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Category: Special Features

A Brief Overview of my First Week

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So I was pretty far into writing my first post of this blog when firefox crashed as a result of uploading pictures.  From now on I’m going to put all pictures in edits.  So instead of an in-depth look at my first week I’m just going to give a brief overview of different facets of my experience in Udaipur so far.

My Work

So I’m sure a lot of you are wondering what exactly I will be doing while I’m here.  My answers to that question before I left were pretty cryptic, since the information I was given in that regard was actually pretty slim.  But now that I’ve been here I have a better answer, although still not very informative as to what exact kind of work I will be doing, since I don’t know yet.  In Udaipur I am working with a non-governmental organization called Seva Mandir.  Seva Mandir (church of service) works with local villages in a large variety of capacities.  They do work in the fields of health, education, sustainability, women’s issues and more.  Seva Mandir has made a class just for me (well it was supposed to include two other SMCM students who backed out of the program, a fact I was not made aware of until I arrived in Delhi), Understanding Development Changes in Rural India.  Since the two other students backed out, Seva Mandir has put five people into the class with me, so it’s not just a one-on-one.  Four of them are young staff members, and one is an American Volunteer.  Their names are Mukesh, Mrinmay, Shailendra, Piyush and Wendy (see if you can guess who the American is).  So anyway the class portion of the program is really only for the first two weeks, for the first week, which I just completed, we had lectures on the history of Development and NGOs in India.  For the second week we will visit a different village and differenct aspect of work every day, and then discuss what we saw.  After that we have to do a research project that we will spend the majority of our time working on, and will be focused mostly on a single village.  Since I haven’t yet been to a village, I can’t tell you what kind of research I’ll be doing, but I can detail some of my classmates projects.  Mrinmay’s project will be concered with determing Seva Mandir’s impact on the villages, and Mukesh will be trying to find activities that villagers can engage in other than agriculture that will increase their economic wealth.  Wendy’s project is concerned with organic farming and sustainability though I don’t exactly remember the details.  The end of the semester will culminate in a presentation of our finding.  So that’s what I’m doing while I’m here.  As for some of the particulars of life in Udaipur.

Transportation

My main form of transportation around the city (actually my only form other than walking) so far has been by rickshaw.  Now when most people think of rickshaws I’m sure they think of the carriages pulled by people.  Well at least, that’s what I thought until I went to India last year.  So let me clarify, I’m talking about auto-rickshaws.  Auto rickshaws are three-wheeled motor vehicles which have a thin covering over the top.  The engines are not very strong, and need to be started with the pulling of a huge lever.  In addition, instead of a steering wheel they have bicycle handles (for more information check out http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Auto_rickshaw).  Because of the traffic system in India, I have been in more close calls in auto-rickshaws than I care to count, but the drivers are extremely capable, and riding in the rickshaws is nothing if not exciting.  Now let me say a little bit about the traffic in Udaipur.  In this city there are about 10 motorcycles for every car.  I’m assuming they are the main mode of transportation because they are cheaper and more gas-efficient, and this is definitely a good thing on the roads in the neighborhood surrounding my hotel.  The roads usually wide enough for a rickshaw to pass another rickshaw, and motorcycles typically have no problem navigating the back alleys, but every once in a while I will see two cars heading towards each other.  Every time this has resulted in a traffic jam.  Why anyone would ever drive a car on these roads I have no idea, but people do.  And meanwhile people are walking by, and motorcycles are trying to squeeze through, I would never want to drive here.  One time our rickshaw-walla (the person who drives a rickshaw) took us down an alley that could barely fit the rickshaw, not to mention all the motorcycles parked on the side of the road, all the people walking, and all the motorcycles coming the other way.  And one time we got stuck for a few minutes because a car was coming the other direction at us.  Our rickshaw was within a centimeter of the car at some places, and our rickshaw-walla was complaining saying the car had so much space to maneuver.  By the way, our rickshaw-walla actually invited us to his house when Ramadan ends, but sadly I will be staying the village that night… oh well.  So anyway, if you are ever in India (or in many other places in South-East Asia that have them), I highly recommend the rickshaw as a mode of transportation.

