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Apr 20, 2023Liked by Alex Dobrenko`

fun fact, I am a monkey – a monkey with NOTIFICATIONS TURNED OFF

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this is a power

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I asked if anyone felt like notes was a middle school dance and got no response and then I really felt like notes was a middle school dance. I’m glad to see these ponderings. I’m struggling with notes. It feels like a lot of noise and people shouting across the divide. It’s a lot of information in a time when we are already overloaded with information. It has actually made me appreciate that anybody is reading my writing when there’s so much out there. I am setting boundaries and not opening the app between 8 and 6. I’m also trying to only give it small space in my day and mind. If you are someone who doesn’t need such limits, I admire your fortitude. I listened to this podcast on silence this week, and it really helped especially the part about thinking I’m going to find the answer I’m looking for. https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-one-you-feed/id792555885?i=1000599072615

I’m most definitely not going to find what I’m seeking on Notes. I might find a good joke or book rec but I’m not going to find the answer to life, the universe and everything.

And...sometimes someone shouts something across the divide that really resonates and makes me smile like this

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dawww thank you ! also i love the one you feed but missed this one, so thanks for sharing. I'm halfway through the new one about listening and really digging it.

I need way more than that for my limits. But i'm also trying to not treat it as such a Bad Thing I Shouldn't Do. Cuz then I wanna do it more. It should be neutral like eating yogurt

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Well this was a bold faced lie. I do love that podcast but the episode I’m referring to is the newest one of The Grey Area

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Yes!! Smart! That comes back to the inner monster and intrusive thoughts and OCD, man that little f’er shows up everywhere.

Did you get a chance to catch my post on parenting? I know I’m self-promoting but I think you’d like it hopefully more than yogurt- I actually really like yogurt https://pocketfulofprose.substack.com/p/parenting-sometimes-we-do-a-bang

I am glad you made the podcast error cause now I have a new podcast to listen to. I’m working on deep listening...

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woohoo and I did not see your post so thank you for sharing it with me I am pumped to read it !

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“It’s a lot of information in a time when we are already overloaded with information.” This was my first and last reaction to notes. I “use” Substack to see my life and mind more clearly. Notes feels like noise to me, and there’s already pleeeeenty of noise in my head!

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noise notes.

i tried combining these into 1 word but it didnt work.

noites

noistes

yuck

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Haha I like noites. Combo of a Jersey “nice” and the noise to be found in Notes…

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Apr 23, 2023·edited Apr 23, 2023Liked by Alex Dobrenko`

"It’s a lot of information in a time when we are already overloaded with information."

Oh.. you haven't seen my feed then... it's all just my own posts.. with a few posts every now and then from some rando [that I might or might not subscribe to]. I've yet to get *any* engagement on any notes I've ever posted. It really does seem to be a complete waste of time for smaller accounts.

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Is your photo a picture of garlic with eyes. I’m super intrigued.

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Apr 23, 2023Liked by Alex Dobrenko`

It's actually a human nervous system... with eyes.

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That makes more sense.

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tomato tomato

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I may have read that wrongly: when I read it it just said"tomato tomato", when I suspect the intention was "tomato tomato".

;-)

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my bad on that - I definitely meant to say tomato tomato and coulda been clearer so as to ensure no one thought I meant tomato tomato.

ah well, potato potato

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I loved the link I shared earlier - it helped me a lot in how to think about the noise and reframe. In a workshop I got to do with Ada Limon, she also talked about starting writing in silence and how I’m poetry there’s already so much silence on the page. I’m still for real struggling with noise as I try to share my writing and read what others write but I’m hoping to find more balance. Cheers to moments of quiet or Ma, the skate between the broken temple boards where the light shines through

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May 4, 2023Liked by Alex Dobrenko`

Totally agree with you, too much noise from these notes. I'm already sick of them.

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Apr 20, 2023Liked by Alex Dobrenko`

Alex it’s so funny to read this, because just this past Monday I did it. I turned off all the Substack notifications. All. I no longer get a notice when someone likes my newsletter. Or comments on my newsletter. Or likes a comment I left on someone else’s newsletter. Or likes my comment. Or mentions me in their notes post. Or comments on my notes comment.

In one step I totally eliminated maybe 100 distractions/interruptions a day popping into my inbox. It is like living in a different world! So much peace! And thanks to the Substack app I can see them all and respond as needed at reasonable intervals. A few times a day seems right to me. And it’s a lot more fun.

Highly recommend this to everybody!

