March 18, 2010
Today is going to be one of those days. It could really go either way. In 3 hours (it is 9:20am THIS second, or I mean… THIS second) the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament affectionately referred to as March Madness begins. I love tournaments. And I love basketball. So, I love March Madness. Thanks to the evil mistress that is technology, for the past few years the games have been streamed live over the interwebz.
You click on ^this^ link and then there is another link that says “launch player” and you click on that link and then a player comes up and you watch it and all these good things. So, that is what is supposed to happen. Although, there are always hiccups with technology and even more so the craptastic technology I’m dealing with at work. Maybe they’ll block the streaming, maybe CBS updated their player meaning I would have to download a new plug-in, but I can’t download any new plug-ins, maybe my computer will explode just to be difficult.
I really hope it works though. It has worked well the past two years. I started this job in February a couple years ago. The second month I was here was March and obviously the Madness of March. I really enjoyed watching the games at work and getting paid for it. Almost completely uninterrupted I watched all the games I could at work. If only I was allowed to drink beer at my desk it would have been perfect.
My brain is preoccupied with a number of things: NCAA March Madness and its ability to be watched on my work computer, the technology in my personal life and spending the money to upgrade it, looming projects, I’m pretty sure my dry-cleaner is shrinking my clothes, if they are not shrinking my clothes then how much weight am I gaining and at how fast of a pace am I gaining it as well as how much taller am I going to grow to considering I am way past puberty, dinosaurs, whether I should see Clash of the Titans in 3-D or not, how can I make this blog successful, if there is a God will God recognize all the times I have allowed drunk bitches at bars to take seats at the bar that clearly I had been waiting 10x longer for and they didn’t wait anytime for because they just stumbled their drunk entitled, non-social, beads wearing, sloppy asses over there at the exact moment the two guys at the bar who are way too old to be dressed like that or be at a hip rock n’ roll bar stand up shakily and saunter off.
My preoccupations are leading me to a video post. I saw on the HuffPo a very tough investigative journalist piece about the “13 Cutest Animals Falling Asleep (VIDEOS)”. I am going to steal that fluff and write my own fluff about it. Fuck you, HuffPo. I remember when Ms. Huffington was a crazy conservative and battled against former SNL comedian Al Franken on Bill Maher’s first show Politically Incorrect on Comedy Central. Oh how times have changed. Ms. Huffington is now a blogging liberal. Al Franken is now a Senator in Minnesota. And Bill Maher is doing the exact same show he did on Comedy Central and then ABC, but now it is on HBO. We get it Bill, you smoke marijuana. Great. You’re still a tool.
As the article title suggests, these are videos of cute animals falling asleep. And by falling asleep I mean sleep is taking a hold of them and pulling them through to the other side whether they want to or not. It is a lot like watching a drunk person trying to stay awake. The animals look the drunkest. In honor of St. Patrick’s Day and the people who got really drunk for no apparent reason on a Wednesday, I will narrate these videos as if they are drunks trying to stay awake.
Oh, he is the cutest! He is so sweepy! Oh my God! I want to pet him!
AHHHHH!!! SO CUTE!!!
I just wanted to get that out of the way. I’ve watched the first couple and they are the cutest animals ever.
Getting closer. Getting closer. Closer. And touchdown! Yeah, I can’t move my arms. And my face is just smashed… oh I’m up. Hunh? No, I didn’t fall asleep right then. Oh man, I’m drunk. How did I wind up in this wood shop? How did I end up on this wooden and wheeled dirty sled? Did those assholes leave me here? I really hope I didn’t break into this place. I already have two strikes on my record and I’m falling asleep … again. I need to get up, but my arms and legs are not under my control anymore. They are heavy like concrete. I’m just going to… lay down right here. If only I could lie down where my face wasn’t smashed against this dirty wood.
