Sunday, May 30, 2010

Redding California

Just took in a 16 mile run that started at the beautiful Sundial Bridge in Redding.

There is a great trail system in the are that follows along the Sacramento river. If you are ever in the area it's worth the time to check it out. Once I'm back home I'll ad a link and more information on the trail and Sundial bridge.

The birthday party for my Mom went well - I saw a lot of people I've not seen for years. I'll post more about that later.

Absolutly beautiful weather here sunny and low 80's! Head back to the crappy weather of Seattle tomorrow.

Have a great Sunday.

Later -


Later -

Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Friday, May 28, 2010

Happy 70th Birthday Mom!

Today is the 70th Birthday of my Mom! Happy Birthday Mom! Kent and I are headed down to California to help celebrate and we are looking forward to it. You are an amazing woman who I am proud to call Mom! See you soon!

I love this picture - I'm guessing Mom was about 17 or 18. Please join me in wishing my Mom - Bettylou a happy, happy birthday!

Love you - Jim

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Beautiful Sunset

Headed south on I-5 just outside Portland Oregon. Beautiful sunset tonight!

Mind you this was taken on my iPhone from inside the car going 70. You get the idea - it was pretty! Oh - btw, Kent is driving!

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BREAKING: U.S. House, Senate Armed Services Committee Both Vote to Repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”

I love being able to blog on the run! Kent and I are headed to California to celebrate my Mom's 70th birthday and yet in route I can still spread the word!

Thanks to anyone who took the time to make a call, send a letter or an email.

Trevor Thomas: (616) 430-2030

BREAKING: U.S. House, Senate Armed Services Committee Both Vote to Repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (SLDN), a national, legal services and policy organization dedicated to ending "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" (DADT), released a statement today after the full U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate Armed Services Committee both voted in favor of an amendment to repeal the law. SLDN was established in 1993 when DADT originally passed and has been working on its repeal ever since. SLDN also offers legal services to those impacted or discharged; last month the organization received its 10,000th call for assistance from a service member. The vote on the amendment was 234 to 194.

Statement by Army veteran and SLDN Executive Director Aubrey Sarvis:

“The U.S. House and Representatives and the Senate Armed Services Committee both passed a historic roadmap to allowing open military service, but it doesn’t end the discharges. It is important for all gay and lesbian, active-duty service members, including the reserves and the national guard, to know they’re at risk. They must continue to serve in silence under the ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ law that remains on the books. Congress and the Pentagon need to stay on track to get repeal finalized, hopefully no later than first quarter 2011. The bottom line: gay and lesbian service members remain at risk for discharge and cannot serve openly.

“Chairman Carl Levin, Senator Joe Lieberman, and Rep. Patrick Murphy showed remarkable courage and steadfastness in the face of unprecedented and inappropriate last minute lobbying by the Pentagon service chiefs who seemed to have forgotten that they are not the policy makers here. That role in our government rightly belongs to Congress and it was properly exercised today in the dismantling of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.’

“Repeal is moving forward with the support of the President and the Pentagon, including JCS Chairman Admiral Michael Mullen and Secretary of Defense Robert Gates. The repeal amendment allowed for Congress to act while respecting the ongoing work by the Pentagon on how to implement open service for lesbian and gay service members. Nothing would happen until the Pentagon Working Group completes its report and the Secretary of Defense, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the President certifies repeal.”

Read SLDN’s warning to gay and lesbian active-duty service members, including the reserves and the national guard:

Servicemembers Legal Defense Network ( is a national, non-profit legal services and policy organization dedicated to ending “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” A journalists’ guide is available here.

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My First Season of American Idol

I've mentioned before that this was the first season of American Idol that I've ever watched -I was a late Idol bloomer!  I've been sometimes frustrated with how long they drag the show out and last night when Paula Abdul was on and the whole goodbye to Simon - not only was it awkward it was corny!

Having said the - I enjoyed the contestants and had Lee and Crystal pegged very early on and an ultimately happy that Lee came out on top!  I love that fact that an average person took a chance and followed a dream and had the talent to get his break.  I'm gay enough  - I mean man enough to admit I teared up a few times during the season!  One of my favorite moments this season was the duet that Lee and Crystal did a few weeks ago.

I hope they both go on and have great carers!

Since this was my first season watching I missed Adam Lambert singing Mad World last season.  They mentioned it last night and it's one of my favorite songs so I went and looked it up.

 It's from the movie Donnie Darko - a guilty Jake Gyllenhaal pleasure of mine.  Check it out!

My friend Jennifer has me convinced that i need to try  - So You Think You Can Dance - what do you think?

Later -


Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Do your Part to Repeal Don't Ask Don't Tell

Congress will be voting this week on whether to repeal "Don't Ask, Don't Tell!" The vote could be tomorrow!

But to make sure the vote passes we need as many equality minded voters as possible to contact their members of Congress. The right wing has been gearing up for this fight and their barrage of e-mails and calls has already started. It is critical that your legislators hear from you today!

There's not a moment to lose. After you take action please invite your friends and family to take action. For 17 years the discriminatory “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” has been the law of the United States. With your help congress will repeal the law they enacted 17 years ago.

Every moment this failed law stands, it not only hurts our military readiness and national security – it insults the dignity and equality of every lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender American.

If our troops can have this much fun with poker face - they can certainly put up with a few open gays serving with them!  Thanks to all our military service members but especially to those serving under the silence of this incredibly discriminatory law.

Thank you for taking action and inviting your friends to do the same.

Clink on this link to contact your representative.



Tuesday, May 25, 2010


Kent's Mom has been in town for the last several days and is heading home for Wenatchee today. For Christmas we purchased her tickets to the Seattle Symphony so we went to a concert last night at Benaroya Hall. There was a lot of blue hair there! Here's a picture of Kent and his Mom in Taper Auditorium - same place Kent's MBA graduation ceremony took place from the University of Washington.

Before the concert we tried a new restraunt - Purple Cafe and Wine Bar. Excellent! Give it a try sometime! This is a picture of the bar - great selection of wine and every menu item offers a suggested wine pairing! Their appitizer list is extensive as is their cheese list.

