An Elegant Time-Waster ~ Very Early Morning Thoughts

America’s Got Talent is an OK show – but when I was introduced to the “outside the US” versions, I came to realize there are some very good versions of that show around.   Several things define it for me, but perhaps the biggest on of all ~ there is no 90-second time limit.  The acts take as long as necessary to show what their talent is and how it works.  Here is the winner from 2009 who introduced me to real sand painting.

BTW, this really does have something to do with this post – I promise …

I have been watching sand paintings/painters for several years … until I ran into this interpretation of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons. To quote:

” And today, we bring you the live-action sand animation of Hungarian artist Ferenc Cakó, who projects his work on a screen for a theatrical audience. These more sculptural forms may be more painstaking than traditional cel animation, and for that reason more rare, but they are also often much more interesting.”





And to give proper credit – here’s the site I found this…I have it bookmarked and visit it daily…It’s call “openculture” for a reason.

Mid-Morning Thoughts ~

Hopefully, everyone’s weekend was somewhat better than this one …

(h/t to

For my part, I had a delightful weekend…I connected with a dear, dear friend that I had not seen for a number of years!! You know it’s a dear friend when you can catch up on the fly, and not feel as if there’s been a huge space since you’ve been together!!!

Don’t walk behind me; I may not lead. Don’t walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend.
Albert Camus
A true friend never gets in your way unless you happen to be going down.
Arnold H. Glasow
A good friend will bail you out at 2am.  A true friend will be sitting there with you saying: “Damn, that was fun!!! – (unknown)

It also reminded me that life is indeed short, and our purpose is NOT to arrive at the grave all pretty and posed – to be lowered gently into the ground.  Life is to be lived so that at the very last minute you slide in all tattered, worn saying: “What a ride!!! WHAT A RIDE!!!”

A 60+ Stoner ~ Late Evening Thoughts

This chapter picks up from —here

Once taken into the surgical holy-of-holies, I was shown to a draped area with a bed and various machinery not for the faint of heart. I was handed two (not one) two surgical gowns to put on. As surgical gowns had been designed by Dr. Seymour Butts, this was a welcome change indeed. Now, the posterior areas would not be flapping in the breeze of hospital air conditioning…or so I thought. Alas, when the surgical nurse (have to use the right title here) came back. I was to put one on and the other would be put on after surgery. But, I need not have worried – once I got into the bed, I didn’t get to leave it.

And now the torture began. After the first surgical nurse left (having divested me of one of the gowns), a second one arrived – carrying a $4 cup of coffee. Sheer torture. Fortunately, he was but a moment and left with coffee intact very shortly. At that point, the anesthesiologist arrived without coffee and talked in detail about what they were going to do and how I would be “under” for the operation.

Those who know the story of a year ago, know that my last major surgery was not exactly a walk in the park going into it. I had shared that with my Dr., but had no idea he had shared it beyond that.

I was very glad to talk to the anesthesiologist and find out that I was NOT going to be given the paralyzing shot so common in operations, but would be a combination of gas and drugs. There was a lot more torture as various surgeons, interns and I swear there was a cleaning person all arrived in front of me – with cups of coffee. One person actually used the table by the end of MY bed to add his sugar … I was in agony.

I should have paid more attention to the next explanation but I didn’t. They were going to give me a nerve block in my upper legs which would relieve most of the pain over the next couple of days. This is important for later.

After that discussion the Dr. came to see me and made the usual poking of the leg, discussion with the nurse that was with him – and merely gave me “THE LOOK” for daring to joke about marking the leg to be operated on with an X. (Some surgeons are known for NOT having a sense of humor – mine included!)

At that point, the anesthesiologist was back with several additions to the IV that had been started in my arm. I felt wonderful!!!! Nothing hurt, I had a good grasp on reality and everything seems fuzzy and sharp at the same time. The bed I was on was the one I would be taken to surgery in – and off down the hall we went. By this point, the meds were beginning to take hold, and I was enthralled by the passing lights, and the people passing by. My mouth seemed a little fuzzy but I think I could still be understood, but frankly I have no idea what I said. Finally, it was through the doors and into the operating. I was feeling so good – getting onto the operating table was no problem. That’s because they didn’t move me until I was out. The anesthesiologist was talking about the mask in my ear, and it was placed over my nose/mouth and I did as I was told – to breathe deeply.

