The Blame Game

One of my pep-peeves as a sports fan has always been that players play, and coaches coach. So this one goes out to all the Buffalo Bills fans calling for Dick Jauron's head; it's not Dick Jauron, its your players, I'm sorry but they're just not that good! Ask your owner...

"We haven't got the talent," Wilson said to ESPN's AFC East consultant Tim
. "We didn't play well. The coaches, they can't go out and kick the
ball. They can't go out and tackle. What else is there to be involved?"

So when the day comes that Dick Jauron runs the ball 13 times for 31 yards in a do-or-die game for your team then you can blame him. Until then blame your saviour-Marshawn Lynch, anybody you have put at quarterback, and a defense that just can't ever seem to get off the field. The truth is the Bills were tremendously hyped when they beat poor teams, and when they began to face some respectable competition, they folded over just like... well the Bills. After a 5-1 start, the lowly Bills are on-pace to be right in the position they are every year, below .500 and out of the playoffs.

The Bills were everybody's flavor of the month back in September, but lesson-learned everyone, including ESPN who poured gasoline on the lit match when they predicted a AFC championship for this team. Teams are forced to prove themselves in divisional games; divisional opponents know the ins and outs of each others teams very well and force each other to show their true colors. The Bills have shown their true colors, they are 0-4 in the divisional and if there was a color that signified that, I would have to guess it would be a putrid puke brown.

All the premature excitement about second-year players Trent Edwards and Marshawn Lynch has been enough to make me sick. And after the 5-1 start I will admit, I was starting to think I was going to have to come around for Edwards, but boy am I glad I stuck to my guns on this one. Edwards groin injury was the best thing that could have happened for him, if you ask me. Edwards may be able to keep a flicker of confidence going into next year now, that is unless he meets any more defenses who expose him for the overmatched new J.P. Losman on the Bills roster. For the amount of dissent, and don't get me wrong, well deserve dissent, that Bills fans give Losman, I don't understand why they continue to give Edwards the benefit of the doubt.

Edwards has been terrible in big games this year and has looked increasingly terrible as the elements have become more of a factor in western New York. Edwards entire career has been consistently inconsistent. He has 17 touchdowns and 18 interceptions in his career, and those stats are patented by great days against last years 1-15 Miami Dolphins and this years 3-10 Kansas City Chiefs. So Bills fans, does Edwards performance in this year's Browns game remind you at all of his struggles in last years Giants game? It should, big-game, at home, 3 interceptions and a loss, sounds remarkably similar. So Bills fans, when you guys continue to follow Edwards wherever he takes you, hopefully for your sake your organization is scouting this years array of quarterbacks entering the draft.

And now on to Marshawn Lynch. Disregarding the fact that he looks like the predator, he certainly doesn't run like one. Marshawn Lynch very well may be the most overrated runningback in the NFL. And the fact that this fan base refers to him as beast mode is a joke. If flopping around on the ground like a dead fish after you are down makes you beastly, well I guess I'm a beast too. How many times have the Buffalo Bills training staff thought he was having seizures on routine two-yard dive plays?

Anyways Marshawn Lynch is averaging a pedestrian, I mean very pedestrian 3.9 yards per carry and similar to this team has struggled against good competition. If it weren't for 100-yard performances against the juggernaut defenses found in Cleveland and San Francisco, ironically both losing efforts, his numbers would be a lot worse. Lynch has compiled a total of 154 yards rushing in four divisional games, all losses, and has been far from consistent on the ground. Last Sunday, Lynch on several occasions dropped passes and was stuffed early and often on first down forcing the Bills to pass the ball a lot. But hey, he will gain 1,000 yards this year (well maybe, he only accounted for a total of 62 yards against the Jets and the Patriots the first time) so regardless of what he averages per carry, he'll get the credit he certainly does not deserve.

Alright I digressed a little. Moral of the story Bills fans, blame your players that you love so much, not your coach. Since Marv Levy who have you liked? You don't have a Super Bowl team, an AFC championship team or even a wild-card team, so stop expecting one.

End rant


New York Ranks Poorly in Health Stats

Apparently New York is not the most healthy, happy or safe place to live.

While Louisiana has replaced Mississippi and been dubbed the unhealthiest state in the U.S., my concern is about the state I live in. New York is ranked right in the middle at an embarrassing number 25. Obesity is running rampant in our society and people are becoming more and more lazy. Binge drinking, cancer, disease, pollution and crime are constantly increasing. Everyone always tell us we are the future, so maybe it's time to step up and make a change!
Further, New York is ranked number 19 in regards to depression. I'm not sure why we are such a depressed state when we are ranked 3rd in dairy production (milk is natures most nearly perfect food), have delicious apples, NYC and the Adirondacks. Perhaps it's because of poor snow removal, bad inner city school systems and ridiculously high criminal rates.

Which brings me to my next point. New York also happens to place 21st in criminal rates. That's pretty high if you ask me!

I would say all of these are interrelated. If we could work to change one, I would be willing to bet the rest would soon follow...for the better hopefully!


'Tis the season

Last Friday marked the official start to the holiday shopping season. Because of the country's recent economic turbulance, this year people are trying to save money anyway they can. I'm sure there were probably more people than usual waiting in long lines on Black Friday, trying to get the best deals they could.
But if you're like me, and you missed out on Black Friday and you have a very limited budget, you can still make the most of Christmas this year. Just because you are on a limited budget, doesn't mean that you can't get your loved ones the items on the top of their wish lists.
There are many easy ways to find the best deals on those most-wanted gifts. There are some really great Web sites out there that list some of the best deals this holiday season. Here are some of the best I've found:
  • Slickdeals -- This is a great Web site to find deals that are not as widely advertised. Right on the home page of the site are lists of top items and where you can find them for relatively cheap online. Some things that caught my eye: Guitar Hero World Tour bundle for Wii, screw driver sets, book sets and even great deals on clothing. There is bound to be something for everyone on your list on this site.
  • Pricespider -- Have you ever been at a store and found a really great sale, and wondered to yourself if the deal was really that good? PriceSpider is your answer. The site is updated constantly with the best deals on the web and comparing prices at differend online stores. All you have to do is type what item you are looking for, and the site will compare prices at sites all over the internet. I feature I really like about this site is that it has a list of top items (iPods, digital camera's, GPS, plasma TV's) right at the top of the homepage for easy navigation.
  • Buzzillions -- Know what is at the top of your loved ones' wish list, but overwhelmed by all the different brands and options available for you to purchase? This site has tons of product reviews from average people on top items. Products are broken down into categories, such as electronics, toys, sporting goods, home and garden, and Green products.
  • Shipgooder -- Are you shipping your gifts to family and friends accross the country this holiday season? This Web site will show you the prices from all your different shipping options (UPS, DHL, FedEx etc.) All you have to do is type in your zip code (where the package will be mailed from) and the zip code of where you are sending the package, and then the weight of the package and number of total packages. The site lists the prices for one, two and three day delivery as well as ground shipping, and show you which company will ship it for the least amount of money.
  • Sundaysaver -- Not one for online shopping? Missed out on those coupons and sale advertisements in your Sunday paper this week? Never fear, this Web site does all the work for you. It lists hundreds of stores in categories such as department and clothing stores, electronics and computers and supermarket and grocery stores. Click on the store you'd like to see the sunday ad from and then input your zip code and voila, the ad from the most recent Sunday paper appears and you can see what each store has on sale.

