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Showing posts from August, 2008

Book Review - I Was Told There'd Be Cake

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I Was Told There'd Be Cake by Sloane Crosley


My review
rating: 3 of 5 stars
This as a funny collection of essays. Witty, well-written and self-deprecating. Everything I wish my blog would be. She's not as snarky as David Sedaris but they do both create some laugh out loud moments. The story on being in a high school friend's wedding and her first "real" job were hilarious.


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Acting Up

According to Amy, George is looking for attention when she climbs on the counter. I can see that. Apparently, she's completely desperate for attention tonight. She's been on the counter, the table, the dining room shelves and I just chased her away from chewing on the corner of the living room area carpet.

OK, I did go to work early and got home late because I went to dinner with Doona. But, I talked to her when I got home, had a little petting session and played with her feather on a stick toy for quite a while. She was even calm enough to sit by me while I was doing some stuff on the new laptop.

What's possessed her to go all demon crazy is beyond me but she's about to get a time out.

First Post From the New Laptop

OK, the new machine is really pretty and I love the feel of the keyboard. It's also incredibly lightweight and the battery doesn't get really warm like my old one so I'm not toasting my leg anytime I use it literally from my lap.

But, dang, getting it set up is a royal pain in the arse.

The first issue was getting it connected to the wireless at work. Vista is not as intuitive as XP. We put the WEP key in but, for some reason, it won't remember it. Actually, I may have that fixed but I'm not sure.

The second issue was me being dumb. No where have I written down my WEP key for my home wireless. And, I had no idea how to even find it. I needed to find it not only for using my wireless going forward, but also to use the "Windows Easy Transfer" program that came with my new machine since I didn't have a cable to connect my two machines directly to each other.

I called The Rocket Scientist, confessed my ineptness, and he was able to talk me through acce…

Drafting...Wake Me Up When It's Over

So, we had our Fantasy Football draft on Sunday. It was supposed to start at 1 but The Jello-Shot Prince didn't read the road construction reports so he got there late. I think we started closer to 1:30.

There were 14 teams signed up but one of the guys had never responded to any emails so we weren't sure he was even coming. We decided he wasn't (good call as he never showed) so The Rocket Scientist drafted a team that we called Charity and decided if it won, all the money in the prize pool would go to charity. I suggested that he just buy in and play but he said (in a rather superior tone), "Unlike you, I am capable of turning down gambling opportunities."

Whatever. I should have come back with, "Unlike you, I am fun." Of course, I didn't think of that until much later. And, he could have replied with, "I'm here after driving 20 straight hours and getting home at 4 AM this morning just to have fun." So, maybe it was best that …

I Feel Somewhat Like Navin Johnson

My new laptop is here, my new laptop is here!

Why Did I Agree To This? Oh, Yeah, It's Supposed to be Fun...

The Arizona Parrot Head Club is having a Fantasy Football league this year. Woody's going to be our commissioner and he's got it all set up. It's only $25 to buy in and trades will be $2 each. Half the money's going to the prize pool and the other half to the charity that the winner chooses.

I haven't played Fantasy Football since...I think it was the 98/99 season. I had played for three years with some guys that I worked with then and that last year I won so I went out on top. I also switched jobs so it wasn't convenient or as fun anymore.

When I think back to the many, many hours I spent on it, I get a little dizzy. Every Sunday, Monday night, Tuesday morning then Saturdays and Thursdays towards the end of the season. Oyvey. These days, I have so much less free time to devote to the game. In fact, the draft is Sunday and I just started looking at players today.

I'm so competitive that I put in every effort to win but I think I'm going to have to throttle…

It Shipped!

My laptop shipped yesterday! They had originally estimated it would go out on the 26th which was bumming me since we'd probably be in CasaGrande when it arrived. This way, I can get it in time for The Rocket Scientist to get everything moved over and set up right for me before we leave town.

That is, if I can get it from Steven. I had it shipped to my parents' house since they hardly ever go anywhere and it may require a signature. Steven's already asked if he can play with it when it arrives. I told him no but I think we all know by now that I suck as an authority figure to my children (human and feline).

