Refined and Fly

Thursday, June 29, 2006


Peace! Today's mathematics is wisdom born all being born to knowledge knowledge, being born to wisdom. When making your word bond and giving your life before your word shall fail (11:14), I think of staying true to your convictions, and living and dying for them if necessary. Three sisters from the Dominican Republic lived and died by this code: Minerva, Maria Teresa, and Patricia Mirabal, collectively known as The Butterflies. The Mirabal sisters, who were all married with children, lived during the time of Rafael Trujillo's regime (1930s-1961), which turned into a dictatorship of political and economic turmoil. The Mirabal sisters opposed and worked to end the regime by joining an organization called the Movement of the Fourteenth of June, and within that group, their underground code names were Las Mariposas (The Butterflies). Throughout their fight, they were incarcerated and tortured many times. On November 25, 1960, they were led to a sugar cane field where they were beaten and strangled to death, by the order of Rafael Trujillo. The murder of the Mirabal sisters backfired on Trujillo, causing resistance and public outcry toward his regime, bringing national attention to the atrocities that occurred. In 1961, Trujillo was assassinated, and to this day, Novemebr 25 is considered the International Day Against Violence Against Women in memory of the Mirabal sisters, and many women around the world who have undergone violent experiences.

We have all heard famous quotes, such as "If you stand for nothing you will fall for anything," and the Mirabal sisters are but one example of many sisters and brothers who made the ultimate sacrifice for making their word bond and standing so firmly upon their principles, that they were willing to die. Many brothers and sisters fought, were stabbed, defended, sacrificed years, and were imprisoned for not compromising the way of life of the Nation of Gods and Earths. Allah, the Father, spent time in Mattewan and Bellevue for seeing the divinity within himself and standing by the proclamation that he was indeed, true and living God. To stand by what you cee as right and exact is the road less traveled and it ain't always paved with gold and can be more work than fun at times. So as we all continue to live our lives, whoever you may be, whatever you may "believe,"carrying the weight of what you advocate, remember the seriousness of your principles and know that there may be a time when what you advocate is challenged, and in that moment of truth, you will really know if you are who you say you are.

Check out these links for more info about the Mirabal sisters:



Thursday, June 22, 2006


Peace. Today's mathematics is wisdom understanding all being born to power (started post yesterday, born complete today). There are many roads and pathways to what we call power. One thing I've noticed, even within my own thoughts and feelings about power is that I usually cee it as using your wisdom and understanding to effect someone in a positive way. However, power, in itself, does not have a negative or positive value. In Supreme Mathematics, you want to cause positive effects for self and others, however, throughout history and through out life, people use their ability to do something, to effect people in various ways. Many people have selfish motives for attaining power and are quite ruthless in their methods. And many of their names will always be in the minds and uttered from the lips of people because what they did, changed the world, or at least the environment they were in. That is power to its highest degree to me.

The 48 Laws of Power, a book by Robert Greene, outlines 48 constants, that he sees as ways to rise to power, use power, and maintain power. It's at least one of the most entertaining books I've read, with stories of observances and transgressions of power, and his examples run the spectrum from Whodini to Haile Selassie. These are not necessarily the laws that I live by, as Supreme Mathematics is the foundation of my conduct, but I have been able to take the best part. Some of the laws I favor or relate to are #4, 5, 9, 13, 15, 19, 28, 29, 34, 41, and 47. The other ones are intersting and I see elements of truth in them, however, for personal application, some of these laws call for too much manipulaton, trickery, and game playing, and I'm striving to be a Peaceful Earth. B.U.T., it is good to be aware of some of the strategies that others may be trying to use on you, as we are all affected by our surroundings to varying degrees. This book is a compacted way to see many different power plays and their application, so when you see a fox coming, you will recognize them and their game, and knowledge what tricks they have up their sleeve. When moving in different ciphers, and interacting with a variety of people, it is always wise to be armed with various tools, that you may choose to use, or not use at your discretion. The following is a list of each law and the explanation that the author provides directly from the book. Which laws apply to you?

The 48 Laws of Power
by Robert Greene and Joost Elffers
Law 1
Never Outshine the Master
Always make those above you feel comfortably superior. In your desire to please or impress them, do not go too far in displaying your talents or you might accomplish the opposite – inspire fear and insecurity. Make your masters appear more brilliant than they are and you will attain the heights of power.

