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Archive for April, 2017

96

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15 April 1989. Never forgotten.

Written by Craig

April 14th, 2017 at 6:10 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

3,289: Minipops Nos. 1,244-1,249

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There’s a reason for this new spurt of Minipops. I’ll get around to writing about that at some point in the next week or so, I imagine.

But for now: it’s actually a lot of fun doing them again. So here’s six new ones: Bernie Ecclestone, Klaus Nomi, Gareth Bale, David Lynch, Conan O’Brien, and Jim Jarmusch.

Minipops archvie here

The song in my head when I woke up this morning
Nobody’s Diary by Yazoo

On this day
Dorothy’s backing band, 14 April 2015

Here’s an interesting Wikipedia article
Stadion

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April 14th, 2017 at 1:59 am

Posted in Artwork,Minipops

3,288: Minipops Nos. 1,238-1,243

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Some more of the wee fellas. Three bad humans, a musician, a footballer, and a football manager: Bashar al-Assad, Donald Trump, Boris Johnson, Skrillex, Cristiano Ronaldo, and Arsène Wenger.

The song in my head when I woke up this morning
Hold Me Now by Thompson Twins

On this day
Just something I saw, 13 April 2008

Here’s an interesting Wikipedia article
Skepsis

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April 13th, 2017 at 4:05 am

Posted in Artwork,Minipops

3,287: Minipops Nos. 1,235-1,237

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I’ve been thinking about doing some more Minipops for a few days. So, yeh, here’s some new ones: the wonderful Yazoo, the awful prime minster of the United Kingdom, and lovely Jürgen Klopp.

More soon.

The song in my head when I woke up this morning
Only You by Yazoo.

On this day
Glaciar Martial, 12 April 2008

Here’s an interesting Wikipedia article
Lyceum (Classical)

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April 12th, 2017 at 3:03 am

Posted in Artwork,Minipops

3,286: Fußball in Berlin, supplementary game No. 2

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On Friday, I went to see another game. A fourth tier Regionalliga Nordost game just a little bit outside of Berlin. One of those weird things you have in big cities where a place is on the local rapid transit line, but it’s actually outside of the city boundary. I went to see SV Babelsberg 03 in the Babelsberg area of Potsdam in the state of Brandenberg.

As you may have been able to tell from these posts, I’m quite happy with myself having this little Berlin teams project. It’s a nice little idea, I think, and one I’d wish I’d done years ago. But last week, I noticed there are two teams that are really close to the border of the city, one on the eastern edge, one on the western edge. If I’d’ve noticed this before, maybe this project would’ve been the Thirteen Teams Project.

But anyway. Babelsberg is relatively simple to get to from Prenzlauer Berg in the north, but it’s a long old trek. Two overground S-Bahn trains. A bit more than an hour. I forgot my iPod.

I’d read a little bit about SV Babelsberg 03 before going. Their hardcore fans are vocally lefty, which I liked obvs. Looking at their Twitter account, I noticed that the image promoting the game said that all refugees get in for free. Excellent stuff.

It was a nice vibe there right from the start. For one thing, the street and stadium are both named after Karl Liebknecht, the security dudes were friendly, the woman selling tickets (€11 on the terrace behind the goal) was friendly, the people in the little team store were friendly, and the people selling bretzels and bier (€3) were friendly too. Friendly. Let’s type the word “friendly” again. Friendly.

There were people playing chess near the bar before the game. The PA played Real Wild Child by Iggy Pop, People are People by Depeche Mode, Rhythm is a Dancer by Snap!, and Happy Hour by the Housemartins. Someone somewhere might have been smoking weed. When wind blew plastic cups or other rubbish around the terrace, fans picked it up and put it in the bins.

The ultras of the Nordkurve stood, unsurprisingly on the northern side of the ground, not on either end. They were singing and jumping constantly. Of several flags, the biggest had blue and white stripes (Babelsberg’s colours) and brown and red stripes, the colours of St. Pauli, with whom the fans have a friendship.

I’d seen the visitors Berliner AK 07 at home earlier in The Project, the attendance was pretty low at that game for this fourth tier of football, only 111 people there. Tonight, the away section at the other end of the pitch had maybe 20 people. Out of a total attendance of 1,778.

Babelsberg won 1-0. And this was the song played over the PA when they scored. Brilliant.

