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May, 2008

Thursday, May 1

We worked long hours today 10-11 hours.  We took a break and went to pick up our mail.  Then we went to the commissary and picked up some groceries.  We stayed at home and ate dinner.  Thursday is the only night that we watch TV so we watched our favorite show Survivor. 
Friday, May 2:
We worked and then took a break and drove over to the dump station and dumped the tanks.  We went 10 days on the tanks, not too bad.  Mac had gone earlier this week to get more water.  When we use the swamp cooler we go through more water.  But overall we don’t use that much water.  We take our showers at the shower house.
After work we went to the Palms Casino and played a little and then we ate dinner at Panda Express.  We had tickets for a comedy show tonight but Mac didn’t feel too good so we didn’t go to it.  I think the tickets were for 10pm and we were home by that time. 
Saturday, May 3:
This morning we worked some, then I cleaned house a little.  In the afternoon we went to the Red Rock Casino.  Mac went to Best Buy and got a new headset for his phone.  It’s a Jawbone and so far he likes it a lot.
After playing for a while we left and then went to used book store with a cute name, Dead Poet’s Books.  I thought it wouldn’t have any paperback mysteries but it turned out to be a pretty good used book store.  I found several books for myself and Mac found a couple too.
Sunday, May 4:
We both worked this morning and then headed out to play at Green Valley Ranch Casino.  Mac says the name of this casino reminds him of salad dressing.  We love the look of this casino and the Red Rock Casino, they are both so pretty.   
We left there and drove over to the Tuscany Casino and played a little.  We played long enough for me to earn a $50 dinner comp for us at the nice Italian restaurant there.  I again had the chicken fettuccini alfredo and Mac had lobster ravioli.  We shared a yummy decadent chocolate cake for dessert.  It was so rich and good, a couple of bites was all I could take of that rich cake, too yummy.
Monday, May 5:
After work today Mac dropped me off at the Gold Coast Casino and he went to the doctor.  I played earning 5x points, Cinco de Mayo, you know.  I decided to play some on a 50 cent Bonus Poker machined and hit a royal flush for $2,000.  Wow, that was so awesome to hit! 
After Mac joined back up with me we went over to the Palms Casino and had dinner at the buffet.  We then played some and earned points for some nice gifts this evening. 
Tuesday, May 6:
Today we worked and then stayed home for the evening.  We did some laundry, read our books and just relaxed.  We had a nice peaceful evening.  We all need those occasionally.
Wednesday, May 7:
After work today we went to Tuscany and played some and then we went to the Palms.  We ate dinner at the buffet and it seemed really good tonight.  We earned from our play lots of points and earned free gifts.  Afterwards we stopped at Wal-Mart on the way home.
Thursday, May 8:
After work today we went and picked up our mail and mailed out a couple of packages.  My daughter, Tina, requested books so we shipped her 22 pounds of books.  That’s less weight in the RV and she’ll enjoy them sooner rather than having to wait until September when we go to visit her.  We then went to Santa Fe Station and played some.  We ate dinner at Carl’s Jr. and went home to watch Survivor.
Friday, May 9:
After working some this morning I headed out to go shopping.  I hit a thrift store and a casino.  I picked Mac up later in the afternoon and we went to the Palms.  We ate dinner at the Panda Express.
Saturday, May 10:
We finally drove out to Red Rock National Conservation Area this morning.  We’ve wanted to go for some time but one thing after another got in the way.  It’s run by the Bureau of Land Management.  It’s such a beautiful place to visit.  We drove the 13 mile paved road and stopped at the many viewing areas along the route.  There are also many trails to hike but we didn’t do that today.  Someday we’ll go back and hike some trails.  There are many animals to see such as big horn sheep and wild burros but we didn’t spot any today.  Many of the wildflowers and cactus are in bloom.  Some of the wildflowers had a beautiful fragrance, they were awesome to smell.  There were some bushes covered in white flowers that smelled wonderful too.  We don’t know the name of the bushes and intend to find out.  There were also some bushes covered in beautiful dark purple flowers, just awesome to see.  Click photo below to see the whole gallery.


