The Top 25: How its Calculated

The work that goes into bringing you the Top 25 each week is more than just fan voting. It covers a significant portion of it which is what makes your participation so important for your favorite band or artist. When I first began it as a Top 10 I wanted listeners to take part, and make sure that their voices were being heard.

Like so many other things with others I wasnt happy with some of the charts others were presenting. One station on a week to week had an artist one week at #5 than the following week they werent on their Top 25 anf two weeks later they suddenly appeared at #4. I have no idea how that one is put together.

Another national chart that i at one time took part in i discovered was operated by someone who also promotes Indie Artists. As part of his package he sells he promises to work to get you on the charts. On this particular Top 50 they averaged 40% of the songs on the chart were artists he was promoting. There was no transparency despite the fact hundreds of us submitted our charts that were than used to compile the main list.

So i created mine in such way that i can explain it and if you desire show you my spreadsheet that has all my built in calculators etc. Every week i sit down and add the voting results in to start in a process that usually takes an hour to 90 minutes to complete.

Your voting accounts for 80 percent of the total in the points process. Lets begin with if your favorite band gets 500 votes they dont get 500 points. In my system points are based on finishing position.

Artists that are on the chart already are asigned points in the same manner, the higher they are on the list the higher the point value. This done to ensure consistency week to week. Without this someone could get the most votes in their first week of voting and theoretically be able to start at the number 1 position.

These points are totalled and than 80% of that total is taken. This represents the fan portion of the system, as voting does account for all positions. At this point the station portion cones into play. When I say station I of course mean myself though I am looking to hire and expand. The 20% that the station points account for include a number of items that are taken into account.

At this point i will say that I wont tell you all of them so that people dont have the opportunity to manipulate what I am looking at. I consider 5 different items and than add my 20% to the other total.

The final numbers that come out represents when sorted highest to lowest the next Top 25. You will see the greatest movement when fans vote big one week but not the next for a song. But that is why it is in the hands of the fans. There are built in safeguards to the voting and you can vote once a day for your favorite artist.

The biggest item in all of this is fairness and transparency. If everyone plays fair it works great. When people figure a way around the system, than we have to decide whether to.just eliminate votes or even disqualify an artist in a worst case scenario. Thankfully in the history of the chart I’ve never had to make that decision. That is because Indie music fans are the best.

Any questions dont hesitate to ask.

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Politics, Religion and Music?

There are many people who know me be it personally or on some level that know that when it comes to these three basic subjects I have a pretty hard-lined opinion. The best thing is, of course, we are all entitled to our opinion. Unless of course, your opinion is different from outspoken minority or other groups. That is a topic for another blog and mostly I don’t care what people think. I believe we are all entitled to our own opinions. I believe we are entitled to express those opinions as we see fit within the law and as long as it doesn’t infringe on the rights of others. So let’s begin with a very basic opinion of mine.

I am not a huge fan of politics mixing with music, but it depends on how that is handled. I have had music submissions from artists that are politically based, completely ripping a current leader in one country or another. I am sure in their minds it is a great way of self-expression, but where should the line be drawn with music like this?

As a music programmer, I believe that once you open the door it’s too late to try and close it back up. If I was to program a song that is against one political party or person, then by rights I cannot refuse a song that promotes that same group or person.

As a Canadian, I often refer to the past couple of years with our neighbors to the South in the United States. In their last Presidential Election, the vote was very near a 50/50 split across the country for and against the winner. This creates a problem as an on-air host that if I were to use the President, as an example only, for comedy material or to express disdain then I can immediately offend 50% of the potential listeners in the United States. The same goes in reverse if I applaud and point out all of the great things I alienate or potentially upset the other 50%.

It doesn’t matter the country or the leaders but the result is the same. Two of the biggest hot button topics are politics and religion. Let’s face it, how many wars have been started in the name of religion?

This doesn’t mean I won’t say something controversial along the way but I will avoid those subject like the plague. You always risk alienating people when it comes to controversial subjects or even some that aren’t. I don’t worry about upsetting people in general, it’s not something I go out of my way to try to do, but apart from a couple of topics, I am not worried about discussing something.

