Debate Magazine

Top Tips of the Year.

Posted on the 30 December 2017 by Markwadsworth @Mark_Wadsworth

Here are a few things that everybody ought to know, but apparently doesn't.
1. If you are looking for a file in a folder on the computer, and you know what the first few letters of the file name are, you can sort them alphabetically and type in the first couple of letters of the file name, and it will skip to the first file with that name.
Well duh, you are probably thinking, doesn't everybody know that? Apparently not, I stumbled across it twenty years ago more or less by accident, but somebody who's worked in our office for at least ten years didn't (until I told her last month). She sorted her email inbox alphabetically by sender and then started laboriously scrolling down to one from 'Peter' instead of just highlighting one at random and typing in 'P-E-T'.
2. Assuming that you are like most people and struggle to find the end of the sticky tape, we all know you can fold over the end and stick it back on itself. Great, but as most sticky tape jobs require three hands, you then have to put down what you were holding in place, use both hand to tear off the end again, discard the wasted bit and return to the job. The best strategy is to stick the end back on slightly diagonally like so:
Top tips of the year.
You can the prize the end off again single handed, using the other one to keep everything in place. I was pretty chuffed with this technique, but my wife told me that everybody already does this. So how come nobody ever told me??
3. When you are cooking something like lasagne, shepherd's pie, tuna pasta bake etc, the most difficult bit to wash up afterwards is where the crust burns onto the side of the 'roasting dish'. So I tried smearing butter round the top inch of the dish to stop it sticking and it works a treat, saved minutes on the washing up.
I bet that every cook in the world except me knew this, but it was never mentioned in any of the recipes I printed off. So there.
4. If you are going to look at a car that you are thinking of buying that is some distance away, don't make a long, boring and/or expensive journey by public transport if at all possible, get somebody to give you a lift by car.
I've made this mistake twice - once you get there, even if the car is not as described, the temptation is to just buy the damn' thing simply because it is less hassle driving it home than doing the same long, arduous and/or expensive journey by public transport again. As it happens, both cars turned out fine in the end, but I was just lucky with those (or prepared to throw some money at them).
My wife accompanied me by car today to look at an MGF (Mk2, VVC, manual)  today, an hour's pleasant drive away but two hours by public transport. The owner kindly let us take it for a spin, I hated it (nearly as much as I hated an MGF, Mk1,  semi-automatic I test drove from a garage round the corner), apologised profusely for having wasted his time and we had a pleasant hour's drive home again (in the MX5 Mk2 1.6 liter automatic). Faced with the choice of just buying it or slogging back on public transport, I would have probably caved in, bought it and regretted it bitterly later on.
Just to reassure myself I'm not completely irrational, I then took the MR2 (PFL, manual) for a spin to check whether it's really that much nicer to drive than the MGF. It is.

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