About Erik Dolson

Erik Dolson is a writer living in Oregon

Passing on the inside

By Erik Dolson

Over the July 4th weekend, my qualifying run on Friday morning at the Pacific Northwest Historics in Seattle felt pretty good. I was glad I’d practiced the day before, and had done a few sessions the month before in karts. Maybe I hadn’t lost it.

Okay, so I was on old tires, and not as smooth as I could be, and hadn’t quite figured out the new exit at Turn 3B. They’d repaved half the track, and some parts felt different. Different grip, different line. But overall, it felt pretty good.

Until the time sheets came out: I’d qualified 9th.

9th.

Two seconds behind cars I’d been several seconds faster than for years. Read more…

Getting there

By Erik Dolson

In Portland, I moved the car forward about two inches in the trailer. That seemed to settle it down as I drove north on I5 toward the track in Seattle. Getting the weight distributed on the trailer axles, and the hitch of my 8,000 pound Excursion, was a balancing act.

I thought I had it right last year, when I moved the car back the same damn two inches.

Google Maps said it would take about two hours, forty-five minutes to get to the track. That seemed about right. I’d be there just before 1 p.m., drop the trailer, get set up for the Pacific Northwest Historic race. Practice on Thursday, race over the weekend. I’d been in the kart a few times, but not raced in almost a year. Read more…

And So It Begins

By Erik Dolson

Cowboy was already at the garage when I got there. Mule was finishing up his car, I call her “Ruby” because of the fantastic paint job, she’s a jewel.

“Hey, do you know anybody who works on transmissions?” I asked Cowboy. The automatic in the Ford I use to tow Yellowjacket to races had been acting up, making a spinning noise with maybe a metal on metal screech.

“Call Gitterdone,” he said. “He’s having the transmission done on his Dodge. He researched all of them, and says the shop he found is the best.”

That’s the thing about gear head Big Bore Bad Boys, and probably all the others too, in different cars, Porsches and BMWs and Lotuses and such. They’ll all be in Seattle over Fourth of July weekend, running in what may be still the premier vintage road race in the Pacific Northwest. We race against each other out on the track, but help each other get there, too.

“It’s the people, as much or even more than the racing,” Cowboy said to me once. He’s right, but then, he usually is.

But it’s the racing that has had me researching brake compounds for three weeks, trying to find a brake package that will stop a 3,000 pound car doing 160 miles an hour in time to make a 90 degree right turn, followed by a 130 degree hairpin left.

Oh, you can always stop, if you put the brakes on soon enough. But a good portion of racing, or at least winning, is in putting the brakes on as late as you possibly can, just at the moment when you know it’s too late and are about to spin the car into the fence or into another car or just bust through the turn and sit there waiting for a chance to get back on the track and finish behind those you wanted to beat.

We’ve all done it. Cowboy more than most, but that’s just a matter of style. “The crowd loves it,” he says. It’s also because he has crammed more motor under the hood than the tires can stand, but that’s another story.

It’s the racing that has had many building new engines over the winter, new transmissions, finding something lighter to replace something heavier. Because we want to beat those other racers. But we want to beat them out on the track. If somebody breaks something they don’t have a spare for in the trailer, someone else is likely to give them what they need for the weekend.

It’s the racing that has me trying to find brakes that don’t fade away at the end of a race when I need them the most. I call others to see what they’re using. This time, the answers are not so easy to come by. This has to do with being out there on the track, and we all have our secrets. We all want to win.

It’s weird, in a way. The guys who are toughest to beat are the ones I trust the most. Let’s face it, it takes trust to drive through a kink in the track at 160 mph, concrete dividers on either side, with another car so close you could open his door if you dared take your hand off the wheel. I trust who they are, trust their ability.

For sure, I won’t do that with every driver out there, and not even with every front runner, because for some, how they win isn’t as important as winning. But I will with most, because I trust them.

That’s one of the things I love most about this sport. That contradiction right there. That we’ll do what we can to beat everyone out there who wants to beat us just as bad, but we’ll do what we can so that  they can be out there, too.

It’s why at this time of year my heart beats a little faster, my priorities change, why I spend more time thinking about how to spend money on chunks of screaming steel than I do on how to make that money in the first place.

