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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

My day off (again)

I was thinking just the other day about my whole trip here. This whole thing started for me mainly because I got laid off back home and once I lost my job I had to do something. Rather than stress about finding a new job in a bad economy and worry about everything that goes along with that I just decided to pack it up and move here for a while. I knew a few people here but no one REALLY well. So, it was a big adjustment for me moving here alone with just my backpack and my wits.

My first month here was rough trying to adjust to a whole new country with no one to depend on but myself. But, I survived my first month and still doing fine even now. I really have grown to like Australia a lot and have really adjusted to life here. I have everything I need to be happy and healthy. Some people would consider this just "traveling" and not really anything else. I consider myself really lucky and don't regret doing this at all. That being said, I don't consider this just some trip. Sure, I have been backpacking and traveling but I have also been working hard for money to support myself. So I will really look back on this whole experience with fond memories knowing that I did learn a lot and wasn't just traveling for the sake of pure travel.I have some great skills and knowledge I can rely on and use in future jobs and down the road in life.

I have learned a lot about myself as a person and what I can do for myself. When I was back home I had a whole network of people to depend on and support me and here I just have me. You know back home I never had to cook. (Because my dear mother is an amazing cook!) so I never really knew how to cook anything because I was never forced to try. Well here if I don't cook I don't eat. So while I still can only cook basic stuff at least I can cook something. Sure I can eat out but it is expensive here so cooking is just cheaper. Ben and I split the grocery bill 50/50 so it is a good money saver. So I have learned a lot of new life skills with my time here and new work skills too. I do laundry with no dryer and wash dishes by hand, live with no Air Conditioner and just generally don't have all the creatures comforts from home. I learned how to read a map well and use public transport. Sure I miss my friends and family back home but have really enjoyed my time here so far. Now that is drawing to a close here I just have a bit left before I go to New Zealand and learn new stuff there!

I had another unscheduled day off today. It really is a bummer that I am not working five days a week currently but it has been slow lately. I have had stuff to do though so I have stayed busy which is better than just laying on the lounge doing nothing. Today I went to get a new charger for my computer which was luckily still under warranty so I didn't have to pay for anything! After that I went to Target to return something I bought.

The "interesting" part was actually getting there. I had to take two trains and three buses throughout my day. So that was a drag because it seemed to work out that all day I JUST missed the train/buses so I ended up waiting like a half hour each time :( and normally if you have "continuing" travel on the public transport network, with our "Go Card" we can get free travel (once you pay the initial fare) but, if you spend more than 1 hour "off network" and you go to "tap on" and ride again it isn't free anymore. On the train today for the first time that I have noticed they had "undercover" officers checking for tickets on the train. Normally they are uniformed officers and people have found them fairly easy to avoid if you want too. Well not anymore. Lucky for me I had no issues because I had "tapped on" and paid for my ticket.

So due to all my friggin delays it meant that for most of the day I missed the "free" travel window :( I even missed one bus because I was at the bus stop and the driver clearly saw me I was even waving my hand and he drove right by! It made me really mad that he was such a jerk! But there was a nice lady at the bus stop to talk too. Anyway I got everything done I needed done so it ended up being an ok if not long day.

Well thats all I got for now.-Ty

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The Weekend

I thought I would take some time to elaborate more on a few of my past trips. When I was in Germany it was my first trip alone and I went to Hamburg Germany and the Dalai Lama was speaking there! I really wanted to go listen to him speak but the tickets were all sold out. I also did a bicycle tour of Berlin Germany, called Fat Tire Bike Tours. It was so much fun and informative at the same time! I even got to go see The Berlin Wall. I also toured Auschwitz and saw the memorial for all the Jews who lost their lives in World War Two. That was rather depressing but good to see and remember history. My favourite place that I visited in Germany by far was Koln (Cologne). They have an amazing cathedral there that is over 1000 years old! It is so solidly built and just amazing to be so old! They also have great food and great beer there and the best brisket I have had outside of Texas! I got to see so much history there it was great! It was great to see the good history and the bad.

