Tip of the Day

This page was updated on August 22, 2018.

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This handy website will help you convert just about any file format you want to something else - quick, easy, free and no downloading software!




How to speed up a slow iPhone - MacWorld, 01-18-2018

​Will a new iPhone battery really speed up your device? There's an app for that - ZDNet, 01-08-2018

8 ways to speed up your old, tired iPhone - CNET, 12-21-2017



Right now (Winter 2017-2018) most parts of the U.S. are experiencing a flu epidemic.  I have had to care for 3 people who have contracted it and the one common, disturbing thing that I observed was that no one had as much as one day's worth of items we generally associate with convalescing from sickness such as colds, flu, etc.  Basically I'm talking about keeping on hand a few days' supply of soup, crackers, oatmeal, bread, Gatorade, tea, toilet paper, Kleenex, some OTC cold medicine pills, throat lozenges, etc.  Also, you should have a good thermometer - you can get one of those new, temporal-touch thermometers at Walmart for about $10 and they're easy to operate and read!!  For the cold medicine, I've found that the dollar stores carry generic OTC cold medicine preparations that contain the same ingredients as the name brands, but for significantly less cost and they have extended shelf lives.

For more information on preparedness, see my B.O.B. Guide special report (free download) on the Publications page.



Are you sick and tired of paying those ridiculously exorbitant cable bills (that keep going up and up with no value added) for channels you never watch and expensive, old, on-demand movie selections??  Well, so are a lot of other people and they're "cutting the cord" in record numbers (see articles below).  Here's what you do:  If you have Internet and Wi-Fi in your house, you can get a simple, inexpensive, small device called a Roku box which will allow you to get over 5,000 (free or minimal cost) streaming TV, movie and music channels including Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, Vudu, Fandango,  Google Play, etc. (Extra fees for those, but much less than cable and significantly better selections and other benefits).  You can also get streaming services such as Philo (best deal right now), Sling TVPlaystation Vue (Playstation not required) or DIRECTV NOW (no satellite dish required and if your cell phone carrier is AT&T, they are offering some sweet deals) and YouTube TV through Roku and those will allow you to get most of the popular cable TV channels through their very reasonably-priced a la carte packages and NO contracts with any of these!! There are similar products out there to the Roku box, such as Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV Stick, etc., but I think Roku is the best deal going right now, but Apple TV is pretty sweet, too, especially if you are an iPhone and or Mac computer user  However, I do NOT like their remote control or menu system at all.  And in most large metropolitan areas, you can get approximately 25-40 local channels over the air with a $15 antenna, just like we did in the "old days."  Speaking of those antennas, when you go to buy one, you'll see them range in price from $15 to over $100.  If you live in a large metro area without many hills, the cheapest one should work fine.  If you are in a rural area or a place with a lot of hills/mountains, asks someone in the store for recommendations.

Cord-Cutting Keeps Churning: U.S. Pay-TV Cancelers to Hit 33 Million in 2018 (Study) 07-24-2018

Cord Cutting Explodes: 33% of U.S. Adults Do Not Have Cable TV - 07-24-2018

10 Best Streaming Apps to Cut the Cord - Kim Komando - 04-12-2018

Cable TV vs. Streaming TV:  Are YouTube TV, DirectTV Now, & Sling TV Really a Better Deal?  - Clark Howard - 05-05-2018

Cutting the Cable:  Streaming Services Comparison Chart - Kim Komando - 02-04-2018

Cable TV prices keep going up as more people cut the cord - 01-05-2018

​Streaming becomes mainstream as cord-cutting accelerates - 12-26-2017

A million people cut the cord in the last 3 months, and cable companies are worried - 10/31/2017

Variety:  Cord-Cutting Explodes: 22 Million U.S. Adults Will Have Cancelled Cable, Satellite TV by End of 2017 - 09/13/2017

Cutting the cord? How to pick your streaming services - Kim Komando 09-09-2017

Cord-Cutting Spikes Fivefold in Cable TV's Worst Quarter Ever - 05/03/2017

The Evolution of Cord-Cutting Reaches New Levels in 2017 - Mashable 02/03/2017

How to Cut the Cable Cord and Save Money in 2017 - CordCuttingReport.com 02/05/2017

