Ted's Fun & Games Creature Comforts

Some Simple Ways to Improve your Everyday Life

In the modern world of ever-increasing aggravation and stress, it is incumbent upon us to arrange for some comfort in our lives to whatever extent is possible.

To that end, I suggest a few ideas that may seem trivial or silly — until you actually try them.  I am confident that, if you have not already discovered one or more of these comfort-enhancements, you will be amazed at how much more pleasant certain everyday activities can become.


Of course, everyone needs some wooden hangers for heavy items such as overcoats, and there are specialized designs for pants and the like.  The bulk of your clothing, however, is draped on ordinary hangers — probably the blackish wire kind.  These are difficult to see in a dark closet, they are easily bent and become tangled with each other regularly, and they don't even hold your clothes all that well.

It doesn't have to be that way.  Replace those hideous things with some nice, thick plastic hangers in a color of your choice — preferably white, which is easiest to see.  The best ten dollars you could spend will buy you dozens of hangers at a discount department store.


Unless you are one of those "It would be beneath me to have anything other than silk next to my pretentious pink body" types, then you probably are spending one-third of your life encased between ordinary satin sheets.

In that case, try out a set of flannel equivalents, with or without the nifty red cardinal pattern.  They are much softer and more moisture-absorbent.  The first time you curl up between your new acquisitions, you may wonder why you ever used anything else.


For those who do a lot of driving, their feet get enough of a workout as it is.  These days, most cars come with floor coverings, which principal intended functions are enhanced appearance and reduction of wear and tear on the carpet.

That, however, is not why you are proceeding directly to your favorite auto-supply outlet to select the softest, thickest industrial-strength floor mats available, in the color that most closely matches your vehicle's interior.  Mats often are sold in packs of four; but at the least, get a pair to place up front.

Install the mats, climb into your car, and observe the satisfying feeling as your heels sink into that soft cushion.  Your feet will thank you, every mile.


Yes, some people are "required" to dress up, or feel compelled to do so — whether for work, their mother's funeral, or because it's "expected" of them.  Dressy outfits such as suits tend to feature dark-colored socks to match the traditionally dark-colored shoes and pants.  Many folks, however, have rejected the old-fashioneddress-code ethic, electing to keep their priorities in order and wear what feels best for their own feet.

The answer is plain cotton footwear, not synthetic fabrics.  If one doesn't understand why white socks are more comfortable than others, it doesn't matter.  The fact that they do feel better is reason enough to wear them more or less exclusively.

Note: serious hikers, among others, recognize that wool or wool-hybrid socks are best for their needs, primarily because of wool's superior moisture-absorption capability.  For everyday wear, however, cotton socks are just fine; and they are inexpensive as well.

USE FAT SHOE LACES  (mostly for men)

The next time you purchase a pair of shoes, select a model that features round laces similar to those furnished with hiking boots.  Numerous attractive such styles are readily available to those who don't suffer from antiquated notions of fashion.

The tying of shoes can be a several-times-daily activity.  Fat round laces are easier and more fun to use, and they don't break; moreover, you never will have to hassle with a tiny knot again.


Does your hand become sore from using the mouse for hours on end?  Mine does.  Are you concerned about the possibility of developing Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?  I am.  Sometimes I switch over to a left-handed setup just to give my poor right hand a break; but not everyone can or would want to do that.  I also have found that the smaller the mouse is, the more it hurts.  Using one tiny unit that I got for traveling had become so painful that my productivity was crippled.

The simple solution is to use the biggest mouse you can get, and that's the Kensington Pro-Fit Full Size Mouse.  It's available online for thirty bucks, in either a wired or wireless model.  Your poor hand will thank you so much.


If you never have locked your only available set of keys inside you car, then kudos to you.  If you never have had to stand around for an hour waiting for a locksmith to come and open your car door, that's great.  If you never have had to flag down a policeman to call said locksmith for you because your cell-phone was locked inside with the keys, then you have been lucky.

Has any of those dreadful things actually happened to you?  Were you hideously uncomfortable and inconvenienced by the whole affair?  If so, then if was only because you unaccountably failed to prepare for such a contingency.

Did you feel stupid when that happened?  Well, that's because you were; and if you didn't take subsequent steps to safeguard against a repeat of that scenario, then you still are.  Having a spare key available at all times is such an easy thing to do that it literally defies the imagination to realize that virtually no one makes the effort.  In fact, I'm the only person I know who has done so.  Go figure.

The solution is elementary: attach a spare key to your vehicle where it will not be found accidentally, which means somewhere on the under­carriage.  No one ever will see it or even know that it is there; and no potential thief will rummage around underneath your car hunting for such an item.  Any possible paranoia about this issue is unwarranted.

Little magnetic boxes are sold for such a purpose; but I strongly recommend that you not use one of those.  Not only is such an item relatively bulky (and recognizable), but it could possibly fall off should you hit a curb or crunch your neighbor's tricycle.

The best solution is a short length of ordinary baling wire.  Attach a key to it, then wrap the wire around any non-moving metal part underneath the car; and keep the key out of sight if possible.  The wire is stiff enough that a simple twist at its ends will keep it in place indefinitely.  It usually is possible to arrange a setup such that you could retrieve the key without even having to kneel on the ground.

The best place for a stash is on the right-hand side of the vehicle because, if you are parallel-­parked, it normally would be on the right-hand side of the street, and you would be able to scramble around next to the curb instead of in the traffic.  Somewhere near the back wheel usually is best.

Over the decades I have made use of my special key several times.  How about you?

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