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Out our kitchen window . . .

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

. . . . the hemlock tree is laden with snow. The red pines in the woods behind the house are laden with snow. Charlie came back inside laden with snow and sat patiently while I brushed him off, just the tip of his tail wagging.

About seven inches of fresh white sparkly stuff. It's a gorgeous winter morning!

And the narcissus and hyacinth in bloom on the kitchen table fill the air with spring fragrance.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FROSTIERACES 1/25/2012 8:54AM

    Beautiful! I miss snow!!! ....wait no I don't! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SCOOTERGIRLOZ 1/21/2012 2:54AM

    Sigh, I sure miss snow over the Christmas Holidays.

irl in (hot) Oz

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    Ahh, I feel like I've had a little retreat. Thanks! emoticon

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KLPEFFERS 1/19/2012 3:18PM

    I am so totally jealous of you right now! I love the snow and the winter, we have the cold, but no accumulation.

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TEENY_BIKINI 1/19/2012 3:16PM

    Wow! That sounds amazing.


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TRYINGHARD1948 1/19/2012 12:13PM

    Brrrr.....! Shiver, shiver. Memories of childhood in Scotland come rushing through my mind. Ice on the inside of the bedroom windows, bed piled with blankets and a quick dash to the kitchen where the paraffin stove quietly warmed the room.

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MAMASUDS 1/19/2012 2:58AM

    Beautiful. We haven't seen much snow this year, but since my spring bulbs are already showing their faces, I am not sure I really want to see the white stuff this year. But, the best of both worlds, snow outside and flowers inside sounds like the makings of a lovely day. Enjoy!

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IMAGINE_IT 1/19/2012 1:03AM

    You described it so beautiful..i felt like i was there too!! You already know i miss snow very much..here in Texas ..smack in the middle..we hardly ever see a snowflake..sighs!!
Enjoy those peaceful Winter days emoticon

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LISALGB 1/18/2012 4:13PM

    Sounds lovely!! We usually have snow this time of year, but so far we've had only a few flurries.
I hope you enjoy it!! It is beautiful when everything is covered . . . like a a winter wonderland!!

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TRAVELGRRL 1/18/2012 2:28PM

    YES, there ARE times when I miss all the snow...mostly when you blog about it!!! emoticon

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DONNACFIT 1/18/2012 12:30PM

    Beautiful...we have snow here now too. Enough for me to snowshoe finally! Now it just has to warm up..we're in a cold snap..around -40 with the wind chill whether you do C or F!!

Thanks to you my amaryllis is just about to bloom..two huge red blossoms..just perfect timing..when I'll appreciate a touch of spring :)

Yesterday's blog I included a new poem from YourTrueNature
Advice from a snowflake :) Be cool..and Sparkle emoticon

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_LINDA 1/18/2012 12:03PM

Across the blanket of snow on the grass behind my apartment is the track of an animal I can't identify. Too small for a rabbit, too big for a mouse, Mom thinks it may be a squirrel, there was no 'tail' track. I have never seen one out my back, just the rabbit. We didn't get all that much snow, but it was enough to coat everything in a pretty white layer instead of all the brown! Pine boughs do look lovely with a layer of white on them :)
Charlie is a very good boy -when ever we had to towel off one of our dogs, that was like a call to play time and tug of war :))

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NANCY- 1/18/2012 11:08AM

    For a second I could almost smell the flowers. Thank you for my serenity break for today.

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PHEBESS 1/18/2012 10:20AM

    You do make cold weather sound nice!!!

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DDOORN 1/18/2012 9:05AM

    Now THAT'S how I like my winters: if it's going to be cold, at least let's celebrate with lots of snow! :-) Still nothing happening in my neck of the woods...sigh...climate change sometimes leaves a lot to be desired...


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KALIGIRL 1/18/2012 8:14AM


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SHERRIE_BERRY 1/18/2012 7:54AM

    Lovely!!! Enjoy!

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When Opting Out Really Isn't Opting Out: FB Sharing Icon

Sunday, January 15, 2012

New Sharing and Saving Options on Member Blogs

Check out SparkGuy's blog on this topic and all the member comments:


Here's the important thing.

Even if you opt out of sharing -- using the edit function announced AFTER the new "option" was already installed universally -- member comments make it clear: you haven't really opted out.

And that's because if anyone subscribes to your blogs, that subscriber still has the option of posting your blogs to FB. If he or she hasn't "opted out".


The comments on SparkGuy's blog are almost entirely negative. Very few people seem to like this FB link.

I'm seriously thinking about going private. Don't want to do that -- if everyone, or a majority of members, do decide to "go private" it makes it impossible (or at least very difficult) for new members to "join the community". And to get the support which is such an amazing aspect of this community.

But: the majority of members don't want their blogs about their weight loss journey generally out there. Too personal. And as for me: not thinking I want my stuff generally "out there" beyond Spark People itself.

Here's hoping that Chris has a change of mind about this one.


