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jerryking : adversity   33

Is There A Catfish In Your Tank?
Sep 13, 2017 | Center for Performance Improvement | by Jeff Crume

One of life’s most important lessons on how to handle those who oppose you.........After studying the cod fish someone discovered that their natural enemy was the catfish. This time when the cod fish were put in the tanks, they placed a few catfish in with them. Those catfish chased the cod fish all the way across the country to the west coast.
This time when the cod fish were prepared, they were flaky and had the same flavor as they did when they were caught fresh and prepared on the east coast. You see, the catfish kept the cod from becoming stale......our opponent, our catfish, is there for one purpose only: to make us better, stronger, and wiser. .......Don’t Wish For Easy
Don’t wish things were easier, wish you were better, and if it’s hard then go do it hard. And remember, if you wake up today to discover a catfish in your tank, don’t panic; just keep doing what you do best. It’s there on an assignment to keep you from becoming stale.
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The most dangerous person will be "the eel." The authors insist that "in every deal, and at every prospect's table, there is always an eel – a person who is against the deal. Always. Eels have a tendency to hang out in the shadows. They are hard to get to, and they usually talk you down when you're not around."

Usually eels are driven by fear that they don't want to acknowledge, so instead they insist they are against the deal on principle. They are dangerous, and must be identified early. Then you can try to co-opt them, taking the eel's ideas and baking them into your proposal.
adversity  eels  hard_times  inspiration  life_lessons  obstacles  resistance  self-improvement 
8 weeks ago by jerryking
Is ancient philosophy the future? - The Globe and Mail
DONALD ROBERTSON
CONTRIBUTED TO THE GLOBE AND MAIL

* Stoic philosophy, of which Marcus Aurelius was history’s most famous proponent, taught its followers not to waste time on diversions that don’t actually improve their character.
* Ryan Holiday and Steven Hanselman’s The Daily Stoic.
* Stoicism offers rational solutions to human problems but it is especially effective in troubled times. Its offer is attractive: It doesn’t matter how crazy the world is, how “bad” others are, you can always keep your cool and flourish.
* Stoicism.....carefully distinguishes between things that are under our control and things that are not. We should learn to take more responsibility for things we do and to be less disturbed by events that happen to us.....Serenity Prayer.....“God give me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.”
* it’s not things that upset us but rather our judgments about them. ...modern cognitive therapy... teaches us to become more aware of the role our thinking, or cognition, can play in shaping our emotions.
* Stoic acceptance does not mean passivity....The ancient Stoics sought to reconcile emotional calm with deliberate action for the common welfare of mankind.
* remain committed to improving the world around us without having to become distressed when things fall short of our expectations.
adversity  beyond_one's_control  books  emotional_mastery  metacognition  mindfulness  personal_control  philosophy  Romans  Ryan_Holiday  sense_of_control  sense_of_proportion  span_of_control  Stoics 
april 2019 by jerryking
Overcoming adversity: In the footsteps of polar explorer Shackleton
December 22, 2018 | Financial Times | by Sarah Gordon.

In 2013 Tim Jarvis, an adventurer and environmental scientist, re-enacted Sir Ernest Shackleton’s 1916 epic journey, sailing a replica of his boat 1,500km across the Southern Ocean from Antarctica, where Shackleton’s men were stranded for more than a year, to South Georgia island, then climbing over its mountainous interior to the site of the whaling station where Shackleton finally found help.....Mr Jarvis’ team used the same rudimentary equipment, clothing, rations and technology as had been used a century earlier......Jarvis' Shackleton expedition, like the original, hit numerous hurdles:
(1) loss of a sponsor;
(2) a gruelling sea leg of their journey, navigating storms and treacherous currents to reach South Georgia;
(3) three of the six team members had trench foot and some frostbite and were unable to embark on the next phase, the mountain climb across the island.

