Off Topic

This off topic thread brought to you by ten thousand galloping, machine-gun mounted, fragmentary grenade launching, SkyNet connected robots charging your fighting position behind the final protective line during the last battle for the survival of humanity.

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99 Responses to Off Topic

  1. R.D. Walker says:

    Jacksonsdad, the next Sara Blakely.

  2. Locke n Load says:

    If any of you ever have the opportunity to visit and tour West Point do NOT pass it up. That academy is flat out amazing. History buffs will be wowed.

  3. R.D. Walker says:

    I have a speech I give my kids and involves West Point and the tour I never got.

    The speech involves how your actions and inactions in life close doors and preclude opportunities. The speech starts with the fact that, as we age, doors necessarily close. At the age of 48, I am never going to be a NASA astronaut. No matter how badly I want it, it ain’t gonna happen.

    That isn’t what this is about, however. This is about the doors we close on ourselves.

    When I was in 11th grade, I went to a meeting in the high school cafeteria to hear a presentation from a representative from West Point. I heard the pitch and I wanted in. I wanted to go to West Point more than anything in the world. I resolved then and there that I would go.

    Then he got to the part about competitiveness and academic requirements. Harsh reality came calling.

    Starting in junior high, for whatever reason, I started half assing school. I became a C student. Every teacher I had told my folks that I could be valedictorian if I wanted, but that I was lazy. They were right.

    About three quarters of the way through the West Point presentation, I realized that door was closed to me. I slunk out of the cafeteria with my tail between my legs.

    I learned an important lesson that day and have tried hard not to half ass things since then.

    I ended up an enlisted man, a rifelman and a paratrooper, but I have never had that tour of West Point.

  4. Locke n Load says:

    Yup, great lesson but a hard one. Our guide gave us several hours and we went pretty much everywhere except into the dorms and classes. The man we buried on the grounds earlier that day was 25th in his class of ’64 and a heck of a guy. Until that tour I had NO idea how selective that school is, what is required of every cadet, and the hurdles you must jump to even be considered. I was floored. I walked away with a much deeper respect for my friends late father.

    The artifacts on campus aren’t hiding away, they’re out in the open, often in use. We saw packs of cadets walking the grounds being drilled on the history of every piece of the campus. From the canons to the giant chain that once stretched across the Hudson and was used to block British ships from entry, every inch of those grounds is steeped in stories I’d only half remembered from school. In the oldest chapel there is a wall devoted to wartime Generals and commanders that graduated from WP. The plaques all listed name, rank, and lifespan. Very simple really. Only one of them was painted over, obscured by the school so everyone would remember his crimes. Benedict Arnold is still on the wall, but he’s been erased..

    I don’t know what it takes to get that tour. I only know you have to try and do it sometime. Inspirational and humbling. The graveyard is a who’s who in american history. Custer was buried there. Youngest General ever, he was 23 when promoted. He was also the Goat in his class, meaning the worst academically

  5. Locke n Load says:

    The first shots fired in the Civil War were by West Pointers. At each other. What an agonizing time that must have been for the cadets…

  6. MadBrad says:

    Citadel Cadets would challenge that version of Civil War events.

  7. Locke n Load says:

    My tour guide lied?! Wait, I thought the Citadel was only thru HS..

  8. R.D. Walker says:

    Insomuch as the first shots fired in the Civil War are generally agreed to be during the First Battle of Fort Sumter and, insomuch as the Union and Rebel commanders respectfully were Robert Anderson and P.G.T. Beauregard and, insomuch as both were graduates of the US Military Academy at West Point, I would say Locke is correct.

  9. MadBrad says:

    Your tour guide would never lie on a subject like that or actually any subject. Citadel Cadets were on the Battery at Sullivans Island though. The Citadel and Virginia Military Institute are rivals to West Point, so they spar over historic issues all the time.

    As for your assertion that it must have been a terrible time for the Cadets, you are half right. The other half was on Sullivans Island.

  10. Locke n Load says:

    Good lord, the Citadel IS a college. I wonder what academy I’m confusing it with..
    Yer quite right btw, Sumter was staffed by Citadel cadets. Damnit, I really need to go back and re-study my civil war stuff,lol

  11. R.D. Walker says:

    I wonder if there will be West Point graduates on the field when those galloping robots become sentient and attack.

