Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Who is responsible for this?

These post it notes have become an everyday occurrence. Right on the front page of the Post. And when I take this leech off the paper, it rips the cover. There are important stories on the front page, like today, that should not be covered up with advertising.

Who is responsible for this? Who is the person who thought up this idea and the person who authorized this? They should be put out of that paper. Some might say they should be flogged in public, others might say they should be tarred and feathered, but I didn't say that. I will say we should consider shunning these persons, not unlike the Amish.

It really cheapens the editorial content which is supposed to be the focus of the business. I am all about the paper increasing the revenue. But not at the expense of the product. The face of the paper is very, very important. Ads on the plastic sleeves are fine. Inserts that fall out of the paper are fine. But messing up the cover is not cool at all. It is bad enough when you see a non-story on the front page, now there is garbage taped to the front. As a person who takes out advertising, this does not improve the image of the paper. This does not increase the revenue, it just pulls revenue from the back end. I am going to stop bitching, but who ever is responsible for this should be ashamed. For it makes me embarrassed of my former employer and my hometown paper.

Breathing again and rediscovery

The bridge on Arsenal is open again. It has been about a year since it was closed. It feels as if a nostril had been clogged up and now I can breathe freely again.

I kind of like the bridge. It is simple and looks industrial. I like the ornate bridges too, like the Kingshighway bridge. This one has big pipes sticking out of the side. Very tough looking. I like it. It will be nice that people will be able to more easily transverse across the southside. No more longcuts through the Hill or down Fyler.

As I travelled westbound on Thanksgiving I noticed there is a new subdivision on Arsenal. It is kind of screwy how these blocked streets can close off an entire part of a city. There are slick new dense subdivided houses on a dead end series of streets off Arsenal, just west of Macklind and east of Hampton. These series of homes are just west of the subdivision behind the Police station. These houses are much larger and grand. They are fancy. Not my personal taste, but high style none the less. I do like the tight lawns and the big back decks with pocket backyards. There are big garages attached to these mostly brick facades. They are interesting looking. I am sure some urbanists will moan about the architecture of these places, but let us not be blind to the fact that these fancy houses are just south of the shotgun shacks of the exclusive Hill. I am happy to see new homes that people want to buy and are moving into. It is great to see new residents, and residents relocate within to more desirable homes in the STL.

I am also always happy to see the streets open up and breathe in our city. This is how we discover ourselves, conduct business, see and experience our own city. It would be nice to have the Spring bridge back, even if in pedestrian form. It was always nice to ride a bike around the barricade to get to school on this condemned bridge. It kills me to see the pedestrian paths closed off, like the one between Brannon and Macklind just south of Chippewa or the streets shut off with cut sewer pipe thrown on the streets in the more run down parts of town. It just seems so unnatural to the city way of life to cut off so much. Breathing is healthy.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Last night scene, pullets and other derelicts

Late last night I was rolling with one of my good chums.

We needed to go make a visit up in U City to check on a situation and to check out the scene. I don't really roll in U City that much anymore. My compadre used to claim this as his main stomping grounds, while I am familiar, I never was too heavy in that scene even though I used to live and work out that way. It was an interesting scene. I felt like I was in another city.

"Who are these people?"

We rolled through Blueberry Hill looking closely at the crowd. The scene is hot. The joint is jumping. However, I feel as if I have become disconnected from this scene. I forget that this city is larger than it seems. The crowd was, well, having a good time and clean cut. A lot of collars, a lot of women. Young. Vivacious. Pretty young as a whole.

On our way walking up and down the street we see an old, old scenester on the opposite side of Delmar. We have absolutely no interest in stopping to talk to him. Shifty. Very questionable. I don't even want him to see us. I personally don't know him well, but I know well of him. My pal was a little more familiar and just as much reserved about this person who is back in the scene. My chum was a little extra boisterous so he decides to shout out to him.

"Hey 'Leghorn'!!!"

I have no interest in stopping or him even seeing us. I just keep walking. But I laugh. It is funny. He couldn't see us, but I did look over and he was looking around. Funny.

