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It turns out nothing gets the Screencaps community fired up like bush hoggin’

Mike S. in Ashland, MO asked a simple question in Monday Screencaps: Is it bush hoggin’ or brush hoggin’? We’re now to the stage of the Screencaps experience where the subjects that I think are going to gain traction typically are disasters and the random small things turn into email runs that last an entire week.

Bush hoggin’ is clearly in he latter category. I thought for sure it would just fade away. Nope. Screencaps readers weren’t having it.

• TNML supporter & school bus driver Dana B. in Indiana writes:

We are Midwestern country folk. Around here, EVERY SINGLE PERSON we talk to calls their big pull behind mower a “Bush Hog”, including us! Most people don’t have a clue what brand they have. (I checked ours) and we have a “Patriot-Land Pride”, but always call it the “Bush Hog”.

In addition to the mower, we call our back 2 acres the “Back 40”. Also, when anyone wants a tissue, they ask for a “Kleenex”. A paper towel is a ‘Scott” towel. Anytime someone wants a Cola, they ask for a “Coke”. Soda is “pop”. Decaffeinated coffee is “Sanka”.

Peanut butter is “Jif”, for most folks. Others would include: sneakers are “tennis shoes”, fireflies are “lightning bugs”, lollipops are “suckers”, any long sandwich is a “Sub”, and a Round-About is an “Idiot’s Circle”.  I’m sure the TNML crew can think of others!

Keep the great info coming!! We love Screencaps!!

• Gerard W. writes:

That bigger bush hog mower in the picture, we actually call the bat wing. It folds up like a bat. Woods manufacturing invented the “bat wing” mower. Even though I own a Bush Hog I call that one the bat wing. The little mower is called the Bush Hog.  We also had a little walk behind rotary mower when I was a kid we callled a bush hog. It was for taking out tall grass and small brush along the pasture. Pretty sure the brand wasn’t bush hog.  Never heard of a Brush Hog before.

Gerard adds:

We call them Bush Hogs in these parts.  As you can see we have 2. Probably need a couple stickers for these.

• Rob W. writes:

It’s a Kleenex, Qtip thing. Is you say tissue and cotton swab then say “brush” hog. Bush hog is a brand that has become synonymous with the product. I have a “bush” hog even though it’s John Deere brush hog cuz I use Kleenex and Qtips no matter what brand they actually are.

• I believe Steve M. in Wadsworth, OH is a new emailer. Look at this information he has on tractors.

Steve writes:

In regards to the email from Mike S. in Ashland, MO…

I have found that Bush Hog vs Brush Hog is mainly a regional thing… in NE Ohio we call it brush hogging but my friends south of the Mason/Dixon line call it bush hogging.  I guess it’s fun to debate the actual name, but I feel it’s kinda like debating calling something a Kleenex vs a facial tissue… 

I mow my grass with a Ford 8N… a 1951 (serial 367250) with a 5 foot finish mower.  It does a great job and that 60 inch cut saves a lot of time!

His Ford 8N would officially be a 1949 model if it has a front mounted distributor. If Mike has a side mount distributor, I believe it would be considered a 1950.

• Jonathan W. writes:

IMO, and in my experience with close to 2 decades of lawn maintenance/golf maintenance/agronomy as a profession, the term “bush hoggin” exclusively and solely refers to the act of, and not the brand of.

• Robert H. in Mississippi notes:

Bush-hoggin’ is a verb(.)

• Ryan O. writes:

Brush hog is a brand… Busch hoging is a lifestyle and the way you say it! Also, seems like the TNML is growing so much we might need to have two divisions. The urban and the rural leagues?

Bush-brush hoggin’ and life from a first-time emailer/Marine that intimidated me on Linkedin

By now you guys know that there are 2-3 things that intimidate me and yet fascinate me at the same time: Linkedin and the Screencaps’ military community. I think it was two weeks ago when Richard’s profile popped up as a Linkedin ‘connection’ request, or whatever they call it over there.

I’m talking full uni, medals, big title, and a grin that put off ‘I’m about to make you do 500 pushups until you puke that Chinese food you had for dinner last night‘ look on his face.

It was off-the-charts intimidation even though I now have a cool job title created by Screencaps readers. Still, this is the military brass reading my column and reaching out. Now Richard is emailing, which lessens the intimidation factor. Now we get real-life Richard just hammering out paragraphs on life. I’ll take hundreds and hundreds of emails like this one.

Dig in.

