artphoto by splunge
artphoto by TheophileEscargot
artphoto by Kronos_to_Earth
artphoto by ethylene





Mecha Wiki

Metachat Eye


IRC Channels



Comment Feed:


01 September 2011

What little tricks did you learn the hard way? There are things even the magazines for simpletons don't tell you, and you learn by doing. Especially regarding simply getting dressed in the morning. [More:]Things like, clean the dried hair spray from the nozzle before each use so it doesn't spray all over the place or barely spray at all. File your toenails after you cut them so you don't rip your pantyhose. Put your hands down to the toes of your pantyhose to stretch them to make them easier to put on (again, so you don't rip them.) Check yourself front and back in the mirror before you leave the house. Never go out dancing in pointy shoes without clipping your toenails first.
Buy thigh-high stockings, or at least something with two unconnected legs. In the same vein, never buy one pair of socks or other kinds of hosiery. That way, if one gets messed up, you don't have a useless pair of pantyhose but can rotate the three remaining socks/hose through pairs.

Also, if you find something you like, buy as many as you can. I totally have multiple levels of underwear, including some I find quite decent but realized too late gives me a VPL. Ordinarily, I would never buy stuff from Victoria's Secret, but danged if their bikinis haven't held up way better than anything else. (And now you know what kind of underwear I wear.)

It doesn't matter how simple the task is -- for example, going into the kitchen TEN FEET AWAY to get a take-along breakfast that is RIGHT THERE. If it's not in your tiny orbit of bathroom-to-dresser-to-front-hall, you won't do it. Just admit it and plan accordingly.
posted by Madamina 01 September | 12:14
I had to google VPL.
posted by Obscure Reference 01 September | 12:19
Never go out dancing in pointy shoes without clipping your toenails first.

Never had a problem dancing but I've lost big toe-nails both skiing and playing Ultimate when I forgot to clip them.
posted by octothorpe 01 September | 12:46
Dry salt is as abrasive as you can get. Use a bone-dry sponge. This will destroy a finish.
posted by Ardiril 01 September | 13:13
Huh, I didn't know people still wore pantyhose.
posted by Eideteker 01 September | 13:23
Try wearing a skirt in February.
posted by Ardiril 01 September | 13:28
A chef taught me how to cut an avocado by slicing all the way around the pit vertically then hacking the knife once into the pit and twisting to get it out. Then you cut diagonal crosshatches in the avocado while it is still in its skin, and finally run a big spoon close to the skin to get all your uniformly cut perfect pieces out.
posted by rmless2 01 September | 13:31
(before that I'd been peeling the avocado halves and trying to cut ever closer to the pit without cutting into it)
posted by rmless2 01 September | 13:32
I've got a lot of these, but they just don't want to come forth this morning.
posted by Ardiril 01 September | 13:36
When you're done pouring butter (or other viscous liquid: thick sauce, batter, even paint) out of a pan, don't just put the pan back down. Continue its movement in the direction you were pouring and flip it all the way 'round to right-side up. The clinging drops of [butter/batter/sauce/paint] flip right back into the pan instead of dribbling down the side and getting all over your work surface.
posted by Elsa 01 September | 13:40
Try wearing a skirt in February.

Is that a dare/bet? How much money we talkin?
posted by Eideteker 01 September | 14:18
A two liter soda bottle makes a decent single use silencer. Put quicklime under the body as well as on top of it. Also use cat litter in the burial earth. Never buy rope, duct tape, a shovel and chloroform at the same store.
posted by Splunge 01 September | 14:21
"Is that a dare" - Heh, including white cotton panties that serve better as padding than as insulation?
posted by Ardiril 01 September | 14:25
A two liter soda bottle makes a decent single use silencer.

Empty or full? Urgent, must know immediately. Um, no reason.
posted by Elsa 01 September | 14:38
Don't rub long hair with a towel to dry it, you'll end up with tangles and broken hair. Gently squeeze your hair with the towel, going down the length of the hair.

Forget trying to peel just the papery part from an onion. Take the whole first layer off, it's much easier.

If you're like me and keep your fingernails short and unpolished, but want them to look decent on the weekend without any fuss, clip them on Friday. After sleeping Friday night, they won't look so raw on Saturday.

Eide: I recommend you wear tights with your skirt if you're doing it in February. They're much warmer than regular pantyhose.

Splunge has been talking to Scarabic.
posted by deborah 01 September | 14:45
Elsa: Empty, trust me.
posted by Ardiril 01 September | 15:08
Be aware though, that even empty, the bottle itself could pop like a balloon only louder. If it doesn't, the sound of the slug hitting the plastic will also be quite loud.
posted by Ardiril 01 September | 15:11
Elsa: Empty, trust me.

