Possum Living

2012 November 26
by drdog09

Tired of the BS that is the rat race? System rigged? Tired of getting shafted as a near 1%er? Wish you could find the exit ramp for your life? —

One main ingredient in our well-being is being able to hear the financial news without supposing the end of the world is at hand. The leading economic indicators, the balance of payments, the energy crisis, inflation, unemployment, the GNP–what are they to us? Each evening on the six o’clock news the economists, the natural heirs of the medieval scholastic theologians, trot out all their nonsense and solemnly present it as being of cosmic significance. Now, why is this? After all, mankind was living on Earth-and often living well–for thou sands of years before the dogma of “growth” and the rest of our present economic catechism were invented.

My father and I produce most of our food and all of our drink (and fine food and drink they are, too, if I do say so myself ) and spend only about $700 each per year. And as I said, we imagine we live well. While not overly religious, we do heed the Biblical admonition that “every man should eat and drink, and enjoy the good of all his labour, it is the gift of God” (Ecclesiastes 3:13). Notice it says “God,” not “GNP.”

We aren’t magic. Neither of us does anything any other reasonably able person can’t do–you, for instance.

Excerpt from the book Possum Living.

Its a short tome and can be read in an evening. If you have sat there looking at the bills and wondered why, it is a highly recommended read. Consider it a how-to for —

A young fisherman goes out every morning and brings back a dozen big fish. A lawyer on vacation notices this goes on for days on end. The lawyer finally approaches the fisherman offering a beer as he speaks.

“You fish everyday. Why not get a motor and catch more fish?”
“If I did then what?” asks the fisherman
“Get a bigger boat and catch even more fish and get a fine home with the proceeds.” intones the lawyer.
“Then what?”
“Buy more boats and hire men to run them. Catch even more fish.”
“But why Senor?” the fisherman quizzes.
“So that you can buy the cannery, fix it up, retire and lay on the beach all day in retirement.” says the lawyer.
“But Senor I do that now except for the hour it takes to catch the fish.”

If you understand the logic then the book is for you. There are some cautions however. The book was published in 1978. In the interim technology has advanced. So the scene of making calls without being identified are long gone. If you live in a HOA or master planned community so too is the idea of ripping out your front lawn and raising wheat. A reasonable person will be able to identify the pitfalls from the intervening years.

The core of the book is a paid for home. With a roof over your head anything is possible. Yes I know, that’s X number of years in the future, Dog. Yes if you willingly accept the rules that the System has laid down. The book mentions one way in sufficient detail. There are other ways, if you are willing to move. Most of us are in the trap of having a job. Having that job we need housing in a reasonable distance of the job. We need the job to continue to use the housing. Sort of vicious isn’t it?

Uncouple the housing – job dynamic, then open your eyes. Walk away from the urban cores where costs are high. That which is called `flyover country` by the American Intelligentsia is teeming with low cost housing. There are whole sections of what were once suburban Detroit that are going for several thousand per lot. Cobble several parcels together for acreage. There are towns in the midwest that at one time or another were actively looking for people to homestead vacant properties. Cheap. Get an idea of where you might want to live then do the searching. If you are married it might mean a lot of changes, like being apart a good deal of the time while the primary bread winner keeps the money flowing till the final ties can be severed.

Adopting Possum Living can also be a political act if you wish it. Nothing overt mind you, more a personal middle finger to the fixtures that are embedded in America today. The Founders cobbled together a governmental system they assumed would encourage each to pursue their individual interests. (… pursuit of happiness…). Washington DC and Madison Ave have perverted the pursuit to their own interests by making their interests your desires.

Look at an IRS tax table. You find an interesting fact if you cobble some numbers — A family of four making less than $40k a year pays little or no federal tax. The Democrats have built it that way over the years. And an untold fact is that the Democrats have indexed it by their maneuverings over the years. Nothing in code but defacto indexing. In 1970 making less than $3k a year kept you from doing so, that $40k today does.

Can a family of four live on $40k? Certainly not in Central Park West NYC. But if you have situated yourself accordingly, adjusted your skill set for the local environs, grow most of your primary food sources on your small bit of acreage then it is certainly possible and with room for some luxuries.

