Category Archives: Amazon Reviews

Litom 8 LED Solar Wireless Security Light – Item of the Day

Every day I bring you an item on Amazon that I personally use or has been purchased by many members of the audience and I have researched enough to recommend.

Today’s TSP Amazon Item of the day is Litom 8 LED Solar Wireless Security Lights.   I previously reviewed the 20 LED version and promised a follow up of its little brother.  Well here it is, these are excellent and very much a half sized version of the larger light, with one big difference.

The key difference is where as the 20 LED version is powered by a single 18650 Lithium Ion Battery the 8 LED version is powered by a single 14500 Lithium Ion Battery which has a capacity of 800mAh 3.7V.  Clearly running less light requires less battery so this makes sense.  In any even with the super efficiency of LEDs this is plenty of light.

Fully charged I got 8 hours out of them in steady on high mode.  They got though the night fully on low power mode and frankly I use them on motion sensor mode only, and that is the main thing I want out of them anyway and it makes the most sense to me.

As previously mentioned I ordered 4 of them and put them around my duck pen on the fence on the western side where we had most issues with predators approaching.  The entire east side is covered by the 20 LED version for our benefit during evening and night visits.

I have now had them working for about two weeks and no issues.  They will definitely deter predators as none like light suddenly on them.  They also paid off a few days ago when my young farm hand screwed up one of his tasks (yet again) and grounded out our electric fence wires.  The lights made the fault easy to find and even easier to correct.

Since the first time I reviewed these lights I have installed 4 more of them around my garden pond, I have them set to full power mode and always on once darkness comes.  They do a fantastic job of setting a great mood at the pond and attract bugs for the fish to eat.  I have been outside as late as 4am and noticed they were still on.  So far with 12 deployed only one has had its battery go bad, which is impressive for no name batteries.

The other difference is the price, as they are smaller they cost less.  Where as the 20 LED ones are 34.99 for a two pack the smaller 8 LED model is 39.99 for a four pack, just a bit over half the price.  They are also available in units of one if you only need one or two.

They both work exactly the same with three modes…

  1.  Steady On Dim – The lights come on at dark at about half power (200ish lumens), they will last 6-8 hours of steady on before draining the batteries.  Of course as a solar light that will be based on how well they charge the day before.  In this setting they are plenty bright to see where you are going.  They also switch to bight mode when they sense motion.
    ~
  2. Steady On Bright – The lights come on at dark at full power (440 lumens), they will last 4-6 hours of steady on before draining the batteries.  Of course once again as a solar light that will be based on how well they charge the day before.  In this setting they are very bright for a solar powered light.
    ~
  3. Motion Sensor Mode – The lights will charge during the day and come on at night when they detect motion.  The manufacturer says they will detect motion up to 26 feet away.  My testing confirms this, of course how high you mount them, what is in the way, etc. will effect this distance.  This is my preferred mode and with the power the batteries hold you will never have a dead light unless the batteries have given up the ghost and need replacing.

So which is right for your needs.  Well the little ones are damn bright but the light only carries so far.  They are best for areas where you just need to see what is going on, or for use as security and predator protection devices.

The 20 LED models are as you would expect twice as bright, so I have one at our front gate to the property, and one at the front of the house.  And two by the pool to light that area and the area at the main gate to the duck pen.  The 8 LEDs would be fine in the second area but for our gate and where we unload our vehicles I would stick to the 20s.

Litom also makes a huge 54 LED Model that I am sure is very bright and based on their other products I am sure it works well, it just seems a bit of an eyesore in the day time to me?  But if you need a lot of light check it out.

Otherwise if you just want to light up some areas with motion lights and want maximum bang for your buck with out sacrificing quality check out the Litom 8 LED Solar Wireless Security Lights today.

Remember you can always find the TSP Amazon Item of the day by just going to TspAz.com and by shopping at TspAz.com anytime you shop on Amazon you help support TSP and the work we do here no matter what you buy.

The American Boy’s Handy Book: What to Do and How to Do It – Item of the Day

Every day I bring you an item on Amazon that I personally use or has been purchased by many members of the audience and I have researched enough to recommend.