Food

So far the food has been amazing.  However because of the situation I’m in I have not yet been many places outside my hotel.  Every morning I get breakfast from the hotel which includes mango juice, black tea, eggs or a pancake, and toast or stuffed parathas (which to me taste like quesadillas except with potato instead of cheese).  I’ve gotten the parathas every time.  At first I didn’t like them that much but now I look forward to going to sleep at night so I can wake up and eat them.  There have been two restaurants to note.  Last night Frank (the professor who is watching over me for the first two months) and I took longer than we thought at the Reliance wireless shop so we asked them if there were any restaurants nearby.  They pointed us in the direction of one, and we ended up at probably the fanciest restaurant I’ve ever been to.  There was a little lawn with chairs and tables on it, and two inside rooms on either side.  The waitstaff was at least 15 people that I could see and there was live music.  I fully expected the entrees to be at least Rs. 1000 ($20), but to my surprise they were about Rs. 200 ($4).  And the food was excellent.  I have no idea how they are able to stay in business.  Needless to say I will return there a few more times at least in the coming months.  Then tonight our rickshaw walla took us to a place he recommended for getting thali.  When you get thali, they bring you a plate, which to me looked kind of like a seder plate, with a few depressions around the edge.  And in each depression they put a different meal.  One had beans, another had chana masala (chick peas), and the last had saag aloo (potatoes and spinach).  This meal was also excellent.  Then they gave you rice and chapattis with which to eat the other food.  There was also a place for curry.  At the end you got a gulab jamin.  A very complete meal, I was stuffed.  Our rickshaw driver had promised us it was only Rs. 95 ($2), but a sign outside the restaurant said Rs. 150.  However, when we actually got the bill it was only Rs. 85.  So we got two really good deals in two nights.  And our rickshaw walla promised us from now on it would be a new restaurant every night.  I can’t wait.

So that covers the breakfasts and the dinners, but what about lunch?  For lunch at Seva Mandir we typically get some roti (bread), some dhal (lentils), some rice and then a vegetable dish.  One time it was aloo matar (potatoes and peas), another time it was beans.  But even these simple lunches are sooo good.  Now as for eating with my hands, my skills are not so good.  I can always eat pretty well, but my fingers always end up dirtier than those of my indian friends.  However I have devised a system of mixing the rice with the dhal and vegetables, and then scooping it up with the roti.  The only problem is I typically run out of roti quickly that way.  Oh well I guess I’ll have to work on it.

My Hotel

The hotel I am staying at is Jaiwana Haveli.  Haveli means mansion, and in years past apparently many havelis have been converted into hotels.  The hotel is owned by a man named Yash, who is a friend of Frank’s, since Frank often stays here when he is in Udaipur.  Yash has a younger brother named Harsh, who has possibly the coolest mustache I have ever seen.  Harsh just got back from a motorcycle trip up to Leh, which is kind of ridiculous, he reached altitudes on his bike where most people need oxygen tanks but he just kept on going and said he never felt it.

From the top of the hotel you can see 5 or 6 palaces, including the Lake Palace and Monsoon Palace, which were heavily featured in the Bond film Octopussy.  Ok you can’t really see the Monsoon Palace, on a sunny day you can barely make it out on the top of a distant hill, but the Lake Palace you get a good view of.  It’s definitely one of the better views I’ve experienced.  The one thing I don’t like about the hotel though. is that it caters mostly to foreigners, and is an area of town more frequented by tourists.  I’d rather be in a place with less tourists, but some things can’t be helped.  Plus after next week I’ll only be here on weekends, and I’m sure I’ll get plenty of authenticity in the villages.  Ok on to the last section.

View of the Lake Palace from the roof of my hotel
View of the Lake Palace from the roof of my hotel

Hindi Language Classes

Wow.  My Hindi class is so much fun.  I really like Hindi, and I think I’m learning pretty quick, although I still can pick up almost no words when I eavesdrop on the street.  The other day in class I read a children’s story in Hindi.  It was about a rich farmer (a jamindar or landlord), who was very greedy and stingy.  He decided if he could make the day longer he would be able to squeeze more work out of his workers and thus make more money.  I was really rooting for him, but alas he ended up getting tricked into learning a lesson by a cunning poor person.  The guy told him to put on warm clothes and take an iron rod and head out to the desert.  There he should climb a tree and when the sun rose he would have to catch it with the rod.  However, he ended up getting so tired from holding the rod and so hot from wearing the clothes that he decided to work his workers less and pay them what they were owed.  I think I might’ve missed something in translation.

