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Where does the time go? I keep thinking about things I want to blog about, but then suddenly 9 days go by and I haven’t blogged a thing! I can give you all the usual excuses – work is busy, school is busy, being on my own means I now have to do all my chores for myself… but blah, blah, blah. Whatevs. I’m here now and in an attempt to get all the things I’ve been meaning to blog about out of my head, here’s a rapid fire blog posting of All The Things.
In The Latest Froggy News:
The final two frogs do, in fact, have names. As you may recall, I named three of my five new frogs: Copernicus the Second, Froggymodo, and Apricot. The final two frogs are named Count Frogula1 and Beyoncé2.
In the Trying To Be Healthy Department:
MayHealth is going swimmingly. It’s actually been quite helpful to me to be organized on these two tasks – meal planning and laying out my outfits for the week on Sunday – as I now don’t feel stressed out having to make these two simple decisions every day. Plus, my meals are much healthier when I actually plan them out, because I’ve given some thought to making them balanced, as opposed to making a decision solely based on BETH HUNGRY!
Training for my half marathon in June is also coming along. Due to the aforementioned omg-I’m-so-busy, I’ve really only been doing the long runs on the weekend, and maybe one other short run during the week. So I’m not expecting to break any records, but I’m sure I’ll be able to finish! I’ve done the last several long runs with Alicia, which has been awesome, because (a) it’s really nice to have company when you have to run for ~2 hours, and (b) Alicia is in much better shape than me, so I’m having to push myself to try to keep up for as long as I can. I’m not really great at pushing myself, so I need the extra inspiration!
In the Things-I-Missed Department:
Yesterday was my car-iversary! Little Zaphod Beeblebrox the Car is 4 years old3! They grow up so quickly.
In the Distraction Department:
Dr. Cath, when we were out for dinner and beers and absolutely no other reason whatsoever the other night, introduced me to an app called Rando. The idea behind the app is that you take a photo and Rando sends it off to some random person in the world who also uses the app. For every photo you send, you get one in return from some random person in the world. If said random agreed to have their location revealed, you will get to see where in the world that photo came from too. So far, I seem to be getting a lot of photos from South Korea, though I’ve also gotten ones from Texas, Brazil, and Paraguay.
In The Knocking Goals Off My List Department:
I’ve been slacking on some of my goals for the year, so to make myself feel better about that, I decided to use my May Health meal planning to help me work on my “make 10 new meals I’ve never made before” goal. So I actually made two new things I’d never made before last week alone! First, I made lamb shoulder chops on a George Foreman grill. Since I was being all organized and planning ahead, I even marinaded the lamb for 24 hours first. It was delicious. Next I made some bison stew! It was OK – the bison ended up a bit tougher than I would have liked and I thought that the stew itself could have been more flavourful (though putting in a bit of extra Worcestershire sauce gave it a nice little kick).
In the Colour-Me-Surprised Department:
There are some condos going up across the road from me and based on the drawings of what the building was supposed to look like, I thought that they were restoring the facade of the old ~ 6 story building that was there and then building a giant glass tower on top4. But apparently not, because they’ve completely demolished the whole building:
I’m hoping that they are going to at least build it to look like the old building, because I quite like how this neighbourhood looks, with the classic old buildings along the street.
On the plus side, for the moment at least, I have a much better riverview than I used to!
In the Ongoing Saga of My Teeth:
I just realized that I haven’t updated y’all on my teeth situation. The last time I mentioned them, I’d just gotten my prototype crowns and veneer and was soliciting your opinion on them. The next step was to go back to the dentist and tell her the things I didn’t like, which she then fixed5, so now my teeth are beautiful! Except they are still prototypes, as she had to take impressions of them to send off to a lab in Quebec, where they will make exact replicas of these beautiful teeth, except out of porcelain, which I have to go back to the dentist to have cemented onto my tooth stubs.
