Thursday, March 29, 2007

Good News & Bad News

First the Bad News:

R has come down with a cold. When she gets a cold, it usually goes to her sinuses. In this case, the typical sinus infection has also affected her eyes. It's kind of like pinkeye, but not so dramatic. A little sore, a little runny, a little inconvenient. The pharmacist gave her some polysporin drops that she's allowed to take. That seems to have helped, but the cold has really done a number on her voice.

Now the Good News:

R can put a bowl of popcorn on her stomach. She discovered this convenient trick the other night when we were watching a movie. We duplicated it again tonight for the camera. Isn't pregnancy fun?

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Lethbridge: Land Of Plenty

As noted previously, we we were in Alberta last week. After R flew back to Ottawa, I still had to go down to Lethbridge overnight. Before leaving town, I made sure to get some good pictures. Mainly, I took pictures of three things: a bridge, a boardgame, and a convenience store.

Since we had just played Settlers of Catan at the top of Calgary's best-known landmark, it seemed appropriate that we get a picture of Lethbridge's pride and joy, the Lethbridge Viaduct. If you look closely, you can see that my supervisor / travel companion El-Dubya is holding the game "Starship Catan", which we tested thoroughly on our trip. Perhaps he is too far away for people to really see.

How's that? Any better?

The bridge was built from 1907-1909 to allow for more efficient rail passage across the Oldman River. I originally thought that it was called "The Leth-Bridge", and that the city was named after the bridge. I was wrong. The place was actually a whiskey-soaked trading post called Fort Hamilton (aka Fort Whoop-Up) until the Mounties came and settled things down in 1874. Shortly thereafter, William Lethbridge brought his coal-mining operation to town and the place became much more respectable. The viaduct came 35 years afterwards. Thanks wikipedia.

According to wikipedia, Lethbridge is a very windy place. I know that from first-hand experience. Once when I was younger, we visited my brother and his wife, who lived there for a year or so. While they were off at work, we went up on the hill near the Lethoductibridge to look around. The wind whipping up from the river valley was so strong that we could almost lean into it without falling over. After some experimentation, we discovered that pulling your shirt up around your arms like a sail provided the extra lift you needed to lean into the wind.

The wind wasn't quite strong enough on the day we were there, but it still made a decent showing. I sailed it for old time's sake.

I never realized what a Slurpee caliphate Alberta really is until I moved away. It is a slushy, slushy province. In most places, if you are lucky enough to find a 7-Eleven or a Mac's, they usually only have two flavours of Slurpees/Frosters. Moreover, one of our Alberta friends noticed that Slurpees in Utah were markedly different from Alberta Slurpees in their taste and constitution (she much preferred the Alberta variety, but she's probably biased). She would be in heaven in Lethbridge. We wandered into a Mac's convenience store and discovered what is probably the largest Froster selection ever. They had SIXTEEN different flavours, stretching off into the distance. It was remarkable.

You will also notice the bags of Old Dutch brand Ketchup-flavoured chips -- another specialty of Western Canada. One of my coworkers from Alberta requested that we bring a few bags back to Ottawa. I'm glad he didn't ask for all 16 flavours of Froster. Potato chips are much safer than slushy drinks to smuggle across the country.

That's basically why Fort Whoop-Up got shut down in the first place.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Contingency Planning Required

Ooohhh, we're getting pretty close now. Only 6 weeks (42 days) to go. Last week I mentioned how R is getting a little bit anxious. Well, she is more anxious this week than she was last week. We don't have a little bag of stuff ready to take to the hospital, and we haven't read all the information that we'd planned to. She still feels ill-prepared for any contingencies. recommends that we prepare for contingencies.

This week's article says that the baby should weigh about 4.75 pounds. Given the previous projections in the 95th percentile, we are probably well over 5 pounds. BabyCenter puts the length at about 18 inches. The child will only get a few inches longer, but it will add another 3-4 pounds in the coming weeks.

Now that R's stomach is poking out so far, everyone has been telling her that it is sitting like a boy. I really don't understand how the gender would dictate the position of the baby. Seems pretty hokey to me. It's another one of those things that's bound to be right half the time, so it almost appears reliable.

