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Gee, Eileen got FAT! - Remembering a Thanksgiving Day comment.

Friday, November 21, 2014

It was a family dinner sometime back in the 1980s and that observation was loudly expressed by my aunt.

I’m pondering that memory today for several reasons.

Thanksgiving week marks 5 years of maintenance for me.

A Spark email this morning informed me that I am today’s SparkPeople Motivator.
Wow, thank you everyone. That alone is so motivational for me.

I re-read the information on my page which really hasn’t changed much in all my spark years except to add to my list of blogs.

I often call myself a spark oddball because in spite of my weight gain, I always thought I was doing just fine. I was healthy, active and fit. I still wore the same size I did in high school (see note below)

Friends and family all echoed that positive view I had of myself. EXCEPT for Aunt Anna.

Was she trying to be helpful? Pushing me to admit the truth?

Not exactly. Since the women in my family all fell into the “pleasantly plump” or more category, Aunt Anna was simply welcoming me to the club.

How did I react?
I looked around the table and responded “Compared to Whom?”

It took me another 20 years to admit the truth and get serious. That’s got to be a record for denial.

I wrote about my “Aha moment” in an earlier blog because I have a picture of the instant it hit me.

I applaud all the younger sparkers for getting serious about healthy living. It’s never too late to change, but the earlier the better.

Any journey is easier with friends. Hang in there, everyone.

Regarding my ability to gain weight and still wear the same size.
Check out the measurements for women’s clothes back in the 60s.

A size 10 woman measured 32 ½ -25- 34 ½ back then.
I added 4 to 6 inches to each of those measurements and still they called me a size 10.

That’s “sizing creep” done to increase profits while making us feel better about ourselves.

Dress pattern makers haven’t gone to vanity sizing.
Here’s the link to what size you would wear if manufacturers hadn’t so generously added more inches to each size.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CRAMPERELLA 11/23/2014 2:05PM

    You really are an inspiring motivator! Maintaining a weight loss is extremely difficult, so kudos to you! Your hard work and persistence have paid off and now you get to inspire the rest of us! Congratulations and THANK YOU! You help keep the rest of us on track!


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LINDAKAY228 11/22/2014 10:02AM

    That's a great record for maintaining! Congratulations. And the sizes have changed so much over the years!

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PHEBESS 11/21/2014 11:24PM

    Congrats on all the achievements - maintaining, being the Motivator of the Day, and showing Aunt Anna what's what!

But - ugh, I don't think I want to know what size I would have been in the old sizing. Plus sizes have always been too big on me; regular sizes are sometimes too small, or a designer just doesn't make the items I like go up to size 14 or 16 or whatever. Shopping for clothes is miserable, no matter what size the manufacturer makes it. And thing is, I love fashion!!!!! Just frustrated with what the designers or manufacturer's think we should wear.

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ONEKIDSMOM 11/21/2014 8:36PM

    That size chart is a real eye-opener, isn't it? I am in a "size 2" pair of jeans, size 4-6 in some other items I own, but the pattern size puts me firmly at a 12 to some measures a 14! Which is about what I was back in high school, moving toward a 16 and thought I was fat. If fat means that the arm and shirt-waist measure are out of proportion to your bust/waist/hip measures, I WAS, even then.

And yet, for years, I thought that was the best I could hope for without extreme effort. My current size tells me I have found my natural, well-nourished size. And it is good. It isn't the size that matters, it's the health and well-being!

Congrats on your featured motivator day, and on your five years of maintenance. You are a rock star! emoticon

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SUBMOM2 11/21/2014 5:24PM

    Congratulations on five years of maintenance!! Your post has me thinking about my own denial. Also, I think we all have an "Aunt Anna" in our lives. The one I know can dish it out but sure can't take it!

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GABY1948 11/21/2014 5:03PM

    SO glad you are motivator! Yes, I agree about the sizing. When I was REALLY fat, I wonder what size that would have been? I DON'T even want to know!

Most of the time unless I am thin, I NEVER get new clothes because I can't FACE the SIZE. But vanity sizing really doesn't help does it? It IS still what it IS!

GREAT blog!

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1STBUCKETITEM 11/21/2014 2:36PM

  emoticon for the "60's size chart." Something more concrete to figure out where I really was on the fitness chart when I say I remember "when I was a size 12." ...and then dreaded how I crept up on size 14, 16, 18, .... to 24+ through the decades. Hm-m-m! You gave me a lot to think about this weekend. Curiously, I'm not overwhelmed or sad about those wasted decades. I guess with age you find an acceptance of "not crying over spilled milk." If anything, I feel more determined and resolved now that I have made my health a priority. My life now is learning to embrace change and make wiser choices through good nutrition and habitual exercise.

By reading and listening to other Spark Friends these last few months I have learned I'm not alone in this journey of self-awareness and weight loss. This experience of joining SP has definitely helped me examine my emotional issues, spiritual issues, weight issues, motivational issues, esteem issues, and much more. Confronting and resolving or "putting to rest" some of those issues has helped me to embrace a new lifestyle. It's a healthy lifestyle I can live with and enjoy in my "golden years." emoticon

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MJZHERE 11/21/2014 1:57PM

    Congrats on being a Motivator! From my observations, what was fat once is no longer considered fat now... and that is not necessarily healthy for our society as a whole. Just like a model's "thin" - not healthy.

