It's all about Weird scenerio, Memoirs and Articles

Archive for July, 2015

THE LADY WHO SPENT 10 YEARS OF HER LIFE LIVING ON A BOAT !!!

It was an unusual welcome to London. Gazing ahead as we entered the Thames estuary, I made out the dorsal fin of a porpoise, gently rolling through silver waves. Quite a contrast from my first arrival, 10 years earlier, as an impressionable 19-year-old, deposited off the Glasgow bus to the thrilling, screaming capital at night. This time, I had come on my boat, the 47ft wooden motorsailer that had been home to my partner Phil and me for a couple of years. It was our first voyage on her, and though neither of us had a clue what we were doing (we were relying on an experienced friend), it felt good. Boats are meant to move. We hadn’t come far – out of Brighton marina, left along the coast, past Dover and the eerie spectre of the 100 rotating blades of Kent’s offshore windfarm. North Foreland, sleepily familiar from the Shipping Forecast, made real. Then up, into the mercurial mouth of the Thames, that timeless route followed by Julius Caesar in 54BC, Sir Francis Drake in 1580 and … er, David Beckham in the 2012 Olympics.

I had no sailing background. I had left my home town of Dumbarton, on Scotland’s west coast, for London, traded London for Brighton, university, a career in the arts, considered buying property but the damp basement flats within financial reach didn’t appeal. I noticed people lived on boats in Brighton marina and was immediately gripped. “It’s a practical decision,” I told my family. “We can save for a deposit on a flat.” But the underlying excitement betrayed a long-term agenda. We got a loan of £10,000, bought a 30ft-boat, moved on to it in winter to test the lifestyle at its worst. It was wonderful. It was also cramped (I realised during one blazing argument that I had no door to slam). The novelty made up for that. I had a childlike sense of wonder. Chores were no longer chores – they were looking after the boat; sweeping teak floors with light streaming through the wooden hatch above was genuinely enjoyable.

A year on, we set a budget of £50,000 to upsize and scoured the country viewing overpriced boats in terrible condition. I was taken with Paranormal, a steel motorboat in Rochester that the owner, gesturing to a bent spoon framed on the wall, said had previously belonged to Uri Geller. We spent around £500 lifting her out of the water and appointing a surveyor … only to discover she was bent. It was a while before I could laugh. Shortly afterwards, my dad phoned with news of a beautiful boat, Pamela Jeanne, in the river in Dumbarton, at almost half our budget. I waited as the painfully slow dial-up connection revealed the pictures line by blurry line: a 1932 gentleman’s ketch. So elegant. She had two masts. My desire to own her was immediate and overwhelming. Before long, PJ was on a lorry headed for Brighton (cost: around £2,000) and I was beside myself with excitement. A couple of years later, I had retrained as a journalist, got a job in London and realised we could move, home and all, to the Thames. I had regrets about leaving the ocean, but what I loved most – PJ – was coming, and we could always return. Besides, what an epic journey to plan.

Something extraordinary happens when you arrive in London by boat. The city is changed for ever. The river opens it up. After following its bends and curves from the sea, you realise that it is why London exists – first perched on Ludgate Hill to trade with the world. It’s striking how little has changed; we are all – tankers bound for Dagenham, cruiseships headed for the sights, us moving home and life – at the mercy of the river’s ebb and flow. Thames sailing barges still drift, as in TS Eliot’s The Waste Land, down Greenwich reach, past the Isle of Dogs: “With the turning tide/ Red sails/ Wide/ To leeward, swing on the heavy spar.” This was where we were headed, past the National Maritime museum, and the meridian line, just beyond Deptford, for a mooring in Surrey Quays, one of the docks built at the start of the 17th century. The Thames loops wide around Canary Wharf, black as tar against the night-lit financial skyline. There’s sometimes a scent I remember from the ocean, as the river floods in from the North Sea; a sweetness wrapped up in the salt, like melon. I love the river’s daily transformation – from lead-coloured to brown, now calm, now rushing noisily, its effortless tidal rise of 20-odd feet. It’s hard to believe this virile river streams so gently up at Oxford by grassy banks where cows stand in its course.