Everyone was happy. As I left the stadium, the stewards and security people stood at the gate and said tschüß to everyone. A weird thing there was that as I walked by, one of the said adios to me. Was I in Mexico long enough to start giving off Mexican vibes!?

When I went to Chicago in 2008, I was so excited about going to Wrigley Field to see the Cubs, that going to see the White Sox the next night was almost out of a sense of duty, like “well, I should go while I’m here.” But I ended up having a better time at the White Sox game. And in a way, that’s how I felt after the SV Babelsberg 03 game. It’s not part of my self-defined project, but in a way, it was the most fun. Obviously, Hertha BSC is always gonna be the most impressive because of the stadium and top tier football quality, Union Berlin is gonna be an absolute joy because of the full stadium and fans, but all things equal, this was the one I’ve enjoyed the most so far.

The Eleven Berlin Teams Project:
Hertha BSC v Eintracht Frankfurt, (25/2/17)
FC Viktoria 1889 Berlin v 1. FC Lokomotive Leipzig (18/3/17)
FC Hertha 03 Zehlendorf v SV Lichtenberg 47, (19/3/17)
Berliner AK 07 v FC Schönberg 95, (22/3/17)
VSG Altglienicke v FC Viktoria 1889 Berlin, (25/3/17)
Berliner FC Dynamo v Hertha BSC II, (29/3/17)
Hertha BSC II v FSV Union Fürstenwalde, (1/4/17)
Charlottenburger FC Hertha 06 v 1. FC Frankfurt, (2/4/17)
1. FC Union Berlin v Erzgebirge Aue, (5/4/17)

Remaining teams to see:
SV Lichtenberg 47
Tennis Borussia Berlin

The Eleven Berlin Teams Project Supplementary Games:
SV Empor Berlin v 1. FC Union Berlin, (23/3/17)
SV Babelsberg 03 v Berliner AK 07, (7/4/17)

The song in my head when I woke up this morning
I’d Rather Jack by the Reynolds Girls

On this day
Local stuff, 11 April 2011

Here’s an interesting Wikipedia article
Aristotle

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Written by Craig

April 11th, 2017 at 4:58 am

Posted in Blah blah,Sports

3,285: Embedding the week

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Excellent life advice in the toilets at SV Babelsberg 03's stadium.

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The song in my head when I woke up this morning
A Sky Full of Stars by Coldplay

On this day
Torre Mexicana, 9 April 2015

Here’s an interesting Wikipedia article
Book of Optics

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April 9th, 2017 at 3:46 am

Posted in Blah blah

3,284: Morning views

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Guten morgen

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Guten morgen

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Guten morgen

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Guten morgen

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Guten morgen

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Guten morgen

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Guten morgen

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Previous morning views:
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17

The song in my head when I woke up this morning
Sign of The Times by Harry Styles. Great song.

On this day
NYPD doodle, 8 April 2007

Here’s an interesting Wikipedia article
Afterimage

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April 8th, 2017 at 12:52 am

Posted in Blah blah,Photos

3,283: Self portrait

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The song in my head when I woke up this morning
Always in My Head by Coldplay

On this day
Busy day, 7 April 2007

Here’s an interesting Wikipedia article
Spectrum

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Written by Craig

April 7th, 2017 at 2:03 am

Posted in Artwork

3,282: Fußball in Berlin, part 9

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I’d been looking forward to this one. Partly because it’s the first time since the first game of The Project that I’ve had a ticket in advance. And even then, The Eleven Berlin Teams Project didn’t exist in my head when I went to that Hertha BSC v Eintracht Frankfurt game. I looked for tickets on the day of the last 1. FC Union Berlin home game, and it was sold out. So I went down to the team store the next day to get a ticket for the next game. When I got there at around lunchtime, there were just 13 standing tickets left. Twelve left after I’d bought mine (€13).

1. FC Union Berlin are in the 2. Bundesliga. (Quick note about German: “1.” means first, “2.” means second, etc., and while I’m quick noting: “Union” is pronounced “un-yon”) Before the game, Union were fourth, two points behind the leaders, with the top two teams being promoted to the 1. Bundesliga. Union have never been in the top division of reunified German football. People are excited. I was excited. For more than one reason. I have no allegiance or fandom of Union, but it was the first time I would be visiting the renovated stadium. And it’s the first time since going to Lincoln City back in the late 80s that I’ve been in an actual proper standing section. I’ve stood up at several of The Project games, but this is different: to be in a standing section at a busy game in a proper stadium.

