Mixing Helpfulness and Humor Since 2005

Monday, February 28, 2005

Dating Tip of the Day

Most people are somewhat leary of giving their phone number to complete strangers. But there's one situation in which ANYONE will give their phone number to ANYONE. That's when they're trying to sell their car. We've all seen it, the rusty junker barreling down Nicholasville Road that screams "For Sale, 555-1212."

If you happen to see a hot girl in such a car, do NOT attempt to ask her out by calling the number on her for-sale car, that is, unless you're as interested in the car as you are in her. (In which case, I'd say, "go for it!") You see, there are a whole slew of terrible things that could happen if you do this. Here are several of those. First, keep in mind, you don't know her name. So, what are you REALLY going to say? "Um, I'm looking for the hot girl selling the car...?" Or, what if it's her DAD'S car that's for sale? Then, just say "wrong number!" Another horrible scenario would be that she uses her innate "hotness" to persuade you to buy a car you don't want/need. Then what happens in 3 months when it's a LEMON and leaves you sit on Circle 4? Plus, if you DO end up dating her, with her old junker, she'll HATE riding in the car she was TRYING to get rid of! CONFLICT. See, while it may seem like an easy way to get a girl's digits, this plan is riddled with deceit, conflict, and broken cars.

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Sunday, February 27, 2005

Tithing Tip of the Day

I don't want to try to ruffle any feathers here, and please know that I have not theologically researched the implications of this post! Recently I've been approached by a few friends who are working in the mission field. I really want to support them, but know that it can get a little costly to support everyone. So, a friend told me that perhaps those donations can "count" toward part of your tithe. My tip is this. If you have people that you want to support, consider splitting your tithe. I think it's important to give the large majority of your tithe to your "home base," the church you call home. But, it seems that helping out some friends who are helping fulfill the Great Commission is a good use of tithe money as well. I welcome lots of comments on this one--do you think it's ok?


Saturday, February 26, 2005

LiveType Tip of the Day

This tip is for the small niche of our readers you use Apple's LiveType, a little program that ships with Final Cut that basically does all sorts of flying text effects. If your a Final Cut user and haven't tried LiveType you should, there are tons of presets in there that could save you tons of time if they match up with what your trying to do. But today's real tip is a neat little one. For those who have AfterEffects on the brain LiveType is pretty much like trying to drive a car using nothing but hand controls. The thing AfterEffects user will be in the habit of doing is exporting all your projects as .mov files before you bring them in to Final Cut. Sure, with LiveType you can export your files as .mov but the beauty is that you don't need to! You can actually just drop the native LiveType file (.ipr) right into your Final Cut timeline! Then if you were to go back and make changes in LiveType once you save the file it will be updated in Final Cut!

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Friday, February 25, 2005

Jury Tip of the Day

It's a beautiful, sunny day and everything is going well until you walk to your mailbox and open it up. In it lies the fateful letter calling you to do your civic duty: JURY DUTY. You scream. You yell. You attempt to burn the letter and discover it is nonflammable! You then realize you have to accept your fate. However, here is some advice to those of you who will one day receive this letter that requires you to call every night for a MONTH to discover whether or not you have to report. It's annoying, let me tell you. However, here is how I successfully avoided major jury duty and virtually escaped unharmed, having only to report twice.

First of all, you have to complain a lot when you get the letter. You have to call everyone you know, e-mail them, IM them, whatever it takes so that everyone knows that you DO NOT want to serve jury duty, that it is the biggest inconvenience ever, and you are very upset with your government and questioning those Bill of Rights that you hold so dear. Warn your boss you may be out of the office all the time the next month, and prepare for the worst. Then go to jury duty orientation and listen to the judge. Realize that this is your civic duty, that you may actually want to serve on a jury and serve your country. It's an honor after all, you tell yourself. (So now, you are secretly hoping that you will be chosen to sit on the jury and hear a trial.) At the end of orientation, when given the opportunity, you must ask to be excused from a day during the month (chose a doctor's appointment, a work related activity, etc.). This part is VERY vital to getting out of jury duty. You must choose a day in the middle of the month, in the middle of the week. Preferably, a Wednesday or a Thursday around the 17th or 18th. If you follow these simple steps you should be successful in having to report only once during the entire month. Oh yes--and the day you do have to report, have lots of issues with the trial. Oh--and it's good to be chosen for February--it's a short month after all. :) Good Luck!


