Email Delivery Jedi On Google+

UPDATE: Niche-ing out my sites now on G+.

First up is my WordPress, Website Security and Email Delivery site.

While I love G+ biz pages, I am looking forward to better marketing tools soon.

Cool page, but how do I convert followers there to where I really want to drive my traffic which is here? … ?

There really needs to be some better conversion tools for these pages, don’t you think?

Facebook Email Invites

Facebook Email by invite only, non friends are blocked by default and more…

Zuckerberg says “But it’s not email…”

“It’s not e-mail. It handles e-mail in addition to Facebook messages, and Facebook IM, and other IM and SMS and all the other different ways that you want to communicate,” Zuckerberg said. “It’s true, people are going to be able to have e-mail addresses, but it’s not e-mail.”

  • Incoming mail to a account will be blocked by default if you are not mutual friends on Facebook.

  • From the data that had been researched by Compete Pulse, the growth of web-based email users as a whole decreased by approximately 11% from year to year.

  • By this study, email will cease to expand at all within less than nine years, and the decline of email has already begun.

  • Zuckerberg said no voice or video chat will be available soon, but that option may come into play depending on demand for it.

  • As marketers, those of us who create large followings on popular content delivery streams, think Twitter, YouTube, Google Buzz and Facebook, will be positioned to better survive and even thrive into the next decade.

  • In my personal testing in the last 3 years, email still converts better than any social medium, the idea is to get your social following into your autoresponder / email list.

  • If you are going to accept Facebook email addresses in your autoresponder forms, stressing how to whitelist your email address will be very important.

  • Want to try Facebook email for yourself? Invite only….

Get your Facebook email invite here!

You can request a Facebook email invitation here….

Let us know what you think about Facebook’s Inbox in the comments below…

Facebook Email Inbox – New Delivery Nightmare?

A Facebook email delivery process makes me shiver even in sunny Arizona, here’s why….

Before you label this as Facebook bashing and bounce, I want to make it clear this is about email delivery, it has nothing to do with Facebook, this is about Getting your email to the Inbox.

With TechCrunch’s Friday rumor that Facebook will be launching their own Facebook inbox Monday….

Facebook’s secret Project Titan — a web-based email client that we hear is unofficially referred to internally as its “Gmail killer”. Now we’ve heard from sources that this is indeed what’s coming on Monday during Facebook’s special event, alongside personal email addresses for users.

Our understanding is that this is more than just a UI refresh for Facebook’s existing messaging service with POP access tacked on. Rather, Facebook is building a full-fledged webmail client, and while it may only be in early stages come its launch Monday, there’s a huge amount of potential here. – TechCrunch

TechZine made these points on Why You Won’t Use Facebook Email….

  • You’re already accustomed to your current email provider
  • Facebook’s privacy issue rows are at the back of your mind
  • Facebook is already well branded for what they are and that’s not an email service

Well that’s the usual TC pro Facebook stance, here’s what I have to say as a guy that makes his living off his email delivery rate….

With Facebook users first of all swamped with spam, group invites, MLM offers, Farmville alerts and so many unskilled marketers out to try to somehow make money off their time investment in Facebook…, I am NOT looking forward to seeing email addresses in my autoresponder stream.

As an email delivery consultant, I am thinking that FaceBook mail users are going to be very apt to click the spam button on you more so than other web mail clients.

Not to mention, just what we don’t need as marketers sending email to our double opt in lists is yet another email provider without a email whitelisting process, an unknown filtering process, no feedback loop and no experience in the good use of filtering.

Or as malicious as Facebook is at banning say…, an email series on YouTube rankings just because it promote’s a networking process that is pro Google. Or sending email to your list linking to something critical of Facebook. Being critical of Facebook will not get you any love, your email list loves Facebook, believe it or not they are very loyal. I would say if this blog post landed in a inbox it would draw spam button clicks simply in retaliation.

Or say Joe Jobs on Facebook, or sending lots of spam with links to your content, poorly skilled affiliates sending tons of links with your ClickBank products in them, or posing as you and getting you kicked off Facebook. I could go on and on. For now I will be considering denying Facebook email address in my autoresponder forms.

I will be back on Tuesday, till then watch this….

