Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Common Misconceptions About Using Smartphone Protective Accessories

Just when we thought everything is alright with our precious iPhone and Galaxy Phones, we tend to get even more careless at most times, especially when taking care of our devices.

Fortunately, the gratuity and abundance of cellphone covers and accessories as well as the manufacturer’s initiative to equip their product with scratch resistant materials and reinforced shell layers became a makeshift messiah of the digital age. But as resilient as these covers and protectors are to protect our communication devices, it still isn’t enough to leave the entirety of the phone’s condition solely to its durability features.

To specify, here are some of the most common bits and mistakes we often overlook in taking care of our smartphones.

1. Casings will cover all the bases

Two of the most prone to dirt are the phone’s charging port and the 3.5mm jack plug for the earphones. As common as it gets, these two outlets serve as vacuum gateways for dirt and lint that can usually be accumulated from your pants’ pocket. These dirt elements are basically the number one cause of charging malfunctions, connectivity problems and port damages.

The Right Thing To Do – You need a piece of paperclip, toothpick or a matchstick and clean cotton to scrape off dust that has been collected by the port. Never damp the cotton with any liquid solution, as it will only cause further damage to the phone. Once you have taken off the dust, cut a small piece of adhesive tape and attach it on the other end of the clip, with the sticky part being on the outside of the pin. Lightly roll the adhesive-top pin to take off any stubborn lint and cotton residue that you might have missed out. Although it is not much of a recommendation, it is still good to use one of those protective caps for the plug and port to cover them when not in use.

2. My phone is scratch-free, Thanks to my screen protector!

Indeed, screen protectors are your phone’s screen savers… Literally! But mind you, this does not entirely mean your mobile will become invincible to scratches or worse, cracks. Despite gearing your smartphone with the best scratch-resistant film over its gorilla glass display, putting it in your pocket along with your keys, coins and wallet with metal zippers may still likely to damage your device. Likewise with the shell that encases the phone.

The Right Thing To Do – Investing on a reliable screen protector is one thing. But just to be safe, make sure to allot a separate compartment for your mobile to avoid direct contact with your other stuff. In addition, armor it with a sturdy clutch-like casing to double your phone’s protection, especially the back side’s surface. Lastly, make it a point to clean the inner-surface of the casing from time to time.

3. The case will save my phone from drops

Imagine how worse could it get the moment you drop your phone straight into concrete oblivion. Albeit phone covers are equipped with cushions to absorb shocks after an accidental drop, it is still possible to acquire internal damage to your gadget, especially if gravity tends to magnetize the device from your hands on a regular basis.

The Right Thing To Do – The basic thing to do here is to hold your phone properly. Having a glossy-textured phone shell or a super-thin body is not reason enough to blame the manufacturer for constantly dropping your device. Remember, casings and screen protectors are there to add extra armor to your smartphone, not to entirely save it from the doom of your clumsiness and carelessness.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Is There A Need To Clean Your ATV?

ATV or All-Terrain Vehicle is designed specifically to withstand various field conditions and road abuse. But just because this vehicle is intended for hitting the dirt, it does not mean you should leave it as is after a whole day of rugged ride. “Leave it to the rain gods” attitude will only make your quad bike look unpleasant to drive on, not to mention could cause serious damages.

ATV covers protect your recreational quad bike after a good cleaning

Why is it so important to clean your ATV on a regular basis? Because wrapping it casually with your quad cover won’t simply cut it! And because, like any other vehicles, dirt, grimes, scum and other impurities can cause unwanted blemishes, engine issues and rust problems to your precious road warrior.

So, to answer the question: Yes, there’s always the need to clean your ATV because it should be a part of your vehicle’s routine maintenance. So get up and gear up and time to give a well-deserved wash to your quad-bike and/or three-wheelers.

What Could Possibly Go Wrong If You Don’t Clean Your ATV?

A lot of things can go wrong once you developed a high disregard for vehicle maintenance (washing and cleaning for that matter). Just try to picture this: The build-up of dried mud and soil can cause rusting and erosion to your ATV’s components, engine, body kit, and other important parts. Also, the accumulation and spread of invasive plants like forest vines will greatly affect the performance of the buggy if not taken out immediately, as these plants may crawl and latch on to the chassis, fuel line, wires and axle. Not a good visual, don’t you agree?

