Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Our Black Lab

My husband and I love our Black Lab, his name is Jerry. We got him six years ago from the Oakland Human Society. My husband couldn’t resist this ridiculously hyper dog, he said, he was jumping and at the door begging my husband to take him home. My husband took him into a private room to play with him for a bit, next the rest was history. He fell in love with him and took him home.
We do so much for him. We treat Jerry as if he was our child. We buy only all natural dog food for him, even if it’s more expensive than the rest. We switch the flavors so he can have a variety. We like to make sure he gets all his vitamins, so we buy him dog vitamins for his health. Whenever we buy tiger shrimp for ourselves we always make sure that he has some as well, I mean who doesn’t give their dog tiger shrimp.

Speaking about health wise, we take him to the dog park every day for 2 hours. The dog park is not free either so we pay a monthly sum for that as well.  Jerry is a lab and he loves to run and he needs his exercise, so we don’t mind paying for the use of the park. Along with monthly expensive we also pay a monthly insurance on him through Banfield pet program. It helps us save money and make sure that Jerry is in tip top shape.
Jerry’s birthday is May 21. Every birthday we bring him to the park and we buy him a doggie cake that is made for whole foods. We also make him a hamburger without the bun and we sing happy birthday and show him love and affection. Also we buy him a gift toy or bone. I know it may seem a bit strange but he is our big boy he is apart of our family.
Another thing that I actually do, my husband gets a little annoyed about, is that I give Jerry a massage. He runs a lot and I don’t want to him to pull a muscle, so once per day I will massage his back and his legs and I will also make him stretch. He loves to stretch, I can actually tell him to, he will lye on his back and stretch both front and back legs its pretty crazy to see.
All in all we pretty much baby our dog and spoil him way to much. What can I say, “He’s apart of the family.”
What do you do for your pets? Share your experience!

Who to Tip When Travelling

I have been travelling the world for many years with my family. I have come across many tipping scenarios. I learned when to tip, who to tip, and when not to tip. Hopefully my suggestions will help you on your next trip aboard.

Keep in mind; you don’t have to tip every customer service person you run into abroad. There only a few people that require a tip: Waiters, Taxi drivers, Hair Dressers, and Bartenders.

Waiters- Tipping rule: no matter what country you are in, you should always leave a tip for your server. This way you will not offend him/her and leave a good impression, who knows you might decide to go back to that same restaurant. However, if your servers are just plain rude, which in some cases this can happen, it has to me. I would suggest for you not to leave a tip. As it is there job to serve you, and keep you happy.

Taxi Drivers- This depends on case to case. I mean most cases; yes, you tip the taxi driver, but in some countries, when you know the taxi driver is ripping you off and you are nearly paying double. Don’t tip. They are already pocketing that extra cash, and just taken advantage of you.

Hair Dressers- I believe you should always tip the hair dresser. In most country this is their only income they survive on, and will bring home to their family. It depends on you, on how much you should tip, I typically leave 20% and the hair dresser is happy.

Bartenders- In the United States yes you should tip the bartender. If you know you are going to be spending the whole night at one bar, I would suggest laying down $20.00 on the bar after the first drink order. Usually the bartender will serve you stronger drinks through out the night, which you end up spending less money and you will never have to wait.

Hotel Staff- When it comes to tipping at the hotel. I would leave this to your discretion. Commonly I would tip after the maids have cleaned our room. I noticed when ever I do so, they always make a nice design out of our towels, like a heart or snake. It’s very cool to see, and it is like them saying Thank you. I love it.    

Hostess- I would never tip the hostess, even if the restaurant is full; it is always his/her job to be able to find you a seat. It doesn’t matter if you give them money; it is their job to seat you in a particular spot to whatever server is next inline. 

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Waterproofing your Gadgets

When it comes to your gadgets lets face it we all have scratched, dropped them on the ground or even worst dropped your gadget into the water. Nowadays, we may no longer have to worry about those simple mishaps. The list below can help protect your gadgets from permanent damage.