The consequences? Well if enough middle class adopted the Jeffersonian agrarian mindset the tax base would whither over a very short period of time. Lacking the funds the government is in a pickle. The Democrats will not be willing to ratchet down the tax trigger for it will impact their constituency base of takers. There would not be enough 1%ers to cover the gap (there aren’t enough now). The beast starves.

But what is the whole purpose Dog? It can’t be just to stick it to The Man is it? No. Time my friend, time. Through out my life the mantra for my generation has been learn hard, work hard, work long then toward the end with maybe 20 years left of your life get the gold watch, retire to Florida and later turn to dust lying in an oxygen tent. Now does that sound like a deal^? Why can’t you do what you want when you are 30 or so? And have 40, 50 years to pursue it? If you have a roof over your head and food in the pantry, why not?

I know, it all sounds great but that book was written 30 years ago. You can’t possibly do that today! There is a family doing this today in Pasadena CA. They do it all on a 1/10 acre of land.

I don’t want to be labelled a slacker! Is a farmer a slacker? Most bust their humps running a megafarm. Its not easy work. But the fact is most agricultural pursuits have long periods of down time. Time which you use to your own pursuits. The other periods you too are working hard on a small bit of acreage. Its a matter of scale.

Consider it.

I close this treatise with the opening of a new page. The family intends on being on the homestead by February or March of next year. If there is the interest I will provide updates of our progress from time to time as we Go Galt and live the Possum Lifestyle.

“Cultivators of the earth are the most valuable citizens. They are the most vigorous, the most independant, the most virtuous, and they are tied to their country and wedded to it’s liberty and interests by the most lasting bands.”
— Thomas Jefferson

^Most of it I don’t regret cause by God’s hand I had so much fun doing most of it that it did not seem like work most of the time. Except for the meetings, those damn meetings.

39 Responses leave one →
  1. 2012 November 26 10:40 am
    bc3b permalink

    Put another way:

    A family of four making less than $40k a year living on government handouts pays little or no federal tax. The Democrats have built it that way over the years.

    And then there are illegal aliens who receive $1,000 per child (even for children living in Mexico or Central America).


  2. 2012 November 26 10:41 am
    JBoz permalink

    Great post! I’ve been thinking about this for quite awhile now, but unfortunately the Bozlets have me stuck for the time being. The trap is the inverse of the fisherman analogy. Here is how the trap was set:

    1) The Bozlets are wonderful boys, for whom Mrs. Boz an I would do just about anything to ensure their success and happiness in life.
    2) They are in 7th and 8th grades, in an excellent school district, and are very socially settled in.
    3) This school district is supported by tax dollars, and correspondingly high real estate values.
    4) I have a 1%er -ish job that provides the income needed to pay for the pricey house, the real estate taxes, college saving, retirement saving, and the normal suburban trappings.
    5) The 1%er -ish job is all consuming, requiring frequent travel and thus time away from the Mrs. Boz and the Bozlets.
    6) The voice in my head says that I should bag the high-pressure gig, scale back my lifestyle and spend more time with family.
    7) #6 cannot happen without completely reorganizing the family life and thus necessitating the unwinding of #2, which would have a negative impact on #1.

  3. 2012 November 26 10:47 am

  4. 2012 November 26 10:51 am
    drdog09 permalink

    On a lark, I ate possum once, sans the road stripes.

  5. 2012 November 26 11:07 am
    bc3b permalink

  6. 2012 November 26 11:27 am
    drdog09 permalink


    Been there my friend. Every family is different so blow me off if I am out of line. Why not turn the negatives into positives and work your way out of the trap?

    1) Is it the education that is important or the social meliu of the school system? If its the latter then possible reconsideration of priority might be in store.
    2) If the boys are that important and (1) holds true homeschooling is possible. Homeschooling has been proven to consistently out perform most school districts in the country. The NEA hates it for that reason. JM is the expert in this matter, I’ll leave it to her to expand on the topic.
    3) If the travel you do is continental (eg away in multiple cities) in focus and not local its an advantage not a deterrent. It would generally matter not where your housing is situated as long as you can get to a airport hub in a couple of hours. Volunteer to be the go-to roadwarrior with the understanding its a 3wks on 1 week off kind of thing. That’s what many employers wish they had. (Your game plan it’s only for 3 years or so, then out.)
    4) Kids are resilient and always for an adventure if you treat it that way. I have moved a 6th grader and a 12yo Russian daughter so I know the concerns.
    5) Convince the SO that the game plan is that the change can be used to spend more time with the bozlets, not less.