A Good Ol’ Car Wash

To start, bathe your ATV from all sides preferably with warm water. This is to wash off loose mud, grass and weed that are stuck onto your quad. A power washer is also recommended for use in taking off stubborn mud residue onto the surface and hard to reach areas of the vehicle. Next step is to use mild shampoo or car soaps. Never use ordinary detergents or dishwashing liquid, as it may cause paint degradation. After which, rinse the ATV then dry it using a clean cloth or chamois leather. You may also use car wax and polishers, as well as a tire coating for dust protection and improved shininess.

Check The Hardware

Cleaning your ATV doesn’t stop at drying and polishing its surface. Needless to say, your engine needs a little cleaning as well. You can do this by checking your engine. A clean air filter is vital in maintaining your engine’s mint condition, as it serves as the engine’s screen to deter dirt, sand and other foreign particles that might get sucked in by your ride so make sure to keep it clean, or replace it if necessary. As for the under-chassis, it is important to inspect it regularly in case you’ve missed some hardened sludge during the wash. Moreover, make sure to maintain the water level of the radiator to prevent overheating. It is also important to cleanse the water reservoir by washing the dirt off using running water from the hose.

Lastly, once you’ll bath your ATV in and out, cloak it with your trusty vehicle sheet to maintain your ride’s sleek, clean condition even when not in use. Also, this will shield your wheels from potential dirt and damage accumulation overtime in case you won’t be using the ATV anytime soon.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Making Your Pet As Comfy as Possible When Traveling

Most dogs, cats, and most domesticated animals are not “travelers” by nature. That’s why they tend to become uncomfortable and sickly, especially during long travels, which naturally results to being jittery and moody. And for sure, the last thing you want to do when traveling is to clean after your pet’s messy puke and whatnot.

Image Credits: imgflip.com

According to pet guru, Cesar Millan, “Planes and cars aren’t designed with dogs (and cats) in mind, and you need to know what to expect when you reach your final destination”. True to every word, although this post does not dispute the fact that dogs are fond of sticking their heads out of the window and put their tongues out. Perhaps, that’s their way to relieve themselves from travel stress. But that aside, here are some tips to make your pet comfortable enough for long travels.

Allot a Large Space for Them

If you are traveling by car, it is highly recommended that you should let your pet stay in the back seat. This way, dogs and cats can have the whole back space for them to sit and rest on. Although it is still very much ideal to put them in a crate/carrier, most cars, minivans and SUVs today have key features dedicated solely for your pet’s travel convenience, not to mention the spacious rear area. Set up the back seat with a pet-friendly seat cover to armor your car seat and upholstery from unwanted dirt and loose fur/hair. After which, you can pretty much leave the rest to them.

Bring Toys

The thought of seeing your dog/cat stuck in a crate for the next couple of hours is already a burden not only to you but also for your furry fellow. That is why it is always a best practice to bring your pet’s favorite toy/s to help them get through the rough ride. Toys are the perfect item to pacify your pets during long travel, so better keep them handy when packing your dog’s stuff.

Spruce Up the Space

To make your pet, even more comfortable during long trips, make sure to pimp up your dog/cat’s space. Start by placing a pet liner at the back of the car or right inside the crate if you’re taking a plane. You may also throw in his/her favorite blanket. Install a water dispenser to a spot wherein your pets can easily access in case they got thirsty and make sure to pack a “light” snack for them to nibble from time to time.

Make Sure to “Unload the Tank” Before Hopping In

Always make it a point to let your pets do their business first before going on a long trip (peeing and pooing, that is) so that they won’t feel tense while on the road/air. Just to be sure, especially for land travelers, you can always have a quick stop over every once in a while to unload. Also, to avoid “pet accidents”, make sure to feed your pooch and kitty at least 1-2 hours before hitting the road.

Make sure your pets are comfy enough by setting up their hub backseat with a soft pet cover

These are just some of the best practices in making your furball companions as cozy as possible.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Cover All Bases for Storing Your Golf Cart This Cold Season

Winter is fast approaching. And before we know it, golf season in some parts of the US will be on hiatus, signaling the time for them to park their golf cart for a while and hit the golf sheets until spring arrives (well, for some).

But before letting a golf cart go on a hibernation state this time of the year, perhaps it is ideal that one should give his/her golf cart one last maintenance check, and wash to ensure its mint condition during and after its long break from use. It wouldn’t be much of a hard time, now would it? So, to help you accomplish this task, here are some useful tips on how to dress your cart ready for the cold season!

