How to Assemble a Slot Car Track

1.Take all the sections of track out of the box.
2.Turn them all right-side up, so that the slots are facing up.
3.Without snapping any of the pieces together, lay out the track in a mock-up. If there is a vertical or bridge section, lay it resting across the other pieces where it will be in the final setup.
4.Observe the amount of area required for the entire track.
5.Select a place for the layout to rest. An unused table is better than the floor. The track will doubtless be stepped on if it's on the floor.
6.Plan to have the kit's plug as close to an electrical outlet as possible.
7.Take the first piece of straightaway track from the mock-up.
8.Take the next piece from the mock-up and snap it onto the first.
9.Continue around the track until the model speedway is complete.
1..Attach the electronic controls where indicated (usually at the start-finish line) with the plugs provided.
1..Plug in the controls or install the batteries, as appropriate. 
Leave extra room for the racers around the track if possible.
The track need not be secured to the table, but a few pieces of tape on the underside of the track won't hurt. 
Warnings: Don't start clipping the pieces of track together without first setting them all out first. You'll probably get the curves installed wrong.   Steps:
1.Gather together the parts. Your kit should contain a chassis, a car body, wheels and an engine.
2.If necessary, plug in a soldering iron. Some cars require soldering; others clip together and have integral electrical attachments.
3.If the kit comes with directions, read them first.
4.Mount the engine into the chassis. If the chassis screws together, an appropriately sized wrench should be included with the kit.
5.Bolt the wheels on.
6.Paint the body if desired. Add decals if you'd like.
7.Allow the body to dry overnight.
8.Attach the body to the chassis.
9.Check for any friction between the wheels and the chassis or body.
1..Test the car on the track. 
Tips: If you're new to the hobby, start with a beginner's kit or a Ready to Run (RTR) car, which is pre-assembled. 
Warnings: These are general directions. Specific types of cars and motors are assembled differently. Check the manufacturer's recommendations if you aren't sure.   

How to Buy Stereo Speakers

1.Read reviews in audio magazines and on the Internet to help you decide which speakers you want to listen to. (See Related Sites.)
2.Budget for speaker cables. Cables can run from a few dollars to thousands of dollars.
3.Look for acoustic suspension (sealed box) speakers if you want clean, tight, accurate bass.
4.Look for bass reflex (ported) speakers if you want lots of bass and the widest selection of models.
5.Look for flat panel speakers if you want the biggest, widest soundstage.
6.If you want inexpensive speakers, shop in consumer electronics stores. If you want high-fidelity speakers, shop in specialty audio stores.
7.Take a few familiar CDs to stores you visit. Choose pieces that will challenge the bass and treble, imaging and soundstaging, and dynamic range capabilities of the equipment. If possible, take recordings of music you've heard performed live.
8.Avoid listening to speakers that are out of your price range.
9.Let speaker size or appearance be less important than quality.
1..Ask the salesperson to position the speakers optimally.
1..Listen to several songs on up to three different pairs of speakers.
1..If possible, make sure the salesperson is using electronic equipment that is comparable to what you own.
1..Make sure the salesperson demonstrates each pair of speakers at equal volumes.
1..If speakers sound good to you in the store, arrange to listen to them at home through your own system. Ask the dealer to provide appropriate cables if you don't already have some.  
Trust your own ears, not the salesperson's or the reviewer's.
Check to be sure your amplifier or receiver can handle the impedance of the speakers, and that they fall within the recommended power range specified by the speaker manufacturer. If you have low power, look for speakers with high sensitivity (spl greater than 90 db).    

How to Make an Inexpensive Desk

1.Convert a rectangular table - perhaps a sofa table or a dining table - into a desk by installing a keyboard tray under the top. You can usually push a two-drawer file cabinet or a roll-around drawer storage unit under the table top to keep the storage close by and the office footprint small.
2.Buy a rectangular prefabricated table top - sold at home centers - or a sheet of plywood (cut to desktop size; finish the edges with self-stick strips of wood or plastic veneer). Put a file cabinet on each side of the table top and, if you have a computer and want the keyboard at proper height, install a keyboard tray on the underside of the desktop.
3.Opt for a sawhorse-and-table top (or plywood-topped) desk. Screw the desktop to the tops of the sawhorses, which are placed at opposite ends of the desk. 
Paint your desk a bright, fun color for a whimsical look or go with black for a high-tech look.
Substitute a flat door (you may want to cut it down) for a desktop perched on file cabinets or sawhorses.
Look for keyboard trays and roll-around drawer storage units at office supply stores. Roll-around drawer storage units (usually the open-wire styles) also are sold with closet/pantry organizer gear at home centers, and organization/storage speciality stores.   

