Here are this week’s 10 Life Pro Tips.
1. Good way to recover a stolen vehicle
If you’ve ever had a vehicle stolen, you may not feel like you have any recourse. This isn’t true. Go down to your local garbage company’s truck yard at about 5am and hand out flyers to the drivers with information about your car. Offer them $50 or a case of beer and chances are that they (garbage men) will find it. They cover every street and alley several times per week and are generally pretty aware of their surroundings.
I had my stolen motorcycle recovered within a week, and another driver recovered a different stolen bike about a year later.
If your car was stolen and you reported it to the police, and through some miracle you have been able to find it. Make sure you contact the police department, and let them know you found your car. Also inspect the vehicle for any drugs/weapons/contraband stashed in it. Otherwise, if you find your car and drive down the road, Policeman Joe may see your car, see it is flagged as stolen. Pull you over, and when they look through the car and find weapons/drugs, there is a potential sh*t storm for you.
2. Avoid the “credit card machine broken” scam in taxis
Travelers are always in a hurry which makes them prime targets for scammers. With credit card machines now a staple in most U.S. taxis, some drivers are trying to find creative ways to regain their lost cash revenue. One such way is by claiming the credit card machine is broken during trips to the airport. Some even say it is downloading software.
There are a couple of ways to avoid this. First, if it is broken, call the taxi company number and pay over the phone. An option for the software scam is to simply say you will wait until it is complete. Usually it will miraculously fix itself after a few minutes. By appearing not to be in a hurry can prevent you from becoming a victim.
3. Close your shower curtain after your shower to prevent mold from growing
When bunched the curtain holds water in for much longer and gives time for mold to grow. If the curtain is closed water can evaporate easily.
4. VLC has an inbuilt feature to download subtitles
Under the VIEW tab, there is an option to automatically download subtitles based on the file’s name or hash. In Mac it is under VLC > Extensions > VLSub. If it’s not there just download it from VLC > Addons Manager. Media Player Classic has a subtitle database as well. File > Subtitle Database > Download.
5. The lesser known F6 key
In chrome F6 key will highlight the navigation bar. Hopefully thousands of unnecessary mouse movements will be saved. Ctrl + L does the same. It is ⌘+L for Mac.
6. If you’re overheating for whatever reason, run your wrists under cold water.
You can also do this to the back of your neck, your temples, your ankles, or your feet but your wrists usually don’t require taking off any articles of clothing or getting your shirt wet or anything. Water can be substituted with cooling scarves or wet bandannas or whatever you have on hand.
The reason this works is because those spots are where the blood flows closest to your skin, so if you can cool that off it will help bring your temperature back down, quickly, in only a few seconds!
7. Loosen your lug nuts before jacking the car up when changing a tire
Key word being LOOSEN, do not remove you lug nuts until the car is jacked up. Anyone that’s ever had to remove a tire before knows the lug nuts can be a royal pain in the ass. Once you have the car jacked up (especially if it’s just the scissor jack that comes with it) banging and torquing on the lug wrench gets a little scary. Save yourself the worry and break the lugs loose before putting it in the air.
Bonus tip: If you have a long drive it’s not a great idea to put different size tires on your drive wheels because it stresses the differential. If you plan on taking the car straight to have the tire repaired or replaced don’t worry about it. If for example though you have a long commute ahead of you, and you drive a front wheel drive car instead of putting the doughnut on the front, put it on in place of a good back tire (assuming all your tires are the same size), then put the back tire on in place of the front tire.
8. If you get in a taxi cab and the manual door locks have been unscrewed, GET OUT!
If the manual door locks on a taxi cab look like this, you need to refuse the taxi and get out. No good can come of the cabbie locking you in the car.
The cabbie may have done it so people can’t run away but, for honest citizens, you are trapped inside his vehicle. If you got in a wreck, you’re trapped. If he wants to take advantage of you, you’re trapped. If it catches on fire, you’re trapped; even the fire department will have a tough time getting you out.
This practice is illegal in most places but it is rarely enforced. Just please refuse the service and find a law abiding taxi.
9. Don’t ask your realtor for these referrals
Don’t ask a Realtor to recommend a Lawyer or Home Inspector when you are buying or selling a house.
The inspector and lawyer are your advisers on a transaction. You are paying for their advice and knowledge as they lookout for you. When this type of professional relies on real estate agents to refer them business, they are slightly more attuned to the realtors interests (like getting transactions closed) then they are to your interests (seeing potential problems ahead of time).
No nefarious intent is needed, but a realtor’s livelihood depends on getting deals done. If a home inspector points out too many problems or gives an overall assessment that makes a buyer reconsider, the realtor will likely not refer the inspector in the future.
Ask anyone other than your Realtor for a recommendation, best if you get someone from the next town over so they are less likely to have relationships to any of the agents on your deal.