Last but least I'm quickly taking you back to Sunday evening and sharing a picture of the Alder-Planked Salmon in an Asian Style Marinade that I made for dinner. It was very easy and pretty good - I did have a few mishaps such as the alder plank catching fire and the fact that the first time I took it off the grill that it was not quite done! Final product was very good and looked great on the serving platter! The recipe is from Cooking Light - give it a try!

Headed to a Seattle Storm game tonight. I've never been and one of the ladies I work with had a couple of extra tickets and let us have them. Looking forward to seeing the Storm play and hanging out with all the lesbians!

Later -


P.S. - I'm blogging on the run so I'll put some links including one for the salmon recipie a little later.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Week Five Training Update

I am officially fed up with the weather in Seattle and starting to get pissed! I went for an 8 mile run on Thursday morning and it poured the entire time - not just a little rain but torrential rain and accompaning wind the entire time!  I am just in from a 12 mile run this morning and although it was not pouring - it rained the entire time! Sometimes I wonder why we stay here! It's 46 frigging degrees out and it's almost June - no wonder Dr. Townsend (my cute Dr.) had me start taking vitamin D! Thankfully we are headed to sunny California later this week to celebrate my Mom's 70th birthday! According to the 10 day forecast - sunny and 80!
Oh well - the good news is that I never let the weather keep me from doing anything I want to do and I know the second the sun comes out and its beautiful I'll quickly be reminded why we live here.

Now to the week 5 training update. It's hard to believe that 5 weeks have passed so quickly. Overall I have to say that I'm very pleased with my progress and I've managed to take off a few pounds in the process! I'm most impressed with my recovery from the Capital City Marathon. This was the first one that I've ran in which I recovered so quickly and virtually took no time off before resuming my training. I've been thinking a lot about it this week and have not pinpointed one thing but here are the things that I believe contributed to it:

Diet - I've been eating pretty well, tracking my food, no alcohol, little fried food, smoothies with whey protein. Basically following the principle that the food I take in is fuel to improve my running and I only want to take in the best.

Slow Pace - This is the first marathon that I intentionally started off much slower than my goal pace and consequently the first marathon that I was successful doing a negative spilt in which I ran the second half faster than the first. I hung way back relaxed, talked with other runners and ended up running in a much better time than I had expected.

Sponges - This was the first race that handed out cold sponges at most of the water stops and I tried something new that one of my running mentors had suggested. As opposed to passing on the sponges or only taking them and wiping down and then throwing them away, I took a sponge each time offered, briefly wiped down face, neck and forehead and then took the cool sponge and tucked in the small of my back under the elastic of my shorts until the next place they were handing them out - and them started over again. The theory being that helps to keep your core temperature regulated so you do not over heat.

Gu - I did not bring any along but they handed it out two times during the marathon and I took it both times.

Roller Massager - Several weeks ago while at my favorite running store - Road Runner, picking up new running shoes for Kent, I picked up a Roller Massager. I was first introduced to them at the running Expo in New York and love, love , love it! It feels really good and helps work out the muscle aches following a run.

Finally and the thing that I think may have made the biggest difference - A 10 min. post marathon leg massage! I'm getting a little old to use "OMG" but I'm going to do it any way! OMG - it felt so good. I never do this following a marathon despite the fact that they are often offered and free once you are done. The line is usually too long and I'm ready to move on but this time it all fell into place. I finished a full 10 minutes before I told Kent to expect me so when I finished he had not yet arrived - I walked around for a few minutes and was standing near the massage tables and this guy asks me if I want a recovery massage - Kent was not there, no line, my legs were sore and the guy was cute - It did not take any convincing to get me to jump up on the table!  About half way through he used ice with his massage technique that felt really good and he said along with the massage would aid in my recovery.

I'm really not sure what helped the most but I can tell you at this point - I do not plan on changing a thing!

Quick week five training mileage update:

Sunday - 26.2 - marathon

Monday - rest

Tuesday - 4.11 easy run

Wednesday - 5.30 easy run

Thursday - 8.40 easy run

Friday - 7.03 easy run

Saturday - rest

Have a great week everyone! Thanks too for the comments, I'm really enjoying getting to know folks through their blogs - there are some really great ones that are entertaining, funny, and inspiring! Keep up the great work!



Saturday, May 22, 2010

Is She Or Isn't She - And Does it Matter?

I ran across this on Edge and could not help passing it along. I've not posted much on politics lately but there has been a lot on my mind from Elana Kagan, health care reform, wall street regulation, the oil spill in the gulf, the election Rand Paul and with a nephew in Afghanistan the war is never far from my mind. 
by Ryan Shattuck
EDGE Contributor
Wednesday May 19, 2010

Let's get this out of the way: Elena Kagan is totally a lesbian.

Debating whether Elena Kagan prefers having sex with 'Tab A' as opposed to 'Slot B' is as useful as as wishing Richard Simmons would finally settle down and marry a nice Jewish girl. Ask any gay man or woman on the street, and they will tell you that there's a certain "je ne sais quoi" about her that makes it very clear that Kagan dates women ("je ne sais quoi," by the way, is French for "gaydar.") Kagan is the current Solicitor General, a former law professor at Harvard, is the nominee to replace Justice John Paul Stevens, is arguably one of the most brilliant women in the legal world, and probably brings a U-Haul with her when she goes on dates with women because that's what lesbians do.

So what are we going to do about it?

As it turns out, nobody really knows. Conservatives believe that Kagan should disclose her sexual orientation, the gay community believes that Kagan should not disclose her sexual orientation, conservatives believe that Kagan should not disclose her sexual orientation, and the gay community believes that Kagan should disclose her sexual orientation. Everybody wants to know Kagan's personal life, but nobody can quite agree whether her personal life is or is not or could be or is maybe or is probably not or is kind of is relevant. In fact, on the day of her announcement New York magazine pointed out that "At the moment, on Google Trends, Obama's Supreme Court justice nominee Elena Kagan's name appears twice in the top twenty searches. The second time it appears, the term is 'kagan supreme court.' The first? 'elena kagan personal life.'"