Also, check out this video I found on The Today Show Web site on the best gifts under $25:

I hope you all find some spectacular deals this holiday season, and save tons of money staying within your budget. Happy shopping!

How about them... Portland Trailblazers?

I like to pride myself on being one of those people who gives credit, where credit is due. I give the Boston Red Sox organization a tremendous amount of credit for the team and culture they have built in their city, even though I would love to see Fenway Park and that obnoxious green wall burn to the ground. However, as painful as it is for a Yankee fan like myself to admit, the Sox built there team the right way. Great evaluation of talent and even better drafting has allowed them to create a young, talented and affordable (by today's standards) lineup. And don't look now, but the Portland Trailblazers are doing the same thing in the National Basketball Association (NBA), so I think it's about time somebody starts giving them credit too.

Everyone knows that the Trailblazers drafted Greg Oden with the first overall pick in the 2007 NBA Draft. Everyone knows the 7'0'', 280 lb, 20-year-old big man, regardless of his Kimbo Slice or Rick Ross'esque beard, has more hype and potential than any big man coming into the league since Shaq. Kind of off topic, but here is Shaq's new commercial, I saw it the other day and laughed for an hour, tell me what you think. Back to what I was saying though, it's the other draft picks besides Oden, that everyone doesn't know about which makes this team built to win:
  • Brandon Roy: The second year point guard who excelled at the University of Washington was the steal of the 2006 NBA draft. Roy is making a mere $3.1 million per year, and producing like a $10 million player. Roy is not only the general on the court for this team, but he is their emotional spark as well, he leads the team in points (20.9/game) and assists (5.3/game) and has become one of the most feared point guards in the NBA. At 6'6'', Roy's size presents match-up problems for almost any point guard in the league. He is electric with the ball in his hands, is a tremendous shooter from range, and can finish around the basket as well as anyone in the league. The Trailblazers go, as Brandon Roy goes.
  • LeMarcus Aldridge: The second year forward out of the University of Texas has really evolved into the consistent everyday starter they expected him to. Aldridge is a great compliment to the beast that is Greg Oden. Aldridge's ability to hit mid range jump-shots opens up the paint for offensive rebounds and easy baskets for the sometimes offensively-challenged Oden. Aldridge is averaging 15.7 points per game, and is being paid very moderately for his efforts. By moderately, I of course mean that LeMarcus is banking over $4.5 million per year, but in the NBA that's a very average salary.

  • Rudy Fernandez: Fernandez has been one of the great surprises of the NBA this season, the rookie who earned so much respect during the Olympic Games playing for Spain, has become a consistent outside shooter for the Blazers. He is averaging 11.1 points per game and is shooting an astounding 42.6 percent from beyond the arch. His presence as an outside shooting threat has really opened up a lot of opportunities for other players like Roy to get to the basket and score. Fernandez has been a very positive investment for this organization as well since he is only making a little over $1 million per year.

Now, the Trailblazers are by no means the favorite to win it all this year, but I can assure you, they won't be flying under any one's radar for too long. Portland after a somewhat shaky start has been on a tear; they are off to a 12-6 start, and have yet to lose at home this season. It would be nice to see a new powerhouse grow in the Western Conference that can compete with the Los Angeles Lakers and San Antonio Spurs. It's a shame to say, but in this era of free agency, the Blazers only have a few years to do it with this team, before all these growing stars are going to be paid like the superstars they are.

The Blazers have two games against the lowly and dysfunctional New York Knicks and Washington Wizards but face a big test on Friday when they face the defending champion, Boston Celtics at home. So it won't be long before we can see just how good this team is.


Drink away Alzheimer's Disease with some Red Wine!

Alzheimer's Disease is becoming more and more prevalent in today's society. It is the most common form of dementia and I never paid much attention to it until about a year and a half ago when my grandmother was diagnosed with it. She and my grandfather moved here from Holland as their honeymoon. One of the first indications that she had it was when she started mixing up her children with relatives in Holland. Then she started speaking in dutch and couldn't understand why we couldn't understand her.

It is estimated that in 2006, around 26.6 million people in the world had Alzheimer's...and the number keeps rising. It is a mysterious disease which scientists have not found a cure for, nor what it's cause is.

However, a new study seems to prove that red wine may actually help to prevent Alzheimer's! (Previous studies have proven that red wine helps cardiovascular health)
It appears to be the polyphenols in red wine, which block proteins that build the toxic plaques in your brain, from forming. Red wine can even reduce the toxicity of any existing plaques. This means even if Alzheimer's has set in, the cognitive deterioration might be slowed.
Apparently, it is the amyloid beta-protein which causes Alzheimer's and the polyphenol compound, which is extracted from grapes to make red wine, is the component which attacks the bad protein. Crazy!

So, I'd say because there is no definite link to what triggers Alzheimer's, better safe than sorry! Now, I'm not recommending excessive drinking by any means, but a cup of red wine at dinner apparently can't hurt! Quite the contrary, it seems to do a world of good!

sweN cisuM

Don't worry, Music News is Here! Let's Get Right To It:

Remember all that talk way back about Dr. Pepper giving one free soda to every American on the day Guns N' Roses' new album came out? Well they lied, and now Axl is PISSED. You see, Dr.Pepper's website crashed from all the traffic it got when people stampeded there for free drink tickets, and barely anyone got their soda. Axl and his lawyers are accusing Dr. Pepper of using the band's popularity to increase brand awareness and demanding the company not only make good on its offer, but take out full page apologies in a number of national papers. I tried to get a free Dr. Pepper and couldn't access the website, so hopefully they comply with Mr. Rose's requests.

Those of you waiting to buy Beatles records on iTunes, rejoice, for the wait is over....NOT!
According to Paul McCartney, Beatles music still won't be available legally in digital form for quite some time. Apparently, EMI wants something McCartney is unwilling to give them, and negotiations have stalled. I hope it's never released online. Long live vinyl!

