Thursday, December 30, 2010

Make us Proud, Wal-Mart!

"Hey! There are hungry people all over the country! Let's have a contest and feed the winners!"

That's why we love ya, Sons-and-Daughters-of-Sam.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

And Lo! The Word Came Down from On High

To simplify things and avoid my getting into trouble, let's just say that I am a level 3 administrator in the organization. Every month, my supervisor and his assistants (levels 5 and 4, respectively) call all the level 3's together to deal with problems, seek advice, and preach the gospel (from levels 6, 7, 8, 9, etc.). It's a good system, and the level 4- and 5-ers above me are good folks. We 3's don't always like what gets preached, but we're basically obedient and do our best to comply.

So about 6 months ago, in our meeting, the word came down that we could no longer do X. Sure, we had been allowed to do X in the past, but those days were over. No more X. They were serious. X causeth a multitude of problems, apparently, so just stop it. Now.

And in the months since then, we have been reminded at least a half-dozen times, in various contexts, that X was a thing of the past. Thou Shalt Not X. Remember? Remember how we said no more X? Well, better get used to it, 'cause NO MORE X.

I got it.

Only here's the problem: It soon became apparent that the best, most logical way to solve a problem in my department was to do . . . you guessed it: X. But I knew better. But I really needed to X. But I knew I couldn't. But. . . .

So I went to #5, and I said, "I know I can't do X. I know that. It's clear that X causes warts and communism, so X is Right Out. But you see, I need to do this certain thing, and is seems to little ol' me that the easiest thing to do would be XbutIknowIcan'tdothatsoyoudon'thavetotellme, so what do you think I should do instead?" Number 5 listened carefully and came up with a plan. He'd take the problem to #7.

So it turns out that #7 agreed that I was in a sticky situation all right, and maybe we could solve it by doing Y. Well, Y was actually a good idea. It was not something I knew about, and Y would work just fine to solve my problem. "So that's why #7 gets the big bucks," I thought. So I did as I was asked, and wrote up a case for Y, explaining why I needed to do Y and what a good idea it would be. And #5 added his support, and we sent it to #7, and #7 took my case to #8.

And I waited.
Then, today, I got an email from #7! And it said that #7 and #8 weren't really ready to do Y, it seemed a little drastic. No need for such draconian action. They suggested that X would be simpler. So I just needed to write a memo explaining why I wanted to do X, and that would be that.

Of course, I hit "Reply" immediately.

"But, you silly ass," I wrote, "X is what I wanted to do all along but you've been telling me over and over and over and over that I couldn't and now you say to me thas;dlkjfgaspoiuga;la;rua."

Those of you with who have trod the administrative boards will recognize the "s;dlkjfgaspoiuga;la;rua" part as where my vast administrative experience of two years kicked in and saved my backside. My instincts told my fingers to just quit working. Then my instincts told me to hit the delete key until my whole reply disappeared. And I walked away.

So I will write the memo, and get permission, and do X, and all will be well.

But the real question in my mind is, how long do you have to be an administrator before you start understanding things like this? Before you understand that Of course, you can't apply Y to a PS-55/J17, but that a PS-55/J17 is the only really acceptable exception to the "NO MORE X" rule?

Cause I have to retire before then.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010


I have a couple of new favorite places, both of which floated, cream-like, to the top of the milk glass of my life this past week.

Disclaimer: Madison, Wisconsin, still holds large pieces of my heart. There's still no place like Woodman's. There's still no place like Dotty Dumpling's Dowry. Or Brennan's. But thinking about that from this far away -- well, it just doesn't do any good. So I'm trying to move on and do the best I can with the cards I've been dealt.

Anyway, the new Winco opened a while ago in Orem and it's really, by local standards, a pretty nice store. Prices, selection, ambiance, all above average. Also, Smashburger, a Denver-based hamburger franchise, also recently opened in Orem and, by golly, their burgers are pretty good. Gives In-n-Out reason to fear.

But what sealed the deal for both of these establishments was what I found in the restrooms: the world's most nearly perfect hand dryer, the Xlerator. I thought perhaps I had left these wonderful machines far behind in Wisconsin, as the only other one I knew about was in Woodman's in Madison.

Why all this bother about a hand dryer? For one thing, because it actually works. It dries your hands completely. Honest. But for another thing, they're just cool.

