Wednesday, 7 December 2011

iPhone pic / lolita fashion

Yes, I've been away for a while... but it doesn't mean I haven't been doing creative things while away.

Nanowrimo has come and gone, and though I didn't complete 50K words, I did write 15K, which is 5x the amount I wrote the year before. Next year, if I manage to write 5x the amount I wrote this year, I'd be able to complete 5K. (One can hope!)

Now, photography has always been one of my creative avenues. This year, I have been opening myself up to Gothic Lolita - a type of Japanese fashion that I've been fascinated with for years, but never had the guts to wear.
Since moving back to Melbourne, I've joined the local group of Lolitas and have been going to the meets and just having a hell of a time.

The photo above was taken at one such meets. It was a spur of the moment thing, and after tweaking it a bit on the iphone, we have the above result. Ta da!

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

urban sketches?

Melbourne is actually packed full of old and interesting buildings (trying to concentrate on writing this entry whilst listening to Good Night Sweet Girl - yeah, not working out so good atm, lol. I'm a fan, sue me XD); you can't walk down any street in the city without bumping into one.

All of the victorian-era-esque buildings that you see still standing around the city would be protected by the Victoria Heritage Register, and I love how these majestic buildings will be preserved for future generations. I was actually living in Hong Kong and was there to witness it when they pulled down the Queen's Pier. It was disappointing to see proof of a government that would be more interested in financial gains than preserving the city's historical landmarks... it's not like there are many left to begin with.

Anyway, back on topic.
Some of these buildings make for great subject matter for sketches and paintings. I've always been iffy about drawing buildings as my perspectives are always kind of off. But finally I bit the bullet and started sketching.

I thought I would start off with something relatively simple.

Then I realised that it's never simple when you have a building at an angle.

It's still very much a work in progress, but I plan to ink it and colour it.

I admit that I've lost a bit of my initial enthusiasm to finish it. All the itty bitty details on the storefront - which had attracted me to this subject to begin with - had become the reason for my procrastination.

I am an impatient person and sometimes I want to complete a piece of art, RIGHT NOW. If I don't manage to do so, then the incomplete piece may sit on the page for quite a while. In actual fact it's been a month, at least, since I took that photo above and this entry. In this time, the sketch has not progressed =_=

I feel guilty even writing about it. Perhaps I should go home tonight and finish it - although I have an appointment to watch Harry Potter 7.2 tonight... after HP then... ;P

Thursday, 21 July 2011

SupaNova 2011 (Perth) - Day 3

This is a relatively short post and is the last one in my three part series on my SupaNova weekend in Perth. Please find the links to my previous posts below:

My third and last day in Perth is very James-Marsters-centered. I planned to attend the James Marsters panel, get a photo and autograph with him and then later that night attend the SupaNova afterparty, which James would also be attending.

I hadn't mentioned this earlier, but I had taken my Gothic Lolita outfit to Perth with me. Hearing how there are more cosplayers on the Saturday than the Sunday, I wore that outfit on Saturday. Which leaves me wearing casual clothes on the Sunday. Which is just fine - as much as I love the fashion, I didn't want to take a photo with James Marsters in it.

But first things first, the James Marsters panel.

I woke up at 10:30am thinking, "What time was the James Marsters panel again?"

It starts at 11am.

Of course I wasn't going to just run out of the apartment without proper grooming - photo taking, remember? - but I swear it was the quickest I've ever put on make up.

I didn't miss too much of it, luckily, and got a few snapshots while I was at it.

Look at that smile, who wouldn't swoon?

Then, while I was waiting for James Marsters' photo op session, I went to watch the anime game show.

Yeah, even John Robertson was a bit gobsmacked about this performance.

I love this pair's cosplay. Even though I'm not too sure which anime it's from (more my fault than their's), I thought their's was the prettiest out of the two days worth of costumes I'd seen.

More cosplays.

And finally, my picture with James Marsters.


I was going to tell you how my mind went completely blank when he shook my hand and said, "hi," but I think you guys have had enough of me swooning in the past three entries. XD

Oh, and the after-party?

It was unnerving to see how much more fan-girly other people could be - I mean, I thought I was bad. But everyone behaved, to a degree. I even got to meet Gareth David-Lloyd (aka, Ianto Jones in Torchwood).
He's quite a unique individual - for a lack of better words - and I'm now watching Torchwood, to compare the actor and the character. It would be interesting to watch a show after meeting the real person (as opposed to the opposite).

