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Laws across USA

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Robert soley

Do building designs have to be approved by an architect any place in the USA for any scales of buildings(skyscraper, house, ect.)?

 
Dec 8, 15 1:29 am
drums please, Fab?

Yes a licensed architect is required to approve all built work in all 50 states plus anything built in Puerto Rico and Guam.  Any other questions?

Dec 8, 15 1:37 am  · 
 ·  1
dallasarchitect

Not true

Jul 29, 21 2:04 am  · 
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Robert soley

No. Thanks!

Dec 8, 15 2:09 am  · 
 · 

WRONG! 

That's an overstatement, FRaC.

Some projects in most of the states do not legally require an architect to prepare. They are exempt buildings/projects. The drawings, specifications and other documents maybe prepared by other design professionals. Sometimes, there maybe certain documents, drawings, and/or specifications that may need to prepared by certain licensed design professionals qualified by knowledge and experience.

Dec 8, 15 2:13 am  · 
 · 
archiwutm8

Richard - "Prepared" and "Approved" are two different things.

Dec 8, 15 4:14 am  · 
 · 
Richard, you also gravely overstated. The vast majority of buildings do need an architect, with the only exception in most states being single family housing or pole barn/ prefabricated type agricultural type buildings (which still usually need an engineer).

Richard, I've been refraining from chiming in on this but the misinformation you spread is a disservice not only to this board, but to yourself. This pretending to be a "building designer/architect wannabe" is getting to the point where I want to report you to a state board. It's downright unethical.
Dec 8, 15 4:29 am  · 
 · 

Back to the OP, each state and in many cases each local jurisdiction will have very specific limits, in Illinois unincorporated areas of the state that are not within a city have different rules than within a city and cities and counties can pass ordinances allowing or forbidding the design of a building without an architect's approval.  In Illinois residential structures under 3 stories and under a specific size and within setbacks from adjacent structures don't need an architect's stamp but may be subject to additional building inspections during construction. But each town city or county can enact ordinances requiring a licensed professional and many have done this. This licencing is not limited to Architecture, in many cities interior designers and landscape architects also need some type of professional licence. In Chicago Tents over a specific size need a licensed engineer or architect to stamp the drawings. No simple answer but the city or county website where you are thinking of working should have some info, also call the local building officials if you have doubts they are more than happy to help you comply with the law it makes their job a little easier than writing citations after the fact.

 

this is a good question to ask

Over and OUT

Peter N

Dec 8, 15 9:06 am  · 
 · 
drums please, Fab?

Another good question to ask: when should one start a new paragraph?

Under and IN

FRa C

Dec 8, 15 9:43 am  · 
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poop876

No, a plans examiner approves drawings for building permits. Plans examiner does not have to be an architect, can be an engineer as well. CBO, playing the political games, can over rule plans examiners approval, but legally should not as he doesn't have the technical knowledge to do so. 

Dec 8, 15 10:09 am  · 
 · 
x-jla

In most states sfr and small commercial does not require an architect.  In TX I believe only buildings over 30,000 sf require a stamp.  In my state all residential is exempt.  Some states like Ny and CA require an arch for just about everything.  It seems that "blue" states are stricter. Each state varies.  I have yet to see any data that proves that stricter states are safer.   

Dec 8, 15 10:20 am  · 
 · 
drums please, Fab?

poop i resent your micro-aggressive hate speech.  'He'?  Really?  You are perpetuating the rampant institutionalized sexism that has infested our profession for far too long!

Dec 8, 15 10:22 am  · 
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curtkram

frac, shouldn't you be fighting a war on christmas or something?  i heard starbucks has a red cup.  you can't allow those liberal hippies to get away with that!

Dec 8, 15 10:27 am  · 
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poop876

Piss off! Fact is I don't know a single CBO that is female. My fault? 

Dec 8, 15 10:51 am  · 
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Josh,

I said exactly what 47 or 48 states out of 50 says in the law. 47 or 48 states have exemptions in the licensing law. That is EXACTLY fact. There is no if, and or buts. It is the law as it is written.

