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diablopilot

Camera Flyer requirements.

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So with the requirement that all TI's at USPA DZ's have both a CURRENT USPA and Manufacturer's rating come Fall 2008, I wondered how this might affect some cameraflyers in the industry.

The USPA has never had a particularly stringent, not concrete requirement for who can video a tandem, however RWS/UPT always has. (Can anyone enlighten me on other manufacturer's policies?)

How many of you RWS TI's are regularly being videoed by sub 500 jump camera flyers?
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How many of you RWS TI's are regularly being videoed by sub 500 jump camera flyers?



There you go with jump numbers again. (and by "You" I mean the skydiving community)

I am thoroughly convinced jump numbers has very little to do with skill sets, attitude, and capacities of a skydiver.


Tunnels, advanced coaching and mentoring, the goals of the skydiver, dedication to improve, and experiences outside of skydiving, all add up to the end product. Jump numbers only proves gravity works.


(:P)

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I am thoroughly convinced jump numbers has very little to do with skill sets, attitude, and capacities of a skydiver.
(:P)



Couldn't agree more. To toot my own, I spent a lot of time in the tunnel with good instructors, both in and out of my camera wings starting around jump 60. Still doing so when I can. Started lurking tandems at approx 100' around 100 jumps with approval of both DZO and TM.
Started shooting not too long after that, given that the TMs were comfortable w/me, and had seen me not only with them as TM's, but with them on several 4-12 way jumps.
There is a guy on a local DZ that has 700 jumps+ that no TM will allow in the air with them, not even lurking his friends taking their tandem. Most folks won't jump with him in RW, either. His progression hasn't been about RW or even being in the air with others.
IMO, it's about currency, sensibility, currency, attitude, currency, experience. Jump #s seem to rarely relate to attitude, experience, or sensibility. Well...OK, some guys with high jump numbers seem to have a high attitude too. ;)
Since we didn't have RWS/UPT rigs when I started flying a camera, I guess I didn't need to worry.

Back to topic.
How would UPT's enforcement (if any) impact small DZs where the progression seems to be student, novice, coach, camera, AFF, TM? Will they seriously enforce this? Will USPA adopt a similar policy? Will Batman survive the fall?

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How many tandem students and or instructors have been killed by a freefall or deployment collision?

I love the trend of those without tandem ratings or tandem instruction experience, telling how it should be.

In order to limit my personal liability I should be adhering to the regulations of the manufacturer, and the fact that the USPA is saying I have to keep that rating current shows that they are deferring liability back to the instructors as well.
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I love the trend of smart-ass answers that don't relate to the question asked.;)
Re-read my post. I didn't suggest how it "should be" but rather echoed comments about jump #s in my opinion.
I asked a question, question still stands, smart ass answers aside.
"How would UPT's enforcement affect small DZ's that follow a fairly common progression? Or would it?
Many vidiots live for the day when they hit 501 jumps and their 3 years so they can become TMs and take off the camera helmet. Seems that enforcing a 500 jump requirement on UPT's part could affect business for a small DZ that doesn't have a vidiot with 500 jumps, because their vidiot became a TM when he hit 500.

To answer your question about how many tandem students have been killed by freefall or deployment collisions? I don't know the correct number. Do you?

I'm aware of two incidents with fatalities; I'm sure there are more. In both cases, the camera op (as I'm aware of) had at least 1000 jumps. The one non-fatal incident I personally witnessed, the camera flyer caught in the trapdoor had 10K jumps.
Read carefully;
I don't disagree with the jump # requirements, I'm asking what you think will happen if UPT and/or USPA begin to enforce those requirements.

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"How would UPT's enforcement affect small DZ's that follow a fairly common progression?



It would make for a lack of camera flyers, but as we have seen over the years DZOs don't really care what UPT or Strong or the USPA says as long as the company/USPA rep's aren't on the dz and they will keep on using sub-standared camera flyers as we have seen not long ago untill the company made some calls. We all know the DZO in that case had to have known the camera boy was doing as he was and I'm willing to bet all the staff knew too, it is all to common for the blind eye to be turned till there is a death.

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To answer your question about how many tandem students have been killed by freefall or deployment collisions?



