The Cepia Club Blog

The Cepia Club Blog: The Cepia Club believes individual awareness and activism can lead to a peaceful and prosperous world. This blog contains the pertinent literature, both creative and non-fiction, produced by the Cepiaclub Director and its associates.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

F-bomb Ordnance, LLC

Article: F-bomb Ordnance, LLC
By: Tim Krenz
For: Original Submission; Printed version modified by editor.
July 27, 2015

An old saying goes, “Three sides exist to every story: Yours, mine, and the cold hard facts.” And in the same sense, no one owns a monopoly on truth, and facts stand above it. To explore a controversy in the City of St. Croix Falls, F-BOMB Ordnance, LLC, allowed the Osceola Sun, at its own request, to tour the establishment and conduct an interview last week.

Dr. Geoff Gorres, MD, and Mr. Troy Chamberlin, the two owners present, showed the Sun the firmly built, beautiful red brick building that Chamberlin purchased several years ago. Because of the economic environment of the area, the building had stood empty for 2-1/2 years, without a sustainable business having succeeded at the location, on the west side of main street as you approach the downtown from WI Hwy 8. Popularly referred to as the “red brick grille” building, it rests next to the old, vacant fire hall, and across the street from another venerable St. Croix Falls brick building, an old newspaper office, now a pet food store.

Inside the store, the establishment has a super-neat and very clean atmosphere, in all the details for a high-end, quality-product gun store that serves mainly advocates, sportswomen and -men, collectors, and law enforcement and US military personnel. The main shop floor in front of the counter tastefully displays non-lethal accessories, items, etc. for customers. One can see the décor immediately of stuffed animals and US and foreign military items, including hats. In fact, some of the items of historical meaning come from family members of the owner(s). Behind the counter, and accessible only to staff, one finds a varied collection of firearms, which also feature items developed by the company in their 5-plus years of business, and fulfilled currently in very secure rooms.

The owners obviously have a good sense of their business, and showed visiting customers product knowledge and customer service expertise with very confident and careful measures of handling both product and customers. Of the owners, Troy Chamberlin, who served in US Air Force Special Operations units as a qualified operator, and Dr. Gorres, now a retired Lt. Cmdr. (USN), both have other jobs. The other owners do, too.Yet, all the owners spend a large part of their time in the store because of the success of their business model so far. They hope to grow their business and receive a return on investment on their very, very large capital investment in F-BOMB. Since business has only one bottom line rule, make a profit, in growing their business they hope to engage two or three other part-or-full-time employees soon.

As investors in the community, and as active benefactors of charitable causes in the St. Croix Valley, their sense of values make a strong stake in helping, never harming, their neighbors. In the last twelve months, they have spent a documented $116,000 inside the city limits or its immediate townships. As their brick-and-mortar-store business grows, and as their online presence and website, ,continues to generate sales, these valuable benefits from a once dead store-front would accrue to the benefit of any community. Furthermore, Gorres points out, “the store receives no subsidies; or asks for none.”

An “unspoken” issue in this St. Croix Falls conflict of perspectives, according to Gorres, comes from local concern about having a gun store in the community. In an “anonymous” “concerned citizens” letter, obtained by the Sun, requesting citizens to sign a petition and attend the June 29th city council meeting to speak against the store, the author(s) state, “After all the massacres by homegrown terrorists, it's our chance to say we don't want to be the town where the next perpetrators buy weapons.”

That same concerned citizens letter, according to an F-BOMB Ordnance, LLC correspondence with city officials, “invokes imagery of 'massacres by homegrown terrorist' and decries a slogan on our website that 'WE believe in being THAT Guy!” The F-bomb letter to the city goes on to list some venerable heroes and figures of American history, showing what they mean by “that guy”: including General George S. Patton, USA, from the Second World War. Also listed: Lt. Gen. “Chesty” Puller, USMC, a key commander in the horror-filled campaign around the Chosin Reservoir during the Korean War, who helped save over 20,000 US and allied servicemen from destruction.

