Friday, June 29, 2007

Quote of the day

"When one man, for whatever reason, has the opportunity to lead an extraordinary life, he has no right to keep it to himself."

--Jacques Cousteau

Think about it.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Lost classic: 'Across the Universe' by The Beatles

Almost 40 years after their break up, The Beatles still dominate radio in a way nobody has matched since their demise. This either means they were pretty special or that rock and pop have gotten pretty lame since 1970. Actually, it is a little of both.

'Across the Universe' appeared on the album 'Let It Be,' which was the last album The Beatles released. The controversy surrounding this album is well known. Relations were strained in the band, and it showed in the songs. Eventually, the project was dumped in Phil Spector's lap (yes, nutty Phil Spector who is currently on trial for murder) in order to produce something that could be released.

Spector received a lot of criticism for what he finally delivered especially for the bloated orchestration he applied to 'The Long and Winding Road.' However, he deserves credit for his work on 'Across the Universe.' The choral and orchestral arrangements he added were exactly the effect John Lennon's dreamy lyrics needed to make this song a classic.

In most instances, rock lyrics do not hold up as poetry. They just don't. However, Lennon's words in this song hold up just as well on the written page as they do in the song.

For example: 'Images of broken light which dance before me like a million eyes/They call me on and on across the universe/Thoughts meander like a restless wind inside a letterbox/They tumble blindly as they make their way across the universe.'

As good as this song is, I do not believe I have ever heard it on the radio. Many times, even allegedly progressive stations just stick to the hits. It's too bad because this is a good one.

Too good to be discarded.

Monday, June 25, 2007

What would happen if.....?

What would happen if a person decided to just blow everything up and start over? Just sell everything....everything of value and then pack a couple of suitcases and leave. Start the car and say, 'I'm gonna drive for 12 hours' and then stop at that point and stay there until something inside him tells him its time to leave.

And then, when its time to leave, repeat the process. Drive for another 12 hours and stop and stay there until it is time to leave again. The only restriction would be that he could not stay in really big cities. There is a lot of pride in big cities. Too much pride brings out the worst this world has to offer.

Go west where there is a lot of wide open space. There are a lot of things to see that haven't been seen out there.

If things were to be blown up, they would have to be blown up all the way. This isn't something that could be done half way. If it was done half way, it would be too easy to cop out and seek comfort in the half that wasn't blown up. Then a person would be stuck with half of what they had before while gaining nothing.

This would be odd because the whole point of blowing things up would be to change everything. But, of course, we all seek comfort zones where we can experience security. Things we are familiar with make us feel secure even if those are the very things that are making us crave change. So, does that mean we would rather be secure than happy?

Security....Fear reigns over most of us. The funniest thing about fear is that it is often worse than going through the actual thing a person is afraid of. People fear change a lot, I know that.

Fear not the obstacles in your path.


Saturday, June 23, 2007

It's never fun when the shoe is on the other foot

Many times, the way a person reacts to a situation is dictated by what he has to gain.

After all, the first question many ask when change is occurring is: "What's in it for me?"

This isn't a very selfless approach to life, but if most folks are honest, they would have to admit that this is how many of us react. It is part of our human nature to worry first about ourselves and then others.

This type of behavior plays itself out every day. Among the most intriguing recent examples of this is the controversy surrounding the possible relocation of the Nashville Predators hockey club.

In recent weeks, Predators' fans have been in an uproar regarding the possible sale of the club to Canadian businessman Jim Balsillie. The sale is still in its early stages, but there is a widespread belief that if it goes through, Balsillie will want to move the team to Canada.

Since this all became public, it has been open season on Balsillie in Nashville and the mid-state. He hasn't exactly helped the situation by maintaining a lower profile than Jimmy Hoffa.

Local fans are justifiably concerned. Balsillie previously had an interest in buying the Pittsburgh Penguins with the thought of moving them. He is a zillionaire and will likely be able to buy his way out of any situation in order to move the team.

However, the reaction of local sports fans has been somewhat amusing in one respect. The same fans who are condemning Balsillie for trying to take away their team had no second thoughts whatsoever when local and state officials wooed Bud Adams and the Tennessee Titans away from Houston.