That can best be answered by Tom N @ Strong or TK @ UPT if he still works in that job fuction. I'm sure Tom would be happy to share the info.
you can't pay for kids schoolin' with love of skydiving! ~ Airtwardo

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Where to start...
JP, I'd like to hear your answer to your question. How do YOU think it will affect cameraflyers and TIs? And do you think the policy will have an overall positive or negative impact?

tdog, I disagree with you about the irrelevance of jump numbers. I think they are absolutely important--if for no other reason than for seeing odd things happen to you and others around the dz, handling yourself under canopy in a way that saves your life as well as not endangering the lives of others around you. Surely, jump numbers and a few really good or really bad decisions don't make the skydiver--it takes a long time before people will say, yeah, good skydiver, very heads up or--yeah, i wouldnt let him take a family member on a jump or i wouldn't let him film my tandem. Most people just need more time. I'd say that the time needed is going to come from time in the tunnel, time at camps with mentoring and coaching (something we could all use) and simply being around the dz (which I'm guessing is where the requirement for three years in the sport comes from anyway). I've seen some tunnel instructors pound in their landings--they can fly like gods but they know nothing about canopy work! And would a weekend with Scott Miller or the like really make them ready to be a coach or AFF or tandem instructor? Absolutely not. But it's a good start--just like their tunnel time.

diablopilot's second post--you mention jumping with wuffos. I'm with you all the way. This is where I think it's the responsibility of the dzo, s&ta, aff-i, ti, whoever to step up and say, no dude, you're not getting on that jump. sometimes people will very few jumps do dumb things--either because they're pushing the envelope or because they simply dont have the skills to control themselves adequately. those people shouldnt be on bigways...or lurking AFFs...and definitely not filming tandems. the big thing with tandems there is that the student-customer has no idea what sort of skill is involved in flying with a tandem and who their tandem vidiot is gonna be.

DSE...i dont know if your post really makes sense to me. you mention how important CURRENCY and EXPERIENCE are...but you also stand behind what tdog was saying. to me, truly being current doesnt mean you made a jump earlier in the day. it means you've made a buttload of jumps in the previous month--and you've got a bunch of experience before that. and experience means you've had some great jumps that were very successful and you've got some stories of hairy situations that you learned from (including bad mistakes by others as well as yourself). on your progression you cite student, novice, coach, camera, AFF, TM. I would think that it actually involves "experienced/seasoned jumper" in between novice and coach--otherwise they shouldnt be a coach. and it seems to me (although this is off-topic) that most people get a tandem rating before an AFF rating (unless they're pretty good on their belly and they've focused on belly work for almost all of their jumps.

diablopilot, you mention that you protect yourself from liability by doing exactly what's in USPA and the manufacturer recommendations. I would agree with this completely but let me ask you this--what about things that you find contrary to your experience as smart moves?

and DSE, i don't know you, but you're right about diablopilot being a smart-ass. that being said, he's probably one hell of a much better source of seasoned information than the two of us combined.

i think there should be some sort of mini-rating for flying with AFF or tandems--so much can go so wrong so quickly, why not have a simple test? no, it's not full-proof to develop an aerial skills test, but it's something...

Some smaller DZs often let very inexperienced folks fly tandem video way too early because they need the money. i've known some vidiots that cant turn 4way--what's that all about?

just my two cents...

alan

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Seems that enforcing a 500 jump requirement on UPT's part could affect business for a small DZ that doesn't have a vidiot with 500 jumps, because their vidiot became a TM when he hit 500.



Business needs should never compromise safety.

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I don't disagree with the jump # requirements, I'm asking what you think will happen if UPT and/or USPA begin to enforce those requirements.



Then those qualified will continue to keep doing videos, rather than give it up when forced to compete with those who don't have the experience and skill.

And true profesionals don't give up video even after they get a tandem rating.
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To answer your question about how many tandem students have been killed by freefall or deployment collisions?



That can best be answered by Tom N @ Strong or TK @ UPT if he still works in that job fuction. I'm sure Tom would be happy to share the info.



And - the only way to improve the safety then would be to analyze the incidents to determine what caused the incident. Experience vs poor training vs jump numbers vs attitude vs what???

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In order to limit my personal liability I should be adhering to the regulations of the manufacturer



I agree 100%. When a rule is published, breaking it, even if you don't know you are breaking it, adds liability.

For an example, in a flood restoration job, various trade organizations publish conflicting recommendations on how to clean sewage water spills. If you follow one, you can be sued and the other can be used against you in a court of law. "Look, they did not follow the published recommendations."

So for each rule, you have to follow the most strict published recommendations, or else those recommendations or rules will bite you.

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To answer your question about how many tandem students have been killed by freefall or deployment collisions?



That can best be answered by Tom N @ Strong or TK @ UPT if he still works in that job fuction. I'm sure Tom would be happy to share the info.