Today’s TSP Amazon Item of the day is the book, The American Boy’s Handy Book: What to Do and How to Do It.  This book was published first in 1882 and of course that is long before the days of every kid getting a trophy and wrapping a child in bubble wrap before he could ride on a swing.

In other words it is about the real world and the real things that real boys like to do especially in the out doors.  Translation the Politically Correct and the Safety Police will loose their minds over it, that alone means it should be on your book shelf and in your kids hands.

I first leaned about this book many years ago, I would say about 1997 from my late friend named Kurt Knothnagle whom I worked at Lockheed with.  He actually had a very worn but quite readable original copy.  I was fascinated by it and tried to buy it off him but he had no interest in selling it.

Later I learned that this book had become a public domain book no longer protected by copyright it was released as a reprint.  I of course picked up a copy as soon as I learned it was available.

This book is both cool for the things it explains how to do like making a sling bow with a sapling and shooting it more like a spear gun than say a typical bow.  What is more interesting to me is the attitude people had at the time.  We are talking about a book that teaches kids to make hot air balloons using real fire for instance or how to trap an animal, kill it and mount it with taxidermy and apparently everyone was okay with it.

I really recommend this book to read with your boys and frankly your girls too, though there is also a book called, “The American Girls Handy Book” which I haven’t read but will be getting a copy for my granddaughter as she grows up.

So if you have kids in your life be they your own children, your grand kids, nephews, nieces etc, consider getting The American Boys Handy Book and spending time reading it and helping them actually pull off a few of the projects in it.

Remember you can always find the TSP Amazon Item of the day by just going to TspAz.com and by shopping at TspAz.com anytime you shop on Amazon you help support TSP and the work we do here no matter what you buy.

P.S. – DO NOT BUY THE KINDLE VERSION OF THIS BOOK.  It apparently has horrible formatting problems.  If you read the negative reviews you will see they all focus on this issue rather than the content of the book.

 

Mae Ploy Curry Paste – Item of the Day

UPDATE – Since I first posted this review I have removed the small cans and sampler from it along with any recommendation that you buy the cans.  I specifically selected Mae Ploy curry paste because it was made with nothing but herbs and peppers, NO MSG!  Apparently the small cans have MSG. I can’t think of any reason a manufacturer would change the ingredients with package size but apparently they do.  Curry doesn’t require MSG, I recommend only the larger tubs now.  If you are okay with MSG fine, then you can buy the cans but I don’t formally recommend them at this time.

Every day I bring you an item on Amazon that I personally use or has been purchased by many members of the audience and I have researched enough to recommend.

Today’s TSP Amazon Item of the day is Mae Ploy Curry Paste and there are quite a few different options.  They include

I have had a lot of people tell me “I don’t like curry” and it usually means they have had at one time a heavy Indian curry and have decided that is curry.  I will say one thing most curries have in common is spice, so if you don’t like spice you may not find one you like or may have to use less than most people would in a recipe.

The thing is though, in Asia, the term “curry” is sorta kinda like saying BBQ Sauce in America.  Odds are you have had BBQ sauce you like, are okay with and frankly hate with bloody vengeance on who ever made it.  Why?  There are many versions of this, some are regional, some are family secrets, some are nothing but souped up Heinz ketchup, etc.

Curry is the same way, there are some common components and there are some regional adaptations but in say Thailand, every Thai mom thinks her curry is the best and likely has a secret thing or two she will never tell you about her version.  Translation is if you don’t like curry perhaps you have not tried enough variety yet.

I love cooking with curry paste, huge flavors and super easy and Mae Ploy Curry Paste is by far my absolute favorite brand.   Here is a dish I made last night.  As is typical there was no hard recipe it was just something I did on the fly.

Green Thai Curry Fish Soup.
(you can honestly use any fish or seafood you want in this)

What Went in it?

