Trivia Bits – Friday, January 29, 2016

January 29, 2016  
Filed under RESOURCE GUIDE

BY LESLIE ELMAN

 

Friday, January 29

 

The world’s largest parliament building (and the world’s second-largest office building, after the Pentagon) is the Palace of Parliament in Bucharest, Romania. An entire historic district, including churches, synagogues, homes and museums was razed to make way for the 365,000-square-meter building. Then-president/dictator Nicolae Ceausescu wanted it built to withstand an earthquake — or possibly a nuclear attack — but he didn’t live long enough to occupy the space. He and his wife were executed in 1989, before his “Palace of the People” was completed.

 

Where is the Pentagon located?

A) Arlington, Virginia

B) Bethesda, Maryland

C) Colorado Springs, Colorado

D) Washington, D.C.

 

Previous answer: The chrysanthemum is the Japanese imperial flower.

 

TRIVIA FANS: Leslie Elman is the author of “Weird But True: 200 Astounding, Outrageous and Totally Off the Wall Facts.” Contact her at triviabitsleslie@gmail.com.

DISTRIBUTED BY CREATORS.COM

The Unintended Consequences of 1,000 Bread Bags

January 29, 2016  
Filed under Blogs

Loaves Of BreadBY MARY HUNT

 

As you know — and only because I write about it so much — I may as well be president of the Artisan-In-Five fan club for how the book and its method of making bread at home changed my life.

Back when I was first learning to do this (the book really does make it so easy), I decided I needed good quality bread bags, not only to store partial loaves, but also for presentation. Let’s just say that when you bake bread, you have a lot of friends.

Turns out bread bags are quite inexpensive when purchased in bulk. And when I say bulk, I mean a case of 1,000 bread bags. I did. I bought a case.

As I look back, I’m not sure what I was thinking. Apparently, the idea of 1,000 loaves of bread ever coming out of my kitchen was overshadowed by a bargain-basement price on large bread and bakery poly bags.

While I continue to bake bread as needed by my household of two people, only occasionally do I use a bread bag for bread. But for dozens of other uses around the house? These bags are the best thing since, well, sliced bread!

STORE DECOR. I filled two bread bags with the pinecones I use during the fall and winter holidays in preparation for our big move. I can see exactly what’s in each bag.

PACK SHOES. I don’t like the idea of shoes touching clean clothes in a suitcase. Bread bags are the perfect size for one or two shoes of just about any size.

DIAPER DISPOSAL. Now that we have a new baby grandson, I’m changing diapers again. I keep a stash of bread bags handy to take care of soiled diapers before tossing them in the trash.

FRIDGE ORGANIZATION. I use bread bags in the fridge to hold everything from cut vegetables to cheese, meats and fruit. It’s so easy to just throw stuff in a bag, tie the bag loosely and pop it in the fridge. Visually it’s very appealing as well because I an easily see what’s in each bag.

CRAFTY BITS. If you’re crafty, you know the tyranny of little things. Thrown into a box, it’s hard to find anything, which can lead to re-buying just because you can’t find what you need! Keeping supplies in a cloth bag is even worse because you can’t see what’s at the bottom. I love bread bags for keeping balls of yarn segregated and organized. I have quilt pieces separated, stacked and sequestered in bread bags. It’s so beautiful, I hesitate actually making the quilt because I’ll have to spoil my artful organization! I use bread bags to organize all of the things I need in my knitting bag. Works like a charm.

KID STUFF. My grandsons and I use bread bags for everything you can imagine, from markers to puzzle pieces, socks, bibs and toy parts. We keep precious things like rocks, leaves and twigs safe and secure in them.

LUNCHES. Now and then I still pack lunches and I find bread bags to be so much handier than zip-type bags (cheaper, too!). They just work.

GLOVES. I slip a couple of bread bags on my hands when mixing a big batch of meatloaf or cooky dough and yes, even to form loaves of bread dough.

