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Thursday Night Mowing League: Now We’re Crankin’

TNML Commissioner’s Report:

Like many of you, my mowing schedule has been all over the place due to weather delays. My week consisted of a Sunday night mow on the front yard, a Monday night mow on the back and then a full Thursday night mow as I was finally able to get my Briggs-powered Toro back on schedule just in time for the upper-80s temps that have fueled record-turf growth for this time of year in Ohio.

My big issue right now is how to fit the mowing responsibility into the baseball/soccer schedule. Luckily, mowing is now part of my writing job like a beer writer has to drink beer to do his job.

So there I was at 3:55 on a Thursday with the hammer down to finish before soccer practice.

I know what you’re thinking: the product suffers due to being in a hurry. That wasn’t the case last night. The trimming game went well and I wasn’t behind on dog bombs, so that made it a much smoother operation. Also, there were no unexpected pit stops.

BOOM…the yard is done and we’re hitting 88 and beautiful on a Friday. The yard is finished. I can go to a baseball game tonight and know that I’m coming home to a finished yard and that means I’m hanging on the patio.

In case you’re new, that’s why we mow on Thursdays. The weekend is free and clear.

You guys have the hang of the content game

The first thing that stands out in a big way this week is the level of content you guys are crankin’ out for the league. The goal a year ago was to have some fun, meet some people online, wear shirts, talk mowing.

Now with the backing of the Fox News Corp., which owns OutKick, the mowing league has more support and opportunities to take advantage of. I’ve said over the last 3-4 months that I want to see you guys star in mowing reports whether that’s on Fox Weather or even maybe a weekly spot on Fox & Friends.

Why not us?

TNML is the slice of America that people are desperate to see.

You’re damn right there are some players in this league, BK. The people of this incredible country are happy, creative, hard-working individuals who deserve to be recognized and that’s what we’re going to do.

I’m sure you’re like me and are tired of people getting birthday shoutouts on the news. It’s time for guys like Adam W. in Sidney, NE to get a shoutout after crankin’ out a mow on a Thursday night to get his weekend started properly.

Hammer down, folks. They’re starting to take notice. TNML is about to become a runaway freight train across this country.

‘No mow May’

Listen, do you have a lack of bees in your yard? I have bees everywhere. My wife just planted 500 plants that bees are crushing. I have bees nesting. I have bugs flying around at a record pace. I have bees everywhere and I’m mowing just like normal. This whole No Mow May where suburban Save the World parents are encouraging kids to go in front of city councils to push this No Mow May stuff is ridiculous.

This is just the latest nonsense these Save the World types came up with so they can throw it on their social media pages and talk about it at their little Save the World parties.

OMG Adriana, thank you for what you’re doing for the bees. It’s inspirational.

Thanks Jen, it’s really been a labor of love, [LOL]. I transitioned from saving Ukraine via my Facebook page to saving the bees. I was worried there would be logistical problems with updating my Facebook profile photo, but things have really gone smoothly.

Hey Adriana, come on over to my place and take all the bees you want.

New products….BUY! BUY! BUY!

TNML Reports:

I want to start off the week with this email from Jim L. in Indy on finding that moment in life where it all clicks and taking pride in property kicks in. There have been so many messages over the last year about people finding that moment and it never gets old to read these. If this doesn’t calm you on a Friday afternoon, I don’t know what will.

Jim L. writes:

I’ve been reading SC for quite a while now and it’s become my go to happy place.  Thought I’d finally contribute something.  My wife, Laura L in Indy, has already contributed a couple of times.

I’m 67 and have been retired for about 5 years, not counting a part-time gig I worked for a couple of those years.  So for me, every day is Thursday!  But the TNML has definitely had an influence on my choice of mowing days, and mowing height.  The 4” cut is the bomb! 

It’s May in Indy and the weekends are reserved for events at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.  We’re big IndyCar and Indy 500 fans, as you can see from the picture.   This Saturday, it’s the GMR Grand Prix on the road course.  Next weekend we’ll be there for Indy 500 quals, and then the big race on May 29.  The Indy 500 is the best day of the year!  Can’t wait!

I’ve mowed about four times this season, so service on the lawn tractor was overdue.  Yesterday I changed the oil and tuned up the Deere D110.  This morning it was blade sharpening and then I got busy mowing.    

I’m biased, of course, but I believe that I have the best-looking yard in the neighborhood (No dandelions in my yard!).  It wasn’t always so.  For many years, I despised the yard work.  I treated it as just another thing that I had to do, and it showed.  But I had an epiphany one day 22 years ago when I was mowing.  I was pushing my Toro 21” self-propelled, my only mower at the time (still have it and it still runs great), on a hot September afternoon.  A Saturday, no doubt!  At the time, I was a project manager and my project was at a particularly stressful stage.  Our two sons were very busy high schoolers, and I was also pursuing an MBA.  So, lots going on in my life at that point and I was feeling it. 

