Old 03-18-2009, 11:51 PM   #26
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It seems like the perception of "pruning" and trimming in this thread has gotten way out of hand. I'm sure if anyone saw where and what Mike was cutting, they wouldn't have a problem with it.

Nice avatar, Mike.
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Old 03-18-2009, 11:58 PM   #27
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Ok, put yourself in the Carriers shoes for a moment. Pruning and controlling vegetation is "harmless" right? Well, what if you get hurt while "cleaning up your shot" on company property? Guess what?, most people with their mentality want to sue the Carrier for neglegance! I stand firm on the no trespassing clause and I practice what I preach.
I live in Canada... we're not where the US is when it comes to suing for everything under the sun, yet. We've got the whole stupid "not responsibe for you own actions" thing going here, just not the volume lawyers.

I understand the arguements against pruning the RofW, but if there's someone on this site that can truely say they've NEVER strayed onto RR property to get a shot, well, a bell will ring and they'll get their wings. I stay out of yards, avoid stations, don't climb onto equipment, but I can't see the harm in doing what I do. Lots of folks do alot worse.

This is a circular arguement, so I will say no more 'cause I'm getting dizzy
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Old 03-19-2009, 12:00 AM   #28
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I understand the arguements against pruning the RofW, but if there's someone on this site that can truely say they've NEVER strayed onto RR property to get a shot, well, a bell will ring and they'll get their wings.
I bet they'll tell you they don't exceed the speed limit while chasing a train, either.
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Old 03-19-2009, 01:17 AM   #29
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I live in Canada... we're not where the US is when it comes to suing for everything under the sun, yet. We've got the whole stupid "not responsibe for you own actions" thing going here, just not the volume lawyers.

I understand the arguements against pruning the RofW, but if there's someone on this site that can truely say they've NEVER strayed onto RR property to get a shot, well, a bell will ring and they'll get their wings. I stay out of yards, avoid stations, don't climb onto equipment, but I can't see the harm in doing what I do. Lots of folks do alot worse.

This is a circular arguement, so I will say no more 'cause I'm getting dizzy
You watch too much television.... Like I said, I practice what I preach! Get the point??
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Old 03-19-2009, 01:38 AM   #30
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If someone picks wild flowers or berries on RR property, the same heavy handed thinking applies, right? After all, they are displaying total disregard to the RR's property, regardless of the fact the RR neither planted them or profits from their sale. When out fanning, I sometimes pee on property that I do not own because I'm in the middle of nowhere and don't feel like driving 20 or 30 minutes to a loo... I must be a real arrogant SOB
Why is it so hard for people to understand the concept of trespass? I ask the question again, would you like me coming onto YOUR property and cutting trees down, peeing on your front lawn or whatever? Why would you expect me to respect your property rights yet you would not respect the property rights of others? It doesn't matter what you do on RR property, I don't care if you remove rubbish and plant a shrubbery, you shouldn't be on private property period!
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Old 03-19-2009, 01:54 AM   #31
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Why is it so hard for people to understand the concept of trespass? I ask the question again, would you like me coming onto YOUR property and cutting trees down, peeing on your front lawn or whatever?
Bad analogy.
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Old 03-19-2009, 02:41 AM   #32
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Bad analogy.
Two word posts don't help the discussion. Might be a good idea to put into words, more than two, why, in your opinion, you think its a "bad analogy"

You might explain why its ok for you to trespass on RR property but its not ok for me to trespass on your property.
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Old 03-19-2009, 02:44 AM   #33
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Two word posts don't help the discussion. Might be a good idea to put into words, more than two, why, in your opinion, you think its a "bad analogy"

You might explain why its ok for you to trespass on RR property but its not ok for me to trespass on your property.
Are you honestly going to compare walking along a railroad ROW with pissing on someone's lawn?
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Old 03-19-2009, 03:16 AM   #34
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Are you honestly going to compare walking along a railroad ROW with pissing on someone's lawn?
For the sake of argument, let's do away with the pissing business and replace it with, say, someone hanging out on your property without your permission in the hopes of taking pictures of your wife (or girlfriend, or daughter, or hot cousin or whatever) whenever she walks out the door. After all, they just like taking pictures of pretty girls, whereas we like taking pictures of big honking pieces of machinery. What's the difference?

