Mixing Helpfulness and Humor Since 2005

Thursday, June 30, 2005

Plagiarism Tip of the Day

So, you've cashed in on our tip about finding free CDs and DVDs, and well, now you have approximately 800 blank CDs and you're afraid that they're going to run out of style before you can use them all. So here are some suggestions on how to use them, thanks to JewelBoxing:
  • Totally legal backup copies of your music and movies for your personal use only
  • Song you recorded about your ex-girl/boyfriend
  • Mostly 1's and 0's
  • 40 million credit card numbers
  • a really sappy video triute to my dad
  • blackmail photos from the offic eChristmas party
  • The trip to Alaska where the "unfortunateness" happened
  • 1,029 "borrowed" albums
  • Your friend's reel, which you're passing off as your reel
  • More proof of the moon landing hoax
  • The alphabet! on disc!
  • All of my different versions of helvetica
  • Photos of youy rusty metal object collection
  • The stuff you did in the 90's that used to be on my Zip Drive™
  • Images of painted buildings in southern spain
  • Karaoke practice mixes
  • Bagpipe loops
  • 134,965 reasons why she/he should still love you
  • Old mix tapes from college
  • Irrefutable bigfoot evidence
  • Collection of angry letter sent to the editors of "modern shovel"
  • Instructions that must not fall into the hands of mr. Bond
  • Anaswers to questions no one's asking
  • Emergency airplane signaling device
  • Your life's work, condense to 4 gig
  • Multimedia! Multimedia! Multimedia!
  • A very complex cd-based blog/diary hybrid
  • Irritating flash designs
  • Longhorn Beta
  • "Poop Into Water" documenatary
  • Songs about animals to play during your daughter's birthday party
  • Maracroni Art Portfolio
  • Investor presentation for the Candy Corn Store
  • The Art of War (hi-tech kidz edition)
  • The best televsion static ever
  • Screen tests for screenplay mom has has promis
  • Archives of all teh designes the client didn't pick.
  • Crickets, Strounds Run Sate Park, Athens, OH, 9/18/04, disc four
  • "Bear Attack" rough edit
  • Priceless puppet show footage
  • A reminder of your shiny object addiction
  • It shall be reeavled in 2048!
  • The world's funniest home video
  • The PowerPoint presentation that will make 'em all pay
  • Books on ape on disc
  • Yor shiny emo band's first single
  • The "Why you should revoke the restraining order" DVD
  • Slow motion footage of standing still
  • Disc backup of your tape backup
  • Your collection of daytime TV brawls
  • collection of *your* daytime TV brawls
  • Private eye evidence presentations
  • Obsessive slideshow of your drive to the movie theater
  • Renaissance Fair memories 1984
  • My animated Star Wars figure movies
  • Backup of the entrie internet incase it breaks
  • Photos of my place before and after tearing out those walls
  • Sith from a guy in phill with a handicam
  • bootleg recordings of your favorite cover band
  • "Forgotten power ballads of the 80s"
  • Pictures of your daughter for her grandparents
  • Pictures of your grandparents for your daughter
  • Slideshow indoex of all your baby toys and clothes, for posterity
  • 1000 photos of your new car
  • "Fire Ants: A History"
  • Your Rock Opera
  • Collection of secret family recipes
  • Civil War Reenactment Video: Vicksburg
  • Badly focused photos of sunburned people that your cousin took on his cruise
  • Itally 2000, Chicago 2001, Itally 2002, Itally 2003, Itally 2004, Itally 2005
  • Rescanned color slides from the eearly 70's of a family vacation in yellowstone
  • A shiny new version of my favorite ska mix tape, finally bured to CD
  • System Software 7.1 and MacPaint
[Once again, thanks to JewelBoxing with their this hillarious ad, and a half hour of my lunch break for making this tip possible. Here's to hoping we don't get sued!]

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Mate Tip of the Day

Who or WHAT steals the mates to our socks when they come out of the dryer? The world may never know. I feel like every time I do laundry I'm missing at least one sock. Rather than getting mad, I decided to get even (to my socks.) I have a large repository of "mateless" socks that I keep. So, anytime another sock turns up missing, I'll check it against my extensive database. I have actually matched a few socks back up this way -- sometimes I think the dryer just gives you your socks back late! In addition, if you have a lot of running/athletic socks, some may get worn out, and you can just replace them with one of the socks in your arsenal. In addition, mateless socks can be used to dust with! Just put them over your hand and you've got a fantastic dusting brush!

