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Scipio Africanus' Profile

Customer Reviews: 8
Top Reviewer Ranking: 1,537,843
Helpful Votes: 16

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Scipio Africanus "Skippy" RSS Feed (Putnam County, IL USA)

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Amazon Gift Card - Facebook - Merry Christmas (Pine)
Amazon Gift Card - Facebook - Merry Christmas (Pine)
Price: $50.00

5.0 out of 5 stars Blissfully Painless, January 19, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
If you have to play the gift card, Amazon makes it really easy. Post it to your recipient's Facebook page or email. And no fee for the purchase. Proves that laziness can sometimes be a virtue, and as a virtue, should be as painless as possible, leaving me in a state of bliss at having actually sent something without having to actually pick something.

Oregon Lawn Mower Blade For Swisher 22-Inch 9005 91-051
Oregon Lawn Mower Blade For Swisher 22-Inch 9005 91-051
Price: $15.48
7 used & new from $11.95

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Oregon Mower Blades for Swisher T-44 Mower Can Cut It, July 25, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
2 22" replacement blades manufactured by Oregon Mower Blades for Swisher's T-44 Trail Mower came adequately packaged and were delivered earlier than expected. With Free Super Saver Shipping this is a really good deal. Order OEM blades from Swisher and you will find yourself paying more for the item and paying a healthy shipping fee.

There's not much else to say about these blades other than that they work just as well as the OEM blades and are cheaper. Blades are a pain to change on any large deck mower, but these install without a hitch once you can get the deck raised. Getting the deck raised is a whole other story, and it's not a pretty one.

One tip: After 4 years of draining all the fuel and making sure the oil filler cap was secure before manhandling the deck up to about 60 degrees and securing it, then leaning or crawling under the mower to take off the old blades (when you will learn that the old bolts have rusted and the heads will twist off at the least provocation), I discovered that you can fairly easily remove the engine. Getting the deck up after that is simple and allows for a quick job. Getting the engine off the deck and then putting it back on is a fresh hell, involving one of Swisher's eccentric and poorly designed bolt placements (and it ain't the only one) that will test your patience and the skin of your knuckles.

But hey, the blades work fine, and they are a bargain compared to the OEM blades.

WOLF-Garten 3942154 59-Inch Multi-Star Aluminum Handle
WOLF-Garten 3942154 59-Inch Multi-Star Aluminum Handle
Offered by BlueStone
Price: $10.99
3 used & new from $10.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Solid, Sturdy, Flexible., January 26, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This handle is the common component for Wolf-Garten's modular garden tool system. Attachments snap into the handle, are held securely while in use, and are easily changed out by pushing down a large button towards the end of the handle. It is, as the title says, very solid and well-crafted, is sturdy enough to use with a lot of push and pull stress, but is flexible enough that it gives rather than breaking in two like wooden handles tend to do.

Basically it's a handle. There's not a lot more to say about it. It, and you, will be content in the knowledge that it is a very good handle.

WOLF-Garten 1616004 Soil Crumbler
WOLF-Garten 1616004 Soil Crumbler
Price: $48.98
4 used & new from $39.97

5.0 out of 5 stars A Crum-bly Job, January 26, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This is part of Wolf-garten's modular garden tool system, consisting of an aluminum handle and a series of snap-in attachments. I own this Soil Crumbler, the Push-Pull Weeder attachment, and the 59-inch aluminum handle. Each piece is of high quality, is durable, and works really well.

The Crumbler consists of a set of spiked wheels which I will call rowels (like the rowels on a spur) separated by a spacing bar, and a large cutting attachment that is essentially a stirrup hoe connected onto the frame behind the rowels. Pushing it back and forth through the soil (not too deep or it will get stuck) will, depending on the composition of your soil and the degree of moisture, break the clods up into smaller (and smaller) pieces while the stirrup loosens and turns the soil. It works especially well on hard crust after a winter of neglect or previously tilled soil that has become packed due to rain.

