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After having used the Samsung Galaxy range of phones for the last few upgrades I've had, I decided to have a change and get a HTC. My partner has used the same HTC for the last 3 years and its only just dying on him, so I took that as a good thing for longevity.
On first receiving my phone I was quite happy with the size, screen quality and weight and went to look for a case for it ASAP. As its not a particularly common phone, it can be hard to find anything unique or funky, so I had to settle for a plain red case. It's not the biggest negative to have with a phone, so I didn't think anything of it.
If you have used any other Android phone before, you will be fairly familiar with the layout and how to use the main functions of the phone. Anything you can't find can easily be looked up online anyway. There are quite a few ways to customise the layouts and themes too, including being able to have a photo as the background to your text messages.
Here are some of the specs if you are interested too...
Screen is 5" and has a HD 720 display which is nice and bright.
It takes a micro sim (not the normal size sim card of older phones, so contact your network to get one if you don't have one, they usually provide them for free).
It weighs 160g
It also has a internal GPS.
Main camera is 8MP with a forward facing 5MP camera and flash for video calls and selfies.
After having the phone for a few months, however, I found that it began to run really slow, even when performing simple actions such as unlocking the phone or opening the settings bar to turn on WiFi. This can be sorted somewhat by downloading an app cache clearing app, but I have to use it at least once a day to stop me getting frustrated with how slow it is. Sometimes I will open up the browser and have to wait a little while for the keyboard to come up when selecting a search box, and then when you are halfway through typing something, it will stop typing and either jumble up what you're writing or it will delete it. I think the more apps you add to the phone, the slower it gets, so be careful!
The camera is very nice if you are taking pictures outside and you can also zoom in quite far. If you want to take pictures inside with artificial lighting it tends it make photos look slightly yellow and not very sharp (like it has a blur effect on them) and the sensor for detecting how light it is can sometimes mean you have to move the phone about to get it in the right angle before taking a photo. It also doesn't take very good pictures if the light is behind the subject of the photo, even with the backlit mode on.
The video capture is very good however, and you can record video with the light on if its darker.
The audio is quite nice and loud as the speakers are forward facing, meaning if you put the phone down, it doesn't make the music quieter. It's a good idea to have your own removable storage like a micro SD to store your files onto.
It has all other functions that most other Android phones have, such as Gmail, an app store, youtube app etc and on the way I have mine set up, it has folders to store similar apps together. For example, there is a folder for all Amazon apps (Amazon shop, books, music etc), one for entertainment like YouTube, music, videos etc. It does come with quite a lot of apps pre-installed too. There is also the regular e-mail box, where you can set up your other e-mail accounts onto it (hotmail etc) and you can set it up to give notifications on receiving e-mails.
Another word of caution, the autocorrect is kinda crazy, it will change words and make you send really weird messages. I turned off the autocorrect but have left on the predictive words as it can really help cut down on texting time.
Watching video's on YouTube is easy and the screen quality is great, so you can enjoy what you are watching if you are on a good WiFi connection.
Overall I would say this is a good phone if you don't use apps very much and would be happy with the pre-installed apps. Also I wouldn't recommend it for avid photo takers, however when you are taking photos without the flash, it does take the pictures quite quickly. It also has the panoramic photo option too. I don't think I will get another HTC after this one, I will most likely be going back to the Samsung Galaxy range, as I use the camera a lot and haven't had problems with them slowing down.
We have recently switched our English Mastiff x Bullmastiff girl to the Large Breed Adult, having been on the Large Breed Junior food previously.
I trust Arden Grange as Brittish company, making the product in the UK, It's reasonably priced (when you spot out the deals) and they use quality ingredients. They use human grade chicken, as they wouldnd feed their dogs anything that they would eat themselves!
The large breed varieties have a much better protein level and usually have glucosamine, which helps their joints.
My girl started getting bored of the junior food and as she was turning 18 months old, we decided to put her on Large Breed adult. This is also only in chicken, but I did contact the guy and gals at Arden Grange to ask about other flavours, they said they are working on the recipies and to keep an eye on the website in case new flavours are released.
The kibble on the large breed adult food is nearly twice the size, but no hole in the mide. Its slightly lighter and actually smells nice! My dog now has to chew her food properly because of the increase in size, and I think that has also made her be able to taste it more, which seems to have made her ravenous! She absolutely loves it, her bowel movements have been brilliant and she has so much more energy! Shes acting like a tiny puppy again!
