent own more wealth than the bottom 90% combined and that is as high as it has ever been in this country! That alone should shock us.

We have seen this, especially in the US. The Republican party who contains the big majority of extremely wealthy capitalists have been promoting this for 100+ years. My hero Will Rogers had a lot to say about this subject almost a century ago. Will the 90% ever learn that lesson so that some of it will at least pass through their hands.

But the thing that amazes me the most is how the bottom 90% still cling to the idea that they will get their share if we continue as we are.  Trickle Down has been so ingrained in their psyche that many don’t even question it anymore. We need to understand that for the capitalists, it’s not about what the money can do, but instead about the bragging rites for how much that have compared to other capitalists. When will we ever learn??

Some say that “religion is the placebo for the masses” but I kinda think that “Trickle Down” is the kool-aid that too many of us blindly consume by the gallon is a more deadly placebo.

Seeking Wisdom – Will Rogers Style

I want to say up front that Google doesn’t appreciate what I do. Their algorithm is prejudiced against me.  They sometimes call me a “duplicate content provider”.  Argh!!!

When I started my personal blog over ten years ago, I set a foundation for what it would be.  The first foundation was that it would pattern what my primary literary hero Will Rogers did.  One of Will’s more famous quotes is “All I know is what I read in the newspapers.” That is he took a topic for his articles from what he read and gave it his own twist. I believe I have pretty faithfully lived up to that idea.  

The second foundation is that I want to give people different views of the world by presenting them with new sources of wisdom.  Even this foundation goes by to Will Rogers.  You see here a couple of his quotes about that. All of us should be constantly trying to learn from smarter people.  We shouldn’t have to pee on every electric fence to learn our lessons in life.  In that regard, I go out of my way to provide you with links to people that might expand your horizon as they did mine. 

I think over the years I have directed hundreds of people to new sources of wisdom. I am proud of that fact, even if Google doesn’t agree.  Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t care to have tens of thousands of readers.  I am more than happy to have a smaller group of wisdom seekers rather than a large group of ranters.  That suits me just fine. Since it is coming up on the end of another year, I want to thank each and every one of my followers for letting me have a couple of minutes of your day. I appreciate that you think what I have to say is worth your time.

I Need More Balance…

Hdr Nov10I need more balance in my life and especially in my blogging. Part of my base character that is associated with my Asperger’s traits is I tend to become obsessively focused on something and everything else just falls by the wayside.  The day-to-day insanity coming from the Oval Office along with the now weekly mass killings is putting me over the edge.  I have to force myself to greatly diminish my attention to these subjects.

To do that I am now going to try to broaden the scope of coverage here at RJsCorner. As you can see from the header above I plan on giving my attention to seven different areas, one day at a time. Another change is that I am bringing back my photo activity back to RJsCorner.  After 3+ months of attempting to move it off to a dedicated site, it is clear that there just isn’t enough interest for it to stand alone.

Here are the topics for each day of the week:

Monday – Government/Politics

Monday is reserved for “Inside The Beltway” issues. You likely know where I come from on these issues. 

Tuesday – This Land Is Your Land

This topic will primarily encompass a photo journal of my travels across America.

Wednesday – Having My Say

This one is a potpourri of topics that just don’t fit anywhere else but I have something to say about it.  Some of that will include stories from my life, some about my lessons learned, and some just about things I have been thinking about or just plain bug me.

Thursday – American Heroes

The principal person in this category is Will Rogers. I already have an abundance of posts of Will’s quotes in the archives. Jefferson and other founding fathers will also be prominent here. Many current day people who inspire me in one area or another will also share this space.  

Friday – Why?? (Question Everything)

I have lived with the “why” word all my life. Many seem to outgrow it after childhood but not me.  Questioning Everything is at my core! I am just not one to accept “that is the way it is..” and this category will illustrate that. A big part of Friday posts will be busting long-established myths.

Saturday – Artsy/Creative/Surreal

This category is where my creativity and craziness is unleashed on you. 🙂 

Sunday – God/Religion/Spiritual

After my rather intense spiritual studies of about a decade ago, I have come to have I have come to develop several different views on this broad subject matter.  

I don’t necessarily plan on posting every day here but I will stick this agenda schedule for when I do post. I hope you like the new directions for RJsCorner. If you have any ideas for new topics and such let me know. I welcome any input you might want to provide and look forward to delving into my more complete view of the world with you.

