I wasn’t expecting you guys to actually friend me on LinkedIn
The big news in my world Friday was how many of you suddenly wanted to connect on LinkedIn after I wrote about how intimidating that circlejerk social media app can be for me because everyone seems to wear a tie in their profile pics.
After publishing Friday Screencaps, it took maybe 20 minutes before the first friend requests came in. From suits! From military suits!
Tony C. in Louisville wrote me a message saying how he’d fire off a report on why I should be giving more energy to LinkedIn, so I’ll wait on that and go back to my routine of trying to keep you guys entertained day after day.
I’m not even sure how I’m supposed to act on LinkedIn. Do people have any fun or is it stuffy seven-days-a-week? I feel like one ridiculous comment on someone’s post could cost them a job. I feel like human resources pros are watching that app like hawks just waiting for something to fire an employee over.
It’s a weird place.
The other big news of the night had to be when we took the kids out for dinner and I proposed to my wife that we have a secret handshake to celebrate big moments in life like Notre Dame safety Kyle Hamilton and his girlfriend did to celebrate Hamilton being selected in the first round by the Ravens.
Then I had a talk with my wife where I built up the premise of what if we busted out the handshake after perfectly navigating through a weekend tripleheader of baseball-soccer-baseball for our boys. After the final out, my wife and I look at each other look at each other and do our handshake like a catcher and closer after a big series win.
Right there in front of our kids, I had Mrs. Screencaps put out her hand and I went through a faux handshake and she actually belly laughed. The kids laughed. Our nine-year-old thought it was a great idea. The five-year-old looked on in shock.
“What if we had a handshake after we complete an awesome grocery run,” I asked.
More belly laughs from my wife. That’s exactly what we both needed after closing out another week of busting ass at work and life. Just one genuine laugh is all I’m asking for. Mission accomplished.
• Britt T. writes:
Marty M’s email brought back some good memories of my dad.
My dad wasn’t around much when I was in Junior High/High School due to owning a construction business and always being on the road, but I always had everything I needed. After high school, I enrolled in local community college and worked for my dad part time.
During the summer I would work for him full time. I was 18 years old the first summer I worked for him, we had a huge construction job that had at least 40 guys who didn’t speak English, only Spanish. The first day of the job my dad told me “you’re their supervisor and you’re learning Spanish”. I took Spanish in high school, but these guys spoke a different kind of Spanish. The job went great, I ended up being fluent in Spanish and I actually helped some of them get American citizenships. We would go to my dad’s hotel room after work and review the citizenship questions.
I would read them the questions in Spanish and they would respond in English and my dad loved every minute of it. I then enrolled in a larger college to get an Engineering degree, the first semester didn’t go very well (partying), so I dropped out and went back to work for my dad. That first morning back to work he told me “you’re not going to like this” and I have never been worked so hard in my life; he was relentless. Needless to say, I went back to college and got that engineering degree.
During the time I worked for him, he always told me “do what you think is right and if its not right, fix it”
My dad passed away about 2 years ago and his last 2 years on this planet were hard on him. The day he was taken to the hospital he knew that was it. I went to the hospital to see him, he asked questions about my kids, work, etc then all of the sudden he was gone. It was like he was waiting to see me one more time and it was an honor to see him one last time.
He is definitely missed. Be sure to say thanks to Marty for bringing this up, not a day goes by that I don’t think about my dad and what he did for me.
Joe, keep doing what you’re doing. I look forward to Screencaps every day.
On never forgetting grandpa’s HAM radio call sign
• Joe M. writes:
I wrote to you earlier about my submariner grandfather (Anthony Menard Marsh), and why I trusted diesel sub personnel on anything mechanical (AOSS-362 Guavina? and SS-340 Entemedor). He was a HAM radio guy that built a three story steel radio tower in the backyard 20 miles outside of Kokomo, Indiana. Living in Greentown, 10 miles outside of Kokomo is too close to other peeps. Gotta keep moving to where there is nothing but soybean and corn fields around you. No more than five neighbors within a mile and a half radius, and that’s they way he liked it. It took two days to mow his lawn, one day for the front, one day for the back. Straight TNML OG, with lawn darts in the garage and all.
I scanned Tony’s obituary from 2011, which was normal for a small town paper, but it listed his HAM call letters, which were wrong. So my grandfather is dead, and my grand mother sends me the clipping, but she made SURE to point out that someone didn’t get his callsign right. His callsign is W9GWU (W9 George Washington’s Uncle!) The high school kid that had written the obit wrote it as WSSWU. My grandfather is dead, but my Grandma makes sure to say, FU, his handle was W9GWU not WSSWU. Is that kind of irrelevant sharpshooting the reason he didn’t want to wake back up that fateful day? Possibly. Mess around with the man she didn’t seem to like so much, and she’ll make sure you feel pretty small about it.
