Just what I needed

Ever since I replaced my cordless Dremel tool with a great corded one, I’ve been trying to figure out where to store it and what to do with the old case. The new tool doesn’t fit in the old case; it’s too big for the inserts. But that case is full of attachments and accessories that do fit in it. The new one didn’t come with a case, but did come with a small clear plastic box of accessories.

What I really wanted to do was to convert the case somehow so that everything will fit. I searched all over the internet for either a new case – apparently they don’t sell them separately, a used case – those on ebay don’t tell you what came in them so it’s hard to know if they would work, or some way to remake the old one.

After numerous rewordings (“remake tool case”, “make over tool case”, “modify tool case” — not one of those searches worked), I finally found the answer. It’s really not complicated and I think I’ll be able to repurpose (yes, that’s the word!) the old case. Here’s the link I liked:
http://www.instructables.com/id/Repurposing-a-Tool-Case/

Now. Would anyone like a cordless Dremel tool that won’t recharge?

Easy How-To: Insert a small calendar in an Excel spreadsheet (Windows) [UPDATE 10/8/2016]

I do a lot impromptu spreadsheets on my laptop when I’m trying to decide something — what’s the best price for different sizes at different online stores, whether it’s going to be cheaper to fly or drive somewhere, etc. Today I was looking at flights vs driving and I was getting tired of looking up dates, so I wanted a handy calendar right on the spreadsheet to refer to. I looked it up of course and sure, there are little programs you can get that will do that and long involved help processes to make a calendar in Excel, but really all I wanted was a static calendar right there to look at. Here’s what I did to make that happen:

For those familiar with these applications, in summary what I did was

  1. Open up Gadgets and get the simple Calendar – this will not work with the calendar on your Taskbar because it goes away when you try do a screenshot of it.
  2. Enlarge the Calendar Gadget and set it to the month you want in your spreadsheet.
  3. Start the Snipping Tool using Rectangular Snip setting, and grab a screenshot of the calendar.
  4. Paste it into your spreadsheet.

[Update for Windows 10: Gadgets have been discontinued, so the easiest way to get a small calendar screenshot would be to search online “calendar October 2016” or whatever month, click on Images or Image Search, choose the calendar you like and use the Snipping Tool to grab that image]

Here is a detailed tutorial:

Using Windows 7, or Vista (I don’t have Win8, so maybe works on there too), right click on the desktop and choose Gadgets.
Windows Gadgets
Calendar is one of the default options. Double click it.

Gadget Calendar
It looks like this.

Open calendar
Hover over the right side and hit the little arrow to open it up.

Change month
Click the arrows on the calendar to go to the month you want in your spreadsheet.

Now open up the Snipping Tool (Start Menu or All Programs/Accessories).
Snipping Tool
You may need to use the drop down arrow to choose Rectangular Snip, then hit New. Snip the calendar (if you have never used the Snipping Tool — you click and hold the mouse button, drag it over the area you want to select, let go of the button and the snip is ready to save or copy) and copy it. Then paste it in your spreadsheet by right-clicking where you want the calendar to be and choosing Paste. Done!
6

Polar Dry Sunshine Head

It is so hot today here in Maine that I was looking for a cold drink when I got home — alas, I’ve been on vacation and there’s not much in the ‘fridge. I did have vodka though, so I decided to concoct my own cocktail.

Polar Dry Sunshine Head

  • Sugar
  • Lime Juice
  • Lemon Juice
  • Vodka
  • Ice Cubes
  • Polar Dry Orange

Mix a teaspoon or so of sugar with lemon and lime juices — maybe a tablespoon or 2 of each juice. Pour into tall glass. Add some vodka — I didn’t measure, but you can measure a jigger if you want — and some ice. Then top it up with Polar Dry Orange, give it a stir and there you are!

Microwave Cheapcorn

My lovely (ex) mother-in-law inspired this idea. She would never dream of buying microwave popcorn, and had probably gotten sick of the mess and cleanup associated with making popcorn on the stove, so she started making her own microwave popcorn.

Her method is to use a paper sandwich bag (not waxed). Pour popcorn kernels into the bag until the bottom is about covered, toss in some butter if you want, and fold down the top of the bag 2 or 3 times. Then microwave it for 1-2 minutes or so until the popping slows to a few seconds between pops. Salt and eat!

I tried this and had pretty good luck with it. It sure is a whole lot cheaper than purchased microwave popcorn and the result has much fresher and better flavor as well. The biggest drawback is that it often burns badly before you can pull it out of the microwave. I tried pouring a little oil in the bag, but this made the burning worse.

I did some research online and the best result comes with adding nothing — no butter or oil — except some salt if desired, using a third of a cup of popcorn, and taping the bag closed with a piece of masking tape. Hardly ever burns unless you leave it in too long, pops up a nice full bag and tastes great with some melted butter (which you have earned by popping the corn without a single added calorie!)

Take that, Orville!

Fake-o Risott-o

Wish you could be bothered to make a real risotto? Here’s a faux version that, well, will suffice in a pinch. You’ll have to start with leftover rice, so if making plain old rice is too much for you, you’re out of luck here. Or you could order in Chinese with lots of white rice packed in those takeout boxes and certainly have enough leftover to make this tomorrow.

Ingredients:

leftover white rice

butter

chicken broth – or vegetable or beef, but I think chicken is the best choice

grated romano or parmesan cheese

It’s very simple. To a serving of rice in a microwaveable bowl, add a pat of butter and about a quarter cup or so of broth. Heat on High without a cover in the microwave for 2 minutes. Let it sit for a minute or 2. It should only have a little liquid left. Stir in a very generous amount of grated cheese, and there you have it! Faux Risottaux!

Tips That Will Amaze You…

Here’s an easy way to clean dust, lint and even dirt from suede shoes.

Forget the special brushes and sprays — get out a rough terrycloth towel or washcloth and buff away at the suede as if you were brushing. Definitely won’t scratch, but really does a good job of cleaning!

I got out a pair of suede clogs that had been stored for a couple of years and they looked like they might have a little mildew on them. The terrycloth took it right off.