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Saving Time and Effort with Gas Powered Post Hole Diggers

one man post hole digger

A Motorized Post Hole Digger Makes Life Easier

Should you rent a post hole digger or buy one?  To be honest, you’ve got to do a little bit of math here. A gas powered post hole digger is not something that’s needed in every home. If you just have a small project to complete, it might be total overkill. Sometimes you can even get by with using a manual approach to labor. Other times though, the trade off in time and effort just isn’t worth it. Digging fence post holes is a time consuming chore that can be a serious pain in the neck (and back). When there’s a good deal of work to be done, one of these powerful digging machines can be a real blessing. You should consider how much your time is worth and how much renting one of these machines could end up costing you. You might be better off buying yourself one of these earth augers if you are going to need it for more than just a day or two.  Back when we first bought our home, I went the rental path a few times, but it didn’t take long for me to figure out that just a couple of multi-day rentals often ended up costing me enough to have purchased the item I needed (a rototiller comes to mind here).

The Earthquake Post Hole Digger

One of today’s popular choices

If you are looking for a gas powered auger, and you’ve been doing any research, there’s a good chance that you’ve come across the Ardisam Earthquake name. These earth augers are popular because both the price and the performance are pretty good compared to other comparable brands. Just as with any post hole digger you might purchase, you’ve got to use care in handling one of these machines, but they can get serious digging jobs done for you at a reasonable cost. Compare the price of owning one of these to what it would cost to rent an auger for one or two big jobs. You have your choice of power with the Earthquake diggers.

 Earthquake E43 1-Person Earth Auger Powerhead with 43cc 2-Cycle Viper Engine Earthquake 9800B 2-Person Earth Auger Powerhead, 190cc 4-Cycle Briggs and Stratton Engine

One Man and Two Man Augers

These gas powered hole diggers save a ton of time!
If you have a fence to install or another project that involves digging similar sized holes, you will save a lot of time by using a gas powered post hole digger. These diggers make the job much easier on your back and can finish a job, which would take hours by hand, in minutes. There are quite a few models that are able to be operated by one person. There are also many models that take two to control the digger effectively, so you will want to factor this into your decision as to which brand to purchase.  The two diggers shown above are pretty typical of what is out there in one and two model designs.

Working Safely with an Auger

Protect yourself when you’re working.
Buy safety goggles.   You will want to have some ear and eye protection as these machines can be fairly loud. The eye protection will keep you safe in case the auger encounters a rock in the soil. It will also save you some time if you clearly mark all of the areas in which you need to dig holes. This will allow you to move from one hole to the next without having to stop and start the digger each time. Most post hole diggers that are gas powered will require a pilot hole in order to make certain that the digger remains stable. A pilot hole is basically a starter hole and can be quickly dug out with a hand shovel. Obviously you should read, understand, and follow all of the directions that come with the post hole digger you purchase.

How Much Power Do You Need?

Get the tool that’s right for the job
When you are selecting a brand of gas powered post hole digger, make certain that it includes the drill size that you need. Many models come with multiple drills and these will help you to accomplish different jobs. A one-person auger will be suitable for most backyard style jobs. The two-man augers will be able to accomplish these jobs and will also be suitable for more industrial style work. Be certain that the digger you select has a comfortable grip and drills that can be replaced if they become damaged. You will also want to make certain that the model you select has enough horsepower to complete the job you have in mind. The more horsepower a model has, the more likely it will take two people to effectively use the post hole digger in a safe manner.

What is the Best Automatic Pool Cleaner for an In Ground Pool?

Clean in ground pool

Keeping the Pool Clean

When you consider the cost of installing a swimming pool, it only makes sense to invest in the best pool cleaning equipment that you can afford.  My friend Kristin just had a beautiful swimming pool installed last year. I think she said it cost her and her husband about $30,000. That’s a just a little outside of my budget right now, but hey, she lets me hang out next to it any time I like during the summer, so I can be happy with that for now! The one thing she doesn’t like about her new investment is having to clean it. We started talking about that yesterday, and she mentioned that what she really needs now is a robot to do the work for her.  I told her that I’d try to find out what a top quality cleaning machine for her swimming pool would cost while I was sitting poolside with my iPad. Here’s what I found out!

Which One to Buy?

choice for number one

The Polaris Vac-Sweep Pressure Side Pool Cleaner is DEFINITELY worth checking out! Click on the image to see details and reviews on Amazon.

