Report No. 13. Friday, September 19 thru Sunday, September 21. GET BACK TO WHERE YOU ONCE BELONGED.


Reminder: Sharon's added comments are in {brackets}. Comments inserted after returning to San Jose are in red.

Friday, September 19, 2003. Day 37 of 118. Oh My Aching Back.

At 524am it is very very warm already. Not in the comfort of our a/c motorhome of course, where we slept cold enough to need a sheet and cover. Co-Zee.

I've started having sharp pains in my back, where my left kidney is. When I bend to the left, it really hurts ("Don't bend it. That'll be $120," says the hypothetical doctor when I ask him). Either 1) I've twisted my back without knowing it, 2) I've got a brewing left kidney problem - shudder, 3) the mattress of our bed has finally caught up with my back, and I need a better sleeping surface, 4) I've got polio of the kidney. I'm almost certain it's #4. Sharon wants me to add: 5) I sit at the computer for a long time every evening in the perfectly square anti-ergonomic dinette bench seats.

That couldn't be it.

This had better get better pretty soon, but I'd frankly settle for not getting worse right now.

There are Galahs squeaking overhead in the darkness, in the trees. We hit the road heading north, and half an hour later it is raining extremely hard. Then, as suddenly as it started, it stops.

The sun starts lightening the sky at 6am, and we're seeing nice oranges and pinks. Sharon reminds me to record our Trip Rabbit when we were at Olive Pink. At 615am, we come to the Barkly Highway sign pointing to the right, but we head straight north on the Stuart, and bingo, we're in new territory, approaching the little settlement of Three Ways, from where you can go any of three directions.

Sharon starts speculating on the Pratincole and the fact that he was all alone, probably migrating somewhere. She wonders where they find a mate when they travel single like this, and suggests that maybe they go to a Pratincole Bar, to which I add, "to pick up chicks."

The sun is 90 percent of the way up now, and we're reaping the sunrise rewards of getting up early, out on a road trip. We change drivers at 7am so I can do my nap, then swap back a half-hour or so later.

We fill up in the town of Elliot at the BP, and as we leave, Sharon puts on her E.T. voice and says scratchily, "Ell-i-ottttt."

We meet a man coming towards us on the other side of the highway, peddling his bicycle, and pulling a small trailer witth a basket behind him. And as we pass each other, we notice two things: 1) he's really struggling, and 2) there are two dogs riding in his trailer basket. Has this man never heard of the Iditarod?

We stop at 10am in Dunmarra at a wayside inn, fuel stop and restaurant. There are Apostlebirds all over the place, plus a Great Bowerbird hissing. Sharon gets out the seed, throws it around , and I count 54 Apostlebirds, vying for the front row. We decide to have brunch there and finally pull out about ten after 11.

We pause to watch an old beat up red jeep pulling a dilapidated old blue wagon, doing town cleanup duty it seems. There are three people in the jeep. The young son is riding shotgun, the mother sits in the driver's seat, and the little 4-year old daughter sits between mom's legs and steers. I think of Missouri summers, after I had magically ditched my asthma, and days spent at Uncle Paul's house, with my cousin Paul Jr. Uncle Paul would give me the same treat that woman was giving her daughter, only I'd steer the old purple Henry J.

Uncle Paul raised turkeys in the summers. He'd buy them when they were very young, then raise them till they were eating size, then sell them. Paul Jr. and I used to go with Uncle Paul in the Henry J, down to where the turkeys were kept, in a large meadow. He had the problem of keeping the foxes from getting the turkeys at night. One solution was to "sleep with them", in the Henry J. I guess the turkeys would make a big commotion when a fox came around, and that would wake up Uncle Paul, to address the problem.

Uncle Paul would take the rear seat out and Paul Jr. and I would sleep in the back. I remember there were little metal projections which were hidden when the back seat was in, but sticking out in the sleeping configuration. I would raise my finger and touch the point lightly, thinking, "Watch out for this." But when the turkeys gobbled and we'd hear Uncle Paul set off a firecracker or shoot his gun, I often would hit my head on one of the metallic points of that wonderful old Henry J.

And for you youngsters under fifty, guess what Henry Ford's middle initial was. That's right. [My friend and former Stanford housemate Bill Bolstad emails me a correction on this, from New Zealand.. I include this information at the top of Report 16] .

