Category Archives: Perishable Item

A collection of posts about the possible changes and random ramblings as I try to figure it all out.

Sunday Afternoon [sixty-five]

If we were having coffee this afternoon, it would be in Coeur d’Alene. The Sexy Master Electrician’s cousin was married on Friday and we are making a trip out of it. Currently we are in one of my favorite places, a bookstore, recharging while browsing cookbooks. More on the trip later!

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If we were having coffee this afternoon, we would be talking about last weekends amazing camping trip over to Cliff and Wade Lakes. One of our friends wanted to celebrate her birthday up there. We borrowed a SUP and rented one for TSME. We spent our time on Cliff Lake this time and camped on the hilltop. I was worried we were gonna freeze, but it was so lovely. It was the first time I’ve been able to camp with out the fly on.

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The weekend before that we went on a lovely hike up Sypes Canyon and breakfast at the Stockyard. Both are Bozeman favorites, I do get up Sypes, (about a four miles hike up to a great view of town), The Stockyard stopped serving breakfast for a time but now it’s back and I should really go more often.

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If we were having coffee this afternoon, I would tell you that I somehow found myself at two car shows  that same weekend. I hope TSME remembers this is the future. High notes, a Porche Roadster from the 60’s and a pet pig. Takeaways: If TSME remembers anything, it’s that I need a teacup pig.

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If we were having coffee this afternoon, I would tell you that I’ve had some fun site visits for work lately. First I went up in a cherry picker to take a look at a roof to see what was going on. Later that week I went up to the roof of the new engineering building at MSU for a meeting on the solar panel installation. We are going to be doing a smaller array at the middle school I am working on, so I went to get a better understanding of what will be going on.

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If we were having coffee this afternoon I would tell you that we went to the Livingston Art Walk. It was a beautiful Friday. It’s not nearly as busy as the Bozeman one is and it’s such a fun town with great galleries and people. The wind wasn’t blowing for once and we were able to sit outside and enjoy music, before it decided to pick up again.

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If we were having coffee this afternoon, I would tell you that my friend was so desperate for a body on the field, I played softball for the first time since middle school. Maybe there was one regretful time in collage. As athletic as I think I am, I am absolutely terrible swinging a bat. In middle school gym class, they would give me the giant wiffle ball bat, mistakenly thinking that more surface area might fix the problem. Miraculously, I didn’t do horribly and it was kinda fun.

Sunday Afternoon Coffee [Sixty-four]

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If we were having coffee this afternoon, we would be sitting on a patio somewhere. Summer finally showed up around here and it feels so good. The Sexy Master Electrician and I went camping in early May in Yellowstone before all the tourist showed up and it was so great to not be constantly stuck in a traffic jam. We even went to watch Old Faithful go off.
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If we were having coffee this afternoon, I would tell you how proud I am about my baby sister graduating from nursing school. I went all the way home and across the state of South Dakota to see her walk an celebrate after 5 years of hard work. Now she just needs to pass her boards and she all set to start her new job. Great work Lil’ S!
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I would also tell you that I am now officially an aunt by blood. Very odd thing, but my little brother just had a massive baby boy named George. Thanks for taking the pressure of me to do such things, Michael!

If we were having coffee I would tell that I am super excited to see Garth Brooks in concert next weekend! My five year old self is freaking out. He was my first crush. I could sing the extra verses of The Thunder Rolls to the radio edited version. This is gonna be amazing.

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Speaking of concerts, there have been quite a few good ones around here lately. In the country world, I just saw Tim McGraw and Faith Hill. I forgot how amazing Faith is and I’m pretty sure she’s gonna have a major come back. Bastille was also in town and had an amazing show with Mondo Cozmo opening. In the fall we have Florida Georgia line with Nelly coming to town. Things are getting interesting.
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If we were having coffee this afternoon, I would show you this card I came across that just keeps cracking me up. I am a dork, I know.

