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The Neatest Little Paper Ever Read®
November 5, 2012 Purple Monkey Publishing
Vol. 2, Issue 21
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TIDBITS® GETS A LITTLE BIT
POLITICAL by Patricia L. Cook
This Tidbits shares some interesting election trivia. With another presidential election happening shortly in the United States, maybe it is time for some election news you may not have heard; funny, sad, and maybe a bit absurd! • The youngest man elected president was John Kennedy who was 43. Most Americans are aware of that news but did you know that Theodore Roosevelt was actually younger, 42, when he was elevated to president from vice president? He filled the position when William McKinley was assassinated. • The oldest president elected was Ronald Reagan who was 69. Reagan and Gerald Ford were the two presidents who lived the longest after serving, both living to age 93. • Young Grover Cleveland was only nineteen, not even old enough to vote, when he worked on James Buchanan’s successful Democratic run for the presidency in 1856. After Buchanan, there would not be another Democrat in the White House until Cleveland himself was elected 28 years later in 1884! Buchanan was the only president that never married. • Reagan was the only president who had been divorced. Five presidents remarried after their wives died, two of them, John Tyler and Woodrow Wilson, while they were in office. • Six U.S. presidents had no children. John Tyler had the most, fifteen! Tyler was called “His Accidency” by opponents, being the first vice president called to fill the office of president by the death of his predecessor, William Henry Harrison. Harrison died of pneumonia after only being in office 32 days, the shortest term of any U.S. president. turn the page for more!
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Hearty Fish Chowder microwave on High 5 minutes or until vegetables are just tender.
Cod, bacon and potatoes make this creamy chowder rich and satisying. • • • • • • • • • • • • •
3. Keep saucepot with rendered bacon fat on medium. Add onion and cook 6-8 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Add carrot mixture and cook 2 minutes, stirring.
4 slices center-cut bacon 1 large carrot, chopped 1 medium (13-ounce) celery root, peeled and chopped 1 large (12-ounce) all-purpose potato, peeled and chopped 2 small (4 to 6 ounces each) onions, chopped 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour 1 cup clam juice, bottled 1/2 cup water 1 pound skinless cod fillets, cut into 1-inch chunks 1/2 cup reduced-fat (2 percent) milk Salt Pepper Fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, chopped, for garnish
4. Add flour and cook 2 minutes, stirring. Add clam juice and water, and whisk until smooth. Heat to boiling, stirring occasionally. Add cod chunks, cover and cook 4-5 minutes or until fish just turns opaque throughout.
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5. Stir in milk, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper. Cook 1 to 2 minutes or until hot but not boiling. Crumble reserved bacon. Spoon chowder into shallow bowls; garnish with parsley and bacon. Serves 4.
1. In 6- to 7-quart saucepot, cook bacon on medium 5-7 minutes or until browned and crisp, turning occasionally. Drain on paper towels; set aside. Discard all but 1 tablespoon bacon fat.
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2. While bacon cooks, in large microwave-safe bowl, combine carrot, celery root, potato and 2 tablespoons water. Cover with vented plastic wrap and
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ELECTIONS (continued): • There have been short and tall presidents, with James Madison the shortest at only 5’4” (1.62 m). Abraham Lincoln was the tallest at 6’4” (1.93 m), with Lyndon Johnson only a ½ inch (1.27 cm) under him. James Madison was also the lightest president, weighing only about 100 pounds (45.36 kg). William Howard Taft was the heaviest at about 300 pounds (136 kg) and actually had a bathtub installed in the White House that would fit four normal sized men!
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His size was not the most unusual thing or memorable trivia about William Howard Taft, it was his activity after he was president. He served as a Professor of Law at Yale until President Warren G. Harding selected him to be Chief Justice of the Supreme Court eight years after his service as president, in 1923. In 1925, Calvin Coolidge was the first and only president to be sworn in by a former president.
