24 posts from May 2007

As You Wish

My name is Sizzle and I have a confession. . .

I have never guest blogged before. My blog brother Kevin has totally initiated me into some cool club. Isn't that what big brothers are for though? (Thanks Kev! We miss you! Hope you are having fun in Vegas!)

This is a nice change of scenery, honestly, because if you aren't a regular reader of Sizzle Says then you are clueless to the fact that I have been monumentally obsessed with my own neurosis- more so than usual lately and THAT is saying something- and frankly, let's just pretend I didn't mention that and carry on, shall we? Let's just believe that I am a totally together chick with cool hair. Sweet.

Over the weekend I watched When Harry Met Sally for the 1,098th time and also caught part of Say Anything. I found myself getting all sappy over the scene where Harry runs to the New Year's Eve party to tell Sally that he loves her ("because when you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible") and that scene where Diane is restlessly tossing and turning on the bed when she hears Lloyd playing "In Your Eyes" on the boom box, his arms outstretched, his heart on his sleeve ("in your eyes, the light the heat, in your eyes I am complete...").

I started to wonder what film character I would most want to woo me. Am I a Lloyd Dobler kind of girl or a Harry Burns babe? Or maybe I'd like a throw back to the days of Rhett Butler or Rick Blaine? It's no secret that I'm a sucker for a fella in a hat who knows how to handle a dame.

I think my choice might change with my mood but today I'm casting my woo vote for Westley in The Princess Bride. I could definitely be wooed by a man who can best a giant, navigate us safely through the fire swamp, put fear into the evil Prince Humperdinck and who always dashingly comes to my rescue. "Death cannot stop true love. All it can do is delay it for a while."

Tell me, who would be your woo-er of choice ladies? And for the gents in the audience, what leading leading lady would get your attention?

Men In Thongs!

Now that I have your attention, welcome to Kapgar's Guest Post Extravaganza starring none other than myself, Sizzle, Dustin, Karl, Sandra and Dave!  When I had originally heard that I was going to be the first one to guest post, I immediately got all excited.  "Wow", I thought, "this will be just like being the lead-in for a comedy tour or something swank like that!".  Needless to say, after some time passed (about five minutes), I realized what being first really means.  Yeah, now all the pressure is on me to set the tone as well as to have a kick-ass post that keeps people coming back and wanting more.  Le sigh, indeed!

Anyway, hi my name is Hilly!  I'd actually had an idea for my own blog last week but failed to post it for some odd reason or another (like it going in one brain cell and out of the other).  Thankfully, I thought of it just as I was about to give up hope of doing my friend Kevin any justice.  And I think it's apropos of everything considering that Kevin is a blogger and has a ding-a-ling to boot!

Yes, I did just talk about Kevvy Kev's "ding-a-ling"...it's not that unexpected, is it?

Anyway, let's talk about "The Boys of Blogging".  While I realize that all of the male bloggy buddies I have are actually men, the term "boy" goes so much better with the word "blog" so that's that!  I've had random thoughts about The Boys of Blogging for some time now and I thought I would share them with all of you:

Continue reading "Men In Thongs!" »

Get your game on, go, play...

This post is coming to you courtesy of the Butt Crack of Dawn... always there to ruin a good night's sleep.

I told you all that I was not going to be posting during my trip to Las Vegas unless I am able to find a connection, which, if Katie has her way, is highly unlikely. But this doesn't mean you will be lacking for something to read here on Kapgar.

I've undertaken an ambitious project... one that I never thought I could pull off... one that would require a complete duping of many of my fellow bloggers...

That project was fooling six people into actually guest blogging for me.


Now, who?

Well, it actually turned out to be much easier than I thought as all six of the people I initially asked said yes. Can you believe that?

So, stay tuned to Kapgar in the coming week as I bring you a veritable pantheon of All-Star Bloggers that will hopefully bring some quality writing to this Den o' Tripe.

Here's the lineup...

All of these are really great bloggers and I hope you enjoy what they have to contribute here in the coming week.

It took quite some thought to pare down this list and there are many more I would have liked to have guest blogged here. It only makes me wish that I was staying away a week or two longer. Alas, we can only afford so much. Grrr...

To be viewed by all, a tribute in the grand hall...

Welcome to the second annual Primetime TV Kappy Awards!

[and there was much rejoicing... yay.]

Wow. This one's coming to you pretty late in the game. Back on the static site, I used to do these the beginning of April. Last year, the first year that I moved them to the blog, I did them in the beginning of May. However, after being burned by a few shows that had great seasons and ended with lackluster finales, I thought it best to wait until everything was said and done. All shows off the air! And it feels so gooooood...

So here I am. Back with another year of awards for those TV shows that I feel deserve them.

Quick correction: shows that we feel deserve them. That's right. Katie's back for a second round of Primetime Award Show goodness.

So tune in, sit back, and don't change that channel! The awards will commence right after a word from our sponsor!


Um, so Snackie Teevee didn't really sponsor this awards show. But we're going to say she did because we desperately need the sponsor dollars. Wait'll she gets the bill in the mail. That should be fun!

Continue reading "To be viewed by all, a tribute in the grand hall..." »

Rock on, gold dust woman...

You know something is wrong when the only game your softball team has won, so far, is by forfeit.

Yeah, after a year off, I'm back to playing softball again. This time I'm playing 14" softball (never heard of that one before) in a far less competitive league that does it more for fun than the last one I played with that was pretty cutthroat.

And it's a good thing we're not as piratic in nature as we really suck. Until last night, we were 0-3 having been mopped up by all the teams we've played. In our second game, the slaughter rule couldn't have possible been enacted any quicker. The other team scored 34 runs against us before the ump could finally call the slaughter. Other teams pulled off 13- and 14-run performances against us.

Oh yeah, and in each of our first three games, we only had a single run.

Last night, though, we were really looking forward to playing the team as they also had an 0-3 record. "The Duel of the Bottom Feeders," I called it.

Even though it was officially considered a forfeit because the other team couldn't fill up their roster, we all decided to play an exhibition game just for practice. That's when we started wishing we were playing for real. We actually began to pull it together as a team and we won! Something like 14-8, I think. I flew out on my first at bat and nailed an RBI double over second base in my second at bat. I was stoked.

