Home Travel Today’s guide to the obscure, the possibly relevant and things in between

Today’s guide to the obscure, the possibly relevant and things in between

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1. Whatever will the fair citizens of one Austin, Texas, neighborhood do? After Caitlyn Jenner asked the world to “Call me Caitlyn” on the cover of Vanity Fair, ABC News reports, residents of Bruce Jenner Lane are now wondering if they should do just that by changing the name of the street.

“Should we put both [names] on there? Tape one underneath it?” resident Ray Briggs told ABC affiliate KVUE. “I thought about doing that myself.”

Briggs and dozens of other homeowners are part of Olympic Heights, a South Austin neighborhood with streets all named after famous Olympians. Other street names include Georgia Coleman Bend, and Wilma Rudolph Road and Johnny Weismuller Lane.

Seems simple to us: Since the 1976 Olympian won the gold as Bruce Jenner, the street ought to be called Bruce Jenner — unless the street sign itself also undergoes some similarly dramatic metamorphosis.


2. June is one of the biggest months of the year for real estate sales. Buyers are plentiful, for the most part — so are sellers. How does one stand out? Improvementcenter.com suggests that, after all basic repairs are made, sellers address these four things:

Update the kitchen: Consider refacing those old cabinets (assuming the cabinet boxes are sound), investing in new countertops, and springing for a shiny faucet — a hands-free one if you really want to impress. Return on investment is about 79 percent.

Refresh the bathroom: Consider improving it with new lighting, fresh caulking around the tub and shower, and bright new faucets that draw the eye. The recoup is about 70 percent.

Dig into the landscaping: Take good care of your trees and shrubs, keep the lawn looking nice, and sweep the driveway on a regular basis. Consider adding new flower beds, resealing the driveway, lighting up the walkways and adding a deck or patio.

Hire a home stager: A home staging expert can carefully arrange the furniture, art and other decor to create a look that will draw in potential buyers. These experts can also give you a firm idea of what you need to work on inside the home, such as reglazing that old tub or adding more lighting to a particular room. But ask to see a portfolio before you hire someone.


3. Bikers always get a bad rap, apparently even when they’re canine. Chopper, a therapy dog in San Diego, is well known and loved at area hospitals for his Harley Davidson leather vest, bandana, goggles and the mini motorcycle he rides on to greet patients. But the 5-year-old Boston Terrier recently had his license with Pet Partners revoked.

Chopper’s owner, Mark Shaffer, received a letter from Pet Partners saying, “We are concerned about the clothing in which Chopper is (seen) in the community. We are also concerned about the perception that your team may be creating in the community with regard to therapy animals.”

The group does have rules against therapy dogs in costume, but it knew about Chopper’s taste in fashion for years and never had a problem before, Shaffer told ABC San Diego KGTV. Shaffer said he is looking to register Chopper with another group, one that’s more accepting of Chopper’s bad-boy-with-a-heart-of-gold personality.

“As soon as Chopper rides into someone’s room on his motorcycle, the patients start to laugh and smile,” Shaffer said. “Each therapy dog brings something different to the table and Chopper’s whole package provides the therapy.”

Search for Chopper the Biker Dog on Facebook to see pictures and follow his adventures.


4. Face it: If you’re going to keep up a swimming pool in this drought, own it.

Dangle your feet in the cool water after work. Do a few laps. Throw a pool party (we’re typically free Sunday afternoons, by the way, and we take our margaritas on the rocks, no salt).

One thing, though. Please don’t tweak your back trying to control algae buildup, advise publishers of the “I Love My Pool” book series.

Too many people apparently take the wrong approach of running a bristle brush straight up and down the sides of their pool, which the books’ authors say is, if nothing else, a waste of energy.

Instead, they suggest tilting the brush pole at a 45-degree angle to your side, applying even pressure in 3- to 4-foot lengths as you walk slowly around the pool. And don’t forget to scrub the ladder-step insets, lest algae settle in and discolor them.

One more thing they recommend, as you get into the zone during your brushing routine: Watch where you walk so you don’t trip on ledges or steps. Do us a favor and call a taxi if you see us doing that this weekend.


