Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Thank you!

Thank you to everyone for their kind words about my kitty and the loss of my job. 

I didn't like my job very much and had been kind of looking around here and there for something new but hadn't really felt any urgency about it since I had a steady paycheck.  Getting fired wasn't a total surprise but it wasn't exactly expected either, if that makes any sense.

So far I've had ZERO luck in finding a job.  I've sent out resume after resume with almost no response.  And this week I haven't found anything worth applying for.  Oh sure, there are plenty of jobs out there but either I'm not qualified or they pay minimum wage.  And I don't know how anyone can live on minimum wage!!!

I did have an interview last Friday that seemed too good to be true.  It was for exactly the job I wanted and the starting pay was for more than I've ever made in my life!  The interview went extrememely well and the interviewer didn't even ask me why I left my last job.  And they ALWAYS ask that!  She kept saying she was impressed with my previous experience.  I just KNEW I had the job.  Only I didn't.  They decided to hire from within.  Whoever they hired, that person's job had been elimated so they slid them right into my dream job.  I found out yesterday morning and spent a good portion of the day crying. 

Something will come up.  It has to!  I just can't lose my house!

Wordless Wednesday

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Chico's Story

While I'm not sure why I ever bought Shiver, I specifically sought out Chico.

When I first bought Shiver, I'd already had Frisky (Fox Terrier) and Scratches (Siamese/Himalayan mix).  Sadly, they both passed on and that left Shiver on his own.  He ADORED all the attention he was getting being an only pet but he HATED being left alone.  At the time, I worked in a town about 45 minutes away so I wasn't able to come home for lunch and he was alone most of the day.  I found that when I'd go outside for even 5 minutes and come back in, he'd just cry and cry and cry and cry when I came back in.  It was painfully obvious he didn't like being left alone so I set out to get a friend for him. 

Frisky died first and then Scratches the cat, leaving Shiver on his own.  I wasn't ready for another kitty so it was quickly decided another dog was in order.  Didn't even have to think twice about it ~ the next dog would also be a chihuahua.

I checked the local paper and asked around, everyone kept telling me to check Craigslist.  I was a little hesitant about it but I did it anyways.  And about 6 weeks later, I found Chico!

What drew me to him was the posting said he lifted his back legs up when he walked.  Not both at the same time, he'd lift one up one for awhile and then switch.  My sweet little Fox Terrier Frisky did the same exact thing!  I remember questioning the vet about it and he said there was nothing wrong with her and that it was a common trait of that breed. 

The ad also said that Chico spent most of his time outside because they had a new baby.  I got him Thanksgiving weekend so it was already getting pretty cold.  Short hair chihuahuas don't have a lot of hair so that really got to me. 

When I emailed the poster, I was told that they originally got him from someone who kept him in a crate for the first year of his life and only let him out to go potty and to breed.  He was given little to no human affection.  They'd paid $100 for him and were asking the same price for him.

We set up a date and time and I went to see him.  They had already named him Chico and it seemed to fit so I decided to keep it.  He was so tiny, especially compared to Shiver!  Shiver is a big chihuahua anyways but I didn't realize just how big until I saw Chico.

I spent probably about an hour there, cuddling him.  Not sure why I felt the need to stay so long, it certainly wasn't necessary!  But the guy didn't seem to mind and didn't make me feel uncomfortable or like I was inconveniencing him or anything.  He gave me 2 shirts, a leash, his shot records and Chico's registration papers.  He kept saying how his dad didn't want Chico around the baby but then he'd talk about how he wanted a German Shepard.  Honestly, I think he just wanted the German Shepard and he didn't think it and a Chihuahua would mix well together.

The whole drive home I kept wondering how Shiver would react to Chico.  Surprisingly, it seemed almost like they'd never been apart.  They immediately got along from the start.  Shiver has to be dominant at all times and Chico lets him be.

The next weekend I took him to the vet for a checkup and to get current on his shots.  The owner told me Chico had all of his shots but his shot records showed he hadn't had any since he was a puppy.  He was already 2 years old at that point so he clearly wasn't up to date!  The vet checked him over and said that it poor little Chico's ligaments were popping out in his back legs.  It was probably uncomfortable when he walked which is why he'd lift one leg up for awhile and then switch.  He suggested surgery which I opted not to do only because Chico is so itty bitty, it scares me.  The vet said to just watch it then and it does seem to have gotten better. 

