My Favorite Gardening Weed Pulling Tool Is A Crowbar

I am most willing to use just about any tool to get the job done.  Quite a few years ago I found that a hand held crowbar was near perfect for pulling up weeds.

Two tools are shown. The top tool is your typical weed tool. The bottom tool is a hand held crowbaar.
Top tool is a garden weed tool. The bottom tool is a hand held crowbar also called a wrecking bar.

 

A crowbar has a wide surface for getting up under a weed and a sharp tip for getting the tool under the weed.  A crowbar also has a longer shank for wedging under a good size weed and allowing you to lever the weed up out of the ground. by pressing down upon the bar.

The top tool in the image above, I almost never use.  It might be better used when a weed is very close to some other plant you do not want to disturb.  There are a lot of different crowbar sizes so choose carefully one that you think would work best for you.

 

 

 

Posted: June 16, 2019
Updated: June 17, 2019

My Sincere Apologies

Score Card has not posted for over a month, November 17 to December 20, 2018. This was due to medical issues and family requirements. I am most sorry for being lax in my requirements to you. I hope to do better.

United States District Judge of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia Reflects American Values.

December 19, 2018, Judge Emmet G. Sullivan ruling in the case of Michael Thomas Flynn, shocked most of the United States by not rendering a quick decision to give Flynn no jail time. Why was there such a disconnect between the nation’s expectations and how the judge presided?

Ever since President Trump became the leader of the United States and showed himself to seemingly act like a crime boss, there has been a slow slide downwards of expectations on the part of the American public for this administration to act honorably, responsibly, compassionately, and legally. The alleged crime boss has also taken to undermine some public institutions. The alleged crime boss fails to value research, facts and convention. He seems to show bias against minorities and women instead of representing all Americans equally. These behaviors seem to be motivated for self gain and ignorance. He uses lies, falsehoods, intimidation, and threats to put pressure on anyone who he thinks crosses him.

Here is a viewpoint.

As a result, the public may have taken on a tenor of diminished expectations toward this administration and maybe the outlook for this nation. When we expect so little, might this not also put the same shadow upon the people who work in our national institutions?

Maybe because the whole nation has lowered it’s expectations for proper political and legal action resulting from the dark pale put upon this nation by this woeful lack of proper leadership that we are shocked to experience one legal mind that still maintains the values of the Constitution and all the proper legal values growing from that document. It, thus, happened that the low expectations going into the legal proceedings, December 18, 2018, contrasted sharply with the judge’s ruling. We should commend U.S. District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan for standing up for and making legal pronouncements that support proper USA values and more importantly becoming a champion for the rule of law and for setting the past American values into their proper elevated place, and ideals that we all should be supporting.

Another interesting happening in the hearing is that the judge made the suggestion that Michael Flynn may have been a traitor. I think this may have been a decided calculation on the judges part. He may have been warning the alleged crime boss followers, family and friends that they too are treading close to being traitors or may have already done so.

U.S. District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan, just might have decided to be a preacher, an advocate, for the US legal system and the political system to maintain its core values.

Judge Emmet G. Sullivan is my hero figure for December 2018 and maybe for the year of 2018.

Evaluation of F.A.S.T #1155 Vest For Emergency Personnel

Impressions of the F.A.S.T #1155 vest:

First let me explain why we require two radio pockets in our radio vests.  In our city, we have Community Emergency Repose Teams, called CERT, that are expected to carry a Family Radio Service (FRS) radio.  These community volunteers are not required to have radio licenses. We just want them to give aid and assistance to their neighbors in case of an emergency.  We expect these CERT workers to begin their rescue activities at home or at work because some forms of emergencies just happen way too quickly and these CERT people should just start giving aid when and where the problems occur.  When any disaster takes place, you can pretty much expect that cell phone communications will not be effective.  The cell towers might be taken out by earthquake, fire or other factors.  If the cell phone systems are working, way too many people will suddenly try to use cell communications which overloads the systems.  We need good reliable communications between our CERT volunteers and the city administration staff at the Emergency Command Center.  We want a reliable backup to using cell phones.  FRS radios seem to be the best backup solution for CERT workers because they are cheap and easy to use.  But these radios have limited, 2 watt, power out.  This means they do not transmit very far.  Our next option is to put ham radio operators spotted about the city with their hand held ham radio and also operate a FRS radio to help the communications of the CERT people, reason for two radio pockets.  These operators are called RACES which stands for Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Emergency Service.  These operators have to take National Incident Management Systems or NIMS training and need to pass a security check.  It needs to be explained that even ham radio operators using their hand held radios do not have much range when connecting point to point.  But, ham radio clubs and counties have a LOT of hill top repeaters which can offer way better communications.  Ham radio operators can also use way more power and special antennas to extend their effective communications range.  Our city ham radio operators have had CERT training so they can act as both aid giver and communications facilitator.   This requires each ham operator to operate TWO radios, thus the need for two radio pockets.  This radio vest explained below offers the user to put a hand held microphone for each radio and clip it close to their shoulders.  In this way ham radio conversations will come to them from one side of the head and the FRS audio will come from the other side of the head which is important for the user knowing which radio traffic is which.  There are a number of features that this vest offers that are really smart.

Now let me share with you why this radio vest is rather good:

• Military grade in that the material used for the fabric is thick. The stitching looks perfect. The zipper looks to be large and rugged.  The design is impressive.

  • The two side adjustment belts on each side, for adjusting humane body types, use thick bands and nice large plastic adjustment devices. For a really small body size, this vest might be too large.

  • The reflective material is wide and nicely placed and encased in plastic. A bit weird that the side reflective band runs just above the jacket size belts and is held in place with Velcro. There is a slight adjustment for a really huge person to widen this reflective band out some.In the image below, a pencil holds back the large reflective band found on each side of the vest which can be adjusted a tiny bit for adjustment of operators girth.

The red pointer holds up a third waist fastener on one side of the vest

 

  • 4 zippered front pockets are provided that are really large each with a zipper. Each zipper has TWO sliders so you can open and close using both or one from each side. (See example below).

Note that there are two zipper sliders, right and left.

  • There are 2 inside front pockets, (see image below) no zipper, just a flap on top but large. The top flap allows 8 inch wide material. It is 6 to 6 and 1/2 inches deep.

One of the inside pockets that is large enough to hold a city map or snacks.

• The large rear plastic pocket can be used to slide in our your own identification “EMERGENCY COMMUNICATIONS” is empty and ready for us to make and slide in our own label. It is 9 and 3/4 inches from side to side and a tight 4 inches tall. A Velcro tab locks the open end.

This is the large back pocket that can identify the purpose or duties of the person wearing the vest. The pocket is open on the side where you see the black Velcro tab.

• There are 2 more ID pockets in the front of the vest on each side and on the outside of the upper chest zipper pockets.

• The left side ID pocket is the size for a driver’s license (see image below).

This is thought to be a perfect place for the identification, or ID badge, of the wearer. The pocket is on the front left side of the vest. It is open at the top allowing ID papers or badges to be placed inside. The pocket is closed by Velcro at the top.

It is roughly 3 and 1/2 inches wide and 2 and 1/8 inches tall. This is the only pocket that might collect rain because it’s opening is on the top.  I imagine this being used for government or company ID card.

• The right side ID pocket, (see below) perfect to identify the person’s job or the user’s call sign if a ham radio operator and name.  It is open on the inside next to the zipper and allows a 5 and 1/4 by 2 and 1/2 inches card to be inserted.

This front right side pocket is larger than the left front pocket. It is perfect to identify the ham radio call sign and name of the person using the vest.

 

There are two eyelet D rings on either side of the vest back bottom, which I can not figure out what you would use them for.

 

The 2 radio pockets are high on the vest, one one each side. Each radio pocket is angled slightly away from the person’s head so the antenna aims a bit outward. The pockets are 6 inch deep. I put my huge Icom O2AT brick radio into the pocket and it fits, but tight (see image below).

•Now you would think that a small radio would sink deep into the 6 inch deep pocket but they provided a very clever placed fabric band just below the pocket top so a short radio with

a belt clip can be hooked into that short black loop. Each pocket has a rope starting at the top of the radio pocket with a Velcro strap at the end to lock in each radio.  If the radio operator bends over, his or her radios will not spill out.  This is especially important when on water in a boat.

• At the top of the vest, on each side, is a Velcro strap located close to the top of the humane shoulder. (see image below).

I found that I could slide my very long antenna under that strap. Then, I discovered that the Velcro strap can be lifted and an antenna can be laid down and the Velcro can be reset back in place so locking a long antenna from flapping around. The second method seems way faster.

• I have a HT microphone on a cable and it clips perfectly to the Velcro strap and the placement is perfect for hearing and talking. Now that is really functional and smart!

• Each radio pocket has a small fabric extension on the side close to the zipper for putting in a pencil or pen. I found that it is too thin for my favorite pen on one side but OK for a pencil. On the other side the opening is big enough for a large pen or pencil. I think the person who stitched up the vest made one pen holder smaller by mistake (or not).

One rather strong observation that I found, and this is my opinion, is that it seems to me that putting the radios in the pockets, placing antennas and wired microphones is way easier with the vest taken off.

Summary:

It is expensive but I am impressed with the total package. There are a few surprises that I was not expecting:

  • The fabric and finish that looks like the guards at a US Marine base, would wear this, being military tough.  In a hot climate, this may be a deficiency.  In cold climate it is a plus.
  • The radio pocket having a belt inside top for short radios was a real clever solution.
  • The radio pockets are slanted a bit away from the head and the Velcro bands both keep long antennas from hitting the head.
  • The Velcro and fabric loops at the top shoulders for microphones seems perfectly placed and a clever solution for hand held microphones to be mounted near the wearer’s ears.
  • All the identification pockets are made to be quickly replaced with new up to date information.  In this way, fewer vests need to be purchased for two or three shifts of emergency personnel switching out vests.
  • The pencil and pen holders was not expected.
  • The rear plastic D loops, I have no idea what they are for.
  • For me, this radio vest goes way beyond the basics to make using our radios way easier and performing tasks easier.  It is an asset, not a hindrance.

Note:  This web site and author receives no payment for this review.

Vendor Information:

F.A.S.T. First Aid & Survival Technologies Limited
This vest is made to order in Canada. Pricing is in Canadian dollars.  There is an exchange rate difference.

Address:  8850 River Rd, Delta, BC V4G 1B5, Canada

Phone: +1 604-940-3222;  1-888-710-3278.

Product Catalog: https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0222/9558/files/FAST_ProductCatalogue2017.pdf

Note that these products can take two or more months to receive.

Posted:  September 13, 2018.

 

“Supreme” Court Acts To Suppress Unions

The “Supreme” Court ruling that public unions can not require workers to pay union dues seems to be following the fascist play book. If we look at the fourteen point definition for determine what fascism is, we see that the “Supreme” Court, once again, has worked toward this end:

  1. Powerful and continuing expressions of nationalism.
  2. Disdain for the importance of human rights.
  3. Identification of enemies/scapegoats as a unifying cause.
  4. The supremacy of the military/avid militarism.
  5. Rampant sexism.
  6. A controlled mass media.
  7. Obsession with national security.
  8. Religion and ruling elite tied together.
  9. Power of corporations protected.
  10. Power of labor suppressed or eliminated. (The organizing power of labor is the only real threat to a fascist government).
  11. Disdain and suppression of intellectuals and the arts.
  12. Obsession with crime and punishment.
  13. Rampant cronyism and corruption.
  14. Fraudulent elections.

(The above list is from  Laurence W. Britt).

The “Supreme” Court has taken point number 10, in the list above,
and helped to suppress and eliminate labor unions with their most recent
ruling.

(Posted June 29, 2018)

Comet SBB2 Dual Band Antenna: 146/446 MHz Review

This review is for ham radio licensed individuals:

Like an idiot, I assumed the Comet SBB2 antenna was resonant for 2 meters when I purchased it.  The package shows “146/446MHz”.  After having this antenna for years, I decided to test it with my MFJ HF/VHF SWR Analyzer, model MFJ-249.  The results were awful.  My MFJ unit only tests 2 meters and not 440.   The 2 meter test results shows the antenna to be resonant close to 160 MHz.  I have two of these antennas.  By looking at the two antennas, it was obvious that I had one older and one newer version.   Both antennas gave the same results.  The SWR reading was in the red for 2 meter operation.  This antenna has Allen wrench locking screws that makes one believe this antenna can be tuned.  I could not adjust this antenna.  Comet should do a recall or offer a repair kit.  Not Recommended.