The irony here is pretty obvious. Local fans were happy as puppies when the cold-blooded business decision of an owner benefited them, but now that the shoe is on the other foot, these same fans are learning how deep the pain can run.

Though there are big differences in the Titans and Predators situations, they are similar in one important way: the biggest losers in both situations were/are the fans.

In the case of the Titans, they abandoned Houston fans who had supported the team for nearly four decades. As a boy, I can remember watching the "Luv Ya Blue" teams of coach Bum Phillips and players like Earl Campbell and Dan Pastorini.

They were a talented and colorful team to watch.

Additionally, as a sports fan, I have had some bad experiences regarding greedy decisions by owners. The first pro football team I rooted for was the Baltimore Colts. I was a fan of the team in Johnny Unitas' final years and then later when Bert Jones was their quarterback.

However, in the early 1980s, the owner of that team poured decades of fan loyalty down the drain when he got a better offer from Indianapolis.

Since there was no way I could cheer for a team with ownership like that, I parted ways with them and then began supporting a team that had the same type of tradition as the old Colts: the Cleveland Browns.

Of course, that all unraveled in the 1990s when the owner of that team got a better deal and moved his team to Baltimore (of all places).

Having gotten twice burned, I did not support a team for a while. Then, the Titans came to Nashville and I gradually began to warm up to them.

Once again, irony abounds because I find myself cheering for a team owned by a man who basically did the same thing as the owners of the Colts and Browns. I had no problem condemning the owners of the Colts and Browns when they hurt me, but now I have accepted the Titans as my own.

Hypocrisy, thy name is Chris.

As for Predators fans, it is important to be realistic. If the sale takes place, the Predators are gone. If not sooner, then definitely later.

If they do leave, perhaps this is just a case of what goes around comes around.

We stole the Titans. Now, somebody is stealing the Predators from us.

I know this will hurt the Predators' fans, but look on the bright side.

Maybe we can steal an NBA team now.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Oh, to be in Barrow

As I stated in a previous entry, I do not like summer (see May 30 entry). I do not like the heat and especially, the humidity. Plus, kudzu is a nuisance worse than telemarketers and George Steinbrenner combined.

Because of this, I often cast a longing glance toward locations that have cooler temperatures this time of year. For example, Barrow, AK, is the northernmost city in America, and at most times, it is a rugged place to live. It annually has about six weeks of total darkness in the winter.

However, the high temperature predicted for there on Saturday is 39 degrees. Here, it is forecasted to be 93 degrees and stickier than the La Brea tar pits.

I am tempted to hit the road in search of relief. Indeed, Barrow sounds sweet. But here I will stay.

Even though it is hot here, the cool air is not far away. I can almost taste it.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Rock's most versatile group? The Band

I am not a musician. I just don't have the gift, but I do think I have a solid appreciation of music. Maybe because I can't play music, I appreciate it all the more. Who knows?

I particularly enjoy musicians who are versatile. There are folks out there who can play both a tuba and a piano and make beautiful sounds come out of both. It's a gift.

One group I really enjoy is The Band, and they get my vote for most versatile rock and roll band. Don't believe me? Let's take a look at some of the credits from their self-titled second album.

For example, keyboardist Garth Hudson gets credited for the following instruments: organ; clavinette; piano; accordion; soprano, tenor, and baritone sax; and slide trumpet. Levon Helm is credited with playing drums, guitar, and mandolin. Each member of the group is credited with playing multiple instruments.

An easy counter-argument to this is that the liner notes on rock albums are notorious for over-stating the musical versatility of artists (anybody who has ever listened to a Captain Beefheart album can attest to this).

However, The Band could really play. Go listen to their first two studio albums and "The Last Waltz" and that should be all the proof a person needs. Or listen to the work they did with Bob Dylan like "The Basement Tapes" and "Before the Flood."

It's all tremendous. Too bad more of their stuff doesn't get played on the radio. I hear "The Weight" and "Up on Cripple Creek" every now and then, but that is about it. Maybe their individual anonymity (can you name at least four of the groups five members?) caused them to get lost in the shuffle somewhat.

Or maybe this is another case where virtuosity gets trumped by the mainstream.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

When getting away from it all really isn't getting away from it all

The weather has turned hot and humid, which means many people have begun thinking about what type of vacation they will take this summer.

