Wednesday, September 30, 2009


At the risk of being a tease, I have to tell y'all something that I'm not sure I should tell you just yet. I've done something really really cool in my profession that I've been thinking about doing for about four years now (no, I didn't start my own firm, that way lies madness). I'm really proud of myself for achieving what I just achieved and doing what I'm about to do, but telling y'all what that thing is here on WAD involves possibly losing a bit of the anonymity that I've enjoyed.

So I don't know what to do. I even feel like a goober for bringing it up. Many of you might not care, but those in Da Biz might care. Or perhaps I should just shut up and post pictures of my dying balcony garden and pesky kittehs and stories about my insane but decent bosses?

Monday, September 28, 2009

Smaller is better...I'm living proof

A recent article in the Denver Post described a recent green residence project that used all environmentally friendly materials ( low-flow water fixtures and bamboo flooring, for example) and practices (such as recycling as much construction waste as possible). The home that was profiled is 7,200 square feet. According to the article, the homeowner originally wanted to do the "responsible" thing and remodel her existing 1,900 sf house, but problems with asbestos removal made it pretty tough. Now, being in the remodeling business, I have seen it be more cost-effective to scrape a building and/or build anew rather than remodel, but going from 1,900 sf to 7,200 sf? Really?

Nearly as insulting as the size jump is the amount of money put into the project. The homeowner inherited a huge wad of cash, so she put $1.3 million into the new green home project. The house looks extraordinary, which was her goal--she wanted to make it look like the 1,900sf Tudor house that she had to scrape, and she wanted to stay true to the wonderful design details that say "Tudor". Fair enough, but $1.3 million? Again, really? That's $180 per square foot, which is pretty high end stuff.

My good friend Eric over at S7g Architecture has mentioned/discussed this before (though I can't find the specific post about it), but it still is bothering me that somehow we can't aim for good design and modesty at the same time. You can make a really nice looking house/building/store/office/whatever that meets environmental stewardship regulations and looks good, but must it be so damn big? No. No, it mustn't. The first rule of environmentally-friendly design and construction could be paraphrased from a World War II gasoline rationing poster: "Is this project really necessary?" Is all that square footage really necessary? It's a family of four in that 7,200 sf--wtf are they doing in there, breakdancing? Are they having a "You Got Served" contest every weekend, and they need a space the size of an abandoned warehouse in order to bust moves? For the love of Renzo Piano, just move the sofa and coffee table aside and put down some cardboard. You'll be fine.

Oddly enough, I don' t have a problem with the exquisite chandeliers and cornices and the many details of the house. If you want to stay true to a certain period look, then those are required. But when architects like Eric and me are trying to convince our clients to build green because it's better for the environment and ultimately the pocketbook (in the long run), a first cost like the one with this gal's project is daunting at best and discouraging at worst. I think again to Sarah Susanka's Not So Big House concept: if you right-size your house, really right-size it, you have plenty of money left over for the wonderful details that make the house a joy to live in. Some of those wonderful details are things that are good for the environment, things that have a slightly higher first cost (buying or buying + installation) but then save you money over time and/or pollute the environment less. But still, a decent number of things that are environmentally responsible are pretty dang inexpensive anyway, like the toilet Guy and I bought from Sam's that uses 1.1 gallons per flush and only cost $106 including tax.

But getting people to right-size their living and working space is harder than it looks. And I know, because I have to do it. I recall the surgery director at Wheatlands: she was originally doing all of her central processing (cleaning and sterilizing instruments) in a room that was less about 6 feet by 12 feet, which is about 72 sf. We were about to give her two rooms to do the same stuff in, each room being at least 200 sf (about 8-10 feet wide by 20 or so feet long) plus an extra room for the rest of the hospital and clinic to drop off their dirty stuff in. At one point, the director was pushing us really hard to give her more room--by God, she needed more room and we were just gonna have to take it out of the main mechanical room. Finally, Howie put his foot down with her in a way that nearly made me dance. (I really like medical folks, and I know surgery directors have to be quite strident and decisive because they truly have life-and-death kinda jobs, but they can go too far sometimes.) He said, "Carla! We are giving you over 300 square feet to do processing in--you're presently doing the same stuff in a room the size of this conference table. You have enough space." She was quiet, then for once, she conceded.