  • Pacific Rockfish (about 6 ounces)
  • Shrimp (4 split lengthwise)
  • Scallops (4 cut into fourths)
  • Peppers (sweet and jalapeño from my aquaponics system)
  • Sweet Potato Greens (from my aquaponics system)
  • Thai Water Spinach Stem and Leaf (from the timber frame pond system)
  • Swiss Chard Stem and Leave (from my aquaponics system)
  • Green Onion
  • Garlic
  • Coconut Milk
  • Lemon Grass
  • Garlic
  • Ginger
  • Green Curry Paste
  • Better Than Bouillon Fish Base
  • Saki.
  • Garnished with Basil, Watercress and more Green Onion (all from my aquaponics system)

Long list of ingredients but dead simple technique.  I cut the fish into bite size chucks and cut the scallops and shrimp as described.  Sliced up the peppers and set them aside with sliced water spinach stems.  Cut up all the greens and set them aside separately.  Also thin sliced up a full bunch of green onion and set it aside separately.

Added about 1/4 can of coconut milk to a pot and cooked it down by about 50% which is getting down to being more coconut oil than milk.  Added three heaping tablespoons of Green Curry Paste (next time it will be one) and cooked the curry paste down into the milk.  Then added a bunch of green onion, some ginger, garlic and lemon grass.  Cooked it down a bit more and added a bit of Saki.

Dumped in the rest of the coconut milk and a few cans of water bring up to hot and stir in a few teaspoons fish base to taste.  Add peppers and water spinach stems and simmer until tender.  Add all sea food and poach it till almost done, now throw in all the greens and more of the green onion.  Stir till greens wilt but are still bright green and kill heat.

Garnish each bowl with some thin sliced basil, green onion, red chili and water cress.  Man oh man this was good and it is just one way to use curry paste.  So consider trying one or several of these options and expanding your culinary horizon a bit. Again here are some of the options…

Remember you can always find the TSP Amazon Item of the day by just going to TspAz.com and by shopping at TspAz.com anytime you shop online you help support TSP and the work we do here no matter what you buy.

P.S. – Unopened this stuff stores really well and even when open it has a very long life in the fridge, so as  prepper, I’m just sayin…..

However a 14oz tub of this stuff is a LOT of curry paste, it will make a LOT of food.  Most times you only need a spoon or two to make a whole meal.  Oh and if I had to pick my personal favorite curry paste, it would be the green.

Wahl Senior #8501 Professional Clippers – Item of the Day

Every day I bring you an item on Amazon that I personally use or has been purchased by many members of the audience and I have researched enough to recommend.

Today’s TSP Amazon Item of the day the Wahl Senior #8501 Professional Clippers.  If you follow me on facebook you know I don’t spend a lot of time trimming my beard.  I tend to let it go until Dorothy tells me I am “starting to look like the crazy guy hiding in the mountains they put on TV once in a while again” and then I trim it up a bit.

So you may imagine that the fact that I have had 3 different consumer level trimmers fail over the last 8 years might be a bit annoying.  I mean what the hell, I use a tool that most would use daily once every say 2 weeks and it can’t survive 5 years?  Really?  Junk!  Fricken junk!

I was lamenting this to my barber during my last hair cut (something I do about once every three months) and she plopped a Wahl Senior into my hands and said, “Just get one of these, they come with all the attachments and feel how sturdy they are.  I use this thing all day, every day, 6 days a week, so do all the others in this shop, I have yet to see one fail”.  My response was, “really so I guess they are like a few hundred bucks or something”.  She said, “no they are like 80-90 dollars, and you will never need to buy another one”.

What?!  WTF!  My last trimmer set was like 60 bucks, I got what I thought was the best and this beast is only 80-90 bucks.  She told me to order the #8501 because it would come with “all the attachments you will ever need and none of the stuff you will never use anyway”.

When I got home I pulled out my laptop and checked Amazon and damn if she wasn’t right (well it is her profession) and I picked up this thing for 86 bucks with free shipping.  I used a #4 attachment and gave the old beard a quick trim, took off the attachment and cleaned up the lines, shaved my neck, etc.  Hit the stubble quickly with my razor and done.

It is a bigger tool than I am used to for this, so it took a bit of use to be confident that I wasn’t going to “Reverse Mohawk” my beard but it works just fine and you get comfortable with it really fast.  About the only thing that really takes a bit of skill is mustache trimming.  But I just hit what I can with the attachment on then pop it off and free hand around the nose holes and lip line.

