Thursday, December 24, 2009

I'm On Vacation...

So, my writing and posting on Simmington Hills has become a little sporadic again.  I go for long spurts and update a lot, then it trickles down to nothing for awhile...Well, here's my ramblings.  I've got a blog why not use it for myself sometimes, right? 

I've decided to take a small break from SH for a few reasons... I'm enjoying Facebook too much right now, that's one reason.  LOL!  A few of my friends know that FB is like crack to me...and I'm having trouble letting it go.  :P  I'm constantly waiting on energy refills and looking at the clock to collect my take; checking in to see who's attacked me and who's butt I've beaten down, not to mention my obsession with collecting things...and now that I've installed the new MW toolbar, I really can't let it go!  (All you Mafia Wars and Treasure Madness fans know what I'm talking about. Hee-hee.)

I've also been watching all the old seasons of The Office.  I had never watched this show before until I caught a re-run one night recently...I fell in love instantly.  I had heard how wildly popular it was and saw them get some awards on tv, but I didn't realize just how good the show actually is.  Now, I'm able to watch some of the old seasons and catch up, and I'm telling you...if you haven't seen it, you need to try it.  It is HILARIOUS!

I'm also enjoying spending time with my family.  December is a big month for us.  All of my siblings have birthdays in December.  There's four of us.  Me and my twin sister and two brothers.  I can't say if my parents planned it out this way or not; they deny it...but growing up, we always had to decide between getting Christmas gifts or birthday gifts.  LOL!

All of us currently live in the same city except for one brother, who is in town right now, visiting from Spain.  He rarely gets to visit, so it's great having all four of us in one place for a change, especially during this month of December.  Not to mention how happy my parents are.  We're the kind of family that loves to laugh, so we are constantly cracking on each other for fun, or playing board games, like Scrabble, and talking shit at the table.  Movie-watching and eating lots of great food together goes hand in hand with my tribe, so you can imagine all of us 'round' folks trying to squeeze a place on the couch to watch Dad's big screen tv.  While the surround sound rumbles in the pit of our chests because he's got the sound turned up extra high, "For effect." he says.  LOL!

Something that's coming up:  I'm going to be having major surgery next year, and I'm freaked out about it.  Maybe this is another reason why I want to just take it easy right now away from Sims 2 and writing.  This will be my first surgery, ever.  I'm not gonna lie, it's causing me some anxiety and stress, but I'm ok.  It's not a life-threatening issue, so no worries!  It may require me having to take another break from the hood, as well, to recuperate.  Although, I'm not sure yet what's going to happen.

I'm learning through some of my friends, that they can play Sims through stressful situations because it relaxes them...I'm the opposite.  LOL!  Go figure.

I'm not going to pressure myself to post an update.  I do that a LOT.  I gotta catch up, I'm so behind.  Riverdale will tell you.  The whole Marchon graduating college in Riverdale before his older brother, Rashid, comes to mind.  *smiles*  Rashid hasn't even graduated highschool yet!  So yeah, I pressure myself.

I also have to admit that I'm not feeling this next household on the calendar right now, either.  LOL!  This next household is the first time I've had trouble getting a feel of the Sims.  There's this groove I usually sink into while I play, I can't explain it...I'm just not feeling it with this family.  And I hate to sound shallow, but their skintones are really awful.  And I can't get past how bad they look.  And my Sims are not usually model perfect, either.  (But this family was a gift to me, so I didn't change anything about them so as not to offend the woman that made them. And I hope she doesn't read this and get offended, but we all have personal tastes.)  I should've changed them when I had the chance.  Now they're all moved in...the house is decorated, and I can't stop looking at their splotchy skin.  I would have to kill them off and start over, I think...but, I'm gonna go with the flow.  This is another challenge and I'm gonna write that they have a skin disorder, I've already planned to.  hehee!  You might ask:  Why don't you just move onto another household?  Sure, I could move onto another household, but I've got a calendar to stick to!  Hey, you guys know I'm compulsive like that.  LOL!

I hope, as this year winds down, all of you give an extra tight hug and share lots of smiles with the ones you love.  We take for granted how a simple smile can affect someone so positively.  It's a charity we can give to others that's totally free.  It's been a crazy year, hasn't it?  And life is just too short. 