And - the only way to improve the safety then would be to analyze the incidents to determine what caused the incident. Experience vs poor training vs jump numbers vs attitude vs what???


Hi Tdog

Vs Ego, burnout.[:/]

Dumb Question: Does the video person get paid less than the TM?

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JP, I'd like to hear your answer to your question. How do YOU think it will affect cameraflyers and TIs? And do you think the policy will have an overall positive or negative impact?



Overall, I really don't think it will change much at all. The needs of business will continue to overrule requirements like this. Remember this requirement isn't new, it's just the USPA is now saying that TI's need to keep their manufacturer ratings current rather than letting them laps as was assumed to be ok after the creation of the USPA TI rating.

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diablopilot, you mention that you protect yourself from liability by doing exactly what's in USPA and the manufacturer recommendations. I would agree with this completely but let me ask you this--what about things that you find contrary to your experience as smart moves?



Not sure I understand what you're asking here. The smart thing to do to protect myself from liability is to always operate within the established guidelines and regulations. If doing so compromises profit, so be it. If it were to compromise safety, I'd suggest not making the jump, until a waiver or change of the guidelines is produced.

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i think there should be some sort of mini-rating for flying with AFF or tandems--so much can go so wrong so quickly, why not have a simple test? no, it's not full-proof to develop an aerial skills test, but it's something...



Agreed, I have long thought there should be a Tandem Videot rating. If so then we could do away with such stringent criteria as jump numbers.

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but you're right about diablopilot being a smart-ass.



It's like you know me or something.:P
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tdog, I disagree with you about the irrelevance of jump numbers. I think they are absolutely important--if for no other reason than for seeing odd things happen to you and others around the dz,



How about a packer with 3000 packjobs and 1 jump. Does he know more or less than the new guy with 30 jumps?

How about a fighter jet pilot who has trained to work under pressure, knows how to prep a task, knows how to debrief the task, and knows how to take instruction, with 400 jumps experience... How does his experience relate to the egotistical 500 jump wonder who thinks he knows everything?

How about the pilot of the DZ plane who has dispatched 1000 loads of skydivers who finally jumps?

Jump numbers hint to background experience, but are not an indicator of a video guy's experience being able to safely video a tandem.

Don't get me wrong. I am not suggesting let anyone fly. I am sure the 500 jump requirement is waiverable and is a good requirement as a baseline, but if I was a DZO, I would hold my video guys to a completely different standard, and it would not have a jump number requirement. It would be based upon flying skills, people skills, attitude, working within limits, ability and confidence to say no when they were not comfortable with a task, general knowledge (tested) beyond the no-brainer D licence exam, rigging and gear maintenance knowledge, agreements to participate in continuing education, attending safety seminars hosted by the manufactures and known experts, etc.

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a packer with 3000 packjobs and 1 jump? they might know more about what causes malfunctions than someone with 30 jumps, yes. i'd say that's a fair possibility. do i expect them to know much about the rest of jumping? there's a good chance they've picked up on a lot of information from being around the dz that much--probably more than someone who spends all their time posting instead of jumping. you can have that informational background without having the experience in the sky--i think it takes both before i let someone go up with me as a videot on an AFF--and it should probably be stricter for a tandem (which i dont do).

a fighter jet pilot would probably make the worst jump student ever--precisely because they wouldnt know how to take instruction! you'd need to give them an even larger canopy to make up for their ego. and you ask how a fighter pilot compares to a 500 jump wonder who thinks he knows everything? i'd say they're about the same--completely dangerous.

yes, the pilot knows a lot, too. what the hell does this have to do with a videot? and it seems like you're backpedaling a bit here--now jump numbers hint to background experience when previously they had absolutely nothing to do with quality of skydiver.

and then you mention that you would want them to be willing to say no to a task, to know some rigging, have people skills, good attitude, better than a d-license, and attend additional education programs...so basically there would not be any vidiots at your dz. you're asking for way too much here. try finding skydivers like that! now take those skydivers and make those video jumps their means of paying the mortage--how do they feel now about all those courses? i'm just saying it's an extremely tough set of criteria.

now you still havent addressed the point i was originally trying to make--people without jump numbers are a danger under canopy and in any situation in which they are not familiar--too great of a danger for me to allow them to fly with me or my student or anyone i care about going on a tandem.


any suggestions on what an aerial skills test should include? who would administer it?