BAN K IN I SGR OU R BAN U IS OK UINRG ISISOOBU BAN K IN G • Taft, said that his greatest honor was serving U RSI N E SS I S O U R as Chief Justice. He wrote: “I don’t remember I SSS OSS UR BU SI N E SS BU SI N E SA M BU SI N E that I ever was President.” BU SIN E SS BU SIN E SS FEES • When the government for the United States SAM E D AY AP P R OVAL W ITH N O AP P LICATION SAMSAM ESAM D EAYD AY PAY RPOVAL ITH NNOOWAP PP LICATION FEES of America was first formed, there were no AP OSAM VAL OOAP P PLICATION FEES RAP OVAL ITH LICATION FEES SAM EEAPD DAP AY PPWRRWOVAL WAPITH ITH N AP FEES E D AY AP PWR NOVAL W ITH NLICATION OCE AP P LICATION FEES political parties. George Washington served as E FIN AN WWEEFIN AN CE Co oCE n a l•FHA •gJeu mAN b o •CE Reverse M o rtg aH ge president with no political partyA affiliation. AN E AN Co n ven tio n a l•FHA •VAFIN •W Jun mven b o tiFIN • Rever se MWo•VA rE tCE g aFIN
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arisen within the U.S., the one believing that the executive is the branch of our government which the most needs support; the other that like the analogous branch in the English government, it is already too strong for the “Th republican parts of the Constitution.” The former were called federalists, sometimes monocrats and sometimes aristocrats, sometimes tories like the corresponding group in the English government. The latter were called republicans, whigs, anarchists, jacobins, and sometimes disorganizers.
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Page 3 Time to Update Your Home? • Renovations
and reduces the number of insects that take up residence in the stack, as well as discourages rodents from creating nests in it. By Samantha Mazzotta (c) 2012 King Features Synd., Inc.
Firewood Tips Q: Last year, we ordered a cord of firewood, but the weather was so warm that we barely used half of it in our fireplace. Is the remaining half still good to use this winter? -- Frank in Marlborough, Mass. A: Stored correctly, firewood can last for several seasons if need be, so your remaining half-cord should be fine for use this winter. It has continued to season and is probably much drier than it was last year, meaning it will likely catch and burn faster. Large amounts of firewood that will be stored through the winter and into the next cold season generally should be kept several feet from the house at minimum. The wood should be kept off the ground -- loaded on a pallet or a storage rack -- and stacked evenly. This creates good airflow between the logs, allows it to dry quickly after a rain storm,
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How much firewood you should purchase and store each year is entirely up to you. I’ve often passed homes in the Northeastern countryside that have several cords of neatly cut wood stacked underneath the crawlspace of outlying barns, sheds, or sometimes even the houses themselves. In suburban and urban areas, this is probably not acceptable to the neighbors or may violate local ordinances. Plan to have no more than two winters’ worth of firewood stacked near your house. The amount depends on how much you use your fireplace, and whether it is a necessity to warm the home or just a decorative element. HOME TIP: Order firewood from a source as close to your home as possible, to prevent pests -- particularly tree-killing insects -- moving from one area or region to another. Send your questions or tips to email@example.com, or write This Is a Hammer, c/o King Features Weekly Service, P.O. Box 536475, Orlando, FL 32853-6475. (c) 2012 King Features Synd., Inc.
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ELECTIONS (continued): • When the U.S. Constitution was written, there was no mention of political parties. Most of the framers of the document hoped that no political parties would form. They hoped the new country would be such that everyone would just “get along!” (agree!) • The current two party system, with Democrats and Republicans, has been part of the political system in the U.S. for years. The first party was originally formed from many of the advisers that George Washington consulted with. Oddly the first political party, started in 1792, was called the Democratic-Republican Party. • Many changes have happened with the political parties through the years. Smaller parties have tried to gain power but have never been very successful. The Republicans and Democrats are still the main newsmakers. • Canada has also been a country dominated by two political parties, today the Liberal and Conservative parties. An interesting time in Canadian history was when there were seven distinct political parties in the legislature in 1854.
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• The city of Berlin and country of Germany was divided at the conclusion of World War II. The Soviet Union and communism controlled the East, with the allied powers of Great Britain, France and the United States controlling the West in a democracy. So it was a West vs. East; democracy vs. communism divide.
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• When the Germans in the Soviet-controlled East became disillusioned with the economic and political oppression of communism, many defected to the West. Approximately 1,500 people per day were fleeing to the West seeking democracy by 1961.
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• Rumors arose that the German Democratic Republic was going to do something drastic to stop the movement of people to the West. That became a reality during the night of August 12-13, 1961, when soldiers and construction crews were brought in after midnight. While the people of East and West Berlin slept, crews tore up the streets, put up concrete posts and strung barbed wire separating the east and west. They even cut the telephone lines.
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By 1949, the division of Germany and the city of Berlin was official. West Germany was called the Federal Republic of Germany and East Germany was the German Democratic Republic. Since Berlin was entirely within the East, and it was agreed that the city would be divided, West Berlin was like an island of democracy within East Germany, surrounded by a wall.
