Monday, September 29, 2008


I have so much to blog that I can't blog it. Oh, the photos, the prolific, life-changing prose, it's all up here, folks ::taps on temple::

Alas. Today, you get drivel.

I was on my way to work last week, still waking up, when I realized that I was on "E". Better late to work than to run out of gas, yes? I pulled into the gas station, and was sleepily filling up the tank, when I spotted this:

Not having had my caffeine fix yet, the first thought that came to my mind was:


Hey, I'm not a morning person. I did have the presence of mind, though, to grab my camera.

I showed Clint the pic that night, while he was shaving. "Ha, ha, ha!" he laughed. "That's funny."

It is? Why? He tried to explain it to me: "See, they took the '-let' off, and added '-lay'. Chevro-LAY."


"Well, that's funny."

I don't get it. That's not funny. This is funny: What do you call a fish with no eyes?



Ok, go back and read that joke outloud, it will be a lot funnier.

After you've had your coffee.

When I promised drivel, I deliver drivel.

Those Boys are Much Too Much...

Photos & stories from the weekend to come, but until I find time to sort and resize them (maybe this afternoon!), here's an adorable video for you to watch. I'm imagining Woof, Slicksumbich, and ChezBez helping out their daughters in this manner, and hoping their wives post videos.

(Thanks to Brown English Muffin for posting it first, so that I could "borrow" it.)

Friday, September 26, 2008

Forked: Revenge!

Remember last month, when friends (and newlyweds) Lori & Jim...

(Pic for all of our buds that didn't make it to the wedding) their yard forked?

Well, I just found out this morning that Lori and Jim are partners in more than just matrimony: They are Partners in Revenge!

The two of them have been plotting their retaliation for weeks now, lying in wait, for a perfect "combination of right-sized cardboard and good weather."

Those Forkers didn't know who they were messing with. At 2:30 in the a.m., Bonnie and Clyde Lori and Jim donned their black ninja outfits, tiptoed out into the cold, damp air, and erected, as Jim said, "15-feet of engineering brilliance and a whole lot of tin foil."

Take THAT!

My guess is that this is not over; war has been waged!

Heh, heh, hehhhh. I can hardly wait to see what happens next.

Grab a tuning fork, and stay tuned.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Technorati State of the Blogosphere Report


I'm all famous and stuff.

Check me out HERE.

Don't I get a tiara or something?

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Crazed: Revisited

Remember a few posts ago, when I blogged about dropping this Swiss Army Thingy while I was getting in the car, and having it completely disappear, in front of my eyes?

I searched and searched for that stupid thing. Pulled out floormats, and spent 1/2 hour on my head, searching under seats with the flashlight. On days when Clint drove, I spent my time on the passenger side searching until I made myself crazy and had to stop.

I just found it.

See, there was this sack from Staples on the floor, with printer ink to be returned.

When I dropped the Swiss Army Thingy, I unconsciously moved the sack to the back seat, so that I could look around more easily.

Clint didn't know the contents were for a return, and he brought the sack in the house.

I took the sack back out to the car, so it would be there next time I ran by Staples.

I decided to double-check that the receipt for the ink was still in the bag...

...and there was my Swiss Army Thingy, tucked right in there with the printer ink.

EEeeeeeeeeeeeee! You should have heard me scream.

There's a bonus—while I was busy looking for the old one, a nice friend, in an attempt to restore my sanity, no doubt, popped a shiny new one in the mail for me. Everyone knows that once you replace a lost item, the item reappears. I now own TWO Swiss Army Thingies, and let me tell you, the knife on the new one is *much* sharper than the knife on the old one.

You'd think that having the mystery solved would make me feel a bit more sane, but I actually feel a tiny bit crazier.

At least I can stop worrying that the troll under the seat will grab my ankles.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Warrior Transition Care Packs: Wrap Up

WhooHooo, we lived to tell about it: Our Care Pack event for the WTB was yesterday afternoon. We managed to fill 103 bags with a LOT of loot, and collect enough donations to cover all of the expenses of the event and pay for the shipping.

We didn't quite hit our goal of 200, but I still consider the event a huge success. My plan all along was to aim high, and then to recruit scouting and youth groups where we fell short. It was a whirlwind event: people showed up ready to work, and work FAST! We finished up in about an hour, what we'd slated 3 hours to do!

