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Sending Holiday Wishes to ALL!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Heartfelt appreciation and gratitude going out to ALL of our SparkFamily and sincerest wishes for Peace On Earth as sung so well on one of my very favorite songs of the season! I just LOVE this father / daughter dual effort!

Someone presented this music SO well here at YouTube:


Updated: A tad behind schedule for my blog, but perfect timing for Christmas: this appeared in my inbox this morning. A wonderful message from the Dali Lama: A Human Approach to World Peace:



  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ZELLAZM 1/3/2011 9:39AM

    I hope you had a merry Christmas, Don...and are getting a good start on the New Year. Had to come looking for you today - my notifications are off and I hadn't seen a post for you in awhile!


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4A-HEALTHY-BMI 12/28/2010 4:21PM

    happy happy to you too, Don!

Love the new profile pic, btw. You look Badass.

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LADYGWEN25 12/26/2010 1:55PM

    Merry CHristmas Don and here's hoping for a joyous holiday for you and a very prosperous NEw Year!

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CARRIE1948 12/25/2010 8:26AM

    Merry happy

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ANITAHASGOALS 12/25/2010 6:57AM

  Merry Christmas right back at you. I luv all the graphics and the background on your page. I hope that you have a blessed and wonderful fun filled and relaxing day.

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COLOURFULME 12/25/2010 5:25AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
...*./ | \ .*
...* ' ಧಿ წ' *.
, წ ♥ۣۜঔ ,
. '* ۵ ಧಿ ঔ♥ۣۜঔ
... '' *,ಧಿ ঔ წ' ღ 'ঔ *' '
.. ' ' ' ۵წ * ಧಿ ♥ ಧಿ* ۵ ' ' '
. '' *ঔ , ♥ۣۜঔ ,წ ঔ* ''
* ' ঔწ ۵ ঔ♥ۣۜঔ
; ۵ ' * '
..' ' ' ಧಿ .♥ۣۜಧಿ
; ಧಿ. ঔ წ ' ' '
..' ' *ಧಿ წ ღ *♥* ღ ಧಿ* ' '

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

Merry♪♫**.♪ Christmas
♥ .**♫♪
Merry ♪♫**.♫♪C
♥ ♥
Merry ♪♫**♫♪Ch
♪♫**.♥ .**♫♪
.And A Happy New Year!
29; .**♫♪...

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 12/25/2010 5:31:40 AM

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L*I*T*A* 12/24/2010 8:33PM

    Merry Christmas to you and yours!!!

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FRECKS96 12/24/2010 6:25PM

    Merry Christmas Don! How blessed the Binghamton group is to have you.

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MOV4WARD 12/24/2010 5:31PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticonMerry Christmas Don & best wishes for Happy, Healthy New Year full of progress for you & yours! jules :)

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TERRYMEMPHIS 12/24/2010 2:58PM

    Don, Merry X-mas. Your a great guy. Terry

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VALERIEMAHA 12/24/2010 2:58PM

    Incredible graphics accompanying that amazing song with such an important message, and so beautifully rendered by the father and daughter.

I really knew nothing of Vince Gill. (He has sold more than 22 million albums. He has been honored by the Country Music Association with 18 CMA Awards, including two Entertainer of the Year awards and five Male Vocalist Awards. Gill has also earned 20 Grammy Awards, more than any other male Country music artist. In 2007, Gill was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.) Wonder where I've been??? Jenny sounds young there, eh. She's 28 now and married.

It's such a pleasure to have your presence in my life. Your friendship is the best gift I could ask for, Don!

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De-Stress From the Holidays with a Few Chuckles...!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

From one of my favorite techie e-mails: Windows Secrets ( windowssecrets.com )

"We're not sure what to make of this, but the Wacky column is a Windows Secrets subscriber favorite measured by the number of hits it receives proving that our readers have a fine sense of humor.

So to end 2010 with a smile, we've put together a special Wacky the five most popular of the year. We'll start, however, with one of our all-time favorite videos. And at the end, we've tossed in two more of our particular favorites. Enjoy!"


Some GOOD ones here folks...!

