Showing posts with label Laptop. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Laptop. Show all posts

Buyer Beware!

Before I start: I want to say is not at fault for what happened. They have amazing customer service and I still very much support buying directly from (Also, this is a very long winded blog!)


My 3 year old Dell Inspiron died November 1st... the hard drive decided to go. So that night I got on the internet (on my husband's computer), and researched laptops so I could get one fast but with the specs I wanted. I finally settled on a secondary seller on Amazon- called Eagle Direct Tech. They have 408, 4.8 out of 5 star reviews. So I placed an order for the below laptop:

A Dell Inspiron 14R, with 2.10ghz processor, 6GB of RAM, 640GB hard drive. With Windows 7. I paid $18 for expedited shipping, because I wanted my new laptop fast. The order was placed on a Friday night around 10pm. 

You would expect expedited shipping to only take 2-3 days right? The seller printed my label Monday morning, but they did not drop it off at Fed Ex until 4pm Tuesday evening. Which meant I didn't receive my order until Friday afternoon. I paid $18 for 4-5 day shipping. I don't know about you... but that just sounds like regular shipping to me. The printed slip even said Fed Ex Home Delivery... that's not expedited...

I had to email the store TWICE to get a tracking number. When I pay $668 for something I want a tracking number. Fed Ex around here likes to leave packages at the wrong apartments. (Even though our complex is set up like duplexes and we each have our own front door.) I like to be able to track when a package is shipping or delivered in case there's a problem. 

I was willing to forgive the "expedited" shipping fiasco even though they were only going to get a 2 or 3 star review from me. Friday evening I got home from work excited to start my 3 day weekend and excited because I was going to have a laptop after going a week without one... 

I opened the box... and at first I wasn't thrilled with how the computer was packaged. It was just vacuum wrapped with plastic in the box- no bubble wrap or anything to protect it. The other thing was there was a big scratch on the lid... when the item was supposed to be "new". Also when I turned on the computer it didn't tell me to set up Window's like a "new" computer would, it just logged right on. Then I checked the specs. I went right to SYSTEM in the Control Panel to make sure I had gotten the right computer. Then I freaked out... 

It was a Dell Inspiron 14R... but that 2.10ghz processor... that 6gb of ram... that 640gb hard drive? Not there. I was sent a laptop with a hard drive less than 452GB, 4GB of RAM, 1.80ghz processor. NOT WHAT I ORDERED!!!

 Scratch on the lid:

I was beyond pissed. My hands were shaking because I just spent over $600 on a new laptop and now I had nothing. And no way to call the seller, they only communicate through email! So I called Amazon customer service right away and they were able to help me file a complaint. They emailed the seller for me, told them I was sent the wrong item, that I wanted to be compensated for the original shipping plus the shipping to return the item. Then they calmed me down by telling me, even if the seller wouldn't cooperate, Amazon would get my money back guaranteed. They also said they would personally call me back on Tuesday evening to make sure the seller had contacted me by then.

But in the meantime- I was out $668 dollars... and I still had no laptop... and I was starting to go crazy without a laptop. My Kindle Fire HD only does so much and I was sick of typing on touchscreen! I wanted to blog, edit photos, play The Sims 3. If I wanted a laptop directly from, they weren't even shipping until Thanksgiving week... and I didn't want to wait that long!

So... my husband and I went to 2 Best Buys and a Staples Friday evening trying to find a laptop that would meet my specs. By that point, price wasn't too much of a factor anymore. Also wanting Windows 7 was out, because all the stores were only carrying Windows 8. Unfortunately none of the in store Dell's were worth the prices they were selling them for. Staples had one model I was interested in, but was sold out. And the Best Buy was sold out of the Sony Vaio I finally decided on. They checked with other stores in the area and only one down in South Philadelphia had 3 in stock, but by then it was 7:40pm and the stores closed at 9pm and it's a 45min drive to get down to South Philadelphia. So we went home and I ugly cried, had a glass of vodka and went to bed early. 


We got up Saturday morning early, so we could get to the Best Buy in Philadelphia when it opened. I don't think I've ever been to a store before it opened. lol. There were other people waiting around outside for it to open. I felt like it was Christmas or something. :-p Thank goodness. THEY DID have 3 of the Sony Vaio flip 15 in stock! Even though it ended up costing me $700 MORE (including $100 just in tax... thanks Philadelphia for your 8% tax). Sigh. But... I wanted a laptop fast.