Please note above: share option has been removed. Thank you SparkGuy for listening!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FROSTIERACES 1/25/2012 9:11AM

    I totally agree with PHEBESS..as well as,..I keep my page private always. I just have too many *haters* around with my family that cause problems for me. I've shared a lot of personal things in my blogs only to delete them because of that just in case they got out on the web. I have FB mainly to keep in touch with my kids and I belong to a private group there for fitness and clean eating. I would never want the two integrated tho. Thanks for sharing the info Ellen - you are sucha stirrer of issues and soups too! I love how you bring important things like this to light. emoticon

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TRENTDREAMER 1/17/2012 4:40PM

    "I'm seriously thinking about going private. Don't want to do that -- if everyone, or a majority of members, do decide to "go private" it makes it impossible (or at least very difficult) for new members to "join the community". And to get the support which is such an amazing aspect of this community. "
* Yeah, that's always the struggle with Social Networking sites. Privacy vs. Effectiveness. I recently started doing facebook again and it's so closed. Everyone keeps everything under lock and key (wisely imho) but it degrades the concept for the reasons you mention.

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NANCY- 1/17/2012 1:34PM

    It is a reality that unless it is private to expect to see it out there. Even private stuff gets hacked. It is important to remember that if it is posted on the internet... then consider it public. Even personal emails can end up being public.
That doesn't not stop me from blogging, because I know what I want to share.

From my perspective is is more about the ease of sharing the blog onto FB, If someone really wants to share something from SP they would have to spend some time doing it as opposed to just one click. Malicious barbarians usually have better things to do than to post an individual blog.

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DDOORN 1/17/2012 9:47AM

    I am cautious in sharing some info and generally relegate this to private SparkMails or comments within SparkGoodies. Since the beginning I've realized the potentially very public nature of our blogs and have written with this in mind. No FB account here, but I realize that doesn't prevent others from forwarding my stuff to FB.


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TKADEEPBREATH 1/17/2012 7:31AM

    I'm not sure what happened to my page link with FB. I hardly go there except to post pics for my family that live too far away to visit often.

Anyway, my blogs used to post there as well. My status still does, but my blogs don't anymore. That's okay with me. SP and FB are not at all alike. Doesn't make sense to integrate them.

I'm with you here. Thanks for protecting our network.

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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WATERMELLEN 1/16/2012 6:14PM

    The share option has now been removed! See link added at the end of my blog . . . And thanks for listening!! The swift response helps rebuild the trust, no question of that.

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CRYSTALJEM 1/16/2012 1:30PM

    I hadn't realized the scope of that. Glad the feature has been removed. The sparkers are also to be commended for speaking out en masse right away.

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    Also, message boards and teams are "sharable" with no way to turn it off. This is pretty far reaching.

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4A-HEALTHY-BMI 1/16/2012 8:35AM

    Something is up. Between the grape juice and this, SP is becoming a lot more aggressive in seeking advertising dollars lately.

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    I'm another who has never joined Facebook and has no earthly interest in it. It follows that I would be dismayed at the least to learn that anything I have written in SP made its way to FB.

I share SHERRIE BERRY's wish not to have my SP entries copied to FB without my prior consent. The bad news, however, is that, as I recall, when we join SP, we consented to SP as a company owning rights to anything we post in the website. That probably was in the form of agreeing to terms of use and all the other legal gobbledygook one accepts in order to use a website, SP or virtually all other sites.

This is not to say we shouldn't make our opinions known to SP ownership and management.

Man the barricades.

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TEENY_BIKINI 1/15/2012 10:46PM

    Ohhhhhh.... I see. Thanks for explaining that. I didn't really understand the whole thing because I don't have nor do I ever want to have a Facebook account.

> emoticon

Comment edited on: 1/15/2012 10:49:24 PM

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_LINDA 1/15/2012 8:54PM

    Thanks for sharing the link. I am happy my page is private is all I can say.. I sure hope Chris is getting the message loud and clear that this was a BAD idea..

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PHEBESS 1/15/2012 8:07PM

    A lot of people also use their blogs to vent about their personal or work life - NOT something anyone wants posted on FB!!!!


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SHERRIE_BERRY 1/15/2012 7:51PM

    I am not in favour of this change, and I did post a comment on one the the "Spark" blogs.
Thanks for letting us know that this issue is still in play!


I just edited to include my comment on that blog...

While I appreciate the idea of spreading the SPARK, I am not in favour of my information being shared or SPARKED by another person or on another forum without my consent. I do realize that once I post information it is accessible to anyone on the Internet; however, I would appreciate my information being restricted to the SPARKPEOPLE site.
I have blogged about this and the general consensus is to leave well enough alone; my SPARKfriends are not happy with the changes.
Please continue to be a source of support for so many, but the old adage "if it ain't broke don't fix it" is applicable to this situation.

Thank you for all you do Spark Guy and Team!

Comment edited on: 1/15/2012 7:53:21 PM

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What's Your Central Life Metaphor?

Saturday, January 14, 2012

You know, the thing you do (or are) which most defines you.

The prism through which all your other experiences are refracted and from which they draw their colour. Magically.

If you had to say, "I'm a . . . . ", how would you fill in the blank?

Is the fact that you are a mother, or a father, the central focus of your life? Or maybe that you're a grandparent?