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For Advertising Call 941.928.9458 ► “Stack hockey pucks in the holes of a (c) 2012 King Features Synd., Inc.
► Medication labels can fade, so
when you get yours, put a piece of clear tape over the instructions. This way, you’ll always be able to read the instructions. ► “During the holidays (the height of
baking season for me), I keep a large plastic saltshaker filled with flour and a bit of dry rice. The rice helps the flour to shake out without getting clumped up, and I use it to dust cake pans, rolling pins, kneading boards, etc.” -- W.F. in Canada ► “One of the household cleaners I
prefer comes in a spray bottle, and it’s on the expensive side. I make sure to get all of the liquid out by adding some regular glass marbles to the bottle. The marbles displace the liquid, ensuring it finds the bottom of the sprayer’s suction tube.” -- T.H. in Mississippi THE BERLIN WALL (continued): • Upon awakening on the morning of August 13th, Berliners were shocked to see the border. They could no longer visit friends and relatives on the other side. More than 60,000 commuters who went to betterpaying jobs in West Berlin could not cross the line to work. If a person went to sleep on August 12th away from their loved ones on the other side of the city, they were stuck there, unable to return for decades. • The fence constructed in 1961 was easy for people to cross so in 1962 a second fence parallel to the first was erected. The area between the fences was cleared to create an empty space where guards could see escape attempts. • By 1965 a concrete wall was added. It stood until a more sophisticated wall was built in 1975. This wall was also accompanied by over 300 watchtowers and thirty bunkers to keep people from crossing the border. • President Ronald Reagan spoke to the people of West Berlin on June 12, 1987. His words were some of the most memorable of his presidency: “General Secretary Gorbachev, if you seek peace, if you seek prosperity for the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, if you seek liberalization: Come here to this gate! Mr. Gorbachev, open this gate! Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!” • The Wall, in its final reinforced state, stood until November 9, 1989. Thousands of Germans demanded passage through the gates after the government announced that “private trips abroad” would be allowed. They, literally, tore the wall down. • Reunification of Germany was formally concluded on October 3, 1990. The infamous wall stood from August 13, 1961 until November 9, 1989.
cardboard soda six-pack carrier. Tell your coach. And to keep them bouncy, store them in your freezer (as long as your mom says it’s OK).” -- Eric, via e-mail ► Keep the fog off your glasses by
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For Advertising Call 941.928.9458 Punched-Tin Can Candle Holder
(c) 2012 Donna Erickson Dist. by King Features Synd. It’s time to start saving tin cans for this gift-giving idea for the holidays. Your eco-friendly school-age kids not only will like the recycling aspect of this punched tin tealight candle holder, but they’ll also have a great time pounding nails into the tin and ice to create an imaginative design. Think Thanksgiving home decor, too. Choose fall-themed images to create, like a maple leaf, gourd and pilgrim ship to brighten your Thanksgiving centerpiece. Here’s the stuff you’ll need for one candleholder: --Plain tin can with label removed and all rough edges pinched flat and smooth. I use the smooth-sided 11-ounce Geisha brand mandarin orange cans for this project because they don’t have multiple ridges or grooves. --Nail --Hammer --Water --Towel --Permanent black felt-tip marker --Thin ribbon to decorate the outside of the can. --Household glue --Tealight candle Here’s the fun: 1. Fill the can near to the top with water and place in your freezer to freeze. 2. When frozen solid, remove, wipe off frost on the outside of the can and dot design on the outside
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Mystery Cat Q: I found a ceramic cat’s head in a junk shop in Dallas, and I am not quite sure what it was used as. It obviously mounted on the wall, and the cat’s mouth has a small hole. -- Betty, Spring Branch, Texas A: You have a string holder, an item often found in kitchens throughout the 1930s and ‘40s. The one in my grandmother’s kitchen featured a monkey design. Values vary depending on style and condition, but often sell in the $20 to $45 range. *** Q: I recently inherited a collection of books from a distant relative who was a professor of literature at a major university. Although several of the books are extremely interesting, I am curious about one in particular: “Prufock and Other Observations” by T.S. Eliot. It was published in London in 1917 and appears to be a first edition. -- Susan, Helena, Mont. A: This was T.S. Eliot’s first book. According to “Collected Books: The Guide to Values” by Allen and Patricia Ahearn (Putnam Press), your book, if it is, indeed, a first edition and in decent shape, is worth in the $8,500 to $10,000 range. *** Q: My grandmother was Canadian, and I found a commemorative plate in her estate. It was issued in 1927 and is the Canadian Jubilee issue. The identification mark indicates that it was made by Wedgwood and Sons and imported by Nerlich & Company of Toronto. Do you have any idea of how much it is worth? -- Stan, Providence, R.I.