In addition to being called "The Duel of the Bottom Feeders," it could easily have also been known as the "Dust Bowl Duel" because it had been so long since we had rain that the dirt from the field was being kicked up with every step you took. It was both blinding and choking. And the wind was so wicked and unpredictable that you were guaranteed to have it blow right at you regardless of where you stood. When wearing contact lenses, this is the last thing you want to have happen.

After the game, Katie needed to get in a final few shopping stops and wanted me to go with her. Imagine my delight at showing up at some trendy stores wearing my brown-dust covered shorts and shirt simply because I had nothing else to wear and no place to change even if I could. I got the evil eye from some of the saleswomen so I just smiled like I was a homeless guy looking for handouts. I don't think they appreciated it nor could they have gotten me out of their stores any quicker.

Right about then, I really wanted to pull a Julia Roberts a la Pretty Woman. "Yeah, biiggggg mistake... huge." But I just don't have the money to buy enough stuff at other shops to make it believable. Bummer.

All this time you put up a fear for 100,000 years...

I hope you don't mind some bullets today...

Skecherurbantread As much as I loathe shopping, I must say that it has panned out a bit in my favor the last couple of days. The other night, Katie and I went to Kohl's and I got a really cool pair of Skechers shoes. I really like Skechers and don't mind getting a little girlie about shopping for them. They're the last vestige of cool I've got going for me so I've gotta enjoy it while I can. And these are pretty darned cool.

Also, last night, Katie asked if I would stop out at a mall nearer to where I work to pick up a skirt they were holding for her (another store called in the hold). I hadn't been in this mall in years and, let me tell you, it was really nice inside. Not nearly as cluttered as all the other malls I've ever visited in my life. There were no abandoned storefronts like the mall near where I live (which, I think, is sitting at about 60% capacity... sad). But, most importantly, it wasn't littered with people. Perhaps this can be attributed to the fact that I was there on a Wednesday night during weather that would drive most to want to visit the more trendy outdoor malls. Whatever. I liked it. And the skirt that Katie had me pick up is very awesome. She's gonna rock that skirt. And I picked up a copy of a card game called Guillotine from Gamer's Paradise (a store I'll never stop enjoying) that a friend introduced me to a couple weeks ago.

Wait, I did shop a little at the one place where I do like shopping... the iTunes Store. I bought Ozzy Osbourne's new album, Black Rain, and it rocks. The good Ozzy -- circa No More Tears and prior -- is back. Most importantly, so is Zakk Wylde. That man can shred like no other.

Finally, after having them in our possession for more than a month and a half, Katie and I finished the three Netflix DVDs we've been meaning to watch. On Sunday, we seemingly pulled an Africa Day watching both Blood Diamond and The Last King of Scotland. Both were amazing with the edge going to Diamond.

Last night, I finally watched Children of Men. I had to watch that one without Katie because she had no desire to see it whatsoever. It was good, but strange. I love scifi flicks that are not blatantly scifi in feel and this definitely qualified. It was about people living in Britain in 2026, 18 years after everybody in the world mysteriously became sterile. All of a sudden, a refugee woman is found to be pregnant and it's up to a guy named Theo (Clive Owen) to make sure she escapes the wartorn country to a mythical group called the Human Project who can guarantee her's and her child's safety. Really dark and depressing world created by Alfonso Cuaron, the director of the best of the bunch of Harry Potter films, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.

I'm a bit upset. I just discovered that, according to my StatCounter site meter, I'm about to hit 100,000 page views. But I'm going to break this plateau while I'm in Vegas, so I'll never actually see it. No these are not all that have hit my site. This is actually just since last July when I signed up for this service.

At the time I signed up, my Typepad stats said I was at about 25,000 hits. So I just assumed I would be at 125,000 when StatCounter read 100K. However, as time has passed, the counts between the two services have inched ever closer. Now there's only a 5K difference between them. Either one is counting too fast or one is counting too slow or some combination therein. I'm not sure what to believe anymore.

I don't wanna stop...

Normally, this sort of thing might have t'd me off to no end. However, hindsight being 20/20 and this being a new day, I'm more inclined to laugh at this person's, shall we say, idiocy?

Yesterday, after work, Katie got together with my mom and the FSiL (it's really going to be hard to start calling her the SiL in another week and a half) to do some shopping. Instead of shop with them, I met up with my dad to play nine holes of disc golf. Yes Bre, again with the disc golf.

Anyway, after we finished playing, we drove to where they were shopping to meet them for dinner. And, let me tell you, it was one heckuva crowded evening. On a Tuesday, no less. Since when are Tuesday evenings ever crowded? We drove around for 10+ minutes just trying to find parking.

Have you ever noticed that when you try to find parking, even when you're cruising amongst a bunch of different parking lots and side streets, that eventually you wind up seeing the same cars over and over again? That happened with my dad and me last night. There was one Cadillac Escalade EXT (the crossover one that looks like a funky pickup truck) in particular that we kept seeing over and over again. It was hard to miss because it was this strange mother-of-pearl color that emitted an eerie glow in the slowly lowering sun. We must have seen this beast circling lots about three times before we finally found a space of our own and went to meet up with the shoppers three.

After dinner and farewells, I went to get my truck (Katie was there in her own car since she came directly from work). As I left my space and pulled down a side street, I saw the pearly one again. This time in the driveway of a nearby house. By "nearby" I mean only two blocks away from where he was attempting to find public parking.

While I know this could be explained away by the idea that maybe he changed his mind about shopping and went to a friend's house. Me? I prefer to think of him as the ultimate yuppie. He was so apathetic that he would've rather driven around for 10 or so minutes in his gas guzzler to find a parking space when he could've saved the time and the environment by JUST WALKING THE TWO BLOCKS FROM WHAT I'M ASSUMING WAS HIS HOME.

They were short blocks, too.

Okay, so I'm not as over it as I thought I was. Sorry.

Totally Unrelated Aside: I forgot to say happy birthday to my mom this past Monday. Okay, I didn't mean to sound like a bad son. I did say happy birthday to her on the phone, I just didn't say it here. So, happy belated birthday mom!

The sky's the limit...

Some aspects of the Vegas trip may be looking up a little bit... just a little.

Remember how I was griping last year about how useless our frequent flier miles proved to be when we were flying out to San Francisco?

Wait a sec... looking back through my posts, I apparently never did gripe about it. What the heck??? I found a post in which I optimistically noted that we planned to use our points. But I seemingly never updated you on the fact that we were never able to because American Airlines makes using their points nearly impossible.