I was finally emailed a prepaid shipping label to send the incorrect laptop back to Eagle Direct Tech. It will be getting dropped off at Fed Ex on Wednesday. And  when I'm refunded my $668... at least half of the Sony Vaio will be paid off... thank goodness for my Citibank credit card... (6% APR!)

The Sony Vaio Flip 15A is a powerhouse laptop. It has a 1.80 Core i7-4500u processor, 8GB of RAM, 1 Terabyte hard drive. It also has two video cards. An Intel HD 4400 intergrated graphics and a Nividia GeForce 2GB video card. The screen itself is also touch screen and It folds down to convert to a "tablet"... but I'm not messing with that anytime soon. I don't want to break it!

Only weird thing is... there's no CD/DVD drive. Yeah... I know newer laptops are starting to phase them out, because everything is becoming cloud based. It doesn't bother me too much though, none of my programs run from the disc. And the only time I ever used my disc drive on the old laptop was to watch a DVD rarely or burn a CD for the car. We have an external CD/DVD drive so I can use that when I need to.

Also it has Windows 8.1. (I updated the OS last night from 8.) After playing around with Windows 8 this weekend... it isn't too bad or too different. The "start menu" is definitely weird. But you can still view all your programs. You just customize what programs are pinned to the start menu. I will be back to posting nail blogs again soon! I spent yesterday getting all my programs installed.

Oh and the touch screen is so cool! I was playing The Sims 3 last night and my husband asked if the touch screen worked with games... and it does! I could select things in game by touching the screen! And do my games ever run fast now! No more lagging, whoo hoo!

My Shiny new Sony Vaio Flip 15A.

Here are my thoughts on Eagle Direct Tech, on
1. I had to email them far too many times, twice for a tracking number and two more times to get a prepaid return mailing slip. They get back to their customers very slowly.

2. I paid $18 for expedited shipping through Fed Ex. It took 4-5 days to arrive, when it should have only taken 2-3 days because the item was not shipped right away by the store.

3. They either "sent me the wrong model"  like they said in their reply email. Or, they sent me that laptop thinking I would never notice the specs were different from what I ordered.

4. The laptop looked like a display model to me, not brand new as described. It wasn't packed very well in the box, no bubble wrap etc. It had a scratch on the lid.

Conclusion: BUYER BEWARE! I do not reccomend shopping from Eagle Direct Tech on

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Not my weekend... and other ramblings

So this weekend has been a big bust. Friday morning I woke up sick with a head cold, throbbing headache with a stabbing pain in my eye. Sore throat, stuffed up nose. Then my laptop decides to die. It's a 3 year old Dell Inspiron 1545. It's been giving me a fatal hard drive error for about a year... and I just always thought, "Oh well, if that happens I'll do a PC restore to factory settings."... nope. Didn't work. The part of the hard drive PC restore is on... yeah that's the corrupted spot... blah. so pissed.

I wanted to get a new laptop next year when the car was paid off, ($3,000 left!). Not this year, when my Kindle Fire HDX 8.9" has already been pre-ordered... (I've upgraded every year since the original Kindle Fire came out in 2010, I always resell last years model on eBay). But anyhow... thank God I backed up all my files on my external hard drive last weekend. The only thing I am kicking myself about is that I forgot to back up the countless custom fonts I've downloaded over the years... one of which I was using for my watermark... and I forget the name now... arrgh.

I'm thankful I have my Kindle Fire HD, but a tablet still isn't the same as a full functioning PC. I can't upload any of the nail photos on my Sony Camera and I don't have Paintshop Pro to edit. I can't play Sims 3 and unwind on the weekend. Blah. I did order a new laptop on Saturday. I got another Dell (I am partial to Dell, this is the first one to die on me... my husband's that he inherited from me is 6 years old and still kicking). Dell's website didn't have any to ship until end of November that met my specs... and I can't wait that long!!! So I got one new on Amazon with Windows 7 (None of that Windows 8 mess for me), and that had enough space to store my large resolution photos and that would run the Sims 3. It was still less than what I paid for our previous two laptops... but I did not think I would have to put out $600... I had to take some money from our savings to pay for it. And with expedited shipping it sure better be here mid week! New one is a Dell Inspiron 14R. (No Macs for me... sorry I'm a bit anti Apple).

So... I am blogging from my Kindle Fire HD. I will have better photos of this polish when I'm up & running on a PC again. But for now here is a cell phone video & photo. (Compliments of my Galaxy S3). Black Cat Lacquer had a Halloween sale with 25% off. I grabbed Poison Apple. It's a gorgeous red scattered holo thermal polish. It's bright red when warm, and dark red when cold. My nails are long enough that the tips do stay dark red for a gradient effect. But for the video & photo I used hot/cold water to show it off more.

I also finally found the Sally Hansen triple shine polishes at one of our CVS'! I went a little nuts... swatches to come soon....

I also pre-ordered 3 of the new colors from I Love Nail Polish. I got Birefringence with Holo, Sweet Serenade, Washing Ashore. They were $1 off during pre-order and you get a limited edition full size polish, exclusive to the pre-order.

Last but not least... I about fell over the other night when I saw Emily De Molly Cosmic Forces IN STOCK on Llarowe! I have been wanting this elusive polish from the Aussie indie maker for long, I didn't think I'd ever get it. (And I sure wasn't going to pay $30 on eBay!). 

But... I am now going on a no buy. I have bought more polish in October than I did the the whole year! I have enough pretties to play with... so I am going on a no buy until Jan 31st... longer if I can hold out! I have plenty of polish to swatch and blog about and stamp with. So there will still be lot's of blogging. :-)

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Keyboard repaired! (Dell Inspiron 1545)

I mentioned the other day how the keyboard went in my laptop. (I have a Dell Inspiron 1545- it's about 3 years old now). It started Friday evening with just N and M not working. I used a dry toothbrush to clean the keyboard lightly, I even popped the keys off to clean underneath the ones that weren't working. Nope, didn't fix my issue. By Sunday it had spread to H, J, Y, U, 6 and 7. Arrgh. I ordered a new keyboard on ebay for $15 and free shipping Friday evening and it arrived today! Talk about fast shipping! (Seller I bought from is: hiparts).

All I had to do was take the battery out, remove 4 screws, pop the front panel off, remove the old keyboard, then pop in the new ribbon and keyboard. Took less than 10 minutes. Whoo hoo for a working keyboard again!

Each computer company has service manuals available online. (You can also just Google your computers make & model plus the search term 'Service Manual'). The service manuals show you step by step with pictures how to repair anything in/on your laptop. I've replaced (In my own laptop, my husbands & cousin's), LCD screens, touch pads, hinges, casing, keyboards, RAM. Much much cheaper than taking it somewhere to be repaired.
Dell Inspiron 1545 Service Manual


Essence & OPI Gradient

Feeling a bit under the weather today. Also... the keyboard in my laptop decided to go... so I am left without N, M, H, J, Y, U, 6 & 7... ordered a new keyboard. (They are not difficult to install. I have a Dell Inspiron 1545. It's about 3 years old now. I've done laptop repairs before). For the meantime, I have to either use my Kindle Fire HD 8.9", or the on-screen keyboard in Windows 7 (under accessibility) to fill in the missing letters when I use my laptop... not fun...

I decided to do a gradient with Essence Hello Marshmallow & OPI You're such a Budapest. I used Konad animal print stamp M57. My stamping wasn't the best, because I was feeling dizzy... I smeared them a little bit. The colors are pretty though!

Right before I stamped my nails. (And my awesome Lush Lemony Flutter cuticle butter!)

This is the acetone nail polish remover‬ I use. It's 99 cents from Shop-rite & works better/faster than any I've used before. I only use it once a week to remove my polish. I usually only change my polish every Friday. (Unless it chips really bad during the week).

Look what I found on! Herbal Essences brought back two of their old favorites. I used to use this rose shampoo and conditioner when I was a teenager. It still smells the same! I love it!

I also re-swatched Layla Hologram Ultra Violet. I love Layla Holo's! 

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Laptop Repair & A New Phone!

My cousin Jessica's laptop screen died a few weeks ago. With her new baby, she didn't have money to have it repaired at a store or money get a new one right now; so we did some searching on ebay and I was able to find her a brand new LCD screen for $79. Her warranty was expired. (If she had taken it somewhere they would have charged $199+ for a new screen plus repair fee's).

