Friday, March 11

My First .. Chainsaw?

A few days ago, I (along with dozens of my neighbors) was subject to an "alley sweep" by the nice folks at Dallas Code Compliance. There are thousands of rules which we're asked to Comply with, one of which concerns the growth of our trees and shrubs into the alleys, which makes it hard for trash trucks (and presumably other city services) to navigate. So, for the first time since I moved here, I was asked to trim things back to 18" from my property line, up to a height of 15 feet.

This meant I could either hire the work done, or bite the bullet and get a real saw (the pole saw is good for small limbs, but not a lot of heavier work). So, I became the Proud Owner of My First Chainsaw. After nosing through my back issues of Consumer Reports, I decided an electric one would meet my needs better. I won't be using this a lot (unlike Jill-Bob who has to clear 5 acres of brush just to access her mailbox) and a gas-powered saw isn't mandatory.

I've had problems before with two-cycle engines (the ones where you mix the oil and gasoline); I use them infrequently and the mixture often turns to lacquer and gums up the engine, meaning it must be serviced or replaced. I last learned this lesson with a gas-powered weedeater. While the gas version is more mobile, on a small lot like mine (half acre) it's not a huge inconvenience to schlep a long extension cord a dozen times a year for hedge trimming, edging, weedwacking and now chainsawing.

Anyhoo, I'm now the proud (giddy) owner of a (Sears) Craftsman chainsaw [model #34116], and will proceed to The Great Outdoors (not the sandwich shop) and rectify my (ever so slightly) overgrown brush situation. Hey, at least the weather's perfect.

On the way home, I stopped by Bed, Bath & Beyond and picked up a couple ramekins for use with my occasional salads (using the "put your dressing in the ramekin and dip your fork in it before spearing the lettuce" technique). I am determined to shed those last 20 pounds (after dropping 90 a few years ago) and this is a small price to pay. While there, I picked up a better toaster (one with an easier crumb tray, and special settings for bagels and frozen waffles, etc.) .. again after a consultation of Consumer Reports back issues. I settled on the Cuisinart CPT-160. Sadly, it lacks an Ethernet connection for direct attachment to the Internet, but somehow I'll struggle without that feature.

Unrelated #0: Today's word is ramekin (sometimes spelled ramequin)

Unrelated #1: the Sundry on Thursday blog is now updated. Please put down your chainsaws and back away from the property line.

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