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Tag Archives: Darron Meares

No one died…

No one died…

Yesterday, I chose to go for a bike ride inside of take a lunch break.  For reference, I am starting my training for a half Ironman race later this year – so this wasn’t a leasurely stroll on my Beachcomber…  I drove over to the bike shop where my bike is stored, changed into my biking clothes, clipped in and away I went.  

Why is this ‘blog post worthy’?  Well, normally I would sit at my table at home and eat lunch while checking emails, taking conference calls or working on some type of project.  If I was not at my home office, I was in the main office doing the same thing.  I never disconnected… I never flipped the OFF switch.

My dad has always told me to take up golf, go to the shooting range or something… anything to get out and around people DURING the work day.  He started our company in 1972 and worked to make it what it is today.  I feel, over time, he realized what he missed by never taking his foot off the gas pedal.  Honestly, I am the same way – I am half owner of our auction company, a broker with our real estate division and a full-time professional fundraising auctioneer (in my spare time!).

I totally believe in a strong work ethic… start a project and follow it to fruition… even if you finish the task at 1:30 am and have to get back up at 6:00 am to start all over again.  You. Get. The. Job. Done.

So, yesterday, I wanted to try my dad’s theory… get out and do something.  Now, as I was riding an average of 13.5 miles-per-hour, there wasn’t much interaction with others except to greet them with “on your left”.  BUT – I flipped the off switch.  I left my phone at the bike shop.  I did not have any music with me (part of the Ironman training – major faux pas in the real race).  All I had with me was the bike, helmet, sunglasses, gloves and bike clothes… 

No one died.

I missed three phone calls… one left a voice mail, one left a text and the other, well, who knows?  

No one died.

The ride was great… I am getting used to riding ‘clipped-in’.  The learning curve added to my disconnection with the work world.  I was so focused on “road crossing coming up, get ready to unclip right foot while applying right brake handle, look for traffic” that I completely forgot about work for the hour and fourteen minutes of the ride.

No one died.

So, since the Ironman is swimming, biking and running, my plate will be full of opportunities to flip the OFF switch.

Give it a try… and let me know the results.

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Posted by on March 3, 2017 in Business, Motivation

 

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I Can’t Get No Satisfaction

This was a hard blog post to write… but was necessary for me.  Over Thursday and Friday, December 8 and 9, I attended a course on Interpersonal Communications in Las Vegas.  The course is designed for auction professionals to become more effective communicators by breaking bad habits, learning new methods of communication and finding personal pitfalls.  Through discussion in the course and interaction with classmates I discovered some of the things I already knew and discovered a few others than need addressing.

Outside of what I already knew before the class, I learned that internal struggle can be the catalyst for outward appearance and communication with others… meaning (from a general level), what is going on inside is going to show on your face.  One of my issues is I am constantly competing with myself… never being content with who I am, what I am and what I have.  I am not speaking from a material standpoint because that has never really been a motivating factor with me. I am speaking from a success standpoint – I have never allowed myself to accept a level of success – I keep moving the measuring stick.  You read that right… I keep moving my own measuring stick.  Let that hang out for a moment…

This morning, our message in church was another in series of messages leading up to Christmas.  It was focused on the materialism of Christmas – STUFF, if you will.  My toes were stepped on as I thought through this from my point-of-view.  It spoke to me and I feverously typed notes to construct this blog post… some of which I have included here.

Contentment:

We can’t really appreciate what we DO have until we stop focusing on what we DON’T have. Contentment is hard for people in the United States because we are constantly bombarded by new, better, faster… there are magazines, TV shows, books that constantly show what others have – materialism is an antagonist in the story of contentment.

Contentment doesn’t just deal with materialism… it also affects our level of perceived success. We constantly compare ourselves to our peers and this skews our vision of WHO we really are. We lose focus of what we have and what we have achieved. This skewed vision does not allow us to see what we HAVE attained in our lives… this leads to missing deadlines, putting things off, not following through or not performing 100% in the present.