Think about what you really need to do what you need to do every day. I find most building a bit tough to navigate myself--at five feet tall, most countertops are a little too tall for me to comfortably chop vegetables or lean over to wash my face, and I can only use the bottom two shelves in my kitchen without using a step ladder. That's way too much space (and resources) that I can't use. But I know that wee people like me are better for the environment, because I use less resources in general--I can wash two weeks' worth of clothes in two washers and one dryer, and I don't need as much food to power what little carbon-based tissues I have. So there. I'm more environmentally friendly by design.

Guy, at 6'-0" and 205 lbs, does not find this amusing. To retaliate, he just puts things on high shelves where I can't reach them.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Birfday! Squeee!

iz mah birfday
see more Lolcats and funny pictures

Not only am I 34 today, but my beloved Mile High Guy turns 41 as well. We met at work my eighth day in Colorado, and we've been inseperable ever since. And we have the same job (healthcare architect) and the same birthday. I know, it's sick.

It's been a long, busy-ass week, and we both still have a bunch more to do before we have a small weekend getaway for the occasion. However, one of my contractors gave us second row tickets to the pre-season Avalanche game (hockey, that is), and we got free tickets to two of the three St. Louis games this weekend (when they're in town playing the Rockies). Fun is good, and free (or free-ish) fun is better. What is also without price is the many blessings in our lives. We're thankful for those and for each other. And I'm thankful to all you awfully kind people who continue to show up here and read this nonsense--thank you!

Here's to another year of being a complete...whatever I am (pain in the butt, diva, Cassandra, etc.). Rock on!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Things I thought while riding to and from FCH with Bosley

  • There is nothing out here, seriously. Why do people live here? At least I grew up 20 miles from a Kroger in Booger County--this is just ridiculous.
  • They run like little horses, not deer!
  • eeeeeeeeeeee!!!
  • I wonder if he's going to make us skip lunch again. Seriously, my stomach nearly ate itself last time we did a meeting out here and we skipped lunch.
  • I wish I could make decent homemade brownies at altitude.
  • Going back to Georgia for Thanksgiving for the first time in like seven years. I hate the airport, but maybe we'll avoid the rush since we're actually flying on Thanksgiving.
  • What will we do with Guy if we go shopping? Well, that's why we're renting a car--he can go do something else.
  • Good God, I'm going to be 34 on the 24th.
  • Ooh, and I'm supposed to hear about that thing I did the proposal for on the 30th.
  • Man, I have to fart.
  • Should I buy that suit from Mom could possibly make me another skirt like that, if she had something to look at.
  • Good God, Guy's going to be 41 on the 24th. Well, at least he's still older.
  • I do like my men older. They're generally better company.
  • Why do Cialis commercials always show two people in twin bathtubs in the middle of a field, or even on a beach? On a beach?! There's already a huge bowl of water for you to play in, but they had to bring their own?
  • One of the side effects of Cialis is supposedly delayed backache. How do you know that's not just from hittin' it like you know how? What are the other side effects, drowsiness afterwards, a reluctance to cuddle, and a sudden urge to get a burrito?
  • Bosley telling me his life story?
  • Well, that explains a lot. His parents ignored him, and now he's practically autistic.
  • Good God, what are his daughters like?
  • What would life be like if Dad were still alive?
  • What would life be like if I could move things with my mind?
  • Flight or invisibility?
  • What if I could breakdance really well?
  • I almost did a handstand the other day. I really need to try Scorpion Pose again. But only if Guy's home. Otherwise I'll for sure fall and injure something.
  • Man. I still have to fart.

Sunday, September 20, 2009


I try to post pretty regularly here, Monday-Wednesday-Friday, but the past few days have worn a Shorty out. I had to do an all-day meeting with Bosley up at FCH--we left the office at 6am and didn't get back until 13 hours later. Then, I had a gauntlet of meetings on Friday and had to catch up on all the stuff I missed by being gone all day, and then I had to do some work-related stuff on Saturday morning as well. Hence, I find myself bereft not of inspiration but of energy on this Sunday afternoon.

