Saturday, July 14, 2018

Tsukemen at Momosan (Now That's a Mouthful)

Tsukemen ($16)
Rather than stand in line at Marukame Udon, we strolled Diamond Head (locals don’t say “toward Diamond Head” any more than one would say “toward East”) to Momosan Waikiki, a bar-restaurant four blocks from the zoo. We were seated immediately.

I tried the tsukemen; the waiter instructed us not to pour the broth over the noodles but to use the liquid as a dip for the pork, egg, noodles, and vegetables. He was right; immersion in the fatty and flavorful liquid would have overwhelmed the ingredients. Also, a squeeze of lime over a chopsticks-full of noodles worked much better than dissipating the sourness in the soup.

If our trip were longer than six days, we would come back, but as we said on day one, so much food, so little time.

Friday, July 13, 2018

Gone Big Time

Kinda how I remembered it. (Liliha Bakery website)
The original Liliha Bakery is down the hill from where I used to live with my grandparents---who actually preferred pastry and pies near my grand-aunt's place in Kapahulu. However, those shops and Aunt Bertha's house are all gone now (except for Leonard's Bakery of malasada fame).

During my return trips I would stop by Liliha Bakery to pick up their creamy guava and haupia (coconut) cakes.

Liliha Bakery breakfast of fried rice, pork belly, and eggs
The crowded parking lot in the 80's and 90's was evidence that the independent bakery would be a survivor against much larger operations. In 2014 the Liliha Bakery opened a restaurant-bakeshop on the Nimitz Highway on the way to the airport. Serving Island-themed dishes, the restaurant has proved popular with the locals. Its proximity to Honolulu's industrial parks and retail stores (Home Depot, Best Buy, Costco) ensured its success.

We don't have to worry about Liliha Bakery surviving; they've gone big time.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Aloha Means Let's Eat

Shirokiya: crowded at 2 p.m. Thursday
After my first day on Oahu I realized that I should have lost some weight to prepare for the trip.

Driving in from HNL, we stopped at the new Shirokiya Japan Village Walk in the Ala Moana Shopping Center. It was a Japanese cornucopia: sushi or udon, ramen or tempura, teriyaki or karaage, mochi or custard? I settled on pork ramen, higher-quality fare and 50 times more expensive than the dried instant version that I scarfed in college.

Across the street from our hotel, quirkily named the Laylow, Autograph Collection, was Marukame Udon. one of the most popular restaurants in Honolulu. It would be a one-hour wait for a table (no reservations), so we'll probably pass this go-round. So much food, so little time.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Third World Story

One advantage of making a succession of outrageous statements and tweets (even his supporters are occasionally appalled) is that President Trump's past provocations become buried in the 24/7 news cycle. One such example is the reference to s***hole countries in January:
President Donald Trump referred to Haiti and African nations as "shithole countries" during a meeting with a bipartisan group of senators at the White House, a Democratic aide briefed on Thursday's meeting told NBC News.
(Actually, there is some question whether the President used the term, because he purportedly said it at a closed-door meeting, a Democratic aide reported the utterance second hand, and some Republicans present denied that it happened.) Be that as it may, your humble blogger respectfully submits that a derogatory, some-might-say-racist remark should not be used to make policy.

In fact I support the basic meaning behind the President's alleged expletive--that limited slots for legal immigrants means that the United States should admit, say, an engineer from India over a farmer from the Caribbean. Apply the standards that a college admissions office would---which candidate is more likely to succeed? A bad choice doesn't help the college or the admittee; it often hurts the community because of the extra cost in helping the person assimilate.

Red Cross workers after the 2010 earthquake (CNN)
Setting the issue of immigration aside, what does a well-intentioned society do to help an impoverished one like Haiti? There's financial assistance, but pervasive corruption diverts funds from the suffering masses to the ruling few. Consequently donor countries and organizations insist on maintaining control of the relief, which leads to gross waste in the process:
"USAID has spent about $1.5 billion since the earthquake...Less than a penny of every dollar goes directly to a Haitian organization."

A growing reliance on U.S. and other international contractors helps explain why the payoff of foreign aid in Haiti often seems so low. For instance, it cost more than $33,000 to build a new housing unit in one post-earthquake program, a report from the U.S. Government Accountability Office said last year. That's five times more than one nonprofit, called Mission of Hope, spends per house, using local contractors.

