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February

2013

A Free Monthly Newsletter From Your Friends At Harold’s Auto Service Maintenance Centre

Another Reason Not To Skip Your Workout

Optimism Fuels A Truly Creative Lunch

Exercise is good for your body, of course. But it may keep your brain healthy as well, especially as you grow older. A study of more than 600 older people (average age 74) found that those who exercised three or more times a week for 30 minutes at a time were about 40 percent less likely to develop vascular dementia (associated with reduced flow of blood to the brain) than those who weren’t as physically active. Exercise didn’t appear to have any impact on the subjects’ risk of Alzheimer’s disease, which is just one specific form of dementia, but those who did work out were generally less likely to develop difficulties with their thought processes. It’s a win/win situation, researchers say. Not only will regular exercise help you feel better as you age, but it may increase your chances of enjoying a long life with all your faculties intact.

In the autumn of 1994, Pixar was in trouble. As recounted in Likeonomics, by Rohit Bhargava (Wiley), the animated film studio was deep in the red, thanks in part to the fact that its upcoming movie Toy Story was wildly over budget. Microsoft had expressed interest in buying the company not because it liked movies, but to gain access to some of its 3D graphic design software. The deal fell through, and Pixar’s prospects were shaky in advance of Toy Story’s release. That didn’t deter the team, though. As they were putting the finishing touches on Toy Story, the filmmakers met for lunch to discuss possible new projects. The three ideas they came up with? A Bug’s Life, Monsters Inc., and WALL-E, all of which would become blockbuster hits. It may have been the most creative lunch of all time, in part because the “creative types” retained their optimism about the future.

“Often the difference between a successful person and a failure is not one has better abilities or ideas, but the courage that one has to bet on one’s ideas, to take a calculated risk and to act.” - Andre Malraux

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Do More, Work Less Get Organized For Success Winning control of your work schedule doesn’t have to be a gargantuan effort. Here are some simple tips for getting organized: ✴ Start on a Monday. On the first day of the workweek, list your top three activities for the week. Commit to getting those three priorities done by Friday—no more, no less. ✴ Designate time for administrative tasks. Put everything else on the back burner for a few hours. Don’t answer the phone, don’t read email, don’t let co-workers interrupt. Concentrate on your administrative chores. ✴ Check email only once a day. Set aside a specific time during the day to read and respond to email. Trying to monitor all your email throughout the day is disruptive to work flow.

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Happy Landings When You Fly With Kids

Every air traveler’s worst nightmare seems to be getting stuck next to a screaming child for an eight-hour flight. But when you’re that child’s parent, the nightmare can be worse. You don’t have to hold your breath and hope for the best. Here are some tips for flying with kids without alienating other passengers and losing your mind: • Keep your expectations realistic. Air travel can be tough on children (as well as adults). Don’t expect perfect behavior, and don’t freak out if your child acts What’s So Unique About February? up. Stay calm so you can deal with whatever problems February may be the shortest month of the year, but it’s come up. packed with interesting and unusual characteristics. Here • Explain the procedures. Prepare children for what are a few to ponder as you shiver: they’re likely to encounter during the trip: crowds, delays, strangers, etc. Practice going through an ★ February starts on the same day of the week as March airport screening line. They’ll feel better knowing and November (shifting to August in leap years). what to expect. ★ February ends on the same day of the week as October. • Decide between direct vs. connecting flights. A direct ★ In leap years, February ends on the same weekday it flight eliminates the need to rush through strange begins. airports lugging your bags and dragging your children ★ February is the only month that can pass without a full to meet your next plane. On the other hand, a moon. connecting flight can give your children a much★ Once every six years, and twice every 11 years, it has needed break. Decide which kind of trip suits your four full seven-day weeks. needs and your children best. • Schedule naps. If possible, pick a flight that coincides The Enduring Quest with your kids’ sleep schedule. If they can take a nap at their usual time, or get a good night’s sleep on a For A Close Shave redeye, they’ll be more refreshed and better behaved A close shave has been coveted for thousands of when you arrive. years. It all started in the Stone Age, when sharpened flint• Visit the doctor. Before your flight, check with your blade razors edged out the earlier Neanderthal tool for hair pediatrician to make sure your child isn’t suffering removal: seashells. Egyptians obsessed over hair removal from an ear infection that will make changes in cabin in 3,000 B.C., regarding a clean-shaven face as a sign of pressure painful. good breeding. They used razors, creams, and pumice • Dress for comfort. Choose clothes that kids can relax stones. in. Dress in layers, as temperatures can fluctuate in In 330 B.C., Greeks and Romans emulated the airports and aboard planes. Pack an extra shirt per Egyptians by shaving their heads and beards during the child in your carry-on in case of accidents. reign of Alexander the Great. • Brings games and snacks. Be sure to provide adequate Across the ocean, Aztecs shaved with razors made books, games, and toys to occupy kids during the from volcanic glass (obsidian) in the 1500s. Then came flight (and while you’re waiting). Carry a few snacks the breakthrough: In the late 1600s, steel blades were so you don’t have to rely on flight attendants or introduced in Sheffield, England. Fast-forward to 1929, overpriced airport meals to feed hungry, cranky kids. when Col. Jacob Schick marketed the first electric shaver. • Wait to disembark. Hold back when your plane lands. In the 1960s, disposable razors hit the market, and in Getting into a long, slow-moving line may make kids 1971, Gillette began selling a twin-blade razor. Then, in impatient. Instead, let them play or relax until most of 1998, Gillette introduced the Mach3 triple-blade shaver your fellow passengers are gone so you can leave after spending a reported $750 million to develop it. comfortably.