I decided not to send in his registration papers.  He's just a pet and isn't going to be a showdog.  He doesn't need to be registered to be a house pet.  I'm not going to sell him or breed him so really, there is no need to send in the paperwork; it would just be a waste of money.

Chico is very laid back.  He's quicker to bark than Shiver.  Once Shiver hears him, he'll start up too.  There is a pizza commercial on TV where they ring a doorbell.  Everytime this comes on, Chico barks.  I always tell him it's just the TV but he doesn't seem to believe me. 

He is usually very outgoing whereas Shiver is quite shy.  This surprises me since he was locked up the first year of his life and didn't receive much affection, if any.

He LOVES to cuddle.  He loves to sleep on my chest and snore loudly.  He also loves to cuddle up to me at bedtime.  I enjoy this too. 

He has several toys he likes to chew, unfortunately Shiver thinks all the toys are his and he steals them as soon as he sees Chico playing with them.  Most of the time Chico lets him.  But he absolutely LOVES, LOVES, LOVES his little rawhide chews and will fight till the death to keep those.  And he wins every time!

Chico likes to "mark" things which I'm not happy about.  If I bring something new into the house or rearrange things, he thinks he needs to leave his special scent.  He did this at all the booths at the dog walk too!  I don't know how to stop this.  I yell at him when I see him do it to discourage it but it hasn't made a difference. 

Chico loves to walk.  Somedays he really good about it, other days he zigzags and wants to be everywhere at once.  And of course, he has to pee on everything. 

Whenever people see me out with my boys, they always want to pet Chico first.  I think it's because he's smaller so they think he's cuter.  It makes me feel bad that Chico is getting more attention because Shiver really is just as cute and adorable.  Chico isn't always so nice to little kids, he tends to grumble at them and has been known to nip at them.

He HATES, HATES, HATES to have his nails clipped.  He never bites me but he growls and fights me the whole time.  It's not a pleasant experience for either of us.

He's very active but he's not hyper like Shiver.  Shiver is content to lay down next to me for hours at a time; when he decides to be active, he's hyper.  Chico likes to lay down next to me too but not for hours at a time.  He likes to run around the house from room to room and check out what he might be missing.  I live by myself so if I'm not in the room, he's not missing much.

Shiver isn 't an outdoorsy kinda dog.  He'd be happy staying indoors all day everyday.  Not little Chico!  He can spend hours and hours outside!  He runs around the yard sniffing everything, barking at any noises he might hear, wagging his little tail all the while.  He's great fun to watch.

This is Chico's story!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Shiver's Story

I don't know why I bought Shiver.  I really don't because I already had a fox terrier at home and a sickly kitty.  But I walked into the mall one day and headed straight for the pet store. 

I'd been kind of throwing around the idea of getting a chihuahua for awhile but hadn't actually planned on getting one any time soon.  Only they had a chihuahua at the store and I couldn't help myself.  He was alone in his own little area and I kind of felt bad for him because all the other pups had someone else to keep them company. 

I picked him up and instantly fell in love.  He was just so darn cute!!!  I looked at all the other pets there but I kept coming back to Shiver.  Then I noticed that there were some other smaller chihuahuas and asked about them.  I was told they were too young yet and wouldn't be available for another couple of weeks.  I didn't want to wait and walked back to Shiver.

I picked him up again and knew he was mine.  So I bought him!

I was planning to call him Avery but he just shivered and shivered and shivered because he was so scared when I held him in the store.  He was only 4 1/2 months old so he was still a baby.  He still shivers when he's nervous.  And that is how he got his name.

I brought him home and he immediately settled in.  It was like he had always lived there.  My cat and other dog were not excited by the new addition but Shiver never seemed to notice.  Frisky was pretty old already and I'm sure having this hyper little puppy around probably didn't help her any.  He wanted to play and chew 24/7 and Frisky was just NOT having it!!! 

Sadly, Frisky passed on when Shiver was about a year old so it was just him and the cat.  The cat LOVED to sleep in front of the laundry room door.  And Shiver LOVED  to sneak up on my pretty little kitty and chew on him.  Scratches did not enjoy this and would wake up screeching.