Weezer is releasing an album of old, unused tracks. I'm not going to get excited about that just yet. Sometimes songs are left off an album for good reasons. System of a Down released a similar album, called Steal this Album, and I thought it was great. So maybe this one will be too.

No Doubt is getting back together
for a tour and will be writing and recording new material by the end of 2009, according to the band's official website. Finally! I love No Doubt and couldn't stand Gwen Stefani's solo stuff. This is exciting news, people.

Travis Barker and DJAM will be performing together again on New Year's Eve for the first time since a plane crash injured them both and killed four others. The performance will be streamed online live that night and will be broadcast at parties all over the country.

A Norweigian escort is accusing Boy George of locking him to a bedroom wall and beating him with chains for hacking into his computer. This story, whether true or not, is hilarious. If only I had something like this to write about every week.

Finally, Kanye West is claiming to be better than Elvis. Remember when John Lennon said he was bigger than Jesus? Well this is worse. Kanye is so ridiculously into himself, he'll probably cry when an album of his fails. Of course, that would require the music-buying public to have good musical taste, which will never happen.
But I can dream.

Speaking of dream, let's end with something great. Here's a video of people from all over the world playing and singing Stand By Me. Thanks for reading.


UO Gifts for Him (Under $50)

We often forget about the boys when it comes to fashion and accessories. The majority of the fashion industry focuses on what women should wear. Well, the holidays are approaching and it's time to show some appreciation to the forgotten fashion demographic. Urbanoutfitters.com should be your first stop. Their selection of men's shoes, fashion and accessories is never lacking. (And it never hurts for the girls to browse there for themselves. You might come across the perfect boyfriend blazer or cardigan.)

1. Musette Backpack $28.00 Bags should be classic, understated. And what's more classic than green surplus army canvas? This bag is best for boys on the go.
2. Ceramic Deli Coffee Cup $14.00 This sturdy ceramic cup is the perfect replacement to disposable coffee cups. It's kitschy and clever and mimics the iconic New York Deli cup. This gift is great for the eco-friendly boys in your life.
3. Marled Porkpie $28.00 This classic American porkpie hat in marled tweed is the perfect addition to any wardrobe. It's an interesting alternative to the baseball cap. And the feather adds subtle flair.
4. BDG School Colors Cardigan $49.00 This cardigan is available in several color combinations (Creme/Navy, Burgundy/Black, Black/White, Heather Gray/Black, Hunter Green/Creme, Red/White). You can pick your favorite color combinations or coordinate with actual school colors.
5. USB Fridge $32.00 This gift is for the tech saavy boys in your life. All you have to do is plug the miniature vintage-style icebox into your computer's USB port and within minutes your drink will be cold. The icebox fits a standard size can.


Sabathia the Great....I'll explain

Every year around this time, Major League Baseball (MLB) general managers and owners throw around enough cash to jump-start the Dow Jones. Lets be clear, I am not predicting a turn around from our recession right now, that is NOT what I am doing! I'm just going to play devils advocate and present a way the richer spending some of their hard earned time and money on well...... the rich, can help the not so rich.

Confused about that last sentence? We all are, but bear with me...

In an economic time that is being compared to the Great Depression of the 1930's; C.C. Sabathia, the strong left-handed pitcher is going to receive the largest contract any pitcher has ever seen in baseball. It seems to be a four-team race for this years hot-commodity on the free agent market; the New York Yankees, Los Angeles Dodgers, San Francisco Giants and the Milwaukee Brewers are all in for C.C.

The poker match is being ran by the Yankees, who like always have the big stack at the table, and aren't afraid to use it. But the Dodgers and Giants have location on their side, C.C. likes the west coast, and nobody can forget the success Sabathia had in Milwaukee last season. The 260 lb. lefty dominated the National League (NL) with an 11-2 record and single handedly dragged his dead and lifeless team on his back into the playoffs.

He is one of the most dominant pitchers in baseball and he is going to get paid like it. The Yankees have already made a 6 year, $140 million offer to Sabathia and he will deserves every penny he gets.

Not because... get ready brace for this...

Not because he is such a dominant pitcher, but because it is star players like him, that allow baseball organizations and the communities around them to thrive so much. C.C. Sabathia is a pitcher capable of putting fans in the seats at any stadium around the country. Not only will he energize any fan base he is sent to, but he might energize their local economy as well.

Wait a second, What?

Yes, when fans are excited about a team, they buy apparel, tickets and concessions. All of these items need to be sold, and in order for them to be sold, someone has to sell them. Increased sales lead to the employment of vendors, salesman, parking attendants, security guards, advertisers and much more. All these jobs can greatly help stimulate a local economy, because when people are making money, there spending it too, and that's what this economy needs.

Increase Your Metabolism!

I knew it was possible to increase your metabolism, but after some more research I realized that you can actually increase it by a significant amount! I thought just eating smaller meals more often would speed it up by a small amount. However, there are more ways than just eating smaller amounts more often throughout the day to speed up your metabolism even more.

...and you don't have to understand any complicated diagrams to know how to relatively control your metabolism.

A slow metabolism means the food you are eating gets converted into calories slower, therefore forcing your body to store the food as fat instead of using for energy. Getting older is the main cause of a slowing metabolism, but there are many other factors: Skipping meals, extreme fasting, lack of physical exercise, excessive dieting, bad sleeping habits and eating too many foods with too many sugars.

Now for some ways to increase your metabolism! I was most surprised by the statistic below:
Increasing your lean muscle mass is the single most significant thing you can do for your metabolism. Muscle burns calories up to 90% faster than fat! That is an incredible difference.

Most people know that metabolic rates increase during exercise, however did you know that it stays up for several hours after the fact? Things like taking the stairs and parking further away in the parking lot are little ways to help keep yourself moving during your daily routine.

Eat more often, and never skip your meals. Your body will go into 'starvation mode' if you skip a meal and store the calories as fat. This takes less energy than keeping up your metabolic rate. This also happens because your body is trying to preserve itself and have food for later when it 'thinks' you are going to be starving still. In the above link, Tom Venuto talks about starvation mode in his blog.

Drinking lots of water encourages your body to burn instead of storing calories. So that your liver focuses on metabolism instead of water retention, make sure to stay hydrated. There are many different hypotheses about how much water intake you need per day. An article from CNN.com explains one way to figure out how much water you should be drinking and cautions about certain complications due to dehydration. Snopes.com is a site which addresses rumors, one of them being the "drink eight glasses of water per day." Drinking the appropriate amount of water can apparently also affect your chances of getting colon or breast cancer!