PAINT EQUIPMENT. A bread bag is the perfect shape and size to slip over a paint roller when I need to take a break but the job is not yet done. I wrap rollers and brushes tightly in individual bread bags to hold until the next day — no need to wash them out. The next day I just unwrap unwrap the roller and brushes, throw the bags away and we’re good to go.

Since making this dubious purchase, I’ve come to the conclusion just about everything around my house is better thanks to my little case of bread bags.

Would you like more information? Log on to EverydayCheapskate.com, where this column is archived complete with links and resources for all recommended products and services. Mary invites questions, comments and tips at mary@everydaycheapskate.com, or c/o Everyday Cheapskate, 12340 Seal Beach Blvd., Suite B-416, Seal Beach, CA 90740. This column will answer questions of general interest, but letters cannot be answered individually. Mary Hunt is the founder of www.DebtProofLiving.com, a personal finance member website and the author of “Debt-Proof Living,” released in 2014. To find out more about Mary and read her past columns, please visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at http://www.creators.com.

COPYRIGHT 2016 CREATORS.COM

Trivia Bits – Thursday, January 28, 2016

January 28, 2016  
Filed under RESOURCE GUIDE

BY LESLIE ELMAN

 

Thursday, January 28

 

About 99 percent of people in Japan choose to be cremated after they die. The decision is partly due to Buddhist practice and partly due to the fact that Japan doesn’t have a lot of available land for cemeteries. Although it’s been traditional for deceased members of the Japanese Imperial family to be interred in mausoleums, Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko made news a few years back when they said they’d prefer simple cremation rites rather than elaborate state funerals.

 

Which regal flower is most closely associated with the emperor of Japan?

A) Chrysanthemum

B) Gladiolus

C) Lilac

D) Rose

 

Previous answer: Cynthia Nixon was in her senior year at Hunter College High School in New York when she played Lorl the maid in “Amadeus.”

 

TRIVIA FANS: Leslie Elman is the author of “Weird But True: 200 Astounding, Outrageous and Totally Off the Wall Facts.” Contact her at triviabitsleslie@gmail.com.

DISTRIBUTED BY CREATORS.COM

 

The Power of Persistence

January 28, 2016  
Filed under Blogs

Happy elder womanBY MARY HUNT

 

Every day, I get at least one letter or message from someone who needs encouragement. It might be a never-changing credit-card balance that has the writer down in the dumps. Or it could be from someone who’s made tremendous progress paying down their debt, but then falls off the wagon and starts down that terrible path again.

One letter I got recently came from a young woman who believes that she simply cannot stop spending money. She feels completely powerless under the strain of her circumstances and obsessive behavior.

I cannot know your exact circumstances, but perhaps you can identify in some way. Do you feel like this burden you carry is far too heavy to bear? Do you feel defeated? Hopeless? Like a complete loser because while everyone else is making tremendous progress towards saving, investing and spending less than they earn, you’re in worse shape than ever — and ashamed to admit it. Read more

Vermont Offers Year-Round Freshness with Winter Farmers’ Markets

January 28, 2016  
Filed under Food

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MONTPELIER, Vt. – Vermont is a pioneer of the farm-to-table movement, and it boasts more farmers’ markets per capita than any other state in the country. Fresh produce, crafts, baked goods, meats, and specialty foods are available nearly year-round. If you’re visiting Vermont between November and April, check out these winter farmers’ markets. Find more exciting Vermont events at www.VermontVacation.com

 

BENNINGTON FARMERS MARKET

Through April 16

Baptist Church on East Main, Bennington, VT

First and third Saturday, 10am-1pm Read more

UVM Health Network – Central Vermont Medical Center Auxiliary Names “Auxilian of the Year”

January 27, 2016  
Filed under Health & Wellness, News

 

 

Berlin, Vt. – University of Vermont Health Network – Central Vermont Medical Center Auxiliary Past-President Wanda Baril recently presented Marilyn White, left, and Joni Argenti, center, with the 2015 CVMC Auxilian of the Year award. Through the years the two women have contributed more than 5000 unpaid hours to the volunteer organization, which raises money for patient centered projects at the medical center.