I swear I typed up this post. Maybe I chatted with one of you about it? Sandra, perhaps? Jeez, tack another one on the list of signs that I'm losing my mind.

Hmmm. Interesting.

Well, the hope for SF was that we would save money on the airfare by using the points we had amassed. When we signed up for AAdvantage, we were told 30,000 points would get us tickets "anywhere in the contiguous 48 states." This proved to not be the case by the time we finally got ourselves up to the 30K level. By that time, the necessary amount jumped to 60K and, even then, there was no guarantee. Sorry, no grandfathering of members from the old "promise." So we never used the points and swore to ourselves that we would find a way to finally use them and cancel these worthless accounts.

And find a way to use them we did.

We're flying to Vegas first class, baby!

Neither Katie nor I have flown first class ever in our lives, either before our time as "Us" or after. This should be fun.

But you wanna hear the funnier thing? My parents and their neighbors will be on the same flight as us... back in the regular seating... back with all the dregs of airborne society... the cloud-bound losers... the Mile-High Self Loathers... (can you tell I'm hoping they read this?).

Sorry, Mom and Dad. But this opportunity presented itself and we had to take it.

Mwahahahahahahahahahahahaha! Ha.

Hey, considering the cost of airfare, I doubt Katie and I will ever be able to do this again. So I gotta enjoy it while I can.

Does everything that a spider can...

Dear Sam Raimi,

We've been through a lot together over the years. I feel a close kinship with you. Well, I felt one anyway.

I've loved all of the Evil Dead movies and even held marathons for cult fans of all the movies in my college dorms and apartments. I can still quote Army of Darkness nearly word for word.

 Darkman was so strange that it wound up being pretty cool. I enjoyed it.

One of my favorite Coen Brothers movies, The Hudsucker Proxy, is one that you wrote. You turned that into such a quirky and fun movie yet one that still had a viable message in it.

You also became very darkly dramatic in A Simple Plan. Just a tale of two brothers who turn on each other when money comes into play. Yet it was fantastic. This still remains the sole example of a movie I enjoy more than the book on which it was based. Where Scott Smith just kept giving us ending after ending after ending, you found a nice, succinct point at which to end it and made it one of the better thrillers in years.

Katie and I both liked For Love of the Game. To be honest, I never even realized it was you that directed it until just recently. You taking on baseball and Kevin Costner? Interesting.

Shoot. I even watched The Quick and the Dead despite my fierce disinterest due to the casting of Sharon Stone.

I'll admit I was a bit afraid that you were taking on the Spider-Man mythos. And, yes, you changed a few things that have rankled the feathers of many ardent fans, but I really dug it. You took a strange casting decision in a relative unknown named Tobey Maguire and, under your direction, made him a viable superstar. And not just in the first movie. The second one was exceptionally fun, too.

So what the bloody hell happened in Spider-Man 3?

I went into it figuring there was no place for it to go but up. Everyone knows that the second film in a trilogy is supposed to be the worst. There are many examples of it throughout history... Indiana Jones, Back to the Future, and Austin Powers are a few I can pull off the top of my head. I am hoping that both the Pirates of the Caribbean and Ocean's Eleven trilogies will be redeemed by their third acts coming out this summer as their second films were garbage as well. We shall see.

Spider-Man 3, however, was complete and utter crap.

The acting was terrible; it seemed like the returning actors just didn't care and the new villains were just a joke. Plus you had the great James Cromwell cast in the film and yet he was only given approximately 120 seconds of screen time.

The special effects were cheesy. Much of the time, I couldn't tell if I was watching a Spider-Man film or a cheap rehash of Jim Carrey's The Mask and Brendan Fraser's The Mummy.

The flow of the film was choppy, at best. And the ending was completely unsatisfying.

I feel like I'm talking to George Lucas right now and that really pains me as his indifference to the fans that made him who he is today by purchasing tickets to his films is truly ridiculous. Yes, I realize you've made your millions in Hollywood. You really have little left to prove. But you still have to worry about us, the fans. Despite Lucas' protestations, we determine your legacy. And right now, I feel as though you have horribly desecrated what should've been a great legacy of filmmaking.

Oh, and while we're at it, can I have my $12 back? Would requesting extra for pain and suffering be a little over the top?

'nuff said,

Kevin "Former True Believer" Apgar

This is the end of the innocence...

I just needed to drop a quick note to you all that, as much as it pains me, I'm going to have to kill my e-mailed replies to every comment that is left on my blog. This is not a time issue at all. In fact, my comments have remained pretty consistent in quantity for the last several months. The problem lies in Google. Their Gmail webmail application that I use for my primary account is starting to give me "account frozen" warnings every time I whip through a throng of comment replies.

They actually think I'm spamming all of you. Ignore the fact that I am sending out single recipient replies to e-mails I have already received and not sending out mass replies to persons unknown. Don't pay attention to the fact that I've never been involved in spamming nor the fact that I've been a Gmail member in good standing for two going on three years now.

It makes no sense whatsoever and angers me to no end.

However, since this is my primary address and is tied to more online accounts than I can shake a stick at, I cannot afford to have it frozen or, worse yet, canceled out from under me. And Google has been known to cancel accounts for less; in some cases, no reason whatsoever. It would seem that this is the only solution for me at this point. If a comment necesitates a direct reply or you are a new commenter delurking for the first time, I will most definitely reply personally as I normally would. But if it's just a matter of me saying something like "I agree" or the like, I may have to curtail the personal e-mail. I will still reply to each and every comment left on my blog, but you will have to visit the post to see my reply.

Don't hate me. I realize that the personalization factor is something that many of you have come to expect from El Kapgar. Blame those bastards at Google.

Totally Unrelated Aside: Katie and I just picked up something at the grocery store that we're totally stoked about trying. It's a limited edition Jell-O mix in Margarita flavor. We'll keep you posted. And, yes, we got a kick out of the idea that there was actually a "limited edition" Jell-O flavor. Heh.

Also on the recommendation front, I just downloaded Paul McCartney's new single "Ever Present Past" from his forthcoming album Memory Almost Full. I'm not much for Sir Paul's solo stuff, but this is pretty decent. Rocks nicely. And takes a little jab at his ex Heather Mills. Gotta love that.

But I got cat class and I got cat style...

Is it truly possible for animals to be potty trained? No, I don't mean getting a cat to repeatedly relieve itself in a litter box or a dog within a specified area of a backyard. I mean honest-to-God, jump-on-a-toilet potty trained. Oh yeah, flushing it, too. Always a plus to not let it sit and fester, isn't it?