My appointment to get this done isn’t until next week and it’s super annoying because the prototypes are held in with “temporary” cement, which isn’t super-duper strong. A few days after my appointment to fix up the prototypes, the veneer fell off. The veneer pretty much just looks like a press-on fingernail, which gets “pressed on” to your tooth which has been shaved down a bit so that the veneer doesn’t stick out past your other teeth, so there’s not a lot of surface area to do the cementing (as opposed to crowns, which cover the entire tooth stump, so there’s tonnes of surface area). The day it happened my dentist was at a conference in Seattle because dental emergencies only happen when your dentist is out of town, and I had to call around to find a dentist whose office was open on a Friday afternoon and who could take a random stranger in to fix their tooth. I found one and she glued my veneer back on… which then fell off again about three hours later, even though I was being very careful and not biting with my front teeth or anything. She glued it on again the next morning and that time it lasted about 6 hours. At that point, I gave up on her as a lost cause, spent Sunday without a veneer6 and went to my own dentist first thing Monday morning. She glued it back on with some slightly stronger temporary cement, which held it on for 8 days. She glued it on yet again and, knock on wood, it seems to be holding up7. Ever since the first time it fell off, I’ve been very carefully not to eat anything that require biting with my front teeth – I just cut everything up with a knife and fork and put it in my mouth on the opposite side to the veneer, all the way back to my molars. On the plus side, I’m eating less because eating has become so very annoying, which is helping me with my weight loss goal. Also, I can’t bite my nails, so my nails are actually growing quite nicely. Poor tooth structure = everybody wins! (I’m sure as soon as I get my permenant crowns and veneers next week, it will all go back to the way it was before, and I’ll have my nails bitten down and gain back the little weight I’ve managed to lose!)
In the I Haven’t Been on a Proper Vacation in More Than Three Year Department:
This is a biggie and probably deserves its own blog posting, but who knows when I’m going to get back on here, so I figured I’d better say it now. I haven’t been on a proper vacation since I went to the Dominican Republic back in January 2010! I mean, I’ve been on road trips and I’ve been to Toronto (and Montreal) to visit my family several times since then, but I haven’t been on a real fly-to-somewhere-and-see-the-sights kind of trip. And, as I’ve lamented before, I’ve never left the continent. But all of that is about to change! I’ve booked off three weeks in August and, thanks in large part to a very nice tax return this year, I’m using that time to go to Europe! First stop will be four days in London, England, where I will be hanging out with my mom and two of my aunts, before we hop over to Dublin for our 11-day tour of Ireland! I’m Irish on my mom’s side, so I think it will be fantastic to explore our roots together! After that, my mom and aunts are heading back home, but I’d staying on an extra week. I haven’t yet booked what I’ll be doing during that time, but I’m pretty sure I’m going to go to Greece and relax on the beach. Because after two weeks of running around doing all sorts of touristy things, a week of relaxing in the extreme heat some like just what the doctor ordered.
So, yeah, that’s some stuff that I’ve been meaning to blog about since forever. And now I’m up past my bedtime and will probably regret staying up to write this when the morning comes. But it’s Friday AND it’s a long weekeend! Now I’m off to hit the hay!
- Name courtesy of Dr. Dan, who earned the honour of being Count Frogula’s godfather for coming up with such a cromulent name. [↩]
- To clarify, she was named after the performer and not the giant metal chicken. I feel the need to clarify, as I have been asked which of those two she was named after. *cough* Dr. Cath *cough* [↩]
- She’s also fully paid off, which is pretty kick ass. [↩]
- Which is how most of the buildings in my ‘hood are built, including the one I live in. [↩]
- She just put some extra acrylic here and some extra acrylic there to add a bit of length to the ones that were too short and fill in the gap I didn’t like – and voila! [↩]
- Translation: Hiding away from civilization so no one could see my horribleness. (OK, it actually wasn’t that bad, because it’s not like the hideous tooth stumps that are under my crowns. It’s just a bit too short and a bit far back compared to the other teeth and I don’t open my mouth wide when I talk or smile, so it wasn’t as bad as it could have been. But still). [↩]
- It’s totally going to fall off again, now that I’ve said that. [↩]
I’m home from my trip. Most of my time on my flight home I spent working, but I did manage to jot down a few blogworthy1 thoughts.
- Why don’t airlines enforce the carry-on baggage size limit? A women boarding the plane in front of me not only brought on a bag that was clearly bigger than we are allowed to bring, but she stuffed it, after much effort, into the overhead compartment in row 14, despite sitting in a row much further back on the plane. Because apparently she didn’t give a rat’s ass that the people in row 14 might want to use the overhead compartment for their own baggage. So inconsiderate.
- Everyone on my flight from Toronto to Vancouver appears to be from New York.
