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My birthday was awesome!  I had a party with 17 of my friends here in Iwaki.  We went to dinner at Dandelion, which is an Italian restaurant that serves really good pasta and pretty good pizza (One of 2 places in Iwaki that serves Pizza that I really like).  After dinner 12 of us went on to Kareoke for a couple of hours and that was a lot of fun! I even got presents, which I was not expecting! Including a batman pen case, and a batman mug! lol We joked about convincing the kids at school that it is a Canadian tradition to drink our coffee out of the tin pen cases! and to hold our pens in mugs. lol  I haven't tried it out yet.

The birthday stuff went on all weekend. I had dinner with Nami and her daughter on Saturday (turkey, meat pies, poutine and strawberry rubarb pie!) and then went out to lunch with Hayakawa Sensei on Sunday (it was her birthday Sunday).  Monday was also a holiday, so I stayed in and watched the new eps of Doctor Who, season 7! 

Just after my birthday the challenge over at Nerd Fitness ended (on the 17th).  It was a 6 week challenge.  I picked 3 health and fitness goals and 1 life goal.  I did well on two of my goals, and failed on the other two.  I did very well with changing my diet over to paleo/primal and with cutting back on pop to just once a week (or not at all if I ate something sweet that week).  However, I failed horribly with the excercise because I got sick from the heat and got an ifection in my foot.  I also only managed about 50% of my life goal which was to study 60 hours for the JLPT. 

That being said, I did lose 5kg, which is about 12 pounds.  I'm happy with that.  However, most of my clothes (including my dress pants for work, and my blouses and my shelf-bra tanks) are now too big for me.  Pretty soon I won't be able to wear them and I'm not quite small enough to fit into the stuff in Japanese stores! I need to go down at least another size or possibly 2 before I'll fit into the largest size they have at UniClo. So I'm not sure what to do.  As it is, I can't bend over without showing everyone my cleavage (what little there is of it lol), and that's not very all. 

The next challenge has started over at Nerd Fitness. It started on the 24th, but I just signed up today.  Fortunately I had already figured out my goals, and had started them on time :)  This challenge will end on November 5th.  My new goals are as follows.

1) Dance at least 4 times a week
2) Work on push ups. Try to add one more push up each day I do them.
3) Get at least 7 hours of sleep (8 if I can) a night.

and my life goal
4) pay off the last $600 on my credit card.

Now that it's cooled down quite a bit, I'm enjoying excercising again. I'm almost done learning the various moves for the first dane I'm working on.  Each dance is divided into 3 lessons and I'm done 2 of them now.  I review the previous lessons as my work out and then move onto learning the next section.  I hope to be able to start working on the last part next week :) It's a lot of fun. But it would be more fun if I had more room to move around. Oh well.

on a side note, I've been craving cookies for over a week.  so today I caved in and bought a small pack.  I ate 2 very small cookies and now i think I'm ok. One was chocolate, and one was pumpkin flavoured with chocolate chips.  bite size :)  yum!

Next thing I need to figure out is how to make my own honey garlic sauce for chiken wings.  I'm not into spicey, so I really miss my honey garlic, and the only stuff they have here that is garlic, is steak sauce.  Not really what I want to eat with my chicken wings.  Does anyone have any ideas on how to make a good honey garlic sauce?


Sep. 12th, 2012 07:59 pm
frellnik: (Default)

I've been thinking about goal setting and life journeys and doors to opportunities and basically wondering, "where am I going?".

I finished all of the goals I had by the time I came to Japan.  I finished high school (2005), graduated from University (2010), got into the JET program and moved to Japan (2010)... now what?  Where do I go from here?  I have 3 more years (at most) with JET and then I have to do something else.

Do I stay in Japan?  Do I go back to Canada?  Do I go somewhere else? What do I do when I finish on JET?  What kind of work do I want to do? I know I want something to do with Japanese.  I want to talk with people and help people, which leads me towards interpreting.  Translation is useful to have too so I figure I'll do both.

OK.  What if I'm not good enough?  I know that negative thoughts and doubts breeds failure, but I keep having things show me just how not ready I am, and how far I still have to go to even be able to get into school for T&I (translation and Interpretation).  It makes me frustrated and disheartened, like I'll never get there, like there will always be someone better than me.

So, I need to work on self confidence.  The best way to work on that is to study, to talk to people, to use my language skills and get them up to the level I  need them to be.  First step, pass the JLPT N2 in December.  I've got the application form filled out, I just need to get a photo for it and pay the registration fee at the post office.  That's due by October 3rd.   

I've looked into schools and there are only 3. THREE!!!  that offer anything in T&I for Japanese/English.
1) Monteray Institute for International Studies (MIIS) - 2 year MA program
2) University of Hawaii - BA in T&I and a 6 week summer advanced intensive program
3) University of Leeds - 1 year MA program

I think Leeds has the best program for me because it's only 12 months, tuition is significantly less than in America, there are study visits to the EU and the UN (Geneva and Vienna), and we are trained by current career interpeters.  There are more reasons, but those are the main ones.  If I save all my money and am careful for the next 3 years I'll just be able to afford it with a small loan from OSAP.  Hawaii could be used as a stepping stone if I really need it, but the summer program is only offered every two years (2013, 2015, 2017) so that may not be feasable. 

And of course, after I finish all that, I'll still have to take an exam to get certified as an acredited Interpreter and/or translator.

Ok, so that's education. I still don't know what I want to do!!!  I mean, what kind of jobs are out there?  How do I find out?  Who can I talk to?   How do I find out what's best for me???  I dislike not knowing what my options are.  And I realize that maybe it's just too early to worry about this stuff, but I've been thinking about careers for years and have never managed to figure anything out.

So goals are good to have, but the end result is that your goal is finished and then you are left floundering until you come up with another goal.  I guess I need to just relax and let life take me where it will and look for opportunities along the way.   I have ideas of where I want to be 5 years from now, but it's not imperrative that I be there then.

But just for my reference, where I hope to be in 5 years time:

1) OSAP almost paid off and about half of my student line of credit paid off.
2) MA in T&I from Leeds completed
3) Certification as an Interpreter and translater acquired.
4) Have a place of my own (somewhere nice)
5) Have an idea of what I want to do career wise.

frellnik: (Default)
Infected toe is still infected, but at least it's starting to look a little better.  been soaking it in hot salt water and then dosing it with peroxyde twice a day.  I hope that works. I don't want to have to go to a doctor.