• Richard writes:

Greetings from an Okie living in North Carolina.  Well, I’m finally doing it.  I’ve loyally read every SC since the beginning.  I converted to mowing on Thursday unless I absolutely could not for reasons outside my control. I proudly sport my TNML shirt around town. I’ve been all in on SC for so long but I just never pulled the trigger on writing you.  For some reason, deep down I just never thought that I had enough to say, despite mentally ghost-writing dozens of emails on a multitude of incredible topics.  But two things happened recently: 1) You responded to my LinkedIn message within hours. Holy Cow! I didn’t expect a response, let alone that quickly. I don’t even use LinkedIn that often, that was the first time I had logged on in months.  And I only did it because you mentioned it on SC.  Your willingness to respond on LinkedIn inspired me to take the leap into the arena of full email.  Also, I try to smile in the profile pic so that it balances out the uniform, didn’t intend to look intimidating. 2) The bush hoggin’ vs brush hoggin’ debate is just the sort of off the wall, interesting and close to home topic I needed to help move me over the edge.

I grew up in southern Oklahoma, outside a town of about 15k surrounded by several members of my dad’s family living on various tracts of the original family farm.  Everyone had several acres that needed to be routinely BRUSH HOGGED, especially along the sides of the county road along the barb wire fences.  I had literally never heard the term bush hog until recently.  Truth be told, I don’t know which is correct or which came first. But Brush Hog rings true to me because that’s what my dad and uncles called it and I can still remember watching them use the faded John Deere to pull the old metallic silver/gray Brush Hog for hours on end as my cousins and I ran around with near total freedom all over the property.  We also used a round horse trough as a swimming pool (it was dedicated for the kids, not shared with the horses – we weren’t savages) and I, to this day, refer to most sodas simply as “Coke”, so factor that in when you assess whether or not my opinion carries weight on this topic.

I’ll quickly touch on a few other recent topics because now I’m on a roll: for our brother trying to decide whether or not to continue teaching, I actually did the inverse of his career path.  I got my degree in history with a minor in education fully intending to make teaching a career.  I completed my student teaching and a semester as a substitute for several local districts, pretty much working 5 days a week.  It was during this time that my desire to serve in the military fully broke through and I opted to join the Marines instead of continuing into the classroom. I occasional joke that when faced with the rigors of teaching I chose an easier career by becoming a Marine (DO HARD THINGS!).  But in all seriousness, teaching is a grind and I recognized pretty quickly that I might be staring down a career change before I hit 30 if I hadn’t made the change and joined the Marines.  16 years later I don’t regret it at all, I love being a Marine and I’ve gotten to do some amazing stuff in incredible places.  I wish him the best of luck as he makes that tough decision, just keep in mind what you’re passionate about and try to find a way to get paid for it.

Best concert was Hootie and the Blowfish at Billy Bob’s in Ft. Worth circa probably 2005-2006.  Just a group of college friends having a great time at an incredible venue.  I’ll never forget my buddy Gary yelling at the band to play “Only want to be with you” from the side of the stage.  They did not, in fact, heed his drunk advice.  But it was a great show anyway.  Worst concert was Goo Goo Dolls at an amphitheater somewhere in the Metro Plex with my wife (then girlfriend).  It was her choice and I was in love.  It was a weird dynamic between them singing their recognizable hits and then letting the bass player sing completely unknown songs of a completely different style.  They went back and forth like this for the whole show.  It killed the vibe and you could watch thousands of fans sit down as he started and then stand back up and cheer when they played their normal stuff.  Completely bizarre.

I’ve probably gone on too long, but I have to say how much I appreciate what you do Joe and what you created here within this outstanding community.  Best to the family.  Keep up the great work!

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I hope Indy Daryl catches this moment where his mom’s Do Hard Things mantra has made its way to the military world.

*Remember* —- Do Hard Things can mean so many things to different people. I receive emails from people who get triggered that what one person deems to be Do Hard Things isn’t Do Hard Things to them. This is all about the internal battle, not a battle amongst each other. Make Do Hard Things your own personal journey.

Best state for quality of life vs. what you pay in taxes or don’t pay in taxes

• Mark W. in Tennessee who works in the financial world writes:

You can find all sorts of surveys as to which is the best state to live in with regard to taxes and quality of life. And the results are often skewed to reflect how the survey is written. I even saw one that had…chortle…New Jersey…guffaw…as the number one state for quality of life and tax burden! As you might imagine, I am partial to Tennessee (14th fast growing state in the U.S.), but the most objective way to look at it is to see where the people are going and where they are leaving. Here is the data from the Census Bureau:

Here are the 10 states that have seen the greatest population growth rates since 2010:

1. Utah (17.1%)

2 (tied). Idaho (16.3%)

2 (tied). Texas (16.3%)

4. Nevada (16.1%)

5. Arizona (15.8%)

6. Florida (15.3%)

7. Colorado (15.1%)

8. Washington (14.1%)

9. North Dakota (13.4%)

10. South Carolina (12.6%)

Since 2010, the population is the South has grown 10.2% according to the Census Bureau while the Western States (excluding California) grew at 9.2%. So I would think it would be safe to say that these relocation decisions are being made based on quality of life, tax, and other financial considerations and the results speak for themselves.

