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November 13, 2012

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Alabama 4th Quarter 2012 Pick’N Trade TABLE OF CONTENTS ISSUE 2012.46

You know you’re in the desert when you discover a seatbelt makes an excellent branding iron.

Death Valley

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Week 46 Nov 11 - 17 Page 1

TIDBITS® VISITS

DEATH VALLEY

by Janet Spencer Death Valley is the driest spot in the U.S. It’s also the lowest spot in the Western Hemisphere. And it is one of the hottest spots on Earth. Join Tidbits as we tour one of America’s most unusual national parks. • It’s BIG! Death Valley National Park is the largest national park outside Alaska. The valley is about 130-140 miles long, and the valley floor averages 5 miles wide. The national park contains nearly 3.4 million acres. The state of Rhode Island could fit inside Death Valley National Park more then three times over. It’s twice the size of Delaware, and nearly the same size as Connecticut. • It’s LOW! A parking lot at a place called Badwater is 279 feet below sea level. Several miles away in a desolate salt pan, there are a few dips that are 282 feet below sea level. Death Valley is the lowest spot in the Western Hemisphere, but the Dead Sea (between Jordan and Israel) is 1,360 feet below sea level. • Only six places on earth are deeper than Death Valley, and they are all desert valleys. If these valleys received more rain, erosion would eventually fill them with sediments and they would no longer be below sea level. Also, they’d be lakes instead of valleys. turn the page for more!

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Tidbits® of Hoover, Pelham, Alabaster & Helena!

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

Shocking the Heart Back to Normal DEAR DR. DONOHUE: My husband has had many medical problems. Earlier this year, he developed atrial fibrillation. A cardioversion was performed and worked for about five minutes. Then his doctor prescribed amiodarone. Since being on amiodarone, he has felt much worse. Could the medicine be the problem? He only sits around, and doesn’t even feel like going out for lunch. Another cardioversion is possible in a couple of weeks. Is there any danger to this procedure? -- M.C. ANSWER: Does his doctor know how he feels? He can prescribe many other options for your husband. Atrial fibrillation is an erratic and fast heartbeat. Cardioversion, an electric shock delivered to the fibrillating heart, has a fairly high success rate of restoring a normal beat. Success depends on how long the fibrillation has been present and how large the person’s heart is. The sooner from the onset of fibrillation, the better are the results for cardioversion. The results for longstanding atrial fibrillation are not as good. Fibrillation can recur after cardioversion. It can recur after taking medicines, too. Danger exists for every single medical procedure. The complications from cardioversion are few and rare. The booklet on heartbeat irregularities explains the common kinds of rhythm disturbances. Readers can order a copy by writing: Dr. Donohue -- No. 107W,

Yellow Ribbon Money Can Boost GI Bill You finally got all set up with GI Bill benefits and were accepted to an institution of higher learning ... and then you discovered that the college won’t give you in-state resident tuition rates for one reason or the other. And you can’t afford the balance due. That’s happened to a number of veterans. There’s help for some, but not all veterans, in the form of the Yellow Ribbon Program, which is to provide increased tuition reimbursement to those either attending a pricier private school or a public school but as an out-of-state student. The information can be found at http://www.gibill. va.gov/school-certifying-officials/yellow-ribbonagreement/index.html Click on the link to the 2012 and 2013 participant list and the Frequently Asked Questions.