Hey man, you can’t sleep at the bar. I see you have a drink there. I can’t throw out a paying customer. But maybe you need to just forget about the drink and go home. Yeah, man listen to your buddy. Maybe you should, oh you’re up. Good. I’m glad you’re up. No, don’t fall back asleep. You’re falling right back to sleep in your drink. Come on, guy. You clearly have been bathing in the same whisky you’ve been drinking. And he’s up again. Ok, man. Listen to me. You need to finish your drink and leave or just leave altogether. You seem like a nice guy. I don’t want to have to throw you out in front of all your friends, but you’re back to sleep again. Damn it! I hate to do this, but can someone get Reggie. I’m going to need some help carrying this lush out of the bar. Nah, I’ve tried to wake him up, but his face just goes right back to sleep. Oh hey, this is your friend. Yeah, you’re going to have to get him out of here before Reggie and I throw him out. No he is not being cool right now. He is completely asleep at the bar with his face in his drink. Just look. Yeah, you can finish his drink for him, but then you have got to go.
Totally. We should totally watch Star Wars right now. Yeah, we’ll stay up all night watching the whole original trilogy. None of that prequels bullshit. Lucas is a genius and an asshole. A genius asshole! An asshole genius. Sounds like the smartest proctologist ever. Anyway, we’ll just stay up all night until the sunrises drinking and watching the greatest intergalactic battles ever. Yeah, just start them up. I’ll completely make it all…. niii…zzzz… Hunh? I didn’t fall asleep. I’m here for the whole jourrrrr….zzzzz.
Mmmmrrpppffhfpphhh… What? Oh? Yeah, this isn’t my bed. Ok, I must’ve stumbled into the wrong dorm room, sue me. Actually don’t sue me. Oh man, could you quit yelling at me? I have a headache the size of… hmmph… uh what was I saying? I drank like a shot of jager. Uhhh, I mean a bottle of jager. I drank a whole bottle of jager in shot form. It’s just it’s so comfortable here… is this a Winnie the Pooh pillow? I need to get me a pooh heheh… pill…ow…zzzzzz….
Uh huh… uhhhh hunnh…. No, what? I’m not falling asleep. I’m awake. Yeah, I’m paying attention. I can totally drive home. Just tell me how we get there again. Ok, sure. Yeah, of course we make that left. I remember making that left. I’m just tired. I’m not drunk. It’s like 4 am. It’s it being 4 am is why I’m tired plus your boring voice. It’s not the 12 long island iced teas I had. Those are giving me energy if anything. It’s your boring voice… uh… huh… what? I did not sway!?! Just give me the directions already. I’m hungry too. Maybe we should drive to get foooo… hmmm…zzz… *hic*… fuck. Now I have the hiccups. Ugh, your voice is just *hic* dron *hic* ning. Let’s just *hic*… sleep… *falls* What!?! What just happened? I just closed my eyes for a second. Did someone just push me? Oh fuck it. You guys can go on without me. I’m going to start a new life here on this ground.
ZzzzzzzzzZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz……….. Strip club? Did someone say they want to go to a strip club?… zzzzz…..ZZZZzzzzzzz…….Zzzzzzzzzzzzzz…. I love strippers. Who said something about strippers? We should call the strip…. zzzzzzzzzzZzzzzzZZZZzzzz…. Are you shaking me to go to the strip club? If that is the case then I will get up. Or maybe you could just pick me up. I swear if you can get me to the car that I’ll be completely awake by the time we get to the strip club. The smell of alcohol, sweat, perfume, and menthol cigarettes is like a shot of energy to my head. It’s like those Irish Spring commercials where the smell of Ireland wakes the people up. I wake up when I smell strippersssss…… zzzzzzzzzZZzzz… ZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz….
Hey bro, it’s time to get up. It’s like 5am. We have got to go. I know we told you could sleep here, but Craig kind of fucked that up. Yeah, he was hooking up with Jessica. Yep, it was going pretty good, but can you not hear that yelling? You look wasted and your eyes are barely open, but she is yelling pretty loud for you not to be able to hear her. Just keep clawing your way up, that’s right. It turns out Jessica does not like to be called Michelle, her twin sister’s name, when she is going down on a guy. Uh huh? Bro, what are you doing? Don’t go back to sleep. Can you not hear Jessica yelling at Craig that she is going to call the cops? What the fuck, bro? Wake up!
Right. Completely. I completely agree with you, Officer. I should not be driving. I completely agree. I’ll call a cab. That makes perfect sense, Mr. Police Officer with the gun and the badge. I’m cool. I’ll just call a cab…. *falls*… zzzzZzzzzZzZZzzzz… I’m up. Those handcuffs are really unnecessary. The most unnecessary. I’m seriously awake and just needed that quick nap. One maybe two seconds more and I’ll be perfectly wide awake enough to drive home. NOT that I’m going to drive home. Obviously, I’m calling a cab. These handcuffs are the most unnecessary thing in the world right now.