We arrived, those 10 years ago, without permission to stay. We had waited more than a year for a leisure mooring – a long-term licence to berth a boat, but without rights to live aboard. It is notoriously difficult to find a residential mooring in London, and each year brings greater numbers competing for fewer spots (giving rise at one end to exploitative landlords renting “slum-style” boat rooms, and, at the other, extortionate prices for private moorings). It meant discreet comings-and-goings for several anxious months, but our risk paid off; eventually we were granted a residential licence, costing £4,000 a year – even with council tax on top, a small price to pay for a riverside spot in zone 2. Electricity and hyperoptic broadband plug in at the pontoon; there is a pump-out service to empty the toilet’s holding tank, a water tap to fill the two large tanks that last a fortnight – you learn not to waste water.

There were two of us when we came to London. We have split since, and though I wouldn’t necessarily have made this journey by myself, I’m beyond happy. It is hard to capture without cliche. It’s waking to the sounds of moorhens and ducks, or gigantic carp banging on the hull as they jostle; it’s watching cormorants swoop for fish, or glimpsing a shy heron, still as a statue in the shadows. There’s a seal that lives nearby, too: it visits Billingsgate market for salmon and though I’ve never seen it, the possibility is enough to keep me scanning the water. Likewise the pod of porpoise that turned up a couple of years ago. Then there’s the community of people, the wealth of knowledge and skills swapped in one place – engineers, lawyers, doctors, photographers, people inspired by and invested in their environment (such as the plans lodged by an architect, who lives on a tugboat, to build a floating swimming pool in the dock).

Maybe it’s the atmosphere created by visitors on boats arriving from France or Holland, friendly explorers, beaming from their trip, or perhaps it’s being surrounded by like-minded neighbours, but you definitely get the outdoor bug. My kayak floats alongside, for a paddle before work. There’s windsurfing and dinghy sailing on the doorstep – capsizing is much more fun since I discovered the Thames is pretty clean (it’s tested regularly as schoolchildren learn to sail here). There are sandy Thames “beaches” revealed at low tide, where a neighbour walks his collie and kids dig up treasures. Barbecues are ubiquitous on starry summer nights. The best description I can give is that it’s like being on holiday – all the time. I could tell you that it’s no fun when the sun stops shining but I love the sound of the rain pattering on the deck, the boat gently creaking, stock reducing on the stove.

This all sounds unbearably smug but there are niggles. It’s a hugely fun life, but not one that appeals to everyone. When it comes to meeting people, particularly in the unfamiliar realm of dating, I wonder if it’s potentially limiting. There are perceptions of a bohemian lifestyle; I suspect people imagine a cramped, hardy existence that doesn’t resemble mine – that I’m stooped in the damp and dark, having cold sponge baths in the salty brine. Or that I’m constantly moving, of no fixed abode, like a watery hobo. What would I do if I met someone who hated the water? Or got seasick? That probably wouldn’t work. There are more serious issues, too. I’ve added value to PJ, not least the £12,000 on shiny new engines to enable annual holidays to France I’ve never managed; she’s probably worth twice what I paid for her. But unlike bricks and mortar, she will not appreciate in value beyond that. So this is about an affordably high quality of life now rather than an investment that will grow. And that feeling of space outside? It’s doubly important because room inside is at a premium. PJ is beautiful – all Burmese teak decks, pitch pine and oak, but she’s also pointy in places, slightly low in others, so storage isn’t generous.

Once a vintage junkie, I took a minimalist approach when I moved onboard, ruthlessly ditching all but the most beloved belongings (technology helped; I kept some books but Kindle is key and happily I don’t have a vinyl fetish). It was liberating. PJ already had plenty of character and there was no need (or room) to add much, give or take a few gifts, such as a lovely ship’s clock from my dad. I have a beautiful little aft cabin, with a double bed, plenty of drawers and hanging closet. Up some steps is a wheelhouse, kept empty, just for the luxury of space. Down more steps into a relatively roomy living space, about 12ft wide at its beamiest. Cooking is important – I opened up the separate galley and saloon so my kitchen is as big as some I’ve seen in friends’ city flats. The mini Aga-style stove (designed by Heritage, a great little company in Cornwall) uses marine diesel for cooking and runs the central heating (so, no, to answer an oft-asked question, it’s not cold in the winter). I turned the forepeak room’s two small berths into one really big bath. Not hugely practical, but the hatch above means I get to bathe under the stars and shower under the sun.

