Amami Superman Photography

A Place to Share My Photos

Oct 27, 2010

150lbs of Pent Up Rage

Posted by Amami Superman

Nikon D60, Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 18mm, 1/125 sec, f/3.5, ISO 400 -- EXIF
(wild boar)

I don't know if it's the demeanor of all wild boars, but this was one pissed off boar. I guess it doesn't take common sense to understand that wild animals don't like to be penned up. This guy was using its tusks to swipe at the fence hooking it like it was trying to gore me. Although he was in a cage, it was still kind of scary.

I actually had this post all ready to go to be posted and got caught up with work and forgot to post it a few weeks ago. So here it is.

Nikon D60, Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 18mm, 1/160 sec, f/3.5, ISO 400 -- EXIF
I See You

Nikon D60, Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 18mm, 1/80 sec, f/3.5, ISO 400 -- EXIF
And Smell You

Now some people may think, "How cruel. Keeping a wild animal locked in a cage like that." But people in Amami think, "That's going to make a fine barbecue one day." I have quite a few friends who have licenses and guns to hunt wild boar including my wife's uncle and we frequently get the opportunity to eat some wild boar.

Oh, and I don't know if this boar is 150lbs, probably more like 100lbs. I was just guesstimating.

Oct 25, 2010

Amami Geography

Posted by Amami Superman

Google Earth Screenshot of Amami Island

I thought I would make another post and tell a little more about the deluge we had in Amami last week.

As stated, the above picture is a screenshot in Google Earth of Amami Island. The white lines on the map represent the boundaries between the cities, towns and villages. Although they call these areas towns and villages, they're not towns and villages in the sense that they are centralized places where people live. You could be in the middle of the mountains with nothing around you and still be in Tatsugo Town.

Amami Island has 7 different areas made up of cities, towns and villages. Starting from the northeastern part of the island is Kasari-cho (the cho means town). Next, moving to the southwest, is Tatsugo-cho. After that is Amami-shi (the shi means city). Just west of Amami-shi is Yamato-son (the son means village). South of that is Sumiyo-son. West of Sumiyo-son is Uken-son and Setouchi-cho is southwest of these. I don't know how confusing that explanation is but it seemed a little confusing rereading it. Basically I just moved from the northeastern part of the island to the southwestern part.

When Amami was hit by heavy rains Wednesday, every area in Amami experienced some degree of flooding, land slides, power and phone outages. There were also several areas that even lost mobile phone capabilities. Every major road in Amami became blocked in several areas due to land slides, flooding and erosion. I heard over the radio on the second day that they there were a total of 37 land slides on major roadways. Each and every area in Amami became severed from the neighboring areas and the rest of Amami. Hundreds of people in each area became stranded unable to return to their homes in other areas. I was one of them.

No matter where you are in Amami, you always have at least two ways to get home. The roads were blocked in so many places that pretty much no one was able to move from the area they were in. We caught wind that the people stranded in Koniya down in the southwestern part of the island would be able to take a special ferry home late Thursday night. I remember thinking to myself, "If I could only find a way down to Koniya." It was around 4:00pm on Thursday when we got a phone call saying the road between Uken-son and Shinokawa had opened up. Shinokawa is a small block (or a literal village), in Setouchi-cho. Shinokawa is pretty close to Koniya, but they still had a very large land slide just at the mouth of a tunnel in a small block called Yui between Shinokawa and Koniya. Here is a link where the land slide was in Yui on Google Maps. Anyway, on with the story. It wasn't more than 30 minutes when we got another phone call saying that it was possible to make it past the land slide in Yui but they didn't know how long it would be open for as it was only temporary. Well lickity split, I hopped a ride with another teacher who actually lived in Koniya and we hurried our way to Yui to see if we could get past and make it to Koniya.

We reached the tunnel in Yui and when we came out the other side, there was this towering wall of mud and rock in front of us. Luckily, they still had a sliver of a path cleaned on the very edge of the sidewalk to pass on. We made it past relieved knowing we would make it to our homes that night. I found out later that some of the other teachers in Uken that lived in Naze, were unable to pass after that and were stranded for another night. I think we were pretty lucky to pass from what I heard.

