17 Things Alka Seltzer Is Good For, It Even Catches Fish

1. Safely Unclog A Drain
A great natural solution for unclogging the drain! Just drop four Alka-Seltzer tablets down the drain, followed by a cup of white vinegar and allow to stand for about ten minutes. Flush with a pot of boiling water. Doing this on a regular basis can help keep that drain clear. This also works to deodorize the drain.

2. Clean a Toilet In A Hurry
Drop two tablets in the toilet, wait 20 minutes for the citric acid to loosen the grime, scrub and flush. The bowl will be clean, shiny, and deodorized. Handy for a quick clean in case of uninvited, unannounced, surprise guests.

3. An All-Purpose Cleaner
Alka Seltzer can also be a good all around cleaner. Plop three tablets into 8 ounces of warm water. Once the fizzing stops, dip a sponge in the water (or you could fill a spray bottle) and wipe down counters, tiles and tubs. You can even place some in your sink and use as mop water. Just add five tablets to one half gallon of water.

4. Soothe Insect Bites
Drop two tablets in warm water, then soak a cotton ball in the solution. Place on the bite for 30 minutes for relief from the insect bites.

5. Catch a Fish
Fish love bubbles. Break a tablet in half and throw it out near your fishing line, or put a tablet inside your tube jig and cast off. The fish won’t be able to resist the stream of bubbles.

6. Remove Burnt On Food From Bakeware
Drop 5 tablets into a sink full of hot water and let your cookware soak for an hour or so. The burnt food will come off with ease.

7. Whiten and Brighten Your Laundry
To get rid of dingy yellow color on white cotton, soak your whites in a solution of a gallon of warm water and two Alka Seltzer tablets. Then hang your whites in the sun to dry to get rid of any lingering stains.

8. Deodorize the Fridge
For a clean, fresh smelling refrigerator, drop an Alka-Seltzer tablet in a cup of water and leave it in the refrigerator for a half hour. If there is still a smell in the refrigerator, then wash down the inside of the refrigerator with another Alka-Seltzer tablet in water.

9. Clean a Glass Jar, Flower Vase or Thermos
For those difficult to clean vessels with narrow-necks, and hard to reach places, drop two Alka-Seltzer tablets in, add hot water and swish it around until the tablets are dissolved and let it sit for an hour. Rinse, and the glass jar, vase or Thermos will be as clean as new.

10. Restore Stained Plastic Containers
Got spaghetti sauce stains on your plastic containers? Simply fill your container with warm to hot water and depending on the size drop 1-2 tablets into the water. Let sit for 30 minutes and the stains will disappear before your eyes.

11. Polish Your Jewelry
Drop two tablets in a bowl of warm water. Let your jewelry soak for about 20 minutes. It will look new again! (Note: This is not safe for pearls or opals.)

12. Build Rockets For Kids
Entertain little ones by heading outside with an empty film canister, filled halfway with warm water. Drop in half a tablet, snap on the lid and place the canister upside down on the sidewalk or driveway. Take a step back and watch your rocket blast off!

13. Clean Your Coffeemaker
Fill the water chamber of the coffeemaker and then drop in three tablets. When the Alka-Seltzer has dissolved, put the coffeemaker through a brew cycle. This will clean out all the internal components. Run through another plain water cycle before using the machine again for coffee.

14. Help For Nicotine Addiction
If you’re trying to quit smoking Alka-Seltzer can help. Take two tablets three times a day to relieve nicotine withdrawal symptoms and curb cravings.

15. Cure Urinary Tract Infections
Showing signs of a urinary infection? Take two tablets in a glass of water as soon as you notice symptoms. Results are almost immediate. Keep in mind that Aspirin is a main ingredient in Alka-Seltzer so those with Aspirin allergies shouldn’t use it.

16. Clean and Deodorize A Cooler
After an outing or trip, add about 1 inch of water to the bottom of your cooler, drop 4 tablets in, and let sit for an hour. After an hour, rinse and dry. All smells will be gone and it will be clean and ready for its next use.

17. Clean Dentures
Drop an Alka-Seltzer tablet into a glass of warm water, and then drop your dentures into the glass for about ten minutes. The citric acid and carbonation will remove the toughest stains from your dentures and other prosthetic dental work. This is an excellent substitute for more expensive denture cleanser products.

Why Doesn’t Honey Spoil?


Compliments of Jonus Luster:

For something to spoil there has to be something to spoil it. Honey is almost unique among organic compounds in that it constitutes a “perfect storm” or attributes against spoilage:

Most honey is a supersaturated, the rest is a saturated solution of sugar. Sugar acts hygroscopic, that means it attracts water. Bacteria and some other microorganisms that come in contact with this solution are being desiccated (water is drawn from them into the solution) and explode (ok, ok, they kind of just shrivel, but I like the idea of them blowing up) and die.

