August 27, 2007

Furniture Refinisher

Unusual tools do wonders.

  • To strip thick paint from a cove moulding, use paint stripper and a spoon. By tilting the angle, you can match almost any curve, and scrape out the paint without gouging into the wood. Once you have most of the paint removed, you can use steel wool to get the last of it.
  • The next time you're at the dentist, ask the hygienist if she has any old picks that you can have. Different types of picks are work great for getting into the tight spaces and corners of fancy moulding or carved designs.

-- M Blaze Miskulin

Posted by Matthew at 3:37 PM

August 8, 2007

Home Cook

If you have an over-abundance of one particular ingredient and you would like to quickly find good, reliable recipes using that ingredient, search on the web for farm and trade organizations that represent the producers. Their websites will be sure to have many recipes that show off the item's diversity, and it's safe to say the recipes have been vetted by growers' families.

For example, if you want sweet potato recipes, look at the recipe page for the North Carolina Sweet Potato Commission; for strawberries, check out the California Strawberry Commission; for avocados, try the California Avocado Commission.

Posted by Matthew at 10:46 AM

August 7, 2007

Museum Curator

When working the dinosaur halls at the natural history museum, an eager parent will often bring up his or her less than eager child, saying that the kid has a question. Young children, even if they do have a question, are generally too terrified at the prospect of talking to a stranger to do anything other than hide behind dad's legs. By asking the child a question, such as what their favorite dinosaur is, you can get them talking.

Even if that is not enough, and with very small children its often not, it satisfies the real desire of the parent: to make sure that their child gets some personalized attention.

-- Chris

Posted by Matthew at 10:42 AM