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Juliebarkley finds her calling


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It was a quiet evening at the library. There had been no customers for half an hour, and closing time was just five minutes away. Julie was relaxing and tidying up a bookshelf when she heard a *tap *tap* *tap* on the window. She glanced over, but saw only a large crow eyeing its reflection in the mirror. She smiled at the bird and finished tidying the shelf, locked up the library, and started to walk home. As she turned from the door, she heard a flutter, and a crow landed on a tree branch right in front of her. It seemed to be looking her right in the eye. Could it be the same bird as before?

 

She approached the crow slowly, but it didn't flinch, didn't fly away, but continued to meet her gaze. As Julie got near, it dropped a small, olive-green flower that it has been holding in its beak. Instinctively, Julie reached out and caught it.

 

Immediately, her mind was flooded with images and sensations. Amidst the swirl of thoughts and pictures, she could feel a message. "For years you have loved the swamp. You have learned our secret ways and treated the plants and animals of our community with kindness and respect. We have grown to love you too, and we have chosen you to be our guardian. It is a precious duty not to be lightly undertaken. Will you accept?"

 

And in her heart, she knew that there was only one answer. "Welcome, Midnight of the Swamplands!" The images danced with joy, then faded away. The crow, still perched on the branch, was still staring. It blinked, seemingly in approval, and with a caw, flew away. One of its black feathers fluttered downward and Julie caught it, somehow knowing that she would see the crow again soon.

 

And so juliebarkley gained a secret identity.

 

My challenges for this round:

 

Physical: Tour the Swamplands.

To acquaint myself with my new duties, I have to explore the area. The terrain can be rough, and I'll need to keep my strength up!

 

1. Continue bodyweight workout 3x per week. I've been using the Body by You program by Mark Lauren, and I really like the structure and progressions. I am just starting Cycle 2, so we'll see how that goes!

As of now, I am at:

Pulling: level 12

Squatting: level 13

Inline Pushing: level 7

Perpendicular Pushing: level 6

Bending: level 19 (!)

Pass: 3x per week, unless sick or injured. Modify as needed. Fail: Any voluntary skip.

 

2. On non-BWW days, walk to the mailbox and back (about 1.5km). I would like to do more long-distance walking, but I think my form is bad somehow as I have ended up with very sore hips on the left side the last few times. So I am starting small and trying to improve my walking form.

Pass: 4x per week. Can make up with walks on strength days if necessary. Fail: <4x per week unless injured, freezing rain, or severe flooding. In strong winds, can stop that the edge of the forest.

 

Health/Spiritual: Know thyself.

To be able to live up to my new responsibilities, I need to be healthy in body and peaceful in spirit.

 

3. Brush teeth and do dental rinses 2x per day. This is a level up from last challenge. The before bed session remains the same. The additional set will be after my first food/meal of the day at home.

Pass: 2x per day at least 5x per week. Fail: 2x fewer than 4x per week or 0x on any day. This can be moved off my challenge list and considered a habit if I miss no more than 2 all challenge.

 

4. Make a tray of sprouts 1x per week. I have a lovely tray sprouter and seeds and somehow never get around to sprouting them. They are nutritious, cheap, and make great snacks, so let's kickstart this! This is a first step, as I realized in setting up my Epic Quest that I have a lot of food-related goals (cheesemaking, fermenting, etc.).

Pass: Sprout the sprouts. Fail: Don't sprout them.

 

5. Pray 2x per day. Level up from last challenge. I expect this one to be quite a bit harder.

Pass: 2x per day 6x per week, at any of the appropriate times. Fail: 2x per day 5x or fewer per week, 0x on any day, or any day that I chose voluntarily not to do it (this is a psychological goal). Level up if I miss no more than 2 times in the challenge, and never chose to skip.

 

Knowledge: Build a plan for success.

"Guardian of the Swamplands" doesn't pay well. I will still need to eat while also learning about my new role.

