Thursday, May 05, 2005

New Stuff

New Stuff

My mean machine, my mean machine!
She's light and sharp and kelly green!

I just had a chance to try the new mower today for the first time. I've never really used a reel style mower before, so it took some getting used to. First, it obviously only cuts when it's moving, which can make getting into tight spaces a little difficult. Luckily, the blades "freewheel" when the mower stops. This can be useful. Another negative thing that sets it apart from a "normal" mower is its tendency to push down tall grass and dandelions without cutting them off. Again, however, the freewheel action makes it possible to stop above these stubborn plants long enough to cut them off. The force of pushing it can be slightly more than a small power mower, but generally it's not bad, and is pretty easy to handle because of its relatively light weight.

While the reel mower has its drawbacks, the experience of cutting the grass is completely changed, much more than I expected. The reel mower is more like a gardening tool than a machine. Simply grab it (yes, it's light enough to pick up) and head outside. There is no fueling, checking oil levels,pulling starters, running extension cords, etc. Just plop it down and start pushing. Its quietness also makes it much different from a power mower. With a power mower, the noise really does make me oblivious to my surroundings. I pace back and forth staring at the front wheel as it rolls along the cut/uncut line. I hear nothing but the drone of the mower. With the reel mower, I can hear the birds, I can hear the cars driving by, I can hear the kids playing next door and I can even say hello to the neighbor as I'm cutting the grass. Having used loud power mowers exclusively for so many years, it's actually a bit surreal. It will take some adjustment to keep myself from swearing under my breath for fear that the neighbor kids will hear every time I get tangled in the thorn bushes in the back of the yard. I think I will like it.


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