Responses to subjects brought up by this blog are welcome. I can be contacted by e-mailing me from my website.
Subjects this month: The Melanin Apocalypse, 99 cent sale, Vindication in spades, Deficit reduction commission, I goofed, Review of Bark!, Progress report, Book report, Ben Franklin said it, Guest essay by Morgan Ashbury, Bain Blunders: Funny early Valentine, Excerpt from The Melanin Apocalypse
The Melanin Apocalypse on talk radio
I received an invitation to be a guest on a radio talk show devoted to discussions about race, featuring my novel The Melanin Apocalypse. The producer informed me that one of the investors was raving about it and wanted to see a show devoted to it. This program has had many prominent authors and scholars as guests and I was honored to be selected. It will be a two hour program, broadcast beginning at 2:30 PM CST. Url and phone number are the same: 347.215.6071
The Melanin Apocalypse is without doubt my most controversial book and, I believe, one of my very best suspense/science fiction novels.
99 cent sale. During the month of February, Oops!, my latest collection of short stories will be on sale in ebook edition for only 99cents!
Vindication in Spades!
When I became a diabetic four or five years ago I, like most diabetics, were supplied by Medicare with home blood sugar test instruments and supplies. The first thing I noticed was that the supplies did not include high and low controls. They only came with normal controls. Being a Medical Technologist I can tell you that you cannot be assured of the accuracy of any laboratory chemical test (which the test strips are) without all three controls, high level, normal level and low level in order to be certain that the tests are accurate through the whole range of possible results. I pointed this out to my doctor. He told me that all the test kits contained only normal controls. When I checked I found that was true. I pointed this out to the company supplying my strips and got very negative replies. Knowing I was right I tried to induce a big law firm that specialized in class action suits to sue in order to force all the companies supplying test kits to include all three controls. I stated that I wasn’t interested in personal gain but only wanted the manufacturers to become responsible for their error. I couldn’t get them the least bit interested even though I took the time to explain in layman’s terms how important the situation was. I did a few other things but finally decided no one was interested in listening to me and gave up.
Now for the kicker. Late last year I saw an article where one company had supplied millions of faulty test strips that were not accurately measuring blood sugar in the low ranges. The results were reading higher than they should by a pretty good margin. Persons depending on those results would have thought their blood sugar was fine when actually it was dangerously low. Now I expect any day to see big ads in newspapers and magazines and on TV of lawyers trying to cash in on this in class action suits. Well, no one can say I didn’t warn the companies to do what was right. No telling how many hospitalizations and probably some deaths occurred because of those faulty strips when a proper range of controls would have spotted the situation immediately.
You can check the veracity of this account by googling “Faulty blood glucose test strips”. You’ll be astounded, especially if you happen to be a diabetic and do home blood sugar testing. It appears that a number of companies are involved and the FDA issued recalls in December of 2010.
And know what? In the meantime I’m still only getting normal controls.
Does this tell you anything about “Bottom Line” corporate philosophy?
Deficit reduction commission
I had hoped that the deficit reduction commission would receive the two thirds majority votes of its 18 members so that its recommendations would be forced on congress to consider. Unfortunately, the vote wound up at 11-7, a majority but not the two thirds necessary to send it to congress. After a year’s work the two sides couldn’t agree on how to get our government back to fiscal sanity. Too bad. I really had hopes that politics could be set aside enough to force congress to look at the commission’s recommendations seriously. They certainly sounded sensible to me. I guess congress will continue on the same path until the country really does go broke while each party is still blaming the other for the mess and neither will take responsibility for what needs to be done. Sad, isn’t it? I don’t know why I hoped for something better.
Below is a reply to my review of The Third Reich At War that was in last month’s Bainstorming (and I sincerely regret that somehow I failed to copy the name of the author. If he will write me I will publish his name next month). I freely admit that I erred in my statement that I hoped we wouldn’t see such atrocities again. I guess I was thinking about “civilized, European type countries”, but even that’s no excuse. Bosnia proved I didn’t carry my thinking very far. And besides, “civilization” is a slippery term and my thoughts on it were parochial, to say the least. I don’t usually make such monumental goofs as I did here and I apologize.
I also made a minor error on the matter of salaries of waiters and waitresses (I’m old fashioned and hate political correctness and find it hard to use the term “waitstaff”). Fast food outlets usually pay better than minimum wage and not all states have laws allowing waiters and waitresses to be paid less than minimum wage as I inadvertently implied.