Or is it that you are a partner to another individual: a husband, a wife -- married or common law, same sex or otherwise?

A companion to (probably not an "owner of") a beloved pet?

Is it your occupation that matters most, not just for making money but because it's who you are and a source of huge satisfaction: whether butcher, baker, candlestick maker? Doctor, lawyer, Indian chief?

Is it your ethnic identity?

Or maybe your primary physical activity? You're a runner? You practice yoga? You're a kayaker? Or a biker? A golfer? A skier? A gym rat?

Is it all about self-expression? You write? You're a musician? (Does it matter what instrument?) Or a visual artist? ( Painter, sculptor, some other kind?) Or a dancer? (Ballroom, jazz, zumba, contra?)

You're a homemaker? You cook? You sew? You're a gardener?

You travel? You volunteer? You're a friend?

What I mean by all this is: when you're trying to figure something out . . . some knotty life problem . . . what image comes to mind? And is that image drawn from your "central life metaphor".

"OK, this is just like casting off stitches to shape the heel of a sock: I've gotta . . . ".

Or "All right, time for some pruning: let's sharpen the secateurs and watch out for the thorns . . . ".

Or "Some better organization will help me figure this out, like purging my closet. I'll just pitch out everything I haven't "worn" for a year and . . . ".

Or "Yeah, I'm in a tough spot but it's not like I don't know how to deal with that. I just need to adjust my grip, left hand over the top a bit more, and I can hit a curve shot from behind the tree here, keep it low, just pitch it up short of the green and . . . . ".

Like that.

Maybe you don't think that way at all. Maybe you don't have a central life metaphor.

I do. I know DH does. I know at least one of my kids does. But maybe lots of people don't.

If you do have a central life metaphor, has it changed over time, or stayed consistent?

Do you think you can have more than one life metaphor at the same time? And do you?

I was thinking about all of this as I zoomed around the golf course on my cross country skis this morning . . . alone today, because DH at the office. And the other friend I'd invited wasn't available either. And: I liked it.

Yeah. Cross country skiing is become quite a life metaphor for me!! I'll probably blog about that another time.

But right now I'm wondering: what about you?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PENNYAN45 1/16/2012 7:17PM

    What an interesting concept!

For much of my life I have defined myself as a Mom and a teacher.

My problem solving, though, is best when done in writing or on paper. At the least, I usually like to talk something over with a friend when I'm working on a problem.

My stress level, or emotions, can get in the way of thinking well on my feet.
In fact, I don't have a lot of confidence when it comes to approaching some tough problems -- like interpersonal ones.

I do well if I can write about an issue -- or even use a graphic.
I am most successful if its a mechanical or spatial problem. If I can visualize a problem spatially, it makes it easier to solve.
I'm not sure, though, if that is my central life metaphor.

Actually, I don't think I have one.

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ID_VANDAL 1/16/2012 11:46AM

    Well, as the others have said - great blog!! Now you really have me thinking. When I answered your question (fill in the blank) I really didn't have anything that really really inspired me.

I better get to work on that.



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DONNACFIT 1/15/2012 6:45PM

    Great blog..I usually see my self as the Jack of all trades type of person..haha...

This year I'm especially working on being the Happy Jack of all trades emoticon

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NANCY- 1/15/2012 4:15PM

    What a beautiful, thought provoking blog.

Are you sure you want me to blog on your blog? LOL Okay here is the short version.

I am, who I am. Over time the essense of my character has been consistent. I am the prism. As the angle of light changes so does the refraction.

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CARRAND 1/15/2012 2:12PM

    Very interesting blog. I've defined myself by my job for a long time, and now that I'm getting ready to retire (sometime this year) I will probably have to redefine myself. I'm moving in that direction. Weight lifter? Yogi? I'll always be a wife and mother (hopefully). Could I be a photographer? a professional organizer? a cook? Thank you for sharing your interesting insight.

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TKADEEPBREATH 1/15/2012 10:28AM

    It's so interesting that you would bring this up.

Just the night before last we were out with friends and we met some new people. It was a very good time. I was talking to one of the ladies while we were singing karaoke . . . dancing and just having a blast. She was very gratious and welcoming to their group. We really just "clicked" (I love it when that happens). Sometime during course of the evening as we were getting to know each other, I told her that I defined myself as a "Comet" because on the inside I feel like a fireball with a big tail of light that could streak across the sky.

Sometimes it's hard to contain myself because I have such and excitement about things. All things really. I guess the first time I put this into words about my self was about 20 years ago. Nothing has changed (except the "tail" may not be quite as long these days. Takes me a little longer to get things done than it used to I must admit . . ha!).

One wouldn't know that about me from casual observation because I'm also "diplomatic". I understand you can't be too "out there" to be taken seriously. I try to stay like a "furnace" which is controlled rather than wild. What can I say? It was the karaoke that was beinging out the "wild thing" . . . !

But I guess the theme underneath it all would be passion and fire. My spiritual beliefs provide fuel for the way I process things in life. Always have . . .

