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Monday, March 31, 2014

Feel The Love - Flex Able

It seems I’m constantly trying to poke and prod myself into making healthier choices.  I start off strong, but then the motivation fades and bad habits reassert themselves and before you know it I’m back to square one again. Sound familiar?

During my highly motivated periods, I set exercise goals – even if it’s as simple as a walk after dinner.  But nerd that I am, I like to QUANTIFY these movements and know how far I’ve walked.  I also like to know if I’ve had an especially busy day painting a bedroom or whatever if that activity was vigorous enough to take the place of the mandated exercise. 

…so I’d buy a pedometer, but it would reset a half dozen times during the day -- every time I bumped into something -- and eventually I'd lose it.  

Enter the FitBit Flex. (I am not being compensated for this's real love.) It's a sleek and modern bracelet available in a bunch of colors.  It's water resistant, so I can wear it in the shower (but I don't...I'm really not all that active in the shower...).  There are no buttons, so I can't accidentally reset it. It also tracks my sleep and has a silent alarm to wake me up with a gentle vibration.  

It syncs to my phone / computer so I can check my progress from anywhere.  When I hit my goal, it lights up and buzzes in celebration. 
I'm not a slacker...I took this at 5 a.m.

I've discovered that even though it feels like I do a lot of walking at work (it's a big building) it's not enough to hit my daily goal, so I sometimes find myself speed walking through the house at night trying to put myself over the limit.  

My daughter filmed it tonight without my knowledge and O-M-G the footage makes all my Mock Me Mondays pale in comparison.  Me dancing (no music) willy nilly through the living room.  Me shuffle running in circles (she says I look like the white rabbit from Alice in Wonderland), me singing the step song over and over.  (Don't ask...)

Colossally embarrassing stuff.......but I made my 10,000 steps! 

Do you have a FitBit?  If you want to connect, send me a message! 

Friday, March 28, 2014

Celebrate the Small Things

It's time for another installation of VikLit's Celebrate the Small Things.  Go HERE to sign up or see a list of participants. 

I've got, I've got GREAT things to celebrate this week!

1. I bought tickets to see Les Miserables on stage.  It won't be a Broadway production, but I'm still pretty excited!

2. I bought tickets to take the family on a real vacation!  We've not flown anywhere since my son was born (and he's about to turn 11) so this is way overdue!  Come July, we're off to Vegas (to see family, we're not teaching the kids how to gamble) and California!

3.  I spent yesterday (and all of today) at a women's conference full of inspiration and motivation and laughs. 

Have a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Feel The Love - TED

No, my husband's name is not Ted and I'm not seeing anyone with that name.  

I'm talking about this TED:

TED stands for Technology, Entertainment, and Design, and there's a TED talk for pretty much anything you might be interested in...and a lot of things you didn't think could BE interesting. 

I'd heard of TED before, but on a whim a few weeks ago, I downloaded the app for my phone and my life will never be the same.


I was going to post links to my favorite talks, but I don't know if that's even possible because my favorite tends to be whatever I just watched.

I'll try to post a few that blew my mind:

Why We Make Bad Decisions (this is one of the last ones I watched)
Embrace the Shake (this was one of the first I watched. inspiring)
Folding Microscope (what it sounds like - way cool)
Needle Free Vaccines (implications of this are jaw dropping)

Really, I could go on and on. Some are surprisingly funny, and they all live up to the tag line Ideas Worth Spreading.  

I think what I love most is the counter-message to the doom and gloom that we get inundated with in today's media. There's no question we are facing some monumental challenges.  But listen to a few TED talks and you're going to leave with a sense of HOPE...that we can not only take on these problems, but solve them.  

Click over.  You won't be sorry.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Mock Me Monday - Time Management

I don't know why, but it seems on the weekends going to the movies is always a last-minute decision.  I check the listings, invite one of the kids to come with me and then we have to race out the door to make it to the theater in time.

Theaters must know this because they have extended the number of commercials and movie trailers they show before the main feature. This sometimes backfires though, because most of us don't care to sit through all the ads and the previews we've seen a dozen times before, so we put off going to the theater even longer.

This past weekend I checked the listings and decided that I could probably suffer through Mr. Peabody and Sherman.  It was starting in 20 minutes and it would take me that long to get to the theater, and even longer to navigate the parking lot, ticket line, and concession stand, but my daughter agreed to go so off we went.