I Just Need a 1

I'm in a 13 Run Baseball Pool at work. Everyone gets a randomly assigned team and the winner is the person whose team has at least one final score each of 0 to 13. If your team scores 4 twice, it just counts as one 4.

I lucked out and got the DBacks this time so I get to watch the home team for two reasons. I was down to needing just two scores after Sunday, an 8 and a 1. I knew the 8 would be easier for those guys and, sure enough, they scored that earlier this week.

Last night, I gandered at the score and we were winning 1-0. I didn't get too excited and that's good because they ended up winning 4-1. It was a win for the home team...but, I'd rather have stayed at 1 run. Selfish, I know. Maybe they can beat Florida 1-0 tonight. That would be sweet!

This Is Cool

Despite being accused of being a Commie in my younger years and not being patriotic enough in my current years, I am very grateful to have been born in the United States. We have so many wonderful opportunities here that are only far away dreams to many (most?) of the rest of the world's citizens.

Yesterday, there was a a huge Naturalization ceremony here in Phoenix. Good for those folks who probably know more about our government and history than the native citizens who can take our freedoms (what we have left, sorry, not blindly patriotic) for granted.

It was especially cool to see the lead picture in the story in The Arizona Republic and azcentral.com is a guy who works with us.

The Only Poop Story You'll Ever Read Here

If you know me at least a little, you've probably learned that I loathe conversations about bodily fluids and functions. I don't want to hear (or see!) about pooping, peeing, cycles, spitting, farting, belching...shudder. Those are not fit subjects for adult discourse.

However, I do have a poop story that, I'm willing to share. Once you know the above about me, you may find it funny.

I was supposed to take in a fecal sample of George's for testing. The first time I took her in, I went to her litter box with a baggie and scooped out some fecal matter (that sounds so much better than some crude euphemism). Unfortunately, it was too old and dry so they told me to bring a newer sample in today. They even gave me a screw on sample bottle (pretty much a pill bottle) to use.

So, this morning I went to the litter box with my sample bottle to find some fresh poop. Because it is self cleaning, I had to go to the storage area where all the poop has been scooped together. A v…

Tales From The Midwest - Moscow Mules

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People from the Midwest have heard of Moscow Mules. I'm not sure that's well known here in the Southwest, though. I hadn't heard of them until my trip last year.

The ingredients are Vodka, lime juice and Ginger Beer. Some people make them with Ginger Ale but that's not right. They are very refreshing and, if served right, are icy cold. They're supposed to be served in a copper or pewter mug and that makes them chill down to an incredible level.

Yum!

2007

My flight didn't leave until Monday afternoon so Dawnie took me on a little bar tour on our way to the airport. Our final stop was where we encountered the Mules.
Cheers!Oh my, they were so yummy! And the mugs were so cute!
Good stuff!I tried to find the mugs to buy (at a reasonable price) after I got home but without success. I'm sure someone will have them up on EBay at some point but not at a price I'm willing to pay.2008

Dawnie and I were headed over to Tyson and De's on Friday morning. We had…

I Hope She Appreciates It

I just turned down a ticket to the DBacks game tonight for George.

The Vet said she may have a reaction to her shots and I've been worried all day. I also don't want to leave her home alone until late because of the potential trauma of the morning.

Damn, I'm getting soft.

Maybe She'll Put 2 and 2 Together

It was a very early demon morning. George decided that play time should start at 4:30. Her first move was a little head butt up against my hand. I was able to scratch her head while still half asleep. Then, she bit me. I was nowhere near asleep after that.

There was no calming her down. I tried playing and petting for a little while but then I told her, "Mommy's still tired and is going back to sleep." That must translate into kitty speak as "Run all over the house, make a lot of noise, dump over the bathroom garbage and unroll the entire roll of toilet paper."