Well now, you didn't know that about me did you? I told mine, you can tell yours when you are ready of course. With your permission, I will re-blog this. It's such a fun topic.


as always, love Jan emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 1/15/2012 10:38:41 AM

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_LINDA 1/14/2012 11:03PM

    I have been fighting my body's failures for every year that I have been alive. Guess I am the ugly little gibbled girl who would never give up. My success has been people look at me and don't see anything wrong. But I have been in a hospital far more often then I have ever been out of my province on a vacation. My whole life has been defined by recovering. On my own and on my own terms. Pushing the barriers of my activity to probably doing things not recommended for my dis'ability' Always marching to the beat of my own drummer and not conforming to society's accepted normal standards. The oddball. Very freeing.

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TRYINGHARD1948 1/14/2012 10:47PM

    Wife, Teacher, mother grandmother, arty person and over all a Christian. The last has probably been a guide through all my life but sometimes I must admit to being better and at others not quite so good. A very interesting blog, thank you for getting the brain cells going.

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LISALGB 1/14/2012 10:42PM

    I've never thought of that before - I'll have to think about it and get back to you. I'm anxious to see what I come up with.

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VENISEW1 1/14/2012 10:09PM

    Very deep, mine have changed as I have & am sure they will continue to change as long as I live. How about you?

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KALIGIRL 1/14/2012 6:53PM

    Will take more thought than I can offer now, but @ first blush, I'd have to say multiple metaphors have defined my external persona - not sure about my internal...

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SLENDERELLA61 1/14/2012 6:01PM

    Very interesting perspective. I've done many things and embraced many of them as part of my identity. Perhaps one of my strengths is that I can problem solve from many perspectives.

I grew up thinking of myself as the smart fat girl or the FAT kind-of-smart girl, depending on whether I was having a good day or bad. In middle life I was the overweight hard working social worker who struggled to find time for her own daughter. Now I'm the fit grandma -- recently published, who may become The Fast Old Lady and might do some more writing!

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PHEBESS 1/14/2012 4:29PM

    Hmmmmmmm - I probably have multiple life metaphors, or I've had different ones at different times of my life.

But I'm definitely an art person. I SEE the world differently. I notice visual things. Down to the quality control inspection sticker inside a seminar presenter's shirt. Or the new signs above the door at the cafe where we eat breakfast. Or the woman on the street whose fly is down. (Seriously.) I just SEE things, they all clamor for my attention.

When faced with a problem, I often SEE a path through - it may be a literal path, it may be figurative - but in my mind's eye I actually see the path to follow. Around trees and obstacles, or around people on a New York City sidewalk, or even like a flow chart of computer "if - then" commands - I SEE a path.

So, I guess my life's metaphor is art person? Visual thinker? Something like that.

What do you think defines you?

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CRYSTALJEM 1/14/2012 3:54PM

    Ok, you've really got me thinking now. I'm going to start paying attention. Thanks!

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Turning off the FB button . . .

Friday, January 13, 2012

Thanks, TRAVELGRRL, for figuring this out!!


Nope, not on FB . . .maybe the only person left in the world. No pierced ears, no tattoo . . . yikes, turning into a hopeless ol' lady fuddy duddy!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WATERMELLEN 1/15/2012 7:19PM


Please check the comments on SP Guy's blog in which he announces this new feature.

Apparently even if you opt out of sharing, if another SP friend subscribes to your blog the "sharing" icon still appears.

Hmmmmm. Probably not what you had in mind.

Comment edited on: 1/15/2012 7:19:58 PM

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NANCY- 1/15/2012 4:33PM

    You are ever so NOT a hopeless ol' lady fuddy duddy!!
You golf, ski and do many more interesting things. You have an engaging mind.

I have pierced ears but stopped at one in each ear.. my mom told me I already had enough holes in my head. As far as tats go... I have never seen lovely wrinkled ink, it always looks a bit misshaped. So NO needles for me. I am on facebook... but am thinking of leaving, for me it is just a marketing tool. SP is soooooooo much better.
Besides who really gives a Tweet about all that stuff.

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KALIGIRL 1/14/2012 10:57AM

    emoticon was alerted by other blogs - guess I need to check more often...

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CRYSTALJEM 1/14/2012 9:16AM

    Thank you so much! This had really started bothering me and I am so glad I can shut it off. If I want my blog on Facebook, I'll get it there myself. Don't want it shared. I do wish the Sparkguy would ensure we are all well informed about new little features like this, and in my opinion it should be up to us to turn them on, not have to find out how to turn them off. I know this site is great, and free which I love, but as with so many things, there are definitely some strings attached.

On that note, happy sparking!

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TBANMAN 1/14/2012 12:36AM

    Maybe we are the only two people left in the world. Not on the SpaceBook or the MyFace or anything else.

OK, I'm on the Tweeter, but that's it.


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    I think SparkPeople is much better than facebook.

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LISALGB 1/13/2012 9:55PM

    Thanks so very much!! I definately don't want to connect my SP page and my FB page. They are two completely seperate things for me. My FB page keeps me in touch with family and friends, old and new. SP is helping me to restructure my life and body.
I doubt there are many on SP who want to tie the two together.
Thanks again!!