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BBEAGAN 11/21/2014 12:47PM

    Ha! My 'Aunt Anna' was my maternal grandmother. We grew up on a farm, eating all home-produced, organic food, drinking tons of milk, eating REALLY well. None of us were fat, but we certainly weren't scrawny. My grandmaother would visit from another province and glance scathingly at my sisters and I and say "My aren't they looking ... (pause)... healthy." As a visit wore on she'd get less polite in her phrasing!

The sizing creep is wild. Luckily I don't shop for clothes often enough to really remember what sizes I wear now, let alone years ago! But even now, I know in one line of clothing my partner can wear a size 14 and in another a size 6. Crazy!

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TERI-RIFIC 11/21/2014 12:05PM

    About the sizing- true that! Great blogs. Very motivating.

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JAMIRBLAZE 11/21/2014 10:45AM

    Thanks for the link. I wear a 2/4 today, but I'm a 12/14 by those measurements.

My mom is our family's Aunt Anna - and she's probably 100lbs overweight herself.

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SYLPHINPROGRESS 11/21/2014 10:08AM

    Every family has an Aunt Anna by any other name. As to sizes, the changes over the past three-five decades would be comical if they weren't so insulting. It was also interesting to note that, while doing some unrelated research, I spotted some of Saks 5th Avenue's weekly ads in "New Yorker" issues from the 1950's: fashionable dresses commonly ran from sizes 10-18. I demand a recount!

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GINIEMIE 11/21/2014 9:26AM

    Relatives are unique bunch, my sister was angry with me for showing them up. Mother of five and smaller around than all of them when Patrick was just a toddler. Now I'm working to catch up -down to my baby sister who is at a great weight and size for her height.
You are an inspiration to us, and I thank God that our paths crossed on this sight. emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
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JANET552 11/21/2014 8:34AM

    Sizes are so funny! What is it about Aunt Annas? I had one like yours. Loved the woman dearly but she said what she thought and that wasn't always welcome, even if it was the truth. Funny how that works too.

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NELLJONES 11/21/2014 8:33AM

    I have often commented about vanity sizing. I have a size 8 skirt in my closet from 30 years ago when I was working and it's tight around the waist. Today I have to buy a size 0. When I sew I need a size 12 pattern. Go figure.

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KANOE10 11/21/2014 8:22AM

    That is great that you are a motivator and congrats to you on 5 years. That clothing size thing is crazy, I wish people did not feel the need to comment about other people's weight.

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WATERMELLEN 11/21/2014 8:17AM

    Congrats to you -- as Motivator and as maintainer.

And yup, I'd be a 14 for sure. My mum was PROUD to be a 14. Or a 16. Same as Marilyn Monroe!!

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My “brush” with an SUV

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

What’s going on? For the 2nd time in a week a driver almost ran me down. Last time while on her cell phone, the woman didn’t even notice me. This time the driver saw me and either couldn’t judge distance or just didn’t care.

Here’s the location - a school driveway that’s the start and finish of our local 5k coming up in 3 weeks.

I wanted to run the course ahead of time to get used to the hills.

At the end of my run, as I was passing the parked school bus and hugging the right hand curb as you look at this photo, I was “brushed” by an SUV. There was enough room for a car to pass the bus, but not when a pedestrian was present. Perhaps the lady was annoyed that I was taking up some of HER road?

I was startled. I didn’t hear the car at all and I NEVER wear headphones so I can always be aware of my surroundings. Of course she was moving slowly at driveway speed, but if I had taken that moment to move over a few steps, she would have run me over.

Maybe she was late for something important at school?
Maybe she had a sick child?

As I stretched afterward, I watched her proceed to the parking lot. She took the time to back into her space. Her problem was NOT lack of time.

I wondered why she couldn’t have waited for me to clear the bus area. How long could it take me to run past the bus? Maybe 5 seconds?

What if I were a child? Would she have squeezed through anyway?

We have to watch out for ourselves. Many people are not watching out for us.
Be careful out there.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PHEBESS 11/20/2014 10:13AM

    Wow, how frightening! I hope you're doing okay and aren't too freaked out!

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CRAMPERELLA 11/19/2014 10:25PM

    I am glad she missed you! In a school zone too!

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ONEKIDSMOM 11/19/2014 8:21PM

    Amen! I would have been sorely tempted to confront her or at least THUMP her fender!

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MARYJEANSL 11/19/2014 7:13PM

  It truly is frightening to watch some drivers. I'm very glad you weren't hurt.

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DR1939 11/19/2014 6:15PM

    There is nothing like running or walking to make you realize how bad many drivers are. I've been almost hit a number of times by people turning right on red and by people not stopping for zebra crossings.

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GABY1948 11/19/2014 2:07PM

    It is TRULY scary the drivers that are on the roads! I am so glad that you were not hurt!

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MJZHERE 11/19/2014 1:43PM

    I also almost got run down last week. I was so angry I told the driver, you almost hit me (of course calm and quietly lol). He never responded, not even a sorry. In our city, you have to drive defensively at all times and be extra, extra watchful as a pedestrian.

