Hello there and welcome to our monthly feature of all kinds of tips.
We at the business desk are pleased to bring you our monthly feature of a
plethora of tips that cover a wide range of topics.
All of our tips are designed to help you save time, cut down on your
research, and help you get ahead.
So go ahead and read on.
This week we bring you our monthly tips.
It’s what we do for a living! We help you to help yourself!
From the business desk team at http://www.sterlingcreations.com.
Follow us on Twitter @accessibleworld
Helpful tips for June 2020
In this issue:
Articles of the day
* spendthrift or skinflint?
* Fixing Toilets That Do Not Shut Off Properly
From the pages of Donna’s travel diary
* A password for your computer when you travel
Courtesy of the research team at http://www.sterlingcreations.ca
Scams of the month:
Before giving you our scam tips of the month, here are some very valueable
You need to remember that scams come in the following formats:
As emails, as phone calls both recorded and via a live caller, and o yes!
It can even show up at your door and in your mailbox.
And now they are targeting us through texts being sent to our cell phones.
Before giving you the latest scams making the rounds; we have some do nots
to share with you.
Do not respond to emails that look strange to you.
Do not download attachments from unknown senders.
Do not share your username and password to your online banking and any other
online payments facilities with anyone.
Do not give out any banking or personal details on the phone to unknown
Do not pay any attention to threats from automated phone recordings or from
live persons with regard to your credit card or that you owe money to any
Do not entertain any offers either via email or by phone from senders and
callers offering incredible service packages as they may pertain to cable
and tv services, prizes that you have won, or any sort of any type of
Do not answer the door to unknown callers.
Take extra caution to make sure that the details of your credit cards and
debit cards are fully protected when you make payments at restaurants or at
stores, pharmacies, and elsewhere.
Do not enter your password for Facebook or Twitter in response to a text
request on your cell phone.
The same if you are asked for your Apple ID.
Do not fall prey to a text message telling you that your banking details
have been compromised online.
What are some of the most common Covid-19 scams these days?
Emails telling you that you are entitled to Government subsidies but you
need to log into a certain website.
Please; do not fall prey to this.
Take the time to verify that you are indeed entitled.
Emails telling you that the sender of the email can help you to collect your
Again, do not fall prey to this type of email.
Please; collect your own subsidy if you are entitled.
How long can a bleach mix last in a spray bottle?
According to the experts, about one week.
Should you wash your meat before seasoning?
According to the experts; you should not.
Why? Because when you do the water splashes everywhere and spreads germs.
A safe way to keep your cutting board sanitized?
Clean it with a mixture of salt and lemon juice.
A good home made mix for spraying countertops?
3 parts water, 1 eight part of bleach, and 1 eight part of pine sol.
Some tips for your kitchen:
To prevent your eyes from watering when chopping onions, place onions in the
freezer for about 15 minutes.
Remove and then chop.
Voila! Your eyes won’t be watering.
How to make herb cubes?
Place herbs in a bowl, chop and cover with oil.
Then scoop mixture in to ice cube trays.
Freeze and use as needed.
How to grate soft cheese?
Place cheese in freezer for about 15 to 20 minutes.
Remove and cheese is ready for grating.
How to prevent water from boiling over?
Place wooden spoon on the rim of your pot.
How to prevent your baking from sticking?
Place an ice cube in your pan.
How to prevent your cling wrap from sticking?
Place in the freezer and use when needed.
Land line versus cell or cordless phones?
A land line never goes down during a power outage.
Cordless phones go down during a power outage.
Cell phones can operate on their batteries if they are aptly charged.
It appears that many hackers and scammers attack their Facebook victims on a
Yes, in the early hours of the morning up until around 6:30 am.
So keep this in mind when you go to access your Facebook page on Sundays.
Of course, there are also other popular times for these no-good persons but
this appears to be the favourite hour.
Articles of the day
Chosen by the Business Desk team
spendthrift or skinflint?
quiz. spendthrift or skinflint? take this quiz to discover where you fall on
the spending spectrum. penny-pincher. big spender?
are you a wild spender, living lushly in the moment, or are you a
penny-pincher who worries deeply about every single purchase? or do you fall
somewhere in between? to find
out, count how many times you answer “true” to the following 20 statements,
then check your score.
1. i have more than 18 rolls of toilet paper in stock at my home. true.
2. i bring water or homebrewed coffee on long car rides, rather than
stopping for drinks. true. false.
3. i have a second refrigerator or freezer so i can stock up on food. true.
4 . i buy the generic or house brand over the name brand when i think the
quality is comparable. true. false.
5. i belong to three or more loyalty programs at grocery or drug stores.
6. i have never paid full price for clothing at a high-end department store
such as nordstrom or bloomingdale’s. true. false.
7. i have more than $100 in coins in a container somewhere in my home. true.
8. i have never paid more than $150 for a wristwatch. true. false.
9. i have used a discount coupon at a restaurant in the past three months.
10. if a museum’s suggested donation is $20, i’d likely donate less. true.
