16 March 2008

You Mow Better Electrically

What a weekend it's been! Friday night, we made a pilgrimage to Lowe's, where we proceeded to spend entire GDP for a small African nation .... I needed a new lawn mower, and Seraphim needed a buttload of things for her latest attempt at gardening.

The screaming noise you've heard all weekend from east Georgia are all the "Bonnie" plants we bought for her garden. Seraphim, love her as I do .... well, let's just say that I'm glad she doesn't treat Puddy or myself like she does plants. I swear, that woman has killed more leafy and flowery vegetation than DDT. (love you, sweetie!)

Amazing enough, bags upon bags of red mulch, plant food (not even Scott's or Miracle-Gro can save a plant from ..... [cue dramatic music sting here] SERAPHIM ......), plus a lawn mower, a new cordless edger/trimmer .... plants, borders, landscape matting, concrete patio blocks .... holy crap, all of that stuff fit into the back of Rupert The Wonderbuggy, a/k/a "The Rupert King Family SUV-ster."

I shouldn't be surprised. Two weeks ago, five of us were able to cram into Rupert for our various tourist romps around Savannah. If it can handle all of the Gleckfesters, then I'm sure a bunch of landscaping and various flora and fauna would be a piece of cake.

Talk about "Built Ford Tough." I apologize for all the Ford-bashing I did for years. I take it all back. (Rupert has nearly 15,000 miles to his name ..... I can only hope and pray The Rupe' continues to be a reliable ride. But I do feel optimistic about it.)

This marked a grand experiment, too -- I replaced an old gas lawn mower with an electric. I saw it earlier this week at Lowe's, and thought it might be worth looking into. No gasoline, no maintenance, no bending over to pull-start. Just a long-ass extension cord. I asked the guy at Lowe's about what I was afraid of -- accidentally mowing over the cord. He said it happened far less than one thinks. Well, I Google'd reviews and comments posted about electric mowers, and found all of them to be positive. Hmmmmm. (the only negatives I noticed were for the cordless electrics, mainly centering around the heat outside; supposedly taking its toll on the batteries).

Friday night, I bought one. Oh yeah, and a 12-gauge 100-foot extension cord to go with it.

Well, Saturday started off with beautiful weather outside. Perfect outdoor conditions for Seraphim to start her patio garden. At the same time, I put together and then fired up the new mower. The backyard - as always this time of year - was becoming a comical jungle of at least two dozen varieties of weeds. The front yard looks good, but the back is another story. Fortunately, nobody can really see it -- two neighbors have privacy fences, and the other two have wetlands between their yards and ours. Still, I gotta do something about the weeds someday.

Whooookay, I unraveled the extension cord, plugged it into the side of the house, and then connected it to the mower's plug stump. I didn't have to lean down to start it, either; it's on the handle ... I pulled it toward me and she started. The mower is rather quiet, too. I'd say about half the loudness of an average gas-powered mower. And better for the environment, too (if also better for Georgia Power's pockets!). I might be able to use an MP3 player while mowing, and actually hear it.

As for the cord, well that's the one big PITA. Having to move it around and keep it from going underfoot (or is that undermower?). But it's not THAT bad ... it's like running a vacuum cleaner out in the yard. The good thing is, I no longer have the PITAs of hitting the choke button and trying multiple times to pull-start the mower, making sure there's enough gas in it to do the entire yard .... and running out of said petrol in the middle of a job (which always happens - you guessed it - when it's 20 minutes from sunset, you're on a roll, and there's no gas left in the can).

How will it work in the long term? Only time and Reddy Kilowatt will tell.

I forgot something, though. Earplugs. Those Bonnies are shrieking their leaves off in terror.

That might explain why I hear funny noises every time I pass the Bonnie Plant Farm in Union Springs, Alabama. They know who I am, and know who I'm married to.

(I still love you, sweetie)

Ciao for niao.

--Talmadge "(Really, I do.)" Gleck

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