Grab Bag Fix-Its:
Here are 10 great fix-it tips from Lifehacker.com:
10. Use cola and foil to polish chrome
Chrome looks great when it’s new, and rather sad when it’s accumulated dirt and discoloration. Chemical-filled and wallet-lightening cleaners aren’t necessary, though. Apply a little cola—Coke, Pepsi, or whatever generic you’ve got handy—and rub down your shiny surface with aluminum foil, and you’ll retain the eye-catching shine to your antique bar, Harley, or whatever else has a glint to it.
9. Use baking soda and vinegar to fix funky towels
Over time, and with many washes, your bath towels will build up detergent and fabric softener residue, leaving them both unable to absorb as much water and smelling kinda funky when they do. Rather than give Target another lump sum, run them through the wash once with hot water and a cup of vinegar, then again with hot water and a half-cup of baking soda. That strips the residue from them, leaves them smelling fairly fresh again, and makes your post-shower experience a dryer one, at that.
8. Use salt to wipe up spilled egg
Even if you happen to have paper towels handy, spilled eggs tend to leave everything they touch feeling slimy and not-quite-hygienic. Sprinkle a good dose of table salt on the egg, wait about 10 minutes, and you’ll have a semi-solid mass that’s easy to pick up, and won’t leave your towel or broom a sticky mess.
7. Pour Coke into a dirty toilet
Out of Soft Scrub or other toilet-scaling potions? wikiHow recommends pouring a can of Coke into the bowl, letting it sit in the bowl for an hour or more, and then scrubbing the bowl clean. It doesn’t save you the manual effort, but your bowl will eerily get clean—and your soda habit may possibly diminish. The cola color should flush away, but if you’ve got soda water on hand, that might do the trick just as well.
6. DIY Drano for plugged pipes
Some landlords explicitly forbid tenants from using Drano, and some folks don’t love the idea of pouring it down the same sinks they drink and shower from. Reach instead into your cupboard and pull out some—yeah, you probably guessed it—baking soda and vinegar, and match in the amounts prescribed by the Bonzai Aphrodite blog, along with some very hot water. That should agitate and gently dissolve anything that’s not too greasy or stone-solid in your plumbing. If your problem specifically involves some stuff that’s, ah, stuck in the toilet, try grabbing some dishwasher detergent.
5. Use Kool-Aid lemonade to clean a dishwasher
Cleaning a dishwasher seems weird and unnecessary from a glance—doesn’t the thing fill itself with soapy water all the time? Over time, though, iron will stain the surfaces and lime deposits build up on the surfaces of your dishwasher, leaving it a place you don’t want to stash the plates you eat from. Real Simple finds a solution in unsweetened, lemonade-flavored Kool-Aid packets. Load a packet into your dishwasher’s detergent cup, run it empty through a normal cycle, and the citric acid in everyone’s favorite bug juice de-gunks the surfaces it would be a pain to reach.
4. Clean and de-scratch an LCD monitor
The basics of cleaning any LCD monitor start with avoiding alcohol—cleaning with it, at least. Turn off the monitor, dampen a soft, lint-free cloth with water, and wipe. If it’s one of those fancy high-gloss monitors, there’s just a footnote of using a micro-fiber cloth and cleaning in small sections. The since-defunct Hackosis once offered tips on fixing a scratched LCD monitor, including using petroleum jelly to temporarily smooth and visually restore scratches and re-lacquering screens with notable scratches. If you’ve got something small, you’re in luck—the pencil eraser method might work.
3. Get rid of underarm stains
We know you use deodorant. We know you wash your clothes. Perspiration stains still somehow work their way into your lighter-colored clothes. Men’s Flair runs down the best sweat-cleaning methods, such as citrus and baking soda/Borax combos, and we can also recommend an aspirin-based solution. What this guide also teaches, though, is that drying clothes in the sun helps to whiten them more than a dryer.
2. Clean a DSLR lens
Unlike with LCD screens, a little alcohol solution is actually a good idea when you’re cleaning your DSLR lens—just not too much. Digital Photography School lays out the best tools, including cleaning cloths, blowers, UV/skylight filters, and a few other items. One of the cheaper items you can supplement your camera bag with is found in all kinds of boxes: silica gel packets. Stashing them in your bag keeps moisture away from the lens, which in turn requires less time for cleaning, which frees you up to actually, you know, shoot pictures.
1. Get marker off any surface
We know how to get accidental permanent marker off a dry-erase board—write over it with a dry-erase marker, then wipe away both layers. If you or a youngster managed to run a Sharpie on something else, Public Realty Blog suggests baking soda toothpaste. Maybe it’s a ringing endorsement for its ability to remove plaque and grime from your teeth. Even if not, keeping a spare tube handy seems like a good idea, as evidenced by the video demonstration.
Grab Bag Nutrition Mission:
I often hear people say that they try to lose weight and they can’t… that they just don’t know (or don’t want to know?) where they are going wrong. Or they just want to eat healthier because they know it is better for their long-term health, but they can’t resist all the goodies they hate to love. SO many factors go into how and what we eat. Here’s a great summary of our complicated issues with food from Nicki Collins’ nutrition blog:
Ever wondered “why do we eat”?
