About Dr. StrangeJob

If you want to know what happens when the Peter Principle collides with Kurt Vonnegut and Stanley Kubrick then you found the right place.

Joint Custody: A misplaced stash of marijuana and a complex father

A repost in honour of Father’s Say.

Dr. StrangeJob went to high school in the mid-seventies. Coincidently, that was the same time that marijuana became the recreational drug of choice for many in his age group. To suggest that the Doctor was a pothead would be a tenuous overstatement, but he does concede there were a number of purple haze high-school daze not totally accounted for. Yes, he inhaled.

Arriving home from school one day, he was confronted by his mother in an extreme state of agitation, waving a baggie of pot that she found in the laundry basket. To be fair, she may have been quite calm at the time. To be honest, since the Doctor was slightly buzzed, what he saw was more like the Tasmanian devil on crack gesticulating a baggie full of weed and pointing accusatorily.

He told her that it was not his pot, but to no avail. They decided to wait until his father arrived home from work to continue the conversation, but she assured the Doctor that there would be hell to pay.

The Doctor’s father was a welder at the local steel plant. He put in a fair day’s work for a fair day’s pay, so he was both tired and startled when met at the door by his wife still waving the baggie of marijuana. His father was always quick on his feet, but the side-glance he gave to his son was most telling. Two things became abundantly clear: First, it was the father’s weed that was found in the laundry. Second, the father was about to be in bigger shit with his wife than his son could ever possibly be with his mother. The look on his face said it all, but what happened next surprised father, mother, and son.

The young Doctor, in an Oscar worthy performance, admitted the pot was his and took full responsibility for his actions. The father, in another Oscar worthy performance, provided a sternly worded sermon on the ills of drug use whilst handing out punishment that appeased his wife, but not overly chastised the son.

The father took the son aside a few days later and provided him with a learning script that he follows to this day: If you are being thrown out of town, then get in front and make it look like a parade in your honor. The Doctor was grounded for two weeks. The father, on the other hand, had to flush his weed down the toilet.

Happy Father’s Day. I am not sure where you are, but here’s hoping that you are happy and high.

Watch my standup version of this routine from 2016.

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My first e-book, so I used an alias.

Dr. StrangeJob, under the alias Dan Yakimchuk, published his first Amazon Kindle e-book, The Rose: Time Enough for Love.  Amazon publishes 3000 new books each day, so it will be easy to get lost in the shuffle.  Here is my sales pitch. Hopefully, it will be $2.99 well spent.  As of this writing, the book is sitting at # 21 in the hot new release category for time travel books.

rose ebook cover

Forty years ago, he tried to kill himself. Today, he’s going back to change his mind.

The Rose tells the story of a man travelling back 40 years in time to deliver a message to his younger self during a pivotal moment in his life. What begins as a janitor’s attempt at salvation, becomes a time travel researcher’s hope for lost love and family. At its heart, the story is about family – a fortune teller, a metalhead, a time continuum officer, and a reluctant time traveller – a family lost in time.

The initial short story was written in recognition of my 25th anniversary in recovery. Last year I produced and acted in a short 12-minute film version of the original short script, The Rose, directed by Kenn Crawford of Broken Road Pictures. The Rose was an official selection and award of commendation winner at the 2018 Canada Shorts film festival. Watch The Rose here.

Yes, I do have a rose tattoo on my left hand that was designed by the very talented Cyanide Ink.

Follow The Rose Facebook Page for future updates on the saga of Harry, the reluctant time traveller.

Dr. StrangeJob

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Why the hand? (Rock Bottom)

The difference between a drunk and an addict is that a drunk will steal from you and lie about it, but an addict will steal from you and help you look for it.

If you have seen my short film “The Rose,” then you will understand the significance of the rose tattoo and why I chose to be inked in recognition of 25 years in recovery. But why on the hand? That is a long story, but it has to do with Step 1 of the recovery process, a broken hand, a plastic surgeon and a self-started lie that even I came to believe.