I've done repairs on my own laptop before. I've replaced the keyboard, replaced casing, etc. So I was pretty confident I could repair her LCD display after looking at her HP G60 service manual online. I also ordered her a new LCD inverter for $5 since it works together with the display. It took about 3 hours- (I kind of dropped one of the tiny screws in our dining room carpet lol! It took forever to find it!). HP had the LCD data cable running under the hinge, which is a really strange spot because as you open & close the laptop it wears down the wire. I moved it so it was over the hinge. Her laptop is working just fine now, I returned it to her this evening and she was very happy to have it back!

I also got a new cell phone on Ebay brand new. I love my Blackberry- but I hate how with Blackberry Curve it will freeze up and you'll get the hourglass and you'll have to pop out the battery to reset the phone. (It does it often!) I can't get any upgrade deals with T-mobile because I'm on a special $59.99 plan with 500 minutes unlimited nights & weekends and unlimited texting & data. That was the catch to sign up for the plan- I would have to pay full price for a new phone, no special price upgrades.

I'd been looking at the Motorola Charm for a little while so I did some searching on Ebay and was able to win a brand new one for $149. (T-mobile is charging $269 full price). It also came with a car charger, headset, 2 batteries, 2 back doors. It has a touch screen but it also has buttons like a Blackberry. It's also Android so I had to call T-mobile to switch over my data plan.

It's really a nice phone, I love all of the features, how it backs up my contacts into my Motoblur account online. How it streams all my networking sites into one window on the phone for quick updates.

What I hate though is the battery drains extremely fast! It came with a regular and extended battery and I have the extended battery in the phone. Even with a full charge and screen dimmed all the way, by the time I was heading home on the train after work at 4pm the battery so low (30%) it shut off my data service to save energy. I had to order another extended battery on Ebay and I'll carry that & the regular one for emergencies. I remember I had the same issue with my Motorola Razr before. I would have to keep a back up battery with me at all times.

Neat Laptop Skin!

So.. my naughty ratties Pepper and Poppy have chewed on the lid of my laptop in several places and nicked it pretty good. I was going to replace the whole lid but it's $30-40 dollars for a new lid from So I started looking around and found a neat website that has laptop skins. Actually they also have skins for your phone, e-reader, game system, ipod, etc. Pretty neat!

I just got my decal skin today and applied it to my laptop. It's like a vinyl skin sticker. It's pretty thick and durable so you can wipe it off to clean it. Plus you can remove it in the future without any damage.

The one I ordered for my Dell Inspiron 1545 was $12.99 plus shipping, can't beat that! (Tip: Their ebay store has cheaper prices! That's where I ordered from.) Their official website is called: I think I'm going to order one for my blackberry sometime soon too!

Here's my laptop with the new skin (ignore the junk in the background!)

The skin I ordered, is called: Abstract Neon.

BTW: Even if you order the correct size for your laptop you will still have to trim a tiny bit around all the edges once applied to make a snug fit. Then you just smooth it all out so there are no bubbles.

And no- I'm not getting paid for this post! I just really recommend these skins, it looks awesome on my laptop! And if I get bored I can always order another style. My Mom already said she might want one for her laptop for Xmas. :)



I've been wanting a new laptop for awhile. I got my Dell Inspiron E1505 almost 4 years ago. I'm outgrowing the hard drive and my games (Sims 3, etc) don't run as well as I wished they did. I've been looking at Dell's laptops lately and whenever I customize a laptop with the specs I want it's been coming out to $1,500 at least. So I've been waiting for a good sale before I got one, because I only wanted to pay between $500-800. When I got my E1505 4 years ago I paid, $1,200 and I really didn't want to pay that much again.

Friday I had an email from Dell. They were having a sale just for the Dell credit account holders. So I went to see what they had. I customized a laptop and even upgraded a few of the specs and the total still only came out to $789! Wow! When I purchased it, I even got free shipping. Also if you pay for your purchase within 6 months you won't have to pay interest on it.