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DSE...i dont know if your post really makes sense to me. you mention how important CURRENCY and EXPERIENCE are...but you also stand behind what tdog was saying. to me, truly being current doesnt mean you made a jump earlier in the day. it means you've made a buttload of jumps in the previous month--and you've got a bunch of experience before that. and experience means you've had some great jumps that were very successful and you've got some stories of hairy situations that you learned from (including bad mistakes by others as well as yourself). on your progression you cite student, novice, coach, camera, AFF, TM. I would think that it actually involves "experienced/seasoned jumper" in between novice and coach--otherwise they shouldnt be a coach. and it seems to me (although this is off-topic) that most people get a tandem rating before an AFF rating (unless they're pretty good on their belly and they've focused on belly work for almost all of their jumps.



Wow...longest runon sentence I think I've ever seen.
I agree; currency doesn't mean how many jumps you've made that day. I did just over 400 jumps in a year, does that make me more or less current than the guy that's got 700 jumps in 7 years? That was my reference.
Experience? Does the guy that has 100 RW jumps of one kind or another have more experience than the guy that has 400 solo jumps? I'm probably not qualified to answer that, either.
Then I look at a guy like Jon Tagle that qualified for his AFF I in less than 8 months....is he more or less qualified than the guy that made his 6 hours of freefall in 4 years?
Read the camera forum, you'll see I'm one of the folks that agrees there should be a rating for camera flyers. I don't know that I agree with a 500 jump number, but rather some fairly stringent in-air evaluations coupled with a written test. Flying a camera isn't as easy as so many think it is, and I don't see why there shouldn't be a testing/evaluating system that goes beyond the reach of a DZO or S&TA. FWIW, I'm actively involved in helping design a proposal for such a program. In other words, we're on the same side of the fence (I think), but for some reason, the answer to my question seems to be a hang-up.
Diablopilot spelled out his opinion well, and I don't know that I could disagree with it.
Your closing comment:
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--people without jump numbers are a danger under canopy and in any situation in which they are not familiar--


People *with* jump numbers are a danger to situations in which they are not familiar.

What do you do when you realize too late that you've fallen into the trapdoor of a Sigma and the TM is far beneath you?
How do you train to escape a trapdoor of a Sigma vs a Strong? Is it a video briefing, is it a discussion? Is it reading horror stories on DZ.com? Or is it a smart ass comment like "I'll tell you when you've got more jumps?" ([email protected]#@! you twice, J). Can you escape the trap if you're caught in it?
Or do you train for it at all?

Should camera operators have a special rating? They have nearly as much to think about before and during the skydive, plus they can be a second set of eyes for the TM in the event of a mal or potential mal, not to mention documenting less than ideal situations. Should they be trained to handle all of this? I think so.

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Remember this requirement isn't new, it's just the USPA is now saying that TI's need to keep their manufacturer ratings current rather than letting them laps as was assumed to be ok after the creation of the USPA TI rating.



I wouldn't say it was an assumption. The UPT TI checklist says, "Recertification, every 365 days (if USPA TAN-I rating is not current):" It's available here.

I haven't seen whatever rule change is being discussed, but I'm guessing USPA just wants an easier way to yank ratings, i.e. if the mfg yanks it, it's gone. I just hope this doesn't affect the competitive side of the business. Since coming off of waivers, we've gotten lots of options for tandem canopies, with some much better than others. The two major manufacturers prefer that we not explore other (better) options to their canopies, and that has the potential to suck if they start yanking ratings to force exclusive use.

Blues,
Dave
"I AM A PROFESSIONAL EXTREME ATHLETE!"
(drink Mountain Dew)

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I haven't seen whatever rule change is being discussed,




Quote

USPA Summer Board Meeting Completes (updated 07/13/07)

The USPA Board of Directors met July 13-15 in San Francisco for the summer meeting. Highlights include—

Scott Stewart was elected to serve as Eastern Regional Director and Jay Stokes as Vice President for the remainder of the 2007-2008 term
An amendment was made to the group member pledge that requires GM DZs to establish and disseminate landing procedures that will include separation of high speed and normal landings.
The title for the top tier of the instructional rating hierarchy has been named Instructor Examiner and will be effective when the 2009 IRM is published (September 2008).
Any USPA member conducting a tandem jump must hold a USPA Tandem Instructor rating and a current equipment manufacturers type rating, effective with the publication of the 2009 SIM (October 2008).
Mile Hi Skydiving Center in Longmont, Colorado, was selected to host the 2008 U.S. Canopy Piloting Nationals.
Skydive Spaceland in Rosharon, Texas, won the bid to host the 2009 U.S. National Skydiving Championships to include canopy piloting; they also won the bid to host the 2009 National Collegiate Championships.
USPA will bid to host the first World Cup for Vertical Relative Work in Skydive Arizona in Eloy in 2008.
President Glenn Bangs announced the intention of Executive Director Chris Needels to retire on or about November 1. Needels has served in the position for more than 13 years.
A full report will appear in an upcoming issue of Parachutist.