"International companies had to fly in, rent hotels and cars, and spend USAID allowances for food and cost-of-living expenses"
Even people who donate their own services and money find the task difficult, even dangerous. From July 9th:
But as violent protests over sharply rising fuel prices shook the island nation, a dozen members of North Albemarle Baptist Church still took refuge Monday in an orphanage outside the capital city...Plans to board a flight out Sunday were aborted when the group's Haitian contacts found that armed civilians still barricaded roads and were charging tolls to motorists. The unrest left businesses burned and looted.

North Albemarle Baptist sends mission teams to Haiti three or four times a year, [Pastor Brad] Lynch said, and considers the trips so safe that middle-school students sometimes go. The orphanage's location outside Port-au-Prince and local reverence for the institution worked in favor of his team, which Lynch said was handling the situation calmly.

"We just never saw this coming," he said. "It just completely blew up out of nowhere."
President Trump is alleged to have used an inapt term. Even if he did, he was not wrong.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

First World Story

(Alameda County FD via SF Chronicle)
The Alameda County Fire Department rescued two ducklings from a storm drain, a story that wouldn't otherwise be notable except that the firefighters: 1) Played a cellphone YouTube video with mother-duck sounds to lure the ducklings from the pipe; 2) Spent an hour looking for the family so as not to consign them to an uncertain fate with Animal Control. A happy ending resulted:
they checked the Monarch Bay Golf Club and spotted ducks in the distance....When [firefighter Brendan] Burke approached, the duck and her 10 nestlings initially retreated, until one of the lost ducklings let out a chirp. The mother duck corralled the two little ones and the family was happily reunited.
Seven ducks in a box.
Flashback: three years ago at our behest the Foster City Fire Department rescued six ducklings (plus one that came running from the bushes when it heard its siblings) from a storm drain. We watched them overnight, then opened our windows wide in the hope that the mother would hear them. She did.

The green-eyeshade people would say that duck rescue is a waste of taxpayer resources; however, if it were put to a vote I am certain that Bay Area residents would overwhelmingly disagree.

Monday, July 09, 2018

Sound the Alarm

I'm surprised that this headline hasn't gotten more coverage. Have the police, fire, and other emergency services been alerted?

Thousands of accountants and finance executives are gathering in New York this week for the inaugural launch of the new Accounting & Finance Show....(CPA Trendlines)

Sunday, July 08, 2018

The New Book of Common Prayer

The 1928 BCP is still sold on Amazon
We're going to have a new Book of Common Prayer in twelve years; trials on a draft version will begin in six.

The General Convention, the chief governing body of the Episcopal Church, met in Austin last week and passed Resolution A068. A summary from Episcopal News:
The resolution directs that any future revision will “utilize inclusive and expansive language and imagery for humanity and divinity” and will “incorporate and express understanding, appreciation, and care of God’s creation."
I have attended Anglican services in many parts of the U.S. and the world, and I have never seen anyone turned away; apparently, however, the sexist language of the 1979 BCP makes people feel unwelcome. Well, let's fix some of that language at the margin (probably at the cost of excising more of the beautiful phrases that have comforted both men and women for decades, if not centuries). We will alienate more old people, but to be honest, they're not the future of the Church.

But gender-neutral references to the faithful are not the major change. Did you notice the "expansive language [for] divinity"?

I have attended a few services where a lady minister would reference "God the Mother" and use the pronoun "She". In another vein, especially when the topic was the environment ("care of God's creation"), priests have called upon Gaia, who is the Greek goddess commonly knows as Mother Earth. In this way they could strike a blow against both patriarchy and monotheism in one fell swoop.

Part of me wants to encourage this project because it's time the Church resolves whether "God the Mother" is consistent with its theology. However, we know the result before it's even started; the cultural Marxists in charge of my church know that changing the language is a prerequisite to changing thoughts.

Note: one source of amusement is the translation of gender-neutral English into Romance languages, where gender is all-pervasive. Here's a Quora thread where Spanish-speaking natives weigh in. Excerpts from different contributors:
this issue is an excellent example of how English speakers love to impose their world view/cultural grid on other cultures. With regards to Spanish, the battle for gender inclusivity is very real in places like Mexico and Spain, both countries in which I lived for a number of years. In Mexico for example, official government publications must refer to “los mexicanos y las mexicanas.” Many ordinary Mexicans, however, feel this is a pointless (and perhaps American-influenced) distraction from real issues that affect the lives of millions of women, such as domestic violence and female indigenous disempowerment.

