Discussion in 'Trip Reports' started by violist, Jun 1, 2013.  |  Print Topic

  1. violist
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    violist Gold Member

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    US4118 IPT PHL 1209 1305 DH8 4A

    My bag got pulled for secondary, which yielded nothing.
    The guy assigned to do the job recognized me from my
    frequent trips here in the last few years, and we chatted
    a bit while he swabbed down the bag, looked in all its
    secret compartments, and so on.

    A very bumpy ride. As usual I got the exit row, but not
    as usual someone sat next to me and sprawled out, taking
    the armrest and some of my legroom. I was uncomfortable.
    We landed a couple minutes early but took what seemed
    like a year to get to our gate. I didn't really have
    time for a visit to the lounge; in fact, when I got to
    my next gate, boarding was almost complete.

    US1634 PHL BOS 1415 1531 E90 2F

    A somewhat hilarious trip, capped off by the FA pouring me
    a quadruple Dewar's to compensate for no Glenlivet being
    on board. I remarked, quantity over quality?, which got a
    big grin. My seatmate reminded me a bit of Annie's friend
    Marinda but blonder. I had settled down for a snooze when
    I got a poke in the side. What's the former name for Tokyo?
    (looking at crossword) - I suppose she wanted to start a
    conversation. She was semi-cute and nicely filled out her
    very feminine white blouse, but I wasn't an adventure hound
    this day, plus I do have better things to do with my life
    than chase importunate 40-ish blondes.

    US2031 BOS DCA 1100 1231 319 2F

    My bag got pulled for secondary, which yielded nothing.
    Interestingly, they looked in the same place as they had
    at IPT. Later, out of curiosity, I looked there as well.
    I couldn't find anything either.

    I was late to board and had to go aft to store my stuff.

    Bumpy flight.

    I had a Coke, and repenting that sweet decision asked for a
    Bourbon to go with; was informed that they no longer serve
    that but rather whisky (i.e., C.C.), Dewar's, or Jack. Which
    means that The Glenlivet, which used to make these flights
    worthwhile, is no more.

    My seatmate was a nervous little Indian guy, heading to
    Indianapolis; I felt sorry for him and guested him into
    the club at National, then went off to the business center
    to work. Before he left he sought me out to thank me, a
    touching and rare politeness.
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  2. violist
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    violist Gold Member

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    UA1584 DCA ORD 1203 1317 738 36C
    was 0938 1040
    was 280 1030 1130 320 21A was 37F
    was 329 1139 1242 319 2A

    Low ceilings and a ground stop in Chicago led to a big mess
    here at this dingy, crowded gate area where lines were long
    and tempers short. I decided to try for an earlier flight,
    which was an experience - eventually I got a boarding pass
    for 280, which was rejected at the gate; the agent said
    that my reservation was not synched, implying strongly that
    I would have a better seat coming. By the time this began to
    be straightened out, the announcement was made that there
    was no longer any carryon space, and as I had fragile items
    spread between the two bags, I told them to forget it, and
    I'd get on the next flight (i.e., the earlier-scheduled
    one), where I got at least an aisle (the middle guy kept
    looking enviously at it) but in the dreaded second to last
    row. Turns out there was a duplication of BPs ... actually,
    it appears an old lady was in the right seat but the wrong
    Chicago flight, but the FAs tried to fix the problem with
    as few hurt feelings as possible (kudos to them), and they
    left some guy standing in the galley for a good quarter
    hour. Patience was rewarded: they found him an exit row
    window. HEY! They didn't offer that seat to me! What gives?

    A bumpy cloudy unpleasant bad-smelling flight, for which of
    course I have to blame Jeff Smisek and his evil machinations.

    It turned out my connection too was over an hour late, and
    if I'd stuck with my comfy chair on the noon flight I'd have
    made it, but there was no way of knowing that, and if I'd
    missed it I'd not have gotten to Kansas City for at least
    another day, so sitting in the waywayback and fretting a
    little was probably better than sitting in a severely
    delayed plane being fawned upon by the crew while fretting
    a lot about missing lili and my other friends and several
    pounds of barbecue.