It’s not about prize money, there isn’t any. It’s not about bragging rights, those fade too fast. I suppose it might be about proving ourselves, but only to ourselves, because we don’t care that much about what others think.

We do it because it’s not just what we do, it’s part of who we are. It’s all of it. Finding the parts, making hard decisions, being with friends, spending the money, competing to be the best. It’s stupid fast speeds in cars 50 years old that were never designed for this level of performance, painting them glorious colors, making them more than they ever were.

And, we’ll do it long past the time when we probably should have stopped.

Because it’s never enough.

Put him up against the wall!!!

By Erik Dolson

Cory Booker and Bill De Blasio have shown us their outrage. As if, somehow, that qualifies either to be president. It worked for Trump, so perhaps it would work for them.

But using outrage as a weapon is like using a grenade in hand-to-hand combat. (I suggest this song to Donald Trump, Cory Booker and Bill DeBlasio).

You see, last week Joe Biden said he used to work with segregationist senators in the Senate, and he named two. Here is the actual quote:

“You go down the list of all these guys. Well guess what? At least there was some civility. We got things done. We didn’t agree on much of anything. We got things done. We got it finished,” he said. “But today, you look at the other side and you’re the enemy. Not the opposition, the enemy. We don’t talk to each other anymore.”

DeBlasio and Booker, who are running against Biden in the Democratic primary for President, sensed an opening. Booker, who is black and DeBlasio, whose wife is black, misused Biden’s comments in a display of outrage.

Taking a page right out of Donald Trump’s playbook.

DeBlasio even used the word n*gger in his response, I guess to prove his bonafides. Mr. DeBlasio, how many Democrats do you think really want four more years of a chronically outraged guy from New York as president? You’re done. Go home. And to quote a favorite ad, don’t use your family like that. It’s shameful.

Mr. Booker, Biden later said you knew better, and that outraged you, too (and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who asked what does that even mean?) It means Booker took Biden’s words out of context, making them into something they weren’t. Which is another form of the lying that we are all so tired of in America, Mr. Booker. Biden was saying you knew better than to lie, and hopefully you do. You’ll have another chance. But now you’re done. Go home.

Joe Biden is not my preferred candidate. I think Democrats can do better. I don’t mind a tough debate. But Booker and DeBlasio proved Biden’s point in their too-eager effort to capitalize on what they saw as a mistake by the front-runner.

“But today, you look at the other side and you’re the enemy. Not the opposition, the enemy. We don’t talk to each other anymore,” Biden said. He was saying that it was still possible to do the work, even when working with people with whom you didn’t agree on “much of anything.” He used the segregationists as an example of the worst.

And that brought out the worst in two who think they should be president.

Raindrops

By Erik Dolson

There are days when you just don’t want to go anywhere.

The dark blue Sunbrella “canvas” stretches over stainless steel bows to form the roof of the pilot house. When installing, we pulled it tight. A steady downpour this morning drums on the canvas with many a different cadence.

If I calm my mind, there’s a higher, softer sound as rain directly falls to the surface with a “tap.” Then, there’s a slower, heavier “twop” as larger drops drip off the sail or the backstay where they’ve sat for a moment, joined with others and gained more volume. The different drops seem to fall to the surface in clusters, or waves.

The Coho ferry bellows its arrival. Of course, the sounds that arrive at my eardrum are waves, as well.

There are errands to do. I’ve got raincoats and hats, warm socks and fleece, and could bundle up and stay dry. But the idea of venturing out of my blue house to avoid puddles and traffic, then wait for a bus to take me to the chandlery a few miles away where there are probably crowds of sailors and fishermen and boaters of all types on a Saturday …

“Twop. Tap tap tap … twop. Tap tap tap, twop. Tap tap twop, tap tap twop.”

It’s not random, the beat of the rain on the drum of my roof, transferred to the skein of my awareness. There is a pattern. But I know, too, that the brain is a pattern perception / creation machine, and will create patterns always, even where none exist.

We played with that in my 20’s, after making a diffusing glass light box with blinking Christmas lights to watch as we played Rock and Roll. Yes, drugs were involved, along with waves of laughter that followed the seemingly synchronized play of light and music. I’ve observed how light changes, within and without, at different times of the year; suffered from patterns of my own creation when rebuffed, brimmed with joy when embraced with no explanation.