That was the last I remembered until I woke up in my hospital room. To say it took a few minutes to get focused would be a distinct understatement. Managed to see my daughter sitting in the room, and supposedly asked her if I’d had a good time at the party. I then remember various people suddenly (she says not suddenly, but over a period of time) converging around the bed to “fill me in” on all I needed to know. First off was an explanation of the machine in bed with me making my leg move up to my chest and then back down. A major annoyance during my stay, even if I was grateful that I would keep me from locking up the new knee. Then there was the physical therapist to point out what they would do later (Spanish Inquisition torture for 400 Alex.).

He finally left and the nurse came over to explain the pain pump next to my bed. In my foggy state I did manage to listen as she explained that every time the light came on I could press the button for pain medication. Please make not that she actually said could press it. As she was leaving, the light was on – (cue the Psycho violins here) – so I pressed it. And that’s what I did all afternoon to early evening.

I need to do a short explanation here (do I do anything short?). I am not a stoner but not by nature. With my compulsive/impulsive nature people are sometimes surprised. I simply can’t. Pot makes me incredibly physically miserable and very sick – which made me a real pain-in-the-butt in the Theater department in college. And none of the rest either because they don’t work in my system as -according to everyone else – they should.

So now, I have drugs blocking the pain in my knee, whatever was in the IV dripping away and I’m pressing the pain pump every time the light comes on…which seemed to be about every five minutes. At this point – even my daughter agrees- I had gone from operation drug lingering head long to a 60+ year older stoner (in case you hadn’t gotten that!!) I had several cell phone calls I don’t remember having, ate two meals which I don’t remember and several servings of ice cream – which was available anytime on the floor.

I was blissfully unaware – even though my daughter was telling me at the time I was beyond loopy and heading toward loony!! That blissfully unaware came to an end when I looked at the wallpaper above the sink in my room. I’ve included a picture of something similar – but mine was more gold, more washed and with some dark in it. (creepy music for 200 Alex) I was looking at the TV on the wall when I realized that the wall paper pattern was moving . . . around the wall. I did what any logical person would do in that situation and closed my eyes several times to see if it would go away.
It didn’t.

I realized right away that I was for the very first time in my life completely and absolutely stoned. I will say that it was frankly NOT a good sensation. (OK, DEA did that cover my probation?) I also knew exactly where the problem was and what needed to be done about it. At that point the nurse came in and we both basically started the same conversation . . . which in a nut shell was “the machine has to go.” She was trying to be diplomatic about it – I was being blunt. She wanted to re-set the timer (!!??) I wanted the thing gone. And shortly gone it was. Eventually the “trip” came to an end, the wallpaper stopped moving and the fuzz began to clear.

It especially cleared enough for me to concentrate on my nemesis since the beginning of time – the walker. Curse it as much as I did – it wouldn’t take the hint and leave. It just laid there against the wall and mocked me!!!

—more tomorrow

A 60+ S_ ONE R ~ Early Evening Thoughts

Picking up from —here

Everyone knows what a hospital waiting room looks like, sounds like and very often smells like. They are often places of frenetic activity, unintelligible or delivered in code intercom calls . . . and frankly smell like hospital.

I was not prepared for this entrance/waiting room. There was the tranquil sounds of fountains and a full sized grand piano was being played by ghostly hands. OK, that was a slight exaggeration – it was a player grand piano. Turning to the right, there was a marble topped circular desk with someone in coat and tie standing behind it. I was tempted to go outside and see if I had been delivered to a funeral home by mistake. Everything seemed so peaceful and didn’t smell. It turns out that the gentleman behind the desk if the first person everyone talks to before entering the rest of the hospital.

He takes your information (actually listening I might add!) and then calls whoever you are supposed to see and they will come an get you. If necessary, he will take you to where you need to go. No wandering aimlessly around the hallways trying to remember if you were told turn left, then right – go up five steps and “shake it all about.”

There were several reasons they went with the set-up the way they have it. First of all it help control traffic and also it help convince people that they are known and expected. Of course, visitors check-in and go up to the rooms.

Anyway, hospital registration came out to get me as I waited in nice comfy chairs – by a window wall and listened to the water wall and piano. I was taken to a glass enclosed area to begin the sign all the papers required and make sure all the payments had been recorded. Within a very short delightful time, I had my wrist band and the nurse came and got me for the necessary testing that had to be done.