Eating certain kinds of foods can also increase your metabolic rate.

So for any weight and health conscious people out there, here is one more aspect of your health which you can learn to control...at least relatively!

If you are interested in the science of metabolism at all, Steve here can explain it in pretty simple terms:

ATP=ENERGY (some of that highschool AP Bio knowledge actually comes in handy!)


Black Friday bargains already??

The day after Thanksgiving, Black Friday, is probably the most popular shopping holiday of the entire year. The deals you can find on Black Friday are amazing, and people go crazy, waking up at 3 a.m. to get to the stores as early as possible to get the best deals on the hottest items of the season.

Because of the economic crisis currently affecting our country, this year retailers are beginning sales early in order to motivate shoppers with tight wallets. It seems as if technology and electronics will be hot items this year. I saw this in an article from Yahoo.com regarding sales currently happening at retailers across the country:

Wal Mart - Starting Nov. 8, the retail giant has been featuring in store specials starting at 8 a.m. These include specials on laptops, Walkmans, digital cameras and HDTVs.
Kmart - Kmart also has special deals happening right now, including sales on Wii fitness and HDTV's.
Circuit City - Because of this retailer's recent money losses and store closings, there might be even more deals here this year. Sales happening right now include marked down prices on BluRay players and more.

Before you head out on Black Friday, be sure to check out the deals first and find the store nearest you with the best sales. Check out Blackfriday.info, TheBlackFriday.com and BFads.net to find lists of special deals on specific items from stores such as Target, Best Buy, Toys R Us, Dicks, Macys, Kmart, Kohls and many more. Ads and deals are updated daily, so be sure to plan ahead before you head out on your deal-hunting Black Friday shopping spree.


This is Music News

Hello everyone and welcome to Monday. Another week has gone by, and a whole lot has gone down in the music world. Some of it was cool, and some of it was lame; but most of it was just weird. In other words, it was just like every other week in entertainment.
Well I'm even boring myself now. Let's get to it.

The biggest story in music this week was the news that a Paula Abdul superfan committed suicide right outside the pop singer's home. Paula Goodspeed, who auditioned for and was featured on American Idol in 2005, died of an apparent drug overdose. She had been accused of stalking Abdul in the past, changing her name to Paula to match the American Idol judge. Godspeed was heavily ridiculed during her audition, which aired on national television. The show is being criticized now for humiliating some psychologically unstable contestants.
I would make a joke about Paula Abdul not having any fans left, but that would be inappropriate.

In completely and totally unrelated news, a poll conducted by Rolling Stone magazine has named Aretha Franklin the greatest singer of all time. Ray Charles came in second, followed by Elvis Presley, Sam Cooke, and John Lennon.
I don't really want to get into this, folks, because I could go on forever, but BOB DYLAN RANKED IN AT 7!!!!!! That can't be right. Don't get me wrong, Dylan is the greatest individual songwriter in all of history, but singer? No. Bob Dylan is not a better singer than Freddie Mercury, Paul McCartney, Tom Waits, or countless others. Oh yeah, and how did Janis Joplin miss out on the top five? One could argue for Aretha, but Janis should be at least number 2. She didn't even make the top 25!
I'm done with it.

This might cheer you up. Ray Davies says the Kinks are writing new material for a possible reunion! You know I hate reunions, but it's tha Kinks. I'm trying to keep my hopes low for now, since Dave Davies still says he wants nothing to do with it. If he's on board, though, so am I. You'll hear more as I do.

Kanye West is still beating up paparazzi, this time in England. He did get arrested after this one, but was released without charge shortly after. I don't like Kanye or paparazzi, but I'll consider this one a win.

Now for the weekly obits. I'm warning you, the following sucks.
Mitch Mitchell, legendary drummer for the Jimi Hendrix Experience, was found dead Wednesday morning. He was 62. So far theyre chalking it up to natural causes.
Jimmy Carl Black, drummer for Frank Zappa's Mothers of Invention, died Saturday of cancer.
I guess it was a bad week to be a great drummer.

Michael Jackson gave up his Neverland Ranch, blah blah blah. He gave the deed to a company he partly owns. What a giver. I couldn't once make the sacrifices he makes every day.
I'm sick of him, really. Unless he's becomes the first man on Mars or singlehandedly solves the world's econimic crisis, I don't want to hear about him anymore. Ever.

It looks like the Grateful Dead frontman Jerry Garcia is finally going to get his own biopic. The film doesn't have a cast listed yet, but I'm crossing my fingers for Leo.

Ladies and gentlemen, I've saved the very best for last. Paul McCartney is trying to drop a 14 minute long track the Beatles recorded in 1967 but never released. That's right, a new song from the '67 Beatles, and it's epic. All he needs is permission from Ringo, Yoko, and George Harrison's widow.
If this happens, I'll take back everything I ever said about Yoko. I promise.

Until next time, Barcelona!


Healthy Eating for the Holidays

Thanksgiving is just around the bend! The smell of turkey roasting, stuffing cooking, yams sizzling, grandma's apple pie sitting on the table, just begging to be eaten. Yes. This is what I have waited for all year...not to mention all 47 of my crazy cousins will be running around, the 14 aunts and uncles catching up and grandpa making the babies cry.

With such a big family, its only natural to have bountiful food during this holiday time. But even small families celebrate Thanksgiving with all kinds of delicious entrées. It's difficult to control yourself and not over eat! But the end of the year is a time to be especially watchful as to what and how much you are consuming. Halloween just ended and everyone is filled up with candy and here comes the feast!

Some tips for controlling yourself during the holiday season, are:
1. Use a smaller plate! If your dish is smaller, you can't get fit as much food. But don't resort to going up for thirds and fourths because of this! Research studies at Cornell University help to prove this actually works.
2. If you absolutely have to have more, allow yourself only seconds...and only seconds of your absolute favorites. Don't bother filling up on foods you don't even enjoy as much!
3. Eat slowly! For several reasons: You won't eat as much, you will be less stressed, have better digestion, among other proven facts.
4. Desserts don't have to be "off-limits." Eating healthy for the whole day, may actually mean a dessert is in your near future! And there are plenty of healthy Thanksgiving recipes out there.
5. Just don't hang out around the food all day! Go sit and talk to everyone in another room before and after the meal, away from the food and resist the temptation altogether.

Before we know it, Christmas will be here and it will be a feast all over again! Don't forget all these tips and follow through with them on Christmas Eve and Christmas, too!