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Sparkler Tip of the Day

With the 4th of July just around the corner, those of us at Pete and Jay's have been testing the hottest new prototypes for cool light and sound making gadgets. And folks, we have the best product ready to show you. Grab a free-after-rebate blank CD-R from Office Max, and you're about to have a light show that rivals Thunder O'er Louisville. Put the CD in your microwave, and nuke it for about 30-seconds. What you'll see will shock and amaze you. Now, we haven't verified the safety of this tip, so you may not want to try this at home. Try it at your apartment if you know you're leaving in a month, or something. What's best is that when you've completed this venture, you'll have a SWEET coaster to put in your living room too.

Monday, June 27, 2005

Weapon Tip of the Day

If you ever encounter two feisty cats in a stand off, remember a broom is a great weapon to break up the excitement.

Compliments of Jen and Renee and their cat kennel.

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Dictionary Tip of the Day

For those of you taciturn people like me who don't know what Brobdingnagian words mean, and have ameliorated to OS X 10.4 "Tiger" you can just select a word and right click on it and you'll see "Look Up in Dictionary"

[Special thanks to the Tiger's built in Thesaurus for making this tip inscrutable]

Saturday, June 25, 2005

Foot Tip of the Day

Do you ever get toe cramps, where one or more toes attempt to contort themselves into a pretzel and stay that way (not this kind)? Theories range on what causes this: It could be anything from an electrolyte imbalance (sodium and potassium) from sweating and dehydration, muscle fatigue, overexertion, lack of fitness, or even genetics. Drinking a lot of water, eating well to get the right balance of electrolytes, progressing gradually when increasing the intensity or duration of your exercise, and stretching the offending areas can help fend off these cramps, according to doctors. I've also heard that eating bananas will help (there's some of your Potassium, kids), and apparently you can do foot exercises too, to fend off the painful cramps.

Friday, June 24, 2005

Cleaning Tip of the Day

Cleaning is already a big enough of a pain, why make it any bigger than it already is? You know you'll need to clean the bathroom again in the future, why not leave some paper towels and other cleaning accessories under the sink. That way when it needs a quick touch up you don't have to romp halfway the house just to dig up some Comet. This is especially helpful if your house has stairs.

The added bonus of having two or three of everything in the house, is when that toilet really needs to be cleaned and you're all out, there is still some bowl cleaner somewhere in the house. This tip works great for cookies as well.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Greenhouse Tip of the Day

And by this I mean the Greenhouse Effect, kids. It's obvious certain things shouldn't be left in the car this time of year (among them dairy products, electronics, and anything that breathes). Other things you might not be so quick to remember. Take, for example, a $15 bottle of Olive Oil from Williams-Sonoma sitting in a gift basket for some friends who just got married. I knew something smelled like it was cooking in the backseat for a couple of commutes. Luckily, the pricey cooking medium got on nothing important but the leather seats, and we all know they could use a little conditioning every now and again. Truly, this could've been a much uglier experience--the cork on the bottle did not pop. So is there anything that's likely to cook in your vehicle's back seat? Bring it inside, man.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

The Cheapskates Guide to Parsimony Part V

This is the last in our five part series on skimping. Thanks to Dark Scrivener for this excellent guide!

Skimp Away
Ramen—This could have been lumped in with the others one item up, but it represents a key point: Yes, the difference between name brand and generic is only two cents in the case of ramen, but that's 20 percent of the total cost! Real cheapskates need to keep the big picture in mind.

Pay the Piper
Pseudonyms—If you're going to pick a pseudonym, at least pick a decent one. Spend some time with it before releasing it on the world [PG-13 Link, don't say we didn't warn you]. I mean, the Dark Scrivener? Please.

The Cheapskates Guide to Parsimony Part IV
The Cheapskates Guide to Parsimony Part III
The Cheapskates Guide to Parsimony Part II
The Cheapskates Guide to Parsimony Part I

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Marriagability Tip of the Day

Once upon a time, in a land far, far away, I cooked dinner. When a few of my guy friends came over and inhaled it, their version of a compliment to the chef was to say, "Wow; your marriagability just went up, like, ten points". My response? "Wow, yours just went down." Gentlemen, my tip is this: when offering approval for something a woman has done, make every effort to mask your intention to stuff your future Mrs. into indentured servanthood. Much of the wind is removed from the sails of a lovely compliment when its giver is scheming, "Wow; you could, like, sit at my house and do chores for me for, like, the rest of our lives (dear)". A genuine thank you will suffice. If you feel any assemblance of the words, "what a good little wife you would make" leaving your lips, stop the train before you derail.

