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May 6, 1999
a year ago

Lawn Tractor

Spent the day cheerfully enough. The work day was pretty good, got to meet my new boss here, a new group leader that is working for Dan, who knows how things work here at Xilinx, pretty well, and has been through it on the marketing and engineering side and enjoys the engineering side more. Which says something for him. So that was really good.

I'd also entered the day determined to go and use the exercise bike in the company exercise room at lunch time. I had all the stuff in my desk to change into and the towel and I brought shower stuff and everything. John had a lunch meeting he was supposed to go to, so would be entirely unavailable for lunch, so I brought lunch and was going to eat afterwards.

I nearly funked out.

I mean... it's a place where everyone wanders in and out and what if someone wanted to use it? What if folks would see me? What if...

Mostly silly fears, on the whole, and when I actually went down, I found no one using the place or the bike, so I just went at it. The folks that did come in were too busy with their own exercises and post-run stretches to really pay me much mind, and I found that it was far easier to just ignore them or even talk with a few of them than I thought it would be. I really just did it. That was very cool, and it looks like I'm going to do it more frequently now that I've gotten over the fear hurdle of just doing it the first time. Turns out that on sunny days, it's nearly deserted, so I get to exercise, avoid the UV rays and have it all to myself. That should work out really well.

I'll admit it, I like having the sunshine for resting outside or being outside just to be outside, but if I'm exerting myself I don't want the extra aggrivation of being in really harsh, hot sunshine. Yeah, still a Seattle-type slug.

The afternoon was fun. Lots of cool work stuff and lots of things that got done. I also visited with the In Nomine folks for a while and with the Eyrie folks for a while, which was cool. I found out that my name is on a book that they just printed, as I'd written on of the Servitors for the book. That was very amusing.

Then we got home! Hoorah! Just in time, too! As just after we pulled into the driveway and parked, the John Deere guy came with his pickup and our spanking new LT155! Hoorah!

I got to drive it around a bit while he was there, and actually mowed crazy-8 patterns on the foot high lawn while giggling my head off. He said that he'd never met someone as happy as I was, and I laughed. It was so cool. He also said that he thought that we, as a pair, were fun to have as customers, so that surprised and pleased me. I like that. I guess we all like to be liked, but it was odd and kinda cool to have a salesman that had already made his sell say that.

John came out with my John Deere hat and a set of ear mufflers for my hearing, and *zoom* I was off!

John had a fun time chasing me around the yard with the camera and got some amusing shots. Yeah, this one is a bit big... but amusing. The John Deere Poster Child in action! Hoorah! I zoomed about, making huge amounts of noise, mowing vast sheathes of grass down in the thousands. Jason, on Eyrie, had pointed out that he'd used to do that with a lawn tractor as a kid and the feeling of power of mowing down thousands of blades of grass was cool for a kid. I'll readily admit that it was pretty cool for me, too. I'm easy to amuse. I loved how I could just zoom across the vast stretches leaving neatly clipped lawn behind. The dozens of little trees planted here and there across the lawn were a mite more problematic, though, as they were tough to get around. Yeah, there are *dozens* of small pine trees everywhere, you just can't see 'em in the pictures because they're just tiny.

I'll admit that eventually I got impatient and just slalomed my way through them, tilting a bit haphazardly between the 'poles' and watching the cutting deck to be sure that they didn't take the little trees off at the stem. It was so cool to just go flying along with grass flying in all directions. Yeah, okay, I'm not a neat mower, just kinda zoomed about as whim and trees dictated.

The grass, though, was so tall that the many gallon bags in the catcher filled very, very quickly, so I had to empty it all about three times before I was done with even half the lawn, and by then the sun had just gone over the mountains and it was turning cold. It took longer to unload the bags than it did to fill them, though they pretty much filled a large trash bag, each. It was astonishing. I think that in the future I'm going to have to compost the stuff or mulch it and feed it back to the grass or something. With the shorter grass it might automatically mulch with a shorter cut, too.

By the time I got back into the house I was itching all over from my allergies to grass, but pretty content with all the work that I'd done and the fact that the little lawn tractor was a great amount of fun. John cooked dinner. Ramen is good when one is thirsty and tired. Then I went up to dictate some of the ending April entires, but Kathy called. So I didn't get started until after 11 p.m.. I wanted to get any of it done as the pile just gets bigger, so I finished at least one entry before calling it quits and getting to bed and falling fast asleep with all the exercise and fresh air of the day. Yay

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