 

White, who was also elected the 2016 CVMC Auxiliary President, has been a member of the Auxiliary for nearly eight years. She volunteers at the information desk, registration, quarterly blood drives and knits for the knitting group. She worked for 36 years at Chittenden Bank and retired in 2001 as Assistant Vice President and Assistant Branch Manager. Argenti has been a volunteer at the medical center since 2009. She retired from Paige & Campbell Insurance Company. Together they have coordinated the hospital’s Love Light Tree, published a cook book and are on the scholarship committee. They are also great friends.

 

The CVMC Auxiliary operates the Gift Shop in the main lobby of the hospital and the Bene-Fit Shop thrift store in Barre. All proceeds are used to support patient centered projects and provide local scholarships to students studying for a career in health care. Last year the Auxiliary donated more than $40,000 to help with patient needs and awarded $25,000 in scholarships.

 

The University of Vermont Health Network – Central Vermont Medical Center is part of a four-hospital system established to deliver high quality academic medicine to every community we serve. Our partners are: The University of Vermont Medical Center, The University of Vermont Health Network – Champlain Valley Physicians Hospital and The University of Vermont Health Network – Elizabethtown Community Hospital. For more information and to connect with us through Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn and our blog, visit UVMHealth.org/CVMC.

 

Trivia Bits – Wednesday, January 27, 2016

January 27, 2016  
Filed under RESOURCE GUIDE

BY LESLIE ELMAN

 

Wednesday, January 27

 

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, born Jan. 27, 1756, wrote his first opera, “Bastien und Bastienne,” at age 12. The one-act comic opera about a shepherdess and her love was commissioned by Dr. Anton Mesmer, the Austrian physician who popularized hypnotism (also known as mesmerism). It was performed for the first time at Mesmer’s home in the suburbs of Vienna in 1768 and not again until a production in Berlin in 1890, nearly 100 years after Mozart’s death.

 

Which star of “Sex and the City” was a high school student when she filmed her part in the 1984 film “Amadeus”?

A) Kim Cattrall

B) Kristin Davis

C) Cynthia Nixon

D) Sarah Jessica Parker

 

Previous answer: James Franco played the role of Oz in “Oz, the Great and Powerful.”

 

TRIVIA FANS: Leslie Elman is the author of “Weird But True: 200 Astounding, Outrageous and Totally Off the Wall Facts.” Contact her at triviabitsleslie@gmail.com.

DISTRIBUTED BY CREATORS.COM

 

Who Wants to Spend $70 One Time to Save $120 Every Year?

January 27, 2016  
Filed under Blogs

moneyBY MARY HUNT

 

Faithful readers may recall the story of a woman in Philadelphia who decided to go over her parents’ phone bill only to discover they were paying $21 a month to lease three landline telephones — one of which they’d tossed out years ago. Failure to keep up with technology cost this family $6,000.

What’s it costing you? Just because you may have rented a piece of hardware in the past doesn’t necessarily mean it’s automatically cost-effective to continue.

If you have not looked closely at your monthly cable and or Internet service bill lately, you should. You may be leasing a modem from your service provider. It probably made sense when you signed up for the service and were asked, “Would you like us to provide the modem as part of your service?” or something like that. And I doubt if it registered with you just what that cost would be on an annual basis or how long that would go on. Or that you might have the option at some point in time to provide your own equipment.

Internet and cable service providers routinely provide the modem when installing cable TV and Internet service, then charge a monthly rental of around $10 or so. At first that might not have sounded like such a big deal, but when you consider you’re paying $120 per year — every year — for a $70 item, suddenly that sounds like a big rip-off.

Take the service provider Comcast for example. One of the most well reviewed modems on Comcast’s long list of compatible cable modem devices, ARRIS SURFboard SB6141, retails at Amazon for about $69.99 with free shipping. The Arris claims compatibility with major cable providers like Comcast/Xfinity, Cox, Charter, Time Warner, Mediacom, Bright House (note it is NOT compatible with Verizon FiOS or AT&T U-verse as they use a different system with modems which are proprietary to their network).

