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Cattlemen steaks, phase 3 life-plan, and a non-scale victory!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Greetings from Oklahoma City.. ..y'all!!

It's a pretty quick trip for me....just a few hours worth of meetings this afternoon, which worked out quite well. I did a little prep in my hotel room this morning, then hit the gym for an hour before the meetings started. We finished up about 3:00, so I decided, "why the hell not" and went back to the gym for another 45 minutes before dinner.

DINNER!!! Oklahoma City.....cowboys, stockyards, and steaks!!

Now truth in advertising....I lived here many years ago....SWMBO is from OKC and her mom still lives here, so I took mom-in-law to.....Catttlemen's Steakhouse! ( )

Now let me tell you, these guys know steaks! There's a cut called the Blue Ribbon Ribeye, 14 oz of aged beef that's so tender you don't even need a knife to cut it, served by blue and pink haired waitresses that call you sweetie-pie and honey-bun. I had been saving up all day for this, hence the 2 workouts (breakfast was a sesame bagel, lunch a cup of Starbucks oatmeal)

Anyway, we had a nice little time out and now I've got money in the bank for the next time SWMBO says I'm insensitive...."Oh yeah, ask your Mom how nice I was to her at Cattlemens!"

Of course 14 oz of tenderly-aged beef for dinner is not the right start for Phase 3 of my life make-over.

Oh, did I not mention before that I have decided to create a Phase 3 plan?

Yes, Phase 3 Spark friends!!! Phase 1 was the old, pre-Spark me, plodding along, exercising on and off, not watching what I ate.....a 200 lb fun guy

Phase 2, was post-Spark (Jan 2011) me....a health conscious, athletically-minded, food-tracking, slimmed down to 185 lb fun guy.

But that's not enough.....must move on to Phase III.....get rid of more body fat!! I had a fairly accurate body-fat measurement done this past week (
) and decided that, even though I've made some great progress this past year (down to wearing size 34 jeans!), that I can do demands it!!

What use are Heart Rate Monitors, GPS Trackers, Air Displacement Plethysmography (Bod Pod), fitness trackers, nutrition trackers, and all these other gadgets if I don't have a plan to use all that data towards a meaningful goal?!?! Yeah, weight is sort of important, clothes fitting good are pretty important....but I think I need to use all this info at my disposal to shoot for an even leaner me.

So more to follow on this front....I'm going to try to make it fun and challenging, otherwise I'll end up hating the journey.....but that's been the great thing about's been fun so far every step of the's good to have the happy meter go up while the scales go down.

Here's a good Non-Scale Victory on that point for you. I got in to OKC late last night (Delta delays once again....go figure). I go to the Avis counter to pick up my ride, and the 20-something gal asks me for my license and credit card....then starts asking me to tell her all the info on the cards;

"Current address?"

"Ft Walton Beach, FL"

"Expiration date of your credit card?"

"Nov 2014"

"Date of Birth?"

"Dec 1959"


"Yeah, Dec 1959"

"So, you're like 50?"

"More like 52"

"Wow, you look like you're about 35!"

"......Why you sweet little thing....are you working for tips here at Avis?"

Have a great night Spark friends!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SHERYL_B 2/25/2012 9:16PM

    I had a steak last week when we went out to dinner too (although I am sure Cattleman's was better than mine)! Yum, I love steak, but don't eat it very often!

Don't you love it when people are surprised at your age!

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BRADOS 2/25/2012 12:30PM

    That would be an awesome compliment - congrats on your hard work!

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SAFARIBABE 2/25/2012 11:22AM

    WTG!!! Both on the MIL AND on the compliment!! So if you're such a hottie, where's your pic?? LOL Can't wait to hear more details on how you plan to lower the fat. Don't use the MIL card unwisely, grasshopper!

Have a safe trip home!

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BILL60 2/25/2012 8:46AM

    I too love those compliments. Nothing like a super steak to get a person in the right mood. Sucking up to MIL is a very smart move. Phase 3 of your Life Fitness Plan, PRICELESS. Hang tough.

BTW: when is that century ride scheduled for??

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BELSNICKEL 2/25/2012 8:11AM

    good job. You impressed both MIL and the the rental gal. emoticon

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JUSTLYLE 2/25/2012 7:39AM

    Sure enjoyed your blog, made me hungry for a great steak. That season is coming soon here in N Il.
Well KID just keep on Sparkin, looks and sounds like it's really working.

The Ole Guy Skeeter emoticon

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FANGFACEKITTY 2/25/2012 7:09AM

    Yummy steak, sensitivity points, and an awesome NSV, all while doing the road warrior thing...doesn't get much better!