  12. MadBrad says:

    Of course they will, just like there will be West Point Cadets conducting the Invasion of Klendathu.

  13. Locke n Load says:

    My general lack of military history knowledge is particularly galling in this case. The man we buried was a first class Civil War historian and expert on Lincoln with several books published regarding both.

  14. MadBrad says:

    Regardless of all that, you are a Soldier engaged in Holy Warfare, covering your assigned field of fire on the Mission you were born to carry out. Nothing more can be asked of any man.

  15. notamobster says:

    I say we ask a graduate of the USMA, West Point…

    Uke? Regale us with the history of the US Military Academy, please…

  16. notamobster says:

    Sidenote: I can’t be the only one who sees this robot running backward?

  17. notamobster says:

    It must be a liberal. They’ll mount the camera on the wrong end for comic relief, while we punch holes in the posterior.

  18. Locke n Load says:

    Uke? You went to West Point? Tell me, the first time you saw a Harry Potter movie, did you think they used your mess hall as a model for Hogwarts? lol. That was one very impressive cafeteria. Trivia that maybe only Uke would know then…
    Who gave the Duty Honor Country speech in that elevated focal point in the Mess?

  19. notamobster says:

    I hold no status as a man-child, or an ACTUAL child. Thus, I have never seen a single Harry Potter flick.

    To each, his own, I guess. 0_o

  20. Locke n Load says:

    You have HOW many kids and no Harry Potter?
    The grounds of West Point look like a movie setting. Most of the buildings are cut from what I took to be regional granite, rough, grey, and imposing. From some angles it looks like you’re walking inside a fort, in other places maybe inside a castle’s fortifications. You can see the layout of the dorm building from the non-denominational chapel. From the hill it almost looks like a prison but from the ground its gorgeous. That chapel has the most amazing pipe organ setup I’ve ever seen. I can’t believe I didn’t have my camera with me…

  21. Locke n Load says:

    If Uke is USMA, he’s going to catch my sloppiness in the Benedict Arnold story. The plaques are not just graduates. Before if bcame the academy in 1802 it was a fort. That would of course account for the Washington and Arnold plaques.

  22. R.D. Walker says:
  23. R.D. Walker says:

    British General Clinton wanted to keep Washington and the Continental Army separate from the French Fleet off the coast of Rhode Island. If he were able to capture West Point, a strategic fort on the Hudson River, he would control the river and stop the forces from meeting.

    Arnold had taken command of West Point in 1780. As part of his treason, he began weakening its defense and offered to surrender it to Clinton.

    The courier carrying one of Arnold’s encoded messages to Clinton was captured and the plot was exposed. Arnold got word of the courier’s capture and immediately bolted to the British side, unable to surrender West Point.

    He was given a commission in the British Army but was never fully trusted. After the war, he lived in England.

  24. Locke n Load says:

    West Point is at one of the narrowest points in the river overlooking a big bend. They strung that giant chain from below the fort to a fortified island. Anyone passing through there would catch withering fire AND be snagged by the snare.

    Oh, and I see I called it the Potomac earlier. Yes, it is the Hudson. Unlike Idaho and parts of Oregon where you can just guess whatever river you cross is probably the Snake, screwing up the Hudson and Potomac…big oops.

  25. RJM says:

    I was at the local Wal-Mart and they had an Trojan aisle display, prophalactics on sale, 10 for $6.97.

    I was in Missouri for a few days this week and found a Wal-Mart that had .308 Federal 180 grain for only $15.97 a box of 20.

    Prophalactics and anmmo on sale, doesn’t get any better than that!

    It’s been a great week.

  26. jacksonsdad says:

    Don’t know if anybody here has made this prediction but… if not… remember where you heard it first.

    Obysmal will NOT debate the GOP Nominee for Prez.

    I don’t know if it’s even LEGAL but… who in this administration gives a shit about the rule of law? With the adoring RDM advancing the talking points they will plead the equivalent of “Just Too Busy Fixin’ Problems”. They will calculate that the hit he takes from his cowardice is MUCHO PREFERABLE to a man-to-man discussion of his actual record.

    A debate is the ONLY chance for one of US to put HIS ‘accomplishments’ on the front burner and that’s more than they can entertain. Even with the faithful efforts of ‘The Moderator’ (hee hee) they will be helpless to guarantee that they won’t be caught with their pants down and they will err on the side of caution.