The point is, trespassing is either illegal (yes, sorry everybody, but it is) or it isn't, and it doesn't matter who is trespassing where. You can't be "trespassing just a little bit" any more than you can be "just a little bit pregnant".

Now, having said all that, the issue becomes one of how the property owner chooses to react to trespassing. If they so choose (and some will), it is perfectly within their rights to have you hauled off to the local clink. Some will, however, view you walking along the right of way as no bigger a deal than someone cutting across the corner of a yard instead of following the sidewalk and let it go. Ultimately, those who choose to trespass for the sake of getting the picture just have to accept the risk that the owner of the property on which they trespass may decide to pursue the former course rather than the latter. And, as a result, they have no grounds to complain if they are taken to task. It's no different than accepting the risk of getting pulled over and ticketed when you decide to do 70 in a 55 zone.

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Old 03-19-2009, 03:46 AM   #35
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For the sake of argument, let's do away with the pissing business and replace it with, say, someone hanging out on your property without your permission in the hopes of taking pictures of your wife (or girlfriend, or daughter, or hot cousin or whatever) whenever she walks out the door. After all, they just like taking pictures of pretty girls, whereas we like taking pictures of big honking pieces of machinery. What's the difference?

The point is, trespassing is either illegal (yes, sorry everybody, but it is) or it isn't, and it doesn't matter who is trespassing where. You can't be "trespassing just a little bit" any more than you can be "just a little bit pregnant".

Now, having said all that, the issue becomes one of how the property owner chooses to react to trespassing. If they so choose (and some will), it is perfectly within their rights to have you hauled off to the local clink. Some will, however, view you walking along the right of way as no bigger a deal than someone cutting across the corner of a yard instead of following the sidewalk and let it go. Ultimately, those who choose to trespass for the sake of getting the picture just have to accept the risk that the owner of the property on which they trespass may decide to pursue the former course rather than the latter. And, as a result, they have no grounds to complain if they are taken to task. It's no different than accepting the risk of getting pulled over and ticketed when you decide to do 70 in a 55 zone.

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As a father of 2 teenage daughters who are hell bent on giving their father a nervous breakdown, my 2 cents is that I am sure glad that all those tens of thousands of times I trespassed to get the shot way back in a previous life I wasn't met with the response I would give if someone were to be discovered taking pictures of my daughters! 'Cause I'd be one dead railfan; I dare anyone to come on over and start taking pictures of them!

So I guess you could say that I understand the railroad sentiment.

And let me say that I'm sooooooooo glad there is no way I can be charged with tomfoolery I did to get the shot 25 years ago, hoooo boy! Guilty as charged, as I KNOW a lot of the over 40 crowd are likewise.
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Old 03-19-2009, 03:46 AM   #36
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In checking something about all this I ran across this interesting passage in the Wiki entry for "trespass."

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It is usually illegal to arrest a trespasser and hold them on the property until law enforcement arrives as this defeats the purpose of allowing them to cure the trespass by leaving. A large exception to this rule are railroads in the United States and Canada, who employ their own police forces to enforce state or provincial trespassing laws. Railroad police have the ability to independently arrest and prosecute trespassers without the approval or assistance of local law enforcement. Further, in many jurisdictions, trespassing on railroad tracks is considered a very severe offense comparable to drunk driving, with severe fines imposed on the tresspassers. Some jurisdictions even going so far as to impose fines higher than that of a drunk driving or marijuana possession conviction.
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Old 03-19-2009, 03:52 AM   #37
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This paranioa regarding trespassing of any type is a product of a litiguous society. Period. Most refer to bygone times like the 1950's as the good old days, a time when setting foot on RR property was not akin to invading a soverign nation. This is a product of the sue everything society we have become, and as a whole, we are worse for it. Now we are trespassing if we are on a station platform without a ticket? I'm not referring to someone attempting to board for free, but someone photographing trains. Name one passenger station outside of a tourist operation that is not owned by the taxpayer, yet it's trespassing to be there without a ticket. This is a good thing, right?