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HEALTHIERKEN 2/25/2012 1:31AM

    Holy doodle! You're not even middle-aged yet : ) speaking of which, have you taken the Real Age test on Dr. Oz's website? I'm sure you'll be pleased with your results!!!

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ANEWME423 2/25/2012 12:09AM

    Ahhh...Cattleman's.......a steak really just doesn't get much better than that.

Happy Sparking!

Amanda (a former okie)

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KAYZAKCX 2/24/2012 11:46PM


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BEATLETOT 2/24/2012 11:30PM

    Wow! What a compliment!!! Emjoy OKC!

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New Goal....20% Body Fat for Alaska Cruise in July!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

So these have been 3 very nice days off....I got a lot of things done that I needed to and wanted to....and even had some free time for myself to boot. The only work I had to do was a few quick e-mails on the berry and I reviewed about 30 resumes of some folks I need to hire this summer.

The highlight of my man-cation was to finally get our summer vacation plans finalized! I have been trying to get us on a cruise for about 7 years. We came real close in 2005 but, believe it or not, Hurricane Katrina destroyed our plans. Last year was touch and go, but I got started too late in the season and lost out on some choice deals, so we went to Santa Fe instead (which was a blast!

Well not this year dammit! We love living here in Florida...the weather here from Sept-May is the real reason people move here....but June to August it is just a hot & muggy mess. So I cleared my calendar for the end of July, then spent about 2 hours with an agent today, and walked out booked on a mini-suite for three on board the Princess Star from 22-29 July on the Inside Passage tour of Alaska!

So that gives me 5 months to get down to 20% body fat in time to go feast on some freshly caught King Salmon!

Have a great night Spark friends....tomorrow, back on the road and I blog from Oklahoma City!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FANGFACEKITTY 2/24/2012 12:56PM

    Sounds like an awesome trip! I prefer the heat and sun myself, but I've been told Alaska is supposed to be gorgeous. And it is a great motivator for your goal. Here's hoping your dream cruise does not turn into an episode of The Deadliest Catch!

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HAKAPES 2/24/2012 1:09AM

    That's a plan! :-)
What is your fat% now? (how much do you want to get off?)

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HEALTHIERKEN 2/23/2012 11:11PM

    You'll be *the* guy for the girls to oggle at the pool during your cruise : )

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SHERYL_B 2/23/2012 7:10PM

    I love planning vacations! I plan year round, it is one of my relaxation processes.

I am super proud of you with the minimal work you did the last three days. I honestly thought you would break down and go in. Congratulations!!!!

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DDOORN 2/23/2012 6:44PM

    Wonderful goal for an AWESOME trip! That's been on my "bucket list" for a long time!


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BEATLETOT 2/23/2012 8:48AM

    Yowza! Looks like fun!!!

I wanna work for you!!! Who are these lucky folks you're hiring this summer?!

Note I have no idea what you actually do, what skills are involved, whether I have them or not, and that I live several states away, but I just want to work for YOU!

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BILL60 2/23/2012 8:38AM

    Sounds super. We've done a bunch of Caribbean cruises and thoroughly enjoyed them. Luckily, the gyms on the boats are pretty awesome and help limit the food damage.

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LIVELAUFLUV 2/23/2012 5:37AM

    Woo Hoo!!!! We are booked on an Alaskan Cruise from Vancouver to Anchorage from 8/15 to 8/22. I can't wait. It's been on my bucket list for years and it's finally time!

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SAFARIBABE 2/22/2012 11:27PM

    Awesome!! Are you going to Denali? Have you booked your dog sledding yet?? Come on...we need details!!! Boat is nice but what'cha going to do OFF the boat??

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    mmm....fresh salmon :) Is it too soon to say have a fabulous trip? emoticon

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Bod Pod and other measures!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Well your trusted, number-crunching, geek author finally got his Bod-Pod measurements done today. Interesting little contraption....and no there isn't any alien technology involved, nor does it transmogrify you into a's a link to the company's website:

All in all, it was sort of what I expected, here's the story. First of all, it appears this service is offered as a part of our company's "health plan"...I had no idea of this until my secretary mentioned that she was having this Bod-pod thing done last month (

Overall it went pretty quick. Preparation included no eating, drinking, or exercise for 2 hours prior, and coming in with a food log of everything you've eaten for the 3 days prior. The nutritionist/dietician checks you in, weighs you, asks a few basic questions, then you strip down to some compression shorts (think under-armour), put on a skull cap they give you, and into the pod you go. Like a hydro-tank, they measure the displaced pressure of the air on your body to get a read of your "volume", then spit back a sheet full of numbers....the only ones I really cared about was % fat and fat mass....really have no use for "thoracic gas volume".