The first year of his life, I often wondered if I'd made a mistake.  I'd never had a puppy before, all my other dogs had already been adults when I got them so I didn't know what I was in for when I brought him home.  He chewed anything and everything and was much more hyper than what I was used to.  I remember one night I woke up to him chewing my ear.  When I pushed him away and yelled at him, he seemed to think we were playing a game and he then began to chew my fingers.  It was a lllloooonnnngggg night!  My mom kept telling me to get him some chew toys but he already had plenty.  He would much prefer to chew everything BUT his toys and rawhide chews.  Eventually he grew out of the puppy stage and became a sweet little dog.  And I appreciate him so much more now!

He still likes to chew things now and again.  He loves to chew my comforters and bed sheets.   If I drop a peice of paper and he gets it before I do, he'll rip it to shreds and wag his tail the whole time.  If I'm not paying enough attention to him, he'll find something to chew.  He comes over to show me what he has, then he runs off with it in his mouth and proceeds to chew it up and destroy it until I can get a hold of it.  Sometimes it's a peice of paper, sometimes it's a sock or something from the laundry, sometimes it's a shoe, it could be anything.  I know he does this for attention since he comes and shows me what he has before he runs off with it.

His favorite toy is whatever Chico happens to be playing with at the moment.  Shiver thinks all of the toys belong to him and will stockpile them. 

If I give him and Chico a treat, he does a poor job of "hiding" his (he'll shove it under a blanket or something and half of it will be sticking out so it's not really hidden) and runs off to try and steal Chico's.

He LOVES attention and gets very jealous if he thinks someone or something else is taking that away from him.  He would sit on my lap all day if I'd let him.

He chews his toenails.  I don't know why he does this but I let him because that means I don't have to fight him to get them trimmed. 

If he thinks I've slept in too long in the morning, he'll chew on me and lick me all over to tell me it's time to get up.  Sometimes I'm not ready to get up yet but he doesn't care because he thinks the whole world revolves around him and him alone so it only matters what he wants. 

He doesn't like to walk and will usually ask to be held if we go very far.  He's gotten better as he's gotten older though. 

If I'm in another room and he wants to eat, he'll take a few peices of food in his mouth and carry them to where ever I'm at, drop them and eat one peice at a time.  When he's done, he'll go back to the food and repeat this over again until he's had enough food in his belly. 

This is Shiver's Story!

Wordless Wednesday

Sunday, October 18, 2009


My beautiful 13 year old half-Himalyan, half-Siamese kitty died one year ago today. 

I initially got him when he was just a wee little baby because I'd had another cat who disappeared.  I'd plastered "LOST" posters around town and put an ad in the local paper saying that I'd give a reward to anyone who found him.  Sadly, no one did. 

About 2 weeks later, someone called asking if I'd found the cat yet.  When I told her no, the lady asked if I'd like a kitten.  She said she knew it couldn't replace my other cat but it might help heal my heart a little to have a new one running around.  Initially I was kind of turned off by the offer and told her I needed to think about it.  Several days later, I called her back and set up a time to come get him.

The lady had 2 kittens along with the mother and father cats.  I didn't get a choice, she just picked him up and handed him to me.  I offered to pay for him but she wouldn't accept it.  She'd named him Big Nose for some odd reason and I didn't care for that so I changed it to Scratches. 

When I first got him, I still lived with my parents.  They had a beagle who was not exactly fond of Scratches and immediately set about letting this little guy know who was boss.  The beagle bit into my new kitty.  I was horrified but Scratches seemed fine so I wasn't too worried.  Later that evening, my mom noticed Scratches' eye seemed to be bulging out and that his face was swollen.  This was the first of MANY vet visits. 

Luckily, the vet was able to save the eye and eventually the dog and cat got used to each other.  Over the years, my beloved cat was a regular visitor to the vet's office.  At one point, the receptionist recognized my voice when I'd call in so I didn't even need to give her my name!

This particular vet ALWAYS complained that Scratches was too fat.  They said that he should weigh 7 pounds and that at 13 pounds, he weighed almost twice what he should.  I got lectured each and every time we went in.  Then one day I had to come over the weekend for another emergency visit.  My regular vet decided he no longer wanted to work weekends and sent me to another vet in town.  So off my beautiful kitty and I went.  And I got yet another lecture on his weight.  They told me my sweet kitty was underweight and wanted to know why.  I explained the other vet thought Scratches weighed too much and that I'd had to cut his food way back.  The new vet said that Scratches had a much larger build than most cats so of course he was going to weigh more than the average cat.  I decided instantly that I liked this new vet!