I don’t just follow this practice with my station and on-air shows, but also with my social media and personal accounts as well for the most part. When I am on social media and I find Facebook is the worst, I don’t want to spend time reading about your politics or religion. I get a lot of request for friends and followers, especially from musicians. When I have a few minutes sometimes I might check an account on FB so that I can see and hopefully learn a bit about them and their music. When I open their profile and the last 7 or 8 posts are “pro-Trump or Anti Trump”, as an example I just unfollow them. I applaud your patriotism and your right to your opinion, however, I care about music. That’s all!

I find the same thing with religion. My beliefs are mine and mine alone, to share with who I choose, but not like this. The same kind of example as before, I have opened profiles of musicians and scrolled and scrolled and only found quotes from Psalms or somewhere else. Not even finding anything related to their music in a couple of cases. Once again I am interested in the music. Now artists that identify as Christian Music have had music played on the station before, have so right now and will continue to do so. Songs in this genre are judged based on how they will fit within the format and playlist of the station.

I do need to make sure everyone understands something. Nowhere here, except in the one case have I talked about not playing music from some artists. If I choose to unfollow someone it doesn’t mean I won’t play their music, it just means I have no interest in reading their views. You should also note I don’t unfollow or block if someone posts the occasional comment. Like I said, in the beginning, we all are entitled to our opinions, however, it’s the way it happens.

The one thing that can be “funny” maybe is to sometimes read the posts before I unfollow. A recent Christian Singer, their title not mine, made a political post which some would call patriotic, but I considered to be the most uncaring and Non Christian thing I had read in some time The hypocrisy of it all was beyond laughable, to read such hateful and disgusting words that wished the death of children on a specific group. I have held off playing their music for the time being. That is beyond being just an opinion, and I am hesitant to be associated in any way at all with this person.

In the past, I had written about a theory I have used for years on how I look at and see public perception. It is something that goes back to early television and radio ratings when the Neilson company used to send out diaries for people to write in and record their viewing and listening habits. How does that pertain to the main subject of this blog you ask. Well over the years they perfected a system before computers that worked based on averages. There was no way to send a diary to every single person and even if they did not everyone would complete them. So they sent them to people who wanted to fill them out and discovered that basically, 1 complete diary was going to equate to the same as 10,000 completed diaries as an example. It was accurate to something like 3 or 4 percent which is pretty damn good and meant they had a pretty solid analysis of viewing and listening habits of millions of people by only needing thousands of diaries completed.

So let me ask you this simple question today. I follow this same basis for many of my operations and if it’s accurate when you get a compliment or a complaint it probably represents the opinion of more than just that one person. In that case, this idea of mine isn’t unique to me. Likely there are thousands of others that feel the same way.

Heres the bottom line, whether you run a radio station, are a DJ, a musician or whatever. Do you want to be successful? Would you like to have as many people possible hear your music or show etc? If you answered yes then why would you take the chance of alienating? The whole world seems to have sensitivity issues these days and you can’t think about farting without offending someone it seems. That’s not what this is about. It’s about going out of one’s way when it’s not necessary. It’s about making a choice that can be a factor today and every day for the rest of your life and affect your career. Just ask Kevin Hart.

I am not perfect and say controversial things because it just happens. But I will take care of the things I can take care of as far as the topics discussed. So if you were following me and vice versa and suddenly find yourself off that list, you may have an answer as to why. If you were blocked well that is something entirely different. 

KB Around the world..guess how far we reach & how NOT to submit music. 2 for 1 Today

I was reading some information a couple weeks ago about another internet station, and the more I read, the more it sounded like KB Radio and everything I have been working on. I mean right down to the adding of more stations, and truthfully I think its even possible they copied some of my dialogue to save writing it themselves. Yes once again, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, but personally I just get sick of the lack of originality in people any more. I do wish them well, only in the sense that they do play indie artists, and any exposure for the independent artist is good. With all of that said as I read on, I looked at the track record, and thought to myself, that it was good that they promoted themselves, and patted themselves on the back. I was wondering with all of the time off that I had taken just how it had affected the KB Radio listeners, and I was pleasantly surprised.

This is the point that I need to apologize to listeners for being that way. I have often said I have the best listeners on the planet, and therefor I should not have been surprised. Further to that I looked at the KB Country listeners and was truly surprised. But before I get to all of that information I want to share with you some email exchanges, without going into the specifics of who, about just the kind of issues that are created in music submissions.

