The Useful Duck!

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Thursday, February 25, 2016

I mow lawns and contemplate local activism

I think all of you tune in to read my adventures in Groundskeeping. But, I fail to realize how many local readers I have. I checked a hour ago. People from my hometown are reading this blog as I write.
Not sure how I feel about that. If I was really enthused I'd use my real name. In the early days of this blog it was all people on the other side of the country and the world. I was not really hiding, I just have never used my real name on the internet.
But, I digress...
Groundskeeping at my little slice of heaven can be a bit frustrating.
I'm not sure how to say this politely...
So here's the way it went.
There are key places that need to be mown. (or is it mowed, as in he mowed em all down with a Tommy Gun ratatatatata....)
But I digress again...
I suspect the "key" to the key places is the proximity to the person on the staff with seniority. Here is how it works.
I am told I need to make my own decisions about groundskeeping since I really don't know what the heck I am doing.
This means that they hope that I will groundskeep exactly like the person telling me I need to make the decisions but that they will not tell me this because if you love something and you set if free if it loves you it will return, (when it is hungry)
So I wanted to mow what was dry and get it done since I lack seniority and I'm stuck with this ancient mower that no one else can figure out how to operate that is bulky and inefficient.
This is fine as long as the ladies with seniority are using the good mower. In fact, they can use it on my day to run it, because all my ground is wet, but the second they are done with it then my ground is of course quite dry.
And they bring me the mower out of gas...
So someone reports me to the supervisor and he shows up. But, I have preempted this by appealing to the person authorized to train me and we are looking at the lawn in question when the supervisor shows up.
What happens is that I spend an hour waiting for the mower and moving things around while the person that most likely ratted me out finishes up her very important section.
I remind myself, it all pays the same, I go home at 5 p.m.
I didn't go home at 5 p.m. because the work study student who volunteered to wash the mower didn't get it clean enough (He volunteered and he tried and he is a really good guy and I like him) and I had to clean two mowers and take one back the main building for service before going home. People love to pass off mowers to me at 3 p.m. when it is time for their service so that they don't have to wash them.
But, as I said before, it all pays the same...

At 6 p.m. the neighborhood had a meeting to discuss how to stop the country from putting in a park on our road. This is a whole post in itself.
1. The fellow across the river who is mobilizing us knows what he is doing.
2. My neighbors want to complain about the park and convince each other how terrible it will be.
This is great for them because it gets them all emotional and they get to see that their other neighbors care about them. We got to talk about how much we care about each other as neighbors and how perhaps we should have a BBQ. This is kind of BS. Several of them don't like me and I don't like them. I don't want to hang out with them. If I wanted friends I would advertise on craigslist or go to farm meetings or wave at people. They would do the same. They don't want to be my friend they want to commute home from work and not be bothered.
3. Everyone wants to impress each other about what they have done but no one has the balls to really stick it to the county.
Meaning: It's a Mr. Smith goes to Washington group. They think that if they really care about an issue and if they make a good speech with lots of facts and studies and photographs and impassioned and tearful statements the county will give a rat's ass. The county doesn't care. They want a park somewhere and they don't care if anyone visits the park or if it is a good idea or if it is infested with tweekers. They have followed procedures and they have built a park.
On the the next project or next job or whatever....
Sure they well remember you when it comes time for a building permit and then it is "screw you..."
4. No one will commit. I decline the offer to be president. I should have accepted.
The organizer left. The guy who already sold out to the county starts talking about compromise. The ladies start talking pain and suffering, we accomplish nothing.
5. Nothing will get done unless we follow or advisors instructions. I tuned out for part of it but I think it is as follows, Organize a political acton thing, elect a president, secretary, a treasurer and something else. Have regular meetings. Contribute money and buy a newspaper ad stating our position.
Wait for repercussions...

These folks don't understand politics. It is not about right or wrong it is all about pressure.

In conclusion, two things:
1. I don't give a rip about the park but I hate the dump. Since everyone I respect is dead, I'd open a RV park and sell beer at my Uncle's Store. But, I'm not really part of that operation so I'll just go to work at my local college and hope traffic has thinned out by the time I go home.
I think the biggest farmer on our road is a total arsehole and I think it is funny if his 15 combines back up 10 tour busses. Or if his big tractor gets in an accident with a busload of school children. (as long as my child is not on the bus) But on the other hand I don't want a park at the end of the road just because I don't want one. I'm opposed to any compromise and will happily follow Pickett.
2. I think I will have to make my blog an invitation only or you have to email me to belong or I will lose my job.
3. Have a nice evening... I'm going to bed and I'm not proofreading...


  1. Ok, so who has subscribed to the immediate update feed. I published this and five minutes later someone local is looking at this. It is 11:18 p.m. you should have something better to do than look at this stupid blog.

  2. Immediate update feed? I missed that but it does not matter as I am not one whose life revolves around my phone and carry the internet in my pocket. And yet I am the first one to leave a comment here?

    1. Yup, you is the first...
      Probably around 15 local people have viewed the blog so far but the guy who comments is from Canada.
      Now, I'm going to work. Might as well enjoy my job while I have it.
      Lawn Mowing Yeah!
      Never thought I'd miss grinding feed with the flat belt and the Z and the 1936 model hammer mill...

    2. At least now you work under safe conditions unlike those dangerous old hammer mills and flat drive belts. .

  3. I am growing concerned. Who is raising my food while you are trying to decide if the grass is wet enough?

    Grace and peace.

  4. I never imagined the politics involved in mowing a campus of higher learning! During the summer (grass doesn't need mowing in KC during the winter) our mower usually are driven/operated? on tuesdays by admin staff, then I play catch-up or repair man as needed.


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