Dancing?

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yogi
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Re: Dancing?

Post by yogi » 24 Aug 2018, 12:46

My doctor and I had long discussions over several visits regarding my blood pressure. After a year or so I conceded that I do indeed have high blood pressure and started a second medication to treat it. You would think that the doctor has the most accurate instruments around, but they don't. Perhaps the hospitals do because they have tech support in house, but an outside doctor's office is no better than what you or I could do. In fact we probably do better given our technological bent. The 2 year calibration I mentioned was what the manufacturer guaranteed. The instrument may never go out in practice. Correlation with the doctor just means we are on the same page. I won't say who is correct unless I see or perform the calibration myself.

Scales, especially the spring loaded ones, are notoriously non-linear. You are doing the correct thing by calibrating at or near the point you do your most frequent measurements. If you plotted the accuracy across the entire range of the scale I would bet you will be out by 10% or more at the extremes. If you want accurate numbers, then do indeed calibrate at or near your average body weight. Then check the calibration up and down the scale to get some add-to or subtract-from corrections. Not even the electronic ones are linear, although they are better than the mechanical ones.

Regardless of what instruments you use, you won't know how accurate your home readings are unless you have them verified by a calibration lab. My doctor's answer to that is the readings are meant to show relative changes and not be absolutely correct. I'll go with that. :mrgreen:

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Kellemora
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Re: Dancing?

Post by Kellemora » 25 Aug 2018, 10:54

If I drop a stack of brand new crisp dollar bills on my scale, it will weigh 100 grams. If I leave the band on the stack, it might flicker between 100 and 101 grams.
If I stack 100 used bills on the scale, it will flicker between 100 and 101 grams or sometimes show 101 grams.
I assume this is from body oils building up on the bills.
You can also drop the bills on the scale one at a time and watch the counter jump up 1 gram for each added bill.
This was not an expensive scale either, it's a Sunbeam Postal Scale, under 20 bucks when I bought it, but now they cost around 28 bucks and don't look anything at all like the model I have. No model number shown on the unit itself.
What I like about mine is it weighs in both fractions of an ounce and grams.
It is strictly a scale, does not calculate postage for you like the newer models do.

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yogi
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Re: Dancing?

Post by yogi » 25 Aug 2018, 13:23

When I need a postage scale, I use the kitchen scale. It shows grams and fractions of an ounce in 1/8th increments. I seldom need to know more than if my letter weighs more or less than once ounce. If it gets heavier than that, I'm sending a package and make a trip to the post office.

I like the gram scale because some recipes from Europe are stated in weight instead of volume. It also comes in handy when using the nutrition charts on food packages. However, I also have been known to entertain myself when preparing a meal. A pound of ground meat is never exactly one pound (454 grams) especially after I get done adding additional ingredients. I frequently make 4 servings out of a pound of meat and that is when the gram scale shines brightest in my kitchen. Grams are a lot easier to divide by 4 than are ounces. I buy bulk breakfast sausage and divide the one pound package into five paddies, or 91 grams each, except for the last one which is often 89-90 grams.

Does it really matter? No. But I tend to show my OCD when cooking :mrgreen:

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Kellemora
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Re: Dancing?

Post by Kellemora » 26 Aug 2018, 11:38

I needed a scale that measured grams accurately because one of my products had numerous micro-ingredients.
The only way to ensure the product came out to spec, was to mix some of the ingredients in 1 or 5 gallon batches of a single ingredient, then use only an ounce from the batch in the mixing vat.
There were over 25 micro-ingredients that had to be 0.1% each, a few 0.5% in the packaged product.
There were also bulk ingredients of course, which were measured in pounds going into the mixing vat.

It was such a headache to mix all of the micro-ingredients, I eventually discontinued the product which used them.
Some of the ingredients were always hard to buy, and got ten times harder after the terrorist attacks, plus the price skyrocketed on many of them. One of the ingredients I still use, jumped from 17 bucks to 125 bucks and a limit placed on the amount one could purchase. Other ingredients now required keeping a record of usage, and that record had better match the number of bottles of the final product sold with paid sales receipts. The sad thing is, it is not a dangerous product, nor one that could be used to make a bomb or anything poisonous. After all, what I make must be safe for delicate reef livestock.

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yogi
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Re: Dancing?

Post by yogi » 26 Aug 2018, 18:47

I use vinegar and baking soda to do a lot of cleaning around the house. Most store bought vinegar is 5%-6% acid. It works well enough but I read were a higher concentration would be a better cleaning solution. I found a chemical supply house that would sell 15% acid vinegar and bought a jug. It came with a multitude of warnings about how toxic this stuff was. Apparently it's main use is as a weed killer, which I never considered doing with it. Acetic acid is mighty dangerous stuff, I guess. I don't recall the price, but I think it was around $15 a gallon. I'm surprised that something so "dangerous" was allowed to go through the postal system.