 

6. Enter one homeschooling subject into Firetask per week. This is a continuation of last month's challenge, and will continue until I get it done.

Pass: 4 subjects done. Fail: Fewer than 4 subjects done at challenge end.

 

7. Enter 10 babytime programs and all of my songs into OneNote. Now that I have a new supervisor, I will be getting some planning time. Having to plan regular programs at the last minute stresses me out, so I am putting in the planning time now so that the bulk of the work is done for the future.

Pass: Have the stuff entered at the end. Fail: If I have the babytimes in but not the songs, that is a pass. Otherwise, fail.

 

8. Log into transcription site every day. I would like to build some online income, plus I just signed up for a La Femme Nikita convention in Toronto, and a little extra cash would not go amiss to pay for it! Since I may not have time to work on any given day or there may not be tasks available, the goal is to get in the habit of logging in only.

Pass: Log in 5x per week. Fail <4x per week.

 

9. The scariest one... Sign up to LibriVox, record an intro poem, and sign up for a chapter in a book. Begin Audacity course on Lynda.com. My son keeps telling me that I narrate books beautifully, and I have heard the same from the parents at storytimes. I really want to give this a go as a potential career option, but somehow it is so scary. The best that could happen? Awesomeness. I find a new talent that gives me the freedom to work from home doing something I love. What's the worst that can happen if I fail/suck? I make a bad chapter and lose a few hours. And I never have to wonder What if?.

Pass: Do the things. They are nicely set up for one per week, if I feel so inclined. Fail: Don't do the things, but has to be voluntary. If there is no book available, I can't sign up for it, for instance, but if I looked and tried, it counts.

 

This is a lot of things! Wish me luck?

 

Challenge begins on Monday, ends on Sunday.

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Welcome to the assassins! Quite the challenge you have here, and I love the opening story. What sort of transcription do you do, if I may? Also, @Lilmissbri does voice work, might be worth popping over to her fabulous challenge and taking a look. Good luck with the challenge, you've got this!

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Manarelle the Level 56 Amazon Assassin

Challenges: 1-1011-2021-3031-4041-50, 51-60, Current

 

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Holy Shemolies, chicka! Lots of goals!! I love it!!! I usually do a ton of goals as well. Very goal-orientated. 

 

Thank you, @Manarelle, for the mention. I'm definitely here if you need anything Voice Over wise. :o)

 

I'll be following along!! Best of luck on your journey. Cannot wait to see you progress!

 

giphy.gif

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2018 ~ Trophy Guide and Roadmap.

2016 Journey: June | July failed | August failed | October respawn/failed

2017 Adventure: January respawn | February | March | April/May | June | July | Horizon 2017 Dawn year recap
2018 
Quest: January respawn | February | May

What do we say to the god of procrastination? "Not today."

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11 hours ago, Manarelle said:

Welcome to the assassins! Quite the challenge you have here, and I love the opening story. What sort of transcription do you do, if I may? Also, @Lilmissbri does voice work, might be worth popping over to her fabulous challenge and taking a look. Good luck with the challenge, you've got this!

 

Thanks! I'm quite please with the story myself! :)

 

I haven't been doing, but I used to do some basic audio/video transcription, and would like to do it again. It was fun and I was reasonably okay at it. The pay is not great, but I don't have to commute and there's usually work available, so that has to count for something. However, I am also a qualified Braille transcriptionist, but pursuing experience and work in that will have to wait for another challenge!

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11 hours ago, Lilmissbri said:

Holy Shemolies, chicka! Lots of goals!! I love it!!! I usually do a ton of goals as well. Very goal-orientated. 

 

Thank you, @Manarelle, for the mention. I'm definitely here if you need anything Voice Over wise. :o)

 

I'll be following along!! Best of luck on your journey. Cannot wait to see you progress!

 

giphy.gif

 

Thank you for the support! I'm following you, too.