As Gorres and Chamberlin make clear, “Our customer puts on body armor and faces danger everyday. They live on the edge.” Stating to the city officials, in the above mentioned letter, “That guy ensures that we as citizens have the freedom to voice our opinions, and pursue life, liberty and happiness,” referring specifically to the law enforcement and military personnel who form a very key and solid customer base. And as like every other reputable, and very exclusive store providing firearms, F-BOMB must comply with some of the most stringent, and rather necessary, regulations of the US Code, the FBI for background checks, and as a firearms-security and licensed-sales retailer regulated by the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (BATF). They must maintain 100% compliance at all times, which the city officials verified to the BATF on behalf of F-BOMB, allowing the store to open and operate.

Since the city's public nuisance Ordinance 10.02 seems like the key tool to the efforts to remove the so-called “offending” signs, which would ultimately hurt the business, several problems arise for the city if it censors the signage name. The “F-BOMB,” no matter whether it implies just the letter, a euphemism for profanity, or in some military parlance, the word “Freedom,” involves the city in dilemma of both intellectual and real property rights.

Public records for an LLC, or “limited liability company,” must go through a name search by a state agency of registration. That agency verifies that no other name exists using the same name, “F-BOMB Ordnance.” Upon approval by the state agency, that name becomes intellectual property, protected like registered copyrights. For a court to seriously contemplate outlawing, in effect, the letter “F,” sounds too ridiculous to believe. The courts, except in public endangerment and immediate and present threat, usually decides freedom of speech cases in favor of speech protection.

Finally, another problem arises with the property itself, which Mr. Chamberlin offered as an option, in a email to city mayor Brian Blesi, to sell to anyone for a sum of $379,900 and move F-BOMB out of the city. If any court anywhere in the United States rules against an owner to sell, use, dispose or otherwise alienate property in a legal, lawful, ethical and moral manner as they see fit, the entire edifice of the US Constitution and all its laws make no sense. As the owners say, they have a moral high ground, because “if we give up our rights, we'll never get them back.” They expect and plan to defend their store and any concerns others see in it, from any challengers, within the city or in any court of the land.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Sub Terra Vita: Chronicle #6: Patriotic Challenge, Independence Day 2015

Sub Terra Vita
By Tim Krenz
Chronicle #6: Patriotic Challenge, Independence Day 2015

Our country – In her intercourse with foreign nations may she always be in the right, and always successful, right or wrong.” 1
–Commodore Stephen Decatur, April 1816

As we celebrate this and every Independence Day, the quote above might provide some reflective context as to the meaning of America in the world, both in the early Republic and today. The speaker making a toast, US Navy Captain Stephen Decatur, has no peer in our history for his physical and moral courage, audacity in battle, or his daring exploits. Decatur's toast came at a time when the United States had reconfirmed its independence in a second war with Great Britain (1812-1814). He captures a sentiment in an age when citizens of the country had a gratitude for having an independent republic. Elsewhere, a world existed where kings and emperors ruled, whether or not enlightened, over the bodies and minds of their subject and subjugated men and women.

America's founding as independent states in 1776 by the Declaration that freed the new country from England's king and his parliament, promoted a truly revolutionary idea. That idea took root and germinated culturally in the British colonies on America's Atlantic coast since 1763: That people so agreeing to their own consent, chose to live without a monarch or a false aristocracy that only ruled by some divine privilege of birth or force of arms; and, secondly, that government and the whole society could run its affairs and manage its own national interests by the merits and the ability of each and everyone them, as individuals and by working together.

In the Old World way of government, kings and queens held the sovereign power, keeping all others in moral bondage and physical servitude to their law. In the new United States, every person maintained the sovereignty within themselves, and they also exercised the sovereignty of the government as a group owning their own individual property, their own minds, and their own persons. Not even the enlightened Dutch republic had gone as far in granting these powers to people when gaining its independence from Spain one century before 1776.

As a consequence of this gift of liberty, sovereignty in the people brings consequences. We must always remember, first, that our national interests has collective purpose, not individual nor corporate; and not a means for profit nor a tool of revenge. Sovereignty must have justice at its end, and it must serve the interest of all, for moral reasons, not expedient. We have only one country. We all live in it, and have to get along with ourselves and our world.

We live in a dangerous time, a nuclear-age of unrealized horrors if we make slim-margins of error. All US citizens have rights and stakes in this. Good prevails in the world, in the end, only if the intent aims to do good, and aims to cause no harm nor theft of others, of their property, their dignity, or their lives. America has done great good in the world, and made some honest mistakes. It has even allowed scoundrels to lead it astray, at great defeat to the national interests. Let us reflect, let's get things right, for us in the world, since normal people still have it in their hands to make things right, and successful. Challenge: How can your voice become relevant and positive, and make the “home” a better foundation for a better world depending on your vote? Reflect on July the fourth.