Before going into the testing area, she took me on a tour of the floor where I would be staying – showed me a room (I was beginning to wonder if I would be expected to buy a time-share plan before I would get out). And we grabbed a fresh cup of coffee from the floor waiting area. Already I was falling in love – they had good coffee!! Once ensconced in the testing area, two nurses went to work on me. The only complaint I had was that one cup of coffee was not going to be able to replace the gallon (so it seemed to me) of blood they drew. OK, the 2nd complaint had to do with those little gluey pads they use for EKG’s. But that has more to do with glue and chest hair. . . and there’s not much anyone can do about that. And then, we were done. Because I had come in before the day of surgery, I was given a reprieve on arrival time on Friday. I didn’t need to be there until 5:30am!! Not much of an improvement, but at that time of day (Is it really a time of day?) I’ll take what I can get!!

So now I was free until Friday morning – about 33 hours away. Just enough time to go home, and brace myself for nothing to eat or drink after 10pm on Thursday. Of course, that gave me sometime to surf the net and discover all sorts of things I didn’t want to know about the operation. . . and anesthetic. I know I should have stopped reading, but it was as if I was watching a car wreck. I just kept looking.

“Achmed was supposed to pick me up Friday in time to make the 5:30am deadline. At about 5:00am I get a phone call they he can’t pick me up, but one of his friends is going to be there and the “friend” knew where the hospital was. “Friend” did NOT know where the hospital was – and “Achmed” was giving him directions the entire way – very loudly – over the cell phone. And we did make the appointed time. Again, check in at desk, registration comes and gets me and I get a wrist band – which includes a picture, by the way. No mistaking who I am that’s for sure!! Registration takes me to the surgery floor, and there is the ONLY place I’ve had to wait for any length of time…along with the others scheduled for early morning surgery.

We did get to laughing as the waiting became a test of endurance. Right across from where we were waiting was an area for families to wait while surgery was being done. The area was filled with coffee, colas and rolls and such. It was very hard to behave – let me tell you. Especially seeing the coffee …. especially the coffee.

Eventually, we were released from the torment and taken back to begin the final part of this story … and of course the last letter in the hangman puzzle in the heading.

–more tomorrow.

A 60+ S_ O _E R ~ Late Evening Thoughts

Continuing from —last night— ~

By now the horrors (as I called them) had begun to run out of steam. I had assured all of them that I wasn’t going to end up a bed-ridden cripple, that I was not going to have to sell my first born to pay the bills (although when he was growing up ~ ah, let’s not go there!) and that whatever path the recovery took I would be just fine …

I then had D & D to deal with. They had decided that there was no way I was going to be able to go through the operation and recover by myself ~ and that they were going to be there every step of the way. Which normally, I wouldn’t have minded ~ but the thought of them fluttering around the hospital bed and then fluttering in and out of my apartment while I was recovering was just a bit more than I wanted to even think about let alone deal with. (hysteria by proxy for 600, Alex)

Don’t get me wrong, they have been and are good friends ~ in very defined doses. Fortunately my daughter was taking over that portion of the watch, and she definitely didn’t need any help. So, not only would she be around after the operation, but would carefully monitor my being at home.

By this time ~ a week before the operation ~ the hospital, doctor/surgeon’s office, anesthesiologist and medical equipment rental decided they would need to be paid. I was informed these people would be calling me and to be prepared for sticker shock.

And I was . . . there was a middle-man in what I was beginning to call “Behind The Operating Room Door” and if you’re too young (or too innocent) to get that reference ~ send me an E-mail and I’ll send you a link. The reason he was in the middle was his delightful personality, his willingness to help, his lawyer skills and a company American Express that could take the charges and I would then pay back from the inheritance.

None of us knew what anyone was going to charge ~ but as a cash up-front patient, I was sure there would be some kind of discount…which I was prepared to ask for.

Believe it or not, the first call was the hospital and I almost wished I had delayed all this several weeks. After my experience of calling all the “medical center” hospitals ~ I was prepared for 1)rudeness and 2) an astronomical price tag. I received neither. The business office was incredibly helpful and let’s just say that I was going to be able to get BOTH knees done for the price of ONE at the other hospitals. (blue light special for 300, Alex)

So, when all the calls were done and everyone had the money they needed ~ I began to stump (I certainly wasn’t able to dance!) around the apartment singing “Signed – Sealed – Delivered!” When you have to sit down every few moments to let the knees recover, it somewhat takes the fun out of the celebration!!