As I have warned, this is a fairly short entry. Unfortunately I took so long to get all the photos sorted out that the impressions of the trip is no longer fresh in my mind.

I'll have to keep in mind to actually write the entries while on future trips, and then edit and publish them when I get back.

Since I have a Hong Kong/Tokyo trip planned for September, this is a good tip to keep in mind. ;P

Monday, 18 July 2011

SupaNova 2011 (Perth) - Day 2

Well here is part 2 of my 3-part series on my SupaNova weekend a few weeks back. If you haven't read the first post, you can find it here.

After my text-intensive post last time, I'll let the pictures do most of the talking in this post.

You should hear the amount of "aww..." when this kid-Vader walked up to the 501st Legion.

I usually won't post fuzzy photos, but I thought their pairing was fantastic.

This Tardis has certainly seen better days, but I loved the effort they put in it. Go Doctor! (Oh, I saw this guy who did a great Doctor, but I was in line for food and couldn't get a picture. Then I couldn't find him again, boo...)


 So cute... if I could ever get my cat to behave, I'd dress up as Kiki Delivery service.

Shameless plug of my cat.

This poor guy was about to go on break when I asked to take his picture. He had to do up all those little buttons on his vest again - then undo them again when I was finished. But you've got to admire his tenacity for perfection.

That was not the scariest thing I saw at the event... does that tell you something?

Okay, here's where the limits of my dad's Canon 24-105mm lens are most obvious. It might be an okay lens if you have bright lights and subject matter which is not all that far away. But when you're 1/3 way across a large room and trying to take photos of an unlit stage, you get a lot of blurry photos.

As such, I don't have as many photos of the Cosplay competition as I would have liked.

Let me just say that John Robertson was great up there. He's funny, and he knows most (if not all) mainstream anime/games - I'd hate to have to listen to a MC who doesn't know what he's talking about.

He managed to smooth over some fairly awkward moments (e.g. where amatuer Cosplayers get onstage without being prepared to "flaunt their wares", and instead stands in one pose awkwardly for 1 minute) - and no, none of these cosplayers I posted up are of those awkward cosplayers.

Look at Penguin's nose...

This guy yanked a head off a teddy bear and stuff it on a baseball helmet... scary...

Do you really want to know?

After the cosplay competition, the day was far from over -->> James Marsters Live Performance!

Unfortunately photography and any sort of recording was not allowed.
Truth be told, when you forget about aiming your camera and actually sit and experience an event, it's actually more memorable.

Before nearly every song James would tell us the story behind the lyrics - apparently he wrote quite a number of songs to get back in his girlfriend's good graces XD

The night was a blast, and it went a long way to making up for the disappointments I've experienced the night before.
  • Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Monday, 11 July 2011

SupaNova 2011 (Perth) - Day 1 (well night really)

So finally, here is part 1 of my 3-part series on my trip to Perth a few weeks back. Sorry for the text-intensive post, I promise more photos in later entries ;P

The trip did not start off well.

It all started while I was on the bus from the long-term parking to Melbourne Airport. I get a call from Foxtix. They were calling to let me know that the presenter for the two-days writing seminar was stuck in New Zealand due to the volcanic ash. As such SupaNova would be cancelling the writing seminars. The Foxtix employee assured me that I would be refunded in full - as if the cost of the seminar tickets would be all I cared about!

If I was going to Perth purely for the writing seminar I'd be screwed, was Foxtix going to refund me my airfare, lodging and car hire?

Luckily my reasons for going to Perth was three parts, 1) attend the two days writing seminar; 2) go see Wicked, the Broadway musical; and 2) see James Marsters.

It's okay, I thought as the Foxtix employee arranged for the refund back to my card, on a positive note I wouldn't have to wake up at the crack of dawn to make it to the 8am seminars.

I arrived at the airport with plenty of time to spare, so while waiting to board I started watching Durarara! on my iPad.

For an hour.

Apparently there was a mechanical fault with the plane and JetStar was trying to get it fixed.

For an hour.

In the end they still had to change planes for us.

