Preparing to shoot a few segments of Big Jon in 5 for BEER2WHISKEY in our upstairs studio at Barley's Taproom in downtown Greenville. That's owner Josh Beebe preparing for his closeup.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

How to Turn a 90-Minute Dirt-Mowing Chore Into 4 Hours

I'm not the kind of guy who can just lie around, even when I convince myself that I deserve it.

Take yesterday – Wednesday – for instance. I red-eyed out of San Francisco to Atlanta and then from Atlanta to Greenville, SC. My flight to Atlanta left at 11:30 p.m. West Coast time and landed in Atlanta around 6:30 a.m. by the East Coast clock. Then I had to amuse myself in Atlanta for about 90 minutes before boarding my 29-minute flight for Greenville. 

The old latch and lock on the bottom with the new latch and lock on top. No, it's no from the redundant school of redundancy.
I walked in my door before 10 a.m., and that included a cameo at the grocery store to pick up a few things on my way home.

Although the sky was a little overcast when I first landed in Greenville, within an hour, the sun was blasting through. I knew I had to mow my dirt either the day I arrived home or the next because I am scheduled to fly again on Friday. I had a two-day window to get the mowing done.

I'm not a mow-once-a-week homeowner. What's the point? My lawn/moonscape/missile-testing range looks like crap mowed or not. It does look marginally better trimmed than it does when out of control, but only marginally.

Nope, I'm a mow-once-every-10-days person. My 10 days expired on Monday and it was now Wednesday. Time was running out.

So, despite being dog tired – I had several pops of Templeton Rye in VW's hospitality suite before heading to the airport in hopes it would help me sleep; it didn't; so, yesterday morning I was groggy and tired – I decided to go ahead and mow the dirt, first thing after getting home. Besides, I reasoned, Thursday's weather might be bad and then what would I do? The weeds screamed to be cut!

Donning my yard-work attire, I got ready to head outside. Pulling open the kitchen drawer where I keep the keys for the lock on my shed – yes, I have a shed – I made a tragic discovery: no keys. Wait, let me try that again: NO KEYS!

I didn't panic, not immediately anyway. Sometimes I just forget to put them back, in which case they run through the washer and dryer safely in the pocket of my yard-work shorts, or wind up in the bottom of the washer. I checked both; nada.

I searched every nook and cranny where I could imagine absent mindedly placing or accidentally dropping them. Fifteen minutes of searching produced zero results.

I didn't have time for this crap. The clock was ticking.

Going to one of my tool boxes – yes, I have tool boxes – I grabbed a crowbar and a 20-pound hammer. My plan was to pry the door-side of the latch off the door. Ten minutes, a gallon of sweat and a string of profanity that would have made my dad proud later, I gave up that idea. The door-frame side of the latch proved equally as stubborn. At this point I had wasted 45 minutes without breaching the shed's defenses.

I headed back into the house and retrieved my power drill – yes, I have a power drill, two, in fact – with the intention of removing the hinges from the door. I returned with not only my drill, but a container of drill bits and a 50-foot extension cord. 

Where's there's a will, there's a way. Removing the door from its hinges allowed me to reach the screws holding the latch to the door frame.
I had the door off its hinges in two minutes. Flipping the door around exposed the heads of the screws holding the frame side of the latch in place. Removing those, the latch swung free. I rehung the door, which now opened.

Of course, I could no longer lock it. Grabbing my gas can, I headed off to get fuel for the mower and a new lock and latch at Home Depot. Tick-tock....tick-tock.....

I rolled back into my driveway about 20 minutes later with gas and supplies. Attaching the new latch required about 10 minutes. No worries there.

Finally, about two and a half hours after I first pulled open the drawer to get the keys, I was ready to mow.

Yep, my 90 minute dirt mowing chore morphed into well over four hours.

Although the new latch and lock cost me about 17 bucks, I did find a $10 bill on the ground at the gas station, so I had that going for me. Sweeeeet!

Oh, and at least I made the correct choice. Rain began falling last evening and continued all day today. A brilliant call, yes?


  1. I'm surprised you didn't find the key after you went through all that.

  2. I think they are in the weeds somewhere having popped out of my pocket when I pulled my phone or something out.