Law 2
Never put too Much Trust in Friends, Learn how to use Enemies

Be wary of friends-they will betray you more quickly, for they are easily aroused to envy. They also become spoiled and tyrannical. But hire a former enemy and he will be more loyal than a friend, because he has more to prove. In fact, you have more to fear from friends than from enemies. If you have no enemies, find a way to make them.

Law 3
Conceal your Intentions
Keep people off-balance and in the dark by never revealing the purpose behind your actions. If they have no clue what you are up to, they cannot prepare a defense. Guide them far enough down the wrong path, envelope them in enough smoke, and by the time they realize your intentions, it will be too late.

Law 4
Always Say Less than Necessary
When you are trying to impress people with words, the more you say, the more common you appear, and the less in control. Even if you are saying something banal, it will seem original if you make it vague, open-ended, and sphinxlike. Powerful people impress and intimidate by saying less. The more you say, the more likely you are to say something foolish.

Law 5
So Much Depends on Reputation – Guard it with your Life
Reputation is the cornerstone of power. Through reputation alone you can intimidate and win; once you slip, however, you are vulnerable, and will be attacked on all sides. Make your reputation unassailable. Always be alert to potential attacks and thwart them before they happen. Meanwhile, learn to destroy your enemies by opening holes in their own reputations. Then stand aside and let public opinion hang them.

Law 6
Court Attention at all Cost
Everything is judged by its appearance; what is unseen counts for nothing. Never let yourself get lost in the crowd, then, or buried in oblivion. Stand out. Be conspicuous, at all cost. Make yourself a magnet of attention by appearing larger, more colorful, more mysterious, than the bland and timid masses.

Law 7
Get others to do the Work for you, but Always Take the Credit

Use the wisdom, knowledge, and legwork of other people to further your own cause. Not only will such assistance save you valuable time and energy, it will give you a godlike aura of efficiency and speed. In the end your helpers will be forgotten and you will be remembered. Never do yourself what others can do for you.

Law 8
Make other People come to you – use Bait if Necessary
When you force the other person to act, you are the one in control. It is always better to make your opponent come to you, abandoning his own plans in the process. Lure him with fabulous gains – then attack. You hold the cards.

Law 9
Win through your Actions, Never through Argument

Any momentary triumph you think gained through argument is really a Pyrrhic victory: The resentment and ill will you stir up is stronger and lasts longer than any momentary change of opinion. It is much more powerful to get others to agree with you through your actions, without saying a word. Demonstrate, do not explicate.

Law 10
Infection: Avoid the Unhappy and Unlucky
You can die from someone else’s misery – emotional states are as infectious as disease. You may feel you are helping the drowning man but you are only precipitating your own disaster. The unfortunate sometimes draw misfortune on themselves; they will also draw it on you. Associate with the happy and fortunate instead.

Law 11
Learn to Keep People Dependent on You
To maintain your independence you must always be needed and wanted. The more you are relied on, the more freedom you have. Make people depend on you for their happiness and prosperity and you have nothing to fear. Never teach them enough so that they can do without you.

Law 12
Use Selective Honesty and Generosity to Disarm your Victim
One sincere and honest move will cover over dozens of dishonest ones. Open-hearted gestures of honesty and generosity bring down the guard of even the most suspicious people. Once your selective honesty opens a hole in their armor, you can deceive and manipulate them at will. A timely gift – a Trojan horse – will serve the same purpose.

Law 13
When Asking for Help, Appeal to People’s Self-Interest,
Never to their Mercy or Gratitude
If you need to turn to an ally for help, do not bother to remind him of your past assistance and good deeds. He will find a way to ignore you. Instead, uncover something in your request, or in your alliance with him, that will benefit him, and emphasize it out of all proportion. He will respond enthusiastically when he sees something to be gained for himself.

Law 14
Pose as a Friend, Work as a Spy
Knowing about your rival is critical. Use spies to gather valuable information that will keep you a step ahead. Better still: Play the spy yourself. In polite social encounters, learn to probe. Ask indirect questions to get people to reveal their weaknesses and intentions. There is no occasion that is not an opportunity for artful spying.

