I Have Inherited a House

I was not really expecting to inherit this house, although to be honest it did not seem like a great prize when I first saw it and there are still a few things to do. The first thing I had to do was find someone to do drain unclogging services in New Jersey. The house was vacant for a couple months after my great aunt went to the hospital and then died from Covid 19. Someone must have been using the house for some illegal purpose and they left the drains stopped up so bad that I could not do anything about it. The guy who came had to remove and replace a big section of the drain pipes. He told me that the house was old and lots of greasy stuff had gone down the drains for a long time. It was not that big of a job for him apparently, although it smelled bad from the trash inside of that piece of pipe.

I guess that I was the only one who really went to see her. All of her immediate family are out on the West Coast some place, her oldest son is actually in prison for drugs or something and she was estranged from the others. That is not surprising, since she was an extremely difficult woman in every way that you could imagine. I felt bad for her and ignored her temper tantrums, mostly because my mom made me at first. I always expected she would leave the house to someone more closely related, but it does not even seem that they care. I was a lot more surprised that she had actual money in her bank account to leave to the local library and her church. She lived as though she had nothing, but instead she had a significant amount of money in the bank.

A Security System Ad Piqued My Interest

A local home security systems company has really been pushing out the ads in a marketing blitz in my area and are offering some spectacular deals for new customers. They are a reputable national company who provides the latest technological advances in home security systems. These systems have most certainly come a long way, even the last couple of years. Since I do not currently have a security system, these ads have really piqued my interest and have made me wonder if I’m providing the safest and most secure environment for my family. In today’s society, one can never be too careful and must prepare for the unexpected to happen at any given time.

One of my favorite TV shows on right now is a reality show that uses the slogan “Expect the unexpected” a lot. That is kind of how I look at life too. I figure if I prepare myself, then I am that far ahead of the curve. I went to the website of the company that had these ads because I wanted to learn more about their security system deals. I knew that they were running a special, which I did appreciate because I enjoy saving money where ever I can.

However, I wanted to see what the prices were going to be once the promotional prices were done. I did not want to get a surprise when I received the first regular bill. I was satisfied when I saw that the prices are quite reasonable even at full price. I spend more than what a month of monitoring costs on a pizza night for the family, so this was definitely within the range of my budget. Plus, I have the peace knowing that I am doing everything I can to protect my family from bad things happening to us.

Food Riots and the Race for Land

Overpopulation and a Looming Food Crisis

The price of food and resources are currently more than what the average Jo feels comfortable with and they are about to go higher as the population soars. Already 7 billion humans will have to fight for the dwindling stocks as scientists race to create more artificial ways of feeding the masses. With fish declining and weather predictions against agriculture the future is already bleak. While we in Australia and most other western nations can comfortable go to the supermarket and get produce it means that few people are worried about what will happen in the very near future when the tables are turned.

Already countries like China, for example, are investing heavily in Australian agricultural lands because the powers that be are looking to the future. Good land, good water supplies and easily accessible resources are attractive incentives for foreign investment companies looking to replace their own now arid lands as desertification is wiping out much of their productivity. That may mean that Australians will be buying from these Companies and paying higher prices for what may well be dwindling supplies.

If this country, for instance, has to export most of what it grows to foreign shores there will be little left for local supermarkets and consumers. Our food security will then be non-existent or at best greatly stressed. There are always people at the top making a fortune.

By looking ahead a few short years it has given many entrepreneurs an exciting glimmer of where they will be when things fall apart for the rest of us. Is there a way out and should we be securing our own agricultural land   in  Australian hands before the problem is unresolvable?

This is a problem that many countries should be addressing while the so-called free trade agreements may be tipped too far against us.

The  Elephant  that Has Escaped Untouched

Overpopulation is the  elephant   in   the   room  and it is obvious that most of the big CEO’s, with their million dollars a year contracts, don’t care about it. They just want money. The more people they have to use their services and goods the better off they see themselves. They don’t appear to worry if millions of people will soon die from starvation or in the riots that will surely follow food shortages when they come.

Many wars have started as a result of food and water shortages. Whosoever controls these resources will control the world when things get really tough. There are people dying today in their thousands because they have stripped their lands bare of soil and have overpopulated them to the extent that there is now no room.