We walked into the theater right on time and they were still running the ads, so we settled in and waited.

and waited.

and waited.

After 20 minutes, I went to find an employee and ask when they were going to start the movie.  She checked her movie list and said "That was supposed to start at 2:25" 

Yeah...that's why I hiked all the way out to the lobby.  Do you think I would walk out if it were playing?

So I trudge back to the theater, smug in the knowledge that MY interference was going to bring the movie to the masses.

But I waited.

and waited.

and waited.

This is ridiculous.  I thought.  Clearly they're just trying to subject us all to their ads.  Or maybe they hadn't sold enough tickets so were waiting until there were more people in the theater before starting.

After ten more minutes (a total of 30 waiting) I see an usher cruise through.  She was with the group I had talked to, so surely the previews would start rolling any minute.

But I waited.

and waited.

and waited.


I started to compose a scathing letter to management in my head.  I planned to out the theater on Facebook to all 7.5 of my friends.  Then, after 40 minutes of sitting in a dark theater, the previews FINALLY started.

And I waited.

and waited.

and waited....ten more minutes to make it through the previews.  I'd now invested FIFTY minutes of my time waiting for this theater to get off its hiney and show the film.

and then it happened.

The movie started.

and....... was the wrong one.  We'd wandered into the wrong theater and the movie WE wanted was next door, but since we'd sat for nearly an hour, there was no sense in getting up and changing theaters....and so we suffered through the Muppet Movie.  

It wasn't that the movie was bad, but it wasn't what I was expecting.  That's like going out for pizza and being given a salad instead.  There's nothing wrong with the salad, I enjoy them, but I like to PLAN to eat them, not be force fed them.

Periodically my daughter would lean over to me and whisper "WRONG MOVIE!"

So glad I was NICE to the employees when I asked about starting the movie.....

Friday, March 21, 2014

Celebrate the Small Things

I stumbled across a weekly blogfest all about celebrating the the good things in your week and so I jumped in with both feet.  If you'd like to sign up just click over to Scribblings of an Aspiring Author - Viklit's Writing Blog and add your name to the list.

This week I'm celebrating:

1. Spring Break - my kids are out, which means I have a week free of nagging them to hurry up and get up/get dressed/eat your breakfast/brush your teeth/find your back pack/wear your coat.  I can wake up and just go to work.  BLISS!

2. A visit (albeit abbreviated) from oldest daughterling who's been off at college.

3. WARM(er) weather!  We actually hit 50 this week!  Sure, it rained, but the snow is almost all gone and I've seen robins hopping around so I think Spring has officially sprung in this neighborhood.

I could go on, but there are lots of blogs to visit, so I'll keep it to the top 3.

(Speaking of visiting other blogs...for some reason Google is not letting me follow anyone this morning, so I'll have to try again later)

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Wedding Blunder

THIS torks me off.  

It'll aggravate me even more if he wins.  

In short, man marries woman in 2003.  Photographer does his job but six years later the groom files suit claiming the pictures weren't up to snuff.

But here's the kicker:  The groom divorced his wife a couple years ago.  He wants something in the neighborhood of $50,000 to recreate the wedding so he can take the photos over again.....only problem is he doesn't even know where his ex-wife is.

This really ought to get thrown out.  It's an old article, so it's probably been ruled on, I just can't bring myself to look it up because if he got a single penny, I won't be able to see straight.....

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Cody Spotlight

We drove to St. Louis last weekend and on the way home, my son sang his Under The Sea song.  He made this up a few years ago at a hotel pool when his sister kept swimming under the water to grab his legs.  

Once he starts singing, he will keep it up for an hour -- or more.  Finally captured it on video.  There may be a day in the far distant future when we actually want to relive this moment:

After hearing this one too many times, Cody was warned that he would lose Wii if he sang Under the Sea one more time.  So he created a NEW song....Above the Sea.  The best part is his sister's reaction.  My kids totally crack me up!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

I Need A Life

I pass the restrooms at work a dozen times each day.  And there's been something troubling me.

It seemed the women's figure was considerably wider than the men's figure. 

I know, I know.  I should have just let it go.  But it kept nagging me.  I started noticing signs wherever I went (yeah, I'm that nerdy) and it seems like all the other signs were more proportional. 
 So finally, after MONTHS of irritation, I pulled out the tape measure to vindication.  The women's figure is almost a whole inch wider than the men's!  

