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Oh dear...what have I gotten myself into?

Friday, February 01, 2013

I signed on for the 2013 Winter 5% Challenge without reading the small print...or any print, actually. I'm such a pushover for the New Shiny Thing, and this was certainly glinting seductively in the sun.

I think I can do this, though...let's see...5%...8 weeks....*fumbles for calculator*...a little better than nine pounds. Meh, okay - that sounds do-able. emoticon

I plan to concentrate on fitness this month anyway, so as long as they don't insist that I log anything else, we'll be okay. I generally don't weigh myself weekly - more like monthly - but I can do that, too.

I saw a few familiar faces around the "airport" - SHERYLDS (who invited me), FLORIDASUN, G.I.JANE - hope to see some more before this thing gets officially underway !

Here's to us! emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FLORIDASUN 3/13/2013 8:45AM

    I'm enjoying the 5% gives you something to be accountable for and if you are like me...I's GOT to be accountable...otherwise I run freely amongst the calories with unabated enthusiasm. What team are you on...I'm on the Cats team this go round...haven't seen you on our team. emoticon

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SILVERANGEL6 2/3/2013 6:59PM

    Ouch! But I'm sure you can do it, now you have made your mind up to do it....just remember to use the self love affirmations, to spur yourself on....

Love & Light

Sylvia XOXO

emoticon emoticon emoticon
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AURORAMILLET 2/3/2013 1:13AM

    Take one step at a time...


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    'I'm on prednisone right now. My goal will be not to gain weight. LOL.

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BECCABOO127 2/2/2013 9:46PM



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JLPEASE 2/2/2013 12:05PM


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APPLEPIEAPPLE 2/2/2013 10:39AM


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BLESSEDBEING 2/1/2013 11:17PM

    Try it--it's all about finding what works for each person. Personally, I don't do boot camps or challenges; I babystepped my way to losing a third of myself (75# total). But if it inspires and motivates you, brilliant!

Wishing you joy and success!
Blessed Be, Amanda emoticon

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ACIMPEGGY 2/1/2013 11:00PM

    Sounds like a winner!


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HEALTHYGRAMMY49 2/1/2013 10:55PM

    Hi Scooter! What have you gotten yourself into...just the best SparkTeam out there! lol.

Regarding some of your questions, I suggest that you...
Go to the Winter 5% Challenge Team: General Discussion Forum and click on the topics...Just Joined the Team - READ THIS FIRST & Mandatory Reading-Updated with important changes...respectively.

It will give you a clear picture of what is involved in the challenge. You will be placed on an Individual Team soon. One of your team leaders will send a SparkMail directly to you with instructions. I remember it seemed a bit overwhelming when I joined the challenge for the first time in 2011, but I caught on quickly and had plenty of help from my team leaders & members. You will too!!

If you have any specific questions until then, you can ask me or go on the 5% Team page and ask your questions in the...Buzz Around the Airport-Discussion. Either way we'll make sure you get some answers.

emoticon The overall 5% Team & Individuals Teams are encouraging, motivating and very supportive. You'll make new friends and have gentle accountability. Good luck in moving towards your personal goals. It's gonna be a fun flight!!! See ya 5% lighter.

Remember emoticon emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 2/1/2013 11:00:33 PM

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BETHGILLIGAN 2/1/2013 8:42PM

    Don't know what the challenge is exactly but 9 pounds??? You've got this!!!

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ADAGIO_CON_BRIO 2/1/2013 7:21PM

    I will be at the airport too! It's fun. I am a cat; what about you?

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PEPPYPATTI 2/1/2013 7:00PM

    You will do just fine! I have signed up for it too-just hoping I am well enough to participate when it starts-lol!
emoticon emoticon

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OLIVIANIGHT 2/1/2013 5:44PM

    Good luck, I'm sure you can do it : )

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Friday, February 01, 2013

You guys have *got* to try this!

The bands are four separate exercises - arrange in order from one end to the other (the ends are fixed, the rest are drag-and-drop.)


Okay, got your scores?