I haven't posted on my Extreme Balcony Garden lately, so I'm overdue on that (Cliff's Notes: I hate aphids). I've gotten some great emails lately that are fodder for some new posts that don't involve me complaining (well, not as much as usual). Plus a long car ride with Bosley gave me some new insights into his particular brand of oddness. I just don't have the mental wherewithal to write it all down right now. Hell, I haven't even Swiffed the house today.

So, gimme a few days, my people, and I'll find some new solipsistic tripe with which to entertain all nine of you. (Actually, I just noticed that I have 13 followers on WAD, which actually makes me quite happy. More than a dozen people read this!)

(Honestly, if you follow the blog, you're just going to encourage me....)

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Eye of the beholder, Part 2

So I was musing on my new high school building here in Part 1, and as longtime readers of WAD might expect, I diaspprove like a rabbit. However, I'm trying to check my self-righteous archifury as best I can. Problem is, just like the disapproving rabbits, I feel so much disdain...for mehchitecture.

Mehchitecture is the best way I can describe the bland, uncreative buildings and sites and you and I see on a regular basis. It's generally every strip mall and big box store you've seen, it's every chain store you've seen, every fast food joint, and more and more, it's every commercial building and office park you've seen. Strip windows. Stucco. Or worse, EIFS. A slightly angled canopy over the entry. A little barrel vaulting going on over part of the building. Yeah, okay. It feels like no one's even trying anymore. And by no one, I mean my fellow architects. It's our job to push the envelope with forms, materials, structure. It's our job to ask clients over and over again, "Is this how you work now, or is this how you want to work?" It's our job to look at whatever pissant town we're designing for and look for inspiration, for things and forms and colors and materials and ideas that help us design a building that looks interesting and fresh and yet timeless and yet fits into the context. That's a tall order. But that's why we go to school for 5+ years and practice for years and years before we get to take a much of tests and practice on our own, and we still never get it fully right. We learn on each project, but we forget it is also our job as architects to teach, to introduce our clients to something more, something better. You can have it so much better, we tell them. Look how much better this can look, how much more efficiently it can function, how easy it will be to expand when the time comes, when you do what we're suggesting. If I can't give my clients something better than a cruddy brick chunk with a huge gabled roof that's out of place on the building type, then why even waste the 7% to hire me?

Here's where I have to give my old high school some credit. They look like they spent some money on the interior, not blinging but rather pleasant. They used some creativity to make the dollaz go farther. But that's the point, isn't it? It's easy to make a building look badass when you have mad-crazy money; the challenge is how nice can you make a building look--and how durable and well-built is it--for what little you have? Let me say that I've been in a similar position on a hospital, where we cut landscaping dollars so that we can make the building's inside and outside look good and function well. Still, you can do a lot of really cool things with brick and metal trusses in order to make a building look really cool for little to no cost compared to doing something bland-looking.

I also appreciate the fact that they slightly overbuilt for now so that they can grow into the building(s). When I graduated from Booger County in 1994, we had about 600 students in grades 6-12 on our campus. Now, this campus is preparing to have as many as 1,500 kids grades 9-12 on the campus, and good on them. In healthcare architecture, we frequently design buildings and additions so that the facility can add on easily in the future, and they appreciate that. I've built shell space into several hospitals so that when they were ready, they could build up walls and doors and just connect to the plumbing lines that we'd already run in the slab. I don't know how my old school overbuilt for the future, but I applaud them. I also appreciate that they at least "splurged" on things like smartboards in the classrooms. Here's hoping that everyone embraces the technology.'s a li'l story to help illustrate the reason that the appearance of the school disturbs me most. Diane Travis (who is an epic genius) of the Rocky Mountain Masonry Institute once told us a story of a county government that was trying to stop graffiti in their low-income housing neighborhood. They started talking to Diane about different coatings that they could put on their next low-income building's masonry exterior to keep graffiti from sticking. Diane then asked them what the planned exterior of this building was, and the county project manager informed her that it was CMU. That's right--concrete block for the exterior of this housing project building. Diane said (and I love her for this), "Well no wonder people are spray painting your buildings--they look awful. They look like highway underpasses, utility buildings, forgotton places. People don't take care of things that look like crap." For a very comparable cost, she showed them some other exterior masonry cladding options, such as split-face CMUs and bricks made of colored concrete. And guess what? The new, nicer-looking but not-any-more-expensive building never got tagged.

