Sunday, May 16, 2010

Green Lawn Mower

So, my bro-in-law Nathan's lawn mower died, which is a problem, because I always borrowed it. Thinking that he was likely to muddle along or borrow his neighbors, I bought a new one. A cordless electric. I am in love. Comparing it to the previous gas mower (not a very old one):

  • Power: toss-up. I ran it through 10" wet grass and it did a great job. If it had a few more moments of "woah, too much" than the gas, it made up for it by never stalling.
  • Noise: no contest. It sounds like a fan. I can hear Isabelle talking to me in a normal voice, whereas with the gas, if Carrie screamed at the top of her lungs, I got a vague impression that maybe there had been a sound.
  • Smell: no contest. All I smell is cut grass.
  • Weight: at 77#, it's a little heavier. But it's well balanced and easily maneuvered, and, if I need to actually pick the darn thing up, I pop out the battery, and then it's lighter than the gas.
  • Endurance: here the gas probably wins with a big yard. Mine's a 0.1 acre, and it had no trouble. Other have mowed much more, but if you have acres, you might need to mow half now and half tomorrow.
  • Bonus: no gas can. Never leaks gas. Never have to run for gas. No oil. No spark plug to repair.

Bicycle Adventures

I took Isabelle out for her first ride on her bicycle. Her brilliant father bought her a five-speed, which he can't put training wheels on. But we gave it a try! I warned her, "Nobody learns to ride a bike with falling off and getting hurt once."

Off we went. After half an hour she had more directional control, and a little bit of balance. Woopee. Then just as we decided we were done for the day, the inevitable spill happened.

Isabelle barely scratched her knee. Her father, however, in his effort to keep her upright, tripped over her bike and caught all his weight with his outstretched thumb. I don't think I broke it, but I haven't been in this much pain since I don't know when--probably the time I drove a splinter the size of half a toothpick up under my thumb nail.

Isabelle composed a poem for me:

Bikes crashing,
Babies flying,
Daddies crying.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

All Species Day

Isabelle went to All Species Day as a Jaguarundi (Central & South American wildcat):

That's her friend Zella as the black cat:

Notice her stuffed cat, who, for the occasion, put on a "girl costume."

This is some random guy dressed as a N'avi warrior (the guys from Cameron's Avatar), whose picture I couldn't resist taking.

I also had a teacher-moment. There was a young woman there, probably fifteen-sixteen, who looked familiar. It was only after I left that I realized I had last seen her as a little stick of a fifth-grader in my student teaching. I haven't been doing this long enough for that to happen!