But I must say, the best part of my learning so far was learning the devanagari alphabet, and being able to read signs.  The other day I was riding in a rickshaw and saw a sign that said ????.  Koto, I said to myself.  But then I realized that k was ?, what the sign said was photo.  That was a major realization.  Then a little late I saw a sign that said ???? ????.  I thought to myself photo kaw-pi.  And almost instantly I realized that that was a photocopy place.  Being able to read signs that used to be complete gibberish to me is a great feeling.  But I really can’t wait until I can actually converse competently in Hindi.

Until that point I’ll have to word this kind of awkwardly.  Mihir you’ll have to let me know whether or not this actually makes sense.

???? ???? ???? ??! (My love is India)

That’s all for now, I’ll post again in a week hopefully!

New Blog

Hey all,
I’m thinking about starting a blog of my time in Udaipur. I’ll try to update as frequently as I can but after the first two weeks I will only have Internet on the weekends. I don’t have time to do a post now as I’m about to leave so I’ll do my first post tonight hopefully. If it’s really stupid or inane then I’ll just stop.

Swine Flu Tips

As you probably haven’t heard, the H1N1 strand of influenza, or “swine flu”, is the latest craze sweeping the nation. This deadly disease can kill you, ending your life and causing you to become dead, at which point you will stop living. If you are reading this, you probably already have swine flu, but in case you have been lucky enough to avoid H1N1 so far, here are some tips to help you stay healthy.

  • Swine flu has the same symptoms as regular influenza. These symptoms include coughing, sore throat, headache, fever, and tiredness.  If you are experiencing these symptoms, you probably just have the regular flu, so it’s nothing to worry about.
  • If you feel sick, make sure you go to class or work like usual. Staying home will just cause you to be cooped up in a confined space, where you’re likely to spread the disease to all your roommates.  Also, by staying home, you’ll only be contributing to a nationwide panic.  We have to return to a sense of normalcy as quickly as possible, for the sake of the economy.
  • Make sure you touch your face a lot. Your face is the primary place on your body where germs can build.  Left untouched, you could accumulate enough swine flu germs from others to cause you to become sick.  Touching your face as much as possible is the easiest way to combat this illness.
  • Shake hands with everybody. If there are 50 people in a room, and all of them have swine flu, and each one of them shakes hands with each other one, but there are no repeat handshakes, how many total handshakes will there be before everyone has died?
  • Don’t wash your hands. By now, the water supply has likely been contaminated with the H1N1 virus.  Washing your hands will only kill you faster.
  • Don’t use your hands to cover your coughs or sneezes. Using your hands to cover coughs or sneezes is likely to facilitate the spread of germs.  Instead, you should cover your mouth with other people’s hands.
  • Don’t visit obscureporn.com. That website has sooooooooooooooo many viruses.

Just remember these few tips, and you may survive long enough to see swine flu victims start to become reanimated.  Then you’re really fucked.

There's a $1000 fine for Twittering

Attentive readers may have noticed the appearance of a new Twitter sidebar on this otherwise flawless website.  We’re having management look into it; hopefully it’s not indicative of a larger problem with our servers.  We’ll get back to you as soon as more information becomes available.

It’s not all bad news today, though.  I am proud to announce the debut of the official Obscure Porn Twitter!  You can subscribe at www.twitter.com/obscureporn.  It will be your up-to-the-minute source for all news obscure and pornographic, and possibly neither.  Our correspondents are working around the clock to provide you with the latest coverage of them working around the clock.  You don’t want to miss this.  Starring Brad Pitt and Kate Hudson, with Eric Hysen as the gnome who sells them weed.

The End of The Road

Hello again, Obscure Voyeurs:
I’m sure you’re all aware of the rumors that, due to our massive amounts of accidental traffic, XXXBoneage.com has made an offer for our website. While we have always prided ourselves on being a pinnacle of journalistic integrity, sometimes you need to know when to give up and accept a massive buyout. Because it really is massive. We’re talking government bailout massive. We’ll be swimming in money while you, our dedicated fanbase, is left out in the cold.
You may be thinking to yourself, “No! What will I do without the comedic stylings of such geniuses as Ben Strauss? Where can I find more of the enigmatic dtcb?” Luckily for you, as part of our buyout, we have also sold Strauss and dtcb to XXXBoneage.com. You’ll still be able to find a new feature from each of them every Wednesday night.
It’s been a wonderful ride, and I wish you all luck in the future.

