The Mornin' Mail is published every weekday except major holidays
Monday, February 8, 2010 Volume XVIII, Number 161

did ya know?

Did Ya Know?... Carthage Humane Society is currently overcrowded with very nice pet-quality young adult cats. For a limited time, they are offering reduced adoption fees on all brown tabby cats. Call or today for more information. 358-6402

Did Ya Know?...The Nazarene Church of Carthage will host a Red Cross Blood Drive at 2000 Grand on Thursday, Feb. 11 11:30 a.m. - 6 p.m.

today's laugh

In the frozen foods department of our local grocery store, I noticed a man shopping with his son. As I walked by, he checked something off his list, and I heard him whisper conspiratorially to the child, "You know, if we really mess this up, we’ll never have to do it again."

Times were hard in Russia after the cold war, but there was determined young man who wanted to buy a new car. He saved for many years until he had just the right amount. Immediately, he went to the car dealer and said, ‘I want to buy a new car!’ ‘That’s good,’ replied the car dealer. We will get a car for you soon. Come back here in eight years and three months ... we’ll have your car.’ The man replied, ‘Will that be morning or afternoon?’ The car dealer was surprised. ‘Does it really matter?’ he asked. ‘Yes,’ the man said, ‘it really matters. The plumber promised me that he would come that day too."

A Chronological Record of Events as they have Transpired in the City and County since our last Issue.

He Was Absent-Minded.

A young man over in a neighboring town took a girl out for a drive and she fell out of the buggy and he drove on a mile or two before he missed her.

You can bet your last penny that such a thing never happened in Carthage. The wheels might drop off, the shaft pull out, the horse drop dead, or the buggy wheel disappear entirely and not be missed, but the girl - never.

Cemetery Improvements.

The Regan brothers, who are now owners of Park cemetery, are making some decided improvements in that already beautiful place. They have laid off and platted three new blocks, and will grade and gravel all the streets with mining gravel. Additional culverts will also be put in to run the water off.

  Today's Feature

Leggett & Platt Announces 2009 Results.

Diversified manufacturer Leggett & Platt reported fourth quarter earnings per diluted share of $.23. Earnings from Continuing Operations, adjusted to exclude an unusual tax item, were $.30 per share. In the fourth quarter of 2008, adjusted earnings from Continuing Operations were $.03.

Earnings improved, despite lower sales, as a result of cost reduction efforts, pricing discipline, and a $.06 per share LIFO benefit. Sales from Continuing Operations were $770 million, 13% lower than in the fourth quarter of 2008, with steel-related price deflation accounting for the bulk of the decline; unit volumes declined approximately 3%.

President and CEO David S. Haffner commented, "For the full year, Continuing Operations EPS was relatively unchanged from the prior year, despite a $1 billion (or 25%) decline in sales that was primarily market-driven. Our significant cost reduction efforts and pricing discipline allowed us to sustain EPS and improve margins, despite the weak economy. Full year gross margin was 20.6%, the highest level since the year 2000. I am extremely pleased with our employees’ accomplishments in the face of such economic headwind."

• 4Q EPS of $.23; sales were $770 million, 13% lower than in prior year.

• 4Q adjusted EPS from Continuing Operations of $.30, excluding an unusual international tax item.

• Full year earnings of $.70 per share; sales were $3.06 billion, 25% lower than in the prior year.

• Full year adjusted EPS from Continuing Operations of $.86, excluding unusual items.

• Cash flow from operations of $565 million for the full year, the second-highest level ever.

• Repurchased 4.1 million shares during the quarter; net debt remained at 23.7% of net capital.

• 2010 EPS guidance of $.75 - 1.15, on sales of $2.9 - 3.3 billion.

Just Jake Talkin'

I’ve never understood why they put an eraser on a red pencil. In the first place, those wieldin’ such an instrument is supposed ta be lookin’ for mistakes, not makin’ ‘em. But even more to the point, as a youngster I saw more than one attempt to erase a red check mark on a less than perfect paper. I never saw anyone ever successfully erase a red mark.

Typically, after a futile attempt, there would be some effort to hide the mark with a doodle or two, or a random line meant to cover the obvious.

‘Course these observations were at the relatively young age of under 10. Those attemptin’ to fool their parents or other classmates hadn’t yet grasp the real art form of hidin’ mistakes. One lesson was ta never use a red pencil.

This is some fact, but mostly,

Just Jake Talkin’.

Sponsored by Carthage Printing Weekly Columns


By Samantha Mazzotta

Stripping Screws Drives Wedge in Relationship

Q: My boyfriend always strips screws whenever he tries to screw them into a stud. He does this with nuts as well, even when we’re just tightening them, he insists on tackling the nut after me and tightens it until the metal strips away. He tells me that they have to be on tight, especially when installing heavy shelves, and that stripping the screws or nuts just happens sometimes. Is he right? -- Jane T., Oshkosh, Wis.

A: Come on! You know that’s not right, especially if he’s stripping every screw in sight. Eventually you may want to remove or replace some of the items you’ve installed on your walls. Has your boyfriend explained how he’s going to unscrew those stripped screws and nuts?

The No. 1 problem your boyfriend is probably having is that he’s using the wrong size bit for his screwdriver. It’s too small for the job. The bit should snugly fit in the grooves of the screw head.

He also should make sure the pilot holes he’s drilling prior to placing the screws are not too small. Sometimes getting the correct size is difficult, so both of you should practice drilling pilot holes and installing screws on a spare two-by-four.

The thing with stripping the nuts, however, is almost unforgivable. I’m no psychologist, but there’s a real trust issue going on with this. He thinks you’re not tightening them enough, so he walks up and demonstrates his manly brawn by stripping all the corners off a nut.

Again, both of you need to use the right size wrench for the job. A quality socket wrench is preferable, and it should slide snugly around the nut, with no wiggle room. Tighten it just until you (not your boyfriend) cannot tighten it anymore. If the connection or installation remains loose after you’ve tightened the nut, then something is wrong with the connection, not the nut.

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