Skip to main content

Kubota!

I saw the most amazing thing on the way to work this morning: a man driving a riding mower up a ridiculously steep hill. In the rain. I saw the name on the side of the mower, and I knew what was going on.

In civilized parts of the world, people have the sense to come in out of the rain, and they most certainly do not mow their lawns in the rain. Under no circumstances would they ever consider mowing a wet, steep, grass covered, hillside with any kind of device, let alone a riding mower. In Seattle, however, we don't have those kinds of options. If we waited to mow until it wasn't raining and the grass was dry, the grass would be 10 feet tall. Likewise, there are hills all over the place.

The hill that I saw being mowed this morning was in Crystal Springs Park. There are tennis courts on a small, flat bit, and then the hill drops away so sharply that a person could not walk up it without a rope. If your return volley goes over the fence, you are not getting that ball back. Ever. Anyway, there, in the rain, on the side of this steep hill covered with slick, wet grass, was a man driving a riding mower straight up. He made it look effortless. At the top he turned slightly to avoid high-centering, and continued on his way as easy as you please. Why didn't he just topple backwards? How in the heck did that mower climb that hill? My old Land Rover was practically a mountain goat, and it could not have made it up that incline. I just made out the name on the side of the mower: Kubota.

I've seen Kubota's at the The Fair, and I have heard the stories, but now I am a believer. They make four wheel drive mowers and tractors, and from what I saw this morning, I think that they can be summed up in one word: badass. I am not kidding. I could sell tickets to watch that guy drive that mower up the hill. Admiring guys (because women have better sense than to stand in the rain and watch a guy drive a mower up a hill) would murmur and give a little golf clap with every lap.

One thing did occur to me, though - the first time that the guy drove the mower up the hill, how did he know that he could do it? Was it luck? Does he even know how amazing that is? Maybe he carefully calculated the center of gravity, coefficient of friction, torque, and other factors and concluded that it was well within operating parameters? Lucky moron, or genius? That is a fine line that all men walk. Maybe he was the unwitting victim of a cruel practical joke - the other lawn guys told him to do it and then they were all surprised when it worked? However it happened, the first guy to sit on that mower and drive it straight up that hill had giant, brass, cahones - or he was just stupid. Either way - amazing.

Comments

Unknown said…
I'm thinking of getting a used Kubota from your suggestion and this blog post. They're pricey but it's gotta be better than how my Scotts mower leaves burnout marks in the muddy grass after it rains. Four wheel drive! Oh ya!

Popular posts from this blog

How To Make School Lunches More Nutritious: Re-Define Words

If you are a parent of a child who attends public school in Washington, and if you have even a vague recollection of the food pyramid , you probably will have noticed that the lunches that are served in school cafeterias are frequently at odds with the rules of good nutrition. The school is not wrong, however. They have just re-defined words and you are not keeping up. Pop quiz:  Cheese belongs to what food group? *bzzz* - wrong. You said that cheese was in the diary food group , right? No! Pbth! How boringly accurate of you. Cheese magically transforms into a protein when it is served on pizza or in a bread stick! I know that you may be dubious, but I contacted Wendy Barkley, RD,  who is the Acting Supervisor of School Nutrition Programs in the State of Washington Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction and she assured me that it is so. To quote her email to me: " Pizza remains an option for schools for their menus.  The cheese on pizza is counted as a protein in t

Global Entry - The TSA Trusted Traveler Program - or - How to Go In The Short Line At The Airport Security

Ever since September 11th, 2001, flying has been a hassle. With each failed attempt to smuggle explosives on an airplane, the TSA makes us get more undressed at airport security. In fact, for really early morning flights, we should probably all just show up in our jammies and then get dressed once we are through the scanner because currently we get up, get dressed, go to the airport, get half undressed, go through security, and then get dressed again. For quite some time, people have been asking the TSA so implement some kind of pre-screening program where travelers could have a background check in advance, and then be allowed to go in a shorter line. That day is finally here, and the TSA is now rolling out a Trusted Traveler Program known as Global Entry . In a nutshell, you pay $100, fill out some online forms, go in for an interview, present your proof of ID, and get fingerprinted and photographed. Yes, it sounds like some red tape, but then, every time you make an airline reser

Rooftop Playgrounds

This week I have had some meetings in a tall building in downtown Seattle, and when I took a moment to look around and enjoy the view I have noticed playgrounds on rooftops. I saw this daycare playground: and this playground on top of a school: I think that this is a really cool use of space. A friend that grew up in NYC said that her school had a rooftop playground, too. The delinquent in me wonders how many toys and balls go over the side, but I bet the teachers are pretty strict about that. Downtown Seattle has always seemed a little unfriendly towards kids and it is neat to see spaces being carved out.