Law 15
Crush your Enemy Totally

All great leaders since Moses have known that a feared enemy must be crushed completely. (Sometimes they have learned this the hard way.) If one ember is left alight, no matter how dimly it smolders, a fire will eventually break out. More is lost through stopping halfway than through total annihilation: The enemy will recover, and will seek revenge. Crush him, not only in body but in spirit.

Law 16
Use Absence to Increase Respect and Honor
Too much circulation makes the price go down: The more you are seen and heard from, the more common you appear. If you are already established in a group, temporary withdrawal from it will make you more talked about, even more admired. You must learn when to leave. Create value through scarcity.

Law 17
Keep Others in Suspended Terror: Cultivate an Air of Unpredictability
Humans are creatures of habit with an insatiable need to see familiarity in other people’s actions. Your predictability gives them a sense of control. Turn the tables: Be deliberately unpredictable. Behavior that seems to have no consistency or purpose will keep them off-balance, and they will wear themselves out trying to explain your moves. Taken to an extreme, this strategy can intimidate and terrorize.

Law 18
Do Not Build Fortresses to Protect Yourself – Isolation is Dangerous
The world is dangerous and enemies are everywhere – everyone has to protect themselves. A fortress seems the safest. But isolation exposes you to more dangers than it protects you from – it cuts you off from valuable information, it makes you conspicuous and an easy target. Better to circulate among people find allies, mingle. You are shielded from your enemies by the crowd.

Law 19
Know Who You’re Dealing with – Do Not Offend the Wrong Person

There are many different kinds of people in the world, and you can never assume that everyone will react to your strategies in the same way. Deceive or outmaneuver some people and they will spend the rest of their lives seeking revenge. They are wolves in lambs’ clothing. Choose your victims and opponents carefully, then – never offend or deceive the wrong person.

Law 20
Do Not Commit to Anyone

It is the fool who always rushes to take sides. Do not commit to any side or cause but yourself. By maintaining your independence, you become the master of others – playing people against one another, making them pursue you.

Law 21
Play a Sucker to Catch a Sucker – Seem Dumber than your Mark

No one likes feeling stupider than the next persons. The trick, is to make your victims feel smart – and not just smart, but smarter than you are. Once convinced of this, they will never suspect that you may have ulterior motives.

Law 22
Use the Surrender Tactic: Transform Weakness into Power

When you are weaker, never fight for honor’s sake; choose surrender instead. Surrender gives you time to recover, time to torment and irritate your conqueror, time to wait for his power to wane. Do not give him the satisfaction of fighting and defeating you – surrender first. By turning the other check you infuriate and unsettle him. Make surrender a tool of power.

Law 23
Concentrate Your Forces

Conserve your forces and energies by keeping them concentrated at their strongest point. You gain more by finding a rich mine and mining it deeper, than by flitting from one shallow mine to another – intensity defeats extensity every time. When looking for sources of power to elevate you, find the one key patron, the fat cow who will give you milk for a long time to come.

Law 24
Play the Perfect Courtier
The perfect courtier thrives in a world where everything revolves around power and political dexterity. He has mastered the art of indirection; he flatters, yields to superiors, and asserts power over others in the mot oblique and graceful manner. Learn and apply the laws of courtiership and there will be no limit to how far you can rise in the court.

Law 25
Re-Create Yourself

Do not accept the roles that society foists on you. Re-create yourself by forging a new identity, one that commands attention and never bores the audience. Be the master of your own image rather than letting others define if for you. Incorporate dramatic devices into your public gestures and actions – your power will be enhanced and your character will seem larger than life.

Law 26
Keep Your Hands Clean

You must seem a paragon of civility and efficiency: Your hands are never soiled by mistakes and nasty deeds. Maintain such a spotless appearance by using others as scapegoats and cat’s-paws to disguise your involvement.

Law 27
Play on People’s Need to Believe to Create a Cultlike Following

People have an overwhelming desire to believe in something. Become the focal point of such desire by offering them a cause, a new faith to follow. Keep your words vague but full of promise; emphasize enthusiasm over rationality and clear thinking. Give your new disciples rituals to perform, ask them to make sacrifices on your behalf. In the absence of organized religion and grand causes, your new belief system will bring you untold power.

Law 28
Enter Action with Boldness
If you are unsure of a course of action, do not attempt it. Your doubts and hesitations will infect your execution. Timidity is dangerous: Better to enter with boldness. Any mistakes you commit through audacity are easily corrected with more audacity. Everyone admires the bold; no one honors the timid.