I shocked myself - got a 3. I did better than my children, including the professional photographer. I *am* good at something! emoticon

Now, how can I make money with this skill..... emoticon


Incidentally, as for all that blogging I did yesterday, I've decided to slay one dragon at a time. February will be devoted to fitness.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FLORIDASUN 3/13/2013 8:42AM

    I'm a little miffed! emoticon Known by my friends as 'the Queen of all things Color" I only scored a 10! How can that be...I must have been in a hurry..hee..hee! emoticon

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    LO. Fitness it is.

I promise to try this when I can see straight.

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BETHGILLIGAN 2/1/2013 2:38PM

    Your site is causing me much frustration today! I got an email that you posted a blog about an I hate to cook team. Sounds right up my alley--however, it doesn't seem to be on here. Next, I can't get the link in this one to work. emoticon I have copy and pasted the link a number of times with no luck. Now, I'll never know if I was good at this or not.

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AURORAMILLET 2/1/2013 2:00PM

    Interesting, I will have to try it!!

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TIME2BLOOM4ME 2/1/2013 11:10AM


Report Inappropriate Comment's a short month...

Thursday, January 31, 2013

so I figure it's the best time to set some goals - better than a month with 31 days, anyway. Hey, baby steps.


So I wrote all of the below, then got an unexpected call from daughter #2, who took her car in to be looked at by a local mechanic. He's a father of three daughters himself, and she said that when he looked underneath her car, he just blanched and told her that she could have been killed, literally any moment, driving that car. Apparently the steering is so bad that it's a hairsbreadth away from locking in a right turn, sending her into the car next to her or over the cliff (and in Pittsburgh, there are plenty of cliffs.)

The thing is, she got the whole steering thing replaced a year ago, so this mechanic is going to have words with the place that did it, and with any luck she can work out a way to get the other things fixed on some sort of payment plan. I wish I could help her, but she makes more than I do, by quite a bit.


In light of the above shakeup, I'm considering just swearing that in February, I will be A Proper Grown-Up and set a Good Example for the Children.

written earlier:

I'm not even going to promise to log everything, because I know I won't do it. I won't log food - I've sworn too many times to do that, and it never happens. I'll try (and don't get on me about the Yoda thing) to check off the water and freggies, but I don't promise.

I *will* promise to do some sort of fitness thing every day, even if some days it's just the One Minute Yoga. And I *will* promise to log the fitness - I'm interested to see how much I actually do and don't do. I worked so many jobs where fitness was just sort of a side effect of daily life, like when I had the landscaping company, that it's difficult for me to make exercise a daily priority, but now that circumstances have changed, I see that I need to do this.

As a corollary to the above, I promise to wear the FitBit every day and remember to download its info. I also promise not to throw another one into the washing machine, still attached to the bra it was clipped onto - that was getting expensive.

I also promise to cut back the glasses of wine from 3-4 to 1-2 (no, it's not an every day thing.) No problem there - just need to pay more attention. That goes hand in hand with the next one:

I promise to do the dishes after every meal. (Thank goodness that doesn't start til tomorrow .) That might seem like I'm being an awful slob now, but if you live alone and hate to cook, you really don't generate that many dishes, so they're easy to ignore..

I also promise to be sure I'm getting a sufficient amount of protein.

That's enough for now. February isn't a great time to swear to eat more vegetables or fruits, since I'm pretty much devoted to local produce and right now there isn't any. I'll promise that in another couple months.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MYOWNHERO 2/5/2013 5:50PM

    Wow...what a month!

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    That is so scary about your daughter and the steering wheel. I'm glad she had it looked at.

I loved you goals! So uniquely you.

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BETHGILLIGAN 2/1/2013 1:50PM

    Geez, Louise!! That's quite a list there!!! I think you've about covered the bases!! Do what you really care about and forget the rest. (I don't care if you don't do your dishes. You live alone, it's OK!!)

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HIPPICHICK1 2/1/2013 1:47PM

    Great goals list!
I know what you mean about having a job where fitness was part of it. I taught dance for 7 years and could easily burn up to 600 calories on those days. Now that I have to WORK at it....
It ain't that easy.

