6 things we did during our Raya staycation

1. Had dinner at one of the best restaurants in KL

Sage KL

My better half surprised me with this treat. It’s actually the second most expensive meal we’ve ever had in KL (the first being the Michelin star Le Gavroche chef who came to town) but I thought it was worth it. Delicious appetizers and mains – thanks for booking us dinner at Sage dear.

2. Watched Ant-Man

Ant-Man

I’ve been wanting to watch Ant-Man for a long time. We even had passes to the premiere screening but missed it coz I thought it was the next day. Thus, I got ourselves Premier Class tickets (RM 63) at The Gardens to go watch the movie. I had actually wanted Gold Class but my dear thought it was too expensive. It used to cost RM 40 per pax but that’s the price of Premier Class now – Gold Class is double.

GSC Premier Class

It’s still quite an exclusive viewing experience though – the seats are all couple seats, which you can remove the middle partition so you can snuggle up together. That’s actually a *necessity* since the air-conditioning was so cold everyone in the Premier Class cinema was shivering. It’s still better than watching it in their regular cinemas though, this is a more intimate environment where no one talks loudly or uses their mobile phones – the higher ticket prices weeds out most badly behaved cinema goers. Ant-Man was awesome, a nice conclusion to Phase 2 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

3. Ate escargots and drank Valrhona hot chocolate

Yeast Mid-Valley

We had lunch at a Parisian style bistro/bakery which also serves wine. I had Escargots a la Bourguignonne while my dear had a ham and cheese croissant (Croissant au Jambon et au Fromage). This was our lunch the day we checked in, she also had a Valrhona hot chocolate – we bought a lot of the famous French chocolate a while back, it’s not for kids, their single origin stuff is utterly bitter, in a good way.

4. Walked around the mall

Lifejuice Gardens

We loaded up with fresh cold pressed juice before spending most of the day walking around the mall. My dear wanted to get a clutch bag and we went to most of the stores in The Gardens and Mid-Valley but couldn’t find one that she wanted. I was secretly observing at what kind of bags she was looking at so I could KIV for our anniversary. smirk

Lifejuice

The Sun Kissed Stress Reliever (RM 13) is a mixture of ginger, red apple, pineapple, orange, carrot and grapefruit in a glass bottle. I liked the Nutty Professor Energy Booster (hazelnut, almond, cashew, soy milk, raw cacao, Medjool dates) and 50 Shades of Grey Stamina Booster (Earl Grey team hazelnut, Himalayan salt, coconut, agave necter) too.

5. Chilled in our hotel room

St Giles Gardens

I booked a room as St Giles The Gardens, the best hotel among the 3 at Mid-Valley. I also considered Pullman Bangsar (which has a shuttle service to Mid-Valley) but ultimately wanted to stay at Mid-Valley itself since we were out almost the entire day!

6. Had a hearty breakfast

Antipodean

This was at Antipodean, which my better half wanted to try. It was decent and cheap (relatively) fare but not as good as their original Bangsar Telawi II outlet, probably due to the huge crowd here. We had to wait five (5) minutes in queue while we got seated and that’s considered a very quick seating. The service was good though and I quite liked my order of Eggs Marlborough with Salmon.

I think we spent only 10 hours or so total in our room but it was fun and we got to spend the time with each other during our staycation. :)

Our Hari Raya Aidilfitri Staycation @ St Giles The Gardens

The Gardens Hotel

I decided to surprise my better half with a night at a local hotel during the long holiday weekend. Yup, it’s our biannual staycation, where we spend a night (or two) at a KL or PJ hotel and chill, eat and shop. My better half suggested Mid Valley this time but I don’t really like Cititel Hotel (although it’s the cheapest option, the rooms reek of cigarette smoke).

MidValley Gardens

Thus, it’s down to St Giles Boulevard or St Giles The Gardens. The latter is slightly more grand, a step up in both standards and price so I splurged a little and went for that. The rooms are significantly larger than St Giles Boulevard (27 sq m) and make the ones at Cititel Mid Valley (18 sq m) look almost like closets. smirk

St Giles The Gardens

All three hotels are managed by the same people – it’s supposed to be for different segments of the market with St Giles The Gardens as the premier choice, with larger rooms (38 sq m). I paid USD 116.26 (RM 442.35 per night) for our room and thought I overpaid coz I forgot to switch the currency to MYR. It turns out that MYR was even more expensive at RM 452 so it’s a good thing I have a PayPal account with USD inside.