The Doctor had given me his instructions on a much copied copy of a copy. But the hospital was quite insistent that I either come down on Wednesday and pre-register and get the necessary paperwork and test done, or I would have to do the morning before surgery. Dear me, what a difficult choice!! (Remember, I’m the one that wasn’t sure 5am was an actual time of day!) So, Wednesday afternoon it was off to find the hospital and get the tests done.

Since I’m still not driving (that IS going to change no matter what my son-in-law says!!) I either take the bus or a taxi. In this case, taxi seemed preferable. . . that way two of us could get lost. At this time I had a driver that I used all the time. He was quite good, knew the city and we had a number of pleasant conversations. He was Muslim and spent most of the trips discussing religion with me … I had always maintained that iron sharpens iron … and as the conversations were never arguments I had begun to look forward to them. Of course, I referred to him to my daughter and my friends as “Achmed, the dead terrorist.***” Knowing that if I every accidentally called him that or explained it . . . I would be in deep trouble. (non-famous deaths for 600, Alex)

Off we went – I had the address and the approximate location of the hospital, he was convinced, as always, that I had no idea where it was and he did. The discussion was lively and interesting ~ but alas, he is too serious to have much of a sense of humor. But that certainly never stopped his trying to convert me and/or all in my family.

We did find the hospital (I was right ~ he wasn’t but never admitted it) and I walked into one of the biggest surprises I’ve had in a long, long time.

—more tomorrow and another clue in the hangman puzzle of the title

*** for those of you you didn’t understand the Achmed reference ~ here is ventriloquist Jeff Dunham and Achmed. My grand kids think he is hysterical, however we did have to explain to the youngest that going through one of the box stores saying loudly: “silence ~ I kill you!” was not really a good idea!!!

A 60+ S_ O _ _ R ~ Early Afternoon Thoughts

Leaving all the “Sturm und Drang” that I last posted at length about –here– I want to move forward to the merry month of May. A wonderful time of may-flowers (except for those that were being flooded or frozen) and supposedly a welcoming of spring. In my case, it was the welcoming of yet another surgery. Over the years, those who know me have realized that walking had become much more difficult and sometimes quite painful. (bad joints for 100, Alex)

In the month of April, I realized that something was going to have to be done ~ and quite soon. I was walking as if I had been riding horses for 100 years (bow-legged really doesn’t even begin to describe it. I was beginning to look like the curved sides of a ship!) And I was beginning to be unable to walk for all but a short distance without having to sit down and let the knees recover. All of which contributed to making me fell exceptionally old and somewhat feeble. This time I began to plan and research 1) where I wanted to have it done and 2) who I wanted to have do it. (shocked friends and relatives for 500, Alex)

Several years ago I had researched the cost of getting my knees done as a cash up-front patient. The results were absolutely stunning overwhelming…out of all the major hospitals in Houston ~ for cash payments I would have been able to literally buy a house for a little more than what the two knees were going to cost me! To one business office (after THREE days of trying to get in contact with them.) after she quoted me the price I simply told her ~ “Look honey, I am not buying the operating room or donating a new one! I just want to rent the one you have!” At that point I simply decided the operations were not going to happen until I was on Medicare or had won the lottery. As both seemed to be long-term before they happened. I gave up.

Now, there was no giving up. Things had to get done and I was the one that was going to have to make it happen. I had decided WHERE I wanted to have it done. It’s a small (79 surgical beds) hospital located just on the edge of the medical district called University General Hospital. I found out that the hospital is operated partly by the University of Houston, Baylor College of Medicine and the doctors who are affiliated with the hospital. So far so good . . . So, I simply called and asked for a list of Orthopedic Surgeons. There were five that were immediately recommended. Armed with Google and my own determination I went on a surgeon hunt. The first name on the list had not only his own website, but was on several others. He had a list of accomplishments a mile long and even had a video on his website that showed through animation what would be done during the operation. –>here<– (it’s not a graphic movie folks!!)