It's still okay, I thought. I had given myself two hours leeway between arriving in Perth and getting to Burswood Theatre to watch Wicked. I had checked online that the Burswood Entertainment Complex wasn't that far from the airport - I just wouldn't have much time to eat beforehand.

Whilst boarding the plane, the attendants told us that the pilot will be trying his best to make up for the delay in the flight time.

Which is useless when they won't let you land.

Apparently since we've failed to arrive on time, we had to wait in "queue" for a slot to land. Who knew Perth experienced such heavy air traffic?

In the end I didn't get off the plane until 7:45pm, the show starts at 8pm. Even though I didn't have any check-in luggage, I still had to collect my rental car and drive to the theatre.

Did I also mention it was pouring? Like cats and dogs, with the occassional kangaroo? It was one step away from raining drop bears.

I arrived at Burswood Theatre at 8:40pm, rainwater practically running off me in rivulets. I think the theatre ushers took pity on me, because they let me in even though it wasn't intermission yet.

I was riverted for the next two hours - I wasn't as impressed by the music as I was by Love Never Dies - but I thought the story was very clever. Although I didn't miss *that* much of it because the show was so long, I would still have liked to have watched the thing in it's entirety.

The rest of the night was relatively uneventful.

Oh except for this.

There was a car crash outside my apartment window. I was reading a book and getting ready to sleep when I heard a loud long screech then....*crunch*. By the time I got to my window, I see the car bouncing off the side rails before coming to a stop. One of the guys, I think it was the driver, jumps out of the car and just runs off. His friends get out of the car a bit more slowly, but they just wander aimlessly around the car. I think the bunch of them were drunk off their heads. Later the driver wanders back and they just stand around on the side of the road.

Luckily it seemed that nobody was hurt, and they didn't crash into any other cars.

Also the ambulance and police arrived very quickly; I think it took no more than a few minutes. I took my camera out for the first and only time that day - to snap that photo above.

And that concludes my post for the first day of my weekend trip to Perth.

My trip did not start out well I'm afraid, but head over to my next post to see how it proceeds.

Wednesday, 29 June 2011

SupaNova 2011 - aftermaths

I had hoped to be able to do a series of posts about my SupaNova experience while I was in Perth - but I only realised after unpacking on my first night that I didn't bring the cable to transfer my photos from my DSLR to my iPad (go figure).

I still haven't managed to find time to upload my photos into my computer, but I promise to do that soon. Who knows, I might even be able to post the first my SupaNova posts before the week ends *crosses fingers*.

Did anyone else go to SupaNova? Please leave your blog entry link in the comments below, I would love to see your photos!

Thursday, 23 June 2011

SupaNova 2011 - Perth

Talk about last minute plans.

Last night I find out that James Marsters would be appearing at the 2011 SupaNova (Australia's Pop Culture Expo). Unfortunately I've already missed the Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney sessions and there's only the one weekend left, in Perth. This weekend.

Next thing you know, I've bought tickets, airfare, accomodation and car hire for a weekend of Sci Fi, Anime and Comics. In Perth.

Okay, before you think that I'm doing this purely because of James Marsters (he has a concert on Saturday night and will be attending the Post-Nova party, squee!), I'm also an anime and sci-fi fan, so it's not just him.

There will also be the SupaNova Master Class Series for Writers which I've signed up for - so no sleeping in for me (both sessions starts at 8am on Sat and Sun D=).

I'll be toting my cameras (Canon S90 and Canon 450D), so hopefully I'll be able to snap some pics to share later. I'll also be wearing my Goth Loli get up (probably not whilst getting a photo with James Marsters), so if there's any Aussie Goth Lolis reading this and will be attending SupaNova this weekend, let me know so we can meet up for a chat.

Oh, and just to make sure I don't have *any* free time, I've also bought tickets to see Wicked: The Broadway Musical on Friday night.

This expo will most likely be leaving me drained; I'll be flying out on Friday afternoon and I won't be back until Monday morning (5:55am, *gasp*), after which I'd probably have enough time to drive home to have a shower and then get back to work... wish me luck!

Friday, 10 June 2011

set menu?

Every morning I bypass a small cafe on my way to work. On their front door they have a sign up declaring, "best muffins in Melbourne".

The first time I saw it, I went in to buy said muffin, only to be told that they were sold out.