I think there is a pretty big difference between cutting down a tree that nobody planted or wants beside the railroad tracks in the middle of nowhere and cutting one down on someone's front lawn. I understand you fail to grasp that difference, but it's a very wide gulf, indeed. It's shocking how anyone can get through life only seeing black and white, right and wrong.

Out of curiosity, how much would you fine someone picking wild flowers along the RofW? Or would a stint in prison be more fitting? How many years for taking a discarded spike home as a souvenier? I know I won't be taken alive for bringing a piece of coal home that I found at Sandpatch years ago, all under the watchful eye of the tower operator... who incedentally shared critial information on train movements to a pair of, oh my gosh, foreign nationals.

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Old 03-19-2009, 03:56 AM   #38
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In checking something about all this I ran across this interesting passage in the Wiki entry for "trespass."
And you think this is logical? This is worse than drunk driving? Lucky for me we don't have the death penalty anymore.

Ironically, I used to pal around with a RR cop.
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Old 03-19-2009, 04:03 AM   #39
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The same sort of swaggering belligerence applies to both actions. (Thinking you can invade a sovereign nation or chopping trees down on private property)
You could have very easily made your point without mentioning the American part, implying that all Americans think it's okay to invade another nation. Why not pick the Germans? Or the Japanese? Or Russia (which, if I'm not mistaken, has the most recent history of invading a sovereign nation)? But you went with America. You may say it wasn't an insult, but surely you jest.

And since you like analogies, a country can most certainly invade a sovereign nation in the same way I can kill another human being: self defense. I'll side with Jimmy T and say 'bad analogy' for comapring invading another nation with chopping down trees. Fail.
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Old 03-19-2009, 04:12 AM   #40
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And you think this is logical? This is worse than drunk driving? Lucky for me we don't have the death penalty anymore.
I expressed no personal opinion, merely conveyed a bit of text that I found interesting and surprising.
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Old 03-19-2009, 04:22 AM   #41
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I expressed no personal opinion, merely conveyed a bit of text that I found interesting and surprising.
Noted. I guess my friend that would railfan with a cooler of beer was hedging his bets
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Old 03-19-2009, 04:33 AM   #42
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This paranioa regarding trespassing of any type is a product of a litiguous society. Period. Most refer to bygone times like the 1950's as the good old days, a time when setting foot on RR property was not akin to invading a soverign nation. This is a product of the sue everything society we have become, and as a whole, we are worse for it. Now we are trespassing if we are on a station platform without a ticket? I'm not referring to someone attempting to board for free, but someone photographing trains. Name one passenger station outside of a tourist operation that is not owned by the taxpayer, yet it's trespassing to be there without a ticket. This is a good thing, right?

I think there is a pretty big difference between cutting down a tree that nobody planted or wants beside the railroad tracks in the middle of nowhere and cutting one down on someone's front lawn. I understand you fail to grasp that difference, but it's a very wide gulf, indeed. It's shocking how anyone can get through life only seeing black and white, right and wrong.

Out of curiosity, how much would you fine someone picking wild flowers along the RofW? Or would a stint in prison be more fitting? How many years for taking a discarded spike home as a souvenier? I know I won't be taken alive for bringing a piece of coal home that I found at Sandpatch years ago, all under the watchful eye of the tower operator... who incedentally shared critial information on train movements to a pair of, oh my gosh, foreign nationals.

I tried to walk on water once, but I sank. Maybe someone here could share their secret...
I think we have problems with two very different issues here. Paranoia is one. I agree with you wholeheartedly about how ridiculous this business of preventing people from taking photographs of trains from station platforms is! My biggest complaint about the post-9/11 world is that, in suddenly enacting all of this so-called "security" policy, we've accomplished the mission of the terrorists for them - the alteration of our lifestyle. I still think that instead of designing new buildings, the Twin Towers should have been reconstructed (re-engineered, perhaps, with the lessons of the collapse in mind, but rebuilt nonetheless). What better way to thumb your nose at the enemy?