Jarvis coped by “trying to take a leaf out of Shackleton’s book”, keeping people busy, staying completely focused himself and “not even entertaining” the thought of stopping. He and the other lead climber, former Marine Baz Gray, isolated themselves in order to stop others’ negativity clouding their judgment before tackling the mountains ahead. There were no rows, says Mr Jarvis, but there were tears......“If you feel that at some level the risk and the fear are worth it, you will overcome it.”.....Choosing the right team for a challenge as extreme as this required unorthodox methods. For Mr Jarvis, the best team is about people whose skills complement one another rather than just the best individuals. But he also needed to make sure that team members could really do what they said they could....You don't want “employees”. “When the chips are down, you want someone who feels that they’ve invested a lot in [the expedition] and it’s theirs . . . ”Jarvis believes the expedition taught him how to set a positive example, how to recognise which buttons to press to get people to apply themselves more, and how to deal with “multi-dimensional” challenges, not just physical, but reputational and financial. “On the sea I wasn’t the best sailor. On the land I wasn’t the best climber. All you’ve got is your leadership, your conviction that you can pull it off, your bloody-minded determination to continue.”
adversity  Antartica  Ernest_Shackleton  expeditions  explorers  leadership  multidimensional  negativity_bias  obstacles  pessimism  teams  re-enactments  selection_processes  South_Pole  torchbearers  unorthodox 
december 2018 by jerryking
Amy Pascal’s Hollywood Ending, Complete With Comeback Twist - The New York Times
Article on Amy Pascal, former chair of Sony Pictures, and victim of a 2014 cyberattack that ravaged the company (her private emails were stolen, published online and picked apart by the news media)....In February 2015, Sony ousted her — not over the embarrassing emails, although those didn’t help, but because her movie operation had failed to keep pace with an entertainment industry shift toward franchise films. For Ms. Pascal, this was true devastation: She had been publicly classified as outdated, an executive from another era, when stars and stories mattered more than computer-generated visual effects......Ms. Pascal, a 59-year-old woman in an industry rife with sexism and ageism, seems to have emerged stronger and happier, having reinvented herself as a producer through her company, Pascal Pictures. She will deliver three films to three different studios this year, with more than a dozen more movies on the assembly line. .....“Amy has an extremely sharp film mind, but it’s really her passionate advocacy for scripts and for talent that will make her, I believe, one of the best producers this business has ever seen,” said Thomas E. Rothman, who succeeded Ms. Pascal as Sony’s movie chairman.......the transition from studio mogul to producer is one of the most difficult pivots in show business. Producing requires hustle in a way that running a studio does not. Mustering the necessary self-motivation often proves impossible for older studio royals used to waving a scepter. The best producers put their own egos aside and let others shine. Climbing corporate rungs usually requires the opposite tactic.....“It has been a challenge to be patient and allow myself to learn, especially at this ripe age,” she said. “There’s some discomfort in that. Starting over again means you have to shut up and listen. But you don’t want to because you want to show everybody that you know something even when you don’t.”

She continued: “You think you’re making a movie when you’re a studio executive, but you’re not. The bigger the job you have in Hollywood, the less you are actually connected to the creative process. You’re in budget meetings and talking about head count all day. Your life is reactive.”....
“I never forgot that early training,” Ms. Pascal said. “When in doubt, work.”....when she lost the Sony throne, Ms. Pascal dove into producing as a remedy.....she set up a new office within days of her Sony departure and joined Ivan Reitman to remake “Ghostbusters.” It steered her mind away from self-pity, kept her focused on the future and soothed her bruised ego.....learned about ‘plussing’ ....look at something that is pretty good and figure out how to make it even better.”
bouncing_back  Sony  Hollywood  women  packaging  entertainment_industry  midlife  reinvention  producers  films  movies  studios  self-motivation  female_empowerment  adversity  data_breaches  hustle  cyberattacks  hackers  Second_Acts 
july 2017 by jerryking
Red-Hot Skill: Managing in Gray Areas - WSJ - WSJ
By JOANN S. LUBLIN
Nov. 4, 2014

At a turbulent time in business, more U.S. companies pick and promote executives who thrive amid ambiguity, coaches and recruiters say. These leaders don’t flinch at uncertainty, surprises, conflicting directions, multiple demands—or knotty problems with no clear answers.
Managing_Your_Career  Joann_S._Lublin  uncertainty  red-hot  adversity  surprises  critical_thinking  managing_change  ambiguities  turbulence 
november 2014 by jerryking
Malcolm Gladwell explains how being the underdog can give people a leg up
Oct. 05 2013 | The Globe and Mail | JARED BLAND.

