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Welcome to the BOMB.

The Blog Of the "Mother" of Bandit.
Bandit is my Hairless Chinese Crested--he's the "normal" one. I, on the other hand, am unrepentantly "pet-crazy." You know the type--the spinster who lives in the haunted house three blocks over with 72 cats...okay, so I don't have 72 cats, and my house isn't haunted--but my dogs wardrobe is better than mine! Need I say more? :~)
I've never been consistant at journaling, so the timing of my blogs will be sporadic at best. I just hope they are as entertaining to you as they are to me; however, be forewarned: Most of my blogs will be about The BaldOne. In spite of his Don King "do," I think he's just as cute as any of the Brothers B!
Now, if I can just remember not to get him wet--or feed him after midnight...

About Me

My photo
My bags are packed and I'm always ready to seek out an adventure with Bandit and Moggy in tow. Bandit is my thirteen year old Chinese Crested, who I frequently call The Bald One or The BaldOne Boy (like he was one of the Baldwin Brothers). Moggy’s full name is Pip-Moggy. He’s my two year old gansta-resuce kitty. I couldn’t decide between Pip (which are the spots on die and domino tiles) and Moggy (or Moggie when I mistakenly thought he was a she), so I combined the two. Moggy refers to the British term for "cat of unknown parentage .” So in essence, I have an almost bald dog, and I’ve named my cat “Spot.”

Fun Stuff (I'm doing now or have done)

  • Artistic Attempts weekly (alternating between Painting With A Twist, That Art Place, and Peniot's Palette).
  • Bunko with the Belton Bunko Babes monthly.
  • Participating in the A to Z Blogging Challenge.
  • Spades and Liverpool Rummy with the Spadetts weekly.
  • The Mighty Texas Dog Walk, Austin (fund raiser for Service Dogs, Inc--they train shelter dogs to be Service Dogs, then give them free of charge to people with disabilities.)

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Threads of Truth

The other day I remembered the parlor game (who calls them parlor games any more?!)  Two Truths and a Lie, so it seemed natural to make that the emphasis for my Facebook post when I had several odd things happen to me in the course of a day.

Only, I didn't do it right. I messed up the post. I can only attribute it to my sleep deprived state since I've just concluded week number six of six-day work weeks. Or maybe I posted after midnight. I've learned I should never post after midnight. I'm like a Gremlin--don't let me post after midnight or bad things will occur. I'm just too tired. The spelling is disastrous and the sentence structure is wonky. At best. At worst, well, let's just say it's illegible.

So, for whatever reason, my parlor game inspired post was a wreak.

This is what I should have posted:

Hey y'all~ I've come up with a new game. I'm calling it, "Threads of Truth."  I'll describe three things that happened to me--all with at least a shred of truth. You pick out the most true event.

All righty, here we go!

     A horse came inside the  Cefco store.
     I played Hide-n-Seek at the funeral home.
     My magic spoon changed colors.

A multi-talented friend who is an artist, has been a public school teacher, and who is currently a Registered Nurse, responded saying the spoon was the lie.  I love a good mystery--especially when it's filled with Red Herrings, so I had posted a photo of a temperature activated yogurt spoon in mid color change along with the list.  I told her it was in fact a color changing spoon, albeit governed by the rules of science rather than magic. Therefore, it's a half-true statement.

A friend since our college days when I, the Nursing student, would color anything she or any other Elementary Education major needed coloring, picked the horse as the lie--which was totally true--that is to say, she was right, but in my sleep befuddled state I forgot I had not changed the game rules and told her I was calling it a half true because of perceptions:  as I left the Cefco a woman  walked in with her long-handled leather purse hanging off her back and the fringe hung down to her calves making it appear that she sported a horses tail. Because I mucked it up, I told her the perception that she was a horse made it a half true.  But again, I had  mucked up the game and my response.

