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July 10, 2009

Issue #622

Published By: J. O. & Assoc., LLC For Advertising Call (888) 884-6371 Buying & Selling

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We live on a pretty amazing planet. There are 195 countries, nearly 7,000 languages and 6.7 billion people - and if that’s not amazing enough, here are some more TIDBiTS: • Did you know that Earth is 4.5 billion years old? Geologists believe that for the first two billion years Earth supported no life whatsoever. They also speculate that for some time Earth was mostly in a molten state. This is why some of Earth’s oldest rock formations are only about 4 billion years old. • There are more than 50,000 earthquakes around the world each year. Did you know that an earthquake in 1811 caused parts of the Mississippi River to flow backwards? • About 40,000 tons of extraterrestrial matter from space rain down on Earth each year. If you ever hear someone talking about space dust, this is what they mean! • The Earth isn’t flat, but it’s not exactly round, either. Earth is known as an “oblate spheroid” because it is flattened at the poles and bulging at the equator. • Only 3% of Earth’s water is drinkable. 2% of that 3% is located in glaciers and ice sheets turn the page for more!

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Hot Weather Woes Q: Help! My window unit air conditioner keeps tripping the circuit breaker. Sometimes this happens right after I turn it on; sometimes it runs for a little while and then trips the breaker. It’s the only thing I have to cool my apartment in the summer. -- Shirley in Atlanta A: A circuit breaker “trips” (the breaker switch flips open) when the power load on its circuit goes past the limit -- meaning too much electricity is flowing through that circuit. The circuit breaker is a critical safety mechanism. Without it, a circuit might overheat and cause a fire. It’s also a warning mechanism, so when the circuit frequently “trips” when you’re using an appliance that draws a lot of power, like an air conditioner, a space heater or a microwave oven, you should pay attention. The most likely cause of your problem is that the air conditioner is using most of the amperage allotted to that circuit, and when you turn on another appliance that’s plugged into the same circuit, an overload occurs. Here’s how to find out what else is plugged into that circuit: Unplug the air conditioner, plug a lamp into each outlet and switch the circuit off and on while a friend watches to see if the lamp goes off and on. Do this with every outlet in your apartment, noting which outlet corresponds to which circuit. If another appliance is sharing the same circuit as the air conditioner, plug that appliance into an outlet belonging to another circuit. If the air conditioner is the only appliance on the circuit, and it still trips the breaker, contact the apartment’s maintenance office. It needs to make sure that the circuit itself isn’t faulty.


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HOME TIP: To cool a room more efficiently, don’t turn the air conditioner on full blast right away. Instead, let it run at a low or medium setting for about 20 minutes so the condenser has time to work, then turn it up. Send questions or home-repair tips to, or write This Is a Hammer, c/o King Features Weekly Service, P.O. Box 536475, Orlando, FL 32853-6475. (c) 2009 King Features Synd., Inc.



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The Lord says I will rescue those who love me I will protect those who trust in my name. When they call on me I will answer I will be with them in trouble. Psalm 91:14

OUR AMAZING EARTH (continued): around Earth’s poles. The other 97% of Earth’s water is salt water. • The Earth travels 585,331,663 mi (942 million km) on its orbit around the sun. That’s over 1,603,648 mi (2,580,821 km) per day - that’s over 100 times the earth’s circumference! • There are billions of stars in the universe, but there are only about 3,000 stars visible to the naked eye from Earth’s surface. • Did you know that fog and clouds are really just the same thing but at different altitudes? • Even though you can’t put Earth on a scale, scientists have speculated about both Earth’s weight and mass. Some people will quickly remind you that Earth is technically weightless, as it is floating in outer space. Gravity effects weight and because there is no gravity in space, Earth is technically one skinny Minnie. The more accurate question to ask would be: What is Earth’s mass? Earth has a mass of about 5.9 sextillion tons... that’s twenty-one zeroes! • The plant life in the world’s oceans makes up 85% of all the flora on the planet. • The highest temperature ever recorded on the planet was 135.8º F (57.7º C). It was recorded in Al Aziziyah, Libya on September 13, 1922.