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SYLPHINPROGRESS 11/19/2014 12:09PM

    "I was 'brushed' by an SUV" -- You don't mean that the car actually touched you??? No, you'd have called the police I hope. The woman should be taken to task in any case. I wish your "brush" had been more like mine, when I won an SUV sort of thing and owned it for 30 minutes before signing it over to my buyer and heading home with a check..

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JAMIRBLAZE 11/19/2014 9:33AM

    Glad you are okay! I've had a couple of scares lately as well - I definitely run the crosswalks faster these days.

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FORZACHANDMATT 11/19/2014 9:11AM

    So scary - it's amazing you didn't get hurt! People are so impatient

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WILSONWR 11/19/2014 8:39AM

    That is scary! There is absolutely no reason for a person to do that! I'm glad you're ok.

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FEISTYLIZARD 11/19/2014 8:35AM

    I'm glad you're okay! It seems there are people who drive who are openly hostile towards people who exercise outdoors- this kind of thing happens to cyclists all the time. But yeah. Stay safe!

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KELLIEBEAN 11/19/2014 8:33AM

    So many drivers are in their own little world, not taking the time to notice their surroundings! As a motorcycle rider and a runner, I see this all too often!!!

I lived a mile away from my previous job so many days, I walked or rode my bicycle. I always had to hesitate as I got to the right turn lane when crossing one street. Almost every day, someone would sail through the turn on a red without looking at the traffic they were getting into, let alone me about to cross in front of them.

I'm glad you are okay!

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WATERMELLEN 11/19/2014 8:33AM

    So glad you are OK!! Why don't people understand the sanctity and preciousness of life? I would have been tempted to take down her licence number and call the police . . . but oh well oh well oh well.

You are OK. The main thing!!

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GINIEMIE 11/19/2014 8:28AM

    As was said there always people who are NOT paying attention or focused on their thoughts. Glad you didn't get injured, too bad the bus driver wasn't in the bus, they sometimes will make comments to unsafe drivers around the school-at least ours used to. May the good Lord protect you from the self centered people. emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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POOKASLUAGH 11/19/2014 7:58AM

    Wow. That's insane. Glad you weren't hurt!

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TERI-RIFIC 11/19/2014 7:54AM

    That is scary. Some people are just crazy. Once I stopped at a crosswalk to let a woman cross and some idiot woman tried to whip around me and almost hit her. I looked at the driver and she motioned that the sun was in her eyes. Well, when you can't see anything what a good reason to be whipping around another car. I reported her license number to the State Police but they did nothing. Even with being really careful, you do take a risk running where cars are. My daughter worries about me running on the main road and I worry about her, well basically everywhere, but we don't worry about ourselves. Stay safe.

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KANOE10 11/19/2014 7:47AM

    Be careful my friend. There are always people out there who are not paying attention and who are careless. I am so glad you are OK.

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Sometimes you just gotta eat the cheesecake - Choices for 4 days on the road

Monday, November 17, 2014

This was a combination trip for us.

We drove to the mountains of Tennessee and North Carolina to:

Check on my 94 year old MIL in her assisted living facility

At MIL’s request, visit the old family vacation/retirement cabin a few hours drive further on

Attend a meeting of Carpatho-Rusyn Society – a heritage group very helpful to me as I sought my East European roots during the last decade.

Visit the Biltmore Estate in Ashville, one landmark we had never seen before.

MIL is doing as well as can be expected. However, her weight is making it difficult to walk more than a few steps and she spends most of her time in a wheelchair. I remember a physical therapist telling me that it was easier to get my 110 lb mother back on her feet than a 220 lb woman (my MILs weight).

We found a nice hotel central to all our plans in the town of Dillsboro, NC. It was about a 2 hour drive to the cabin over curvy mountain roads. We hadn’t seen the place in nearly 30 years and it’s in need of a lot of work. There’s more building going on in the area now, but still quite remote – no cell phone service.

It was a good time to visit Biltmore, all decorated for Christmas but not yet very crowded. Supposedly tourism increases after Thanksgiving.

I had mixed feelings about the place. It was very nicely decorated and efficiently organized for visitors, but I thought it was overpriced. You only got a booklet with brief explanations included in your entrance fee. An audio guide or tour guide was extra. As you walked around, you could hear the tour guide’s explanations anyway without even trying.

It was interesting to see how “American royalty” lived in 1895 in their “castle.” The tour included a nice variety of the nearly 300 rooms. The booklet mentioned that there were 43 bathrooms at a time when “MANY” Americans didn’t even have one. I would amend that to say to MOST American homes didn’t have one at the end of the 19th century.

I know I’m in the minority, but I found the place unnecessarily and conspicuously ostentatious. I felt that Vanderbilt should have BiltLESS not BiltMORE. A 7 story high banquet hall? 43 bathrooms?

The conservatory was very interesting as was the winery.
This is still a family owned estate operated for profit, so they charge what the market will bear
My heritage society meeting provided quite a contrast as we watched a video of the lives of my immigrant ancestors in the USA at the time of the opening of Biltmore.