11. i can’t remember ever tipping more than 20 percent for dinner at a
restaurant. true. false.
12. given the choice of a $5 turkey sandwich from subway or an $8 turkey
sandwich at a nice deli, i’d opt for the subway. true. false.
13. it takes me at least 20 minutes to book a hotel room online because i’m
checking out all the possibilities and prices first. true. false.
14. if a wedge of cheese has a spot of mold, i cut it off and eat the rest.
15. even if i could, i would never pay for business- or first-class airline
tickets. true. false.
16. i would drive five extra miles to save 20 cents a gallon on gasoline.
17. i would never pay more than $10 for an alcoholic drink. true. false.
18. i would rather spend four or more hours handling a home repair myself
than pay an expert to make the fix in 30 minutes. true. false.
19. if my smartphone screen cracked, i would continue using the phone as
long as it worked. true. false.
20. i keep a car until it’s at least eight years old. true. false.
0-5: supreme spendthrift. being frugal has little appeal to you. as a
result, you might be wasting money that you very well could need someday.
6-10: savvy spender. you are open to savings when they present themselves,
but overall aren’t too concerned about keeping spending in check.
11-15: firmly frugal. although you consistently make sensibly frugal buying
choices, you appreciate the finer options in some aspects of your life.
16-20: certified cheapskate. cost factors into almost every purchase you
make. that’s smart if you are on a tight budget. but if you have a good
income, you might be denying
yourself things that could make life happier or easier.
source: aarp magazine
A Dan Thompson contribution
Fixing Toilets That Do Not Shut Off Properly
From the perspective of a blind person
I found this article quite useful when faced with having to fix our toilet.
So maybe someone else may be needing some guidance. Have a grate day.
Over time, toilets may leak small amounts of water from the tank into the
toilet bowl causing more water to be added. This not only uses water
needlessly, but can be startling if it occurs during the night when you may
be awakened by the sound of the tank being refilled. Usually this is caused
by one of three problems which can easily be fixed. The water level in the
tank may be at or above the top of the overflow pipe; the flapper or stopper
ball that closes off the outlet at the bottom of the tank may be defective;
or the fill valve may need replacing. This guide does not address repairs
that occur when water leaks onto the floor from the tank or at the floor
level. If there is interest, a future guide could address these problems.
Any of the problems of water leaking from the tank into the toilet bowl can
be repaired by someone with little or no vision by having the right tools,
correct replacement parts, and following these steps.
Tools you may need:
. Straight or philips screw drivers
. Channel lock pliers
. 8-inch or 10-inch adjustable wrench
Parts you may need depending on the cause of the leakage
. Replacement flapper
. Replacement fill valve
Steps to adjust the water level in the tank
You can tell by touch if the water level is above or near to the top end of
the overflow pipe. If this is the case, water is probably trickling down the
overflow pipe and down into the toilet bowl. The amount of water in a toilet
tank is usually adjusted in one of two ways. Older style fill valves have a
threaded rod about 6 or 8 inches long which is attached near the top of the
fill valve. A plastic or metal cylindrical float is attached to the end of
the rod. The float is about 2.5 inches in diameter and 3.5 inches long and
is rounded on each end. As the water level in the tanks raises, the float
and attached rod gradually closes the fill valve until it is totally turned
off. If the water level is above the overflow pipe, the valve can not
totally shut off. If there is a water level adjustment screw on the top of
the fill valve, you can lower the level of the water by turning it. If there
is no adjustment mechanism or you can’t find it, you can adjust the water
level by slightly bending the float rod down with your hands thus forcing
the valve to close with the water at a lower level.
Tip: Before bending the rod, make sure the rod and float are hand tightened
so that they will not rotate thereby eliminating the effectiveness of the
bend in the rod. If it is difficult to bend the rod while it is inside the
tank, you can unscrew the rod from the valve, bend the rod and then replace
it. Be sure when you reinstall the rod and float that the bend you have just
made has slightly lowered the float.
Tip: You may want to bend the float rod down a bit and then make another
bend so that the float is not pointed downward but is relatively parallel to
the surface of the water.
Newer style fill valves have a plastic float that slides up and down the
outside of the fill valve. This float is attached to a connector rod which
gradually turns the fill valve off. If the water level is too high, water
can run into the overflow tube. The float can be adjusted by setting the top
stop by adjusting a pinch clamp on the rod. This is quite easily done and
doesn’t require any tools.
Either of these adjustments take very little time and can solve the problem.