Here are a few photographic highlights.

The truck & trailer, outside of the Air Museum:

Packing those bags:

Cooking those brats:
Loading up:

And, ready to go:

These bags are currently sitting my sunroom. We will seal them, pack them "this end up!" and get them on their way to Fort Gordon, GA.

Thank you, thank you, to so many that brought this together. So many stopped by my house, with their shopping bags full. Businessmen and women slated their offices as drop off points, boxes of items were dropped off at my office, and at Chanute, and just as many called and asked us to pick up. Checks came in the mail, some with precious notes from people telling me they were unable to shop, but hoped that they could help with shipping. Cash was dropped into buckets.

I can't thank you enough, and look forward to working with all of you at our future events.


We aren't done yet.

Don't forget that the holidays are just around the corner. We're going to make sure that every soldier on our list receives a care package for Thanksgiving, and a box full of gifties at Christmas. Blow the dust off of your grandma's cookie recipes, folks. There's still a lot to do.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Jeremy Jay: What I Miss About the Military

How many of you have asked, "why?" Why would they enlist? Why would they re-enlist? You've asked it of me several times of my own son, and I often didn't know how to answer.

My friend Jeremy answers that question, poignantly, here, in a his MySpace blog post.

Take it away, Jeremy Jay.

All photos © Jeremy Jay Ausmus.

I've been officially out of the Air Force for 11 months; it seems life a lifetime already. But I think I'm adjusting pretty well, I miss a lot of things about the service but I'm slowly adjusting to a slower paced lifestyle that's not interrupted with trips to the middle east every few months.

It's rough starting out at the bottom again but I'm adjusting. It's actually pretty surprising that in some civilian jobs they're just happy you show up on time everyday. Apparently this proves as a challenge to some; but I'm still 15 minutes early almost everywhere I go.

So I digress, I do miss the service and as much as I like blogging about my random drunken tales there's some things that I can't shake from the good ol' AF.

I miss the piercing blue skies and the exhausting heat from the deserts of the Middle East. You can go weeks without seeing a single cloud. How at the end of the day, when the sky is the blackest you've ever imagined, 90 feels like 65 and you soak up the heat from the ground like sponge in water.

I miss breathtaking sunrises that only mid-shift static posts ever see.

I miss the way the rain sounds on a tent roof, the only sound better to fall asleep to, is the breathing of a woman you love by your side.

I miss the random photos with locals whose names I'll never know and how they give a thumbs up and brotherly slap on the back upon seeing their digital image. They volunteer their rifles, hats, and jackets for the photos, becoming the truest ambassadors you'll ever know.

I miss the destruction left behind by laser-guided munitions and the serenity of the objects around the blast site that weren't affected.

I miss the goofy "Happy Mother's Day" group photos.

I miss the people that talk about their children for hours-on-end. It always seems they leave in a better mood after sharing the latest on their kids with someone.

I miss the "Tourist" photos in front of the statue, mosque, palace, landmark, sign, or ruin. It's something everyone must do, but it's ten times better than any stamp in a passport.

I miss the friendships you make in a matter of months, weeks, days, hours, minutes, and seconds that last a lifetime. Some of my dearest friends I've only been around a few weeks, but I know their parent's names, hometowns, and which MRE they prefer.

To piggyback on the above, I miss the cohesiveness of the service. It was always the most fun when the living and working conditions were the worst; your brothers and sisters in-arms were always there for you because none of us had anyone else except each other.

For every tale that involves booze and loose women I have four heartwarming tales.

On our trip to Egypt my supervisor was going through a real rough patch when his wife was talking about divorce. For some reason, he turned to me to vent and talk to, I can vividly remember sitting at the smoke pit at the end of a long day for hours on end just listening. I have no clue why he decided to talk to me but I hope I was helpful. Today I call him my brother, and he's one of my closest friends.

I've helped almost everyone of my friends move at one time or another; I'm not the best labor but I'm damn sure the cheapest! It's not easy work to begin with, but add the burden of losing a dear friend and it makes it tough. Pictures you're in come off the walls and are gingerly placed in boxes, toys you've watched their kids play on and out grow are wrapped up in paper, then the U-haul is closed and you wave goodbye, knowing you're not losing a friend or part of your family but still you're unsure of when you'll ever see them again.

