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of the Tri-Cities

1st Quarter 2009 Week 12 Issue 32 Mar 15 – Mar 22 1 Page

March 15-21, 2009 tangles08b.pdf


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SPRING FORWARD by Marcy Stephens

Spring is finally in the air… or at least it’s coming up on the calendar. Join us as we shake off those winter cobwebs and present some tips, trivia and Tidbits for the blooming season!

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• In many areas of the U.S., spring weather means homeowners returning outdoors to tend to their lawns and gardens. If you haven’t used your lawn mower since last fall, make sure you clean the spark plugs before firing it up. While you’re at it, check all the nuts and bolts and make sure they’re tight. The vibration of the mower tends to loosen them just a bit with each use. And as you can imagine, you don’t want a mower to come flying apart during use.

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• Last year, more than 15,000 children were treated for lawn-mower-related injuries in emergency rooms. Never let a child accompany you on a riding mower; it’s built for one adult occupant. It’s safest to keep kids completely out of the area when you’re mowing. Items hidden in the grass can be as devastating as bullets when flung by a mower’s powerful blades. Finally, wear enclosed shoes when operating a mower. Flip-flops and sandals leave your feet vulnerable, and tend to slip and slide on freshly-mown grass.

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Tidbits® of the Tri-Cities

Don’t Allow House Pets to Breed By Sam Mazzotta

DEAR PAW’S CORNER: It never seems to amaze me. I’m talking about the people who do not get their critters fixed. I know some very educated people whose pets have litter after litter. What are they thinking? Where and when will it end? It is never right or a good thing to allow your critters to have a litter. Never! Take a look at our overcrowded animal shelters. It just breaks my heart at the number of animals they have to put down. These “educated” people tell me, “Oh, I find homes for all my babies.” That’s beside the point! If you don’t have babies to give away for free, then people will have to adopt a critter from the shelter that is fixed and won’t reproduce any more unwanted and unloved animals. Get all your pets fixed! If you can’t afford to get them fixed, find a program that will help you pay for it or take them to your local shelter. Please! -- Dee in Palmyra, N.Y. DEAR DEE: Thank you for making an important point so forcefully. Litters of puppies and kittens

are very cute, but they add to an already huge population of dogs and cats, most of which are never adopted and end up in shelters, where they’re often euthanized. Unless you are an AKC-certified, professional breeder, you have no business allowing your pets to procreate. I have heard many excuses from pet owners as to why they don’t spay or neuter. “Oh, it would be cruel.” “Oh, my Maximilian would lose his confident personality if he were neutered.” And of course, “My pet is well-behaved and indoors most of the time, so she’ll never get pregnant.” Don’t let yourself be swayed by these fantasies. Learn the facts about spaying and neutering. Send your tips, questions and comments to Paw’s Corner, c/o King Features Weekly Service, P.O. Box 536475, Orlando, FL 32853-6475, or e-mail them to (c) 2009 King Features Synd., Inc.

SPRING FORWARD (continued): • In many states, spring is also known as flood season. Floods are vicious, unpredictable events, and your only defense is to be prepared. Experts recommend that anyone living in a flood plain have some form of flood insurance. And don’t wait too long; such policies take an average of 30 days to go into effect. Most standard homeowner policies do not cover flood damage. Since your home holds much of your personal and financial security, it’s vital to protect the investment. • If you use winter-specific tires on your vehicle during the colder months, now is a good time to switch back to all-season tires. Snow tires are crafted from a softer rubber compound than normal tires, so they’re illsuited for warmer weather. They’ll become noisy, they’ll wear out more quickly, and they’ll reduce your automobile’s fuel efficiency. It’s best to store snow tires in a cool, dark, dry place, such as the basement. • In most areas of the U.S., the underbody of an automobile driven over the winter tends to accumulate some combination of dirt, grime, dead vegetation, and road salt. Now that the weather has gotten a bit warmer, it’s time to give your car or truck a thorough bath. If you don’t have the time or energy to do it yourself, ask a car wash professional to give it a good bumper-to-bumper and top-to-bottom scrubbing. Washing away the winter irritants will help not only to preserve your car’s paint job, but its overall resale value. • This is the season when felines begin to shed their winter coats. Use a comb to brush your cat daily, both to prevent hairballs and to reduce the amount of stray fur that ends up on floors and furniture. If you’re into “natural recycling,” take the fur that you remove from your pet comb and set it outside for wild birds to pick up and use as nesting material.

