discipline Today as I was mowing a lawn, a neighbor was out in her yard, moving with a power mower. I got to thinking about some of the reasons I enjoy using my reel mower. Here's a start.
  • Free. -- not to be overlooked. Most folks don't want them any more, so I got mine gratis. This started the relationship on a positive note. After considering the further reasons below, I'm sure I would pay for one, though
  • I can watch it go. -- Maybe you've been on a trip on an old paddle-wheel steamboat before. I took a trip on one once. That was on the Ohio River in Louisville, Kentucky. Part of what was fun for me about my steamboat ride was steading at the back of the ship, watching and listening as the giant slats of wood moved in and out of the water, pushing hard with water beads flying off. Now compare that experience to riding in a motorboat-- humming over the water powered by an unseen force. The comparison between a push reel mower and a power-mower is much the same. I get to see everything that's happening. I watch the grass as it get tugged between the blade and catch, snapped flung into the air like a miniature fireworks display. The harder I push, the better the show!
  • Safer -- I've probably done some dumb things when operating a power mower. I remember wearing shinguards at least once when mowing the lawn. This was probably because I'd run over something that shot out and cut me in the shin at least once and I expected it happen again. If the pushmower ran over thing big, it would just stop-- the mechanism is such that there the blade scrapes against a second plate-- which sharpens the blade as it goes-- so there is no room for anything to fit through and fly out and hit me. Either it's grass and it gets cut, or it's a stick and get's stuck.
  • It's cheaper -- No gas to buy. The machinery is simple, so it rarely breaks and needs fixing. When I got it, it had been sitting outside unused for a couple years. It started fine.
  • Might even be faster -- At best, I can clip across the yard at jugging speed. This is when I'm mowing the yard when it should be mowed. I believe this as fast as I could ever move with a power mower. At worst, I can cut a foot or two, back up a little but and give it another shove. This when I should have mowed the yard a couple of weeks earlier and the grass has good sunlight and plenty of rain. I remember cutting tall grass with a power mower was slow too-- it would get a big wad of grass stuck under it and get stuck and cut out. So I'll see it takes roughly the same amount of time to get the two mowers around the yard. Next time my neighbor is out and our yards both need cut, I can challenge him to a speed mowing contest and settle this. I'll make sure he gets a handicap of having to make a trip the store to get gas for his mower. :)
  • More exercise -- I just find ways to get exercise doing everyday things instead of making "getting exercise" an additional item on my schedule.
  • Quieter -- At least, it's quieter than a power mower. It makes a pleasant whir as the blades spin around. When pulling it backwards, it sounds like dragging a chain lightly over a corrugated tin roof. Sort of a disturbing sound really, but still quieter than other mowers.
  • Better for the environment -- This was actually one of my primary motivations for seeking out a push reel mower in the beginning -- no fossil fuel consumption. No I like it for a lot of other reasons-- it's low cost appeals to my frugalness, it's low maintenance appeals to my laziness and the time savings and workout appeal to my sense of efficiency.
  • Easy to stop for a glass of lemonade. -- Starting power mowers is an art. I'm talking about the ones with with the little plug on a string that you have yank with all your might, and then fiddle with a little throttle in the meantime. Without overhead to get the mower started comes a tendency to want to keep it running as long as possible. With the instantaneous stop and start of a push reel mower, taking a lemonade break is as easy as ever. In fact, I could take three.
If you are in the market for a new mower, peoplepoweredmachines.com looks interesting.

Using rsnapshot with systemd

Published on August 26, 2016