We call second daughter Shandra Dawn, and talk with the three granddaughters Mikayla, Samantha and Sidney. We talk with Mikayla first, and as usual, she doesn't want to give up the phone, "I'm not done yet," she says. So we talk to her some more, and she's finally done. I talk with Samantha a little, then Sharon talks with her, and Samantha wants to tell Sharon a secret, but Sharon is NOT to tell me. And the secret is, "Don't tell Grandpa. Mikayla is taking soccer. Don't tell Grandpa!" I just wanna squeeze her and give her the dreaded tickle torture. Sidney is talking in sentences now, but there is too much noise at both ends to understand her, and so I just alternate between "Uh-huh" and "I love you." She's finally done, and I get to talk to Shandra a little, then Sharon finishes.

"Love you, Shani."

In early afternoon, we come to a sign that says, "Mataranka, Capital of the Never Never." We are back in Bar-shouldered Dove country. By a little before 2pm, we are in our caravan park in Mataranka. We plug in and turn on the air conditioner. Ahhhh.

Later we check the little pond, which they call a dam, on the caravan park property. There are a few common birds, but nothing that interests us. We head out for a track beside a stream, but get only Nankeen Night Heron before we realize we are on a little peninsula created by a stream split. We turn around and head back, noticing an old campfire and a turtle shell. Somebody had turtle for dinner. We get Restless Flycatcher, but nothing much else. We head into town to restock groceries.

After that, take a turn around the botanical walk, but don't get anything. Well, I gotta tell a story of what happened first.

We see the sign "Botanical Walk," on a sign pointing to the left. So we park there, and start walking in. To us, it just looks like any woodlands you'd see driving down the road. So I start speculating. There's supposed to be a circular walk in here, and we sort of see one, but it seems to vanish in both directions. We sort of wander around, guessing that the drought has somehow let the gardens go kaput. But only today, people asked us if we were going here. So what's going on?

We nevertheless walk in, knowing that somewhere in here is a creek. We come to some barbed wire, then decide we need to go back. I ask Sharon if she can tell I'm in a panic because we don't have any life birds yet today, and she says yes.

We make it to the motorhome, and drive about ten meters further. To the Botanical Walk entrance... It's a perfect example of what we are noticing - that the signs to turn left and turn right are placed WAY before they are in the U.S. This is for Sharon's younger son Pete's boys, Josh and Sieren. We hear a DRAGON in the leaves on our left as we enter the Botanical Gardens. Some lizards here are called "dragons."

A Royal Spoonbill flies over and it has an unusual sequence of body movements as the wings beat. It sort of ripples along. We do the walk, but don't get much. It's pretty dark in here, so we complete the loop and load up in the motorhome again. We head for the caravan park (not ours) at the end of Homestead Road, near the thermal pool. We have heard that owls can be seen after dark around the park's lights.

But at 645pm, I pull over. The sky is darkening, but it's still pretty light. The reason I stop is because we see a dark river in the sky, and realize that it is made of fruit bats flying over our head.

A Slice of a Million Bats

Bat, bat, bat, bat, bat, bat, bat, bat, bat, bat, bat, bat, bat, bat, bat, bat, bat, bat, bat, bat, bat, bat, bat, bat, bat, bat, bat, bat, bat, bat, bat, bat, bat, bat, bat, bat, bat, bat, bat, bat, bat, bat, bat, bat, bat, bat, bat, bat, bat, bat, bat, bat, bat, bat, bat, bat, bat, bat, bat, bat, bat, bat, bat, bat, bat, bat, bat, bat, bat, bat, bat, bat, bat, bat, bat, bat, bat, bat, bat, bat, bat, bat, bat, bat, bat, bat, bat, bat, bat, bat, bat, bat, bat, bat, bat, bat, bat, bat, bat, bat, bat.

If you multiply that by 10,000, and THEN double it, you get the number of bats that fly over. About 2 million, and here is THAT story:

I divide the sky above me into chunks, to try to estimate numbers. Let's see 100 in that piece, 200, 300, 400, I'd say 500 bats per second were flying over us. That's 30,000 bats per minute, 300,000 bats in ten minutes. When the numbers begin to drop, I estimate perhaps a million bats had flown over us. I try to get the attention of the one millionth bat to present him with his gift fruit basket (get it?), but he doesn't seem to be interested. {There is a spectacular whoosh, whoosh, sound as they fly over. Otherwise they are perfectly silent. An awe-inspiring sight.}

Holy Bat, Man

We head on to the caravan park, hoping for owls hawking insects at the streetlights there, and I go into the restaurant to ask a question. I finally find a lady who works in the hot kitchen who says, yes, up to two million bats come out every night.

