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  1. #1

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    Been really working hard on expanding my knowledge base. Not going to rehash another thread I started on that. But in the search for good instructional materials I came across the "Beyond Chops" course at the Dick Grove Shool Without Walls. Everything I read about Grove and the the Grove materials are very positive. But I can find precious little discussion of the "Beyond Chops" course or it's quality as compared to other programs and methods. The course index is exhaustive and seems well supported by DVD and CD materials. But it seems quite dated (not a big issue to me unless it is just so outdated that the video is awkward or hard to watch in some way). I think that even the outdated website is causing me to wonder out loud about the usefulness of these materials.

    1. Has anybody on this forum used this product?
    2. If so, would you recommend it to someone and up to what price point is it a worthwhile investment (in your opinion)?
    3. Can I get the same level of instruction by just studying the topics in the course independently or is his presentation so good and logical that I would be cheating myself by not getting it?

  2.  

    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

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    Obviously not. LOL

  4. #3

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    I don't know anything about Dana Rasch, but maybe he DOES need new gold hubcaps on the Lexus!!!! (lol)

  5. #4

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    There were some cats here 'docbop?' that were involved with the Dick Grove school - maybe they could give the OP a heads up on this course. I remember a conversation in a thread a few weeks back about Dick Grove.

    I youtubed Dana Rasch - guy can play his ass off, which is always a good sign. I've seen other instructional methods written by players who to be honest haven't blown me away.

    OP's right about it being dated - a book and CD set from the 90's, therefore it might be biased a bit towards that late 80's/early 90's fusion sound judging from Rasch's playing, so if that's your thing you're in luck.

    $600? Yeah it's a lot of dough, especially these days. It looks like a very comprehensive curriculum, so if you compare it to what you'd get if you studied at a university it's cheap by comparison. Thing is, you'd have to commit to the method in full, which would be a big undertaking.

    My vibe is, if you were into fusion, studying privately in person with Dana Rasch and systematically working through his method would be the ticket. Cat seems like a hardcore player & educator which is a rare combination.

  6. #5

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    Someone mention me.....

    I used to hang out with and jam with Dana all the time back when I worked at Dick Grove's, but that was way before Dick and Dana started the School Without Walls so I can't comment on that. I can tell you Dana is a great musician, back when I knew Dana he was studying with Ted Greene, playing in a couple bands, and introduced me to some wine called Lambrusco <grin>. If I remember right Dana did a couple cruise ship gigs because it gave him a way to play and practice all day and make a few bucks. I would say Dana is just one those people born to play music.

  7. #6

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    didn't he marry Dick Grove's daughter?

    anyway, I saw something on YouTube where there was talk that he was in ill health, and he seemed to confirm it in a post. if so, sorry to hear that.

    Finally, in one of his videos he had that 80's mullet thing going. (that was 80's, right?). Larry Carlton did too. must have been a big L.A. thing.

  8. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by fumblefingers
    didn't he marry Dick Grove's daughter?

    anyway, I saw something on YouTube where there was talk that he was in ill health, and he seemed to confirm it in a post. if so, sorry to hear that.

    Finally, in one of his videos he had that 80's mullet thing going. (that was 80's, right?). Larry Carlton did too. must have been a big L.A. thing.

    No, Dana was Dick's step son, Dick had another son Jeff who was the one who got me into computers. I kind of remember Dick's daughter especially the song title she came up with. Dick was writing tunes for the band class and told his daughter she could title one, she called it "Taco Barf". Dick left the title for a long time before changing it.

    Mullets were more than a L.A. thing along with Rat tails. I didn't do the mullet thing, but did start a rat tail but gave up and cut it off.

  9. #8

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    Beyond Chops by Dana Rasch....worth 0?-ratt_family-jpg

  10. #9
    Dana is a killer player, hell of a nice guy. Not much of a marketer though. The original SWW site was 6 pages when I ran into Dick Grove in Vegas after moving back from OC. The material isn't dated although the videos are old. I have the entire SWW program given to me by Dick himself for building the newer 60+ page site. It was a long time ago but I got it done for him. Had dinner with Dick and Dana about 3 days before Dick passed. He was a great guy too and if you check the Facebook page of Dick Grove Alumnists you'll see that all the students that graduated are working and are highly trained. After Dick passed, some time later Dana sold SWW to a nice guy named Dirk (forget his last name, but I used to call him Dirk Digler) If Docbop on here is actually DrBop or the infamous Rick Barda then he knows how deep the Grove stuff goes as he teaches much of it. Is the program worth $600? Well I think it is but I own it already. The knowledge is truly great and in conjunction with the SWW material it's the keys to the kingdom to borrow a phrase from Rick.