Compromising on space isn’t such an issue for everyone afloat. Often, liveaboards will be converted barges, relatively flat bottomed for navigating canals and rivers. As the Dutch know, it makes sense – they’re big square spaces that are easy to fit out. Many (particularly in London) have more square footage than a flat. Some have swimming pools on deck. But, the bigger the boat, the more it costs to buy, berth, and of course, maintain. Every three years I ditch my desk job for a couple of weeks’ graft in the boatyard. You can, of course, pay other people to do the work for you – many people do. I help with the sanding, painting and varnishing required for upkeep, mainly because I enjoy learning about the boat, and to keep costs down – paint and other materials come in at £400, lifting it from the water costs around £1,000 (there’s nothing so nerve-racking as watching your home – including your cat – dangle from a crane). But there are maintenance costs with character properties, too – those old Victorian windows can cost a fortune to fix up, I hear.

As house prices and rentals in London continue to rocket, there’s been a huge increase in people turning to boats as an affordable home. If you can’t get a residential mooring, there’s nothing to stop you buying a boat suitable for the canal network (typically narrowboats), getting a licence (up to £1,000 a year) and “continuously cruising” – moving every fortnight. Which is why there’s been an 85% rise in new boaters on the Regent’s Canal in Hackney this year. I cross the Thames daily, cycle up the towpath to work, and have seen it transform. The self-styled “Haggerston Riviera” is fast becoming a floating incarnation of the overpriced street food scene. All the signs are there – ironic graffiti, pop-up supper clubs, skateboarding adults. The air is heavy with the whiff of moustache wax. There are bookshop boats, vinyl record boats, teashop boats, vegan smoothie boats, “healing” massage boats, cinema boats, boat “venues for hire”. This month, a boutique hotel barge launched in Hackney – £300 a night. It’s – for the most part – vibrant and fun, safer than years gone by, and a far better outcome than a previous soulless proposal to concrete over the canal. But the waterway network is congested. There’s additional pressure on each visitor mooring, and queues at water points and pump-out facilities.

Every other day near the lock gates, there are baffled boys in flat caps with ropes hanging from their hands. There are narrowboats, barges, lifeboats; what can only be described as “makeshift” boats, rafted two and three together, their bows jutting at unpleasing angles. There’s not much room to move – but move they must, and as the terms of the licence make clear, it needs to be more than a few pedantic metres, or a letter will arrive banishing them to the outer reaches of Kensal Green (the horror!) Moving your boat in a confined space is scary – particularly under pressure from boat trip operators short of patience with hipsters drinking Punk IPA who don’t know how to get their 60-foot length of steel out of the way.

And property owners are complaining about “linear villages” cluttering the towpath. Councillor Paul Convery criticised boaters who “send their kids to Islington schools claiming they live in the

borough”. There’s an unpleasant whiff of snobbery and prejudice, a depressing unkindness that’s often shown by people sharing a space with those paying less. But there’s a point to some of these complaints, too. The canal network was designed for free-flowing traffic, not as a pretty spot for a cheap home. It’s what the Canal and River Trust’s Joe Coggins diplomatically calls “challenging” to manage – they’ve increased the number of volunteers to enforce the rules and promote better understanding between canal users. Coggins is keen to emphasise the importance of research to anyone considering the lifestyle: where to get your gas, wood or coal for heating; how to charge batteries and generators; the technical knowledge required to maintain engines and bilge pumps.

