Sunday, May 28, 2006


I went to the ER yesterday for the first time in my life. I didn't really want to go, because, it's not like they're going to perform surgery on my knee there, so my thought process is generally, what's the point?

Anyway, unable to walk, I took a cab to St. Vincent's at 3pm on Saturday, and walked right into a made for TV scene - and Asian woman was reacting like an alien was about to pop out of her stomach - howling, laying on the floor, and arching her back like she was going through an Exorcism. It was freaky - and her two kids, a boy (about 10) and a girl (about 8) were bawling their eyes out as they watched their mom go bonkers.

Two minutes later, the woman was fine, and I asked the little guy, "Is that your mom?" He nodded. "She's gonna be ok - don't worry." He looked at me with wide eyes, unsure. "That was scary, huh?" I asked. He nodded. "She'll be fine," I hope I was right...

After that incident, there weren't any other stereotypical NYC ER scenes - just a bunch of weekend warriors (like myself) with sports-related injuries. A guy with an injured thumb... A guy with a busted ankle... A guy with a cut on his forehead...

I looked at the guy with the bad ankle, who was still wearing his tank top and athletic shorts. "Basketball?" I guessed. He nodded. "Soccer," I confessed, as they wheeled me to the FastTrack ward an hour later in a wheelchair, after taking my vitals (blood pressure good, temperature normal, pulse: 69). FastTrack is a new branch they have which is to treat non-life-threatening injuries, while the seriously injured people stay in the Triage ER section.

"Do you want some pain medication? We can give you a narcotic," The physician's assistant told me. "Yes, sure" I answered. "It will make you drowsy," she warned. Like I give a shit - give me the fuckin' percaset! They gave me one, and x-rayed my knee. X-rays were negative, of course, but they don't do MRI's in the ER - so I really don't know any more than I knew yesterday. They gave me a knee imobilizer, and a pair of crutches. The only problem is that the friggin' crutches hurt like hell to use! Now my armpits are bruised and killing me.

After an hour in the FastTrack ward I limped home. Eric came over later with his 5 month old baby boy, Luke.

"Luke, repeat after me: DOUCHEBAG. DOUCHEBAG. DOOOOOOSH BAAAAAG," I tried, but all luke would do was keep repeating a baby-babbly ga-ga that sounded like "All-in." Eric has already taught him well.

"Luke, Muh-ther-fuck-er" (Don't worry, I got permission to teach the kids bad words), but he just stared at me with empty eyes, and babbled "RAISE." Man this kid is tight aggressive.

I'm off to Philly for a wedding. Monday BBQ back here in NYC is imminent though.

until next time,


Yeah b-yatch: Gonna defend my 14th place Blogger Tourney finish...

Texas Holdem Poker

I have registered to play in the PokerStars World Blogger Championship of Online Poker!

This Online Poker Tournament is a No Limit Texas Holdem event exclusive to Bloggers.

Registration code: 7330476

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Friday Night Lights

I was once a decent soccer player. Never a prolific goal scorer, at my peak, I could nevertheless defend along with the best of them. About 5 years ago I began playing with a group of guys in the city, friend-of-a-friend-of-a-friend kind of thing, and the next thing you know we're playing together at least twice a week in two different leagues. We played mostly 6v6 on Friday nights at a rooftop field with a great view of downtown Manhattan and the Statue of Liberty, and 11 a side on Sundays up in Harlem. We were young, at least not old yet, and somewhat in shape. Over the years, the roster of players changed, and some of the cachet of playing with, and then going out drinking with the same guys every week wore off.

About a year ago, the not no-so-25-year-old version of myself volunteered to fill in for a missing player in a 7v7 Tuesday night league. I took a brutal kick to the shin, right on the side of the shinguard, that left a tennis-ball-sized welt on my leg. X-rays were negative, but I still have a bruise 12 months later, and hadn't played since.

Thursday afternoon, Gavin, the long time team captain, sent out an email desperately looking for a few more players for Friday night's game. Hmmm.. Weather? nice. Other obligations? None. Conditioning? Non-existent. List of players coming? Old school! It looked like almost our original team scheduled to play! I had to be there...

"Gav, I have to tell you - there's a remote chance I could play, but, no exaggeration, I get tired walking up the steps when I come out of the subway - I'm strictly an extra body to give someone else a breather," I responded.