If you plan to use it to turn soil that has not been previously broken and tilled at some point you will be exhausted and disappointed, but used for its intended purpose it will do a nice job of breaking loose crust, that can then be crumbled by the rowels. If the soil is too dry and the colds are very hard, they will get stuck in between the teeth of the rowels. This isn't always a problem, because you can keep pushing the unit back and forth and the other spikes will continue to work. At some point the rowels will become so clogged that you will have to stop and pick them out. But if the soil is really dry and full of hard clods the tool will not break it down, or not into small enough pieces to plant in.

The same is true of wet soil. Don't use it in wet soil! It will only bring you heartbreak, and will annoy the tool as well. You can make a big mess of your garden bed trying to use this in wet soil. Wait until it is dry but the earth is slightly moist. Soil in good condition, relatively dry and with no very large clods, can be crumbled down to a powdery consistency. You can actually crumble the soil several times, and in various directions (I drive it across a section several times, then work it again at an angle perpendicular to the first). Worked this way, and using the stirrup to smooth it out, you can create a level and smooth planting surface pretty quickly.

This is an excellent tool that can make garden prep much easier, and can save you time and an aching back.

WOLF-Garten 3226004 Push-Pull Weeder
WOLF-Garten 3226004 Push-Pull Weeder
Price: $37.79
2 used & new from $32.21

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Garden Tool I've Found, January 26, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I'd never heard of WOLF-Garten tools until I happened upon them here on Amazon. Others seemed to be happy with them, I decided to give them a try. I purchased this Weeder attachment, the Soil-Crumbler attachment, and the 59-inch aluminum handle. Odd that Amazon sold the handle, but the attachments had to be purchased through another vendor, so farewell to Super-Saver Shipping (which really makes Amazon the hands-down BEST online retailer. Thanks, Mr. Bezos!) but it all arrived within the same week, so I was ready to test drive them.

The attachments snap in to the handle with a reassuring "click" and are suprisingly snug. There is a little play, but I have never found it to have any negative impact on the tools' effectiveness. Of the two attachments I bought, the Weeder is the best. As its name implies, you push it and pull it back and forth along the surface of the soil. Push down too much and it will bite into the earth, so a moderate pressure works best

The tool has a sort of serrated blade on both front and back, neither of which is especially sharp, but the blade surface is thin enough to be a danger to any weeds that lie in its path. You can cut weeds off at the soil surface level quickly and easily. It will also make short work of grasses, even grasses with runners or in clumps. It doesn't get stuck unless you push it into a clump too thick for it to be forced through. I've used it on weeds, grasses, ground cover, old vegetable roots and stalks, and it works very well on each. it is also easy to clean by knocking off any dirt clods and hosing it down, then wiping it dry.

This is a high-quality piece of equipment, easy to use and maintain, and it will save you some sweat and a tired back when you set out to prep your garden next spring. The modular system of which this is a part is a great value. I plan to purchase some new attachments for this year's gardening.

Studiohut KIT2CS Photography Studio Continuous Lighting Umbrella Kit with 30 Watts 5500K CFL Bulb (Black)
Studiohut KIT2CS Photography Studio Continuous Lighting Umbrella Kit with 30 Watts 5500K CFL Bulb (Black)
Offered by ePhotoInc
Price: $26.65
7 used & new from $21.95

10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Suffers from under-exposure, August 8, 2010
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Arrived on time and as promised. Pretty easy to assemble, with a few exceptions, mainly because the package contains no instructions, not even the little IKEA-type pictograms. So when you go to attach the light to the stand, you're on your own. Mine waited until I was in the middle of a photo session with some high-value vintage china and then the lamp, lamp socket and control, and umbrella all jumped off the stand and onto the china. Maybe it was due to that one piece of hard plasticized nylon mounted on the business end of the stand when I unpacked it, for which I could find no use if I wanted to attach the light to the stand, and which I keep just in case I have a "Eureka" moment at some point and understand its function.