My father always complained about Scratches.  My beautiful kitty liked to lounge around a LOT and in doing so, he left a lot of hair around the house.  My dad didn't like this and called the cat "lazy" because he slept so much. 

When I bought my house and took the cat with me, my dad sat me down more than once to discuss the cat.  He was sooooooooooo worried that the cat wouldn't settle in well because he'd been accustomed to living at his house for long.  He told me that I needed to just let the cat explore and do his thing and give him time to get used to his new surroundings.  Funny how he was suddenly so concerned when he had mostly just complained before!

So we move in to the new house and it does take some time for Scratches to get used to everything.  Mostly he liked to hide under an end table and spent most of the first month or so there.  Whenever I spoke to my father, he'd always ask about the cat.  He'd never admit to having any feelings towards Scratches, he'd just say the cat was a pain in the a$$ and that he didn't miss him. 

Shortly after we moved in, I had come home from work one evening and walked into what looked like a murder scene.  There was literally blood from one end of the house to the other.  I instantly called the vet and brought him in.  Turned out that he had another kidney infection.  One of many.  Scratches spent a few days at the vet's and I spent the next several weeks trying to get the blood out of my carpet.  Got most but not quite all of it out.  To this day, I still have a large area I could never get out.  One of these days I hope to replace the carpet. 

Scratches was fine and even got to the point for awhile that he just had an occassional vet visit beyond his yearly shots.  Then one day I noticed he hardly ate any food, he seemed listless and just not himself.  He'd also been throwing up.  Another vet visit was in order.  We went in and initially they thought maybe it was his kidney since that had been a recurring problem in the past so they gave him some meds and sent him home.  He didn't get better.  In fact, he just got worse.  Much worse.  Back to the vet and this time he spent 5 agonizingly long days there.  I honestly didn't think he was going to come back home!  I went to visit him one day before work and held him and cried.  I told him I loved him and that he was going to get better and to just hold on a little longer.  When I left, I was convinced I would be bringing him home in a body bag. 

He did get to come home but he never recovered.  The vet had run all kinds of tests on him but couldn't come up with anything conclusive.  The first day home he did seem better.  He wasn't himself but I didn't expect he would be since he'd been so sick.  I had to give him pills several times a day which wasn't a pleasant experience for either of us but I did it.  He just kept getting worse and worse.  By the end of that week, I knew it was time.

I called the vet and set up a time to come in.  No one else was there, just me, the vet, the vet's assistant and my sick kitty.  The vet told me they really couldn't do anything for him at that point but to try and make him comfortable.  If it was his cat, he'd put the animal down.  I didn't want to prolong the obvious pain so I agreed.  They asked if I wanted to stay in the room and I said yes.  They gave him a shot and he went quickly.  They wrapped him up in a blanket and put him in a bag and boxed him up.  Then I took him home and buried him in my back yard.  Well, actually my dad buried him.  I just stood there and cried and cried and cried.  My dad cried too. 

I took his collar off before the last vet visit and put it in my purse.  I carry it with me everywhere so that he is always with me. 

I had 13 long years with him and it wasn't enough.  I still miss him.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Skydiveless Saturday

The day started out waaaaaay early. 

Chico initially woke me up because he tossed and turned more than usual.  At first I didn't make anything of it other than he just hadn't found a comfy position yet and that he'd fall back asleep soon. 

After a couple of minutes of this, he began to wimper.  I picked him up, took him to the bathroom, turned on the light and put him down on the floor.  Poor little boy was wimpering pretty bad and could hardly walk.  I picked him up again and tried to soothe him by speaking in soft tones while feeling his little body for any signs of trouble.  Everything felt normal only he was in obvious pain.  I ran into the kitchen with him to find the number for the vet while he clung to me.  I was in the process of leaving a voice mail when out plopped a pile of poo on my kitchen floor.  Eeeeewwwww!!!!!  So down Chico went.  He put his little tail up in the air, gave it a little wag, ran off to another room for a moment and ran back to me with his little tail still wagging!  No more wimpering and he wasn't just walking but running.  I cleaned up the poo and floor, changed my nightgown and we all went back to bed.  No vet trip for us!  Chico went right back to sleep but I was so worked up that I couldn't.

