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#2179736 - 11/09/13 06:46 PM Pianists, back pain, and remedy
music32 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/07/07
Posts: 1184
Loc: Berkeley, California
I had a frightening event 8 weeks ago, while seated at the piano,and it's been a climb back to normalcy with the help of a big 65cm stability ball. I thought I'd share.
http://arioso7.wordpress.com/2013/11/09/...ed-into-a-ball/
_________________________
Piano blog:
http://www.arioso7.wordpress.com

You Tube Channel
http://www.youtube.com/arioso7



NYC HS of Performing Arts
Oberlin Conservatory
NYU, M.A., Steinway M grand and upright
Haddorff console
MTAC Alameda

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#2179748 - 11/09/13 07:03 PM Re: Pianists, back pain, and remedy [Re: music32]
Louis Podesta Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/05/13
Posts: 679
As a physicians son, Mark C. where are you?: I take tremendous umbrage at this type of post.

There is not a pianist, who has ever lived, who has not had some problems with back pain/discomfort.

I, personally, have psoriatic arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, and chronic tendinitis in both heels. And, I daily use a regimen which I have specifically designed for ME! - and not anyone else.

There is no way in Hades that anyone watching this should even remotely attempt to adapt this to their own situation.

SHAME ON YOU!!!!

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#2179752 - 11/09/13 07:25 PM Re: Pianists, back pain, and remedy [Re: Louis Podesta]
beet31425 Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/12/09
Posts: 3729
Loc: Bay Area, CA
Originally Posted By: Louis Podesta
...I take tremendous umbrage at this type of post... SHAME ON YOU!!!!

I'm not sure what "type of post" Louis is referring to, and I'm not going to get into it with him.

I'll just say to the OP that, as someone who has suffered severely at the piano from injury (and still suffers, although it's managed now), I'm really sorry to hear what happened to you, I thank you for sharing your experience-- much of which is relevant to me-- and I wish you luck and grace as you find your way back to a stable normalcy.

-Jason
_________________________
Beethoven: op.109, 110, 111

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#2179794 - 11/09/13 09:14 PM Re: Pianists, back pain, and remedy [Re: Louis Podesta]
stores Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/09
Posts: 6646
Loc: Here, as opposed to there
Originally Posted By: Louis Podesta


There is not a pianist, who has ever lived, who has not had some problems with back pain/discomfort.



Have you some inside information the rest of us don't have? I've not ever had back pain, or discomfort from playing and know many others who can attest to the same.
_________________________

"And if we look at the works of J.S. Bach — a benevolent god to which all musicians should offer a prayer to defend themselves against mediocrity... -Debussy

"It's ok if you disagree with me. I can't force you to be right."

♪ ≠ $


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#2179799 - 11/09/13 09:20 PM Re: Pianists, back pain, and remedy [Re: stores]
Polyphonist Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/03/13
Posts: 7522
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: stores
Originally Posted By: Louis Podesta


There is not a pianist, who has ever lived, who has not had some problems with back pain/discomfort.



Have you some inside information the rest of us don't have? I've not ever had back pain, or discomfort from playing and know many others who can attest to the same.

I haven't either. I don't know what Mr. Podesta is talking about.
_________________________
Regards,

Polyphonist

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#2179825 - 11/09/13 09:53 PM Re: Pianists, back pain, and remedy [Re: music32]
Polyphonist Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/03/13
Posts: 7522
Loc: New York City
When are we going to get to hear you play the organ, AF?
_________________________
Regards,

Polyphonist

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#2179831 - 11/09/13 10:03 PM Re: Pianists, back pain, and remedy [Re: argerichfan]
stores Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/09
Posts: 6646
Loc: Here, as opposed to there
Originally Posted By: argerichfan

Why are people still taking this utter charlatan seriously?



Trust me... the fact that I replied to his post does not mean that I take him seriously... far from it, in fact.
_________________________

"And if we look at the works of J.S. Bach — a benevolent god to which all musicians should offer a prayer to defend themselves against mediocrity... -Debussy

"It's ok if you disagree with me. I can't force you to be right."

♪ ≠ $


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#2179902 - 11/10/13 12:29 AM Re: Pianists, back pain, and remedy [Re: stores]
BruceD Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 17851
Loc: Victoria, BC
Originally Posted By: stores
Originally Posted By: Louis Podesta


There is not a pianist, who has ever lived, who has not had some problems with back pain/discomfort.