- My sister packed a lunch for me to take on the plane. She told me that she included some crackers in my lunch, but when I pulled my lunch bag out, I saw that this meant a package of my nephew’s goldfish crackers. Hilarious! And delicious!
- Why didn’t I bring any chocolate on this flight? And why are all the baked goods that I am bringing home in my *checked* baggage?
- Turns out that all the New Yorkers on my plane are going to some sort of insurance conference in Vancouver.
- When the people around you on the airplane talk about being “agents”, it’s much more fun to assume that they are agents of the secret variety than of the insurance variety.
And now, an evening of unpacking and laundry and catching up on the Walking Dead! w00t!
- It’s my blog I decided what’s blogworthy, just FYI. YMMV. [↩]
So, for some reason I thought it was a good idea to go to one of the tallest buildings in the world on an extremely windy day and walk around the outside of it with only a couple of ropes keeping me from falling to my death 1,168 ft below. It’s called the CN Tower Edgewalk and it is by far the scariest thing I’ve ever done in my life.
Here we are before walking out to what could have been our doom:
The deal with the Edgewalk is that you get suited up in jumpsuit and harnesses and they secure said harness via ropes and whatnot to a railing that runs around the tower. And they take you on a walk around the tower, stopping along the way to have you put your toes over the edge of the walk way, and lean out over Toronto, both backwards and forwards.
Now, when we first stepped out, and I looked out across the city and down to the ground that was so very, very far away, I immediately thought, “OMG, I’m going to die, I want to turn around and go back!” But I took a few deeps breaths and steeled myself, against my better judgment, and kept going. I was by far the most chicken of the four of us and at several points I thought, “Can this be over now?” But it did get a bit easier the longer I was out there and each time I did the “lean back” over the city, it got slightly less terrifying to me. There were even moments where I was thrilled by the sights – it was super clear, so we could see Niagara Falls & Rochester, NY, in addition to seeing many Torontoian sites2.
One of my earlier “lean backs”. Where I barely leaned back at all because OMG DID I MENTIONED THAT I WAS TERRIFIED??
Dr. Dan, demonstrating a proper leaning back technique.
I freaking love this photo of Nancy & Jeff.
Group lean back!
Jeff said that my reactions of terror made the adventure that much more enjoyable for him. To which I replied, “I made everyone feel that much better about themselves when they saw that they were so much better than I was. I’m like the Honey Boo Boo3 of the CN Tower Edgewalk!”
At any rate, we all survived and I have now been able to cross item #44 off of my list of 101 things to do. Even on my vacation, I can’t help but be productive!
- Level of braveness may vary. [↩]
- Like Lake Ontario, the RBC Building that is coated in gold, Billy Bishop City Centre Airport, just to name a few. [↩]
- Honey Boo Boo, for the initiated, is a “reality” show on The “Learning” Channel about a child beauty pageant contestant from a red neck family in the southern US. The show has great ratings because people like to look at this family and think “They are so trashy” and then they feel better about themselves by comparison. [↩]
If I lived in Montréal, I would surely weigh 1,000 lbs. The food here is so freaking good, but so freaking not good for you.
Last night after my day of traveling, I arrived at the hotel have only had a bagel and a coffee, a muffin and a tea. After sitting on planes all day, I felt the need for some movement, so I hit the hotel gym for a run on the treadmill, but it ended up being very short because (a) I was soooo hungry and (b) I kind of hate treadmills. After that, I headed out to Old Montréal to find some grub. And find it I did, in the form of this well-rounded meal:
Braised pork poutine, bread, and beer. All of the food groups!
The beer in that glass was a Griffon Extra Blonde, which was freaking fantastic. To be honest, I mainly ordered it because of the name – I have Griffin ancestry, and I figured that Griffon was close enough. Though I did do a quick Google search and found that it got pretty high reviews. I’d highly recommend it if you like light beers – it’s 100x better than your average light beer!
And then tonight I hit Schwartz’s for a smoked meat sandwich and one of my beloved spruce beers!
This spruce beer was actually by Colt, which I’ve never seen before. It was delicious, but I still think that the Kiri one that I had at La Belle Patate was better. It was just more sprucey. More sprucey = more delicious.
Smoked meat. Ever so much meat.