You know how the Mythbusters always examine a myth like, "mixing gasoline and alcohol by your water heater can blow your roof clean off" and when they find out that no, it doesn't blow your roof off, it just picks it up and moves it over a few feet, they then ask the fateful questions, "Well, what would it take to blow the roof clean off?" And then the fun starts?

The Xlerator is what would happen if the Mythbusters took on the question, "Do lavatory hand dryers ever really get your hands dry? And if so, would they have to deform your hands permanently to do it? Could it actually remove the tissue from the bones?"

Yeah. I like 'em. I like 'em a lot.

Thursday, August 26, 2010


`My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings:
Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair!'

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Just Say "NO." Or, "Eeeeew!"

I try to keep the blog more or less family friendly, so I feel the need to provide a

------------ PARENTAL ADVISORY -------------

This blog contains adult language like "athletic supporter" and "nether regions" and "the boys."


OK. So I was in Sports Authority the other day, in the area of knee braces and tape and other things needed to treat or prevent athletic (or in our case, dance) injuries. As I wandered down the aisle, I noticed the athletic cups, those used to protect the nether regions of young men from grounders that take a bad bounce, soccer balls that can't be avoided, or full on kicks in a karate class.

I saw these:

OK. Now I am NOT, like, "Mr. Athlete." But I have participated in sports, both when I have had to wear one of these and when I have really, REALLY wished I had. But I have never known anyone who needed either a "Left" or a "Right" (or ~SHUDDER~ both). So this is a very scary development, I tell you what.

I can only assume it's caused by the increased use of anabolic steroids. I've taken enough biology to know that anabolic steroids act as hormones, and hormones affect the, uh, boys. So steroids must be causing some very strange stuff.

And don't even try to tell me that L stands for Large and R stands for Regular or something. Regular is not a size for things people wear. It's a size for french fries. The sizes for things like this would be Small, Medium, Large, Extra-Large, and Yeah, Right. There ain't no Regular.

So, young men, let this be a warning. When it comes to steroid use, it isn't worth it. Just say NO. Or, as my wife said when I showed her and asked why anyone would need a "lefty" or a "righty,"


Wednesday, August 18, 2010

El Matador

There’s a perfectly rational explanation. I am a scholar, a man of (social) science, I expect logic and order in the universe. So it’s a matter of faith that there is a rational explanation.

I spent most of Monday evening wrestling with El Toro. El Toro mowed one swath of my lawn with my daughter at the helm, quit, and wouldn’t start again.

So it fell to El Matador to set things right again.

I started with the usual things: repeatedly pulling the starting cord and using power words, questioning the lineage of El Toro. That only made him mad. Mad enough to offer one little “cough” out of every 17 pulls, just enough to keep me pulling and pulling and pulling again.

I checked the air filter, I used starter fluid. I completely drained and replaced the oil. I drained the gas and replaced it with new gas in case it had gone bad. Nothing.

After dark, in the safety of my house, and drawing on my extensive mechanical know-how gleaned from “Benny and Joon” I reviewed the possibilities. Either I didn’t have fuel or I didn’t have fire. Having checked the fuel (at least as much as I could) I decided to check the fire at my earliest convenience.

So this morning I was about to take out the ol’ plug and check it out when I thought (and this shows the depth of my lunacy), “I’ll just give it one more pull.”

It started. One pull. No cough, no hesitation, nothing. One pull.

El Toro had become El Ferdinand.

Not only did it start, it mowed my whole yard, including the jungle that had once been my back lawn, and started with one pull pretty much every time.

There is a rational explanation. My current hypotheses include:

1. It don’t like Mondays.

2. El Toro doesn’t like to see my children actually doing work. It likes to wait until 8 am in the morning when all my children are asleep to start. “C’mon,” it says to me, “Let’s do some mowin’!”

3. So maybe my mower likes me. Me, personally. Great. My mower has a man-crush.

4. Bad gas gummed up the jets and the good gas reversed it over the course of two nights.

5. Roughly equivalent to #4, but involves the curse of a bad fairy and the good fairy coming to undo it. But the good fairy has a second job as Lady Gaga’s guardian angel Tuesdays, and so couldn’t make it until this morning.

