Tag Archives: amazon item fo the day

Wisdom Panel 3.0 Breed Identification DNA Test Kit – 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 Wisdom Panel 3.0 Breed Identification DNA Test Kit.  I used this kit on Charlie and learned that he was a Pitbull (no surprise there) crossed with a Pointer (big surprise there) and that has gone a long way into knowing how to work with and train him on the farm.

I have misplaced Charlie’s results and my old account at Wisdom Panel doesn’t seem to work so I can’t share his report but I just did Lucy’s DNA test and once again I am really surprised at the results, yet now I see the traits in her as I know what to look for.

First up here is our rescued little gal, Lucy Lu Spirko, what do you think she is?

The most common guesses we have heard are Shepard mix and also Kelpie.  Now Kelpie’s are expensive dogs and a truly Australian breed, so I had my doubts but when I looked up the breed, it did seem plausible, look at this Kelpie here, looks a lot like Lucy Lu doesn’t it?

As to Shepard, sure some of the pattern matches but she is so light bodied and so damn fast, I mean the last dog I had that was this fast was Lakota, a Siberian husky, can’t be though right?

Um, well here is a PDF of Lucy’s breed certificate and a more detailed report of the full test.  She is fricken half Husky, in fact here is what Lucy Lu is made of…

  • 50% Siberian Husky
  • 37.5% American Stafford Terrier
  • 12.5% Dalmatian

I just got the results today and have been waiting for them to make this product my item of the day.  I have to say at first I was dumbfounded, but now it makes sense.  The speed this dog has and her agility are fitting with all the breeds but her light body weight really makes sense with husky blood.

Huskies typically look a lot bigger than they are due to all that fluff, but mix in two short hair breeds like Dalmatian and Stafford and you get a short haired Husky dog.  Take another look at my girl there, imagine she has blue eyes and longer hair.  Take that tail she always carries up and fluff it out, you have a dark colored husky.

It all makes sense now!  The stubborn attitude, the vocal objections to not being given a treat, the vocal greetings, the ru rur ru ru rrrrr rr ruh, when ever she wants anything including attention.  It is Lakota all over again.

So what does all this mean?  Well it means I have a stubborn dog when it comes to training her and I need to accept that and use my knowledge of dealing with Huskies in the past in dealing with her training.  It means on some things she is gonna be really smart and others a bit of a dim bulb, that is true of Huskies and Dalmatian’s as well.  It means she is going to be what we already knew about her, absolutely in love with children and protective of them.

Also now that I know she has Stafford in her, I will work harder to bring out more of her courage, it is in there.  She is the beta of the group, she was abandoned, not well cared for when we found her and quite timid but I have seen the courage come out.   She is so docile with everyone but when my bee mentor Jason had his half bee suit on and dared walk through the back yard I saw a different dog in her, I now know what it was.

Now I know what to encourage, what to discourage and what to simply accept.  She is always going to be a digger, she is always going to be vocal and her attention span will always be short.  She is never going to be a dog that I can trust to move birds only one I can train to not attack them.  There is just too much high strung in the Husky breed, you can turn them on or off to something but when it is on, it is on full bore all the way on.

The real thing though is it is just good and fun to know exactly what you have.  The added bonus is the Wisdom Panel 3.0 Breed Identification DNA Test Kit also tests for the MDR1 Gene which makes certain medications potentially deadly to dogs.  Lucy is luckily free of this gene but it should be tested for before dogs go on a variety of medications including heart worm medications containing ivermectin.

This is something no vet ever told me about, it means that I risked every dog’s life I ever owned by just testing them for heat worm and putting them on the medication.  My vet and I are going to discuss this in depth next visit.  It annoys me that they want to annually test for heart worms which is totally unnecessary for a dog that has never been off treatment, yet won’t do this simple test to see if the medication itself may kill your dog.

I checked into it and a test for MDR1 is usually 35-45 dollars, half the price of the Wisdom Panel test that includes MDR1 and a complete breed ancestry.  You can learn more about the MDR1 mutation here.

