jiusewangnon-sequiturs and musings.....

Monday, June 22, 2020

Coronavirus Antibody Tests Have a Mathematical Pitfall - Scientific American





A healthcare worker holds vials of blood samples while performing lab tests which detect immunoglobulin class G (IgG) antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 virus at the Sklifosovsky Research Institute of Emergency Care in Moscow, Russia, on May 29, 2020. Credit: Sergei Karpukhin Getty Images

Scientists working to quell the COVID-19 pandemic have developed tests that detect antibodies in the blood of people who have previously been infected with the new coronavirus. These serology tests can provide important data on how COVID-19 is spreading through a population. There is also hope that the presence of certain antibodies may signify immunity to future infection—a possibility scientists are still investigating. Antibody tests do have potential shortcomings: they may detect ineffective antibodies, they do not indicate if an infection is still active, and they fail to detect infection if administered before antibodies develop. A new test's accuracy can also be difficult to determine because of a lack of data.

Still, such tests have been proposed as a way for individuals to find out if they have already been infected with the novel coronavirus. But a mathematical wrinkle makes these tests—and in fact, all screening tests—hard to interpret: even with a very accurate test, the fewer people in a population who have a condition, the more likely it is that an individual's positive result is wrong. If it is, people might think they have the antibodies (and thus may have immunity), when in fact they do not.

A positive screening test result for other diseases usually prompts follow-up testing to confirm a diagnosis. But for COVID-19 screening, such follow-up has been rare because testing resources are scarce or because other testing methods are prioritized for the sickest patients. Here's a look at the massive impact infection rates can have on the predictive value of these tests for individuals.

Credit: Amanda Monta?ez

Read more about the coronavirus outbreak from Scientific American here. And read coverage from our international network of magazines here.


Thursday, June 18, 2020

James DeMeo - Natural Philosophy Wiki


James DeMeo

James DeMeo, Ph.D., formally studied the Earth, atmospheric, and environmental/social sciences at Florida International University and the University of Kansas, where he earned his Ph.D. in 1986. At KU, he openly undertook graduate-level natural scientific research specifically focused upon Wilhelm Reich's controversial discoveries, subjecting those ideas to rigorous testing with positive verification of the original findings. DeMeo has undertaken field research in the arid American Southwest, Egypt, Israel, sub-Saharan Eritrea, and Namibia, Africa. His published works include dozens of articles and compendiums, and several books, including Saharasia and The Orgone Accumulator Handbook. He was editor of On Wilhelm Reich and Orgonomy and Heretic's Notebook, editor of the journal Pulse of the Planet, and co-editor for the German-language compendium Nach Reich: Neue Forschung zur Orgonomie. A full list of his peer-reviewed and major publications is found at the ResearchGate website, with a more comprehensive listing given at his home website. DeMeo served on the Faculty of Geography at Illinois State University and the University of Miami, and is a former Research Associate of the American College of Orgonomy. He is a member of the American Meteorological Association, Society for Scientific Exploration, Arid Lands Society, Natural Philosophy Alliance, and International Society for the Study of Subtle Energy and Energy Medicine. He is Director of the Orgone Biophysical Research Lab, which he founded in 1978, and in 1994 moved to establish the Greenspring Center high-altitude research facility in the Siskiyou Mountains near to Ashland, Oregon.


Monday, June 15, 2020

Eye-Witness Account: What's REALLY Happening During the Seattle Riots

REALLY,,,,,,,stupid of out Diamond City in the PNW….

An Eye-Witness's Shocking Account of What's REALLY Happening During the Seattle Riots

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A social media post (which has been removed) by a member of the Washington National Guard has been shared more than 7000 times since it was written on June 12th. It's a true education in mob mentality.

As Toby Cowern says, "Look how much 'othering' has been done already. Once that's happening there's a big problem."

He's right – and here's the shocking truth about what's really going on in Seattle from a person who had a front-row ticket to the mayhem.

An eye-witness account

I previously said I had a lot to say regarding my experiences while in downtown Seattle [Incoming VERY long post…]. When I came home, I was exhausted, angry, and saddened by what I had experienced. I said I needed to share what happened, but I also said I needed some time to rest and reflect. My unit was activated for 12 days. We worked long hours but we continued to stay dedicated to the state and the mission. I can't stop that now. I've been up all night, trying my best to put into words what I experienced and observed. This is too important to wait. I rarely post on social media, but I'm making this post, hoping it reaches those that want to know the truth. I can imagine, given the current environment, this post may cause some controversy. That is not my intention what-so-ever. I agree the excessive use of force in Minnesota was inexcusable but reacting with hatred and violence is contradictory to the message of peace and change. Either way, people need to know what's actually happening behind the guise of this "movement." Whether localized or nationalized, what I witnessed NEEDS TO STOP!


I was working nights and the day of my phone call, I had difficulties sleeping that morning. I had a lot on my mind, and I decided I was going to stay up and do some yard work. As I was preparing to go outside, I started receiving text messages and phone calls. "We've been activated! Hit time at the armory is 1700!" I looked at my watch and I had maybe an hour before hit time. "Well, I'm going to be late…" I thought. I immediately responded to the text messages and phone calls, telling them I would be there as soon as possible. Why was I going to be late?

My unit is in Western Washington and I live in Southeastern Washington… to drive, at a pace much faster than the speed limit, I'd be lucky to make it in three hours… Without hesitation, I grabbed all my staged military gear and threw it into the back of my vehicle. I figured, "Heck, if it's an emergency, they're not going to have time to put out a packing list… so, I mise well bring everything." As I was throwing military gear into my vehicle, I received text messages telling me to pack for at least a week. "Wow, this is serious…" I thought. Being activated and expecting the mission to last a week or more, whatever the activation was for, it was going to be an uphill battle… I threw a few uniforms and a week's worth of clothing in my rucksack and proceeded to drive to the armory.


I arrived at the armory in the evening and realized I had now been awake for over 24 hours. I contacted my chain of command and determined we'd leave at zero dark hundred for Seattle. I gathered my issued equipment, added it to my ruck sack, and tried to take a one-hour nap. I awoke to people on the move and bright fluorescent lights. It felt like I had just closed my eyes, but it was go-time. I grabbed my bags and met my unit in the parking lot of the armory. There was no time to waste! We loaded every cot we had, all our personal bags, and whatever we could quickly think of that we might need. We loaded our transportation and were off to Seattle in what seemed like minutes…

The Build Up:

On our way to Seattle, I had time to dwell and self-reflect. What's so out of control that the Guard would be called up? Who and/or what am I going to be protecting? Am I going to be protecting rights, life, property, or all the above? I told myself that no matter what happens, I will do my utmost to remain impartial, to uphold the Constitution, to protect the rights of the citizens of the United States, and to protect life and property to the best of my ability. As a Soldier, we take an oath to support and defend the Constitution of the United States against ALL enemies, foreign and domestic. Regardless of the political climate, a Soldier has the responsibility to remain impartial, to ensure all citizens' rights are protected and that the Constitution is adhered to. As we approached Seattle, I did so with an open mind and a sympathetic heart. I prayed that I may understand whoever needs our help, that I may do my job to the utmost of my ability, and that the rights of all those involved would be preserved.

The Gear:

Per order of the Governor of Washington State, Jay Inslee, the Washington Army National Guard went into Seattle COMPLETELY UNARMED. We had NO way to defend ourselves and HAD TO rely upon the SEATTLE POLICE DEPARTMENT to protect us… Not all of us had vests or plates that would stop rifle bullets. In the beginning, most of us didn't even have shin guards… A few Soldiers didn't have batons… Shields were hit or miss, but we ended up sharing where we could…

The Riots:

Oddly enough, my first day was one of the hardest days. We touched ground and were immediately dispatched to the Seattle Police Department (SPD) East Precinct near the intersection of 11th St and Pine St (Capitol Hill). This location would become very familiar for me, due to all of the "peaceful protesters" rioting here almost every night… Only one other unit arrived the day before we did, and they were sent to Westlake Center due to it being actively vandalized and destroyed.

Before I talk about the first day, I have to admit that my squad was later sent to Westlake. While I was there, I saw remnants of fire and broken glass everywhere I went. Almost all glass areas were boarded up and the area was devoid of business. What I, and most non-locals didn't know, is that Westlake is a shopping center. It's blocks upon blocks of popular businesses in downtown Seattle. It's essentially an outdoor shopping mall… Due to the fact that not a single store was open, I was curious about the extent of damage to the area the night before. While I was looking through photos on Google while on break, one of the Seattle Police Department Police Officers pointed to an area down the street and said, "The bastards torched my patrol car right there." As she said that, the newspaper headline photo lit my smartphone screen as I could see protesters celebrating around broken business windows and a couple vehicles that were aflame. I thought to myself, "Why would someone do this?" As I read through the headlines, I came to realize the businesses were broken into, looted, and then set ablaze… all in the name of "Black Lives Matter." I tried my best to connect the dots… but how does social injustice relate to graffiti, theft, malicious mischief, and arson? If there was a specific political statement from these crimes, even the news media didn't interpret or understand it… it was obviously a crime of opportunity…

Returning back to my first day at East Precinct, I was assigned as one of the squad leaders. My squad, consisting of primarily Soldiers from my unit, were fairly distinct. Like everyone else in my unit, we wore a black vest that distinguished us against every other Guardsman in Seattle. I could explain why, but it's not relevant. If you want proof of where I was, find the Soldiers with black vests in Seattle… I was one of them.