Mass Migration has already Started

Great mobs are fleeing in their thousands while forcing themselves on other countries to let them in and this is nothing to what is coming. Illegal migrants are arriving in western countries by any means possible and many are hopping on unseaworthy boats, some drowning at sea, to escape the life they have unwittingly created for themselves. So is that a reasonable excuse to allow them to do the same to the rest of the world?

It’s time to take stock and to deal with the stupidity from which we will never escape if and when it comes about.

The Elephant in America’s Political Living Room – The Time For Spiritual Maturity

America, there is a giant  elephant   in  our living  room . It is fear. It takes the form of racism, sexism, lying, cheating, name-calling, rumor and innuendo mongering. It’s ugly and it does not become us. As the presidential elections draw nearer, I find my inbox bombarded with sleazy attacks on the presidential candidates by those who identify themselves as the “opposite”.

Labels of left, right, conservative, liberal, democrat, republican, middle of the road are for those who can’t think independently. Labels are for lemmings; and everyone has the capacity to think and feel the correctness, truth and quality of a person and his/her message.

But once someone identifies themselves as “liberal” or “Republican”, someone stops listening altogether. Nary another word they have to say is given any listen by the closed mind and locked heart caused by fear. This is what I see happening in my inbox. Friends and family send these political missives; the latest one today was from a friend in Virginia. The e-mail was a compilation of the best bumper stickers – all of which were defaming Obama and the Democrats. As I read them, I realized that people who create this kind of “information” are afraid. Only fear can make people attack others.

The presidential race ought to be all about the issues; rather fear reduces it to slurs, rumor and innuendo. Another friend forwarded to me an e-mail that was reportedly written by a soldier in Afghanistan recounting that Obama had snubbed the troops on his recent world trip. This e-mail is not verifiable: it cannot be traced back to the author’s original e-mail address but just gets forwarded on, like it’s Gospel truth…out of fear.

I trust that Americans can figure out for themselves what is Truth and not; but the key to this is that you have to come to the table with an open mind and an open heart. You have to come to the debate with the attitude, “Tell me who you are.” You can’t come to the table with fear that obscure you from ever hearing what they have to say, let alone giving yourself the opportunity to FEEL the truth or experience their beauty.

Fear is irrational. It has no reason; it simply lurks within a heart and obliterates the Light. Fear is why we are at war. Fear is why we fight with each other. Fear is why we are sick. Fear is why people pass on information that is without verifiable truth, because it supports your fear, which is basically lack. You believe that your good will be at the expense of “their” good. This is categorically a lie. My good is not at the expense of yours. There is enough, plenty, for everyone.

If you want a safer, better, and happier America, then each of us needs to take a good hard and honest look at who we are as individuals, first.

No one need know what goes on in this conversation between you and YOU. But we each had better have that private and intimate conversation with our self. Because it is we, the people, that make up this country. You, me, and all the John and Jane Doe’s across these 50 states. However much fear and hatred that we harbor in our hearts, that is what we are going to experience as a country in this world.

It’s time for some individual house keeping. I challenge you to have that conversation with yourself. Come to terms with the fact that you are afraid of those of different colors, different creeds, and different ideas. Now, I challenge you to love them. I challenge you to listen with an open mind and open heart.

This is no airy fairy exercise, my friends. This country is only as good as the people who comprise it. If you love America, but clearly hate certain Americans, how can this Nation stand? It won’t. It will crumble from within; and it won’t take any foreign enemy to bury us.

This country is advanced citizenship. It takes clear hearts and clear minds to deal with serious problems. To be a citizen of America means you must defend the right of someone to voice their opinion about something you would spend your life trying to defeat. It means you will disagree with that person vehemently on the issue; but you will respect that person as an equal citizen and a worthy being. This is not an oxymoron. You can disagree with someone and still respect them and their right to their opinion. If you respect their right to their opinion, you will not defame, slur or disrespect someone by making a policy opinion into a personal slur. That is spiritual immaturity. We are called to become spiritual adults, now.

It’s time to grow up America. We can conduct healthy, spirited debates and actually learn from each other. Only fear closes our ears to what someone has to say. It costs us nothing to listen, not just with our minds, but also with our hearts. Times are changing, as they always do. It just feels so much better when you listen with your heart open, even to something you don’t like. It’s the idea you disagree with; the person is just like you: God having a physical adventure.

