Thursday, September 28, 2006

second thoughts on an earlier post

Just over a month ago, I posted a rant about a roller derby match in which I perceived some inequities in some parts of that match. It took them a while, but some of the people from the Tragic City Rollers found that post and commented about it. Having written the post over a month ago, I had basically forgotten about it till now.

Based on the comments, as well as a couple of things that have happened to me recently playing soccer, I've had to rethink the post. As it turns out, I may not be the cleanest soccer player around, guilty of some fouls that I wasn't aware I was making. I've had two separate occurrences to lead me to this conclusion and the rethinking of the rant post.

During halftime of a game a couple of weeks ago, the refs addressed the captains of both teams to address some issues of aggressiveness. On our team, I was mentioned specifically for hacking at people's ankles. I still have a knot on one calf from getting kicked in that same game, one week and a half later to give a clue as the overall style of play we met that day. But meeting fouls with fouls is a shitty way to play, so that's no justification.

The second incident occurred last night while scrimmaging against a local U19 team. The coach of that team mauled the shit out of me at one point. I was doing okay keeping the ball away from him, but he was seriously attacking me soccer style. I was slapped, hit, kicked, elbowed
and eventually knocked down. The coach perceived some of how I was playing as being dirty, so he attacked me. I of course protested this and his suggestion that he was fair in repaying me in such fashion. I still feel that he set a shitty example for his team, but that's beside the point and no reflection on lessons I need to learn.

Upon asking my own team if I was the hack at the ankles guy, one person answered to say that he didn't think I did it intentionally. Well, there you have it. Intentional or not doesn't make it any better, and if my own team sees me this way, then this is no longer an issue of perception. But I will take it as a sign that I need to work at my game. It is not acceptable for me to play dirty or to cheat.

So what does this have to do with my rant? Of three comments the rant has garnered so far, the commenters seemed to think that their team did a fine job and in fact did the best job that they could. Add to this that this was their first home match, their first time hosting and being in charge, and perhaps my indictment of their intent is misplaced. Upon rereading that post, regardless of my perception of that match, my assertions were equally out of line. That's not how I want to be seen, perception again.

If this post has any point at all, it's that we all perceive things differently based on any number of elements. The game looks different on the field or the rink as opposed to safely on the side. You and I are always better off keeping our mouths shut and doing our best. I can't very well bitch about one perceived slight when I'm as guilty as I suggest of others. At the time I posted the original rant, I felt justified in being upset. I suppose I was quite full of righteous indignation. Looking back at it now, I'm kind of embarrassed by my rant. There is no grace in calling fouls after the fact, and though grace can certainly go straight to hell most of the time, I wish now I'd been more respectful in that ranting post.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

showing support?

This just has to be seen and spread far and wide, so I am doing my part. It's a great song and a great video. I first saw it PZ Myers Science Blog.

Hard Knox Rollergirls debut

Perhaps I should have posted this already. It's a three day old post that I sat on because I wanted pictures. I know that soon enough I'll be able to snag a couple, but I can't find anything at the moment.

Sunday night was the hometown debut of the Hard Knox Rollergirls featuring the Machine Gun Kellys, Momma's team, versus the Black Bettys. Many of the girls actually debuted their skills in Birmingham, but this was the first chance most people in our town had to see real derby action, live and in person.

The league has three different teams with the Lolitas Locas finishing up the trio. I didn't like this name at first and had to assume that most of these people were not familiar with Nabokov until Momma explained to me that it's some sort of Japanese fashion. None of that is the point however other than to mention that there were some Lolitas skating with both teams. Due to the ebb and flow of membership and participation in the league, some Lolitas were asked to skate as honorary Kellys or Bettys in order to round out those teams' rosters.

There were some problem areas that I'm sure will be fixed next time. The teams had intro music that was supposed to play as they were introduced, and I didn't hear either team's song. The announcer, in my opinion, needs a bit of practice, and I was ready to be unhappy with his performance until I considered that he'd likely never done anything like this. Add a crowd estimated at between 200 and 300 unfamiliar faces, and I changed my mind. He actually did well, all things considered.

And then came the derby. All the work, the sweat, the bruises, the falls, I really don't know how to put into words what I've seen over the months of work the league has put into preparing for finally bouting. This day seemed some times like it would never come, and when we finally got a date, it almost seemed too soon. And it all culminated in this grand spectacle Sunday night.

I'm again almost at a loss for words. The girls started slow, the first period almost wanting for excitement. As in many sports though, the first period is often like this, feeling out, warming up. The heat didn't take long to show up though, and by the second period, the battle was going strong.

Momma was on fire! She made some amazing runs through the pack, upsetting blockers and pivots who scrambled to catch her with even a bit of shoulder. She certainly ran into her share of shoulders. The Bettys were not going to be displaced too easily, and they knew to keep an eye on her, which they did as well as they could. Momma is also sporting the worst injury of the night, a jammed finger.

The lack of injury in general says nothing of the action. Both teams wanted the win, and both teams put every bit of themselves into this match. One beauty of the league is that the girls practice together. There are team practices when possible, but the two a week that are mandatory involve whole league. In addition to the friendships between girls on different teams, I think a big advantage to this is that they all build a respect for each other. Regardless of team affiliation, they do so much work together as a league. I think this was manifest in the match, the way the teams treated each other even while working so hard to beat each other.

In the end, the Black Bettys skated off with the win. They took an early lead that they were able to hold onto. They never got a very large margin over the Kellys who almost caught up several times. Of course I'd rather Momma's team had won, but there's always next time.

The Kellys next bout is in November against the Lolitas. The Bettys and Lolitas have a match in October. We learn soon which Kellys get to be honorary Bettys and Lolitas, so Momma may be in the October match. I can handle temporary misplaced allegiance if she gets that chance. Either way I'll provide a loving post.

Monday, September 25, 2006

You Are Incredibly Logical

Move over Spock - you're the new master of logic
You think rationally, clearly, and quickly.
A seasoned problem solver, your mind is like a computer!

I suppose I feel pretty good about myself right about now. I am not saying I should or shouldn't, but I do.

today just feels . . .

I'm not really sure about today so far. It's an odd day. There are the usual aspects of the day in that, physically we are all doing what we would normally do, at least the boys and I are. Momma just left to go meet with her boss about her job. We've had breakfast and lunch, and the boys have been watching a Pokemon movie since right after lunch. They played with swords and drove me crazy a little bit before that.