    Mark my words… that chickenshit will do ANYTHING to NOT face the music.

    btw… I hope I’m wrong. I would love nothing better than munching my popcorn with The Amber Current flowing as Mitt asks The Teleprompter “Is It or Is It Not a tax, Barack? If it ISN’T a tax then it’s unconstitutional and if it IS then you’ve broken YET ANOTHER campaign promise (this one being the BIGGEST, most repeated and celebrated) so… which is it Mr. Transparency… TAX or NO TAX?”

  27. Locke n Load says:

    JD, I think I came to that same conclusion several months ago when Newt was talking about chasing him around and demanding debates. Obama will grant probably only one debate, if that. His staff knows damn well he can’t be trusted without a teleprompter.

    Oh, btw, one of these days I need to figure out what city you’re near. I’m stranded down in Charlotte for the night.

  28. Locke n Load says:

    Tell ya what, if this election doesn’t turn out well I might be MOVING to guam

  29. Locke n Load says:

    I can’t believe Santorum screwed up Ohio like that and gave up his advantage.. boooooo
    I mean, I can appreciate that he’s doing as well as he is running the campaign on a shoestring budget but MAN, you simply CAN’T be left off of ballots (Va) and giving away states like Ohio…

  30. jacksonsdad says:

    Locke… check the Inner Circle and if you’re still up feel free to give me a call if you like. I’m riding the Amber Current tonight.

  31. BrunDawg says:

    Road rage (unsuitable language).

  32. notamobster says:

    Check out different blast and fallout radii for nuclear attack:

  33. R.D. Walker says:

    Did I ever tell you all I am a member of the American Legion? I am. At the young age of 48 I am a wipper snapper in my post too. I get the shit jobs. This spring at our annual fund raising breakfast, I will be cleaning trays. The Lady’s Auxiliary used to do that. But now it is me. After all, I went to war 29 years ago. I am a pup.

    I am also a member of my Lutheran Church. If there is anything more Iowan than an Iowan Lutheran, I don’t know what it is.

    So I went down to my small town tavern to get some broasted chicken for supper tonight. The place was hoppin’ chock full of Lutheran Legionaries. Have you ever tried to pry yourself free from a bunch of small town, Iowa Lutheran Legionaries in order to bring broasted chicken and potato wedges home to the family for supper? I am here to tell you, it ain’t easy. Many beers…

  34. Locke n Load says:

    Ha! I can imagine…
    Know what else is distinctly midwestern? Broasted chicken. The midwest never likes using the word “braised” unless it involves beef shortribs and a $40 pricetag. Would rosemary and garlic oil be too fancy for the Lutherans to toss the wedges in before roasting them? Something tels me they were fried like steak fries…

  35. Locke n Load says:

    Nota, I went goofing with that nuclear toy and I’m a little wary..
    First off, Dallas hit with a 6 kiloton bomb only shows a pressure wall stretching for about 6 kilometers. Hmm. Maybe its just the VERY low yield (6 KILOton?) bomb but that almost seems like a ground blast, doesn’t it? Also, Korean nukes aren’t really being designed as fireball producers but EMP producers for high altitude detonation. Not that it matters much, its still a cool little toy. According to that app, downtown ft worth could vaporize and we’d be dusted with fallout only, lol. Sweet!

    Dig this version of their app. You can adjust the Kiloton/Megaton yield and even throw in an asteroid strike for chilling hollywood style drama πŸ™‚

  36. BrunDawg says:

    The phrase “I’m tappin’ dat.” has been replaced by “I’m Flukin’ dat.”

  37. R.D. Walker says:

    Outstanding. I will make a note of it.

  38. R.D. Walker says:

    If it is clear and dark where you are in North America, you can see Venus and Jupiter directly next to each other in the western sky. Nice and bright and very obvious. Venus, of course, is the brighter of the two.

  39. notamobster says:

    Been watching them since you mentioned it a couple weeks ago. Last night was absolutely brilliant night to stargaze.

    Brundawg: that’s fluked up.

  40. R.D. Walker says:

    Holy smokes! Here is a tsunami video I hadn’t seen… dash cam!