Proudly Ignorant

I have been thinking a lot lately about the mindset of those who think #CO3 is their savior/hero.  Two words that seem to stick in my mind are “proudly ignorant”. A good portion of these folks just hates the fact that others think they are more intelligent than them.  Even though they know that they are ignorant of many different levels they despise being told that fact.  “How dare those liberals who think they are better than I am!!” To get down to the crux of it they just seem to be proudly ignorant.

I admit that I am ignorant on many topics but I deem that condition a liability, not an asset as they seem to believe. As my hero Will Rogers says we are all ignorant but just in different areas. There are just so many areas where I don’t have the information necessary to make an intelligent decision. In those areas, I defer to others who are more knowledgeable decide the best choices. One of those areas is the local school boards.  In our small town elections, I let the folks who have kids in school decide who should occupy those positions. I certainly do have opinions about the education system in the US but since it doesn’t directly affect me I choose to be ignorant on the topic of local schools.

2018-09-25_16-24-52.pngThe trouble with too many is that they know they are ignorant on many issues but don’t have any desire to correct that problem via a little open-mindedness and study.  When that is the case they move from ignorant to stupid. Yes, there is a difference…

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#CO3 = Current Oval Office Occupant

The Best Doctor In The World…

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“Best doctor in the world is a veterinarian. He can’t ask his patients what’s the matter. He’s just got to know.” – Will Rogers

This quote from Will came to mind recently while my wife was going to doctors trying to determine the cause of her recent ailments. In the last couple of months, she has had three emergency room visits, two of them by ambulance.  We were in the ER practically all day each time. They racked up over $14,000 in tests and billing for their time and still can’t determine the cause for her symptoms.  They just say “if it happens again, come back and we will try to figure it out.”

But at least the $14K bill was reduced to a little over $4,000 by Medicare with our out of pocket around $200.  Thank heaven for Medicare.  Maybe they will find what’s wrong the next time… but I’m not holding my breath. 🙂

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Checking Those Phones…

In Will’s days checking your phone meant going into the parlor to see if it was ringing or maybe if someone else on the party line was using it. Phones were pretty valuable in those days and they didn’t cost $800 like many do today, especially since $800 was pretty much what a successful fellow made a year in Will’s time. But, I guess I better get to the point here.

I read something recently that said that researchers have found that folks who are constantly checking their cell phones have higher levels of boredom and worse overall moods. I don’t know how those two link but I guess there is a connection somewhere. Whether it is chicken-egg or egg-chicken I don’t know.

2018-06-10_13-40-05.pngI am a guy to is almost constantly living with my technology, but my cell phone most often resides on my computer desk and is seldom picked up more than a couple times a day.  But, I suspect that I spend 2 -3 hours per day at one of my computers or iPad doing this or that. First thing every morning after my shower I browse my news feeds to see what #CO3 screwed up the day before. I read a wide variety of topics also during that time. Like Will Rogers, I get most of my thoughts I post here from those morning reviews.

Being a “techie” I probably live too much with my stuff. When my wife and I are on the road and she is driving, I am usually on Google or Apple maps to see what is ahead. My wife frequently tells me to “Put that stuff down and look out the window”. No, I don’t constantly check my phone but maybe I am just as bad as those that do. 🙂

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#CO3 – Current Oval Office Occupant

 

Three Kinds Of Men…

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It’s been a few days since I visited a Will Rogers quote, so I spent hours going through my archives looking for just the right one to say what I currently feel.  Well, actually, it took about one minute before I found one that grabbed me. But, spending hours just seemed more dramatical.

I am not so much lately but for most of my life, I have been an avid reader. Except for my initial introduction to this novels and such via the Hardy Boys, Steinbeck, London, and a few others I have just not been that interested in fiction. Instead, I leaned toward historical and when it wasn’t so dirty, political venues.  So, I guess that makes me one of the small group who learned a lot by reading.

Some of us learn by observation, but for the most part, people just can’t seem to learn via that mode. They gotta make the same mistakes as many in the past already have in order to know what to stay away from.  Learning for yourself as Will’s quote shows is pretty painful at times. No, I haven’t peed on an electrical fence but I saw a 600 lb bull do it and by watching the results it seems tragically painful.  🙂

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$1,000 Dinner!

