In other thoughts….

If somebody tries to kill him- or herself by jumping in front of a moving ambulance, do the first responders in the ambulance have to call in another ambulance? Would the answer change depending on whether or not the person actually got killed? This is of course assuming that there was not significant damage to the vehicle, in which case they would have to stay there anyway. But I imagine that the people in the ambulance would have to stick around for paperwork.

In other thoughts, I was recently at a local brewery that has its own brewpub with the intent on getting dinner. While I was there I discovered that when they changed their menu, they no longer offer vegetarian entrees. I had one beer and left. While I was leaving I was perplexed by the fact that there were about two dozen portable toilets in the parking lot. I had to wonder if the two issues were connected. No, I’m not thinking of people’s digestion when related to all of the meat. I imagine a more Sweeney Todd-like scenario. Perhaps all of those portable toilets are actually traps. You go in, the floor drops beneath you and you drop into a machine with buzz saws and meat grinders.

In other thoughts, the word “owl” is pronounced one way, but then if you add the letter “b” in the front of it, “bowl” is pronounced another. By adding that “b” we suddenly get the long “o” sound. Why isn’t it pronounced like “bowel?” Think about that the next time you use the word “bowl” in a sentence: “I like to eat out of my favorite soup bowel.” Yes, I realize that this last bit works better when spoken out loud but a.that would involve me actually interacting with somebody in person, and b.I had to write something for today’s blog post.

Seven of the lowest points in the “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” franchise. #tmnt

This list is partially inspired by one that I saw on another site a while back. I’m not going to link to that one primarily because I’m too lazy to find it again, but also because I wasn’t exactly happy with what they produced. Being such a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles fan, and having already skipped my Nerdy Saturday post this week, I’m going to present my own list of what I think are seven of the lowest points in the franchise. I’m sure I left something out but this list is already long enough as it is. Perhaps there’s something that I’m missing that I could put in a sequel.

However, there are a few things that I intentionally left off of this list that I know other people would include, such as Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III and the Coming Out of Their Shells tour. I look at these things as what makes sense to have happened when they did. Besides, the third movie wasn’t that bad. As far as the tour goes, just check out the footage of how happy the kids in the audience were. I think that pretty much negates the argument.

