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October 22-28, 2011

Issue #15

Published and Distributed Weekly by Triumph Publishing House, Inc. • For Advertising Call 248-423-1765 • TidbitsMI.com Want the bank to say YES instead of NO?

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October is the time to celebrate Auto Battery Safety Month, Cookbook Month, National Dental Hygiene Month and National Liver Awareness Month. Let’s see what else is on the calendar for this time of year. • Dictionary Day is October 16, the birthday of Noah Webster. Webster, a 1778 graduate of Yale, began writing America’s first dictionary at age 43, wrapping up the job of 70,000 entries at age 70. He was responsible for changing some of the old English spellings, such as “colour” to “color” and “musick” to “music.” • The National Mole Day Foundation urges you to celebrate National Mole Day on October 23. Does that mean it’s time to be kind to those furry little fellows that wreak havoc on your lawn? Not at all! It’s a day to get excited about the mole, a basic measuring unit in chemistry, and to memorize Avogadro’s number, 6.024 x 10 to the 23rd power. That’s the formula that defines the amount of atomic mass units in a gram. It’s the amount of a substance that equals the quantity containing as many units as there are atoms in 0.012 kg of Carbon-12. It might actually be easier to be kind to the furry animal! turn the page for more!

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Page 2

Tidbits® of Michigan OCTOBER OCCASIONS (continued): 105 East Main Street Northville, MI 48167 248-465-0900 ShopGoodyTwoShoes.com

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• October is a big month for monuments. President Grover Cleveland dedicated the Statue of Liberty in New York Harbor on an October day in 1886. The statue, officially called the Statue of Liberty Enlightening the World, had been received from France the previous June in 350 separate parts and was assembled over the next four months. In October 1941, South Dakota’s Mount Rushmore was completed after 14 years of work by sculptor Gutzon Borglum and 400 workers. Unfortunately, Borglum didn’t get to see his 60-foot (18-m) carvings completed, as he died just months before the monument was done. Construction was completed on the St. Louis Arch in Oct. 1965, following 32 months of work. Officially known as the Gateway Arch or Gateway to the West, it is the tallest man-made monument in the United States, towering 630 feet (192 m) over the city of St. Louis. When the structure was completed, the Federal Aviation Administration issued an order that any aviators who flew under the arch would receive a hefty fine and have their pilot’s license revoked. At least 10 pilots have disobeyed the edict. Only once have fliers been permitted — during the July 4th festivities of the nation’s bicentennial in 1976. • Germany’s Oktoberfest got its start in 1810, celebrating the marriage of Crown Prince Ludwig of Bavaria to Princess Therese von Sachsen-Hildburghausen. The royal couple invited the citizens of Munich to join in their wedding festivities, and the following year, all the merriment was repeated, beginning the tradition of a 16-day Oktoberfest each year. The Munich commemoration is the world’s largest fair, drawing more than five million people every autumn. • October 25 is set aside as St. Crispin’s Day as a tribute to Crispin, the patron saint of shoemakers. According to legend, Crispin, who lived in Rome during the third century, preached during the day and produced shoes at night. Tradition states that he was beheaded for teaching the gospel. • On her 63rd birthday in October of 1901, retired schoolteacher Annie Edson Taylor and her cat climbed into an oak pickle barrel padded with a mattress and plunged over Niagara Falls. She was the first person to survive the ride. The barrel, held together with seven iron hoops, also contained an anvil for maintaining balance. With the goal of financial security, Taylor aimed to capitalize on her adventure. After collecting meager earnings promoting her feat, she died penniless at age 83. Although she only received a minor concussion and a small cut on her head, she said, “If it was with my dying breath, I would

