Mixing Helpfulness and Humor Since 2005

Friday, August 31, 2007

Cheap Tip of the Day

So your reception is already 4k over budget, you gotta cut costs somehow. Why not make you're dress out of Quilted Northern. It's probably cheaper than buying a dress plus you might even win a couple hundred dollars.

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Thursday, August 30, 2007

Imitation Tip of the Day

Be wary buying imitation products from people because you truly get what you pay for.

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Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Cashew Tip of the Day

The oil in cashews helps prevent tooth decay

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Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Shopping Tips of the Day

Tip #1: Amazon often has some great deals and rebates on cellphones.

Tip #2: If you find that your $150 rebate is taking longer than the 8 to 12 weeks that they promised, try calling to complain. When they tell you that an error in their database caused your rebate to be erased, ask them to reissue it.

Tip #3: If you find that your rebate still has not come after 20 weeks, try calling to complain. When they tell you that another error in their database caused your rebate to be erased, ask them to reissue it.

Tip #4: If you find that your rebate still has not come after 28 weeks (7 months), try calling to complain. When they tell you that your order is processing and there is nothing they can do to speed it up, ask them how long it will take. When they tell you another 5-6 weeks, kindly hang up the phone and go to ftc.gov. An online complaint form awaits you there. Simply fill out said form and forward a copy of it to someone at Amazon. You should receive a response from Amazon letting you know that you will receive your rebate in 2 to 3 business days.


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Monday, August 27, 2007

Tree Tip of the Day

The Arbor Day Foundation is excited to exploit the renewable part of renewable resources and will send you 10 trees for becoming a member for $10. Pretty cool deal. Maybe you could go together with some friends because I for one certainly can't fit another 10 trees on my lot.

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Sunday, August 26, 2007

CSS Tip of the Weekend

For those who care, I learned a valuable bit of CSS glory from a competing media firm under my own roof. Thanks, Fowler!

When working with background images and colors within a DIV, you may want to have a DIV contain a background image that does not repeat, and then a background color to the remaining area where content overflows the image area. I had always had some issues doing this, so Fowler clarified it all for me. There are two ways you can do it properly, and then an incorrect way (which I had been using.)

Proper Way #1

background: #fff url(img/myimage.jpg);

Proper Way #2

background-color: #fff;
background-image: url(image.jpg);

Improper Way

background-color: #fff;
background: url(image.jpg);

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Friday, August 24, 2007

London Tip of the Day Part 5

Still trying to save money on the big trip to London, but you really want to see some shows. They do have half price and discount ticket sales here. The only thing with these is that you should have looked up the prices on-line to see what you're willing to pay, and you'll need to ask them where the seats are. Seat pricing is odd here...you even pay more for certain seats in the movies! You in fact pay more to sit in the balcony at the movies! There is one theater here, I believe called the National Theater, where you pay 10 pounds and they have multiple stages with multiple productions going on. So with one price, you have a selection of plays from which to choose. So, if you're in town and want to see a play just to say you saw a play in London...there is one way to go! But if there is something specific, try the discount ticket places, you may just find a good deal.

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Wednesday, August 22, 2007

London Tip of the Day Part 4

I know sometimes we are concerned with insurance when traveling overseas. What if I get sick? What if something happens and I need to see a doctor? Well, in London they have better health care than we do in the states. You can pay cash for a doctor. An emergency room visit will cost you about £50. Your other option is to have a doctor make a house call! That's right, the hotel will order a doctor right to your room for you for £160! Now that's what I call room service!

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London Tip of the Day Part 3

No, in Germany, they don't drive on the left side of the road, but yes in England they do. Foot traffic is even opposite. Have no fear though, there are signs everywhere not only to remind you which side of the hall (in the subway stations) to walk on, but also where to look for traffic!

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Tuesday, August 21, 2007

London Tip of the Day Part 2

We all know that London is super expensive. The US dollar will only buy us half a pound. And, you see prices over here like 10 pounds for a hamburger at a restaurant after tips and such...just like in the states where it's $10, but here, that makes that hamburger $20! It's outrageous! So, we have to find ways to cut the cost a bit. One way to do that is to purchase the "London Pass" and include travel on it. The London Pass gets you %15 off certain restaurants and stores. It gets you entry into things that normally charge admission such as the Tower of London, Shakespeare's Globe Theater, the London Aquarium and such things. I'd recommend getting a 3-day pass so you can really make some good use of it! I've been told that one day just doesn't do the city justice. And the travel pass gets you on every subway and DLR (district line rail) to get you everywhere in London and its suburbs.

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Monday, August 20, 2007

London Tip of the Day Part 1

So, you're a guy and you're walking down the streets of London and suddenly, you have to use the rest room. Have no fear, in London, you can go outside! That is, they have outdoor urinals! Seriously...there was this guy literally running past us yelling about having "to go" and he just stops at this booth and went!

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Saturday, August 18, 2007

Resize Tip of the Weekend

This one happened by accident! Have you ever been working in a program on your Mac that has multiple columns you can sort by (like Mail, iTunes, etc.?) Sometimes you'll encounter data in one of these columns that is WAY too long for the width you have set for that column. For example, someone sends you an email where the subject contains more data than most people put in the entire message.