    Rick if that's you, we should re-connect. I still owe you $320 bucks for those lessons I couldn't afford that you were gracious enough to let me take knowing I was broke at the time

    K

  11. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by keithshapiro
    If Docbop on here is actually DrBop or the infamous Rick Barda then he knows how deep the Grove stuff goes as he teaches much of it.
    No I'm not Rick Barda. Terry Janow is the one who gave me that nickname back in my Grove days and I've been using it every since for music related sites.

  12. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by docbop
    No I'm not Rick Barda...
    Rick used to give me guitar lessons when I was living in Orange County in the early 90's he goes by DrBop with a cat and glasses so I figured it was the same thing. Not sure what the cat and glasses thing is with you bop doctors but oh well, there you have it.

  13. #12

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    Based on the amount of information that it contains, it could possibly worth it. But yes much of that information you can find for free. My problem with that website is they expect you to purchase $600-$2000 worth of learning materials just based on trusting them that it is worth it, and their claim that their system is, and I quote, "The best in existence". If the material contained within each product was truly worth it, I don't see why they couldn't sell it to you in smaller chunks. That way you could buy say the first part (maybe one book and a CD for $20-$30?) try using it, see if you like it and feel it was worth buying, and if you are pleased with it, you can then buy the 2nd part and so on. These days you can buy very cheap books with a ton of information for like $15 on Amazon. You can search for most of the topics on the 'chops' index and find hundreds to thousands of free websites with information on it, or YT video lessons. Ok, we all know free web / YT learning materials can range from terribly designed on up, but still. If their programs are worth $2000, there is no reason why they can't sell it to me in 100 pieces for $20 a piece. Some things you can't really sell in smaller pieces, but a large collection of books, CDs & videos, you can.

  14. #13
    I disagree, anyone who's spent any time on the Grove material knows it truly is good stuff and quite frankly the best in existence. Since I own it all, given to me directly by Dick and Dana I'm a little biased but hey, I have it and when I got it they were selling it for close to $10k soup to nuts.

    It's good stuff.

  15. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by keithshapiro
    I disagree, anyone who's spent any time on the Grove material knows it truly is good stuff and quite frankly the best in existence. Since I own it all, given to me directly by Dick and Dana I'm a little biased but hey, I have it and when I got it they were selling it for close to $10k soup to nuts.
    It's good stuff.
    Disagree with what? None of your comments addressed what I said. So are you saying that if I go to amazon to buy a book from Hal Leonard, and they ask me to pay them $20,000 for all their books & CDs, instead of allowing me to just buy one book at a time, you disagree with my opinion that they should allow me to buy one book at a time? If you would think about what I said, this system would actually help your friends sell more books, not less. I am taking the assumption that they are as great as you say they are, in which case people would be more than eager to buy each successive book as they complete each one, because they have witnessed the "best guitar books in existence".
    Last edited by Guitarzen; 06-14-2013 at 11:18 PM.

  16. #15
    I'm not saying anything of the kind, I think it's worth it you don't, go to amazon and buy Hal Leonard books then. What difference does it make. My economy of value is different than yours, however you aren't going to find the Grove method laid out for guitar like you will in Beyond Chops. It's a good program and I was talking about the Grove program as a whole.

    Besides, the Hal Leonard and a whole host of other books and resources that are free are laid out horribly, miss the boat on ear training and aren't anywhere near as comprehensive as the Grove materials.

  17. #16

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    can you please give us some examples of how Dana lays out the Grove method - for guitar? I'm an ex Grove school guy meself. have his books too.


    thanks.

  18. #17

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    I took several classes from Dick Grove in the late 70's and found them to be excellent! I can highly recommend them for serious jazz students.

    wiz

  19. #18

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    So, then is it just a course you buy and you are on your own or is it like the other programs seem to be where you have "homework" and assignments that get graded by someone? Is it meant to be a part of their system where that you get the maximum effect by taking their "See it Hear It", CAP and Keyboard stuff all together over time. If so, i am out. I might be able to justify a 600 dollar investment but the other stuff is out of my league......or at least it is beyond my priorities.

