Monday, May 9, 2011

Park in handicap spaces

Did you know in the United States its not an official ADA compliant handicapped spot if the sign is not in the front? The law states the markings must be visible when a car is parked in the spot. So that big wheelchair logo on the asphalt doesnt cut it legally. Its surprising how many handicapped spots don't have the sign in front.

Thursday, April 14, 2011


I'm sorry to inform everyone Your Daily Protip will be going on a 2-3 week hiatus. It's contributing staff will unfortunately be out of town in an area where internet access is spotty at best. For those of you following Your Daily Protip, please do not stop, as we will return with plenty of new tips shortly. Thank you.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Skip straight to your floor on an elevator

Got somewhere to be in a hurry, and don't have time to wait while your elevator stops on every floor for new riders? Or maybe you're just an antisocial weirdo who doesn't want to share an elevator with another human being for 30 seconds. Well here is how you can avoid that nasty inconvenience and skip straight to your floor. This was implemented for police and firefighters to get to their floor immediately in an emergency. All you need to do is press the door close button as well as the button for your floor, and hold them down for a full 5 seconds, and the elevator will go straight to your floor without stopping.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Top 5 coffee "hacks"

Coffee starting to become something you use out of necessity, rather than enjoy?
Want to make the most out of your morning cuppa? Check this link.
Courtesy of the Houston Press.

Definitely try Number 3:

Add a pinch of salt.
What? Yes. Salt. Just a pinch. And use kosher salt; the large crystals work better here. You can either add in a pinch on top of your coffee in the filter or in the bottom of your French press. The salt adds a whole other dimension of flavor and opens up the coffee in the same way that adding salt to desserts and other sweet items works wonders. You'll never drink unsalted coffee again, I promise.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Kill mosquitos with no effort

So you don't like those pesky mosquitoes, especially now that they have the potential to carry the West Nile Virus? Here's a tip that was given at a recent gardening forum. Put some water in a white dinner plate and add a couple drops of Lemon Fresh Joy dish detergent. Set the dish on your porch, patio, or other outdoor area. Not sure what attracts them, the lemon smell, the white plate color, or what, but mosquitoes flock to it, and drop dead shortly after drinking the Lemon Fresh Joy/water mixture, and usually within about 10 feet of the plate. Check this out---it works just super!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Best computer speakers for your money

High-end computer speakers are a waste of money. If space isn't extremely restricted, the best computer speakers are regular stereo speakers, the kind that would be hooked up to a regular stereo or receiver. You can connect your computer to the unit's RCA inputs with a $3 cable from radio shack. Even if you dont have a stereo to use for this, buying one is a lot cheaper than buying high end computer speakers, which can run $200-300.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Paying sticker price for a car is for suckers.

When purchasing a car, pick the model you want from the lot/showroom and take notes (make, model, color, options, price) Ask questions of a sales rep if you need to, but don't enter his office or sign anything. Visit several other dealerships and do the same thing. Take note of the lowest price. Wait a day or so, then call all the dealerships, starting with the highest-priced one, and ask them to meet or beat the lowest price you recorded. They'll all ask you to come to them to discuss the matter, you must refuse. Work your way down the list, then start over with the current high priced dealer. Keep calling until you cant get a lower price.

Alternately, keep hold of a blue book. Be sure the dealer is aware of this. Offer him about a thousand dollars over bluebook value (unless the car is insanely old and cheap) so that he gets a nice commission and you don't get ripped off. Be sure to point out if he doesn't wanna take the deal, the lot down the street will probably will.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Where to keep a spare key?