Sunday Afternoon Coffee [sixty-three]

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If we were having coffee, or tea, this afternoon we would talk about how excited I am to go down to Austin in a couple weeks for one of my very favorite person’s (who also happens to be my cousin), birthdays. She put up a Facebook invite and I declined, but then couldn’t resist looking at flights. Shockingly, I was able to find really cheap tickets, for getting out of BZN anyway. So I’m going on a weekend trip while TSME does whatever he does when I’m gone.
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If we were having coffee this afternoon I would tell you how proud I am of another bad-ass cousin of mine, Laura, who just published a major paper on her research on Neanderthals. And she did this one month after having a baby. Did I mention how bad ass my female cousins are? I swear, Weyrich women are gonna rule the world.

If we were having coffee this afternoon, I would tell you how proud I am of the OAC for turning one year old this month. While I am not as involved with the organization as I was with AFH in the past, I truly love what they are doing and am helping them build as much as I can right now. They are going to do amazing things. Just watch.

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Complements of a friends Instagram

If we were having coffee this afternoon, we would probably discuss women in architecture. It’s something I’ve been thinking about a lot lately. Whether it was naivety or not, I don’t think I realized how male dominate the field was and this article is great at quickly explaining some of the imbalances in architecture so much better than I can. Have I had the same experiences as most described here? Yes, from harassment to feeling that I would think about scheduling a “good” time to have a kid that would have the smallest impact on my career. It’s disheartening to realize that there is a good chance someone who is my equal but male is making 23% more than me. That’s well over $10,000 a year. That’s crazy. And while I realize life does not have to be fair. Most of these are simple things that really should be and are not that crazy to balance and make fair.

And one more heavyish read for you if you think your up for it. I like the last line and I feel the same way, I know I’m not perfect but I’m trying. “I’m really confident that I do less damage to people of color than I used to do,” she says. “That is what I can say to you. I do less damage than I used to.”

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If we were having coffee this afternoon and it was getting later, I would say let’s go get one of my new favorite drinks: A Chocolate Manhattan. Just add orange liquor.

 

 

Sunday Afternoon Coffee [sixty-two]

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If we were having coffee this afternoon I would tell you I wish it would snow. We got dumped on a couple weeks ago and the skiing was awesome. Then it decided to get warm. Too warm and everything is melting. This is ruining my downhill and cross country ski time. The Sexy Master Electrician and I have 10 passes to Bridger this year so I really want the last month to be amazing!

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While we are on the subject of skiing, TSME and I skipped the Super Bowl again to go cross country skiing in Yellowstone. When we got there, we wanted to do a trail in Lamar Valley but the wind was so bad we opted to go back to Tower Falls. The trail is protected and it went 100 times better than our previous trip up there. On our way back to the Boiling River, we had a coyote come right beside us. He could have cared less. The river was amazing. We had it all to ourselves for quite awhile. The best.
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If we were having coffee this morning, I would tell you that TSME decide to surprise me on Valentine’s Day and actually get me something and not even just one little thing. I came downstairs to flowers, wine, a Yellowstone Pendleton Blanket and chocolates. A late arrive hedge hog print arrived the next day. I don’t expect this to happen again any time soon but it was super sweet and he was pleased with himself for surprising me.

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If we were having coffee this morning, I would tell you about the second year studio crits I did on Friday. It’s so great to go back to the School of Architecture and see projects unlimited by scope, money, everything. Makes me want to do a random competition again.

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If we were having coffee this morning, I would tell you that everyone in my office is about ready to snap. We are currently stuffed in a job trailer behind our actual office while it’s being remodeled. We’ve been in there since around Thanksgiving. We were suppose to move back in the office a week ago. We can’t move with out the trailer moving or bumping into someone. We’ve started compensating with too many cookies/candies/doughnuts and alcohol. At least the rooftop was open on Friday for happy hour since it was so nice.

 

Design Control

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This past fall I was asked to help a graduate student at MSU with her thesis project. She need a control for her experiment. She was testing virtual reality as a design tool against tradition design tool, drawings and 3D images or models. I agreed help her out by going through the same design process with middle school students but she would use virtual reality and I would use traditional drawings and images.

It was a pretty cool idea and process. We had two groups of middle school students that we meet with once a week. After our initial meeting we did share what we were doing with the kids. They were suppose to act as our client asking us to design an piece of “furniture” for their classroom. And it had to be something the GS could actual build to see how close the drawings vs virtual reality came to what they expected.