--Halimah (aka green)

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

CPS - April 2008

Steve VanHouten is 24, Rashid Cunningham is 18, Elmer Valdes is 18, Erline Valdes is 18, Sierra Spencer is 14, Tyisha Masters is 14, Keva Michels is 12, and Christina Wise is 12.

See previous school sessions HERE.

The high school added a new gym a few months ago, however this was only the tip of the iceberg of all the renovations that were planned for CPS.  Workers came in to paint and renovate several classrooms due to the latest budget increase from the Board of Education (BoE).  There are new students registered that are going to need the extra desks and chairs.

The crew started working in the early morning hours on the weekend.  The trusty janitor, Frank Mulner, pulled up in his light blue hatchback, just before sunrise, to unlock the doors.

As you can see, several desks and chairs were added to the main classroom.  There's also a new computer room and garden storage area (located behind the cafeteria).  The next set of renovations will possibly be to add a second-level auditorium.  It's not been approved, yet.  We'll see if the BoE deems an auditorium necessary.

The last sessions of school, before senior graduation and summer break, are always kind of informal and relaxed.  The kids get half-days due to teacher in-service meetings.  So, when notice was sent out to each family that year-end class pictures were due, everyone was happy that classroom time would be interrupted and the day would end earlier than usual.

No one had even thought about Erline Valdes.  She was a senior, so why wouldn't she come and take pictures with the rest of her classmates?

She had missed so much of the schoolyear because of her pregnancy...she had basically become 'out of thought/out of mind' to a lot of her so-called friends and fellow classmates. 

Saturday, December 5, 2009

CPE - April 2008

Maxine Wise, is 37, Charles Wise is 12, Sabien Cunningham "SayJ", Jr. is 9, Terris Dalton is 9, Terryn Dalton is 9, Emely Blair is 9, Shaun Spencer is 5, and Tyrone Masters is 4.  (Frank Mulner, Janitor/NPC, is 38). 

See previous school sessions HERE.

The Janitor, Frank Mulner, arrived at school early to make sure the school year's last few sessions would end without a hitch.

The halls were mopped, the water fountains cleaned out, the trash disposed; everything was in its proper place and ready for the spirited primary students to burst through the doors at any moment. 

The kids were ready for school to be over with and for summer to begin.  So were the adults...

Monday, November 30, 2009

Bigger, Clearer Pictures, Yayyy!

My journal pictures have been crappy since 2006.  They look great when I take them in-game.  They look great when I post them on different forums, but when I post them here...they turn out horrible.  I hated the jagged edges and the compressed, fuzzy guys know what I'm talking about!  I've asked around but never really got a definitive answer as to what to do.  Maybe I'm the only one that didn't know this, I don't know...LOL!

I think I was posting my pics the wrong way to begin with.  I've been using the Edit HTML tab, and using an IMG code that included a code for whatever height/width numbers I wanted to use.

I was inspired by Sullivan, who I think was experiencing a similar issue in the past with the look of her pics, and now they look fantastic!  I got up this morning, determined to make a change!  ....And today, I found the answer!  And I can't tell you how HAPPY I am!

So for those of you out there, who want bigger, clearer pics...(even if you don't want them as big as mine are...try this and play around with the sizes.)

Here's what I did, and I use Photobucket (free). I also use the updated Editor in Blogger (You can change this under "Settings"):

1.  I changed my Blogger template from "Denim" to "Stretch Denim".  (Everyone I asked before told me to use to Denim, and when I changed to Denim, I still could never get my pics clearer...they must've forgotten to say Stretch.  I tried it today on a whim.)

2.  Go to your Photobucket or whatever picture host you use, and copy the "Direct Link" of your picture.

3.  Under the Compose tab when making a new post, you'll see a picture icon that says, "Insert Image". Click it and choose "Web Address (URL)"

4.  Paste the Direct Link into the Web Address (URL).  You'll see your picture show up in the box, and hit OK.

5.  Now choose "Original Size" and "Center" should already be chosen.  (The Original size for my pics is the standard 600 x 450.)

That's it!