St Giles The Gardens Rooms

I almost went for the 72 sq m 1 bedroom suite which is about RM 80 more but I ended up going for a deluxe room instead and the extra cash went towards a single glass of wine (more on that later).

St Giles The Gardens Us

It was a lot of fun, we crammed all the things couples do into a 24 hour period – ate at a restaurant rated as one of the best in KL, watched a movie we’ve missed and enjoyed each other’s company. It was a great and relaxing staycation, plus we managed to stay within the budget of RM 1,500 for everything – can’t wait to do it again! :)

I’ll write more soon.

I am balding and I need help!

I Am Balding

Looks fine, right?

No, look again. I’m balding at the top and have heaps of dandruff to boot! I’m 35 years of age. I didn’t expect time to creep up on me so quickly. I honestly thought that my (past) uninhibited and hedonistic lifestyle will kill me before I hit 30 and I’ve said so many times on this very blog. Fortunately, that didn’t happen. I’m still alive.

Dad

Unfortunately, that means I have to deal with certain things about aging. Like balding, for instance. I have male pattern baldness and it’s hereditary. My dad is almost bald and most of my uncles are sporting a shiny pate. I’ll be like that too, if genetics have a thing or two to say about it.

Svensons MV

However, genetics doesn’t mean that you just have to sit back and take what’s coming to you. You can actually thwart genes (like Angelina Jolie famously did) and to a less extreme extent, I have done the same too.

Svensons

I went for a hair loss prevention session at Svenson in Mid Valley during 2011 and that has helped arrest my condition to a large extent. I have seen a lot of good things happen to my scalp and hair during the 10 weeks of my treatment and now I’m back for more!

OxyDH Treatment

I’m on a more intensive treatment this time, involving lots more stuff so I’ll be writing about it as I go along.

My Scalp

This is the latest look at my scalp (2015)

I had a YouTube video of the same process during 2011 and things are getting better but during the ensuing years, I have not maintained optimal hair treatment discipline and things are not looking as good as they should be.

Svenson Mary

Mary is back as my consultant! I’m really glad to have her on board, she’s been giving me great advice about my hair and I love how she’s straight with me – there are no miracles in hair loss treatment, anyone doing that is probably fraudulent, but there are many things you can do to prevent hair loss.

I have gone through a few sessions and it’s nice to meet the same people I have gotten acquainted with four years ago. I’ll share with you the treatments that I’m getting and we’ll see how it all works out at the end. I’m going twice a week and I started with the Oxy DH Therapy.

Svenson Jet Treatment

Oxy DH Therapy delivers 95% pure oxygen to the deepest layer of hair root to enhance blood circulation and assist in the penetration and absorption of their proprietary DH Hair Concentrate Serum – it’s applied to my scalp with 3 miniature jets at supersonic speeds.

OxyDH Jet

This basically peels off the outer layer of your skin at the scalp and removes excess sebum (which causes hair loss).

Svenson Corrective Fluid

There are are 30 vials of Corrective Liquid which is applied after that. You can actually bring home and apply yourself if you’re very busy. This serum is the stuff that encourages hair growth and is the bedrock of all treatments here. However, it’s advisable for the good people at Svenson to do it, for one simple reason:

Svenson Green Serum

You can’t see the back of your head. :) Seriously, they can do it much better than you can at home. Also, in conjunction of Svenson celebration of their 59th Years of Crowning Glory; in the month of June, you can enjoy the Hair & Scalp Rescue Therapy at only RM 59 and you’ll also get a Laser Treatment for free!

Svenson Serum

It’s been great for me so far. You can head over to the Svenson website or the Svenson Facebook page if you want to know more about their treatments. Otherwise, you can also call Svenson’s helpline @ 1800 22 833 for information and make your appointment to enjoy their awesome treatment!

Svensons Treatment

It’s for both males and females. I’ve seen both during my time there and they run the gamut from young to old. I’ll talk more about the advanced Micro Transdermal Therapy I was talking about soon and we’ll see what I look like at the end of all this.

It’ll be interesting, that’s for sure!