opposite the seam using the permanent marker. You may wish to draw the outline of a leaf or pumpkin for Thanksgiving. For December holidays draw a pine tree, holly, star, bell, menorah, 2013 or other festive holiday symbol. Choose shapes that are easy to create dot to dot. Leave space near the top rim and base for adding ribbon. 3. Place the can on its side on the towel. Carefully hammer out the design by positioning the nail on each of the dots and hammering it through the tin until it hits the ice. (The ice prevents the nail from bending the tin,) Continue punching holes until you have completed your pattern. 4. Run warm water over can until ice melts. Remove ice and dry can. 5. Attach ribbon to the can with glue. Set candle in the center of the can and light. Note: Adults should be present when lighting candles. *** Donna Erickson’s award-winning series “Donna’s Day” is airing on public television nationwide. To find more of her creative family recipes and activities, visit www.donnasday. com and link to the NEW Donna’s Day Facebook fan page. Her latest book is “Donna Erickson’s Fabulous Funstuff for Families.”
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A It took a little effort to track down information about this plate. After searching through several guides, I finally found it referenced in “Bergesen’s Price Guide of British Ceramics” by Victoria Bergesen, who indicates it is worth about $100 USD. *** Q: About 10 years ago, I found several Pez dispensers in a thrift store. They are all Looney Tune characters: Western Sam, Movie Daffy, Western Bugs Bunny, French Tweetie and African Taz. I paid a buck each for them and hope they have increased in value. -- Sean, Albuquerque, N.M. A: Your dispensers are each worth in the $3 to $5 range. Write to Larry Cox in care of King Features Weekly Service, P.O. Box 536475, Orlando, FL 32853-6475, or send e-mail to email@example.com. Due to the large volume of mail he receives, Mr. Cox is unable to personally answer all reader questions. Do not send any materials requiring return mail.
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(c) 2012 King Features Synd., Inc.
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And that’s not all. Medical care has gone up 4 percent this year. Gas for the car rose 6 percent. Rents and utilities also have risen.
(c) 2012 King Features Synd., Inc.
How Will You Spend Your $20.91?
Meanwhile there’s the coming rise in Medicare Part B. That cost comes out of your Social Security check before you even get it. It’s estimated that the additional cost each month will be in the $7 range -- onethird of the Social Security adjustment.
For 2013, Social Security recipients will get a whopping 1.7 percent increase in their monthly checks starting in January. Only a few times since 1975 has that rate of increase been so low. For a person who receives the average $1,230 per month, that increase will amount to $20.91 extra. Don’t spend it all in one place.
When you run all the numbers, I think we’re already spending our average $20.91 increase.
The small increase is due to the Consumer Price Index, which Social Security adjustments are based on. The U.S. Department of Agriculture says the index increased just 1.7 percent overall in the fiscal year ended Sept. 30, 2012. The USDA does concede that because of the droughts in the Midwest (the worst in 50 years), food prices will rise in 2013 above the “average” inflation of 2.5 percent to 3 percent that’s taken place in 2012. It takes several months for that type of disaster to impact food prices. It says that for 2013, “inflation should be above the historical average for food categories such as cereals and bakery products, as well as other foods.” Let’s sit down
Matilda Charles regrets that she cannot personally answer reader questions, but will incorporate them into her column whenever possible. Write to her in care of King Features Weekly Service, P.O. Box 536475, Orlando, FL 32853-6475, or send e-mail to email@example.com.