In Will Rogers’ day during the Great Depression soup kitchens were where millions got their daily meal if they got one at all. I know a thing or two about soup kitchens as I volunteered in one for over eleven years. It was a very rewarding and eye-opening time for me

I am not a “meat & potatoes” guy, but $1,000 for dinner seems pretty excessive. I guess if you are a billionaire or a CEO it probably only means an hour or so of work.  The new remodeled Eleven Madison Park restaurant is now charging that and reservation are made months ahead!

2018-02-25_10-39-16.pngEleven Madison Park shut down last summer for a massive remodel in the wake of Daniel Humm and Will Guidara’s flagship topping the World’s 50 Best Restaurant list for the first time. The new Eleven Madison Park reopened in October with a new look and a new menu. Now, in 2018, that menu will cost a little more. According to Eater critic Ryan Sutton, the restaurant is raising its prices by $20 to $315 for its tasting menu, meaning a dinner for two with wine will cost $1,067, after tax. The restaurant cites rising labor and food costs as the reason for the price hike.

via Michelin Star Per Se, Eleven Madison Park, Chef’s Table Raise Prices – Robb Report

When I see these sort of things I immediately think of how many meals that would serve in my soup kitchen! I can’t help it, that kind of opulence just drives me up a wall.  But since I am just a farm boy from the Midwest I probably don’t understand the satisfaction that a $1,000 meal would give me.

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Tit For Tat…

 “Congress is deadlocked and can’t act.” I think that is the greatest blessing that could befall this country. 

-Will Rogers (Weekly Article #59, January 27, 1924)

2018-06-06_07-30-09.pngI just can’t understand how the leadership of the Republican party can blame the Democrats for not getting anything done this year.  Come on Mitch, you guys control everything and still can’t accomplish the daily chores necessary to keep the country running. All you have managed to do so far is to take healthcare away from millions and pass a budget-busting tax cut for the wealthy.  You personally need to take responsibility for your lack of leadership but of course, that will never happen. You are simply too much like the current leader of your party who refuses to EVER admit that he that he is not perfect or made a mistake. Even if obstruction is keeping you from passing legislation, can’t you remember you personally invented the current definition of obstruction just a few years ago during the first years of the Obama administration? A tit for tat is hell, isn’t it?

But in reality, as Will says, your inability to do anything is perhaps the greatest blessing that could befall us.  Keep up the lack of work guys, at least until we can replace you with someone who will put people instead of party first.

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Good Judgment

Good judgment comes from experience and a lot of that comes from bad judgment Will Rogers

canstockphoto29834965.jpgIt’s time I put out a post on the new quote in the header above.  I think experience and wisdom often go hand in hand and as Will says learning from mistakes is a big part of it.  I personally think I can remember more details of the things I got wrong than the things I got right.

Due to my Aspie characteristics, I made a lot of social mistakes. Looking back I can see where opportunities were presented to me that I just wasn’t aware of at the time. People giving me hints that they wanted to have a relationship with me if I would only agree. I was a wimpy kid who simply couldn’t believe that anyone would be interested in me as a person.

Not standing up for myself was another place where I learned from my mistakes. I simply let too many people take advantage of my naivete.  Looking back I can see where I was a pretty gifted guy and quite a few people took credit for things I did. I just didn’t realize at the time it was happening.

My mistakes in the past have taught me the good judgment I now have.  It is not that I can go back and relive those times, but at least I try to use my current good judgment on today’s circumstances.  Maybe this is another example of  “Wisdom is wasted on the elderly”. I don’t know.

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The Capacity To Enjoy Less…

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Will Rogers is my favorite source for quotes but sometimes I discover wisdom elsewhere.  🙂 In this case, it is Socrates. For those who might not know the guy,  he lived 2500 years ago and is credited with being the founder of Western Philosophy.  His words above are probably more relevant today than when he originally spoke them.

Now I know this message is very counter to capitalism and if it were fully practiced in the USA our current economic foundation would likely collapse. Our economy  depends on each of us spending more and more, so developing the capacity to enjoy less is tantamount to heresy. But, it sure does lead to a more peaceful life if you ask me.

