Friday, April 24, 2015

Salute to tools!

On yesterday's post I detailed the ferocious battle I had to remove two Red Barberry bushes (known also as Japanese Barberries, a shrub brought to the U.S. from Japan in 1875 as an early means of weakening American resolve), which would have been impossible without the help of two great hand tools. Today I would like to offer my:

SALUTE TO THE TOOLS!

I picked up both of these more than 15 years ago, when I finally escaped apartment life.

The first is my crosscut saw, a little Stanley number, which I've used to build tables, shelves, a workbench, sawhorses... maybe not well, but I've used it, and any errors are mine, not its. I had to get rid of some large branches that I could not remove with the hedge clippers so I could get far enough under the bushes to dig and pry them out. Stanley made quick work of those large branches. We salute you, Stanley!


The other is a plain ol' shovel, but a shovel that I got at Kmart for $8.99, or $12.25 in modern picayune dollars.


How do I remember the price?


The digging in rocky, root-crossed soil was hard enough, but I also used it as a pry bar to get under and lift the plant (the larger of the two weighed around a hundred pounds, I estimate). This little shovel did not weaken, but stood up to the task, blade, handle, and shaft. We salute you, KGro shovel!

Here's something else about these tools: Both were made in the United States. Perhaps that says something about their longevity? American-made tools may cost a bit more, but they get the job done and keep doing it.

You may say: Hey, it'd be better for the economy to buy cheap tools that break easily so you have to buy more. I say, cram your broken windows fallacy where the sun won't shine through them. Believe me, my money has gone for plenty of other things where it has not had to go for tools. Fred does his bit to help the economy by spending his way to penury.

One other thing that came in handy---not made in the U.S., but grown here.


Yes, my dog Tralfaz was outside "helping"; it was great to have something for him to enjoy, and a big root cut from the evil red plant was just the thing.

You can still get made-in-America Stanley saws; sadly, it looks as though Kmart's KGro line no longer offers shovels, or at least they don't appear on the Kmart site. But I am sure you can still enjoy your yardwork with U.S.-made tools.

Just be alert for any offers on Russian or Iranian plant species. I suspect those nations would like to weaken us, and they'd use ornamental plants to do it if necessary. And it can be an enduring problem. After all, we've had peace with Japan for 70 years, but we're still dealing with the effects of their Ornamental Shrub Initiative.
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