Finally, the alarm went off.  I took a shower and was getting ready to do a little makeup when my friend called.  The plan was that I was going to meet her at her house at 8:45 and we would go to the skydiving place from there.  My friend called at 8:07 saying she was at a health fair getting her blood drawn and as soon as she was done, she come pick me up.  She thought it would take about 20 minutes or so because of the line in front of her.  So I'm thinking that we're right on track and all is well.  The skydiving place is about 60 miles away and we weren't certain where it was at so we wanted to be sure we had some leeway by leaving a little early.

I don't know why I am friends with this friend sometimes.  She is ALWAYS late and it ticks me off!  I often wonder how she manages to make it to work on time everyday.  Or if she even does.  After she didn't show, I called her cell and left her a voice mail asking where she was at and that if she didn't get there in the next few minutes that I'd have to leave without her because otherwise I'd be late.  I had actually left to go gas up my car shortly after that call and decided not to wait for her after all.  Something made me decide to go back to the house though and she was waiting for me in the driveway.  I won't go into why she was late. That will be a rant for another day.

So we got a very late start. 

We got there about 10:30 (my appt was for 10:00).  My friend had called them at about 10:15 and pretended to be lost so that it wouldn't look so bad that we were so late.  They had me watch a short video and sign all the necessary paperwork.  Then they sent us outside because the building apparently doesn't have any heat and they'd built a fire outside so we'd all be much warmer.  I go out there and watch the people ahead of me land from their skydiving.  Then I go inside and they have me put on a jumpsuit and a spiffy little hat thingie to cover my ears.  They put a harness on me which was a little uncomfortable.  Finally we walk out to the plane and pile in.  There was the pilot, me, the guy who I was gonna do the tandem jump with and some guy who was gonna jump on his own.  I couldn't hear the pilot very well (my back was to him and it was noisy) but I heard the guy I was gonna jump with say that we weren't high enough to jump and then the guy who was jumping on his own asked if he could jump.  So out he went.  I'm still thinking at this point that I'm still gonna get to do it too but next thing I know, we're all back on the ground!  I asked why we didn't jump.  The dude said the pilot could only get up to 6000 feet because of the clouds and that we needed to go up to 10,000 in order to be able to jump.  "But hey, you got a free plane ride out of it!" 

The weather in my town was nice and warm but the weather there was cold and cloudy.  The guy told us to wait a bit and that we would try it again. 

My friend and I were starting to get hungry after awhile so we decided to go eat and we'd come back when we were done.  When we getting to leave the restaurant, my friend wanted to just call and see if I could  jump before we drove back there again.  I told her no, if I couldn't jump we'd have to go back anyways because I wanted my money back.  It hadn't cleared up any and actually looked maybe a little worse so it was pretty clear the jump wasn't in the cards for that day.  They wanted me to re-schedule for today but after thinking about it, I realized it's getting to be winter time which means the weather will only get worse.  So I got my money back and decided to try again in the spring.

After that, we spotted a Camille Beckman store and decided to stop.  Wow, they sure are proud of their stuff!  They have a store in the mall and everything is priced considerably lower so I don't know why they think they need to price everything up in the store on it's own!  They do have a lot of nice things but much of it was way overpriced, even for my friend who seems to have an endless supply of spending money. 

We decided to go see a movie and ended up seeing "Couples Retreat".  It was cute!

After that we did a little shopping.  Well actually my friend shopped and I just looked. 

We got home around 9:30 PM or so.  For waking up at 5:00 AM, it had been a vvveeerrryyy long day already.  But then I decided to stay up and do laundry so I was pretty wiped out by the end of it.

A few disappointments but overall, not a bad way to spend the day!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Wordy Wednesday

Or should that be Wordful Wednesday?!

Anyways...the See Spot Walk dog walk was a little disappointing this year.  It seems like there were more booths the last time I went and that they more dog-centric in the past.  Most of the booths this year did have something to do with pets but not quite all of them did.  Some of them were stretching it a bit.  Like trying to get you to buy a water filter for your dog?  Yeah, your dog is gonna get the benefit of it too but I wouldn't buy it JUST for my dog, ya know?  I was hoping the lady from the vet would be there to clip my dog's nails for free but she wasn't there this year.  Oh well, maybe next time. 

