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January 23, 2009

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AT THE WHITE HOUSE IN WASHINGTON,

IT’S MOVING DAY by Kelly Cadieux

All of the District of Columbia is abuzz with preparations for this week’s presidential inauguration. Aside from the pomp and glitz of the various parties and balls for the Obama family, there’s also the more mundane matter of moving to a new home. • Although George W. Bush will legally remain president until noon Eastern time on January 20, 2009, he and his family have been packing and preparing to leave the White House for several months. The First Family will not officially vacate the White House, however, until after the inauguration. While Barack Obama is being sworn in, movers will be furiously hauling his family’s belongings into the executive mansion. • As per tradition, the incoming First Family will stop at the White House on the morning of January 20 to greet the current Family-inresidence. While the Obamas are busy at the swearing-in ceremony, the Bushes’ personal items will be carried to waiting moving vans, and the Obama’s belongings will be brought inside. When the new president and his family arrive at the White House, they will be greeted by the household staff who will already have unpacked all their boxes. • When President Bush leaves office, he’ll take most of his advisors and other appointees with him. The White House household staff, however, will stay behind to work for the Obamas. Many of the maids, butlers, chefs, plumbers, and electricians on staff have worked there for the past 30 years. Their expert knowledge will help the new First Family make a smooth transition. turn the page for more Tidbits!

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THIS IS A HAMMER By Samantha Mazzotta

Banging Plagues Gas Water Heater Q: My wife and I are plagued with a banging gas water heater. When it heats, it cracks and bangs. We have “soft” water that has no lime in it. The tank is 16 years old. Our old home used well water, but we never had this problem. Can you help define our present problem? -- Pat and Mike in Howell, N.J. A: From your description, it seems like the banging noise starts after you use hot water. The tank begins to heat the fresh water that has taken the used water’s place, and so about five minutes after you use hot water from the tap, the heater begins banging. My first thought is that, even though you have water with a low mineral content (and/or a water softener), mineral buildup within the heater is still a good possibility. It is, after all, 16 years old, and if it wasn’t maintained regularly, then quite a lot of mineral deposits could be lining the bottom of the tank. First try flushing out the tank. This is a relatively quick task that doesn’t require you to shut off the water. You should turn the heat control to its lowest setting, without turning off the pilot light. Let the tank cool for a half-hour. Then, working carefully, as the water will still be warm, attach a short water hose to the drain tap near the bottom of the heater, run the other end into a bucket and drain water from the tank. You may see some white sediment or rust-colored water with the initial burst of water. Once the tank has drained, close the tap and return the thermostat to its regular setting. The water tank should be flushed once or twice per year, even if you have soft water, to clear out the inevitable mineral sediment. HOME TIP: To save energy, keep your water heater’s thermostat set at 120 degrees F and insulate the hotwater supply pipe. Send questions or home-repair tips to homeguru2000@ hotmail.com, 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.

cal review. With the intricate drafts amping up speeds on race day, competitive laps exceeded 200 mph in both the spring and fall races. The 2.66-mile track produced the fastest race speeds in all three major NASCAR series. Jamie McMurray turned the fastest lap in the track’s April 27 race, averaging 201.64 mph. On Oct. 5, Juan Pablo Montoya’s 200.56mph lap was fastest. By comparison, the fastest Daytona lap was Brian Vickers’ 192.15 on July 5, and the next fastest track was Atlanta Motor Speedway, where Dale Earnhardt Jr. turned a 186.01 lap on March 9. Talladega’s fastest Nationwide Series lap was 198.15 mph by Kyle Busch on April 26, and Jason White turned a 195.81 mph Craftsman Truck Series lap on Oct. 4. NASCAR’s so-called loop data monitors total passes, throughout the field, during races. In the October race, Talladega had 12,416 such passes, while the April event had 9,146. Next, once again, was the circuit’s other “restrictor-plate track,” Daytona, with 6,921 passes on Feb. 17 and 5,697 on July 5. The Aug. 3 race at Pocono (Pa.) Raceway featured 4,636 passes through the field. Through the “loop data,” more interesting facts emerged: ¥ NASCAR’s “driver rating” is derived through