Here is the reply to both those segments of Bainstorming.
“…your review of "The Third Reich at War" you said "I sincerely hope we never see the like of such things again."
Well we have seen such again and again, nearly non-stop in one place or another. Japan's Unit 371. Communist Russia's death camps during and after WW2. The Bataan death march. Vietnam's POW camps and death camps. Same for North Korea. The Hutu and Tutsi tribes in Rwanda. Saddam and Sons torture chambers and mass graves in Iraq. Serbs and Croats in Bosnia. There's plenty more of such things I could list, quite often with the non-condemnation or outright support of the oppressing side by western "liberals", but most often with the condemnation of the oppressed by our "liberals". Neville Chamberlain and those like him have turned a blind eye, aided and abetted oppressors, dictators, tyrants etc and often cheered them on while blaming their victims for their suffering.
Two documentaries you should watch; "Obsession: Radical Islam's War Against the West" and "Buried in the Sand: The Deception of America". Like most any actual documentary (as opposed to films like Michael Moore does), they tend to be dry and boring but they don't sensationalize when the bald facts presented are in themselves shocking enough.
Obsession has been posted on Youtube in several parts. Buried can be watched in one piece at Snagfilms.com. Google the titles and you'll find them.
As for tips, McDonalds does not pay minimum wage. Their starting pay is more than minimum wage. They, and other fast food restaurants, have to pay above minimum wage just to get anyone to take the jobs. What the latest increase in minimum wage has done is shut out 15 year old kids from being able to get jobs. McDonalds used to hire 15 year olds part time to do cleaning and running registers. They're limited by law in what time of day they can work and how many hours a day they can work. With the latest minimum wage increase the restrictions on 15 year olds is not worth the premium over minimum wage to hire and train them, most of whom won't be working at the job very long. In my long experience of eating at McDonalds, most of those kids would work long enough to get a couple of paychecks then they'd quit. A small number would apply themselves industriously, learning everything they could about their work, never standing around idly when they could see things needing done. Those are the kids who went on to college or stayed working and getting promoted to managing positions that pay quite good salaries at McDonalds and other fast food franchises.
14 and 15 year old kids used to be able to get jobs. They'd learn what it is to work and earn their own money. They'd learn how to become productive people instead of just being dependent on others. Such valuable experience has been legislated and priced out of possibility. It's become too much of a hassle for employers to deal with. I expect soon that the same will happen to 16 and 17 year old kids. People turn the 'magic' age of 18 and too many have been filled with the idea that they suddenly have all the rights and none of the responsibilities of adulthood.
It's quite easy to find out for yourself what a place like McDonalds pays. Ask someone who works there, especially the shift managers. I've often seen the wages they pay posted on a wall. They're nearly always taking applications.
In many states the law is that in jobs where it is expected that an employee will be able to supplement his or her pay with tips, that the employer may pay less than minimum wage. Basically it boils down to waiters and waitresses being the only jobs that can be paid below minimum. ISTR a lawsuit where a restaurant had all the tips shared among all the employees, even though only the waitstaff was paid under minimum. They got sued and the plaintiffs won, the cooks and dishwashers no longer got a cut of the waiters' tips.
Good service will get good tips, despite the occasional non-tipper or under-tipper. If you want to tip extra, go right ahead, your waitperson will appreciate it. Lousy service doesn't deserve a tip, especially when there's only one other party in the restaurant and the waitress spends all her time hovering over the other party and even walks right past your table with a glass or coffee cup perched on the edge to signal you want a refill. It's even lousier service when she goes out of her way to walk past your table to give you a snub.
**I’ve never observed a waiter or waitress doing this. DB
Something to try for tipping. Tip the cook directly. "My compliments to the chef." with some $ attached. Become a regular at a restaurant and become known for giving tips specifically to the cook and other employees and you may see your service get expedited.
** This might not be a bad idea for those who regularly eat out. We don’t anymore.
I couldn’t resist posting another review of Bark! since Tonto was the avatar for the novel. And of course poor Tonto had to be let go in the prime of his life. We’re still getting over it, slowly. The review:
*A decidedly unconventional science fiction story! Bizarre.
