About Us

Contact Us


Letter from Santa Clara

No Gropenatorial Hypermuscularism

By Bill Costley

While Carolin’s out there merrily mowing the lush green back-lawn (yes, right now, in mid-Nov. & all thru the damp, snowless NorCal Winter) with our 18” (457mm) electric reversible mulching mower (Black & Decker Leaf Hog MM675, 1350-watt motor series), I thought I might just write you about this kind of forward-thinking large-yard tool being used here.

Here in California, such mulching-mowers are warmly recco’d by the California Environmental Protection Agency Integrated Waste Management Board (8800 Cal Center Drive, MS 23, Sacto CA 95826; 1-800-735-2929) in its Pub. #443-99-01 [printed on recycled paper]: "GRASSCYCLE! Make the most of your lawn. Make the most of your time." In Silicon Valley, of course, Time = Money.

Rather than repeat every word in it here, just let me tell you that on its 1st-panel, there’s a smiling bearded guy (who looks a lot like Bob Vila) dozily kicking-back as some iced tea’s being poured into his yellow plastic tumbler from a shiny purple anodized-aluminum pitcher. You know, a real man who isn’t bustin’ to cut his grass. Like me, who’s listening to little Carolin doing it as I type this; she’s just come back in to ask me to roll it out to the front lawn so she can mow that one, too. She also used the 12” (300mm) 10K-rpm electric Black & Decker weed-whipper.

Now you may wonder why such an XXXL-Man (as I am) is leaving all the hard part of this mucho-macho kind of task to the Little Lady. The answer is: none of it’s really hard, thanks to these particular electric tools, bought used via Craig’s List (mower, $60) and a local yard-sale (whipper, $10). Also, my end-stage arthritic knees (soon due for replacement at Kaiser-Permanente, my nearby HMO) hurt too much for me to even slowly walk the lawn pushing these hyper-efficient electric maxi-tools across it. I can, however, do low-intensity manual leaf-raking — but we don't yet have an electric leaf-blower.

You see, we just don’t do hard, here, in NorCal (as they call it here), despite both Dubya & The Gropenator’s hypermuscular rhetoric. We don’t unnecessarily pollute the air, or spill gas, or even necessarily store 5gal red-drums of it in the attached garage or detached garden shed. Aren't we way-slick?

I should also mention that electricity is (relatively) cheap here in the City of Santa Clara that runs its own electricity-generating plant, effectively protecting it from those energy-arbitrage games the feral Enron boys maliciously played on what they jokingly called “Grandma Millie” (aka the California Republic, later State.)