Friday, September 29, 2006

I wonder what her carbon offset was?

Space tourist in Earth touchdown

Maybe we can ask an expert: Branson unveils Virgin spaceship

On account of how he's now gonna save the planet. Here's what Grist had to say about it: Branson with the stars. They were obviously thinking of different ones to me.

Maybe I'll enter that show to win a trip, and insist on using the train. Bet it all gets covered by the media. Big news. Big dilemma.

Late News (kinda proving my point above):

This from the Indy: Two million air miles will buy you a ticket into space.

I was going to take the paper (of all papers) to task for ignoring the enviromental consequences, but it seems that it's all covered:

"A sub-orbital space flight will give a clear view of the curvature of the Earth and the thinness of the atmosphere, an experience that Sir Richard hopes will turn more people on to environmental activism."


"The entrepreneur, who last week said he would plough $3bn of the Virgin group's profits into the development of green fuels, hopes SpaceShipTwo will have practically no carbon dioxide emissions.

"When Nasa ships take off, the amount of energy they give out could power New York, but today we have to come up with all the new technologies to make sure this is a green spaceship," he said."

I look forward to hearing about these, as I hadn't heard of them to date.

Cuss(tomer) Service

This is not about the environment, or ads, but it is about the internet and, so it counts.

I just had a call from a fellow from HSBC - who are one of (we kept them on when they stopped being free, but don't use them any more to avoid charges. Maybe they'll get fed up one day and try and bail, at which point we'll charge them back in turn the £160 'fee' that we never mentioned for our participationn in their 'free' service) our business banks - advising that as we hadn't signed up for some new online doo-hicky yet, our access was about to get cancelled.

Now, big up to them for following up. However...

I didn't recall our getting this, and asked if it was send Recorded Delivery. Oddly, the gentleman on the end of the crackly line didn't seem to know what aspect of our postal system this was. And having had it explained, our conversation went no further as he simply explained that '[he's] from technical and wouldn't know about such things', and hung up.

I just concern myself that important stuff like this may or may not be being send by a secure system, and that delivery can be presumed before one gets to the point of or actual withdrawal of a service.

Nice to meet you, to meet you... worth it?

I've been doing a lot of networking lately. A lot. One day I was at a breakfast in Cheltenham, a lunch in Birmingham and an evening awards do in London. Pity the poor Yuppie facing a 10-minute taxi ride home who, at 11.30pm, said 'what do you mean... you drove? Call yourself an environmentalists!'.

And I've been doing all this with two hats. One of course, and the other my hopefully soon to be re-ignited copywriting career, to help pay the rent and keep bubbling until it's self-sustaining.

Fortunately the two are complementary. You usually only have a few minutes to pitch at these events, and technically by having two strands my time is halved. However I have found it works that I start with me the freelancer creative, and as examples of my work here's my night job...! At which point I can flash the ideas card, Folda Holda and our credit card re:use 'flyer/picture frame' (pictured) as examples of innovative creative thinking at work.

Two guesses what people ask to hear more about, which can be a mixed blessing.

Speaking of mixed, so are my feelings about the value of these things.

They can cost a lot, depending on 'membership' (and hence sign up and annual fees) anything from £10 - £40 a gig. There's also getting there. My range took in Telford, London and Swansea recently. Travel and opportunity costs. And, of course, time. Breakfasts are best, if a killer on the sleep patterns. Forget lunches; they kill a day. Evenings can be OK, but you miss the kids and the rush traffic to them can be a pain.

And when you get there? Well, for sure there'll be a solicitor, an accountant and a life coach. Maybe a lady selling potions. I'm pretty well covered for some and beyond help on others.

And having now covered several in the same geographical area, there are those who look at you and say 'we've met'. Usually the chap who really liked your work and was going to get in touch but never did.

So far, so give it a miss. Or... not? Because there's always 'that one'.

Like the other night a rather charming banker who was fascinated in and chatted for ages with me about it all. And who also knew DickS trawbridgee of 'It's not easy being green' fame (I have of course written to offer links... no word as yet;(. Or the PR lady whose client does have a new eco-product.

The main issue is geography. This area is glorious but other than as a holiday weekend destination does not house the movers and shakers I need for either or my ad capabilities. But then again, they do have dinner parties with those I meet.


Leaving the line?