-George out

February 1st 2007-2009

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rty, party at Ben’s house, Cupid Shovel, Valentine’s Day, My Bloody Valentine 3D, Spy Kids 3-D, Sin City, The Spirit, Eva Mendes, Hitch, bitch, 5 Second Films, Lance Bass, Lance Armstrong, Neil Armstrong, Arm & Hammer, hammerhead shark, tiger shark, Tiger Woods, Arnold Palmer, Mucho Mango, muchas gracias, Salma Hayek, Selma Alabama, Martin Luther King Jr., Barack Obama, Joe Biden, Joe the Plumber, Sarah Palin, Sarah Plain and Tall, plain M&M’s, airplane, spaceship, space elevator, dangerous space elevators, Mars, Mars Bar, My Favorite Martian, Curtis “My Favorite” Martin, that rap junk, junkyard, prison yard, Prison Break, breakdance, Just Dance, dance party, Republican Party, John McCain, Arizona, Original Brand AriZona Sun-Brewed Ice Tea with Lemon Flavor, sun-dried tomatoes, Tomatometer, tomato sauce, burnsauce, Burn Notice, eviction notice, landlord, manor, mansion, MANswers, termites, porch, Porsche, Saab, cry, Cry Wolf, Nick Wolf, St. Nick, St. Petersburg Florida, Gaithersburg, Maryland, Marilyn Monroe, Marilyn Manson, Hansen, Han Solo, guitar solo, Guitar Hero, Welcome Back Qatar, American Dad!, father of the year, Father of the Bride, Bride of Frankenstein, Young Frankenstein, Young Republicans, Michael Steele, Man of Steel, Terry Labonte, Montoni’s, Tony Soprano, Tony the Tiger, Frosted Flakes, Sugar Smacks, Honeycomb, comb over, bald, bold, italic, Italy, Greece, John Travolta, Samuel L. Jackson, Jackson Mississippi, Jason Campbell, Campbell’s Soup, alphabet soup, Super Bowl, big game bowl, satellite dish, FiOS, Verizon, Comcast, sucks, socks, Red Sox, White Sox, white supremacist, KKK, Special K, special teams, ninja teams, teenz, Caleb Crew, Sexual Caleb, sex on the beach, White Russian, vodka, Pop Champagne, pop music, Michael Jackson, Thriller, Indian Thriller, Ghajini, Slumdog Millionaire, Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?, The Price Is Right, Whose Line Is It Anyway?, Wheel of Fortune, fortune cookie, sugar cookie, Sugar Ray, ray of light, Ray Romano, Ray Charles, Charles Barkley, Dwyane Wade, Duane Reade, CVS, Rite Aid, Walgreen’s, Walstein, New York Giants, James and the Giant Peach, James Brown, Brown Death, the black plague, malaria, hilarious, Hi and Lois, David and Lois, Peter and Lois, Peter and MJ, Mark and Cherry, Mark and Jess, court jester, The Day the Music Died, Death of a Salesman, English class, English major, Jack Bauer, Jack-in-the-box, Five Guys, Two Guys and a Girl, a izza place, pizza dip, Jerry’s Subs & Pizza, Subway, Jared, Jarhead, Jake Gyllenhaal, Heath Ledger, Christian Bale, bale of hay, Hey Arnold!, CatDog, hot dog, Hot Tamale, Red Hot Chili Peppers, four-alarm chili, four-alarm fire, you’re fired, Donald Trump, Donald Duck, Winnie the Pooh, Piglet, Tigger, Christopher Robin, Hundred Acre Wood, would you like to go to the dance with me?, Dance Dance Revolution, American Revolution, French Revolution, Napoleon, Napoleon Dynamite, Blades of Glory, blade servers, Blade the movie, Blade II, The Sims 2, SimTower, Tower of Terror, Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster, the coast, the ocean, the Arctic Ocean, Antarctica, Auntie Em, Kansas, Sam Brownback, Rod Blagojevich, Rod and Todd Flanders, Ned Flanders, Maude Flanders, Claude Monet, Impressionism, The Illusionist, The Prestige, Michael Caine, Michael Clarke Duncan, Clark Kent, Lois Lane, Lana Lang, Smallville, The CW, Everybody Hates Chris, Everybody Loves Raymond, Raymond Sydnor II, Spider-Man 2, Spider-Man Also, Spider-Man Free, Free Tibet, Free Hat, hat-trick, Patrick, St. Patrick’s Day, Jumping Out the Window, defenestration, penetration, Bic, cigarette lighters, lighter than air, lighter than water, don’t drink the water, Don’t, Werewolf Women of the SS, Nicolas Cage, cage match, regular match, matchbox, Matchbox