Have you some inside information the rest of us don't have? I've not ever had back pain, or discomfort from playing and know many others who can attest to the same.


I guess that Mr. Podesta has just proven that I am not a pianist.
_________________________
BruceD
- - - - -
Estonia 190

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#2179905 - 11/10/13 12:40 AM Re: Pianists, back pain, and remedy [Re: BruceD]
Polyphonist Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/03/13
Posts: 7522
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: BruceD
Originally Posted By: stores
Originally Posted By: Louis Podesta


There is not a pianist, who has ever lived, who has not had some problems with back pain/discomfort.



Have you some inside information the rest of us don't have? I've not ever had back pain, or discomfort from playing and know many others who can attest to the same.


I guess that Mr. Podesta has just proven that I am not a pianist.

Yes. Obviously, all REAL pianists have back pain, Bruce.
_________________________
Regards,

Polyphonist

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#2179907 - 11/10/13 01:05 AM Re: Pianists, back pain, and remedy [Re: music32]
TwoSnowflakes Online   blank
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/15/12
Posts: 1061
Quote:
Yes. Obviously, all REAL pianists have back pain, Bruce.


But see, I have had a bout with terrible back pain these past two months. And given my mid-intermediate skill level, I'm less a pianist yet than I am "one who often plays the piano."

Hmm, I think the only logical conclusion we can reach from this exhaustive data set of my own personal experience is the following: if you have back pain you are not really a pianist.

Quod erat demonstrandum. wink
_________________________
Currently:
Bach, French Suites, No. 3 BWV 814
Brahms, Op. 118 No. 2 Intermezzo A major
Chopin, Mazurka Op. 67 No.4
With the pedal I love to meddle; When Paderewski comes this way... -Irving Berlin

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#2179939 - 11/10/13 05:58 AM Re: Pianists, back pain, and remedy [Re: music32]
drumour Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/08/05
Posts: 849
Loc: Scotland
Playing the piano is physically therapeutic for me.

John
_________________________
Vasa inania multum strepunt.

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#2179942 - 11/10/13 06:36 AM Re: Pianists, back pain, and remedy [Re: TwoSnowflakes]
stores Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/09
Posts: 6646
Loc: Here, as opposed to there
Originally Posted By: TwoSnowflakes
And given my mid-intermediate skill level, I'm less a pianist...


According to some here you're no less a pianist than Horowitz.
_________________________

"And if we look at the works of J.S. Bach — a benevolent god to which all musicians should offer a prayer to defend themselves against mediocrity... -Debussy

"It's ok if you disagree with me. I can't force you to be right."

♪ ≠ $


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#2180024 - 11/10/13 10:33 AM Re: Pianists, back pain, and remedy [Re: stores]
JoelW Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/12
Posts: 4762
Loc: USA
Originally Posted By: stores
Originally Posted By: TwoSnowflakes
And given my mid-intermediate skill level, I'm less a pianist...


According to some here you're no less a pianist artist than Horowitz.


Nice try though.

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#2180158 - 11/10/13 03:41 PM Re: Pianists, back pain, and remedy [Re: music32]
Auntie Lynn Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/07/04
Posts: 1105
Loc: San Francisco, CA
I play piano all day. I sit on a rolling office chair with a good little pillow and a regulated back. I sit with my knees crossed which takes the pressure off the lower back. Been doing this for 800 years and it works. I have never had back problems.

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#2180173 - 11/10/13 04:17 PM Re: Pianists, back pain, and remedy [Re: JoelW]
stores Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/09
Posts: 6646
Loc: Here, as opposed to there
Originally Posted By: JoelW
Originally Posted By: stores
Originally Posted By: TwoSnowflakes
And given my mid-intermediate skill level, I'm less a pianist...


According to some here you're no less a pianist artist than Horowitz.


Nice try though.


Artist Shmartist. Both pianists.
_________________________

"And if we look at the works of J.S. Bach — a benevolent god to which all musicians should offer a prayer to defend themselves against mediocrity... -Debussy

"It's ok if you disagree with me. I can't force you to be right."

♪ ≠ $


Top
#2180177 - 11/10/13 04:24 PM Re: Pianists, back pain, and remedy [Re: stores]
JoelW Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/12
Posts: 4762
Loc: USA
Originally Posted By: stores
Originally Posted By: JoelW
Originally Posted By: stores
Originally Posted By: TwoSnowflakes
And given my mid-intermediate skill level, I'm less a pianist...


