Archive for May, 2008

Return of the yam

May 29, 2008

yam-not-sweet-potato.jpgYams are back in the news — or at least back in today’s column.

Prompted by the same People’s Pharmacy column that undoubtedly produced the first yam question, a reader wanted to know where she could buy yams locally.




May 28, 2008

B.S. recently asked if anyone in the area repaired Apple computers. His iMac had apple1.pngapparently gone kerflooey (to use a technical term).

I directed him to the nearest repair shops that I could find — all of which happen to be authorized by Apple to repair its products. You can search for the one nearest you here.

Today, a local man called to say he also repairs Apples. Brogden Heidenreich said he’s working toward getting certified by the company to repair them. For more info, check his Web site.

Landlord-tenant problems

May 28, 2008

leakchal2.jpgS.T. rents a house in the area and wonders what can be done about the roof repairs that it needs.

The management company keeps putting him (or maybe her) off, saying it has yet to get up with the owner of the house. Meanwhile, S.T. is both frustrated and a little worried about the possible impact of the leak on the home’s electrical system.

What are S.T.’s rights? What can he/she do?

Answer: At least a couple of things.


What not to wear

May 24, 2008


If you’re in the Army, it’s a uniform that doesn’t meet strict regulation.

If you’re on “Dancing With The Stars,” you’d better not appear in anything that would be even remotely OK by Army standards. Instead, the unwritten rules call for clothing that’s tight, sparkly and full of body-revealing holes.

jennie-garth-dancing-with-the-stars-300v110807.jpgToday’s column tackles both theaters of operation — the Army (and its uniforms) and DWTS.

For even more info about today’s Army uniforms, check here. For info about Army unis of the past, take a look at this timeline.

Meanwhile, to check out the top 10 performances from the first five seasons of DWTS — and the performers’ outfits — stay with the Live Wire blog until… after the break.

Seriously. Just click on the “read the rest of this entry” link right after this and you’ll see all those vids. Ta da!!!


Cry me a Riverdance

May 23, 2008

Are you bothered by “tap-syncing”? (Think lip-syncing but with tap shoes.)riverdance.jpg

Some dance purists are. Millions of fans aren’t — or, more likely, don’t even realize it’s going on (not that the knowledge would necessarily interfere with their enjoyment of the show).

Today’s column discusses the prerecorded sound effects used in Riverdance shows.

Below is the 1994 performance that kicked off the whole tapping, stomping Celtic-fied Riverdance phenomenon.

Comparing hospitals

May 21, 2008


betsy-johnson.jpg If you know you’re going to be hospitalized at some point in the near future, you might want to check out this Web site.

Operated by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the site allows you to compare hospitals in the area, the state or the nation based on 26 measures of the quality of their clinical care and 10 measures of patient satisfaction with that care.

The site has such information about more than 2,500 hospitals in the nation, including 111 in North Carolina.


Don’t sweat over your plug-in air fresheners

May 21, 2008

glade.jpgD.B. — aka “concerned” — had received an alarming e-mail warning that these devices are terrible fire hazards.

They aren’t, according to Underwriters Laboratories, an independent ul.gifnonprofit group that has been testing and certifying the safety of products since 1894. Look for the UL mark on a product to see if it has such certification.

I Love…

May 18, 2008


Well, I actually do. But what I’m thinking of here is something a little different. When city candyf_1.jpgsolid-waste director Jerry Dietzen was telling me about the conveyor-belt sorting system that’ll be used to separate the recyclables after they’re collected — which is part of today’s column — I had an immediate mental image of this. But I think the city’s conveyor-belt system will be a lot more efficient than this, if also a lot less funny.

Maps galore

May 16, 2008

hotcountymap.jpg  north-carolina-county-map.gif nc-county-map.gif

As noted in today’s column, there are tons of maps online showing just North Carolina’s counties. Up there are a few. The maps are also hot links to the sites where I obtained them. Just click on ’em and go, if you want.

And here’s the link to a pretty pdf county map from the N.C. Association of County Commissioners.

nwsright.jpgMeanwhile, if you want to tune in online to the live streaming audio of the National Weather Service’s local weather report — note: it’s not Casey Kasem or Ryan Seacrest (yay?) — go here.

And here’s where you can go to find a repair service that’s authorized to work on Apple products.

“Our grief is incomparable.”

May 15, 2008

earthquake-grief.JPGThese words — said by a Chinese father whose only child died in Monday’s devastating earthquake — can break your heart.

They may also move you to give money to an international-aid charity to try to help the tens of thousands of still-living victims of the earthquake as well as the hundreds of thousands of people affected by the cyclone in Myanmar.

If so, here are some things to keep in mind:

*Give to an established charity that has a proven track record of dealing with these types of disasters, says CharityNavigator, a charity-watchdog group. It should be able to use your donation more effectively than start-up charities or groups that aren’t as familiar with these situations.