So science marches on. I’ll keep you posted. Maybe I’ll have the Car Whisperer give it a once-over. I hope he can get to the bottom of it. When it comes to machines, I don’t mind pure cussedness, but inconsistency drives me nuts.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Should I Be Worried About This?

Although I don’t consider myself an uneasy sleeper, I have never really gone easy into that good night, either. Too often in my life, surrendering to sleep just means that the next thing I’m aware of is morning, with its attendant responsibilities and unpleasantness. As John Fogarty puts it, “night time is the right time” as far as I’m concerned.

So this means that I usually have to read myself to sleep. Or maybe do some crossword puzzles or sudokus or something. And before you want to tell me that sleep experts would suggest that’s only going to keep me awake, remember that’s just the point: to pretend I’m staying up while actually I’m slowly getting sleepy but don’t notice it. Anyway, the upshot is that I have piles of various reading materials by my bed, ranging from newspapers and magazines through novels and textbooks and back to Bloom County collections. And occasionally I have to break down and gather them up and put them away.

Not a pleasant task, but I discovered something both entertaining and unnerving the other day as I was doing this: I could sort the reading material into piles based on the seven deadly sins:

Gluttony: Various cookbooks, Cook’s Illustrated

Pride: Strength Training Anatomy, Body by Science, other books on weight training. As if.

Sloth: Crosswords. Sudokus. Get Fuzzy. Dave Barry. Patrick McManus.

Wrath: Most of my professional books on education, most of which make me angry.

Lust: Sorry, I gave this up when I got married, unless you throw it in with:

Greed and Envy: Consumer Reports, especially when it deals with off-road vehicles.

Oh well. I wish I could honestly say that I’m surprised. But I’m not. I couldn’t find a single piece of bedtime reading material that I could throw in a “cardinal virtue” pile.

No, I really can’t count holy writ. It isn’t bedtime reading, after all. It puts me to sleep.

Can’t have that.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Wayne Smith

I got a call from my credit card company this morning with an exciting new offer to protect my identity from theft. It won't surprise you when I tell you that the gentleman who talked with me had a rather pronounced Indian accent. I assume he was in fact sitting somewhere in India in a call center when we conversed. The best part, though, was that he told me his name: Wayne Smith.

"My name is Wayne Smith," he said. He repeated it a couple of times so I'd be sure to catch it. The second time, he said it fast, so it was like one word: "WayneSmith."

Why, he was just an ordinary guy like me, Joe Sixpack himself.You could trust him, a guy named Wayne Smith. Listened to Lee Greenwood a lot, no doubt. And calling little ol' me up with real concern about my identity being safe. Made me feel really bad to tell him I wasn't interested and hang up.

But it did get me thinking about the many employees of my credit card company, who I can just picture:

Wayne Smith

Wayne's brother Carl

Nguyen Bao

Magnús Guðjmansson

Kalepo Malielegaoi

And of course:

The Artist Formerly Known as Madonna

Makes me think they have a little bit of trouble with identity, themselves.

Monday, May 31, 2010

A Matter of Proportion

We recently discovered an infestation of mice in our downstairs storage area (here, "infestation" is defined mathematically as "a number of mice greater than or equal to 1"). Those of you who know this family will wonder how that can be possible, given that we have been associated with so very many cats in the past. But the fact is that we are down a few cats from, say, last year at this time, since two have passed on to that big easy chair in the sky, one has apparently wandered off as suddenly as he wandered in, and a fourth has been reclassified as an "outdoor" cat for reasons that good taste preclude a complete description of (i.e., I can't say he peed on things). So, that leaves us with one actual indoor cat.

Ming, also known occasionally as "Catness," and "Ouch! You little snot!"

(I will add two comments here unrelated to the real story: First, as I type this, Ming has assumed her usual position lying between the keyboard and the monitor, this time with her twitchy little tail covering the keys from the I to the Backspace. Every time I have to backspace, it pulls her tail hair a little. Eventually she will bite me. Second, as with a fourth or fifth child, I find that I can find fewer pictures of this fourth or fifth or sixth cat than of the first two or three.)

Now Ming is pretty much an indoor cat, and so you'd think we could maintain a fairly mouse-free environment. But that would be assuming that Ming is a useful cat, whereas in truth she is largely decorative. Also, she is no dummy. She has figured out the rudiments of multiplicative mathematical structures, and has at least this basic picture in mind:

"Hmmm. I wonder which one has the most bacon?"