Malcolm Gladwell's latest hypothesis is quite simple: What if being disadvantaged, being an underdog, is actually an advantage? As usual, Mr. Gladwell illustrates his argument with lots of fascinating studies and charming stories. But, unlike his previous books, David and Goliath feels especially resonant, perhaps because it arrives at a moment – of income inequality, government shutdowns, the Tea Party, the Occupy movement – when disadvantage is an ever-present reality.

Your book abounds with convincing and moving stories that demonstrate your central points. But there must be lots of exceptions – students who did really well in tiny classrooms, or dyslexics whose lives are constant struggles. What lessons did you learn from them?

The interesting question is what distinguishes the people who overcome adversity from the people who don’t. A lot of it has to do with the magnitude of the adversity. With the stories of the dyslexics who made it, they’re all intelligent people from middle-class homes. You’re not looking at people who have multiple sources of disadvantage. They have one basic source of disadvantage. Every single one of the successful dyslexics I talked to had one person in their life, at least, who always believed in them – their grandmother, a teacher along the way. They all came back to this one person. So that’s also a minimum condition for making it: You can’t have seven problems, obstacles. When you look at those who don’t make it, what you see is the multiplication of problems, the severity of problems.
interviews  Malcolm_Gladwell  underdogs  books  disadvantages  adversity  dyslexics  grit  multiple_stressors  obstacles 
october 2013 by jerryking
Two Women Pitch In During Hard Times And Find Big Rewards
July 20, 1999 | WSJ | By HAL LANCASTER.

Two Women Pitch In During Hard Times... Hard times don't necessarily mean hunkering down or looking for greener pastures. It can be a time to take on more responsibility and expand your skills.
Hal_Lancaster  Managing_Your_Career  opportunities  hard_times  opportunistic  bankruptcies  women  adversity 
december 2012 by jerryking
When Uncertainty Is A Constant, You Can Still Plan for Surprises
April 7, 1998 | WSJ | By HAL LANCASTER.

one of the few certainties in today's tumultuous business world: About all anyone can expect is the unexpected.

Hal Lancaster answers readers' questions on career issues in Career Corner. Send your questions or comments by e-mail to hlancast@wsj.com .

Between mergers and restructurings, new technology and intensified global competition, "change is accelerating," says Dallas management consultant Price Pritchett, who specializes in change management. "The more change and the faster it comes at us, the easier it is for us to get blindsided."

But isn't the ability to cope with the unexpected genetically coded? "Some people have a high need for structure and don't like to wing it." Still, anyone can get better at dealing with surprises.

Here are some other effective strategies:

* Figure out what you can control.

* Plan tight and play loose. "deep planning," or considering all conceivable scenarios and what-ifs. But won't the unexpected foil the best-laid plans? "The better job we do planning, the better we'll do improvising, because we'll understand the situation better,"

* Develop solutions. In a soon-to-be-released booklet on innovation that he is publishing for clients, Dr. Pritchett draws lessons from the 1997 Mars Pathfinder mission. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory talked about "crafting solutions that were tolerant to the uncertainties" of such a project,

* Separate fact from assumptions.

To make good decisions, you need good information. In turbulent times, Mr. Postons observes, "people get suspicious, they get paranoid and that's when they get frozen."

* Do something.In an environment of high-velocity change, Dr. Pritchett says, remember the perils of passivity. "You have to keep moving forward, knowing that in this blurry, fast-moving world, you're going to have to drive on fog lights much of the time."

Concentrating on a plan of action and lining up others to help can turn despair into accomplishment, Dr. Stoltz says. The strategy, he adds, is "whiner-proof and solution-oriented."
Hal_Lancaster  Managing_Your_Career  uncertainty  adversity  surprises  critical_thinking  managing_change  unexpected  cost_of_inaction  assumptions  change  resilience  tumultuous  constant_change  solutions  solution-finders  accelerated_lifecycles  action_plans  span_of_control  momentum  blindsided  blind_spots  beyond_one's_control  JPL  next_play 
december 2012 by jerryking
Whatever the weather
Nov. 24, 2012 | The Financial Times News: p10.|Gillian Tett who interviews Nassim Nicholas Taleb

Until now, Taleb says, modern society has generally assumed that people, systems or institutions fell into two camps: either they were fragile (and likely to break when shocks occur) or robust (and thus able to resist shocks without being impacted at all). Taleb insists there is a third category of people, institutions and systems that are resilient in a way we have been unable to articulate: they survive shocks not because they are immovable but precisely because they do change, bending in the face of stress; adapting and learning. This is the quality that he describes as "antifragile". (In the US the book is being published with the rather more explicit subtitle "Things that Gain from Disorder".)