Everyone have a WONDERFUL holiday season and whatever you do...

Keep the SPARK!

Bigtime appreciation going out to all of my SparkFamily for all your support, enthusiasm, kindness, understanding and caring kicks-in-the-butt!


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

L*I*T*A* 12/23/2010 1:10PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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LMB-ESQ 12/23/2010 11:16AM

    Loved the dog playing in the snow! He looks like ours in a different color. They are so funny! We could learn a lot from a dog about how to enjoy life. Thanks for sharing!

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MISS_VIV 12/23/2010 9:21AM

    As always - coming thru with the right stuff at the right time. Have a joyous season and thanks for all that you have done for me. You keep me SPARKIN' emoticon

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LADYGWEN25 12/23/2010 8:11AM

    thanks Don! and thank you for always being so supportive and helpful in return. It's a blessing to share the Spark with you. HAve a wonderful holiday season!

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LMATTHEWS76 12/23/2010 7:27AM


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KIN59VARA 12/23/2010 7:14AM

    Thanks for sharing

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JESPAH 12/23/2010 7:13AM

    Okay, the guy with the copier -- I am thinkin', there is a totally new purpose to Sparkin' now.

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VALERIEMAHA 12/23/2010 7:08AM

    Wish I could watch them (having problems with my connection card)!

And to paraphrase a good friend of mine, "Bigtime appreciation going out to you Don for all your support, enthusiasm, kindness, understanding and caring kicks-in-the-butt!" YEAH!!!
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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LOSTLIME 12/23/2010 7:05AM

    Thank you for the morning laugh!

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CLWALDRO 12/23/2010 6:57AM

    very funny thanks for making my day a little brighter with laughter

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Neither Snow, Rain nor Dark of Night...

Friday, December 10, 2010

My private practice appts. lately have been spreading between Weds., Thurs. and Fri. so I've been working in an hour of Nordic Walking on each of those days by leaving my car parked at my day job and pulling out the poles to walk to my office and afterward back. Save a smidgen of gas and get my cardio wedged in on those busy days!

Yesterday presented a nippy challenge as it was around 17 or so degrees, but after 10-15 mins. I'm pretty warmed up, although my legs still felt the chill some. And THEN after getting back to my car to drop off the poles I needed to get BACK downtown for the Celtic Thunder concert and catch up with DW. I *knew* parking would be tough and probably a waste of time, ending up parking almost as far away as I already was. So...off I go again!

No poles this time, but jogging instead, keeping a nice 4-5 mph pace down those nearly-deserted streets.

Tonight the challenge was the lightly falling snow which made the sidewalks slippery...couldn't "grab" with my poles' rubber tips so I didn't get the benefit of the poles as much...just lightly pushing as they would slide along. EXCEPT on my return trip I spotted a side street that was just wet, no snow...light enough with only an occasional car so I stayed on the street where I could "dig in" with the poles...yes!

But back on the main street again I dealt with the slippery snow cover by deciding that "someone" was trying to tell me to give up on the poles and just jog along, which I did for the last 1/2 of the trip.

The jogging felt good. Not *great*, but at least it was good!

Been picking a lotta brains (aka: fellow cycling club members...lol!) on possible cross country skiing venues and came up with a couple up north a little way, which means the odds of them having more and lasting snow would be greater this winter.

For the benefit of those in / around upstate New York here they are:

Lime Hollow Nature Center (near Cortland, NY):

Highland Forest Park (near Syracuse, NY)

Another unexpected treat came out of the blue tonight and an online friend sent me two Paul Winter albums. These are two from back around 1968-69 that I once owned in vinyl but lost to a flood in our basement ages ago:



I have looked EVERYWHERE for these long out-of-print albums! Christmas arrives early! Woo hoo!

These were very formative albums of his which led to Winter's later success in pulling together what would be one of the most unique and expressive music and musicians known as Oregon:


I had the pleasure of seeing them on the cheap (FREE: as I was an usher for our university jazz club...YES!) performing 3 times back in 1976-78 while attending Michigan State University...also around the time Magic Johnson / Gregory Kelser led the Spartans to win the championship and the town was literally torn up with bar chairs set afire in the median strip of Grand Avenue! Ah memories...lol!

