Mixing Helpfulness and Humor Since 2005

Saturday, April 30, 2005

Highlight Tip of the Day

This one goes out to all my fellow Mac users, and I know there's lots of you. The only thing I don't like on my Mac is how the default hightlight color is a ridiculously light blue. If you're looking in Excel for something and hit "find," it will get highlighted, but good luck finding it--it's impossible to see. I recently learned that you can change this color! Under System Prefs, go to "Appearance" and make your change to a darker color there! You'll be happier, and your eyes will thank you.

Friday, April 29, 2005

Playlist Tip of the Day

If you're like me and spend your work week at a computer glued into your headphones, this will come in handy. Whenever a new project comes across your desk, make a custom music playlist to fit your task. This helps if you're always switching back and forth between, say, marketing strategies for 18-34 year olds (Green Day) and making fliers for real estate agents (Percy Faith Orchestra). Doesn't even have to be music you necessarily like, so long as it helps you focus. It works, too - my best projects all have their own soundtracks. And if creativity is not required of you, you can still use this tip. I have another playlist specifically for drowning out noisy gossip at the copy machine.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Salon Tip of the Day

Going into a salon with long hair is dangerous business, especially if you intend to keep the hair you came in with. My theory is that the stylists get a little grandiose when they see all that raw material - so you go in with hair to your waist and come out with a crew cut. But you can trim it yourself easily if you have long hair. Avoid the stick-straight-with-heavy-bangs haircut unless you're really attractive. Some cuts only look good on Jennifer Garner. However, if you want to trim your own hair without that I-just-got-a-haircut look and you own scissors and a set of hot rollers, you're set. Park yourself in front of the mirror and roll your hair as usual, but pull each chunk of hair up from the scalp, comb it, and hack off an inch or so before you roll it. (The rolling just gets the already-trimmed hair out of your way.) Does this work? Depends. If you have ever thought, "Dude, there is something WRONG with vander molen's hair - - what the crap did she DO?" then the answer is no. If you've never noticed that I got a haircut, then it totally does.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Traffic Tip of the Day

Never, ever, ever slow down to let someone in oncoming traffic turn left in front of you when you're on a four lane road. Just because you stopped doesn't mean the driver next to you will do the same. Play Frogger at home, boys and girls, not during rush hour. It's actually the opposite of helpful and jacks up traffic for everyone else.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Alarm Tip of the Day

For those of you that still use the old fashion mechanisms to wake up in the morning as I do. You may want to rethink your choice and here is why. This week it is extremely important for me to put in hours at work because of weekend company (and weekend here meaning Friday afternoon.) So I put my trust in the clock radio sitting on my dresser that it will wake me up each and every morning. Well, the alarm clock is utterly worthless if the power goes out (as it did last night while I was sleeping.) So I had no idea that my alarm was out of commission until this morning when I woke to birds chirping and sunshine beaming through the window – what…sunshine that can’t be right...I should get up when it is still pretty dark out! A quick look at a blinking 12:00 on the alarm makes me aware of the situation…power outage and therefore no alarm and an unexpected sleep in, which messes up the work week hours-wise. Geez. Well, there is a lesson hidden in all unfortunate events right? Don’t be so reliant on electricity; you never know what may happen in the middle of the night! Use those cell phone alarms, battery powered alarms and such…you won’t regret it!

