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Rocky Mountain High

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Well once again, I'm way out west....and up in the mountains.

I actually got done with my meetings fairly early and was able to enjoy the great DRY weather here in Colorado. After leaving the muggy 94 degree Florida heat, it felt perfectly wonderful to feel some cool mountain breezes today.

Of course the downside snuck up on me in the gym.

I hit the elliptical for a hard 15 minute warm-up before going in to the weight room. It was a much harder warmup than it should have been. Why? Because my trusty Theodolite app told me I was 6100 feet above the seaside wonderland I left yesterday! Good to know!

So to not make a total fool of myself in the weight room, I took about 20lbs off most everything I did....good thing too, because it still felt like a whole lot of extra work pushing against gravity in what seemed like an ever-thinning atmosphere.

But I persevered...and I have to admit, while I don't put a lot of credence on the actual amount of weight on the bar, as I relaxed on the bench between sets, I felt pretty good that at 6100 feet above sea level, a 52-year old me still had a bunch more weight on there than a good number of the huffing and puffing 20 & 30 somethings.

Lunch & dinner were oriental themes. Traveladvisor app led me to a nice Vietnamese joint near work for a bowl of chicken Pho, and, at dinner, I found a nice little mom & pop Thai place where they sizzled me up a wonderfully spicy plate of Chicken Pad Thai.

Last month I read a great article in The Atlantic called "Six Rules for Dining Out"

In it, he gives some great pointers to find local gems....things like, "go to the strip malls", or "find a Thai restaurant attached to a hotel"

So I compromised and found a Thai restaurant in a strip mall, but it looked like the family owned the nail salon next door.....anyway, read the article....the Pad Thai was spicy and scrumptious!

Off to Salt Lake City tomorrow.....have a great night Spark friends!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FANGFACEKITTY 5/31/2012 10:13PM

    I like Thai food and am about due for some. The best Thai place I've been to was in a mall, not a stand alone restaurant. And I think they owned the nail studio next door. Wonder if it was the same place as in the article? Of course I also like Mexican and Italian and Chinese and Japanese and Indian get the idea.

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SHERYL_B 5/30/2012 11:01PM

    I've gotten altitude sickness twice (once i ended up in the er). I am now super careful with watching the altitude and not pushing my body hard when I am at a high elevation. Good for you for being able to continue. Be careful thugh!

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GJCAB09 5/30/2012 12:29PM

    Glad you're enjoying our state, I'm a Thai food nut myself ( along with most everything else!). Nice job in the gym! emoticon

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EYES_ON_THEPRAZ 5/30/2012 12:28PM

    Have a great rest of your trip! Thanks for the article!

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HEALTHIERKEN 5/30/2012 11:28AM

    Sosunds like I should become a 21st century eater and try some Thai cuisine. DW not so advenurous about food away from home--likes to know she's going to like what she gets so we most often hit the franchises. There's got to be ways around this : )

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KAYZAKCX 5/30/2012 10:54AM

    Thai...mmmmm!!! You're making me hungry!

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BOB240 5/30/2012 1:48AM

    Altituide seems to speed up my fat loss. Whilst skiing I lost a large amount over and above the normal rate. Ok was was also skiing 6 hours a day but..

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Sunday HIIT motivation

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Well just as a follow up to yesterday's blog, today I felt my usual self, quite nicely motivated to hit the gym for a nice cardio session and a little bit of ST

Truth is, I had to spend about 4 hours in the office cleaning up some reports I had to get done before hitting the road tomorrow, so I was ultra-motivated to get my blood pumping.

Got in a good HIIT session on the elliptical. If I haven't mentioned it in a while, the BeatBurn Elliptical app creates a great friggin' High Intensity workout. Since I also wanted to get in some abs and back extensions, I set it for an Advanced 30 minute workout and it kicked my ass! The cool thing about the app is that it adjusts the BPM of your songs without messing up the pitch. Voila, the beat of all your favorite tunes adjusted to whatever pace you're supposed to be at.

Came home and read some more of Mark Rippetoe's book "Starting Strength" on the Kindle

I'm really digging it and have made tons of major & minor adjustments to my ST form to great effect. Kind of geeky I know, but what's great is that after almost 3 years of lifting, I feel "strong enough" to actually have it make sense and say "Aha" every now and then when he points out a visualization or explains why your anatomy makes a particular adjustment so much better.

