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Living Car Free Do you live car free or car light? Do you prefer to use alternative transportation (bicycles, walking, other human-powered or public transportation) for everyday activities whenever possible? Discuss your lifestyle here.

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Old 08-22-06, 07:17 AM   #1
8675309jl
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My wife thinks I've lost it.

My lawn mower broke 2 weeks ago because I ran over something in the yard. Rather then going out and buying another $200+ Gas powered mower at Sears, I went to ebay. For $58 (which includes shipping) I got a new push mower. It's the kind that doesn't have an engine. It arrived yesterday.

So, in my wifes words, "you're going to stop traffic on the street with people wondering why your using that thing". I said, "Good, I hope I do". She didnt' get my point.

I told her that I'll get my money back in one summer because I won't have to buy gas or oil for it.
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Old 08-22-06, 07:39 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 8675309jl
My lawn mower broke 2 weeks ago because I ran over something in the yard. Rather then going out and buying another $200+ Gas powered mower at Sears, I went to ebay. For $58 (which includes shipping) I got a new push mower. It's the kind that doesn't have an engine. It arrived yesterday.

So, in my wifes words, "you're going to stop traffic on the street with people wondering why your using that thing". I said, "Good, I hope I do". She didnt' get my point.

I told her that I'll get my money back in one summer because I won't have to buy gas or oil for it.
Now you have money to spend on bike parts BTW I have one of those old push mowers that is over 40 years old and still going strong.

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Old 08-22-06, 07:55 AM   #3
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Excellent. Human power should be employed as much as possible over fossil fuels.
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Old 08-22-06, 07:57 AM   #4
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My next-door neighbor growing up, a retired French professor, did all of his own gardening and cut his substantial yard with a pushmower. I don't know if it was that or the wine but he's in his late nineties and still mentally healthy, although he went blind a few years back and doesn't do yardwork anymore.

Maybe you can tell your wife it's part of your longevity plan...his wife is still alive too, in her nineties as well if five years younger.
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Old 08-22-06, 08:01 AM   #5
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Cool. Just make sure you keep the blades sharp, or lawn mowing will become a real pain.
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Old 08-22-06, 10:08 AM   #6
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you can set it up like this guy did:



LINK
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Old 08-22-06, 10:21 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by fordfasterr
you can set it up like this guy did:



LINK

Very cool! I can grow my lumberjack hair also!
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Old 08-22-06, 11:12 AM   #8
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Nice, But if the fork snaps off his toes are history.
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Old 08-22-06, 11:20 AM   #9
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You have gone quite the opposite way from losing your mind. A push mower is a great thing.

There is one disadvantage. If the grass gets too tall, it won't work because the mower will push the grass over and then not cut it. Then, without a power mower, you will not be able to cut it at all. You have to keep to a schedule of cutting before it gets too long.

On the other hand, you have none of the fussing with a gas mower, which is wonderful.

I am 56, and I now have the push mower we had when I was a kid. I can grab it out of the garage and buzz off our little front yard in ten minutes. If I didn't hate yard work so much, I would do the back too, but I usually get lazy and let it go too long, and then have to use the electric power mower.

You made an inspired, brilliant, environmentally sound decision. And don't forget, not only are you saving on gas and fussing, you probably are saving on future repair bills.
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Old 08-22-06, 12:34 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 8675309jl
My lawn mower broke 2 weeks ago because I ran over something in the yard. Rather then going out and buying another $200+ Gas powered mower at Sears, I went to ebay. For $58 (which includes shipping) I got a new push mower. It's the kind that doesn't have an engine. It arrived yesterday.

So, in my wifes words, "you're going to stop traffic on the street with people wondering why your using that thing". I said, "Good, I hope I do". She didnt' get my point.

I told her that I'll get my money back in one summer because I won't have to buy gas or oil for it.
Sometimes women aren't impressed by beancounter reasoning. If that's the case, maybe tell her a push mower is a step toward lumberjack arms and legs of steel...then quickly add that you'll take care of all the mowing.
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Old 08-22-06, 01:04 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Platy
Sometimes women aren't impressed by beancounter reasoning. If that's the case, maybe tell her a push mower is a step toward lumberjack arms and legs of steel....
plus it will give her something to do while the dryer is going.

Well, I am not impressed with that reasoning either, and I am a pro beancounter.


Seriously though, I don't know how big your lawns are and where you live, but I live here in the northeast, mow from end of april through october, have about a half an acre, a five year old honda gas mower and maybe use 8 gallons of gas a year. a new air filter. spark plug occasionally. Maybe. I mow once a week and if I had a push mower it would be twice a week.

So, as far as getting your money back by not buying gas or oil. It takes me 1.5 hours or so to mow. thats 26 weeks x1.5 hours a week of not mowing twice. At 40 per hour (thats what lawnmowers get around here, (when I do calculation like this I usually value my free time at $150 per hour)) that is 1,560 dollars of wasted time. you could mow your neighbors yard with your spare time and more than make up for the cost of a new mower and gas and oil. Use the extra money to take your wife out to a fancy dinner.

I mean, really, you are only talking about $40 per year in gas. I guess if you need the additional exercise but really, it doesn't impress from a bean counting point of view.
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Old 08-22-06, 01:47 PM   #12
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I'm currently custodian for 2 lawns (my parents and my future mother-in-law's) one has a push mower and the other an electric power mower.

The guy next door to my parents has his own lawn service and mows his lawn with a BIG riding mower (one of those turn-on-a-dime things with two hand controls instead of a steering wheel) while my parents have the push mower. I've never yet gotten a wierd look from even him, so I wouldn't worry about other people's thoughts.