For example, check out this iTunes store list.

Notice how the album column isn't wide enough for the content? I used to DRAG the column header over to resize, and then I discovered, accidentally, that double clicking on the column header (directly between the columns) will elongate (I hate that word) the column to fit the content! It's amazing--give it a try!

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Friday, August 17, 2007

Photographing Tip of the Day

People are generally willing to take a picture of you and the people your with at a tourist attraction. And it the U.S. they generally don't want a tip. However unless you are going to check everyone's resume before you have them take your picture, always be sure to check the picture after they take it. You never know, something may have gone wrong and its a horrible picture, or worse yet, it didn't take at all.

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Thursday, August 16, 2007

Subway Tip of the Day

Subways go by all different names. In San Fransisco, it's called the BART. It travels at speeds up to 80 mph. In NY city, it's the MTA NYC Transit. In Paris, Brussels and Washington DC, they call it the Metro. In London, it's the Tube. All of these are similar in structure and are designed to move a mass amount of people from one place to another cheaply and efficiently. Most of these places have turnstiles that make you at least work to "steal" a ride. The same, however, is not true in Brussels. In fact, the ticket box is so obscure that it is quite easy to miss it all together. There is NOTHING, no security, no turnstile, no person to ask you politely to go get a ticket, no camera to stop you from just walking down to the train.
Here's the thing about that...it's an easy market for thieves and pickpockets. They don't even have to pay to steal something from you! There is no accountability at all. Most of the stations, there is only one way on and one way off the train. You either get out the doors on the left or the doors on the right. However, at the main train station, the doors open on both sides! So watch your wallets and your purses. Keep separate ID's in separate places. Keep your money somewhere else. Because in this particular train station, it's so easy for someone to just brush by you and by the time you can look down to verify that what you felt go missing actually is gone (even if there are three other people around you whom you know at the time), they'll be out the other door, and the train will have left the station!

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Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Every Last Kernel Tip of the Day

If you're like me, it fills you with unquenchable anguish every time you make microwave popcorn, and there are dozens of unpopped kernels in the bottom of the bag. Surely popcorn science has more to offer than this mediocre effort! In the meantime, there's a pretty easy way to get a few more handfuls of popcorn.

Take a small skillet and pour just a tiny bit of oil into it - just barely enough to cover the bottom. Heat it over a medium-high heat for maybe a minute or so, then dump the rest of the unpopped kernels in and cover the skillet with a lid. In a few seconds, they should be popping away. Don't take the lid off now, though, or you'll have popcorn and hot oil flying all over the kitchen. I kid you not.

Remove from the heat after most of the popping has died down, then uncover. (Be careful not to burn it, though!) Give it a couple minutes to let it crisp up, sprinkle a little salt, and enjoy sticking it to Orville with your ingenuity.

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Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Deodorant Tip O Da Day

If you wear the clear gel deodorant, don't think that it means you won't get any on your clothes. You must wait until the deodorant dries before putting on that shirt or you may find wet spots on your shirt that do not dry clear and just proves deodorant is bound and determined to show up on an outfit.

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Monday, August 13, 2007

Honey Tip of the Day

Don't microwave honey, you'll burn your fingers and good things don't happen.


Sunday, August 12, 2007

Password Tip of the Weekend

Here is a good little article explaining how hackers crack passwords and then offers tips to make a password that is easy to remember yet hard to crack. Read the article at Baekdal.com

A couple of tips I will add to that as you create passwords.

1. Never type a password you mind loosing on an protected Wi-Fi network. It is amazingly easy to grab a password that is flying over the air unencrypted.

2. Don't use the same password for secure and unsecure sites. If it is a little, no name operation, who knows how secure his sever is. Or if the web address starts with "http://" who cares how secure their server is, cause the password could get nabbed along the way. Look for "https://" at the beginning of your web address to avoid this.

3. Beyond what they mention in the article, one of my favorite ways to create a memorable yet secure password is to use a phrase and use the first letters off of the words. Such as "I like working at Creative Group in Wilmore, Kentucky". My password might be "ilwacgiwk". Now that is fairly secure. However, mix in some special characters, numbers and caps to kick it up a notch and you could get "[email protected],KY", which is more secure, but less fun to type, then any passphrase mentioned in that article.

4. For Mac OS X users, there is a built in tool to help you come up and/or check the level of security of your passwords. Open up your "System Preferences" under the Apple menu. Click on accounts, and then click Change Password. You don't need to actually change your password, just click on the little key icon. The "Password Assistant" comes up. If you want it to make up a password for you just select "Type: Memorable" and drag the slider to how long you want the password to be. If you want to make your own password, just to check how secure it is, select "Type: Manual" Then type in your password, if the security graph is about a third of the way up you're doing pretty darn good. (Just make sure to hit cancel in the change password box to keep from changing the password to your user account.)

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Friday, August 10, 2007

Simpson's Tip 'O Da Day

Ever wonder what you would look like through the eyes of the Simpson's creator? Wonder no more...check out www.simpsonizeme.com and see what you would look like if you showed up as a celeberty guest on the show.


