Push this way and that way

Well, the mower arrived yesterday, and by the time I got it home (thank you, Trini) the rain was coming down half-fast and semi-furious, so it stayed in its cardboard box.

Today there were traces of solar radiation, so I performed the ritual unboxing and stretched out the extension cord. Initial findings in the front yard:

  • The 12-amp motor is just about as powerful — or, depending on your point of view, just about as unpowerful — as the 6.5-hp gas motor that committed suicide last week.
  • The 19-inch swath is narrower than I’m used to, and where the stuff is really thick it takes two passes.
  • The machine weighs practically nothing, and by nothing I mean a hair over 50 lb, barely half the mass of its predecessor, so its lack of self-propulsion is no big deal.
  • This is the first time in my life I ever wished I had a skyhook at my disposal.

I think I could get used to this pretty easily, once I figure out a reliable system for keeping the cord out of my way.


  1. Dwayne "the canoe guy" »

    6 July 2007 · 6:58 pm

    I suggest hiring an undocumented worker to stand in your yard and insure that the cord stays out of your way. It is obviously a job that an AMERICAN doesn’t want to do.

  2. CGHill »

    6 July 2007 · 7:49 pm

    If I could afford that, I could afford to pay him to mow the damn lawn, now, couldn’t I?

  3. Scooby214 »

    6 July 2007 · 9:38 pm

    With mine, I start close to the house and zigzag across the yard. When I am about to turn, I give the cord a flick so there is plenty of slack to turn around. I’ve also noticed that if the grass isn’t overgrown from too much rain, it nowr my grass quite easily.

  4. John Owen Butler »

    6 July 2007 · 9:46 pm

    What Scooby said, but I also would drape the cord over my shoulder. That seemed to help keep the cord from being underfoot.

  5. Dwayne "the canoe guy" »

    6 July 2007 · 9:53 pm

    I suggest starting on the edge of your yard, farthest from the house, plug into your neighbor’s outdoor outlett and mow as fast as you can.

  6. Scott »

    6 July 2007 · 9:58 pm

    OK…I grew up with one of these dumb things, the electric lawnmower, as my dad was a polio dude, so my mom had to mow the yard until I was big enough to do the pushing. Here’s the best way, after years of practice: the out-and-back way is best. You have to keep the cord out of the way only on the ‘back’ trip. The ‘shrinking square’ method is far too difficult with the electric mower.

    I hope your lawn is very open. I hated going around the two trees in our yard, becuase it hosed the geometry.

  7. Winston »

    7 July 2007 · 6:47 am

    Rig a high-wire (think clothesline) across the middle of your yard and at least as far above ground as half the width of your lawn. Now, rig a pulley with the power cord running through it, suspended high above your head. A couple of strategically placed springs and weights should keep the slack out of your way.

    Or you could just hire the euphemistically labeled “undocumented worker” to mow it while you sip a cold one and supervise from ‘neath the shade tree.

  8. McGehee »

    7 July 2007 · 9:24 am

    What Scooby said, but I also would drape the cord over my shoulder.

    That’s what I generally did when I had my Flymo, at least at first; I eventually just learned to watch out for the cord, and since it connected to the mower at handle-level anyway it was fairly easy to manage.

    The yard, though, was quite small so dealing with the cord that way was much simpler than if I’d had a really huge yard like 1/8 of an acre or something.

  9. CGHill »

    7 July 2007 · 9:34 am

    “Really huge,” he repeated, and looked out at the 6,000-square-foot expanse of back yard that, owing to recent rains, hadn’t been tackled in sixteen days and is perilously close to showing up as a background on the Discovery Channel.

  10. McGehee »

    8 July 2007 · 9:11 am

    Yeah, well, I’ve got a not-quite-an-acre piece of ground now, minus house footprint, driveway, and “pine islands” (only a few of which contain actual pine trees) — but we tackle it with a third-hand Sears riding mower.

    Compared to the “lawn” I mowed with that Flymo, this place looks like Texas.

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