If it were up to me I would be living in a 300 square feet “tiny home” on a postage stamp piece of land. But, it is not up to me as I can’t seem to convince my wife of the joy of less.  But there are things I can do without her concurrence. One of those is over the past few years, I have shrunk my wardrobe to one-fourth its previous size. All of my clothes now reside on a three-foot closet rod. Even with that, I find I wear less than half the things still hanging there. My barn which was previously stuffed full of things I never used is now pretty much empty.

I have found that living on less is much easier than I imagined. I definitely have developed the anti-American capacity to enjoy less.

Toxic Evangelism

Sadly the word “Evangelical” has come to mean a very negative thing for many people but to see it deemed toxic is simply frightening. But that is what happens when you mix Christianity with politics.  As the old saying goes it is like mixing ice cream with horse manure. It doesn’t hurt the manure but it sure changes the flavor of ice cream.

My friends over at RedLetterChristians recently held a prayer vigil near Liberty University. Liberty’s president Jerry Falwell Jr said any if any in the praying group step on his property they would be arrested for trespassing.  That is not the expected greeting of one Christian to another but that is what you get in today’s most recognized brand of evangelical. It is nice to see at least some versions of Christianity are sticking to their foundations.  Far too many have abandoned their principles in order to condone their politics. That makes the word evangelical toxic indeed.

I want to close out this post with some thoughts from Will Rogers almost a hundred years ago. Can you even imagine what he would have to say about it today?

If some of these birds would follow His example instead of trying to figure out His mode of arrival and departure, they would come nearer getting confidence in their church.

If they are going to argue religion in the church instead of preaching it, no wonder you can see more people at a circus than a church.

Missionaries are going to reform the world whether it wants it or not.

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No Man Is Great If He Thinks He Is – Will Rogers

The topic of this post is the new quote in the header above.  I imagine everyone with an IQ above a cucumber knows who I am talking about.  #CO3 thinks he is the greatest human being ever to walk the earth!  But, I guess there are also some around, who do have the IQ of a cucumber who agree with him.

I’m sorry Will, but I gotta improve what you said here with some similar words of my own. Quote.png

This one just seems more appropriate to today’s primary situation, doesn’t it? If my quote is applied, #CO3’s greatness is about that of a cockroach, isn’t it?  But maybe I am just being too harsh.  I suspect deep down he knows what he is, but would never admit it. On the other hand, maybe he has been playing the part so long that his reality, like him, is severely bent. Yeah, I think that is likely the case…

My Garden, Be it ever so humbleLet’s end this post on a lighter note.  I seem to be fixated on cucumbers lately and that is probably because it is now veggie planting season here in the Midwest.  I think we had our last frost of the season a couple of nights ago. The weather this week is supposed to be in the 70s.  I uncovered my veggie patch today in anticipation of another fruitful season.  Lots of cucumbers, zucchinis, and tomatoes are in my future. 🙂

Happy Spring To Everyone!!

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#CO3 = Current Oval Office Occupant

The Enigma

2018-04-18_08-28-11I am starting yet another series this week about the giant enigma of our times. Just so we are clear on what I mean, I will give you a definition. For you who are observant, I’m sure you have already figured it out from the new header above. The Republican party was one of Will Rogers favorite subjects. He just couldn’t figure them out a hundred years ago, and not much has changed in that respect with them since then. In this series, I will take Will’s words about the GOP and see how they fit with today’s party.

canstockphoto31485978The GOP has almost always been about the most affluent among us.  There are probably hundreds of reasons for that, but I kinda think that funding politician’s careers is near the top of the heap.  Why grovel for ten thousand $10 contributions when you can get the same amount from just one person.  All you got to do is to promise that you will look out primarily for that guy and he will open his overstuffed wallet.

But the thing that really gets me about all of this is how so many folks who struggle through life are strangely in the GOP camp? It just doesn’t make sense to me.  That question will be one of the driving factors in my study of the GOP enigma in the coming weeks. In reality, I don’t think this enigma will ever end anytime soon. It will just have to be pushed aside by the rest of us.

I hope you enjoy my attempt at explaining an unexplainable enigma…

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Over The Hill…

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Will Rogers BookmarkBeing over the hill is probably the most often used phrase for getting older. When you turn forty, at least for my generation, you were considered over the hill. My hero Will Rogers certainly was an inventive guy. The way he looked at life such as the words above is what inspires me.

