DYI – Common Scale Verification Weights You Already Have

If you use a small scale, it is a good idea to occasionally verify the scale. You do not want to cheat yourself, have an angry customer, or have to resend a package because the weight was off. Here are a few simple options you can try out.

If you live in the U.S.A. you can use quarters. Each quarter weighs for all practical purposes .2 ounces. That means there are five quarters to 1 ounce. Every five quarters you add is another ounce. Keep your quarters into a snack size bag and you won’t have to count them out, or be inconvenienced by going to the bank to get quarters.

You May Use Quarters for Weight Scale Verification

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A package of meat from the store will also get you close. All cuts of meat and hamburger meat sold over the counter is weighed for proper pricing. The package of whatever meat you buy will weigh the printed weight. When you are going too use the meat, weigh the meat by itself on a piece of plastic wrap on your scale. If there is no liquid left in the packaging, your scale will be calibrated to the meat market scale. This method also keeps the butcher shop honest.

If you buy prepackaged meat or any other product, there is always a range of weight. A pound of lunch-meat is rarely 10 ounces. Usually it will be somewhere between 15.5 and 16.5 ounces. Same with canned goods, or bottled liquids. The wight they show is part of a range of acceptable weight, usually, but not always no the lighter side of the weight. Because the products are packaged at high speed, the manufacturer wants and overall correct weight, not a precise weight on each item.

If you really want to get exotic, a dry measure cup of table salt weighs about 10.6 ounces. If you use granulated sugar, a dry measure cup weighs about 4 ounces.

If you have a very light weight plastic bottle with a seal-able lid, you can use water to verify your scale. One-quarter cup of water measured correctly is 2 ounces. One cup of water is 8 ounces. Two cups of water is 16 ounces, or one pound.

One last and easiest method, where you do not have to bother with measuring and finding the weight, is after your scale is verified, pick a couple of nick-knacks, piece of unused silverware, glass, coffee mug, or any rarely used household item and weigh it. Write down the item and the weigh. Use a variety of weights depending on your scale. This way when you next go to verify your scales calibration, you will have the items handy, and the weights verified.

Of course if you need ultra precise weights for your scale calibration, you will need to purchase calibrated weights. If you are selling through a web page on the internet, adding an ounce to the shipping weight will be sufficient for almost any calibration verified scale.

Using a little creativity, you will never be surprised to find your online customer had to pay out of pocket for additional shipping because your scale was off, or have a package returned because the postage was not adequate.

The American Dream is Alive and Well

What happened to the American Dream? Some people today, think the American Dream is dead. The American Dream was something older people have taken away. Something they hoard and refuse to share. Something that can be looked at, but never be a part of.

For all our access to information, young people miss the big picture. With constant access to information, little time seems to be spent reading about how many millionaires and billionaires were self made. Each and every American Dream is earned, not awarded. Generational money does not last long.

If one is ever lucky enough to observe a CEO in action, watching them is really something to see. Most start on their future before entering their teens. They read, study, and create. Some have a real business while in their teens. I like to think one young boy I mentored is going to be among the group who achieves his American Dream.

The boy was nine years old when I was to be his mentor. It was the beginning of October and the weather was turning cool. He lived with his Mother, and if he knew his Father, he never mentioned him. The first few weeks I spent with him, I wondered how a young boy coming from a poor background with so much against him, would ever manage to break out of poverty and a hard life.

Then came Halloween and my perception of him changed almost overnight. Like every kid who’s candy supply is limited by lack of funds and a candy store, he was out tricker-treating with the best of them. He told me he had about three-fourths of bag of candy for his effort.

He also told me he only ate a few pieces himself. He knew all the other kids he knew and could imagine, ate their candy as fast as they could. By the end of the week, all the kids would have a dim memory of Halloween candy or any candy. His candy was hidden away in his room.

The next week, he told me something astounding. He was selling his candy to the kids in his school! He sold the penny candy for five cents; the other candies sold for ten cents to a quarter depending on the candy. The few candy bars he had, he sold for a dollar each.

I was impressed and thought he would spend his money on a bicycle, electronic game (if he even had a game counsel), or something else he wanted. When I asked him what he was going to do with his money, to say I was surprised was putting it mildly. He told me he had bought packets of beer salt, lime flavored, a box of packets. The price worked out to about three cents a lime salt package. To say the least, I could not imagine why he wanted lime salt packets. I was thinking about all the things he could buy.

Then he told me he was selling the lime packets at his school for a quarter a piece. Sales at a quarter a piece were a little slow, so he was thinking of maybe selling them for twenty cents, and was willing to go down to fifteen cents as his schoolmates access to money was limited.

He went along for a number of weeks, until a student turned him in. He told me many of the kids were angry he got busted, as he was their goodies supplier. He tried to be sneakier, but was found out again. He changed his selling hours to before and after school.

