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Issue 15

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by Janet Spencer The word poker comes from the German word “pochen” meaning “to brag.” Come along with Tidbits as we deal the cards! CARD FACTS • On a deck of cards, the king of spades represents David, King of Israel; Clubs represents Alexander the Great, King of Macedonia; Hearts is Charlemagne, King of France; and Diamonds is Caesar Augustus, Emperor of Rome. • The symbols on a deck of cards were invented to represent the four classes of men: hearts represented the clergy; spades for warriors; clubs were originally leaves and represented the peasants; and merchants were represented by diamonds. This design was invented around 1392. • The word spades comes from the Spanish word for sword, “espada.” • Clover comes from the Anglo-Saxon word “cloefer” meaning club. Hercules had a club which had three heads, and the clover plant has bracts of three leaves. The club on decks of cards come from the clover plant. • In card games, sometimes a marker or buck is placed in front of the person who is to deal the next game. Every time the deal passes, players also “pass the buck.” (Continued next page)

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FAMOUS GAMES • In 1921, millionaire Howard Hunt won his first oil well in a game of 5-card stud in Arkansas. • A banker in Denver arrived at work one morning to find four men waiting for him on the steps. They had been playing poker all night, and one man insisted on taking the banker aside and showing him the contents of a sealed envelope. Inside were five cards— four kings and an ace. It was his poker hand. The pot, he explained to the banker, was worth $4,000 and the other players had given him 30 minutes to raise $5,000 to call the last bet. He wanted to borrow the money from the bank with his poker hand as security. The banker refused— but just then the bank president arrived. After the situation was explained to him, he agreed to the loan and accompanied the poker players back to the game. He returned within a few minutes with the amount of the loan, along with an additional $500 in interest. “If you were a poker player,” he told the other banker, “you’d know good collateral when you see it.” • Black Bart was a notorious highwayman in California who became famous during gold rush days for politely holding up stage coaches and leaving bits of poetry behind. One day he robbed a stage coach north of Sacramento. In the stagecoach were seven men and one pretty little schoolmarm. He robbed each of them in turn, but the lady challenged him to a hand of poker. If she won, she would keep her valuables. If he won, he would keep her things and also collect a kiss from her. He was so surprised at her gumption and grit that he agreed to the terms. A deck of cards was produced and the game progressed. She won— and he kept his word. Local citizens were so impressed with her pluck that they presented her with a gold watch, and the stage company gave her a check for $1,000.

Tidbits® of Northern Colorado

1. GEOGRAPHY: How many countries does Hungary border? 2. HISTORY: In what year did the United States establish diplomatic relations with the Peoples Republic of China? 3. LITERATURE: Who wrote the coming-ofage novel A Tree Grows in Brooklyn? 4. BIOLOGY: How long does it take a red blood cell to circulate around the human body? 5. DISCOVERIES: Who was the first to explain correctly how the circulatory system works? 6. GENERAL TRIVIA: What are the names of Santas reindeer? 7. MUSIC: What was the theme song of An Officer and a Gentleman? 8. ANIMAL KINGDOM: What is the silkworms sole source of food? 9. ANATOMY: Where are the triceps muscles located? 10. U.S. PRESIDENTS: Who was the oldest president elected to office? (c) 2013 King Features Synd., Inc.

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You were no accident. You’re not the descendent of an ape nor will you one day return to earth as a butterfly, a Billy goat, or a British Lord or Lady. You’re here at a specific time living in a specific place with a specific mission to accomplish. Your life has meaning – you are here for a reason. You already know this is true. Deep inside the depths of your soul you sense an eternal-ness, an awareness of destiny, a feeling that you really are somebody very unique in the 10,000 year history of humankind. You are right, and modern science agrees with you! With the discovery of the complexity of DNA, scientists consistently give testimony in courts declaring that an individual’s DNA is absolute evidence of that person’s unique identity. If you and I really are something special, why do we spend so much of our time slaving away just to eke out a living? Why are most people doing so little to fulfill their destiny? Two reasons: First of all, most people don’t seek meaning in life. They are content to let life happen to them rather than take the effort to make something meaningful out of each day, week or month. Significance comes only to those who seek it. Second, most people are self-centered and interested only in satisfying their own personal wants and needs. That’s how they miss discovering their own personal usefulness. They want to be served rather than serve so they become takers rather than givers, spectators rather than participants, and end up living their lives as victims rather than victors. But not you! You want more from life. You want to fulfill your destiny. You want to be that someone special you know God has created you to be. So start today by demanding answers to life’s


