Every afternoon join me for CLOCK WATCHER TRIVIA. At 4pm each day I give you a new question to ponder. If you are the first to correctly answer it, you can win! And it's great fun, as you wait for quitting time to roll around. Missed a question? Want to find out who won? You can get that here: 987theriver.com/pages/trivia.html
And don't forget THE DRIVE AT FIVE...an hour of commercial free music as you head home for the day, plus the traffic information you need.
SECRETS FROM THE EXPERTS
Some of best tips from Consumer Reports magazine.
• It’s perfectly fine to leave your laptop connected to its charger at home. The smart charger will prevent over-charging, and the laptop’s processor will run faster when it’s connected.
• Many retailers that use coupons or other promotional sales tools will offer receipt adjustments before or after start or expiration dates. Just ask.
• If you’re serious about buying a car, ask the dealer to let you borrow or rent a model overnight. Or consider renting one for a few days; you and your family will get more of a feel for the car than you would with a 15-minute test drive.
• Microfiber cloths, though a little pricier, do a much better job wiping off car wax than rags do.
• Just in case your GPS device winds up in the hands of a crook, don’t input your address under “Home.” Instead, pick a local landmark — like a police station.
• Bigger or smaller TV? Go bigger.
• To save money on printing, avoid the Arial font; tests have shown that it uses more ink than Times New Roman and other fonts.
• Smart phones need a fresh (re)start. They’re actually full-fledged computers and need to be restarted every few days to purge memory reserved by programs no longer running and to fix glitches that can hinder performance.
• Laptop or tablet? Here’s one way to tell what you need: Tablets are good for consuming media. Computers and laptops are good for creating it.
• Don’t bother using nitrogen in your tires to keep up tire pressure. It’s a waste of money. Air is about 80 percent nitrogen anyway.
• Never wash or rinse raw chicken in the sink. You’ll splash germs around the kitchen and risk food poisoning.
• Fire extinguishers, smoke detectors, and carbon monoxide alarms have expiration dates (typically 12 years for single-use extinguishers and five years for the others). Write down the dates where you can see them to know when to replace the devices.
• If you think granola is healthy, think again; it’s often loaded with fat and sugar. Try mixing it with a puffed cereal to lighten the calories.
• In cars, leather or leather-like seats are much easier to clean than fabric.
• Buy the cheapest TV cables and connectors you can find. Don’t overspend on those accessories.
• You need two kinds of smoke alarms: ionization types that detect fast-moving flames and photoelectric alarms that warn you of a smoldering fire. Dual-sensor models exist, though many models use one or the other. Also make sure you have a carbon-monoxide detector.
• Measure your laundry detergent with the provided cap. Use too much, which many people do, and you could get residue on your clothes. Remember that today’s washers use much less water than older machines.
• Don’t wait until the vacuum bag is full to replace it. By then, it will have lost significant suction power.
• For outdoor lighting, compact fluorescent bulbs usually take longer to brighten up in cold weather. LED bulbs aren’t affected by the cold.
• Pass up built-in car navigation systems, which can add $1,500 or more to the sticker price. Instead, consider a $100-to-$250 portable device or a smart-phone app.
• Auto headlights dim over time, so replace them after several years even if they haven’t burned out. You can also make them brighter by using a lens cleaner or restorer.
• Any shampoo will clean your hair, tests have shown. So buy by what you like and want to pay