Law 29
Plan All the Way to the End

The ending is everything. Plan all the way to it, taking into account all the possible consequences, obstacles, and twists of fortune that might reverse your hard work and give the glory to others. By planning to the end you will not be overwhelmed by circumstances and you will know when to stop. Gently guide fortune and help determine the future by thinking far ahead.

Law 30
Make your Accomplishments Seem Effortless

Your actions must seem natural and executed with ease. All the toil and practice that go into them, and also all the clever tricks, must be concealed. When you act, act effortlessly, as if you could do much more. Avoid the temptation of revealing how hard you work – it only raises questions. Teach no one your tricks or they will be used against you.

Law 31
Control the Options: Get Others to Play with the Cards you Deal
The best deceptions are the ones that seem to give the other person a choice: Your victims feel they are in control, but are actually your puppets. Give people options that come out in your favor whichever one they choose. Force them to make choices between the lesser of two evils, both of which serve your purpose. Put them on the horns of a dilemma: They are gored wherever they turn.

Law 32
Play to People’s Fantasies
The truth is often avoided because it is ugly and unpleasant. Never appeal to truth and reality unless you are prepared for the anger that comes for disenchantment. Life is so harsh and distressing that people who can manufacture romance or conjure up fantasy are like oases in the desert: Everyone flocks to them. There is great power in tapping into the fantasies of the masses.
Law 33
Discover Each Man’s Thumbscrew

Everyone has a weakness, a gap in the castle wall. That weakness is usual y an insecurity, an uncontrollable emotion or need; it can also be a small secret pleasure. Either way, once found, it is a thumbscrew you can turn to your advantage.

Law 34
Be Royal in Your Own Fashion: Act Like a King to be Treated Like One
The way you carry yourself will often determine how you are treated; In the long run, appearing vulgar or common will make people disrespect you. For a king respects himself and inspires the same sentiment in others. By acting regally and confident of your powers, you make yourself seem destined to wear a crown.

Law 35
Master the Art of Timing
Never seem to be in a hurry – hurrying betrays a lack of control over yourself, and over time. Always seem patient, as if you know that everything will come to you eventually. Become a detective of the right moment; sniff out the spirit of the times, the trends that will carry you to power. Learn to stand back when the time is not yet ripe, and to strike fiercely when it has reached fruition.

Law 36
Disdain Things you cannot have: Ignoring them is the best Revenge
By acknowledging a petty problem you give it existence and credibility. The more attention you pay an enemy, the stronger you make him; and a small mistake is often made worse and more visible when you try to fix it. It is sometimes best to leave things alone. If there is something you want but cannot have, show contempt for it. The less interest you reveal, the more superior you seem.

Law 37
Create Compelling Spectacles

Striking imagery and grand symbolic gestures create the aura of power – everyone responds to them. Stage spectacles for those around you, then full of arresting visuals and radiant symbols that heighten your presence. Dazzled by appearances, no one will notice what you are really doing.

Law 38
Think as you like but Behave like others
If you make a show of going against the times, flaunting your unconventional ideas and unorthodox ways, people will think that you only want attention and that you look down upon them. They will find a way to punish you for making them feel inferior. It is far safer to blend in and nurture the common touch. Share your originality only with tolerant friends and those who are sure to appreciate your uniqueness.

Law 39
Stir up Waters to Catch Fish
Anger and emotion are strategically counterproductive. You must always stay calm and objective. But if you can make your enemies angry while staying calm yourself, you gain a decided advantage. Put your enemies off-balance: Find the chink in their vanity through which you can rattle them and you hold the strings.

Law 40
Despise the Free Lunch
What is offered for free is dangerous – it usually involves either a trick or a hidden obligation. What has worth is worth paying for. By paying your own way you stay clear of gratitude, guilt, and deceit. It is also often wise to pay the full price – there is no cutting corners with excellence. Be lavish with your money and keep it circulating, for generosity is a sign and a magnet for power.

Law 41
Avoid Stepping into a Great Man’s Shoes

What happens first always appears better and more original than what comes after. If you succeed a great man or have a famous parent, you will have to accomplish double their achievements to outshine them. Do not get lost in their shadow, or stuck in a past not of your own making: Establish your own name and identity by changing course. Slay the overbearing father, disparage his legacy, and gain power by shining in your own way.