caution anyone against attempting the feat. I would sooner walk up to the mouth of a cannon, knowing it was going to blow me to pieces, than make another trip over the Falls.” • In October of 1908, the Chicago Cubs defeated the Detroit Tigers in the World Series. And that’s the last time they’ve won it to date; the team has gone 102 years without a championship, the longest of any major North American professional sports team. • That famous silent film “The Sheik,” starring Rudolph Valentino, premiered in October of 1921. Unfortunately, the Italian “Latin Lover,” born Rodolpho Alfonzo Rafaelo Pierre Filibert Guglielmi di Valentina d’Antonguolla, died just 10 years later at age 31 of peritonitis. And speaking of name changes, Rudolph’s wife Natacha Rambova changed hers slightly as well; she was born Winifred Hudnut! • In 1962, before London Bridge really could fall down, the city of London made plans to replace the 1831 structure, which could no longer support its heavy traffic load. As early as 1924, the east side of the bridge’s foundation was sinking under the weight. In 1968, London sold the bridge to a U.S. oil executive for $2.4 million and thus began the process of dismantling the edifice, carefully numbering each piece to help with reassembly. In October of 1971, the bridge reopened in Lake Havasu City, Arizona, and is now the state’s secondbiggest tourist attraction, with only the Grand Canyon drawing more visitors. • The “Crash of ‘29” came on October 29, 1929, when the New York Stock Exchange completely collapsed after several days of panic. On “Black Tuesday,” the Dow lost 23 percent of its value, wiping out billions of dollars of wealth in one day. It was the financial ruin of banks, businesses and individuals, which, with soaring unemployment rates, ushered in the 12 years of the Great Depression. • The famous gunfight at the OK Corral in Tombstone, Arizona, in October 1881 lasted only 30 seconds, with 30 shots fired and three men killed. The Earp Brothers and Doc Holliday were up against the ClantonMcLaury gang, a group of cattle rustlers, thieves and murderers. Two McLaury brothers and Billy Clanton were killed, while Holliday and two of the Earps were wounded. The shootout didn’t really take place in the Corral, but rather in a wide alley six doors east of the Corral’s rear entrance. • The Grand Ole Opry got its start in Nashville in October of 1925 as a one-hour radio broadcast. Featured artists in those early days included The Possum Hunters, The Gully Jumpers and The Fruit Jar Drinkers. ■

clog is reached; then the hand crank is turned so that the clogging material gets caught in the spring coil and is pulled out along with the tubing.

A Plumber’s Snake? What’s That? by Samantha Mazzotta Q: One thing my uncle recommended when I moved into my recently purchased house is something called a plumber’s snake. Just what is that? I presume it’s for getting into pipes or something. -- Tammy in Des Moines, Iowa

A: You’re right, Tammy, it does have something to do with getting into pipes. Specifically, a plumber’s snake -- more professionally known as a hand auger -- is a handheld tool used for clearing clogs in drain lines. It consists of a flexible tube with a spring coil on one end, attached to a hand crank at the other end. The tube is inserted into the affected drain until the

The beauty of the hand auger -- there’s also a larger version called a closet auger or toilet auger, specifically for toilets -- is that it can clear many types of clogs without using chemicals to break up the material or using a drill that could break through the pipe. Using the hand auger takes a little bit of practice. It’s not hard to use, but you’re fishing blind through the drainpipe, and figuring out the difference between a bend in the pipe and the actual clog can take a few tries. So, for example, let’s say you’re clearing a clog in a sink drain. You’ve either removed the trap (the U-bend pipe under the sink) or, if the trap has this, unscrewed the bolt at the bottom of the trap and let the water drain into a bucket. But the clog doesn’t clear (meaning it’s a little further back in the drain line). With the trap removed or the drain bolt unscrewed: • Loosen the auger lock (the bolt sticking up at the feeder end of the auger) and feed the cable into the drain line. • When you meet resistance, find out if you’re simply at a bend in the pipe. Feed out a few inches more cable so you have some extra sticking out of the pipe. Tighten down the auger lock. Slowly turn the auger handle

clockwise, pushing slightly. If it’s a bend in the line, the resistance will stop and you can continue feeding cable. • If the resistance doesn’t let up, you may have located a clog. Turn the handle a few more times to try and snag the clog material. Then, loosen the auger lock. Continue turning the handle clockwise to reel in the cable. • If you meet solid resistance and then the cable slowly feeds in, with continuous resistance, you likely have a soap clog. Slowly continue to bore through the soap clog until resistance lessens. Then, retrieve the cable by loosening the auger lock and turning the handle clockwise. Once you’ve taken care of the clog, reconnect the trap. Run hot water through the pipe, which will flush out loose debris or help break up that soap clog. Keep drains healthy with this nontoxic solution: combine 1 cup baking soda, 1 cup salt and 1/4 cup cream of tartar. Pour 1/4 cup of this mixture into each drain in the house, and follow with 2 cups boiling water. Repeat weekly. (c) 2011 King Features Synd., Inc.