    Yu Muroga is a Japanese driver. It was his tour took place when the earthquake March 11, 2011. Like most people of his area, he did not feel threatened by the tsumani, as it was far enough from the coast. So he continued to drive and do its job. The HD camera mounted on the dashboard has not only captured the shock but also the moments that followed, where many drivers were stranded by the waters of the tsunami.

  41. R.D. Walker says:

    Ready for zombies… It is spring break so my six year old is out of school. I got home from work and saw that he has been putting his time away from the classroom to good use. He told me he is ready.

    Click to enlarge.

  42. sortahwitte says:

    I really like the cutlass. Aaaarrrgh.

  43. KWMatthews says:

    XD Nice, RD.

    I’m trying to rebuild my collection. Does anyone have a rough idea what I should expect to pay for an SKS that accepts the AK mags? Probably looking at a norinko model D or M, but I’m having difficulty finding reliable pricing information.

  44. locke n load says:

    Einstein was born 133 years ago today.
    That is all

  45. BrunDawg says:

    Spring is in the air. This morning’s headline: “9 shot in Chicago in less than 8 hours”

  46. Tn-Cat says:

    One of those moments I have to share.

    Family is out if town for spring break visiting my oldest daughter. Driving home and thinking of dinner. Remembering the post a few days ago on bacon, I stop at the local butcher shop and pick up a pound if thin sliced, apple smoked bacon.

    I piled on 8 slices onto toasted sourdough, lettuce and tomatoes. At least they looked like tomatoes, can’t wait for them to be in season.

    Sitting back, fat and happy with the lingering smell of the bacon throughout the house. What a great potpourri. I’m thinking midnight snack.

  47. R.D. Walker says:

    Damn. I wish I was having supper at your house.

  48. Tn-Cat says:

    Can you get here by midnight for round two?

  49. Vanagram says:

    BrunDawg– 9 shot in Chicago. Precisely why you, me and Harrison will need to carve out an hour or so for a ‘shoot-em-up session’ out on the North Farm this weekend. Of the three of us, you need to be sure you can hit your target given that you live in one of those safe, gun-free zones of Chicagoganistan.

  50. jacksonsdad says:

    Couldn’t remember if I’ve seen this here but, when you’ve got a couple of minutes to burn, here’s something extraordinary for your brain cells…

  51. R.D. Walker says:

    JD: I had seen that before and laughed so hard I pulled a muscle. That is freakin’ hilarious!

  52. R.D. Walker says:

    Damn! We’re in a tight spot!

    A surprisingly good cause, actually. Sudan most certainly sucks hard.

  53. Jim22 says:

    Check this site out. They have more than medical supplies.

  54. notamobster says:

    Has anyone heard of the new requirement for insurance underwriters going into effect this year? Their administrative costs cannot exceed 15% – any excess must be refunded to the customer.

    How is this even remotely legal in a semi-free market?


  55. Locke n Load says:

    the Fenceposts are starting to get strung with barbed wire, no?

  56. Uke says:

    Sometimes I’m sloppy in checking into the OT thread. Oops.

    Yeah I’m USMA Class of ’05. But I really can’t speak to any Harry Potter references, as I’ve never watched any of those movies, heh. :p

    It is, however, a beautiful campus. Though cadets are more inclined to assess it that way only *after* they leave. Doesn’t seem as pretty while you’re still slogging through, heh.

  57. Locke n Load says:

    It shows in your writing Uke.
    Who was your sponsor if I may ask?

  58. Uke says:

    Yeah, aside from the general and assorted “character building” experiences that cadets undergo at WooPoo, probably the best thing I took away from the place was writing expertise.

    Every cadet has to take (read: pass) EN300, Advanced Composition. That’s no small hurdle to overcome. On top of it, every class really does stress proficient writing ability. Before I went through the place, my own writing style tended to be a little verbose, a little flowery; the courses at the Point focused that into a laser, owing to their emphasis on the military style of writing.

    Because of that, I think I’ve hit a pretty nice “sweet spot” in my writing. Functional and effective, but still retaining enough “dress up” to make it (hopefully!) appealing to the eye.

    Thanks to the aforementioned institution, of course.

    Who was your sponsor if I may ask?

    If you mean the old grad that was connected with me prior to my entrance, that would be a man named Frank Tilton, I believe. Unless you mean congressional recommendation sponsors.

