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Issue 29

June 20 - 26, 2008

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Sean Knighton Works Here. Saturn of Riverdale 5212 Freeway Park Drive www.utahsaturn.com ISSUE 2008.26

It’s a Gas pages 1-4

George Washington pages 5-6

O, Canada pages 7-8

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All drivers who are in favor of conserving gasoline, please raise your right foot. TIDBITSGOES GOESHIGH-OCTANE HIGH-OCTANE TIDBITS

IT’SAAGAS! GAS! IT’S by Murray MacLeod

by Murray MacLeod

Many Americans are getting ready for summer Many Americans getting for summer vacation, and somearewill travelready by automobile. This Tidbits offers will youtravel some “fuel for vacation, and some by automobile. thought.” This Tidbits offers you some “fuel for thought.” •• When rst Model Whenthe thefifirst ModelTTcars carshit hitthe themarket, market,a a gas gauge on the dashboard was considered gas“extra.” gauge on the then, dashboard an Back there was was considered no such an “extra.” Back then, there was thing as a gas station; gasoline was no soldsuch at pharmacies. Automobile owners fiwas lledsold theirat thing as a gas station; gasoline own containers with gas, owners and then usedtheir a pharmacies. Automobile filled funnel to pour it into their car’s tank. own containers with gas, and then used a • The firsttoAmerican building builttank. strictly for funnel pour it into their car’s the purpose of selling gasoline was erected • inThe firstinAmerican builtIt strictly for 1905 St. Louis,building Missouri. bore the creative name of Automotive Gasoline the purpose of selling gasoline was erected in Company, was Missouri. a subsidiary of Shell 1905 in St.and Louis, It bore the Oil. creaThe second gas station in the U.S. opened tive name of Automotive Gasoline Company, in Seattle two years later. It was fitted with and was subsidiary of Shelldrivers Oil. The pumps anda hoses that allowed to second gas station in the U.S. opened in Seatpour the fuel directly into their vehicle’s tank. tle two years later. It was fitted with pumps and hoses that gasoline allowed drivers to pour • Prior to 1890, was treated as the a waste byproduct of the oil refi ning process. fuel directly into their vehicle’s tank. It was commonly used to fuel the equipment • atPrior 1890, treated as a waste the to refi nery.gasoline Thanks was to the popularity of byproduct of thegasoline oil refining process. It was the automobile, outsold kerosene and other fuels in the U.S. commonly usedfor to the fuelfirst the time equipment at the in 1910. refinery. Thanks to the popularity of the au• What is thegasoline formula outsold that oil companies useothto tomobile, kerosene and determine how much to charge for gasoline? er fuels for the first time in the U.S. in 1910. Rumors abound concerning Petey the Petrol turnhe’s the page for more! Price Hamster and how let loose on a computer keyboard to choose random numbers. Trust us – such a rodent doesn’t really exist. In truth, many factors are taken into consideration, from supply and demand to oil stock prices to the time of year. turn the page for more!

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Page 1

REAL ESTATE CLASSIFI CLASSIFIEDS EDS

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• Why are gasoline prices posted in nine-tenths of a cent? It’s now a matter of tradition, but it started back in the 1930s, when a penny had much more value. “Gas wars” between stations on adjacent street corners became so cutthroat that even a price reduction of a fraction of a cent attracted customers. Today, those fractions of a penny don’t mean much at all, but customers still feel as if they’re saving money if the per-gallon price is listed as $2.99 9/10 instead of a full $3.00. • Is there a significant difference between regular and premium gas? Yes! When you buy a new car, check the owner’s manual. Most automobiles are designed to use regular gasoline, but certain high-performance models require premium. Premium gas has a higher octane level, which means it is formulated to burn slower than regular, making it less likely to ignite without benefit of spark. The result is no knocks or pings when you push that pedal to the metal (carefully, of course). • The first time U.S. gasoline “at-the-pump” prices seemingly doubled overnight was during the 1973 Oil Embargo. In retaliation for the West’s support of Israel during the Yom Kippur War, OPEC placed an embargo on crude oil shipments to the U.S. The price 345 N. Main St. - Kaysville, UT 84037 per barrel quickly rose 130 percent, and since Phone (801) 546-2966 oil supplies were limited, long lines at gas Fax: (801) 546-2968 stations became commonplace for consumers worried that they’d be left without. • To prevent engine knock, researchers have come up with many different types of additives and alternate fuels. As early as 1916, a researcher for General Motors sent a memo to his boss which stated that ethyl alcohol (made from plants) was “the fuel of the future.” The Residential & Commercial oil lobby was powerful, however, and both Quality With Precision automakers and oil companies were quite aware of their dependence on one another. So 801-330-4321 instead of trying to replace gasoline, chemical engineers focused on developing an additive that would boost its octane rating. That Mark Wilkins, Owner additive was lead. 265 North Main #D • Some additives aren’t what they seem to be. Kaysville In 1971, Shell launched a series of radio and 801.593.8771 Tel television commercials trumpeting an additive called Platformate. One ad depicted two cars 801.593.8772 Fax racing on a desert road straightaway. The one www.theupsstore.com without Platformate sputtered to a stop long before the Shell car did. However, what Shell failed to mention was that Platformate was a standard additive that most oil companies were already in the process of adopting. They were simply the first to advertise it, ensuring that any company who also claimed to offer Platformate would look like a Johnny-comelately.