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JIBBIE49 1/13/2012 9:19PM

    I read before that if you sign up to have the Facebook with the Sparks that is causes a LOT OF PROBLEMS, so I have never done it and won't. I have a FACEBOOK page, and I love finding all the people I went to high school with back in the '60's and seeing their grown children, but I don't want it part of Sparks.

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_LINDA 1/13/2012 9:11PM

    I was wondering why some people's blogs had that stuck in the middle of it. now I know, thanks! I am like you, no piercings, tattoos, fancy phones, Ipods, etc. But I did actually sign up for Facebook a while back at the insistence of my relatives, but have never used it until recently, when I wanted to see the photos my niece puts online, and its a convenient way to wish them a happy birthday too. Frankly, I find Sparkpeople way more interesting and wouldn't rather be anywhere else..

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PHEBESS 1/13/2012 8:50PM

    Turned mine off too- thanks! (though I do have a 30+ yr old tattoo!)

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SLENDERELLA61 1/13/2012 8:21PM

    Very good observation. I am on FaceBook. It helped me reconnect with some old Peace Corps buddies and old school friends and for that I'm glad. It also gives me information about many of my younger relatives. But I don't check it very often. I think I'd rather my Spark blogs stay on SparkPeople for the most part. So I appreciate this information. -Marsha

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Welch's Grape Juice promo on Spark: Off Track!!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Somehow -- 45 calories worth of Welch's light white grape juice has been added to my nutrition tracker every day for 7 days. This is some kind of promotion. I have no knowledge of having invited this addition . . . I'm not actually drinking it . . . and I am deleting it every day.

So. I get that Spark People funds its free website (which I appreciate very very much) with advertising and promotions.

And I get that Welch's light white grape juice might be relatively healthy. Although when I consume grapes, in moderation , it's generally going to be the fresh fruit: and red grapes because I believe there are more flavenoids (or whatever) in the red grapes. And if not fresh fruit, maybe the occasional glass of red (or white, or rose) wine!!

But here's the thing. I'm respectful of the economic realities that advertising is the "means to an end" of a free site. But I'd like reciprocal respect for the integrity of my nutrition tracker too please.

And insertion of a "snack" I'm not consuming into my nutrition tracker . . . a small thing in quantity of calories (45) . . . still strikes me as a transgression. Makes me feel a bit "squeezed" I suppose!! The nutrition tracker is the single most useful tool on the site for me, and I have achieved weight loss/maintenance by tracking very carefully. Every day. So please don't mess with my nutrition tracker!!

In general, I'm finding that the advertising is becoming more intrusive: slowing me down as I navigate the site. The delay means from time to time stuff is coming up because I've "clicked" and that "click" links to something I didn't mean to hit. That may be, in fact, how the Welch's snack was inserted into my nutrition tracker. I don't know.

So is this kind of promotion OK with you? Am I overreacting? Not a whole lot of trouble to delete: I just don't like it. And of course (having seen people "disappeared" from the site from time to time) I am a bit nervous about even voicing my objection. I'm not a rebellious type, and my day job provides me with sufficient adversarial stuff . . . don't need it here at all at all.

Your thoughts?

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

_UMAMI_ 1/19/2012 1:41PM

    Ah---I just found your blog via a search like SLENDER_Z did. I guess they still haven't fixed the glitch, alas.

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SLENDER_Z 1/17/2012 3:30AM

    I just found your blog post by searching the site for Welch's Grape Juice, trying to figure out how the $@#)(*!!! I had the stuff appearing in my tracker all of a sudden. I remember seeing the totally annoying ads, which often would partially block my "favorites" listing and make it nearly impossible to add anything to my tracker. I wasn't aware until today, though, that it was randomly adding itself to my "snack" tracker. AFAIK Welch's is not kosher so I would not drink it anyhow, but either way, I'll NEVER drink the stuff now. Off to "untrack" it now. How irritating.


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CRYSTALJEM 1/16/2012 1:39PM

    Not something else to have to watch out for! Argh. Is there a message board or something that lists all these "features"? This having to find out after the fact is rather insulting. I too understand the ads and how to keep the site free, but I'm not liking this type of thing. I don't want to have to go thru extra hoops when it's hard enough to stay on track and take the time to keep up with the data entry as is.

Besides skewing results if you're not careful it adds temptations in the guise of healthy alternatives. If they have to have something like that I'd rather have a side bar pop up that asks if I'd like to add it, or suggests I might want to try it, or offers me a coupon so I could try it for free or something like that. But to just weazle it in there is not appropriate in my opinion.

Thanks as always for letting us know about these types of things.

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SARAWALKS 1/13/2012 10:36PM

    The same thing happened to me, it's very easy to mouse over that ad without even looking at it, and if you are just a bit sloppy with the click, you hit it. I had thought of complaining about the placement of that ad, and its having that sort of a button. Thanks for writing this. Ads are one thing, buttons that click that easily and add things to your tracker are quite another. I am not a juice drinker in general, I consider it wasted calories for very little food value -- but if I were, I would be permanently OFF buying Welch's juice because of their choice to do this.

