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Archive-Name: music/christian/welcome

See reader questions & answers on this topic! - Help others by sharing your knowledge
---=== w e l c o m e   t o   r e c . m u s i c . c h r i s t i a n ===---
            a guide to netiquette and resources for new users

last modified: 31 October 1996

This document is intended for new users, however, everyone could benefit
from reading it every once and a while to refresh one's memory about
what is all about. Beverley R. White <>
currently maintains it.

This document was formerly two separate items: "Welcome to"
by Andrew D. Taylor <> and "The recDOTmusicDOT-
christian Newbie's Guide" by Beverley R. White <>. 


1.0     What is
        1.1    A USENET Newsgroup
        1.2    An Unmoderated Discussion Group 

2.0     Documentation
        2.1    If You're New To
        2.2    If You're New To RMC...the FAQs

3.0 Activities
        3.1    The RMC Top 50
        3.2    The Monastic Order Of The RMC/Little Sisters Of The MOORMC
4.0     Reading/Posting Tips And Resources For All Users 
        4.1    Basic Technical Posting Guidelines
        4.2    Mutual Respect: Shouldn't We Act Like A Group Of Christians?
        4.3    Regarding Foul/Offensive Language
        4.4    Things To Remember Before Complaining: Manners, Moderation, 
        4.5    Common Net Abbreviations on
        4.6    So and so is a satanist and other such rumors
        4.7    Advertising and Commercials
        4.8    Killfiles

1.0)     What is ==================================

1.1)     A USENET Newsgroup (r.m.c) is an unmoderated newsgroup which passed its
vote for creation by 403:156 as reported in news.announce.newgroups on
19 April 1991.  r.m.c is for discussion of Christian music as outlined
in the charter:

"Subject matter:
  1. primarily contemporary christian music, and its
     a. artists
     b. concerts
     c. books, magazines, TV and radio shows and other mass media which
        cover ccm including its music videos and the shows they are
        carried on
     d. affect on secular music, media, and worship
  2. and not excluding any christian music not considered
  contemporary, such as:
     a. traditional christian music such as hymns, etc.
     b. heavy metal, rock, pop, inspirational, etc.
     c. Hosanna-type worship, etc.
  3. but excluding subjects such as
     a. politics
     b. abortion
     c. discussions about christian doctrine
        except as they relate to specific artists and songs.  All
        threads that diverge to these subjects should be cross-posted
        to the appropriate group (talk.abortion,
        soc.religion.christian, etc.)."

1.2)  An Unmoderated Discussion Group

USENET newsgroups change in purpose and direction depending on their current
population and makeup. As the only unmoderated Christian discussion forum
in the Big 8 and the only available newsgroup relating at all to Christian
subculture, it has become more and more acceptable to allow tangental threads
to develop on issues having nothing to do with music. Section 3c might more
accurately say "except as they relate to specific artists and songs, and to
the subculture surrounding the christian music industry."

This discussion group tends to double on various levels as an online 
fellowship, non-exclusive but close-knit, as any such newsgroup will tend
to. Several warm friendships have resulted from this newsgroup and it is
our hope that many more will ensue.
2.0)  Documentation ===================================================

2.1)     If You're New to

You might hear the term "newbie" applied to you. A newbie is one who is 
a new user, whether to Usenet or just to r.m.c. It is not necessarily an
insulting term.

The following is a list of articles that are recommended to new users to
USENET.  They point out some of the Internet etiquette (formally called
netiquette) and are fundamental pieces of literature for anyone getting
at all involved with the USENET.  All of the following are periodically 
posted to the newsgroups news.announce.newusers and news.answers.

        What is Usenet?
        What is Usenet?  A second opinion.
        Rules for posting to Usenet
        Hints on writing style for Usenet
        A Primer on How to Work With the Usenet Community
        Emily Postnews Answers Your Questions on Netiquette
        Answers to Frequently Asked Questions about Usenet

These articles plus some others of interest can be found at either

They can be obtained via e-mail as well.  Just send mail as follows:

setdir usenet-by-group/news.announce.newusers
send What_is_Usenet?
send What_is_Usenet?__A_second_opinion.
send Rules_for_posting_to_Usenet
send Hints_on_writing_style_for_Usenet
send A_Primer_on_How_to_Work_With_the_Usenet_Community
send Emily_Postnews_Answers_Your_Questions_on_Netiquette
send Answers_to_Frequently_Asked_Questions_about_Usenet