I know that they indicated that a cat could do this in the movie Meet the Fockers, but can it really happen?

I'm asking because it was part of a dream I had last night. I really don't remember the rest of the dream or the context behind this particular snippet, but I was there holding one of my cats -- well, one of my old cats since they've both already passed on. For some reason, I walked into a bathroom and he jumped out of my hands, hopped up on the toilet ledge and sat right inside the bowl to do his business.

I remember thinking, at first, that there was no way my cat was potty trained. This particular feline, who was named Meatball, would've been too good for that. He was the sort of cat that just didn't care. Not that he wasn't smart or didn't pay attention, he just held himself above all creatures that attempted to share his oxygen. You try to make him come to you and he just glares at you with a look of utter contempt. By the time he was done, you, as a human, felt obligated to move over to him instead. That's just how he rolled. The world revolved around Meatball, and he knew it.

So you can understand why I would doubt that Meatball could be potty trained. But there he was, not on, but in the crapper. And, just to drive the point home, the water under him turned brown. Then he got up, shook off, flushed, and left. At this point, I wouldn't have been surprised to see reading material under his arm.

As I stood there with my jaw agape, in pranced Jinx.

Jinx was a couple years younger than Meatball before she died. She wasn't quite as bright as the Meat, but she more than made up for her dimwittedness with affection. She lived for love and would sit on your chest contentedly for hours if you just so happened to be on one of my parents' recliners. Whereas Meatball would not come when called, Jinx would. So long as Meatball didn't stare her down thus intimidating her into indecisiveness. Again, that was how Meatball rolled. Jinx was also a tough nut to train with the litter box. We don't think it was her fault so much. She knew how to, but just wouldn't consistently. We think Meatball may have marked the boxes as "his" and scared Jinx off to the point where she would only use them if he wasn't around.

I know, I know, I've made Meatball out to be some sort of devil cat. He's not, er, wasn't. He was incredibly intelligent, one of the most intelligent animals I've ever met. You remember the scene in Jurassic Park where the game warden is explaining the intellect levels of the velociraptors to Dr. Grant? He says something along the lines of, and I'm paraphrasing here, "their brains are highly evolved. If you look in their eyes, you can see them thinking, reasoning." That was Meatball. You could literally see him rationalizing a game plan before committing to it. And, more often than not, he used his brain to get his way with Jinx.

So, yes, I was thrilled to see Jinx follow Meatball's lead jumping up and into the toilet bowl, doing her business, shaking, and flushing. The very concept that she could, in fact, be trained, and not by Meatball, was incredible. Unbelievable, yet incredible.

That's pretty much all I remember.

I think what I want to know even more than whether or not a cat can be potty trained is why the heck I was having this dream  in the first place. Interpretation anyone?

Totally Unrelated Aside: Thanks to everyone's input, my lunch break today will be spent up in the tree I mentioned yesterday. As you all said, I gotta do it.

I don't mind if you act your age...

I realize I am 32 years old. There's no need to remind me of that fact.

However, I am seeking clarification on whether or not life has dictated that I must actually act like I am 32. You've gotta understand that temptation has been throwing me repeated curveballs in my attempts to be mature. Sometimes I feel like I'm living the negative end of the old maxim, "act your age and not your shoe size."

Honestly, there's nothing wrong with 11 1/2, in my opinion. 12 if I'm a Nike.

I still stare with awe as firetrucks drive by me. It takes a lot of self control to keep from jumping up and down with glee as they careen by with their sirens blaring.

During my lunch breaks, I've been reading in a nearby park. Do you have any idea how tough it is to force myself to sit in a bench instead of climbing a low-hanging tree and sitting in the crook of the century-old arbor? It's calling to me, I tell you! It's saying, "be a kid again, Kevin! I'm right here!"

Yesterday, I saw a white stretch limo sitting along a curb outside a building. I had no idea who it was waiting for, but I was more than willing to become that person at that moment. I wanted so desperately to just jump in and have the driver go anywhere with me popped out the moonroof waving and screaming like a lunatic.

I mean it, sometimes I feel I would've been the second most perfect person to cast in the movie Big. Yes, they nailed the casting with Tom Hanks, but I could've been good, too!

How strange am I?

I'm not sure I want to hear the answer to that one.

There's gonna be a showdown...

I truly hate it sometimes when situations necessitate me becoming El Prick (tm). It's not a role I relish taking in life yet I feel compelled from time to time to do it.

This has happened lately with the townhouse association we are part of as a result of where we live. Basically, when we bought our townhouse, we were told that we are responsible for the inside and the association is responsible for the outside. Pretty basic, right? I'd say we've done a pretty decent job of maintaining our end of the bargain. But, just try getting the association to follow suit. Not fun.

We've had some issues with our association to say the least.

For one, we have a berm (read: grassy knoll) in our backyard that serves as a demarcation line between association property and city property. There are several trees and other plants on the berm to help delineate the boundary. Last year, some of the grass that is growing up on to the berm never quite grew. I called the head of our association and he came out to assess the situation. And he agreed. So he had our grounds crew come plant new grass seed. That's exactly what they did; they walked out back and dropped some seed on the ground. No watering. None of that ground covering that you use to protect it from wind or animals; they simply dropped it on the ground.

Now, mind you, this is a slight hill, so imagine the lack of surprise we felt when it rained hard that night and washed all the seed down to the bottom of the berm forming the perfect buffet line for the rabbits and birds that rely on Chez Kapgar for their dietary needs. I would've watered it myself if it wasn't planted on an even-numbered day and we are an odd-numbered residence thereby restricted by the city in our ability to water during drought conditions. We wound up having to reseed a lot ourselves last fall and even into the early winter in hopes the seed would stay and then regrow this spring. So far, so good. It's relatively green. We figured out how to make it work; why couldn't those who are paid to do it for a living?

Another problem we had was with some of the standard bushes that are planted by our entry walk. They're scant at best and one or two were completely dead. That same time that I requested the berm walk through, I had the guy check out the bushes. He agreed they needed to be replaced, but he also told me that the association has a timeline in place for replanting, so I would have to wait until the fall to have new ones planted. This was Fall 2006 he was talking about, for the record. Fall came and went. So did winter. And now we're into spring 2007... still no new bushes.