I have never really thought about it much, but I never did get the feeling that I was on top the hill.  My life has just been happening day-to-day.  Uphill-downhill seemed more like potholes in life. When I finally reached retirement, or should I say when it reached me, I knew my life was on a downhill glide but it was a pleasant glide and it was high enough to say out of the gutter.

In fact, the downhill side of life has proven to be more enjoyable and fulfilling than the other side of the slope.  You could never have convinced me of that in those uphill years.  My main negative about being over the hill is my loss of stamina and strength. I know that is something I could do more to partially alleviate but don’t choose to use much of the time I have left to do that.  I can’t lift up a 40-pound birdseed bags anymore with some serious grunting but that is OK.

Being over the hill is kind of peaceful. You don’t have to worry about competing with anyone.  Instead, you can just enjoy life. That is a great place to be 🙂

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A Lot Of Noise Goin On…

Cackle Banner.jpegI don’t know why I seem to be so fixated on sounds lately let alone poultry stuff.  My daily and weekly posts here are RJsCorner are now named after sounds (cackle and squawk) that chickens make. I need to get to the underlying reason for this. 🙂  I lost my hearing thirty years ago, and since then my brain has forgotten what many sounds sound like.  Sadly one of those areas is musical instruments.  I used to play the guitar, not terribly well but to my own satisfaction, and I really enjoyed that pleasure. Now when I see a musical instrument being played, I struggle unsuccessfully to remember the sounds they make.

I was never around chickens that much, but they did make a big impression on me when I first visited my grandfather’s farm as a small kid. I loved the fresh eggs that grandpa had but didn’t appreciate being chased by the rooster when I went to feed them.  So, why this sudden infatuation with poultry sounds?

Maybe it is all Freudian? Sigmund was pretty famous a hundred years ago during my hero Will Rogers’ time but has gone out of favor since then. Freud was a big believer that the unconscious (dreams) was where the mind put things we can’t openly deal with. Maybe I am in a second mourning period for my loss of hearing?

When it comes down to it, I guess I really don’t care that much, but it is interesting none the less. 🙂

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Will Rogers – About Religious Beliefs

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A regular part of RJsCorner is going to be looking at Will Rogers quotes and seeing how they apply in today’s world. So, this is the first of many in that area.

Even  80 years ago it seems that there were more than a few who thought religions did more damage than they helped. I think what Will was saying is that “Bible thumpers,” and whatever they are called in the other religions, are the most intolerant of differences of faith.  They are just convinced that they are the only one who has got it right. This is what gets us into so many wars. The Sunni and Shiite quarrels cause thousands of deaths a year against each other and even to some of our boys and girls stationed over there trying futilely to control them.  Not that many years ago it was the Irish Catholics vs. the Protestants and so on, and so on… People disagreeing with others about religion seems to be the norm in our world and we can’t figure out how to get past that ignorance.

I am a big believer in “Coexist.” That is telling ALL the faiths to just play nice. If we could only manage that, war deaths could be almost eliminated.

Let the other fella believe what he wants as long as he lets you do the same. It couldn’t be simpler than that.

But sometimes the simplest things are the hardest to actually accomplish, aren’t they?

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Will Rogers – My Hero

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For this morning’s cackle, I want to talk about Will Rogers. He is the reason I started RJsCorner 8 years ago. I have been reading him since I was a kid.
Will RogersFor all you people that don’t know anything about what happened before 1980, I want to give you a little snort of Will and his words. Will was born way back in 1879 in Indian territory now known as Oklahoma. His roots were in the Cherokee nation. He started out in Vaudeville doing rope tricks in the Ziegfeld Follies but became world famous for his writing and his radio programs. He was a homespun guy whose earthy antics and folksy style made him the most famous entertainer of his time. Will died at the age of 55 in an aircraft accident with Wiley Post in August 1935.
I have been pretty lax in visiting Will here on RJsCorner lately, that is something I will correct going forward. Will lived during the Great Depression but he never got dark in his writings.  Hopefully, I will be able to say the same thing at least going forward from here.
If any of this sounds interesting to you, then stick around. I think I just might be able to brighten your day once in a while and hopefully bring an occasional smile to your face.
Much more on Will is coming soon in one of my Weekly Squawks. If you don’t know much about Will, it will be my pleasure to introduce you to him.
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