I was in England/Ireland 3 years ago for some time and I had a lot of fun. I did a walking tour in London all about The Beatles and I got my picture taken by Apple Studios on Abbey Road just like the album cover. All the traffic stopped for me and let me take the perfect shot it was great! I got to see the last place Jimi Hendrix played before he died. I also did a double decker bus tour of all the hot spots in London. Tower Bridge,Crown Jewels etc. Not only that but, I met a guy on my tour who actually went to medical school with my grandfather back in the 50's! I was thousands of miles from home and I randomly met him! It was a really neat "small world" deal.

We made it over to Ireland the day before St. Patrick's Day so obviously the atmosphere was amazing! There was partying everywhere and the river was dyed green and everyone was going wild! It was sooo cool. We did 2 brewery tours which were really cool :) The Guinness Brewery and the Jameson Whiskey Distillery. Both were really cool and it was neat to see and get to taste their brews. I also remembered a funny story I will share. Every morning for breakfast I would go down to the little corner store and grab something to eat. The girls working behind the counter, I still don't think they spoke English. I think it was Gaelic. So I would ask for something, like a sausage roll or a meat pie and they said something. Well I didn't understand what they said so I just said "yes" and smiled. Then they gave me a food that I totally didn't order! LOL. This went on for 3 days straight. I finally just gave up and ate whatever they gave me haha.

I had 2 days off work last week, it was nice to have the time off to get everything done that I needed to get done (I had a big to do list!) but it sucked for my pocket book. We decided we didn't wanna just sit at home and do nothing though so we went out to see a movie. (Can you tell we like movies lol) We saw that Wall Street movie with Michael Douglas. He made the first one back in the mid 80's (which I haven't seen) and this was the sequel. It was all about money and stocks and stock brokers and making money and all that stuff. Ben enjoyed it but all that money crap just went over my head. I guess it was an OK movie but I wouldn't pay for it again. We only saw it really because we were on a "time budget" so it just worked out. Michael Douglas was recently diagnosed with throat cancer so I do wish him the best with that. He smoked cigars in the movie so that can't be good for him! Hopefully he pulls thru though, he is a good actor.

On Sunday afternoon we went out with some mates from work to watch UFC at a local pub and had some drinks there. It was nice to get out and have fun so all in all it was an enjoyable weekend. No complaints here :) Just a few more weeks left here in Brisbane then we are off to travel up the coast before I leave for New Zealand! -Tyler

Thursday, September 23, 2010

My day off/busy day!

I had busy day off today! It sucked not working (and not getting paid) but it allowed me to go donate blood (to save 3 people's lives and figure out my blood type and get free orange juice afterwards hehe) There was some dramas with all my medical issues from birth but after lots of talking and question answering (the nurse actually called 2 separate doctors!) They cleared me to donate and everything was fine. I have donated many times in the past in America and everything was fine. Not to mention I had the coolest nurse ever! She was so witty and funny and we got on really well. She made me laugh and really made having my blood drained out of my body an extremely enjoyable experience even though I am sure all the questions/calls she had to make on my behalf was a long process for her haha. All is well though :)

I also went shopping for a new pair of shoes,jeans etc,go to the tax office and the bank,get my camera fixed,get a 10 dollar haircut at the haircutting school that took forever (but totally worth it for the cheap cost) go grocery shopping and now I am home and wiped out! Got all my stuff done and dusted though. Feels good to get my whole list done :P

I just now realised that a while ago I blogged about my past trips and Panama was my first trip out of the country. That was 10 years ago now when I was 15! My memory has faded a bit but rather than go back and add these memories to the blog I wrote about Panama I will just do it here. I just wanted to tell you a little more about the trip. Right when I landed at the airport in Panama City I was just speaking basic Spanish back then I timidly went up to the airport counter and asked them roughly where the bathroom was. They told me or so I thought, I went to where I thought they directed me too and what I actually entered was something similar to a women's locker room. A woman screamed at me and I quickly left haha.

Also, I got a chance to go on a boat ride in the Panama Canal which a lot of people would consider a once in a lifetime experience. While I will admit it was pretty neat at first and I was lucky to do it, it took a long long time to go all the way through The Canal and I ended up falling asleep haha. The other big memories that stick out in my mind was how cheap everything was (10 USD for a whole meal!) my first experiences with haggling and third world traffic laws lol. Also, we had a CRAZY truck ride up a mountain on a truck that was most likely built in 1930 haha. We did have an amazing dinner with one of the best sunsets I still have ever seen in my life in any countries I have visited. Right there eating on the beach right next to the ocean it was amazing! But, I didn't actually sleep on the beach next to ocean until I went to Fiji ( I slept like a baby) I had a great hammock :) I have more to elaborate on with my other trips that I missed but I will save it for another time.