I will be back here Tuesday with the results of Facebook’s announcement, till then watch this eye opening video on raising your click thru and open rates in this CTR video with Sean Donahoe. I even learned a lot from Sean and I am taking this test data seriously and it’s worth 5 minutes of your time….

Can’t wait to hear your feedback on this, tell me in your comments below Please!

How To Screw Up Your Email Delivery

How To Screw Up Your Email Delivery, confuse your subscribers and get stuck in spam filters in one quick email or less

I do a lot of local speaking here in Phoenix where we have decided to settle for now.

So I get a lot of email from the MeetUp groups I participate in. But today one of my favorite MeetUps just really demonstrated with is wrong with most small emailers and I just have to share that with you for your own good.

If you are in the Phoenix area I highly recommend Club Entrepreneur. It is a great home for networking, the main floor holds up to 150 seats for public speaking, conference rooms and office space abounds as well. This is a great entrepreneurial setting for any business.

What they lack are Internet Marketing skills.

So here is the list of their mistakes. Are you making these bad moves too?

  • Putting HTML in the text box…
  • Putting text in the HTML box…
  • Using a free email address in the from field
  • Sending email from a social site that gets filtered easily
  • Creating multiple social groups and double emailing
  • Using digest emails with little focus
  • All of the Above…

Here’s the details of the mistakes made by my friends at Club E (short for Club Entrepreneur).

Putting text in the HTML box…

I see major Internet marketers make this mistake all the time. In AWeber in the broadcast and the autoresponder interface there are two textareas that you can enter text in.

One is designated HTML and one is designated text. The HTML box is at the top of the AWeber interface, the text box is below that. Do not accidentally enter plain text in the HTML box by mistake. Your links will not be clickable in Outlook or other email clients as in my Outlook screen shot below.

You may not be catching this mistake if you are sending test emails to a web mail or free email browser account.

Solution: Always test your emails first both in a web client and always in Outlook.

Click image to see full size.

Using a free email address in the from field

It is the reply to field that is the problem here. Free email addresses set off spam filters, proven fact.

Set all your email distribution settings to the main account on your domain. That way you can set all accounts to one reply to address and control where replies are going to. Don’t spray replies to your emails all over the web on free accounts. You email replies are your best source of feedback, sales, clients and return traffic.

Either that or use the default for a social site like MeetUp, so the reply address is their domain. Never ever use a free email address as the reply to or from field. Why? Because it is what spammers do. Look at any spam you receive and it will almost always come from a free email address in the from field and or the reply to address.

Click image to see full size.

Sending email from a social site that gets filtered easily

Most users manage their lists thru The bad news is that most groups manage their email lists thru Tons of spam posts get posted to MeetUp boards and the default settings on any MeetUp group sends and email to the group members. So, I am guessing that the spam button gets clicked a lot.

Solution: Get members of MeetUp into your main site’s autoresponder. Howie Schwartz said it first and best: “Drag your followers on the social site out and into your own autoresponder”…

Creating multiple social groups and double mailing

My Friends at Club E have two different MeetUp groups. That means to mail all the members they have to double email. That creates confusion and double mailings at the members inbox many times within minutes of each other. Bad idea, avoid this at all costs.

Solution: Mail well in advance, and if you have multiple groups don’t mail them all on the same day within a few minutes of each other. Craft unique emails for each group and for your list.

Using digest emails dilutes the focus and lessens return

Lastly, if you look at the emails above, they are digest emails. Digest emails suck when it comes to getting your subscribers to do what you want. In fact, digest emails cause confusion, get caught in filters because spam many times has tons of links and usually perform poorly.

I suggest sending digest emails on the front end if you must, then send follow up emails that are focused on one action you want the members of your list to take.

All of the Above…

Let’s hope you are not making these kind of errors in your email marketing. If you are then you really need to learn how to “Get It To The Inbox” now more then ever.

What do you think? Tell us!

Let me know in the comments below. I want to hear from you, your best practices and what has failed and what has succeeded for you in the comments section below.

Links to your creatives are welcome below. Don’t be shy!

Conficker Worm Results In Spam Filters Cranked To All Time High

Now that Conficker is delivering it’s payload of spam, spam filters have been cranked up to their highest notch and email delivery is at an all time low, at least for me

After consulting my top contacts in the world of Internet security, spam filtering and network spam filtering appliances I can say without a doubt that spam filters are set at their highest level we have seen in a long time. I cannot reveal my sources, but they are top notch, this comes from the big firms.