According to some here you're no less a pianist artist than Horowitz.


Nice try though.


Artist Shmartist.


There's a distinction.

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#2180281 - 11/10/13 07:35 PM Re: Pianists, back pain, and remedy [Re: music32]
TwoSnowflakes Online   blank
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/15/12
Posts: 1061
If a comparison requires tortured semantics in order to make it, I think we can all agree it's probably not worth making. So let's not waste much time finding the ways in which I may or may not be comparable to Horowitz. Not that I wouldn't want it to be true in some way--in fact, I had a dream just this week in which I was in a large dining room filled with long worn wooden tables, and I saw Horowitz sitting there. The room was filled with people milling about, but he was by himself, ignored by everybody else in the room. He was simply sitting there in that characteristic way in which he sat, sort of domed over his lap. I sat down next to him and told him I was so glad to find him there. He turned and smiled kindly at me and when he turned back, he began to play on the table. "Listen," he said. I tilted my head and sure enough, the table was making music. He played and played and played, his old fingers drumming and gliding over this rough wood table, and music was coming out that apparently only he and I could hear because nobody was reacting. I felt like as long as I sat there, he would just play, and it's all I wanted to do.

Anyway, I don't know why I dreamt that. But it was a lovely dream.
_________________________
Currently:
Bach, French Suites, No. 3 BWV 814
Brahms, Op. 118 No. 2 Intermezzo A major
Chopin, Mazurka Op. 67 No.4
With the pedal I love to meddle; When Paderewski comes this way... -Irving Berlin

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#2180353 - 11/10/13 09:27 PM Re: Pianists, back pain, and remedy [Re: music32]
Jeff Clef Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/05/08
Posts: 4414
Loc: San Jose, CA
There are real threads about back pain (and other pains pianists can have) elsewhere on PW; a little time using the Search feature might bring them up--- and good luck with that.

Snowflake, you melted on me before I could get motivated to find out about your ball. If you're happy with it, good for you. If you're prescribing treatments for people with back pain, you're playing with fire.

Anyone who has aches and pains that don't yield to the ordinary first-aid measures--- rest, NSAIDs as the label directs (if you tolerate them), correct seated posture and bench height, and maybe ice packs or a heating pad for a few 15-minute sessions per day--- those people should be talking to their doc, for more real help with their pain. Bad advice can be very expensive, and one person's perfect exercise program can be another's ruin.

I liked your wood table with Horowitz, though, sort of. Very minimalist--- to the vanishing point. Do I take it that the rest of the people in the room who couldn't hear his masterworks, played on a plank, referred to the rest of us?
_________________________
Clef


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#2180356 - 11/10/13 09:30 PM Re: Pianists, back pain, and remedy [Re: JoelW]
stores Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/09
Posts: 6646
Loc: Here, as opposed to there
Originally Posted By: JoelW
Originally Posted By: stores
Originally Posted By: JoelW
Originally Posted By: stores
Originally Posted By: TwoSnowflakes
And given my mid-intermediate skill level, I'm less a pianist...


According to some here you're no less a pianist artist than Horowitz.


Nice try though.


Artist Shmartist.


There's a distinction.


Of course, there is, but you've made no distinction elsewhere.
_________________________

"And if we look at the works of J.S. Bach — a benevolent god to which all musicians should offer a prayer to defend themselves against mediocrity... -Debussy

"It's ok if you disagree with me. I can't force you to be right."

♪ ≠ $


Top
#2180360 - 11/10/13 09:37 PM Re: Pianists, back pain, and remedy [Re: Jeff Clef]
TwoSnowflakes Online   blank
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/15/12
Posts: 1061
Originally Posted By: Jeff Clef


I liked your wood table with Horowitz, though, sort of. Very minimalist--- to the vanishing point. Do I take it that the rest of the people in the room who couldn't hear his masterworks, played on a plank, referred to the rest of us?


Goodness, no. I'm sure if any of you had been there, you'd have heard it, too. The people in the background were not anybody specific.

I was afraid somebody would recognize him, too, and then I'd have to share, or something. Or maybe he would go home. I woke up before anything else happened.