In any event the Wisdom Panel 3.0 Breed Identification DNA Test Kit to me represents a great value at 70 bucks with same day free shipping on Amazon Prime.  The process takes about 3 weeks once you send your sample in.  The test is easy to administer, both when I did Charlie and Lucy I was worried about how they would react.  You take two swabs and put them inside their cheek and turn them back in forth.

I was sure both dogs would go berserk and would have to be held down by one person and swabbed by the other, in both situations they just sat there like what is this all about.  I can’t promise your dog will do the same I am just saying it was easier than I expected.

So if you have a mixed breed dog of unknown origins check out the Wisdom Panel 3.0 Breed Identification DNA Test Kit, I personally feel it will give you a much better handle on dealing with your dog, it will include the important MDR1 test and frankly it is just fun to know your dog’s actual breed make up.

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.

 

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.

 

Sadaf Sumac – 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 Sadaf Sumac.  Note that this is middle eastern sumac not our native variety here in North America.  While there are some similar characteristics sumac from the Mediterranean and Arabic parts of the world is a different species with a long history of culinary use.

Dorothy and I really got hooked on this stuff when we found a recipe for “carrot fries” which are really just roasted carrots with this stuff on them, the recipe is really simple.  Cut carrots into sticks, coat with peanut oil, sprinkle Sumac, Salt and Pepper on them, roast at 425 until done, (20-30 minutes depending on your oven).  We use the “convection roast” setting on our oven when we make these and they come out great.

Yesterday I made up some Lamb Heart, Lamb Sausage and Oyster Mushroom stew.  I posted that on facebook and you can see it here.  I used Sadaf Sumac in the homemade lamb sausage that went in that stew, I have to tell you it was pretty fantastic.

This stuff is great on fish and chicken as you might imagine as it has a tart lemon like flavor much like its US cousins we all know and love.  On that note, the reason for this is it is high in ascorbic acid (AKA vitamin C).

Hence it is natural anti oxidant and has quite a bit of good press around health benefits.  There is a pretty good write up about that here.  This is about the best quality stuff I was able to find and at less than 10 bucks with free shipping on prime a 12 ounce container will last you a long time for not much money.  So consider adding Sadaf Sumac to your spice cabinet today and expand your culinary 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 on Amazon you help support TSP and the work we do here no matter what you buy.

P.S. – I guess I have to say it, no this isn’t poison sumac and no variety of sumac with red berries is poison sumac.  So no this stuff will not make you itch.  That said anyone with an allergy to cashews may have an allergy to sumac, so keep that in mind if it effects you or your family.  Bluntly always use all new food items with caution on the first use.

 

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, there is really no reason to use this.  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.

I like them so much I have 4 more sitting out on the dining room table and will be installing them this weekend.

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.
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  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.
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  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.

Ugly Stik Elite Spinning Rod – 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 Ugly Stik Elite Spinning Rod specifically the 5’6″ two piece model but the entire line is fantastic.  The line comes in weights from ultra light to medium heave and lengths from 4′ 6″ to 7′ 6″.  I have and will always be a light gear kind of guy.  My idea of fun is a 20 pound snook in the surf on 12 pound line and a light action rod to give you and idea of what I mean.

I was also at one time big into the all graphite super sensitive type rods until I broke one to many tips off them.  Years ago I switched to Ugly Stik as my go to rods and have been really happy with them, and I find them plenty sensitive for their weight class as well.

So recently I decided to add a new rod to the mix and wanted something light action and not too long for fishing creeks and over grown banks, etc.  So I settled on the  Ugly Stik Elite Spinning Rod in 5’6″ two piece and I am very pleased with it.

I paired this rod up with an Okuma Avenger ABF-30.  The Okuma reel comes with a metal and nylon spool.  So I rigged up the metal spool that I use daily with Spiderwire Ultracast Monofilament in 8lb line.  This is a great set up for everything from sunfish to mid sized catfish.  I rigged up the nylon spool with the same brand Spiderwire Ultracast Monofilament but in 12lb line for getting into larger catfish or rough fishing.

I previously reviewed the Okuma Avenger in the 65 size for surf fishing.  Since that review I have purchased both an ABF-20 and an ABF-30.  I am so impressed with Okuma reels I have pretty much switched over to them 100%.  The bait feeder feature is just great and the quality and smoothness of the reels is like something that cost three times as much.

The 5′ 6″ light action rod linked to in this review would pair fine with either of them.  What the 30 allows is more and larger line to get the most out of this rod.  Because for a rod of its size and weight it is damn solid even with larger fish.

I paired my ABF-20 with a Zhijin Telescopic rod that I keep in my behind the truck seat kit and it is a perfect fit for that as well.

In any event the Ugly Stik Elite Spinning Rods deliver exceptional performance for the price and if you ever break one you did something wrong, really wrong.  They are marketed as the toughest rods on the market and in this case after years of using them I can say, it isn’t just marketing, it is a fact.

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. – In all my years I have only seen one Ugly Stik break.  It was on a beach on Sanibel Island and a guy hooked a very large bull shark with a Medium Heavy Ugly Stik running 100 pound braid.  The fish was so large his two buddies were holding him by his waste to keep him from being pulled in, the rod snapped in three pieces and the center piece bloodied his nose.  This fish was NEVER going to be landed with tackle of the size the man had, the line should have been cut, lesson learned!

Gilmour PRO Commercial Hose – 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 Gilmour PRO Commercial Hose.  As you may know I always say with somethings always buy the best you can afford.  When I do I often use a garden hose as an example, because when you cheap out on a hose, you always regret it.

Up till now I have always said just go to Home Depot and get the red contractor grade hoses.  Well that was until I recently took my own advice and did that.  In a hurry I simply grabbed the hose that looked right, instead of a Gilmour it was made by a company called “Contractor Farm”. (this POS here)  It sure looked good and it damn sure was expensive enough, it also sucks.

Unrolling it alone I knew I had been had, stiff, not pliable and kinks like mad!  Great over built fittings but the hose just sucks.  So I went and looked at the three I had that I loved, all were Gilmour.  Frankly they are now the only thing I will buy.

What makes them so great?  First diameter, the flow you get though them is impressive, given I fill 8 kiddie pools or more a day that is important to me.  Next is the rubber, it is thick and very pliable, what that means is it simply doesn’t kink.  I mean you can kink it if you try hard enough but with normal use I never kink mine.

Lastly the hardware is just top notch, very sturdy and no spray by at the connections.  I personally like the 75 length, but when I got mine initially they didn’t make a 100 footer.  They are now available in lengths of…

It is a bit strange to me that the 25 and 50 are almost the same price and the 100 is less than the 75, but in the end pick what works best for you needs.  Again I have to say that until I find something better I won’t buy anything but these in the near future.  So check out the Gilmour PRO Commercial Hose and stop dealing with crappy garden hoses, life is too short to deal with a kink in your hose!

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.

Entsport Saltwater Fishing Pliers – 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 Entsport Saltwater Fishing Pliers.  Now given that 95% of my fishing is in fresh water you may wonder why I selected a salt water set as my go to.  Well pliers are pliers to a degree if they are good ones anyway and have similar features.  Yet something designed to hold up to salt water corrosion will do very well for the fresh water fisherman.  I.E. they don’t rust easily or corrode easily.

I have tried out several brands and these are the best I have found.  Like everything I review they are well reviewed and highly rated on Amazon, with 5 Stars total with 41 reviews and a FakeSpot.com Grade of an A.

Some of the features important to me on these include.

  • The cutters are tungsten, hence they hold an edge a long time and don’t end up making cutting braid or wire a pain in the ass only a few weeks into fishing season.
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  • They have a sheath and a lanyard, bluntly I drop stuff and dropping stuff in 8 feet of water usually means it is gone.  I also sit stuff down and lose it, not going to happen with these guys.
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  • The jaws are stainless steel and that means they won’t rust if you provide just minimal maintenance.  The body is aluminum again big time resistance to corrosion and no rusting.
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  • They perform many functions, for instance see that little tooth at the tip of the jaw, that allows you to open split rings for rigging up different things.
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  • They are spring open designed, in other words when you pull them out they open with a tension spring, this makes doing things one handed a LOT easier.