    • The degradation of Karai over the different continuities. When Karai first appeared in the City at War story line of the original Mirage comics, she was one of the higher-ups worldwide coming to New York to piece together the local section of the Foot Clan after it fell apart following the Shredder’s death (the Mirage Shredder,  having died already—twice, because, you know, comics—was only the leader of the NYC Foot Clan, with clan leaders still in Japan). In recent incarnations, however, she has been reduced to a sort sergeant in the Foot, or sometime even a direct descendant of the Shredder. There are still efforts to make her as bad-ass as possible within those confines, but come on—we get a strong female character in a male-dominated field, and she gets reduced. At least she doesn’t regularly turn into a “damsel in distress” like April all the time.
    • The over-use of the Shredder. Okay, I get it. The Shredder is the main villain of the first cartoon show and therefore made the most prominent in most people’s memories. But use him too much and he loses his appeal as a frightening bad guy. Seriously, he’s Darth Vader with blades all over him and he turns into a bumbling idiot half the time in the cartoons. In the original comics, he’s killed in the first issue, and then again after a brief appearance in a later story line. (Depending on how you look at it, he died again in a later issue of Tales of the TMNT in which the magical worms that resurrected him the first time took over the body of a shark…. It’s too much to explain.) The Archie TMNT comics spread out his appearances, and one of the later items on this list, Ninja Turtles: The Next Mutation, did at least one thing right by using him only sparingly as well. But for the most part, he shows up way too much.
    • Conversely, the under-use of Verminator-X. Man, this guy was cool. He was an anthropomorphic cat in the future that added cyborg parts to himself that caused him to go insane. He sided with the Shredder and a mutant shark (no relation to the above-mentioned story line) and made himself an enemy of the Turtles whom he once allied with. Cats are cool these days. Cyborgs are cool. Damn it, he smoked which is almost unheard of in Archie comics without anybody making a big deal about it. Yet aside from that one story line, unless I’m mistaken he never appeared again in the entire franchise. He would make such a popular character these days. See? You use a good character only once and we want more.
    • Ninja Turtles: The Next Mutation. This could fall under the category of “it made sense at the time” that I mentioned in the intro if this show wasn’t done so poorly. It made sense that a live-action show would be produced, and it made sense that it was done by Saban Entertainment, who produced Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. But the show was very clearly done on the cheap. The costumes, effects and voice-overs were all badly done and obviously rushed. The acting was way too hammy on everybody’s part, although given what the actors had to work with I don’t entirely blame them. The writing felt like they took elements of the TMNT mythos and transposed them to a Power Rangers-style show and then dumbed it down for a younger audience.
      But, let’s face it, the worst part of the show was its most infamous: Venus DeMilo. I know that she has her fans and more power to you, but setting aside the concept of the character in the first place, Venus was horrible. First of all, she was a mutated turtle—with mammalian breasts. Even if they worked they were under a shell, rendering them useless. If we overlook the biological complications, we still have the East Asian stereotypes to deal with as well. She constantly spoke in Engrish, had an over-the-top accent and used mystical orbs to blast the baddies. Honestly, I could write an entire blog post about Venus. I think I’ll leave it there.
    • Leondardo Had a Rowboat. Usually, I would write out my entry but this time I’ll just link to the video and let it speak for itself:
  • Volume 3 of the “official” comics. Mirage ended Volume 1  with issue 62 and then produced Volume 2, which were now in color and ended after only thirteen issues. They decided to lease out the property to Image, which was to take over the reigns and produce Volume 3. So this wasn’t just another new comic line based on Eastman and Laird’s creations, it was the actual, official continuation of the original comics. Or at least, it was meant to be.
    I should say that there are a lot of elements of Volume 3 that I liked, especially the art style. The comics just looked really damn cool. They returned to black and white in a way that not only added a darker tone to the visuals but the storytelling as well. However, there were problems as well.
    The biggest of which would be that the makers of the comic may have put too much of an effort into it. As a result, they did too much, too fast. Leonardo lost a hand, Donatello got turned into a cyborg, Raphael got his face scarred really badly and then became the new Shredder, Splinter turned into a giant bat… all in the course of twenty-three issues. The writing suffered also in that the overall story arc not only didn’t seem to have an end in sight, it didn’t really have a structure to begin with. Even individual issues felt like they were merely plot points in a larger plot, without a proper story-telling structure to themselves. (Disclosure: I do admit that I haven’t read these in a while, and once I complete my collection I intend on reading all of the comics beginning to end. I may change some of my opinions on this Volume then.) The result was a bit of a mess. When Mirage took the Turtles back for Volume 4, they simply ignored the changes of Volume 3, relegating it to a sort of alternate timeline that shared the same backstory. Then again, that could be retconned if anybody wanted to do that… because, you know, comics.
  • Constant reboot syndrome. Finally, the TMNT franchise suffers from what I like to call constant reboot syndrome. I get that business needs will force writers to start a new continuity: when a cartoon show was needed to promote the toys, a more kid-friendly version of the TMNT was produced; when the first live-action movies were made, another continuity was formed in order to make those work; the video games borrow elements from several pre-existing continuities and for that matter, there’s no reason to believe that any of them are continuous with each other. That’s all fine, but enough is enough. Just because the Turtles are now Nickelodeon property that’s no reason to start over again. Even then, do we need multiple new comic lines?
    Maybe I’m just bitter at the fact that I’m out of touch with these new universes. But that’s okay. I still have the old books for that indie-comics goodness, and if I really want a nostalgic trip I can throw in my DVDs of the original show. But I don’t see the need to follow the same story elements reshuffled yet another time. I will say that there are some good elements of the new lines, particularly the IDW comics, but I just don’t need it in my life. Well, that is until I complete my collection and start wanting more. I’m like that.

Ten rumors about the NES. #nes #retrogaming

I had so much fun with the “nerdy theory” list I made a few months back that I decided to do something along the same lines for today’s list. This time I’m focusing on one of the biggest aspects of my childhood, the Nintendo Entertainment System. Again, let’s spread these around and see how many people think they could be true. It’s a pretty safe bet that nobody would trace them back to me as this blog isn’t highly read… I think.

Here’s my list of top ten list of rumors about the NES that I wish were true.

