Thursday, 10 June 2010

Are We Addicted to Power?

A few weeks ago, everyone in my neighbourhood had one of those new smart meters installed on our homes. My neighbour was looking for a new lawn mower at the time, and was considering an electric. Because of the new smart meter he went and purchased a gas mower in rebellion.

When he told me that, I just smiled and nodded. Sometimes you just can't say what you want to say.

Myself, I've been using one of these for 5 years now. The 14" model is still the same price it was back then, $109.00. By way of comaprison, the cheapest gas powered mower at Canadian Tire is $169.99.

My annual maintenance and usage costs? $0
Gas Powered mower? Something more than $0
Noise Level? No comparison. I can talk to someone while cutting my grass. And I can cut the lawn while my kids are running around the backyard and I don't have to worry about hitting them with flying debris or causing other injuries.

My Lee Valley mower weighs 19lbs and it is light and easy to push.
A gas powered? Approx 50lbs. If weight is an issue you can upgrade to a self-propelled model....

I have to say that I'm sticking it to the electric utility AND the gas companies.

And this is my lawn (110' X 35' suburban lot):

So excuse me as I ask, why the hell would anyone in the suburbs prefer a gas powered mower?

This addiction to powered machines has reached ridiculous levels with children too. Seems everybody now has to own one of these:

Tomorrow is bike day at my youngest son's school. There's a boy in his class that is dreading tomorrow. He doesn't know how to ride his bike. Even though, like all his classmates, his bike has training wheels, he only knows how to drive his "power wheel". He can;t pedal more than 5' without getting tired.

I have the other problem. When I get home from work, both boys are pestering me to go for a bike ride. If the weather is co-operating we're gone for an hour exploring our part of the city. I can hardly get them to wait for me to finish my dinner.

I'm not against power. I want a Camaro for cryin' out loud. But there's this little thing called balance. Or common sense.


Ken Breadner said...

Catelli, I have broken *three* of those push mowers over the course of one summer. The handle just poof! detaches from the rest of the thing, and if there's a way to get that handle back on, this unhandleyman doesn't know it.
I'd pave my yard if I could. Better yet, I'd put in some kind of turf...

Catelli said...

Dude, seriously?

Maybe you should look into greenscaping. Some low maintenance cannot-kill shrubs like potentiallas, alpine current, boxwood, etc.

And believe it or not, a friend of mine did put in turf. They landscaped their very small backyard with gardens and stone, and left a small lawn for their very big dog. Who then very promptly killed the grass with his uhhh "leavings."

So they put in the turf instead. Works well, and actually looks very good.

Ken Breadner said...

Yup, seriously, dude. I have, as you may have surmised, an uneasy relationship with machines of any sort. I don't use electric shavers because of the time the guard on one snapped, mid-shave, leaving the blade wide open to cut me, which it did. I broke a whippersnipper within ten seconds of turning it on; those three push mowers went poof on me, two of them in the same week. At least I've only run over an extension cord with a lawnmower the once.
And people wonder why I don't drive a car.

The turf idea is really something I'm interested in. If we stay here for the duration--decision on that pending, but the new deck makes it a little more likely--I'll probably do it.