I cannot wait for this cheesesteak. Oh man, this was a good idea. This is exactly what I need right now: a belly full of cheese, meat and bread to soak up all this flammable booze in my tummy. I didn’t get a chance to eat dinner, but I did get a chance to drink 12 shots of Jameson. It really was one or the other and not both. Yeah, I think I smell the onion and sweet peppers. I think that’s mine. I think they’re taking it out of the oven right now. I think it’s great that they toast the sub rolls like that. And, yeah, I call them sub roles because the word “hoagie” makes you sound less IQ-full. This Formica table is great too. It’s so smooth. I’m just going to touch it with my face for a second. Just for shits and giggles, am I right? Just for a second. It’s so smooth and…..ZZZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzz
SHOTS! SHOTS! SHOTS! SHOTS! SHOTS! Too many shots. ZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzz.
Ahhh shit. Don’t I know you? Not this asshole again. Didn’t I throw you out of this bar a couple weeks ago for falling asleep with your face in your drink? Why am I even asking this guy any questions? He is completely asleep. Hey drunky! You can’t sleep here! I know you’re standing up, but your head is literally on the bar asleep. Does anyone have this idiot’s ID? You do? Ok, let me take a look at it. I could have sworn that I threw this guy out of here …. Mark O’Leary? I threw out a Patrick O’Leary. That guy threw up on some dude’s scooter when Reggie and I got him out the door. Like soon as the door opened he projectile vomited all over that guy’s scooter. That guy was pissed. But he kept saying “scooter”. Dude, you threw up on my scooter. You can’t be serious using the word “scooter”. Never. Or “cookie”. You can’t sound manly or serious saying “scooter” or “cookie”. That “oo” sound just takes away your balls. Just try it once. Try saying “sugar cookies” like a bad ass. Doesn’t work. Hey man! Give me your motherfucking sugar cookies! It sounds silly. Yo bro! Don’t fuck with my scooter! That’s just not happening either. Has anyone called Reggie because we need to get another drunk O’Leary out of the bar, same shit different day.
Uuuugggghhhhhh… why did you let me drink that bottle of Goldschlager? Uuuuugggghhhhh… you are the worst friends ever? Uuuuugggghhhhh… I can feel all those gold bits of paper tearing apart my stomach. Why the hell would you want to drink gold foil? Uuuuuugggghhhhhh…. I’m going to throw up so much gold into that toilet it’ll look like I ate pirate treasure.
Ok, who is going to drive? Who is the least drunk one… I think Phil just died. Is Phil dead or asleep? Ok, well Phil is not driving. He might not be breathing either. Once we figure out between the two of us who is driving we might want to drive straight to the hospital to revive Phil. Are you ok to drive, Ricky? Ricky?…. Ricky? Fuck. Ricky might be dead too. I really wish there was someone else here to drive and not me. I initially thought I was the drunkest of the three of us and now I’m the only one not dead. This is going to get interesting.
Ok, so not “Aggressive Thursday”, but “Adorable Thursday”.
Questions for Friday, please.
November 17, 2009
Out of fear for your growing stupidity and my own, today will be an educational post. Generally speaking, I have been having trouble thinking of another topic to write about in terms of anything that would be taught in a current school setting. Sure I hope and pray like you all that things like yesterday’s “butt genies” will be standard curriculum for aspiring intellectuals of future generations. I had been tossing and turning with the idea of another post about a philosopher or venturing into sociology. The idea of another historical character was appealing, but who?
Alexander the Great seems like a perfectly suitable person, but I have two problems with him: 1. too popular and 2. Catherine the Great. I think most people know at least something about Alexander the Great. Whether it is about his glorious conquests in Asia Minor or the terrible movie Oliver Stone made, people know him. I want to tread on waters that have been untreaded like the use of “monkey meat and milk”. As for Catherine the Great, I wrote about her precisely because I wasn’t going to write about Alexander. He was one of the first historical dudes I thought about in terms of “wanting it”, but at the time I felt this blog needed more positive female characters instead of the usual skanks I talk about (speaking of, did anyone see those pictures of Blake Lively!?! She’s not a skank because I heart her, but if she doesn’t heart me back then she’s a skank). So Alex got nixed.
I decided on a truly amazing character from history who not only “wanted it”, but he also had a lot to do with another reoccurring theme of this blog: elephants. It is time to get in the way back machine and talk about the one, the only:
This is a very controversial decision for me to write about Hannibal. As you are all well aware, there is a rash of post about this Carthaginian General on Kristen Stewart related blogs. A RASH, I tell you, A RASH! Just a rash of them. A bumpy red stretch of itchy posts. I am sure you are almost neck deep in strategic military discussion over at Letters, Tarded, BitchFace, 411 and other websites that may or may not exist about Kristen Stewart that may or may not have names that sound like the words in italics that I just typed. I can only imagine how sick you must be of discussing the battle of Zama on Twitter. Just #hannibal and #zama and #secondpunicwar and #scipio. I know I am late hitching my wagon to this already prolific train of discourse concerning Hannibal’s life long war with Rome, but I feel it just had to be done. KSWI needs he/she’s say. And by he/she I’m referring to the fact that the internet and its websites are all transgender.
Where should I begin?
Should I start with where Hannibal is from? North Africa. Should I start with Hannibal vowing when he was child that he would fight Rome his entire life? I swear so soon as age will permit…I will use fire and steel to arrest the destiny of Rome. Should I start with Hannibal losing an eye when he was 37? Yes, he fought the Roman Empire with one eye! Should I start with Hannibal’s mythical caravan of army and elephants over the Pyrenees and Alps mountains to Northern Italy? Well…. we all know you are here for the money shot.
Did Hannibal want it?
YES! Are you fucking kidding me!?! Of course this motherfucker wanted it. Did you read that last sentence? The dude with an army including ELEPHANTS and took them through two mountain ranges and came out the other side into Italy. That guy wants it. He wants it like a crazy person. Could you even imagine what balls and determination it takes to sit around one day in Iberia (or modern day Spain) and come to the decision that you are crossing mountains to go and fight the greatest empire that had graced Earth? And to do it with elephants!?! You want it, my friend. Hannibal most assuredly wanted it.
The crossing of the Pyrenees and the Alps into Italy with the elephants is usually the only thing I hear about Hannibal. That is his big hit. I feel like people are pegging Hannibal as a one hit wonder. Hannibal WAS the Second Punic War. It is crazy as all can be the elephants over the mountains so I get why people remember it. But it would be like people summing up the band A-Ha as simply “Take On Me” meanwhile they wrote a surprising 9 studio albums that are not just different versions of “Take On Me” as most would expect. But the reason why people focus on this is the sheer ridiculous imagery and people love animals.
People really love animals. We have an amazing fear and admiration for animals. We both want to equally want to be friend an animal and see it attack. Of course, we want to see it attack, but not attack us. Like when you are in a bar and you see some wild drunkard tip toeing around. You really want to strike up a conversation with him to hear about his drunken hobo adventures, but at the same time you really want to see him stumble into someone and watch him take a swing at a guy. You just don’t want to be that guy. Nevertheless, if you want to spice up any story, and I mean any story, you add an animal into it. If you want to get someone’s attention start talking about animals.
I don’t know if I have mentioned this, but that is how you get a person interested. What did you do this weekend? I went to see a movie. What did you do? I went to a petting zoo. Really!?! What animals did you pet? Was there a tiger? Of course there wasn’t a tiger, but you see my point. That first hypothetical person couldn’t have cared any less about the second hypothetical person’s story about seeing a movie. The second person was completely enthralled by the idea of the first person being able to pet an animal.
You can even lie to people about being with animals. What did you do this weekend? I rode a horse. Really!?! Where did you ride a horse? I know that fake person I made up and they didn’t ride a horse. But that other person is now interested in the idea that that person was on a horse only a scant few hours prior. Even better, the person who wasn’t with the animal can get involved in that conversation and they want to. If someone has been on a horse then they can now tell the tale of being on a horse. If someone hasn’t been on a horse then they can now tell the tale of not being on a horse at any point in their life and the subsequent times they came close to being on a horse.