On the first day, we were initially on the line behind the Seattle Police Officers at the East Precinct. The Officers weren't carrying shields like us that day. During the protests, I observed Officers shaking hands with those yelling at them. I also saw one Officer approach a male crying in the crowd. The Officer asked the male if he wanted a hug and the protester replied, "Yes!" I watched as the Officer embraced and comforted the crying protester. Seeing these things, I thought to myself "Why am I here? Seattle PD obviously has a connection with the population, what am I supposed to accomplish or prevent here?" It didn't take long for that to change.

I took up position on our right flank, recognizing a weakness in our line. A female quickly made eye contact with me, while recording me with her cell phone, and started yelling… "HEY! ARMY! Where are you from?!" I told her I was a Soldier with the Washington Army National Guard. She asked if I lived in Washington State. I told her, "Yes, I'm a citizen of Washington State, just like you." She then abruptly said, "Why do you guys keep killing us?" I told her, "Excuse me?! I haven't killed anyone…" She looked at me, befuddled, and said… "You guys keep killing us! You know, your training… don't you have some sort of limitation where you can't kill people?! You know, where you can only shoot us if we shoot at you?" At this point, I obviously knew she was referring to our Rules of Engagement (RoE) but it was obvious she was trying to provoke me. I tried to explain to her that what she was saying wasn't true, but she kept interrupting me. Every time I'd try to speak, she'd raise her voice and interrupt me. As she continued to escalate, I recognized she was trying to provoke an exaggerated reaction out of me. I looked at her, shrugged, and proceeded to ignore her as I scanned the crowd. She grumbled and said, "You don't even know your own regulations?!" I looked at her, shrugged again, and continued to ignore her… As I was scanning, I saw a male protester point out and move towards an African-American Police Officer.

The protester proceeded to yell, asking why the Officer was on the "white-man's side." He called the Officer an "Uncle Tom," a "pretender," a "race traitor," and a N-word I'd prefer not to use. Every fiber of my being wanted to lash out. How can you use racist terms and protest racism while using it in a derogatory manner towards someone else? How can you even find fault in someone that is remaining peaceful, that is protecting your rights, and is obviously concerned for the community?! I was furious as the protester continued berating the Officer… We then got replaced by another squad for relief.

During their "protest" I observed multiple people tell others to "shut up" because of their "white privilege." I also saw two protesters almost get into a fight because one wasn't "letting the black man speak." Another protester, when a male had a megaphone, yelled "Listen to him! He's black!" I was raised, under the impression, that equality means treating everyone equally… Race won't cease to be an issue until we stop talking about it. All my brothers and sisters are one color: green. It's cool to honor your heritage, but no one gets special anything due to their skin tone… Everyone is treated the same and everything is equal. How is this (equality) a hard concept?

I talked to my Soldiers during our downtime. I had a few African-American Soldiers in my squad. I pointed out and talked to them about what I had just observed. I told them they may be focused upon, that the racists in the crowd might single them out because they're African-American. It wasn't long before we returned to the protest line.

I should start gambling because it didn't take long for the African-American Soldiers to get singled out. I'm not going to repeat the hate, racism, and discontent directed at my Soldiers. If they feel the need to share what was directed at them by the hypocritical "protesters," they'll do so. Either way, every single Soldier in my unit was phenomenal. Not a single Soldier lost their military bearing or professionalism. Not a single protester got anyone in my squad to break their military bearing… Not a single Soldier lashed out at the complete and utter stupidity of the racism coming from the hypocrites… After each one of my Soldiers was focused upon, I pulled them aside and later commended them on their military bearing and discipline. I reiterated to each one of them that the rioters were trying to provoke them to react. I told my Soldiers to maintain their discipline and to not worry about the protesters overstepping. I told them I'd be right there, to address any protesters touching them or pushing the boundaries.

I have to say… I'm a prior Active Duty Soldier and these Guard Soldiers were on point! They must have had some hard charging Drill Sergeants because all of them maintained their military bearing through this whole ordeal and I'm proud as hell to call them brothers and sisters!

Some highlights:

"All of you Soldiers should have died in Iraq!"
"You're nothing but a bunch of Vietnam baby killers!"
"The only thing you know what to do is murder people!"
"All people should be afraid of you, you're nothing but killers!"
"You guys must be ready to kill people with your kung-fu gloves."
"I'm legitimately afraid of you guys because all you know what to do is kill."
"Who exactly are you here to protect?"
"You'd rather protect property than people!"
"You should be pointing weapons at the police!"
"You're on the wrong side, racists!"
"Stop following orders and join us!"
"You're too dumb to form your own opinion."
"What Matters? Black Lives Matter… Are you too stupid to get that?"
"You guys need to stop shooting people."
"You guys need to stop gassing us."

(We NEVER had firearms, Oleoresin Capsicum [OC], CS "tear" gas, or any other "weapons")
-Some of these comments were made towards us while we were just standing in an area, away from any "protest line" without a riot shield…

On that first day, they continued to try to provoke a response from the Officers and the Guardsman. NO ONE PROVIDED A RESPONSE. I was on the line, near the center right. I remember a plastic water bottle being thrown across the line by the "protesters" on my right side towards a Police Officer. Soon after, a bottle landed on the left side, right behind our line. I yelled out "SHIELDS UP!" Without hesitation, our ENTIRE LINE of Guardsman moved forward, and placed ourselves between the rioters and the Police Officers.

The "protesters" began throwing rocks, glass bottles, and chunks of concrete. I was out there ALL day. There wasn't any construction going on. There wasn't a pile of concrete or bricks anywhere to be seen. All I saw were younger people with heavy backpacks. THEY WERE GRABBING CHUNKS OF CONCRETE FROM THEIR BACKPACKS TO THROW AT US. Why is that important? Why would you carry chunks of concrete to a protest? Because you PLAN on using/throwing the concrete… When the concrete began to rain down on us, it came from ALL directions. What does that mean? It was COORDINATED. THEY PLANNED TO ASSAULT US WITH CONCRETE. I didn't realize until later, but I have to tell you… it really pissed me off when I thought about the situation I had just experienced. As they were throwing these items, the Officers tried to protect us by using less-lethal means (OC/CS/etc). NO LETHAL FORCE WAS USED. Could the Seattle Police Department use lethal force in that situation? Absolutely… a chunk of concrete to the head can KILL someone…

What NO ONE realizes, because the media is bias as hell, at least three police officers were injured that day before SPD used less-lethal means to de-escalate the situation. One Officer took a chunk of concrete to his right eye… last I heard, he's expected to LOSE his eye. I retrieved a video from that confrontation with the "protesters." You can see items flying towards us as SPD deploys OC (pepper spray). Notice the second use of OC, the long burst? That was over my right shoulder next to my head. I got some OC contamination from that, which was okay because I was trained for it… The crowd continued to throw concrete. At least two pieces of concrete hit my shield. I later took a picture of my shield, WHICH WAS BRAND NEW, to show the extent of crap being thrown at us.

SPD then deployed CS gas. We had planned for this possibility, telling the squad on deck to come relieve us after they put their mask on. Unfortunately, that didn't happen. As CS was deployed, the crowd began to throw the CS canisters back towards us along with more concrete. I couldn't put my mask on since I would have had to drop my shield to do so. I was currently protecting SPD Officers and I wasn't going to allow the Officers behind me to get hurt. So, as Guardsman were pulled off the line by other Guardsman and SPD, I HELD MY GROUND. I've been through the CS gas chamber with the U.S. Army, but this was so much worse. I stood there, trying to breathe for as long as I could.

At one point, I looked forward, and saw a female pointing a black pipe towards me. My thought in that moment: "You've got to be kidding me… they're using potato guns too?!" As she turned to her right, I noticed it was a leaf blower. A "PROTESTER" brought a leaf blower to blow CS gas towards us… (It's not like they were anticipating that, right?!) As the clouds of CS were parting due to her efforts, I saw a male… wearing a black hoodie, with the hoodie up, a bandanna, black pants, and a black backpack, in a throwing position. I watched as he threw a large piece of concrete (at least 5" x 5"), that was shaped in a triangle, directly at me. As it hit my shield (notice the white impact mark on the picture), I thought to myself… if I was armed, I would have shot him… The cloud of CS overtook me. As I struggled to breathe, I looked to my left and NO ONE was there. I looked to my right and saw only ONE OTHER SOLDIER. I began to fall back as a sea of navy blue rushed forward. SPD and the Washington State Patrol to the rescue! I returned to a rally point, dropped my shield, put on my gas mask, and began helping other soldiers that had been out on the line. As the smoke began to clear, I took a couple photos to remember this moment and the anger that flooded my emotions.