We have a duty as Americans to be very good stewards of democracy. Democracy is a place where everything, every idea, every people get to be here, much like the books in a library. The books in the library sit side by side offering their unique and individual thoughts for those who wish to read them. Those books don’t hop off the shelf at night and duke it out. So it is in this wonderful and promising place, America. It all gets to be here. It takes advanced citizenship and spiritual maturity to fully grasp what this really means and how great a challenge this is to each of us every day of our lives.

We have nothing to fear, except fear; because fear will undermine us and crumble us from the inside out.

Next time you see someone whose political views you think you hate, try this: take a deep breath. Acknowledge that he/she is a unique individual with unique things to say, just like you. Acknowledge that you might be afraid of some of the things they might offer. Now, listen to them with your full attention and respect. Breathe in again, and now breathe out. Can you realize that you are in no way diminished because they have that idea? You can thank them for sharing. You can chew over what they had to say. You can discard all of it; some of it; or, surprise, none of it. Nothing bad is going to happen just because you listened with an open mind and an open heart. The only time something bad can happen is when you fear it; then, my friend, you will attract it.

This Universe can supply every one’s needs at the same time. There’s enough for everyone. America is the place on Earth where we are either going to learn to do that in the physical as a Nation; or we will go the way of all the other civilizations that came before us.

We can trust in the Good in each of us. Speak to that. Listen to that.

Everyone is God at center. America is the great experiment. Can we learn to live with all those different Gods in the same place and know that each of our Good is always at play?

I say we can. That is applied spirituality in action; that is spiritual maturity.

The Art of Home Staging

Staging is the art of using marketing and decorating techniques to create an environment that buyers can aspire to. “If I buy this house, I can live like this.” Stagers use the art of “positioning” to create several “emotional connection points” throughout the home so that when a buyer steps into the house they “feel home.” “This is it.” “This is the one.” What does feeling home look like? For Home Stagers it’s a combination of eight elements analyzed in each room in order to create a lasting impression for the home buyer:

1. First Impressions – Room by room, we will walk through and take note of our first impressions, what grabs us, what glares at us and what gives to us a feeling of home?

2. Eliminating Clutter – The packing starts now as we pack away a good percentage of everything in the room in order to create a more clean, open and spacious feel.

3. Emphasizing the Positive – While Downplaying the Negative – Finding your beautiful focal points, we will emphasize what we love about the room and hide or distract the negative aspects of the rooms.

4. Lighten Up – Focusing on lighting and color, we will make each room into a bright, warm and inviting space that buyers can respond to.

5. Home Buyers Appeal – In order for a buyer to “feel home” they need not be reminded of this being your home. We’ll depersonalize the space while retaining the warmth and fun of photos.

6. Odor free/Cleaning/Repairs – The dirty work speaks for itself but is many times overlooked because you’ve lived here for so long. Let’s get rid of the buyer’s mental “repair list” by doing it ourselves.

7. Modernizing – Updating your style and building simple accessories out of what you already have to create clean lines and form. In some cases, we’ll recommend purchases as valuable “investments” in the staging process.

8. “Emotional Connection Points” – Creating the “Wow Factor”. This is the fun part and is a huge focus of our positioning strategy. We’ll show you how to build in these subtleties in order to make the buyers subconsciously desire to live here and “feel home”. The “emotional connection points” are where marketing strategy really comes in to play

You are eight critical steps away from selling your home quickly and for more money. The process is started in the consultation by having the seller put on “buyers eyes” as a first step in transforming their home into what home buyers will desire and buy.

What Being Honest With Yourself Can Do!

Courage for self honesty

‘I can’t change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination’ Jimmy Dean

My daughter encouraged me to join FarmVille on Facebook. If you aren’t following this, I have my own virtual farm. I can buy crops and animals, but friends can send me gifts. Last week I was sent four   elephants . It started me thinking about how silly my  elephants  looked on my tiny farm.

Now I have these big  elephants  which I can’t ignore. By the way you might be wondering why I am wasting my time playing FarmVille. When I am not feeling well it is an easy occupation distracts me.

We all talk about it but do you know where the expression the  elephant   in   the   room  comes from? I didn’t know the origin of the saying.

“An  elephant   in   the   room ” is based on the idea that an  elephant   in  a  room  would be impossible to overlook; obvious I know.