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Kellemora
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Re: Dancing?

Post by Kellemora » 27 Aug 2018, 10:57

I use the 6% cleaning vinegar with a little dishwashing liquid to make it stick to the leaves on our weeds in place of weed killers. Works just as fast and last about the same length of time as the commercial weed killers, and for a whole lot less money. It's much safer too!

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yogi
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Re: Dancing?

Post by yogi » 27 Aug 2018, 14:07

I've been using 409 as an insecticide. It works exceptionally well for Japanese Beetles but not so well for grasshoppers. I learned that I have to be careful with it because some plants will die off if they are 409-ed. I have yet to try the high concentration vinegar as a weed killer, but there is a lot of crab grass out there asking for it. The soap is necessary and I think the bugs don't like the taste of it either. That's why they fly or crawl away from the 409.

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Kellemora
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Re: Dancing?

Post by Kellemora » 28 Aug 2018, 11:40

The little bit of soap acts as a surfactant so the vinegar floods the leaves instead of beading up and rolling off.
This allows the leaves to absorb the vinegar.
Some folks add a little salt and wait for it to dissolve, which takes a while, else it clogs up the sprayer nozzle.

Back home in St. Louis, I used to place rock salt around my foundation to keep weeds at bay, but you can't use it around plants or bushes. I have used it sparingly around old large trees a few times, simply because I had tons of weed seeds sprouting from the mulch. Sometimes it is worth buying a bag of Preen, but it has to be down before the seeds sprout or it does nothing.

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yogi
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Re: Dancing?

Post by yogi » 28 Aug 2018, 16:01

I'm told crabgrass is a common problem around here and the only way to control it is with a springtime application of a pre-emergant. Preen seems to fit into the strategy but liquid herbicides work infinitely better than pellets. Many years ago I used to experiment with organic gardening methods. I acquired a disliking for hard chemicals back then, but it turns out organic is not efficient. I will try using the vinegar on my weeds and keep a bag of Preen (or a substitute) handy just in case. Grass likes slightly alkaline soil which makes me reluctant to use the vinegar. Then again, vinegar seems less likely to pollute the ground water, which is where O'Fallon seems to get a good amount of it's H2O.

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Kellemora
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Re: Dancing?

Post by Kellemora » 29 Aug 2018, 12:01

Vinegar is considered ecologically friendly for several reasons.
It does not combine with other elements to create something worse, like dioxin.
It breaks down rapidly leaving no residual contaminants. It is not harmful to wildlife.
When used for killing weeds, It cannot contaminate ground water. It would take thousands of gallons being dumped by industry in a localized area to overcome its natural ability to break down fast.

We have crabgrass here too, the running kind that roots everywhere one of its tendrils touches the ground.
But the government issued Kudzu is what is wiping out flora in the south. They should be held responsible for their blunder and be forced to eradicate it. It should take precedence over marijuana in being stopped. Marijuana is natural, Kudzu was imported by the government, and was not native here.

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yogi
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Re: Dancing?

Post by yogi » 29 Aug 2018, 13:07

So ... should we be spraying Kudzu with that vinegar solution?

Which brings to mind a related question. Is vinegar good for all kinds of weeds or just broadleaf? I'm thinking that if I use it on crabgrass it may kill the fescue that I want to preserve. I know it has to do with surface area of the plant and I grow my grass longer than all my neighbors. It doesn't look like a golf course, but it tends to stay greener longer. I understand that is due to the increased surface area that can be used for photosynthesis. However, I can also imagine that larger area absorbing the toxic acid in vinegar.

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Kellemora
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Re: Dancing?

Post by Kellemora » 30 Aug 2018, 13:35

Vinegar is like RoundUp as it kills everything, for a short time anyhow.

It wouldn't work on Kudzu because of the long runners.
Like if you use RoundUp on Ivy that spread beyond where you want it, it will only kill each vine back so far, anywhere from two to six feet is all. Vinegar does almost the same thing.

Ivy from a fence got into my strawberry bed. I had to pull it up by hand, and then sprayed vinegar about 1 foot away from the fence for a band about a foot wide. Thought this would keep the ivy at bay having that demilitarized zone. Once ivy reaches a certain age, it grows almost as fast as Kudzu, hi hi. Even putting down a layer of rock salt did not help, the ivy vines just stretch across it to get to the strawberry bed, grrr.

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pilvikki
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Re: Dancing?

Post by pilvikki » 30 Aug 2018, 16:30

kudzu:

https://www.verywellhealth.com/the-bene ... udzu-89059

:grin:

thanks for the vinegar tip! i have a driveway sprouting all kinds on vegetation around the edges. the vinegar here in the stores is 15%, so yeehaw! all set.

:cheer:

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yogi
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Re: Dancing?