The trespassing issue, however, is a bit different, because trespassing laws are not primarily about security or liability (though that certainly influences how people react these days) but about property rights. So cutting a tree down out in the middle of nowhere on railroad property isn't a big deal? Neither is tagging a boxcar sitting on a siding in the middle of nowhere with graffiti, right? I mean, neither one is damaging goods or injuring anyone? The difference between those acts and picking up a discarded spike or a piece of coal is precisely that - the last two are discarded objects, trash to the railroad. Trash is pretty much fair game - once you discard something, you have essentially relinquished your right to it. That's why paparazzi can root through a celebrity's garbage cans. A growing tree, on the other hand, absent a deliberate act or an act of nature, is a permanent part of the railroad's property (and wildflowers are a lot different than trees - they don't stick around for a hundred years!), and the decision of an individual not related to the railroad to remove it violates the right of the railroad to dispose of its property (including its land and resources) as it wishes. Why shouldn't their property rights be respected in that regard as much as anyone elses?

I'm not claiming to walk on water, and I'm not saying I've never trespassed on railroad property (or my neighbor's). I've picked up my share of spikes (and even a few date nails when they still existed), and I've walked along some ROW. I agree that not everything is perfectly black and white. But I'd also argue that cutting down a tree is a lot closer to going out and pulling a spike out of a tie on a piece of active rail than it is to picking up a discarded spike that's lying down at the edge of the ballast . . .

Just some musings on the philosophy of property rights.

Now, how do we get AMTRAK to rethink this idiotic policy about photography from station platforms?

Jon
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Old 03-19-2009, 07:17 AM   #43
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I think there is a pretty big difference between cutting down a tree that nobody planted or wants beside the railroad tracks in the middle of nowhere and cutting one down on someone's front lawn. I understand you fail to grasp that difference, but it's a very wide gulf, indeed. It's shocking how anyone can get through life only seeing black and white, right and wrong.
Well I don't see any difference and neither would a court of law, but forget the tree, in both cases you would be trespassing. It amazes me how some railfans think that because they are railfans it gives them a right to treat RR property as if it were their own.
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Old 03-19-2009, 07:27 AM   #44
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You could have very easily made your point without mentioning the American part, implying that all Americans think it's okay to invade another nation. Why not pick the Germans? Or the Japanese? Or Russia (which, if I'm not mistaken, has the most recent history of invading a sovereign nation)? But you went with America. You may say it wasn't an insult, but surely you jest.

And since you like analogies, a country can most certainly invade a sovereign nation in the same way I can kill another human being: self defense. I'll side with Jimmy T and say 'bad analogy' for comapring invading another nation with chopping down trees. Fail.
My analogy may have been a bit too nuanced for some but I stand by it. Clearly someone who trespasses on RR property and then hacks down a tree whilst trespassing thinks that the law doesn't apply to them. That is what belligerence is. I used an American example as the tree hacker's photo was clearly taken in the United States. Whilst my analogy might have seemed a bit extreme to some the actions are both born of an arrogant indifference to others and to the rule of law. Ending your post with the word "fail" is similarly arrogant and detracts from your post.

This thread is starting to repeat so let's get back to RR pictures.
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Old 03-19-2009, 09:06 AM   #45
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Mr. RFE:

You claim you don't trespass, but, within the first 15 shots in your profile, I've found numerous shots of you trespassing to shoot something. 25' from the railhead is the property line for a railroad, and, obviously you aren't 25 feet from the railhead in a few of these:

Image ©
PhotoID:
Photograph ©


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Photograph ©


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Everyone trespasses, get over it. I don't care if you're standing on the rails, or walking through a yard. People have done it, cannot prevent it, people will keep doing it. Look at almost all my shots that aren't at a train station, and it's probably trespassing. BIG DEAL.

Back to my rock....
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Old 03-19-2009, 09:09 AM   #46
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Ending your post with the word "fail" is similarly arrogant and detracts from your post.
Really? I think it's a finishing touch that Ween is known for, I find it comical. Obviously you don't pay much attention to the forums.
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Old 03-19-2009, 01:51 PM   #47
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Really? I think it's a finishing touch that Ween is known for, I find it comical. Obviously you don't pay much attention to the forums.
Like all humor, it gets stale with repeated use.
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Old 03-19-2009, 02:01 PM   #48
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Since we're already way off topic here, might as well go even further...