Sharing the same feeling of nervousness as you are on you way back to the states after a long absence.

Married, single, male or female, we all share the same grief upon returning. We're torn from our makeshift families and have to become regular citizens again.

Sometimes it's easy, other times it's tough but when that jet's on final approach there's a knot in everyone's stomach and little dread in their mind, hoping to be as good or better of a person as you were when you left. Trying to iron out the strain separation has caused and trying to sever the ties you've formed over the past months.

Pete and I for example, either saw each other or talked on the phone everyday for the first few weeks when we got back from Baghdad simply because we had gotten so accustomed to venting and bullshitting and other people simply wouldn't or didn't understand.

I had a very good experience as a brand new troop in basic training in regards to empathy. My Paw Paw passed away about my second week in basic and there was drill sergeant who called me by my first name and helped ensure I was home in time for the funeral. He spoke to my mom on the phone, and ensured I'd be on the next thing smokin' out of San Antonio. In the middle of the night, Sgt Sanchez took me up to the barracks of his Flight, and fitted me in his troops Blues uniform since they were out on a FTX and I had not received my Blues issue yet.

I was sized up and he went through each Airmen's locker getting shirts, pants, shoes and a hat that fit just so, then he took his Blues belt out of his locker off his dress uniform and cut it to fit me. He gave me a crash course on the wear of the uniform and stood by until the base taxi picked my up for my trip to the airport. I learned a lot from him, not directly and not from a military standpoint, I learned a lot about life and how people should be treated from him.

As a supervisor I had a chance to "pay it forward," one of my troops had a family member pass and didn't have the money to get home, so I helped buy her plane ticket and also ran interference with the brass so she got her emergency leave. It's one moment that only means something to two people, but it means a lot to those two people.

I only wish I could have done it a million times over because I know how it feels.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Soldier Guest Blogger: Sean

Busy this week with the upcoming Toys for Troops event, I've asked a few soldier friends to entertain you while I'm out.

When I flail around here, trying to understand All Things Military, Sean waits in the wings to patiently answer my questions. Via e-mail, he has supported, educated, and comforted me on several occasions.

This post on his blog, "More Blitherings," entitled "Wow," about his own homecoming experiences comforted and reassured me about the fanfare at my own son's homecoming, and he has agreed to let me repost it here, for you to read.

Sean is currently in Afghanistan, on his 3rd overseas deployment.

Take it away, Sean.



i went home on leave a couple weeks ago. although this was my third deployment, it’s the first time that this really happened. my first deployment was in 2002, right after the war started. people weren’t really thinking long-term then, “rest and relaxation” or leave wasn’t really a consideration. You came here for x-many months, did your job and went home. it wasn’t until we’d been on the ground awhile that we started thinking about that.

my sister’s cancer came back and i had to take emergency leave during the second tour. that’s a different experience. you’ve got priority on all flights on the way back to the U.S. and you switch from military flights to commercial flights earlier in the process.

On my first deployment, i came home by myself at the end of the tour. i switched into civilian clothes in germany and snuck back into country. the second tour we flew military all the way back to the states, went through the demobilization process and were supposed to fly home as a group. they had a large “welcome home” party planned for us, which sounded like a special kind of hell so when the opportunity to stay behind for a couple extra days presented itself, i jumped at it. once again i got the opportunity to sneak into the country with no fan-fair. normally i avoid the spotlight at all costs. i do NOT like tooting my own horn.

so this was a new experience for me. it’s a helluva lot of work and hassle to get back to the States on leave. the question that kept running through my head the entire time i was in transit was “is it really worth all of this nonsense?” funny thing though, about two seconds after we landed and the cheering started i had the answer to that, a resounding “yes!” what was even more amazing was when we got off the plane. we were considered an international flight, so we had to walk through a glass enclosed walkway over the top of the concourse to customs. they must’ve announced our flight when we landed, because passengers were lined up, cheering us as we walked through the walkway. it was an experience i’d cheated myself out of previously, and at the risk of sounding immodest i’m glad i got to finally experience it.

