TNML Commissioner report:
This week, I would like to report that I put a new blade on the Toro and raised the deck to maximum height, which comes in at around 3.65 inches for those of you who keep track of such things. It doesn’t look like I’ll be an official member of the 4″ club, but that’s OK. Would it be great to walk around bragging about having 4″ high turf? Sure it would, but the Toro will only go so high. 3.65 inches doesn’t sound horrible.
At least I’m not a member of the half-inch club like people around town who are out there turning their yards into dust. I’m not talking reel mower yards. I’m talking about people who don’t know how to raise a mower deck.
I know what the skeptics will say the first time they mow at maximum height — “It looks like I need to mow it lower. It just doesn’t look right.” Trust me, the first time you’re going to feel like a moron who didn’t mow low enough. Let the earth do its thing. I’m three weeks into the 3″ or higher club and the results speak for themselves. It’s thick. It’s dark green. The bare spots are filling in. My mowing life is good.
Weather: Suddenly it’s quite dry here. I’m on a Thursday to Thursday mowing schedule and there wasn’t much to cut this week, and we’re about to head into at least seven straight days in the lower 90s with very little rain. It’s time to hunker down, irrigate where needed and let the 3.65-inch blades do their thing.
Landscaping work ahead: It’s time to drop a dead weeping cherry tree. I’ve let it go on too long, and my dad will be here at some point this month. I can’t let him see that poor tree in its current condition.
This week I was fueled by: Kirkland golden margaritas that are like $8 a bottle. You should have at least 6-10 bottles of this stuff in your garage at the ready for pop-up patio parties.
Thursday Night Mowing League reports
Andrew at the Cardinal Hill Farm in Georgia went out of his way for the league and now he has me intrigued by a Wiffle ball golf course. Read this:
— ThursdayNightMowingLeague (@OutKickTNML) August 6, 2021
Gunnar in Tennessee sent me a message his father wanted to pass along. “He’s a HS coach who loves mowing the fields,” Gunnar reports.
This field served its community since the 80s. Hosted its last High School game for the rest of its being in 2020. Had to stripe it up one last time in commemoration. Rest easy, my friend.
Roger C. in Tennessee has ramped up his NASCAR-inspired mowing dispatches. More of Landry the Westie (named after Tom), please. Roger adds that his cat is named Alvin Kamara-C.:
The Jack Daniel’s-RC Cola-Jimmy Dean Sausage-Raid Wasp and Hornet Spray – John Deere X380 got off to a late start, driver had to work late. We missed the setup a little bit because the weather had been cooler all week and Thursday was much warmer. The mower was a little tight and didn’t want to turn in the rough stuff. We made a pit stop and crew chief Landry (pictured) made the call to take out a half-round of wedge and go up two pounds in the right rear. That freed her up and did the trick. The rest of the mow I felt like Dale Earnhardt at Talladega! We managed to finish before dark and I used my Raid Wasp and Hornet killer to neutralize two wasp nests on the front porch.
We do have some exciting sponsor news, next week we’ll have Jethro’s Tire-Brake-Muffler-Discount Beer and Tobacco Outlet doing a one-week sponsor deal so free beer and smokes for the crew.
Ryan S. in NW Ohio is back with his gun mount:
Well it’s finally here, the first week in August in NW Ohio without rain and my yard has realized, it’s summer, time to take a nap.
But that didn’t stop me, even after a long day at work. There were clearly a few blades here and there that needed a trim. I grabbed a weapon for the evening; you never know what you may encounter, mosquitoes, deer flies, maybe even a land mine or two in my back yard. I battled through the early august conditions under fire and got it done because that’s what Thursday’s are all about.
Enjoyed a nice cold Oberon from Bells and called it a night.
Speaking of guns, Dave McC. in Waterloo, Nebraska unleashed a show on the yard last night. Dave’s clearly been throwing around some stones:
My first entry into this awesome club!!! Sponsors are cub cadet, old Milwaukee, and duct tape (check out my boots)!!!!
Kelly S. in Dallas made it into last week’s post and that meant her dad had to buy her a league uniform:
My family was so excited we made the weekly update last Friday. They came through with the prized TNML shirt and hat, so my husband and I are really feeling like part of the league now! As in any serious sports league, you can’t run the same plays every week and hope to keep up with the competition, so we tried a new mowing pattern tonight. We’re looking forward to representing TNML here in Dallas and hope the new attire is the conversation starter the other league members say it is!