I have lost allot of sales and subscribers that are not getting my emails and my open rate has suddenly fallen below 10%. It is not AWeber’s fault, it is my URLs and commercial slanted content.

My emails have been very commercial lately, because I am now in full launch of my Google Friend Connect Tactics members site and Jack Humphrey just JVed with me on this launch.

I have the best product and by far the highest value in any social marketing suite. So of course I want to shout it from the rooftops. The problem is no one is hearing me. Luckily I have some big affiliates or I would be pulling my hair out.

The best way that you can try to recover from this if you are experiencing the same is to ask anyone your can to check the spam folder and mark you emails as not spam.

Also whitelisting your email is still very effective especially in Gmail.

Ride it out, the worm will turn. What you don’t want to do is over email out of desperation.

Today I am sending a text only, no link email directing my readers to this blog. I will post back in the comments how it worked out. Hang in there, we have been here before, the filtering will come down. Try sending text articles without outgoing links and see how that works for you.

The New Gmail Spam Filter

The Gmail new spam filter is really Google Friend Connect, disguised as a friends list the levels of permission now available in Gmail is a very effective spam filter.

This is an excerpt from my social marketing members only site. This is the kind of thinking and leading edge use of GFC you will find there.

This one should really blow your socks off. Google Friend Connect and the Google friends list in Gmail is not a friends list. It is a spam filter. Stay with me here this is really good stuff…

There are four levels of spam filtering in Gmail.

  • Sites we have joined thru the Google Friend Connect widget.

  • Sites you have not joined.

  • Gmail users not listed in your contacts.

  • Gmail users who are listed in contacts and friends lists in Gmail.

  • Those that are listed in Chat.

  • Those listed in Google Latitude.

Thinking about Google the other day and the fact that I get so little spam that this just rolled right in. Many of you have followed me for a while now and you remember back to when a mistaken Trend Micro false positive destroyed my business.

What I never explained is that my Google friends list as well as my social contacts in Facebook are what saved me. The only reason I continued to deliver email to anyone was thru my Gmail friends list. Because I was a very early adopter of Google Friend Connect and was out to build a list in Gmail early on, I had many mutual friends in the eyes of Google.

When you become mutual friends in any of the Google applications: GFC widgets, Gchat, Google Lattitude, you are automatically added, your Gmail address that is, to each other’s Gmail contacts list.

Now as a social marketer, I think that is cool, however from an email standpoint, getting your email to the Inbox is how you make money. What easier way is there than getting you visitors to friend you thru a GFC widget?

Then Google does you work for you! There is also no whitelisting process for email delivery in Gmail and no public FBL (feed back loop) for receiving spam button click complaints. These are the basic necessities we use as emailers to keep getting our email delivered.

Google has replaced this process by using levels of trust. I am just theorizing here so I cannot say this is fact and we will never know if it is.

Google levels of trust

Level of trust #1.Let’s say you have joined my site thru the GFC widget on your right. Then Google would definitely deliver email from that site to your Gmail inbox. Since it was YOU who established the relationship.

Level of trust #2. Let’s say that you and I are mutual friends made through GFC and now have each others address in our Gmail contacts. I would say our emails to each other would definitely get delivered.

Level of trust #3. Let’s say that I have sent you a chat invitation and you have accepted and we now both show in each others chat widget. I would say this is an even higher indicator that our emails to each other should go directly to the Inbox.

Level of trust #4. Let’s say you have sent me a Google Latitude request and you and I now share our locations at what ever level in Google Latitude. I would hazard to say that our emails are DEFINITELY going to land in each others Inbox at this point.

Can you see how Google is using what normally is a social site to better deliver what we want all want? I don’t know about you but I want NO SPAM and I want my EMAIL NOW, not after searching the spam folder for an hour.

This only happens when you use a Gmail address. You only get the advantage of these social features when you use a Gmail address to log into Google applications like Google Lattitude. So go get one. If you do not understand how to set up Google Friend Connect properly you can get my FREE Google Friend Connect Tutorial here and watch my Google Friend Connect YouTube Channel here.

Gmail Breaks AWeber Tracking Links

AWeber links are breaking in Gmail due to an unknown line break

The reason I caught this was one of my subscribers replied to my email on an unrealted issue after I sent an email to my Google Friend Connect list with a new update on what Google is really doing.