Byzantine. An Alien invasion. A neurotic dachshund. Retired Christmas
tree farmers. An unconventional professor. Don’t even try to sort that
out - just read the book! You will definitely have an engrossing sci-fi
My latest novel, Apertures, with a brand new twist on the Alternate Earths theme is either out by now in the ebook version or should be during February wherever ebooks are sold. The print version is being shopped around a bit to see if a major publisher might be interested but so far no takers. I’ll give it a little while before giving up on them and having it released in print through my regular publisher, Double Dragon, where it will be available in print at online stores like Amazon and Barnes and Noble.
Warp Point, published as an ebook two or three years ago is still very popular at Amazon’s Kindle store. It is now available in print at Amazon and Barnes and Noble for those who don’t read ebooks. It has become one of my best selling books.
I have worked a bit on the political commentary book I’m writing but it is slow going. I’m trying to cover the whole gamut of the federal government and finding the various departments so entangled with one another that it is turning into a booger to write. I will get it done, though.
I have written very little this last month. The reason is that I started the Honor Harrington series again and just finished it. I sincerely hope all of Honor’s fans write David Weber and urge him to finish the series. It is so extraordinarily good that we’d all hate to see it end where it is now.
I’m presently reading The Warmth of Other Suns. This book is a true life rendition of blacks living in the segregated South and the great migration to Northern and Western portions of the United States. Even having grown up in the segregated South, and realizing it was wrong at an early age, I still didn’t realize how brutal the caste system was and how many horrid atrocities blacks endured for minor infractions. I think everyone should read this book but I’ll warn you, it’s not for sissies.
I did manage to squeeze in a reading of John Ringo’s Citadel during the past month. It is the sequel to Live Free or Die and every bit as good, if a bit technical. The next book in the series should be coming out this year.
Bainstorming bimonthly or periodically?
Since I’m so far behind on my writing schedule now I may have to reduce Bainstorming to a bimonthly or periodic blog. I just can’t write as fast as I used to and I still have a lot of stories I want to do, such as two more books in the Aperture series, a non-fiction political commentary book, a final novel in the Medics Wild (Williard Brothers) series, a revised and expanded version of Savage Survival and couple more science fiction/suspense novels. If I didn’t love to read so damned much I’d get more writing done!
I put a lot of time and effort into producing Bainstorming each month, more than most readers would believe, and while I can tell from the up tick in hits at my web site when it comes out that it is popular, I haven’t been getting that much feedback.
Ben Franklin said it
Just to give you an idea of how long political dishonesty has been going on, well over two hundred years ago Benjamin Franklin pinned them down. To paraphrase his remarks, he said politicians claiming to vote for the good of the country are invariably actually voting to secure their positions and that of their party. If the country profits so much the better, but how their actions will affect them and their cohorts is always their first thought. Sad but true. And all too human, I suppose.
Guest essay by Morgan Ashbury
There is a difference between responsibility and blame. I'm not really sure how it's happened, but it seems to me that we, who live here in North America, have confused the two to such an extent, I really am worried that we'll never completely separate them again.
I'm afraid we'll never get it right.
My beloved has just recently completed his annual `safety training' at work. Each year, in the first week or so of January, his employer presents a program designed to keep everyone aware of the latest safety procedures, to review old information, and to ensure that everyone realizes that the company takes the safety of its workers
My husband told me that according to one of the government agencies, "there is no such thing as an accident". Period. If someone gets hurt at work, then someone, somewhere, somehow is to blame.
In these enlightened times in this province, if a worker is injured on the job, then not only can the company that employs him be charged, and subsequently fined, its principals jailed; so, too, can the worker's supervisors and even the worker himself.
I can see problems with this stance. Personally, you wouldn't be able to pay me enough money, under those conditions, to take a supervisory job. And I would guess that, most probably, the best and the brightest employees wouldn't, either. Fines levied in workplace
injury suits can be devastating for an individual to pay, because the employer is prevented, by law, from paying the fines on a supervisor's behalf.
I really miss common sense. You know, that old thing we used to rely on? That thing that told us to do our best, try our best, and when mistakes happened, as mistakes were wont to do, to learn from them, and do better next time.
Under the above concept, you can change that thinking to read when mistakes happen, lose everything you own and go into bankruptcy and/or jail.
Nope, I don't ever want to be a supervisor.