Last week sucked! The only good day was Monday. lol  Tuesday I got heat stroke and was sent home early and had most of the teachers freaked out.  Wednesday I stayed home with a fever and dizzy spells and muscle aches and pains from the heat stroke.  Had to drink some OS-1 (Oral Rehydration Solution). It was gross. But not too bad if mixed with Aquarious sports drink.  I burnt my thumb on Wednesday morning making breakfast too.  Then on Friday night, while trying to treat my toe, I steamed two of my fingers to the point of blisters.  ouch.

last night my period decided to show up 4 days early and kick my ass.  cramps and back aches and I barely slept at all last night.  This morning wasn't much better so I called in sick.  Apparently we get 7 days of sick leave specifically for menstration, on top of our 20 days of paid sick leave.  Nice.  I think in 2 years I've only needed to use it 3 times.  But it's very nice to have.  I hope I can sleep tonight.

I feel guilty that I'm going to miss practice with Kanna this afternoon.  The speech contest is this Friday.  I'm not sure they'd appreciate me calling in sick and then showing up for an hour after school hours to coach a student.  I guess We'll stay later tomorrow to make up for today.  Why does this stuff always have to happen at the most inopportune times??? 

In other news, I bought the application form for the JLPT that will be held at the start of December.  I also bought a drill book to help with kanji and grammar.  It's time to crack down and study so I'll pass the test this time around.  I should have taken it back in July, so now I can't put it off any more.  Less than 3 months and counting! lol

I bought a pack of DVDs with dancing lessons on them.  I plan to dance my way to fitness.  The music is the kind of music I love and the dance moves are easy to follow and explained in 3 lessons on the DVD.  I haven't started dancing yet as my foot is pretty sore and walking hurts, so dancing is out. But they look fun and I can't wait to get started!  I plan to dance on days that I don't run :)  I'm really excited, I love dancing, but I'm really shy so don't like to do it in front of people, unless I really know what I'm doing. So this works out great. I can wear whatever I want, turn my AC on high, and dance all I want with no one watching lol.  It's great! :D

Lastly,  my birthday is this Friday.  I'll be 29.  I don't feel 29.  I don't really know how old I feel. lol  I just am.   I'm having a party Friday night. Nothing fancy, just dinner and Kareoke.  I made reservations for 17 people. I hope that will be enough. I have 16 confirmed and 1 maybe. The other 10 people haven't responded so I'm assuming they aren't coming.   Then on Saturday Nami and her daughter are coming over to my place for dinner.  I'm going to make poutine (they've never heard of it before) and turkey spare ribs, and I've got some meat pies too.  I've also ordered individual sized strawberry rubarb pies (x3) and individual sized triple chocolate brownies (x4). I figure this is great.  Just enough for a taste, and then there will be none left for me to eat later.  I'm doing really well with the paleo diet and I want to stick with it. But it's my birthday so I'm going to treat myself  =D  This weekend promises to be lots of fun :)
frellnik: (Default)
I am sick and tired (literally) of this summer heat and humidity. 
I woke up on Monday with sore muscles in my thighs and I spent the day trying to figure out what I had done to make them hurt like that.
It's been in the 30s (celcius) for weeks now and there is no AC at school.  The teachers' room has been 29C for the last few days. I hate it.
Well yesterday I was feeling quite terrible after lunch and went to see the school nurse.  She got me to lie down and gave me an ice pack pillow and a small ice pack for my forhead after giving me a cold sports drink.  They decided to call my base school and have the taxi come get me instead of making me stay until 3:40. 

Once back at my base school the VP met me at the taxi and was soon joined by the school nurse, the principal and the school secretary all wanting to know how I was feeling and if I had a fever and wanted to go to the doctor.   I told them I didn't think I had a fever and would feel better once I was some place cool.  I went upstairs to see if I had received the e-mail about the speech contest (my student won 2nd place and will be going off to provincials on Sept.14th). Turns out the judge (Stephanie) could meet me that afternoon to go over Kanna's speech and make the needed changes to it.

So I got a ride home, turned on my AC and waited for Stephanie to come over.  It took us an hour to clean up Kanna's speech.  Then I read and relaxed and went to bed at 8:30.   I had a dizzy spell while lying in bed (that's a weird feeling).

This morning I woke up feeling ok, until I stood up and had another dizzy spell.   The rest of the morning went smoothly but I decided to take today off and just drink water and power drinks to try and balance out my electrolytes.   I went to school early so that I could print out Kanna's speech and then go over it quickly with her.   The school nurse told me that I should buy OS-1 (oral rehydration solution) drink because it's better than regular sports drinks, but that I had to go to the drug store to get it.  So I went to the drug store and bought 2 bottles of OS-1 and one bottle of Aquarious.  Thank god I got the Aquarious because the OS-1 tastes like sweat!  It's gross!!  very salty and just...ewww.   Aquarious tastes similar but is sweeter so it's drinkable.  So I got the idea to mix the two together and now I can drink it!  I've almost finished both bottles.  I've also been drinking water.  I went back to bed and slept for another 2 hours. 

This afternoon my cheeks were burning, so I checked my temperature and I have a fever. So now I'm not sure if I'm sick or if it's the heat still messing me up.  I really can't wait for autumn.  I want to go to work and not feel like crap! I want to have energy again! I want to be able to wear hoodies!  Come on FALL!! lol
frellnik: (Default)
The heat and humidity are really doing a number on me.  No AC at work, humidity is high (averaging higher than 75%  at noon and high before and after) and no clouds in the sky to provide shade from the sun.  It's terrible! I've been exhausted since Wednesday. I feel ok when I wake up in the morning, but by the time I get to school, I'm overheating, sweating, and feeling crappy.  By the time I get home all I want to do is sleep.  I have to force myself to cook and eat.  I can't wait for summer to be over.    As it is now, the only excerice I'm getting is the painful walk to and from school every day and the walk to and from the grocery store.  I just don't have the energy for anything else.  Although, carrying 10lbs of groceries home in this heat is one hell of a workout.

I'm doing pretty well with the primal diet too.  But I"m having trouble with ingredients.  Almond and Coconut flour are impossible to get here and flour is on the prohibited list for imports.   Vinigar is also very hard to find and I have yet to see any limes or lime juice either.  Kale is also not available.  So I'm having trouble with variety.  As it is, I'm having to eat either bread or oatmeal for breakfast at least a few days a week since I have to be careful of my cholesterol and therefore I have to stay away from lots of eggs. And almost every breakfast recipe I've come across has eggs.