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Tidbits presents:

O U R LO CA L OUR LOCAL Kimberley Trapulionis has been a Chef for over 10 years. She offers catering and can be reached with any questions, suggestions or comments at: Drop scones are a boon for busy holiday bakers, since they’re a snap to make and almost foolproof. These bake up light and fluffy. A touch of maple syrup and pieces of fig make them just sweet enough—deal for breakfast or an afternoon snack.

Irish Chicken & Dumplings 2 10 3/4 oz. cans condensed cream of chicken soup 3 C. water 1 C. chopped celery 2 onions, quartered Special equipment: 1 tsp.Paper salt Parchment 1/2 tsp. poultry seasoning 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper 4 boneless chicken breast halves 5 carrots, sliced 1 10 oz. pkg. frozen green peas 4 potatoes, quartered 3 C. baking mix 1 1/3 C. milk

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In large, heavy pot, combine soup, water, chicken, celery, onion, salt, poultry seasoning, and pepper. Cover and cook over low heat about 1 1/2 hours. Add potatoes and carrots; cover and cook another 30 minutes. Remove chicken from pot, shred it, and return to pot. Add peas and cook only 5 minutes longer. Add dumplings. To make dumplings: Mix baking mix and milk until a soft dough forms. Drop by tablespoonfuls onto boiling stew. Simmer covered for 10 minutes, then uncover and simmer an additional 10 minutes.

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Tidbits® of the Tri-Cities

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Cholesterol Tests Keep Multiplying DEAR DR. DONOHUE: My husband had blood work for a cholesterol study. It included something called lipoprotein (a), something we never heard of. It was over the normal value. I called my doctor, but he was on vacation, so I left word for the covering doctor. A phone call came from his secretary, who said: “He didn’t say anything, so I guess it’s OK.” I want answers. Will you explain this to me? -- F. ANSWER: Lipoprotein (a), spoken as “lipoprotein little a,” is another cholesterol fraction that is an independent risk for artery clogging and heart attacks. It’s different from LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol) and HDL cholesterol (good cholesterol). Frankly, at the present, doctors find it hard to counsel patients about lipoprotein (a), so most don’t order it. Now emphasis is placed on lowering LDL cholesterol (your husband’s value is very good) and raising HDL cholesterol (again your husband’s was very good). I will trade places with him if he wishes, and I’ll take his lipoprotein (a) reading to boot. I can tell you what lowers lipoprotein (a). Niacin does. There is no proof, however, that lowering it lowers the risk of a heart attack. Daily exercise of 30 minutes also brings it down, if the doctor approves of exercise for a person. As does losing weight if that applies. A low-fat diet high in vegetables, fruits and grains is another way of reducing lipoprotein (a). From his other cholesterol values, I’d say he must be doing some of this anyway. All of this, except for niacin, is the much-preached recipe for heart health regardless of lipoprotein (a). Until told otherwise, put lipoprotein (a) on a back burner.

The booklet on cholesterol explains this topic that is talked about to excess. Readers can obtain a copy by writing: Dr. Donohue -- No. 201W, 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: None of my 21 grandchildren has had their tonsils out. All of my seven children did. Is this no longer done? I wish doctors would make up their minds about these things. -- B.B. ANSWER: When your children were young, it was almost standard practice to remove tonsils as a way to protect against strep throat. We now know this isn’t necessary, and we now have antibiotics to treat strep throat. Children who have repeated strep throat infections still have their tonsils removed, but the operation is no longer done for prevention. *** DEAR DR. DONOHUE: I work out at home on an exercise bike and a treadmill. On days my knees are bothering me, I don’t do either. One doctor suggests that I cease the exercise bike but use the treadmill. The other says just the opposite. They both can’t be right. Who is? -- R.G. ANSWER: You can answer this one for yourself. Which hurts your knees? I find that bike pedaling is harder on my knees. Others find running a bigger source of pain. (c) 2009 North America Synd., Inc. All Rights Reserved