In the end they are the best set of fishing pliers for the money and I think with just a bit of care they should last many many years.  So check out the Entsport Saltwater Fishing Pliers and give you fishing kit an upgrade in 2017.

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.

 

Mushroom House Dried Oyster Mushrooms – 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 Mushroom House Dried Oyster Mushrooms.  In my view oyster mushrooms are one of the more underrated mushrooms out there.  To me they are also one of the mushrooms that I feel actually benefits and becomes better when dehydrated.

Fresh oyster mushrooms are pretty good but they lack intense flavor, the also lack any real “body” instead they are very soft and easily over cooked.  However when we dry them and re-hydrate them they come up a lot more firm and their taste intensifies.

The other big thing is of course how storable these guys are.  How well do they store you ask?  Well the package I recently bought had a best by date over 2 and a half years beyond the date I received them and we all know that manufactures practice more than just a little CYA on expiration dates.

So what is the best way to use these guys.  First soak them in water until they re-hydrate and that takes about 20-30 minutes.  Save that water for cooking or making stock.  Then slice and prepare them in what ever way you see fit.  I like sauting them in butter and garlic, then toss in some sweet and hot peppers, saute a bit longer, then add some greens like baby arugula and baby spinach just to wilt, then add in two duck eggs and gently scramble.  Top with your cheese of choice, Gruyere is really nice with this and you have a gormet breakfast in a matter of 15 minutes.  Yes you can use chicken or other eggs for this, I just happen to have a lot of duck eggs always around.

There are tons of recipes I could give you for these but I thought I might give you a recipe using 100% long term storables that would really blow you away, and make it very fast too.  Here is what you need.

Procedure –  Put water in large cooking pot and add mushrooms, turn on to medium heat and heat until steaming hot.  By then mushrooms should be soft enough to work with.  Use a strainer and remove mushrooms, this is simple because they float.

Now add dehydrated veggies and a big pinch of each of rosemary and thyme, add about two big pinches of parsley.  Bring to a full boil, while you wait for that, run some cool water on the mushrooms so you don’t burn your fingers, shake them dry and cut them on a cutting board into thin strips, sort of like “mushroom noodles” (moodles?).  Then add them back to the pot.  When it comes to a boil add bouillon or Better Than Bouillon stir to dissolve.  Also now add the can of crushed tomatoes.  (Costco has some awesome organic ones).

Simmer until the mushrooms and vegetables are to your liking, stir in canned beef including the broth (don’t use a variety with “gravy”) bring back to a full simmer to heat beef through.

Serve with a topping of fresh chives or green onion, if you don’t have any on hand use dehydrated chives.  Add salt and pepper to taste, best to do that at the end as the canned beef and bouillon both have a significant amount of salt.

This all takes less time to do that it does to type it all out.  The soup comes out amazing and it is a great use for canned beef, allowing you to keep it for long term storage but still rotate it by eating what  you store and storing what you eat.  You can adjust quantities to your liking and it absolutely can be made with fresh meat, bone stocks, etc.  One really nice over the top addition is some green snow peas right at the end!

Just a few ways you can use this awesome ingredient and remember they are dehydrated so they weight about 1/4 of their weight when fresh, hence a one pound bag that sells for just under 17 bucks is equivalent to about 4 pounds of raw oyster mushrooms.

I have tried many different brands of oyster mushrooms but so far, Mushroom House Dried Oyster Mushrooms are my favorite, so check them out to day and add this great and versatile storable to your pantry.

To store them after opening I just put them in ball jars with a big pinch of rice in the bottom to act as a desiccant, there is no need for dry canning/vac sealing them.

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. – You will notice that the dehydrated veggies all are linked to one gallon sizes on Amazon, the brand is Harmony House.  I have always loved their quality and when I buy this stuff I buy it in bulk but you can use any dried carrots, celery and onion in this recipe.  I recently did a bulk order on stuff like this with North Bay Trading Company and was impressed with their quality, service and pricing so you might try them as well.