A lot of people are up in arms about Facebook and similar sites here recently. Facebook has 500 million users worldwide. (if it was a country it would be the 3rd largest in the world) I for one will admit that I am a fan of Facebook and slightly addicted. I have tons of Facebook "friends" all over the world and it is a great way to keep in touch with them and reconnect with old friends from childhood. So really the whole privacy thing doesn't bother me all that much. I mean if you really sit down and think about it almost everyone is in some kinda government database these days. I think the one exception would be my dear father. He has no email,facebook,myspace, no nothing. As far as the Internet (and its related databases) are concerned he doesn't exist. I know he prefers it that way. He hates computers lol.

Ok a few more things and I am done spewing haha. On the way home from the city today I saw a health worker for "Queensland Health or so his shirt said anyway" (the local hospital system) he looked to be about mid 50's early 60's. He had a shaved head and 2 ear piercings with tattoos and I very odd necklace. It was a cross shaped necklace but it was made all out of skulls! I can't imagine he could wear that stuff at work! He would scare the patients lol

Last but not least I wanted to make an observation and tell you a little story. First off my observation: I have noticed here in Australia there is some "uncontrolled" intersections. Allow me to elaborate, In Sydney on George Street there is one and here in Brisbane close to Central Station (Train Station) there is one. I haven't found any others so far. What I mean is instead of crossing the road properly by waiting for the green little man sign and crossing straight across, you can actually cross diagonally across the intersection. So, when the green little man pops up everyone from all four directions swarms into the intersection crossing any which way they choose. It is wild and crazy (by Australian standards) and its kinda fun. Sure cuts down on the time crossing the street.

Now for my story: As I was leaving the train station today coming back from the city there was a little boy and his mother that I passed going down the stairs. He saw me going down the stairs and he looked to be about 4 or 5. He said "But Mum HE isn't holding onto the handrails!!!! Her reply was "But he is a big man and your a little man" he said "NO I AM NOT! It really made me laugh. Because of how angry he got at that statement and also her referring to me as a "big man" because while I am a full grown adult as anyone who knows me, knows I am hardly a "big man" lol. I am totally and utterly average in body size but of course I am super duper in personality which is why everyone loves me! haha

I must apologise for some of my longer winded blogs. I never thought I would really enjoy the whole blogging thing but I really do. I sit down to just write a little bit and I end up going on and on and on haha. So I am sorry I hope this doesn't bore yall (for those of you who even bother to read this far lol) take care. -Tyler

Monday, September 20, 2010

Weekend News

The weather here hasn't been great lately. It has been raining a lot and just generally crappy. So, rather than be cooped up at home this weekend Ben and I decided to go into the city. The trains were down as the rail network was being worked on so we got free bus service into the city which was cool!

We had planned to see some free comedy as part of the Brisbane Festival but, we went to see a movie on Sunday and by the time we got out of our movie it was raining again and we had missed the comedy :( we saw "Easy A" which was actually fairly funny. It had that girl from ZombieLand (great movie) in it. Basically she spreads a false rumour about herself but rather than deny it she just goes with it. It wasn't an AMAZING movie but it was good, better than sitting at home and it did have a great supporting cast.

On Friday we saw "Going the Distance" it was a comedy with Drew Barrymore (Remember her in E.T.? did you know she was 35?!) and Justin Long (The guy from the Mac Commercials) it was about two people dating long distance. I have been there and done that so I could particularly relate I think.  Again, it wasn't AMAZING but it was funny and worth the money I thought. It also had a great supporting cast. I give both movies  3/5 stars. So we have had our fill of movies lol. We didn't do too much else over the weekend and now it is Monday and we are just back at work (well its over for today Thank God!) 

Our time is really winding down here and Ben and I are just finalising what and where we will go next before I leave for New Zealand and he leaves for Asia then we meet up again in January in New Zealand. Life is not to bad just chugging along doing our thing. It isn't totally exciting all the time but as much as I would like to just travel ALL the time and do nothing else I actually have to work to survive lol. So life is life but I am still having fun and doing my thing. Hopefully things are still good back home and  I will be interested to see what has changed once I do get back home.