The electric mower on the other hand, actually seems harder to use than the push mower. (could be the differences between the two yards too)

but the previous comments about keeping a regular schedule are true. if I don't mow my 'rents yard enough, I have to borrow the electric to tame the yard to the point that I can use the push mower.

money isn't so much the issue with these things as human vs fossil fuel as the energy source for your mowing.

and for those who don't feel up to the push mowers, the electric power mowers are pretty nice too.
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Old 08-22-06, 03:03 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Curt Kurt
plus it will give her something to do while the dryer is going.

Well, I am not impressed with that reasoning either, and I am a pro beancounter.


Seriously though, I don't know how big your lawns are and where you live, but I live here in the northeast, mow from end of april through october, have about a half an acre, a five year old honda gas mower and maybe use 8 gallons of gas a year. a new air filter. spark plug occasionally. Maybe. I mow once a week and if I had a push mower it would be twice a week.

So, as far as getting your money back by not buying gas or oil. It takes me 1.5 hours or so to mow. thats 26 weeks x1.5 hours a week of not mowing twice. At 40 per hour (thats what lawnmowers get around here, (when I do calculation like this I usually value my free time at $150 per hour)) that is 1,560 dollars of wasted time. you could mow your neighbors yard with your spare time and more than make up for the cost of a new mower and gas and oil. Use the extra money to take your wife out to a fancy dinner.

I mean, really, you are only talking about $40 per year in gas. I guess if you need the additional exercise but really, it doesn't impress from a bean counting point of view.
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Old 08-22-06, 05:15 PM   #14
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- i admire the push mower use... had one as a kid in a row house in the north Philly...

- now i use a gas mower, but wondered about a push mower (have not seen them in *any* store down here)... i have seen electric mowers but don't know about performance issues... (the grass grows two to three inches *overnight* here!)

- i have a friend who buys a gas mower, never changes the oil, runs it till it dies, then buys another mower! (kinda crazy, IMO)...
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Old 08-22-06, 08:20 PM   #15
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I used a push mower for a summer. By the end of the summer, I bought a gas mower. If the lawn is less than perfect, it doesn't work very well.

When the current gas mower dies, I may try a battery powered electric mower.
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Old 08-22-06, 10:39 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 8675309jl
My lawn mower broke 2 weeks ago because I ran over something in the yard. Rather then going out and buying another $200+ Gas powered mower at Sears, I went to ebay. For $58 (which includes shipping) I got a new push mower. It's the kind that doesn't have an engine. It arrived yesterday.

So, in my wifes words, "you're going to stop traffic on the street with people wondering why your using that thing". I said, "Good, I hope I do". She didnt' get my point.

I told her that I'll get my money back in one summer because I won't have to buy gas or oil for it.
Remind her of how fit, and therefore, sexy, you'll be after pushing that thing.

I remember the first time I mowed the family lawn with a push mower, my triceps just popped up out of nowhere. Before mowing, no triceps, after mowing, triceps.

Maybe you're already fit, but this can only make it better.
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Old 08-22-06, 11:25 PM   #17
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wondered about a push mower (have not seen them in *any* store down here).
Sears makes a couple of models. I used to have one when I was burdened with a lawn. If they don't have them in the store near you, you could order one online and have it shipped to the store, I think.
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Old 08-22-06, 11:47 PM   #18
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Sears makes a couple of models. I used to have one when I was burdened with a lawn. If they don't have them in the store near you, you could order one online and have it shipped to the store, I think.
They do. Also, they're Craftsman, so they're covered by the guarantee. I love mine.
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Old 08-23-06, 05:44 AM   #19
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The best thing for me with a push mower is it convinced my wife and I to convert the majority of my lawn to veggie garden. Wasn't sure it was worth it, then on sunday I started harvesting the sweat corn.

45 minutes of mowing followed by an all you can eat sweat corn and summer squash dinner. One big +!
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Old 08-23-06, 06:12 AM   #20
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I've used a push mower for years. I love the fact that it is quiet.
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Old 08-23-06, 07:05 AM   #21
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I've used a push mower for years. I love the fact that it is quiet.
Yeah, when my husband mows the yard, it is so loud! Ick! And being completely inexperienced with gas powered mowers, they kinda scare me a little. I know, it sounds silly but it's true.

By the way, is it just me or is the word 'mow' just odd as all get out?

Ok, I'm gonna go drink some more coffee now
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Old 08-23-06, 04:00 PM   #22
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Depends on the size of the yard - with the modern trend of having tiny strips of yard around the edge of the huge house, it doesn't make sense to have a gas mower. KurtCurt with a halfacre, I can understand. Also most push mowers are small and take up less space in the garage so you can fit more bikes in there.

My parents in law went from an electric mower to push mower. They have a store/house in town and had to walk the mower around on the sidewalk to the front lawn. The push mower can get through the back alley.

They also started increasing the flower beds, put in a pond. Anything to get the grass down - less grass quicker cutting.
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Old 08-23-06, 04:34 PM   #23
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When I used to have a yard, I loved my push mower! It seemed a lot faster to whip around the yard with it than with some big heavy thing, and I could pick it up and carry it over tree roots and difficult spots. Once I set the blade the right way, it needed no fuss and I never had to worry about it. It also didn't throw tiny tiny bits of grass high into the air and irritate my allergies like all of the neighbors' mowers did.
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Old 08-23-06, 05:38 PM   #24
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Only down side is you MUST get out there and cut it frequently.

I blow off the mowing too much to do a reel mower.
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Old 08-24-06, 09:32 AM   #25
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I've always liked these ( never had a yard, never needed a lawnmower)... but i have one question. How do you keep the blades sharp???
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