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thRecently we had DF’s granddaughter over for about six hours. Midway through the visit I heard this conversation coming from the living room:

“You don’t have a TV.”

“That’s right,” DF replied.

“I want you to have a TV,” said Rose, who recently turned three.

“I don’t want a TV.”

“I want to watch TV,” she clarified.

“If you want a TV, you buy it,” DF replied.

Rose laughed merrily. “Noooo, Opa, you buy it.”

“We don’t need a TV here,” DF said.

A few seconds later Rose had forgotten about our household’s screenless state, being more interested in playing with a few ornaments from my tabletop Christmas tree.

Recently the American Academy of Pediatrics re-drew its recommendations on very young children and screen time. Back in 2011 the AAP had suggested no screen time at all before age two, and no more than two hours per day for kids older than that. Right around that time the first iPad appeared.

 


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thA little news you can use before the weekend, beginning with free health screenings at Sam’s Club on Saturday, Jan. 9.

All the Sam’s Club stores with pharmacies will offer the following tests to anyone who walks in (i.e., you don’t need to be a club member):

  • Blood pressure
  • Total cholesterol
  • HDL (the “good” cholesterol)
  • Glucose
  • Body mass index
  • Vision and hearing (at some locations)

The estimated value is $150. If you’ve been wondering about glucose or cholesterol, get yourself in there and find out where you stand.

 


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thI sure hope that this week’s winner never actually needs the prize. But we’re in the thick of the cold and flu season so it’s best to be prepared — and it’s even better when someone else buys your supplies.

The winner will receive a box full of things essential to someone who’s down with the sniffles or a full-blown influenza. Here’s what’s in the package:

 


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thFor at least 17 years I’ve been picking up change and saving it until Thanksgiving, at which point I donate it to the Food Bank of Alaska.

This year’s count-up was late, on purpose. I decided to wait until January because giving tends to slow way down right after the holidays. (Apparently people are hungry only from Thanksgiving until Christmas.)

Here’s what I accumulated between last November and yesterday:

  • 21 quarters
  • 62 dimes
  • 25 nickels
  • 157 pennies

A typical year’s take is usually no more than $20 and no less than $12, so $14.27 isn’t too bad. Notably absent this year was any denomination of paper money, which could mean that people are being more careful with their cash. Or maybe it means that another scavenger got there first.

 


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thI resist making resolutions at the ends of Decembers. The idea of “resolving” to do something doesn’t work for me.

Not because I’m too lazy. If there’s one thing that’s proved true over the years, it’s this piece of folk wisdom:

 

“If you want to make God laugh, tell Him your plans.”

Defeatist? Maybe. But not really.

That’s because time and again what I thought I would do/not do has been wrong, although not always in a bad way. In addition, things I knew were true turned out to be, um, untrue. A few examples:

 


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