Tuesday, August 4, 2009


I read a magazine article a while back that listed the top 10 mispronounced words. The two I was guilty of was “realtor” and “jibe” of which I was happy to learn the correct pronunciation. I hear both of those words mispronounced often. My husband immediately looked up the word “jibe” after I corrected him—he couldn’t just take my word for it.

Incorrect  / Correct

assessory  /  accessory
calvary  / cavalry
cannidate  / candidate
comfterble  / comfortable
dialate  / dilate
disasterous  / disastrous
ecsetera  / etcetera
expecially  / especially
expresso  / espresso
heidth  / height
jive  /  jibe
lambast  / lambast
eminiture  / miniature
mischievious  / mischievous
nucular  / nuclear
ordinance  / ordnance
perculate  / percolate
perogative  / prerogative
perscription  / prescription
realator  / realtor
reoccur  / recur
sherbert  / sherbet
silicone  / silicon
snuck  / sneaked
spitting image  / spit and image
stomp  / stamp
supposably  / supposedly
taunt  / taut
tickilish  / ticklish
verbage  / verbiage
volumptuous  / voluptuous
yoke  / yolk

Now you’re a little smarter, Girlfriend — And so am I.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Keeping Time

I always assumed that our clock time that we live by has been around for hundreds of years. Well, I found out it’s more like just over a hundred years.

Until the 1800’s, every village in the United States lived in its own time zone with all of the clocks synchronized to the solar noon. With the advent of trains this created mayhem trying to keep on a schedule. For years watches were made that could tell both the local time and “railway time.” It wasn’t until 1883 that American railway companies forced the adoption of national standardized time zones.

One second used to be defined as 1/86,400 the length of a day, but Earth’s rotation isn’t completely reliable. Tidal friction from the Sun and Moon slows our planet and increases the length of a day by 3 milliseconds per century. This means that during the time of the dinosaurs a day was just 23 hours long.

Weather also changes the day. During El NiƱo events, strong winds can slow the rotation of the Earth by a fraction of a millisecond every 24 hours. To keep time in sync with the Earth’s slowing rotation, a “leap second” is added every few years. The last time a “leap second” was added was on New Year’s Eve of 2009.

The world’s most accurate clock is at the National Institute of Standards and Technology in Colorado. It measures vibrations of a single atom of mercury. In a billion years it will not lose one second.

Daylight savings time was started by Ben Franklin. He spent a lot of time in France and realized that their later nights and sleeping in in the mornings used more resources, namely candles. Daylight savings times was implemented to utilize more daylight hours and conserve resources. The amount of money saved since it started is incalculable. Today, the Department of Energy estimates that electricity demand drops by 0.5 percent during Daylight Savings Time and save the equivalent of almost 3 million barrels of oil daily.

Interesting Facts: According to quantum theory, the shortest moment of time that can exist is known as Planck time, or 0.0000000000000000000000000000000000000000001 second • Einstein showed that gravity makes time run more slowly, thus airplane passengers, flying where Earth’s pull is weaker, age a few extra nanoseconds each flight

Now you’re a little smarter, Girlfriend — And so am I.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Astronomical Unit (AU)

I have to say, I don’t think I’ve heard the term “Astronomical Unit” before. I do use the word “astronomical” when referring to big things, so I thought I’d do a little research. I anticipated there would be some correlation between the two.

Astronomical — of or relating to astronomy, extremely large

An Astronomical Unit is approximately the mean distance between the Earth and the Sun. It is used to indicate distances within our solar system.

The recent (suspected) comet that hit Jupiter is thought to be from a part of the solar system known as the Oort Cloud that sits well beyond Pluto and the Kuiper Belt. This region of space spans a zone between 1,000 and 20,000 AU away from the Sun.

Here is the formal definition that makes my brain hurt. The radius of an unperturbed circular orbit a massless body would revolve about the sun in 2*(pi)/k days (i.e. 365.2568983... days), where k is defined as the Gaussian constant exactly equal to 0.01720209895. Since an AU is based on radius of a circular orbit, one AU is actually slightly less than the average distance between the Earth and Sun. (I’m guessing this is because the Earth does not orbit in a perfect circle, rather an oval where the Sun is not exactly in the middle. See my blog on Perihelion, Aphelion and Precession.)