My first Baskin-Robbins ice cream giveaway! (and more to come)

ice-cream-truck

Greetings and meet my ice cream truck!

voters

I’m kidding, I just chanced upon that while heading to my first appearance. I was at MidValley last Saturday on the 3rd of November to giveaway more than 100+ ice cream scoops in cones and cups. It was supposed to be my first appearance and I’ll learn more from this for my second appearance, which is this weekend! :)

baskinrobbins elections

I started setting up at around 2:30 pm and I had unfortunately only brought 1 notebook along for voting. This created a huge bottleneck there as people who wanted to vote got tired of waiting. I shall have to do something about this for the next one.

smartphone

I’ll bring another notebook to the next session so there will be more “voting stations”, so to speak. It is an election after all. ;)

vote me

I have allocated all of my budget to giving away free ice cream and ice cream cakes. I decided to “get on the ground” (yup, lots of political terms here going on here) and get the attention of passerby’s by telling them about it. Haha. I wanted all of the budget to go towards ice cream for everyone! :D

br flavor elections

Actually, that was A LOT of fun. Now I know how those credit card sales promoters feel like. I have been rejected before I even opened my mouth but on the other hand there were plenty who heard my pitch and request for votes and actually wanted to vote for me after I’ve explained what I was doing.

voting station

It was very heartwarming to see Sue Ann and Jamie helping with getting people and manning the voting station (which is a grand term for my notebook), even Samantha from Baskin-Robbins pitched in to help – many thanks for all that! :)

first
The first person!

I’ve been looking at the opinion polls on the Baskin-Robbins Malaysia Facebook page and it’s good to see a lot of people participating in that too. This is actually going to be taken into consideration so your input would be awesome!

opinion poll

I voted for Exotic – sea salt ice cream or hot & spicy. It would be great to see more unique flavors in Baskin-Robbins here.

I’ll love to eat a steak flavored ice cream! How about that? An ice cream flavor that tastes like a meal! Heh! It would certainly be intriguing.

…or even better, see something like a limited time promotional flavor for Christmas – turkey with cranberry sauce! Won’t that be something? I bet people would want to try it just out of curiosity. I certainly would! :)

There are also other opinion polls ranging from what CSR activities you want Baskin-Robbins Malaysia to do to what kind of promotion you think gives you the best value for your buck. Join in if you want your voices heard!

last family
The last family I gave ice cream to at 5:03 pm!

vote for me

I’ll be having another appearance at Baskin-Robbins Sunway Pyramid this Sunday 11th November where I will not only give out ice cream cones and scoops for free but also ice cream cake vouchers at random!

mini heart

The ice cream cakes are sold at RM 55 each and you can redeem it right there and then if you want.

campaign-promise

In addition to the 500 free Junior ice cream scoops I’m giving away, those 30 ice cream cakes will bring the total to RM 4,400 worth of Baskin-Robbins ice cream products (that’s not including the service charge). I told you all my campaign fund is going to spreading happiness. :)

sixthseal campaign

…and that’s surprisingly what I felt good about the most – the people who waited in line to vote after listening to what I’m doing and the people who came for ice cream. It felt good giving away ice cream especially when someone told me how grateful she was coz she’ll never be able to spend her money on this. I was touched by that.

cookies n cream

Anyway, if you want some of the ice cream cake action, I’ve got several to give out at random at my next appearance:

Venue: Baskin-Robbins, Sunway Pyramid
Date: 11th November (Sunday)
Time: 3-5 pm

jamie hb sam sue

Thanks again to my impromptu team for helping out with everything that day – Jamie, Sue Ann and Samantha!

vote

You can vote for me at votenow.com.my (I’m Cookies ‘n Cream)or come on Sunday for some free ice cream on me. I’ll also be giving away ice cream scoops and cakes on the SixthSeal Facebook page.

free br ice cream

Getting in touch with my consistency since 2012. ;)

I am balding!

balding me

I have come to expect it but I never realized the extent of the damage until I was shown the crater sized bald patch on the dome of my head. I can’t exactly see the top of my skull myself so I’ve always assumed it was of little significance, until I started getting more and more comments about it. -_-

steamer

This is compounded by the fact that I’m a typical male – using soap for everything. Yes, I use soap to wash my hair too. I don’t have shampoo or other hair care products coz I’m lazy to go through the laborious steps in the shower.

direct

I had all the signs – dandruff, oily scalp and visible balding. I am balding from the top and front so I figured there’s nothing much I can do anyway. In fact, I think I’ve come to accept that I’m balding and would go for hair implants when it shows too much.

However, I was galvanized into action when I heard the balding process CAN be reversible, if treated early.

massage hand

I have to admit, I have my doubts about baldness prevention treatments due to the plethora of offerings out there claiming to be able to give you a robust mane of hair – the fountain of youth for follicles, if you will.

svenson

I was introduced to Svenson (which started out in London) and decided to give their hair treatments a go, to see how well it performs. I reckon I didn’t have anything to lose anyway (no pun intended) so I made an appointment and headed over to their center opposite Boulevard Hotel in MidValley.

magnify

Mary was the consultant that I encountered during my first visit there. I was impressed that she gave me all the facts and made no extravagant claims or promises. She did a scan of my scalp using this magnifier which enlarges everything to 200x magnification.

My scalp really looks horrible – it’s clogged with sediments and the new hair follicles are getting thinner and thinner – a sure sign of unhealthy hair and impending baldness.

before
Before

She was very straight with me – she told me the treatments can save the hair that’s still alive and healthy but they’re not miracle workers.

balding

The bits where the follicles have totally closed off is un-salvagable. I really appreciate the honesty of Svenson – they don’t make ridiculous promises they can’t keep, unlike other hair treatments I’ve heard about.

svenson products

The first session involved an intensive therapy to get my hair back in order.

shampoo

The nice lady attending to me first shampooed me twice before applying conditioner.

steaming

My head was put under a steamer to open up the hair follicles.

pen

I was then treated with cooling saline solution – this was done via a pen like contraption ejecting a fine stream of mist.

This procedure is to wash away and clean the gunk off my scalp.

serum

Svenson then applied their serum using the OxyDH machine after all the washing for better absorption. The precision of the pen allows them to go through my hair and scalp inch by inch.

corrective fluid

Corrective fluid was then applied using a brush without washing off the serum…

…and massaged into the open and inviting hair follicles.

massage

A machine vibrator (get your mind out of the gutter) is then used to massage in all the goods. You’re supposed to leave the treatment in for 8 hours before washing.

shampoo conditioner

I was given shampoo and conditioner by Svenson (which costs RM 80 each) to use in an effort to salvage what’s left of my hair and return it to it’s former crowning glory. :D

after
After

There was a post-treatment scan and the difference, as they say, is crystal clear. You can’t even see my scalp from the scan before the procedure and now you can see the natural pink scalp vividly like a raunchy cabaret show. ;)

svenson after

I am pretty impressed with what I’ve seen so far. I am scheduled for 10 treatment sessions and I’ll write a review about it when I’m done with it to see how it goes in the end. It’s all about constant maintenance though, as Mary reminds me, so I’ll have to do my part in shampooing twice a day and applying conditioner properly as well.

oxydh

The treatment sessions takes an hour each and there’s consultation before that so it doesn’t take up a lot of time but it’ll require commitment. I’m going twice a week on Tuesdays and Thursdays. I’ll be honest with you guys – I am worried about going bald despite the stanch don’t-give-a-shit attitude that I exude.

I think it does subconsciously affect my self confidence since I’ve long thought about hair implants when I started balding started during my university days. I’m glad to report that there is a way to stop baldness but you’ll have to go before it’s too late.

treatment

…and with that, I have a bit of good news to share. Svenson is having a Save My Hair contest on their Facebook page – drop by and see if you can if can win the full hair care treatment prize. There are 10 to be given out and if you’re ever curious about the state of your hair, just join their Facebook page and vote for one of the contestants to get a complimentary hair and scalp analysis.

I’ve always distrusted “Before” and “After” photos coz they tend to be Photoshopped and/or taken with bad angles/lighting/dressing. However, considering the fact that you all know my Photoshop skillz is practically nonexistent – I present to you:

before-after

Word.

The Mouth of Truth

veritas machine

Bocca Della Verita is a novelty device that purportedly reads your love life, health and luck. It’s located at various malls throughout the Klang Valley and takes 2 x 20 cent coins for a glimpse into your (questionable) future.

veritas hand

I can haz ur hand for breakfast?

veritas me

We were early for our Quantum of Solace screening so we succumbed to this tourist trap (couple trap?) machine to read our respective prospects.

