We all know it's coming again. There's clearly business opportunities, and I'm not talking about sewing face masks.

Deck builders and other home improvement services made bank. Motorhomes are sold out. Bicycles and exercise equipment are only now coming back. Bars in South Dakota had their best tourist season ever.

What's your take? How can I take advantage next time around?


We have a raised bed, 8' by 4', that I prepped for the fall garden. These beds are 3' deep and have logs and limbs at the bottom, then wood chips, then dirt followed by 16" of "Super Dirt".

"Super Dirt" is our variation of "Mel's Mix" of the Square Foot Garden fame. So there's three types of manure include cow and mushroom, worm castings, peat moss, dirt, and vermiculite. Holds water and grows great veggies.

Layer the manure, castings and dirt on a large trap, mix, then add one bucket of this mix, one of peat moss and one of the verm to a cheap Ryobi cement mixer, moisten, mix, pivot, dump directly in the bed and spread.

Rained the day after the big mix, so the dirt is ready for the early fall planting of peppers and tomatoes and maybe some root vegetables later on.

I also had to put out more traps for varmints because the squirrels want to dig and stick their nuts in the dirt. (Pecans, which grow in the area, not parts of their anatomy...). Also rats from some of the vacant houses and lots. We will add screen to this bed next weekend, but so far I've "relocated" four destructive critters in two days.


I'm pretty handy with this stuff and have a bunch of education. PST if you know where I can get some training in western washington.


My trim and hand rail are in desperate need of paint. Most has chipped off, and i scalped the rest. Do i need a special primer to gave any chance of lasting a while? I have some waterbased kilz outdoor primer here from when i did the balcony, but that was all new wood. Good enough?


I was wondering, today, if anyone has ever put a big tent over their house...like a big circus tent? It would HAVE to have a substantial impact on your electric bill in the summer. Any ideas on methods and materials?


I want to turn an old guitar case into a gun case. Anyone have recommendations on where to buy quality foam for this? I’ve found a few places just through searching online, but figured I’d see if anyone here has experience with this. Thanks!


I want to make sure my CNC mill, lathe, and 3d printer are still functional tools whenever i finally get cancelled.

Fusion 360 is an awesome package, but it shares everything you design with AutoDesk. For most projects that doesn't matter, and I'll accept the trade for world class 3axis CAM software.

SolidWorks is a more powerful modeler and while it doesn't upload everything, it still phones home to check the license, meaning it can be revoked at any time.

I can find old cracked versions of SolidWorks, inventor, etc easily enough, and Cura is open source, so the 3d printer is safe enough. But what about CAM? My mill is my most powerful tool, and i need a fireproof software solution for running it.


Are local hardware stores like Home Depot, Lowes the best option? Or are there online stores with better prices? Any brand preference?

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