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25' from the railhead is the property line for a railroad
Simply not true, and I can't fathom how this myth began in the first place. R/W lines are measured from a centerline, not a railhead, but the centerline can vary (single track, multiple tracks, has there been a realignment...). The R/W width can vary greatly depending on what the original railroad purchased/leased, ground conditions, and whether subsequent purchases have been made over time. One project I'm working on now has a "typical" corridor width of 30' from centerline because the line traverses a fairly flat region; a recently-completed project has one segment of R/W that's so wide it encompasses a parallel city street but at a nearby location was sufficiently narrow that a small chunk of real estate had to be purchased on the inside of a realigned curve; yet another project I worked on recently required a 500'-wide corridor due to topography.

My point is: Railfans shouldn't presume "outside 25 feet and I'm safe" -- it's just not a valid assumption. Keep an eye out for fences, no trespassing signs or other clear demarcations of property boundaries -- and if you truly aren't sure, head on down to the county courthouse to check the tax maps.
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Old 03-19-2009, 02:32 PM   #49
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A growing tree, on the other hand, absent a deliberate act or an act of nature, is a permanent part of the railroad's property (and wildflowers are a lot different than trees - they don't stick around for a hundred years!), and the decision of an individual not related to the railroad to remove it violates the right of the railroad to dispose of its property (including its land and resources) as it wishes.
You realize we're (presumably) talking about the scrub (weeds, small trees, etc.) that grows along the side of the ROW, the ditch or adjoining property - the stuff the railroads typically spray with vegetation killer periodically or hit with big mower/cutter critters to knock back before it overgrows the ROW? They used to go a lot more "broad brush" with the chemicals "back in the day" before that all got scaled back which is why so many potentially good photo locations are "overgrown" now. Unless you shoot every shot you take from the berm of a public road however many feet back from the track center then you're probably trespassing on someone's property for the shot. How many hunters/fisherman/ATV'ers or other outdoor recreationists tresspass far more egregiously than the average railfan who may walk a couple dozen yards onto a property, take a picture and leave? Yes, I understand the legal/liability issues (which as someone else pointed out has really degraded our society as a whole) but what happened to simply using some common sense? Thank god most people can see the difference between cutting down brush in a ditch out in the "middle of nowhere" vs. some homeowner's prized ornamental in their front lawn. Even though it's legally possible to treat the two actions the same way it's very unlikely they will be. The day they are commonly treated the same will be the day I say 'to heck with this' and go back to only model railroading in my basement and mourn for the America that used to be... (and the paranoia/fear level is already bad enough these days)

Gee - I don't call the cops every time the neighborhood kids etc. walk across my law despite my property rights and insurance risks and I'm too young yet to sit out on the front porch and yell "get off my lawn!"
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Old 03-19-2009, 04:20 PM   #50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheRoadForeman View Post
I should say that most people that efrequent this forum are not railroaders, so, they would not fully understand their doings. Do this with our company= free ride downtown! We protect our assests! As trivial as this discussion has turned out to be, this is true with most non-Class 1's. Insurance premiums are high and lawsuits are a big problem.
Well, when I see a small tree laying across the RoW from now on I'll just let it be and set up on public property for the shot of a train a) run it over or b) stop and have the crew remove it (wasting yet another 15 minutes if not more). What if one of the trees or branches someone takes down was actually rotted halfway through and would have fallen onto the RoW if they hadn't and made sure it fell away from the rails.

Better yet, I won't pull over at the entrance (not blocking) a maintainers road to flag an unprotected crossing that is notorious for "gate runners".

Or, I won't move the fairly large trashbag some low-life dumped in the middle of the gauge that makes the railroad look like a dump rather than a business or that could cause a derailment if pushed against the railhead.

I can keep going but I don't think it will change your mind and you'd still rather haul someone away rather than thanking them for actually caring about the well-being of the crew, etc. I'm just glad you don't work here.

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Last edited by Andrew Blaszczyk (2); 03-19-2009 at 04:22 PM.
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