Dear Heloise: After running out of paper way too many times while in the middle of printing from my personal computer, I put one colored sheet of paper right before the end of the stack loaded into the printer. When that pops out, I know it's time to reload before the printer goes haywire from the lack of "food."

Also, whenever I have to unhook my tech equipment (TV, computer, etc.), I wrap a piece of marked masking tape on both ends (receptor and receptacle), i.e., "A" matches "A," etc. So much easier than trying to read the manuals again, and guaranteed to be successful.

Keep up the good and useful work! —Michelle Braverman, Houston

Dear Michelle: This is a great way to keep track of paper. One of my assistants has a printer that is hard to restart if you let it run out of paper, so she really appreciated your hint. —Heloise

Dear Readers: With recycling and reusing hints being popular, we thought we would share some you can do at the office:

• Reduce the amount of foam coffee cups in your company's trash by bringing your own mug. The coffee tastes better, and mugs with cheery messages on them can brighten your day.

• Do you always take a handful of individual mayos, mustards and ketchups instead of the actual number of packets you'll use? Or a handful of napkins instead of what you need? The extras end up being just more plastic bits or paper in the trash! Multiply your handfuls by the number of people in your office and the number of working days in the year—what a waste!

• Turn off the water after you wash your hands in the restroom and report leaky plumbing to the proper person instead of waiting for someone else to do it.

• Use pens that take refills or new cartridges instead of disposable pens.

• Use newspapers or old computer printouts for place mats under your lunch instead of paper towels. Newspapers absorb spills and give you something to read at the same time. — Heloise

Dear Heloise: My friend was in a long-term recovery facility. I bought a bud vase, and each time I went I'd bring a single flower. It was a good conversation piece, and it was enjoyed. —Peg Donnelly, Walden, N.Y.

Dear Heloise: To refresh French bread, wrap in foil and put in a warm oven for 10 to 15 minutes. Delicious! —Mary Coats, Houston

Dear Heloise: My Sound Off is people who don't leave a message when they call! Even though most phones show who called, you still don't know why they are calling. If I'm busy, I am always in a quandary wondering if I should call right back or if the call can wait. So, please leave a message! —C.R. in Schertz, Texas

Send a great hint to: Heloise, P.O. Box 795000, San Antonio, TX 78279-5000; fax: 1-210-435-4673; e-mail: [email protected].

(c)2008 by King Features Syndicate Inc.