This I couldn't resist. A senior editor at the Telegraph had a horror train trip, and as he is lucky enough to enjoy a pulpit from which to share his frustration, did so. Were it that lesser mortals, or those who pay their own salaries ('sorry I'm late' doesn't cut it with my boss, or his clients, so it's out of pocket for me), had the same opportunity.

However, having expereinced in a concentrated period all that our transport systems can offer, I had to contribute. I just don't know how those who have to do it daily manage. And dread it if I have to join them. Here's my reply:


But to this, and all the other stories that will be shared (watch this space... mine follows shortly), will come the response that these are but inevitable, isolated incidents. As I do not have the figures (and there will doubtless be many, proving both sides' claims) I can only go on what I know.

I live in Ross on Wye. Mostly I need to visit London for my work (and, as an ex-Londoner, with my family on social trips – that’s a factor of four on costs with some options).

There is a lovely collection of bricks at the end of the road where the train line used to be (nice one, Mr. Beeching).

To use the train, I could bus it I guess to Gloucester, but that would mean getting up at 4.30am to make the 7ish effort to arrive for a morning kick off. So it's a car then. The same one that my wife often has to drive hers to pick me up from Swindon to collect when the connection fails, as I've come back too late or had to wait until after 7 something pm to get the cheaper ticket. This can be, by the way, around £70. So I can't do short notice, change plans or travel 1st class.

Fuel to & fro costs £25. Parking, if required (not if I stay with a chum) £8-£20. And try lugging a demo kit or porty on the rush hour tube.

Save the planet? See my family? FEED my family...keep competitive?

It's a no brainer. If my clients could accept the world's first ethical copywriter and bear the ADDITIONAL costs of my using public transport, and the ADDITIONAL time (and hence opportunity cost) consequences of my travelling with same, all would be tikeddy boo. Fat chance. So it's the car, then (Or, longer trek, a budget plane).

Trouble is, the other day I had to dive off to the A40 when the M4 was closed (all day!) and then head home when the M40 ahead was also removed as an option and I stood no chance of getting where I was meant to be in time - and had no intention of sitting in a jam heating up Oxfordshire.

So it's obvious. Stay at home.

Now, about that job I’m pitching for..."

Don't do as we do. Do as we say.

As a persistent critic of much that our media se4rves up, it is worth reminding ourselves of the value of having thriving, curious, questioning independent checks on all that is done for us, and to us in our name.

This from an email for the BBC about last night's Newsnight:


It's official - the government is destroying the rainforest. Tony Blair and Gordon Brown may have emphasised the importance of the environment in their conference speeches, but there is saying...and doing.

Newsnight has discovered that the government is using rainforest timber in the House of Commons as part of a £5 million refurbishment. I'll be asking the minister for the environment, why.

Sadly I am these days well abed before the programme airs, but I'm hoping to find out the answer online if I can.

And whether there will be a fine and/or prosecution on par with popping a crisp packet in the wrong bin on the wrong day. It would be too much to expect anyone gets held tangiblyresponsiblee and personallyaccountablel, and of course the only people who will suffer from any financialpenaltyy will be... the taxpayer. Interesting system.

Of course, we could be fair all round and say that mistakes do get made, and those in the House (or the household) may not know what others are up to, and it's a bit much to come down on them hard. Sometimes a bit of slack is all we need... so long as it works both ways.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

It ain't what you've done, it's the way that they remember you doing it

I have about two week's worth of rather amazing activities, all Junkk-related, to blog upon, but as I look at the huge pile of materials to go through to do so, I keep procrastinating and dive off on a detour.

Last one, promise. And, sorry, not a heck of a lot to do with the environment, though I guess as a commentary on political leadership, media reporting and public opinion I guess it could be bent to fit. It's amazing how some other things have been.

As I sat in yet another jam, I happened to listen to Bill Clinton's speech at the Labour conference. I am still trying to scrape the sticky sweet ooze (that's saccharine, should anyone wonder) out of my speaker grilles. This was a consummate politician and speaker charming the crowds?

Maybe it's because I am biased. I'm afraid that no matter what his other achievements (I am sure there were some, but can't recall exactly what they were, or indeed any that were environmentally beneficial. Big Al, yes... Bill, no) all I can hark back to is a guy who didn't inhale, and a President of the USA who stood in the Oval office and figured not having relations would be a neat plan to establishing his country's position in the eyes of the world.