Resource Guides:

The Streaming Observer

Cord Cutting Report

Channel Master's Cord Cutting Guide

Cord Cutters News

Kim Komando's Guide to Video Streaming Services - 01-03-2018

Tom's Guide to Cable TV Cord Cutting

AntennaWeb Cord Cutting Guide



Once you've squeezed every last bit out of the end, close the cap and cut the opposite (crimped) end off with a pair of scissors.  Open it and insert your brush to get the remaining paste all the way down to the standard opening - you should be about to get at least 14 more brushings out of the tube.



We all know how expensive they can be, even at those big-box stores.  Recently, I had to replace all 4 of mine and my car has those low-profile, 18" wheels.  The last two sets I bought were around $700 each an only lasted about 25,000 miles!!  Ugh!!!  Recently a friend of mine, who is a rep for aftermarket performance auto parts told me to look in to Primewell brand tires.  He had had 2 sets on 2 different SUV's and had been very happy with them and they were half the cost of any other name brand.  I was skeptical, but checked them out anyway and when I went to the tire store, the salesman told me that he would happily sell me any brand tire I wanted, but because of the configuration of the tires on my car (low profile), the tires run hotter and therefore I shouldn't expect to get more than 30-35,000 miles from any set of tires I bought, so why not save 50% and go with the Primewells.  I took his advice and so far have been very happy with the Primewells' performance.  Total cost for 4 installed P225/45R18 tires:  $370.38 (includes mounting, balancing, road hazard warranty, lifetime free rotation and free puncture repair).



Check the water supply hoses to your clothes washer - you should pull the machine out so you can inspect the entire length of the hoses.  How long have they been installed?  Do you even know?  If they are of the rubber type, check to see if they are brittle, mushy or have any bulges.  If they do, you should turn off the water supply and replace them immediately!!!  Spend the extra money (about $25 at most hardware stores) to get the flexible stainless steel braided hoses as they last much longer.  Even if you live in an apartment, if your landlord won't replace them with the stainless type, do it yourself, but keep the old hoses for when you move out and take your stainless ones with you.  And if you live in an apartment, it is especially important to inspect the hoses regularly and or replace them because if one breaks and floods apartments below yours, you may be liable for damages to the building and the other residents' personal effects, so you'd better have plenty of insurance!!


An old family friend passed along this pearl of wisdom to me when I was very young, he said, "All things you do, do with all your might; things done by halves are never done right."  (Ed Shoemaker, Carpenter, Evangelist, Ray County, MO)


We've all heard the adage, "Time is money," but that is not correct.  The correct phrase is, "Time well-spent is money."  (Joyce Painter, Real Estate Educator extraordinaire, Oklahoma City, OK)


"You are the real first responder."   (Conceal & Carry, Inc., Kansas City's premier conceal carry training school.)  


"A bad attitude is like a flat tire - it won't get you anywhere until you change it."  (Joycelyn T., Oklahoma City, OK)



Do you shop at Amazon.com?  Do you have a favorite charity?  Now with AmazonSmile, a portion of your purchase will be donated to your favorite organization.  Even if  your organization isn't listed, you can usually get it added.  Get more information about AmazonSmile here.



Do you like that foaming hand soap?  Me, too, but it's EXPENSIVE!!!  Here's a way to get it for pennies on the dollar:  After you've used up the expensive stuff, save the bottle and pump top.  Purchase a large bottle of some of the generic-brand hand soap from one of the big-box stores.  Fill the original hand soap bottle about 1/4 to 1/3 full with the generic soap and then tilt the bottle about 70 degrees from vertical and slowly add water until about full, being careful not to let it foam up.  Replace the pump top and while holding the bottle in your hand, slowly rotate the bottle from side-to-side until the soap mixes with the water.   One of those large bottles of generic-brand hand soap will last you a very, very long time and save you a lot of money!


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