The first responder was the friend who actually chose the answer I was going for--but for the wrong reason--again, because I mucked it up.  This friend is a wonderful baker.  I met her when I commissioned her to bake and decorate a cake for a group of friends who had successfully competed a 48Hour Film Project in Houston.  For anyone not familiar with the 48Hour Film Project, it's an international competition in which each team has 48 hours to pick their genre out of a bag, develop, write, cast, costume, direct, film, produce, edit, add music and special effects, yada yada yada, and deliver the completed film to a predetermined film drop--all within 48 hours.  To make things even more interesting, every film must include a specific prop and line of dialogue no one is privy to until the genres have been picked.  Cities all over the world hold these contests, the winners of the cities move up the contest ladder to regional, and beyond.  Eventually the overall winner makes it to Cannes. We've never even made it to honorable mention in the first level. But we have a sleepless, fun-filled, hard-working weekend, and bragging rights for completing the task.  Not all teams do. The real fun for me is attending screening night--seeing your film up on the big screen is a rush!  I love to see the creativity of the competing teams--and I try to spot the prop and hear the dialogue in all the other films.  Sometimes they are buried and obscure.  Sometimes they are blatantly obnoxious.

Anyway, I received the name of a baker from a mutual friend and I left an oddly obscure cake-job proposal on her answering machine. Not only did I not scare her off, she delivered the perfect cake.  Literally. I didn't even have to pick up the cake.  This friend is very creative, but has had a string of loser office jobs, which I think she needs to ditch--so she can start up her own catering business full time.  She was the friend who said playing hide-and-seek at the funeral home was the lie.  She picked the right event for the rules that were running around in my head, but I had mucked them up when I wrote them.  This statement of course was actually the FULL truth...

Minding my own business, looking at photo displays and memorabilia of a friend that passed, I felt two tiny hands on my butt. I turned to see who was overly friendly and found myself looking down at a cute little 2-3 year old girl who obviously thought she knew me. Realizing her mistake she startled, then recovered her composure and began to babble at me as a second munchkin joined us. It took a fourth repeat, plus a round of charade-like action before I finally translated their babble, "I hide, you count." So I obliged.  I covered my eyes and began to quietly count. I then quietly sought high and low before I found them. At which point the quiet reverence was broken as they shrieked with glee. Meanwhile, the Grands had turned around and were chagrined that the munchkins had conned me in to a game. I gently reminded the kidos that "inside voices" were imperative. When they shrieked a second time, and a third, shrieking toddler ran and joined us, I reluctantly ended the game. Making my apologies to the mourners closest to me, I told the Grands the kiddos were precious, and I quickly exited stage left.  And that's the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth....with just a slight amount of embellishment allowed by creative license. The mourners there who know me, expected nothing less.

Due to my lifelong habitual tardiness, Daddy used to tell me I would be late  to my wedding, to which I countered, I would write it into my will that I must be late to my funeral.

Now I'm going to have to add that we must also play a game, because this was the most fun viewing I've ever attended.

Yeah, I know it's borderline sacrilegious.   I agree there is a time for reverence.  That was why I insisted we use our inside voices. But I also think if we are going to "celebrate the life of the dearly departed," then we should do so with laughter.

And I ask you, who celebrates life better than a happily shrieking three-year old?

Friday, April 29, 2016

Power Browsing

After my iron infusion today I did a quick walk-thru the Baylor Scott & White gift shop, where I overheard a lady, doing her own quick walk-thru, say, "Some people Power Walk--I Power Look."   I loved the phrase and told the speaker I was stealing it. Only, I'm changing it up to make it more reflective of my style.

You see, I Power Browse.

I know--it sounds as if it's an oxymoron--as if the terms are diametrically opposed. How could they possible go together?  Power infers decisiveness, swiftness,  no nonsense action.  Browsing implies a leisurely pace with time conducive of deeper consideration.  But I say I'm a Power Browser because I dart in the store for a quick orderly scan, starting at the perimeter, and circling in to the epicenter. During this scan, I take in the overall picture, but allow myself time to look more deeply at  no more than one or two items that catch my interest, then I dart out again. All the while I'm plotting my imitation of a victorious Douglas MacArthur.

Thinking of MacArthur reminds me of tactics and strategies.  Then it hits me:  Every successful mission, large or small, starts off with reconnaissance.  

Okay, so maybe Power Browsing isn't the best word choice. I think what I really do is Power Reconnaissance.

Yeah, that's it:  I am a practitioner of Power Recon.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

What Goes Around Comes Around—And That’s Not Always A Bad Thing.

