Friday, December 30, 2016

Happy Birthday!

Today is our eldest daughter's birthday.  There is no way that I plan on ever letting any one know exactly what age she is.  She does have the gene in the family that allows her to not tell the exact truth, if she so desires.  What she does know is that she can't possibly tell her true age because that would cause a problem with the age that I give as my own.  

This is the part that I will share with you  -  we came by this naturally.  My grandmother actually did something a very long time ago when she married my grandfather.  An older woman did not marry a younger man in 'those olden days.'  So, my grandmother was quite a looker and my grandfather fell for her and proposed.  I am not quite sure how she got by with it all, however, she did get by with knocking a few years off her age when they officially married.

That went on as a deep, dark secret for many, many years.  Why not?  It was not hurting anyone.  No problems at all.  Until the day that she decided to go traveling overseas with her sisters.  Ah...a passport had to be acquired, and this meant a real birth certificate. Since my grandfather had no interest in traveling overseas, then how would he know?  

These two wonderfully happily married people loved each other and trusted one another to the nth  degree.  To the point of when the mail arrived, whoever was home just opened it all and put it in the piles to sort through and take care of.  The day that my grandmother's passport arrived, my grandfather opened the mail. He looked over the passport and I heard him talking a bit to himself from my room, however, I could not make out what he said.  

My grandmother arrived home from her beauty shop appointment and out of the blue my grandfather said, "Well, hey there 'old lady!"
You could have heard a pin drop for about 30 seconds.  My mother, my brother, my grandmother and I could not believe that he would ever say such a thing to our grandmother.  He was always the soft spoken quiet one.  What was he thinking?

Then, when he started waving a paper, which turned out to be my grandmother's passport, he explained that all these years she was actually older than he was.  Oh, I can tell you that he played this one up big time.  Was he upset?  No!  My grandmother was a bit upset.  The cat was out of the bag.  And in front of everyone.  It is a story that he never, ever let her live down.  Whenever he tried to bring it up she would just say, "Now you hush that foolish talk, Max!"  It was so adorable to watch the two of them.  

I never forgot that scene.  So...really, about the age thing?  It is a natural for all of the females in the family to follow.  It really is to the point of when I am asked my birthday, I have to really think if they really need my real birthday or one of the fake ones.  Finally, I made it easy on myself and went exactly ten years.  Soon, I may change that.  We shall see!

So, Jennifer...Happy Birthday to YOU - whatever age you may be!

Friday, December 23, 2016

Boxing Day

Will return on December 30, 2016, a very special daughter's birthday. Let's celebrate!

Tomorrow is Christmas Eve

Yes, tomorrow is Christmas Eve.  It has totally been hiding from me and when I realized this and not a thing is cooked...................I have closed my Friday blog and then of course, Monday is Boxing Day, which is celebrated in a big way at our home.  (Two Brits being here and all...)  Plus it is a great way to have married children take turns with their parents and not have any hurt feelings.  It is one more day of celebration lucky we are to have such a wonderful family to spend extra days with to make this time of year so very special.

Monday, December 19, 2016

Christmas Movies

Apparently there are a kajillion Christmas movies out there in La-la- Land, which includes on standard cable tv, HD tv, satellite, Netflix, Hulu, Amazon and the old standby, Redbox.  Some old, some new, some good, some not-so-good.  This is my point today in my blog.  Who is to say what is good and what is not-so-good? What gives someone else the right to make snarky remarks about other people's tastes in movies?  What is repulsive to some is enjoyable to another.  No one can successfully dictate personal preferences. What exactly determines people's preferences seems to be a fuzzy cloud!

Did you have any idea that there is actually a study that is based on an intuitive approach using calculus to predict preferences for movies, as well as other things, such as music, books or food?  For real!  I am not kidding.  Who knew?  For me, the question is who in this world needs calculus to figure this out.  There are many more logical explanations.  Of course, to me, calculus and the word logical do not go together.  I do have a son who would argue that point with me, to a level that I could not begin to understand.

A much more logical (in some ways) explanation on tastes is based on personalities.  These studies involve the overall characteristic of people in general.  More or less, I broke it down to nine types.  It is my own belief that most of us fit into more than one type, with one being the more dominant trait.  From my small bit of training in personality testing, this is the usual case.  There are some cases where one may be so dominant in one area that all of the others must be kicked to the side.  Let's not be judgmental here.  It is what makes the world go 'round.