  1. HzO- This is one company out of dozen, that can seal your electronic devices from water, moisture, or small particle debris. For all you people who regularly drop your phone in the water, you no longer have to worry; this coat will protect your electronic for a life time, leaving your hands sticky free, and your pockets full of savings. This item is perfect for all you bath takers out there.
  2. Phone Wallets- For all you ladies out there, whom love to be fashionable but also like to save your iPhone, iTouch or kindle from being scratched. Well at Nordstrom they have new casing for iPhones they are iPhone wallets to help protect your phone from any damages from within inside your purse like tweezers, bobby pins, nail files, etc.
  3. OtterBox Defender Case- this unique case will protect your phone from any destruction you can think of, its 3 layers will protect your phone from dropping it, dog biting or in some cases throwing it at the wall. Also includes a re-attachable clip for your belt. Perfect for any handyman and construction worker.
  4. K3 PowerSac Waterproof Bag & Case- this handy case are for people that don’t want to spend so much on accessories for their phones. At $18.33 at Wal-Mart you can protect your phone from water, dust, and static. It’s a simple solution in protecting your phone from the earth’s elements.
  5. Scosche ISAB Sport Case for iPod nano 6G- This little armband is great for those who have a daily workout routine and love to listen to music at the same time. The silicone material will help protect you from scratches. This tiny armband will help carry your iPod and protect it from natures harm. With the clear screen you will have ease access to your iPod; it also comes with a micro cloth to clean the screen. 

Monday, 29 October 2012

What Not to Put on Your Resume

Photo- No photos, the companies you are apply to don’t want to see a picture of what you look like, unless you are applying for a modeling position. They want to see your skills on paper and how you would improve their company.
References- If you would have asked me 15 years ago about listing my references on my resume, I would say, of course you list them, however we are in 2012, and nowadays its known that the potential employer will ask for your references if need be. I would recommend leaving out the sentence “References upon request” it is not necessary these days.
Keep it relevant- When writing your resume remind yourself to keep it relevant and up to date as possible, don’t talk about the local fast food chain you worked for 5 years ago. Make sure you talk about your experience pertaining to the position you are apply too.
Personal info- The interviewer doesn’t need to know any personal information such as religion, government views, physical description, etc. Just stick to the basics like full name, email, address, contact number.
Lies- So many people lye on their resume. They think oh one or two sentences won’t hurt, wrong, it will. Your employer will make sure you live up to your resume and will ask you plenty of questions pertaining to the information you provide. They can smell a liar from a mile away. So don’t embellish on your resume, keep it real.
Bad grammar- This is extremely important. Do not rush on your resume, take the time to re-proofread your resume multiple times and have a friend look over it as well, better yet you can always use a service that checks for grammar mistakes. You want to make sure your resume is error free from any grammatical mistakes. If employer sees any mistakes they will think you are not professional and you do not pay attention to details. So always proofread your resume before sending it out.
Negatives- When writing about your past employers stay clear from any negative moments you may have had with that company. For an example you had an argument because your previous manager didn’t believe you, even though you were right in the end.  It’s just a good idea to leave that kind of stuff out. Also when writing about your weakness make sure it is a positive weakness.
Desired salary- Never put your desired salary, either they will see the amount you requested and reject your resume right away without interview, because they believe you are set on that particular price range. It is better to get your foot in the door for an interview, if you move further in the interview than ask about the salary, if they don’t ask you first.
Attention grabbing tactics- Don’t go crazy with your resume. Stick to normal font, size, and style. Please stick to white paper also, its classy, simple, and it won’t hurt the interviewer eyes. White paper keeps the focus on your words and not the appearance of your paper.

