20.7.17

ASKED, ANSWERED.

I've long been an advocate of do-it-yourself yard maintenance, with as little powered assistance as I can get away with.


That's at previous Cold Spring Shops headquarters.  New grass plus bigger yard plus broken elbow a few years ago leads to electric-assistance these days.  But still the question.  "Here's an economics imponderable: why do people spend hundreds of bucks on powered lawn mowers and then spend money on a gym membership?"

Victor Hanson essays a response.
In theory, skipping the gym for four hours a week would provide more than enough time to mow the lawn, prune the bushes, or vacuum the floor. Yet sweaty and studied exercise is often deemed preferable to rote labor, given that it is more scientifically calibrated to making one look and feel better. Repetitive muscular work is not seen as commensurately valuable, whether for the exercise it provides or for its psychic benefits. Yet for all one’s degrees and income, a person can still retain some sense of autonomy and an ability to master the surrounding material landscape, if only for a few hours each week, and to appreciate how the other half lives that does such physical labor for wages. It is a choice.
Possibly more Deep Significance than I want to get into, but perhaps he's right about people who live in bubbles, contract out the grunt work, and park as close as they can to the fitness center.

I'm still with a Chicago Tribune columnist, probably at a link that has long expired.  "But who is wimpier, the guy who buys the megabucks power riding mower with the cup holders and the tilt steering wheel (no DVD player yet!) and then roars around his lawn like an Abrams tank commander, his flabby midsection ajiggle, or the weekend warrior working up an honest sweat behind the push mower?"  Perhaps wimpier, perhaps sadder: how else might one react to the guy at the upper end of the street rolling his trash container out of the garage behind his lawn tractor?

Sometimes, the warrior has to go to battle on weekdays, for instance when a derecho takes down the top of your sunburst locust.


That's after.  Unexpected half hour of upper-body workout.  Shoulders are making their presence known.

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