My hope for my new high school building is that the students feel good in that building, that they feel valued. I hope that they enjoy their new building and understand on some level what the Booger County school board was trying to do: give them a better place to learn so that they might be better prepared for the future. I fear that the mehchitecture that has been perpetrated on them might backfire, that new will not necessarily translate into nice. But I hope they'll have the sense to know that a) the school board tried, and b) it can be so. much. better. They're just going to have to go find it.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Eye of the beholder, Part 1

Mom send me clippings from the local fishwrap--um, newspaper every now and then, and most recently she included an article about the new high school in Booger County, where I went to school. She sent me a picture of the computer rendering from the newspaper last year, and it looked...wretched. The computer rendering made it look like these poor Booger County kids were about to go to high school in a Dickensian 19th-century workhouse. Actually to say the large, super-simple, basic-gable roofed structure that appeared to be made of either brick and CMU (concrete blocks) or two colors of brick looked like a 19th-century factory would have been a compliment; brickwork from 100 years ago is absolutely amazing, even on the most mundane of buildings. Some of the brickwork on old warehouses in LoDo here in Denver is surprising and almost stunning when you think about what these buildings were supposed to do--today, these types of building have been replaced by all-metal tilt-up Butler buildings. So, yeah, the rendering not only looked really primitive (seriously, everyone reading this blog can download SketchUp and make a better rendering than what was printed in the paper), but it also looked drab, uninspiring, and horrible. "Are they getting the kids ready to go to prison?" I asked my mom. "Because if so, they'll feel right at home when they go to Reidsville [Georgia's state prison]."

So, Mom sends me the article about the new high school, a three-story structure that turned out to look marginally better than the rendering. It was slightly less-workhouse-looking, but still really pedestrian to the point of being completely unimaginative. The interior shot of the high school was simple but respectable--steel tube railings around a double-height space, VCT floors, and paint on the walls. I have to give the designers props for doing a three-color floor pattern in the atrium with VCT and using a darker paint color on the upper foot or so of the school's interior walls. Proof positive that you can do nice things with low-cost materials and make something look really good.

Which brings me back to the outside and the building as a whole. One of the students was quoted as saying that the new Booger County High School building might be the "nicest high school in the state of Georgia." I can flatly and without equivocation disagree. Just a few miles from my sister's house is Small Town High, which even at about 50 years old is a nicer looking building than the new BCHS. Guy commented, upon seeing the newspaper photos, that they probably had jack squat for a budget, and I'm betting he's right. But still, you can do really nice stuff with simple brick and trusses, people. I've seen interior designers make amazing things happen with VCT and a little sheet vinyl. Hell, you stain and seal plain old concrete and make it look high-end--check the floor of any Einstein's Bagels, or nearly any coffee shop for that matter.

At first, I questioned my reaction to the photos and the article: was I just being a elitist architectural jerk? Was I acting towards this new building the way the starchitects of the world react towards my simple little hospitals in rural Kansas? Maybe. I can't rule out that fact that I'm indulging in my all-purpose designer bitchitude. But here's why it broke my heart. That student the paper quoted was going on and on about how the school might be the nicest in Georgia, and how it's a highlight for Booger County and a model for other schools to follow, and all I can think is YOU CAN HAVE IT SO MUCH BETTER. I've built hospitals on shoestring budgets and still given them spaces that look beautiful, inspiring, uplifting, amazing. This building does not inspire me--it makes me feel even more "meh" than I used to when I looked at my old school building because it simply puts brick on a metal panel bus barn and calls it good. The forms are uninspiring, the use of materials is pedantic, and the whole thing looks from the outside like the school's board went into a coma in 1996 and just woke up, but the architects built them a building that looks like 1996 so they wouldn't be all shocked at how much time has passed, like an architectural version of GoodBye Lenin! I guess all the kids will be required to carry around Discmans that play Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch while they're at school, hiding their iPods and cell phones until they round the bend out of sight from the school. Sad.

As I read the student's comments, I thought to myself, "Of course you think it's gorgeous--if you're surrounded by nothing but Wal-Mart and trailers, this building is the frickin' Emerald City." I then thought back to my first year of architecture school at Georgia Tech, and I was amazed by all the really cool designs my fellow students came up with. How did they think that up? Where had they seen it? WTF? I often wondered to myself if my own designs were so normative and bland because I myself had grown up in a visually vanilla world. But at that moment I thought, "Why are we afraid to push these students, this town a little bit? Why are we afraid to give them a little more visual oomph? It feels like we're preparing these kids to never leave Booger County."

