Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Tip for fixing a squeaky door if you have already oiled the hinges

Recently I had a door that was squeaking every time it was opened. Squeaky doors tend to bother me so I wanted to fix it as soon as possible. First I tried oiling the hinges and moving parts such as around the door closer at the top. It was still squeaking but I figured maybe the oil had to work its way in a bit to stop the squeak.

After a few days it was still squeaking so I went ahead and oiled it some more. Still it continued to make the squeak. So finally I got up close to it and opened and closed the door a few times slowly to really pinpoint exactly where the squeak was happening. Then I noticed it. The noise was not coming from the hinge or the door closer. It was coming from the door itself!

The top corner of the door was rubbing against the top of the door frame which was making the noise. I could also tell because there were wear marks on that part of the door frame where the door was rubbing. So I got some oil and applied it to the part where the door was rubbing and sure enough, it fixed the squeak!

So if you have a door that is squeaking and you have already tried oiling all the hinges and moving parts, check to see if the door itself is rubbing against any part of the frame. If it is, there is a good chance that is where the squeak is coming from. Hope this helps!

Friday, September 14, 2018

Should you sweat the small stuff or only worry about the big picture?

One popular phase you may have heard is “Don't sweat the small stuff.”, meaning don't worry about little things that aren't really that important. It can be a good piece of advice, but why is it that we sweat the small stuff in the first place?

The answer may be that we live in the small stuff, so that is why we are so focused on it. We are concerned with things that are close to us like ourselves, our home, our family, our neighborhood etc. When little things happen to us in our little bubble it seems like a big deal because we are only thinking about what is in our space.

It's hard to keep in mind that there is a lot more going on out there and there are more important issues going on outside of our space. To look at the bigger picture, you can think about how large the country is or how large the world is and then think about how the issue that is bothering you fits into the big picture. Often you may find that it is really not a big deal and may not really matter at all when you consider how small it is compared to everything else going on.

One phrase I came up with is “Remember the Universe.” It is a similar concept to “Don't sweat the small stuff.” It means, keep the big picture in mind and realize that the little things that we might think are so important at the time are really not a big deal when you realize how insignificant it is compared to the universe. The universe is huge, almost too big to comprehend. We think our planet is huge but in reality it is merely a spec of dust within the universe.

When you remember this scale, you realize that everything that is going on around us in our everyday life is not as big or important as it might seem.

So the question is, if we live within the small stuff, should we consider it to be important since that is what we live in? Even though the world is a much bigger place than most of us will ever experience, should we take it into consideration when thinking about what is going on locally?

Because we tend to live in a bubble, it is natural to sweat the small stuff because that is the stuff that affects us the most. In comparison to the big picture, these things may not be a big deal, but we don't live in the big picture, we live within the small stuff.

On the other hand, when little things around you are getting you down, it is a good idea to take a step back and consider their importance in the big picture. Often this can make you realize that the problem is not as significant as you thought it was.

Considering both perspectives, there is value to each. While it is ok to worry about the things that are close to us and affect us most, it is also a good idea to “remember the universe” and keep the big picture in mind.

Blog Update - Comments Not Getting Published

I just recently noticed that notifications to moderate comments have not been coming through so there are some comments from readers over the past few months that were not published. I am currently going through all of them to make sure they get published. Thank you for your patience on these comments.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

How To Keep Your Car Clean

If you drive your vehicle on a regular basis, inevitably it will start to get dirty over time both inside and out. Here is some advice on how to keep your car clean.

Exterior Wash
I recommend an automatic wash for convenience. There are many different kinds of washes and some do better than others. When given the option of different wash options, I recommend the basic. After exiting the wash, I recommend parking and then using a clean rag to wipe down the car and do a little detailing.

Even the best exterior washes will not get everything and often they will leave water or soap suds on the car so wiping it down afterward will help with these issues. I recommend starting with the windows, mirrors, and lights, then the main body of the car, then inside the door sills and trunk, and finally the wheels. The wheels tend to attract the most dirt and are most difficult to clean.