Yall take care,Ty

Thursday, September 16, 2010

South America here we come!

So Ben and I are officially going to South America for real for real now!  I leave Oz in Nov (it has gone SO fast!)
the day I leave Oz I fly to NZ. I land in Auckland and I am hoping to have a job already or get a job really quickly because I am going to save as much money as possible for South America so I don't have to worry about money while I am there! I will be in New Zealand until April. Ben arrives in New Zealand (from Asia) I am SO jealous he is getting to back to Asia! He arrives in January and we leave New Zealand in April to fly to Chile! :) I can't wait!

Oh ya, I forgot to tell you that the other day Ben and I went into the city to see that movie, The Other Guys but before we saw that we went to a free art exhibit at the Brisbane Festival. It showcased pictures by a Canadian photographer named Douglas Kirkland. Apparently he was even in Brisbane talking to people but we missed him. I had never heard of him but, I know he is Canadian born and was born in 1934.

He has taken pictures of some really famous people including Marilyn Monroe,Michael Jackson,Rob Lowe and tons of others! His pictures were really great. I enjoyed it a lot and it was totally free :) I wish I had pictures to show yall. There was a picture of him in 1961 with all his tons of huge cameras and equipment and stuff. Right next to it they had a picture of him in 2010 with all his fancy new (much smaller equipment. It was really neat to see the comparison!

Work has been slow lately but it is still work and we are still pulling a paycheck. The days are flying by here and it is inching towards October already! There is a lot I will miss about Australia and some stuff I won't miss. I have a whole list but that is gonna be for another blog entry. I can't be bothered to do it now.

Talk at ya later,Tyler

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Its been a long time

Today is the 14th of September here. I am assuming it is still the 13th of September back home. That means its been 7 years :( I can't even believe its been that long since one of my best friends in the world passed away. It was really hard then for me and it has gotten better over time but never goes away. Everything I remember about her is still crystallized in my mind even after all this time. I still do miss her and I feel just like it was yesterday even though its been 7 years. :( -Tyler

Back at it for another week

Well Ben and I used our free ticket to the movies over the weekend. We saw The Other Guys with Will Farrell and company. It was so funny! It was a cop comedy and I really enjoyed it. I mean it was his usual humour but he is just a funny man. It was even better because it was free! We also walked around the city and heard some bands and stuff from the Brisbane Festival for free. I tried the new "chicken schnitzel sub at Subway here and it was quite expensive and not that good. I was unimpressed.

Work has been work..... Still working hard and getting a paycheck which is better than being unemployed but nothing too amazing going on there except today I caught a lizard at work! It was the biggest lizard I have ever seen! It scared the crap out of me haha. But, I quickly determined it wasn't gonna kill me so I had took it outside. I later found out it was a blue tongue  lizard. They have even bigger lizards than that here. That was the most exciting thing to happen to me all day haha.

Big news! Ben and I bought and booked our ticket to South America! We leave from Auckland on the 5th of April! I have already booked my flight from here in Oz to Auckland for the 4th of November so I am all set now :) I have done my taxes here and just waiting on my return for last financial year. I still have to do taxes for this year before I leave. I also still need to get a haircut and we need to plan our South America journey.

Soon it will be time for more traveling so bring it on! :) -Ty

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Movie Extravaganza

Ben and I have a busy weekend ahead of us haha. I posted the pictures/videos from River Fire recently on my facebook page if you haven't seen them yet.  But, this festival is a month long everyday there is something going on (Brisbane is really good about free festivals and stuff) so we will be going back there soon to check out some more stuff.

Last night Ben and I saw The Sorcerers Apprentice. Its a new (well new here) movie with Nicolas Cage about a sorcerer who is trying to find the next "super wizard" and he finally finds his apprentice. It wont win any academy awards by any means but, it was a good cheap outing and it was nice to kill a few hours. Tomorrow Ben and I will be seeing another movie. He got free tickets from work which is awesome! We are gonna be seeing The Other Guys. Will Farrell (and company) its a cop comedy and I have heard its really funny so I am excited about that.