Formosa 4-Passengers with 2-Passengers Roof Top Golf Cart Cover in Taupe

Disconnect Battery Terminals

This is basically an old practice not only for golf carts, but for most automotive batteries. Most golf carts have a built-in charger so the rule of thumb is to keep it charged by plugging it in. Although this will do the job, it is still ideal for some to disconnect the terminals from the battery – especially if it is relatively old –  if the cart will be left unused and sit for a long period of time. Moreover, you can also use battery tenders to monitor and preserve its charge. And while you’re at it, might as well clean the terminals with a clean brush, baking soda and water to wash off accumulated grime and chemical deposits around the battery posts.

Check tire air pressure

Make sure that your tires are well-inflated, with a pressure ranging from 20-25 PSI. This is to safeguard the rims from further damages and cracks in the event your tires get flat and deflated. With that being said, it is highly recommended to replace worn out or damaged tires with new ones, as well as to take a look-see if the axles and chamber are all aligned.

Remove/Disconnect All Items That May Acquire Damage Due To Cold Climate

This goes for GPS, stereo, head units, towels and of course, golf clubs. It is best to remove these items and store it separately, as these items are vulnerable to damage during extreme conditions. As an extra precaution, place a couple of silica gel bags or other desiccants to your storage box to deter moisture that can potentially damage electrical components as well as rusts to your clubs.

Wash the Cart

Diligently wash the golf cart, including the tires and rain curtain with mild soap and soft cloth. For the car seats, use an old soft-bristled brush for scrubbing off sticky grimes. The use of vacuum is also encouraged to suck off the dust from the seat’s hard-to-clean areas. If necessary, carpet cleaners and other chemical-based cleansers for cleaning the windshield, dashboard, leather upholstery, pedals and panels. Once done, wipe off excess water and/or water drops from the cart with a dry clean cloth.

Clear the Parking Spot

Allot an ample space for your golf cart. If you tend to park the cart inside the garage, make sure the area is clear and away from any hazards to prevent unwanted scratches. This also goes for outside parking. Secure the cart by placing a steering wheel lock and tire wedge. Also, look for a spot that has access to plugs for the battery charger. Remember to set the cart’s switch to TOW/MAINTENANCE mode. Finally, get a resilient golf cart cover to cloak and protect your cart from excessive moisture and snow accumulation.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Autumn Is Here! Time for One Last Party!

Summer is over, folks! And aside from kids and moms prepping up for back to school fever, everyone is busy as well in preparation for harvest season. As days become shorter, nights become colder and leaves become browner, it seems that your patio will be covered in sheets and out of the picture for a while until the end of winter. While there’s still time, might as well throw a last summer hurray in your backyard before your patio furniture hits the sack!

Photo courtesy: Meghan Garvilla

And while you’re at it, why not infuse your patio party with some autumn aura to blend in with the season? Here are some quirky ideas for throwing a simple patio party:

A Leafy Invitation

Too much dry leaves to sweep, eh? As you’re starting to gather those flowy brownish tree hair in your porch, get your art materials, grab a handful and start making invitations for the party using these leaves. What better way than to associate autumn to your party than to use dried leaves as invites, right?

Set Up a Salad/Sandwich Bar

Since autumn is harvest season, expect the abundance of fruits and vegetables in every store. Hence, it is the perfect time to set up a salad or a sandwich bar for your party! Along with this, you can also serve fruit pies, veggie stews and pumpkin soup, as well as smoothies, fruit shakes and juices.

Ready for an Autumn Hunt?

Aside from the classic and pumpkin race, trivia games and scarecrow stuffing, you can make variations of these and turn it into one exciting mini all-day race-inspired scavenger hunt. Set up a series of obstacles & test for the hunt to add challenge to the game. A definite fun-filled game not only for the kids, but for adults as well.

Go for One Last Summer Splash

Let the kids – and even adults – enjoy the summer for one last time! If you don’t have your own pool in your house, then set up a kiddie inflatable pool in your backyard. Pair this with a sprinkler hose and a makeshift mud slide to cap off your summer season in wet-and-wild style!

Don’t Forget the Booze!

And speaking of capping off, there’s nothing like sitting on your favorite patio chair, sharing a six-pack and a smore setup with the whole gang, waiting for the summer to end! And, since you won’t be able to sit on your patio spot for quite some time, try to savor it while it lasts before you cover it for a while in the next upcoming seasons.