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July 23-29, 2011

Issue #2

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“Summertime, and the livin’ is easy” goes the old Gershwin song. This week, Tidbits brings out all kinds of summer facts to get you through these long, hot days. • “Roll out those lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer,” crooned Nat King Cole in 1963 when this catchy tune hit the Billboard charts. Cole further vocalized about a “romantic moon, bikinis, picnic baskets, soda, pretzels and beer,” closing out with, “You’ll wish that summer could always be here.” • Relatively unknown July observances include Anti-Boredom Month, National Baked Bean Month and National Tennis Month. And don’t forget National Tapioca Pudding Day on July 15! • August is the time to celebrate National Catfish Month, International Clown Week, National Smile Week, Romance Awareness Month and Elvis Week. Unusual August observances include Sneak Some Zucchini onto Your Neighbor’s Porch Night, National Cherry Popsicle Day and National Marshmallow Day. • Every August, Sun Prairie, Wisconsin, is home to the Sweet Corn Festival. The town of 26,300 welcomes about 100,000 people from all over the Midwest and serves up more than 70 tons (63.5 metric tons) of sweet corn over the weekend. turn the page for more!

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Tidbits® of Michigan SUMMERTIME (continued):

Dogs Help Bring Neighbors Together By Sam Mazzotta

Dear Paw’s Corner: I just wanted to send you a note about something that occurred to me this morning. I was out for my morning run, and on almost every block I found myself waving and smiling to neighbors who were out walking their dogs. I take my own dog, “Riley,” out very early each morning, but at 11 years of age he’s gotten too old to go running with me. Still, it struck me today how many of my neighbors I’ve gotten to know just because we’re all fellow dog owners. Even if we don’t have long conversations, we all have commiserated over the chore of dragging ourselves out of bed early to walk our dogs, or chatted about how nice (or horrible) the weather is. I realized today that I’m acquainted with at least one person on every street that’s part of my running route.

It’s just a nice thought I had about how dogs bring people together. Hope - Riley’s Mom in Albuquerque you agree!

Dear Riley’s Mom: That is a fantastic thought! I sometimes wonder about the friendships I might not have made if it weren’t for my pets. I also think that seeing the same owners and their dogs every day is great for the dog, as well. We stop to catch up on gossip and weather, and our dogs get a chance to catch up on ... well, whatever they learn from sniffing each other. At any rate, it’s a chance for both dogs and owners to socialize and stay friendly with the neighbors. 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 carerelated advice and information, visit www.pawscorner.com. (c) 2011 King Features Synd., Inc.

• According to the ancient Gregorian calendar, July was the fifth month and consequently was called Quintilis, the Roman word for “fifth.” When the Romans later moved the beginning of the year from March 1 to January 1, July became the seventh month. Because Julius Caesar was born during this month, the Roman Senate changed the name to July. • July is a big month for Independence Days — the U.S. celebrates on July 4, while Canada observes July 1. National independence is observed on July 5 in Venezuela, on July 9 in Argentina and July 14 in France. The holiday in Belgium is July 21 and in Peru, July 28. • The first patent ever registered in the United States was in July of 1790 and was granted to Samuel Hopkins for his new process of making potash, an ingredient in soap, glass and gunpowder. • When the minimum wage was established in America in July of 1933, you could expect to earn 33 cents an hour. • The name of Rod Laver is not a familiar one unless you are an avid tennis fan. In July of 1969, Laver became the first person to win four Wimbledon titles. • International Lefthanders Day is set aside every August 13 for the estimated 13 percent of the world’s population who is left-handed. Lefthanders International publishes a magazine and offers a catalog packed full of products aimed at “lefties.” • According to legend, St. Lawrence of Rome, a friend to the poor, was roasted to death on an iron grill for distributing church property to

