girlfriend's city-owned electric company recently
offered a hefty rebate on electric mowers. Basically,
the first 2500 citizens to show up at Sears with
an electric bill and picture ID got themselves
an electric mower for $30. BG was one of the first
BG has a tiny back yard, barely room enough to
swing a cat, but the reel mower I'd been using
was a chore at times. Especially when a long
spate of rain resulted in foot-high grass.
So the electric mower was a welcome relief, so
much so that I went and bought one for myself even
though my yard is much, much bigger. I'm sure many
of you are just dying to know about these devices
so this is my short review and recommendation.
The Bad: You have to lug around a cable, the cut
is comparably narrow (18") and the final product
can be a bit ragged in places. If
there's any question that you might run over the
cord then you probably will, but it's drama-less. Trust
me (blush). Basically, be careful.
The Good: No gas or
oil needed, no blue fumes at start-up, turns on
and off instantly (Kewwwl!), very lightweight,
relatively quiet. If you have electric-powered
weed-whackers or edgers (I do) then you don't have
to drag out
extension cords just for them. Best of all, your
smugness Level goes to 11.
A small-to medium-sized yard with only a few
trees is ideal for one of these. As for the extension
cords, if you like puzzles you'll enjoy the process
of thinking ahead in order to use the cables as
as possible. It's now end-of-season so you might
be able to find a bargain at the local big-box
a Tootsie Pop-a-holic and I'm not ashamed to admit
it. Instead of traditional sweet treats after
a meal I always have
to satisfy my confectional urges. Compared
to cake or cookies they're ludicrously low in calories
plus they last a long, long time. They
also make an easily-concealable treat to carry
Best of all, there's that final, satisfying crunch.
(Oooh, I get moist
about it.) My only complaint is that we're stuck
with the same six basic flavors in a world gone
mad with variation.
My current favorite are the Easter Tootsie Pops
as they're egg-shaped and noticeably larger. I
these at a local dollar store at half-price and
the place out.
This dollar store also carries a varied assortment
of confections from around the globe, much of it
from Mexico. I simply cannot pass the tri-colored
coconut bars or the pecan pralines without taking
a few home.
However, this past trip I saw something new...
a sort of Mexican Tootsie Pop made by Pulparindo.
The bag had four flavors of pops - pinapple, guava,
mango and apple - and promised a "tamarind
filling". It sounded intriguing so I
took a bag over to Beloved Girlfriend's house
and we cracked it open as we watched March
of the Penguins.
Let me stop for a moment to tell you a quick story...
I'm a prankster. I can't help myself. It's genetic
or something. One weekend, many years ago, I'm
taking care of my niece and nephew, 8 and 7 respectively,
while their parents are out of town. After awhile
they start bugging me for
as their parents restrict their diet in that regard.
I didn't have any sweets around the house that
evening but I did have pepper gum.
pepper gum. It was sold in Spencer's gifts next
to the folding penny and the fly-in-the-ice-cube.
I had bought a pack years before on a whim but
since everyone I knew was too smart to fall for
tossed it in a drawer and forgotten about it.
However, to my niece and nephew this was candy.
It said "Gum" right on the wrapper. I'll
never forget the look on their rapidly-reddening
faces as they
chewed this "yummy" treat with mucho
Those faces came rushing back to me the moment
I popped one of these Pulparindo's in my mouth.
At first, there was this blast of sweet, delicious
followed seconds later by a karate chop to the
adam's apple by something fiery. It
was then we looked closer at the bag and found
that the fourth ingredient used in making these
things was... chili powder.
Yes, chili powder. Sterilized chili powder.
Do Mexican kids really like this stuff? Really?
Well, they're a better man than I am, Gunga Din.
To her credit, BG worked hers all the way down
to the tamarind filling, of which I gave a tentative
lick. (Oh, so that's tamarind.) I hate to sound
like a pussy but I think I'll stick to good old
American Tootsie Pops for awhile.