We stopped into the Halo and the again over at the Pinup. They were both jumping. Packed. I saw more than some of my peoples at all three places. Many who are employed at these establishments, and several who are frequenting the scene. It was good to see'm. A lot of people were having a good time. The Halo was a bit more rock and roll than any of the three, even though they were playing hip hop. A bit more clubby too. The best music playing of the three was at the Halo. The Pinup was young as well, and had a big ol' crowd with quite the efficient machine in dispensing the medicine. Good looking scenes, but relatively foreign to my scene. Impressive.

On our way back to the Caprice we saw our fowl fella again. He was pulling out in his old hot rod. I just started to laugh, but I was darting behind it so he wouldn't see us. So of course my comrade needs to shout out again.

"Hey 'Poultry'!!"

And then he looks around startled and peels out to get away.

We laugh. It is funny.

Later, as we head down Kingshighway back to the HQ I see something out of the corner of my eye.

"Jezus. Did you see that?"


"I think there was a guy on the side of the street. He is on the ground...

Do you think we should go back?"

"What is it?"

We hesitated at the next intersection to decide what to do. So we pull around and go back. The scene is on Kinghighway across from the main entrance of the Park, a couple blocks north of Holy Innocents.

My compadre jumps out of his car to check on the man. I have to wait for the traffic to pass. I hit my hazards and wait as he checks.

"He is breathing!"

I grab my nightstick I keep under my seat. Why do I have a nightstick under my seat? I am not sure, but I am glad I had it now. I also carry a mini super bright military grade flashlight in my pocket. These are helpful tools when dealing with guys lying on the street.

I poke him in the chest with my stick.

"Hey kid! Wake up!"


"Yeah, likely. Maybe high. He may have gotten rolled. Not sure."

I keep shouting at him and poking him until he comes to. My compadre calls the cops during this process.

The man is incoherent. He is a clean cut looking white kid in his 20s. Fresh haircut, shaved, khakis, collar. He looks like he could have been at Blueberry Hill earlier.

We drill him with questions.

"Are you okay?"

"What is your name?"

"Where do you live?"

"Have you been drinking?"

"Where are you going?"

"Are you hurt?"

"Have you been hit?"

"Do you have an id? Do you have a wallet?"

The man is incoherent. We are unable to understand the responses to the questions. He tries to get up and stumbles. My comrade catches him before he falls back down.

"Hey hey, easy easy. No rush. Lets just take it easy for a second."

He spits. Not on me or my pal, but just spitting.

"Hey now! Don't spit on my shoes! That ain't cool."


He is starting to conjugate. At least we are getting somewhere. He is able to tell us his first name. Jarod. He is able to make some small talk, but just a couple of words. Yeah. No. But he can't tell us his last name. He is unable to tell us his full address. I am unsure if he wants to tell us and can't or he doesn't want to tell us. I think he is unable to. He is pretty incoherent. But he couldn't even stand. We make him sit back down. He goes to start to sleep again.

"No no no! You are not going back to sleep. You are going to get rolled out here lying on the street. You can't just lie on the street like this. You are going to get hit man. We need to make sure you are okay."


He laughs in the middle of all of this. He gets a little crazy sounding with incoherent speech semi regularly. The man is back on his feet swaying back and forth.

"You don't mind if I try to see if you have an ID on you?"

It was apparent he was unable to check himself.

"Sure, yeah..."

I give him a simple pat down in his pockets. The only thing of significance is a cell phone.

"Is this yours?"

"Heh...sure yeah."

"Is there someone I can call that can help you?"


"Do you know any of these people?"

I go through the many names to ask which I should call. He is still incoherent. I decide not to call people at random on his cell phone. I asked him where he lived and he points to the south. He apologizes for being unable to say his address. He starts to get annoyed by the multiple repeated questions.

This has been going on for over ten minutes at this point. I am starting to feel like an old-time Irish cop checking in on the local drunk.

"He is really f*cked up. Did you call the Police?"

"Yeah. I don't know if they are going to come out for this."

Makes sense. It is a vague call. Then the man starts to stagger down the street. My chum stop him.

The guy starts to get a tad belligerent. He wants to go. We argue that he should just cool off for a second. He insists. My pal wants to make him stay. I argue that if he is coherent enough to refuse help and he is trying to get away that we can't stop him. I am not sure what is the right thing to do, but I don't feel like arguing with a crazy man. I don't mind helping a crazy man, but I don't want to argue with one.