On November 15th I received and email with submissions from a promoter, with a total of seven song titles and artists attached. The problem right away was that the music itself wasn’t actually attached, it was 7 links to Youtube videos of the music. Now as anyone who has submitted or has read my previous blog about submitting music, blog, you will know that I ask that this not be done in this manner due to the time it takes etc. In this case, I clicked the first link for some reason, even though I swore I would ignore emails like this, and the song I heard was fantastic. One of the things that I have discovered with a number of promoters is that if you find they have one great artist or band, than two, they have an entire lineup of solid musicians and music. So I did the unthinkable and clicked the second link. Once again, a great song, and so I worked my way through all seven tracks. A normal email like that I would open all seven attachments at once, and listen one at a time. If the song was going to be aired I would save it with the appropriate tags etc, and if not, save it to a file. This might normally take about 10 to 15 minutes for seven songs. By the time I clicked all the links and waited for each one to load, plus all the usual commercial bullshit on YouTube it was 30 minutes to process one email. Please remember at the end of the email, I now sent a reply asking them to submit the music, at which time when I got it, coincidentally all 7 songs, I would spend another 10 to 15 minutes on the process again.

I sent an email referring to my blog and explaining my reasons, and they stated it was against their policy to include in the first email attachments as these were generally viewed as spam. They would be happy to send over any music as MP3’s once I have reviewed and requested. Another reply indicating I would like to get all seven songs, plus letting them know I was disappointed by their policy. I requested that in case like mine where they knew they would be reviewed promptly etc they could maybe change that practice and send them as attachments, to which I of course got a flat no.

When I did finally get the email with the music it was now November 24th, the day I reviewed the music was the day the songs would have started playing on KB, but they have their policy, and despite my own words and blog, these were 7 really top notch songs. I got 6 of the 7 songs, 3 as MP3 attachments and 3 as links to Google Drive which when I clicked did not open, and just hung my mail program, never once even opening my browser. When I tried to copy and pasted, it hung both my browser (Firefox) and my email. When I say hung, I had to do a forced closure to even open another email each time.

I than sent another email indicating the problem with the links, and waited to hear from the promoter. It was approximately 2 weeks later when I still had not received a reply so I sent yet another email clarifying that it was the link that was bad and could they resend. It was on the 20th of December, now 5 weeks after the original email, and I got the following response. “Unfortunately those are the only files we have and they work fine on our end. Thank you anyway! ”    

I only asked for a new link, that’s all. I have lost track of the amount of time spent on this, which is my problem, because I said I wouldn’t do it again. I wish I could say these types of communications back and forth are unique, but they happen once in a while, and to me, once is more than enough. I won’t name the promoter, or the artists or the songs. I will say though if I was an artist who had this promoter working for me I would be so pissed off, that not only did they miss an opportunity for some major airplay with great world wide coverage, but in the end, the promoter just blew me off!

The end result is this. This promoter has a solid policy, and so do I. As of today, the rest of their music won’t be heard on KB Radio unless they submit music as attachments up front, and I apologize to those indie artists, that you are dealing with people who don’t give a damn apparently. I gave them the benefit of some latitude and damned if they didn’t waste my time and 7 Indie artists as well. If you want to disagree with me, go ahead. You can set your policies, just like I do, but some times you need to work around things for the benefit of everyone. These Independent artists work very hard, so I do my best to promote and play as many as I can. I also if you’ve never read any of my blogs before am not some jerk off wanna be in his basement playing Disk Jockey. My stats show that, so at this point that’s the other reason for the blog, the stats.

So I was reviewing my website, and station server information etc to see where my listeners are located. I am proud and humbled by the numbers as always and beyond thrilled to share with you that KB Radio now has listeners in 123 Countries around the world. KB Country Radio which I have been working hard to redesign the rotation and adjust the playlist is now heard in 50 Countries around the world. The total listeners directly off the kbradio.ca website is down a bit, but that is to be expected. LOL Down a bit, some people might not think this is a bit, but its down about 50, 000 listeners for the year.

So 2019 is just days away, and I and KB Radio are coming at you stronger than ever. For those artists and promoters who submit, and are uncooperative, I can’t do anything about that, except, ignore you and not play your music. But don’t worry, I won’t run short of great Indie Music, my Inbox for music submissions is a bit behind, but I will catch up. By the way the email is live@ kbradio.ca When I say a bit behind, it has 529 emails in it as of right this moment.

