Wednesday, October 27, 2010

How to "L"ook for Parking

There are more than a few suggestions to finding a place to park.  Usually "finding a place" isn't the trouble.  "Finding a good place" is often what people are talking about when they say, "I can't find a place to park", or "I cant find any parking".  Most often this is exaggerated because we want to find the "best" place.  We always want a deal.  When you go into a store you have your eye out for the best product for the best price. Many times in parking, we treat this as if we are shopping.  Expecting something for nothing, is one of our first mistakes.
Urban planners, when designing city parking, as well as parking lots, attempt to maintain a maximum 85% capacity at any time.  This should leave 15% of parking freed up.  Of course, there are those times where a huge event is happening, and those percentage points will go down quick.  Nevertheless, the majority of the time there will still be parking available.  It is a matter of what you are willing to do for it.  You want that "deal", you want a spot, well you will have to do some work for it.  Its not just a matter of circling the lot 50 times hoping some poor soul will be locked in your cross hairs as you follow them to their car. 
It may take a bit of ingenuity, or effort.  The easy answer is to park at the back of the lot and walk...I know, Shock and Horror, of the thought of having to walk 100 feet extra to the door.  Although this plan, right off the bat will likely save you time and money of having to circle the acres of Walmart parking lot, but some of the thrill of the chase will be lost.
You can tell a lot about a person by the way they approach parking.  Again, this is assuming normal parking conditions, and no major event, like an American Idol audition is being held at your local drugstore.  Three types of people surface when looking at this, all with pros and cons.
Type 1:  The Practical Person-Head in to the parking lot, find the first available space and park.  It may be a bit of a walk, but the time and gas saved will make you feel victorious over those poor, lazy people just circling the lot for "days", causing "Climate Change" (or Global Warming for those who aren't up on the latest lingo).  You will be in and out usually before others even put the parking brake on.
Type 2: The Dreamer: Some may call it lazy, but to this person, they are just trying to save a few steps.  After all, why waste all that energy on walking, when you should save it for shopping. Perhaps it is all a big challenge to them to become the Victor or King of the Parking Lot Mountain.  You probably scoff at those Practical folks who just are just lazy, choosing the first spot they see.  Whats the fun in that.  Once this person finds the "right" spot, they enter the location with pride, honor and a feeling they they really accomplished something. Not a lot of others would have the patience for this, of course. You know others are drooling at you, when you step out, with head up high, because you...yes You, have the best of the best.  When you return to the car, you take a little extra time getting yourself situated, adjusting mirrors, checking again to make sure the trunk is closed, all in an attempt to show off your "spot finding" skills.  The pride builds up again, as the line up for your spot takes place.  You drive away, smile plastered on your face, run out of gas before leaving the parking lot, because you wasted it all circling the lot for a hour.
Type 3: Probably the "real" practical person, and the one to be if you really want to find a spot so you can get in and out.  To be this person, you are in for an initial challenge, but are satisfied just to get a spot, so you can be in, out and on your way.  Lets use your average Walmart for an example.  Enter the lot. Don't choose the first row or last row, as this is the most likely path most will wander.  Instead travel about a third of the way across the isles and enter a row. Maintain patience and an eagles eye at the same time for that "miracle" spot, or for someone who is just pulling out.  Beware it may be the Type 2 person, just pulling your leg, by pulling out then in again, just for laughs.  If no spots are seen go down a couple of rows, just out of your previous view, to head towards the back.  This way you are covering new ground and can still find the closest spot without all the stress. If no spot comes easily, just park where you can.  This will satisfy the Type 1 and 2 person in all of us.  You will get the adventure and thrill of hunting for a spot. Victory is yours if you get a spot, but will save on time and gas by not wasting time you don't really have searching for ever.  You will walk in to the store, knowing you have a knack for adventure, for you are not willing to shy away from a challenge.  And you will have the quiet pride that you have saved time, money, and yes for you "greenies" the Planet.  The exercise will also do you good.
Be who you are and be proud of it.  Just realize, there is more than one way to do things. You can even mix it up, if you are willing and able.
Side note: If it happens to be raining as you make your way in from the "back 40".  You will get just as wet, running for the doors as if you walked in at a reasonable rate.  But, that's another blog.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

How to "K"now how many teaspoons of surgar are in your drink

As long as you have a lable on your drink, this is a quick, easy approximate way to know how many tsps of surgar you are loading up on when you "just have a Coke".
The math is pretty easy.  Just take the total number of grams of surgar (remember a bottle of something usually has two servings), and divide it by 4.  This will give you a close enough estimate to think about making a healthier choice.
Lets look a four different beverages or sizes:
  • 12oz can of Coke=30.9g or approx 10 tsp of surgar
  • McDonalds large Coke=86g or 21 tsp of surgar
Or maybe you would like to go "healthy":
  • Jamba Juice original size Bannana Berry=84g or 21 tsp of surgar
  • Snapple Peach Ice Tea=48g or 12 tsp of surgar
I know, I know many people would say, "I dont need to count calories in my drink, I only have one Coke a day". But consider that if you have a large Coke at McDonalds that is approx 1/6th your total recommended daily calories for the day.
Hmmm..what to do with the rest of the calories...maybe a quick stop by Jamba Juice for a snack before lunch.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