I must think of a twist on Groucho's 'I wouldn't want to join a club...' to apply to those who should be careful from whom they receive praise. So I couldn't resist this to the Sunday Times:

"So an ex-President is moved, special-relationship-wise, to confer not such faint praise on the personalities, achievements and legacies of our current government. Considering the source, cigars all round!"

More seriously, I do fear for political direction across all areas, especially the environment, when the media and public can be swayed so far, so quickly, so often, yet in the full face of the historical facts.


Hey, maybe I could become a columnist: This from the next day's Telegraph (don't worry, I'll be sure to have a go at some right-wing nonsense soon - Cameron's Huskie Hugging for example - and quote the BBC or Guardian when they catch up;):

"It was left to former President Bill Clinton to cheer them all up with a bucketful of Arkansan syrup – New Labour was a "stunning success" and had produced "prosperity and social progress for so long it's easy for people to believe it's just part of the landscape". That's one view.

A different assessment came from Dagenham MP Jon Cruddas, a contender for the deputy leadership. This one-time Downing Street adviser accused Mr Blair of living in a "parallel world". The real world inhabited by his constituents was one of falling wages, growing housing pressures, and healthcare in crisis: "You cannot say things are getting materially better." Who is right – Clinton or Cruddas? We know whose word we would take."

Guilty until proven innocent... or you keep your nerve

As I'm a roll (blogging that is, I certainly can't apply that term to my journeys), I'd like to share something I just fired off to Jeremy Vine of Radio 2, having ached to contribute to a debate on speed cameras yesterday whilst trapped in my car.

It was a potetially interesting debate, involving points of law and frnakly bigger issues of precedent, and like usual I was amazed at the selection of contributors, designed more to stir things up than allow reasoned discourse. I was also suprised that certain key issues were not raised (and totally unsuprised, if frustarted, at what unnecessaily emotive ones were allowed to be introduced).

Let's make one thing clear. Speeding to excess is not safe. It is also illegal. It shoudl not be done. However, as this reply (typically verbose, and hence unlikley to be featured) shows, in addition to my views on rational legislation, the spirit of justice and a resonabel expecation of what policing should be about, there is a bigger picture to consider, and that is where the burden of proof lies, or should do. And in case you are wondering what the heck this has to do with the environement, well, not a lot. Until you get to a para near the end:):

"I was driving yesterday when you broadcast the segment about self-incriminating, potentially human rights-breaching, heavy-handed bureaucratic fascism in action.

It's not often I find myself on the side of human rights lawyers, but in this case I wish I could have sped up to find a layby and pitch in.

But as you offered a follow-up beyond the speeding issue, here's my two cents (first on this, second on the broader one):

There is a principle at stake here, and I'm surprised it was not mentioned (or I missed it).

That is: 'innocent until proven guilty'.

I may be misquoting as it was a while ago, but think it was Lord Denning who long ago said he was interested in justice, not the law.

Well, we've sped way past the spirit of the law, and now the letter is where we depressingly now find ourselves, from both sides:



Speed cameras

A great aid to road safety or an unfair tax on those honest enough to pay the fines without a fight?

As two motorists go to Strasbourg to protect their privacy from snooping speed cameras, the UK's top traffic policeman has just launched a crackdown on motorists who use legal loopholes to avoid convictions for speeding. But we can reveal that police have been using their own loophole to cancel tickets for their officers who have been caught speeding.

Those who sprang to the cameras' defence, especially those with a vested interest in the revenues, seem to want it all one way.

But what worries me more is that fact that this all smacks of 'guilty until you prove yourself innocent'. The authorities are simply too lazy, mean or inept to police dangerous driving in a fair manner, and are relying on the catch-all of dumb robots to do the job of getting the truly guilty in with a much wider net, with the bonus of a nice little earner of the fine income.

I have not yet had a speeding ticket, but I'm waiting for the day I do. And dreading that I have an accident because my eye is too often on the speedo rather on driving the road safely.

However, I have had two motoring 'offence' notices, both of which were subsequently quashed, but only because I took the issue as far as it would go.