But the romance of boat life has always attracted a disparate crowd, the original hipster artists – musicians, actors, writers. Dave Gilmour’s Hampton houseboat (and the studio where he recorded Momentary Lapse of Reason) was originally built for a music-hall impresario whose proteges included the young Charlie Chaplin (its deck designed to accommodate a 90-piece orchestra). Chelsea Yacht & Boat Company, established in 1935, described as the original “bo

hemian houseboat village”, has counted Damien Hirst, Nick Cave and Nigel Planer among its residents. Rod Stewart lived afloat in Shoreham on Sea in the 1960s, on what’s referred to as a “beatnik houseboat” (I’m not sure what a beatnik houseboat is, though this might come close, and no word on whether he ever sailed it) and there have been plenty of anecdotes – some of them possibly even true – of the wild times that ensued there. Malcolm Hardee, the infamous comedy promoter, ran a club on the Wibbly Wobbly, his floating pub next to the boat he lived on in my marina until he drowned after his nightly row from one to the other. He was responsible for a long line of famous characters stumbling around the dock (I was bemused by the sight of a topless and dishevelled Keith Allen emerging from the barge next to me one morning). Boats act as a great leveller, bankers and buskers rubbing up against one another – it’s all a bit Savile meets Cannery Row.

I’m often asked if I’ll ever move back on to land. I can’t see what could rival the lifestyle I have on this boat, in this city. I look east to Greenwich, to the three masts of the Cutty Sark rising gracefully, 150 feet into the London sky. The tea clipper – the sole surviving example and one of the most famous ships in the world – was built

in Dumbarton. This beautiful exile is surely the best thing to come out of that place. Closely followed by Pamela Jeanne. There’s a pleasing symmetry in the odd reunion of these two boats so far from home – once sailing the Clyde, now a few hundred metres apart along the Thames. With boats, it’s always about the journey, and while the Cutty Sark is firmly at home in the maritime world heritage centre of Greenwich, Pamela Jeanne still has some ocean trips in her; she’s just waiting on me to untie her ropes.

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THE TRUTH AND UGLY BEHIND WINDOWS 10 OS

Windows 10 is under attack over default settings which users say compromise their privacy, just days after the operating system’s successful launch saw more than 14 million installs in the first 24 hours.

Hundreds of commenters on sites such as Hacker News and Reddit have criticised default settings that send personal information to Microsoft, use bandwidth to upload data to other computers running the operating system, share Wi-Fi passwords with online friends and remove the ability to opt out of security updates.

Many of the complaints relate to the new personalised adverts embedded in Windows 10. When the OS is installed, Microsoft assigns the user a unique advertising ID, which it ties to the email address registered with the company. That email address is also associated with a raft of other services, such as the company’s productivity and communication programs, as well as app downloads and cloud-storage uploads.

Using that information, Microsoft is able to personalise ads to the user, during both web surfing and, for newer apps downloaded from the Windows Store, app usage. Microsoft itself is leading the way on that front, even turning the in-built version of Solitaire (the card game that has been a staple of Windows installations since 1990’s Windows 3.0) into a freemium game, complete with unskippable video adverts.
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Elsewhere, Windows 10 also harvests user information in order to teach the built-in personal digital assistant Cortana, Microsoft’s answer to Siri. To enable Cortana, the company says, it “collects and uses various types of data, such as your device location, data from your calendar, the apps you use, data from your emails and text messages, who you call, your contacts and how often you interact with them on your device”.

Users are given the option to opt out of most of the data collection, but critics say that that isn’t enough. Alec Meer, of gaming website Rock Paper Shotgun, says: “Microsoft simply aren’t mak

ing it clear enough that they’re doing this, how it might affect you and how to opt out – despite chest-thumping, we’re-all-chums-here talk about how ‘real transparency starts with straightforward terms and policies that people can clearly understand’.

“There is no world in which 45 pages of policy documents and opt-out settings split across 13 different Settings screens and an external website constitutes ‘real transparency’.”

Others have criticised the company for a seeming get-out clause in its terms of service, which allow it to share user data based on nothing more than a “good faith” belief that doing so is required to comply with law enforcement, “protect our customers”, secure the company’s services, or “protect the rights or property of Microsoft”.

The terms are reminiscent of those applied by the company in March 2014, when it read the hotmail account of a blogger suspected of being involved in leaking an early version of Windows 10. After facing criticism for doing so, Microsoft tightened its privacy policy, and promised a full internal legal review before it would do so again in the future.

The European digital rights organisation (EDRi) sums up the company’s 45 pages of terms and conditions by saying: “Microsoft basically grants itself very broad rights to collect everything you do, say and write with and on your devices in order to sell more targeted advertising or to sell your data to third parties.”

