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Well, that was an interesting Saturday night

All we tried to do was have a quiet night. I went to the neighbor’s house to have a patio marg and my wife tried to watch the newest Spiderman movie at home while the kids ran around with their friends.

And then my phone went off.

The carbon monoxide alarm is going off.

And that started an hour-long visit from the fire department. I won’t bore you guys with the details, but I fired up the pool heater Saturday afternoon and for some reason that the 20-year fire department veteran who came over couldn’t determine, the pool heater was the culprit. His hand-held carbon monoxide detector was beeping like crazy when he held it over the exhaust.

His theory is that the wind carried the carbon monoxide up into the house soffits and then the CO filtered into the house. And the levels were high — 45 ppm vs. the 35 that triggers the alarm — but the hallway detector did its job and we were all safe once the house was aired out and the pool heater was turned off.

I’ll be honest, we didn’t have carbon monoxide detectors until January. Fire detector awareness is pumped into your head so much while carbon monoxide detectors are just something so many of us aren’t up to speed on.

However, as we know from news reports on natural gas heaters and hotels, this stuff is no joke and it could’ve been some real bad news, as was confirmed by our local fire department guys.

Thankfully, the fire department had the solution and a zero-carbon monoxide reading on their device before they left.

Lesson learned. Now it’s time to get a new pool heater.

Fix your Twitter feed

• David C. writes:

I’m not on twitter but I saw this, thought you should see it in case you didn’t.


Now, while I understand what Elon Musk is saying about the manipulation, I NEED the algorithm to attempt to manipulate me because it’s good for my job.

The algorithm knows that I like when people are punching each other at baseball stadiums, so it will suggest those videos “based on” my “likes.” The algorithm knows to pump food photos into my timeline and I want to see Pure Michigan photos.

This is imperative for my Screencaps research.

After doing this for nearly 13 years, I like to think that my brain isn’t capable of being manipulated by an algorithm. Yes, the political stuff will creep in and I have to use my own special algorithm brain powers to just scroll on through and remember that Twitter isn’t real life and I’m on there to build my content barrage.

I’ll switch between home and “Latest tweets” several times each day.

This algorithm has nothing on my abilities to ignore its supposed powers.

Which state has the best quality of life vs. taxes paid or not paid?

I’m still waiting for you guys to tell me which state has the perfect combination of taxes and quality of life. All I’m hearing is that Florida is now too packed. I received a report that property taxes are driving people crazy in Houston. Is Nevada the greatest state even though barrels filled with dead people are being exposed at Lake Mead? Michigan people love to brag about how low their taxes are and then their roads look like they’ve been bombed by Ukrainian drones.

Someone fill me in on the Shangri-La of Life vs. taxes paid. Does it even exist?


TNML from the air

• Joe P. writes:

I have been Thursday night mowing for 18 years. Sets up the weekend for a nice awn and no work! her is a video my son made with his drone. 4.5 acres mowed in 1 Hr 50 Min


Joe P. added on another email that he gets it done on Thursdays so “it is done and nice for a weekend of relaxation.”

I mean, I couldn’t have said it any better.

By the way, I feel like people who own yards like Joe’s must have at least one sporting dog that loves to run from one end of the property to the other chasing birds and rabbits. I’m thinking an Irish Setter would love this property.

Speaking of powers, Bill L. shows off his smoker powers

• Bill L. writes:

Mowing on Thursday has its advantages. Smoked these spare ribs today. Washing them down with a double rye ipa. Now I’m doing a brisket for the neighbors. Cheers! Hope you’re boys had a good weekend at the ballpark.

Is it bush or brush hoggin’?

• Mike S. in Ashland, MO writes:

Dear TNML:  Not all beautiful stripes are straight!  Been mowing about 4 acres with my 1949-1950 Ford 8N and a 5 foot bush hog for 30 years now.  It takes about 3-4 hours so I can’t commit to exclusive Thursday nights, although I did start the process last Thursday this week.