But they're right in this case, so there's not much I can say.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Sprinkle, Sprinkle

We just got back from spending a week in Alberta -- the land of our youth. I had a business trip that took me through three different cities (Edmonton, Calgary, Lethbridge), and R flew out to spend most of the time in Calgary, where her family lives. The timing was impeccable:
- early enough that R could still fly
- late enough that R could have a baby shower
- same weekend as R's sister's birthday

We bought R's plane ticket somewhat impulsively on Valentine's Day (because there was a sale), so there was not a lot of warning that we were coming (a month). Still, R's sisters, mother and sister-in-law put together a fantastic baby shower:
- small enough to mainly include a comfortable group of friends
- casual enough to be a drop-in event
- organized enough to be fun
- relaxed enough to keep R from playing a lot of awkward/embarrassing games
- cauliflower enough to last for weeks (thanks to me)

The point about playing games is an important one. You see, there are people who like to play games, and then there are people who don't like to play games. Within each of these groups there are extremes - the people who love/hate games. R and I stand at the extremes: I love games and she hates them. For a long time, I could not understand her distaste for games, thinking she was just a party-pooper. With time, it has made more sense to me.

As it turns out, there are lots of people out there who hate games. Many of them go along with the group and play, despite their deep loathing. R does not. She is very strong-willed. Her family understands this very well, and took it into account when planning the shower. Instead of games to put her on the spot, there was a simple icebreaker, followed by a few presentations and things done by R's sisters and sister-in-law. R hardly had to do anything awkward or embarrassing, and she thought it was perfect.

There was a lot of food, including a veggie platter heaped with cauliflower. I was responsible for cutting up the fruit and the veggies for the snack platters. I cut up everything I was given, without asking questions. Perhaps I should have asked about the cauliflower, because there was quite a lot of it. You almost couldn't see any of the other vegetables on account of the cauliflower. We ate it at every meal for the next few days.

After it was all said and done, R had opened quite a fine assortment of baby clothes and other items. Thanks to all those who were there. I wonder if we'll have to buy any clothes for the baby, with all the generous gifts and loans that we've been given so far. On second thought, with what I've heard about the messes babies make, we'll probably need plenty more.

...especially kimonos.

Friday, March 23, 2007

March Belly Update

With only one week left of March, I thought it was time for a belly update. This was taken 6 days ago, at R's parents place in Calgary.

If that isn't the cutest thing in the world, then I don't know what is.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Towering Above Catan

Anyone who knows anything about the province of Alberta knows that it is one of the hottest real estate markets around, registering incredible increases in housing prices month after month. The booming economy and the corollary demand for housing has propelled the construction market to record levels, particularly in Calgary.

However, development in Calgary reached entirely new heights yesterday in spectacular fashion, as an adventurous group settled Catan 525 feet in the air.

The Calgary Tower was built in 1967-1968 to mark Canada's Centennial year. For only a brief period, it was the tallest building in Canada, but it still hangs onto the distinction of "the tourist observation deck at the highest elevation above sea level (3965 feet)" -- a rather weak claim to fame, but a claim nonetheless. The observation deck contains several round tables and cushy stools. These tables and stools are ideally formed for a game of Settlers of Catan.

In my opinion, Settlers of Catan is the new Monopoly (but better). This is because it is a party game that is easy to learn, requires a clever balance of luck and skill, and can be played in under an hour. I have personally taken part in over a hundred games, and I can vouch for its quality. I am sure I will play in a hundred more. Until yesterday, I had never played at such a high altitude.

In many respects the game is the same, even 525 feet high. There were a few important differences, however. The winds were strong enough that the tower swayed gently, giving the impression that we were on a boat. I asked the girl working in the gift shop if she ever gets seasick. She showed me a bottle of Gravol that keeps her going on windy days.

Another difference was the astounding number of men in black jeans and short hats, striding about the deck in groups, stopping occasionally to peer over our shoulders. It was slightly unnerving. Apparently, a group from a local Hutterite colony was up visiting the tower.

I am sad to say that I was not able to carry off the victory on this particular day. El Dubya won the first game (a nice consolation after his lackluster outing to Ed's Rec Room), and Luke won the second. I don't want to hear any more complaining from any quarter about my domination of this game. I lost at the tower, so I can lose anywhere.