What helps me to move on? What helps me to adjust my sails?

I have certainly needed to have some very tough and honest conversations with myself. It is not that I have lied to myself ever it is just that sometimes I would prefer if my life had taken a different direction. This delay has been a good protection mechanism for me. I dealt with the implications of my illness when I was ready to move on.

The truth for me is there is no one way to handle a chronic illness; no quick fixes and no easy answers. It’s my life and ultimately the buck stops with me. My doctors can guide me  in  making medical decisions but I am still left with choices.

What obvious truth are you ignoring  in  your life? What  elephants   in  your life do you need to face? You don’t need to tell anyone else you will know your own answer to this question. You don’t need to feel bad either most people I have coached over the years have had at least one  elephant   in   the   room .

I haven’t asked myself why I got sick. For that would be pointless and would be looking back. Instead I have been focusing on what i can do today to look at the choices I have now not what might have been or what I could or should have done. Honesty with myself has opened new doors.

Maybe you are not facing chronic illness. Perhaps you are in a job or relationship that you feel has come to an end.

What’s the hardest conversation you can imagine having?

Who would it be with?

What is stopping you having this conversation?

It was uncomfortable to face my own truth. The biggest clue for me now as i look back it was the conversation I didn’t want to have with myself.

When Kissing Cousins Aren’t So Cute

In an article first published by the London Sunday Times this week, Britain’s Environment Minister Phil Woolas again cited the dangers of inbreeding in the Pakistani immigrant community in Britain. Appropriately calling it “the elephant in the room”, Woolas was careful to point out it was the “Pakistani community” – who just happen to be largely Muslim. Despite choosing his words carefully, Woolas, who served previously as Race Relations minister, has sparked a controversy amongst British Muslims.

Woolas, who represents the ethnically mixed region of Oldham East and Saddleworth, said, “If you talk to any primary care worker they will tell you that levels of disability among the… Pakistani population are higher than the general population. And everybody knows it’s caused by first-cousin marriage. That’s a cultural thing rather than a religious thing. It is not illegal in this country.”

“The problem is that many of the parents themselves and many of the public spokespeople are themselves products of first-cousin marriages. It’s very difficult for people to say ‘you can’t do that’ because it’s a very sensitive, human thing,” Times Online reported.

The online blogosphere and other newspapers quickly followed the story, often irresponsibly. Spero published a similar story titled, “UK minister warns of ‘Muslim inbreeding”, even though Woolas said no such thing. That does not seem to matter any longer though as the “elephant in the room” has been uncaged.

Bloggers and readers commenting on the story quickly took sides and argued about “anti-Muslim politicians” or how all Muslim men want to marry their sister and then give her a beating for good measure. Sadly, these vicious, knee -jerk and oft ill-informed debates shift attention from the real problem.

Interfamily marriages and the resulting inbreeding are found in many societies and cultures all over the world. Several states in the US have passed laws banning inter-family relations or marriage as time and science began to show the resulting genetic problems that it causes. It is not a matter of religion, but a matter of culture and being uninformed of the hazards.

British Pakistanis’ inter-family marriages are a concern of public health, due to disproportional representations of birth defects in their population. For British society it puts an added strain on the National Health Service, but short of introducing a law to forbid these marriages, there seems little can be done. The continued attempts to educate people about this seem to have been fruitless thus far.

Woolas is supported by Labour member of Parliament Ann Cryer, who first spoke out on the issue two years ago after research showed British Pakistanis were 13 times more likely to have children with birth defects than the general population. Cryer told the Sunday Times, “This is to do with a Medieval culture where you keep wealth within the family.”

“I have encountered cases of blindness and deafness. There was one poor girl who had to have an oxygen tank on her back and breathe from a hole in the front of her neck,” she added. “The parents were warned they should not have any more children. But when the husband returned from Pakistan, within months they had another child with exactly the same condition.”

A possible answer might lie in going to the source of the cultural problem, to Pakistan. A study more than a decade ago found, “The prevalence of inter-family marriages was studied in 940 families belonging to four different socio -economic groups in and around Lahore, Pakistan. The overall prevalence of interfamily marriages was 46%. The first-cousin marriages were most common at 67%, followed by marriages between second cousins, 19%.”