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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. *** DEAR DR. DONOHUE: My 12-year-old son has large breasts, like a woman’s. In other respects he looks like a 16-year-old. He’s tall and wears a size 11 shoe. What has caused his breasts to be like they are? -- M.C. ANSWER: Your son is going through puberty. Twothirds of boys experience breast enlargement during puberty. It’s normal. The enlargement for some boys might not be as great as your son’s, however. It comes from a temporary imbalance of male and female hormones. It’s not a lasting thing, for most. Some see a regression in a matter of months, while others might have to wait for two years. The condition is gynecomastia (GUY-nuh-coe-MASS-tee-uh). If this causes your son great embarrassment and makes life miserable for him, speak to the family doctor. Removing the breast tissue ends the problem. Surgery isn’t extensive and doesn’t require a long healing period. DEAR DR. DONOHUE: My future husband wants me to go on birth-control pills. Do the pills make a woman less able to have a family when they’re stopped? We want to have children, but not right away. How long can a woman take the pill? -- J.W. ANSWER: In the past 10 years, the birth-control pill has been modified. It contains less estrogen and progestin. There are fewer side effects than there used to be. The pill, in all its variations, does not affect a woman’s fertility when she stops taking it. A nonsmoking woman can take birth-control pills right up to menopause if she wishes. Generally, a smoker is advised to stop the pill after age 35. The cap for private and/or expensive schools is $17,500, and the Yellow Ribbon money can be used to pay anything over that. For non-residents who’re being charged higher rates, the Yellow Ribbon money can be used to pay 100 percent of the costs, up to that $17,500. Another potential glitch to keep you from accessing that Yellow Ribbon money is whether or not the school signed up for it. Check the participant list at the link above. And one more potential problem: If your school doesn’t offer a degree program, there’s no Yellow Ribbon money. Other facts about the Yellow Ribbon money: Students in Arizona, Michigan, New Hampshire, New York, Pennsylvania and South Carolina are exempt from the $17,500 cap. For those at private school in those states, the benefit is the higher amount of either the tuition or the highest in-state undergrad costs. If you’re going to school part-time, your money will be prorated. Hint: Get all the information about the school before you apply. Make sure it qualifies for Yellow Ribbon in case you need that benefit.

DEATH VALLEY (continued): • It’s HOT! The heat is partly caused by the low elevation. With every thousand feet you lose in elevation, the temperature rises by about 5 degrees F. Death Valley’s topography—a deep valley sandwiched between two steep mountain ranges—also magnifies the heat. Hot air rising from the valley floor gets trapped between mountain ranges. The hot air re-circulates and gets hotter. The dryness also contributes to the heat. Death Valley has no clouds for shade, no rain for cooling, and little vegetation to stop rocks from absorbing heat all day. In turn, the heat reinforces the dryness, evaporating rain before it reaches the ground. • The hottest temperature ever recorded in Death Valley was 134 F on July 13, 1913. By comparison, the hottest temperature ever recorded on Earth was 136 F, recorded in the Sahara Desert in Libya in 1922. • When it comes to average highs, Death Valley beats the Sahara. In 2001, Death Valley hit 100 F or higher on 154 days in a row. It’s hit 100 F or higher in every month except November, December, January, and February. It’s hit 110 F on (coincidentally) 110 days in a row, in 1996. And it hit 120 F on 43 days in a row, in 1917. • July is the hottest month on average, with a daily high of 115 F. August is second, with an average daily high of 113 F. June is third, at 109 F. • In July, when the average daily high is 115 F, the daily average LOW temperature is 88 F. • Things cool off in winter. In November the average daily high is 76 F. In February it’s 72 F, and in January and December it’s 65 F.

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Thanksgiving Pumpkin Torte You take care of the rest of the meal, and I’ll take care of dessert. Now if we could just find someone else to take care of the dishes, we’d have something else to be thankful for!

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Keeping Pets Safe in Cold Weather By Samantha Mazzotta

DEAR PAW’S CORNER: I’ve been thinking of getting my Border Collie, “Jake,” a set of those booties that fit over a dog’s paws to protect them from cold ground and sharp objects. Do these really work? -- Sarah in Chicago DEAR SARAH: Booties can be very good paw protectors for dogs that are outdoors in the winter. The biggest considerations, besides price, are getting the right type for the kind of terrain and the level of activity your dog will have. For everyday walking on a sidewalk, there are many brands of booties to choose from, most for less than $30 per set. Booties with extra traction or customized

Good vs. Bad Debt Not all debt is bad. In spite of our being encouraged to clear all debt so that we don’t owe anything to anyone, there are some types of debt that are good and can add positively to our quality of life. The two key steps are to invest only in good debt, and to keep good debt from turning into bad debt. Mortgages are considered good debt, and it’s the biggest debt most families take on. It’s not likely that anyone can save enough to buy a house for cash. Mortgages allow families to

fit cost a little bit more. You also can find “fashion” booties if you want your pet to look swanky walking down the street, although many of those look like they would be uncomfortable for your dog. Be sure to buy booties of a size closest to the size of your dog. Try them on your dog’s paws right away, in case they don’t fit and need to be returned. Protecting your dog’s paws is just the beginning of cold-weather safety, of course. A dog coat that wraps comfortably around his torso will help Jake retain body heat much longer. Stay alert when out with your dog, and make sure he is not shivering from cold or limping from an injury to his paw. In either case, get him home right away, warm him up and check his paws for cuts, debris or other injury.