"Rubbish - just come, none of us are fit," Gavin shot back, never failing to use a quirky Euro-term.

When I found out Friday's forecast called for massive thunderstorms, I hedged myself, "Gavin, I'm not playing if it rains hard."

"Your skin was meant to withstand rain," he wasn't in the mood for my whining.

"Yeah, but my skills weren't - I'm not going down with a pulled hammy from slipping on a wet field," I'm a total pussy, and although I enjoy kicking around with a group of guys I've known for years, I KNOW I'm out of shape, and do not need a Friday Night Injury.

Friday afternoon and evening turned out to be beautiful, but as I checked my email before the game, I realized that we were playing 8 on 8, on a full field, and that one possible teammate had just bailed, leaving us with only 8 players. Uh oh.

In a strange turn of events, Eric happened to be in New York, and I immediately called him, telling him that if he didn't come to the game, I was even money to be carted off with a heart condition.

As we arrived one by one at the field, the entrance of each player put a smile on everyone's face. Will? Will is here??! Holy crap. Kevin! Kid Dynamite? Dave! Josh! Good to see you! Unreal - this is like our vintage 2003 championship team. When Eric strolled in, we all just started laughing - it was like the old days - nothing had changed.

We ran around the field warming up, complaining of sore backs and tight hammy's, and placing bets on who'd have what injury. In the game, we took a 3-0 lead, dominating like the days of yore, before sportingly allowing our opponents to gain a ray of hope. 3-1. 10 minutes later, 3-2. Jeez, how long are these fucking halfs - 45 minutes? 22 minutes, I'm told, but I'd lay 5-1 odds we played at least 35 minute halfs. They tied the game 3-3, before we put it away with two late goals for a 5-3 victory. Of course, the game wouldn't be complete without me deciding I was going to make a run up the right wing, receiving a perfect pass from Gavin, and whiffing on a one-timer attempt, jamming my right leg in the process, and going down like I was shot. My right knee straightened, and the entire weight of my not-so-1996-fit body jammed into it, as I collapsed in a heap.

As I lay on the ground in agony, I could hear two of my friends laughing at my horrific goal scoring attempt, not realizing that I was actually hurt. People talk about "hearing a pop" when they tear their ACL. I tried to think - did I hear a pop? I think it was more of a crunch. I can flex my knee - maybe that's a good sign. "Usually if you tear your ACL or MCL, you can still move your knee," Eric crushes my optimism.

After the game, we used to go out drinking for hours at a local restaurant, Brothers BBQ, who eventually agreed to generously sponsor a few of our seasons. Nowadays, we limp home, puppies and babies in hand, and settle in to watch High Stakes Poker reruns, with Eric (who apparently lives in a log cabin with no tv or something, because he's the only poker player I know who watches absolutely ZERO poker on tv) analyzing every hand out loud, relishing the action like a kid on Christmas Day.

So, here I am, not sure how badly my knee is hurt, unable to walk on it, and not eager to go to the ER on Saturday of Memorial Day Weekend. Hopefully, it's not a torn ligament or something like that, but I've been lucky enough to have avoided knee problems throughout my athletic career, so I really don't know - all I know is that I can't walk. Fuck.

getting old,

Friday, May 26, 2006

Teaching a New Dog New Tricks

I finally uploaded a crappy quality video of Oscar's patented "fetch the tissue trick." Mrs. Dynamite sneezes, and Oscar runs and gets her a tissue. S-T-U-D.

He's the frickin' MAN.


Thursday, May 25, 2006


Oscar got neutered today. Sad, I know, but we didn't want him getting some bitch pregnant. Here's an old picture of his huge junk pre-op.

In addition, he got 4 teeth pulled - baby teeth that didn't fall out. The vet wanted them out because otherwise they cause all sorts of plaque buildup and infection problems later on.

Oscar is pretty pissed right now. He's all drugged up, laying in bed, giving me the sad face. I'll post some post-op pics, including his lampshade that he has to prevent him from pulling at his stitches.

In less depressing news, WickedChops proved their wicked interview chops once again by interviewing TJ Cloutier. It's not as good as their Kid Dynamite interview, but it proves that they have the chops to get a sit-down with TJ.