 

I'm hoping it's not quite as bad as it looks. The dailies are not too long, and the rest are weekly, so... hoping I haven't bitten off too much on this one.

 

I'm still at the exploring phase voiceover-wise, but it is more and more interesting the more I look into it. What sort of work do you do (or hope to do)?

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Okay, first day:

 

Tour the Swamplands

1. Bodyweight workout. 0/3 for the week. N/A. BWW is Tuesday, Friday, Sunday.

2. Walk to the mailbox. 1/4 for the week. Did it in the dark, so I couldn't see what was going on with my legs and feet. Trying to move my legs just straight back and forward was harder than I expected. I felt like I was waddling! Plus, my right knee and hip started to ache a bit. In the past, it has been the left, so this surprised me. Next time I shall try to walk in daylight.

 

Know Thyself.

3. Teeth + Rinses, 2x. 1/7 for the week. Success.

4. Sprouts. 0/1 for the week. I am planning to start these on Wednesday.

5. 2x Prayers. 1/7 for the week. Okay, I haven't done the before bed one yet, but I will. I forgot the first one completely, but managed to recover by fitting in both prayer and rinsing in the 15 minutes between finishing supper and Beavers!

 

Build a plan for success.

6. Homeschooling. 0/1 for the week. I wasn't expecting to get this done today. Monday is my busiest day.

7. Babytime + songs. 0/10 for the challenge. However! I made a good structure for entering the data, entered all of the storytime songs (it's not pretty, but they're there!). Plus, I went through my pile of work papers and found 7(!) already-written babytimes that I can input. Some will need tweaking as we've purchased scarves, but the bulk of the work is still done. So I am much closer to my goal although my total says zero.

8. Log into transcription site. 1/7 for the week. Done. I had to hunt down my login and poke through old emails, too, because apparently I have never logged on since they changed platforms more than a year ago. Oops. No time for work, though. Mondays and all.

9. Sign up to LibriVox. 1/1 for the week. Signed up for the forum and got an email requesting an intro as they get a lot of spam. So I haven't actually signed in, but I got as close as I could. Next task: log in and post an intro, then read the FAQs!

 

I didn't miss any daily goals, but didn't really work on the others. I think I did pretty well considering I had two children's programs to run back-to-back this morning, and then a Beaver meeting that I also had had to plan an hour after work. I have just one more (Sparks at the library, tomorrow evening), then back to the regular program run after March Break madness. I should have more time for the rest of the week, so I can get a move on those bigger, time-consuming goals!

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12 hours ago, juliebarkley said:

I'm still at the exploring phase voiceover-wise, but it is more and more interesting the more I look into it. What sort of work do you do (or hope to do)?

 

No worries. Explore away! Haha. My endgame goal is to be a house hold name in Animation and Video Games. But right now, I'm interested in anything. :o)

 

Looks like you have a strong start!! Keep it up.

2018 ~ Trophy Guide and Roadmap.

2016 Journey: June | July failed | August failed | October respawn/failed

2017 Adventure: January respawn | February | March | April/May | June | July | Horizon 2017 Dawn year recap
2018 
Quest: January respawn | February | May

What do we say to the god of procrastination? "Not today."

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Third day:

 

Tour the Swamplands

1. Bodyweight workout. 1/3 for the week.

2. Walk to the mailbox. 2/4 for the week. In the dark, again, because I didn't get home until after 9. Walking normally felt less awkward, but this time had back and shoulder pain up the right side. Right leg was totally fine, though. Not sure what to think of that.

 

Know Thyself.

3. Teeth + Rinses, 2x. 2/7 for the week. Missed today as I didn't finish eating my first food at home until almost 11pm. The two sessions would be so close together, it just didn't make sense. I work late on Wednesday, so I will have to think about how to make this work for me.

4. Sprouts. 1/1 for the week. Just put a tray of chickpeas on to soak.

5. 2x Prayers. 3/7 for the week. I was poorly prepared yesterday, but still got it done to the best of my ability at the time. Today, I did much better. :)

 

Build a plan for success.