Well, if I trusted people, I wouldn't need the silencer, now would I?
posted by Elsa 01 September | 15:30
posted by Ardiril 01 September | 15:31
Eide: I recommend you wear tights with your skirt if you're doing it in February. They're much warmer than regular pantyhose.

Yeah, I'm a sensible shoes type of girl. I prefer my women that way, too.

Well, if I trusted people, I wouldn't need the silencer, now would I?

Oh, you! See? This is what I'm talking about.
posted by Eideteker 01 September | 16:00
My best tricks:

1. Organizing my drawers and closet, by clothing type (e.g. skirts) and color. Ditto my shoes. This saves tons of time.

2. Eating the same thing for breakfast (cereal, skim milk, berries, some banana) every AM on weekdays. Again, saves lots of time.

3. The small 3 shelf wall organizer with hooks for keys that hangs near the front hall mirror, I can check front and back and grab the keys etc. I need as I head out the door.

posted by bearwife 01 September | 16:32
"Magazine for Simpletons" would be a great name. Or maybe someone could start a Lifehacker competitor called "Website for Simpletons".
posted by mullacc 01 September | 16:45
If you can forget something, you will. So set everything that has to go somewhere in the way. So if you have to take down recycling--put it in front of the damn door.
posted by sperose 01 September | 16:55
With a little practice, a very sharp vegetable peeler can peel mangoes and all but the ripest tomatoes. I hate the boiling method for removing tomato skins. Depending on what you want to do with the mango determines how you peel it; I know 5 ways but usually stick to 2 and the peeler isn't one of the latter. Warning: a professional vegetable peeler will slice off half your thumb and you won't feel it for at least half a minute.

To remove tomato seeds (I almost always do), cut it in half crosswise and gouge them out with your thumbs under the tap. You lose very little pulp this way and a little squeeze and shake gets rid of the water.

I keep a permanent grocery list in my wallet of essentials (milk, bread, lemon juice...). Generally, I can remember pretty well if I need something with just a prompt, and this way I am not always creating what is essentially the same list over and over again. I only make lists for special things.
posted by Ardiril 01 September | 16:57
When folding laundry, sort into classes of clothing (shirts, pants, socks, underwear etc) that match your drawer organization in piles. Pack into the laundry basket in categories. Putting away the clothes goes faster.

Making pancakes? Heat the pan, melt the butter, then wipe the butter off with a paper towel. The first set of pancakes will be a perfect brown instead of the yellowy "for the pan" ones you usually get.
posted by plinth 01 September | 19:58
Buy decent materials otherwise you're fighting with them the entire time.
posted by The Whelk 02 September | 14:40
Open your computer case often to clean the dust out. Use compressed air when necessary. Do not blow compressed air into fan blades and allow them to spin. This will kill the fan. Hold the fan blade and blow the dust out. Keeping heat sinks and components free of dust will keep them cooler. Cooler = longer life. Do not use a regular house vacuum on or near the interior of a computer. Vacuums build up enormous static charges. Static = dead computer. If you do vacuum use a small portable computer vacuum.
posted by Splunge 02 September | 16:31
This doesn't quite count as a trick, really, but I remember learning to spell "Chicago."

I grew up in one of a row of townhouses. Halfway down the street was a big metal fixture with a grid of mailboxes that served the block, with individual locks made by the Chicago Lock Company.

My dad's keys were always a big draw. I suppose a lot of kids are that way with keyrings; I listened to them and grabbed at them long before I could read. Among the big bright house and car keys there was a small round key stamped with the word "Chicago" outlined by a flat geometric shield.

My dad grew up in Chicago, so of course I'd heard of the city. My uncle worked in the Sears Tower. That's where my grandma came from to fuss over me and feed me olives.

I was pretty well along in my reading before I figured out that the word on the key was the name of the place. Maybe I hadn't seen many soft ch- sounds yet. I had been chewing out "CHY-kigo" since I was just putting letters together and counting my dad's keys.

I don't really recall the mechanism for the discovery, but I do remember the feeling I had when it dawned on me, thinking how on earth did I let that one through.

I felt relieved that I hadn't ever said "CHY-kigo" to anyone. I would have felt foolish. I swore to myself that I'd never tell anybody about it.
posted by Hugh Janus 02 September | 17:49
Homemade strawberry sorbet substitutes for ice in lemonade really well.
posted by Ardiril 02 September | 22:17
(To) When Do You Retire? || January 22, 1909. Tifton, Georgia.