Monday, June 20, 2005

Advertising Tip of the Day

If you are 1.) a graphic designer, 2.) work at an ad agency, 3.) put ads in newspapers and/or magazines or 4.) have ANYTHING to do with advertising, you need to NOT make ads like this:

This, dear friends, is an actual ad for an audiometric testing clinic. Obviously this ad is many levels of disturbing, but I for one am glad this is not an ad for any other kind of doctor! Now, I understand what they're going for, but let's be honest. Who wants to have a little mini-guy crawl into their inner-ear? So disturbing! I also would like to see the before and after of what the little guy looked like if the ear had excess wax buildup! Attention grabbing, yes; Acceptable, ABSOLUTELY NOT!

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Free Tip of the Day

Hey, are you thinking to yourself, I thought all of Pete & Jay's Tips were free? Well there are, but this one is about getting free stuff! May stores, especially along the office and electronic varieties are in harsh competition with each other. So they send out all those sunday circulars. Well hidden with many of those are genuine free stuff. That's right, they'll actually let you but something and then give you the full purchase price back via a check and an overly complex process in only 6 to 8 weeks (aka. half of forever). It is things like this as to why Pete & Jay have more black CDs then we'll use in the foreseeable future. It also makes for a great after church activity. But get there easly cause many items sell out quickly. Office Max is one of my personal favorites, and you don't have to even buy the paper, every store has the weekly ad on their website. Or you can take the easy route and check dealnews and FreeAfterRebate.info.

Saturday, June 18, 2005

Java Tip of the Day

There comes a day when your coffeepot is in the running dishwasher and you don't have the hardware handy to make your much anticipated Saturday morning cup of coffee. My tip is this: Get your hands on a bodum coffee press (sometimes called a French press coffee pot or a Brazil set). I had one of these back in college (it suffered a terrible demise on the dish drying rack of a shared suite bathroom), and just recently replaced it after being spoiled rotten with fantastic French pressed coffee every morning in England and Ireland. All you need to do is grind your beans (or have them ground) a little coarser than what you would use for auto drip, and heat some water on the stove. Put the ground beans in the bottom of the "beaker," pour almost-boiling water on top, slowly, and stir. Set the top and the plunger on top of the beaker and let it sit for 3-5 minutes. Then slowly push the plunger (no, actually, THIS kind of plunger) down to the bottom, effectively pressing the grounds out of the liquid. You'll find that the coffee will taste richer and more heavenly than Mr. Coffee's wares will ever offer. And the bonus is you can find a bodum at discount stores like Tuesday Morning for less than $10.

Friday, June 17, 2005

Spelling Tip of the Day

I have always had a hard time spelling the word "hors d'oeuvres," for the times I've sent out party invites. And it's a pain in the tush to try and find it on M-W.com. So here's a good way to remember how to spell it:

HORSE (but no"E") + DOE+ UVRAYS (But spelled like it's pronounced by Julie Andrews in the D0-Re-Mi song on the Sound of Music...UV UV+RE...silent H...S)

Then remember there's an apostrophe after "D." Or, if you took French (I did not), apparently "oeuvres" means "works," if you can remember that (I'm not putting money on it, because I just used freetranslation.com). Here's a fun article on food spellings.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Fly Tip of the Day

So, we know that some people are more prone to forgetting to zip up their flies than others. I've compiled a few ways to tactfully tell a gentleman that his fly is down, with a touch of humor. This is only if you don't have a shirt like this or a hat like this that will automatically make them check. Remember, it is best to say these things in a discreet manner as to not alert the entire fellowship hall about the situation.

Let's get the tried and true ones out of the way:
  • XYZ (eXamine Your Zipper)
  • Barn door's open

And some new ones just for kicks:

  • You've got Windows in your laptop
  • You've got a security breach at Los Pantalones
  • Ensign Hanes is reporting a hull breach on the lower deck, Sir!
  • Jason, you know that thing that you always forget about, well it happened again

Now kids, I had some help from a very, very funny site. I've left out the borderline-shady ones. But if you care to do more research, click here. If you have others, feel free to add them.

--Peter Cook also contributed to this report

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

The Cheapskates Guide to Parsimony Part IV

Skimp Away
Milk, Shredded Cheese and Packaged Vegetables—Do I really need to say anything here? There is really no difference between a name brand of any of these and the store brand, so save yourself some money! The list could go on here, of course.

Pay the Piper
Tips—I didn't really mean this kind of tip, but that works too. Only get the best quality tips from Pete & Jay! But what I really meant was the sort of tip you give a waitperson. Those of you who have worked in foodservice or have friends who do already know this, but please don't be stingy with your tipping. These people are trying to earn a living, too, and they're counting on 15 percent. If the person is slow and gives unimpressive service, start there. If she gives great service and slips you her phone number, go at least to 20. This is absolutely essential if you obviously pray before your meal—Christians have a notoriously bad witness through their miserly tipping.