If your musical tastes lean toward New Age, World music with an unorthodox, highly unique spin of its own I cannot recommend either the Paul Winter Consort or Oregon highly enough...truly magical, inspired music for the body and soul!

Nite all!


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JCORYCMA 12/15/2010 10:30PM

    Makes me long for when we lived in the Hudson River Valley! You always inspire me with your dedication to exercise any and every chance that you get. Keep it up. Also put in me the column for loving Paul Winter and Celtic Thunder!

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SCOTTK3000 12/13/2010 10:43PM

    Great exercise! I love Paul Winter too. Saw the consort a few times in the eighties. Once in the early 90's at Symphony Hall in Boston. Everyone was howling like a wolf, very cool. I had seats in the Balcony straight back from the stage and then at one point Paul Winter comes out from behind us onto the Balcony and played his clarinet from there. Inspiring. Thanks for helping me to remember that!

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4A-HEALTHY-BMI 12/13/2010 2:26PM

    Yay for the XC skiing. A friend took me for 2 hours on a challenging (for me) intermediate course at Bear Swamp near Sempronius this weekend.

Everyone else was a lot faster and more proficient than me, but I burned over 1000 calories and can feel that I used some muscles that needed it, so it's all good. I need to work on my skills so they won't have to wait for me so much next time!

Some of the downhill ski resorts also rent equipment. Greek Peak has nice groomed trails and skis for rent. Carrie and I went there one day last winter.

Here's a list of places, some of which also rent equipment:
I think the map dots in black rent, while the ones in white don't - at least after clicking on a few of them...

Comment edited on: 12/13/2010 2:55:11 PM

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AZIMAT 12/12/2010 2:41PM

    I love Paul Winter... his latest album is on eMusic, download for $5.99.


I'm impressed that your'e keeping up your exercise in the cold, I just wrote part of my blog about that!

BTW I second the longjohn comment. Polypropylene fiber is supposed to be the best (anhydrous, it wicks moisture away from the body), that's what the military uses for cold weather. Patagonia has some nice stuff, and you can usually find it discounted on the web.

Comment edited on: 12/12/2010 2:45:02 PM

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L*I*T*A* 12/11/2010 9:40AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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JESPAH 12/11/2010 8:58AM

    Appointments? Are you a medical type person?

I just realized there are things like that we don't know about each other. Not just you and me, but Sparkies in general. Hmm.

Cross country skiing. I know it's good exercise. I just can't get over my desire to do not much with snow except shovel it outta the way.

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DAYHIKER 12/11/2010 8:27AM

    Way to go, Don, to get in all that exercise despite your circumstances! emoticon


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ZELLAZM 12/11/2010 7:51AM

    I love how you're making it work with your exercise on busy days. We have to be resourceful sometimes...look forward to hearing about your winter bike runs!


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FERRETLOVER1 12/11/2010 7:28AM

    Don, you simply amaze me with your dedication to exercise!! Wow!!!

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ACIMPEGGY 12/10/2010 10:45PM

    I will definitely look up your musicians...new age, I love Yanni, most Enya...I know, honey, those are the well known ones. I ADORE Yanni at the Acropolis. I also find I like classical Baroque.

I took some classes at MSU...and can still sing all the words to the fight song!

My little brother went to school with Magic Johnson (" Mom, we have a new boy in school. He's so nice, and can he play ball! His name is Earvin."

You need longjohns, Don, to protect your legs. I wear them virtually daily November through April. Also ice grippie thingies for your shoes/boots.

Sounds like a really good day for you, though. Enjoy your weekend, too!

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Striving for Balance

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

I've come across a very thought-provoking article written by a formerly obese person who dubs herself as "The Thinnest Fat Woman in the World." She was once a proponent of the Fat Acceptance movement and although she has made radical shifts away from this, she offers some insights which she has taken from this experience:

Caught Between Fat and Thin: The Pounds Come Off, But the Label Stays


The level of acceptance and balance she has achieved I think offers an important angle for those looking to make their new, healthy and well lifestyle a permanent change.