You’re probably wondering about the record low. That goes to Vostok, Antarctica on July 21, 1983. The Russian research station recorded -128.5º F (-89.2º C). • About 500 meteorites strike the Earth each year. Don’t worry about getting hit, though. The odds are extremely low. Only one woman has been hit by a meteorite in recent history, and that was Sylacauga, Alabama woman Ann Hodges, who was hit by a nine pound (four kilogram) meteorite back in 1954. • On the subject of things entering our atmosphere, let’s talk about things exiting. Did you know that an object has to travel seven miles per second to escape Earth’s gravitational pull? • The Earth is travelling over 67,000 mph (107,826 km/h) through space! On the subject of speed, it takes moonlight 1.25 seconds to reach the Earth. It takes sunlight eight minutes to travel from the sun to the Earth. • Earth actually takes 23 hours 56 minutes 4 seconds to rotate - which means a year isn’t 365 days, it’s actually 365.2564 days. The e xtra .2564 days add up every four years to give us February 29th. • The Earth’s core is about 7000º F (3870º C). But, did you know that only the outer part of the

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OUR AMAZING EARTH (continued):

(the level pay utility option) Dear Dave, Our utility company offers a level-pay option. They average out our bills over the last 24 months, and bill us a consistent amount each month based on that average. Do you think this is a good idea, or would you just pay the regular bills? Christy Dear Christy, Lots of people like the idea of having a level of predictability built in to their utility bills. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with this idea, as long as you have a good, steady income. You need to be aware, though, that most of these plans have a “make-up” schedule attached to them. You’ll get something back at the end of 12 months if you’ve overpaid, but you have to make up the difference if the payments come up short. Ultimately, if evening things out from month to month makes you feel better or helps with your budgeting process, then I say go for it. You’ll still only pay for the services you use, and the utility company still gets their money, so it’s really just another path to the same destination! - Dave

core is molten? Scientists believe the inside of the Earth’s core is solid, but since we’ve never been, no one really knows for sure! • If you lived on the moon you would see the Earth go through phases just as our moon does. What a view! • The air around forming lightning bolts becomes super heated and is five times hotter than the sun! • If you dug a hole to the other side of the Earth, you wouldn’t end up in China. You’d actually come out somewhere in the Indian Ocean, but you wouldn’t stop there. As you fell through the hole you’d accelerate until you got to the Earth’s core, where you’d decelerate until you came out to the other side. Gravity would then pull you back in and send you through the hole on a (the key to being a great salesman?) never ending journey. It’s much like being in orbit and it takes about the same amount of time. Dear Dave, You’d stay in that continual path in your tunnel What’s the key to becoming a great salesman? through the Earth until something knocked you Brent out of orbit. Dear Brent, • Sunset is usually redder than sunrise because I can sum it up in one word – serving. And don’t think for the atmosphere tends to be dustier at that time a second that serving means being subservient. I’m talking about being proactive, and making an effort to ensure of day. • Earth is the fifth largest and the densest major that customers and potential customers alike are served well. Serving means you’re excited about what you have body in our solar system. to offer, and you believe you’ve got a great product at a • While Earth only has one natural moon, there great price. It means you’re determined your customer is are other bodies in our solar system that orbit closely to Earth. One such body is an asteroid called Cruithne. It was discovered in 1986 by Duncan Waldron. Cruithne orbits the sun just as the Earth does, but their orbits are so similar that their paths appear to follow each other. Don’t worry, they are far enough apart that there is no danger of collision. Proudly Printed Weekly by • To get technical about it, Mt. Everest isn’t the tallest mountain on Earth but it is the furthest above sea level. Mt. Everest is 29,029 ft (8,850 m) above sea level. Mauna Kea in Hawaii is 33,474 ft (10,203 m) tall, but only 3,3476 ft (4,205 m) above sea level. • Natural gas was used in 900 B.C. by the Chinese to evaporate salt water to produce salt. The first natural gas pipeline was built in Rochester, New York in 1872. This naturally odorless Call Chuck for information gas is given a rotten egg smell so it is more easily detectable in a leak. • Did you know that glaciers appear blue in col833 W. Garland Avenue or because ice absorbs all other colors and only reflects blue? If all the world’s glaciers melted, Spokane, WA 99205 the sea level would rise by 230 ft (70 m). • On June 8, 1783 the Icelandic volcanic fissure Laki began erupting, spewing lava and sulfuric dust and over 120 million tons of sulfuric dioxide. The spewing of dust lasted eight months Make your documents stand out for less. and covered Europe in a dark haze Printing and copying projects on your own takes time. And yours is limited. Let The UPS Store® take care of everything known as the Laki Haze, which from your flyers to your presentations. We offer a full range of document services to improve the efficiency and image of your lasted until September. It effected business. the winter of 1784 in both Europe • Full-color digital printing and copying • Binding, laminating and collating and North America, making it one • E-mail your files or bring them in of the most severe on record - from • UPS® shipping to over 215 countries and territories the most snow ever accumulated in Stop in and ask us for details! *Expires March 20, 2009 New Jersey to part of the Mississippi River at New Orleans froze over. • If all the world’s newspapers were Rosauers Center Crosspointe Center recycled after being read, it would Banner Bank Center 8921 N. Indian Trail Rd. (Next to Wal-Mart) 509 N. Sullivan save 250,000,000 trees a year. Re- Ste C Spokane 10414 W. HWY 2 Ste 4 509.466.0523 Spokane member to recycle your TIDBiTS or Spokane Valley 509.624.3339 509.922.2233 share with a friend! Email: Email:


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going to have a great experience, and if you happen to hit a bump in the road you will take care of it in a way that will make them forget it ever happened. Serving is an attitude. You have to provide goods or services in a way that makes your customers willing to trade their time or money – things that are very precious to them – to interact with you and your business. You can pressure people if you want, but that’s going to lead to a dull and frustrating life of one-shot deals. But if you serve people well, you’ll not only have clients for life but they’ll also send all of their friends your way. If you help enough people, Brent, and make that your first order of business, you’ll never have to worry about money. That’s a different attitude, isn’t it? But I’ve got news for you – it works! - Dave

(should he spend more?) Dear Dave, My husband makes significantly more money in his job than I do in mine. Since he makes more, he feels he should be able to spend more. He wants to set up an account where we both put 20 percent of our income for discretionary spending. Of course, his 20 percent would be more than my 20 percent, and I feel like we should both put in the same amount. What do you think? Lisa Dear Lisa, I’m sure your husband is basically a decent guy, but he’s really being selfish and immature about this situation. It’s a very bad plan. My wife is pretty gentle and forgiving, but if tried that mess at home she’d get very un-gentle in a hurry! Think about it this way. There are lots of families out there where only one person works outside the home and generates income. Would it be fair to say that whoever brings home a paycheck is the only one who can have fun spending a little money once in a while? Of course not! When you two were married, the preacher pronounced you “as one.” That means you have one income, and that’s our income; just like it’s our house, our kids or our dogs. Marriage is not a “me” proposition, it’s always a “we” thing. And it sounds like your husband needs to be reminded of this! - Dave * For more great financial advice, please visit

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Laws Force Children to Support Parents Thirty states have laws that require adult children to take care of their parents. While the specifics vary by state, the chilling fact is that the courts can go after adult children to force them to take financial responsibility for their senior parents. The target in most cases seems to be the cost of food, shelter, clothing and anything else deemed necessary -including paying long-term care and nursinghome bills. The list of those that can sue adult children is long: state public agencies such as welfare, the county, the town, creditors, doctors and even the seniors themselves. While on the surface it appears that these kinds of lawsuits are rare, every day now more and more people are opening their mail to discover they’re being sued for the cost of a parent’s support. Here’s a sample of some state laws: --In some states it doesn’t matter if the parent was abusive or vanished for a good part of the child’s life, or that the child and parent haven’t had contact in 20 or 30 years. --A child who refuses to support a parent can be arrested for on a criminal charge and can go to jail for a year. --One law has a “family tree” listing relatives in order who can be required to provide support, and it includes grandchildren. --One state in particular seems to go after adult children with a vengeance. Fifty nursing homes have sued, threatening to file liens on

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e v e rg re e n f o u n t a i n s . c o m homes. This is a wakeup call to get our affairs in order. If we’re going to pass assets to our children or make provisions, perhaps we’d better do it sooner than later. If you want to consult your attorney to learn the laws in your state and how they apply to you, the operative phrase is “filial responsibility.” 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 columnreply@