For example, Mick Jagger is the front man for The Rolling Stones and has always been remembered for their hit song, I can’t get no satisfaction. Few people know that he also led a solo career that ran parallel to the tours and album releases of The Stones and none of his individual hits were ever as successful as those of The Stones.  His net worth is over $300 million and he still felt that he needed to prove something else.

Peer Pressure:

“Peer pressure” has been the catchphrase of parents and teachers for years… from a fear standpoint, it has led children to the ‘dark side’. It is the perennial excuse when a boy or girl goes astray – “they succumbed to peer pressure”.

So… peer pressure goes away when you hit a certain age?

Oh, that’s a joke!  It feeds itself, lives and breathes into a larger monster… shadow… cloud over us… it is right there in front of us, but so transparent that we see right through it.

Adult peer pressure is as evident as the air we breathe. It pushes us into situations that pull us off our chosen path… adults have the mechanism to reject peer pressure because the adult brain is fully developed with an arsenal of thinking skills, rationalization skills and need/want-based analysis… but yet, when someone lands a big deal, achieves a new position, pulls in a huge bonus peer pressure kicks in and takes our eyes off of OUR prize. OUR prize is the finish line we have established for ourselves – that goal we have set to let us know we have accomplished something.

The Finish Line:

A finish line is established with clear-cut goals.  “I am going to do XXX by XXXX”.  You know in your heart the goal is not complete until you cross the finish line… whether this is a date, a success point or some other measurable item you establish when you set the goal.  Point-of-reference:  I said ‘clear-cut’ for a reason – if you are setting a goal, you need to establish some type of measure to make yourself accountable to complete the goal.  This is essential for both short-term and long-term goals.

The finish line is important because it gives you something to look forward to… not just ‘look forward to accomplishing’ but also to actually MAKE you look forward… this keeps you from backsliding and getting off track.

Until, of course, WE move our own finish line… WE get in our own way and decide to dangle a larger carrot further from our reach because WE cannot be happy with any measure of success.  WE don’t believe it when others congratulate us, tell us how awesome we are… or tell us they want to be where WE are.  (There are many of US out there with this same issue – which is why I highlighted we in those sentences).

That last paragraph is what I have been analyzing since Friday.  I know I have to get out of my own way… and it is going to take baby steps to make it happen.  I have to fight the resistance.

The Lizard Brain/Monkey Brain/Resistance:

You’re not good enough. You can’t do that. Why do you think you can do that?

You’ve heard every one of these… and the other iterations.  Adults have a fully developed brain – capable of multiple thoughts at once, capable of huge computations, capable of beautiful feelings, capable of rationalization… until the resistance kicks in!  The resistance has also been labeled Lizard Brain or Monkey Brain.  Whichever name you use, it is still the same deal… it is there to make you second-guess yourself.  It holds you back.  It makes you backslide.  It keeps you from being the most you can be.

The resistance causes you to say one thing and do another… We want to be successful then we sabotage the process… The resistance is the voice in the back of your head that tells us to go slow, back off, be careful, compromise.  It is in all of us – the amygdala isn’t going away – it is the prehistoric lump on your brain stem responsible for fear and rage and reproduction.

The only way to be your true self is to learn to quiet the lizard brain… ignore the resistance!

So… now you know a little of my personal struggles.  Hopefully you have seen some of your own internal issues in this post. From the time we discussed my issues in class this week, I have come to realize I have so much to offer – RIGHT NOW.  Beginning with throwing the business hat to the side, ripping off the armor and discussing these issues in the open… so I can help others become their better self.

You have seen my hashtag #GSD (get shit done) on my Facebook, Twitter and Instagram posts for years… now you are going to see a new one:  #ownit.  Too many people DON’T own what they do or say.  If I write it, I’m going to own it… good or bad.

FYI:  I am posting this without edits… I am kicking the resistance in the ass and, as Seth Godin says, SHIPPING this to you!

Feel free to post your comments below!

 
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Posted by on December 11, 2016 in Just Me, Motivation, Writing

 

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I’m a dancer… or will be!

I’m a dancer… or will be!