A band begins entertaining the people having dinner in the outside restaurant, and they are kind of Australian country - not bad. We need some country and western owls, but can't find any.

We go back to our own camp, skunked for the first day of our trip. Dang.

Bird Summary:

Life Birds Today: Zip, Zubie and Zilch. Skunk-ola. Nada.
For the Trip: 229.

Trip Birds Today: 0
For the Trip: 271.

Snakes Seen Today: 0
For the Trip: 4.

Sleep in: Territory Manor, Mataranka, NT


Saturday, September 20, 2003. Day 38 of 118. Happy Bird Day To You.

We sleep in a bit for my back, then take off about 7am. My back hurts more now than it did when I went to bed. This would seem to point to the bed, don't you think?

Stupid bed.

Sharon is reading about the Australian Raven as I see two Brolgas out the front window during our drive out. The sun is lightening stuff up and the temperature is excellent right now. Sharon sees another crow or raven fly by with white in the upper wings. We haven't asked anybody about this yet, and I'm getting more and more curious.

Last night we turned over 10,000 kilometers, or about 6200 miles. That's roughly San Francisco to Boston and back.

We reach the morning's goal of a place called Four Mile, on the Roper River. We walk down to the river and get Bar-shouldered Dove right away - Mr. Ubiquitous. A wallaby hops by as we start the trail beside the river.

Immediately we get this incredible thing like a deep-throated growl, and Sharon says she read that the description of the Large-billed Heron's call is like this. We can't decide whether to count it or not, and I'm just not sure, so we don't. We then try to locate him, but the river splits, and there is an unreachable island between us and him, with thick foliage. No luck this direction. So we turn and go back in the original direction, but we just can't get a look at him.

A little after 8am we get a very nice BAR-BREASTED HONEYEATER*. I couldn't figure out what the pattern was on the breast at first. I thought I was seeing only pieces of lines, but then it hit me what I was looking at - bars. {The bird has black scallops across the breast that form rough bars.}

We get an immature Brown Honeyeater, because we're not seeing the triangle behind the eye. Or maybe it's a Rufous-throated juvenile. It's a plain bird, darker above, lighter below, with a lemony-yellow wing patch.

A huge bird flies in across the water, high into a tree, chased by a raven or a crow. I shout, "Goshawk!" but Sharon says it doesn't have a raptor's beak, and she's right. We keep checking, but the bird is well-hidden in the foliage up there. "It's got a red eye," says Sharon. We scratch our heads, then Sharon gets out her ID book and begins paging through - the brute force method. "CHANNEL-BILLED CUCKOO*!" she says, and with that picture in my mind, I can finally recognize the big bill, partially hidden by foliage. Just as we get the ID, the bird flies back across the river and out of our sight. A crackin' good bird!

Quarter till nine and we're after two mystery black and white ducks. I was looking down, avoiding mud when Sharon saw them fly down the river. By the time she yelled and I looked out, they were gone. She sees them land in a big tree, but out of sight. She checks her book and comes up with Radjah Shelduck. Ducks in a tree? Could happen, and in fact, it's not too uncommon, but I say, "Radjah Shelducks in a tree? I don't think so."

We go away from the river to bypass some thick scrub, then estimating about where the big tree is, we plunge back down to the river. I'm assuming that in all the time it took us to do that, surely the birds have flown. In a classically typical event, Sharon puts her binocs up, does a little scan and says those words I love to hear, "I've got 'em."

I get on them and it's indeed a paiir of RADJAH SHELDUCKS*, as home in the big tree as Uncle Sam is, reaching into my pocket.

I see something come in and land on a heavy piece of grass, which dips down from the weight, like a bird. I get on it immediately and see what it is - a big grasshopper, and though it IS huge, it's not as big as the grasshopper that landed on my nose at Uncle Roy and cousin Mel's farm when I was three.