Clearly the public, and particularly those in the political sphere, are interested in what Elena Kagan does behind closed doors. The focus on Kagan's "personal life" has been more intense than that of any other judge or nomination in recent history, and not just because the very image of Antonin Scalia having sex is enough to make the average adult cry and/or sterile. Nobody cares whether the other justices are married, divorced or single; the fact that Kagan may be partenered to a woman somehow makes all the difference in the world. However, it's worth asking: has Kagan brought this upon herself by remaining silent about who she shares her bed with?

The entire controversy over Kagan's supposed sexual orientation has raised two very important questions, for both sides of the political spectrum:

Conservatives, and particularly the religious right, have long preferred that gay men and women remain in the closet, as such private behaviour should remain restricted to the bedroom. Are conservatives being hypocritical when they say that Kagan's sexuality DOES matter?

Liberals, and particularly the gay community, have long argued that gay men and women should come out of the closet and be a good example of courage to others. Are liberals being hypocritical when they say that Kagan's sexuality DOES NOT matter?

The Christian News Wire recently published a story, by the infamous Peter LaBarbera of Americans For Truth, with the headline "If Elena Kagan Is a Lesbian, She Should Say So because the Public Has a Right to Know." No ambiguity there. Are we to assume that conservatives prefer their gay men and women to be silent and closeted... unless they are put in a position of power? On the other hand, a recent article by Richard Kim in The Nation, the self-described "flagship of the left," argued that "Elena Kagan Is Not Gay" because "Kagan does not have a spouse (man or woman) and that she has never identified herself as gay." Kim goes on to say that "I don't know if Elena Kagan sleeps with women or men. I don't know if she sleeps with anyone at all. I don't care."

So the take-away message from all of this is:

Conservatives want gay people to remain in the closet, unless they're being promoted to a position of power.

Liberals want gay people to come out of the closet, unless they're being promoted to a position of power.

Richard Simmons will be never be promoted to a position of power if he continues to wear those awful booty shorts.

It appears that the nomination battle over Elena Kagan will reveal less about her sexual orientation, and more about the hypocrisy of those who criticize or support her. It's likely that someone, at some point, will question Kagan during her Senate confirmation hearings about her sexual orientation. It's also likely that she will be confirmed to the Supreme Court. I don't actually know whether she's gay or not, but whether her sexual orientation matters says a lot about the person doing the mattering.

Maybe we should focus on more important issues. Like convincing Richard Simmons to put some pants on!

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Thank Christ - SIFF is Back!

It's back baby!  The Seattle International Film Festival (SIFF) that is!  Not to be confused with something that sounds just as much fun  - the Sidney International Food Festival!  It's interesting what you discover with a simple Google search!  I'll have to check out the Sidney IFF someday!

So it's back - we went to 8 or so movies last year during the festival and discovered several gems and at least one snooze that I still get hell about from the friends (Mike and Bill - Kent too) that we went with last year.  Two of my favorites from last year were Partick Age 1.5 and La Mission.  Both movies worth seeking out - La Mission I believe is in theatres now.  Did a little Star F#%&^%! the evening we saw that - Benjamin Bratt and his entourage was there for the screening!  Check out this post from 2009 about SIFF.

I've got Dozens of movies picked out I'd love to make it to at least half - problem is life goes on and I only have so much time!  Last night Kent and I went with our friend Bill to our first film of this years festival.

Program Description -  Loose Cannons

Tommaso (Riccardo Scamarcio, Eden Is West) has a comfortable life in Rome as an aspiring writer and a steady relationship with his boyfriend Marco—a life he has kept secret from his family. So when he's called back to his hometown of Lecce in Italy's deep south to help run the family pasta business, he decides to finally reveal his homosexuality to his conservative family and hopefully get out of his business obligations in the process. But when his plans are thwarted by his brother, Tommaso gets stuck on the path that he was desperately trying to avoid.

Director Ferzan Ozpetek (Facing Windows, A Perfect Day) takes a playful approach to this family dramedy, matching a critique of provincial Southern values with an eccentric cast of characters that includes a philandering conservative father, a boozing aunt, a pair of disgruntled maids, and Tommaso's bubbly friends. As each family member's quirks slowly come to the surface, Ozpetek's heartfelt film reveals that Tommaso isn't the only one struggling to navigate between la bella figura (a good public image) and his true desires.

Check out the trailer below -  fun flick that we all enjoyed!

Before we went to the movie we tried a new restaurant - Crush.  It's been around for a while and we driven past it a million times and finally decided to check it out and are we ever glad we did! 

From the web:

Crush began as the dream of owners Nicole and Jason Wilson in 2003 when they set out to remodel and build an original 1903 Victorian house into a Modern American Restaurant that showcases the best in Jason's Cuisine and seasonal ingredients of the Northwest. Opening in 2005 CRUSH has quickly become a destination for an unparalleled dining experience in Seattle. Jason's approach and inspiration to food has been noted as Modern American, with personal influences and French technique. Using the best ingredients, focusing on quality first, the seasons & relationships with the best producers and growers dictating the ingredients has been the philosophy to our cuisine. Jason was chosen by Food and Wine magazine in 2006 as a "Best New Chef", nominated in 2008 for the Best Chef Northwest by the James Beard Foundation among many other accolades. A similar approach to our extensive wine list has given Crush multiple years of national accolades from wine press.

Everything from the appetizers to the dessert was delicious!  Check it out some time!

Have a great day - if you are from Seattle go catch a flick and support SIFF - God knows the weather is crappy enough this weekend to want to stay inside!

Later -


Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Capital City Marathon Finisher Trivet

I mentioned that they did not give out medals at the Capital City Marathon - Since I've never done this one before I have no idea if this is new this year or a tradition.  Not sure how I feel about it - can't do much with a medal once you get it and at least the trivet you can use!

Took Monday off as a rest day and resumed running this morning with a nice slow 4 miler! 

Have a good one!


Monday, May 17, 2010

Capital City Marathon Update and Week Four Training Update

Well, well, well, I'm not sure where to begin. I guess I'll start of saying that the Capital City Marathon was a blast! I had a really great time! I ran my first full marathon in 2007 and the Capital City Marathon was my 7th since then. I had ran the half marathon at the Capital City Marathon in 2002 which is when I first got seriously back into running so it was nice to go back to where it all began.