If you are so inclined and have a qualified member of the household you can certainly do you own haircuts using this tool, it is the main thing my barber uses hers for.  I will stick to my quarterly trip to a pro for that though thanks.

The power of these clippers is impressive, they fricken recoil when you turn them on! So if you are tired of junky consumer level clippers and trimmers and want to make a one time purchase and never worry about such things again check out the Wahl Senior #8501 Professional Clippers.

About the only maintenance you will need to do is routine cleaning and oiling along with popping in a replacement blade once in a while.  My barber says even with daily use a blade should last an individual over 2 years, and with a smirk  that it would last me at least 5.  They are only 20 bucks to replace and it only takes a few seconds to do it.

Remember you can always find the TSP Amazon Item of the day by just going to TspAz.com and by shopping at TspAz.com anytime you shop online you help support TSP and the work we do here no matter what you buy.

Excalibur 9-Tray Dehydrator – Item of the Day

Every day I bring you an item on Amazon that I personally use or has been purchased by many members of the audience and I have researched enough to recommend.

Today’s TSP Amazon Item of the day the Excalibur 9-Tray Dehydrator.   There are a lot of options from Excalibur but I am going to confine my recommendations to just two models.  Those are the…

So what is the difference between the two.  Mainly that the heater, the thermostat and the fan are all a bit more beefed up in the 3900 and the 3900 comes with a 10 year warranty vs. the 2900s 5 year warranty.  Given the two are only about 60 bucks apart in price, you might think I would just say “buy the better one” but it isn’t so simple with this decision.

Personally I do own a 3900 but something changed in it since I bought mine.  The temp range of the 2900 is 95-155 degrees and the 3900 is now 105-165 degrees.  My older model 3900 ran 95-165, I am not sure why they made this change.  But here is my rule on dehydration, dehydrate as LOW as you can to get the job done.

So I now tend toward recommending the 2900 and saving the money but let me tell you the difference so you can make up your own mind.  Basically in addition to the warranty being 5 years longer, the main differences are as follows…

The 3900 has a “better”…

  • Heating element
  • Fan
  • Thermostat

Better in that they are higher rated and have a longer MTBF specification.  What is MTBF you ask?  Well, that is “mean time between failures”, meaning if you run them non stop the ones with higher MTBFs will last longer on average over time.  Here is the deal though, how often does the average person use a dehydrator?

Some people use them every week or multiple times a week, if this is you, I would recommend the 3900.  Most people, such as myself use them say 10-15 times a year, if that is you, I recommend pocketing the 60 bucks, getting the lower cost model and having the ability to dehydrate at 95 degrees.

What about the fact that the 3900 can go up to 165 degrees you say?  This point is irrelevant in my opinion, as there is NEVER any reason EVER to dehydrate anything at 165 degrees, EVER and yes that includes jerky.  Dehydration is dehydration, not cooking!  I recommend making jerky at about 130-140 degrees.

Again dehydration is dehydration, not cooking.

So here is my logic on this with the lower cost item.  First for the next 5 years, if anything does break Excalibur will replace it anyway.  All these parts are easy to swap out, if you can work a screw driver you can do it.  And if say in year six, your thermostat takes a dump, you can buy one for 30 bucks and replace it and still be 30 dollars ahead, IF it even fails.  Again if you use your dehydrator 10-20 times a year, it likely won’t.

In the end though if you are someone who is going to say, run a small business making beef jerky from your home, well, I would go with the unit with the 10 year warranty.  Personally though I do prefer to dehydrate vegetables at as low a temperature as possible.  So if I didn’t own one already and was buying for the first time today, I would buy the lower cost item.

Regardless though of which you buy, let me say this, in dehydrators at the consumer level, there is Excalibur and there is everyone else!  In my honest opinion frankly no one else even comes close!

I tend to be far away from being a “brand snob” I mean everyone knows I love Dewalt tools for instance but I will still recommend brands like Rigid and Porter Cable in some instances.  However when it comes to Excalibur they are so much better than any competitor there is simply no good reason to buy anything else.