The weather is pretty cool out. It seems cooler than it has in days, but this is the first day in several that we haven't gotten rained on. I don't think it's rained since some time early last night. It is pretty cloudy on top of the coolness, and that's adding to today's sort of feeling.

We have the windows open in the back of the house. If it stays cloudy enough on the sunny front side, I may open a couple of those windows soon. The sun blasts right in through those windows most of the day, and with winter a few months away, I'm reminded that I don't always hate those front windows.

I did have a pleasant moment earlier. After finishing something or other, I sat down on the sofa for a few minutes. The Pokemon movie was (is) still on, Momma was just about to leave, and the latest laundry load was just about ready for the washer-dryer switch. As I sat down, The Boy was roughly eight inches away, but he quickly scooted over right next to me. He didn't want to play or even to cuddle. He just scooted in really close without even taking his attention from the movie.

Part of today's oddness may be Momma's meeting. She had her own moment, rather unpleasant, at work Thursday and was given a few days off to think about what she'd done. What she did, while pretty bad in restaurant terms, was not without some amount of pressure from different sources, and should certainly be outweighed by the service she's provided over the couple of years this place has been open. I could turn this into a post about a certain type of server and about respect for position, but I tried doing that last week and didn't like what I came up with at the time. I have a post in me about servers, but it'll have to wait for now, and if I were being honest, I could do the same disservice to cooks.

I don't have any idea what will come from Momma's meeting. If she were not going to remain employed, I'm sure we would know that by now, but what terms she may be asked to accept to remain are certainly unknown. I may at any moment receive an unhappy phone call from Momma, explaining that I will need to dust off my resume. My resume is actually just a list of the last few places I worked and the kitchen managers' names, but that's not the point. I may be soon going back to work, and I'm not sure how I feel about that.

It won't much matter how I feel, but I'm kind of thinking that I'd like to get back into a kitchen somewhere. I miss so much of that horrible, wretched job, even the bad parts kind of, but I would miss other stuff that I get to do not working. Our homeschool group has been picking up lately, and we've been getting together a lot. The boys and I have so far only been to the play days, but different members of our group have been putting lots of things together. It's great to see the group as a whole coming up with classes and educational opportunities together, and it's great to all meet at the playground. Momma would work less if i were also working, and our staggered schedules versus her overtime might mean that we saw each other a bit more.

Finally, here is my giggle of the day. I found a visitor in my statcounter searching "bobby flay ribs". I had a couple of beers and such in me when I found this late last night. I was just about done on the computer and heading to bed, and I laughed so hard about this I hurt.

silly monkeys

This from Wired in a story about pirate radio stations. Regardless of how you feel about the FCC and broadcast regulations and pirate radio, this story is funny as shit.

When federal agents raided free radio Santa Cruz in 2004, a crowd of several hundred protesters soon gathered at the 10-year-old broadcast center -- including the mayor, who was shouting through a bullhorn. The tires on the FCC agents' cars were slashed before they could leave, and then they received parking tickets before they could repair them. A few days later a fundraiser brought in more than $25,000 and Freak Radio, which is still on the air, was launched.

word of the late night

Our newest word of the day, a feature I'd nearly forgotten, is prelapsarian. The word describes some idyllic past that we all seem to remember, though it's always a different past. Thank you dear Wordsmith dot com.

It's always funny to hear people talk of innocence in past ages, periods of time when we are to believe that all was well and kids were kids. Perhaps god was smiling on the nation because we looked at sin and saw sin. People were just better, and they would help you out if you needed it.

But these days are so full of sin. We let the gays go and be gay all they want, and women are getting abortions every time they wear out a pair of running shoes, which is what comes of giving them the vote in the first place. Girls are getting tattoos and boys are getting pierced.

Really, my point here is that there was never an era in human history that was even close to innocent or happy-go-lucky. Most wars are religious in nature. When it comes to money, most people would just as soon screw you as look at you. Relationships stay fucked up because people are stubborn assholes. People will always try to screw the service staff, one way or another. Some people just can't hold their alcohol. Too many people can't just mind their own damn business. This is how life has always been. To hell with prelapsarian ideals! Damn them all!

Sunday, September 24, 2006

pair of pictures

I think the closest I've come to posting family pictures here is a derby shot of Momma. We have plenty of cameras floating around the house, but only the two that are primarily phones are able to send those pictures anywhere but to film.

Having finally set up my phone to access my email, I was finally able to use the phone to also send pictures. Perhaps I could have done it before, but beyond sending the random dirty picture to Momma's phone, I never bothered.

Finally, a picture presented itself at the dining table today. The first is Momma and Big Brother, setting and following the example of meal time behavior. Following that, mostly to balance it out and give you a look at the whole family, are me and The Boy. I hope you are all able to figure out who is who given those descriptions.

Now you may all bask in our reflected glory at your leisure.

recently read books

Having read through a few more books since the last time I posted about books, I keep meaning to sit and discuss some of those books. I've covered a variety of genres in my recent reading, fantasy, historical(ish) fiction as well as nonfiction.

The first book I'll talk about is the historical fiction book, The Watsons Go to Birmingham-1963 by Christopher Paul Curtis. It's the story of the Watson family, living in Flint Michigan. The father is from Flint while the mother is from Birmingham. The book is almost entirely about the Watson's life in Flint, the trouble that the oldest son gets into eventually leading the family to Birmingham where the trouble son is going to spend the summer with his grandmother.

The Watsons end with the near loss of the youngest child, the daughter, in a church bombing. The girl doesn't die, as does the middle child not die earlier in the book in a swimming accident. These two incidents basically ruin the book. The fact that the book doesn't address the racism inherent in the church bombing certainly doesn't help. Instead of covering an important part of history, the book turns these two situations into some sort of spiritual moment with a bit of cheating death mixed in.

It was a mostly enjoyable book, but I didn't feel that the author really used the story that ended the book to his advantage. The church bombing almost seemed tagged on at the end to give the book a little more edge. So while I won't dissuade Big Brother from reading it, it won't serve the purpose I had hoped for upon taking it from the library.

Book two is The Tiger's Apprentice by Laurence Yep. It's a fairly basic fantasy story using a lot of random Chinese mythology. I'm not sure what to think of the Chinese mythology as I have no knowledge of that subject, but it did seem like it may be a decent introduction to the mythology should one care to delve further. I did however enjoy the book. It was fairly simple, very quickly read, and it's also book one, so the story will continue assuming I can remember and can find number two at the library.