  • thrill seekers  -  sensation seekers  -  love horror film festivals and death defying roller coaster rides
  • instant gratification/small rewards along the way  -  ambitious  -  not very patient with long lines or rush hour traffic  -  prefers movies that will dull the bitterness of their day
  • serious side  -  always stays in the lines  -  rarely a risk taker and does not like change  -  not a boring person, more of a thoughtful person who wants to stay in their boundaries and this means to keep in their interpretation of the spirit of Christmas that is familiar and comfortable
  • high expectations  -  focused and energetic  -  lively and enthusiastic  -  fun to be with and leans to the perfectionist side  -  movies tend to not be slow moving
  • limit stretcher  -  can be judgmental and definitely picky and opinionated about what they will watch
  • a feel good movie  -  one that relieves anxiety and stress, nothing that adds to it
  • spicy  -  refined sense of taste  -  more serious and takes notice to details
  • exotic  -  flexible  -  is willing to try anything once  -  very easy going and to this person life is an adventure
  • sweet and charming  -  willingness to help others in need  -  a prototype of their sex, in other words the men are usually macho men and the women are feminine in all ways  -  also they rely on their intuition more frequently than others  -  can be vulnerable in relationships due their romantic inclinations

Out of these nine traits, surely you were able to find at least one category that you may fit in or maybe more?  I know that I found 4 for myself, which I will keep to myself basically.  I do know that what prompted me to write this blog was the fact that I mentioned that I had never seen A Christmas Story.  This was to the horror of a number of very good friends, all telling me that this is a classic, a family tradition, their favorite movie, etc.  A few said they had never seen it either and another group said that they had seen it, however, it was the worse movie they had ever seen.  

I would say that out of these three groups of likes/dislikes/never saw before that the like group took up about 50%, dislikes about 35% and 15% were like me in that they had never seen it before. So, you will be able to pick out one of my personality traits from up above when I tell you that I had to see it because I will try anything once.  My husband and I watched 'in agony' together.  We got through the movie, barely.  There were times that I was ready to hit the STOP button.  I did not, instead I got up to get a little more merlot.  It eased the pain.  Now, if you read carefully all of the traits above, here is the clue for my second trait  -  I want to watch something that takes the anxiety and stress out of my day, not add to it.  Bullies making someone stick their tongue to a frozen pole, roasted ducks having their heads chopped off while the Chinese waiters sang the right tune with the wrong consonants based on their accent and let's not forget the saying that has been permanently imprinted on my brain for life, "You'll shoot your eye out."  

It is my belief that this movie will haunt me forever now.  The very next day in the local paper the political editorial cartoon used the saying, "You'll shoot your eye out!"  The night before, I dreamed about bullies chasing me trying to get me to stick my tongue on a frozen pole and men running after the ducks in our neighborhood trying to chop their heads off.  This is so not right.  I hope that soon I will be able to put this movie behind me.  It will take a lot of Bing Crosby's White Christmases and Holiday Inns along with my all time favorite Love Actually.

This is my taste for movies and I know that you all have your own as well.  That is why one of my favorite sayings is, "To each his own!"  Just go out or curl up and enjoy watching and getting into the Christmas spirit.  That is what it is all about.  Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 16, 2016

Difference Between a 5 Star and a 1 Star

There is a huge difference in a 5 star and a 1 star review of a restaurant.  Many factors can be thrown in that will make changes from day to day, however, the way that the manager responds can make all the difference in the world.  Let me give you some examples that I am sure many of you have experienced yourselves.  
Recently, we decided to go to one of our favorite tried and true restaurants for an evening meal.  Although, at this time the restaurant did not take reservations, you could call and get your name put on the waiting list, instead of arriving and doing so at that time.  We were told that it would be about a 45 minute wait.  The two of us decided to head out to arrive a bit earlier, as we knew that we could have a drink at the bar to wait the few more minutes.