  20. #19
    Hi, y'all! I am the owner of the Dick Grove School Without Walls. I actually agree that $600 is too much to ask for the Beyond Chops course. Not because it is not worth that, but because there is so much stuff out there that at least appears to be more for the money, and yes, even a lot of the free lessons can be very decent. I do think that the Beyond Chops course is the most effective approach available and I continue to get fantastic results using the B.C. principles after close to 20 years of practice. When Dana set the $600 price for BC, courses that included video were pretty rare and youtube didn't even exist. He was thinking about the fact that people were paying $200 for a private lesson with Joe Pass or Larry Coryell, and he knew that what he had to offer was worth far more than 3 times as much as what people were walking away with from those brief private lessons.

    All that said, if you contact me through dickgrove.com or on the toll free number 800-99GROVE, I will cut the price, for Beyond Chops, in half. In addition, you actually can buy it in smaller modules. I can break the B.C. course into thirds, and I will keep that half price offer available for you, even when getting the smaller modules. You also get 30 days to review the materials and get your money back (less shipping) if you decide to return the materials.

    Support for all the Dick Grove School Without Walls courses is essentially unlimited, via phone and/or e-mail, so I am offering more than a typical publisher of lesson material. I helped Dana to write and produce the Beyond Chops materials, so I am completely qualified to offer help.

    The other courses offered by the School Without Walls are truly unparalleled! I can also offer greater-than-advertised discounts on those materials, as well as pay-as-you-go plans. Please contact me and we can work out something for almost any budget.

  21. #20

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    I just love happy endings, don't you?!

  22. #21

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    Is there a similar deal for the composing (CAP) program?

    That course always looked so cool, but so expensive!
    Last edited by srlank; 09-06-2013 at 12:31 AM.

  23. #22

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    NO ! no one should give six hundred to anybody. use that money for bills, food, the kids/wife etc. not tryin to block a sale but for six hundred you should be able to get hands on lessons from your favorite guitarist. they would jump right on it for $600.00 bucks. so i'm thinking. if you good bros reconnect why not just give him what he wants to buy since you already have it and call it even. it will give you both a chance to reunite and bring out the best in both of you. maybe make some music based on what you have learned.

  24. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by roguesuspect
    Hi, y'all! I am the owner of the Dick Grove School Without Walls. I actually agree that $600 is too much to ask for the Beyond Chops course. Not because it is not worth that, but because there is so much stuff out there that at least appears to be more for the money, and yes, even a lot of the free lessons can be very decent. I do think that the Beyond Chops course is the most effective approach available and I continue to get fantastic results using the B.C. principles after close to 20 years of practice. When Dana set the $600 price for BC, courses that included video were pretty rare and youtube didn't even exist. He was thinking about the fact that people were paying $200 for a private lesson with Joe Pass or Larry Coryell, and he knew that what he had to offer was worth far more than 3 times as much as what people were walking away with from those brief private lessons.

    All that said, if you contact me through dickgrove.com or on the toll free number 800-99GROVE, I will cut the price, for Beyond Chops, in half. In addition, you actually can buy it in smaller modules. I can break the B.C. course into thirds, and I will keep that half price offer available for you, even when getting the smaller modules. You also get 30 days to review the materials and get your money back (less shipping) if you decide to return the materials.

    Support for all the Dick Grove School Without Walls courses is essentially unlimited, via phone and/or e-mail, so I am offering more than a typical publisher of lesson material. I helped Dana to write and produce the Beyond Chops materials, so I am completely qualified to offer help.

    The other courses offered by the School Without Walls are truly unparalleled! I can also offer greater-than-advertised discounts on those materials, as well as pay-as-you-go plans. Please contact me and we can work out something for almost any budget.

    Hey man - I went to Dick's school. Ventura Blvd in Studio City. I even wrecked Russ Tuttle's van for him in that tight friggin covered parking lot when I visited the school before enrolling! Russ was a gas, BTW.

    Anyway, what would you say this particular course offers the jazz guitarist?

    Thanks.

  25. #24

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    I only just noticed the later additions to this thread. Long story short, I have ordered this and it is on its way. Dirk and I struck a deal a few weeks ago and I just pulled the trigger a couple of days ago.

    I will spend the next few months going through it and I will provide my impressions as they come to me. I didn't want to put out there that I was getting any price break because I wasn't told I could. I still am going to let him post specifics when he is ready. But let's say he was very accommodating and we covered a lot of bases in our conversation. I plan to use it for myself and as the basis for my students who want to get deep if it is what I hope it is.

    more to come
    Last edited by mbself; 09-20-2013 at 03:14 PM.