buy their own home to live in and enjoy and to (theoretically) build up equity. Turn a good debt into a better debt -- pay it off more quickly by making extra payments. Even $100 a month extra can shave years off the end of your mortgage. Where mortgage debt becomes bad is if you take on more than you can handle. Late payments lead, at the very least, to increased fees and penalties. Taken to the extreme, late payments can result in bankruptcy and ruined credit. Other examples of good debt (that which will appreciate or gain value down the road) are education loans for college (greater earning power), business loans (greater business-building power) and home-equity loans for needed improvements (increase the value of the home). Bad debt is debt you incur for anything that

18 (2 1/2-inch) graham cracker squares 1 (15-ounce) can solid packed pumpkin 1 (4-serving) package sugar-free instant butterscotch pudding mix 2/3 cup nonfat dry milk powder 1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice 3/4 cup water 1 cup reduced-calorie whipped topping 2 tablespoons chopped pecans 1. Evenly arrange 9 graham crackers in a 9-by-9inch cake pan. In a large bowl, combine pumpkin, dry pudding mix, dry milk powder, pumpkin pie spice and water. Mix well using a wire whisk. Blend in 1/4 cup whipped topping. Spread half of pumpkin mixture evenly over graham crackers. 2. Top with remaining 9 graham crackers. Spread remaining pumpkin mixture over top. Evenly spread remaining 3/4 cup whipped topping over pumpkin mixture. Sprinkle pecans evenly over top. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Serves 8. ¥ Each serving equals: 115 calories, 3g fat, 3g protein, 19g carb., 225mg sodium, 2g fiber; Diabetic Exchanges: 1 1/2 Starch, 1/2 Fat.

1. Which book of the Bible (KJV) mentions the word “thanksgiving” the most times, at eight? Genesis, Nehemiah, Psalms, Isaiah 2. From Leviticus 22:29, a sacrifice of thanksgiving is most meaningful when it is “what”? Sincere, Often, Voluntary, Extravagant 3. In which book’s 5:18 does it state, “In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God”? 1 Thessalonians, 1 Timothy, 1 Peter, 1 John 4. What items of food and drink did Jesus give thanks for at the Last Supper? Figs/water, Bread/wine, Fishes/nectar, Honey/milk 5. Where was Jonah when he prayed with the voice of thanksgiving? Fish’s belly, Aboard ship, In the wilderness, Mountaintop 6. Whose thanksgiving is expressed in Philippians 4:10-20? Paul, John the Baptist, James, David

won’t gain in value or that has only a momentary value, is disposable or is incurred for things you don’t really need. Vehicles are considered bad debt because vehicles never gain in value. You lose value the minute you drive off the dealer’s lot. However, vehicles are necessities. Make the largest down payment you can to keep your payments small, and then pay extra on the loan to pay it off quickly. Nearly anything you put on a credit card makes it a bad debt. Don’t charge things of low value unless you’re going to pay off the balance at the end of the month. Meals out, groceries, oil changes, vacations and clothing are bad bets to charge because they’ll never gain in value and are disposable. The rule of thumb is: If it doesn’t gain in value, try to pay cash.


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Tidbits® of Hoover, Pelham, Alabaster & Helena!

¥ On Nov. 24, 1849, John Froelich, the inventor of the first internal-combustion tractor, is born in Girard, Iowa. Froelich and investors formed the Waterloo Gasoline Traction Engine Company. The Waterloo Tractor Works, owned by John Deere since 1918, remains one of the largest tractor factories in the United States. ¥ On Nov. 22, 1900, the first car to be produced under the Mercedes name is taken for its inaugural drive in Cannstatt, Germany. The car was specially built for Emil Jellinek, a fan of fast, flashy cars. He bought 36 of them. In exchange, the company agreed to name the car after Jellinek’s 11-year-old daughter, Mercedes. ¥ On Nov. 19, 1915, British airman Richard Bell Davies performs a daring rescue, swooping down in his plane to whisk a downed fellow pilot from behind the Turkish lines. The British government awarded him the Victoria Cross. ¥ On Nov. 21, 1934, teenager Ella Fitzgerald wins Amateur Night at Harlem’s Apollo Theater. Putting her name in the hat on a bet, she’d originally planned a dance number. History was made when she changed her mind and sang “The Object of My Affection.”