The week continued and we were sent where SPD needed us. We were told we had begun to get a reputation with SPD. Our actions, while at East Precinct, showed we could be depended upon and we were there to help. The Guard had arrived, and we'd be there, standing shoulder to shoulder with SPD, against these anarchist/communist rioters in Seattle. We saw through the protester's "cause." They were using the horrible situation that occurred in Minnesota as an opportunity to cause chaos, to loot and steal, and to destroy everything in their way to gain momentum for their "revolution." The group was quickly identified as Antifa, a communist action group that was in the process of being labeled as a terrorist organization by the Commander-in-Chief.

I don't like politics and I'm not going to talk about politics. When you're in the military, you give up that luxury. It's something I don't mind giving up, since discussing politics is as pointless as convincing a stubborn person they're wrong. It's all opinion and people typically already have their mind made up. Getting into an argument over politics usually ends in an escalation and personal attacks, especially when discussed between two people that have already passionately made up their mind.

Needless to say, I was very angry. I'm a protector by nature. When someone tries to hurt another person, and they do so when that person can't defend themselves, I become very upset. People that do that are criminals. They're the scum of society. They prey on the weak and defenseless for their own personal gain. These are the so-called "peaceful protesters" of Seattle. I agree with everyone's right to protest, but the moment they try to assault someone, that's when EVERYONE should have a problem with their actions. Why the media has continued to defend them, it just shows how biased and out of touch the media is and it irritates me.

After only a few days, the majority of my unit was sent home. Why? The Guard wanted to re-staff COVID-19 food banks, testing centers, and send the full-time soldiers back to their normal jobs… So, a large portion of our unit was pulled, and we were left with a little more than a dozen soldiers. The platoon was condensed, and other units were added to our ranks to fill in for those pulled from our platoon. We worked very well together and continued to push forward, making the best of the situation, as we were constantly tasked out by SPD.

Additional units began to arrive, due to Governor Jay Inslee activating the entire Washington National Guard (Army and Air Force). We soon realized that the majority of our "reinforcements" weren't trained, were undisciplined, and were useless for the current mission in Seattle. Additionally, they were an embarrassment… Those units were quickly sent home by the Commanding General and we realized our platoon would be stuck in Seattle, battling Antifa, until the situation was resolved one way or another.

I asked my chain of command a few times about arming us, but it was relayed over and over that Governor Inslee wouldn't allow the Guard to defend ourselves or take the fight to the enemy (Antifa). The Governor made us rely on SPD to "protect us." That limited the scope of our response, limiting our role as "shields" and "bodies" on the line for SPD… As SPD Officers and Guardsman continued to get injured at East Precinct, it became increasingly frustrating… Arming the National Guard is a risk, and some Antifa members probably would have been shot, but the situation would have been resolved quickly with a VERY different outcome.

So, the same escalating confrontations with Antifa continued for almost two weeks… The "protesters" would assault SPD Officers and Guardsman and SPD would use LESS-LETHAL means to disperse the riot. The rioters then used politics to their advantage. They began petitioning the Mayor of Seattle, Jenny Durkan. Durkan, in all her wisdom, caved to all demands… the curfew was lifted, and she BANNED the use of CS gas, the ONE thing that quickly de-escalated the violent confrontations… SPD had no choice but to view CS gas as a last resort, to only be deployed by SWAT.

Fast forward to the day before the most HUMILIATING and DEMORALIZING thing Durkan could have done…

SPD must have had some really good intelligence, or they were anticipating Antifa's response from Durkan's concessions. They installed permanent metal barriers at the intersection of 11th St and Pine St. A second line of barriers was also in place in between us and the initial barriers at the intersection. Everything kicked off per usual, with the "protesters" trying to provoke us with their words, umbrellas, and signs. This time, though, we didn't give them an audience. We all stayed inside the East Precinct, as they did their normal agitation methods at the first barrier.

Suddenly, we were told the "protesters" began jumping the first barrier, heading towards us. We rushed out to the road and staged roughly 1/3 of the way up the block from the intersection of 11th St and Pine St, creating a large safety buffer between us and the "protesters" who had jumped the fencing. They were warned to return over the barrier, which they didn't. They then began disassembling the barrier. They were warned not to disassemble the barrier, but they continued. They then walked towards us. They were warned to stop, but they didn't. They continued walking towards us. They were warned again, but they continued. They reached the second barrier.

We later found out they brought a plasma cutter (blow torch) to cut through the barriers… (not that they are the provocateurs, or are planning to escalate, right?!)

They began cutting barriers so they could be used as weapons against us. They were warned about cutting the barriers, but they continued. They then picked up the second barriers and began walking towards us. They were warned again not to move the barriers, but they continued. They then jumped the last barrier. They were warned again to turn back, but they continued towards us. As they continued to approach, they were continuously warned. HOW MANY WARNINGS DOES IT TAKE?!

It started to get dark… The portable lights were turned on. The "protesters" then produced foil covered signs and were trying to blind the Officers and Guardsman. They were warned again, but they continued. They then threw a glass bottle at a Guardsman, the glass bottle shattering on a riot shield. They were warned again, but they just booed at us. They continued to walk slowly towards the Officers until they were within 2-3 feet. They then started using their umbrella's and other objects, putting them in the face of the Officers. They were warned again to not do that.

As expected, objects were then thrown at us. They amplified things, this time. Instead of throwing glass bottles containing urine and other bodily fluids, they began throwing glass bottles full of gasoline. They then lit and threw fireworks at us, trying to light us on fire.

FINALLY the SPD Administration gave the green light and LESS LETHAL forms of riot control were deployed. As objects were continued to be thrown at us, SWAT finally deployed CS gas. The "protesters" proceeded to start vandalizing everything in the area. They smashed business windows, burned U.S. flags, lit dumpsters and other items on fire, and threw things on fire at us. We pushed them back in all directions about half a block but for some reason, we stopped pushing them back. They then regrouped and continued to vandalize the area with spray paint, breaking windows, and lighting things on fire. Around that time, the Guard was pulled back and we left East Precinct.

I returned the very next day at East Precinct, ready to continue the daily fight with these anarchists and communists. When I arrived, they were boarding up East Precinct. City employees were removing all the barriers and taking everything they could out of the precinct. We were ordered to about-face and leave. We went to a different precinct where it was announced that Durkan had decided to abandon East Precinct and to give it to the "protesters." As we watched, Antifa took over the East Precinct and they erected walls at the adjacent intersections with the barricades we had used. They armed themselves, proceeded to vandalize the East Precinct with spray paint, and they declared Capitol Hill a Cop-Free, Autonomous Zone (CHAZ). It was hard enough for me to watch, but I saw Officers that were assigned to the East Precinct for decades, shield their faces, and walk out of the room in tears. The Capitol Hill area of the City of Seattle, to include East Precinct, was surrendered by its elected officials to the terrorists…

I spent the next couple days stewing in Seattle… just waiting for any elected official to grow some balls and tell us to move back in… to take over the ground they surrendered… but it never happened. We were then told the Guard was losing its support from SPD. CHAZ was the new norm of Seattle. The terrorists won and it was time to go home. We expressed our frustration among ourselves, lowered our heads, sympathized for the SPD Officers, packed our rucksacks, and went home angry. (source)

You may be completely on your own.

As you can see, you can't depend on anyone to come and save you when unrest shows up in your neighborhood. The people who were there, willing, and able to defend Seattle were forced to stand down. You have to expect to be completely on your own. Learn more about how to stay safe during civil unrest scenarios here.

Can you imagine how the members of the National Guard and the police must have felt, facing this mob scene without the support of the state and local officials?

Of course, there are two sides to every story and it's important to see both. Here's an on-the-ground video of the CHAZ area. You do not have to be logged in to watch it.

One has to question how an elected governor could be so poor a leader as to let blocks of the largest city in his state be taken over by rioters. It honestly seems to be somewhat beyond "poor leadership." What we're wondering is whether Governor Inslee is truly this spineless, whether it's a deliberate attempt to undermine law and order, or if he's just another "useless idiot" progressing an agenda.

Friday, June 12, 2020

Sunday, June 07, 2020

These 7 Road Trips Are Perfect for Fall | Outside Online


How to Build Good Habits

The quality of your habits determines the quality of your life. Here's your step-by-step guide.

We really are creatures of habit.

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2019 Bucket List

These 7 Road Trips Are Perfect for Fall

Whether you want to chase early-season powder in the Rockies or lobster rolls in New England, we've got your perfect road trip to end the year on a high note

Looking to make the most of the rest of 2019? Try these road trips.

As the country begins to reopen, we'll keep publishing news to help you navigate the state of travel today (like whether travel insurance covers the coronavirus), as well as stories about places for you to put on your bucket list once it's safe to start going more far-flung.

At this point in the year, you have two options: you can whine about how summer went by too fast, or you can take a look at the calendar and make the most of what's left of 2019. The way we see it, there are roughly 32 nonwork days left before we ring in 2020. That's plenty of time to hit the open road and cram in some serious adventure before the earth turns one year older. Bonus: summer's heat and crowds have dissipated. There's even preseason powder to hunt. Gas up. It's time for a road trip

Best Road Trip for Early-Season Powder

Ouray, Colorado
Ouray, Colorado (Photo: Alan Stark/Creative Commons)

Wolf Creek to Ouray, Colorado; 155 miles 

While most ski resorts target Thanksgiving as their opening day, Wolf Creek is a bit of an overachiever, often firing up lifts by Halloween. It gets more than 400 inches of snow annually and has a reputation for being a magnet for early-season powder. Credit the high elevation (10,400 feet), north-facing terrain, and the fact that storms tend to linger and distribute an unfair amount of snow on the mountain. Last season the resort opened on October 13, after a week of storms dumped 30 inches. It was able to run three lifts and open almost 1,000 acres of terrain before the end of the month. 

