mac's world-o-stuff :: a weblog with a bad name


mac's world-o-stuff :: wasting valuable web space since 1999



Monday, December 31, 2001

I'm going out soon to Grover's place to spend the evening with my friends, so to anyone who may be reading, I hope you have a happy new year. It's already 2002 in Australia and New Zealand and Japan and probably Russia and most of Asia by now, so it's not like we have anything to celebrate here, but what the hell.

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Sunday, December 30, 2001

Which Pop Icon am I?

Okay then.

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I'd almost forgotten about this, since the link kinda disappeared when I did the site facelift, but the mp3 of Mogwai's 'Christmas Steps' from the show I recorded live last April is still online. Sorta fitting, with the season that's in it and all. Just in case anybody happens to be reading and would like to hear it. I'll be taking it down soon.

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I haven't felt like posting much. Nothing's been happening the last couple of days. That's not necessarily a bad thing. It's persuading me to do catch up on some work, and get a couple of other things done that I had forgotten about. I foresee a productive week ahead.

And now it's time for a wrestling post.

As a fan for over ten years now, I've never really lost my love of wrestling. Sure, there have been times when I got bored with it, with some of the angles and characters and wasted opportunites, but I've never really been angry until recently, with the WWF's handling of its 'feud' with the WCW/ECW alliance. I thought it was horrible, really. How could the WWF dismiss an organisation with so much history as WCW as simply yesterday's news? How could they treat their top-line talent as second-rate jobbers? How could they mess it up so badly? It was like a dream come true when it first happened, the WWF buying WCW - finally, the two biggest wrestling promotions in the western hemisphere would clash! But then the badness started happening. WCW was promoted on WWF television as a heel group - every wrestler in WCW was tarred with the same brush. And in response, even the most dastardly heels in the WWF were pushed as faces. It just wasn't right. And it got worse - the corpse of ECW was resurrected and merged with WCW, and the McMahon kids were unveiled as the respective 'owners'. Throw in a whole lot of bad television writing (courtesy of Stephanie McMahon - face it girl, you couldn't write an entertaining angle to save your life) and it all started rolling downhill. I was annoyed, but as far as I was concerned at the time, it was still salvagable. The fans were cheering for some of the Alliance members, such as Billy Kidman and Rob Van Dam, so they didn't have to be heels even if they were Alliance representatives. And it was getting close to the end of the year, when WCW held it's annual supercard, Starrcade. The WWF's December PPV could have been replaced by an Alliance-hosted Starrcade, much like the nWo held a PPV in WCW a few years ago, which could have provided and opportunity to tie up any loose ends and helped WCW assert itself as a separate group rather than just an invading force. Did any of this happen? No. The WWF defeated the Alliance in a survival match at the Survivor Series, and the Alliance, for all intenst and purposes, was 'put out of business'. I wasn't happy at all. No Starrcade. No competition. A completely wasted opportunity. Aas far as I was concerned, Vince McMahon blew it.

My opinion of the product just got lower over the next few weeks. The 'Kiss My Ass Club'? Please. And Austin, the dastardly heel leader of the Alliance - all of a sudden he's a face again? It just didn't make sense. The Undertaker turns heel by attacking Jim Ross - what to the fans do? They still cheered him. he beats up a few more faces - what do the fans do? They still cheer him. My head was spinning. But was there anywhere else I could turn to? Nope. The WWF has no competition anymore. It bought the opposition, then chewed it up and spit it out.

I wanted to get a second opinion. I was eager to read the new Power Slam, to read what they had to say about what was happening. According to them, however, what I apparently saw of the situation wasn't the popular opinion. The WWF/Alliance 'war' was unpopular with the American fans in general. Maybe it was the September 11th tragedy that contributed - I mean, who wants to see ANOTHER war on TV? - but then I realised that it was simply a case of me being a different kind of wrestling fan. The average American WWF fan despises anything that isn't WWF, and particulary despises anything WCW. Therefore, how could the WWF establish WCW as a separate brand on the same level with the WWF when they had spent years belittling the then-Turner-owned product? On the other hand, I'm the kind of fan that just loves wrestling. It doesn't matter what promotion it is - WWF, WCW, New Japan - whenever I had the opportunity to see wrestling, I did so. I've never had any particular brand loyalty (although I do have to say that if I had had access to broadcasts of WCW television from 1996 onwards - ITV cancelled WCW at the end of 1995, and I didn't have an Astra dish to get Nitro on TNT Europe - I probably would have been a WCW mark).