I'm not saying I didn't enjoy myself because I really did.  I loved seeing all those breeds of dogs all in one place!  All of the dogs there were very well behaved, too.

Yesterday I attended my first class for Credit When Credit Is Due.  It's a six week course.  It seems like it's gonna be pretty interesting.  Not even sure why I decided to take the class.  I guess just for something to do.  The nice thing is - I pay for it up front and if I pass, my employer reimburses me.  The instructor said that in the history of her teaching the class, NO ONE has ever failed because the tests are open book and even if you do fail a test, she allows you to retake it. 

Today at work they held an early birthday potluck for me.  Sooooooo good!  It was Chinese food themed.  When I got to work, my desk was covered in decorations.  No one has ever done that for me before!  I mean, I've had my work area decorated but never like that!!!  I literally had to clean up before I could sit down and work.  The company always gives us a gift of some kind, this year I got a gift certificate to a restaurant.  All in all, I made out pretty well, I'd say!

This Saturday I'm going SKYDIVING!!!!!!!!!  I'm beyond excited, if you can't tell!  One of my friend's who has already done it said that they weigh you before you go (there is a weight limit) and although I don't weigh anywhere near the weight limit, I still don't to be embarrased by that number on the scale.  I think after today's potluck, I probably exceeded it though!  LOL  Not really but I certainly ate enough for lunch and dinner both!

Next week is the home tour, I think.  I'll have to check the dates cuz I might be wrong!  That's in the morning and then in the evening or maybe the afternoon is a get together at a friend's house.  Both are on the 24th, I'll have to check the calendar to see if it's really next week or not.  Really looking forward to the home tour - I make my mom take me for my birthday every year!  It's a tour of different people's housues.  Some people's home's are really fancy are others are not so much.  One of the house's we went to last year was not really all that nice at all and I wondered why they put it on the tour.

Wordless Wednesday

Sunday, October 4, 2009

See Spot Walk

Hello, Chico here!

Yesterday we went to See Spot Walk.  Didn't actually do the walk cuz we got there late and it was pretty much over when we got there. 

We got a late start because the parakeet and old beagle went home yesterday morning.  Mom's parents just got home the night before (a little unexpectedly early!) so she went over there first thing to drop off the animals and to visit with the parents.  Mom stayed a little longer than she planned to so we didn't get out on the road on time.

Mom was planning to leave the old beagle and Shiver at home and just take me but with her parents coming home, it changed her plans.  Shiver hates to left at home alone even more than walking so the decision was quickly made to bring us both along.

The dog walk was in another town and we had about a 45 minute drive.  We got there and saw TONS of people standing in front of the park entrance with their dogs so Mom had to find some place else to park the car.  Fortunately she found a place close by so we didn't have to hike to get to the festivities.

We got there and Mom got everyone registered - Mom got a shirt and we got a bandana.  We walked around the park and my goodness, it was PACKED!!!  I never saw so many dogs in one place before in my life!  I swear there must've been one of every dog breed there, big and small.  We sniffed at a St. Bernard who was quite friendly which is a good thing cuz he could've eaten me and Shiver for lunch if he wanted to!!! 

Lots of people asked if they could pet us which surprised Mom.  Of all the dogs there, people wanted to pet US!  Shiver and I were both very shy which is unusual for me.  Normally I'm very outgoing but all those other dogs there and all that activity was sensory-overload, I think. 

Mom checked out all the booths and got us lots of samples of food and treats which she stuck away in a bag for another time.  I made sure to "mark" each booth we went to.  BOL  Just wanted all those other doggies to know I'd been there! 

We walked around for about an hour and a half.  The wind was starting to pick up which was made it chilly so we headed back to the car.  On the way home our Mom stopped by a Burger King drive-thru for some lunch and she didn't share a single bite with us.  How RUDE!!!

We got back to the house and Mom tried to make us go out in the back yard for a little bit.  We'd spent all day out there already so we weren't having it!  She finally gave up on that and let us in the house where we all curled up for a nap.  The rest of the day was spent relaxing around the house while Mom finished up some housework.  All in all, not a bad way to spend a Saturday!


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