As I mowed that day, I gradually felt a sense of peace and contentment come over me, which was weird!  I suddenly realized that mowing the yard was the reason!  I actually stopped the mower and thought to myself, “Man, this is really nice!”.  It was the antithesis of my professional life.  After that day, yard work became a pleasure and a source of pride, as it continues to be.  If you decide to mail out another batch of TNML stickers, I’d be honored to display it on the Deere.

Mrs. L and I are blessed to be in good health and we will continue to do our own yard work (she does the gardens) for the foreseeable future.  She actually bought me the D110 for Father’s Day about 6 years ago.  I am a very lucky man! 

We’ll both continue to look forward to reading Screen Caps.  What a great community!

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I hope this is like reading into my future. Hopefully, Jim L. and Laura L. turn into the next Mike T. & Cindy T. in Idaho. These husband-wife teams that show up in Screencaps/TNML are awesome. They just get after it in everything they do from the food, to the property, to the vacations.

Websites across the Internet want nothing to do with 67-year-olds. That’s how Facebook was able to turn many retirees into robots who are addicted to seeing little red numbered dots next to the notifications bell.

And then Facebook made those retirees fight each other. TNML is here to restore order one retired couple at a time. Not only do I want to give retired couples a place to hang out, but I also want to give them a place to teach the next generation the tips and tricks to this whole getting old(er) game.

Pass the word, retirees. You’re welcome here and it’ll be great for your blood pressure.

• Speaking of retirees Mike T. & Cindy T. in Eagle, Idaho. The flagstone project is hummin’ along.

Mike writes:

Greetings from beautiful Eagle Idaho!

Crazy weather again here in the Mountain West! It snowed about an inch or so Monday, but the forecast for the weekend is 80+ Spring in the Rockies!

Happy to report the recently reworked and seeded fire pit patio has survived the cold and snow and is filling in nicely! Hopefully, summer is close. Planted the garden and put the flowers in the ground!

• Adam W. in Sidney, NE writes:

Hi Commish,

I had to start in the back tonight. Brand new Champion Spark Plug, and went with fresh Rotella T6 oil in the 05 Briggs.  The Wind was 25 gusting to 45 when the green flag dropped with temps on the lower 70s. We made a good call bringing her in for a splash and go during an early debris caution in the backyard.

The boys were busy tonight, I gutted out a Jack Morris game 7 of the 1991 World Series like complete game.  

Shout out to Craftsman family of mowers across TNML Nation, Screencaps Joe, Clay, Fox Sports, Stihl, Walleyegear.com, and Busch Light.

• Ryan S. in NW Ohio writes:

What a great week of weather and a perfect evening for mowing! Glad to be back after last week’s wash out. I went back to the angle cut because frankly, my wife prefers it. And with all that rain and long grass, the big block Ferris laid down some magical stripes that would make a zebra drool.

Now, to the rifle choice for the week, brings me back to my wife. So, last night a pack of hooligan Coyotes were causing quite a stir in the back yard. They woke up my wife and she was apparently “scared”? I explained that they will not come in the house. Nonetheless, she was scared. I decided to break out the .17 HMR which is perfect for those mongrels the next time they get close or just somewhere in the back yard.

Celebrated the evening with a tasty Oberon! Enjoy the weekend everyone.

• Ken S. in North Augusta, SC writes:

Quick update so I can take care of work duties tonight. It’s been a tough week in this corner of South Carolina for yard work. First, dramatic hailstorm this weekend. Trees snapped, limbs and leaves all over the lawn, paint dinged on porch railing. Spent an hour cleaning up before I could even start mowing. Yard came out OK, see pix attached: hailstone from the storm, and one section of yard.

Big problem?

Deer wandering through at night, feeding on my better half’s flowers. Sleep interrupted by dog alert, then have to spend time repairing the damage. Kinda like seeing the deer, would prefer they were outside the fence.

• Sean C. in Granger, IN writes:

Well, it took me a while to get on track this season. But after a few rainouts and a couple work trips, I finally made my 2022 THURSDAY NIGHT MOWING LEAGUE debut!!

The rain has definitely thrown me a curveball early this year. Then, we go from cold, wet rainy days, right to 88 degrees. The Midwest weather certainly keeps us guessing. This isn’t my first mow of course, and I felt like I was cheating by mowing on Friday, Monday, Sunday nights, only because that was when the weather would let up.

But today felt great. The weather was perfect and I was equipped with my new decals (one went on the Trailblazer to help promote TNML around town). And now, I have the whole weekend to look forward to.

I have recruited a few other members fresh for this year. I’m not sure how active they’ll be with sending in reports, but I’m sure they’ll warm up to the idea. But rest assured, the “Michiana” area (yes, “Michiana” is some stupid local name given to this tv market covering Northern Indiana and Southwest Michigan) will be well represented in the TNML!!

So, as I mentioned in one of my previous emails, I was heading to Vegas. I just returned last week, and I can concur with previous emailers, Vegas is back! I arrived right as the draft was ending, but left right as the Derby and a Canelo Álvarez fight was getting ready to happen. Pools were hopping and the casinos were busy. It was hard finding a table with less than a $25 minimum. Even Bidenflation has affected table games.