To truly respect the cultures associated with Spanish and French would be to learn the languages the way they are spoken, written, and taught today and then to engage respectfully in an ongoing dialogue with native Spanish and French speakers and teachers about how to reconcile your Anglo-Saxon political convictions and worldview with the languages that are being shared with you.

nobody who speaks Spanish as a native would care. It's you trying to impose your values in other people. Hundreds of millions of people are not going to change the way they talk just to accommodate you.

It'd be like a native Spanish speakers expecting English native speakers to use three different forms of you: an informal one for singular, a formal one for singular, and a form for plural. Why? Because that's how it works in Spanish, so you and every person that speaks English should change.

"the overwhelmingly gendered nature" of the Spanish language refers to grammatical gender, so if you have any troubles with that, you could think about it as a silly bourgeois convention unrelated to what your mind actually believes of a person's gender or lack thereof.

PS: your teacher is probably trying to teach you Spanish, not impose any kind of socially normative prejudices, so please let him/her/sher/zer/them/whatever do the work. Thank you.

This is a terrible non-issue you are making out of your stubbornness to impose your north american-centric view of culture and the world on peoples who don’t really care. These are things that really don’t make us latin americans at all concerned. Spanish speakers don’t lose sleep over the existence of “gender neutral nouns”. WE DON’T HAVE THAT CULTURE. WE DON’T CARE, AND WE DON’T MIND. WE USE LANGUAGE AS IT IS.
Resolution A068 mandates that "all materials be translated into English, Spanish, French, and Haitian Creole, following the method commonly called dynamic equivalency". I doubt that any objections by non-U.S. Episcopalians will slow the process down anyway, because it's impossible for the Church, which inveighs against colonialism incessantly, to engage in cultural imperialism.

Saturday, July 07, 2018

Dennis McKean (1947-2018)

To my regret I had not spoken with Dennis McKean for 20 years. Last month Dennis succumbed to duodenal cancer.

(Digression: what is the protocol when you meet someone through a blood relative, and the marriage ends in divorce? Continuing to communicate is awkward if you value the relationship with the blood relative and everyone in her family.)

We attended Dennis' memorial service at his home in the South Bay. His relatives and friends spoke eloquently about the man whose brilliance was known by few outside his immediate circle. An inveterate reader of history, Dennis had a "photographic memory" and could reference passages that he read years ago. His daughter asked that guests help themselves to books from Dennis' library. I chose Paul Johnson's The Birth of the Modern, which I'll be lucky to finish by the end of the year (Dennis read a book a week).

He was Phi Beta Kappa at UC-Berkeley and earned a Masters in Chemistry from Stanford. His former boss at IBM said at the memorial that he was so impressed with Dennis' work that the company moved his family to Fort Collins and paid for his PhD at Colorado State. Dennis spent 16 years at IBM, then moved on to Seagate. Most recently Dennis was a professor at UC-Merced and a consultant who spent years in Hong Kong. A colleague at Merced read testimonials from Dennis' students, many of whom had returned to Asia.

A list of 44 patents on which Dennis is named is found here.

A quiet man, Dennis chatted about lighthearted matters--sports, travel--at social gatherings, but for the most part he listened. Now I wish he had talked more and that I was doing the listening. R.I.P.

Friday, July 06, 2018

Landline: Peace of Mind

I'm glad to see we're not alone in keeping it: Why the Landline Phone Will Never Go Away [bold added]
Rotary-dial Mickey still works
According to a 2017 U.S. government survey, about 44% of households still own traditional phones, down from 53% three years before—but still much higher than, say, the share of those buying vinyl records, another cultish throwback.