I'm not sure what made this one such a great experience - it was no one thing just a combination of the weather, being back in Olympia where I lived for 12 years, the people, my training, frame of mind, and the beautiful course.

I had planned on running this one nice and slow as a training long run as part of the training for the Gay Games Marathon in August. I was thinking about 4 hours which is a 9:10 pace. I started out nice and slow and half way through felt pretty good and picked up my pace and completed in a time of 3:48:59. The best part is that I did not trash my legs - I felt really good at the finish line and today I could actually walk up and down the stairs at work my legs feel great and I'm ready to resume my training schedule tomorrow! I think it really helped me to slow down and start out slow - usually I start at about an 8:15 pace and keep that up for 15-16 miles and then tired out and by the end my pace is 10:00 min. miles. Although this was not my best time, it is the first time that I was able to successfully do a negative split and run faster and finish stronger in the second half of the marathon! I think the hill training really has paid off.

Kent took this picture before the start of the race - Just when I think I can pass for straight I see a picture like this and think "not with that pose"!  If you look at the picture a second time and imagine me saying to myself "take the damn picture already" I don't think I look as gay! (not that there is anything wrong with that!) :-)

I met some really incredible people throughout the course - one guy had ran the Spokane Marathon the previous day and was doing back to back marathons, another lady "Grandma Lee" had just completed her goal of running a marathon in every state and was starting on continents. Another guy had ran in the London Marathon over 20 times and was well over 500 marathons in a lifetime. I met another guy who has a blog whose goal is to provide quality pics of every medal from every event from every state in the U.S. and eventually the world. At mile 22 I met a lady who wanted to complete the course in under 3:50 and paced with her to help get her their - She called me her angel. That's one of the things I love about running is all the great supportive people you meet.

This is on a rural part of the course at about mile 18 - hard to tell but that's me!  Kent is so great about cheering me along at multiple places along the route. 

The crowd in Olympia was great - much of the course was very rural but there were still those out cheering you on! I saw Kent several places along the route - it's always encouraging to see someone you know along the way! I saw my friend Peggy and gave her a big old sweaty hug at mile 24 - I even sat in one of her chairs for a second so I could tell people I took a little rest stop along the way! Thanks Peggy for coming out! Thanks too to all the emails, phone calls, Facebook comments and blog posts with encouragement - it really helps!

Special thanks to my friend's Nancy and Paul and my two Godchildren, Emily and Will who hosted a lunch gathering after the marathon!  It was great to see you all and I appreciate your thoughtfulness!

One last thing about the marathon - usually you get a commemorative tee shirt and if you are lucky it not cotton but a quick dry tee that you can wear while running - the Capital City Marathon gave us cool light jackets - They're pretty nice and a nice change of pace from another shirt!  Down side - no medals!  They gave a trivet with the logo for the marathon that says "Marathon Finisher".  Nice for a change I guess but different.

Quick week four training update - due to the marathon it was a pretty light week of running.

Sunday - 12.22 long run

Monday - rest

Tuesday - 3.17 easy run

Wednesday - 5.39 easy run

Thursday - 6.01 speed work

Friday - 3.01 easy run

Saturday - rest

I'll return to running tomorrow - although it will be another light week (besides the marathon) and I'll return to the full schedule the following week.

Have a good one and thanks again for checking in - I appreciate it!


Sunday, May 16, 2010

Capital City Marathon

It's 5:47am and I am heading to Olympia for the Capital City Marathon! As usual I am running a little late - packet pick-up begins this morning at 6am and the race starts at 7am. Cutting it a bit close - hope there is no traffic!

I feel pretty good this morning - I spent all day yesterday working in the yard and felt pretty tired at the end if the day but after a good nights sleep I'm ready to run!

Glad this is a training run that I can take nice and slow - just another Sunday long run on the road to the Gay Games in Cologne this August!

Wish me luck!


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Thursday, May 13, 2010

In and Around the Yard

I've been out in the yard this evening after work and thought I'd share a few pictures.  I took these all with my iPhone so the quality is not all that great.   These are my tomato starts that I started from seed - eight different varieties  - tomorrow I'm taking the extra one's to work where in a matter of hours after sending out an email about having them they were all gone!  To my co-workers - Enjoy!

This is a picture of the peas I planted way back in early March - nothing like fresh peas from the garden.  You can also see the beets have begun to take off.  I never thought I'd be one to not only grow beets but actually love them!  I just discovered them last year after reading about roasted beets - delish!  Can't wait to harvest my own!

I've got a small pond that I put in several years ago that Kent still calls my "bug Pond"!  It's a little on the high maintenance side but I love it!  I love feeding all the fish.  You can't see it in this picture but there is a small stream feeding the main pond.  I finally got it deep enough to keep the raccoons at bay!

I've this area in the back yard we affectionately refer to as "the mound" - it's actually part of our septic system - (which could be a post all by itself)   - this is purple allium that I love!  The picture below the allium is a broader view of "the Mound".

This is part of the back patio area that has filled in nicely - it's another thing that Kent and I differ just a bit on - he thinks it looks messy - I say Northwesterly!

This is an area leading from the backyard to the seating area above - as you can tell I love hostas!  Easy to grow and always look great until the slugs take over!

I've got multiple water features in the yard - I love the sound and the birds and Toby love them!  The picture of Toby below is the only picture that I did not take tonight - this is last year on a hot day where Toby decided he would hang out in the stream to cool off! 

I hope you enjoyed these pictures as much as I enjoyed sharing them!  Have a good one!  Tomorrow is may final short three mile run before Sundays marathon  - wish me luck!


Sorry for the weird layout of this post - not sure what's going on and I've got to get to bed and don't have time to figure it out right now!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Take Action

I received this email notice from Equal Rights Washington - please take a moment and respond and forward to others - as Bobby Hill would say, "Do your job Mister!"

---------Take Action---------Forward to All Your Friends---------

On May 11th hundreds of veterans went to Capitol Hill to call for the immediate repeal of the discriminatory “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell" policy. We need you to add your voice to this chorus of voters in support of allowing gay and lesbian military personnel to serve openly in the armed forces. Use the link below to send your congressional delegation an e-mail calling for the immediate repeal of DADT.