Taleb goes on to explain how this works: while nation-states tend to be fragile (because they are highly dependent on one vision of the nation), city-states tend to be antifragile (because they can adapt and learn from history). Careers that are based on one large employer can be fragile but careers that are flexible and entrepreneurial are antifragile, because they can move with changing times. Similarly, the banking system is fragile, while Silicon Valley is antifragile; governments that are highly indebted are fragile, while those (such as Sweden) which have learnt from past mistakes and refuse to assume too much debt are antifragile. And Switzerland is presented as one of the most antifragile places of all, partly because its decentralised structure allows for plenty of experimentation...Taleb has plenty of advice to offer us on how to become more antifragile. We should embrace unpredictable change, rather than chase after an illusion of stability; refuse to believe anyone who offers advice without taking personal risk; keep institutions and systems small and self-contained to ensure that they can fail without bringing the entire system down; build slack into our lives and systems to accommodate surprises; and, above all, recognise the impossibility of predicting anything with too much precision. Instead of building systems that are excessively "safe", Taleb argues, we should roll with the punches, learn to love the random chances of life and, above all, embrace small pieces of adversity as opportunities for improvement. "Wind extinguishes a candle and energises a fire," he writes. "Likewise with randomness, uncertainty, chaos, you want to use them, not hide from them."
adaptability  adversity  antifragility  books  chaos  city-states  Gillian_Tett  illusions  Nassim_Taleb  overcompensation  personal_risk  randomness  resilience  scheduling  self-contained  skin_in_the_game  slack_time  surprises  trauma  uncertainty  unpredictability 
november 2012 by jerryking
Six Things All CEOs Can Learn From Mulally | ChiefExecutive.net | Chief Executive Magazine
Six Things All CEOs Can Learn From Mulally

June 27 2011 by JP Donlon

1. Display courage in the face of adversity.
2. Focus is everything.
3. Simplify.
4. Use the Outsider Advantage.
5. Reward transparency and collaboration.
6. Stay inventive during tough times.
Alan_Mulally  simplicity  Ford  Boeing  leadership  tips  courage  innovation  transparency  collaboration  CEOs  hard_times  adversity  focus  outsiders 
november 2011 by jerryking
Making the most of a lost opportunity
Apr. 15, 2011 | The Globe and Mail | EILEEN CHADNICK.

THE SCENARIO

I thought I was in line for a promotion to a leadership role....I invested my time and money in developing my skills and took on more responsibility.... told that the promotion is on hold due to unforeseen organizational changes and not my abilities.....Should I consider moving to another employer?

THE ADVICE
A few thoughts to get you back on track:

* Clarify your goal: Don't limit your goal to just one particular opportunity. If the goal is strictly to get "this promotion," it stops there. If there' a broader objective of obtaining a leadership role, then there are other avenues to explore.

* Reflect on the lost opportunity - What did you find attractive in the role that you would want to include in your next job? Optimal next steps?

* Write a goal statement: What you want in your next role? What stretch opportunities? In what kind of work culture do you thrive best? What areas of responsibility do you want to take on? Consider both leadership and other aspects of work - for example, leading a bigger team? Being involved in marketing or research? Obtaining international experience? Getting into a new sector or industry?

* Take stock

Identify the skills, strengths and notable accomplishments that are now part of your leadership capacity. Write it out and refer back to this list often - and update it as you continue to develop. You will need this to update your résumé and engage in career conversations, interviews, and so on.

* Update your résumé

Update your résumé to reflect enhanced capacities and experience. Updating your résumé will give you more confidence and self-awareness so that you can better promote yourself.

* Make your aspirations known

* Cast a wider net. Cast a wider net beyond your organization as you explore career opportunities. Create a plan to network and research opportunities that would be attractive to you.

* Acknowledge the lesson. When we don't get something we want very much, there can be a silver lining. The retrenching and re-evaluation the disappointment forces us to do can reveal other possibilities.