The Cheapskates Guide to Parsimony Part III
The Cheapskates Guide to Parsimony Part II
The Cheapskates Guide to Parsimony Part I

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Running Tip of the Day

Alright, many of us have invested in the iPOD shuffle as of late, and gosh, I don't know if you've noticed, but when sporting the armband during your run, well, let's just say we sweat. So, what can we do about that armband? Well, it's taken me a while, but I've finally found a workable solution. After every run, simply wipe it down with any kind of disinfecting wet wipe. You can clean every part of it, and it doesn't smell so bad. For those of you who were wondering, what was I doing before I found this nifty solution? Was I sporting a stinky armband? Nope, I was rinsing most of it under the sink, and spraying it with Lysol...trust me, this new solution works much better!

Monday, June 13, 2005

Icon Tip of the Day

Sometimes in IM world, there's a need to have an "adult" conversation. For example, you may need to pseudo-swear someone out. Or perhaps you'd like to tell an off-color joke. Either way, if this is you, you need to first check out the buddy icon of the person you're about to IM. Sometimes people will put a picture of their child, or one of their baby pictures as their buddy icon. Therefore, if, as in the image below, you're trying to swear at Pappy, who just so happened to feature a photo of an ugly baby, innocent "walkers by" will think you are actually swearing at a child. So be careful.



Another example below. Let's say Matt replaces his icon with one of his idols, the Olsen twins. (Not a huge stretch from reality).



If you tell him an off-color joke like this, people will be like, "Eww, you sicko. Why are you saying stuff like that to Mary Kate (or Ashley) Olsen?" Then they will ask you which one it is, and who can tell them apart anyway? You get my drift. It could get bad. Tell your friends with a penchant for misleading buddy icons to knock it off!

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Gum Tip of the Day

Live Wires are Often Shocking

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Widget Tip of the Day

If you're Mac/OSX junkies like those of us at Pete and Jay's, you need to know about some fun downloads Apple has for their latest operating system, Tiger. They're called widgets, and if you click here, you can download sweet looking little programs that do everything from find movie times, to flip a virtual coin for you! The illustrious Teri Jarrard found a widget that automatically pulls lyrics for whatever song you're listening to! Pretty amazing!

Friday, June 10, 2005

Drying Tip of the Day

The "Moisture Sensing" feature on your drying is pretty awesome, it works much like the "Popcorn" button on your microwave. It will keep running until your clothes are dry and then stop, without wasting electricity or over drying. But, as in the same way the "Popcorn" button doesn't work for those new mini bags of popcorn, neither does the "Automatic" setting work if you only have a few clothes in the dryer. It'll think they're dry, but when you go to check, they will still be a little moist. Just stick your pants in for a good hour, you can't "over dry" anyway.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Footwear Tip of the Day

I highly suggest if you have been out in the sun and have red legs, not to wear hoe boots in the days following when you are at risk of peeling. Your skin gets all kinds of itchy in the boots and you want nothing more than to take your boots off and scratch off the sun burned skin.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

The Cheapskates Guide to Parsimony Part III

Skimp Away
Haircuts—OK, maybe this is another guy thing, but for many of us there is just no compelling reason to spend $40 to have someone cut, wash and blow-dry our hair. Finding a special coupon at Great Clips for a $5 haircut is a lot better. Unless, of course, you have a particular reason for sticking with your current stylist. Or you're just metro.

Pay the Piper
Shoes—Let's face it. Your feet affect all of you. They're the only two contacts with the ground most of us have, and foot problems often become back problems, and before you know it, you're in traction, all because you cheaped out on your shoes. As Jay posted earlier, you just have to find a good store and good shoes and quit complaining.

The Cheapskates Guide to Parsimony Part II
The Cheapskates Guide to Parsimony Part I

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Gorging Tip of the Day

If you're like me, and I doubt ANYONE is ;-), you love swimming--any time and any place. In fact, you may love swimming so much that you're willing to sacrifice others' safety for even a quick dip. So, my tip would be this. When picking a campsite at the gorge, though you may have found the perfect one, just make sure people can lug their sleeping bags, hiking gear, toiletries, comforters, tents, primping accouterments, hairdryers, speedos and the like across. Now, no one will deny that we had the world's most perfect campsite, and while we did escape unscathed, it probably wasn't smart to force our colleagues across a river and down a ravine at night :-). But in the words of my dear friend Julie, "they thought we were crazy, but we made a memory."