This supersaturation of sugar also inhibits the growth of yeast and other fungal spores.

Its pH is 3.26 to 4.48, a killing field for bacteria. Combined with the above-mentioned supersaturation you have both a pH that weakens bacterial walls and a hygroscopic environment. Them bacters don’t stand no chance.

And if all that isn’t enough, bees process honey by means of an enzyme called glucose oxydase which modifies sugar into gluconic acid ( D-glucono-δ-lactone, a contributor to the above-mentioned pH) and hydrogen peroxide. You might know glucose oxidase from something else: it used to be called “Penicillin A” and is now known as Notatin. Poor bacteria, eh?

This is, by the way, why you should never leave a jar of honey standing open. The supersaturated sugar solution will absorb moisture from the air and gradually become weaker, losing its anti-bacterial properties.

One last warning: honey is, as we discover above, rather safe. It does, however, sometimes contain inactive spores of Clostridium botulinum, the bacterium responsible for botulism. Healthy humans don’t get sick from that but infants whose intestinal tract dilutes the honey without digesting it quickly can get sick from it. There is honey that has been radiated with gamma rays to kill those spores dead for good that can be purchased for lots of money. Just wait until the kid is a year old or so and you’ll be safe.

Things Airline Pilots Won’t Tell You

A collection of stories written by pilots
I’m an airline pilot flying domestically under the banner of a major airline.  Most people are unaware of how much of their flying is done by a “regional” airline.  Regional airlines today fly a huge percentage of the actual seat miles flown for their Major airline partner (Delta, United, US Air, etc.).  However we are paid a fraction of what the major airline pilots are paid, and even these major airline pilots are paid significantly less than their counterparts several years ago.
Many regional airline first officers make the same as your friendly pizza delivery driver.  (It is typical for most of them to make no more than 16K/year the first year.)Here are a few things we won’t tell you:-Don’t drink the coffee.  The potable water the aircraft is serviced with is absolutely disgusting.  Chemicals are inserted into the water tanks to prevent bad things from growing, but the bad taste of the coffee isn’t the coffee–its the chemicals…

-We don’t know where we are most of the time…  (kidding for the most part)  In all actuality there are much more sophisticated avionics units on most small general aviation aircraft.  Those units display many aspects of geographic awareness where most of ours simply display the route that we programmed in the flight management computer before departure.  We can tell you how far away we are from the next navigation facility and where we are in general terms, but aside from that and what we can see out the window, we typically only have a general idea of where we are when at cruise altitude.  Of course we all carry maps, but not too many of us will open the map and follow our progress on a 3 hour flight.  (That all changes as we begin descending toward the airport.  Situational Awareness is extremely important then.)

-We forget about the fasten seatbelt sign all the time.  When you look up at the sign (and disregard it typically) and it has been illuminated for the last 45 minutes in smooth air, we simply forgot.  Lots of guys will leave it on all the time.  However, sometimes we do have reports of choppy air ahead and will leave it on until we either experience it or take a wild guess that the air ahead will be smooth.

Some of us carry guns.  This is certainly public knowledge, but Federal Flight Deck Officers can carry a firearm in the cockpit.  Lots of protocol exists to ensure that the training, concealment, and utilization is standardized.

They never announce, “That was close !!” As in, a near mid-air encounter with other air traffic.Only from personal experience and asking the pilot as I disembarked from the aircraft, can I relate this story.Landing at Newark airport in 1986, I was sitting in a window seat about mid section, left side of the plane. I was looking out of the window for a good view of NYC. After seeing that, I was watching the area around the airport as we came in to land. We were about 300′ altitude, or less, and all of a sudden I was stunned to see another plane taking off. It was very close as it took off, nearly underneath our plane as it was climbing out. I don’t know how close we were, just that I could see the passengers in the windows of the other plane close enough to see if they were male or female. My view only lasted about 5 seconds, but I thought they were my last! When I got to the front of the plane and the pilot was standing there I said, “That was close…?” He said, “No, not really.” Very calmly.

I wonder how often that happens, and I bet they NEVER tell the passengers that piece of news!

Most pilots won’t tell you that “air traffic control delays” aren’t really ATC’s “fault”; these delays would be better termed “overscheduling delays”.The vast majority of what the airlines and system term “ATC delays” are actually from a pretty simple supply-and-demand situation.  There’s too many airplanes (demand) trying to land in a limited number of arrival slots (supply) at a given airport over a given time period.Airports have what are known as “arrival rates”.  A standard, one-runway airport with well-designed taxiways (including “high speed” taxiways) can safely handle, in good weather, around 60 operations an hour- one per minute.

