My New Lawn Mower

Album Cover: Black Holes and Revelations

"Come ride with me through the veins of history. I'll show you a god who falls asleep on the job."
Muse / Knights of Cydonia

Posted on June 22, 2008 8:19 AM in Personal
Warning: This blog entry was written two or more years ago. Therefore, it may contain broken links, out-dated or misleading content, or information that is just plain wrong. Please read on with caution.

A couple of months ago our neighbors let us have their electric lawn mower for free, since they had hired someone to come out and mow their lawn for them every few weeks. It was a very nice gesture, and because the lawn mower they gave us was an electric lawn mower, it also led to some very new experiences for me. First off, I had to get used to feeling like I was vacuuming outside of the house. Dealing with an extension cord -- both keeping it out of the way of the mower and pulling it around to get enough slack when I needed it -- was quite a challenge in itself. About a week ago, while mowing some very thick grass in the backyard, I turned to deal with the cord and when I turned back toward the mower again, I saw blue smoke coming out of the top of the motor. As Jemaine Clement would say in those Outback Steakhouse commercials, "not good."

I knew blue smoke coming out of an electric motor was never a good sign, thanks to my experience with my dad's train sets when I was a wee little tyke. Nevertheless, I put the mower away and decided to give it another try this weekend. It actually started up and was cutting grass for a minute or so, but I could tell it didn't cut with the same vigor it had the week before. I lifted the front wheels off the ground and listened to the motor running. The next thing I knew, the motor sound let out its final diminuendo and it had ceased to be.

Knowing I now had Craigslist bait on my hands and given the state of my front and back lawns, I knew I needed to find a replacement. Having spent my teens in the nineties, the majority of my lawn-mowing experience, which was extensive, was spent with lawn mowers with good ol' combustion engines. Therefore, I wanted to return to a lawnmower that made me feel like a man again. I ended up picking up a self-propelled, gas-powered rear-bagger/mulcher mower from Craftsman.

The fact that it cost me $9.11 to fill up my new gas container aside, I was really pleased with my first experience with the mower. Ironically enough, the front-propulsion of my new mower makes it easy to push with one hand, which would come in really handy if I still had an extension cord to deal with while mowing. But I don't, thank the gods. Whereas it used to take me about 30-40 minutes to mow my front lawn, I was able to mow it in about 20 minutes yesterday.

Unfortunately, because of the mishap with the previous mower and an already extended time between one mow and the next in the backyard, the grass has now gotten to a point where I could probably even burn out a combustion engine trying to deal with it. Today I'll be giving the backyard a first pass with the weed-whacker and then taking my new toy on its sophomore voyage. That is, if the third day of summer in Seattle doesn't involve rain.

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vfyigqyr on May 15, 2017 at 5:22 AM:

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