Saturday, May 29, 2021

A day at Mom's

The leaves of foxglove plants are very toxic. Half a leaf is enough to fatally poison a raccoon-sized animal.


Yesterday and today were spent at Mom's. Saturday is the designated clean-up day and it rotates through the siblings.

Mrs ERJ is back and that made it ten times easier.

I took a few minutes outside to trim the roses that were starting to sprawl over the sidewalk. I also took some grafting supplies and put a couple of Korean Giant over some P. cally seedlings and I grafted an Illinois Everbearing Mulberry over a mulberry seedling. They will not be able to stay there because they will not get enough sun but it seemed to be a shame to waste them.

I also made a side-trip at lunch to a big-box store to buy some motor oil. I recently purchased a small, Wen inverter generator and it specifies straight 30W oil when temperatures are above 40F. The picture in my head is that this generator will be plenty of power to run the blower on the fireplace insert in the event of a power outage and it (supposedly) gets 12 hours out of a gallon of gas at 400W output.

My understanding of multi-viscosity oils is that the base oil is the smaller, low temperature number and the high temperature viscosity is achieved with molecules that "uncoil" like an octopus coming out of a cave when the temperature rises. The extended tentacles increase the viscosity. The downside of those viscosity enhancers is that they are more vulnerable to shear and temperature degradation. Extreme duty, like a stationary, air-cooled motor operating at full capacity, the oil's high temp viscosity can drift back toward the viscosity of the base oil.

And that could all be marketing BS. Maybe some folks who know more about petroleum can chime in.

I also bought a couple of Foxglove plants (digitalis). They are very pretty flowers and pretty much bomb-proof...or at least deer and rabbit proof. Many outlets are reluctant to carry them because the leaves are very toxic and kids/litigation.

Once back home I moved a persimmon seedling into a spot that has been death on everything I have planted there. Nettles and grass seem to like the spot just fine. We will see if the persimmon survives.

Other than that, it has not been a very productive day.


  1. I'd recommend a 10w30, and a synthetic after break in. In my experience, higher viscosities don't necessarily insure longer engine life. It's "slickness" of the oil, and the decreased friction that provides engine life.

  2. I bought one of wen and it was a unit to have the oil mix 2 cycle1

  3. Foxglove yields digitalis which is the herbal source of digoxin. I wouldn’t try and replace the drug with the herbal with out advice from a really experienced herbalist! I have had good luck with mr Honda 2000 watt generators. We can link the two to run the air compressor or table saw but one three or four runs every other day in winter and a little less often in the summer when solar puts out more. We are off grid at 62 degrees North latitude so we have propane lights and fridge and a 12 volt freezer. We have been using some magnetic rechargeable lights from NAPA which are really bright and can be moved around for tasks requiring bright lights by mounting metal tabs where needed. They make good backup lighting when your backup generator is not running.

  4. That is three or four hours running keep our batteries charged!

  5. The first number is your base oil viscosity. Over time the viscosity enhancers deteriorate. Eventually you're only left with the light base oil. Which offers little protection at operating temperature/load.
    IN A COLD WEATHER SCENARIO, multi weight is better. Keep it changed frequently! Above freezing temps are single weight oil's home turf.

  6. Years ago spoke with an Amsoil engineer at a machine tools trade show. He recommended high quality petroleum oils for break-in, 5-8K miles, then drain and refill with Amsoil 2X 250 miles apart to get all of the petroleum oil out. He said their oil (and I assume by extension, all GOOD synthetics) reduced friction so much break-in was prolonged and in some cases didn't happen at all.

    On limited use, constant-speed, constant temp stationary engines he recommended single viscosity oils.

    On generators I can testify 2X Honda 2K watts is the way to go. Buy the Honda "coupling cable" and for extra points cut it in half and make your own 30A receptacle with a NEMA L5-30 receptacle in a 4x4 all weather box. Extra points for putting a 25A circuit breaker in the box, too.
    Pro Tip - if you buy a generator (s) put an hour meter on it (or them) to track usage. Useful tool - most gennie mfgs specify 25 hrs/oil change, I ran a Honda EU3000i 16 hrs/day for 5 days between changes with Amsoil (but the 3000 has >2X the oil capacity of the 2K Hondas. FYI, for longer run times on the 2Ks, visit the RV forums for info - they have the answer)

  7. I would stay with the single-viscosity grade oil except for winter. The key thing to remember about synthetic oils is the stability of the fluid properties over time - it's far superior to conventional. Conventional oils are a blend of refined crudes, synthetic is closer to 100% at a molecular level. Over time, synthetics will retain their lubricity and viscosity much more stably than conventional, and they will absorb impurities with lesser impact.


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