    Another way to go is to buy a property as a second home and use the associated writeoffs. Rent the place out before you do your final bugout once the kids are out of the nest. Its what I should have done and would have been far ahead by at least 15 years.

    Good luck my friend.

  7. 2012 November 26 11:30 am
    drdog09 permalink


    Too old, too white, too Republican. The Republican brand is dead in politics over the long haul. If they keep suppressing the Teas, like they did at the convention, even the Teas will leave and there goes the base.

  8. 2012 November 26 11:38 am
    drdog09 permalink


    ‘If the enemy is in range, so are you.’
    – Infantry Journal –

    ‘It is generally inadvisable to eject directly over the area you just bombed.’
    – US.Air Force Manual –

    ‘Whoever said the pen is mightier than the sword, obviously never encountered automatic weapons.’
    – General Douglas MacArthur –

    ‘Tracers work both ways.’
    – Army Ordnance Manual-

    ‘Five second fuses last about three seconds.’
    – Infantry Journal –

    ‘Any ship can be a minesweeper. Once.’
    – Naval Ops Manual –

    ‘Never tell the Platoon Sergeant you have nothing to do.’
    – Unknown Infantry Recruit-

    ‘If you see a bomb technician running, try to keep up to him.’
    – Infantry Journal-

    ‘Yea, Though I Fly Through the Valley of the Shadow of Death, I Shall Fear No Evil. For I am at 50,000 Feet and Climbing.’
    – Sign over SR71 Wing Ops-

    ‘You’ve never been lost until you’ve been lost at Mach 3.’
    – Paul F. Crickmore (SR71 test pilot)-

    ‘The only time you have too much fuel is when you’re on fire.’
    – Unknown Author-

    ‘If the wings are traveling faster than the fuselage it has to be a helicopter — and therefore, unsafe.’
    – Fixed Wing Pilot-

    ‘When one engine fails on a twin-engine airplane, you always have enough power left to get you to the scene of the crash.’
    -Multi-Engine Training Manual-

    ‘Without ammunition, the Air Force is just an expensive flying club.’
    -Unknown Author-

    ‘If you hear me yell; “Eject, Eject, Eject!”, the last two will be echos.’
    If you stop to ask “Why?”, you’ll be talking to yourself, because by then you’ll be the pilot.’
    -Pre-flight Briefing from a Canadian F104 Pilot-

    ‘What is the similarity between air traffic controllers and pilots?
    If a pilot screws up, the pilot dies; but If ATC screws up, …. The pilot dies.’
    -Sign over Control Tower Door-

    ‘Never trade luck for skill.’
    -Author Unknown-

    The three most common expressions (or famous last words) in military aviation are:’ Did you feel that?’ ‘What’s that noise?’ and ‘Oh S…!’
    -Authors Unknown-

    ‘Airspeed, altitude and brains . Two are always needed to successfully complete the flight.’
    -Basic Flight Training Manual-

    ‘Flying the airplane is more important than radioing your plight to a person on the ground incapable of understanding or doing anything about it..’
    – Emergency Checklist-

    ‘The Piper Cub is the safest airplane in the world; it can just barely kill you.’
    – Attributed to Max Stanley ( Northrop test pilot) –

    ‘There is no reason to fly through a thunderstorm in peacetime.’
    -Sign over Squadron Ops Desk at Davis-Montham AFB , AZ-

    ‘You know that your landing gear is up and locked when it takes full power to taxi to the terminal.’
    – Lead-in Fighter Training Manual –

    As the test pilot climbs out of the experimental aircraft, having torn off the wings and tail in the crash landing, the crash truck arrives.
    The rescuer sees the bloodied pilot and asks, ‘What happened?’
    The pilot’s reply: ‘I don’t know, I just got here myself!’

  9. 2012 November 26 11:45 am
    JBoz permalink

    Dog – #6 – not out of line at all. Much of what you say is workable, and is already baked into the plan. You clearly have been down this path before, so your words of wisdom are appreciated. Yes, travel is continental and I could locate the family pretty much anywhere I wanted. And the road warrior thing – definitely 3 years max, then done. I am fortunate to have an executive comp structure which allows me to defer as much of my compensation as I want to. That factors in as well.