It began 26 years ago. I was a systems analyst, spending most mornings doing tedious tasks such as typing code while saving the afternoons for debugging and developing program logic. I was a few coffees and cigarettes into typing code when I noticed that the keys my brain was instructing my fingers to type were not the letters being displayed on the screen. Not only that, my hand was quite swollen. Initially, I didn’t think much about it. By this time in my drinking career, I was a daily drinker and often woke with sore bones, bruises, or abrasions from falls, slips, and stumbles. However, by mid-morning, my hand was completely swollen, black and blue, and I was having trouble moving my fingers. I headed to the hospital emergency room.

The emergency doctor assumed I had broken a single finger and ordered an x-ray. When the x-ray came back, the doctor requested additional x-rays. It was obvious that one finger was broken, but the direction of the other fingers in the initial x-ray suggested problems further up the hand. By this time, I was starting to put the pieces together from the night before. I remembered falling in the bathroom, landing on my outstretched hand, bending all four fingers backwards. I snapped them back in place but was having problems moving my fingers, so I wrapped my hand around a beer bottle and rolled the bottle on the floor to reset my fingers. What can I say, it seemed like a good idea at the time!

It turns out my hand was broken in four places, but the doctors at the hospital were reluctant to reset my hand in fear they would do worse damage. They had never seen a hand so mangled. Instead, they reached out to a local plastic surgeon who agreed to see me. They sent me, along with and my x-rays, to the surgeon’s office.

The plastic surgeon had recently reattached a young boy’s hand that had been severed in a farming accident. I was in good hands, but by this time mine was too swollen to work with, so it was placed in a temporary cast. Within a few days, extra swelling resulted in compartment syndrome, purple fingers, a numb hand and a looser cast. A few weeks later, I was in surgery to have my hand re-broken and reset. I was told that my hand would never be fully functional.

The broken hand was not my rock bottom. It was only the start of it. Addiction is a cruel disease, diabolical and without mercy. The problem really started when I first returned to work in a huge cast covering the top of my left hand to the elbow. I was stumped when asked by a colleague what happened. I didn’t want to admit that I was a falling down drunk, so I made up a story about falling off my bicycle. That story worked until someone asked where did I fall, so I gave them a street name. With each inquiry, the story became more embellished and ended up as a horrific tale of being driven off of Trites Road into a ditch by a bunch of kids pranking in a car. The story became so well known that people would stop me to hear it. I was quite the orator.

A few months later my wife was driving me home from work. As she was turning towards Trites Road, I asked her not to go that way. She asked why, and I told her that I didn’t like driving that way because it reminded me of when I was forced off the road and broke my hand. The look in her eyes said it all. I had come to believe my lie, and I could not bear to look into her eyes. The moment I realized that my entire life was a lie – that was my rock bottom.

Tattoos are ornamental, designed to be seen from the viewer perspective and physically inked as a mirrored reflection. My tattoo is not ornamental but serves as a constant reminder that addiction is a deadly, devious, evil, disease. But a rose is like a glass half-full. Some complain that a rose bush has thorns, while others rejoice that thorn bushes have roses.

Life is a rose.

Dr. StrangeJob

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‘Twas the night before Caper Christmas

‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the poorhouse
Not a politician was caring – not a photo op to boast.

The liberal entitlements were shining so bright,
The tories were preaching brimstone to the right,
While dippers stopped singing because they no longer know jack,
And the greens forgot it’s all foods that poor stomachs lack.

But there may be hope for Capers yet:
The NSEF fight for equality to make politicians regret,
The CBUP started a party to also cause fret,
CB Talkback discusses real issues of plight,
While Mary and The Spectator show us the light,
As the three wise women on Council help us unite.

While some wear hearts on their sleeves to show us what might,
Many waste efforts in rant rooms so trite,
As others gale and ward off the blight.
Heck, even StrangeJob occasionally gets it right.

As politicians continue to feed at the trough,
And bureaucrats’ reports amount to mere scoff,
Let us this Holiday enjoy what we might,
But keep focused on those not supporting our plight.

To the voters of Cape Breton politicians owe
Their support for the Island above partisan show.
If you use trickle-down as your guiding economic light,
Then expect to look for a new job next election night.