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Thursday, February 24, 2005

MP3 Tip of the Day

"It's coming back again! MP-Thursdays from Pepsi and O-ROCK 105.9!" Well you might say "105.9, that used to be WVRB here in Wilmore, but who's O-Rock?" Well O-Rock is an Orlando "New Rock" station and thanks to the power of the internet and the suggestion of a brother living down there we're able to take advantage of this free MP3 situation! Visit O-Rock's site to download this week's free songs.

Last year when they ran this promo it lasted every week for a month and they ended up having some pretty good songs. I got stuff from Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Strokes, The Vines, Linkin Park, Evanescence, and they also introduced me to Yellowcard! Ahh, thanks to O-Rock Ocean Avenue is one of my favorite songs! Now I'm not promising the next Coldplay here, but its free and I'll even listen to "It's A Small World" once.

Now as an extra bonus geeky tip: After you download these tracks you'll notice that there's a little "This is O-Rock 105.9" promo at the beginning of each track. If your using iTunes you can set it to skip that opening every-time you listen to those tracks. To do that select the song and go to "File" : "Get Info", click on the "Options" Tab and where it says "Start Time:" type in 0:04 since the O-Rock promo happens to be four seconds long. Do this to every song and from now on when you place those songs it'll skip the O-Rock promo. Hey, I warned you it was geeky.

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Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Key Tip of the Day

For anyone who has heard my numerous key stories, I have another one that has prompted me to write a Tip O Da Day. In turn, I will follow my own advice. Making the switch from an apartment to a house lends itself to many adjustments, one of which is the ability to lock doors from the inside prior to leaving the house and simply pulling the door closed with no dead bolt option, as is the case in my new garage. After a long night of housework, which may have been a contributor to the night’s events, I start to collect my things and was very concerned that my coworker Rick had all his belongings. You can imagine me asking repeatedly, “Do you have all your stuff? Do you have your keys?” as I ran around trying to collect my own things. Well, I am sure you can see where this is going! I found myself in my garage with Rick, his stuff, and all of my stuff minus my keys--which ironically were the most important item. It sure didn’t take long for me to have my first house adventure! After unsuccessfully attempting the credit card trick to unlock the door, we headed to my apartment to break into it and retrieve the second set of car and house keys. As you will see, God had His hand in this situation. With the recent warm weather, I had opened my kitchen window to enjoy the unseasonable warmth and when winter weather returned I closed it, but never locked it, so the breaking and entering into the apartment simply entailed taking the screen off and voila--I was in! So, needless to say, the next task on my to do list was to get copies of my house key made and make sure they are in the hands of more responsible adults, considering my history with keys and continuing mishaps of this sort. So there you have it folks, copy those keys, stash them with friends, relatives, at the office, or anywhere outside of a potential lock-in area!

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Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Fashion Tip of the Day

Did your pant or skirt hem unravel? Are you nowhere near a needle and thread, and more importantly an individual who knows how to hem with them (agh, Mom, where are you when I need you!?!)? Use double-stick tape to hold the hem until you can head tailorward. If your garmet is of a somewhat slippery fabric to which the tape won't stick, safety pins will do. If you're a woman, store a few safety pins in your change purse. If you're a guy, stow some away in the console or glove compartment of your car. Generally, women experience hemloss the most because they have zippers on boots and shoes that snag the stitching of pants or ankle-length skirts (and consequently leave a trail of thread three miles long, perhaps around the office and out to the elevator). But hey, guys, while you might not need them, if you have those safety pins handy and you end up rescuing a girl one day who's having some kind of fashion emergency or another, you will be considered a hero in her book (at least for the day!).