That is exactly what we did.  The minutes kept ticking way on past the 45 minute wait that we were told, so I started watching the guests coming in.  They had not called in advance, gave their names and then within a very short time frame were seated. Hmmm...what is wrong with this picture?  We did go over to the hostess and asked where our name was on the list.  All I can say is, "Attitude?"  All from a simple question that was asked in a quiet, polite tone?  She gave us a bunch of excuses and told us that our names would be called shortly.  In about ten minutes they were called and we were being seated at a booth where another hostess was also seating some customers.  One of these customers threw herself into the booth, as to claim and stake it out, and said that this was their booth. I can assure you that neither my husband nor I would get in an argument over a booth.  She already had pretty much on her own made a fool of herself.  We did not need to join in.   

Our hostess did escort us to another booth and the evening just went on from one disaster to another.  Food orders arriving late and cold.  Our waiter was new and nervous and seemed to have no mentor to help him.  Clueless was the word in neon letters over his head.  It was not something that you expect from a restaurant such as this one.  We did not raise a stink about the food, the service or the atmosphere.  Clearly, there was not a manager in place, or if there was, he or she remained anonymous.  

After paying and arriving home, I decided to write to the manager of the restaurant, just to let him know that for as many times as we have been there, never have we witnessed such events that we experienced this night.  Clearly, he was not there and he did need to to be made aware.  I know that I would hope someone would tell me if it were my restaurant or else I would be closed down if this kept up. 

The very next day I received a phone call from the manager apologizing and asking if my husband and I would give the restaurant a chance to earn back their reputation...and that it was on the house.  The only stipulation is that he wanted us to come when he was there.  Apparently, he wanted to meet us in person and thank us for sharing our experience in such a professional manner.  He stated that he never quite knew what to say when he received e-mails that were smeared with four letter words complaining about everything and demanding refunds.  There are actually people who do this habitually just to get out of paying for their meals. 

To sum this all up, the manager was very special, took time to talk to us, understood that we were not trying to get something for nothing and we made a new friend that we still wave to and say hello when we return to the restaurant.  This is how a real manager or owner handles problems that will invariably come up from time to time.

My next example is not quite the same.  This restaurant is locally owned with one downtown and now one out in the suburbs.  We had been to the one downtown.  Lots of fun, great atmosphere and good food and service!  The one in the suburbs is less than three miles from our home so we finally decided to try it out.   Surprisingly, it was not busy, even though it was lunch time.  We were seated immediately, as more than 3/4 of the restaurant was empty.  Sometimes, this is a clue.  In this case, most definitely it was.  We had a great waiter.  He took our order and refilled our drinks a few times, apologizing for how long it was taking for our food.  

The food finally arrived.  Why had taken so long?  Not clear on that.  Both of us on the first bite, had to tell each other that it was not cooked thoroughly.  It was cold.  It was not edible. We had waited so much longer than we had imagined and for cold food.  At this point, I was truly no longer hungry, more like a bit fed up.  We called our waiter over to tell him that the food was cold, we did not want to wait longer for it to be made over again.  We asked for our check, thinking that it would be taken into account that we could only eat a couple of things on our plate and had our drinks.  

This was not the case.  We paid.  We left.  This time when we arrived home, my husband wrote to the owner personally.  It was a letter filled with our experience, no four letter words and no ranting or venting.  This owner obviously had given his manager the liberty to take care of his customers' mail.  This manager wrote back to us that she was in the restaurant at the time that we were, however, she could not come out because she was so busy cooking due to being short-handed in the kitchen.  She apologized for how the waiter treated us.  Let's just say that she put the whole problem on the one person who were had contact with and was polite and apologetic. How could he have cooked the inedible food?  How could he have taken so long in getting it up on the serving line to be served?  We watched the other few tables having the same problems.  And it was most definitely not the waiter.  He was the only waiter in the place that we ever saw.  There were only four tables of patrons to wait on. It was not his fault.

My husband and I are not confrontational people.  It was not a high end restaurant.  Maybe we are lucky because the times we have chosen to eat at high end restaurants, we have been treated with utmost respect and served high quality food with perfect service.  

This experience was not worth causing a scene.   It was the second letter ever written to let the manager/owner know of our problems that we encountered.  We were not expecting anything more than an apology, certainly not a letter blaming some poor 18 year old waiter, who was left to the wolves by a boss.  Will we return?  No. And I can tell you that when I drive by this restaurant there are not many cars in the parking lot.  My guess is that the restaurant will not be open for very much longer.  

In my mind it is not that mistakes can't happen.  They do and they will.  We are all human.  It is what happens next that really matters. It is all in the attitude.  Don't be afraid to reach for the stars!  