You ask can I back all these numbers and claims up. HELL YES! I wouldn’t make them if I couldn’t. Heres a couple screen captures for you;

2018 stats just from website
2017 stats just from website
Email verification

You see, I don’t want you to think I am blowing smoke up your skirt.

One final thought, its a real shame about the music from that promoter, and I will never understand why they didn’t ever send the 7th song, but than again, I don’t know why some people get out of bed either. All they do is bitch and complain, not inferring this promoter.

Happy New Year to Everyone.

Al

“Baby It’s Cold Outside”, Yes We’ve Finally Gone Too Far

     By now everyone has heard about the radio stations that are not playing the Dean Martin classic “Baby Its Cold Outside”.  There is all kinds of other stupidity and ignorance like this going on with the classic Christmas TV show Rudolf The Red Nosed Reindeer and others.  Now before anyone starts to get their knickers in a bunch, this has nothing to do with being opposed to the #metoo movement, racial profiling, or whatever these loud mouthed groups are claiming.  When #metoo came out it stood for something meaningful, but now its like a runaway freight train barreling down a mountain.  There has to be some limit but it seems in today’s society, with the freedom to express ourselves, as I am doing now, we can be as stupid as we want, offend whoever, and not give a damn how many people we upset as long as our agenda is met.

     I am not going to get into violence against women, racism, sexism or any of the hundreds of other issues that everyone seems to have, legitimate or otherwise.  This is about knowing the difference between what is right and what is wrong.  Knowing when to shut your mouth and when to speak up.  It seems that is a lost art for sure.    Lets go back to a very different time, when the song Baby its Cold Outside was written and performed.  Yes, its very clear he would like her to stay so she could have a couple drinks and he could take advantage of her.  I would question how many people simply going to office Christmas parties this year won’t use the same line in jest with co-workers.

     Lets jump ahead to 2012,  and 2015.  I have yet to hear anyone of the #metoo movement or any other group demand the book “Fifty Shades of Grey” of the movie be pulled and no longer played or sold.  The book sold 70 million copies in 2012 alone and the movie had a world wide box office of over 500 million.  I wonder if any of these self righteous people read or went to the movie.  If you are now screaming about Baby Its Cold Outside, you should be ashamed of yourself.  A song thats 50 years old is from a time long gone but this book and movie are current.  Where were your morals and values at that time.

     Further to that I want to share with you, the lyrics for the just nominated song “I Like It” by Cardi B, Bad Bunny & J Balvin nominated for “Record of the Year” in the 2019 Grammy’s.

[Intro]

Yeah baby, I like it like that

You gotta believe me when I tell you

I said I like it like that

You gotta believe me when I tell you

I said I like it like that

[Verse 1: Cardi B]

Now I like dollars, I like diamonds

I like stunting, I like shining

I like million dollar deals

Where’s my pen, bitch I’m signin’

I like those Balenciagas

The ones that look like socks

I like going to the jeweler

I put rocks all in my watch

I like texts from my exes

When they want a second chance

I like proving niggas wrong

I do what they say I can’t

They call me Cardi Bardi, banging body

Spicy mami, hot tamale

Hotter than a Somali

Fur coat, Ferrari

Hop out the stu, jump in the coupe

They trippin’ on top of the roof

Flexing on bitches as hard as I can

Eating halal, driving the Lam’

Told that bitch I’m sorry, though

‘Bout my coins like Mario

Yeah they call me Cardi B

I run this shit like cardio

Oh, damn

[Chorus: Cardi B]

Diamonds, just forget the chains

I said I like it like that

Instead of fighting, know I’m gang gang gang gang

I said I like it like that

Drop the top and blow the brains

I said I like it like that

Oh he’s so handsome, what’s his name?

I said I like it like that

Oh I need the dollars

I said I like it like that

Beat it up like piñatas

I said I like it like that

Tell the driver, close the curtains

I said I like it like that

Bad bitch make him nervous

I said I like it like that

Cardi B!

