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of Missoula

Vol. 1 #16 MOUNTAIN TOP PUBLISHING, LLC

March 21, 2014 jim@tidbits4missoula.com

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March 21, 2014

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• Protect your broom by storing it handle-side down. You can purchase wall clips at your local hardware store, and then it’ll be off the floor, ready when you are! • The Vision Council offers tips to minimize digital eye strain. Use the 20-20-20 rule: Every 20 minutes, take a 20-second break and look at something 20 feet away. • Use a strip of hook-and-loop tape to secure game controllers to their consoles. This way, you’ll never have to go looking for one when you’re ready to play. • “Fill your sink with soapy, hot water as you are cooking dinner. Your dirty pans and bowls can go right in the sink to soak. After dinner, they will be easy to wash.” -- E.D. in South Carolina • Make your stainless-steel sink sparkle by buffing it with a few drops of mineral oil and a soft rag ... after a good cleaning, of course. • “If a pocket or two on an overthe-door shoe rack has busted, it’s not done being useful. You can cut remaining pockets to fit inside your bathroom cabinet. Secure at the top with screws. Place cups in a few pockets to hold cotton swabs or balls, etc.” -- W.L. in Washington Send your tips to Now Here’s a Tip, c/o King Features Weekly Service, P.O. Box 536475, Orlando, FL 32853-6475 or email JoAnn at heresatip@yahoo.com. © 2014 King Features Synd., Inc.

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of Missoula

is pleased to help these worthy causes Proceeds from this year’s Wheat MT 5K will be donated to the Wild Rockies Field Institute’s Scholarship fund. The Wild Rockies Field Institute is based in Missoula and provides outdoor field based education to students across the country. Join us for a flat 3.1 loop. Free food and t-shirt for runners. Race day registration is $18, pre-registration is $16. Registration forms can be picked up at Wheat Montana, Runner’s Edge and the Wild Rockies Field Institute. The event will start at 9 am on April 5, 2104 at Wheat Montana, 2520 S. 3rd St. W, Missoula, MT. For additional information please contact keri@wrfi.net.

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March 21, 2014

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Tidbits of Missoula - www.tidbits4missoula.com - 406-546-2705

Save At The Pump Road trips can be great fun, but with fuel prices so high, taking one may not seem like a good idea. Fortunately, there are ways to conserve gas and keep fuel costs down. Here are some tips. Travel light - Depending upon how long you plan to be on the road, you may not need more than a couple of bags. Those bags, however, can weigh a lot, which can create drag and reduce gas mileage significantly. When packing, keep in mind that for every extra 100 pounds you carry, you lower your gas mileage by 2%. Pack as light as possible, and whatever you do, do not carry the load on top of your vehicle. Doing so can reduce gas mileage by up to 21%. Choose well - If you own only one car, then the choice of vehicle may be a no-brainer. If you own more than one, however, or have access to others, then you should think through the decision carefully. Choose the roomiest, most fuel-efficient model you can find to ensure a good trip for all. If you own a gas-guzzler, consider renting a more fuel-efficient vehicle. The savings in fuel and wear and tear on your own vehicle may more than make up for the cost of rental. Get an inspection - Whatever vehicle you choose, have it inspected before you

March 21, 2014

take off. Make sure it is road ready, in particular, the oil and tires. Have the oil changed, the fluids topped off and the tires inflated and rotated. Double-check that the tread is in good condition and the spare is good to go. If you are traveling in extreme conditions, make sure the heater or air conditioning system is in working order. Go at a good time - Try to travel at non-peak times. There will be far less traffic to contend with, which will allow you to drive more efficiently and save fuel. If you‘re lucky, the weather will be better and you can shut off your air conditioner and save even more gas. Drive efficiently - Avoid hard braking, excessive idling and constant starts and stops. Keep your foot off the brake until you are ready to use it. Slow down, drive at a steady pace and use cruise control when possible. Fuel up right - Do your homework and know where to get the best fuel prices. Use cash instead of credit cards to avoid extra fees. Use the lowest grade of gas your vehicle can handle. Tighten the gas cap and consider trading it out for a gas cap with a lock to deter thieves. Keeping fuel costs down on road trips is not impossible. Implement the tips above, even on jaunts around town, and you‘re sure to save!


March 21, 2014

Tidbits of Missoula - www.tidbits4missoula.com - 406-546-2705 answers on page 7

To Your Good Health By Paul G. Donohue, M.D.