I'm curious to hear everyone's thoughts, reactions!

Also, another article along the "Buy Nothing - Value Everything" thinking:

Downsize Nation: Welcome to the New, Smaller American Dream


Have a great day everyone!


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JESPAH 12/10/2010 6:13AM

    I suspect a small part of our national obesity epidemic also stems from an entitlement culture. We have little patience with things like cooking, dieting, exercising and sleeping (!), we want everything, and we feel deprived if we don't get everything. Hmm.

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L*I*T*A* 12/9/2010 9:28AM

    what great articles!!
such thought provoking concepts...
thanks for sharing.........
blessings and hugs..............lita

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4A-HEALTHY-BMI 12/8/2010 10:50PM

    That article by Greta Christina is a keeper. How often I've recently thought, "gee, I thought things would be more... *different* after I got the weight off..."

In a lot of ways they are different. Outward ways. But inside I'm still the same me and the way I feel is also the same me, much of the time. And I think there are still things I need to work on, because I'm not as happy as I'd like to be.

Thanks for sharing!

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VEGGIE_POWERED 12/8/2010 7:01PM

    Love the tiny houses! My current home is by no means a McMansion - but I can't wait to get out of it and into a much smaller space (preferably in France). I just quietly wonder what will become of all the unwanted excess (e.g. Hummer's, McMansions, etc.)? I suppose we can all count on a few folks clinging on to the old paradigm and getting what they've always "wanted" at a bargain price. Meh - they can have it. Give me a cottage with room for my wife and three wiener dogs, a couple bikes, a nice vegetable garden - done.

OK, I won't lie - put that on 5-10 acres of hobby farm complete with solar, wind, well, root cellar, and bio-diesel setup and I'm done. Oh so very done and so very happy. To live simple is to live well. Thanks for posting this - a good read and a good reminder!

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VALERIEMAHA 12/8/2010 9:39AM

    "And I still take it really, really personally. I don't hear anti-fat bigotry the way I hear, say, racial bigotry, as something to be passionately opposed but that isn't aimed at me personally. I hear it as being about me. When someone in a comment thread here on AlterNet linked to an older photo of me and mocked me for being fat, I felt the shame and the sting and the anger... before I remembered, 'Wait a minute. I'm not fat.' And was left with only the anger. On behalf of myself... and every other woman who's ever had her ideas irrelevantly dismissed because of her personal appearance."

I LOVE this article, Don. It's packed full of truth and wisdom. What an able advocate Greta Christina is! Thanks for culling it out and sharing it. Isn't AlterNet just the best! And OF COURSE I love the "less is more" article and focus in life!
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Junking Junk Food

Friday, November 26, 2010

Here is a great article which touches on a topic I feel SO STRONGLY about!

Junking Junk Food:


On Black Friday, one of the most commercial days of the year, I'm feeling very anti-establishment. I've discovered that folks in Vancouver, BC started dubbing this as Buy Nothing Day! Love it! Great motto: Buy Nothing --- Value Everything!

So: along these lines regarding the choices we make when it comes to food, we are swimming against a tidal wave of advertising dollars which promote unhealthy food choices. And it's working, It's effective. Look at our similar tidal wave of skyrocketing obesity rates!

Here's an earlier rant of mine:

Fighting Corporate Control of Our Bodies!

On this most commercial of days I would just encourage everyone to think twice not only of course about food choices, but about all expenditure choices. Do we REALLY NEED that (fill in the blank) ...? Are there more meaningful ways we could be spending our time and money...? Do we really want to show corporations that their advertising dollars are going to pay off and influence our choices?

My wallet is staying in my pocket today and I'm spending my time with my family.

How about you?

Have a SPARKIN' Day everyone!


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MRDPOLING 12/25/2010 9:54PM

    Love the idea of Junking Junk Food! I don't even let the stuff in my house anymore. Too tempting!