Happy Holidays

Dr. StrangeJob

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Dr. StrangeJob Vindicated – October 17, 2018 (InComps Episode 2-3)

October 17, 2018 will go down in the annals of InComps as the day Dr. StrangeJob was vindicated and reclaimed his role as leader of InComps. Yes, some spread fake news through the Cape Breton SpecTatler, and a few alt-right InComps infiltrators spread lies and misinformation through anonymous newsletters, but Dr. StrangeJob stood his ground.

In the spirit of transparency, Dr. StrangeJob reached out to Snoop from the SpecTatler for an exclusive interview.

Ring Ring Ring …..

“Hello, Cape Breton SpecTatler, Snoop speaking.”

“This is Dr. StrangeJob. I believe you owe your readers the truth behind the recent attempt to remove me from InComps.”

“What about the InComps dissention that I have been hearing about?”

“There is no dissention in the group, other than a few right-wing activist infiltrators and keep-the-status-quo types opposed to non-partisan politics. They don’t support InComps’ goal of fair and transparent equalization policies.”

“So, just what have you done to confirm the group’s support for your leadership?”

“I recently held an InComps meeting to allow all members to openly and freely discuss any concerns.”

“When did you hold this meeting?”

“Wednesday, October 17 at 10:00 am.”

“How many members attended the session?”

“No one attended, which verified that no one had any concerns.”

“Perhaps no one showed because you held the meeting on the day that cannabis was legalized in Canada. Not to mention you scheduled it at the same time NSLC opened for business on the first day of cannabis sales.”

“The day and time was just a coincidence. For one thing, October 17 wasn’t a check day, and I resent the implication that our members would be lining up at the NSLC to buy pot. Sounds like radical profiling to me.”

“Radical profiling?”

“You are making stereotypical assumptions that InComps members are left-leaning pot smokers just because they belong to a group that supports peace, love, and happiness.”

“Well, it is odd that no one attended the meeting.”

“Actually, Miss MacKie showed up around 11:00 but left a few minutes later. She had sent Psycho Sam to run some errands. He texted her at 11:10, something about the place running out of Ghost Train Haze.  Not sure what Psycho Sam meant, but she left in a huff bitching about poor supply chain management and replacement strains.”

“OK, so you mentioned right-wing infiltrators in InComps.”

“Yes, apparently InComps incurred the ire of a few politicians and members of the local old boys club, so they sent some cronies to keep an eye on us.”

“Then why did you let them join InComps?”

“They didn’t join InComps; they attended an Incompetence Anonymous (IA) meeting. Once they joined IA, they were able to take advantage of a few InComps members still in recovery.”

“Then why did you let them in IA?”

“Because they met the requirements for IA membership. I mean, don’t all alt-right conservatives need an IA meeting?”

“I might have to concede that point.”

Meanwhile ….

Miss Mackie, prominent InComps member, 75-year-old vegan and recently retired schoolteacher, was pulled over on George Street by Officer Richard (Dick) Less.

“License and vehicle permit please.”

“Why did you pull me over?”

“There appears to be a purple haze emitting from your vehicle.”

“Thanks for bringing that to my attention, but I am in a bit of a hurry.”

“Ma’am, this is a safety issue, and I insist! Wait, is that cannabis I see lying next to you?”

Miss Mackie gives him the look that only a 75-year-old retired teacher can, but then smiles slowly as she recognizes Officer Richard.

“So, Officer Dick Less, haven’t we played this scene before?  Yes, that is cannabis, and it’s legal, so let me be on my way.”

“Actually ma’am, it is illegal to store cannabis within reach of the occupant of a vehicle, and it appears you are transporting more than the 30-gram legal limit. How much cannabis do you have there?”

“About a pound. Do you have any idea how many times I had to wait in line to get all of this?’

“Well, that is going to get you a trafficking charge!”

“No, because I followed the 30-gram per individual legal requirement. I bought 30-grams for each of my neighbors at the senior’s complex. We’re all on pension, so how could we afford more than 30-grams each with those outrageous prices?”

It was at this exact moment that Miss MacKie envisioned the new mission for InComps: First, there was Let Them Eat Flowers, next up – Let Them Smoke Flowers.