We are, as a society, very quick to blame anyone and everyone when tragedy strikes. When that tragedy is as a result of violence perpetrated by one individual upon another—or upon several others, we—represented by our news media and others who would step forward with fingers pointing—are quick to lay the blame for these crimes at
countless pairs of feet.
Responsibility and blame. How to know the difference?
My heart goes out to the families and friends of the people murdered in Tucson last weekend. I especially feel great grief for the family of Christina Taylor Green. The murder of the young and innocent seems to me to be the most heinous of crimes. I also pray for the recovery of the injured.
Who do we blame for this tragedy? The man whose finger was on the trigger.
Do we look further? Certainly not in any criminal sense, in my opinion—unless he had a verifiable accomplice. I've been hearing "talking heads" from both ends of the political spectrum either casting blame or denying responsibility, at (metaphorically speaking)
the tops of their lungs. I've a news flash for them. This isn't about them, or their constant demonizing of each other, or their political agendas.
This is about a man who coldly and, apparently premeditatedly, committed mass murder. It's about the lives taken, and the people injured.
I would, however, like to share one very personal opinion, if I may. It has always been my belief that when you step forward and would assume a role of leadership—be it in education, religion, law enforcement, business, or politics—that you are obliged to hold yourself to a higher standard; to remember that the examples you set, whether you want
them to or not, inspire others—for good, and yes, sometimes, for evil.
This is a lesson we should have learned in 1170 when Henry II expressed his frustration by uttering, "What miserable drones and traitors have I nourished and brought up in my household, who let their lord be treated with such shameful contempt by a low-born cleric?" Words misinterpreted by the king's devout followers as an order to assassinate the Archbishop of Canterbury, Thomas Becket.
I don't hold out much hope we're going to learn this lesson anytime soon.
Bain blunders: Funny early Valentine Day
I always have roses delivered to the house for Betty on Valentine Day. This year I decided to get my order in early. Earlier in the day I had been thinking about insurance and how it was going to go up again on my birthday. I ordered the roses. On the 19th of January while I was in bed reading the UPS truck delivered a package. I heard the bell ring but Betty was still up. A few minutes later she came in and asked whether her memory was failing or not. I asked her why? She said UPS had just delivered a dozen roses to her but she couldn’t think why (occasionally I will surprise her with some flowers but not roses). That jogged my memory and I realized what I had done. Not only had I got the month wrong but even the day, while I was thinking of the 19th, my birthday. Betty had an early Valentine day bunch of roses and we both had a good laugh. Now I have to figure out what to do on the real Valentine’s Day!
Excerpt from The Melanin Apocalypse.
Doug Craddock took a seat at the conference table in the administrative building of the Center for Disease Control in Atlanta, Georgia. He nodded to the others present and smiled across the table at Amelia Foster. He had been with the scientist-physician once before on a mission, to the Congo where a pesky, previously unknown virus had popped up, then disappeared just as suddenly. Amelia’s presence meant they must have a puzzle on their hands. She was CDC’s top specialist in infectious diseases; they didn’t send her just anywhere. He also knew Robert Handley, the man in charge of logistics and a good friend. The other person was new to him, a small attractive woman with light brown hair who looked to be in her thirties.
Amelia must have seen him looking and realized her oversight. “Doug, I’m sorry. This is June Spencer. She’ll be head nurse on this little jaunt. June, Doug Craddock, in charge of our security detail.”
“Why a security detail?” the nurse asked, obviously puzzled.
Doug smiled and then answered, even thought the question had been addressed to Amelia. “It’s a requirement now, Miss Spencer, and has been ever since the CDC lost that team in Venezuela last year. They’re even putting up a building to house us.” He sensed a thinly disguised hostility in the young woman and wondered what it was about.
The nurse gave him a very slight nod in return for his explanation, without a smile. Then he diagnosed her problem. Another one who thinks the world would be better off without guns—until the bullets start flying in their direction, then we’re the first ones they call for.
Amelia tapped her fingernails on the table to get everyone’s attention again. “There’s coffee and tea for those who want it. Now that everyone’s here, let’s get started.”
Doug had been the last one to arrive. He poured coffee for himself while Amelia played with the keyboard at her place. The wall screen swam into focus. It showed a map of a large part of western Africa.