I have no doubt that this little boy is a prosperous man now that he is grown, and probably has kids of his own. Which brings me back to being able to observe a CEO. I was fortunate enough to work for a Fortune 100 company. I never had the opportunity to observe a CEO, but we knew about him. His office was no bigger than the other offices in the building he worked out of. If you didn’t know who he was, you would think he was one of many office workers.

The American Dream is live and well, if you really want a part of it.

I was fortunate enough to see our plant manager in action however, or at least the hours he worked. He did not work as part of the company, as far as he was concerned he was in charge of the company, or so it appeared. When I worked afternoons and evenings, it was not unusual to see him at eight or nine o’clock in the evening, touring his little empire, observing and talking to low level employees.

When I went to day shift, he was onsite and wandering around at six o’clock in the morning, before most employees were even on site. When I came in on my days off, he was there. Seven days a week, sometime sixteen hours a day, this man was working. Not many people have that kind of drive, even though the payoff is huge, if money is your motivator.

He was probably worth several millions of dollars. He could do anything he wanted to do, yet he chose to spend his life working and growing his little section of a big company empire. Work was his life, there were days when I thought he would work for free. Then he hit fifty, retired and dipped his toes into a world he knew little of, everyday life. His kids were going to college, and he was just starting to be a family man.

The American Dream killer is – few people are willing to make the sacrifice and put in the work. It is easier to believe the dream is dead. There is face saving in believing the American Dream is dead. Blame society because one lacks the initiative to work harder than others for a greater reward. Blame the rich, though many of the rich started with little, and created their own slice of the American Dream.

Looking at most of the wealthiest people alive today, and for the last hundred years, many share one common trait. They had a lucky break, but they worked harder and longer than anyone they knew to be successful. The American Dream is out there for everyone. All anyone has to do is want it, work for it, and dream it – to the extreme. What is your Dream and how does it compare to those who made theirs a reality?

Are Valuables in Your Locker Only Worth a Cheap Lock?

This is an important post if you use a locker without a padlock in a public place. I was oblivious to the difference in lock quality until I started going to the gym again. The wall poster showing recommended locks, and a notice that locker theft does happen, was a wake up call. Before that day, I was one of the people who thought any cheap lock was okay. I now know what is in my wallet is worth far more than the price of any lock I buy.

Lock choices I see in the gym locker room run the gamut from cheap children’s diary locks, TSA approved locks, three dollar padlocks to top of the line $150.00+ locks. Care to venture a guess as to what the most common locks are? Any lock under $8.00 for some reason. Though one of the gyms has a poster of locks they recommend and cheap locks are not on the approved list. I guess most gym locker users figure the poster is for other people and not them.

How much is your wallet or purse worth?

Some people, mostly Women feeling especially robbery conscious, park their car, open their trunk, and put their purse or other valuables in the trunk of their car. The idea is brilliant, except, there are probably thieves sitting in a car looking for someone doing this. A Woman recently arrested here in town is known to have broken into twelve cars in the last few months, and suspected in many more. The police cautioned of groups that specialize in robbing cars at gyms.

When conditions were right, the thief was in the car, into the trunk through the back seat and walking out of a big box store thirty minutes later with over one thousand dollars of merchandise, paid for with stolen credit cards. The big box store had videos of this happening, yet the Woman was successful several later times after she was found out. I imagine any credit cards not used were sold to another thief to use. Who knows about drivers license, medical cards, insurance cards, etc.

Back to the gym, the cheapest of lock can be opened with a shoelace. Other locks can be easily shimmed. Combination locks can be opened as quickly as forty seconds. You may take a look on youtube for lock videos if you wish. I did and I was shocked.

That was the day I put my $8.00 combo lock in the drawer and went to a lock shop and bought a serious lock. I started online, but customer ratings and review numbers are not an indication of how a secure a lock is. They are really only a price point ratio, imo. So I went to a brick and mortar store.

As the store owner told me, even the lock I bought isn’t impervious to being opened without a key. Due to the construction, I was told it can not be shimmed, and would take a professional some amount of time to pick it open. More than the minute or so, a group of thieves in a gym have. The object, I was told is making other lockers with cheap locks on them easier targets; which is the real purpose of a good lock.

How much should you pay for a lock? I am not the person to ask. I can say after shopping online, I went to a local locksmith and looked at a large selection of locks before making a purchase. I was shown about ten different locks, and eliminated five right away because I saw them shimmed on youtube videos. Of the four locks left I was told they were good locks, and it was more likely the locker would be damaged before the lock could be picked.

What does a stolen identity cost?

Of those, two locks were just too large for a gym locker. That left two locks to choose from. I asked if one had an advantage over the other, and which one would the business use. You need to decide what is the right lock for you. If you are using a cheap key or combo lock, it is only a matter of time before the contents of your locker will be stolen. How much will it cost to replace what would be taken?

How much is a Vacuum Cleaner Worth?

A few weeks after I wrote about my vacuum cleaner losing suction and how I fixed it, my vacuum cleaner bit the dust. The manufacturer was not to be cheated out of the expected life span of their product. The vacuum’s time to be replaced had come.