History of Earth/Sun Distance — In the late 1500’s Tycho Brahe estimated the distance at 5 million miles. The early 1600’s Johannes Kepler estimated 15 million miles. In the late 1600’s Giovanni Cassini estimated 87 million miles by observing Mars and estimating our distance from that planet and then was able to determine the Earth to Sun distance. Pretty close for so long ago. Funny that I cannot find who was able to determine the current distance–will keep looking.

So what is Earth’s distance from the Sun? 93 million miles, or 1 Astronomical Unit. Wow. What an astronomical distance!

Now you’re a little smarter, Girlfriend — And so am I.

Monday, July 27, 2009


With the recent anniversary of the first manned lunar landing 40 years ago and the final spacewalk on the International Space Station today, I thought some astronaut and Moon knowledge would be appropriate.

There are three kinds of astronauts aboard the U.S. Space Shuttles: Pilot or Commander – Heads the mission and controls the spacecraft, Mission Specialist – Crew members who carry out specific jobs, such as performing experiments or going on spacewalks and Payload Specialist – Scientists and other on-board guests who are not NASA astronauts.

There are three kinds of spacecraft: Unmanned ProbesArtificial Satellites and Manned Spacecraft.

Interesting Facts:
  • The very first astronauts were jet pilots.
  • Astronauts need to be fit and have 20/20 eyesight.
  • Weightlessness makes astronauts grow an inch or so during a long mission.
  • Astronauts need to be between 5’4” and 6’4”.
  • The word “astronaut” comes from the Greek words meaning sailor among the stars.
  • “Cosmonaut” is a member of the Russian space program.
  • The first woman in space was cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova in 1963.
  • The first man in space was cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin in 1961.
  • Mercury astronaut Alan Shepard was the first American in space just 23 days after Yuri Gagarin.
  • The first human to step outside a spacecraft was cosmonaut Alexei Leonov in 1965.
  • Three months later, astronaut Edward White II made the first spacewalk for the U.S.
  • Soviet probe Lunar 9 was the first moon landing in 1966.
  • Apollo 8 was the first to orbit the Moon in 1968.
  • Neil Armstrong was the first human to step foot on the moon, following behind him was Buzz Aldrin in 1969.
  • E.V.A. (Extra-Vehicular Activity) is the technical name for going outside a spacecraft.
  • The first spacewalkers were tied to their spacecraft by life-support cables.
  • Astronauts have brought back 838 pounds of Moon rock.
  • A mirror was left on the Moon to reflect a laser beam to measure the Moon’s distance from Earth.
  • The laser measurements show that, on average, the Moon is 233,806 miles from Earth.
  • Temperatures vary from 243°F at noon to -260°F at night on the Moon.
  • The gloves of Apollo 11 astronauts had tiny lights built into the fingertips.
  • Spacesuits are officially called E.M.U.s (Extra-Vehicular Mobility Units.)
  • The cost of a spacesuit is around $11 million, of which 70% is for the backpack and controls.
  • Laika, a dog, was the first living creature in space aboard the Soviet’s Sputnik 2.
  • Carbon dioxide that crews breathe out is absorbed by pellets of lithium hydroxide.
  • The U.S. space shuttle reaches speeds of 18,650 mph.
Now you’re a little smarter, Girlfriend — And so am I.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Bad or Badly

I never use the word “badly” when speaking as I’m just not sure what the correct usage is. I would say, “I feel bad about...” but always wondered if I should really be saying “badly” instead. Well, here is the general explanation.

Bad is an adjective that modifies a noun. Adjectives follow linking verbs.
Badly is an adverb that modifies a verb. Adverbs modify action verbs.

If you say, “I feel bad,” you are using the word “bad” as as adjective meaning of poor quality. If you say, “I feel badly,” you are using the word “badly” as an adverb meaning in an unsuccessful way. In essence, you are saying that your fingers are not feeling things correctly.

Badly can also mean to a great or serious degree, so you could say, “I wanted a new car so badly” and it would be correct. So then, why is it not correct to say, “I feel badly,” because you are trying to imply to a serious degree?

