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Remember when I said this is The Year of Living Give-A-Shitly? It’s still hit and miss, but I do have some successes.

In May I did the 30-Day Ab Challenge and, sure, I had to substitute almost all crunches for the situps because my chiropractor assures me that the best thing to come of me doing sit-ups is that he will be able to make payments on a new pickup truck. Point taken, man. But I really did do 20 sit-ups, 305 crunches, 65 leg raises and 120 seconds of plank in the last exercise session. It was amazingly possible. And, yes, I did feel pretty awesome. Pretty exhausted by Day 30, but awesome, and I had a four-out-of-the-six pack — a huge step up from the pony keg I had been sporting for a while.

June was going to be the month of the 30-Day Booty Challenge, but by Day 12 my thigh muscles had bulked up so much they’d grown out of two pairs of pants. That was bad. Bad, bad, bad. I quit and spent my time doing outside work … and then spent a few weeks of July rehabbing my back, but that’s another story for a day when we’re talking about things other than success. Note to self, though: Just because a full tank of gas in the riding lawn mower lasts three hours, that doesn’t mean I should mow for three straight hours. Weird, right?

Despite the days of handicap, I’ve gotten boat-loads of spraying, mowing and weed-eating done. I’m still behind. We don’t have a functioning tractor this summer and that significantly ups the weed total, and my frustration level. I slog on … whilst trying not to do things in a way that will injure myself, which means, no hyper-focusing allowed. That’s not frustrating at all … ahem, but not all bad things came of the little stint of stupid back rehabbing.

The gist of that story is:

I was standing out in the yard one day, admiring the view, with hands on hips, elbows and shoulders out wide and feet braced shoulder-width apart. Suddenly, I was very aware of my body and I thought this: How long has it been since I stood around in this Wonder Woman pose?

I’m profound like that sometimes.

And, too, it’s actually a really good posture for my back. The posture not only keeps me from slouching, but it also puts me in a very balanced position with my shoulders back and spine stretched erect. I stood like that a lot about a hundred years ago in the days after I first injured my back. It felt good. I don’t know why I stopped doing it so much, other than that I started working indoors more, with lots of people around, and you get bumped a lot when you take up lots of space like that. People just don’t respect the Wonder Woman like they should.

Two days after my profound thought, the universe — through the unlikely conduit of Netflix’s automatically generated suggestion list — recommended I watch a TEDTalk video of a presentation by social psychologist Ann Cuddy on her research into the real value of what she calls the power pose. It’s 21 minutes long, but worth every minute of your time whether you’re a man or woman … or both … or neither. No one’s excluded.

My take away is to stand like Wonder Woman for two minutes every day for a while. We’ll see what comes of it, though if nothing else, my back will appreciate it.

I feel awesomer already at pam[at]viewfromthenorth40.com

And when the moving pictures aren’t capturing images of humanity congregating to act rapidly to save a fellow denizen of the human race from a vehicular fireball, they are showing us a ripping good time.

My cousin (longest-held friend and sister from another mister) pointed me to this youtube.com video in which a guy used a helmet camera while riding the cross-country jumping course at the American Eventing Championships this year (and for anyone going “huh?” right now, go here to read more or, in keeping with the visual theme of the day, you can go here to see more about it).

Sometimes I miss haring around a jump course at pam[at]viewfromthenorth40.com

If you are experiencing that angsty, people drive me to go sober so I can drive away safely, far far away, kind of day, watch this news clip about some people, like real people on the street who don’t know each other at all, risking their well-being to help another guy, a stranger guy, in dire need.

It’s a flaming success at pam[at]viewfromthenorth40.com

I am back from outer space … no wait, that’s a song lyric … I am back from the crazy storm that is Christmas and the other storm that is illness. (And why is it that I never have the dramatic illnesses that garner sympathy from witnesses? I’m just gawd-awful tired and icky — for which I should be thankful, I know, but I’m not. Whatever.)

And I should be inundating you with all the clever and witty things that have happened in the past week. But there wasn’t anything. Seriously, there was a sore throat and a fever and some warm air and and some driving and some frivolity and some cold air and some snow and some colder air. That’s it. Oh, and some presents, for which I am grateful, so there’s that.

But, I had to pull a weekly column out of my ass. It wasn’t pretty.

I can offer you only this CNN-originated article from a site called http://www.news-around-the-world.com which, I think is fair to assume, translates its American news back into English from a Japanese news site for Spanish-speaking nationals by utilizing the ESL skills of outsourced Swahilis subcontracted to the United Nations on a speech-wreaking mission.