Post by yogi » 30 Aug 2018, 18:24

I have used something called Weed B Gone. This stuff seems to kill the roots as well as the leaves upon which it is sprayed. I don't know how it would fare against tubers or plants with runners. I have also used "vine" killer for killing the poison ivy in my forest. It worked very well for a few years but then the ivy came back. I'm guessing both Weed B Gone and the vine killer are systemic and not just topical herbicides.

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Kellemora
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Re: Dancing?

Post by Kellemora » 31 Aug 2018, 12:28

A long time ago I used to mix Round-Up, Weed-B-Gone, and Killer Kane Spot Killer all together in a 2 gallon sprayer and used 1/2 Vinegar 1/2 water. It worked fast and lasted about twice as long. But then when you consider the cost, doing the Vinegar with a touch of soap twice as often had the same results.
And it makes the area smell like a Salad instead of a chemical plant, hi hi.

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yogi
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Re: Dancing?

Post by yogi » 31 Aug 2018, 14:46

The only concern I have is that vinegar as a herbicide will kill off even the plants I want to keep; fescue grass for example. Chemicals like Weed-B-Gone are selective and depend on surface area of the plant to be effective. Thus weeds with bigger leaves than grass will die off before the grass. There is a brand of Weed-B-Gone that will attack crab grass and leave the fescue unharmed for the most part. That's how I discovered it in the first place. The whole plant seems to die which is why I think it's systemic. Weeds come back because the roots were not killed or because of simple reseeding. Not much you can do about self-seeding other than apply a pre-emergent in the springtime.

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Kellemora
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Re: Dancing?

Post by Kellemora » 01 Sep 2018, 11:41

If you don't want to kill off the good grass you want to keep, then you can't use the kill all type products.
You'll have to stick with the chemicals designed to kill only a particular type of weed, or range of weeds, such as broadleaf weed killer that does not harm grass.

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yogi
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Re: Dancing?

Post by yogi » 01 Sep 2018, 18:44

The problem with my current lawn is that the weeds have covered nearly 50% of the good grass. I don't mind killing off some good stuff, but half my lawn would be too much. When I was younger and feeling better I'd go out with one of those weed pulling sticks and yank them out by hand. By the end of summer it was pretty much weed free. LOL I also had a compost pile that made disposing of them easy. No place to put yard waste here except in special bags I'd have to purchase for the waste management people.

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Kellemora
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Re: Dancing?

Post by Kellemora » 02 Sep 2018, 12:00

I cut down 1/3 acre of trees and brush, piled it all up in a corner behind the storage sheds out of sight out of mind.
The pile was about ten feet high and around 25 feet long, width varied a little between eight and twelve feet.
Three years later I started using mulch from the far end where I placed the smaller brush first. When I hit something a little larger I tossed it on top of the pile ahead of where I was removing mulch.
When I got partway through the pile, I began tossing most of it behind me, back into the corner again, and building it back up to around 10 feet high again, as I added fence row trimmings. Almost all of it was gone, except for the larger logs and new stuff added.
Left it alone for a couple of years and that tall pile was down to less than three feet when I used some more of it for a small garden. I had some of my trees trimmed and tossed them in the corner, but no longer touched the pile after that because there was a family of box turtles living under the tree branches. Probably rabbits and other critters too.
I let the area inside the small fenced off area alone and it has grown back up again, can't even tell there was ever a pile of mulch there anymore.

After they were grown, one of my neighbors used their kids plastic log cabin playhouse to hide all of his brush and grass clippings. He trimmed the entry door up about a foot and scoops out mulch from there. It was about half-full and a year passed before he got really good mulch from it. Now he never runs out, but only uses it on his rose beds.

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yogi
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Re: Dancing?

Post by yogi » 02 Sep 2018, 15:53

My composting experience was pretty much the same as yours. I would from time to time add grass clippings to promote decomposition, but it wasn't really enough. In effect I had a cold compost pile. While that produced great compost it did not kill off the weed seed. The first year I used the compost on my flowers was a nightmare. I ended up with a lot more weeds than flowers, which wasn't all bad because it went back on the compost pile for a second treatment. The quality of the compost could bring a tear to your eyes, but it wasn't all that useful. I ended up spreading it around the forest in the back of my lot so that I would have more room on the compost pile for trimmings.

There must be something delightful for turtles in compost. I had the pile going for several years and decided it needed to be rototilled. That's when I uncovered the box turtle living there. I was happy that I didn't grind him up. The compost was mostly leaves and soft branches from bush cuttings. I also had a few piles of logs, branches, and brush scattered about the lot. The wild critters loved it, of course. Those piles would get ground up in my wood chipper. The output of THAT was fabulous mulch. It usually didn't last long and decomposed in a couple years. No problem really. I had a lot of clippings. When I left after 30 years of collecting debris from tree cuttings, there were still two huge piles waiting to be chipped.

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