I would not hesitate to recommend this food to anyone and I'd always prefer to feed Arden Grange over anything else.
I bought these as I love the checker-board design and own pairs of the velcro fastening trainers in the same design. So when I saw I could get wellies in that design, I was sold! I found them in a local TK Maxx store reduced to about £10 (I think RRP was about £30) and snapped them up! (I would have probably bought more than one pair if they had the stock!)
The insoles in them are red,removable and are very comfortable. I have to wear orthotics in my shoes so I don't get to feel the benefits of them except on the ball of my foot, and they feel nice and warm and dry when its chucking it down! I love walking through puddles now thanks to these beauties. Its almost like wearing waterproof slippers almost!
As a lady with muscular calves, I do find they are on the snug side, which can lead to them sitting a bit odd at the ankles, but as long as I give them a good tug when I pull them on, I can still get them over my skinny jeans! Another great thing about them is that they aren't rubbery on the insides (no sweaty legs, or wellies that cling to your legs!) they have a soft material lining, which also helps keep you cosy in the cold! The grips on the bottom are the classic Vans diamond shapes and work quite well to keep grip (although I still avoid metal slippery drain covers!)
I have had compliments from people on my wellies numerous times and really hope they last forever!
I bought this game as I used to always play the Sonic games on the Sega Megadrive and the Saturn and missed playing them! This game collection contains a lot of games that I used to play as a kid, Sonic 1,2,3, Sonic and Knuckles, Dr Robotnik games, Flickies island, Alex Kidd, Street Fighter 1,2+3, Golden Axe 1+2, Ecco the Dolphin amongst others.
The only critisism I have is that when I used to play Sonic games on the Saturn, there was an option to play sonic 2 and 3 using Knuckles as your character. This came in handy as he can fly and hold onto buildings and there used to be secret lives hidden on tops of buildings etc that you can only get with Knuckles. That said, playing the games in their original formats makes you realise that these games were actually quite hard! I have got used to playing games such as Assassins Creed, Fable and the like, so when I started playing these games again, I actually found them harder to play! This gave a good challenge, and have started trying to complete Sonic 3 again!
I think this is a must have for all gamers who remember these games the first time round, or even if you want to educate your children on where all the madness started!
As with the conditioner, I found this item after visiting my local TBS Outlet. I used to use the olive shampoo and conditioner, but found this one cheaper in the outlet, so I thought I'd give it a go! Firstly, the smell is yummy! It contains fair trade honey as well, which helps as a moisturiser.
The lid of the bottle can be a bit fiddly to open with wet hands and short nails, and it can be slightly harder to squeeze out. I do like that they use a clear bottle, as it means when you are running out, nothing can get wasted as you can see its still holding product.
This shampoo would suit normal hair types, I have fairly dry ends where I am growing out bleach and this shampoo/conditioner combination doesn't completely stop the frizzy ends but it is more moisturising than other shampoo's for normal hair.
Generally, I would buy this again as I love Body Shop products and the smell is addictive!
Being an ex employee of The Body Shop, I have always been an avid user of their products. Before I discovered the outlet store, I used to use the olive shampoo/conditioner, mainly for the smell and it made my hair really shiny! So on going to my local outlet, I found the Banana shampoo and conditioner. I was a little cautious as sometimes they can be really strong smelling when they are fruit smelling, but this made me actually want to eat it...no lie, I was tempted to try!
The conditioner is in the same size bottle as the shampoo (some companies give you less conditioner sometimes!) and is filled to the same amount. It has a clear bottle with black plastic flip lid. Now when I am in the bath and have wet hands, sometimes its a little fiddly to open (or if I have cut my nails), and when squeezing the bottle, it can sometimes require a bit of a shake to move the conditioner down. Other than that it has simple but effective packaging, and its great that it has a clear bottle, so you can see exactly how much is left! The packaging is also recyclable, which is good.
