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The Quilt Class and Spark

Sunday, August 22, 2010

I have been derelict in writing my blogs, but this time I have a true reason besides laziness.

I was at a three day quilt class, learning the Feathered Star technique from drafting it on up.

Maggie Ball was our teacher, and if you quilters out there have never taken a class with her, you should! I have taken many classes from many teachers, but I always learn the most from Maggie. If you are interested in learning more about her, go to www.DragonflyQuilts.com. She is an amazing person as well as an outstanding quilter and teacher!

Anyway, as some of you know, I am also Education Chairperson for our quilt club. That means when there is a class, I am also the set up and take down person, the one everyone comes to if they have problems, and responsible for making sure the room is set up properly, coffee made, teacher's needs are met, cords taped down, chairs and tables arranged.....................

So this time I decided that I also wanted to take the class. My helpmate and C0-Chairperson, Wonderful Irene, and I really did well.

Wednesday we got all the supplies loaded up from the quilt club building to take to the church. Then I dashed home to change clothes and go back and take Maggie out to dinner. After dinner (she chose to have Mexican food, so I ordered a seafood chimichanga and ate only half of it), I had to get all my own supplies ready for the class. Dropped in bed at 12:30.

Up at 7, showered, dressed and headed out to set up the quilt class room at the church. Irene did all the kitchen set up stuff while I did tables, chairs and cords. We were both ready on time for the class to begin! Score ONE for US!

We begin learning how to draft our patterns. Irene and I sit together and get ours completed after some erasing. Then I find four colored pencils, and we color our draft in. THAT made it much easier to see we were doing it right.

Then we get to lay out our fabric and begin the cutting. So far, I am doing just fine.

We break for lunch where I finish last night's dinner, then head to our machines.

For some reason, the door to the building won't stay unlocked, and there seems to be an inordinate number of people who want in all afternoon. Irene and I are kept busy jumping up and opening the door, then back to our machines.

A group of men come in and take some tables, all the while being loud and "HE-men", if you get my drift.

Good. They're gone, and the room settles down again. Except for playing doorman, things go pretty smoothly.

The day zooms by, and before we know it, the class is over for this day. But we don't have to leave the church, as we can stay until 5. Or so we have been told.

I'm cleaning up from the day's fun, thinking I can go home and get changed before taking Maggie to the casino for dinner. Just as I am about to turn off the lights, a woman comes in and exclaims "What are YOU doing here? WE have the room all reserved for US!".

Uh oh. A problem has arisen. The regular church secretary is out on a medical leave, so a different person is filling in. And fill in she did! She double booked the room for mid afternoon.

Most of the quilters have gone, leaving their machines and supplies so they don't have to reset up in the morning. It's me against them.

There are quite a number of women coming for their meeting and pot luck, and all of them are asking a million questions at once. They also want to touch Maggie's hanging quilts, which is an absolute NO NO. NEVER touch someone else's quilt with your bare hands!!!

I don't want them to touch the student's work either, so I am running around like a chicken with its head cut off, keeping them away from our tables and the hanging quilts, while also tryng to move the furniture (tables and chairs not used by us) over to one side of the room to make enough space for them.

They can't make up their minds as to how they want the tables set up. I put them in rows, and get the chairs set around them. Nope, they change their minds and decide they want to put them in horse shoe shape.

OK. I get that done, and then they realize they do not have enough room for everyone. They need more tables and chairs. I try to explain to them that they can also put chairs on the INSIDE of the horseshoe shape, but that seems to be a difficult concept for them.

I grab more chairs, and shove them into the horseshoe. There are enoug spaces.

Now they have themselves all in a lather that they don't know where they can set up their food.

I bring another table to them. No, they need TWO tables. OK. Get one out of the storage room and set that puppy up.

There are about 15 of them against one of me.

They have chairs and tables set up for over 30.

Now they begin to fret that they have TOO MANY CHAIRS AND TABLES SET UP, and it "WON'T BE COZY".

I leave it to them to figure the overage out.