Monday, April 25, 2005

Sunny Tip of the Day

This one's to all our faithful readers in Miss Sundheimer's "some-kind-of-science" class! Aight, peepz. Here's the deal. When you're in high school, you've just gotta know that ZITS are inevitable. EVERYONE gets them. EVERYONE. But word to the wise--when you see that first nasty date-killer, don't run to the store for OXY PADS or some rough astringent. Just relax. You're going to fight acne the natural way. You see, my theory (and I'm no dermatologist) is that most people's skin is far too sensitive for that bacteria-fighting over-the-counter stuff you can buy. So, because of it, I predict that your skin will break out more from using it. A friend of mine gave me the advice to stop using ALL medicine on my face. And when I did, that's when I finally stopped breaking out. I stopped using the following products: Retin-A, Cleocin, Clearasil, Oxy, etc. and started using a great mild soap called "Purpose," available at Walmart. It did wonders. The other tip I'd advise is to thoroughly wash your hands right before you wash your face. This will prevent you spreading all the nastiness you collect while doing experiments in Miss Sundheimer's class. (You don't want Hydrochloric Acid or Sulphur Dioxide on your face, trust me...you might have to use Miss Sundheimer's emergency shower) Finally, when you're in the "healing" stage, try to avoid looking in mirrors. The more your see your face, the more discouraged you may get, and that stress will also induce breakouts.

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Glue Tip of the Day

Super glue is some pretty super stuff. But remember that super powers can be dangerous if used in the wrong way. The key trick with super glue is preventing it from coming in contact with stuff that you won't want permanently stuck to anything else. Some things to avoid having super glue come in contact with include: fingers, tables, a toliet seat, your toothbrush, lunch, or eyes.

Thanks to Jim Burgen for inspiration on this tip

Saturday, April 23, 2005

101st Tip of the Day

For our 101st tip ever, we would like to review what we've learned so far:

  1. Don't cook cookies on a stove

  2. Send people e-mail at random times

  3. iTunes has free songs

  4. Pete & Jay don't know a lick of German

  5. Vacuum up good smells

  6. Blame B.O. on a coworker

  7. Wear colored undershirts

  8. Holes in gloves are better then no gloves at all

  9. Blogger doesn't care what time it really is

  10. Zap PRAM to refresh you Mac

  11. Pete is full of really bad puns

  12. People sleeping on the couch wake up after people who live there

  13. You don't have to start a blog to be cool

  14. Don't only tell Jay when your birthday is

  15. Never battle parkers alone

  16. Keep deodorant everywhere

  17. Get extra body condiments

  18. Locate where your iTunes really are

  19. Don't rely on DSL

  20. Odwalla bars are good and good for you

  21. Punxsutawney Phil is one confused little groundhog

  22. The only reason you should ever tuck anything into your underwear

  23. Cats make good bug catchers

  24. How to auto-mount a server in OS X

  25. Things not to say while watching football

  26. Scotch Tape on a keyboard is fun

  27. Use only trusted eyebrow waxers

  28. Don't comment if your friend didn't

  29. Grease is good for leather

  30. Use paper towels when opening bathroom doors

  31. Italian dressing to spices up veggies

  32. How to lighten a color in Illustrator

  33. Pretend you have a Valentines date

  34. Velcro helps cover unwanted…em…gaps

  35. Take a shower for a quick idea

  36. It is easy to burn fondue

  37. Some cellphones don't understand the term silent

  38. Don't keep beef in the fridge for more then a week

  39. iChatStatus makes you cool

  40. Ovens are hot

  41. Double stick tape does wonders on a hem

  42. Keep and extra key somewhere

  43. Be on the lookout for good free MP3s

  44. Jury duty sucks

  45. LiveType can actually be pretty cool

  46. you don't have to title all in one place

  47. Don't get a girls number by pretending you want to buy her car

  48. The Navy can help you uncomplicate™

  49. There are things your foot just won't do

  50. Call short pants capries

  51. Don't paint with the windows closed

  52. Email is a good place to make notes to yourself

  53. Enjoy freedom of speech

  54. Make per diem work for you

  55. Tape middle-schoolers in their room

  56. Be good to your teachers

  57. Don't leave a guy handcuffed then walk away

  58. Take care when placing Styrofoam cups

  59. Don't catch on fire then look in a mirror

  60. Someone will kick over a drink placed on the floor

  61. Don't limit yourself to the original use of olive oil dispensers

  62. Teaching in Fayette County reduces your snow days

  63. Drink lots of water

  64. It's easy to make up your own holiday

  65. Peppers and eyes don't mix well

  66. Footwear makes a great barrier for tacks

  67. Run on the tips of your foot to stretch out you legs

  68. Timezones don't follow any real rules in Indiana

  69. Don't miss Jule's birthday

  70. You can have fun with bright flashes of light and almost asleep roommates

  71. Flirting can be taken in many different ways

  72. Theamed ties aren't usually cool

  73. How to always pick winning iCaps

  74. Don't run to the doctor at the first sign of funk

  75. Who would you rather be in a hot tub with?

  76. Gum doesn't go through the wash well

  77. You actually need to study for the GRE

  78. Ham basting is similar to hand moisturizing

  79. whisper things to friends on the phone

  80. Exercise your toes by picking things up with them

  81. Keep track of time changes to avoid waking up early for church

  82. Body wash will not wash away testosterone

  83. Drink water to take more "breaks" at work

  84. Males should never wear fleece pants

  85. Flower colors complicate things

  86. How to iron by not ironing

  87. Take extra care when waking someone from a coma

  88. How to take care of long wet hair fast

  89. Waste time by driving around a new town without a map

  90. Pepper shakers make good taco props

  91. Small incremental cleaning can help avoid a big mess

  92. It is possible to avoid sneezing & sneeze on demand

  93. There are many ways to look silly while running

  94. Work is all mental

  95. Chad has no idea how to play poker

  96. New dark towels tend to bleed

  97. If you say "it'll be fine" it won't

  98. There is a reason a ladder that those last two rungs

  99. It will rain at Ichthus

  100. Lugging your luggage sucks

  101. And today's tips is, you might have a 99 day streak on getting a tip posted on time that streak will break eventually. Combine that with some miscalcuation on when your 100th tip really occurs and you'll have to fudge it by making your 100th tip your 101st tip. You can always make up for it by adding a cool new feature, like a link to a cool 100% legally free MP3.

Friday, April 22, 2005

Traveling Tip of the Day

A friend and I recently traveled to Boston to take in the sights and cheer for some friends running the Boston Marathon. Our flight arrived at 11:30 am and the plan was to spend the rest of the day in the city. The problem was that we were relying on public transportation for the weekend and our free hotel (garnered with Marriott points) was a few subway stops and a 25 minute train ride away ($7 round trip per person). Taking our luggage all the way back to our hotel was NOT an efficient use of our precious Boston time. So instead we walked in to the first nice hotel we came upon downtown, and checked our bags with the bellhop (bonus: remember to tip $1 per bag). If you act like you know what you're doing, they'll never question whether you're staying there or not. When we were ready to go to our REAL hotel, we simply popped back in the Park Plaza, claimed our bags, and went on our merry way. When trying to get away with such things, it never hurts to be as adorable as possible.

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Pre-Ichthus Tip of the Day

Get over any dislike of mud. Find old shoes. Old pants. Warm socks. And a raincoat. Here's why: Check out the weather forecast for Ichthus 2005. Do I seriously see SNOW on Sunday? :-(

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Ladder Tip of The Day

Don’t jump off the third rung of a ladder onto a floor of a house built on a concrete slab in bare feet. It really hurts. Take the time to properly step down all of the ladder rungs.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Audio Tip of the Day

You may think this tip only applies to my fellow media geeks, but the underarching principle applies to all of us. In fact, most media geeks have probably already learned this lesson the hard way. If you're on a film shoot, it's obviously imperative to check audio levels with a set of headphones. Now, when this step approaches, if you think, "shoot, I can't find my headphones," don't do what I did last Thursday and say, "Well, the levels should be fine. I think it's set to auto-attenuate." (follow link and scroll for definition) If for no other reason than BECAUSE you said it, your levels WILL be too hot, and you will need to reshoot everything. Folks, this applies to every area of life. If you realize you're skimping, and do so blatantly, Murphy's Law tells us that something WILL go wrong. And believe me, guys, I'm an optimist. If in a bind, I urge you to look for the proverbial headphones, lest you sacrifice the proverbial footage.

Monday, April 18, 2005

Towel Tip of the Day

If you acquire new bath towels that happen to be a dark color, make sure you launder them a few times before offering them to guests. Otherwise they will be picking egyptian cottony fuzz off their body for the next three days. I suppose this could apply to any color bath towel, but regardless, pre-launder them. Your guests will thank you.

Sunday, April 17, 2005

Poker Tip of the Day

Double down on black and never show your cards on the blind.

Saturday, April 16, 2005

Working Tip of the Day

So, its the weekend and most of us don't have to work, but there are times when we shouldn't be at work but we have to. When those unfortunate times come it's all a mental game to keep from getting mad that you're working late. We just get so used to leaving at 5:00/5:30 that anything later seems late. No one wants to work late, but when you do, realize that 8 O'Clock really isn't that late. Keep your eye off the clock, crank the music and just pretend like its normal. Plus, you might have the added bonus of getting comp/overtime. That should get you through the night, just don't do too good of a job convincing yourself.

Friday, April 15, 2005

Running Tip of the Day

Top 10 ways to look silly/crazy when running.

10. Wear shorts below 50 degrees
9. Make your arms do pinwheels when you run downhill
8. When running with your boyfriend/girlfriend, hold hands the whole time.
7. Run carrying a WALKman
6. Start skipping whenever you get tired
5. Make sure your socks are pulled up all the way to your knee caps and stop to pull them up whenever they fall down.
4. Concentrate really hard, never step on a crack.
3. Look around like you're paranoid that someone will see/catch you.
2. Sing along REALLY loud with your MP3 player (I mean walkman)
1. Every time you have to wait at a light to cross the street, dance along with the music that only you can hear. Not just a little, but that all out "I'm home alone and no one is watching" type dancing.

by: K-Ris

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Sneezing Tip of the Day

Even though the cold season has pretty much passed, you never know when an arbitrary sneeze will make an appearance. There are several times throughout the day when you might need to sneeze but know you shouldn't. This could be when someone is praying, you're watching a golf tournament, you're winning in a staring contest, you're about to shake someone's hand, or you're making a salad. To keep from sneezing when one of these or other similar situation should arise just think about a cow driving a car.

But, sometimes when there is no golfing or salads around you might actually want to sneeze. To sneeze on demand close your eyes and turn your eyes toward a light, or even better, the biggest light there is, the sun. This will get you in a surefire sneezing mood. Possible occassions that you might want to sneeze include: have a tickle in your nose, to convince your cousin it's raining, to avoid an unwanted kiss, you got a pea/lego suck in your nose, you need to fain being sick or if your nose hairs get tangled.

Thanks to someone in High School and Steve the Intern for inspiration on this tip.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Housekeeping Tip of the Day

If you're like me, you hate cleaning bathrooms. It's funny what I will put up with when I know it's just me that's been using a sink and shower, but yet in the office bathroom (which is cleaned daily), I'm still using paper towels to shield my hands from the frightening door and faucet handles. So at home, to make bathroom cleaning easier, I have several tips to make it quicker and easier. After you've given the mirror and sink a good cleaning, wipe it daily so it doesn't get too icky, alternately using the Clorox wipes and a towel. I don't have any creative toilet techniques, but I like the throwaway brushes. Once upon a time I saw someone use the same sponge on the toilet bowl that they did on the sink and shower and it left me scarred. (Always ask yourself, especially if you have roommates--Where has that double-sided scrub sponge been?)