What If You Were Paid to Exercise? The amount requested averaged $36.30 a week, IF they could go alone. If forced to participate Would you walk for money? Some of us in a group, the amount doubled. would, it appears -- but only if we can do it by Since my walking program doesn’t pay cash our own criteria. for attendance, and since once again I’ve fallen A study of adults over 50 sought to determine off going to class, I thought about getting a just what it would take to get people to walk treadmill. Yet another study suggests, however, for exercise. Participants were given a choice: that while those of us who pay for expensive Would they walk in a group or by themselves? equipment actually do start to use it, we’re more And how long would they walk, and how often? likely to quit than people who don’t have their The choices picked most often were walking own machines. There’s something about the alone three times a week for 20 minutes each. ideal (“I’m going to buy a treadmill and walk Then researchers threw in an incentive: five times a week”) and the reality (“I’ll really Would they walk for money? A third of the only get on the machine twice a week”) that participants suddenly decided they would walk, don’t mesh. when $9 a week was offered. But three days a What will keep us exercising? The study had week at 20 minutes each isn’t enough to meet some answers: A belief that we can reach our exercise guidelines. Participants were then goals, and actually meeting those goals. asked how much it would “cost” to get them to Maybe the key is to set more realistic goals exercise five days a week for 30 minutes each. for ourselves.

For Advertising Call 1.804.731.7504 SPRING FORWARD (continued): • Designate the beginning of spring as the one time each year that you pull your refrigerator away from the wall. Don’t do it just for the exercise, of course. Take advantage of the situation by vacuuming the coils and sweeping out from under the fridge. This is crucial if you own a dog or cat, as the fur they shed tends to accumulate there. It can force your refrigerator to work overtime, which reduces the appliance’s life while increasing its use of electricity (and, hence, your power bill). • Gutters tend to collect debris over the autumn and winter. Before those April showers arrive, it’s a good idea to clear them out. Plant a good, steady ladder on level ground, and use a long-handled rake if necessary to clear the obstructions. You can also place a tarp on the ground to catch all the leaves, twigs, and birds’ nests that you scoop out. • If your dog is not on a year-round heartworm preventative medication, take him to the vet this spring for a quick blood test. If he’s healthy, your veterinarian will prescribe a monthly dose of heartworm pills to keep him that way. Also, if your dog has not been spayed or neutered, now is the time to keep him on a leash anytime he’s outdoors. Humans aren’t the only ones seeking romance in the spring, and we all want to do our part to control the pet population. • Don’t wait until the first day the thermometer hits 90 degrees to clean your air conditioners. Disconnect the power to the outdoor condenser of your unit, and clear away any leaves or other debris with a power blower or vacuum cleaner. Believe it or not, one of the most common mistakes folks make with their window air conditioners is forgetting to remove the protective winter cover before turning it on. This can completely burn out an AC unit, resulting in expensive repairs.

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Early, but Sadler Looking Good It’s still early, of course, but Elliott Sadler is 11th in the Sprint Cup point standings. Not bad for a driver who was supposedly out of a job. During the off-season, when George Gillett absorbed Petty Enterprises and renamed his operation Richard Petty Motorsports, Sadler was apparently replaced in the team’s No. 19 Dodge by A.J. Allmendinger. The 33-year-old Sadler, who has three career victories and made the Chase in 2004, initiated legal action and kept his job. Allmendinger is now driving the team’s No. 44 Dodge, though the team will have to secure additional sponsorship in order for it to continue beyond the early races. Sadler, a native of Emporia, Va., said he has no hard feelings. The incident certainly didn’t hinder his performance in the Daytona 500, where he finished fifth and led until shortly before rain brought the season opener to a premature ending. “We got off to a great start,” said Sadler. “Anytime you go to Daytona and finish in the top five, you feel like you’re ahead of the game and have some momentum going into the second race. “It’s definitely good for your mentality. It’s definitely good for your race team.” Sadler finished 25th in the season’s second race at

Auto Club Speedway. “We still have a lot of work to do,” he said. “We need to get stronger as a race team. The manufacturer (Dodge) needs to get stronger. We all need to be stronger. “Have we closed that gap? I don’t know. It’s still too early to tell. ... We feel like we’ve closed the gap a little bit.” In California, Sadler drew some attention when asked about Auto Club Speedway’s attendance problems. “We just have to do a better job of getting fans to this particular race track,” he said. “If I had anything to do with this track, I would go to every single middle school within 50 miles of this place and give away free tickets. What’s the difference in an empty seat and a free ticket? You might sell a Coca-Cola to them in the stands.” *** Monte Dutton has covered motorsports for The Gaston (N.C.) Gazette since 1993. He was named writer of the year by the National Motorsports Press Association in 2008. His blog NASCAR This Week (http://nascar. features all of his reporting on racing, roots music and life on the road. You can e-mail Monte at (c) 2009 King Features Synd., Inc.