I made an appointment to meet with him – and without a moments hesitation on my part (after we looked at the x-rays) I was scheduled for surgery on May 9th ~ having to be there at 5am . . . A time I hadn’t seen for several years, and wasn’t sure still existed!!!

Of course, once you have something like a total knee replacement surgery scheduled ~ the horrors begin the come out of the woodwork . . . each with a different view of how terrible the operation is going to be and how horrible I’m going to feel once the operation is done and I’m on my own. These were usually prefaced by “Of course, yours might be different BUT my (cousin, uncle, sister’s friend’s aunt three times removed or I read about) . . . whatever had or ended up doing …. whatever. I’m sorry now that I didn’t write them all down. They would have made a wonderful plot line for a soap opera or a lifetime of Lifetime disease of the week movies!

–more tomorrow on the adventure and more clues on the hangman puzzle in the heading!!

Happy Birthday To Me ~ Early Evening Thoughts

This is my 2nd birthday I’ve celebrated on my blog! And I can certainly say, “It’s been a wild, wild year!” Who knew that I would lose almost everything (including my life) and come back with what amounts to a clean slate and a new beginning.

So, how did I celebrate my birthday this year? By giving myself permission to do absolutely NOTHING!!!

It was wonderful … I got calls from my kids and grandkids (I know, I’m just NOT old enough to have grandchildren. I had them when I was very, very young!). I also got some calls and cards from very special friends. Also, a forum that I am a part of posted birthday wishes to me!!

This weekend my daughter and son-in-law (and the two grandkids) and I are heading down to Galveston for two days of away and family time. It’s going to be wonderful, and … if all goes well, I will have my digital camera and will have pictures to show for it!!

So, Happy Birthday To Me!!! And thank heavens I’m around to celebrate it!!!

Happy Birthday Warren!!! ~ Early Evening Thoughts

If you’ve been around me for any length of time, you know that I believe in love. Love that trancends orientation, age, looks and what other people think. It must come from the depth of love my parents had for each other ~ and somehow, that was just wired into me.

One of the blogs I read each day is —>Our View On Superior<–. I’ve enjoyed it from the first read. Here are two people that are deeply in love, work at their relationship and totally enjoy each other.

As I said it’s something that transcends orientation…it is that kind of love that is deep, powerful and something to be honored and cherished. Today was Warren’s …ahem…uh…birthday and a milestone birthday it is as well. I wondered what he would have to say about it. I was sure it would be moving and profound, and he didn’t let me down. Let me rip quote from today’s posting. Drop by his blog and wish him well, if you want, I know he would appreciate it.

To quote:

-It’s my birthday and the love of my man is the best present I could
ever have!

-Yes it was on this date…a number of years ago that my mom and dad gave birth to me – right here in Minnesota. My dad had just returned from World War II after having served over seas.

My mom and dad actually met just prior to the war starting and had gotten married before he left for the military service.

I suppose being gone for five and one-half years – he was ready to come home and see my mom. Many children were born that same year – we eventually became known as “baby boomers”.

Probably should have been called “baby exploders” because kids were coming out at a rapid pace that year. It was 1946.

Life these years has been very good to me … I’ve gotten a
good education, had only two jobs in my entire life, and lived very happily. I’m not a rich man, I’m not a poor man – but I’ve always been fairly comfortable – having what I needed in life and never to the excess.

I think that is perhaps the best life you can have. I find poor people however are happy in many ways, while those who are rich never truly seem happy and always want more – sad to say.

My parents died at a relatively early age and I was an only child. My mom passed away when I was 18 and my dad died when I was 31 years of age. So – I’ve basically lived alone my entire life. I realized I was “unique” and finally knew I liked guys when I was 13 or 14 years of age…but I didn’t know why.

However; living in Minnesota I never came out – never told my family or anyone I associated with. I would have been shoved back into the closet so fast, it would have made you head spin. Back in the 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s, before I met Steve -people hated gay men.

Why would I want to bring hatred upon myself by announcing to the world “I’m gay”? There was no sense in doing that – so I just kept my mouth closed and enjoyed life as much as I could. I spent a lot of time looking at those guys in the Wards and Sears catalogs – who wore underwear! LOL! I thought they were cute.

To me they were the next best thing to having a guy. Well, after all – who knew who was gay back then?

I really never met many guys in my life – for fear of being found out and then be put up on a chopping block for society to cut away at me – because I lived in a small town area people would talk and I feared that. I sure as heck didn’t want that – so I was very careful not to be actively seeking anyone.

I finished high school, went onto college and got my degree and
then found the two and only two jobs that I ever had. Both jobs have been good to me, both employers wonderful – providing me with a good salary, vacation, sick leave and health care benefits – what more could a guy need in life?

When I was about 23 or so, I accepted Jesus Christ into my life as my
Lord – and I’ve served Him ever since – knowing full well that God allowed me to be who I was – a gay man. I didn’t really realize I was 100% gay until – I just figured it out one day. Seems dumb I know, but hey back in those days – if you liked guys it was not a good thing. Today, things are getting better and society is more accepting.

What did I need in life? Answer: A man!

Why was I gay? Why was I unique? In 1999, being a Christian – I set out for several months on an educational trip to explore the subject of being gay and what I was and why I was who I was. I read books and internet article and my Bible and anything I could get my hands on.

Conclusions from my 6 month study:

I was gay because the feelings I had came with me, right from my
mother’s womb.

I was gay, because God created me as He wanted me to be.

I was gay and I was a born again Christian worshiping in an
Assemblies of God denomination. I was ok.

It was not wrong to be who God created me to be.

I could live just like anyone else, and still be gay.

Homosexuality is not a learned behavior. I learned that my sexual
orientation was inherited; and I was just plain wired that way.

Certainly some people will experiment with a gay lifestyle, and a gay person might experiment with a heterosexual one. If I was really gay, I’d find a place in life and in my community to be who I was.

The important thing is that people just love me through my life. What difference does it make if I am gay? I realized that people (everyone) needed to accept me, support me and not be judgmental toward me.

In the last week May of 1999, I put an ad on Yahoo Personals for the Duluth, Minnesota region – looking for a younger man and looking for love.

Well almost two weeks went by, and a couple people answered the ad – but they were only looking for sex – and I wanted a love relationship that lasted. My Yahoo User Name was “niceguyduluth”. Why? Simply because I was a nice guy.

On June 12th, 1999 about 6:30 p.m. I was checking my Yahoo email – and low and behold – there was an email from a young guy in central Minnesota. He described himself as being blond, he was about 6 feet tall, 190 pounds, goatee, blue eyes and he was 26 years old. I thought to myself (1) can this be true and (2) could this work out, after all he was 150 + miles away from me – and long distance relationships don’t work at all or not very well.

He was a gift from God to me!

Wow … I was excited! We conversed back and forth via email and later that evening I told him to install Yahoo Messenger so we could chat – and believe me, we did chat for a whole week – solid. Morning, noon and night!

We set up a date for the following Friday, June 18th – I would drive to his home town and meet him and together we would go for the weekend to St. Cloud, Minnesota.

I arrived at his home that following Friday at 10:00 a.m. right on the dot. He was inside, wearing a pair of crutches – because he had dislocated a bone in his foot the previous Sunday while playing softball.

There he was…blue jean shorts, navy blue pull over shirt, blond hair
and big blue eyes – oh my gosh he was cute!!!

Well … the rest is history … we dated that weekend, and we fell in love immediately – then we dated for five more weekends – and on or about the six weekend – his vehicle arrived in front of my place with a big trailer loaded with all his furniture and belongings – and it’s been the best 8 1/2 years of my life!

Steve was God’s gift to me on that 1999 birthday, and he is still God’s gift to me on this 2007 birthday.

So today, I’m 61 – but I feel like I’m 49 and I’ll never change that. Jack Benny was 39 his whole life so 49 – hey that works for me.

Age is just a number, so I am told. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t
matter – and I don’t mind my age at all. Birthdays come and go far to quickly – life is beautiful but it passes far faster than we can all imagine.

My final thought for the day is simply this:
Live life and enjoy every single moment you have. The possibilities for joy and fulfillment are all around you. Jump in right now and explore them fully – because that’s what life is all about. I’m so glad today that I jumped into life in June of 1999 and became the man God wanted me to be with my partner Steve.

Steve was then and is now my birthday gift from God.

He’s cute, he’s hot and he’s mine.

Happy birthday to me!

Happy Happy Birthday Warren!!!

–more complex tales tomorrow