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TIME2BLOOM4ME 2/1/2013 11:11AM


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FLORIDASUN 2/1/2013 9:35AM

    Hey...those goals are pretty admirable! At least you don't lie in public! Smirk...I have many sparkling friends that are just too...well...perfect!

I'd like to shadow them for a week or two and make sure they REALLY eat only nutritionally balanced meals with each and every lettuce leaf properly calculated into the tracker. Come on Lucy! No one is that perfect every single day of the spark week!

But...on the other hand...maybe that is why they have a ga-zillion spark points at the top of their page and I have a measly...what is it...20,000 something after almost FOUR spark years!

Some days I'm reduced to grabbing a 3 point booster on the recipe page...and DON'T get me started on those that take the 3 points without even rating the recipe..there should be some spark zapper that flys out of the keyboard for those who rant without rate.

I'm going to my Slow Cooker RIGHT now to make my Slow Cooker Spanish Chicken for tonight...ohhhh those 3 extra points are going to feel SO good tomorrow!

Seriously I love my it to the moon and back. It really inspires the booty to keep moving! AND...I don't have to log goes into the tracker automatically!

Boy howdy! emoticon The wonders of technology! emoticon

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KASEYCOFF 2/1/2013 2:34AM

    I hear you about the dishes: I used to frown at my mother-in-law's habit of rinsing them, putting them in the dish-drainer, then re-using them, without soap and hot water in between. She lived alone, and only washed dishes "properly" if people came around for a meal. Now, with the kids grown and gone and just the two of us rattling around here - I can sorta see that the ol' lady made sense. Far better things to do than a few dishes. Besides, why waste the soap / hot water until there's a basinful?

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_UMAMI_ 2/1/2013 1:14AM

That's what I would rec to you in your part or the world, at this time of year.
Also, I have no idea if this is legit, but we've had many, many grey days for weeks, and, even when it wasn't grey out, I'm kind of a skin cancer poster matron, so I started taking Vitamin D, and I realized that today, despite stress, lack of sleep, the usual, I felt pretty damn good! I'm NOT a supplements advocate, but I think I may try to keep taking the anti-depressant med supplements: Vit D, FIsh oil, B vitamins, etc.

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DOLLFACEDX 2/1/2013 12:14AM

    emoticon emoticon

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SUZYMOBILE 1/31/2013 8:12PM

    Don't forget to make your bed.

(Just kidding! Whatever is important will rise to the top of the list and get done.)

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NORASPAT 1/31/2013 5:53PM

    I have sworn back to my Fitness for 28 days. I began with Spark in January but it took the entire month to work out what to do. I almost QUIT so February was my first success. I hope I can repeat the result.

I hope your Daughter is able to get that car fixed. I hope it was a dealerships garage and she has the paperwork too. It is good the new place will attempt to help.
Take care of yourself and eating more protein always works for me. I rarely feel hungry with protein.

HUGS Pat in Maine. emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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Another Blog About Nothing (This Time, the Mayan Apocalypse)

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

(Hey, it worked for Seinfeld.)

No, I never really thought the world would end on December 21st. Even though I get a great deal of enjoyment out of Doomsayers, I have more intellectual respect for Weird Scholars, and the Mayan expert at a nearby Ivy League university told us early on that all this was being misinterpreted. He seemed to have his head on straight, and his hat wasn't covered with tin foil (which I suppose is actually made of aluminum now...was it ever made of tin?) so I went with his opinion.

Anyway, the one thing that I was interested in never came to light - I wanted to see if there'd be a huge rise in the number of people who would "Buy It Now, No Payments Til 2013!!!" on the theory that they could enjoy the product, then the world would end before payments were due.

A somewhat related question was whether people would hold holiday parties earlier (to get them in before the Apocalypse) or later (to avoid the whole thing), and whether Christmas spending would be significantly up ("May as well spend it now, before the cataclysm") or down ("We'll need all our resources for fighting off the zombies after the 21st.")

And speaking of zombies, I never did find out why The Zombie Survival Guide is on the list of NYT Bestsellers under NONfiction. Personally, I find this troublesome. No, I have not read the book, so perhaps the title is misleading and the book has nothing at all to do with zombies. Still...