If we magnify that to scale - uh, I don't know.  I can't do that kind of math, but I'm sure that would make the women's icon morbidly obese while the male gets to be a lean mean fighting machine.  Sooooo not fair!
Now that I've solved that mystery, I have a new problem.  I have the overwhelming urge to dress these little figures in clothes made out of Post It Notes. 

I feel a Mock Me Monday post brewing.....

Monday, March 10, 2014

Mock Me Monday - M&Ms

I bet you're wondering what could possibly be mockable about M&M's, aren't you?  While your average citizen might be hard pressed to embarrass themselves with these delicious chocolate coated candies, I am not your average citizen.  Wherever there is humiliation or mockery to be found, I'm generally in the midst of it.

Way back in middle school days, we talked about addictions and that while some substances are inherently addictive (drugs, alcohol, nicotine), often times perfectly benign substances could become addicting either because of the circumstances surrounding their ingestion or because of the length of time one partakes of them. 

I'm sure my teacher meant to send us out of the room duly cautioned that even simple actions can have dire consequences.  I, however, went home with a huge bag of M&Ms determined to see if I could become addicted by eating one a day until the bag was gone.

I bet you know where this story ends.  I ate the whole bag.  Not in one day, but still.  Not sure if that means my experiment was a success because I couldn't keep my hand out of the bag or what.  Hmmm.

Fast forward to a few years ago.  I snagged a bag of M&M's out of the work vending machine to battle the afternoon munchies and as I poured the bag out on my desk for sorting (something I always do...) I thought it looked like fewer M&Ms than normal.  So, I decided to track how many were in the bag and how many of each color. 

Yes, I made a spreadsheet to track my M&M's.

In your standard 1.69 oz bag with a sampling of 34 bags, here is what I've found:

Average #: 54
High: 59
Low: 51

Average by color:
Orange: 11
Yellow: 6
Green: 9
Blue: 11
Brown: 9

High/Low by color:
Red: 4 / 17
Orange: 5 / 19
Yellow: 2 / 14
Green: 3 / 21
Blue: 1 / 22
Brown: 1 / 17

Now you know.  Even M&M's can be mockable in my hands.

Friday, March 7, 2014



This is me in 20 years.  

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Losing Face

Have you looked at Facebook lately?  What used to be a great way to keep in touch with friends and family has been distorted into a fine-tuned marketing, political machine. 

Some friends feel obligated to post their where abouts, no matter where they might be – the airport, church, a bar or restaurant, or even giving blood.  Do I really care that Cousin Claire is at Buffalo Wild Wings in Buffalo, NY?  Nope, can’t say that I do.  Do I care that Joe and Sally are donating plasma again this week?  Good for them, but my day was complete without that knowledge, thanks.

I’m not even going to touch on the ads. Well, okay, I kinda have to.  In theory, what they do is brilliant. Using your friends and family’s inclinations to market to you.  But I’m not likely to be swayed by what others do / do not like.  Especially when I know most of them just “liked” Honda in order to enter a contest or giveaway. 
Then there are the recipes, the quizzes, the games:  what's your gangster name? what state are you? what animal are you? who is your zombie apocalypse team?  Some of these are cute, but they really don't help me keep in touch with friends.

But what really bugs me about Facebook is  the stinking political / religious / cause posts.  Again, I get what’s going on.  You have a point of view or charity and want to reach as many people as you can with your message. Put it on Facebook and let the sheep pass it around for you. I get it, I do, but that doesn’t mean I have to like it. 

My homepage is filled with people who repost some ridiculous political rants, usually with some equally inflammatory commentary of their own.  It happens on both sides, so I’m not picking on liberals or conservatives here.  I support your right to an opinion, but just because someone typed clever words on top of a cute / patriotic / tragic photo does not mean the message is valid.  Anyone who took English 101 recognizes the emotional and persuasive buzzwords in these pieces.  They are pure propaganda, not a balanced view of anything. 

Then there’s the annoying chain letters (Share this and Bill Gates will give you $1,000), or the guilty challenge (hit like if you love Jesus or I bet no one has the guts to repost this on their wall for an hour).