I live in Amami-shi and my commute to Uken-son takes me through Sumiyo-son on Highway 58 and then I switch to Highway 85 which leads the rest of the way to Uken-son. Thursday night, I was able to catch a 2 1/2 hour boat ride from Koniya to Amami-shi (Naze), and reached my home early Friday morning.

The roads in Sumiyo-son aren't completely open but are only open during the daytime and are closed at night. I'm not 100% sure, but I think the times they're open is 7:00am to 10:00pm. Yesterday, it took 2 hours to drive to Uken-son to pick up my car which usually only takes me 45-50 minutes. I figured the traffic would be backed up pretty bad in Sumiyo-son today considering how many people need to go to work in the morning at the same time so I left at 6:30am to get to the blocked areas early. To my surprise, the roads weren't backed up at all and it only took me an hour and 30 minutes to get to work today. I was even more surprised when it only took me an hour and 15 minutes to get home in the afternoon. Although the roads are still bad, they are getting easier to traverse.

It's only at the end of this post that I realized I keep spelling Sumiyo wrong. If you look in my previous post, I spell it Sumio. Not that big of a difference but, lol.

Oct 24, 2010

Natural Disaster in Amami

Posted by Amami Superman

OK, so I don't have a, "Things to do before I die." list, and sure enough, "Survive a natural disaster.", would not be something on this list if I had one. I just thought it would be funny to make one. Ha ha ha...

Well, dang, where to start? I guess I should start out with telling you how Amami got hit by a natural disaster and then tell you about my experience.

Amami is a subtropical island. In the spring, we have a rainy season. The rainy season is determined by weather pressure wether or not we have rain. We also get a slight rainy season in the fall, as the weather pressure turns back south (I think they call it tropical pressure in Japanese). With that tropical weather pressure line falling right across Amami, compounded with the effects of typoon Megi, we had unprecedented amounts of rain fall here in Amami. We had, in the city of Amami, a record of 736mm from the time it started in a little over a 24 hour period. I read on a news site somewhere (but can't find the site again), that stated the record of rain fall in Amami, over a 24 hour period, was 500 something millimeters an hour in 1976, which was completely destroyed by this new record. With a first hand experience, I can say that it was a scary 24 hours.

Although I've only heard of major natural disasters like the sunami in India, earth quakes in Haiti and Chile and things like hurricane Katrina, being this close to something this big makes me realize just how devastating natural disasters can be, being a part of one. It doesn't compare to those kinds of major disasters, but it was a disaster none the less and I feel for those who have been effected by them.

The rains started on Tuesday night. I remember being at home and hearing the hard rain start at around 11:00pm. I have satellite TV and it was about this time that I could no longer watch TV. I tried to go to sleep but the rains were so heavy it kept me awake most of the night. I eventually went to sleep only to wake up at about 5:30pm to the sound of the rain. I got up and went to my school where I teach English and started to prepare for my lessons for the day. I hadn't heard of any warnings at all and just went about my day. By 7:30am, when it was time for me to head out to Uken, we decided that I should drive my daughter to school. While heading out, I absentmindly left my backpack full of my the items I use for my lessons, along with my wallet, mobile phone and money at the door. I drove my daughter to school and made my way out to Uken (which is an hour drive to the board of education offices in Uken). It wasn't until I arrived at the offices that I had realized forgot my backpack. "Oh well", I thought. I then drove out to the school I was scheduled to teach at in Nagara and taught my classes. I finished up just before noon and then started for home. The rain was more than usually but I didn't think anything of it as I knew we had a typhoon close (unless you're in the middle of a typhoon, they're not that worrisome).

As I was making my way home, I came across several places where rainwater gushed from the side of mountain and left amounts of silt and rocks in the road. Again, I chalked this up to the heavy rain, but didn't think anything of it (not thinking things could get worse). I made it about half way home when I came to a place in Sumio where the water was exceedingly deep. I parked my car and got out in the rain to see just how deep it was to see if I could pass. I walked about 100 meters in knee high water around a corner only to see that the river in the valley had overflowed and the entire valley had turned into a huge ravaging river. As soon I saw this, I knew I was in trouble. I rushed back to my car as fast as I could, got back into my car and drove as fast as I could back to Uken. Here is a link to Google Maps of the area that was flooded by the river all along Highway 58.