Teaching Kids How to Save Money

Everyone needs to take a moment in their busy schedule to sit down and teach your child about money management. You don’t want your child one day coming up to you asking you for help to pay off credit card debt or having to rely on your money because they are not financially educated to do so. You want to make sure you take all the necessary steps to inform your child the do’s and don’s about spending money.
It is very important to teach your child about money, if you have a negative view on finances it more then likely that your child will have a negative view. If your child hears you talking about money negatively they will automatically view money in a negative light. Thus, your child will not be motivated in searching for a job or viewing work as bad thing. You need to make sure you put a positive spin on money. Showing positive emotions and discussions about money will give your child an opportunity to look at money in a positive light and will understand that money is not a burden of bad news.
Another great tip is creating a chore list. This will help introduce your child’s value of money, responsibility, saving, and profit. Your child will learn that money is just not given to them; they have to earn it, learn to save part of it, and learn how to spend it on what they really need not on impulse. When it comes time to buy something your child will appreciate what they have bought themselves and will take better care for it. They will have a sense of pride that they have accomplished something them self.
There will come a time when you will be at the store with your child, and she/he will ask you for something. I want you to say, “No” this will be the perfect opportunity to show that not every trip to the store will result in “getting something”. Instead you can take advantage of the situation. Make your child do some extra chore around the house, if she/he will complete that chore, then go head and bye that toy or piece of clothing they wanted. This shows them the responsibly of working for what he/she wants.
Once your child gets older, lets say early teens; I would recommend you showing him/her your bills. This will help your child get a sense of cost of living. They will understand how much it may cost them once they live on their own. A good example for you to use, is grocery shopping. Take your teenager grocery shopping with you. Make sure you make a budget and list of what food items you need. Most teens are not aware of how much you spend on house hold food items per month. Show them what you really buy like basic food staples. This will teach your teen that snacks and soda is not a necessity and the budget will help your teen not to splurge on unnecessary items. Your teenager will be taught they have limits.
In the end, kids need to be educated on money management no matter what. No one but you as a parent will do so. If this is something that you may not have time for then put your child’s best interest at heart and  invest in a money management class so he/she will have the skills for his/her future of tomorrow. 

Sunday, 28 October 2012


It was hard for me to believe that life would give me a chance to visit Japan. 

When I arrived at the place of my destination, I left the airport and visited downtown Tokyo, overwhelmed at the extravagant use of gorgeous electronic billboards, which advertised everything from the renowned national heritage to the picturesque beauty of Mount Fuji.

I found myself almost overwhelmed by the immense number of people that I came across, spilling over the pavements everywhere, bustling and moving in a continuous stream, from nearby to distant areas of the city. 

I rapidly found out that not being able to speak or read Japanese was going to prove very inconvenient to my stay, as there were no street signs or notices around in Western character sets, however the sheer joy of finally being able to visit this spectacular culture, and the thrill of finally meeting my greatest heros and being able to spend some time with them here in their home culture, was more than enough compensation for any inconvenience, and this first impression was both confirmed and enhanced during the remainder of my experiences here.

Friday, 26 October 2012

Mom's Blues

I have these days, when I don't know what to do with myself. Kids are at school, husband is at work, and I... I have mom's blues. I bet you have these times too. What to do if you have mom's blues?

Enjoy the time you have- Just because you are not happy that your kids are off to school soon, doesn’t mean you have to mope around the house all sad. Instead enjoy this last couple weeks with your children. Spend quality time with them.

Vacation- One more last vacation! It doesn’t have to be grand like a trip to California or to New York, you can simply take your children camping for the weekend where you can spend quality time roasting marshmallows and making smores.  Or if you live by the coast, an all day trip to the sea with a picnic basket full of food and a good game of mesh paddle ball would be great.

Day trip to the Spa- Give yourself something to look forward too, instead of focusing on the negative. You should make a spa appointment. Schedule it for the first day of school. You will have the rest of the summer looking forward to your spa treatment instead of focusing on the kids going back to school.

Go shopping- Hey your kids get new clothes for school, what about you? Treat yourself to a new fall wardrobe. It’s always fun to go shopping and it lifts your spirit, you start to feel good about yourself and it will make you want to go and show off your new clothes.

Call up your friends- Sometimes it is good to talk to someone who is feeling the same way. You can vent to your friends about your frustrations and emotions. Heck you can go out for the evening with them and catch up on your latest gossip over a cocktail. Its your time shine. Don’t let the kids get you down because you don’t want to them to leave. Take advantage of this time and have fun. 

Thursday, 25 October 2012

How to help UNDERweight Kids

May be I am not an expert, but I have an experience in this topic. 

My sister had an underweight child, she would feed him so much but he could never gain weight. She would call me up crying at night telling me how her son would get picked on at school because of his underweight. She felt like she tried everything that she could think of and nothing worked.

I thought to myself I could maybe help him gain some weight. I called up my sister and told her I can take him out grocery shopping with me, to see what he likes, and then try to incorporate some healthy food to help him again weight. She agreed and was extremely excited about. Maybe I will be the answers to her prayers.

