Escaping Telemarketers

The first step for escaping telemarketers is get on the national do not call list according to telemarketer Erica Elson.

The second step is say exactly these words: “Please put me on your do not call list.”

You really don’t have to say please, but the rest of the phrase is necessary.

Erica says hanging up, yelling or cutting off a conversation merely puts you on a call back list.

She says successful telemarketers get turned down 96 percent of the time.


Visit for Escaping Telemarketers
Visit for Escaping Telemarketers


Bigger Pizza Better Deal

Bigger Pizza Better Deal
Sciarrino’s Pizzeria in Springfield, Pa. stayed open during Hurricane Sandy and, yes, the bigger pizzas were the better deals.

Consumer tip of the day: A 12-inch medium pie has more than twice the pizza of an 8-inch small but is usually just a few dollars more.

The size of the pie is a matter of pi. Halve the diameter then square it and multiply by 3.14 (pi rounded off).

You’ll get 113 square inches of pizza in a 12-inch pie (36 x 3.14) vs 50 square inches in the 8-inch pie (16 x 3.14).

Bigger Pizza Better Deal

Hat tip NPR


Unused Drug Disposal

As part of the governor’s Healthy Pennsylvania initiative, a Prescription Drug Take-Back program has been established to assist communities in properly disposing of unused prescription medications, reports State Rep. Jim Cox (R-129). Unused Drug Disposal

The Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs, in partnership with the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency and the Pennsylvania District Attorneys Association, will work with local communities to install hundreds of secure and permanent prescription drug drop-off boxes throughout Pennsylvania.

Prescription drug misuse, abuse and overdose are growing concerns across the nation. According to a 2011 survey in Pennsylvania, 14 percent of youth surveyed admitted to taking prescription drugs that were not prescribed to them, Cox said.

For  information on the program, click here.

Drop-off locations can be found here.

Unused Drug Disposal


WD-40 (But It’s Not Fish Oil)

WD-40 (But It’s Not Fish Oil)

Courtesy of Ed Brophy and Cathy Craddock

I had a neighbor who bought a new pickup.
I got up very early one Sunday morning and saw that someone had spray painted red all around the sides of this beige truck (for some unknown reason).
I went over, woke him up, and told him the bad news.
He was very upset and was trying to figure out what to do…. probably nothing until Monday morning, since nothing was open.
Another neighbor came out and told him to get his WD-40 and clean it off.
It removed the unwanted paint beautifully and did not harm his paint job that was on the truck. I was impressed!

WD-40 who knew?
“Water Displacement #40”.
The product began from a search for a rust preventative solvent and degreaser to protect missile parts.
WD-40 was created in 1953, by three technicians at the San Diego Rocket Chemical Company.
Its name comes from the project that was to find a ‘Water Displacement’ Compound.
They were finally successful for a formulation, with their fortieth attempt, thus WD-40.
The ‘Convair Company’ bought it in bulk to protect their atlas missile parts.
Ken East (one of the original founders) says there is nothing in WD-40 that would hurt you.
When you read the ‘shower door’ part, try it.
It’s the first thing that has ever cleaned that spotty shower door.
If yours is plastic, it works just as well as on glass.
It’s a miracle!
Then try it on your stove-top.
It’s now shinier than it’s ever been.
You’ll be amazed.