I shared my recent trip to Slovakia connecting my children and grandchildren with their roots and the relatives whose ancestors stayed in the old country, not taking a chance on an uncertain future in America.

From a Spark perspective I did pretty well. There was a lot of walking although at a touring pace, not high intensity at all. One good run with the temperature at 19 degrees made me feel very righteous.

I had healthy snacks in the car and a supply of water. Restaurant meals were the best choices available.

I did eat the homemade ethnic pastries provided during my meeting – one of each type.

Then there was the NY style cheesecake. My MIL ordered it ahead of time to be delivered to her at the facility because “she knew we liked it” and “this bakery makes it just like we used to have back in NY.”

There was no Spark excuse I would make in that situation, valid though it may have been.

Sometimes a situation arises when you just gotta eat the cheesecake. A healthy lifestyle is able to accommodate something like this.

I am 1.6 pounds heavier than the morning I left. Most likely the salty restaurant food.

No problem. I’m home now. It’s back to real life.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ONEKIDSMOM 11/18/2014 8:54PM

    I would have eaten the cheesecake under those circumstances, too... at least a small piece! And now you're home, back to real life!

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MARYJEANSL 11/18/2014 12:15AM

  I love the sound of the remote mountain cabin. That is my idea of a wonderful vacation, away from it all in the beautiful mountains. It sounds like it was a good trip, and that you got a lot of things accomplished. And I would have eaten the cheesecake, too, in that situation. Hearing about your mil's being wheelchair bound, and her mobility made harder because of her weight, gives me an added boost of motivation to keep working on keeping my weight down. Thanks! ;-)

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MARYJEANSL 11/18/2014 12:07AM

  I love the sound of the remote mountain cabin. That is my idea of a wonderful vacation, away from it all in the beautiful mountains. It sounds like it was a good trip, and that you got a lot of things accomplished. And I would have eaten the cheesecake, too, in that situation. Hearing about your mil's being wheelchair bound, and her mobility made harder because of her weight, gives me an added boost of motivation to keep working on keeping my weight down. Thanks! ;-)

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WATERMELLEN 11/17/2014 7:44PM

    Sounds like a most interesting trip -- and I agree, sometimes there is no avoiding the cheesecake. Didn't do much damage anyhow -- just a temporary blip!!!

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1STBUCKETITEM 11/17/2014 7:03PM

  It sounds as if you really had a nice journey. So, it shouldn't be a problem that you may have had to emoticon a little. At least you made MIL emoticon happy and you are now in control. Sometimes situations are unavoidable. emoticon You know your priorities you had the good sense to know when to emoticon . You'll be back to normal in no time. emoticon Have a great week!

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JODROX 11/17/2014 6:52PM

    Agreed. Sometimes you need a little indulgence. Not every day. That's why it's special.

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WALLAHALLA 11/17/2014 6:17PM

    And if you're gonna eat the cheesecake, you may as well savor every little bite. Life is too short to deny yourself small indulgences now and then.

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MJZHERE 11/17/2014 11:30AM

    There is a beautiful poem about "if I had my life to live over again...I would relax...I would eat more ice cream...I would travel lighter than I have.." at

Your blog brought it to mind so I searched this morning for it...thank you for the reminder cuz sometimes we get to eat the cheesecake.
I am with you - a bitless - quite a bit less of stuff and more of life - it truly is "more blessed to give than to recieve."

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TERI-RIFIC 11/17/2014 11:22AM

    I agree, sometimes you have to. I've been to the Biltmore. I agree with your assessment. It reminds me of the joke about the guy who gets to heaven and Saint Peter tells him he can have anything he wants and he says that he wants a huge pile of pure gold. Peter grants his wish, and turns to an angel and says, can you believe it-anything he wanted and he chose paving material?

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DR1939 11/17/2014 11:19AM

    Food choices when traveling can be quite difficult. Australians have streets lined with bakeries and they are very, very good. Luckily they come in small sizes. What surprised me about Australia was the size of their restaurant meals. Portions were as large or larger than US.

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FEISTYLIZARD 11/17/2014 10:46AM

    I don't think I am capable of turning down cheesecake. Quite the opposite- if my grandma has cheesecake for dessert, I'm a bloodhound for it. I have to avoid it at all costs, except on my birthday when I seek it out, and on the holidays, usually only at Christmas. Since I'm not doing anything on Christmas, I should be in the clear. Haha!

You made some pretty good choices on your trip! I too would have tried all of the cultural desserts- after all, how often does an opportunity like that come up? And getting in a run on a road trip? That's inspiring- I use travelling as an excuse to indulge in the rich foods not available in my city, and to visit the landmark restaurants. I seriously don't know how I zip my jeans when I'm in Toronto. I'm curious to see what travelling will be like when I'm Sparking though.

Anyways, hope you're well!

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FORZACHANDMATT 11/17/2014 10:14AM

    I would never have been able to turn down the cheesecake but good for you for keeping up the healthy habits

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IFDEEVARUNS2 11/17/2014 9:21AM

    Good choice! Just grin and eat it.

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MILLEDGE2 11/17/2014 8:57AM

    Yes, there are times when we need to just eat the cheesecake and to sample the variety of dishes at a once-in-awhile gathering of a group we enjoy. Being healthy other times evens it out and still means we'll be able to avoid the wheelchair awhile longer.