Thursday, August 09, 2007

Easy-Setup-Pool Tip of the Day IV

Decide that you need "a few more inches" of water and top off the pool to just over the edge of the inflatable ring. Bad idea.

Wait for the rain to come.

Later, observe what sounds like the coming of a tsunami, or torrential downpour. Look outside to realize that's your pool, not SLOWLY draining, but VERY RAPIDLY draining!

Gallons of water pour through your yard and into your neighbor's.

Go outside in your undees and lift the purging side of the pool an inch or so and draining stops immediately.

Vow to never fill pool above inflatable ring, and vow to always have someone check on your house if you're out of town.

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Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Easy-Setup-Pool Tip of the Day III

Setup the filter, and realize you need to add those chemicals you forgot to buy. Run to Lowe's and pickup granular "pool shocking" chemicals. Mix with water in a bucket and "broadcast" into pool.

Drive past a pool store, stop in and ask if that was the right chemical. It wasn't. Dang.

Pickup granular chlorine, and shock it again. Worry that mixing these two chemicals may cause an explosion, or corrode the pool or your skin.

Pickup testing strips and observe the chlorine level is at the highest readable--10, when it's supposed to be 3. "Guess I'll wait a bit..."

Wait until levels are at 3, then place dog in water to see if he disintegrates. Dog is happy, so jump in pool and splash around. Yay! Easy-setup pool setup!

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Monday, August 06, 2007

Easy-Setup-Pool Tip of the Day II

There's still hope. You realize that the only truly level 12' square part of your property is your patio. And lo and behold, it's exactly 12'! To leave some room for doggers to go in/out the backdoor, you decide to setup the pool mostly on the patio, with two or three feet hanging off the edge. Cool! You'll have a pool in no time!

Repeat the steps above, this time filling the pool most of the way. Success!

That is, until the next morning.

Observe the contents of your pool slowly spilling out, and the pool deflated to about half its once-bolstered turgor. Effingham.

Realize that even those 2 feet overhanging the porch were the cause of it. "When they say level, they mean completely level." But, this is fixable.

Run to Lowe's and pick up a bunch of 50 lb. bags of sand to bolster the edge of the pool that's leaking. This will gain you an inch or two of levelness. Perfection. Refill to 2 inches below the inflated ring.

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Easy-Setup-Pool Tip of the Day I

If you're like me, you love being in the water! So when you find out that owning a pool is both inexpensive and "easy," of course you should get one, right?

First, pick up your pool at Walmart; yes, Walmart. Then discover that an 18' pool won't fit in your back yard. Return pool.

Exchange the pool for the 12' model, which will fit nicely in the backyard.

Look around for 30 minutes to try to figure out what type of chlorine to put in your pool, and how much. Leave without chlorine. "I'll come back later."

Get back home, unpack the box and observe "must setup pool on completely level surface." Ignore warning, but try to "grade off" your heinously sloped backyard a wee bit with a garden shovel.

Unpack the pool liner, and spread it out on the "level" ground. Stop reading the instructions and try to figure things out on your own.

Realize you need to inflate the upper ring, but don't have a pump.

Run to Walmart, park in the garden section (bonus tip) and pick up pump for $9.96 (made by pool company). Inflate upper ring.

Try to finagle pool into right place without any luck. Break out those instructions, and realize you were supposed to put the ring OUTSIDE the pool, not inside.

Deflate upper ring, put ring OUTSIDE the pool.

Reinflate upper ring; cursing is permitted.

Smooth out wrinkles in pool floor. This is not optional, even if you thought it was.

Begin putting water in your pool! The fun part!

Go outside after half and hour and realize when they said "must be on completely level surface," they meant it. Observe water spilling out one side of the pool, and not even a drop of water in the other side. F.

Deflate upper ring along with your ego.

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Saturday, August 04, 2007

Speaker Buying Tip of the Day

When buying computer speakers, since it is near impossible to fine reviews on cheap speakers, you have to find other means of evaluating the quality of the devices. Here is our basic guide, just look for the LED color on the front of one of the speakers:
  • Red LED: These speakers are alright
  • Greed LED: Better than red, but still not your best buy
  • Blue LED: Buy these ones, Blue LED are always a sign of quality products.
Thanks Dave

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Friday, August 03, 2007

Bag Question of the Day

Occasionally, we here at Tip O Day day, turn the tables and ask for your advice. Today, is such a day.

What are some good uses for all those hundreds of dozens of Wal-Mart/Kroger/Meijer/Publix bags you have on hand at any given time?


Thursday, August 02, 2007

Trim & Carpet Tip O Da Day

So if anyone has a wild and crazy idea to paint trim, do yourself a favor and replace your carpet too if you have any. Then you do not have to carefully and painstakingly paint your trim in order to not get any on the carpet. Trim is 1000% easier to paint with the concrete slab you can slop all over.

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Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Parking Lot Tip of the Day

When you park your car in a parking lot its a good idea to pay attention to where you park. Otherwise you may open a door to a red Honda civic thinking what an idiot you are for not locking your car and leaving the driver's window rolled down and sit down in the driver's seat only to realize it's not your car!