DEATH VALLEY (continued): • Death Valley’s official temperature is recorded at a weather station five feet above the ground. But the ground gets hotter than the air. The hottest ground temperature ever recoded in Death Valley was 201 F in 1972. • The record low temperature in Death Valley is 15 F, set in 1913, which was the same year that set the record high of 134 F. Death Valley’s all-time low is about the same as the all-time lows of Phoenix or Houston. • It’s DRY! Why is Death Valley so hot and dry? Don Lago describes the science behind it in his book, Death Valley Trivia. The main factor is called the “rain shadow” effect. When storms come out of the Pacific Ocean and head inland, they have to cross a series of mountain ranges, which force clouds to rise, condense, and drop their moisture. With every mountain range they cross, the clouds have less moisture left for the next one. The Sierras can get 34 feet of snow per year, but then the clouds have little moisture left for the Owens Valley just west of the Sierras; the Owens Valley gets less than 6 inches of rain per year. Clouds that make it past the Sierras then hit the Panamint Mountains and lose most of their remaining moisture. This leaves little rain for Death Valley, or for the Amargosa Range on the east side of Death Valley. While the Panamints get 15 inches of annual precipitation, the Amargosa Range gets only 3-5 inches.

¥ On Nov. 20, 1945, a series of trials of accused Nazi war criminals, conducted by a U.S., French and Soviet military tribunal based in Nuremberg, Germany, begins. Twenty-four former Nazi officials were tried, and half would be sentenced to death by hanging. ¥ On Nov. 23, 1959, Robert Stroud, the famous “Birdman of Alcatraz,” is released from solitary confinement for the first time since 1916. For 15 years, Stroud lived among canaries brought to him by visitors, and he became an expert in birds and ornithological diseases. In 1943, Stroud’s Digest of the Diseases of Birds, a 500-page text that included his own illustrations, was published to general acclaim. ¥ On Nov. 25, 1963, President John F. Kennedy, who was assassinated three days earlier, is buried with full military honors at Arlington National Cemetery. An eternal flame was lit by his widow to forever mark the grave.

Q: When will “In Treatment” be back? I hope soon. -Linda W., via e-mail A: HBO canceled the Gabriel Byrne-starring drama in spring 2011 after three seasons and more than 100 episodes. At first there was talk of it possibly returning in a new incarnation; however, it would appear those plans have been scrapped. As I reported a few months back, you can catch Gabriel on television again soon. He’ll be starring in the History Channel original scripted drama “Vikings,” which is slated for a 2013 premiere. Gabriel’s “In Treatment” co-star Dianne Wiest recently co-starred with Jennifer Garner in “The Odd Life of Timothy Green,” and Michelle Forbes starred in AMC’s now-defunct “The Killing,” as Rosie Larsen’s mom, Mitch.

1. LANGUAGE: Variety magazine coined the term “oater” to describe what kind of entertainment? 2. MATH: What is the Arabic equivalent of the Roman numeral LXXX? 3. STYLE: What is the function of furniture called an etagere? 4. FOOD: What is the chief ingredient in caponata? 5. MEASUREMENTS: What did the Binet-Simon Scale measure? 6. GEOGRAPHY: On which continent is the country of Paraguay located? 7. MEDICINE: What is digitalis used to treat? 8. ENTERTAINMENT: Which humorist created the fictional town of Lake Wobegon? 9. GENERAL KNOWLEDGE: What is an aqueduct? 10. LITERATURE: Who wrote the novel “The Portrait of a Lady”?

A: “Major Crimes,” TNT’s “The Closer” spinoff starring Mary McDonnell, was the year’s No. 1 new cable drama, so you can bet it will return for a 15-episode second season (up from a 10-episode first season) in summer 2013. As the premiere gets closer and I learn an exact date, I’ll be sure to let you know so you won’t miss Capt. Sharon Raydor and crew as they solve cases for LAPD’s Major Crimes Division.