all my life i’ve been fascinated by the U.S. space program, particularly the apollo missions. it’s not the normal dreams of being an astronaut as a little boy. let’s face it, i get motion sick at the drop of a hat. and the idea of being stuck in a tiny little space station or space capsule… no thanks. what fascinated me more was the effort it took to get there. as i got older and read about the program and watched the wonderful mini series “from the earth to the moon”, i was always so jealous of the people who were a part of that, no matter how small.

walking down that walkway, surrounded by fellow servicemen, it dawned on me that i had nothing to be jealous of. what always got me was that those guys were a part of something bigger than themselves. i couldn’t believe how the country unified and so many different people came together to try to achieve a common goal.

the country definitely isn’t “unified” on this global war on terror. and i don’t claim that i know that this is going to end well. but i do believe it’s got to be done. i put so much of myself aside for this (although in alot of ways, i’m more myself now than in at any other time). i may not agree with all the decisions and all the things we’re doing, but that’s not the point. i’m in it. it’s not about me. it’s the whole “something bigger than me” thing. and it’s great. and i’m glad i was able to realize that i’m a part of it and bask in the moment.


I left my response to this post in a comment on his blog. Feel free to pop over there and leave yours.

Please Hold

The last entry, DSC Staff Rocks Our World, has been temporarily taken down.

There are release forms that have to be signed, and apparently every hasn't i dotted and every t crossed, as of yet. The post will be back up in about a week. Thanks for all of the great comments you left, so far!

Since I'm so busy this week preparing for our upcoming event, I have Guest Soldier Bloggers lined up for you. Stay tuned for a couple of great posts!

Monday, September 15, 2008

DSC Staff Rocks our World

Shortly after I announced the date of Toys for Troops next event, I received an email from one Ms. Julie Porter, from Developmental Services Center.
I manage a day program for adults with developmental disabilities in Rantoul. I heard about your event and ongoing project, and I would like to volunteer our services, if you’d like.
Having friends that worked at DSC, I'd been in the Champaign branch before, and promised Ms. Porter that I'd try to come up with a project for her staff. I e-mailed her later: I have 250 bags, and need 500 labels affixed to them. Wanna help?

Did they ever!

Clint and I ran out on Friday afternoon, with inventory and chores. Chop-Chop! We meant to put these folks to work.

We walked in just as lunch was letting out, and were met with more than we'd be working with. Everyone was happy to see us. When one Ms. Helen asked my name, the rest repeated, "Lori! Hi, Lori," and rushed to shake my hand. They asked what they'd be doing for me today. No slackers, these. Strong work ethic at DSC, let me tell you.

You can't see Cherri in this pic, but clockwise from me is Joe, Vincent, Katrina, Cindy, John, Lucy, Mary Joe (just peeking behind Lucy), Tammy, Helen, and instructor Heidi. Seriously, we were aiming for a group wave here, but everyone was too engrossed in their work.

This is Cindy. Super-friendly she is, she got my first, middle, and last name out of me, and informed me that her birthday is in October. Upon learning that Clint's a firefighter, she informed me that October is Fire Prevention Week. She was one up on me there. I promised her I'd remind Clint of the fact. "Stop, Drop and Roll!" she reminded me.

Katrina and Cindy were quite a team, knocking out stickers and bags with precision. If one went on crooked, the other was quick to correct. When I was asked to "approve" the work, I exclaimed that I loved it. "She loves it!" went up around the room.

We'd all be in a better place from following Cherri's lead: When you do a good job...CHEER! Give yourself a big hug and a laugh, people. Better than constantly chastising yourself for your mistakes, I say. Cherri rocks.

Ah, I had to get back to work, and I left everyone to their chores last Friday afternoon. This hardworking crew knocked out a job in one afternoon that would have taken me several evenings to do alone. They were raring to go, and thrilled to be helping me out.

I'm proud, so proud, to have met them, and to have them on our side for this event, and hopefully, for our future endeavors.

And the next time you think that there's nothing YOU can do to help outwith a cause...


I ain't buyin it.

There's always something you can do, if you really want to.

Tell 'em, Cherri!

Friday, September 12, 2008


I carry one of these little Swiss Army numbers in my purse. Knife, scissors, pen, toothpick (who uses the swiss army toothpick?!), etc, all in a credit-card sized bundle.

I was checking a box, this morning, in the back of my car, and used the knife to cut the tape.