Finally, I've been noticing a depression forming in our driveway near the mailbox. It has sunk down about three inches over the last couple years and there is some kind of utility pipe and cap sticking up out of it. I only see this thing getting worse and kids use our driveway as a bus stop. About a month or so ago, someone was out assessing driveways. It seems they noticed our hole as they kicked loose some additional chunks of concrete. I thought this was a positive sign and they would be out soon to fill it. Well, a few weeks ago, we received notice in the mail that the association is going to be recoating driveways before the end of May. Wait! You mean you're going to just sealcoat it and not fix it?

That was the final straw. My butt was at the association meeting last night to complain about both of these final two things (the grass on the berm has been deemed a "lost cause" to them for all residents who live with it in their backyard). As for the other two things, it seems other members of the association had noticed my gaping hole in the driveway and were concerned as well. So they are coming out this morning to assess it. With regard to the bushes, it would seem that the head of the association (who doesn't even live in our town; why does that not surprise me?) misrecorded my address in his notes. My neighbor two doors down got new shrubs and she probably didn't even need them. That will be reassessed as well and I won't have to wait for the fall replanting cycle.

Now let's just hope it takes this time or I'm going to be there for the July meeting as well. And attending a townhouse association meeting is less than the ideal way for me to waste a Tuesday night.

Watch out, there's a fly on the wall...

You've all heard of the concept of being a fly on the wall, right? It's that desire that we sometimes have to be able to bear witness to certain events from the perspective of an innocuous little fly on the wall. Seeing as how most people wouldn't bother to give any regard whatsoever to the presence of a fly during a momentous event, you would be able to sit there and watch them as they experience whatever is about to happen. But the best part is the idea of being able to see it uncensored. No change in reaction occurs like it would if one of the subjects knew they were being watched.

There have been many times I've wanted to be the proverbial fly. I think it would be fun.

There are several historical events that would have been interesting to watch...

  • Just what happened during Hitler's final moments in his bunker with Eva Braun?
  • How did Saddam Hussein react when the lid was pulled free on his "desert hideaway" just before his capture?
  • What were the first words uttered by Bill Clinton when the blue dress was discovered by investigators?
  • Does George Bush have any reaction to his pitifully declining level of support?

There are also several places I would perch on the wall for regarding Hollywood stars...

  • What was going through Hugh Grant's head when he was caught with the hooker that eventually ruined his marriage to Liz Hurley? Actually, more to the point, what was going through his head that would've resulted in him deciding to do that in the first place?
  • How do NBC execs respond each time they lose in the nightly ratings to Fox of all networks?
  • What is the reaction each week by the parents of 18-year-old Julianna Hough of Dancing With the Stars to her outfits? (no, check that, I think being a fly on the wall in her dressing room might be far more fun)

Then, of course, there are those occurrences that are a bit "closer to home" that would be fun to watch...

  • The emotional turmoil of the gas station attendant at the BP Amoco near where Katie works when word came down yesterday that he had to go outside and bump up the price of gas by 30 cents.
  • How my brother reacted the first time he touched a woman's unclothed breast. I've always imagined this being similar to Jason Biggs' first time with Shannon Elizabeth in the original American Pie.
  • Oh, and to be around the first time my neighbor's dog is allowed outside in her backyard without her running chain attached to her collar. She's going to go nuts. Until she discovers the little charge of electricity coursing through her neck as a result of the invisible fence that's being installed. After the first few times that happens, I want to be a rabbit with a MilkBone luring her dangerously closer to that boundary line.

Life would be so much more fun with a "fly on the wall" button, wouldn't it?

This is ourselves, under pressure...

First, to the demons that clearly were possessing me for last Friday's far-too-beautifully-written-to-possibly-come-from-me post, I do thank you. But do you think, next time (if there is a "next time"), that you could send the Supplemental Demon in Charge of Spell and Grammar Checking? As cool as that post turned out, I found myself correcting about a half dozen different errors throughout it. So not like me. One or two is acceptable. Six to eight and I bang my head against a wall repeatedly.

It really hurts after a while.

So, I'd appreciate any help you could give me. Thanks.

And moving right along...

The two-week countdown to Vegas is now on. And I'm looking forward to this trip even less than I was several weeks ago. The thrill of travel always seems to take a backseat to practicality as you sit around making the final arrangements before you leave. We've arranged with our neighbor to water our outside plants and collect our newspapers. We'll soon put a stop order on our mail. And we're also going to start putting things aside to be packed for the trip.

Packing is far and away the worst part. How little can you get away with packing while still bringing everything you need?  What should we bring for entertainment? What should we take as carry-on luggage and what can we safely risk putting in the underbelly of the plane?

This last question terrifies me the most considering someone Katie met this past Wednesday.

She was talking to this woman at a local drug store while shopping. She was in town visiting her son and his family and flew out. The reason that she was shopping despite being on vacation is that she was waiting for her heart medication to be filled. Seems that the airline security checkers wouldn't let her take all her heart meds on board with her because they exceeded the maximum amount of three ounces of liquids that they allow on board. Even though she had a prescription for them, she couldn't bring them on board. Oh, and they wouldn't let her dump out a little to make it all equal three ounces. Instead, she was forced to put them in storage under the plane. And the airline lost them. All of them. And she was spending her first day of vacation on the phone with her doctor getting emergency refills to avoid dying.

Some vacation, eh?

But it gets better. The woman who was waiting in line in front of this elderly lady to file a loss complaint at the airline counter was in tears because she had traveled out here to Chicago for her own wedding. And the airline had lost her wedding shoes, headpiece, veil, and undergarments. Luckily she had the dress in carry-on with her. The others could potentially be replaced in time for the wedding.

It's not as though brides don't already have enough to worry about in the final few days before their wedding (in this woman's case, this past Saturday), but now she was forced to replace vital elements of her wedding gown that had already been taken care of once before. All I can say is that if the airline balked at paying ANY value for the lost items (she is at the mercy of what stock the local boutique shops have available at such short notice), the person in charge of making that decision should be beaten.

Yes, I realize that it's not the desk clerk's responsibility when luggage is lost. But the least they can do is show sympathy to these people who have lost very personal and, sometimes, life-giving things due to the irresponsibility of some of their coworkers. I find it completely unforgivable just how uncaring airline employees are about such matters. We, as travelers, are nothing but additional paperwork to them and, therefore, we don't even merit a hint of compassion. The least they can do is slide us a card with a name of their superior and a direct phone number so we can give them crap directly. But, nobody at all wants to take responsibility for these lost items. The buck keeps getting passed around and around in a giant, mad, never-ending circle until we, as the victim, get so frustrated that we have no choice left but to accept the apology-lacking pittance of money they give us to replace our items. Asshats.