We eat for many reasons, primarily because it is an essential function of life, but there are other reasons as well which include:
- Physiological need – hunger, satiety, metabolism
- Sensory appeal – smell, appearance
- Habit – social norm, timing, availability, peer pressure
Food habits refer to:
- Timing of meals
- Size of meals
- Number of meals
- Method of preparation
- People with whom meals are eaten
What we eat is strongly influenced by factors such as:
- Health belief
- Nutritional knowledge
- Food availability
- Taste and texture of food
- Childhood experience
Nicki brings up some great points. And given all those variables, it’s important to understand what baggage each of us brings to the (dinner) table.
If you have issues that are truly holding you back from making the changes you want to make, research shows that Group Therapy for eating issues has some of the best results.
OK… but for the majority of eaters… acknowledge your inner child, your needs, your whatever, and then move on… get healthy. Nothing in the list above is a valid reason for eating yourself into perilous health.
Here are some tips to work towards that I have seen or developed in my own eating habits that have been helpful…
Healthy Eating Tips
1. You NEED TO eat every 3-4 hours. Especially around 4:00PM. THIS IS KEY… and… most importantly… you need to think ahead 4 hours every time you eat. If you remind yourself you will be eating something again in 4 hours, you will be much more likely to stop eating at a reasonable point.
2. Eat a healthy breakfast every day. This sets a psychological and physiological eating pattern for the remainder of the day.
3. Most of your carbs should be eaten by lunchtime.
4. Cut normal portions in HALF (at a restaurant, ask the waiter to do this BEFORE it is brought to the table, and to put the other half in a box to go, so you can eat it at another meal).
5. Each time you eat you NEED TO take in some protein along with clean fats and/or complex carbohydrates.
6. You should try to avoid white flour whenever possible, striving for only whole wheat (bread, pasta,etc.), and not a whole lot at that.
7. If weight loss is a goal, alcohol needs to be ELIMINATED for the time being, and later add a glass of wine and see how your system tolerates the empty calories.
8. Try not to ingest ANY sugar substitutes.
9. Drink green tea every day (if made fairly weak, drink up to 8 cups daily) along with water between each time you eat.
10. Keep your food choices fairly narrow. An overly adventuresome palate can take you down roads you did not intend to go.
11. Try to avoid commercial soft drinks (duh) and fruit juices -fresh or not! … and here’s my theory… how many oranges would you have to eat to get the equivalent amount of juice in your morning OJ? Would you eat that many oranges for breakfast? I didn’t think so. The rush of blood sugar from most juices (it’s what they often give people threatening a diabetic coma, for God’s sake) sets up an equal and opposite insulin reaction that is just not good for you AT ALL. On top of that, many people drink OJ on an empty stomach, first thing in the morning, with NO fat or protein to slow that insulin reaction. AND… they do it EVERY day. YIKES!!
12. Drink water!
13. Try not to eat after 8PM.
And here are some suggestions of good guys and bad guys:
NO MORE THAN 4ozs. at a time of: • Fish, chicken, turkey, eggs (remove half the yolks) almonds, hazelnuts, filet mignon or other lean beef, low or non-fat plain yogurt, low-fat cottage cheese, organic almond butter (limited), organic peanut butter (limited)… explore and read about others.
• Olive oil • nuts • avocados • Full or low-fat (not non-fat) cottage cheese and greek yogurt • Organic almond and peanut butter (limited)
• Whole grain/whole wheat bread (½ or one slice at meal time, with olive oil on it) • 100% rye bread (one slice) • All veggies (except corn, carrots, beets, acorn squash, butternut squash and potatoes) • Low-glycemic fruits (list to follow) • Whole grain pasta (LIMITED AMOUNT) • Ak-Mak crackers (2 per serving) • soybeans (edamame) • Steel-cut oatmeal
Some of your BEST Friends:
• All berries (no more than 3/4 of a cup at a time…. preferably 1/2 a cup), 1/2 an apple, 1/2 a peach, cantaloupe, cherries, plums, GRAPEFRUIT • Cinnamon (put this on anything… helps keep blood sugar levels stable) • Veggies • Low-fat/non-fat dairy • Turkey • Egg whites • Black Pepper
Some of your WORST Enemies:
• Potatoes, rice, WHITE BREAD • SUGAR • Most sauces • Most cuts of red meat • Salt • PRACTICALLY ANYTHING OUT OF A PACKAGE • Please consider ANYTHING fried as if it was a cigarette. Really. Would you ever?
Grab Bag Lyin’ with Lions:
Not new, but lovely interaction between Kevin Richardson, a lioness and her cubs:
Grab Bag Brain Game:
Take the Full Civic Liberty Exam. They say average score is 49%. College professors averaged 55%. Bahahaha… I got 75% and my sis Tally got 85%… so take that, college profs!
Grab Bag Funny Stuff:
If animals could talk.