This can be 60 landings in an hour, or 60 takeoffs in an hour, or 30 of each, or whatever combination you want to come up with, but that’s about the limit.

(This is a bit of an oversimplification with really good design, you can usually depart faster than arrive, but bear with me for now.)

So say you’ve got this airport, and say it’s got more than enough gates for all the airlines and planes that want to use it.  The only limiting factor is that 60/hour number, right?

Yeah- until crappy weather shows up.  Now they can only land 30 planes per hour.

Unfortunately, the ATC system- run by the FAA- does not regulate how many flights can be scheduled into an airport.  (That’s what deregulation gave us.)  So the airlines that operate in there all schedule as many as they think they can get passengers for.

So during this hour, the airlines have scheduled 60 arrivals, but only 30 planes can land because it’s a cloudy, rainy day.

What happens to the other 30 flights?  They get delayed.

And who delays them?  ATC.

And what do the airlines call these delays?  “Supply and demand delays”?  “Weather delays?”  Nope.

“ATC delays.”

But the reality is that they’re overscheduling delays.  If the airlines and/or the airports would limit the number of flights to the BAD weather limits, the number of delays in the system would be massively shrunk.

That the Airbus A320 is known to have routine cockpit power outtages.  And that this plane that you are on right now, which is among the most popular in the world, might not be fixed!

Such as United Flight 731 which “had no way to communicate with air traffic controllers or detect other planes around them in the New York City area’s crowded airspace.” [1]That “France-based Airbus told NTSB investigators in 2008 that 49 electrical failures similar to the Newark emergency happened on its planes in the U.S. and abroad before that episode. Nearly half involved the loss of at least five of six cockpit displays.” [1]And…that a mere 46 hours and $6,000 is the only thing holding back every single plane in the air from this crucial upgrade due to “economics”

The Airbus A320 family includes the A318, A319, A320 and A321 models — passenger jets with 100 to 220 seats.

And you wonder why I take trains and boats????

Note: these came from other people and I don’t guarantee 100% accuracy

What’s goin’ on

The Marvin Gaye themed Blog today.

7 more Windoze security updates today, bringing the total to well over 20 in just the past couple of weeks. I wonder if this happens to Sam, Mark Hurd, Michael Dell…they get paid a whole lot more than me per hour to sit and wait for updates.

Oil – went to $67.50 and it’s approaching a level that it could fall even more. This is good news/bad news right before an election. It was the main problem point in an otherwise good economy. So depending on your stance in the election, your point is either strengthened or weakened. One thing of note is a place in the Gulf of Mexico I’ve been following lately – area 181 that has more oil than we could need for a while. Combine that with the lack of hurricanes, diplomacy in Iran rather than threats to nuke Israel and summer travel being over, prices could go a lot lower. Environmental good news update, I found out that ocean floor oil seepage is far more than any oil spill, and nature has cleaned that up for thousands of years. Also, Katrina didn’t dump any oil into the water, though it did cripple oil production.

HP is under inquiry for board of directors leaks to the press leaks. Too bad, I thought that they were cleaning up the act. This looks more like “he looked at me, she’s on my side of the room, he/she touched me” kid fighting. All companies have issues and infighting, but you have to find a way to not air your dirty laundry. This is PR hell and takes the focus off of the good work they’ve done recently. Customers and analysts have long memories for this nonsense. This is a festering sore that has to be healed or will be a problem for a while.

The launch of Atlantis is on hold for a Fuel Cell problem. We need to keep making progress on our programs, but the reality is the moon mission is not being handled from the ISS.

The opening game for the NFL tomorrow night is the Steelers (fresh off of a Super Bowl Victory) vs. my team the MIAMI DOLPHINS! Ben or no Ben, everyone is picking the Steelers.

Caught in a Time Tunnel

I haven’t blogged much this week as a very interesting experience happened to me and a number of people across the US. I have mentioned that I worked the storage industry 15 years ago. It was a small company in Boca Raton that capitalized on the success of the IBM PC. The company was bought out by the AIWA division of Sony and later folded. I lost track of most of my

co-workers, occasionally finding each other at trade shows, but a few of them contacted me via my blog.

The employees went to any number of companies that include Fujitsu, Compaq (HP), ADP, Ziff Davis and Good Morning America, Disney, LSI Logic, IBM, Lenovo, NetApp, Ingram Micro, Gucci and a few who started their own businesses. (Sorry if I missed some of your companies, not intentional).

The interaction exploded this week with an innocuous note about a reunion, and the communication shot out of a cannon. People added a couple of people they knew until a big list of ex employees were chatting as if the 15 years never happened. It was quite interesting hearing about what everyone was doing, almost like an online college reunion. I read other’s blogs and personal pages. It seems as if everyone has move on to bigger and better things. Who knew that we had that much talent while we were scrapping against the big boys of the industry!  Thank God we didn’t have a real reunion.  I don’t want to have to restart the clock since I last saw them and we didn’t get together on purpose.

