Step 1: Defrost your windshield

With this week’s cold snap, it should take people a little longer to hit the road to ensure plenty of time to have windshields fully defrosted. 

Please don’t be one of those idiots who attempts to drive with a collective 1 square foot of defrosted areas on the windshield.  I nearly got creamed by someone this morning who was weaving all over the road while apparently trying to wipe clean the inside of his/her windshield — the windshield wipers were working furiously on the outside to no avail.  (Note that I was running on the sidewalk and was wearing an OSHA-approved day-glo yellow construction shirt with six 3″ wide bands of reflective material on it, plus a powerful LED headlamp, and reflective material on my hat and shoes.)

My suggestion?  Start your engine and turn on the defroster and heater.  Stand near a window inside your house where you can see your car and use the time while your car is warming up to check your voicemail, e-mails, or to peruse the paper some more; this way, you can keep an eye on your car while the engine is running.  (I could have had no fewer than five free cars this morning while unattended vehicles were rid of their frost.) 

100% SNARK FREE

Here’s hoping you’ll never need this service:

If you’re like me, you take every opportunity to enjoy the best that our region has to offer in outdoor recreation. There are countless beautiful views that can be accessed only by running or hiking through the woods and up and down some mountains.

While every precaution is taken for a safe adventure, we all know of someone — even if it’s just reading about it in the paper — who needed to be taken out on horseback or by a helicopter to get much needed medical attention, whether it’s from a bad fall, allergic reaction, heart attack, or a variety of other reasons.
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Top off your tanks & get some cash

With the threat of rolling blackouts and with some areas experiencing power outages, take a few minutes today to hit the ATM and gas station. I tried to get gas at the 76 on Fair Oaks & Watt this morning, but they were completely shut down due to a power outage earlier this morning. Even though they had power when I went there, their computer systems still were not working. Luckily, the Shell across the street was able to gas me up since I was running pretty low, but the clerk indicated that they’d had some issues in the power outage aftermath too.

This isn’t exactly a newsflash, but if we do have widespread blackouts, we won’t have access to basic things like gas stations, ATMs, and just about any other business that is dependent on computer systems. Not that people can actually count change, but it would be advantageous to have some extra cash on hand should you need to make purchases for which you’d ordinarily use your debit or credit card and to have a full tank of gas no matter where you need to go.

Computer Talk

With your oversized bifocals and pocket protector firmly in place, please to point your Internet browser here to view the “Top 10 Windows XP Tips Of All Time.”

I come across lists like these all the time which tend to simply advertise for third party software or restate the obvious. However, this particular one really addresses some issues you may be facing with your XP machine. Whether it’s Tip 10 (Halt background services to improve performance), Tip 8 (Scrub your hard drive clean) or the CoolDMZ favorite Tip 7 (Run two displays on the same PC), there’s something for everyone…and by “everyone” I mean like 4 or 5 of you Sac Rag readers that understand what a Registry is.

And no, Runnergirl, it’s not THAT kind of registry.

You can finally unload that Apple IIe!

If you’re like me, you’ve got random outdated equipment that you’d rather not have in your house, so here’s your chance to dump it safely and free of charge. This ad was in the Bee recently; although this is not snarky or gossipy news, it’s valuable info.

When: Friday, April 21st noon-5pm / Saturday, April 22nd 9am-3pm / Sunday, April 23rd 9am-3pm
Where: Cal Expo, Lot A RAIN OR SHINE

Drop off is free. Eligible items: TVs, VCRs, DVD players, computers, monitors, mouses (mice?), keyboards, fax machines, printers, toner cartridges, cell phones, telephone equipment, video game systems and more. DO NOT BRING: copiers, appliances, microwaves, batteries, or smoke detectors.

For more info, call 1-866-335-3373 or go to http://www.noewaste.com

Coming Soon on ESPN2

Competitive cup stacking, cheerleading, and double-dutch jumproping will soon take a back seat to the next craze that’s sweeping the Midtown area: XTreme Blood Donations!

I give blood about every eight weeks, and I was overdue for this most recent appointment — with the wedding a couple weeks ago, I knew that if I gave blood that week, that would be the one time that they nicked something and my whole arm would be purple (for those who don’t give blood, that’s a rare occurence, so don’t let that scare you.)

Sitting in the snack area post-donation and noshing on my 2nd plate of nachos, my attention was diverted from the May ’97 issue of Better Homes & Gardens when an older gentleman asked me how often I donate.
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Walk towards the light

One of my proudest moments as a Sac Rag contributor was realized last week. And I had nothing to do with it.

RonTopofIt reported a couple of months ago on a failed pedestrian light in midtown that was causing all kinds of ruckus – mostly to said TopofIt and myself. Despite the pleasant experience in reporting this problem to the City, after several weeks, we were wondering if they’d ever fix this light.

Last week, and two months later, they finally fixed it. A beacon to pedestrians walking on L Street, this walk signal shines brighter than ever. Thanks City of Sacramento, for finally fixing and restoring some order back into our lives.