Bloomberg wrote a story about a Wall Street blog today, It's absolutely fuckin' brilliant stuff - a satire on Wall Street (especially investment banking) life and culture. Apparently the kid who writes it doesn't even work for an investment bank, but gets stories from his friends that he adds artistic license too. The result is a brilliant satire, which some of his readers seem to miss the sarcasm and subtlety of, as can be seen in his comments.

Reading will bring back memories of American Psycho, one of my all time favorite movies, starring Christian "Batman" Bale (side note: the character Bale plays in Batman Begins is basically the same character he played in American Psycho - and he plays it to perfection). American Psycho is the ultimate satire of over-indulgent Wall Street culture, and of getting caught up in the Material World. If you haven't seen it, rent it ASAP. The book, by Brett Easton Ellis, is also exceptional, although much more graphic and gruesome than the movie.

until next time,


Sunday, May 21, 2006

Homegame Action

The weather cooperated yesterday afternoon, and we set up the table in my backyard for a 7 hour session of PL Hold'em and PL Omaha.

On the very first hand, H0nus stacked Drew in an unraised pot when they both checked the flop, and H0nus made his gutshot straight on the turn at the same time Drew made 2 pair + a flush draw.

H0nus later gave me those chips on this hand:

Mergie raised to $7 UTG, and H0nus called in the cutoff. Ollie called in the SB, and I called in the BB with 2-5 of diamonds, announcing "I want you all to know, I have a really bad hand - I warned you."

When the flop came 6c-4d-3d my rags were now the nuts, with a re-draw to the mortal nuts - an open ended straight-flush re-draw. Now, on to the important business - how to make money! I bet $10. Mergie folded, and H0nus raised to $25. Ollie folded, and I bumped it to $75.

H0nus starts to think. After a minute, I tell him: "I know what you have: K-J of diamonds." "Better," he says, "I have a big pair." "Uh oh - how big?" I ask, "Not bigger than eights right?" I'm deep inside his head now... Now, H0nus and I have had many a battle in the past, and he knows I love to push him around, so he thinks his J-J is good, and he's not crazy to think so. He goes into the tank for a full 3 minutes, and finally elects to put me all-in for about $67 more. I beat him into the pot, and my hand holds up.

The Chairman, Jay G, one of the founding members of the KD homegame made a triumphant return to the game. Although he and Greg continued to push for a session of PL 7CS high-low, several of us held out, in the interest of not losing our stacks in that unruly game. We instead settled on PL Omaha, and I made a monster laydown in the first orbit:

I limped UTG with A-2-7-8 single suited, and called when Mat made it $7 from the small blind. Mergie came along for the action. The flop came A-9-2 with two hearts (not my suit), and Mat bet into me, $15. I had a very bad feeling here, and just called the $15, as did Mergie.

The turn brought an ace - a card I really didn't like, even though it made me aces full. Mat again bet $40, and now I really didn't like my hand. I called the $40 though, and Mergie folded. Mat is a pretty tight, smart player, and I don't think he's betting anything less than the nuts here - A-9-x-x.

The river was the four of hearts, completing the possible flush draw, and Mat hemmed and hawed before betting $100 into me. I KNOW I'm beat - how can I call? I'm not THAT much of a hold'em playing Omaha novice - I know my hand is vulnerable, and against this specific opponent I'm in deep trouble. I shake my head, "How can I call?" "What's that? You call?" Mat inquires. "No, I didn't do anything yet."

I continue to deliberate, and finally say "Now I'm just trying to decide if I should muck my hand face up or face down!" Mat nods and says, "Just muck already - hurry up," and that seals it for me, I lay my cards face up. Jay has a look of horror on his face - which surprises me. I'm almost expecting him to say "Nice laydown," but instead he tells me "I make that laydown, exactly, NEVER." And Jay knows exactly what he's doing. In this situation, I could make the call if Mat kept his mouth shut, but I got a serious read on him, and I felt supremely confident in my fold, especially since Mat didn't show me a bluff after I mucked face up. Mat teased me off and on for the next several orbits, but eventually told me that he did indeed have A-9 along with the flush draw.

I only played one more pot of interest, when I found JJ - Friday in Vegas - in the small blind. Mat opened for $7 on the cutoff, and I made it $24 to go. Mat called.

The flop was A-A-6, and I check-called a $35 bet from Mat.

