Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Diamond Matches-No More Dumping

Kitchen matchboxes should have a top design that's different from the bottom. Who hasn't nearly dumped all the matches on the floor by flipping the wrong side of the box over and opening it? Diamond Matches got it right the first time; Forster matches by the Universal Corporation does not get this fine point.

Sure, there's that little cardboard spine inside that saves most of us. Unless someone in the house takes it out in the interest of neatness - or whatever. So, I see this one coming. You switch to Diamond. For fun, the kids will set the box up with the top on the bottom and there you go again.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Kitchenaid Bakeware - The Dings and the Dents

The Kitchenaid brand has certainly been around and is respected, too. However, the bakeware might be a different deal. A recent purchase arrived all nicely boxed - very securely wrapped and no option for shaking around inside. The box was in excellent shape - no signs of dings or drops.

However, once the bakeware set was removed, it was loaded with dings and scratches. The pie tins have lipped handles. One of them was already scratched and the surrounding surface coating could be removed with a fingernail. That one went in the trash - the other was in good shape. The baking sheet showed a handful of dings along the edge and in the bottom part of the tray. These did not have broken surfaces, so was good to go.

Return it? Well, here's the deal. If it hadn't been damaged in the shipping process, how would that guarantee getting a good set the next time? In this case, not worth it.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Sow Bugs - Terrestrial Crustaceans

These little critters are related to shrimp and they can invade your home when rains are heavy. You'll see them moving slowly along the floor, then all of a sudden, they pick up speed and dash off. Sometimes mistaken for roly-polies, these are a "cousin," the sow bug.

Sow bugs are also called wood lice, but they cause no harm. Invasions don't last long as they die unless they can find a moist spot to hang out. And that's the kicker. They can sometimes be indicators that something dire is happening inside your home. Here are the basics on sow bugs (did you know they have gills?) and ways to reduce their presence.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Kinky - the Expert Gardener Hose

All bright and yellow - and a great price, too. Until you hook up this garden hose from Expert Gardener at the faucet. It's full of kinks that twist and turn, cutting off the water supply, the more you try to straighten it out. Unless you're trying to conserve water, get yourself a better hose. And if you already bought one of these, I hope you kept the receipt.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Target In-Store or Real Credit Card

Make a big purchase - or any purchase - at Target and you'll get swarmed with the opportunity to sign up for their store credit card (if you don't have one already). There's a tiny-little-catch. Target has an "in-store" card as well as a Visa credit card. If you don't know to ask, you "get" the credit card, need it or not. No annual fees, and you do get extra benefits, plus an instant discount on your purchase. That's nice.

What would be nice is if they explain to you that there are options. Now you know.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Hurray for Poly-Wood (Furniture)

Who would have thought? Your milk jug becoming someone's seat. The Poly-Wood company has come up with this unique and environmentally ingenious approach to outdoor furniture. Made from plastic milk jugs and claiming to be impervious to the weather. No painting ever, no splintering, no worries about salt spray - just leave them out all year long if you like.

You get a choice of colors and styles in Poly-Wood furniture, including Adirondack and Mission. Choose bar sets, tables, loungers and casual chairs. Set up a Poly-Porch, a Poly-Patio or Poly-Poolside. Now, go order and relax. (Oh, even better: USA made.)

Monday, October 08, 2007

Attack of the GE Refrigerator Ice Cube Drawer

The GE folks left this little incident out of the manual. You're getting ice through the widget in the door and the whole bin busts outward - forcefully enough to pop the door open. What? OK, next you pull the bin out and try to push it back in. No luck.

Here's the fix. A propeller type apparatus runs through the middle of the ice cube drawer. You can remove the entire bin or just slide it out and feel around on the back side. Careful - don't cut yourself. Turn the back of the propeller at least a quarter to a half turn and it should slide right back in. Otherwise, it simply won't go.

Now, if those ice cubes get really aggressive, the tray will jump its tracks in the process. This can create a jam on one side. That's a little trickier and takes some "gentle" force to dislodge it. Don't pull so hard that you break any of those plastic parts. Be patient, it'll come loose. Then twist that propeller and you're set.