I don't want this time seem like a side note seeing as it is at the bottom of this blog page because it totally isn't. But, today is Sept 11th here. :( I can't believe its already been nine years since that bad day. I still remember I was 16 years old and home sick from school. I woke up just in time to watch the second plane hit the towers live. I had no idea what was going on and I was really scared. I called my mom's work but the lines were busy. I finally got through and talked to her but none of us really knew what was going on. Finally Peter Jennings (late and great) came on ABC (channel 8) and calmly and clearly explained to us what was going on. I still remember how soothing his voice was and it was just good to finally understand what was going on.

Sadly he died a few years later from lung cancer. Due to smoking, a habit he picked up again after 9/11. I don't know anyone personally who was involved in 9/11 in anyway and I have never even been to New York but I just remember how hard all that hit me and still does. So even though I am here in Australia all my best goes out to all Americans today. (Tomorrow for most of yall back home).

On the 12th of Sept. 2001 I wrote pretty much the only poem I have ever written in my life and I haven't written one since really but here it is. It isn't much but I will let yall read it anyway.

They laughed, they cried, they died. They
went for a fatal for a ride, not knowing it
was their last, because of someone else's
task. We lugged, We dug, We hugged. We dug
in the rubble, they busted our bubble. They
shed blood, We gave blood. We laid them to
rest. They gave it their best. We salute
their bravery. God Bless America, America
the Beautiful.

 Well thats all I got for today. Talk at yall later,Ty

Sunday, September 05, 2010

RiverFire 2010

Mom, this one is for you. Last night we went to RiverFire 2010 here in Brisbane along with 600,000 people. They had fireworks everywhere all synced to music! It is a month long festival and last night was the opening night. They had the best fireworks show I have ever seen in my life! These Aussie's sure know how to put on a good fireworks show (even though personal fireworks are illegal) it was even better than New Years Eve in Sydney with the Harbour Bridge! We had the PERFECT spot too! Ben and I were right on the river and we had no one in front of us and no trees or anything blocking our view. They shot fireworks from 2 bridges and 3 barges all over the river. Also, they shot them off buildings right in the city centre CBD. It was so amazing! they whole sky was lit up! Along with that they had jets and helicopters flying over too.

America back in the 1960's designed a fighter jet called the F111. The US doesn't use it anymore but, Australia still has some that they have continually updated. So for this riverfire they fly the jets RIGHT over our heads! They turn on the afterburners and dump fuel directly into the engine creating a HUGE flame! It was SO loud and SO fast... It was awesome! It was over it just a few seconds but, it came back three times. I loved watching that jet! It was so fast that it broke the sound barrier! I heard the sound and I literally thought there was a second jet but it was just the sound from the first jet flying by! We actually witnessed history because this is supposed to be the last year the F111's are doing the "dump and burn" fly by as they are being retired. Australia is the last country in the world to use them still so it was neat to see them as they are being retired.

The Australian military was also there recruiting and they brought out their weapons and vehicles for us to play with that was really cool. They had one of their attack helicopters do a fly by which was neat. All of this was free and it lasts all month!

After we finished watching the fireworks we went into the city and had dinner at a really good interesting Italian place called Vapiano's. Ben had raved about this place so I wanted to try it. Basically they give you something that looks like a credit card and then you go up and order your food. They make it right in front of you in the kitchen and you can say I want more of this, less of this etc. Then you go sit down with a buzzer and when its ready you go pick it up. It is all like self service. It was expensive but good! So all in all a good night had by all :)

The only downside to our whole day was when we got to the fireworks like 5 hours early! we were looking for a spot to watch them and we saw some ladies in a spot so we wanted to get near to their spot. Now keep in mind we weren't "taking" their spot in any way, just close to it. But boy did they bite our heads off! it was just the two of them but they SCREAMED at us. We have been here since 1pm and this WHOLE area is ours! (its not legal to "reserve" spaces there) but they were just jerks and it wasn't even worth fighting with them so we left and then we found our even BETTER spot. So I just laughed to myself. On the way home our train was packed with literally like 50 or 60 people wall to wall and thank god we had a spot to sit down because a girl ended up throwing up in our train carriage and it was really gross. It got all over some people and all over the floor and we were stuck with it :( Apparently she drank too much. Thank God it wasn't on us though! But, other than that everything was fine : )

Talk at yall later and enjoy your weekend wherever you are,Tyler

P.S. Check out my facebook page for more great pictures. I should give credit where credit is due and let you know these are Ben's pictures/videos.

