A Great Rear View

It is painfully obvious that many so-called drivers are unsure of how to use the rear view mirrors in their automobiles.  It is actually a simple concept, but the vast majority of drivers do it incorrectly.  The Guys That Know do it right.  You can too.  The main rear view mirror is located to the right of the driver and mounted on the back of the windshield.  This mirror is not what we will be focusing on as it simply looks directly behind the car, out of the back window.  Drivers should and generally do adjust this mirror correctly, so that its angle provides a maximal view and the view is roughly centered when the driver glances at it.  Easy.  The side mirrors are an entirely different story.  If the driver is looking straight ahead and occasionally glances at his center rear view mirror there still exists a substantial blind spot on either side of the car.  Most driver’s peripheral vision would warn of interference with other vehicles directly to the right or left of the car, but the area slightly behind all the way back to where the center rear view mirror picks up is completely “blind”.  Side mirrors were designed to show the driver what is occurring in this blind spot.  However, most drivers adjust their side mirrors in a way that prevents them being used to see what is in the blind spot.  Instead they are generally carefully adjusted so that the driver has a clear view of the rear quarter panel of the car.  I have to ask, when was the last time that you were hit by your own car?  Why then adjust the mirrors so that you can see your own car?  I’ll suggest that it is just because you didn’t know any better.  Let’s fix that.


Graphic courtesy of Car and Driver magazine.

Courtesy of Car and Driver, here is a graphic that details how to properly adjust your side mirror.  In the graphic, you are the driver of the blue car and the gold car is directly behind you.  The red car is in the driver’s left blind spot.  If the blue car driver were to glance only in his center rear view mirror and then the left side mirror the red car is invisible. Fig. 2 in the graphic shows that the left mirror unhelpfully shows the side of the blue car being driven and the gold car, which is already seen in the center rear view mirror.  Basically the improperly adjusted side mirror is useless. Read More →

My Password Problem (and solution)

I had a problem.

I actually had a password problem.  In fact I had many of them (passwords and their associated problems), and didn’t even know it.  I’d bet that you have the same problems.  Most of the information in our lives is accessible by knowing a username and a (simple) password.  Think about how much of your personal information is available to anyone with the right password.  Ever written your passwords down next to your computer?  Saved them in an Outlook file?  Have them in your phone?  Ever had the same username as password?  Don’t feel too badly, I did all of those.  Luckily I have some really smart, really security conscious friends.  So security conscious in fact that they won’t be even be referenced here by name.  Trust me though, these guys know their stuff.

After it was all done, I found that I had over 75 user name and password combinations.  Banking, school lunch, credit cards, mortgage, wireless network, PayPal, Amazon, 401(k), etc., etc.  Some were slightly different, but most were the exact same seven letters and two numbers.  User names were all over the place, depending on whether my wife set up the account and whether you could use an email address as the user name.  Further complicating all of this was the varying password requirements of different sites (some require a capital letter, others a number, some both, etc.).  What a mess.  My horrible solution was to keep the password and username in an Outlook contact (albeit somewhat disguised).  Some websites I had just given up on, always using the “Lost Password” functionality to log in – every time.  Additionally, my usual password was very trivial and worthless, should someone who knows what they were doing actually try to crack it.  Test your here.   Mine could have been cracked in under 11 minutes by a PC.   I was disaster waiting to happen. Read More →

Tools Every Man Should Have

Simple household repairs are inevitable.  Whether you are tightening a sink connection, connecting a dryer, or hanging a photo, you need tools.

Having the right tool for the job is a key part of being able to get those household repairs done.  Nothing is more frustrating that trying to do something with the wrong tool or even worse, a poor quality tool.

Men also love getting tools as gifts.  It makes us feel manly and needed, all at once.   Giving tools as gifts is very easy, as long as you follow some simple rules.

Rule #1 – If you are going to purchase any tool, buy a high quality tool.  For hand tools (screwdrivers, wrenches, pliers, etc.) I like a couple of brands.  Sears Craftsman, Home Depot’s Husky line, and Lowe’s Kobalt brand are all very similar in design and quality.  Several internet references indicate that they are all made by the same company.  All offer a lifetime warranty and are reasonably priced.  You’ll never go wrong if the brand is Snap-On either.   Quality pays off –  I have had the same pliers  and wrenches for nearly 20 years.  You won’t ever go wrong buying the man in your life a high quality tool.  Conversely, you will almost be wrong buying a tool that says “Made in China”. Read More →

Blu-Ray Audio Troubleshooting

Dave W. from Kaysville asked:

I have a blu ray player in my basement hooked up to a plasma tv with a surround sound system. For some bizarre reason the audio works on some blu ray discs and not on others although it has worked just fine on these same discs before. What do you suggest?