Anyway, I'm off to pack for my road trip this week. Tomorrow at 11:00, SWMBO, #2 son and I are helping out the local DAV chapter with a Memorial Day service (#2 son is leading the Pledge of Allegiance!)

In lieu of a BBQ, we're going to Ruby Tuesday's for lunch where I fully plan on devouring one of their most excellent Triple Prime Cheddar Burgers!! Nutrition tracker be warned....we're going to be cutting it pretty close tomorrow!

Then I catch a flight to Colorado Springs at 3:30. Meetings there all day Tuesday, flight out to Salt Lake City in the evening, two days there, then to Vegas to install my new division chief on Friday, and back home Saturday AM.

In case I don't get a chance to say it tomorrow, thanks to all Warriors and their families, past, present, and future--your friends, your neighbors, your co-workers and all your fellow citizens appreciate all you have done!

"We sleep soundly in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm." Winston Churchill

Have a great night Spark friends!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SAFARIBABE 5/29/2012 10:02PM

    Suuuuuuure.....go to Vegas AFTER I leave!! NICE!! LOL

Hope you have a productive trip. What brought on the triple threat cheeseburger or what ever it was??

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GOODGETNBETR 5/28/2012 11:22PM

    Thanks for the heads up on the Beatburn App. Keep up the good work.

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LOWFATFOODIE 5/28/2012 2:40PM

    Going to have to check out that app... Does it work for treadmill too? Also putting that book on my amazon wishlist- sounds helpful.

ST is strength training for the person who asked.

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HAKAPES 5/28/2012 1:18PM

    Thanks for the welcome back notes!

I like "#2 son"... ;-)

Your energy motivates me a lot!

I'm interested in your feedback on the book - share with us.

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TRIANGLE-WOMAN 5/28/2012 10:16AM

    "... hit the gym for a nice cardio session and a little bit of ST."

What is ST?


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HEALTHIERKEN 5/28/2012 1:51AM

    Have a good trip!

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Danger of NOT working out....

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Well I finally got my laptop back....I perused AngiesList and found a small mom & pop place down the road that had a pretty good reputation....the guy (pop) diagnosed it pretty quick, ordered up a replacement screen, which finally came in yesterday, and now I have my laptop back.

I'm still likely to get me a new one in the next 4-6 months, but I wanted to do it at my pace, retiring this one gracefully. Besides, if I didn't get this one fixed I'd have never recovered all my stuff off the hard drive!

Well Sparkfriends this last week was one of those ridiculously busy weeks that almost deterred me from working out. I got in my ST on Monday, then Tuesday and Wednesday were over in a blur. I'm traveling next week (more on that below), so my guys loaded me up with meetings, pretty much from 7:30 to 5:00 every day....which meant I was at work for another 3-4 hours to actually DO some work after all the meetings!

We had some words about that....

Anyway, I ended up not even getting close to a gym on Tuesday and Wednesday, but did get in some HIIT on Thursday, ST on Friday, and just got back from another cardio and abs session.

So here's the deal.....I was really pissed that I missed 2 days in a row, and started getting major-league antsy that I might miss a third on Thursday, so I told my secretary to not schedule ANYTHING after 3:00, finished up a stack load of paperwork, and made it to the gym before dinner.

What's interesting is that I've felt like it had a ripple effect on the last few days. Cardio felt hard on Thursday, and even though my ST session went real well, it left me exhausted. And maybe I was just lazy today (I did take a mid-afternoon nap) but I was looking for a reason to NOT get in some cardio

Yeah "looking for a reason" NOT workout.

Is that all it takes.....2 to 3 weird days of full and changing schedules?

I think not....I'll chalk it up to the extra heaping of tzaziki and hummus appetizer at the Greek joint we went out to for lunch....I think that's what knocked me out into sleep-land this afternoon.

So onward and's getting pretty darn hot here in the Florida panhandle (94 this afternoon) so I'm looking to get in an early morning bike ride tomorrow.

Monday, SWMBO, #2 son and I are helping out with a Memorial Day observance in the morning, then I'm flying out to Colorado in the afternoon. Spend Tuesday there, off to Salt Lake City Wednesday, Las Vegas Thursday and back home Saturday.

I'm looking to get in a workout every day!