While driving back to Uken, I came across places that had loads of silt and rocks deposited by water cascading off the mountain that wasn't there before when I came. It was then I felt this growing feeling like, "Oh crap, this is big!" With my windshield wipers at full blast, I hurriedly made my way over and down the mountain towards Uken. There's a small bridge at the bottom of this road that only one car can pass at a time. When I crossed this bridge going home, I noticed how much the river had risen, but the bridge still had a good 2 meters of clearance above the river water. When I reached this same bridge, the river was just brimming it with water flower over the road on both sides. I stopped the car just before the flowing water before the bridge and hesitated, deciding whether not I should cross. Although the bridge was being overcome by the river, it didn't seem to be in any immediate danger, so I floored it and shot across the bridge and flowing water and made it safely across. There were several places after the bridge that were flooded, but I was able to drive my car past and make it back to the offices, which were in a safe place. Here another link of the bridge I floored it across in Google Maps. This place actually has a road view if you zoom in close enough. When zoomed in close before you get to road view, you'll see a concrete company that makes concrete ditches and things of that sort on the southern side of the river after the bridge and a couple of orange orchards on the northern side. This was all completely submerged by this river. While looking at this bridge in road view, the buildings you see plus the large tree near the buildings were all you could see besides the river. It was huge.

I was completely drenched from walking in the rain and luckly, but not so lucky, the offices had a washer and drier in a kitchen type area that I could clean and dry my clothes. I borrowed a small hand towel to cover myself as I washed my clothes (as they were dirty with brown muddy water I had tried to walk through previously), and as I had just started to dry them, the power went out. "CRAP! I don't want to wear wet clothes!" went through my mind. "Oh well, I'll just have to manage." I thought, just as a bunch some of my students' mothers walk into the room where I'm buck naked covered by a lonely hand towel. It was an embarrassing moment, needless to say, and I covered my privates with the hand towel in one hand and retrieved my wet clothes out of the drier with the other. They sensed my embarrassment and one mother said something along the lines of, "It's nothing we haven't seen before." as every single one of them continued to watch me. Ugh! "If you've all seen this before, why are you staring so hard to catch a glimps!" I thought. I hurriedly dressed and made my way to the main offices.

The power was out, but it just so happen that the Uken Fire Department shared the same building as the Uken Board of Education and had a power generator. So with the power generator, we were able to to get power to some of the power outlets in the building. Though we had power to some of the building, the phone, satellite TV and internet were out. We caught wind that the town hall also had power and was able to use their phones, satellite TV and internet and wondered why we couldn't. I figured that our building's networking structure didn't have power to these utilities and it got me thinking. "If I could find the local hub for these utilities and run an extension cord to them, I could probably get them working." I voiced my idea to the rest of the people in the office and they immediately said, "lets not mess with that." I knew it was a simple matter so I started to check around the building for a room that housed the networking devices for the phone and computer network servers. I found it and then (without asking), grabbed a very long extension cord and stung it out to the room I had found. I then unplugged everything in the room and connected them into the extension cord I had strung, plus a few multi-connectors. As soon as I had everything connected, one of the fire department personnel came running in saying, "We have phone and internet capabilities!" No one knew that I had done this and when I told them, they all started praising me like I'm some sort of genius. I then told them they could probably watch TV too and they checked and saw it was working, they went bananas. I'm not saying I know all about server networks, routing, phone lines and things of the sort, but I know enough to know that if someone else in the area has it, we should be able to also. So I single handedly helped the Uken Fire Department regain communications of more than their mobile phones. It wasn't that great of a feat, but it seemed like it to them.

They don't have any big stores in Uken so food became scarce the first night, everyone having bought most of the instant food in the first couple of hours hearing it was going to be a disaster. While I was washing and drying my clothes, the announced that they were going to evacuate a bunch of people in the surrounding area. With no food, people donated rice and other things to feed the evacuated people, hence the mothers' of my students barging in on me while I was drying my clothes to start to prepare food for the evacuees.

How long should I make this post? Well, I guess I should tell the whole story, so it's going to get long.