  10. 2012 November 26 11:47 am

    Wow that’s crazy impressive on 1/10th an acre.

  11. 2012 November 26 12:01 pm
    mulletover permalink

    Mullet living – possum living in the low country

  12. 2012 November 26 12:11 pm
    drdog09 permalink

    “Mullet living – possum living in the low country”

    Speak it! Oh finny one. 🙂

  13. 2012 November 26 12:24 pm

    JBOZ gravatar~~~~~BJG porn.

  14. 2012 November 26 12:28 pm
    drdog09 permalink

    Another healthcare challenge — http://www.scotusblog.com/2012/11/way-cleared-for-health-care-challenge/.

    SCOTUS just remanded a Liberty University lower court ruling. We now have three cases all centred on PACA. The Liberty challenge was one. I hope I am not reading too much into this but it looks like maybe Roberts is manoeuvring the court to destroy PACA by other means? The previous ruling essentially said it was legal on the basis for tax. So Liberty pends doom based on religious grounds. Another is winding through the counts on separation of powers. We have not even reached the Catholics case yet.

  15. 2012 November 26 12:28 pm

    Perhaps it would be prudent to absquatulate to a foreign country with all assets in tow.

  16. 2012 November 26 12:29 pm

    If the oligarchs on the court honor the non severability clause of the law,

    ANY part found unconstitutional should throw the whole law out.

    We can always hold out slim hope that roberts wants to redeem his previous schlong stomp. I think the other 4 would still love a chance to deep six this fuster cluck.

  17. 2012 November 26 12:30 pm
    drdog09 permalink

    16, True, the problem is where?

  18. 2012 November 26 12:32 pm

    Coasta rica,NZ/Aus/

  19. 2012 November 26 12:41 pm
    drdog09 permalink

    NZ, Aus, no second amendment. So if you like guns, you are out of luck living there. Don’t know about Costa Rica.

  20. 2012 November 26 1:00 pm
    JustMary permalink

    #2 #6 Homeschooling makes us more portable, but employment is still an issue. Our bills dictate that he can’t really scale back his hours for us unless we leave the state. If we found a lateral transfer or a bump in pay that required us to leave the state- we’d do it in a heartbeat. Selling this house would be an issue, so we’d have to rent it out or walk away. 🙁

  21. 2012 November 26 1:36 pm

    Another phuquing quisling

  22. 2012 November 26 1:43 pm

    post 20 ~~ My thinking is, that if one must live under socialist rule, it might as well be in a country that has the same culture and ethnicity as oneself.

  23. 2012 November 26 2:02 pm
    bc3b permalink

    ip –

    Obviously you still don’t understand that “diversity is our greatest strength.” Two extra weeks in Hut 1369 for you.

    Don’t you listen to people like General Casey? Without diversity how could those people at Ft. Hood possibly have died?

  24. 2012 November 26 3:18 pm
    drdog09 permalink


    Truer words were never spoken….


    1. Law of Mechanical Repair – After your hands become coated with grease, your nose will begin to itch and you’ll have to pee…

    2. Law of Gravity – Any tool, nut, bolt, screw, when dropped, will roll to the least accessible place.

    3. Law of Probability – The probability of being watched is directly proportional to the stupidity of your act.

    4. Law of Random Numbers – If you dial a wrong number, you never get a busy signal – and someone always answers.

    6. Variation Law – If you impatiently change lines, when standing, or traffic lanes, while driving, the one you were in will always move faster than the one you moved to….(works every time)

    7. Law of the Bath – When the body is fully immersed in water, the telephone rings.

    8. Law of Close Encounters – The probability of meeting someone you know INCREASES dramatically when you are with someone you don’t want to be seen with.

    9. Law of the Result – When you try to prove to someone that a machine won’t work, IT WILL!!!

    10. Law of Bio-Mechanics – The severity of the itch is inversely proportional to the reach.

    11. Law of the Movie Theatre or Football game – The people whose seats are furthest from the aisle, always arrive last. They are the ones who will leave their seats several times to go for food, beer, or the restroom and who leave early before the end of the performance or the game is over. The folks in the aisle seats come early, never move once, have long gangly legs or big bellies and stay to the bitter end of the performance. The aisle people also are very surly folk.