The joke was on her, though, as today was her second trip to the Vet's. The car ride was not nearly as traumatic as her first trip but she was still quite unhappy. They had to take a sample for her leukemia test and she got two vaccinations. She cried most of the way home.

I told her, "This is what happens when you get Mommy up early; you get a car ride and shots. Keep that in mind for t…

Something Funny for Parrot Heads

This article from The Onion cracked me up.

Tales From The Midwest - The One Time I Didn't Want to be Carded

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There's a Wal-Mart right across the road from the Best Western that we frequent. Weird Wisconsin liquor laws means the liquor is sold in its own little store that's separate from the main one. We needed supplies so we all headed over to stock up.

De and Tyson checked out with one cashier. I heard her ask them for their IDs but I figured that's because they both look pretty young. Dawnie, Pete and I put our stuff on the counter and started pooling our money. The clerk asked if it was all together and we said yes. She said, "I need to see all of your IDs."

OK, problem. Since we were going to spend the evening in the hotel bar where I couldn't fathom getting carded and I didn't want to carry my purse, I had just stuffed money in my pockets and left the ID in our room. So, no ID.

We asked if she really needed all of our IDs and she said yes. I then said, "What if I just walk out and leave them to pay? Would that work?" Apparently not.
Dawnie,…

Amen!

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Got this from Shannon. - too funny! She called it the perfect prayer for parrotheads and she's right!

Tales From The Midwest - Friday Night Party

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2007

There was a party at the Best Western. The band was Southeast of Disorder and Eric the Whaleshark opened. TC Mitchell dropped in to play which was cool. They also had a fantastic all you can eat fish fry. It was soooo good. You can't beat the Midwest Friday Night Fish Fry for good eats.
TC getting ready to jam.We danced and sang for a while but the hotel bar was too much of a magnet for us. They were selling cheap pitchers and we started carrying them back to the party room but then we got lazy and just stayed in the bar.Dawnie, Conrad and me - yeah, we were having fun!They had a digital jukebox going and we loaded a ton of money into it and played all of our favorites. The place was packed with our group and the locals and it was a hoot.

You go, girl!De got a little tooted up and started dirty dancing. The girl can move! The rest of us were content to do 12 ounce curls and yell at each other above the music. It was pretty loud.
Our new, local friend.Someone had made som…

I'm Still Losing

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"You mean I'm NOT supposed to be on the counter?"

Follow My Friends' Travels...

My friends are riding their motorcycle across country. Their ultimate goal is to get to Milwaukee for Harley Davidson's 105th Anniversary Bash and they're trying to take as much of Route 66 as they can. Eileen's set up a blog for us to enjoy the tales and the pictures.

Book Review - Airman

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Airman by Eoin Colfer


My review
rating: 4 of 5 stars
I couldn't pass up reading Colfer's latest non-Artemis Fowl book and I'm glad I didn't. In a departure from his usual sci-fi/fantasy books, Airman is historical fiction. Taking place in the late 1800s in the fictional nation of the Saltee Islands, it's the tale of Conor Broekhart who's a young man consumed with thoughts of flying and with thoughts about his Princess and best friend. I love Princess stories!

The plot gets Man in the Iron Mask like with Conor wrongfully put in prison and determined to escape and start his life over.

A tad too dark for younger readers (it's in the Juvenile section at my library), I think it would be quite interesting to adolescents on up.

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That Didn't Take Long

I figure a Michael Phelps reference will come up in just about every sports show for the foreseeable future. It is an amazing happening but also will be another chance for sportscasters to use hyperbole in their commentary.

It took 6 laps into the NASCAR race today before Phelps came up. They compared the punk, er, I mean Kyle Bush, to Phelps. That's not a close comparison at all.

Yes, Bush is having a stellar season. But, has he broken any records for wins this year? Richard Petty holds the record with 27. Bush's 8 wins is clearly not close. Has he broken any records for wins over his career? Nope. He's only 23 so maybe, some day but that day is a long way off.

Ugh. They even went to a graphic with Bush vs. Petty and Phelps vs. Spitz.