So I re-evaluated the situation. I could now see that the WWF was now trying to make things work as best as they could. They took a step in the right direction pushing Chris Jericho as the World Champion. They made up for treating Booker T like a chump by writing him into pretty entertaining angles with Steve Austin (the supermarket brawl, the church - funny stuff! Seems like somebody took Stephanie's pen away from her!). As the fine writers of Power Slam reported, they've realigned the chess pieces into much more cmfortable positions. Austin is a face because the fans love cheering for him. Jericho is a heel because the fans love booing him. The Undertaker? Well, they're still a bit dodgy with this one because half the crowd is still cheering him. That won't be fixed until he calls them all idiots or something to that effect.

The result? Well, WCW and Starrcade may be gone forever, but at least the WWF ended things before they did any more damage to its reputation (which, I do have to admit, really started a few years ago when Vince Russo started booking). And they've kept on some of WCW's better talent, like Lance Storm and the Hurricane. But of course, there are still problems. For some reason, Vince McMahon doesn't like smaller, agile, lucha-style wrestlers like the many cruiserweights that they recently fired, yet he seems perfectly happy with booking meaningless matches with big boring wrestlers like Albert and the like. Why not replace them with some exciting cruiserweight battles like they had in WCW? Bring in some ringers from Japan and Mexico, entertain the fans. Some of them might actualy get a bit over, like Tajiri, or Taka Michinoku and Shoichi Funaki. Make everyone happy, all the time. It's not like the cruisers are gonna have any pretentions above their station if they want main event glory they can get that in Mexico or Japan (Jushin Liger has drawn thousands upon thousands to the Tokyo Dome - can't say the same for Steve Austin, can you?). Don't bore us with Billy Gunn and Chuck Palumbo versus Albert and Scotty Too Hotty, please. If people are gonna leave their seats or change the channel, they're gonna do it anyway.

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Friday, December 28, 2001

I went to see Lord Of The Rings with Groves last night. Dave had to work late - he's gonna kill us for going without him, but we can't get together any other day, and I have a lot of studying to catch up on. I do want to see it again though, so it's not like Dave'll have to go on his own. Tonight Groves is going to a 21st, Dave is probably still working (his contract expires tomorrow - he can't wait!), and I'm lazing about watching telly as ususal.

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Thursday, December 27, 2001

I couldn't wait any longer. Since I wasn't in the mood for sitting through Apocalypse Now (I'll see it again sometime, there'll always be another time) I finished my design and uploaded it a few minutes ago.

Me like. Me happy.

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Blogger is back online again. They had some technical problems over Christmas - crackers or whatever you call them who didn't like their prezzies from Santy so they decided to take it out on us folk - but hopefully everything is smooth now.

I'm going into town in a short while, shop a bit and go see Apocalypse Now Redux. In the meantime, here's a post I wrote yesterday that didn't quite make it online....

Christmas Day was cool for me. Spent most of the day at Karen's, good food and good company all round, but I got pretty tired pretty quickly. Couldn't even stay away for Braindead on Channel 4 (I have it on tape anyway, but that's not the point).

Today, had some more good food (mmmm bread sauce) and, well, I haven't done much else. I did start a redesign of the website, like I said I wouldn't do, but this one is pretty simple. Low on colour, high on content, or something to that effect. It's not nearly ready yet, but I'm happy with my progress.

Why am I spending St Stephen's Day designing a website? Because I'm bored out of my tree, that's why.

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Tuesday, December 25, 2001

It's now technically the 25th of December, so happy birthday Jesus! You're the best character in South Park, I swear!

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Monday, December 24, 2001

T-minus two hours ten minutes and counting till The Nightmare Before Christmas!

Just have a couple of cards to get ready, a couple of presents to throw under the tree, and then I'm all set. Great. Smashing. Super.

np: Arab On Radar 'Soak The Saddle'

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It's Christmas Eve. I did feck all today. Woke up sometime after 11am, watched Making The Band (that's how despearate I was for something to do). That perennial Christmas favourite, Santa Claus The Movie (Ha! Bet ya thought I was gonna say It's A Wonderful Life!) was on, again. Didn't bother watching it. Watched some movie with Greg Kinnear in it instead, it was okay for what it was. Can't remember the title. Doesn't matter now. Rush Hour is on tonight. I want to see Jackie Chan in action, but I can't stand that fucker Chris Tucker. I'll see how I feel when it starts. Later tonight will be better; The Nightmare Before Christmas is on at 1:15am on ITV. Perfect!

