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Out and About – Week of July 15th

This is the middle of July, so I feel that this is really the middle of summer. Actually, we still have plenty of days of hot weather ahead of us. The water temperature of Lake Michigan is still in the low sixties. I remember when Lake Michigan wasn’t really warm enough to swim in until sometime in August. I’m a bit of a wimp, of course, because a lot of swimmers have already been using Lake Michigan as their place to cool off. We have plenty of great beaches along the lake, and it’s great to see people enjoying one of Michigan’s popular attractions.

Here’s a reminder to all parents. This is July, and school is not in session. Get the kids off the couch and out of the house. Lock up their text machines and encourage them to spend their time outside playing hide-and-seek, baseball, soccer, basketball, or riding their bicycles. If they have the energy, allow them to mow the lawn. This is the time of the year to keep them busy outside and healthy.

There was a time when I enjoyed playing golf. Even if you have all of the equipment necessary to play the game, it can still be a bit pricey. I never was that good at the game. Like many other things, it takes practice, practice, and more practice. No wonder I never improved my game. I only played about three times a season. I still enjoy watching golf on television, and I had the honor, over the past couple of months, to assist at a couple of golf outings. The thing I probably enjoyed the most was the lunch served after the golfers returned to the clubhouse from playing the course.

If you’re a fan of golf, and enjoy getting out with your friends for a game, you might seriously think about participating in the Sixth Annual ARF Golf Outing this Saturday, July 20. The St. Joe Valley Golf Course, located on M-86 between Centreville and Nottawa, will host the outing. The cost is $60 per person, or $240 for a four-person team. Registration begins at 7:45 AM, and all proceeds will benefit the Animal Rescue Fund (ARF). ARF’s main purpose is to provide care for the homeless dogs and cats in St. Joseph County.

We are definitely in the age of computer technologies. Just about everyone has a cell phone, and millions of people use Facebook or Twitter to communicate regularly with friends. I have a cell phone, and I try my best to stay alert as to what I post. More individuals, besides Big Brother, are watching you more closely than you might think. Here are some ways to play it safe on social media:

Use strict privacy settings. Only let people you trust see what you post.

Before you accept a friend request, make sure it’s really from someone you know.

Limit what you post. Telling the world that you’ll be out of town for a month, could be an invitation to a burglary.

Never let others see sensitive information, like your birthdate or home address.

To protect your privacy, use one e-mail for personal networks like Facebook and a different e-mail for professional networks like LinkedIn.

At this time of the year, I usually mention something regarding the proper care of the machines you might have around your home. I’m referring now to your snow blower. You will be unlikely to have a need to use it for a couple of months, so this might be the time to have it checked out, so that it will be ready for next winter. The spark plug might need cleaning or changing. If you don’t mix the gasoline with oil, you might consider changing the oil. I usually run my snow blower out of gas before I put it away. If you keep gasoline in the machine for the summer, adding Stabil might be a good idea. Everyone has their own opinion. Apply lubricant to the moving parts, but wipe them clean first. My father used to say that if you take care of your machine, it will take care of you. He was probably right.

Here’s something to think about as you’re drifting off to sleep: Your tongue is the only muscle in your body that is attached at only one end.

See you Out and About!

Submitted by Norm Stutesman