I’m coming to Birmingham, AL
If you’re in the Birmingham, AL area, go ahead and mark your calendars for Saturday, July 23. A Screencaps reader is hiring me to give a speech/presentation to his team and Saturday we’re going to put together a Screencaps gathering at a yet to be determined location. More on that later.
But save the date. It’s 100% happening.
That’s right, a yankee is flying down south to give a speech on my journey in this world and how I got to this point in life where we have tens of thousands of loyal readers who can’t get enough of the Best Damn Daily Column in the United States *as named by Screencaps readers.
Saturday night in Birmingham we’ll have some beers in a very relaxed setting. Low stress, lots of laughs, a few handshakes and we’ll have fun. No cost. No autographs. We will name a place and if you show up great, if not no big deal.
Trust me, don’t go working your ass off on your hair for this event — if you have any. In fact, wear your TNML shirt and the first beer is on me.
When to start the kids on their own mowing journey
• You guys had great responses for Danny in Minnesota:
Just got the boy (11 next month) going with the push mower. He’ll do the small/hard to get parts of the yard while I tackle the large areas with the Rider. I’ve had him running the blower for clean up for at least 2 years now. Get ‘em going!— Douglas Mallette (@dmallette) May 18, 2022
• Rann R. in Jeffersonville, IN writes:
I was about 10 or 11 before I was strong enough to begin mowing. Below was my first mower. Showing my age.
• Guy G. in western New York writes:
My parents had about 2 acres of mowing to do as I was growing up. My brother and I started mowing it at 10/8 years old. A couple 20” push mowers. We thought it was tough work, and as we aged, it just became a chore that got in the way of basketball, baseball and throwing the football.
Now, my oldest is 14. (watch for a new newborn pic any day) When he was 11, he started asking if he could mow. I’ve got a 38hp Deere, with a big mower deck. It would make his job much too easy. Plus, that’s my job! I love being able to get out on the tractor to keep the place tight. Mowing 20+ acres is what I live for in the sun.
So, while it’s not a punishment, he does get the more difficult work. He started at 11, with the string trimmer, cleaning up the house and garage. We’ve bought a more powerful one now, and he keeps the orchard sharp, as well as the flower and vegetable gardens. We also added a 20” push mower…you know, for the places that are a bit tight for me. A buddy down the street has seen his work, and pays him damn good money to mow his, as well as use the trimmer through his miles of fenced pasture.
• Jeff D. in Virginia writes:
I saw the post about “what age should your kid mow the lawn.”
My dad grew up on a farm and according to him they had to do all sorts of grown-up chores when they were young. So, when I was 5 my dad used to let me help him mow by pushing the lower crossbar. Eventually, I graduated to running a few stripes. Well, one day I was pushing the mower while my dad supervised. A neighbor came by and they started chatting. While they were chatting I got the mower stuck on a root. Instead of asking for help, I decided I would try to lift it over the root ( I thought the lawnmower operated like a vacuum.)
Of course, we had an old mower without a cut-off switch, and I ended up cutting the tips of my fingers off just below the nail. As blood spurted out of my middle and pointer fingers my aunt applied pressure while we waited for the ambulance and my dad picked up the missing tips and put them on ice. The doctors were able to reattach most of the tips. I didn’t mow the lawn the rest of that year or the next. But, when I was 7 the lawn duties fell to me.
Now as a dad myself I enjoy mowing the lawn and the exercise and satisfaction it provides. However, I do have my kids pinch-hit at times but I started them at 9 while supervised with a thorough safety briefing and job risk assessment. I supervised them the first year or so, but now at 11 and 14 my son and daughter are capable of doing it on their own. I also make sure that they wear safety glasses and hearing protection.
If you need a TNML safety consultant I’d be happy to volunteer.
Keep up the good work! I look forward to the screencaps every day.
Damn, that escalated quickly, Jeff. Let’s make sure the kids are supervised and NOT lifting up the mower. No more chopped off fingertips!