About the stadium. The last time I went to the Stadion An der Alten Försterei was maybe 2003 or 2004. Back then, it looked like this:


(Photo by Seppalot13 via Wikipedia)

The club had to renovate it, didn’t have the money to do it, so fans literally bled for their team. You get money for donating blood in Germany, so fans did that to raise money. And when it came to rebuilding the station, they did that too. They gave their time and skills to totally renovate the stadium. More about that here on this Copa90 video.

I like it when you go to a game, and your public transport route from home sees more and more people also going to the game. On my local S-Bahn platform, I saw two people which Union scarves and shirts. A few more joined the train before we got to Ostkreuz station, and changed to a different line. The platform there had regular people going home, but mostly Union fans, and when we all got out at Köpenick, the platform was packed, a solid block of people leaving the station. There were a handful of people stood around at the station entrance holding up print outs with the words SUCHE KARTE. I felt a moment of guilt that a real fan was searching for a ticket, yet I was going to the game just cos of some dumb little personal project.

The first real joy you get when you go to see Union is the walk there. After about ten minutes, you’re near the ground, and suddenly you’re walking through a forest towards a stadium that you see glimpses of through the trees.

Inside the stadium grounds, it still feels like a lower league team. There are no big plazas. It kinda feels like a temporary football-themed market has been set up. The toilets are like those building site cabins. There’s an old van, and a monument to the people who helped build the stadium with a hard hat on top and the names of those who helped around the sides.

I got a beer. €5 for half a litre, but that included a one euro deposit for the cup which had a photo design thingy on it, so, y’know: a cheap souvenir if you want to take it home. Inside the stadium, things get really interesting. On the face of it, there’s nothing particularly impressive about the stadium. It’s not La Bombonera, Olympiastadion, or Estadio Azteca, but three sides of the ground are terraces. You can stand up and watch a game of football. And you look around at the other people knowing that a decent amount of those people actually build the bloody thing.

This was like travelling back in time. The last time I stood on the terraces was nearly thirty years ago. It was genuinely a little overwhelming. I stood there, looking around, up and down, muttering to myself. Mostly “wow!” Then a good song would come on over the PA, and I’d be nodded out of my own little world and singing Gravel Pit by Wu-Tang Clan to myself.

The stadium filled up around me (attendance: 20,877). The fans held up their scarves, sang songs. The away fans, too, in the other half of the end where I was stood made a ton of noise. When the home team was announced, every player’s name was greeted with the home fans shouting “Fußball Gott!” (football god).

The game felt a bit nervy. The visitors, Erzgebirge Aue, are close to the relegation zone, so they needed a win just as much as Union. And indeed, the visitors scored a cracker in the 79th minute. And that’s how it ended. The top team in the division had already played the day before, and the teams in second and third place both drew. Union missed a chance to go top. But, y’know, they’re still only two points off the top and one point off second place with seven games to play. Here’s some video highlights.

My ninth game, and the fifth home defeat (W1 D3 L5). If my Project were a team, I’d be getting the sack soon.

Only two more teams to see in The Project. I’ve gotta wait over a week for the next one and I’ve not gone more than three days without a game in the last three weeks. I might have to see if I can nip to a game by someone else this weekend, a non-canonical, supplementary reading kinda thing.

The Eleven Berlin Teams Project:
Hertha BSC v Eintracht Frankfurt, (25/2/17)
FC Viktoria 1889 Berlin v 1. FC Lokomotive Leipzig (18/3/17)
FC Hertha 03 Zehlendorf v SV Lichtenberg 47, (19/3/17)
Berliner AK 07 v FC Schönberg 95, (22/3/17)
VSG Altglienicke v FC Viktoria 1889 Berlin, (25/3/17)
Berliner FC Dynamo v Hertha BSC II, (29/3/17)
Hertha BSC II v FSV Union Fürstenwalde, (1/4/17)
Charlottenburger FC Hertha 06 v 1. FC Frankfurt, (2/4/17)
1. FC Union Berlin v Erzgebirge Aue, (5/4/17)

Remaining teams to see:
SV Lichtenberg 47
Tennis Borussia Berlin

The Eleven Berlin Teams Project (supplementary game):
SV Empor Berlin v 1. FC Union Berlin, (23/3/17)

A wee bit of artwork
Here’s a cat, y’all.