Q: What happened to the program “Fairly Legal”? Will it return? -- Marilyn S., Webster, N.Y. A: The USA network’s legal dramedy wrapped its second season this past June 15, with the third season to premiere in spring 2013 (no official date yet). If you are going through “Fairly Legal” withdrawal, season one is now on DVD, and season two is available for streaming purchase through amazon.com. Also, you can go to www.celebrityextraonline.com and search the archives to read my March 16 interview with series co-star Virginia Williams (Lauren Reed). *** Q: I am big fan of “Single Ladies,” but somehow I missed a few episodes. Where can I catch up on my viewing? --Hal W., via e-mail Q: I enjoy “Major Crimes” very much, and I wondered if A: Season two of the hit VH1 original scripted series is it will be back for another season? -- Pat B., via e-mail now available on DVD as a four-disc set containing all 14

• The average annual rainfall in Death Valley is only 1.94 inches. By comparison, New York City receives an average of 49.64 inches of rain per year. In some years, Death Valley has recorded no rainfall at all, such as 1929 and 1953. • With so little rainfall and so much evaporation, the humidity level in Death Valley sometimes falls to 2 percent. With humidity this low, even when the temperature is a pleasant 70 F, people can become seriously dehydrated. • Even in the summer heat, people in Death Valley may not get sweaty. The human skin often remains dry. But this doesn’t mean you aren’t perspiring: it means that perspiration is evaporating instantly. For people from humid climates, who are accustomed to skin and clothes drenched with sweat, this can trick them into seriously underestimating how much water they are losing. Finding Water • There is no place in Death Valley more than 15 miles away from a spring. Natives knew all the water sources in Death Valley, but prospectors and tourists have died of thirst even when springs were nearby because they didn’t know where they were. • Death Valley has over 350 seeps and springs. Some are barely large enough to keep the ground damp, but the largest, Travertine Spring, can pour out up to 2,000 gallons per minute. If Death Valley wasn’t so dry, its springs would start building a lake on the valley floor. • The water that pours from these springs comes from the mountains of central Nevada. Snowmelt flows underground for hundreds of miles until water reaches the surface. This water can take thousands of years to arrive in Death Valley. This means that the tap water you are drinking in Death Valley may have fallen as rain when the Egyptian pyramids were being built.

episodes with bonus clips. Also, the show has been renewed for a third season, to premiere summer 2013. *** Q: As the end of “The Office” gets closer, I am reminded that Rainn Wilson was supposed to get a spinoff, where I believe we get to see how Dwight and his cousin, Mose, run the beet farm. Is this still happening? -- Gennifer T., Allentown, Pa. A: It appears that plans for the Dwight/Mose spinoff, which was tentatively called “The Farm,” have fallen through. In late October, Rainn tweeted the following message to his millions of Twitter followers: “NBC has passed on moving forward with ‘The Farm’ TV show. Had a blast making the pilot -- onwards and upwards!”


For Advertising Call (205) 588-1899 Overcoming the Odds: JOSEPH STRAUSS • Joseph Strauss was born in Cincinnati in 1870. He was short, but he nevertheless tried out for the school football team. As a result, he spent several weeks recovering in the infirmary, where the window in his room offered a view of the Cincinnati-Covington Bridge, which was America’s first long-span suspension bridge. Strauss subsequently developed a fascination with bridges. When he graduated from college with degrees in business and economics, his commencement address presented a proposal to construct a railroad bridge across the Bering Strait, linking Alaska and Russia. • Strauss got a job working for a foundry where he learned the ropes of steel and iron manufacturing, and then went to work for a bridge building company. Later, he went to work for an engineering firm, and then started his own engineering firm in 1904. His specialty was drawbridges, and he constructed around 400 of them. However, he dreamed of something more challenging, so when officials from San Francisco approached him in 1919 about spanning the Golden Gate Strait, he jumped at the chance, even though he had never constructed a single suspension bridge. He didn’t even have a degree in engineering. It took more than a decade for Strauss and city officials to convince the public that a bridge should be built. In the midst of the Great Depression, a city bond raised the funds needed, and work on the Golden Gate Bridge began in 1933.