After a couple of hours there we drove over to the Red Rock Casino, wonder where the name came from?  We had lunch there and played just a little.  We then went to the Palms so that I could pick up a free gift.  We played a short time and headed out.
We hit a thrift store and then went to Lowe’s, Home Depot and Office Depot to pick up various items.  We had dinner at the Cannery Casino and then went home for the evening.   
Recap of our stay in Vegas so far:
The boring details that I just listed for May were mostly for us and anyone who can read it without falling asleep.  Later we enjoy looking back and seeing what we did so I’ve started writing more of the tiny details so that it will stir our memory of those days. 
We’ve stayed in Vegas for two months already and plan on staying longer; there are several reasons why we’re doing so.  We’re having a great time and that’s the number one reason.  If we weren’t having fun we’d be out of here.  We’re saving money by not buying gas.  Gas prices are really getting high and to save money we need to stay longer in locations and drive less.  We may stay here all summer if gas prices keep climbing like they are.  We also have a list of items that need to be done before we leave here.  We have to finish registering our new car in Florida.  Once that is done then we’re donating our old car.  We haven’t checked into what we need to do to donate the car so we need to get that done.  We also need to fix up the new CRV with tow bar, lights, etc for towing it.  We need to get the RV into the shop for some more repair work which Mac mentioned it needs back in April when we left Ventura.  There is still much to see and do here in Vegas and we’re hoping to see and do more this year.  We have a list of places to visit, some will be while the weather is nice such as seeing Red Rock Canyon, other items can wait until it’s hot like museums, shows, shopping, etc.
We’re trying to get the most out of our gambling/entertainment dollars.  We got a local address so that we could get “local” mailers from the casinos.  Some of the mailers will be for a gift on a certain day.  Others will be for a little extra something if you go to the casino on certain days, etc.  One of our mailers was from the Palms that we both received.  Mac gets one and I get two free pulls on the MegaBucks slot machine every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.  That could turn out to be quite profitable.  We saw one woman hit $4,200 on it while we were there.  So we go to the Palms on those days and we may stay just long enough to do our free pulls or we may stay and play some.  I also got a mailer for a free gift of a nice 6 picture rotating frame.  That will make a nice gift for someone. 
We also try to take advantage of other deals that we come across.  The Wynn Casino has/had a deal for new players at their casino.  Sign up for a free players card, earn just a small amount of points from your play and you get 2 free buffets, for a small amount of more play you get 2 additional free buffets.  Mac signed up and earned 4 buffets and then I signed up and so far have earned two buffets. 
Another of the great deals like that is at the Tuscany Casino.  Sign up for a player’s card and earn a certain amount of points and you get $50 in food comps, etc.  Mac signed up and we earned the $50 food comp and ate at their nice Italian restaurant.  We enjoyed the food so then I signed up and earned the $50 food comp for us to eat there again.  We like the Italian restaurant so we’ll play there to earn food comps especially on Wednesday and Sundays when the have the multiple point days.
We’re learning which casinos we like and which don’t give us enough value to return to.  We like the Palms because we feel we get a lot for our gambling dollars there.  We earn comps that can be used for food, movies and other items; we also get gifts that add value to our play.  Some of the gifts aren’t so special but others are really great so in the long run we’ve gotten a lot for our dollars there.  We’ve learned that we don’t like the Cannery Casino that much even though it’s the closest casino to us at Nellis.  We don’t feel we get much for our gambling dollars there.  We’ve eaten in the café there and the food is just so-so to us and the noise level is too much for us while eating dinner.  We like some of the Station Casinos and some we don’t like.  We don’t like the Palace Station Casino’s buffet but we will play there sometimes to add points and earn comps.  It’s closer to us than some of the other Station Casinos so we’ll stop in there to play and earn. 
I work for the same company as Mac and for a few weeks I had a lot of work to do.  I have some regular daily work that I do and then I get to work on special projects too.  It’s been interesting work and I’m putting money away in my retirement account.  My boss and I worked long hours on a new project the past couple of weeks.  There were high hopes that this new project would take off and bring in lots of money.  Well, it didn’t work out but that’s the way it goes sometimes.  You have to try and fail sometimes before you succeed.  The next project may be the one that brings in big bucks for everyone.  My big bucks of course would be more hours of work and that would be okay.  More work for me keeps me out of Mac’s hair, adds to my retirement savings and helps time fly until we get off work and go have some fun.