— Chris Gerwig (@Wiginator) August 6, 2021
Sean C. in Granger, IN is back with a question:
One of the things I really enjoy about the TNML is that it’s more than just about mowing your yard. It’s the community that’s been created and the stories from the group. I truly feel like I’m getting to know a bunch of people I’ve never met. But I’ll try to keep my story short.
I was concerned that I wasn’t going to get my mow in today. I’ve been planning my parent’s Surprise 50th Wedding Anniversary Party since February. The party is tomorrow, and I’ve found myself busier the last 4 days than I have been the last 6 months. But it’s ok, I work better under pressure. All week I wondered, would I get my Thursday mow in?
I normally push mow my half-acre (divided unequally by a fenced-in backyard), because, quite frankly, I can use the exercise. But if I’m trying to beat the rain or if it’s just one of those weeks where time is of the essence, I’ll get out Ol’ Murray, especially for the larger front yard.
Murray is old, going on 20 years. He’s only been mine for 5+ years. But with a 90’s concert coming through town next Thursday, and day baseball in Chicago the week after (because let’s be honest, not much beats afternoon baseball on a hot August Thursday…..even if it’s not my team), I didn’t want to chance missing 3 weeks in a row. So unless I took PTO time to get an early morning mow in the next couple weeks, I NEEDED to show up today. And Murray helped me get the job done quickly so I can finish my party to-do list.
Because I don’t use the rider as often, I don’t notice the week-to-week nuances. But like with an old car, I think you can tell when a mower is slowing down. I got that sense today. Sputtering, weird noises, extra smoke, harder to turn over, etc. I do the regular oil checkups, filter and spark plug changing, but what’s been everyone’s experience on mower lifespan? I know its better days are behind it, but do I ride it until it dies? Or….do I give it an honorable death and take it out to a big, open, un-mowed field, have it look into the sunset, and pull the trigger? What’s the protocol here?
Commish response: Sean should ride it until it dies and then you should do a proper burial at the back of the property & install a gas can headstone. Or put it out for a scrapper who’ll have that thing running like new and for sale at a garage sale in the spring. Trust me, I know, the guy down the street takes in mowers and all sorts of power equipment that suburbanites throw out.
— Adam Dolezal (@thedatingdude) August 6, 2021
— T.J. Bollmer (@tbollmerj) August 6, 2021
— Scott Stafford (@scottkstafford) August 6, 2021
— Mark Vlcek (@MarkVlcek1) August 5, 2021
— Jeff myhren (@JeffMyhren) August 6, 2021
Daniel McC. checks in for the first time and needs a commissioner ruling:
I am a bi-vocational pastor just 30 minutes north of Pittsburgh. I live in Natrona Heights and my church is just five miles away in Freeport. I work 12-hour shifts on Thursday to Saturday one week and Wednesday to Saturday the next. No making excuses but it is hard to get my mowing in with what it entails (mowing, edging, sweeping up clippings off the driveway, road and fire pit). I love your concept of the Thursday Night Mowing League and want to get a t-shirt but I felt I needed to actually do one Thursday Night mow. Depending on the week I normally mow Tuesday or Wednesday, but today I mowed right after I got off work and got started around 8PM. Just got finished with front and back before it was too dark to get a picture.
I have also talked to one of my church members to join me this week and as you can see, Rich W. has some serious striping going on.
Finally, I got my guys to mow the church, Expressway Baptist Church in Freeport, PA (shameless plug) today.
So wise, fair and all-knowing commissioner as Brian O’Connor asked Dominic Toretto in the first Fast and Furious movie, “I’m I worthy!” to buy a t-shirt and be part of something bigger than ourselves?
I’ll accept your gracious ruling, whatever it is.
Commissioner response: You’re officially worthy of the shirt, Daniel! I have gathered the league founding fathers and it was unanimous. With a schedule like that, we’re lucky to even have you in the league. Now have yourself a relaxing weekend. You earned it.