I got a Dell Inspiron 1545


-Intel Core 2 Duo 2.20 GHz Processor
-256MB ATI Mobility Radeon HD4330 video card
-500GB Hard Drive
-15.6 inch wide screen display
-Integrated 1.3M Pixel Webcam
-8X DVD+/-RW Dual Layer Drive
-Genuine Windows 7 Home Premium
-9-cell Primary Battery

I customized it online and upgraded some of the features. I was really wanting a 512MB video card, but all they were offering was the 256MB which isn't bad, that's what I have in my current laptop and with the faster processor speed and extra RAM my games and photo programs should run smoothly. I really like the Intel Core Duo processors. I also have that in this laptop right now. It's a high end processor and runs smoothly and lets you operate multiple programs without slowing down your machine. Dell has a comparison chart online for it's processors and I thought it was funny Core Duo 2 is rated: Genius. Haha!

F & I were talking about laptops when I was in the Philippines. I said he could have my old one if I got a new one. He calls my current laptop a powerhouse, lol. He likes a lot of old games, so he said he would like having my older laptop. So it will become his when he comes to the USA. I'm excited to get the new one, though right now it says the estimated ship date is March 29th! So long to wait! The only thing I won't like is transferring all my photos, music, etc to the new laptop when it arrives!


More Laptop Dissection...

When I was in the Philippines the left button of my touch pad on my laptop died, so I ordered the part online. I've been putting off dissecting my laptop for more than a month now and it's a 3 day weekend so it was time... I was getting tired of using a mouse.

I love my Dell Inspiron E1505... but I've had issues with it. The M button went on my keyboard last year, so had to replace the keyboard. The hinges on the laptop lid went and needed to be replaced and now the touch pad needed to be replaced. I get my Dell parts from

In order to replace the touch pad the entire front cover palm rest had to be removed. Which meant I had to take out my cd/dvd drive, remove my keyboard and take off the LCD Display... fun.... I just love dissecting my laptop, lol. I'm always so grateful Dell has the service manual published online.

It took about 40 minutes to remove and replace everything. And there was 3 years of dust, dirt and grime once the palm rest was removed... wow... yuck! I cleaned that out before replacing everything. So now I have my touch pad back. My co-worker joked with me and said if I keep replacing parts I'm just going to have a whole new laptop eventually, haha!

My laptop is nearly 3 years old now.... I bought it back in May of 2006. I love it, because I got to customize it online when I purchased it. I like alot of simulation type games, mainly the The Sims 2, The Sims, Sim City 4, Roller Coaster Tycoon Series, etc. I also create alot of web graphics with Macromedia Fireworks. So I really wanted a system that could handle those types of programs.

My laptop has a 2.0GHz Intel Core Duo Processor, 2GB of RAM, 100GB hard drive, 256MB ATI Radeon video card. Plus it has a really nice 15.4 wide screen display. I paid the extra money for the 2.0GHz processor because that's the most important part of a computer. I wanted a laptop that could perform like a desktop.

My #1 rule for buying a computer is to make sure you have at least a 2.0GHz processor or better, #2 would be your RAM (at least 1GB or more.), #3 video card (at least 256MB or more.), #4 hard drive size, etc. It really depends on what you want to use your system for. If you want your computer to run fast & smooth, the processor speed is what you should look for first in a system.

My only issue with Dell, is the casing for their laptops... very cheap plastic. The computer system itself though, runs great... so I don't mind that I've had to make some repairs to my laptop over the past few years. As long as your LCD screen or motherboard isn't damaged it's definitely cheaper to do the repairs yourself. (Which... if those go... you're better off just buying a whole new computer anyway!)


Just about a week!

Next Monday I'll be off to the Philippines! There's just 9 days left until I leave now! I really was going to pack next weekend, but I decided to start packing the stuff I'm not wearing. So I spent the morning packing. Next weekend, I'll just have to wash and pack the clothes I will wear this week and pack all the miscellaneous last minute stuff. Decided not to take my bright purple suitcase because it's not going to be big enough and I don't really want to take two bags with all the new luggage rules at the airport. So I'm taking my huge black suitcase with wheels and a smaller suitcase with wheels for my carry on. (Since I'm taking the laptop this year!) And that will be it, besides my purse.

I visited my Nana last night. She wanted to see me before I went away for 2 months. So I got to share with her my trip pictures from January. And I brought the rats as a surprise. She's seen pictures of them but she hasn't met them. I thought she might be freaked out that I brought rats to her house, but instead she said, "Ohhh! You brought the rats!" And she pet each one on their head and even said their tails were cute. (My Mom cannot stand rat tails, haha!)