People seem to have either black-or-white reactions to Biltmore House. I, too, don't get a real thrill out of "homes" that look more like big hotel lobbies and demonstrate what is possible if you just spend enough money. Interestingly, they only barely mention that George Vanderbilt overspent even his own fortune. Then he died! His widow was a bit smarter and in getting her finances in control, she created some homes and jobs for the less affluent people whose labor supported the estate.

If you think my reaction to Biltmore is a bit negative, you should hear me at Versailles!

Enjoy being home!

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KANOE10 11/17/2014 8:19AM

    There are times when you need to eat cheesecake. I would have had a bite also as your MIL was so sweet to order it for you. You are reminding me of Jrs in New York that had the optimum cheesecake.

You are staying positive and known those up pounds will come off.

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GABY1948 11/17/2014 8:06AM

    Sounds like a FABULOUS trip. Nice to see MIL and all the places you went sound so interesting.

But, I agree, we always have to come back to real life!!!

emoticon emoticon

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WIFE48 11/17/2014 8:02AM

    Great blog. Thanks for sharing.

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SWEETNEEY 11/17/2014 7:43AM

    Sounds like an awesome trip. I love visiting historical landmarks.

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PHEBESS 11/17/2014 7:25AM

    LOL - I have cheesecake at the Carnegie Deli whenever we're in New York. Because yes, sometimes you DO just have to have the cheesecake.

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GINIEMIE 11/17/2014 7:14AM

    Love the blog, you are so right if your MIL says eat cheesecake-it better get eaten. At least a few bites, til I say-my stomach doesn't handle these rich foods the way it used to. Erik would gladly eat mine and his, his once emaciated body October 2010 is no longer. He acts like he doesn't understand calories when my eldest son and I mention them....
Glad it was only a little over a pound, you'll get it off quickly.
Your humor shines through my dear friend. emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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KRISZTA11 11/17/2014 7:02AM

    Great blog - I loved the title!
: ))

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Unintended consequences of technology

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

My daughter got her first mobile phone in 1994. It was called a “car phone” back then and it was huge. Her new husband bought it for her since she had to drive 1 hour to work along country roads which were very deserted in the early morning. Safety was the driving force.

As the technology developed, the rest of the family acquired our own devices – for emergencies, we said. Safety was upmost in our minds or at least communicating something important that couldn’t wait.

Yesterday on my run I was crossing the wide driveway of a parking lot. A car pulled out of a space to exit. I kept going. Cars had a stop sign before turning into the road. This lady kept going right at me. She wasn’t slowing down. I waved at her, but her eyes were on her phone. She was close enough that I could see her thumb moving. She was either dialing a number or texting. I sprinted out of the way and she kept going, never noticing our close call.

So much for the original goal of safety. I also wondered why that call or text couldn’t have been done while she was parked. That was only a few minutes earlier.

I love technology. As a technology coordinator for 25 years, I promoted and introduced all types of advancements in education from the old Apple II to the hand held wireless devices newly available when I retired in 2007. Our school's website went online in 1996 and our high school newspaper followed in 2001 - "News as it Happens" No more paper copies once a month.

English teachers believed that communicating with and writing for an audience would promote better writing, spelling, grammar and punctuation. R U kidding? It didn’t work out that way, did it?

Ease of communication and personal connections have definitely been enhanced by technology. My 50th High School Reunion couldn’t have happened without social media. I couldn’t have found my relatives in Europe without online genealogical resources.

DH is downstairs right now working on a presentation for a conference. I just sent him an email regarding our plans for the day.

Pro: I didn’t want to break his train of thought
Con: I’m sitting on my butt instead of walking down and back up the stairs.

Con: I’ve been on the computer a long time this morning including the time to write this. I should have been out running or walking by now.
Pro: Checking in with SP motivates me to plan a healthy day.
The tracker allowed me to plan my food for the day.
I researched what to do with the organic avocado I bought at the coop. This is my very first avocado.

Reading sparkers blogs keeps me connected with like-minded people. Sharing their successes and setbacks reminds me that I’m not alone and motivates me to stick with this.

I will get outside eventually. The bright side of this delay – it will be a bit warmer.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

EGRAMMY 11/15/2014 10:49PM


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MJZHERE 11/15/2014 10:51AM

    Years ago (years), I was chosen to be the person who learned the new computer at work - it was the size of an entire long wall and info was entered using big cards with cut out spaces. Who would have imagined today?

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LILANGEL181 11/15/2014 9:17AM

    Thanks for the reminder to keep safety and health first!! emoticon

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1STBUCKETITEM 11/14/2014 5:21PM

  ...yes, I also have been on the computer too long today. Gotta get moving! emoticon

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BARB4HEALTH 11/13/2014 7:36AM

    Taking time for technology is something we all do. However, the technology advocates say it is suppose to 'save' time for us. Hasn't done that for me. I get sidetracked and spend more time on the computer than I should. I still enjoy getting cards and letters by 'snail mail.' Don't think I will ever stop liking that! I have to tell or ask DGKs to put there ipods down while we have a meal together. Use to be 'turn the TV off' now its something else.

