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Date: July 15, 2013
Vol. XVI, No. 14, #382

Printer Version


bulletCommentary: Congress & Our Retailers
bulletTake The CLN Poll: Predicting The Categories
bulletThe CLN Poll: Immigration Reform
bulletChanges At SPC
bulletChanges at Northridge Publising
bulletWal-Mart Tops The List, Again
bulletVicki Howell Joins Knitting Daily TV
bulletCHS Show News
bulletNew CHA Exhibitors
bulletNew Products For The Summer Show
bulletHow Publishers Got Started
bulletIndustry History: 1980
bulletEmail: Fabric Going Full Circle
bulletRandom Notes, Random Thoughts
bulletMiscellaneous News: Retail
bulletMiscellaneous News
bulletThe Creative Network: Job Openings
bulletHighlights From Hollywood Squares


The U.S. House just passed a bill that eliminates food stamps for the poor, but includes a provision that every farmer, in the event of a drought, crop failure, etc., is guaranteed he/she will receive 90% of what he earned this year.

Years ago, I interviewed Bob Michel, then the GOP leader in the House. At the time, Congress had just passed a bill bailing out farmers from a drought, flood, or whatever.

Bob Michael was a good man, for whom I voted numerous times despite our differences on various issues. I asked him, "What about federal help for the small retailer when sales plummet because the city rips up his street for street repairs?"

His eyes glazed over. "Well, no," he said. "We couldn't possibly do that."

The government helps lots of various groups, but retailers, unless it's a monumental disaster like Hurricane Sandy, you're on your own.

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According to CLN voters, the second half of the year rates a B-, which is better than the grade they gave the first half of 2013. OK, now let's look at individual categories: predict how these will fare in the final six months of the year: Art Materials, Beading-Jewelrymaking, Food Crafts, Florals, General Crafts, and Kids Crafts. To vote, click on Industry Polls in the right-hand column or click HERE.

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CLN voters are not optimistic that the immigration reform bill passed by the Senate, or some version of it, will become law – and that's ok with a plurality of readers.

Only 28.6% believe some form of immigration reform will become law, while 40% predict the effort will fail. The remaining 31.4% aren't sure.

Should it become law? Yes, said 41.9%, but 45.2% said no, with the remaining 12.9% not sure.

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Alex Nielsen is resigning as President/CEO of SPC (Sierra Pacific Crafts). His last day will be Sept. 27 and the SPC board has begun a search for his replacement.

John Schlecht, SPC Board Chair said, "We are saddened to see Alex leave. He has been instrumental in rebranding SPC, aligning programs with membership needs, and increasing our membership. SPC's strength is its member owners and fantastic staff. We are confident they will keep all our key programs on track through this transition."

SPC is a member-owned cooperative whose mission is to create and sustain a vibrant community of family-owned retailers in creative industries by enabling the individual success of its membership through cooperative strategies in sharing, fellowship, education, merchandising, marketing, and operations. SPC (formerly Sierra Pacific Crafts) began informally 40 years ago when two retail stores in Washington started working together. SPC now serves more than 60 independent member stores who represent nearly 1 million square feet of retail space and $150 million in retail sales. A.C. Moore, a family-owned chain of 140 craft stores, is also part of SPC’s community. Learn more at www.spc.us or visit the SPC book at the Create-n-Connect show, booth #514.

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Northridge Publishing is dropping Bead Trends and Simply Handmade magazines and shifting its remaining titles to all-digital publications, beginning with next month's issues, Scrapbook Update reported.

The magazines doing digital include Scrapbook Trends, Cards, Cricut Magazine, Cricut Magazine Idea Books, Create: Idea Books, Signature Series, and Creative Retailer. The company also published Bead Trends and Simply Handmade, but those two titles are being discontinued concurrent with the shift to digital publishing.

Editor-in-Chief Pam Baird told Scrapbook Update, "Over the past few years we have noticed a dramatic change in the way consumers are choosing to receive our publications. Digital is now the preferred method of the majority of readers. To fulfill our desire to deliver our readers with the best possible content in the best possible way, we have made the decision to discontinue traditional print publishing and focus all of our efforts on providing fresh and exciting digital magazines."

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Wal-Mart once again placed #1 in Stores magazine's Top 100 Retailers, with sales of $328.7 billion. That's more than the next four largest retailers (Kroger, Target, Costco, and Home Depot combined.

Michaels ranked #88 with $3.989 billion in sales, up 4.3% in 1,124 stores. The store count is up1.4#. The company ranked just behind Burlington Coat Factory and just ahead of Belk.

The retailer showing the largest percentage sales increase was Amazon, with $34.4 billion in sales, up 30.4% over the previous year.

Other chains on the list: Target, #3 (as mentioned above) … True Value, #25 … Dollar General, #26 … Ace Hardware, #39 … Family Dollar Stores, #42 … Toys R Us, #52 … Dollar Tree, #56 … Big Lots, #73 … OfficeMax, #77.

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The Interweave division of F+W Media announced that DIY lifestyle/needle arts expert Vickie Howell will be the new host and co-executive producer of Knitting Daily TV, broadcast on numerous PBS stations.

"I'm truly thrilled to be joining the KDTV family, and can’t wait to be back in fellow stitchers' living rooms sharing my passion for yarn-crafts and the vibrant community surrounding it," Vickie said.

Vickie was the host and creative consultant of the DIY Network and HGTV's series, Knitty Gritty for 8 seasons. She was also the co-host of DIY's Stylelicious, Lifetime's  web series, CRAFTED, as well as several craft-based TV specials.

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Size. As of a week ago, there are 153 exhibitors, down about 10%, and total attendance is slightly ahead of the same time a year ago.

Section/Chapter Meetings. July 22, 6:00 – 7:00 pm, Designer Section … July 23, 8:00 - 9:00 am, Canadian Chapter … July 23, 5:30 - 7:00pm, Social Media Section … July 24, 5:30 - 7:00 pm Beading Section, Sewing Section, and Paper Crafting Sections

Cre8Time. Visit #829 to see a variety of projects created by designers who created pieces around the number 8. The booth also offers an opportunity to recharge your electronics.

Media. Create and Craft TV is set to broadcast 20 hours of live programming, "Viva Craft Vegas," 23 – 24, in Las Vegas.  The broadcast will include new products from Spellbinders, Martha Stewart, E Bosser, Graphic 45, Project Life, Totally Tiffany, and Plaid. Viewers can watch via live stream when they log on to www.createandcraft.tv

Products. The New Products Preview Buyer & Media Event is Mon., July 22, 6:00 - 8:00 pm, hosted by Erica Domesek of P.S. - I Made This.... It's a recap of a new product preview for magazine editors (Family Circle, Ladies' Home Journal, Martha Stewart Living, Parents, Reader's Digest, Woman's World, Lucky, Marie Claire, Country Living, Redbook, etc.)  that took place in June in New York City. Editors saw unreleased products from the participating manufacturers, Craftwell, DCWV, DecoArt, Ellison/Sizzix, iLoveToCreate, Janome, Spellbinders, Swarovski and Xyron.

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ARC Crafts, #1205. Unveiling a new BARC paper line. www.arccrafts.com

Artsi2, #1207. No-sew quilt wall hangings. www.artsi2.com

Bottle Cutting, #1308. The Kinkajou cuts bottles quickly and easily. www.bottlecutting.com.

Chic Tags, #1211. Tags and new paper products. www.chictags.com

Clarus Crystals, #1306. www.novarhinestone.com

CNCA Laser, #1314. Manufacturer of 3D printing devices. www.cncalaser.com

Creativeworld, #1101. Sponsor of the Creativeworld Frankfurt 2014 trade show. Click HERE

CrystalNinja.com, #1112. The Crystal Katana tool for rhinestones and crystals. www.crystalninja.com

DM Transportation Management Services, #1206. Works with clients to more effectively manage their supply chain and reduce transportation expenses. www.dmtrans.com

Juya Crafts, #1208. Wide variety of acid-free paper craft products. www.juyacrafts.com

Kiki Magazine, #1106. A magazine designed to inspire girls to make rather than consume. www.kikimag.com