Afterwards my brother & I stopped at Starbucks to get hot white chocolate mocha's, yum! It's been getting colder now and the leaves are starting to change color. But in just a week I'll be seeing palm trees again and wearing sandals! And getting to be with my boy! Also can't wait to eat at my favorite places again. Gerry's Grill & Chow King and Saisaki Buffet! Yay! I'm excited!

Dissecting my laptop...

I got my Dell E1505 laptop about 2 years ago and after awhile the plastic started to separate on right side where the screen opens, leaving a huge crack. Then last weekend, I was on the sofa downstairs on the laptop and Cinnamon started fighting with Spice so I went to reach for her to separate them and.... my laptop fell on the floor. Bad ratties! Ever since then the problem has been getting and now it's getting difficult to open & close the laptop. It's starting to press on the LCD screen when I close the lid sometimes- which is not good at all... if I damage that- I might as well buy a new one!

So I had to order a new front & back casing from:

Then I did some research online and found out it's a flaw with model E1505- look at all these people with the same issue: (I posted too.) The picture someone posted is exactly the issue I have, though it's looking even worse now.

It's the hinge. And I when I opened it up the other night both hinges were not aligning properly which is causing the plastic casing to separate and crack. My laptop isn't under warranty anymore so I have install the parts myself.... so I get to dissect my laptop this weekend...

This looks super fun:

It just makes no sense for me to buy a a new laptop that will cost several hundred dollars, when I can repair this one for about $50. It's only 2 years old. Plus it's just a nice laptop with a 2.00GHz Intel Core Duo processor, 256MB ATI Radeon video card & 2GB RAM! hehe. I love that Dell's systems are really nice and run well. The only thing is, they make the casing and plastic pretty junky, so things like this happen. I guess that's why they are more affordable than other PC's with the same specs.

I did have to replace my keyboard a year ago because the M button stopped working so I have been inside my laptop before. And I just ordered the 2GB of RAM. It arrived today so I installed that! Yay! Just a little nervous about taking the LCD screen out and disconnecting the wires- so I hope it goes well this weekend! My parts are supposed to arrive Saturday according to the Fed Ex Tracking. Wish me luck!

EDIT 6-7-08: ALL DONE! It only took about an hour! My brother helped me with it. It was actually really simple to take off the old parts & replace with the new parts. And The LCD screen came out easy and went back in very easy. So now my laptop looks brand new again with the new lid on it and the hinges are so smooth when I open & close it. Yay! I'm happy! The laptop turned on just fine. No screen issues!

Taking my laptop to the Philippines...

I've decided I'm going to take my laptop to the Philippines with me this year, since I'll be over there 2 months. I've already taken other electronics with me, F.B. has adapter boxes in his house that plug into the outlets there and decrease the voltage for US electronics. So this way I don't blow out my ipod, cell phone, etc when I plug them in to charge. The voltage is higher over there. I think it is 220v. When F.B. was younger his US relatives were visiting and plugged his Super Nintendo directly into the wall- since it was the US version it blew it out, he's still upset about that!

So today I was able to get a cute little carry on suitcase with wheels. This way I can take my laptop on the plane with me and store it in the overhead. And I'm going to put a small bag inside my carry on bag to take out on the plane and store under my seat, with my books, snacks, sleep mask & sleeping pills, pillow, etc. You don't want to be on a 15 hour flight to Hong Kong without those things underneath the seat in front of you! Then I don't have to keep climbing over people (since I'll be a window seat!) to get access to my stuff. Haha.

I took my Mom out for an early Mother's Day today. We went out to lunch at 'Red Lobster' and then to 'Bath & Bodyworks'. My Mom was going to get her tattoo today and I was going to get my stars retouched since they are healed and get my name on my other ankle, but they were booked solid so we made an appointment for Tuesday at 5pm.

F.B. and I are meeting online for a date tomorrow. It's been a few stressful weeks for me at work and we haven't really been emailing or meeting for dates on weekends. This coming Saturday I have to work 10 hours of overtime, so we'll have to meet on Sunday as well. It's going to be a busy week for me...

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