Lastly, I know some will ask about some of the higher priced Excaliburs, my answer is buy what you want but I would not go above the 3900B for any reason.  Yea it is cute that for instance you can get a clear door, but I am not paying for that, it doesn’t do anything useful at all, if you want to see inside take the damn door off.  Watching a tomato dry isn’t actually exciting enough to gaze at for more than 30 seconds.

As for the model with a timer, no way in hell I am shelling out more than 90 dollars over the 2900ECB for a timer when I can get a Century 12 Hour Mechanical Countdown Timer for fricken 12 bucks!  A timer which can be used for other things by the way, then just my dehydrator.

A final word on dehydration for the homesteader.  Dehydration is a great way to go over say canning for a lot of gardeners.  Lets look at say tomatoes for instance.  How do you dehydrate a tomato?  Slice it, put it on a tray, stick it in the dehydrator for 6-12 hours and you are done.  Now many home gardeners end up with say a dozen or so extra tomatoes a week or every 2-3 weeks, are you going to can 12 tomatoes?  Does that make any sense?

As to longevity, I have not canned a jalapeno in over 6 years, why you ask.  Well because 6 years ago we had pepper harvest like this one, several of them.  Dorothy and I spent the better part of a week slicing and drying jalapenos, and we still have several jars of them left!  They seem just as good as the day I put them in the jar.

So if you are in the market for a dehydrator, I recommend choosing between these two based on your needs and either way you will not be let down…

Remember you can always find the TSP Amazon Item of the day by just going to TspAz.com and by shopping at TspAz.com anytime you shop on Amazon you help support TSP and the work we do here no matter what you buy.

P.S. – Many vegetables like peppers and tomatoes can simply be sliced and put into your dehydrator, others require blanching which is a short duration steaming them or boiling them.  If you are new to dehydrating I recommend Tammy Gangloff’s YouTube channel called Dehydrate2Store.  She stopped posting videos about 3 years ago but it is still the best how to dehydrate resource on the internet in my view, akin to a free ecourse in it.  Tammy also appeared on TSP all the way back in 2010 on Episode 367, so you may want to give that a listen.

P.S.S. – Want a great use for your dehydrated veggies, take some like say tomato, sweet pepper, a bit of hot pepper and spinach, toss them in your trusty Coffee/Spice grinder, make up some Yogurt Cheese with this powder mixed in, it is amazing and a tip I picked up from my buddy David last year.  And hey for a final note you can actually use your dehydrator to make yogurt!

Perfect Cook – Digital Instant Read Thermometer – Item of the Day

perfcook

Every day I bring you an item on Amazon that I personally use or has been purchased by many members of the audience and I have researched enough to recommend.

Today’s TSP Amazon Item of the day the Perfect Cook – Digital Instant Read Thermometer.  This isn’t a hard item to figure out but there is a big misconception about the most valuable thing it does for you.

Many people feel that a meat thermometer is so you don’t under cook meat.  I refer to these people as “the people who ruin meat and are not worthy of a cows sacrifice to create a steak”.

Now don’t get me wrong there are minimum temps different meats should be cooked to, but very few people would actually eat and under cooked piece of chicken.  The problem tehre is you take the poor bird out before it is done, cut into it and ruin that wonderful roasting you had going as now it must go back in cut open.

So yes, a meat thermometer can help you make sure meat is done, but that is its second greatest use.  Its higher use is to ensure meat is not over cooked.  And that is why you need one of these.  I have gotten pretty good at doing steaks by eye, no matter how, frying pan, broiler, gas grill, charcoal, you name it I can nail it by eye and touch.

Well that is until I am trying to make 4 steaks and they have been requested to be 1 rare, 2 medium rare and 1 medium well (which I call almost ruined).  With a thermometer you remove each steak at just the right time, every time.   What you want your steak “well done”, okay you will have to do it yourself, I don’t ruin meat.  Perhaps I can interest you in say a pot roast

Seriously though, every good cook should have a good instant read meat thermometer.   And the Perfect Cook – Digital Instant Read Thermometer is the best one I have found under 25 bucks, hell it is the best one I have found under 50 bucks but it is only 22 dollars.  There are two things you need in a tool like this, first speed and the second is accuracy.

