OK. So it was time to mow the lawn. That event arises about every five days around here, brought on in no small part by the application of gallons and gallons of perfectly good drinking water on a lawn that does little to earn its keep.
The reminder of the need to perform a regular trimming of my own patch of not-golf-green property came not from its obvious length, but one of those obnoxious sounds of summer - a power mower. In fact, there were three running at once. I decided I might as well join them.
Now, I used to have one of these.
Unfortunately, the damned thing was more trouble than it was worth. It needed oil changes, a new spark plug every year and it went through mufflers (there's a joke!) like a squirrel goes through nuts. It also needed gasoline to make it work. That led to other problems, like getting the gas in one of these.
Starting it wasn't necessarily all that much fun and then there was the obnoxious noise. Not to mention the time taken to fuel the beast and the occasional fuel spill.
There was another problem. Gas-powered lawn mowers are notorious polluters. Lacking any effective form of emission control, lawn mowers produce as much air-pollution in one hour of operation as a 1992 emission-controlled automobile traveling 150 kilometers (93 miles). They are getting better, but North American lawn mowers are not fitted with catalytic converters and they continue to pump out tons of emission at the worst time of the year.
I also had one of these.
It was certainly quieter than the gas-powered version and did just as good a job. It didn't burn liquid fuel and its emissions were, of course, zero - from the mower. Because most of the power around here is hydro-generated, the emission problem is less critical than, say, someone whose power comes from a plant burning hydrocarbons.
Anyway, even this thing had a fault. It used one of these.
That means that extending out of the handle of the electric lawnmower was a long (and unmanageable) cord. At least twice during the summer, that became a target for the blade whirling under the body of the mower. When the mower stops, you know you've killed the cord.
So, in time, I dispensed with the electric mower. I opted for one of these.
Yes, there's a point to all this.
My handy-dandy, push the mower along the grass, works just as well as the other two did. I don't run over cords, I don't spill fuel and the mower isn't creating any emissions. I get a bit of exercise. It's lighter than either the gas or electric mower and when timed, it gets the job done in about the same time. Faster if I include moving cords or fueling during mowing operations. It's not made in China.
The best part however, is that my push-reel mower is powered by this.