Use the vacuum (people around here seem to call it a sweeper) to clean the floor and the tops of the baseboards before mopping (do this after you've dusted/cleaned the sink, the top of the toilet tank, and the edge of the tub, so any dust you dislodge from those horizontal surfaces is already on the floor for you to suck up with the Hoover. Swiffer floor cleaners rock and can be used if you don't have time for the Pine-Sol. And my main reason for entering this tip (drumroll) Since most of us don't have an automatic shower cleaner, simply clean it while you're in it. Then you don't have to worry about spraying water all over the bathroom in your attempts to rinse the shower walls from the outside of the tub, standing on the linoleum. By cleaning from within the shower, you can be thorough and you don't have to deal with sock wetness while cleaning, which we all know is one of the worst feelings possible. Also, the shower curtain can be wiped clean, which is difficult to do from the outside of the tub. I recommend that you suds up after you clean the tub, that way you can wash off any cleaner residue so it doesn't eat away at your feet.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Taco Tip of the Day

There's nothing more satisfying than the crunch of a mouth-watering taco. I like my tacos like I like my women--CRUNCHY. But one thing that's distressing about tacos of this variety is that when you need to set them down, they won't stay standing up, and you're likely to lose some stray toppings. This results in you painstakingly putting tomato bits and rogue lettuces back into your taco like a fiend. Until now. I've discovered that a common SALT SHAKER can be used as a TACO PROP!
Taco Prop
Simply prop your taco on the salt shaker, and you're good to go. I haven't tried it, but assume pepper shakers will work too.

Monday, April 11, 2005

Downtime Tip of the Day

Feeling the need to add downtime to your day? Planning a trip to a major city soon? If you have answered "yes" to these questions, then this tip is for you. The best way to waste a few hours of your day(or night) is to drive around a major metropolis without a map. Preferably it would be one like Boston that is very non-commital about its street signs. You might happen upon the occasional street sign, but your odds aren't that great. Also, your mapless drive through the city would be accented by the Big Dig, the most unsuccessful construction venture in history. Hopefully, the Big Dig would force you to take countless detours that lead to nowhere and create forever traffic jams, even at one in the morning. Another perk of having no map could be ending up in the suburbs surrounding Boston, when really your goal is to make it to Cambridge to pick up your friends who have been awake for 20 hours straight. But of course they won't mind waiting a little more. Now, you could ask for directions whenever you get off track, which is what I suggest, because they will inevitably be incorrect. This will help you waste as much time as possible. When you make it to your tired friends, just smile and know that you've added a few hundred miles to your car, plus had a nice chunk of time to consider the mysteries of the universe.

Sunday, April 10, 2005

Body Tip of the Day

This one's for the girls. If you don't have time to dry your semi-long to long damp hair after your shower in the morning, twist it up into a low bun with a ponytail holder. Try to twist and roll it the same direction so you won't end up with what looks like a dent in your hair later. After a few hours, let your hair out and you'll have body and curls in your hair throughout some of the day. Plus you will get to re-experience the scent of your shampoo.

Saturday, April 09, 2005

Medical Tip of the Day

Again, thanks to our good friends from Alias for this one. If you ever need to wake someone up early from a medically-induced coma to get information, but you don't want anyone to know that they didn't wake up naturally, try researching the proper quantity of the substance needed first. Otherwise, you may put too much of this substance in said comatose-ridden person and doctors may be able to detect that foul play took place. Such a maneuver could result in a lot of distrust in the future.

Friday, April 08, 2005

Dewrinkle Tip of the Day

If you have somewhat wrinkled pants or a reasonably wrinkled shirt (we're not talking something that's been crumpled up into a ball at the bottom of a laundry basket for a week) and you don't have time to iron them, mist them with water from a spray bottle and throw them in the dryer for a few minutes. If you don't have a spray bottle handy, take a tee shirt and dampen it in the sink and throw it in the dryer for a few minutes with the wrinkly garment. If it's a fabric that releases those creases nicely, you'll have something non-wrinkled to wear in minutes.

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Flower Tip of the Day

Flowers are a wonderful surprise for a girl to receive. Despite all the nay-sayers cynics who say, "Why give something that dies right there on the desk in front of you?," I think it's extremely swoon-worthy and a classic example of chivalry. However, guys, if you aren't completely sure she knows how you feel about her and you have the slightest notion that she might have other guy friends with the same first name, make sure you include first AND LAST name on the card or at least include some kind of inside joke or message that only you would write. This applies to using initials as well. One cannot always rely on handwriting--since the FTD person sometimes signs the card with the requested message.