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You’re Something Special #5 You are here for a Reason (cont) By Dr. Ron Ross

two greatest questions: “Who am I?” and “Why am I here?” Your answers to those questions are found deep within your own soul and in quiet, persistent reflection. Discovering your purpose is a very individual task worthy of every thought, prayer and effort you can give. Here are a few questions that will help you find the answers: What do you love? What do you feel passionate about? What makes you cry, or laugh, or frown? What do you do well? What have you done that makes you happy? What problem can you solve, what need can you meet, what hurt can you heal? When you find your answer – you will know why you are so very special. If you would like a FREE compilation of this series of Dr. Ross’ columns please send him an email requesting the “You’re Something Special Compilation” and a PDF E-book file will be emailed to you. Email: Dr.Ross@ Read more by Dr. Ross at ©2013 Dr. Ronald D. Ross

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FAMOUS GAMES (cont’d) • The story goes that a poker game started up on a steamboat. However, the players discovered they had no chips on board. They found some ears of dried corn and shelled them, using the kernels to bet with. In the middle of the game, one player found an opportunity to sneak back into the storeroom where the corn was kept, and in the dark he shelled another ear’s worth of kernels, figuring on sneaking these ‘chips’ into the game. It was unfortunate for him that the ear he chose in the dark was red. No word on what happened to him when he laid these counterfeit chips on the table, but one report states that his comrades tossed him overboard. • King Kalakaua ruled Hawaii, and he was very fond of poker. During one game a messenger arrived with the urgent news that the natives were restless and beginning to riot. The king declared that as soon as the hand was finished they would all go home. There was quite a large pot, and just after the king put his final bet on the table, gunfire was heard. “Run!” cried King Kalakaua. They all rushed outside and commenced running down the road. When they figured they were a safe distance from the guns, they stopped and finished playing the hand while sitting in the middle of the road. The king won the hand— but only because he mistook a joker for a king in the dark. No one corrected him because he was, after all, the king, and also because he had been losing all summer long. • Songwriter IraRUN Gershwin was BUSI not good WANT TO YOUR OWN NESS?at poker.Publish After aone disastrous game, he Paper in Yourturned Area to If You Can Provide: Sales Experience · A Computer · his friends and announced, “I take an oath. I’ll Desktop Publishing Software · A Reasonable Financial Investment never pick up a card again!” He paused, then We provide the opportunity for success! added, “Unless, course, I have guests who Call of 1.800.523.3096 want to play...Or unless I am a guest in another man’s house...” He thought for a moment and said, “Or whatever circumstances arise. ”

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With only a few weeks to go during this annual signup period, there are several reasons many seniors aren’t making changes to their Medicare health plans. Only 15 percent of us made changes last year or plan to make changes in the future. According to a news release by Allsup, here is the biggest reason seniors don’t make the changes: The process of making plan changes can be complex. Comparing the plans and making choices can be complicated. However, by not taking the time to compare plans, seniors can miss out on benefits and savings. Medicare plans can change, both in cost and what they cover. Seniors can find themselves unexpectedly paying more in co-pays or deductibles, or discovering after the fact that their plan no longer covers certain procedures. In a survey, 43 percent of seniors said they’d had that happen to them -- where Medicare didn’t pick up the costs. There are good reasons to review your plans. You may need a new plan if ...

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¥ Your health has changed, especially if it requires new prescription drugs or visits to a specialist. ¥ You move to another location, away from your plan’s service area. ¥ Your local provider changes, for example, if your physician retires or a facility changes. ¥ A drug you need is no longer on the list for your current plan due to changes in drug coverage. There are a few ways to get help with selecting your plan. Allsup [] is a fee-based service that can help. You also can go online to or call Medicare at 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227). Remember that your 54-day window to make changes ends Dec. 7. Matilda Charles regrets that she cannot personally answer reader questions, but will incorporate them into her column whenever possible. Send email to (c) 2013 King Features Synd., Inc.