For those that do not know, I am a professional fundraising auctioneer.  I raise money for private schools, companies, nonprofits and other organizations… using the auction method of marketing assets.  Believe me – I love what I do.  I make a difference for the client I am working for because they have ONE chance to raise money… and they rely on me.

With that being said, occasionally I donate my time to other causes.  I’ve emceed races for the Epilepsy Foundation of Georgia, run several Susan G Komen Race for the Cure events and run half-marathons for Team in Training with the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.  Now I am stepping COMPLETELY out of my comfort zone by becoming a dancer in Dancing with the Carolina Stars!

Yep, I said it… a DANCER!

Friends and acquaintances, get up off the floor… I don’t want to hear comments about my dancing technique (or upright seizure, as some of you call it).  I have now officially been through eleven practices and been through the dance multiple times.  Today, we added more “flair”… (friends, that is your cue for comment).

So… here comes the pitch… I am raising money!  Dancing with the Carolina Stars is the Upstate’s premier charity event and ballroom dance competition that pairs leaders from the community with professional dancers in order to create an unforgettable event. This event engages the entirety of the Upstate, from the dancers to the audience in attendance, to those at home who are voting online.

So I need your votes… they are $10 each… you can buy as many votes as you want!  When the page switches to the donate page, just add the quantity of votes and Senior Action will add the number of votes to my total.  It is that easy!  Easier than me becoming a dancer!

Click here to learn more and to vote for me…

Thank you in advance – for the top donors I will send a copy of the dance for your viewing pleasure – or humor… whichever fits!

I want to give a HUGE thank you to Fred Astaire Dance Studio in Greenville for giving me the time to make this a reality and pair me with a professional (Maryna Ferris) that can whip me into shape!

 
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Posted by on September 6, 2016 in Business, Fundraising, Just Me

 

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Out of my “Comfort Zone”

Those that truly know me know that I cannot stand being comfortable.

A tough statement, I know.  Of course, on a physical level, I like cool air on a hot day and a warm house on a cold day.  I’m not talking about that kind of comfortable.  I guess I am pointing this toward – stagnation – a failure to progress, develop or advance.  When people get comfortable, they stop DOING.  This can be in a job, with your family or just in life itself.

The Dirt Spot analogy:  Picture a pond.  Water flows into the pond.  Stirring oxygen.  Providing for the living things inside.  Then, for some reason, the water stops flowing into the pond… the oxygen begins to deplete and the water becomes stagnant.  As the water becomes stagnant, life dies.  The water starts to evaporate away and the depth goes away… the pool becomes shallow.  Then, at some terminal point, the pond is gone and all that is left is a dirt spot marking the area that once held vibrant life.

It is a dismal picture and one that happens day in and day out in PEOPLE.  For some reason the water stops flowing in to spur the oxygen and the life is drained from the body.  People get comfortable.  They think the water of life will always flow in to keep the motor running.  And then… nothing.

I cannot stand being comfortable.  Albert Einstein defined insanity as “doing the same thing over and over expecting different results.”  I call it switching seats on the Titanic – it doesn’t matter where you sit, the ship is still going down.

So, to combat this, I do something every so often to restart the life flow into my body… I’ve changed jobs.  I’ve rappelled upside-down off a waterfall.  I’ve run races of varying lengths – 5k, 10k and three 13.1 mile half marathons.  Stood in front of an audience of 2600 people to raise money for various charities… all to keep life alive within myself!

Sure – the stagnant ones around me all say, “You’re crazy” or “How do you do it all?” or simply, “WHY?”.  The simple answer – God gave me a body and I am going to make use of it.  I feel it is a sin to waste away.

So my latest endeavor?  The Spartan Sprint in Charlotte, NC.  A four-mile obstacle/mud run built to take you completely out of any comfort zone you have ever had…

Just a few of the obstacles… 4′, 6′ and 8′ climbing walls, stone pull, hoist a 5 gallon bucket of concrete up 25′, climb a steep incline with only a rope, traverse the edge of a river for approximately 1/4 mile (in the water), throw a spear, jump a fire pit… all while running on a muddy trail through the ups and downs of the US National Whitewater Center in Charlotte.