    UA 701 ORD MCI 1524 1655 319 2F

    Of course I made the flight, and it was fine but didn't
    make up much time: we landed an hour late. Courvoisier is
    a good thing.

    lili was waiting patiently at the rental counter, and
    shortly we were tooling off down the highway to Kansas,
    where our first planned destination was Rosedale, but as we
    passed it, it looked empty, with nary a car in the parking
    lot. So we bypassed it for stop 2, Woodyard BBQ, an
    authentically ramshackle couple buildings with some outdoor
    furniture that it was way too cold to use. We ordered half
    a pint of burnt ends from the genial counterman; when it
    came it was brisket, somewhat steamed-tasting, but well
    seasoned and with good smoke flavor - quite respectable, on
    the whole. The sauce is a standard tomato and celery seed
    concoction; it comes in regular and hot, the hot not being
    extremely hot. While there we compared notes with some more
    people who had come in on the same mission, i.e., hit as
    many Q joints as possible in the shortest possible time.
    Their favorites were Jack Stack, Jack Stack, and Jack
    Stack, with honorable mention for Oklahoma Joe's and BB's
    Lawnside. We also gleaned the information that Rosedale
    was in fact open.

    So back we tracked, and discovered that there were a few
    cars in the lot by now. So we went in, buoyed by the sign
    that said "founded 1934." If it's been around that long,
    it can't be too bad, can it. And the reviews out on the Net,
    though mixed, did make it sound like a mother's milk kind
    of place.

    It's a bar, dimly lit. Long tables with a few people chowing
    down. One bartender/waitress, of the grumpy/friendly sort
    you get in dimly lit ramshackle bars.

    The usual half pint of burnt ends, which came pale and lean,
    no red ring, some brown here and there on the outside parts.
    It tasted like boiled brisket but with less appeal, as it
    seemed to have been boiled in unseasoned water. The sauce
    was similar to Woodyard's but not so good. The bartender/
    waitress wondered where everyone was; I was polite enough
    not to answer. Halfway through the meal, lili became
    indisposed, a good excuse for us to do takeaway with the
    rest of the plate (which, after a tentative taste later in
    the hotel to verify that it was as bad as we thought,
    ended up unlamented in the bin).

    Next stop, the Sheraton Overland Park, which is actually a
    fairly lovely hotel, where we dropped our stuff and then
    went off to find the only boozerium in the vicinity
    (according to the GPS), Lukas Liquor Superstore - a glance
    at the hotel wine prices more than encouraged, more like
    dictated, that we visit it. This turns out to be an amazing
    place with good prices and a fine selection at all price
    ranges. I should have gotten a bottle or two of Aeroplano
    vodka and tequila, as these were on severe markdown, and
    even if they were terrible, the alcohol to dollar ratio
    was very favorable, and we had numerous FTer/Milepointer
    buddies who could have helped get rid of it. Instead I
    picked up a few bottles of Aussie Shiraz, one a day plus
    one for the pit, for comparison.

    Our digs were an above-average squared-off almost-suite on
    the club floor. Beds: comfy. Bath: semi-luxurious but with
    oddities, such as that the door didn't quite fit its frame
    - nothing to worry about, though.

    Hentley Box Head Shiraz 11 (SA) was what we chose for our
    first night. It opened up nice and brambly, almost like a
    good wine, but it petered out to an emptiness in the mouth,
    with no herbality or minerality or in fact any character at
    all. The finish was of the dreaded sugar candy. I'd give
    this about a C, maybe C+.
  3. violist
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    violist Gold Member

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    We decided to forgo breakfast in favor of an early lunch at
    Brobeck's, as it was only a couple miles from the hotel.
    This is a newcomer to the KC scene, but it has had its share
    of accolades. The location is unprepossessing, a corner lot
    in a strip mall. Even though it was well before noon when we
    arrived, the place was full, and there was a line. Luckily,
    this is a pretty fast place, as befits its appearance, and
    we were seated in ten.

    You are greeted with a sample of what we were given to
    understand was the house specialty, ham salad - nice
    and smoky, a lot of onion in the mix, not too much binder.
    I liked it; lili was unimpressed.

    We ordered a representative sampling: burnt ends were ok,
    authentically burnt but really quite lean and kind of tough
    in spots. It appeared to me that they trimmed off a lot of
    fat before smoking, which makes the lean meat smokier but
    drier - I think a bad compromise.

    Baby backs were good, a little on the crusty side, but the
    spare ribs were truly excellent, the additional fat on this
    cut making up well for the tendency of the pit to oversmoke
    the meat.

    The sauces on hand are a house-made hot (wimpy) and sweet
    (yucky) of the thin sugary variety; but several competitors'
    (Gates', Bryant's, what have you) are available, which is
    kind of cool.