The conditioner itself it fairly thick, but smooth. It literally feels like you have mushed up some bananas and honey and put it on your hair! The smell made my mouth water, however, I did have to use a little bit more than usual. I have shoulder length, thick wavy hair, and have to use quite a bit. I leave it on for a couple of minutes to set in and when it gets washed off, your hair feels lovely! I am using it with the banana shampoo at the moment, and am really happy with it. The only draw back is that as my hair is fairly dry on the ends (growing out bleach!), it doesn't quite quench it 100%, although it does feel very soft and managable.
I have an English Mastiff pup and found it hard to find a food that interested her and also didn't give her loose stools. At first we fed her Autarky puppy (not a large breed one) and this gave her constant runny backside. After doing a bit more research we decided that a large breed puppy food was needed. Large breed food helps them to grow at a slower rate, as larger breeds suffer with joint problems if they put too much weight on too quickly. The large breed food also usually is a larger kibble size which helps to stop them wolfing their food down, causing bloat, which is a very dangerous condition.
The first large breed food we tried was a local shops own version of a large breed food. She loved to eat it, but it didn't come out the other end how it should (to put it nicely!) so we switched to James Wellbeloved large breed puppy, which she liked at first but we swapped about with the flavours as she got bored of it. We switched up to the junior food (larger kibble) and she wasn't really that interested and her tummy problems started again. So again I went online and checked out some other comparisons to see what other options I had, and found Arden Grange.
Since starting our pup on Arden Grange, her bowels have been brilliant. The only time she has had a dodgy tum was after her jabs/worming which was to be expected. She is still not great with eating her food (she likes to leave it until she realises we wont be giving her any of our food!!) but she eats it, and it agrees with her. Her fur looks lovely and she also loves the treats that Arden Grange do.
The kibble is about half an inch in diameter and has a hole in the middle. You can buy them in 2kg, 6kg and 12 kg bags. We always buy her 12kg bags and it lasts us a month. We can usually buy it for around £30, which works out at about £1 a day to feed.
The food has Boosted levels of glucosamine, chondroitin and MSM – to help maintain supple, strong joints and cartilage, which helps them to grow at a slow and steady rate to avoid hip displasia and other common joint issues that large breeds have. Arden Grange use HUMAN GRADE meat in their foods, why feed them a meat quality that we wouldn't eat ourselves?
This food is recommended to be fed to large breed puppies up to 12-18 months (or for smaller breeds that like bigger kibble).
Another thing I like about Arden Grange is they are a Brittish owned company and make their foods in Britain too. I feel I can trust them to provide good quality kibble and they also provide excellent customer service. I have recently contacted them via their facebook page, to which they reply quickly.
I would not hesitate to recommend this food to any other owner of a large breed puppy. I have bought our last bag of junior food and will be moving her onto the large breed adult food next month, and I am really hoping that the adult food does as much good for her as the puppy/junior food.
I have been watching NCIS from season 1 up to season 7, and as the seasons go on, you get sucked right into each story and each characters individual stories.
Lets start with the characters...Here's a quick run down!
Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs (Known in the series just as Gibbs): The main man and the boss at ground level for the NCIS agents. He is stubborn and when he gets a gut feeling about something, there is usually little anyone can do to stop him getting to the bottom of things and catching the bad guy. He has a penchant for red heads, and seems to be unintentionally attractive to women. He has a long service history not only in NCIS but formerly CIS and a long stint in the navy as a Gunnery Sergent. He has had 4 wives, one of which was sadly killed (along with his only daughter) by a drug cartel (the leader of which Gibbs "dealt with").
Special Agent Anthony DiNozzo: An agent in his 30's who is a big ladies man (usually rationalising it by saying it's because of his Italian blood lines!). He likes to play pranks on his team members, and is often found accidentally falling in love with victims/family members of targets that always ends up in heartbreak. He likes to make out that he is happy living the single batchelor lifestyle, partying and having fun. Another thing he likes to do is eat...he is nearly always eating something! He is a loyal and hard working agent who has been assigned to special ops by the Director many times.
Agent Timothy McGee: A "computer nerd" that gets called "Elf Lord" by his collegues due to his passion for DnD games. He is usually the one who gets given the tech tasks, hacking phones, tracking people and works closely with the forensics lab. Graduating from MIT, he has a lot of acedemic experience, and back in the first season started as a "Probie" and still finds it hard to get the highest amount of respect from some of his co-workers. He is often nicknamed by DiNozzo as either McGeek, McGoo etc
Forensic scientist and ballistics expert Abigail Scuito: A very happy go lucky goth girl who loves animals and helping habitat for humanity. She deals with the fingerprints, bloodwork, toxicology, and anything to do with guns. She has a farting hippo toy she keeps with her in her lab. Abby also see's Gibbs as a father figure and relies on him for moral and emotional support. Abby also has the knack of getting accidentally involved in the bad guys plans!