Now I can't honestly say that Ming is waiting for a pig to appear in the downstairs food storage room, thinking that she'll save her energy for that moment and then eat for a year. But I do know she turns up her nose at fresh fish, but positively dances on her hind legs for bacon. She is not a maritime cat, more like a cat from America's heartland, say Iowa, where pork is king and there's plenty of it. Just sayin'.

So, until a herd of wild boars runs through our basement, Ming will remain largely decorative, and we will have to deal with the mice ourselves. Time to lay in more peanut butter.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Doin' Jack

It's a little embarrassing that my personal hero is not a religious figure, great person in history, or famous academic. Respectable LDS academics should try to choose their personal heroes wisely, but I have not. And don't get me started on my favorite books, movies, or TV shows. Ugh.

But the fact of the matter is, my personal hero is Adam Richman. He hosts Man vs Food on the Travel Channel and has what is unquestionably the best job in the known universe, which is eating for a living. For the uninitiated, Man vs Food has Adam visiting a different city each episode, eating in some great pig-out places, and then undertaking one selected restaurant's food challenge, which he often wins (especially if it involves very hot food) but sometimes loses (mostly in cases that involve sheer volume of food).

Of course, being a member of the Fraternity of the Crossed Forks (Motto: "Cardiologist? What's a Cardiologist?") I would love to visit those same places and eat those same wonderful things. Maybe more slowly, but still. So when I went to Denver a couple of weeks ago and had a chance to go to Jack-n-Grill, scene of the Denver episode's "Seven pound burrito challenge," well, you know I had to go, dragging my unwitting travel companions along if necessary.

Of course, the need to go there was particularly acute because my son had actually gone there last May during a road trip involving a Decemberists concert. His adventure is documented in his own blog post, which I will let you find if you care enough, but won't provide a link for because I think Colin Maloy sings like a goat and don't want to encourage him (my son, not Colin). However, the relevant pictures are these:

Left, my son about to do battle. Below, the battle being waged with the help of friend Tucker. Notice that, despite three refills of Mt. Dew, Tucker still appears to be falling asleep.

Anyway, my son had been-there-done-that so I saw this as a chance to bond a little, long distance, using food, which is my usual method of bonding with pretty much everyone. This one's for you, son.

We arrived at the Jack-n-Grill full of expectations, and after a 45 minute wait for a table, I found myself sitting in what I now know was the same spot my son's party occupied -- right by the glass door. Indeed, I was sitting right where Tucker sat.

Apparently there is something about that particular seat that makes you sleepy, despite three refills of Diet Coke.

We detected a theme in the decor. A certain Jack-iness, including but not limited to: Nicholson, Sparrow, Hungry, One-Eyed, Links, Broken Crowned, and Nimble.

No, I did not order the burrito. A man needs to know his limits, an old man even more so. I settled for a couple of smothered chimichangas, of which I only ate one.

The Divine Ms B, however, was the hero of the day. She ordered a Juarez Burger.

In case like me you have old eyes and can't read that, it says:

A full 10 oz. patty of fresh ground chuck, ham, hot-dog, fresh green chile, cheese, guacamole, mayo.
And so it was.

I consider it a work of art, sort of awe-inspiring, but no more so than the Divine Ms B's dedicated assault on it:

And the final result was commendable.

At this point in the meal, the Divine Ms B leaned over to me and said, "I want you to know I could have finished it, but I wanted to save some for later." I believe her. She is an honest person.

The Hero of the Day, in my book.

And to Dan and Roni Jo: thanks, you were good sports.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Just Call Me Homer

Mr Burns:
"Who was that young hellcat, Smithers?"
Smithers: "Homer Simpson, sir."
Mr Burns: "Simpson, eh? I'll remember that name."

Mr Burns: "That man who's getting all the laughs, Smithers ... who is he?"
Smithers: "Homer Simpson, sir, one of the carbon blobs from sector 7-G."

Mr Burns: "Why is that man in pink?"
Smithers: "Oh, that's Homer Simpson, sir. He's one of your boobs from Sector 7-G."

