Tents, mowers, and…FRYBREAD.

March 3, 2008

As expected, the weather here was beautiful so we spent most of the weekend outside.

On Saturday, we pitched one of the tents just to see how to do it. I think I got it up in around 35 minutes, including several un-doings of poles and re-doings of this, that and the other. Having done it once, I think I could get it raised in about 20 minutes or less next time, not including all the little tying-off various flaps and whatnot inside. We can at least be out of the weather fairly quickly.

Two impressions: first, these thing are huge.  I realize they won’t seem quite as large once they’re full of gear and sleeping children, but still. Much larger than I thought they’d be. Secondly, tent materials have come a seriously long way. No aluminum tubes with little spring buttons here. It’s all shock-cords and fiberglass, and even though it’s all modern fabrics, it still had that…new tent smell. Tough to describe, and I’d heretofore associated it with the ol’ canvas monster that we slept in on family outings when I was wee. But there it was. My wife came into the tent and immediately said “it smells like a tent in here,” so I knew I wasn’t crazy.

That sane afternoon saw me buying a new mower and tiller from the local Big Box Tool Place. The old mower still runs fine, but the self-propel mechanism has been hinky for a couple of years now, and this past summer had pretty much given out. The belt has been replaced a few times, but the innards were all rusted out, and the user (me) was consigned to pushing the thing around manually. This is not so good – weight considerations don’t seem to come into the design of a mower that’s intended to push itself. It’s darn heavy. The back wheels on the old one were also shot, having also been replaced twice. Our old yard had a considerable slope in front, and after years of pushing it back and forth sideways on a hill, the inside hubs of the wheels would disintegrate until the thing rolled around like it was drunk. I had considered pushing the thing up and down the hill by way of mitigation, however, see my earlier notes regarding weight. Half the time, I’d be muscling this thing up the hill, the other half, struggling to keep it from roaring down the hill and into the cul-de-sac, over the children, &c.

The new one took off like a shot and I knocked out the front yard in record time. It felt a little odd, mowing as early as March, but it had gotten pretty bushy in the front and I wanted to try it out anyway. The back is some type of bermuda grass. Or at least I hope that it is. Whatever it is, it’s all brown at the moment. The tiller is still in the box, though were only 20 or so days away from the last-frost date for this area. Several areas of the yard are going to get terra-formed here real soon now.

Today we went to a local American Indian Festival. I’ve never been to a pow wow before, and I have to say it was pretty interesting. We watched one of the Grand Entries, where all of the dancers come in and circle the arena, and stayed for a few of the other group dances. The kids enjoyed seeing the outfits and, really, how do you argue with event that features buffalo chili on frybread? You don’t, Searches-for-Tums. You’d be wasting your time. Don’t even try. My ignorance of pow wows also made me ignorant of frybread, to say nothing of frybread with buffalo chili, lettuce, cheese and tomatoes, the so-called “Indian Taco.” I spent all day savoring it. I then came home, Googled it and discovered that, according to one source, a single serving has – say this next part in your best Darth Vader voice – 700 calories and 27g of fat.

Welp. You only go around once.

I took a few pictures, but unfortunately, the lighting was terrible inside this place so everything looks dark and muddy. After we got home, we dug out Pancho’s new kite and tried it out in the field down the street. The wind started to get a little gusty as the afternoon wore on, so we ended up reeling it in and heading home. He’d gotten the kite for Christmas, and this was the first ideal day for trying it out. Six very tired children are now asleep, and the adults are not far behind.

 3:10 to Yuma was pretty good. Actually, just about anything with either Russell Crowe or Christian Bale is going to be pretty good.

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One Response to “Tents, mowers, and…FRYBREAD.”

  1. PeregrinJoe Says:

    You should try out the original 3:10 to Yuma next with Glenn Ford. It is much better than the remake.


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