1. Name the skipper of the Chicago Cubs the last time they won a World Series? 2. What manager posted the most career wins for the Boston Red Sox? 3. In 2008, Missouri’s Chase Coffman set a career mark a Division I 3 1Q2009 :: Wkfor 12receptions :: Mar 15 by – Mar 21 :: Pg. tight end. Whose record did he break? 4. Name the last two NBA teams that won 60plus games in consecutive seasons without winning a championship. 5. Who played in the first outdoor regulation NHL game in 2003? 6. Name the last couple before Keauna McLaughlin and Rockne Brubaker to win consecutive golds in pairs figure skating at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships. 7. Two men have won the Senior British Open golf tournament three times each. Name them.

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Tidbits® of the Tri-Cities sorts of small things. Best of all, they can be stacked.” -- B.H. in Colorado ¥ A great garden tip from P. Allen Smith (get more at When trimming an evergreen hedge, prune the sides on a slight bevel, so the bottom branches stick out a little further than the top. This prevents the top from shading the lower branches and making them sparse and leggy.

(c) 2009 King Features Synd., Inc.

¥ Another way to keep pets from sleeping on the sofa while you are out is to use a carpet runner made of plastic. Put the gripping side up, and both dogs and cats will stay away.

¥ “My recipe cards were a mess, so I entered the recipes into my computer to get organized. However, I do love my recipe cards, and some are passed down and very special. I saved the special ones and framed them to hang in my kitchen. I also made a collage out of the holiday side-dish recipe cards and some photos of dinners through the years. It’s very artistic, and I love it.” -- M.L.P. in Minnesota

¥ “This is for the gardener who doesn’t like to wear gloves: Dig your fingernails into a bar of soap before gardening in dirt, leaving a collection of soap residue under the nails. Washing your hands after gardening will be much easier.” -- Lynn in North Carolina ¥“I save the plastic containers from baby wipes. They make terrific organizers for all

for the extra help), here’s how to clean collected and trapped lint from the dryer and vents. 1) Unplug the dryer and detach the vent hose from the back. 2) With a helper, maneuver the dryer out from the wall. 3) Check the lint trap inside the dryer first: use a flexible brush (like a soft bottle brush) to catch larger lint clusters and remove them. Vacuum out the space using the extension attachment on your vacuum cleaner. 4) Wipe or scrub away any buildup of gunk around or By Samantha Mazzotta inside FILLER the lint trap,PAGE using water 2 and a little detergent. 5) Wipe the interior drum09 clean. 1Q09 WEEK Q: I share a laundry room with the upstairs tenants, and 6) Get FEB behind22the dryer 28 and inspect the exit chute to - FEB the washer and dryer get heavy use. The only annoywhich the dryer vent was attached. Use your hand ing thing is that the upstairs folks never clean out the or the brush to sweep out big clumps of lint; vacuum lint screen, so after they are done drying several loads I out the chute. end up removing half-inch-thick (or more) collections of 7) Inspect the dryer vent and clean the same way. lint. Lately, I have noticed that my clothes don’t seem to Also inspect and clean the outside exhaust vent. If dry as well and that they sometimes have little lint balls PRESENTS you want to clean the entire vent run, a duct cleaning stuck to them. Does the dryer need cleaning? -- Nate tool is available at home-improvement stores in 10TRIVIA NEWSFRONT™ in New Hampshire andby20-foot lengths.& Sandy Wood Kara Kovalchik This is about the most you can do to reduce lint A: I’d definitely say yes. The parts of the dryer that re-star of the TV show M*A*S*H was given the 1. What buildup in the dryer. Lint also might be building up move lint need to be inspected and cleaned. name Alphonso d’Abruzzo at birth? behind the drum, but it’s generally not recommended Are you both tenants? If so, and the landlord supplies that you disassemble the dryer -- have an appliance 2.away Scary the washer and dryer, inform him or her right thatfilm legend William Henry Pratt was better repair person come and do that. Still, just this little known there is a lint (and drying) problem and that the dryer by what stage name? maintenance effort, done twice a year, will significantneeds cleaning. Excess lint is a fire hazard, so prompt 3. What is the full first of actress Demiand Moore? ly improve thename efficiency of your dryer reduce the attention should be paid. risk of a lint fire. If you’re the owner or you offer to fix the problem in re-people had difficulty pronouncing his name, 4. Since turn for a break on the rent (some landlords arerock grateful star John Bongiovi uses what phonetic version