Sunday, May 11

Happy Mother’s day!  I got the calls from the kids wishing me a happy day so that made my day.  After talking with the kids we headed out to earn lots of points this day.  Many of the casinos offer multiple points on the holidays.  First we played at Gold Coast and earned lots of points.  Then we played at Tuscany and earned mega points. 
We used some of our points for dinner in the Italian restaurant.  Mac had steak and I had chicken parmigiana.  We both enjoyed our meals.  I had so much food that I had to take some home with me for lunch tomorrow.  After dinner we left and headed home to watch the season finale of Survivor.
Monday, May 12 –Wednesday, May 14:
I didn’t feel very good these days so we stayed home.  I mostly hung out in bed sleeping and getting rid of the bug I caught.  Finally Wednesday evening I started feeling human again.  We went to Palms, played a little and ate dinner at buffet.
Thursday, May 15:
After work we went to the Cannery Casino and played deuces wild.  For dinner this evening we went to Waverlys Steakhouse
It was very good food.  Mac had lamb chops, said they were great.  I had the macadamia nut crusted chicken and it was quite tasty.  Again too much food so I brought some home.
Friday, May 16:
After work we went to the Palms to play and eat.  We played deuces and I hit the deuces twice!  I felt very happy about that and my wallet was happy too.  We ate dinner at Panda Express.
Saturday, May 17:
We went to the Gold Coast for lunch today and ate at the buffet.  After lunch we played a little and I hit a royal flush, yea! 
Later we headed out and went to a couple of thrift stores and one used book store.  Then we went home to put away our stuff and relax a bit before hitting the road again.  We split a sandwich at home for dinner and headed out.
We went back to the Gold Coast for the evening drawing; Mac had several tickets in the drum.  He didn’t win anything from the drawing but I hit deuces again. 
We have tickets to see Gordy Brown tonight at 10:00.  This is the same show that we had tickets for a couple of weeks ago and we didn’t go because Mac was feeling bad.  Tonight we both feel good and we went to the show.  Gordy Brown is a funny guy.  We had a bunch of laughs and enjoyed it very much.  It was even better because it was basically free for us.  Mac got the tickets for a small handling charge. 
Sunday, May 18:
Today starts 3 days of highs in the 100’s.  We decided to drive up to Mt. Charleston.  Looking west from Las Vegas you can see Mt. Charleston.  It’s the one with snow on it most of the year.  The temperatures are usually 20-40 degrees cooler up there than down in Vegas.  We enjoyed the drive and seeing all the trees.  It is different than the desert and I can see why the locals enjoy coming to the mountains.  There are many hiking trails to enjoy but we didn’t hike today.  We just drove around enjoying the views and headed back to the bright lights.
We stopped at the Santa Fe Station Casino for a late lunch and shared a club sandwich.  We played some deuces afterwards.  We then went to the Tuscany casino and played to earn multiple points.  We were going to have dinner downtown using a coupon but the café has a special for Sunday dinner of steak for less than $10.00.  We decided to eat dinner at the café and check out the special.  Mac had the t-bone steak dinner special and I had half roasted chicken dinner.  Both of us enjoyed our meals and we paid for it using our points. 
After dinner we left and headed home.  It’s still pretty hot out but we’re comfortable in our RV using our swamp cooler.  We watched a movie this evening and then to bed.
Monday, May 19:
After working this morning and having lunch we headed over to the main base to the gym.  We’ve wanted to go for quite some time but we’ve been lazy.  We have these wonderful gyms available to us at any of the bases and we want to use them but we get sidetracked with work and having fun.  So today we decided to finally start exercising again. 
Since it’s been so long since we exercised we’re going to take it slow and easy and build ourselves up again.  We used the recumbent bikes for only 10 minutes, each day we’ll add 5 minutes until we work up to at least a half hour or more before we use any of the other equipment.
We came home and took a shower and headed out to the Palms Casino.  It’s very hot out and we’ll take advantage of the air-conditioning in the casino.  It was really cool in the casino; I started getting cold and had to put on my long sleeved shirt.  We ate dinner at Panda Express and then headed home. 
Tuesday, May 20:
Today is the last day of hot weather.  Yesterday it was 106 and today will be just a tad cooler than that.  After working this morning and eating lunch we again went to the gym.  We’re on a roll now, two days in a row we made it to the gym.  We rode the bike for 15 minutes today and headed back home to shower. 
We went to the Gold Coast Casino and played deuces for a while.  I hit deuces again and then we then ate dinner at the buffet.  We left and headed home.
Wednesday, May 21:
Today is much cooler than it’s been with highs in the 80’s today and quite windy.  Worked this morning, had lunch and then worked again for a couple of hours.  Mac went to the gym for a workout.  But my knee is sore and warm today so I’m going to rest it and then back to exercise tomorrow. 
We left the RV and headed over to the Tuscany to earn some points.  After playing for awhile and not losing any money we headed over to the Palms.  We ate at the 24/7 café and split a Monte Cristo sandwich It was pretty tasty too. 
After dinner we played deuces for a while and I hit deuces again.  After playing we headed out and stopped at Wal-Mart and picked up a few things.  It’s still pretty windy out and the temps are much cooler.  Tonight we had to put a blanket on the bed, first time in several days.