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The First Model Step

I will admit that I may not have given this 100%, so my renderings were definitely not on par with what I would show a real client. I definitely cobbled together various chairs in SketchUp at one point,  but it got the point across to middle school students, who,  I’m pretty sure, forgot whatever I told them within a 10 minute time span. We started with random images of different pieces and when through what they wanted. One idea was a double decker sofa. Another was a table that made me think of King Authur and the Knights of the Round Table. We moved down the path of a simple desk and chair that had a lot of moving pieces. One of the key features was that they could tip back in the chair and hook their foot on the desk to not fall. As we progressed I felt we need to pick just one and the chair was it. The key feature that had to remain was the ability to rock back. So I came up with a spring idea on the back legs. Once we had that idea in place, they wanted more privacy, so people couldn’t cheat. I didn’t question this, they are the client. The professors at her review were concerned with what that meant in terms of social interaction as cell phones. As I stated above, I was not in this to get a social experiment out of it or looking for one, but I’m sure it would be very interesting.
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The Frankenstein Step

The end result was a chair with rotating arms, a parachute or tent like material that could pop out of the back and fold over the top on to a desk and, of course, it had springs on the legs. I couldn’t be there when the GS took the finished products back to the students to test out. The main take away was that, for both teams the items looked like it was suppose to but the the traditional route expected it to be bigger, they didn’t understand the scale of the chair, even though we talked about it in relation to other chairs and even went and tested other chairs to see what they liked.

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Final Model (final 2D instruction at top)
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Actual chair

It will be really interesting to see where virtual reality goes in the design field. I got to try on the head set and it was pretty cool, though a bit dizzying, to walk through a space and see the desks her students created. I think the disadvantage for someone in the field is that we inherently understand scale and space, so we don’t realize when someone may not understand how big or small an object or space is in drawing. This gives us the opportunity to really understand what we are creating. It might be awhile before it is common practice to use in architecture firms, right now it is a bit clunky, but I think it will provide great advances when it does between the client and architect.

 

 

Chiar desk Grad project

Women’s March [Time to Stand Up]

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For most of my adult life I have been afraid to voice my opinions that relate to politics. Because quite frankly, I fucking hate politics. I refuse to select a party. I don’t fully buy into one or the other and think we probably need more than two parties to define the melting pot that is the United States. I understand why we have government and laws. I pay my taxes, I might complain at times, but I know why its necessary, so fine. It’s politics I hate and you know what I mean.

I have a sneaking suspicion this is also rooted in the fact that I grew up conservative in a rural area of a red state and then left it. After I left home and had many different experiences. Experiences that proved things are not so black and white. That put me somewhere in the middle because I knew where both sides were coming from and I agree with both sides on a little of this and a little of that. And those changes or opinions did not always align with most of my family or friends back home. I gained many great values and learned a lot as a farmer’s daughter. I would never, ever disagree with that and my change in ideas felt like I was a traitor. As someone not huge on arguing, (though, I will if I am confident I know what I am arguing about), I have mostly kept my mouth shut. I did what I could to move my ideas and thoughts forward through various volunteer actives and organization support and did not broadcast it on social media.

For the record, I hope our 45th President is so great that I happily vote for him again in four years. I’m not kidding.

But for that to happen, it’s time for me to stop being afraid. It’s time for me to tell my father his “joke” that we knew the first place to check was the only black family’s home on our block if anything was missing the night we forgot to lock the door, is not funny or okay. It’s time to stop pretending that the times I was sexually assaulted (it may have been in small ways, but it doesn’t matter, its not okay that I rationalized were fine, because it wasn’t a big deal, because I wasn’t hurt. And no. those incidents were not in the big scary city of New York, it happens right here in Montana), was something that did not need to be acknowledge. because it does need to be. It’s time for me to stand up for my friends who are gay or bi or whatever they identify as, because they are some of the nicest, most wonderful people I know and I don’t understand how anyone could think they are less human and therefore don’t deserve equal treatment. It’s time for me to stand up for the environment. Its time for me to fight for equal pay and opportunities in employment as my male counterparts that I equally matched. I care about job in this country. I care about agriculture, the land, the way of life I was raised in. I don’t really give two shits about guns. I care about all the violence we see because of them. I believe its time to stop blaming and start taking ownership over these systematic problems and make it right. No one can claim we have some sort of great solution for a lot of things. I’m pretty sure we all want safe communities, support our children’s education, want our children to grow up in health environments and want to see jobs increase in America. And no not everyone is going to be completely happy all the time. But that’s why it’s time for me to speak up, because the only way we will find resolution is by talking and meeting in the middle. And so I went to the Women’s March in Montana.