  1. Blowing on your cartridge will erase your save files. We all tried blowing on our carts as kids because we all heard that doing so would get them working again. It wasn’t until years later that we found out this was total crap. However, with the games that actually save your progress, blowing too hard could actually erase the save files. It’s also possible to erase passwords that games give you but you have blow really hard.
  2. Nintendo released carts of The Legend of Zelda that were made out of real gold. Remember how cool the Legend of Zelda carts looked when they were made out of shiny gold plastic? That was a neat cosmetic difference, right? It turns out that Nintendo leaked some carts made out of real gold as part of a contest. The contest ended up getting canceled due to legal reasons but not before five of the carts were released. They have yet to surface on the collector’s market, however.
  3. The microphone that was part of the Famicom’s controllers are actually in the NES controllers as well. Somebody along the line didn’t realize what that specific piece of technology was, however, and the microphones were sealed inside the solid plastic. You just have to yell louder to use them.
  4. The real reason Mario goes on adventures in the Mushroom Kingdom is that he’s actually a lousy plumber. Really, have you actually seem him doing any real plumbing? I know that was supposedly the backstory of Mario Bros., but even then Mario and Luigi are working as exterminators more than plumbers. That’s why you don’t see Luigi as often. He’s on the job picking up Mario’s slack in the family business.
  5. There was a contest held in Japan for you to win a Tetris cartridge by playing a live version of the game. It was held underwater to slow down the falling blocks’ movement. Unfortunately, two kids drowned when pinned under a square piece. Nintendo hushed up the story pretty thoroughly, so I’m not surprised you didn’t hear about that one.
  6. The NES is backwards-compatible. However, the system was cancelled mid-production. It was similar in power to the Atari 2600, except that the carts had more storage space, thereby allowing more programming capabilities. As a result the games looked and sounded like Atari 2600 games, but in size and scope they were comparable to the NES. Six of the games did make it onto the market, albeit in limited quantities: Mount Olympus in Heat, Dagger Run, The Moon’s Revenge, Aikido Master II, Sitar Hero and the now infamous E.T. 2. Good luck finding any of those for under $500.
  7. Nintendo released a peripheral that made the NES portable. It was an awkward attachment to the bottom of the machine that acted as a battery pack to take your NES anywhere. However, as portable television sets weren’t very common and it was more expensive than the console itself, the attachment was soon discontinued. Of the few that made it to the shelves, none of them have survived due to corrosion. At least, that’s what they want you to think.
  8. You can totally hook your NES up to the Internet. There isn’t a whole lot you can do with it, though. The Internet browser is incredibly slow and the Netflix channel only shows that horrible Super Mario Bros. movie. If you have the NES Virtual Console cartridge, you can download some games but due to size limitations on the cart they aren’t very big. Interestingly, one of the downloads you can get is the pack of games that was originally released with Windows 3.1, due to Nintendo’s secret pact with Microsoft.
  9. If you play Metroid at just the right speed, the aliens’ movements will sync up with the vocals on David Bowie’s “Berlin Trilogy” of records. If you hold controller two’s aforementioned hidden microphone to your stereo with this setup, the background in the game will turn psychedelic.
  10. Super Mario 64 was re-designed as an 8-bit sidescroller and released on the NES. Nintendo released this in limited quantities and without publicity as an experiment during one Christmas season. It sold moderately well but the games were recalled once consumers complained about the game crashing. Apparently, if you follow the process to unlock Luigi in the original version of the game, the NES version stops working permanently.

Now, let’s see if we can get this rumor mill running.

Five new nerdy theories to spread across the Internet. #fandom #batman #superman #transformers #megaman #jamesbond #nolife

I’m going to go for another “fun” post this time. I started watching a series of “urban legend” list videos online last night, primarily about pop culture elements. I don’t know why these things entertain me so much but I wanted more. I decided that instead of trying to hunt them down I would make some “urban legends” of my own, focusing also on various pop culture elements. However, instead of just one thing such as video games or movies, I’m just going to throw out ideas based on my own nerdy interests, hoping that somebody might pick this up and actually spread it out there on the Internet. I have to have some legacy, right?

I know I won’t get any dates from this one, but here we go: my top ten nerdy theories.

1.Batman is Lex Luthor.