To be continued …

Note: InComps is dedicated to those that fight the good fight in defence of Cape Breton. This episode is dedicated to Wayne O’Toole and all others that wear their heart on their sleeve.

InCompsLOGO

Competence is our final frontier. Join the farce and support the journey of the CBLA-InComps. Their mission: to expel incompetence, to seek out the competent, and to boldly go where Caper heroes have gone before. We are legion. We know who you are. We are going to the Legion.

Dr. StrangeJob

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I Am Part of the Resistance Inside the InComps Organization – InComps Episode 2(2)

The Cape Breton SpecTatler is taking the rare step of publishing an anonymous Op-Ed essay. We have done so at the request of the author, a senior member of the InComps organization whose identity is known to us and whose position would be jeopardized by its disclosure. We invite you to submit a question about the essay or our vetting process via any of the Cape Breton Facebook rant rooms.

Dr. StrangeJob is facing a test of his leadership unlike any faced by a modern InComps leader.

It’s not just his conflict of interest and shady business dealings, but there is also a concerted internal effort hellbent on his downfall.

The dilemma – which he does not fully grasp – is there are some within his current organization working diligently from within to frustrate his agenda and his inclinations. Yes, it appears StrangeJob has raised the hackles of a few incompetent politicians, and they have pointed their cronies in his direction.

I would know. I am not one of them.

The root of the problem is InComps morality. Anyone who works with them know they are not moored to any specific political partisanship. Never elected by any party, they show little affinity for ideals long espoused by conservatives. They also fight against mainland-centric ideals imposed by the current provincial government and continue to shun uncivil civic politicians. Simply put, InComps will not back down, and that poses a threat to the status quo.

Meetings with Dr. StrangeJob often veer on topic, he engages in repetitive rants about poverty and career politicians, and his impulsiveness results in half-backed ideas about an island were Cape Breton politicians fight for the island. For this, some want him deposed.

It may be discerning in this chaotic era, but Capers should know that there are few adults in the Nova Scotia legislature or CBRM council. InComps fully recognize what is happening. And InComps will do what’s right even when the Island’s politicians won’t. The local politicians have heard the InComps call, and they continue to do what most politicians due when their voters raise serious concerns – they ignore us.

Given the instability that our politicians refuse to witness, they incite early whispers within InComps of invoking the 13th step, which would start a complex process for removing Dr. StrangeJob from InComps. But there is hope at the grassroots level thanks to three wise women, the occasional curmudgeon, and a few local activists. Cape Breton will survive because there is no career politician as strong as the will of an island demanding freedom from tyranny and fighting for equalization.

This isn’t the work of the so-called deep state. It is simply a recognition of the shitty state we’re in.

But InComps will fight back.

At least Cape Breton still has Senator Easter. We will always have his example — a lodestar for restoring honor to public life and initiating the current dialogue on our island’s independence. Partisan bureaucrats may fear such honorable men, but we should revere them.

There is a quiet resistance within InComps to stifle StrangeJob, but me I he InComps will always choose to put Cape Breton Island first. But the real difference will be made by everyday citizens rising above politics, reaching across the isle and resolving to shed the labels in favor of a single one: Capers.

 Dr. StrangeJob  Anonymous

InCompsLOGO

 

 

Competence is our final frontier. Join the farce and support the journey of the CBLA-InComps. Their mission: to expel incompetence, to seek out the competent, and to boldly go where Caper heroes have gone before. We are legion. We know who you are. We are going to the Legion.

Dr. StrangeJob

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Where is Dr. StrangeJob? InComps Episode 2(1)

Snoop, the intrepid CBS (Cape Breton SpecTatler) reporter, can smell a scoop within 50 kilometers of a litter box. She has been informed by numerous sources that all is not well within the inner workings of InComps. Some believe that Dr. StrangeJob should step down from his position as leader of the group. At issue is a perceived conflict of interest in his running for both mayor of CBRM and premier.  According to Joe Spam-Alot, renowned tweeter and ABS (Anybody but StrangeJob) for mayor pundit, the role of CBRM mayor is a full-time job and any sitting CBRM mayor running for premier is in direct conflict of interest. 