I took John to our local grocery store. I was straight forward with him and told him the plan. He was onboard, as long as I didn’t tell anyone he knew about it. I agreed. Not to my surprise John loved protein and he told me when grabbing eggs that he likes the white part but not the yellow. He loves steak, pork, and chicken; by the end of shopping I noticed the majority of his food was all protein and no carbs.

I pointed out his diet, so he knew what he was eating. It was just one branch of the food chain. I informed him protein will help him build muscle but not again enough wait without carbs and fiber. It was my turn, we started in the veggie isle and I started grab potatoes, greens, eggplant, and squash. Informed him not all carbs are good, I suggested to eat whole grains like, brown rice, whole grain bread, brown pasta, etc. I threw in some peanut butter because I know it is high in fat and can be good on apples, celery, bread, etc.

I wanted to make sure that he knew how to gain weight; it wasn’t about eating junk food. It was about eating healthy and having a wide range of food on your plate. Not just sticking to one section like protein. It is a life style that he will have to embed it into his life. I told him I know it will be hard but myself and his mother would be with him every step of the way. About 2 months later, he had again 10 healthy extra pounds and has been maintaining his weight ever since. I am so proud of him. He is now able to walk down the hall of his school without any children making fun of him. 

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Few Tips on Introducing Dog to a Resident Cat

Ideally it’s best to introduce a dog to cat when both are little. But in most cases one is older than the other. If the cat is older and you just brought home a cute little puppy. It is best to keep the puppy on leash, because any sudden movements will get the puppy excited and want to play, which the cat may take offense to the puppy and attack it.

Make sure for a couple of weeks that you never leave the two alone, always monitor them and praise both of them for good behavior and reprimand for bad behavior. Make sure that you provide a good amount of treats to both of them for praise.

Make sure that everyone in the room is calm. The surrounding area needs to be calm and peaceful for the introduction. That is including you, if you are scared or fearful both animals will be able to feel it and more likely it will be for them to attack one another. If you need to have a cocktail or go to yoga before hand then do so, it will relieve much stress and make the introduction a more pleasant one.

Since you are introducing dogs which most have tons of energy, it is best to make him/her run a bit before the introduction. Running will release a lot of the dog’s energy, which will allow for a better and less energetic experience for the both of them.

You have to remember that their two different animals and they think differently and will want their space. Make sure you set up private spaces for each animal. A space where each feels comfortable and safe from one another and neither of each can get access to the other’s space.

You need to be consistent. It will take you many introductions before you get the results you want. Don’t give up and don’t rush either of them. It is best to be patient in this process; you need to make sure you trust both the cat and dog. There will come a time either they will love each other or learn to live with each other. In all it’s a long process.

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Dating Deal Breakers

So today I've found the diary from my past life. Hard to believe that all the words written there are my own. Here is the note I found the most interesting. It's so fun to compare my thoughts 10 years ago with actual events. So, here is it:

I am a single girl living in the New York area. I would say I am kind of picky when it comes to relationships, I expect a lot from my partner and just like I would like to think they expect a lot from me. I do have many requirements when it comes to dating and it was very difficult for me just to narrow it down to three, however I made it happen.

*Must have NO tattoos
*Must have a REAL job, a career!
*Must have family approval

The first requirement I have when it comes to dating is… No tattoos, I know you are thinking why no tattoos, well I once dated this guy whom had a tattoo of his ex girlfriend’s name on his back along with cartoon characters. Little can I say he never ended up getting over her, I caught them together in my bedroom.

My second requirement is the man that I date must have a real career. Not someone who is a struggling musician or an entrepreneur, no, I need a man that has an actual degree and a career like an eye Doctor or Scientist. I want man to be able to survive on his own, and not have to rely on me for money. Who will be able to go on trips to any where around the world and not have to worry about doing so.

Lastly, I would like a man that my family will approve of. My family and I are close. They can tell a mile away if the guy I am with is right for me or not. They know who is good for me and I trust their opinion the most. They have my best interest at heart. They will tell me the truth and not just what I want to hear.

I definitely think everyone should be picky when it comes to relationships. You should never just settle. It’s your future and should want what is best for you. 

What can I say? I really made right choices; I love my life. It was nice to find this notebook and recollect the past.

Have you ever found your old notes? Did your dreams come true? How different are you and old-you? Share your experience! 