The final book of the day is A Little House Traveler. It's a compilation of writing done by Laura Ingalls Wilder over a number of years. The first part of the book is her journal kept when she and husband Almanzo and daughter Rose left De Smet, Dakota Territory to move to the Ozarks. The next section of the book is letters, mostly from Laura to Almanzo and a few from Rose, written in 1915 when Laura went to San Francisco to visit Rose and her husband. Following that is the journal Laura kept in 1931 as she and Almanzo went back to visit family in De Smet.

I grew up reading Little House in the Big Wood, and as Big Brother's bedtime reading became mostly chapter books, we picked up the entire Little House series for ourselves. This book, based on the topic, was in my library stack as soon as I saw it. One of the main qualities of this book, in my opinion, is the view one gets of history as common life changes so much. Laura, Almanzo and Rose travel from De Smet in a covered wagon. This is nothing new to readers of the series as Laura has moved lots of places in a covered wagon. Her journey to San Francisco is on a train. The final journey in A Little House Traveler is by car.

I love to see the differences that Laura experienced throughout her life. I can't help when reading about Laura and Almanzo thinking back to their courtship with Manly in his sleigh taking Laura for rides during the winter, Manly building the wagon that took them to the Ozarks. Then in 1931, the couple is driving in a 1923 Buick. This book may not be as interesting to younger readers, and I don't really expect Big Brother to read it just yet. He might, and he may if he chooses to.

Any of these books would be fine for kids to read. They were all well written and interesting. The Laurence Yep book was just a fun read. The Watsons as a family seem like nice enough people, but their story, while mostly interesting, just fell apart at the end. I'm always a sucker for Laura and her family, so I'll generally always like their stories.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

who'd a thunk it?

Yeah, it's Saturday, and I'm going to talk about soccer again. Actually, it's not really this time, but it's not not either. I did however wake up on time this morning, though it barely mattered in the end.

Our game was rained out today. The opposing coach called as we were walking out the door and said it was pouring at the fields. At our house the rain was sort of on and off. It's been like that the whole day since. We did drive to the fields anyway; it kind of seemed like we should. At this point, no games had been officially cancelled, though the option was left to coaches and parents. The one person from the team that we did see had already called us on the way out.

Driving west toward the fields, the sky over the ridge looked like we were driving into the night. It's not even that far from the house, ten to fifteen minutes outside of rush hour, and I could tell those clouds were sitting just past the ridge. We actually didn't really see the worst of it till we were almost at the fields. We got the call at that point that the U6 and U8 games had officially been cancelled as someone had finally contacted the director.

Momma took the team list from me and started calling families as we drove home. Only one family was home, and after getting two or three answering machines, she gave up. If they were still home, they didn't plan on leaving, and if they weren't home, our telling their machine not to go to the fields from which they were currently driving home wouldn't help.

Currently, from my window, the weather seems like near perfect soccer weather. There are different perfect kinds of days for soccer in my opinion, though this is as a player as opposed to viewer. While I might play in the wet, I prefer to keep my ass dry as a spectator.

The rain seems to have let up. The temperature outside is a little cool. It's cloudy enough that the little sun we might see shouldn't steam shit up as too often happens. I did recently see random sun that seemed really out of place in the mostly gray sky.

This is the kind of day where you get wet, and when you play like me, you get a little muddy. Everyone gets the splatter up the back of the shirt from running, and many of us get muddy knees. The mud and the wet grass are so much nicer to slide on too as the friction is much less.

It was on a day much like this that I had a particularly soccer moment. I slid across in front of an attacking player in our box, knocking the ball away, but the other team quickly regained possession. As I was standing back up, still squatting mostly, a shot came right past my face, and I took a face full of turf. It's a memorable moment because it was as if it were in slow motion. The player's foot flashed the shot, and as I watched several quarter sized pieces of grassy clumps shooting at me, I tried to dodge the barrage while trying to get in front of the shot, and soccer field doesn't taste very good.

If I had a dollar for every time balls flew at my face . . .

Friday, September 22, 2006

can't think of a rant obviously

But give me a few minutes, and I'll come up with something. For now I'm just going to talk about aches and poop.

Seriously, that's all I can come up with anymore. I'd like to think I typed up a couple of decent rants before I ran out of steam. So I won't be blogger of the year and find some way to get rich while talking about poop and roller derby. Dammit! That's what I had, the thin filament of dream that kept me going.

Well, other than the all star away match in Birmingham, the derby girls have yet to make their debut. If you lived around here, you could come out Sunday night and see the real league debut. The mighty Machine Gun Kellys further blacken the Black Bettys. I get to play half a game of soccer Sunday so that I can get home and clean in time to drive to the bruisin' the Bettys fest, but I'm sure I'll find a way to be okay about it.

Speaking of soccer, I don't really have anything to say. I'm going to assume that our Wednesday scrimmage opponents are going to be the U19 team that has worn us down the past two weeks. Add this past Wednesday two Mexican guys that helped fill out one side, and you get the beauty of Victor Ashe park soccer.

Big Brother was excited upon hearing that today is Friday because that means he has a game tomorrow. That of course means that I need to take the time tonight and figure out the game for tomorrow. I need to place my players each quarter so that I make sure they all play as much as possible while the time is equally distributed among each player. It's an early game, perhaps not early to farmers, but my heathen ass should not ever be up early enough for a 9:30 game.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Simpsons quotes

The quotes are from the John Waters episode. He plays a gay man who runs a store that specializes in camp. Homer of course, being so obtuse, doesn't get that John is gay until it's explained very plainly to him. He then freaks out and suddenly starts seeing signs that Bart is also gay. Homer then tries a number of ways to make Bart straight. So because they are funny, here are a couple of favorite quotes.

Bart-Dad, why did you bring me to a gay steel mill?

Of course this is when Homer takes Bart to the steel mill to show him "real men." It turns out to be a gay steel mill. It's just a great scene as Homer realizes he's completely surrounded by gay men and that one more of his attempts has utterly failed.

John Waters-Deer?! They won't find any deer around here. They all migrated North when the state parks converted to astro turf.

He says this when he hears of Homer's newest scheme to degayify Bart, killing a deer, because as everyone knows, only hetero men hunt.