“Here’s where we’ll be going.” An arrow moved over the map. It stopped at Port Harcourt, Nigeria. “As you can see, we’ll be in Nigeria, near the coast. Port Harcourt is a relatively modern city so facilities should be adequate.
“And here’s what we’re investigating.” The next image showed the body of a pale black man. His skin had a peculiar hue, as if some of the color had been scrubbed off with a rough cloth. Other than that, there were no signs of illness—yet he was obviously dead.
“What is it?” June asked.
“Good question. We don’t know; that’s why we’re being sent. The disease starts with a tingling felt over the whole body and progresses over a period of weeks to extreme myalgia, neuralgia, intractable pain and death. The good news is that it doesn’t appear to be contagious through airborne droplets, as diseases like the flu are. The bad news is that it’s spreading anyway and the medical people don’t know why.”
Doug rubbed his chin where a five o’clock shadow was forming. He had a beard that showed more gray than did his wavy, dark brown hair, though his hair was beginning to be shot with white threads, too. To him, the new disease already sounded ominous, but then these days any unexplained phenomenon that caused death worried him. Damned terrorists.
Amelia continued. “We’ve already received specimens from some of the afflicted. So far, we haven’t turned up what’s causing the illness, though we’re beginning to suspect a peculiar little enterovirus that resembles the poliovirus species.”
“Polio? I thought we’d wiped it out,” Doug said.
“I didn’t say it was the polio virus; just that it resembles it in certain ways. We’ll have to wait and see what the virologists say. In the meantime, our job is to go there and assist in finding and identifying the vector.”
“Any clues yet?” June Spencer asked. She and her team would be the ones having the most direct contact with patients. She played with a pendant at her neck, an odd arrangement of diamonds and gold, rolling it between thumb and fingers.
Amelia hesitated, as if reluctant to speak. “Well…possibly. For some reason, it’s only people of color that have become ill. That’s rather peculiar considering what a cosmopolitan city Port Harcourt is.”
The other three people in the room couldn’t help it. Their eyes turned toward Bob Handley, whose skin was a rich brown color, bordering on black.
He ignored the stares. “Maybe it only strikes those carrying the genes for Sickle Cell,” Handley shrugged. “Or maybe it’s an all black neighborhood where the vector popped up.”
“It doesn’t matter right now,” Amelia said. She brushed a tress of her blond hair away from her forehead.
Doug smiled inwardly, remembering a dream he had of running his fingers through that same tumble of blond hair. Amelia was a few years older than he and had an appealing, rather than pretty face. He had thought idly about asking her out now that he was getting over Doris’ death, but doubted he would. There was no real spark there. They were fast friends, though she was nominally his superior.
“How many of us should I plan on supplies for?” Bob asked, holding his stylus ready. His PDA was on the table in front of him.
Amelia thought. “Four infectious disease specialists, two doctors, June’s gang and I think all of Doug’s squad.”
Doug sat up straighter. Amelia must be worried to want the whole squad. These teams usually took less than a half dozen security specialists. “You want my whole squad? Is there something I don’t know?”
“Doug, I’m not sure of anything at this point. Call it a hunch, but I’ve got a feeling about this one. It’s new, the symptoms are unlike anything we’ve seen before and despite Bob’s disclaimer, I don’t like that thing about it affecting only blacks. No, let me take that back. Right before I came from the office, I saw where a couple of Indians from Calcutta had come down with it, so it probably isn’t confined to people of African descent, just those who happen to have dark skin.”
“How dark were they?” Bob twiddled with his PDA, obviously somewhat uncomfortable with the subject matter.
“I have no idea. Anyway, that’s about it, so far as facts that we’re sure of.”
“How many so far?” June asked.
Doug liked the way her voice sounded. It had a pleasant, melodic tone to it. She was pretty, too. Too bad she didn’t seem to take to him.
“It’s gone from a dozen or so a week ago to over three hundred hospitalized now and many more beginning to show symptoms. The clinics have long lines in front of them. A few dozen deaths so far, but according to my sources, none of the sick are showing any signs of recovery. On the contrary, they’re getting worse. We’ll be wanting to take level one precautions until we know more.” Amelia decided not to bring up what the virology laboratory director had told her, that there was a possibility the virus could have been tinkered with. She wanted to wait until they knew for certain, one way or another. No sense in letting unfounded rumors get started.