Hmm, I thought, they must be good.

So I dutifully went back the next day.

I was disappointed to find that they only have one flavour on offer; blueberry. Whilst I don't "dislike" blueberry, I just prefer chocolate, but I bought one anyway.

Eating it at work, I found that it was okay. It wasn't the "best" muffin in Melbourne - although I don't know what the best muffin taste like, I don't think this was on that level - but it was soft, and tasty, and I could count on it being fresh with no preservatives.

The next day, I went again, and found that this time they had cinnamon muffins; it seemed that everyday was a different taste, dependant purely on the owner's mood and preference.

It's been two weeks since my first muffin, and I'm still going every morning.

I find that I don't mind having my meals chosen for me. Back in Hong Kong I had the same arrangement for my dinner; a local diner would have a set dinner which changes daily and I'd just order that.

We live in a world where we are spoilt for choice, it is sometimes refreshing to leave the decision in someone elses's hands. Because I don't know about you, but when going out with friends, one of the trickiest questions we have to answer is, "Where do we eat?" 

Location:Little Collins St,Melbourne,Australia


Wednesday, 8 June 2011

about writing

I've been so entranced by the iPad, I haven't created anything to post about!
Well that's not true, I've been writing again.
I've been writing, I think, since I was 14. At that time, my aspirations was to be the next 16-year old author (I think I misread somewhere that Christopher Pike - my idol at that time - was first published at age 16).
My first manuscript took a little over a year to finish; I was banging away on the only computer in the house 24/7 (I don't remember the model, but I think it was running Windows 3.1).
I submitted the manuscript when I was 17 I think, although I must admit I did a slipshod of it. Not surprisingly, I recieved a rejection letter - it took them 2 years to get back to me; I suspect that my manuscript got chucked in a corner for a while, but I'm grateful that they took the time to get back to me (and even sent my manuscript back - as opposed to just chucking it out).
Yes, I don't use conventional pen and paper to write.
The app I'm using is called Notes Plus - I'll talk about it some other time, but it rocks!
Writing fiction, I find, is not something that could be shared easily in a blog format. I can tell you I'm in the planning stage, but it doesn't make for very interesting blog entries.
So I do apologise for the lack of posts recently, I'll try to fit some sketching or zentangling in and posts regularly again.

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

woyww 103

This week I'll be showing you pictures of my workstation in the office of my day job.
This is because I want to take this chance to show off my latest joy in life. My iPad 2! (Yeah, my joy in life is shallow and materialistic, sue me XD)
I've kind of wanted one since the first model came out, but had no justification for buying one. The iPad is for content consumption, and truth be told, I'm more about content creation.
But I've been playing with more and more photo manipulation apps - which isn't surprising since the developers are cranking out better and better apps - and I realised that the iPad would be the perfect photo manipulation tool.
I'll be able to instantly download my photos from my iphone or camera using the camera connection kit and the touchscreen will allow me to have a hands-on approach to editing my photos. As much as I like my graphic tablet, it's still not as nice as "touching" your photo while editing. ;p
I took this picture one morning on the way to work. I only used a light touch of "100 cameras in 1" app to create some mood and left it at that.
What this means is that there may not be a lot of art journal pages, or even zentangles for a little while. This is what happens when I get a new toy!

Saturday, 14 May 2011

new tank set up

*sigh* I did it again.
I should have known better than to walk into that aquarium shop. Since getting a pretty little betta fish, I've been trying to figure out how to snaze up his tank.
Now his tank is already pretty snazzy itself, being a 23L Fluval Edge and everything. But I'm not really great with aquarium decor and I haven't installed a heater in the tank yet.
So driving by Glen Waverley today, I see Amazing Amazon - a pet store specialising in exotic pets and aquariums - and I go in for a gander.
Would you believe it, they have bluespotted ribbontail rays!
Bluespotted ribbontail ray
I didn’t take as much photos as I should, I was too busy gawking. They had snakes and lizards, birds and fishes, and coral. Oh my god.
So I grabbed a few things (*cough* *cough*) to put in my tank.
And here it is.
New Fluval Edge setup

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

woyww 101

woyww 101
This week, my work desk is mainly covered with acrylics.

I've recently signed up with Julie Prichard's Chaos and Calm class and the page above is the result of lesson two.