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Sunday, December 23, 2001

It's that time of year when annual top-ten lists for just about everything under the sun start to appear everywhere. It's ubiquitous, innit?

Whilst I struggle to maintain my iconoclastic identity, I am still reminded of the old addage, 'if you can't beat 'em, join 'em'. Of course, I couldn't be a total sheep....

So, without further ado, here is my Top Eleven Albums of 2001, selected from the 30-odd albums I bought (or heard in their entirety more than once) this year and which were actually released this year.

#1 The Icarus Line 'Mono'

#2 The New Year 'Newness Ends'

#3 Shipping News 'Very Soon, And In Pleasent Company'

#4 The Redneck Manifesto 'ThirtySixStrings'

#5 Various Artists 'Is It... Dead?'

#6 Reindeer Section 'Y'All Get Scared Now, Ya Hear!'

#7 Saccharine Trust 'The Great One Is Dead'

#8 Low 'Things We Lost In The Fire'

#9 Thursday 'Full Collapse'

#10 Fugazi 'The Argument'

#11 System Of A Down 'Toxicity'

Note the Strokes are nowhere to be found. That's because The Icarus Line would eat them for breakfast. Ha!

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Whoa!

Negativland have re-released the EP that got them sued by both Island Records and SST a decade ago! This has to be one of the funniest things I've ever heard - even the Very Famous Irish Rock Band in question saw the humourous side.

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Saturday, December 22, 2001

Ah fuckedy fuck FUCK!

Trying to add links to the main page, but the template in the Blogger update doohickey is non-existent. Just an empty text box. I AM NOT HAPPY!

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Take the 100 Acre Personality Quiz!

Bugger. I was hoping I was Eeyore.

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np: Pixies 'Doolittle'

I can't believe they were never popular in the States. I mean, when they broke up it was all over the papers. I remember, and I was only 11 at the time. Meanwhile, my old work colleauge Rebecca is from Amherst, Mass. and she never heard of them before she came over here and heard Death to the Pixies blasted in the store almost every Thursday evening this summer.

Strange.

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I've been going through my bookmark list of weblogs to pick out some ones I really like to add to the linkage, and I came across this. Brillliant! I loved Ulysses 31, even though - like Jason and the Wheeled Warriors - it never seemed to end, and I got fed up with it after a while.

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I feel bad that I don't have much to say. Life has kinda slowed to a crawl at the moment. The most exciting thing I can think of right now is that I might put down Steppenwolf for a couple of weeks and start reading The Corrections, or fly through Steppenwolf tomorrow so I can start The Corrections on a clean slate (well, clean enough, I still haven't finished Ellison's Invisible Man, and I have an unwritten rule that I will never ever read more than two books simulteneously, not counting collections of short stories). I don't really like stopping a book half-way through only to pick it up again weeks later having lost the story - I made a big mistake doing that with American Psycho, although it did prove to me the power of the written word, to manipulate the emotions in intimate ways.

Of course, I have all the stuff I should be reading regarding my philosophy courses, which I just haven't had the drive to read. It's not really procrastination; if I'm not going to take it in properly, there's no point forcing myself. But I do want to at least make a stab at the difficult stuff (come on Husserl, come on if you think yer hard enough!).

Hey, maybe I do have some things to say after all.

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I just scored 136 on Emode's Ultimate IQ Test. Apparently my intellectual type is 'visionary philosopher', like Plato. That makes me feel all warm inside.

For the record, I've never considered myself to be a Platonist. It's all that 'forms' nonsense that turned me off.

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Friday, December 21, 2001

Hung out in town with Groves this evening; Dave was with us for a while too, on his break. It was good, we had the happy times. We might be going out tomorrow evening maybe, depends on the financial situation.

In other news, I defragged my hard drive again, and my computer seems to be moving a lot more swiftly. IE And Outlook Express are still slow as fuck, but since I'm not a computer nerd there isn't much I can do about that.

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Thursday, December 20, 2001

I have moved some things around a bit on the side bar thingy, and added a new feature - yes, I am now officialy a Blogsnob! That might sound bad, but trust me, it's a good thing.

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Yes! It works again! I feel much better now.

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I hope this is gonna work now.

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Wednesday, December 19, 2001

There's something wrong..... my blog won't publish..... I am not happy.