The animal doesn’t even need to be all that crazy. What did you do this weekend? I played with a dog. Really!?! What kind of dog? I’m scared of dogs. Was it a big dog? Whose dog was it? Did you steal a dog? Are you lying to me like that other time when you said you rode a horse? Was the dog brown or should I say was the fake dog brown? See this is what happens when you talk about animals. People want to get involved. Secretly, I believe we all want to talk about animals at all times. We’ve either watched way too many shows about animals or we wish we had watched more and we want to talk about it.
So we are enamored by Hannibal and his ability to gather 40 elephants, tame them, and then use them in war. He didn’t just do it with those 40 crossing the Alps neither. Hannibal used 80 war elephants in his most public demise at the battle of Zama. But I think I’m getting a little ahead of myself. I started talking about how we want to talk about animals and I got wrapped up into talking about animals. What irony!?! So back to Hannibal. The man was from Africa!
Hannibal was born in 248 BC and hailed from Northern Africa, which explains more of why he was involved with all these elephants. If he was a military genius from Brooklyn then him having a penchant for using elephants in war would make a lot less sense. It would also make a ton less sense that a man from Brooklyn which didn’t really “exist” (it was around, but not with rappers and basketball players and hipsters like nowadays) back then would have anything to with the wars going on in the Mediterranean Sea. Also for full disclosure, I spelled Mediterranean correctly on my first try which I found a little baffling and at the same time I originally upgraded it to an “ocean” and not just a stinking “sea”.
Hannibal, as mentioned, wanted it a very early age and declared to his father and family that he would spend his life trying to destroy the Romans. It did not take him long to get involved in this pursuit as he accompanied his brother-in-law Hasdrubal as an officer under him after his father died in battle. Carthage’s interests at the time were with the Iberian peninsula which is now Portugal and Spain. Hasdrubal struck a treaty with Rome that cut that land in two and Carthage had one side (south of the Ebro river) and Rome had the other (north of the Ebro river, duh). Hasdrubal also got his young brosef-in-law laid legally by arranging marriage with a princess. Talk about a kick ass brother-in-law. Sure I’ll get you a job in my badass army, sure I’ll get you a lady friend, sure I’ll get you a….a…a…argh… I’ve been assassinated.
Yep. In 221 BC, at the ripe age of 27, Hannibal was made commander-in-chief because Hasdrubal he got got (The Wire anyone?). Hannibal’s want to kill and burn everything Roman rivaled his dear old dad’s and because of this the army loved him. Hannibal took that love and blood lust and conquered everything that was deemed ok to conquer in the treaty with Rome. Nevertheless, Rome wasn’t too psyched that some youngin’ was laying to waste everything south of Ebro river. Rome made a pre-emptive strike by allying with the city of Saguntum which was just south of the Ebro. Hannibal seeing this as spitting in his face promptly sacked the shit out of Saguntum. And Rome seeing this as a loogie in their eye promptly declared war and thus the Second Punic War.
Hannibal, mi hermano para una madre otra, wanted it so bad he started the Second Punic War. This is where the elephants crossing those damn mountains comes into play. It actually wasn’t even Hannibal’s plan. How fucking crazy is that? There was more than one person who though elephants and mountains made sense together. That is brilliant. It was his brother-in-law Hasdrubal (back from the dead, right?) who originally came up with the idea. But he be dead and so be Hannibal’s pop, so now it is Hannibal’s turn to cross through Spain, Southern France and then other those mountains with 38,000 infantry, 8,000 cavalry and 37 war elephants. Hannibal had easily defeated everyone up until the mountains, but the mountains ain’t no one’s bitch. When Hannibal touched down in Italy he had lost basically half of his army and, sadly, most of the elephants. 20,000 men dead? I’m not that sad. 30 elephants dead? I’m crying tears of historical anguish. Those poor elephants!
HANNIBAL: LIVE IN ITALY! Hannibal spent the next 15 years (!) in Italy as Rome’s greatest enemy and lingering tormenter. He won major battle after major battle defeating Rome nearly at every chance they fought him in open battle. In these meetings, Hannibal proved to be the superior military strategist as he usually was outnumbered in these battles. His first major victory was the Battle of Trebia where Hannibal ambushed those idiot Romans. He set-up a force across the river from the Romans and waited for them to attack. The Romans didn’t see a secondary force laying in wait South of the river that rushed up when the Romans attacked and took them from behind*.