The general rule is with most verbs it is correct to use the adverb “badly.” Linking verbs such as feel, smell, and am are the exception to the rule and in this case you would use “bad.” To determine if it is a linking verb or an action verb, replace the verb with “is.” If it still makes sense with the word “is,” it’s a linking verb. If not, it’s an action verb.

She feels bad.
She is bad.
(In this sentence “feels” is a linking verb because it still makes sense.)

She feels badly.
She is badly.
(In this sentence “feels” is an action verb because it no longer makes sense.)

A few other linking verbs are:
State of being — taste, look, appear, grow, seem and become
Forms of to be  is, are, was, were, being and been.

Now you’re a little smarter, Girlfriend — And so am I.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

A and An

I have forgotten the vast majority of what I learned about grammar. (Past participle, correlative conjunction, absolute adjective–sound familiar?) One thing I recently read is that you have to go with your gut. If it doesn’t sound right or it feels a bit off, it is. A few days ago I was working on a cover letter (job searching is no fun) and I put “an” before a word that started with “H” and Microsoft Word said it needed to be “a”. So, I did a little research. Turns out, my gut instinct was right.

The proper usage for “a” or “an” is not whether it comes before a word starting with a consonant or vowel, it’s whether it comes before a word that sounds like a consonant or vowel.

For Example:

An hour (hour sounds like the vowel “o”)
A hiker (hiker sounds like like the consonant “h”)

An only child (only sounds like the vowel “o”)
A one-horse race (one sounds like the consonant “w”)

An MBA (MBA sounds like the vowel “e”)
A mechanic (mechanic sounds like the consonant “m”)

So it’s the sound of the word, not just the first letter. I have to say, I totally do not remember ever learning the rule that way, but it’s way easier to remember.

Now you’re a little smarter, Girlfriend — And so am I.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Naming Pluto

I think many of us who grew up with the knowledge that Pluto was the ninth planet are a bit sad at its demotion to dwarf planet. But the story behind its name is way cool–and it has nothing to do with the Disney dog. Well, not exactly.

On March 14, 1930, the frozen and lonely Planet-X orbiting in the far reaches of our solar system got its name from a British girl. 11-year-old Venetia Burney was having breakfast when her grandfather read aloud from the newspaper about the new planet. He wondered what it would be called. After a pause, Venetia replied, “Why not call it Pluto?” Pluto was a Roman God of the underworld and Venetia thought it fit very well with the other planetary names.

Venetia’s grandfather, Falconer Madan, was a librarian who was friends with many astronomers. He dropped a note to astronomer Herbert Hall Turner who then cabled the idea to astronomers at the Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff, Arizona.

Percival Lowell founded the observatory and formed the efforts that discovered Pluto 14 years after his death. Venetia was not familiar with Percival Lowell, but the astronomers who were thinking of names found Pluto to be fitting because of the coincidence of the first two letters being “PL”. The name was official in May of 1930.

It has been a persistent notion over the years that the planet was named after the Disney character. But in fact, it was the other way around. 

Venetia Burney Phair died in April of 2009 at the age of 90. She proves that girls rock–even at 11.

Now you’re a little smarter, Girlfriend — And so am I.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

The XYZ Affair

I was reading a (children’s) book on the Presidents and ran across The XYZ Affair on the John Adams page. It sounded so contemporary and intriguing, like it could be the title of the next James Bond movie.

John Adams, the country’s first Vice President, beat Thomas Jefferson in the 1796 race for President. As our 2nd President, Adams held the same beliefs as George Washington in his desire to keep the U.S. neutral in the war between France and Britain. However, American shipping was suffering as a result of the fighting. After the French attacked U.S. ships in 1797, Adams sent diplomats to France to negotiate a commercial agreement to protect U.S. shipping and for peace talks.

Three French agents suggested America pay a bribe of $250,000 to Talleyrand, the French Foreign Minister, and a $10 million loan to France as a prelude to negotiations. In April 1798, the scheme of the three French agents (referred to as X, Y and Z in the diplomatic correspondence) was made public and the scandal became known as The XYZ Affair. There was public outcry and many Americans were very angry and wanted war with France. 

There was a period of undeclared naval warfare between France and the United States, but a formal war was avoided. In 1800 Adams sent more diplomats to France and this time they were successful and a peace treaty was signed. Adams ran for President again that year but lost to Thomas Jefferson.

Interesting Facts: John Adams established the U.S. Navy and ordered the first warships to be built • Thomas Jefferson was Adams’ Vice President • Fierce rivals after Adams lost his re-election to Jefferson, they became close friends as time passed • Adams died on July 4, 1826, just hours after Jefferson died • Thomas Jefferson was George Washington’s Secretary of State and wrote the Declaration of Independence in 1776

Now you’re a little smarter, Girlfriend — And so am I.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Space Junk

Last night was another episode of The Universe and the topic was Space Junk. I have only recently heard about space junk, but it makes sense–wherever we go we produce debris. But space debris is in a category all on its own because it does come back home. That puts a whole new spin on our concept of meteors.

There are approximately 750,000 objects of debris larger than a centimeter orbiting the Earth at 17,500–28,000 miles per hour. There are an estimated 250,000+ additional objects that are too small to be detected. Space surveillance can only monitor 13,000 of these objects. Space junk consists of things like old satellites, space probes, rocket bodies, rubbish bags from the Mir Space Station, tools and even paint chips and drops of chemicals.

Space debris poses a threat to the International Space Station, Hubble Space Telescope, shuttles and satellites. The tinniest piece can put a hole in an astronaut’s suit or the exterior of a shuttle. Even NASA needs to access the locations of the debris before they launch. And the more debris produced, the higher the risk is for a catastrophic event, in space or here on Earth.

All space junk eventually falls back to Earth as its orbital speed slows from atmospheric drag and the effects of our gravity bring it down. Much of it will burn up in the atmosphere but some of it does survive and strikes the Earth. Most of it lands in the oceans since the Earth is 70% water. What does hit land is generally unoccupied as 99.9% of the Earth is not occupied by a person at any given time (hard to imagine). There is one woman from Oklahoma who is the only known person to ever be hit by space junk (she was not injured).

Around 50–200 “larger” pieces of space debris return to Earth every year. Over the past 40 years, about 12 million pounds of space junk have survived re-entering Earth’s atmosphere.

Interesting Facts: In 1965, Gemini 4 astronaut Edward White lost a glove which stayed in orbit for a month. The oldest debris still in orbit is the US satellite Vanguard I launched in 1958, which worked for only six years. Experts calculate that debris will strike one of the 900 active satellites every two or three years.

Now you’re a little smarter, Girlfriend — And so am I.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Andromeda (M31)

I was watching one of my favorite shows on History International last night called The Universe. The topic was galaxies and it so happens Andromeda is the closest to the Milky Way and the furthest object we can see without assistance.

The first recorded observation of Andromeda was in the year 905 by a Persian astronomer. Charles Messier created the Catalogue of Nebulae and Star Clusters (1771-1784) and entered the object as the 31st item. The name M31 is referred to as the object's Messier number in which the M is followed by his catalogue number. He theorized the object was a nebula (cloud of gas and dust) and it wasn't until 1923 that American astronomer Edwin Hubble measured the distance to M31 and showed that it was a distant galaxy.

This is the coolest fact. The spiral galaxy of Andromeda is the furthest object in the universe that can be seen with the naked eye. It is 2.5 million light-years from Earth (light travels at 186,000 miles per second). Andromeda is believed to have between 300 billion and 400 billion Suns. It's diameter of about 200,000 light-years makes it appear five times larger than the full Moon in our sky.

Andromeda and the Milky Way are moving toward each other at about 75 miles per second. The two galaxies will eventually collide and form a single, giant elliptical galaxy. The process will start in about 2 billion years and completely merge by about 5 billion years from now. The black holes at the center of the two galaxies will combine to form a single, supermassive black hole potentially forming a quasar. Computer models suggest that our Sun and solar system will survive but will likely be thrown into the distant outer halo of the new combined galaxy.

Now you’re a little smarter, Girlfriend — And so am I.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

The Enlightenment

I watched a show on the History Channel about Ben Franklin (that would be a whole other blog topic–the man accomplished everything). They referred to the time period as The Enlightenment and honestly, I don’t remember ever learning that one. Must have been a “skip” day.

The period known as The Enlightenment refers to the Western philosophy in the 18th century, from around 1740 to 1789, prior to the French Revolution (1789-1799). There were remarkable cultural changes characterized by a loss of faith in traditional religious and political sources of authority and where reason based on democracy, human rights and science was advocated as the primary source for authority. The term Enlightenment was used by writers of the time, aware they were emerging from centuries of darkness and ignorance into a respect for humanity and reason. “Dare to know,” coined by German philosopher Immanuel Kant, was the motto of the age. The period is also referred to as the Age of Reason.

The signatories of the Declaration of Independence, including Ben Franklin, were motivated by the principles of Enlightenment, which were based more on a set of values and not on ideas or shared beliefs. The Bill of Rights, the French Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen, and the Polish-Lithuanian Constitution of May 3, 1791 were all motivated by the values and principles of Enlightenment.

The precursors to The Enlightenment stemmed from new discoveries in science by Copernicus and Galileo, by philosophical rationalists Descartes and Spinoza, political philosophers Hobbes and Locke and skeptical thinkers such as Bayle in the 17th century. The most important common belief to philosophers and intellectuals of this period were an abiding faith in the power of human reason.

The Enlightenment ended with the French Revolution, which some see the social and political ferment of the period as being responsible for the Revolution. Conservatives believed the Enlightenment was too radical, while romantic writers and artists who came after the period found it to be without passion or soul.

The Enlightenment’s effects on the 19th and 20th centuries marked a decline of the church and growth of modern secularism and served as the model for political and economic liberalism.

Now you’re a little smarter, Girlfriend — And so am I.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Additive and Subtractive Colors

In my previous research, the explanation behind cloud color (additive color) persuaded me to review the topic again.

Additive Colors — Red, Green & Blue
Additive color systems, such as televisions or computer monitors, start with no light (black). Additive colors are produced by light sources and the wavelengths create color. Red, green, and blue are called additive colors because when two of them are added (mixed), one of the subtractive colors is produced. Combining all three additive colors with equal intensities produces white. Combining all three additive colors with different luminosities reveals the full gamut of colors.

Red + Green + Blue = White
Blue + Green = Cyan
Blue + Red = Magenta
Green + Red = Yellow

Subtractive Colors — Cyan, Magenta & Yellow
Subtractive color systems, such as paint or ink, start with white light. Subtractive colors are produced by light reflecting off of opaque surfaces. Some of the light that strikes the surfaces is being absorbed, or subtracted, by the surfaces and the rest of the light is reflected. The variation in mixtures of wavelengths being absorbed and reflected creates colors. Combining all three subtractive colors with equal intensities produces black, because all colors are subtracted.

Cyan + Magenta + Yellow = Black

Subtract Red, reflect the Green & Blue = Cyan
Subtract Green, reflect the Red & Blue = Magenta
Subtract Blue, reflect the Red & Green = Yellow

Two subtractive colors together produce an additive color because each of the two subtractive colors absorbs (subtracts) additive colors.

Magenta + Yellow subtracts the Green & Blue is seen as Red
Cyan + Yellow subtracts the Red & Blue is seen as Green
Cyan + Magenta subtracts the Red & Green is seen as Blue

Now you’re a little smarter, Girlfriend — And so am I.

Sunday, May 3, 2009


I was watching a show and a character mentioned Cumulus clouds. I realized I didn’t remember exactly which ones those were, or any specifics of the cloud types for that matter. Since it was a kid's show and my 4-year-olds were watching, I decided I should brush up on the information. I felt a little dumber than a child, frankly.

The Earth’s troposphere is the lowest level of our atmosphere and this is where clouds hang out. All air contains water. The water in the air near the ground is in vapor form. When warm air rises, it expands and cools. Cool air holds less water vapor than warm air, so some of the vapor condenses onto microscopic dust particles in the air turning into water or ice. The water droplets are so small and light they float in the air. When billions of droplets combine, they become a visible cloud.

Clouds are white because they reflect the light from the sun. The rays from the sun are made up of red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet. When you add those colors together, the result is white. Clouds reflect all of the sunlight’s colors the exact same amount, so they appear white.

Clouds are classified by the height of the cloud base. Names beginning with "Cirr" are located at high levels. Alto clouds are found at middle levels. Stratus clouds are at low levels.

High-Level Clouds form above 20,000 feet and since the temperatures are so cold at such high elevations, these clouds are primarily composed of ice crystals. They are typically thin and white in appearance, but can appear in an array of colors when the sun is low on the horizon.

Mid-Level Clouds typically appear between 6,500 to 20,000 feet. Because of their lower altitudes, they are composed primarily of water droplets. They can also be composed of ice crystals when temperatures are cold enough.

Low-Level Clouds are mostly composed of water droplets since their bases generally lie below 6,500 feet. When temperatures are cold enough, these clouds may also contain ice particles and snow.

Vertically-Developed Clouds are commonly generated through either thermal convection or frontal lifting. They can grow to heights in excess of 39,000 feet, releasing energy through the condensation of water vapor within the cloud itself.

Cirrus clouds are the most common of the high clouds. They are composed of ice and are thin, wispy clouds blown in high winds forming long streamers. Cirrus clouds are usually white and predict fair to pleasant weather. By watching the movement of cirrus clouds you can tell from which direction weather is approaching. Cirrus clouds usually indicate that a change in the weather will occur within 24 hours.

Cirrostratus clouds are thin, sheet-like high clouds that often cover the entire sky. They are so thin that the sun and moon can be seen through them. Cirrostratus clouds usually come 12-24 hours before a rain or snowstorm.

Cirrocumulus clouds appear as small, rounded white puffs that appear in long rows. Their small ripples sometime resemble the scales of a fish. Cirrocumulus clouds are usually seen in the winter and indicate fair, but cold, weather. In tropical regions, they may indicate an approaching hurricane.

Altostratus clouds are gray or blue-gray mid level clouds composed of ice crystals and water droplets. These clouds usually cover the entire sky. In the thinner areas of the clouds, the sun may be dimly visible as a round disk. Altostratus clouds often form ahead of storms with continuous rain or snow.

Altocumulus clouds are mid level clouds made of water droplets and appear as gray puffy masses usually in groups. If you see altocumulus clouds on a warm, sticky morning, be prepared to see thunderstorms late in the afternoon.

Stratus clouds are uniform grayish clouds that often cover the entire sky. They resemble fog that doesn't reach the ground. Light mist or drizzle sometimes falls out of these clouds.

Stratocumulus clouds are low, puffy and gray and most form in rows with blue sky visible in between them. Rain rarely occurs with stratocumulus clouds, however, they can turn into nimbostratus clouds.

Nimbostratus clouds form a dark gray, wet looking cloudy layer associated with continuously falling rain or snow. They often produce precipitation that is usually light to moderate.

Cumulus clouds are white, puffy clouds that look like pieces of floating cotton. Cumulus clouds are often called "fair-weather clouds". The base of each cloud is flat and the top has rounded towers. When the top of a cumulus cloud resembles the head of a cauliflower, it is called cumulus congestus or towering cumulus. These clouds grow upward and they can develop into giant cumulonimbus clouds, which are thunderstorm clouds.

Cumulonimbus clouds are thunderstorm clouds. High winds can flatten the top of the cloud into an anvil-like shape. Cumulonimbus clouds are associated with heavy rain, snow, hail, lightning and even tornadoes. The anvil usually points in the direction the storm is moving.

Mammatus clouds are low hanging bulges that droop from cumulonimbus clouds. Mammatus clouds are usually associated with severe weather.

Lenticular clouds are caused by a wave wind pattern created by the mountains. They look like discs or flying saucers that form near mountains.

Fog is a cloud on the ground composed of billions of tiny water droplets floating in the air. Fog exists if the atmospheric visibility near the Earth's surface is reduced to around three quarters of a mile.

Contrails are condensation trails left behind jet aircrafts. Contrails form when hot humid air from jet exhaust mixes with environmental air of low vapor pressure and low temperature. The mixing is a result of turbulence generated by the exhaust.

Green Clouds are often associated with severe weather. They form when the clouds are illuminated by light reflected off green vegetation, such as large cornfields or a heavily wooded forest. In the Great Plains region of the U.S., green clouds are associated with storms likely to produce tornadoes.

Latin Translations
Cumulus — Heap
Stratus — Layer
Cirrus — Curl of Hair
Nimbus — Rain

Now you’re a little smarter, Girlfriend — And so am I.