So parts of my 6 week challenge are going well, but other parts are not.  I picked a very busy time (August is crazy busy) to challenge myself to study 10 hours a week.  I am not even studying half of that.    The workouts are supposed to be 2 to 3 times a week, but with the heat the way it is, I'm only doing one body weight workout a week and then counting my trips to the grocery store (which tire me out way more than the body weight work out anyway) as my other workouts for the week.  The only drinking pop once a week goal is going great.   Especially since, because of the heat, all I want to drink is water.

I've decided to take it easy this weekend and stay in my apartment as much as possible with my AC on.  I'm hoping that rest and lots of water and cooler temperatures will help me feel better by Monday.  Unfortunately, the hot weather is going to continue with no sign of rain for the next week or more.  Hopefully it won't last much longer.
frellnik: (Default)
Yesterday was the hottest day of the year, so far.  It was so hot! and SO humid!

I went to Chikako's (my Japanese teacher) house after I finished coaching yesterday morning.  I was very surprised, and happy, to see Sara there! She was an ALT in Iwaki until last month. She's now living in Tokyo looking for work.  She came up to Iwaki for a couple of days and had spent the previous night at Chikako's place.  We talked for a while and then Chikako and I went shopping!

We went to the mall in Kashima and had decided to have lunch there.  It had been years since Chikako had been there and alot of things had changed. Their used to be lots of restaurants there, but now there was only fast food.  We ended up having McDonald's for lunch and I had my weekly dose of pop.  After that we went to the sports shop and I found a nice fanny pack to use when I go running (with pouches for my phone and ID and keys and a place for my water bottle) and some dumbbells.  When I found the excercise area, I was very dissapointed to see that they only had 0.5kg and 1.0kg dumbbells.  I had been told that they had sets of dumbbells.  So I picked up some ankle weights (that also fit alright around my wrists) and a package of 1.0kg dumbbells.  After I paid for everything and was heading out the exit, I saw heavier dumbbells. These were all sold individually, but they ranged from 2.0kg to 5.0kg.  So I bought one dumbbell each of 3kg, 4kg and 5kg. I'll be starting out using the 3kg dumbbell for my workouts and eventually work my way up to 5kg.  

Next we went down the road to where the furniture shops are.  We went to Maruho first and I found one couch that I liked ok.  It was a 2 seater and cost about 7,8000 yen (about $780). I decided to check out the other store near by before buying anything though, because I was really hoping to find something better.  So we went across the street to Tokyo Interior and as soon as we got upstairs, I saw a couch a made a beeline for it. I sat down on it and was in heaven! It was perfect!! But I still walked around the rest of the store just to be sure.  The couch I saw first is a three seater, plush microfiber cloth couch. When you sit down, it feels like the couch is hugging you! And the arm rests are high so that you can lean on them and they are big and soft like pillows! I can lie down fully on the couch with my head on the arm rest. and the best part is, it was only 5,8000 yen! ($580). The store also only charged me 5000 yen to take away my old couch! So I got my new couch and my old couch will be romoved for only 6,3000 yen! So nice!!  Delivery will be on Sunday, September 2nd.  So in two weeks, I'll have a brand new, comfortable couch to relax on!  I can't wait :)
frellnik: (Default)
I'm on week two of my 6 week challenge over at Nerd Fitness. I'm having some success with my 3 health and fitness goals, but not doing so great with my life goal. 

My workouts are getting easier. I'm not as sore when I finish. I had to cut out the lunges, though, because they hurt my knees too much. I've had trouble with my knees for years, and the lunges are causing them to flare up again. So I've stopped the lunges and my knees are doing much better :)  My legs aren't anywhere near as sore after I finish my workouts as they were when I first started! I'm quite happy with that!  Tomorrow I'm going to get some dumbbells. I think I'll start with 3kg and work my way up from there. 

I ended up eating ice cream last weekend, so I didn't have my bottle of pop. (I'm allowed one bottle a week according to my challenge goal).  And I'm enjoying eating paleo meals :)  I've tried a few dishes with great success.

The first dish I made was Shawarma salad  and the marinade turned out great! I also discovered that I like spinach in salads.  Until now I've only ever been able to eat it in 3 cheese spinach dip.  My second dish was Taco salad. That went over great and I learned that mild salsa works great as a salad dressing! The other night I made bacony chicken with sweet potato mash and asparagus with a side salad. That was delicious!  And tonight I made Zucchini Lasagna! I HATE zucchini!! But I love this zucchini lasagna! I made enough for 3 servings! It's so good! I am so happy with it!  =D

I've been walking through the outskirts of town along the rice paddy fields and I have plotted a route that I want to use for jogging.  It takes me about 25 minutes to walk it and I can add onto it as my endurance and stamina build up.  The path I take home can go straight down to the beach and there is also a walking path there too :)  But for now I'll be sticking to the fields and mountainous area for my runs.  However, it's still too hot and humid to attempt running. I get drenched just by walking that route in this weather.  I am really looking forward to cooler weather!
frellnik: (Default)

It's been a busy couple of weeks.

The new ALTs have all arrived (both A group and B Group) and we got a total of 11 new teachers. They seem like a good bunch.  I've met and talked with all of them but one.  There are a few in particular that I can see myself getting along with very well as we have quite alot of the same interests.

August 6th and 7th were the Enjoy English lessons at LATOV mall. 8 of the new ALTs (Group A) helped out a bit where they could since they had only just arrived a few days before. It went really well.  August 6-8 was also Iwaki's Tanabata Festival so after work we enjoyed the festival and all the great food and performances it had to offer :)  I got to know one of the ALTs pretty well. Her name is Erica and she's from Australia. She's very nice and we have alot of the same morals and ideas about how things should be. That, I have learned, is the extent of what we have in common. We have no interests in common at all! lol  But I think we'll get along just fine.  I'm just not sure we should hang out much without other people around to entertain us.