Kroma Crackle, #1007. A gel that cracks as it dries. www.kromacrackle.com

Little B, #1212. Stationery line and a wide variety of embellishments. www.littlebllc.com

M-D Building Products, #1311. Decorated perforated metal sheets, magnetic chalkboard, and hobby shears. www.mdteam.com

Monte Paper Mill, #1301. Eco-friendly paper, stickers, and stamps, made in the U.S. www.montepapermill.com

Morning Calm, #1009. Offering a wide range of products made from paua, mother-of-pearl, abalone, and other natural shells. www.morningcalm.info

NDT Apparel, #1209. Craft and children's activity kits. http://ndtapparel.com

NTI Products, #1108. LeVel Hangers help hang picture frames and other wall décor items. www.plumb2hangers.com 

Peachtree Global, #1213. International distributor of products destined for the U.S. http://peachtreeglobal.com

Photo-Max, #1100. Equipment for print shops, invitation designers, craft artists and professional photographers. www.photomaxofficeproducts.com

Piddix Collage Sheets, #1001. Collage sheets for jewelry and mixed media crafts. www.piddix.com

Put-In-Cups, #1309. A colored plastic, reusable, recyclable cup that locks into spaces of chain link fences to create logos, etc. It's an alternative to plastic foam and Solo cups used by schools. www.putincups.com

QuiltWoman.com, #1011. Publish, market, and distribute quilting, sewing, and needlework patterns for 160+ independent designers. www.quiltwoman.com

Scissor Buddy, #1312. A 30" retractable swivel cord that holds a 3.5" pair of scissors. Can be attached to sewing, felting, embroidery, and serger machines. www.scissorbuddy.com

Something Tattered, #1114. A new line of photopolymer stamps and supplies. www.somethingtattered.com

Stella Lighting, #1304. Innovative lighting products. www.stellalighting.com

Taylored Expressions, #1313. Rubber stamps and dies for paper-crafting. www.tayloredexpressions.com

Tecre Co., #1113. Heavyweight textured paper. www.tecre.com

Trim-A-Rim/Innoversa, #1305.A reversible mirror and dry-erase magnetic board with borders the crafter can customize. www.trimarim.com

Twelve Timbers, #1210. A wide variety of home dec products. http://twelvetimbers.com

Uchi's Design, #1015. Bilingual clear stamps. www.uchidesign.com

The Warm Co., #1201. Batting and other products for quilting, sewing, etc. www.warmcompany.com

Whimsey Stamps, #1105. A variety of stamps and other paper-crafting products, plus digital images, sentiments, and papers. www.whimseystamps.com

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A number of veteran exhibitors are introducing new lines at the CHA Create-n-Connect show in Las Vegas.

American Crafts (#1119) will unveil Amy Tangerine's Cut & Paste, Peppermint Express, and Dear Lizzy's Polka Dot Party, each with papers and embellishments.

The Cosmo Cricket division of Advantus (#818) is offering Shop Toppers™, Mini Mobiles, Creative Canvas, Simple Surfaces Deck, Project Hangers, Creative Girl Paper and Brads, Chalkboard Christmas Paper, Chipboard Alpha and Tiny Text, Wood Charms, Shimmer Trims, Cabachons, and Self-Adhesive Glitter Sheets.

Crate Paper (#1118) is introducing Bundled Up, Close Knit, and Flea Market. Each includes 12 double-sided patterned papers and a host of embellishments.

Pebbles (#1223) will offer three new lines, From Me To You, Front Porch, and Thirty One, each with papers and embellishments.

Spellbinders® Paper Arts (#1247) is introducing Nestabilities® Enhancing Elements die templates. They are core shapes purposely designed to mix-n-match with the entire Nestabilities line.

Studio Calico (#1219) is offering Magical, Story Time, and Thataway, each with 12 double-sided patterned papers and embellishments.

Scrapbook Update cites new products from numerous exhibitors in its "Sneak Peeks" section. See it HERE.

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Recently CLN reported on the humble origins of the industry's chain stores. It's true for other elements of the industry, too, such as publishers. Here are a few examples.

1. In 1925, the Muselman family launches Economy Printing Concern, which evolves into DRG (Dynamic Resource Group) and now includes Annie's, Country Sampler, and Strategic Fulfillment Group. The company is led by the grandsons of the founders.

2. In 1933 Al Kalmbach opens a printing company, A.C. Kalmbach (now Kalmbach Publishing) in Milwaukee. The next year he produces Model Railroader. The first issue had 272 copies. By 1950 the circulation tops 100,000 and other magazines, such as Bead & Button, are added over the years.

3. In 1969, Bonnie and George Leman launch Quilters Newsletter magazine in Denver. Bonnie composes the first issue on a manual typewriter at her kitchen table, and on the day the first issue was published, she gave birth to the youngest of her seven children.

4. In 1971, Jean Leinhauser and Ron Klein form Leisure Arts, the industry's first publisher that was also a national distributor. They sign Ginnie Thompson to write the first instruction book on this form of Danish needlework they call counted cross stitch to differentiate it from the traditional stamped cross stitch.

5. In 1975 Linda Ligon was a high school English teacher who gave birth to a baby with health issues, so she resigned. Sitting at her dining room table, this hobby weaver/knitter produced a black and white regional fiber craft magazine she called Interweave (later changed to Handwoven).

Linda uses her teacher retirement fund ($1,500) to print a few thousand copies, and she gave them all away. Then people started sending her subscription money, so she had to choice but to keep going. So Interweave is born. As the business grew, Interweave launched Handwoven, SpinOff, PieceWork, Beadwork, Interweave Knits, and numerous books and events. She eventually sold the company in 2005.

6. In 1976, Dan and Nancy Martin launch That Patchwork Place, concentrating on quilting. In 1996 they broaden their scope to include other forms of needlework and in 2012 change the name to Martingale. The company has sold 21+ million books worldwide. Dan and Nancy sell the company to their employees when they retire in 2007.

7. In 1980 Paulette Jarvey sits down at her kitchen table in Canby, OR and writes Hot Off The Press' first book, You Can Dough It! It is on dough art. It launches a company and a self-publishers network that is still operating in Oregon.

8. In 1983 quilting teacher Roberta Horton tells quilt shop owner Carolie Hensley she wans to write a book on Amish quilts, but can't find a publisher. Carolie and her husband Tom - with no publishing experience - volunteer to publish it from their garage, and so C&T Publishing is born. Roberta's An Amish Adventure and sold 90,000+ copies and the C&T catalog has grown to 400+ books and products.

9. In 1984 Suzanne McNeill launches Design Originals from her dining room table. Since then she has authored about 30 books and Design Originals has published about 800 books. She later sells the company to Fox Chapel Publishing.

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1. Marielen Christensen, who had assembled 50+ volumes of scrapbooks of her family's photo memories, is invived to display them at the World Conference on Records in Salt Lake City. She and her husband AJ write and publish a how-to book Keeping Memories Alive, and open a scrapbook store in 1981 in Spanish Fork, UT. She is credited with helping to turn a hobby into an industry.

2. Some Ben Franklin variety stores switch to all-craft formats.

3. Frank's Nursery changes its name to Frank's Nursery & Crafts, and for a while grows to be the largest chain in the industry.

4. Paulette Jarvey launches Hot Off the Press (see above).

5. The Leather Factory opens for business.

6. Pati Palmer is approached by Family Circle magazine to write an article on sewing blazer jackets. Pati was designing the innovative 8-hour Blazer, her first pattern for the McCall Pattern Company. The average pattern sold 1,500 copies/month in those days. Pati's sells 120,000 the first month and one million by year's end, more than any pattern in history.

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When I read that Michaels is putting in fabrics, I was reminded of a very early time in my career. I was calling on Wegmans in Rochester, NY which had a very extensive home sewing department run by Bob Wegman's daughter.

They saw home sewing sales dwindling and under my guidance, her buyer put their foot in the water to test a macramé department in a few of their stores. Due to its almost immediate success, it was expanded later, chain wide. As their home sewing business died, their craft variety and sales expanded. Eventually Wegmans cut their entire fabric department.

I guess Michaels is reversing the trend. – Wolfie Rauner

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1. I was pleasantly surprised when I read in the latest monthly CHA member email the lengthy list of new members. Many were from outside the U.S., including Australia, Canada, Chile, Japan, Mexico, Paraguay, Taiwan, and United Kingdom. And new U.S. members were from all over the country. While there may be talk of the industry consolidating, CHA is attracting a large number of new members. There's also a  substantial number of new exhibitors at the upcoming show in Las Vegas.

2. Deborah Hersman, the head of the National Safety Transportation Board, has been in the news quite often recently, due to the plane crash in San Francisco. ABC News profiled her and reported "she is an avid scrapbooker."

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LAWSUIT. This Friday the Hobby Lobby/Obamacare case resumes with a hearing before Joe Heaton, the federal judge for the Western district of Oklahoma. He had already sided with the government, but the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled HL had demonstrated it would probably prevail in showing its religious freedom had been infringed by the birth control mandate and instructed the lower court to reconsider whether it should grant an injunction.

JUNE SALES. Eleven U.S. retailers reported a 4.8% same-store sales increase in June, beating a Thomson Reuters' forecast of 3.6%. The data seems to indicate consumer spending is on the rise, but so many chains have stopped reporting monthly same-store sales that it's not the indicator it once was.

MEDIA. Total consumer magazine ad pages were down 4.5% for the quarter and 4.9%  for the first half of 2013, according to The Association of Magazine Media. Health and wellness magazines did well, as did cooking magazines.

MERGER. Shareholders of Office Max and Office Depot approved of the merger, which is expected to be completed by the end of the year.

NEW STORES. Hobby Lobby will open in Moline, IL, Huntsville, TX, and Lancaster, NY, and last weekend opened in Hamburg, NY. … Jo-Ann will open in Grandville, MI … Michaels will open in Plant City, FL. Michaels is also planning a major expansions of its logistics operations in Jacksonville, FL.

CRIME.  The assistant manager of the Toys R Us store in Hamburg, NY was stabbed to death in the store one Saturday morning before the store opened. Police are studying surveillance videos trying to identify the killer. … Employees at a Hobby Lobby in Decatur, AL saw a shoplifter drive away. They called the police with a description of the car. The police found the car which also contained products for a meth lab. Two men were arrested on theft and drug charges.

TECHNOLOGY. Microsoft announced its Windows 8.1 update will have built-in support for 3D printing, saying the company  believes that making a 3D object on your PC must be as easy as writing a document in Word and sending it to print. To learn more about 3D printers capabilities, click HERE.

LAWSUITS. Previously CLN reported on "patent trolls" when someone buys old patents and then demands millions in licensing fees from unsuspecting retailers. Now the trend to put a stop to this practice is gaining steam. The National Retail Federation is getting involved because the more high-tech retailers become, the more vulnerable they are. NRF President/CEO Matthew Shay writes, "Small retailers are among the biggest targets because they don't have the legal expertise or money to fight back. It's time for Congress and the White House to put this abuse of our nation's laws to an end." To read more, click HERE.

MEDIA. Hobby Lobby ran full-page ads in countless newspapers on July 4th; the ads contained numerous religious quotations from Founding Fathers, Supreme Court justices, the Bible, etc.

IMPORTS. "An increasing number of American apparel manufacturers are reshoring production to the U.S. as labor costs in Asian countries such as China increase and manufacturers find that the move reduces production costs and lead time. We feel this is going to be the wave of the future -- manufacturing in the United States," Brooks Brothers' domestic manufacturing chief John Martynec told USA Today. Another reason: If something sells much better than expected, retailers can be re-supplied much quicker if the manufacturing is done in the U.S.

ENVIRONMENT. Many cities have banned plastic bags, or are considering it. To get an update on what's happening in your state and town click HERE.

CONTEST. Wal-Mart has launched its second annual Get On the Shelf contest. Entrepreneurs, business owners, and inventors can submit their products for a chance to sell them on Walmart.com and potentially on shelves in select Wal-mart stores. For details, click HERE.

CHARITY. A.C. Moore's recent fundraising campaign raised $120,000+ for Easter Seals autism programs.

WAL-MART. Says it will not open three planned stores in the Washington D.C area after a bill passes raising the minimum wage to $12.50/hour for retailers "with sales over $1B and retail spaces of 75K square feet or more." Mayor Vincent Gray said the company's position is "immensely discouraging."

AWARD. Readers of the Missoula (MT) Independent voted Treasure Chest as the "Best Hobby/Craft Store."

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CROCHET. The Associated Press published a very positive report on the growth and popularity of crochet, citing, for example, Teresa Richardson, who shares free patterns and video tutorials at her blog, Crochet Geek. Her YouTube video tutorials average 75,000 daily views, the AP reported. Read the article HERE.

TECHNOLOGY. Jacquard's new iPrint Ribbon™ allows consumers to print custom messages and designs on ribbon at home with no special equipment or software. Available in 12 colors and two sizes, iPrint Ribbon™ is the new addition to Jacquard's inkjet products. iPrint Ribbon™ is adhered to paper so that it will feeds through a basic  printer, just like printer paper. The company has developed an online design program to show how to design and print ribbon. Learn more at www.jacquardproducts.com and www.iprintribbon.com.

JEWELRY. Avon Products is selling the Silpada jewelry company it bought for $650 million in 2010 back to the company's owners for $85 million in cash. (Comment: That's a $565 million mistake, surely one of the biggest goofs in American business history.)

HEALTH CARE. The Obama administration announced it will delay until 2015 the start of an Affordable Care Act provision that requires companies with 50 or more full-time employees to offer health insurance or pay a fine. "This one-year delay will provide employers and businesses more time to update their health care coverage without threat of arbitrary punishment," National Retail Federation VP Neil Trautwein told USA Today.

PEOPLE. Clover Needlecraft named Steve Butler as National Sales Manager. Steve has owned his own dealership and co-founded a thread company. … Debi Schmitz has resigned from Expo Int. to become the Creative Director of Sales & Marketing for Belagio Ent. where she will be developing the craft, quilting, and apparel trim product lines. 

SHOWS. TNNA's Fall Needlecraft Market is Aug. 24-25 (with education beginning Aug. 23) at the Embassy Suites Hotel in St. Charles, MO. To learn more and to register, click HERE.

MEDIA. Michigan Scrapbooker magazine will publish its fall issue Aug. 4 and the fall Chicagoland Scrapbooker will be available Sept. 16; 90+ locations in MI and OH carry Michigan Scrapbooker. To see the list, click HERE.  To see the Chicagoland locations in  WI, IL, and IN, click HERE. For ad info, email Carrie MacGillis at editor@MichiganScrapbooker.com or call 248-760-6782.

SCRAPBOOKS. "It's rare that a product line is so revolutionary that it becomes evolutionary and changes the face of an industry. Project Life, while not the first product of its kind, caught the public's imagination in a way that has given it incredible market power." Read Nancy Nally's excellent analysis, "How Project Life Has Changed The Scrapbook Industry" HERE.

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To read the latest listings click on Jobs in the left-hand column or click HERE.

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Q. According to Ann Landers, is there anything wrong with getting into the habit of kissing a lot of people? 
A. Charley Weaver: It got me out of the army.

Q. If you're going to make a parachute jump, at least how high should you be? 
A. Charley Weaver: Three days of steady drinking should do it. 
Q. True or False, a pea can last as long as 5,000 years. 
A. George Gobel: Boy, it sure seems that way sometimes. 
Q. You've been having trouble going to sleep. Are you probably a man or a woman? 
A. Don Knotts: That's what's been keeping me awake.

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1. If you want a hard-copy of this issue, click on "Printer Friendly version."

2. If your company is a paid subscriber, everyone in the main office is welcome to register, free. Just click on "Work for a paid subscriber? Click Here to register" (center column, near the top).

3. If you ever have trouble with your password, click on "Trouble with your password?" in the right-hand column of the main page. The computer will then email the correct information to you.

4. CLN is published the first and third Mondays of each month. Because July has five Mondays, your next issue will be Monday, August 5.

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