Page 3

For Advertising Call (248) 423-1765

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National Memory Screening Day Mark your calendar: November 15, a Tuesday, is National Memory Screening Day, put on by the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America. A news release issued by Alzheimer’s Disease International says that there could be 28 million people in the world with

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dementia -- but no diagnosis yet. The screening events provide free memory screenings using tasks and questions that can detect problems early. Tests will check memory, thinking and language skills. While the tests don’t give a true diagnosis, they can provide indications that a medical exam is needed. Meanwhile, there is a possible Alzheimer’s vaccine on the horizon. In the disease, the amyloid protein stays in the brain and turns into plaque, which causes problems with the nerves that transport information through the brain. Researchers are looking at a way to stop the body from producing too much of the amyloid by targeting the receptors that move it into the brain. At this point only small animals have been used in the research, but the results are promising enough that the next step is to move into large-animal

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research. To learn more about next month’s free memory screenings, go online to www. nationalmemoryscreening.org, or call 866-AFA8484. Online you just need to click on your state and a list of locations will appear. You’ll need to sign up in advance to ensure a spot. If you’ve been experiencing memory problems or if it runs in the family, be sure to tell your doctor. Or if you just want a baseline test for future reference, the screening can help with that, too. Remember, a memory problem might not be Alzheimer’s. It could easily be something as simple as a vitamin deficiency. 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 4

Tidbits® of Michigan “Fairy” Tea Parties

Asthma Not Only for Children By Paul G. Donohue, M.D.

Dear Dr. Donohue: What gives? When I was a kid, I had asthma. Then it went away completely. Now, at age 37, it’s come back. As a child, I took only one medicine, and did well. Now I have a number of medicines and inhalers, and I’m confused. Will you simplify asthma for me? It isn’t the same as it used to be. Do you think I have developed allergies that brought it back? -- H.F. Answer: In the more developed countries of the world, around 15 percent of children and 12 percent of adults suffer from asthma. Asthma resolves for many children as they reach adolescence, but it can come back. Adults also can develop asthma for the first time. It’s not strictly a childhood problem. Cough, wheezing and shortness of breath are the signs of an asthma attack. Asthma comes in attacks separated by periods when the asthmatic is well. The goal of treatment is to extend the well periods and shorten any attacks, something that wasn’t all that possible when you had only one medicine as a child. The basis of an attack is constriction of the breathing tubes, the airways, the bronchi. Along with narrowed airways, inflammation strikes them, and they fill with thick mucus. The combination makes it difficult to get air into and out of the lungs. Exhaling is particularly difficult. Triggers for asthma attacks include cold air, exercise, viral infections like the common cold and allergens. If your doctor believes that allergens are leading to your asthma attacks, then testing for them is worthwhile. For many, allergy doesn’t lead to bouts of asthma. Exercise as a trigger needs some clarification. Everyone gets short of breath when exercising, but recovery is quick, within five minutes. Breathlessness brought on by an exercise-induced asthma attack lasts much longer, 30 to 60 minutes.

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An attack of asthma often can be stopped in its tracks with an inhaler medicine like albuterol (Ventolin and Proventil). For longer control, cortisone inhalers or inhalers containing cortisone and a long-acting drug that expands airways keeps a person attack-free. Advair is an example. The booklet on asthma has a more detailed explanation of the common illness and its treatments. To obtain a copy, write: Dr. Donohue -- No. 602W, Box 536475, Orlando, FL 32853-6475. Enclose a check or money order (no cash) for $4.75 U.S./$6 Canada with the recipient’s printed name and address. Please allow four weeks for delivery.

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Dear Dr. Donohue: What can you tell me about glossopharyngeal? My doctor says I have it. He has me on medicine for it. -- K.L. Answer: The glossopharyngeal (GLOSS-oh-fair-INgee-ul) nerve is one of the 12 cranial nerves, nerves that come directly from the brain. They are the nobility of the nerve kingdom. The glossopharyngeal nerve is the nerve of taste and the nerve that activates some throat muscles. Glossopharyngeal neuralgia consists of episodes of knife-like pain in the throat and back of the tongue. Swallowing, chewing and even talking can provoke an attack. Carbamazepine, gabapentin, phenytoin and valproic acid are some of the drugs used to curtail such attacks. Surgically freeing the nerve from an encircling and pulsating artery is another treatment for this condition.

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Dr. Donohue regrets that he is unable to answer individual letters, but he will incorporate them in his column whenever possible. Readers may write him or request an order form of available health newsletters at P.O. Box 536475, Orlando, FL 32853-6475.