When everything checked out, I walked back to the driver's side of my car, got in, and lost my grip on the Swiss Army thingie. *TOCK* I see it fall on to the floorboard of the car, take a weird hop, and disappear in a flash.

Just like that.


I searched for 10 minutes. Pulled the floor mats out, pushed the seats back.

Nothing. I had to get to work, but I was crazed by then. Pulled up to the parking lot at work, and searched some more.

The thing is gone. Vanished before my very eyes.

I imagine troll living under the car seat, "Hey, thanks!" and snatching the thing up when I dropped it.

Give it back!

This sort of things makes me feel crazy.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

CUD (Camera Unload Day)

It's Camera Unload Day, I'm getting behind on photos and, as George Carlin would have put it, "brain droppings."

Tossing Pizzas: I snapped these pix at Dewey's pizza in St. Louis a few weeks ago. I really want to learn how to do this. Anyone with me? Yeah! Uh....let's practice at your house.

Adult Gummy Vitamins: I'm suddenly religious about taking my vitamins, after trying these things. What does it say about me that once it tastes like candy, I can suddenly get into a routine? If they ever come up with a vitamin in the form of a dirty martini, I will be in excellent shape.

Twitter Update: I blogged about not really understanding the appeal of Twitter a few weeks ago, but giving it a try. A couple dozen folks linked up to me, and I'm digging it now. Little comments about people's daily goings on amuse me, and give me a bit more insight into their lives.

Amazing Nice People: One of my sister's former coworkers has sent her $100 a month, every month, since her cancer returned, with one stipulation: it must be spent frivolously.

Amazing Nice People #2: The Anonymous donor that hosted Teri & Tim's long weekend in St. Louis last spring sent me a gob of money a few weeks ago, and told me to make sure their Silver Anniversary dinner was a nice one. It definitely was. Tim hedged at the most expensive thing on the menu. I had meant to cover their dinner and give them the difference as a surprise, but I was forced to reveal the extent of Anon Angel's generosity before I could convince him to pull out the stops. Bleu Steak it was, then.

I received another series of photos from SSG Kim yesterday, these of her handing out the 114 backpacks she showed us previously, on this blog.

The coloring books she handed out were educational: They teach the children about land mine safety. Good Lord. I don't know what to add to that that wouldn't be ranting the obvious.

We've been doing a bit of camping, in the last few weeks. Labor Day weekend was 4 days long, joined by a couple dozen friends. There was cooking, boating, fishing, 4-wheeling, hiking, biking, karoke-ing, hula-hooping, and general non-stop fun.

The weekend after, it was just 6 of us, in a smaller park, from Saturday morning to Sunday afternoon. A quieter, more relaxing weekend, the activities consisted of an occasional nature walk, and getting back to our camp, for this:

Both weekends were lovely. Any weekend in which this my happy outdoor breakfast...well, just count me in!

Monday, September 08, 2008

Busy Bees and Flyer Godmothers

Here's a pic I took this weekend, that represents our upcoming schedules: Busy bees.

Bear with me for the next couple weeks, while I post superficial blogs or direct you to someone whose writing or photos will no doubt stimulate you more than mine will.

It's T — 13 days to our Care Package Event for the Warrior Transition Battalion. I've been quietly putting it out there for the last month, and it's time to kick it up a notch. As Emeril would put it, "BAM!" As my Mom would put it:
Put some Bam on it.
We had a newspaper interview last week, for next Sunday's paper. I have a radio interview next Monday morning (7:00 a.m., WIXY. Listen in, I'll be both nervous and sleepy. Don't ask—I just will!)

I've spent ungodly amount of time researching the better buy: Printing at home, or paying a printer. I've sent files for business cards to one printer, and files for notepads to another. The better buy is DEFINITELY the printer that donates his time and materials. (Thanks, Steve!)

After work this evening, I placed an ad in a central Illinois rag, made an appointment with another company to discuss magnets, and bought ink for a printer I don't own. I got home, and ran back out to return that ink, and buy ink for the printer I do own.

I have 250 shopping bags in my car, and I printed 500 labels. I will deliver the bags and labels to the angels at Developmental Services in Rantoul, IL, and they will affix them for me.

I have newsletters to write, e-mails to answer, boxes to address, and customs forms to fill out.

After that, there was thinking to be thunk.