So yeah, Katie's carry-on item will be her dress and shoes and we'll each also have one change of clothes on board with us. The rest we'll have to risk in the underbelly storage and pray nothing happens to it.

Typically, when we travel, we pack light. Everything we need is in our carry-on bags so we don't have to worry. It's a wonderful skill we've developed. However, being a wedding that we're going to Vegas to attend, we have to pack a lot more than we normally would.

And, thus, we have one of the many reasons I'm not looking forward to traveling in a couple weeks. But this is, like I said, just one of many.

Every step you take...

I sat atop my stoop like a great stone gargoyle gazing out over the kingdom bequeathed to him by the sculptor who carved him and the architect who chose him to adorn his masterwork.

And, much like the gargoyle, I watched.

I observed trios jogging. Couples walking hand-in-hand. Singles strolling by dejectedly with hands shoved deep in pockets.

While most paid me no heed, the occasional individual would glance my way. Some would eye me just as I was eying them. A few nodded in silent greeting. And yet one scowled as though I were a grotesque destined for an existence of ogling solitude.

To her I simply smiled.

I continued my observational duties.

The redhead who worked fastidiously at fixing her sunsoaked hair in a high ponytail all the while returning my gaze trying to calculate what I was all about.

The couple seated in a nearly indistinguishable mass of unadulterated lust. Both facing out toward the river sheltered overhead by a decades-old bridge of ivory-hued stone. She sat between his legs, her back nestled almost too securely in his chest while her forearms found a perch on his bent knees.

Ah, young love.

Then I saw him. The teenaged loner ambling along the other side of the river. His moppish hair worn long over his face and making scant contact with his shoulders. His baggy pants began their life as an olive drab; years of exposure to the sun had reduced them to a muddied khaki. Their length nearly obscuring his lack of footwear. The full-length button-up shirt that should have been billowing in the mid-spring breeze was held firmly in check by a single black canvas strap stretched from one shoulder across his chest to the opposite side securely held his instrument to his back in a travel bag.

My gut told me it was an acoustic guitar, an instrument that, despite its bulk, was a preference of those in this area. Easily transported and ready to be wielded on a moment's notice.

My gut would be wrong.

As my view of the pouch became less obscured, I saw its elongated neck and the squat, round body. This child was breaking with convention. Instead of committing himself to an instrument that a vast number of his peers claim to be able to play and, thus, becoming one of millions, he was breaking free of the proverbial mold. He had made a conscious decision to be one of the few, of the splintered minority. What he had with him was just as readily playable at any given moment, but one whose sound was not readily heard in every sun-drenched park.

My young friend had opted for a banjo, an instrument I had not seen outside a store in more than a decade. One that had become synonymous in my mind with guitar players who had grown bored with their six-string fantasy and needed a new challenge. One whose sound is so easily recognized yet never fails to turn a head due to the sheer lack of adept pickers. It is also one that is not quite as socially acceptable. Would this child have throngs of women suffocating the air around him as he played in a midsummer's heat? Not likely. But did he care? Again, not likely. His dedication to the art of music making was admirable. Bucking societal expectation is never easy.

I had a new hero for the day.

I'll be writing more in a week or two...

The problem with blogging is that, sometimes, you completely struggle for something to say. On those days, most bloggers would just not write up a post. However, having already given up weekend blogging for the most part, slacking on weekday posts would be tantamount to death for me. That's when I would really slip into the BDS (Blogger Downward Spiral) and eventually wind up posting once a month or less.

I have no desire to find out if this worst-case scenario could possibly happen. Besides, I've got such a great readership right now that I wouldn't want to screw you all over. I love you all and wouldn't want you to think I had forgotten about you!

But that still doesn't help me figure out what the heck to write about.

As much as I want to fire off a smart-alecky post about Paris Hilton's jail sentence (and, believe me, I do), g-man already said it and much more succinctly than I could ever hope to. Lord knows short-windedness has never been my problem. Just look at this post... it's taken me four paragraphs to detail my "writer's block."

I could mention how it's been three years since I've been to Wrigley Field for a Cubs' game mostly because tickets are never all that easy to come by -- this fact still shocks me considering how horribly the Cubs suck -- yet, I've recently had invites to two Cubs games to sit in the vaunted bleacher section. I haven't been in the bleachers since junior year of high school, which was, well, a long time ago. But I didn't go because both offers were for games this past weekend when Katie and I already had so much going on as it was. It would have been fun, but there was really no way to swing it.

Or maybe I'll point out that Dagny has so wonderfully shown me the next sign that my complete and total domination of the world is slowly kicking into full swing. That's right, Apgar Street in downtown Oakland! I realize it's only a bit longer than a half mile, but it's a start. At least Oaklanders realize that it's just a matter of time before I rule and they are showing their dedication to me ahead of time. Fear not my friends on the Bay, I shall treat you accordingly in the new regime. So who wants to steal me a street sign?

Other than this... well... I got nothin'.

Exchanging glances...

Mother Nature is a true hater this spring.

My allergies have been the worst that they've ever been despite the fact that I'm taking an allergy pill each night and a shot of prescription nasal spray each morning. Regardless, I'm still sneezing up a storm daily.

Do any of you remember a few years ago, Sammy Sosa, then rightfielder for the Chicago Cubs, went on the disabled list because of a strained back. He said it was because he sneezed so violently that he injured himself. Sounded like a load of hooey at the time. But, now, not so much hooey. I've done it to myself. Not to the point where I was incapacitated, but it still strained my back to the point where I needed additional medication to get over the pain.

My sneezes have been hurting my back, my throat, my neck, and my head. And clearly my cerebrospinal fluid is not providing the buffer it's supposed to as my head launches forward thus bashing my brain (yes, I have one, smart alecks) into the front of my skull and temporarily dazing me.

And I think my officemate fears for her life as it occasionally sounds like my sneezes might cause the room to shatter. I somehow doubt a cubicle wall would protect her.

I'm hurtin' here, people. And I don't know what I did to deserve these monster attacks this season.