The SpecTatler has also uncovered serious accusations within InComps involving unsavory business dealings. According to the accusations, not proven in court (yet), Dr. StrangeJob, in an attempt to break into the film business, has entered into a contract with a private DVD/Blu-Ray distributer to purchase old video stock at premium prices. He then leases the films to a third-party that rents them to local customers. The lease agreement requires the third-party to provide StrangeJob with a percentage of all rental fees, and to sell unrented stock back to StrangeJob at below-market discount.

Doctor Spinolee, the conscience of InComps, who was not authorized to discuss the situation publicly, spoke to the SpecTatler on condition of anonymity. Spinolee argues that StrangeJob is playing with the same set of business rules as our municipal government is with the Port file but admits that the optics are questionable. Spinolee has faith that StrangeJob is acting on behalf of InComps but is also calling for an “open and transparent” InComps meeting.   

Wait, it gets worse!

Speaking on condition of anonymity, Wally, a past InComps member familiar with StrangeJob’s accounting files, further claims that StrangeJob resells all stock purchased from the third-party rental company back to the original DVD/Blu-Ray distributer at above-market-value prices. The original distributer, the film rental company, and StrangeJob are all members of a local “good old boys” movie club who are involved with various local projects currently in development. It should be noted, however, that Wally left InComps after repeated claims that he did not meet the requirements of the group. Wally claims he was pressured to leave InComps because he was already competent. These claims have not been proven (yet) in court.

The plot thickens.

Madi, another InComps insider, who also wished to remain anonymous, purports that StrangeJob has not called a public InComps meeting in months, changes committee meeting schedules at whim, and appears more focused on his film career than on dealing with the flimflam at CBRM. Madi believes that StrangeJob should step aside from his InComps leadership role.

Psycho Sam, another anonymous member and relative of StrangeJob, supports his brother but is concerned that StrangeJob’s recent tour of world film festivals may be affecting the group’s financial bottom-line. A recent SpecTatler FOIP uncovered various expenses claimed by StrangeJob involving trips to the Shanghai Film Festival and the Beijing Film Festival. Not only did StrangeJob attend the last three Beijing film festivals, but he also travelled first class.

The SpecTatler contacted StrangeJob for comment. His communication officer, Ms. Lied-Toomey, is no longer available, and his personal assistant is busy putting out other fires. We hope to reach StrangeJob before press time.

Ring Ring Ring

 “Hello,  Cape Breton SpecTatler, Snoop speaking.”

 “This is Dr. StrangeJob. I understand you’ve been trying to reach me.”

 “Yes, it concerns a story that is just heading to press. It appears that some of your fellow InComps members are questioning your InComps leadership role and also have transparency issues with your recent business dealings,” replies Snoop.

 “I’m following normal CBRM business practices with the film file, but  that is not why I called. I want to discuss my plan to hold an InComps Leadership Convention on October 26-27.

 “What?  You are going to hold an InComps Leadership Convention the same time as the Nova Scotia PC leadership convention?” questions Snoop.

 “Sure, what better time to focus on InComps than during a PC Leadership convention?” retorts StrangeJob.

… to be continued

InCompsLOGO

Competence is our final frontier. Join the farce and support the journey of the CBLA-InComps. Their mission: to expel incompetence, to seek out the competent, and to boldly go where Caper heroes have gone before. We are legion. We know who you are. We are going to the Legion.

Dr. StrangeJob

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Learn more about Dr StrangeJob at www.drstrangejob.ca

 

The Rose – Watch it here

Forty years ago, he tried to kill himself. Today, he’s going back to change his mind.

THE ROSE tells the heartfelt story of a tormented man who, after years of drug and alcohol abuse, puts a loaded gun to his head. His only desire is to have the courage to pull the trigger… again.

If you could go back and change your life, would you?

The Rose is a cautionary tale on accountability and the future ramifications of current actions. The film was written/produced by Dan Yakimchuk and directed by Kenn Crawford.

The Rose tells the story of a man travelling back 40 years in time to meet his younger self during a pivotal moment in his life. The film has a positive message but deals with youth suicide, addiction, redemption and recovery.

Yes, that’s Dr. StrangeJob in the video.