Next time, READ what I said: 

"Some projects in most of the states do not legally require an architect to prepare."

It's not an overstatement because 47-48 or 49 out of 50 states, the laws of those state agree with what I said. Those laws are exactly what it says.

Any local jurisdiction may or may not require certain drawings to be prepared by a licensed design professional. Most of the time, it is an engineering scenario. What a local building official will accept varies yet most of the time, it is simply about professional quality building plans that meets or exceeds the life, health, safety, welfare and sanitation standards that have been adopted.

Dec 8, 15 2:00 pm  · 
 · 

jla-x,

Well.... California allows residential building of wood frame construction but under two or three stories. I don't recall exactly the number of stories but easily researched from the laws of that state which is PUBLICALLY available to read from the internet as with just about every state.

Ultimately, as citizens, practitioners, etc. we are required to comply with all applicable laws of every level of government at the same time. 

What does that mean? In this context of is an architect required to prepare plans for a project.

Federal laws in general do not say anything. They may require a licensed architect or engineer to prepare the plans if they are providing money to finance the project. Otherwise, they are not required under codified law as the federal government does not have architectural licensing boards in charge of all federal jurisdictions.

Each State has architectural and engineering licensing laws. Most states have statutory exemptions for some project/building types. Sometimes, they have a size rule, number of stories, type of construction, etc. Each state has their own rules on that. Yet, MOST of the states and that is far more than 25 states that have exemptions for some types of projects. Mostly residential (SFRs and sometimes MFRs up to a certain number of dwelling units). Sometime, light commercial. 

Within each state, the counties/parishes and municipalities may adopt additional rules regarding whether or not they accept plans only by an architect/engineer. Even then, the local governments will typically have two sets of laws ---- their codified law and their agency/department codified regulations and then beneath that... they have operating policies.

Even then, the building codes often authorizes the building official to require certain drawings or specifications to be prepared by a licensed/registered design professional. Virtually all the time in the building codes, it is an engineering matter and would be prepared by an engineer. 

Dec 8, 15 2:19 pm  · 
 · 
null pointer

Richard MF Balkins, where the fuck is your sabbatical?

Dec 8, 15 2:22 pm  · 
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poop876

Does the same apply for designing decks? You have 'designed' one deck and that is all you have in your portfolio. Come back and preach when you actually got hired to do anything besides that! 

Dec 8, 15 2:24 pm  · 
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poop876

I was all happy that he finally left, but nope! Fuck this shit!

Dec 8, 15 2:25 pm  · 
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JeromeS

Each State has architectural and engineering licensing laws. Most states have statutory exemptions for some project/building types. Sometimes, they have a size rule, number of stories, type of construction, etc. Each state has their own rules on that. Yet, MOST of the states and that is far more than 25 states that have exemptions for some types of projects. Mostly residential (SFRs and sometimes MFRs up to a certain number of dwelling units). Sometime, light commercial. 

 

You continue repeat this, as if this legitimizes your role as "building designer".  If you want to be taken seriously, you need to change your tack.  This has been explained to you...

Don't you have an app you should be working on?

Dec 8, 15 2:30 pm  · 
 · 
chigurh

Balkins thread destroyer - the fucking terminator! 

Dec 8, 15 2:35 pm  · 
 · 
no_form
Rick "cntrl c cntrl v" Balkins. Get a job.

Chigurh nicely played with the terminator.
Dec 8, 15 2:45 pm  · 
 · 

JeromeS,

READ THE LAWS. 

Dec 8, 15 2:52 pm  · 
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JeromeS

I don't need to read the laws on exempt buildings.  I am an ARCHITECT.

Dec 8, 15 2:56 pm  · 
 · 

JeromeS,

Yeah, you do because it is part of the architectural licensing laws. That means you don't know the laws of your state that governs the architectural licensing laws which includes the exemptions or exceptions. Since you claim you don't feel the need to know it, I guess you claim you don't need that license. 

For the sake of the public health, safety and welfare, I am requesting you to voluntarily surrender your architect license to the architect licensing board(s) where you are licensed.

