Math TutorLong before I became the Wizard I did math tutoring for extra money. I was just looking through my file cabinet for something and found this old flyer I used to put up at UMBC (Univ of Maryland, Baltimore County). The cartoon is one of my favorites from the Far Side. Click on the image for a larger version.
If I'm understanding the cartoon right, it's true, women LOVE a smart man!!
DYSLEXICS OF THE WORLD UNTIE!!!!!!!!!!!!
My father had a heart attack this morning.Pi day is off to a bad start. My mother told me my father suffered a pretty big heart attack this morning. He complained of chest pain, so my mother called 911 and the paramedics rushed him to the hospital. They gave him a lot of morphine to control the pain. I spoke to my father briefly and he is coherent. At this point I'm waiting to hear what happens next.
My father is 74 and about 100 pounds overweight, so I was already braced for something like this to happen. Still, I hope to have him around for a while longer. I keep telling him to hold out for the total eclipse through the US on August 21, 2017. We're both eclipse chasers, and was hoping to enjoy that one with him.
When I have more information I'll provide an update.
You will be in my thoughts, All the best Michael.
Sorry to hear that, Mike. Where does he live? No matter where
it is its a good idea to go and see him as soon as you can.
Hope your father makes a full recovery. Best wishes.
Very sorry to hear this news. Know that modern medicine is on his side.
We'll keep your family in our thoughts and pray for a speedy recovery.
I will add your father to my prayer list. The really bad things about dads are they one come one to a customer. SIGH
I'm praying for his full recovery. It was nice having his expert knowledge of astrophysics on the board, and I look forward to more of his input in the future.
Not that you asked, but I think it would probably be good for your mom (and you), if you took some time to visit with them both right away. I don't know about taking the kids right away though. Maybe wait until he is stronger. When my Grandfather was hospitalized, I think it was better for my kids to wait to visit him when he was better, than to see him still connected to all the machines in the hospital.
Michael, my prayers are with your father for a speedy recovery and a return to normal.
So sorry to hear this Michael - I'll be saying a prayer for him.
Thanks for all the kind words and prayers everybody. You probably know I'm not a praying man, but I appreciate the sentiment. Who knows, you might even be right.
Nothing new to report at this time. I called my dad's cell phone, which my mom called me from, but it went to voice mail. This has me worried. Then again, maybe she was talking with one of my brothers.
Indeed, I should go down and visit with them both. However, I'm supposed to do my radio show tomorrow evening. On Friday afternoon we're going to prerecord the March 29 show, because Bob will be out of town. If I hear things are really serious I'll go down anyway. He lives in the Los Angeles, by the way, about 300 miles from here.
Sorry to hear that, Mike. You can take solace that the treatment for heart attacks is very advanced these days. My dad had a heart-valve replacement some years ago and everything turned out fine.
My thoughts are with you, Mike.
Thoughts and prayers to you and yours Wizard.
I echo what Nareed said. I've both lost relatives to heart attacks and had them see full recoveries. The most crucial time seems to be the first few minutes, so hopefully the fact that he was treated and stabilized means he'll make a full recovery.
I spoke with my mother this evening. They gave my dad a bunch of tests and are moving him to a hospital in Hollywood tomorrow. I'm don't know what happened or what will happen. Currently he is in one in Downey. My wife, who is a nurse, is not happy about the care he has received so far. I'll keep you posted. Thanks again for all the kind words.
I was a medic during Vietnam War and wife was a CNA for several years. Scary how incompetent and/or uncaring professionals can be in the medical profession.
Just wanted to add my prayers to the litany of concern and care for your dad, you, and your whole family. May the Holy Spirit guide the hands of his doctors and nurses.
I don't pray much either but my thoughts are definitely with you Mike. Hoping for the best.
My thoughts are with you, Wiz. Be glad your mother made the call. That is so important and the person having the attack is usually the last who wants to call. Both my dad and my best friend in college dad had heart attacks and just felt "tired." In both cases a family member with some medical training said it was serious and both forced them to go to the hospital--and both were told this action saved their lives!
Progress report: My father is on his way to a surgical hospital in Hollywood. It is my understanding they will do an angiogram at 2:00. If it looks bad, they will do whatever operation needs to be done on the spot. He seems to be taking it all in stride and looks forward to seeing me and the family over spring break.