For many, the reason is pragmatic. Cell service is spotty in large, rural stretches of the country and even the hills of Los Angeles. Rocky elevation disrupts communication with cell towers, which are also often banned in environmentally protected areas. You can rely on a landline when the power is cut, or during an emergency like a hurricane that causes cell blackouts. And cellphones offer no real escape from harassment and distraction; we’re all being beckoned all the time, everywhere—if not by an actual voice on our cellphones, then by texts, emails, swipes on dating apps.
As we reflected last year:
I'll still keep the AT&T landline. Old-fashioned single-purpose phones still operate on it, and because it has a separate power source the landline may still work when cell, WiFi, and electrical services are out.
About 20% of the time the cell-phone calls at home are faint or are filled with static. When we try again on the landline, it's clear as a bell.

If we were pinching pennies, we'd probably cancel the service because $60 per month is expensive insurance. In our current circumstances, however, we'd rather have peace of mind.

Thursday, July 05, 2018

Dropped From Sight

In this week's version of "it's the end of America as we know it" President Trump will soon nominate another Supreme Court Justice. Anthony Kennedy retired last week, kicking off a nomination firestorm that will dominate headlines into fall.

For perspective I pulled up the 2018 Time covers to see if the overturning of Roe v. Wade (a threatened occurrence, BTW, with every Supreme Court nomination by a Republican President since 1987) would be more outrageous than any of the other things that Donald J. Trump was responsible for this year.

There were several weeks of #MeToo coverage that recounted numerous incidents of sexism, sexual harassment, and sexual assault that predated not only President Trump but also the 21st century. Yes, let's shame or prosecute the people responsible, but at least give President Trump indirect credit. #MeToo would never have happened under President Hillary Clinton, with big-time supporter Harvey Weinstein yukking it up with the Big He in the Lincoln bedroom.

Then there are President Trump's inflammatory speeches and tweets directed at Kim Jong Un. Time's February mushroom cloud (which indeed would have been worse than anything going on with the Supreme Court) was superseded by the June cover that showed the two leaders talking amiably.

And what happened to those determined, angry kids who want gun restrictions? I agree that stopping school shootings has to be a national priority. Despite the polarization, surely we can reach common ground on mental illness, rapid-fire technology, and background checks. Or was it all a voter registration drive for Democrats?

Then there are the pictures of border families and crying kids who seem to elicit powerful emotions from people on all sides of the illegal immigration issue. Here's where over two decades of screening grant requests has hardened my heart. Everyone who wants money knows that crying babies trump nearly all rational consideration. OK, reunite the border families, but you still have to deliberate over the adults, some of whom are using their children to catch a break. Note: in California alone there are over 50,000 children separated from their parents by Child Protective Services, undoubtedly for good reason. Over 20,000 are age 5 or younger; I'll bet some of them cried when they were taken away, but their pictures aren't on the cover of Time. I do get it, CPS good, border patrol bad. Indeed, I have to work on my hardened heart.

Other observations: 1) the portraits of Attorney General Jeff Sessions and a sexual-predator felon are both cast in shadow. I wonder what Time's editorial position is on these guys. 2) Pictures or representations of President Trump appear on four covers, only one of which is non-hostile. If Time were a person, I'd advise it to get therapy for its obsession. 3) What happened to Russia-Russia-Russia and the anytime-now impeachment of Donald Trump? 4) What happened to the tariff wars that will plunge the world into the next Great Depression? (I'm actually worried about this one and wonder why they're not using this to undermine the President's support from business.)

Now that I've done the half-year in review I feel a lot better. These "crises" must not have been so important after all because they've dropped from sight.

Wednesday, July 04, 2018

Independence Day, 2018

Eclectic people meet eclectic food.
We headed over to Duane and Sandy's house in Hayward. They've been hosting 4th of July parties--really an open house where you can come and go as you please without anyone knowing you even showed up---for the 40 years we've known them.

We talked to the hosts and a few friends who had retired and fled to Reno.

Leo Ryan Park, Foster City
California is looking less appealing with 9.3%-13.3% income tax rates plus threats to revive the California tax on estates above $5.45 million (not that we necessarily have that problem, but why take chances?).

Also, there's a lot of meanness, anger, and self-righteousness, as well as smoke, in the air these days, and President Trump isn't helping either. On this Independence Day, it's time to seriously look at Goodbye, California.

Oh, yes, Happy 4th!