We head back into town for refueling, then go out to Bitter Springs. There is a busload, or coachload, of teenagers swimming at the springs. The procedure is that you get in at one point, float downstream, and get out at another. We meet a girl, and when we mention the smell, she says cheerfully, "It's sulfah!" Like she's proud of it. Sharon says, "So you just shower when you're ready to leave?" And the girl says, "We'll just get into our coach, and head for Dah'win."

We continue around and at one platform, Sharon does her alarm call, and presto, we get a nice NORTHERN FANTAIL*, flying right in to check on the condition of the unknown bird giving the call for help alarm. We're going to have to make a list of birds that come when Sharon calls. For a starter, how about... ALL OF 'EM?

We finish up birding, get some popsicles and head out in new territory. Katherine is 104km and there are some birding stops on the way, the first one along a bitumen road.

About noon, we turn off on Central Arnhem Road, and stop at the first birding location - several water pools. At first we don't see anything. There are some scrubby sticks across the water, near tall grass and we see birds going in and out. We zero in on them. Zebra Finches (love their little honks) and MASKED FINCHES*.

We admire our new finch for a bit, then continue driving. We are looking at what I first thought was a fire. My first word is "Torndado!" Then I see that it's ashes rising up, and it must be the maintenance burning thing. Then it seems like the fire is moving from left to right. It must be an illusion; how could a fire move that fast? Then it moves onto the ROAD! What in thunderation? It's a dust devil - what you might describe as a dust tornado. But it's a huge devil of one. I would assume that trees would make it break up, but that's not the case. It is picking up leaves and ashes from fires of days ago, and twisting them into the air. It IS a definite and raging twister. It goes over some old metal scraps and flips some sheets into the air like cardboard. GET DOWN! Luckily the metal stuff is not too close to us.

Now the road changes to one of those compromise highways. You can go 100 km/hr on the one-lane bitumen, but if you see someone coming, you both move over to the dirt side (one wheel on dirt, one on pavement) while you pass each other. Another dust devil is up ahead, and it's clear we're going to drive right through it. I'll bet the motorhome just busts it up completely. As I pass through, it's like a huge giant just pushes us hard to the left and I have to jerk the wheel to the right for a second, not to get blown off. Wow.

Dust Devil 1, Motorhome 0.

We stop at another watering hole, looking for the wonderful and hard-to-locate Gouldian Finch, but the bugs and the heat eat us up - mostly the heat.

We continue in for the 28.5 km, but there is no water here. We go all the way in - about 56 km, and we can't locate the exact position that McCrie's Where-to-find-birds book shows for the best Gouldian Finch spot. The problem is that the directions send you "to the end of the bitumen", but civilization is catching up, and the bitumen now extends at least 5 or 10 more kilometers than it did when he visited.

We stop at another spot that seems pretty good and we get a beautiful black and white honeyeater. He is facing away and I can see black upper parts and a white throat. I try my whistle to no avail, then Sharon does her alarm. The bird jumps up and turns around, and we see the beautiful black and white BANDED HONEYEATER*. {I remember looking at all the different honey eaters in the book before we left San Jose, and thinking "How am I ever going to be able to tell one bird from the others?" But now we are getting familiar with some of the common ones and these unusual ones start standing out for us. What a thrill to see a honey eater that we clearly know is a new one for us!}

Somebody has written DOOK CREEK on the sign here.

We head back out and at 4pm we stop again at the first location, 3.1 km in. We get Double-barred, Masked, Long-tailed and Zebra Finches, plus Rufous-throated Honeyeater, Bee-eater and YELLOW-TINTED HONEYEATER*. It's not quite as yellow as I was expected, but it has the black neck mark in the right place. We continue going for the Gould. But without success.

We head back out to Stuart Highway and continue toward Katherine. We go to our home for the night, the Low Level Caravan Park, a Big 4 park, where we get 10% off. {"Low level referring to an unusual bridge just before the park that dips down as you go across the river so that you are barely above the water. Wonder what they do when the weather brings more rain?} As we drive in, I see 20 or 25 black birds, and they are Red-tailed Black-cockatoos. We get our site, then go in to find a Woolie's, the nickname for Woolworth's, one of the two top Australia grocery supermarkets. The other is Coles. On the way out, we say hi to two guys resting on top of their Range Rover, having a cool one. They wave like they've been doing this all their lives.