The turn was another 6, and I checked again. Mat bet $65, and I thought for a long time, before moving all-in for $87 more. I had decided I wasn't going to fold, and thus my decision was between

a) moving all-in, in which case I get called if Mat has an Ace, and otherwise take the pot down (if Mat has KK or QQ, he probably calls here too - I can't get a better hand to fold),


b) call and check the river with the intention of snapping off a 3-bullet bluff when Mat bluffs the river. The risk there is that he can spike a K,Q or underset on the river, and he may not bluff the river anyway.

I decided to move in, and Mat folded quickly.

We played until 11pm, with a spotlight and a lantern on the table, until finally the action dried up and we called it a night. All in all, a good time was had by all, and I came out with a monstrous $40 profit, much of which was due to my winning the race for the odd chips when we all cashed out.

until next time,

Friday, May 19, 2006

Happy Fuckin' Friday!

Have you seen this video? If you're not from Boston or Chicago, you may have never seen a "piss trough" urinal before. They are really unmatched in male bathroom camaraderie - a bunch of dudes standing at a big long tub peeing into it while trying to act normal. Unmatched. This dude at Wrigley takes it to an entirely different level when he does a facefirst dive through the trough. Wow. Speechless.

I was walking into my apartment today with Oscar - who was wicked unruly on our walk. As I pulled my keys out, I looked at him and said "What's up Wild Man? What's the deal Bad Boy?" And a dude walking by stopped 5 steps past my place and started looking at me. Now, you have to understand, I live in a pretty gay neighborhood (not that there's anything wrong with that.) I suddenly realize the misinterpretation - this guy thinks I'm talking to him... I open my door, and look back - he's still looking at me. "Umm, I was talking to the dog," I explain. Johnny Cakes. He looks disappointed, shrugs, and keeps walking.

Until next time,

Thursday, May 18, 2006

That's the Spirit

I sent out an email to my "homegame" list, planning a Saturday afternoon poker game at my place. Mergie won the award for best decision:

"I did have a second date planned for Saturday, but Poker comes first. If she can't understand that, then she's not worth dating anyway. I'm in."

Attaboy Mergie.

Oscar and I just got caught outside in a thunderstorm. He friggin' HATES the rain, and tries to refuse to go out when it's raining. Unfortunately, I already have a note today from my dogwalker that notes that Oscar didn't do a "#2" this afternoon, so we're going out tonight sooner or later - rain or shine... This is my life.


Monday, May 15, 2006

Johnny Cakes

So did you see Sopranos this week? There is a great scene where Vito is doing some actual construction work, as opposed to the no-show construction work he's used to doing. There is a voiceover of Vito's inner monologue, basically saying "It must be 10:30 by now - don't look at your watch - save it - enjoy it," etc... then there's a cut, and Vito is still working, he's saying to himself "It's gotta be 11:30, maybe 11:45 - look at the angle of the sun - ok - go ahead - check your watch," he's just trying to make it to quitting time. He checks his watch: 9:55am. "FUCK ME!" Vito yells out loud - and I couldn't help but laugh - as I've definitely been there. Me and Vito are kindred spirits, only he's gay, fat, Italian, a total douchebag, a Yankee fan and a mobster. Other than that, he's just like me...

Oscar went to the groomer this weekend, where he got a stylin' trim. We just came back from yet another trip to the vet. He's trying to preserve his league leading status atop the West Village Animal Hospital appearances list. This time it was for a mysterious intermittent leg injury that he's been having. The vet couldn't diagnose the problem, but did surprise Oscar with his not-so-favorite test: the rectal thermometer. I was thinking, "Um, his leg hurts, he's not sick," but what the fuck do I know - I'm not a vet. I thought he had a luxated patella, which, in English means a bad kneecap. Little did I know that dogs only have kneecaps on their hind legs - the front legs are their arms, and thus have elbows. Oscar fought the backdoor intrusion like a champ, but I had to hold him and settle him down, as the last thing I need is a BROKEN rectal thermometer inside of him.