Tuesday, July 03, 2018

Ivory Tower

(Image from
Buying the right gift has always been a problem for your humble blogger; in some cases the gifts were received so unenthusiastically that I would have been better off giving cash, gift cards, or even a donation to charity in the recipient's name. In the dry language of economics
A gift will cause a misallocation of resources if the recipient would have preferred something else that would have been no more expensive for the donor to acquire.
So why do we continually "misallocate" (buy the wrong) gifts, even for those whom we know well? Researchers theorized that expressions of gratitude--smiles and hugs, for example--steer donors in the wrong direction.
Dr Yang and Dr Urminsky framed an experiment around St Valentine’s day. They picked three pairs of appropriate gifts: a dozen roses in full bloom versus two dozen rose buds that were about to blossom; a bouquet of freshly cut flowers versus a bonsai; and a heart-shaped basket of biscuits versus a similar basket of fruit...

[Donor] men went for the smiles and hugs more often than it would seem that [recipient] women would have wished. Specifically, 44% of them said that they would prefer to give roses in full bloom while only 32% of the women said they preferred that gift to the two dozen buds. Similarly, with the bouquet and the bonsai, 40% of the men preferred to give the bouquet but only 28% of the women preferred to receive it.
(Biscuits, i.e., cookies in American English, were chosen by both donors and recipients over flowers).

The researchers were puzzled why the women displayed more affection over the gift with a short-term life (i.e. floral bouquet), although they said they preferred the longer-lived one (the bonsai). Really? Didn't they ask any husbands about the cold reception for a practical, long-lasting gift like cookware or an electric shaver? Don't the researchers have any life experience?

Definition of an economist: an academic who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing.

Monday, July 02, 2018

Pickle Time

The lowly pickle has long been an amusing condiment--the object of late-night craving by pregnant women, the subject of jokes derived from its shape, and, next to onions, the item most often requested to be left off the sandwich. But the zeitgeist is signaling that it just may be the pickle's time.

Pickle Juice Drinkers Are Coming Out of the Closet
PJ-lover Katie Cerniglia (WSJ photo)
People who privately partake of pickle juice are finding it easier to go public, thanks to endurance sports. Athletes have discovered its electrolyte-replenishing qualities...Devotees say they like pickles but like the juice even more because it satisfies a salt craving they can’t quite explain. Some gulp with pickles still in the jar, irking nondrinkers.
Pickle-Ball is Popular Among the Medicare Set
Pickle-ball (NPR image)
Pickle-ball is traditionally played on a badminton-sized court with special Pickle-ball paddles, made of wood or high-tech aerospace materials. The ball used is similar to a wiffle ball, but slightly smaller. The lower net and wiffle ball allow the game to be accessible to people of all ages and abilities
According to the USA Pickleball Association, more than 100,000 people play the sport on at least 5,000 courts nationwide, and membership in the organization increased more than sixfold from 2006 to 2010.

Though it’s played by people of many ages, it’s especially popular among the elderly. An Orlando, Fla., retirement community opened with more than 100 pickleball courts, anticipating the demand.
Pickle Depreciation Rules
As hundreds of $billions of aircraft, ships, and other transportation equipment are financed each year, understanding the "Pickle" tax-depreciation rules for cross-border leases (e.g., U.S. owner leases an airplane to a Chinese carrier) is of paramount importance.

Ignoring all things "pickle" may come back to bite you.

Sunday, July 01, 2018

Communion: Does Everyone Get to Go?

The Virgin Mary adoring the Eucharist (WSJ)
The Catholic Church has been roiled by an issue that most Protestants had resolved:
Should Catholics be allowed to share Communion, one of their church’s most sacred rites, with their Protestant spouses?
(Obviously from the Protestant perspective the above designations are flipped.)

There are two principal views of the Eucharist: the banquet ("a welcoming meal, often linking it with Gospel accounts of Jesus’ willingness to eat with outcasts and sinners") versus a sacrament for believers ("the traditional requirement of moral worthiness to receive Communion"). Some conservative Catholics want to screen out those who, for example, advocate abortion or remarriage after divorce, both of which are legal but contrary to official teaching.