Medicare Medicare questions? 8VaabZidYVn/ 8VaabZidYVn/ questions? me today: Medicare Harry "Gene" Wood Call Harry "Gene" Wood
1. Who were Boyce and Hart? 2. Name the group that wrote and released “The Letter.” 3. Which artist got a start with a band called Steel Mill? 4. Name the female artist who was born Anna Mae Bullock. 5. Identify this song lyric: “Take your silver spoon and dig your grave.” Answers
1. Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart produced hits for many major groups in the 1960s, but were best known for the songs they wrote for The Monkees. The duo created more than 300 compositions and sold 42 million records. 2. The Box Tops. The first line of the song, “Give me a ticket for an aeroplane,” was a throwaway mentioned by the father of a bandmember. “The Letter” was a No. 1 hit in 1967 and later covered by Joe Cocker. 3. Bruce Springsteen. Some members of Steel Mill ended up in Springsteen’s E Street Band in 1972. 4. Tina Turner. She met future husband Ike Turner when he was playing in St. Louis. Tina grabbed the mic, and it wasn’t long before the Ike & Tina Turner Revue was born. 5. “Gold Dust Woman,” by Fleetwood Mac, written and sung by Stevie Nicks. The 1977 song was originally cut as a B-side to “You Make Loving Fun.” (c) 2012 King Features Synd., Inc.
face-to-face The “experts” don’t shop at my grocery store. What they apparently haven’t seen to talk about is that store prices already are rising ... your needs. quickly.
8VaabZidYVn/ Harry “Gene” Wood Licensed Insurance Agent questions? Licensed Insurance Agent Let’s sit down Harry "Gene" Wood Licensed Insurance Agent Contracted with UnitedHealthcare Licensed Insurance Agent Let’s sit down Contracted with UnitedHealthcare face-to-face Contracted with UnitedHealthcare Contracted with UnitedHealthcare face-to-face Insurance Company Insurance Company Insurance Company talk about Insurance Company toto talk about 941-306-5047 941-306-5047 your needs. your needs. 941-306-5047 941-306-5047
The AARP Medicare Supplement Insurance Plans The the AARP Supplementpays Insurance P carry AARP Medicare name and UnitedHealthcare a royalty AARP forname use of the intellectual carry fee theto AARP andAARP UnitedHealthcare pa property. are used the general purposes royaltyAmounts fee topaid AARP forforuse of the AARP intellec of AARP and its members. Neither AARP nor its affiliate property. Amounts paid are used for the general purp is the insurer.
The AARP Medicare Supplement Insurance Plans SWEATER WEATHER carry the AARP name and UnitedHealthcare pays a In many areas November is still “sweater weather.” use of the AARP intellectual It’s not cold enough forroyalty winter coatsfee but ato niceAARP wool, for AARP doesn’tand makeits individual recommendations health- nor its affi of AARP members. NeitherforAARP property. paidrelated are used for theinsurance general purposes products, services, or programs. You are cashmere or even a cotton or syntheticAmounts sweater is just is the insurer. encouraged to evaluate your needs and compare products. right for the cool temperatures. of AARP and its members. AARP nor its affiliate AARP Neither doesn’t make individual recommendations for he Insured by UnitedHealthcare Insurance Company, Horsham, PA (UnitedHealthcare Insurance Company of related products, services, insurance or programs. Yo the insurer. • Sweaters have beenisaround for centuries. The New York, Islandia, NY 11749 for New York residents). Policy
encouraged to evaluate your needs and compare produ need for something AARP warm todoesn’t add a layer for cool make individual recommendations for states, healthForm No. GRP 79171 GPS-1 (G-36000-4). In some plans Insured byto persons UnitedHealthcare Com may be available eligible for Medicare byInsurance reason of days brought aboutrelated the hobbies of knitting and products, services, insurance orbeprograms. You are Compan disability. All plans may not available in your state/area. Horsham, PA (UnitedHealthcare Insurance crocheting. Not connected with or endorsed by the U.S. Government encouraged to evaluate your needs and compare products. New York, Islandia, NY 11749 for New York residents). P or the Federal Medicare Program. • Sweaters were only used for warmth or as athletic Form GRP 79171 GPS-1An(G-36000-4). Inmay some states, This is aNo. solicitation of insurance. agent/producer Insured by UnitedHealthcare Insurance Company, items, not fashion, until the 1920s. When Lana contact you. may be available to persons eligible for Medicare PA (UnitedHealthcare Insurance Company of by reas AARP and its affiliate are not insurance agencies or carriers Turner appeared in Horsham, a fashionable sweater in the disability. All plans may not be available in your state/ar and do not employ or endorse insurance agents,Policy brokers, New York, Islandia, NY 11749 for New York residents). 1937 movie, “They Won’t Forget,” sweaters producers, representatives advisors. Not connected withoror endorsed by the U.S. Governm became a fashion statement for women. Call to receive complete information, including benefits, Form “must” No. GRP 79171 GPS-1 (G-36000-4). In some states, plans or the Federal Medicare Program. costs, eligibility requirements, exclusions, and limitations. may be vests available to are persons for Medicare by reason of Thiseligible is a solicitation of insurance. An agent/producer • Cardigans, pullovers, sweater and more AS2647ST contact you. now fashionable fordisability. men, women,All boys and girls. plans may not be available in your state/area. and its affiliate are not insurance agencies or ca One man who became known for wearing Not connecteda sweater with or AARP endorsed by the U.S. Government and do not employ or endorse insurance agents, bro was “Mr. Rogers.” or the Federal Medicareproducers, Program. representatives or advisors. • Fred McFeely Rogers, started the series, Mr. This is a solicitation of insurance. Ancomplete agent/producer Call to receive information,may including ben Rogers’ Neighborhood in 1966. Prior to the show costs, eligibility requirements, exclusions, and limitat contact you. that made him a household name in children’s AARP and The its affiliate not insurance agencies or carriers programming, he had produced Children’s areAS2647ST Corner in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in the earlyor endorse insurance and do not employ 1950s, winning the first of many television awards. producers, representatives or advisors.