Keep up the great work, Joe. I really enjoy how you bring together a community of everyday Americans with great questions and content!

• Mike T. in Eagle, Idaho writes:

I’d say Idaho is the perfect spot for taxes / quality of life, but in the past 5 years we’ve been overrun with people moving here for the quality Red state life. We’ve grown way way to fast and definitely don’t need anymore folks!

• Kris K. in Manchester, NH writes:

The CATO Institute annually posts a quality of life ranking of our 50 United States. All kinds of metrics are used.  Link below. 

https://www.freedominthe50states.org/

My home state of New Hampshire typically ranks high.  Not sure how people retire here as there is little to no relief from outrageously high property taxes.  But until one reaches their golden years, I consider this a great place to raise kids, earn bank (no income tax or sales tax) and we are a stones throw from the ocean, mountains, lakes, deep forests as well as Boston & Montreal when you need a big city fix or take in a game. Love the site.  The TNML faithful have turned me into a lawn junkie.  I find myself checking down every lawn in the neighborhood like Tyler Durden & himself sizing up everyone as they get on the bus in Fight Club.  “Is that what real lawn is supposed to look like?”.     

Keep doing hard things.  It inspires me to follow suit.  

• Bob R. in Friendsville, TN has thoughts on this subject:

A couple of notes. Everyone here in TN calls it bush hogging, except my wife, who sometimes gets confused and calls it bushwhacking!

In terms of great states to live, I can wholeheartedly endorse Tennessee. Here is my top ten list:

1. No state income tax. Sales taxes are somewhat high, but fair. It’s the primary source of state revenue.

2. Low property taxes and no personal property taxes.

3. Fantastic climate.

4. Beautiful scenery – especially near the Great Smokies.

5. Really nice people – even to a couple of Yankee interlopers. We call it “Tennessee Nice”.

6. It’s a strong red state even though we have our share of RINOs in state government.

7. We run a budget surplus every year.

8. Lots of lakes and rivers, hiking and biking for recreation.

9. Great BBQ.

10. Well maintained roads, mostly because they rarely salt them. If it snows (infrequently), everyone just stays home.

A little detail on #1. The state sales tax is 7%. Counties can add up to 2.75% on top of that, but the county tax is capped at $1,600 on large purchases like a boat or car. Grocery taxes are lower – some things are tax free and other things like junk food and soda are 6%. It’s a consumption tax, which many would argue is the fairest kind of tax. Don’t want to pay a lot of taxes – don’t buy it.

My wife and I retired here 7.5 years ago, and it’s the best thing we ever did. I will say that the secret is getting out. House prices have jumped enormously in the past 2.5 years. According to Zillow (take it with a large grain of salt), my place has more than doubled in value in those 7.5 years. How much of that is Bidenflation versus actual value is the real question, but it doesn’t matter because we aren’t selling!

Here’s pic of cocktail hour sunset on the river from our deck.

Reid’s pool dilemma update!

• We have action in Reid’s yard. You might remember Reid S. is the reader who agreed to a financial deal that will allow excavators to use his yard as a path to a neighbor’s yard to dig a pool. This yard is about to be wrecked for multiple weeks. Even the dog can’t look at what’s about to happen.

Reid writes:

Joe, It has begun. And check out the sticker , only non-Masters item in the garage

####

TNML has never been so honored in its one-year of existence.

Shout out to Mrs. Do Hard Things

• Indy Daryl sent this report Monday night:

Incredible weather here on the east side of Indy today: 73, partly cloudy, mostly sunny. What a stellar day. And it is all made better by the beautiful spaces Mrs Do Hard Things is able to create around our little house. The deck is littered with amazing potted plants, stunning in color and arrangement. Alongside a tomato plant, lettuce and even ferns! She does such a wonderful job.

Just wanted to give a quick shout out to her and all the ladies of SC for the work they do! I know I wouldn’t be half the man I am without her!

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And with that, we’re ready to attack Tuesday across this incredible country. The sun is shining and we’re going to the low 70s. Last night I put a fresh cut on the turf and it’s shining bright this morning.

Have a great day and keep the emails coming. We’re loaded up for Wednesday Screencaps, but there’s always room to sneak in your latest thoughts on life.

Email: joekinsey@gmail.com

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Written by Joe Kinsey

I'm an Ohio guy, born in Dayton, who roots for Ohio State and can handle you guys destroying the Buckeyes, Urban Meyer and everything associated with Columbus.

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