Have a great night Sparkfriends!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BILL60 5/27/2012 8:51AM

    AHHHH, the glory of retirement. Working out, napping, Honey-do's, eating/reading, and enjoying. You too will make it there one day. In the mean time, HANG TOUGH!!

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BOB240 5/27/2012 3:16AM

    Yes.. meetings are a complete joy. The chief reason I use a protein drink once a day is that it is hard to grab any decent food on some days. At least the protein drink keeps me going and is quick..

It was work that derailed me last time on training. I prefer training four times a week but this time "maintenance" is about a minimum of three times (ST and HIIT) which I think I can manage under all circumstances. But you're right - If I don't train 4 times I think I am "losing it". For me it's important to get out of that mindset. This means ST will be short and intense (as Rippletoe recommends).

Squats: I must have seen hundreds of people do them in the gym. I don't remember more than five going deep. I have found - bit like you- that going deep really hits my core - even with less weight. I have also found that going deep actually helps my knee. Although I was taught to power lift 25 years ago. Rippletoes videos are immensely valuable. I actually keep rewatching them to get good form. I have also found that form has helped a small back issue I had!. Moral of the story - it's far far better to do it right than do it heavy.

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BRADOS 5/26/2012 11:39PM

    nice job not falling off the horse after that delay getting back to the gym - that certainly a sign of some dedication not falling prey to making excuses not to go

have a great weekend GETSTRONGRRR

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It's not you, it's me!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Yeah, so I've been a slacker about blogging lately....don't worry, it's not you, it's me!

Work has been as busy as always.....I decided to fire that guy I blogged about a few days ago:

That alone took endless of hours of coordination with the legal folks (to make sure it wouldn't come back to bite us), the personnel folks, etc, etc,'s never easy!

Then my laptop died when I was on the road last week. Turns out the screen gave up the ghost, so I found a guy down the road that can order up and put in a new one for about $180. I might still take the Apple plunge for a MacBook Air....but you know, rumors abound that it's at the end of its product cycle and the next gen will have a Retina display.....

Anyways, till the laptop comes back, I blog from the big, clunky desktop in #2 son's playroom....

The good news is that I feel great. We hit a going away party for one of our neighbors Saturday night....the hostess picked an Italian soiree theme.....needless to say, there was tons of lasagna, garlic bread, etc.

SWMBO had a great idea for us to bring a batch of Caprese salad....some nice ripe cherry tomatoes mixed up with fresh mozzarella balls, generously adorned with hand-torn basil leaves, all tossed and mixed with extra virgin olive oil, a little balsamic vinegar, and freshly cracked pepper and sea salt....triple yum!!

It was the only dish that was left completely clean at the end of the night! And we did pretty good walking out of there for under 800 calories for the's nice going to these things and loading up on all the fresh goodies first and metering out all the cheesy, gooey things in smaller portions.

Still on a good routine with the workouts....finding/making time is the's really helped to keep me on track with all the other goings on (did I mention SWMBO quit smoking.....2 weeks without a goes on....but every now and then, we have our moments)

That's all for now Spark friends.....have a great night.....maybe tomorrow I blog from my favorite laptop!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MOM23JS 6/2/2012 4:23PM

    That salad sounds delicious!!! YUMMM!!!

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TRIANGLE-WOMAN 5/22/2012 10:14PM

    It is never easy to be the boss, but someone has to do it.

I've had my Mozz/tomato/basil creations disappear many a time!

Can't wait for my garden tomatoes to ripen, and basil to grow.

-Be well,

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REBECCATKD 5/22/2012 8:33PM

    Tell SWMBO she's awesome for fighting against the nicotene monster!

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EYES_ON_THEPRAZ 5/22/2012 12:06PM

    Love caprese salad! it's one of my go-tos when I want that Italian taste!

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ACCEPTHECHLNGE 5/22/2012 11:57AM

    The picture of your salad is magazine-picture-perfect. It looks so fresh and good. Look at those colors! I make a similar salad all summer long (with larger, sliced tomatoes and larger, sliced, fresh Mozzarella). It is so good.
Glad to hear that you have calmed down, and solved your office problem.

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BEATLETOT 5/22/2012 9:00AM've been busy-busy! Glad to see a blog from you, and glad you figured out what to do with that guy.