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Some have poo pooed it and ridiculed it, as if they didn’t have the opportunity or, in fact, do the similar things years ago. I’m guessing it’s because they don’t actually understand what is was about. I want to know why you felt the need to publicly to make fun of it, instead of asking someone why they were marching. Some have said, we need to accept who the president is. We have. Don’t worry. That’s why we marched, it wasn’t us throwing a fit. It was us reminding the president we are here and we are not going away, that our issues matter too. Some have assumed those who marched think they are lesser citizens with out voices. We know you have voices and know you’re intelligent and passionate too. That doesn’t mean I have to agree with you or that I have to shut up. We also have voices and we also have the same right to use them for what we believe is right and we might, just might, be using them to voice for more that ourselves, our needs. Some think it was a man bashing session. I don’t think I heard one bad word about men. Bottom line: we were not “just stomping around in little pink hats” (but I wish I had a pink hat!) and doing nothing more. You are grossly underestimating us.

The Women’s March in Montana was so uplifting, so hopeful, so exciting. The mission of the march is: “We stand together in solidarity with our partners and children for the protection of our rights, our safety, our health, and our families – recognizing that our vibrant and diverse communities are the strength of our country.” It was not meant to be a march against the president. There was dancing, there was singing, there was no violence. The march was invigorating and a call to action. It was amazing to be surrounded by so many women and men who feel the same. We were encouraged by our state’s first lady and our senator, Jon Tester, telling us to keep marching, keep fighting. I hope they do the same. The march was our way of reminding everyone that we care about so much more about what we leave for our children, (well maybe your children, let’s not pretend I have intentions of going down that road). It was us saying  that we are going to work tirelessly for change important to recognize and honor the melting pot that this country is. It was our way of saying that we are not going to let fear win. Diversity empowers us. Diversity of every kind.  So I am going to voice my thought, prayers, whatever, and I’m going to try to not be afraid of the backlash I might get from those closest to me.

For those of you who bothered to make it through I leave you with these three things.
One, an apology for getting so heavy, but it’s my blog so I get to do what I want.
Two this quote, I don’t know where it came from, but it resonates:

“If you are a woman that does not believe that there is a reason to protest, you should be thankful that you have never been discriminated against. But there comes a time when you will have to realize that this isn’t all about you– that there are women fighting every day for equal pay, affordable birth control, and low cost healthcare provided by PP. That there are women who may never feel safe again because the men who sexually assaulted them were not given jail time. The fact that you have never been faced with hardship does not mean that it does not exist, in the same way that just because you ate today doesn’t mean that world hunger has ended. Be aware that this is about ALL WOMEN. One day, when you are faced with this discrimination, we will be there and we will stand by you.”

Three, this NYT Video about talking to the people you love and who voted for the other side.

Some of the Things that Happened Between Then and Now

So… I’ve been MIA for almost a year. Not for lack of thinking about it. Not sure I can blame it on lack of time, though that is probably part of it. Lack of motivation? Maybe? I definitely do not come home and turn my computer on every night like I used to do. I’ve spent more time reading books in bed than reading blogs or fussing on my phone. I’ve been outside. A lot. And I love it. I also loved this record of recipes, things I’d done, places I’d gone and people who’ve done it with me. I do come back here with frequency to tell someone where I was or what I did on a trip or a project. I guess I set a New Year’s goal, with out thinking about it, to return to this place and continue on so I keep having a place to return to and get lost in the fun of the past from time to time.

Here are some of the things that happened in the last year that stick out. Some of them will be flushed out in real posts later on. Consider this a really long over due Sunday Afternoon post in no particular order.

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I guess the biggest event of mine for 2016 was the fact that The Sexy Master Electrician and I decided to co-habitat. After a long and stressful search process we finally found a place we could both agree on with minor concessions on both sides. We are currently in a three bedroom condo with a garage. I had to send Princess Chunk home to live with my sister for the time being, (we were having little to no luck finding pet friendly rentals), and he had to keep the garage clean enough so that I could park in it during the winter. “The garage is too small anyway” so TSME has a storage unit for all the crap that I still have no understanding of how it fit in his previous one car garage.