Give Your Dryer a Good Cleaning

SPRING FORWARD (continued): • The ritual of “spring cleaning” dates back to the days when homes were lit with candles and kerosene lamps, and heated with burning wood or oil. By the time spring arrived, the smoke and ash accumulated during the winter necessitated a complete scrubbing of the house, as well as its draperies and linens. Once most homes were updated with modern heating systems, spring cleaning continued on as a seasonal ritual. The chore list grew to include packing away one’s winter wardrobe. • While you’re hanging up your warm weather wardrobe, you might find a few garments that no longer fit. You may also see an item or two and wonder, “What was I thinking when I bought this?” Both the Salvation Army and Goodwill Industries are always on the lookout for items of clothing – notably school wear for youngsters, professionalstyle business clothes that adults can wear to job interviews, and shoes (particularly in children’s sizes). Please consider making a tax-deductible clothing donation while you’re purging items from your closet! • Daylight Saving Time began on March 9. Have you already moved all your clocks forward an hour? And replaced the batteries in your home’s smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms? And turned and/or rotated the mattresses on your home’s beds? These are three tasks that many choose to tackle on the day DST begins, so if you “missed the boat,” it’s not too late to get on board. TRIVIA NEWSFRONT • April 15th is looming, soANSWERS if you’ve yet to file your taxes, 1. why not beat Alan Alda the rush by assembling your receipts and necessary papers 2. Boris Karloff now? If you’re throwing away old financial records, ensure your privacy by shredding 3. Demitria these papers. The IRS recommends keeping 4. Jon Bon Jovi at least three years of documentation handy, 5. Eldrickarise down the line. should any questions


(c) 2009 King Features Synd., Inc.

as stage name? 5. What is the real first name of golf superstar Tiger Woods?

1Q2009 :: Wk 12 :: Mar 15 – Mar 21 :: Pg. 4

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Today, many of us manage our online communications with the same ease that we once used to handle the telephone. As the online-service and Internet world has grown, it’s become easier to forget how daunting, complicated, and just plain time-consuming the whole process was just a few years ago. • The earliest incarnation of what we now call the Internet was called the Advanced Research Projects Agency Network, or ARPANet. The project was launched in 1969 to facilitate the sharing of data between research computers in different parts of the United States. At that time, only a few large research computers were scattered around the country. Engineers believed that these “brains” could solve problems more efficiently and effectively by maintaining a constant line of communication with one another. • The very first email was shot through cyberspace in the autumn of 1971. Ray Tomlinson, a computer programmer, tested a new application called “electronic mail” by sending a simple message from one computer terminal to another identical unit elsewhere in the same room. These devices hardly resembled the personal computers we use today; they had much more in common with the old Teletype machines once commonplace in newspaper offices. • Email abuse wasn’t far behind. The earliest documented “spam” email was sent in May 1978 by a marketing rep for Digital Equipment Corporation. DEC had introduced a new computer model, so a marketer prepared an email inviting a select list of potential customers to an open house event. The salesman wasn’t familiar with the technology, however, and he managed to send his message to just about everyone in the U.S. who had an email address at the time.SCHOOL ONLINE, OLD • Who (or what company) took the very first Internet address? The first registered domain name was, registered on March 15, 1985. The company, which WANT TO RUN YOUR OWN BUSINESS? produced computer systems that utilized the Publish a Paper in Your Area Lisp programming language, went ·bankrupt If You Can Provide: Sales Experience · A Computer Desktop Publishing · A Reasonable Investmentmade a decade later.Software Shortly after Financial Symbolics We provide the opportunity for success! WWW history, several universities jumped 1.800.523.3096 on the ::Call Internet On21April 1Q2009 Wk 12 ::bandwagon. Mar 15 – Mar :: Pg. 25, 7 1985, Carnegie Mellon, MIT, Purdue, Rice, Rutgers, and UCLA each registered domain names for their respective schools.

