Yesterday, MSD had a 5-hour meeting. It was a useful meeting, but it was 5 hours. Still, there are some 2-hour meetings I have had at work that were so boring, I wanted to slit my own wrists just to see color. The MSD meeting wasn't like this, and for a bunch of fannish people, we seem to have it reasonably together. I have this feeling I came onboard after a major shakedown of flakes. Afterwards, Sean, Lou, and the kids came over, which was pretty cool downtime.
But that blew away Saturday, and today I looked at my lawn and went... ugh. I had to do some serious yard work.
We have one and a half huge sycamore trees in our backyard. I say "a half" because one tree actually belongs to my neighbor on my right, but at least half of it leans over my yard. It's a very old tree, and looks like it's leaning towards my house. I always fear it will crash into it, but that wouldn't be too bad because it would smash the deck that needs replaced anyway (and insurance will pay for it). But it survived Hurricane Isabel last year, so it can't be all that ready to go. The other sycamore has been a bit of a mystery because while it is a sycamore, its leaves were a bit smaller, its bark sheds in huge sheets, and it drops lots of small branches all the time. Even though it's rather large, it has a kind of spindly-sickly glow to it. It always drops its leaves WAY before any other tree does, and that's why we had to do yard work: the tree has dropped all its leaves, coating half my backyard with a crunchy layer of large brown leaves. I was afraid it would kill my grass, and even though none of the other trees have turned color yet, this sycamore is pretty bald already. CR, who did a study on trees last year, said our tree was a variety usually grown much further south, is NOT native to our area, and we suspect its appearance in our yard was due to a mix-up at some nursery 30 years ago. How it lived all this time is a mystery now. But it's apparently NOT happy.
So CR and I raked the leaves, and blew some around with a blower I have. The blower is excellent for clearing non-grass surfaces, but for the grass, we had to resort to good-old rakes. I then mowed my lawn, which hasn't been mowed for a while, but the grass didn't get too long, either, so it was kind of a mutual thing. My lawn just got too shaggy, and needed edge work. Sadly, my horrible mower is really doing poorly. Today, it blew off its muffler. Sometime this year, somehow, and I really don't have a clue what happened, all the bolts on the mower loosened all at once. Some bolts are missing. So now the mower is loud, shakes a lot, and doesn't cut well. It also needs a blade sharpening, but with everything wrong with it, the repair and overhaul costs will be about $50 than getting a newer one. One that's even better in quality.
So I spent hours raking, fighting the mower, and blowing all the debris around. I might get to the bathroom later tonight, but I am tired. And next weekend, they scheduled a Katsucon meeting. All hands on deck.
This entry was originally posted at http://www.punkwalrus.com/blog/archives/00000599.html