• Now this is an awesome email from Keith M. in SE PA:
Joe – Long time reader and I’ve had thoughts on many of your SC topics and finally decided to check in from SE PA. We moved out of our townhouse (where all of our landscaping, lawn care and snow removal had been done by the HOA for 14 years) and into a single-family home a year and a half ago right before my daughter turned 11. She immediately began cutting our grass using a 28-year-old Cub Cadet, that a friend had given us, with me taking care of the trimming. Then last year, she started cutting one of the neighbor’s lawn also.
Smash cut to this year, and with a new Toro zero-turn in the garage, she picked up two other neighbors. So now she is cutting 4 lawns a week (I’m still on trimming/edging duty until she gets a little taller to use the trimmer) and loving it. She set up a spreadsheet to keep track of her earnings and to know how much she is going to save, what she is giving to charity and what she has left over to spend on the stuff she wants. She takes a lot of pride when she asks for something and then hands over the money to pay for it herself.
We don’t always get in a league mow, what with the rain we’ve been getting this spring, softball practice/games, scouts and the axe throwing league she is in (just got second place in her league championship getting squeezed out by a boy a few years older than her) but she’s really taking pride in making sure the lawns look nice and is getting much better at keeping the stripes straight.
Attached is a picture of her cleaning out the bottom of the mower from a few weeks ago after a rare league mow.
And as for those 6 yards of mulch in the background – yep, she hooked up the trailer to the mower and helped sling it, as well.
She’s also been helping to cut up a tree that fell in a neighbor’s yard using an electric chain saw (with supervision, obviously – don’t want any of those pansy parents calling youth protective services on us) and splitting it to use in our woodstove this winter.
Teaching her now to do hard things that will benefit us down the road. And that’s my long-winded answer to when can the kids start mowing the lawn – 10 years and 11 months seems about right to me!
Thanks for all you do for this great SC community. Love hearing about the communities adventures!
I don’t care if that email was about a boy or girl running a mowing business, this is awesome. I want kids building businesses. I want kids learning from trial and error. Just getting after it is inspirational. It happens that in this case it’s Keith’s daughter and fast-tracking herself to an incredible life in the business world.
What an awesome job by daughter and dad.
Now I need updates from Keith and his daughter on how the business is going and how she’s expanding it. I’m sure even the grizzled vets of the business world around here would love to hear what Keith’s daughter has planned and how she’s executing the plan.
A TNML sticker would look good on the side of that Toro.
Indy Daryl needs a weather ruling
• Daryl writes:
- I never imagined “Do Hard Things” would take on the life that it has in screen caps. It is such an honor for a guy like Richard who serves our great country everyday to call that out in his email. Thank you sir for all that you do!
- I need a ruling: how early is too early to declare a rainout for league night? Given that it rained last night, most of morning, and was doing this in the late afternoon, and the weather not getting hot enough tomorrow to dry anything out, I am fairly certain it will be way too soggy to mow tomorrow. Is it too early to call it??
Daryl will definitely need to see how quickly the sun comes out today because it’s about to get real soupy in this part of the country. He’s looking at a wet upcoming weekend which means Daryl is in a tough spot. There’s no need to ruin the turf this time of year with a cloudy and 89-degree Friday on the schedule.
If it’s too wet, it’s too wet. It’s going to cost Daryl his Friday night, but that’s just how it goes sometimes.
I was just thinking Beau in Toledo hasn’t sent a message in a long time
• And then there it was this morning. Beau fired off an email that arrived at 1:32 a.m.
Sitting here on a wet and chilly(no beans in the one) Wednesday night into LeagueDay Morning suffering from a case of insomnia brought on by a mid afternoon nap as well as Mecum Auto Auctions on @MotorTrendTV from Indy Daryl’s neighborhood (still thinking Joe needs to pull the trigger on a muscle car). I thought I’d inquire as to how many SC Readers and #TNML Members are doing gardens this year. It’d be great to see and read about the many different variations of gardens that Everyone is doing!