Likewise – and I’m probably going to get shot for saying this – I think I liked the smoked meat sandwich that I had at Reuben’s when I was here last November even better than Schwartz’s.
At any rate, I’m very lucky that the meeting that I’m here for is feeding us lots of healthy foods, so I’ve been loading up on fresh fruits and veg during break, lunch, and breaks. Which is good, because I’m pretty sure I can actually hear my arteries hardening thanks to my dinners from the past two days!
As I write this, I’m on a plane somewhere between Vancouver and Toronto, on the first leg of my journey to Montreal for a 2-day workshop where I will share my research progress with, and learn about the research progress of, other researchers who are in the same funding cohort as me. I had grand plans to put together my presentation1 on this flight, but I have been thwarted by the fact that while I downloaded Prezi Desktop to my computer last night so that I could create a prezi without being connected to the intertubes2, I didn’t realize until I just tried to open it that I need to activate it, which requires the ‘tubes. Instead, I’m writing this blog posting, which I’ll post when I get back to the land of connectivity.
Happily, our profs decided to make our core final exam, which we were originally scheduled to be writing this morning, a take home exam, so I was able finish it up and submit it last night and will be arriving in Montreal at a reasonable time (4 pm) rather than midnight, as I was originally scheduled to when I thought I was going to be writing an in-class exam right now. With the core final exam under my belt, the only thing remaining in the core (read: nightmarishly busy part of the program, as opposed to the just very, very busy part of the program) is a presentation of the business plan projects that we submitted last week. My group has some kickass ideas for our presentation, which are remaining top secret as we don’t want any of the other groups to scoop us!
Looking at my massively complex spreadsheet that I’ve been using to track my grades3, I see that over the past 10 months since my MBA program started, I have completed:
No wonder I’ve been so exhausted! Happily, despite the accompanying sleep deprivation and exam-related nightmares, I’ve learned an insane amount about things that I didn’t know before, many of which I can – and already have been – applying in work and in life6.
But enough about that for now – this blog posting was actually supposed to be about my trip! After my workshop in Montreal, I’m hopping a Porter Air flight7 to Toronto to see my family. I haven’t seen them since the spring, so I’m super excited to play with my niece and nephew, spend time with my Mom and sister, and see some friends. Plans for my trip include:
- belated Thanksgiving dinner8 has been extremely busy, so she didn’t have time to do a Thanksgiving dinner this year. So my Mom and I are taking over my sister’s kitchen to make a feast so we can celebrate T-giving, if somewhat late.))
- the Hoot & Howl – a Halloween fair at my niece’s school9.
- the CN Tower Edgewalk10
Plans for Montreal, aside from the actual workshop I’m going to which will take up the lion’s share of my time, include:
- smoked meat sandwich
- spruce beer
- going for a run on the treadmill in the hotel gym, followed by some hot tub time11!
Two other things:
- At the start of this flight, I fell asleep while holding my coffee and didn’t spill it, which is kind of a miracle. To re-balance the universe, however, after I woke up, discovered that I was precariously holding my coffee, I put down my tray table and put my coffee on it, fell back asleep, only to be woken up when the guy in front of me slammed himself repeatedly against his seat back (presumably “trying to get comfortable”), which spilled my coffee all over me. Fortunately, I had brought a blanket to keep me warm on the flight which I had on top of me, so it took the brunt of the coffee.
- The lady who is shushing her baby in the row behind me is way more annoying than the baby babbling that she is trying to shush.
Posted from Toronto International Airport, where I’m waiting for my flight to Montreal. Have activated my Prezi desktop so that I can work on my presentation on the next flight. Hooray for free wifi!