In fact, I’m so compelled to share this article with you that I’m pasting it here verbatim in case the link gets broken in the future. It’s a rather long article, but if you’re thinking of skipping the read altogether I encourage you not to. You wouldn’t want to miss such compelling gems as: “Those delays could impact a burble gist elsewhere as a laboring pass movement hebdomad approaches.”

Western states facing huge snowstorm

(CNN) — A Brobdingnagian season assail was moving the West Coast on Sunday, poised to shitting up to 10 feet of deceive in whatever higher elevations, and feat broad and possibleness mudslides in modify symptom patch impacting dynamical conditions and expose travel, forecasters said.

A season assail warning remained in gist finished weekday salutation for California’s Sierra Nevada mountains, from falls to Kings Canyon, according to the National Weather Service. “Storm totals of 5 to 10 feet above 7,000 feet are likely,” the defy assist said, and periods of onerous deceive module move finished Monday. High winds are also prognosticate for the region.

“Travel into the broad land of the gray Sierra Nevada haw be difficult, if not impossible,” according to forecasters.

“It’s feat to be an all-day onslaught,” CNN meteorologist painter Wolf said. Areas from Denver westward module wager rain, he said.

At modify elevations, onerous fall was feat winkle broad in a sort of locations. Flood advisories and watches were posted nearly the whole size of California, from town to San Diego. Los Angeles had conventional 2 to 3 inches of fall as of most 2:30 a.m. Sunday, and “more momentous rain” was on the way, forecasters said.

Flooding in the San Joaquin valley, which includes metropolis and Sacramento, is a “firm possibility,” Wolf said. Footage from Sacramento showed drivers creeping finished liquid on roadways.

And with the onerous fall comes the danger of mudslides, especially in areas nearby Los Angeles strained by this year’s wildfires, where there is no aggregation to kibosh the grime in place, Wolf said. The grime becomes saturated, and somberness pulls it downward.

“Some secondary detritus and sway slides impact already been reportable primeval this morning,” said a Southern Calif. batch consultatory issued by the National Weather Service, “and this danger module probable move finished this morning.” The danger could also be delayed, message it module not diminish when the rains kibosh and could become later, Wolf said.

The assail — actually a program of storms — were triggered by “deep continual moisture” originating from the semitropic Pacific and surging northeastward, CNN meteorologist Sean moneyman said. The phenomenon is ofttimes titled the “Pineapple Express,” he said, because the wetness originates nearby the American islands.

The program module change the location finished Wednesday, with the strongest portions still to come, moneyman said Saturday. Rainfall amounts could accomplish 10 to 12 inches in whatever symptom and 18 inches in unaccompanied areas, he said.

The storms could be the strongest to impact gray Calif. since Jan 2005, he said, when up to 32 inches of fall came in a five-day period.

On Saturday, there were more than 260 superhighway crashes in Los Angeles County and unincorporated areas because of the rain, said Calif. Highway Patrol Officer Ed Jacobs. That is compared with 48 terminal Saturday, when it was not raining, he said.

Most of the crashes were “minor fender-benders,” he said, but digit grouping died in a break in Santa Clarita. “We conceive the utility was meet feat likewise alacritous in that case,” he said.

About 5,000 customers forfeited noesis in gray California, said Steve Conroy of Southern Calif. Edison, but he noted that is a diminutive proportionality of the company’s 5.4 meg customers.

The large difficulty the consort visaged Sat was drivers motion likewise alacritous and sliding into poles, feat whatever assist interruptions, Conroy said. The consort serves whatever of the elevation areas and has crews in locate there, he said. “Overall, we’re in beatific shape.”

About 2,100 customers forfeited noesis primeval Sun in the Highland Park Atlantic of Los Angeles, but noesis had been remodeled as of most 6:30 Sun morning, said Maychelle Yee, spokeswoman for the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power. The outages were belike weather-related, she said.

Further north, broad winds strained Seattle, downing trees and noesis lines, and sound discover noesis to most 100,000 people. Most of those had been remodeled as of Sunday. Footage from Spokane, Washington, showed drivers crashing as they slid downbound a achromatic hill.

Besides the possibleness for agency closures, expose movement could be strained in cities including San Francisco; Los Angeles; Seattle; Portland, Oregon; and Salt Lake City, Wolf said. Those delays could impact a burble gist elsewhere as a laboring pass movement hebdomad approaches.

As of 8:20 a.m., the exclusive retard posted on the agent Aviation Administration’s website was in San Francisco, where incoming flights were experiencing a retard of more than an hour.