Now that is only one example, but let’s go ahead and do the math. If you were renting a modem for $10 a month and decided to cancel that rental arrangement in favor of buying your own compatible modem for $70, in the first year you would save $50 ($120 – $70 = $50). Then $120 ($10 x 12 = $120) every year thereafter.

Once you have your modem in hand, setup should not be difficult. I’ve heard from numerous Comcast subscribers who tell me that the customer service reps walked them through the setup process, made sure it was working properly and instructed on how and where to return the rented unit. Other companies would operate similarly.

In all, this should not take more than a couple of hours, tops. When you think of the potential savings, that’s not a bad wage for the time involved, and if you already own a wireless router simply connect it to your new modem to connect to the Internet wirelessly. If not, you can purchase a basic model for under $20.

One last thing to consider when switching from renting to owning: Tech support issues might be more difficult to deal with if you own the modem rather than rent it from the service provider. With a rented unit, your service provider will replace a defective modem free of charge. But if you own it and run into issues, the company could conclude that it’s your problem, not theirs. I only tell you this to be certain you understand that with ownership comes responsibility. Is this a potential problem? Yes. Is there a high likelihood that it will happen? No, not in my opinion. Positive and trouble free feedback on making this move far outweigh the negative. Still, it is something you should consider as you look at taking a relatively small risk to reap a super-size reward.

Would you like more information? Log on to EverydayCheapskate.com, where this column is archived complete with links and resources for all recommended products and services. Mary invites questions, comments and tips at mary@everydaycheapskate.com, or c/o Everyday Cheapskate, 12340 Seal Beach Blvd., Suite B-416, Seal Beach, CA 90740. This column will answer questions of general interest, but letters cannot be answered individually. Mary Hunt is the founder of www.DebtProofLiving.com, a personal finance member website and the author of “Debt-Proof Living,” released in 2014. To find out more about Mary and read her past columns, please visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.

COPYRIGHT 2016 CREATORS.COM

 

Blood donations urgently needed by the American Red Cross

January 22, 2016  
Filed under Health & Wellness, News

Red-Cross

 

 

The American Red Cross urgently needs blood donors to make an appointment to give this winter. Eligible blood donors of all types are needed, especially those with O, AB, B negative and A negative.

 

Blood donations are urgently needed now and throughout the winter to maintain a sufficient blood supply for patients in need. Make an appointment to donate blood by downloading the free Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting redcrossblood.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

Read more

Trivia Bits – Friday, January 22, 2016

January 22, 2016  
Filed under RESOURCE GUIDE

BY LESLIE ELMAN

 

Friday, January 22

 

“Saturday Night Live” is aired live … but not always. On Oct. 25, 1986, the scheduled broadcast was delayed when Game 6 of the World Series between the New York Mets and the Boston Red Sox went into extra innings. Producers waited as long as they could before deciding that the show couldn’t go on that night. The studio audience waited, too, until 1:30 a.m., when the show was performed and recorded. That historic “Saturday Night Taped” episode aired on Nov. 8, 1986.

 

The host of the first prerecorded “Saturday Night Live” episode was what star of the 1986 movies “8 Million Ways to Die” and “Nobody’s Fool”?

A) Rosanna Arquette

B) Rebecca De Mornay

C) Demi Moore

D) Molly Ringwald

 

Previous answer: “Call me Ishmael,” says the narrator of Herman Melville’s “Moby-Dick,” because Ishmael is his name.

 

TRIVIA FANS: Leslie Elman is the author of “Weird But True: 200 Astounding, Outrageous and Totally Off the Wall Facts.” Contact her at triviabitsleslie@gmail.com.

COPYRIGHT 2016 LESLIE ELMAN

DISTRIBUTED BY CREATORS.COM

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