And yes, I was subjected to these aggressive notices, along with escalating threats of increased fines and eventually court proceedings, at every stage feeling I was dealing with a computer. And why not? Because having been vindicated, all that happened was the original, invalid fines were cancelled. I was put through the hoops and ever-greater penalties for simply questioning, yet the authorities had no such disincentive in the proceedings.

This is official extortion. Argue and the price goes up. Argue some more and we drag you to court. But if they are wrong, all bets are off.

When I see a speed camera where my kids are walking back from school (and yes, make it 20mph), and not on the only clear stretch of a remote A road where you can get safely past a tractor, and the damn thing has the speed limit posted on it (as opposed to a preceding few miles' worth of hundreds of bits of useless 'road furniture'), I'll call them safety cameras. If they are policed properly. And if booked I'll take my medicine, and rue the day that such things as context, mitigation and proof supported by official testimony and expert witnesses are no longer part of the legal process.

If someone is proven driving illegally and dangerously, throw the full legal book at them. Fines. Jail. No more licence. I'll support that 100%. But not using a robot backed with bureaucratic fascism to generate income from the easy mark of someone who has paid for their tax and insurance, and may have very good reason for thinking they were not at fault or simply not know who was driving or how their car was so labeled (which is what policemen are for, to stop and catch them - no wonder we no longer hear 'it's a fair cop').

And to those who use the 'what if it was your kid' for bending this aspect of criminal justice to suit, wait 'til there's a knock on your door because a facial recognition system has you or them pegged as a mugger, or your bin has the wrong rubbish in it. Fine if it's up to the system to prove it was you first: not so fine (or actually ever-increasing fines) if it's incumbent upon you to prove first that you have no association with the crime or a good explanation. Or drop a family member in it instead.

I'd be glad for someone to explain the difference with such cases and the one above.

First they booked the [alleged] speeders, then they came for...

It's an interesting state, sorry, country, Britain has become. And a fine legacy for the leadership who have brought us here.


I have awoken next morning to posting this to the following in my in-box from the Telegraph:

'The case for speed cameras destroyed in a flash"

While this will doubtless intensify debate, it does broadly add weight to my core beliefs.

However, I personally believe that we should have the cameras, only that they should be moved to urban situations where pedestarisans are at danger. At best they will act to cause even the most dangerous to check their speed, and at worst provide some additional ammunition to trace, track and build cases aginst consistnetly offending vehicles. Meaning more police effort: 'Chris Grayling, the Tories' transport spokesman, called for greater use of police patrol cars, rather than cameras, to deal with the menace of "rogue drivers".'

This would contribute to the cause of safety. If the human rights case proves successful, it will mean no further, or at least much reduced, revenues. It will be interesting to see whether the authorities maintain their enthusiasm for our safety if there is no money it.


I have been persuaded to allow comments on my blog.

I had originally decided against, as I really don't have the patience, skin-thickness, time or willpower to resist getting embroiled in, at best, passionate debates, or at worst flame wars.

But I have been shown the comment moderate option.

This will not spare me from beiung lured into civilized discourse, and hence will be dangerous to my already woeful time-management. But it will mean that anything I don't fancy, and/or which looks like going in a fruitless direction, won't make the cut... just like the BBC, Telegraph and a few others (The Guardian possibly not, unless they don't have a swear filter).

So if you feel like pitching in, feel free. Just remember that I hate waste, and do have a nice big, virtual red pencil I'd hate to have to wield. Oh, and a family who like me to get away from the keyboard on occasion. So while I may allow a post. I may not reply. No offence meant.

First, offer a viable alternative

Missed me? I'd like to say that the lull in my posting has been a result of a well-earned rest, lazing on some sunny beach, but sadly it's merely a case of 25-hr days... most of which have been spent in a traffic jam.

Let's get out of the way straight away that I am in a car because I have no choice. Either it would be impossible to get from Ross to where I'm meant to be (and, more importantly, back - too many calls to the missus to pick me up at Swindon to drive us both to Gloucester to pick up my car) or too expensive (Ignoring the joys of lugging demo kit on a rush hour tube, I can still get to London and back for about £25 in fuel plus £10-20 parking, which is about half the cost of even a pre-booked train and often having to wait a few hours to get the cheap rate. I like seeing my kids.

Any road up (if you'll excuse the pun), I have been on (as opposed to moving along) waaaay too many of the things, and it is not an experience I'd wish to repeat, given the choice.