I've never worked with glazes before and this class seems to revolve around it a lot.

It's interesting to try to blend acrylics, and I can't wait to see the paintings that would be produced in this class.

Unfortunately acrylic and glaze take forever to dry, even with a hairdryer.

I've already had a couple of mishaps where I've lifted still-wet paint when trying to blend colours.

This is an exercise in patience, which I was never very good at.

What classes have people taken recently?

Monday, 9 May 2011

art jamming in hong kong

It's just my luck that I find out about this art event in Hong Kong after I've left the place.
Below is a video explaining the concept, the first few phrases are in Cantonese, but the rest is in English.
It might be interesting to start something like that in Melbourne…

Saturday, 7 May 2011

"I am a [fill in the blank] and a [fill in the blank]"

This idea of being more than one thing has been running around my mind for a while now. Years perhaps. I think all of us feel, however secretly - in our souls - that we are unique. 

Most of us are aware that we are more than any one thing; we are not just our work, we are not just who we relate to, not just a daughter, a sister, a friend. We are also our hobbies, our interests, our vices.

I think Tammy says this pretty well:

We have many faces to the world:

A Java programmer who is an avid urban sketcher

A homeschooling mom who writes sci fi stories

A pilot who knits cardigans

A marine biology professor who watercolors all summer

A pediatrician who blogs about interior design trends

A realtor who blogs about photoshop

A veterinarian who writes quilt patterns

Our uniqueness comes from our collection of "selves" or "faces"; it is not just that you are an accountant, but that you are an aspiring rock artist as well. This mix of roles is a part of our self-worth; how we separate ourselves from the masses who are our neighbours on this earth.

We are proud of the fact that we are the only accountant who also paints every Tuesday, or the Mother who plays a bass guitar; the oxymoron is a badge of honour on our souls.

Tammy's post asks us to declare who we are, to acknowledge all our roles and to recognise that being one thing does not detract from being another. Take a moment to think about all that you are, declare it to yourself in some small way, celebrate it.

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

woyww 100

Tearing myself away from my Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files audio books (read by James Marsters – *squeal*) – which I have been plugged to for the past two weeks (book 1 to 10) – I bring to you my first What’s On Your Workdesk Wednesday post.

Since it is the first WOYWW post I thought I should show you my whole desk, as opposed to just what I’m working on.
Actually thinking about it, I just realised that I’ve had previous pictures of my workdesk here and here.
Okay, maybe I’m just shamelessly plugging my own blog. XD

For those who don't know what I'm talking about, WOYWW is a link party for people showing off what's on their workdesk on Wednesday (pretty obvious now that I spell it out, huh?). I suggest that everyone head over to Julia Dunnit's blog, Stamping Ground, to read more about it. If nothing else, the horror of showing the same project on my desk for weeks in a row would get me off my butt and doing some crafting. XD

Actually my art journaling has been going very slowly recently. In addition to my obsession with James Marster’s voice-acting abilities, I have been concentrating on zentangles and mandalas instead of journal pages.

However, I’ve kept my journals opened at my workdesk in hopes that I would add bits and pieces to it as I pass by. (My workdesk is actually in my room, so it’s not like everything is hidden away in some corner of the house)

I’ve read people’s blogs where they say they could see what they want the page to look like and they work towards that. I can’t do that most of the time; I have no idea what I’m doing with a page until I’m halfway through. This may just be evidence of a lack of practice. But sometimes, sometimes I see images or colours in my mind’s eye and I know it supposed to go on the page.

The tree in the corner of the page was drawn at one such time.

I have trouble drawing realistic looking trees, I make branches too uniformly wide and straight; a real tree is more twisty and bendy.

I’ve taken quite a number of photos from my trip to Ocean Grove over the Easter break last week, quite a number of them have trees that has a lot of character. I plan to go through them and do some in depth study of tree anatomy.

Saturday, 30 April 2011

how do you respond to blog comments?

As I've mentioned previously, I'm trying to improve my blogging skills.

This includes responding to the nice people who actually leave comments to my posts. I've read a few articles online. In fact, Amanda @ Serenity Now has written a very nice series of posts surrounding the topic (I highly recommend popping over to have a look).

But I have a few extra questions and hope other more experienced bloggers out there could help me out.

