Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Runaway Leaf Blowers and Fire Extinguisher Grenades

I like tools. All kinds of tools. I know how to use most of them and do so on a regular basis. I don't use my husband's tools because he doesn't take care of them and I'm picky about my tools. I have my own that he's not allowed to touch. I dream about all the cool stuff I could do if only I had a killer miter saw. Some day.

There are only a couple of types of tools that I avoid. One of those types is anything that creates fire. I am afraid of fire in general. On those occasions when I'm in need of a propane torch, and occasionally I am in need of one, I ask Jayson to do it for me help me with it. I have a little butane torch that I use to solder (badly) but it isn't as a scary as the big propane thing so I can handle it on my own.

In addition to frightening fire starters, I also avoid most lawn equipment. It doesn't matter if it's gas or electric, we don't mix. I've never been able to start a lawnmower and every time the edger blade scrapes up against the concrete I am convinced it is about to break off and fly right into my forehead. When I use a weed eater I'm afraid to bend my arms because I think if it gets too close to me it will slice up my shins. I can use a table saw or a drill press without batting an eye but a weed eater does me in.

Today I had to use one of the least scary pieces of lawn equipment: the leaf blower. I finished cleaning out my garage and even though I swept the floor, I wanted to blow out anything that I might have missed or that was lurking in an overlooked corner. I've used the leaf blower before with less than stellar results but that's been a long time ago so I felt I was mature enough to handle it now. Apparently I am not.

I just don't understand why this happens.  How much more simple could it be? You plug the thing in, turn it on and aim it at the stuff you want to blow, right? I plugged it in, turned it on, then fought to get it under control as it whipped wildly over my head. It pulled  up and to the right then quickly dipped down low to the left, then it spun me around and back up over my head it went. I felt like a tiny cartoon character bronc riding a fire hose.

I found that if I held the blower close to my body it was easier to control. If I extended my arms it took over and we were doing the over-the-head-whirly-arm thing again. Once I figured that out and adjusted to the velocity I focused on trying to aim the nozzle in the direction that would blow all the debris toward my open garage door. This was simple in theory but as soon as I adjusted the direction of the nozzle, my t-shirt got sucked into the air intake thing. The cure for that was to extend my arms to get it away from my t-shirt and we have whirly arms again.

On those few occasions when I was able to aim the blower without sucking my t-shirt completely off, I aimed badly. I seemed to always get into a corner where I created a mini cyclone that headed straight for my face. And, of course, for whatever reason my mouth was always open when this happened.

I decided that my broom had probably done a good enough job and it wasn't worth eating any more dead bug bodies to improve on that. I put away the leaf blower and the extension cord in their designated and appropriated labeled storage areas then tidied up the few things that remained.

I had taken our extra fire extinguishers (yes we have extras, I have issues with fire) off the rack where they were hanging so I could wipe them down. I rehung the first 2 without incident but when I picked up the last one to hang it I must have accidentally grabbed the pin because I watched it hit the floor in slow motion.

Did I mention how exhausted I am? I'm going to blame my temporary insanity on the past 60 days of working 12 hours a day to simplify our lives. When the fire extinguisher's pin hit the floor I immediately held it as far away from my body as I could and turned my head and winced as I waited for the impending explosion.

Wait, what? Oh that's right. That's for a grenade, not a fire extinguisher. Oh yeah, and you're supposed to throw the grenade, not hold it away from your face. My temporary insanity wore off so I picked up the pin, put it back in the fire extinguisher grenade and hung it on the rack with the others.

I don't know what bothers me more. The fact that I thought the fire extinguisher would explode because I pulled the pin, or the fact that to prepare for that explosion, I turned my head and closed my eyes. Cuz that really helps when you're holding a grenade in your hands. I hate it when I act like a girl.


khebert said...

Hhhmmmm....you didn't tell me about this!! Aside from all of the other work you've been doing, no wonder you were tired & ready to get off of your feet!

Kathy said...

*snort* Hahahaha! Thanks for the first full out belly laugh of the day! Oh my, I needed that.........

Shamayn said...

Oh man, we are for sure related. Our leaf blower is gas powered and a royal pain in the rear. I can't even get it to start. Someone has to do that part for me. I have tried to use it but the exhaust fumes always waft up my nose, making me feel dizzy and light headed! Not to mention that thing weighs like 500 pounds. Our weedeater is also gas powered making it unusable for me. Too heavy and impossible to start. I did find my old electric weed wacker and I can't wait to use it again! I've missed hacking down stuff. Everyone I know wants the coveted miter saw. I have no idea why. I just want a saws-all. I have tons of stuff that needs to be sawed down and no way can I use a manual saw. Those are strictly for lumberjacks!

Rajesh Agrawal said...

Awesome post!! You have clearly mentioned the way to use fire extinguisher in a subtle & simple manner. Thanks for sharing this information with us.Keep posting such stuff in future