Ultimately it's up to you. Go to it!
bouncing_back  Managing_Your_Career  resilience  adversity  missed_opportunities  silver_linings 
april 2011 by jerryking
China Rises, and Checkmates - NYTimes.com
By NICHOLAS D. KRISTOF
Published: January 8, 2011
"China has also done an extraordinarily good job of investing in its
people and in spreading opportunity across the country. Moreover,
perhaps as a legacy of Confucianism, its citizens have shown a passion
for education and self-improvement — along with remarkable capacity for
discipline and hard work, what the Chinese call “chi ku,” or “eating
bitterness.” "[jk: I equate eating bitterness to accepting adversity]
adversity  China  China_rising  chess  Confucian  education  hard_work  Nicholas_Kristof  self-discipline  self-improvement  women 
january 2011 by jerryking
Put out the welcome sign for immigrants
Nov 3, 2010 / Financial Times pg. 14 / Luke Johnson. Importing
human capital generates wealth. They bring ideas - and often financial capital - and force us to raise our game to compete. Throughout history, those who would expel or persecute industrious communities - like Nazi Germany and the Jews, Idi Amin's Uganda and Asians - have been the big
losers. What we need is brainpower and willpower - they are the greatest
natural resources. Migrants are a self-selecting minority and tend to
be young and enterprising. We should continue to make our country
attractive to arrivals from all over the world who want to start a
business.
Luke_Johnson  human_capital  wealth_creation  migrants  immigrants  immigration  ethnic_communities  willpower  expulsions  persecution  Uganda  Idi_Amin  brainpower  South_Asians  natural_resources  self-selecting  displacement  dislocations  adversity 
november 2010 by jerryking
Digital Domain - What Apple’s Steve Jobs Learned in the Wilderness - NYTimes.com
October 2, 2010 | New York Times | By RANDALL STROSS. The
Steve Jobs of the mid-1980s probably never could have made Apple what it
is today if he hadn’t embarked on a torment-filled business odyssey
beginning in 1985...The Steve Jobs who returned to Apple was a much more
capable leader — precisely because he had been badly banged up. He had
spent 12 tumultuous, painful years failing to find a way to make the new
company profitable. Jobs learned to delegate,stopped believing the
idea that computing in the future would resemble computing in the past,
and learned the necessity of retaining great talent. “He’s the same
Steve in his passion for excellence, but a new Steve in his
understanding of how to empower a large company to realize his vision.”
It took 12 dispiriting years, much bruising, and perspective gained
from exile. If Jobs had instead stayed at Apple, the transformation of
Apple Computer into today’s far larger Apple Inc. might never have
happened.
adversity  Apple  exile  large_companies  leaders  lessons_learned  scar_tissue  self-awareness  soul-sapping  Steve_Jobs  wilderness 
october 2010 by jerryking
Corner Office - Get a Diploma, but Then Get a Passport, Says Capri Capital’s Chief - Question - NYTimes.com
July 31, 2010 | New York Times | This interview with Quintin
E. Primo III, co-founder and chief executive of Capri Capital Partners,
was conducted and condensed by Adam Bryant. Capri is a real estate
investment and development firm based in Chicago.
Chicago  CEOs  real_estate  HBS  leadership  adversity  advice  career_paths  commercial_real_estate 
august 2010 by jerryking
When Success Follows the College Rejection Letter - WSJ.com
MARCH 24, 2010 | Wall Street Journal | By SUE SHELLENBARGER.
Before They Were Titans, Moguls and Newsmakers, These People
Were...Rejected....At College Admission Time, Lessons in Thin Envelopes.
bouncing_back  Colleges_&_Universities  Sue_Shellenbarger  harvard  admissions  rejections  adversity 
march 2010 by jerryking
Agility in Adversity
06 October, 2004 | CIO | by Patricia Wallington. Learning to
deal with adversity in your company, your career and your life is an
essential element of effective leadership. Many times you succeed by
what you do when they are not going well. Just as an agile company more
easily retains its competitive edge, strong, agile leaders have a knack
for turning problems into opportunities and for bouncing back from
adversity.
adversity  agility  leadership  crisis_management  resilience  bouncing_back 
february 2010 by jerryking
Active inertia is the enemy of survival
Oct 8, 2009 | Financial Times pg. 16 | Book review by Richard
Donkin of Donald Sull's The Upside of Turbulence ; Seizing Opportunity
in an Uncertain World ; Harper Business, $27.99/pound(s)18.99. "the
risk, says Sull, is that complacency sets in as companies and their
bosses begin to believe their own press during the good times. The CEO
on the cover of a business magazine, a boss who looks like all the rest,
a grand headquarters - all are examples of companies resting on their
laurels.
Sull concentrates on building agility in business, allowing companies to
shift resources quickly from less promising to faster-growing areas.
Some companies, such as Johnson & Johnson, P & G and Samsung,
have cultivated portfolio agility at the heart of their businesses, he
says. Sull argues that the best companies are able to absorb the shocks
of market turbulence, using cash and profits from their strongest
business streams to cushion the effects of unforeseen events."
book_reviews  Donald_Sull  resilience  upside  turbulence  adversity  complacency  cost_of_inaction  inertia  Samsung  P&G  books  Johnson_&_Johnson  agility  uncertainty  unexpected  unforeseen  antifragility 
october 2009 by jerryking
Why Entrepreneurs Love a Downturn - Christopher Gergen and Gregg Vanourek
Tuesday August 26, 2008 | HarvardBusiness.org | by Christopher
Gergen and Gregg Vanourek who are the founding partners of New Mountain
Ventures, an entrepreneurial leadership development company.
economic_downturn  entrepreneur  creativity  opportunistic  adversity 
september 2009 by jerryking
Sacrifice and the Greatest Generation - WSJ.com
JUNE 6, 2009 | Wall Street Journal | Tom Brokaw. These are
the young Americans who went thousands of miles and defeated the
mightiest military empires ever unleashed against us.
WWII  sacrifice  commemoration  adversity  The_Greatest_Generation 
june 2009 by jerryking
Survival of the most determined
May 12 2009 | Financial Times | by Alicia Clegg. Article
profiles entrepreneurs who have survived debilitating ordeals to build
thriving businesses.
entrepreneurship  entrepreneur  resilience  bouncing_back  profile  adversity 
may 2009 by jerryking
Don't wait for brighter days to go after your goals
April 24, 2009 | Globe & Mail | WALLACE IMMEN