Bring ad in for a chance to win a $50.00 Village Shoe Inn gift certificate.

(c) 2011 North America Synd., Inc., All Rights Reserved

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O p t i m i z e . R e c o v e r. P e r f e c t .

Mystery Shopping and Other Scams “Mystery shopper opportunities” resurgence in email boxes.

are

making

a

Yes, there are legitimate companies. If you’ve been working for one for a long time and are happy with them, feel free to continue. But if you want to get started now, don’t. Wading through the myriad offers and trying to decide which are on the level is asking for trouble. When you sign up, you’re likely to be asked for your name, address, email address and bank account information for “instant” receipt of your pay via wire transfer. That’s too much information for a company you don’t know. You also may be asked to pay a fee to sign up, or for “certification.” Barring that, chances are that the only “shopping” you’ll be asked to do will involve receiving checks in the mail with instructions to take out your fee and send them the balance of the money by MoneyGram. The check will

One inventive scam involves offers to pay people to put advertising signs on their cars and drive around. Amounts offered are up to $1,000 in advance and then $500 per week to drive around with a vinyl sign stuck to your car. You don’t have to answer any questions, such as about the number of miles you drive or where you drive. A legitimate advertiser would want to know where his ads would be seen. Your payment will be in the form of a check, which you are instructed to cash, take out your fee, and send the balance by Western Union back to the company. Do you see a pattern here? Another scam can reach us right where we live: our homes. Home security systems are designed to make us feel safer. The Federal Trade Commission has investigated numerous complaints involving highpressure sales tactics, shoddy merchandise and more. The warning signs: Someone (likely part of a roving team) comes to your door, impersonating a representative of the monitoring company you already use. You’re told your old system is deficient in some way, and that the new equipment itself is free if you’ll just sign a contract. For more details on how to protect yourself, check the FTC site at ftc.gov. (c) 2011 King Features Synd., Inc.


Page 5

For Advertising Call (248) 423-1765

CONGRATULATIONS

FIND TOMMY TIDBITS

Of Michigan

to the latest FIND TOMMY TIDBITS Contest

WINNER

Stacy B. of Center Line

2. Submit the following by email to: TommyTidbits@TidbitsMI.com a. Tidbits Michigan Issue Number Good Luck! (located on the Front Page, top right corner) b. Name of the AD where you found Tommy Tidbits c. Your Name, Address, Phone, and Email AC TUA L SIZE d. Where did you pick up Tidbits Michigan

Of Michigan

44225 Twelve Mile Road ▪ Novi 48377 (Twelve Mile Crossing at Fountain Walk)

Good Eats & More

(248) 348-4022 ▪ www.puttingedge.com

(248) 426-0473

Hello Tidbits readers my name is Aaron Jacobs and I am the General Manager of The Putting Edge, Glow-In-The-Dark Mini Golf and Arcade. We offer 18 unique and challenging holes set in a black light atmosphere. Here at Putting Edge we offer the best Birthday Parties for both kids and adults. As well as group events for schools, camps, Corporate America, and even private facility rentals for those who want that personal feel. If you really “want to impress” just ask us about our multiple catering options to let us up you customize your next event. We offer everything from a build your own taco bar, ribs, Italian fare and much more. A visit to our facility offers an interactive experience, we host team building, interactive games, song requests, and of course our world famous trivia. You can also challenge our Putting Edge hosts to any video game on site and if you beat them you will win a prize! Think of us when you are looking to book your next event, or want a night out with your family and or friends. You will have an awesome experience “We GuaranTee It! We are located in Twelve Mile Crossing at Fountain Walk. Come in and see us!

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21095 Farmington Road / Farmington Hills, MI 48336

PUTTING EDGE Glow-in-the-Dark Mini Golf & Arcade

1. Find the AD where Tommy Tidbits is hiding this week.

SHE WINS 2 FREE PASSES TO PANIC AT STUMP HOLLOW HAUNTED HOUSE & FOREST

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Picked-up her Tidbits at Palms Tanning - Northville

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The winner is drawn at random at the beginning of each week from all the correct contest entries received from the previous month. Must be 18 years or older to enter. One entry per household weekly. Your info will not be shared or sold to anyone. Winner’s name and city will be published in the following issue.