Now I want to look for a motel, to use a telephone to dial-in to the internet. If they'll let me. But Sharon is pooped, and my back is bothering me, so I skip it and we head home, stopping for the 29th time of our adventure to fill up with diesel.

Then we head home for the night.

Bird Summary:

Life Birds Today: 6 (Bar-breasted Honeyeater, Channel-billed Cuckoo, Radjah Shelduck, Northern Fantail, Masked Finch, Banded Honeyeater, Yellow-tinted Honeyeater)
For the Trip: 236.

Trip Birds Today: 6 (The 6 Lifers)
For the Trip: 278.

Snakes Seen Today: 0
For the Trip: 4.

Sleep in: Low Level Caravan Park, Katherine, NT


Sunday, September 21, 2003. Day 39 of 118. Bad Start, Good End.

We head out the road west till we get to Chinaman Creek. We find some water and get LITTLE PIED CORMORANT, a waterbird we've seen many times, but until now, it has slipped through the net of being counted as a trip bird. We hear a funny noise, and Sharon says, "Trip Donkey!" And I think it is. No bird could make that sound. A couple of Red-winged Parrots and a Mistletoebird show themselves, but we get no finches, so we vacate this point.

At the second Chinaman point, we are checking birds, when suddenly a noise of crackling leaves and brush get our attention, and we watch a very young wallaby burst out of cover and bound in front of us, from left to right, down along the side of the creek. One second later a HUGE unnoticed brown bird launches from a big tree limb just above the location of the wallaby, and a Wedge-tailed Eagle takes off for the wallaby - all business. {The wallaby had hidden in the brush and the eagle landed in a tree near us, stalking him. Then probably being scared by our presence, the wallaby started running and the eagle took off after him again.} They both disappear into the creekside woodland, and we have to let the adrenalin settle. Man, that was wild.

We then move to the highway, and crossing Chainman Creek (Did you notice the interesting letter-shift from 'Chinaman' to make 'Chainman'?), pull over near the top of the crest and park. We get out and, looking for Chestnut-backed Button-quail, we plunge into the deep grass habitat.

Right away, we get a few birds working up and down like treecreepers. We check carefully, and get our first VARIED SITELLAS*. We walk around, back and forth, in and out, and get dirty and dusty but no button-quail. We DO, however, get nice and hot, as we swap "point," meaning snake-watcher. I don't believe for two seconds that there are snakes in here, but I check anyway, when I'm not following Sharon.

We call an end to this, and head into Katherine. I go into a combination souvenir shop and internet cafe, where I plunk a $2 coin in for my 15 minutes. The internet connection is incredibly slow, and when I try to download a file with an attachment sent to me by neighbor and friend Jan Strockis, I get a message which says essentially, "You can't do that." I ask the guy about it, but he doesn't know anything about computers. He tells me there is another internet cafe, but he doesn't know when it opens. It's 10am.

I find it and it opens at 11. I hate to further delay our final push from Katherine to Darwin, but this attachment is something we need to renew our medical insurance coverage, so we decide to wait till 11. We do some other errands, then return, to meet Glen, who runs a combination didgeridoo and aboriginal art shop, plus internet cafe, with ADSL (= lightening speed) access.

Up till now, I've had to use internet dial-in, and as a result the maximum speed I could get has been about pathetic-point-horrible kilobytes per fortnight. I have been in touch with my "Mac Man," Jim Abell of Accurate Mac Services in San Jose, and he has given me the (hopefully) magic configuration to connect with internet cafe's networks at DSL speeds.

I set up, and HOT DANG, I'm communicating just like downtown! I send off Report No. 11, and pick up Jan's email, plus lots of others. And as fast as the connection is, it's still not fast enough to prevent Sharon from doing some scanning of her own, and she picks up a couple of nice paintings in the shop. {We each have our own responsibilities, Bob's to write the reports and mine--to SHOP.}

This was the DIDJ INTERNET CAFE, Glen proprietor. During the entire time we were there, he was talking animatedly with a couple who were interested in aboriginal life, and Glen, an aboriginal himself, was telling them story after story. I overheard him say one time, "... and I ran over it, stopped, picked it up, and drove home. 'Who wants to help me eat a blue-tongued lizard?' and everybody did. They are delicious."