"Let him go. He is an adult."

I look over to the man who is starting to get a little ornery.

"You are lucky someone hasn't kicked you in the head."

I was getting annoyed by this guy. My pal stops him again.

Then we notice that the cops are pulling up. One car, then two cars. I go up to the first squad car and spoke to the officer.

"Yeah, we saw him on the street passed out. We stopped to make sure he wasn't dead and make sure he didn't get rolled."

"Is he okay? Is he drunk?"

"Yeah. At least drunk. He can't remember his full name or where he lives. He is farily incoherent. This is not a good thing to have a guy lying on the street like this."

"that is not good at all."

Then the guys starts to stagger into a trot.

I thank the cops. I meet my pal back in the Caprice. The cops start to cruise ahead. The guy turned down the side street and is not seen from my rearview mirror. My bet is that he fell down again. The cops are slowly cruising down the street in slow pursuit.

I am not sure what happened after this.

Interesting night.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Losing the creatives

Ho hum.

The NY Times reports, again, how Atlanta, Austin, Portland etc. attract young people, and after the age of 35, they stay put. Richard Florida is quoted again in this semi-annual article, and cities continue to lose population.

Hey, at least Saint Louis didn't make the bottom of the list. Maybe that is due to the lack of a bottom list mention.

We have been doing better, there is no denying that, but that doesn't mean we get an A. We still fall back into old habits and forget that this is a larger city than we think. There are a lot of people in this town. A few hot streets and budding districts. A housing boom and now a bit of a stall, but things are still way up from where they had been. A number of restaurants and other business opening, some halfway decent economic gains.

We are not gaining enough and we are still giving out government handouts to those who might not be in quite as much need, while others struggle to just operate in compliance with the law and even others are not even afforded the opportunity to operate legally.

Saint Louis needs to take a particular lesson from Atlanta. We very much have the ability to become the next Atlanta if we want to be. There is so much opportunity around us, if we allow it to happen.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving

Gobble gobble!

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Royale Update 11/22

This week's update can be found hurr. Late night!! I got to do payroll now.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

O how I love the Onion

This prestigious publication is just so informative.

And here is an interesting story on how half of our students in the US are dropping out. This is really sad. It is actually maddening. It really doesn't have to be this way. We have to do much, much better as a country about this. This problem has been around for a long time, far too long and it doesn't have to be this way. I have had to deal with this a lot, especially the past few years.

Rock and Roll Craft Show

This weekend is the Rock and Roll Craft Show. I went last year. It is way, way, way great. This is a perfect time to pick out those hard to find gifts. I usually honor Buy Nothing Day, but I am just too drawn by these handmade crafts, gems and works of art! Besides, I am conflicted on Buy Nothing Day for I have lobbied to have them change the name to Buy Nothing But Drinks Day, but it has met no response. So I think it is okay to go to Mad Art this weekend and fill your bags with goodies. Ho ho ho!

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Thank you KETC

The letter I sent to KETC:
Thank you for airing Fareed Zakaria's Foreign Exchange TV. I have been watching the show online for about two years now. It is an amazing show. I only became aware that you have been showing the program today, and this is a wonderful, wonderful thing. Now if you can figure out how to keep the monthly weekend pledge drives to keep from bumping off the programming, I might just reach nirvana.

Thank you,

Steven Fitzpatrick Smith

This is a really amazing show. Last week they had a great piece on organic farming- in Egypt of all places. Quite interesting. And they followed up with an interview with the CEO of Dow Chemical. This was a very interesting contrast for this interview.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Royale update

Check out the Royale Update here. There is a good drink special going on right now.

Hooray for procreation

It looks as if our planet is about to get a little brighter with this increase in world population. Amy Stringer Hessel and Capo Fred Hessel gave birth to a young snapper, Camille Rachael Hessel.

"Kind of small for a turkey" as the new father Fred proclaimed.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Old Newsboys- please, a favor and burn barrels

I worked so hard to keep my corner tidy. I worked so hard I nearly got arrested.

I used to sell newspapers like the "Old Newsboys". Once a year, they would come out and sell the Globe-Democrat, at the time it was just around going under. They sold it as that name for years after they folded.