    Our sides were an ordinary slaw with a rather thin and
    tasteless dressing and some very sweet beans with chunks of
    ham that were not nearly so good as that in the salad.

    On the whole we were pretty pleased, but we'd go to Woodyard
    or Jack Stack before we came back here.

    Oh, yes, there's a mundane beer list, Boulevard Amber being
    the best of the offerings.

    BB's Lawnside, our next stop, on the other hand, is a bar
    with barbecue rather than a barbecue with beer. We sidled up
    to the counter and had some Boulevard brewskis and waited
    for the kitchen to wake up and fix us some 'cue. This was
    worth the wait, the just smoky enough and fatty but not
    cloying burnt ends among the best of the trip. The canonic
    two sauces - the sweet boring, the hot thin and very sweet
    but with good spice and surprisingly moreish. We ate some on
    premises and took some back to the hotel to eat with the
    Shingleback Red Knot Shiraz (McLaren Vale) 10: this was
    pretty decent - it started off strong like the Box Head but
    didn't have the midpalate sag. Some mint-eucalyptus gave it
    some interest; I'd buy this again, despite the silliness of
    the name and though it was a couple bucks more than most of
    the others.
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  4. violist
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    violist Gold Member

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    Time to relocate to the Westin, as its location is most
    convenient, especially as it was within walking distance of
    dinner. We did the cheap thing and parked on the street
    between the hotel and the park; this is free after 6 on
    weekdays and all day weekends, good to know. There are some
    suspiciously homeless-looking folks camping out in the park,
    but they bothered neither us nor the car.

    Nice digs at the Westin; I was not eager to leave even with
    the incentive of smoked prime short rib and burnt ends, but
    eventually we did so.

    The short half mile walk to Jack Stack on the elevated
    walkway and through Union Station is familiar by now, though
    you can't go through the science museum anymore after hours.

    This DO was a bit more free-form than I am accustomed to,
    which is fine, as as people know I am inclined to wander off
    randomly by myself after the primary DO event. As usual we
    met for drinks at the rather crowded bar, but as unusual our
    chosen spot was invaded by much of the thirsty young Kansas
    City population, so conversation was inhibited, and truth be
    told I almost abandoned our group as my head and ears were
    pounding, and not a rock band in sight. Luckily there was a
    good assortment of Boulevard products on tap, which kept me
    amused for a couple hours.

    We had a good long time to chat, er, shout, with friends old
    and new, and it was quite late when we got seated, past
    suppertime for some of us. A long table, so there are a
    bunch of folks I hadn't got to talk with at cocktail hour
    and still didn't get to talk with at the meal.

    lili and I, being senior citizens and lacking young people
    appetites, split the Jack's Best sampler and had enough to
    give to leftover collectors. It wasn't the most stellar
    effort that this restaurant has presented us with, though
    there were moments of shine. The baby backs, a cut I am not
    really that enthusiastic about in general, were today way
    dry-looking, and the smoked prime short rib kind of puny
    by comparison to what we've had before, though perfectly
    tasty. Brisket burnt ends made up for the shortcomings of
    the above. I was going to ask for no sides, but lili
    figured that if we got the usual slaw and beans, somebody
    at the table would eat them. I think a lot of people thought
    the same, because there were a bunch of sides sitting around
    at the end of the meal. The locals were the beneficiaries of
    this largesse, getting bulging doggy bags to take home.

    I really do prefer other locations of Jack's, particularly
    the one in Country Club Plaza, but this one has advantages,
    such as being walking distance of various of the hotels
    favored by this group.

    A few of us wove our way through darkened Union Station and
    along the elevated walkway to the Westin or the Sheraton, as
    the case may have been.
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  5. violist
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    violist Gold Member

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    The next main event was Oklahoma Joe's, reputed to be to
    Kansas City what the Franklin is to Austin; here, having
    learned our lesson from past visits, we queued up half an
    hour before opening time, were admitted 15 before, and were
    recipients of a pound of pretty good brisket right at
    opening time.

    Condition One solicited nominations for the next stop; I
    gave an endorsement for the ribs at Brobeck's but warned
    about the brisket. Later I heard that a few had ignored that
    warning and were disappointed, while those who got ribs were

    lili and I were tootling down the highway, and lo and
    behold, Stroud's, so our tentative plan to revisit Brobeck's
    was derailed. We ended up collecting about 8 FTMMers, anyhow
    enough to get the circular private dining room.