Although I have considerable photographic evidence from the event, we neglected to have witnesses sign an affidavit regarding our achievement. It therefore seems unlikely that we will take our rightful place in the Guiness Book of World Records for "The Highest Altitude Ever For A Game Of Settlers Of Catan Played In A Tourist Observation Deck".

There will be other days, and other observation decks, I'm sure.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Big Kicks

Welcome to Week 33. We are officially close enough to the date to start really panicking. There are fewer than fifty days until the anticipated date when a little baby is to arrive in our lives and change everything. R doesn't feel very prepared. Luckily, she has her sister and her mother to help her out. They went out shopping today, to get the essentials of motherhood.

She showed me what they got, and as she pulled each item from the bag, I was reminded again of how little I really know about this business. I've read a few articles about pregnancy from trusty old, but I haven't really even scratched the surface.

Speaking of BabyCenter, this week's info says that baby is over 4 pounds and about 17.2 inches. The length is rapidly approaching the final birth length. How exciting.

According to BabyCenter, these growing limbs should continue to kick just as much as ever. They encourage you to pay attention to the frequency of the kicks, in case the baby is in distress. In our case, I think there aren't any issues, since we see plenty of evidence of kicking. In fact, last night I was lying in bed and I was jolted awake by what felt like a kick in the back.

It turns out I was right. R doubled up her knees and smoked me in the kidneys because she felt like I was taking up too much space.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

The Mall That Ed Built

You probably know somebody named Ed, like maybe an uncle or a landlord. There are people named Ed, and then there are places named Ed. I spent Thursday evening in such a place – in a place called West Ed.

West Edmonton Mall (aka West Ed) is a super-sized shopping mall in Edmonton which has all sorts of attractions built into it, including a waterpark, an amusement park, submarine rides, two theatres, a skating rink, a hotel, a bowling alley, a fire-breathing dragon, and the requisite pirate ship. When it was first built 20-some years ago, it was billed as the largest indoor shopping mall in the world. (Perhaps that was part of a rivalry with the Calgary Stampede, the self-proclaimed “largest outdoor show on earth.”) Surely, larger malls have been built since, but West Ed may truly have been the biggest for its time. Those glory days are now in the past.

West Ed shows its age, but it’s still an interesting place to come visit – mainly because it is a throwback to an earlier time. It’s also a great place for late-night bowling.

Two steep escalators bring you to the heights of Ed’s Rec Room, where a modest $7.50 allows you bowl to your heart’s content -- all the way until midnight. Amongst the shabby carpets, lonely vending machines and the unpainted panels of GypRock, I bowled one of the greatest games of my life. Since I am not much of a bowler, the mediocre score of 169 was enough to qualify for my all-time record (at least, highest in recent memory).

I give all the credit to Ed, who inspired me to reach for the stars.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

The 'A' List


I have never been to a baby shower, but now I think I know what it's like. As I understand it, a bunch of friends (mostly experienced moms) come together and shower you with things that they think will help you take care of your new baby. This is better than muddling around in the aisles of Babies R Us, trying to assess the advantages of the Diaper Genie over the competition. At a baby shower, these experienced moms are going to give you the stuff that works -- the stuff they like.

Today, my cousin A-Squared threw an impromptu virtual baby shower for us on her blog, providing her list of favourite baby items, with descriptions and pictures. To feel the full effect of the shower experience, you have to read her posting but I'm going to retain a summary list here for our benefit:

  • The Boppy 5-in-1
  • Graco Pack-n-play
  • Swing
  • Container for dishwasher
  • Formula dispenser
  • Cloth diapers as burp cloths
  • Munchkin wipe warmer
  • Binky clip
  • Bundleme
  • Petunia Pickle Bottom diaper bag
  • Diaper Dekor Plus
  • KidCo Food grinder

  • Pampers: diaper of choice
  • virtues of cold cabbage leaves
  • Diaper strategies
  • Benefits of Helper-Mom

A-Squared, thanks for the posting! Consider this my new wish-list.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

The Scoop on Sesame Seeds

Part of the fun of having a blog is checking the site statistics to see who has been visiting. Not only does the stats system track the number of visits, but it also tracks the search engine keywords that bring people to the site. Here's an example of keywords that hit on the site in the last 2-3 days:

Num Search Term
2 chubby grandma
1 vintage sesame street kids clothes
1 rickshaw stroller
1 there's a hole in the bucket sesame
1 zooper hula fabric
1 live spot price of sesame seeds
1 ivf cycle travel high altitude
1 67s fan

You'll notice that the terms "sesame" and "sesame seed" show up quite frequently. Usually, the queries are some version of the question, "Is it safe to eat to sesame seeds during pregnancy?" I feel bad for those sesame searchers who hit the site, because I know that the answers to their questions have never been provided on these pages.