This one gives you a reading within one degree of accuracy in about 5 seconds or less.  It will change the way you look at your grill because now you will know you can nail the internal temp you are looking for every time.  It will also please your guest and in spite of my humor above, even the ones that insist on a “well done steak” even if you and I never understand their thinking.

Remember you can always find the TSP Item of the day by just going to TspAz.com and by shopping at TspAz.com anytime you shop online you help support TSP and the work we do here no matter what you buy.

GS Plant Foods Liquid Kelp Fertilizer – Item of the Day

Every day I bring you an item on Amazon that I personally use or has been purchased by many members of the audience and I have researched enough to recommend.

Today’s TSP Amazon Item of the day is GS Plant Foods Liquid Kelp Fertilizer.  I have tried a variety of liquid kelp fertilizers and this one has become my go to for quality and value.  First this stuff is highly concentrated, for instance a 16 ounce bottle will make between 16-32 gallons depending on how you dilute.  I generally go with 1 ounce per gallon myself for a soil drench and 1/2 ounce per gallon as a foliar feed.

Since I use a lot of it I buy it by the gallon, that comes to about 39 dollar with shipping but it still beats the price of 16.95 for a pint with free shipping, yet again a little goes a long way and many of you will be better off with the smaller size.

So what is the big deal with liquid kelp, at first the NPK ratio may seem like well, not so big of a deal.  As it is Nitrogen 2% Phosphorus .23% and Potassium 5%.  The key is all of that is 100% bio-available to your plants at application.  Again a little goes a long way.

The real key though is the minerals, Liquid Kelp gives your plants access to over 70 different minerals and they are all easily absorbed.    Here are some of the well established benefits of liquid kelp.

  • Improves seed germination and increases root development.
  • Increases bloom set and size of flowers and fruit.
  • Increases and stabilizes chlorophyll in plants, which results in darker green leaves and increased sugar content in plants.
  • Relieves stress in plants caused by extreme weather conditions.
    Increases plant vigor, and thus imparts a greater resistance to disease, insect attack, drought, and frost.
  • Increases microorganisms in the soil that can fix nitrogen from the air.
  • Increases mineral uptake from the soil and into the plant.
  • Increases the storage life of fruits and vegetables by retarding the loss of protein, chlorophyll, and RNA.
  • Retards the aging process in plants (senescence), thereby lengthening the production season.

The key with this stuff is how you use it.  In general about three times a season, early, middle and late I apply a soil drench of this stuff at 2 ounces to the gallon to my plants.  And about once every two weeks, I use it in a foliar spray directly on the plants at 1/2 ounce per gallon, I also use Garrett Juice at the recommend rate in this spray.  I combine this spray with Howard Garrett’s “Garlic Pepper Tea” every other application to control pests.  You just mix that up yourself, here are the instructions for that.

Let me tell you if you take two plants and do this with one and not the other for a single season you will be a big time believer really fast!  In fact I bet you won’t make it though the season without starting to use it on your control plant as in a month you will have all the evidence you need.

So check out GS Plant Foods Liquid Kelp Fertilizer today, along with Garrett Juice Plus and Dr. Earth 4-4-4 All Purpose Fertilizer it forms the core of my go to for plant fertility.

Remember you can always find all TSPAZ Items of the day by just going to TspAz.com along with a link to Amazon’s top deals of the day.

P.S. – If you need a sprayer for your garden and trees, this one by Chapin is likely the best bang for your buck on the market.  If you need a large Back Pack Sprayer I own and love the Solo 475-B.  Since I bought mine Solo has released the Solo 475-B Deluxe Model.  It has more comfortable straps, a pressure regulator and brass nozzles.  It is likely worth the 50 dollar premium but the standard model at 90 bucks has served me well for a number of years.

 

 

JB Weld WaterWeld Underwater Epoxy Putty – Item of the Day

Every day I bring you an item on Amazon that I personally use or has been purchased by many members of the audience and I have researched enough to recommend.

Today’s TSP Amazon Item of the day is the JB Weld WaterWeld Underwater Epoxy Putty.  I personally think this is an item that everyone should have a few tubes of at all times.  Let’s start out with why to choose underwater epoxy paste?