August 10 I went shopping with Erica and I actually found a pair of capris style kahkis (sp?) that fit me.  Japan sizes are done in cm, and I'm a size 92. It is the largest size the store carries, but I'm quite relieved to find a store that does carry my size! Once I start to lose some weight, or at least lose some inches off my waist, I'll have more selection to what I can buy.  Erica slept over that night and the next morning we were up early for our day of volunteering at the MLB Roadshow.  We went to the station for 8am to meet up with the new ALTs who had volunteered (they had never been to Yotsukura before) and Michael was having a hard time breathing and panicing a bit. He's from Scottland and REALLY not used to the heat and high humidity. So I told the others how to get to the festival grounds and took Michael into the Maruto Power Drug (which was the only store open at that time of the morning).  He was fine after a few minutes in the air conditioning.

When we got to the festival grounds, I was told to go pick out a yukata (summer kimono) and put it on.  My first thought was, how am I supposed to help out with the roadshow (baseball) in a yukata?  Well, it turns out that we weren't going to be helping out with the MLB part of the festival. hahhaa, damn! what a let down.  But I got to choose a nice yukata, and then I was told, that I got to keep it!!! I've wanted to get myself a yukata for a while, but finding one that will fit me is hard since I'm so tall and wide.  Well mine is navy blue with bunnies :)   Here's a pic!

Lisa's Yukata

We did our thing, and we got free Ben and Jerry's ice cream (I tried mint chocolate chunk, and Chunky Monkey. I can't decide which I like best).

I took Michael, Erica and Jeremy back to my place for a while in the afternoon because I needed to charge my cell phone and Michael looked ready to drop.  Michael took a pillow and passed out on my hard wood floor for 2 hours before we had to shake him awake. He felt better after though, and we went back to the festival.  It rained all night, but there were fireworks, and we had a temporary building set up for us (the ALTs and invited guests) to have a dance party! All you could drink alcohol for 2000 yen ($20) or 500 yen per drink. I went home around 12:30. Erica slept over again that night but she didn't get back until after 3am. I left my door unlocked for her and, thankfully, didn't hear a thing when she came back.

This week was obon, and that means no work.  I have this whole week what did I do? I offered to go into work today and tomorrow for 2 hours in the morning to coach students on the English speeches.  Tomorrow after work, I'm going into Taira to go to the sports shop with my Japanese teacher to buy some dumbbells and some other stuff for workouts and running.  I'm also going to go couch shopping.  I need something (couch, recliner, arm chair) I don't care what, just something I can relax in!

Next week I have no classes, but I"ll be coaching students from 4 schools on their speeches. The contest is on the 30th.  School starts up again on August 27th.  August is going by so fast! I want my vacation to start over!!

frellnik: (Default)

The first batch of new ALTs have arrived in Iwaki.  Today was the second and final day of group training and I gave my lecture with Manoke this afternoon.  We did a demo lesson for a typical English class. I made sure to show all three kinds of team teaching ( JTE does everything and the ALT is nothing more than a tape recorder,  JTE and ALT teach class together 50/50, and the JTE does nothing while the ALT does everything).  We also included various class activities that can be done with different time limits and a few that can be used anytime.  It went well :)

We helped register the newbies for internet and we were very lucky that the NTT Flets people took all the newbies over to a table and got all of them taken care of at the same time.  When I had mine done they did us all individually and we were there for HOURS!! This time we were done in less than 2 hours! :D  It was so much better!

We've got people from Scottland, Australia, England, and America in this group.  There are 3 more coming next Wednesday but I can't remember where they are coming from.  There are also a few new high shcool ALTs too, but they are separate from us. I know one of them is from Jamaica.  I'm looking forward to the welcome party that will undoubtedly happen in the next few weeks! =D

I've been looking around over at the NerdFitness forums and I've updated my signiture with my stats and the crest for my class guild. I'm a level 1 half-elf adventurer :)  I'm planning to take part in the next challenge which starts August 5th and will end on September 16th.  I've decided on my 4 goals and I'm all set to get started :)

My goals are:

1)  Do the body weight work out 2 to 3 times a week and work up to 3 or 4 times a week by the end of the challenge. (5 points)

2) Tansition into the Primal diet. (3 points)

3) Drink soda pop only once a week. (2 points)

and my life goal is

4) Study 60 hours towards the JLPT level N2. (10 hours a week). (5 points)

I am going to do my best.  I wanted to get back into running now that the rain has stopped and I'm not too sore from fuji and dancing in festivals for hours, but it's so hot and humid that I find it hard to breath. It's been 30C with more than 75% humidity and it's just too much. I'd much rather stay inside with my AC on and do workouts.  Once the weather gets a bit cooler then I will start running. I have a route picked out and everything.  I'll most likely end up walking most of it, but I"m hoping that by next spring I'll be able to run the whole thing.

Tonight I went through my recipes and decided what I want to eat for next week. I've made a grocery list and tomorrow morning I'm going to go shopping :)  I can't wait to try some of these recipes! Especially the Shawarma Salad!

I asked around and apparently I can buy a dumbell set (20kg total) for about 5000 yen ($50) at the sports store at Everia mall in Kashima.  I will need to ask someone for a ride, as it will be pretty hard to take that home on the bus and trains and then the 15 minute walk up and down the mountain road to my apartment lol.  Not something I want to try doing.  I also want to buy a new couch. The one I have I got from my predecessor, who had it for about 3 years before I moved in, so it's about 5 years old now and it's about done in.  It hurts my back to sit on, so I don't really use it.  I'm not sure if I'm going to get a couch, a love seat, an arm chair or a lazy boy, but I want something that I can relax comfortably in, and read a book or take a nap or watch a movie.  I am tired of having to either sit on the floor or on a chair at my kitchen table.

On a different not, Monday through Wednesday next week is the Tanabata Festival in Iwaki. There will be dancing, and music and lots of great food!! I can't wait to get a butter potato. Those things are so good. and there will be all kinds of meats and it's a wonderful atmosphere :)  I finish work around 4 on Monday afternoon and I'll be right by the festival too! So I'm planning to spend the evening enjoying the sights, sounds and tastes of Tanabata <3 

frellnik: (Default)

YAY!! My legs don't hurt any more!!! It took a week, but I'm back in the game!

Friday I was dumb, and I forgot my wallet at work and the school is closed and locked until tomorrow. ooopps.  Thankfully [ profile] syuria lent me some money last night so I could pick up some essentials to tide me over until I can get my wallet back tomorrow.