... until now.

Using the Swedish version of our trusty as my starting point, I found my way to the Pregnancy Nutrition Page on The Swedish Chef and his associates in the Vegan Society all agree that it is safe to eat sesame seeds during pregnancy. In fact, the "VS" counsels women to choose from the following on a daily basis:
Nuts & Seeds e.g. all types of nuts, nut butters, (cashew nut butter etc.), pumpkin, sunflower and sesame seeds and tahini (sesame seed spread).

I hope this has been helpful, and lets some of those frantic searchers out there put their concerns to rest. Sadly, I'm still not sure how to help those two people searching for "chubby grandma."

Monday, March 12, 2007

Taking Out The Trash

Time rolls on. With 32 weeks behind us, there are only 56 days left until Week 40. R is totally freaking out. She's worried that she isn't prepared. She's worried that I'm not prepared. She's worried.

According to the folks at, the baby should be almost 4 pounds and almost 17 inches long. R is worried that the baby is more like 50 pounds and 50 inches. These worries may account for her shortness of breath.

The more likely reason behind the shortness of breath is the expanding baby in her tummy.

BabyCenter has some other preparation tips. I think these two are my favourites:
• If anyone offers to help during the newborn weeks, write down their name and number.
• Ask a neighbor to take out your garbage.

If anyone would like to offer to take out our garbage, please feel free to leave your name and number in the comments section below. I always forget to take it out, so you could probably start right away.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Second Purchase: Graco Snugride

Well, we finally did it -- we bought a carseat. We really couldn't wait much longer, or we might find ourselves at the hospital with no baby seat to help us bring the baby back home.

On Friday we went into Kiddytown here in Ottawa, fully expecting to buy the brown-and-black Graco Snugride carseat that we'd looked at and mentioned in a previous posting. We'd even gotten as far as bringing the box to the front desk for checkout when I decided to ask one more question.

The question was about foam.

In the Consumer Reports tests that they did on carseats, they observed that the Snugride carseat with EPS foam performed quite well, despite the fact that they'd accidentally simulated a crash speed DOUBLE what they'd intended to test (link). They strongly recommended getting a model with the foam.

Standing at the checkout line, looking at the box, I didn't see anything about the magic foam written anywhere, so I asked about it. The people we spoke to didn't really know what I was talking about (there's another guy there who knows everything about carseats), but they kindly went to the shelves and pulled down another carseat model that was a little newer. It was the Snugride Metropolitan, which I've seen online, but never in a store. It was the same price as the Blackwell model, but it had the foam. The picture on the box made the colours seem a like a perfect match for our beige stroller (a Zooper Hula). When we had them open the box to examine the foam, we found that the colours were actually different -- the seat was in shades of grey.

After some lengthy consultations amongst ourselves, we decided that although the grey Metropolitan seat was slightly heavier (because of the added foam), it would be much better overall, and wouldn't be a terrible match for our stroller, which has quite a few grey accents on it. With that decided, we bought it, brought it home, assembled it, and took pictures of it.

I hope you have enjoyed the photographs and the thorough treatment of this subject.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Vintage Christmas Clothes

Last week we received a package in the mail from my mom. It contained a red Christmas vest, accompanied by a matching green bow tie and green pants. The knees of the pants were pretty worn.

Along with the clothes was a letter and some photographs.

Dear D and R,
I saved this little outfit of D's all these years because I thought he looked so cute in it. Thought it might be fun for you to have. (Elastic in the pants needs replacing - a bit brittle.)


The photographs are from Christmas back when I was 2 years old. I think the first one is great, because it shows my bowl-cut brother climbing up the cupboards using an overturned ottoman (above). In the other photo (left), you can see my uncle DTA, sitting on the couch with his glorious nephews and his fantastic neice.