Please don't ask me for these. I don't have them. :)

2.2) If You're New To RMC: The FAQs

A FAQ (rhymes with Iraq) is a periodic posting which lists Frequently
Asked/Answered Questions.  A FAQ is created in order to reduce traffic
and bandwidth on the Internet and to keep questions which keep popping
up answered fully and correctly in order to best help the people who
have the questions.  Another accepted pronunciation of FAQ is
"eff-A-cue" (And therefore "a FAQ" or "an FAQ" are both grammatically
correct depending on pronunciation.)

r.m.c has a variety of FAQs associated with it. It is recommended that
you read at least the General FAQ, which contains a cross-section of
information not found in the other FAQs.  This way, questions like "When
is Mark Heard releasing his next album?" and millions of replies will be
avoided.  (If you read the General FAQ, you will know what is wrong with
that example question.) The General FAQ, at this writing, does need some
amount of updating, but:

* We still don't know when Steve Taylor's new CD will be out, but
  we're anticipating next Spring.
* Yes, CCM does have a tendency to get into a rut.
* http//

The other FAQs associated with r.m.c tend to be massive lists which
attempt to answer a single and quite specific question (e.g. "What is
available in the xxx geographic area in the way of Christian radio?").
While they may be of interest, they are by no means required reading. It
would be good, however, to at least familiarize yourself with what they
are about.

In general, they are posted at least once a month to, 
however a few have different posting frequencies.  They can also be obtained 
via e-mail using the To and Subject headers listed with the FAQ description.  
Some are available via WWW and Anonymous FTP as well.

The General FAQ for is maintained by Miles O'Neal.
This document is recommended reading for new and old users alike.  It
is posted twice a month (or more often when required) to  It is also available via WWW on the r.m.c Home
Page (see below) and e-mail. [The maintainer is no longer a regular
on the newsgroup, incidentally, so some of the FAQ is currently out of
        Subject: REQUEST CCM FAQ

The CCM Discography FAQ is maintained by Matt Honnold (Matt at
E.I.U.). It contains a partial discography of CCM artists, which are
(broadly speaking) any Christian recording artist that uses a
contemporary rather than a traditional style.  With so many different
CCM artists, and new albums being released daily, the CCM Discography
FAQ is always under construction. It's gotten rather huge. The FAQ describing  
the discography is available at 
The Discography menu is at 

The Radio FAQ is maintained by Andrew D. Taylor.  It attempts to
answer the question, what is available in the xxx geographic area in
the way of Christian radio by listing Christian radio stations and
Christian music radio programs on otherwise non-Christian stations.
It is posted monthly to  It is also available via
WWW on the r.m.c Home Page (see below) and e-mail.
        Subject: REQUEST CCM RADIO FAQ

The Country Christian FAQ is maintained by John R La Plante.  It lists
Christians performing in the country music genre and is not limited to
those singing "Christian" music. Suggestions of artists who should be
added to the list, as well as brief (1 or 2 line) descriptions
welcome. It is posted sporadically to Its availability
via mail is currently being verified. 

The Wedding Song List is maintained by Andrew D. Taylor.  It is a list
of songs which various r.m.c readers have suggested for use at a
wedding.  It is posted monthly to  It is also
available via WWW on the r.m.c Home Page (see below) and e-mail.

The Christian Music Industry E-mail List is maintained by Andrew D.
Taylor.  It lists the e-mail addresses of people involved in the
various sides of the Christian music industry.  It is posted monthly
to  It is also available via e-mail.

A list of funeral and wake songs is maintained by David N. Wallace.  It
is posted regularly to  It is also available via

A resource FAQ on Worship is maintained by Charles Wolff, Timo
Jaakkimainen and Kim Anthony Gentes.  This FAQ contains a huge list
(and database) of praise & worship songs and other worship resource
information.  It is posted monthly to It is also
available via e-mail.
        Subject: [blank]
        Message Body:

The Phil Keaggy Information Phile is maintained by Peter Thompson. It is
a mini-FAQ, micro-biography, and macro-discography for guitarist Phil
Keaggy. It is posted irregularly to in three parts
and may also be obtained via e-mail. An HTML version is in progress.
        Subject: REQUEST PHILE.