Dr. StrangeJob

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#PrioritizeTHIS!

#PrioritizeTHIS wants you to get mad. How mad? Somewhere between the Johnny Cash finger-flipping mad and the let’s mobilize and make a stand against guns mad.

#PrioritizeTHIS is a series of one-minute videos highlighting the struggles of the disenfranchised. Each video will put a real face on a real issue while focusing on the need for governments to prioritize spending to support the marginalized. Film topics will include homelessness, family violence, mental health services, and addiction. Each film will be branded as a “PrioritizeTHIS Minute”.

#PrioritizeTHIS accepts that governments have limited funding but argues that financial allocations must be reprioritized to place people over politics, voters over votes, and citizens over corporations. Shame can be a strong motivator for change, so #PrioritizeTHIS will encourage bureaucrats to prioritize these issues.

#PrioritizeTHIS understands that different levels of governments have different mandates, but argues that all politicians (municipal, provincial, and federal) are responsible to the people. Homelessness, for example, may be a provincial responsibility, but that does not excuse municipal and federal politicians from addressing the issue.

#PrioritizeTHIS acts locally but thinks globally. Something’s wrong when only one in twelve non-profit funding requests was approved by CBRM council while simultaneously allocating millions of dollars to a second cruise ship berth with a questionable business case. #PrioritizeTHIS is not against large capital projects but believes we must prioritize. Kids with empty stomachs need food now.

Watch for our first #PrioritizeTHIS Minute coming this Spring.  A Dr StrangeJob project by Dan Yakimchuk Productions with design, edit, and post by GRYPHON media productions.

If all else fails, try non-violent civil disobedience.

Dr StrangeJob

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Alias Rose – A Pseudonym for Dr. S

I have not been myself lately, in fact, I have been a bit preoccupied with another project. Unfortunately, my trusted readers may not know what project I am referring to because I wrote it under a pseudonym. That’s right, I decided to write a serious piece and was concerned that my Dr StrangeJob followers would not understand, so I used a pseudonym. Hey, if Stephen King, Isaac Asimov, J.K. Rowling and even Benjamin Franklyn can adopt secret pseudonyms, then why can’t Dr StrangeJob? Fortunately, I had another name to fall back on, but since the whole idea of a pseudonym is to write under an anonymous name I cannot tell you what my pseudonym is because then it would no longer be a pseudonym.

It might be more apt to say that Dr StrangeJob used an alias. Although alias is a synonym for a pseudonym, there is a difference between the two. A pseudonym is most often used in the literary world when a well-known author wants to write under an assumed name. This is true in Dr StrangeJob’s case because he is known for satirical pieces and wanted to write a heartfelt story.  On the other hand, an alias is used to conceal one’s true name for legal reasons. This is also true for Dr StrangeJob because his pseudonym created the alias Dr StrangeJob as a way to remain anonymous and protect against libel.

I don’t know about you, but I am starting to get a little confused about who I am right now. Who is the alias of whom, Dr StrangeJob or the other guy? Unfortunately, if I told you the pseudonym, then you would know who I am. On the other hand, if you know the alias, then you would figure out the pseudonym. Either way, this means that I cannot tell you Dr StrangeJob’s alias or pseudonym. You will just have to take my word for it when I say that one of us is who we say we are and the other one isn’t.

This puts me in a real quandary because I wanted to tell you about the project that I was working on under the other name, but I can’t because that would blow my cover. Instead, I am going to tell you about a short film that I saw recently called The Rose. The film is best described by the director, Kenn Crawford, who BTW uses his real name.

“The Rose tells the heartfelt story of a tormented man who, after years of drug and alcohol abuse, puts a loaded gun to his head. His only desire is to have the courage to pull the trigger… again.

If you could go back and change your life, would you?”

Perhaps I should go back in time and reconsider the whole Dr StrangeJob alias/pseudonym thing, but in the meantime, if you are in the Glace Bay, Nova Scotia area on February 28, 2018 then you might want to catch the film. There is a discussion afterwards featuring the director and writer.

More detail on The Rose is available here. Check out the Facebook event here.

THE ROSE Miners Museum Poster (8.5 x 11)Dr StrangeJob

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