Did she write she loved him? Did she write she wishes he was still around? Nah. Callsign check, over and out. Always buying American tools when possible.
Read before you make that battery powered lawn equipment decision later today at a box store
• Tony DeB. wrote this over a week ago. I apologize for losing it in the shuffle because it has some important information for decisions many of you might be making later today at the box stores. Tony writes:
Sorry, I’m late to the party with your request last week for feedback and experience with battery powered lawn equipment, but I still wanted to try and throw my two cents in (really more like three cents now under our favorite president).
Below is a pic of the equipment that I’m working with. I got the Snapper XD 82V mower a few years ago. It is powered by Briggs & Stratton technology and pretty much does everything you’d expect from your typical mower. I really like it for a number of reasons (hopefully I’m not repeating too much of other readers’ comments here) and don’t think I’ll ever go back to gas for anything.
- No more dealing with gas and oil to fill the thing or having gas leak out when flipping it over to clean it
- Easy push button start, so no cord to hope and pray that it works (also ideal as you age, i.e. for my dad and his two replaced shoulders)
- Much quieter to run, so I don’t have to mess with ear protection or annoying neighbors with a loud gas motor if I’m using it earlier in the morning or later in the evening, and no fear of waking up napping kids
- No need to haul the damn thing into the shop each year and fork over ~$80 or whatever it is now for a gas engine tuneup; I just remove the blade each spring and gladly pay $10 for the local shop to sharpen it on the spot
- The thing still weighs 90 pounds, which is heavy but allows it to perform like a normal mower
- It comes with two batteries that have a 30 minute rapid charge, so you’re never out of power, and they’re compatible with other Snapper lawn tools
- I wish its plastic wheels were rubber, but even that’s usually tough to come by outside of higher end mowers
Now, I live in the city rather than the seemingly majority of Screencaps readers out in the suburbs or the middle of nowhere and am dealing with 0.2 acres per the Hamilton County Auditor’s website rather than 2 acres, but I give the switch to battery two thumbs up. It cuts well and still feels more than powerful enough to satisfy my testosterone and lawn adrenaline needs.
The reason I went for the 82V was that I was more concerned about having a powerful enough blower (not just for grass clippings – regularly clean off the trampoline for the kids, blow the deck from the mess they make eating, etc.). Separately, I have a handful of 20V Black and Decker batteries for use across a number of tools (drill, hedge trimmer, pole saw, vacuums, flashlight, circular saw, reciprocating saw, etc.) that are mostly sufficient for my unsophisticated homeowner needs, but the blower just wasn’t cutting it.
It’s basically like using a kid’s toy and is almost pointless to use (I kept it and have designated it as the kids’ blower for them to use and help in the yard, which they love, haha). I have been very pleased with the Snapper XD 82V blower and glad I went this route. I feel like I’m not missing any dropoff in performance compared to the Stihl gas blower I used when cutting lawns in my neighborhood back in grade school and high school.
The trimmer is a different story though and is something I cannot recommend. It is shockingly heavy, forces you to hit some second trigger the entire time it’s in use (probably some safety bullshit, but it wears out my forearm to the point I can barely lift the damn thing by the time I’m done) and it runs out of string way too quickly. I haven’t touched the thing after the first year I got it, but it does also function as a bare tool that is compatible with other attachments if I want to get them in the future (i.e. saw, tiller, etc.).
Ironically, I have been much happier with the ease of use and performance of my simple 20V Black and Decker trimmer. That thing can somehow go a full year without the auto-release spool running out of string.
To end though, I wanted to bring up two seemingly innocent and simple but yet potentially controversial topics for additional discussion.
- It seems like the majority of readers are fans of using old gym shoes to mow the lawn. Hell, I didn’t even realize until I got the sticker in the mail (thanks, by the way) that they’re part of the official TNML logo. I get the appeal of efficiently repurposing your old New Balance (the only brand of gym shoes that this dad will buy), but I cannot do it for yard work. Dealing with the inevitable damp terrain, mud, etc., things eventually get wet enough that I’m sloshing around in soggy socks, which I can’t stand; I much prefer to use waterproof boots when messing in the yard, even for simple mowing and trimming. Am I the only one that feels this way?