[Verse 2: Bad Bunny]

Chambean, chambean, pero no jalan (Meaning that they charge the gun but they don’t shot)

You buy all Jordans, stupid, I get it free

I spend in the club (wuh), while you hop in the bank (yeh)

This is a new religion, bang, en latino gang, gang, yeh, yeh

I try to diet, but I have a lot of fat in the closet

I moved the Gucci inside the house

Asshole, nobody knows you even in the plaza

The Devil calls me Jesus Christ hugs me

Warrior like Eddie, let the race live

I like Puerto Ricans, I like Cubans

I like the accent of the Colombians

How Dominicans move the ass

But Venezuelans fuck me good

We are active, Perico Pin-Pin

One hundred bills in the briefcase

The bass resounds, Bobby Valentin, yeh

Here it is forbidden to love, tell them Charytín

That pa’l pico I have Claritin

I get to the disc and the riot is formed

[Chorus: Cardi B]

Diamonds, just forget the chains

Pa, pa, pa, pa

I said I like it like that

Instead of fighting, know I’m gang gang gang gang

I said I like it like that

Drop the top and blow the brains

I said I like it like that

Oh, he’s so handsome, what’s his name?

I said I like it like that

Oh I need the dollars

I said I like it like that

Beat it up like piñatas

I said I like it like that

Tell the driver, close the curtains

I said I like it like that

Bad bitch make him nervous

I said I like it like that

[Verse 3: J Balvin]

Like Celia Cruz I have the sugar (azuca’)

Your girl saw  me and she left to her chest like Jimmy Snuka

We’re going to knock off the wig

And fuck you bastard, that you will not pass the juca (juca, juca)

My tennis Balenciaga, they receive me at the entrance

Pa-pa-pa-pa-razzi, like I’m Lady Gaga

And don’t play, you’ve seen my face on Billboard’s cover

I do not leave your mind

Wherever you want trips you’ve heard my people

I’m not high, I’m like the Testarossa

I am the one who lives it and also the one who enjoys it

In the thing, mami in the thing

The one who looks suffers and the one who touches enjoys
 

[Bridge: J Balvin & Cardi B]

I said I like it like that

I said I like it like that

I said I like it like that

I said I like it like that

     If you aren’t offended by those lyrics in any way, but you think Baby Its Cold Outside is bad than I ask of you, What the hell is your problem?   This is the new age of music.  There is language in there, that as a white man I can’t use, because I would be considered a racist, but apparently its okay if used by people of color. (Is that the politically correct way to word it no?  I don’t keep up on that shit)  The state of the current music scene isn’t what I remembered, but I am also not naive and am not going to say things were better before.  There has always been sex, drug,  violence and innuendo in music.  From “Summer Nights” in Grease to Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines”, ZZ Tops “Pearl Necklace, The Knack’s “Good Girls Don’t”, or Rod Stewarts “Tonights The Night” where he pours a good long drink and tells the virgin child(?) to not deny his mans desires.

     So how about we start being realistic.  Violence again women is a very serious subject, as is racism, etc. and lets not make a mockery or them with stupidity by individuals usually looking for their 15 minutes of glory.  The final word to worry about in all of this is censorship.  At what point does that start to become censoring what we can play or listen to.  Maybe we should stop playing John Lennon’s “Imagine”.  He does say what if there’s no heaven.  Blasphemous!

     I don’t even want to get into the entire issue of Happy Holidays and that mess.  Christmas is a North American tradition.  If you have immigrated here but don’t celebrate it, thats ok, its just another day.  If you find it offensive, you need to get over yourself.  The Jewish communities throughout North America do not celebrate Christmas, and I use them only as an example, and they have never complained about the use of the words Merry Christmas.  So after all these years, why the hell are we bending and changing.   Grow up people!



    

Live Shows Return

If you have visited the KB Radio website, you will have seen a countdown clock near the top for some time now.  That clock is counting down to the first live show, the official relaunch of all live shows.  I will get into the shows themselves further in my writing here, but the announcement for the first show is where the focus for this blog really is.  It is happening New Years Eve, based on this time zone, Eastern Standard Time, and will be a countdown show taking us into 2019.

Since New Years Eve is on a Monday, we regularly have a 70’s music show on Monday nights, so I have decided to present a countdown of the Top 100 songs of the 1970’s.  The countdown itself will start at 5PM EST with song #100 and I will take you right through to midnight.  Throughout that day as well, it will be a 70’s day, and it will be great tracks from the 1970’s all day long right up to the countdown and show start.