I have to meet Maggie for dinner.

We have a good time, although I am actually too tired to chew.

Home at last, and mumble some kind words to DH and the critters, give everyone a hug and a kiss, and stumble upstairs to bed.

Up at 7 again (and I am NOT a Morning Person), I get to the church before 8 to make sure everything is set up properly for the class again. I even make sure I have time to get to Safeway, pick up a sandwich and fruit for Maggie, and get some cut up fruit salad for my lunch.

The church is locked up tighter than a vestal virgin. No one around at all.

OK. I wait. 8:15, nothing. 8:30, some students arrive, eager to get to their projects.

Maggie is here, and all the students. It is 9 o'clock, and the doors remain closed.

As I am trying to make calls (the only number I have is for the church secretary's office phone where there is a machine that picks it up and will take a message, but the machine if you remember, is inside the church. Locked.

About 9:05, a woman comes driving up and unlocks the doors.

We hustle in and everyone is confused about the room re-arrangement.

I am not confused. I was THERE, you know, when the earth shook.

I am moving tables and chairs back to the way they were when the class starts.

I dash over to my place, listen to Maggie, then dash back to the chairs and tables, with help from my quilty friends.

We spend our day selecting, cutting, piecing, using seam rippers, sewing again, all in a blissful fog.

Too soon it is over.

Now the room needs to be put back in order. Tables and chairs, kitchen, floors, lights, supplies, lock up.

Over to the quilt club building I go with all the supplies. One of the students goes with me so she can help unload all the stuff, and we get it done in record time.

I am home. I leave my machine and other stuff in the car for DH to bring in, flop down on the sofa in the prone position, and turn on the ball game.

I am a zombie for the rest of the night. When it is time, I face the mountain of stairs to the bedroom, and pull myself up wearily.

I don't wash my face. I don't brush my teeth or hair. I strip down, and get into bed. I have no idea what happened after that.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ILLINITEACHER52 8/22/2010 3:11PM

  That sounds like something that would happen at our church. I'm glad you survived it and enjoyed the quilting and sewing part at least.

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DREAMS2LIFE 8/22/2010 3:06PM

    All I can say is Wow!

You are a saint for helping all those people set up the chairs and tables, after the ling day you already had. Hopefully, your featehred star turned out beautifully. I have always wated to do one. emoticon

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AMYJEAN911 8/22/2010 12:38PM

    That made ME tired. Jeesh!

emoticon emoticon

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OLYGIRL1 8/22/2010 12:22PM


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MINNIMEE 8/22/2010 11:32AM

    Wow! You've really had your hands full. I'm a quilter too.

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Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Today is Day Ten in the Port Angeles and Surrounding Communities Team Challenge. My previous blogs explain the challenge.

So. Yesterday I pretty much sloughed off. I mean, I got some walking in, but not "walking!". I had intentions of doing my new ten minute videos when I got home, but by the time we got back, I conveniently put that intention off to the side and ignored it.

However, today was different. Today I inserted the DVD "Cardio Blast" with Coach Nicole (she who wants to see me drop!)

The workouts are ten minutes long, or there abouts.

The first one was okay. "Walk It Out" is for beginners, and while it got me moving and my heart rate up, it isn't all that strenuous.

Until she starts doing the knee thing.

We are supposed to lift our knees and bring down our arms at the same time. Right. My knee went up, and my arms went straight out to my sides. Other knee goes up, and my arms shoot up too. I watch HER do it the right way, and try again. Okay, I got it right one time, and moved over to the other knee. Arms get all akimbo again. This is not working out so well for me. But I keep trying, which is saying a lot for me. Never give up!!

Oh. Now we are doing these wide step things, and are supposed to be moving our arms, too. My feet and my arms do not get along well. Feet move, and arms get twisted around each other. Side step, wait for my arms to figure out the rhythm and catch up, but there SHE goes off to the other side.

Okay, switch directions to the right. I bump into my rowing machine. No doubt I will have a nice bruise on my shin from that one.

On the video, she is still doing that wide step thing, and I move to the center of the room so I won't bump into things, get the body going with arms all over the place, and then look at the screen again.

She has changed what we are doing. Now I am supposed to be doing knee bends center, right and left. With standing up in between. Like this: to the right, step, step, bend, Back to the center, bend, and step step bend to the left.

I am leaving out steps and trying stay caught up. I forget to bend in the center. Where the heck are my arms supposed to be anyway????

Step bend step step bend bend step bend.........I am moving, but certainly not like SHE is!

My heart rate continues to climb.

Now we are supposed to be doing something else, which we all know I will get totally screwed up with, but I give it a try.

Finally we are back to the marching in place. I can do this. SHE says to continue doing it because the next workout is coming right up! Oh Goody.

I spun a 2, which means I have 20 minutes with this torture queen.

'80s Aerobics: A fun flashback of oldies but goodies is the next workout.

I'm going along fairly well for the first four minutes, keeping right up, when she next says "Do the PONY!". HUH? Pony??

Somewhere deep in my memory bank is a dim idea of what "the Pony" USED to look like, but my body says "Forget it Chick. You are no Babe in the Woods, you know!"

I look at Nicole, and there she is, doing this jump like a fairy made of nothing but air, hopping and ponying it up. NO ONE can move that easily!! I am sure it is computer generated.

I don't hear any music, but perhaps it was playing.....who knows? I am trying to do the little hop hop hop jump jump jump thing like I see her doing, but mine is more thud, thud thud, bump, until feet get tangled up.

AW, the heck with even trying this one! I fast jog in place instead. At least my arms know what to do while I jog in place.

We do more workouts of various types, including BIG stepping to the side with a little hop..................we won't go there as to my efforts and what they must have looked like............and another one where we move "only the rib cage" back and forth, side to side. As long as I keep my arms straight out I can do this one, sort of.

After tortuous hours of entanglement, the ten minutes is up.

I do more walking in place for another 5 minutes, doing my cool down. Then I do some stretching.

I am very good at walking in place and stretching. In fact, one might even say I am close to being a master at those.

I wonder if I will get any better with the other stuff next time I try the video?

I also have not yet tried the other video I got, too. That one is Fit Firm, and Fired Up in 10 minutes a day with You-Know-Who!

It shows her jumping and smiling at the same time.

If she expects me to do that, she's NUTS!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TINKLOVESBEAR 8/26/2010 5:35PM

    LoL!! Happy to hear you survived the challenge!! emoticon

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ILLINITEACHER52 8/22/2010 3:13PM

  LOL - That's why I like Leslie Sansone's DVDs. I can actually keep up with her most of the time and not feel like I'm incompetant.

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TOWHEE 8/10/2010 9:46PM

    Oh, I'm laughing so hard I have the hiccups again. I keep thinking back to when she led us in kickboxing on one of the boot camps. Now I can kick and I can box, but not at the same time and certainly not when we were supposed to do it in the corners. Can anyone say "three left feet"?

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    Loved reading this! I'm sure a lot of us can relate!

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TIGGERRD 8/10/2010 4:05PM

    You will definitely get better - looking forward to reading more blogs!

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GETFIT2LIVE 8/10/2010 3:57PM

    Oh yes, I've tried to follow her on some of the exercise videos here online, and my attempts are worse--my body does NOT move and bend the way hers does, not no how, not no way. But hey, the heart rate goes up, the body glistens, and it's movement even if it's not exactly the 'correct' way, so it's all okay, right? Good for you!


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KELLIEM 8/10/2010 3:41PM

    Ah, yes, smiling and jumping and not sweating while she works out. You've GOT to love that!!! LOL!

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Day 8 and still alive!

Sunday, August 08, 2010

Today is DAY 8 of the challenge.

I spun a 5, which means I should do 50 cardio minutes. I didn't do it exactly, but maybe.

Here's the deal.

I was invited to my neighbors to attend a women's brunch. She lives on the next road over.

Instead of taking the car, DH and I decided it would be fun to track through the woods to her road, and take Winsten with us.

