Is this ad following me?

by Hints with Heloise

Dear Heloise: After I searched for a particular handbag ONLINE, I then started noticing advertisements for that handbag on my social media pages and my email homepage. Kinda creepy! What gives? - Sarah T., Bozeman, Mont.

Sarah, no, there’s not a little man inside your computer, but there might as well be. According to the Federal Trade Commission, it’s called targeted or interest-based advertising. 
One type of online tracking that companies use is called “cookies.” The site you visited wants to tailor your online surfing to things you like, respond to and ultimately buy, so the site places a cookie (a bit of data, kind of like a digital bookmark) on your computer to mark that site.
You can disable cookies under your “Tools” button, but be aware: Some sites may require you to have cookies enabled.
Check out the FTC’s website (www.ftc.gov) for more information. 
- Heloise

PICTURE-PERFECT

Dear Readers: We asked for uses for your cellphone camera, and you really came through - a photo finish! Read on:

“Enjoyed seeing uses of cellphones recently in your column. I line up my daily meds, take a picture of the bottles and show this when needed at the doctor’s office.” - Gayle L., via email

“I use my cellphone to capture recipes I find online. That way, they’re always at my fingertips when shopping or sharing with friends.” - Nancy in Dyer, Ind.

“Ever notice how manufacturers like to put the label plate with model number and serial number in areas that are very hard to see or get to? 

“Sometimes they are stamped into metal that gets hard to read over time. I snap a photo and then it’s at eye level, readily available, and can be enlarged for easier reading.

“Ever get to a business and it’s closed? I snap a photo of their hours sign.” - Troy B., via email 

“Uses for my cellphone:

“When we were in the midst of remodeling: Photos of paint colors in each room of the house, and grout colors used in bathrooms.

“Photo of parking spot at mall or ballgame.

“List of passwords for various websites, kept under a fake heading, not ‘Passwords.’

“Holiday and gift ideas for friends and family.

“Sizes of things I need to purchase: picture frames, fabric for a quilt, etc.

“Birthday reminders.

“Pictures of rooms in the house for any future insurance issues.

“Pictures of any dings or scratches on a rental car before I drive out of the lot.

“List of current prescriptions.”

- Debbie M., via email

Thanks for your feedback! - Heloise

TOO MUCH IS TOO MUCH

Dear Heloise: My beef is all the charities that send you “gifts.” We’re snowed under with labels, pens and cards. Why not have a place on the return portion to check if you do not want the “gift.” Use all the money for the charities instead. My wastebasket is full. - D.C., via email. 

A SCRAMBLED MESS?

Dear Heloise: I make the worst scrambled eggs on the planet. They either come out dry as dust or soggy. HELP! - Florinda B., Prairie du Chien, Wis.

Florinda, most people don’t whisk their eggs enough, and it’s one of the most important steps. Whisk the eggs vigorously for at least 30 to 40 seconds. For really creamy scrambled eggs, add a tablespoon of half-and-half. Whisk the eggs right up to pouring them into the pan. Cook scrambled eggs over a low heat to prevent burning. Some people like to remove the eggs from the pan while they’re still a bit wet because they will continue to cook for about one minute. - Heloise

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN

Dear Heloise: Packaging on food tells us who manufactured a product but NOT the country it originated from. I don’t care who distributes a product, but I do care where it’s from because some countries do not have the same health standards we require. - Reanna L., Kemmerer, Wyo.

Reanna, some foods are labeled with the country of origin. Many packaged items have foods and seasonings from several different countries, which makes it difficult to pinpoint a country of origin if there is something wrong with the food product. You might try shopping at local farmers markets where everything is locally grown. - Heloise

PEANUT BUTTER COOKIES

Dear Heloise: To keep your fork from sticking to the dough of peanut butter cookies, use a plastic fork or spray a metal fork with cooking spray. - Sarah K. in Texas

A CLASSIC HELOISE HINT

Dear Readers: My mother always poured a little vegetable oil in the bottom of a pan before adding butter to fry foods. This way, foods would turn a nice golden-brown in the butter without burning. - Heloise

(c)2019 by King Features Syndicate Inc.