You say you are an architect, what's your name, state of licensure and license # for verification with the state licensing board.

Dec 8, 15 3:24 pm  · 
 · 
no_form
Balkins, you poor fool. He doesn't need to even acknowledge you.
Dec 8, 15 3:33 pm  · 
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poop876

You should have been a blowjob Balkins!

Dec 8, 15 3:38 pm  · 
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JeromeS

Why?  You gonna file a complaint against me?

If you have the time to document the exempt building statutes of the 50 states - You have the time to go thru the online license verification for all 50 states.  You'll be able to find me...

Dec 8, 15 3:46 pm  · 
 · 

Citizens arrest!

Dec 8, 15 3:51 pm  · 
 · 
chigurh

everything balkins writes - I imagine in the voice of professor frick:

Dec 8, 15 4:00 pm  · 
 · 
Flatfish

Richard Balkins I am keeping copies of all your posts.  Consider carefully everything that you write, as I will be distributing applicable sections to interested parties.  So far I've got folders full of gems specially selected for: University of Oregon administration (pertaining to plagiarism); AIBD (pertaining to flagrant disregard of the code of conduct); NCARB (pertaining to willful misrepresentation of your academic record and experience); your parents (the posts in which you state that you do not want to have any income, lest they expect you to contribute to household expenses); OBAE (the post in which you vow to practice architecture without a license).  Keep going...

Dec 8, 15 5:00 pm  · 
 · 

5839,

*yawn*

Get a life. 

Dec 8, 15 6:45 pm  · 
 · 
poop876

Get a life? Are you kidding me? 98% of peeps on here would agree that if anybody should get a life, it should be you Dick! Actually 98% already told you that!

Dec 8, 15 6:54 pm  · 
 · 

So. Does 5839 need to become a no life loser?

Dec 8, 15 7:12 pm  · 
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tduds

It's so important to know the difference between buildings I can design and buildings I can design that other people can also design that I should lose my license for not memorizing the difference in every jurisdiction.

This thread was answered by the 5th post. Shut it down.

Dec 8, 15 7:24 pm  · 
 · 

tduds,

Okay. It was answered by the fifth post. 

Archiwutm,

Yes, I agree with you that there is a difference in meaning between the words 'prepared' and 'approved' but in reality approval isn't by architects. It is by certified building officials and their plan reviewer. 

Given that FRaC's terminology and intent was to say that they are approved by architects is wrong. A plan reviewer may or may not be a licensed architect. A building official may or may not be an architect.

In all of my past projects, there are no architects involved. For the most part, seldom is any project prepared by unlicensed design professionals that are "exempt buildings/projects" has an architect involved. They may have an engineer involved every so often but an architect is not required for any form of approval. 

If there is an architect involved, it would just happen to be that the building official or plan reviewer happened to be an architect. It isn't a case where a building official/plan reviewer has to be an architect. 

If I wanted to be a plan reviewer, I could be. 

Dec 8, 15 10:40 pm  · 
 · 

poop876

Does the same apply for designing decks? You have 'designed' one deck and that is all you have in your portfolio. Come back and preach when you actually got hired to do anything besides that! 

 

Well pal, 

I have. I have done plans for interior remodels, additions, renovations of residential structures. I have done interior remodeling and space planning for small commercial buildings. 

In addition, I have designed more than one deck. A recent project is an accessibility remodeling of a residential structure that is a VA funded project that has to meet VA standards. It isn't just decks.

Dec 8, 15 10:46 pm  · 
 · 
poop876

Show us or it didn't happen!

Dec 8, 15 11:25 pm  · 
 · 

Come to Astoria, Oregon.

I'll show you. Otherwise, tough shit.

Dec 8, 15 11:36 pm  · 
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You can see all of Richard's work right here

Dec 9, 15 12:10 am  · 
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Miles,

I haven't displayed anything there because I haven't gone through the work of formatting the work for website usage. 

Dec 9, 15 1:19 am  · 
 · 
no_form
Some kids used to say they wanted to be an astronaut when they grew up.