    The food was not so good as last time, the frying not as
    expert, the coating underseasoned. susiesan's husband and I
    got the half order of livers and gizzards to split, which
    was as always a huge portion and sufficient for two. Sadly,
    the bowl of cream gravy, which in the past had been ignored,
    was deemed necessary this day. Over my protests lili got
    white meat chicken, which was woefully overcooked and not
    very tasty at all.

    There was talk of Arthur Bryant's or one of the two BBQ
    joints down Blue Parkway, followed by Foo's, but lili was
    feeling a tad peaked, so we abandoned everyone and went
    directly to our headquarters, the HGI Independence, where
    we took a break from meat with a couple bottles of wine,
    these being the Peter Lehmann Shiraz-Cab (Barossa) 10 with
    its tart plumminess with an odd note of butter pecan and
    the somewhat less interesting but jammy and pleasant Nugan
    Third Generation Shiraz (SE Australia) 11.

    I forget why lili went by herself to the KC Smokehouse
    (just a couple miles from the hotel) - maybe I was asleep
    or something -; but she came back with some quite decent
    burnt ends, well smoked, well marbled, with a too-sweet and
    rather ketchupy sauce on the side.
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  6. daninstl

    daninstl Gold Member

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    I didn't see any mention of Gates. I would have hit that while out in OP.

    I miss Gomers Chicken :(
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  7. violist
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    violist Gold Member

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    We've done Bryant's and various of the Gates' in years past, see, e.g.
    here. In recent times we have cast our eyes elsewhere, with
    OK Joe's and Fiorella's Jack Stack the foci.

    Sorry about the decline of fried chicken in your beloved city. I feel
    it too.
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  8. servo

    servo Silver Member

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    I've tried a number of joints in KC, and while I love their BBQ style better than anything I've got in Florida, Gates hits the home run for me. OK Joes and the other (can't recall the name) my friends and wife and I have tried have all been better than anything we have in Florida, but we all love Gates. Their signature "Hi, may I help you!?" cracks me up everytime I hear it too.

    The only BBQ in the south that I've had that comes close (and it does come really close) is Wiley's Championship BBQ just outside of Savannah, GA.
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  9. violist
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    violist Gold Member

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    I'd heard pretty good things about Zarda's Bar-B-Que, so out
    of curiosity and a sense of completeness and because we were
    just a couple miles away from the place we did takeout from
    there, too. The burnt ends come already mixed - beef, pork,
    and sausage - and sauced with this ketchupy mess; they were
    truly burnt and on the whole rather unpleasant. Perhaps we
    should have gone inside and sat down, so they wouldn't have
    slung the dreckiest leftovers at us, but they get judged on
    their worst efforts: not good.

    Q's Que, another well-recommended joint, is no longer at the
    Do Drop Inn but out rte 7 south of 70 in an arid-looking
    neighborhood of strip malls many of whose spots are vacant.
    Here you go inside for the takeout, so in a face-to-face
    transaction they're not so tempted to do you wrong. Anyhow,
    they treated us well, the brisket being quite tasty though
    only semi-tender, the burnt ends pleasantly fatty and with
    good smoke flavor. They also sell Boulevard, so I had an
    amber ale while chatting with the staff (one man out back
    making the order and a woman in front at the register)
    waiting for our takeout package. The hot and regular sauces
    both had a good cumin kick. but I found them on the sweet
    side as is common around here.

    The Truman Library was the attraction of the day and the
    reason we were in Independence at all. Worth the trip,
    especially for those interested in the Cold War, the Civil
    Rights movement, machine politics, the atomic bomb, well,
    just about anyone. We spent well over two hours there and
    could easily have used a couple more. The town of
    Independence, not so much. It seemed a bit drab, and the
    Truman sites downtown were sequestered off, which was all
    fine, the more to spend at the library.

    Scholarship is hard work and brings on a powerful hunger,
    and I'd heard about Wabash BBQ in the little town of
    Excelsior Springs about 30 miles up the road. Housed in an
    old train depot, this is a BBQ pilgrimage holy site, and I
    was excited to try it out. Of course, such anticipation is
    likely to be deflated, and it was, somewhat. Both the burnt
    ends and brisket were decent, but they didn't seem up to
    big city standards, and the sauce was average at best. A
    good point was the $3 beers. Table service was slow but
    willing. The bathroom off in the corner started to overflow
    while we were there; this wasn't that awful of a deal, but
    I had to go to the dingy bar next door (part of the same
    outfit) to relieve myself.