▪ Party Room Available ▪ Catering ▪ Lunch Buffet 11:30a-2:30p ▪ Full Bar ▪ Big Screen TV’s ▪ Dinner 5:30p-10:00p ▪ Business Meetings 7 days/week optimal depending on space

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Farmington Village

Answer on page 8

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Overcoming The Odds: CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER If you watch the Fox News channel, you may be familiar with regular panelist Charles Krauthammer. Permanently injured as a young man, he refused to allow disability to derail his career plans. Follow along as Tidbits brings you up to date on this incredible man’s life. • By age 20, Charles Krauthammer already had an honors degree in political science and economics in hand and was furthering his education as a Commonwealth Scholar at Oxford. It was then on to Harvard to attend medical school. • At age 22, as a freshman in pre-med, Krauthammer broke his neck in a diving accident and was paralyzed. A hospital visit from Harvard’s associate dean of students helped direct the rest of Krauthammer’s life. Although confined to a wheelchair, he was determined to stay in class. The dean arranged for his professors to give bedside lectures, using the ceiling as a screen for the slide presentations. • Krauthammer underwent a year of rehab in a Harvard teaching hospital to enable him to continue his studies. Because he did not relearn the skill of handwriting for another three years, he was allowed to take his tests orally. He earned his M.D. in 1975 and began a career as chief resident in psychiatry at Massachusetts General Hospital. During his tenure there, he and a colleague discovered a mental illness related to bipolar disease, resulting in highly acclaimed medical journal writings. • In 1978, at age 28, Krauthammer left his medical practice to work for the Jimmy Carter administration as a director of psychiatric research. • He began branching out into journalism, first

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as a contributor, then later a regular writer and editor at The New Republic magazine. The 1980 presidential campaign brought the opportunity to serve as a speech writer for Vice President Walter Mondale during his run for the executive office. • Krauthammer’s journalism career further expanded when he began writing essays for Time magazine in 1983. He nabbed 1984’s “National Magazine Award for Essays and Criticism.” The following year, The Washington Post began featuring a weekly column by Krauthammer, which led to the 1987 Pulitzer Prize for commentary. He was responsible for coining the term “The Reagan Doctrine,” referring to the strategy implemented by the Reagan Administration to oppose the Soviet Union’s global attempts to promote communism. • Financial Times magazine has declared Krauthammer “the most influential commentator in America.” Considered an expert in the area of foreign policy, bioethics and electoral politics, Krauthammer is a panelist on the PBS weekly news program “Inside Washington” and does a nightly stint as a political commentator on Fox News. During his broadcasts, you might see him twist and turn in his wheelchair as he seeks to relieve some of the pain he experiences on a daily basis. • Krauthammer is president of the charitable organization The Krauthammer Foundation and also serves as chairman of Pro Musica Hebraica, an organization devoted to recovering and bringing lost or neglected Jewish music to concert halls. • At the time of his accident, Krauthammer pushed himself beyond measure in order to “keep disaster from turning into ruin.” It’s apparent that he triumphs over his disability every single day. ■

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▶ Now’s a great time to start weatherstripping! Check and recaulk windows. Caulk along baseboards to deter drafts. Add insulation to electrical outlets and under sinks around plumbing. Seal it up to stay toasty this winter. ▶ Remember to turn off bathroom fans after 10 minutes. In the winter, if your house is on the dry side, don’t use the fan at all. Open the door so the humidity from the shower or bath reaches into the house. ▶ “To remove the skin from salmon, I freeze it and skin it while frozen. The skin comes off much easier, and I waste less of the fish. I buy a large piece and parcel it into several smaller pieces, since it’s just me. I like salmon, and it’s healthy for me!” -- L.A. in Florida 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 heresatip@yahoo.com. (c) 2011 King Features Synd., Inc.

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For Advertising Call (248) 423-1765 in “Mission: Impossible -- Ghost Protocol.” In the movie, which hits theaters on Dec. 21, Josh plays Trevor Hanaway, a member of Ethan Hunt’s (played by Tom Cruise) Mission Impossible force, along with Ving Rhames and Academy Awardnominee Jeremy Renner. Q: I really liked your idea a few months back of having Beth Littleford (of “Crazy Stupid Love”) playing James Spader’s wife in “The Office” this season, but now I hear Maura Tierney has been tapped for the part. Is that true? If so, what do you think about that?