Once upon a time, some distant past when Momma and I had more time or something, we started our own Simpsons library. Yes, we taped several VHS tapes worth of Simpsons episodes, sometimes even pausing to avoid commercials, often poorly. While searching through the cabinet of video tapes, Big Brother came across the Simpsons stash. This and Futurama have become his new late night viewing. We haven't read a book together in ages, but he has watched a lot of old Simpsons episodes.

Monday, September 18, 2006

roundabout link hopping

Going through my statcounter, I learned that once again my blog has been visited by someone searching my name. So, in the interest of interest, I clicked the search link to see who else showed up. This video was one of the hits, and I liked it so much I'm sharing it.

li'l woohoo

Slowly, so painfully slowly, The Boy is nearing using the potty. He does now on occasion use the potty, and he's getting better at pooping in the potty. He's almost three and a half, at which age Big Brother was well on his way to being diaper free.

I'm really proud of him for doing such a great job, and I'm happy that my frustration hasn't made the issue noticeably more painful. But I'm still tired of diapers. I'm ready personally for us to finally be diaper free as a family, but we still have to wait on The Boy to decide he's done with them.

But all signs point to us finally be getting to the end of diaper days. Oh those glorious days ahead when he finally stops wearing diapers and at long last he gets to wear the Thomas the Tank Engine underwear.

Again, li'l woohoo! We're on the way!

Sunday, September 17, 2006

updating the soccer post

Anyone who read last week's soccer post will likely remember my hip concern. I left the game last Sunday when I made a move that caused my hip to feel as if the joint of thigh and hip was grinding. It hurt and caused concern for the Monday pain buffet. That however didn't happen. Monday came and went and I felt fine.

Well this week is the painstravaganza that I know so well.

Upon waking this morning, my first bad sign was my right shoulder. It even hurts to pick up my coffee cup. Next is the right knee, actually a little below the knee. I'm pretty sure that was a direct kick. Finally comes the left calf, a little low on the calf is a small knot that is likely another direct kick. The odd pain today is in my right wrist. It is likely from falling onto it, and it's very minor, but it is there.

As far as I know, that is the complete menu. There is always a chance that I'll find something else. The calf is a perfect example of certain types of injuries in that I didn't find it till I was putting socks on. There are those injuries that hurt with use of the affected area, and then are those that you notice by accident, and these are usually the small places, generally where someone hit or kicked me.

new week, same game

From my own experience I've found that the sports teams that most loudly lobby the ref about fouls are generally the most likely to actually commit the fouls. These same teams are often the ones most likely to dive trying to draw the foul yet again.

For anyone who doesn't know, a dive is intentionally falling down so that the ref will assume a foul has been committed against you. It's an illegal move and one that I've seen draw a yellow card.

Playing against the cheating/whining style team is very frustrating. One reason is that the cries of foul and the dives are often seen as real and fouls are called that weren't committed. Often the ref is just doing the best job he can, and I generally tend to trust refs are doing so, even if they call a few nonexistent fouls. But as a game progresses, a good ref will learn how the different players on the field play. He will see the fake fouls and the real fouls, but this isn't always the case. It wasn't the case today.

I'm not going to pretend that we lost today because of cheating or bad calls. The winning goal was scored off a free kick that happened due to a hand ball inside the box. That sucks, but at least it was a valid call. All goals scored were done legally and were not the result of cheating. I will complain some about the game I endured today.

Today's gripes: I was slapped and shoved pretty hard in the back several times. I was hit in the ribs. I was thrown to the ground. I even had some one's shoe right in my butt crack. I was kicked in the knees, and that's were tonight's pain is mostly centered.

A good physical game is a thing of beauty. Two teams with respect for the game, themselves and their opponents can play a rough, physically aggressive game without cheating, without hitting, without throwing people down. I know it can happen. I play aggressively, but I am strongly anti-cheating. To me, cheating is admitting that you aren't good enough.

So the cheating was mostly, in my opinion, a lack of respect for us and the game. We should have beaten this team, and with some better passing and shooting, we would have. We did this in spite of being knocked around and tripped. At one point, one of the opposing team was actually holding one of my team mates down after a slide tackle by pushing his head so that our player couldn't get up. The ref called the foul on our guy, said he was playing the ball from the ground. That's the kind of service we got from the ref today. He was more concerned about my foul language than calling the came correctly.

Oh well, next week we play the South team. I know one of their players as a grade A grumbler, the guy that sails balls ten feet over the goal and bitches about the grass. We'll beat them, and next week's soccer blog will be carefree and full of happy woohoos.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Blogger SAT challenge

Yes, just like it sounds. A blogger at Scienceblogs, Cognitive Daily, has come up with a way that all of us can take a test similar to the SAT writing test. Don't look at me for the story. Go to their blog, read their story about the whole thing, and take the challenge. It's harder than you think. See how you compare with the kids. Look back here for my own results whenever it happens.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

you HAVE to read these books

Andrea at Atypical Homeschool wants to know what books folks think all kids should read. I could come up with a list that would never stop growing, but I can easily hold back and make it quick and easy. I can think of a concise list can't I?

I feel I should begin by pointing out that I don't believe in this list. I don't believe in subjective restraints on what children should or should not read. I believe firmly in censorship within the family itself based on the content of individual books and the maturity (for lack of a better word) of the child or children. When I think in terms of appropriateness, I consider sexual content, types of violence and adult themes, drug use for example. These are all subjects that children should be taught about with complete honesty, but I want to reserve the right to time those discussions for when they are most appropriate for my children.

As almost the only author I will list by name, I think all kids should read the works of J.R.R. Tolkien. We are of course all aware of his four most popular works, The Hobbit as well as the The Lord of the Rings trilogy. These are perfect books to get lost in, to sink into as too many hours slip past unknown. What I've read of his other work, though not quite as lengthy, is also fun to read. These are the kind of books we read as kids then get excited to read to our own kids. These are the books that we cherish as old friends, books that we read and reread over the years, the books that cause me to lament that I can only read them for the first time once.

Kids should read historically accurate stories, both fiction and nonfiction. These books are fun because they give us a look at a time past. We could all use a little view of ourselves in relation to the never ending rush of time and history. Perhaps Laura Ingalls didn't change the world and doesn't show up in world history books, but she's changed the view of plenty of people over the years with her Little House series of books. Through those books we see how different life was not so long ago. Along with this, kids should read biographies and autobiographies. What better way to explore the lives of people that made history happen, though they little thought it at the time.