 I rarely carry large sums of cash.  The reason  being,  if I have access to cash, I spend it. On payday I give myself an allowance for the upcoming two weeks.   Out of that allowance I also play a game and place any bills whose serial number includes  four of a kind, three sets of doubles, two sets of triples, a straight, or a full house  into my “Funny Money Vacay Fund”—my mad money for cash purchases while on vacation (I spent it down recently, but  it’s usually between $300-$500). It’s an easy way to save for fun purchases, so I don’t have to stress over vacay cash.  I’m not too strict about dipping into the stash pre-vacay—I just remind myself that’s $20 I won’t have for fun stuff if i spend it now.  Usually,  I really need the cash, the reminder  usually stops me from dipping into the fund—but it’s there if the need arises.  Some weeks I have multiple winning serial numbers and a lot, if not most, of my allowance goes into the fund.  On those weeks, I know I’ll likely hit the fund since my allowance shrunk.  Some weeks I don’t have any winning serial numbers.  Bu t because I want to have vacay cash,  those weeks I typically add $20 non-winning money.  The remainder of my allowance I use for fast-food dinners,  Diet Dr Peppers,  and small items I don’t want to put on my card.
This week I’ve had a surplus of cash.
Not because I’ve not made purchases, because I have.  And the surplus is not a large sum.  But every time I’ve needed cash, someone has just repaid me for a loan or a meal I bought them. It’s just a couple of dollars. The cost of toast or breakfast in a couple of cases.  Lunch in  another.  A bit of cash for gas.   Nothing much.  In every single case, I had forgotten I had done anything for anyone.   Even as the people handed me the money and said,  “Thanks for ….” I looked at them with a blank expression. I truly had forgotten I had helped them out.  
I think I forget because when I lend someone  something, unless it is something that is near and dear to my heart (like an heirloom passed down through the generations), or something with great sentimental value (like an autographed book by my favorite author—who I happen to also call a personal friend),  I loan without expecting a return.  It’s actually a Biblical principle.

But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting  to get anything back.  Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because He is kind to the ungrateful and wicked.        Luke 6:36 New International Version (NIV).
I love the NIV, but it almost makes this particular verse sound as if your action  is what makes you a child of God.  But that’s not what it’s saying, because the Bible is very clear that we do not become Children of God through our works or good deeds, but rather, we become His Children when we accept His free gift of salvation. 
What the verse  above is actually saying is when we, the Children of God,  take these actions:  loving our enemies and doing good to and for them, and lending money without expecting to get anything in return— those actions don’t save us, but they do serve as the outward reminder to onlookers of who we are:  Gods Kids. 
Neither the meals  I bought, nor the cash I loaned, were to people I would consider my enemies, but the principle applies to  friends as well.  When I loan, I do not expect repayment—and as a result, I usually forget I’ve even made the loan.  However,  it was nice to have the money coming back to me throughout the week, because it’s been one  of those weeks where I have already spent most of my allowance—and I’m only three days into the first week.   But each time the need for a bit of cash arose,  it was right after someone else had repaid me.  Because the loans were repaid,  I didn’t have to dip into the Funny Money Vacay Fund. 
What goes around really does come back around.  Just like ‘70s psychedelic clothes  and ‘80s big hair—maybe I should change that to ‘80s shoulder pads, because  Texas Hair is always big. 

Sunday, April 17, 2016

By the Third Time the Lights Went Out I Was in a Lather.

By third time the lights went out this morning I had worked myself into a lather at the gym.  Really. I know that doesn't sound like me--the girl that doesn't like to sweat--but I actually own and use a gym membership--and the world has not come to an end. Yet.

Okay, so it was a shower lather--but it was after my early morning workout. I don't like mornings anyway, so when I have occasion to go to the gym, I go in the wee hours--that way, I'm at least not ruining a good part of the day.

To be honest, I was given fair warning about the lights--the first time they went out, I was down to my skivvies and getting ready to hop in the shower. When the lights went out, plunging me into total darkness, I thought longingly of the maglite in my car (the plastic casing for the jump ring that used to attach it to my key ring broke awhile back and I've not replaced it).  No worries, I thought, I'll use my iPh---in mid-thought I realized it too was in my SUV. Charging.