On May 10th the Gallup poll found that fully 70% of Americans support allowing gay and lesbian service members to serve openly in the military. So strong is the consensus among Americans for the repeal of DADT that even a majority of people who identify as conservatives and Republicans support repeal according to the Gallup poll. Use the link below to send your congressional delegation an e-mail calling for the immediate repeal of DADT.

DADT is a violation of civil rights. It is also bad policy. DADT has cost American taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars. Worse than that, qualified people have been drummed out of the military denying the armed services vitally needed human resources. This has reduced combat readiness. Use the link below to send your congressional delegation an e-mail calling for the immediate repeal of DADT.

Let’s use the power of social networking to build support for repealing DADT. Here is a sample post you can put in your Facebook update so that others can take action: I just asked Congress to repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell." You can do the same using the link:

Thanks for everything you do in support of equality.


Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Wenatchee Weekend and More

I thought it was time for a general update on what we been up to – besides running! Last year Kent and I purchased season tickets to the Intiman Theatre in Seattle – we love the theatre and have seen some great plays at the Intiman….but the 2009 season was a big ol’ snooze fest as far we were concerned! Some of the plays were okay but not worth renewing our subscription. They are still hounding me for the 2010 season. Instead this year we have been taking in plays at the University of Washington School of drama. We’ve seen a couple now and last week we saw “Batboy the Musical”. I had no idea what to expect and left with what I had been hoping for – good ol’ campy fun! Definitely not for everyone but Kent and I enjoyed it!  It's already ended its run in Seattle but if you find it someplace and you are looking for some campy fun check it out!

Friday we headed over to Wenatchee for the Mother’s Day weekend. Kent grew up in Wenatchee and his Mom and sister and brother-in-law Tony still live there.  This is a picture of Kent's Mom and his sister Kay and brother-oin-law Tony.

Wenatchee is located in eastern Washington and is a beautiful place to visit – it sits along the Columbia River, big grassy hills all around and a lot of fruit orchards. This time of year the weather is typically much nicer over there than in Seattle which makes it an even nicer place to visit.  This is a picture of Toby looking out the window at Kent's Mom's.

The City has done a lot to make it a very livable area – bike/running trails, hiking, community events and the best part it never takes more than five minutes to get anywhere from anyplace! Don’t get me wrong – I love the city but there is a certain appeal to living in a small community.

Saturday evening we went to a local hockey game – the Wenatchee Wilds. It was a lot of fun – another example of how the area has come together to support a sense of community. The City built an arena for the team that hosts a variety of community events. From what I hear it did not come with out controversy.

One of my favorite things to do is get up early and hit all the local nurseries. While Kent was out for an 8 mile run I had opportunity to make the rounds and pick up a few new plants for the garden!

Sunday morning I had an 8 mile run scheduled but it was so beautiful out once I got started I ended up doing a 12 mile loop around the Columbia River. Like I said, there is a great network of local trails.

We ended our time having brunch at the Wenatchee County Club with Kent’s family and then headed out on our three hour drive home.

When we got home we headed out for a short bike ride and then drove around West Seattle just checking it out. We are checking out various neighborhoods trying to decide where we want to live next – another post for another time!

Later - Jim

Monday, May 10, 2010

Betty White on Saturday Night Live - In Case You Missed It!

In case you missed Betty White on Saturday Night Live you have to check out this skit! It's frigging hilarious!

We can all hope to be doing so well at 88 and a half! Enjoy!


It's Time for the Supreme Court to Step Up!

For same-sex couples, a patchwork of marriage laws
by David Crary
Associated Press
Monday May 10, 2010

When government forms inquire of her marital status, Isabelle Barker sometimes resorts to an asterisk and an explanatory note.

She and her wife, Cara Palladino, got married five years ago in Massachusetts. Six months later, for job reasons, they moved to Pennsylvania - one of the majority of states that do not recognize same-sex marriages.

Hence the asterisk.

"I'm not single. I'm married in Massachusetts, but I'm not married in Pennsylvania, I'm not married in the eyes of the federal government," she said. "It's this weird limbo, this legal netherworld."

Barker and Palladino, and their 15-month-old son, Will, have plenty of company across the United States as gay and lesbian couples confront an unprecedented and often confusing patchwork of marriage laws.

Historically, such laws have been the jurisdiction of the states, not the federal government, and the common practice throughout U.S. history has been for any given state to recognize a marriage performed legally in another state.

The advent of same-sex marriage in 2004 has changed all that.

Five states - Massachusetts, Connecticut, Vermont, New Hampshire and Iowa - and the District of Columbia have legalized same-sex marriage. New York and Maryland recognize those marriages even though same-sex couples can't wed within their borders. California had legal same-sex marriage for about five months in 2008.

However, the federal government doesn't recognize same-sex marriage, nor do the vast majority of states, including Pennsylvania. Even with a valid out-of-state marriage license, gay and lesbian couples in those states face uncertainty, extra legal bills and inevitable rebuffs that straight couples avoid.

Barker and Palladino, who began dating in 1998, moved from New York to Massachusetts in 2004 and married in February 2005 in a low-key ceremony at a Northampton coffee shop.

They had previously exchanged commitment rings - the chief motive for marrying was to obtain health insurance for Barker through Palladino's job at the University of Massachusetts.

Later in 2005, Barker's own academic job ended and she was offered a postdoctoral fellowship at Bryn Mawr College outside Philadelphia. The couple decided to move, though they knew there'd be drawbacks.

"In Massachusetts, people understood what our relationship was," Palladino said. "I miss being able to say, 'Oh, we're married' and not having to explain it any further."

Barker elaborated.

"When you're in Pennsylvania, you're constantly having to wonder, "Do they get this? Do they not get this?'" she said. "You get these looks of befuddlement."

Day to day, there's plenty of support from friends, neighbors and employers - Barker coordinates summer programs at Bryn Mawr, Palladino is a fundraiser at the University of Pennsylvania. They feel comfortable in their diverse Philadelphia neighborhood, Mount Airy, and send Will to a day-care center patronized by several other lesbian couples.

But frustration was evident as they told of the hoops they had to jump through, at extra cost, to amass legal documents they wouldn't have needed in Massachusetts - including a second-parent adoption giving Palladino parental rights along with Barker, who is Will's biological mother.

