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Thompson: Benefits of duct tape go beyond expectations
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OK, did you do well on last week’s pop quiz?

For those of you who missed my column last week, I had 10 questions based on tips I had written about in 2007. Well, I have to give kudos to Jerri Duncan. She sent me an e-mail pointing out that duct tape would have been an appropriate answer to all of the questions. She then proceeded to go question by question and show me how duct tape would have worked for each of them.

I have to admit that I’m humbled. I thought I was the biggest duct tape fan in Georgia. I’m now passing that title on to Jerri.

Hope you enjoy and learn something from this week’s tips.

Have you ever heard of "Afrin Addiction"? Afrin is the nasal spray that opens your stuffy nose when you have a cold. If you use Afrin for too long you can actually experience a "rebound" effect. The nasal membranes will actually constrict and won’t open unless you use Afrin. The medical term for this is rhinitis medicamentosa. Now don’t get me wrong, I like Afrin and use it at least once a year when I get a cold. Unfortunately for me, I experience the rebound effect after just two uses. As many of you are probably aware, about the only way to get over this is to go cold turkey — which is not fun. A good friend, Kelly Stovall, gave me a tip on a better way to get over it. She puts Afrin in just one nostril and allows the other nostril to go cold turkey. By doing this you’re allowing yourself to still breath through your nose. When the non-Afrin nostril is back to normal, she’ll stop taking Afrin all together. I’ve tried this technique and it works great! If you suffer from severe rebound, see your doctor.

Have you ever had someone on the phone and can’t seem to get them off? You throw out subtle hints that you need to go and it doesn’t work. Well, I’ve got a solution for you. It’s called the "Get Off the Phone Excuse Machine." You keep this little device by your phone. When you get a call that you want to get off of you simply hit one of its six buttons. The buttons have the following sound effects:
Door bell chime: Tell them that you have to go, there’s somebody at the door.
Static: Tell them that you can’t hear them and you’ll have to call back later. (This sound effect is better than the fake static noises I make myself).
Siren: Tell them that the police are here.
Baby crying: Just make sure that you have a baby before you use this one.
Car crashing: Just make sure you’re calling from your car.
And finally ... "Knock, Knock, Chinese food:"
The device is $10 and you can find it at The Web site also has a fake cell phone ring device. You turn the device on and everybody around you starts looking for their ringing cell phones.

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