Emergency rations are, well, emergency rations. The rice that was donated was divided and put into long plastic bags. They also added some watered-down soy sauce, tied the top of the bag off with a rubber band and boiled the contents for 30 minutes. What came out was a ball of putty rice that didn't taste that bad. That morning my wife had made me a breakfast sandwich that I had halved with her since I'm on a diet. So from the morning at 6:30am, I didn't have anything to eat until about 8:00pm that evening. I was hungry and didn't complain with what I had.

The next day, everyone was assessing the damage. With no breakfast, I headed out with a few members of the Uken Board of Education to assess the damage to different schools in our district. We checked the schools and headed back to the offices. More people had donated more food and they decided to make curry rice. They tried to stretch what they had and the curry became curry soup. The rice was the rice they had made the previous day and the soft mushy rice was now a cold, hard, thick ball inside the plastic back. Not having very much to eat in well over 24 hours, it was delicious.

We heard that the southern city of Koniya was going to have a boat to ferry people to Naze that evening. When I heard that I thought, "If I could only make it to Koniya." Well, as luck would have it, word came over the radio that they had opened a way to Koniya, albiet the road was very round about. Several teachers that work in Uken don't actually live in Uken. When they heard this news they started to make plans to make their way to Koniya. I din't know if I could find a place to park in Koniya, as parking is hard to come by in Japan, so I left my car in Uken and found passage to Koniya with a fellow teacher who actually lived in there. I was able to by a ticket and I found my way back to Naze early Friday morning.

So I've been back in Naze since Friday waiting for the roads to open up. I heard today that they were open but the backup was pretty bad. Since I have work tomorrow, and they probably expect me to be there, I decided to go pick my car up today. I borrowed my brother-in-law's car and made my way to Uken with my wife.

These are the photos I took of my way to Uken today. I didn't want to cause a hassle so all the photos are literally point-and-shoot, just putting my camera out the car window or shooting inside from the car as I was driving. They've had a couple of days for clean-up and it's not quite like I saw it the first and second day, but you get an idea how bad it was.

Here's the slideshow

You get an idea of just how bad it was, but as I said, they've had the chance to clean up so roads aren't as bad as they were the first and second day. They were able to move most of the silt and rock from the middle of the roads to provide safe passage but, in the hairier places, it's still pretty nasty. They also flew in a bunch of Japanese Defense Force personel to help with the disaster as you can see in some of the photos.

So those are the photos I took from the city of Amami to Uken passing through Sumio Town. This is just one section of Amami that was hit hard. There are plenty of other places that were hit just as hard, but I don't want to add to the traffic jams and hassles, just to get some photos so this is all I took.

Also, I wrote this up and tried to double check it, but I know I have a bunch of spelling, punctuation and grammar mistakes and I just don't have have the time to run over it several times to look for mistakes. Feel free to e-mail me if you find any. I'll fix those up when I get the chance. Tahnsk... lol

Post Edit: Fixed up a some spelling and added a few Google Map links as well as widdle down the amount of photos I had in the slideshow to about half.

Oct 12, 2010

Field Day in Amuro

Posted by Amami Superman

Nikon D60, Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 18mm, 1/1600 sec, f/5.6, ISO 100 -- EXIF
Competition Underway

September 26 was the set day for the schools in Uken to hold their field days. Amuro Elementary/Junior High is the furthest away for me to commute to and it takes me about an hour and twenty minutes to get to. Two of the schools I visit only have a handful of students and Amuro is one of them.

Nikon D60, Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 55mm, 1/400 sec, f/5.6, ISO 100 -- EXIF
The Entire Student Population Minus One

Nikon D60, Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 20mm, 1/250 sec, f/5.6, ISO 100 -- EXIF
Doing Their Best to Pose for the Camera

There are three junior high school students and four elementary students. Recently they had a family move to the village from Okinawa and the elementary numbers were boosted by two.

Nikon D60, Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 55mm, 1/200 sec, f/5.6, ISO 100 -- EXIF
Amuro Nursery School

Since there are only a handful of students they have the whole village community join the event. Even the littlest ones get a chance to do their thing.