Simple really, WaterWeld will work on wet surfaces, IF USED PROPERLY and it will also work on dry surfaces.  I am a person that likes to standardize, it makes everything easier.  So instead of go grab me a tube of X epoxy putty, it is just epoxy putty that does all jobs such a putty can do wet or dry.

And it usually ends up being that when something needs fixing it ends up being wet!  Even if it is something that isn’t usually wet.  Translation stuff tends to break when it rains and snows!  So by choosing an underwater product it always works, every time.

Let’s talk a bit about proper use, if you read the reviews you will see a lot of very happy people, they used it right and you will see a lot of “doesn’t work at all, doesn’t stick to anything, does not work in water” etc.  Those people used it wrong.

First this stuff comes in a tube, it is two parts and if you look at the end you will see it has a light color and a dark color with one on the outside and one on the inside.  You cut as much off the tube as you need and mix it.  And you have to mix it fully, it should all be one color when done and it should smell like stale pee.  Yep, stale urine smell is a good thing here, I am serious.

Next if fully cures in about 20-30 minutes but it begins to set in about 7-10.  So if you are fixing an active leak or applying it under water, you have to hold it in place with pressure for about 10 minutes until it starts to cure.  Then it will hold and fully cure.  If you just stick it on something wet and leave it alone it will likely fail, may be even fall off.

Also the surface needs to be cleaned, no oil, no grease.  And if it is a smooth surface, a bit of roughing up isn’t always needed but it is always helpful.  In the end though this stuff can save your bacon in so many ways.  My most recent use was a conversion of my aquatic system.  My top tank was plumbed to my bottom tank with 3/4 inch pipe, it was a constant point of failure for many reasons but mostly because the return pipe at 3/4th of an inch was too small.

The solution was to install a 2 inch bulkhead in to the tank and plumb in a 2 inch return line.  Problem was this left a 3/4 inch line that could end up draining the tank and over flowing the lower one.  To fix that both tanks would need to be dug up as the factory bulkheads were on the bottom, the pipe fittings removed and then plugs installed.  This meant a lot of work and draining the tanks, not good.

Solution was simple, I mixed up some WaterWeld, formed a plug and plugged the hole with it in the top tank.  I then made a flat disc with the rest of the putty and capped it on top of the plug that was pushed into the pipe.  I held this in place for about 10 minutes, done.  Problem solved and the new system is running.  So about 5 dollars in epoxy saved me about 6 hours of work and draining tanks that were full of fish!  Just one example of how great this stuff is.

There are a few options when buying it on Amazon, first you can get a single tube for 5.07 or you can choose various muti packs as you see fit.  I think this is a good prep so having a few tubes around is not a bad idea.  I keep one in each vehicle kit and some around the house and shop at all times.

It will last damn near forever if you don’t mix it and keep it sealed up.   If you don’t want six just wait  until you have other stuff to buy and pick up a tube or two at the 4.55 price.

Remember you can always find the TSP Item of the day by just going to TspAz.com and by shopping at TspAz.com anytime you shop online you help support TSP and the work we do here no matter what you buy.

Yamasho Brass Fish Scaler – Item of the Day

Every day I bring you an item on Amazon that I personally use or has been purchased by many members of the audience and I have researched enough to recommend.

Today’s TSP Amazon Item of the day is the Yamasho Brass Fish Scaler.  Jason from PA was kind enough to ask for a recommendation for a fish scaler.  This is the one I recommend hands down.

It really comes down to something simple by the way, if you want to know about preparing fish, turn to Japan.  Just how much fish do the Japaneses consume, well by some estimates about one in every ten fish consumed in the world, is consumed in Japan.  Yea you read that right, Japan is about 1.6% of total global population but they consume 10% of the worlds fish.

So the Japanese know just a bit about consuming and hence preparing fish.  This scaler is a perfect blend of simplicity, functionality and value.  It comes in at just under 10 bucks with free shipping and 4.8 out of 5 stars with well over 100 reviews.

Gaming the Amazon review system has become something of a hobby for companies selling there, so of course I checked fakespot on this item, The Product itself gets an A Grade on Fakespot, while the company itself, Yamasho also gets an A Grade.   Additionally the third party seller who is actually shipping the item, Japan Tokyo Shop has 100% positive feedback on Amazon for the last 12 months.