    As we had midday flights out, it seemed sensible to book
    at the airport Hilton. As ever before, the rooms here were
    acceptable, nothing special, but what was interesting was
    Munchin' Hogs at Cafe Weatherby - some claim that this
    hotel restaurant offers some of the best barbecue in town,
    so, being slightly disappointed by the Wabash, I went
    downstairs for a brisket sandwich for us to split for a
    bedtime snack. The beef came, oddly, on a buttered brioche,
    and presauced with a very average sauce, but never mind
    that, the meat itself was tender, fatty enough for me to
    enjoy but lean enough for normal people, tender, and smoked
    just enough. Fries normally come on the side, but I
    substituted baked beans, which were sugar-sweet, undercooked,
    and not so yummy. Still I found it gratifying and peculiar
    that the brisket was so good.
  10. violist
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    violist Gold Member

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    We had planned to while away the morning at Smokin Guns,
    another famous joint downtown near the old airport, but
    parsimony and breakfast coupons got the better of us. It
    was a most ordinary breakfast, no doubt having recently been
    unpacked from 55-gallon drums labeled Sysco and the like
    and showing none of the spark that the Munchin' Hogs food
    implied there might have been.

    The hotel is really close to the airport, but there was a
    car to return, which was pretty quick, and we said goodbye
    at the shuttle bus depot, as lili was leaving on American
    and I on United.

    UA5657 MCI ORD 1401 1527 CRJ 4A

    A crummy flight on crummy equipment. We skirted thunder most
    of the way, so plenty of bumps, but owing to the miracle of
    modern schedule padding, we landed almost on time. Good
    thing, as I had a tiny window of margin to get from the F
    terminal to the B terminal. Bad thing that the mobile belt
    that they use to get bags off wasn't working, and it took
    them a long time to figure to take the luggage off by hand,
    so even though I had just gate-checked carryon, it was close
    to 4 by the time I was ready to make my move, so visions of
    cardiac arrest dancing in my head, I said forget it and just
    went to the club to get rebooked. I would have settled for
    coach, but the nice agent at the new club (3x bigger than
    the old one but equally overcrowded for some reason) got me
    onto the next flight in (the least good seat in) first.

    I called lili up at the Admiral's Club, and she trotted
    over to my club for a goodbye, really this time, glass of
    wine before my flight.

    UA 622 ORD DCA 1705 1956 319 1F
    was 578 ORD DCA 1600 1848 320 2F

    This leg was fine, though I was in that seat, and I forwent
    my usual Courvoisier in favor of a light snooze for the hour
  11. bez7
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    bez7 Gold Member

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    Not BBQ but you should have hit the Hereford House at Zona Rosa while out at MCI, very close access.

    We had a great Jack's Stack experience last year in KC
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  12. clscholes

    clscholes Silver Member

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    While it is not "technically" part of Independence, going to LC's BBQ is also a must. One step away from a health code violation (of which is has been shut down for before), it is well worth the trip by the stadiums to go to. Across from it is Big T's BBQ, which is the most affordable BBQ in KC, although maybe not the top tier. And lurking in the rural KC area is Bates City BBQ...May I suggest we have another BBQ DO in KC sometime? Loved hearing your opinions on KC BBQ!
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  13. violist
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    violist Gold Member

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    We et at LC's in '10, '11, and '12 and Big T's in I think '10. LC's lost out this year,
    but I understand some of the DOers did go there. This has been an annual
    FlyerTalk event for 7 or 8 years running. I don't know if anyone is arranging
    one for '14 (the most recent one seemed to be more free-form than before);
    I also don't know why it shouldn't be discussed or even planned here.
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  14. Mrlasssen

    Mrlasssen Silver Member

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    Has anyone tried Smokehouse by the airport and in Gladstone, MO?
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  15. clscholes

    clscholes Silver Member

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    Smokehouse has several locations in KC...I have eaten at the Independence and Gladstone locations, and they were both excellent. In KC, they don't get as much publicity simply because we have so many incredible BBQ joints. Almost anywhere else, they would be the best BBQ around.
    Mrlasssen and bez7 like this.
  16. bez7
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    bez7 Gold Member

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    I was disappointed that Mrs Bez didn't like Arthur Bryant's...give me some Sweet Heat sauce anytime!

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