1A Dictionary of Quotations (2010), Library of Congress, Congressional Research Service, p. 70, Wikiquotes

Monday, July 20, 2015

Sub Terra Vita Chronicle 4: History, Memory and Record

Sub Terra Vita
Chronicle 4: History, Memory and Record
By Tim Krenz

History should not forgive those who leave little record of their life behind them. People of great events do great service to the near-present and far-away future if they leave a thoughtful and reflective record of the context in which they lived and formed the world in which they dwell. What actually happened? How did it come about?

Scholars try to answer these questions about the past. If no records survive that time, or few do, then historians and biographers sometimes leave critical gaps on the crux of an important story. Losing that personal context makes the story not only less revealing, but it can always become a detriment to someone who could have benefited from learning the points not known.

It should matter to all who live now to pass on to the future “who did what?” and “why did they do it?” We can learn from history, as philosophers says, but we cannot learn from anything about which we know nothing . Of course, scholars and others cover the big events in history, but they normally tell a similar story of humanity's cruelty to itself. History in this age, as profession and hobby can change in an important way, to widen and broaden the human record.

How? By allowing the personal, and the mundane lives of individuals, share and show a story of the gifts each can contribute, to a spirit of humanity's goodness to others. This covers, due to our technological opportunities,the person and family interested in their own journey on earth.

Our age, the early 21st Century, faces a surmountable dilemma. From the time of the ancient Greeks, beginning 2500 years ago, until 600 years ago and the advent of Western printing and wider-spread literacy, we have great story of the bigger events in history. However, we possess only large gaps in what we could usefully know about the history of real people; their record of daily toil, thoughts, feelings, their wisdom and the genesis of their inspirations. We do have monuments, buildings, and a few written records, but far less record that we could use today, now, to improve our wisdom.

In the digital age, the thought should scare us of a single catastrophe event, within the imaginable possibles, that would wipe out all of the records, even old records, stored electronically. And how many records—personal photos, “blogs,” emails to family and friends—that historians would otherwise need to tell our story now, could become lost if no one has the means to read the code? A loss of some kind of all knowledge trusted to the domains of digits would amount to a million times more a catastrophe than the fire that destroyed the library of Alexandria.

Knowledge, and its convenience, could disappear by a flick of THE really big switch. Technology does so much service, even if we recognize the poor quality of social media-bytes as less than valuable contributions, compared to Homer's Illiad, or The Peloponnesian War by Thucydides. Absolutely, we must recognize technology as a tool. Useful, yes, but less useful to reconstructing the past than a flint knife or a Dead Sea scroll. A dead computer, in a dead “code” language, and a cloud that might evaporate, would wipe our significance from our times.

Test a theory: Journal this summer, adults and kids, and write and illustrate a satisfying record of a very personal history. Reflect, create—think. It might become a joy, and it will survive like a Theban play from ancient Greece, a champion work that garlands a life story done well.

Sub Terra Vita Chronicle #5: Poetry

Sub Terra Vita
Chronicle #5: Poetry
By Tim Krenz

Poetry sings the joys and tears of life. Poems breathe air into newborn hopes; resuscitates a broken heart failing for faith; vents the stale air of sad lungs oppressed by the pressure weights of sorrow; and poetry heals the wounds and scars that life inflicts. Of course, poets normally understand these measures and doses of wordly medicine. Poetry lovers intuitively should know it already. All others who know little or like poetry little, always can, at some point. For these last mentioned, poets will still write to open dream-filled, wide-awake eyes by writing and reading more poetry.

Not all poetry has great or useful merit. Even good music with bad lyrics can have something useful, but not necessarily make great poetry. Without the use of words, music, natural noise of morning singing birds, or even a sigh-ful view of a great sunset could contain poetry in it. It comes down, perhaps, to something very simple in sparse definition: poetry has a beautiful and true “thing” behind it. Above all, at its most complex, poetry creates in the spirit of writer, reader or listener, some “thing” divine and noble in its character about its creation. For these reasons—the simple and complex—we as humanity could use more poetry and less war. For one follows the other, if poetry can have any meaning at all. Poetry should bring peace, not discord.