Kids should read crap, and I mean that in the best possible way. The Animorphs series of books are not likely to win any Nobel or Newberry awards, and they aren't the deepest most well thought out paragons of writerly ability. They are fun to read though, and they can pull you right into their fantastic stories of DNA acquiring kids who change into animals to fight the evil alien invasion. This is the kind of book that's perfect for when you want a quick read that will let you let go for a couple of hours or days.

If any point just sticks with me it's simply that kids should read. Parents should know what their kids are reading to be able to weed out books that are not appropriate for their kids, but beyond that, why stand in the way of a kid who wants to read? I fear that many parents limit their children's reading by making up standards of quality, the people who will tell you that their kids never read twaddle, that their kids only read classics. I say there's room for all books and that no one should be made to feel bad because of their choice of what to read. It's that old unschooling philosophy to me, giving kids the richest library we can, making them aware that it exists for them and that they are welcome to what they want.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

mmmm yogurt

There's nothing quite as tasty as a Brown Cow cream on top yogurt, my favorite being the cherry vanilla flavor. I'm currently possibly having a raspberry as that was the last flavor we had, and I'm possibly having it as opposed to definitely having it because of the following reason. There's also nothing quite like wondering whether or not you should keep eating that yogurt because it might just taste a little funny. But it could taste a little funny because I just brushed my teeth prior to eating this yogurt. So I take another bite and keep wondering. I'm sure if it's the toothpaste that pretty soon the yogurt should start to taste normal again. But then I notice that the cream, which is no longer on top, isn't quite blending as it usually does. Instead of this, it's remaining rather lumpy, which it never does. That can't be a good sign, though it makes it easier to taste to see if perhaps I should stop eating. But then the lump seems to taste like maybe it's the toothpaste which really should have stopped being a factor, at least by now, it seems. But all in all, as I take spoons full to taste, it almost seems like maybe it's starting to taste right. Mostly, the flavor is bitter with none of the usual sweetness from the raspberries. It is yogurt, so it's going to taste a little sour, but this flavor, and it still could be the toothpaste, is just, well, dodgy I suppose. It's not that it tastes bad but that it might taste bad. And while I am a little hungry and hate to waste food, I'm just not sure I'm happy with this, which sucks because I'm not sure it's really not the toothpaste.

Monday, September 11, 2006

the book thing

I've seen this floating around for a bit, then Audrey didn't not tag me, and I've wondered whether or not I was going to ignore it. I tend sometimes to kind of forget books to some extent because I tend to speed through them fairly quickly. I do often reread books that stick in my mind though, so I end up getting it in the end it seems.

So on with the questions. It's all about books.

A book that changed my life:
Probably the best book in this category would be The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. Yes it's funny and not to be taken at all seriously. It was one of the first books that I read that wasn't a western or a Hardy Boys book. I read it around the time I would have started driving meaning that I could get to library at my will and find more and more books that wouldn't usually have gotten through the parental filters. This book gave me an idea of scale in which we as humans weren't the center of the universe. The possibility that there could be so much more than I had ever imagine really opened my eyes to how small my own world was up to that point.

A book I would take on a desert island:
This one is a hard one because it's hard for me to just answer. I have too many questions, from how am I getting stuck on this island to would I know where this island is. I'd want to think of some book that would aid me in surviving on that island, but what book exists to tell you how to live on a dessert island? If I had to take a nonfiction book, I might pick a Mark Helprin. His work really transports me into the world of his characters. For this I might pick A Soldier in the Great War, though I've read it once, but I might find one I haven't read yet.

A book that made me laugh:
I have to revisit The Hitchhiker's Guide again. Having read certain books from the trilogy numerous times, and all of it mulitple times, I still laugh as I reread it every couple of years.

A book that made me cry:
It takes a good bit to get me to cry, the closest I get being a little chokey. I recently reread To Kill a Mockingbird. There are plenty of unhappy moments in this book, but Dill's reaction at the end of the trial kills me every time. His childlike inability to understand the evil that humans can do to each other is so sad. It also serves to illuminate in my own mind that I still don't understand the evil that we are all capable of.

A book that I wish had been written:
If only there had been some book back in the dark ages that highlighted to people that we are all the same, regardless of how we look or where we are from, we are all more alike than not. Too many of the horrors of human history seem to revolve all too often around perceived differences with no basis in reality.

A book that I wish had never been written:
I'm not sure what to think about this question. There are plenty of books that have led people to commit seriously vile actions, and too many of these books have been misused for these purposes. Their are likely books that have been used exactly as they were intended and have led people to do evil. I suppose if nothing else these books could give us an insight into evil.

A book I've been meaning to read:
Not really sure I have one. Generally, if I learn of a book that interests me I find a way to read it. I'm sure immediately after posting this, I'll think of the book that fits this question, but I really can't think of it.

I'm currently reading:
While at the library recently, I picked my usual armload of books from the kids section. We have several Chris Van Allsburg books as well as one written and illustrated by Tim Eagan, a writer suggested to us by a homeschooling friend. On the way to check out, I decided to grab a moment at the new releases, located about ten to twenty feet from the checkout desk. I immediately noticed a Neil Gaiman book. I'm not familiar with his work though I've long known of it. When I had comic book money I just never bothered with his stuff. I've known he's branched out from comics, and I've finally picked up one of his books, Anansi Boys. I've enjoyed it so far, but I'm only about three chapters in, so I haven't yet quite formed an opinion yet.

That's my list. I'm not personally comfortable with tagging others. I know it's done and is okay, but like wearing white shoes, I just can't get myself to do it. Don't ask why, 'cuz I don't know.

interesting reading on sleep and children

One of the Science Bloggers I find myself reading more often than many others has written some posts concerning sleep. This isn't a subject I'd ever really given a lot of thought, especially as he relates it to school performance as well as general safety issues. Read his blog posts that got me thinking here and here.