The song in my head when I woke up this morning
Valerie by the Zutons

On this day
Me on ESPN.com, 6 April 2010

Here’s an interesting Wikipedia article
Variable star

Self-promotion
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Written by Craig

April 6th, 2017 at 2:59 am

3,281: Pink skies

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Got nothing else in my head to blog about today, so I’ll show you these.

Top to bottom they are Rettungswagen (study), acrylic on paper, 40 x 30 cm; Feliz Viaje (study), acrylic on paper, 40 x 30 cm; River (study), acrylic on paper, 40 x 30 cm.

These were done about a month ago. I’ve not done much painting since then. I kinda feel like this is where I was heading with all of the paintings of Mauerpark.

The Mauerpark work was just a process of getting to the point where I was happy with what I was doing and wanted to do, and when I got there and did the three above paintings, I felt the need for a break. A break so I could think some more. I have about 20 ideas for other paintings that would be a part of a series that these are studies for. And the best work on that at the moment is away from the paintbrushes. But I’m pretty excited about what’s happening. Mostly because the unifying idea seems quite strong in my head, and that after all that Mauerpark stuff, I finally feel like it’s me who is painting the ideas, and that I am more in control of things. But, it’s early days. More at some point in the future.

The song in my head when I woke up this morning
True Love by Coldplay

On this day
America speaks out on gulls, 5 April 2006

Here’s an interesting Wikipedia article
Tau Boötis

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Written by Craig

April 5th, 2017 at 2:20 am

Posted in Artwork

3,280: Yacht Rock

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I’ve not watched Yacht Rock for quite some time. Still great, though. Such a wonderful idea and execution. It’s nearly twelve years old now.

All the episodes are here.

Rolling Stone article from 2015 about it here.

The song in my head when I woke up this morning
Amazing Day by Coldplay who are seemingly the default noise in my brain.

On this day
Pink Floid, 4 April 2008

Here’s an interesting Wikipedia article
Tidal locking

Self-promotion
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Written by Craig

April 4th, 2017 at 3:44 am

Posted in Blah blah,Music

3,279: Fußball in Berlin, parts 7 and 8

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Over the last two-and-a-half weeks, I’ve been reminded of something: not appreciating a place while you are there. I’m gonna call it I’ll-Get-Round-To-It-One-Day-ism. There’s so many things I didn’t do or see when I’ve been in places, like London, Toronto, Mexico City, and Berlin. Going to these games has taken me to parts of the city I’ve not been to before. Even things as simple as getting out of U-Bahn and S-Bahn stations that I’ve just travelled through before. And it’s made me realise I must go around with eyes closed half the time. Right next to the Olympiastadion S-Bahn station is a Le Corbusier building. One of his Unité d’Habitation jobbies. It’s right there, you can see it from the train platform, yet I never noticed. In my defence, every time I’ve been to that S-Bahn station, it would’ve been going to a football game, with tons of people around, so my focus would’ve been elsewhere, but still.

It’s a beautiful building. Here’s some photos before we get onto footballing matters. The last photo is of a big diagram thingy inside the foyer, showing the names and location within the building of the residents.

I was in that part of town to go and see Hertha BSC II v FSV Union Fürstenwalde. A Regionalliga Nordost game at the Amateurstadion, a field that’s a part of the whole Olympiapark sports complex. Hertha BSC II are the U23 team of big Hertha, the one in the Bundesliga. It’s a long old trek from the S-Bahn station, cos the Amateurstadion is close to the Olympiastadion U-Bahn station.

Saturday was a nice sunny 23° day. A bit sweaty by the time I got there, and had gone to the far end of the field to get an €8 ticket. A bunch of younger Hertha fans stood, seemingly by choice, in a tiny bit of terracing in the corner, waving flag, singing songs. Most other 329 people, though sat down, enjoying some football in the sunshine. The referee and his assistants wore salmon-y jerseys and black shorts. A nice colour combo.