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Monday, February 21, 2005

Safety Tip of the Day

When you're removing something that you've just broiled (that's using the "broil" setting on your oven, or 500°F, depending on your model, and using the uppermost rack--for steaks, toasting garlic bread, etc.), pull the actual rack out (most of these slide out nicely) and then pick up the dish. It's way too risky to try and stick your oven-mitted hands or potholders in there, maneuvering to get the dish without burning holes in the cloth. Also, some oven mits/potholders smolder and others go up in flames, so just be wary of what's going on at the ends of your arms and try not to be in the middle of an extra-deep conversation while attempting such an endeavor.

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Sunday, February 20, 2005

iChat Tip of the Day

This little tip is for the few out there who are Mac users (not just eater) and are also using iChat. As you might have noticed, some of your other iChat using friends having cool things come up under their name in the buddy list. You've got iTunes cranking all day, and you know you have the best selection of music ever. Of course you want to tell the world this. Well you can show what song your listening to that second right under you name. The most popular program to accomplish this and other nifty tricks is called iChatStatus. As a double bonus, extra geeky tip: once you get that downloaded and installed if you don't want it announcing that you currently have iTunes "Paused" here's an add on script you can install

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Saturday, February 19, 2005

Rancid Tip of the Day

Today's tip is brought to us by my dear, sweet Grammy who is visiting! Before she came, I tried hard to make sure that our house didn't look completely like the bachelor pad it is. This even included cleaning out the fridge. But, apparently something was lacking.

We opened the fridge, and out wafted the nastiest, foulest smell to ever be unleashed from a refrigerator. Grammy tried to shield her nose, but this smell reached her too. I sought her advice as to what could be causing this odiferous malady. She said the culprit undoubtedly was two-week-old hamburger patties (that's right, from our kick-A Superbowl party).

So, Grammy's tip ended up being this: Don't keep beef (or any other meat) in the fridge for more than one week. I felt Grammy might be just a bit over cautious, but I listened to her wisdom. When I tried removing the rapidly-decaying patties, I was alarmed that the bottom of the package had become wet with bacteria-encrusted nastiness. The cardboard had affixed itself to the fridge! Grammy was right--there was NO way that meat was edible.

We'll see if it helps the smell. But, thank you Grammy for this AMAZING tip!

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Friday, February 18, 2005

Teletiquette Tip of the Day

Make sure you hit the button below "silent" and not any other number on a cell phone when deciding not to answer it after screening your call--whether it be because you're in the middle of a call on your work phone, you're in a situation in which you can't answer it and you should've had the ringer off, or you just simply don't feel like chatting. I once found out the hard way that often times if you hit just about any other button on a cell phone than the "silent" one, you end up answering the phone. Another smart thing is to never make any commentary about anything mildly embarrassing or incriminating if you are lackadaisical with your thumbs and are likely to hit the wrong button.

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Thursday, February 17, 2005

Fondue Tip of the Day

Yes, it's been said, the quickest way to a woman's heart is through fondue via her chafing dish. Well, not exactly, but chocolate covered strawberries certainly are an aphrodisiac. At any rate, for the sheer reason that fondue is a turn-on for women, it is obviously difficult and temperamental. Let's start with chocolate. One essential is a double-boiler. Or, if you like bubble gum, "dubble" boiler. This boils the water, and then you put the chocolate in the "dubble" part, so as not to scald it. Chocolate will BURN if you look at it funny, I've found. Now. You think you're done when the chocolate melts, but OH no. It will be too thick. It will never stick to strawberries, or anything girls like for that matter. So, you have to add milk. But when you do, it will simultaneously be gooey, runny, and STIFF all at the same time--it defies science. Don't panic. Add more milk. And keep stirring. Eventually, it will be silky smooth--just like the ladies will perceive you to be. Dip your sensuous accouterments and just be careful not to injure yourself, like the guy in this video. Thanks, Steph, for finding this amazing ad!

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Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Inspiration Tip of the Day

Need a great idea fast? Turn to your shower head. It's true that some of the best ideas come to folks when they're in the shower. Some think it has something to do with warming your head and brain, but the real reason people can think more clearly in the shower is because they're relaxed. Or, maybe it's because they're naked. And wet. As a side note, I've found that so-called "old lady showers" help even more! They are the showers that are handheld--you can spray wherever you need to to "get 'er done." One of our colleagues, Matt, suggests sitting in the shower, often for hours on end. Give that a try too!

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Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Fashion Tip of the Day

Ladies, does your shirt or blouse sometimes gap inbetween buttons? You know how it is, after it undergoes washing, drying, and ironing, your shirt looks shipshape from the front, but if you sit down or reach to get a pen, suddenly you're Victoria-not-so-secret, whether you realize it or not. (Egads! So that's what Ernest in accounting was staring at in that meeting last week!) Instant modesty check: Install a strip of Velcro in these gappy areas and it keeps your blouse closed nicely. You might need to find someone who's handy with a needle and thread for this.

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Monday, February 14, 2005

Valentine's Tip Of The Day

OK. Valentine's Day is a PAGAN holiday. At least to those of us singles. It's wonderful when you DO have Valentine's plans to rub it in to your single friends, so here's a way to get back at those who DO have dates.

First, I know it's more than a little tacky, but mail yourself flowers at work. When you get them, open up the card, and just smile. Beam.

Next, get on the phone a couple times during your day (preferably when people are around) and pretend to have a kissy, sticky sweet conversation, and blush a lot.

Finally, if anyone asks if you have plans, just blush, and say, "maybe..." and don't mention any details. That way, it's not lying, and when peoples' imagination can fill in the blanks, it's a much more convincing and juicy story. That gets you through Valentine's Day. No promises for the day after--because guaranteed, people will ask you what you did.

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Sunday, February 13, 2005

Illustrator Tip of the Day

For those of us Illustrator/InDesign users out there, how many times have we said, "I like that color, I just need it a bit lighter." There are two easy ways to do this. One is to switch your pallet to HSL. The L in HSL stands for Lightness, just drag that in the desired direction. But if you want to be really cool and you're using RGB or CMYK like every other person on the planet, you can move all three or four sliders at once if you hold down shift and drag one of the sliders. This is especially fun to do if another designer is looking over your shoulder cause they won't have a clue how you did that, unless, of course, they read Pete & Jay's Tip O Da Day.

Update: This does not work in Photoshop. Go figure.

Thanks to Mac Design for today's tip.


Saturday, February 12, 2005

Cooking Tip of the Day

Need a quick meal that tastes great and incorporates only food items you already have? The secret is Italian dressing. I know, some don't like Italian dressing as a salad dressing but it works GREAT as a simple marinade. It's simple. First take one boneless, skinless chicken breast per person and cube it. Then, put it in a nonstick frying pan, and cook with a few tablespoons of Italian dressing until no longer pink. Do the same with some mixed veggies, sautee them in a frypan until tender. Zero prep time for this meal! Add a baked potato or flavored rice for some starch, and a simple salad with--guess what--Italian dressing--to complete the meal. Cheap, easy, simple. That's the way I like my women too. Just kidding! But seriously!

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Friday, February 11, 2005

Antibacterial Tip of the Day

You know how it is...you're in a bathroom stall, you hear someone else flush, leave their stall, and head straight out the door without washing their hands (ugh!). Here's a good way to avoid scary bacteria when you're using the office bathroom. The technique is easily picked up as a habit. When you wash your hands, leave the water running after you've sudsed up and rinsed, and grab the paper towel from the gizmo on the wall. After you dry your hands, use the paper towel to turn off the faucet and to open the door. Then hold the door with your foot, throw the towel in the trash, and head back to the safety of your work area without touching anything else in the communal area of the office.