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Don’t Let Down Your Financial Guard Depending on which pundit you listen to, the news on the economic front still isn’t good. Purchases of homes are still down. There was a small upward blip in advance of the tax credit for homebuyers coming to an end, but then the figures and prices fell again. Consumer confidence is still down, and not too many people are expecting to buy big-ticket items soon. Still, if you know where to look and are willing to take small changes as indications of a recovering economy, it’s possible to find hope: ▶ More shipping containers are being processed in ports. More trucking companies are hiring drivers. Stores wouldn’t be ordering merchandise unless there was an indication that consumers will buy. ▶ Small local banks in many parts of the country are posting profits again, no longer barely hanging on. ▶ In a survey by Advantage magazine of small business owners comparing 2010 with 2011, fewer owners think we’re still in a recession,

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a higher number expect revenue to be as good as last year, the majority plan to keep staff and approximately one-quarter even plan to hire. ▶ Divorce rates are rising again. Think about it: It takes some confidence in the financial aspect of one’s life to file for divorce. There’s the house (Will it sell? Is there any money to divide up?), the prospect of paying alimony (Is there enough job security to make alimony possible?) and the division of assets. The emotional aspect should be included here: If it’s perceived that the bad financial times are over, maybe having a partner isn’t as important now. Even if the news were all bad, it’s still possible to live a secure and contented life in spite of the economic news. Your own money plan should continue as it has for the past few years. Your goal should be to spend as little as possible. Save every dollar you can, ideally in an interest-bearing account, until you have your rainy day fund. You should know within $10 what your actual bills are each month. Keep credit-card debt low or nonexistent so you’re not spending money on interest and fees. Take care of your health, reduce stress and get exercise daily. Focus on friends and family, and look for free activities. Keep your vehicle in good shape to avoid expensive repairs. Just don’t let down your financial guard - not yet.

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▶ To bring out the natural sweetness of corn on the cob, try sprinkling a little bit of sugar in the pot after the water has come to a boil. ▶ If the scar of a cantaloupe is rough or has a stem attached, the melon was picked too early and won’t ripen as well as one with a smooth scar. Also, check the net pattern on the outside; it should be even and an overall tan-yellow color, not green or mottled. ▶ You can remove berry stains from your fingers with lemon juice. Got berry juice on your tablecloth? Here’s E.B. of Mississippi’s suggestion: “Pour a generous amount of milk on the spot, let it soak for 15 minutes or more. Then soak in cold water with soap for an hour or more. Wash, rinse and dry.” ▶ Soak raisins in cold water before chopping so that they won’t stick to your knife. ▶ Need to chill some drinks for a party fast? Pile on the ice, of course, then add the secret weapon: water. Icy water chills drinks quicker than placing them in ice alone. The heat is transferred from the warm drinks to the water because there’s total contact. (c) 2011 King Features Synd., Inc.


Page 3

For Advertising Call (248) 423-1765 SUMMERTIME (continued):