If you have a post that's already been published, and you want to change your I've been doing all day.  Then:

1.  Edit your post.

2.   Click the Compose tab and click on your photo, and 'remove'.

3.  Find your photo in Photobucket, copy the Direct Link.

4.  Paste it in the Web Address (URL) box, the photo pops up...hit OK.

5.  And again, choose "Original Size" or whatever size you want to use.

You can play around with the sizes.  There's small, medium, large, and extra large sizes too. 

I hope this helps somebody that had the same questions I had.


Saturday, November 28, 2009

Tax Collection - April 2008

Trenton VanHouten, Tax Accessor, is 25.  (If you'd like to read how taxes are collected in The Hills, please read Nick Michels' Business Advisor Notes for Round 2006 - September 2007.)

It's that time of simyear when all Sims must pay 'The Man'.  The tax man, that is...and Trenton knew it was going to be a long night.  Most Sims wouldn't be able to get by his office until the evening time; after work.  He made sure he had plenty of rest and spent some play time with his daughter, True.  He left her in the care of his brothers while he worked in the small office that was built next to the main house.

He was not looking forward to the endless complaints and unnecessary whining Sims would make about having to fork over their hard-earned cash.  He knew that most of these families would have to take out loans to pay him today.  He felt bad for them, but on the otherhand, Trenton knew that he and his brothers would shell out more in taxes than anyone else in Simmington Hills.  So he really didn't want to hear the whining and complaining.  Everybody has to pay up.  Only the Mayor and his family are excluded from paying property taxes.

Monday, November 23, 2009

CSMasters - April 2008

Cameron Masters is 52, Stacy Masters is 46, Tyisha is 14, and Tyrone is 6.  Prince Cunningham, is their cat.

It was hard for Stacy to get back on track after losing her baby

Of course, it would be hard for anyone to deal with; especially having only two months left before the baby would've been born.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

DNA Drama - March 2008

Dr. Trinity Dalton is 52, Lt. Tomika Cunningham is 52, Mayor Sabien Cunningham, Sr. is 52, Ray Wilsonoff is 33, Lydia Wilsonoff is 33 and Rashid Cunningham is 18.

"Hi, Trin'.  How are you?  Rough morning, wasn't it?!"  Tomika hugged her old friend tightly; glad that the robbery at the Dalton home wasn't more dangerous than it turned out to be.

"Rough isn't the word.  It took me forever to get out of my driveway...all the cops snooping around for more evidence and SimCity reporters preparing their stories for the morning news.  But hey...we're doing fine.  The twins are a little shaken up, but otherwise, we'll make it." Dr. Trinity Dalton said with a trembling smile.  She was more daunted by the conversation she was about to have with the Cunninghams, than by the disrupted home invasion she encountered this morning.

Friday, November 13, 2009

CDBlair - March 2008

Chance is 29, Donna is 29, Emely is 9.

Chance and Donna Blair met at a football game in highschool almost 11 simyears ago. Separate highschools...opposing teams. Donna was a cheerleader and Chance was just some goofball student from the rival school making wolf whistles at her from the stands. She could hear him calling her name from the other side of the field.  Somebody had given him a megaphone.  Maybe this was the same guy who'd been trying to get her phone number, basically stalking her.  She remembered thinking, "Who is that creep?!" 

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Mommies To Be - March 2008

I wanted to post the beautiful, glowing pictures of these Moms to Be to show you how they are doing, pregnancy-wise.  After a look at my calendar, I realized we won't see but one of these ladies in a journal update for the birth, and the others not until well after their babies are born.  (I will probably do mini-updates on the births, though.)

Erline Valdes, 3rd Trimester

Kimberly Spencer, 2nd Trimester

Lydia Wilsonoff, 2nd Trimester

Stacy Masters, 2nd Trimester

Viv Everett, 2nd Trimester

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Calendar - Round 2008

This hood's current Simdays are (Simdays 26-27).   This Round lasts from March 2008 to February 2010.


Community Events are highlighted in yellow.  Marisa Bendett handles all event planning, please contact her at if you would like to schedule an event.

Spring 2008

(Simday 26)



*Mini-Update* DNA Drama 

*Spring Planting at Spencer Farm*



*TVanHouten Tax Season*

*CPS/CPE School Updates*



*Mini-Update*  Are You My Daddy?