- I haven’t had a chance to put together my presentation because I was just slammed with a million and one other deadlines at work the past couple of weeks and just slammed with homework in the evenings/on weekends for the past, oh, 10 months. [↩]
- Why is it that in 2012 we still don’t have the intertubes on aeroplanes?? [↩]
- Even though I said my focus is on learning and that I don’t really care about my grades as long as I pass and don’t look like a total moron, I am compelled to put all data I can get my hands on into spreadsheets, especially data that can be sliced and diced and analyzed every which way! [↩]
- Where by “major” I mean reports based on big group projects that lasted a few months each. One was a report on the running of a simulated business, the other was a business plan for an innovative new product. [↩]
- 7 of which were case study memos. [↩]
- “Stuff I’ve Learned in School” will be the topic of an upcoming blog post! [↩]
- Dear FSM, I love Porter Air! [↩]
- My sister, who has gone back to school to get her Master’s ((Boy, we are cut from the same cloth, aren’t we? [↩]
- Every year I hear about the Hoot & Howl from my sister and I’m super excited that I get to go this year. [↩]
- I’m completely terrified but also very excited to lean over the edge of one of the tallest buildings in the world! It kind of makes me want to throw up just thinking about it, but omg, it’s going to be awesome! [↩]
- Running will be required to atone for the aforementioned poutine, smoked meat, and spruce beer. And hot tub is just because hot tubs are awesome! [↩]
Is this thing on?
Apparently I decided to go from my month of blogging all the damn time to complete radio silence. We are going into the home stretch of the core part of the MBA program1, so all my waking hours have been spent doing homework, except when I’m at work-work, where my workload is also insanely impossible2. The other day in a meeting we were talking about our plans for the long weekend and I said, “I’m going to run the Victoria half marathon, which, compared to work, actually sounds like quite a relaxing thing to do.” I just kind of blurted that out as a joke, but as soon as the words escaped my lips I realized, I actually meant it!
Happily, we have the long weekend coming up, which will be filled with half marathon running goodness and then guiltlessly gorging myself on a Thanksgiving feast because, hey, I just ran a freaking half marathon.
Also on tap for October, once I finish two managerial economics assignments, two economics exams3, a group business plan that we’ve been working on since the spring, AND the integrated core final exam4, is a trip to Montreal & Toronto! I am heading to Montreal for two days of workshopping about my research – which is super exciting because (a) the workshops we’ve done so far for this project have been so interesting and so relevant to the work I’m doing and (b) we’ve made some really great progress with our research that I’m dying to share with my colleagues! Then, since I’m all the way out east, I’ve decided to take a few vacation days and spend the rest of the week visiting my family. Plans for that time include a belated Thanksgiving dinner – because why have one T-giving dinner in a given year when you can have two?5 – and maybe, just maybe, knocking item #44 off my 101 list.
But before I get there, there’s still a tonne to do. I’ve been working pretty much all day long and it’s somehow gotten to be 11:30 pm! So now – to bed!
- Where by “core” they mean “insanely impossibly insanely impossible workload”. [↩]
- Happily all my projects are awesome, so that helps. It would just be nice if I didn’t have 27 of them, all with identical deadlines where the deadline is *right now*! [↩]
- One managerial, one macro. [↩]
- Mercifully, it’s a take-home exam. [↩]
- This follows the “more is better” principle that I learned about in managerial economics! I’m totally going to ace that exam. [↩]
Along the Coquihalla highway, there are a series of signs with the names of Shakespearean characters on them. On the way up to Kelowna, I was all “I’m *totally* going to take photos of those on the way back and post them on my blog because they are awesome!” As it turns out, this was much easier said than done.
The first Shakespeare-related sign (when heading south on the Coq) is for Juliet – and I totally missed seeing it until it was too late to take a photo. “OK,” I said, “I’ll be prepared for the others.” I remembered that there were a bunch of non-Shakespeare signs between Juliet and the next Shakes-related one, so I dutifully waited with my camera at the ready and got a bunch of shots like this:
I think this might have been the one that said “Verona” or “Lear”1.
I did, however, manage to get a nice clear picture of this:
Thar. What the hell is Thar???
I also got a fuzzy one of a sign that says Duke:
And an even fuzzier shot of “Iago”:
Plus one with the “o” in Romeo cut off:
And one where you can see most of “Portia”:
(Look down below the more prominent “Boston Bar Creek” sign).
All was not lost, however! I got a good shot of the sign for Shylock Road:
And, as a bonus, a shot of the bridge where Shylock Road goes over the highway:
The little green sign on the bridge says “Shylock Road”, I swear!
And an OK photo of the sign for Othello Road:
You can tell I didn’t take this photo because it doesn’t suck3
Apparently, the Coquihalla is built on what used to be the Kettle Valley Railway, which included five tunnels cutting through the mountains – and these tunnels were called the Othello Tunnels. The stations along the railway were all given names from Shakespearean plays – Lear, Portia, Iago, Romeo, and Juliet – because either the engineer or the railway president – or possibly the railway president’s daughter - was a fan of old Wills.