Steps to replace the flapper or stopper ball
The opening at the bottom of the tank is closed off allowing the tank to
fill with water with one of two different designs. A “flapper” or “stopper
ball” is attached to the flush lever. When the flush lever is raised the
flapper or stopper ball is pulled up allowing water to flow from the tank
into the toilet bowl. The stopper ball looks like a round rubber ball with a
hole in the bottom and a threaded insert at the top. The top of the ball is
attached to a threaded rod which is linked to the flush lever arm which,
when raised pulls the stopper ball away from the opening in the bottom of
the tank allowing water to flow into the toilet bowl. As the water flows out
of the tank, the ball is drawn down and closes off the opening at the bottom
of the tank. If the ball has developed cracks as can happen over time, it
will not properly seal off the opening and water may trickle down into the
Tip: If the flapper or stopper ball has developed cracks, you can often
detect these by examining the bottom of the stopper ball or flapper. Very
often you can feel the cracks or tell that the material (plastic or rubber)
has hardened thus preventing it from properly sealing the opening. The
flapper or stopper ball may also warp because of the effects of chlorine in
the water which may not be detectable by touch. Sometimes you can tell if
you raise and lower the flapper or stopper ball and let it drop. If it does
not fall properly into the outlet, it may need to be replaced.
Tip: It is a good idea to take the flapper from your toilet to the hardware
store or building supply outlet so that you can get the correct replacement.
Each brand has slight but important differences.
When the water levels drops low enough, the fill valve will open and the
tank will refill. The flapper serves the same purpose but is usually
attached to tabs on the fill valve tube. The flapper is attached with a
plastic or metal chain to the flush lever arm. As with the stopper ball, the
plastic flapper may have deteriorated over time and may not seal off the
opening properly. Replacing the flapper or stopper ball is not difficult to
do, usually does not require any tools, and often solves the problem.
Tip: When replacing the flapper or stopper ball, be sure that the opening
where they drop into is clear of debris or accumulated slime as this may
prevent a good seal.
Tip: After replacing the flapper or stopper ball, you may need to slightly
bend the flush lever arm to make sure it is lifting the flapper or stopper
ball straight up. You may also need to adjust the length of the chain that
connects the flapper with the flush arm.
Steps to replace a defective fill valve
You can sometimes tell if the fill valve is defective by lowering and
raising the float thus turning the water on and off. If it does not turn off
quickly when the float is raised, the washer inside the valve may have
deteriorated. To replace a defective fill valve you must first turn the
water supply off. Most often there is a shut off valve on the water supply
line just where it comes out of the wall just below the tank. If there is no
shut off valve or it does not totally shut off the water as can happen if
the shut off valve was installed some time ago, you will have to turn off
the water where the supply line comes into your house or apartment.
With newer fill valves, you can easily unscrew the valve assembly from where
it attaches at the inside bottom of the tank by grasping the top of the fill
valve and turning it counterclockwise. The replacement valve can be screwed
into the threaded fitting at the bottom of the tank and hand tightened.
Tip: Be sure that the replacement valve is the correct height for the size
of the toilet tank.
In many cases, you will need to detach the water supply line just below the
bottom of the tank by loosening the connecter nut on the supply line with a
channel lock pliers or adjustable wrench.
Tip: Some water supply lines are flexible and can easily be pulled away from
the threaded end of the fill valve. Older installations may have a copper or
brass connector line that can be slightly bent allowing it to be moved away
from the fill valve line. Sometimes in doing so, the tube will be bent
creating a “kink” in the tube. Moving it may also loosen the connection with
the tube where it attaches to the shut off valve. You may want or need to
replace the copper or brass line with a flexible line of the correct
diameter which will be easy to install and less likely to leak.
Before removing the locking nut that holds the fill valve in place, you
should remove as much water from the bottom of the tank as you can because
when you remove the fill valve assembly, any water will run out of the tank
onto the floor. To remove the hexagonal nut that secures the valve to the
tank, turn it counterclockwise. Once this nut is removed, you can reach
inside the tank and lift the valve and float assembly out of the tank. If
you are replacing a valve that has a float attached to the shut off valve
with a threaded rod as described above, you will most likely replace it with
a newer style valve that has the shut off float that slide up and down the
fill valve as described above. As mentioned before, be sure that the
replacement valve is the correct height for the size of the tank. Tighten
the nut below the tank being sure that the gaskets that seals off the
opening inside and below the tank are in place. Then, reattach the water
supply line and turn the water back on.
Tip: If you do not replace the water supply line from the valve to the tank,
be sure the old washer or gasket has not deteriorated as this will cause it
Tip: Once the water line has been reattached, check for leaks. Usually,
small leaks can be fixed by slightly tightening the appropriate locking nut.
Following these steps should fix any small leakage of water from the tank
into the toilet bowl and reduce your water bill.
From the pages of Donna’s travel diary
A password for your computer when you travel
If you are concerned about ensuring that your computer is fully protected
from any potential intruders or the one who decides to take possession of
it, then you definitely need to password protect it.
You may be okay to not have a password for your computer if you either live
alone or you live with someone or with persons who will not interfere with
your precious computer.
However, if you travel with your laptop computer, then it is most advisable
for you to ensure that your computer is password protected.
There is nothing worse than either misplacing your laptop or having someone
More often than not, you have private documents and emails on your computer
that you do not wish to share with anyone let alone unknown persons or
So be sure to password protect your traveling computer.
Choose a password that is easy to remember, difficult for someone else to
guess, and use the cardinal rule;
a combination of letters, numbers, and at having at least one letter in
I’m Donna J. Jodhan enjoying my travels.
To learn more about me, visit
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