Correct… a four mile run WITH obstacles! Exactly what I needed to strip my comfort level back to zero.  Now, of course, you could say this would raise my comfort level.  Sure.  I can see that as a positive result of the experience as well.

Up next… the Spartan Beast in October.  I’ll be comfortable again by then.  Medical condition?  Psychosis?  Mid-life crisis?  Eh, whatever.  Figure out what you need to reenergize your life and GO FOR IT!

Here’s a little something to get you on the right track… enjoy!  (By the way, I turn 40 on April 10th… it’s not a mid-life crisis… I’ve only lived 1/3 of my life!)

The Rocky Balboa Speech to his son:

It was great just watchin’ you, every day was like a privilege. Then the time come for you to be your own man and take on the world, and you did. But somewhere along the line, you changed. You stopped being you. You let people stick a finger in your face and tell you you’re no good. And when things got hard, you started lookin’ for something to blame, like a big shadow.

Let me tell you something you already know.The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows. It’s a very mean and nasty place, and I don’t care how tough you are, it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain’t about how hard you hit, it’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward. How much you can take and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done!

Now if you know what you’re worth, then go out and get what you’re worth! But you gotta be willing to take the hits. And not pointing fingers saying you ain’t where you wanna be because of him, or her, or anybody! Cowards do that and that ain’t you! You’re better than that!

 
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Posted by on March 27, 2012 in Just Me, Motivation, Running, Travel

 

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You are NOT your résumé

You are not your résumé, you are your work. I had to ask myself, “do companies really get the best employees by hiring paper over people?” I am reading Seth Godin’s Linchpin and just came across a section that made me stop and think about this question.

Can HR really find talent from what a person HAS done? I can tell you I have done some incredible things in my life and have done a lot of stupid things – I paid the stupid-tax more often than I should have, I might add. But does that tell a headhunter what I am GOING to do if they hire me at ACME, Inc? I think not!

In my opinion, your name and reputation should speak more for you than any piece of paper. Now, I will say, that I send a bio sheet to all new clients so they can get a snapshot of who I am. This bio includes what I am currently working on and some rudimentary has-been information like my education and previous work experience… but nothing like my current client (or reference) list! I let other like-minded clients speak FOR me – they speak for me and what I do for them. They never know when one of my potential clients may contact them so they paint an unprepared, spur-of-the-moment picture of me and my services.

Who cares if I auctioned a round of golf with Jack Nicklaus for $42,000? Who cares if my proposal for the first-ever Forfeited Land Commission auction in South Carolina was accepted? Those items are in the past and may NEVER be replicated again. The negotiation skills needed for these successes will never be garnered from a quick read of my résumé or curriculum vitae… and I am sure many others have skills that have to be seen in action and these people are being passed over because someone worked at ABC or graduated valedictorian at DEF University (please raise your little finger when reading about such a prestigious institution!) and those attributes were more important to the HR person conducting the interview.

Is it just me or is Tobey from The Office the perfect picture of an HR person? Sorry, I had to throw that in.

I congratulate and applaud anyone who is, was or strives to be a valedictorian… but seriously, is that really a well-rounded person? I’m sure a research firm, CPA firm or the FBI white-collar crimes division wants someone who can stay cooped up in front of books, numbers and files trying to find that tidbit of information no one else can find. But are these folks worldly enough to function in today’s society where being different has become the norm?

Again, I think it is an awesome accomplishment and don’t shoot me for my opinion, but I feel your presence is more important than your past. A little deeper – purposeful presence. In today’s world, working for a paycheck yields a mechanized worker. And usually a lower paid worker. Have we been brainwashed into this mentality?

Are people still stuck in the “factory” mentality created by our parents and grandparents? This approach tells us to be at work on time, do what we are told (without question), put in our required amount of time and retire with a lowly pension. Automatons. Like a machine you use when you need it. Switch on, switch off. Repeat as needed. You could say this is another vicious cycle like drug addiction in a family, abuse that carries over for generations… It pains me to see this – Seth Godin talks about it extensively in Linchpin. Who is going to be the one that breaks the cycle?