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I have decided to keep my website layout as it is. I simply don't have the patience or inspiration to design a fancy new one, and any inspiration that I may have would require fancy programs that a) I cannot afford and b) my shitty computer won't be able to run. But hey, it looks good as it is, no?

Went to see the new Jean-Luc Godard film this evening, Éloge de l'Amour - what a pile of pretentious wankery. The moment I saw the 'book without words' (what a cliché!) I knew it was gonna be bad. It just didn't go anywhere, and it didn't do anything for me. Sure, there were some bits I appreciated (the digs at Hollywood made me chuckle, though they were tinged with sarky bitterness) but as a whole, it was a waste of 97 minutes. Oh well. I tried.

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Monday, December 17, 2001

Me ill..... don't feel like blogging...... don't feel like much at all...... finished my Christmas shopping today, got presents and cards and stuff....... uuuuugh have to go to college tomorrow, gotta return a book to the library...... I just want to feel better.......

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Sunday, December 16, 2001

I don't feel much like writing anything. My eyes are really irritated, stinging a bit, it's uncomfortable. I should really say something about my week away but it's difficult to put into words right at this minute how much of a good time I had. It was just really cool hanging out with Griet, talking about stuff, just being with a really good friend.

So, what did we get up to? Well, besides all the sex we had (just kidding folks!), we're not really much for going out on the tear, so to speak, so we went to the movies. Saw AI (in probably the smallest movie screen in the world), Harry Potter (which was much better than I expected) and The Man Who Wasn't There (not my favourite Coen Bros. film by a long shot but still good stuff), all in English with Dutch subtitles (yay for me!).

And we went to the seaside. It was foggy and cold in Oostende, but I enjoyed the trip. I'd never seen the North Sea before (well, I had crossed the English Channel, but technically they're not the same thing). Lots of old English people in Oostende doing Christmas shopping, which was slightly unsettling.

I bought a couple of CDs. I got Mogwai's 'EP+6' in Oostende and the first Pinback album at Fnac in Ghent for well under what I'd expect to pay here. Tres good.

On yeah, and on Thursday night I saw a garbage bag in Ghent that looked like Dougal from The Magic Roundabout.

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Saturday, December 15, 2001

This website terribly needs an update. It just isn't the way I want it to be. It will be soon.

It's bloody freezing here. Seriously. It actually was freezing in Ghent on Thursday night; when we were walking back to the apartment after the movie the billboard clock read zero degrees. But somehow it feels colder right now, sitting here, typing with my numb fingers.

And I'm sick. Seems the cold I was having before I left went dormant when I was in Belgium (a good thing really) but I woke up this morning feeling awful. At least I don't have to work, or go to college. I can study when I feel like it, and right now I don't.

np: Pinback 'This Is A Pinback CD'

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Friday, December 14, 2001

I'm BAAA-AAAACK!!!

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Sunday, December 09, 2001

I'm gonna be incommunicado for a few days, what with me going to Belgium and all, but I'll be home on Friday afternoon, so the weblog will only be post-free for four days. I'll be taking photos - a photo journal, if you will - which will work their way online sometime over the next few weeks.

So, until Friday, adios muchachos!

np: Pinback 'Loro' (heard this today on Xfm, brilliant song)

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My shopping expedition was quite productive. Waterstone's at the Jervis Centre were having a sale, so I got three books for the price of two (two of which are gifts for Griet: one of them I'm certain she'll like, but I don't know if she has it already or not: the other one I'm not sure about but it's critically acclaimed and I may just well get myself a copy after Christmas), and I also got myself the book that everyone seems to be talking about, 'The Corrections' by Jonathan Franzen. Can't read it till the new year, of course. I have way too many books in my to-read pile already. And all that studying to do.

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John's surprise birthday party last night was cool enough. Slightly awkward, what with all of his relatives being there and I left like an intruder as a result, and and there was someone there I didn't want to see, but it was well worth seeing the look on John's face when we arrived and handed him his presents. The lucky bastard got a DVD player, and I think a multi-region one at that!

I tried to stay up to watch Hard Boiled last night, but I just couldn't do it. Oh well.

I'm heading into town soon, present shopping. Just darting between a few shops that luckily enough all happen to be in the same part of town. If I can't find anything for Griet, at least her birthday isn't until January, so I have time to find something good and post it over to her.

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Saturday, December 08, 2001

I'm running out of time! I still have to go shopping for Griet's birthday present, and pack my bags, and get everything ready for my going away on Monday. I can't shop today - didn't wake up early enough (well I did technically 'wake up' at 8am, but my motor functions failed me) and it's just too busy for my blood pressure on Saturday afternoons. I'll have to go early tomorrow. But I still don't know what to get! Aaaargh!