This was back when he was "our single uncle", the one who would run laps around the park in the winter, with a scarf tied around his head.

I didn't have a scarf back then, but I had a pretty snazzy bow tie.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Old Hair

I started getting grey hairs before I was twenty. Now that I'm almost thirty years old, hardly a week goes by without somebody making a surprised comment about my greying temples. The more it happens, the older I feel.

It's not just the colour of my hair that points to my progressing age. It's also the style of my hair.

Male hairstyles follow a certain trajectory as life moves along. They start off low, without any fancy hair products or complicated hairstyles. In junior high, boys discover their hair and the many possibilities, effectively blasting off. As they strive for individuality, there is a tendency to overdo it. That's how I did it.

In Grade 7, I used mousse, a brush, a hairdryer and hairspray to carefully sculp my impressive wave of hair.

Once you get into high school, you ease off a little bit as you find a more sustainable level of hair care. This leveling-off continues into university. The hairstyle continues to lose some steam with passing years.

If you look around, you'll notice that older men don't have wild hairdos (Einstein notwithstanding). They settle into something practical and they pretty much stick with it for the rest of their lives (as long is there is still some hair to work with).

I haven't been doing anything with my hair lately. Mainly I just forget. Perhaps it's just malaise, but I think it might be age. Sometimes it feels strangely negligent that I could forget about something that used to be so important, but it also feels liberating. Maybe it's just a phase. Maybe I'm getting old.

And all the while, the grey hairs just keep coming.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Winter's Last Gasp

Typically, we look at the month of February as something that must be endured. For those four weeks, you have to brace against the cold and snow, with the reassurance that March will bring some relief. Once February passes, it's only a few weeks and days until spring.

But until that first day of spring, March belongs to old man winter, and he isn't letting it go without a fight. For some reason, he has taken a particular interest in Ottawa.

After reasonably mild temperatures early last week, a terrible storm blew in, followed by a stinging blast of cold air. Yesterday was a record low.

How wonderful. It almost makes you feel like camping, doesn't it?

Monday, March 05, 2007

Two Weeks Worth of Weight

Well, according to BabyCenter's pregnancy calendar, our baby is about 16 inches long. They also say he "weighs a little over 3 pounds and is headed for a growth spurt."

Perhaps the growth spurt is already here.

Since the doctor estimated the baby's weight at just over 4 pounds on Thursday, I think it might be appropriate to look ahead to see which week that corresponds to. Apparently, the baby is closer to the weight estimate for Week 33.

I think R is feeling like she's at week 33. She started showing very early, and the baby seems determined to stick as far out as possible. He also has boundless energy, kicking, stretching and turning constantly. She says that he calms down if I put my hand on her belly. I don't see how that would work, but I'm happy to do it all the same.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

What Boys Do In Winter

When my dad calls me, we talk about camping.

From what I can tell, he has favourite topics with each of his four sons, ranging from cars to canoes to real estate to target shooting. With me it's camping. From as early as I can remember, dad took us out camping, and even served as my Scout leader. As far I am concerned, that is what boys do. They go camping. And they go year-round.

R does not necessarily share my love of camping, although she loves the outdoors. While she was growing up, her family used to take their vacations at a lake in the Rocky Mountains near Calgary, and she loves nothing more than the feeling of the water and the sun in the summer. Just don't ask her to sleep in a tent out in the snow.

I have had the privilege of being a Scout leader myself for four years -- up until about a year ago. We would camp three or four times each year, once in each season. While fall camps were probably the most pleasant (still warm but no bugs), there was still something special about the winter camps. I think it is the thrill of survival. When you go out and sleep the night when it's -30 degrees C, you have won some small victory over Nature. This irks Nature, because it has spent most of the summer plotting to kill you.

However, before the battle for survival can begin, there is another contest which must be won. The leaders first have to convince the boys to leave their comfortable homes to spend the night outdoors. This is easier the first time, when the boys don't know any bettter. Once they've had an encounter with Nature, they become harder to fool. Such was the case in winter 2006, when the boys went on strike.