My parting thoughts…

Be freaking remarkable!
Be that Purple Cow that stands out in the herd!
Don’t just have a presence, have a purpose in everything you do…

A final story… Jamison and Ryan own a 50′ catamaran in St John, USVI named Kekoa (www.BlackSailsVI.com). My wife and I have sailed on the boat and actually met up with them this year on Jost van Dyke, BVI. In speaking with Jamison, who was captain of the boat that day, I told him Kekoa was the Purple Cow of all the charter boats I had seen in the Virgin Islands. Think about boats… White hulls and white sails. Multi-million dollar floating mansions – and they ALL LOOK ALIKE! So what did the brothers do? They painted their hulls silver and raised a black sail… a nod to the pirate ships that flew black sails over 200 years ago. The result – an experience like no other, on a boat like no other.

 
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Posted by on March 20, 2012 in Just Me, Motivation, Writing

 

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KING SIZE… because I’m Shareable

OK… have you seen this picture?  Looks to me like the checkout aisle has grown a lot L-A-R-G-E-R for some reason.  Well…did you notice a wider aisle?  Longer belt to put your items on? Try again…

If you have been to any supermarket lately, you’ve definitely seen the new marketing strategy by the candy makers.  I didn’t really notice it until my 7-year old wanted a bag of Skittles and showed me the package he asked to buy.

Upon looking down I noted the new sizing of bags, bars, packs and containers!  My wife, of course, said there was no way we were buying that much sugar and proceeded to go to other racks looking for the normal size bags.  No dice.  You get KING SIZE or nothing.  Sorry – in this case it was Tear and Share… my bad!

Didn’t these people see Morgan Spurlock’s SuperSize Me?  The movie started a revolution in the fast food industry – specifically at McDonald’s, who was the test subject of the month-long experiment.  Super sizing started to go away as people began to see the dangers of these meals and the caloric content they were putting in their mouths and bodies, for a few cents more.  Spurlock was one of the first human guinea pigs to put his own body through a test to get results.

A reference to over indulging in sugary foods from Livestrong’s Journal: The USDA says added sugar combined with solid fat can contribute more than 800 additional calories on average to the American diet, making it trickier to consume adequate amounts of fiber, vitamins and minerals without taking in excess calories. (see more)

Note:  If you want to eat these sugar items, EXTRA value meals, jugs o’ soft drink, etcetera, please go ahead.  I am not here to say I am St. Healthy.  I’ve had my share of value meals and jugs o’ soda in my life – and thank God I learned the error of my ways before it was too late.

A little FYI: I have an MBA.  I am NOT a nutritionist, dietician or even a perfect eater!  I am researching this to help my family make informed choices and possibly help yours in the process.  Also, manufacturers still make smaller packages of their products and you CAN find them in stores.

So, back to these new packages that seem to be popping up everywhere.  I have to investigate and see what the differences are.  Let’s look at three candies for our examples:  Kit Kat, Peanut M&Ms and the aforementioned Skittles.

Original packaging:
Kit Kat – serving size: 1 bar.  210 calories, 22g of sugar
Peanut M&Ms – serving size:  1 bag.  250 calories, 25g of sugar
Skittles – serving size: 1 bag.  240 calories, 45g of sugar

Shareable Size packaging (referred to as Tear and Share or King Size):
Kit Kat – the nutritional information not available at time of writing.
Peanut M&Ms – serving size: 1/2 bag.  240 calories, 23g of sugar
Skittles – serving size: 1/3 bag.  150 calories, 28g of sugar.

I love the definition of shareable – capable of being shared?  YES!  The bags are CAPABLE of being shared.  Maybe that is the reasoning for the larger bags – the companies want to develop a sense of unity where people share their bags of candy.  Yeah, explain that to a 7-year old.  If you want to TEACH your 7-year old something, here is a science experiment that may help tie some of this together.