In many ways, however, Windows 10 is merely moving closer towards what has become the new normal thanks to mobile operating systems. Both Siri and Google Now require access to the user’s personal information to personalise responses, while both Apple and Google offer developers the ability to deliver personalised ads to users based on information such as app installs.

And some of the criticised settings may turn out to be a net positive for all concerned. Users have attacked Windows 10 for only offering two settings when it comes to Windows Update: either install and restart immediately, or install and ask permission to restart. The option to not install updates does not appear to be present on the base version of the OS. But that decision chimes with the advice of security experts, who say that the number one thing for staying safe online is to install every security update immediately.

THAT THOUGHT; THOUGH

THAT THOUGHT; THOUGH

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PROLOGUE

“The fight is inexplicably painful and it has over time proves fruitless!!! Or maybe it’s because this can’t be fought to victory without a spiritual help! Or at least so I thought.”

–ADEDAMOLA

‘That thought though’ is a story that comes to freedom after much struggle with the mind and its emotion along with its feeling. The thoughts that often cross our mind are a kind of a powerful tool that can alter every bit of our responce and reaction to life. In the course of the next 32 episode, the power and grip that a single thought have on our daily life will be seen as it unravels itself in a vary manifold side of dubious endeavors through the life of a sister.

Adedamola whom the story is majored on is a 400Level student of Ladoke Akintola University Of Technology (Lautech), this whole column that’s about kicking off is based on Adedamola victory over addiction that sprout out via his thought. Now it’s only logical to assume everyone move around daily with different addictions some of which are seen as minimal until there sprout out potential branch of problem that eventually weighs their respective spiritual life down, example of such addictions are ‘telling of lies’, ‘stealing’, ‘cheating’, ‘covetousness’, ‘bad habit of various kind’. As much as sometimes the willpower is present to fight and halt the various addictions, the only success to ending every addiction is looking up to God because he is the only one who can help ones infirmity.

Adedamola’s addictions will remain veiled at the early episode of this story, but as the episode fasten up, the addictions will carefully unravel its intention. This story isn’t just for amusement and entertaining of oneself, its shared for the mortifying of the lust of the flesh that arise via bad addictions and it is also shared to brings faith to whoever reads it as regarding addictions. No matter how webbed you are into an addiction, its important you know that all it takes sometimes is someone that God is willing to use that is going to bring you out of any addiction. I have decide to share this story with the public because such addictions torments the modern day Christian and the irony of it all is that circumstances around doesn’t propose a need to give it up, instead it show how petty an addiction whatever situation you are caught up in is, thus giving one a sense of being in a right standing with God when in actual sense one is getting far away from his fellowship on daily basis.

Eccl 3:4-6

4 A time to weep, And a time to laugh; A time to mourn, And a time to dance;

5 A time to cast away stones, And a time to gather stones; A time to embrace, And a time to refrain from embracing;

6 A time to gain, And a time to lose; A time to keep, And a time to throw away; NKJV

Eccl 3:15

15 That which is has already been, And what is to be has already been; And God requires an account of what is past. NKJV

This two verses from Ecclesiastes chapter 3 is one that backs up this story and its addictions , and if one take time well to discern this verses, one will realize all things in life is a gift and shouldn’t be misused. This knowledge is what Adedamola understood eventually, after going deep into it all.

THAT THOUGHT; THOUGH

THAT THOUGHT; THOUGH

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Just before this memoir kicks off, its important to note that the person in review is a young girl who is in her penultimate year in the university. She grew up in a free home, her parent were a religious set of folks, and even with such fact, she still finds herself in the midst of so many emotional entanglement, that made her along the way feel lost on, several platform. so i guess what this pre-note stands for, is to appeal to my readers, to take caution and put in mind that her memoir is about her and what she believe to be right with her conscience. so please pal, no judgement and no sentiment.

Satanic Temple enacted a statute to stand their Ground in Detroit city

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DETROIT (Reuters) – A Satanic organization unveiled a controversial bronze Baphomet sculpture in Detroit just before midnight on Saturday, after trying in vain to have it installed near a 10 Commandments monument in Oklahoma.

Due to planned demonstrations, the group, which is opposed to Bible-themed displays on government land, kept the location of the unveiling of its 9-foot-tall monument secret until the last moment, when it emailed the information to ticket holders.