At their lawyer's advice, the two women have stored their legal forms on flash drives that they carry constantly.

"We're 12 years into our relationship," Palladino said. "I'd just like to know when we're done proving it over and over. ... To have to work harder and save harder to make up for what everybody else gets just as an entitlement does really make me angry."

Same-sex couples in non-recognition states received a modest boost from President Obama in April, when he ordered new rules providing such couples with visitation and medical decision-making rights in any hospital participating in Medicaid or Medicare.

Evan Wolfson, who heads the advocacy group Freedom to Marry, called the directive "a small, but welcome step forward."

"Of course, the real cure is to end exclusion from marriage," Wolfson added. "Piecemeal steps, addressing one protection at a time, will take up a lot more time than either the administration or American families can afford."

Wolfson says the current patchwork not only discriminates against gay families, but also causes headaches for employers who have to consider the diverse laws as they weigh transfers of employees with same-sex partners.

Gay and lesbian couples who turn to the courts when they break up are getting mixed results in non-recognition states. Judges in Oklahoma and Pennsylvania recently denied divorces to same-sex couples who had married in Canada and Massachusetts, while New York and New Jersey have granted such divorces even though they don't allow same-sex marriage.

In Texas, Attorney General Greg Abbott is appealing the decisions of judges in Dallas and Austin to grant same-sex divorces. In Arizona, some lawyers have succeeded in getting out-of-state same-sex marriages annulled on grounds they were never legal under state law in the first place.

The Alliance Defense Fund, a conservative legal group, represented the speaker of the Oklahoma House of Representatives in a recent unsuccessful lawsuit by a woman who'd had a same-sex wedding in Canada and sought to divorce in Oklahoma.

"The government cannot issue a divorce for a marriage it doesn't recognize," said ADF senior legal counsel Austin Nimocks.

The uneven legal landscape poses daunting challenges for lawyers who work with same-sex couples - not only on divorces but also on estate planning, parental rights and other matters.

"It seems like every state has a different law," said Phoenix lawyer Kathy Gummere. "We have people who are married in some states and not married in others, which, in this day and age of everybody moving around all the time, is ludicrous."

For some couples, among the most galling problems is trying ensure that both are legally recognized as parents of their children. Many states allow second-parent adoption for same-sex couples, which addresses this situation, but many other states do not.

That's been a problem for Cari Searcy and Kim McKeand of Mobile, Ala. They married in California in September 2008 during the brief period before same-sex marriages were banned there by a ballot measure, Proposition 8.

It was a whirlwind wedding trip, and the couple promptly returned to Alabama - a state unlikely to recognize same-sex unions without some sort of federal mandate that for now seems far away.

Even with a marriage license, Searcy has been unable to complete a second-parent adoption and is not recognized by Alabama as a legal parent of the couple's son, Khaya, whom McKeand gave birth to in 2006. Yet despite that rebuff, there's no talk of moving out.

"We're from the South - this is our home," Searcy said. "If everybody moves to states that recognize, it, how are we going to change?"

Day to day in Mobile, there's little practical benefit to being married, Searcy said, though she and McKeand enjoy referring to each other as "my wife."

"One of the biggest things - now that Khaya is talking - he's constantly going around telling people, 'My mommies are married,'" Searcy said. "He's really proud of that. Seeing that through his eyes, that's pretty special."

Carrington Mead, a lesbian attorney from Jacksonville, Fla., struggles with the complex array of laws both in her practice and in private life. She considers herself married, based on a civil union obtained in Vermont in 2008 - but Florida doesn't recognize the relationship.

"I feel I'm beating my head against the wall," said Mead, a Navy veteran. "It's frustrating to be an officer of the court, charged with upholding the law, and sit there realizing you have fewer rights than the people you're serving."

Attorney Tiffany Palmer counsels gay and lesbian couples in Philadelphia, helping them sort through the array of legal protections they might need in a state that doesn't recognize their unions.

When clients raise the possibility of an out-of-state marriage, "I often advise them, it's probably better that they don't," Palmer said.

"But there are so many things attached to marriage beyond legal conditions," she said. "They go forward anyway, even though it's not necessarily an easy path."

Indeed, Palmer and her partner of 10 years plan to ignore the legal cautions themselves and get married July 4 in Vermont. Their 3-year-old daughter will be the flower girl.

"She's starting to learn and understand what marriage is," Palmer said. "Now she knows that two adults who love each other, even if they're two women or two men, can get married."

Unlike Alabama, Pennsylvania is receptive to second-parent adoptions, so same-sex couples can fairly readily establish that both are legal parents of any children they have.

Tracy and Mia Levesque, Philadelphians who got married in Canada in 2003, said the marriage license helped speed a second-parent adoption after the birth of their 3-year-old daughter, Josephine - with the judge seeing no need for detailed questions about their relationship.

On other fronts, though, lack of marriage recognition can be grating - for example, when they file separate tax forms, with separate deductions, despite raising a daughter together and jointly owning a website design firm.

"It's ridiculous," Tracy Levesque said.

Another Philadelphia couple, Gisele Pinck and Kathy Coyle, has been going through tri-state legal gyrations.

They own a house in Massachusetts, where they married in 2004 and still spend the summers. They work and pay taxes in Pennsylvania, which won't let them file jointly. And last year, they decided that Pinck would give birth to their son in New Jersey because that state's laws - unlike Pennsylvania's - allowed them both to be listed as parents on the original birth certificate.

They still felt a need to spend roughly $2,500 for Coyle to go through a second-parent adoption in Pennsylvania so she'd have parental rights there.

"In some ways that doesn't seem fair," Pinck said.

On the other hand, Pinck and Coyle say their employer, a Quaker secondary school, fully supports their relationship. That's a trend nationwide, as more employers respect the marital status of gay and lesbian workers even if state governments don't.

In Lawrence, Kan., Dave Greenbaum and Mike Silverman say there are upsides and downsides to being husbands in a state which voted by a 70 percent majority in 2005 to ban recognition of any same-sex union.

They got married in California in 2008 but never seriously considered abandoning Lawrence, where Greenbaum runs a computer business.