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a formula that weighs the data. Kurt Busch had the largest decline in driver rating, falling 25.9 points from 99.7 in 2007 to 73.8 in ‘08. ¥ The most improved driver, statistically, was David Ragan, whose rating improved from 56.1 in 2007 to 81.8. Next was Ragan’s Roush Fenway teammate Greg Biffle, who improved from 76.4 to 93.4. ¥ In the 2008 regular season, Kyle Busch’s driver rating was 112.0. In the Chase, his rating fell to 83.4. 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 (http://nascar.rbma. com) features all of his reporting on racing, roots music and life on the road. You can email Monte at nascar_thisweek@yahoo.com. (c) 2009 King Features Synd., Inc

PHOTO CUTLINE: Talladega Superspeedway is fastest of the fast, NASCAR statistics show. (Chris Graythen/Getty Images photo)

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where to unpack and stow away the new First Family’s belongings? This time around, both the Bushes and the Obamas had teams in place even before the election took place. The members of the president’s Transition Coordinating Council have worked closely with the president-elect’s advisors to find out, among other things, how the new president wants his house (and office) set up. • Some outgoing administrations have made it a tradition to play “pranks” on the incoming workers, but members of Bill Clinton’s team took things to an extreme. According to reports, desk drawers were glued shut, computers were vandalized, and antiques came up missing. The General Accounting Office estimated the loss at $15,000. President Bush has already approached his staff: “I know that you will continue to conduct yourselves with the decency and professionalism you have shown throughout my time in office.” • Congress allots each new administration a $100,000 budget with which to decorate the Oval Office and the First Family’s living quarters. The president and his family occupy three floors of the Executive Residence, located in the center of the White House complex. The congressional allowance must only be used for home décor, such as new paint/wallpaper, furniture, linens, bedding, and wall hangings. • On November 10, 2008, First Lady Laura Bush accompanied Michelle Obama on a personal tour of the Executive Mansion’s 33 rooms. Mrs. Bush took her to each of the rooms and described the décor changes she’d made during her stay. She turn the page for more Tidbits!

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IT’S MOVING DAY (continued): also encouraged Mrs. Obama to let daughters Malia and Sasha make their bedrooms their own. • Previous White House tours for incoming First Ladies haven’t always gone smoothly. When pending resident Eleanor Roosevelt asked Lou Hoover to show her the White House kitchen, Mrs. Hoover offered a barbed reply. “Mrs. Roosevelt,” she said, “I have lived in this house for four years. I have never stepped inside the kitchen and I do not intend to do so now.” • Jacqueline Kennedy took her introductory tour of the White House just a few days after delivering son John Jr. (via C-section). Back then, such childbirths were much more traumatic, and it took mothers several days to recover from the surgery. Mrs. Kennedy’s obstetrician released her on the condition that she’d take the White House tour via wheelchair. Mamie Eisenhower didn’t offer one, however, so Jackie was forced to soldier on. She collapsed in the limousine after the tour, and was confined to bed for several weeks afterward to catch up on her rest. • While “the future” was running through everyone’s mind in 1961, Jackie Kennedy approached her task of decorating the White House in a classic fashion. She made it her mission to restore the public rooms to their historic grandeur. She consulted Americana experts in furniture and art, and scoured government warehouses to retrieve displayable historic artifacts. She also created the position of White House Curator to ensure the historic integrity of the executive mansion. • It is unclear as to who started the practice, but it’s tradition for the outgoing Chief Executive to leave the incoming president a note of welcome on the Oval Office desk. • Barack Obama has revealed one notable change he’d like to make in the White House: replacing the bowling alley with a basketball court. At a campaign stop in Altoona, Pennsylvania, Obama bowled seven frames and ended up with the embarrassing score of 37. A basketball half-court already exists on the White House grounds, but new construction would be far from unprecedented. Gerald Ford used private funds to install an outdoor swimming pool, and Bill Clinton added an outdoor running track. • Just like any other family moving to a new location, the Obamas have to decide where their two daughters will attend school. After considering several possibilities, they chose the prestigious Sidwell Friends School (the same institute attended by Chelsea Clinton). Three of VP-Elect Joe Biden’s grandchildren will also attend Sidwell Friends, where the tuition for one year runs just under $30,000. • The final tab for White House “moving day” will approach $9 million, broken down as follows: $2 million has been set aside for moving out the Bush family and his executive team. Another $1 million was spent briefing and training the incoming team. Obama will receive a little over $5 million to spend for his own transition needs. • It’s tough for incoming presidential children that have to leave their old homes behind. But ‘First Kids’ like Tad Lincoln, Quentin Roosevelt, and Lynda Johnson admitted that they liked the White House. With the campaign finally over, and ‘daddy’ working in his home office, they saw much more of him than they had for several months. The End

Dear Dave, We started doing a budget a couple of months ago, and already it’s springing leaks. It’s just a little bit out of balance in a few different places, but combined, it makes a big dent in our finances. How can we plug the leaks? Joy Dear Joy, First, don’t worry about it. This kind of thing happens a lot in household budgeting, especially when folks are new to the process. Here are some ideas to help stretch your dollars and plug those leaks. Use the cash-only method when shopping for groceries. Take cash only for the amount you’ve budgeted for groceries. Use coupons only for items you normally buy. Lots of people use coupons just to be using coupons, thinking they’re saving when they aren’t. This adds more to the grocery bill. Even though the item itself may be less expensive, you’ll buy things you don’t really need. Try stocking up on those items you use often when there’s a big sale, too. These are little things, but trust me, they add up! You buy groceries for a reason, right? So stop eating out! Only go to restaurants for special occasions, and don’t be afraid to use coupons in restaurants. Have you seen the price of a soda or iced tea these days? Drink water instead. Always check the sale and clearance racks first when it comes to buying clothes. There are good clothes at

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consignment stores and thrift shops, too. While you’re there, sell your old, worn out clothes, and anything you don’t wear anymore. Most of all, avoid the trendy, expensive clothes. Buy durable classics that don’t go out of style. When it comes to entertainment, nothing beats family time. It may sound old-fashioned, but there’s nothing wrong with a night of playing board games. It’s fun! If you like movies, use discount coupons and go to matinees whenever possible. The prices are always lower before dark. If you’re planning a trip with several other people, call ahead and ask for a group discount. - Dave

(avoid interest payments?) Dear Dave, I recently bought a new car, and financed it at 17.9 percent for 72 months. I did this hoping it would help improve my bad credit. The payments are $468 a month. That means I’ll end up paying about $13,000 in interest alone. Is there a way I can avoid paying all this interest? Marcus Dear Marcus, Yes, there is a way, but you won’t like it. Sell the stinking car! If your credit is bad, it’s because you haven’t paid your bills, or you haven’t paid them on time. I’ve got a feeling a lot of this can be traced back to the fact that you’ve been buying a bunch a stuff you can’t afford, like a new car with $468 a month payments. What a bad plan! You’d have over $5,000 in less than a year if you take those car payments and save them. That kind of money will get you a great little used vehicle, and best of all, a car like that won’t be a drain on your income for the next six years! - Dave * For more great financial advice please visit www.davesays.org.

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Brainpower Seniors process negative emotions differently from younger people. So says a study from Duke University Medical Center, appearing in the January issue of Psychology Science. The study included adults with average ages of 24 and 70. Participants were shown photographs that they rated on a “pleasantness” scale while hooked up to an MRI. Some of the photos were decidedly NOT pleasant: violent acts and mutilated bodies. Then each participant had to remember those pictures after the MRI was over to determine whether or not the images that caused negative emotion could actually be recalled. It turns out that seniors didn’t “connect” as much to the photos that caused negative emotion, while the younger participants registered high in that area, remembering more of the negative pictures.

