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Thompson: Be careful with chain saw or try a Lopper
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I was in a meeting last week with a friend when I noticed a serious cut on his arm with quite a few stitches. I asked him how he had hurt himself and he said with an electric chain saw. He had been cutting limbs off of his crepe myrtles by holding the chain saw in one hand and grabbing branches with his other hand. OK, at this point in the story I need to point out that my friend isn’t a redneck. He legitimately was trying to find an easy way to cut the limbs that were actually pretty thick. I proceeded to tell my friend about a new tool from Black and Decker. It’s called the Alligator Lopper. It’s kind of like a big pair of shears that has a chain saw built into it — it’s the best of both worlds. The good thing about it for my friend is it only works if you have both hands on the handles. Check it out at your local hardware store. It’s electric and costs around $99. My friend went out and bought one that night.

For those older folks who read my column, I know you remember the great comedy skits of Dean Martin, Phil Harris, Red Skelton and Jack Benny. Well, there’s a place on the Internet where you can find those old skits and watch them again. (If you’ve never gotten on the Internet, this is your reason to finally do it). You can find these hilarious videos at YouTube. Just type in the name of the comedian into the search window. If you’re under the age of 30, check them out and see what you’ve been missing.

I love muffins, but unfortunately they make me fat. My wife has found the solution. They’re called the "Yum Yum Brownie Muffins." Terrible name but they taste great. Unlike normal muffins that have an outrageous amount of calories and fat, these muffins only have 181 calories and 3.1 grams of fat per muffin. (3 Weight Watcher points). Here’s how you make them: Mix together 1 box of Devils Food Cake Mix, 1 can of pumpkin and 1 tablespoon of water. Cook in a muffin tin for 20 minutes at 400 degrees. You don’t taste the pumpkin — I swear — and they taste great!

Using any type of spray bottle is no big deal unless you have a job where you have to keep pumping the trigger. (Like when you’re outside spraying weeds). I have a solution to help you avoid the hand pain of too much "trigger pumping." It’s the battery-powered spray bottle and it can be bought on the Wright Stuff Web site. The bottle can hold up to 48 ounces of any type of liquid. You just pull the trigger and the built in motor does the rest. I put "tire shine" in my bottle and use the sprayer on my cars. No more finger cramping for me!

Tony Robbins, the famous success coach, has a great tip on how to live a better life. He recommends that you ask yourself three questions every night before you go to bed. 1) What did I learn today, 2) What did I improve today and 3) What did I enjoy today. Think about it.

Tim Thompson lives in Gainesville. E-mail Tim your ideas for tips, tools or tricks.