The last several days have been busy here, as I myself am planting another herb container garden(built the A-Frame rack during the 2020 PLANdemic shutdown) , as well as a modified and upcycled raised garden, prepped the rain barrels(6 total, 55 g each) before the rains fell this past week, and newly constructed compost pallet-bins. (The bagged grass clippings from League Night will be composted as well as used as a weed barrier between the rows of Grows, then get churned in in Fall)
Not doing my usual Salsa Pit garden, as I still have a few cases of jarred salsa from the last few seasons, so I thought I’d try cabbage again for the sauerkraut crock i got for Christmas, more green beans, candy onions, poblanos(great flavor when put on the smoker), ‘cukes, and more ‘maters… Ran out of room in the garden, so several plants will get set in containers this year.
My guilty pleasure had me at Black Diamond today getting their LAST Carolina Reaper plant… I just can’t not, despite 3 one-gallon #Ziplock bags of dehydrated colon cleanses already in stock.(Yes, I put some in my Chili… it has beans in it)
My dehydrator is going to get a brother and another workout this year.
Also… ‘Merch… how many #TNML stickers could I get if I trade You a pair of badges like my Brother Andrew gave me for my truck? #Let’sGoBrandon
Speaking of “merch… #TNML Calendar for 2023… You’ve written of a few of the Woke Illustrated Issue Covers… if we’re going “body positive”, I say @OutKickTNML Members, any and all #DadBods and #MomBods, should pose with their Lawn Rigs and Fresh Stripes wearing nothing but their choice of #YardBeer , @NewBalance and a smile.I will brave a hot vinyl seat cover to pose on the FrankenMower.(SorryNotSorry for ruining Your breakfast!)
I’m willing to bet there’s enough League Brothers and Sisters with enough ballz to fill 12 months!
#Trump gave us #MAGA
@JoeKinseyexp gave us #MINA
The only problem when Beau doesn’t write for a couple of weeks is that he forces me to bust out my trusty numbered list to answer all his questions.
- No to the muscle car. From the sound of things, I might have to find a small truck to pull a trailer for the kids to start their own mowing team.
- The lib libs think they’re the only ones out there living off the land. Look at Beau’s herb garden and rain barrel preparation. The lib libs should be Team Beau in Toledo, but they just can’t see past the politics. This guy’s even out here saving the bees and they still hate his politics. SMH.
- He is going to piss off the Texas chili contingent.
- I don’t have many stickers left….but….I am always just a phone call away from a new secret shipment. I need to figure out if the marketing team is even selling the stickers. Seriously, I have about 30 things going on over a single work shift. Jess in Alabama’s probably right, it might be time to think about an assistant. No interns! God no.
- It’s funny Beau asked about a calendar. The OutKick gambling director actually made the same suggestion just the other day. Do people still buy calendars? I guess it would be an awesome gift for the dads who are impossible to shop for. Let me look into that one a little more.
- Thank you for the #MINA shoutout. Beau is one of the legends around here and it’s a huge honor when he proclaims I’ve “Made (the) Internet Normal Again.”
Umpire Brent P. needs to make a ruling here
• Brent P. in Carmel, IN writes in re: Joey G’s email on Wednesday:
Is it possible Joey G grabbed the wrong video clip. That ball is clearly foul? Your inbox is going to light up on that call.
That’s the video I received. I like to present the emails and not get too involved, but I definitely watched it several times to see where the catcher grabbed the ball. I’m so damn busy that I didn’t want to get too deep into this one. That’s why the emailing community acts as the police on most of this stuff.
• Daniel in Fairbanks, AK writes:
I’ve attached a handy diagram in defense of Joey G’s kid, who was improperly called out.
Glacier National Park
• Mike T. in Eagle, Idaho writes:
I see you use Glacier National Park a lot in SC, we went there a few years ago. It’s staggeringly beautiful! These pictures are from the famous “ Over the Sun” drive.
Make sure you have that on the list
That should do it. The sun just came out for the first time in 36 hours and it’s time to dry out the playing surface. Soccer is on the schedule, but that’s not going to stop me from getting in that critical league cut done.
Let’s go take care of business across this incredible country.