Thanks for the progress reports. You and him are both in my thoughts.
I've been through this myself. The #1 best thing is that he's currently alive. Seriously, not meant as "so obvious". Most people who die from heart attacks just flat out die from them; most of the rest who die, don't die immediately, but also don't really recover to the point where they can be in any kind of spirits.
I had a heart attack and bypass surgery 20 years ago, and I'm still around (and about 100lbs overweight). My dad had bypass surgery in '08, when he was 80; he's still around, and he had a stent put in a couple months ago. People die from it, sure. But they also survive.
Thanks for keeping us updated Mike. Again we are all pulling for your dad to make a quick recovery. Say goodbye to pasta and fried anything at your folk's place, you won't be having it there anymore...
I sincerely hope this turns out well for you, your father and your entire family. My thoughts are with you.
Hoping all turns out well for your dad.
Hi there. Just read your blog here. Hopefully everything went well today. Let me know if you come down this way. I wish your dad all the best.
Progress report: My dad had a stent put in yesterday and it went normally from what I hear, and he should be released today or tomorrow. Thanks again for all the kind words.
Great news, Michael!
I'm glad to hear he's on the mend. My father had stents, bypass surgery, a pacemaker and a defibrillator starting at age 50 and he lived well into his 80's. He was a tough guy who never complained. When WWII started, he joined the Navy and severed on a UDT for the duration.
Great news! I'm encouraged to hear that just one stent was required. All our best to him and your mom on a smooth recovery.
Thanks again. Hopefully the doctor will give him a stern lecture about losing weight and living a healthier lifestyle. He was a ticking time bomb.
I don't regularly read the blogs, so I am three days late noticing this topic. Sorry, to hear of your Dad's episode, and I hope he recovers quickly. I doubt my "prayers" would be very effective, but I am wishing the best for your entire family. Wishing, hoping, praying ... I'm not really sure of the differences, but maybe the united interest in your family's well being can sway the Jedi Force or whatever.
I - apparently - don't check the blog section often enough.
Glad to see that he's doing OK.
Las Vegas MarathonYesterday I participated in the Las Vegas Half Marathon. Before I describe the event, here are some facts and figures from the Washington' rel='nofollow' target='_blank'>http://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/peter-omae-wins-as-las-vegas-marathon-finishes-under-lights-for-first-time/2011/12/04/gIQArZHZUO_story.html]Washington Post:
- Entrants: 44,000 (6,000 Marathon, 38,000 Half Marathon)
- Winnings times: Marathon 2:28:58, Half Marathon 1:03:12
- Spectators: 100,000
- Bands: 32
- Marathon start time: 4 p.m.
- Half marathon start time: 5:30 p.m.
- Map: See link
Before yesterday I did the full Las Vegas marathon in 2005 and the half marathon last year, which I wrote about in another blog entry. My time last year was 2:02:12. The main difference this year was the time. Last year it started at 7 a.m. This year the half marathon didn't start until 5:30 p.m., which is already at night. This is a change I applaud.
Unlike last year I got to leave home at a reasonable hour. To say parking is difficult would be an understatement. I did the same thing I did last year. Hopefully not too many people will read this to ruin the idea. I parked at the executive airport, which is where people go for helicopter tours and those fortunate enough to travel by private jet. It would be about a 20-minute walk to the Mandalay Bay, but I did it by bicycle, locking my bike to a lamp post in the island in the middle of Las Vegas Blvd..
As usual with me, I arrived early. I can't stand people who are habitually late. In an effort not to be them, I always assume I will arrive three standard deviations more than the mean travel time. Of course I'm usually early, which gives me a little free time. I used the time to say hi to some old familiar faces from the Mandalay Bay from when I used to play there a lot. I also had the displeasure to watch the Giants lose to the Packers in the Mandalay sports book. I had a pretty big bet on the Giants on the money line.
At about 5:10 p.m. I left the Mandalay to find my corral. My bib number was 7342, which put me in corral number 7. It was not easy getting there. By the time I arrived to the right general area the course was already full of runners. So I waited with many others outside the railings for the race to start, to have room to squeeze in. There is no reason to rush, because every runner has a timing chip on their shoelaces, recording their own personal starting and ending times.