Once complete, they sit all of you down (there were 3 of us in this group; me, a chunky 30-something guy, and a chunky 60-something matron) and the nutritionist goes over the meaning of the numbers, then discusses goals and strategies for weight loss. I expected them to take all sorts of other measurements like hips, arms, thighs, etc. but that was a no-go....more to follow on that.

Well thanks to Sparkpeople, I was like a an idiot-savant in the group session! I had my print out of the nutrition tracker going back a week and started making a plug for Sparkpeople to the whole collective. Now I have a naturally competitive nature and tend to dominate meetings when I'm in a room (actually I think political scientists would characterize me as a "Benevolent Hegemon"), so next thing you know, she's asking me to tell these other two about strategies for including more fruit in your diet (smoothies), how to eat vegetables without butters and cheeses (lemon, cracked pepper, garlic), and how to incorporate good exercise habits (gain Sparkpoints for every minute in the gym!)

OK OK, but what about MY NEEDS!!! I didn't come in here to be the poster boy dammit...but apparently a year of Spark living has given me the equivalent of a Harvard MBA in nutrition and exercise! (30-something guy thought a good strategy would be to switch from eating Oreos to Fig Newtons)

So my percent body fat came out to 27%...for whatever reason, I was looking for a number closer to 20%. To get there apparently I need to lose about 18-20 lbs of fat, keeping the muscle in tact.

I took SWMBO out to lunch and went over the above with her too, trying to figure out what changes I need to make to get there (the nutritionist basically gave me the "keep doing what you're doing" answer.....FAIL! I wanted something more concrete than that....good thing she doesn't work for me!)

The good thing about SWMBO is that she knows how to talk me down off the ledge. She reminded me of dinner last week with a couple we hadn't seen in about a year. The first thing each of them said was, "Wow, you look great! Looks like you've really been working out!". Then she reminded me that last year this time that number was likely in the mid to high 30-percentile. Then she asked if I had asked the nutritionist for an age-adjusted body-fat to determine what was "normal" for a 52-year old...."CURSES, no I didn't, I was too busy gloating in my hegemony, telling everyone else how to improve their lives!!"

So I'm going to plug these numbers in to the "weigh in and measurement" tracker, then SWMBO said she's going to get smart on how to take tape measures and I'm going to start tracking hip-to-waist, thighs, upper arms, neck, etc.

And to do so, here's the new toy I ordered on Amazon!

Apparently, you can do the Bod-Pod thing every 3-4 months, so you're trusty Spark geek will put this in his ever-growing repertoire of statistics to of my favorite sayings to my guys at work is "That which is measured, improves" they hate it, but I love it....and now it's time to use it on myself!

Have a great night Spark friends!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JUSTDOIT011 7/5/2012 9:08PM

    I did the BodPod back in October and had a bodyfat% of 24.1%....I really want to get it done again because I have lost 18 pounds since then and if all of those 18 lbs was fat, my percentage should be around 15%! I don't feel like I'm at 15% so I'm hoping I'm not losing significant amounts of muscle, but I could be...The bodpod is pretty interesting though!

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HAKAPES 2/25/2012 3:28PM

    I have the same measurement tape, and I find it great. I fill the table now every month in SparkPeople every month.

As for the body fat%, I recommend you get an Omron BF-511 or similar device. It measure the body fat also trough the body. It is not as precise as water immersion, as the reading can vary 3-4% from day-to-day depending the hydration level. However, it still shows the trend, and within itself it is quite consistent. I really love it, as my weight doesn't change all the time, when fat goes down, and muscle builds up. This way, I can detect the internal changes in a better way.

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MJK0430 2/23/2012 6:21PM

    Loved the 30-something guy strategy. Great post!

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TOTALREDO2013 2/22/2012 12:28PM

    HI!!! Thanks for posting. yes, Myotape is what I use!!! have been for 3 years now and it is sitting beside me as we speak, haha.
Here is what I did today and will be blogging also...I went to a nearby fitness studio and went to have body composition taken by an ultrasound method using a device called Bodyview. Reviews of this say it is similar to DEXA xray scans that also measures bone density...but very expensive and hard to find. So, went with the ultrasound.

Compared to the dunking water test I took Saturday and this test today....water said 26.3% ultrasound said 22.6%. Same weight for both using their scale and both agreed I need about 10lbs of fat to reach optimum.

The difference was water said I was Fair and the ultrasound said I was higher level of fitness. Water uses Harris Benedict formula and ultrasound uses the Katch McCardle formula.
They use different ones you can choose from and different menu options for the number of points they use on the body and the tester said she always uses 4 points and this formula because her experience is they tend to be closer to target. She is the same person always giving the test at this facility and was highly recommended by someone that took both DEXA and this and said the results were very close.

Anyway, interesting to see what Bod Pod also says..might have to do this too. Just have heard the air displacement test can be off due to pressure issues or calibration of machine or air tightness of the hair cap, etc.

All methods have issues, even water test is messed up if you don't blow all the air out when underwater.

The message for me was the same in that 10lbs of pure fat will get me to where I will not see as much fat on my lower body, so that was a nice target to see and a specific goal to shoot for.

The woman today is a trainer at a gym and had a reason to tell me I need to lose more, but she said by looking at me I look athletic and fit and said average she tests for women is in the low 30's and that she can see my definition and thinks I am fine, but with the extra 10lbs can get the visible areas dealt with. Was nice to see that validated by someone that could have said I needed way more to sell me on their services, but she didn't do that.

They millimeters of fat were higher on my thigh and triceps and then abs/ hip that is very consistent with how I see it...legs have the most fat and triceps second.

Just wanted to tell you what I did today in case you also want to search for another method. Calipers are too inconsistent and she said that always reads lower than this test.

Anyway, good job on getting this done and great that it was part of your plan...lucky you. Think you need a second opinion to be double sure...but just using this system over time will give you a trend even of the exact number is off...seems like there are no exacts anyway...

Thanks for the blog, very informative. Will be posting mine soon.

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BEATLETOT 2/22/2012 3:51AM

    Very nice, and how fun was that! Looking forward to your updates!

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SHERYL_B 2/21/2012 10:21PM

    So cool! I work at a Health Center and as part of our support of the students, one of our local university classes comes once a year and does body fat testing for our staff. (electrical impulses, not a fancy bod pod), so I have my results going back 3 years. Much better numbers last year, but I am really looking forward to this year's to truly see a change.

I get the being at the head of the class thing, I feel like that happens a lot (I am not a shrinking violet either and love to share my enthusiasm with others).

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REBECCATKD 2/21/2012 10:03PM

    I want a Bod Pod!!

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SAFARIBABE 2/21/2012 9:15PM

    WOW that sounds like a lot of fun!!! Tried to find one up here but they're all with Universities. So I when I got a Groupon for a scale that measures body fat....I settled for that instead. LOL Like the tape measure....let me know how well it works! Have a great night!

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Day off....relatively speaking

Monday, February 20, 2012

So days off are kind of relative affairs for me. After my standard putzing around this AM (coffee, news, smoothie), I started looking for things to do around the house.

Cleaned out the gutters that had gotten leaves & sticks piled in around the downspouts, finally organized the storage shed where SWMBO had stored all her various tubs full of XMAS decorations and the like, then took my car to an electronics shop to see if they could "unstuck" the GPS DVD stuck in the player--no luck--so I spent 2 hours cruising around e-bay and various auto parts websites trying to find a new GPS player--not much luck there either.

Played HALO with my son when he came back from school (one bennie of having time off), then hit the gym for cardio and ST....still have to modify the leg routine to keep from aggravating my back, so instead of doing squats, I did leg presses on the sled...not too bad. I want to get back to squats soon, but not at the expense of a messed up back.

Came back home and SWMBO had somehow caught the microwave on fire cooking baked potatoes...don't ask me how, she is special that way (her other nickname is Grace...she's kind of clumsy). So I did a quick Amazon search and ordered up a new one that will hopefully get here before I go to OKC on Thursday.

Tomorrow I do the Bod Pod thing at 9:00 AM (See my blog:
). It better be quick, 'cause SMWBO and I have a lunch date at 11:00....have got to keep her out of the kitchen!!

Hopefully, that will be a more relaxing day off!

Have a great night Spark friends!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SHERYL_B 2/21/2012 10:25PM

    I don't see anything about work! Way to go!!!!

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JUNEBUG1944 2/21/2012 8:33PM

    I don't think you know the meaning of "relax!" Hmmmm, fire in the microwave? Really? Was she nuking aluminum foil?

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HAKAPES 2/21/2012 6:16PM

    This day OFF sounded like a day ON!

But sometimes it's the activity that switches us off.

On fire? Really? OMG!

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EYES_ON_THEPRAZ 2/21/2012 2:50PM

    Sounds like a nice, productive day off from work :-)

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BEATLETOT 2/21/2012 10:31AM

    Enjoy your lunch with your bride today!