The Mouth of Truth spat out the following:

veritas slips

My girlfriend:
Sometimes it seems that fortune deliberately plays with us, do not despair.
You don’t like others to rush you.
You don’t have much faith in human nature.
Do small things as if they were great.
Beware of carrying passions to excess; this can have disastrous or tragic results.
Life: 9
Love: 5
Luck: 4
Health: 6
Sex: 7

Myself:
You know how to make good use of your intellectual strengths.
Plenty of people see the truth but cannot attain it…keep trying.
Your sedentary habits risk ruining your health.
You must wager. There is no choice, you are already committed.
A more regular life style and a little bit of exercise can save you from the health problems you are prone to.
Tired nerves and anxiety makes you apprehensive. You seem almost incapable of ever achieving tranquility.
Life: 7
Love: 7
Luck: 7
Health: 4
Sex: 8

I don’t know how much of this is self-fulfilling prophecy but it seems that I’m getting really accurate results. The statements are all true, and I am a leaning towards the unhealthy side due to renal and liver issues (as well as my ongoing tobacco and ethanol consumption, which I’m sure isn’t helping). I consider myself very lucky and I certainly can’t complain about the carnal aspects of my existence. *shrugs*

veritas end

I am gonna put my hand in the device again and see if I get the same results. It’s a little like a fortune cookie – I’m a huge advocate of horoscopes and it’ll be interesting to see if it, or this, gives out consistent results. :)

Laksa Shack

laksa shack

Laksa Shack is a franchise operating along the trend of establishing hawker food fare in the air conditioned comfort of malls. It has outlets throughout Malaysia and specializes in laksa, as the name implies.

laksa shack interior

Laksa is a noodle soup dish originating from Malaysia and has two major variants – curry laksa and asam laksa. The first one is santan (coconut milk) based while the latter is a medley of sour and tangy notes from tamarind. Sarawak laksa is an offshoot of curry laksa but I tend to prefer the asam laksa more.

laksa shack asam

Asam laksa has no coconut milk and is based on a fish paste broth with tamarind, which gives it the distinctive sour taste. I find that very appetizing, and it’s served with translucent thick rice vermicelli instead of the thinner version.

laksa shack operation

Laska Shack is a quick service operation and offers Asam Laksa, Johor Laksa, Curry Laksa, Laksam Kelantan, Tom Yam Laksa, Laksa Nyonya Melaka, Sarawak Laksa and Laksa Lemak Singapore. The soup base is all pre-cooked and kept in heated receptacles at the counter so they just need to pour the right gravy on the right kind of noodles.

laksa shack drinks

I went with my girlfriend to the outlet at MidValley Megamall and we shared a Laksa Set (RM 14.90) which comes with the laksa of your choice, 2 pieces of otak-otak and Sirap Bandung Cincau. The drink (left) is a rose syrup drink with milk and cincau (black jelly). I ordered another drink (right) for RM 5.50 – Ipoh White Coffee Cincau.

laksa shack set

This is what the Laksa Set looks like. The laksa ordered separately costs RM 9.90 each and the drinks will set you back RM 5-6 so it’s usually more cost effective to order the popular laksa set. The two pieces of otak-otak came really fast – the operation at Laksa Shack is all very streamlined.

laksa shack otak

Otak-otak (literally brains-brains) is a fish paste snack wrapped in banana leaves. Laksa Shack offers the steamed version and the otak-otak is (very) highly processed, leaving very little taste, as is oft the case in mass produced bulk food.

laksa shack asam laksa

The Asam Laksa at Laksa Shack is surprisingly good for a quick service restaurant. The soup base is tantalizingly sour and comes with pieces of fish. I find tamarind based broth to be very appetizing and drank all the soup in the dish.

laksa shack asam laksa macro

I didn’t quite like the fish pieces though – it seems to be sardine to my untrained palate and sardine is one of the few aquatic lifeforms I do not like to eat (due to taste rather than any sentimental PETA/Greenpeace ideology).

laksa shack end

You can probably get better laksa for a lower price at regular hawker stalls but Laksa Shack offers the experience (and convenience) of eating hawker food in air conditioned comfort inside a mall. I have seen this trend take off and I suspect the end is nigh for the novelty value of hawker-food-given-premium-treatment concept eating establishments.

