Bad Pool Caller and a Makeup Play Date

I'm really feeling the passion and energy from this new job now even more!  The team is one of the most collaborative I have worked with in years, and I've just turned that mental corner where you "click" and REALLY jump into another layer of understanding of just what exactly we're going to do and when we want to get everything finished.  This is a natural part of my ramp-up with new a consulting gig...I KNOW there's a ton of stuff to do but don't know the subject matter indepth...yet.

So I came home on Friday after a mentally fulfilling and yet exhausting week too.  I was ready to relax, heat up some leftover pasta and just veg.  But first, as I always do when I get home, I went upstairs to check email here in the home office.  Rather than seeing my usual, soothing aquarium-themed screen saver, I saw IT.  The loathed, despised...BLUE SCREEN OF DEATH!

Duhn duhn duhnnnnnnnnnnn....or maybe wahn wahn wahnnnnn sad trombone sound.  Pick your dramatic music of choice.

Thankfully I haven't seen a BSOD in years.  I looked closer at this new screen booger, skimmed over a bunch of gobbledeegook and then this jumped out at me:  Bad Pool Caller.

Now, I appreciate technology and all even though I'm no coding expert.  A bad pool caller?  Sounds like a crappy judge in a swim or dive meet.   Flashbacks to our neighborhood pool when I was a kid - all those swimming and diving competitions.  

So, after restarting the laptop and praying it boots up alright (whew, it does), I go online and search on this strange error.  Turns out there's a ton of stuff out there about it.  What's true and what's not?  Well, the windowstalk blog seems to sum it up pretty well in plain English:  "The 'bad pool caller' error is shown when Windows is not able to access the data-pool that it requires to run. The data pool is the technical term used to describe all the settings and options that your computer may require whenever it’s running, and as you may have guessed, it’s constantly being 'called' to help your computer run as smoothly as possible. Unfortunately, there are many occasions where Windows will try and call a setting from the data pool, only to have it show an error."

What's one of the recommended fixes? Try using a registry cleaner.  Hmmm...for years I did use one.  I don't remember how I stumbled upon it, but I ran it every few days or so, it would call out errors and fix them and I'd pay my $30 subscription fee every year.  And never had any problems or issues with it nor with this laptop in general come to think of it.

But a couple of months ago I got hit with a bad computer virus, which took over 4 hours of phone time with Dell to troubleshoot and clean.  Viruses suck.  And there's no way to tell when or how your computer got infected.  I learned that viruses can lie dormant for long periods of time and then suddenly spring to life.  Hell, when you're on the phone with a tech all those hours you might as well ask and learn.  

Part of that troubleshooting was to remove any sort of accessory type thingy.  The tech was convinced my registry cleaner, among other things, was no good so I agreed to have him removed it (over the phone remote connectivity stuff is pretty cool).  We removed pretty much everything...he even was convinced my Google Desktop search agent had been downloaded from an unauthorized source.  So I felt like I was getting a mega computer antibiotic that cleared out the good stuff as well as the bad.  Bottom line, no more virus.

And (but?) now, this blue screen.  Anyway I poked around and found a different registry cleaner to try.  And it seems to have good reviews.  Do I dare dive into this again?

I signed up with it for a year.  A tad reluctant, but also a little relieved that this might just be one way to bandaid any problems with this ancient laptop before I pull the trigger on a new one.  Why reluctant?  Yeah, well, earlier this year I had to cancel my debit card because I thought it might have been compromised online.  Better safe than sorry, so I got a new one issued.  I used a credit card I hardly ever use for this new registry cleaning program, so if for some reason it's a problem they don't have my bank account number.

So, after a few 'cleans,' no more blue screens and we *seem* to be alright.  Dodged a boulder...maybe.

I also got some great girl-time in this weekend too...nothing is both more energizing and relaxing to me all at the same time.  Love it.  L and I went on a long-overdue walk around our neighborhood to reconnect yesterday.  I'm feeling a little sore today too which is a good sign!  And I drove down to S's place this afternoon for a mini spa and facial party.

Most of you who tune in here regularly probably know I'm a makeup junkie.  I have zero brand loyalty...I do have my favorites but will try just about anything meanwhile.