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You're not as good as you think you are. Seriously.

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I agree with several people that it would be a good idea to have formal process to qualify people to fly camera with tandems. (hrm... great another rating to charge/pay money for)

Do I think that it should be required for a camera flyer to have an AFFI or TI rating to fly camera. Absolutely not.

The reason being that not everyone would be interested in getting an instructor rating. I know for example that I don't wish to get a Tandem Rating (I would like to get my AFF-I rating) and to boot... there's always a chance that there will be a person that is an awesome camera flyer but would be scary to put with a student (either as a TI or an AFFI)

But yes I think there is a need to create a camera flyer (vidiot) rating as there are a lot of things that can go wrong flying with a camera on your head let alone flying with Tandems or AFF students...

>

Livin' on the Edge... sleeping with my rigger's wife...

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Any USPA member conducting a tandem jump must hold a USPA Tandem Instructor rating and a current equipment manufacturers type rating, effective with the publication of the 2009 SIM (October 2008).



I'm assuming they don't meant that the way they wrote it, i.e. that a USPA member will need ratings to ride front-side. It'll take a month or two to get the actual meeting minutes online, but going on what I assume they mean, I don't see a huge deviation other than for punitive measures. A UPT rating is considered current without annual recertification as long as the USPA TAN rating stays current. The big difference will be if UPT notifies someone their rating has been suspended/revoked, at which point USPA will no longer sanction their jumps. This just clarifies that, right?

Blues,
Dave
"I AM A PROFESSIONAL EXTREME ATHLETE!"
(drink Mountain Dew)

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I read "conducting a tandem jump" and being the instructor.


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A UPT rating is considered current without annual recertification as long as the USPA TAN rating stays current.



Is it? Can you show me this? If so I wonder why I keep paying for renewal.:P
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You're not as good as you think you are. Seriously.

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A UPT rating is considered current without annual recertification as long as the USPA TAN rating stays current.



Is it? Can you show me this? If so I wonder why I keep paying for renewal.:P


It was linked in my first reply in this thread, that you replied to. ;)

Blues,
Dave
"I AM A PROFESSIONAL EXTREME ATHLETE!"
(drink Mountain Dew)

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Hi Gang-

I'm responding to an email I got from JP asking for clarification, but I figured I'd just put it straight up here.

The intent of the change for tandems is to require every tandem jump to be conducted by someone who has both a USPA I and a manufacturer's type rating. We are talking about the guy on the back who is pulling handles. The language gets tricky because we have to allow for training jumps in the context of a certification course. Regardless, all protein delivery specialists will have to have both ratings if they are USPA members.

This change was brought about as a result of the meeting that was held earlier this year with USPA and all of the tandem manufacturers. They want us to take over all of the instructional program with the exception of the equipment-specific stuff. This should make life easier in the long run.

The change also provides immediate reciprocity in terms of suspension or revocation of ratings. Basically, if one side pulls a rating, then the jumper in question cannot do tandems (assuming said jumper is a member of USPA). One has to assume that this will be done only in cases of safety concerns rather than any other superfluous reasons.

Note that some manufacturer's type ratings may not have an expiration date and thus will be considered current in perpetuity as long as the USPA I rating is maintained. The manufacturer has the choice.

Does this clear things up? As a member of S&T, this is my recollection of how things stand.

Cheers,
--Q
-----
Chris "Q" Quaintance
ccqquaintance.com
D-23345

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Note that some manufacturer's type ratings may not have an expiration date and thus will be considered current in perpetuity as long as the USPA I rating is maintained. The manufacturer has the choice.



Understood. I do not know the renewal requirements of any manufacturer other than RWS/UPT, but apparently there is no change for those that hold a USPA/Vector/Sigma rating as long as the USPA rating has always been kept current.

Can anyone enlighten us on the renewal requirements for Strong, Racer, Eclipse?

Thanks for the reply Chris.

In your interperetation of the situation, do the more strict regulations rule? I.E. if the USPA reg is stronger than the manufacturer's reg, is it binding? If so is the reverse held true as well?
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You're not as good as you think you are. Seriously.

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