If you've been reading my column for any length of time, you know that I like gadgets. I especially like kitchen gadgets. One of the neatest ones that I've seen in a while is the Spachello by Swissmar. The Spachello is basically a spatula and cutting knife combined into one tool. It is the ultimate sandwich making device. You can use the serrated knife to cut meats, breads and cheeses and then use the spatula side to apply mayo, mustard or even peanut butter. The rounded end of the Spachello allows you to scoop out the remaining peanut butter at the bottom of the jar. It costs $25 and you can find it online at Amazon.com and other retailers.
I know that a lot of you probably got new cell phones for Christmas. Here's a suggestion ... keep your old de-activated cell phone for 911 calls. (Yes, a de-activated phone can still call 911). I encouraged my wife to do this when I got her a new smart phone. She now uses her de-activated phone when she goes jogging.
Women, do you have a problem with your necklaces getting tangled and kinked? The best solution that I've found for this problem is to use drinking straws. Cut a straw to the appropriate length for a necklace that you have and then run the necklace through it and then clasp it. If you ignore my tip and get a necklace kinked up, use baby oil and two sewing needles to untangle it.
I recently learned that Wasilla, Alaska, is the duct tape capital of the world. Walmart has reported that they sell more of the stuff there than in any of their other stores. Why? Well one of the reasons is that the famous Idatarod dog sled race begins in Wasilla. Duct tape is an important tool that all of the mushers have. Interestingly, they use duct tape to cover exposed skin to prevent frostbite. Its also used as bandaging and on injured dog paws. Just think about it. Duct tape is used by astronauts, dog sledders and New York fashion models. (In the case of the models, they use it to enhance their physical attributes). I ask you, is there a more versatile product?
Tim Thompson lives in Gainesville. E-mail Tim your ideas for tips, tools or tricks.