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Outdoor Items

Outdoor Items

Feb 6, 2022. Google Net 4 pack 399.99

Nov 22, 2021. 55″ Hisense TV $499.99

Mar 24, 2020. Suncast 33 Gallon Hideaway Can Resin Outdoor Trash $39.00

Aug, 2020. Suncast 33 Gallon Hideaway Can Resin Outdoor Trash $39.00

June 13, 2020. Lowes. 6.75-in W x 30.125-in H Wood Work Bench $55.48

May 30, 2020. Lowes. 52-in L x 29-in 124-Gallon Java Deck Box $149.00

May 30 2020. Lowes. 5-cu ft Poly Wheelbarrow $59.98

Apr 20, 2020. Chaise Lounge Cushion, 2-pack, Red $169.99

Mar 24, 2020. Suncast 33 Gallon Hideaway Can Resin Outdoor Trash $39.00

Suncast 90 gallon Storage? Not Costco, Not Amazon



Why did I wait so long to enhance my new TVs with a Soundbar? I haven’t had good sound from our TV since we lived on Santee Drive in Lake Pointe. Moving into our very first home we had it wired for surround sound. Now what to do with my old Denon component system and speakers I’ve been holding on to.

Did some quick research and settled on two different bars. One for our primary living room 65′ TV and one for our downstairs media room with the 75 TV. Ordered them from Amazon this past Sunday and the first came in one day

VIZIO SB36514-G6 36″ 5.1.4

The VIZIO SB36514-G6 36″ 5.1.4 Premium Home Theater Sound System with Dolby Atmos and Wireless Subwoofer was $350. It was easy to setup, came with 26ft wires for the back speakers. Installed a phone app for it and had it setup pretty quickly. Sounded great. Not only sports, shows and movies but this system is going to make playing on the XBOX rock!

SAMSUNG 3.1ch A650 A Series

The SAMSUNG 3.1ch A650 A Series Soundbar – Dolby 5.1/ DTS Virtual: X (HW-A650, 2021 Model) was a bit more modest at $298. No back speakers but 3 primary along with the subwoofer. I didn’t want to mess with back speakers in a well trafficked area in our living room. The instructions were horrible, no app. Still fairly easy to setup and with the subwoofer connecting wirelessly, I had it up an running quickly as well. It sounds great and I’m happy with both purchases

Samsung Bluetooth Pairing: Press Source until BT Ready appears. Hold down for 5 seconds until BT Pairing appears. You can now pair with device.

Checking back on Amazon to copy the full name of these soundbars, I notice that the Vizio Soundbar I purchased is now going for $500!

Bullfrog Spa

Bullfrog Spa

Our Bullfrog model A7 Spa was delivered this past Thursday. We had ordered it back in June and initial delivery date was October but due to Covid it was delayed until now.

With 5 custom removal JetPacks and 8 total seats, the party house is now complete!

New favorite way to watch sports!
First big challenge

The guys from Southern Leisure Spas got the job done. Watch THIS 45 second video of how they handled this special installation.

Modes of operation:

Away – NO USAGE – Temperature drops 20 degrees from set point at all times. Use when on vacation or plan not to use for at more than 2 weeks

Standard – Beginner – ALWAYS USED – Set temperature maintained at all times (Can use only for on-demand use during the day. Never leave this way)

Energy Saver – EVENINGS, WEEKENDS – Temperature drops 20 degree during the day. Set point maintained evenings and weekends

Super Energy Saver – EVENINGS – Temperature drops 20 degrees during the day. Set point maintained evenings only, every day.

Weekender – WEEKENDS – Temperature drops 20 degrees weekdays. Set point maintained all day on weekend.


A7 capacity: 434gal
Dry weight: 661lbs
Filled weight: 5316lbs
Jetpaks: 5
Pumps: 2
Cost: $12 month ($.10/kw/h at 60f ambient, 102 water temp)

Water Replacement
Replace water every 4 months

Cartridge Replacement (Video)
Replace Grey Smartchlor cartridges every 3-4 weeks (setting at 3-4)
Replace Blue Mineral cartridge every 4 months (setting at 4)
Place grey cartridge facing inside of spa

Filter Care
Replace filter every 1-2 years
Clean filter every 3-6 weeks spraying with garden hose
Deep clean by soaking overnight in filter cleaning agent

Alkalinity (80-120):
Add 4tbsp Increaser per 25ppm
To Lower Alkalinity, the two most popular chemicals available to help you lower the Total Alkalinity in your hot tub are muriatic acid and sodium bisulfate (also known as dry acid). After you’ve added muriatic acid, dry acid or another alkalinity decreaser product, be sure to check the pH level in the hot tub, as the pH level may have dropped as well.
PH decreaser will also decrease alkalinity. About three quarters of a cap to 1 capful will bring it up or down by a color block when using the pH increase or decrease. That depends on the size of your hot tub as well but typically that’s a roundabout measurement.
PH (7.2-7.8) 2.5 capfuls == 2tbs
< 7.2 -> 6 tbsp of Increaser
7.2 -> 4 tbsp of Increaser
7.3 -> 2 tbsp of Increaser
7.6-7.8 -> 2 tbsp of Decreaser
7.8-8.0 -> 4 tbsp of Decreaser
8.0-8.4 -> 7.5 tbsp of Decreaser
Calcium Hardness (150-250)
If > 250 drain 6 inches, refill with low-calcium water
If <150 add Calcium Increaser