Also, you may want to open the hood and do a little cleaning around the engine every so often. Make sure the car is turned off first and take extra caution because the engine can be hot. Also be careful about cleaning around hoses and wires so you do not knock anything loose. Remove any leaves or twigs that may have gotten into the engine area or the vents.

If it has been a while since you did a good cleaning, it can seem like a lot of work, but the more often you do a wash, the easier it will get. I recommend trying to wash it about once a week or so. I try to keep an eye on the weather forecast and wash it when there are going to be several clear days ahead.

Interior Clean
First remove anything that you don't need, especially if there is any garbage. Once everything is out of the way, you can do a vacuum of the floors, seats, and trunk. Take the floor mats out to clean under them as well.

I also recommend taking a dusting cloth or a damp cloth to wipe down the dashboard as well as the seats and any flat surfaces within the interior. Also wipe down parts such as the steering wheel and shifter which tend to get dirty from normal use over time.

The inside of the windows can also develop a film or cloudiness over time. Use a glass cleaner and a clean cloth or paper towel to wipe down the insides of the windows.

Once the inside is clean you can put your things back in if there is anything that needs to be stored in the car. Ideally, there should not be too many items visible in the car. Make use of storage areas such as the glove compartment, arm rest, or under the seats if you need to keep anything in the car. Over time, keep the car organized. If you bring something into the car, make sure to take it out when you are done or when you back home.

For the trunk, a box or container can help to keep everything organized and secure so there is open space for other things when needed.

Other Tips:
Avoid eating in the car. It can be tempting, but try to avoid eating in the car as it can lead to spills and crumbs that can be hard to clean up.

If you have a garage, keeping the car in the garage can help keep it clean especially in harsh weather such as snow and rain.

Make sure your shoes are clean before you get in. If they are dirty or snowy, try to shake them off as much as possible before getting in. Make sure you have good floor mats to help protect the inside floor and be sure to vacuum the mats on a regular basis.

The use of a seat cover can help protect the seat from wear and dirt. It does not have to be anything fancy, for example a t-shirt can be used as a seat cover to help protect the material.

Following these tips can help keep your car clean all year round. It can also make driving more enjoyable and help keep up the value of your vehicle!

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

The Effect of Sunlight and Weather on Mood

It is amazing how much sunlight and weather can affect how we feel. For example when the weather is nice and sunny, people tend to be in a good mood and tend to be more happy. On the other hand, if it is dark and cloudy or it is cold and windy, it can make you feel more down or less happy.

It's interesting that something as simple as this can make such a big difference on how we feel. If you think about the sunlight for example, the only difference between a nice sunny day and a dark cloudy day is the clouds in between the Sun and the Earth. Everything else is the same but this change in the amount of light we are getting from the Sun is causing the change in mood.

Things like wind and rain can affect how we feel as well. When the weather is calm and there is no wind, it is easy to relax and feel at ease. On the other hand, when there are 30 mph winds and you can hear the wind outside, or there is a thunderstorm with heavy rain, it can make you feel more stressed out just because things are not calm outside.

Temperature can also play a part in how we feel. If it is very hot you may feel more tired, while if it is very cold, you may feel more alert.

With all this effect on mood being influenced by the weather, where you live can make a big difference on how you feel based on the type of weather that is common in your city. This is definitely something to consider when deciding if you would like to move to another city or location.

You can think about how these different kinds of weather affect you and then research the average weather and climate of different location to find the ideal place to live. Of course there are many other factors to consider, but weather can be one of the most important when it comes to happiness and well-being.

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Bad first impressions turning people off to new foods they might actually like

Have you ever thought there was a certain food you did not like and then found out later that it is actually pretty good? Or have you ever tried a new brand of a familiar food that you like only to find out that the new brand is not very good? Since there is a wide range of quality and taste in many foods, it is very possible that the first time you try a certain food it may not be as good as it can be.