I had a nice wee chat with an old fella who sells pins and scarves and old programmes. I’ve seen him at two other games during The Project, I told him about The Project, and he seemed appropriately disinterested. He was a nice fella, mind. It’s just, yes, why would this project be of any interest to anyone other than me, really? (Thanks, if you’re reading this!) He didn’t have any pins of the teams I’m missing in my Project collection. So far I have five pins of the ten I’d like (I don’t need a Hertha BSC II one, cos, well, it’s the same club as big Hertha, obvs).

The game ended 2-3.

After continuing drinking with a pal on Saturday, I had a bit of a hangover, and the idea of going to another afternoon game was a bit daunting. But, while my planned schedule is in no way set in stone, I wanted to stick to it, and knew that if I didn’t get out of the house at that point, I’d not bother all day.

And it was worth it just for the chance to see some of the lovelier U-Bahn stations on the U7 line, though.

Game eight was Charlottenburger FC Hertha 06 v 1. FC Frankfurt in the Oberliga Nord at Sportplatz Sömmeringstraße. CFC Hertha 06 are not related to the other three Herthas that I’ve seen so far, and are spending only their second season in this fifth tier of German football. Their stadium is, well, not a stadium really. Eight euros to get in, it’s just a field with four rows of dirt/grass/weed-covered terracing along either side. The refreshments stand was literally just a dude with a foldout table, a crate of beers, some soft drinks and some office-sized pumpy coffee flask thingies.

In my head, I keep thinking about this fifth tier of German football as the equivalent of the fifth tier in English football, but it’s quite clearly not, and I should’ve thought about that before now. The fourth tier in German has five regional divisions of 18 or 19 clubs each. The fourth tier of English football has 24 clubs. So just a simple bit of mathematics tells me that it’s only really the top five clubs in each of the regional Regionalliga divisions that’s the equivalent of the fourth tier. So this CFC Hertha 06 level, the fifth tier of German football, it could be argued, is actually closer to the eighth tier of English football.

Nonetheless, good gosh it’s fun going to these games. I was one of 89 people who went to see a 2-2 draw on a sunny Sunday afternoon. And I can’t think of many places I’d’ve rather been at that time.

The Eleven Berlin Teams Project:
Hertha BSC v Eintracht Frankfurt, (25/2/17)
FC Viktoria 1889 Berlin v 1. FC Lokomotive Leipzig (18/3/17)
FC Hertha 03 Zehlendorf v SV Lichtenberg 47, (19/3/17)
Berliner AK 07 v FC Schönberg 95, (22/3/17)
VSG Altglienicke v FC Viktoria 1889 Berlin, (25/3/17)
Berliner FC Dynamo v Hertha BSC II, (29/3/17)
Hertha BSC II v FSV Union Fürstenwalde, (1/4/17)
Charlottenburger FC Hertha 06 v 1. FC Frankfurt, (2/4/17)

Remaining teams to see:
1. FC Union Berlin
SV Lichtenberg 47
Tennis Borussia Berlin

The Eleven Berlin Teams Project (supplementary game):
SV Empor Berlin v 1. FC Union Berlin, (23/3/17)

The song in my head when I woke up this morning
Crocodile Shoes by Jimmy Nail

On this day
(The) (Rolling) Stones, 3 April 2013

Here’s an interesting Wikipedia article
Europa (moon)

Self-promotion
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Written by Craig

April 3rd, 2017 at 8:04 am

Posted in Sports

3,278: Embedding the week

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🇪🇺🇩🇪🇪🇺🇩🇪🇪🇺

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Acrylic, gouache, watercolour, and coloured pencil on lots of paper.

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The song in my head when I woke up this morning
Ink by Coldplay

On this day
Population of towns I’ve lived in, 2 April 2009. I think I should update this some day soon.

Here’s an interesting Wikipedia article
Glaciology

Self-promotion
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Written by Craig

April 2nd, 2017 at 12:10 am

Posted in Blah blah,Photos

3,277: Morning views

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Guten morgen

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Guten morgen

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Morgen

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Morgen

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Morgen

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Guten morgen

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Previous morning views:
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16

The song in my head when I woke up this morning
Love My Way by the Psychedelic Furs

On this day
Quick dumb joke, 1 April 2009

Here’s an interesting Wikipedia article
Greenland Ice Sheet Project

Self-promotion
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Written by Craig

April 1st, 2017 at 12:49 am

Posted in Photos