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SAFARIBABE 5/21/2012 11:23PM

    Salad sounds YUMMY! Glad you were able to get your lappy sorted! Don't know what I'd do without mine...Although....the huge monitor on my desktop is really lovely!! LOL Hope all goes well with the sacking. Still say you shou;d have gone to him...then I could have met up with you in Vegas!! emoticon

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    Great job for you at the part and for SWMBO for quitting smoking! :) And great job for firing that jerk, too. Ugh. Happy Monday!

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My laptop died.....should I buy a Mac?

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Oh no, I think the screen on my laptop bit the dust!!!

I've only got a few more tricks up my sleeve before I start using it for skeet practice.

Well I've been coveting a Macbook Air for a while now, secretly fondling them at Best Buy and pricing them at the Apple store.....could it be time? I wish they had a bigger hard drive.....but it barely weighs a pound and a half and I love that!

I'm not an iPad fan, and I've never really been a Mac guy at all till I got an iPhone last do I have to start dressing like a self-satisfied hipster sporting distressed jeans, un-tucked flannel shirts, and a perrenial 3-day growth of beard??

Do I have to go vegetarian (I admit, I have a weak spot for good hummus) but does that qualify me as a faux-elitist snob? Does this mean I have to order me up a Segway for my morning commute?

Do I have to re-format my Kindle (can I even be seen with a Kindle?) getting rid of all my classics, my Scandinavian detective novels, my poli-sci and world history tomes to be seen reading only the latest post-modern, post-post modern, post-structuralist and post-apocalyptic crap?

Does this mean I have to up my cardio, cut down on all non-essential eating so I can sport a pair of "skinny jeans".....Oh my God, I just bought a new pair of reading glasses, but they're tiny.....I need me a pair of Buddy Holly spectacles!!

What do I do about the cool? I can start saying things like, "Yeah, I joined Sparkpeople BEFORE they were cool" or "Yeah, I donated to Haiti BEFORE the disaster" or "I liked Sparkguy's first app, but pretty much after that I never got into them."

Maybe I just need to see if I can get my old Dell working.....I'm not sure I can handle this massive a lifestyle change in just a few days!

Have a great night Spark friends!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CHEEKY1000 5/27/2012 10:07PM

    Hmmm, for my purposes and money, I stick with the PC. My first computers from the time I was 12 until my mid-20's were all of the Apple persuasion. However, I made the move to PC and have stuck with it. I'm not artsy which is a huge strength of Mac, and to get the same size memory, etc on a Mac is much, much more expensive. I've been told that Macs last longer. In my experience, 4-5 years is about as long as I want a computer anyhow. By then, technology has completely been revolutionized and the old computer usually isn't compatible with adding upgrades anyhow. Same thing with Macs.

Go with your gut! I'm currently struggling with whether I want to go back to an iPhone or stick with Android. My gut just isn't talking about it and it's driving me nuts. lol Hopefully yours has more to say. :o)

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PROT358 5/19/2012 9:43PM

    My first laptop was a Dell. It lasted me four years before it went unresponsive but only functioned well for one year. My second and current laptop is a Mac and have not regretted that decision for one moment. I found the second far more reliable, faster, easier to use, etc, so I recommend Mac whole-heartedly. Keep us posted!

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BOB240 5/18/2012 3:32PM

    "My laptop died.....should I buy a Mac?
I've used Macs since 1987. I teach undergraduates on Macs, Windows and Linux on a range of computing courses.

Macs are simply very expensive intel PC's. Like it or not computers are disposable items. When I buy a netbook I assume at some point it will be dropped.... and is thus disposable.

Without a doubt Macs are very expensive for what they are - and frankly not worth it. They are a style choice but the added value is questionable.

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STARL_73 5/17/2012 11:58PM

    If you get a Mac, get one because it's got what you want. Don't get one because "Macs don't get viruses" because that's bull. If you're a power excel user, stick with a pc. If you're an artist, I'd lean toward mac - they excel there. Personally, I'm a pc, but I do have a mac for clients that do. I don't like it - but then I like full control.

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FANGFACEKITTY 5/17/2012 10:16PM

    I've never used a Mac so I can't comment on if it is better than a PC but I'm certain Gadget Guy can manage the transition to uber cool Apple geek with a minimum of fuss.

I love my iPad, use it every day. It is much easier to travel with it instead of a laptop. My only complaint is it isn't that user friendly for spreadsheets that I have seen, at least in the small amount of time I've loooked into it.

