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Thompson: This column could make you happier
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I enjoy writing this column and I hope you enjoy reading it. I recently had someone say to me that they liked my column but not all of the tips applied to them. I tried to explain to the person that, in fact, all of the tips applied to them. I told them that even if one of my tips didn't help them directly, they should think of everybody they know to see if the tip would benefit someone else. You see, the reason I love tips so much is that even if I don't benefit from a particular tip myself, I can perhaps help somebody else with it. There's nothing more rewarding to the soul than helping somebody else. (If you don't believe this, check out a recent study by the University of British Columbia; they found helping other people, even in small ways, makes you a much happier person). So, I want you to take this column, print it or e-mail it and go help someone this week.

If you ever have to dig a hole in the back yard and don't have a wheelbarrow, remember this tip. Get an old bed sheet and lay it on the ground next to where you're going to dig. Put the dirt from the hole onto the blanket. By doing this, you're saving yourself clean up time after you finish your project!

Google has a cool new tool that you can use for free. It's 1-800-Goog-411. Just dial this number and get free directory assistance. You can also have the operator text you information on the business you looked up. Plus, if your phone has Internet access, you can even have the operator send you a map showing where the business is located. Pretty slick.

Do your socks smell even after you wash them? If so, try soaking them in vodka or vinegar. Personally, I'd try the vinegar first before wasting the vodka.

Do you ever have trouble pulling your drivers license out of your wallet? This always seems to happen when I try to pull it out for airport security, cashiers and the Georgia State Patrol. Here's a neat little tip that can help. Take a small piece of duct tape and attach it to your card so that it sticks up like a little tab. Just grab the tab, pull and voila!

If you have a child who is thinking of doing some baby-sitting, have them enroll in the Red Cross Babysitter Training Program. It's a full day class that covers first aid and important safety skills. Call the Northeast Georgia Red Cross chapter at 770-532-8453 for more information and when the next class will be available.

Do you have guests coming to spend the night at your house? If so, get some nightlights and put them in the hallway and guest bathroom. It just shows how thoughtful you are!

This tip is for my female readers ... and maybe a few guys. When you get ready to paint your toenails, use miniature marshmallows to separate your toes. If you have big feet, use the regular size marshmallows.

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

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