@OutKickTNML Sod is only a month old. Thin in some spots but it’s coming together. Shout out to the @BriggsStratton self propelled mower and the @DEWALTtough weed eater and blower to polish it off. pic.twitter.com/s7f8vgrapf
— Steve Day (@steveday_7) August 6, 2021
@OutKickTNML @JoeKinseyexp Got it done this afternoon after participating in Car Wash Wednesday yesterday. Want to thank Yard Machine and Remington for great machines to use. I also have my trash out already for tomorrow morning’s pickup. Time to grill burgers! pic.twitter.com/FQy12iQdTu
— Jake Talbert (@JakeTalbert) August 5, 2021
Tim G. in Ohio made sure to get his dog in this week’s report:
Another nice 4” cut. Dandelions are starting to reappear and I need to do something about the buckhorn and clover as we get into fall. But looking good for the first week of August. A special shout-out to my wife Bobbie and @Exmarkmowers, @davidseeds, @MichelobULTRA and @FatJacksPizzaOH for making tonight a wonderful evening :)–
@OutKickTNML we have a long night ahead of us in preps for the main event of the week! Swapping out blades and oil as well as hitting zones one and two which are showing some heat stress. Stay tuned! #TNML pic.twitter.com/8t9LM3dsWq
— Theisanity (@Theis23Aaron) August 5, 2021
Tony C. is back and has a dilemma:
Nice night for a mow in Louisville after getting the toddler down – followed by enjoying a Dead Can Walking – hello and goodbye for the last time to this long-lost friend tonight…along with a painful reminder of the reason the college rule was 30 Stones for 11 bones…
I ask this not quite in a vacuum…see…the mole I previously mentioned who tore up our yard in the spring left some nasty spots in the middle of our lawn, which are now holding way too much water and won’t re-grow grass (second photo attached) – I am conflicted in dealing with this. On the one hand, I want to rent a power trencher and DIY the @#$% out of a French Drain. On the other hand, I don’t want to jack up the yard even worse if I do it wrong, then end up hiring someone for double the cost. I want to know: What Would the TNML Family Do?! WWTNMLFD is a little long, but you get the point. If an overwhelming number think this can be DIY’ed, I’ll probably give it a go. I’m willing to bet others have similar lines of inquiry.
Here's the spot in question: pic.twitter.com/0Qd8mpj4Qe
— ThursdayNightMowingLeague (@OutKickTNML) August 6, 2021
Like usual, Beau in Toledo put in work Thursday. This guy is married to the game:
Beat the Heat(ish) coming this weekend to the 419
Brand new Game Worn #TNML Jersey after a Double Header of layin’ Stripes today with matching #Briggs&Stratton powered #Toro PersonalPace mowers
Round One by the Rec Center, near my Girl’s Alma Mater Maumee H.S., Round Two by my Alma Mater Whitmer H.S.
#PantherNations rep’ing both locales!
BlueCan tinted sweat stains in the shirt are an homage to my Number 1 Sponsor #BudLight !
Indy Daryl has a question about headphones on/no headphones while mowing. That’s the second time this week that question was asked. It might have something to do with the dog days of summer. Guess I need to start a poll for that one.
Honestly, a week off did both me and my grass a solid. I feel renewed and refreshed with a new mowing strategy and my actual grass seems to be the same. Figured a little before and after picture set was in order.
Would love to hear from the whole league regarding this question: what do most people listen to while mowing?? Are you simply loving the sound of your machine do good work? Listening to music?? Podcasts?
I ask because up until recently I was a mower-only kind of guy. But now, with some noise-canceling headphones, I figured it would be good to educate myself on some topic while I mow. So big shoutout to The Art of Manliness podcast for consistently pumping out interesting interviews! Also big week from Oskar Blues brewing and all the Indy Mini Half marathon hats carrying me through.
As always great work, looking forward to seeing everyone’s report this week!
Rob from NC is back from vacation & enjoying some lattes:
Hey Joe..had to miss my cut last week due to being in Oak Island, NC for some relaxing. My neighbor picked me up tho, got back was a little too tight, but can’t complain he was looking out. Back on it this evening and due to NC being dry as hell last few weeks I decided to break out my 2007 Hustler FasTrak. One of my original side hustle mowers..mowed it tight wasn’t worried about any nasties this week…Keep it up Joe…shout out to hustler..SHINDAWA EB802RT ..STIHL fs94r..Busch Lattes.. TNML…BH7/58
Tom H. in Fort Wayne writes:
Thought about skipping mow today and defer to the weekend. Bigfoot wasn’t having any of that.
Zach S. got a mow in before the rains which led to Busch Lights after mowing: