elainegrey: Inspired by Grypping/gripping beast styles from Nordic cultures (Default)
Thursday, October 22nd, 2020 06:09 am
Daily journaler is seeking other daily journalers. I'm looking for other diarists that share some aspect of their daily life, whether it's limited to a narrow aspect of creativity or concern or is wide ranging. The diarist should be open to reading my entries and ideally is already reading the entries of folks in my circle.

ETA: Diarist should have high tolerance for typos.
elainegrey: Inspired by Grypping/gripping beast styles from Nordic cultures (Default)
Tuesday, May 23rd, 2017 07:20 am
!! ?? !!.... )@*(&$!! WHO NAMES A HORSE CLOUD COMPUTING???

I'm posting to facebook a series of "a year ago today"noting our movie across country. It's part of an engagement practice. (at this point, my computer decided to give me grief, before I could share with YOU)

Sadly, my personal computer is being very trying when it comes to supporting my communication efforts. Anyone use macs and have a favorite debugging tool?

I spent much of my free time Monday trying to sort out what is wrong. I was using ssh to access the machine's command line, but it would crash when I was trying to pack up my email directory. I have ordered a cable so I can put the machine in target mode and treat it like an external drive.
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Tuesday, May 16th, 2017 08:19 am
A year ago i went wine shopping in Safeway for wines to move with us to North Carolina. (I don't think we've consumed any of them yet.)
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Tuesday, May 16th, 2017 06:18 am
The drive to Ohio on Sunday was very pleasant, except for a few moments of panic when my phone blacked out and a separate time when it seemed unable to connect to map data. I'd not turned around when, a half hour from home, i realized all my paper maps were still in my home office. I'm downloading "off line areas" to my iPad and to my phone -- I also ran over my data limits during the trip.

Bah, that was the negative -- which i am working to ameliorate for my return. The positive was that i had brunch with my parents in Chapel Hill (inadvertently choosing just the right time for Chapel Hill to be a ghost town: it was graduation and many folks were off in the stadium). The day was beautiful and, as i ascended the Blue Ridge escarpment, it was like watching spring run in reverse. I can't believe i've never noticed fringe trees before. Chionanthus virginicus is what i've seen around my new home. I thought i was seeing it as i drove through Virginia and West Virginia but apparently it's some other tree that flowers in a similarly delicate dangling manner -- at least at highway speeds.

I took a nice break in West Virginia driving down the New River Gorge to Thurmond. It's a National Park and almost a ghost town. I stopped for dinner in Chillicothe, Ohio. Some time i'll need to arrange my travels so i can visit some of the mounds remaining from the Hopewell cultures.

Yesterday i had a lovely lunch with KQ, a woman who i used as my pretend manager during the time working for the horrible horrible director KS. She's not managing now, as well, and i wasn't sure what to say. I thrive not being a manager: i'm not sure she's doing so.

Dinner was with my California colleagues and one of the local folks. I ordered a salad that was delivered with bacon bits on it. I chose not to make a fuss, and assumed i'd made the error in missing the meat in the listing. Having not had meat for such a long while, i found the bacon unappealing enough that i may begin double checking salad orders in the future if it's at a restaurant where they might add bacon as an elegant finishing touch.

Regarding the news, mutterings. )
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Friday, May 12th, 2017 09:45 am
Christine came in to ask Carrie where her sock went. It was buried in Carrie's living room dog bed.

Earlier Carrie brought a rawhide bone in out from the rain and buried it in her blankets. I love how she takes her snout and pats it down when she's done.
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elainegrey: Inspired by Grypping/gripping beast styles from Nordic cultures (Default)
Friday, May 12th, 2017 07:05 am
Along with upgrading operating systems, i've decicded to switch to firefox. I started because i thought a google update might have something to do with the crashing, but i'm going all the way after reading an article that asked one to reflect on how much of your life is mediated by "the big five": Google, Apple, Amazon, Microsoft, and .... oh, right, Facebook. Because i don't use Microsoft products personally, i use Microsoft's search engine much of the time. Google was still getting all my browser traffic, though -- and they get whatever leakage of my life comes through my phone. No need for them to have access to all my browser usage.

I think i feel a little different about Apple and Amazon than Google: i am actually a paying customer for the first two, but the only way Google can make money is by monetizing what it knows about me. (Ditto Facebook.)

I can't remember when and why i switched from Firefox to Chrome, but switching back is quite a distraction. The number of places I am authenticated is remarkable.

--== ∞ ==--

In other news, TL;DR: we are cranky and out of sorts because of bills and family. )

Also, ticks.
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elainegrey: Inspired by Grypping/gripping beast styles from Nordic cultures (Default)
Thursday, May 11th, 2017 06:49 am
Arrrrggghhhh and, maybe, victory?

My laptop has been very very flaky, and a week at the Apple shop didn't help. It worked fine on my trip, but as soon as i was home, the flaky began again. Why my wifi should trigger crashes when multiple airport, plus hotel, plus friend's wifi didn't remains a mystery. Indeed, despite the correlation, i don't have confidence that that is directly the cause.

One day -- i think it was yesterday, but it feels like it was Monday -- i was able to keep the system up for a full backup. Then, while poking at something it began crashing moments after logging in again. Eventually, with a "safe boot" i began installing the latest operating system, which was fraught with strange stops and starts. I finally completed the install this morning, and it hasn't crashed since -- although i remain dubious.

Another snafu occurred with apple accounts -- that resolved.

--== ∞ ==--

Well, it's been some hours now -- i read an eBook last night without incident. I haven't yet run email because i am someone who does not keep her email archive in the cloud and i worry about loosing some of the messages. Here we go!

Smith, Kristine. Code of Conduct. The Jani Kilian Chronicles 1. BookView Café, 2015. http://www.kristine-smith.com/index.php/books/jani-kilian-books/.
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elainegrey: Inspired by Grypping/gripping beast styles from Nordic cultures (Default)
Tuesday, May 9th, 2017 12:49 pm
So, very busy and intense week. Then a somewhat burnt out mindset as i flew home, requiring very little in the way of entertainment. I read a few stories in "Finnish Weird" (Tut, i don't have a note as to who introduced me to the online journal: http://www.finnishweird.net/ ), but mostly I looked out the window. I recognized Pittsboro from the air at night, which delighted me. It's home.

I saw deer as Christine drove me home near midnight, and then as we settled in, Carrie started barking. Christine went to check out what was up, and said she could see the shadow of a deer in the moonlight. They clearly wanted to harvest the peas before i got at them.

Lunch was delightful yesterday, with steamed-then-chilled peas (that were left), a tiny beet, and broccolini mixed in with the salad greens. I will try digging up some potatoes soon. The garden review revealed the deer have also finally decided to eat the corn plants. This was expected: i've plenty of extra plants. What wasn't expected was the number of bean plants that were stripped of leaves.

The septic dudes came out to install a port where we can add copper sulfate to the drain field and to mark out the drain field. The drain field is even larger than we expected. The fellow who was spending time talking to me pointed out that the cluster of Tree of Heaven is at the first turn of the drain field -- and likely is completely blocking the flow at that point. I feel my distrust of people selling me stuff as he explained how soon we should get this taken care of ASAP. Christine, however, simply saluted Major Maintenance, and said schedule ASAP.

Unfortunately, we have folks working under the house today through Thursday, at least. The work to clear the blockage requires heavy machinery to get the tree out. It's not sufficient to simply cut down the tree as we have been as we cleared most of the field. Thus, so that they have room to maneuver the big equipment, the guys will come back next week when i'm gone. There's a hand-wavy agreement that they'll clear some other trees while they're here. We might have the roots and trees cleared for the orchard by the time i return! I am disappointed though, envisioning the tractor treads smashing the places where i have already planted things, and tearing up the ground where i have been slowly observing the occasional emergence of native plants.

On the other hand, i have watched for months. I can go through and dig out the ferns and the plants i purchased weeks ago. I transplanted the native wildflower "Spring Beauty" i found to the front courtyard.
elainegrey: Inspired by Grypping/gripping beast styles from Nordic cultures (Default)
Tuesday, May 9th, 2017 12:43 pm
Fasten your seat belts.
Secure your seat back tray tables.
Soon, I will be home!

--== ∞ ==--

Mount Diablo is shrouded in haze as we take off. I have enjoyed being here , both delighting in the embraces with which I have been I received, and in the climate & landscape.

MDS, LHJ & PDC all were at MDS's house last night for movie night. The first 20 minutes I will share with you all, too, once it is uploaded. We have fly over drone footage of our house from Thanksgiving. And I walked around the yard and house on Monday, before i left, filming with the iPad (and periodically putting my hand over the mic)

Then we watched D's movie about Christine and their family. It was warmly received and I think people appreciate all the vulnerability that everyone exhibits. We had plenty of nibbles and since I was using a lightning adapter to HDMI, we had the grandmother in the room share videos of her grandson singing ( adorably enthusiastic and out of tune).

[At this point i just watched the western landscape go by. And then I bought internet connection for an hour and used google maps to know what i was looking at.]
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elainegrey: Inspired by Grypping/gripping beast styles from Nordic cultures (Default)
Friday, May 5th, 2017 11:33 pm
Crow eyes from above
cars queued up at the off ramp:
what a migration!

--== ∞ ==--

So intense.

Friday, no conference, but a road trip with MDS down to Panoche Hills. We took the Hollister route and saw many wildflowers. I met a new to me flower in a new to me family: Mentzelia lindleyi, Lindley's blazing star, in the Loasaceae. It's quite a striking yellow flower with a bright orange tone center. Once we got to Panoche Valley we were in the rain shadow, and everything was dry and sere. I only saw one type of blooming plant, which might be San Joaquin tarweed: i'll need to look more closely at my photos.

I'm feeling the delight in California and the delight in North Carolina. I am also feeling the ease that comes from sharing bits and pieces of my life with friends and hearing of their lives. (Although i fear i do more talking than listening.)

Today we go walk at Edgewood Park, and this evening there's a small gathering where i'll share a little movie of our house (and i'll figure out how to get that on-line) and Christine's sister's movie.
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Tuesday, May 2nd, 2017 11:09 am
In flight coast to coast:
Tray table, arm rest, isle seat.
Open skies so small.

--== ∞ ==--

I'm suffering from an earworm of "All Summer Long" by Kid Rock. It starts with the opening of Warron Zevon’s Werewolves of London. I hadn't heard it before tuning into the NC radio station. I resent being caught by the hook.

I love flying over the basin and range, and then the slip of California at the end delights me. My heart leapt as we flew over Mono Lake. Being back in California is like being home with a touch of the surreal.

I had a lovely meal at an Anatolian restaurant in Palo Alto with TK, the current clerk of the Meeting here. We started with the Anatolian Salad - "Spring mix, goat cheese, tomato, cucumber, mint, pomegranate juice" and the Vegetable Manti: "Steamed dumplings, filled with spinach (no meat), feta cheese, mozzarella cheese, mascarpone cheese, parmesan cheese, onion, garlic and spices topped with garlic-yogurt, and drizzled melted butter." It was good to visit and catch up. Another couple from Meeting, the Cs were also having dinner there, so we exchanged hugs as well.

Conference today.
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Saturday, April 29th, 2017 07:58 am
Thank heavens that work week is over and i get to run away and leave the kerfuffle. Our company wants to be certified for a certain standard. On round two of the process, we had a consultant in who basically revealed the most cynical frame for certification -- much smoke and mirrors and little conformance. Not dissimilar to round one. We're now on round three with a recently hired executive director of security who wants to do things by the book, but in the most expedient way possible: no consideration of long term consequences.

I made many jokes about alcohol.

And then there was the point where i lost a day's work because the combination of remote Microsoft "One Drive" plus Excel plus Mac OS executed no automatic periodic saves.

The best part of the week was contacting external vendors for what is called "multi-factor" or "two-factor" authentication, describing what we have built, and seeing if they could interoperate with our system. In describing what we do, i was gratified by the other person appreciating the complexity and scope of what we have built and the challenge with which i was presenting them.

--== ∞ ==--

The first part of the week was quite wet: now things are back to growing by leaps and bounds.

I am disappointed by my early April use of the greenhouse. I think things got far too warm and i killed many seedlings. Sprouting pawpaw seeds were cooked. I'm hoping my Torreya taxifolia seeds will survive: it's a rare yew tree. The seeds were passed on by another native plant enthusiast.

I'm also wondering about seed vendors, but before i start pointing fingers, i'll point at myself for failures. Still: how hard is it to provide sunflower seeds with over 50% germination rate? I've 12 seeds, dropped one, and three sprouted. A fourth sprout seems frozen. On the other hand, three of these 18' sunflowers are sufficient, i think, to shade the south west wall of our bedroom.

I harvested my one beautiful head of romaine and a cup or so of snow peas. I think i need to get a sense of how many square feet of plants make enough of anything to be useful.

--== ∞ ==--

Hot and humid. The air conditioner is already coming on, but i'm pondering lowering the temperature. I'm wondering about programming the thermostat. It's easier to cool the house overnight when it's cooler outside, right? So shouldn't i use the overnight setting to cool to the coolest temperature?
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Wednesday, April 26th, 2017 11:45 am
A meme, via [personal profile] zyzyly , that seemed fun to do. Nine performers/bands i've seen perform live and one i haven't.



  1. Phillip Glass
  2. Laurie Anderson
  3. Devo
  4. Metallica
  5. Journey
  6. Patti Smith
  7. Bob Dillion
  8. Pink Floyd
  9. Rush
  10. Queensryche
Feel free to guess the one i haven't seen. And the two that i slept through. 



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elainegrey: Inspired by Grypping/gripping beast styles from Nordic cultures (Default)
Wednesday, April 26th, 2017 11:41 am
In, "Oy, that backfired!" news, i asked my boss for some additional work. (Not bluntly, not, "i need a few more deadlines to stop procrastinating.") Instead i got some praise for how i advised a reinterpretation of requirements (so that it was consistent with current infrastructure instead of a change that would be ridiculously expensive to support). The praise was in the form of, "If you just sat there in North Carolina for the rest of the year, that one comment would pay for you -- not that i want you to do that."

My inner six year old really didn't need to hear that.

--== ∞ ==--

California plant life doesn't go through the volume of growth as occurs here. There's a native plant closely related to sunflowers, Smallanthus uvedalius, that was growing at the edge of the yard when we moved in. It grows eight to ten foot tall from a tuber in ... must be 6 weeks? I'm astounded. I've transplanted some from where they are at the edge of the woods near where the previous owners had their garden plot to the base of the tall tulip poplar that stands alone near the side of the house.

The tallness of the tulip poplar is accentuated by the absence of lower branches. It clearly had company as the cluster of stumps reveals. And, as the sprouting of the stumps shows, i think the trees were part of efforts to make the house salable. I would not be surprised if "you need more natural light" was a bit of the consideration. Some of the trees were quite close, though, so there's that. Some small spurs have leafed out on the naked trunk, so i am in hopes that the tree will someday look a little less naked. On the other hand, it shades the garden for a bit in the afternoon. I suppose i will welcome that as the moment when i can say to myself, quick, get some work in before it's back in the full glare.

I don't know if i've written about the extent that the yard seems like it was abandoned. We find things like full bags of rotted manure just sitting in places. Off the back deck, in the back yard are toys for children and dogs, clothing, broken windchimes, grilling tools. I imagine a grandmother telling a crying child that the toy is gone and there's no getting it back. It's like flotsam and jetsam swept off into the great ocean jungle. I've speculated about why everything was abandoned, and my initial theories of failed health don't hold up. I have a new theory: a fear of ticks.

Ugh.

--== ∞ ==--

We've had a nice rain come through, and it's cooled off. Just a few degrees cooler at night seems to make a difference in whether i sleep through the night or not. Huzzah for programmable thermostats.
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Friday, April 21st, 2017 12:59 pm
And i ate my first pea pod while in the yard!


(Thought i had reduced the size on that image!)
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Wednesday, April 19th, 2017 08:54 am
Continue to feel disrupted by the absence of my laptop. Happily, the mirror i made of the system mounts on my desktop machine, and i can use my work laptop to access the interface from my lollygag locations. Better than nothing.

Taxes completed in time, after some confusion from the software regarding the multistate taxes. I resent the confusion because the software should have warned us it wasn't what we needed. Pfft. Christine's parents must have had drama every tax time because she's always had huge anxiety around taxes. My family's tradition was to procrastinate. Hm. So, clearly we keep to how we were raised.

At work, my team builds the systems that support authentication into the various services The Whale [1] offers. We're doing work to become compliant with a number of certification systems, most of which require us to amp-up our minimal password management. "Ah-ha," said our security analyst, "why don't we just buy a system that already does this. That would save this money." I in turn shudder at the thought of how much work it would be to integrate with such a thing, if we could find one that meets our requirements. Yesterday evening and this morning i wrote up the requirements for such a theoretic money saving system. I think it makes clear how much integration work is required. I don't know if it made clear some of the maintenance risks. I felt a certain sense of pride as i reviewed the requirements: we've done a great deal of good work.

Yesterday evening's yard mowing was pleasant. I was a little concerned because the east yard seems to be a urban center for ground dwelling bees. I don't think the mowing disrupted them too much. I didn't mow much of the low growing bunch grass that my sister says is a native. We love this grass! I'm delighted how well it integrates with violets. It's not a dense carpet like lawn grasses and it has a coarse texture, but maintenance is low.

A video of the bees from this weekend is at https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BwP9rg2b1QL3aHBJcDJmT1Z3eVk/view?usp=sharing for at least the next week or so (probably months). (Pfft, the low sun doesn't do my shadow any favors.)

Boy, do we need rain. It keeps being promised. I think i'm going to do a flood of the areas between the beds today. Here's an attempt an an ascii diagram to depict how the soil is loose beneath the level of the paths between the beds, so flooding the paths causes draining into the sub soil of the beds. I find that the water gets pulled up into the bed above the path level after some hours. Eventually, i'll come up with something more efficient, but i think the flooding beats a sprinkler at this point.
           
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I'd set my mind to disliking the azaleas up close to the house so i could remove them as a fire hazard. One of them, though, is a glorious deep pink with large blossoms, just out my work window. The salmon color shrub doesn't appeal to me, and one that is cotton candy pink is still only buds. I think i'll be able to want that one gone. It seems propagation of the bright pink one from cuttings would be feasible, so there's that.


[1] Haven't used that pseudonym in a long while. It's due to the scale difference between my original library services employer and the company we merged with, now noted as "largest online public access catalog in the world."
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Wednesday, April 19th, 2017 08:44 am
I'm cranky my mac is at the shop... and that nothing turned out to be wrong with it in all the diagnostics. I'm happy this happened in just a few weeks before the warranty expired: i still have time to add two more years of Apple Care.

I'm delighted to discover pappadum make up so well in the microwave. I'm having boiled eggs seasoned with curry paste and pappadum for breakfast: delightful!

I also discovered that many of the oxalis and cudweeds around are natives: huzzah! On the other hand, my sister reports that crimson clover spreads -- when i thought it was an annual and doesn't set seed here. Gah, https://www.smithseed.com/seed/legumes/clovers/crimson-clover reports "excellent" reseeding. I wonder if i confused crimson clover with buckwheat. It still can't be as bad as the stilt grass. In "Other Non Natives That Are My Fault" the mixed cover crops that include brassicas are going to seed. I've gotten a good bit pulled up, but i thought i had a little more time.
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Monday, April 17th, 2017 11:13 am
My brother in law told me about a research paper on making tea. In the microwave.