I really recommend the Comet SBB5.  It is almost double the length of the SBB2 but my SWR analyzer showed a near perfect SWR for 2 meters.  Recommended.

I hope to soon buy a MFJ SWR tester that will cover 440 and update this report for that band.

Prediction Possibility

President Trump has stated that the Mueller investigation can not investigate Trump’s business. Mueller is beginning to step over that line. Trump is getting boxed in and has few options to survive.  A favorite tactic for Trump is to create a diversion. Mike Pompeo, the new secretary of state, is a war hawk. His appointment may be clearing the deck of any opposition to Trump’s possible next move.  Declaring war may result in these positive outcomes for Trump, the Republican Party and the nation’s oligarchs:

  • Obscure the Mueller investigation results that may show Trump’s alleged racketeering enterprise.
  • Hide the Republican Party’s alleged, following the US oligarchy’s, directions to not cooperate with the Democrats in the US House investigation. (Democracy In Chains)
  • The United States electorate seems to be taking on a negative view toward the president and the Republican Party.  A war might improve the odds for the despicable in the next election.

___

March 22, 2018 update:  John R. Bolten has been made National Security Advisor, a war loving hawk.  The possibility of war for the United States with North Korea or Iran has just increased.  The US citizens who voted for President Trump and  have children that could serve in the military may have increased the possibility for harming those children.

Installing insinkerator Evolution Prestige Garbage Disposal.

Date of purchase: July 20, 2017

Vendor: Lowe’s.

It was a Thursday, July 20, 2017, when our garbage disposal failed. One of the grinding heads broke loose which caused the garbage disposal to nearly explode with noise and vibration. I dove for the on/off switch and shut the unit down. I fished out the broken piece. The disposal was way out of balance when I applied power again and shut the unit down quickly. I knew then I had to replace the unit. After an hour of conducting Internet search for the best replacement including Consumer Reports I found three units I was willing to buy. The top rated unit was not available the same day. I settled on the insinkerator Evolution Prestige.

Garbage disposal $339.00
Plumbers putty $2.99
Power cord assembly $11.99 This garbage disposal does not come with a wall plug electrical cord which we require.
1 1/4” O.D. by 7/8” I.D by 2 feet hose $4.78 which connects the dishwasher vent to the garbage disposal.

This disposal is very quiet and offers an alleged 7 year in home warranty.

Customer reviews said this disposal was very easy to install. I do not agree. I ran into three difficult portions of the installation.

I had to install this unit with no help from anyone else.

First, getting the C ring out of the assembly was impossible until I reasoned that I should back off the 3 screws so tension on the C ring was removed.

Second, Getting the C ring back in place was impossible. I came up with a trick. I reasoned that the ring would be easy to slide into place if I could keep the ends of the ring separated by about a quarter of an inch. I used a wood wedge. I separated the C ring at the very end corner of the wood and used the rest of the long piece of wood to position the C ring.  All I had to do was use my fingers to slide the ring in place.

Third: placing the rather heavy garbage disposal correctly in place was impossible for me alone to do. I placed a scissor jack under the unit and cranked the garbage disposal up in place. (see picture).  I had to make sure the unit was properly aligned.  The attachment ring on the disposal requires you get all 3 tabs to connect to the sink ring.  I used a lot of lights to illuminate the work area.  I used an inspection mirror to view the back side of the disposal to ensure all the 3 tabs had connected.

insinkerator Evolution Prestigue Gargage Disposal
Garbage disposal held up by scissor jack.

Tip: When aiming the disposal correctly into the sink hardware, view the docking from the the sink top as well as from below.