Economic Stress-Busters There’s economic doom and gloom in the newspaper over breakfast, and more bad news on the TV with dinner: It can take a toll on your frame of mind and load you down with stress. But you don’t have to succumb to the negativity and fears over the current economy. You can control your response to it. Step one is to look at your financial reality. Write down the amounts of all your monthly bills. Write down the balances you owe for credit cards and loans, down to the penny. Write down all your income. At that point you’ll know the true state of your finances, and knowing the truth is always better. One of the most important things you can do in times of stress is guard your health. Stress can take a toll on your body and make you susceptible to illnesses -- which are expensive. Look for ways to reduce the amount of stress in your life. Here are some ideas: ¥ Get some exercise and release stress-busting endorphins. It doesn’t require an expensive gym

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• By the late 1990s, Compuserve (owned by H&R Block) and Prodigy (owned by Sears) had become AOL’s main competitors, and each service charged users an hourly rate. When all three switched to monthly flat-rate pricing, newcomers (like Kmart’s BlueLight service) countered them by offering free Internet access. These companies learned soon enough that the advertising income wasn’t enough to cover the expenses. While most

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• What was the very first retail sale made online via World Wide Web technology? A printer? Ain mouse? hardfromdisk a Information the Tidbits PaperA is gathered sourcesdrive? considered toNo… be reliable but the accuracy of all information cannot be guaranteed. pizza. In August 1994, Pizza Hut began takGet Enough Tidbits? ingCan’t online orders at to residents of the Santa Cruz, California area. RESERVE NOW! • One of the earliest consumer online services Tidbits Media, Inc. was Quantum Link, or Q-Link. It began in 1430 I-85 Parkway, Suite 301 Limited Edition Montgomery, AL 36106 1985 as a way of 523-3096 the bestBook Set to connect users (800) Reprintshome of Books computer I, II, & III. selling of the era, the ComThe Tidbits64. Paper isThose a Division of Tidbits Inc. • Montgomery,in” AL 36106 modore whoMedia,“hooked using a (800) 523-3096 • E-mail: • All Rights Reserved ©2008 telephone modem could chat, play games, and post messages for a monthly rate of $9.95 (plus a six cents per minute usage fee). In 1991, Q-Link was absorbed by a fledgling company whose name might sound more familiar: America Online, or AOL.

membership. Build a snowman with the kids, go for a run or walk around the block. Even 15 minutes a day outside has health benefits, especially if the sun is out. ¥ Find things to laugh about. Like exercise, laughter releases endorphins. ¥ Bring out the old-fashioned board games. Dig out your old music and play it loud. ¥ Scour the entertainment section of the newspaper for free activities, and make a list. ¥ Go through the library’s magazine archive and pick out a few with topics that are new to you. Thumb through the magazines at breakfast instead of the daily paper. ¥ Get started on a vegetable garden. No matter what space you have, you can grow something. If you end up with surplus, donate it to the local food bank. ¥ Do something for others whenever you can. No matter your situation, there’s someone whose situation is worse. ¥ Build rewards into your week for both you and your family, whether it’s splurging on a cake mix or going to an event from your list of free and low-cost activities. Look closely at what you can and cannot control in your life. While you can’t control the whole economy, you can control your little part of it and how you react to it.

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1. Frank Chance, in 1908. 2. Joe Cronin won 1,071 games between 1935 and 1947. 3. Louisville’s Ibn Green had 217 receptions (1996-99). 4. Utah in 1996-97 and 1997-98 and Dallas in 2005-06 and 2006-07. 5. The Edmonton Oilers and Montreal Canadiens. 6. Kyoko Ina and John Zimmerman in 200102. 7. Gary Player (‘88, ‘90, ‘97) and Tom Watson (‘03, ‘05, ‘07).

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Tidbits of the Tri-Cities --- Issue 32  

The Neatest Little Paper Ever Read

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