Sitting in the dark, I considered my choices:  redress in stinky workout clothes and drive home to shower, or wait to see if the lights came back on. As I explored my options, the lights came back on and remained on.  A couple minutes sans-flicker was all it took to sucker me--I decided to chance it.
I shucked the skivvies, hopped into the shower, and lathered up my hair...and the lights flickered (I held my breath)...and went out for a second time. But,  they flickered back on and steadied almost instantly.

Darkness thwarted.

It was at this point I finally thought about my safety. There hadn't been an alarm sounding, so fire had not crossed my mind. In fact, when the lights flickered off the very first time, I was a tad bit annoyed. I erroneously thought the girl in the bathroom stall had turned off the lights when she left. Only, she didn't leave until after the lights came came back on the first time.

Now that I was concerned with the possibility of fire, I wondered how I could gracefully exit the building wearing nothing but the mostly see-through shower curtain. I sniffed the water-logged air.  Unable to detect smoke, I wondered if that was because of the actual lack of smoke, or the fact that my nose is stuffed up with Central Texas allergens. I decided there was no fire. For the time being I was safe.

Living life on the edge, I rinsed my hair...and applied conditioner...and, to tempt fate, I reached for the soap.

Sure enough the lights went out for the third and final time.  The darkness was complete.
I've been on cavern tours where they have turned off the lights and you couldn't see your hand in front of your face.  That's how dark it was in the shower this morning. I started to feel myself tense and I did what I normally do in tense situations.

I giggled--when I realized I could be a roadside attraction.

"Step right up folks!  Don't see the lathered girl in the totally darkened shower! All for the low, low price of--"

Wait--that last line sounds more like a late night infomercial. But you catch my drift.

I rinsed off, groped for a  towel...and then the real fun began:  stuffing damp me into clothing--not an easy task.  I repeatedly attempted to slide the wrong flip-flop on the wrong foot. When I finally donned the correct shoe on the correct foot I was exhausted. Gathering up up all my belongings in pitch blackness was made even more difficult with my faulty memory (did I leave my bra on the back of the chair, or did it drop to the floor?).

Finally, I was ready to leave. I began wall-walking the rooms (shower room, locker room, bathroom, and "prep" room--where the sinks are) until I finally made it to the locker room entrance.
I opened the locker room door into the long hallway and faced...

More darkness. Not quite complete.  But pretty close--although now I could see a tiny little the end of the tunnel...(hallway). Still wall-walking, I made it to the large weight room--also in darkness--illuminated only by the window on the front wall.

I passed  a couple of diehards doing some leg work. I was thankful no one was attempting to lift weights in the darkness. That would be very unsafe.  Most of the guys were milling around waiting for the lights to come back on.

Exiting the gym I saw the traffic light on the corner was flashing. By the time I reached the Interstate I decided a large transformer must have blown a fairly large power grid because the Police were at the loop directing traffic.

At home, I took stock of my appearance. My gym bag appeared to contain everything I had taken to the gym. My new "wash and wear" hairstyle was drying and I was pleased to note it wasn't frizzy. I wished the ends would curl under--but a quick touch if the curing iron would remedy that.

All-in-all,  I thought I got away with groping in the dark fairly well. I left the gym wet-headed, but fully clothed...and with my dignity intact.

That was when I noticed my tunic was on backwards. Maybe I need to remember to add the maglite to my gym bag after all.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

It Started With the Attack of the Lady Bug.

It all started with the sneak attack of a Lady Bug. I call it a  sneak attack  because I did not initially realize I was under attack until sometime between the opossum glaring at me from atop the privacy fence, and the grackle swooping to me to buzz my ear as I ducked inside the hospital. I guess the  squirrel chittering angrily from a low hanging tree branch just over my left shoulder could have provided the diversion the Lady Bug required to secretly attach herself to me without my knowledge. But personally, I think she launched herself at me while I dealt with the hissing stray cat--I'm not sure if he's feral or just a meanie with cattitude.  Ultimately, it doesn't matter--the fact is, the Lady Bug didn't make her presence known, or at least I was unaware of her presence, until I drove through early morning detour traffic--that's when I felt her crawling on my wrist. 

No freakin' out for me. Especially not while driving.  I deftly caught her and held her in my loosely closed hand. Driving one-handed through town, I searched for a safe place to release her. I checked the clock. As usual, I was running late.  I really didn't have time for a rescue mission. She's got wings--I'll just toss her out the window, and she can fly to safety. I rationalized.  