For the last year, most folks have been grinding away either at their place of work or at school. The grind can be frustrating especially during the dead of winter when warm temperatures and daylight are in short supply.

For many, the hope of a relaxing trip to a sunny, warm location is a primary way of making it through those times. However, the results of a recent Associated Press-Ispos poll show vacations may not be as relaxing as they used to be.

According to the poll, a fifth of all vacationers are now taking portable laptop computers on their trips.

Reasons vary for doing this, but the primary reason given by those who were polled was so they could keep in touch with their jobs.

So it's come to this? While the technological explosion of the last 50 years has made life better, it has also imposed its will on society in unwelcome ways.

Don't get me wrong; I am grateful for the many quick and efficient ways we can now keep in touch with each other. E-mail, cell phones, and other advancements have been good for us. It is re-assuring that people can contact each other in a hurry when necessary.

However, count me as somebody who considers the results of this poll as validation that better technology doesn't always translate into a better quality of life.

The very fact that many folks cannot go on vacation without having to stay in touch with the office shows that abuse of this technology is taking place.

Why is this occurring? Primarily, this is occurring because of the convenience that technological advances have provided. Simply put, it is much easier to do things that required much more effort only a few years ago.

Because of this, the business community is under more and more pressure to provide services 24 hours a day, seven days a week. If that does not happen, a business runs the risk of falling behind in the market place.

Of course, this then trickles down to the employee. The pressure to do more can become unbearable.

For example, just because somebody goes on vacation does not mean they will stop receiving e-mail at the office. People will continue to shoot them questions that need answers even though they may be away.

This presents the vacationing employee with a dilemma: do I just ignore my e-mail until I get home or should I try to answer a few each day?

It may be easy to say that people should wait, but not so fast my friend.

The results of waiting can be overwhelming. It is not uncommon for folks to have hundreds of e-mails waiting for them if they avoid their mailbox for a week.

When this happens, the pressure is on to answer all those e-mails as quickly as possible after returning to the office. Of course, this is nearly an impossible task. Then, folks start getting peppered with e-mails from people wondering why you did not respond to the e-mail they sent you last week. It goes on and on.

It really is a vicious cycle, and unfortunately, things will likely get a lot worse before they start getting better.

Now that it is becoming commonplace for folks to work on their vacation, do we really believe employers will ease up and insist that their employees really get away from it all?

Of course not. Most employers are content to increase what is expected of their employees.

However, this will likely result in more cases of worker burnout and cause their employee to look for another job.

So, in the long-term, it will be the company that loses out. I guess that is too bad, but that is what they get for pushing their luck.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Tiger? Phil? The rest? Get ready for golf in the 70s

When I say get ready for golf in the 70s, I am not talking about the temperature. The U.S. Open golf championship began on Thursday, and predictably, most of the scores were in the 70s.

The U.S. Open is atypical of most tournaments because most courses in professional golf are set up so the pros can shoot really low scores. On a weekly basis, scores around 65 are common.

However, one reason I love the U.S. Open is that it is usually the most difficult course the golfers will face all season. Heavy rough and rock hard greens often cause the scores to go out of sight. If it is dry and windy, the course will be that much more challenging.

In terms of picking a winner, the conventional picks are Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson. They are clearly the top two golfers in the world. If Woods stays healthy and motivated, he will likely be considered the greatest golfer of all time when he retires. Mickelson is a worthy foe and is arguably the most popular player on tour. Woods shot a 71 in the opening round, and Mickelson shot a 74.

However, when given the choice of picking Woods, Mickelson, or taking somebody from the field, I am going to take somebody from the field. Mickelson's current wrist injury gives me concern especially if he has to muscle shots out of the deep rough. Also, my gut tells me Woods is not going to win, but my gut can often be a big dope.

Kind of like The Masters back in April, I think the winner will be someone who is fairly unknown. Then again, maybe it will be a European (heaven forbid). Or maybe a past champion like Jim Furyk.

Regardless of how it plays out, it should be a struggle.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Fearless prediction: Vanderbilt will go to a bowl this year

For decades, Vanderbilt's football team has been cannon fodder for the rest of the Southeastern Conference. The Commodores have not had a winning record or gone to a bowl since 1982. However, I predict the worm may turn this year.