I won't even approach his scientific discussion beyond mentioning that humans go through phases in regards to their sleep, happening loosely around adolescence, teen (high school) years and then adulthood, around 30 years old, at which point we settle into our adult sleep patterns. From reading his posts, I would say I'm an owl in that I tend to fall asleep and wake up later. I'd always assumed this was due to jobs I'd chosen, but perhaps it's more that I chose jobs that corresponded with my basic circadian rhythm. Working in restaurants I've always felt that, in the end, it's the business that does the picking, but that's another post. In addition to owls there are also larks, people who tend to fall asleep and wake up earlier, and what he calls the median, self explanatory in meaning. I remember years of thinking that I didn't sleep because I would toss and turn in bed for hours before getting to sleep. I was also difficult to wake up in time for school.

I certainly believe that school starts too early. If I were creating a public school system, early mornings would certainly be out from the very beginning. I would say honestly that a part of our homeschooling decision was based on the timing in general of school, from the early mornings to the forced late nights. The early start certainly wasn't a huge factor in the decision, so perhaps it's more a huge residual benefit.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

dreading tomorrow: in which we revisit our friend the soccer season

This weekend saw the first games for both Big Brother and me of our separate '06 fall soccer seasons. His was Saturday, and he seems completely recovered from the game. Mine was today, and as happens during each Spring and Fall, I'm dreading Monday morning.

As for this crop of U8's, including of course my own, I like these kids. I always tend to like the kids on the teams, so this isn't a surprise. I've memorized their names pretty quickly. We know one of the kids already from having been on a U6 team together. And at least one other of the kids I remember past teams playing against.

Big Brother's game was fun and exciting. He seems to be getting more into the game, but he's also getting older, so I would expect him to either put more effort into it or start to decide that it isn't for him. He may also decide he likes to play during the season and mostly care less in the off season, which is where's he's been. I hadn't considered before now that I set that example. I tend to completely let it go when I'm not playing.

The opposing coach was a guy I've played a few seasons with. I'd love to play with him again in the future, though I think our team is a little player heavy at the moment for many more players. He asked at the beginning of the game not to beat his team by too much. He was of course joking. Both teams played well, but the one week of practice we missed really did seem to set us back as the other team just played together better from the beginning. My guys did get it together, but not till after the other kids took an early lead. We evened up the score and the game stayed pretty even till the very end.

The end was pretty funny if a bit tragic for my team. One of the opposing players discovered that he could kick the ball right over my defense and goalie and send shots right into our goal. My defensive player hasn't played before and was a little leery of getting in the other kid's face. After a couple of shots over his head and some encouragement, he finally started playing a little more aggressively, getting in the shooter's face and taking away his shot. But it was already late in the game, and we didn't have time to come back from that.

There's always next Saturday, and until then, I know some things to work on. At this age, getting the kids to be a little more aggressive is kind of tricky. I don't want to coach kids to be mean or dirty, but they need to learn that walking up to a kid and taking the ball away isn't going to hurt, but you can't do it from three feet away. Just as difficult is working on passing. We play AYSO and just don't get a lot of time with the kids. At this age, I don't see that as a problem, and I actually sort of dread the older ages and oftener practices. I also sort of don't. But I've got plenty of games and variations for practice. I'll have these kids passing, or maybe I'll just set them up to make better passes as they get older.

My game today turned out similarly in scoring ratio if not amount. We could easily have beaten this team given our talent. But a team has to practice together more than never to be able to work as a team during a game. That's all the space I'll give that rant/excuse. I have no idea how often our opponents practice, however little that effects my own team's performance.

One light in the day, assuming this game to be indicative of future games, was that no one got yelled at by the halftime coach, the guy that doesn't play as well as he demands of others, the guy who forces every possible reason we aren't winning to reflect back his own loudly proclaimed opinion. I'm not sure if he's moved to a different team or not, though I'm sure I look forward to disallowing him the joy of a goal.

Our opponents had some rude players, the guys that play as though there might be a scout hiding in the bushes. But we apparently now have our own as well. They had the typical fusser who wants to scream about fouls he's imagined. There was also the big guy that landed on me going for a header, which is where my pain began. I think this was the same guy slapping me in the head later, but I'm not certain.

Being landed on by a much taller and heavier player is never fun. I'm not sure exactly what's happened, but somewhere about where the thighbone is connected to the hip bone, a little flame of something wrong was brewing. Later in the game, in a freak slide tackle incident I fanned that flame to full worry inducing pain. I went off the field and rested for a couple of minutes. If I stretched the wrong direction, the pain radiated down the back of my thigh seeming more hamstring than joint related, though I'm certain it isn't the hamstring. I walked a bit before the pain subsided some, took a jog then a sprint and okayed myself to go back in. That wasn't likely the best decision, but I knew the game was nearing the end, and I wasn't done playing.

So sometime tomorrow, shortly after 8:00 most likely, I awake to the full flame of today's issue. I'm certain that whatever I've done isn't serious, but it hurts now, so it is something. Generally, the usual round of aches appear the next day, and as the season progresses, and as my body almost approaches an approximation of fitness, the Monday's aren't so horrific. But those Sundays that I actually do more damage than a kick in the knee or ball in the face, the Monday's will always be especially sad.

Friday, September 08, 2006

suddenly worried about that god dude

This song has me worried. All my sinning ways are going to catch up with me, and I wanted so to disbelieve that it could happen. Go straight to the song here, or the blog hosting the song here. Or check out the science blogger where I found it here.

Headphones may be a good idea if you feel you need them. If wirty dords bother you, listen anyway and get your irate on. I personally had to stop eating my banana to be sure it didn't exit via my nose holes.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

all right dadgummit

Blogger really needs to finish messing with itself. For some unfathomable reason, because I've moved to the beta version, I can no longer post comments at the blogs of people who have not switched. This makes absolutely no sense.

So here is my two part bitch.

Part one, to the dumbasses at Blogger, why the fuck can't I post comments to non beta bloggers? How stupid is this? I'd tell you how stupid it is, but I don't know that there's a scale to measure this kind of dumbassery. Fix it already you bunch of nincompoops.

Part two, to most of you people, come on already. Move up to the beta version. Take my word for it, it's kind of not uncool. Maybe some of you like the old one, but you might like the new one. I do, and I'm so cool that everyone should want to be like me, or not, either way.

There is some merit, sad though it may be, that it's my comments that people would like to avoid. If that's so, then perhaps no one will ever again switch to the beta. I'm sure that's not it, but I'm not so sure as to be certain. So where does that leave us?