It was lightly raining, and very wet and over grown.

We were literally forging a path through the woods, following the light markings of a deer trail.

Getting our feet wet, jeans wet, sweater wet and Winsten wet, we were having a great time. The road came up too fast for me.

DH and Winsten turned around and went back through the woods to home, while I continued my trek to my neighbor's house.

We ladies had a wonderful time, even though I was drinking "leaded" coffee. Caffiene does strange things to me, like make me grind my teeth and I can't shut up. I had half an orange cranberry muffin (the big size) and six grapes. Oh, yeah, also one half of a deviled egg.

The conversation flowed with all sorts of interesting topics, and before I knew it, it was nearly 3 in the afternoon!

The Red Sox are playing the Yankees today, so I had to get home to be sure to see the game.

Down the road and through the woods I go, getting wet all over again, but having a terrific time.

Got home, spent 40 minutes in the kitchen, putting together Cranberry Bread Pudding and slicing up all the veggies for dinner tonight.

So, I got in 30 minutes walking (hiking actually), and 40 minutes in the kitchen.

I don't know if I can qualify for the 50 minutes, but I sure had a great day!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CHARLIE2213 8/8/2010 9:12PM

    im totally stealing your idea to base my exercise on the sparkwheel!!

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AMYJEAN911 8/8/2010 8:35PM

    I think it counts. Besides, I did extra today.. so I'll share.
emoticon emoticon

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HYE101 8/8/2010 8:25PM

    You did great !!

Have a great week !

Sam emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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Day SIX, Present and Accounted For!

Friday, August 06, 2010

Today I spun a 3, which means I had 30 minutes cardio to do, plus strength working out.

I knew I had strength PLUS cardio the moment I woke up, even though I had not turned on the computer yet.

So I stayed in bed until 10 reading a not so interesting mystery book which I have already figured out the ending.

It was very foggy today, and we had planned on me going with DH to Port Angeles while he went to the VA for some tests or another, then he was going to take be out to the Chinese buffet, where I always eat too much. Good that I stayed in bed, right?

Well, even reading a mystery can become very boring, so up I got, turned on Spark, and spun the wheel. Hmmmmm not as bad as it could be! I have done 30 minutes cardio many times, so there was no fear there.

Just didn't feel like it.

So I went to my favorite strength training stuff, and did my close arm wall push ups. 30 of those puppies. Go to the ball, do 30 lower back stretches, then 30 kneeling ball roll outs. Done. Click on that for my points!

Oh, wait a minute. The exercise of the day is one that I like, too. The One Arm Rowing thing. Done with a count of 30 each arm. The the sitting triceps stretch or thinning or whatever it is with weights. Blast them off with a count of 30, too.

So now my adrenaline is coursing through, and I decide I can do half of the cardio minutes on the rowing machine, because I am beginning to see signs of progress around my waist. Row for 15 minutes, then go to the stationery bike. Might as well get this over with!

I'm on the bike, and what music comes on? ORGAN MUSIC. And I HATE ORGAN MUSIC!!! It always makes me feel like trudging in mourning instead of walking with my head held high.

Now I have to BIKE to that sound!

I can't get off the bike to change the music because if I get off, I won't get back on.

So there I sit, pedaling to durges on the organ, trying my best to ignore it and get up to speed.

Glisten rescues me! What a tool that is!! I feel Glisten forming on my temples and upper lip.

Pedal faster! Feel the Glisten! Ah, yes. That's the ticket! I can feel my hair getting wet, and the glisten is sending down little rivulets to my jaw.

My shirt is getting damp, and I pedal on.

I look down, and notice my legs. They jiggle as I pedal. The fat keeps brushing up against the machine as I pedal. This is an ugly sight.

As I watch the hated fat bumping into the bike with each pedal, I am envisioning LARD in a can. That's what my legs look like, only they are moving.

Remember those cans of Crisco? All white and greasy on the inside, and how we used to scoop that stuff out with a huge cooking spoon?