When someone leave you a comment, do you:

a) reply as a comment in your own blog, or

b) reply as a comment on the commentor's blog (assuming they have one).

Now, I understand the argument of leaving a reply in my own blog is that the commentor may not return to see the reply. There is a feature in Blogger which gives commentors the option of having future responses emailed to them, but I know I cannot rely on every commentor choosing this option. 

I have been responding as comments to my own blog, but I'm trying out the other method just to see how it goes. As Amanda stated in her post, responding on another person's blog gives your own blog exposure.

But I fear that if I respond on the commentor's blog, future would-be commentors to my blog would not see the response. Would it not be better to have a record of the ongoing conversation in one place?

Aboard the Sorrento FerrySketch I did during Easter - Aboard the Sorrento Ferry

My second question is responding to responses of comments given (huh? yeah, I'll explain). Say I'm surfing the blogosphere and I leave a comment, saying hi and how much I like a particular post. The blogger then comes to my blog and leaves a message thanking me for coming over and that she liked my post too. Do I go back to her blog and thank her for thanking me?

I know it's a good habit to respond to every blog comment left, but when do you leave off a conversation? If a comment on your blog is actually a response to your own comment on your blog, is it okay to not reply?


How do you handle your comments?

Friday, 29 April 2011

a new room-mate? and further zentangle practice...

I've recently got myself a new room-mate, and I mean this in the literal sense; I bought myself a crowntail betta splenden. He currently resides in a 22L Fluval Edge tank (and for those betta fans out there, I did not fill the tank up to the top, so he does have enough breathing room) on a shelf above my desk in my room.

I appreciate the difficulty in taking photos of a pet (I have a black cat, it does hell to the white balance on my camera) but taking a photo of a fish in a tank of water is a whole new level of frustration. I don't pretend that the above photo is anything to be proud of, but I just want to show off his colours - isn't he just so pretty?

And now that I've splurge so much on my new pet (well to be exact, I spluged it on his tank... $200AUD, urk! But the tank is also really really snazzy), I'll probably have to eat leftovers for lunch everyday for the next month... I'm not even thinking of buying any new art supplies... =_=

Of course, since my latest project is zentangling, I don't really need a lot of supplies, just pen and paper!

zentangle - 2011-04-17

In this zentangle I was drawing a couple of weeks back, I was practicing featherfall, pais and flux. Looking at featherfall, it reminds me slightly of my betta's fins (I need to name my fish, I can't just keep calling him, "my betta"). Perhaps I should try creating a tangle based on his fins...

Thursday, 28 April 2011

thoughts about blogging

This blog was supposed to be about my attempts at creating art. But I realised that it's not really possible to talk about just one facet of my life without other bits leaking in. If I tried, it may result in a very flat, boring blog listing my latest project without putting any of it into context.

I'm not planning on writing entries about my love for tv shows like Bones or House or How I met your mother anytime soon (~aw~ I know, right?), but I figured that I could let the reins go a bit and just generally chat about other things as well.

At the moment I'm also reading up on methods to crafting better blog posts. Of course, blogging about journal pages should come in second to actually creating journal pages, but that doesn't mean that I should make a shabby job of presenting them either.

I hope to be able to hone my blogging skills a bit more, to take my time in actually crafting my posts as opposed to just banging them out. It should result in a more pleasant reading experience to my subscribers - no longer would you have to put up with my randomness and my phases of inactivity (I hope).

If you would like to keep track of how I go with this new resolution (so to speak), feel free to subscribe to my blog (or click the "Posts" button under "Subscribe To" on the right sidebar).

zentangle - 2011-04-15Image by ayra k via Flickr

And just so that this post is not completely without pictures, this is my latest attempt at zentangling.

I'm fascinated with 3D zentangles, the ones with depth or the more organic ones (as opposed to the flat, linoleum patterned ones). I spent quite a number of afternoons in the past week copying down tangles for reference.

reference of tangle patterns

I'm currently drawing my zentangles in my organiser which I tote with me everywhere. I don't know how I'll incorporate them into my journal pages - I'm against the idea of just filling random shapes on a page with tangles and calling them "zentangles"; it seems that zentangles are pieces of art on their own as opposed to a way of "decorating" pages, but we'll see how that goes.
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