Due to the 38,000 people running the half marathon the runners were stacked up quite a ways. The organizers did a good job in avoiding a stampede by leading the corrals up one at a time. When any given corral reached the start line they got out of the way and let them run. While the official start time was 5:30 I cross the start line at 5:37.
At first the course was crowded. When signing up they ask you to estimate your time. I put 2:00. It was clear that the vast majority of people in my corral, who would have put about the same thing, were not in 2:00 shape. I was passing about ten people for every one who passed me. It was not easy passing anybody at all at first, due to overcrowding. However, I did my best to look for openings and must confess I used the marathon lane as a passing lane quite a bit.
Given the huge number of participants one has to expect a certain degree of crowding. However, what was unnecessarily contributed to the problem was groups of 3 or 4 people running side by side, and not keeping up with the general pace for where they were at. Those impeding traffic in such a way were women -- 100% of the time. Gals, how about running single file next time?
It was not until about the Stratosphere when the crowd thinned out enough to be able to run more or less straight ahead and not having to weave around people. Based on my experience I think most runners were less than truthful in putting down their estimated time. I admit that I overestimated my time. Still, I think the median time for those estimating 2:00 was probably about 2:20.
Another annoyance, although this one was justifiable, where the marathon people sharing the course, who had started earlier. They put up cones to give them a special lane, but the half marathon runners often spilled over into it. I was running amongst some fast marathon runners, with times around the 3:15 point. They were constantly yelling "Half marathon, stay to the right!" I'm sure if they were pretty livid about it.
In retrospect, I think the way they did it last year was better, where everybody started at the same time and the marathon runners added their additional 13 miles at the end. This way runners were more headed together by speed level, and you didn't mix together fast marathon runners with slow half runners.
While I complain a lot about the congestion, a big turnout also makes for a fun race. Anything seems to be more fun if others are enjoying the same thing with you. There is definitely a contact euphoria in running a race with 44,000 other people, with 100,000 watching. I'd also like to say a good word for the planning. This year there were lots of refreshment stands and bathrooms didn't seem to be an issue.
This year the course went down the Strip, turned onto Main Street by the Stratosphere, and then made lots of turns in downtown Las Vegas. Unfortunately, the course didn't go through Fremont street this year. Actually, we did run along it for a short while, but not the part with the canopy. The closest we came was running down Fremont from the El Cortez to the Western.
I was feeling good and had no aches or pains slowing me down. When we crossed the half way point downtown I felt as if I was being too conservative with my energy so ramped up my speed a bit. Through the second half I felt that I had plenty of energy but I can only run so fast. Unlike last year where I was running low on steam towards the end, I kept increasing mine.
To backtrack, I have maintained half-marathon condition since the previous half marathon. With some exceptions, I have run a half marathon on my own on a weekly basis ever since. So, I was definitely in better shape and had more energy than last time.
As I got to about the New York New York I went into almost a sprint to burn off as much energy as I could. This was the moment I had trained a whole year for, so I was going to give it my best shot. At this point it seemed the general pace of where I was at unraveled. Some people evidently ran out of steam and were walking while others like me finished off with a bang.
So, how did I do? My time was 1:49:37. I'm sure that means nothing to those who don't run, so let's put that in perspective.
For my age and gender group (men, age 45-49) I finished in 186th place out of 1,566. So, I beat 88.2% of men my age. The range for my group was 1:15:18-4:29:40.
For all men, I finished 1,670th out of 10,725. So, I beat 84.4% of all men. Not bad, eh?!
Overall I had a great time and am happy I did it. I could just run 13 miles on my own for free anytime, but it is just exciting and fun to do it in a huge group. I'm sure I'll do it again next year.
Great job Wizard! If you could have started with the elites, and did not have to deal with weaving around the slow packs, what would you have estimated as your "true" time? Did the cold affect you?
I've done a couple of larger runs (not as big as this one) and I wish there was some sort of lane discipline/ettitquette where if you decide to slow down/walk you move over to the left/right. But it is fun to run in a big group and it seems to drag out the best times.
As for your time... nice work.
I can't imagine being able to run 21k, and not at 5m15 pace. I can't even run 1 km at that pace. My own personal goal is to do 10k in under an hour at the big 10k race here.
Q: Great job Wizard! If you could have started with the elites, and did not have to deal with weaving around the slow packs, what would you have estimated as your "true" time? Did the cold affect you?