My desire to run to the chandlery instead of working on the novel is part of a pattern. I run often enough to do something else rather than sit and do what I should. There are probably waves in that, as well.

“Tap tap twop, tap tap twop.”

Decades ago I worked in a salmon cannery in Bristol Bay, Alaska. I was “gas man” my first season, up whenever the incoming tide floated bow pickers and stern pickers, then wooden fishing boats that set long gill nets to drift across the Nak Nek River outflow to capture the river of salmon heading upstream to spawn, waves in a river of fish.

Another season I was tasked with cooking fish heads to make the oil that soaked the red meat of sockeye salmon in “one pound talls,” cans about four regular tuna cans tall that were sealed, stacked in racks and pushed along rollers into long retorts where they were cooked with steam. At the other end the racks of cans were pulled and taken by forklift into a giant warehouse where they cooled before labeling and boxing.

As thousands and thousands of cans cooled, the tops of cans that had popped outwards from the expansion of water into steam during the cooking, now popped back in. With a metallic but musical note. “Tink, tonk, tenk, tunk, tank, tink.”

Thousands and thousands of cans unheard except by a worker standing in a doorway watching rain pound the Nak Nek river as it poured into the sea, as salmon poured upstream under a different law of gravity, to spawn; a symphony of cans directed by air currents cooling one batch over against one wall, while a batch in another section sang together because they’d been removed from the cookers at about the same time, and near the entrance other batches with micro differences in the amount of meat or oil or water in each caused the timing of their contraction to be in sync with others of different composition.

“Tink, tonk, tenk, tunk, tank, tink.”

“Twop. Tap tap tap … twop. Tap tap tap, twop. Tap tap twop, tap tap twop.”

One of the things Jim most loved about living on a boat was that he “owned his time.” In a month or so, I will take the rest of his ashes to set adrift in a paper boat on Blind Bay, one of his favorites.

We are raindrops. Nothing more. During our vanishingly small moment in time, we sing a single note in an infinite symphony of causation, far more vast  and complex than we can ever comprehend.

This is a day to put off errands, to stay close, to listen.

Choices

by Erik Dolson

“You have to make a choice,” I told my daughter again, acutely aware of how many times I’d told her already, as if by sheer repetition the message might overwhelm whatever fear or reluctance that was holding her back.

“You need to have a plan,” I said. Again. She didn’t need another college degree, she needed a job. To jump into the river and become part of life’s flow toward whatever her future held.

“More school by itself is not a plan.” She’d heard that before, but thankfully did not roll her eyes. She’s such a good person, and so capable, I did not doubt that future would be bright. I just needed to convince her.

“I’ll help in any way that I can, but I won’t help you stay stuck in Central Oregon. I wouldn’t be doing my job,” I said, not for the first time. We’d just moved her sister to a house in Portland, she and her mother and her sister and I. From there I headed north toward the boat, with a stop in Port Townsend, always one of my favorite towns.

It was cold and windy, though, and walking about was hard in the chill off the water. After an expensive night’s sleep on the top floor of a Victorian era hotel where I slept in a room named after Miss Pearl, a prostitute who lived and loved a hundred years ago, I drove on to Anacortes and took a ferry to Friday Harbor where I’d left Foxy almost two weeks before.

When I woke on the boat on Sunday, the day was surprisingly benign. I checked the weather online, listened to the NOAA broadcast and made a quick decision to head down the Strait of Juan de Fuca to Victoria that morning, instead of waiting out the next storm due on Monday, which had been my plan.

The boat came together easily, so I cast off at about 10 am for a calm three and a half motor/sail to Victoria.  Foxy and I were well on the way out of Friday Harbor on the ebb tide, doing almost 10 knots down San Juan Channel to the turn at Cattle Point into the strait.

It was a bright and lovely day, little to do but look out for logs and watch for orca. I took a “project inventory” of what had been done on Foxy over the winter, and what remains to be done. It had been a productive, if expensive, winter.

There’s a new house on the boat. It improves life even more than I thought it would, providing another living area that is dry and bright, important up here in the Pacific Northwest. In southern waters, should I ever get there, the walls will come off and it will provide plenty of shade.

I’d just had a new fuel filter system installed in Anacortes. One wouldn’t think much technology goes into a fuel filter, a can of pleated paper, but new designs make changing them easier, with much less mess in the bilge and potentially in the environment.