Marriages between families are often meant to strengthen the bond of kinsmanship. Indeed, women are often more warmly welcomed into the households, less likely to face abuse and retain some status because they are well, family.

The Koran does not have any passages that forbid marrying within the family and inter-family marriages are documented back to the times of the Prophet Mohammad. Herein lays a possibly more effective solution that actually makes Islam a positive force in this debate.

If Islamic scholars and influential mullahs could be presented with the evidence of why this practice is bad for their culture, then maybe sharia law could be amended. Or at the very least have some of Islam’s most influential mullahs in Pakistan offer guidance to Muslims.

Meanwhile, media and bloggers that make this a divisive topic based solely on religion ignore the real victims that this problem creates. But perhaps misinformation and religious banter simply make it easier for people to avoid having to take a good hard look at themselves and their culture.

The Elephant Wearing a Silver Necklace

It’s no secret that demand for the U.S. Mint silver eagles coin has been unprecedented. It is a walk back through memory lane following the 1986 confirmation of the growing (exponential) popularity of the legal tender coin program.

Many are left these days scratching their heads about who is buying all these coins. Retail demand seems soft at best, with stable coin premiums relative to times of relative shortage.

Speculation has ranged from steady domestic demand to JPM Morgan or some other large entity quietly or surreptitiously stockpiling silver eagles.

However, the real  elephant   in   the   room  for silver demand may be the oldest form of silver – the demand for silver jewelry.

Various reports confirm that silver jewelry demand has experienced its fifth year of growth. Indeed, one survey published earlier this year published that 73% of silver jewelry wholesaler report increase sales.

At just over 40 million ounces in 2013 (and a record pace this year) the silver eagle program as a percentage of overall physical silver demand is actually quite small.

Compared to the approximately 40 million ounces sold by the silver eagle program, the 200 million ounces used for fabrication demand is a massive footprint that should not be overlooked.

Is (increasing) jewelry demand more important than coin demand? Perhaps.

 In  the aftermath of two conflicting silver market reports, both sponsored directly by those  in  the best position to profit from the paper market (thus, by definition, making them politically influenced to the point of uselessness), we can look back to the Jewelry Association’s report earlier this year.

 In  an interview with me earlier this year, silver analyst, David Morgan, pointed out the potential impact of silver jewelry demand versus the well publicized demand for the U.S. silver eagles product.

That interview can be accessed here.

 In  essence, jewelry demand is the proverbial  elephant   in   the   room .

It’s easy to blame higher silver jewelry sales as a reflection of the underlying economy.

What should immediately stand out for observers is that physical demand across all categories rose considerably in the past year, despite considerable lower prices. Maybe artificially induced deflation in the silver market will save the world economy?

The silver users have pulled one over on us again. Cheaper silver costs go straight to the bottom line, much like cheaper energy prices.

Why the shift to silver jewelry?

Mainstream industry spokespersons are quick to point out improving economic conditions as the primary reason for this. That would be fine – if it were true. But a cursory review of any all real economic indicators shows that the world organic economy is barely alive under the refuge of massive finance.

Partially, the switch could be an effect of a declining economy and, therefore, a cheaper alternative to gold. Fashion is nearly a necessity in perhaps a similar way as that of food and energy.

The resurgence of the victory garden is a welcome breath of fresh air in a culture that takes so much for granted, but especially where food comes from. When economically strapped, combined with a desire to change dietary standards, a return to the earth is fueled, regardless of the difficulty for many. This is especially true for those who live in urban centers to produce enough of a percentage to make major differences.

The small car (and to a certain degree) the hybrid/electric car movement has been motivated by saving on energy costs. In turn, and for better or worse, these vehicles become a social statement for the drivers, regardless of the actual savings or contribution.

Regardless of the truth behind these movements or whether they spring from natural phenomenon, they create a social wake – or an awakening of sorts.

No one denies the beauty of the white metal, so it should come as no surprise that it would be re-adopted so quickly.

What is interesting is how it becomes incorporated into the wholesale to retail marketing matrix. If silver wasn’t so far below normal price based on real supply and demand, it would almost seem natural.

As Ted Butler has pointed out over the last few years, inventory movements in and out of COMEX warehouses have been furious.

This is most likely the off-take from just in time inventory practices stretched to the point of snapping.

These unsuspecting recipients of silver charm bracelets will some day surely find that the gift grows in value as well as sentiment.