If you try something for the first time and you don't like it, it gives a bad first impression and it is easy to declare it as a food you do not like. But what happens if it was just a poor representation of that food and that actually it does taste good when it is more fresh or prepared in a better way? I have experienced this and also heard stories about the same issue of foods giving a bad first impression because they did not give a good representation of the potential that food had to offer.

For example, growing up as a kid, my mom would buy raisins in little boxes. Not to mention any brand names, but they were a well known brand so one would assume they should be pretty good. While they were ok, I never really liked them that much. I always found them to be pretty dry and just not very appealing in flavor.

Then later as an adult, I happened to try out a different brand of raisins and to my surprise, they were incredibly fresh and delicious! I didn't know raisins could taste like that. I thought they were always dry and not very good, but these were almost like eating fresh fruit. So because I had the first impressions from the dry raisins, I just assumed that is how raisins are and they are not very good, when in fact, they can be quite delicious when they are fresh and better quality.

Sometimes you may have a certain product you enjoy from a certain brand and then you try another brand of the same product and it is not nearly as good. This happened to me recently. I drink soy milk pretty often and I have a few brands that I like. Then one day they were out of my usual brand so I had to try another one I had not tried before. I looked at the ingredients and nutrition and it looked pretty similar so I figured it would be ok. Upon trying it out, it was not good at all.

I thought about what would happen if someone tried soy milk for the first time and they picked this brand. There is a good chance they would not like the taste and since it was their first time trying soy milk, they would just assume that is how it tastes and come to the conclusion that it is something they do not like. In this situation, one brand could be ruining someone's impression of a product because it is not as good as it should be.

A comedian named Todd Barry once made a joke about this same issue. He mentioned how he doesn't like sushi. He said he gave it one chance at the air port one time and it wasn't good, so now he has written it off as a food he does not like. Of course he says this in a joking way since it is likely the sushi at the airport is not as good as what you would get at a sushi restaurant, but the idea is the same in that a poor first impression can make you think you don't like something that you actually might enjoy if it is done right. Keep this idea in mind when trying new foods for the first time.

Sunday, August 26, 2018

Following Trends vs Setting Trends

When it comes to fashion, I find most people can be categorized into 2 different groups, those who follow the trends and those who set the trends. You might think this is false and feel like you do not fall into one of these 2 categories, but chances are you do, even without knowing it.

Someone who follows the trends tries to be in style by wearing what is trendy at the time. They may look to see what the majority of other people are wearing and try to buy clothes that will help them fit in. They may look at advertisements, websites, or displays in stores for ideas on what they should wear. They might feel like they are one step behind, always trying to keep up with whatever look is “in” that year.

Those who set the trends can fall into 2 categories and neither may be intending to set the trends at all. For example, a celebrity may wear some kind of outfit and because they have a lot of admirers, people will try to emulate their look or try to find the same kind of clothes to wear so they can be like their idol. In this case, the celebrity is not intentionally trying to set trends, but they do so inadvertently just because there are a lot of people watching them who are influenced by what they do.

The other category of someone who sets trends without knowing it is the kind of person who just wears whatever they want even if it is out of the ordinary. They may have some odd clothing or style that is unconventional. Maybe they are just trying to be comfortable and not necessarily follow what most people are wearing at the time. Maybe they just have a desire to wear clothes that are different from most of the things you may find in a store.

These people may not be trying to set trends but when they go out in public, other people see what they are wearing and become intrigued. It is possible some people may be turned off by their look, but some people may find it interesting and different enough that it gives them inspiration to wear something similar. So in a case like this, someone who is doing their own thing, not following any trends is in fact influencing trends unintentionally.

Looking at all the examples, it is likely that those who are following the trends also play a part in setting trends as well just by being out in public wearing what they think is in style at the moment. Since they are seen by others, they play a part in the influence on what is considered popular or in trend at the time. From the examples above, it seems most people fall into one of the 2 categories of following trends or setting trends whether they realize it or not.