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Friday, December 07, 2001

Today was the last day of the semester. Awwww. I was so upset, I had to treat myself to something special: 'Speak Squeak Creak' by Melt-Banana. let me tell you, it's fuckin' brilliant!

I have to venture into town tomorrow, looking for a birthday present for Griet. I know one of the things I want to get (it's just a matter of finding it) but the other? Hmm, I might have to ask some stealthy questions to find out what she'd like, without giving the game away.

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Thursday, December 06, 2001

So I did get my e-journal project completely finished today - I got all the formal crap out of the way last night, such as the file tree diagram and so on, and this morning I spent two hours, with my fingers bitterly cold I might add, indenting my HTML code and validating my files to work out any last-minute niggling bugs. I'm quite pleased with myself. I might made a few legally-necessary amendments to the site and post it up as part of this site over the weekend, if I have time.

And I left the assignment into the department this afternoon - one day early! It's a record, ladies and gentlemen! Of course, I would have to go and ruin it by renting a no-brainer movie to relax to. Yeah, like I could ever 'relax' to Dude, Where's My Car?, which has to be one of the worst movies (and I hestiate to even call it a movie) I have ever seen. Full stop. I have learned my lesson.

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If you're thinking about getting any books for Christmas from the Book Club of Ireland, well don't, because from my family's recent experience they appear to be nothing more than a cowboy operation out to fleece as many gullible consumers as possible. Kinda like Esat Fusion. If you want books, go to a bookshop, or go to Amazon.com. They may be based a few thousand miles away from here, but I've never had any problems with them - even though I purchase by money order - and in fact, their orders have been arriving quicker every time. And even with the postage costs, books are never more expensive than they are off-the-shelf here, and you'll get them often before they're published on these shores. So, boo to the Book Club and hats off to Amazon!

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Tuesday, December 04, 2001

Long day yesterday. I was on campus for over 12 hours, not including the 3-hour round trip from my house, which is not healthy.

The FilmSoc table quiz was good though. Myself, Noel, Nick (I hope I'm remembering his name right) and Emma (I think I used to work with her brother at HMV) took on the bestest movie buffs the UCD student body can throw up. We did okay, in the top five I think, but we made some stupid mistakes and lost crucial marks. if we had one more member on our team, we would have been in for a shot at third place for sure - hell, we might even have won! But it was fun enough all the same.

Also fun was Scotty telling me on the way home about the incompenetcy of Rory's ladies, who seem to follow him around everywhere, and wormed their way into the quiz last night as round markers. There was a question about 'A Clockwork Orange', specifically concerning the phallic implement Malcom McDowell uses to kill a woman towards the beginning of the movie. The girls marked most of the answers wrong: they thought 'giant cock' was a joke. My god....

I popped into HMV this morning before college to pick up an order. Talked with Jenny for a minute - she didn't know I'd left until just a few weeks ago! I should have told her, but then again, I didn't know what day I was leaving myself until my penultimate shift. An airtight excuse! Said hi to Mary as well - we never realy talked much before, but she remembered me, and it's always nice when someone you don't really know remembers you. Especially someone as pretty as her.

Got to get my e-journal finished tonight. I only have about an hour's work left to do, but it's in the motivating myself to do it where I'm having trouble. Come on MacDara! If you get it done tonight, you can rent a video tomorrow and relax!!! COME ON!!!!

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Sunday, December 02, 2001

Working on finishing off my e-journal project today, plus tinkering with some new layouts for this site. Nothing will be posted online until nearer Christmas, since I just won't have the time till then. I just can't settle on one design that I want to keep yet.

I also have a bad cold, and no Sinutab, so I'm gonna be feeling pretty rotten for the next few days. The sooner I get all my obligations out of the way the better. I can't go to see Nile tomorrow night because the FilmSoc table quiz got resceduled, and I'm not gonna let my team down again. I can always buy a CD or something to make up for missing the gig - it would have cost me 14 anyway.

I missed The Deer Hunter on TV again last night. And I had actually budgeted time to watch it and all. Bugger.

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Saturday, December 01, 2001

It's World AIDS Day today. There's an antidote out there somewhere - not just to the illness but to negative attitutes that continue to stigmatise it - it just has to be found.

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© 1999-2002 MacDara Conroy