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hell yes. thsis is THE WAY. question though: how do you handle notifications globally? like, i have all of mine off for all my apps, but it just means aI check my texts and slack a lot lol cuz idk if there will be messages there hah

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There's always a sneaky workaround. And I have them, too. Even if the app isn't on my phone, (YES, I reinstall and uninstall routinely) I can still get to my dashboard by way of an old email notification... yes, I do this... to see if there are new notifications. I guess the difference is, the notifications aren't pinging me away from something else constantly. It's just my brain doing that... and I haven't figured out how to turn that off yet. But I'll keep you posted. 😂

What disturbs me most is how many times a day I touch and look at my phone. It's almost involuntary now, which is MESSED UP!!! My phone wears a little jacket, too, so I have to undress it first before I look at it. It's bad. On days where the checking makes me feel shitty, I'll sometimes turn my phone off and stick it somewhere, like the bottom of my cedar chest, and go outside for a while. That helps. A little. 💛💪🏼🦇

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Hahahah god I relate to all this. I’ve seen ppl buy time release safes.

One thing I’m trying lately is to not hate myself for it all so much. But like just note it with curiousity I hate that word but you get it. I feel like I’ve gotten better at this by getting better at how I look at other ppl on their phones

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RE: Ignoring the basic distractions, like texting, IDK. That's tough. Do you have sounds attached to all of them? You could turn those sounds into soothing mantras, like "nothing's real", "it doesn't matter", "bat is the balls" etc. Or if you want to avoid your phone all together, have it make horrible sounds, like crying babies or nails on a chalkboard or someone dry heaving every time you get a notification. That might be enough to keep you away. If you try that, let me know how it goes. I need to undress my phone now. It's been 3 nanoseconds since I checked in.

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hahaha I have all sounds turned off for everything. sounds drive me crazy. but yea maybe i need to just have sounds like THIS IS BAD or even specifically made mean mantras about things i'm very insecure about. yea this will work no problem

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I did this, too! And I switched to Smart notifications for posts, so I don't get an email every time one drops, BUT I also uninstalled the app from my phone, so the only time I'm checking in on Substack, to read or respond to notifications, is when I'm sitting down in front of my computer. When I'm in the right mindset for all of it. It's made such a huge difference for me. HUGE!!! Happy to hear it's making you happier, too.

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this is very smart. I did this for a while, but then installed it back again. though it isn't one of my go to distractions. I really only have one rn and its the crossword. i find that if its anything social, I will reliably feel so so so much shittier within minutes lol

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Well this is genius!

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From the beginning I turned off most of the notifications and have certain times when I have it on. Haven't turned all of them off tho so ur a trailblazer! The BEST ONES to turn off are the unsubscribes :) -- who cares! I figure its awesome if someone gets closer to figuring out what they like

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May 4, 2023Liked by Alex Dobrenko`

I absolutely share your opinion. You said something that really bothers me. Those tons of notifications, I'm sure you have a lot more, and that scares me even more. I still can't decide to turn them off, I feel like responding to those who text me almost immediately.

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Anne, you are wise and strong. I will come to New York and study your ways.

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Shit I zooted this one out and forgot to update the intro so sorry I guess but honestly who cares we get one little life mistakes are good !!

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1. Can't, won't, shan't.

2. Nothing. Not on my radar, so Notes: knock yourself out with the whole shebang and just get on with it without me. I'd say I'm watching from the sidelines, but that's a lie. I'm so far away from the sidelines that I'm in a different ballpark. In a different country. On a different planet.

3. 126%* of my time is spent in the Comments sections of the 945** Substack newsletters I subscribe to. Zilch per cent is spent on the traditional social media platforms. I am addicted to YouTube tutorials on a whole smorgasbord of learning matter, and I'm a sucker for Apple News (because it's way more fun than the Daily Telegraph, the Saturday edition of which I spend actual real money on JUST for the crossword). Absolutely none of my professional life is spent online, and for that I am grateful.

4. Come on, do I have the time for anything else?

5. 🚀

*not quite true. I'm working on my maths.

**probably nearly true

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hahaahahah wait. what do you learn about on yt tutorials? and what crossword is your go to??

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Planning, note-taking and bullet journalling to start with, when I first started YT lurking in 2017. Then, since the start of lockdown, a tonne more! Personal finance and budgeting (about 30 years too late, mind, but I'm so proud of how far I've come so far), French, brushing up on my rusty German, and, more recently, how to write non-fiction. 😊

I love cryptic crosswords but am regularly stumped. I do a large general knowledge crossword every week (it takes me that long), and I love it when I actually get to finish one. On the cryptic side I'm very much a #wip...

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very cool! which crossword do you do??