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WONDERFUL2BME 2/1/2013 9:30AM

    I never bought into the world ending either ... well okay it did catch my attention. Haha. I guess put it this way, I didn't care either way. Haven't we been dealing with Zombies for a loooong time. I see them everywhere just going about the day in trances.

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FLORIDASUN 2/1/2013 9:23AM this it indeed!

The whole Y2K apocalypse put some SERIOUS doubt in my mind about the panty whiners! I'm WAY too busy worrying about slowly irradiating ourselves with polluted food and water to pay attention to calendar predictions. Although I seriously have more respect for the Mayan ideology in comparison to the wonkers we have in Congress running our country!

I mean REALLY what kind of moron elects people to do OUR work and allows them to give themselves raises, life long health insurance, the ability for THEIR kids to get educated without having to pay back their college loans AND takes money from shysters to make the laws that allow the shysters to flouish unabated!

Yea...those zombie characters...I don't have to read about them in a book...they walk the streets of Washington EACH and EVERY day. You can't kill what to do...what to do...they have no consciences so I'd say they are already amongst the walking dead!

We need to start a squad...Zombie Killers Unite! Just kid din ...well....sort of! emoticon emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 2/1/2013 9:25:03 AM

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KASEYCOFF 2/1/2013 2:37AM

    Here in the UK the date is written day / month / year. I usually write out the full year - 2013 - just to remind myself I'm in the 21st century, let alone that the year has changed. Yesterday, packaging soup for the freezer, I dated the containers "31.1.13" - and it occurred to me no thought there might be any sort of apocalyptic event, ala 12.12.12. Me, now, I figure a palindromic date is even more likely to invite cosmic forces, lol...

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AJDOVER1 1/30/2013 11:53PM

    Yeah, December 21 was the worst apocalypse EVER!

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REDWRITINGHOOD 1/30/2013 12:00PM

    I love all things zombie. I don't want to be one just fight them if the need ever arises, lol.

The Mayan Doomsday thing was a great running joke last year. We did decide since it fell on my mom's b-day we would all spend it together and that it would also be an end of the world party (AND ended up being partly a family Christmas party since my sister left the next day for Canada to spend Christmas with her hubby's family).

I saw the calendar as a cyclical thing. Not a complete ending of things, just an end of one thing and the beginning of another. I'm kinda disappointed that nothing cool happened like aliens arriving and curing all our woes, lol.

Love the blog and you (((hugs)))

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APPLEPIEAPPLE 1/30/2013 9:48AM

    My son is into Zombies. But the the book is about surviving any disaster. In theory, if you can survive a Zombie attack , you have the skills to survive other major disasters since the same stuff happens.

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BETHGILLIGAN 1/30/2013 8:54AM

    I almost held off on Christmas shopping (hate it!), hoping I wouldn't have to do it. But, thank goodness, thought better of that idea!! You do have to wonder---the world is a pretty big mess right now. How do we ever straighten it out??? Too depressing--guess I'll mop that kitchen today!! emoticon

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JANEDOE12345 1/29/2013 7:25PM

    You know, I think we are in the end times. Just about every single thing I look at is whacked in some fundamental way. It's depressing when I really focus on it. This is not what I expected: dirty air, climate change, gross things like bedbugs becoming a middle-class scourge, religion going to waste, the entire middle east (and the USSR) collapsing, the US economy in deep doo-doo...need I say more.

Feeling sad about it, actually.


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JANEDOE12345 1/29/2013 7:19PM

    My son did a paper at MIT on aluminum hats. I will see if I can dig up a link as it was quite funny...Found it
Read it, it is fun. It was all over the web at the time, a hoot for geeks of all ages.

Here is a favorite article about it..."I’m not sure how this study out of MIT slipped our notice for so long, but I’ve instructed my executive assistant (Miss Betsy Whiskercuddlebunch, Esq.) to update our Google alerts so we’ll get news about tin foil hat studies even when they don’t fit the criteria of +cat OR +dog.