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APPYMORGAN 12/4/2010 11:47PM

    I have never gone shopping on Black Friday. I hate crowds and consumerism. I am in debt but it's mostly because too many times I have had to choose buying food for my kids over paying my credit card which I used to buy needed clothes. The more money I have made the more I find myself spending and we go out way too much. going out is my big waste of money and it is not good for me either health or financial wise.
My goal for next year, starting now is to spend only what is necessary and budget tightly, I want to buy a house or condo, not a bunch of dinners out or some "thing".
I love the motto "Buy nothing-Value everything" I am putting it up on my wall of sayings I have collected.
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ZELLAZM 12/3/2010 8:59AM

    Germans are often amazed when I tell them about Black Friday. Not that German people don't go shopping, but the madhouse that takes place on the Friday after Thanksgiving is something strange for them!

I like that "Buy Nothing - Value Everything!" It's a good slogan for many days for me right now as I work to get out of debt and stick to a budget.

Thanks for sharing the links!


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    I always hated Black Friday--as far as I am concerned Christmas doesn't begin until December 16th. I guess I am "old school" when it comes to the holidays. emoticon

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ALYFITN 11/29/2010 5:51PM

    Don, this is right on!!! I love your thinking. I bought nothing on Black Friday--spent the day with a 88 year old relative instead.

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DAVEINSEOUL 11/28/2010 10:33PM

    Fortunately, I live in a country that doesn't have a 'Black Friday' tradition. Even when I did, I always, always "opted out" of Black Friday.

Who needs the stress?

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MOMOF3NEWYORK 11/27/2010 10:52PM

    I'm with you. We stayed home, I organized paperwork & recycled BAGS of it, then entertained friends in the evening. Who needs "Black Friday", other than the retailers?? no see, no want!! emoticon

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JESPAH 11/27/2010 8:24AM


Wouldn't shock me one bit if there's a connection between hoarding clothes and consumer goods, and hoarding food and intaking too much of it.

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HEALTHY_CAROLYN 11/26/2010 11:23PM

    I didn't buy a thing today or visit a store, but I did get in a wonderful hike with DH. That's the kind of way I want to "spend" my day.

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L*I*T*A* 11/26/2010 9:13PM

    great blog with much food for thought!!!
blessings and hugs.............lita

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YELLOWDAHLIA 11/26/2010 5:00PM

    Lol- nothing will get me to leave the house today!
I will stay in my cozy, warm, dry house and laugh at everyone fighting the rat race today.

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DAYHIKER 11/26/2010 2:32PM

    In complete agreement with you! I don't window shop because I would just see something I wanted that I don't need and am fine without. I also agree that you are a good roll model! emoticon

emoticon Cindy in Indiana

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_VALEO_ 11/26/2010 1:12PM

    Love your blog! We are having ads over here asking us to think twice when we buy. Bottom line every French family throws about 8 kg of fresh foods a year per person (and many kilos of what is used to be perfectly good breads)... when others suffer from starvation right below our windows. Insane. Like Maha, the problem isn't only "junk food" it affects everything.
Can you imagine that now they produce fridges or TV with a life span so we can buy a new one after 5 years!!

We all need to buy less, package-free, and to buy what is nearby, it is a win-win situation for our purse and for the Earth.

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VALERIEMAHA 11/26/2010 12:58PM

    Brilliant blog and a man after my own heart! Anti-Establishmentarians ARISE!

Oh my -- nothing short of, oh, about a $1 million bribe would get me out there in the consumer reality today (I know, I know...hypocrite...we all have our price, Don).

My problem isn't junk food, though I understand its impact in the larger culture. PORTION CONTROL of all the whole, organic unprocessed foods I eat would be my nemesis. I'm shakin' it all out, moment-by-moment, to get back on-track.

Thanks for ALL YOU ADD to this extraordinary SparkWorld, Don. Not ONLY are you the supreme model of what SparkPeople stands for as a wellness resource with your 120 lb. loss and completion of the 100+ miles Century Ride, but you are the SparkPeople KING of the UNIVERSE of SparkersPlayItForward.org!!!

Comment edited on: 11/26/2010 1:04:36 PM

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WCSTATEN 11/26/2010 12:55PM

  I agree! It's up 2 us 2 save us!

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