How epic does our human story have to get before hearts can teach minds how to live well, and enjoy the poetic moments of living? Poetry should never divide us or cause harm. If it does, it betrays itself, and loses meaning as poetry. Poetry can cause good and great faith. It can also teach great lessons of the follies of our ways, while still telling a classic story—such as The Illiad by the ancient Greek poet, Homer, (not the Simpson)​.

People can scoff at poetry as a waste of time, or energy, or money not earned. Poetry gives them the freedom and liberty to do so. Let them, and go on to write and read, and enjoy, poetry. No one ever wasted a pound of flesh or spilled a pint of blood by writing or reading a poem, one that helps them understand or appreciate better the meaning of existence here​ on earth.

Young poets will experiment and explore themes of, (sigh), “Love.” Older, more veteran hurt ones know how to talk of their material without directly describing it. Either way, poetry, real poetry, speaks truth and has genuine love as inspiration behind it.

A challenge: converse with your poetic-self. Find a reason in you to look for a muse, something that inspires your inside poetry. Write and read poetry this summer. It could make life a little better, when you hope someone would say, “Thank you, for the poetry.”

A Selection: Sadnight Pory Psalm
By Pi Kielty (posthumously)

“The hours for months. Days, please . . .please. . .decades for weeks,” it mourns. Time shorn-withered to ether-waste, brings loss, their lone, a-lorned despaired haste. All possible then, now parted, seeping hopes, that minute's moment's best. From genesis verbs, from one form comes the rest, un-a-gether, tho' still in hope's breast. Leaving seconds a strand, unknown pass the mark, a place meeting, none. One mind both whole. Heaps; one gathers morrow's sun. The other, does reap dark's gray dim hum. A'far noon, the hammer shadow sparks light, as outward warm, night's inner doubts, below plains, will swarm. Time not enough. The day did blind, yet night does age. “Aback,” harked the god's command, “Day ends.” he said, “For I call night not mine, nor blessed.” Bright pale, no gleam of stars this evening, nor the smile seen. Night . . .dreams of. . . creation. Day undaunted, flees to westward run. One for a day, or a lesser night, the union long undone. Sad night remains un-redeemed. . , unwanted. . ; always missing god's shining sun.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Sub Terra Vita—Chronicle 3, “Terra Firma”

Sub Terra Vita—Chronicle 3
By Tim Krenz

“Terra Firma”

Although the human body contains mostly water in its form, over 60% for the average adult, we know by science and legend that we possess dirt and dust to the very bones of our existence. Water brings life, and keeps life alive, as the water renews itself. Add the sun, it combines to create the nutrients and soul, the inner shine, of life. The sun sources all energy, here, to move levers of space and time, that roots, leaf, and flesh should grow, in due course, to the mature harvest of their purpose.

Sun itself turns also the orbit of thoughts, through its arc of cycles, at the dawn after cold night, or in spring following a heavy winter. Sunshine can embellish both smiles and hopes, strengthening human roots to the present. Taken all these, if granted, we still need to remain grateful for the most obvious blessing, the one never mentioned: The ground beneath us to take our stand.

By reason and parables, all should treasure the Terra Firma (“solid ground”) as the stable platform in our living. Sadly, recorded memory makes plain in painful ways the terrors that obsessions for land have wracked upon simple, otherwise peaceful people. The platform—land—in bad times, becomes both an object of fear and greed, but also a place for the fulcrum to lever history over the obstacles to peacefully living together, however short the times between conflicts. In the dust of the storm wind, human crises swirl, and then settle, again, resting dust and debris on firmer ground to recover and rebuild during the reprieves.

The land reclaimed from tempest natures, with hope, becomes prosperous again, feeding, clothing, and sheltering all survivors. All quarrels, even wars at sea or in the air, ultimately square over the rights and use of land. That, unfortunately, proves the enduring importance of the dirt, the firmament above the water, to all political-economic issues—in the beginning, in the middle, and at the end.