WD-40 Uses:
1. Protects silver from tarnishing.
2. Removes road tar and grime from cars.
3. Cleans and lubricates guitar strings.
4. Gives floor that ‘just-waxed’ sheen without making them slippery.
5. Keeps the flies off of Cows, Horses, and other Farm Critters, as well. (Ya gotta love this one!!!)
6. Restores and cleans chalkboards.
7. Removes lipstick stains.
8. Loosens stubborn zippers.
9. Untangles jewelry chains.
10. Removes stains from stainless steel sinks.
11. Removes dirt and grime from the barbecue grill.
12. Keeps ceramic / terracotta garden pots from oxidizing.
13. Removes tomato stains from clothing.
14. Keeps glass shower doors free of water spots.
15. Camouflages scratches in ceramic and marble floors.
16. Keeps scissors working smoothly.
17. Lubricates noisy door hinges on both home and vehicles doors.
18. It removes that nasty tar and scuff marks from the kitchen flooring.
It doesn’t seem to harm the finish and you won’t have to scrub nearly as hard to get them off.
Just remember to open some windows if you have a lot of marks.
19. Remove those nasty Bug guts that will eat away the finish on your car if not removed quickly!
20. Gives a children’s playground gym slide a shine for a super fast slide.
21. Lubricates gearshift and mower deck lever for ease of handling on riding mowers…
22. Rids kids rocking chair and swings of squeaky noises.
23. Lubricates tracks in sticking home windows and makes them easier to open.
24. Spraying an umbrella stem makes it easier to open and close.
25. Restores and cleans padded leather dashboards in vehicles, as well as vinyl bumpers.
26. Restores and cleans roof racks on vehicles.
27. Lubricates and stops squeaks in electric fans.
28. Lubricates wheel sprockets on tricycles, wagons, and bicycles for easy handling.
29. Lubricates fan belts on washers and dryers and keeps them running smoothly.
30. Keeps rust from forming on saws and saw blades, and other tools.
31. Removes grease splatters from stove-tops.
32. Keeps bathroom mirror from fogging.
33. Lubricates prosthetic limbs.
34. Keeps pigeons off the balcony (they hate the smell).
35. Removes all traces of duct tape.
36. Folks even spray it on their arms, hands, and knees to relieve arthritis pain.
37. Florida’s favorite use is: ‘cleans and removes love bugs from grills and bumpers.’
38. The favorite use in the state of New York, it protects the Statue of Liberty from the elements.
39. WD-40 attracts fish. Spray a little on live bait or lures and you will be catching the big one in no time. Also, it’s a lot cheaper than the chemical attractants that are made for just that purpose.
Keep in mind though, using some chemical laced baits or lures for fishing are not allowed in some states.
40. Use it for fire ant bites. It takes the sting away immediately and stops the itch.
41. It is great for removing crayon from walls. Spray it on the marks and wipe with a clean rag.
42. Also, if you’ve discovered that your teenage daughter has washed and dried a tube of lipstick with a load of laundry, saturate the lipstick spots with WD-40 and rewash. Presto! The lipstick is gone!
43. If you spray it inside a wet distributor cap, it will displace the moisture, allowing the engine to start.

As for that Basic, Main Ingredient…….
Well…. it’s FISH OIL….

Ed note: Since WD-40 was never patented to keep from being required to list its ingredients its not known exactly what it is in it, but Material Safety Data Sheet specs for it show that it is mostly petroleum based. Btw, the Snopes link also notes that while the manufacturer confirms you can uses it’s product for many of the uses cited in the internet legend, it  does not recommend it for all of them.

WD-40 (But It’s Not Fish Oil)

WD-40 (But It's Not Fish Oil)

Sandy Cleanup Contractor Tips

In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, hundreds of thousands of Pennsylvania residents were left without power and with storm cleanup related to fallen trees, power lines and other debris. If you need to hire someone to make repairs to your home or property, Pennsylvania has a law in place to help ensure you are hiring a legitimate contractor, reports State Rep. Jim Cox (R-129)

The Home Improvement Consumer Protection Act of 2008 establishes a mandatory registration program for contractors who offer or perform home improvements in Pennsylvania. It establishes minimum insurance requirements for contractors; requires contractors to provide their registration number in their ads and contracts; establishes required contract terms for home improvement contracts; prohibits unfair business practices; and creates a criminal penalty for home improvement fraud.

The Office of Attorney General also offers these tips to avoid unscrupulous contractors:

Never enter into a repair or improvement project without a written contract that includes a start and finish date and a three-day right-to-cancel notice.

Never sign a blank contract, or one that does not include all the costs and supplies.

Never hire a contractor who does not have a business card or local phone number and address.

Never make final payment until you are completely satisfied with the work performed.

Any good written contract includes the type, quality and warranty of materials to be used and outlines all the financial terms and payment schedules. It also includes a complete description of the work to be done and a guarantee that old materials and debris will be removed.

For more information on hiring a good contractor and avoiding scams, visit

Sandy Cleanup Contractor Tips

Household Tips From Cathy C

Household Tips From Cathy C.

Rubbing a walnut over scratches in your furniture will disguise dings and scrapes.

Stop cut apples browning in your child’s lunch box by securing with a rubber band.

Overhaul your linen cupboard – store bedlinen sets inside one of their own pillowcases and there will be no more hunting through piles for a match.

Pump up the volume by placing your iPhone / iPod in a bowl – the concave shape amplifies the music.