Q: I am heartbroken that Fox has canceled “America’s Most Wanted.” I’ve watched the -- Holly T., via e-mail show since the beginning, and I am so proud of all the good John Walsh and A: While Maura is no stranger to his crew have done to “get those comedy -- she co-starred on “News dirtbags off the streets”! Is there Radio” from 1995-99 -- she usually an address for Fox that we can plays the straight (wo)man, which is write to, hopefully to change their exactly what James Spader needs, minds? -- Gertrude T., via e-mail now that we are getting a better idea of what his character, Robert A: I have good news for you, California, is like. So now I make Gertrude. Lifetime Television this modest proposal: How about recently announced that it has we cast Beth as Robert’s Scranton picked up John Walsh’s top crimemistress? Her offbeat and hilarious fighting show, which will return sense of humor, along with her for its 25th season later this year. improv skills and deadpan humor, While there is not an exact airdate would make her the perfect “secret scheduled as of this writing, keep lover” for the new boss, as well as an an eye on this column for updates excellent foil for the rest of the cast. Josh Holloway as I get them. Also, check online at Are you listening, Paul Lieberstein www.celebrityextraonline.com as and crew? December gets closer for my exclusive interview with John Walsh about the resurrection of “AMW” Q: I really like the reality/survival series, “The on Lifetime. I’m sure we’ll also talk about all Colony,” on the Discovery Channel. When will those “creeps” and “slimeballs” that John will be the third season start? -- Jane R., Philadelphia trying to capture this upcoming season. A: According to a Discovery Channel Q: I loved the TV show “Lost” and have been representative, currently there are no plans to wondering about the man who played Sawyer. bring “The Colony” back in 2011. I’ll keep He is such a good actor. Do you have any info checking and keep you posted as I learn any more on what he’s doing now? -- Janet R., Newark, Ohio details for 2012. A: The handsome Josh Holloway, 42, has been Write to Cindy at King Features Weekly Service, P.O. Box 536475, Orlando, FL 32853-6475; or e-mail her at letters@cindyelavsky.com. keeping pretty busy since “Lost” ended last year. (c) 2011 King Features Synd., Inc. You can see him again soon on the big screen

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ARIES (March 21 - April 19) Mars, your ruling planet, begins a journey that will open up a growing number of possibilities. Put that surging Arian energy to good use and explore it to your heart’s content. TAURUS (April 20 - May 20) This is the time to prepare for a career move coming up next month. Update your resume. Get those proposals in shape. And don’t forget to buff up that Bovine self-confidence. GEMINI (May 21 - June 20) Your Gemini instincts will guide you to the right people who might be able to help you get over that career impasse that has been holding you back. Expect to make changes. CANCER (June 21 - July 22) You’re getting closer, but you still have a ways to go before reaching your goals. Continue to stay focused, no matter how difficult it can be for the easily distracted Moon Child. LEO (July 23 - August 22) Your Leonine pride might be keeping you from getting to the source of a disturbing situation. Don’t be shy about asking questions. Remember: Information is power. VIRGO (August 23 - September 22) It’s a good time to shake up your tidy little world by doing something spontaneous, like taking an unplanned trip or going on a mad shopping spree. LIBRA (September 23 - October 22) This is a good week to get advice on your plans. But don’t act on them until you feel sure that you’ve been told everything you need to know to support your move. SCORPIO (October 23 - November 21) Be careful. You might be probing just a little too deeply into a situation that you find singularly suspicious. The facts you seek will begin to emerge at a later time. SAGITTARIUS (November 22 - December 21) This is a good week to make new friends and to look for new career challenges. But first, get all those unfinished tasks wrapped up and out of the way. CAPRICORN (December 22 - January 19) Relationships need a fresh infusion of tender, loving care. Avoid potential problems down the line. Stay close to loved ones as the month draws to a close. AQUARIUS (January 20 - February 18) Aspects favor relationships, whether platonic, professional or personal. On another note: Be a mite more thrifty. You might need some extra money very soon. PISCES (February 19 - March 20) This is the absolute right time to let those often-hidden talents shine their brightest. You’ll impress some very important people with what you can do. (c) 2011 King Features Synd., Inc.