A: Thanks! Not that you suggested it, but I oppose lying too excessively to be among faster runners. I wouldn't feel badly about estimate 5-10 minutes less, which should put you in about the right pace group, due to everybody else underestimating their time. If you overdo it then YOU will get in other people's way. If I was truly unencumbered by other runners, then I could have probably shaved off another three minutes or so. Despite all my complaining, I was still going at my desired speed most of the time, I just had to weave around people and sometimes slow down around due to a slow cluster. Also, the more people, the more of a "contact high" you get, which improves speed. On my weekly practice runs my time tended to be right around 2:00.
Nice job. And great report.
It's weird that I never bothered to wonder how cars get around when other marathons take place (although living in northern NJ, I know enough to avoid New York City when they have theirs). But my heart is so much into Vegas, looking at the route map caused me to wonder how much of a hastle is it for cars to get around. Since you were running, I don't expect you to know....
Also, I notice on the map, two spots labeled "GU Energy Station." What's that?
There was signage all weekend about the Strip shutdown during the marathon. I think most people knew about it and just avoided the Strip during those hours. For those who had to get to or leave a Strip hotel, there are back entrances, like on Industrial and Audrie.
When I ran the whole marathon in 2005, which made a huge rectangle, one could overhear drivers at stop points furious about it. At that time the LV Marathon was not a regular thing, and it evidently caught a lot of drivers by surprise. Those who had to travel from or to the enclosed rectangle pretty much had to use the 95 as the only way in and out.
I think it is getting to be like New Years Eve, where Las Vegas is just expecting to not use the Strip for driving during marathon hours.
The Wizard is Awesome! In spite of your very nice description of the event, I am totally floored about your stat: 10,725 men total? Does that mean there were 27, 275 women? That is wacky!! No wonder they were all clumped together, blocking your passage. (And I am female and DON'T run in a clump, that sounds really annoying.)
@DJTeddyBear: Although I didn't run this race, a GU station is where they give you free GU, the electrolyte/carb/protein gel that many runners like to take during longer races. I personally am not a huge fan of the stuff, but it is very easy to digest, so it does help you keep your energy high if you are running more than 90 minutes.
Thanks for the kind words Amy. Good question about the number of women. I checked the results and in the half marathon 12,072 men finished and 21,051 women. So, it would seem that 4,877 people didn't show up or finish. Still, 64% of people who finished were women. Good job ladies! Thanks for not chastising me over my remark about the ones who run side by side.
I'm hoping you'll make a pledge to run next year, so we can all bet on how you'll do.
Be advised: One group of runners complained of severe cramps after ingesting event-provided drinking water, sought ambulance transport to hospital but were told to either use the portapotties or keep running. Drinking water was from the fire hydrant (routine practice at such events) into a large plastic container into which dozens of people later dipped drinking cups by hand. The large plastic container evolves a substance the first time it gets wet but this appears not to have been placarded. LVRJ does not seem to be pressing the matter or seeking identity of specific chemicals involved.
Buenos AiresI was in Buenos Aires for five days earlier this month. My report has just been posted on my new Odds site: Buenos Aires trip report. These trip reports take a long time to put together so I hope you'll have a look. I welcome all comments and questions.
Great report, and very useful! I look forward to the Igazu Falls episode.
Argentinia calls the Falklands Islas Malvinas. Maldives are something else entirely.
Thanks for that spelling correction. Yes, Iguzau Falls, as well as Punta del Este (Uruguay) and a separate page on casinos are coming next. These things take a while to put together, so be patient.
Thanks, Wiz. My daughter is there right now with some of her friends, it gives me some idea of where she is.
And apparently neither one of us can spell Iguazu correctly :)
You forgot the accent ;-). It should be Iguazú. Never mind the spelling on the Brazil side.
Thanks for that Wizard. I enjoyed it very much. You have a great "voice" when it comes to describing your adventures and observations, that I can really relate to.
I note that there is a reference to an image of a form for refunding the VAT, but no image, nor link.
The guy in the picture at the airport looks like Argentine tennis pro Agustin Calleri. Argentina is playing in the Davis Cup. I'm not sure though, since Calleri is retired, and not on their current Davis Cup team roster.
I don't think many Americans make it down to Buenos Aires to cause a bad reputation
should be "I don't think many Americans make it down"
I don't think many Americans make it down to Buenos Aires to cause a bad reputation
should be "I don't think many enough Americans make it down to Buenos Aires to cause a bad reputation" ?