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KANOE10 11/13/2014 7:24AM

    I am glad you were not hurt by that woman. Technology does have its pros and cons.Sharing with people here does keep me motivated also. It is a great tool. Nice blog.

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MARYJEANSL 11/13/2014 12:30AM

  I tend to be one of the last to get a new technology. I still have a dumb phone, for instance. It works great after over three years and a lot of phone abuse. Also, I have a major prejudice against e-readers, having a deep love for the printed word. But I am also the first to admit that technology, especially the internet, has made a huge positive difference to my life. I wish more people would use technology wisely.

Good luck with the avocado. I am not a big fan myself, though my older ds loves guacamole passionately.

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SANDICANE 11/12/2014 9:03PM

    Ah yes, the dreaded car phone...just got back from almost being hit twice b/c of ppl talking on their phones while backing out of their driveways....yep.

As for SP...yep, me too. I love to stay connected...if only I could do it while I DO other things....twoould be nice....

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ONEKIDSMOM 11/12/2014 8:18PM

    I am a totally paranoid runner, walker, and cyclist... because of JUST what you said. I kind of survey the drivers I see as I do my human-powered transit, particularly when I bike commute or walk home from work as part of my training plans... it is ghastly how many drivers have cell phones to their ears DESPITE the laws. I walk, run, bike AND drive defensively.

So glad you're safe. I love technology, but good heavens, people... most things CAN wait. Paying attention to what's happening in the physical space where you have that lethal weapon (car) aimed? Cannot!

Spark safely... and hope you got outdoors in the best part of the day! emoticon

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WATERMELLEN 11/12/2014 6:29PM

    What a fun blog -- I had one of those giant "car phones", then a very simple flip phone, but only acquired an iPhone within the past couple years (and love it).

And as for the internet -- it's amazing how it's enable us to connect globally. So much info freely available, like a Gothic cathedral built by volunteer labour of so many.

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GABY1948 11/12/2014 2:20PM

    I thoroughly enjoyed this blog! SO true....and I walked down memory lane...I had one of those big first car phones! But what you speak of now is also more true than I almost can bear. I have heard of young people hitting and killing someone while texting! How awful...for both the texters victim's family and for the texter and his/her family. Lives ruined.

As the others said, texting is illegal in Michigan too but I have yet to see someone pulled over for it and I see it all the time.

Lots of good comments on this blog thanks for getting us thinking!

Comment edited on: 11/12/2014 2:25:59 PM

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BBEAGAN 11/12/2014 12:46PM

    Wild eh? In my city, there has been a HUGE increase in the past year in car-pedestrian collisions... IN CROSSWALKS! Both pedestrians and drivers not paying attention because of cell phones. Even though using a cell phone while driving is illegal here.

I'm one of the few remaining holdouts that still does not have a cell phone! Nor does my partner. I see no need to be accessible 24/7, and I spend enough time on computers as it is...

Love avocadoes... mmmm, now I want one...

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LEWILL1982 11/12/2014 12:38PM

    I know this is about technology, but your first avocado? I hope you enjoy it so much! I use it in place of mayonnaise in tuna fish - just mash up a whole one and add the juice of half a lemon or lime to keep it from turning brown. I also love it sliced on toast with salt, pepper and an egg on top. You can also puree an avocado, add some olive oil, lemon and fresh basil and make a delicious "cream" sauce to serve over pasta or spaghetti squash.

Technology makes things easier, but it also cuts down on proper communication. I'll be the first to admit, I'd rather send you a quick email or text than pick up the phone, but on the flip side, I miss old fashioned snail mail/letters. The only thing in my mail box is junk mail or bills. Having a degree in English, I do miss the written word and I take pride in trying to adhere to proper grammar- so much that I don't short hand my text messages, or even some of these SP blog responses. :-)

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TUTUNAN 11/12/2014 12:23PM

    Cell phones have their place, but it's not behind the wheel. Here in Hawaii, it's against the law, with a fine if caught. (Doesn't stop everyone, however!)
Hope you enjoy the avocado. Our favorite breakfast is avocado on toast with salt and pepper.

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LINDAKAY228 11/12/2014 12:06PM

    Your first avocado! I'm from New Mexico where we used them all the time, especially for anything that had guacamole in it (a staple there) and also love to just eat them plain or in salads or whatever. You have been missing out!

Texting while driving has become illegal here in Texas but that doesn't always stop people from doing it. And talking on cell phones in school zones also. It has saved my life but it has also caused headaches as far as technology. But I don't think I could go back to the way it was before. I never would have known you and so many other wonderful people!

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IFDEEVARUNS2 11/12/2014 11:00AM

    What do you mean this is your very first avocado?

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DR1939 11/12/2014 10:38AM

    IMHO the most important factor in writing, including grammar and spelling, is reading.

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FEISTYLIZARD 11/12/2014 9:46AM

    A few years ago, my province passed a law that made using your phone while driving super illegal, for the reason you described. It caused even more dumb accidents than we needed, what with the amount of alcohol related ones we have. My friend pulled a dummy a month ago and was slapped with a $300~ first time ticket. It actually surprises me that everywhere doesn't have a law like this in effect!