And poof, he was gone.
_________________________
Currently:
Bach, French Suites, No. 3 BWV 814
Brahms, Op. 118 No. 2 Intermezzo A major
Chopin, Mazurka Op. 67 No.4
With the pedal I love to meddle; When Paderewski comes this way... -Irving Berlin

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#2180426 - 11/10/13 11:32 PM Re: Pianists, back pain, and remedy [Re: BruceD]
carey Online   content
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/13/05
Posts: 6227
Loc: Phoenix, Arizona
Originally Posted By: stores
Originally Posted By: Louis Podesta
There is not a pianist, who has ever lived, who has not had some problems with back pain/discomfort.
Have you some inside information the rest of us don't have? I've not ever had back pain, or discomfort from playing and know many others who can attest to the same.


The fact that you (or others you know) don't experience back pain from playing does not rule out the possibility that others might experience it (for whatever reason). The human body is very complex - and we're all different. It is probably more accurate to state that "some" pianists experience back pain/discomfort at one time or another in their lives. Those who don't are fortunate indeed. grin
_________________________
YouTube channel - http://www.youtube.com/user/pianophilo

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#2180463 - 11/11/13 02:22 AM Re: Pianists, back pain, and remedy [Re: Jeff Clef]
Louis Podesta Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/05/13
Posts: 679
Originally Posted By: Jeff Clef

Snowflake, you melted on me before I could get motivated to find out about your ball. If you're happy with it, good for you. If you're prescribing treatments for people with back pain, you're playing with fire.

Anyone who has aches and pains that don't yield to the ordinary first-aid measures--- rest, NSAIDs as the label directs (if you tolerate them), correct seated posture and bench height, and maybe ice packs or a heating pad for a few 15-minute sessions per day--- those people should be talking to their doc, for more real help with their pain. Bad advice can be very expensive, and one person's perfect exercise program can be another's ruin.


Amen, and then some, brother!

A play on the old patriot phrase is that you have but one "Back" to give for your country. Once you screw it up, it will never be the same.

So, the last thing any pianist here should be doing is to post a quasi-instructional video on back pain remediation.

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#2180475 - 11/11/13 04:10 AM Re: Pianists, back pain, and remedy [Re: carey]
stores Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/09
Posts: 6646
Loc: Here, as opposed to there
Originally Posted By: carey
Originally Posted By: stores
Originally Posted By: Louis Podesta
There is not a pianist, who has ever lived, who has not had some problems with back pain/discomfort.
Have you some inside information the rest of us don't have? I've not ever had back pain, or discomfort from playing and know many others who can attest to the same.


The fact that you (or others you know) don't experience back pain from playing does not rule out the possibility that others might experience it (for whatever reason). The human body is very complex - and we're all different. It is probably more accurate to state that "some" pianists experience back pain/discomfort at one time or another in their lives. Those who don't are fortunate indeed. grin


I, of course, realise this, carey. I think you may have missed my point.
_________________________

"And if we look at the works of J.S. Bach — a benevolent god to which all musicians should offer a prayer to defend themselves against mediocrity... -Debussy

"It's ok if you disagree with me. I can't force you to be right."

♪ ≠ $


Top
#2180518 - 11/11/13 08:43 AM Re: Pianists, back pain, and remedy [Re: Jeff Clef]
TwoSnowflakes Online   blank
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/15/12
Posts: 1061
Originally Posted By: Jeff Clef

Snowflake, you melted on me before I could get motivated to find out about your ball. If you're happy with it, good for you. If you're prescribing treatments for people with back pain, you're playing with fire.



I just wanted to quickly point out that I think you've got me confused with the original poster! I didn't give any back-related advice. I made a joke, and then shared my dream about Horowitz. Which means I added basically nothing to this thread, but still! smile

I do have a big yoga ball, but it's purple. And I don't use it nearly as often as I should, and have mostly advised people not to buy them because if you're not going to use it, it sure takes up an awful lot of space in your closet.

Either way, I shall take my ball and go home.
_________________________
Currently:
Bach, French Suites, No. 3 BWV 814
Brahms, Op. 118 No. 2 Intermezzo A major
Chopin, Mazurka Op. 67 No.4
With the pedal I love to meddle; When Paderewski comes this way... -Irving Berlin

Top
#2180545 - 11/11/13 09:47 AM Re: Pianists, back pain, and remedy [Re: music32]
Jeff Clef Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/05/08
Posts: 4414
Loc: San Jose, CA
My mistake--- it was a different person. I really beg your pardon, Snowflake.