"Even in a state like Kansas, unless someone is a complete bigot, they're going to respect the intent behind the marriage license even if they can't officially recognize it," Silverman said.

Then there's the nomenclature benefit.

"Until our marriage, I'd get semi-awkward questions from people - 'What do you call Mike? Your partner? Your spouse?'" Greenbaum said. "Now it's easier for family and friends. 'OK, he's your husband.' It's a framework that everyone understands."

But the acceptance doesn't carry over to tax season.

"Any time you're filling out a tax form, you have to lie by declaring yourself single even though you're married, so you don't get in trouble with the government," Silverman said.

Jennifer Pizer, marriage project director for the national gay-rights group Lambda Legal, says attitudes and laws affecting same-sex couples vary widely across the country - generating an evolving flow of "incredibly interesting legal questions."

If a married same-sex couple wants to move to a non-recognition state, "it's important to do everything they can do, with private legal documents and commitments from employers, to protect their families," she said.

"It's going to keep happening. People don't decide whether to walk down the aisle or not based on the intricacies of interstate family recognition."

Copyright Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

"For same-sex couples, a patchwork of marriage laws "

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Saturday, May 8, 2010

Since Tomorrow is Mother's Day....

I'm posting this picture of all these wonderful faces I took earlier today in a great garden store in Wenatchee for my Mom.

You don't need to know why - she will! Happy Mother's Day Mom!

Love you and looking forward to seeing you in a few weeks to celebrate at your 70th birthday bash!


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Week Three Training Update

Yesterday I completed the third week of my 16 week training program for the Gay Games Marathon in Cologne. It's been a week of fairly low mileage since I'm also in the taper for the Olympia Marathon that will occur a week from Sunday.

I've never ran in one marathon while training for another and I'm not sure it's the best idea I've ever had. Last November I completed the New York Marathon in a time of 3:46:23 and I hope to do better than that in Cologne. To accomplish this I really need to run nice and slow in Olympia. I plan on running about a 9 min. mile and complete in 4:10 min.

In addition to the training aspects I decided to run the Capitol City Marathon for a couple of reasons. I lived in Olympia for over 10 years and still have many friends in the area. I am also one who likes to run different marathons not wanting to do one more than once with so many options. I ran the half marathon on Olympia back in 2002. This will be the 7th marathon I will have completed.

This weeks training plan was as follows:

Sunday: 7.22 - long run
Monday: rest
Tuesday: 5.24 - easy
Wednesday: 5.11 - hills
Thursday: 7.16 - speed
Friday: 5.35 - easy
Saturday: rest

Week four - I'm ready.....bring it on!

Headed to Kent's home town of Wenatchee for the weekend to visit his Mom for Mother's Day.  I'll post a few pictures here and there via the iPhone over the weekend.  We will be heading to Northern California at the end of the month to celebrate my Moms 70th birthday!   Have a great weekend and Happy Mother's Day to all the Mom's out there!

Later -


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Friday, May 7, 2010

Lee's Best Performance to Date

Check out Lee's performance this week on American Idol - it's REALLY good and he is really cute.  Is it me or does he get cuter every week?!  Better get used to it Lee - it's not just the girls who think you're cute!

It's going to come down between he and Crystal - although the last two weeks Lee has outperformed Crystal. Go Lee!


Thursday, May 6, 2010

Beautiful Day in Seattle

It's been cold and rainy here in Seattle for the past several weeks. It's nice that we finally have a beautiful day and by Seattle standards it's even a bit warm. I had a meeting in west Seattle and jumped out to take a picture of downtown just for the purpose of posting on my blog. If you have never been to Seattle -come check it out it's a beautiful city!

I am actually working on a blog post with an insiders/local view on what to do in while on a visit to Seattle. Stay tuned!

Later -


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Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Beautiful Night for Baseball in Seattle

I bought Kent a four game package for the Seattle Mariners for Christmas so tonight was our first game. A little chilly out but the sun is out and the roof is open!

Not much of a crowd tonight - playing Tampa Bay so between who they are playing and how they are playing I'm not surprised.

I ran into Meredy Davis tonight who works at the stadium. I've not seen her for years. Meredy was my boss and hired me over 20 years ago to work at St. Peter Hospital in Olympia. Ironically I eventually became Meredy's boss for a short time and we still run into each other at sporting events every few years. Nice to see you Meredy!

Okay - time to enjoy the game! Go Mariners!

Later -


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Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Week Two Training Update - My Near 60 Mile Week

Boy how time flies when you’re running, traveling, working, gardening and trying to fit in a social life on top of everything else! Throw in a little reading and that pretty much sums up my life right now. Two weeks down and only 14 more to go before the Gay Games in Cologne. I've put in more miles in week two of my 16 week training plan than I've ever ran before in one week - nearly 60 miles. I was looking at the hours that I’ve actually been on my feet running in the last two weeks – over 18 hours running. Not bad for week in which I also spent the better part of four days on the road. I had to deviate from my original training schedule when we decided to head to Houston. I moved my Sunday long run of 20 miles to Friday to accommodate our schedules and to avoid flying home on Sunday and having a 20 mile run hanging over my head – as it was I’d have to fly home and do a 7 mile run upon arrival in Seattle.
I’m not sure I’d call it a mistake but it was definitely a challenge! The run in Houston was scheduled to be 20 miles and I cut it short by 2 miles and took several walk breaks between miles 16-18. I'm not too worried about it - more than anything I'd like to know exactly what made the run such a challenge. I think it mostly had to do with the VERY humid conditions, the fact that I'd not had as many days between long runs as I normally do so therefore not enough recovery between long runs, running 7 miles the day before (usually the day before a long run is a rest day) or the simple fact I was tired. At any rate I took Saturday off as a rest day and my legs recovered well and I had a great 7 mile run on Sunday after we got home for Texas – nice to run in cool conditions!

My running schedule for week two was as follows:

Sunday – 16.3 mile long run
Monday - rest
Tuesday – 8.32 mile easy run
Wednesday – 8.07 mile hills
Thursday – 7.24 mile easy run
Friday – 18.0 mile long run
Saturday - rest

The good news is my legs appear to be doing well and feel reasonably strong. I’ve got a few aches and pains with my feet/ankles but nothing that causes enough discomfort to stop me from running. I’m excited to begin the big tapper leading up to the Capitol City Marathon in a few short weeks! Over the next couple weeks my weekly mileage total will drop by about half as I give my legs some much needed rest.