Monday, December 12, 2016

Under the Weather

Exactly where did the term 'under the weather' originate from and about when was it first used?  From the research that I sourced, it was used around 1893 as 'under the weather bow,' meaning that was the side of the ship that took the brunt of the rough seas, therefore causing passengers to become seasick.  Thus, they were 'under the weather bow.'

In today's times, we use the term 'under the weather' to refer to one as not feeling well, not necessarily from seasickness. For example, I happen to have a touch of something.  About a week ago, I thought it was a cold, and now I am leaning toward a case of a soon to be full blown sinus infection.  Before that happens I am off to the doctor. 

Going along with me would be my husband, who most definitely has a really bad case of being 'under the weather.'  He has had walking pneumonia twice so there will be no hesitation of getting him checked out based on how long he has had his symptoms. Just speaking frankly, are we the only ones that seem to find it hard to know when to call for an appointment?  Also, when it is time to take sick days and just rest instead of barreling through it all as if you were Super Human?   

Unless a person has a fever, is vomiting or has diarrhea, or a real migraine headache, when do you know that when your head is in a fog from sinus problems, your throat is scratchy, you are coughing and sneezing that it is time to stay home?  In today's world, how many of us have co-workers who come in this way and are friendly enough to share what they have with all who are around them?  It is not the proper thing to do, yet we all have been there.  

Needless to say that when the onset of what seems to be a cold, it is more than likely the right thing to do to skip the doctor at first and stay in bed with a warm blanket and sleep it off.  This gives your body time to heal without sharing your cold with those around you. The question then becomes when do you know that it is not getting better so that you can call and get in to see the doctor?  Knowing that especially during the cold and flu season, that you may have to wait a day or two until the doctor's office can fit you in for an appointment.  This is probably why so many drug stores and other places have set up little emergency clinics.  These are for walk-ins, taking your chance on how long you must sit in the waiting area to actually get to see the doctor.  Plus, remember that you are seeing a doctor that really has no history of your health.  Sort of a catch 22 situation. 

The best thing to do is to take good care of yourself to help avoid getting 'under the weather.'  Not always possible, I know.  You probably know the drill of what to do as well as I do, yet here I sit 'under the weather.'  When I am over this bit of being 'under the weather', I will dutifully wash my hands frequently and yes, I will use hand sanitizer.  Getting enough sleep, eating good things for our bodies are very important and getting exercise does boost your immune system.  The old saying of eating chicken noodle soup and having cups of hot tea does have some merit.  It feels so wonderful on the throat as it goes down. Hands need to stay away from your face, something that I have to work on, for sure.  Lysol wipes are great to keep in your desk drawer to wipe telephones, doorknobs and keyboards/desktops when others use them. 

The one thing to avoid doing is to google your symptoms when you don't feel well.  It is the most efficient way to convince yourself you're dying.   A healthy way to look at how to handle being sick with a cold or sinus problems is to remember that it is just your body's way of saying you're way too awesome, and you need to slow down, so everyone else can catch up.  

Friday, December 9, 2016

High Tea

There is something very special about sharing a cup of tea with someone.  Let me say that I mean in the proper British way of sharing a cuppa tea.  First let me give you a brief history lesson on the tradition of having tea.  At one time in the UK, there was a High Tea and and Afternoon Tea.  The difference was that the High Tea was usually a mug of tea for the working classes who did not get home from work until 6:00 p.m. They were famished.  It was served with bread, vegetables, cheese, and occasionally meat.  High tea was usually served at a dining table.  This was very common in the industrial areas of the UK, and became known as "tea time."  

In comparison, Afternoon Tea was more of a social event for the upper classes, however it was a bridge between meals because they usually did not eat dinner until 8 p.m. It became a mini meal in itself.  This tea time was usually taken while sitting in low comfortable chairs or sofas.  The upper class soon developed their own High Tea that became a meal that they could prepare themselves when their servants were away. Usually it consisted of veal, salmon, pigeon and fruits, along with the biscuits and cheese.  

For the most part, now it is called "tea time" and happens at 4 p.m. It is a bit more simple, consisting of a cup of tea and perhaps a biscuit or scone.  There are restaurants in the UK where the name High Tea is still used to advertise the venue of an Afternoon Tea, basically because there is a large population of overseas customers who wish to experience the tradition.

