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Making some useful connections

Here's a handy gadget. The Pocket Socket is an eight-ounce, pocket-sized power inverter that plugs into your car's cigarette lighter and lets you run appliances ranging from lights and small drills to TVs and VCRs. That means you can plug in the TV during your tailgate party, or let the kids play Nintendo in the back seat, or plug in a light to make repairs after dark. Suggested list price is $79. It's available at hardware, auto supply, department, sporting goods and RV stores. For a dealer near you, call (800) 645-4004.

For remodelers who don't do it themselves

Looking for a professional remodeling contractor? Call the Homeowner Hotline, established by the National Association of the Remodeling Industry, at (800) 440-NARI for referral to NARI members in your area. They'll also send a copy of their brochure, "Selecting a Professional Remodeling Contractor," with tips on what to ask, how to check someone out, and how to plan a remodeling project.

Time for a battery check

Reminder: When you turn your clocks back on Oct. 30 as we return to Eastern Standard Time, change the batteries in your smoke detector. According to the annual "Change Your Clock, Change Your Battery" campaign, smoke detectors are missing or not working in three-fourths of the fatal fires nationwide. And although 88 percent of American households have smoke detectors, one-third are not working because of worn or missing batteries.

Corrections

Robin Snyder of Crane Brook Design in Tarpon Springs (934-5442) built the post-and-beam house featured here last week. That story referred to her by her maiden name and did not identify her company. Timberpeg Inc. can be reached in New Hampshire at (603) 542-7762.

This is Lou Brown, the real-estate agent who was quoted last week in a story about house tours in St. Petersburg. A photo of his late father appeared by mistake.

_ Compiled from staff and wire reports by Homes Editor JUDY STARK

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