• the needy. As a result, southern Europeans consider it civilized to eat only cold meat on this martyr’s feast day, August 10. • Summer has been a historical time for the English Channel. Frenchman Louis Bleriot accomplished the first flight across the English Channel in July of 1909 in 37 minutes, piloting his 25-hp plane. He received an award of 1,000 English pounds for his efforts but apparently not much fame, since the name of Louis Bleriot is unknown to the average person. The first woman to fly across the Channel is honored on August 2. Harriet Quimby Day is set aside to commemorate this brave woman’s flying feats, including being the first American woman to earn a pilot’s license. Sad to say, Harriet was killed in an airshow accident just three months after her historic English Channel adventure. • August 1, 1893 goes down in history for all cereal lovers. That’s the day a patent was issued for Shredded Wheat! • Only the diamond is harder than July’s birthstone, the ruby. Rubies are actually rarer than diamonds and can be found in Burma, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Afghanistan and India. In Sanskrit, the ancient language of India, the word for ruby was Ratnaraj, which translates “king of gems.” According to legend, wearers of rubies will receive wisdom, happiness and health. • Women’s rights took a step forward in July of 1848, when the first women’s rights convention was held in Seneca Falls, New York. Resolutions presented at the gathering maintained that a man should not withhold a woman’s rights, take her property or refuse to allow her to vote. • The pilot of the Enola Gay, the B-29 bomber that dropped the world’s first atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan, in August of 1945, was 30-year-old Paul W. Tibbets. • It was during the summer of 1974 that Richard Nixon became the only U.S. President to resign from office. He was avoiding probable impeachment proceedings stemming from his cover-up of the illegal activities of his staff in the Watergate scandal. He was granted a full pardon for all federal crimes one month later by his successor Gerald Ford. • The founder of L’Oreal cosmetics, chemist Eugene Schueller, is credited with the invention of sunscreen in 1936. If you’re using sunscreen with an SPF of 15, it is providing protection from 93 percent of the sun’s UV rays, while the SPF-30 variety will provide 97 percent protection. Manufacturers advise against using any sunscreen that is more than a year old. Statistics indicate that only about 30 percent of teenage males apply sunscreen on a regular basis, compared to 46 percent of females of the same age. • Going fishing on your summer vacation? According to “The Old Farmer’s Almanac,” the best times for fishing are when the ocean tides are “restless, one hour before and one hour after high and low tides.” In addition, when the wind is from the west rather than from the north or east, fishing will be better, as well as when the barometer is steady or rising, says the “Almanac.” • July 19 is Flitch Day, when according to an old custom, bacon was given to any couple who could prove they had lived in harmony and fidelity for one year. • The 40 days from July 3 to August 11 are the hottest days of the year in the Northern Hemisphere and are known as “Dog Days.” The technical term for this period is “Canicular Days,” deriving its name from the Dog Star, Sirius.

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Tidbits® of Michigan

OVERCOMING THE ODDS: OF MICHIGAN

BETHANY HAMILTON If you’ve seen the 2011 film “Soul Surfer,” the name of Bethany Hamilton is a familiar one. This week, Tidbits spotlights the life of this courageous young lady who has triumphed over a devastating shark attack. • By the age of eight, Bethany Hamilton already knew she wanted to be a professional surfer. The young Hawaii resident entered her first competition, Oahu’s Rell Sun Menehune event, and came out the victor in her age bracket. It wasn’t long before she picked up a sponsor, and she was on her way! • On Halloween morning in 2003, when Hamilton was 13, she was out with friends for an early surf along the Kauai north shore beach. The water was clear and calm as she lay on her surfboard and dangled her left arm in the water, watching the many turtles in the area. With no warning, her life was forever changed. A 14-foot (4.3-meter) tiger shark attacked, severing her arm just below the shoulder. It was later determined that a bite just two inches farther in would have claimed her life. As it was, she lost over 60 percent of her blood.

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• Hamilton watched the water around her change to a bright red, but somehow this young teen managed to stay calm enough to paddle toward the beach assisted by her friend, who, upon reaching shore, created a tourniquet from a surfboard leash. Ironically, when they reached the hospital, Hamilton was wheeled into an operating room where her father had been scheduled to have knee surgery that morning. • After seven days of recovery in the hospital, Hamilton returned home. Less than a month later, she was surfing again, getting used to a whole new sense of balance in her body. • Three short months after the attack, Hamilton returned to competition, taking fifth place in her first time out. A year after, just shy of her 15th birthday, she nabbed first place in the NSSA national championships, her first national title. She was the recipient of 2004’s Best Comeback Athlete ESPY Award and a special courage award that was presented at the 2004 Teen Choice Awards. • In 2004, Hamilton recorded her experiences in a biography entitled “Soul Surfer: A True Story of Faith, Family, and Fighting to Get Back on the Board.” It is the story of how a positive attitude, perseverance and a strong faith in God accounted for her recovery. She has published five non-fiction books since the attack, with the goal of explaining how adversity can change a person’s life perspective. • In 2007, at age 17, Hamilton achieved the dream of turning professional and continues full time on the pro surfing circuit. In 2009, she appeared on the game show “Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader?” and in 2010 was featured on ABC’s “Extreme Makeover Home Edition.” She also participates in humanitarian projects, including having helped children orphaned by a tsunami to overcome their fear of water. “Friends of Bethany” is a new effort of hers, a foundation that supports shark attack survivors and other amputees. The film version of her biography, “Soul Surfer,” was released in April of 2011, starring Anna Sophia Robb, Dennis Quaid, Helen Hunt and Carrie Underwood.