Again, let me say, I realize ads in general are necessary. BUT - this type of ad with this type of button? NO.

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ONEKIDSMOM 1/13/2012 8:36PM

    Do you have Spark recommend your selections? The Welch's ad offers "click to add this to your tracker for a week" on my tracker (yeah, your blog entry made me look), but it didn't automatically add it. Does your mouse rollover in your tracker record as a click in your browser, by chance?

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SLENDERELLA61 1/13/2012 8:24PM

    No, I don't think you are overreacting. Wonder if they will continue to make SP more and more annoying and then put out an advertising-free version for $$$$????

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HDHAWK 1/13/2012 8:24PM

    The fact that the site is free is worth a few ads to me. I know lots of people aren't happy about it though.

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WATERMELLEN 1/13/2012 7:33PM

    I figured out . . . since I can track "ahead" I can also "untrack" ahead. So I "untracked" the grape juice for the balance of the week . . . and still got the one point a day for the item deleted. Heh heh heh. (No, not worth it).

Now I've got that Face Book symbol popping up and blocking words randomly: and nope, I'm not on Face Book. Last person left in the world not on Face Book. Don't have pierced ears OR a tattoo, either . . . hopeless ol' fuddy duddy.

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GETMETO50 1/13/2012 6:54PM

    you have to click on it in order for it to be added to your tracker and if you do inadvertantly click on it, it adds it for an entire week...bad enough it adds it at all but why does it need to add to a whole week is beyond me...I personally don't drink "fruit" juices and I am very careful not to click anywhere near that add since so many people are having issues with it, I check my tracker daily to be sure there is no juice on it as well...I do like that ads keep the site free but I think having ads that add stuff you don't want to the tracker is a bit much....now we have this facebook button that moves all around my page blocking words...I am ready to buy a portable tracker and be done with this...if they are going to add anything get us more smilies LOL

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IMATALOSS 1/13/2012 6:48PM

  I had accidently clicked on something one day that started adding the advertised product to my tracker every day. I finally found where I could un 'click' the auto addition and I was able to get rid of it. Look around a bit more. You may find a place to un 'click' it. It happened so long ago I can't remember where I found it. It took me awhile though... Good luck!!

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TEENY_BIKINI 1/13/2012 6:33PM

    Yes, it is becoming more intrusive. But I like that this site is free... I guess it is a trade off for me.

Interesting topic, gorgeous!


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FREELADY 1/12/2012 9:01PM

    OHHH . . . I would be IRATE if something was added to my tracker.

I agree, it is intrusive beyond reason. Shudder.

I had to put a sticky note over the top inch of the screen during one multi-week interval when the site kept having a snack ad for an item that looked really tempting. It was extremely inconvenient, but I couldn't keep looking at it, and I couldn't not track!

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IMAGINE_IT 1/12/2012 3:10PM

    Hmmmm....the grape juice 'just adds itself to your Nutriton Tracker' HOW DARE!!! emoticon I haven't tracked in a loooooong time (shame on me!!!) but when and if i do...i know that would be very annoying to me!
...i love that Spark is free ....(Thank you Spark Guy.)...but the ads have become overwhelming at times..i even saw some ads for credit cards the other day...but maybe..just maybe... Spark Guy will use some of the money to 'buy' us some new Goodies and emoticons??!!You think??!! emoticon)

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GUITARWOMAN 1/12/2012 7:21AM

    I am willing to live with the ads, the pop ups and the pull downs and the movement, because this is a really wonderful site and it is free.

Would you believe it, when I was on WW Canada, which I paid for, there was advertising as well.

but I am getting that grape juice added to my tracker as well, and every day I delete it.

Welch's must have paid a pretty penny to get the right to do that.

Sparkguy, with this piece of intrusiveness you ahve gone too far.


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PUDLECRAZY 1/12/2012 6:43AM

    I have tried to be philosophical about the ads because I love that SP is free and accessible to any.


The moving ads and flashing ads are not only annoying, they slow down my already slow connection so it takes longer for me to do anything on SP, which means I do less. I like to read peoples blogs, respond to message boards, and read articles, but some days it is so slow I give up.

And putting something on someone's food tracker is beyond believable. That seems like an invasion of space. I haven't been using my food tracker so I have no idea if things are being added... perhaps I should check.

As far as grape juice goes, I rarely drink any juice because it is too much sugar, even juice that does not have sugar added to it. I eat the whole fruit so I get all of the nutrients and the fiber along with the fruit sugar.

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TRYINGHARD1948 1/12/2012 3:43AM

    I don't mind the ads at the side and unmoving but now we have them right across the page moving down as we read them - most annoying, but I couldn't tell you what they are for so they are not working.

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TBANMAN 1/11/2012 11:08PM

    It is a little suspect - kind of like the site has gone from running Welch's ads to actually endorsing its product, which is a dangerous and slippery slope. I hope it's not a sign of things to come.

It should be noted that I have a job because of advertising and will always support it - in moderation and where appropriate.