The r.m.c Home Page, a HTML format page in the World Wide Web, is a
document with links to information relevant to as
well as some of the above mentioned FAQs.

The recDOTmusicDOTchristian Newbie's Guide, a predecessor to the current
edition of this welcome file, is a basic introduction to the RMC community
in specific and to USENET in general. The URL is posted whenever a need
presents itself, and occasionally the author will become frustrated enough
to post the entire document. Seasoned rmc'ers are encouraged to disseminate
this information.

The Chicago Area CCM Concerts Page is, self-evidently, a listing of 
concerts in the Chicagoland area, and contains links to other concert
listings in different localities.

If anyone has any other FAQs, wishes to start one or has changes to
existing information, let me know so I can include it on the above list.

3.0 Activities =================================

3.1     The rmc Top50

The rmc Top50 is a monthly list of what people in this newsgroup
( have been listening to in the previous month.

The purpose of the list is to provide an alternative to the
sales-based lists which appear in magazines like Billboard or CCM. The
hope is that the Top50 will give people an idea of albums actually
being listened to on a repeated basis.

Anyone can submit a list and indeed everyone is encouraged to
do so. Some guidelines on submitting:

1. The list should not just be a list of your favorite albums or
   artists. It rather should be a reflection of what you listened to
   in that particular month.

2. It should be ranked (from 1 to whatever) in order from
   most-listened to least. How you keep track of this is up to you.
   Some people actually record how many times they listen to each
   album. Others just take five minutes at the end of the month and
   guess. Any method is fine as long as it is ranked in some order.

3. The list can be as long or as short as you'd like. There have
   been lists of 1 album and lists of 73 albums.

4. Only one list per person, please.

5. There is no interest in igniting the Christian vs. secular debate.
   If it's in your list, it gets counted.

6. Submit your list any time during the last week of the month. is the e-mail address to send them to.
   Three reminders are posted during that last week for anyone who
   might forget.

The final compiled list comes out sometime during the first
week of the next month.

Previous months' Top50's are archived at Mark Rice's web-site.  The
address is:

J. Robert Parks <> collects and complies the
information for the list each month.  If you have any further questions
on the rmc Top50, e-mail J. Robert.

3.2)  The Monastic Order of RMC/Little Sisters Of The MOORMC

RMC appears to be besieged by tremendous amounts of single people who have
banded together into their respective organizations of support. In the
words of Ed Rock <>:

   It's all a little hazy now, but it seems the Monastic Order of
   Rec.Music Christian started sometime back between the fall of 1994 and
   the summer of 1995. (If any members, charter or otherwise, or
   onlookers can fill in the gaps, I'd appreciate it.) I'm sure it came
   from some philosophising by the single guys on Rec.Music.Christian
   (rmc) about our apparent destiny to remain unmarried. I suggested we
   start our own monastery, independent of any denomination, just for the
   guys on rmc. The requirements for inductions remain vague but
   generally members have used the word pathetic to describe their love
   life and enjoy hanging out on rmc. is the MOORMC home page;
Rose Capanna and Bev White are still threatening to create the web page
for the Little Sisters, the women's counterpart organization. 

4.0)  Reading/Posting Tips And Resources For All Users ===================

4.1) The Technical Advice

This is stuff everyone needs to remember when posting:

     * If you have never posted to the USENET before, please read
       news.announce.newusers and the related FAQs on USENET style and
       content. Yes, I'm repeating myself, but this is VERY important.

     * Watch how you format your posts. Lines should be no longer than 79
       columns line to prevent line wrap on most peoples' terminals (just
       because it looks right on YOUR screen won't mean it will look
       right on all screens; a 24X80 col terminal window is considered
       standard). Nonstandard ASCII characters may cause problems; most
       of us can't see bold or italic when we read news.

     * Watch your spelling, capitalization and grammar if at all
       possible. NEVER post in ALL CAPS [it reads as though you were
       yelling]. Remember that this is a text medium, and the appearance
       of ignorance of basic rules of the English language will get in
       the way of what you're trying to say. Some people can get away
       with posting without capitalization if their sentences are phrased
       coherently and otherwise cohesively; it's a rare skill.