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Thousands Still Wait for Retro Pay It started with 20 veterans questioning the amounts of their monthly checks. These were veterans who should have received retro pay, but didn’t. The Department of Veterans Affairs’ Retro Pay Project has been in trouble since it started in 2006. Until Congress changed things, recipients couldn’t get both retired and disability pay, either Concurrent Retirement and Disability Pay or Combat-Related Special Compensation. After the change, Defense Finance and Accounting Service had a lot of catching up to do. But promises were made, and with Lockheed handling the back-pay calculations on 133,000 veteran’s files, deadlines were established. Back in 2006 I wrote in this column: The money’s coming. Well, some of you still don’t have it. There was a computer glitch. There were misunderstandings. And so on. As they dipped into the files of those 20 veterans recently, the numbers began to rise -- all the way to 39,000 veterans who were left out, who should have received retro pay but didn’t. (One has to wonder: If there are 39,000 veterans, are there more? Perhaps survivor beneficiaries who are due the money?) One bright spot is that a few months ago, the Pentagon ditched Lockheed, which had been responsible for handling (or is that mishandling?) veterans pay since 2002. Moral of the story: If you think there’s something wrong, either with your checks or something else, speak up. Who knows how long this problem would have gone on if those original 20 veterans hadn’t insisted that their files be reviewed? If you think you should receive retro pay, especially if there’s been an increase in your disability rating, call the VA retro pay hotline at 1-877327-4457, or DFAS at 1-800-321-1080. Write to Freddy Groves in care of King Features Weekly Service, P.O. Box 536475, Orlando, FL 32853-6475, or send e-mail to columnreply@ (c) 2009 King Features Synd., Inc.

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Peaches make one of the best tasting “crisp” desserts. Give this one a try, it is simple and easy to put together. 4 1/2 cups peeled and chopped fresh peaches 3/4 cup Splenda Granular 3/4 cup Bisquick Heart Smart Baking Mix 6 tablespoons purchased graham cracker crumbs 2 tablespoons I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter Light Margarine 3 tablespoons chopped pecans Preheat oven to 350 F. Spray an 8-by-8-inch baking dish with butter-flavored cooking spray. In a large bowl, combine peaches, 1/2 cup Splenda and 1/4 cup baking mix. Spread mixture evenly into prepared baking dish. In a medium bowl, combine remaining 1/2 cup baking mix, graham cracker crumbs, remaining 1/4 cup Splenda and margarine. Using a pastry blender or 2 forks, mix until mixture is crumbly. Stir in pecans. Evenly sprinkle crumb mixture over top. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes or until top is golden and filling is bubbly. Place baking dish on a wire rack and let set for at least 5 minutes. Divide into 6 servings. TIP: A self-seal sandwich bag works great for crushing graham crackers. • Each serving equals: 186 calories, 6g fat, 3g protein, 30g carbs, 251mg sodium, 27g calcium, 3g fiber; Diabetic Exchanges: 1 1/2 Fruit, 1 Starch, 1 Fat; Carb Choices: 2. Visit Healthy Exchanges at, or call toll-free at 1-800-766-8961 to sign-up for our FREE monthly newsletter. All you pay is the shipping and handling. This is the only national food newsletter for diabetics, heart/cholesterol concerns and healthy weight loss. (c) 2009 King Features Synd., Inc.


TO YOUR GOOD HEALTH by Paul G. Donohue, M.D.

Fibromyalgia Frustrates Athlete


DEAR DR. DONOHUE: I have recently been diagnosed with fibromyalgia. Before I was diagnosed, I enjoyed playing many sports and was a very physically active person. Since then, I have had to stop most of my activities. I wish I could be as active as I once was. Every time I try to play or exercise, my muscles ache unbearably. How can I get back to where I was? -- R.C. ANSWER: (R.C. is a high-school-age young woman.) Fibromyalgia causes people to retreat from their usual activities and makes them yearn for the days before it struck. It’s a peculiar disorder, with more unknown about it than known. Its cause hasn’t been discovered. More women come down with it than men -- another unexplained fact. No lab test detects it. X-rays, scans and ultrasound show no abnormality People afflicted with it complain of widespread body pain. They hurt all over, especially muscles, bones and joints. Exercise aggravates the pain. Joints are stiff early in the morning. Fibromyalgia patients are tired all the time. They never get a decent night’s sleep, and that adds to their fatigue. During an examination, doctors can detect tender points, specific body sites where pressure of the examining fin-