6. Homeschooling. 1/4 for the challenge. Got it done last night. woo! It took less time than I had feared that subject would take (though still long enough). I am afraid for some of the future ones though, as they are not so well planned out yet.

7. Babytime + songs. 2/10 for the challenge. Plus all of the storytime AND babytime songs are now entered, colour and tune coded, and a template made. I could probably have gotten another one in today, but I was sick of looking at them. I am feeling good about finishing this one early.

8. Log into transcription site. 3/7 for the week. Helps that I have it open in a tab that stays logged in, heh. I might actually get a little work done tonight for the first time in a long time!

9. Sign up to LibriVox. 1/1 for the week. This is my todo for tonight: posting an intro and reading some FAQs.

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On 21/03/2017 at 1:58 PM, Lilmissbri said:

 

No worries. Explore away! Haha. My endgame goal is to be a house hold name in Animation and Video Games. But right now, I'm interested in anything. :o)

 

Looks like you have a strong start!! Keep it up.

 

Neat! That's an ambitious goal since most people know like 2 voice actors by name. :P

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2 hours ago, juliebarkley said:

Neat! That's an ambitious goal since most people know like 2 voice actors by name. :P

 

Very true! LOL. But that's what I love about it. When I say "house hold" I mean by the VO community. I actually love the anonymity that come with being a Voice Actor. I never want to have the situation where I can't go to Disney because people absolutely bombard me as if I'm one of the Princesses. Of course reaching that type of fame is very unlikely no matter what I do, BUT I still like how low key VO is.

2018 ~ Trophy Guide and Roadmap.

2016 Journey: June | July failed | August failed | October respawn/failed

2017 Adventure: January respawn | February | March | April/May | June | July | Horizon 2017 Dawn year recap
2018 
Quest: January respawn | February | May

What do we say to the god of procrastination? "Not today."

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11 hours ago, juliebarkley said:

2. Walk to the mailbox. 2/4 for the week. In the dark, again, because I didn't get home until after 9. Walking normally felt less awkward, but this time had back and shoulder pain up the right side. Right leg was totally fine, though. Not sure what to think of that.

 

Changing your gait involves pretty much every muscle and joint in the body. If you're used to favoring one leg, then the opposite side of the torso has to take up the balancing slack. Changing to a balanced walking stride will require the lesser-used muscles to work harder (at least, that's my 2 cents!). Looks like a pretty productive week so far!

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Manarelle the Level 56 Amazon Assassin

Challenges: 1-1011-2021-3031-4041-50, 51-60, Current

 

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Wow, that is a long list of goals. Don't think I'm organized keep track of that myself. Good luck with that. You seem to be getting a good start on it. 

 

 That's a nice story you started with. I haven't read your previous challenge to know if you started there or not. I look forward to seeing what happens. 

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Thanks @Meushell! That is the first story bit that I have done, and I may not do any more of them for this challenge, but in future I hope to do a bit each week. Some of the challenges I started last time though, so they are habits I was already developing, which helps.

 

I don't have time for a full report right now. Just wanted to report that my sprouts are already edible (and delicious). Just over 24 hours and only 3 rinsings. Amazing.

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On 25/03/2017 at 4:39 PM, Meushell said:

How do you grow the sprouts?  I have such a black thumb. Things either die or just don't grow to begin with.  The sprouts sound good though. I recently bought some to put in sandwiches. 

 

I have a tray sprouter. I soak the seeds for a little while, then put them on a tray and rinse them once when I get up and once before I go to bed. That's basically it. If you don't have a sprouter, it is just as easy to use a jar with mesh or looseweave cloth over the top, or a cloth bag (preferably drawstring). I would actually quite like to make myself a sprout bag, as it seems even easier - just hang it over the bathtub faucet and give it a rinse, then throw it in the laundry when it's done. Most of the usual seeds are so easy that you pretty much can't fail as long as you don't let it totally dry out, and stick them in the fridge when they're done if you won't finish them quick. I have been using mine as computer snacks, but they didn't last long enough to need refrigeration.