In times of peace, humanity can find the true worth of itself in the land beneath them. People live on it; play on it; work on it; roam it; explore it; see it; feel it; absorb it; both make song and dance on it; picnic with family upon blankets above the soil; and reverence things in homage by consecrating it. We can gratefully acknowledge a truism: People need land more than land needs people. Except, that the land might want people to create legends and poetry, story and feeling memory about what happens in the places they live and travel upon their own Terra Firma. In truth, only that part of the earth at the right angle of our shadow actually matters, at any time, along with the single heart beat, a faith in better things to come, and gratitude always.

From the first settlers in the valley to all who still will come, everyone comes to the St. Croix Valley for the same reason, perhaps, to discover that stable platform of the land in their lives, and to add to it the home-sense everyone seeks. People seeking peace all want that fulcrum point to lever over the obstacles standing in their path to happiness. By the end, in the middle, as at the beginning, the land of the Valley will always remain master of its own fate. Such a permanent, Terra Firma will rule over the temporary dust of all the others, and those remaining grateful, humble, . .mortal, that we can enjoy the lands in peace, as good as it will last.

Sub Terra Vita: Chronicle 2: A Sense of Living

Sub Terra Vita
by Tim Krenz

Chronicle 2: A Sense of Living
A sense of living provides the context for understanding the places people live and the places they visit. Literary movements often try to influence into the works of writers a concept called “a sense of place,” a look at surroundings, a demi-poetic rhapsody, that captures any essence of a setting in a theater of the life. The sense of place, if done well, keeps a writer and readers captivated in the drama happening in the seemingly mundane and dull role we call, “our lives.” Any story, even unwritten ones, of any genre or discipline should use the material accumulation of experiences to impart larger lessons to guide the living along a moral azimuth. Story can provide the course bearing, toward a destination in humanity's travel to better ourselves, help others, and leave good memories to others upon the individual arrival at the place of final repose.

In that sense, place becomes a heavy and permanent relief, one deep and grave, indeed. Until that time, we require life as the contemporary moments of accumulated experience. We must do what wisdom dictates, even if the Logic of Self defies that wisdom. To narrow the gulf separating everyone from each other, we must recognize that, first and absolutely, our relationships with others on this Earth form the most vital link between all first causes of existence and our own humanity. We live to enjoy the company of our family and friends, and to help them and others, in all times of feast or tragedy. No arguments allowed.

We may never truly achieve ambitions, dreams or goals, but we may never know the good impact we have had by sharing a smile with someone who needs one; telling someone of our gratitude for their friendship; or taught someone the value of poetry simply by reading them one. Such little things help all the world, in the end, as we never imagined our lives doing at the beginning. In recognizing the importance of meaningful people in our lives, our relationships—good, nurturing fellowship for pure intentions—we find our humanity as we face all the fears that would otherwise overwhelm all and everything.

For Memorial Day this year, I performed the honorable duty to place flowers in pots at the grave sides in East Farmington, (Wisconsin), south of Osceola. A few of the relatives I remembered, or even knew rather familiarly. On both grandparents' side, I found, or “met” new family relations I know only from story. Of one great-uncle, my grandma's brother, I never knew anything until placing flowers next to his flag and star. (He died in 1950, age 31, after serving in the Second World War).

In the cemetery, I saw headstones of other old, settler families of the St. Croix Valley. I know or know well many of their grandchildren, or great-grandchildren. The experience caused me a question about the current generations from the people now long deceased: Why does our humanity never seem to personally visit each other ever enough (not on the phone; not on the internet), when opportunity and meaning meet, for no other reason than to ask, “How goes it?”

In the end, it seems, we only congregate enough after death, when death has no memory of itself, and our ancestors can receive only spring flowers of red, purple, blue,and white to mark our sense of living, marking our humanity to their humanity, with a mere memorial? Our experience should say otherwise. Our future memories demand more.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Sub Terra Vita --Chronicle I—“My Valley; My Country!”

May 1, 2015

Sub Terra Vita (Underground Life)
By Tim Krenz

Chronicle I—“My Valley; My Country!”

“My Valley; My Country!” A creed I hold for the place I call home. Born in the old Osceola hospital overlooking the St. Croix River, I grew up on the fringe of the village, near the railway, on the road all knew as “old M.” I graduated from the high school that once occupied a city block on Chieftain Street. In middle school before that, I ran the Oakey Park fields during the heyday of ungrateful youth, when legends truly played greatly there. When in elementary school earlier than that, I rode my bicycle down Third Avenue, across Cascade Street, to the old public library on River Street. I read all I could find in that old, small white house, with the narrow, unsteady steps to the attic-like second floor archives. There, the always attentive librarians kept the valuable materials about things that mattered about the world beyond, in the nation, and the globe beyond our valley.