All the while Hannibal was engaging in war all over Italy, Rome was still operating as their regular governmental structure. So different people assumed consul roles and had different thought processes on how to deal with Hannibal. It wasn’t one big military dictatorship that sought out the defeat of Hannibal, but it was a democracy where everyone got a chance to fail at apprehending this mad man. Hey, Flaminius, how are you going to get your ass handed to you by Hannibal? Well, I’m glad you asked. I, Flaminius, was planning on not engaging in battle with Hannibal and instead allow him to march around my army and cut off my support lines from the rest of Italy and then proceed to get demolished by Hannibal. Anything else? Yes, I am going to get myself murdered real good too in this battle. Right!
Hannibal’s greatest military victory was the Battle of Cannae or as you all know it #BoC. Here Hannibal defeated a much larger Roman army in a brilliant tactical way. What does a Cadbury Easter Egg, KSWI Jordan and Hannibal’s army at Cannae have in common? Soft center and a hard shell. Hannibal took his weakest troops and put them in the middle where typical the strength of a military force would be. He then put his best cavalry at the ends. The Romans attacked in full force at the middle of Hannibal’s army looking to break them right down the middle. Instead Hannibal’s army expanded and circled around the Romans. They enveloped the Roman army like a big hug. A big and violent and uncompromisingly bloody hug full of death. A big hug where 50,000-70,000 Romans were killed including consuls, former consuls, military tribunes and a whole bunch of senators. Hugs!
This was Hannibal’s climax and it was immediately proceeded by the anti-climax. Nothing happened afterwards really. Hannibal was more or less abandoned by his country. He had been running on piss and vinegar this whole time. Carthage and the Macedonians weren’t going to help Hannibal nor had they been helping Hannibal. They had been spending all their resources to hold onto the Iberian peninsula and their land in Northern Africa instead of sending reinforcements to Hannibal. He was all the way out there in Italy, defeating the Romans left and right, but no one would give him that helping hand to give the final deathblow and sack Rome.
So Hannibal roamed Italy with his army and his want. His dwindling army went on to defeat Romans all over Southern Italy, but this force was not strong enough to take on the capital. After years of wondering around getting nipped at by small Roman guerilla forces and slowly dying off from lack of supplies, in 203 BC Hannibal was eventually called home. Hannibal was called back to Carthage with his men to prepare defenses for Rome’s attack. At 40 some odd years old, Hannibal was about to be defeated.
The Battle of Zama was Scipio Africanus’ shining moment where he defeated the great Hannibal using his own tactics against him. Hannibal always had a great cavalry, but due to circumstances outside of him when the Numidian’s changed sides. Hannibal now playing on his home turf did have the superior infantry, but he had showed plenty of times over that the cavalry was what won the wars. Hannibal did make an amazing stand with 80 war elephants, but Scipio had an answer for that too. Apparently, those big bad elephants get spooked by loud horns, which is good to know for the whole elephant apocalypse I prophesize. The elephants scared by the horns actually turn against the Carthaginians and destroy their army instead of the invaders. Stupid elephants!
Hannibal did survive the battle. He made the leap from battles with swords to battles with words and became a politician. He reestablished Carthage as a wealthy nation, removed corruption from its government and instituted elections and term limits. Of course, having a healthy Carthage is bad stuff for Rome, so when they threatened Hannibal took exile. Hannibal moved around like a genius vagrant for awhile and, eventually, settled on helping out Prusias I in Asia Minor. Although older and with no country of his own anymore, Hannibal kept on fighting and help win several naval victories for Prusias. He once reportedly filled large pots with poisonous snakes and threw them into enemy boats. Talk about a guy who wanted it!
This story ends sadly because Hannibal wasn’t one of the lucky few of us who are immortal. He was betrayed yet again by the country he was fighting for and Prusias was prepared to give Hannibal to Rome. Instead, Hannibal killed himself with poison and left a love letter for Rome, “Let us, relieve the Romans from the anxiety they have so long experienced, since they think it tries their patience too much to wait for an old man’s death.”
Awwww… all he ever wanted was love….. and Rome’s death. But he did want love.
Anyway I hope this was interesting to the rest of you and fills my quota of educational posts. Also I think Kristen Stewart would have liked it because it had absolutely nothing to do with “that” movie.