How to Keep Dreamweaver From Connecting to the Internet During Start-Up

1.In Windows 95 or 98, click on the Start menu and select Settings, then Control Panel.
2.Double-click the Internet Options icon and click on the Connections tab.
3.Make sure the Automatic Dial or "Dial whenever a network connection is not present" buttons are NOT checked.
4.If you use the Windows Dial-Up Connection program, which displays a dial-up dialog box whenever you attempt to connect to the Internet, be sure the Connect Automatically box is unchecked.
5.Click OK and close the control panel. You may need to restart your computer for the changes to take effect.   

How to Grow Russian Sage (Perovskia 'Blue Spire')

Choosing Russian Sage
1.Look for Russian sage at nurseries spring through fall.
2.Buy Russian sage in 4-inch to 1-gallon containers.
3.Choose healthy-looking plants with signs of new growth in leaf and flower buds. 
Planting Russian Sage

4.Plant Russian sage in full sun in well-drained soil.
5.Add a light application of organic fertilizer to the planting hole.
6.Set the plants 1 foot apart.
7.Place the plants no deeper than they were in their containers.
8.Mulch around but not on top of the plants with 3 inches of organic compost.
9.Water well until soil is completely moist. 
Caring for Russian Sage

10.Cut down last year's growth - leaving 3 or 4 inches - in early spring using bypass pruners.
11.Mulch around but not on top of the plants with 3 inches of organic compost in early spring.
12.Water well until soil is completely moist; do this weekly in summers with no rainfall. 
Overall Tips:
Grow Russian sage in zones 5 to 9 of the U.S.D.A. Plant Hardiness Map.
Russian sage doesn't need yearly fertilizing.   

How to Recover From a Kidney Transplant at the Hospital

1.Avoid injury to the transplant site. Nurses will examine and clean your incision site three times a day.
2.Measure your urinary output. For a man, this means urinating in a urinal, for a woman, a plastic "hat" placed under the toilet seat.
3.Plan to cough and take deep breaths regularly to prevent pneumonia. Walk at least four times a day around your hospital room and halls.
4.Learn the proper ways to take your medicines and how to prevent organ rejection and infection once you go home.
5.Look for signs of rejection such as: fever, flulike symptoms, decrease in urine production, changes in blood pressure, weight gain, or pain around your new kidney.
6.Note signs of infection such as: redness around your incision site, fever, puslike drainage, flulike symptoms, or pain around your new kidney.
7.Learn everything you can about your medicines because you may be on immunosuppressant drugs for the rest of your life. They prevent your body from releasing antibodies meant to attack your new kidney.
8.Talk to your transplant social worker; now is the time to develop a trusting and helpful relationship. When you get home, you'll want to be able to call at the first sign of a problem.
9.Get help from family members. Assign one of them to be "in charge." This person will assume the role of your "primary home care giver." 
Contact the Transplant Recipients International Organization, at (202) 293-0980, for additional information about living with a kidney transplant.
In 1998, 12,166 kidney transplant procedures were performed; of these, 4,153 were from living donors. 
Warnings: If you have any questions or concerns, contact a physician or other health care professional before engaging in any activity related to health and diet. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical advice or treatment.   

How to Buy a Camping Stove as a Gift

Selecting and Purchasing a Stove
1.Shop at a large, reputable outdoor gear store, a place where the sales staff is likely to be knowledgeable and helpful and that has a reasonable guarantee and return policy.
2.Find a stove with at least two burners - that way it can be used to heat or cook two things at once.
3.Ask a salesperson about the following features: ease of setup, ease of lighting and ease of cleaning. Go for simplicity.
4.Ask what kind of fuel the stove uses. White gas is the most widely available and is quite cheap. It also burns relatively cleanly.
5.Check what form the fuel supply comes in. Avoid fuel canisters that have to be discarded when empty, since they create unnecessary waste.
6.Make sure the stove will work at high altitude if that's where the recipient is likely to be camping. For camping stove purposes, "high altitude" means anything over 10,000 feet.
7.Buy a stove with a warranty, and make sure it's returnable in case there are problems or the recipient needs to make adjustments. 
Accessories and Presentation

8.Consider purchasing a few useful cookware items designed to go with camping stoves: a pot and matching skillet that doubles as a lid, a camp kettle for boiling water, and a matching set of plates and mugs.
9.Consider assembling all the ingredients for a delicious meal at camp, maybe one that follows a theme such as an Indian meal, an Italian meal or a grand-slam breakfast.
1..Buy the recipient a copy of "The Camper's Companion" by Rick Greenspan and Harold Kahn. This will tell the hedonist all that he or she needs to know about cooking delicious gourmet meals during an outdoor adventure.
1..Wrap the cookware and food items in separate stuff sacks of different sizes and colors. These are inexpensive and will be useful in packing up a camping kitchen. 
Tips: Outdoor gear stores carry a variety of dehydrated food packages, but don't let these limit your imagination - consider shopping for gourmet cans of soup, or imported bottles of pasta sauce. None of this is going on your back, after all... 
Overall Tips: If you're shopping online, shop at the Web site of a reputable outdoor manufacturer, preferably one with a toll-free number so you can consult with a salesperson before making your purchase. 