The other three groaned at the mention of level one precautions. In the tropics, the protective suits were burdensome and hot and very uncomfortable, especially when worn for long periods. “We’ll be leaving as quickly as we can, so get your people briefed and check with Bob for anything extra in the way of supplies you think you might need. Plan on the day after tomorrow at the latest. I know this is kind of rushed, but that’s what we’re here for. Any questions?” She scanned the three faces. No one responded. “All right, same time tomorrow morning we’ll meet again, and see where we are.”
Doug rose from his seat. He gave Amelia a mock half-salute and strode quickly away, his mind already in overdrive, mentally running down his checklist of the things he’d need to do to get his squad ready. There weren’t many items on the list. Most of the squad were retired military, all professionals, all trained by him personally to be ready to go at an instant’s notice. Two days? Hell, they could be ready in two hours if they had to. Something else was on his mind, too; Bob Handley. Before they parted, Handley stopped him with a touch, as if sensing his concern.
“Doug—for some reason this scares me, the thought that only blacks are falling ill. If I buy the farm, will you see to the family?”
“Of course, but don’t worry, just make sure you wear your biosuit and you’ll be okay.”
Handley’s earnest black face held a graver expression than Doug had ever seen; ordinarily, he was cheerful almost to a fault. And he was such a good friend that they could honestly discuss race relationships and cultural attitudes with none of the intellectual posturing so common when the subject usually came up.
Doug remembered very plainly when he first became aware of racial differences. He was five years old and not yet in the first grade when he stumbled while racing along the sidewalk near his home. He fell and skinned his knees. The old black man who did yard work for the neighborhood helped him up while Doug tried to hold back the tears. Big boys don’t cry! He remembered his Dad’s admonishment but sometimes it was hard to keep the tears inside.
“You okay, little man?” The white haired old man asked, while brushing him off.
Doug nodded, unable to speak. His chin was quivering.
“You a big boy,” the old man said, his smile showing a gold tooth.
Doug nodded again, feeling better. It really didn’t hurt that much.
From out of the blue came another question that he didn’t understand at first. “What you rather be, a black man or a white man?”
For the first time, Doug really looked at the old dark skinned gardener. His shoes were split and taped. A much used leather belt held up equally worn and patched jeans. His shirt was stained and wet with the pungent odor of dried sweat and his cap was a shapeless mass. But what Doug noticed most was his color and the way his face held a reservoir of old sadness that was never absent. He didn’t laugh and sing and wear nice clothes like the black men he saw on television. He was very dark, almost black, and Doug remembered now that a lot of other people were dark, too, like the woman who came to clean house every week or two. He thought of his playmates and how they were all white. He thought of his parents and their friends. None of them worked outside all day in the yards or mopped floors. He hung his head, ashamed, somehow, but his child’s mind had no idea why. Yet he knew the answer to the black man’s question. From hundreds of overheard jokes and conversations a cultural bias had already soaked into his little mind. He didn’t really want to say anything but his parents had taught him to always answer when an adult spoke to him.
“White, I guess,” he muttered, looking up at the old man.
“Me, too,” the black gardener replied in a soft voice. He seemed to be looking at something far beyond them, something out of sight. “You go home now, get them knees doctored.”
Doug thought he had never seen anyone look as sad as the old man, even when he smiled. “Yes, sir,” he said as he nodded his head and turned back toward home. In a moment he was running again, but not from excitement or playfulness. He was running to escape an unknown menace, something he didn’t understand but knew was threatening.
He never forgot that episode, and even as a child, he began observing how blacks and whites treated each other and by the time he turned thirteen, he knew that blacks were considered an inferior race. He didn’t know why, but he didn’t agree with the prevailing attitude of his white friends and his parents. He didn’t speak out openly very often, being shy and reclusive. He was considered a bookworm by many of his peers. It wasn’t until he was grown and in the army that he began voicing his opinions at times and places he thought were appropriate, but it seemed as if he had always known it was an unfair situation for black people and even as a child always tried to treat blacks as politely and with as much consideration as any one else.
Bob Handley was the only person other than Doris he had ever told that story to. Remembering it, he patted Handley’s shoulder, but was unsure of what else he could or should say.
Handley finally smiled at him. “You’re a good man, Doug. I hope you come out of this okay, too.”
“We will,” Doug assured him again. But now he began to worry.