Sunday, 14 October 2012

Happy birthday, Jason!

Today is my husband's birthday. Therefore, this post would be dedicated to him. Happy Birthday, Jason! I am going to tell the world what a wonderful person my husband is.

We met many years ago through mutual friends, and what drew me to him initially was his confident demeanor. Throughout the early stages of our relationship, I recognized him as a caring individual, and that made him an attentive lover.

Now, years into our relationship, I still see him as the most compassionate person I have ever met. He is incredible. As I have watched his career blossom, he has taught me how to keep myself innovative, how to make my own star grow brighter with the passing of time. My partner turned all the inconsistencies in my life away; he became the constant. Being the most reliable person in my world, he gave me a foundation from which to build myself.

My life partner has taught me how banal and unimpressive the material pursuits of life are. He has balanced me with his unpretentious regard for the finer things in life. This aspect of my partner makes him more approachable for heavy, deep conversation. I know he does not like to discuss our neighbor\'s gossip, and that makes it that much easier to speak about things that matter.

In my partner, I see part of myself that I want to be. He is reliable, he would do anything for anyone, whereas I find myself finding excuses to ditch out on people regularly for no reason at all whatsoever. I am the one who likes to argue, I like debating a little too much. My partner, while he sticks to his guns if the discussion is worthwhile, is always agreeable. He does not fight for the thrill of it. This is the person, the man, who has influenced me the most. He is the person that makes me want to be a better version of myself.

Thursday, 11 October 2012

Things You Should Never Say to Your Child

Can’t you see I’m busy

When your child hears this, they hear “I don’t have time to listen to your problems.” You want to make sure that you make time for your child. Just a simple 5 minutes can make all the difference.

Stop crying

Obviously your child is upset; it’s okay for them to show their feelings. You don’t want them to hold in their emotions and have it build up inside and one day explode. Just sit them down and try to calm them down.

What’s wrong with you

If you ask you child this, they will not understand the question, it will make them feel worthless and will not understand the action that they are doing is wrong. Perhaps he/she will think they are not smart and will feel like they can never live up to your acceptations.

Why can’t you

Again asking such questions implies that you don’t believe in your child and will damage their self esteem. Instead you can simply show what you want them to do, lead by example.

I’m going to leave without you

This instills fear. Yes you may have your child running after you saying, “Don’t leave me.” But there is another way, you can simply pick up your child and carry him/her out of the store. This is showing him/her that the behavior is unacceptable and they will be removed from the area.

In my day

When speaking to your teen you want to try to avoid using this phrase, the reason why is because it’s not your day now, times have changed so have the people and the situations. Our children are going through different experiences and will not understand. It’s better to listen to what they have to say and look at each situation that they are going through.

When you grow up, you will understand

This again is applying to your young adult that he or she doesn’t understand you and that they will never. Make your teen feel like they are on the same page with you. Explains things don’t just simply, say, “when you grow up you will understand.” It’s our jobs as parents to teach our kids what they don’t understand.

Just wait until your dad gets home

This saying just simply undermines you as a parent, this is telling your child that I know I don’t have power over you but your dad does. The child loses respect for you and put fear of their dad in place. Not a good way to go. 

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Travel with Kids

If you have kids, you understand me. It might be very hard to travel with them. So this entry is dedicated to the little secrets you may use to make your trip easier. All of them are from my own experience, and I have three kids, so you can imagine how desperately I need them :)
So, if you  are going to travel with your kids, I recommend you to:

Bring a movie

If you don’t have a portable DVD player I would say it’s definitely a great investment. If you do have a portable DVD player, its best to get your children together the night before your trip and have them pick out a movie they all will agree on. Yes this may take some time, but that’s why you have them pick out the movie the night before to avoid any arguments in the car. A movie is great way to keep your kids quite and entertained for a few hours.

Bring their favourite healthy snack

Of course your kids will be hungry during the car ride. They more than likely will be asking you to stop to grab a snack or a drink. Make sure you pack a good variety of healthy snacks that you know your kids will love. Better yet, sit them down the night before and put there snack choices in front of them and have them create their own snack bag, this will help them individualise their bags and avoid any possible stealing of others’ snacks.