Girls, if you ever get the flowers with a message signed with a fairly generic message and signed only with a first name (and it could be from one of two gentlemen), then by all means, call the florist. They might at first tell you that it's confidential, but explain your predicament and they should be able to help. It's certainly better than thanking the wrong guy (wince).

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Loungewear Tip of the Day

This one's for anybody who is a) male b) owns pants, boxers, or any type of sportswear in polar fleece material or c)--most dangerously--both.

For boys and men alike (and all those in between), fleece is not an advisable choice of lower-body wear, and should be avoided at all costs if attending or participating in a co-ed soiree. Polar Fleece (of Gap, Old Navy and American Eagle fame) is clingy. It doesn't hold its shape well. It likes to lay flat, flush against the skin. It is, in a word, AWKWARD. So guys, don't wear it on your lower extremities. Wear all the pullovers your little hearts desire. Heck, buy out Old Navy's Deal of the Week so they'll stop playing those annoying commercials. But for the love of decency, and for sake of your female friends, girlfriends, wives, and even enemies, don't wear fleece pants, skorts, culottes, or shorts in front of them. And ladies, if you have any sense about you, don't let the guys in your life borrow or try on yours. Consider this a preventative measure. You'll be glad you did.


Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Break Tip of the Day

To avoid getting stale and stiff at your desk, they say to get up and walk around and stretch. What if you don't have any real purpose for walking around (read: you have waaaay too much to do to appear idle. How do the smokers get away with it?)? Well, just keep hydrating yourself. We already know that the continual water consumption helps flush out impending illness for some people and we know that it promotes all around good health and healthier skin, to boot! Well, to give yourself needed breaks, just keep refilling that cup all day long. Chances are, if you've emptied it, it's time for a little break and a walk to the water cooler area. For variety, visit different water coolers around the building. Of course all that water will go South so you'll be up for other trips as well and you'll never get office sour.

Monday, April 04, 2005

Testosterone Tip of the Day

In case you ever needed to know how to use body wash look no further than this photo for instructions. (Actual photo from an ACTUAL bottle of Old Spice Body Wash For Men.)

Old Spice

I know it's terribly complicated, and very inobvious, but don't panic guys, it won't wash away testosterone!

Sunday, April 03, 2005

Time Tip of the Day

If you value your weekend sleep, don't make a commitment at 8:00am on a Sunday in April before checking to see if it's the morning when you're supposed to "Spring Forward."

Bonus points if you know why this tip was "posted" at the time it was.

Saturday, April 02, 2005

Housekeeping Tip of the Day

If you are cleaning up a room, doing laundry, etc., and you have stray socks or lightweight pieces of clothing on the floor, pick them up with your toes and pass them to your hands. It conserves energy, and improves toe-eye coordination.

Friday, April 01, 2005

Pranking Tip Of The Day

In America these days, we've all become accustomed to meaningless, idle chit chat, especially when beginning or ending a phone conversation. This prank plays into this phenomenon.

If you're near someone on the phone, you can pull this prank ANY time. It works best if the person is talking to a business contact, a person they've just started dating, and definitely when it's a member of the same sex. Here's what you do. When the conversation is wrapping up, get really close to the person's "open" ear and whisper, "I love you, I love you..." again and again. Because it's hard to listen to two people at the same time, and because we so often end conversations with loved ones with "I love you," you're almost guaranteed to hear a slip-up.

Now, imagine how uncomfortable if you said this to...say...your BOSS. "Sure, I'll get that done as soon as I get into work. Ok, I love you--I mean...I...don't love you...I mean, you're a great person, but...SHOOT!" Or, what about that girl that you've taken out for just one date? "Um, ok, so I'll pick you up around 8. I love you--I mean, I don't love you...I love you as a friend, but you're more than a friend...Um, I, UH..."

You can see...this is a fun prank for young and old.