Head and Ear Noise Drives People Crazy

DEAR DR. DONOHUE: I have tinnitus. It sounds like roaring in my head. I take gabapentin for it. Do you know of anything else for it? -- E.A. ANSWER: You have an affliction that would drive me crazy -- tinnitus, a constant noise in one or both ears or the head that people describe in a variety of ways as ringing, whistling, buzzing, hissing or roaring. An estimate of the number of Americans suffering from tinnitus (TIN-uh-tiss or tuhNITE-iss) is somewhere between 16 million and 60 million. Tinnitus mostly happens to older people whose hearing is diminishing. Why tinnitus arises in them is explained by the fact that head noises are generated constantly. Outside noise entering the ears obliterates these internal noises. When deafness approaches, the volume of external noises greatly lessens, and the internal noises then become prominent and nerve-racking. If your hearing is growing dimmer, a hearing aid will help you hear more clearly and will dampen your tinnitus. Other causes of tinnitus are as banal as a wax impaction in the eardrum, something easily taken care of by the family doctor. Drugs like aspirin and the nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medicines (Aleve, Advil, Motrin) can bring on tinnitus if they are constantly used. If a cause cannot be determined, then other approaches have to be taken. A bedside radio tuned to a station that plays the kind of music you like can reduce the volume of tinnitus. Nighttime is the worst time for it. Tinnitus maskers, devices worn like a hearing aid, emit a constant sound that dulls tinnitus. Do get in touch with the American Tinnitus

Association. It will provide you with a wealth of information on tinnitus and its treatments. You can reach the association online at www.ata.org. If you don’t have a computer, surely a friend, neighbor or relative does and can hook you up with the association. ••• DEAR DR. DONOHUE: Please discuss liver cysts. Two CT scans, taken years apart, revealed two liver cysts. I was told not to be concerned. Should I be? -- B.S. ANSWER: Since scans have become so routinely a part of medical practice, liver cysts are seen quite frequently. Most liver cysts neither cause pain nor upset liver function. No one is sure why they form. Unless they are large or are causing symptoms, they can be left alone. Trouble-making liver cysts do exist. Some parasite infections cause them. Those cysts almost always produce symptoms that call for treatment. ••• DEAR DR. DONOHUE: I recently read several articles about the use of food-grade hydrogen peroxide. I am interested in using it for prostate and urinary tract problems. Are there real benefits from it? -- J.C. ANSWER: Concentrations of 1.5 percent hydrogen peroxide are used by some as a mouthwash and at 1.5 percent to 3 percent as a wound cleaner. The same doses are used to remove wax from the ear canal. I can’t find any confirmation of the benefit of using food-grade hydrogen peroxide for prostate or urinary tract problems. I would not encourage you to use it. Food grade is a very high concentration. •••

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. Š2014 North America Synd., Inc. All Rights Reserved

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March 21, 2014

answers on page 7


March 21, 2014

Tidbits of Missoula - www.tidbits4missoula.com - 406-546-2705

PAGE 7

• It was nonviolent Indian activist Mahatma Gandhi who made the following sage observation: “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.” • Beloved children’s author Dr. Seuss had a hobby that few people were aware of: He collected hats. • With the summer holidays approaching, you might want to keep in mind this tidbit: Every year, 75,000 stuffed animals are left behind in hotels. Be sure to check under the bed before you leave! • It was long believed that a single piece of paper couldn’t be folded more than seven times, but in 2002, high-schooler Britney Gallivan disproved that notion.

She ordered a 4,000-foot-long roll of toilet paper and, along with her family, headed to a shopping mall to try to break the seven-fold limit. After seven hours, she and her family had succeeded in folding the paper 12 times, putting an end to the myth. • Ancient Mayan warriors were known to throw hornets’ nests at each other in battle. • At some point you’ve almost certainly heard a coward described as “lily-livered,” but did you ever wonder where that expression came from? It was once believed that the seat of courage in the human body was the liver; therefore, someone who was timid presumably lacked blood in the liver, causing that organ to become white.

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sw Puzzle An

Renter Faced With Grimy, Rusty Stove

Q: I recently moved into a small apartment, and while the stove is old, it seems to work fine. Trouble is, when I lifted the stove lid to clean it, there was about an inch of greasy grime and rust. It’s impossible to get completely clean, and I’m kind of worried about a grease fire starting. What can I do to get my stove back in shape? -- Clara in Tampa, Fla. A: Talk to your apartment manager or landlord. While tenants are expected to keep the apartment’s appliances clean, it’s neither fair nor safe to deal with a stove that is unreasonably dirty.