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Thursday, February 10, 2005

Conditioning Tip of the Day

For those of you who's cars' interiors happen to be enveloped in the hide of a once bellowing, cud-chewing bovine, this tip applies to you. We all know that overtime that once soft, plush leather tends to weather and crack. To prevent this unfortunate circumstance we are told by car manuals, dealerships, and car loving fanatic message boards and websites around the world to be sure to condition the leather every so often with some sort of expensive, slippery compound that would have worked great at sending us careening that much faster down the Slip 'N' Slide® in the days when our physique didn't play a crucial role in the bathing suit we bought or how often we wanted to put it on. However, as many of us lead very busy lives and don't have time to lotion the car, this simple tip will actually allow you to kill two birds with one stone. Next time the need to feed yourself strikes, immediately locate the establishment with the greasiest food possible. Go to the drive through and order your next heart stopping meal to go. Here's the catch: don't ask for napkins. After downing your curly fries and double quarter whatever sandwich, simply smear your slimy phalanges around the steering wheel, shift knob cover, or the seat next to you (just make sure no one happens to be sitting there). Oh, and also make sure you can actually maintain control of the vehicle once the wheel has been thoroughly lubricated.

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Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Sensitivity Tip of the Day

When a friend, who is visually distraught (cracking voice/moisture under the eyes), it might not always be best to agree with them. Say for example, she just had a bad, um I don't know, eyebrow waxing incident. She might ask some thing like "do I have angry eyes?" This would be a perfect time, even for the super agreeable person, to disagree with their question. If you're up for an extra challenge, just don't lie through your teeth. Come up with something creative and sweet, such as "Could you try to smile for me real quick." (wait for smile) "No, your eyes don't look angry when you're smiling."

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Waxing Tip of the Day

If you're having your eyebrows (or anything for that matter) waxed by a new person, we recommend the following. Slyly inspect your waxing technician for their own follicle grooming habits. If they have more hair on their face than that monkey from "BJ and the Bear," or if they look as if they stopped getting their hair cut when Al Gore officially lost Florida, run for your life. Your eyebrows can wait another day or two for your own trusted stylist's schedule to open up. A few more days is a lot quicker than spending the next few months growing them out to the point that you no longer appear to have "angry eyes" all the time.

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Monday, February 07, 2005

Pranking Tip Of The Day

It's Monday. 9:22 am. You're already bored to the max, and it's only the first day of your work week. You need a solution. FAST. I got it for you.

Ingredients: Scotch Tape

Directions: Pick your target to prank. Usually an unsuspecting nincompoop works best. Sneak to their office when they're not around, and tape down their "ALT" key on their keyboard, so it's constantly depressed. Whenever they try to click or type, they will get really strange pop-ups and things. It will take them HOURS to figure out what is going on.

Now, word to the wise. Don't try this on your boss like I did. She happened to come in late and needed to do something IMMEDIATELY and called because "the internet wasn't working." At which point, I had to coyly remove the tape from her poor keyboard, but if my boss didn't understand my prankish ways, I could've lost my job over a piece of tape.

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Sunday, February 06, 2005

Football Tip of the Day

Everyone watches the "big game", even those like Jay who haven't watched a single sporting event since last years "big game". To avoid sounding like a complete newbie here is a list of terms that have nothing to do with football: Home Run, Derby, Match, Inning, Wheel, Court, Net, Goalie, Mallet, Pit Crew, Puck, Spoiler, Forward, Jockey, and Power Play.

And remember kids:
"Even a fool is thought wise if he keeps silent" Proverbs 17:28a

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Saturday, February 05, 2005

Mac Tip of the Day

Sick and tired of time lost to mounting superfluous drives? OK, you may not realize it, but you're probably costing your company ten seconds a day. I mean it. If you regularly connect to a server on your Mac, you painstakingly have to mount it, login, put in your password--all on a daily basis. That's ten seconds every day you could be using to comment on our tips. Well, we've come up with a snazzy workaround for you. That's right...you can have a volume automatically load on restart in Mac OS X. To do it, mount the volume you want to load. (You can stop reading now if you thinking "mounting" only applies to horses.) Then, go under System Prefs > Accounts > Startup Items and drag the volume into the startup items. Everytime you restart, it'll load that volume! Take a second to brainstorm about what you can do with all this saved time. You could make sure you put on deodorant or have your shirt tucked into your underwear. :-)