How to Clean Your Home for Holiday Guests

Three Days to One Week Ahead
1.Launder and press table and bed linens.
2.Wash and prepare silver, china and crystal.
3.Wash light fixtures and dust ceiling fans.
4.Remove cobwebs from corners of walls.
5.Clean refrigerator inside and out, including top of exterior.
6.Clean the oven.
7.Scrub the grungy edges around the dishwasher door.
8.Dust baseboards and windowsills.
9.Wash windows.
1..Vacuum upholstery.
1..Tidy bookcases; align books in a straight line near the front of each shelf. 
About Two Days Ahead

1..Clean floors in living areas and bedrooms.
1..Sweep front sidewalk.
1..Remove stains from carpet and upholstery.
1..Clean bathroom sinks, tubs, showers and toilets.
1..Pick up and stow or throw away clutter, including newspapers, toys and excess knickknacks.
1..Wash out trash cans and wastebaskets as necessary.
1..Clean microwave oven.
1..Scour top of stove.
2..Dust, including TV and computer screens as well as edges of picture frames. 
The Night Before and Morning of

2..Polish faucets throughout house.
2..Empty wastebaskets and trash cans.
2..Remove smudges and smears from fronts of kitchen appliances, such as dishwasher and oven.
2..Clean bathroom mirrors.
2..Clean bathroom floors. Double-check kitchen floor.
2..Launder bath towels and mats as needed.Put fresh towels, soaps and mats in bathrooms.
2..Launder kitchen towels as needed and set out in the kitchen.
2..Make a last-minute check in bathrooms to be sure they're pristine; take care of any surprises such as hair in the drain or toothpaste spills.
2..Clean kitchen sink; pay special attention to rim around garbage disposer.
3..Straighten toss pillows and cushions.   

How to Buy Jakks Titan Tron Live Action Figures

1.Look for top-selling World Wrestling Federation action figures from the Titan Tron Series.
2.Pick up the Titan Tron Live Playset ($30) for maximum fun: Each action figure plays that wrestler's theme music and his picture appears on the Titan Tron when you march him down the ramp. Whoo-eee!
3.Get the Titan Tron Live Series #1 action figures with Road Dogg, Kane, Undertaker, The Rock, Steve Austin, and Mankind; or Series #2 with Steve Austin, Kane, The Rock, Ken Shamrock, Big Show, and X-Pac.
4.Find the figures for the Titan Tron Live: Double Slam Series. The first series features Kane & X-Pac, Steve Austin & Shane McMahon, Christian & Edge, and Undertaker & Vince McMahon. Series #2 is made up of Big Show & Steve Austin, The Rock & Billy Gunn, Undertaker & Kane, and Triple H & X-Pac.
5.Fill a big box with figures from the Titan Tron Live: Smackdown Series 2, featuring Mankind, Edge, Undertaker, Steve Austin, Road Dogg, and Triple H. You can't have enough Steve Austin figures, you know.
6.Remember that while you can get most of these at stores such as Toys R Us or Target, Wal-Mart does not carry Jakks WWF figures. 
Tips: The Titan Tron Live Playset requires four AA batteries and a set of earplugs for each adult in the room.   

How to Make Pumpkin Pie

1.Put an oven rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 375 degrees F.
2.Put eggs into a food processor or large mixing bowl and whisk well.
3.Add pumpkin, evaporated milk, sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves and salt, and mix. Set aside.
4.Warm the pie crust in the oven until it is hot to the touch.
5.Pour the pumpkin filling into the warmed pie crust and bake about 35 to 40 minutes, or until filling is set but still a bit quivery, like gelatin, when lightly nudged.
6.Cool pie on a rack and refrigerate. Serve either cold, at room temperature or slightly warmed. 
If you're not afraid to make a pie crust, then by all means, substitute a homemade pie crust for the prepared one. See "How to Make Pie Crust Dough."
You can substitute fresh pumpkin puree for canned puree.
You can substitute 1 1/2 c. light cream, or a combination of 3/4 c. milk and 3/4 c. heavy cream, for the evaporated milk. 
If the pie cooks too much, it may crack.
Pumpkin pies do not freeze well.
Pumpkin pie is best served within a day of baking, because the crust will begin to soften after baking.