I spent time eating old-fashioned cheeseburgers, fries and chocolate malts at the Coffee Cup cafe, the white-washed building downtown that has long-passed into the epic tale of Osceola. Always then, my friends and I descended the old concrete steps down into Wilke Glen, to enjoy the shower spray of the Cascade Falls in hot summer, or to view the uneven palace of ice and rock and snow it naturally made in severe winter. We walked and roamed the banks of the Upper Mill Pond, and Osceola Creek, when they did have trout, and one could catch fish to take home and have cooked for dinner. We scoured this village for all the experience and memories we could make in the time allotted for reluctant youths.

“My Valley; My Country!” I roamed this valley beyond our “land of Oz” in Osceola, and as a 5th cycle heir to a farm family from Germany who settled in this area 143 years ago, I take a little seriously a firm grounding of my feet upon the valley earth, that which produces food and family. This land contains the resting nest of my forebears. Like them, I appreciate the same sun we all see, the source of all life on earth, along with the moving waters that sustains this life and surrounds us. The context which gives us all a sense of purpose may matter more to some, and not so much to others, but we all must seek the greater context of the place we find ourselves, inside and outside our spirits, and relate it to the higher reason of “what we do?” and “the why?”

The St. Croix Valley, and the river that forms our edifying spine and unifying backbone, provide a course through time. When the first person discovered Osceola, and at one point someone called it Leroy, to the wannigans of labor running downriver, the present gift of our balance forward comes often from weighing things gone, and by building a bridge across the chasm to the next day, the next challenge. From timber days then and the trap rock rolling in cars on the rails at night, both harvested for a history, our valley proceeds connected from time gone to tomorrow's untold mystery. Of all things in life we can recover, or gain, or keep, one thing remains beyond redeeming: We can never get back time. From this point in the river, the flow of our story, the puzzle of the future meets the picture guide that came previous to now. Things combine in different ways; and how does the story go? How possibly can people, things, place and life combine to make our valley what it will soon become?

“My Valley; My Country!” I spent the past two and a half decades outside the Valley as well, traveling a larger frontier, some east, but mostly west of the valley. The old frontier, long since closed by progress, still has fresher outlooks, more unconventional wisdom, and more radical brilliance than the East Coast of the United States. The East still plays a vital part in our valley, and certainly around the globe. Yet, in the great plains, the Pacific Northwest, the northern California, the mountain deserts, and the hot, dry Southwest, the country feels more open, more free, and more new than the East. Whichever way, though, I go at any time, I always feel the relief when returning home, seeing the St. Croix River, and its familiar poetry of good living. Our valley, however, neatly straddles, indeed connects in many ways, the East and West, neither of which it forms a real part. And in another, more startling way, it sits above the great national dividing boundary of the Mississippi. In short, the St. Croix Valley crowns its own head with a unique halo of independence from all other places, and still it engages many nearer or far. In connecting these threads, we might find secrets in this journalistic exercise that could contribute to the betterment of both the East and the West of our now seriously divided nation.

“My Valley; My Country!” The nation and the world definitely act in ways that affect us here, sometimes for the better, and sadly sometimes not for the good. Every place known on earth can find some value, or derive some lesson, that if understood, pondered, and shared could affect other places, even the globe itself. In our place, the Valley, some things may not seem important, or appear mundane and normal to us, but rest assured: Every place can contribute something to a better, more peaceful, and more healthy world. We must, of course, deliberately understand and embrace the context in which we live, and connect ourselves to the larger part of the meaning.

This series of narratives, story, possible other things, shall make an honest attempt to bridge past and future, and do so by unplugging from the confusion of devices and the contrived wealth in progress. In an almost “acoustic” metaphor, let us hear, and then see if we return a favor to our forebears of the Valley. The Valley can give something of idea, resource, strength, institution—and value itself—to our lives here, and contribute to the betterment of the world. By looking at things from a different angle in the Valley, at the hidden and deeper meaning, let us see what we discover. May we find clues to the mystery future.