Friday, September 03, 2010

My bucket list

You know this whole leg pain at times has been really severe, so bad that I went to a doctor and then a hospital thinking it was something REALLY bad. Luckily it wasn't but, it did make me think my about my life and how I live it and what I have done with my life. My life is by no means perfect and I haven't done everything I want yet but, overall I am happy with my life and I think I have lived a good one. I have seen a lot of amazing things in just 25 years that most people never get to see a do in a lifetime. So, if I was to kick the bucket tomorrow I would die a pretty happy and blessed guy with family and friends who love me.  

I figured I would share with yall my "bucket list" of things I want to do before I die. So here it is:

Love and be Loved                         
Be more positive                    
Find a meaningful career                    
Talk with my brother more                    
Give more and take less                    
Pass on some knowledge                    
Don't burn bridges                    
Take more Chances                    
Be different                    
Get another tat     4th Nov 2011    1 year 2 months, 1 day          
Workout more     30th Dec 2011   1 year  3 months, 27 days          
Get laser eye surgery     30th Dec 2011   1 year  3 months, 27 days          
Learn to dance     30th Dec 2012     2 years, 3 months          
Learn to play an instrument     30th Dec 2012     2 years, 3 months          
Shave my head     30th Dec 2012     2 years, 3 months          
Go to Brazil with Ralf     31st Dec 2012     2 years, 3 months          
Go to Africa     31st Dec 2012     2 years, 3 months          
Go to South America or Mexico     31st Dec 2012     2 years, 3 months          
To Learn Spanish     31st Dec 2012     2 years, 3 months          
To try sword fighting     31st Dec 2012     2 years, 3 months          
Drive or Buy Eleanor From "Gone In 60 Seconds"     30th Dec 2034     24 years, 3 months          
Fly in a jet     30th Dec 2034     24 years, 3 months          
Take military style survival training     30th Dec 2034     24 years, 3 months          
Retire at 56     30th Dec 2040     30 years, 3 months          
Travel round the world     30th Dec 2084     74 years, 3 months          
Complete this list!     30th Dec 2084     74 years, 3 months          
Go to Cuba     30th Dec 2084     74 years, 3 months    

Semi Pain Free

Today was the first day since my leg injury that I have gone all day with no pain pills. Just wanted to let yall know in case there are those of you who were concerned. Today wasn't totally pain free but I think I am slowly slowly getting better. A day with no pain pills is a step in right direction.

Tomorrow here in Brisbane they will be having River Fire a large festival/fire works/air display. Ben and I will be going and it should be a good day. I am glad work is over for the week and now we are in the weekend! I can't believe its already September! I don't have too much time left here in Australia! Then I will move on and see what life holds for me :)

You know this whole leg pain at times has been really severe, so bad that I went to a doctor and then a hospital thinking it was something REALLY bad. Luckily it wasn't but, it did make me think my about my life and how I live it and what I have done with my life. My life is by no means perfect and I haven't done everything I want yet but, overall I am happy with my life and I think I have lived a good one. I have seen a lot of amazing things in just 25 years that most people never get to see a do in a lifetime. So, if I was to kick the bucket tomorrow I would die a pretty happy and blessed guy with family and friends who love me. 

Yall take care,Ty

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Its been a while and I dont have much

Well I haven't blogged in a while and I really don't have much to say. But, I thought I would just give yall a little update. As I said before, the hospital/doctors said I had a severe muscle sprain/tear but there is really nothing they can do. I have been on some strong pain killers and an anti inflammatory which are helping. I can feel my leg slowly getting better. There is still pain but it is much less and I can at least get through a work day generally in not a whole ton of pain.

Other than staying busy and working hard, Ben and I haven't been doing much. This upcoming weekend is River Fire, a big fireworks show here in Brisbane so that should be good. I saw the movie Inception for a second time. (I really like that movie). On the weekends in city down by the river they have a weekend market which is pretty cool to go too. I really dont have much else but it is just good to be working and staying busy and making money! Ben also has a 2nd job as a waiter at Suncorp Stadium and next weekend he might get to see U2/Jay Z for free!

I know its not much but thats all I got for ya. Take care,Tyler