Just two quick items from me. 

First, you may have noticed that our April 2008 archive page is missing :-(  I used it as a template to create the May page, and forgot to save it with a different name.  What about the backup?  Well, it's been overwritten too.  What to do?  Well, there's one last hope.  Did you know there's a web site that archives a huge percentage of the web?  Yes, it's address is and they've been doing it for many years now.  In the past their pages were updated fairly quickly, but I guess it's gotten so large that it takes a long time for archived pages to be indexed and become live -- 6 to 9 months it seems.  So I'll have to wait until this fall/winter and see if they have a copy of our April blog page.  I sure hope so. 

Now on a lighter note (although I'm not sure why I say that) did you notice in Chris's summary of the last 10 days gambling results she mentions that SHE hit deuces almost daily and SHE hit a royal?  Wonder why there's no mention of Mac's wins, humm?  I'll tell you why.  It's because I'm in a slump -- and not just any slump; this is a major league, world class slump.  I've played a lot of video poker this year and I haven't had a royal flush yet.  Statistically I should have had 3 so far on average.  To make matters worse, I haven't had deuces since May 9th.  That's about 15,000 hands without hitting ducks, and on average you'll see ducks about every 4910 hands.  Oh well, at least Chris is winning, and that's keeping our bankroll from deflating too far.

Thursday, May 22

After working today we headed out and picked up our mail.  We decided to go and play at the Santa Fe Station Casino.  We played deuces and neither of us was a winner today.  We ate at the buffet and it was very good.  After dinner we went home, goofed off for a while and watched a movie before going to bed.
Friday, May 23:
After work today we went to the Palms Casino.  We played deuces for a while with neither of us winning anything today.  We ate dinner at the Panda Express.  The Palms is having a promotion going on and I won 2 free movie tickets for the theater at the Palms.  We’ll probably use them and go see the new Indiana Jones movie, maybe next weekend.
Saturday, May 24:
Today is a lazy day for us.  We were going to go to a museum today but we wound up staying home.  We did some work, took a nap, read a book and other relaxing stuff.
Sunday, May 25:
Today after waking up early I decided to do some laundry about 6:30.  When we drove over to the laundry facility there was already someone else there doing laundry.  I wound up using one washer for the first load and then I got a few more washers until finally I got all the laundry done around 9:30.  I like the washers at this laundry facility but there are only 4 washes and 4 dryers so it can take a while to get several loads done especially if anyone else is using the facility too. 
Between trips to the laundry, I swept floors, dusted, mopped and in general cleaned up around the RV.  Mac drove the RV over to dump and fill the tanks.  He also did a few odd jobs around the RV that needed doing.
After all our chores were done we took a shower and headed out.  Today we went to Red Rock Casino and played for a few hours.  We had a coupon for today only to earn 3 times points so we played and earned some points.
After a few hours we went to the Palms Casino and swiped our cards for the promotion.  I won a hat which of course I gave to Mac.  We picked up dinner from Panda Express and took it home with us for dinner this evening.  The rest of the evening was spent relaxing reading a book.

A quick note to say that I found and restored the April 2008 blog page.  I remembered that Google will save a copy of pages and you can view the cached version.  I did a search that turned up our April page, then clicked on the link to view the cached page and copied it!  :-)  Wow, that makes us both very happy!