    12. The Coffee Law – As soon as you sit down to a cup of hot coffee, your boss will ask you to do something which will last until the coffee is cold.

    13. Murphy’s Law of Lockers – If there are only 2 people in a locker room, they will have adjacent lockers.

    14 Law of Physical Surfaces – The chances of an open-faced jelly sandwich landing face down on a floor, are directly correlated with the newness and cost of the carpet or rug.

    15. Law of Logical Argument – Anything is possible IF you don’t know what you are talking about.

  25. 2012 November 26 3:40 pm
    drdog09 permalink

    Oh great. Geithner is going to lead the fiscal cliff talks??

  26. 2012 November 26 8:24 pm
    mulletover permalink

    obama voters (trolls) posting in great numbers on conservative websites

    Not a huge surprise. Got to keep the election machine employed.

  27. 2012 November 26 9:04 pm
    drdog09 permalink

    DbD hits another one out of the ballpark —

  28. 2012 November 27 5:59 am

    Obamacare would wither on the vine overnight if all the doctors went on strike.

  29. 2012 November 27 6:06 am

    From an email. (the name winston is quite appropos 1984 winston smith)

    Thanksgiving 2022

    “Winston, come into the dining room, it’s time to eat,” Julia yelled
    to her husband. “In a minute, honey, it’s a tie score,” he answered.

    Actually Winston wasn’t very interested in the traditional holiday
    football game between Detroit and Washington . Ever since the
    government passed the Civility in Sports Statute of 2017, outlawing
    tackle football for its “unseemly violence” and the “bad example it
    sets for the rest of the world”, Winston was far less of a football fan than he used to be. Two-hand touch wasn’t nearly as exciting.

    Yet it wasn’t the game that Winston was uninterested in. It was more
    the thought of eating another Tofu Turkey . Even though it was the
    best type of VeggieMeat available after the government revised the
    American Anti-Obesity Act of 2018, adding fowl to the list of
    federally-forbidden foods, (which already included potatoes, cranberry
    sauce, and mincemeat pie), it wasn’t anything like real turkey.

    And ever since the government officially changed the name of
    “Thanksgiving Day” to “A National Day of Atonement” in 2020, to
    officially acknowledge the Pilgrims’ historically brutal treatment of
    Native Americans, the holiday had lost a lot of its luster.

    Eating in the dining room was also a bit daunting. The unearthly
    gleam of government-mandated fluorescent light bulbs made the Tofu
    Turkey look even weirder than it actually was, and the room was always
    cold. Ever since Congress passed the Power Conservation Act of 2016,
    mandating all thermostats – which were monitored and controlled by the
    electric company – be kept at 68 degrees, every room on the north side
    of the house was barely tolerable throughout the entire winter.

    Still, it was good getting together with family. Or at least most of
    the family.

    Winston missed his mother, who passed on in October, when she had used up her legal allotment of life-saving medical treatment. He had had
    many heated conversations with the Regional Health Consortium, spawned when the private insurance market finally went bankrupt, and everyone was forced into the government health care program. And though he demanded she be kept on her treatment, it was a futile effort. “The RHC’s resources are limited,” explained the government bureaucrat Winston spoke with on the phone. “Your mother received all the benefits to which she was entitled. I’m sorry for your loss.”

    Ed couldn’t make it either. He had forgotten to plug in his electric
    car last night, the only kind available after the Anti-Fossil Fuel
    Bill of 2021 outlawed the use of the combustion engines – for everyone but government officials. The fifty mile round trip was about ten miles
    too far, and Ed didn’t want to spend a frosty night on the road
    somewhere between here and there.

    Thankfully, Winston’s brother, John, and his wife were flying in.

    Winston made sure that the dining room chairs had extra cushions for
    the occasion. No one complained more than John about the pain of
    sitting down so soon after the government-mandated cavity searches at
    airports, which severely aggravated his hemorrhoids. Ever since a
    terrorist successfully smuggled a cavity bomb onto a jetliner, the TSA
    told Americans the added “inconvenience” was an “absolute necessity”
    in order to stay “one step ahead of the terrorists.”

    Winston’s own body had grown accustomed to such probing ever since the government expanded their scope to just about anywhere a crowd
    gathered, via Anti-Profiling Act of 2022. That law made it a crime to
    single out any group or individual for “unequal scrutiny,” even when
    probable cause was involved. Thus, cavity searches at malls, train
    stations, bus depots, etc., etc., had become almost routine. Almost.