Wednesday, September 06, 2006


Today's broadcast of Fresh Air on NPR discusses the FCC and censorship issues. Terry Gross interviews four different people and discusses issues of censorship as well as the confusion among producers and broadcasters concerning what will or will not earn them fines. And this is a big issue currently as the FCC levies larger and larger fines while the concept of what content earns fines becomes more difficult for everyone to decide.

The final interview is with Tim Winter who is the executive director of Parent's Television Council. What he has to say, in my opinion, is mostly a steaming pile of crap. What many of these people end up saying in different ways is very telling of our growing desire in the US to let go of the responsibilities we should all have as parents. For the most part, these people seem to get it all wrong for the least mentioned of reasons.

Tim Winter referred to the Super Bowl/Janet Jackson boob shot as a striptease. This to me is indicative of the current wave of wording things in a way that is not accurate but is intended solely to ignite a certain passion. A brief view of booby is not a striptease, and considering the overabundance of commercials for drugs to help men achieve erections, one must ask why we are still so worried about a boob. Impotence drugs are much more likely to raise questions from kids that parents may want to avoid. My children are well aware of and unconcerned with a woman's breast, but they are at a young age at which I feel they are not yet ready for discussions of sex, and of these two subjects, male erections would seem more deserving of censorship.

Tim Winter further categorizes anyone with problems with censorship as people who want to get away with anything they want. He would demonize producers, writers, singer and any number of people, painting them as irresponsible. Once again, rather than honesty, we are served inflammatory language intended solely to incite the passions.

Who is to blame here though? Are the people doing the cussing guilty of corrupting young minds? How much blame should the parents shoulder for allowing their children to view things that may be inappropriate? I am very much able to understand the sorts of things my children may be exposed to, and I understand that I am the one tasked with raising and teaching them.

It is not government's place nor is it television's place to raise my children. I certainly expect some amount of understanding from the networks in what they air, and I have certain expectations of different channels based on their target audience. For this same reason, while I may let my children watch certain shows, I know to change the channel during commercial breaks on certain networks at certain times. I also know to avoid certain programs that may have content I prefer them not see or hear. As their parent, it is fully within my rights to dictate what they do or do not watch. It is both my responsibility and prerogative to check on them and know what they are listening to or watching.

According the NPR website, the Fresh Air episode will be available to listen to online at 3:00 today. It's worth a listen and not just because Terry Gross is so, so cool.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

and lying and lying and lying again

This is yet another rant targeted at the boobs at World Net Daily who are yet again lying their soiled asses off. I'm going to toss a few links out and be done. I don't want to get too one track here. The lying asshats would have us believe that California schools will soon be turning kids gay because, according to the liars, the schools will be promoting the gay lifestyle and indoctrinating kids into homosexuality. However, if one simply uses Google to look at the text of these various bills they will learn that this is not the case. To put it simply, the bills are anti discrimination bills saying that, regardless of what you believe, California schools will not use materials that cast people in various groups in a disrespectful light. These liars are still able to discriminate and mislead their children, but the taxpayer funded schools won't any longer be able to.

Link to the liars here.
Link to some bills here SB1437
and here AB 606
pdf here AB 1056

Why won't these fools just stop lying to us? Why do the like/simpleminded fools that believe their shit not just use Google? How sad is such blind trust married to such blind hatred?

more of the lies

If you listen to some noisy voices on the right, and if you tend to believe their reactionary word vomit, you might be inclined to believe that California schools are about to start teaching homosexuality alongside Marxist evolution. All this is the rotten cherry on the sundae of the hell those poor christians have daily to put up with.

Senate bill 1441 makes it illegal for organizations receiving state funds to discriminate against people based on sexual orientation. If you receive state funds in California, you are now required by law to treat gay and lesbian people as you would the other humans you may find yourself in contact with.

Sounds pretty simple doesn't it? Sounds like one of those things we shouldn't have to be told doesn't it? Sounds like taxpayer money is no longer allowed those groups who would suggest they know best how we should treat our willies and woohoos.

But the fundies can't leave it at that. They just don't like it when willie meets willie, even when neither of the willies are theirs. And as most rational people know, if I'm old enough to know to make the decision myself, and I'm not putting my willie near someone who doesn't want me to, my willie is entirely my business. So is my booty for that matter, but my point isn't the slap and tickle but the lies.

Yet another poster at that bastion of truthlessness, World Net Daily, has taken to the soapbox to decry what they perceive so differently from what was said. According to the poster, California is about to add homosexuality to the things schools teach, and by default, they will have to teach gayness as well.

The public school's downward spiral into moral oblivion continued last week when Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed SB 1441, mandating that all organizations receiving any kind of state funds, including faith-based groups, portray homosexuality, bisexuality and transexuality in a positive light. As a gemstone of all government intrusions, the measure also requires Christian schools to contradict their deeply held beliefs or forfeit government tuition assistance for their students. And this is only the first of four bills aimed at California schools by homosexual activists.
One can easily view the text of the bill (pdf file) to see that it doesn't actually say what this person would have you believe. It doesn't say that one must portray homosexuality in a positive light, it just says that the people of California don't want you to use their tax dollars to discriminate against people for any reason. The christian activists want to use tax dollars to push their dogmatic agenda of hate, and they have to lie to us to make their illminded point. Why do they have to lie? What are they afraid will happen if gay people are finally just able to people instead of gay people?

Hat tip to Doc. The World Net Daily is completely aghast over this issue, and many of their posters are making up lies in reference to this bill. For all their talk of obeying their god, Thou shalt not lie, Thou shalt not bear false witness doesn't seem to apply. Odd that the ten commandments don't happen to mention sexual identity, sexual persuasion, homosexuality, etc.

Monday, September 04, 2006


Yes, I feel totally bleah today. It's a combination of playing soccer and drinking.

Yesterday, Sunday, I attended soccer practice. I played with a bunch of people, most of whom will not be on my team, and most of whom were very much younger than me. We played against a team made up mostly of people who will be on my team and are of various ages.

The league I play on is an adult league which of course means that everyone should be an adult. I refuse to believe that adulthood is something one merely progresses to by virtue of reaching a particular age. That isn't the point of course, not here, and the point is that the teams are made of people of various ages, from the possibility of 18 to, well, I don't know. I do know that I play with people over fifty.

Rather than let age discussion sidetrack me further, I must now turn back to my bleahness. I ache over a vast percentage of my body. My knee was threatening trouble from a slight twist, but it either was lying to me or the rest of my body hurts too much for me to hear the whine from the knee. My toe problem seems to have disappeared, the problem being that I had a couple of toenails that were overly long. I fortunately still have all the nails, though whatever I did to my poor toes yesterday took me off the field.