I'm not done mulling this topic over...

Friday, September 11, 2009

Labor Day Trip, Part 2

So our first day in the area was spent seeing Nature's geological wonders, but Guy noticed that we really didn't see a lot of critters. We had seen a plethora of chipmunks and squirrels, as well as the occasional brave potato-chip-and-bread-wanting bird, like this one that showed up at our Grand Teton campsite Friday night.

The next morning, we paused a moment to see the glacier on Grand Teton mountain.

We went to the Laurence Rockerfeller center, of which Guy took a couple dozen shots because a) it had the most amazing building details and b) it's a LEED Platinum building, which are few and far between.

Every detail of the center's site was amazing.

We had seen so few critters that we actually took a picture of a butterfly, of which we actually see very few, what with living in the city.

"Where are all the big animals?" Guy mused, being a bit silly. We knew that seeing large critters, like moose, mountain lions, deer, and bears are hard to come by. And they warn you constantly up here about bears--watch out for the bears! put your food in your car or the bears will eat it! and don't wear a Vikings jersey because that really pisses them off!

And as we rounded a corner of Phelps Lake...OMGWTFBBQMOOSE!!11!!!!
We happened upon a young female moose, about 7' tall. We were both a little spooked by each other, but she eventually walked by us with a wary eye. Guy and I were actually quite freaked out. "What do you do when you see a moose?" Guy asked. "I dunno," I replied, "maybe you don't make any sudden moves or make eye contact, don't try to talk to it or it'll charge at you?" Guy glanced at me briefly, "We're supposed to treat a moose like it's Naomi Campbell?"

About a mile later, we saw a chicken-turkey-partridge-quail in the bushes, but Guy was less impressed. Having seen a moose, we felt like we'd seen all the wildlife we could handle for one trip.

As we got around the other side of Phelps Lake, more amazing sights to behold. Seriously, we couldn't wal 50 feet without saying "Omigod, take a picture of that!"

And that was my summer vacation. :-)

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Labor Day Trip, Part 1

Yes, I'm going to do two posts of the amazing pictures we took at Grand Teton and Yellowstone over Labor Day weekend. Yes, it's a cheap way to fill space on a blog. But y'all, these are some amazing pictures, seriously. Captions are above each picture.

At our campsite in Pinedale, WY, we were besieged by a very cute and curious herd of chipmunks. Here's one of them.

Friday morning in Grand Teton, one of the major mountains in the park over Jackon Lake (I think it's Mt. Moran?). See how the mountain is perfectly mirrored in the lake? That's with a run-of-the-mill digital camera we used--you can't help but take good pictures in Grand Teton and Yellowstone.

And then it got even better in Yellowstone. First we went to West Thumb, an area on the south side of Yellowstone that has a bunch of small geysers and brightly colored pools of boiling water, just a few feet away from the 45-degree waters of Yellowstone Lake. Early explorers spoke of catching a fish in the lake, then turning around and dipping the fish on the line into a geyser and boiling it, ready to eat right off the line. These images are of some of the geysers and water pools.

Yellowstone Lake.

Looking towards Yellowstone Lake from a geyser wash area.

And of course, we got there in time to see Old Faithful go off, 90 minutes on the dot.

On Friday, I'll show you the surprise we got in Grand Teton.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Back and well

We got back from Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks yesterday, and we're already planning our next trip out there for next Labor Day week/weekend. We took some incredible pictures, saw some amazing things, and spent a lot of good time together. When we arrived home, Maddy was excited that the Providers of Really Good Treats had returned; she meowed at us all night for moar nom-nomz and wouldn't leave us alone. Hazel, however, acted shell shocked until this morning; they're both now lolling in the living room near some camping blankets I'm hanging up to dry.