Totally Unrelated Aside (TUA): I noticed something yesterday while on hold. It's a habit of mine that I perform when I'm stuck waiting for some schmoe to pick up the other end, but never at any other time. I hum a song. No, the humming isn't the peculiar action, although I don't really hum otherwise, I whistle. The oddity is that I hum the same song every time I'm on hold. And I never even really think of this song any time I'm not on hold.

I always seem to notice that I'm doing this by about the second verse. But, as soon as I'm off hold, I promptly forget. Yet, the next time it happens, my brain will be jarred into recalling that I've done this hundreds of times before. So, this time, I wrote it down to make sure I'd remember it so I could tell all of you only further confirming in your heads what a freak I am.

Oh yeah, the song? Frank Sinatra's "Strangers in the Night." Don't ask me why.

When I was younger so much younger than today...

Do you remember when it was revealed that by inputting a certain formula in Microsoft Excel a flight simulator program would reveal itself? You could sit there using your computer to fly around on this cheap little program that ended when you found a giant 2001-ish monolith containing the names of all the Excel programming team?

It was stupid and pointless, but it was cool.

I always dug that because it made computer programming seem cool. These programmers could go out and put their stamp on the product they developed just to give a virtual wink to its users.

I love that. I enjoy when programmers have a little fun with their product and, thus, make it fun for the end users, too.

iSquint is one such program. It's a little tool I use to help convert digital video to iPod ready format. Very cool stuff even without their subtle little nudges. And, to be honest, I never really noticed all they had built into this thing until yesterday when I was trying to change the destination folder for my saves. So I started really playing around with it. And these are some of the cool things I found:

When you mouseover the iSquint logo in the UI, you get...


In the top right of the UI is the quality control slider. I love the max level...


There are a couple others in there that are pretty funny, but the best part happens when you click "Help" in the top menu...


Of course that song was stuck in my head all day yesterday and will likely be the case again today.

Hey, if you're interested, there's a meme in the extended post.

Continue reading "When I was younger so much younger than today..." »

There we were, just we 3...

Yanno (stolen directly from Hilly with no shame whatsoever... heh), one of the reasons why Katie and I quit working at the gym was so we could spend some more time together. We are a married couple, after all, and we should want to spend time together doing couple-y things, right?

So how did we spend our first weekend of non-gym, couple-y bliss? Friday night and Saturday morning were spent both cleaning up the hole that we call "home" and cooking... lots of cooking. And the cooking wasn't even for us. It was for a Kentucky Derby party at my parents' house Saturday afternoon and a wedding shower for my FSiL on Sunday.

To boot, since both of those were at my parents' house with the Derby event running late on Saturday and the setup for the shower starting early on Sunday, we spent the night there. The first time I've slept at their house since the night of September 24, 2001, the night before we moved into our first apartment together.

It was a bit odd sleeping there again. Especially since my old room wasn't even my old room, per se. After I moved out, my brother moved in. All the furniture in that room was the old stuff my brother transferred in there and didn't take to his place. Bro, I gotta tell ya, you have bad taste in beds. Gah. We slept like crap.

And Sunday, we didn't even get to spend time together. Being a bridal shower, us guys -- being my dad, his friend, and me -- made ourselves scarce. Not my choice, mind you. I would've helped out. But my dad wanted out and he wanted to hang out with me, which wasn't a problem, but I felt bad. So we went to his gym that morning and then played 18 holes of disc golf afterwards. Then it was coffee and lunch, another 18 holes of disc golf, and finally back home.

Oh yeah, we also got ice cream from the ice cream man. How weird was it to see three grown men buying ice cream from one of those ice cream trucks that you typically only see little kids running up to? Probably a bit strange.

Katie and I finally saw each other during the tear down of the shower and dinner at Applebee's after that. But we were wiped. We came home, unpacked, and attempted to watch the SNL 1990s special. We really just wound up crashing instead.

We had fun, yeah. But, so much for "we" time, eh?

Gonna be a winner this time...

I hate being one of those people. The kind of person who looks the proverbial gift horse in the mouth. However, I'm doing it today in spite of that.

I subscribe to e-newsletters for a couple of local radio stations even though I've readily admitted that, lately, I'm more apt to listen to my iPod than anything else when I'm in the car. More often than not, these subscriptions are used so I can find out what artists are coming to town to play overpriced shows so I can drool a bit and wonder "oh, if only..."

But I also use them to learn about station contests of which they have a ton. Sometimes it's tickets (I won a pair to see Diana Krall a few years ago), sometimes it's sneak previews to movies (I've given up on trying to win these because they all seem to be for theaters in Chicago proper on weeknights, which constitutes too late a night during the workweek and one heckuva commute), but, for the most part, it's CDs and DVDs.

I came home yesterday from work and saw a new DVD box set sitting on the countertop. I looked quizzically at Katie and she said, "apparently you won a contest."

For what, I wondered.

Twinpeaksseason2 It was the box set for Twin Peaks, season 2.

Oh. I didn't even enter that drawing. I saw it on the contest page of one station and thought, "I've never been much for David Lynch and I didn't like Mulholland Drive or Blue Velvet and I had way too much trouble trying to get into Twin Peaks the three or four times I did try watching it." So I didn't enter. I'd rather waste my effort on something I would enjoy.

That would seem to be pretty reasonable rationale, right?

Yet, somehow, despite not entering it, I was still entered in it. And I won it.




After three years of entering contests on this station's site and never winning anything, this is what I get to make up for it.

In all honesty, I'm not sure what bugs me more, the fact that I won something I'm likely never to use or that I've become the sort of person that complains about getting something that's 100% free.

There's no business like show business...

Everyone dreams as a child about what they want to be when they grow up. And, more often than not, you develop a list of all the different things you want to be. Perhaps an astronaut. Maybe an archaeologist. Sometimes a firefighter. Your moods change when you're a kid and, often times, your dreams of the future change as a result.

But did you ever dream about being a celebrity? Did you want to become an actor or a singer and wind up in the limelight with all the world watching and swooning over you? I think most people have entertained this fantasy to some degree or another at one point in their lives. I'll admit I did. And I think with the oversaturated coverage of celebrity lives in the media these days, so do a lot of today's kids.

I think we can still save them, though. Convince them that the path to celebrity is not one they want to travel. Just do a screen capture of today's WENN Celebrity News on IMDb and save it for that day when you hear a kid talking about wanting to be a star.

Let's see what we have in the coffer today...