RAY M. WERNER INSURANCE AGENCY

As of 2008, only two states of the Union do not allow self-service gas stations: Oregon and New Jersey.

Saturn of Riverdale thanks you for your support of the Morgan High School Scholarship Auction

Morgan Family Values Saturn of Riverdale 5212 Freeway Park Drive Riverdale, UT

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Tidbits® of Ogden, North Davis and Morgan

Taking the Struggle Out of Exercise By Andrea Renee Wyatt, M.S.S., C.S.C.S.

Q: Recently I consulted a doctor about having surgery to help me lose weight. I need to lose 100 pounds total, and my physician has agreed to do the surgery, but ONLY if I begin changing my lifestyle to incorporate better nutrition and exercise. I really want to have the surgery to lose weight, but exercise has always been a struggle for me. I don’t know where or how to begin. Help!

IT’S A GAS (continued): • The very first self-service gas station opened in Los Angeles in 1947. As an independent retailer, the owner was able to sell gasoline for five cents less per gallon by eliminating “pump jockeys.” He even advertised using highway signs that asked drivers: “Why pay more?” The self-service gas station didn’t really catch on, however, until the oil crisis in the early 1970s. Service stations were eager to lower prices, and eliminating employees did so. Still, by the end of 1974, only six percent of U.S. gas stations were self-serve. • Around the same time, air pollution caused by automobiles had become a major concern in America. In 1975, the federal government made catalytic converters mandatory on all new U.S. autos. Of course, these converters required unleaded fuel, which was slightly more expensive. But as more consumers purchased newer vehicles, the demand for unleaded gasoline increased. Leaded gasoline was eventually phased out in the 1990s. • The flying red horse that used to symbolize Mobil gas stations is one of the most prized finds among old sign collectors. The stylized Pegasus logo first appeared in 1931 when Standard Oil of New York merged with the Vacuum Oil Company. A winged equine became the symbol for the new brand: Mobil.

Women of Speed The question of “when” NHRA PowerAde Top Fuel driver Hillary Will would win has been answered -- at Heartland Park, Topeka, Kan. Will, driver of the KB Racing Top Fuel dragster, picked up the first NHRA national victory of her young career at the O’Reilly NHRA Summer Nationals, the ninth event of the 2008 NHRA PowerAde Drag Racing Series, with a final round 4.744 seconds, 304.53 mph victory over Larry Dixon. A former standout in the Top Alcohol Dragster class, Will moved up to the NHRA’s quickest and fastest class in 2006 behind the wheel of a newly formed team owned by Las Vegas businessman Ken Black and managed by Kalitta Motorsports, the multi-car team founded and owned by drag-racing icon Connie “the Bounty Hunter” Kalitta. Several females have won events in NHRA Top Alcohol classes, including Carol “Bunny” Burkett, who won in her Funny Car at the Keystone Nationals as far back as 1986. Kalitta, meanwhile, also receives credit for bringing along the sport’s all-time female champion nitro driver, namely Shirley Muldowney. The story is chronicled in the 1983 movie “Heart Like a Wheel,” starring Bonnie Bedelia and Beau Bridges. And to be politically correct, Hillary Will actually won her first Top Fuel event trophy in her rookie season in an IHRA-sanctioned event at Norwalk, where the Top Fuel field consists of just eight cars instead of the 16 at the more prestigious NHRA events. Will made her first NHRA final-round appearance in Memphis, and finished the NHRA season in 10th place in Top Fuel points in ‘06. Will now becomes the eighth female Top Fuel winner in NHRA history and joins other auto-racing female winners in what has become the year of the woman racer. Ashley Force became the first female event winner in the NHRA Nitro Funny Car class, while Danica Patrick, to no one’s surprise, became the first woman to win in the Indy Car Series earlier this year in Japan. Recently, Melanie Troxel became the first woman to win event titles in both of the NHRA’s nitro-fueled classes -- Top Fuel and Funny Car -- after her win in Bristol at NHRA’s Thunder Valley Nationals. The milestone was the fifth victory of her career, including her four wins in Top Fuel. At the first two events of this season’s 24event NHRA national event schedule, Will set the track record for speed, for either gender, at the quarter-miles at Phoenix Int’l Raceway (334.32 mph) and the Auto Club Raceway at Pomona, Calif. (334.56 mph). Will’s speedy blast in California established her as the fastest woman ever in drag racing. She and the KB Racing team were also the fastest of the racing weekend (tie) at the third event in Gainesville, Fla., with a 330.63 mph effort. They were again the fastest team of the fifth event in Las Vegas, at 331.85 mph. “We knew we had everything to win, and everything went our way (in Kansas),” Will said. “Thank you to all of our sponsors and everyone who has supported us and stuck with us. Now that we have gotten a win, I’m sure it’s just going to make us hungrier for more. “This is definitely the year of the woman racer. It’s an honor for me to be mentioned with all of the great women who have raced and won,” Will concluded. Write to Greg Zyla in care of King Features Weekly Service, P.O. Box 536475, Orlando, FL 32853-6475, or send an e-mail to gzyla@ptd.net.

A: Starting an exercise program can be a challenge. What to do, where to start and how to continue are some of the questions asked by people beginning an exercise routine. Let’s begin by taking one question at a time to help get you started. What to do? Oftentimes, this is the reason many people start and then quickly end their exercise regime. One way to answer this question is to ask, “What do I like to do?” If you can find a physical activity that you enjoy, or can tolerate doing, this is a great place to start. You might not mind walking, swimming, riding a bicycle or even playing tennis or shooting baskets. This can get you moving, and as you begin to move more and more, it may open you up to doing more exercise. If you begin an exercise program with activities you don’t enjoy or even despise, you may be able to grit your teeth and get through your workouts for a while, but you’ll soon lose interest and motivation. Find something you enjoy, and get moving. Where to start? Now that we have started to think about “what” we are going to do, it’s time to figure out how to begin. Start slow, but develop a schedule that can keep you

on task. If you wait for the time to magically appear for you to exercise, that time may never come. With hectic schedules and other priorities, scheduling time to exercise is imperative. Once you have scheduled the time, start with a few minutes of exercise and build on it. You might only be able to walk a few blocks your first couple of weeks, but as you become more conditioned and your body begins to adjust to your moving, you’ll find it easier to walk farther and farther. Start slow and continue to progress. How do I stay motivated? This has to be the hardest question of all. There are some people who truly do not like to exercise. If this is your situation, I would suggest understanding the importance of exercise first and why it is so important to your body. To stay motivated, solicit the help of friends or workout buddies. Develop a support system of people in your life who will not only verbally encourage you, but be willing to come by your house and pick you up when you are having a tough time getting yourself to exercise. Hiring a certified personal trainer is another greata option. Making a standing appointment with a personal trainer can help you create a system of accountability and also maximize your time while completing an exercise program designed personally for your goals. Exercise can be a challenge, but the benefits are worth every bead of sweat. Always consult a physician before beginning an exercise program. If you have a fitness or training question, write to Andrea in care of King Features Weekly Service, P.O. Box 536475, Orlando, FL 32853-6475

(c) 2008 King Features Synd., Inc.

It’s strawberry season, and time to try something new. So why not a soup that is cool, refreshing and different?

CHILLED STRAWBERRY SOUP

Ingredients

This This Spot Available (the ad spot, not the dog!) Spot Available

1/3 cup cold diet ginger ale 4 cups sliced fresh strawberries 1/4 cup fat-free half and half 1/3 cup Splenda 1 tablespoon lemon juice 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 3/4 cup plain fat-free yogurt 1/4 cup no-fat sour cream

In a blender container, combine diet ginger ale and strawberries. Cover and process on blend for 30 seconds or until mixture is smooth. Add half and half, Splenda, lemon juice and vanilla extract. Re-cover and process on blend for 15 seconds or until smooth. Pour mixture into a large bowl. Add yogurt and sour cream. Mix well using wire whisk. Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour. Makes 4 (1 cup) servings.

(not the puppy, the ad space)

(c) 2008 King Features Synd., Inc.

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Page 6

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Tidbits® of Ogden, North Davis and Morgan

Page 7

“There is a wonderful mythical law of nature that the three things we crave most in life -- happiness, freedom and peace of mind -- are always attained by giving them to someone else.”

-- General Peyton C. March

727-647-9039 Audit: VA Skews Waiting Times The Office of the Inspector General for the Department of Veterans Affairs has issued a report on yet another audit done on appointment waiting times for patients at VA medical centers. This new audit was done after allegations of continuing manipulation of data for patient waiting times in Veterans Integrated Service Network 3, the New York and New Jersey area. According to the report, scheduling procedures still aren’t being followed, and the stats are suspect. Highlights from the new report: • The OIG calculated that 28,000 veterans waited more than 30 days for appointments, and only 2,900 were reported. • Seventy-six percent of the schedulers said they’d used a desired appointment date later than the patient actually wanted, thereby skewing the numbers even more. • A clinic manager canceled appointments more than 30 days old and rescheduled them, making it look like patients weren’t waiting long for appointments. • One clinic didn’t input patients’ appointments until the day of the appointment, making it look there was a low wait time. Question: Did upper-level management receive bonuses based on phony low-wait-time numbers? The VHA Under Secretary for Health apparently didn’t like either the recommendations or the conclusion of the report, saying that singling out VISN 3 and holding it accountable is counterproductive. The OIG fired back, saying that, “We can only conclude that the VHA’s stated intention to correct recognized and longstanding problems is not sincere.” To read the whole report, go to www.va.gov and put this in the search box: Audit of Alleged Manipulation of Waiting Times in Veterans Integrated Service Network 3. Not to be missed: the OIG’s rebuttal to the Under Secretary’s response to the report. Despite of the seriousness of the topic, I found myself laughing out loud. 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. (c) 2008 King Features Synd., Inc.

• The next time you’re in New York City and feel like indulging yourself, you might want to consider stopping by the Wall Street Burger Shoppe. That’s the fine establishment where you can purchase the city’s most decadent -- and expensive -- hamburger. This luxury starts with a pure Kobe beef patty and is topped with aged Gruyere chesse, wild mushrooms, black truffles and foie gras, and the brioche bun is topped with flecks of gold leaf. The price tag for this extravagant indulgence? $175. • It was 17th-century Spanish writer Baltasar Gracian who made the following sage observation: “It is better to sleep on things beforehand than lie awake about them afterwards.” • If you’re like the average American, you eat roughly 17 pounds of potato chips every year.

• If you’ve ever been laid off work, you know what a terrible experience it can be. Imagine, though, how much more traumatic it could have been if your erstwhile employer didn’t even have the decency to tell you in person. That’s exactly what Radio Shack did a couple of years ago, firing 400 of its employees via e-mail. • Do you have a matutinal routine? Unless you’re a hard-core night owl, you probably do. “Matutinal” simply refers to something that occurs in the morning. • At one time, the game checkers was known as “chess for ladies.” • If you’re a man who shaves his face every day, you can figure that at an average of 10 minutes per shave, you spend 60 hours every year with a razor in your hand.

(c) 2008 King Features Synd., Inc.

HOLLYWOOD ... Many of you remember Omar Sharif. “Doctor Zhivago,” “Funny Girl,” “Lawrence of Arabia” and on and on. Curly black hair, a sexy smile, and a very fine actor. He also is known in the bridge-playing world as one of the best. Out of action for a while, he is now coming back to the big screen. Older, with graying hair, graying mustache and a graying beard, he will star as Libyan resistance leader Omar Mukhtar, “The Lion of the Desert.” A direct quote from Sharif: “I’m an old man now, and I’m trying to make films that mean something.” And just in case you didn’t know, he was born Michael Shalhoub in Alexandria, Egypt. AND from the pictures I have seen of him in recent years, he is still sexy! On Friday, Sept. 5, CBS, ABC and NBC will air the same program. It will be live and hosted by network anchors to raise money for cancer research. We’re on the brink, but not fully there yet. And every penny helps. The idea was set in motion by Katie Couric, Paramount Pictures’ Sherry Lansing and ICM executive Ellen Ziffren. Titled “Stand Up to Cancer,” watch it and give to it! Ted Danson and wife Mary Steenburgen have been happily married and living in the Malibu Colony. (That’s the posh, posh part of the posh Malibu area on the Pacific.) Now they have sold the Cape Cod-style manse for $18.5 million and will be moving. As of now, I do not know to where. But you do know, of course, that Ted played Sam the Bartender on “Cheers” for many years, making much moola. Mary also did very

well in several films and won an Oscar for her role in “Melvin and Howard.” For those of us who grew up on the “Mary Tyler Moore Show,” it was great to see the reunion on an Oprah outing. Mary, Ed Asner, Gavin MacLeod, Ted Knight, Valerie Harper, Betty White, Cloris Leachman and Georgia Engel. All a bit older, some with obvious face jobs, all hugging and kissing and reminiscing. And all still full of “spit and vinegar.” Give that one four big stars! Aside to Mildred F. of Kenner, La. You ask how long I think Harrison Ford can continue to play Indiana Jones. That’s a difficult one to answer. First, as long as he wants to, but second, how long will the powers that be want him to. I suppose they can come up with several more scripts as he ages. So, we’ll just have to wait and see. And yes, as far as I know, he and Calista are still together. *** BITS ‘N’ PIECES: Tickets are already on sale for Madonna’s Sticky and Sweet Tour, and it doesn’t happen until November. ... Warner’s is restoring “A Star Is Born” starring Judy Garland and James Mason. What a treat for a whole new generation! ... You don’t have to believe it, but it’s true. Early on, Sylvester Stallone was a beautician trainee. ... Sharon Stone is facing a boycott of her films in China after stating that she “didn’t like the way China was treating ethnic Tibetans,” AND then she added that she thought the recent devastating earthquake might be “karma.”

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INCREBLE

Fixing a Cracked Sidewalk

15 Acres Farm/Ranch Property in Huntsville Utah

By Samantha Mazzotta

Beautiful Huntsville Utah 15 Acre Property. Ready to be Subdivided.Located 50 miles North East of Salt Lake City.Pineview Reservoir,Snow Basin Mountain, Wolf Creek,Powder Mountain in Cr your back yard.

Q: Maybe it’s the weather up here, but every spring when the snow melts, I find another crack in the concrete walkway leading from my door to the driveway. How do I fix these, and can I prevent them from occurring? -Frank in Downeast Maine A: I’m not sure if there’s a surefire way to prevent cracks from appearing in a concrete surface. Even in more temperate areas, variable weather conditions, excessive dampness or extreme drought can hasten the deterioration of concrete. As long as the concrete is structurally sound -- there are no cracks going all the way to the bottom of the concrete, and the material is not crumbling away -- you can repair the surface cracks at the beginning of each warm season. If there are a lot of small cracks or rough patches, rather than repairing them individually, consider resurfacing the concrete to improve its overall appearance and extend the life of the walkway. To repair individual cracks, clean out loose material and dirt with a wire brush and a jet of water from the hose. Brush a layer of concrete bonding adhesive into the crack. Then, fill the crack with vinyl-reinforced patching compound and smooth out the surface. Let dry at least 24 hours. Resurfacing the walk takes a little more work, but costs much less than having the walk replaced. It also requires a bit more instruction than I can fit into one column, so for now, I recommend checking out home-improvement publications specifically addressing concrete resurfacing, including making cost and material estimates. This way, you can determine if the walk needs resurfacing, and whether you want to do it yourself or bring in a contractor.

HOME TIP: Allowing a concrete repair to cure properly is essential in order for the repair to last. Shield the area from direct sunlight and from rain, while allowing fresh air to circulate over the section.

Terms offered Contact Cathy Code 801-381-4825 or logon to www.stillstanding.info

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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) 2008 King Features Synd., Inc.

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Page 9

Medicare Won’t Pay for Hospital Errors Don’t Nix That Summer Vacation

Gas prices are keeping many families home this summer. But there are ways to reduce costs and still go on vacation. Here are some ideas: --Pick a vacation spot that doesn’t require any extra driving once you get there. All-in-one inclusive packages are great for this. If you want to see the local sights, the hotel might offer bicycles or mopeds for your use. --Check the price of renting an RV for one week, and ask about mileage: How far will you be able to travel on one tank of gas? Mark a circle on a map and see if there is a potential vacation spot within that area. With the RV you’ll save on motels and food as well. --If you drive your own car, you don’t have to travel far to get a real vacation feel. A rental cabin in the woods by a lake or at the shore could be affordable if you’re not spending hundreds of dollars for gas. If the lodging has a refrigerator and stove, your food costs will be dramatically reduced. --If your time is flexible, check LastMinuteTravel.com for low-cost travel. You won’t have much notice in many cases, and little choice about when to go, but if you’re adventurous and want to spend a few days in a new place, this is

an excellent way to sample travel destinations. An extra feature on the site is the maps showing motel locations. --Airfare Watchdog (www.airfarewatchdo g.com) is another good site for low fares. It tracks airlines, and if you sign up for alerts, you’ll get fast e-mail notification of fares from your departure city. --Bed and Breakfast (bedandbreakfast.com) is another site that will send alerts if you sign up. It’s not limited to bed and breakfast places either -- search the site for listings covering resorts, working ranches and farms, country inns and more. --Priceline.com is a good source for reduced-cost travel. You can choose your departure and destination cities, the dates you want to leave and return, and whether you want a car waiting at the other end. While the prices are likely to be the lowest available, it doesn’t hurt to directly call the individual motel, airline and car rental companies to see if you can get a better deal.

Here’s something of a shocker: There’s a proposal to deny Medicare payments to hospitals if they make a serious mistake with a patient’s treatment. I had assumed they wouldn’t be paid in the first place if they made errors. Under the proposal, starting in October, if errors are made, Medicare won’t pay the additional amounts to cover the cost of care for a condition the patient didn’t have when he entered the hospital. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services is adding to the list of conditions that are preventable if the hospital follows proper procedures in the first place. There’s even a name for it: Hospital Acquired Conditions. In 2007, according to a survey of 1,200 hospitals, 87 percent of hospitals did not follow recommendations that could have prevented common HACs. Some of the preventable conditions on the list include surgical site infections, lung collapse, ventilator-assisted pneumonia and staph infections.

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 columnreply@gmail.com.

Graham Johnson 801-513-9878 Wonder Woman and Super Kid

While your local Tidbits paper attempts to screen advertisers, we advise readers to use good judgement in responding to ad claims. Beware of “too good to be true” claims. Contact the appropriate consumer agency before sending payment. If a “company” offers you a loan for an advance fee, never, never send a payment, give credit card, bank account or personal information. For information on such loans, write FTS: Washington, DC, 20580. Phone numbers beginning with the “900” prefix are toll calls and you will be charged for calling such numbers.

PREGNANT? CONSIDERING ADOPTION? Talk with caring agency specializing in matching Birthmothers with Families nationwide. LIVING EXPENSES PAID. Call 24/7 Abby’s One True Gift Adoptions 866-413-6292

EDUCATION OCEAN CORP. Houston, TX. Train for NEW Career. *Underwater Welder. Commercial Diver. *NDT/Weld Inspector. Job placement and financial aid for those who qualify. 800-321-0298.

EMPLOYMENT TIDBITS IS HIRING! SALESPEOPLE wanted for advertising sales in Ogden and North Davis. Generous Commissions. Must have reliable car and cell phone. Call Graham at (801) 513-9878.

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.

(c) 2008 King Features Synd., Inc.

(c) 2008 King Features Synd., Inc.

ADOPTION

HealthGrades, a health-care rating system, says that hospital mistakes killed more than 270,000 Medicare patients between 2004 and 2006, at a cost of $8.8 billion. The types of mistakes made included complications from anesthesia, accidental puncture, bed sores, objects left in the body during surgery and reactions to transfusions. If all hospitals performed up to standard, 37,000 Medicare patient deaths could have been avoided. (To look for your local hospitals on the HealthGrades Web site, go to www.healthgrades.com.) The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has developed a Web site, Hospital Compare, to help us gather information about our local hospitals and to make choices based on that information. The site (www.hospitalcompare.hhs.gov) grades hospitals in 26 quality areas of patient care, with 10 categories on patient experiences.

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1. Carlton Fisk with 72. 2. Three -- San Diego (1988-89), Cleveland (1999-2000) and the Chicago White Sox (2003-04). 3. Jim Plunkett, Archie Manning and Dan Pastorini. 4. It was 1988. 5. The 1995-96 season. 6. Twice -- in 2005 and 2007. 7. Five -- (2003-07).

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I wasn’t wearing the cape or boots, but last week I attempted to be Wonder Woman. Summertime is generally busy with gettogethers, but usually reasonably spaced get-togethers. However, in true Wonder Woman fashion I planned two gatherings back-to-back. Both were very fun, but neither could have been pulled off without the help of my kiddos. They tidied and organized while I grocery shopped and cooked. And when my stress crease appeared across my forehead (I can thank my dad for this physical feature that we share), as it so often does when I’m readying for guests, my son and daughter reminded me that parties are supposed to be fun, not stressful. So we turned on the music, danced a little, and continued to work like busy bees -- Wonder Bees? But long after my kids were finished, I continued to do what I do when I get ready for a party -- I overprepare. “Mom, do you want to play a video game?” “I can’t right now,” I replied. “Let’s watch a movie together.” “After the party,” I said, knowing that after the party we would all collapse like a card table

ready to be put away in a closet. The Saturday after our gatherings, I took off for a quick trip to see relatives. The trip was with one of my children, who would have my time and attention for the three-hour car ride. I couldn’t put off interacting with my kid until I finished sweeping a floor or dusting a shelf. Of course, I couldn’t watch a movie or play a video game; after all, I was the driver. But I could listen. My child knew I was a captive audience. Sometimes parents have to get things done. That’s life, and kids do need to know that they are not always the center of the universe. But I realize as a parent I miss out just as much as my kids miss out when I’ve been too busy. “I feel comfortable with you right now, like I could tell you anything,” my daughter said about two hours into the trip. I readied myself for some juicy talk, but there was nothing earth-shattering, just day-in-dayout stuff. But if there had been something big and important to tell, I was finally present to listen. That must be a safe feeling for a kid, because I know as an adult it feels good to have someone fully present to listen to the big and important stuff as well as the mundane. Sometimes it takes a seatbelt, locked doors and a speed of 75 mph to get me to this place in my relationship with my children, where we are far away from playing Wonder Woman and Super Kid. (c) 2008 King Features Synd., Inc.

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Tidbits® of Ogden, North Davis and Morgan ALL THE PRESIDENTS’ TIDBITS

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GEORGE WASHINGTON

Jason Taylor Just Doesn’t Get It

BICYCLES (continued): • In the 1890s, the first “modern” bicycles appeared: chain-driven vehicles with similarly-sized tires. These were safer than the high-wheel models (and were even called “safety bicycles” as a result), but proved a step backwards in comfort. While the long spokes of high-wheel bikes absorbed bumps and ruts, the smaller wheels on these new bikes, particularly when coupled with the hard-rubber tires of the era, made for jarring, unpleasant rides. • More than a million bicycles were sold in the United States by the time 1895 rolled around, but one last improvement would propel the bicycle into the must-own category: the pneumatic tire. Under the guidance of the Pope Manufacturing Company (which made bicycles), the Hartford Rubber Works produced America’s first pneumatic tires in 1895. Providing a much softer ride, they soon became a standard feature on all bicycle models. • Dozens of smaller-scale improvements boosted the speed, comfort, longevity and performance of bicycles during the 20th century. As women began to find them as necessary as men, two varieties of bicycle were made. Men’s bikes were built with an extra stabilizer bar across the top of the bike. Women’s bikes omitted the bar, providing for easier mounting and dismounting of the vehicle when wearing skirts. • The 1970s saw the development of two bicycle extremes. First came bicycles that took you nowhere. Otherwise known as exercise bikes, these training aids first hit the home market at the beginning of the decade. Then, as time went on and the energy crisis sent fuel prices skyrocketing, mopeds appeared. These bicycle/motorcycle hybrids, most popular with city-centered business workers, could either be pedaled like a regular bike or powered using a small, low-powered gasoline engine.

Since the 2000 season, nobody in the NFL has recorded more sacks than Jason Taylor. A quick look at the record books shows Taylor holding at 100.5 sacks after last season and the Giants’ Michael Strahan (the guy you thought who had the most sacks during that time) at 89. The difference? Strahan has a ring, and Taylor’s Dolphins have gone exactly nowhere during that time. Taylor, however, is everywhere. Just turn on the TV and see for yourself. There’s Jason on “Dancing with the Stars.” There he is at his celebrity golf tournament in Vegas. There he is on “Extra,” talking about how he wants to be an actor after he retires. Where he isn’t at is the Dolphins’ training camp. If Taylor is still a Dolphin by the time this column is published, I’m going to have to say that Bill Parcells is getting soft in his advancing years. Dumping Taylor and his Hollywood image is just the sort of thing blue-collar Parcells and his new head coach, Tony Sparano, were brought in by the Fins to do. And seriously, what harm could it do? The Dolphins were 1-15 last season with Taylor. How much worse could they fare if they said “so long” to him and his Louis Vuitton baggage? Taylor, a six-time Pro Bowler, said he didn’t understand what all the fuss was about. Training for the dance show was a great off-season workout, he rea2nd Quarter 2006 soned. Week 22 “Everyone’s making this big thing about the May 28and - Jun off-season program all3that. But when I won Defensive Player of the Year [in Back Page 2006], I made less than half of the workouts in the off-season. ... [The Dolphins are] making a big deal about nothing,” Taylor blogged from the show’s backstage. A few weeks ago in an interview that ESPN described as Taylor’s way of “coming clean” to the press, Taylor said he “would love to be a Dolphin and win games and have it work out for everybody.” The problem is, Taylor is the one not working out. While the Dolphins’ mini-camps are not mandatory, Taylor was the only player who didn’t show. It’s no wonder Parcells gave him the cold shoulder when Taylor stopped in to say “hi” during a break in filming. A few days earlier, Taylor was in sequins dancing the mambo while the rest of his teammates were doing twoa-days. Taylor says he doesn’t get it. It’s not like he’s engaging in the self-destructive behavior plaguing much of the league’s younger players, he argues. That’s a point well-taken, and there’s little to criticize about Taylor’s game on the field. But he’s right about one thing: He clearly doesn’t get what’s going down in Miami -- his own stock. Mark Vasto is a veteran sportswriter and publisher of The Parkville (Mo.) Luminary. (c) 2008 King Features Synd., Inc.

1. In 2007, San Francisco’s Barry Bonds established the record for most home runs by a person 40 or older with 78. Who had held the mark? 2. On how many different teams did brothers Sandy Alomar Jr. and Roberto Alomar play together? 3. In the 1999 NFL Draft, quarterbacks went in the top three spots (Tim Couch, Donovan McNabb, Akili Smith) for the first time since 1971. Who were the top three then? 4. When was the last time before 2008 that the Cornell men’s basketball team made the NCAA Tournament? 5. Name the last season in which the Chicago Blackhawks won an NHL playoff series. 6. How many times has Tony Stewart won the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard at Indianapolis Motor Speedway? 7. Entering 2008, tennis star Roger Federer had won how many consecutive Wimbledon men’s singles titles? (c) 2008 King Features Synd., Inc.

He’s number one! So why does George Washington look so taciturn in all his portraits? No, he did not have wooden teeth, but he did wear ill-fitting dentures, so he rarely smiled. But he’d probably crack a grin if he knew that, nearly 220 years later, he’s still the only president to receive a unanimous vote of the Electoral College. • George Washington was born on February 22, 1732, in Westmoreland County, Virginia. His aristocratic family made their money in tobacco and timber, and so George’s limited formal education focused on mathematics (needed for farming) and the proper manners and demeanor of a gentleman of that era. Lessons in literature, language, and similar subjects were not considered vital to a young man destined to inherit a plantation. • At the age of 16, Washington took his first paying job as surveyor of Shenandoah Valley. He smartly invested his salary in plots of land. By age 21, he had purchased more than 1,500 acres of land using his earnings. Thanks to his math background and his surveying experience, George soon developed into an expert mapmaker. • In 1752, George took over an estate at Mount Vernon after his half-brother Lawrence passed away. Still in his early twenties, Washington was not only a member of the “landed gentry,” but he’d also inherited the appointment as adjutant in the Virginia militia. With no want of money, George quit his surveying job in order to concentrate on the new civic duties placed upon him. His math and land knowledge served him well, and Washington discovered he had a knack for military strategy while serving as a Lieutenant Colonel in the French & Indian War. • Washington left the Army and returned to Mount Vernon. He courted and eventually married Martha Dandridge Custis, a young attractive widow with two children. George felt that his public service was done, and he was looking forward to living the life of a gentleman farmer. But he couldn’t sit still while Great Britain continued to place severe restrictions on the American Colonies. • In June 1775, Washington was appointed Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army. He took control of an undisciplined army of 14,000 men and turned them into soldiers. As the American Revolution progressed, George’s troops experienced both triumphant victories and soul-crushing losses. Through them all, he demonstrated an uncanny knack for negotiations on all levels. He could persuade Congress just as well as he could deal with the local authorities in whatever tiny hamlet his troops happened to occupy. • The president personally visited each of the states to foster the transition to a stronger central government. While he had no plans to run for a second term, the French Revolution changed all that. When France declared war on Britain in 1793, our country needed strong leadership. Washington’s military experience was available if needed, but it was his skill as a negotiator that allowed the U.S. to remain neutral during the conflict. Many historians believed that this decision kept our young nation from certain trouble at one of the weakest moments in its history.

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Page 12

Tidbits® of Ogden, North Davis and Morgan Fly a Patriotic Windsock on the Fourth of July

It’s good to get out once in a while. Out of the house. Out of the neighborhood. And maybe even out of the country. That’s exactly what I did a few weeks ago when I traveled to France, Spain, Sweden and Russia. The inspiring mix of countries made for distinctly different languages, food, dress, politics and people. No matter where I went, I was always reminded of what country I was in by the colorful national flags that flew in the foreign skies. Fly your own “red white and blue” on the Fourth of July with this patriotic windsock that dances in the slightest summer breeze. With a little measuring, knotting, gluing and tearing, it’s an easy-to-do, fun project for the whole family.

Here’s how: MAKE a cylinder for the top of the windsock by rolling a 12-inch-by-18-inch sheet of blue craft foam, overlapping the shorter sides and gluing them together. Let dry. (Nontoxic tacky glue dries quicker than white craft glue.) CUT out stars from a sheet of white craft foam. Cookie cutters and stencils make great patterns. Glue the stars on the outside of the blue tube. For variety, make stars in large and small sizes. PUNCH four holes an equal distance apart from each other at the top of the tube. Loop and knot a 22-inch length of cording or ribbon through one hole, then knot the other end through the hole across from it. Repeat with a second length in remaining two holes. For a hanger, attach a metal loop onto both ribbons and knot in place. TEAR nine strips of red, white and blue fabric into lengths of 2 inches by 39 inches for the tail. Punch nine holes, spaced about 2 inches apart, around the bottom of the tube. Slip each strip in a hole and knot. Let your patriotic colors fly! Donna Erickson’s award-winning television series “Donna’s Day” airs on public television nationwide. Visit www.donnasday.com to find out when it airs on your local PBS station and to sign up for Donna’s e-newsletter.

(c) 2008 Donna Erickson / Distributed by King Features Synd.

EXPIRES FRIDAY, JUNE 27, 2008

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Neutered Male Cat Still Sprays By Samantha Mazzotta

DEAR PAW’S CORNER: One of my pet hamsters died just a week after I got it at the pet store. I would really like to know why it died, because the pet store would not tell me. The only clue I have is that it had a wet tail before it died. I’d like to get another hamster, but how do I know if I’m getting a healthy pet from the store? -- Hamster Lover

DEAR HAMSTER LOVER: That’s an important question, and one all potential hamster owners should pay attention to. Many, if not all, pet stores have “as is” policies regarding hamsters and other very small pets like goldfish, because so many of them fall ill or die soon after being purchased. But you certainly don’t want to bring home a hamster that’s already sick -- not only are you stuck with trying to make it well, but the illness can quickly spread among your other hamsters. When purchasing a new hamster, look for these telltale signs of illness or injury:

--Wet tail (indicates diarrhea, a clear symptom of illness or worms) --Lethargic, with dull eyes --Huddles in one corner for a long time, doesn’t respond quickly to being picked up or petted --Runny nose and watery eyes --Rough, matted or patchy fur --Bites or scratches from other hamsters If you notice any of these signs, don’t buy that hamster, and notify store management so that it can isolate the sick hamsters from the healthy ones. I also recommend that anyone wanting to keep a hamster collect as much information on caring for these small pets as possible. A smaller pet is not necessarily an easier pet to keep -- it depends entirely upon you for its health and welfare.

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(c) 2007 King Features Synd., Inc.

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Tidbits Issue 29