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Thanks to this change, I refinished a lot of furniture this summer. We are talking two tables, a dresser, a desk turned TV console, a side table and other random items here and there. There were several lessons learned and things left half finished for months until my parents came to visit and I kept my dad busy finishing them up. I am pretty proud of how some of them turned out some could be better, but they work just fine now.

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We also decided to purchase a grown-up couch with help from our friends at The Architect’s Wife. It looks awesome. I am so happy we finally landed on this one.

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And we had to get lots of plants. I potted them. TSME is responsible for keeping them all alive. My spider plant is doing so well I was able to give a “baby” away to a friend and it actually made it!

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We had guests for our usual Forth of July celebration in Livingston. TSME’s sister and boyfriend came to visit with one of the most adorable dog ever. Before heading over the hill, we did some hiking and brewery hopping around Bozeman. We stayed at Chico this year and went over to the Natural Bridge before the rodeo. The only hiccup was the rock that found it’s way into one of the wheels and made a terrible sound. The tire had to come off to get it out. Dang gravel roads.
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The rest of the summer was filled with kickball and flag football league, hiking, stand-up paddle boarding, some biking and boating, and a few longer weekend trip around the state.
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Oh and a trip to New York City for Kurt and Melissa’s wedding in Brooklyn. I love that city. It was a great week to be there. TSME had a great time. We stayed with friends and also got an AirBnb for a few nights. The wedding was lovely and we spent time in the Wythe Hotel, at a lot of my favorite pizza, Fornino’s and took TSME to some of the places I didn’t have the chance to our first time there together.

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We made a little trip to Pine Creek Lodge to see Diarrhea Planet in person. My friend K and her boyfriend are groupies and convinced us that we needed to go see this band since they were going to be so close. The location is great. I want to stay over next time I go out there. And the band was super fun. I would go see them again.

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I also went to Missoula to see Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats. So. Much. Fun. Would love to see them again.

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#bestdressed
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Still snow in May…
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In other big news, though it’s not mine, just family related, my brother got married this Spring. My cousin, Rachael, my little sister and her boyfriend all came to Montana to hang out after the wedding. They went down to Yellowstone. I took them up to storm castle. It was super fun. And I was able to enlist them to help me move out of my tiny apartment into the condo.

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Our office had a “Domestic Dispute Retreat” in Pony at one of my coworker’s cabin. He smoked ribs, I made pie, we played cornhole and went down to the Pony Bar. Yes, there were horses and dogs at the bar. A very successfully weekend sort of off the grid. Great “bonding” experience for our little office.

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At the end of the year, we hosted Thanksgiving. TSME and his bestie had a smoke-off to see who could smoke the best turkey. They both turned out amazing and it was a fun day with friends and my parents. After that is was rush, rush, rush to the end of the year.

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We went out and cut down a tree for Christmas. My first Christmas tree since some time in college. It was adorable.
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Bozeman office and the big man
Then I had my company party in Billings one weekend. I wasn’t sick this year or the newbie so it was pretty fun, minus terrible weather.

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Another was reserved for my annual candy and cookie party, which my sister was here for with a friend. There was the Christmas Stroll. Downtown and in the “Northside” neighborhood. Plus we had to go skiing.

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We went to South Dakota for Christmas. We had to run to Rapid City one day, so we went up to Dinosaur Hill. I found out is on the National Historical Registrar and has been there since 1936. I remember them always being up there and going once or twice when I was little. but hadn’t been up there in a very long time. It was kind of neat. Kind of sad since they clearly need to repair work done if they are going to survive another 80 years.

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My parents got a new puppy, Belle. Cutest thing every. It was so fun to play with her and almost made being stuck at home an extra day, due to a storm snowing us in, worth it.

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We made it back to host Kurt, Melissa and Aubie Katz as well as TSME’s other sister and boyfriend for New Year’s. Kurt and Melissa stopped on their move to Portland and TSME sister and boyfriend were up here to ski. We hit up the hot springs, breweries, downtown, and of course, Bridger Bowl.

And that, I think, is a wrap. For the most part.