*Spring Harvest at Spencer Farm*

Summer 2008



Mega Mini Updates: (listed below)

*June Internship: Work and Play*

*CPS Class of 2008 Graduation*

*Aerial Bionic Band, from Apple Valley, performs!!*

Coming of Age...Celebrate Life!


*SSU Update, (Sims State Univ.), Freshman year, 1st semester* - special summer session; boys left early for college.

*July Internship: Work*

Coming of Age...Celebrate Life! (July/August)


Coming of Age...Celebrate Life! (July/August)

*August Internship: Work*


Fall 2008



*Fall Harvest at Spencer Farm*





*CPS/CPE Fall School Update*

*SSU Update, (Sims State Univ.), Freshman year, 2nd semester*

Winter 2008-09



January (2009):


February (2009):


*SSU Spring Break*

The remainder of 2009's calendar is on the next page (Read More).

ROS for Round 2008

One thing I looked forward to with this new time relevance, was posting random events at the beginning of each round. 

However, I'm not ready for what I rolled...I used the ROS Excel Sheet Apple Valley sent me a long time ago.  She created it to automatically give the scenario, the Sim it's going to happen to, and the number of times something might be needed.  (Thanks Starr!) 

The good news is that several new families are moving into the hood this round!  So, I will have 21 households total.  I figured 30% of those households need some kind of random occurrence happen to them.  That's how I came up with 6.  (21 x 30%).

I know that once I post it here, it's in here it goes!  *sniff*  Be on the lookout in each update!

1.  Death by Hail (Nedra Bachelor)
2.  Unexpected Pregnancy
3.  Kidnapped!
4.  Graduate with honors from your socializing class!  Gain 9 new friends.
5.  Death by Illness 
6.  Being Blackmailed

Two deaths my first time out...I don't know how I'm going do this.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

KTDalton - February 2008

Trinity is 52, Keith is 42, Terris is 9, and Terryn is 9.  Jolie Dawson visits from Apple Valley.

This was the Dalton house weeks ago.

For several months, the family had to live around boxes and massive clutter because Keith was finally making good on his promise to remodel their home and make it a cozy place to live in.  The hurricane had destroyed everything they had before.

Monday, October 12, 2009

LLarsson - January 2008

Lars Larsson is 33.

Two things can be said about Lars.  He is majorly serious and majorly grouchy.  He picks an argument with every Sim he meets; stranger or not.  The Hood Administration loves him, but they all agree he can be difficult to work with.  Who can blame him?  He's a perfectionist.  And building the best houses takes a Sim that won't accept shortcuts.  The only Sim that's been able to get close to him, besides Starla Tsang, is Minena Silver.  He hadn't spoken to Starla, the bartender at the old Game Time Sports Bar, since before the hurricane.  He figured she had moved away...or worse.  Maybe she'd been killed.  Their relationship never really progressed beyond friendship, but was time for him to move on.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Mayor's Ball - December 2007

(Narrated by Viv Everett, Head Journalist of the Simmington-Times)

The invitation was mailed out months ahead of time requesting all SUN and non-SUN neighborhood Mayors and Spokes Sims to join us in this celebration...(Click to play and turn speakers on for music).

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And now the time was here!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

SGuthrie/MBendett - December 2007

Marisa Bendett is 34 and Seth Guthrie is 37

WARNING:  Mature themes and language.

Seth's not sure when it hit him exactly or what specifically had set him off.  Maybe it was the fact he was eating alone again, or the fact that it was well after 4 am - again - and Marisa wasn't home.  She gets off at 2 am and he can't understand why she can't just come home.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

EEValdes - November 2007

Edward Valdes is 44, Emerita ('Rita) Valdes is 44, Elmer is 18, Erline is 18.

Since you last saw the Valdes', they've moved out of Cedar Two Flat Apartments and into a house at 79 W. Cedar, across the street from CPS School.

Emerita loved the wrap-around decks and the different levels. She's always thinking about the entertainment factor. Edward loved that it had a basement and a garage. Elmer loved his new loft-style bedroom; he quickly converted it into an art studio.  And Erline?...Well, she just wished she could've taken Ray Wilsonoff with her.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

RLWilsonoff - November 2007

Ray Wilsonoff is 32, Lydia Wilsonoff is 32.

Ray and Lydia must've gotten turned on by the serious discussion they had minutes before.  As soon as it was over, they got busy on their loveseat as if they needed to cement their feelings for each other.  Ahhh, but we all know that makeup sex is the best thing ever!