Monday, June 06, 2005

Stain Tip of the Day

So, you're doing laundry, and you take your once-worn favorite new shirt out of the washer, only to find that the mystery rust got it. I haven't a clue why it happens (especially with a relatively new washer), but sometimes you get these light rusty looking spots on your clothes when you wash them, even when you don't have momentary amnesia and leave them in the washer for half the day. Maybe it's the brass/metal buttons or rivets on jeans? Who knows. Anyway, it's a source of distress for me and I recently fought back, successfully. Once upon a time an ex-boyfriend, who had witnessed one of my ingenious moments of grape juice spillage on my clothes showed up on my doorstep with a bouquet of flowers and a little yellow bottle labeled Carbona Stain Devils (romantic AND practical). These little compounds are made for different types of stains--everything from red wine and grape juice to crayons and coffee. I successfully used ink pen and red wine stain devils, and recently I resurrected the idea by buying the rust stain devil. It worked wonders, in only about 10 minutes. My favorite new shirt is like new again. :-) Find the stain devils on any laundry aisle at your local grocer.

Sunday, June 05, 2005

Travel Tip of the Day

So you're planning on taking a trip this summer? Or maybe not, but you will someday. Most of us will be in a plane at some point in our lives, so why not take a lesson or two from our good friends in "Lost".
  1. Wear comfortable clothes on the plane, and when I say comfortable, could you wear them for weeks and weeks on end before you get rescued? Comfortable shoes?
  2. Keep your carry-on close to you at all times, and make sure to have the essentials you need packed in there such as toothpaste, toothbrush, and make-up of course, I mean gosh, if you have a baby on the island, you don't exactly want your baby to think you don't care about your looks!
  3. Finally, always travel with a small device that has GPS so that you're not lost for good.

Saturday, June 04, 2005

TV Tip of the Day

TV really does rot your brain, I have to say. You can partially reverse the hypnosis by always, always ignoring commercials. You can mute them, but it's hard to know when to un-mute the TV without watching it. And you can get sucked in to the closed captioning before you know it. For a week or so in my house, we made the rule that during commercial breaks we had to learn something. So we'd flip to educational television for two minutes at a time. Phrases like "epistemological epiphany" would not be in my vocabulary if it wasn't for that exercise. (Don't ask me what that means, because I'll have to look it up and pretend I remembered.)

Friday, June 03, 2005

Spilling Tip of the Day

It happens to the best of us. Somehow somewhere we will spill a drink, or $12 tub of popcorn. Don't worry about it if you just dropped $10 worth of your $12 popcorn on the floor: most places clean the floor at least every other day. You can scoop it back and and be good to go. Ok, not really. But seriously, if you do spill your food or drink on the floor most every place will give you a replacement free of charge. Its really quite wired. For some reason they figure that if they over charged you by 400% they should provide something that almost looks like customer service. It's pretty incredible. And believe me, I have spilt stuff all around the country, I have never had them turn me down. When I worked at Universal Orlando they even told us this little trick. If you see someone spill something, help them out.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Shopping Tip of the Day

I read in Runner's World (and I know you don't trust that magazine Pete) that our feet swell from the time we get up to about 4 in the afternoon. This makes it a good idea for us to wait until the afternoon to buy running shoes at risk of earlier buying causing us to buy them too small.
I figure you could apply the same thing to ordinary clothes shopping. Don't go shopping when you haven't eaten, your low on water, etc...because they just won't fit right after a big meal. Go shopping right after a big meal, and your clothes will fit a little loose most of the time and make you feel thin! Same with the grocery store, of course, never shop on an empty stomach!

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

The Cheapskates Guide to Parsimony Part II

We continue our exclusive 5 part series on saving money with another thing you can skimp on and one that's worth poning up the extra dough.

Skimp Away:
Paper towels—Yes, there are a lot fancier types of paper towels out there than the generic, $2 for three rolls kind you find buried in the middle of the Wal-Mart aisle. You can get 'em with varied sizes, pretty pictures, or the ability to hold an entire bunch of grapes while wet. But how often do you really use a paper towel as a collander? For more than 90 percent of your paper-towel needs, I bet that the cheap brand will work just as well. And if one won't do, just grab another. Or five, if you're especially messy.

Pay the Piper:
Saltines—I have said it before and I will say it again: Seventy-seven-cent saltines are no bargain. Step up to a good name brand like Premium or Zesta and get the crispness you crave, without undue crumbling and staleness. Premium doesn't include the nifty double-twist-tie that they used to, but it's still much better than the cheap IGA home team.

Missed last week's tip? Check out The Cheapskates Guide to Parsimony Part I