(Names Blocked) at Electrical Engineering and Computer Science department and the Media Lab at MIT put together a thoroughly tongue-in-cheek study of the radio wave deflection capabilities of three different double-layered tin foil hat designs: “the Classical, the Fez, and the Centurion”. They tested frequencies from 10 Khz to 3 Ghz at three different spots of the skull in four subjects wearing the tin foil hat then not wearing it. They used a $250,000 network analyzer to plot the attenuation between the signals, which is obviously the most important thing to do with a $250,000 network analyzer.

Now get ready for some conspiracy stuff. Every helmet amplified the 2.6 Ghz band by 30 db and the 1.2 Ghz and 1.5 Ghz bands by 20 db regardless of the position of the antenna. Bands between 1.2 Ghz and 1.4 Ghz are allotted to the U.S. government, while the 2.6 Ghz band is reserved for mobile phones. The researchers conclude their tongue-in-cheek study with this statement:

It requires no stretch of the imagination to conclude that the current helmet craze is likely to have been propagated by the Government, possibly with the involvement of the FCC. We hope this report will encourage the paranoid community to develop improved helmet designs to avoid falling prey to these shortcomings. [Intel via ZGeek]"

Read more:

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    Like Seinfeld, hubby and I got a lot of mileage out of the Mayan Doomsday Prophecy. Unfortunately, there are those people who get insulted because they actually believed it.

The zombie book in nonfiction does sound very interesting. I'm intrigued now.

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SUZYMOBILE 1/29/2013 6:34PM

    So, Bill's birthday was the day AFTER the Apocalypse, so he was pretty determined that they be wrong.

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SHERYLDS 1/29/2013 5:23PM
s an attack preparedness video for the ZOMBIE SURVIVAL GUIDE
funny stuff.

Actually ... looking at the world in which we live...I sometimes think the MAYANS may not be totally wrong...just that their calendar stopped working. When you read about the way things are all over the world ... you have to wonder. And someday, fresh water will be at a premium and the only clean water will be in bottles...Warren Buffet is buying up water rights even today.

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A Minor Thing that Really Bothers Me (Totally OT)

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Okay, where I live it's been cold as...let's see, "hell" isn't cold....I don't like "witch's tit"..."ice" is so cliché...I remember an old phrase, probably WWI era, about freezing the brass balls off a monkey - or possibly the balls off a brass monkey - , but I don't recall the derivation any more...

All right, let's just say it's been really cold here. Single digits on warmer days, wind chills into the negative 20ºs. (for all you folks who live where it gets colder than that...God bless you.)

What really bothers me is when you go to The Weather Channel or the NOAA weather site on your computer, and they say " Low of 3º " when it is currently -1º. Obviously, " Low of 3º " is incorrect.

What's more, I believe that even I could write a quick and dirty program to fix that, and I'm no coder (I remember guys in my class - this was a long time back - saying they input something-or-other "...and it gave me a Mode 4 Error!" then helplessly collapsing in gales of laughter. I had Not A Clue.)

I hate when it says we're to have a partly cloudy day, but when I let the four-leggers back into the house, they're all wet. Rain, obviously. Not "partly cloudy."

I remember one day not long ago when the local Weather Guy gave the following forecast: clear early, then some wind and clouds, rain or possibly sleet or snow developing. Come on! What the !@#$ else is there? I'd rather he'd just shrug and say, "I dunno. Weather's changeable around here. "

When I still worked as a landscaper, I had in my truck at all times a tank top, flip flops and sunscreen, a rain suit, boots, a knitted cap, a sweatshirt, three pair of socks and a change of jeans and underwear (because no one wants to be wearing soggy underwear after an unexpected downpour.) I understand the nature of living in a place where, for some reason, it's difficult to predict the weather.

Still, to come right out and promise that it won't get any colder than Xº when it *already is* X-3º is just...stupid. And annoying.

Thanks for listening. I feel better now.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

_UMAMI_ 1/25/2013 8:46PM

    Not the same issue here, but, we're in a metro area, yet the weather forecasters try to cover ALL OF NORTH TEXAS, even into OK. Impossible. Irritating! Unreliable!

And, in a pinch, internet goes down and you can't check the national radar sites or sites off the grid!

How 'bout this for predictions?