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8901 E. Trent Ave., Ste. 107, Spokane Health and Fitness Section Proudly Sponsored by ANYTIME FITNESS ger elicits pain out of proportion to the pressure. There are 18 of these sites, nine on each side of the body. More than 70 medicines have been used in treating fibromyalgia. Tylenol and anti-inflammatory medicines such as Aleve, Advil and Motrin are helpful for some. Cymbalta and Lyrica are two medicines that have won Food and Drug Administration approval for treatment of this condition. Exercise is important, but it must be started at a low level and gradually increased. Water exercises are welltolerated. If a person can’t keep up with the rest of the class, he or she shouldn’t try to do so. Keep exercise at a level that’s tolerable. The booklet on fibromyalgia deals with it in greater depth. To order a copy, write to: Dr. Donohue -- No. 305, Box 536475, Orlando, FL 32853-6475. Enclose a check or money order (no cash) for $4.75 U.S./$6 Canada with the recipient’s printed name and address. Please allow four weeks for delivery. *** DEAR DR. DONOHUE: I have what the doctors call black hairy tongue. Can you tell me about it? -- Anon. ANSWER: Black hairy tongue, aside from its looks, is

an innocent condition that comes from the elongation of tongue papillae, tiny projections from the tongue’s surface. Gently brushing the tongue three times a day with toothpaste, baking soda or 3 percent hydrogen peroxide can usually get rid of it. If it’s not gone in a month, return to the dentist or doctor for a follow-up exam. *** DEAR DR. DONOHUE: We were told to drink six to eight glasses of water a day. A doctor on television said to drink water only when you are thirsty. Which is the right advice? -- R.L. ANSWER: It’s not necessary to drink six to eight glasses of water a day. Most people can let thirst be their guide. In very hot weather, a couple of extra glasses of water keep a person hydrated. *** Dr. Donohue regrets that he is unable to answer individual letters, but he will incorporate them in his column whenever possible. Readers may write him or request an order form of available health newsletters at P.O. Box 536475, Orlando, FL 32853-6475. (c) 2009 North America Synd., Inc. All Rights Reserved

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DEAR PAW’S CORNER: I recently adopted a stray cat. “Missy” is a year and a half old and weighed only five pounds when we got her. She was so thin we could feel all her little bones. She’s received her shots, and once she has gained weight she will be spayed. My question is, Missy is a little snippy. She’ll bite or scratch. Otherwise, she’s a nice cat. How can I get her to stop the biting and scratching? -- Sally S., York, N.Y. DEAR SALLY: Missy’s biting and scratching -usually when you reach out to pet her, I’m sure -- is a legacy of her past. It’s clear that she had a tough time and was very stressed out before you found her. Right now, Missy is adjusting to a new life and a new role as a member of your family. That’s a

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brand-new kind of stress. If Missy could talk, she might ask herself, who are these new “parents”? How will they treat me? When a hand reaches for me, what is going to happen? For the next few months, avoid sudden moves around Missy as much as possible. When you reach out to pet her, play “meet me halfway”: Hold your hand out several inches away from Missy and call to her. Most cats will approach, sniff your hand and then rub their whiskers against it. From there, usually you can scratch Missy’s ears. To help ease her transition to her new life, talk to Missy’s veterinarian about anti-anxiety medication. Herbal remedies are also available that might help. But mostly, continue to give her lots of love and time -- two of nature’s best medicines.

