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Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Thank You Actual Advice Mallard, Episode 1

Memes are great. Aside from being hilarious, memes can offer insight into ourselves in some of the most disturbingly ironic ways. And sometimes, they can be very helpful.

One of my current favorites is "Actual Advice Mallard" (learn more about him and his origins at by clicking here). As you may guess, this aquatic avian that quacks dispenses little tidbits of life hacks. For example: using the Shift+Ctrl+T key-stroke to reopen an accidently-closed tab in your browser. I tried it and it worked. Then, I shamed myself for not already knowing this trick. As my friend Joey likes to point out—quite exasperatedly, actually: "T.J., you're Asian! Computer stuff should be genetically hardwired into your DNA."

Another great example of the Mallard's sagely advice is featured in the photo below.

Now, Brooke told me she knew of this trick already but she couldn't remember where she first came across it. Either way, she assured me, it works. It made sense to me since people sometimes pay a lot of money for personal garment steamers. But I thought I'd give it a try all the same.

Below are the before and after pictures of the three shirts I tried this trick on over the course of several showers. All three are labeled as 100% cotton and are of varying degrees of weight and style. After all was said and done, a 15 minute steamy shower worked on these shirts to a varying degree of success.


The first shirt I tried was a gray polo from Old Navy that is part of my uniform for work. The material is somewhat stretchy and I found this trick worked wonders on this shirt. When I got out, the shirt looked as if I had ironed it. There were a few wrinkles still near the bottom but a few quick tugs and a pat down of the shirt took care of it.


This next shirt is a Mossimo brand flannel shirt from Target. The material is less elastic than the polo and is much thicker. I was a little worried that the stream and extreme heat might prematurely shrink one of my favorite shirts but it was fine in the end. This shirt was less wrinkled going in than the gray polo and came out with slightly more wrinkled than the polo when the two end results are compared to each other. The tug and pat down trick helped a little but it did not have that freshly ironed quality of the polo. I'd say the shirt is still wearable if stiffly-ironed is not the look you are looking for. Also, the material and style of the flannel helped to hide some of those persistent wrinkles.


Lastly, I tried this trick on a dress shirt. The shirt I chose was a Merona brand shirt, also from Target. The material is still 100% cotton according to the tag but is thinner and stiffer than the polo and the flannel shirt. The shirt went in as a bag of wrinkles and came out still significantly unchanged below the breast line and sleeves. Though it was an improvement, I would have been better off just ironing the damn thing. I definitely would not wear it if I had somewhere to be. Granted, I may not have stayed in the shower long enough or maybe the shirt was just having an off day. Perhaps I would have better luck with another dress shirt, maybe a shirt that is blended with other fabrics.

All in all, a decent advice from our Life Hack Duck. I definitely would try this out with other pieces of my wardrobe. It would help to know which items I own that I can do this with. Brooke says she's done this before with garments of varying materials, so I'm sure I'll have a better success rate with other dress shirts. At least I know that if I'm running late for work, I can save time not having to iron my work shirt. Also, I don't think this trick was made for the boss-level state of wrinkles that these shirts were in. I bet it works best on previously iron shirts that happened to pick up some creases in the closet.

Try it out yourself and let me know what you think.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Things to Come, Promises to Break

Greetings and Happy New Year!

I hope your holidays were filled with family and fun. It's been awhile since I last posted. So much has happened since, too many to post about. But here are some highlights:

In the news:

  • Twenty-eight people are dead after a shooting in Newtown, Conn. on December 14th, 2012 [1][2]. As a result, the gun control debate is at the forefront of everyone's minds, the top story on all news media, and the top agenda for politicians [3][4]. The NRA said some asinine things and the 2nd Amendment folks have scared people to rush to gun stores [5][6]. Meanwhile, the liberal left is using heighten emotions from this tragedy to push their agenda through with bad reactionary legislation that'll probably make as much sense as the PATRIOT Act .
  • Anonymous and the Westboro Baptist Church are now officially at war with each other [7]. Sort of. I'm watching this one closely with popcorn and jumbo sized Coke in hand [8][9].
  • Washington shenanigans and hooliganism haven't ended, if anything, they'll probably get worst. Also, there are still a bunch of clowns in Washington [10][11].
  • Facebook [12][13][14].
  • The world didn't end on December 21st, 2012. And in hindsight,  I'm kind of disappointed. I will say though, Jell-O was the biggest winner in the whole Mayan Fail-mageddon of 2012. 

Keeping in spirit with how we don't know and/or appreciate how often he's saved the universe, The Doctor comes in at second place with the Doctor versus Mayan Apocalypse collection of memes [15].

[Source: Pathetisad]

The Road Ahead:

2012 was just inundated with politics because of said elections and I had hoped that with its conclusion I could focus more on the things I had originally planned for this blog. Unfortunately, I think the political environment actually got more loud and even hinkier. I will still touch upon some of that in upcoming posts (current events is one of this blog's focus after all) however, I hope to do so to a lesser degree.

My plans for Wibbly-wobbly for 2013 involve a small refocusing of my posts. Biggest things: I want to do more Georgia travel and reviews of local attractions, restaurants, and events. It will also give Brooke and me and excuse to get out more.

Back in my March 2012 post "Well That's [P]interesting," I stated that I would be trying out DIY projects and recipes I find on Pinterest and talking about them here. Well, next thing on the list: more Pinterest related reviews. I've been kicking myself for not following through with this and I've wanted to talk about some of the things Brooke and I have tried so far. A little off-shoot of this is some Actual Advice Mallard posts. If you don't know what Actual Advice Mallard is, click the hyperlink above to learn more. But I plan to try out someone of the wisdom imparted by said water foul and let you know if they work. One such post is already written and schedule for release as tomorrow's post.

Well, those are the big things. Other than random book, movie, TV, etc reviews of course.

Oh yeah! The Zero Edition Press website is now (sort of) live. Ben Bowlin and I have some things in the works. I don't want to talk about it right now out of fear of jinxing it like the Filipino Anthology (see aforementioned website).

Also please check out GNerks. It's a little side project that my good friend Ben Fuller and I are working on.

At Home:

Well. Otherwise, it's been pretty busy here at casa de Blackburn. The wife and I continue to struggle to play catch up from the honeymoon. Maybe it's the desire to still be at Nassau or the holiday rush, but our motivation is shot to hell. Hence, the lack of new posts here since the elections.