Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Hillbilly Chrome

There are a lot of terms that Suthunaz use that tend to confuse me. Even though I have lived here a long time, I just have trouble using these phrases and making them sound honest. Words like:

"eskover" (es-KOV-er)... as in "Hey, eskover tuh thuh Quicky Mart and get us a beer."

"ohvawls" (OH-valz) ... as in "I'm gonna get dressed for dinner. I'm gonna put on my good clean ohvawls and some shoes. "

There are phrases which only the Suthunah can come up with, too. Phrases such as "She's a comin' up a cloud" which is an indication that the weather may turn bad soon.

Perhaps the one that makes the most sense and one which sees more use, is "Hillbilly Chrome." Used to indicate the use of Duct Tape in repairing an automobile. But more than that, this indicates the use of Duct Tape to cover or maybe REcover an area of the bumper, fender or the like. At the top of the page you can see an excellent use of Hillbilly Chrome. I am especially enamored of the use of the clear plastic drinking cup as a light cover.

Conversely, even though the use of Duck Tape in this next photo is well done, nice large strips, evenly applied. It does not qualify as Hillbilly Chrome.

And no, neither of these cars sits in my driveway.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Slimming down the Mail Box

Along with the constant mowing of my lawn, I have pointed out time and time again how things grow so freakingly fast here in The South. Bushes seem to appear almost overnight and trees reach down branches to snag my nifty 'Turf War Pith Helmet' on each pass with the mower.

This last weekend, I mowed the lawn. Ok, so I actually FINISHED mowing the lawn, having mowed the front yard the week before and felt I had to get the back done this week along with the front. If I left the back go much longer, I'm pretty sure I'd be setting up safari's into the deep back corner, where light rarely shines.

Then I noticed the mail box. Yeah, that's it in the pic above. Cute, huh? Sort of like a free form topiary Cousin Itt. (Yes, I know a lot of people won't catch that reference, so let's just chalk it up to my referencing my age once again and move on, yes?)

12-15 years ago, my lovely daughter planted a little flower at the base of the mailbox. Every year it gets bigger and bigger. Turns out it was some sort of vine and with the moisture we get, it grows incredibly fast - what you see above is one year's growth. Yes. One year. The problem is that the thing has flowers on it and they attract bees and wasps. The mailman gets upset; I get upset and then the wife gets upset. And with all that upset, well, Cousin Itt's days are always numbered.

So, once a year I cut back the big fluffy thing with the big string trimmer. It doesn't take much, as it's mostly holding itself up. I use the big string trimmer to cut a big swath down the back and then fold it back, like some sort of botanical autopsy. A few hacks with a big buck knife and it's loose. I then roll the whole mess into the wheelbarrow, and over into the brush pile it goes!
The pictures show it all. My back is screaming in protest and my clothes are soaked in sweat (gotta love the hot humidity of the south...if I keep saying that maybe I'll believe it someday...) And to think that this thing grows this much in just one year!

So, there's my mailbox, all slim and trim and ready for the rest of the hot humid summer.Yes, for those who notice these things (brother Bubba always reads this blog) the numbers are blacked out. I am nothing if not security conscious.

Now, there are two bushes and a tree which have grown up out of seeming nowhere, which I need to add to the brush pile. With all this heat, however, it may have to wait until the fall. Or at least until my back feels a bit better.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Suiting up for the Turf Wars

I mowed my lawn today...finally. In the South, the rains come this time of year and I am one of those guys who will not mow a wet lawn. So, for the last 14 days we've had rain just about every day, which means basically that my lawn didn't get mowed. Today, temps in the 90s and humidity hovering around 237% I had to get out and mow...or maybe swim...

As any regular reader will know, I am not from the South. I grew up in Colorado and as I've told any one who will listen, if there ain't any frost on the window, I ain't happy. Heat and I are not good friends. So, with this in mind, you will not be surprised that it can take me a while to get ready to mow the lawn, even in the cool morning. (Yeah, it was 80 degrees about 7 am this morning.)

My outfit consists of the following: First, to keep the heat off my head, I have a nice wide white pith helmet made of hard plastic. Its original design was to be a hard hat so it sits on my head and allows air to pass up and through keeping my scalp cool. I use a blue bandanna to catch the sweat which runs in little rivers usually down my face and onto my glasses. I also have a terry cloth towel (slightly larger than a hand towel) soaked in cool water which I keep around my neck to also keep me cool. Yes, it is a vision right out of an Edgar Rice Burroughs novel, and I fully expect Tarzan to come out of behind the shed and convulse with laughter, but that's not the point least I don't think it is.

I have a special pair of old jeans I use for doing yard work and a couple of tee-shirts also specially designated for this one activity. I finish this up with either an old smelly pair of sneakers which I have demoted to yard duty (or by the smell is that "doody?"). Additionally, on hot days like this, I have a pair of hard rubber garden clogs which help keep my feet just a bit cooler.

That's right, a pair of clogs. No extra weight in hot socks, and they allow me to slip them off and walk in the soft grass when things get especially uncomfortable. They're hard rubber and I have to admit, when my feet start to sweat, I can be slipping and sliding around in them with every step. Not the safest thing to be working with power tools I have to admit, but I didn't say I was smart. I'll blame it on the humidity, ok?

No one has said anything about my 'Ensemble de Lawn ' (other than the wife) but I'm not sure if that's because they haven't actually SEEN me in it, or are just to Suthun Polite to mention it.