Monday, May 26, 2008
After goofing off some this morning we got dressed and hit the road.  I knew that Saver’s Thrift store would be having a half off everything sale today.  We drove over to the thrift store and I don’t think I’ve ever seen a thrift store so busy and full of people shopping.  There were so many people that the parking lot was full and people were parking down the streets and walking back to the store.  It was crowded but I was determined to look around.  But we didn’t find anything that we wanted so no bargains for us today. 
We left there and went to the Gold Coast Casino.  Today we will earn 6 times points with our play.  We played deuces and I hit the deuces.  We played for quite a while and cashed out with a profit in our pocket today.  We ate lunch at the buffet.  It was very good too.  They have fried plantains just about every time we eat there and we get tickled because the sign says they are fried bananas.  I think they got tired of people asking what a plantain is and just say they’re bananas.  I love fried plantains, especially if they are cooked right.  They are very tasty and I could probably make a meal out of just those.
After we ate we went to the Tuscany Casino and played.  We earned 10 times point today playing here.  After a couple of hours of play we decided to leave.  We left with the same money in our pocket so that was nice.  We earned a lot of points and it didn’t cost us anything.
We went to Wal-Mart and did some shopping.  Then we came home to the RV and had dinner.  After dinner we walked around the RV Park and enjoyed the beautiful weather.
This evening we’ve enjoyed planning where we’ll go next.  Even though we love Vegas we’re starting to get the itch to move on down the road.  We still have to have some repair work on the RV which is scheduled for early June.  Our new car is finally registered in Florida so our old car is being donated next week.  We’re also sending our towbar in for a checkup, and a few other things to get done before we can leave here.
After everything is done we’ll probably take a few small trips around the area.  Our daughter Nicole and husband Aaron are coming to Vegas for the Fourth of July and we’ll be here for their visit, but before and after their visit we’re going to do some exploring.  We don’t want to go too far because of the gas prices and we have to be where we can get a good signal on the cell phones for working but we have found a few places to visit that aren’t too far away.
One of the more noticeable birds that visit our park is the Gambel’s quail  They are so cute with their top knots and they run really fast too.  Sunday on my way to the laundry I saw a family of quails.  The baby was so small it looked about the size of my thumb.  I almost didn’t see the baby in the road it was so small; but I did see it in time to avoid running over it.  Papa and Momma quail were on the side of the road fussing at the baby telling him to look before crossing the street but of course the baby didn’t pay any attention to the parents.
We’ve also seen several western kingbirds.  I get tickled watching them fly.  They will chase bugs in the air.  The bug tries hard to get away and the bird is chasing it flying up, down and around but finally catches the bug.  We’ve even seen two birds fussing at each other chasing the same bug before one of them catches the bug.  There aren’t many bugs around here.
Speaking of flying we see many planes flying from Nellis AFB.  Just about every day, sometimes two or three times a day there will be fighter planes in the air around here.  Sometimes we can feel them go over in addition to hearing them.  We usually run out to see what kind of planes are flying over. 

Casino Multiple Point Days

In several posts Chris has mentioned that we earned 5x points or 10x points at certain casinos on particular days.  You may wonder what all that is about.  I'll try to give you a short explanation.

Besides winning money from the casino there are many opportunities to get free stuff called "comps" which is short for complementary.  As video poker players, what we can get is determined by how much we play, and the casinos track this by awarding us points for the money we wager.  However, sometimes casinos give a bonus as a way to get people in the door, and this is frequently in the form of multiple points.  For example, with 6x points, if you gamble $100 the casino will credit your comp account as if you gambled $600. 

How much does all this add up to?  Well, Chris and I eat free most every day at a casino.  Sometimes it's "Fast Food" like Panda Express, other times it's a buffet, and sometimes it's a nice restaurant.  At this point, we have several hundred dollars of comps built up at various casinos around town.

That's not all, some casinos also give you a "rebate" on your play, called "cash back".  On days when points are multiplied the cash back is multiplied too!  Because of this we have cash reserves built up at several casinos, and we will take that money with us when we leave Las Vegas in the fall. 

So, it's clear to see that if all else is equal you want to play as much as you can (within reason) on multiple point days, or with special point multiplier coupons.  That's all part of our strategy. 

Tuesday, May 27:
Today was a full day of work; well past our usual time of leaving and heading out.  We decided to not go anywhere this evening.  We just stayed home and enjoyed a quiet evening in our RV.
Wednesday, May 28:
We donated the car to Salvation Army.  They use a service that will auction the car and the profits go to the good work that the Salvation Army does.  So today the tow truck came and picked the car up.  I shed a few tears seeing our faithful old car leaving.  It was a good car and served us well.  Hopefully, the next person will be just as happy with the car as we were. 
After work we headed out to the Palms Casino.  We played a little and had dinner at the Panda Express.  We made it an early evening and headed home after dinner. 
Thursday, May 29:
After work today we headed out and picked up our mail.  We then went to Red Rock Casino.  We played for a while and I hit deuces so a nice profit for the evening.  We ate at the buffet for dinner and headed home.

Chris mentioned picking up the mail.  We are Florida residents and most of our mail goes to a mail service in Pensacola Florida.  This year we decided to also obtain a local mailing address in Las Vegas.  Why?  We planned to be in Las Vegas for several months this year, and to return for several months next year as well.  By having a local address we're able to participate in "locals" promotions at the casinos.  It also saves us time and money, since things we order are shipped directly to us in Las Vegas without going through Pensacola for re-mailing.  Having a local address is great with Netflix too! 

The local company we use is MailLinkPlus.  Eric (the owner) and his staff do a great job.  One thing I like is that every piece of mail is entered into the computer and I can check online to see what's there and from who.  The annual box rent is $100 plus a $2 fee each time mail is shipped out or picked up, plus postage or course.  If you're interested in knowing more about how to get mail and packages while traveling here's an article I wrote a couple of years ago on the topic.

Friday, May 30:
Today we moved to a full hookup site.  The park has started a new rule this year that no one can stay in overflow after the first of June.  There were several of us still in the overflow section and I think they were concerned that someone would get ill from the heat.  So since it’s mandatory that we have to go to hookups tomorrow Mac went and found a site that he liked and we moved a day early to get that site.  We’re currently on site 92 and will probably be here the rest of the month. 
After work today we headed out to the Palms Casino.  We played some and I hit deuces so a nice profit in the pocket.  We ate dinner at the buffet and then headed home. 

Saturday, May 31:

This morning we worked a couple of hours and then headed out.  We stopped at Carl’s Jr. and split a Santa Fe chicken sandwich.  I’d looked up used bookstores in Vegas and found one online that we’ll check out today.  In the same shopping center there is a Salvation Army thrift store so of course we had to check it out. 
I found a couple of books at the thrift store and the prices were great, only a quarter for paperbacks and some of the hardcover books were only 50 cents.  We then went to the book store and I found a few books that I’d been looking for. 
We then went to Red Rock Casino and I did pretty well for the day, managed to finish playing with money in my pocket.  The Station Casinos, which Red Rock Casino is part of, have a promotion going on in June that if you play and earn a certain amount of points you get a buffet for free and they don’t take away your points.  Today we’d earned enough points for both of us to have the dinner buffet.  We love the buffet at Red Rock, it is so good.  After dinner we headed home.

Camping Expense Report

Camping fees per-night are way down, averaging only $8.03 for the year, but will be going back up soon.  The RV park here at Nellis AFB has closed the dry camping area and everyone had to move to hookups.  Although we would have been just fine in dry camp with our swamp cooler I understand this is a safety issue with summer heat in the 100-120 range.  So now instead of $6.00 a night we're paying $17.10 ($19.00 minus 10% discount for NCO Club Membership).  By the end of June our nightly average will be $9.54.
With fuel prices going above $4.00 a gallon I've thought about bringing back our fuel cost summary too.  I was doing that a couple years ago and dropped it.  We still collect data from each fill-up so I might start reporting on that in future months.

Year to date Avg $ per Nite Avg $ per Paid Nite # Dry # Elect # FHU # Free %Dry % Free
2008 $8.03 $9.19 120 7 24 19 79% 13%
2007 12.28 12.87 65 21 66 7 43% 5%
2006 10.81 14.74 65 7 74 39 45% 27%
2005 10.63 12.74 83 14 54 25 55% 17%

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Continue to June 2008


What did we do in May of years past?  Take a look at:

May 2007

May 2006

May 2005

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