I've got a couple of jobs that have been piling up due to the wet weather, and in a couple of cases due to a lack of a brushcutter. So I crunched the numbers and figured that to get ahead I'd better splash out and buy one. Today I went and bought a Husqvarna 535RXT, then went out to immediately put her to good use on a job.
In the past I've been a Stihl man, favouring the stern efficiency Germans, but this time the polished engineering of the sensual Swedish Husqvarnas caught my eye and proved far too tempting to pass up.
The bright orange of the housing was like a beautiful sunrise, full of the promise of a new day. I smiled as I put on the harness and adjusted the straps so they fit snugly and securely in all the right places, and set the padded cradle on my hip. My helmet with visor and ear muffs followed, along with gloves of supple leather.
I got out the petrol and the high quality low-smoke oil the engine prefers, and carefully made a 50:1 mix which made that characteristic sound of trickling liquid as I then poured it into the engine. I shut the tank, and put away the jerry can and oil.
I primed the engine with six squeezes of the little nub, then flicked the choke and caressed the throttle. All was ready. I pulled the starter cord once, twice, and she sputtered into life, settling into a happy purr as I released the choke.
I lifted her onto the harness clip, securing her on the pad against my right hip. I gripped the soft grips of the adjustable handlebar firmly, and held down the trigger. So little vibration! Most models with this much power would rattle the bones in my hands and my hip, but not this beautiful creature.
The smell of two-stroke, less pungent than normal thanks to the quality oil, wafted through the air while the high-pitched whine of cutting line rotating at hight speed was positively musical.
She moved like a dream, and stayed the distance. I only had to refuel her once more for the whole job, and I never had to replace the cutting line. At the end of the job, I set her down and lovingly cleaned the guard and the shaft of all the pieces of grass left behind. I ended the day with a satisfied smile.
In other news, my lack of sugary treats has me in the first stages of withdrawal. I am feeling flat, unmotivated, and I have the first faint stirrings of twitchiness. The neurons in my brain are most definitely not firing.
I'm intending to attend PAX in Melbourne this year as an enforcer, and I'm very much looking forward to it. Mother has offered to put me up for the duration of my stay as she is not far away at all, but I am considering more private accommodations. It will all come down to how much money I have to play with, and who else is going.
From all reports the PAX enforcers are very much a big family, something we came close to with the AVCon crew at times. It will be good to feel that camaraderie and sense of achievement again in a new environment.
I have decided to join in on a game of Diplomacy via email, which will be a new challenge. I have never played before, and have chosen the Ottoman Empire because I find them interesting, even if the game is set in their period of decline very near to the end. I have no expectation to win, but I hope I'm not first to be crushed.
As such I have been looking at the rules and the possible openings, and thinking about what the threats are. Will I play defensively? Will I charge blindly on? Will I try something fancy and clever? Will I be honest and forthright with my neighbours? Only time will tell.
Interestingly, after leaving this post for an hour or so to stare at the Diplomacy map, I find that my neurons have started to fire again quite nicely indeed. I think giving myself something fun and challenging to properly think about might help me through this lack of delicious, happiness-providing chocolate.