Mr Burns: "Smithers, who is this saucy fellow?"
Smithers: "Homer Simpson, sir. Sector sieben-Grueber, I mean, sector 7-G."

Homer: "Hey Burns! Eat! my! shorts!"
Mr Burns: "Who the Sam Hill was that?"
Smithers: "Why it's Homer Simpson, sir. One of the schmos from sector 7-G."

Mr Burns: "Who is that lavatory linksman, Smithers?"
Smithers: "Homer Simpson, sir. One of the fork and spoon operators from sector 7-G."

Mr Burns: "Who is that firebrand, Smithers?"
Smithers: "That's Homer Simpson."
Mr Burns: "Simpson, eh? New man?"
Smithers: "Actually, sir, he thwarted your campaign for governor, you ran over his son, he saved the plant from meltdown, his wife painted you in the nude..."
Mr Burns: "Doesn't ring a bell."

Mr Burns: "Really Smithers, I'll be fine. I'm sure your replacement will be able to handle everything. Who is he, anyway?"
Smithers: "Uh, Homer Simpson, sir. One of your organ banks from sector 7-G. All the recent events of your life have revolved around him in some way."
Mr Burns: "Simpson, eh?"

Mr Burns: "Who the devil are you?"
Homer: "Homer Simpson!"
Mr Burns: "What?"
Homer: "Homer Simpson!"
Mr Burns: "What are you talking about?"
Homer: "Homer..."
Mr Burns: "You're not making sense, man!"
Homer: "Shut up! Homer Simpson!"
Mr Burns: "I can't understand a word you're saying!"
Homer: "My name is Homer Simpson!"
Mr Burns: "You're just babbling incoherently..."

There's nothing quite like going to a professional meeting to remind me of my place in the universe. So many people who are important in my field, many of whom I've met, some of whom I've spent several days with in various conferences and meetings, broken bread with, and published their papers in a journal I edited. And, as nearly as I can tell, none of whom recognize me or remember my name.

OK, I admit that it's partly my fault. I tend to be sort of retiring, and actually prefer to stay in the background. I don't schmooze well. I certainly don't go out of my way to get noticed. On those few occasions when I've put myself out to meet someone or talk to them, I've usually wondered whether I came off as too eager or presumptuous. But there are a few people who I really think ought to know me, and it stings a little when they don't. Yes, they are well-known in the field, and I'm not so much. Yes, they meet a lot more people than I do. Still, even carbon-blobs like me like to think they are significant to people who are significant to them.

Oh well. There's not much I can do about it, and it really only matters once or twice a year anyway. But there's one case that stands out that I can do something about. One person in my own university. Like me, he's a department chair. We've talked several times. I've introduced myself at least three times. We've spent time at meetings together. There are several different contexts in which we have mutual acquaintances. And when I call him by name, and say hello, he looks at me like I'm a complete stranger. Never laid eyes on me. Like maybe I have broccoli growing out of my ears.

So I'm going to take every possible chance to say hello to him as I pass quickly by, so that he has to keep wondering who I am and why I know him. Eventually, he'll ask his companions, "Who is that bald fella?" And they'll say, "I'm not sure, but he reminds me of someone. Except I think his skin should be more yellow."

Saturday, April 10, 2010

The Unrequiteds

I am the father of three daughters (and one son, but that’s another blog-- or seven). The oldest is married, and she’s been through it. The youngest is 13 and she’s just getting started. The middle one is a high school senior, and in the prime time for collecting young men. I refer here to the young men who like her but who, for various reasons, she does not quite like back so much. We could call them the UO’s, the Unrequited Ones.

I have some sympathy for them, partly because I was one myself for a good part of my youth. I did have a few steady girlfriends, but in between them I spent a lot of time mooning over some girl or other who just didn’t moon me back. (OK, bad choice of words, but you get the idea.). So I’ve been there. I know that sometimes it’s easier to love someone from a distance, especially because then you don’t have to deal with the everyday reality of her not loving you in return. Sometimes it appeals to your angst-y teenage sensibilities to watch from afar and just enjoy the stomachache. (Be careful! You might be prompted to write some very, very bad poetry.) Sometimes you even convince yourself that “its bigger than both of us,” and that eventually, things will come around your way. This is a very seductive way of thinking, but trust me, it’s also very dangerous. You sometimes see the object of your adoration in a somewhat idealized way.