5. The dream of owning a large home shouldn’t put a damper on personal freedom. But does it?

Thirty-year-old Ethan Waldman thought so, which is why he quit his job and spent 15 months and $40,000 building a 200-square-foot “tiny house” in Vermont.

His story, chronicled Friday on Yahoo! Travel, reminded us of Thoreau’s “Walden,” without the hoe and bean rows.

What Waldman did that Thoreau didn’t was use the tiny home as a base from which to travel.

“I am able to take trips I could never have taken before I built the house,” he told Yahoo’s Sophie Forbes. “And I have been making plans to travel more regularly in the future. Life is a lot more flexible now.”


6. Seems like Barbie has finally caught onto something every other woman has known for years:You don’t have to wear heels all the time. They’re rarely comfortable and they don’t go with everything.

The new Fashionista line of Barbie dolls will come with articulated ankles, finally allowing the glam girl to ditch the pumps and try new styles, like flats and gladiator sandals. Children buying dolls from the new line will also be able to choose from 23 different hair colors, 22 hairstyles, 18 eye colors and 14 facial shapes, Cosmopolitan reported.

Of course, Barbie’s body still comes in just one shape: Tall, thin and unattainable.


7. With an eye on beautifying its slice of downtown, Boss Pizza Co. is hosting a fundraiser Tuesday to celebrate its successful first year of business with a $10 combo for a pizza and a drink.

From 5 to 10:30 a.m., the eatery at 1525 18th St. will operate a drive-through in its parking lot, offering a special breakfast pizza (egg and cheese; or egg, sausage and cheese) with choice of Coke, Diet Coke or water. From 10:30 a.m. to 9 p.m., diners can either walk in and choose any pizza or hit the drive-through for their choice of cheese or pepperoni pizza.

All proceeds, up to $10,000, will be donated to the “Bring Light” project, a joint effort with the Downtown Business Development Corp. to bring bistro lighting in the area of 18th and Eye streets; and the development of a Downtown Clean Team, with the aid of the Bakersfield Homeless Center.


8. Has anyone alerted Heloise about this? According to Business Insider, used dryer sheets have at least 45 uses. They can:

Clean bugs off from of car: Get a new or used sheet wet, wring it out and wipe down your car — the bugs will just slough off without ruining your paint job.

Ward off bugs: If you keep a dryer sheet in your pocket, it will keep away bugs because it has both linalool, a toxin that is found in lavender and basil, as well as beta-citronella, which is used to repel mosquitoes.

Start a fire: You can use any old dryer sheets you have lying around as kindling to start a fire — plus, it will smell pretty good, too.

Remove deodorant marks: Crumple a dryer sheet into a ball and rub the shirt fabric with short, quick strokes.

Read more here (tinyurl.com/45uses) and amaze your friends.


9. In Colorado, marijuana is legal. But Broncos players can’t smoke it. Passing audible flatulence also is legal. But members of the NFL’s Denver Broncos can’t do it in team meetings without paying a price, NBC Sports and the Denver Post report.

Star linebacker Von Miller says teammates fine players for cutting the cheese in meetings — and that Miller believes he has been fined the most for it.

“I keep trying to tell them it’s not healthy if I just sit there and hold it in,” he said. “Nobody in the world does that. I just do it more than the average person.”

We’ll never watch the Broncos the same way again. Come to think of it, we didn’t watch them much in the first place.


10. Speaking of marijuana and digestive discharge, here’s a possible new benefit for the controversial plant. The Aka pygmies of Africa’s Congo basin are known to smoke a lot of dope, the Huffington Post reports. So get this: A new study suggests those who toke up most prolifically may be significantly less likely to be heavily infected with parasitic worms.

Taste for drugs. The researchers behind the study believe the finding helps explain why humans have a taste for all sorts of drugs. Previous research conducted by the team found that Aka who smoked more tobacco also had fewer parasites.

Dr. Edward Hagen, an anthropologist at Washington State University, told The Huff in an email that he and his colleagues surveyed more than 370 men and women living along the Lobaye River in the Central African Republic. They found that 70 percent of the men reported smoking marijuana. When the researchers took stool samples from the men to assess their “worm burden,” they found that 95 percent of them were infected with parasites. But high concentrations of THCA — a byproduct of THC in the urine — were associated with a low number of worms.



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