When I look around, I’m still amazed at the amount of people who can still afford Vegas. However, there’s at least one deal that Vegas has that anyone can get behind. Sirrico’s Pizza in New York New York, which stays open until 2am, has the best deal in Vegas…..a large New York slice and a Busch Light for $9.99. Yes, I can probably do that for $3 here at home, but for Vegas, it’s quite the deal.

• Jason R. in Munford, TN writes:

I haven’t checked in yet this season due to rain and other issues but I have to chime in on the waving while mowing issue. It is a fact that I am in the zone while mowing on my Cub Cadet zero turn and often don’t notice or pay attention to cars driving by.

However, my buddy Rick honks and waves every time he drives by so I have been forced to perfect to the one hand grip in order to wave back and not appear to be an asshole. It has taken a couple years of practice but it is possible to maintain a straight line with one hand and wave back.

I have also apply this technique while taking a sip of the necessary adult beverage in the right hand cupholder as well as changing songs on Pandora while mowing. I have attached a pic of the singular left handed mowing grip. Keep up the good work my friend.

• Mike in Albuquerque, NM writes:

I made it home from work in time to lay some lines on a Thursday this week here in the land of Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul. This means I got to enjoy a nice locally brewed garage beer called Uppercut IPA courtesy of @boxingbearbrewing.com  while it was still light outside.

This time of year really is as good as the grass gets around here because the sprinklers can keep up with the lack of humidity until temps get to triple digits midsummer. This also explains the “downsized” yard which never would have been acceptable in my younger years but now I appreciate, because I can finish lawn maintenance with time to enjoy friends, family and refreshments.

My TNML starter kit has been ordered and I eagerly await the opportunity to acquire a sticker or two that I will display with pride. Keep those screencaps coming, reading them are some of the best things I do every day. The mountains out my back door are the southern end of the Rockies called the Sandias (Spanish for watermelon), named that because they often appear pink in the evening.

Doesn’t look like I captured that effect with my photo so you’ll have to take my word for it.

Thanks for all you do,

• Benji K. in Utah writes:

I thoroughly enjoyed the inaugural TNML season last year and excited to be back for year 2. The mowing season in northern Utah always starts later than the one I grew up with in south Louisiana but 2022 has been a little later than normal for me.

Between a cooler spring, some much-needed rain/snow days, and a minimum of 4 nights at the ballpark per week (including Thursdays) to watch 4 of the kids play baseball and softball it has been tough to break into the mowing season. It felt great to finally lay down some stripes and wash it down with a Mountain Dew Major Melon Zero. 

With the ongoing drought in our area and a below-average snowpack from winter we have the heaviest watering restrictions I’ve seen. We’ve been asked to limit irrigation to once a week, so I’ll ask TNML Nation, what would be the best day to water? Would it be Thursday night after the fresh cut is done? Or does it not matter? It’s been a pleasure reading the weekly reports coming in. Thanks for keeping those coming. And thanks again for the sticker. 

• Paul McE. writes:

Good Morning Joe,

The weather in southeastern Iowa has been nothing short of disastrous over the last month. We had snow on April 17th, followed by rain and cold temperatures for the next 2-3 weeks. After all the rain, the grass went from nothing to looking like a small jungle in the matter of days. Having to wit in the grass to dry out out the first mow of the season on a dreaded Saturday. Before the work started the TNML sticker found its way to be placed front and center on the lawnmower. Had to mow the yard twice to get it somewhat decent looking. Vertical lines followed by horizontal lines creating a little cross cross applesauce. After the unfortunate Saturday evening mow last weekend, I was able to get the second mow in last night like the good Lord intended.

I knew it had to be mowed on Thursday this week because the family schedule is getting even more hectic over the next week. Parents coming into town today, soccer game and dance recital on Saturday, and a Birthday party on Sunday wasn’t going to allow for anything other than mowing on Thursday. After getting back from the kids baseball practice it was time to get the yard done. This is where I’m either the MVP for the week or getting kicked out of the league for being a borderline bad neighbor. 7:55 pm is when I pulled the equipment out of the garage to start the yard work.

Temperature was still sitting at 88 degrees by the time the Stihl weed eater, Cub Cadet 600 and the Echo leaf blower got done it was dark and 9:10 pm. Being that late, there were no garage beers, but there were 4 bottles of water downed during the evening. Two Fastenal waters, one Kirkland, and finished off the night with a Fiji water. Was it my best mow? Absolutely not, but I was able to finish and have the yard done leading into a busy weekend.

I know the subject of what shoes to wear while mowing has been a topic of conversation this season. I like to use old work boots when I do yard work. Steel toe, metatarsal work boots definitely protect from an errant weed eater. T-shirt, shorts and work boots aren’t the best look, but I’m not in a fashion show, I’m doing yard work so it works for me.

I’ll be out of action next week as work has me traveling.

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It’s not getting dark until 9:30. Starting at 7:55 shouldn’t be an issue for the neighbors who realize this is the time of year when people have baseball and they still need to get a mow in. If they have a problem, just point to the sticker.

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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