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For Advertising Call (248) 423-1765

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Artery Plugging Can Make Walking Painful By Paul G. Donohue, M.D. Dear Dr. Donohue:

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disease by noting a decreased pulse at the ankle. Greater evidence is obtained by comparing ankle blood pressure to arm blood pressure. The two should be equal. If ankle pressure is lower than arm pressure, the reason is a blockage in leg artery blood flow.

Peripheral vascular disease also goes by the name peripheral artery disease. Have you seen the TV ad where the young boy and his grandmother are walking through a store where there’s a display on peripheral artery disease? The boy asks his grandmother if she has it. It’s extremely common. It’s the leg’s equivalent of heart artery disease. Both have to do with arteries clogged with plaque -- a buildup of cholesterol, fat and other materials.

Treatment is similar to treatment for obstructed heart arteries. Affected people have to lower their cholesterol, lower their body weight, lower their blood pressure, stop smoking, control blood sugar and stay active by walking to the point of pain, resting and then continuing to walk. Doctors usually also must prescribe medicines to lower cholesterol and to facilitate the passage of blood through narrowed arteries.

Pain on walking is the prominent symptom of this illness. The pain occurs because the working leg muscles aren’t getting enough blood. They complain by sending pain signals. Calf pain is common when the obstruction to blood flow is in a thigh artery. Stopping and resting relieves the pain.

Sometimes an operation on the clogged artery is necessary. Often this can be done with a catheter that has a balloon tip. The catheter is threaded to the point of obstruction and inflated to open up the artery. Then a stent -- a metal device -- is placed to keep the artery dilated.

High blood pressure, a family history of this condition, a family history of heart disease, smoking, diabetes and increased cholesterol all contribute to it. The most important contributor is aging.

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rate was related to having taken a class or having a nearby grandchild to give instruction. As for social media -- engaging with others via the Internet -- only one of us confessed to that, saying he had Twitter and Facebook accounts and used them to keep up with his children.

Going Online -- Or Not The conversation started easily enough: A local group of seniors were enjoying a monthly lunch when one said: “My son wants to buy me a computer.” The responses ranged from “Oh, lucky you!” to “You poor thing.” We quickly got on to the topic of whether to join the “technology revolution” -- or not. Back in 2004, a Pew research report revealed that a full 80 percent of seniors didn’t have any intention of going online. A 2009 study revealed that 42 percent of seniors use a computer. How far we’ve come in a few years. We took a vote, and our statistics were higher: Seventy percent of us already had a computer, and of that number, about 50 percent felt competent to do all they wanted. Email was a given. When it came to downloading and printing or filing photos, the percentage fell. The success

But successfully searching on the Internet, that was more difficult. Still, with some effort, it’s possible to find all sorts of helpful information online: worldwide news, vacation research, the latest health data. Our group’s apparent guru, the one with the Facebook account, cited another reason for being on the Internet: One of his old school chums was able to look him up, and they’ve been able to share memories, stories and photos. In case you’re on the fence: If nothing else, finding old friends would make having computer access worthwhile. 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) 2011 King Features Synd., Inc.

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Page 6

Tidbits® of Michigan Lucas, Judi Dench and Naomi Watts.

Q A

: I can’t believe Chris Meloni left “Law and Order: SVU”! Who will they get to replace him? -- Anna F. : “Cold Case” alum Danny Pino is set to fill Detective Stabler’s absence. As “SVU” enters its 13th season, Mariska Hargitay has opted for a reduced role, having signed on for only the first 13 episodes of the new season. So, to help fill that void, actress Kelli Giddish (“Chase” and “Past Life”) has been cast as a new detective as well.