 

All my chickpea sprouts have now been eaten :) , so I need to make a new batch now. This time, I'm going to try green peas. I've heard they taste a lot like peas fresh from the pod, which are the best vegetables in the whole world.

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Got a bit delayed when I was unexpectedly offered a ride to an SCA event on Saturday, the night before. I hadn't planned for how early I would have to get up, and crashed when I got home in the middle of planning today's DnD session. I missed some stuff because I fell asleep when I wasn't planning to. Anyway:

 

First week:

 

Tour the Swamplands

1. Bodyweight workout. 3/3 for the week.

2. Walk to the mailbox. 4/4 for the week. In the dark and the mud. Sensing a pattern here. Although this time I was not achy at all after. Yay!

 

Know Thyself.

3. Teeth + Rinses, 2x. 5/7 for the week. Missed my last one on Saturday due to the aforementioned unexpected early night, but got the one I'm trying to build as a habit done.

4. Sprouts. 1/1 for the week. Already gone!

5. 2x Prayers. 7/7 for the week. Almost missed it on Saturday, but woke up at 4:30am and decided to do it then as I still had time. I am counting today, though it's not finished yet.

 

Build a plan for success.

6. Homeschooling. 1/4 for the challenge. No new work done here since last time.

7. Babytime + songs. 2/10 for the challenge. No new work here either and I have tomorrow off. I probably won't make any progress on this until Wednesday.

8. Log into transcription site. 6/7 for the week. Never turned on the computer on Saturday. However, I haven't actually done any work yet. Boo!

9. Sign up to LibriVox. 1/1 for the week. I am determined to get the intro and FAQ reading done tonight, so that I am prepared for the second week's adventures.

 

All in all pretty successful, just need to not procrastinate on the LibriVox. I already have two misses for #3, but only one of them is a real "miss". I have a feeling I will be repeating that habit next time.

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Overall, though, looks like you had a really productive week 1! Yeah, you can look at the misses, but don't discount how much you got done that wouldn't have happened without your challenge. Keep up the good work and you'll have a ton of awesome habits by the end of week 4. You've got this!

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Manarelle the Level 56 Amazon Assassin

Challenges: 1-1011-2021-3031-4041-50, 51-60, Current

 

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On 3/26/2017 at 8:00 PM, juliebarkley said:

All in all pretty successful, just need to not procrastinate on the LibriVox. I already have two misses for #3, but only one of them is a real "miss". I have a feeling I will be repeating that habit next time.

I'm assuming this means you like LibriVox! :o)

2018 ~ Trophy Guide and Roadmap.

2016 Journey: June | July failed | August failed | October respawn/failed

2017 Adventure: January respawn | February | March | April/May | June | July | Horizon 2017 Dawn year recap
2018 
Quest: January respawn | February | May

What do we say to the god of procrastination? "Not today."

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Week 2, third day:

 

Tour the Swamplands

1. Bodyweight workout. 1/3 for the week.

2. Walk to the mailbox. 1/4 for the week. Couldn't walk on Monday, as it was too foggy for safety. I will have to make one up later in the week. Tonight, I was serenaded by hundreds of honking geese.

 

Know Thyself.

3. Teeth + Rinses, 2x. 3/7 for the week. So far totally on track.

4. Sprouts. 1/1 for the week. This week's sprouts are green peas. I am really looking forward to these!

5. 2x Prayers. 3/7 for the week. I am starting to get in the groove of thinking ahead for this goal.

 

Build a plan for success.

6. Homeschooling. 1/4 for the challenge. No new work here yet. I have gone through the list and picked out the topics I plan to work on, but am planning to start the actual work work tomorrow.