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and iron to create a colorful sheet you can cut shapes from. You can find explicit directions for this in most craft books or online.” -- V.E.A. in Colorado By Samantha Mazzotta Dodging the Draft Q: The apartment I’m living in has older windows, and now that winter is almost here, the cold air is seeping in easily. My landlord said he “winterized” the windows by painting them shut. I don’t think that’s a solution. Any tips for me to quickly shut out the draft and get those windows open? -- Chilly Nose in Brattleboro, Vt. A: There are better solutions out there, for sure, than painting over drafty spots in the windows. And having windows that are stuck shut is a clear safety issue. Since your landlord isn’t in a hurry to fix or replace those leaky windows, you have some options to get through this winter comfortably and without having to spend too much money on heating. First, unstick those windows. Use a box cutter to slice through the new paint down to the corners where the window sash meets the frame. Then gently wiggle the window open so the new paint isn’t damaged or torn away. Once the window is open, make sure it slides open and shut smoothly. If not, look for paint or other gunk on the slide tracks in which the sash is set. Sand this stuff away and then smooth the tracks by running a bar of soap along them a few times. Next, see if the screen outside the window (if there is one) is part of a storm window-screen combination. If so, you can slide the screen up to sit behind the top pane of the storm window, and slide the bottom storm window down. This provides added protection against wind and weather. Now, you’ll need to weather-strip the window. Measure the width and height of each window to figure out how much weather stripping you’ll need. For a rental unit, you shouldn’t invest in the most expensive weather stripping, either. Compressible strips, usually made of foam or another flexible material, with adhesive backing usually work well and are easy to install. Measure and cut the stripping to fit along the bottom of the window sash. Make sure it fits and that the window closes completely and can be locked before attaching it by its adhesive backing. You may need to weather-strip other parts of the window, depending on their type, age and the condition they’re in. Make sure the strips don’t interfere with easy operation of the window. If you have a door that leads outside, try adding a piece of weather stripping along the base of the door to keep out drafts. HOME TIP: To find drafty spots in a window, run a hair dryer along the sash and frame while a helper stands on the other side, feeling for warm air coming through. Send your questions or home tips to ask@ My new e-book, “101 Best Home Tips,” is available to download on Amazon Kindle! Pick it up it today for just 99 cents. (c) 2013 King Features Synd., Inc.

NOW HERE’S A TIP By JoAnn Derson ¥ To give stuffed animals new life, wipe clean with a damp rag, then fluff in the dryer for 10 minutes with a fabric softener sheet. ¥ “Twice a year I like to clean out clutter and get rid of the things I no longer need. One thing that has really helped is to schedule a charity pickup for the morning after I have a yard sale or tag sale. Then, anything that hasn’t sold gets packed up and goes directly to charity the next day. I can’t put it off, so I don’t end up second-guessing my decision to get rid of things.” -- M.S. in Alabama ¥ “Save pieces of broken crayons to make colorful sun catchers. Just place crayon shavings between two pieces of waxed craft paper

¥ Denture tablets are great for cleaning tough stains in the toilet bowl. Just drop a couple in the bowl and let it sit overnight before flushing. ¥ “Popsicle sticks can be used to label herbs in a flowerpot garden. Mine are on my windowsill, so I don’t have a lot of space. The Popsicle sticks take up barely any room in the pot and they are basically free.” -- M.L. in Texas 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 (c) 2013 King Features Synd., Inc.

an unexpected email from a modeling agency. A stunning reveal brought Kristen and Brady’s wedding to a halt. JJ felt guilty for his role in Jennifer’s breakup with Daniel. Cameron told Abigail that he was leaving town. JJ asked Theresa if she remembered anything about the night she overdosed. Wait to See: Kristen holds Marlena at gunpoint.

SOAP UPDATES By Dana Block (PHOTO: Melody Thomas Scott stars as “Nikki” on “The Young and The Restless”) THE BOLD AND THE BEAUTIFUL Thinking about his fight with Katie, Bill lost focus during a dangerous climb. Wyatt went into a panic when the diamond went missing. Quinn pleaded her son’s case in the war for Hope’s affections. Donna tried to reason with Katie about the limits she was putting on Bill regarding shared custody. Meanwhile, Liam asked Katie if she could objectively run Spencer Publications if she harbored such hatred toward her ex. Caroline began planning her and Rick’s wedding. After almost falling to his death, Bill had a renewed outlook on life. Carter was able to get Maya’s job back as spokesmodel despite what happened between her and Rick. Brooke made a sacrifice for the sake of her family. Wait to See: Wyatt and Liam make a bet. DAYS OF OUR LIVES Marlena turned to Victor when she encountered a problem with Kristen’s flash drive. Nicole was dumbfounded by Eric’s accusations. Jennifer demanded answers from Daniel about his supposed affair with Theresa. Rafe sensed that Jordan was pushing him away. Kristen began carrying a gun. Gabi received