At midnight on January 1st 2019, KB Indie Radio and KB AOR also officially launch, and while the test streams are up and running right now, on the 31st all three station will be simulcasting the 70’s music and countdown.  Each station will have its own launch at midnight welcoming listeners to the new beginning with the KB Family of Stations.  There is still some work to be done for both stations over the next month, but things are progressing well.  I am also hoping to be able to announce apps on both platforms soon for all stations, and have started working with a developer to build one app, that will allow you to select any one of the KB stations, but all 4 will be available through that one, instead of 4 separate apps.

Some of your favorite shows are returning to KB Radio as well in the new year.  The 70’s show and the 80’s show both return on Monday and Thursday nights respectively at 8pm EST.  The Indie Music show will return on Wednesday night as well at 8pm EST.  All three shows will also replay the following morning at 6am EST for our friends overseas,  who unfortunately it is the middle of the night for them when the shows first air.  I have some changes to the shows, and additions that will hopefully add to them for everyone’s listening pleasure.

the first thing is, I personally have gotten away from what I started with the old school radio style, where I began with the podcasts, and what I think made it so popular initially.  I am going back to that style of broadcasting,  so you can expect a fast paced, lively show, that won’t be politically correct, but also wont be out there over the top offensive.   It is what the station’s name is all about.  “What Radio Used To Be”

When you tune into the 70’s and 80’s show every 3rd week of the month you will hear an expanded show for the week.  There is a ton or great 60’s music that people always love so we will expand it 60’s and 70’s that night and on the 80’s night, it will become Extended mix Thursdays.  I will mix in some of the best Extended Plays from the 80’s for the show, and am happy to say as well, working on a sponsor deal right now to hopefully bring you a weekly lunch hour feature along the same lines as the Rokk Blokk, only with 80’s EP’s.  More news to follow.  Also from time to time we are going to feature artists, or topics on each show.  As an example on a 70’s Motown night, you will hear the best of the 70’s but also be featuring a lot of great Motown hits that night.

The Indie music show on Wednesday nights has gone through a few changes and it is going to really tighten up.  Let me start with a bit of a beef.  Every week I tried to present an interview, and despite so many artists claiming to want to be interviewed, the number of times, they missed appointments, sometimes multiple times, was very discouraging.  So I am going to be cutting down the number of interviews, working to get more live interviews, and if we don’t have one every week, that is just how it is going to be.  The next thing is an apology of sorts.  I had an interview scheduled with a fantastic performer and incredible guitar player name Gia, Twitter handle @salin606 when all of the crap went down months ago, which without notice to her was cancelled.  She has agreed, thankfully to be our first interview of the year and will be live on the air with us January 2nd, 2019 after 8pm EST.   I am very grateful and excited to have a chance to not only talk to her about her music and share it with everyone but also have her as our first interview as well.

I have another interview set up as well with a great band called Wildeyes @realwildeyes and will provide you with the date and time for that soon.

Beyond that the Indie music show will be focused on the new music going into the rotation on the various stations, and counting down the Top 25 each week.  For those who haven’t taken part in the past, the Wednesday night shows have been very interactive with fans and artists on Twitter and chatting, and KB is a very open door station.  I look forward to getting back to this lively exchange Wednesdays and every night for that matter.  A note as well that the Indie Music show will be simulcast on BOTH KB Radio and KB Indie Radio.  It will be repeated on KB Radio at 6am EST the following morning and on KB Indie radio as well at a yet to be determined time.  Calendars for programming will be up on websites, so check them out.

Friday night Smooth Music will be returning as well.  The music is being adjusted slightly to better suit the stations format and will be a 3 hour show that airs from 9 pm to midnight EST every Friday with no repeats.

As far as other programming I am in talks with someone about a one hour rock show for the AOR station, and am also looking at a Country countdown for KB Country Radio.  There are other things that have been offered, but I am taking my time, will make sure anything that happens, and any changes or decisions that are made, work for the stations involved.  There are also new features in development and ready to go for the live shows that hopefully will add to the entertainment value.  Plus, more live call ins, like I did in podcast days, from listeners, and working on prize give aways for station contests as well.

As always I appreciate the input and comments, either through here or email etc., good or bad, keep sending them my way.

Cheers

al