The first thing I learned as I started researching is that a lot of sites say they will show you “the very best” vacuum, and then go on to show you almost every cleaner for sale online. What good is that? I wanted to weed out the cleaners that buyers don’t absolutely love. I also am eliminating products that have very few reviews written for them. The minimum number of reviews I looked for was five. For me, unless the product is brand new, having so few reviews available is a red flag. It probably isn’t a coincidence that most of the cleaners that fell into this category were also extremely expensive. Why would you want to pay over a thousand dollars for something unless it has stellar feedback? The models I eliminated from consideration had average feedback at best and they cost a ton of money.

The Polaris Vac-Sweep

OK, so what did I pick as my favorite machine for the money? After crunching the data on the cost, average ratings, and what I learned from customer reviews, I came to the conclusion that the Polaris Vac-Sweep Pressure Side Pool Cleaner might be the way to go (that link will show you reviews and details on There are three models available on Amazon at the time of this writing (280 model, 360 model, and the 380 model). As expected, the more expensive models have more features that you may or may not want. Click the link or the photo to get more details on the differences between the models, read customer reviews, and to check on eligibility for Prime shipping savings if you happen to be an Amazon Prime member.

Things to note

  • I highly recommend reading the reviews for the Polaris. They include a very detailed analysis and video from a “poolman” who discusses his experiences with this particular pool vacuum. He has several customers who have already purchased the unit, and he offers an interesting perspective. I really like the fact that there is a video included (also shown below now).
  • If you are replacing an existing machine, you probably know this, but it deserves to be mentioned… Many pool cleaning units require booster pumps and/or additional plumbing for the unit. This should be considered when you are figuring your total cost. Of course, if you are spending tens of thousands of dollars on the pool itself, going cheap on a tool to keep it clean and maintained doesn’t make much sense, but some people do think of such things.  Whether you choose to go with the Polaris or not, go for quality.  Get the best that you can afford.

Vac-Sweep 360 Review Video

Do It Yourself Home

Medieval Armor for Sale REALLY!

suit of armor

Where Do You Buy Suits of Armor?

Alright, I’ve got to admit that I’m one of those people who can quote every line of Monty Python and the Holy Grail.  Go ahead and take your best shots, but it still makes me laugh all of these years after I saw it for the first time.  So I

medieval suit of armor

Very cool suit of armor!

thought I’d look into getting myself some really sweet medieval armor that I could wear as a Halloween costume, or maybe just as something really fun to throw on for a trip to the local Shop-a-Lot.  The problem was, I couldn’t find any decent quality medieval armor for sale locally, and everything I found selling online looked like a cheap costume.  That’s when I found Swords of the East.

This is a site that takes itself pretty seriously when it comes to supplying potential warriors (or at least people who like to dress up as warriors).  They’ve got tons of stuff ranging from martial arts equipment to chainmail armor.  I know that a lot of people who visit this site are looking for “unusual” things.  That’s why I highly recommend checking out to at least take a look around.  There is SO much cool stuff for sale there.  I could spend several thousand words describing the swords, armor, helmets, and such, but that would be silly.  Take a minute to check out what they have to offer.  You won’t be disappointed.  Click here.

The Best Dog Grooming Clippers for a Goldendoodle

what are the best dog clippers

How I found the best dog grooming clippers

You can save a lot of money by purchasing some good clippers and clipping your own dog’s hair.  I’ve saved hundreds of dollars since I started doing my own grooming less than a year ago.  Do you know how much it costs to get a dog groomed nowadays? I know, it varies a lot by the type and size of dog, but around my part of the world, it costs about 80 bucks. At least it does for my very hairy pooch. She’s an amazingly lovable goldendoodle, but as her most recent grooming appointment grew closer, the idea of shelling out

what are the best dog clippers

I like the body clipped close but the long hair on her face shows some personality.

$480 for goldendoodle haircuts every year started to eat at me. I don’t know if I’ve spent that much on my own haircuts over my entire life.