Superman’s greatest enemy is Lex Luthor, a rich man who uses his high level of intelligence and resources to achieve his goals. Superman’s best friend greatest ally most famous co-worker is Batman, a rich man who uses his high level of intelligence and resources to acheive his goals. Sure there are differences of the two. What I propose, however, is that they are really the same character that Superman sees depending on what he wants to see. He sees either Lex or Batman depending on how the guy is acting at the time.

Just like Superman’s alien body interacts differently with our environment, perhaps his alien mind reacts differently as well. Exploring the possibility that much of his adventures are actually his own delusions would open up all sorts of further theories and story possibilities. Sure, if this idea came true it would also be a continuity nightmare—not that DC Comics ever shies away from such a thing.

Maybe this would work better as ambitious one-off story rather than a legend circulating the Internet, but it’s amusing idea to keep in mind when reading your next Superman comic.

2.Most, if not all the Decepticons are clones, possibly made by Megatron.
I’m specifically referring to the Generation 1 animated show, although this could apply to various other aspects of the Transformers multiverse. In the earliest episodes of the cartoon show we see a lot of Decepticons sharing body types, in particular the seekers and multiple soldiers that resemble Reflector. This could be easily explained as a way to fill out the Decepticon army in the show, as there were only a few toys on the shelves at the time, vastly outnumbered by the Autobots. Even the three original seekers were all repaints of the same mold.

But what if there was a more complicated reason behind why they all had the same body type, other than they were just all built the same? We already have seen that Megatron has the ability to copy Optimus Prime down to the most minute detail. Although not explicitly stated in the cartoon itself, characters that are officially designated elsewhere in the franchise do appear, albeit for brief moments. Insecticons have shown the ability to clone themselves, even though this results in mindless drones. The point is that cloning in the Transformers universe is not unheard of.

The reason I came up with this idea is that it’s a possible way to explain one of the most famous continuity errors of the show, which is the various origin stories of the Constructicons: as having been built on Earth by the Decepticons, as having been friends of Omega Supreme that went bad when Megatron wanted to boost his troops and finally as the robots in the past that built Megatron themselves as a desperate attempt to win the war. (I often dismiss that last point, as they are appearing in a flashback—or a vision quest, depending on how you look at it—and could easily be dismissed as something that only appeared in Rodimus Prime’s mind). Perhaps the Constucticons as we first see them are clones that truly die at the end of the episode, as the show suggests. Omega Supreme’s story could take place between the first and second seasons, although that raises other concerns. Or the Constructions in the main action of the series are the same but are themselves clones of the Constructicons that Omega Supreme knew back on Cybertron, complete with their memories.

Even those whose body types were different aren’t immune to this possibility. Maybe the reason why Soundwave was designed to blend in with those things on the bridge leading to Iacon in the first episode wasn’t because he was designed to blend in, but was a clone of the same characters that also transformed into those weird things on the bridge. There’s a well-known moment in one episode in which Shockwave uses a gun which is designed on himself in gun mode (also raising the question as to why he has a gun in the first place). Maybe that was his Mini-Me?

So did Megatron resort to cloning Decepticon soldiers as a last-ditch attempt to win the war? It wouldn’t really affect the show any if that was true, but it’s a story idea worth exploring.

3.Ash the Pokémon trainer is actually Ash from the Evil Dead series, and all of the events in the anime are his delusions.
I’m not actually proposing this one. I just find it funny.

3.Mega Man is designed to fail.
If Dr. Light is able to design and build all of this technology, why not just give it to Mega Man in the first place? Sure, it’s a handy thing to be adaptive but can’t he have a few more abilities from the get-go? Even ignoring that, why is he built so weak compared to the hostile advancements that he has to explore? I would think that Dr. Light could just give Mega Man the ability to fly and be done with it. Then he wouldn’t have to worry about disappearing platforms.

Dr. Light could be in cahoots with Dr. Wily. But he already created Rock and has to do something with him. Instead of simply switching him off, Dr. Light still has some sentimentality left in him. He upgrades Rock just enough to possibly survive. Mega Man may constantly exceed Dr. Light’s expectations, but he’s not meant to upset Dr. Wily’s plans.

Or I could just be expressing my frustration with how difficult the games are.

4.Everybody knows that Prince Adam is He-man.
He-Man is incredibly useful. Even Eternia’s armies are unable to deal with the threat of Skeletor. So when this super-strong barbarian shows up again and again to defeat the forces of evil, not to mention that he could kick your own ass, you humor him when he insists that you can’t tell who he is. In other words, everybody knows that he’s also Prince Adam but they play along with his attempt to keep his identity secret.