How to "J"udge distance walked

Handy for shorter distances, like how far to the corner, but can be used to measure longer walks and hikes.
First start out with a tape measure.  Put a marker (stick) on your start point. Then measure out 100 ft. Place another marker at the end.  Then start walking at a normal relaxed pace from one stick to another. Each time your left foot hits the ground, that will count for one, or one pace. (Right, Left = One).  Do this 3-4 times to establish a reliable number.  You can then take this too anywhere.  If you counted out 20, then you know every 20 paces is 100 ft.  Going up or down hills will effect the number slightly, but you should be within about 5 feet every 100 paces.
Cheap and easy...who needs a pedometer?

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

How to "I"dentify pills

Ever found a pill in your medicine cabinet and wondered what it was?  Ever gathered all your pills together, put them in your hand, popped them in your mouth, only to have one fall out?   You have searched the floor to finally find the pill, but have no idea which one of the 10 pills it was.  Sure the easy answer would be to look in the pill bottle and match it up to others that look the same.  Problem is, many pills look alike, or you could have taken the last ones in the bottles.
Almost all legal drugs, as some illegal, have marking, letters, numbers, symbols on them which make for easy identification.  Lets say you some accross a pill in your cabinet that has an imprint code of M357.  This can easily be identified as a pain medicine know as Vicodin. 
How can we be sure? has a great section called "Pill identifier".  You can go here, enter in its imprint, or even color and shape and right away you will have what it is and a picture to go along with it.
This can be super helpful for parents, if you happen to stumble across a mystery pill in your childs room.
Some medicines can be easily identified and are easy to remember.  For example Ibuprofen.  The imprint will most commonly read "I-2".  The "I" is for Ibuprofen and the "2" is for 200 mg, which is the common, over the counter strength.
Marks nursing side note here:  For headaches Ibuprofen can be a great drug to take, but there are some things to consider when taking.  This medicine works as a blood thinner as well, so be cautioned that it may cause bleeding, or other serious complications.  Another things is that most people will pop 3-4 of these babies for a headache, not realizing that headaches are a side effect of Ibuprofen.  This can actually make matters worse.  Try just taking one, give it time to work and only if things do not get better try one more.  You will be amazed at how one pill can be just as, or more effective that 3-4.
So now you know, and that mystery pill will be a mystery no longer. Just use your computer and start typing away.  Who knows, it may even be fun!

How to "H"ula Hoop

Finally back for a blog on a fun subject...The Hula Hoop.  Side note, the movie The Hudsucker Proxy, is a great fictional comedy show about the guy that invented to Hula Hoop.
Hula Hooping is no easy task, in fact, I still cant do it, but I will keep practicing and one day I will hoop away.  Thanks to the good folks at "" for their circle of wisdom!
Appearently its all about the size of the hoop.  Especially for the adult beginner, it is important to find a hoop that is big enough.  Most kids hoops, sold at the stores are kids size, making it hard for adults to use.  They rotate too fast for our bigger bodies.  The size will be different for every one, but the general rule is that it should come up between your belly button and nipple line when standing up.  Thats a pretty big hoop for me.  Most people end up making their own, which may be a later post, in how to make a hoop, but we will see.
One important thing is figuring our which direction you hoop in.  Some hoop to the left while others hoop to the right.  Just do what feels natural to you.  You will know when you try.  Next make sure your stance is correct with one foot forward.  Start the rotation just above the waist and gently shift the weight back and forth between your two feet.  Try to avoid the classic mistake of wanting to rotate your hips.  You will have hoop dropsy every time.  Thats basically it.  It just takes alot of patience and practice as well as the right size hoop.
Hooping can be a great source of a cardio workout and just plain fun.  Good party ice breaker too.
Happy Hooping!

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

How to "G"uess what nuber someone is thinking.

A little magic trick for today.  I will be able to guess your number, at least within one number.  It will be at the bottom of the post, so no peaking.
First know you are going to be adding up numbers.  There are 4 steps:
Write down the year you were born
Write down the year something special occured in your life
Write down your age
Write down how many years since that special event.

Did you come up with a number?

I bet I know what it is...

IT IS 4020!!!

Hows it done?  Cant tell.  A good magician never tells!

