In brief

  • Wednesday, December 15, 2004 9:00pm
  • Life

Holidoo happening: Woodland Park Zoo serves up its popular Holidoo compost this year for the gardener who has everything.

These 4-gallon buckets of hand-screened, organic zoo doo features a fully composted blend of animal manures mixed with straw bedding, grass leaves and wood chips from the grounds of Woodland Park Zoo. Adding zoo doo to soil will enhance water and nutrient retention and improve soil texture.

Zoo doo is only available during the holiday season at Woodland Park’s ZooStore from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily. Supplies are limited.

Woodland Park Zoo is at 5500 Phinney Ave. N., Seattle. For information, call the zoo’s Poop Line at 206-625-7667 (POOP).

Do-it-yourself: For many people, sending holiday cards is a joyous annual tradition. And increasingly, folks are opting to send the more personalized holiday photo cards. An easy way of updating friends and family, sending holiday photo cards has become quite the trend.

Companies such as Shutterfly have made it simple for senders, by helping them design and create their own high-quality, professional-looking greeting cards, 4-by-8-inch photo cards and note cards. Senders simply visit, upload their photos, craft their message (or leave blank for a handwritten note), select from some 300 photo borders, including numerous holiday-themed borders, and adjust the cropping, red-eye and color. Once previewed, cards will be delivered to senders for personalization or mailing. Or, if users upload recipients’ addresses, Shutterfly will seal, stamp and mail cards for users.

Also, senders without a digital camera – those who own a traditional camera – can mail their color film to the company for developing, scanning and processing of cards, too.

Photo cards range from 59 cents to $2.49 per card. For other items, including photo calendars, photo books and photo T-shirts, visit

Light check: Before you light up your Christmas tree with those tangled strings and strings of old bulbs, take heed of these safety tips from Home Depot:

* Check that all lights and extension cords are labeled with the Underwriters Laboratories (UL) trademark.

* Inspect lights for smashed sockets or loose wires, which can cause shock or fire.

* Use one long extension cord instead of linking several shorter cords.

* Be sure you’re not overloading your extension cord with too many amps. If holiday-light packaging lists watts rather than amps, convert by multiplying your cord’s amp rating by 120. The total is how many watts the cord can handle.

For more tips, visit

On the level: Forget eyeballing straight lines to level wallpaper, pictures and sundry other projects. Let lasers do it.

Laser levels, once the expensive little helpers of construction professionals, now cast a bright red light on myriad home and hobbyist uses. And laser tools may be just the ticket if you’re on the prowl for a gift.

In addition to the well-known laser line generators, many power tools are the beneficiaries of laser accuracy, from circular saws, jig saws, and miter saws to the venerable drill press and tile cutters.

By far the easiest to use are the simple line generators. These hang on a wall by a nail, adhesive device or suction cup and cast a level line along a wall. These devices, for under $20, are ideal for hanging art, bathroom tile or chair rails.

Strait-Line and Black and Decker’s Bulls Eye make many of the more popular line generators. In some cases, the tools also work as electronic stud finders.

Herald staff and news services

Talk to us

More in Life

Kotor's zigzagging town wall rewards climbers with a spectacular view. (Cameron Hewitt / Rick Steves' Europe)
Rick Steves: Just south of Dubrovnik lies unpolished Montenegro

One of Europe’s youngest nations offers dramatic scenery, locals eager to show off their unique land, and a refreshing rough-around-the-edges appeal.

Dark gray wheels and black exterior accents provide extra visual appeal for the 2024 Subaru Impreza’s RS trim. (Subaru)
2024 Subaru Impreza loses a little, gains a lot

The brand’s compact car is fully redesigned. A couple of things are gone, but many more have arrived.

TSR image for calendar
Music, theater and more: What’s happening in Snohomish County

This weekend in Snohomish: The Snohomish Blues Invasion and the Snohomish Studio Tour 2023.

Made by Bruce Hutchison, the poster for “A Momentary Diversion on the Road to the Grave” is an homage to 1985 classic “The Goonies.” (Photo provided)
Indie film premiering on Whidbey Island

Filmed almost entirely on Whidbey Island, “A Momentary Diversion on the Road to the Grave” is set to premiere in Langley.

TSR image only
Does your elementary school child have ADHD?

It’s important to identify children with this condition so we can help them succeed in school.

This photo provided by OceanGate Expeditions shows a submersible vessel named Titan used to visit the wreckage site of the Titanic. In a race against the clock on the high seas, an expanding international armada of ships and airplanes searched Tuesday, June 20, 2023, for the submersible that vanished in the North Atlantic while taking five people down to the wreck of the Titanic. (OceanGate Expeditions via AP)
A new movie based on OceanGate’s Titan submersible tragedy is in the works: ‘Salvaged’

MindRiot announced the film, a fictional project titled “Salvaged,” on Friday.

A clump of flowering ornamental grass or pennisetum alopecuroides in an autumn garden.
My garden runneth over with fountain grasses, and for good reason

These late-blooming perennials come in many varieties. They work well as accents, groundcovers, edgings or in containers.

This Vacasa rental is disgusting. Can I get my money back?

The vacation rental Carol Wilson books for her group through Vacasa is infested with rats and insects. Vacasa offers to refund one night, but can they get all of their money back?

A woman diverts from her walk on Colby Avenue to take a closer look at a pickup truck that was partly crushed by a fallen tree during an overnight wind storm Saturday, Nov. 5, 2022, in north Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / Herald file)
Storm season is coming. Here’s how to prepare for power outages.

The most important action you can take is to make an emergency preparedness kit.

Most Read