When Balkins was a kid he used to just say he already was one.
Dec 9, 15 3:47 am  · 
 · 

Rick, bullshit. You toss around titles like they mean something but your actual portfolio is an empty page.

If you did any real work you wouldn't have time to write the hundreds of thousands of words of nonsense that you've written on this forum, and doG knows how much on how many others. Just imagine what you could have done with all that time and energy. Maybe even something that amounted to more than your being loathed here.

For the 27th time, you have a problem and need to get some help. You're not going to find any more than this here.

Dec 9, 15 9:08 am  · 
 · 
JeromeS

...and Miles used to take up for you!

Dec 9, 15 10:37 am  · 
 · 
Non Sequitur

Balkins, your site has been empty since you starting vomiting on this forum.

Dec 9, 15 10:44 am  · 
 · 
kjdt

Rick cut the bullshit and be honest: your building designer business is almost 10 years old - in how many of those years have you grossed even $5000 from building design projects?  In how many of those years have you had more than 2 projects?

You've been talking for months now about a VA-funded residential accessibility project: VA funding for accessibility alterations to existing homes tops out at less than $7000 for the whole project - so what's your fee on that? What's the scope of the project? What else are you currently working on?

Your posts pose credibility problems because you simultaneously claim persistent poverty while also insisting you have years of extensive experience. There are three possibilities: 

1. You're greatly exaggerating or lying outright about your experience.  I find this the most plausible of the possibilities. 

2. You have all the experience you claim, but you're hiding income from the IRS, student loan providers, and academic institutions.  Remember, you've posted repeatedly that your loans are eligible for full deferment because your income is below poverty level.

3. You have the 9+ years of extensive experience you claim, but you've worked for 9+ years for free or for virtually nothing. That would be incredibly stupid, and undermine all credibility regarding your thousands of posts on business topics and fees.

Which is it?  NCARB and AIBD both require that you accurately represent your professional experience.  If you're not willing to do that here you shouldn't be posting.
 

Dec 9, 15 11:20 am  · 
 · 
no_form
Balkins seek mental health help. Your OCD and depression is preventing you from having a life and career. Get Obama care and find help. It's clearly the underlying cause for you not moving out and growing up like every other adult around you.

It's only a matter of time before someone files a formal complaint with NCARB and AIBD.
Dec 9, 15 11:43 am  · 
 · 
Aluminate

I recall this same discussion on the old AREforum, with Balkins claiming to have worked on numerous projects - even that he'd designed more than one new home that had been completed - but eventually the glaring inconsistencies in his claims became unsustainable and he admitted to having lied about the new homes.  He stated that other forum members' pressuring questions had "forced" him into those lies.

He also admitted that in tabulating how many "real-life projects" he'd ever worked on he was counting, among other things:  being paid $25 to "consult" on an old double-hung window that wouldn't open, and to pull out the offending nail; building a deck as part of a weekend team project for academic credit (this may be the deck he's still talking about on this forum now); other short-term workshop-type group projects as part of a community college historic preservation curriculum; being paid by an architecture firm for a few hours of work to locate existing facilities drawings at his community college while he was a student; and doing CAD drawings and a rudimentary sketchup model for a garage workshop addition - that was an unbuilt project that was invented specifically for him by a college administrator in order to satisfy his co-op requirement for a CAD certificate. 

Take all Richard's statements regarding his professional qualifications with more than a few grains of salt.

Dec 9, 15 12:17 pm  · 
 · 
poop876

"I have. I have done plans for interior remodels, additions, renovations of residential structures. I have done interior remodeling and space planning for small commercial buildings. "

What a conincidence, I have done the same things....all last week!

Balkins,

you have no idea how small the architecture and construction field is and putting your name out like you do right now will make you wish that you never used your mothers dial up connection. 