But, as I said, I’m sympathetic. My daughters, who are always kind, bless them, are nevertheless not so sympathetic. They talk of wearing “The Sign.” This is a sign they believe is written on their foreheads that says, “If you are pathetic, I’d make a great girlfriend!” They do NOT like The Sign. I think they blame me for it, somehow. Or maybe just my gender. I’d have to plead guilty to the last one. But I digress. My youngest is now afraid of that time when The Sign will appear on her forehead. The middle one recently told me she wants to replace The Sign with one that reads (or screams, or uses flashing neon and possibly spotlights, clowns, and dancing bears to convey the message) “Hey, I’ve GOT a boyfriend. DON’T EVEN START!” The oldest, safely and happily married, just watches from the sideline, shakes her head in sympathy, and occasionally gives me a hard stare. In later years, when they get together, they will tell stories that begin, “You think you’ve had strange boys fall in love with you? Let me tell you about. . . .” It’s already started with the two older ones (so far, the oldest one is ahead in points).

I’d like to help, I really would. I’ve wanted to take these young men aside and say, “Son, I know how you feel. It isn’t easy, but trust me – this dog don’t hunt.” But I know it wouldn’t really do much good. I’m an old man now, and so they know I don’t understand love. Besides, I’ve had conversations with one particular UO who, believing God was on his side, was determined to keep plugging away until Right Won Out. I think this happened right up to the night of the wedding reception, I’m not sure. And of course, cold Reason knows nothing of the affairs of the heart. And I’ve got the folder full of bad poetry to prove it.

So, if any of my daughters’ UO’s happen to read this, I’m sorry. But don’t stalk them. Trust me when I say you’re wasting your time. And, as I have done a few times, take some comfort in the words of Three Dog Night: “Rearrange, boy. Make yourself strong. You’re not the first or last who’s lost everything.” Take a few deep breaths. Find a hobby. Go out with the boys and shoot some hoops or spit or scratch or something. And as a founding member of the Unrequited Ones Club, rest assured that things do usually get better. Very often, everything eventually works out, and sometimes you get married to a beautiful woman, and have three beautiful daughters (and a son).

One more small piece of advice: under no circumstances allow those children to find that very, very bad poetry you’ve been writing. I’d just burn it now, if I were you.

Friday, March 26, 2010


I think P. G. Wodehouse has provided me with a wonderful way to describe how I feel about living in Utah County, a place dominated by Republicans, Libertarians, and Constitutionalists, and also a few people not nearly so liberal.

Understand, it's not that I've necessarily identified myself with the Left-of-Centers, either. I don't really think of myself as a liberal. But that being said, I have to also say I'm tired of the arrogant, self-important, know-it all conservatives that run Utah, or at least try to. I would throw every one of the bums out, if I could and if I thought there weren't three more lined up behind each one of them just as bad.

OK, done with that rant. And now for my wonderful quote. If you are not familiar with P. G. Wodehouse, well, you're missing out. In the Jeeves and Wooster books, there is a character named Roderick Spode, loosely fashioned after Sir Oswald Mosely, the leader of the British Union of Fascists. Spode's followers wear black shorts instead of black shirts, and his political policies are laid out thusly:

Our policies are: one, the right, nay the duty of every freeborn Englishman to grow his own potatoes; two, an immediate ban on the import of foreign root vegetables into the United Kingdom; and three, the compulsory scientific measurement of all adult male knees! Nothing stands between us, and our victory, except defeat! Tomorrow is a new day, the future lies ahead!

Roderick Spode, the Earl of Sidcup

Spode spends a lot of his time blustering, and threatening, and throwing his weight around, not unlike the Utah Legislature. At one point in the novel The Code of the Woosters, our hero Bertie Wooster has the temporary upper hand over Spode, and gives the following little speech:

"The trouble with you, Spode, is that just because you have succeeded in inducing a handful of half-wits to disfigure the London scene by going about in black shorts, you think you're someone. You hear them shouting "Heil, Spode!" and you imagine it is the Voice of the People. That is where you make your bloomer. What the Voice of the People is saying is: 'Look at that frightful ass Spode swanking about in footer bags! Did you ever in your puff see such a perfect perisher?'

Couldn't have said it better myself, Bertie. You're my new hero.