I had the engine flushed at the same time; the silicate had dropped out of the coolant and collected in the bottom of the catch bottle. I realized it had been a few years and the previous job was only a partial flush because it’s hard to get a diesel engine up to operating temperature on the dock, heat necessary for the flush to do a full job..

I’d built the framework where the solar panels now hang, 1,080 watts of power to charge the batteries, and now the panels are properly wired. There’s a new wireless radar on the mast that works just as advertised, and the old one that shaded the solar panels has been sold, albeit for a pittance. The dinghy motor runs after the winter lay-up. Love them two-strokes.

The automated identification system (AIS) is installed and operational. I knew I needed one when, coming south from Alaska two summers ago, Irish and I hit that storm off the coast and a trawler suddenly appeared that I couldn’t identify and did not know if it was dragging long lines across my course.

Now I post my AIS location on Facebook when I take off from someplace, not so much because I think anyone cares that I’m out and about as to give authorities a place to start looking if I don’t show up. That’s assuming someone would be expecting me. I may need to work on that system.

There’s a new and yet another battery monitor that works with the solar panels and also gives me more information about, and maybe some control over, my batteries.

I wish I was a better electrician, but I’ve changed out the fluorescent lights in the galley and head (bathroom) for more pleasant LEDs that sip far less electricity; added a light to the pantry so my old eyes can see the difference between oats and brown rice, each in a container with a green lid, and avoid unpleasant surpises before coffee in the morning, and I added another light to the engine room so I don’t have to juggle a flashlight with my teeth to check the oil and water.

I own one LED not yet installed for the master stateroom and three more for corners in the engine room. I need two more after that, one for the closet where the life jackets hang and another for the aft stateroom. That should be good enough. We’ll see. It’s a boat.

Still not done is replacement of the propane system. That’s the last of this winter’s major projects. The hose that runs from  tanks in the stern locker is 30 years old and cloth covered, and the plumbing of that, like most of the other plumbing on the boat that I’ve removed, redesigned and reinstalled, was not done very well.

I have to change the position of the solenoid that, with a switch in the cabin, cuts off the gas. While I’m at it, I should probably swap out the old pressure regulator and old pressure gauge.

It took a week to get hold of the man I’d hope would do this work, but he’s has to fix an expensive boat that hit a log crosswise at 25 knots, damaging a whole lot below the waterline. So I’ll probably do this one myself. It may be propane, but it’s just plumbing, right?

I dropped the old lifelines off at my chandlery to be remade, tough new stainless lines around the deck to replace old vinyl covered ones that had at least a few cracks where corrosion was seeping through the covering. Lifelines are not something you want to fail when you put your weight against them, intntionally or because you lost your footing.

Oh, as soon as the weather warms a bit and I can sit comfortably on the foredeck, I have to polish the cones on the anchor windlass so the anchor falls to the bottom at a controllable rate. And install my wireless windlass control, so I can put the anchor down under power or pull it back up while I’m at the helm in back, with steering and throttle controls. That’s a consideration when single-handing a boat out in the bays and anchorages.

This is all part of the plan: Prepare the boat for this summer, and maybe next winter, too. After March surprised Central Oregon with 30 inches of snow in three days, I do NOT want to spend another winter there. No. Just no.  Maybe Mexico.

When I pulled into Victoria, docking was bit tricky. The wind pushed me away from the dock, and when neighbors came to help, I gave very poor instructions. It’s different looking down at the lines than standing on the dock looking at the boat, and I communicated poorly.

There was no damage, it was all good, but I hate being incompetent and had to give thanks and make some apologies for asking the impossible. This being Canada, apologies were gracefully accepted.  I still need to come up with a better plan, and maybe shorter lines, for docking in difficult conditions.

Afterwards, when I was sitting back with coffee, I checked in with Irish to make sure she was okay after traveling back from her dance contest in Indiana. She surprised me with news that she was getting another dog the next day, a puppy.

It was an arrow well placed. I hate it when significant news is kept from me, even when it doesn’t directly affect me. A little hangover from an unpredictable childhood, I suppose, but I had no right to question her decision, and Irish pointed this out. And that caused me to ask, what the hell, why is this an issue for me?

It took an hour or two. Her desire for a dog has been deep and long standing. Keeping her from getting a dog was a major guilt of mine last summer, when we were still together. She brought it up often, but a dog, and those responsibilities, weren’t part of the plan.