P.S. Mmmm avocado! I haven't bought one in forever but I love them! My favorite thing to do is to use it in place of mayo on a toasted tomato sandwich (my favorite!)- it's a lot more flavourful and the nutrients of the avocado and the tomato combine in a way that is really beneficial to the skin. Yum.

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SWEETNEEY 11/12/2014 9:12AM

    Yes technology has its pros and cons. Got to balance sparking with getting exercise in and cooking a healthy meal (versus microwave dinners).

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PHEBESS 11/12/2014 8:55AM

    My favorite bit of technology are the blue tooth phone thingies people wear in their ear ALL THE TIME. They look like Borgs with that little blinking blue light on their head. Absolutely ridiculous.

While I do tend to spend several hours per day on the computer, I also make sure I get outside for a walk, or dance in the hotel room if it's too rainy. And NEVER text while driving - even when I had a cell phone and a car. That's definitely an accident waiting to happen, each and every time.

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GINIEMIE 11/12/2014 8:46AM

    It is against the law to text in GA, and if I have to call someone while driving I find the number before I take off. I don't do this often it makes Erik go livid, we live with the wonder if the lady who caused his accident was on her phone whilst driving.
Some other form of "advancement?" is the GPS on phones, so people are looking at their phones for directions instead of where they are going. Even on my GPS it says, do not set while driving-or some such thing. I either set it, pull over to set it, or talk Erik through it...which in itself is a challenge-thanks to after effects of the above mentioned accident. My techie still has troubles and it breaks my heart in more ways than one. Sorry, my message is if it's so DARNED IMPORTANT pull over, or do it before taking off PLEASE. BTW, it's a good thing you weren't using your phone or GPS.
Thanks my friend, I'm sitting too long this morning too. I'll go do some housework now.
Have a blessed day and thank you for your blog...we need to be reminded that being healthy and safe are choices.
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MILLEDGE2 11/12/2014 8:46AM

    I, too, am a person "of a certain age" who reaps the benefits and pleasures of the new technology on a daily basis. One of my resolutions when I recently retired was to stay in touch with technology updates despite no longer having work-related reasons to keep abreast.

Nevertheless, using a device while operating a several-ton moving vehicle is total madness. On my daily walk I cross the driveway into a major medical facility and I usually hit it right about the time people are arriving for a shift change. I am SUPER cautious because practically every driver is using a phone while driving. Who needs to use a phone very minute?? And recently I took advantage of a beautiful afternoon to visit a scenic park beside our local river. There were only three other people there, but ALL were entranced with their little screnes instead of the natural beauty. But at least they weren't endangering the lives of others.

Glad you survived your close encounter. Several weeks ago a friend of mine was injured in a car wreck caused by a texting driver (a physician who had already received one ticket that morning) who crossed the road's center line and hit her and a tow truck head on. Luckily, no one had to be hospitalized! Technology used sanely is great! But used irresponsibly, it can kill!

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WUMPASTAR 11/12/2014 8:28AM

    Like with pretty much everything in our lives, balance and moderation is the key. Using a cellphone while driving is absolutely stupid - like you said, couldn't it have been done while she was parked? People underestimate the massive control technology has been taking over our lives, and it's a little saddening to see people talking less and less with each other, preferring to text or email because it's "more convenient" (but not so human in my book).

Also, that's awesome about the avocado. I'm crazy about those things and I buy at least one every week... I add them to pretty much anything!

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My very long, extremely productive, spark filled day

Sunday, November 09, 2014

It actually began Friday afternoon when I read an email from my favorite running store about a sudden “flash sale.” I planned to visit them at some point anyway and this seemed like a personal invitation.

DH decided to come with me and combine some errands. The store is in a city about 30 miles away – a 45 min drive on our country roads
I brought 3 pair of old running shoes to be donated to the “Rescue Mission.”
DH checked out walking shoes for winter. Yes, he’s planning to continue in the winter – yea!
I bought a moisture-wicking “performance” shirt with long sleeves that were loose enough to push up if I got too warm while running. This one is very plain. I bought 2 last year that were so pretty I didn’t want to run and sweat in them. They became a staple of my regular wardrobe – practical, comfortable and pretty – great for traveling. I don’t mess them up running short distances.

I talked to the staff about an upcoming 10K on a hilly route through the city.

Next stop: Recycled our printer cartridges for store credit which I spent on flip a cover for my phone that I saw on clearance. Now I can carry it in my pocket when out running.

Finally a stop at the grocery store to buy our food for the week.

Saturday morning, up by 6 as usual, I was energized for a longer run. I decided to drive to the city to check out that 10K route. DH decided to go with me.

We found the starting point and with the course map in my pocket I intended to run easy and check it out. I always walk 1 min per mile. That’s when I manually check my heart rate, sip some water and wipe my nose. If I know the course, I can save that minute for the steepest uphills.

DH meanwhile went for a walk on the trail by the river. Lucky people who live in this city!

Meeting up with DH afterwards we discovered that we had parked at the starting point of the Veterans’ Day parade. DH is a Vietnam vet and we watched as they started off.