Genetics or Environment?

Much as I (like many people) fear becoming my parents, I think I'm doomed.

Let me give you some background. My parents have a computer that they use to check email and play games on. Some times, Shorty actually uploads pictures to it, too. A while ago, Shorty decided to buy a laptop. To play games on and read his email but in the living room. For some reason, he decided his laptop wasn't good enough so he just bought a new one. I'm really not sure why but that gives them yet another computer to play games on. Kooky and impulsive.

This week, their big (50+ inches) TV went on the fritz. Apparently, it was the power button that wasn't working. My Mom called the repair shop near their house and they said to bring it in but their guy was on vacation so it would be a few days before it could get fixed.

Not good enough for Shorty. He got home and called the shop himself. Somehow, the guy convinced him that it wasn't really worth fixing and they'd be better off…

Book Review - Septimus Heap, Book Three - Physik

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Physik by Angie Sage


My review
rating: 4 of 5 stars
This was a quite enjoyable entry in the Septimus Heap books. The story finds an evil Queen Reappearing, Septimus trapped 500 years in the past with Jenna, Nicko and Snorri (new character) trying to rescue him.



These are great books for kids. I find them to be a bit juvenile but entertaining nonetheless. The kids in the books are the ones who have the adventures and solve the issues.


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The Battle of Wills Continues

To no one's surprise, I'm losing.

The latest bad kitty behavior is jumping on the kitchen counter and the dining room table. George used to try every once in a while but the spray bottle threat would get her to jump down. Since she destroyed the bottle, I guess she thinks it's OK to be up there now.

A few days ago, I was packing a snack for work when I turned around to find the demon on the counter. I told her "No!" pretty loudly but it didn't phase her. I ended up smacking her on the butt and she jumped down and gave me this, "I can't believe you did that to me" look. That love tap (it really wasn't hard so don't call CPS on me) hasn't kept her from getting up there again.

The other night, she was on the dining room table and didn't get off when I yelled at her. I had to get up, go over and swat her butt again before she would jump down.

It's the blatant disregard that gets to me. It used to just take a sharp "No&quo…

Strange...

I don't even want to know what Freud would make of this…

Here's my dream from last night (edited a bit but this is mostly it).

Lewie was visiting me and I was showing him photos from my past. There were some of me in a wedding dress and I was all, "Oh, I'd forgotten I was married when I was younger". I couldn't recall whom I was married to but I could clearly remember how relieved I felt when I told my parents that I was getting divorced. I struggled to remember my husband's name then tried to decide which of my long time friends I could ask who wouldn't think I was a total loser for forgetting.

I never figured out whom I was married to and I woke up thinking it was all true. It took me a few minutes to fully wake up and realize it was just a dream. I'm not sure why Lewie was there since he's in Iraq and it wouldn't be that convenient for him to drop in but he is a photo guy so maybe that's the tie.

Book Review - Saint City Sinners

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Saint City Sinners by Lilith Saintcrow


My review
rating: 3 of 5 stars
I like this series. This book's story finds Dante being sought by demons, the mob and the cops while trying to avenge the death of her friends. She also tries to keep Japh from fulfilling her bargain with Lucifer to return Eve to Hell.



There's also the usual "Dante can't trust anyone and feels guilty about everything" stuff but it didn't seem quite as prominent as in the previous books. That's gotten old to me.



I'll be adding the next book to my library list.


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Retail Therapy

I headed to Tempe Marketplace right after work tonight to do some clothes shopping. Sugar Daddy would mock me but you would not believe how much I saved! All but two items were on sale, I had a coupon and I think I found the perfect skirt for the commitment ceremony. I'm going to run it by the female committer-to-be just to be on the safe side (I have no idea what to call her since she's not a bride, what would you call her?).

Here's what I got:

1 skirt
6 tops (mix of casual and dressy)
2 belts

Total spendage: $144

A Reason to go Shopping!