Ziva David: Came in on Series 4. She is from Israel and is former Mossad. She is a tough woman you wouldn't want to mess with. Excellent in a fight, and brilliant with a gun!
Medical Examiner Ducky and his helper Mr Palmer are the team that deals with the bodies. Ducky likes to tell extensive stories whilst performing his autopsies, usually at Gibbs frustration. There is also the Director (that has changed a few times over the seasons) who controls the whole operation.
Season 7 has 24 episodes where the agents face their most personal cases to date. Family members arise, as usual, to complicate things, and Gibbs is persued by not one, but two beautiful women who each have their own agenda!
Over the 24 episodes you see stories where there is usually either a dead marine found, or one goes missing, and the crew has to figure out what has happened and why. In this season you get to see a little more into some of the crews lives, and also see's Ziva change her status with NCIS. Could she possibly get the chance to be a fully fledged member of the NCIS team? Furthermore, what will she have to do to get that chance?
If you like watching TV box sets that involve action, drama, romance, guns, car chases, foresnsics or just enjoyed watching CSI, NCIS is definitely worth a watch. This is my favourite TV series to watch, and I cant wait to start watching season 8!
I have been dying my hair for many years when I decided to take the plunge and go from my natural mid brown hair to platinum blonde (crazy I know!). Luckily i have chin length hair which I'm growing out so I don't have nice long hair to wreck! Before using this dye I had gradually lightened my hair to a light honey blonde and needed to use an overall colour to make it less brassy. After trying toners for a bit, I decided to try the Schwarzkopf Colour Mask in Pearl Blonde.
First things first...what you get in the box...
Gloves...softer easier to wear for smaller hands, but nothing special.
Instructions with product details, and how to use the products.
A pot a bit like a moisturiser tub with a screw cap containing the initial colour cream.
Colour Sachet, you add this to the pot and shake.
A moisture conditioner for afterwards.
Once you mix the two first parts together, when you open the pot, you notice it is a pastel blue/violet colour. It is a nice thick texture and smells like parma voilets (mmm) You apply it with your fingers, and with my hair length it was easy to apply and felt so nice! It also makes your hair look blue...ignore this!
I will say, if you have dry ends on your hair, or your hair is very light, there is a chance you will end up with a very silver coloured hair. The dryer tips of my hair looked a silvery violet colour compared to the steely blonde of the rest. The colour doesnt last as long as other dyes, and I find, after a few washes, the silvery cour fades out, but it was quite a nice colour.
It only takes between 30-40 minutes to do, and the after conditioner is nice and thick.
Give it a go if its on offer, but don't pay full price. It does make your hair feel very soft and shiny, and has great highlights.
I decided to buy a kindle instead of a Samsung Galaxy tab, mainly due to the price (£229????) and haven't been very disappointed.
Firstly the price at the moment is good, there are plenty of offers on, and I got mine from a supermarket.
The HD screen is beautiful, if you watch films etc on it, you will not be disappointed! The speakers are good for such a small device, and the balance from the sound is surprisingly good. There are quite a few good apps you can download, and the web browser is rather good.
Now one of my main bugbears with this device is that is doesn't run flash. Now I know flash is being made obselete, but that still makes accessing sites that use flash a pain. I play browser games, and you cant do it without the latest flash. I have read internet instructions on how to get flash installed, but it is not the current version.
The camera is ok, not the best in the planet, but I didn't expect it to be, and I wont even really be using it.
Its responsive, sounds great, looks great and holds a charge for ages! One small thing to note...you dont get a wall charger with it...you get a mini usb to usb cable which your'e supposed to buy a kindle power acessory seperately. Luckily I have a plug you can plug usb into to convert to mains so I dont need it.
I have changed my hair colour from a dark brown and managed to get it nearly platinum blonde (yes, I'm crazy!) and the last time I had my roots grow through (medium brown) I thought I'd give this a try.