It wasn’t the tipping point in our breakup, certainly, my guilt not the dog, but it was a factor. It was something she wanted so badly, and she’d suffered so much. And I wanted a dog pretty badly myself, since I’d lost mine in the divorce, but I’d made a choice and had a boat, instead.

Her being able to get the dog she wanted should have brought me joy, but instead made me feel lonely, small and selfish, because it highlighted, or underlined, the fact that she’s not here in Victoria, and I haven’t had a dog in a good long time, either. Now that I write this, I think my childish reaction came from the realization that by acquiring this dog, she is finally ready to move on, as I have urged her to do often enough. Now I am proud of her, happy for her, but still miss her, too. I’m allowed my contradictions.

Decades ago, when I was chasing adventure around the world for a couple of years, I wrote my father that “Loneliness is the price of freedom.” Sometimes the choices are not easy, even the ones we put off as long as we can. We still choose. That’s what I’m trying to tell my daughter, we choose even when we don’t, even when we hide from the consequences.

It’s all good, I told myself after a day or two.  I’ll get the propane locker plumbed and the tank refilled, and I’ll fix the BBQ while I’m at it, install the new lifelines, and then I may just take off. That’s a decision I can make, after all.

There’s no reason to overstay in Victoria, as much as I love this place, when there are places I haven’t yet been. As I used to say, what seems like long ago, it’s time to Rock and Roll.

Fledging

by Erik Dolson

Two ducks have arrived at the pond. In years past I’ve chased them off, not wanting the mess they bring. This year I watch, wondering where they will choose to build their nest.

Tonight, my daughters and I may be having our last dinner together in this house I built 11 years ago in the middle of my divorce from their mother when they would have been about 12, maybe 13. Close enough.

They may not be feeling this as I do, and I’ve not decided if it’s fair that I share my sense of loss with them. For Kasturi, who is leaving on Friday for a new life in Portland, this is the start of her life as an adult. She never seemed as “attached” to people as her sister. I don’t doubt her love, but she’s more capable of letting go.

Sabitri is more sensitive. If the significance comes up tonight, she will shed tears. She’s the one who cried for many hours in my arms  when brought from the orphanage in the highlands of India 24 years ago. Her move will be around the beginning of June, destination as yet unknown.

But tonight, I’ll fight back tears as this moment I’ve aimed at for a long time, the fledging of my babies, arrives with a heavy load of sadness. It’s just one more tonight, I’ll tell them. You’ll be back, I’ll say. Words aimed at my own heart more than theirs. They will never be back to this house as children.

By coincidence, if there is such a thing, I’ve been talking to others recently about loss. Buddha, and Epictetus the  Greek, said suffering comes from attachment. Detachment is all well and good, and letting go in order to appreciate, but it’s sometimes hardest to let go of that which we wish not to hold.

Loss. I’d like to let go of this sense of loss. I want to see my daughters free and flying, but not have this sense of loss. I used to say that God was unfair to women, giving them maternal instinct without giving them an “off switch.” Fathers suffer, too, I find.

The ducks paddle around, seemingly content, but always moving, searching. I discovered ordinary ducks can fly under water, disappearing and popping up as far as ten feet away.

I’ve often wondered how the trauma of losing their mother five days after they were born, then the adoption and loss of their loving caregiver, and the trauma of riding down from the central highlands of India in a noisy car with huge white strangers, affected the twins.

They seem like happy, healthy adults, not too different than their peers. That they were living with their parents at age 25 is not that abnormal now, I’m told.

That neither has had a date that I know of is perhaps less normal. Did the tumult of the divorce, or that of my relationships following, cause dysfunction? Social exclusion during middle and high school? Or maybe they just don’t share everything with Dad.

K.C. has been living in her mother’s home, Sabitri in mine, for the last several months. I’d pushed to separate them, believing that their dynamic as twin sisters kept them from maturing into their separate “selves.” And they are very different.

They blossom, now. They seem to be facing life without huge fear, certainly without the damage many others have suffered. If they’re a little closed, even to each other, perhaps that’s health, not evidence of harm.

The ducks leave during the day. I don’t think there’s enough growth in the pond to feed them, let alone a brood. Spring grasses have not perked above the soil, and there’s not much cover or safety from coyotes.

