Went over to a friend of a friend's house today to help him with his pool. He was seriously pool-stored and ended up with CYA over 100 in his first season. Showed him how to test and how to vacuum and explained the chemistry. Hopefully have him set up so I can help him over the phone for a while. I showed him a couple of things that are handy, and neither he or the friend who connected us knew about them:
The first is the use of polarized sunglasses when cleaning the pool. Boaters and fishermen know for sure how good they are at cutting the glare off the water, but they are great for being able to see the bottom of the pool when there's a little chop on the water.
The other thing is how I skim the pool. After the net has some stuff in it, I lower the net right next to the skimmer with the dirty side toward the pool's skimmer door. The water flow pulls the crud off and into the skimmer.
Both seemed obvious to me, but those guys were all but in awe of me when I left. 8)