Most seasons of the year other than winter, we would camp on the bank of the Gatineau River in Quebec, about 45 minutes north of Ottawa, where a dam makes the river as wide and calm as a lake. The site is accessible only by boat, so it is quite isolated and lots of fun. For winter camps, we would usually camp nearer the city, in places easily accessed by car. Two years ago, we decided to have our winter camp later in the year (March) at our favourite spot on the river. We used cross-country skis to get across, since a boat would be fairly useless amid 30 inches of ice.

As usual, it worked fairly well the first time around, but when we tried to duplicate it last winter, the boys were not quite so willing. Perhaps it was because we stepped out of the van at the starting point (a farm across the river from the campsite) into 3 feet of snow, with rain pouring down all around us.

Actually, only some of us stepped out of the van into the rain-soaked snow. Several of the boys refused to get out at all. They were on strike. They could not see the sense in submitting themselves to this kind of misery. In hindsight, I don't really blame them, but at the time, I thought they were being pansies. Several of us leaders set out with a coalition of the willing to set up camp, while one leader began negotiations to end the strike.

With six inches of water pooled on top of the ice, there was no way we were crossing the river, so we set up camp on the farm, back among some trees. I immediately seized upon the opportunity to build a snow wall around the camp-fire area. Although this could possibly serve to block the wind, it was mainly a "make-work" project to inspire the boys to activity. Soon, they had all left the van and we were knee-deep in the half-slush, working to build the wall. Not long afterwards, the rain even stopped.

The following day was warm and sunny, and a perfect day for camping -- as long as you don't mind spending the morning in frozen boots from the night before. Thoughts of a strike melted away into the glistening snow, never to be seen again.

So, what do boys do in the winter when there is nowhere to go and they have access to cross-country skis, a snowmobile and a tarp?

They try parasailing.

The four corners of the tarp were tied to an old duffle bag, which 14-year-old J strapped on his shoulders, after he had stepped into his skis. Being pulled behind the snowmobile, he nearly got airborne.

... kind of.

"Nearly got killed" is more like it. As the snowmobile pulled J along faster and faster, the tarp filled with air and pulled back progressively harder until something had to give. When the straps finally gave way and broke off the duffle bag, it gave J a nice welt on his shoulder. Strangely enough, he loved it -- loved the whole experience. From what I hear, the boys are excited to go back this year.

As for me, I can't wait to take my boy camping. That's what boys do.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Easy Rider

Prompted by a posting on dictator T-the-baby-hater's blog, I tried the online test that uses classic movies to characterize your personality. Although I went for the somewhat superficial 18-question test, I cannot argue with the results:

Honestly, I haven't ever seen this movie, but it looks pretty cool and it has quite a fitting name -- in more ways than one. It also makes me wish I still had a motorcycle.

... and a bearded sidekick.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Chubby, Chubby, Chubby

Ultrasound Number 4 was today. Good news all around:

1. The "low-lying placenta" is not low-lying anymore.
2. The baby has turned into the proper position (head down).
3. All of the organs, body parts, etc. seem to be intact
4. The child is chubby, chubby, chubby

According to BabyCenter's Pregnancy Calendar (which was quoted here on Monday), the baby is supposed to be just under 3 pounds. According to their estimates, he's probably 4+ pounds, putting him in the 95th percentile. They measured the femur, the abdomen and the skull to come up with a weight estimate. The technician said the baby had quite a thick tummy and chubby face for his age. She got us a somewhat blurry picture of the face, partially obscured by a chubby little hand.

My little brother will be delighted, because he had an obsession with chubby cheeks when he was little. He used to pinch my cheeks all the time when we were growing up. Apparently, it all started when our grandma (dad's side) was driving us somewhere and he latched onto the gently swaying skin of her underarm, saying "Chubby, chubby, chubby..." Grandma was not terribly impressed and put a stop to it, but it was too late -- he couldn't stop after that. He had a constant desire to "chubby" people's cheeks, and my cheeks were the closest at hand. These days, he appraises babies on the quality of their cheeks. I think he will be very pleased with today's news (should he ever visit this blog).

While the doctor's report was nothing but good, it did not thrill R on all counts. She said afterwards that this means she needs to "psyche herself up for labour." You see, had the placenta remained low, she would have required a c-section. Now, she's on track for labour, knowing that she's got a chubby baby on the way.