• A gentle, humble television Rogers became Call star, to Mr. receive complete information, including benefits, the symbolic sweater-wearer. His show would costs, eligibility requirements, exclusions, and limitations. start by him entering his “television house” after AS2647ST walking from his office. He entered wearing his formal business attire and as he sang the words, “won’t you be my neighbor,” he would change into more comfortable clothes like his sweater and sneakers. This was the way he chose to get comfortable with friends as he shared his day with them in the “land of make-believe” and other areas of his neighborhood.
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(c) 2012 King Features Synd., Inc.
Making Your House a Welcome Pet Home DEAR PAW’S CORNER: We’re planning to adopt a puppy in the next few weeks. Is there anything we should do to prepare our house to welcome our new dog when he or she arrives? -- Clarice H., New Orleans DEAR CLARICE: First of all, congratulations! Adopting a pet from the shelter is a great choice. Second, there are many things you can do ahead of time to make your house dogfriendly. The shelter may have some information to guide you as well, but here are some basic things to add to your list. --”Pet-proof” your house. In much the same way as parents need to childproof their house, pet owners need to make dangerous items difficult to access. Things that can be chewed on, that can splinter or break into small pieces, should be kept off the floor and off things that are puppy height (like the coffee table). --Set up a living area for your puppy, in a comfortable spot out of the way of foot traffic. Place its pet bed there, along with chew toys. --Have your dog’s leash, collar and other items ready and waiting. You’ll want to purchase these after you’ve chosen your puppy but before bringing it home. --Set up a file among your household papers specifically to hold your dog’s adoption information, shot record, registration and other pet-related data. You also should keep a copy of these papers in a separate location. --Include your new pet in family emergency planning. If you have an evacuation or shelterin-place kit, add dog food, treats and other essential items. Send your questions or tips to ask@pawscorner. com, or write to Paw’s Corner, c/o King Features Weekly Service, P.O. Box 536475, Orlando, FL 32853-6475. For more pet care-related advice and information, visit www.pawscorner.com.
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• It was Scotsman Bertie Charles Forbes, journalist and founder of Forbes magazine, who made the following sage observation: “There is more credit and satisfaction in being a first-rate truck driver than in being a tenth-rate executive.” • The prospectors of 1849 might not have realized it, but you’re more likely to find a 5-carat diamond than a 1-ounce nugget of gold. • You might be surprised -- and, depending on your temperament, terrified -- to learn that bats can fly at speeds up to 60 mph. Some can even reach altitudes of 10,000 feet. • Coffee beans are actually seeds. The fruit of the coffee tree is called a cherry and are said to be delicious. They spoil too quickly to be marketed effectively, though, so only the seeds are used. • Beverly Hills, Calif., is one of the most affluent areas of the country. It was not always such a posh locale, however; in 1920 the population was 674, and most of the land was given over to bean fields. • All joking aside, those who study such things say that natural blondes tend to have more difficulty driving than those whose hair is of a darker hue -- at night, anyway. The reason? Most natural blondes also have blue eyes, which aren’t as good as brown eyes at shielding out light. This means that blondes tend to be more easily blinded by the headlights of oncoming cars.