I'm happy to see this is about green tea. Although what is this "bag" they speak of?

".... Dr Quan Vuong, a researcher at Australia’s University of Newcastle, is the primary antagonist here.

Back in 2012, he actually looked into microwaving (green) tea and what it would do to the compounds inside the leaves. Based on careful chemical analyses, Vuong’s study concluded that the method above extracted far more nutrients than any other. The actions of Tennant’s fictional detective just brought the paper to light again." -- http://www.iflscience.com/health-and-medicine/best-way-make-tea-microwave-according-science/

official site - http://doi.org/10.1016/j.jfca.2012.06.001 - http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0889157512000828

available at https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Quan_Vuong2/publication/257273267_Improved_extraction_of_green_tea_components_from_teabags_using_the_microwave_oven/links/541c0e6c0cf2218008c4e3f4.pdf

I'd also found a related paper, Efficient extraction strategies of tea (Camellia sinensis)
biomolecules, http://doi.org/10.1007/s13197-014-1487-3 -- but this paper tut-tuts the value of caffeine. Harumph.


Meanwhile, Zotero, where most content like this is now being recorded, isn't working with the browser plug in to automatically generate the citation record. Harumph.
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elainegrey: Inspired by Grypping/gripping beast styles from Nordic cultures (Default)
Monday, April 17th, 2017 08:20 am
It was a fairly pleasant weekend, despite it being warm. I couldn't think of anything to do on Saturday outside that wasn't in the sun, so i ended up sitting on the screened porch going through a year's worth of photos on my phone.  I spent some time on Sunday at my parents with my sister's family and her husband's sister's family. Cousins at play! Altogether not a gathering where you have much time with folks: my mother is delighted to have people gathered and she isolates herself in preparations. My dad is beginning to appreciate that she's happy, even though she's not actually spending time with anyone. 

The king size comforter sat in the large bath tub long enough that one of the cats "did his business" on it. It's been taken to a nearby cleaner for a $40+ cleaning. Next year -- if we use it -- it will be cared for more promptly. But what a hassle. My grandmother also had a feather duvet with a simple cover. *THAT* is a practical item. I might look for a heavier duty cover for it and skip using this maroon/burgundy satin thing altogether. 

Slugger, of Slugger & Louise, our cardinals, is showing around his fledgling son. I do hope he doesn't teach Junior to attack his reflection while sitting on the car  & truck side view mirrors. 

My laptop is unexpectedly shutting down once again. I count myself incredibly lucky that i got a decent backup yesterday. Now it's just the hassle of getting to the apple store. I've turned that into a visit with my sister plus a dog outing. Yay. 

List of things i want to research that aren't my job:
  1. Plant IDs
    1. Tree that i've thought of as a "cherry" that probably isn't in the rose family, now that i've seen the inflorescence.
    2. a DYC Dad has observed spreading in his pasture. It looks pretty much like a hawkweed, but a single dandelion-like blossom.
    3. a borage family flower growing under the dead tree of heaven
    4. a composite growing in the glade with white aster-like flowers
  2. Grace
    1. Did early Quakers write of grace?
    2. What concept of grace was around in England pre Cromwell?




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Saturday, April 15th, 2017 07:45 am
So both Asteraceae-Cichorioideae-Cichorieae: Youngia japonica & Lamiaceae-Teucrioideae-Ajugeae: Ajuga reptans in the yard with rosette behavior. Both are non-native. Both are potentially invasive but not listed in NC. Is it hypocritical of me to keep (er, not fight) the bugle plant and not keep (attempt to prevent spreading) the false hawksbeard?

I'm now recording the Family-Subfamily-Tribe of plants in big families in the Evernote entries about my observations. After taking the Asteraceae class - daisies and dandelions and sunflowers - i knew being able to key out a new plant by recognizing the tribe would be helpful. Beans, mints, and the apple family are also so large and varied that i am finding it useful to subdivide there, as well.