In addition to incredible roadworks decisions (like taking out most of London's Euston road last night at the tail end of the rush hour), listening to the radio is like getting intel on new minefields as you barrel across the desert. The other day I was headed for London (again), when first the M4 was 'closed', so I dived off onto the A40, only to learn that the M40 ahead was also shut down, prompting a detour back to the M4 past the other mess.

And as I listened to Radio 2 on other journeys I was amazed how daily entire major arteries were literally taken out of commission all day for a jack-knifed lorry or overturned caravan.

Now I fully endorse everything necessary being done to secure the safety of those who may be injured in accidents, or to render dangerous situations safe, but I cannot recall in the past this requiring such swingeing over-reactions of such durations. What on earth is going on? Are they simply trying to make the process of road travel so miserable that people no longer try? Most are already having such horrible time it can only be of necessity, so they obviosuly have no choice.

And I am sure it is not helping the planet to have all those vehicles sitting in a 15-mile tailback on idle.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Here comes the sun. There go the bills.

At the weekend I made my first venture into free energy, thanks to Dave and his solar-powered dehumidification system, Solarventi (he's more than happy to help us for helping him, so until we sort out proper click throughs, please tell him you came via us so we get a credit!).

He kindly came along to brief me on the system and also help with the installation to maximise its effect. We were lucky that the weather was lovely, so a few pounds were shed as a few pounds' worth of potential was bolted on to the house.

I'm planning to do a full feature review as soon as a few twiddly bits are tidied up and I've had a chance to assess its effect, which I'm looking forward to. We have a big, damp cellar, and with luck it will soon be dry... for ever... for free!

Friday, September 15, 2006

If something worth doing...

I'm at it again! A post by the BBC Newsnight head honcho covering a few topical issues, from sugar-coating negative, major issues, to the potential cop-out of dumbing-down with gameshow techniques to generate interest from an apathetic (or plain overwhelmed?) audience has prompted my reply:

"Sugar coat, no. But the notion of incentivising, rewarding or at least boosting people's tendency to engage by whatever means work - is an interesting one, and one I happen to subscribe to.

Take my personal area of interest and activity, which is the environment. You have mentioned as a big issue climate change, and today was a good example. Some depressing stuff on the front pages, and grabbing the broadcast leads too. Your very own Ethical Man gracing my screen as I was rapidly losing my appetite for breakfast (not due to him, I stress, but the storyline itself, combined with a slight concern as to where my strawberry-dappled muesli and coffee actually came from).

Even with his noble example as inspiration (though I was struck by the intro piece that mentioned his [family's] efforts were (just) for a year - all back to 'normal' thereafter?) it came across as a bit 'doom & gloom' and 'well if that's the best we can manage taking it to the barest of bones, we're pretty screwed anyway'.

What struck me was how it came across overall as a pretty negative rough ride, and such benefits as there were erred more on the warm fuzzy, 'doing the right thing' feelgood variety, and not terribly much tangible on the personal front.

And when it came to the major problem areas that overhwelm the personal efforts, caused or overseen by business or government, it didn't seem too encouraging at all.

But maybe, just maybe, there are little pockets of proactive, positive hope that can cast light on a few trees in the woods, and where relationships can be established that do help, the environment... a bit... to serve to inspire, motivate and maybe even reward the individual, and just possibly can as a consequence be made to appeal to the short-term beancounters or pols who really can only see to the next fiscal or election.

Not all can afford a hybrid as a 3rd car or a solar panel. Low-energy bulbs, yes, though the fittings are an issue (and the bulb guys are coming up with adaptations daily... yay!). But while reusing a plastic bottle cap as Scout Woggle may not solve global warming overnight, if someone gets their head around having a bit of fun making rather than buying, repairing than disposing, and saving a bit of dosh and maybe a bit of time whilst doing something to save the planet rather than just talking about it, then that's a small step worth taking. Not to mention popping as many of such possibilities into storylines to help redress the balance what can often be some pretty heavy and hopelessness-inducing big issues can be worth it too.

So we'd love a mention for the likes of should you feel disposed. Making a very small positive difference to a big negative issue, and at the very least not costing anyone anything. How feelgood is that? "

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

The short and long of it

I'm a glutton. No sooner do I recover from the disappointment of the big idea heats hurdle fall than I get all excited by the next award that I really have a hamster in a shredders chance (for those not reading the daily eco-pages of the tabloids, one did survive, so I'm hedging my bets) of winning.