Save big on spring break

The weather is getting colder, the fall semester is coming to a close and final papers and projects are starting to pile up. While you're not cracking the books, you may be thinking about an awesome spring break destination.
Although there's still a while until spring break, the earlier you plan your vacation getaway, the cheaper it will be. Sprink break is a peak travel season, so the best deals go fast. If you wait until the last minute to book your trip, there will be limited space available and inflated prices.
When thinking about where your destination will be, there are some things to consider.
The top Spring Break destinations include:
  • Cancun
  • Acapulco
  • Florida (Miami, Fort Lauderdale, etc.)
  • Ski resorts (such as Aspen, Whistler and Jackson Hole in Colorado)
  • Jamaica

Check out travel Web sites such as Travelocity, Hotwire, Expedia, Priceline and Orbitz to find the best deal for your destination. Many companies offer special discounts for college students, so be sure to keep an eye out when choosing a travel company. But beware of travel scams, if a deal sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
When searching these sites, be sure to look at all inclusive packages, which usually include airfare, hotel, food and sometimes even activities and other deals. Although these may look more expensive, in the long run you will save loads of money and won't have to deal with as many surprise expenses, as everything is planned and booked for you. If you decide to travel abroad, be sure to look at hostel options, these are cheap alternatives to hotels.

If you are a little strapped for cash this spring break, or are just looking for a fun alternative, consider these less expensive options:

  • Road Trip - Although gas prices are on the rise, this is still a cost effective alternative. If you get a car full of friends together, and split the cost of gas (and the driving) it will be cheaper in the long run. You can try and pile your whole crew in one or two inexpensive hotel or motel rooms along the way, or even stay with friends or family if you happen to be driving through their area. Be sure to plan ahead to see all the memorable roadside attractions.
  • Camping - Of course, this is only an option of you live somewhere that is warm all year long, or if you are willing to drive to some place that is. If you're the outdoors-y type, this is a great option. You and a group of friends can either all chip in to rent a cabin, or all split the cost of a campsite. Find some options here and here.
  • Staycation - If you're not up for a long road trip, you can always look to see what attractions are around your area. You might be surprised at what you find. Day trips are just as fun and less expensive than conventional road trips.
  • Volunteer - A growing trend is to relax over Spring Break and make a difference at the same time. Check out i-to-i for international volunteer activities. Check out Habitat for Humanity, The Red Cross, or Volunteer Match for other volunteer activities in your area.

Whatever destination you decide on, be sure to be smart with your money, find the best deals and have fun.


The NFL is Getting "Wild"

Since week 3 of the National Football League (NFL) season when the Miami Dolphins blew out the defending American Football Conference (AFC) champion New England Patriots; the "Wildcat" offense that was so successful for the Dolphins has spread to other teams all over the NFL. The Wildcat offense is now getting more calls than Young Jeezy's hit track "I Put On" at the introduction of NFL games. And if you don't get my analogy trust me, that's a lot of play.

In the past two weeks the Kansas City Chiefs and Philadelphia Eagles have scored touchdowns and many other teams including the Buffalo Bills, Cleveland Browns have implemented plays from the formation into their playbook. None have had the success that Miami has had; the Dolphins have scored 12 touchdowns since they have started using the Wildcat, and have an 5-2 record after their 0-2 start.

The Wildcat formation is defined by having a position player other than the quarterback line up under center and take the snap. From there the possibilities are seemingly endless, we have quarterbacks catching touchdown passes, runningbacks throwing them, and receivers doing, well who knows? As Vince Lombardi would say in his oh-so-overused sound bite, "What the hell is going on out here!"
Well the Wildcat offense's roots come back from even before the days of the constantly annoyed former Green Bay Packers coach. When football first started being played back in the leatherhead days, (no offense George Clooney, but your performance in "Leatherheads" was comparable to Bernie Mac's in Mr. 3000) what is now called the Wildcat formation was the norm. The best athlete on the team took the ball directly from the center and was the primary playmaker.

In today's more sophisticated defenses, its only a matter of time until they figure out a way slow down this formation that is taking the league by storm. But don't tell the Ronnie Brown and the Miami Dolphins that, they scored two more touchdowns from that formation this week, and have won three straight games for the first time since 2003.


Wii Fitness

I personally never had a Nintendo, nor any other form of gaming system. As a child I felt pretty deprived...and when I came to college and had still yet to play a video game. It goes without saying that I got some laughs. But most people have grown up with said systems. And most people have heard their parents yell at them countless times to go outside and do something more productive and active. Well, perhaps now with the Wii parents will start telling us to calm down so we don't bust the TV screen!

While some people have lost weight due to the Wii hand held device, the newest model is promising even greater benefits.
The Wii Fit offers skiing, tennis, golf, yoga, soccer, and even hula hooping. Yes. Hula hooping--the next Olympic sport? I wouldn't be surprised.
All of this is possible through the Wii Fit balance board. You simply stand, or position yourself, on this platform and perform the moves dictated to you. It can't get any simpler! All of the exercises are based on four different fitness categories: Aerobic exercises, balance games, muscle conditioning and yoga poses.

At least with the Wii Fit we don't need to worry about breaking any TVs! And it provides the convenience of exercising inside during the coming colder months!

I can't imagine what they are going to come out with next.


Clip coupons, cut costs

So the other day I was walking through my local grocery store, and I couldn't believe how high the cost of food is. I don't live on campus, so I don't have the luxury of a meal plan or dining hall within walking distance. Besides bills and gas, each month a majority of my money goes toward groceries. Having a dining hall close by and not having to cook my own food are definately things I miss about living on campus. But I try to only buy things that are on sale or I try to go to a discount food store (like Aldi's). But sometimes it's difficult, not to mention time consuming, to find items that are on sale in the store.
And this is when I had an epiphany. My mom cuts coupons like its her job. Clipping coupons from the Sunday paper is the most exciting event of her week. But unfortunately, I don't have access to a Sunday newspaper, unless I buy it (which is just spending more money). Lo and behold, there are tons of coupon sites online, where you can go to print out coupons for major food brands and grocery stores. Some even feature coupons specifically for online shopping, and find the best deals on the web. Here are some of the better ones I've found:
  • Cool Savings -- This site is great. It has coupons for pretty much anything you're looking for, including grocery coupons, pet coupons, rebate opportunities, health and beauty offers, travel offers, and clothing and accessory sales. You can choose to print out the coupons, or you can use certain coupons and offers at online stores. The only downside? You have to register to see all the coupons and offers available.
  • CouponMom -- Features coupons for food and restaurants, as well as free samples and free offers. Users can print out or use coupons for online stores.
  • Coupons.com -- This site features coupons for groceries, entertainment, personal care, pet care and restaurants among other things. Coupons can either be printed out or used online. You can even enter your zip code to see special deals in your area. As you check the coupons you want to print, you can see the amount you are saving added up in the left hand corner. To print, you do have to install a special coupon printer on your computer, but the site ensures there is no third party, adware or spyware within this program.
Another great tool I found is GroceryGuide. All you do is enter your zip code, and then select up to two grocery stores in your area to compare prices and see sales at each. This really saves you the time of driving all around town to get the best deals. You can see all the best deals online for free.
Utilizing coupons, whether you cut them the traditional way, or use printable ones from online, is quick easy, and can save you tons of money in the long run.