- I enjoy the pleasure of a solid mow, but for me, the real satisfaction comes from a fine trim. If I recall, it seemed the consensus was to trim before cutting. To each their own, but I do not follow on this. When edging last, you make sure you get any grass that you or the mower may have missed, especially along the borders, plus I’m not matting down my perfect edge job. For me, it’s all about seeing those fine edges, and that little slice of heaven for me is felt when I finish the job with trimming and then blowing. Any of your other readers out here with me on this one too?
Finally, achieving those beautiful ballpark lines – likely discussed previously already, but do I need something called a stripe kit? Do I just go with the highly rated Toro one that pops up first on Amazon for ~$125? Who has feedback using this or another solution?
Keep up the good work and this great daily read and community.
Who can help the Screencaps community on stripe kits? Is there anything specific to look for, or as Tony asks, just go with the highly rated Toro version?
• Mark in N. KY writes:
Once again you’ve knocked it out of the park with topics! These will be a great read over time. My big “life advice/experience” occurred as a know it all 20 year old in college. I worked part-time at an independent pharmacy while going to NKU full-time.
As part of my role I made prescription deliveries to customers who couldn’t make it to the pharmacy. I made multiple visits over a 4 year period to an elderly couple that were blind. Every visit went like this: 1. After hearing my voice they would let me inside. 2. There they would talk with me and ask me how I as doing. They had a great memory of what I told them about myself. 3. Then they would hand me a blank check with their scribbled signature somewhere near the line and have me fill in the amount of their prescriptions.
And finally and most importantly they would hand me their bowl of candy, make sure I took “several” pieces and told me every time without fail…..HAVE FUN! HAVE FUN! Imagine that…here was a disabled couple telling me, a young college kid, to HAVE FUN! HAVE FUN!
That has always stuck with me. Never take yourself too seriously. Someone you know is having a much tougher day than you. You need to be appreciative of what God has given us, go out and enjoy life and most importantly give back to others, especially the disabled and unfortunate!
What seemed like a simple message 40 years ago has been one of the most powerful pieces of advice in my life! Unfortunately, I don’t remember the couples name but I’m forever grateful to them.
Keep the ‘Advice’ emails coming. I am serious about a Screencaps Summer Reading series. Just make sure to title your emails ‘Advice’ so I can manage all of them.
65″ TVs might be my new vice
There is a recurring discussion on my text group where one of us will suddenly just own a new TV out of the blue and it tends to be in the 65″ range. Did Diesel need a new 65″ deck TV? Life would’ve went on without it, but he pulled the trigger and added in a mini Bose soundbar that Costco is selling and now this guy is set to sprawl out on the deck.
Then I ended up at Costco this week and the gravitational pull was so strong towards the 65s. That 65 would look amazing on the patio. Do I need a 65 for the garage? Is it time for a new 65 in the family room?
Anyone else do the TV shuffle in your heads? I’ll sit there thinking about how the family room TV could shift to becoming the patio TV. The patio TV would be great in the garage…to create a two-TV garage setup(!)…and the new beautiful 65″ at Costco would have a brand new home.
I never expected to be at a point in world history where people bought 65s like they’re new shoes, but here we are.
On Katherine McPhee being in game shape
• Ernie S. writes:
First, let me say how much I enjoy Outkick as a whole, but also love Screencaps. This is a “must go-to” for me in the morning, and not just for the pictures.
I remember around Christmastime you posted some Instagram pics from David Foster and Katherine McPhee, and making reference to her “…being in game shape” in the headline.
Boy, is she ever…
I was in Vegas last week (on a working vacation), and got the chance to see David’s HITMAN show on Friday, which of course, featured his wife, amongst other incredible singers and a band that rivals any out there. I have been a musician (bass, drums, guitar, percussion) for the last 50 years, and I was blown away at their show. And, I must concur with your “game shape” conclusion, based on the photos here:
It sounds like David is taking all the attention for his wife in stride. At the end of her first set of songs, as she was walking off the stage, he looks out from the crowd from the piano, and says (I’m sure with major tongue-in-cheek), “… I know the question you have running through your brains right now…How did he do it???”
And with that, let’s get Saturday rolling. I’m not going to lie, it went through my head to go easy and not give 100% with today’s Screencaps. And then I thought real hard about how Saturday Screencaps will soon end as my summers crank up and I’m not in front of the computer on Friday nights.
We’ve had an absolutely incredible run this month and it all ends today. I couldn’t stand to let up at the end. The Screencaps community heads into May, which is typically when the summer dead period starts and people start ignoring websites, with this beast fully tuned up and ready to break even more traffic records.
Keep sharing the column. Send it to your friends. Show them the way.
Now get out there and dominate the weekend. I’m off to baseball.