Cyclone Vacuum and Pool Blower

Winterize Inground Pool

Cyclone Vacuum and Pool BlowerThe Cyclone Vacuum and Pool Blower was an essential piece of equipment I needed to begin winterizing my own pool. I’ve been paying a pool guy around $400 a month each of the last 9 summers to winterize my in-ground pool. With the long, sustained, and deep freezes we are known to get in Colorado, closing an in-ground pool properly is essential. The $400 annual cost seemed small compared to the thousands of dollars I could risk in busted piped by failing to properly blow-out my lines and drain. Finally, I got the courage, did plenty of reading on-line about pool winterizing and decided to do it myself. Only two things have kept me from previously winterizing my own in-ground pool: 1. Understanding how to do it, and 2. Lack of the proper equipment to blow-out the pool lines. One thing leads to another, so I’ll start with number one:

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Plantain Chips

Plantain ChipsPlantain chips are a perfect snack for those who are on a Paleo-diet or at least trying their best to stay away from less, “healthy” snacks. If you need something to crunch on, the Artisan Tropic Plantain strips are perfectly roasted and have a very satisfying texture and crunch. They are neither hard, nor soft; neither salty, nor sweet, yet they give you just the right amount of both snack characteristics. Some might prefer them a bit sweeter; others might want them saltier so fortunately, they provide them in either flavor; naturally sweet or with sea salt.

What are Plantains?

Plantains are a member of the banana family. In fact, they look like a big, green, yellow, or black banana on the outside.  I’ve been told that the green plantains are the best for making chips, so i would assume that the Artisan Tropic brand of Plantain strips are in fact made from the green ones. The green ones are also the sweetest, though still not as sweet as a banana. When I crave a salty snack, I don’t want it to be too sweet, so in a way, making chips from plantains makes a heckuva lot of sense.

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Dare Maple Creme Cookies

If you like maple-flavored donuts, maple syrup on your pancakes, or the maple with anything, I can pretty much guarantee you will like
Dare Maple Creme cookies. A 10.6 oz box of these maple creme delights includes about 18 cookies.

Dare Maple CremeI was skeptical when my wife first brought home a box of these. I had not heard of the brand, Dare Foods before. The box advertises that that these cookies are made from real maple. Upon opening the box, my senses were immediately filled with the fresh aroma of real, maple syrup. These maple cream cookies really do taste fresh, from the cookie dough to the maple cream filling that is inside. I will not lie and try to tell you these are paleo friendly or make a healthy snack. The first ingredient is wheat and they are made with hydrogenated coconut oils, vegetable oils and high fructose corn syrup. See, the link to get the entire nutrition and ingredients: Dare Maple Creme Cookies.

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Best Store Bought Pasta

Best Store Bought PastaWhat is the best store bought pasta? Barilla Linguine Fini is the best store bought, egg-free pasta, hands-down. Really, the best pasta should be made with eggs, but it is hard to find that these days and some of them are just not as good as they used to be. When I was a kid we always bought a brand called, RF Egg Vermicelli. Unfortunately, the stupid and phony cholesterol scare caused pasta makers to stop using eggs. Nobody would buy it because they were mistakenly conned into thinking consuming eggs would raise your cholesterol and harm your heart health. So, pasta makers stopped using eggs and the pasta has never been as good ever since. But, that’s another topic. Back to rating the best store bought pasta. A good pasta should be springy, bouncy, and full of life. I love watching the television show, Lydia’s kitchen. Lydia has demonstrated on TV more than once what a good pasta looks like. Nobody wants limp or soggy spaghetti. Lydia has even specifically described and demonstrated how pasta needs to have a spring and bounce to it when you twirl it with your fork.  I am not sure what brand of pasta Lydia actually uses, but as far as I am concerned she is the best Italian chef on TV. I’ve learned many things from her and her cooking reminds me of my Italian grandmother.

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Salt Water Pool Test Kit – What is the Best Way to Test Salt Levels in Pool

Salt Water Pool Test Kit
Taylor K-1766

The Taylor K 1766 is by far the best salt water pool test kit you can buy. Let me tell you why. It is a little more expensive than the Aquachek test strips and takes a little more time to use, but it is well worth it I’ve already told you why the Taylor K2006 is the best all-around test kit for testing your pool chemicals. Now, I can confidently tell you that the K 1766 is the best salt water pool test kit for much the same reason I like the K2006 for testing chlorine. The results leave no doubt in my mind as to how the salt water level is of my swimming pool.

The reason I like Taylor products such as the K2006’s included free chlorine test kit is that there is a clear end-point with the color change which leaves no doubt or subjective speculation. The K1766 works much the same way as I will explain below. First, let me tell you what I didn’t like about the Aquapure salt water test strips.

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