Nusic Mews!

Well, people, the election is taking up all of the good news this week. Don't worry though, there's still a bit to report, and not all of it is bad!

More important than anything else this week was the news that The Beatles will finally have their own video game. Digital Beatles music has been extremely scarce since computers were invented, so it's nice to see their library expand. Even better is the news that Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Yoko , and George's wife Olivia will all be personally involved with the game's vision. All the music will come from the original master recordings, and (original Beatles' producer) George Martin's son Giles will be producing it. I'm excited.

Legendary record producer Phil Spector is on trial again for the murder of actress Lana Clarkson. You may remember the first trial ended with a deadlocked jury. Hopefully this one will be more conclusive.

Speaking of crazy people on trial, Michael Jackson is busy denying his involvement in the upcoming Jackson 5 reunion. Jermaine went ahead and announced his brother would be on board anyways, and now Michael has to deal with those rumors. Poor, rich Michael Jackson.

Now that we're on the issue of unappealing reunion tours, Led Zeppelin plans on touring without Jimmy Page. They're looking at the lead singer of Altered Bridge right now, a.k.a. the guy who took over for Scott Stapp when he left Creed.
This is just bad. Really bad. Led Zepp without Jimmy Page is pointless. It would be like Queen touring without Freddie Mercury.
Oh wait...

Def Jam Records' executive Shakir Stewart was found dead on Saturday. Details are very scarce at the moment, but some cite suicide as the cause. I'll fill you in more as details emerge.

But that's not the saddest news of this week. No, not by a long shot. You see, dear readers, Bono was planning on building the tallest skyscraper in all of Ireland right in the middle of Dublin ad he was going to name it the U2 Tower. It was even going to have a recording studio at the top! The credit crisis ruined his plans though. Now he'll have wait in one of his mansions or on an island cruise for 12 months until the project is picked up again. We should all keep unfortunate Bono in our prayers this week.

Here's your funny. Have a nice week.


American Apparel's D.I.Y Halloween: Hipster Tested & Approved

If you've procrastinated deciding on your Halloween costume, well, American Apparel, the largest clothing manufacturer in the United States, has done the work for you. There are many easy-to-create costumes featured on their website. Each costume is accompanied by a step-by-step video. (I suggest turning the volume off. The sound on all of the videos is pretty annoying.)

The costumes range from the tongue-in-cheek ("Gold Digger", "Nudist Colony," and "90s Preggers") to the cleverly cute ("Rainbow," "Grapes," and "Black- eyed 'P'").

American Apparel is known for their racy ads, so expect the same from their Halloween costumes. (Dov Charney, the mastermind behind American Apparel's advertisements and a 1970s aficionado, was spoofed on Saturday Night Live recently. Watch it. It'll explain a lot.)

My favorite costume, hands down, is the laundry basket. There are only three steps. Tie a sock in your hair, get in a laundry basket and add dirty laundry. Of course, that explanation isn't quite enough, so watch the step-by-step video.


Hey Colt, Do the Heisman

The Heisman Trophy is the most prestigous trophy a collegiate athlete can hold in any sport. Every year NCAA Division I-A's biggest football superstar is awarded this trophy. This year's winner will be the 74th.

In 1935 Jay Berwanger was awarded the first Heisman trophy and since then the trophy has been given to notable stars such as O.J. Simpson, Earl Cambpell, Vinny Testaverde, Barry Sanders, Reggie Bush and many more.

This year in 2008, there isn't a reason to think there is going to be too many surprises when it comes time to hand out the beautifully bronzed trophy. Texas quarterback Colt McCoy is a huge favorite. Predicting Colt McCoy is going to win the Heisman Trophy this year is like saying, "well you know, I think the sun is going to come up tomorrow." McCoy has played exceptional football all season and has led the Texas Longhorns to the top of the Bowl Championship Series (BCS) Standings.

McCoy is a threat to run and pass when he has the ball, just ask his opponents. Those who have had the unfortunate pleasure of dealing with Colt, have surrendered 21 passing touchdowns and seven rushing touchdowns this season. Some have handled him better than others, but they all have one thing in common, they all lost. McCoy and the Longhorns have victories over highly ranked conference opponents such as Oklahoma, Missouri and Oklahoma State this season; and head across Texas to take on their in-state, No. 8 ranked rivals, Texas Tech.

In past years it has been hard to determine who the best team and player are in College Football, but this year is quite different. With one of the hardest schedules of any team across the country and convincing wins over three Top-10 teams, its clear that Colt McCoy and the Longhorns are no long-shot to take home all the hardware this season.

Calories for Exercising

Exercising is essential for staying healthy and maintaining a healthy weight. It is important to remember to eat properly while exercising.

Glycogen is used by your muscles during your exercise routine...both anaerobic and aerobic. If you do not have enough glycogen in your body, you will feel more tired and your performance will drop. A lack of glycogen can also make you more susceptible to injury.
Marathon runners experience fatigue to the point where they can barely walk around 20 miles. This is due to a lack of glucose. The body can only store up to 2,000 kilocalorie of glycogen at a time.

So how do you get enough glycogen? Now, I am far from a biologist or chemist, but from what I understand, glycogen comes from carbohydrates breaking down into glucose. Glycogen is a form of glucose.

There are specific ways to find out exactly how many calories you should be intaking for exercise. To find out how many calories you should be consuming, use the Calorie Calculator.