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FLORIDAGHOST 1/11/2012 10:29PM

    I love SP and I really like the fact that it is free. However, enought is enough! Every page has more than one ad on it and some have several. Like the one that had 7 ads about bagels. And the little kid that slids around the page to end up in front of your face regardless of what you do until you find the little x to delete it. I realize that the ads pay for the site, but do we need 47 opportunities to buy the same thing. I guess I wouldn't mind it as much if it were a different ad in each place, but it ends up the same add in every slot.

I would love to find my Ad Block button. Gotta go talk to my tech guy. I've had enough of the adds all over the place, too.

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CARRAND 1/11/2012 9:33PM

    The same thing happened to me the last two days and it seriously annoyed me. Nothing against grape juice, but I don't drink it and it's a pain to delete it. It doesn't make me want to try it, so it's not working.

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MOBYCARP 1/11/2012 7:15PM

    I found the arrow overlapping the nutrition tracker annoying, so I ad-blocked the Welch's nonsense. Then today when I was at a different computer, I clicked the "click here" to see what would happen. It added the juice to my tracker, and I deleted it; but the ad went away from the computer that I hadn't ad-blocked it on!

I un-blocked it on my home computer this evening, and the ad isn't back. If it shows up again tomorrow, I might just ad-block it again.

Adblock Plus now defaults to allowing non-intrusive ads, and the filter doesn't catch the Welch's ad anyway because it's served out of the sparkpeople site instead of a traditions ad-spam type site; but I found the Welch's ad intrusive and annoying. I philosophically agree with the non-intrusive ad policy; but SP and Welch's are showing us that the temptation to make ads intrusive is as hard for marketers to resist as sweets are for a compulsive overeater.

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DCN8V1 1/11/2012 5:14PM

  I'm having the same problem. And I'll never buy Welch's because I hate that kind of commando aggressive advertising.

I too appreciate the need for advertising on a free site, but yeah. Adding foods to my tracker is the WRONG way to go about it.

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    It sounds like a technical glitch to me.
Have you tried asking on the "Site/Technical Help" forum?


They seem to respond promptly there.

Hang in there! :)

Comment edited on: 1/11/2012 4:08:35 PM

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EMMABE1 1/11/2012 3:53PM

    This should not be happening - maybe someone should tell them that if one can LOOK at a product then MAYBE one would be interested in it to buy it at some stage - to just assume that we will have it is wrong!!
And to add to am overseas menu tracker - when they can't even buy it is totally crazy!!
Newbies have enough trouble figering out the tracker without it springing products on them!!
I backed the asking of a fee paying advert free version of SP - and one day they will have to look at this option if they want to keep members!!

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ARLENE_MOVES 1/11/2012 3:43PM

    I saw the add, but thankfully, I haven't clicked on it. Thanks for the info.

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FRACTALMYTH 1/11/2012 2:12PM

    I had the same problem - though I thought I must have clicked on it accidentally... but the fact that so many of us have "accidentally" clicked it makes me suspicious... and no, the tags are not completely targeted to where you live - even if I did click on something I wanted it wouldn't help me as they are generally for products unavailable here... not that I look at them very often - only when they intrude. They generally exist in my blind spot. I did notice the grape juice though, and as a result, I would not touch the stuff on principle now because it inconvenienced me LOL.

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RICH_IN_NFPA_2 1/11/2012 1:39PM

    I completely agree with this statement: "In general, I'm finding that the advertising is becoming more intrusive: slowing me down as I navigate the site." The Welch's ad in particular is annoying because of its enormous size. I want my Spark Points near the top of the page so it's easy for me to login every day. All I know is that when I am irritated by an ad I am extremely unlikely to purchase the product -- ever!

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MIRAGE727 1/11/2012 1:03PM

    I'm a Firefox geek! Even knowing about this really sucks! This can be eliminated! Thanks for the warning and sharing!

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READYRACHEL 1/11/2012 12:13PM

    I am having the same problem. I know I did accidentally click on the ad a few days ago so maybe that is how it gets on the nutrition tracker? It is annoying, but it is easy enough to remove. It would be nice to remove it from all days though.

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4A-HEALTHY-BMI 1/11/2012 10:57AM

    That would royally piss me off.

I use Lose It for nutrition tracking. Has a website that syncs on and off-line with both iphone and android.


Comment edited on: 1/11/2012 10:58:09 AM

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TARANITUP 1/11/2012 10:56AM

    I had that problem last year... with a different item (for 260 calories!) and I was so glad I noticed it!!! You must have accidentally clicked that ad at some point. I hate this type of advertising.

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BAILEYS7OF9 1/11/2012 10:53AM

    My guess is that you accidentially hit the click here to add for the week.

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PAMNANGEL 1/11/2012 10:53AM

    That would be annoying. I'm forever accidently bumping the ads (I sometimes twitch unexpectedly), but haven't noticed anything being added to my tracker, at least not yet. I think I'll go back doublecheck now.

I just noticed a Welch's ad you click to join a daily challenge. Maybe you accidently joined?

Comment edited on: 1/11/2012 11:21:55 AM

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KAREN_NY 1/11/2012 10:45AM

    I haven't seen the juice issue, but the advertising has become MUCH more intrusive over the last year, to the point where I've asked about a fee-based ad-free version. (The answer was no, not planned, btw.)

