Stupid questions, volume 4

WinkIvy says:

Kathy sent us a new set of Stupid Questions™ , and it came at the exact right time! I had a long, crappy day at work, yo- and I had big teeth repairs yesterday. Send flowers and hugs, yo! Anyway, on with answering the questions:

1. I have a lot of bookshelves. What the best way to get them all dusted without removing every book and re-stacking?

I generally use a static duster, like a lambswool duster or something similar. I also see one of your commenters liked the Swiffer duster. I do, as well, but I’m a little wary of its earth-friendliness. Every now and again I’ll take my vacuum cleaner and vacuum the bookshelves. About once every couple of years or so (so lazy, Ivy!) I’ll take them all down and dust the whole shebang.

2. A couple of my music CD’s have been treated with contempt by my children. As a result, there seems to be gook on the back and they won’t play without skipping. Can you recommend how to clean abused CD’s? I miss listening to the “I Got You Babe” duet between Cher and Beavis and Butthead. Heh Heh Heh, she said gook.

Let me reach back into 1999 and think about what I did with CDs back in the day. Oh, yeah. I bought new ones. I wasn’t nearly as thrifty as I am now. Perhaps iTunes is in order?
3. Say I find a genie bottle and get three wishes. I can’t wish for 20 more wishes. What do I wish for?

You should wish for:

  1. World peace
  2. I once read about a dude that wished for a pair of pants that, whenever he spent money, he’d be able to reach into the pants and grab exactly enough money for whatever he needed. I’d like a checking account like that. Debit is sooo much faster than cash.
  3. And happy lives for you and your entire family

4. We aren’t supposed to clean these flat screen TV’s or computer monitors with Windex or window cleaner. How do we clean them?

I mix a capful of rubbing alcohol to a mixing bowl full (nothing like exact measurements, eh?) of water. Then I barely dampen a soft, white cloth and gently wipe the screens. Take another (or the other end, even) soft, white cloth and wipe the screen dry.

5. My fingernails break off every time they start to grow out enough where they look decent. Any advice on how to make them stronger?

You can use a nail strengthener to help your nails grow. Or, you can just use a good brand of nail polish (I like OPI’s Fiji Weejee Fawn- it hardly looks like you’re even wearing polish) and that will help keep your nails stronger, longer. Make sure you file them when they get the slightest tear or nick in them, that helps a LOT.

6. Why do gorillas have big nostrils?

Because they have big fingers, obviously.
7. Is it an urban legend that Avon’s Skin-so-Soft can be used to keep away mosquitoes?

My grandma used to sell Avon, and the old-school kind of Skin-So-Soft worked really well to keep away mosquitoes. The newer stuff doesn’t seem to work as well, I don’t think. However, they do have some with Deet that might work great, I’m not so sure. I generally use a combo anti-bug and sunscreen on my kids.
8. What ingredients do you recommend for the “perfect” salad? (No onions!)

Now, not everyone digs it, but I LOVE cilantro in my salads. I like to take a nice spring mix, some cilantro, some basil, and other various stuff (depending on what I have in my fridge) and make a nice balsamic vinaigrette (Put 1 C balsamic vinegar and freshly ground salt and pepper to taste in a blender on low. Trickle 1 cup extra virgin olive oil SLOWLY into blender while it’s mixing, until well mixed. If you go too fast, the olive oil will separate. Let me know if there are questions on this.)
9. My daughter will NOT go to bed on time at night. This worries me for many reasons, primarily because this lack of a good night’s sleep will eventually affect her at school. Any tips on getting a kid to bed on time?

Aaron (my 12 year old) used to try to stay up all night until I started checking in on him every half hour to make sure he wasn’t reading, or listening to his MP3 player, or any of the other myriad things kids try to do when they are supposed to be getting some sleep.

It is also very important to make sure they are not staying up all night and sleeping all day on the weekends and holidays. My son has a weekend bedtime just an hour later than his regular bedtime and he absolutely MUST be up by 10am on the weekends. I know my kids think I’m a slave driver because of this, but it’s really important so they don’t get their sleep cycles jacked up.
10. I just love Montel. I like his compassion and how he cries with his guests. I like how he features Sylvia Browne every Wednesday. Do you think he and Oprah will ever get together?
Wouldn’t it be fun to put Montel and a pregnant Oprah on Maury’s show so Oprah could scream at Montel, “You ARE the baby’s daddy and Maury’s gonna show you!!” But then, Maury would say, “Montel, you are NOT the father!” Then Montel would jump up and down, wagging his finger at Oprah, “In your face! In your face! I TOLD you I wasn’t the father!!” Ahhhh, good times.


  1. Amber on April 1, 2007 at 2:17 pm

    Over the broken nail issue, sometimes its from your nails needing nourishment. Last time I got a manicure the tech told me to use Solar Oil nightly around my cuticles. It helps the nails to grow out well hydrated so they won’t peel as soon as they get a free edge. When I do remember to do this it does work. Even just remembering to apply handcream often will have the same effect. Again when I do remember I can grow out nice nails. You are right, keeping them polished helps too!

    Love the site Ivy!

  2. JRae on March 30, 2007 at 1:33 pm
  3. Heather on March 30, 2007 at 12:07 pm

    Why on earth would a sinkfull of water and a running tap be less effective? I think John’s just trying to get people to stick their hands in the toilet.

    Personally, I dab toothpaste (not gel) along the center and pull toward the edge with a lintfree cloth.

    Rinse and wipe with a clean, soft, lint free cloth to dry.

  4. john h on March 30, 2007 at 11:14 am

    buy new CDs..?? HUH?? Ms. Cheap will have you guys in the cheap-stocks for that one..

    cleaning CD/DVDs.
    Step 1: flush toilet
    Step 2: hold CD/DVD by the edge and the hold in the middle
    Step 3: carefully GRASPING said CD/DVD dip CD/DVD into toilet (the one you flushed earlier)
    Step 4: flush toilet again while holding CD/DVD in roiling water
    STep 5: when flushing ends, wipe with damp cloth
    Step 6: oh yeah, wipe with the grooves, not against
    Step 7: dry off with soft cloth
    Step 8: try playing CD/DVD
    Step 9: if it works, remember this trick
    Step 10: if it doesn’t work, use CD/DVD in some tacky decoration, forget you ever heard this nonsense

  5. Elizabeth on March 30, 2007 at 10:52 am

    as for #2, spray some pledge dusting spray on them and wipe with a damp cloth. I learned this trick from a computer repair guy — his suggestion for treating minor scratches on CD-Rs.

  6. Rachel on March 30, 2007 at 9:32 am

    If you’re especially neurotic about the bookshelves, you can dust or vacuum the edges of the books periodically as well. Vacuuming is supposed to be gentler than the rub of dusting. You want a low setting and/or something over the end of the hose (like a sock or cheesecloth) to reduce the suction.

  7. Nina on March 30, 2007 at 3:55 am

    In regard to #7:

    Avon has started making a Skin-so-soft specifically for bug repellent. The also have a fabulous kid’s sunscreen with the skin-so-soft bug repellent stuff already in it. Just FYI.

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