Vanderbilt will go to a bowl this year. There are two reasons why I feel this way: 1. An excellent nucleus of returning players. 2. A much more favorable schedule this year.

Last year, Vanderbilt only went 4-8, but they played a lot of young players and were still quite competitive. Four of their conference losses were by a touchdown or less, plus they logged an impressive road win at Georgia. Nineteen of their starters return from last year. Not only do they return all this experience, but the program's overall talent level has considerably improved since Coach Bobby Johnson took over. He has completely rebuilt the program and will begin seeing the fruit of all his hard work this year.

Additionally, this year's schedule is much more favorable. Eight of Vanderbilt's 12 games are at home. Plus, their games in September are much more manageable than last year. Last year, they began with road games at Michigan and Alabama, then returned home to play Arkansas.

This year, they begin with four consecutive home games, playing Richmond, Alabama, Ole Miss, and Eastern Michigan. They should win three of those four games. Later in the year, they have winnable home games against Miami (OH), Kentucky, and Georgia.

They just need six wins to qualify for a bowl. All signs point to this happening if they can only overcome their program's history of losing. A losing culture is tough to overcome. If they cannot do it this year, it may be a long time before they have this chance again.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Bonnaroo, me, and 80,000 of my closest friends

In the next few days, my tiny town of 8,500 people will once again welcome tens of thousands from all over the world to our backyard.

The Bonnaroo music festival is back, and for better or worse, my community will become one of the largest cities in middle Tennessee for a few days. The festival is one of the most important music festivals on the rock scene, and attendance is expected to be around 80,000.

As a lifelong resident of Manchester and a music lover, it is still a little hard to believe that a festival of this stature takes place here.

While some of the event's novelty has worn off, an adrenaline rush still takes place on the first day the masses begin packing our streets and emptying the shelves in our stores. If diversity is the spice of life, then my community will be quite salty in the coming days.

If the build-up is correct, the event will be as big as ever. Perhaps the biggest musical event of the year is the reunion of The Police, and they will be appearing at this year's festival.

That's right; the year's biggest music story will be appearing at the year's most important music festival, and it will all be happening right here.

This is pretty heady stuff.

The Police were at the top of their popularity back in the early 1980s. Their album "Synchronicity" dominated the top of the charts, and their videos were a staple on MTV (back when MTV primarily played videos instead of airing the garbage they do now, but that is another story for another time).

However, that was their last album of new material. They broke up at the top of their power and fame.

Not many rock and roll acts can make that claim. The Beatles broke up while still wildly popular, but as their final release "Let It Be" showed, they probably broke up just in a nick of time.

America's greatest rock and roll band, Creedence Clearwater Revival, also broke up while still near the top, but these examples are few and far between.

Most bands stick around well past their prime and wind up tainting their legacy (are you listening Rolling Stones?). Fortunately, The Police avoided that and are now providing the farewell tour they didn't give us 25 years ago.

As for me, I live painfully close to the festival site. However, I will just try to look at it as an adventure. This is the event's sixth year so there should not be a lot of surprises.

What is the worst that could happen? If anything does go wrong, worrying is not going to prevent it.

Some things are just meant to be endured.

Friday, June 8, 2007

The wacky life of bees

The mighty cunning, so swift, so savage.

I am allergic to some bee stings, so I respect their power. But this is ridiculous.

Swarm of bees force plane to land

A passenger plane was forced to land after flying into a swarm of British bees Thursday.

The Palmair Boeing 737, with 90 passengers on board, had to return to Bournemouth Airport in southern England shortly after take-off following an engine surge.

The pilot decided to abort the flight to Faro in Portugal and returned for safety checks. The plane's engine was thought to have become clogged with bees, the company said Friday.

Huge clouds of bees have been seen around Bournemouth over the past few days, a spokeswoman said.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Depression tightening its grip on the men of America

Of all the puzzling and mysterious illnesses people endure, depression has to rank toward the top of the list.

It impacts people in different ways, but for a lot of folks, it is an illness that gradually enters their lives.

It may begin with episodes of sadness or feeling blue. However, if it goes unchecked, depression can sink deep roots into a person's life.

Many times, a person may not realize the roots are deepening. Then, after a prolonged period of time, people may accept that feeling depressed is just a part of life that must be accepted.