Shock Oxider – add 3 tbs (capful) weekly, for heavy use apply twice weekly. After this (non-chlorine) shock, wait 10-15 minutes before entering tub. (1oz per 300 gallons. 1 oz = 2 tbls. 434 gallons takes 1.45 oz or 2.9 tbls)

Dealing with Foam in the Spa

What causes foamy Hot Tub Water:

  1. Things such as drinks, soap, laundry detergent, deodorant, makeup, cosmetics, hair products, body lotions or oils, shampoo and conditioners can cause foamy hot tub water.
  2. Bathing suits fresh out of the washing machine and dryer will be loaded with laundry detergents in the material. The best thing to do is just rinse your hot tub bathing suits with fresh water and then let dry. If your brave enough and have your own private backyard oasis, no swimsuit is always an option!

More reading on Spa Care
Swim University

Malva parviflora

Malva parviflora

Also known as cheeseweed or mallow. The root was a foot deep with horizontal roots 2 feet long!

One species of this family is actually the original ingredient in the making of marshmallows. The plant is considered an invasive weed.

Second cheeseweed I pulled from garden:

How to pick out an extension cord

How to pick out an extension cord

Don’t buy the cheapest extension cord you can find. Here is a good explanation of what you should look for (from ChainSawJournal):

Typically, outdoor extension cords will have a number on the packaging or in the listing that looks like this: 12/3. The “12” represents the gauge wire rating (or wire diameter), and the “3” means it has three wires (or conductors) inside. Sometimes the wire gauge might be referred to in a more formal manner, such as, the American Wire Gauge (AWG). The AWG system has been used since 1857.

Whoever came up with gauge ratings made things very confusing for the average consumer. The lower the gauge number the thicker the conducting wire(s) inside the extension cord and thus the greater flow of electricity. A wire’s thickness directly affects the amount of current (or amps) it can carry. Choosing a slightly lower gauge (thicker wires) will ensure electricity flows freely through the outdoor extension cord.

So, you’re better off with a slightly smaller gauge (thicker wire, greater electricity flow) than a slightly larger gauge (thinner wire, less electricity). If you’ve ever had an outdoor extension cord that feels hot, it’s because the conducting wire inside was too thin (high gauge) and electricity couldn’t flow freely due to resistance from an inadequate wire that couldn’t handle the full current for your chainsaw, or other power tool or device.

Important points to follow

  • Only buy an outdoor extension cord with the UL symbol (or the recognized symbol from the country you live in). This indicates that the cord has been tested by Underwriters Laboratories and has received their official stamp of approval.
  • Exposure to outdoor conditions can cause cords to deteriorate over time, so store your extension cords inside when you’re not using them.
  • Only use extension cords marked “For Outdoor Use”. It should have a “W” designation. Quality outdoor extension cords have connectors molded onto them to prevent moisture from seeping in, and outer coatings that are designed to withstand damage from being dragged along the ground.
  • Buy only the length you need. The shorter the better.
  • Never plug an extension cord into another to extend your reach. Just use one.
  • Never use a damaged cord. Whether it’s frayed, cut, or flattened. Toss it out and buy a new one.
  • Keep the cord away from any moving parts of your power tool, including, chains, blades and anything else that spins, rotates or cuts.
  • Always unplug an extension cord when not in use. The cord continues to conduct electricity while plugged in, which makes it a safety hazard if kids or pets chew on the cord or stick sharp metal objects into the exposed end. Serious injury could occur and it’s easily avoidable. Just unplug and store indoors
Our new home in Dripping Springs

Our new home in Dripping Springs

Moved in to our new home this weekend in Dripping Springs.

This is the view from our bedroom Saturday morning. It was drizzly and a family of 7 deer came to eat in our backyard.

Here is the front of the house:

Phone wallet case

Phone wallet case

I use a wallet case for my phones. It holds my driver’s license, a few cards and some bills. Don’t have to keep track of a wallet and I think it offers some of the best protection for a phone. This new case with a strapless design does a sufficient job of keeping the cover closed. On the way home from Dallas during the Cleveland Cincinnati game I found this terrific use of the case. I was able to secure it by folding the cover and pinching the vanity cover on my passenger visor! It held strong the entire trip and offered a glare-free convenient position to watch the game on the road! Probably helped that my newest phone, the Motorola G6 is on the smaller size. So far it’s been a great phone!