Placing SOS pads in the freezer between uses will prevent rusting.

Re-use a wet-wipes container to store plastic bags.

Add this item to your beach bag. Baby powder gets sand off your skin easily – who knew?!

Attach a velcro strip to the wall to store soft toys.

Look up! Use wire to make a space to store gift wrap rolls against the ceiling, rather than cluttering up the floor.

Gotcha! Find tiny lost items like earrings by putting a stocking over the vacuum hose

Make an instant cupcake carrier by cutting crosses into a box lid.

Forever losing your bathroom essentials? Use magnetic strips to store bobby pins (and tweezers and clippers) behind a vanity door.

A tip for holiday packing. Store shoes inside shower caps to stop dirty soles rubbing on your clothes. And you can find them in just about every hotel

A muffin pan becomes a craft caddy. Magnets hold the plastic cups down to make them tip-resistant.

Bread tags make the perfect-sized cord labels.

Bake cupcakes directly in ice-cream cones – so much more fun and easier for kids to eat. Definitely doing this!

Microwave your own popcorn in a plain brown paper bag. Much healthier and cheaper than the packet stuff.

Brilliant space-saver: install a tension rod to hang your spray bottles. Genius!

Turn your muffin pan upside down, bake cookie-dough over the top and voila – you have cookie bowls for fruit or ice-cream.

Freeze Aloe Vera in ice-cube trays for soothing sunburn relief.

Gutter garden: Build a window-box veggie patch using guttering..

Use egg cartons to separate and store your Christmas decorations.



Household Tips From Cathy

How Oenophiles Can Cope In The Obamapression

With money getting ever tighter in these Obama years, wine lovers need not resort to suffering with Franzia to partake of the fruits of the vine.

They do, however, have to be unafraid of a little DIY.

Wine & Beer Emporium is a great little shop in the Old Ridge Village Shopping Center off Route 202 in Chadds Ford, Pa.

They sell everything you need to make your own personal vintage. The less expensive kits will come out to less than $3 per bottle the quality of which frankly exceeds the $20 bottles that you would get from one of Pennsylvania’s government-owned “Wine and Liquor Shoppes”.

Granted that doesn’t include supplies that will double the cost of a bottle for the first-go round. The supplies, however, are reusable except for the corks and cleaning powder.

If you go say hi to Joan or Paul.

In Praise Of Front Loading Washing Machines

Nina Yablok has a interesting article on PajamasMedia.Com in praise of front-loading washing machines particularly a Kenmore Model 4044 from Sears.

She notes that it uses much less water, heat and energy than a traditional top-loader and says that it will get out just about any stain.

As Bedbug Assault Looms, Do We DIY DDT?

Bedbug Assault Looms, Do We DIY DDT? — Experts are predicting an bedbug explosion this summer so is it time to sneer in the face of the enviro-Nazis; invoke the spirt of Walter Steuber and follow the Delaware County tradition of homebrewing our own dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane?

Steuber was a  chemist who in the final days of World War II made DDT in the basement of his Swarthmore home. The desirable insecticide had been exclusively for military use and when it popped up for sale at two hardware stores in Media and Swarthmore the authorities investigated. When it was found that Steuber was not using priority chemicals, the government allowed civilians access to the near-miracle stuff.

And this led to the almost complete eradication of bedbugs in the USA.

Which have now made a comeback.

So do we start moonshining the stuff while petitioning our elected officials to rescind the 1972 DDT ban?

Probably best not.

While the near-absolute ban on the chemical strikes many as being irrational, emotion-driven and quasi-religious — especially given as to how DDT was indiscriminately misused and highly abused during its heyday — bedbugs  seem to have maintained the resistance they have developed to it.

So using it wouldn’t do much good.

There is, however, an effective anti-bedbug insecticide, propoxur,  that was pulled from the market after its manufacturer declined to spend several millions of dollars on testing the EPA was demanding .

Apparently, the EPA is concerned about toxicity to children after chronic exposure. One wonders exactly how much “chronic exposure” children would receive if it were restricted to hotels and such which are a major source of the spreading of the infestation.

Freeing propoxur, which was sold as Baygon , would be something about which to petition our elected officials.

In the meantime, here is a link to the EPA search engine of pesticides that it claims are safe and might have an effect on bedbugs.

As Bedbug Assault Looms, Do We DIY DDT?

As Bedbug Assault Looms, Do We DIY DDT?