If the powder is deep, nobody will fault you for doing laps at Wolf Creek for multiple days in a row, but keep in mind that the same storms that drop pre-Christmas powder on Wolf Creek also set early-season ice throughout the San Juan Mountains. Head north through San Juan National Forest, where during most years you can head into the backcountry and find safe ice climbing in classic destinations like Eureka Canyon, near Silverton, in late November. If you have the energy, schedule a couple of heli drops at Silverton Mountain, which will run its single lift and helicopter starting on November 24 if all goes well. 

Detour: A soak in Orvis Hot Springs, near Ouray, is a must. 

Best Road Trip to Bag Seasonal Unicorns

Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Great Smoky Mountains National Park (Photo: Pgiam/iStock)

Gauley River, West Virginia, to Great Smoky Mountains National Park, North Carolina; 280 miles

The Upper Gauley River drops 335 feet over 13 miles in a series of nonstop Class IV–V rapids. It's big water at its finest, and it only runs for about a month every year. Hit one of the recreational releases that are scheduled from September to the middle of October, and you can choose a single-day trip on the Upper Gauley or double down and run the whole river, camping on a sandbar between the upper and more mellow lower sections.

When you dry out, move south to catch the 25th anniversary of Hound Ears, a legendary bouldering competition outside Boone, North Carolina (October 5). This is the only day all year that you're allowed to climb the hundreds of granite boulders located on the side of this privately owned mountain. 

But don't worry if you can't time it right for the event, because fall is prime bouldering season in the South, thanks to cooler weather and receding poison ivy, and Boone is a hotbed of problems. Head to 221 Boulders, off the Blue Ridge Parkway, for hundreds of bus-size rocks scattered across several fields. 

Finish the trip by driving farther south to Cataloochee Valley, inside Great Smoky Mountains National Park, for the seasonal elk rut, where giant male elk bugle and lock antlers for the attention of their lady friends. The rut typically hits its peak from mid-September to mid-October. 

Detour: On your way south, swing through Asheville, North Carolina, to pick up the seasonal Cold Mountain, a winter ale released in November from Highland Brewing

Bar Harbor, Maine
Bar Harbor, Maine (Photo: Ultima_Gaina/iStock)

Freedom, Maine, to New Haven, Connecticut; 500 miles

In a perfect world, this culinary adventure will begin with apple-wood-grilled chicken at Lost Kitchen, a farm-to-table joint set in a restored gristmill next to a waterfall in Freedom. The restaurant is run by three-time James Beard–nominated chef Erin French, and it's arguably the hardest reservation to score in the country. You have to mail French a three-by-five-inch notecard that includes your contact info on one side and something creative on the other, like a poem, drawing, or story. They received 20,000 cards last year for a 40-seat restaurant. Godspeed. 

Continue moving south along the coast, stopping in Wiscasset, Maine, for a lobster roll at Red's Eats, which serves the freshest and sweetest lobster in New England. Grab an IPA at Treehouse Brewing, in Charlton, Massachusetts, an hour north of Boston. If your timing is right, you can have your fill of bivalves at the Wellfleet Oyster Fest, in Cape Cod (October 19–20). 

You're hugging the Atlantic for most of this trip, so you can burn some calories by sea kayaking Acadia National Park, in Bar Harbor, Maine, or surfing Ruggles, the famous Rhode Island break.

The trip finishes with a tomato pie at Sally's Apizza in New Haven.

Detour: Go ahead and grab another pizza at Pepe's, also in New Haven, so you can settle once and for all which of these two legends has the best one in America.   

Best Road Trip to Kiss Daylight Savings Goodbye

Delicate Arch at night
Delicate Arch at night (Photo: evenfh/iStock)

Utah's Dark Sky Parks; 366 miles

The end of daylight savings on November 3 is a bummer. But less daylight doesn't mean less fun. Make the most of all that extra darkness by knocking out a celestial tour of some of Utah's darkest corners. The state has nine International Dark Sky Parks, more than any other state. Start in Moab, where you can take your pick from Arches National Park, Canyonlands National Park, or Dead Horse State Park, each named on the International Dark Sky Park list. We say opt for Dead Horse, where the prominent plateau, standing 2,000 feet over the Colorado River, and a lack of mountains surrounding it make for a primo stargazing location. The park rangers often set up telescopes for the public. 

Head south to remote Natural Bridges National Monument, the first designated Dark Sky Park in the world. You could pick a lookout from the nine-mile scenic drive through the park, but you're better off peeking at the starlit sky from the 180-foot-long Owachomo Bridge. 

Drive west to Bryce Canyon National Park, where on clear nights, the Milky Way will form a pale rainbow from one side of the horizon to the next. The park also offers ranger-led astronomy programs 100 times a year. 

A couple of dates to keep in mind when you're planning this trip: October 22 promises a massive Orionid meteor shower between midnight and dawn, with up to 20 meteors an hour during its peak. On December 13 and 14, look up for the Geminid meteor shower, which should shape up to be one of the best celestial events of the year, with up to 50 bright, white meteors an hour. 

Detour: Swing through Park City to pick up a bottle of High West's seasonal Midwinter Night's Dram. 

Best Road Trips for Surfing… in the Midwest 

A surfer in Duluth
A surfer in Duluth (Photo: Randen Pederson/Creative Commons)

Chicago to Sheboygan, Wisconsin; 148 miles 
Minneapolis to Duluth, Minnesota; 150 miles 

You want to get one last quick surf trip in before you wax the skis, but you live in the Midwest. The solution? Stick close to home, and keep an eye on the forecast. Surfing the Great Lakes, a.k.a. the Third Coast, is hit or miss during the summer, but when the north winds start roaring in the fall, the swells pick up. Duluth has arguably the best surfing in the middle of the country. Locals call it "the other North Shore." Head to Stoney Point, where deep water and an offshore rock reef make for unusually large and consistent waves. And it's only two hours north of Minneapolis. 

Sheboygan, on the west coast of Lake Michigan, has five miles of beach with multiple breaks to choose from. It's not as consistent as Stoney Point, but waves get big when the wind comes from the northeast. The fact that it's only one hour north of Milwaukee and two hours north of Chicago make it the perfect spot for an impromptu Saturday or Sunday session. Just remember to pack a thick wetsuit and a high-volume surfboard—fresh water is less buoyant than salt water. 

Detour: Jump 100 miles north of Sheboygan to Sturgeon Bay for an order of cheese curds straight from the source at Renard's Cheese

Best Road Trip to Send It with Your College Buddy

Smith Rock, Oregon
Smith Rock, Oregon (Photo: TheCADguy/Pixabay)

Smith Rock to Otter Rock, Oregon; 300 miles 

Grab that longtime friend who stuck by you through your Bob Marley and poetry phases, and get matching air-brushed tank tops, because this is the road trip you always wanted to take in college. Start by rebuilding mutual trust at Smith Rock State Park, which gave birth to sport climbing in the U.S. in the mid-eighties and has more than 2,000 routes to choose from now, all of which are best sent in the fall when temperatures are cool and skies are clear. The Dihedrals, a collection of steep arêtes, spawned the first 5.14 ever climbed in America (To Bolt or Not to Be), but it also has some easy climbs, down to 5.5. Snag a spot in the walk-in campground, the Bivy, and you'll have the park's best bouldering just outside your tent. 

Trade rock for dirt by driving 125 miles north to Hood River, where Post Canyon offers more than 60 miles of cross-country and freeride mountain-bike trails in a dense system that's easy to shuttle and lap. Connect Bad Motor Scooter with Grand Prix for 1.5 miles of flowy jumps and berms that drop almost 800 feet of elevation. 

Otter Rock is a beginner-friendly beach break on Oregon's central coast. Not only does the state get its best surf in the fall, but it often sees its best weather, with 80-degree Indian-summer days and typically rain-free skies. Otter Rock doesn't have Oregon's biggest surf, but it arguably has its most consistent, with a beach break that picks up size on swells from just about every direction. Bring your longboard to make the most of the two-to-four-foot surf.   

Detour: Cut through Portland, hitting Breakside Brewing to load up on its seasonal IPA on your way to the beach. 

Best Road Trip to Escape Winter 

Lake Mohave
Lake Mohave (Photo: Wirepec/iStock)

Sedona, Arizona, to Mojave National Preserve, California; 380 miles

Dig this: Sedona's winter temperatures typically hover in the high fifties. That's perfect mountain-bike weather, particularly when your favorite trails at home are covered in snow. You have more than 125 miles of singletrack to choose from. Skip the vertigo-inducing Hangover Trail, and opt for the more sensible Slim Shady, a 2.5-mile piece of flow that combines Sedona's signature rock tread with the desert's long-range views. You can easily use Slim Shady as the backbone for an all-day epic that takes in the best of the area

You'll need to rinse off after all that dirt, so Lake Mohave, which runs for 67 miles between Hoover Dam and Davis Dam, is your next stop. Launch your kayak or SUP from Willow Beach Marina (it has rentals) and paddle north to explore Black Canyon, a 22-mile-long gorge that hems in the northern section of the lake, squeezing the water to a narrow 300 feet wide at some points. 

