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ISSUE 2012.49

WAGE GARNISHMENTS FREE Consultation AFFORDABLE Wintry Facts pages 1-4

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by Kathy Wolfe

December History pages 7-8

Divorce - Immigration

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Baby, it’s cold outside! As we head into the season of cold temperatures, Tidbits presents some interesting and informative facts about winter. • For those of us in the northern hemisphere, the first day of winter is the day the sun is farthest south, on either December 21 or 22. Also known as the Winter Solstice, it’s the shortest day of the year, with about 9.5 hours of daylight. • A snowflake starts out as an ice crystal that freezes around a tiny piece of dust in the air. It can be just one ice crystal, or as it falls, several crystals can join together. There are always six sides, and although two snowflakes may be very similar, none are exactly the same. The shape and form are dependent on the temperature, water vapor in the air, moisture content of the cloud, the wind, and the length of time it takes to reach the ground. Extremely cold weather produces very fine, powdery snowflakes, while temperatures near the freezing point cause much larger and more complex ones. The average snowflake falls at the rate of about 3.1 mph (5 km/hr) and it can take several hours for one to make it to the ground.

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WINTRY FACTS (continued): • The Guinness World Book of Records cites the world’s largest snowflake ever recorded as one that fell in Fort Keogh, Montana in January of 1887. This giant was 15 inches (38 cm) wide and 8 inches (20 cm) thick. • Although you might think every big snowstorm is a blizzard, the National Weather Service has a specific definition of one. The storm must contain “large amounts of snow or blowing snow, with winds in excess of 35 mph (56 km/ hr) and visibilities of less than _ mile (.4 km) for at least three hours.” • Those folks who are afraid of snow are called chionophobics. Their greatest fear is of being snowbound or stranded. A forecast of a winter storm can bring on cold sweats, racing heartbeat, and panic attacks. • The wind chill factor is the temperature felt on exposed skin due to wind. The wind chill index was developed by two Antarctic explorers in the 1940s, who experimented with how fast water froze in differing temps and wind speeds. This was then compared with the rate that the body loses heat. If the temperature is 0° F (-18° C) and the wind is blowing 30 mph (48 km/hr), it will feel like the temperature is -26° F (-32° C). Skin exposed to 0° F and only 15 mph (24 km/hr) will experience a wind chill of -19° F (-28° C) can freeze in as little as 30 minutes. • Hypothermia is a very real danger in many parts of the country this time of year. This condition occurs when the body’s temperature drops below 95° F (35° C). As the temperature decreases, the body automatically directs blood away from the skin, increasing flow to the vital

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¥ On Dec. 22, 1808, Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony has its world premiere in Vienna. The concert venue was freezing cold and the orchestra played poorly enough to force the nearly deaf composer -- also acting as conductor and pianist -- to stop the ensemble partway into one passage and start again from the very beginning. ¥ On Dec. 17, 1903, near Kitty Hawk, N.C., Orville and Wilbur Wright make the first successful flight of a self-propelled aircraft. Orville piloted the gasoline-powered, propeller-driven biplane, which stayed aloft for 12 seconds and covered 120 feet on its inaugural flight. ¥ On Dec. 19, 1917, four teams of the National Hockey League play the league’s first two games. At the time of its inception, the NHL was made up of the Canadiens and the Wanderers (both of Montreal), the Ottawa Senators, the Quebec Bulldogs and the Toronto Arenas. ¥ On Dec. 23, 1968, the crew and captain of the U.S. intelligence gathering ship Pueblo are released after 11 months imprisonment by the government of North Korea. The ship, and its 83-man crew, was seized by warships on Jan. 23 and charged with intruding into North Korean waters. ¥ On Dec. 21, 1970, rock star Elvis Presley pays a surprise visit to President Richard Nixon at the White House to discuss the war on drugs. Presley apparently was not searched before being granted admission: Upon meeting Nixon, he presented the president with a gift -a World War II-era Colt .45 pistol. ¥ On Dec. 20, 1989, “Roger & Me,” a documentary by Michael Moore about his quest to interview Roger Smith, then chairman and chief executive officer of General Motors, opens in theaters. The film examines the devastating impact on the people of Moore’s hometown of Flint, Mich., following the closing of several General Motors auto plants in the area. (c) 2012 King Features Synd., Inc.

1. GENERAL KNOWLEDGE: What is a philographist? 2. TELEVISION: Which actor played the character of ÒFonzieÓ on ÒHappy DaysÓ? 3. LITERATURE: Who wrote the childrenÕs book ÒMatildaÓ? 4. GEOGRAPHY: What tiny principality lies between Spain and France? 5. MYTHOLOGY: In Greek mythology, what was the Hydra? 6. FOOD & DRINK: What is muesli? 7. ART: Where is the Uffizi museum? 8. MEASUREMENTS: What does a kelvin measure? 9. MOVIES: What spell is used to disarm opponents in the ÒHarry PotterÓ movies? 10. ANATOMY: Where is the latissimus dorsi muscle located on the human body?

by Freddy Groves

Hurry Up and Wait, Wait, Wait

The plan was for the Department of Veterans Affairs to be caught up on the backlog of veterans’ claims by 2015. By then, it was hoped, all claims would be wrapped up within 125 days. To track how the VA is doing, the nonprofit Center for Investigative Reporting has put together a self-updating map showing, via circles of varying sizes, the number of veterans awaiting resolution of their claims. Click on a circle and the corresponding information appears below the map. The numbers for certain big-circle areas show that they’re still struggling to get claims completed. In St. Petersburg, Fla., there are 46,366 veterans waiting. Of those, 30,321 are past the 125-day mark, with the average wait time being 270 days. Baltimore has 19,662 veterans waiting, and 16,472 have waited more than 125 days, with the average claim time running at 343 days. Granted, in some of the high-population areas it might be said that the VA is overwhelmed: too many claims and too few workers. But not all areas have high population density. Some of the communities are downright small. White River Junction, Vt. -- As expected, this rural area doesn’t have many veterans. Specifically, it has 969 veterans awaiting claims. Why, then, are 589 of those veterans waiting an average of 239 days on their claims? Appeals average 1,084 days. Then there’s little Fargo, N.D. -- Of 1,066 veterans with claims, 292 of them have waited more than 125 days, with the average wait time being 146 days. Appeals average 1,248 days -that’s almost 3 1/2 years! To see the stats on your regional office area, go online to and click on “Returning Home to Battle,” then click on the backlog map. Write to Freddy Groves in care of King Features Weekly Service, P.O. Box 536475, Orlando, FL 32853-6475, or send e-mail to (c) 2012 King Features Synd., Inc.

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participate in 16 different events. Finland and Norway took the majority of the 43 medals, Norway with 17 and Finland, 11. The United States took home four medals, and Canada took home one, the gold for hockey, the first of a streak. Out of the first seven Olympic winter games, Canada took the gold medal in hockey six times.

organs. Since the heart and brain are the most sensitive to cold, a slowdown occurs in their electrical activity. Thinking and reasoning are affected, and the person has the desire to sleep as delirium sets in. When the body’s temperature reaches about 82° F (28° C), the heart rate substantially slows down, and if the temperature reaches 68° F (20° C) brain • Squaw Valley, California was the site of the 1960 Winter Olympics, and the skiers were function stops. About half of all hypothermia more than a little nervous as the competition deaths are people over 60 years old, with 75% approached. The reason? There was no snow! of these occurring in men. A local Native American tribe, the Piute, • It’s been a long time since the record for a single were recruited to do a “snow dance,” and a day’s snowfall was set in the United States. miraculous storm produced the snow needed Back in December of 1913, Georgetown, to save the Games. Colorado received 63 inches (1.6 meters) in one day. Canada’s record is much newer – 57 • More than 150 people are killed in the world’s avalanches each year. Although many are inches (1.45 meters) fell in Tahtsa Lake West, small slides of dry powdery snow that don’t British Columbia in 1999. January of 1911 was create much damage, when large slabs of snow a record-setting month in Tamarack, California loosen from a mountainside, they can advance – 390 inches (9.9 meters) of snow in a single down a slope at speeds of 80 mph (130 km/ month! Valdez, Alaska is the snowiest place in hr) within five seconds. About 93% of those the U.S., averaging 326 inches (8.3 meters) a caught in an avalanche can survive if rescued year. within 15 minutes. Just 30 minutes later, that • Bethel, Maine’s claim to fame is tall snow survival rate drops to 20%-30%. After two creatures! In 1999, the community planned hours, the rate is almost nil. for five months and labored 15 days to create Angus, a 113’ 7” (34.63 meter) tall snowman, the world’s tallest, overtaking the previous record set by the citizens of Yamagata, Japan, of 96’ 7”. Nine years later, Bethel rivaled their own record with the world’s tallest snow woman, a 122’ 1” (37 meters) creation named Olympia. Olympia sported eyelashes made from skis and lips fashioned from bright red painted tires. Her arms were crafted from pine trees.

• Canadians are experts at making snow angels. In 2004, students, parents, and teachers from 60 schools in the London, Ontario district hit the ground to create 15,851 snow angels simultaneously. In 2011, 22,022 folks in 130 separate locations in Nova Scotia produced the most angels in multiple locations. • Chamonix, France hosted the first Winter Olympics for 11 days in early 1924. Sixteen nations sent a total of 258 athletes to “The International Winter Sports Week” to



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The Diamond Gates In the Christian legend, when a person dies they are called up to the big leagues -- in this case, Heaven. But, like most things in life, it’s not so simple to get past the gatekeeper, who in this story is St. Peter, one of the original apostles and the first Catholic Pope. It is there that you will be judged. The upside to the deal is if you get in, you’re there for eternity. The downside means you get sent down to Hell, where you burn in fire and are tortured relentlessly. Again, the time period being eternity. Those are some pretty heavy stakes. All I know is, when it’s my turn to appear before St. Peter, I want Marvin Miller by my side. The guy knows a thing or two about breaking out of what would appear to be an eternal contract, and he’s already dealt with the devil that was Charlie Finley. Miller also is, presumably, already up in the big ball orchard in the sky, having passed away the morning of this writing at the age of 95. Miller is generally regarded as one of the most important people in baseball history, up there with Hall of Famers Babe Ruth and Jackie Robinson. Unlike those two, however, Miller never swung a bat in a Major League game. He did, however, swat down some of the most unfair business practices American sports had ever known -- namely the lack of arbitration and the unfair application of the reserve clause. It’s hard to believe it now, but there was a time when players were forbidden to have an agent negotiate contracts. Guys like Mickey Mantle and Sandy Koufax had to literally go to their general managers office with hat in hand and take whatever was offered to them. Further, they believed that they had the right to activate a reserve clause that would keep the player of their choice in bondage for eternity (or at least the end of their career). Curt Flood became the first free agent in 1972, but for baseball, the levee really broke when Charlie Finley failed to honor his contract with Catfish Hunter. Hunter, considered one of the best pitchers in the league, became a free agent and signed with the Yankees. Spurned, Finley went back to his evil lair and came up with a solution: Let all of the players declare free agency! Open up the floodgates and then owners would again be able to set their price and keep salaries down. Chaos is the devil’s tool, and Miller made sure to keep the players union in good graces by staggering free agency, allowing players to receive whatever the market would bear, resulting in the perfect, heavenly, devil-may-care panacea that is today’s game of baseball. So hats off to Marvin Miller ... from the baseball diamond to the pearly gates? Well, he was Jewish, but I think those matters can be sorted out up there. He’s got a pretty solid set of negotiation skills, after all. Mark Vasto is a veteran sportswriter who lives in Kansas City. (c) 2012 King Features Synd., Inc. To scan this QR Code, download ScanLife on you smart phone from your app store and follow the on-screen instructions.

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Five to Watch in 2013 Brad Keselowski’s against-all-odds run to the Sprint Cup championship breathed new life into a Sprint Cup Series landscape in which no one other than Jimmie Johnson or Tony Stewart had won a championship in seven years. The championship gives Keselowski, 28, a status that can’t be bought or promoted. He wasn’t merely the champion. He became NASCAR’s man to watch. There will be others, if for no other reason than because 2013 will be a new year. Everyone knows that Keselowski, Johnson and Stewart -- not to mention Jeff Gordon, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kyle Busch, Denny Hamlin, Matt Kenseth and the rest -- will play major roles in the next season. Who else will the cameras favor? CLINT BOWYER Surprise! It was Bowyer, not Johnson, who finished second to Keselowski. The two are similarly personable and, at times, similarly controversial. Bowyer will undoubtedly be a popular dark horse when predictions are made regarding 2013. CARL EDWARDS Three times (2005, ‘08, and ‘11) Edwards contended for championships. In each case, he slumped the following year. In each case, he came back part of the way the next season and made a title run the third. If the pattern holds, he’ll make the Chase again next year. RICKY STENHOUSE JR. Stenhouse, with two Nationwide Series championships in tow, is well prepared for the big time. Replacing Kenseth at Roush Fenway isn’t going to be easy. He will probably have his struggles, but few would be surprised to see him in victory lane. JOEY LOGANO Five years ago, the betting line would have favored Logano to win a championship ahead of Keselowski. Now, at the well-seasoned age of 22, Logano is Keselowski’s teammate, and the plan is for the two to give Roger Penske a cohesive team as well as a title. DANICA PATRICK The evidence suggests she is far from ready to be a competitive force in Sprint Cup, but the money is there and she has a full-time Cup ride teaming with Stewart and Ryan Newman. She’s getting better, but the learning curve has to accelerate quickly. *** Monte Dutton covers motorsports for The Gaston (N.C.) Gazette. E-mail Monte at

1. Is the book of Matthew in the Old or New Testament or neither? 2. Who was Herod’s information source as to where the Christ Child was to be born? Joseph, Reuben, Micah, Matthew 3. From Luke 2:13, what term describes an army of angels praising God? Heavenly host, Covenant, Spirit multitude, Manoah 4. What group received the angels’ announcement of the birth of Jesus? Carpenters, Shepherds, Tentmakers, Masons 5. Where was the young child when the Magi came to visit Him to present gifts? Manger, Under the stars, House, Temple 6. From Matthew 2, to what country did Mary, Joseph and the Baby Jesus flee? Jordan, Syria, Oman, Egypt


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What Keeps Us Young? A recent British study showed how those over 50 can stay young. American seniors aren’t so different, are we? Maybe we can learn a few things from their list of preferred activities across the pond. Food was big on the list. Trying new food, and eating sweets, spicy dishes and chocolate were all favored. To that I would add trying a new restaurant. Reading books that are challenging -perhaps exploring new authors or another genre entirely -- offers brain stretching. Beating younger relatives at games and socializing with grownup children and grandkids, perhaps at a first-run movie in the theater, helps us learn what they’re thinking and talking about. Playing practical jokes and watching stand-up comedy points to the necessity of finding things to laugh about. Exercise wasn’t left off the list. Yoga, Zumba, salsa dancing and cycling were favorites. One of the most popular ways to stay young, according to the survey, is to surf the Web, as it combines many favorite activities. That means owning electronic gadgets -- computers, e-readers like Kindle and iPhones (including apps) and iPads. These are all ways to connect and stay front and center in what’s going on in the world. Facebook can be a fun way to keep in touch online, as long as we’re aware of the dangers and use the right settings to control who accesses the page. Twitter can be challenging for those brave souls who can handle the flow of messages. One very notable characteristic of those in the survey: 40 percent considered themselves to be rebellious. We’re not afraid to think out of the box, are we? 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 (c) 2012 King Features Synd., Inc.

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Three times now, Carl Edwards has contended for the championship one season only to slump the next. If the pattern holds true, he’ll be one to watch in 2013. (John Clark/NASCAR This Week photo)



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CHICHEN ITZA Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula is home to the ancient ruins of the most famous Mayan city, Chichen Itza. Here are some enlightening facts about this site, named as one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. • One of the largest Mayan cities, Chichen Itza covered an area of at least 1.9 square miles (5 sq. km). It was an active urban center of the Mayan empire from 750 to 1200 A.D.

falls on the pyramid that makes it appear that and human skeletons. the serpent Kukulkan is making its way down • It’s evident that human sacrifices were part the stairway. Seven interlocking triangles form of the culture. Chichen Itza, which translates a serrated line that resembles the serpent’s tail. “mouth of the well,” was settled around two • El Castillo was not the first temple to occupy wells, one a sacred place, and the other for the site. Built sometime between 1000 and 1200 everyday use. Large quantities of bones and A.D., it was constructed on the foundation of ceremonial objects have been recovered from previous temples. Archaeological digs in the the sacred well during excavation. 1930s uncovered another staircase under the • About 1.2 million tourists visit Chichen Itza north side of the pyramid, and continuing the every year. Until 2006, visitors were allowed dig, found another temple buried below. to walk through the buildings’ ruins and climb

• Near the pyramid is a large ball court, 554 feet (168 meters) long and 231 feet (70 meters) wide. It was here that Mayan men played pok ta pok, a game in which players hit or threw a 12-lb. (5.4-kg) rubber ball through a hoop mounted high on the wall, 23 feet (7 meters) above the ground. Archaeologists believe the losers were put to death. • The most familiar structure at Chichen Itza is the Kukulkan Pyramid, also known as El • Nearly everyone has heard the Mayan Castillo. This 98-foot (30-m) tall ceremonial prophecy of the end of the world occurring in temple is a specimen of this civilization’s December of 2012. The prediction is that the development of the 365-day calendar. It has great warrior serpent Kukulkan will rise from 365 steps rising to the top, with each of its four the ground under the ball court and end the sides containing 91 steps and the top platform world on the 22nd of the month. making the 365th. Enormous sculptures of a • Very large gatherings were held at the Temple serpents’ heads are at the base of the pyramid of the Warriors, an enormous complex with a on the northern staircase, the principal sacred large stepped pyramid, four platforms, and 200 path to the top. The temple is geographically carved columns. Thousands of artifacts have positioned so that twice a year, on the spring been recovered from the area, including gold, and autumn equinoxes, at sunset, a shadow carved jade, pottery, obsidian, rubber, flint, • The ancient Mayan civilization displayed brilliant mathematical and astronomical skills. They were keen observers of the sun, moon, planets, and stars, even predicting solar eclipses from their state-of-the-art observatory, El Caracol, which still stands at the site today.

the pyramids. However, after a woman fell to her death from El Castillo that year, people are no longer permitted on the structures.

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IN TIDBITS! THIS IS A HAMMER By Samantha Mazzotta Essential Gifts for Do-ItYourselfers It’s that time of year again, when you’ve got to think of gifts for friends and family that will be appreciated. Luckily, it’s easy to pick out gifts for the do-it-yourselfers. Most DIYers will outright tell you what they need, or you can casually survey their workspace to see what is not there. If you’re a DIYer who really wants something, here are a few things you can drop a hint about: --Power tools: The key word with handheld power tools is “rechargeable.” While corded power tools provide a consistent flow of electricity and reliable power, cordless drills are DIYers’ go-to standard because they can simply pull them off the charger and use them anywhere, no need to look for an outlet or extension cord. Prices: $40 to $249 --Portability: Most DIYers have more than one toolbox and, as their tool collection grows, they’re always on the lookout for one that meets their carry-around needs. Consider tucking a spare tool belt and some basic staples like a tape measure and screwdriver set into a durable toolbox. Prices: $8 to $90 --Spares: While it’s impossible to have an extra of everything, extra screws, nuts, bolts, nails and other hardware are essential

to have around. Look for combination kits like picture hanger assortments, specialty nail and screw sizes, and cabinet and drawer hardware like handles and hinges for emergency repairs. --Cleanup: A wet/dry vacuum is an important and versatile part of any workshop. If your DIYer doesn’t have one of these yet, there are affordable models available. Prices: $49 to $400 HOME TIP: “I never ask my husband directly what tools or items he wants for Christmas. Instead, I ask him about the project he’s working on. There’s always some tool or part he’s missing; I just note it down and buy it for him.” -- Tara L., Richmond, Va. My new e-book, “101 Best Home Tips,” is available to download on Amazon Kindle! Pick it up or gift it today for just 99 cents! Send your questions or comments to ask@ (c) 2012 King Features Synd., Inc.

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Get yours today at these fine retailers-

-jensen arms -colour u tan -liberty usa arms -p.m. guns & supplies


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For Advertising Call Dan at (970) 658-6347

FT COLLINS 4643 S Mason St . . . . . . . 1612 N College Ave K . . . . 1075 Pennock Place . . . . . 2567 S Shields . . . . . . . . .

970-223-6656 970-221-9090 970-221-3948 970-224-2225

LOVELAND 2188 W Eisenhower Blvd . . 970-203-9999 237 E 29th St . . . . . . . . . . 970-203-1111

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1. Name the only stadium that is currently home to an NFL team and a majorleague baseball team. 2. Who played more games with one team: Brooks Robinson or Robin Yount? 3. Name the first team in college football history to be voted a unanimous No. 1 in both the media and coaches polls. 4. When was the last time the Hawks were in the NBA Finals? 5. Name the last time an NHL team won the Stanley Cup while having no player reach the 60-point mark during the regular season. 6. What was the last vehicle other than a Toyota to win a NASCAR Truck series race at Daytona International Speedway? 7. Name the last married woman to win a singles title at Wimbledon.

Find the Right Gifts for Dogs or Cats

PAW’S CORNER By Sam Mazzotta

fur from, and stuffing that can’t be easily pulled out and chewed DEAR PAW’S CORNER: My on. daughter and her family have --Cat furniture: From a simple two big dogs and a cat. I like padded windowsill seat to giving gifts to the pets as well “kitty condo” play complexes as my grandkids. Do you have that cats can wander through, any suggestions? -- Tammy, via cat owners appreciate these email combination scratching posts and rest areas. DEAR TAMMY: Anything that --Travel safety: A number of looks cozy, fun and safe for products have come on the pets is a good bet. I’ve always market to keep dogs and cats appreciated even small gifts like safe in the car, from traditional a cute bandanna for my dog or travel crates to adapted seat small catnip toys for my cat. If belts that keep Fido securely in you’re looking for gifts beyond his seat. stocking stuffers, here are --Toys: For your daughter’s some that most pet owners will big dogs, sturdy chew toys are appreciate: probably welcome. I still really --Dog and cat beds: These like Kong chew toys, which are range in price from about nearly impossible to damage $15 on up to a few hundred and can be filled with peanut dollars. Look for a sturdy fabric butter or another treat. For cats, covering that is easy to brush

something beyond the catnip mouse could include one of Bergan’s “Turbo Tracks,” in which a ball inset in a round or figure-eight track scoots around with every swipe of the paw. No matter which gift you choose, or if you decide to just give small, inexpensive gifts to your daughter’s pets, I’m sure they’ll be appreciated. Send your questions or comments to ask@pawscorner. com, or write to Paw’s Corner, c/o King Features Weekly Service, P.O. Box 536475, Orlando, FL 32853-6475. For more pet care-related advice and information, visit www. (c) 2012 King Features Synd., Inc.


Pet Club S. Ft. Collins 2226 E. Harmony RD. Fort Collins, CO 80528

(970) 226-1300

Pet Club Fort Collins 1107 W. Drake Rd. Fort Collins, CO 80526

(970) 204-4800

the men winners.

¥ It was the third president of the United States, Thomas Jefferson, who made the following observation: “The man who reads nothing at all is better educated than the man who reads nothing but newspapers.” ¥ Those who study such things say that a rainbow can’t be seen at midday; the optical phenomena are visible only in the morning or in the late afternoon. ¥ In 1982, a radio station in Allentown, Pa., thought its rating could use a bit of a boost, so it came up with a contest: Three contestants, selected at random, would live on top of one of the station’s billboards (portable toilets and sleeping bags were provided). The last one to give up would be awarded a mobile home. The problem was, nobody wanted to give up. The three men who climbed to the top of the sign at the end of September were still there come March 1983. In that month, one of the contestants was arrested for dealing drugs, but the remaining two stayed aloft until May. Once the freezing winter was finally over, the radio station decided to declare both of

¥ As the end of the year approaches, you might consider an old British tradition of fortune-telling. Light a candle, place it on the floor and jump over it. If the flame does not go out, you’re likely to enjoy good luck during the coming year. ¥ If you’re like the average American, you use between 75 and 100 gallons of water every day. ¥ The Sahara Desert is nearly as large as the continental United States. *** Thought for the Day: “If at first you don’t succeed, try again. Then quit. No use being a damn fool about it.” -W.C. Fields (c) 2012 King Features Synd., Inc.

Walker Realty Group’s ¥ Need a quick batch of cookies? Keep a box mix of cake on hand. Instead of the listed ingredients, add two eggs and a half-cup of oil to the mix. Mix and shape, then bake at 350 degrees F for 10 minutes. They are really good, and you can get pretty creative.

For hundreds of Northern Colorado families, the holidays are a hard time to celebrate. This year, you can help deliver joy and cheer to local needy children and their families.

¥ Inexpensive gift idea: cute holiday coffee mug with a bar of chocolate, a packet of hot cocoa or instant coffee, a peppermint stick and a decorative holiday pick or spray. Place inside a gallon-size zipper-top bag, tie with a ribbon, then trim off the zipper-top, leaving just the plastic. Looks nice. ¥ Instead of going out and buying extra items to have on hand for guests, just borrow from your neighbors. Extra towels, place settings, silverware, kitchen appliances: It’s a pretty good bet that someone on your street has it for you to borrow. If you don’t know your neighbors well enough to ask, maybe you should start planning a get-to-know-you party right now. ¥ Inexpensive gift idea: On the front of an empty photo album or scrapbook, print out and arrange color photos of your recipient in a collage. Glue the photos to the front of the album and cover with a decoupage glaze, like Mod Podge. Let dry and glaze again. You’ve just made a one-of-a-kind gift! ¥ “When holiday cookie time comes, I keep a plastic pitcher of hot water in the sink. I toss cookie cutters into it when I am done with them, so the corners are soaking. They really seem to only need a rinse and a quick brushoff afterward. Mine don’t get caked up with dough.” -- Jill C., via email Send your tips to Now Here’s a Tip, c/o King Features Weekly Service, P.O. Box 536475, Orlando, FL 32853-6475 or e-mail JoAnn at

Drop off any new toy OR new or gently used children’s coats, gloves, & winter hats. We’ll also be accepting canned goods at one of our sponsor locations listed below to be distributed to the needy children of Northern Colorado.

All Toys Donated Will Be Given To Families and Victims of the High Park Fire DROP OFF LOCATIONS:

Walker Realty Group · 2625 Redwing Road, Suite 315, Fort Collins Fidelity National Title · 343 W. Drake Road, Suite 200, Fort Collins Fidelity National Title · 3003 E. Harmony Road, Suite 100, Fort Collins Cool Berry Yogurt (3 locations) · 1135 Eagle Drive, Loveland/238 E. Harmony Road, Fort Collins/1180 Main Street, Windsor Touch of Style · 2293 W. Eisenhower Blvd., Loveland Aqua Bay Tans · 2293 W. Eisenhower Blvd., Loveland

Proudly Sponsored by Your Friend and Partner in Real Estate: Leanne Walker, Broker/Owner Cell: 970.690.8111 . Office: 720.341.8127 2625 Redwing Road, Suite 315, Fort Collins, CO 80526

(c) 2012 King Features Synd., Inc. Magic Maze

Answers 1. The Oakland Coliseum (A’s and Raiders). 2. Robinson played 2,896 games with the Orioles; Yount played 2,856 games with the Brewers. 3. Southern Cal, in 1972. 4. In 1961, the Hawks (then in St. Louis) lost to Boston in five games. 5. The New Jersey Devils in 2003. 6. Mark Martin drove a Ford to victory at Daytona in 2006. 7. Chris Evert Lloyd, in 1981. (c) 2012 King Features Synd., Inc.

BIBLE TRIVIA ANSWERS: 1) New; 2) Micah; 3) Heavenly host; 4) Shepherds; 5) House; 6) Egypt Wilson Casey’s trivia book “Know It? ... or Not?” is available from (c) 2012 King Features Synd., Inc.

Answers 1. Someone who collects autographs 2. Henry Winkler 3. Roald Dahl 4. Andorra 5. A many-headed monster whose heads could grow back if they were cut off 6. Breakfast cereal with fruit and nuts 7. Florence, Italy 8. Temperature 9. ÒExpelliarmus!Ó 10. Back (c) 2012 King Features Synd., Inc.

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