The Episcopal Church opted for inclusion decades ago ("All baptized Christians are most welcome to receive Communion with us."), but before Episcopalians go all high-and-mighty over the retrograde Catholics, we have to ask ourselves, are there any circumstances under which we would refuse Communion to anyone? The Episcopal Church defines Excommunication as [bold added]
The disciplinary exclusion of a person from receiving communion by competent religious authority. It represents exclusion from the corporate life of the church. Excommunication was intended to encourage repentance and not meant to be a punishment. The Prayer Book Disciplinary Rubrics for the Holy Eucharist provide that if the priest "knows that a person who is living a notoriously evil life intends to come to Communion," the priest shall tell the person not to come to communion until the person "has given clear proof of repentance and amendment of life."
The key word here is "repentance," and most branches of Christianity would agree: the wayward person would be welcomed back if he or she repents of the "sin" and promises (tries?) not to commit the sin again, whatever it may be. So, my sympathies are with the Catholic Church as it struggles with the lines that its members may not cross; everyone has lines, though they may not want to admit it.

Note: the pre-1970 Episcopal Church would not allow me, who was baptized at one, to take Communion until I was confirmed at the age of 12. Also, tardy worshippers were not to supposed to take Communion if they arrived after the confession--yes, it's all about repentance--midway through the service.

Here's the 1928 General Confession, which I once committed to memory and is rarely used any more (I do like the cadences of the old-timey language):
ALMIGHTY God, Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Maker of all things, Judge of all men; We acknowledge and bewail our manifold sins and wickedness, Which we, from time to time, most grievously have committed, By thought, word, and deed, Against thy Divine Majesty, Provoking most justly thy wrath and indignation against us. We do earnestly repent, And are heartily sorry for these our misdoings; The remembrance of them is grievous unto us; The burden of them is intolerable. Have mercy upon us, Have mercy upon us, most merciful Father; For thy Son our Lord Jesus Christ’s sake, Forgive us all that is past; And grant that we may ever hereafter Serve and please thee In newness of life, To the honour and glory of thy Name; Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Saturday, June 30, 2018

Boomers to Blame

Many baby boomers need assistance, too.
Lawyer/journalist/publisher Steven Brill asks the painful question:
How did we get here? How did the world’s greatest democracy and economy become a land of crumbling roads, galloping income inequality, bitter polarization and dysfunctional government?
Hint: the answer is in the title of his Time essay: How Baby Boomers Broke America.

Mr. Brill doesn't attribute America's current state to evil people but to the unintended consequences of a meritocratic system:
The story of America’s tailspin is not about villains, though there are some. It is not about a conspiracy to bring the country down, nor did it spring from one single source....

The Meritocracy’s ascent was about more than personal may be understandable for those on the losing side of this triumph of the achievers to condemn the winners as gluttons. That explanation, however, is too simple. Many of the protected class are people who have lived the kind of lives that all Americans celebrate. They worked hard. They innovated. They tried things that others wouldn’t attempt. They believed, often correctly, that they were writing new chapters in the long story of American progress.
Sure, the boomers who made it to the top were smart and worked hard, but now they are using the advantages of wealth, education, and social connections to create a new aristocracy. Elites
can spend what they need to in order to send their children to the best schools, provide tutors for standardized testing and otherwise ensure that their kids can outcompete their peers to secure the same spots at the top that their parents achieved.
Mr. Brill calls for bigger government to help the majority of Americans in the "unprotected" class. [bold added]
On the other side are the unprotected many. They may be independent and hardworking, but they look to their government to preserve their way of life and maybe even improve it. The unprotected need the government to provide good public schools so that their children have a chance to advance. They need a level competitive playing field for their small businesses, a fair shake in consumer disputes and a realistic shot at justice in the courts. They need the government to provide a safety net to ensure that their families have access to good health care, that no one goes hungry when shifts in the economy or temporary setbacks take away their jobs and that they get help to rebuild after a hurricane or other disaster. They need the government to ensure a safe workplace and a living minimum wage . They need mass-transit systems that work and call centers at Social Security offices that don’t produce busy signals. They need the government to keep the political system fair and protect it from domination by those who can give politicians the most money. They need the government to provide fair labor laws and to promote an economy and a tax code that tempers the extremes of income inequality and makes economic opportunity more than an empty cliché.
Your humble blogger has always been of the opinion ("belief" is too strong a word) that massive government redistribution efforts create more problems than solutions. I still hold out hope that eliminating suffering and providing a decent life for the majority who can't make it is possible through a combination of technological advancement and the voluntary actions of the rich, but it just may be that the problems are too vast to overcome without bigger government. I'm not in Mr. Brill's corner....yet.