Glen, Proprietor of the Didj Internet Cafe in Katherine

We finish up in Katherine and head out, with Pine Creek the destination for today, and with an Edith Falls Road stop on the way. We'll try birding in the heat, using things we learned yesterday. "And just what did we learn yesterday?" asks Sharon, curious-like.

And here are the things I learned: 1) Take all the things you need with you initially, so you don't have to make two extra runs back to the motorhome to get the chairs, or the scope, or the water, or the miniCD bird calls. 2) Stand in the shade whenever possible. Make this a top priority. 3) Keep your attention focused. If we're after a finch, don't let a new call high in a tree divert your attention.

"I see," says Sharon, who can't imagine ANYTHING that will help her in the heat. She has inherited her mom's heat resistance characteristics (Stay OUT of it), not her dad's (A hundred degrees? Excellent!). I'm more like her dad.

We're driving up a hill in the left lane, when the lanes merge into one, over the crest. Just before this type of re-merge, there is always a sign that says, "FORM ONE LANE." Somebody has taken some black tape and added a letter before and after one of the words, and now it says, "FORM ONE PLANET."

Some good advice.

We take off on Edith Falls Road, and stop at the first water place. We get Great Bowerbird, Restless Flycatcher, Double-barred Finch, Bar-shouldered Dove, Peaceful Dove, Masked Finch. We get a bird that may be a White-throated Honeyeater, but we are hoping for a Black-chinned. Which it's not.

The bugs are attacking Sharon relentlessly, and I go back and get her full coverage netting. Advantage: no bugs. Disadvantage: hot. We get Leaden or Satin Flycatcher, right in front of us. His whole head is black, down to the shoulders. It is very shiny, so we think it's likely a Satin. When it lands, it moves its tail around a little bit. It's hot man, and we give it up. It's 230pm, and Sharon is red as a fire engine. It's scary. We have one word for Edith Falls, and that is: HOT.

We make it to Pine Creek, and check into the Lazy Lizard Caravan Park, which has prime, grade-A, first class electricity. Anybody who has electricity is a five-star caravan park as far as we're concerned up here in the Top End heat, meaning that we can run the air conditioner, of course. It's getting to be our favorite part of the day. Hooking up the electric city, moving inside, and cooling down. Ahhh. {In past trips, we hoped to find caravan parks that were pretty, with trees, grass, etc. but now if they have electric hook-ups, we just pull the curtains and care less what it looks like outside. How great to have our little home with its comforts.}

We revive, and there are supposed to be a couple of birds here that we're after - one in particular. But right outside our motorhome, about four feet away, four Double-barred Finches are perched in a flowering bush. Three Grey-crowned Babblers are bouncing around also.

We try the police station trees (no birds for us here), then drive to the water tank at the top of the hill, that supplies Pine Creek. I drive carefully, all the way to the fence surrounding the tank, and park. Immediately, we get about four birds we've never seen before. They are sitting in perfect light, cast by the setting sun, and they are NORTHERN ROSELLAS*. This is one of the birds we were hoping for, but the other one would be better.

We get out and walk up to the highest ground, and we hear a kind of descending electronic series of calls. We check it out, and EUREKA! It's about six HOODED PARROTS*, also perched to enjoy the sunset. We get great views of a couple of pairs of these birds, {with their beautiful black heads contrasting with turquoise chests.}.

Hooded Parrots, Female above, Male below

What a great sundown experience for two California birders. A Double-barred Finch does us the honor of a short view on a fence as we head back and are set up for the evening at about 630pm. A nice ending to a hot, hot day.

Double-barred Finch on the Singled Barbed Wire

Bird Summary:

Life Birds Today: 3 (Varied Sitella, Northern Rosella, Hooded Parrot)
For the Trip: 239.

Trip Birds Today: 4 (The 3 Lifers plus Little Pied Cormorant)
For the Trip: 282.

Snakes Seen Today: 0
For the Trip: 4.

Sleep in: Lazy Lizard Caravan Park, Pine Creek, NT

Probably the number one reason I have got us to Australia is to see the spectacularly multi-colored Gouldian Finch, and this is its stronghold. But they are declining in numbers, the way I understand it, and I can't bear the thought of not seeing this bird. If we find it, it'll probably be in the next report or the one after.

The other thing that's going on is my back. It's getting worse. So keep your fingers crossed. But by the time you get this, I suspect the problem will be resolved one way or another. It ain't a good situation.

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