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• When a professional football player retires, there’s a 50-50 chance he’ll get divorced within a year. • Everybody dreams. Those who claim that they never have dreams just don’t remember them. *** Thought for the Day: “Any frontal attack on ignorance is bound to fail, because the masses are always ready to defend their most precious possession -- their ignorance.” -- Hendrik Willem van Loon
Why turning 62 rocks! By Diane Brune At age 60, I believed I was a model of good health. I’d been a runner for more than 30 years. I was certified as a Red Cross Water Safety Instructor. I took my vitamins, drank my juice and ate (mostly) healthy food. But there was one area of my health that I overlooked: my strength and building back the muscles I lost as I aged. Oh, I tried working out in gyms. But I didn’t like the time it took, and I struggled with the equipment. I have bought and sold more home exercise machines than I want to admit. Honestly, I didn’t think it mattered. I still thought I was healthy. That is, until I attended a health seminar in late 2009, where I learned something astounding. I learned my BMI (that’s a measure of body fat) was way too high. A healthy BMI score is between 20 and 25. If that wasn’t bad enough, my blood pressure was also high. My bone density was at the low end of normal. And here’s the thing: I was at my lowest weight ever and it was the loss of muscles causing the problems! So as the New Year approached, I made a resolution. I was finally going to get my muscles back. My past experiences convinced me that I could not do this alone. That’s why I turned to 20 Minutes to Fitness, a medically-based program that helps you build muscle and get fit in just 20 minutes, once a week. At 20 Minutes to Fitness, you work out on specialized equipment. Just as importantly, a coach from their fabulous staff stays with you the entire time to make sure you get it right. And when I say fabulous, I mean it. I was a certified International Masters Level Life Coach and have a master’s degree in community counseling. I KNOW a good coach when I see one.
Holiday Jobs Can Ease Financial Strains (c) 2012 King Features Synd., Inc.
Nearly a half-million people will take temporary jobs during the holidays to earn extra income. The cash that comes in from those jobs can go a long way toward easing financial strains -- if the windfall goes to critical items first. The National Foundation for Credit Counseling offers some timely advice about where to put that extra money to make sure it does the most good. Here are its recommendations, listed in order of what to do first: --Bring current all living expenses, such as housing, utilities and insurance payments. If you need to put gas in the car or food on the table, those basics will help restore stability. --Catch up on secured debts, such as a car payment or any loan that involves collateral. If you don’t get caught up on secured debt, you can lose whatever the loan covers. Additional fees can be added to a car repossession, so you could end up owing additional money despite having lost your vehicle. --Catch up on past-due debt, such as credit cards. While there is no collateral such as a vehicle, being behind on other debts can result in lower credit scores, which can impact your future ability to borrow at good interest rates. You also will be
subject to late fees, and if the creditor is awarded a judgment against you, your wages could be garnished. Additionally, if you’re left without a credit card, you’ll be forced to pay cash everywhere you go. --Take care of any repairs to your home or vehicle before the problems get worse. If there are extra funds, weatherize your home. The benefits of weatherization will result in lower utility bills not only this winter, but in future years. --Put 10 percent of your holiday pay into a savings account, if possible, after paying critical items. If you have cash left after paying off more crucial items, increase the amount for savings. To learn more about what the National Foundation for Credit Counseling has to say, go to its website at www.nfcc.org. Check the financial self-assessment and the budget sheets in the consumer tools section. The alerts link has information on debt settlements and what to guard against. David Uffington regrets that he cannot personally answer reader questions, but will incorporate them into his column whenever possible. Write to him in care of King Features Weekly Service, P.O. Box 536475, Orlando, FL 32853-6475, or send email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Your 20 Minutes to Fitness coach will guide you through one piece of equipment after another. They cheer you on, keep you safe and challenge your mind and body limits. In fact, I see people of all ages and fitness levels doing this unique training protocol and remember it’s just 20-minutes once a week. When New Year’s Day 2011 rolled around, I took a look at how far I had come. And guess what? Today my BMI is 20.7, which is almost perfect, and my blood pressure is normal. I have no signs of osteoporosis, and I’m not taking a single prescription. I’m full of energy. In fact, I’m training for the first 10K in my life. That’s what building strength does for you! But don’t take my word for it. Give 20 Minutes to Fitness a call and see for yourself. The first session is free. If you do, I think you’ll see why I believe 62 ROCKS.
