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Manual: Do it yourself guide.

Summary: A scrape on your car needn't put a dent in your day, or spirits; here are some handy tips to put you out of your misery. Start from scratch.

The surest ways to wipe the smile off your face is to wake up to a scratch on the beamer. Before wailing, diagnose the extent of the scratch: run your fingernail across it and determine if the surface is gouged or simply stuck on top of the surface. If the defect protrudes, it can be easily removed with a solvent cleaner. For more stubborn scars, adhesive remover or acetone works well.

For surface scratches, you require a rubbing and polishing compound, which is easily available. Lightly apply the rubbing compound in a circular motion using a rag. Buff the area with a clean cloth to remove the rubbing compound and then, apply the polishing compound to remove the fine scratches left by the rubbing compound.

Finish the job by sealing the surface with quality car wax. However, if the scratch runs deeper, where the colour and not the primer or metal is visible, the area will need sanding off. To do this, use an ultra-fine wet or dry sandpaper (of about 2,000-3,000 grit). To ensure you don't sand off too much, use a contrasting shoe polish to mark the area.

Make sure the surface is clean and dry, then work the shoe polish into the scratch. Rinse the sandpaper frequently with cold water and work slowly until the shoe polish disappears. Dry the area, then buff with some rubbing compound. Finally, use a polishing compound pad to buff the entire area, seal with a good quality car wax and drive away the blues.

Leather that weathers: stain no more

Despite its 'tough as nails' reputation, leather stains easily, and-unfortunately- it's a tough task to get rid of the marks. Here are quick tips that will get the stain out without much of a strain. Since leather is easily damaged by the use of regular cleaning products, stain removal is a rather delicate process. For ink stains, dab some isopropyl alcohol (available at pharmacies) on a cotton ball.

Always test a small spot first to avoid damaging the leather. Apply the alcohol to an inconspicuous spot and let it stay for 10 minutes. If you observe no unfavourable results, remove the ink stain using the alcohol soaked cotton ball by rubbing on the stain in a circular motion.

The ink should come off quickly, making the job fairly easy. After cleaning, always use a high-quality leather conditioner to restore moisture and shine to the leather. If there are salt stains on the leather, prepare a solution using three parts of vinegar and one part water in a bowl. Wipe the leather clean with a soft rag.

Dip a cotton ball in the prepared solution and dab onto the area and rub gently to remove the stain. Continue the application until the stain disappears completely. Allow the leather enough time to air-dry naturally and it'll be as good as new.

A burnt-out case: Get your steak right

If you don't want to cook your goose, it's essential to choose the right oven for the steak. Consider the thickness and weight of the steak when setting the heat and timer on your oven to avoid undercooking or overcooking the meat. A steak for two would be approximately between 1.25 and 1.5 inches thick and weigh between 350 and 450 grams.

Marinate the steak well before cooking as it allows the flavours to seep into the meat and also works as a tenderiser. Ideally marinate the steak in half a cup of olive oil, 4 tablespoons of soy sauce and 4 teaspoons of your preferred seasoning. Let the marinated steak stay in the fridge for about 30-45 minutes.

Remove the steak from the fridge and allow it to come to room temperature. Meanwhile, pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees for eight minutes. Once the meat is at room temperature, sear it in a pan over medium heat. When the pan is hot, add the steak and turn it every four-five minutes. Let the meat cook equally on both sides.

Take the seared meat and place it in the oven. Set the oven at 450 degrees for 10-12 minutes. Prepare mashed potatoes as an accompaniment. Begin by mashing boiled potatoes, add cheese and seasoning, and mix rigorously to avoid lumps.

Once the meat and potatoes are ready, place the steak onto a plate and add a generous dollop of mashed potatoes. Pour mushroom garlic sauce (or any other preferred) onto the stake. Garnish the potatoes with a couple of mint leaves and serve.

Make your Nintendo WII: Work as your home theatre

Download your movie on to your PC

Change the format of the movie, if required. The formats that are compatible with Wii are: DivX, MOV, MPG or AVI. Convert the format using a videoconverting program like Virtual Dub that converts your DVDs for free.

Download Wii Video (for free) from the shopping channel of your Nintendo Wii.

Get an SD card (preferably a 4GB card) for the Wii.

Insert the card into your PC and copy-paste your DVD files onto the SD Card. Once the DVDs have been fully transferred, insert the SD card into the Wii.

Switch on your Nintendo Wii. Turn the settings to "photo channel", open the SD card on your Wii, choose the movie you wish to watch and let the matinee magic begin.

Care for your leather boots

Summer is a bad time for leather. Keep these tips in mind to make your fancy boots last forever.

The four cardinal rules of making leather last are 'Clean, Condition, Polish, Weatherproof.' Do it right and your shoes will last.

Use a soft leather cleaning liquid and make sure you cover the entire surface. Let it dry for a few minutes then wipe with a cotton cloth.

Know the type of leather used for your boots and choose the right conditioner for them.

Always wait for the shoe polish to dry and be absorbed before shining with a brush or soft cloth.

Weatherproofing your boots is essential. If you want to make it waterproof, use beeswax. Too many layers of this will harm your boots, so make sure you clean the surface regularly.

Free the house from after-party cigarette odour

If you can't get rid of cigarette odour even after the most committed party animal has vacated, here's what to do.

Launder whatever you can. Vacuum. Use vacuum attachments to suck the smoke out of furniture and upholstery.

Leave a bowl of white vinegar overnight; it will do a good job of getting rid of the stale odour.

Leave liberal amounts of citrus peels around until they are completely desiccated. Citrus significantly weakens strong odours.

Use baking soda while cleaning your carpet and couch. Sprinkle some over the smoke-infused area for a few hours. Then vacuum to finish the job. However, test to ensure that the baking soda doesn't react unfavourably with the surface/upholstery.

There's a reason why you're given a whiff of coffee beans when smelling fragrances; coffee has an odour-absorbent quality. Since coffee stains, pour coffee beans into several individual coffee filters and enclose in coffee bags. Place these bags in the smell-infested zones and keep your windows open.

Giving furniture, cushions, carpets their time in the sun also helps rid them of bothersome smells.

Scatter bowls of charcoal around your room, it's effects can be observed within a week.

Smoke residue stays in linoleum floors, glass and wood surfaces, and often on light bulbs. So go through a rigorous cleaning session.

Back up your Blackberry

If you are one of those who's life is encrypted on a Blackberry, read on and connect:

Install and launch the BlackBerry Desktop Software onto your personal computer. This software is compatible with both Windows and Mac OS

Connect your BlackBerry smart phone to your PC using a compatible USB cable

Open the BlackBerry Desktop Manager software on the PC and click on the "Backup and Restore" icon.

Select "Backup" to copy all files on your BlackBerry to the computer.

If you wish to create a backup of only certain files, select the "Advanced" option.

Select a location for the back-up on the computer and click "Save".

Congratulations, you have another stab at life.

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Publication:Business Today More (New Delhi, India)
Date:Jul 10, 2010
Words:1423
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