• There were many challenges to overcome: deep water, turbulent currents, corrosive fogs, high winds, and heavy sea traffic. Strauss asked for help from engineering visionaries Charles Ellis and Leon Moissieff, whose contributions were essential in refining the design and overcoming the engineering challenges. He then downplayed their involvement so that he would get more of the limelight. To his credit, his insistence on rigid safety measures prevented many deaths and proved that large projects could be completed safely when worker’s health and wellbeing was given a priority, which was not typically the case at the time. He wanted people using his bridge while admiring the workers who built it; he was horrified by the thought that wives and children and parents might one day be crossing the bridge while remembering the husbands and fathers and sons who died during its construction. He also instituted the policy of hiring men for the duration of the entire project in a day and age when construction workers were more typically hired on a daily basis. He wanted continuity among workers and did not want to be constantly training newly hired men, because the work was so dangerous. • His health began to fail during the construction, which lasted four years. He was once gone from the site for a six-month stretch, leading to rumors he’d had a nervous breakdown. Yet, he managed to see the project through to the end, and proudly walked across the completed bridge on the day it was opened to the public. Strauss died of a heart attack a year later, at the age of 68. He is buried in Forest Lawn Cemetery, with a bas-relief of the bridge etched in brass mounted upon his tombstone.

Advertising in Johnson in Control Surprising no one, Jimmie Johnson left his little gold mine, Martinsville Speedway, with another treasure chest. First place in the Tums Fast Relief 500 was worth $202,511, but another Sprint Cup championship, his sixth, would be priceless. Three races remain. Johnson’s got the points lead. It isn’t much, but for the first time in a while, Brad Keselowski, who finished sixth, is chasing him. No. 2 (Keselowski) trails by two. “Just because you don’t qualify well, it doesn’t mean you don’t have a fast race car,” said Johnson, who could afford to be charitable. “Anything could happen. We’ve done a nice job to put us in the points lead. ... We’re ready to race him under any conditions.” Johnson sounded more upbeat about Keselowski’s chances than ... Keselowski. “We can’t keep on just surviving,” he said. “Surviving isn’t going to win the championship.” With races in Fort Worth, Texas; Phoenix; and Homestead, Fla., remaining in the season, it may not be a two-man race, but that’s the way it looks. Clint Bowyer finished fifth and is third in the standings, but his deficit, 24 points, is considerable at this point. “That ‘2’ team (Keselowski) is unbelievable,” Bowyer groused. “They keep doing what they do.” The day’s disaster befell Denny Hamlin, a four-time Martinsville winner, who finished 33rd after his Toyota suffered catastrophic electrical failure. The evercautious points leader betrayed no comfort in Hamlin’s misfortune. “What it does to my mind is ... I’m not smiling,” Johnson said. “What was it? Electrical failure? It could happen to me next week. I’m not eliminating anybody.” Hamlin trails by 49 points. Johnson wasn’t eliminating Hamlin, but Hamlin wrote his own chances off. “One of these days it’s going to be our time,” he said. “It’s just not going to be right now.” Keselowski actually held the lead with less than 20 laps to go, but it wasn’t because his Dodge was fastest. It was because he didn’t pit when Johnson and others did. Keselowski clung to the lead for five laps. Johnson finally passed him between turns three and four on lap 486. Then the flood gates opened, and Kyle Busch, Kasey Kahne and Jeff Gordon followed Johnson past Keselowski. With nine laps remaining, Earnhardt and Carl Edwards tangled in turns one and two. The chain reaction began with Edwards’ Ford being hit from behind by Sam Hornish Jr.’s Dodge. That contact sent Edwards’ car into Earnhardt’s. Johnson took the lead at the outset, too -- hardly surprising since he qualified fastest -- and remained there for the first 66 laps before yielding to teammate Gordon. No one significant crashed in the first 100 laps, though yellow flags waved after failed right-front tires sent the cars of Michael McDowell (lap 45) and David Stremme (97) careening into relatively minor contacts with the track’s cushioned walls. Travis Kvapil’s Toyota marked the third such incident on lap 126, though his was unrelated to tire trouble. Keselowski slowly worked his way up from 32nd starting position. Following the third caution flag, Keselowski restarted in 15th position at lap 135. Meanwhile, Brian Vickers wrested the lead from Gordon on lap 146. A Kyle Busch spin in turn three brought out the fourth caution on lap 149. Hamlin, who had lost track position due to an early pit-road penalty, worked his way up to second. A turn-two shunt involving Marcos Ambrose and Kvapil slowed the pace again at lap 212. Clint Bowyer ousted Gordon from the lead on lap 226. Hendrick Chevys thus became aligned in second through fifth with Gordon, Johnson, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Kasey Kahne. Kevin Harvick’s Chevy drop-kicked Kurt Busch’s into the turn-four wall on lap 233. Johnson and Bowyer conducted a side-by-side duel for the lead that lasted for more than three laps, Bowyer finally clearing him on lap 238. Bowyer then dominated the race up until a costly pit-road mistake -- he stalled the Toyota while attempting to pull away -- on lap 349.