Very entertaining article.
As to your comment about white people, Argentines are more white than Americans. Argentina had a very small indigenous population at the time of conquest. In addition, in the Argentina was second only to the US in the numbers of European immigrants received in the 19th century (mostly Italy and Spain).About 86% of Argentina's population self-identify as being of European descent while only 64% of American describe themselves as white, not hispanic. While the overwhelming majority of Mexicans think of themselves as Mestizo, only 1 in 12 Argentines are Mestizo.
My understanding is that only about 1/3 million Americans go to Argentina in a year. Since you went through Mexico City, did you fly Aeromexico?
sorry about posting before getting it right. BTW at your WoO site, I suggest that instead of a non-working search section that you have a box suggesting people use google. In the google search, simply add 'wizard of odds' to the item you are looking for. This will bring it up every time.
I don't think enough Americans make it down to Buenos Aires to cause a bad reputation
I think that Americans are extremely aware of the stereotype of the "Ugly American" traveler, which actually dates back to the late '40s. Many of them go out of their way to be culturally sensitive and polite. In my experience, the Germans are the worst, followed by Russians. Of course, being from the USA in Latin America will set some people on edge. But in general, I assume that Americans are much better behaved than decades ago.
In Oaxaca I thought people were very sensitive about class and race than about nationality. A political protest picture would invariably show the white President of Mexico shaking hands with the white President of the USA or Canada. They would go out of their way to photo shop them so that they look similar.
Thanks for all the additional comments. Juan Ignacio Chela does seem like a good guess.
I can say that the man was tall. Argentine men I think average a bit shorter than American men, and this guy definitely towered over the reporters, some of whom were women. Wikipedia says Chela is 6'3", which sounds about right for whoever I saw.
I agree, most American travelers are well behaved. Personally, I behave better when overseas, wanting to project a good image for my country. A friend of mine said he overheard somebody telling a Montreal hostess (in French, I presume), "Please sit me away from the Americans."
Congratulations for the fair review on Buenos Aires! it was a pretty dense and complete one, and I must say it witt the autority of someone who lived in BsAs for almost two months! You picked up the nice spots to show everyone, that was great. I think that it might be said that Puerto Madero gathers the most famous restaurants in town, including Cabaña las Lilas that is known as the best bife de chorizo of the whole world. I am glad you also had the opportunity to go to Puerto Iguazu and Punta del Este. They both have amazing casinos, Casino Iguazu is the one that I go the most since there are no casinos in Brazil. They comp me a room and BF about three times an year. In Punta Conrad is much more upscale, but still a nice choice! I am waiting on the next part!
Btw, in Brazil, our border city is called Foz do Iguaçu. But I guess you guys do not have the 'ç' .
In Argentina it is Iguazú.
The Joys of Retail SalesToday I had to buy a number of things for my gambling video project next week. After choosing a video camera I asked a salesman to take it out of the locked case. Then I hold out my hand to put it in my basket. However, he gets a false apologetic look on his face and says that he handle the purchase now or can leave it up at the front for me.
Now I'm quite sure I've purchased locked items at Best Buy before and they just handed them to me. I find it very insulting to be looked over and then determined not to be trustworthy, necessitating a second round of embarrassment at the cashier as I have to announce I'm a suspected thief.
Next, the cashier can't find said camera and has to hunt down the salesman to ask where he put it. For some reason it was nowhere near the cash registers. Maybe he thought I would locate it by the registers and then make a quick jaunt to the nearby door.
So after all that I pay for my purchase in cash, $724.18. I hand the cashier $740 in twenties, which I counted out while I was waiting for the camera search. The cashier counts the money, laying in piles of $100. Then he scoops it all up and says that he needs somebody to verify the total. Say what? How hard is it to count to 740 by 20?
So he had to find somebody who wasn't already busy to count said money. More waiting. I could have counted that money at the age of 6.
This all happened at the Summerlin Best Buy, if anybody cares. That's it. Thank you for reading my rant.
It is nothing personal with you, it is the company policy. The same thing happened when I bought my digital camera earlier this year and that was less than $200. They probably have a policy that cash purchases over x have to be verified by a manager. It is lousy for the customer but the company figures in the long run it is better for security. It may be a new policy.
You need to get that wandering eye looked at, its gives you a shifty look..
Don't let their advertisements fool you... Best Buy is truly one of the WORST retail stores for customer service. They rely solely on tech geeks who don't need much help and if you have any problems in the future, the dirt on the bottom of your shoe will be treated better than you.
I work retail in a very customer service oriented company, so I try not to be too demanding. About five years ago, I had problems with my laptop that were covered in warranty. When I took it to their "repair center," they had it for three days and called me and said it was fixed (initially, I was told it would take at least a week). Lo and behold, it wasn't fixed, so I asked to speak to an assistant manager. When he told me there was nothing they could do about it, I told him I wouldn't shop there again. He said "That's fine, we don't need your business anyways!"
Since then, I have bought NOTHING for myself at a Best Buy, and only made two other purchases there, both gifts that I couldn't get elsewhere.
I miss Circuit City...
>I miss Circuit City...
Wow, that really says it all!
i use a product called 'prolong' in my car which is an oil additive. after the initial treatment it is recomended that you use the booster after every oil change. the last time i went to purchase a bottle i couldn't find it on the shelf with all the other oil additives. after looking around i was surprised to find it in a locked case along with your other typical small but expensive items for your car. this is only a $16 item! and the only product of this type! i asked a clerk for help and he said he would have to take it to the cashier, just as in your case. but this is only a common $16 item! i asked why and he said that this is a popular item to steal. so it's not just price, but i guess if the item is popular too.
Makes one want to bring back department stores with smartly dressed clerks and good taste and good manners. Who knew how to add, answered questions about the neighborhood and the next election with ease and didn't show the slightest interest in your fingerprints or drivers license.
Can you even imagine using todays store clerks to buy something for your wife and for your mistress?
Barneys and Bloomingdales are kind of like that, the clerks are well dressed, have good manners, and take much better care of you. The only downside is you pay through the roof for it.
Thanks for all the comments.
If I ran a story with a shoplifting problem of expensive items I would do like they do at Costo, where the customer grabs a voucher at the point of display. Then you bring it up to the register and they will take the voucher and get the item from someplace secure and hopefully nearby. That way nobody gets offended. When you feel like the salesman is making a judgement call about you personally it is very insulting when it doesn't go your way.
Regarding Barneys, my wife says she went to the one at the Venetian and everybody gave her the cold shoulder, evidently because she wasn't carrying an Armani purse will $100 bills fall out.
I'll echo the Barney's comment - my wife and I went to the local Honda dealer in the DC metro area to look at the new Odyssey. Since I look much younger than I am, and I don't dress appropriate on the weekends (i.e. - old t-shirt and shorts), no one approached me even after 15 minutes in the dealership. Of course, in DC, only the top of the line touring models are ever in stock, at 42k a pop, so since I didn't "look" like I could afford it, I was ignored. Oh well, no more Hondas on my list to buy from now on. Retail seems to be going about who looks like they can afford things, which is what got the country in trouble financially anyhow, but that's another point to chew on later....
It is worse in Hollywood. Some of those guys wearing suits that look like they've been slept in are merely wearing very expensive fashion statements ... and some of those guys actually are bums.
Would it really have hurt the Honda salesman to approach you and at least inquire if he could help you. I'm sure every flat broke 19 year old kid wants to test drive the top of the line model, but all the salesman is doing is asking you if you have any questions.
I bought a Sony surround-sound system at the same Summerlin Best Buy across from Red Rock casino, and did NOT get that treatment, probably because grabbing the multiple speakers and desktop-computer-sized woofer and running out the door was unlikely. However, when I bought a smaller JVC movie camera at a Best Buy years ago, I DID get the "we'll leave it at the front counter for you" treatment. It's just company policy, so don't be offended. I'd get more offended at their incompetence in locating my item and annoyed at the inability to count bills.
Looks can certainly be deceiving. The wife and I went looking for a car this past Saturday. She looked good(women don't typically go out in public not looking 'right') and of course here I am in my old t-shirt, shorts, flip flops and a dirty ball cap to cover my bed head-typical Saturday attire for me. Long story short, we bought a car(I'm sure the salesman looked at the way I was dressed and thought here's a waste of time-however we weren't treated as such) cut him a check for $20k and we were on our way, go figure, right.