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SAFARIBABE 5/17/2012 9:19PM

    It's JUST a computer!! NOT a lifestyle change!! LOL What's wrong with an iPad??? When I go to Europe for work, I DL all my work to the iPad and carry a LOT less crap thru the airport. Most places don't even want you to remove it from the bag, thereby speeding time thru security checkpoints!! I'm sure you're a TSA pro....BUT you can't deny that not having to battle the lappy in and out of a bag WOULD speed things up! Fix the Dell and get an iPad! I got a wireless keyboard to go with it, so now typing long things is a LOT easier and much less of a chore!

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EYES_ON_THEPRAZ 5/16/2012 4:42PM

    If it were me, I would get a regular Macbook, not the Air. But if the lightness wins you over, then go with the Air I guess! I'm not an apple snob, but have converted to a lot of their products over the years simply because they're just better. But you don't have to make the full switch (and your kindle should be fine... most things can go PC to MAC fine, just not the other way around. And kindles are COOL.)

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HEALTHIERKEN 5/16/2012 1:25PM

    "My laptop died.....should I buy a Mac?"

As to all your other questions, no. It is quite comfortable living as both a Mac user and a slow-to-change-my-essentials Baby Boomer ; )

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TRIANGLE-WOMAN 5/16/2012 10:21AM

    Apple's goal as a company is to MAKE GREAT PRODUCTS.

Profits are secondary. When profits and sales become the focus, I will sell my Apple stock.

Until then, say "yes" to Mac and be sure to visit your local Genius Bar if you have any questions or concerns about the transition.


imer - our family owns 5 Mac lap tops, one Mac Mini, so many i-pods of various persuasions I have lost count, 2 Apple TVs, 2 Apple Airport Expresses and I am PRAYING that the rumors are true and Apple is coming out with a TV that will have Siri and eliminate the 7 various remotes that we currently have floating around our living room.

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PAULOBRY 5/16/2012 9:13AM

    Very funny blog. I have a PC laptop via my employer. I probably won't make the switch until either work does or I retire. But the direction is clearly MAC.

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PLMITCH 5/16/2012 8:41AM

    I switched to a Mac over a year ago...No plans to ever use a PC again for personal use!

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ARCSPARKS 5/16/2012 7:44AM

    I've been using both Macs and PC's extensively since 1995; I live on both platforms. I prefer Macs and think they are the better operating system. Now you can buy one without having to abandon your PC software either. If you want a more secure O/S without a lot less hassles, I'd say go for the Mac. You may *think* they're more expensive, but in the long run, considering what you get and considering the ease of use along with not having to invest a lot for security, it's the better choice in my opinion.

It's the emoticon

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BILL60 5/16/2012 7:40AM

    Mac is the way to go. Simpler, more reliable, and the support is the very best. My Mac Book Pro has never let me down. When in doubt, I schedule an appointment with the "Geniuses". You get exactly what you pay for. Good luck!!

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GJCAB09 5/16/2012 7:30AM

    Apple is evil...

I'll leave it at that ; )

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ELISA322 5/16/2012 7:27AM

    LOL, the answer to all of your questions is... yes. You do.

Get the Macbook Air, I think you need one with all of the travelling you do. I'd love to have one but I can't justify one for myself (I just gave my MBP to my little sis because I hardly used it). I do like Apple products though, owner of an iMac/iPad.

However, I don't mind Windows either. I know... *gasp!!

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I own an ipod nano that I've had for a year and it bit the dust yesterday. I had hoped it would last me years! I cringe spending the money on another one. There are not as many options as in the world of computers.
Good luck in your decision!

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LOWFATFOODIE 5/16/2012 12:05AM

    Hee hee hee.. This made me giggle!

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KUJAYHAWKGIRL 5/16/2012 12:03AM

    I've been a Mac girl for years - and love Mac! Do it!

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JONESINATOR 5/15/2012 11:51PM

    I have a four year old Macbook and I'm about the furthest thing from a hipster. And I have an iPhone. So there! Apple products don't HAVE to change you; resist the urge!

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GOODGETNBETR 5/15/2012 10:38PM

    Sorry to hear about the computer. As far as Mac over PC there are forums and articles galore. In the end it comes down to personal preference and will it be able to do what you need it to do. emoticon

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    I got a MacBook Pro and a LOVE it. Just sayin'. Good luck!

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