  26. #25

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    Since Dirk posted here...whatever happened to Beyond Chops 2? It's not listed on the website, but I've heard of it existing (maybe not complete, though?). It seems like Dana has kind of disappeared, so if you have any insight it would be appreciated!

  27. #26

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    My materials arrived last night. Being that Tuesday and Wednesday are the heavy days of my week with regards to my "real job" of coaching football I was not able to thoroughly preview the materials. I got the full "Beyond Chops" course and the Jazz Keyboard part I lesson 1.

    1st impressions:
    Pre-sale--

    Dirk was very helpful. Never once tried to sell me anything. He answered all of my questions and made suggestions as to what I needed as far as pre-requisites to be able to take advantage of these courses. The Guitar course was not in doubt in this, it was only the keyboard part since it is more of a hobby to me than an actual passion. But I do want to get better at keyboard/piano, so I opted to take a preview of just one lesson of that course.

    During the sale--

    After placing the order I kept waiting for the FedEx tracking number that was supposed to be generated. He had warned me he would be out of pocket for a few days so I wasn't surprised when I couldn't reach him, but i did panic a bit when after a week there was still no tracking number. As it turns out, I actually botched my email address on the order form used on the website. It is a little archaic in the world of e-commerce, but that doesn't change the typo on my part....but an updated more modern e-form would have forced a duplicate entry to verify email.

    Dirk actually emailed me the morning that the materials arrived to apologize for something that was so totally not his fault. I am supposed to call him before I begin to use the materials for him to give me the recommended usage of both courses. In his words they are "opposite" of each other in terms of best method for going through them.

    After the sale--

    To be continued...

    The materials themselves--

    Both courses are comb bound. The Guitar Course is as advertised with 6 books, 3 dvd's and 12 cd's. I flipped through the 1st book. I can't say that (with limited time so far) I have found anything totally groundbreaking in the first book, but I will tell you that it is easily the most exhaustive pentatonic resource I have ever seen. It breaks down the major and minor pentatonic by all keys, all positions and what I will call "zones" within each position and transitions from one position to another. I think it will certainly make it easier for me to teach the pentatonics to students.

    The Keyboard course is written in very simple (not dumbed down) language that makes sense to anyone with a decent background in music theory. Again, cursory glance, but I think it will be quite helpful as it develops.

    I will get more detailed as the days and weeks go by.

  28. #27

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    As far as Beyond Chops 2 goes......I have heard (but haven't asked) that it is available but is quite incomplete (roughly 1/3 of what was originally planned for it. They do not advertise its existence or promote it, but if you ask I have heard they will sell that 1st 3rd that is complete. I can't verify because Dirk and I never discussed it. Dana is apparently MIA to some extent. I don't mean nobody knows where he is, but he is simply no longer involved in the Dick Grove stuff. There is very little on him on the web, or youtube or anywhere else. Who knows why? Doesn't actually matter at this point.

  29. #28

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    I bought the Beyond Chops course a looong time ago, like in the early 90's. I got frustrated with it and stopped and started several times, but finally got through most of it between college and grad school.

    If you have a good grasp of all of the positions of the pentatonic, it could be easy to get put off of the whole course. Don't let that happen! After the pentatonic exercises, it goes into triads, all the positions and inversions. Next, it combines those two things with sweep picking. Then, he has you playing the correct scale over chords that aren't necessarily diatonic, i.e. chord-tone soloing. That's just in the first book. I have no idea what skill level you're at, but I lot of the guys I teach don't have a complete picture of pentatonics and triads or using the proper chord tones instead of just wailing on a pentatonic scale. If you just pick up that knowledge, you're ahead of a lot of guys out there. I'm a rock guy primarily, so I know how easy it is to get trapped there.

    Book 2 superimposes those pentatonics over different "chord families" that the Grove system of harmony is based around, kind of a gateway into fusion, I suppose. If you were so inclined, you could play your way through anything using nothing more complicated than pentatonics and triads. The modes are covered briefly, more in the sense of knowing the chord scales and using upper triads to comp with. A lot of emphasis is placed on minimal movement (playing whatever scale, triad, etc. you want in the nearest possible position) and melodic contour (playing the same shape through different positions of the scale).

    What isn't covered in any detail is altered dominants, as it was to be covered in BC2. This is a real grey are for me, so I give Dirk a call and see what the deal with part 2 is.

    There are some other odds and ends touched on as well, but that is the meat of the course. I believe the pracice schedule sets it up as a nine week "course." So, if you take what you paid and look at it as signing up for a semester long college course or a bunch of hourly lessons, the price is pretty reasonable. If you feel you can use help in any of the above areas, I would certainly recommend the course.