The manager may counter that you accepted the apartment with the appliances listed in good working condition, but I know very few people who have the time or wherewithal to pry open the stove hood and check the burners underneath during a tour or a final walk-through. Review your apartment lease. In managed communities these usually comply with what’s required by state and municipal tenant/landlord laws, and it gives you an idea of how much the management is willing to do in this case. At the very least, insist that the manager help you clean the stove. That doesn’t mean buying you a can of oven cleaner; it means sending a maintenance person to assess the situation and find a safe way to clean it, or scheduling a contractor to clean and maintain the appliance. If the stove is too difficult to clean, if it’s rusting through or otherwise not in safe condition, most leas-

© 2014 King Features Synd., Inc.

es allow the management to replace it with an acceptable appliance. If the manager agrees to do this, get that pledge in writing along with an approximate date that the appliance will be replaced. What if the manager or landlord refuses to do any of these things? Look up your state’s statute by typing tenant/landlord law and the name of your state in a search engine box. The landlord may or may not be required to maintain or replace certain appliances. That said, you can accomplish a heck of a lot just by being polite and working with the manager or landlord to find a solution. It’s hard to react negatively to a tenant asking, “Hey, I want to keep my apartment clean and I need some help getting the stove up to snuff, can you help?” Although there are some nightmare landlords out there, most like keeping the value of their properties up and appreciate tenants helping to keep them there. © 2014 King Features Synd., Inc.


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Tidbits of Missoula - www.tidbits4missoula.com - 406-546-2705

Late Filing Taxes? You’re Not Alone

answers on page 7

If you haven’t filed your taxes yet, you’re not alone. One quarter of Americans wait until the last two weeks to get taxes done and filed. At this point, you have a choice: get them done quickly and file before April 15, or ask for an extension. If you want to get it over with and do your taxes now, you’ll need to gather your W-2 or 1099 forms, 1099 statements for interest, Social Security number, and your pile of receipts if you plan to deduct expenses, Medical Savings Account information, self-employed health insurance and home-office costs, and real-estate taxes. Decide if you’ll use a tax preparer. If so, make a call right away to be sure there’s still time in what’s likely to be a busy

March 21, 2014

schedule. You’ll likely save money if you do the organizing yourself, but be sure you have time to get that done before accepting the appointment. If you want to do your taxes yourself with a computer software program, read the details online for programs like TurboTax, H&R Block and TaxACT. Be sure your computer is powerful enough to handle the software by reading the requirements before you buy. Most of the programs are easy enough to follow. Some are better than others when it comes to assistance if you get into a jam. TurboTax, for example, has an online question and answer area where you can search for similar questions others have asked, or you can ask your own question. If this is your first time using computer tax software, be sure to get the program updates. Follow the steps and let the program ask you questions, even if they don’t seem to apply. Go through all the steps, entering information as you go. At the end you’ll be asked if you want to print out the return to be mailed or if you want to e-file. If for some reason there’s just no way you’ll get your taxes completed on time, you can file for a six-month extension. Beware: This is an extension to file your complete return, not to pay the taxes you owe. Failing to file will get you a penalty. Failing to pay on time gets you penalties and interest and scrutiny from the Internal Revenue Service. You’ll need Form 4868 (available to print out at www. irs.gov) to request a filing extension and to pay your estimated tax due. David Uffington regrets that he cannot personally answer reader questions, but will incorporate them into his column whenever possible. Send email to columnreply2@gmail.com. © 2014 King Features Synd., Inc.

• On March 31, 1776, future first lady Abigail Adams writes to her husband urging him to “remember the ladies” when drafting a new code of laws for the fledgling nation. Abigail pondered if and how the rights of women would be addressed in an American constitution. • On April 4, 1841, only 31 days after assuming office, William Henry Harrison, the ninth president of the United States, dies at the White House. At his inauguration, Harrison declined to wear a jacket or hat and made a two-hour speech. Soon afterward, he developed pneumonia. • On April 5, 1859, naturalist Charles Darwin sends his publishers the first three chapters of “Origin of Species,” which will become one of the most influential books ever published. Knowing the fates of scientists who had published radical theories and been ostracized or worse, Darwin had held off publishing his theory of natural selection for years. • On April 1, 1924, Adolf Hitler is sentenced for his role in the Beer Hall Putsch of Nov. 8, 1923. He had been charged with high treason. Despite his conviction, he was out of jail before the end of the year, with his political position stronger than ever. • On April 3, 1936, Richard Bruno Hauptmann, convicted in the kidnapping and murder of the 20-month-old son of famed aviator Charles Lindbergh, is executed by electrocution. In 1932, Charles Jr. was kidnapped from the nursery of the Lindbergh home. • On April 2, 1979, the world’s first anthrax epidemic begins in Ekaterinburg, Russia (now Sverdlosk). Thirteen years later the epidemic was finally explained: Workers at a weapons plant had failed to replace a filter, causing a release of anthrax spores into the outside air. © 2014 King Features Synd., Inc.


Tidbits March 21, 2014