GENERAL HOSPITAL Britt told Elizabeth to butt out of her and Nikolas’s relationship. Robin missed her family. Luke reassured Tracy that he was committed to her. Carly was suspicious that Franco was secretly sleeping with Diane. Olivia witnessed Morgan handing something off to Scott. Sam and Silas made a date for the art show. Heather arrived early to the art show and was shocked by what she saw. Max was oblivious to Diane’s feelings for him. Heather made a shocking confession to the people of Port Charles. Sam was intrigued that Franco was donating some of his proceeds to leukemia research. Michael wondered why his brother was staying with Ava now that he knew the truth about her. Scott feared for his future. Wait to See: Maxie seeks revenge. THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS Paul discovered that the photos taken of Carmine’s crime scene were missing. Neil scolded Cane for being so hard on Hilary. Chelsea signed Dylan’s divorce papers without protest. Adam freely allowed the police to search his SUV for evidence in the hit-and-run that killed little Delia. Jack believed that Hilary should stay in Genoa City and seek forgiveness. Kevin informed Chloe about the piece of evidence that was found from the SUV that hit Delia. Sharon made it known to her daughter that she and Nick were not getting back together. Jill was furious at Victor’s plan to fulfill Katherine’s wish to unite their two companies. A grieving Billy stopped by to visit Connor after his operation. Wait to See: Nikki gathers her friends and family to pay tribute to Veterans Day.

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1. Is the book of 2 John in the Old or New Testament or neither? 2. In Isaiah 45:1, which “Great” was responsible for overthrowing the Babylonian empire? Alexandria, Cyrus, Xerxes, Tiberius 3. What young man fell from a window and died during a sermon by the apostle Paul? Eutychus, Gamaliel, Sisera, Malachi 4. How many precious stones were parts of the breastplate worn by Old Testament priests? 2, 7, 12, 20 5. From Proverbs 30:33, surely the churning of milk bringeth forth ... ? Food, Blood, Strife, Butter 6. Where is the main story of Samson and Delilah? Joshua 22, Judges 16, Job 3, Amos 34

Realistic Couponing A television series followed shoppers to see how they saved huge amounts of money at the grocery store by using coupons. In many cases, shoppers were able to get hundreds of dollars in items for only a few cents. However, if you looked carefully at the cart, they were often walking out with dozens of the same product. Yes, it was technically a savings if, for example, they were able to get 20 bottles of shampoo for a dime each, or less. On the practical side, if that’s done with multiple items, storage becomes a problem. If it’s a food item, expiration dates come into play.

The trick to couponing is to stay realistic. At least in the beginning, you’ll want to concentrate on items that your family actually uses. Yes, there are many items you can acquire cheaply that you can use for barter, but unless you have time to set up a network of friends and family to swap with, stick to what your family needs right now. If you have a computer, generate a throwaway email account that you don’t use for anything personal and sign up on a few coupon websites. Be prepared for a blast of junk email, but that’s the point of having a throwaway name. Time can be of the essence with these online coupon sites. Delay by a day and you could be out of luck in the manufacturer has set a limit on how many can be printed. Find out when each site uploads its new coupons, and be among the first to the site to see if there’s anything you need. Get the Sunday paper and go through all the coupons. On Wednesday, when grocery stores often have sales on some of those very items, make your purchases. You save even more by using the coupons. While

you’re in the checkout line, flip through a few magazines to see if there are any manufacturer coupons worth having. Once you get out of the store, look at the back of your receipt to see if it contains any coupons. If you don’t mind giving out your personal information (misspell your name and don’t give your street address), sign up for the store’s frequent shopper card, and use your throwaway email address. While you’re there, ask whether they accept coupons that have been printed off the Internet. Some stores don’t. And check the junk mail at home. Best bet for successful couponing: Start small. David Uffington regrets that he cannot personally answer reader questions, but will incorporate them into his column whenever possible. Send email to

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PAW’S CORNER By Sam Mazzotta Finding a Lost Pet DEAR PAW’S CORNER: While my son and his friend were playing in the back yard, our dog “Chet” slipped under a hole in the fence and ran off. We drove the neighborhood looking for him, but Chet has disappeared. What else can we do? It’s been about 12 hours so far. -- Frantic in Baltimore DEAR FRANTIC: You made a good start by beginning the search for Chet immediately. Here are a few more things you can do. ¥ Put a small amount of Chet’s favorite food just outside the door from which he usually enters or leaves. Try and tempt him back -- but don’t leave it out there more than a day. ¥ Call your neighbors and tell them Chet is lost, so they’ll keep a lookout for him. ¥ Search parks, playgrounds and other facilities within a couple miles of your home. ¥ After 24 hours, contact the municipal and county dog pounds and area shelters. Even if a pet has a