Comfortable clothes

Your kids may be riding in the car for hours. Its best to make sure your kids wear comfortable clothes. Depending on the time of year, keep the air conditioning or heating to a relatively normal room temperature. Make sure your kids are wearing the appropriate clothes based on the temperature you set, along with comfortable clothes and provide and blankets just in case if one or all get cold.   

Their favourite toy

I recommend grabbing 3 toys for each child, that is car friendly, again the night before have each child pick out one toy or stuff animal to bring with him/her. This will help keep your child entertained after the movie and if he/she picked a stuff animal, it will help comfort him/her from being away from home.

Get your kids to be sleepy.

Lastly, you should try to tire out your kids before you leave for your trip. If this means the night before or mid day take you them to the park have them run around for an hour or so, this will help your kids burn the energy they have and hopefully help them to fall asleep for a part of the trip. If your trip is in the summer have them go swimming. If your trip is in the winter have them go sledding. Any physical activity will wipe them out. 

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Borrowed Money

People say, that borrowed money can ruin friendship. Actually, my husband says that, and I absolutely disagree with this statement. Once I was forced to borrow money, and this story had "happy ending." I am sure that money can't damage relationships, if you do everything sincerely.

I was attending my last year of college back in Moorhead State University; I was a young student, the age of 19 to be exact and I didn’t have enough money for college. I knew I couldn’t ask my mom because she was a single mother of four and could barely provide for us. My friends either already graduated and or were struggling to finds jobs; some didn’t have the amount I was asking for. My father was out of my life by choice, but I still stayed connected to his family. His side of the family are very well off, both uncles are Doctors. 
The thought of having to borrow money from others always puts me into an anxiety attack; it was one of my biggest fears. The feeling of being vulnerable and weak and at the mercy of some else’s hands is torturous for me. Plus, it wasn’t just a couple hundred of dollars, no it was $10,000. At that time of my life, I really wanted to finish school and it was silly to put my education on hold because lack of funds. I made the decision to ask my uncle if I could borrow the money.
I was trebling with fear, but I picked up the phone. Asked him if we could meet for lunch and I needed to ask him an important question. I pulled up to the Olive Garden and walked into the restaurant, I was the first one there. I sat down and waited, not for a long time. I saw my uncle walking in with a smile on his face. We chatted for a bit and half way through our meal he leaned back in his chair, and he said, “What was the important question you wanted to ask me.” My heart stopped and butterflies rushed into my stomach. I started to speak about it being my last year of college, I could feel myself starting to joke on my words, so I stopped for a few seconds and I finally just looked at him and straight told him that I was broke and wanted to finish school. He stopped me in my tracks and said, “No worries, of course I will lend you the money” with a smile on his face he quickly changed the subject and went on with our meal.
As soon as I finished college and I got a decent job and started to pay back my uncle, with monthly payments. He not once ever asked me about money or when I would pay him back. He trusted in me that I would or maybe he didn’t care. All I know is that I am grateful for what he did, and now looking back it makes me laugh on how scared I was to ask him. 

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

A person who has influenced me the most

Although it might sound cliched, the person who has influenced me the most is one that I grew up with, right at home, an unpretentious homemaker, i.e. my mother. Always there for me when I needed her, she was and continues to be the most caring person that I know; I say this not just from personal experiences with her, but also observing her in her interactions with others in the family and neighborhood. I had no trouble approaching her with any of my growing pains and left the room after talking to her in a most agreeable disposition, thanks to her incredibly innovative solutions to my problems, ranging from, "forget it, love" or "you've just got to live with it, darling"! What mattered was she heard me out and was one I could rely on to do that at any time of day or night.

Now that I am on my own and having to deal with three children of my own, I often wonder if I am doing justice to them in my role as mom as she did so effortlessly. I get the feeling that there are times when my temperament does wild pendulum swings and that I am somewhat inconsistent in my approach to rearing them due to a variety of circumstances. How did she do it? To paraphrase lines from an Edna St. Vincent Millay poem, The Courage that My Mother Had...I wish mum could pass on those precious motherly qualities to me as heirlooms rather than her jewelry and antiques, so I could have them naturally.

If I asked her, she'd probably say, "You’re doing just fine, dear...keep at it", in her inimitably reassuring style. And so, I continue to watch and learn and let her be the person that perennially influences me the most. Maybe if I hope to reach for the skies, I'll get a fistful of moondust... at the very least.