Well, mine all went to my upper legs. I never looked at my legs doing this before. But of course, that just may be because I didn't get on the bike to witness such a display.

I usually wear leggings while I work out, but today I wore shorts. A good thing. A bad thing.

Good that I actually saw the fat jumping all over the bike, Bad that I know my "weight thing" isn't anywhere near to being over.

But today, just for TODAY, I was present and accounted for! Today I faced the beast, and worked it into a sweat.

Now I am going to take my worked out body to the shower. And then I will sit and quilt!! AND I have changed the music!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

AMYJEAN911 8/6/2010 6:34PM

    Yah, I couldn't have done the organ music thing either.

If it helps any, another sparkie told me that the jiggle factor INCREASES as you start to burn it off. Less density or some other glorious thing like that, but the jiggle means its working. Does that help?


Do you always do the exercise of the day? How dumb is it that I don't? I read the email, sometimes even watch the demo, but I don't think I've EVER done a full set! I'll be changing that habit, pronto.

My fingers are crossed for a mediocre yet mildly challenging spin for day 7.

emoticon emoticon

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    You always make me laugh! And again, I see some common ground...I am down to one belly roll and due to some unfortunate crooked slicing during an emergency surgery, I think its mine for good! Mostly, I ignore it, although the crooked line from hip bone to hip bone created a kind of tuck that hooked me up with a permanent roll, it did contribute to keeping me alive. So I'm as cool with it as a person can possibly be with a belly roll! But one day, I was on the elliptical and I noticed it kinda giggling around...an odd sensation, so I lifted my shirt a little to check it out. EeeGads! Not doin' that again!! I still feel it down there doing its own thing sometimes when I jump around alot, but for the most part, I'm back to ignoring it!! I will continue to do my thing, and it can do what ever it is that it does!! Just wanted to say I've had kinda the same "What is THAT?" revelation...ended up rambling on! Way to go fighting through the organ music...you are a better woman than I! emoticon

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BALLOUZOO 8/6/2010 5:38PM

    Music is a great motivator-if it's good. Yay you for knowing yourself well enough to know you wouldn't go back. If I stop I get distracted by the laundry, kids or other "stuff" so I try not to stop either.

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GETFIT2LIVE 8/6/2010 4:10PM

    Yay--you did it! You got that cardio done, in spite of the organ music! My hubby loves organ music (GOOD organ music, that is), but I can't imagine working out to it. Enjoy your quilting!


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LUNADRAGON 8/6/2010 4:01PM

    I don't know how you did it listening to organ music. I would have gotten up and changed it. In fact, I have gotten up to change the music.

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Fascinating Wall Street Journal Article

Thursday, August 05, 2010

When injustice becomes law, resistance becomes duty.
~Thomas Jefferson~

Wall Street Journal Sizes up Obama - They've Got Him Figured Out
A short article from the Wall Street Journal that needs to be read by
every level headed American!!!

A "deadly" article regarding Obama, at the Wall Street Journal, which
today is the most widely circulated newspaper in America ..

Article from the Wall Street Journal - by Eddie Sessions:

"I have this theory about Barack Obama. I think he's led a kind of
make-believe life in which money was provided and doors were opened because at some point early on somebody or some group took a look at this tall, good
looking, half-white, half-black, young man with an exotic African/Muslim name
and concluded he could be guided toward a life in politics where his facile
speaking skills could even put him in the White House.

In a very real way, he has been a young man in a very big hurry. Who else
do you know has written two memoirs before the age of 45? "Dreams of My
Father" was published in 1995 when he was only 34 years old. The "Audacity of
Hope" followed in 2006. If, indeed, he did write them himself. There are
some who think that his mentor and friend, Bill Ayers, a man who calls
himself a "communist with a small 'c'" was the real author.

His political skills consisted of rarely voting on anything that might be
deemed controversial. He went from a legislator in the Illinois legislature
to the Senator from that state because he had the good fortune of having
Mayor Daley's formidable political machine at his disposal.