Giving my dog a haircut

Long story short, I called the groomer and cancelled. That might have been a little bit bold considering I didn’t even own any clippers and I had no idea how to cut dog hair. Still, it cut off my options and forced me into taking some kind of action. I see that as a good thing. I decided to write this post for other people who might be thinking that they could find a better way to spend almost five hundred dollars per year. I’ve got nothing against groomers, but I don’t show my dog, and her haircuts are mostly for maintenance. I might make a few mistakes, but I’m sure I’ll get better with the clippers and my dog doesn’t seem to be embarrassed when we go for walks.  If you plan on showing your dog in competitions, I certainly wouldn’t recommend jumping into home grooming the day before a show!  It takes some practice, but I think the savings is worth it.

The day after I cancelled the appointment, I started to look for information about how to groom goldendoodles (see videos below). If you don’t know what that is, don’t worry, you aren’t alone. She’s a special blend of golden retriever and standard poodle (those are the big ones). The hair (not fur) that results from that mix grows fast and can be very coarse. In my dog’s case, it is also curly. I was just looking for a nice close cut on the body without anything too fancy on the face, so it wasn’t too hard to find some good tips for a basic cut online. The confusing part came when I had to choose a set of clippers for the job.

Finding the Best Dog Grooming Shears for my Goldendoodle

To start, I searched “pet clipper reviews” and “what are the best dog clippers?” That narrowed things down to a few major clipper brands… Wahl, Andis, and Oster. My groomer had previously mentioned that goldendoodle hair could be tough to cut, so I focused on professional grade clippers. The clippers that made the cut at that point were made by Andis and Oster. I figured that I’d have my money back after just a couple of home clipping sessions, so I might as well get something that would do the job right and last a long time.  I’ve made the mistake of focusing on the absolute lowest price in the past and I’ve found that you usually get what you pay for in the end.  I didn’t want to buy cheap clippers that would make my learning experience even harder.

I ended up going with these Andis 2 speed dog clippers mostly because there were so many people raving about how quiet they were when I read reviews. (They really are remarkably quiet) They also sell ceramic blades that are supposed to stay cooler longer. I picked one of those up too. There are actually many Andis clipper blades available, but you could also just buy a set of plastic clip on guide combs if you like. That’s a bit cheaper, but I was looking at this as an investment that would pay for itself within a few months.

I’ll admit that I was nervous about cutting my dog’s hair at first, but I think she came out of it OK. I didn’t scalp her and she sat still through the whole adventure. The clippers really were very quiet and she never even flinched. I’ve been watching some more grooming videos online, and now I’m actually looking forward to the next time my dog needs a haircut!

How to Groom a Goldendoodle

I was so excited to find these wonderfully helpful videos on Youtube.  I’m including them here so you don’t have to search them out yourself.  Thank you so much to the talented lady who posted them! Just a note, I after I started using the Andis clippers above, I was amazed by how much quieter they are than the clippers used in the video. I just wanted to mention that in case you have a dog who isn’t fond of loud noises.

Part 1

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Part 6

The Best Garden Tool Storage Racks

Organize Garden Tools and Eliminate the Clutter

One of the handiest things you can buy when you want to clean up the garage is a garden tool storage rack. I’ve become a much more organized person as I’ve gotten older. When I first started working on getting my garage in shape, I realized that my love of gardening and working outside was causing some serious clutter. I had my tools everywhere. Wherever I set them down was where they stayed until I was ready to work again. That definitely is NOT the way to keep a neat and tidy garage. You will be amazed at how much these garden tool racks can help when you need to get organized.

Take Care of Your Tools… and they’ll take care of you!

Rubbermaid Garden Tool Rack I remember my Dad telling me as I was growing up that if I took care of my tools, they’d take care of me. I never really understood what that meant when I was little, but it really does make a lot of sense. If you are going to invest the money in buying good garden equipment like rakes, hoes, shovels, picks, cultivators…whatever, it is silly not to keep them in good shape. Tools that are left outside or otherwise stored improperly have a tendency to either get broken, damaged, or lost. Taking a few seconds to put them where they belong can save you time (looking around for your tools) and money (replacing broken or lost garden tools).

Garden Tool Storage Favorites

Organize your tools and keep them in good shape. There is no reason that essential tools should ever be seen as clutter in your garage. Here are a few handy tools for keeping things organized, and they’re all pretty inexpensive. You can get yourself a tool organizer for the garage and then either a rolling cart or a nifty little garden utility belt for hauling around the tools you need with your hands free.

