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Saturday, December 17, 2011


My books attempt to suggest simple solutions (SS) for Planet Earth and Humanity.  The really useful solutions, actually, are personal ones, and I just recently learned of a few of them.  But let me start with two almost embarrassing life aids:

SS1.  A bar of soap in a cloth cover pinned to the bottom of your bed (under the sheets) helps to prevent let cramps.  Can you imagine that Snopes.com actually was befuddled about how this works.  Best as I can tell, you can use any soap, but, for my purposes, I take off the wrapping and place the bar in a cloth bag.  Here is my explanation:  there is nothing physically significant--I think what happens is a kind of psychological vaccine principle at work here, that is, you have somehow convinced your mind that soap helps to prevent cramps, so when you begin to feel that effect, you immediately move your leg on top of the soap, and, somehow, like in any biological preventative, your body remembers that this means it needs to set the appropriate neurons and nerve cells to counteract the pain.  Darn, but it works!

SS2.  A razor system lasts forever.  I started with a Schick Quattro and never changed the blades.  In almost four years, I've now used two Schick systems (because I dropped the first one and it broke) at home.  On the road, I also have had two generic razors, and only because the first one cracked, so I had to use a second.  Why anyone keeps replacing razor blades confounds me.  This leads me to SS #3.  I spent the weekend at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel, but forgot to bring any shaving cream.  I've noticed that most hotels today don't give you a free razor/cream packet.    I applied, though, that body/hand lotion all hotels still provide in a small plastic bottle.  It turns out that this lotion works "better" than any shaving cream. For one, you don't need to wash your face, just wipe off the lotion.

SS4.  I also just learned this week that you can use a spoon to take the cap of a beer bottle (those screw tops are getting scarce) by simply placing your thumb around the neck, using it as a pivot from which you use a spoon (best to use the open oval side and not the other end) to pry open a portion of the cap. After three or four attempts, it just pops open.  If your thumb is sensitive, like mine, just wrap something (like a tissue paper) around the first joint).  If you don't succeed in ten seconds, you're doing something wrong, so think about it, for there are several ways to do this.  Want to see a video?

SS5.  I just learned this simple solution today on a golf course.  Every so often I noticed that my socks are carnivorously devoured by my shoes.  That is, with each step, there is a ratcheting process that slowly stuffs my socks into the shoe.  This has happened only rarely, but at least six times in my life.  What occurs is that the sock company made a mistake and had the wrong side of the fabric on the inside.  Thus, if you find your socks doing this, just turn them inside out and the opposite effect takes over.  In other words, your socks stay up.  If you're wearing one of those expensive logo socks, you have a problem, but I'm sure the store will replace them.


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