Next stop: This city has a coop where every single item is certified as good for you. The produce is all organically grown, most locally. The staples are organic too. We stocked up on everything from fresh vegetables and fruit to tomato sauce, chicken stock and even canned pumpkin. The prices are a bit higher than the non-organic in supermarkets, but we’ve made a decision to vote with our pocketbooks.

By now it was time for lunch and DH suggested we visit an Expo at the conference center – “Green Living Energy Expo” – Admission FREE – “15 years of people taking action.”

Exhibits from every natural living, environmentally beneficial area you can imagine. Too many things to list, but I do have directions to make a “rain barrel” to water our garden. It’s easy and cheap
We even checked out a Ford Fusion hybrid. We’re looking to replace our 03 Taurus (nearly 200,000 miles). We never considered the hybrid option. It’s something to think about.

We ate lunch at the Expo. I ate healthy. DH, not so much, but he did drink water instead of soda.

Oh yeah! I registered for that 10K. My new shirt was great and my phone with its new cover fit perfectly in my pocket.

If anyone has actually read this far, thank you. I think I wanted to document it for myself to re-read in those times when my motivation sags. I want to remember how I feel this morning.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PHEBESS 11/10/2014 4:29AM

    Definitely a healthy weekend!!!!

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WALLAHALLA 11/9/2014 10:37PM

    We got our Run for God shirts today. I ordered XL because I like my shirts to fit a bit loose. My long sleeve one is huge, like a man's XXL. The sleeveless one looks like it would fit the average 10 year old. Same company, same material. What gives with that? I hope someday to be able to run a 10K. You are such an inspiration to me!

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1STBUCKETITEM 11/9/2014 9:39PM

  Your day was productive and you had fun doing it! emoticon

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MJZHERE 11/9/2014 7:55PM

    Great idea to document it. I often blog for the same reason. Your shirts you ended up using for traveling instead of running -- I tried to break this habit and wear my shirts to "feel pretty" instead of for good and then was aggravated over the stains, etc. I ruined them with!

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MARYJEANSL 11/9/2014 6:17PM

  I always like to remember the good days, too. It makes me smile later on.

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ONEKIDSMOM 11/9/2014 5:13PM

    What a great day! Glad you wrote it down. You are so right about how re-reading things gets one's juices flowing again when the sluggishness sets in. emoticon

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DR1939 11/9/2014 3:44PM

    We donate our printer cartridges to our local school. We use a laser printer and they get about $20 worth of product for the cartridges. No children/grandchildren are in public school now but we feel a strong obligation to support our small town school district.

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SUBMOM2 11/9/2014 2:40PM

    Wow, you packed a lot of good stuff into one day! emoticon

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GINIEMIE 11/9/2014 12:02PM

    Thanks to your DH for serving in Nam. One of my brothers did too.
I will pay a little more to buy natural, organic or local. I have a friend who has an alpaca/goat farm I'll be buying some of her yarn for my DIL who likes wool for her family. My prayer shawls and chemo hats can't be in wool because many people have issues/allergies with it-plus it is more care intensive.
I thought of a Hybrid, but I can't really afford a new car at the moment, paying for our new windows put a dent in the wallet.
Your weekend to this point sounded fabulous and I love the DH is joining you for some of your excursions.
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GABY1948 11/9/2014 10:54AM

    WONDERFUL day! I love productive days! And thank your DH for his service in Viet Nam...mine was there too and I really have a great appreciation for ALL our service people, past and present!

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MILLEDGE2 11/9/2014 10:07AM

    What an inspiring day you had! Thanks for reminding us all how productive a Saturday can be!

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WATERMELLEN 11/9/2014 9:49AM

    So upbeat and positive, it's an absolute pleasure to read (and enhances my own motivation just reading it!)

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FEISTYLIZARD 11/9/2014 9:44AM

    That sounds like an amazing day!

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WUMPASTAR 11/9/2014 9:19AM

    WOW - I LOVE motivational days like this where you are efficient and get stuff done! Your day sounds amazing - I would have followed you absolutely everywhere without a question, especially the last two places which is the kind of places I'd love to go but we don't really have here. I also love that I read your blog right after getting up in the morning because now I feel ready to take on my day, THANK YOU!

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TERI-RIFIC 11/9/2014 9:08AM

    emoticon Productive and fun!

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BBEAGAN 11/9/2014 8:55AM

    sounds like a fabulous day!

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IFDEEVARUNS2 11/9/2014 8:52AM

    Way to go!

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HOLLYM48 11/9/2014 8:40AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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KANOE10 11/9/2014 8:36AM

    That was a great day. It was a good day of supporting your health. The 10 k sounds challenging. I have been thinking of a hybrid also..I want to save money on gas! You are taking very good care of yourself and are suppoirting your successful habits for health! well done.

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SWEDE_SU 11/9/2014 8:36AM

    i read it all - loved the description of where you went for the run. we also vote with our wallets, especially since our diet is heavily fruit and vegetables we choose organic as much as possible. we drove a hybrid while in sweden last summer, and can recommend it - not only was it great for gas mileage, but it encouraged economical driving because it told you whether you were using fuel or electricity and we had a tendency to keep an eye on that gauge and drive to maximize it.

good luck on the race!

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