The first yank

My trusty machine, red like the house.

THE RAINY SEASON arrived this week with a splash!

Three days ago I was enjoying a nice café Americano negro at a sidewalk table downtown when the skies opened with a vengeance.

In short order, the street vanished, and a lake took its place. Passing cars pushed waves onto the sidewalk, so I retreated closer to the wall with my chair and table.

The temperatures have dropped. The dust is washed into the gutters, down the drain pipes and into the lake.

And now my grass is greening. Soon it will need mowing and edging. Yesterday I pulled the mower from under a table on the Garden Patio and wiped it off with paper towels.

I poured fresh gas into the tank. I primed the carb (three times), and I yanked on the rope. Roar! The first yank!

Craftsman makes good stuff.

That leaves the weedeater, which I bought just last year, a Stihl, which is also a good item, but all weedeaters are a bitch to crank. The Stihl is just a little less so. But it has a rather complicated process you must observe to start it.

And being along in years, my arm is not what it once was. If the Stihl does not crank  quickly, I’m out of the game. I have not tried to start it yet. I am procrastinating.

Stihl weedeater, better than most.

While I let Abel the Deadpan Yardman mow the grass with the Craftsman, I am hesitant to put the Stihl in his mitts. The last time I let a local use a weedeater, it ended up in tatters.

Mexicans tend not to take care of things owned by other people. It’s a cultural trait and not one of their better ones. But I may be forced to hand it over to him.

Happy cacti.

After shooting the mower and Stihl, I photographed these cacti. I’m a cactus man. I planted them in Houston, but they never did squat.

Here, however, they’re right at home. I planted these cacti when they were small. The ones at the far end are  now taller than I am.

So summer and its accompanying rains are here. We love it when that happens after the stuffy, dry, dusty spring. But by soggy September we’ll be praying for an end to it.

14 thoughts on “The first yank”

  1. To start your weedeater easily, go to Auto Zone and pick up a spray can of quick start. You can ask for it in Spanish, they know what it is. Follow normal procedures and spray a little into the carburetor intake. It works great.

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    1. Carlos: Just noticed your comment in the trash file. I didn’t put it there. High technology sometimes fails. Sorry.

      Quick Start, eh? I’ll have to give it a try. There’s an Auto Zone right here in town. Thanks.

      I spoke to Abel the Deadpan Gardener just today, and he’s coming Saturday for this year’s first mow. He’s also going to bring his own weedeater, so I won’t have to use mine. I’ll still buy that Quick Start. I’m curious. Gracias.

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      1. Quick start is basically ether in an aerosol can and is as flammable as all get-out. It evaporates almost instantly so you need to yank immediately after spraying.

        Good luck

        Kim G

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        1. Kim: Before heading to Auto Zone to buy Quick Start the other day, it occurred to me that I ought to take a close look at the Stihl first. On doing so, it was apparent that to get to carb some disassembling would be necessary. So, it’s not a practical solution in this case.

          The good news is that Abel the Deadpan Gardener tells me he still has a workable weedeater, so that’s what will be used. The grass is growing like wildfire. He’s coming Saturday.

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          1. I think you should rechristen Abel “Abel the Deadpan Yardman.” Sounds a little catchier than gardener. But it’s your blog, of course.

            By the way, if you spray that stuff close to the carb and yank immediately, it will still suck in the rapidly evaporating ether.

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            1. Kim: How right you are. Yardman in the phrase has a better sound. I had simply forgotten his proper name in the long months since the last rainy season.

              So, maybe it would behoove me to get the Quick Start after all? I shall reconsider. Thanks.

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  2. I had a yank-battle with a weedeater just this morning. I have a blister to prove it. “Get a Stihl,” I said. “The salesman said get a Shindawa — fewer moving parts,” she said.

    Apparently the missing “moving parts” have something to do with starting the infernal machine.

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    1. Ray: It’s amazing in 2017 that those things remain so difficult to get running. The Stihl does have one positive aspect. The hub will stop, and you can change the line (or whatever) without turning the motor off. It just idles. I do like that.

      I’d never heard of Shindawa. I looked it up.

      What I would love to have is a battery-driven trimmer. They’re available in the U.S., but I’ve never seen one down here. Amazon U.S. offers them, but Amazon Mexico does not. I would kill for a lightweight, battery-driven trimmer. Well, almost.

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    2. P.S.: Speaking of grass-cutting, I saw a news story this morning that some town in your Alabama is going to require a business license of kids who want to earn money by cutting lawns. The license costs over $100. You Alabama people should be ashamed! You’d expect that sort of thing from California, but Alabama?! Tsk, tsk.

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  3. P.S. When I first saw the title of this post (on my phone) I thought it referred to the first Yankee in your town. I was mildly disappointed to learn the post was about yard equipment.

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    1. Kim: I’m guessing the percentage of good Southern rednecks and hillbillies hereabouts is significantly smaller than that of the Yankees and the Kumbaya West Coast sorts. It’s a pity. Were it different, I might even socialize more.

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