I have used the regular Live XXL dyes in the past, and have used the Max Blonde one to touch my roots up with as it usually lifts my colour up to 8 shades, which is perfect. The foam however can only really go from about 4-6 shades.
First we will start with the boring stuff like the packaging, smell etc...
The packaging is quite funky, a nice pot that looks like a frappacino cup from a coffee shop. You basicly mix the products inside the cup, and shake 40 times. When you open the lid, there is a very light foam inside that looks more bubbly than foam. It smells okay, as it has pomegranate essence in it.
To apply the product you just scoop it out of the cup and apply. It does tend to start to "un-foam" after a while, so make sure you're fairly quick using it. It doesn't feel that nice on the hair as it is applied compared to creams and masks, but it goes on fairly easily. I have chin length hair, so one pack was enough, but if your hair is any longer and thicker, it may be worth getting 2.
The price is a bit expensive for what you get and how well it works, but if its on offer, and you need a quick hair dye thats easy to apply, then this is the one for you!
My roots came out a dark gingery blonde, nowhere near as light as the max blonde regular style dye, but it did feel nice after. This would be suited more to someone who has dark blonde/medium blonde hair, as the lift isn't as strong as the regular Live XXL.
I had been dying my hair with la riche directions hair dye, red slice in the front with black. This is not reccomended to use when you have used whats called a bright fashion colour such as red, but I wanted to re bleach the roots of my red section then re apply, so thought I'd try removing some of the build up. On the occasion that I used this stuff I decided to use it on my whole head and remove the black too.
Now this is where I'd like to stress that I knew it wouldn't get the red out conpletely, as red tends to stain the cuticle and Colour B4 doesn't remove cuticle stain, but I thought it would take out most of the black (temporary la riche) and maybe leave the temporary red section a sort of pale orangey blonde ( as that section was lightened). Both dyes I had on my hair were temporary. This will not work on pre lightened hair to put it back to a dark as when you are lightening, your're not colouring, you are taking pigment out.
Now the first thing to mention is the price. Its usually about a tenner, which to me, is alot for what you get. Cheap nasty gloves that are huge and tiny bottle thats hard to squeeze.
Enough of going straight into negatives, lets start with positives.
It's easy enough to apply, I have a short bob so I only needed one (luckily at that price). It did work! I'm not going to lie, it didnt get it out completely, but it did remove enough to make my hair look dark brown instead of black, and the red bit went a sorta caramac colour with slighly red roots. I ended up using it one more time a few weeks later and it did get some more out.
Now the bad thing about this product is the smell. It is VILE! It smells like rotten egg, and the first time I did it, I got it on my shirt and I had to change as it smelt like I'd had an accident! You definately need to open the windows and when you dispose of the bottles etc, chuck them in the main rubbish and put it outside or put the rubbish in a bag and tie it up, otherwise your house will stink! You do have to wash your hair for 5-10 minutes , but the buffer smells nice and lathers up nicely.
Overall, its good if you haven't used black or red dye, and if you have, it will take about 70-80% of the dye out. So if you have dyed your hair probably up to 3 or 4 shades lighter or darker then it probably works better.
This was my first Android phone, after upgrading from my Sony Ericcsson C905 (which I loved until it started playing up).
The look: Its sleek, a little thicker and weightier than my current Samsung Galaxy S2, but it feels a lot more substantial in your hand. It has a nice sized 4" screen, nice and bright and clear. There are choices in colours I believe, but I have this in black. It has 3 buttons across the middle of the bottom of the handset (menu back and home). The plastic that makes up the battery cover is easy to remove, and has a nice tactile grip to it. You have a button on the top for power and to lock the screen, a volume button on the top right and a dedicated camera button on the bottom right side.
The Insides: To lock the phone you push the power button once, and I have mine set up to swipe the bottom icon to the right, you can also change your phone to silent/vibrate/silent off by swiping right. As most Android phones you have a few home screens to hold important shortcuts on, by swiping right and left. The reaction of the swipe on the menus with this phone is a little slower/not as responsive as some of the newer phones like my Galaxy S2, but it works.you have a grid icon on the bottom of the home screen which, once tapped, opens up the rest of the phone. The nice thing about the inside menu is that you can still see your home screen picture behind it. The screen is good, its bright and clear, but you can tell that there is more to be done in later models to make it look completely crisp, as its not HD quality (very close tho!)
It has a nice loud volume setting, so (depending on what ringtone you have) you can usually hear all calls/texts. You can customise your own ringtone from music as well as your message tones.
It has Facebook and Twitter installed, E-mail, a very nice 8MP camera. On the subject of the camera, the flash it pretty pointless as it is just a torch lighting up the area (which doesn't work in dark areas).
Battery life is quite good, although works a lot better with no programmes running in the background, and with your internet turned off, but that is the same with any smart phone. The charging slot has a little cover you have to open up to charge the phone, this is useful for keeping it clean and free of dust, but can be a little fragile so be careful when you are charging your phone!
There is one thing I notice above all other things about this phone and that is that it seems very slow to perform tasks. For example, if you press onto your messages, it takes a few seconds for it to load it all up. If this is going to be your first Android phone, or you are not bothered about the speed of its responses, then I would definitely recommend this phone.
Things to get as well with this phone are a pack of screen protectors to stop that lovely screen getting scratched to an inch of its life, and some sort of case. I bought a gel case, so that it protected the main part of the phone, and you don't have to take your phone out of it before using it.
It has everything you would need from a phone, they are intuitive, well laid out, and fun to use.
I bought this after having done the 30 Day Shred by Jillian Michaels. I had done it for 4 or 5 weeks, and felt I needed something else to pep up the workout a bit. So I got this!
There are 5 10 minute sections that you can either do one, or mix a few or do the whole 50 minutes (If you're feeling brave!). The sections are called Flat Belly Fast, where you train your ab muscles to lay flat (You will need a folded towel for this), Pilates Perfect Abs, Belly Fat Blaster (cardio based), Abs Ripper (a mix of all the sections in one ten minute slot) and Six Pack Abs (mat based crunches). To help you get through, I played a little game with myself, and counted the amount of times she said "Abs tight!!"
Easy to fit in 10 minute sections.
Mostly clear instruction
Just as you think you cant go on, she lets you have a rest
Effective, work up a sweat and feel the muscles worked.
She tells you why you are doing certain moves, so you know where you are targeting.
Not a very long warm up (but to be expected considering the time frame) They should have a seperate section with an extended warm up in it.
The music...its terrible...but if you concentrate as much as I do trying not to pass out, it doesn't matter too much.
Quite a few shots of her bum and hips and her groin area when doing hard bits, which is kind of off putting!
She tries to time her saying "now ten tiny tucks" in with the music, which is eye-rollingly cheesy
Speaking of the ten tiny tucks...there's a lot, and yes, you get shots of her groin whilst she's doing them...
I wouldn't say this was a very difficult DVD, but after Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred, I can do anything! The section Six Pack Abs and Pilates Perfect Abs are fairly hard on the neck as you spend a fair amount of time curled up, so I wouldn't recommend it to anyone with a neck issue. Its fairly low impact for the knees, although some of the stretches and moves you have to have a fair amount of balance for (or she says you can use a chair/wall to stabilise yourself on!).
Ben and Jerry's ice cream is always going to be my favorite, as much as I like other ones too, Ben and Jerry's is always going to be the best! Not only are their ethics very fair and likeable, their ice cream flavours are always very inventive and delicious.
My personal favorites are Half baked (half chocolate brownie ice cream and half cookie dough), Cookie Dough, Baked Alaska (Vanilla ice, marshmallow swirl, which chocolate polar bears) or Fossil Fuel (Sweet cream ice cream, Chocolate cookie pieces, chocolate dinosaurs and chocolate swirl).
They are always so creamy, and with those swirls and chunks they put in them, its always a different experience with each mouthful! They also do lower fat versions of their ice creams in frozen yoghurt varieties such as Chocolate Fudge Brownie, Cherry Garcia and Strawberry Cheesecake.
They use fair trade ingredients where possible, and support a whole host of charities. Their packaging is novel and unique, and they also get involved with music festivals!
I think the only negative I can see is the price. £5 for a tub of ice cream that will probably last 2 seconds, seems a little steep to me, but its on offer in a lot of places, so you can usually find it half price somewhere. It is worth £5, but I'm just being tight!
Now all we need is a B&J ice cream van to tour our towns, to help out people in need of their B&J fix whilst at work, now THAT would be genius!