Plastic being plastic, one crucial piece of the vacuum cleaner suffered the same stress most hard plastic suffers. A plastic piece snapped off, rendering the vacuum useless for anything except when using the wand. Not very practical….

After doing some research, it became obvious there were only two real choices, irrespective of brands. The first option was to buy an expensive replacement. The second option was to buy the cheapest acceptable vacuum cleaner I could find, and most people liked.

Buying a reasonably expensive vacuum cleaner had many pluses. It would clean well. It would work as expected. It would not break or wear out quickly. Finally, I would feel I made a good purchase. These are powerful pluses for something that rarely gets a thought after it is purchased, unless it is being used.

Of course, buying a reasonably expensive vacuum cleaner means tying up a lot of money into something that in this reality at least, brings little satisfaction. Vacuum cleaners are not like prized, high dollar Cars that are washed, waxed and shown off. Vacuums get taken out of storage, used and put away until the next time.

On the other hand, a well rated vacuum cleaner could be had for about one-fifth the price of the more expensive vacuum cleaner. Just like the more expensive vacuum cleaner models, people were happy with how it cleaned, how it held up, and generally how it functioned. What more is needed?

Here is where the economy of money comes in to play. In my experience, no matter how much I had paid for a vacuum cleaner in the past, they would last between five and six years before starting to break. If they didn’t outright break, they started doing their job in a less than stellar fashion. Sort of like my old vacuum losing vacuum.

When this five year fall apart stage happens, there are really only two options. Either purchase over priced replacement parts which fix one thing, but do not prevent other parts from breaking, or go shopping for a new expensive purchase that really doesn’t add to the initial value. An old vacuum is in essence an old vacuum. No one brags about a vacuum cleaner in general conversation.

How much really needs to be spent on one?

If I were to buy a cheap acceptable vacuum cleaner there was another set of possibilities. I would pay about one-fifth the price. At this price, I could buy five vacuums in five or six years, and still be below the price range of a more expensive vacuum cleaner.

I would feel better about spending less than $100.00 for a vacuum that is only thought about when it’s taken out to be used. Once again vacuum cleaners are not conversation makers or breakers.

The money I would save was worth more to me than having a more expensive vacuum. For the $400.00 or more price difference, I would have that extra money to spend somewhere else immediately and that feels better. If, or when the cheap vacuum breaks, replacing it with another cheap vacuum isn’t a deal breaker. I would not lose sleep over the cost of replacement.

I bought the cheaper vacuum. I am guessing, I will get at least two years out of it, before it needs replacing. In that time line, I will be $200.00 – $300.00 ahead dollar wise. The only downsides are I do not see it advertised with angelic voices humming, and the wand flex tube is a little shorter. For the price difference, I can live with those minor problems.

Not everything is this cut and dried when it comes to spending money. Sometimes spending more money initially brings more long term satisfaction. I think a good way to look at how much needs to be spent on a product is how it impacts my life. It is more important my vehicle is operating, then the carpet goes two extra days without being vacuumed.

Changing Bed Sheets Made Easier and Faster

Changing Sheets on any Bed is one of those things nobody looks forward to doing, myself especially. After so many years of pulling everything off the bed and dropping it on the floor in a bundle, taking out the sheets and pillow cases, and leaving the rest in a pile is gone. I now change sheets smarter, faster and easier.

Below is my impression of the older time consuming method of changing sheets one the and and remaking the bed on the left, and a faster and simpler method of changing sheets and remaking the bed on the right.

How to make changing bed sheets easier and faster

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The crumpled paper represents my old and perhaps your regular method of changing sheets and making a bed. I would pull everything off the bed and separate the sheets from the rest. Then I would put on clean sheets and sort out the blankets, turn blankets, turn blankets again to place them properly on the bed. Same with the Bedspread.

The folded paper represents a newer and better way of managing blankets and covers. Saving time and hassle, the relief and ease of this new method is well worth trying yourself.

The first few times, if you are anything like me, it will feel awkward, and not that much of a convenience. After three or four repetitions of sheet changing, you will wonder why you never thought of this yourself. If you are a housekeeper, the time savings and simplicity will become apparent by lunch time.

The process is really simple, as follows:

1. Pull the Bed Spread and Blanket(s) from the top of the bed to the bottom, lining up the edges.

2. Fold the folded Bed Spread and Blanket(s) from left to right or right to left, whichever feels most comfortable. Fold one more time if you prefer.

3. Remove folded Bed Spread and Blanket(s) from the bed and set aside.

4. Remove the sheets. Put on clean sheets.

5. Place folded Bed Spread and Blanket(s) back on the bed in the location you removed them from.

6. Unfold Bed Spread and Blanket(s) in the opposite order you folded them in. The Sheets are changed and bed is made easier and faster!

If you have a choice, you don’t have to stop here. When you dry the now clean sheets, find a fold pattern you will remember and use the same method to unfold your clean sheets on the bed. Using the same folds on both sheets and blankets makes it painless.