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How much! £30. Il need a trailer to pick it up. Pick what up. The 50-gall drum it comes in. You won’t need a trailer for a gallon tub. No, no, no. It can’t be. Is so came the reply. Are you telling me we have to spend my pension on weed killer? Yes, came the reply from my good wife.


Now my wife has the green fingers. I on the other hand do not have, or possess any abilities that contribute to the nurturing of gods green pastures. I am a proud concrete and tarmac affiliate. But as every husband knows reading this post it’s not about one’s requirement and desire to create the perfect batch of sand, cement and just the right amount of water, no it’s about nodding one’s head to keep the peace.


So, after receiving the news that the producers of weed killer were all multi-millionaire Aires, I decided to google around looking for alternatives as my wife informed me, she goes through about three gallons of the stuff during the summer. What I did find out was there was very little difference in price between manufactures. Although on a trip to Houston, I did notice you pay a lot less than we do in the UK. Tax on goods in Texas was about 6% whereas here it is 20% which makes quite a difference. So, what to do.


So here is what I came up with. I did notice you could purchase the equivalent of a Flame thrower, but it came with a small bottle of gas that runs out quickly, so I placed my inventors’ hat on and headed out to the workshop.


Being a plumber I in my earlier days often used propane for a variety of jobs and a 10lb (3.9kg) bottle lasts forever. It came with a standard hose and Bullfinch torch. I ordered a felt roofing extension tube and 42mm (1 1/2) head and I removed the hose and replaced with an extra-long one that reaches the places no other does.


Now I am not going into the actual fabrication as it’s self-evident from the photos and really involved a lot of cutting and welding. I did draw everything out to scale on cardboard and just used that. I recently bought a small 140watt welder and after looking at lots of U Tube welding videos I eventually found out how to produce the perfect weld. Yes, you have guessed it, also buy a 5-inch grinder and grind the hell out of all your welds before anyone sees them, and finish off with extra thick metallic paint. Works for me.


I added various bits to hold the hose and torch and the igniter is just Velcro.


One down side to the extra-long torch extension was my wife was having trouble wielding it, I bored out a piece of 25mm (1inch) round tube and cut it in half and welded it back around the extension tube with a bored and tapped handle and thumb screw to tighten the handle in whatever position suits her.


Now a warning to my fellow members. I took a worldwide patent on this contraption. It’s a prototype number 1 of 1. Do not try to copy this unless you have a really good grinder. I reckon on the open market it’s worth a million plus in anyone’s money. Please if you wish to purchase it do not embarrass yourself by offering less than six figures. Although I will include postage, unless you live in Texas.

To summarize I know what you are thinking, isn’t he a wonderful husband, making his good wife’s life so much easier, could I have done any better, no I don’t think so. Although I did have reservations when I took her out to the workshop to reveal my latest creation. She just stood looking at it for some considerable time, not saying anything atoll. Her head I noticed was moving imperceptibly almost unseen to the naked eye, to such an extent I’m not sure if it was up or down or side to side, and there was intermittent muttering that I couldn’t quite make out, I assume it was praise.

On a lighter note (excuse the pun) she did take it for its maiden run (see photo) and a resounding success with weeds fleeing the scene. Couple of early hiccups. She did manage to melt the toe of her left shoe and the front door mat had to be humanly euthanized.


So that’s it lads and lasses from the most considerate husband in Scotland. Flame On.

Colin.

Ps.

When I travel to Houston, I am always being told how everything is bigger in Texas. Well, this week we took a drive to Brechin Castle Centre and my wife spotted this, yes, the biggest dustpan and brush in Scotland and Texas. £20 it stayed on the shelf.
 

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I take it that it killed the weeds which is good. I was hoping for lots of flames and fire... for me the less there is to mow the better.

If I had more money than sense my yard would be artificial turf.
 

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I've read a lot about using a burner like this to singe weeds while they're small. We get massive numbers of foxtail and what I call son-of-a-bitch weeds that look pretty when small but attract ants like mad. They have little seeds at the end of stems that curl and dig the seed into the ground. Haven't had the energy to go at it but I understand about 1 ft per second breaks the cell walls and the little %&%#$#'s die.

@Marco: with the high price of water around here, we went to rockscape in the front yard, but there's a spot near our patio in the back that just cries out for artificial grass. My sister in law had it installed and it was kind of nice.
 

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@Marco: with the high price of water around here, we went to rockscape in the front yard, but there's a spot near our patio in the back that just cries out for artificial grass. My sister in law had it installed and it was kind of nice.

Tom I tried for 25 years to grow grass on both sides of the house which are narrow and heavily shaded... No Go! 2 years ago I bought "Grass" outdoor carpet from Lowes and solved the annoying problem.
 

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Vinegar or boiling water works just as well and is a lot easier. Just watch your toes if you use the boiling water. Use a long neck metal watering can. Use a sprayer for the vinegar. Mark the sprayer with a sharpie. You can use either one, not necessary to use both.
 

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So, as a lot of you all know, I am 30 years old. For the last year I have been really serious about retirement and preparing for the future, The wife and I met with a financial advisor today.

This is a 2 part meeting. He asked a lot of questions about the past and about the present and about the future.

After answering his questions, I am really scared. I am worried about the type of investing and savings we need to start right away to have a chance at a decent retirement.

I guess my question to all of you is:

Have you met with a financial advisor before? Do you find it possible to meet the requirements of retirement based on your position in the plumbing trade? Your income level etc?

As a business owner, I feel that this should be part of the cost of doing business and should be passed down to my customer's emergency plumber? Do you feel this is fair?


For those of you that have been left a large inheritance, or property, trust funds, have been left established companies etc, this probably does not pertain to you.
 

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So far you've made one mistake that I can see. That is, meeting with a financial advisor. Their first goal is to earn a living. The second may be to help you, but always with the first goal in mind. You are so young. I started when I was sixty. That's just about 24 years ago. Never meet with a financial advisor when you're still green. It might be safe to do so when you know something and can sense their line of B.S, Read, read and read. Don't fall for internet news letters or get rich quick.
Read and learn about discount brokers. Talk to older experienced people. Open a discount brokerage account with a good bank that will not charge you an administration fee for a low value account. Buy a few shares of a good strong company that has paid a decent dividend for a lot of consecutive years. Right now at this time is a good time to open an account. most things are in the tank but they won't stay there. Let the dividends accumulate on the cash side. Watch other good strong companies that pay dividends in the same way the first does. When you feel they can't go much lower step in and buy some, usually in lots of 100 shares. Time is your friend. You have years ahead of you to watch the dividends grow, to see the dividends of a stock increase over time, to watch the action of time plus compounding which is at the heart of it all. You'll learn what to watch for. Don't get greedy. The stock with the highest dividend is not always the best. Only the extremely lucky get rich quick. Then they get stupid and blow it all. The stock market is not to be played. It's not a game. Intelligent people do not "play" the stock market. They buy and accumulate shares of good solid dividend paying companies and hold them, sometimes for a lifetime. You don't need to invest in shares of dozens of companies. About 15 to 20 different companies is a manageable amount. Just remember, Rome wasn't built in a day. It takes time and can sometimes be very boring. Stay away from Mutual Funds and ETF's. They're for people that don't know any better and want the easy way out. These things churn and cost admin. fees. Not good.
Just one example: When the financial crisis hit the U.S. in in 2008 and 09, people panicked and our banks as well sunk.
Our banks don't work the same as yours but sunk in sympathy you might say. Bank of Montreal dropped a large amount in share value so I grabbed 1000 shares at $27. They bounced back shortly after. Today, even with talk of recession and all, They are about $130. a share. I have done the same with Utilities and Railroads. I bought CNR at $24. back then and today it's about $140. You have to watch what people do whenever there's a scare in the economy. They panic, sell, the stock value drops and the smart people jump in. The next day it rebounds somewhat and you're on your way. Study human nature, study the ups and downs of the market. Don't be greedy. Learn about the companies you're thinking of investing in. Remember, you're lending them your money. Would you lend money to just anyone ?
 

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@numbskull Geeze you are smart to get started now. You with very little effort could retire with multiple millions. Here is a Warren Buffet interview on ten things to do to retire very wealthy by following them for a lifetime. Buffet, "the sage of Omaha," has a number of videos of his presentations at Berkshire-Hathaway, along with his partner. Start with this one:

I also want to caution you about your user name. People tend to live into names they call themselves. It's a very human thing, and for almost four decades in my own consulting business, I've seen that happen again and again. It sounds to me like you are anything but that. Your concern and question suggest a pretty intelligent guy. You may not know much about investing yet, but I bet you will get it down pretty fast.

The big thing is buy and hold. Do not get emotional, if you have solid, money-making company stocks, don't sell when there's a down cycle. Find a good company (the Buffet specialty) and buy and hold their stock and they will nearly always go up. He only buys #1 or #2 in any given market, and he discusses this criteria in plain English in his videos. Then you hold and it's very hard to lose in the long term.

Buying and selling, to me, is not a good way to invest, especially since you're starting young.

Dave Ramsay is another good source of information on investing. Notice that both of these are buy an hold investors.

It's nice being self employed, isn't it. I haven't worked for anyone else for almost 4 decades.
 
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