Last night was the first summer festival in Iwaki. There were celebrations in Ueda and Yotsukura.  I danced in the parade at the Yotsukura Nebuta Festival. It took 2 hours to get from the starting point at the beach to the ending point at the train station.  The parade started at sunset and all the floats were lit up and it was awesome!   The dance was very simple, instead of walking normally in the parade we took 3 steps to the right and jumped from our left foot with our right leg bent up and then 3 steps to the left and jumped up on our right foot with our left leg bent up and repeat.  And you clap on each jump.  I was very tired by the end.  We had 2 short breaks during the parade and we were given a small drink during the first break and a larger drink at the end. I was completely soaked by the time we finished.  I got a few pictures and then headed home.  Everyone was saying that we would all be sore today, but I'm proud to say that I don't hurt at all! :D

After that I went over to [ profile] syuria's and played Settler's of Catan for the first time.  I lost, but I had fun playing.

I got home around 11:30pm and called my brother and we chatted for about an hour.  He helped me set up my stats for my RLRPG character.  I'm a level one half-elf :)  We went through the NerdFitness website and my brother said he thinks it's interesting. He already works out with some friends so he may not do anything with NF, but he seemed interested in some of the articles.

I've been looking into recepies for a paleo diet and I must say that I am finding lots of meals that I am really looking forward to trying! I am not exactly clear on the difference between paleo and primal, but I think a lot of the recipes I'm interested in are primal recipes.  Things like Shawarma Salad, Taco Bowl with Crispy Kale Chips, Fajita Fritata, Ultimate Almond Pie Crust with Pumpkin Filling, Beef Burgandy, and so much more :)  Yum!!  I'm going to try to change my diet to 80% paleo and leave one day a week where I can eat what I want.

On another note, I successfully made an apple cinamon cake today using pancake mix.  I didn't add any sugar, just the mix, 2 eggs, butter, milk and cinamon and apple slices.  It turned out really well!  I'm quite happy with it!!

frellnik: (Default)
Originally posted by [ profile] kazbaby at WARNING Rootkit virus embedded in video via comment spam
Originally posted by [personal profile] ninja007 at WARNING Rootkit virus embedded in video via comment spam
Originally posted by [personal profile] campylobacter at WARNING Rootkit virus embedded in video via comment spam
Lately, I've had to delete about half a dozen spam comments from various entries on my LJ & at other communities. They've all shared a commonality: a single embed & link to a YouTube video in Portuguese titled "Camarate: A confissao de Farinha Simoes" or in English titled "Dying call from prison. Details about Portugal Premier Minister air-crash!"

screengrab of video

DO NOT PLAY THE VIDEO. (That's just a screengrab of it, not the actual functioning embedded video.)

The video contains a Windows rootkit virus that keylogs your passwords & posts spam using your LJ account, not to mention some other stuff that may be more sinister, all unbeknownst to you.
[SOURCE: [Warning] Serious rootkit virus spreading in LJ comments by [profile] luma_chan ]
ETA: 25 July 2012: In this comment by [personal profile] brooke, we've been discussing the LACK of recent anti-virus articles about trojans that exploit the YouTube Flash video codec. Neither of us can find anything about computer malware being spread via playing a video.

Known accounts [now up to 56] that generate these spammy malware comments:
  1. [profile] 1310ardfey 108 comments posted 
  2. [profile] ageh822 77 comments posted
  3. [profile] aldovid 98 comments posted
  4. [profile] ambrosinev127 comments posted
  5. [profile] analiseacalo 93 comments posted
  6. [profile] andfeaaa71 90 comments posted
  7. [profile] blanchidovi135 comments posted
  8. [profile] bolvul 86 comments posted
  9. [profile] brinsonpuvyb 130 comments posted
  10. [profile] buehlerkos 134 comments posted... [more behind cut]

Rest of list & Illustrated How To Report & Ban Bots behind the cut... )

Alternate link to report a bot:

Alternate link to ban a user:

Warn your LJ Friends:

Originally posted here. Feel free to comment there using OpenID if you don't have an account.|comment count unavailable comments
frellnik: (Default)

My arms are fine today! My legs...still hurt like crap.  Especially my calves.  Going up and down stairs is hell.  I had to go one step at a time and had to go down sideways. Kind of embarassing. lol  I hope my legs are good by Saturday because I'm dancing in the Iwaki Odori (parade dance) and the dance is about 6 blocks...maybe a bit more than that.  It goes from the beach to the train station, the route should take about 45 minutes to dance from start to finish and since there are so many groups, the parade should be about 2 and a half hours. I'll be dancing with the teachers from my base school.

Today I went to work and had no classes (thank you summer vacation).  Lots of kids were at school enjoying their club activities.  I spent the morning in the office with Nami talking and reading. Then after lunch Nami told me there was a nice couch in the room next to the office.  She gave me the key to the room and told me to go sit in there and open the windows.  So I did.

I sat in this beautiful comfy armed sofa chair with the windows open. I could hear the brass band practicing (they are really good) and I could hear the ocean waves crashing over the breakers and up onto the beach. I ended up dozing off a few times and I guess I dozed for about an hour.  I read some more too and just had a nice quiet, peaceful afternoon.  Then, just before 2:30pm, Nami came in and said that the Principal had said that we could leave early before the rain came. It was so dark outside that we needed to turn on lights.  So Nami drove me to the grocery store and I picked up this weeks groceries and then she took me home. I got home just before 3:30 instead of almost 5pm.

It was a good day.  Now, if only my legs would get with the program and stop hurting! lol

I've been lurking around over at Nerd Fitness and I finally joined up today and made a few posts.  I am taking my time looking through everything. I am joining a Class Guild too. I'm an Adventurer (General Fitness, Weight Loss, and haven't picked a Class yet).  I think I will eventually be either a Ranger or a Scout.  At the moment I am not sure which Class I will be most suited for. So I'm going to enjoy being an Adventurer for now.

I may even try the next 6 week challenge that comes up. I'll have to think about what to do for it though.  I'm already paying off my Visa Card ($1000/month) and should have that paid off by October, I'm making monthly payments on my student loans and putting money aside for Grad School. I don't need a challenge for that because I'm already doing it.  I guess it will be eating habbits and sticking to my workouts...which are on hold until I can at least go up and down the stairs without wanting to whimper.

I'm going to have to start working on stairs (running up and down stairs, and walking up while skipping 2 and 3 steps to get different height intervals) to better prepare myself for my next try at Fuji...1 or 2 years from now lol.  Alright, I guess that's about it for this update.

frellnik: (Default)

Friday after work I got my train tickets and I bought food and water.  I got home and started packing all my stuff into my borrowed bag. I ended up having to take one of the bottles of water out because the bag was just too heavy for me with my back.  So instead of bringing 4 litres of water, I only brought 2 and a half litres. (which turned out to be enough). 