When I can figure out how to get the pictures onto the new laptop, I'll post some of the trip awesomness. We took some pictures like the ones you see in magazines. We're not camera-hoes, but it was as if we couldn't go 50 feet without going "ohmygod! get a picture of that!" and "holycrap! that's GORGEOUS!" Grand Teton and Yellowstone were that nice.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Happy early Labor Day, with a little thankfulness on the side

Guy and I are on our way to go camping in Grand Teton National Park; it's our first and likely only camping trip of 2009. Despite the fact that we weren't insanely busy for most of the year and the summer, we were just never able to get out of town for a few days. So, we're taking a few days to enjoy the wild wild West and all the wonders it has to offer.

Speaking of wonders, it was a year ago this holiday weekend that my kitteh Maddy was diagnosed with small cell abdominal lymphosarcoma and given about six or so months to live. At the beginning of the summer, she was given another four to six weeks to live. And yet as I write this, she's lolling on the chaise, monitoring my every move in case I even remotely head towards the kitchen. She has a fuzzy, lovable tummy that she's showing off so that I might be tempted to pet it...oh, now we're curled up in a ball, purring softly. I know that this cancer will take her eventually--she has moments where she hides for a day or doesn't eat as much as usual--but I have been given a bonus year with this sweet, wonderful creature who hops up on the bed every morning and awakens me two minutes before my alarm with a "MROWR!" that nearly causes car alarms to go off. I have been given extra little moments with this fur angel that has re-learned how to get on the table and counters to go after food (thanks, Grandma) and likes to snuggle with me (and fart on me--the chemo makes her do that). So I'm thankful for all the miracles, great and small, that I have been granted in the past year: a job, a good partner in life, good friends, extra time with my beloved pet, and the chance to visit amazing places that are quite nearly in my back yard.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009


Guy wrapped up a major deadline last week as well, which was DD drawings for a classroom and research facility for a college campus with the starchitects at Scooby-Doo & Associates. A few weeks ago, Guy wrote them an email saying that they really needed to get their detailing together because the Revit model (the drawings, as it were) that they kept sending him wasn't up to date or useful to him. For the love of Renzo, the windows they were showing in the plan didn't even course with the bricks (i.e., have a width that is evenly divisible by 4" or 8" and a height that is evenly divisible by 8"). So, Guy sent out this polite-but-firm coming-to-Jesus email, and nothing happened. A few days later, he was booked on a plane to New York to spend three days helping SD&A work out their detailing. Well, isn't that nice?

So Guy flies out there on a Saturday and spends 13 hours on Sunday, 15 hours on Monday, and 6 hours on Tuesday before getting on a plane and flying back to Denver, helping these people find their asses with both hands and a flashlight. (I think Guy held the flashlight for part of that process.) On his last day there, Guy found out that his email had indeed put the fear of Richard Meier into these people. SD&A's design team truly had no idea that the project and the model was in that bad of shape. Turns out they were designing their exterior elevations in AutoCAD but not transferring those changes and ideas to the exterior (core & shell) model, which was being done in Revit. Matter of fact, there was only one guy maintaining and updating this huge-ass Revit model, and several designers fiddling and fuddling over sketch paper and the CAD elevations.

Now, the design and construction people reading this are clutching their chests and trying not to faint, but I know the rest of you may be doing the "Baroo?" look. Allow me to explain. Let's say you have a master calendar on your wall that shows all the comings and goings of the people in your family. This master calendar is for a whole year, and it shows the vacation days and birthdays and anniversaries and days that people are traveling for work or having their wisdom teeth removed and so on for the entire next twelve months. You need this master calendar to stay updated so that you can use it to figure out when to plan a party or to know when you need to go stay with Martha, because her wisdom teeth are coming out on the 17th, and she'll need help for a couple of days, but you'll have to take a break in the afternoon to get James from the airport on the 19th because he's flying back in from Bangladesh.... Now, let's imagine that your loved ones are writing down important days in their Day Timers or appointment books or even on little pink Post-It notes, but they're not conveying these dates and appointments and whatnot onto the master calendar. Suddenly, Evan is calling you wondering why you didn't come to his one-man show, and you notice that it wasn't on the master calendar and he's all "but it was in my BlackBerry!" Now, imagine that each of these unmarked appointments costs several thousand dollars each to remedy and throws off everything else in the calendar when they get forgotten or missed or not coordinated--that's what working in CAD and not transferring the design decisions into Revit does to a project.

I don't know how much more Guy has to work with Shaggy and Scrappy up there, but I'm sure the end will come not a moment too soon.