It’s going to jump the sardine soon, mark my words. ;)

Little Penang Kafe @ Midvalley Megamall

little penang kafe

little penang kafe is a rather large eating
establishment in Midvalley Megamall – which doesn’t lead itself to this
impression at first glace. The place actually has two spacious areas on
the sides (hidden from view) and an elevated eating area with a view
outside the mall, and another dining area on top of that. It can accommodate more people than the first impression gives…

little penang kafe red ruby

This is Red Ruby (RM ?) a dessert I ordered – it’s
concocted of sweet evaporated milk, coconut milk, red colored jelly,
and jackfruit in shaved ice. It’s good stuff…the local tropical fruit
gives this dessert a great twist.

little penang kafe mee

I also ordered Penang Hokkien Mee (RM 9) and was
surprised to see that it came in a SOUP! It seems that Penang Hokkien
Mee is a soup based dish instead of a dry noodle dish like the KL style
Hokkien Mee. This one from little penang kafe has a lot of large prawns
in it and it tastes great! Spicy.

little penang kafe rojak

This is Penang style rojak (again) that we shared. It’s RM 7 and it tastes like rojak.

little penang kafe napkin

Little Penang Kafe is a nice place for hawker style food in a mall
(which defeats the whole concept of hawker food, but I digress). A lot
of people seem to like it anyway, the place was packed when we arrived
there just now and customers kept on streaming in. That’s gotta say
something…and there are photos of the Agong’s wife and Dr. Mahathir
patronizing the outlets and that probably says something as well (or
not).

Anyway, I’m a little bushed today due to waking up at 3:35 am in the
morning to catch my flight to KL. I was sedated, stoned and drunk last
night too, so congrats to Cherie and Valerine on actually managing to
get me drunk. ;)

Thanks for the beer Cherie and thanks for the Kent MINTEK 1 from Thailand, Val!

OK, I can’t think straight right now, so I shall consume some DF-118
kindly furnished by the clinic opposite my office in KL and go to
sleep. I have another appointment tomorrow morning. Later…

Food Junction @ Midvalley Megamall – Western Food

mm food junction

Food Junction is the food court located at MidValley Megamall which
I’ve been frequenting due to the close proximity to the hotel I’m
staying at (it’s just next door).

mm western food

There is a Western Food section on the entrance of the food court – there are several themed food eateries at the place.

mm western counter

The Western Food category has displays of their menu repertoire in a
visual format, which I found to be very useful in gauging which of the
dishes is likely to be good.

mm western display 1

This is the first row of the food dishes that this section offers…

mm western display 2

The second row is also filled with cooked dishes on the second tier, with condiments on the bottom one…

mm western display 3

The third row has both tiers filled with food.

mm spag seafood

This is the Seafood and Spaghetti with Cream Sauce (RM 15.90) that my CTO ordered…it looks creamy and nice, and has several prime seafood items on the dish too.

mm baked seafood

I went for the Baked Seafood (RM 19.90) which was
recommended as one of their specialties. I was not disappointed…it
was spicy, with tones of garlic and the toppings were piled on – more
prime seafood: prawns, large mussels, smaller mussels, squid…the
works!

Cititel Mid Valley Hotel, KL

cititel kl water

It’s a good thing that the drinking water is complimentary…like
most hotels, they have their own drinking water, and the guests have
complimentary breakfast at Citi Cafe every morning too. The lobby area
and Citi Cafe has Wi-Fi access, but I opted to use my Digi EDGE
connection to my notebook since the AP down there is RM 30 for 2
hours…which I would have gone for, if I don’t have an existing free
connection. ;) It’s also notable that this is the first trip in which
sixthseal.com updates in real time, thanks to my notebook and GPRS/EDGE
cell phone.

cititel kl room card

I’m staying on the 20th floor of Cititel, Mid Valley. It’s a smoking
floor and I’m in room 2006 – please feel free to ring the doorbell at
odd hours of the night if you’re so inclined, but I’m likely to be out
the whole day. ;)

cititel kl stalk

The view from the 20th floor is great – it feel good to be in KL
again…I was walking around Mid Valley just now and have been to bsc
and other places earlier during the day. KL feels like the place for
me…I’m not sure why, it just feels like the right place for someone like me to be living in. :)

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