So, let’s put these into a different light, so you can see some comparisons… an 8-ounce container of yogurt contains about 28 grams of added sugar, or 7-teaspoons.  Yes, TEASPOONS of sugar.  A 12-ounce can of soft drink (ie. Coca-Cola Classic, Pepsi or Doctor Pepper) contains around 40 grams, or 10 teaspoons of added sugar.  Now, look back at the candy counts above and use the 4 grams per teaspoon sugar measurement:  that regular size bag of Peanut M&Ms is now six teaspoons of sugar and the shareable bag is now 14 teaspoons of sugar – or more than a can of Pepsi.  Of course, I have to make you aware of the serving size of the KING SIZE bag again – 1/2 bag – as if anyone stops themselves at half a bag!  Hmmm… maybe another reason for marketing?

Could the marketers be trying to reverse a trend they started in 2008-09?  This was the time when packages where getting compacted, yet the prices were either staying constant or slightly rising.  Here is a blog post that sheds a little light on this marketing phenomenon – from the dimple in the Skippy peanut butter jars to the half-filed boxes of product we see from some manufacturers.  Are we trying to change the trend by having larger packages?

So, where are we? I do not have any conclusive proof as to why these packages are appearing everywhere.  The large sizes used to be an option – if you wanted a little more, or were actually going to share it – you could buy the larger size (by the way, a King Size Snickers bar DOES NOT taste the same as a regular size – something about the disproportionate combination of caramel and nougat, I guess).  Now the choices are large size or larger size – like buying a soft drink at Hardee’s.  Hardee’s, however, let’s you know up front it is the place to buy the Thickburger, the $5 Sack Lunch, etcetera – it is out front before you walk in the door and on all of their advertising.

Candy is a different story.  Children are accustomed to having candy for many reasons… now parents have to be more diligent than ever.  Moderation with candy in children is akin to moderation with alcohol in adults.  Parents have to be that guardian that gives the child a handful of candy at a time instead of the entire bag.  Yes, I said it – it goes back to parenting once again.  Not only policing the amount of can soft drinks the child has throughout the day, but the bigger (literally) items now appearing on the horizon.

Shareable may be the nice, kind, loving way – however, when candy is given to a child, the stopping point is usually a tummy ache.  From what?  Yep, too much sugar.

To put a wrap on this package, I’ll finish the supermarket story about my son.  We DID buy the large bag of Skittles.  My wife opened them and gave him a small handful – and put the rest in her pocketbook.  The funny part?  He forgot about them for several days until he saw the bag in the side pocket of her purse.

Whatever you do, protect your family.  You are their guardian and protector and need to be diligent in your decision making.  Breathe.  Believe.  Receive.  Laugh.  Love.  Live!

 
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Posted by on January 15, 2012 in Just Me, Motivation

 

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Training updates… Yep, I’m still here!

Whew… What a whirlwind of travel, training and getting lost in the world! Yes, I am still here and on the same countdown to 40 – I just have not had a chance to sit down and type a new post. Actually, I am 50 minutes from starting a tool and equipment auction (Meares Auctions) so, like my running, I am picking up the pace!

Since the last update I have received some awesome news… Steadman Hawkins has released me from shoulder therapy! I still have to be careful with exercises on the outside of my body – meaning, for the next four to six weeks I have to workout with my hands in front of me. Sort of goofy, I know, but it is the final process in eliminating the biceps tendinitis I was experiencing.

So, why is that integral to marathon training? Well, here it is… think about walking and moving your arms in a normal manner – now, do that faster… and for 26.2 miles. Upper body strength is key when you get upward with longer runs. Sure, some of this comes with adding mileage. However, I want to be fully prepared.

In addition, I have joined Team QSA and have been training with the groups for the past two weeks. The classes have a small student to trainer ratio, which gives more one-on-one time to perfect the exercises. I highly recommend this concept if you are like me and need a little more motivation!

Until next time I am still,
The Pirate looking at 40

 
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Posted by on October 7, 2011 in Running

 

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