There was a common thread to most of the communications, that being the owner of the company whom I’ll leave at eccentric (and everyone called a cheapskate). They all had a story about this owner, and many had multiple stories. It was genuine book material which is what the corporate attorney told me when we worked there. From day one, he kept track of the bizarre behavior and was in disbelief at the antics, saying to me once that he should write about this one day.  There was the memo he sent that said to steal pens and safety clips at the bank to save money.  The bad office memo of the day (that got read over the radio) happened when we were told to go home, and then had to make up the time we didn’t work.

Everyone opens and closes chapters in their life. I thought this one was closed, but was delighted that it returned briefly (I closed any chance of me getting together with them though). I was sort of happy to hear from everyone (almost as it now is described below). As it turns out, others also study the martial arts, some changed careers, there was a funny story about engineers setting up an electric eye cam with speakers in their back room to know when the boss was coming (who said IT guys aren’t creative), and at least one went on to stay in the storage industry.  He told the owner and his henchman Robert A that the reason he left was because of how they treated me.

It brought me back to a different time in my life where I cut my teeth in a lot of techniques that I use today to get my job done.  It’s stuff they never teach you in IBM PR, because IBM was never that creative.  I amazed them when I got to IBM by doing tactical and strategic PR they had never heard of.

The story unfolded more this year, as I ran into the former owner of the company and while we had our differences, I decided to extend my olive branch and it was accepted. We discussed racing and life and he even commented on my postings and of the email remembrances. It was quite nice to see that through years, time and maturity (by some of the employees) we could reconnect as humans. Instead of employer/employee status, we were just guys at the track that day.  I, unlike others could put his antics behind me, even a lawsuit because he sued everyone.

One went on to be very famous (Gina Smith) and I was able catch up with at a conference and it was like we were still at CORE.  She was quite gracious and we enjoyed the short time we could spend together.

Unfortunately, it is more than I can say for one of the employees who couldn’t let her emotions go and grow up. One whom I pity was a misandrist who wouldn’t take the olive branch (Sondra Arkin, nicknamed Barkin by this group).  Like the story above, I offered to bury the hatchet to no avail, and she sent me hate mail in response to my offer to move on.  She was in technical writing and actually worked for me in marketing for a while, but never was able to let go of her hate and responded with ad hominem attack which was very revealing. She didn’t mature from that period, and time stood still for her as far as we were concerned. The dichotomy of the situation was she wanted to be one of the boys while professing to be a feminist, a bipolar relationship with men.

It is funny to me that both of the above two spent time working for me.  I wrote a reference letter to PC Week to do what I could to help Gina.  Little did I know that she would go on to be very successful.  Conversely, despite any attempt to help Sondra, whom I also would have helped in her next endeavor were rebuffed.  That is the way life turns out.  She amounted to nothing.  We all had a great time with everyone else in the reminiscing of our days at CORE and the stories about our encounters with the owner.  Only one person couldn’t move on with life, but she wasn’t in the group chat anyway.  No one likes a sore loser or a spiteful person, like Sondra.

Anyway, as for the rest of us, it was good to catch up based on the time we had spent together earlier in life.

For me, it was also good that it ended as quickly as it started.  I’d closed them out of my life once and didn’t want that door re-opened.

IED's, explosives and explosive behavior

IED – Improvised Explosive Device

IED – Intermittent Explosive Disorder, better known as road rage.  Just renamed this week.
How can it be that these two have the same acronym?  Maybe it is the result is the same – either death or destruction of property?  I know when I lived in Miami, you had to be very careful about who you got mad at and gave the 1 finger salute to.  Since there are a lot of drug bad guys there, people got shot for road rage.  A lot of cars got run into and a lot of fights happened.
A study was released Monday in the June issue of the Archives of General Psychiatry, funded by the National Institute of Mental Health, and was based on a national face-to-face survey of 9,282 U.S. adults who answered diagnostic questionnaires in 2001-03.   It showed that about 5 percent to 7 percent of the nationally representative sample had the IED disorder, which would equal up to 16 million Americans. That is higher than better-known mental illnesses such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, Coccaro said.

The average number of lifetime attacks per person was 43, resulting in $1,359 in property damage per person. About 4 percent had suffered recent attacks.

Lot’s of people, soldiers and civilians have died because of IED’s in the middle east.   Seems to be a link between the two –  bad guys and a bad attitude.

Now I’ve been as mad as anyone else at someone cutting me off, but I’ve learned that getting mad doesn’t do any good.  But when it happens, some times I wish I had an IED for my IED behavior.