  59. notamobster says:

    concertine wire…

  60. notamobster says:

    Uke- made life at St Other College pale in comparison, didn’t it?

  61. Uke says:

    Absolutely and without question. I was flabbergasted by how different they were. I mean I “knew,” but I didn’t; it seems you don’t really know until you’re in both systems.

    Military vets would have the best ability of figuring it out, though. Just tell them, “Imagine doing all this stuff you’re doing… now throw six classes a day in the middle of it.”

    However, I told a few of my civvie friends what those experiences were like–how many classes I took, what extra curricular requirements there were, and so on–and many of them pretty much went pale, jaws on their chests, thinking about it. Absolutely could not conceptualize it properly.

  62. Locke n Load says:

    Yup. I was floored when I found out too.

  63. Locke n Load says:

    I was referring to the congressional sponsor actually. Progeny of USMA grads KIA can bypass the congresscritter sponsorship thing, no?

  64. Locke n Load says:

    Damn Brad, I didn’t realize our own Tn-Cat had a theme song!
    Hillbilly Jim, take it away…

    I expect a performance at the Fiesta..who has a fiddle?

  65. Uke says:

    Ah yeah, I think they can too. Happily didn’t apply to me as my father is quite alive and well, fortunately.

    My congressional recommendations came from my two senators and state rep (Sununu and Gregg and I forget the third).

    I only missed out on a rec from Al Gore. πŸ˜›

  66. Locke n Load says:

    I wonder if Boxer or Pelosi ever endorsed anyone…


  67. Locke n Load says:

    Jim and JD, this ones for you. Guy Clark absolutely ON back a few years ago. Damn I love this song… Great example of Texas Country. JD, this is one of those songs I was telling you about. Good luck finding it on the radio though

    The Chili Parlour Bar is real of course. Pretty good Red but nowhere near as hot as locals make it out to be. I’ve been stopping in there -without knowing it was a landmark- for over 15 years now.

    Wait! One for Gail! Can’t believe I just found this, roflmao.

  68. sortahwitte says:

    LnL, I love Iris. She reminds me a little of Nancy Griffith. Similar sound, yet distinct. I love that type of Texas Hill Country music.

  69. Locke n Load says:

    Damn Sorta, I never took you for the Iris type (shes actually from Arkansas) πŸ™‚ Bluegrass/folk is strangely appealing to me. Considering the ONLY time I was ever exposed to it before I rediscovered it in college was my Aunt Gail playing it at her former home in the chicago area, the appeal is visceral and I can’t explain it. Iris has a raw country girl voice that somehow projects a roomful of attitude. I love it for the same reason I love driving thru Tennessee and talking to all the locals at the diners and truckstops. There’s a great deal of honesty in her voice, her lyrics, and her presentation. Ask Gail, she’s a big fan. If yer lucky she might even play that song for you.
    Texas has a LOT of talent that comes across as raw to some listeners but musicians always recognise the talent. Guy Clark is a shining star but there are dozens more I could pull out for you. Texas has a sound, a rythm, and a voice of its own. Think Waylon, Hubbard (yeah., I know he grew up in Oklahona, sheesh), Willie, the Flatlanders, Coe, JJ Walker, Earle, and Vaughn. Damn but I could go on…
    Someday folks will understand. Probably after this current generation grows out of their Nashville hyper-produced pop preferences and reaches out to the roots of the music. Maybe then they’ll discover the roots of country AND rock n roll have been buried in Texas all along. We still make music down here, not just records.

    Ya know, since yer an Okie and I’m a Texan transplant I think this song fits. Heres Jerry Jeff Walker’s version of Ray Wylie Hubbard’s classic Redneck Mother

    Actually, if you really like this Sorta, I’m about convinced I should launch the “lost and found” music series for the Revo.. All we need is RD and Brad’s blessing. Its not a greatest hits parade but it IS great music. Up and comers, unknown talents, and long lost classics. I have no idea if the lot of you would enjoy it. I know I sure do, its my soundtrack for the road.

    In fact, heres another from the collection..
    ALso from JJ. He turned SEVENTY the other day…jeez.

    Now please, someone tell me HOW in the HELL could you go to a honkytonk and NOT have a blast with this stuff played on the jukebox?