Twenty, Twenty Questions, 20Q, artificial intelligence, A.I., T.I., Rihanna, Cover Girl, centerfold, the center of the Earth, Brendan Fraser, The Mummy 3, Jet Li, Lee Harvey Oswald, Jack Ruby, Hope Diamond, Finesse Mitchell, Kenan Thompson, Kel Mitchell, All That, Snoopy Too, Woodstock, card stock, stock market, Wall Street, Sesame Street, Oscar the Grouch, The Oscars, SAG Awards, Thieves’ Guild, Robin Hood, Robin Williams, Man of the Year, Wayne Avenue parking garage, scooter chase, Scooter Libby, Dick Cheney, Richard “Tricky Dick” Nixon, Futurama, American Dad!, Stan Smith, Stan Lee, The Amazing Spider-Man, camera, Ritz Camera, Ritz Crackers, saltines, pig paste, pig waste, wasting time, wasting money, wasting gas, fart, heart, Heart of Darkness, Apocalypse Now, Armageddon, The Core, magma, Mad Max, Mel Gibson, racism, Kramer, Jerry Seinfeld, Newman, Paul Newman, Ryan Newman, Ryan Reynolds, Smokin’ Aces, pocket aces, pocket eight ball, 3D Pool, Marco Polo, water polo, polo shirt, regular polo, regular celery, wine cellar, oenology, OED, rhyming dictionary, grammar rap, wrapping paper, Christmas, Jordan Turner, Islam, B.C., The Wizard of Id, Sigmund Freud, cigar, banana, dildo, Dilbert, Zippy the Pinhead, pinball, foosball, soccer, Mia Hamm, emergency ham, emergency exit, Eggspectations, egg on your face, bacon, baking, cookies, Cookie Monster, Avenue Q, Saks Fifth Avenue, the SAC, eggsac, smooth as eggs, Chappelle’s Show, Block Party, building blocks, Legos, Eggo, waffle, Waffle House, IHOP, Pancake House, pan-fried noodles, pho, enemy, Charlie, Charlie’s Angels, Bernie Mac, Mr. 3000, year 2000, Y2K, bug from On the Fastrack, your horoscope, Cancer, AIDS, adult illiteracy, Fantasia, American Idol, Simon Cowell, Randy Jackson, Randy Parker, Peter Parker, Peter Sellers, Mike Sellers, microphone, mike check, roadie, groupie, backstage pass, hall pass, hall sweep, Minesweeper, broom, toothbrush, hairbrush, haircut, Tortoise and the Hare, Shelley, Magic Shell, tragic accident, Unbreakable, M. Night Shyamalan, The Village, The Village People, YMCA, senior act, Born to Be Wild, Idlewild, OutKast, podcast, iPod, Apple, The Beatles, Ringo Starr, John Lennon, lemon lime, sublemonal massages, Sprite, Coke, crack, buttcrack, shuttlecock, space shuttle, Challenger, Columbia, Colombia, Diego, carpe diem, e pluribus unum, Uno the card game, draw two, tuba, tutu, Toto, Kansas, Kansas City Shuffle, Josh Hartnett, Josh Reads, Uncle Lumpy, Uncle Tom, Uncle Sam, Sam Brownback, Brokeback Mountain, Mount Everest, Everest institute, ITT Tech, MC, Harvard on the Pike, regular Harvard, Stanford, Princeton, Prince Charming, Prince Hamlet, Denmark, Deutsche mark, Mark Harding, Canada, hockey, Boston Bruins, The Departed, department store, Sears, Kenmore, claymore, Play-Doh, donut, Krispy Kreme, Crispix, mix tape, tape measure, duct tape, masking tape, rape, grape, Jolly Rancher, The Lone Ranger, Justice Guy, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Philadelphia, The Pursuit of Happyness, Will Smith, Kevin Smith, Kevin Bacon, six degrees of separation, Six Degrees TV show, Show Me The Money, William Shatner, Patrick Stewart, Stuart Little, Little House on the Prairie, Laura Ingalls Wilder, Gene Wilder, Jean Grey, Phoenix, Tucson, Fish On!, Goat In!, write-in candidate, Manchurian Candidate, Denzel Washington, Advent Children, Cloud, rain, reign of terror, Terror Squad, Mod Squad, Thank You for Smoking, J. Jonah Jameson, Daily Bugle, LA Bugle, LA Law, Law & Order, New York City, Statue of Liberty, flea-flicker, Photobucket, The Bucket, Gil Thorp, Gil Grissom, John Grisham, Stephen King, Anne Rice, Anne Heche, Ellen DeGeneres, Ricki Lake, Ricky Bobby, Ron Burgundy, Ronald McDonald, the King, Pocketbike Racer, Xbox, Wii, Nintendo, Sony, Japan, anime, animals, the zoo, Zoolander, Hansel, Gretel, Greta Weber, Peace Village, rest in peace, RIT, MIT, beaver