CNN’s Nick metropolis contributed to this report

And really, I think there isn’t much left to say after reading that article, unless you’d like to read what is basically the original article (with updates and additions).

“Overall, we’re in beatific shape” at: pam@viewfromthenorth40.com

 

I got up early to finish my column today, and started my computer session as I always do opening my browser in case I need to do a quick info search … and to dink a round a moment perusing the news.

This news item about a guy who is taking a year to give to charity every day is so sublime I have to share. And in case msnbc breaks the link to the story sometime in the future, here’s the link directly to his blog, Living Philanthropic.

Just when you think hoomans are beyond hope, one of them does something awesome to the nth.

Carlo Garcia is the man at: pam[at]viewfromthenorth40.com

First, it’s not too late to hug a veteran. In fact, hug one every day. Just saying. They fight for my right to sit here and spew sarcasm on the Interwebs, and that rocks.

Second, I’m still in the clear over my last column with no complaints recorded, and that rocks my socks for sure.

Third, check out these old dudes who not only rock, but they could also kick my ass, especially Seymour Duckman, 88. You’ll see. These people are competitors in senior Olympics, and I’m not talking wheelchair races and walker wars. They are getting out there to run races, throw shot put, high jump and pole vault. I’m telling you, the 87-year-old babe with the javelin looks like she could skewer you through the heart at 300 hundred yards, so if you sass her, you better zigzag when you run for your life. The photos are by Angela Jimenez for Getty Images, and they beautifully capture the moments, the intensity, the spirit. She is officially on the stuffs that rock list too.

If you can’t get enough of the seniors making you feel both hopeful and inadequate at the same time, try this illustrated list of super senior wins. Min Bahadur Sherchan of Nepal rocks the world for climbing every 29,035 feet of Mount Everest at age 76 to show support for world peace. I think I ate a donut for world peace last year. I obviously need to change my ways.

I’m eating another donut for peace today at: pam@viewfromthenorth40.com

So if you were like me this morning, standing there proofing the newspaper — because, let’s face it, everybody proofs the paper in the morning — and you were looking at the sunrise/sunset times and thinking that someone was laying a little lying down on you about when exactly the sun was to be setting today, there’s this: A sunrise/sunset calendar, compiler, calculator thingy.

Maybe I was a little rummy because of the long weekend (it was one hour longer, y’know), but I just kept staring at the weather/almanac box and doing the time-change math in my head (repeating the “spring forward, fall backward” saying like a mantra), trying to figure out if the sun really was setting before 5 p.m. today, or if someone had screwed up. It took an inordinate, and embarrassing, long bit of time to get that figured out.

After the math fail, I had to draw a diagram, and then I had to look it up at the linked site above. And then I had to double confirm the answer by looking it up on another of our weather service sites.

It’s true, the sun set at 4:49 p.m. today in Havre. Where I live. In the dark.

I say the sun should live it up more often and stay out later in the winter. We could teach it to ski and ice skate in all the extra time.

The sun is so lazing in the winter when I need it most at: pam(at)viewfromthenorth40.com

Because I am a sucker for the sweet stories:

Feeling down about the world? Feel like your fellow man is filled with nothing but hatin’ on people not like him? Need to know there are people out there who you can point to and say, “You are my heroes. I love you guys. I really do.” Then go see this:

An older couple in Nova Scotia, Canada, won $11 million in the lottery, and they gave the money away and felt better for it because they have each other and everything they think they could possibly need. Didn’t make you cry yet? Or want to rush to visit the website links? Yeah, well, Allen and Violet Large found out they won just before she had her last chemo treatment and her cancer operated on. He just lamented that the money couldn’t by her perfect health. I want to send them a Christmas present, and adopt them, grow up in such a way that I make them proud.

If you get through the two stories (the second one was filmed after Mrs. Large’s surgery) without at least choking up, you are made of foreign material which is alien to Pamville, USA. I’m not even sure you’re hooman.

Don’t wipe your nose on your hand, you have a sleeve at: pam(at)viewfromthenorth40.com

An annual rite of passage into winterness occurred today: I had to cover the window which has the air conditioner mounted in the lower half. Winter, yuck foo. Less light in the living room, ugh.

To dispel this gloom and doom I give you uplifting news links from the week:

First up is a young girl who sacrificed her “cheer-full-ness” for her very mature convictions.

Eleven-year-old cheerleader Faylene Frampton was kicked off her sixth-grade cheerleading squad in Ashland, Neb., for refusing to participate in a cheer that required the girls on the cheer squad to point their backsides toward the crowd and shake their booties.