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SAFARIBABE 2/20/2012 10:05PM

    Oooooo Can't wait to hear about the pod! And as for taking a day off to got a LOT to learn about relaxation!! LOL At least you didn't check into the office every hour to make sure the place hadn't burned down or been over run by aliens in your absence! I suppose that IS something. As for relaxation...I just have 1 word for you.....Kindle!

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Guys Wild Game Night and my Toasted Nuts Adventure!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Well what epitomizes a a guys' weekend more than feasting on freshly killed meat!

SWMBO was out of town this weekend, so #2 son and I had the run of the house. A friend of mine had "Wild Game" night over at his place Saturday night. It was a father/son kind of a get-together, so the timing was perfect.

NOTE: If you're a vegan, please stop here and proceed to the next blog.

It was pretty darn cool! Now I'm not a hunter....the last thing I need is another hobby, but we had a good old time. There was hair growing on the walls from all the testosterone in the room.

My friend had some local "Game Chef" come over and prepare about 5 different kinds of meat that they had gathered up here or had flown in from around the country over the last few weeks. On the menu was;

- Pulled Feral Boar
- Elk Stroganoff
- Venison Stew
- Alligator Gumbo
- Moose-Schnitzel

The cool part was he was actually doing it as part of a fundraiser on "Game Management" and so he had some of the local Park Rangers come and talk about local game in the area (we have everything from gators, to black bears, to bobcats/panthers, and tons of deer in the woods around here). Some of the kids were pretty amazed.

It all tasted pretty good (except for the gator....they put way too much okra into the gumbo, so I had to pass....tried to pull out a couple of chunks, but decided it wasn't worth the hassle). #2 son and I had a good time. For whatever reason, he found fascinating the fact that the biggest threat to the deer population in the US are coyotes; apparently they go on a spree in the spring going after young doe fawns and this has had a huge impact on the population. He kept repeating this all weekend, so I better make sure he doesn't think this means coyotes are going to go after his new girlfriend.

Then I started doing some real weird stuff!

Aside from getting some admin chores done around the house while SWMBO was away (oil change for the cars, swap out filters in the HVAC, etc.) I found my whole routine thrown into a quandary while she was out of town. You see, I'm usually the one on the road and she usually does a whole bunch of stuff that I now had to figure out; make coffee in the morning (where the hell are those filters), feed the cat (the damn thing pounced on me at 5:30 AM...SWMBO gets up at 4:30 every day and feeds the cat first thing), etc.

So I read here on Sparkpeople the other day about how some members soaked dry nuts in water to have some of the salt and resins leach out and I decided to give it a try. We had a large tin of pistachio/almond/cashew mix, so I emptied them into a big basin and filled it with water.

Within 5 minutes, the water was brackish/brown! So I emptied it out, put in some new water and over the next hour, did it twice again, then let it soak overnight.

In the morning, there was a thin film of oil on the top! Cool! So emptied it out and tried some of the nuts....pretty tasty, a little mushy, but they still had a good crunch to them. So then I figured I should toast them!

I cranked up the stove to about 400, got out a sheet pan and lined it with foil and spread these bad boys all over. Within 20 minutes the house smelled like a Christmas feast! I tried a handful more....crunchier and now a wonderful toasted texture....double yum!! I left them in there for another 10 minutes then let them cool and put them back into the tin for future snacking.

So I might be on to a new snack routine here people...more to follow. I'll probably have to do some better selection, instead of relying on Mr Planters, though.....this was a lot of effort for "pre-salted" nuts.

All in all a nice relaxing weekend. I'm off work for a few days this week, but plan on hitting the gym religiously!

Have a great night Spark friends!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    The nuts sound delicious! Sounds like you had fun :)

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BILL60 2/20/2012 8:37AM

    Sounds like some great Father/Son bonding.

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SAFARIBABE 2/20/2012 6:22AM

    Soooooo jealous of your game night! I LOVE all of those -- well never had elk but figure moose must be pretty close! Sorry to hear the cat attacked! Funny, I was watching Pet Semetart yesterday....your description reminded me of the cat there. Hehehe. Have a great Monday! Enjoy the days off, you've certainly earned them.

P.S. They DO sell unsalted muts.....

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KAYZAKCX 2/20/2012 12:55AM

    Wild Game night...mmmmm...sounds like a blast. Reading that got me drooling.

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HEALTHIERKEN 2/20/2012 12:01AM

    Ducks Unlimited have an annual Game Banquet here. I've never been--those who go say it costs a lot for tickets and then once you get there you're expected to bid on auction items. You how it is when a bunch of guys get together! Competition soars.
How to best "win" an auction?
Whether or not you want the item . . . .

Toasted nuts sound great!

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