  30. #29

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    I have had a chance to really go through the first book and kind of preview the second book.

    The following is only about book 1

    The beginning:
    1) It starts out, I think, assuming that someone has some basic proficiencies on the instrument. This is understandable since it is not marketed as a beginners method. I do believe, with the right teacher, that this could be used from the very beginning of a guitarists development. But, as a home course using just the books, cd's and DVD's it is probably advisable that someone who is considering it be at least able to read notation up to about Mel Bay Modern Guitar Method grade 2 or Berklee Method volume 1. Not that the examples and exercises are reading intensive, but you do need to be able to correlate the diagram with the notation to know what direction you are playing the patterns.

    2) The bulk of Book 1 (all of it actually) is a primer (a very thorough one) on pentatonic scale positions and connecting mini-sweeps (three note arpeggios) to the various pentatonic positions. It is very well done. I can't say there were any concepts that were new to me, but the sheer volume of permutations that were demonstrated was impressive. I found several little patterns I had never used (or at least pattern combinations).

    Conclusion concerning just lesson 1 Printed Materials

    I have not really gone through the Media materials yet so this may change somewhat the overall review of lesson one. Once my season ends in two weeks and I can devote more time to it.

    From the perspective of where my playing is now, if I had only purchased lesson one and judged it purely from the printed materials I would probably have not bought the rest because I would be comparing book one to my own level of proficiency and knowledge of the fretboard. But being that I have bought the whole thing and have peeked ahead I know that not buying the rest would have been a mistake.

    From the perspective of where I was 23 years ago and from the perspective of my advanced beginners/intermediate students: I wish I had this back then. I will definitely be using these materials in my teaching practice from this point forward. It actually teaches the fretboard from the same perspective that I teach from (using pentatonic scales and expanding from there) but it is far more thorough and organized than what I have been doing on my own.

    I will review the Media items in a couple of weeks to a month and will try to provide a cohesive overall review of all materials as a whole and how they work together. I am definitely not regretting looking in to this.

    And FYI, Lesson 2 really starts progressing into some things I have never really developed properly in my own playing so I can't wait to get to that for myself.

  31. #30
    Hello, I am in contact with Dana and talk to him periodically! His Dick Grove classes and materials are the best of the best and the extreme penatonics course in particular is designed to take players to the next level! Dana is considering starting online classes with maybe 10 or so students and if anyone is interested you can contact me here and I will pass your info along to him!

  32. #31

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    Hello

    Newbie here. Kicking the thread back into life.

    Any news on BC / Dana Rasch?

    Thank you

  33. #32

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    His name was Dirk Price. Think he lived in Ashland Oregon. Was in the guitar program at DGSM in 1983.

    I have 3 college degrees, Chemistry, Philosophy and Dentistry.....in ALL my education I found Dick Grove to be one of the finest educators I had ever encountered.


  34. #33

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    Huh, stumbled across this incidentally...

    Dana Rasch is actually alive and kicking, and his newer program, called Visual Guide Tones, is supposed to be the newer approach to what he did with BC. Now, I have actually worked through the first four levels of VGT (applying it on bass), and with very good results, in term of fretboard familiarity and starting to sound more...acceptable across some changes, when having to solo.

    I haven't looked into his other programs, like Composition Through the Guitar or Chord Melody, but I do like his teaching style and personality. As the matter of fact, I have been in contact with him for the past couple of years, and he has been very helpful in offering help in my work with his material.

    Don't know if anybody here is actually interested in his stuff anymore, but this should be his current website Guitar Technique | Visual Guide Tones Worldwide

  35. #34

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    I joined his facebook group a while back. He regularly posts some good tunes. The guy can play.

    .

  36. #35

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    And his teaching is brilliant. Some may not like his conversational style, but I find it quite refreshing, plus it makes me have new insights every time I look a lesson again.

  37. #36

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    This thread actually made me go back and check DR's stuff again. Well...his Composition Through the Guitar turns out to be awesome, and covers more ground then I expected. And the Dana's Personal Reserve video 11A I find very good! It is about putting horizontal and vertical movement on the fretboard together for a more productive practice session, and it really clicked with me.

  38. #37

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    Well, Dana just started a Patreon site/channel, and it seems rather good offer, with membership levels at only $5 and $10 per month. The lessons are combinations of one-off videos and some of his courses chopped into single lessons. Iguess it might be worth checking out at patreon.com/VGTones

  39. #38

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    Well...and then here is this!