But from the time I saw a cartoon where an injured insect was tossed to and fro, after it got caught in the air drafts caused by rush hour traffic, I worry about air drafts knocking winged things to their premature death. 

I considered releasing Lady Bug at the stoplight, but we weren't stopped long enough--besides, the middle of four lanes is dangerous and I couldn't ensure her safety. I checked the clock again. Surely I could find a safe release place between the stoplight and work. 

As an afterthought, I realized the car wash with picnic tables was just a block away, and it met my requirements:  It was on my way to work, the picnic tables, sitting beneath shade trees, were protected--it would be a safe place for Lady Bug. 

Swerving single-handedly I changed lanes, and slamming on the brakes so I could make the turn, I left a wake of horn-honking drivers behind me.  I found the perfect place--a shade tree, with a low hanging branch that I could easily reach without even getting out of the SUV. I powered the window down, and opened my hand to release.....nothing. Lady Bug had flown the coop.  She was still in the SUV. But where?  I checked the clock. I didn't have time to waste looking for her. 

I drove to work and parked the SUV as I considered The Lady Bug Dilemma.  I did not know where Lady Bug got off to--other than being trapped inside my SUV.  Because I have a soft heart (I didn't want her to die a slow baking death in a Texas-hot vehicle).  I also have an even softer head (it was an overcast and cool day, with a high probability of rain, so she would likely be okay), but I decided to leave the window cracked anyway--so she would have an escape route in case the weather forecasters were wrong and the sun cane out and attempted to fry everything.  

However, I do have an ounce of  self-preservation.  I couldn't risk leaving the moon roof open--I might come back to an aquarium on wheels.  The passenger seat is always occupied--this week with audio books--and I'm pretty sure the Public Library would not like wet discs. Bandit is pretty persnickety, and it's a safe bet to say he would not appreciate a wet cushion on his box.  Besides, I haven't washed his cushion in quite a while, so I'm pretty sure if the cushion gets wet, it would smell like wet dog until I could wash and dry it at the laundry.  You wouldn't think a hairless dog would produce a dog smell-but you'd be wrong. Bandit's window remained up as well. There was no way I was leaving my window down--if I did, I'm thinking it would mean I would likely have to endure riding home in puddle-sitting discomfort.  

So, I did the only thing I could do--I chose the only option left...I cracked the remaining window for Lady Bug. I hope she finds her way out, and the rain holds off until I ensure she has been set free.  

Otherwise, as retaliation tonight, my recue cat Moggy will probably  move--from sleeping curled up on my chest  with his head tucked under my chin--to languidly stretching out his legs so he can cover my nose and smother me with his paws while I sleep. 

When the grackle buzzed me, I wondered if I awakened  in a campy Chevy Chase comedy. Something like:   National Lampoon's Attack of the Killer Wildlife! 

And it all started innocently enough with the attack of the Lady Bug. 

Monday, April 11, 2016

What If It's My Turn?

This post started off being a lighthearted fluff piece about  the light misty rain and umbrellas, and soon turned a little bit philosophical….  

This morning I wondered if the lightly misting rain  would turn into a full blown rain requiring protective gear.  I didn’t want to carry my umbrella,  and  it was too warm for hot natured me to justify wearing my rain jacket—besides, I saw so many other employees with their umbrellas—I figured I was safe.  I decided to live dangerously:  I left both my rain jacket and my umbrella in the SUV!    Walking  across the lengthy parking lot, a thought snuck up and hit me—even as I was thanking all my  umbrella welding co-workers…”What if it rained anyway—because it was my turn to provide the protection of the carried umbrella?”  Hmmm…..

Throughout the day I thought of this question  and a few others.  I’ve always had a very strong sense of right and wrong. Even as a child, I believed in justice for all. I loved the Beretta theme song and sang right along especially when it came to my favorite line …“If you can’t do the time—don’t do the crime.” 

