Archive for September, 2010

Sally’s Peeves
September 30, 2010

I have several pet peeves, but I try not to let them get to me too much.  Some of my biggest peeves are grammar-related.  (Yes, I can tell if a comma or a period is italicized, so don’t try to fool me.)  But I also have a few pet peeves that are rules related.  I love to buck the trend, break the rules, and fight the man as much as the next guy, but there are some rules you just cannot argue with, particularly if they are in place by your employer and are for health reasons.

My employer instituted a smoke-free campus requirement a while ago.  This means you cannot smoke anywhere on campus other than designated areas.  I’m all for smokers being able to smoke and their right to smoke not being infringed upon.  While I detest the nasty habit, I understand that it is a habit that takes over the smoker and I do not fault the actual smoker.  However, if you work for my employer, you are required to read and acknowledge that you have read various policies every year, including the smoke-free requirement.  There is no excuse for not knowing the requirement.  Additionally, there are posted signs everywhere indicated it is a smoke-free campus.

However, inside the garage to my building I constantly find cigarette butts.  But the worst offenders are those couriers from my employer who stand outside their cars in our garage, within 20 feet of the “No Smoking” sign and smoke.  Maybe because we’re in a satellite location, they think the rules don’t apply.  But when I point out the rules, and the sign 20 feet away, please DO NOT give me a nasty look when I ask you to please stop smoking here and please do not break the rules.  Yes, you can choose to harm your health, but please do not subject the rest of us to it.  Clearly next to the sign prohibiting smoking is a massive intake vent that filters your smoke to the rest of us inside the building.

The smoker is not my pet peeve, it is the person who is irritated with me pointing out the violation.  My building and my garage is not your designated smoke break.  You’re a courier, please find another location off-campus to smoke to your heart’s (and lung’s) dis-content.  And please do not make me ask you more than once.

Sally’s Helpful Hints – warm weather & cars
September 22, 2010

I haven’t posted a helpful hints post in a while, so I’m making up with this one.  Although today is the first day of fall, we are experiencing very summer-like temperatures here.  So, I find the following summer/warm weather tips still useful.  Also, as someone who has driven several old or crappy cars, I have gained some useful tips on car maintenance or work-arounds, so I am also including some car-related tips as well  Enjoy!


If you’ve spent a little too much time in the sun, your skin become becomes red, sore, and dehydrated.  You can easily treat those symptoms and keep a sunburn from getting worse if you accidentally worshiped the sun a little too long one day.  First, take an IBUPROFEN.  It is an anti-inflammatory, so taken right after coming out of the sun will help reduce the redness, plus it will relieve some of the pain of a burn.  Rehydrate with WATER; drink plenty to keep your body and your skin hydrated.  If your burn persists, take a cool bath with WHITE VINEGAR and water.  This is an old Southern trick, but it really helps relieve your burn!

If you’re like me, mosquitoes think you’re the yummiest treat in the entire world.  I can stand in a group of 10 people and be the only one who gets chewed up by the little critters.  In the South, they are abundant in both size and number, so it’s really hard to avoid them.  However, if you put a DRYER SHEET in your pocket, it helps keep them away.  Also, AVOID BANANAS in your diet.  As a runner and someone who loves bananas, this one has been the hardest for me, but this year I’ve noticed it’s been better once I avoided it in my diet during the summer.

Ever spend just way too much time enjoying the outdoors and summer heat, but find that you’re just too hot and cannot cool down?  Perhaps your AC went out in your house or car?  The quickest way to cool down is to run cold water or place an ice cube on your WRIST.  The skin on your inner wrist is very thin and the veins you see there, go straight to main arteries in your heart, which then pumps blood to the rest of your body.  Cool the blood and you cool the rest of your as it circulates through your body!  When I’m running in the summer, I stop at water fountains and run cold water on my wrist for a few seconds and I’m able to run a few more miles!  This also works with a cold beer or soda bottle.


Car Battery
Have you ever popped your hood and noticed all the gunky, crusty stuff around your battery terminals?  That just a simple oxidation, and the best way to clear off the corrosion is COKE.  Yes, just get a can of Coke (or most any other soda will work if you don’t have Coke), and pour some on the corroded terminal.  It will eat away at it, keep pouring a little bit at a time on it until it is gone.  Then pour a little bit of water to wash away the sticky, sugary soda.  You should be good as new, you can now access the terminals to attach jumper cables, remove the connectors to replace the battery, or tighten the connectors if they loosened from the corrosion and weren’t making a connection.  You can solve a variety of battery issues with a can of Coke!

Car Overheating
Is the temperature gauge way over into the red zone?  This means the engine is running too hot.  All you have to do is turn on your HEATER.  The car’s heater pulls heat off of the engine and blows it into the vents.  You will eventually pull enough heat off of the engine to cool it down and you can continue on your way.

Check Engine Light
Oh no, that darn check engine light came on your dash.  Get yourself to a AutoZone (or most auto parts stores) and have them run the CODES.  If your car is not running at all, then you can “purchase” the codes machine from AutoZone, take it home, run the codes, look up the code, and return the machine for a refund.  If it is something that isn’t a major issue or you don’t have time to have it fixed before you have to have your emissions checked, you can ignore it.  However, if the light may be annoying and you will fail emissions if your light is on.  You can reset the light!  Just UNHOOK YOUR BATTERY (I usually just unhook the positive terminal) and hook it back up.  It will reset the computer (and your radio presets) and usually the light.  However, if your car is a 1996 or later model, you will have an OBD (on board diagnostics) check.  The OBD checks everything based on an average of trips.  So, if you unhook your battery, you will need to make several trips of varying lengths before you have the OBD check.  Otherwise there won’t be enough information to create a proper average and you will still fail your OBD check.