Dear Sun Spots: Some time ago, someone gave me a Renys gift card in return for a favor. I decided to save the card for the victims of the next fire in my neighborhood. Unfortunately, some neighbors were burned out of their home a couple of weeks ago. I was about to give the card when I noticed a vague disclaimer on the back mentioning the value of the card through their Web site went unanswered. Is there a way to determine the value of this card? I don’t want to give it to a family if it is worthless? – No Name, No Town.

Good news for you No Name. Sun Spots contacted Renys and was advised that while it may be there in small print, they typically don’t decrease the value of what the card was purchased for. “That’s not the Renys’ way,” a spokeswoman told Sun Spots. In fact she noted that even if the card is “really old” (although the chances are rare because most people use their cards shortly after purchasing or receiving them) their customer service is such that they’ll be able to help you here. You did not specify how old the card was but it appears Renys will take care of you.

Dear Sun Spots: I have something that has been bothering me for quite some time. Hopefully, you can rectify this problem for me. Why do TV reporters and others in society refer to Alzheimer’s as altimers instead of what it is? Are Alzheimer’s and Old Timers two different words with two different meanings? – No Name, No Town.

Answer: In addition to responses from readers, according to, while Alzheimer’s disease is a disease of old-timers, it is one of the top 100 most mispronounced words and phrases in the English language. Alzheimer’s is named for the German neurologist, Dr. Alois Alzheimer. You might like to check this site out, it’s mighty interesting to see the number of mispronounced words there would appear to be. In addition, you can always check them to see if you’ve resorted to any bad pronunciation habits yourself.

Dear Sun Spots: I am a senior citizen that used to have large gardens and did a lot of processing and canning vegetables. Now I am not able to do any more canning so I have six-plus cases of clean, quart, canning jars that I will donate to any deserving person who can use them. If interested, please call me at 998-4045. – No Name, No Town.

Dear Sun Spots: Just wanted to thank you for your quick response to my request for cone-shaped bags. I ordered them online from Veripak, and I have already received them and my cocoa mixes are made. You are such a great help, and it is greatly appreciated. I don’t miss a day without reading your column. Happy Holidays. – D.M., Leeds.

Sun Spots is glad to hear you had success and is sure your recipients are equally as thrilled! The best of the season to you and yours also.

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