Hello Dave and thank you for your question. Read More →

LinkedIn Tips for Beginners

LinkedIn is the world’s largest networking site for business – by far! As of March 2012 LinkedIn passed the 100 Million mark.

I’ve been a LinkedIn member since, well, since forever. I started using this great networking tool just 10 months after they launched. I was the 347,536th registered user of LinkedIn. That’s pretty awesome, if I do say so myself. There are now over 100 million LinkedIn members, and I joined well before they reached their first million. I’m now patting myself on the back for being such a savvy early adopter.

OK, enough about me.

Before I give you the first tip, I’ll tell you how you find the date you joined LinkedIn. It’s easy.

  1. Login to LinkedIn and hover over your name in the top right corner.
  2. Select “Settings.”
  3. You’ll see your avatar (profile picture) in the top left corner. Just under your name you will see the date you joined LinkedIn.

And finding your LinkedIn “number” is just as easy. Here’s how:

  1. Hover your mouse over the “Profile” menu.
  2. When that menu opens, hover over “View Profile.”
  3. Now look down in the bottom left corner of your browser window. It shows a link (URL) to your profile. LinkedIn has a unique identifier for each of their members, and they are ordered sequentially. The link has a bunch of text then says “id=” followed by a number. That’s your LinkedIn “number.”
Now for a couple of tips for beginners:
Tip #1 – Make sure your profile is complete:
Your LinkedIn Profile is your public resume. Just like you wouldn’t send an incomplete resume to a prospective employer, you shouldn’t have an incomplete LinkedIn profile – because your prospective employer is probably going to look at your profile!
I have to be honest and say I don’t have the stats for this, but I feel very confident saying that for professional-level positions, almost every employer will view your LinkedIn profile if they’re at all interested in hiring you. And FYI, they will also view your Facebook and Twitter accounts, so be careful – but that’s another story.
Put these 8 things on your To-do list for completing your LinkedIn profile:
  1. Your industry – you will want to tell people what industry you work in. For example, I put Computer Software. I thought about putting Insurance because the software company I own serves the insurance industry, but MY industry is Computer Software.
  2. Your location – people need to know where you are. I live about 20 minutes north of Salt Lake City, so I put “Greater Salt Lake City area”.
  3. Enter your current position – This is usually your job title, the time period, the company, etc.
  4. Enter at least your two previous positions – People want to know where you have worked prior to the job you currently have. You should enter all the positions you would normally list on a paper resume.
  5. Enter your education – If you haven’t graduated from college yet, don’t sweat it. If you are going to school (post high school), list where you are going, what you are studying, and when you anticipate graduating. Most people don’t list their high school, but actually more and more people are starting to do that to make it easier to connect with people.
  6. Enter at least 3 skills – These are things you are genuinely good at. Don’t list things you’ve heard about, or taken one class on.
  7. Add at least 50 connections – For your profile to really be complete, you have to be connected. It’s kind of the purpose of the whole thing. If you only have 4 connections, potential employers will probably not take you very seriously. It’s easy to find connections – I’ll cover that in a future article.
  8. Add your profile picture – This is NOT optional! A LinkedIn profile picture is an absolute must. AND!!!! Don’t put in a picture of you and your spouse, or you and your pet, or you sitting on a beach somewhere. This is NOT Facebook! Your LinkedIn profile picture should be a nice looking picture of you – head-shot style (mug shot), so people can see what you look like.
One final tip about your profile – be honest! Future employers, business partners, and customers need to know the truth about who you are. You may deceive them in the beginning, but once they learn they truth they will never do business with you again, and they will tell their business associates. A little lie can hurt you for a long time. Don’t do it.
Okay, that will get you started.
I’ll post the next tip in a day or two. That will give you some time to get your profile completed.


Boston Marathon Sponsors…. sort of

One of the Guys That Know subscribers, Ryan, is running in the Boston Marathon this coming Monday. He’s a great guy, and we wish him the best of luck!

He wrote about his adventure on the blog. You should read it. It’s excellent.

Ryan will be sporting a Guys That Know running shirt. We got one for his wife to wear too, as she cheers him on from the crowd. They will also be wearing them on the plane ride to Boston. We’re pretty excited about that, and looking forward to seeing what kind of traffic it brings to the site.

So here’s to Ryan! Good luck, and have a great time in Boston.

Steve & Russ.