Tuesday, April 13, 2010

No Good Deed Goes Unpunished--Baseball Edition

The title of this post refers to this one from the Garage's 3rd month.
(There have been more than enough other examples, but without photos I don't blog about them).

We've had a good many months of above average rainfall.
No more drought, no more water restrictions, life is good.

But this Spring has seen some explosive growth, as if the plants are striking back after 2+ years of abuse.
Trees that were just bare branches one week had full foliage the next.
Weeds are out of control.
My lawn isn't dead meat after all.
The wildflowers are back with a vengeance.
Many surprises!

Last week I mowed my back yard for the third time in a month, which is the same number of times it got cut in all of 2009 and it's only April!
Then I went to work on the grasses, weeds, and hackberry trees in our alley.

This phone-cam photo shows the unchecked mess to the west of our property line.
All she has to do is pay her hired crew to cut the forest down, but it never happens.
Behind OUR fence it's code compliant and looks pretty nice, for an alley.

My neighbor to the east is a nice old man who lost his wife to cancer a few years back.
Retired military, too.
I like to keep his part of the alley trimmed, too.
I've never mentioned it, and if he thinks it's the people on the other side of the alley that's fine with me.
I do it because I want to.
If the earth had spun slightly faster on a couple of days long ago my own parents could have been alive and retired and old, and I would have been a lawn-mowing machine for them.

But in the middle of my feel-good grass clipping I hit a fucking baseball hidden in the weeds!
It lodged against the side of my Murray and stopped the motor dead.

1) Tried to pry it out with my backyard fireplace poker?
Bent the iron!
2) Loosen the blade?
Wedged tight against the side and won't move at all.
3) Hacksaw the ball?
Blade snapped right away. WTF?
4) Dremel™ tool with a new cutting wheel?
It goes through steel like butter but after less than 2 minutes on that baseball the wheel disintegrated.
5) At this point I stuck a screwdriver into the grooves I had cut and managed to split the ball in half.

A new blade for my lawnmower cost $13.47 at WalMart.
And now that I have this new blade, why the hell won't the grass grow like it did last week?

I want to cut something!

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

National Parks

The sign below was refreshing with it's honesty.
"Break-ins Have Occurred" is a simple statement of fact that elevates an everyday lawyerly warning to reality, and I appreciated it.
Mission Concepcion, April 3, 2010.

This one has the opposite effect.
I get really pissed-off when people think that the world is their playground.
Is a crappy snapshot of Junior perched on the crumbling walls of a historic location really worth angering the ghosts and bloggers?
Mission San Jose, April 3, 2010.
5 years +1 day earlier I took another photo of people being disrespectful while visiting what I consider sacred ground.
It was only the 3rd post here at Zzakk's Garage, and I certainly didn't hold my tongue back then, did I?

This time I wanted to slap the parents of a 6 year old boy who exploded into the church and was allowed to yell whatever came to mind at full volume.
My face and ass would have been pink for a week had I pulled that shit in public at his age, and now I suddenly feel very old.