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FREE BLUE GRASS ENTERTAINMENT - Every Thursday at 7:00pm Location: Spokane Elks Lodge #228 2605 N Robie Rd 926-2328 for directions....OPEN TO THE PUBLIC BOOMBERANG EXPRESS VBS - July 13-17, 9am-12pm Location: Crestline Baptist Church, 2206 E. 44th Ave., Spokane This is an action packed VBS taking place in the Outback of Australia! Ages are between going into Kindergarten and having just finished 6th grade. This is absolutely free. There will be a registration party in the church parking lot with games and popsicles on the 11th from 10am-12pm. For more info: Jill at 868-2271

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#2: 3 Reasons – Why Twitter

by Guy Siverson

3 Reasons – Why Twitter Why Twitter? I was asked just the other day. Actually I’m asked this regularly. Seems as those that have heard the word Twitter, have heard it only in passing. Others stare blankly away reflecting on the account they setup, while not knowing what to do next.

Have you ever heard “it’s best to follow a trend”?

It’s like… Well, it’s like me prior to Jan 09.

#3: 3 Reasons – Why Twitter

The only difference between you and I is that I have taken the time to learn the secrets of Twitter. I guess there is another difference. Your reading and I’m writing. Now, if you follow the advice I will be sharing, you’ll see nothing but net for your business, cause, organization, team, group or what have you.

Actually, I can’t think of one reason not to Twitter. No matter if your cause is business, political, social, religious or other. Twitter is where you need to be. Keep reading, and I’ll tell you why.

#1: 3 Reasons – Why Twitter Unlike other social networking platforms, Twitter provides a quick way for you to tweet your message to a niche audience who is ready to hear what you have to say. Not having the 140 character limit imposed leaves a person open to ramble endlessly with next to nothing to say. Focus, focus, focus – In today’s world its the only way.

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As I said, I joined Twitter in Jan 09. There was just over 1 million Tweepers involved then. Today, just 6 months later, Twitter is closing in on 3 million accounts. Thus, either there is one person who needs to get a life or Twitter is a social movement on fire.

I would disagree. Rather, find out where the trend will be and be there first.

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Brian Vickers Looks for Cup Victory BROOKLYN, Mich. -- Brian Vickers, who made a switch to Toyota when the Japanese manufacturer entered the Sprint Cup Series in 2007, has yet to win a race, but feels the progress of Team Red Bull is evidenced by his success in qualifying. Vickers, 25, won his third pole of the season at Michigan International Speedway, though he wound up finishing ninth in the LifeLock 400. “It always feels good to be the fastest driver in this series on any given day,” he said. “It’s a challenge, to say the least. This is the most competitive racing series in the world, definitely here in the U.S. “Sitting on the pole is no easy accomplishment. ... (The team) gave me a great car.” Vickers, who is from Thomasville, N.C., has won eight poles in his career and won a race at Talladega, Ala., in October 2006. At the time of his lone victory, he was at Hendrick Motorsports. Vickers has remained patient at Team Red Bull, a new entry at the time he signed up, as its performance has gradually improved. “I think we’re making gains,” said Vickers. “We’ve

been making gains all year. We’ve been making gains since this team was founded. There are times when we’ve made huge gains and times when the gains have been slow. There have been times when we’ve taken a few steps back, but for the most part we’ve always taken more steps forward. “We’ve come so far in such a short amount of years, and hopefully, we can keep going.” Vickers offered a staunch defense of Toyota’s rightful place in NASCAR. “Personally, I didn’t grow up in the Detroit generation,” he said. “I grew up in a national and international generation. To me, I see multi-national conglomerates that do business all around the world, and it’s very difficult to distinguish where their headquarters really is. Probably the only person (who) can distinguish where any company’s headquarters is these days is whoever is collecting taxes. I can assure you that Uncle Sam knows where (Toyota’s) headquarters is. “Toyota, in a lot of eyes and to me with what I’ve learned about them, they are as much of an American car company as anyone. They have been over the years, and the Toyota Camry is the only car in the sport right now that’s built in the U.S.” *** Monte Dutton has covered motorsports for The Gaston (N.C.) Gazette since 1993. He was named


writer of the year by the National Motorsports Press Association in 2008. His blog NASCAR This Week ( features all of his reporting on racing, roots music and life on the road. E-mail Monte at nascar_thisweek@ (c) 2009 King Features Synd., Inc.

PHOTO CUTLINE: After switching to Toyota, Brian Vickers has won three poles this season and says that feat is no easy task. (Photo: John Clark/NASCAR This Week)

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