Ron Reimer

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“There are only four questions of value in life. What is sacred? Of what is the spirit made? What is worth living for, and what is worth dying for? The answer to each is the same: only love.” - Don Juan DeMarco

The Real Possession A young boy studied with a wise monk who practiced pottery making. After many years of study and practice, the boy showed great promise. One sunny afternoon, the boy was admiring one of the monk’s prized pots when it slipped from his hand and broke into many tiny pieces. The boy broke into tears, apologizing profusely to his teacher. But the monk merely smiled. “You need not be sad, it is still within me.” The wise monk’s true pleasure came through the process of creating and shaping the pot, not in owning it afterward. His joy was not in the destination, but in the journey.

Super-Earth Found... Could Life Be Next? The search for planets capable of supporting life has claimed a big prize: Astronomers have identified one world 42 light-years away in the zone where life is most likely to form: close enough to its star to have Earthlike temperatures and possibly water in liquid form, and revolving in a regular cycle of day and night. What makes the planet even more interesting is its size: It’s about seven times the size of our world. The second-closest potential “super-Earth” is located 620 lightyears away from us.

Do You Want To Win A Free Lube, Oil & Filter Change? Enter this draw any time prior to print deadline, the13th monthly. One lucky winner will receive a Gift Certificate for a FREE standard oil change, filter, lube & safety inspection (maximum $55 value). Here is this month’s

trivia question: In what year did Col. Jacob Schick market the first electric shaver? (Hint: the answer is somewhere in this newsletter) a) 1998 b) 1950

c) 1971 d) 1929

Call right now with your answer! Last month’s trivia challenge was, In what month does Snowmobiling Safety week take place? d) January. Congratulations to last month’s lucky winner!

Susan Pasztor Thanks For The Kind Words Honesty and Integrity is fundamental in every business, but even more so I believe in the auto mechanic industry. I never have to worry about whether I am being treated fairly at Harold's Auto. They are a class act! - Mike Schooten The material contained in this newsletter is for informational purposes only and is based upon sources believed to be reliable and authoritative; however, it has not been independently verified by us. This newsletter should not be construed as offering professional advice. For guidance on any specific matter, please consult a qualified professional. ©2013 CMG

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This Newsletter Compliments of Harold’s Auto Service Maintenance Centre 3139 1 Avenue South Lethbridge, Ab