Getting tired toward the end of the day, or week, may be a result of not getting enough calories:

A common question is if you should eat before or after exercise. Either way, you will burn the same amount of calories:


Save Gas, Save Money

One of my biggest expenses, besides bills and tuition, is gas. This summer was torture, with gas prices hurtling up past the $4 mark. Half my paycheck from my minimum wage, part time job went straight to the gas tank. Luckily my parents are members at a wholesale club, which sells gas at a cheaper price than most other gas stations, but the dent in my wallet was still quite large. Thankfully, gas prices have begun to decrease recently, and now in my area, gas is below $3. Although me and my wallet breathed a collective sigh of relief, the cost of filling up my gas tank still outweighs the cost of pretty much everything else I spend money on.
So how can you save on your gas mileage, while still maintaining your social calendar? I've recently learned of a thing called "hypermiling" Wayne Gerdes, of CleanMPG coined the phrase. He and his team currently hold the record for most mileage on one tank of gas — a whopping 2,250 miles in a single tank. That works out to a staggering 165 miles per gallon. How does he do it?
According to an article by CBS, Gerdes has some key advice:
  • Don't break or accelerate as heavily or frequently
  • Don't idle excessively
  • Cold weather and taking a lot of short trips reduce fuel economy
  • Remove cargo and take off cargo racks
  • Don't tow anything unless it is absolutely necessary
  • Cut down on using mechanical and electrical accessories (such as air conditioning)
  • Try to avoid driving on hilly or mountainous terrain if possible
  • Don't use four wheel drive unless necessary
  • Maintain vehicle
  • Maintain correct tire pressure
...and many more.
Gerdes was even featured on the CBS Morning Show:

Another good thing to do is to check which local gas stations have the lowest prices. Gas prices generally vary from county to county and depends on the gas station. The Gas Buddy Web site is the best I've found for this purpose. All you have to do is type in your town or zip code, and the site will show you the prices at gas stations in your area, starting with the lowest price. You can also look at a map of the entire U.S. to see which states have the highest and lowest gas prices.
By utilizing these simple tips, hopefully you can cut down on your gas expenses and save some money.

Music Music Bo Byoozic

Well, folks, there's some pretty down news out there this week, so I'll get right into that and we can move on.

Merl Saunders, keyboardist for the Grateful Dead, died this week from complications resulting from a stroke six years ago. Heaven just got a little more trippy.

American Idol star and actress Jennifer Hudson's mother and brother were found murdered in their home Friday morning. Her 7-year old nephew was taken from the scene, and a hefty reward was offered for his safe return. Unfortunately, his body was found in an abandoned SUV this morning.

Now that we got through that, let's talk about something happier.

Now that the new Guns n' Roses album, Chinese Democracy, is actually officially and definitely coming out (Nov. 23), Dr Pepper is making good on its claim that it would give every person in America a free can of Dr Pepper. You see, way back when it looked like Axl was never going to get his crud together, the soda's vp of marketing (jokingly) promised to give everyone in America free Dr Pepper if the album was ready by the end of 2008.

In related news, Slash is coming out with a solo album. I'm not very optimistic. Slash is a guitarist, not a songwriter. This'll just end up being an album of collaborations, and I hate those.

Now for some ridiculous stuff. Beyonce is leaving Madonna and Cher in the one-name-person club in favor of two names. Crazily enough, she now wants to be called Sasha Fierce.

And Bono, who has just been tapped to write a column for the New York Times, was caught, via facebook, flirting with a couple of 19-year old girls. They posted pictures and told all their friends and probably giggled about it, too. Good job, Bono.

I'll leave you on a lighter note. Here's Louis Armstrong performing his great American classic, Cheesecake. Don't watch unless you want it stuck in your head forever.


"It's like Facebook only more stylish"

There is definitely a market for books that teach you how to have style. In the past few years alone, Rachel Zoe, Tim Gunn, Victoria Beckham, and Nina Garcia have written style guides. All of the guides claim to teach the reader how to have confidence, how to make the most of and personalize your wardrobe and how to cultivate good taste. That is a lot of cover in 200-300 pages.

Isaac Mizrahi, who has a ready-to-wear line at Target, decided to tack his name to the list of style guide authors even though the competition is stiff. How to Have Style is much like the other style guides, but there is one key difference: Mizrahi attempts to create a community. In the book, he helps 12 real women with wardrobe problems. He offers tips and solutions. He also shows you how to make an inspiration board. (My inspiration board is shown at left.) The guide tells readers to visit his website, Isaac Mizrahi NY. Mizrahi thinks it's important for women to interact with others about their wardrobes. At the website, you can look at Mizrahi's inspiration board, fellow member's boards or create your own. Mizrahi encourages members to "share ideas about style, inspiration, and fashion."


Eat Your Fruits and Vegetables!

I don’t know about the rest of you, but I always get tired of people telling me, “eat your fruits and vegetables. They’re good for you.” Well, okay, so they are good for me…but why? I’ll definitely be more likely to eat them if I know what kind of “good” they are for me.

I went on a search and found out that fruits actually help with your bone density. So getting your three servings of dairy a day, along with eating your fruits will help your bones and prevent osteoporosis which affects both men and women. To lower your cardiovascular disease risk, drink red grape juice and eat blueberries. Blue and purple fruits contribute to thwarting cancer.

The above link provides numerous articles about what exactly fruit does for your body. This site also has information about a variety of vitamins and minerals.

Another incredibly useful site I just found today allows you to type in anything and the search engine will pull up the nutrition facts for you!


Ageless Wonders

Alright, before we get into this week's post I just want to keep you posted on some prior news. The Breeder's Cup is this weekend, Lee Corso fired a musket in the air during College Gameday last week, and the Bills are 5-1, maybe they are that good. Hopefully not though.

I'm sure you think I'm weird enough already for watching horse racing, but that's alright, because I regularly watch boxing as well. Well this past weekend the 43-year-old Bernard Hopkins thoroughly dominated the 26-year-old, middleweight champion, Kelly Pavlik. Hopkins was a huge underdog and was expected to be pummeled into retirement by the younger more athletic Pavlik. The fight just further cemented his place in history as one of the most crafty boxers in the history of the sport. I guess the old saying with age comes wisdom applies because, Hopkins is now being referred to as the ageless wonder of boxing. That got me thinking of other ageless wonders who just won't seem to go quietly into the night.

Here are some of the more recent aging phenoms:

Jamie Moyer: Moyer has been pitching in Major League Baseball (MLB) since before I was born. The man won 16 games this season and is appearing in the World Series with the Philadelphia Phillies this season. Just promise me Jamie, that if you win, you'll retire! Your 46 years old for gods sake.

Vinny Testaverde: Testaverde became the oldest man ever to complete a touchdown pass in the National Football League (NFL) last season at the age of 43. Vinny please don't break your own record, you have had a memorable career, and anything you do now just tarnishes it. You weren't just a former Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback, you were the first Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback in 1987 when you were drafted. So this year when the Kansas City Chiefs call you, do what you tell your kids to do to drugs, just say no.