I’m on my second bush hog.  Not sure what brand it is as I bought it used 5 years ago from a local family after the patriarch passed away.  It’s old, but it’s a dandy.

But here’s the important point:  I need Screencaps readers’ help to settle a dispute. Where I grew up we called it bush hoggin’, no matter what brand rotary cutter you used.  My friends now insist that the act of mowing with a rotary mower and tractor is brush hoggin’, and bush hog is to be exclusively used as the brand.  I clearly know there is a brand called Bush Hog, but I always enjoy using the term bush hog as a verb, having them correct me, and creating an argument that lasts a minimum of 5-10 minutes, with neither side admitting defeat.

What say the Screencaps readers/TNML members?  There is no more knowledgeable, experienced group of definitive mowing experts on this planet than this group.  I will defer to their decision (maybe).

Also, to sweeten the discussion pot, I will take input on the age of my Ford 8N.  Based on what I have found on the World Wide Web, my 8N serial number 232678 was made in 1949, possibly 1950.  Is that correct? 


Now, this is an interesting topic on a Monday morning. I always heard bush hoggin’ from my family members, but we also use “pop” instead of “soda” so this might be one of those types of battles that I didn’t know about.

Let’s just hope this doesn’t turn into a war like the Great Chili War of 2021.


Travel ball

• Duncan N. writes:

Hope your kids keep working hard at baseball. My son and his teammates had 3 runner ups this season, but finally got over the hump today and brought home the title! It’s great to see your child work so hard and get rewarded. He pitched the last 2 innings of the championship game, and had two triples in the semifinals. We celebrated at our Mexican place next to our neighborhood. Keep up the great work!

Multiple subjects and Garage Beers

• Ron Y. in Kentucky writes:

I’ve been an avid SC reader for quite a while now.  The stories, sharing of wisdom, girls, food, and travel are all an important part of my day.

Having coached high school and youth baseball for several years, the advice from others about the importance of a structured and organized practice is spot on.  Have a schedule and run it like clockwork.  Rotating stations for drills keeps things moving, and anything that involves good-natured competition can add a fun element to a practice.

To those teachers who might be frustrated with the environment at their schools, it could be that teaching at the community college level is a good fit.  The focus is on teaching your subject, and the adult learners you work with are typically quite motivated.  Others have made excellent suggestions for these folks, and I wanted to add this to the list.

I thought we’d be downsizing when we soon become empty-nesters, but my wife has a different plan in mind.  I figured my gas-powered mower was definitely a better option than the battery-powered versions.  Thanks to the contributions of the SC community, I’m finding myself way more open-minded about these things (and others) nowadays.

One quick shout out for the best concert I’ve experienced… May 2, 2009.  We left the kids with their grandparents and started the day at Churchill Downs in the infield for the Derby.  That night, we saw Cracker at the Phoenix Hill Tavern in Louisville.  Great band, great show, and the perfect capper to a really great day.  Cracker still tours, we’re seeing them in June.  Can’t wait.

Finally, my son has returned home after completing his freshman year of college, and we’ve turned the work of mowing, trimming, and edging into a joint effort.  Sharing the work is good, but the best part are the rewards of a Garage Beer for me (see attached) and a Dr. Pepper for him after, while we sit and talk, enjoying the results of a job well done.

Keep up the fantastic work on the page, and thanks very much.


And that should do it. We’re off and running on a bright sunny day here in Ohio. We got a quick shower overnight to water the flowers and now it’s going to be 75 and sunny. You cannot ask for a better way to get Monday rolling than this weather.

Let’s get after it across the United States as we move closer to that holiday weekend. Let’s finish strong for your final full week of work in May. Summer is so close, but we can’t let our foot off the gas just yet.

Have a great day.


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Written by Joe Kinsey

Joe Kinsey is the Senior Director of Content of OutKick and the editor of the Morning Screencaps column that examines a variety of stories taking place in real America.

Kinsey is also the founder of OutKick’s Thursday Night Mowing League, America’s largest virtual mowing league.

Kinsey graduated from University of Toledo.

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