Let's face it; we live in a difficult world with lots of adversity. Sometimes, depressed people believe what they are feeling is just a reflection of all the events they see going on around them and that they are not really sick.

Obviously, I am simplifying a very complicated subject because the illness comes in all shapes, forms, and sizes.

'Newsweek' magazine recently had a cover story on depression that specifically focused on how men deal with it in our culture.

When thinking about the characteristics of the stereotypical male in America, feeling sad or down does not fit the profile.

Unfortunately, these types of feelings are viewed as weaknesses when men talk about them. After all, our culture has gone to great lengths to develop the "strong and silent" male stereotype.

The by-product of this is that a lot of men do not talk about what is going on inside them. According to the 'Newsweek' story, psychologists greatly underestimated the number of men who suffer from this illness because of this. Some experts now believe as many as six million men suffer from depression.

Men simply do not talk about their feelings so professionals took that as meaning that depression impacts them less than women.

However, in many ways, that is quite wrong.

According to the story, over the past 50 years, men of all ages have killed themselves at four times the rate of women, depending on the age group. Additionally, adult depression as a whole is estimated to cost our economy $83 billion annually in lost productivity.

Those are some pretty incredible statistics.

I took particular interest in 'Newsweek's' story because I have struggled with depression for many years. I suffer from a chronic depression that was part of me for many years before I understood that I was sick.

Much like the people I described earlier in this column, I was sick for so long that I accepted that my bad feelings were just part of life. After all, I am an American man and keeping everything bottled up makes life easier in some ways.

Fortunately, I came to understand that I suffer from an illness, and through treatment, I now go through periods where I feel better than I ever have in my life.

I still struggle with it from time to time, but I now have a lot better understanding of it. Instead of it controlling me, I do a better job of controlling it.

Regrettably, as the 'Newsweek' story showed, there is still a stigma associated with depression. Because of the stigma, people (especially men) do not talk about it.

However, depression is like any other illness. Should an asthmatic be embarrassed because they suffer from asthma? Should a diabetic be embarrassed because they suffer from diabetes?

The answer to both questions is, obviously, no.

Perhaps men would be a little more willing to discuss this issue if they realized some others who suffered from this.

For example, President Abraham Lincoln struggled with depression through most of his life, including when he lived in the White House.

Astronaut Buzz Aldrin became depressed after walking on the moon, but treatment helped him recover.

NFL Hall of Famer and television broadcaster Terry Bradshaw became ill when his marriage ended, but treatment helped him.

Legendary journalist Mike Wallace overcame a deep depression after he was sued because of one on his CBS reports.

The list of depressed men who sought treatment and improved is a lengthy one that goes on and on.

So, if you feel like you may suffer from this, go see your doctor. Depression is treatable.

Don't settle for living with the pain.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Athlon picks Vols' third in SEC East

At the magazine rack this afternoon, I was thumbing through 'Athlon' magazine's college football preview. They have picked Tennessee to finish third in the SEC Eastern Division and have us ranked 20th in their national poll.

I think that is about right. The Vols stumbled a bit down the stretch last year, including our 20-10 stink bomb loss to Penn State in the Outback Bowl. Plus, the inexperience at wide receiver and defensive secondary this year has me concerned. I think we have talent there, but by the time it matures to the level we need, we may already have two losses in the bag.

I think these predictions are a lot more realistic than 'Lindy's' magazine, which has us seventh in their national poll and winning our division. Obviously, I hope 'Lindy's' is correct, but the cautious approach is probably more prudent at this point.

But then again, perhaps picking us third in the SEC East is a bit harsh. 'Athlon' picked Florida first and Georgia second. I have no problem with Florida being picked first, but what about Georgia? After all, we play them in Knoxville this year. Plus, we spanked them by 18 points last year.

Second place is looking better all the time...

Sunday, June 3, 2007

Oswald acted alone -- accept it

People won't put up much of an argument if somebody said the murder of President John F. Kennedy was one of the most shocking events of the last 50 years.

The killing of a president traumatizes a country, and Kennedy's death was no exception. His death, along with the playing out of the crime on live television, was deeply burned into our nation's soul.

Of course, Kennedy wasn't murdered on television, but his accused assassin Lee Harvey Oswald was. His death before being brought to trial is likely the number one reason why no closure to this crime has taken place.

Oswald was never convicted in a courtroom, and because of this, skepticism has run rampant about whether he did the shooting or if he was part of a conspiracy or both.

This brings us to a recent report regarding an analysis of bullets taken from the same batch as the ones Oswald used. Researchers say that new chemical and statistical analyses of those bullets suggest more than two bullets could have hit Kennedy.

Official government investigations of the crime concluded that only two bullets hit the president though the House of Representatives Select Committee on Assassinations conceded Oswald was probably part of a conspiracy.

However, if the researcher's conclusions are correct, the likelihood of a second gunman is increased.

When the House Select Committee on Assassinations reviewed the crime back in the 1970s it stated that bullet fragments retrieved from the crime scene were too similar to come from more than two bullets, according to a recent Associated Press report.

The new researchers say advanced techniques used on bullets from the same batch Oswald used show this is not the case. According to their findings, which appear in the Annals of Applied Statistics, they found that one of the 30 bullets from this batch compositionally matched one of the fragments from the assassination.

Therefore, they conclude that it is possible that the bullet fragments from the assassination could have come from three or more separate bullets, according to the AP.

In other words, because of the similarities they found between the fragments and the other bullet, the researchers believe the House Select Committee was wrong in stating that no more than two bullets could have hit the president.

I'm not a ballistics expert so I will leave whatever conclusions that can be drawn from this to the eye of the beholder.

Realistically, I don't see these findings having much of an impact on how the crime is viewed. Folks who believe there was more than one gunman will likely add this to their arsenal of evidence.

On the other hand, those who believe Oswald acted alone will soon begin picking apart these findings with skill and efficiency.

However, the most fascinating aspect of all this is how this controversy is so absorbing after 44 years.

Much like people who have searched for unicorns, there are those who still are dedicated to finding the one missing piece of evidence that will resolve this issue.

Unfortunately for these folks, I believe they search in vain.

Many times I feel like a lone wolf on this topic because I am in the small minority of people who believe Oswald acted alone, and there was no conspiracy of any sort.

The space in this column is far too brief to totally explain why I believe that. Gerald Posner's excellent book "Case Closed: Lee Harvey Oswald and the Assassination of JFK" does an excellent job of explaining why Oswald was the lone gunman.

His book explains it better than I ever could. It seems when dealing with this crime that we immerse ourselves so deeply into all the possible conspiracies that we lose site of who Oswald really was.

He was a confused person raised as a child under difficult circumstances that left him lonely and alienated. As an adult, he was a spectacular failure who was desperate for attention.

Well, he got all the attention he wanted. After all, we are still discussing him 44 years after his death.

How many of us can say people will be talking about us after we leave here?

But, then again, Oswald gave up a whole lot to be well known. Gladly, most of us are content not to go down that path.

Friday, June 1, 2007

It's never too early for college football

I know the calendar only says 'June,' but the early preview magazines for the upcoming college football season have already hit the racks.

College football is my favorite sport. Its passion and tradition surpasses all others. In a way, it is truly beautiful.

I know many feel that big-time college sports corrupt what the mission of universities should be. While I do share some concerns regarding how big college sports have become, the good greatly outweighs the harm. A successful team is an extremely effective weapon in marketing what a school offers.

As a University of Tennessee graduate, I am excited about the upcoming season. The Volunteers have a lot of unanswered questions, especially at the wide receiver position. Quarterback Eric Ainge is probably the best at his position in the Southeastern Conference, but if quality receivers don't develop, his talent won't be fully realized.

'Lindy's' magazine has definitely jumped on the Tennessee bandwagon. They have picked the Vols to win the SEC Eastern Division and ranked them number seven in their national poll. Of course, pre-season rankings really don't matter much, but I would rather have folks talking about my team as a contender than a pretender.

As a whole, the SEC East will be a powerhouse again this season. Florida is the defending conference and national champion. Georgia is rock solid. South Carolina is definitely ascending under coach Steve Spurrier's guidance. Vanderbilt and Kentucky have both recruited a lot better talent than they have had in other years.

Could all six of these teams go to a bowl? I think it is a legitimate question. And, fortunately, the answer to that question and others will be answered soon. The countdown to the season is under way. September doesn't seem that far away.

Let's climb on board and see what happens.