Once a year in the fall, the corner got taken over by old folks for a day during the week and they sold copies of this charitable fundraiser edition. It was very cute. All these old guys, moms, dads and a few kids took over the corner for a day selling papers.

And once a year, the newspaper stand got trashed. They moved the box around, overfilled the burn barrel with garbage and unsold copies and generally uncleaned grounds around my box. I would have to pick up every week, but this was way way more clutter than usual.

I was slightly annoyed, but I knew it was a charitable cause and at least some old guys and their kids got to know what it was like to stand out all day selling papers on the corner.

So I will ask all the "Old Newsboys" to try to keep the areas around the newspaper stands free of clutter. And I will ask all good Americans to consider picking up a paper on the street corner.

But how did I nearly get arrested by trying to keep my corner tidy?

I moved over to Geyer where the stand was higher circulation and closer to home. I was able to hitch a ride with the news truck and get a free ride. I remember waiting on my porch and then running along the side of it and jumping into the moving truck. I thought that was way too much fun. Mike, my boss at the Post could of stopped I am sure. But he didn't. Time was money. I would help him unload papers at Walgreens, National, grocery stores, other news stands and the gas stations on the way to my stand. This was way too much fun. I was required to carry a knife in the sixth grade so I could cut open the bundles of newspapers. I thought that was cool. And my stand was now on a traffic island which was extra cool.

At my stand, Mike would toss the papers at me from the truck. Multiple bundles of twenty to forty comics and ad circulars, ten to twenty covers and ten to twenty classifieds of the three star Sundays would hit me in the chest and I would stack them next to my box. So much fun. And then he was gone.

It was the middle of the summer on one of these afternoons and I noticed at the beginning of my six hour shift that the trash can was overflowing from the burn barrel. And what was I to do? How was I to get rid of the trash?

I lit up the barrel. I knew that would solve the problem. Sometimes people would come up and complain to me that the barrel was on fire. But not usually. But I usually only lit it up in the bitter cold. Nobody complained when I was out there in sub zero temperatures and I had that barrel at full tilt with wood I brought from home.

But it was summer. And that barrel was burning. A couple of cops showed up. I told them what my boss told me. "I got a permit!" My boss had the permit. Or that is what he told me. It was funny, for all my years at the different stands, the only time I had personally interacted with cops was to give them a free paper. I knew they were keeping an eye on me, which was good, but we never had much conversation other than me saying thank you after giving them a paper. They talked to my boss all the time. They got along real well with Mike, so I knew it was okay. He knew all the cops. There are even more stories about that, but that is for another post.

The cops told me I couldn't light my barrel up, but I knew that wasn't true, for I had lit up that barrel for years to keep warm and no one stopped me. Now that I was trying to keep my corner tidy I was getting trouble from the police. I agreed to put the fire out, but it was too late. I got a ticket. I started to put out the fire myself anyway, and it was pretty much out, but then a big fire truck showed up. The big Kirkwood fire truck. It was so embarrassing. And bad for business. I pleaded with the fire department to go away. I was losing business every minute I was there. I sold a paper about every three minutes. The truck scared away a ton of business. And it looked so bad. I lost about thirty sales all said and done.

I did manage to sell about 3/4 of my usual sale, but I was down a lot and I had a ticket. At the end of the night when Mike from the Post came to collect I told him about what happened. I was annoyed. He laughed. He tore up the ticket and threw the small pieces of paper into the air of the cab of the truck.

"You light up that barrel anytime you want."

I smiled. I knew it was okay. Mike was solid.

I learned a few things that day. I learned about cops. I learned about people. I learned about business. I also learned to not light up my burn barrel unless it was cold out. It was better to have an overflowing burn barrel than to have business interrupted by the authorities.

The Mad Art Radio Hour: A live radio play

Hot off the wire:

The Mad Art Radio Hour: A live radio play
November 15, 16 & 17 (three performances)
Doors 7PM
Live Recording and Radio After Party November 17th
Admission for all dates: $5.00 / Cash Bar

Mad Art Gallery and local artists are creating a live theater production of a radio show from the Golden Age. By producing the event at a venue that focuses on the visual arts, we will bring the art of radio performance to an audience that may be used to relying on its eyes more than its ears. These are traditional radio shows with a twist. Writing, acting, and sound effects all by local talent and all live in an intimate setting. Featuring...