Law 42
Strike the Shepherd and the Sheep will Scatter
Trouble can often be traced to a single strong individual – the stirrer, the arrogant underling, the poisoned of goodwill. If you allow such people room to operate, others will succumb to their influence. Do not wait for the troubles they cause to multiply, do not try to negotiate with them – they are irredeemable. Neutralize their influence by isolating or banishing them. Strike at the source of the trouble and the sheep will scatter.

Law 43
Work on the Hearts and Minds of Others

Coercion creates a reaction that will eventually work against you. You must seduce others into wanting to move in your direction. A person you have seduced becomes your loyal pawn. And the way to seduce others is to operate on their individual psychologies and weaknesses. Soften up the resistant by working on their emotions, playing on what they hold dear and what they fear. Ignore the hearts and minds of others and they will grow to hate you.

Law 44
Disarm and Infuriate with the Mirror Effect
The mirror reflects reality, but it is also the perfect tool for deception: When you mirror your enemies, doing exactly as they do, they cannot figure out your strategy. The Mirror Effect mocks and humiliates them, making them overreact. By holding up a mirror to their psyches, you seduce them with the illusion that you share their values; by holding up a mirror to their actions, you teach them a lesson. Few can resist the power of Mirror Effect.

Law 45
Preach the Need for Change, But Never Reform Too Much at Once

Everyone understands the need for change in the abstract, but on the day-to-day level people are creatures of habit. Too much innovation is traumatic, and will lead to revolt. If you are new to a position of power, or an outsider trying to build a power base, make a show of respecting the old way of doing things. If change is necessary, make it feel like a gentle improvement on the past.

Law 46
Never Appear too Perfect

Appearing better than others is always dangerous, but most dangerous of all is to appear to have no faults or weaknesses. Envy creates silent enemies. It is smart to occasionally display defects, and admit to harmless vices, in order to deflect envy and appear more human and approachable. Only gods and the dead can seem perfect with impunity.

Law 47
Do Not Go Past the Mark You Aimed for; In Victory, Learn When to Stop
The moment of victory is often the moment of greatest peril. In the heat of victory, arrogance and overconfidence can push you past the goal you had aimed for, and by going too far, you make more enemies than you defeat. Do not allow success to go to your head. There is no substitute for strategy and careful planning. Set a goal, and when you reach it, stop.

Law 48
Assume Formlessness

By taking a shape, by having a visible plan, you open yourself to attack. Instead of taking a form for your enemy to grasp, keep yourself adaptable and on the move. Accept the fact that nothing is certain and no law is fixed. The best way to protect yourself is to be as fluid and formless as water; never bet on stability or lasting order. Everything changes.


I Medina Peaceful Earth

Thursday, June 15, 2006


Peace! Pardon self for the delay. Been a bit busy and I build ya'll haven't tuned out, but if you did...tune back in cuz I'm back!

This past weekend (6/10 & 6/11), myself and many of my brothers and sisters from Power Born traveled back to the root of civilization, where the knowledge and wisdom of the orignal man started...the Holy City of Mecca, Now Why (Harlem, New York) for the Nation of Gods and Earths' Annual Show and Prove. This is a space where we come together, on the weekend Allah the Father, the founder of the Nation of Gods and Earths and teacher of many returned to the essence. We celebrate his life and supreme equality (all that he taught and shared with us), build on the science of everything in life and do the knowledge to performances, scientific experiements and demonstrations, Health Fairs, children's activities, food, and meet and greet our a-alikes, who be alike and cee alike.

Saturday night, we all came from our respective hotels and met at Medina, the land of the warriors, and went to the 5 Spot for music, comedy, and soul food. After we dined and shared quality time, we came together for a nice photo outside of the joint. It was great to be in Medina and I still gotta make a Parliament or event out there to really do the knowledge. Building to be at Children's Day.

I definitely want to give a shout out to all the sisters from Power Born who were able to make the journey, as it included a few newborns, who were all dressed in beautiful refinement...3/4, showing our level of understanding and appreciation of the culture and standards that our elder sisters put in motion and reinforce. Queen Shamika, Aymara, Ennad Mahogany, Quena,Mecca Wise Reflection, Black Divinity and myself were all on one accord, thinking and feeling positive and radiating warm currents. Power Born made a great showing as Suns, Moons, and Stars were in attendance.