     * When following up to someone else's post, watch how you edit the
       quoted text. Make sure, if you can, that you attribute quotes to
       the proper person [or stipulate that you don't know who said
       something if you lose the attrib]. Remove as much superfluous text
       as you possibly can without eliminating context [we can go back
       and read the original if we need to]; respond only to what you
       feel you need to respond to. [Some newsreaders will only allow you
       to post if you include as much new text as quoted; it's a lovely
       guideline]. Make it CLEAR whose text is whose; sometimes it's hard
       to tell who is saying what. Edit out the other person's .signature
       file unless you're commenting directly on it. Conversely, don't
       simply NOT quote the other person's article; otherwise, we won't
       necessarily know what on earth you're talking about. Also try to
       avoid adding blank lines at the end of your post to avoid the
       quoting issue; if you absolutely MUST get past your newsreader's
       imposed limits, change the quotation character to something other
       than an angle bracket.

     * Keep your .signature short, sweet and clean. A maximum of four
       lines is considered plenty; though some now debate that the
       acceptable limit is five to seven lines, anything over and beyond
       that is getting into highly superfluous territory. For examples of
       the kind of .signatures that could be considered obnoxious [and
       eloquent, if humorous, explanations of why, occasionally involving
       animation and storytelling], read warlord. Very rarely
       does ASCII art or lettering look good in a .signature; try to be

     * PLEASE do not post the same article, or highly similar articles,
       over and over again. FAQs, pointers to web pages, and general
       announcements should be issued at most once every week and a half
       to two weeks at the most, every month if they are not frequently
       being updated. Anything more than that is excessive, and could
       even be considered net.abuse depending on the circumstances (some
       providers will revoke your account for doing this). Keep in mind
       that servers usually keep posts around for several days, and
       people are more likely to visit your page if you post a regular
       pointer every so often that they see every couple of weeks than if
       they start their newsreader to find dozens of posts with the same
       thing in them (and many may begin ignoring your posts altogether).
       A web page URL will fit nicely in your .signature file, and can be
       your best press of all.

     * So you just scanned a cool picture of your favorite band or you have
       some other binary data file related to Christian music and you want to
       make it available to people here on r.m.c.  r.m.c is a discussion group,
       not a binaries group for uuencoded files. Make it available through 
       FTP or WWW.  When you make it available, post a note in r.m.c letting 
       us know where to find the file. (Don't forget to keep copyright 
       considerations in mind when making said binaries available. You could 
       be breaking the law by posting the binary -- is the picture copyrighted? 
       Is this a sample of a song or video? How long is the sample?)
4.2) Mutual Respect: Shouldn't We Act Like A Group Of Christians?

On this topic, in response to a post slamming r.m.c for not being a good
witness to the world as to how a group of Christians should act, John
Streck summed it up:

        You can't expect this group to always act like a group of
        Christians when it's not always a group of Christians.

Not everyone here will believe the way you do. There are many people
from many cultures and many denominations, from a wide variety of
backgrounds. Some here may not even be Christian, but find value in
Fleming and John or Vigilantes of Love or Steve Taylor and have come
here for information, or any other reason. Though you may be tempted
to impose your viewpoint on a given conversation, pause for a moment
before doing so. Does your conviction warrant intolerance to the
point of what could very easily be seen as arrogance, smugness or
obnoxiousness? Take some time to pray, to read your Bible and to just
generally meditate on something which concerns you if you feel
yourself kicking into knee-jerk. It is VERY easy to be misread or to
be far harsher or impatient than you would ordinarily be in day-to-
day life. You need not accept or agree with another's point of view,
but try to have respect for it. If you are Christian, remember your
witness. If you're not, please respect those who are.

4.3)  Regarding Foul/Offensive Language has no rule regarding such language.  You may,
however, want to check with your site.  There may be a policy your site
has against its use.

The following suggestions regarding this language are meant to make it
less likely that someone who does not want to read such language will not
just stumble upon it in r.m.c.  Please note these are only suggestions.

1.  If you use such language, put a warning at the beginning of your post
    to the effect that it contains language that may offend some.  This way
    anyone who wants to avoid it can avoid it.
2.  Avoid using this language in the subject header.
3.  Avoid using such language in general.  Is there a need to use it?
    What does it add to your post?

It should be understood that some topics would be quite difficult to
discuss without such language.  For example, discussion about the song "If
I Had A Rocket Launcher" by Bruce Cockburn.

4.4) Things To Remember Before Complaining: Manners, Moderation, Crossposts

If you see articles with offend you and you think shouldn't be here, calm
down a second. It may not even be indigenous to RMC.

First of all, examine the headers of the posts which you find
irksome. [The "header" would be the part containing lines like
"Newsgroups," "Subject," "Path," etc.] If you see several apparently
unrelated newsgroups in the header's Newsgroups: line, the article
has been -crossposted- and is one of many such like. The reasons for
this are many and varied; some attempt to "troll" [i.e. bait, make
you react on a kneejerk level] people into sparking a flamewar. While
the best trolls have been works of art, many just result in trash.
There is also a long-standing vendetta of a few of the denizens of
alt.rock-n-roll.metal.death against RMC.

You may feel that these people are invading your space; to their
perception, since they are reading the article not in RMC but in
whatever groups it turns up in, if you respond to the posts you may
be seen as invading *their* space, thus furthering the senseless and
unnecessary flow of traffic. If you MUST follow up to a widely
crossposted thread, please do us on RMC a favour and edit the string
"," out of your Newsgroups: line, and place
appropriate newsgroups to respond to in your Followup-To: line if you
have the means to do so. If you are posting from software that will
not allow you to do this, *do not respond to the thread.* And please
don't post telling us not to post to those threads; most people reading
RMC aren't reading or posting to those threads, and will only get annoyed.

Some posts are crossed to That's OK; that's a "vanity"
group which serves as a siphon for some of the bantersome chatter which 
takes place. 

We try to make an effort to keep conversation related to music on some 
level, but perodically it becomes necessary to talk about points of theology 
that aren't explicitly about song X, Y, or Z. Some things go too far into 
the unrelated level, yes; the problem is, there really isn't yet a place for 
a lot of these tangents to be freely discussed yet, and periodically a 
seemingly irrelevant thread can have a profound impact on the way one or 
many of us looks at an issue. There is a tightly-knit, though not exclusive,
fellowship within RMC, and this is one of its manifestations. We do try to
take it elsewhere if things get out of hand.

Many, MANY people have recommended that the group be moderated so
that things that they do not desire to see be kept out. While the
idea of automated moderation based on header content [filtering out
crossposts, obscenities in the headers, etc.] has been postulated to
at the very least put a cap on the number of "invasions" coming in,
human-based, full moderation either by an individual or a team has
been discussed and generally agreed upon to be a Bad Thing. It will
limit the spontaneity of conversation and impose at the very least
the ghost of an idea that if a specific "tack" on Christian music,
Christianity itself, etc. is not adhered to in some fashion, the
posts will not be allowed. One of the high points of RMC is having a
place where issues related to Christian music [on even the slenderest
of threads] can be discussed freely without limits of denomination,
creed variance or whatnot, without fear of censorship on some level
because a subject was 'too controversial' or something to that
effect. Moderation would destroy that.

[One should be aware, incidentally, that *any* changes on the order of
splitting, moderating, or otherwise altering the structure of RMC on
a technical/administrative level will require a request for
discussion (RFD) in news.groups, a call for votes (CFV) and voting
period, and subsequent control messages being issued by David
Lawrence to remove and replace it. This requires
a minimum three month period, not counting delays in the submission
of the proposal [there is heavy, heavy backlog] and any problems
during the RFD. Additionally, a minimum number of votes along with a
majority is required for the group to pass. Alteration of the
newsgroup on a technical level will be a major undertaking should it
come to be necessary, and cannot be easily/quickly handled.] 

A good guideline to follow, if you don't like a trend in threads or
conversation, is not to harp on the newsgroup about how you don't
like it, but rather to contribute your *own* material and attempt to
seed conversation in a direction which you would like to see. Quite
honestly, if you were to walk into someone else's home and see that
the family was having a conversation about a topic you didn't enjoy
or found offensive or whatever, would you tell them "I don't like
it!" and order them to change it? Doubtful. It's a little like that,
except for that it's not hard to become a part of the family (despite
horrible rumours to the contrary :) and chances are high that SOMEONE
will want to talk about the things you want to discuss as well.