A major problem for me installing garbage disposal is getting the drain tubes connected. This garbage disposal has a brilliant solution.  The connection from the L tube out of the disposal down into the sewer drain is soft rubber. All I had to do was install all the drain connections leading up to the disposal first and leave the connection to the side of the disposal for last. I then just rotated the L tube into the soft rubber connector and placed the lock ring to finish the connection – utterly brilliant!

Conclusion:  This garbage disposal is very quiet.  My daughter has her bedroom over the kitchen and she could hear the old garbage disposal run.  There is no way she can hear this unit from her bedroom.

American Standard Toilet Lid Problem – Solved

The customer complained that one of their bathroom toilet lids kept falling down.  This is a real problem for men.

I checked to see if the floor was level.  I was darn near level but had an ever so slight tilt backward which should have helped the lid to stay up.  It appeared to be a defective design.

The only identification is inside the water tank: American Standard 1112 tank, made in Mexico.  I suspect that this toilet came with the new home.

American Standard has a pretty awful score at Consumer Affairs web site.

The quick solution was to shim the tank backward a slight bit.  I used white heat shrink plastic tubing.  The top water tank rests upon a front and rear ridge.  I put the shim between the front ridge and the tank and then tightened the tank bolts.

In practice, this solution did work.  The customer had to make sure the toilet lid was firmly put up against the tank for it stay in place.  I now wished I had used a second plastic tubing shim.

Image shows a closeup of the tank resting upon a plastic tubing shim which has been placed upon the front base ridge.
This image shows the plastic shim in place before the tank is tightened down.

 

The image shows a side view and very close view of the toilet seat on the left in a up osition. In the center of the image shows the first tank ridge which the water tank rests upon. A red arrow points to where the shim was inserted before the tank was tightened. The bolt for mounting the tank can be seen. Near the right edge of the image is the rear tank mounting ridge.
This image shows the toilet seat placed in the up position as seen on the left side of the image. The red arrow points to the shim placed upon the forward ridge. The bowl bolt can be seen next as you view the image from left to right. At the very right edge of the image is the rear ridge which the water tank rests. The whole concept is to get the water tank to tilt backward slightly so when the lid is placed up, it will stay in place.

 

Revised April 7, 2018

Why Sports Chalet May Have Been Taken Down

It seems to me that Vestis Retail Group may have realized that it could not easily appreciate, measure and thus manage  a store that offered technical customer service in addition to everyday fitness and sports product.  Vestis typically offers product only and may have come to realize that Sports Chalet had technical services that were not high enough profit makers or enticements or they could not understand what value those services added to the store.

Here is an example of a Sports Chalet Store in Brea, California’s specialized services:
•    Scuba certification
•    Rentals
•    Tennis racket restringing.
•    Bicycle repair and tune up. (About 2 miles to nearest bicycle repair shop).

Another factor that VC’s seem to not understand is if there are community ties to a store.  This factor typically is important if the store has resided in the same location and local community comes to depend upon it over other retail stores.

Another driving concept is that Vestis and Versa may be married too is a concept called retail compliance.   Retail compliance is ensuring that you have the right stock in the right place at the right time and, at the right price to maximize sales.  This is in line with the KISS idea of “keep it simple stupid” which may indicate some  lack of sophistication of Vestis.  A clothing store comes close to being married to the retail compliance concept.  Once you start adding specialized skills, that concept is only partly correct.

I detected an apparent Vestis using the KISS (keep it simple stupid) top management approach where old ideas such as sales vs expense type analysis is valued, maybe because it is more easily understood.  Business that must survive in the United States today and in the future may find this KISS mode more complex to the degree when they offer varied product beyond clothing and sports gear.  Many brick and mortar stores have failed to adjust to the biggest elephant in the room, the Internet.  Almost every store I visit, to varying degree, including Walmart, Best Buy, Staples, Sports Chalet, COSTCO fail the retail compliance because their buyers fail to stock what the customers want.

Summary: The stores that Versa did accept to keep running was EMS and Bobs, both are product only stores which adds nothing unique to the ocean of retail stores.  It does diminish the sports technical services for the local community and a chance to use these services to attract customers and be known as a unique store.   Vestis may have lost a good chance to leverage some of the Sports Chalet stores into a full service community sporting goods store chain and thus dumb down further the brick and mortar landscape.