    Ok, one more Iris for My awesome Aunt and you Sorta, please put your headphones on… This woman sings with an (admittedly oxymoronic) powerful frailty. Its hard not to be drawn to her voice and stories. JD, you talked about honesty in music the other night on the phone. Here it is. Sunny Sweeny does a bang up job on this as well but her soul isn’t in it like Iris.

    Never heard of Sunny Sweeney? Another Texan :)This Houston girl can knock it OUT

    Listen to this and tell me, PLEASE tell me how corporate radio doesn’t understand this talent?

    Ok, one last lost classic.
    John Prine live doing Steve Goodmans classic Souvenirs. I’m off to Canada for a few days so I might as well post up a John Prine co-video

    See what happens when you start talking music with me JD? Gotta be careful what you wish for…

  70. BrunDawg says:

    No “In Spite of Ourselves”?

  71. sortahwitte says:

    LnL. The player over the computer is playing Barry White right now, but next up is Gary P. Nunn. Then Lisa Gilkyson. Then some Jerry Jeff. Also, donut holes from the chinese bakery and hot, strong Community coffee. Fine, rainy morning in store. Stop by.

  72. Locke n Load says:

    If you moved to Great Falls then yer on πŸ˜‰ About to head up to Edmonton, then Saskatoon, then MAYBE tex. Out of pocket for a few. Need to fight my way thru a bit of a snowstorm, ugh

  73. Bman says:

    Speaking of Saskatoon…

  74. R.D. Walker says:

    Alinsky Rule #4: Make them live up to their own rules.

    Bristol Palin to Barack Obama: When Can I Expect Your Call?

    Don’t hold your breath Bristol.

  75. BrunDawg says:

    Chicago Tribune; “At least 10 people were killed, including a 6-year-old girl, in shootings over the weekend in Chicago.”
    Does not include GSW survivors.

    This activity may be the cause of climate change because it sure was warm this weekend. I’d estimate the carbon footprint to be about 9 mm.

  76. Jim22 says:

    The backup on that Sonny James recording reminds me of Cowboy Copas’ Alabam.

  77. Jim22 says:

    Then there’s Kevin Fowler. Beer, Bait, and Ammo:

  78. Jim22 says:

    More Kevin Fowler:

  79. R.D. Walker says:

    Notice anything about the 10 Worst Built Cars For 2012?

  80. sortahwitte says:

    Uhhhhhhh….Other than a smart car for 2(?) and a toyota that I thought they hadn’t made in 5 years? Uhhhhhh… cars made by the 2 divisions of gubmint motors?

  81. R.D. Walker says:

    The evolution debate goes fully postal. This gal does not approve of evolutionary theory.

    Details here.

  82. notamobster says:

    Did she threaten to kill 10,000 white people?

    I wonder how long it would take for the teacher to escort the white kid from class if hesaid he was going to kill 10,000 black people…

    No I don’t. Sadly.

  83. Bman says:

    Have a question for you computer geeks out there, for I no little about this sort of shit. You could say that all I know about computers you could stick it in a thimble, and I’d still have room for a finger.

    My question: How would one combine 2 or more youtube vids to make one vid? Or take pieces out of some clips and make like a compilation video? Any help yould be awesome. Totally awesome.

  84. R.D. Walker says:

    Windows Movie Maker. It comes standard with Windows. You will have to download the videos and covert them into a format you can use. Real Player has an ap for that.

  85. Bman says:

    thank yew

  86. Bman says:

    One more question….how would one go about downloading a video from youtube??

  87. Locke n Load says:

    might want to look into freecorder as well BD.
    bman, r u serious? πŸ™‚

  88. R.D. Walker says:

    If you download and install RealPlayer, you can right click on a YouTube video and it will give you the option to download it.

  89. BrunDawg says:

    Obama: ‘If I had a son, he would look like’ Trayvon Martin

  90. Locke n Load says:

    you choked on that one too, eh? Obama is signalling something here, he’s inserting himself where he needn’t, inflaming race tensions when he should be tamping them down..
    He wants violence

  91. sortahwitte says:

    You don’t have to pull back the corner of his black bedsheet to see the racism he has always embraced. He’s no different than a cross burning KKKer.

    Well, on second thought, I guess he is really different. His racism is cold and calculated. The KKK people I have known were ignorant and delusional.

  92. RJ says:

    If frank marshall davis had a son he’d look like obozo…