When all of that was done, this evening, I set about driving from place to place, to hand out flyers. "O00000000000h," I lamented to Clint, "How do I expect everyone to find out about this event on time?!! I have to get to work!"

Guess the heck what.

Every single place I stopped tonight, to hand out our flyer...There was already a flyer there. Flyers that I'd attached in a mass e-mail, with a request to "Pass it on," have been printed, in COLOR, and circulated!

And I walked back to my car, alone, downtown, tonight, smiling.

It's been one of the busiest, hectic-est, stressful-est, loveliest and most fulfilling summers of my life. It's been a rollercoaster, chock full of disaster and elation: construction, fire, homecoming, Alzheimer's, Anniversaries, Friends, Cancer, Weddings, Engagements, Toenails and Possums.

And yet I hear about distraught families, and saying "no" doesn't occur to me. I call one or two who say they'll back me up, and I bank on the rest, willing my hair not to fall out in the interim.

Lo. E-mails and donations begin to roll in, and I step away from the chaos to find that my Flyer Godmother—or Godfather, I don't know—has been working in the wings, making sure I'm covered.

THIS EVENT, my friends, will be a success.

And I love that all we had to was ask.

Bring It On.

And Thank You, Flyer Godmother.

Good GodAllMighty.

Thank You.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Soldier Guest Blogger: SSG Kim

Today's post and accompanying photos are provided by our Kosovo correspondent, SSG Kim. Her message and photos took my breath away. I hope they do yours, also.

Hello to all my dear friends,

I apologize for not writing sooner, however the amount of work to be done is endless here. As soon as we can assist one person, or problem, ten more arise, and I don’t have the heart or ability to turn away from any of them. There is no doubt in my mind that God has placed me here, at this time, to do his work. I am grateful for that every night when I lay my head down to sleep.

I wish you could all see this place, and understand the suffering that continues here. However, these people have a tenacity, and a love for life that somehow maintains them. Many times I have heard how some child wants to grow up to be an American Soldier. Not a British, or French or anything else…an American Soldier. Because we volunteer to come here to help them and leave our families behind. It’s the greatest way they can think of to honor not only the American Soldier’s, but the American People. When I tell them how I receive boxes full of things for their children from people they don’t know in the States, they are speechless, and tears follow.

You are their hero. I only wish I had the means to convey this to all of you. I am considering staying for another tour. These people and their struggle for freedom, the thing we so easily take for granted, has touched a part of my heart that no one has every touched in this way before. I will keep you all posted. There are days when I just can’t take anymore, and I sit down and have a long cry. God always yanks me up by my ammo belt and reminds me why I’m here.

My Soldiers are thankfully doing well. The younger ones are starting to rotate out on leave for well deserved breaks. There have been children born, parents buried, wives that have left, and so on since we’ve been here. They always seem to pull through. They are and will always be my true heroes. I wish you could see the tears in the eyes of the Soldier who came to show me a picture of his daughter who was born while he was waiting for a plane in the airport to come home. "Hero" is just not a good enough word. They all amaze me, every day.

I miss so many things here though. The smell of my dog’s after they have been swimming. The feel of the grass on my feet. So many things that I will never take for granted again.

I wish all of you the best and please keep us in your prayers. I will try to write soon. Lori has my address if anyone would like to write.


This is how I spent my day off. There is a beanie in each bag. At least half of the stuff in these bags has been sent to me from the United States.

My crew:

Helping a farmer vaccinate his sheep. This one got the best of me!!!

Notice I'm telling the sheep which way to go by pointing. The vet is cracking up...

My favorite school in Ferizaj/Uresovic. All these children are severly handicapped, but they KNOW WHERE I HIDE THE BEANIES IN MY PANTS POCKETS!!!

Yet another stray dog who is sleeping on the sand bags that surround
the site where Milochovic gave the infamous speech of 1989.

Caught crying during a MEDCAP, medical treatment for the most needy, somewhere in Kosovo. There are times such as this, when I just can't play the hard core Soldier any longer. Next to me is my wonderful Serbian interpreter, Davor.

Handing out school supplies and beanies in Novo Brdo, a VERY poor area of KOSOVO:

Riots in Mitrovice:

With my Serbian interpreter on the infamous bridge in Mitrovica:

Give it up for SSG Kim. If you want her e-mail address, contact me at