Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Google Backup

Google's new Backup and Sync app replaces both the company's Drive and Photos desktop apps for Windows PCs and Macs. You can use the app to back up the contents of your entire computer -- or just selected folders. It's easy to set up and use, and free for 15GB of data. You now have no reason to eschew cloud backup of your data, photos, and anything else.

Link to Download Google Backup

Removing Water Stains on Wood Furniture (Courtesy of cnet)

Nothing ruins the luster of wood furniture quite like a watermark. Watermarks -- or water stains -- are often caused by cold glasses, spills, or hot dishes places directly on the wood. Luckily, though, they aren't always permanent. 
This guide will guide you through the process of removing these stains. But first, remember: even a quick touch-up can damage an heirloom. So, follow the directions carefully and exercise patience when removing stains. For extra insurance, test the method on a hidden area before going all-out on the top surface of the wood. 
Light white watermarks like these should be relatively easy to remove.Brian Bennett/CNET

1. Identify the stain

Is the water stain white, dark brown or a shade of black? The stain color will determine how easy it is to treat and the methods you should use.
White stains. Lightly-colored marks, typically in the shape of rings, are caused by the bottoms of cold glasses or hot plates and mugs resting on a wood surface. In both cases water is the culprit, in the form of condensed moisture (cold) or steam (hot). This water pushes into the wood's finish below to cause the otherwise clear layer to turn white or a milky gray.
It sounds bad but it's actually less severe than you think. Because the moisture hasn't penetrated into the actual wood beneath the finish, it likely hasn't done irreversible damage. 
Dark stains. A dark brown, or black mark indicates water has reached the wood itself so a quick fix isn't possible. Keep reading for a few tips you can try. 
This water ring on my vintage turntable console is heartbreaking.Brian Bennett/CNET

2. Light stain? All you need is an iron 

A simple way to handle light watermarks is to expose it to gentle heat and pressure. For this you'll need an electric iron and a plain, non-abrasive cloth. 
  • With the iron set to its lowest heat level, lay the cloth across the stained area. Make sure all of the iron's steam modes are off. The last thing you want is to create more stains made from moisture and heat.  
  • Next, gently run the warm iron over the fabric making sure to move in the same direction with each pass. 
  • Lift the cloth to check periodically to see if you've made any progress, about every five passes or so. The wood's finish should gradually release trapped moisture, the cause of the watermark.
I personally tried the technique on my vintage turntable that's housed in a wooden console cabinet. Somehow a big, fat ring watermark had sprouted right on top of it -- no doubt from someone's stray Bourbon glass. Surprisingly after just a few minutes, and about 10 iron strokes later, the ring all but completely vanished.
Ironing the stain carefully (no steam) removed it almost entirely.Brian Bennett/CNET

3. For dark stains, grab a toothbrush 

Sometimes water sits on a wood surface long enough to seep past its protective finish and into the wood below. That's often the case with leaky planters, which can cause damage for months without anyone noticing. The result is typically a dark brown or black ring. Unfortunately, an iron can't cure this problem.
A dark water stain is harder to remove. Toothpaste often will do the trick, though.Brian Bennett/CNET
Brush the stain gently because too much scrubbing will also remove the wood finish beneath.Brian Bennett/CNET
Here's where an old toothbrush and a little plain, white toothpaste comes in handy. 
The fix: Using a small dab of paste, gently brush the entire watermark. Make sure not press too hard or brush for too long or you risk removing the wood stain along with the watermark. Of course in many situations this outcome is unavoidable and the only remedy is a complete overhaul by a furniture restoration pro.

4. Maintain your wood furniture regularly 

Even after successfully banishing those ungainly watermarks, wood furniture needs regular upkeep to stay looking their best. The most frequent task you'll need to perform is dusting with a soft, dry cloth. To limit unnecessary wear and tear don't dust often, once a month perhaps.
Another way to go is to dust wood with the help of a citrus oil such as Howard's Orange Oil. Products like these are designed to prevent wood from drying out and add shine. Do so infrequently though since excessive use will cause an unwanted built-up of dirt, dust, and oil. This is what the Smithsonian recommends and the museum knows a thing or two about caring for priceless wood objects. 
Wood furniture needs a little love to look their best, but not too much.Brian Bennett/CNET

5. No success? Consider these factors 

There are countless additional factors that'll affect how well your watermark removal goes. For instance, whether the piece of furniture you plan to treat is made from soft pine wood, or hard woods like oak and rosewood. This also depends on and often determines how thin or thick the finish is and what substances were employed to create them. Examples include shellac, polyurethane and lacquers.  
In these cases, you may need to take your furniture to an expert who can use other methods -- like restaining -- to remedy any watermarks.  Or, consider donating it to a worthy charity and buying a replacement.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Gypsy Season 1/Episode 1 and Friends From College Season 1/Episode 1 (Both on Netflix)

Some might think it's not fair to judge a drama series based on the first 90 seconds of the first episode, but our Fine Arts Department (FAD) is bold and relentless, and does not shy from being accused of unfairness. FAD hated Friends From College (2017). FAD found it sophmoric, and a crass appeal to fake hipness. 

Although in bad mood, and expecting not to like anything, FAD took a look at Gypsy. Clair Danes might have been perfect for the lead, but Naomi Watts is terrific. The story is dark, a little unpredictable, imaginatively crafted, and engrossing. If you've ever done any therapy, and wondered what your therapist was thinking, stay away. No, don't stay away. It's truly refreshing to have a drama series with real people acting like real people do and talking like real people do. 

IMDb Link to Gypsy

Foam Mattress Warning

As Casper Mattress will tell you, "[w]ith a foam mattress, the sides and corners may all look a little rounded and less sharp than we’re used to with traditional spring mattresses." Tuft & Needle will tell you the same thing. As a result, if you put it on a West Elm bed, the end of the last slat might be visible unless you place your nightstands just so.  Better to have bought the West Elm Mid-Century Platform bed, which would have avoided the problem.

West Elm Acorn Bed:

Image result for west elm beds

West Elm Mid-Century Platform Bed:

Mid-Century Platform Bed-Queen, Walnut

Arrival (2016)

Why they bothered a remake of Close Encounters of the Third Kind will remain a mystery for the ages. Amy Adams cannot save this movie, which is three stories in one, one of which makes no sense, one of which is the only love story ever made where the principals do not kiss (with the exception of 100 Rifles where Raquel Welch insisted on there being a towel between her and Jim Brown during a supposed naked scene), and a third which makes no sense. The key theme is that time is not linear, but it's never explained what time is, nor what the aliens were talking about or doing or why. It's a snooze, compounded by how slow everything moves and how halting the dialogue is.

IMDb Link to Arrival