Monday, March 29, 2010

How to "F"ell a Tree

Really the titile of this should be "How to find time to Blog everyday".  So this may not be a daily occurance but I will do as able. Anyways...
Today we learn about felling trees, using a chainsaw.  This blog is by no way advice so dont sue me if you get killed cutting a tree down.
Once you have your tree picked out, make sure you have appropriate gear: Sharp chainsaw, hard hat, glasses, propper clothing.
Deceide which way you want the tree to fall.  If there is no preferance, like a house or car in the way, try to fell it with its own natural lean in a clear path. 
Now make a v-notch.  The first cut, top cut, will be the flat one. Cut about 1/4 to 1/3, or 80% of the trees diameter. 
Next is the bottom cut.  The angle of the notch when the piece is out should be about 70 degrees. Now cut at an upward angle of about 20 degrees to meet the end of the top cut.  Hopefull the notch you created will be able to come out now.  Always being carefull in case the tree deceids to break at any moment.  Always face the tree and dont run twords the back, go to the side.  With the notch out, this is the way the tree is going to fall (We hope).
The third and final cut will come from the back.  Cut flat and go in leaving about 1/10 the tress diameter to provide a hinge for the tree to fall.  Hopefully this will be at a point where the trees own weight will pull it down.  Dont forget to get yourself out of there, safely, as to not get smacked.
Now with the tree down, you can move along on your way, leaving the tree and knowing you did good, leaving one less tree for the mean old Spotted Owl to live in.

Thanks to for portions of our lesson of the day.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

How to "E"liminate bad breath

Seems simple enough, but why is there so much halitosis around and in us?  The obvious things like brushing, flossing, etc, are things many of us do daily.  Well I dont floss daily, as I am a fair weather flosser, mostly starting the week before I go to the dentist so it looks like I am doing a good job, but thats besides the point.  One area often left untouched is the tounge.  Brushing or even scraping it daily will eliminate tons of the breath problems.
Areas that cause bad breath: what we eat - protein breakdown of things like fish and milk in the digestive track can lead to issues. Coffee is a common culprit.  For those Costco hot dog lovers, hot dogs have protein (at least they are supposed to), ever been around someone who burps after eating one of their dogs? It will almost knock you out.
What we dont eat-dehydration, dry mouth and the like will cause bad breath.
Dental issues:  Halitosis can be caused by the more serious problem of gum disease.  If nothing is helping, talk with the dentist to discuss your oral care.
Smoking, certain medicines and girl issues will also effect your ability to tell a secret without someone falling over.
Finally gum, moouthwash, spray, mints and the like, will not solve the problem.  These will only mask the odor.  But better to chew some gum than nothing.  Just like deoderant.  I will be around masked pitts any day vs. unmasked.
So make sure tonight before bed you brush and floss (if you are going to the dentist), and repeat in AM.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

How to "D"istill Water...

The D word of the day is "distill".  Havent you always wanted to know how to distill water. Well wonder no more.  Distilling water is based of the idea that the bad stuff in water will heat up and turn to steam slower than the actual water, or good parts.
You will need a couple of beakers, a distilling tube (copper or glass), and a heat source.  You want to have each end of the distilling tube sealed in each beaker so the steam will only go in the tube not into the air. 
First heat up the water in the first beaker, as the water evaportates and turns to steam, it will travel along the distilling tube, cooling down, and becoming a solid water again.  What ends up in the second beaker is the distilled water without the bacteria, metals and stuff you dont want. you want to run out and try it yourself.  Come back often and you can never say, "I didnt learn something today"!

How to..."C"onvert celsius to Fahrenheit

Todays learning is really for the 22nd, but since I am still up on the 23, we will still count it as the 22nd and have a new one for latter today on the 23rd.
There is a multitude of ways to go about changing C to F.  One that is too complicated for "in your head" math, another that is a bit simpler, and yet another I feel is the easiest.  I will focus on the last two.
First:  Have your number..18 C. Take 18 multiply it by 9. 18x9=162, then devide it by 5. 162/5=32.4. Then add 32. 32+32.4=64.4 F.  Fairly simple, but still a bit hard to do in your head.
I have another way that will come very close and is easily done in your head.  18C again.  Take 18 multiplied by 2. 18x 2=36. Then subtract the first number of the answer (3), unless the second number is > or = to 5 then round up, as in this case.  36-4=32.  Then add 32.  32+32=64 F. 
Try it out with some different numbers. It may sound complicated at first but it will take no time once you get the hang of it.  Todays first example was taken from

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Daily Web ABC "A and B"

Since I just got started I am including A and B, because the learning started yesterday.
"A"-Learned about how to AUDITION for Disney Channel shows.  Mostly what I learned is that you need to audition and have experience like any other audition (acting classes, etc.)  Not much usefull information for me, but interesting.
"B"-Well you may have guessed it.  How to Blog. And this is where it will begin and I will contiue to learn.  You are free to join me and add your learning for the day.