Garden Tool Carts Let You Go Mobile

Take your tools with you
One of the nicest things about carts for storing garden tools is that they let you take the tools with you. I don’t like carrying around an armful of gardening implements and then dropping them on the ground. Any of these low cost options makes it easy to move around the garden with the tools that you need. It also makes clean up a snap. You just wheel the tool cart back to its spot in the garage or shed!

Rubbermaid Corner Tool Rack

Store up to 30 tools and declutter your garage!

This is a sturdy gardening tool storage option that is meant to stay in one place. It fits perfectly into the corner of your garage, holding all of your tools in one place. It is stable and sturdy enough that you don’t have to constantly worry about it tipping over and falling on something. You should note that this is shaped to fit into a CORNER. It is not meant to fit up against a flat wall. That is actually one of the things I see as a benefit though. I used to just lean things in the corner, and they always were falling over.

Garden Tool Wall Racks

A more permanent option

Some people don’t want to take up any more floor space than is absolutely necessary. Who can blame them? If space is really at a premium, any of these wall mounted tool storage options can serve nicely. These will require a little bit more effort to set up, but it is nice having things completely off of the floor and out of the way. Go with whatever method suits your needs best. Any of them is a heck of a lot better than the jumbled mess many of us have grown used to looking at in our garages.

Garden Spades and Garden Forks

A quality garden spade is a must have item. Get a decent one and it can last for years. I have some that are decades old! If you’re looking to save money, I’ll give you a quick tip. Look for these simple, more basic tools at estate sales. You’ll have to get there plenty early, because they go fast. If you find them in good shape though, you can sometimes pick up a bundle of yard tools for very little money. Be careful though. Depending on the seller, you might find tools with rotted handles being offered for sale. Buying those would just be a waste of money.

Turn dirt. Break up dirt. Get the weeds out… You get the idea. You should have at least one garden fork in your gardening arsenal. As I mentioned above, these are commonly found at estate sales, but be sure to check out the quality of the tool by giving it a light test outside before you invest any money.


Don’t forget this Remember the Milk Tutorial Video

Remember the milk!

If you are anything like me, you can always use a little bit of extra help when it comes to remembering things.  Honestly, I don’t know how or why I forget sometimes, but I do.  I’m getting better though, and I’m using a handy tool along the way.  It is commonly referred to as RTM.  Here is a very helpful RTM tutorial video for anyone who is trying to figure this puppy out.

There are many different applications that you can install on your iPhone, and many of these applications are perfect for streamlining your daily life. This is one feature that the iPhone is perfect at doing, and that is streamlining all of your daily activities into one extremely portable device. Whether you need an application to help you remember what you need to do throughout your day, or one to keep track of your various tasks, there is an application that will work perfectly for you.

Perhaps one of the most popular iPhone application is called Remember The Milk, or RTM. This application is perfect for a wide variety of iPhone users, because it has a multitude of ways it helps you. But what exactly is Remember The Milk?

Remember The Milk is a great application because it benefits a wide variety of users. If you want to further streamline your life, than you will want to have this application. This application is a powerful talk management service, which allows you to add tasks, view your tasks depending on locations and lists as well as searching throughout your tasks. If you have a busy life, than you can’t afford not to have this amazing application on your iPhone, you will be surprised how it will help organize your life.

One of the coolest features about this application is how you can locate your tasks. Let’s say you are running errands throughout your day, however, they are scattered throughout your city. After you have completed one of the errands, you can look at your iPhone and see which of your other ‘tasks” are closest to where you currently are located. This is a great way to save time when running errands, and it will make finding your way throughout the city extremely simple and easy.

Remember the milk!

Another great feature within this application is how you can add tasks to your iPhone. Normally, you think you would have to grab your iPhone and add a task through this manner. However, with this productivity application, you are able to update your tasks by simply e-mailing the application. All you have to do is e-mail the Remember The Milk application, and the task will be updated onto your list immediately. This is perfect when you are on the web and see an important date, then all you have to do is click on your e-mail client and make an e-mail reminding you to attend an event. These applications do nothing but simplify your life and make your schedule seem slightly less hectic.

When you can spend less time organizing your life and more time actually performing the tasks you were organizing, than you will have a truly productive day. This is one of the coolest aspects about the iPhone, and that is how it can make your hectic life seem not so terrible. With applications such as this one, you are able to organize your life to be extremely productive. In today’s society it is common to seem like you’re running around without getting anything done, however, with Remember The Milk, you will never forget an important event or meeting, plus you will also remember to walk the dog when you get home.