In a note of irony — which I’m normally four-square in favor of — cheerleading coach Tina Harris kicked Frampton, who had complained about the cheer several times previously, off the squad for insubordination, but Harris also dropped the cheer from the squad’s repertoire since someone found it offensive. This is the kind of logic that gives cheerleaders a bad name.

The article quotes Frampton, the oldest cheerleader in her squad, as saying in her interview on the “Today Show” that: “It just felt wrong. I don’t know why. I just didn’t feel it was a cheer that was appropriate for kids of my age or younger.”

Rock on, little sister.

Calgary, Alberta, elected the first Muslim mayor in any of Canada’s major cities. Way to see past the obvious issues, voters of Calgary. May Allah guide you in the light of the Mother Ship, Amen … Ooooohmmmm.

After her adopted hometown Praxedis G. Guerrero, Mexico, went without a police chief for more than a year, 20-year-old mother and student Marisol Valles Garcia decided to step up to be accountable. What makes her desire to serve in this very public capacity remarkable is that Praxedis is located in the middle of the drug and gang wars of the Juarez Valley. Valles Garcia’s predecessor was gunned down, and since then many of the male police officers have quit. Still she refuses to carry a gun. Valles Garcia has chosen to focus on crime prevention and share her duties as law enforcement chief with the mayor who is more experienced with enforcement matters.

Stay strong. And if you won’t carry a gun with which you can aim small, miss small, then at least walk softly and carry a big stick.

And if that’s not enough heroism for you, then watch this video of a guy who jumped down onto the tracks of the D.C. Metro Railway to save a stranger who fell off the platform while suffering a seizure. The train driver saw the two men on the tracks and realized they wouldn’t be out of harm’s way in time, so he stopped the train short of the station.

Which means, our Good Samaritan very likely could’ve been shmooshed for his efforts … and he did it anyway. Thanks, man. You renew my faith in hooman beans.

The ultimate good news, of course, is that the Earth will most likely not end Dec. 12, 2012, as is possibly, maybe, predicted by the Mayan “Long Count” calendar. The only negative part about all of this is that scientist also say that according to the calendar, the Earth may have already ended. In which case, this is some kind of screwed up afterlife.

Then again, it would explain a lot at: pam(at)viewfromthenorth40.com

“Marcia, Marcia, Marcia!!” Poor middle-child Jan would cry because that rotten Marcia was prettier, always got the boy and always came out the winner, and her stupid good looks trumped Jan’s brains every time. We feel your pain Jan. We still hate your whine, but we feel your pain.

And now every mining industry-oriented nation in the world feels your pain as well. The cry, “Chile, Chile, Chile!” whines from their citizens’ collective lips.

And why not?

Stupid Chilean miners getting trapped alive 2,040 feet below the surface of the world and all 33 of them coming out alive — after a record 69 days buried alive — by way of a hastily dug quarter-mile tunnel and a for-specially made escape pod.

Chile came out the winner against seemingly unbeatable odds, it got all that free stuff (including 33 pairs of those cool $450 shades) and it hogged all the media attention. Now the whole world loves Chile for its tale of triumph. Total strangers without enough Spanish know-how to pronounce “tortilla” properly, randomly chant Chi! Chi! Chi! Le! Le! Le!

Or is that just me?

Just so you know, Marcia never did much for me … but I couldn’t get enough of Chile!

Except now I feel bad because immediately following Chile’s triumphant rescue, miners in Ecuador and China experienced cave-ins:

Ecuador: four guys trapped 490 feet down beginning Oct. 15.

China: 11 guys (maybe) trapped 165-260 feet below the entrance beginning Oct. 16.

And I’m all, like, “Meh, whatever. Rescuers oughta have ’em out in a couple hours. In the meantime, you looky-loo-ers invading the base camp come up with a catchy chant to rouse the world upon the completion of the thrilling rescue. Aw-ight?”

And you know what? The media’s right in there making casual with me. After two miners were found dead in the Ecuador cave-in, mainstream American media got bored. They were sailing on a 100-proof, high-octane, revenue generating elixir. Who wants a buzz-kill of death when there’s just a few folks involved to begin with?

I had to google the stories for updates — a far cry from a streaming video of a rescue pod operation.

The China thing was looking like a disaster from the beginning, so hey, let’s see if we can rustle up an exclusive interview or a good hook with our old friend Chile whose disaster was so much prettier than the other nations’ disasters.

I almost don’t like myself, even though, or especially because, my brain still spits out the occasional “Chi! Chi! Chi! Le! Le! Le!”

Chile, you’ve set the bar so high at: pam@viewfromthenorth40.com