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Telegraph General Knowledge every Saturday (although it takes me all week). They used to do a 50/50 (half cryptic, half concise), and their latest is the 'Atlantic' which is baffling but fun. Now, as a Brit who's pushing fifty I'd love to tell you that I do The Times crossword daily... but that would be a lie. 🤣

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May 4, 2023Liked by Alex Dobrenko`

I'm just like you, I spend a lot of time on social media. But I don't have as many subscriptions as you do. I'm afraid to imagine how many notifications you get a day. I hope you turn them off.

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Actually I only spend time on Substack - I'm not on any other social media platform, I'm glad to say. LOL re notifications - I try not to get overwhelmed - it's just about okay. And: cards on the table (I'm prone to exaggeration, I'm so sorry!) I've recently noticed that it's *only* 75 newsletters I subscribe to rather than the 945 I had hyperbolically claimed - that came as quite a relief as I counted them....! 😁

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May 4, 2023Liked by Alex Dobrenko`

Ahha, we all hyperbalize sometimes.😁

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😁

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OK, I'll bite:

1. How do you feel about Notes? What are you finding difficult about using it, and what do you love about it?

I'm taking a cautious approach to Notes, being a recovering Twitter addict. It has some of the stuff that I used to love about Twitter but the audience is more focused. I don't know if it will take with me or not.

2. What do you wish Notes had, feature wise or anything wise?

Gonna wait and see on that one. I'd be OK if it stays as it is.

3. What percentage of your social life is online? What about ur professional life?

Very, very low percentage of my social life is online. One one-thousandth of my professional life is online: the streams rarely cross.

4. What else is happening that has nothing to do with any of this?

My newsletter How About This will be one year old on May 3!

5. How's it hanging?

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wow that's a very very small % of your social / professional life given how cool you are online. In person you must be a true phenom.

Congrats on how about this anniversary! that's awesome.

it hangs here. all the parents come into town today for Wilder's birthday tomorrow. excited to see everyone and party. the theme is 'trash' cuz Wilder loves garbage trucks. It'll be a good time

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Solid

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It’s fine it’s just the usual thing with the internet - time suck.

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well said Marple

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Thanks!

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Yes, the lady in Reno is in us all. And Reno casinos are the most depressing places on Earth.

I don’t know how you do it (even if you explain it step by step to us) -- writing so that I read practically everything you write. Does that make us Gollum? We wants it too!!

I’ve noticed that there’s a lot of writing about Notes and Substack on Substack, and it’s getting, well, boooooringg! With the exception of your post because you can write about anything and still make it digestible. Everyone seems to think they should write about this place and I think it’s time to move on and focus away from this tool. We’re here now, so let’s be here. If that makes sense.

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hahahaahh thank you, that really means a lot. I do feel like at some point in the last year, my filter dissolved and I just sorta...wrote whatever was in my head. without much judgement. or if there was judgement, i';d write about that. and usually i'm in a rush so i dont have time to go back and look it over hahaha

I agree about the meta thing of writing about the thing you're on. Medium was 100% this. It made me sick, especially because their platform incentivized it, platformed it, etc.

and in one way, its super natural bc everyone wants to Do Better and Succeed. I feel like I learned one thing in college and one thing only - in a class called city politics, i learned that as soon as an organization is created - like a state or a non profit, whatever - its number one goal becomes to sustain itself, and the reason why it was created (help people, etc) becomes second.

somehow that idea applies here, but i dont know how exactly haha

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Good stuff!

The three things I'm digging most about Notes so far:

People are smartish. Substack is filled with writers. Writers think and care about ideas. Thus, the conversations there are a level up from the Petty Hate Machine™️ that is Twitter.

It’s not reliant on advertising. Ad-supported business models lead to mind-capture crap. But Substack and its authors make money from paid subscribers, removing some of the worst incentives of the attention economy.

It’s not algorithm-based. The content you see comes just from people you actually subscribe to as opposed to whatever randomness the algorithm decides to show you. People choose what they want to see.

Wrote more about it here fyi:

https://mattruby.substack.com/p/deserves-got-nothing-to-do-with-it

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Agree and loved your post. I do worry though that SS needs to make VC money, right? like, they got a bunch of money and have a crazy valuation, so the allure of pulling some of the twitter levers will be there. idk what do u think?

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Go read Matt's post, BATHeads! It's great! 👆

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May 4, 2023Liked by Alex Dobrenko`

I agree with each of your points, those are the main three pros of Notes. I'm not sure about the last one, though. I think they could make another feature where you see recommended notes. Not just the ones you are subscribed to. Or maybe I'm wrong, and that would just ruin it.