    The Supreme Court is reviewing the statute, but most Americans expect
    a Court composed of six progressives and three conservatives to leave
    the law intact. “A living Constitution is extremely flexible”, said
    the Court’s eldest member, Elena Kagan. ” Europe has had laws like
    this one for years. We should learn from their example,” she added.

    Winston’s thoughts turned to his own children. He got along fairly
    well with his 12-year-old daughter, Brittany, mostly because she ignored him. Winston had long ago surrendered to the idea that she could text
    anyone at any time, even during Atonement Dinner. Their only real
    confrontation had occurred when he limited her to 50,000 texts a
    month, explaining that was all he could afford. She whined for a week, but got over it.

    His 16-year-old son, Jason, was another matter altogether. Perhaps it
    was the constant bombarding he got in public school that global
    warming, the bird flu, terrorism, or any of a number of other
    calamities were “just around the corner”, but Jason had developed a
    kind of nihilistic attitude that ranged between simmering surliness
    and outright hostility. It didn’t help that Jason had reported his
    father to the police for smoking a cigarette in the house, an act made
    criminal by the Smoking Control Statute of 2018, which outlawed
    smoking anywhere within 500 feet of another human being. Winston paid the $5,000 fine, which might have been considered excessive before the American dollar became virtually worthless as a result of QE13.

    The latest round of quantitative easing the federal government
    initiated was, once again, to “spur economic growth.”
    This time, they promised to push unemployment below its years-long
    rate of 18%, but Winston was not particularly hopeful.

    Yet the family had a lot for which to be thankful, Winston thought,
    before remembering it was a Day of Atonement.

    At least, he had his memories. He felt a twinge of sadness when he
    realized his children would never know what life was like in the Good
    Old Days, long before government promises to make life “fair for everyone” realized their full potential. Winston, like so many of his fellow Americans, never realized how much things could change when they didn’t happen all at once, but little by little, so people could get
    used to them. He wondered what might have happened if the public had
    stood up while there was still time, maybe back around 2011, when all
    the real nonsense began. “Maybe we wouldn’t be where we are today if
    we’d just said ‘enough is enough’ when we had the chance,” he thought.

    Maybe so, Winston.
    Maybe so.

  30. 2012 November 27 6:33 am
    justrand permalink

    IP, that parable in #30 was brilliant…and tragic. Especially apt was the depiction of the wellspring of the madness “the government making life FAIR for everyone”

    Well…”fair” for the masses. The Ruling Elite would, of course, have “special needs”.

  31. 2012 November 27 6:43 am

    The mega rich’s desire to “level the playing field” isn’t out of altruism, it’s a need to protect their own wealth by redistributing
    the assets of the middle class. Pacifying the mob to protect themselves as it were. Warren buffet /soros/ and their ilk would insulate themselves from the maddness of mobs by using our dwindling resources.

  32. 2012 November 27 7:11 am
    justrand permalink

    Agreed, IP. The sheep always assume that “Mutton for everyone!” means they get a free meal…well, they’ll be “invited” anyway.

  33. 2012 November 27 7:15 am
    drdog09 permalink

    Its the issue of the difference between wealth and income which nobody in the mob understands. To them income IS wealth cause it is all they have ever had in life. Our tax system insulates wealth for the most part (capital gains being the lowest tax rate around) but brutalizes income.

    On that basis the uber rich don’t really have to do anything but let the tax increases ride. Mrs. Kerry can and will blithely clip her coupons from her Heinz fortune untouched as her income is paltry in comparison. Same with Buffet for the most part. His capital asset base dwarfs the salary he collects from them.

  34. 2012 November 27 7:17 am
    drdog09 permalink

    33, have to remember that line.

  35. 2012 November 27 7:19 am
    mulletover permalink

    Better mutton for everyone, I always say.

  36. 2012 November 27 7:34 am
    justrand permalink

    Exactly, Mullet…keep ’em focused on land animals! 🙂

  37. 2012 November 27 7:37 am
    drdog09 permalink

    Never a doubt…..

  38. 2012 November 27 9:49 am
    mulletover permalink

    Did he have to put up three dang signs to sell the stuff??

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