This explains away two things: the fact that he doesn’t disguise himself in either identity and that there’s really no reason for him to keep his identity a secret in the first place. Even Skeletor might know the truth, but doesn’t care. When He-man is He-man he’s Skeletor’s advisory more so than as Prince Adam. Skeletor simply interacts with He-man, therefore that’s the name he uses.

I used to think that the reason that everybody treats He-Man and Prince Adam differently is that through the magic of Greyskull, they see him as two different people. Now I’m convinced that they can see him for who his is and just pretend to go along with the game.

5.The last four James Bond movies are not reboots.
Think about what the guy has had to go through. Never mind that the adventures that we actually see. There’s his backstory to deal with as well. While they never go into full detail we get some hints such as that he was orphaned at an early age and that he was a distinguished naval officer before joining MI6. At some point it wouldn’t be surprising if he developed post-traumatic stress disorder. As such, the last four movies are more delusions than a reboot of the franchise.

To that end, the delusions could have started a lot earlier. This could explain recurring elements in his life, such as constantly turning into a younger man on his “adventures,” as well as a revolving variety of Felix Leiters. Even if he isn’t suffering constant hallucinations, his mental problems might explain his womanizing and drinking habits.

—–

There you have it. I was going to write multiple blog posts today because I had to skip the last could of days. This blog post turned out to be so long that I’m going to count this one as having served that purpose. Hopefully that it also served its purpose of spreading my weird ideas out there to their respective fandoms. Even if they aren’t accepted as “urban legends,” at least they might give somebody some amusement.

I bought a toaster today. Yes, that’s what this blog post is about. #toaster

I bought a new toaster today from the department store I work at. It seems to work okay, although it had a funky smell the first time I used it. I think I probably should have cleaned it first. I am concerned about the fact that when the toast pops up I can see a flash from behind the handle. Should I stop using it? I wouldn’t think anything of it if the same thing hadn’t happened to my other toaster before it died. Could there be something wrong with the outlet? Or is it just because I get cheap toasters?

To that end, I wouldn’t mind the expense if I couldn’t use the thing anymore. We had a special shopping day today in which employees get thirty percent off everything. I ended up getting the thing for seven bucks. (Math quiz: how much was the toaster originally? How cheap are the parts? How much do I spend on the bread to put in it?) I knew what I was getting when I paid for it.  Nevertheless, I’d like to be able to use it. Microwaving my bread just isn’t the same.

I suppose I could try a different outlet to see if I get the same results. It could also be that I’m using the wrong kind of toaster with the electrical writing in my kitchen. Somehow I doubt. I don’t think of toasters as major appliances that require an electrician to install.

I’m now thinking that maybe that funky smell is related to the flashing.* Perhaps it was just something in the mechanism of popping up the toast that caused some of whatever residue was in the toaster to burn up. Maybe if I used it a few more times it will go away. I think I’ll try that. In the meantime, however, I’m going to keep the toaster unplugged when not in use.

Did I really just write a whole blog post about at toaster?  Would that be a blog toast? I guess I invested so much of today’s word count on the one subject it didn’t feel right to meander as much as I normally do. You could say that I was on a roll.

I was actually going to try to come up with more bread-related puns but I didn’t want to spend that much time trying to think of any. For that matter, I’ve never put a roll into a toaster. I would have to cut what I think would be a normal-sized roll in two pieces to even stick them into the damn thing, and then they would be too small to get out of it. How does that work? Can we actually defy mathematical laws with a small appliance and baked goods? I sure hope so. In that case I hope that this blog post in particular will one day be regarded one of the milestones in the history of science.

*Now imagine if I started the blog post with that sentence. Would you automatically think of appliances, or my lewd activities in public spaces?

Why can’t we all get bit by a radioactive spider? #spiderman #comics

If getting bitten by a radioactive spider gives you superpowers, the why aren’t there more Spider-people in the Marvel universe around? I’m not saying that I expect that radioactive spiders going around biting people are a common thing for the comic book-land in question (although I wouldn’t be surprised if it was), but surely at some point somebody would come along and figure out how Spider-Man got his powers and then duplicate them with a whole spider-army. For that matter, does this only apply to spiders? What about other animals? Could radioactivity cause Coyote-Woman, Mongoose-Man or Turtle-Ninja?