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A.J. Allmendinger Has ‘Kingly’ Goals A.J. Allmendinger earns the interest of thousands of fans just on the basis of the No. 43 on the side of his Ford Fusion. “43” is the number made famous by Richard Petty, the owner. Petty won a record 200 races carrying that number. No one else ever come close to that total, and it’s almost unthinkable that anyone will ever approach it. It’s among many reasons why Petty is uniformly regarded as NASCAR’s King Richard. Allmendinger, 29, came reasonably close to making the Chase for the Sprint Cup. He moved up from 15th to 14th in Sprint Cup points after finishing seventh at Dover International Speedway in the AAA 400. To date, the Los Gatos, Calif., native has collected one top-five and seven top-10 finishes during the current season. The one-time Rookie of the Year in the ChampCar World Series (2004) began competing regularly in NASCAR in 2007. He finished third in the 2009 Daytona 500. Allmendinger’s goal, obviously, is to restore Richard Petty Motorsports to the position of royalty enjoyed by Petty. Teammate Marcos Ambrose picked up a victory earlier this year at Watkins Glen, N.Y.

A.J. Allmendinger has one top-five and seven top-10 finishes this season and came reasonably close to making the Chase. (John Clark/NASCAR This Week photo)

“The Chase doesn’t define our season,” Allmendinger said. “If we get to Homestead (Fla., site of the final race) and are a lot better than we were last year, I’ll be happy with that.” Regarding his performance at Dover, he said, “You just want to put yourself in that position, but we weren’t quite good enough to win. Depending on what call and where you restarted, I think

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we might have been top-five there at the end.” The race began disastrously but also spectacularly. After his Ford was bumped from behind by Denny Hamlin’s Toyota, Allmendinger made a spectacular save, keeping the car out the Dover walls and recovering. “Denny had a nose right there, but it was lap four,” Allmendinger said. “Those guys would expect you to give them some room, but he just stuffed it down in there and jacked me sideways. It was no surprise, and as I started spinning toward the wall, I just hammered the throttle. I didn’t think it was going to hit the wall, but then I was afraid that everybody behind me would come piling in. “I’d like to say it was all driver, but luckily, I tapped the brake and kept it on the throttle, it straightened back up to where I didn’t stop in front of anybody and, thank God, everybody behind us was alert and kind of got it slowed down. I’d say it was 60 percent driver and 40 percent luck. I’ll give myself a little bit of credit.” (c) 2011 King Features Synd., Inc.


Page 8

Tidbits® of Michigan ATTENTION: BUSINESS OWNERS REACH CONSUMERS WITH A LIST ING IN

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Apple Crisp With a Berry Twist There is something about fall, with its cooler days and the abundance of juicy apples, that brings out the baker in us all. Brisk breezes and rustling leaves almost seem to whisper “apple crisp.” Measure, stir and bake this mouthwatering apple dessert using autumn’s apple harvest and colorful, juicy frozen blackberries. In this recipe the steps are not only simple, but also mixed with play! Every member of the family will want to be part of the preparation, not to mention the tasting when it comes out of the oven!

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Apple Blackberry Crisp

Filling: • 5 apples or about 4 cups when peeled and sliced • 1 cup frozen blackberries, thawed slightly • 1 cup granulated sugar • 1 tablespoon flour • Juice from one lemon Topping: • 1 cup all-purpose flour • 2 cups quick oats • 2/3 cup granulated sugar • 1 tablespoon brown sugar • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon • Pinch of salt • 1/2 cup melted butter 1. To make the crisp, peel the apples. If your children are skilled at using a vegetable peeler, make peeling the apples a game. Start at the stem, and peel in a spiral motion. Try to make the longest strip without breaking it. If your kids are competitive, they’ll have the apples peeled in no time! 2. Cut the peeled apples into 1/4-inch slices. While you are at it, for a surprise, cut an apple in half widthwise to reveal a star design in the middle. Place the slices in a large bowl. Add slightly thawed blackberries, sugar, flour and lemon juice. Combine and spoon into a medium-size 8-inchby-11-inch baking dish. 3. For the topping, in another bowl, stir together the flour, oats, sugars, cinnamon, salt and melted butter. Mix lightly until crumbly. Sprinkle this topping mixture with fingers over apples and berries. Press lightly. 4. Place in preheated oven. If you have a window on your oven door, let the kids keep watch to observe when the fruit juices bubble up through the browned topping. That will be the clue that the apple-berry crisp is done, about 30 minutes. 5. Serve warm with a dollop of whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream and a sprig of mint on top. Then give yourselves a standing ovation! Extra idea: Add a teaspoon or two of leftover berry juice to the whipped cream. Swirl it around to create a purple marbled effect, and then spoon on top of each serving. (c) 2011 Donna Erickson, Distributed by King Features Synd.

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