Don't go home. I really did like your dream about Horowitz playing on a plank table. We don't see people who have that special touch with words here every day.

My dreams, you would never believe, and could not print.
_________________________
Clef


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#2180607 - 11/11/13 11:56 AM Re: Pianists, back pain, and remedy [Re: stores]
carey Online   content
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/13/05
Posts: 6227
Loc: Phoenix, Arizona
Originally Posted By: stores
Originally Posted By: carey
Originally Posted By: stores
Originally Posted By: Louis Podesta
There is not a pianist, who has ever lived, who has not had some problems with back pain/discomfort.
Have you some inside information the rest of us don't have? I've not ever had back pain, or discomfort from playing and know many others who can attest to the same.


The fact that you (or others you know) don't experience back pain from playing does not rule out the possibility that others might experience it (for whatever reason). The human body is very complex - and we're all different. It is probably more accurate to state that "some" pianists experience back pain/discomfort at one time or another in their lives. Those who don't are fortunate indeed. grin


I, of course, realise this, carey. I think you may have missed my point.


Perhaps I did...... smile
_________________________
YouTube channel - http://www.youtube.com/user/pianophilo

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#2180732 - 11/11/13 06:25 PM Re: Pianists, back pain, and remedy [Re: music32]
Louis Podesta Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/05/13
Posts: 679
Laguna Greg, who has the licensed credentials to do so, has not been heard from on this post. I can fairly safely surmise that he knows that there are a myriad of reasons associated with back pain, and, therefore, one size never fits all.

The point is that no one, other than a licensed professional, with experience in this area of physical medicine - MD, Osteopath, or Chiropractor, (who would never do so on a forum such as this) should post a video which other back pain sufferers might imitate, and possibly in the process might permanently injure themselves.

Jeez, guys, if she posted a video, showing a cure for cancer, would you cut her the same slack.

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#2180887 - 11/12/13 05:58 AM Re: Pianists, back pain, and remedy [Re: Louis Podesta]
patH Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/09/13
Posts: 552
Loc: Germany
Originally Posted By: Louis Podesta
Jeez, guys, if she posted a video, showing a cure for cancer, would you cut her the same slack.

She didn't. And she also didn't tell others to imitate her. In fact, in the title of her blog, she called it her PERSONAL rehab.

And on the other hand, even professionals don't know everything. My last piano teacher tried to fix my back problems with Dispokinesis. Didn't really work for me. I guess I have to live with the fact that if I play the piano for more than 40 minutes in a row, without moving from the piano, my back might start to hurt.

But it also depends on the music. Weber's "Invitation to the dance" and some pieces by Schubert make my back hurt much faster than some types of pop music.
I guess it's all in the mix.
_________________________
Everything is possible, and nothing is sure.
XXXI

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#2181087 - 11/12/13 01:38 PM Re: Pianists, back pain, and remedy [Re: patH]
Louis Podesta Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/05/13
Posts: 679
Originally Posted By: patH
Originally Posted By: Louis Podesta
Jeez, guys, if she posted a video, showing a cure for cancer, would you cut her the same slack.

She didn't. And she also didn't tell others to imitate her. In fact, in the title of her blog, she called it her PERSONAL rehab.

And on the other hand, even professionals don't know everything. My last piano teacher tried to fix my back problems with Dispokinesis. Didn't really work for me. I guess I have to live with the fact that if I play the piano for more than 40 minutes in a row, without moving from the piano, my back might start to hurt.

But it also depends on the music. Weber's "Invitation to the dance" and some pieces by Schubert make my back hurt much faster than some types of pop music.
I guess it's all in the mix.


For well over a hundred years, pianists sat in a chair, and not on a bench. That is what Frederic Chiu does, and also what he recommends for his students.

Give it a try, and if anyone gives you any grief about it, just mention the name of Radu Lupu and that will pretty much shut them up.

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#2181159 - 11/12/13 04:20 PM Re: Pianists, back pain, and remedy [Re: Louis Podesta]
patH Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/09/13
Posts: 552
Loc: Germany
Originally Posted By: Louis Podesta
For well over a hundred years, pianists sat in a chair, and not on a bench. That is what Frederic Chiu does, and also what he recommends for his students.

Give it a try, and if anyone gives you any grief about it, just mention the name of Radu Lupu and that will pretty much shut them up.

Maybe I will. If I find a chair comfortable enough.
_________________________
Everything is possible, and nothing is sure.
XXXI

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