Joe Paterno: Paterno has been the coach of Penn State's football team and a legend throughout college football for the last 43 years. And he hasn't lost his magic, at the of age 82, Paterno apparently has visited the Fountain of Youth, becuase he has led his No. 3 ranked Nittany Lions to an undefeated record that they are taking with them to Ohio State this weekend. I'm rooting for you Joe, but seriously take the same advice I game Mr. Moyer, if you win it this year, retire. You were born in 1926, take some time for yourself. We'll even arrange some sort of deal with Bobby Bowden and you guys can share the all-time win record, you both deserve it.


The college student's guide to tipping

Last week a friend and I decided to go out to dinner, to reward ourselves for all the hard work we'd been doing. We went to a local resteraunt, where we both knew we'd find something we liked. The food was great, but the problem was the server. It was by far the worst service I have ever gotten. She barely came to check up on us, didn't offer to refill our drinks, and it took her almost 20 minutes to bring us back our change, even though her section of the resteraunt was mostly empty. As we were leaving, my friend and I got into an argument about whether or not to tip this horrible waitress. I said no, she didn't do anything to deserve it, but my friend was adamant about leaving her something nonetheless. So what do you do in this situation?

This got me thinking. I've had numerous experiences when I'm unsure whether to tip a person or not. I always feel guilty at those food stands in the mall with their tip jars right on the counter. And what about at a full service gas station? Searching the web, I think I've found some pretty good guidelines for all your tipping confusion. All these tips were found on The Original Tipping Page:

  • Waiter/Waitress - The general standard is 15-20% of the bill. Many servers are underpaid, usually making under minimum wage, and split their tips with bus boys and other staff. This percentage can vary, depending on the quality of service you experience. Check out more information on the Waitressing Gripes page here.

  • Gas station attendant - According to the Web site, no tip necessary. But if you happen to be feeling extra generous, or the attendent was especially friendly, the site suggests a $1-$2 tip.

  • Hair Salon - The site suggests 15% of the total. There has been some disagreements over whether or not to tip the owner of a salon, but the site suggests only tipping the owner if he or she cuts your hair.

  • Cab driver - 15%, and absolutely no less than 25 cents.

There are many categories and suggestions on the Web site. Always be aware of whether or not a gratuity has already been added to the bill, and use your best judgement. Find a guide to tipping during the holiday season here.

Here's a helpful video about tipping as well:

Watch CBS Videos Online


Music News for Cool People!

That's right, cool people. Unfortunately, a lot of tabloidey stuff happened this past week, so I'll get that out of the way quick and we'll all acknowledge that none of it matters and I'm only posting it because everyone else is. Those of you with brains, skip everything in the lines.


Britney Spears released a crummy song this week called "Womanizer". Everyone loves it. In fact, it's made a record setting 96-1 jump on the billboard charts recently. Woo hoo. She hasn't been number 1 since "...Baby One More Time" in January of 1999. I can't really decide whether this is good or bad for America.

Meanwhile she's dealing with that driver's license issue from last year. Apparently she crashed into someone while the paparazzi chased her, then didn't have a California license. It's all dumb, really.

Then, of course, is the whole Madonna getting divorced thing. Raise your hand if you haven't heard this already. Well here's some news for you: The divorce settlement with Guy Ritchie hasn't been settled yet. That's right...something NOT HAPPENING that WILL HAPPEN is news now.

Thank the gods that's over.


Now for some really real music information.

We'll start with an update on the Travis Barker/DJAM plane crash. As you remember, they were the only survivors of a horrible accident and were holed up in the burn ward for quite some time now. Well, Barker was finally released from the hospital on Friday. And DJAM? He's back on stage already, performing for two hours with Jay-Z. Glad those guys made it.

In unrelated news, The Chinese Democracy track list has been officially released, meaning the long-awaited Guns n' Roses album just may be coming out for real after all. Apparently, the first thing you hear on the album is Axl Rose screaming, which could be a great thing or a horrible thing. Only time will tell, but I'm looking forward to it.

In Music-That-You-May-Not-Know-But-Is-Awesome news, Ween has been going through their material archives to put together a cd/dvd set, due Nov. 11, that will include live material and other great stuff. Oh yeah, and they're commissioning a coloring book. An official band coloring book. Yup...They're great.

Pay attention now, because I've saved the best for last. I hadn't heard about him until very recently, but a blind Aboriginal man named Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu is an absolutely mind blowing singer/guitarist who stole the show at the Australian Music Awards on Sunday. I can't even describe how amazing he is, so I'm going to put up a video and implore you to watch it.

People, this is music. Not that crap you see on MTV. I dare you to put Lil' Wayne or Miley Cyrus on stage next to this man. Want to learn about humility? Yunupingu uses his music awards to open clams on his home island.

See you next week ladies.


Fashion industry not only interested in hem-lines and draping.

Election Day is looming. Everyone is talking about the debates, the issues. You were even reminded to register to vote every time you tuned in to MTV. This is an important race and college students need to get involved. And because this election is so critical, everyone wants to know who you're voting for. And that's a personal question that you might not want to answer.

Well, now, if you're an Obama supporter you can wear your answer. Fashionably, too.

The Obama campaign has enlisted top designers to design t-shirts, hats, tote bags and other goods for the Runway to Change section of Obama's official shop.

Juicy Couture, Tory Burch, Russell Simmons, Pharrell Williams, Vera Wang, Beyonce, Jay-Z, Zac Posen, Rag and Bone, Issac Mizrahi, Derek Lam, Diane von Furstenberg, Marc Jacobs, and Proenza Schouler have all showed their support for Obama.

The tank top at the left is designed by Alexander Wang and costs $45.

McCain may not have fashion designers backing his online store, but his t-shirts do seem to be made with the average Joe Six-pack or Joe Plumber in mind.

And whoever's name, or slogan, you wear across your chest or on your bag, just remember to get out there and vote on November 4th.


Exercise Routines should be fun!

Having fun is definitely the key to being able to stick to an exercise program. You have to develop one that is good for you...one which you enjoy, is effective, and can evolve over time as your needs change. It can be very difficult to find a routine and get into the groove of things--Here's a site which gives some pointers and things to consider when designing a program specifically for yourself.

Charting your exercise plan is always a good idea. This link is a great example of a healthy exercise plan and how to keep organized and on track.

Flexibility, strength and Cardiovascular training (aerobic activity) are the three main components to an exercise routine. By working to increase your fitness in all three areas you will gain maximum results.

But doing all three only once a week probably won't get you far. Starting with twice a week for about 10 minutes is a good idea. Steadily working your way up to 30-40 minute workouts 4 times a week should be the goal.

It's easy to overstretch or under stretch and both can cause serious injury. Here's a video detailing 6 main stretches good for any workout.



Have a great Columbus Day everyone!