ARIES (March 21 - April 19) You face the possibility of raising your relationship to another level. However, your partner might demand that you make promises for which you’re not sure you’re ready. TAURUS (April 20 - May 20) As changes continue, expect things to get a little more hectic at your workplace. An unexpected travel opportunity could open new career prospects.

GEMINI (May 21 - June 20) Confront the person who caused your hurt feelings and demand a full explanation for his or her actions. You’ll not only recover your self-esteem, but you’ll also gain the respect of others.

CANCER (June 21 - July 22) That personal problem in the workplace is compounded by someone’s biased interference. Stand your ground, and you’ll soon find allies gathering around you.

LEO (July 23 - August 22) You don’t accept disapproval easily. But instead of hiding out in your den to lick your wounded pride, turn the criticism into a valuable lesson for future use. VIRGO (August 23 - September 22) That former friend you thought you’d cut out of your life is still affecting other relationships. Counter his or her lies with the truth. Your friends are ready to listen. LIBRA (September 23 - October 22) What appears to be an unfair situation might simply be the result of a misunderstanding. If you feel something is out of balance, by all means, correct it.

SCORPIO (October - to November 21) A stalled relationship

won’t budge until you make the first move. Your partner offers a surprising explanation about what got it mired down in the first place.

SAGITTARIUS (November 22 - December 21) A co-worker shares some startling news, but before you can use it to your advantage, make sure it’s true. The weekend favors family matters.

CAPRICORN (December 22 - January 19) Your usual conservative approach to family situations might not work at this time. Keep an open mind about developments, and you might be pleasantly surprised. AQUARIUS (January 20 - February 18) Plans might have to be put on hold because of a family member’s problems. Don’t hesitate to get involved. Your help could make all the difference.

Q

: I keep reading about there being a remake of “Red Dawn” in the works (with no release date in sight), and I wondered how stars of the original 1984 version felt about this? I have my doubts they’ll be able to pull it off -the original is such a cult classic. -- Brandi R.

Q

: Are there are plans to bring Stephenie Meyers’ sci-fi novel “The Host” to the big screen? -- Selena F. : Open Road films announced that the big-screen adaptation of Stephenie’s apocalyptic book will be released March 29, 2013. The movie stars Saoirse Ronan (“The Lovely Bones” and “Atonement”) as Melanie Stryder, and it is scheduled to begin shooting this February in Louisiana and New Mexico.

A

: I spoke with Lea Thompson, who played Erica in the original movie, and she also is a little iffy about the remake.

A

“I have my doubts, clearly,” she said, “because they haven’t released it yet although it’s supposedly been done for ages. I’ll be really interested to see it. One of the really amazing things about the original ‘Red Dawn’ is that there were no special effects in terms of computer-generated effects. Everything that happened really happened, which makes it more of a visceral nightmare. Sometimes some things left to the imagination are actually more haunting.”

Q A

: Who is going to be the new boss on “The Office”? -- Janie P.

: As of this writing, reports say James Spader is in negotiations to pick up where Steve Carell left off. This got me to thinking: Who would Lea Thompson be a perfect foil to play James’ wife? None other than Beth Littleford. I asked Beth what she thought of the idea, and she is on board, stating: You can catch Lea starting July 30 in Hallmark “I’d love to play his wife. I’ve had a thing for James Movie Channel’s “The Cabin,” where she plays a Spader for 25-plus years. Blame ‘Tuff Turf’ (and single mom who brings her kids to Scotland for fun also Steff, the sexy, arrogant yuppie from “Pretty and games, and for her, a little unexpected romance. in Pink”). Then again, I’d happily play Dwight She also stars in ABC Family’s “Switched at Birth,” Schrute’s wife, Stanley Hudson’s wife or Phyllis and is featured in December’s Oscar contender Vance’s life partner.” “J. Edgar,” which stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Josh

PISCES (February 19 - March 20) Relationships in the home and in the workplace need your careful attention during this period. Be careful not to allow misunderstandings to create problems.