license tag or microchip, it’s often the owner’s responsibility to find out if their pet has been brought to a facility. ¥ File a lost-pet report with the animal-control department and area shelters. ¥ After 48 hours, begin putting up fliers (in permitted areas) containing Chet’s picture, name, size, age, weight and markings, and your contact information (phone or email only). ¥ Watch out for lost-pet scammers. You may be contacted by someone saying they have your dog and will return him if you wire reward money or send a check. One way to prevent being scammed is to leave one obvious marking off your description of Chet, and then ask the person calling to describe Chet’s appearance. Send your questions or comments to Did you know mosquitos can transmit heartworm larvae to dogs, but fleas don’t? Find out more in my new book, “Fighting Fleas,” available now. (c) 2013 King Features Synd., Inc.



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We Beat Any Price!

STRANGE BUT TRUE by Samantha Weaver ¥ It was the ever-proper Emily Post who made the following sage observation: “Manners are a sensitive awareness of the feelings of others. If you have that awareness, you have good manners, no matter what fork you use.” ¥ During the Dark Ages in Europe, it was a common belief that the soul of the first person to be buried in a new graveyard would belong to the devil. ¥ If you’re planning a trip to Washington state anytime soon, you might want to head to Olympic National Park and take the Spruce Railroad Trail up to Lake Crescent, a 600-foot deep mountain lake. It has a rather spooky history, with Bigfoot sightings and numerous accounts of ghosts and inexplicable sounds in the nearby woods. The native Kallam Indians refused

to fish in the lake for fear of stirring up the evil spirits that resided there. Lake Crescent also is the setting for the Lady of the Lake. It seems that in 1940, two local fishermen (not afraid of evil spirits, it seems) found a body there. It turned out to be the remains of one Hallie Illingworth, a waitress who had disappeared in 1937. Her husband had murdered her, weighted her body down and disposed of it in the depths of the lake. But it was those very depths -- or, more accurately, the cold water in those depths -- that preserved the body almost perfectly and made identification possible three years after her death. ¥ Those who study such things say that 40 percent of all modern Chinese people are descended from just three men (dubbed “super-grandfathers”) during the Neolithic period. *** Thought for the Day: “In the United States there is more space where nobody is than where anybody is. That’s what makes America what it is.” -- Gertrude Stein (c) 2013 King Features Synd., Inc.

Bible Trivia ANSWERS: 1) New; 2) Cyrus; 3) Eutychus; 4) 12; 5) Butter; 6) Judges 16

Answers 1. Seven (Slovakia, Ukraine, Romania, Serbia and Montenegro, Croatia, Slovenia and Austria) 2. 1979 3. Betty Smith 4. 20 to 60 seconds 5. William Harvey 6. Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner and Blitzen. 7. ÒUp Where We BelongÓ 8. Mulberry leaves 9. On the back of the upper arms 10. Ronald Reagan, 69

FAMOUS GAMES (cont’d) • Writer and prankster Wilson Mizner was playing poker when an opponent took out his wallet and tossed it into the pot saying, “I call you.” Mizner replied by removing his shoe and placing it on the table as well. He announced, “If we’re playing for leather, I raise.” • A famous poker player nicknamed Herrmann the Great played games all over the world in the 1890s. One day he decided to pull the wool over the eyes of a naive player. Herrmann was a great sleight-of-hand master and was assured of winning using shady techniques. When the other player insisted on playing with real money instead of chips, Herrmann agreed assuming he just liked flashing his money around. Herrmann let the man win just often enough to keep suspicion down, then socked it to him, taking him for $300. There he ended the game, explaining to the ‘sucker’ that he’d been cheating, and offering the man his $300 back. The man got huffy, refused the money, and walked out. Herrmann had a good laugh, and took the wad of money to a restaurant for a meal. When he offered a $20 bill to pay, he was informed that the bill was counterfeit. The entire $300 was counterfeit— and the man who was supposed to have been ‘suckered’ made off with Herrmann’s real money. • John Montagu, Earl of Sandwich, was a compulsive gambler in the 1700s. He was so reluctant to leave a card game even for a meal that he had a servant bring him a piece of meat between two slices of bread so he could eat with one hand and play cards with the other. The new invention was dubbed a sandwich. • The Marx brothers were playing poker one night with a talent agent who suggested that Julius, Adolph, Herbert, Leonard, and Milton Marx change their names to Groucho, Harpo, Zeppo, Chico, and Gummo.

Tidbits of noco issue15