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APPLEPIEAPPLE 1/25/2013 1:25PM

    I just went through that!! Venting does help. emoticon

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HIPPICHICK1 1/25/2013 12:16PM

    Oh, LOL!! Apparently the weather can only be accurately forecast about 3 hours before it happens. I have seen rain on one side of my house and sun on the other!
"Changes like the weather," is another saying to add to your collection of monkeys with brass balls...or brass monkeys with balls.

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JRSWHIMSY 1/24/2013 11:37PM

    You've forgotten my father's favorite - colder than a well digger's butt!

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FLORIDASUN 1/24/2013 10:12PM griping about the dog days of summer here in SW FL where the stinkin' humidity is 100% at 5 a.m. in the morning!

The weather forecasters here are useless...absolutely useless! I prefer Seri's forecast...and she's an I-Phone!

Being in the concrete biz for so many years..rain warnings are necessary. Our forecasters got it right maybe...hummm...scratches head thoughtfully...hummm...nope can't put my finger on a SINGLE stinkin' time.

I think the constant sun beating on one's head...frys one's myself...I use sunscreen..only possible reason I'm so bloomin smart! emoticon emoticon

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SLIMLILA 1/24/2013 10:08PM

    Glad you got all that off you chest and vented it away.

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NORASPAT 1/24/2013 9:43PM

    Today i saw nothing but oil trucks in my area of Augusta. In Our home the furnace has run almost all day long. It is most definitely a degree day.

I never experienced deep snow or nose frozen inside in England. That was my big panic if my nose freezes inside I will be unable to breathe. I have made all kinds of weird hats and ear muffs.
We are surrounded by thermometers on all sides of our home and most neighbours have the big round ones in our back yard so in essence we know what we are facing before we leave the house.
We rarely watch TV and so we just have to wing it. It helps that we are both retired so we can just stay put. In fact we are definitely housebound since DH had his surgery. I and he are doing fine. I love reading your blogs. HUGS Pat in Maine.
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SUZYMOBILE 1/24/2013 8:57PM

    I knew Morticia would have something to say about THIS topic! She's a weather connoisseur. Your weather sounds like New England, though I know you aren't there. The saying there: "If you don't like the weather, wait a minute."

Comment edited on: 1/24/2013 8:58:26 PM

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    Yep, everyone complains about the weather and no one does anything about it. LOL. We have a local station that will be telling us it is partly cloudy when it is absolutely pouring outside at the exact time they are talking. You feel like calling up and asking if they hear something unusual outside on the roof or see anything different out the windows. The answer is no and no. The barely out of their teens newsmen and women on our local channel have a laptop in front of their face and when you watch the news and weather you feel like you are tearing them away from their Farmville game. "Hello - you are on the air. Look into the camera! Look at us! If we wanted to be ignored we could get our news off of the internet." We have the worst weather forecasters here. If we get a good one they will soon be gone. Most of ours spend their time doing just what you said - not wanting to go out on a limb to predict the weather but they will tell you how to dress your kid and yourself. I don't know how many times these morons have told me to take my umbrella and I have had to carry the darned thing around all day while a cloud didn't even pass in front of the sun. They are idiots.

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SHERYLDS 1/24/2013 7:27PM

    i get nervous that they still can't accurately give solid info when they have a major storm and people have become complacent about the news overstating the they don't take precautions.

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BETHGILLIGAN 1/24/2013 7:19PM

    Although my daughter complains about the same thing, it seems the cold weather may be making you a bit cranky! emoticon

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ADAGIO_CON_BRIO 1/24/2013 6:30PM

    I'm sorry it's so cold! Yes, it is annoying.

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UUCEEJAY 1/24/2013 6:26PM

    Well, I hope they are wrong about the rain in NY on Tues and Wed. It would sure be nice if it didn't rain on my ski vacation. Sure, I plan a vacation and it is cold and snows then the next week it is supposed to maybe get all the way to 50 degrees. Unfortunately, they did a great job of predicting the rain on my ski vacation last year about the same time.
Send your weatherman my way and maybe he can jinx this by predicting rain and it will snow. emoticon emoticon

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