DDOORN mentions Chrome below - I really need to try that.

Breathe deep & hang in there,

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_LINDA 1/11/2012 10:40AM

    I couldn't help noticing that add, the arrow partially covers an edge of the tracker, must be sensitive if you mis click on it. I have not had a problem with it. About the ads -all mine are Canadian and local Saskatoon ads so they even tailor them to where you live. Yes, Big Brother is watching!!
The Tracker is my number one tool for maintenance. Only being offline in a hospital or with no access to a computer or internet prevents me from tracking my food daily (although I do write everything down in order to track it all later..

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SLIMMERJESSE 1/11/2012 10:34AM

    There are several times that I have almost left SP for similar reasons. Yes, the advertising is becoming very intrusive in a variety of ways. SP is making a ton of money already, and my addl. beef about advertising is the ton of pharmaceutical junk they allow. Of course, I understand that's the way they keep SP free, but it may come to a point where I just quit. Point of fact, I've been planning to cut down my time here dramatically. Have a good day.

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DDOORN 1/11/2012 10:32AM

    Also a tip: I routinely use different browsers, Internet Explorer, Firefox and Google's Chrome and I gotta say Chrome knocks the socks off all the others in speedily loading web-pages, even loaded down with Meebo stuff.


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RUNNER12COM 1/11/2012 10:30AM

    Please report it through Site help. Not sure how it got there, but there must be a way for it to be removed.

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MORGANSMOM52 1/11/2012 10:24AM

    I'm having this problem too! I've had to remove it several times.

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LINDAJ0621 1/11/2012 10:23AM

    Wow, I have been deleting that juice for days! Thanks for the explanation. I also understand the need for advertising to keep the site free, but it has become increasingly difficult to use this site. At this point in time, the benefits of using SP still outweigh the negatives, but I will have to see what the future holds.

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SALSIFY 1/11/2012 9:58AM

    Now that's annoying. I find it difficult enough to track the food I do eat, let alone the stuff I don't.

I've been using another food/fitness tracker at myfitnesspal as it's got more UK food on it. I'd like to use the Sparkpeople trackers for the points, but it's too time-consuming compared to the other site.


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PHEBESS 1/11/2012 9:54AM

    How very strange! I don't think I've seen that add - or I've managed to not put my cursor over it.

But yeah, I'd be irritated!

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DDOORN 1/11/2012 8:54AM

    Wow...that is weird re: adding to your tracker...! Haven't seen that happen to me as yet, but I've got quite the eagle eye when it comes to my tracker so I'm sure I'll spot that if it does. At home everything runs smoothly enough for me but at work all the Meebo stuff slows me to a crawl on a number of pages with some failing to load at all.


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WATERMELLEN 1/11/2012 8:45AM

    Thanks for the explanation of how it happened, GROEDER and TRAVELGRRL: still not likin' it, however!!

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SKINNYPOWELL1 1/11/2012 8:38AM

    I had no idea, I'll be on the look out for this. Thanks for sharing.

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PRINCESSNURSE 1/11/2012 8:29AM

    I had no idea it could be added to the tracker. I track my own food and don't use the spark suggestions and I never click on the ads. In fact, I barely see them--I did not even know that Welch's was advertising on spark. I guess I am an advertising executives worst nightmare-lol

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GROEDER 1/11/2012 8:21AM

    There is an arrow leading from their ad to the nutrition tracker, and if you are not very careful, you can add it by accident. I discovered that this morning while I was tracking my breakfast.

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TRAVELGRRL 1/11/2012 8:11AM

    I track my own meals too and it doesn't happen...although I have been VERY careful not to click on the grape juice ad accidently!

Yes, I think it's intrusive too. Here's another thing I find creepy: Every time I enter a food, the "google ads" underneath it mimic what I've just entered.

When I entered "hush puppies" yesterday (went to a southern fish house), the adds were for HUSH PUPPY SHOES. When I entered the next food item the ads changed.

Well, it's going to get a LOT worse. I heard on NPR the other day that the newest TVs have eyes on them so they can see who's watching TV. That way they can target the ads to the members of the family watching the TV at that very moment.

I think your frustration is warranted, and I totally feel it too, but I also think it's here to stay!!

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WATERMELLEN 1/11/2012 8:00AM

    I do track my own meals . . . so this is not an "automatic addition" for people using the Spark meal planners . . .

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    OMG! I thought it was just me accidentally clicking on the ad, or something! Drives me crazy, too. I don't know how long it's been happening, but I've noticed it the past two days. If it is because I clicked on accident, how the heck am I supposed to make it stop? And, if it's just an advertising stunt, how long do I have to watch for it? Super annoying!

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KALIGIRL 1/11/2012 7:54AM

    I'm not tracking @ this moment as my food regimen is fairly steady. Are they adding it if you track your own food or adding it if you let them pick your meals. Either way it appears intrusive and I'd be interested to know if Spark thinks that's the BEST way to ingest 45 calories.
Namaste my friend.

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