So here's what happened earlier that evening...

Monday, August 10, 2009

Cunningham vs. Masters - October 2007

City Hall - Courthouse
223 W. Magnolia St.
The Honorable Mayor Sabien Cunningham, Sr., Presiding

Case #001 - Cunningham vs. Masters

Issue:  Fight occurred at the Simmington Hills' 25th Anniversary Party held at the JMWise residence on 81 W. Cedar St., Willow County.

Mayor Cunningham is having a conflict of interest trying this case. The law specifically states: $500 - Public Fighting (plus offenders spend two nights in jail.) But his wife is involved. A few Sims, including Tomika, have brought to his attention that the law states, "public fighting". They're taking to issue that this fight was on private property, not out in public. Others laugh at the semantics and want to see the 1st Lady and Cameron Masters sit in jail for two nights. What do you think? Will you be the jury in this case?

Sunday, August 9, 2009

JMWise - October 2007

Maxine is 36, Jacques is 40, Christina is 14, and Charles is 12.

Eager and excited for his band's first gig at The Cage, Jacques picked up Maxsim VanHouten for another practice and audition. It was raining heavily and was very smelly outside the club. Jacques wondered why the club never cleaned up the growing garbage pile out front. They had redone the inside of the club, but not the outside. Don't they smell it? Jacques thought to himself. A huge turnout didn't look too optimistic on this night.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

TVanHouten - September 2007

Trenton is 25, Steve is 24, Maxsim is 23, Hannah (blue) is 3, Jolina (pink) is 2, and True (yellow) is 1.

(Narrated by Trenton)

Good news! Green Construction finally finished our house and we were given the green light to move in. It took all day and most of the night, but we finally got settled. We live at 77 W. Cedar St, right next door to the Valdes Family. Spencer Farm is to the left of us, and an outdoor concert arena sits directly in front of us. That's the only bad news...well that, and the fact that we have no backyard. I'm not looking forward to the loud band noises, but as Maxsim says, we have free access to all the concerts from our front yard.

I can't complain, though. The house is perfect for our situation. I bought the house for all of us and built an office out back for my tax work. It's plenty big enough for our toddler daughters to play around in. We've got a nice gameroom upstairs and plenty space. The 2.5 bathrooms might be a problem once the girls become teenagers, but I'm not sure if we'll all be living together then. My favorite part of the house is the laundry room. (You can imagine how much laundry 3 toddlers and 3 bachelor men have, it's not even funny.) I don't know why I find doing laundry so relaxing, but I do. And my brothers don't mind that one bit.

The pool table is already providing plenty of entertainment for Maxsim. He's become the most laid-back, quiet person since Lucille died. He was not always like that. He seems to have lost his spark, but that's only until he picks up his bass guitar. Then you can hear all of his emotions come thumping out. He's an absolute master on that upright bass.

In fact, it didn't take long for him to join a new band. They call themselves The Jazzmasters. I thought it was the perfect name. From what Steve told me, Jacques Wise is a beast on the piano. Steve's boss at CPS, Maxine Wise, introduced her husband to Steve. He must've told Jacques about Maxsim right away. Next thing I know...the two are borrowing my car to go play somewhere.

I made sure Maxsim understood that we have to share the truck. And gas is not cheap. But, I didn't mind. I know jazz music is his outlet. He loves everything about it. Turns out Jacques rents out The Cage nightclub whenever he wants, and he and my brother had an impromptu jam session our 2nd night in town.

My brothers and I decided it was best not to split the girls up right now. They're still wondering where their mothers are, and being able to play with each other seems to help them not be so cranky.

We agreed that we would all pitch in and help each other out. Whenever anyone is off from work, they would do the feeding, bathing, potty training, etc. until the others get home. And we do our best with spending some quality time before we head off for work. That means getting up at like 5:00 a.m., most mornings.

It's not easy on any of us, but there is comfort in knowing that we have each other.

My daughter is the youngest of the bunch. Her name is True and she is the last to do everything; even going to bed last and waking up last. LOL! She takes her time and you can't rush her. Trenton and True is easy to remember, if you're getting us all mixed up.