Nikon D60, Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 24mm, 1/1250 sec, f/5.6, ISO 100 -- EXIF
Ecstatic Cheer

Nikon D60, Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 22mm, 1/320 sec, f/5.6, ISO 100 -- EXIF
Not Rambo, But Tough None the Less

This is Shutaro. He's in 9th grade and is a great young man. His father isn't around and his mother does her best to support him. They've recently been working on speeches for an English speech competition they're going to have next month in Uken. His is about his mom and how appreciative he is of her. I was very impressed with him when I heard him read his speech to me for the first time. How many teenage boys you do you know that are thankful for their parents?

Nikon D60, Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 28mm, 1/1000 sec, f/5.6, ISO 400 -- EXIF
Jump Rope Competition

Nikon D60, Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 34mm, 1/3200 sec, f/5.6, ISO 400 -- EXIF
All In

Nikon D60, Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 26mm, 1/3200 sec, f/5.6, ISO 400 -- EXIF
The Students

I teach at all 5 schools they have in Uken and since they all have their field days on the same day, I couldn't stay long at each school in order to visit them all. So these are some of the shots I took while I was there. My next post will be of Nagara Elementary/Junior High.

I'm still going through photos from this day and also my daughter's field day. It's taking some time. I took a lot of photos. On a happy note, Halloween is coming! I'm thinking up some sort of backdrop to use to take photos this year. I'm thinking of going with something simpler than last. We'll see. I also came across a bit of information that I thought was kind of cool. This October 2010 has 5 Fridays, 5 Saturdays and 5 Sundays all in 1 month. This only happens once in 823 years. Not sure how true this information is, but it seemed kind of cool. I would have expected it to happen a little more often. January this year also had the same as October and July this year had 5 Thursdays, 5 Fridays and 5 Saturdays so I guess they're only talking about October and just the weekends. I don't know.

Oct 10, 2010

Coming of Age

Posted by Amami Superman

Nikon D60, Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 55mm, 1/80 sec, f/10, ISO 200 -- EXIF
Japanese Cicada Molting

I took this shot at one of my the elementary/junior high schools I teach at in Uken. During lunch time while I was eating lunch with some of my students, I found this little guy on the tree next to me. I knew it was a cicada, but I didn't know what part of its life cycle this was. It turns out, after some study, that it's in the middle of molting. After coming out of its shell it will have wings. This is when they sit in trees and sing their boisterous songs to let you know, it's summer.

Oct 8, 2010


Posted by Amami Superman

Nikon D60, Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 42mm, 1/160 sec, f/5.3, ISO 100 -- EXIF
Towering Spires

I don't have a clue what these flowers are called. I think this is the first time I've actually noticed them. As I said in a previous post, after picking up photography, I'm more aware of blossoming flowers and things or the sort. I don't think I used to be.

So why am I miffed? Let me explain. It was gorgeous day and I rode my bike to work. I decided to take my camera along and this is one of the many shots I got. I had my PL filter on and I got some very rich blue skies and vibrant greens. I figured I would just sling the camera over my shoulder while I rode and stop to take shots of anything I thought was interesting. I stopped to several time and got a few good shots. I was almost back to the city when I was stopped by a bunch of police officers handing out cookies and pamphlets to everyone passing. They call this a "rode safety campaign". Now I can understand giving these kinds of things to people in cars, but for people on bikes it's just bothersome. I didn't have any pockets so I had to pull my bike off to the very side of the road to take my backpack off and store my cookies and pamphlets. Since I was so close to home, I decided to put my camera back in my bag as well. As I was doing so, I noticed that my PL filter was no longer attached to the lens. NOOOOOO! I lost my PL filter. So now I have to order a new one. I don't know how it fell off. I had a slight dent in it so it actually went on my ring-ups kind of tight. I'm not sure if that's what you call those things. They're the rings you use to adapt larger filters to smaller lenses. Anyway, I still had those on my camera so how it fell off, I don't know. Oh well.

