Here are this week’s Life Pro Tips.
01. If your dog likes tennis balls…
Call a local racquet club and ask if they sell their used balls. Last week my local club gave me over 100 for free. I took 40 of them to the local dog park and not a single one was left today when I went, which means some dogs had a good time.
02. When purchasing a used car…
Make sure the check engine light turns on when you first start the car. A lot of people rip out the bulb so you don’t know that the car needs repairs.
To be thorough though you should buy a OBD-II Wireless Diagnostic Vehicle Scanner for Apple and Android Smartphones and Tablets.
- Search for an ELM327 Bluetooth or WiFi OBD adapter. I found one on Amazon for 10 bucks shipped. This piece connects to the car’s diagnostic port.
- Download any one of a number of free OBD apps (I like ScanMaster Lite).
- Plug the adapter into the car (typically under driverside dash), turn the ignition to ON, and then use the app to connect wirelessly to the adapter.
- Using the app, check for fault codes even if the Check Engine light does not stay lit. Running the test may find a fault.
- If there is no error after the test, CHECK THE MONITORS to ensure they are all “ready.” This may require a drive cycle, around the block or on the freeway to trigger all the readiness monitors.
- If all monitors report as “Ready” and the Check Engine light is still off, you can then be relatively confident that there are no faults with the Onboard Diagnostic system.
03. Telemarketer won’t stop calling? There’s a magic phrase that gets their attention every time.
You just have to know about it. We all get them. Those calls from “Cardholder services” or that medic alert device that’s supposedly awesome. They never stop calling and it would appear that FCC complaints don’t work because, hey, they’ll “investigate” and then close your case. There’s a simple magic phrase you can use to get them to stop: Just say this next time they call you.
“Can you mail me your privacy and opt-out policies, please?”
This is a special request that causes a few things to happen.
- It tells the calling telemarketer that you are serious about not calling you again. As soon as you request those items, they are supposed to actually mail them to you. If they don’t, there are other legal steps you can take that can let you yank money out of them.
- It sets a definite date for them not to call you again. Once you make this request, they get a certain number of “Oops, you’re really not off our call list”accidents within a year. (I think the limit is once). If they violate that, you can yank money out of them.
Don’t scream. Don’t get mad. Don’t even sound angry. Once you ask for those policies to be mailed to you, they know that you know more than the average bear. Unfortunately, this won’t work if you’re getting robo calls. Those, you just hang up and don’t respond in any way.
04. How to increase your chances of winning a raffle
When entering a raffle and writing down your personal information on the piece of paper, crumple it in your hands a little bit and unfold after. When it comes time to pick a winner, the person grabbing the paper will more likely than not pick the entry that has creases around it than all the other flat pieces of paper.
05. If your roommates’ cell phone alarm is going off in another room…
Call the phone and it will disable the alarm. If you’re too lazy to get up and turn it off manually this works great or if there is a passcode on it, this still will disable the alarm.