Just got off the phone with an AWeber admin and we could not replicate the broken URL from emails from my AWeber list to my Gmail address.

AWeber assured me that they go to extreme lengths to make sure the tracking links never get truncated. We believe that it was a keystroke on the part of my Gmail subscriber. We shall see and we will be monitoring this closely.

If any of you can replicate the broken string from your accounts then please let me know and AWeber as well. I will publish any screen shots you care to send and link to any of your own blog posts.

Tom Kulzer just emailed me and assured me that this was a line break introduced by the sender. For the moment we cannot replicate the string truncation.

More tomorrow and I will keep you up to date. This is one time I am glad to very possibly be wrong. – Chris Lang

I checked it at all possible resolutions down to 800 X 600 and it breaks in the same place.

I am sure it is due to a querystring length because no matter the screen resolution the AWeber click tracking link breaks in the same place ever time.

This screen shot is taken at 1280 X 1024 and is full size as it would be in my browser. You can click the image to see the full size screen shot of the Gmail email body center column.

Here it is at 800 pixels wide and it breaks in the same place.

I am sending Tom Kulzer a link to this today and I will publish his response to me if he allows me to.

If AWeber responds on their own site I will link to it and send you all an email to the fix (hopefully).

For now I am not going to be using the redirect links and simply linking without tracking to my landing pages.

Facebook Blocked as Phishing Site in Firefox and Chrome

Facebook listed as a phishing site. Why?

The following domain is now listed as a phishing site by Google chrome and Firefox.

Facebook blocked as phishing

UPDATE:Just in, TechCrunch just reported that Safari is now listing Facebook as a suspicious site too. You can read their article in the trackback in comments where they linked to this artilce. (Cheers! Robin Wauters, thanks for the link…)

This is actually a Facebook domain. By adding this domain to your list of trusted sites in Internet Explorer you will no longer have problems with Facebook. Currently Internet Explorer is not listing it as a phishing site in it’s database. Could this be because Microsoft has $260,000,000 invested in Facebook?

Basically the only way to use Facebook is to use Internet Explorer because they do not seem to be blocking it right now.

I am trying to get to the bottom of the Phishing RBL now, I am already taking this up with Trend Micro to make sure this does not spread. Trend Micro blocking my site made me quite an authority on Phishing filters and URL RBLs.

Currently the phishing filter used by Firefox does not list as a phishing site and neither does Internet Explorer anti Phishing filter. Don’t know where this blocking is coming from but I want to know as someone who cannot wait to implement Facebook Connect.

After a Google search here is why Facebook runs JavaScript on another domain:

There are a few reasons; one of the posts added the additional domain lookup, but that only needs to happen once. What happens instead, is that a browser has a built in limit of 2 connections per domain. This means that if you have a lot of external content (CSS style sheets, Javascript, images, etc) you’re limited to load two at any given time. By adding an extra domain, you double that amount of items you can be downloading concurrently. There were some various experiments done, and it was found that 2-3 was generally the best you could squeeze out.

The link to the information about CDNs was provided — companies like Akamai have servers placed strategically around the world and use some DNS voodoo to have localized requests directed to their servers nearest to the request. This means that you can download the data faster.

Another reason is about bandwidth. Facebook (and all sorts of other sites where you have to login) track all sorts of information about you in cookies. Every request you make to a site, all of those cookies get passed around. This can add up very quickly. By having a domain that isn’t just a subdomain (ie, like, each request isn’t burdened with the additional cookies and thus minimizes the bandwidth required on the request (you transmit less, so it’s faster; they receive less so it’s faster and cheaper [since they pay for all that in and out bandwidth])

I’m sure there could be even more reasons, but those are the main ones AFAIK.

This puts a real damper of the launch of Facebook Connect.

I will keep updating this post as news breaks on this. Either the Facebook domain was hacked or this is something odd, I have not seen this occur before.

UPDATE:Facebook says the blocking has been cleared in the Facebook Forum. This is the same place I tried to warn Facebook that this was a possibility. The other developers said:

“This is some pretty tinfoil hat sounding stuff.”

I happen to like the way my monitor reflects off my tin foil hat, what’s it to ya?

Microsoft IE 7 Anti Phishing Filter – Is Internet Explorer Blocking Your Site?