There most definitely is an etiquette to follow if you are out for High Tea or Afternoon Tea.  The dress code is not formal, however, it is a relaxed smart casual dress.  No need for jackets or ties for men.  Trousers or very smart jeans with a collared shirt is fine.  For women, it is the perfect excuse to get dressed up.  

Are you aware that there is a history of the simple addition of adding cream to your cup of tea?  The upper class had very delicate porcelain china teacups.  They added their cream first so that the boiling hot water would not crack the china.  The servants had older china or mugs so that their cream was put in after the tea was poured.  In today's times, the restaurants pour your first cup of tea and allow you to add your own cream afterwards.  

Pinkys up?  Not necessary.  Looks rather silly, if you ask me, just as if you picked up a delicate china tea cup and grasped it in the palm of your hand.  Just as there are no hard and fast rules about whether to put the jam or the cream on your scone first or how you actually go about to properly eat a scone.  Really it boils down to which is more comfortable for you without having a mishap.  The only real big no-no is to please not dunk your scone or biscuit in your tea. Heavens forbid, ya'll, I can see that happening.

This blog was written because for the first time, my husband and I will be going to The Peabody for Afternoon Tea in their Chez Philippe Restaurant.  I know that it will be an atmosphere of grace and elegance.  The Peabody from top to bottom is the epitome of southern hospitality and tradition.  It will be grand to see the Lobby decorated with the 30 foot Christmas tree, along with all of the other decorations, including the ducks swimming in their fountain right in the middle of it all. I have been told that all of the servers are top trained professionals, but to ask if Evan has a table available.  We really are looking forward to that because the most important thing to remember is that Afternoon Tea is meant to be fun and to enjoy.  

I do know that I adore it when my British husband asks me in the afternoon if I would fancy a cup of tea.  It makes it tastes even better along with that British accent.  

Monday, December 5, 2016

Remote Queen

Gadgets really are not my thing.  I am placing the TV remote control as an item in this category.  Let me first say that two of the television sets that are in our house, I can not work.  The only one that I could work was in perfect health but as old as dirt.  That is probably why I could work it.  (No comments from the peanut gallery, please.)  It is just that the TV that I could work is in our bedroom and rarely do we watch TV in bed.  

As of last week, some things have changed.  I have become the Remote Queen for our brand new 65" flat screen wall mounted TV. Previously, the smaller flat screen that was on a stand had three, yes count them,, dos, tres remotes to operate the dang thing. Now I ask you if that is acceptable?  I will even answer for you...NO, it is not.  I had directions written by me in my own special gizmo language as to what buttons to push on which remote in order to listen to Pandora while I worked.  My husband talked me through it as I wrote it specifically for my brain.  That was the only screen that I could get to with the remotes.  Sad, but true.  The few times that I tried something else, my very patient husband spent quite a bit of time backtracking to figure out what I had pushed to make things not work properly.  

When our new TV arrived to be installed and mounted on the wall, I was the only one home.  When all was ready, the man gave me one remote.  ONE! This one remote is a simple one.  It took him about five minutes to demonstrate and then let me repeat what he had shown me.  There are very few buttons to click on or off.  I LOVE IT.  What I really and truly love?  At this time, I am the only one who knows how to work it.  Will I share my knowledge? Maybe.  Maybe not.  The simplicity of it really shakes up this wonderful man of mine, just as much as the complexity of the three remotes did for me.  

For right now, I am loving being the remote queen.  I am quite sure that as soon as I am out of the house, he will take the remote and figure it out.  He is a very intelligent man.  All it takes is just a little playing with the few clickable buttons to know how to get to the guide menu and figure out what the few other ones are capable of doing.  I believe that I deserve just a few days or maybe a whole week of just relishing in the fact that I can work a remote to the TV that my husband cannot.    

Friday, December 2, 2016

How Did I Have Time?

Originally, today's blog was going to head in a totally different direction.  Just to freshen your mind or to give you information that you may not be aware of...I retired eleven months ago.  My plan was to start on my creative side of life.  Writing, painting, decorating, etc...and of course, this meant that I could be my own boss now, choosing when I would be working and how long.  I did get in to my own little groove.  For the most part it works for me.