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Page 7

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You Be the Judge By Mark Vasto

The Casey Anthony trial was only the latest courtroom drama that our nation has been captivated by. There was round-the-clock coverage by the major news networks (a CBS anchor wept openly after the verdict. Dude ... there’s no crying in journalism!). This added a Hollywood-like vibe to the case, mostly because the entrants out of Tinseltown didn’t matter much. Lindsey Lohan and Paris Hilton are, like, so yesterday. Even the gossip columnists are bored with that stuff. I was thinking about this on a visit to The Raymond Burr Vineyard in Sonoma County, Calif., last week. Driving to a friend’s house through the Dry Creek Valley, where if you threw a shoe you’d end up in another winemaker’s tasting room, I had to pull in and grab a little of this grape, even if we were running late. “Who’s Raymond Burr?” my loving wife asked. “Who’s Raymond Burr? He’s the greatest TV lawyer of all time! Perry Mason!” I exclaimed. The wine was fine, but it further reminded me of the voyeuristic nature of a judicial trial. “Perry Mason” ran for decades, half of every episode in a “Law & Order” show is in court. “The People’s Court,” “Judge Judy,” “Judge Mathis” ... heck, even “The Biggest Loser” ... they’re all courtroom spectacles. But when it really comes to this particular niche, nobody does it better than the sports world. In 1918, “Shoeless” Joe Jackson is acquitted in court for gambling on baseball games. A child says, “Say it ain’t so, Joe!” as he walks out of the court. The heartstrings of readers in every morning and afternoon

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paper are tugged by every bold-faced headline. Commissioner Judge Landis kicks him out of baseball anyway. Shoeless Joe went on to bag groceries and died penniless. Fast forward to 1967. Muhammad Ali, the heavyweight champion of the world just off the greatest display of boxing that one man has ever put fourth in the squared circle in a demolition of Cleveland Williams, refuses to be drafted into the military. He’d fight Joe Frazier in Manilla, but he wasn’t going to fight a people “he had no quarrel” with. He was arrested for dodging the draft, but he took his appeal to the Supreme Court and won -- but, with the exception of a few, he was found guilty by the sports media. Mike Tyson was a frequent star of courtroom dramas in the ‘90s, and so was linebacker Ray Lewis. And of course, we watched the O.J. Simpson trial -- complete with Patty Hearst lawyer F. Lee Bailey to round out the cast and crew -- reach the highest television ratings of all-time a scant decade ago. This year we’ll get to watch Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds in court, important to be sure, but probably lacking in the drama most journalists would like to see. Rubbing flax seed oil on your arms and lying about to Congress just isn’t sexy enough for some people it seems. But who’s judging, right?

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“What kind of move can you make? ... There ain’t no move you can make. You just hold it on the mat and try not to wreck into each other. You see how good we are at that.” Sure, both Daytona victories this year, by Bayne and Ragan, were monumental upsets, but the trend goes deeper than just restrictor-plate tracks. In Harvick’s three victories, he led a combined total of nine laps. Victories by drivers who actually dominated races have been few and far between, most notably Kurt Busch’s Infineon Raceway triumph and Kenseth’s win at Texas Motor Speedway.

‘Parity’ Is Buzzword of 2001 Season In 2010, 13 drivers won Sprint Cup races. David Ragan became 2011’s 12th. The Coke Zero 400 was the 17th race of the season, one shy of the halfway point. They are Kevin Harvick (3), Kyle Busch (2), Matt Kenseth (2), Jeff Gordon (2), Carl Edwards, Kurt Busch, Jimmie Johnson, Denny Hamlin, Ragan, Brad Keselowski, Regan Smith and Trevor Bayne. Just as surprising are some of the drivers who still haven’t won