Dec 9, 15 12:32 pm  · 
 · 

Aluminate,

I never tabulated or given a full list. Add to that, you got things all mixed up. What I tell you morons and what tell NCARB/AIBD are two different things. I tell them the facts of projects if they ask for it. You guys, I'll bullshit with because you guys hide behind anonymity and are not real people until you disclose your identity. I don't publically disclose my client's identity. My project files have their identity. I don't publish client projects or content from client project files online.

kjdt wrote:

Rick cut the bullshit and be honest: your building designer business is almost 10 years old - in how many of those years have you grossed even $5000 from building design projects?  In how many of those years have you had more than 2 projects?

You've been talking for months now about a VA-funded residential accessibility project: VA funding for accessibility alterations to existing homes tops out at less than $7000 for the whole project - so what's your fee on that? What's the scope of the project? What else are you currently working on?

Your posts pose credibility problems because you simultaneously claim persistent poverty while also insisting you have years of extensive experience. There are three possibilities: 

1. You're greatly exaggerating or lying outright about your experience.  I find this the most plausible of the possibilities. 

2. You have all the experience you claim, but you're hiding income from the IRS, student loan providers, and academic institutions.  Remember, you've posted repeatedly that your loans are eligible for full deferment because your income is below poverty level.

3. You have the 9+ years of extensive experience you claim, but you've worked for 9+ years for free or for virtually nothing. That would be incredibly stupid, and undermine all credibility regarding your thousands of posts on business topics and fees.

Which is it?  NCARB and AIBD both require that you accurately represent your professional experience.  If you're not willing to do that here you shouldn't be posting.

During the recession, which began ~2008 and continued well into 2014 in my locale, projects have been very limited. In 2011-2014 (I was also in Eugene for a period of time.)

Relocating there wouldn't work very well because A) there is all these freebie students from the Architecture school as well as the architect. Bottom line: Eugene, Oregon is over saturated.

In Astoria, Oregon, it is a small town and the County population is small. The demand is limited because the area is not in a population growth cycle in any major form. 

The hot spots for projects are in areas where land and property is cheap, not highly regulated because the general rule is that places where there is a lot of regulation tends to have a higher cost of living and so forth. Not attractive to the millions of people who lost a lot of money, equity, and so forth in the recession. 

With lackluster years, I didn't have a lot of projects from clients because there isn't demand.

When it comes to new construction, there has been little demand for that in Astoria, Oregon as Astoria is not about new construction. Over 50% of the buildings were built pre-1950. ~75% of the  buildings in Astoria, Oregon is built prior to 1965. Maybe, maybe 15-20% of the buildings are built between 1965 and 1985. 

I would say that nearly 45% of all the buildings in Astoria area were built prior to Pearl Harbor. ~75% of the commercial downtown buildings are built prior to 1942. 

From a business perspective, I am not likely to have much new construction demand whatsoever when there is more historic buildings per capita (ie. buildings in Astoria, Oregon city limits) than San Francisco.

This town is practically a historic museum. It's regulations discourages new construction and tends to make new construction expensive and to those who want new construction.... the extensive level of bureaucracy is unattractive. 

My business has been pretty much a local business serving local clients, directly. My clients are typically the home owners. 

Fees are often lackluster when the glass ceiling is so low when I have to compete with builders who charges nothing for design. They make up the cost somewhere else but they do it as design-build. 

I haven't picked up the construction contractor license to play this 'design-build' game. 

To be honest, people don't want "architects" as they are viewed as expensive and with disdain. When someone wants a simple and modest abode, architects wants to make the modest abode into some kind of Taj Mahal. 

(pause)

Dec 9, 15 3:26 pm  · 
 · 

Mediocrity is what people who live on modest average income is willing to pay. Architects wouldn't serve these clients. Those clients where money is no concern, they are probably not going to have an architect because the cost of one isn't a concern and people are not as familiar with the term 'building designer' as they are the term 'Architect'. When they look for someone to design a house, what term do you think they would look up? "Architect" or "Building Designer" ? 

It's not bullshit and statistical search studies have been done over search queries and certain words are going to be used more than others because of vocabulary familiarity.

We know these terms but the average non-architecture John Q. Public are not familiar with these terminologies.

I'm not answer which of the three it is options. In a market where my competitors are charging $1 per sq.ft. or less on a project, it can be very difficult to ask more when your other local competitors are charging those prices. 

