DEAR SUN SPOTS: Is there any place in the Lewiston-Auburn area that offers long-term relief parking of any kind? I need to be out of state for two weeks, and I am not able to leave my car in the parking lot where I live as it would need to be moved if there were any snowstorms. I don't have anyone in the area to clean and move my car while I'm away so the lot can be thoroughly cleaned.
Your column is still the best resource around. Thank you. — No Name via email
ANSWER: Sun Spots doesn’t feel like a good resource today. She doesn’t have a single inexpensive suggestion to your problem. Readers?
DEAR SUN SPOTS: Could you find out why most TV shows don't start and stop on the hour or half hour? We use a DVR most of the time to avoid endless commercials (I do realize they are necessary). We end up missing the start or finish of way too many shows by taping, and it is very frustrating. Keep up the good work. — JEM, Oxford
ANSWER: Sun Spots can’t say for certain why TV shows start early, but she and her colleague Jason, who is knowledgeable in all things TV-related, are pretty sure the networks do this to keep you from changing the channel. By the time the show you're watching ends and they’ve jumped into the next show, you've missed the beginning of something else on another channel so you're more inclined to not change the channel.
You may have also noticed that there are very few commercials between shows. Instead, they jump right into the next program, show a few minutes of the new program, then jump to commercials once you are hooked.
Once one station does it, the others quickly follow. Soon, if they don’t already, all shows will start early.
As for recording your favorite programs: In the “olden days” of VCRs, you had to set the VCR by time. With your DVR, try setting it by finding the shows you want to watch and selecting them instead of setting the time. The computer geniuses who program DVRs have them set so you won’t miss a minute.
If you are still using a VCR, you can set it to start and end a couple minutes before the hour or half-hour.
DEAR SUN SPOTS: I really need your help. I have a very small kitchen, with out a lot of room for three small children still in high chairs. I am looking for some of the old metal folding high chairs with the metal trays.
I don’t care so much about the trays; it’s the chairs I’m looking for. I can even fix the seats or backs if need be. I am on a limited income, but would be willing to pay a little for them. — No Name, 576-7628
ANSWER: Right after she got your letter, Sun Spots spotted one of the very chairs you seek at her neighborhood transfer station swap shop. Since she doesn’t live in L-A, she grabbed it up for you and brought it to the Sun Journal. You can pick it up there during business hours (8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.) at the customer service desk at 104 Park St.. Tell them Sun Spots left it for you in the old night switchboard area.
The chair is missing the tray and is old, painted green, but it appears to be serviceable.
DEAR SUN SPOTS: This is in response to P.B.L. from Bethel (Jan. 31).I would be very happy to talk with her about my back surgery. She can call me any time after noon. — Ted Surette, 562-7589
This column is for you, our readers. It is for your questions and comments. There are only two rules: You must write to the column and sign your name (we won't use it if you ask us not to). Please include your phone number. Letters will not be returned or answered by mail, and telephone calls will not be accepted. Your letters will appear as quickly as space allows. Address them to Sun Spots, P.O. Box 4400, Lewiston, ME 04243-4400. Inquiries can also be e-mailed to email@example.com.