This was my understanding (3rd) year of attending the Show and Prove and each year, I realized I was in a different space, which in essence, manifested Supreme Mathematics. My first year (knowledge), I had not yet made the decision to join the nation so I was indeed, doing the knowledge...looking, litening, observing, and respecting what was taking place, still deciding if this was the place for me, and I was not dressed in refinement. I wanted to attend representing where I was at, and did not want to throw on 3/4 to look the part, if I still wasn't sure. Once you look the part, people will greet you differently and have certain expectations of you and that was not a weight (6 sextillion tons, a unit followed by 21 ciphers) I was sure I was ready to carry yet.

My second year (wisdom), I had made the decision to getKnowledge of Self and add on, so in that, it was my first experience coming as a participant instead of an observer, so I did a few things (added on with the security, made sure I built on mathematics with some children, watched the show, and supported the science demonstration). I put the energy in motion.

This year, my third, I definitely was traveling with a determined idea to meet and build with some earths. I had a crytallized vision of what I saw myself doing and how I saw myself interacting. I did get a chance to build with my good sister Divine Full Equality out of Cream City (Milwaukee, WI)...always great to build with that sister, and I met Agemean, an elder sister out of Medina (Brooklyn, NY) who was taught by all the First Borns. She was the first earth from Medina I had met in the physical, and I also met Lanasia Earth from Medina , who moderates a list-serve called Peaceful Queens, that encourages earths and other positive sisters to build. I unfortunately missed my good sister Divine Iz Earth out of Love, Hell or Right Kingdom (Champaign, Illinois). I also assisted with the EOD security and did my first pat downs, caught a bit of the science demonstrations and a small part of the show.

Those experiences were peace, but I did expect to meet and see more Earths that I could point out on site (dressed in 3/4), so I didn't get to build with as many sisters as I would have liked. One thing that I have to remember is that you never know who is amongst you until you build with them. Some sisters who were not dressed accordingly may have been supporters of the nation but not participants, or relatives of people in the nation, or they just may be sisters who simply do not wear 3/4, or they may have been doing the knowledge, just as I was my first year. Nobody said, "Peace Earth!" to me that year, cuz I didn't look like one! Looking back on it, how in the hell could anybody tell if I was an earth or not? I definitely got more of the "Peace Queen" that year, and this year, it felt great to walk down the street and in the school and hear "Peace Earth!."

That is why if you are the Earth, I cee 3/4 as important, because we are a physical representation of the knowledge, wisdom and understanding that we have of our culture and people should recognize us on site. A sister might be looking for a sister to build with, and you may miss an opportunity to share what you know and positively effect someone cuz they don't recognize who you are, and therefore, didn't approach you. That was my experience this year. I remember my elder sister Queen Shamika said one time, that as she travels to different ciphers and an Earth is supposed to pick her up from the airport, she looks for someone that looks like an Earth, someone who she can recognize that cee's the same way she does. This was a hard lesson for me to learn, but I got it.

All in all, I had a great time, learned a lot and was delighted to be amongst my brothers and sisters in the science. Until next year...


Thursday, June 01, 2006


The Black man is God
The woman is the Earth
You know the foundation
We put knowledge first
So think before you speak
And think before you act
Collect the info so you can move off facts
This cipher is divine
We don't fuck with swine
Get drunk off the rhyme like some old moonshine
The babies are the greatest
The stars shine bright
The moon is here to guide you in the dark
reflect light
And I bring forth life
Brain food from the wise
I Medina not tame
I'm just civilized
No God in the sky
That's a poisonous lie
Like the Santa Claus story that you heard when you were five
That's a pin in ya head
To keep you mentally dead
You gotta see ya own divinity instead
Supreme Mathematics is the science of life
You'll find all the answers if you research right
Nothing here is created or destroyed
Just changes form
Like a seed in the womb
To a baby bein' born
And that's knowledge to born
Beginning to end
And then you teach the truth to a thing, place or person
Sun, Moon and Stars
Man, woman, child
My words transmit like water from the Nile
Word sound power
It's your final hour
The Gods stimulate matter with sunshowers
The name is I Medina
Defender of God
The land of understandin'
Spittin' fire like canons...

That was my first mathematical rhyme. That sums up where I'm comin' from in a plain and simple fashion, so if you didn't know, now you do :-)