He was in the U.S. Senate so briefly that his bid for the presidency was
either an act of astonishing self-confidence or part of some greater game
plan that had been determined before he first stepped foot in the Capital.
How, many must wonder, was he selected to be a 2004 keynote speaker at the
Democrat convention that nominated John Kerry when virtually no one had ever
even heard of him before?

He outmaneuvered Hillary Clinton in primaries. He took Iowa by storm. A
charming young man, an anomaly in the state with a very small black
population, he oozed "cool" in a place where agriculture was the
antithesis of cool.

He dazzled the locals. And he had an army of volunteers drawn to a
charisma that hid any real substance.

And then he had the great good fortune of having the Republicans select
one of the most inept candidates for the presidency since Bob Dole. And then
John McCain did something crazy. He picked Sarah Palin, an unknown female
governor from the very distant state of Alaska . It was a ticket that was
reminiscent of 1984's Walter Mondale and Geraldine Ferraro and they went down to defeat.

The mainstream political media fell in love with him. It was a schoolgirl
crush with febrile commentators like Chris Mathews swooning then and now
over the man. The venom directed against McCain and, in particular, Palin,
was extraordinary.

Now, nearly a full 2 years into his first term, all of those gilded years
leading up to the White House have left him unprepared to be President.
Left to his own instincts, he has a talent for saying the wrong thing at the
wrong time. It swiftly became a joke that he could not deliver even the
briefest of statements without the ever-present Tele-Prompters.

Far worse, however, is his capacity to want to "wish away" some terrible
realities, not the least of which is the Islamist intention to destroy
America and enslave the West. Any student of history knows how swiftly Islam
initially spread. It knocked on the doors of Europe , having gained a foothold
in Spain .

The great crowds that greeted him at home or on his campaign "world tour"
were no substitute for having even the slightest grasp of history and the
reality of a world filled with really bad people with really bad intentions.
Oddly and perhaps even inevitably, his political experience, a cakewalk,
has positioned him to destroy the Democrat Party's hold on power in Congress
because in the end it was never about the Party. It was always about his
communist ideology, learned at an early age from family, mentors, college
professors, and extreme leftist friends and colleagues.

Obama is a man who could deliver a snap judgment about a Boston police
officer who arrested an "obstreperous" Harvard professor-friend, but would
warn Americans against "jumping to conclusions" about a mass murderer at Fort
Hood who shouted "Allahu Akbar." The absurdity of that was lost on no one.
He has since compounded this by calling the Christmas bomber "an isolated
extremist" only to have to admit a day or two later that he was part of an
al Qaeda plot.

He is a man who could strive to close down our detention facility at
Guantanamo even though those released were known to have returned to the
battlefield against America . He could even instruct his Attorney General to
afford the perpetrator of 9/11 a civil trial when no one else would ever even
consider such an obscenity. And he is a man who could wait three days before
having anything to say about the perpetrator of yet another terrorist
attack on Americans and then have to elaborate on his remarks the following day because his first statement was so lame.

The pattern repeats itself. He either blames any problem on the Bush
administration or he naively seeks to wish away the truth.

Knock, knock. Anyone home? Anyone there? Barack Obama exists only as the
sock puppet of his handlers, of the people who have maneuvered and
manufactured this pathetic individual's life.

When anyone else would quickly and easily produce a birth certificate,
this man has spent over a million dollars to deny access to his. Most other
documents, the paper trail we all leave in our wake, have been sequestered
from review. He has lived a make-believe life whose true facts remain hidden.
We laugh at the ventriloquist's dummy, but what do you do when the dummy
is President of the United States of America ?"

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ILLINITEACHER52 8/22/2010 3:17PM

  I think he won the Presidency because he promised "change". So many people wanted change, and each had their own ideas of what that change should be, that they forgot to ask WHAT changes HE was going to make. (I am hoping that they have learned from their mistakes.)

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WESTERWURL 8/5/2010 9:58PM

    A little too "conspiracy theory" for me. Sorry.

Comment edited on: 8/5/2010 10:12:25 PM

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