Oct 6, 2010

Life in Your Hand

Posted by Amami Superman

Nikon D60, Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 55mm, 1/3200 sec, f/5.6, ISO 400 -- EXIF

Just another random photo of my daughter holding an acorn-type nut in her hand. I forgot to mention that I recently bought a new piece of gear for my camera. As I was out taking time lapse photos of the stars, I was trying to think of the best way to deal with my batteries running out of juice and I decided to by a battery grip for my camera. The grip I bought allows me to use 2 camera batteries or 6 triple A batteries. I don't know if it's just me, but I put fully recharged batteries in and I don't know how many thousands of photos I took before I had to recharge again. I'm pretty excited.

Speaking of time lapse photos, last month on the 8th was a new moon. I told you all how excited I was to get out and try some more time lapse and hoped for some clear weather. Well, I got my wish. That day I got all prepared and put my tripod in the back of the car along with my snake catching gear just in case I come across a habu. I filled the car with gas and was all set to go. Night time rolled around and I put the rest of my camera gear in the car and headed out. I tried a few different locations trying to find a nice spot. When I actually found a spot, I went to the back of the car to grab my tripod and low and behold, NO TRIPOD! What the freak! I knew I put it in the car. I called my wife and asked her if she took it out and she said she didn't. Then she says, "Oh wait, my older brother borrowed the car today. He probably took it out to move his stuff." I was furious at the whole situation wondering why I just didn't check before I left. Lesson learned, AGAIN... By the time I got home, it was too late and it clouded up the next couple of days so I missed my chance. The next new moon is this week on Thursday and I'm hoping for some clear weather again. I'm also going to use a film camera this next time to see if I can't take some star trails. That would be neat.

Oct 4, 2010


Posted by Amami Superman

Nikon D60, Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 55mm, 1/160 sec, f/5.6, ISO 100 -- EXIF

If anyone knows me, they know that I hate spiders and bugs. Can't stand the thought of them. But there's times like these when I bite my lip and try not to run away in screaming hysteria swiping at those invisible bugs and spiders crawling up my legs and back... But it's all good when I get home and look at the photos I took and think, "I got pretty close to that sucker!"

I'm still going through the couple thousand photos I took this past month or so of different schools' undokai (track and field days). So just another small post.

Oct 3, 2010

Something Stupid

Posted by Amami Superman

I like to play online computer games, plain and simple. But, I don't get to play as much as I like. One of the games I like to play is World of Warcraft. WoW (World of Warcraft), takes a bit of time and effort to play (well at least it does for me), s0 I don't play it like I would like to. So I play games that I can just hop in and play and then leave when I need to. One of those games is Counter Strike Source. It's a FPS game (first person shooter), and it's pretty straight forward, kill the other team. I've only started to play it recently and playing on Japanese servers, most people have a "spray" they can use in-game. This is the spray I made to use when I'm playing.

"Mr. B" is my gaming handle in Counter Strike. I've gotten quite a few laughs at this spray. Most people use Japanese anime characters like Pikachu or whatever (I don't follow Japanese anime so I don't know), but they get a laugh at the "and died" part because I completely suck at the game. Even though I completely suck at the game Although I play on Japanese servers for Counter Strike, a lot of foreigners play this game that understand English. It's pretty fun.

I know this doesn't have anything to do with photography. I've been busy with work and family so I haven't had the time to go through the photos I've been taking. Now you might be thinking, "Instead of playing online games, you should focus on your photos." Well, in all honesty, it doesn't take a lot of thought to play FPS games, and that's what appeals to me. While writing up a blog post, I have to think about what I'm writing and make sure spelling and grammar are correct which I completely fail at if you haven't realized already. But instead of playing games tonight, I decided to take the time and go through my photos I've been taking over the past couple of months. I have so many of them that it's going to take some time and I thought it would be good to post something that wouldn't take so much time to post. But it's taking more time than I thought it would.

Anyway! I've been busy with work this past month or so. In Japan they have school events called undokai which, pretty much is track and field day. I have loads of photos that I've taken from the different schools that I teach English at of their undokai. I've been going through them today picking out the photos I like and preparing them for posting. The photos are not that great, but they'll give you sense of what track and field day is like here in Japan.

Today was my daughter's undokai so I'm going to do my best to get the different photos I've taken posted up on my blog. There's just so many that I have to go through that I need to make a schedule for posting. I have way to many to go through, but I'll do my best. Hopefully some turned out nice.