Actual (meaningful) updates from friends and family are few and far between.  Lots of cute and/or funny pictures and videos, but there’s precious little FACE left on Facebook these days, which is why all the cool kids have moved over to Tumblr and other sites...and while I'm not (nor have I ever been) one of the cool kids, I'm THIS close to giving up on Facebook altogether.  Who's with me?

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

How to Be Better Criminal

How to Avoid Criminal Behavior in 10 Easy Steps

I have a weekend job processing police reports, and boy are some of them doozies!  In the interest of reducing crime, I'm offering these 10 quick and easy ways to avoid criminal behavior:

1. Get better friends.
Ones that won't rat you out or get you arrested by association...or lock you in a closet while your girlfriend goes to get the money you owe them.

2. Cooperate.
This may sound like a no-brainer, but you would be surprised how many people try to run or pull away or even fight.  One guy got tazed three times before he finally decided to knock it off.  

3. Don't lie
I'm amazed at how many people lie to police officers.  And guess what?  They always find out, and then you get another charge added to your list.  One lady got picked up for drunk driving, and gave a fake name/date of birth.  The police found out when her boyfriend kept calling the jail asking for "Jenny" when she said her name was "Sue".  

4. If you do lie, make it good.
One guy got pulled over for a small infraction - a burned out tail light or something similar.  Dufus that he was, though, he gave the police someone else's name and social security number.  Problem was that person's license had been revoked, so he got arrested on the spot and had to spend the night in jail.

5. If cops are gonna let you go, don't leave evidence behind.
Police officers were questioning someone, decided to let him go, then found evidence in the back seat of the squad car tying the suspect to the crime they were just questioning him about.  

6. Leave the contraband at home. 
If you are checking yourself into the jail to serve your sentence, don't bring things with you that could get you in trouble -- like weapons or drugs -- unless you want to add a felony to your criminal resume.

7. If you are going to threaten police officers, don't put it in writing.
An inmate was disgruntled with the way one of the deputies was treating him (you know, making him follow the rules!), so he filed a complaint - which is completely within his rights to do...but in the complaint he made numerous threats to the deputy and his family which wound up as Exhibit A in his harassment case...

8. Don't live in an apartment.
Now some of the folks that cross my desk own their own homes, but the vast majority live in apartments. So clearly (please note sarcasm) apartment life is a risk factor for criminal behavior.

9. Beware of video cameras.
Woman stole something from the store.  Police had a picture printed from the security cameras showing her tucking the item into her sweatshirt...and she still denied it!  I wish this were an isolated incident. 

10.  Make sure your vehicle is in good running order.
Not only will this help you escape if need be, it will help you elude the notice of officers in the first place.  You have no idea how many people are caught because their headlights or tail lights aren't working.  I just saw someone with outstanding warrants get picked up because he was driving around on a COMPLETELY flat tire. Duh.

Monday, March 3, 2014

It's Raining, It's Pouring...

I remember as a kid my friend and I would sit in a window and sing "Rain rain go away Vicki and whatever-her-name-was want to play".  Meanwhile my brother would be cheering the rain on from another window.  He always was contrary.

Who knew thirty years later, I'd be anxious for the rain to return?  I even paid homage to it on my walls this weekend:

It's a little crooked...I'm blaming it on the camera

The problem isn't a lack of precipitation.  Oh no, Mother Nature keeps dumping plenty of that on us.  It's just she keeps delivering it as snow and I've had about enough of that frozen nuisance. Set another record for cold this morning, too.  It's MARCH people.  I normally see my tulips peeking out of the ground by now, but I can't even SEE the ground. Poor little tulips are buried under this avalanche.

won't be using this gate for awhile

C'mon rain.  We miss you!

Saturday, March 1, 2014


Even though I posted semi-regularly last year for my 52 Weeks of Kindness challenge, I haven't really been part of the blogosphere for quite awhile.  Other than DL's Blitzes, I was a bit of a mirage online.

I think it's time to change that. 

I read some of my old posts the other day and snickered as I went along -- then couldn't remember why I'd stopped posting.  The world needs more silliness and giggles, don't you think?

I've missed the creative influence you all provide. I've learned so much from and been inspired by your posts!  My reading list is aching to be swamped again, and  I've missed celebrating countless agent snaggings and book launches. Congrats to everyone who celebrated anything while I was looking the other way....  

See you around soon!