Microsoft Anti Phishing Filter in Internet Explorer 7 Can Display False Positive Warnings. Here is how you can tell if you are being blocked by a Internet Explorer Anti Phishing False Positive Warning

In a further effort to help legitimate businesses, here is how you can tell you have a Microsoft Internet Explorer 7 or 8 blocking your site issue.

I am going to do a series of articles on exact terms that someone that was in my position with a anti virus false positive phishing entry so you can hopefully find this article and begin to clear your name.

This is about the only way you will be able to tell that an anti virus is blocking your site. The real problem occurs when your listing in the AV database spreads to other major networks.

Google Analytics Saved my Butt

You can tell that Internet Explorer is blocking your site if you have goal conversions set up in Google analytics. Check to see if you are selling any products to visitors using Internet Explorer 7.

If you have some type of block in a database it will be possibly consumed by the IE 7 anti phishing filter database and you will have almost 0 sales occurring in Internet Explorer. At the same time you will have a way higher sales success rate in Firefox.

That is the only thing that saved me was finding that FF had a 14% sales success rate and IE had a 0.26% rate.

This is not guessing on my part. This is the findings of the Trend Micro investigation.

Sudden drops in newsletter subscribe rates, abandoned payments, email click thru rates and sales in general are all indicative of this kind of blocking.

The only reason I got a few emails delivered was that I was highly whitelisted in Gmail due to my Google social network friends list.

Please tell anyone you know to look into this so that this does not happen to them. If I can help anyone do not hesitate to call me.

Still alive and kicking,
– Chris Lang

Trend Micro blocking my site, my PayPal forms, my URLs, Emails & Trend Micro Spam Filters

Due to Trend Micro blocking my site, my PalPal redirect forms, my emails in Trend Micro spam filters and my URLs in emails and web traffic requests I can now advise you on how not to make this mistake. Don’t let this happen to you.

Trend Micro will block your site in the browser, block your web traffic at the server level, your URLs in any emails and send your emails to the Trend Micro spam folder if you make the mistakes that I did. It was not Trend Micro’s fault, my payment software or anything I did. Trend Micro blocked me because I was at the wrong place at the wrong time.

NOTE: This is NEW information that no one else has. Read this thourghly!

When Trend Micro blocked my site

In September Jennifer Horowitz sent a recommendation of my product, Social Marketing book to her email list. We had a very poor response rate and and I began to think her email was not getting past spam filters.

Then one of her subscribers sent me this screen shot of Trend Micro wrongly blocking my site.

Click the image to see it full size, this will shock you.

image of trend micro blocking my site in the browser

I was stupid enough to ignore this and simply believed it was a very minor issue due to the redirect to PayPal in my payment software. Big mistake. More like a $20,000 mistake.

Trend Micro is currently the most purchased Window software there is as reported by Cnet just last week.

As time went by it got WAY worse. More and more payment attempts were being abandoned and comments on my blog and email click thru rates plummeted. Two three week periods passed without a sale and I began to really worry. At the same time my mind really went to work on this.

Meanwhile I was using all the skills I have to track down what I believed was a new spam filter blocking my emails. I enlisted the aid of even more experienced email pros to help me and they could not find the source. Neither could my GoDaddy host or AWeber, my email list provider. No bounce messages, no FBL reports, no nothing.

That was when I began to think it was a client side spam filter and something new to boot.

Then about a week ago I remembered the screen shot, in the end that Trend Micro blocking screen shot was my savoir.

Trend Micro says and Chris Lang are innocent of any phishing, undesirable, dangerous or malicious activity or wrong doing.


Just saw you called sorry I am in a meeting on various things at the moment. Either way I figured I would email you as I saw your email this morning when I logged on. I quickly read over the questions but will go over in more detail later and answer those that I can for you.

As for our analyses of your URLs we found no malicious activity so it looks to just be a False Positive.

The two entries that we found for being blocked where from the web traffic on our side the weird part is we only see the 2 and without the logs from an actual user we can’t determine what exactly happened.

For your blog you can put that it was a false positive by Trend Micro and that we have verified that no malicious activity was found.

Again I will go through each question a little later and reply to those that I can.

This is the email I received back today.

Below is the synopsis of what the next phone conversation produced. I want to stress that these are facts as told to me by my Trend Micro contact in charge of the team that investigated the blocking.