Keep moving west to the little-known Mojave National Preserve, a massive 1.5-million-acre slice of desert that has the largest Joshua tree forest in the country, lava-tube caves, and the 650-foot-tall Kelso Sand Dunes. Even with all these superlatives, the highlight of the preserve might be the two-mile Rings Loop Trail, where you can climb up a slot canyon on iron rings. 

Detour: Las Vegas puts on a hell of a fireworks show for New Year's Eve. Find a spot far from the Strip, in Red Rocks Canyon, and you can see the pyrotechnics without fighting the crowds. 

Lead Photo: Jordan Banks/Tandem


Home Hints from Yankee Magazine


Favorite Home Hints from Yankee Magazine

Table Of Contents:

How to Remove Wax
Wallpaper Tips
Polishing and Cleaning Metals
How to Care for Wood
and More…

How to Remove Wax

Remove Candle Wax from Fabric

Did a candle drip onto your favorite tablecloth? Use these tips to remove candle wax from fabric.

It happens. You're having a dinner party and fail to notice the wax from your taper candles dripping onto your tablecloth. It can be upsetting when you realize the wax has seeped into the fabric and solidified. You could try removing candle wax by scraping it off, but that can be time-consuming and may even damage the fabric. You could have it professionally cleaned, but that's unnecessary. Save yourself the cost of laundering bills with these tips on how to remove candle wax from fabric.

Note: These tips don't only work on tablecloths. You can also use them to remove wax from

Remove Small Candle Wax Stains

Small spots of hardened candle wax can be removed from fabric by rubbing with a generous dollop of vegetable oil. Wipe off any excess oil with paper towels, and then launder as usual.

Another way to remove small amounts of wax from a tablecloth is to put the linen in the freezer. When the wax turns brittle, remove the tablecloth and snap most of the wax right off. To remove the remaining wax from the tablecloth, spread the affected area over a large bowl and secure it with rubber bands, then pour boiling water over the wax to melt it. Follow up by washing the tablecloth as usual.

Remove Large Candle Wax Stains

To remove large candle wax stains from clothing, first scrape off the excess with a dull knife, then place the stained area between two paper towels or brown paper bags and press with an iron on a low setting. If the fabric is one you would normally iron at a very low temperature, be careful to avoid burning it while you remove the wax. In that case, simply hold the iron just above the paper and move it back and forth. It doesn't take much heat to soften the wax and transfer it to the paper. Replace the paper towels or bags as the wax is absorbed into them, then launder when the paper no longer absorbs wax. Remove any remaining stain with a spot lifter.

Wallpaper Tips

How To Remove Wallpaper

Whether your wallpaper is strippable, peel-able, or old-fashioned, our tips for how to remove wallpaper will have your walls free and clear in no time.

Is it time to redo the guest bedroom or update your kitchen décor? The process of how to remove wallpaper can seem daunting, but with these three simple methods, your walls will be paperless in no time.

How to Remove Strippable Wallpaper

If your wallpaper is newer it may be of the strippable variety. This should pull away from the wall with little trouble. Check by taking one of the bottom corners and lifting it away from the wall in an upward motion. If it comes away easily, continue to strip away the wallpaper in this manner until all the paper is completely removed.

How to Remove Peel-able Wallpaper

If you begin to pull your wallpaper away from the wall and only a thin vinyl or plastic layer comes away, you probably have peel-able wallpaper. How to remove wallpaper that is of this kind: peel the vinyl layer off completely as best you can. Then, continue with the following steps for the remaining layer of wallpaper, the layer underneath the vinyl or plastic.

How to Remove Wallpaper

How to Remove Wallpaper


How to Remove Regular (Old-Fashioned) Wallpaper

If your wallpaper is older or the adhesive is not forgiving, then you may need to work a little harder to remove the paper. Begin by using sandpaper or a scorer to create small holes in the paper. (If the wall underneath the wallpaper is drywall, be extra careful while scraping to avoid damaging it.) In a bucket or bowl mix a solution of one part hot water and one part fabric softener. Rinse the wall with this solution focusing on one section at a time. Let the solution seep through the holes to loosen the adhesive. After 10 to 15 minutes, pull the wallpaper up, using a putty knife to help if necessary. After you have repeated this process and removed all the wall paper, mix hot water and dish detergent in a separate bowl and sponge away any remaining adhesive. Rinse the wall with clean water and pat it dry with a towel.

How To Paint Over Wallpaper

Does the thought of removing wallpaper make you cringe? Maybe you don't have to! Learn how to paint over wallpaper with these easy to follow instructions.

One method is wallpaper removal but if you don't want to go down that path, why not just paint over the wallpaper instead?

If your wallpaper is not of the strippable variety (the kind that easily pulls away from the wall) and was applied with a strong adhesive, it can be difficult or near impossible to remove it completely, if at all. Sometimes it's safer for the wall underneath, and less trouble for you, to simply paint over existing wallpaper. Below we lay out the steps for how to paint over wallpaper.

How to Paint Over Wallpaper

Prepare the Wall

The first thing you must do is prepare the wall. Begin by vacuuming or wiping down the wallpaper to remove any and all dust and dirt.

Repair Damage

Check for any dings or tears in the paper and cover these with as many layers of spackle as needed. (If you are dealing with textured wall paper, spackle the entire wall to create a uniformed surface for the paint.) Next, sand down the seams of the wallpaper so that the the surface for painting is entirely smooth. This will give the final wall, once the paint has dried, a professional look.

Prevent Peeling

Use caulk where the ceiling and floor meet the wall to prevent the wallpaper from peeling up after you paint. As tempting as it is to skip these steps, it is important that the preparation of the wall be taken seriously in order to ensure an eye-pleasing final product and to ensure that you don't create more work for yourself in the future.

Paint the Paper

Now that the wall is ready for painting, apply an oil-based primer (a water-based primer is not recommend as it may loosen the wallpaper). The primer will help to seal the paper and reinforce its adhesive. Once the primer is completely dry, your wall is ready to receive its first coat of oil-based paint. You may begin painting over the wallpaper. Use as many coats of paint as you see fit, though at least two is probably best.

You now know how to paint over wallpaper. Happy painting!

How to Use Maps as Wallpaper 

Decorating with antique maps is a wonderful way to display your favorite destinations in your home. Here's how to use maps as wallpaper. It's easier than you think!

Use Maps as Wallpaper

Use Maps as Wallpaper

John Gruen

How to Use Maps as Wallpaper

Here's how we used maps as wallpaper.

First, hang the maps with pushpins. Then apply glue to the backs of the topographical maps. (We recommend Roman's Ultra Pro-880, a clear adhesive with "a lot of tack.") For thinner paper, dilute the glue to the consistency of maple syrup and coat the walls with it to avoid dissolving fragile antique paper. Since diluted glue dries fast, first prepare the walls with sizing, a material that makes it easier to hang and position wallpaper.

Use a damp sponge and a natural-bristle brush to remove bubbles and smooth the surface once the maps are placed on the walls. We don't advise using a $5 brush from the hardware store, because its coarseness can damage the paper. We use a top-of-the-line $50 brush, but homeowners don't have to invest that much; a China-bristle paintbrush is a good alternative.

After letting the walls dry for several weeks, seal the surface with water-based Faux Effects' AquaGard.

Polishing and Cleaning Metals

How to Polish Pewter

Learn how to tell the difference between different types of pewter, how to polish pewter, and more.

Before we delve into the methods for how to polish pewter, it is important to know two things:

  1. Never use silver polish on pewter.
  2. Know the type of pewter you have, as this will determine the best way to care for it.

There are three types of pewter.

Polished pewter is very shiny and smooth.

Satin pewter is not as shiny as polished pewter, and has a more grainy texture.

Oxidized pewter is the darkest type of pewter, and often looks very old. Here's how to polish each type.

How to Polish Polished Pewter

For polished pewter, use a solution of warm water and dishwashing liquid to gently remove any dirt from the pewter piece, then rinse it carefully and dry it with a soft cloth. You can also use a mixture of one cup of vinegar and half a cup of flour to clean polished pewter. Rub the mixture on the piece and let it sit for 20-30 minutes before rinsing and drying it.

To polish, boil linseed oil and mix it with rottenstone (can be purchased at your local hardware store). Continue to add rottenstone to the oil until the mixture becomes thick. Let the mixture cool. In circular motions, rub the mixture into the pewter until you achieve the desired level of shine.

How to Polish Satin Pewter

For satin pewter, use a solution of warm water and dishwashing liquid to gently remove any dirt from the pewter piece. Rinse it carefully and dry it with a soft cloth. Again, you may also use the vinegar and flour mixture with a dash of salt to clean satin pewter. Rub the mixture on the piece and let it sit for 20-30 minutes before rinsing and drying it. Always rub along the grain when cleaning satin pewter, not in a circular motion, to avoid any unnecessary scratching.

You should only polish satin pewter every few years, and often a simple buff with fine steel wool rubbed gently along the grain will suffice.