All of which leads me to the hard-hitting question: if I was bit by a radioactive human, would I feel everything I do doubly? I need the answer to this. If I ever had kids, I need these answers ready. Remember, these would be my children. They would ask.

Before any die-hard comic fans send me messages pointing out the various Spider-characters in the Marvel comics I should say that I am aware of them. I am not an avid reader myself but I know there are at least a few different characters with similar powers to Spider-Man. But it still seems like a big storyline that should recur every so often. One would think that there would be more people who would try to get spider-powers for themselves.

Let’s take this Spidey-science further. What if a radioactive human bit another animal? Would Human-Dog suddenly gain special abilities that are specifically human? I picture a dog standing upright and constantly evaluating his self-worth. I would hate to think that he would lose aspects of his dog-ness, such as hearing only the range that we humans can hear. As I don’t know much about dogs and don’t have time or interest in researching them, I won’t continue with that logic for now. But again, it seems like untapped potential for the comics.

One could ask why I’m picking on Spider-Man comics so much with this blog post. Sure, the science is ridiculous, but isn’t buying into that part of the fun? After all, what super-heroes in Marvel comics specifically, but comic books in general, aren’t unrealistic? Alright, you could name a few—Batman and the Punisher come to mind. But the latter’s moral sense aside, could either one really be considered a superhero when they don’t have superpowers? Now that I think of it, that probably should have been the topic for this post instead of my stupid ranting about Spider-Man. I think that maybe later today I’ll go ahead and explore that topic. I don’t normally like to write about the same subject two posts in a row, but hey—this saves me from having to think of anything later.

Actually, I notice that when I start keeping up the blog more regularly, my creative juices are flowing more as well. That’s going to become my new super-identity: Regular Blog Man! “Uh-oh, my blog sense is tingling! I must write about what I’m sensing!” If only….

Conversations about the weather and phones.

Last night I had decided to head out to downtown in Portsmouth for a snack. It was a nice night out so I sat out doors with my food and coffee. Market Square was busy that time of the evening. It was probably the last weekend many people around here would be able to go out on a night like that. Of the tables on the sidewalk in front of this coffee shop I sat on the sorts of which allowed me to bear witness to all sorts of conversation from passers-by.

I know that means I was subjecting myself to the lowest-common denominator in that case. Still, it strikes me as tragic that in this information age people are still resorting to talking about the weather. I don’t mean conversations about climate change or even what the weather was like when somebody went on a recent vacation—in such cases the focus isn’t really on the weather itself. I mean that people would be walking by with their dates and say something along the lines of “nice night tonight, isn’t it?” as if the other person wasn’t also there.

I suppose that complaining about people talking about the weather is becoming almost as inane as people talking about the weather. At least it probably is for me. But now I can add another one to the mix that I heard last night. Since when is buying a new phone a conversation piece? On top of that, the conversation I heard wasn’t even along the lines of “look what I got.” The woman was talking about a mutual friend of theirs who got the latest iPhone. Why is that interesting?

For that matter, why is it news? Are we really so desperate to distract ourselves from the problems of the world that we’re giving airtime* to people standing in line to buy a phone? It’s not even innovative technology at this point. On top of that I still say that most people should not have cell phones if they don’t need them. (Unless, of course, you use your cell phone to read this blog in which case your cell phone is a great idea.) But they’re still just gadgets and unless you’re playing show-and-tell with your friends, they’re not interesting to talk about. But hey, at least they can tell you what the weather is.

Maybe I only noticed these things because I was trying to write a blog post. I wasn’t there to people-watch but I have this nasty habit of trying to distract myself from doing something productive. Then again, trying to do something productive while going out on a Saturday night probably wasn’t the best of ideas. That’s not to mention that I was sitting around in my apartment for most of the day beforehand watching movies. They can stimulate the mind, sure, but I didn’t want to write yet another blog post about movies right away. I should have done what I’m doing today—writing a blog post first thing in the morning once I got to clear my mind with sleep.

If you’re interested, it’s raining outside my apartment right now.

*Just a figure of speech at this point, I know. It seemed to make the sentence flow well so I stuck with it.