Some friends of mine are having a Commitment Ceremony and they asked me to be an official witness. Since they're Parrot Heads, it's going to be a tropical but casual event. I have plenty of Big Dog Hawaiian shirts but I don't think those are quite nice enough for the occasion.

So, it's off to the stores for clothes shopping for me. The only apparel I've bought of late has been one pack of underwear and some shoes so I'm pretty excited.

It's the little things that make me happy...

Healthy Choices

We had our latest Biggest Loser weigh-in last week. T and I both had gained. I was bummed but not surprised considering my travel/party schedule in July.

Our company contracts with Kronos for our health stuff. Christine, our Kronos Rep runs the Biggest Loser contest, gives classes on eating right, stress relief and other helpful things. She also gives one on one health coaching. I've seen the email announcements about it before but something this time made me sign up. That something was the fact that I can't seem to get where I want to be on my own.

I actually haven't done well since we stopped offering Weight Watchers at work. It was so convenient and knowing I had to get on the scale in front of the instructor once a week kept me much more on the straight and narrow.

Here's the thing; I don't want to have to watch my diet and the thought of exercising fills me with utter boredom. Unfortunately, those two things are what you need to do to maintain a healthy …

Rats

George discovered the bathroom garbage and the toilet paper. The former was knocked over with some of its contents carried out to the living room and the latter was unrolled and pierced with kitty vampire teeth.

I hope she loses interest soon.

Movie Review - The Dark Knight

Based on its box office receipts, I think The Rocket Scientist and I were about the last two people in America to see The Dark Knight. The hype and the ticket sales are justified - it was really good. I don't want to give away the plot for the few people living in caves (but connected to the web) so I won't go into details.

It was a disturbingly violent movie without graphic violence which is good because that usually makes me nauseous. Despite The Lord of the Rings ending (just when you think it's over, it's not) the story was compelling and, while it did feel long, it didn't feel like 2 and 1/2 hours.

Christian Bale, Morgan Freeman, Gary Oldman and Michael Cain were stellar, as usual. Heath Ledger was fantastic as the Joker. I don't think an Oscar would be considered a sympathy vote as it may be well deserved. Aaron Eckhart as Two-Face was good but his hair distracted me - it looked too much like a bad wig. His Two-Face look did seem to be a ripoff of Th…

Things Are Looking Up

Knocking on wood with one and hand and typing with the other but I think karma has decided I've been punished enough.

It wasn't looking good on Wednesday morning. One of my first emails was from the bank letting me know I'd overdrawn my checking account. Dang flat tire. Shoulda used my credit card.

Then, I had a potential employee coming in for an interview. Fortunately, he got to the neighborhood early and I had given him my work number because I emailed him the wrong address for our building. I told him the number for our previous building which is across the street and completely unmarked. I felt like a total dope.

I did manage to get out of work only a few minutes after I wanted to and I pulled into my carport at 5:30 on the dot which is when I told Norene to be at my house. She was already waiting so we had a beer while we chatted for a while then we headed downtown for Lyle.

The concert was at The Dodge and I made a wrong turn on Washington that put me in the bus …

Book Review - Blood Noir

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Blood Noir by Laurell K. Hamilton


My review
rating: 2 of 5 stars
Unless one of my friends tells me the next Anita Blake book is really good, I'm done with this series.



I like good sex scenes as much as the next girl who dreams about vampires but it just seems like that's all there is in these now. That, and every man (vamp and were, too) wanting to be with Anita or have Anita "love" them the way she loves her favorite "sweeties".



The series' overall plot didn't seem to advance very far while leaving several issues open. Issues that didn't interest me much, to be honest.


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Sonofa...

This bad karma thing is not even remotely funny any more.

When I mentioned the George chewed holes in the water bottle, I didn't mention that she had it on the bed at the time. I didn't think there was that much water in there but it must have been close to full.

Why do I suspect that?

Because, I just tried to go to bed and discovered a 2 foot diameter wet spot. It soaked through the comforter, top sheet, bottom sheet and into the mattress cover.

I'm sleeping on the couch. And, I'm not happy.