THE FOLLOW-THROUGH FACTOR

It's the people who challenge perceptions and find ways around barriers who will get ahead in a tough economy, job coach says
Wallace_Immen  economic_downturn  Managing_Your_Career  adversity  following_up  torchbearers 
april 2009 by jerryking
How Hard Times Can Drive Innovation - WSJ.com
Dec. 15, 2008 WSJ interview of Dr. Clayton Christensen by MIT/Sloan Management Review Senior editor Martha E. Mangelsdorf.
innovation  adversity  constraints  scarcity  tension  rethinking  disruption  Clayton_Christensen  hard_times 
february 2009 by jerryking
Tough Times Call For New Ideas - WSJ.com
FEBRUARY 14, 2009, WSJ column by KELLY K. SPORS. The savviest
entrepreneurs aren't hunkering down trying to wait out the financial
storm. They're rethinking their business models & strategies based
on the assumption that consumer spending won't be rebounding to
prerecession levels. People may want new types of products and services.
So entrepreneurs are finding new sales channels, trying new marketing
tactics and promotions, forming strategic partnerships, etc.
adversity  rethinking  marketing  innovation  business_development  Kelly_K._Spors  strategies  business_models  entrepreneurship  economic_downturn  recessions  new_products  hard_times  ideas  idea_generation 
february 2009 by jerryking
FT.com / Columnists / Luke Johnson - Rites of passage for young entrepreneurs
Published: July 15 2008 FT column By Luke Johnson that focuses
on the fact that Gen X and Gen Y entrepreneurs have never been in
business during a recession. Worries that a lot of their companies are
fragile constructs, not built to weather severe conditions. Established
corporates have years of retained profits to fall back on but smaller,
newer businesses do not.
adversity  bouncing_back  brands  coming-of-age  entrepreneurship  Fortune_500  fragility  Generation_X  hard_times  large_companies  Luke_Johnson  recessions  resilience  retained_earnings  serial_entrepreneurship  setbacks  start_ups 
february 2009 by jerryking

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