The Satanic Temple unveiled the one-ton statue at an industrial building near the Detroit River just before 11:30 p.m. local time as supporters cheered, “Hail Satan.” Some of the hundreds in attendance rushed to pose for photos.

The statue of a winged Baphomet with a human body and a goat’s head resembled a design the group previously released. Statues of a boy and a girl stood in poses of adoration on either side.

Jex Blackmore, director of the Satanic Temple Detroit chapter, said temple members planned to transport the sculpture to Arkansas, where earlier this year the governor signed a bill authorizing a 10 Commandments monument on the State Capitol’s grounds.

The Temple had unsuccessfully applied to have the statue placed near a 10 Commandments monument installed in 2012 on the Oklahoma State Capitol grounds. The Oklahoma Supreme Court recently ruled the 10 Commandments monument violates a section of the state constitution that bans the use of state property for the benefit of a religion.

Lawmakers in the socially conservative state responded with threats to seek the impeachment of the court’s justices and pledged to push for changes to the constitution.

Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin, a Republican, said she will keep the monument in place as the state appeals the decision.

On Saturday, the presentation of Baphomet in Detroit drew protest from local Christians. About 50 people prayed for the city and denounced the monument outside a business where the Satanic Temple previously tried to display the statue before fears of a backlash scuttled the plan.

“The last thing we need in Detroit is having a welcome home party for evil,” said Reverend Dave Bullock, a pastor at Greater St. Matthew Baptist Church in Highland Park, Michigan.

(Adapted from yahoo news)

THE SPRING THAT SPEAKS AT STEWART ISLAND

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THE SPRING THAT SPEAKS AT STEWART ISLAND

EPISODE 1

“THE SPRING SPEAKS TO ME, I HEARD IT CLEARLY, AND WHY WON’T ANYONE BELIEVE ME? FOR CHRIST SAKE SOMETHING IS COMING AND IT’S HUGE! PLEASE, YOU HAVE TO BELIEVE ME.” –KYLE MASON

Kyle, please be quiet, nothing is coming beside money, and I wonder why you keep acting strange and speaking terror, nothing is coming. Tourism is our major source of revenue here at mason bay, and this you know well, I’d expect you’ll be getting the boat ready for tourist actions but instead you remained in your delusions. You’d better go help mum get the fish she sent you to acquire at the market.

My name is Kyle mason and i am a twin, my twin sister Kerry is the funniest of all the ladies at mason bay, I love her so much, she can’t begin to imagine. The only thing about Kerry that scares me is her love for money; she’s never tired of seeing money roam in her wallet.

June in Stewart Island is the beginning of summer, and with summer comes tourist and their money, looking for a quiet place to while away time with whomever they are with. Over the years I have taken time to study the behavior and action the tourist display whenever they are here in New Zealand, and most times, the more dominant reason they are here is because they want to either get closer to their spouse by bringing her to the beautiful “de mason hotel” here at mason bay for summer, which in most cases leads to marriage proposal, Or they are just trying to run away, from the boring life they usually lead wherever it is they are from. Last summer, there was this young man I decide to work with, his name was frank Mugabe, and he was from Cape Town in South Africa. All through the time we were together, the only thing he talks about was the frustration he comes home with from work every day, he hated his boss so much he can’t stand him one bit, and yet he could not get the man angry simply because he loves the man’s daughter Evelyn. Every day I look at him, all I seem to pray for was to never have a reason to fall into his shoes in life.

(NEXT EPISODE NEXT WEEK)

UPCOMING MEMOIRS AND ARTICLES

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THE LIST OF UPCOMING MEMOIRS AND ARTICLES WITH THEIR RESPECTIVE DATE OF PUBLISHING ARE AS FOLLOWS.

  • THE ISLAND THAT SPEAKS AT STEWART ISLAND – 21 JULY 2015
  • THAT THOUGHT; THOUGH – 28 JULY 2015
  • THE BOY THAT DREADED SUNDOW – 4 AUGUST 2015
  • TRACY’S TRAILS OF TEARS – 18 AUGUST 2015
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Ditrie Marie Bowie

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Coloring Outside the Lines

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