Kevin Harvick’s engine expired on lap 475, setting up the finish. Kyle Busch finished second, Kasey Kahne third and, in a surprise, Aric Almirola fourth in the Ford carrying the name of Richard Petty, Martinsville’s all-time leader, with 15 victories.

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Doing for Others Eases Loneliness The key to fighting loneliness during the holidays is doing things for others. And if you join together with like-minded seniors, your own potential for happiness increases. Here are a few ideas. If you start now to plan and make preparations, you’ll be ready by December. Caroling: Gather friends together, print out the lyrics of a half-dozen holiday songs and practice a few times. Make a list of locations to contact about spreading a little musical cheer. Hospitals, nursing homes, veterans hospitals, elementary schools and nursery schools are all potential sites for your holiday chorus to perform. Gift bags: If you plan to visit nursing homes or hospitals, your presence and willingness to chat for a few minutes is the biggest bonus, but a small gift bag will be most welcome. Ask in advance how many to prepare. If there are too many and your budget won’t stretch, limit your gift bags to one wing or section. Ask staff if you need to stick to diabetic candy. There are many kinds now, and most of them are tasty. (For example, Whitman’s makes the miniature boxes of sugar-free chocolates.) A few pieces of chocolate and peppermint in each bag, as well as other small items, will go a long way to brighten the day of someone in the hospital during the holidays. A small notepad with a bright pen, a small hand mirror, an inexpensive scarf, a small desk calendar, a tiny stuffed animal, puzzle books like crossword or Sudoku with a mechanical pencil (so the nurses don’t have to sharpen regular pencils) all are good ideas for bag stuffers. Group meals: Plan to join together for a simple meal after all of your holiday efforts. The menu doesn’t have to be fancy ... it’s the company that counts!


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Crafty Crafters Marketplace

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CLASSIFIEDS TO PLACE A CLASSIFIED AD GO TO www.myweeklytidbits.com or call 205-588-1899 Announcements Place your ad in our classified Section today! Only $7.00 per week for a 25 word ad!

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Lost & Found


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For Advertising Call (205) 588-1899 We Don’t Need Another Hero

A SPORTING VIEW By Mark Vasto

So last week I went on a prolonged whine about how this generation was robbed of its heroes due to substance abuse, marital abuse or “that player is a jerk” abuse. In my lockup you will find the following: Mike Tyson, Floyd Mayweather, Tiger Woods, Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa, Chipper Jones, Alex Rodriguez, Roger Clemens, Bill Romanowski, Lawrence Taylor, O.J. Simpson, Martina Hingis, Ben Johnson, Marion Jones, Tonya Harding, Chinese gymnasts, East German swimmers and Lance Armstrong. My point was how this generation of sports fan got the shaft -- that they thought they were seeing the greatest of all times but were really, it turned out, just wasting their time. Look, drugs and treating people poorly aren’t anything new -- for every Pete Rose there’s a Ty Cobb, for every Black Sox scandal there’s a U.S. Postal Service Cycling team. But that doesn’t mean we’ve been completely blanked out when it came to superstars during this generation. Here are but a few to remember: In baseball you had Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera, Cal Ripken, John Smoltz, Randy Johnson, Greg Maddux and, recently, R.A. Dickey. Dickey, in particular, the knuckleballer for the Mets, is a standout. He may not be a Hall of Famer, but he certainly has taught kids a thing or two about competition (also, he’s a children’s book writer). That’s a hero. In basketball, you witnessed Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, Shaq, Kobe and Magic Johnson. Nothing else needs to be added to that sentence. Serena and Venus Williams, Steffi Graff, Roger Federer and Pete Sampras (with a side of Andre Agassi) ruled the courts during this generation, and there is very little doubt that they are the best of all-time. On the gridiron you’ve watched the Manning brothers, Emmit Smith, John Elway, Tom Brady, Jerry Rice and Joe Montana. Hockey gave you Wayne Gretzky, Mark Messier, Mario Lemiuex, Steve Yzerman, Sidney Crosby, Patrick Roy and Martin Brodeur. Soccer gave us Mia Hamm and that girl who took her shirt off. Look at the Olympic games. Forgive a little here and there, and you can point to Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte as the best swimmers of all time. Apolo Ohno is the best speed skater this side of Eric Heiden. Kerri Strug won a gold medal by landing full force on her broken ankle in gymnastics. So don’t let anybody tell you that the weak-kneed cheaters have hijacked sports and drug users are dictating the pace -- there are plenty of great examples to go around. And remember ... if you have a kid and a little spare time, pick up a ball or a puck, put on the running shoes, because to the next generation of sports stars, you’re the biggest hero of them all. All it takes is a little time.

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The Greater Birmingham Humane Society, founded in 1883, is the largest and oldest humane society in Alabama. Over the course of our history we have witnessed the changes in our community and yet have never left the original mission of Dr. Phillips “to promote respect for life through education and prevention of cruelty to animals and people”

Animal Adoption - 205.942.1211 - 300 Snow Drive, Birmingham, AL 35209 - WWW.GBHS.ORG

Snow Female, Adult Chihuahua

Zoey Female, Adult Chihuahua

Peanut Male, Young Jack Russell Terrier

Rocko Nutmeg Male, Young Female, Young Terrier (Unknown American Pit Bull Terrier Type, Medium)

Tony Montana Male, Kitten Domestic Shorthair

Temple Female, Adult Domestic Shorthair

Any Questions or Concerns Email us at: kkeith@gbhs.org

Shea Female, Young Domestic ‘ Shorthair

Peaches Female, Adult Domestic Shorthair

Copperfield Female, Young Domestic Shorthair

Have pet questions? Send them to us! Please email us your questions to kkeith@gbhs.org “Put Tidbits In The Subject Line”

205-588-1899 Ext 1

The Greater Birmingham Humane Society (GBHS) is a nonprofit in Birmingham, Alabama that has been serving abused and abandoned pets in Birmingham since 1883. The Greater Birmingham Humane Society was one of the first humane societies in the United States. Today the GBHS cares for nearly 9,000 animals a year and serves pets and people through their various programs which include, but are not limited to, pet adoptions, animal cruelty prevention, and humane education.

¥ If you average out the depth of the world’s seas and the elevation of the land, you’ll find that the ocean is four times as deep as the land is high. ¥ Pierre-Auguste Renoir, one of the leading artists of the Impressionist movement, died in 1919, at the age of 78. His last words were, “What a pity I have to go now just when I was beginning to show promise!” ¥ It’s not known who made the following sage ¥ Researchers studying the workings of memory briefly showed human volunteers sequences of five observation: “The sharper your words are, the more numbers on a computer screen. When asked to repeat the numbers, the test subjects could accurately they’ll hurt if you have to swallow them.” do so half the time. The same researchers conducted the same test with a chimpanzee named Ayumu, who was able to recall the number sequences 80 percent of the time. ¥ Those who study such things say that Southerners watch more TV than residents of any other region of ¥ A male sea otter shows affection by biting his mate’s nose. the country. ¥ If you’re a young baseball player hoping to make it in the big leagues, you might want to keep this ¥ Any given major ballet company will go through fact in mind: Only 8 percent of those who sign major-league contracts actually play in even a single bigabout 3,000 pairs of toe shoes every year. Under league game. The other 92 percent spend their careers languishing in the minor leagues for a pittance. normal use, one pair will last for about one hour of *** performing. Thought for the Day: “What is defeat? Nothing but education, nothing but the first step to something better.” -- Wendell Phillips BIBLE TRIVIA ANSWERS1) Psalms; 2) Voluntary; 3) 1 Thessalonians; 4) Bread/wine; 5) Fish’s belly; 6) Paul

Answers 1. A Western film 2. 80 3. It’s a stand with open shelves for display 4. Eggplant 5. Intelligence 6. South America 7. Congestive heart failure 8. Garrison Keillor 9. An artificial channel to bring water to a town 10. Henry James


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