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Hot alternatives to the Games

Did you know that when Atlanta bid to host the Summer Games, officials listed the average summer temperature as 78? Sure. And no one would watch women's softball if they put it on prime time, right NBC? Ditch the Olympics. Instead, try a Floridian alternative.

Bored? July is "Anti-Boredom Month," so attend a free workshop on how to chase it away. Learn about things to do in Pinellas County, hobbies and other diversions. At least you kill an hour. Reserve a space for the 5 to 6 p.m. Wednesday workshop, at 2960 Roosevelt Blvd. in Clearwater, by calling 539-0492.

What do you think of when you hear Take Me Out to the Ballgame? A garage sale and flea market, bingo and Jamaican cuisine, of course. Shop the garage sale in the Al Lang Stadium parking lot today from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and, beginning at 3:45 p.m., sample the first-ever "Taste of Baseball" eats offered in the concourse. Bingo starts at 4 p.m. Ooops! Almost forgot. There's a baseball game, too: St. Petersburg Cardinals vs. Sarasota Red Sox at 5 p.m. General admission is $3; box seats, $4.

Swim at a public pool. Wear a black bathing cap and a Speedo. Walk to the end of the diving board. Stand on your tiptoes. Raise your arms to shoulder height. Pause. Take a deep breath. Pause. Then belly flop into the pool. Mutter, "I really ripped it," as you again climb the ladder to the board. Repeat until a bystander gives you a 10, or the lifeguard asks you to leave the area.

Pick up a Joan Miro silk tie ($34.50) in (dare we say, U.S. Olympic colors) red, white and blue at the Salvador Dali Museum gift shop as a major show of Spanish artists opens this week _ the first time Dali shares his digs. 1000 Third St. S in St. Petersburg. Call 823-3767.

Think cool. Read Smilla's Sense of Snow by Peter Hoeg (1993), a whodunnit about a woman's search to learn why a 6-year-old fell to his death from the roof of her building. This quest leads her to conspiracies and Greenland. Smilla uses her expertise about ice and snow to hunt down clues. Ahhh. . .

Or go ice skating today at Sun Blades Ice Skating Center. The room temperature is an invigorating 55 degrees. Family skate is from 1 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. for $9 per family, up to 6 people. Skate rental is $1.50. Call 536-5843.