My daddy is one of the smartest men I have ever met. He’ll be the first one to tell you all about his trade school education and then debate with you on any subject of your choosing. From the rise and fall of the Roman Empire to modern politics, from basic home repair to life lessons, there isn’t anything my daddy doesn’t know–except for who kept breaking sledgehammer sized holes in the garage wall during the summer of 87. That was my little brother Joe, btw.

So, here are just some of the pearls of wisdom my dad dispenses to me from time to time; when I actually listen to them and do like he says, my life suddenly becomes so much easier. Thank you daddy!

After doing nothing all day, it’s good to take a little nap.

Whenever you need any work done on your car go to the dealership. It may cost a little more but they won’t mess around with you and screw up your engine. Dealerships can’t afford to lose their franchise name and will bend over backward to ensure customer satisfaction.

A little wine is always good.

When making beef stew use chuck roast or rump roast or even London broil if its on sale cut up into cubes but never sure top round roast, it’s too dry. Top round is a good deli meat because they only half cook it and then slice it super thin, so being only half cooked you think juicy.

When buying a new car battery, if you live in the south you do not need an extra heavy duty battery. For one, its cost more but two, you do not need all that extra juice to crank up your engine in the winter time. If you live up north you need that power, it gets below freezing.

Nobody does anything for nothing, remember that.

Chicken feet cost more than a chicken. Buy them if you want to make the best stock in the world.

In the winter, even down south, when you start your car for the first time of the day, turn the key just enough to let the dashboard lights come on. Give it a ten count and then start the car like you always do. This gives the battery a little time to fully get going before it has to send an output of energy into the engine.

A good cake recipe. Take a can of cherry pie filling and blend it up a little. Then, using chocolate cake mix from a box, do not add the water it wants but instead add the blended cherry pie. Pour it into a well-greased and floured pan. It is not going to rise much because the pie filling is too heavy. When the time is up, use a toothpick to test the cake. If you stick it in and it comes out wet you need another ten or so minutes. The toothpick will never come out totally clean in with this recipe because of the pie mix, so don’t burn the cake. After you thinks its don, let it cool for a few minutes before removing from the pan, but still do it while it’s warm or the cake will come apart. This makes a delicious and really moist cake.

If you have a nail in your tire, so long as it is in the treads and not in the side walls, you can go weeks without repairing or replacing the tire so long as it is a slow leak and you keep the tire pressure up.

Quartered chicken legs makes for the best meat to use in chicken soup. They make a rich broth and the meat is very juicy. Boneless chicken breast meat is still too dry, even in soup; its only good to use if you are making chicken salad with a lot of mayonnaise.

In the wintertime, even down south, after you start up your car there is no need to let it sit idling to warm up, that is unless you want to waste gas while the inside gets warm. If you drive slowly, like 5 mph for a little bit, like, the length of a city block, the oil in the engine will warm up evenly and better than if you let it sit in the street with the engine running. After a block, you can drive normally.

No matter what the guy tells you, you do not need new tires unless you can see the wires.

Cutting meat is a lost art. There are six cuts: short steak bone, the round bone, the flat bone, the hip bone, the diamond bone, and the sixth I forget, I learned this stuff 50 years ago. Who remembers? But I remember that when a guy screws up a cut and there is too much bone in the meat we’d call it a whale bone.

A Universal Ball Joint is not a necessary repair job on your car. . At best it is preventative Maintenance. Don’t let the mechanic scare you into a very expensive procedure. The universal ball joint is that part of the car connecting the axle to the tire. When the car is up on a jack, if you can wobble the tire as if your lug nuts were loos, your universal ball joint is going. If you do not make the repair nothing will happen but your ride will not be as smooth as you would like. Because this happened over time, you probably do not even realize your ride is not so smooth.

Once a week, rotate your mattress. Once a month, flip it.

If your brakes are squeaking before you take the car to the garage get an undercarriage car wash. Sometimes dirt gets trapped up in the wheel well and in the brakes. Dirt can make the brake pads sound like they need replacing. If after you had the wash the wash and the noise is still there, then go to the dealership.

Ask your butcher for some cod fat. Take it home and inbetween two pieces of cooking paper pouind it thin and flat. Then, when its big enough wrap it around a roast and tie it into place. Cook the roast, the fat will make it super juicy. We used to do this long ago but then the government passed a law that sai we couldn’t. Fat is the key, you need a cut of meat with lots of marbleization in it for the meat to be juicy and tasty. Eye Round is no good because it has no fat. Tie some cod fat to it and see how delicious it becomes.

If you don’t know the answer to something, just Google it.

Watch the news every day or listen to it on the radio. Get all the information you can. There is no reason to be a low information voter.

A quick and easy dessert. Take a larger flat pan and melt some butter in it; add in some walnuts. If you like big pieces keep them big, if not chop them up small. Then start adding brown sugar slowly. I don’t know how much sugar to tell you because I don’t know how much butter you added but cook it all over a low flame until you get a thick syrup. Then you can either take a wooden spoon, poke holes in a pound cake and pour the syrup into the holes and over the top of the cake or you can slice the pound cake, toast it quickly and top with the syrup. Either way, it’s good.

If its dinner time and you are not hungry, don’t eat.

Pizzlie is a cow penis. Some people also call it “cow cod.” Either way it’s wrong because cows do not have a penis. You use it to make soup and the Jamaicans swear it’s like taking a Viagra. If your butcher has it, it comes in a box, folded, as it’s about three feet long.

Do your laundry once a week, don’t let it pile up.

Cows have three stomachs, a wave, a plain, and a honeycomb. The wave stomach is sold exclusively to restaurants because it’s the best. Plain is too cheap to process to sell; honeycomb is sold in supermarkets.

A cheap furniture polish that is super good too is made of olive oil and lemon juice in a three to one ratio. T gives the wood a nice shine. Sometimes it dries with a haze so you may need to buff it a little but it’ll look good. I use olive oil from the can because it’s what I keep in the house but you could use Mazola or Wesson, otherwise they are only good for frying.

Beer in a tin plate will kill slug. They crawl in, drink the beer and die. May they drown or the alcohol kills them, who knows, but they die.

To prevent weeks from growing up in your garden take your newspapers and make two or three layers on top of the soil. Poke holes in them and then plant whatever you want. Water it well to wet the papers and keep them down. Laying rocks on the corners helps. After a while the paper degrades and goes into the soil, which is good, it helps the dirt. It also keeps the paper out of landfills. But do not use the funny pages, the color ink is so good, it runs everywhere.

Clean your windows with vinegar and newspaper. It’s the best clean you can get, both clean and streak free. You can use any type of newspaper, red or white. But do not use the funny pages, the ink will run, especially the red and yell ink. Only use the newspaper sections.

Butcher shops use bleach for everything. If you get a cut just pour bleach on it; it’s doesn’t sting and it doesn’t hurt. It may at worst get a little warm but it’s better than peroxide or iodine. Just pour the bleach over the cut, cover it with a band-air and your good to go, you’ll never get an infection.

Take a gallon of water and a quarter cup of bleach and mix together in a bucket. This is now your “dip bucket.” When cutting meat, swish your knife in the dip bucket, it kills all the germs and cleans the knife. Cut beef, swish the knife, cut chicken, swish the knife, cut pork, swish the knife…you’ll never get cross contamination from the knife if you do this.

Bleach is cheap and a fantastic cleaner. Take three quarters of an eight ounce glass of water and mix in a shot glass full of bleach. Put this in a spray bottle and you have the best counter top cleaner ever.