7. Babytime + songs. 6/10 for the challenge. Got four of these done today, which puts me slightly ahead of schedule. Since I also got all of the songs entered and a bunch of books on Tuesday, I am feeling pretty good about this goal!

8. Log into transcription site. 2/7 for the week. I missed it yesterday, but only because my internet was down all evening. I did try, so I don't think it's truly a miss, but I'm not counting it as it didn't actually happen.

9. Record an 1-minute test and poem (LibriVox). 0/1 for the week. I did read all of the FAQs last week, so I was all revved up to get going on this one, but my internet was down. I couldn't even access the instructions. Even on Monday, my internet was crap. I didn't have time today, so I guess this will be another tomorrow job.

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I heartily support more sprouting! It really is extremely easy.

 

Some of the green peas already have tiny tails and they smell all sprouty. I am excited to try them.

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Week 2, fourth day:

 

Tour the Swamplands

1. Bodyweight workout. 1/3 for the week. Next one is tomorrow.

2. Walk to the mailbox. 2/4 for the week. Walk was very pleasant, if a little muddy. I feel like proper walking gait is becoming more automatic now. The geese were remarkably quiet all day (there are probably nearly a thousand geese hanging out behind my house right now).

 

Know Thyself.

3. Teeth + Rinses, 2x. 4/7 for the week. All good.

4. Sprouts. 1/1 for the week. They have swollen up nicely and are coming along, but not ready just yet.

5. 2x Prayers. 4/7 for the week. I kind of did the wrong one at the wrong time, but I thought it was right at the time, and by the time I realized it, it was too late to fix it. Oops! I still did it, so it counts. :)

 

Build a plan for success.

6. Homeschooling. 2/4 for the challenge. Done today, hooray! The young one seems excited to see his art curriculum all entered, and has decided to work on it tomorrow.

7. Babytime + songs. 6/10 for the challenge. That is probably it for this week for this goal. More next Wednesday.

8. Log into transcription site. 3/7 for the week. And I actually transcribed a video today!

9. Record an 1-minute test and poem (LibriVox). 0/1 for the week. Given that it is now almost 3 am, this will probably have to wait until tomorrow. But I have recaptured my microphone from my son, have my instructions open, got the homeschool work out of the way, and am all ready to go! I have no excuses not to make good progress on this tomorrow, as I don't work on Fridays so I have literally all day.

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Week 2, fifth day:

 

Tour the Swamplands

1. Bodyweight workout. 2/3 for the week. The workout today felt quite challenging, but I leveled up on two exercises, so yay!

2. Walk to the mailbox. 2/4 for the week. I didn't do my make-up walk today because I woke up to snow. Why snow, why?

 

Know Thyself.

3. Teeth + Rinses, 2x. 5/7 for the week. I think that I did it today,  but I am not sure (had vague memories but couldn't be sure it wasn't from yesterday). I thought about it a bunch of times, so I am going to count it.

4. Sprouts. 1/1 for the week. So close to ready!

5. 2x Prayers. 5/7 for the week. Woo!

 

Build a plan for success.

6. Homeschooling. 2/4 for the challenge.

7. Babytime + songs. 6/10 for the challenge.

8. Log into transcription site. 4/7 for the week. No transcription today, though I did have yesterday's approved and I poked around the site a bit.

9. Record an 1-minute test and poem (LibriVox). 0/1 for the week. Halfway there! I have posted my 1-minute test, and once it is confirmed I will go do a poem or short story. And, I got a message inviting me to come and work on Jo's Boys by Louisa May Alcott, because they need young adult women. I may look (and apparently sound) young, but I am 36 so this was both amusing and exciting. :) I am not even approved and I have an invitation specifically to me to work on a project?! I feel special... :P

  • Like 4

Challenge:   0   1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10   11   12   13   14   15   16   17   18   19   20   21   22   23   24   25   26   27   28   29   30   31   32   33  34  35  36  37  38  39  40

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