Dear Readers: Today’s Sound Off is from a reader who was annoyed by people in a movie theater:
“Dear Heloise: My wife and I recently went to a movie we had been eager to see. We don’t go to the movies very often, and we might never go again. People were so rude. The people behind us kept talking even after we politely asked them to stop. Another couple let their toddler run up and down the aisle, and the child had a tantrum because his parents wouldn’t take him home. People had cellphones go off and carried on conversations in the theater. We got up in the middle of the movie, asked for the manager and requested a refund. He gave it to us and was very nice.
“People don’t go to a theater to hear you talk or to see your child have a meltdown, and please, folks, turn off your cellphones. It’s just good manners.” — Joseph K. in Milwaukee
Joseph, we’ve gotten so used to big-screen TVs in our homes that people forget it’s acceptable to talk, text and play with your children at home but not in a public theater. — Heloise
Dear Readers: Got any old canning jars? Here are some additional uses for them:
Dear Heloise: In reference to the recent hint for rinsing dishes prior to loading the dishwasher, it is beneficial for two reasons. First, it prolongs the life of the dishwasher (it’s not meant to be a garbage disposal). Second, studies have shown that dishwashers (properly loaded) save more water than hand-washing dishes.
Living with our California drought problems, we are all very concerned about water conservation. I hand-wash pots and pans, but can load an entire week of dishes prior to running the dishwasher. My previous dishwasher lasted 30 years and was only replaced due to a kitchen remodel. — Mindy T., Valley Village
Dear Heloise: Help! My husband wants to buy an old Queen Anne Victorian home and fix it up. I want a new house. Please help us decide. — Sidney S., Topeka, Kansas
Sidney, old homes have charm and character, but they also usually have old wiring, crumbling foundations, ancient plumbing and a long list of other repairs. Talk to a contractor who’s done a lot of remodeling of homes in your area to see what it would cost to remodel an old Victorian home, after you’ve selected the house you are considering buying. Then ask yourselves if you’re up for the mess and strain of a remodeling project. After all, it may take years to finish a home if you’re on a budget. — HeloiseÂ
Hi, Heloise:Â Why do manufacturers attach jar lids so tightly, even when there is a sealed disc inside? I can’t open the jar, even using hot water, attaching a rubber disc around the lid or trying any other type of help. Thanks for letting me rant! — Doris Brown, Spokane, Washington
Dear Heloise: Years ago, I read in your column to squeeze the microwave popcorn bag before popping so it will all pop. I have updated that to running a butter knife over the outside of the bag to break apart the kernels. Great result — 99 percent pops! Also, the bag states that it will pop in less than four minutes. I have experimented, and 2:20 works great. — Barbara S., via email
Microwaves can vary, everybody; watch the popcorn closely. When there’s no more popping, stop! — Heloise
Dear Heloise: My hint to keep brown sugar usable: Put in individual zippered “snack” bags and tuck back into the cardboard box and freeze. It can be thawed in five minutes or less. — Annette in Roswell, New Mexico
Hi, Heloise: When eating chips and dip, I break off a bite-size piece before dipping. Each part of the chip is dipped separately, so as not to contaminate the dip. — K.B. Nelson, via email
Dear Heloise: How do you make liquid for blowing bubbles? — V.W., via email
A fun summer pastime, and easy and inexpensive! Mix together equal amounts of water and a mild dishwashing liquid.
For a wand, dip in a ring from a canning jar. Use outside only, for no spills or stain worries. — Heloise
Dear Heloise: Just a reminder that painting underneath the eaves or patio covers, etc., the light color of sky blue will keep wasps away. It has worked for us for many years. — Jacque P., via email
Jacque, a leading paint manufacturer states that this most likely is an old wives’ tale, but it may be rooted in fact. Paints from years ago were manufactured using lye, a corrosive substance that is used as an insect repellent.
The story goes that the wasps and other insects and birds are tricked by the blue paint into thinking it’s the sky, and they can’t alight there.
Regardless, I’m happy that this works for you! — Heloise
Dear Heloise: I always use less detergent, shampoo, laundry softener, etc., than recommended. Remember, the company is trying to sell product, and wants you to use more than needed.
Likewise, on TV toothpaste commercials, you see a long line of toothpaste. Remember who is trying to sell you on that idea. Use a pea-size amount. — Betty D., Faulkton, South Dakota
Dear Heloise: Rather than tearing out a page from my recipe books or writing down everything, I just take a picture with my cellphone and then print it to take with me to the store and to cook with it. — Fred M., Richmond, Texas
Dear Heloise: When your church is going to have a rummage sale, some of the people in the church work all week to unpack all the donated merchandise, set up tables and price everything.
What are some people thinking when they bring a car full of donated items the day before the sale? — A Reader, Youngstown, Ohio
You’re absolutely right! Rummage sales are hectic enough without having to sort and price items at the last minute. Here are some hints for putting together a successful rummage, garage or yard sale:
Organize like pieces together. Set up a vignette that tells a story: A chair with a blanket, a book, a big iced tea glass and a table looks cozy, and people will be inspired to buy the setup.
Have plenty of change on hand. Price things expecting that people will haggle. That’s OK. The goal is to clear out clutter, and people are always looking for bargains.
Most baby items and clothes sell well; other clothing items may not. Pricing paperbacks “five/$1” will move them out; bulk pricing for other small items will work well, too! — Heloise
Dear Heloise: There can be some confusion when making the “o” & “zero” differentiation. For years I have used the European stratagem of putting a slash through the zero. — Peter B., via email
Great, Peter! Often called “zero slash” or “slash zero,” you can make this symbol in Windows by holding down the Alt key, then typing “0216” for capital, or Alt plus 0248 for lowercase. –– Heloise
Dear Heloise: I work for the post office. Many people don’t understand how to address or wrap their mail items. Here are some hints:
Often, your letter is touched only by the carrier who delivers it. When in doubt, ask a window clerk at your post office. That is why they are there. — A Postal Worker in Arkansas
Dear Heloise: I’ve started keeping a roll of paper towels in the bathroom. It’s easier to keep the counters wiped down using a paper towel that I’ve previously used to dry my hands. Saves on laundering towels, too! — A Reader, Fort Wayne, Indiana
Read on for another hint that’s “on the roll.” — Heloise
“Dear Heloise: My cats love to unfurl the bath tissue off the roll! At first it was cute and funny, but now it’s annoying and wasteful!
“Solution: The bath tissue must be placed on the roller so it comes out from the bottom of the roll instead of over the top.” — Kathy K. in Florida
Hi, Heloise:Â I have an album of your original hints from the paper from 1992. My grandma cut them out and gave me the hints for my birthday. I was just reviewing them tonight and I reminisced of my grandma and wanted to let you know.Â — Kelle C., via email