After dinner tonight, K.C.will head back to her mom’s to keep preparing for Friday’s move. I told her last night she should pack up things from her bedroom here, as well. She told me she had planned to that today, since she was coming over for dinner anyway.

“Anyway.”

It’s obvious dinner tonight will be more significant for me than for her, and maybe for her sister. Their lives stretch out before them. I can easily see that at my age and given my adventures, this dinner could be our last. As they separate from each other and leave this home, I can easily believe it will be for the last time.

It will be, at least, the last time in this life as it is, as it was, as it has been.

And as much as it hurts, that’s how it must be.

AOC lays it out there

By Erik Dolson

Many of you believes Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is a socialist. Okay, I’d argue even she may not know if that’s true in the literal, economic / political sense, and that labels don’t matter.

Many of you chide her for the Green New Deal. Okay, let’s set our sights much lower, maybe on the old gray deal which is the legacy we’re leaving our children. Ashes to ashes, dust to dust.

Many of you are tuning in to the pernicious videos and memes spread by the Koch Brothers and Hannity and Marathon Oil that AOC not real. That she’s an actress parroting the words of other people. Okay, let’s pretend she’s an agent under Soros’ mind control.

Okay. So watch this. It won’t change your mind, but maybe, possibly, just might give you something to think about.

I repeat: AOC is becoming one of the more important voices in American politics.

Did Boeing hide a problem?

By Erik Dolson

How is it that communist China moved more quickly to protect their flying public by grounding the Boeing 737 Max than the Federal Aviation Administration moved to protect Americans? Why did the FAA wait until world condemnation drowned out their excuses?

It could not be because Boeing has the second largest lobbying budget in America, after AT&T, right? I mean, no company would put profit ahead of safety, right? Not here in America, where the free market all but guarantees that each and every company puts the welfare of customers over the bottom line, every time.

Like drug makers. Or insurance companies. Or Goldman Sachs. Monsanto. Though they might be tempted, they just wouldn’t.

But … Boeing? Boeing wouldn’t even be tempted, even after their move out of Seattle to Chicago.

Even as Republicans are ever more successful at dismantling agencies that protect Americans from corporate greed, there are limits to what those companies would allow, right?  Lead in drinking water? If you can’t taste it, you can ignore it. Pesticides and herbicides causing cancer? Wear thicker socks. Lethal paint strippers sold in Home Depot? Hold your breath during application. Air polution? Lower standards because Big Oil profits are threatened by electric cars!

Boeing 737s falling out of the air? We’ll wait for more information, the accidents look similar but may not be, pilots had concerns some time ago and we at Boeing were listening and apologizing! We were also making LOTS of MONEY but you need to believe us when we tell you that Safety is Our Number One Concern!

There was a time when heads of Japanese companies would commit suicide over disgracing their company and nation for acts similar to this. There was a sense of honor, and consequently, a belief in dishonor. Had Boeing done the honorable thing and immediately and voluntarily grounded its own fleet and admitted it failed to adequately inform and then train pilots in new systems, and possibly had a design flaw in their money making work horse, I’d applaud the company and government oversight.

But Boeing didn’t do that, and neither did the FAA. There was so much mistrust that the watchdog had been captured by the wolf that Ethiopia, site of the second crash (just a “shithole” country according to the man standing on the desk in the oval office and sending out scream-tweets), would not send the plane’s data recorders to the U.S. for analysis, but opted for France (home of Airbus) instead. We are definitely Making America Great Again.

Who at Boeing is responsible for decisions that led to the deaths of over 300 people in two aircraft accidents? Which executive made the call on limited training, on silence, on pretending that a software kludge made up for bad engine placement? Which engineer raised his or her hand and said, “This is not right.” We need names.

What communication occurred between Boeing and the FAA after each accident? What internal communications occurred within Boeing? Who wrote what to whom? It’s time for subpoenas. It’s long past time that we held individuals responsible for corporate malfeasance, and stopped slapping a corporate wrist. We need names.

There are executives at Wells Fargo who still have jobs, long after “new accounts managers” were fired for not foisting enough fake services on unsuspecting bank customers. We never got names.

But … Boeing?

If this is as bad as it seems, without parsing words or the utterance of greasy little excuses, it will be time for heads to roll, time for some executives to fall on their swords.