However, in my guise as a designer, and with the obvious need to get back to the day job to earn a crust to keep in the limelight, I entered this rather dubiously-named effort: Designers Are Wankers

And lo, it seems I am on the shor... long list. Not quite six of nine (how Next Generation is that?) but better than not being on the list. And with £5k in the kitty, well worth a goat sacrifice or two.

Even nearer...

No, not a diatribe against food miles. Though, mind you...

Anyways, maintains its roller-coaster ride of fortunes and emotions, and after the major downer of the weekend's end, it's nice to be able to sahre a nice upward turn again.

A wee while ago I read about a new website called Green & Easy. Nice name, nice site, nice people and... nice and near!

Becuase it turns out they are just up the road, and I am not long back from a lovely morning in the company of David and Jackie. And as it turns out they read my blog... hi guys!

All we really did was chat as neighbours, but I am hopeful that soem synergies may evolve. There really are few areas of overlap between us, and we even agreed that if there were areas where we might be seen to be competitive, then so what... it's all making the green cause stronger!

Monday, September 11, 2006

So near...

Sunday was my big chance at The Big Idea.

It was a roller-coaster of a day. I got through the first round but sadly fell at the next.

Lord Bilimoria was quite charming and seemed very taken with the concept. I showed how his beer bottle caps could be made into a waste bin, and he noted the one I had chosen was from his wife's homeland.

Ruth Badger was surprisingly supportive as I'd been told she could be pretty fierce. She was the only one to ask a question about revenue, and seemed satisfied. So I had two votes.

Craig Johnston loved the idea, but reckoned it could not count as an invention, so it was looking like he would defer. But then he changed his mind, which was nice... and a relief.

At this point I was over the moon. They had all been very positive and as the day progressed it seemed I was one of the few to get 3 votes.

I was then called to the next round, with a shortlist of nine from whom six were chosen. Sadly this was where I didn't make it any further. It was a bit odd, as there had not been any further opportunity to present, so I am not sure what they did subsequently to decide one way or the other. As I was the only one who didn't have a patentable device I fear that may have been it. I'm now wishing I'd shown an invention I'd created via, but as the patent is not registered I couldn't. Know any cheap IP lawyers?

I can't pretend it was not a huge disappointment. In addition to the money, I was looking forward to working with some business brains to complement my creative talents. flounders a lot for the lack of such a team. Most others had the inventor, money man and sales brain. Plus of course the public exposure of the series as it progressed wouldn't hurt build our audience.

We will get some I hope with the first episode (maybe all, as I wore a lab coat and they asked me to do a series of thoughts on life in the future - see pix), as the crew really took to the idea, me and the family and filmed a lot of vox-pops. Whether they make the final edit is another matter.

For all I have left to target in the near future is the Guardian Social Entrepreneur of the Year Awards. Fingers crossed!

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

The thief of time

In addition to procrastination, and I don't know if it was just time that was stolen, but blogging (reading others and posting) certainly was taking a major chunk out of my day (and night). So having experimented with routing the majority of the daily feeds to the trash, and hence restricting the urge to comment on tons of stuff (mostly climate spats), I have tried to focus more on making work harder in areas it is stronger.

To this end I recently typed our name in Google and was frankly amazed at the extent and breadth of places we have been mentioned and, I'm happy to say, positively, if not in glowing terms. Time to upgrade our media section under 'About' on the site!

Not to mention our PR folder.

Because, by way of more good news the next few weeks will see me heading off, having got through some heats (how woo-hoo that achievement is remains to be seen, but it's better than a 'Dear Peter...' letter at the first hurdle) to be briefed on the next round of a) the Guardian Social Entrepreneur of the Year Awards, and b) SKY TV's 'The Big Idea'. Neither are insignificant opportunities (financially we're talking £20k and £100k prizes respectively, but also both will extend our reach to a much wider audience). In both cases some considerble 'heft' was also accorded to getting media coverage and, of course, any contribution to the environment. I think we can tick those boxes.

Now all I have to do is stop staring at this screen and figure out just what I take to show and what I tell in the brief few moments I'll get to pitch Wish me luck!