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SWEATER WEATHER (continued): • Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood is still showing, in fact, it is the longest-running program on public television. • President George W. Bush presented the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Mr. Rogers in 2002, recognizing his contribution to the well-being of children and his long career in public television that demonstrated kindness, compassion and learning. The medal is the highest civilian award given in the United States. • In his show, when Mr. Rogers would change his shoes and put on his sweater, he was showing skills as well as routines that children needed to learn. He always put his shoes away and hung up his clothes, showing responsibilities that they needed to learn. • The type of sweater that Mr. Rogers wore was a cardigan. Typically they button or zip down the front. Even though he made the sweater popular for his television audience, it had been around for centuries.
The sweater was named after the 7th Earl of Cardigan, James Thomas Brudenell, a British military commander. A cardigan sweater is normally made by machine or hand knitted from wool. • Fishermen of France and the British Isles were probably the first people to use cardigans. The heavy, hand-knitted wool was helpful in keeping them warm out on the water on gloomy days. • The Aran Islands off the west coast of Ireland at the mouth of Galway Bay on the Atlantic Ocean, an area where fishing and farming have been closely connected for centuries, are known for their wool sweaters. The outdoor workers needed warm coverings to keep warm during North Atlantic winters. • The sweaters were made with many stitches that became associated with particular Irish clans. Aran sweaters have been knitted since the late 1800s and are still in demand today. While in the past they were made by hand, machines are used for most today. A true hand-stitched Aran sweater is quite valuable
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Hot Flashes Can Last Into the 70s DEAR DR. DONOHUE: Will you please tell me if there
unusual tumors -- carcinoid and pheochromocytoma -- are
is something I can take to get rid of hot flashes? I am
examples of illnesses that produce symptoms similar to a
74 and have them all the time. I sweat terribly. I have
tried Estrace (female hormone), Estroblend (a dietary
supplement) and black cohosh (an herbal remedy). --
DEAR DR. DONOHUE: I am 84 years old. Recently I had
a CT scan of my abdomen. It revealed multiple diverticula in the sigmoid colon. Will you please explain diverticulitis to
ANSWER: It’s said that 8 percent of women still have
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me, and what I can expect from it? -- H.T.
hot flashes into their 70s. Most women get over them in six months to five years after menopause. The drop in
estrogen production that occurs with menopause affects
diverticulosis -- small, pea-size protrusions of the colon
a part of the brain that regulates body temperature.
lining on the outer surface of the colon. Between 50 percent
The brain’s thermostat is thrown out of whack, and the
and 80 percent of people your age have the same condition.
result is spells of sudden, uncomfortable warming with
Diverticulosis almost never causes pain. It hasn’t caused
any trouble in your past. It’s most unlikely to cause you any
trouble in the future. Let me give you the usual recommendations made for control of hot flashes. I’m pretty sure
Fiber stops diverticula from forming.
you must have tried them after more than 20
Make sure you’re getting 25-30 grams of
years of putting up with flashes. Dress in layers
it every day.
so that outer garments can be shed at the first inkling of a hot flash. That can keep it from
Diverticulitis is inflammation of diverticula.
becoming a full-blown one. Keep ice water on
It happens to only a few people with
hand and drink it at the start of a flash. Cut
diverticulosis. Fiber also will prevent
back on caffeine. Slow, deep breathing at the
inflammation from developing.
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onset of a flash is said to minimize it. The booklet on diverticulosis explains Estrogen, which you have tried, is the most effective
this common malady in detail. To order a copy, write: Dr.
treatment for flashes. It should be taken in as low a
Donohue -- No. 502W, Box 536475, Orlando, FL 32853-
dose as possible for the shortest time possible. Maybe a
6475. Enclose a check or money order (no cash) for $4.75
different estrogen preparation would work for you.
U.S./$6 Canada with the recipient’s printed name and address. Please allow four weeks for delivery.
Effexor and Lexapro, two antidepressants, have met with
success in suppressing hot flashes for some women. Here
Dr. Donohue regrets that he is unable to answer individual
they are not used for their antidepressant action. It’s an
letters, but he will incorporate them in his column whenever
example of medicines that have more than one function.
possible. Readers may write him or request an order form
Neurontin (gabapentin) is a seizure-control medicine that
of available health newsletters at P.O. Box 536475, Orlando,
is also used for control of hot flashes.
Hot flashes that have lasted as long as yours call for a
(c) 2012 North America Synd., Inc. All Rights Reserved
consideration of conditions other than estrogen deprivation. An overactive thyroid gland, a hidden infection and two
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