I left home at 9:30 Saturday morning and had to take 6 trains and a bus to get to Mount Fuji. I met up with Kimberly and her friend Mariko (sensei) on the express train to Tokyo. The three of us met up with another friend, also named Mariko, in Takao and went the rest of the way together. We got to Mount Fuji station and we bought our bus ticket to 5th station. While we were waiting, we went to Moss Burger and got take out to eat on the way up to 5th station of Fuji. When we arrived we bought walking sticks, O2 tablets and a can of O2.  While we were getting ready the clouds cleared a bit and Mount Fuji appeared right in front of us!  It was really neat. We couldn't see it at all when we first got there, and then all of a sudden it was looming right in front of us, with snow! lol  I got a few pictures of it before a wall of cloud came up and covered it all up again and left us standing in a thick fog. At 6:30pm we headed out on our journey!

The walk from the 5th station to the 6th station was easy and had a beautiful view!!  We got there just before sunset and then followed the signs up to the summit :)

The walk from the 6th station to the 7th was more difficult.  The path was steep and there were "stairs". It was quite tiring! We made it to the 7th station and had a 20 minute break. We ate some dinner (energy bars and water) and used the bathroom.  The bathrooms cost 200 yen ($2) and most of them were co-ed. Each bathroom stall had a bag with pads inside and a note saying to use one if we need one.  Some of the toilets had regular flush and some had a water gun that you had to aim in the toilet (a suction toilet like in a train) and the water would cause the "door?" "latch"? to open and everything gets suctioned out the bottom. Some toliets were very nice and other's were ok. 

The path from the 7th station to the first 8th station (there are at least 3 stations that are all 8) was very rocky. We had to pick our way over rocks and boulders.  It was basically rock climbing. I enjoyed that section the most, although it was very tiring and I sometimes had to crawl up because the rock was too high for me to get my foot onto it.  I didn't like that there was no lights so you only had what light you brought with you. I had a light attached to my hat, but I found that there was so much water in the air that it looked like there were tiny bubbles floating all around me. It made seeing the ground difficult, but it was really neat to see. We lost Kimberly at the 8th station.  She barely made it to the 8th station because she got altitude sickness.  Someone up ahead of her was kind enough to help her up the last of the steps to the 8th station. He held onto her hand and pulled her up. I was behind her in case she fell.  She stayed at the station for the night. They charged her 7000 yen ($70) to spend the night in the hut, and she had to leave at 5:30 in the morning.  She said they were really nice though.

We made it to 3,250 m (the official 8th station) a little around 2am. We used the bathroom there because we knew there were no more bathrooms until we got to the top (3,676m).  The stars were so beautiful! It was amazing. There were so many stars and they seemed so bright! I was easily able to make out constalations that I normally have a hard time finding because they aren't as bright back home. I loved it!!
We didn't make it to the very top in time for the sunrise, but we were only about 400m from the top.  We had a good view. It was very cloudy though, so it wasn't an amazing sunrise, but it was still pretty.

The last 200m was very crowded. It was stop and go for the last little bit because there were so many people. The route was part steep hill and part rock climbing. Mariko Sensei got sick just before making it to the top, but she was alright to continue.  We finally got to the summit at 6:30 am, 12 hours after starting out.  We took a rest and had some hot soup and then started back down the mountain at 7am.  

Going down sucked! In some ways it was easier and in some ways it was much harder.  There was no where to rest between stations. On the way up there were lots of places that you could just sit down for a few minutes and cath your breath, but going down there was no where to sit. And it started raining as we were leaving the summit and it rained until we were back down at the 6th station, just an hour away from being done.  It took 5 hours to get back down the mountain. I have blisters on my feet from the descent. I arrived back at the 5th station at noon and we left at 12:30 to go back home.  Kimberly and I took Mariko Sensei to The Hard Rock Cafe for dinner and introduced her to quesadillas and I had potato skins.

I made it home about 8:30pm.  It was a great experience and I'm glad I went, but I'm not sure I want to do it again. lol We'll see how I feel when the time comes.  Today I am very sore. I have burises and blisters and stiff muscles. I'm VERY glad that I have today and tomorrow off. I should be good by Wednesday. :)

There are pictures. I'm not sure how to post them here without them being HUGE! so I posted them on fb. Feel free to friend me, I'm Frell Nik.   Leave me a message telling me where I know you from.

If you don't want to friend me on fb, I've uploaded my album to photo bucket.  Unfortunately, photobucket inverted the photo order, so you'll have to look at the pictures in reverse. Start at the end of the album and work your way back.  Album is called Mount Fuji 2012 :)


Jul. 20th, 2012 07:26 am
frellnik: (Default)

Ok, So it's official!
I am climbing Mt. Fuji tomorrow night.  I'll be leaving home around 9:30am and should arrive at Fuji by 6pm. That, right there, is a long day! Then we'll be climbing from about 6:30pm and hope to reach the top by 4am.  Sunrise is 4:46am! And the forcast is clear! (except for a few showers further down the mountain Sunday morning, but that should clear up before we get back down.)

Today I have to re-arrange my time off as we were originally supposed to go next weekend, and I need to buy food and water for the trip and my train tickets.

I'm excited!!! and nervous! lol  But looking forward to getting to the top to see the sun rise!!  Should be amazing!!!

must remember to bring warm clothes, poncho, 4L of water (or there abouts), low Gl foods, gloves, extra socks for padding, bandaids, head light for my hat, CAMERA!!, pain meds for my back (just in case), Advil, 100 yen coins for bathroom, and I'm sure I'm forgetting something. will have to check my e-mails again to be sure ;)  But I have to go buy most of that stuff today after work.

Gonna be a busy evening today and a busy weekend!! Glad to get Monday and Tuesday off to recover! lol

frellnik: (Default)

The Long weekend is here, at last!!!  I have no plans for the weekend, I'm just going to stay home and relax!!  I plan to do a workout tonight and on Monday :)  Tomorrow, if it's not raining, I'll go for a run.

Today I went for groceries and now my kitchen is nicely stocked :)  I have kiwis and cherries for snacks, and I've got corn on the cob, and 2 individual packs of mixed veggies (red peppers, zucchini, cabbage, squash, red cabbage and carrots) and a pack of enoki mushrooms. I picked up a pack of chicken and some steaks. no potatos or rice. I'm trying to cut down on carbs, especially since I eat rice every day for lunch at school.

I also got some oatmeal from Kimberly and I've got a bit of brown sugar and some maple syrup and I'm going to try to make some oatmeal for breakfast tomorrow. 

I bought meat, veggies, fruit, milk, water, cheese and detergent and I spent $51.26 plus $5 on the cab ride home.  I still need to buy some bread later in the week as I only have enough for 3 days left.  Why is food so expensive?  Junk food is so cheap, but anything good for you is expensive..and people wonder why there are so many overweight people.  A lot of people just can't afford to eat right.   I saw a picture on facebook not too long ago.  the reason why kids are overweight is because it's 99 cents for a hamburger and McDonald's and $3.99 for a salad.  It's cheaper to buy pop than it is to buy milk or juice.  I mean, really?  It really aggravates me.

So, now that I've got that out of my system.. lol  I feel somewhat better. 

I eddited a speach for one of the students at one of my schools this week and write letters to students from that same school who had written me letters.  In return for that, the teacher brought me chocolate and cake when he came to pick it all up yesterday.  So now I have junk food that I really want to eat, but really isn't part of my diet.  it's my favourite kind of cake too.  :(  lol 

So it's a long weekend and I'm going to indulge in a small bottle of coke with dinner tonight.  I limit myself to one pop a week either Friday night or Saturday.  Not every week, but occasionally.


frellnik: (Default)

I love teaching at Kindergarten <3

So today I was at Yotsukura 1st Kindergarten which is currently sharing space with the Elementary school (like the JHS was until March this year).  This is a pretty big Kindergarten so I was with Peter and Sarah.  We each had the kids guess where we are from and, of course, the first thing any of the kids shouted out was America (and non of us are from America).  They called out America, France, England, Gaikoku (Outside the country), and then we started giving hints.  Peter is from Australia and Sarah is from Ireland. When I told the kids that my country is close to America, one little boy called out France. lol  Kids are so cute :D  These kids are ages 3 to 5 so we didn't really expect them to know. 

Sarah showed them her flag and they had no idea, but when I showed them mine, they all knew it immediately. (Thank you Olympics lol).

We played with the kids in the gym for about half an hour. We danced 2 Japanese dances with them and then did the Chicken Dance. lol  The kids thought it was hilarious <3  Then we had a relay race and the Three of us ran in the race with the kids.  I raced a 3 year old so I ran as slow as I could while making it look like I was running as fast as I could! lol By the time we were done, the three of us were worn out and the kids were just getting started. lol

One little girl came up to me and said I have a tall nose, and asked if I was a foreigner. Then she asked me if all foreigners had brown eyes (because I have brown eyes). She was cute and she listened to everything I said and then promptly told me her eyes are black. I smiled at her and said that they were brown and she looked so surprised lol.  I told her that the middle of her eyes are black but around that is brown and then she told me that "and around that is white!".   So Cute!

We had popcicles for a snack and then I went to the 3 year old's room and we played with my flag and Canada hat for a bit and then we coloured some pictures that I brought with me.  The kids had a good time and some of them gave me their colouring sheets affter


not bad for a 3 year old :)

Then we took pictures and I had kids crawling all over me and asking me to lift them up over my head (they are all tiny 3 year olds so I did it with no problems :D  )  and now I'm home for a few minutes before going back to the JHS to sit at my desk until 4pm.  Lunch is in 40 minutes so I'll get back to work with time to spare before lunch.  I really want a shower but I don't really have time. I should have gone straight back to work, but I really needed to change.

So off I go, to sit in a teacher's room with no AC.  Summer is finally here and I'm already not liking it lol. oh well. I'm happy for the sunshine at any rate :D

Today has been a great day so far =D

frellnik: (Default)


I hope everyone has a wonderful day today!

frellnik: (Default)

Well, the year is officially half over! This year is giong by incredibly fast!

There are 3 weeks left of this semester and then the kids are off for 5 weeks. I still have to go to work though. But I do get 9 days off for Obon in August.  Speaking of Obon, I just signed up to volunteer for th MLB Roadshow that will be in my town on August 11th (the day before Obon officially starts).  I'm not sure what I'll be doing but I think it will be a lot of fun.  Baseball is VERY popular in Japan and all of my schools have a baseball team. I expect I'll see a lot of my students at the roadshow this year. I'll have to do some research into the MLB Roadshow so I can get an idea of what to expect.  I'm looking forward to it.

Last night was the farewell party for Iwaki JETs.  They will all be gone no later than August 5th. Some are leaving before August 1st. My friend Jennifer, who has been working in Sendai for the past 2 years, will be going home to Canada this year.  She'll be spedning August 2nd (Tuesday) at my place before heading to Tokyo early on the 3rd. I'm looking forward to seeing her again. I haven't seen her since last August when I met up with her in Tokyo while my Uncle was visiting.

My supervisors are now aware that I plan to climb Fuji next month and they have told me to be very careful. I can't say I blame them as I am nervous about it too. The last thing I want is to end up in the hospital again because I over did it and hurt my back again.  That being said, I have been doing a few yoga stretches and my physio excercises and my back isn't too bad right now. I hope that if I keep it up that I should have no problems. 

I've been trying the plank (excercise) and I find that my arms collapse before my core starts hurting.  I tried it in push up position (arms extended) and also close to the ground (weight on my for arms and elbows on the ground). It's definitely my arms that have the most trouble with the plank position.  I guess that's good in that my core is stronger than I thought it was?  I guess I need to focus on my arms. I can understand it, I mean, I do weigh about 210 pounds. My poor arms need to work up to that, I guess. lol  So time to start strengthening my arms. I can do wall pushups just fine, but I tried it from my knees, and couldn't do more than 2 and I don't think I did them properly.  So, I know what I need to work on.  I hate being weak. lol 

Got a confirmation e-mail that my workout clothes have been shipped. should take between 5 and 9 days (or so the website says). we shall see. lol

Tomorrow is Canada Day. I plan to eat Poutine (so bad for my diet!!) and hamburgers and watch some Canadian Movies! I'm thinking "Men with Brooms" and "Bon Cop, Bad Cop".  Canada Day is one of the few days a year that I really wish I was back in Canada. I love the Canada Day festivities (the concerts, the shows, the face painting, the fire works!!!).  The fire works will happen Monday morning my time, at about 11am Japan time. I'll be at work teaching. Hurray.  I hope all my Canadian friends (and Family) have a great Canada Day!!!

frellnik: (Default)

Ok, hit a snag with the workouts.  I need clothes! lol 

My clothes take forever to dry and since I only have one pair of pants to work out/run in, I can't workout or run as often as I had planned.  I went online and ordered a pair of shorts and another pair of yoga pants as well as 2 tank tops from Old Navy. Once they get here (in about 2 weeks?) I'll be able to work out every day (run one day and do workout routine the next day). But for now, I'm kind of in limbo. I did laundry on Sunday and it's now Wednesday and my pants are still damp! I even have a fan blowing air at my clothes and they still aren't dry.  It's just too humid here!