In addition to the fact that it just freaking works, the other thing I love about this scaler is the look and feel.  It is flatly a quality tool that feels right in the hand.  To really make it great rub a bit of stain into the unfinished handle and seal it with some wax or oil.  You then have a tool that looks like it has been around for a century and frankly the form of the tool itself is likely older than that.

To make scaling most effective (read that not messy) fill a sink or a tub with water and scale under water, this will keep scales from flying all around and making a mess.  Which it will do otherwise.  If you are scaling on the side of a lake, no big deal but if you are doing it in your kitchen, trust me and use the water trick.

In America we seem to have become obsessed with skinless and boneless EVERYTHING, we really need to get away from that, but especially with fish.  Japanese and many other Asian cultures seem to mostly prefer to cook fish on the bone, with the skin, because they simply know it gives better flavor, and man if you crisp the skin, you won’t even miss that deep fried breading we also seem obsessed coating everything with.

Here is a VERY simple recipie for seared fish, it works well with any fish but it is outstanding with smaller pan fish like bluegill and perch.  To prepare the fish, scale it, then gut it, you can leave the head on, or cut it off the choice is yours.  Then take a very sharp knife and score into the skin on both sides three to for small cuts, try to only cut as much into the flesh as necessary.

Now make a rub, here is what you need for it.  Scale up or down based on how much you need.

  • 2 Tbs Korean Fermented Chili Paste (Gochujang) –  Link
  • 1 Tbs Ginger Paste (or minced fresh ginger) – Link
  • 1 Tbs Lemon Grass Paste – Link – (Check the produce section of your grocery on this one and save money)
  • 1 Tbs Garlic Paste – Link
  • 1 Tbs Your Choice of Oil – (I like peanut oil for this)
  • 1 Tbs Fish Sauce – (This is my favorite brand, I won’t buy anything else) – Link
  • Black Pepper (a few grinds – I prefer pure Tellicherry) – Link

Mix the wet ingredients, don’t sweat the quantity too much, to tell the truth I do it by eye.  Rub the fish inside and out with this oil paste until fully coated and let it sit for a few hours in the fridge, for best results rub your fish in the morning before you go to work and cook it that night for dinner.

Cook the fish in hot oil, a cast iron skillet or a carbon steel pan is best.  Cook until the fish flakes easy and the skin is crisp.  The scoring marks will expand and let the oil inside.  I like enough oil that about 30% of the thickness of the fish is in the oil.  But go by eye.  Serve this with stir fry vegetables and a bit of rice.  You can thin the left over paste with some saki and soy sauce and add it to the veggies right at the end, this is called reinforcing the flavors.  Garnish with thinly sliced chili peppers, cilantro, Thai basil and green onions.  Sprinkle with some toasted sesame seeds for a nice effect.

The best part?  The fins!  The tail fins and dorsal (part without bones) are like little crispy fish potato chips!  The dorsal fin will pull right out and the meat will come off the bones so easy you will wonder why you ever bother filleting fish at all.  You won’t have much waste either, the bones will look like an old cartoon of Tom the cat getting fish bones out of the trash when you are done.

This makes eating smaller fish like perch and pan fish a lot more practical than filleting them as well.  So check out the Yamasho Brass Fish Scaler today and hit that little pond down the road and make a meal you can’t even buy in a restaurant out of some of your local panfish.

Remember you can always find the TSP Item of the day by just going to TspAz.com and by shopping at TspAz.com anytime you shop online you help support TSP and the work we do here no matter what you buy.

 

 

 

How it Feels When there is a Gas Shortage and You are a Prepper!

This is not worthy of a full Item of the day post but it made my day.  The people on my “NextDoor.com” page are still going ape shit about how the small gas station at the end of the road is “price gouging” even though this issue has been over for two weeks or more.  Anyway, saw this shirt on Facebook and turns out it is a real thing, hope it makes your day as much at it made mine!

For what it is worth the evil small business down the road had the nerve to raise the price of gas about 50 cents a gallon, and had gas at least available though the entire “shortage” while all the large stations in town had the pumps taped off and empty.