Washington To Front Gay Awareness Campaign
Months after the whole flap began on the set of Grey's Anatomy, Isaiah Washington is still paying the price. I'm not saying he's not wrong because he is. But, in Hollywood, under the celebrity microscope, anything and everything you say can become fuel in a campaign against you. Scary.

Esposito Files for Divorce After Four Months of Marriage
The divorce rate in America is 51% these days from what I hear. I wonder how much higher it is among celebrities. Does anyone have stats on that? Marriage is treated like such a joke among the famous. It's sick.

Spears Makes California Comeback
Just the fact that anyone would still want to see her, promote her, etc., after all she has done is wrong. Just wrong. Please, world, just forget about her. Let her fade into oblivion. I guess it is a testament to the fact that anyone can get a shot, I suppose.

Bullock Requests Restraining Order Against Fan
This is why people like Spears always have a chance at recouping their fame... we freak out about celebrities. However, some people take it a bit too far. When your own life is not enough that you have to stalk a celeb, you need help.

Cross Promises 'Desperate' Creator She Won't Get Pregnant Again
And your personal life is sometimes forced to take a backseat to your professional one. It still kills me to think back several years to when FOX-TV issued an edict declaring that actors on their shows must acquire permission from on high to be able to cut their hair. This was in response to when Keri Russell of Felicity chopped her hair and the show's ratings drop was blamed on it. Sad. Funny, but sad.

Lohan: "I Am a Serious Actress & New Film Will Prove It"
Not necessarily related to the point at hand, but the fact that she has to go to such lengths makes me worry.

Brown To Take Murphy To Court for Paternity Test
And this is what sleeping around will get you, kiddies.

Yes, there were three other stories that were somewhat upbeat in nature. But that's three out of ten. A mere 30% is positive news.

What a twisted day in Hollyweird.

And what a slow flippin' day for blogging.

It's evolution, baby...

Dear Charles,

Considering the lambasting you've been taking lately in that backwards state known as Kansas, I thought I'd take a moment to reiterate why you are one of the truly great scientists of the last couple hundred years.

The fact that you would take the commonly accepted "laws" of religion and turn them upside down with your theory of evolution shows that you've got balls. Serious balls. Like a pair of brass ones. You could've just as easily realized the trouble you'd be in with the church by proposing that theory and tucked those pieces of paper in your pocket never to see the light of day again. But you didn't. You made your findings public in what has to amount to one of the most controversial books since the Bible itself.

However, I have to admit that recent events have resulted in my questioning the integrity of your Survival of the Fittest theory. You remember that one? You claim that the most well adapted and capable of each species will be the ones to move on and breed. They have even named awards after this theory.

My complaint is that it doesn't seem to work.

Yesterday, on my way home from work on a particularly busy, four-lane street, I watched as the cars in the two oncoming lanes were suddenly merging down to a single lane near the median. I didn't see any police or ambulance lights so there couldn't be an accident. In fact, I could see nothing that would cause me to think there was any reason to merge like this.

However, as I got closer, I saw what it was... a bicycle-bound commuter.

While I give this woman credit for saving the ozone by riding a bike, I think my desire to club her like a baby seal outweighs any congratulations I might toss her way. You see, not only was she riding on a busy commuter thoroughfare when a perfectly usable sidewalk was to her right and a BIKE PATH was on the left, but she was riding one handed.

One handed? Why would she do that, you might ask?

She was using her other hand to hold a cellphone to her ear.

Yeah, that's right... she was bicycling in a busy road while talking on a cellphone.

So Mr. Darwin, how do you explain that one? Hmmm?


Conflicted Believer

P.S. While we're on the topic of stupid people, check out this Comedy Central tribute to one of Hollywood's Father of the Year candidates over on YouTube.

All we want is life beyond the Thunderdome...

I hate when I have a really cool idea for a blog post and then it gets shot down.

Somebody on a listserv I belong to noted, in a debate about the relevance of social networking sites like MySpace and Facebook, that even the CIA's National Clandestine Services (NCS) division had a group set up on Facebook for recruitment purposes. My hope was to go into their group and have a little fun with the real "winner" profiles. However, the two-month duration of the recruitment period had expired and the group was removed. Bummer. That could've been fun. I guess it still works as today's sign that the apocalypse is upon us.

But I did have a cool Facebook-y moment this morning as I checked my e-mail. Remember my buddy and old boss in college, Rev? He requested me as a Facebook Friend. Too cool! I haven't heard from him in years and I had no idea how to get in touch with him because I wasn't sure where he was working these days. And now I know.

Did I mention that we quit the gym? Not the "working out" part; just the "working at" bit. It was getting to be too much. Shifts were being cut back. The shifts that were out there are at pretty inconvenient times. And, basically, it's just not the same job it used to be. We'll miss the interaction we had with some of the members, sure. But we won't miss the hassle of scheduling and the like. And we get to spend that time together.

But the good thing is that we are now going to be much more likely to work out in the gym more often. If there is one universal truth I've discovered, it's that the desire to spend non-working hours in a place where you do work is minimal at best. So they are giving us a free membership as a condition of our employment, but we were hardly using it. The membership cost is low, so it won't hurt too terribly.

This past Sunday, I took my final morning walk into the gym to open it. I've been doing this the last several weeks because it's a good two or so mile walk from our house to the gym and it's a time that I have to get a little cardio exercise in plus immerse myself in my iPod Shuffle. I really dig it and wish I had been doing it all along.

When I walk, I have a bad habit of looking down at the ground. I don't know if it's a desire to not look at people as they come at me (not that there are that many people out and about at 6:30 in the morning) or it's an acknowledgment of my clumsiness and desire to make sure I don't trip over any uneven concrete. Whatever the case may be, as I was looking down, I happened to see out the corner of my eye, the silvery hood of a very low-profile car. On the front grill of the car was a futuristic logo that read "DMC."

Delorean "No friggin' way!" I thought to myself. On second thought, I may have actually said that out loud. Or yelled it. Who knows? I didn't hear any police sirens as I continued on, so it must've been okay.

A DeLorean?!?! There are still some in existence??

You have no idea how truly stoked I was by this discovery. Granted it would've been better if the owner had decked it out to look like Doc Brown's time machine from Back to the Future a la the Road Warrior car that Dustin discovered. But this was still pretty cool all the same.

And I didn't have my camera on me. Go fig, eh?

I wonder if it's still there.

I might just go back and find out.