You see it all the time on television and in the movies. People hide a spare key to their apartment in a light fixture above the door or a potted plant in the hallway. The idea is if you lose yours or need a friend to get something at your apartment, there's the key.
What this does is leave you completely at the mercy of anyone who takes a minute to look in these areas. Burglars are the exact type of people that will take the minute to look. Doing this is no different than leaving your door unlocked.
If you want to keep a spare key somewhere, leave one at a friend's house. If you have a safety deposit box you can even put one in there, but never leave it outside your door.
If a burglar manages to pick or break the lock on your door and get in the apartment, an alarm system will often scare them away. They won't know the code to enter in the control panel and they won't know your password to give the monitoring company.
The easiest thing you can do is make it hard on criminals.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Tips for buying jewelery

Don't buy from credit jewelers or any jewelery store in the mall, like Zales or Daniel's. They are rip-offs. They peg you as a sucker just because you walked in the door. They know anyone with any knowledge of gold or diamonds wouldn't bother with them. Independent jewelery stores might seem more expensive, but you aren't getting garbage for your money. Some even make up their own diamond grading systems just to keep you fooled. You can also get the same stuff for half to a third of the price at your local pawn shop. Also, cash for gold companies are also big rip-offs. If you're looking to sell your gold, find a local smelter to sell it to. You'll get paid much closer to it's worth than you will with a mail in company. Furthermore, small diamonds can cost a fortune at the jewelery store, but on the scrap market, they only fetch $20-$60 per carat. Chances are your local pawnbroker is scrapping more than they sell retail. Use this to your advantage to haggle the price down tremendously. The pawnshop is also a great place to get a loose diamonds cheap for a piece that is missing a stone.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Avoid early termination fees

If you're being charged an early termination fee by an internet provider (or cellular telephone provider) one way to get around this is to tell them you're moving to an area they don't service. You'll want to do a little research first. Make sure to mention how satisfied with their service you've been, and that when you move back in a few months you'll be sure to sign back up with them (wink wink). This can save you a couple hundred dollars.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Free cable TV

If you have high speed cable internet, You can get a cable splitter and a length of coaxial cable, and hook it up to your tv. This works because cable tv and internet travel on the same signal. You'll only get basic, though.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

This could save your life

If you live in a part of the country where snow is a regular thing during the winter, do yourself a favor and find a large, open parking lot the next time you get an inch or two. Drive up there, and practice inducing spins and then steering out of them. At minimum, half an hour of this is good, but ideally you should do it until it becomes second nature for either direction at most any speeds. It's a lot more helpful than reading a description of how to do so.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Free phone charger!

Next time you lose your phone charger, don't pay for a new one. Go to a hotel and say you think you lost it there. Phone chargers are the #1 most left behind item at hotels. Most have a big bin filled with them.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Grate idea

If you have a partial loaf of unsliced bread left over, dont toss it out. Instead put it in a paper bag for a few days until it's good and stale ( if you put it in a plastic bag it will get moldy). Grate the bread with a box grater, then use the crumbs to bread meat or fish or to thicken soups. It's best to season the crumbs before you use them.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Wipe out ants easily with no poison

Got millions of ants swarming everywhere? Afraid to walk outside? Heres a simple solution:

Dump a pot of boiling water on them. I know it sounds cruel but every ant it touches will die instantly. Two or three treatments of this (sometimes one) will deprive a colony of it's much needed workers,which will in turn quickly die out!

Revive stale potato chips!

Leave your bag of chips open, causing them to lose their crunch? Place them single-layered on a baking sheet and set them under the broiler for about 5 minutes. Keep an eye on them so they dont burn. Theyll be crunchier than when they came out of the bag!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Get free stuff with the miracle of complaining!

Write letters or emails to any major corporation which sells products to consumers. Top picks are fast food joints, or prepackaged snack companies like kraft, frito-lay, pepsi, etc. Tell them you're a longtime customer but recently youve bought a product that was spoiled/broken/missing/bad service. For bonus points include a receipt of you buying said product as evidence.  9 out of 10 times they'll send you coupons for free stuff. Take an hour of your time to google the contact info for a dozen companies, and write out one blank letter that you can easily swap one company name/product/reason for complaint for another and start dropping emails. Free stuff will start rolling in!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Dead bugs dont drink cola

Got bug guts splattered all over your windshield? Gas station squeegee not doing the job?  Try cleaning them off with cola. The carbonic acid in soda greatly softens hardened scum.

Ripen fresh produce faster

Place the produce you want to ripen in a paper bag along with some apples or bananas.  Leave it in a warm spot for a day or two, and your veggies will ripen.

Apples and bananas release a chemical called ethylene gas, which encourages fruits and veggies to ripen faster!