But assuming you get it set up properly, the stand, in particular, works very well. Often at this level of pricing the equipment is shoddy, way too flimsy for a actual use, because it will invariably fall over just before the shutter clicks. So I was surprised and gratified to find this well-made and of good quality materials. Even the umbrella was of a nice quality and with sturdy connections and components.

But the light emitted and reflected back onto your subject by this set is very dim and of almost no use unless you are able to position it within a foot or so of the subject, which can actually be done for my purposes because I shoot vintage items and materials usually less than 12" x 12". I doubt a portrait subject would sit still for a light in such close proximity, especially since the light and the glowing umbrella would be right there in the middle of the picture. A moment between you and your reflector kit preserved forever.

The glow from the light, bouncing off the umbrella and back toward the object/subject, is a very pleasing soft white, and will, I imagine, serve to soften shadows and provide a little bounce-fill. But it really does not emit a light powerful enough to be used as front fill and illumination, even though that would probably be its main function, supplemented, as in my rig, with two soft-boxed side lights.

So unless you get this light really close to your subject, you are gonna need more light.

Underexposed and underwhelming.

***Update: Jan. 25, 2013***
OK, so I said in my original review that the stand was good, the light was bad, and the connectors that joined light and brolly to stand were, to be charitable, "challenged". Since that review I have used the product regularly, and I can affirm that the stand is good, the light is bad (the brolly diffuses the light, alright; it diffuses it so much that it serves little functional purpose), and the connectors not only aren't good but actually broke sometime early in its 2nd year of service. Now the bulb and brolly just sort of sit on the old broken connector (in this case, friction and the angle of repose are our friends) and are fine as long as you don't bump anything. I've knocked the rating down from 3 to 2 stars to reflect my dissatisfaction with the product but also to recognize that it does work to provide a lovely, diffused, reflected light, even though that light is very dim.

This product remains underexposed and underwhelming.

Schumacher EC-4000-USB 4-Ah Large Emergency Glove Box Charger with USB Port
Schumacher EC-4000-USB 4-Ah Large Emergency Glove Box Charger with USB Port
Price: $38.58
4 used & new from $38.58

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Schumacher Emergency Charger is no help in an emergency, August 8, 2010
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I bought this for my wife's car so that in the event she was stranded she could give herself a jumpstart from within the car. The charger is plugged into your cigarette lighter, and from there, is supposed to give you enough charge to restart the engine. And it is supposed to fit neatly inside your glove compartment when not in use.

"Supposed to" left us stranded on an out-of-town trip, on Labor Day no less. Although I was careful to take the little monster (and you CAN fit this brick into your glove compartment, but you will have no room for anything else in there once you do) out and regularly recharge it, it wouldn't gives us a jump. It didn't even give us so much as a cough. So, two hours later, with the car battery quickly and easily recharged by the tow truck operator, not only were we able to drive it home, but it also started the next morning, when we drove it to the mechanic's, where it received a rebuilt alternator AND a new battery (just in case).

For us, this charger only worked well when we used it as a paperweight to keep the maps and documents in the back seat (which would no longer fit in the glove compartment; see above) from flying away.

Can't recommend this item at all. Get one of the bigger ones and stow it in the trunk.

Swisher 4220 74-Inch Belt - Fits select Swisher 44-in, 42-in and 22-in Mowers
Swisher 4220 74-Inch Belt - Fits select Swisher 44-in, 42-in and 22-in Mowers
Price: $24.99
2 used & new from $24.99

4.0 out of 5 stars So far so good, August 8, 2010
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I ordered this OEM belt for my Swisher pull-behind trailmower. The belt arrived on time and as promised. After the knuckle-busting installation (this mower has 4 rotors, two directly under the engine, so they are a bear to reach) I was up and mowing.

The belt seems to fit a little loosely but so far no more split and broken belts.

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