Tales From The Midwest - Tornado!

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It's pouring buckets at my house right now. The rain is accompanied by lots of lightning and very loud thunder. It flashed me back to my last night in Iowa so I thought I would tell the tale. It's out of sequence from the rest of the stories but I'm sure you can live with that.

I was set to fly out of Des Moines on Monday afternoon so it was one more night at Dawnie's before I left. Dawnie, Zoey and I met Lisa at Old Chicago for dinner on Sunday night. It was good to see Lisa. She hadn't gone to Wisconsin with us this year and she missed the Thursday night "Welcome to Ms. Kathy" party so it was my one shot to spend some time with her.

Dinner was good but it was all I could do to put down two beers. I was so frakking tired from the weekend and my liver was in rebellion. We headed back to Dawnie's and it was an early night for us all. We needed it.

I was sleeping in the downstairs bedroom and I woke up to hear some heavy rain coming down. It was pretty str…

The Hits Just Keep on Coming

I thought Saturday's misadventures were enough drama for the weekend. Apparently, karma didn't because it's gone from bad to worse since then.

I had big plans for working around the house on Sunday. Lots of laundry and cleaning topped the list. I started the washer and dumped my sheets in. Fortunately, I went back down the hall for something because there was water coming out from under the washer. I turned it off and threw some towels down to sop it up then sent a text to The Rocket Scientist about it while trying to figure out how much a new stackable unit was going to cost me.

After bailing nearly all of the water out and putting my soaked sheets into the bathroom sink, I called Steven and asked him to come over and help me move the washer so we could see if it was a leaking hose. He asked, "Why don't you call The Rocket Scientist?" My reply was to the effect that it's not TSR's job to deal with my every emergency so he needed to come over.

He …

A Comedy of Errors

Sugar Daddy and I made a plan a while back to go see The Mummy on Saturday. Steven and The Rocket Scientist decided to join us, too.

We were hoping it would be at the Cine Capri at Tempe Marketplace. It's very convenient for Steven, TRS and me but not so much for SD. Our backup was to go to Chandler Fashion Mall which is in between us all.

They didn't publish the times and theaters until Friday. SD was supposed to prebuy our tickets but he forgot about it so I was designated to make the purchase. It wasn't at Cine Capri so I sent a text to SD saying we were going to Chandler and we picked the 1:15 show. Seemed simple enough.

Except that it wasn't.

The online ticketing process let me get all the way through entering my credit card and billing address and confirming my purchase before coming back with a "We're sorry but the chosen theater cannot process online purchases at this time." I tried several times throughout Friday with no success. Each attemp…

Book Review - The Third Secret

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The Third Secret: A Novel of Suspense by Steve Berry


My review
rating: 3 of 5 stars
I had three hours at the DFW airport and finished both of my vacation books so it was off to the newstand for me. I picked this one up since I've liked the other Berry books that I've read.



The Third Secret relates to a missing alleged message from the Virgin Mary that was given to a shepherd girl then covered up by a Pope. Colin Michener, who's featured in a couple of other books, sets out to find the secret at the behest of his boss, the current Pope.



Lots of church intrigue (makes you wonder just how a new Pope is actually picked), dastardly and noble deeds and discussions on the path the Roman Catholic Church has taken over the years.



Good stuff and I'll continue to work my way through Berry's other works.


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Book Review - Nudge

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Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness by Richard H. Thaler


My review
rating: 3 of 5 stars
Another book read in my qwest to discover how the human minds works. The gist of this book is that we can be "nudged" into making a good decision through choice architecture (how the choices are set up).



For example, to increase retirement savings, employers could automatically set up new hires' pay to put a percentage into their 401K then increase it a predetermined amount each year. The employee could always opt out but inertia will most likely keep them in so they'll benefit in the long run.



Another nudge situation is the placement of food in a cafeteria. If you put the high-fat stuff in an inconvenient spot and display the healthier stuff more prominently, people will chose the healthy items.



Interesting theories and the many examples were interesting and relevant.






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