When days like today come along, and there have been plenty before today, I have to sit back and ask myself the question of when did I have time to work?  Seriously!  My job was not the kind of job that I could close my door and do what I needed to do with phone calls to insurance companies, doctors, plumbers, electricians, computer repairs and everyone else that it takes to keep your house and yourself up to par.  Most definitely, it did not include being able to go on line for tickets to performances that my husband and I wanted to see.  I also am thinking that when my husband and I got home from work, how we rushed around like crazy people to get dinner going, laundry moving through, dishwasher emptied or loaded, and an exercise routine or to stop off at the gym. How did we do it? 

We ate dinner much later than we do now, which meant that we went to bed later and we got up each work day at 5:30 A.M.  How? Now, that is the question that I ask myself.  How did we do it?  I know most days that 6 hours of sleep was the best that we could do, and we were lucky if we got that.  Some how we managed on it. Now, with me retired and working from home, things have changed.

Things have changed for the better, that is for sure.  I do have to pinch myself just to remind me that when days like today come along, which was just a constant interruption kind of day, it is okay. Things will work out in some kind of fashion, probably for the best. Each day I start with a short meditation and put a positive mantra up for myself on FaceBook.  Today, before the day even got into the frenziness of it all, my quote was from Oprah, "Sometimes when you plan a little less,  you experience a little more."  YES! This is so very true.  Another way of wording and interpreting this is that we all need to just go with the flow when 'stuff' starts to happen.  It is all okay that your plan went out the window because you may actually get to experience new and unusual things that will surprise you in a good way.   

For example, it is a sweet and infrequent treat when our daughter gets to stop in to say hi (and I might add with a no fat coffee frappuccino just for me).  Also, the two of us schemed up a few wonderful gift ideas that just popped up out of nowhere.  We took total advantage of that.  I wish I could go into more detail on these two ideas, however our husbands read this blog and it would give too much away for now. Most definitely a future blog.  Another interruption treat that was taking place was to get tickets to a local Shakespeare Company for Much Ado About Nothing for the holidays.  All of these things that I am writing about came about with no prior planning.  That is the beauty of letting a plan go or planning less in order to experience a bit more.

Speaking of holidays, trying to get gifts wrapped in a timely fashion without all being piled up as if to say to me that there is no way you can work ten hours a day, take care of your home life and wrap all of us.  (much less shop for them all)  I still repeat my question of how in the world did I have time? There is an answer. We make time.  We do without needed sleep.  Must we put some things on the back burner for a time?  Yes!  I was never really very good at that.  Only when absolutely necessary did this happen in my life.  Still working on that.    

Probably the biggest surprise for me about retirement is not the fact that I am busier than I was when I was working a 50 - 60 hours a week; it is the fact that there are retired people who are bored. Actually, I had to do a little research on this subject in order to wrap my head around the concept.  Now I do get it...we don't wait around for the Maytag repairman on a daily basis.  Good thing, because who has that kind of money in retirement, much less when we were working in the "real world."  

What the surprising thing was that they had not planned on any particular thing to occupy their time and their minds.  It may take some trial and error activities to sort it all out, yet this is the fun of it all.  Just start jotting down things that you did not have time to do when you worked that you wished you had been able to do.  Let's see:

  • learn a new language
  • join a card club
  • get involved in your family tree
  • photography
  • gardening
  • travel
  • learn a new instrument
  • fishing/boating/hunting/camping
  • community classes in cooking or other interests
  • mentoring at a school
  • painting/sculpting
  • writing
  •  rent an rv to see the United States

The list is endless.  The point being is that we are only limited in what we can pursue by our own imagination.  It is our own responsibility to fill our days with our own creative endeavors. Most other retirees that I talk to and meet are doing just this very thing in one way or another.  Every once in a while, I hear from usually the child or the sibling of someone who is not taking to retirement so well.  In fact, besides sleeping the day away, watching tv , not dressing or getting out, they are not doing much of anything to enjoy their sense of purpose because they lost it somewhere along the way.  This is not how retirement is supposed to be.  

Retirement is change.  From long, long ago Socrates said so brilliantly, "The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new."  Don't we all want to build the kind of life that makes us happy?  Life doesn't come with a rewind, fast forward or pause button.  Once it starts, it plays until it ends or until you press stop.  Please don't press stop.