There's a building designer in town that charges around that amount with 30+ years experience. As he is approaching retirement, I would argue that may change and allow for some price ceiling improvement. 

Even if I had worked for an architecture firm for 5 or 10 years is going to make much difference. You have a building designer with 30 years experience. How can I get a client willing to pay twice that like 3% of construction cost (let alone 5-10% of construction cost) when the person when someone with considerable experience and quite capable is charging around $1.00 to $1.50 per sq.ft. 

When the builders charge around the same amount, the price ceiling is going to be very difficult to compete against especially in a recession. 

Now, that's what single family residential market is like. There has been a price race to the bottom that I can't really charge too far outside the mode of the statistical values. 

Some suggestions like: Provide something to the client that the others aren't?

That doesn't really work in practice. What am I going to provide that my competitors don't provide that the client wants? 

There isn't anything the client wants that requires a unique special knowledge or skill that no one else provides. If no one else provides it, its indicative that no one has a demand for it. No demand means no money because people aren't going to spend money on something they don't want.

You don't have any negotiation leverage beyond your charisma which I am not exactly the most charismatic person.

Don't get me wrong, I am not explicitly blaming the other building designer for keeping the price ceiling down. It isn't necessarily his fault. Therefore, don't interpret it that much. It's an environment of competition. 

In a custom design market, it has to be local. You have to be local to your clientele. Especially with residential (SFR) clients. You meet in person. You talk to them in face to face meetings. I know I am telling you what you already know or should know. If I was doing stock plans, I can just work on them and work on them and sell them like selling books or software. It then is a commodity vs. a service. Then it isn't necessary to be local.

Honestly, I have reservation about. I spent 10 years of my life in this that I am not going to spend the next 50 years of my life doing door and window details because you guys aren't going to provide opportunity for me to do more than that.

I rather leave architecture field than spend the next 50 years of my life in a soul-less drafting position where I have no involvement in the creative design process which you guys will hand to fresh out of college interns over me even if I spend 50 years of working for you, you guys would keep handing the creative work to these architecture school students. Just because they went to a gloried art school. Woopie f---ing do. You don't have to go to art school to be a good creative artist. Cut the bullshit, that's what they are for the most part. 

That's why I don't bother applying because its a dead end job with no progression. 

Hypothetical scenario, I apply and get a job working for an architecture firm in the next 3 months. 20-30 years later, I would be still doing the same thing because architecture firms will not provide progression avenues for anyone unless they have an NAAB accredited degree. This has been the story for most without an NAAB accredited architecture degree or BA/BS in Architecture degree. I would probably be that CAD Technician drone that would be that same role 30 years later and I have to listen to some bullshit stupid idea from some arrogant kid that I have been doing this for longer than they have been alive. You think I am going to put up with that kind of bullshit. F--- you.

To me, I have had more rewarding work than the kind of crap work that I would be stuck with doing for my entire career working for an architecture firm. The ASOC project alone is more rewarding to me than 50 years of full-time employment as CAD technician. Hell, any one of the projects have been more rewarding (I'm not talking about money.... I am talking about the work itself) It's a dead end position. I rather work on things that I would have passion to work on than being paid a crappy pay for my entire damn career doing work that has no creative involvement. 

I would rather go back into software development than that. In 5-10 years of new work in the portfolio, I could probably be earning $100,000 to $150,000 a year (or more) if I took a job at any of the major software companies as a Project Director of some kind.

At least I would be involved in more creative endeavors than a mindless drone of a job position that is also dead end job with no progression opportunities.

1-2 years of crappy work.... is about the limit to what I will be barely able to put up with. Beyond that, I'll leave that firm and go back on my own. If I am going to have that type of shit work, I'm going to still continue my own building design practice in some form or something creative so I don't lose my friggin' mind doing crappy things like door and window details all day, every day. 

In any real project I worked on, there is a lot more to it than that. 

Dec 9, 15 3:27 pm  · 
 · 

^^+^ Translation: I haven't done jack shit.

Dec 9, 15 3:33 pm  · 
 · 

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