If you have a question, or want to make your entry, it is highly
recommended that you a) take some time to read the newsgroup b) read
the various files that have been recommended to you here. Simply asking, 
"hey, are there any _______ fans out there?" isn't likely to contribute 
much to the conversation. Start out, if you can, by posting something *about* 
the topic you haven't seen being addressed. Be patient; if no one replies 
right away, it's not that you're being snubbed. Articles can take as long 
as several days to propagate to other systems, and sometimes replies get 
lost.  Remember, you're a complete stranger to us; all we've got is the 
impression of your words to go on.

4.5)  Common Net Abbreviations on

You may have seen the following abbreviations in posts on and wondered what they mean.  They of course may
appear in a different case (ie upper or lower).

        ACM     - "Alternative Christian Music"
        AFAIK   - "As Far As I Know"
        BTW     - "By the way"
        CBS     - "Christian Bookstore" (usually preceded by local)
        CCM     - "Christian Contemporary Music" or "Conteporary
                   Christian Music"
        IIRC    - "If I Recall Correctly"
        IMHO    - "In my humble opinion"
        IMO     - "In my opinion"
        r.m.c   - "" [also rmc, RMC]
        ROTFL   - "Rolling On The Floor Laughing"
        WRT     - "With respect to"

It's cool to make use of them, but overuse can reduce the readability.

4.6)  So and so is a satanist and other such rumors

The following is used as an example and in this case is an untrue rumor.
Most of the points brought up about the appropriateness of posting
something like this are valid even if it is true.

You heard that the president of Proctor and Gamble was a satanist and was
using his position to fund the Church of Satan.  As well you heard that
this was well documented on an episode of Donahue.  You want to post this
info to r.m.c to alert Christians worldwide of this evil and to help start
a boycott of Proctor and Gamble.

First of all, that is not true, and for that reason does not belong in
r.m.c.  Donahue says that no such episode was produced.  In fact, this may
be a rumor created to make Christians look like paranoid fools and
spreading such false rumors helps it achieve that goal.

Second, what does this have to do with Christian music?  r.m.c was created
solely for the discussion of Christian music as outlined in the charter,
and this doesn't even really fall within the accepted not-quite-on-topic

Third, you are making a broad assumption about the beliefs of everyone who
reads r.m.c. -- that assumption being that we are all Christians.  It may be
true for the most part, but one does not have to be a Christian to discuss
Christian music.

4.7)  Advertising and Commercials

The USENET, in general, is not intended for advertising of products for
sale. is no exception to this intention.

Generally, it is acceptable to post a list of used music (or other music
related products or memorabilia) that you bought for personal use but wish
to pass on (at a price) to someone who might get better enjoyment out of
its use. Please place "FS" (for sale) in the subject header so that people
who want to filter out such posts can do so easily.

Other forms of advertising that are considered acceptable are posts
informing users of Internet resources, ie web pages etc. -- again, however,
please do not post pointers to such resources more often than is reasonable.

In general, most other forms of advertising are frowned upon and should
therefore be avoided.  The more commercial sounding it is, the large
will be the negative response from r.m.c readers.

4.8) Killfiles

Not every post to RMC will be something you want to read. Instead of
complaining about it, you can take measures to filter out the things
which offend you. 

Take some time to familiarize yourself with the filtering features of
your newsreader, if you have one which will do such a thing. Netscape
Navigator and the commercial online services (e.g. AOL, Prodigy,
Compu$erve) will not allow you this; the rn family, tin, nn (all UNIX),
Agent (PC), NewsWatcher (Mac), MacSOUP (Mac), Gravity (Win95), knews
(X), and possibly others will. A FAQ on killfiles in rn is
available on news.answers; a miniFAQ on tin by the Right Reverend
Master Tweek is occasionally posted to alt.religion.scientology and
alt.usenet.kooks. If you are on a UNIX shell, the help files either
in the application or "man executablename" at the prompt should
provide more information; hopefully, such accompanies offline readers
as well, though I couldn't tell you how. For the few remaining VMS users,
you may well just need to get a telnet account with a UNIX shell....

Since killfiles are so different from newsreader to newsreader, and this
writer is a trn zealot, please don't write to me asking how to killfile
someone or something. It's also probably not a good idea to ask that same
question on rmc. However, you CAN visit, which 
has information aplenty regarding both newsreaders and their killfile 
operations. You might even find a better reader than the one you're using 
now! (Like trn! :)


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Last Update March 27 2014 @ 02:11 PM