Anyway, now I know. Which I believe, as Shakespeare once said, is half the battle.
Today’s adventure’s included Adult Pirate Paks and wineries. They go together like peas in a pod.
First up, Adult Pirate Paks at White Spot for lunch:
I was a little weirded out by the chicken-mermaid on my Pirate Pak, but the veggie burger, coleslaw, and french fry deliciousness was more than enough to distract me:
Why would anyone think mer-chickens are a good idea?
After lunch we headed out to check out some of the local Okanagan wineries. First up: Volcanic Hills Estate Winery.
Volcanic Hills is a relatively new winery, having only been established in May 2010. I’ve never had any of their wines before, so we did a tasting – 4 wines for $2! Plus, if you buy a bottle, they waive the $2. Naturally, we had to buy a bottle. It was the fiscally responsible thing to do.
Then we headed up to the Mission Hill Family Estate Winery. I’ve had plenty of Mission Hill wines before, so we didn’t do a tasting, but just walked around the grounds instead. The estate – and the views – were pretty spectacular.
I don’t know what this thing is supposed to be, but I totally felt the need to copy it for a photo opp. And then some other chick totally copied me and did a photo opp too! I’m a trendsetter, obviously.
Mission Hill has a big bell tower with, not surprisingly, bells in it. But apparently one of the bells that they had cast for the bell tower was made too big and didn’t fit. So they placed it at ground level so that people could see how pretty the bells are. Also, you can knock on the bell and make the awesome bell tower bell noise. Which, of course, we did repeatedly. Bells are awesome.
Spent the day in Kelowna today. It’s not insanely hot1 and wasn’t super sunny2, so it was nice to walk along the beach, check out the sites and whatnot. And, of course, I couldn’t resist riding Ogopogo3, the monster of Lake Okanagan:
Then some passerby asked if we wanted our photo together, to which I immediately replied “yes, please!”, mostly because I knew it would annoy Devon. He’s afraid of lake monsters.
- As Kelowna usually is in the summer. [↩]
- Some clouds and a bit of haze that apparently has come from wildfires in *Russia*! wtf?! [↩]
- You may remember Ogopogo from such photos as the band of traveling scientists who rode him back in ’06 [↩]
- I’ve been to Mount Boucherie and Quail’s Gate before, so we are hoping to go to some different ones. [↩]
- Props to Kalev, my Adult Pirate Pak Virginity Taker, for bringing this year’s Adult Pirate Pak day to my attention! [↩]
I’m on a super ferry! Super ferries are like regular ferries, only more super. One of the things that makes them so super is that they have wifi! Squee! Of course, now that I’m on the super ferry with its super wifi, I realize that I don’t have a heck of a lot to blog about!
Since our epic tackling of Mount Baldy, we’ve been enjoying some R&R. Mostly just relaxing and hanging out – and I’ve been doing a bunch of school-related reading1. I’m at the point that I’m sufficiently freaked out by the amount of homework I have to complete before September, so I’ve done a fair bit of reading over the last few days2. The extremely hot weather3 has leant itself to a lot of sitting on patios reading, as it’s a bit too hot to do anything too strenuous4. And seriously, who doesn’t love sitting on patios enjoying the sunshine and a fine beverage?
Right now, we are heading back to the mainland, where we will crash at home for the night, and then head up to the Okanagan. The plan for the Okanagan is lots of swimming, hiking, visiting wineries, and playing with Devon’s wee niece. With any luck, we’ll spot Ogopogo – or at least get some Ogopogo’s Lair!
- Which I’m interspersing with some non-school related reading when I get bored with reading macroeconomics… which is to say, fairly often [↩]
- I also spent a ridiculous amount of time on my stats assignment. Since I *teach* stats, I guess I’m very paranoid of getting anything less than 100% on the assignments, so I’m double, triple, and quadruple checking my work, because I don’t want to make a silly mistake by being complacent! [↩]
- By BC coast standards, anything above 27 degrees Celsius is considered scorching. [↩]
- We considered hiking Mount Finlayson, but the very hot weather, combined with my achy legs from Baldy made us decide to leave Finlayson for another trip. But make no mistake Finlayson, I’ll be back for you!! [↩]