Total miles to date in the 16 week Cologne training plan: 105.39

Later –


Sunday, May 2, 2010

Texas Weekend

You know I really do love my iPhone. It's nice to be drafting a blog posting about our weekend trip to the Houston area while I am on the flight home. Draft it now, edit and add a few pictures once home and wallah - another post down. Never a moments time to waste! We will arrive home this morning at 9:30ish which is nice - we will have all day at home before heading to work tomorrow and Toby will be glad that we get at least one full weekend day with him!
We had a good time albeit a very quick trip that covered a lot of miles in a very short period of time and a new hotel each night. Some would hate the pace in which we travel preferring to stay in one location over several days. Houston's fine and all but we really were not compelled to spend all weekend there - especially since we had both been there before.

I'd never been to the coast of Texas so I knew I wanted to do that and that was the extent of planning before arriving in Houston on Thursday.

Kent and I used an app. called "Local Eats" to find a place to eat dinner on Thursday evening and has some terrific fajitas at El Tiempo 1308 Cantina. I'm not sure if I would go out of my way to find it again with so many option in Houston but the food was pretty good.  They served two kinds of salsa with their chips one was served warm which I thought was weird.  Between the Local Eats and the Yelp app. we found great food the entire trip. 

I got up early on Friday and headed out on what turned out to be a very tough run. I'll write more about that in my week two training update later. Let's just saw humidity and I do not get along!

Kent completed his work and I finished my run and we checked out of the hotel by noon on Friday. Okay it was time to get serious about our weekend plans. The weather had turned and it was overcast with low cloud cover and oh - did I mention, humid! Since we knew we wanted to make it to the coast we looked up the weather for both Galveston and Corpus Christi - enough said, we followed the better weather track and decided to make hotel reservations in Corpus Christi.

One of my co-workers had lived in Port Aransas, Texas so we decided to head to Corpus via Port Aransas. It's a Xxxx hour drive between Houston and Corpus Christi and since we had plenty if time and enjoy road trips we decided to forgo the Interstate and take back roads that went along the coast as much as possible. Texas is very beautiful in the spring. There were wildflowers everywhere! This was pretty much true the entire weekend. One our way to Port Aransas we stopped off at a National Historic Site - The Fulton Mansion. It was closed but the grounds were nice and best of all the grounds/gardens were maintained by the local Master Gardeners.

From there we took a ferry across to Port Aransas. Not much to Port Aransas - it's had not to wonder why people choose to live in the path of Hurricanes especially since Ike was through this area less than two years ago. I'll have to ask Georgia (my co-worker) about that. We drove out to the beach took a few pictures went for a short walk and headed to Corpus Christi. Upon arrival we checked right into the hotel and then drove around before settling on a place for dinner. We found an Italian place to eat and had a wonderful dinner - the mussel appetizer was especially delicious. Mamma Mia's has been in operation in Corpus for over 18 years! It was obvious upon arrival that there were many local "regulars" there for dinner - always a good sign. The owner Marino came over and asked where we were from so we chatted for awhile and I showed him how we found his restaurant on Yelp. Check it out if you find yourself in Corpus and hankering for a great meal and an experience all in one! Look for Mario - he'll be the one with the pipe although he's not smoking anything!

We found out there was a minor league baseball game going on in town that evening at Whataburger Field (loved the name of the field) - home of the Corpus Christi Hooks.  Because it was such a nice warm evening we decided to take in a baseball game. It was the perfect way to end the day. Very relaxing and as an added bonus a lot of really cute Texan baseball fan eye candy to keep one occupied during the slow times in the game!

We got up the next day and decided to once again follow the best weather and head north to San Antonio. I'd been to San Antonio several years ago for a conference and had a real good time. The drive between Corpus Christi and San Antonio was very pretty with all the wildflowers in full bloom.

We went to the Market and the local Farmer Market in San Antonio and checked out the river walk before heading out in hopes of making it to Austin in time for lunch. Once we made it to San Antonio, Austin was a no brainier.

We had been in Austin the previous June (previous blog post on Austin) for the Austin Pride Parade (parade queen remember) and had such a great time we just had to return. There is just something about Austin that makes you feel right at home upon arrival. Kent and I both decided we could easily become Longhorn fans!

We made it in town early enough to make it to their Farmers Market and found out that the Spring Festival was going on so we walked to the festival and checked out the street vendors. I love happening upon local festivals while traveling - this was definitely a bonus!

Best meal of the trip was had in Austin. We were looking for a sandwich shop or local deli and on Yelp found Food Heads. It was just the right kinda place we were looking for - local vibe, busy but not over crowed, fun environment and most importantly - great food! We already know where we will be eating lunch next time we are in Austin.

On the way out of town Kent found a local Barbershop and did what he likes to do while we travel - got a haircut. The shop - Floyd's Barbershop reminded me a lot of Rudy's barbershop in Seattle.

Time for the last leg of our trip. We needed to be back in Houston to catch our flight home the next morning so we headed in that general direction. Once we got closer and realized we had the time we decided to head down to Galveston for dinner before calling it a night.

Again upon arriving in Galveston I could not help wonder about the hurricane thing again. You could see that although things looked pretty close to being back to normal they were still recovering from Ike - a year and a half ago! We drove out to the drive along the coast and around town before settling on a place for dinner - another excellent meal - delicious warm goat cheese salad!

Another local place - they had a marker inside that showed how high the water line during hurricane Ike - it was - right were I was standing in Mosquito Cafe the water was over 6 feet deep - the place is not even near the coast! Price you pay for having a business on an island in an active hurricane zone. The downtown is full of historic buildings and looked like a place I would return for a day visit sometime in the future.

So there you have it - our Texan whirlwind trip. For those of you that have followed me long enough you are aware of Kent and my geeky quirks. One is to map out all our driving trips on a map - this one looks pretty good on the map!

In the spirit of having just been in Texas - see ya'll later!


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