10. Correct and easiest way to safely break up a dog fight
If you’ve ever taken your dog to a dog park, or have multiple dogs, you’ve probably seen two dogs get into a fight at some point. Many dog owners immediately panic & react the wrong way often leading to a very unsafe situation for both the dogs and the humans. Typically, people’s first reaction is panicking and yelling. Everybody immediately tries to dive in to grab their scuffling dog’s collars, putting their hands very close to the dogs’ faces, trying to pull them out of harm’s way. Despite owners best intentions of looking out for their dog, this VERY dangerous and often results in owners getting bit or knocked to the ground. It also makes breaking up the fight much harder than need be.
- Learn to recognize the difference between a real fight and play fight. Just because two dogs are making violent sounding noises & baring teeth while wrestling, this doesn’t mean they aren’t just playing. Mock fighting is perfectly normal and harmless dog behavior. Many owners freak out as soon as their dog starts rough housing, which can lead to poor socialization and a nervous pooch. How to know the difference? Watch your dog closely during play – if you see they’re growling, baring teeth and nipping at each other, but not actually fully clamping down…they’re usually just playing. Also, during play, when one dog submits, the other dog should back off immediately. Dogs can nip at each other without really hurting each other. They will try to go for the neck. This is just instinctual dog behavior, and they aren’t necessarily trying to hurt the other dog. However, if one dog has attached himself to the other dog’s neck and won’t let go, this is no longer safe playing. If you start yelling at the dogs during play fight, this can actually egg them on to actually start going at it – so don’t automatically freak out.
- This is the most important rule which everybody forgets. Don’t panic. Chances are the fight looks & sounds a lot worse than it actually is. In any case, jumping into a fight too soon can lead to you getting bit. Dogs will feed off your panic, and the fight will get worse. Before doing anything, take a second to assess the situation and figure out the best approach.
- DO: Try making a loud noise to startle them into breaking up fight, this is often all it takes. Make sure it is loud enough to surprise them. A few very loud claps along with a stern BACK OFF should do the trick. Or a loud “FIDO NO, BACK OFF”. Sound confident, not afraid. Dogs can sense your fear & feed off of this. A loud whistle is a great tool to use in this situation. Dumping a water bottle/bowl or spraying a hose can also sometimes be a good first defense if you have them readily accessible. DON’T: Keep yelling if the loud noise doesn’t work. Almost every owner makes the mistake of continually screaming. “FIDO NOOO NOOOO NOOOO FIDO NOOO”. This not only doesn’t help, it will actually make the fight worse since dogs are egged on by your yelling. They feed off your screaming as a cue to increase their aggression. To them, your yelling is no difference than other dogs barking at them.
- ALWAYS approach the fighting dogs from the rear. Stay as far away from their heads as you possibly can. DON’T: Try to grab their collars. In the heat of a dog fight, they will both interpret this as you jumping into the scrum. This is a bad idea. Once you pull your dog’s head away, there is nothing stopping the other aggressive dog from latching onto you. Even your own dog will not recognize you while fighting and can turn around and bite you. I’ve seen dozens of people get bit trying to pull dogs apart by their collars.
- DO Grab your dog by his hind legs, near the thighs, and lift his legs into the air like he is a wheelbarrow. If you can, instruct the other dogs owner to do the same with their dog. This puts you in complete control of your dog, while staying far away from their teeth. They will be unable to turn around to bite you in this position, & physically unable to lunge at the other dog without falling on their face.
- Still grabbing his hind legs, start quickly backing up in a zig-zag motion. If they’re latched on biting each other, this will force him to break off. With all of his weight balanced on his front paws, and you backing up, he really cannot do anything except focus on balancing. Without the use of his back legs, he will soon realize you are in complete control, and submit to your movements.
- Keep backing your dog up until you are well away from the other dog, and the other owner has control over them. Don’t stop backing up until the other dog is completely under control by their owners. As soon as you can, yell “NO, BAD DOG”, roll your dog onto their back or side, and hold them down with your knee. Your dog is now in submission and physically immobilized from re escalating. (only do this if you can do so safely based on your experience with your pet, otherwise just hold them tightly by the collar or immediately leash them. The idea here is to completely immobilize your dog from breaking free from your control and going back after the other dog). Keep them held down until their breathing slows and they are completely calm. While they’re on their back/side, talk to them in a soothing voice to diffuse the tension. This may take several minutes. If you let your dog up before he’s completely calm, he will likely run right back towards the other dog to attempt and attempt to continue the fight.
- As they calm down, rub their belly and tell them “Good boy.” Reward & praise them for being calm.
- After you release your dog, keep a close eye on them. At this point you should keep them completely separated from the dog they were just fighting with. Either you or the other owner should leave the park. If you don’t there is a very good chance they will get back into it. It is a good idea just to leash your dog at this point and remove them from the area.
- Last, ALWAYS watch your dog closely during play so you can de-escalate a situation before it turns into a full blown fight. If you see tension building during a play session, teach your dog the “BACK OFF” command. Loudly and forcefully tell your dog to BACK OFF along with a clap. Keep him separated from the other dog, and roll him on his back to submit. Then praise him once he’s on the ground. Make sure to tell the other dog owner to grab their dog as well.