How about some ACTUAL POKER CONTENT at Kid Dynamite's World? I haven't played recently, but I have still been watching, among other poker shows, the World Poker Tour (hey, I'm a stockholder!), which is almost unwatchable in the wake of the stellar "High Stakes Poker" (season two debuts the first week in June!). So this week was WPT Tunica - Gold Strike, featuring Gavin Smith, Scotty Nguyen, and Michael "the Grinder" Mizrachi sitting right next to each other in that order. Scotty and Grinder are the chipleaders, and play a pivotal pot early, where Scotty has 4-4 in the small blind, and Grinder has 5-6 in the BB. Forgive me if I get the action wrong, but I think it was very close to this:

Scotty limps, Grinder checks (Grinder may have made a small raise, not sure).
Flop: K-x-7, rainbow. Scotty checks, Grinder bets around 1/2 pot, Scotty calls, and says "You're going to check the turn, so I call now."

Turn: 4, giving Scotty a set, and Grinder an open-ended straight draw. Scotty checks. Grinder says "He wants a check, give him a check" and checks behind.

river: 3. Grinder goes runner-runner nuts! Aiyahh! Scotty checks, and Grinder bets out about 2/3rds the pot, perhaps slightly less.

Scotty starts to think. He cuts his chips - and at one point he even says "I can't believe I could just call you here," but continues to cut his chips, and there is no action ruled. After several seconds, Scotty stacks his chips into the pot as he says "RAISE," and reaches back for his raising chips. Grinder, in a complete brain fart, turns his cards over!

The tourney director is called to make a ruling, and SOMEHOW, he rules that Scotty can just call the bet! Huh? There is no way that's correct. Scotty is obligated to a min-raise at least. Gavin Smith pipes in something about how "there was reason to believe he was beat," but I really couldn't catch what he was trying to say, or figure out if that had something to do with the Floor's decision.

Anyway, this was a pivotal hand, as Scotty would have clearly had a tough time getting away from his set of fours on this relatively non-threatening board against a player as aggressive as the Grinder. Scotty would have check-raised the river, and Grinder would have come over the top. Scotty may very well have had to pay Grinder off with his set, as he fears only a bigger set and exactly 5-6, and suspects that Grinder's re-raising hand range is wider than that. Then again, maybe Scotty would get away from it, who knows. In any case, it was a huge mistake for the Grinder, who ended up finishing second to Scotty.

Until next time,

Thursday, May 11, 2006

One of Those Days

Fuck Fuckity Fuck Fuck Fuck.

Man what a fucking day I'm having. Phone ringing off the hook regarding work annoyance after work annoyance... Then I walk into my apartment and the light bulb blows - and I can't find the light-bulb-changy-extension-thingy to reach it.

I've been on simmering TILT since Saturday, when I sat down to watch the Kentucky Derby with Mrs. Dynamite. My man Big Show was at the Derby, and ready to place a wager for me. I asked Mrs. Dynamite to pick two horses. "Barbaro and the #13 horse," she replied matter-of-factly. Of course, I didn't call Big Show and have him buy a ticket for me - it's more of a heads up friendly "who can pick the best horses" wager between Mrs. Dynamite and myself.

Murphy's Law: she woulda nailed the FUCKING EXACTA! Paid $550+ on a $2 bet. SONOFA... "If you'd given me a grand to bet we'd be rich right now," Mrs. Dynamite points out. "I woulda done it too," she adds... This coming from the woman who was scared to bet the free match-play chip at a casino on our St. Maarten vacation many years ago...

So at least the Sox thrashed the Evil Empire on Tuesday night, with the play of the game being Big Papi scoring from second on a hard hit ball to Matsui - unheard of to see the big man truckin' like that. I only wish he'd pancaked Posada at the plate.

Last night I had the misfortune of being at Yankee Stadium when the Sox blew a 3-0 lead and lost 7-3. And, there's nothing like having to listen to the game highlights on the radio of the car on the way home - when I'm jammed in the middle of the back seat. Big Papi did hit a monster dinger to the third deck in right field, and also beat out a deep infield hit! Speed!

At least Dirty Dave made me laugh today: There's been a takeover saga on Wall Street regarding Aztar corp - owners of the Tropicana. Several companies are locked in an outright bidding war for the company, with the latest bid now some 40% above the initial bid. Never mind that the valuations placed on the company are way out of the range of anything ever attained on the Vegas Strip - it's like the Dutch Tulip Mania or the Internet Bubble - these guys are DYING to own Aztar. So I ask Dirty Dave, "Can you believe this fucking Aztar?"

he replies:

"Pot. Pot. Pot. Pot. Pot. "

and I smiled and laughed out loud. Dirty Dave, Analogy Master, had nailed it perfectly once again. The bidding war was, in poker parlance, like watching opponents sit across from the table and fire pot-sized raises at each other in an attempt to take the pot down - only no one was blinking.



