The afternoon schedule of my kid has given me the time to continue reposting old blog posts that I have saved using Feedfabrik. Without this application I would have lost everything I wrote since 2006 when I made a boo-boo during a WordPress upgrade about two years ago. (It’s a blessing in disguise though as I have discovered a LOT of embarassing grammar lapses.)
Copying and pasting, however, from PDF to Microsoft Word creates an alignment problem which I have been patiently dealing with for weeks already. Realizing that I have barely achieved a significant percentage of repost–my Feedfabrik proof PDF file has more than 1200 articles–I finally turned to the internet for help. Someone out there must have had the same issue. I was right.
Thanks to Superuser.com, I found the answer to my problem. And it’s a very simple one. Shown below is a screenshot from my MS Word that shows the same set of text from my PDF file.
Upper half of the picture is how it appears when text is pasted directly from the Feedfabrik proof.pdf file. Looks easy to align, right? But if there’s a thousand pages to deal with, trust me, it will drain anyone out.
The lower half of the picture is the way to go and it’s done using a neat trick from Superuser.com which I simplified below.
1) Copy text from PDF.
2) Paste text on Google search box (I assume this will work with any other internet browsers). Do not worry about the length of the text, it doesn’t matter as the next step will get everything back.
3) Use CTRL+A (or CTRL+X) to copy every text you pasted on the search box.
4) Paste text on MS Word.
Take note though that if there are multiple paragraphs being copy and pasted, each paragraph has to be manually separated from the other. But this is something I can handle unless there is another trick to solve this.
Now where was I? Ah, December 22, 2006. Hmmm, bad grammars.
Mood: 3/10 Honks! (Still with runny nose after four days. I hope I’d be better tomorrow.)
Latest news has it that the possibility of a P60/liter unleaded gas price is high and we all know this is not good news. Not everyone knows, however, that there are more ways than one to beat this almost unstoppable fuel price hike. For example, parking the car longer than before – that is, use it less by carpooling or taking public transportation. Switching to more fuel-efficient cars such as newer models or the more expensive hybrids is also an option that other lucky individuals might have. Or lastly, and the most practical, is becoming more aware of things most of us used to ignore yet could actually affect how one can make fewer trips to the gas station. To achieve this last alternative, I now offer my top 5 tips to beat the fuel price hike:
The lesser pullback, the better. Whether one comes from a full stop or shifting gears from second to third, that feeling of being pulled back to the car seat during acceleration is a sign that the car (and driver) is exerting too much effort which translates to inefficient use of fuel. To avoid this, keep in mind the simple tip I’ve read years ago: imagine an egg is underneath the gas pedal – step on it as light possible as a centimeter-deep (or even less) depression of the gas pedal is already enough to pump gas necessary to keep the car rolling. Always remember that in daily commute, pedal to the metal isn’t the way to go.
Don’t get squeezed. The exact opposite of acceleration is deceleration but the effect is somehow similar which is demonstrated during braking. Any driver has likely experienced that feeling of being squeezed by the seatbelt (assuming he wears one) after applying the brake hard. Hard stoppage means “aborted” use of fuel and this is because gas that was pumped into the engine’s cylinder is supposed to make the car travel at a particular distance and by braking hard the dispensed fuel’s purpose is suppressed and wasted–unless the car has KERS or Kinetic Energy Recovery System such as one that is used by Formula 1 cars and hybrid automobiles.
Avoid leaning hard sideways. Drivers executing a turn or maneuvering curved roads use a combination of the brake and gas pedal to control the car so both tip numbers 1 and 2 above apply in this scenario. In curved roads, the driver will experience countering centripetal force by leaning sideways at an apex. The harder one leans to one side, the likelihood of fuel wastage is high. To achieve a smoother drive, anticipating the curve is important as well as knowing when to brake and to accelerate. In normal condition, brake (as gently as possible) before entry to the curve (and/or switch to lower gear for better traction during the turn) and then accelerate upon exit.
Gravity is your friend (and foe). Navigating through a downhill is an opportunity to save gas as this is when it is less stressful to the engine. Be aware, however, that turning the engine off (or even coasting) is a big no- no – for most cars, a turned off engine means zero vacuum which in turn disables the brake master and power steering. Go figure. Going up is of course more demanding to the car’s power source and it would be helpful if its load is lessened. If possible, turn the air conditioner off when driving uphill.
Too cold isn’t cool. Speaking of air conditioners, one should use this wisely and sparingly when driving. A car that is too cold uses more fuel than it is supposed to be and that is why thermostats control knobs are there20 – lower the temperature whenever possible. One should also read their car owner’s manual to learn how the fan vents settings work to optimize the temperature inside the car especially if only the driver is inside.
The tips I have listed here, by the way, are with the assumption that the car is in good condition and keep in mind never to compromise safety over savings: ensure that car is maintained regularly, brake hard if needed, and follow the speed limits all the time. Drive safely everyone!
Mood: 6/10 Honks! (Writing to relieve the 2nd week of anxiety. Wifey still not well.)
I read this news about a woman in California winning a case against the manufacturer of Honda Hybrid after her Japanese hybrid vehicle failed to meet the expected gas consumption of 21 kilometers per liter (50 mpg). According to the news Heather Peters received more than USD9,000 from Honda or around 400,000 in Philippine peso which is enough to buy a used Honda City like what I am currently using.
This article is so timely as I have just finished computing my January consumption and believe or not, our Honda City 2008 achieved the highest gas mileage I have ever recorded since I started the conscious effort to take note of my gas expenses and driving habits25. The first two months after August, I was able to prove that I am among the average Honda City owners who is at the 13 km/liter range but sooner or later I began getting favorable gas consumption. In October I reached 17 km/liter.
December 2011 and January 2012 data, however, are more encouraging. Despite the Christmas holiday traffic, my less aggressive driving style resulted to 18 km/liter — more distance covered with lesser trip to the gas station — which is just 3 kilometers short of the disputed Honda Hybrid figures. Yes, I know, the 50 mpg promised by Honda is for city driving which “if true” is about double of what non-hybrid cars (like mine) can achieve but apparently since there is a winner in this case against Honda, it just shows that there is still some sort of flaw in this expensive vehicle’s system (unless Honda got some incompetent lawyers like those in CJ Corona trial. Oppps, different topic. Sorry, cant’ help it).
And so with this latest milestone, I now face the challenge of breaking the new kilometer per liter record and perhaps prompt more Honda Hybrid owners to file more complaints once they read that another guy with a lowly Honda City somewhere in the Philippines comes close to the gas consumption they’re supposed to have with their brand new Honda Hybrid.
Trivia: In Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol, one will spot a Honda City 2008 car swerving while Ethan Hunt gives change in the midst of a sand storm. This is just a few of the interesting scenes in this movie. Yes, just a few. Disappointing film.
Mood: 3/10 Honks! (Wifey and kiddo left me. They’ll be back. Hahaha.)