WingFest IV…

…Is forthcoming.  After a day of wingin’ it, so to speak, the traditional surprisingly incisive yet impossibly humorous review shall be found on this site.

Potential WingFesters are asked to submit a three page written essay detailing how wings have acted as a force to effect change–social, political, and otherwise–in America, and what can be done to maximize their impact as a revolutionary force.

Or just, like…let me know prior to/during winter break.  Give me a call or email or send me a fax or whatever.  That would work too.  Actually, scratch that thing about the essay, it’s a BS prompt and only a douche would want to read three pages about wings.  Unless, you know, it’s a WingFest article.

Codeine

So I’ve been on codeine for a couple days now. For those of you not in the know, it’s Project Pat’s drug of choice and one of the key ingredients in Sizurp, also known as “Purple Drank.”

A review will be forthcoming. Suffice it to say that the works of Paul Wall, especially his chopped and screwed remixes, make a lot more sense now.

Time to Face Facts

This site is dead. I know, it sucks. it had such potential. Well, not really.

We kind of went in the wrong direction from our original idea of a site based entirely off of the traffic from people looking for creepy fetish pornography. Not that we get much of a direction with that base, but it also gives us the freedom to write about anything we want.

But somehow, even with an audience that expects nothing and no restrictions we managed to fuck this up. Here are the problems we have, as I see them:

  • A Terrible Layout: Sorry Hysen, but this layout truly is awful. It dies going toward the right, it is ugly busy, and really just looks like one of the template site designs from Microsoft Front Page 2000. It makes me not want to visit the site. I do like the purple and white, however. It just wasn’t implemented well. This link gives a pretty straightforward tutorial for making a nice layout, but I’m not Photoshop savvy enough to get past step 6.
  • No Recurring Authors: All of the writers who used to write now just, well, don’t. I don’t understand why people decided to hold themselves to deadlines and schedules. No one fucking cares that your article came out a day late. Just write. It’s entertaining when it comes. We aren’t thinking about it when it’s not there.

So.
Ben, start writing again. I don’t care how often.
Eric, I expect your opinion of political conditions because we are in the middle of what could be the next big anal penetration for America. Also tell me who to vote for, and why other people are dumb.
Cole, this may only be for me and a select few, but tell me what is going on in the tech world.
Shaggy, i dunno man, just do what you do.
Stamm, quotes if you must, or write some original content. Superheroes? Ben is working on the talk show, so the topic is open for you.
Hyder, stocks.
Nick, you are our bbc.
Pawel, write about being lazy.
Vadis, I heard yo expressed interest in actually reviewing weird porn. Go for it

Also, if anyone wants to do anything else or not do anything at all, go ahead. This is for our own entertainment anyway. If the site stays dead, it’s a shame. We have too many good people.