Johnny O'Casey, Martian Hunter: a hard-boiled crime drama
I Love Sylvia: the long awaited sitcom about the cheerful life of Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes
Each evening will be hosted by Mad Art's emcee Ron Buechele with Jaime Gartelos as the announcer and featuring Swing Set as the evening's Mad Art Orchestra. On November 17th the performance will be recorded live to be replayed on Thanksgiving night on KDHX's "The No Show" with Brett Underwood - Late Thursday / Early Friday at 12:00AM.

The show will be performed in three acts and will include an original theme song and two original radio plays created for the project by local artists Jamie Foehner and Jaime Gartelos. Live music will be performed by local band Swing Set.

Act I:
Introduction by radio host, Ronald Buechele
Performance of the Mad Art Radio Hour original theme song

Act II:
Original radio play "Johnny O'Casey: Martian Hunter"
Approximate running time twenty-five minutes

Act III:
Original radio play "I Love Sylvia"
Approximate running time twenty-five minutes

Our project is unique to the St. Louis area. Creating a performance that relies only on sound to communicate to the audience is challenging. For us, this fact gives new emphasis to the enormous creativity and talent that produced the radio shows of the 1930's, 1940's and 1950's. The human voice is the principal means of communication. Radio is a medium that focuses on one sense alone: sound. In an era where the individual is bombarded with fast-paced visual media, this project presents an opportunity for the listener to engage his imagination, turn off the external images, and create his own images with the help of our performance. The live, radio broadcast of the performance is integral to the project.

KDHX is partnering with Mad Art Gallery and the contributing artists to make this unique endeavor a reality. Sponsors include: The Royale, xPlane, Frazer's, and Lemmon's.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

In the family bar stories about big shots

Sometimes we like to play that my father doesn't know anything about the business. He actually knows considerably more than he lets on. That is one reason why we have done well. Or that is the reason we let him think. This works out well, for he lets me think I know what I am doing and that is why we are doing well.

My father, Patrick, has bartended before. And relatively recently too. It is in my family. Both sides. My grandfather,Charlie, my father's father, bartended for a time that was not recent at all. My great grandfather was in alcohol production and distribution during a time it was criminalized on a Federal level. My great grandfather, Tom Murray, would bottle beer in his basement and go get a nip at the fraternal club around the corner every night.

My father worked at high end restaurant as a bartender about ten or so years ago. He probably was in the business for about two or three years. He also briefly worked at Pablo's Martini Bar back in the day. That was also amusing. This is a story my father told me back when he was bartending.

One night as my father was working at the fancy restaurant a big time sports team owner came in to eat. Now my father worked at what was mostly a service bar which meant he only occasionally directly served customers. He made the drinks for the entire house.

The big time sports team owner was new to town at the time. My father had received the order for a martini. The owner of the restaurant had taught my father to not even bother to add vermouth to martinis.

The bossman told my dad regarding the martini, "If they want the booze, just give them the booze."

And a martini is essentially just that. Booze in a glass. Sometimes with ice, or straight up in a funny tall glass. The recipes for the martini call for splashes of dry vermouth, but if you want a really dry martini, you don't add vermouth.

My father made up the order for the dry martini exactly the way he was instructed. Straight booze, no vermouth.

The server took the cocktail to the table.

A few minutes later the server comes back with a complaint.

"The martini isn't dry enough. She wants a really dry martini."

My father knew what was up. He took a new martini glass and poured the old martini into the new martini glass. He gave it a fresh garnish. The server looked shocked.

"Take it to her now and see what she says."

The server took it back to the table.

The waiter came back. "'Perfect.' She said it was 'Perfect.'"

Thursday, November 09, 2006

J Butler tonight/Royale Update

In order not to junk up this site w/ any more promo for the Royale, I will begin linking to the Royale site for the updates. So here ya go. Jessica Butler is performing tonight in her band Linn. Way fun.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Mister Lincoln

When I was a kid, my folks took us to Springfield so we could visit Mister Lincoln. We had never left Chicago, and they felt that we needed to see what was around that fair city. So we went to Springfield to visit the Capitol.

