Friday, December 31, 2010

Get the Stink out of Towels and Dishcloths

I don't have this problem near as often as I did when I lived in a more humid environment, but it does still happen on occasion. The problem? Stinky, mildewy towels, and dishcloths. And it doesn't matter how much you wash them, the stink doesn't leave. Know what I'm talking about?

So, I found something that works years ago and thought I'd share: Lysol, all purpose cleaner. You can buy the stuff at most stores for $3-4. Lysol promises to disinfect and kill badcteria and viruses. I buy the bottle without the trigger on the end because it makes for easier pouring. I usually get lemon scent because it's one of the few scents I can handle.

Here's what you do:

1. Fill washer with hot water and about a cup of Lysol all purpose cleaner.
2. Add offending laundry.
3. Allow the laundry to agitate for a minute and then let it soak for at least an hour before resuming the laundry cycle.
4. Dry laundry as usual.
5. Enjoy better-smelling towels.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Touch up Wood Furniture with Shoe Polish

While I was polishing some shoes with brown shoe polish (probably the first time in over a year), I found myself reading the label of the shoe polish container. It said it could be used to touch up wood furniture. In the past I've used Old English Furniture polish to touch up wood. It's expensive, can be messy (it's a liquid) and stain anything you spill it on. But it's okay. I've also heard of using a brown crayon to touch up furniture. This I don't like because it leaves a waxy residue.

So, I first tried applying some brown shoe polish to our armoire door in a place where the wood stain was worn off. It blended very nicely. Happy with the fix, I decided to try something a little more drastic. We have a light colored Target special chest of drawers that got scratched pretty badly during our last move. Every time I walk past it, my eyes notice the deep gouge. It's not real wood, just particle board, so I wanted to see how the shoe polish would take to it. It did a pretty good job. At least now when I walk past the chest, I don't notice any blaring imperfection.

Before


After


Monday, December 13, 2010

How to Change the Default OS on a Dual Boot System

Okay, not a lot of people will have interest in this, but of the few who might, and for my own good, I'm going to document this.

I recently got a new computer that came with Windows 7. I like it well enough, but I really like the Ubuntu and had wanted it on my next computer. I was initially planning on buying a computer without an OS so I could put Ubuntu on it, but then I found this great deal of a computer that came with Windows 7. So, here I am with a computer with Windows 7... and I still want Ubuntu, so I decided I'd just do a dual boot system. The dual boot thing was working just fine, expect that the default OS was Ubuntu and since my webcam (Microsoft lifecam) doesn't work with Ubuntu, I wanted the default boot to be Windows 7 until I get a webcam that will play nicely with both operating systems.

To change the default boot means to change the GRUB. And here's the best instructions I have found on how to do it: http://www.hackourlives.com/change-default-boot-order-ubuntu-10-04-lucid/ You have to get into the terminal in Unbuntu, type in some fancy commands and change the boot order number, but It's all well written. It worked for me... and when I get a good webcam, I'll be changing the boot order again, probably back to Ubuntu... But that's a topic for a whole "nother" post: Windows7 vs Ubuntu. :)

Feb 03 2011 Update:
My boot order changes worked great until my Ubuntu system updated and a new kernel was downloaded. The new kernel goes in the GRUB menu, the old one doesn't get replaced, so it pushes everything in the GRUB menu down. I figured this was going to be a mess to stay on top of. (One reason why Ubuntu isn't quite for everyone yet.) But, I found a hack that will be easy for me to keep on top of my GRUB menu. Ubuntu Tweak. And use these directions to clean up old kernels you don't want. The nice thing about Ubuntu Tweak is that it won't let you accidentally remove the kernel you are using because it doesn't list the current kernel on the list of kernels available to delete. Works for now.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Free 411 after Google 411

I recently wrote that Google 411 was throwing in the towel. So, I had to find a new 411 service.

Why not just use a phone book, you ask? Because I have three different ones with different results in each and it is a pain to compare the results of each one. It's just easier to have a service look the number up for me. Plus, I hate looking things up because I don't like to think alphabetically, okay?

After trying out the list of free 411 services I blogged about earlier, I choose two services that will likely end up on my cell and/or my home phone's speed dial.

DEX- 1-800-Call-Dex : Many free 411 services are loaded with ads that make it hard to navigate and even harder to remember why I was even making the 411 call in the first place. Dex has no ads, unless you count the Dex greeting at the beginning which is short and painless. This service can understand voice quite well.

1-800-Call-411: This is probably my favorite service. When I first tried this, the company phone it connected me to was busy so they gave me the the company's phone number so I could call on my own later. That was nice. The voice recognition is nice, but if you have a lot of background noise, you also have the option to type the zip code of the business you are looking up. You can also get the business address and have it texted to your cell. And of course, no ads! Only hook on this is that it is Microsoft based... so if you have issues with them, you might have to work through them before you can comfortably use it.