And for the long term bullion investor, jewelry has always been another way to diversify the monetary emergency kit. Old gold or silver jewelry could be used for smaller, incremental barter, so long as sentimental value is neutral.

But it’s bigger than that. Fashion follows necessity, where form follows function. The switch to silver jewelry may actually reflect an unconscious aspect of physical demand. Jewelry consumers could become the original stackers.

Simple Living Room Decorating

When it comes to decorating your home the main focus should be the living room. The living room is the main gathering area and therefore the highlight of every home. Your goal should be to want your living room to be accepting of visitors and not too stand off-ish. This is where friends and family come to socialize and enjoy each others company. Why not make it a comfortable and inviting living room.

The first thing to consider when beginning such a project is the amount of natural lighting and the atmosphere you would like to create with the color of the walls. If you would like a soothing and relaxing atmosphere a darker tone would be suitable. Whereas if you would prefer a more bright and lively atmosphere a light or vibrant tone will do wonders.

Now take a step back and try to picture where you would like to see the furniture. Look at your walls and choose a pattern or color or even wood type that coordinates well with the color or colors you’ve chosen. Try to picture a seating area which forces people to face each other. This way it creates a scene that encourages every one to interact and enjoy each others company more. When everything is simply facing the television, for example, the room becomes simply a small theater full of zombies and couch potatoes.

Tables and lighting should be your next concern. I for one prefer to have one kind of table or another readily available from nearly every seat in the room. As well as personal lighting. This way every one can be as comfortable as they wish. Not everybody can go this route and they don’t have to. The perfect placement of just a couple pieces can make all the difference in the world.

Once you have all of the major components in place it is time to really have fun. It is time to add your special personal touch with various decorations throughout the room. For the walls you can hang pictures, sconces, trophies, or any number of available wall hangings. You can now also add some little trinkets, figurines, bowls, or any number of other decorative items. Just remember, as in most scenarios, less is more. Try to hold off from having too many items around because then it begins to look cluttered. So keep it simple and you’ll be much happier with the overall appearance and flow of your now newly decorated living room. Enjoy!

Can Color Therapy Heal? Color and Body Associations

Conventional Medicine and Color

Conventional medicine does not dispute the fact that light is important to health. We need to be exposed to full spectrum sunlight, which contains all colors, on a regular basis to stay healthy. Even conventional medical practitioners use specific colors to treat illness. For example, ultraviolet light is directed to the affected area in the treatment of acne and psoriasis. And a premature baby with the liver condition, hyperbiliruminemia, is treated with blue light.

How Does Color Therapy Work?

Albert Einstein said that “All forms of matter are really light waves in motion.” The field of color therapy believes that colors with their different frequencies and vibrations affect different areas of our body and that our organs and tissues need the same energy frequencies as contained in those colors to stay healthy. If there is disease or injury, the vibrations and energy from that area of your body will be disturbed. When colored light enters our eyes, color therapy says that it will trigger the production of specific hormones which are in control of our body’s biochemical system. Applying the color with the correct frequency may give your body the help it needs to restore health. Color cannot heal you. But color may enable the body to heal itself!

Even our emotions may be influenced by color. Studies have indicated that red light, for example, can excite you while blue light has a calming effect.

Color and Body Associations

According to the field of color therapy, this is a summary of each color’s related body area.

RED: Adrenal Glands, Lymph System, Lower Extremities, Prostate Gland (men), Elimination System, Bladder, Teeth, Skeleton System, Sacral Plexus

ORANGE: Gonads, Reproductive System, Lumbar Plexus, Sexual Organs

YELLOW: Pancreas, Solar Plexus, Stomach, Large Intestines, Liver, Muscular System, Skin

GREEN: Thymus Gland (controls the immune system), Heart, Lungs, Circulatory System, Chest

BLUE: Thyroid Gland, Neck, Throat, Hands, Arms, Brachial or Cervical Plexus

INDIGO: Pituitary Gland, Temples, Carotids, Forehead

VIOLET: Pineal Gland, Brain, Nervous System

Color Therapy Glasses

A simple, convenient and inexpensive way to treat your body to color therapy is to wear color therapy glasses. While wearing them, light entering through your eyes is concentrated at a certain frequency, depending on the color of the lens, and may help your body to balance the appropriate area as described above.