There are just way too many signs that I have firmly moved into middle-age. I have opnions about grocery stores, I can't fathom the music teenagers listen to, and I have developed emotional attachments to powertools. The main thing that has driven this home is that I had a Black and Decker MM600 Lawh Hog electric mower when I lived in Maine. It was a simple thing, an electric mower with a power cord, I couldn't afford the cordless battery powered model. I had bought it because I had a relatively small yard and really hated messing with mowers. With electric there was no gas, no oil, no spark plug, or choke or anything. Just plug it in and go. Nothing really distinguished it from any other electric mower I had seen except for one thing, it had a flip-over handle. Now this may seem fairly minor, but as anyone that has used an electric mower knows, the most difficult part of mowing with one is keeping your powercord out from under the blade. When you go down a row of your yard and turn around this tends to pull the cord back over what you just mowed.
The flip over handle is an amazing little idea that just totally elliminates that problem. Once you reach the end of the yard, you just flip the handle over and go back the other way without having to turn the mower, so the cord stays out of your way. It actually makes my mowing about 30% quicker I would say. Well when I moved from Maine to KC I left the mower behind so my stepson that was supposedly renting the house (a whole other rant there) could use it. I would buy a new one when I got to KC. To my dismay they weren't making them anymore, and I ended up with another Black and Decker electric, but not one with a flip over handle. I used it for my first summer here, it did its job, even if not as conveniently as the other. When things fell apart with the whole rental thing out in Maine and we moved the rest of our stuff here, I was happy to get my 0ld mower back.
The happiness was short-lived however. My stepson had managed to hit something with it which had somehow really messed up the motor and shaft. I put the thing in storage and forgot about it. Now a few years later my other mower seemed to be dieing. I started looking for a new one and found that you can special order an electric mower from Black and Decker with a flip over handle, but I really need my lawn mowed now and don't want to wait, nor do I want to pay big money for another mower. So I pulled my old one out of storage. I took both the old one and the new one apart and found that they both are essentially the same under the casing. Same motor, same yoke, same switches, etc. So I was able to cannabilize enough parts from the new one to return the old one to service.
The fact that this excites me enough to write about it in my blog is a rather sad testament to the state of my life I suppose. Oh well, its off to do battle with a veritable army of short green agressors.