Why did Trend Micro block my site and how can you avoid it

First off the best indicator of something going on are subscribers clicking the spam button in web email. Why are they doing that? Because they just saw a big freakin huge banner like the screen shot above. What else are they going to do when their anti virus software just screamed and yelled at them to never go to your site again?

After 8 straight days of working 20 hours a day, today, October 27th, I have gotten to the bottom of why Pc Cillin warnings were displayed and Trend Micro Internet Security and Trend Micro anti virus blocked my site.

I just got off the phone with my Trend Micro contact. was flagged in the browser, in Internet Explorer 6 or 7 and blocking began.

At that point my site and payment forms were reviewed by Trend Micro.

Due to a unsecured form, submitting to my server, then redirecting to a PayPal CGI bin URL my site was deemed indicative of a Phishing site and blocking occurred.

This did create global blocking of my domain at both the server level and the end users of all Trend Micro Internet Security products.

Any email with my URL in it was blocked by TM and possibly Yahoo, Gmail and Microsoft, both at the browser and email server level.

Also any web traffic passing through a data center with Trend Micro filtering software installed would have blocked the traffic right there too. This may be why so many of my emails never arrived.

Any http request from a browser resulted in the screen shot image being displayed.

Any traffic crossing the Trend Micro server level software resulted in the request not being passed and the request to my server was not completed. In other words if a link to my site was clicked it would not result in the request either going thru to my server and no HTML would be displayed.

No footprint of this blocking is visible in server logs because the http request (http link click) was denied at either the home user end client or at the server leval. So, even if you do pull your server logs there is not footprint to show that you are serving lots of pages and getting no browser page views.

It would do no good to pull server logs because no request for a page would ever make it to the server.

Trend Micro is looking into if they will release numbers as to the end user blocking numbers for

Basically I am going to have to pick myself up, dust myself off, learn from this and move the heck on.

TM does agree and is willing to suggest that using any HTML form that is submitting to any payment provider without using HTTPS protocols will draw the ire of anti phishing software. This also means Microsoft Internet Explorer anti phishing filters.

What can you do if Trend Micro PC Cillin blocks your site?

Step #1

First of all, I now have extreme knowledge of this and can check your site to see if it is blocked. To learn how to get your site unblocked and protect your new sites from being blocked, I have detailed instructions at this link.

If you are being blocked I can navigate thru the process of getting and investigation started and if you are innocent, get the blocking removed. Do not email me to death just to see if the site is blocked. If you experiencing problems I will help you.

Step #2

First of all, stop sending any emails with your domain URLs in it, don’t send any email to your email lists and pull access to any payment forms.

If someone tries to buy and gets a phishing warning you have just lost any possibility of a future sale.

If your list gets an email from you and anyone has seen the phishing warning on a previous visit you can bet your last dollar they are going to mark your email as spam and any others they may get.

Lost sales now are nothing compared to losing most of your list and further email blocking. I did not catch this early enough on and lost a list with 2500 hard earned subscribers on it.

Currently there is no feedback loop from Trend Micro and my contacts tell me they are considering adding this so that we are directly contacted should a new script on our site suddenly trip a Trend Micro red flag.

You will also want to keep your hosting provider in the loop so that there are no issues with your domain or site. Call them and create a help desk case number. Then email the abuse@YOUR HOSTING address and document every step of the way using the case number. It can come in handy if anyone sends false accusations their way.

Save every email, document everything and keep records of everything that occurs.

Step #3

If you are using payment forms generated by IPN scripts that submit to PayPal for payment then get them changed to using HTTPS protocols in the form tag. Don’t worry about forms created by PayPal, they are sending to PayPal URLs. The problem lies in forms that submit to your domain and then the server redirects to PayPal. That is what started my tale of woe.

You will need to add a SSL certificate to your site and your host can take care of this for you. Just give them a call.

Step #4

Then we will need to get Microsoft, Yahoo and Gmail to remove any blocking as well.

I can get this underway for you as well.

Step #5

Once you get this cleared up and your site free of any negative indicators you can resume mailing to your list and you should be in good shape. I am.

I do want to thank Paul Myers who kept me calm and supplied great ideas to get through out this. Above all he told me to handle myself professionally and calmly.

I want to thank John McGowan who dealt with the yelling and screaming portion of this little odyssey.