How to Polish Oxidized Pewter

Wondering how to polish pewter of the oxidized variety? The answer is simple: don't polish it. Oxidized pewter does not need to be polished. Polishing it runs the risk of removing the dark layer for which this type of pewter is known, devaluing the piece. To keep oxidized pewter looking its best, you should gently wash it with warm water and dishwashing detergent, then rinse and towel dry.

Now that you know how to polish pewter and your pieces are looking shiny and new, don't forget to spend some time cleaning and polishing the rest of your collection!

Homemade Silver Cleaner

Can't find anything to take tarnish off silver. Follow these instructions to mix up homemade silver cleaner that uses common household staples and contains no harsh chemicals.

Earl Proulx had a simple solution for practically everything — including household chores. A woman once wrote to him asking how to clean a sterling silver spoon she had left soaking in bleach, causing it to turn "black as an ace of spades." She'd tried cleaning it with silver polish, but with no luck. He suggested she try the electrolyte method, and gave her instructions to make a homemade silver cleaner that's easy, uses common household staples, and doesn't require gloves or messy chemicals. She wrote again to tell him how well the method worked for her. Before she tried it, she thought the spoon was ruined.


Note: This method should be used as a last resort. The electromagnetic reaction that removes the tarnish may also remove the patina, leaving the silver looking flat. Do not use this method for cleaning silver on pieces that have a raised design or on cemented pieces. For help with cleaning valuable pieces of silver, we suggest contacting a silversmith.

Tips for Polishing Silverware

Want to keep your silver in tip-top shape? The best way to clean silver is to use and clean it regularly, but if you only use your silverware twice a year, follow these helpful silver polishing tips from the editors of Yankee Magazine.

  • If using silver regularly, try this method to clean it. After each use, simply wash it with a mild dishwashing liquid, rinse and buff dry with a soft cloth. Every time you polish silver, you wear off a fine layer of the metal, so polish only when you have to, and do it as gently as you can.
  • Remove egg stains from silver by rubbing on salt with your fingertips, then washing in dishwashing liquid and rinsing well before buffing the piece dry. Don't skip the washing and rinsing stages, or you'll get new stains from the salt.
  • Always use cotton gloves—not rubber ones—when polishing silver. Rubber can make silver tarnish faster, and the gloves will leave fingerprints that are hard to remove. In fact, contact with rubber can cause damage only a silversmith can repair.
  • Never put a rubber band around a piece of silver. Over time, it will leave a brown stain that will be nearly impossible to remove.
  • Drain your freshly washed silver on paper or cloth towels—never on rubber mats, which will make the pieces tarnish faster.
  • When you store your silver, make sure the drawer is lined with a cotton, flannel or felt mat, not a rubber one that could promote tarnish.

These May Be Hazardous to Your Silver

  • Check the label to make sure the soap you use to clean your silver doesn't contain phosphorus or sulfur compounds, as these will cause staining.
  • Be sure to wash silver immediately after it's come in contact with eggs, Brussels sprouts, vinegar or salt. All of these foods contain sulfur compounds, which cause silver to tarnish.
  • If you live in an area with hard water (water that contains a lot of minerals), use distilled water to clean your silver. Hard water may leave mineral deposits that can cause pitting.
  • Avoid letting your silver come in contact with mustard, mayonnaise or plastic wrap. At best, they'll tarnish the silver; at worst, they'll pit it beyond repair.

Old-Fashioned Ways to Clean Brass

Have your brass objects become tarnished or dull-looking? Use these old-fashioned methods to clean brass.

Earl Proulx received a lot of letters after he ran a tip in his "Plain Talk" column in Yankee Magazine about cleaning a dishwasher with powdered fruit juice mix—some supporting the idea and others opposing it. One letter was from a man in the Navy. He cleaned with powdered juice mix all the time. In fact, he wrote, they didn't use anything fancy to clean brass aboard his ship. Instead they cleaned all their brass with powdered or canned fruit juice.

Old-Fashioned Ways to Clean Brass

You can clean brass by rubbing on Worcestershire sauce or ketchup with a damp cloth.

Another alternative for shining brass is to boil onions in water and use the cooled water to polish these metals.

To make an inexpensive brass cleaner, mix equal parts salt and flour with enough vinegar to make a thick paste. Rub on vigorously with a damp cloth. Then wash, rinse, and dry thoroughly.

Mix 1 tablespoon of salt and 2 tablespoons of vinegar in 1 pint of water. Heat until warm, then apply as above.

Small brass objects can be cleaned with a little toothpaste (not the gel type).  Apply it with a soft, damp cloth or toothbrush, then rinse and dry.

To remove tarnish from brass, dip a lemon slice or rind in a little salt and rub it on the object. Then clean and dry with paper towels.

Add a little ammonia to a soap-and-water solution to clean these metals. Apply with a soft paintbrush or rag, then rinse and wipe dry.

Editor's Note: Using old-fashioned methods can sometimes dull the brass finish. If this happens, polish with water in which onions have been boiled, or with Worcestershire sauce (a pungent sauce made of soy, vinegar, and garlic) and then rub with olive oil to protect the shine. Always consult an expert when trying to clean valuable pieces.


How to Care for Wood

How-to Clean and Repair Wood Floors

Learn how to clean and repair wood floors in your home to keep them looking their best.

Hardwood offers a lot of value in terms of durability and aesthetics. Learn how to clean and repair wood floors to keep them looking their best.

Stop Floors from Squeaking

Before doing anything drastic to squeaky floorboards (like replacing them), try sweeping some talcum powder into the joints between the boards. That may ease the rubbing that's causing the noise.

If the squeaky boards happen to be over the cellar, quieting them may be as simple as driving a wooden shingle between the boards and the floor joist. Sometimes that simple step will keep the boards from moving and will thus eliminate the squeak.

Clean Blackened Floors

If your floors are old, grimy or blackened, you may be able to save them. Try stripping them of their finish, then scrubbing them with a stiff-bristled brush and repeated doses of extremely hot water and ammonia (an ounce or two per gallon of water). When they're treated this way, floors may reveal a pleasing color and grain and provide you with years more of service.

Another way to attack an accumulation of dirt or grime on old wood floors is with a combination of 1 gallon of extremely hot water and a few ounces of TSP (available at most hardware stores) or another product that contains trisodium phosphate.

Remove Scuff Marks from Wood Floors

If shoes leave scuff marks on your wood floor, don't waste time or money searching for commercial cleaning products. Instead, just grab a pencil and use the eraser to eliminate the marks lickety-split.

Remove Sap from Wood Floors

You love the fresh evergreen scent that a live Christmas tree brings to the house but not the sap it leaves on the living room floor. Luckily, there is a quick, easy, and inexpensive way to get rid of it. Apply a little vegetable shortening to a cloth and rub it on the sap. Then wipe the area with a paper towel. The sap should come right off. If you don't have any vegetable shortening, dampen a cloth with a little rubbing alcohol and try that for sap removal. (Don't try this on carpet.)

How to Clean Wood Furniture

Learn how to clean wood furniture with our tried-and-true cleaning tips. They'll help you remove everything from dirt to crayon marks.


Clean Wood Furniture with Wax or Varnish Finish

If your wooden furniture has a finish such as wax or varnish, clean it every few months with lemon oil (which is actually scented mineral oil). Slightly moisten a rag such as a soft T-shirt or an old cloth diaper with water, then add a little oil. Rub the rag over the furniture to pick up dust. Buff the surface well so that you leave a minimum of residue.

Freshen up Old Paint

If you like the paint on an old piece of furniture but it appears a bit worn (and you don't want to repaint or refinish the piece), rub a little mineral oil into it. This will get rid of caked-on dust and brighten up the color. An alternative way to clean a painted piece is to wash it with mild dishwashing liquid.

Remove Wax from Hinges

To remove wax buildup from hinges, try scrubbing them with a small steel wool soap pad. (Be careful not to scrape the adjoining wood.) Wipe the hinges clean with a damp cloth.

Prevent Chairs from Scratching Floor

If your wooden chairs are in a room with a waxed floor, wax the bottoms of the chairs' feet so that they slide easily along the floor. This protects both the chair and the floor.

Remove Candle Wax

To get candle wax off your wooden tabletop, gently scrape or peel up as much as you can get without gouging the wood. Then use a hand-held hair dryer to soften the wax that's left. Hold the dryer several inches away from the wax so that the wax doesn't heat up too much. (Otherwise it will actually adhere to the wood.) Once the wax is soft, blot it with a paper towel. Repeat if necessary.

You can also use an iron to remove candle wax from wooden furniture. Again, gently scrape as much wax as you can from the wood. Then place three or four layers of paper towels or brown paper bags on top of the remaining wax. Hold a hot iron over the layers of paper, but don't touch the iron to the paper (the heat could burn right through the finish on the wood). As the wax melts, the paper will absorb it. Repeat if necessary.

Remove Tablecloth Adhered to Table

Rub a liberal amount of mayonnaise over flannel that has come off the back of a tablecloth or table pad and stuck to your tabletop. Let the mayonnaise sink in for about an hour, then wipe up the muck with a clean paper or cloth towel.

Erase Crayon Marks

To remove crayon marks from your wooden furniture, rub mayonnaise into the affected area. Let it soak in for a few minutes, then rub the area clean with a damp cloth.

You can also use dry laundry starch (available at supermarkets) to clean wood furniture of crayon marks. Mix the starch with water according to the package instructions. Apply the mixture with a paintbrush and let it dry. Wipe the area clean with a dry cloth.

Refinishing Wood Furniture

Don't throw out that old dresser just because it's seen better days. Breathe new life into it with our tips on refinishing wood furniture.

If you want to extend the life of a dreary-looking piece of wooden furniture and you're sure it needs more than just cleaning, your next step should be to refinish it. Stripping furniture isn't complicated or expensive, but it is messy and time-consuming. Follow along with these steps to learn about refinishing wood furniture in your own home.


How to Remove Finish from Wood Furniture

Stripping and refinishing wood furniture in a clean, well-ventilated place (perhaps a garage) is the best way to minimize the accumulation of dust and fumes. Cover the floor with drop cloths. Wearing protective gloves, brush on the furniture stripper and let the piece sit. After the stripper has softened the old finish, scrape the finish with a wooden scraper. (Don't use metal, which might gouge the wood.) Use a soft brass brush on crevices. Then reapply the stripper and repeat the process until all the old finish is gone. Rinse the whole thing down with a mixture of TSP or another product containing trisodium phosphate and water, rubbing with extra-fine-grade steel wool. (You can get the protective gloves, furniture stripper, brass brush and TSP at a hardware store.)

Use Sawdust to Absorb Chemicals

Sprinkle sawdust on your furniture piece just after you've rinsed it down with TSP or another product containing trisodium phosphate. In fact, use as much as you need to soak up the water and chemicals. Then brush or wipe off the muck immediately so that the sawdust doesn't dry and cake on the wood. Let your furniture dry, scrape with a cabinet scraper and then sand the wood (always sanding with the grain) until it is smooth. (This is when you will be able to remove any discolorations that have worked their way into the wood.)

Repair Before Refinishing Wood Furniture

If your piece of furniture needs repairs as well as refinishing, make the repairs after stripping and before refinishing. Also after stripping and before refinishing, check to be sure the joints are tight. Stripping can melt glue and thus cause joints to loosen. If that happens, be sure to tighten the joints before proceeding with the refinishing.

Maintain Natural Finish

Once you strip your piece of furniture, you may decide that you prefer the beauty of bare wood rather than stain. If that's the case, use a brush to apply eight or nine thin coats of tung oil (available at hardware stores) to build up a finish that is impervious to water and alcohol stains.

Apply Stain to Furniture in Thin Coats

If you are uncertain about what color stain to use, go light. You can always add stain to darken the color of your wood, but it's almost impossible to lighten a dark color. When you apply the stain, you'll have greater control over its hue if you wipe off the excess immediately and then continue to apply thin coats, wiping the excess off each time.

Stain Both Sides of Furniture

If you need to stain both sides of a piece of wood and want to save time by doing the second side before the first dries, just tip the piece gently against a wall or another support so that only the edge of the wood is touching. This will prevent blotches or smears from ruining one stained side while you do the other.

Varnish Furniture After Staining

After staining a piece of furniture, brush on a coat of varnish. Let the varnish dry, then sand the piece with fine-grit sandpaper. Repeat the process until you have three or four coats. Use thin coats of varnish, and sand progressively more with each coat to bring down "high" areas and fill in "low" areas. The sanding will even out the surface, making it smoother.

Get a Smooth Finish

For a smooth surface on your refinished piece, sand the last coat of varnish with wet 600-grit wet-or-dry sandpaper. Then make a muddy mixture of 3/4 cup of pumice, a squeeze of lampblack (it comes in a tube) and enough paraffin oil to make the mix soupy. (All these products are available at paint and hardware stores.) Brush the stuff on with an old toothbrush or, for wider areas like tabletops, a small floor brush. Use long, continuous strokes. Immediately clean up behind your strokes with rags. The lampblack will hide any white grit in the crevices. Switch to a clean rag for a final pass over the furniture to make sure you wipe off any residue. Then buff with the high-quality polish or wax of your choice.

Buff for a Glossy Finish

If you want a glassy "mirror" finish—say, for a tabletop—coat the surface with furniture wax or shoe wax and rub it in with a car buffer.

Get Scratches out of Wood | Practical DIY Advice

Over the course of time, furniture that gets a lot of use starts to show wear. Before you strip it down to refinish it—or worse—get rid of it, try these quick fixes to cover up small scratches and imperfections.


Repair Scratches in Wood with Tea

Scratches in wood can make a piece of furniture look junky, even if it is an expensive heirloom. Fortunately, repairing scratches is as easy as brewing a cup of tea. Place a tea bag (use black tea, not herbal or green tea) in a mug and spoon a few tablespoons of hot water onto the bag. Let it steep for 2 to 3 minutes. The longer the tea steeps, the darker it will be, so gauge steeping time to match the shade of the furniture that needs a fix. Dab the tea onto the scratches with a cotton swab, and then quickly wipe away the excess with a paper towel to prevent the wood around the scratches from being stained. If the wood is a medium-dark color, you may need to apply the tea more than once.

Repair Scratches in Wood with Iodine

Uh-oh. Someone just left a big scratch in your favorite dark-wood coffee table. Don't spend your hard-earned money hiring a professional refinisher. First aid for a scratch in dark wood is just like first aid for a scratched finger: Break out the iodine. Use a cotton swab to apply the iodine to the scratch. Use a paper towel to wipe away the excess so it doesn't stain the wood around the scratch.

Rub Out Surface Scratches

You can rub out surface scratches in your wooden furniture with a paste made of mineral oil and pumice (available in powder form at hardware and paint stores). Use extra-fine-grade steel wool to rub the mixture into the scratched area. Then wipe it off and buff with a dry cloth.

Cover-Up Scratches

Sometimes you can cover up a furniture scratch rather than actually removing it. Choose a wax crayon that matches the color of the finish on your scratched furniture. Color in the scratch, and then rub the spot with your finger to blend the crayon with the finish. Another way to hide scratches is to cover them with an oil-based craft or artist's paint (from a tube).

Choose a color that's darker than the finish on the furniture. Rub a little into the scratch, and the scratch will appear to blend in with the finish. (This will not work on furniture with a polyurethane finish.)

Blend Scratches with Paint

To hide scratches in varnished wooden furniture, apply watercolor paint to the affected area, using an artist's brush. Once a scratch is concealed, fill it in with varnish.

Another solution for a scratch mark in wood is to "paint" the scratch with a brown felt-tipped marker. When the ink dries, cover the spot with wax or varnish.

Cover Scratches with Instant Coffee

If your scratched wooden furniture has a dark stain, use instant coffee to cover the scratch. Make a thick paste of the coffee granules and water, then rub the paste into the scratch.

Fill the Scratch with Walnut Meat

Use the oil from a walnut to conceal a surface scratch in wooden furniture. Crack the walnut and rub a piece of the walnut meat into the scratch. Polish the area with a soft rag, and the scratch should become invisible.

Polish Off Scuffs and Minor Scratches

To freshen up wooden furniture that is scuffed or scratched, sand the damaged areas lightly with extra-fine-grade steel wool. Then apply one of the oil-based colored furniture polishes available at hardware stores. Allow the polish to dry completely (so that the oil can soak into the damaged area). If necessary, sand again lightly with the steel wool to feather in or soften the color.

Remove White Rings from Wood | Repair Stains, Dents & Rings

It's inevitable. Someone carelessly set a glass on a table in your living room, and the moisture has left a white ring in the wood finish. What doesn't have to be inevitable is a time-consuming trip to the hardware store for a commercial concoction to repair the damage. Instead, moisten a paper towel with mayonnaise and rub it into the spot until the white ring disappears. Then wipe with a clean paper towel to blot up any excess oil.


You can also dip a piece of extra-fine-grade steel wool in mineral oil. Rub the steel wool back and forth over the stain-always rubbing with the grain of the wood-to distribute the oil liberally. By doing this, you will actually remove the finish in the area that has whitened. The soft abrasion of the steel wool will polish the revealed surface while removing the spot, concealing the fact that the area is now unfinished. You may want to follow up by applying a paste wax and buffing the spot.

If a white ring is small and does not appear too deep in the wood finish, use your finger to gently rub toothpaste into it, then wipe the area clean. (Don't use the gel type; you need the abrasive effect of the toothpaste.)

Another way to remove white rings from wood furniture is to apply baking soda to them with a damp cloth, then wipe off the soda.

Remove Water Marks from Oak Furniture

Paint remover and a bleach solution can do a good job of taking out the dark, gray-black stains that appear on oak furniture as a result of either direct exposure to water or prolonged exposure to water vapor (such as from a humidifier). First apply paint remover to lift off the finish. Then mix up a solution of equal parts household (5 percent) bleach and water. Apply the solution to the stain with a brush (if the stain is large) or a clean rag (if the stain is small). Use the bleach solution on the stained area only, being careful not to let it bleed onto the good wood.

Remove Stains from Leather

You've already spent a small fortune on that leather chair, so the last thing you want to do is pay dearly to have it cleaned. Lucky for you, there's a shamelessly simple tool you can use to make minor spills and stains on leather upholstery disappear: an art gum eraser. (If you don't have one, you can buy one anywhere stationery supplies are sold.) Just give smudges and stains a rub with the eraser, and they should vanish.

Remove Dents from Tabletop

You dropped a heavy object on a wooden tabletop, and it left a dent. You can fix it immediately by pouring a little water on the dent. The water will swell the wood fibers, which will make the dent less noticeable. For a permanent fix, use an iron to remove the dent. Dampen a cotton towel and lay it on top of the dent. Then place a warm iron set to medium heat on top of the towel. Don't allow the iron to touch the wood directly. The combination of heat and steam will act to pull up the dent. Apply the iron for only a few minutes at a time, as the moist heat will affect the undamaged wood as well. Let the surface of the wood cool between treatments and repeat as needed until the dent disappears.

…and More

Sweeping Tips for the Kitchen Floor

Sweeping a tile or linoleum kitchen floor can be a dust-swirling proposition, particularly if you've had a recent baking spree or beachgoers have descended on you with sandy feet. Instead of struggling to suck up every last grain of flour or sand with the vacuum, do a better job with a plain old broom. These sweeping tips come from Housewifery: A Manual and Text Book of Practical Housekeeping (1919), by Lydia Balderston. She recommends "dustless sweeping" by "moistening the broom and shaking out all the water before sweeping." This technique takes a little experimentation to get right, however, because if the broom is too wet, the dust or grit will get gooey and stick to the floor.

An even better alternative for non-hardwood floors: Use a spray bottle to sprinkle a section of newspaper with water until it's lightly damp and "then tear into bits and scatter over the floor; it need not be over the whole floor, but here and there in small quantities" before sweeping. The damp paper will keep the dust or flour from swirling into the air. You can just sweep the newspaper into the dustpan and throw it away.

Easy Ways to Clean Shower Curtains

Wash the Shower Curtain

Squirting and scrubbing a filmy shower curtain can take a lot of time, but there's a faster way to remove pesky soap scum. Just pull it down off its rings and toss it in the washer with a few towels, which will do the scrubbing for you. Stop the washer before the spin cycle and hang the curtain back in place to drip-dry.

Use Fabric Softener to Clean the Shower Curtain

If you don't want to go to the trouble of removing the curtain from the rod, look in your laundry room to find a fabulous shower curtain cleaner, says Judy Brown. Fabric softener will clean up soap residue in a jiffy. Dab some liquid fabric softener on a cleaning cloth and wipe down your plastic or vinyl shower curtain. Or put a couple of teaspoons of fabric softener in a spray bottle and fill the bottle with warm water. Squirt the shower curtain all over with the solution and wipe. Rinse with the shower hose. If you don't have a shower hose, remove the curtain from the rod and take it outside-you can use your garden hose to rinse it. Still another alternative: Use fabric softener sheets to attack that soap scum. Just dampen a sheet, wipe the curtain, and rinse. This also works well on shower doors. It even works with sheets you've already used in the dryer.

Get Rid of Musty Odors with Cat Litter, Newspapers & Charcoal

Here are some of the best ways to get rid of musty odors using common household items like cat litter, newspapers, and charcoal briquettes.

Do anything you can to dry out that musty basement or closet to get rid of musty odors: Open the doors and windows wide, take bureaus and drawers outside into the sun, leave a closet light on for a few days or place an electric fan on the floor for added circulation. Anything you can do to dry out the space is time well spent. A few precautions now will ward off everything from mildew to insect infestations. Here are some of the best ways to remove the smell of must and mildew.


Get Rid of Musty Odors with Cat Litter

  • Get rid of musty odors in drawers, closets or rooms by placing a small container of scented cat litter in the affected area. Replace the litter every few days until the odor is gone.
  • Relatively small items with musty odors should be placed in plastic bags with cat litter. Seal the bags tightly and with tape or clothespins and let them sit for a few days. Then dump out the litter and repeat if necessary.
  • To get rid of a musty odor in upholstered furniture, spray a deodorant or sprinkle cat litter over the piece. Let it sit for a while, then vacuum. Repeat if necessary.

Use Newspapers to Get Rid of Musty Odors

  • Rid books of musty odor by filling a large brown bag with crumpled newspaper, putting the books in the bag, and sealing it tight. Leave the books in the bag for a day or so, then repeat the treatment daily until the odor is gone.
  • One way to rid a suitcase of musty odors is to fill it with crumpled newspaper, then close it up. Change the paper every 2 or 3 days until the odor is gone.

Use Charcoal Briquettes to Get Rid of Musty Odors

  • To prevent musty odors from developing in a closed cottage, place pans of charcoal briquettes in several rooms. The charcoal will absorb moisture. You can burn the briquettes in your barbecue later.
  • To reduce mustiness and moisture in closets, place a few charcoal briquettes in a shallow pan on the floor. Replace the charcoal every few months to keep the closet fresh.

How to Clean and Store Bedding

Bedding is expensive, but you can protect your investment by keeping it in tip-top shape. Follow these tips on how to clean and store bedding to keep it looking its best.

Prevent Dyes in Bedding from Bleeding

Keep the dyes in a new quilt or other bedding from bleeding by soaking it in a mixture of washing soda and water. You can get washing soda from large grocery stores. If you haven't any handy, soak the quilt for about two hours in a large washbasin or clean bathtub in a mixture of cold water and 3 to 4 cups of salt. Rinse the quilt well. To dry it, lay it flat outdoors, preferably out of the sun, on a dry day.

Clean Bedding Without Washing It

Before you put a quilt through the stress of cleaning, try the less wearing approach of simply vacuuming off the dust every four months or so. Use the lowest setting on your vacuum cleaner and fit it with the small brush attachment. It's a good idea to wrap a piece of cheesecloth or old panty hose around the end of the hose to prevent small, loose pieces from getting sucked in.

Spot Clean White Bedding

To clean a spot on a white section of bedding, mix up a paste of cream of tartar and all-fabric bleach. Put a dab of paste on the spot and allow it to set. After it dries to a powder, brush it off.

Brighten Bedding

Brighten bedding that has yellowed with age by soaking it for an hour or so in a solution of 1 tablespoon of sodium perborate and 1 gallon of lukewarm water. Sodium perborate is a mild bleaching agent. Its effervescent action gently penetrates and cleans the fabric. Ask a pharmacist for sodium perborate (you shouldn't need a prescription). Rinse the quilt by dunking it in clean water (in the bathtub), then dry it flat outside on a dry day.

Store Bedding

Store bedding in white cotton king-size pillowcases, which allow them to breathe. If you store textiles in plastic bags, they're more susceptible to mold, mildew and being mistaken for a sack of trash. Don't use colored pillowcases; the colors may rub off onto the quilts.

Stop Rocking Chairs from Moving Across the Floor

When your rocking chair turns into a walking chair, it's time to take action. Here are several tips to help stop rocking chairs from moving across the floor.

You may have noticed that some rocking chairs will move forward or from side-to-side when you rock in them. This phenomenon, known as "walking," is a common problem. It happens when one of the chair's rockers is smaller or more worn down than the other, or when there's not enough friction between the chair and floor. Fortunately, there are several ways that this problem can be solved.

The best and most permanent way to stop rocking chairs from moving across the floor is to fix the chair's defective rocker. Turn the chair over and plane the bottom of the larger rocker to match the size of the smaller one. This way, the rockers will be even and should therefore stay in place.

A more temporary fix for the walking problem is to fasten one screw eye to the back of the chair's bottom rung and another to the baseboard directly behind the rocker. Then tie a piece of stout cord between the screws to hold the chair in place and keep it from moving forward.

If you lack the tools necessary to do the above, another simple solution is to glue a strip of material such as rug padding or felt onto the bottoms of the rockers. This should stop rocking chairs from sliding around on smooth surfaces, as it creates more friction between the rockers and the floor. Make sure the material you use is evenly spread out over each rocker and that there are no bubbles, otherwise your rocking chair might give you a bumpy ride.

DIY: How to Fix Sticky Drawers

Fighting with a dresser drawer that sticks can be frustrating and can result in damage to the dresser. Learn how to fix sticky drawers in your home.


Waking up every morning and having to fight with a stuck dresser drawer is a bad way to start the day. Sticky drawers can be one of the most frustrating of domestic disputes and, when left unaddressed, these little annoyances can evolve into real damage: the handles can break, and the drawers themselves may come apart. Rather than go the costly route and replace your dresser with a newer model with drawers that don't stick, extend its life by taking these three steps right now to fix sticky drawers.

Take the sticky drawers out and look at the edges. Are there any shiny spots? Those are the areas that stick. Sand them down with some coarse sandpaper, and they should be fine.

If your drawer usually holds books or other heavy items, the frame of the sticky drawer may need to be lubricated. Rub the drawer frame — the spots where the drawer glides into the frame — with candle wax, paraffin, or even an old bar of soap to give it a little extra glide. You can also spray them with a product such ad WD-40.

If you take the drawer out, you may notice that the glide — the narrow piece of wood which the drawer glides shut — is missing or worn down. If it's missing, the drawer will drag. You can fix this sticky drawer and give it a lift by pushing three or four thumbtacks along the glide. It should then open and close with ease.