Steve is the middle brother, "The Professor" as we like to call him, he's Jolina's father. Steve is the one that sparks the competition in us. Of course we're all competing now to see who will learn how to walk, talk, and potty first.

Jolina has become a "Daddy's girl". She's the fragile one, it seems. She really doesn't want to be bothered with anyone else but Steve. She used to be latched to her mother, Jessica, like a shadow. Now she's Steve's shadow. If she could go to work with him, I bet she'd be attached to his hip all day while he taught his lessons.

And last but not least...Hannah is Maxsim's daughter. She's the oldest girl and the genius child. I don't know how it happened, must've been from Lucille's genes, but all she wants to do is learn stuff; total opposite of Maxsim, I hate to say. LOL!

To understand why we're here, I'll have to share a little bit of our background. Our wives were triplet sisters. Identical, at that. And most people are amazed that our daughters seem to look like triplets also, well that's the reason why. Their mothers' charm and beauty made them stand out in a crowd like angels. It's no surprise that our daughters hold that same quality. In a large town like Riverblossom, AZ, I was amazed but not surprised to find out that everyone knew the Farley triplets! I met Francine first. I'll never forget it. My tax seminar had just ended at the Civic Center, and she and her sisters were coming out of a car show they had just modeled in. Francine bumped into me, actually. Knocked me and my fully-loaded briefcase right onto the ground! When I looked up and saw her...uhh them..I actually thought I was seeing things. 3 mirror images were bending over to help me up. I couldn't wait to tell my brothers about it. At first Steve and Maxsim didn't believe me. They met Francine and saw how beautiful she was and thought it was impossible that there were two carbon-copies of her walking around. Somehow those guys swept the other two off their feet as well. I don't know how they did it, but I guess the Farley triplets found something irresistible in the VanHouten brothers. What can I say? And can you believe we had a triple wedding! It even made the papers! We were the big news in town for quite awhile after that. And of course the tragedy made headlines.

After the wedding, we got offers for doing our own reality TV show, but turned them all down. We all had our own peaceful lives; owned beautiful homes located in different areas of town. There was always this friendly competition to see who could do just a little bit better than the others. Back in the day, if one got pregnant, the others made sure to get pregnant not too long afterwards. We wanted to maintain a close-knit family. We had college degrees and great but simple livelihoods, and we had the world in our grasp. Until we got the news...

It came so suddenly after we had said goodbye:

Francine, Lucille and Jessica, had finally found the time to plan a 'girls-only weekend retreat'. They were headed to a gorgeous place in Arizona, I forget the name, to be pampered and spoiled, as they put it. No fussy toddlers and no demanding husbands at their side, they were gonna be able to enjoy each other like they used to do as kids. They didn't want to go too far away, just in case there was an emergency. But far enough that it felt like a real vacation.

Unfortunately, it was just not meant to be. Just an hour outside of town, their car was hit by a sleep-deprived driver in an eighteen-wheeler. They all died instantly. The truck driver, too, after being treated for his injuries in a hospital for about 2 months; he never recovered. The officers told us this man hadn't had a decent hours sleep in 4 days; his boss said they had been short staffed. My brothers and I were devastated, to say the least. We moved to Simmington Hills to get away from all the publicity.

It wasn't a unanimous decision, by any means. Steve had a great teaching job in AZ. He was already attached to his students, so moving was a huge "no way" for him. Maxsim was on the fence for a long time. He'd just broken things off with his band. (His wife, Lucille, had been a backup singer.) It was just too painful for him to continue with it. He doesn't like change that much, so it took some convincing for him to agree on moving.

If it hadn't been for Nick Michels, I would've never thought about moving to Simmington Hills.

As I mentioned before, Nick asked me to be the new Tax Accessor. Every Spring, I'll be asking every Sim to come to my home office so I can calculate their taxes for the Administration. It's not much pay, but it's a nice little addition to my Executive Assistant job. I don't think too many Sims will be excited to meet me, but I'm not a wiseguy at all. I really appreciated Nick taking time out to come by and see how we were settling in.

With the opening at CPS for a Secondary Class Teacher, this place seemed perfect for us. Steve couldn't deny it, afterall. The reporters wouldn't give us a minute's rest in AZ. But this town is small enough that we don't have the same notoriety. We can start over again.