At S's party we had fun playing around with a product line she represents - Artistry.  It's part of Amway Global.  Yes, Amway Global!  Surprised they have a makeup line?  Don't be...and it's top notch stuff.  We had fun pampering ourselves with some cleansing and exfoliating products, hot towels and all.  Sipping on wine and enjoying fabulous munchies meanwhile. 

After we did our mini facials we played with makeup and got matched for our colors in foundations and tinted moisturizers.  WOW, I'm very impressed with the foundation S recommended for me and can't wait to get it!  I've tried just about every brand out there over 30+ years and this one really did a great job evening out my ruddiness and giving good overall coverage without being too cakey or grippy.  Even now it still looks fresh after a few hours...with no primer underneath (I swear by primer, always).  Nice.  I also love how it comes in a pump-style dispenser...much more sanitary than a jar and lid.

I also fell in love with the light-up lip gloss.  This is stuff of genius...a lipgloss that has a small mirror on one side of the tube, and tiny lights that light up at the base of the wand when you pull it out.  So, you can easily touch up your lips and do the good ol' teeth check in the tiny mirror...love it!

Rounding out my mini-haul today...a green tea-scented lotion and body wash (two huge containers for just $15 total?  Unreal.) and a liquid facial cleanser I tried out today.  While I'm picky about skincare, I am open to trying just about anything that is not too drying and not overly-scented.  This cleanser has a very light outdoorsy and citrusy scent...so subtle it's hard to pin down...perfect in my book.

Four great products for $95 including shipping and tax?  Oh yeahhhh...

And we're going on almost 72 hours here with no BSOD.  Yep it's a great weekend alright.    


And Now We are Two...and Where was Summer?

I just realized the ol' fivenineteen here turned two back on the 14th!  Wow!  I made a much bigger deal about the first birthday last year.  This year, sadly, I didn't even realize I missed it till the 15th.  Oops!

But OK, OK, no biggy. I guess that's a good sign that this blog is pretty much a given, essential part of my lifestyle.  At least for now.  What started out as me sitting here, unemployed and bored, with a "no idea what's going to happen...and I like that" opening post of sorts in 2009 has sprouted into over 130 weekly musings/ramblings.  Thank you all who tune in here regularly and those who stumble in by accident.  They always say, oh, when you start a blog you should have a theme.  I said hell with that and just plunged right in.  So, here we are - pretty dang eclectic!

I slept in until (gulp) 11am this morning.  That's even late for me.  Ugh, I've been in a sort of half-fog tired state this past week.  We've got some bad colds going around the office and I am trying HARD not to catch anything. Guess it's the change in the weather and kids going back to school.  New germs everywhere.  OK, so if sleep is the best medicine for me, then we'll go with it.

Yep...change in weather from crappy summer to early fall.  Just like that - my furnace has been kicking on in the morning recently, and my usual routine of opening the windows for fresh air here upstairs every day first thing is going to get shelved pretty soon.  A little chilly!  And where are my slippers?

This "summer" reminds me a little of I think it was...errr...2008.  That summer was also pretty much a bust save for a week or two.  That was the also the year we had snow in mid April and everything was all weird and freaky. 

So while I do like the fall season, it's just hard to welcome it when summer wasn't much different save for a couple of weeks in August.  And this past week was glorious too.  I'm glad I was out on the coast for the 4th of July weekend, as it was beautiful and sunny out there while I hear it was all rainy and cold here at home!  Wow.

And I think about projects and stuff in the works...our townhouse complex is going to replace our garage doors with new, insultated ones.  Our living rooms are each right over our garages and we think - hope - we can save on our power bills by doing this.  Too funny how I am all excited about this - woohooo...new garage doors!

I'm also in the market for a new laptop.  This one is 5 years old and really showing its age.  It needs more RAM but I am not even sure it's worth investing more money into it.  Don't laugh but I'm still on Windows XP and Office 2003 on this laptop, so it's a Time Warp every time I shut down my work laptop and get home here to this one.  Back in the day this thing was super duper, and now it's just meh.  And it's running slow and not 100% reliable.  I thought it might be due to a virus or spyware (had a BIG virus epi back in July - yuck) so I ran some scanning programs and found just a few things.  But still, this puppy is slow.

I've also agreed to take on some additional consulting work for my friend/colleague A who launched a business.  I did some part time pro bono work for him when I was unemployed the first part of 2010 - just 5-10 hours a week.  Fast forward a year and change and he actually landed some business with a local power company here, and it's been small enough to where he is just doing the work himself instead of hiring someone.  BUT, funny how life twists, he got hired on with another company and has to move cross country.  Next month!  So he needs someone to finish up the work, which can mostly be done outside of working hours.  He says it's 5-10 hours a month at the most and will wrap up at the end of December.  Am I insane to say yes?  'Cause I did.  The hourly pay rate is extremely appealing and the work is no conflict of interest with what I'm currently doing.  

This will be good discipline for me to keep saving money, as it's 1099-type work so I will need to sort out the tax stuff next year.  But a little extra cashola is fine by me - I have a lot of rebuilding still to do for being out of work so long.

What does Fall also mean?  Hockey season!  And it starts tonight with an exhibition game.  I have not skated since June so this is going to be hysterical.  

Welcome, Fall!    



For the first 34 years of my life, September 11th was just any old ho-hum day.  No family birthdays, no wedding anniversaries, nothing real significant in my world...it was just a day that wove into the typical back-to-school or back-to-work-in-earnest-because-the-Labor-Day-holiday-is-done kind of rhythms.

It was simply just A Day. Now for ten years and forever it will be a Day Everyone Knows.  A huge wound trying to slowly heal itself and rebuild but forever scarred no matter how we try to think otherwise.

I'm stunned that today is the 10-year anniversary of the terrorist attacks.  It is a beautiful, clear morning here - just like it was that morning in New York City.  I've been kind of weirdly looking forward to this day only to just get through it if that makes sense...a sort of 'self duty' I have to write about it, and even moreso that my typical Sunday Blog Day falls on the anniversary.

So here I am, swirled in memories not only of that horrible day but the 2001 I knew prior.  Some memories are a little fuzzy - maybe by design as my mind moved through the decade and replaced them with others, but I could pretty much sum it up into one word:  INNOCENT.

My God, how innocent and quaint the world was prior...at least in my own little world. Remember when you were a kid (maybe you do) when you could just go to the airport with your family, sit in a terminal and just watch planes take off and land for fun?  When I was getting ready to fly to Florida in 1997 to catch a cruise to the Caribbean...and I forgot I had a huge pair of scissors from my office in my purse (no idea why)?  And the security agent looked at them but let me put them back in my purse before boarding the plane?  Dear Lord how things have changed!

Early 2001 started for me out of the country...in Vancouver, BC.  OK, OK, I remember now.  See, for those of us who worked in IT-related fields over Y2K, that New Years was spent working pretty much the entire day and into the wee hours.  No vacations or partying allowed.  I toasted 2000 with a bunch of co-workers and a carload of lasagnes we picked up from Olive Garden earlier that evening, washed down with a little sparkling cider.

So.  The calendar flip from 2000 to 2001 meant Time to Party, making up for the working New Years prior.  I started dating a guy, D, around summer of 2000.  He and I met during a huge technology deployment project and while I was not fond in theory of dating co-workers, this project was so huge and he and I really didn't cross paths too much.  We didn't even work in the same building or same department.  So we kept it discreet, people knew, but didn't give us a hard time about it - well, not terribly hard.  In a word, it worked because we kept things professional.  And wow, we were really in love.

We got pretty ripped that night in Vancouver, enjoying dinner and doing a couple of bar hops around Robson street.  Cabs were working hard that night!  And New Years Day was sunny and glorious...we took the tram up Grouse Mountain not to ski, but to just walk in the snow and enjoy the beautiful view looking back down on the city.  Gorgeous.

I remember the random Monoliths that a group in Seattle had planted around the city...a funny prank.  I remember the Mardi Gras riot in Pioneer Square...and the 6.8 earthquake we suffered the very next morning.  UGH what a horrible 48 hours for us.

Probably my favorite memory of 2001 was the two weeks I traveled through Hungary, Croatia, Slovenia and Italy.  Ah, the time one could take a (PAID) two-week vacation...that DOES seem innocent.  I traveled with a group from my church - we were touring to share our music!  We had a choir and a handbell group...I'd been in the handbell group for many years and was so thrilled to take this trip.  If you haven't traveled yet with a group of 70 people and lots of equipment, I highly recommend it.  It can be grueling at times, but the bonding and friendships last forever. 

We got back in the states in mid July.  Ah yes, that's right!  We celebrated the 4th of July that year at a pub in Varazdin, Croatia.  A little surreal being out of the country on that holiday, in a place where people have no reason to care that it's July 4th.  When I got back home, other than fighting off the jet lag I was wondering if I would have a job to come back to...our company was re-organizing and there were a lot of uncertainties and rumors flying around. 

I ended up moving to a different department on our team and immersed myself back into the swing.  I was not particularly looking forward to having direct reports again, but the group was well established and in good standing so there was nothing majorly broken.  Or maybe that's the fuzzy part of my memories.

D and I had been going through some struggles in our relationship.  We'd been together about a year by now.  He'd been working a lot and we were just, well, struggling.  He'd always given me a hard time on whether I truly didn't want to have kids or not.  He was ten years older than I with an 11 year old daughter and made it perfectly clear he did not want any more kids.  So clear that he took the steps to ensure that if you know what I mean. I was 34 and knew deep down I didn't want to have kids, even though a teeny part of me was still kind of wondering...what if I really did?  I think he sensed that...he kept bringing it up ALL the time and we'd argue.  Looking back on it now, I think he was worried that if we were to be together long-term, well, if I changed my mind down the road then I would resent him?  And then leave?  I guess in a twisted way he wanted to make sure I was happy.  But I wasn't in how he handled it.  I was kept arms distance from his daughter too - I rarely got to see her...I wanted to get to know her because she was well, his family and part of him.  Wow, I haven't thought about that in a long time...hence my ramble.

And oh that first part of September...I remember driving him to jail.  Yes, jail.  Now more is flooding back.  Earlier in the spring he'd been out drinking with a buddy of his and swerved getting off a freeway exit ramp - and got pulled over.  And failed sobriety tests.  I remember the night he told me what happened and I just fell to the floor emotionally, but immediately gave him a hug.  What the hell already?

Now, if you have to drive your boyfriend to serve two days in jail, be glad it's a small county jail in a very rural part of the state (rather than downtown). That's where he had his little, uhhhh, incident.  The whole thing was so surreal...and those were two of the longest days of my life.  He couldn't have any phone or email contact with me, obviously.  I had to call the jail two days later to confirm he was going to be released so I could make the hour and a half drive north to come get him.  SURREAL.

Somewhere in all this mess we agreed to just stay together 24/7 and try to work things out.  Plus he had a suspended driver's license so yours truly was the chauffeur.  

Lots of those days after bringing him home from jail are a little blurry, but one night I will never forget.  We were watching TV...Larry King Live.  One of the last news stories was about an old Air Force One 707 that was being retired.  Seriously...it was a total snoozer of a story and we both looked at eachother and said WOW, they're really must not be a lot of news going on right now!  We even went to sleep that night giggling about it.

That night?  Monday September 10th.

The next morning my alarm went off around 6:30am or so.  I had it set to my favorite radio station at the time but I remember immediately shutting it off and getting in the shower.  D was still fast asleep.

After my shower I turned on the radio again.  The first words I hear are the DJ saying "...yes, yes, we're getting your phone calls.  We know one of the World Trade Center towers has just collapsed."  I thought I was completely losing my mind.

I ran down the hall and turned on CNN.  That was the very first thing I saw on TV...one of the towers was gone and the other was on fire.  And I had no fucking clue why.  I screamed for D to get in here right now!  We were both so sleepy still and couldn't believe it.  We just sat on my living room couch, dumbfounded.  THEN we saw the replay of the 2nd plane hitting a tower and we just gasped. 

For all the thousands of times everyone has seen that horrific moment, I don't think any of us will forget when we saw it first.  And keep in mind here on the west coast we are three hours behind, so a lot had already happened that we simply didn't know about, except for the real early-risers.

Then we learned the planes were hijacked.  My stomach dropped.  One of my brothers was a flight attendant with American, based at La Guardia at the time.  Could not reach him.  I had two cousins in college at Columbia...was everyone OK??

The TV was focused on the one remaining tower.  I'm pretty sure the whole world was by now too.  And then, in seconds, it collapsed.  That was the only thing D and I saw live on TV.  I remember feeling like I was going to throw up.  What does this mean?  Who would do this?  All those people still in the towers...how many thousands and thousands are there?  In the streets?  In those planes?  Are we going to be attacked next?

My mind raced and whirred.  The Pentagon was attacked too...and there was a plane crash in Pennsylvania (which we we learned later was Flight 93, probably intended for the White House).  I remember calling my folks and my Mom answered the phone.  I said "are you watching TV??"  She said yes...and I sort of yelled "OMG, where is M?" (my brother).  She didn't know.  And my Dad was up in rural BC on a fishing trip...

Somehow D and I drove into work, in a daze.  Everyone at work was either zoned out, panicked trying to locate family members or crowded around the TVs in our lobby.  I don't think much got done that day.  I remember just trying to infuse some sense of normal routine into a day that was anything but.  We sat at our computers but mostly surfed news channels, tried to track down our family and friends, tell people we loved them. 

After the shock there was fear. D and I spent that night of the 11th at his house.  I didn't sleep well for several nights.  I was panicked, worried that there would be more attacks in other cities.  Thank God my brother was off that day and home in New Jersey, by the way.  Waiting to find that out seemed like eternity.

I did some journaling in the days following.  And I wish I knew where that writing is...it is probably on an old computer I don't have any more.  Too bad, for the writing there is a lot more raw.  Funny how a decade smooths our raw edges out.

I remember speaking with my friend J...and you know what immediately popped into each of our heads about that day (along with so many other thoughts)?  She and I went on a Caribbean cruise in the spring of 2000.  We'd flown to Newark on a red eye before catching a connecting flight to Ft. Lauderdale.  I remember arriving with her in Newark, bleary after an all night flight and walking to our connecting gate.  There, out the window was a beautiful sunrise...and the Twin Towers glowing as we looked across the river.  How I regret I never had an opportunity to visit the WTC.  And I'll never, ever forget that image in my mind of them.

The rest of 2001 played itself out grimly...what started out as a great year save for an earthquake plunged me into sadness.  What was the world going to be like NOW?  Will we ever find time for humor, laughter?  There sure wasn't much to smile about.

The year fizzled out horribly.  My grandmother passed away that November after a long battle with Alzheimer's, just two days prior to my Mom's 60th birthday.

And D and me?  Well, we gave it a go for awhile but we couldn't get through many hurdles in that relationship.  I broke up with him...New Years Eve to be exact.  A year prior we were celebrating in Vancouver.  And now, too many walls up.  We were sitting on the couch, supposed to go out for dinner, but we knew it was ending and that that dinner would never happen.

It didn't.  He left and I sat again on the couch, sad and in shock.  Just like when he and I watched the 9/11 footage in horror together.  So while our relationship didn't work out, he is seered in my mind forever, mostly for that reason.  They say you'll never forget where you were or what you were doing if you were old enough. 

So when people ask me where I was, I start off with this:  "I was in my apartment at the time with my boyfriend at the time..."

10 years.  Wow.  Blessings to all who lost loved ones that day.


The DVR and the Labradorite

I'm in one of those moods where I am feeling both a little anxious and yet blissfully, almost gluttonously relaxed. Here we are on a long Labor Day weekend and it is absolutely beyond gorgeous outside.  It's sunny and the air is thick and hot with hardly any breeze.  Not a humid thick, though.  It's that warm, gentle reminder that Fall is right around the corner.  And even in the heat the shadows are a tad long as we're well past the Solstice. So I don't dare bitch at all about the heat.  After all, this summer was a total bust save for maybe one week in August.  In the Pacific Northwest we appreciate and savor our sunny days, for we know the clouds and drizzle are just a few months away.  We pay a price for it being so green here.

I grasp hard at August, kicking and screaming as she wraps up.  There's something about those last few days before September kicks in that make me feel a little whiney and cranky.  I don't WANT it to be September!  Maybe it's that deeply ingrained childhood memory of the end of summer vacation.  Yuck, I didn't WANT to go back to school.  But of course once I did it was great...mostly.

So it's a staycation holiday weekend for me...no worries there. Just getting totally random things done and also, just relaxing.  I decided to get into the 21st century even more for real and switched my landline over to my Comcast internet and cable package.  I found out I could bundle my phone service in with my cable and internet and pay less than I was paying for my current Comcast services (huh? wow) AND save the $55 a month I was paying for my old school landline.  AND keep my same landline number.  AND get a DVR for my TV.  What's not to love about this?  I weighed the pros and cons...when the power's out or when Comcast is down I'll be screwed but then again, how often does that happen?  I have a super old school curly cord phone in my bedroom with the ringer turned off - I have it for emergencies and have two other cordless phones here in the townhouse.  When we had a two-week power outage back in late 2006 that old school landline saved me.  Cell phone towers were knocked out and we were pretty much brought to our knees, crippled with minimal if any communication.  I've been reluctant to cut the cord on my landline because of that, but then remember that that was a freak once-in-a-lifetime storm.  

So yesterday two Comcast dudes show up and within an hour, voila. I have a new, higher speed modem for my internet (which now hosts my landline phones too) AND a DVR for my TV.  Don't laugh...I still haven't converted to a flat screen TV yet.  I will. My old curly cord phone is now as useful as last week's newspaper so away she goes.

They explained how the initial upload and refresh of the TV channels can take awhile which seemed reasonable to me.  They showed me how to set up my voicemail for my new landline service - all good.  I was very impressed with how helpful they both were.  And they even showed up a little earlier than my appointment timeframe.  Nice!

Guess it was too good to be true.  I waited a little while before playing around with the TV.  When I did, my remote was pretty much useless.  Did the batteries die?  Nope.  I could adjust the TV volume and mute the sound with it, but could not change channels nor get to the channel lineup guide.  Stuck!  God, help me...my TV's stuck on the E! channel and just my luck it's a Keeping up with the Kardashians marathon.  I can only stomach that scripted reality TV crap (krap?) for a few minutes at a time.  

So Comcast rebooted my TV and cable box remotely.  All's well...or was.  Within an hour it froze up again...and Comcast had to reboot it remotely for the second time.  After that everything was fine for the rest of the evening.  As I was heading to bed I realized I'd forgotten to try the DVR out but I figured I would do that today.

I woke up this morning and decided to play around with the TV more before heading out to meet my good friend J for brunch.  UGH.  This time the TV turned on just fine...and then 5 minutes later the cable box rebooted...on its own.  It's possessed or something.  HELP!

Comcast is sending out a crew to swap out my cable box this afternoon.  I was pleasantly shocked that they could do a same-day service, especially here on a Sunday, but I'll take it.  It's the least they can do to make this right.  

And yet, it's just TV.  Sure I want it working right as it should, but I'm not going to get overly upset about it.  Now if it was Stanley Cup Finals or something that would be a different story.  Just trying to keep perspective...

...meaning it was a tough week these past few days.  My Dad's cousin J passed away suddenly from a heart attack.  The next day my co-worker L's Dad passed away after a long battle with Parkinson's and dementia.  And the day after that my friend T was hit on her morning commute into work...her car got rear-ended on the freeway by someone who wasn't paying attention and she's still feeling the after effects, though thankfully not severely injured.

I was talking about this with J this morning over lots of coffee and a nice bacon and cheese omelette.  Yum, I may not even need dinner I'm so full.  She agrees, yes, it's all about perspective.  Sometimes it's hard to find that discipline within. I guess it's ongoing Life Work.

We walked around the shops near where we had brunch...wonderful little boutiquey specialty stores full of everything from art to home accessories (my weakness) and crafts like rubber stamping and beading.  No patience here for either of those but it's fun to look.

And we ended up in a fantastic shop we both love to visit.  It has tons of candles and aromatherapy things (oils, humidifiers)...and lots of stones and crystals.  I LOVE the chunk of Celestite I purchased there nearly a couple of years ago - it's right next to me here by the good ol' laptop.

Once again, something pretty much leaped off the shelf into my arms.  Labradorite.  The picture in my post here is of a polished sphere...my chunk is, well, wonderfully imperfect...half of it is polished and the other is rough.  Deliciously asymmetrical and hunky.  I love the greens and greys.  I asked the woman in the store to tell me a little about it. "It's a magic stone," she explained.  She pulled out a huge, well-worn book and turned to the page.  "Helps one remain calm within chaos."  Ahhhh, sounds good to me.  Here's more .

So my new Labradorite holds a tea light or votive too.  Love it.  And the woman who works there is so nice...she is very gentle, knowlegeable and grandmotherly and reminds me a little of a therapist I used to see about 10 years ago.

I'm not yet sure where to put this new beauty, but I think I'll keep it near the TV and DVR for now.

After all, it couldn't hurt.