Also, the clothes cost about $90CAD but after shipping it was more like $150. Definitely won't be buying anything I don't really need! I just hope they get here in good time and that they fit! lol

I found my tax forms that I had misplaced...I misplaced them in my suitcase. Apparently I brought my taxes with me to Hong Kong back in April.  Why I brought them with me, I have no idea. lol But I have them now, and they are completed. All I need to do now is photo copy them for my files and print out a letter to send in with them. I figure I can use the school's copy machine on Friday and then mail them after work :)  YAY! FINALLY!!


At one of the schools I teach at (Kusano JHS) there are triplets in my grade 7 class.  They are from the Philippines and studied English there. I'm not really sure how good their English is, but it's definitely better than their Japanese.  Their mother speaks Tagalog with them at home. Apprently she can understand and speak Japanese but can't write it.  So these 3 girls have been in Japan since May last year and still can't communicate with their classmates.  Their teacher asked me for suggestions of Beginner Japanese Textbooks that are easy to understand (since their English is somewhat limited and their mom can't really help them with it) and geared towards young people. 

oh, dear god!
First of all, they need a teacher to work with them.  Their homeroom teacher says they have one, but the girls told me they don't. ...right.   Secondly, trying to find a good textbook that is geared towards kids and easy to understand is not easy!  I managed to find 4. One that I had used 15 years ago (Nihongo Kantan) and 3 others. I think the best one is a series of 4 books (only 2 are available right now) called Kisetsu. The website is very informative and has both a Japanese and an English version, , which I think is the best one.  It's really hard to learn a language when you have a few people who speaks your language to talk to.  These girls do everything together and don't really talk to their classmates much (mostly because they don't understand and don't know how to communicate with the other kids) and don't hear Japanese much outside of the classroom. 

Now I want to help, but I'm not sure I can do anything other than give them a list of books.  I'm not even sure they will understand the information enough to make an informed decision. Grrr! This situation is frustrating! They've been here 2 years and can only read kanna and basic kanji.  I learned that much in one year of Saturday school back in Canada.  They are actually living here and going to school in Japanese everyday! They should have been taught more than this. The system is not deisgned to help kids in this situation and these girls are getting left behind :(

I am hoping to talk to them a bit on Friday and see if we can't work something out. Maybe I can tutor them once a week or something.  I hate feeling useless.

1 more month and my second year contract will be up and my third year contract will be starting.  I can't believe how fast the year has gone by. I've been in Japan for just under 2 years already! 3 more years to go and then I'm off to England (hopefully) ! 

Lastly, I just found out today that the bank that I use to send money home (Go Lloyds) is closing and I guess it's being bought out by another bank (Shinsei Bank). Not quite sure what that means for us, but I think we'll be transferred over to Shinsei. There will be information sent to us in the mail.  I do know that Go Lloyds had the cheapest rates in the country and Shinsei is about twice the price to send money over seas :(  damn! It's always something.   Hopefully we will get a good deal or something for switching over.

frellnik: (Default)
Wow, my back is killing me!!  It hasn't hurt this much since Hong Kong! lol  I guess I overdid it with something...I only wish I knew what caused it. But it's been sore for 2 days now. Although today doesn't seem to be quite as bad as yesterday. It's a constant ache though. I think it may have been one of the stretches I did yesterday morning. And I've been at my base school all week and my chair doesn't support my back and I am always sore by the end of the week.  I'm not looking forward to this next month. I've got 3 days next week at a different school and then I'm at my base school until September.  I'm going to have to look into getting a different chair because my back really can't take it.  I think that combined with the bad stretch is why my back is so bad this weekend.

So, yesterday I went to my Japanese class in Taira and when I got off the train I ran into Anna :)  She was meeting up with her one time French teacher for lunch and wanted to introduce me to her.  Her teacher's name is Michiko and she spent 6 years attending university in Paris!  She has a beaitful French accent and I spent quite a bit of time talking with her in French. I was invited to lunch and we went to the ramen shop I go to every week.  I got my lunch for free, thanks to a full lunch card, and we talked in a mix of French, Japanese and English.  I am quite happy to say that I didn't have too much trouble speaking French with her.  It's been so long since I've used my French that I am surprised by how much I still remember.  I also discovered that while I'm able to switch back and forth between English and Japanese with no problems, I have a lot of trouble switching between French and Japanese.  It's like my brain gets confused and doesn't know that French isn't Japanese. I kept incerting Japanese words into my French sentences and then when I wanted to say something in Japanese it would want to come out in French.  I guess my brain figure if I'm not speaking English then I should be speaking Japanese and when I try to speak French it gets confused. lol I guess i need to practice. lol

I went to my Japanese lesson after that and had a really good time. Lots of laughter today. I haven't had this much fun with Japanese in a while, so I guess things are looking up :)  I spent 3 hours there and then went to Mr. Donoughts and had a drink while waiting to meet up with Anna and Junko to go for dinner.  Anna is going to Australia in 2 weeks to go to grad school. She most likely won't be back to Japan before I leave in 3 years. So this was a goodbye dinner.  We went to Denny's and spent 3 hours just talking.

I lent Anna one of my movies the last week, "The New Guy" and she loved it. She returned it last night and Junko asked what it was so I lent it to her to watch too.  Junko and I have decided to get together once a week to watch movies (she hasn't seen Ice Age or all of the Toy Story movies yet!!) in both English and Japanese. So I may get to hang out with people more often now :)  I'm going to miss Anna though!  Thank god for FB. lol.


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December 2016



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