Don’t get me wrong, I believe strongly in grace and forgiveness. And I’m deeply thankful for them.  But I always had a problem with the parable of  the Father and the Prodigal Son. It’s found in Luke 15:11-32. It’s a beautiful parable illustrating the forgiveness of God (the Father) and our (the younger Son). However, I always identified with the Older Brother—the one who stayed home and did the right thing while his Younger Brother was off gallivanting in some foreign land, burning through his inheritance (that he demanded his Daddy give him before his Daddy even died). The younger brother ended up broke and feeding off the pig slop, until he decided to humble himself and walked home with his tail tucked between his legs,  to ask to work as his Fathers  Servant .   I love  the picture of the Father being overjoyed when he learns of the return of his Son. I feel overwhelmed and underserving of  forgiveness so complete and freely given to someone so underserving—because of course, it is a beautiful picture of  salvation that we are offered freely and cannot work to earn…but I kind of agreed with the Older Brother…. It just didn’t seem fair…

And what about parable about the Landowner who went to the Temp Agency and hired Day Labor?  It’s found in Matthew 20:1-16. The Landowner  went several times throughout the day and hired someone each time. At the end of the day he paid the workers hired last, first. Then he paid the workers hired at lunchtime, and finally the workers hired in the morning.  The thing is—they all received the same wages.  Again, I identified with the guy hired in the morning and saw his point of view that since he worked  more, he should have received more compensation. The response given rankled with me at first, but it was “just.”   The first laborer  did the job he was asked and he received the wage he had agreed to—it was none of his business what the others agreed to and received, and ultimately, it was the Landowners right to set the rewards however he saw fit.

Matthew 5:45 says, It rains on the just and the unjust alike.  Even though I love to walk in a gentle misty rain, I saw rain as a bad thing, so I never really understood that verse.  Until I heard a catchy little country tune by  Luke Bryan called Rain is a Good Thing.  The chorus has this line in it…Rain makes corn, corn makes whiskey, whiskey makes my baby feel a little  frisky.  Rain is a good thing!   Okay, that’s probably not the best song to elaborate on the meaning of a Bible verse, but it reminded me that rain, in the right quantity, and at the right time, can be life-giving. And both the just and the unjust benefit from the life-giving rain, whether they deserve to or not.

But I want fairness…and justice…as long as it’s fair and just for someone else—what I really want for me is what I have—grace.

Coming back around to my fluffy-turned-philosophical question of the morning—what if it’s my turn to provide the umbrella?  This morning I left it in the SUV, and it turned into a pretty day by the time I left work this evening—but what if, it had been my turn…and what if this can be applied to more than just carrying my umbrella on a misty day….

What if it is my turn?  Will I provide protection? Be the change? Forgive those I think have wronged me? Do the right thing? No answers today, just a lot of questions to ask myself....   

Sunday, April 10, 2016

I Haven't Lost My Touch

There were two checkout lines...

In Line 1 stood a couple with a half full basket, most of which had already been scanned.  In Line  2 stood a single guy with an over-loaded cart.  After a brief analysis of the situation, I bolted for Line 1.

I should have known better--I always choose the wrong line. It's a gift. And a curse. (To steal a line from one of my favorite  detectives of all times--Adrian Monk.) 

Not only did the Checker of Line 2 finish the loaded cart--he checked out THREE more people before the Checker in Line 1 finished with the half loaded cart in front of me!

The reason?  The Checker in Line 1 had to call the Service Manager to his register three times--first, he rang up a single cucumber as 14.  The SM was nearby on the floor so she was there pretty quick. 

Next, on the next to last item, he hit the tender key when he was ringing up a couple of tomatoes. He (perhaps rightly) said it was in an awkward place--the tender key--not the tomatoes. We had to wait until the SM arrived from the office. I included myself in the "we," because, being ever so helpful, I had already unloaded the contents of my cart onto the conveyer belt. 

The third time wasn't the Checkers fault. The customer waited until he paid for the cart of food before he decided he needed a tin of chewing tobacco. The SM was called a third time. 

I had the distinct feeling the Cashier had been calling the SM multiple times before this customer--each time he realized he needed to call her again, he said,"She's gonna kill me."  

I empathized with him. I've had those days when absolutely everything went wrong and everyone I came into contact with must have thought I was a royal screwup. They were wrong. I turned out alright. I'm sure, given time, a little encouragement, and a whole lot of patience, this kid will turn out okay as well. 

Anyway,  I haven't lost my touch--no matter which line I choose, it's almost always the one that breaks down. Especially if technology of any kind is involved.  :~)