Human Conflict

Ours is a fascinating and beautiful world filled with countless bounty and blessings. With incredible technological advancements at our fingertips we perform tasks never before dreamt of yet cannot leash our inner demons. Both national leaders and individuals continue to follow the path of conflict. Revenge, greed, haphazard violence, territorial claims, drug wars, civil wars and inadequate treatment of the mentally ill negatively impact all humanity. ‘Conflict’ describes everything from pre-school sand-box squabbles to ‘regional conflicts’; providing a softer name for what we know is still just war. Hideous acts of hate and violence cause societal destruction and loss of humanity. Recent shootings in a Connecticut school took the lives of 20 first graders and two adults. December carnage in an Oregon shopping mall killed three. Six worshipers lost their lives in August at a Wisconsin Sikh Temple. In July twelve died, 58 were wounded at a Colorado movie theatre while a family evening in Toronto was devastated when bullets sprayed through a residential block party where 100 people had come to enjoy the company of friends and neighbors. Two died, almost two dozen suffered bullet wounds; another was trampled by panicked partygoers. The most disgusting recent act was the ambush and killing of firefighters. Firefighters are some of the bravest men and women we have. It’s difficult to even fathom why they were targeted by a mentally ill killer living without supervision. Both Canada and the US have experienced dramatic drops in violent offences over the past 5 years even though six of the deadliest killings in US history happened since 2007. Experts say these types of deadly incidents occur in clusters and that it doesn’t indicate an overall increase in these events. Even I could easily obtain a weapon to commit horrific acts. Even though Canada has some of the strictest firearms laws in the world, our Dept. of Justice estimates we have 7 million guns. 95% are long guns with 1.2 million restricted weapons. WOW that seems like a lot of handguns. 26% of Canadian households have firearms; most in rural homes similar to other countries where hunting is a significant activity. Very little new research has been conducted but gun imports by private individuals have considerably declined in the past 10 years. In Canada little is known of the origin of legal and even less about illegal firearms. It matters not whether horrific acts are perpetrated by criminals, madmen or gangs seeking retaliation. These acts are our own ‘regional conflict’; our very own war of violence that’s somehow sanitized. It’s not war because it’s in Canada or the US. Acts are somehow made less horrifying calling them ‘isolated incidents’. In some countries families are victims of daily massacres. Leaders turn military might and force against their own people who are without protection from indiscriminate killing. Their grave-diggers no longer wait for the bombs; they just keep digging often burying multiple victims together. The United Nations Uppsala Conflict Data Program lists conflicts causing at least 1,000 violent deaths per year within UN recognized and un-recognized states. Citing only ten of these conflicts, 2012 death totals reach almost 80,000. Cumulative fatalities in these conflicts are well over four million lives. Peace has never been found in the slaughter of innocents. Can we even calculate the human cost of family destruction, orphaned children? Do we care about child-soldiers ripped away from their families, forced to join conflicts they don’t understand nor even hold opinions about? Can we calculate future loss due to the death of even one person whose intelligence and talents could have solved a world-wide problem? Instead these individuals enjoy no future, face only earth, often in unmarked and mass graves. We’ve become desensitized to violence; many in the ‘civilized’ developed world place little or no value on lives apart from their own, don’t even want to know what’s happening outside their city. News film-footage of the victims of violence used to sicken me. I’d have to turn away, leave the room, cover my ears; images played over and over in my mind. I saw a terrible accident downtown when I was 14; a senior running to catch her bus fell and was crushed beneath the rear wheels. The aftermath was all the more shocking in contrast to the snow-white street. My boyfriend quickly drew us away; both of us shaking in shock, unable to get the scene from our minds we couldn’t eat or even speak of it. I recently saw news footage taken immediately after a violent death where bystanders didn’t look away nor act or appear shocked; most just drew out their cell phones to preserve the carnage and share it with others. I’m embarrassed to say watching the news today barely impacts me visually. Death and violence have become our greatest entertainment; the great equalizer. Video games give our children access to proliferous violence. Rapid developments in video technology afford realistic depictions of blood and gore. I’m past believing games kids play have been vetted by parents or even that parents purchase educational games; very often parents join their children playing violent video games. Anything goes on the internet; parental computer controls are easily circumvented. While these are called games, they are certainly not play. Play is educational, spiritually uplifting and just plain good for one and all. A review of a violent game meant to be played with friends on-line entices me to more gory levels and a wider array of weapons; plastic bags, guns, crowbars, scythes, hammers and the ability to throw severed heads of defeated opponents at other on-line players. The reviewer tells us “As you play, the game will populate fallen corpses of other (players) into your experience. Even if you can't play together there is a sense that their death is given some small purpose by allowing you to loot their bodies for weapons and ammunition. Video games are not simply violent, as if violence is an objective and singular condition. They simulate one of the most inescapable and disturbing aspects of human life and allow us to consider it in a near infinite number of contexts, each of which dramatically changes the nature and meaning of a simulated act of violence. Like every other form of human creativity, games are not guide posts whose behavior must be modeled, but prompts for personal inquiry that can either be taken up or left behind.” Michael Thomsen. I’m frightened that kids are encouraged to grasp violence as an “inescapable and disturbing aspect of humanity”. I fear each time they rip away the life of another video game opponent they’re a bit more desensitized to the violence of their own actions and lines of behavior become a little more blurred. “The guns and the bombs, the rockets and the warships, are all symbols of human failure”, Lyndon B. Johnson. Whether used for target practice or hunting to put food on the table. guns kill. It is their purpose. At best guns provide only a tenuous grasp on safety while chipping away at our humanity, providing further entitlement to individuals. I’ll never be convinced that possessing guns reduces crime or protects my liberty. Liberty and society are best protected through freedom from want; through primary and secondary education freely available, adequate housing and health care for all and by access to sufficient food and clothing. Criminals are created not born. Lack of education and necessities increase crime forcing people into lives they would rather not live. Improper care and insufficient housing for the mentally ill force ill-equipped people onto the streets or into a vicious cycle of need and want that’s never fully met, ending all too often in dramatic tragedy as seen recently. We owe our children and their children a better way to live than through glorification of gore and other societal violence. We owe them the right to live lives in peace watching their parent’s efforts towards the betterment of mankind and not to the next big thing in games, violence and weaponry. Harold’s Auto Service…..where service is MORE than just part of our name Beverly Kaltenbruner


Fuel For Thought February 2013