Monday, May 08, 2006


So I'm reading Peter King's column this week, and he tells of his trip to Fenway for the Sox-Yanks series. In the newly renovated bathrooms at Red Sox Bar Cask and Flagon, King runs into a guy who, marveling at the new digs, blurts out, "Wow! What'd they do with these pissahs?"

As a Boston native, I long for the days of drunken' Bostonians using words like "Wicked" and "Pissah" - and even the only-understood-by-fellow-Bostonians: "Wicked pissah," which I think is the equivalent of England's "The Dog's Bollocks," also known as "The Nuts." So to recap: Pissah is a noun meaning "urinal" or an adjective meaning "cool". Wicked Pissah is something very good - like Big Papi hitting a 3 run homer in the bottom of the 8th against the yankees.

Speaking of Boston bar memories - I remember vividly my senior year, late one night at Whiskey's on Boylston street. I finish using the pissah, and one of the sinks is filled to the brim with puke. I hold my breath and clean up at the other sink, while I spot a dude hanging out in the bathroom eyeing the puke-filled sink. Feeling that something needed to be said, I tried, "Wow - I'm glad I don't have to clean that up." "I do - that's MY job," the poor sap replied, in despair. "Sorry bro' - what are you going to do?" I asked him. "I think I'm going to quit." he replied, quite honestly. Good times.

In other news, Oscar has "graduated" from puppy kindergarten. He has the diploma to prove it. Yes - it's on my 'fridge. I spent Saturday morning pulling two ticks off his face - fuckin' disgusting. Ticks are the most vile creatures you could imagine - their entire head burrows under the dog's skin, and their bodies plump up with blood. Usually if you dab them with a cotton-ball or q-tip soaked with rubbing alcohol, they will release their grip, but Oscar's two ticks were very close to his eyes, so I had to be very careful. Mrs. Dynamite and I couldn't subdue the little warrior with out tightest grips, and it took us several hours of coercing and restraint before I was able to extract both ticks with a pair of tweezers (making sure not to pull off the body and leave the embedded head.) I'm told Frontline flea & tick medication works well in preventing the parasites, and he'll be on that shortly.

until next time,

Thursday, May 04, 2006

F U E.S.P.N.

So I'm watching the Sox-Jays game on ESPN-HD. In the bottom of the second, 3-3 tie game, the Red Sox have the bases loaded with 1 out, and Mark Loretta coming to the plate. Suddenly, ESPN cuts away to a live Barry Bonds at bat. Not a split-screen view - they fucking CUT AWAY to Bonds! I am forced to watch Bonds ground out, and then the ESPN studio announcers take another 30 seconds before throwing the game back to the Fenway broadcast, where I see the Red Sox in the field! What the fuck?!?! The announcer casually mentions that Loretta hit into a double play.

Can't the fuckin' geniuses at ESPN come up with a better plan? They clearly don't want to sacrifice their valuable add time and show Bonds' at-bats during a commercial, but they could at least give us a split screen! Bonds isn't even close to the home run record - he's close to taking over SECOND PLACE! FUCK! Would anyone know if they just "pretended" that the Bonds at-bats were live, when in fact they were 5 minutes delayed until there was a suitable time to show them? Does anyone care about a Bonds at-bat if it's not a homer anyway? I'm certain there was not one Red Sox fan watching the game who was thinking "I don't care about Loretta and Big Papi coming up with the bases loaded - I wonder what Barry Bonds is doing right now."

fuck you ESPN.


Tuesday, May 02, 2006


So I'm lying on the couch watching the Sox-Yanks game, and I hear my wife howling from upstairs "Help! Aiyahh!"

"What's the matter?" I shout up the stairs.
"He's attacking me while I'm on the toilet!" Mrs. Dynamite squeaks back, while trying to fend off the attacker:

Yep. Oscar. The little guy has learned to identify optimal attacking times: like when his target is on the toilet, and thus less capable of defense... He got me with the same move this afternoon - it's harder than you think to defend yourself from a crazed Oscar using one arm, while you try to wipe your ass with the other...

This is my life...