The Offbeat Fitness Post–A Handy Tip Re: Crystal Deordorants

NikeI love to work out and I love my “crystal” deodorant. It’s natural, inexpensive, lasts a long time, is gentle to my skin, and it WORKS! I don’t smell like a thing when I use it, no matter how hard I sweat. It lasts for days, too.

However, there is one thing I don’t like about crystal deodorant, the cute little containers it stays in. They are meant to allow you to pick up the otherwise divinely slippery crystal and glide it onto your wet underarm when you are through washing. The containers can be woven straw or plastic. The straw ones will tear into your underarm and that is unpleasant, and if the straw unravels it’s very scratchy/stabby. The plastic dishes are slick and it’s too easy to drop the crystal (and they do break if they are dropped). The better little baskets don’t unravel but eventually you will use up the crystal to the point where it will scratch you, too.

So, what I do is to buy the little “pinch” silicone cups at the kitchen stores and put the crystal in that rather than the straw or plastic basket. Voila! It stays in there nicely, looks great, is easy to grasp. It’s perfect!

Just punch a neat hole in the bottom of the cup to let it drain between showers.

The Miniature Grizzlie Bear


On the way home, we were nipping along in the family vehicle when I happened to glance out the car window and saw standing majestically on all fours, a rare American Miniature Grizzlie Bear! These animals are usually quite shy and do not venture close to the road. I am glad I had my camera at the ready to snap this elusive creature.

The Harbor

A shot from our window. Peaceful morning. I dare say that the people driving the boats think that they are less picturesque than we observers do!

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On the road…Tuesday

Still on the road. Managed to get in some computer time and am sorting out the new forum. There are ranks on there now, a spiffier title and it works quite well. Moar later!

New Format, New Day…

I decided to change up the format of the Possets Blog a little. Heck, why not, I am changing all the other stuff I am doing. Good thing I am manic! I did manage to go for a walk in the woods today and I did capture some of the intense beauty of a Northeastern woodland in June.

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On the road…

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…I saw a little cloud which looked like it was smearing across the sky, leaving a chalk white trail behind it.

What's New In Fountain Pens–Shading Inks


Inks which show variance in color and darkness as you write are called shading inks and are very popular as a subset of bottle ink. Looking at the example of a shading ink above*, notice how the spots where the pen naturally lingers are the darkest parts of the word, that is typical of shading ink.

Shading inks are generally less saturated than the non shading inks and that means they do not contain an ultra high dye concentration and resemble antique ink more than the highly saturated modern inks.

The wider your nib, the more the variation in color when writing with a shading ink, so if you want to see the maximum of what an ink can do, then use a broad or italic (stub) nib and admire the result.

All colors, even black, can have a shading effect. Iron gall inks were famous for their shading characteristics, but the color range was pretty limited (usually a blue-black).

Nowadays, there are lots of shading inks in the marketplace. Noodler’s Golden Brown and Apache Sunset are two famous ones (brown and yellow-to-orange respectively). Diamine Meadow is a lovely true green which can shade to yellow, Montblanc Black can go from jet black to a dark grey, and Akkerman Shocking Blue shades and has a reddish metallic cast to it when it dries.

If you are looking for a good recommendation on shading inks for your fountain pen, try going to The Fountain Pen Network and searching for “shading ink”, you are sure to find a great many. There is a link to The Fountain Pen Network to the right of this blog. Happy hunting!

*The name of the pictured ink is “Black Swan in North African Violets” and you have to make it yourself out of two different Noodler’s inks. Searching for it on The Fountain Pen Network will point the way to the recipe.

Good Places On The Internet To Help You Lose Weight

victoryThere are a number of places which are great for helping you lose weight, trustworthy and not trying to game you into some silly place or steal your money. Many of them are free, some are part of a system that you buy. I want to tell you about two of them which I have had experience with, and several that I have heard good things about.

LoseIt-Totally free app for iPhone, Android and a big website. This is a calorie counter which you have to put in what you eat. It calculates what you can eat based on your height, weight, gender, and age. When you exercise, you put in the calories you burned and it adjusts the amount you can eat based on that. A robust very supportive and well moderated forum which frowns on crazies and is superbly supportive. There are some profound success stories on Lose it. You can scan in barcodes from food packs, it hooks up to the Withings Scale (for automatic weight update electronically when you weigh yourself). It integrates with Fitbit. There is a very good book you can buy about losing weight. I used this with my heart rate monitor for months and lost weight without suffering.

FitBit-This is part of a system featuring a souped up pedometer which is very small and you wear it all the time. It tracks your steps, how many stairs you climb, your calories and more. More? The real genius of this is that you wear it on your wrist at night and it calculates how well you sleep (a very important component of weight loss). If you have a particularly heavy workout day, the Fitbit will compensate you for the extra calories! There is an internet site which helps you put all that information together, count calories, with a robust forum, and it reads the information when you are near your base computer. Pretty full features, it just lacks the ability to scan bar codes from food packages (which I find immensely helpful). The Fitbit is about $100 and is NOT waterproof. Comes with a base station and easy set up. The app for iPhone and Android is pretty good, but not as slick as some.

My Fitness Pal-A very full featured calorie counter. Real popular among those who want to lose weight. Tight knit community, the ability to scan in food packages and a great reputation make this free service a real winner. Apps for your phone and a great website.

Spark People-this one has been around for years and devotees swear by it. Spark has a lot of features and seems to really cut across Fitness Centers and distance to bring a lot of healthy lives to a lot of people. I have not used Spark People but it’s well worth a try. Free to use.

Google has a bunch of fitness trackers and whatnot. Google has just about everything, so if you are a raw vegan who only eats things which begin with vowels, there is a weightloss plan for you on Google,I am sure.

There are literally hundreds of weight loss apps and websites out there. This is just the tip of the iceberg and I can only talk about the ones I know about in depth. They all operate on the same time honored system for losing weight: eat less, move more. Counting calories is a pain but waking up with arthritis in your back at age 35 because you are obese is a bigger pain (oh, and arthritis doesn’t go away, amigo). So, don’t let that happen to you. These calorie counting weight loss programs and apps really work and make it all as fun as it can be. So investigate one of them for yourself!