I think this comes down to a “been there, done that” for seniors. Maybe at an instinctive level we feel that we don’t need to waste energy (or brain cells) on negative emotions. On another brain topic, researchers have come up with more ways that we can retain memory function and stay mentally sharp, confirming other research on the same topic: Stay physically active, challenge the brain and stay socially active. Exercise isn’t hard. Even if we’re cleaning house and dancing through the rooms as we do, we’re being active. It’s a bonus if we take a fitness class or do daily walking. Challenging the brain can actually be fun, if we’re doing the daily crossword puzzle and attending interesting lectures or films. Staying socially active can be as easy as developing a network of friends and acquaintances whom we see or talk to on a regular basis.

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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@gmail.com.

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Page 5

THE KITCHEN DIVA By Angela Shelf Medearis

DINNER FOR THE PRESIDENT

I’ve been doing media interviews and cooking demonstrations lately to promote my new cookbook, “The New African-American Kitchen.” Since November’s historic presidential election, the question I’ve been asked most frequently is: “What would you cook for President Obama’s inauguration dinner?” I’ve given a lot of thought to my presidential menu, and I’ve based it on Barack Obama’s unique cultural background. He was born in Honolulu. His mother was of English and Irish descent, and his father was of the Luo tribe from Nyanza Province, Kenya. My proposed inaugural dinner contains some of the elements that make our new leader and our country so unique. I’d begin the dinner with a modern appetizer with ancient ties in the form of a dish I call Caviar and Cake. The “caviar” is composed of black-eyed peas marinated for days along with peppers, garlic and spices and then spooned onto bite-sized, cornmeal pancakes. Black-eyed peas, along with okra, peanuts and sesame seeds, are the four main African contributions to American cuisine via slave ships and the Middle Passage. My presidential dinner includes each of these historic ingredients -- with delicious results. The centerpiece of the meal is an African dish from Kenya called Mtuzi Wa Samki (Baked Fish and Spicy Sauce with Toasted Sesame Seeds). The deft use of peppers and spices in this traditional Kenyan dish enhances the delicate flavors of the fish without overpowering it. The use of hot peppers and sesame seeds are an African contribution to American cuisine. The side dishes for my presidential dinner include recipes that combine Africa and America, old and new. I’d feature mixed greens (kale, collards and mustards) flavored with tender, baby okra pods, a dish that harkens to Obama’s Chicago soul-food roots. Sweet potatoes are popular in Hawaii, one of the places where our new president grew up. Dr. George Washington Carver’s historic recipe for sweet potatoes is a wonderful side dish. The baked sweet potatoes are combined with peanut butter, cinnamon and nutmeg, returned to the oven to bake again, and then topped with chopped peanuts. President Thomas Jefferson dined on dishes created by slave chef James Hemings. I’d use my own modern, updated versions of Hemings’ recipes for macaroni and cheese and French vanilla ice cream to complete my inaugural menu. The pomp, pageantry and history surrounding a presidential inauguration are always exciting, and this recipe will make you feel like you have a front row seat for the festivities. KENYAN BAKED FISH WITH SPICY SAUCE (Mtuzi Wa Samki) 4 cod filets, halibut steaks or tilapia filets (2 pounds), 1-inch thick Sauce - 2 tablespoons vegetable oil - 1 (16-ounce) can tomatoes, - 1 large onion, sliced diced and the juice discarded - 2 cloves garlic, chopped - 1 1/4 teaspoons ground cumin - 1 teaspoon jalape–o pepper, - 3/4 teaspoon ground coriander seeded and finely chopped - 1 teaspoon salt - 2 tablespoons white cider vinegar - 2 tablespoons sesame seeds, toasted PHOTO CREDIT: Phil Curry Preheat oven to 350 F. To prepare the sauce: In a skillet, heat the oil until it is hot but not smoking, and sautŽ the onion, garlic and jalape–o pepper until the onion is transparent. Stir in the tomatoes, vinegar, cumin, coriander and salt. Simmer, uncovered, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Place the fish in an ungreased oblong baking pan. Spoon the sauce over the fish. Bake uncovered for 25 to 30 minutes. Do not overcook. Sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds and serve over rice. Serves 4. *** Angela Shelf Medearis is an award-winning children’s author, culinary historian and the author of five cookbooks. Her latest cookbook, “The New African-American Kitchen,” is in bookstores now. She’s known as The Kitchen Diva and is the executive producer and host of “The Kitchen Diva!” television cooking show. Visit her Web site at www.divapro.com. (c) 2009 King Features Synd., Inc.

Homeless Veterans Need Warm Clothes Your mission for the week: Outfit a homeless veteran in warm winter clothing. If you’re near a VA hospital, call Volunteer Services and ask what it needs for the clothing closet. As veterans come in off the street for medical services or leave after treatment, staff will help them find the clothing they need from the closet. You don’t need to spend a fortune. Charity organizations such as Goodwill and Salvation Army often have great stuff, a lot of it in new condition. You can find jeans for less than $5, shirts and sweatshirts for a few dollars. Warm winter coats are often at a premium in the clothing closets. No matter the size, someone can use what you donate. (But ask what sizes are especially needed.) Add gloves, hats and mittens. Don’t donate used shoes or boots, however, and no used underwear. When veterans leave the hospital (perhaps after they’ve

been there 4-6 weeks for detox or other treatment programs) for a shelter or halfway house, they’re given goodie bags with shampoo, disposable razors, shave cream, handkerchiefs and new socks and underwear. Add a duffle bag to hold all the stuff a veteran takes when he leaves. If you’re a homeless veteran reading this and if you want to come in from the cold, go to a library near you. Chances are they have computers. Check www1. va.gov/Homeless, which is the Homeless Veterans Program Office. Look on the left side of the screen and click on VA Homeless Coordinators. There’s a link to help in all the states. There are all kinds of programs, including medical and dental assessments and referral, shelter assistance, permanent housing and employment assistance. 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@gmail.com.

SEOGUY UNPLUGGED Who or what is a SEOGuy and who cares? SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization and my name happens to be Guy. Thus you have SEOGuy. Who cares? You mean beside my precious life long bride? You should. Not only do I teach Internet Marketing success secrets via seminars, but I also do private consulting for your own specific projects. In the next 3 issues I will be explaining various points of article marketing. If you apply some of these hints like I do with www.BodyByChocolates.com you will see practically immediate long-term permanent results. Life, is good

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vs. Seattle vs. Portland vs. Tri-City vs. Everett vs. Tri-City vs. Kelowna

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Tidbits® of Spokane County, WA

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Tidbits® of Spokane County, WA

FITNESS & HEALTH

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

Peripheral Artery Disease Common in Older Ages DEAR DR. DONOHUE: A commercial I saw on TV had a grandparent and grandchild talking about peripheral artery disease. It got me wondering if I have it. I got the idea that many older people do. I am 78. What are its signs? -- K.M. ANSWER: Peripheral artery disease, PAD, also goes by the name peripheral vascular disease. It is a common condition in older people, but not every senior citizen has it. Close to 15 percent of those over 70 do. Here “peripheral” refers to the legs. “Artery disease” is artery clogging, the same process that goes on in heart arteries and culminates in a heart attack. High blood cholesterol, blood fats, blood protein and platelets aggregate on an artery wall, and as the buildup grows, it blocks circulation to the tissues fed by that artery. Blood doesn’t reach leg muscles in a sufficient amount to support those muscles when they’re active. The common sign of PAD is calf pain while walking. The pain leaves when the person stops walking. Many people with PAD can tell, almost to the inch, when the pain will begin. The pain indicates leg muscles aren’t getting enough blood. A simple office test to detect PAD is to compare blood pressure taken at the ankles with blood pressure taken in the arms. The two readings should be close. With PAD, the ankle blood pressure is lower than arm pressure due to the obstruction to blood flow. Management of PAD is similar to management of clogged

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heart arteries. Blood cholesterol has to be lowered, blood pressure normalized and blood sugar controlled. Weight reduction, if indicated, is important, as is daily exercise, -- even though pain occurs during walking -- has to become routine. Cigarette smoking, of course, is out of the question. If the doctor does confirm a diagnosis of PAD, prescription medicines help blood get around artery blockages. Aspirin, Plavix and Pletal are examples of such medicines. When the obstruction is sizable, then leg arteries can undergo the same kinds of treatments as heart arteries -- bypass surgery or stents. The booklet on peripheral artery disease discusses this topic in detail and its treatment. Readers can order a copy by writing: Dr. Donohue -- No. 109W, 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: How soon after taking medicine is it OK to drink alcohol? I say an hour is enough time. My wife thinks it should be four hours. Who is right? -- B.N. ANSWER: First you should make sure your medicine is compatible with alcohol. Some medicines aren’t. In that case, you shouldn’t drink alcohol at all while taking the medicine. It takes the stomach about four hours to empty its contents. Medication, however, doesn’t stay in the stomach for that long. If your medicine is compatible with alcohol use, the answer is a compromise: You should be safe if you wait about two hours after taking it. *** 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. Readers may also order health newsletters from www.rbmamall.com. (c) 2009 North America Synd., Inc. All Rights Reserved

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Reversing Social Isolation in Our Elderly

The “Holiday Season” is for most of us a time of joy, family gatherings, and sharing.  Yet, for an increasing number of people, especially our elderly, this normally happy time can be a time when their loneliness is exacerbated (especially, as we view each new decade as more socially isolating then the previous one). A recent General Social Survey, funded by the National Science Foundation, has found some disturbing trends in social isolation for our elderly.  With the advent of our hightech communication life style, more and more people are missing out on the face-to-face conversations that connected friends, family, and neighbors in the past.  Emails and text messaging have replaced calling your friends to talk about school.  Long commutes and more television watching have made talking to your neighbors a thing of the past.  Fear seems to be the one connecting factor in our current society.  That’s sad! The elderly are at the head of the class when it comes to social isolation.  Not only are many elderly left out of the new technologically oriented world, but they, as a matter of social and cultural patterns, are part of our forgotten generation.  The elderly have lost their connections to their co-workers.  They have lost their abilities to be socially involved due to poor mobility skills or illness.  And with the lack of close family support, they have lost their will to be connected.  How many of you actually know your neighbors’ names or regularly share social activities with your neighbors (or anyone on your block)?  Remember the days when we had “block parties?” Remember when you would come home and just talk to your neighbor about the how fast the grass is growing?  Remember when you and your family would car pool to different events with the kids.  That has all changed now.  Although there may be some isolated areas in the world where everything occurs as it did twenty, thirty, or forty years ago, for the most part people are afraid to interact.  And oddly enough, it is now fear that, more often than not, brings people back together - just think about the national crisis surrounding “9-11.” However, all is not lost, even for our elderly.  Numer-

ous studies have pointed to the interaction between social isolationism and risk of mortality or physical illness in the elderly.  In other words, if you are elderly, the more you are isolated, the greater your risk of dying before your time.  So, how do we reverse this trend of social isolation in our elderly (and with ourselves, also)? The answers are simple, yet they do take some concerted effort and a bit of risk taking.  A few suggestions are listed below: Make the effort to stop by your neighbors and introduce yourself. Suggest that you take the neighbors’ kids with your kids on your next bowling trip. Schedule more trips to grandma’s and grandpa’s house. Let the “grampa’s” spoil your kids. At the very least, make telephone calls to old friends and family. Step out of your comfort zone and visit people in a nursing home who may not have any family. When you are walking or running during your next exercise routine, make it a point to say hello to those your see. Walk your dog in the neighborhood rather than just in the back yard (make sure to bring that baggie). Forgive others. Fix your relationships that are broken. Become more spiritual. Cherish each moment you have on earth. Work at being less fearful. Include your elderly relatives in more and more family activities, as well as social activities. An increase in social activities can reduce the risk of mortality in our elderly.  Having someone that your elderly charge can speak with on an intimate basis helps reduce the feelings of isolation.  Using caregivers not only reduces social isolationism for the care recipient, but helps the caregiver by increasing their life expectancy.  It is believed that helping others can release oxytocin, a hormone that may soften the negative effects of stress.  The point is, reduce isolation in our elderly, and we do a lot of good for not only the elderly person, but for all those associated with him or her. Step outside your box and make a difference in everyone’s life.  Relationships are what it is all about!!

For whatever reason, people seem to have a real beef against Microsoft, without even knowing why. Daily we hear things like “I don’t like vista,” “I only use Firefox,” and “I switched from Outlook to Thunderbird.” Lots of people get caught up in the anti-Microsoft hype, it’s easy to do. But, if Microsoft’s products are so bad, why do so many people use them? One camp might tell you that it’s because you’re forced to use them, you’re locked in. But really, the opposite is the truth. We have one customer, who had a “computer person” build her system for her. He convinced her to switch from Outlook to Thunderbird, from Internet Explorer to Firefox, and from Office to Open Office. Switching between browsers is a mild hassle, especially migrating the favorites, but it’s doable. Office programs are somewhat universal in their approach to files, but going from one e-mail client to another (unless you’re leaving Outlook), is next to impossible. Microsoft, I have to admit, has the most compatible applications of any company around. Period. Even Google is compatible with Microsoft, (not with Firefox or Thunderbird).

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Tidbits® of Spokane County, WA

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Tidbits® of Spokane County, WA

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Local Business ~Matters~ How Real SeRVICe SHould Be! Back in 1978, an oil and lube service company was founded that based their product on the idea of top-notch service, just like our grandparents used to talk about. Oil Can Henry’s has been servicing automobiles in their unique way for the past 30 years, and by the early 1980s they began franchising their idea to local families all throughout the U.S. I must say an oil change at Oil Can Henry’s is not your typical experience, quite to the contrary. At Oil Can Henry’s you are cheerfully greeted the moment you drive up to their door. This level of service is only the start of the kind of hospitality you will experience with every visit. One thing Oil Can Henry’s is passionate about is earning your TRUST, because we all want to have our automobiles serviced by people who have our best interests in mind. One of the ways they do this is by allowing you to remain in your car while they perform the service. You will be offered a FREE newspaper that you can read while you wait, or simply watch and listen to their trained technicians on their proprietary CastrolCam video monitor while they perform the service. You not only receive a complete 20-point full service oil change, but you can also request an Automatic Transmission Flush, Cooling System Flush, Engine Flush, Gear Box Service, or a Power Steering Flush all at the time of your short visit. Oil Can Henry’s are locally owned and operated, which is why you will be assured a great experience. For example, Bob and Barb Davisson own and operate the Oil Can Henry’s on N. Division, where Bob always says, “We strive to raise the bar on customer service.” Bob and his team of trained technicians will provide you with a unique experience to what is otherwise a rather mundane process. They pride themselves on personal one-on-one service, which is what you will receive with every visit to Bob and Barb’s Oil Can Henry’s. Next time you are on the North side of Division Street stop in and see Bob and his team and give them a try, I promise that you will not be disappointed. And don’t forget to ask about their “Top-up Guarantee,” and a $10.00 OFF coupon on the front of this TIDBiTS®...that’s what I call a good deal. Written by:PJGO Oil Can Henry’s “The One You Can Trust”SM

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