After practice and some frantic running around and taking the boys to Grandma's house, Momma and I were, late, on our way to the west side of town for her employer's company party. It was actually the Christmas party from last year, but that didn't make any difference. Following a lovely dinner at a French restaurant, we headed to the south side to a manager's house, a keg of beer and the swimming pool. I didn't swim, but I'd like to think I looked cool in my flip flops, swimming shorts and shirt, unbuttoned to show off the scrawny, tanless body.

What followed was a good bit more beer than this body needed. I drank myself stupider as I like to say. Momma also had a fair share of the drink. We fortunately ended up ready for sleep at the same time and retreated to a tent. The manager had apparently told the staff they should bring tents. He has a huge backyard, and having worked in the restaurant biz, he knows full well how we tend to party. Sadly, the rest of the staff either didn't hear about bringing tents or just didn't bother. They were all gone when we awoke, so I don't know what they did.

There's a whole other topic that I could probably get several posts out of, the drinking habits of restaurant people. On average, I would estimate that any one typical restaurant employee, on an average night, could drink enough for two or three normal people. Give us a party, or any excuse reasonable or otherwise, and we tend to try to set records for drinking stupidly.

So, having combined more exercise than I am in shape for and more drinking than I should do, regardless of shape, I have tormented my poor body unmercifully to the point where life is torment today. If I could sleep the day away and wake up tomorrow from this, I'd be ever so slightly less unhappy. But that isn't the case. Those boys are not going to watch themselves while I nurse myself.

Part of me would like to think I learned a lesson, but the drunks of the world never learn this lesson, no matter how often we puke it up. I'm not even taking a day off as I might once have pretended to do. I'm a firm believer in the hair of the dog treatment, and there's a beer in the refrigerator now calling my name.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

surrounded by dishonesty

The subject of dishonesty has been on my mind for some time. I will mention the big pack of lies that we all face currently from Bushco and any number of right wing people married to a disturbing fantasy. Our nation is mired in responsibility for a living hell that our president has caused to arise in Iraq having forced our soldiers to create the catalyst for an ever worsening civil war.

So many of the rank and file of the right wing have said it for so long, but one of Bush's inner circle has finally given voice to an amazing piece of dishonesty. The suggestion is that the average American is a terrorist enabler merely by seeing the lies and the war for what they are. If we disagree with their point of view, if we disbelieve that warrantless war is a fine way to wage diplomacy, we are causing physical aid to those who are our true enemies.

Those true enemies, those terrorists that would actually dare to attack our nation, even they are further vilified by a fog of dishonesty. Would that anyone with the knowledge would tell us exactly why we find ourselves so often in the cross hairs of so much of the world and do so with the painful honesty we deserve.

Some among us, those believers in the longest running superstition, create daily their own dishonesty, creating a web of lies before retreating behind their rule book which, oddly enough, demands honesty of its followers. And this rule book is one that says within it that it applies most to those who would follow its doctrine, and this book has truthfulness as one of its main tenets. The followers of this book would name themselves referees in a game they want so to force us all to play. I ask again why the followers of this book don't actually follow it most of the time, but I know that my answer will not be one of truth or even of faith, another of this books main requirements.

Address the followers of this book and ask him some questions. Ask them the ratio of mentions by their lord and saviour of kindness and generosity to homosexuality; ask them which god mentions more and if that indicates his or her preference as to how they spend their time. Ask them if they are followers in a true sense of the book and its commands.

This post has been in my head for some time, but the final inspiration came tonight while I was watching television. I finally turned it off when I saw the newest anti-drug commercial. It, like all that I've ever seen, was created in a way to create yet more dishonesty around the issue of drug use. I find it interesting to watch the alcohol based commercial in which the danger is that one will perhaps imbibe to a point that they couldn't successfully drive a car. The ad shows various drivers driving poorly, their cars and trucks filled with alcohol in what I see as a fairly comical interpretation of drunk driving.

Certain drugs are deemed evil and are therefore illegal. One must admit that not all drugs are safe, yet what drug, whether legal or illegal can be said to be completely safe. Some drugs are designed in labs to treat specific human illnesses. Some drugs are created to deal with other human issues. Certainly certain drugs can be said to hold some blame when users make bad decisions. The problem lies in the fact that we are so often given complete dishonesty when drugs are discussed in that we never seem to approach certain aspects of the drugs.

If drugs are illegal because some have a tendency to addict their users, then why don't we approach the nature of addiction instead of jailing people involved in drug sales and use? Why in the case of marijuana are we never even given an honest study of the plant? It's use is perhaps not as old as that of alcohol. Much like many things that man has discovered though, we are certain that it has been in use as long as most other things we still use.

I have another ratio that I'd be interested in, the number of people who have smoked pot to those who have not. It would be an interesting survey if one could do a census, assuming that one would get complete honesty from all involved.

Like gay sex, those uninterested in marijuana should be the last people getting to make suggestions about how the rest of us go about our lives, but too often, the commercials show up to show how bad life is for people who smoke pot. The commercials mention drugs in a sense of the evil, the lives destroyed and the potential wasted, but we don't get to discuss how little Johnny came to be a pill head. We don't talk about what cocaine is really like and why some people get sucked into the hell of addiction. We don't ever hear of the numerous true and proven therapeutic uses of marijuana.

We get discussions of lots of things, and it always seems there's a certain element driving the focus. We don't get real issues, and sadly we too often don't realize it because we can't see through the fog of dishonesty. It comes at us from so many directions, and we've become a nation driven by fears that are spoon fed to us from various sources.

my seal

No, not the clubbing kind, the look at me being cool kind. Hat tip to several posters at Science Blogs. I didn't notice whose blog there I first saw this on, but that's where I learned of the seal generator. Go here and make your own seal. Apparently it's what all the cool sciencey types are doing, though I'm sure theirs are all intelligenty and stuff while mine displays my own true nature.

If you are not familiar with Science Blogs, go check them out. They seem like a smart bunch of folks over there, the thinky kind of smart. I like to think that I'm not not smart, but my smart is more of a quickly thinking of something rudely funny to say at your expense kind of smart. Yes, I know that smart ass doesn't necessarily mean smart, but I dances with the one what brung me.