David Ragan celebrates his first win of the Sprint Cup season at the Coke Zero 400 at Daytona on July 2. He is the 13th driver to win one of the 17 races so far in the season. (Getty Images for NASCAR photo)

races: among them Dale Earnhardt Jr., Clint Bowyer, Ryan Newman, Tony Stewart, Greg Biffle, Juan Pablo Montoya, Mark Martin, Kasey Kahne, Jeff Burton and Jamie McMurray. To cite one example, Stewart has won at least once in every season of his career, dating all the way back to 1999. As such, it appears possible that NASCAR’s all-time record for winning drivers within a single season will be exceeded. Nineteen drivers visited victory lane in 2001, 1961, 1958 and 1956. Earnhardt, while congratulating Ragan, also said of Daytona, “I don’t know. It’s weird racing.

Track position has become exceedingly important at most tracks. Fuel mileage seems at least as crucial as speed. The ranks of adept road racers has thickened. The past five Sonoma (Infineon) races have been won by drivers who had never previously won on road courses. A few weeks back, it seemed as if the season was developing a pattern and that familiar stars were taking control. Perhaps that was the impression that was fleeting. Monte Dutton covers motorsports for The Gaston (N.C.) Gazette. E-mail Monte at nascarthisweek@ yahoo.com. (c) 2011 King Features Synd., Inc.


Page 8

Tidbits® of Michigan

Flank Steak Two Ways • 1 (2-pound) flank steak, trimmed • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce • 1 tablespoon garlic powder • 1 tablespoon onion powder • 1/2 teaspoon salt • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper • Cooking oil spray 1. Place steak in an 11-by-7-inch baking dish. Sprinkle each side evenly with half of Worcestershire sauce, garlic and onion powder, salt and pepper; rub mixture into steak. Cover and refrigerate at least 20 minutes. Remove steak from refrigerator and allow it to come to room temperature, about 30 minutes for best results. 2. Spray a grill pan with cooking oil spray. Heat pan on high until sizzling hot. Place steak in pan and sear, about 5 minutes on each side or until desired degree of doneness. Place on cutting board; cover loosely with foil. Let stand 10 minutes. Cut steak diagonally across grain into thin slices. Serve with a baked sweet potato and a spinach salad, if desired.

stock.xchg photo

Balsamic Flank Steak With SunDried Tomatoes and Couscous • 2 1/2 cups water • 1 cup uncooked couscous • 1/2 cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes, packed without oil (about 1 ounce) • 2 teaspoons olive oil • 1 small onion, sliced thinly • 2 garlic cloves, minced • 1/4 teaspoon salt • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper • 1/4 teaspoon sugar • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar • 1 1/2 cups (about 6 ounces) cooked, chopped grilled flank steak • 1/2 cup (2 ounces) cubed part-skim mozzarella cheese • 1/2 cup chopped, drained, bottled roasted red bell peppers • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil 1. Bring 2 1/2 cups water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add couscous and sun-dried tomatoes; reduce heat to medium, and cook 5 minutes or until water is absorbed. Remove from heat; fluff with fork. Spoon couscous into a large bowl. 2. Combine olive oil, onions, garlic salt, pepper and sugar in a small nonstick skillet; cook over mediumlow heat 5 minutes. Stir in vinegar and turn heat to low. Cook onion mixture for 3 minutes. Remove balsamic dressing from heat; set aside.

Not Just for Birds

Answer below

It’s summer, and it’s hot. Birds aren’t the only fliers that need clean water. I have seen other creatures with wings, like bees, dragonflies, sipping water from birdbaths. So keep those birdbaths clean and keep that water fresh. Email: birdingbits@cfl.rr.com ©2011 King Features Syndicate, Inc.

3. Toss couscous with the flank steak, cubed mozzarella cheese, roasted red bell peppers and chopped fresh basil; toss well to combine. Drizzle dressing over couscous mixture; toss gently to coat. Cover and chill.

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TidBits MI 07-23-2011  

TidBits of Michigan Issue #2 Published on 7/23/2011

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