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Friday, February 04, 2005

Housekeeping Tip of the Day

Is there an errant flying insect loose in your house? (Chances are, it's sluggish because any housefly with brain matter--no matter now infinitesimal that gray matter might be--should know not to venture out in January.) Anyway, is the incessant buzzing reminiscent of a Blackhawk hovering overhead? If you have a cat, chances are, it prefers a buzzing insect to 9-Lives any day of the week. Hold cat up to resting level of housefly and watch as she A) gobbles the insect up, or B) bats the insect into its sluggish motion again (note: this is not a good time for you to have your mouth open.). Later, she will "tree" the insect on the counter behind the soap dispenser and eventually dispose of it, leaving no mess.

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Thursday, February 03, 2005

Fashion Tip Of the Day

If you're anything like me, you can't still for more than 5 minutes. And, that's dangerous when in dress clothes. One thing I hate about that combo is that because I'm tall-ish, I find that often my undershirt comes un-tucked leaving a menacing bunching, billowing, buffeting fluff around my mid-section, making me appear frumpy, old, and much like a cotton-headed ninny muggins. I thought this was something I was stuck with for life. But then I had an amazing realization. I thought, "What if I tucked my UNDERSHIRT into my UNDERWEAR?" It's amazing. My undershirt remains tucked in, no frump, no cottony bulge. It's an ALL-DAY fix. Readjust your tuck when using the restroom, and you will stay put all day. Now, I will caution you NOT to tuck your actual shirt into your underwear, because if your underwear rides up, people will see your underwear band and ask, "Dude, do you have your SHIRT tucked into your UNDERWEAR?" This has been tested on boxers and boxer briefs, but obviously "going commando" won't work here.

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Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Groundhog Tip of the Day

Dearest Punxsutawney Phil:

I know you been doing this whole Groundhog Day thing for a while now, but you might want to modify your Spring forecasting methods. I don't know if you've been keeping track, but someone has, and it turns out you have been wrong 58% of the time. Yes, on a test with two possible choices, you get over half the questions wrong. This winter, you might just want to change it up a bit. If you see your shadow, you might just want to tell those dudes in the Inner Circle, in your best Groundhogese that you didn't, or vice versa. Because according to statistics, you would improve your average if you just lied every time. Or even better, this is just a suggestion, I don't know how much influence you have over this whole thing but why don't you just reverse what your shadow means. For example, with the current guidelines, if you see your shadow there will be six more weeks of winter weather. That doesn't make a lick of sense. If it's nice and sunny out, I would say spring is on its way, but then again I'm not a weather-forecasting rodent, so what do I know?

From a Concerned Citizen,
Peter Cook

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Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Snack Tip of the Day

I have been raving about my recent snack discovery called an Odwalla bar, and was told to post a tip, so here is the 411. Go to your local organic foods store (Good Foods Co-Op or Wild Oats if you are in Lexington), and mozy on down to the the energy bar section. The bars are labeled "Odwalla Bar! nourishing food bar...Whole Fruit & Grains You Can Pronounce." I read through the ingredient list to my roommate, and sure enough, I could pronounce everything, although soy lecithin was a bit of a stretch. Anyway, my favorite flavor is Chocolate Chip Peanut. I've tried about three other flavors and none of them come even close to this one. I have been working on a case that lives in my miscellaneous drawer at work. Another tip: Watch for sales and stock up, because these babies aren't cheap, but they are better for you than most of what we can find in the vending machine at work. Also in the Odwalla line is a wonderful fruit juice blend called "Mo' Betta." It is very tasty and it's supposed to boost your immune system. However, I recommend staying away from the protein drinks (superfood, super protein), because they have a questionable odor and the consistency of wet chalk and paint.

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