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Thanks for this. I have indeed been panicking a little about Notes... like, what's all this now? Why is everyone immediately in there like a dirty shirt, as my grandmother might say? Why does everyone immediately have a million "short form" things to say?

Maybe my problem is that I never could get into Twitter, and left a couple of years ago. I know, I know, that's not actually a *problem*. But now that Notes have arrived and all the cool kids are doing it, I feel at a loss. I only post my newsletter once a month, and all the "short form" things I have to say get used on my husband at the end of the day. I don't, you know, REMEMBER them.

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Hahaha yes. The problem w any platform is that you don’t see what people aren’t using it.

Like if it was a feed of all Substack peeps, it’d be 20 posts in a row of “this user did not post” and then one “what’s up my beautiful babies whose ready to get this money”

It’s some fallacy I forget which one tho lol

In case it helps, I think ur golden. Also I am working on messy ass space stufff and gonna try n feature ur space!!

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*MY* space? BUT I'M NOT MESSY!!! 😂😂😂 Well obviously that would be a deep and abiding honour. Bless this mess!

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bless YOUR mess specifically yes

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I, too, noticed how many people were immersed in these notes head-on. It freaked me out a little, and I still don't know what to write there.

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Apr 20, 2023Liked by Alex Dobrenko`

Loved this and finding myself nodding along to much if it. If I wanted Twitter Light, I’d drink the full alcohol version and get lost in the buzz. I want something else after14 years on Twitter. Notes is my social me Xanax at the moment.

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preach

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Well thanks for this, these were all the things I needed to hear. I'm in the middle of my great insta-detox and still I let myself be a wee bit panicked about Notes. But the more I use it, the more it's clear it's not the same as regular social media because everything is still developing. So you're right, post or don't. Chill out. Have fun. NBD :)

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exactly! but also all our brains are broken in a way that probably can't be fixed in a lifetime, though I feel like our generation can be instrumental (like a piano) in helping future people not be so stupid with this shit

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I agree with every word you wrote. My misgivings about the notes go away with every article or comment I read. We need to panic and worry less.

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Notes showed up at a lousy time for me. I had just made the decision to unplug more so I wouldn't drive myself crazy with the USUAL amount of FOMO (and its lengthier cousin) I have about Substack - I was feeling the benefits of said unplugging and then BOOM! NOTES! BE THERE OR BE SQUARE!

I am, so far, being relatively square. Showed up a couple of times to boost others and once to boost myself. Response was MEH.

Now I'll pop in once a day to see if there's anything new, but I'm finding I see a lot of the same posts over and over again. Not sure why that is. Am I not subscribed to enough people? Or is this just a sign that only 2-5% of Substack writers are using it, as you say. I'm okay being among the 95%. But FOMO is real. No wait! It's NOT REAL.

*GASP*

You've saved me, Alex Dobrenko. You've saved us all.

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hahaah wow i am like a super hero then this is big for my brand.

i do know there's a couple feeds you can use - one is Home which is everyone you're subscribed to and the people they are subscribed to, and then the other is 'subscribed' which is just ppl u subscribe to

I agree w you tho about that 'response was meh' thing. part of me truly wishes a platform would just do away with that. no hearts, no likes, no data. just a feed.

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Notes (and really it's not about Notes, it's about everything on Earth, more or less) has got me feeling overwhelmed and a little freaked out. I haven't touched it yet, but this post made me feel a little better about it. Nothing is real! It's fine!

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nothing is real! Here's a fun fact: 99.9% of the world has no idea that Notes even exists. Like, basically everyone in the world is walking around living their lives and they have no idea that Notes is happening at all. That's also true for everything, including like, famous people. We are the bubbles until they pop (idk what i was doing there)

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lol, maybe there's something in the water (I live in NorCal and I'm pretty sure we send all our water to you in LA), because I posted this Note literally a minute after you published this piece: https://substack.com/profile/3404592-lyle-mckeany/note/c-14991988

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hahahaha incredible

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Notes is objectively better than Twitter for a few reasons, including business model (subscription > advertising) and non-algorithmic, reverse-chron feed.

However, I think it still struggles with winner-take-all dynamics, with the “who” outranking the “what.” I’d love to see and post to certain topics, where discovery was driven at the post/note level as opposed to the person/publication/inevitably personal brand level. This would benefit Substack and drive growth while putting the focus on the exhibition itself rather than the sheer line to see it.

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heck ya i am into this. how would they pull that off? like a...topics area? hashtags? almost like discord channels or something?

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also how would I then be the CYNOSURE

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how did I miss this lololol

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classic cynosure vibes

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Either of those might work. More than one way to skin a cat...

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that poor cat tho

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Definitely that's the direction to go, I agree with you.

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