So for my Mother's birthday, I took her to Springfield to check out the new Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum. We just got back today. It was pretty durn cool. We stopped in the research half, but spent time in the Museum. Way fun. It has only been open a few years. We did stop at Joe's Pizza joint afterward. Mighty fine.

I had never been to a Presidential Library before. It was pretty hardcore for a Library. They showed how vilified Lincoln was when he was a candidate for office and when he was serving as President. I knew this, but I didn't know the extent to how much he was hated. It was very unusual jabs. They compared him to a monkey, an Irishman, an African. They showed scenes from his cabinet. He had a lot of differences with his cabinet. Many of them supported the Emancipation not because they were abolitionists, but they believed that the freed slaves would be removed from the United States. Strange indeed.

The flashes of the history, and the economics behind the war reminded me of the movie by Spike Lee, CSA. The museum had some rather interesting exhibits that included some interesting visual presentations that mixed video reenactment of primary documentation of the public reactions to the Emancipation Proclamation. Good stuff. I got the same chills when I went through the Civil Rights Museum in Memphis.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006


So today only, election day, you need to make sure you vote. So take an hour and a half lunch and go vote. It doesn't matter if you aren't allowed to leave the workplace during lunch because "you are too busy". Bullsh*t. Tell your boss to bite it and you are taking a long lunch and you are going to vote.

Then come get a free drink at the Royale. Nothing is better than a coffee in the afternoon to perk things up. So feel free to get a Schlafly Coffee Stout. Not in the mood for coffee? How about some juice. Try ordering a Boz. Do you like candy? Try a Mayor. Arak Razzouk on ice. Between noon and 2pm jet out of work, go vote, then come in and tell us that you told your boss to bite it and you get a free patriotic duty drink.

I am picking up my grandmother tomorrow and making sure she is getting to the polls. I am also picking up a few other friends while I am at it. If you do go for one of these hour and a half free drink voting lunches, you should call some friends and have them join you on this escapade. Hey, maybe you should pick your grandma up and take her to lunch.

Don't forget we will be running Election Day Specials all day and night. $2 Schlafly Hefeweizen and Coffee Stout drafts, Pale Ale and Pumpkin Ale in bottles. $3 Boz, Mayor, License Collectors and Senators. Free appetizers at 2,4,6 and 8pm. We will also have a record spin from 5pm on.

Power to the people, no delay.

Steven Fitzpatrick Smith

Monday, November 06, 2006

Election Day Specials All Day/Night

Tuesday is a very important day. It is election day. And it is a very close election. So go out and VOTE! It is very important that you go out and vote. Non citizens are exempt from this voting on this election, but are strongly encouraged to apply for citizenship as soon as possible.

In honor of our democratic system we will have some extra special specials all day and all night long from 11:30am to 1:30am.

Schlafly Beer: draft Coffee Stout, Hefeweizen, bottle Pumpkin Ale and Pale Ale

The Boz: Our take on the Vodka Gimlet
The Senator: Power's Whiskey on ice
The Mayor: Arak Razzouk on ice
The License Collector: Pinnacle Vodka and soda on ice w/ a lemon

Free stuff
We will have free appetizers and pieces of fruit for all honorable citizen voters at 2pm, 4pm, 6pm and 8pm. If you can *prove* that you were an election judge for the day's election, we will grant you a free drink.

We are going on the honors system here. I hear that they don't have those "I voted" stickers anymore, but we are going to be about as scrutinizing as the election judges in figuring out if you actually voted. Be prepared to answer a simple citizenship quiz to qualify to receive a special.

Election results will be shown on the television. We have free wi-fi so results can be had on your laptop. Our laptop will be up and reporting on all races: local, statewide and federal positions and all results from around the nation. I will be spinning on the first half of the evening and Mark Early will be spinning on the second half of the night.

So make some time on Tuesday and make sure you get out of work early enough to go vote.

God Bless America,

Steven Fitzpatrick Smith

For real!

Someone needs to have someone decent spin for the beginning of these rallies in Forest Park. I went to one earlier today at the World's Fair Pavillion and it had, and I hate to dog so heavily, the dullest warm up music ever. With the exception of the actual theme song, the rest of it... sucked. It made waiting in line at the bank seem festive. I need to figure out who books the record spins for these guys.