Letters from other engineers

Sept. 1, 2012
The following letters are in response to two questions we recently posed. In the July editorial column, we asked if any of you have a tennis ball hanging from twine in your garage so you park in “the right place.” We also asked how you’re spending your leisure time this summer.

Tennis, anyone?

Yes, in fact, I have two tennis balls hanging in my garage: One to keep my wife’s car a respectable distance from my Triumph motorcycle, and one to keep my truck from crushing important stuff I might need some day. There certainly is more leisure time this year because of the drought, thanks to no lawn mowing and lack of weeds in the garden. With the extra time, I’m trying to resurrect a 1940s vintage Hallicrafters shortwave receiver from the dead. Thanks for your humorous article.

Dave Mohler

Cost-benefit analysis

I began this spring and summer season with outdoor projects designed to improve and maintain the yard. However, a few weeks back, I realized one very precious weekend day that I was spending more time correcting the line in my weed eater than I actually spent using it. I was also enduring scorching temperatures with sweat and thirst so overwhelming that I felt like I was lost in the desert. So, I decided to copy my neighbors and contract someone else to do the mowing and edging. My few hours of free time are much more precious, and the cost more reasonable, than the time, maintenance, and upkeep of the equipment required to do it myself.

Until I can find a weed eater and mower that actually work without consuming all of my free time, this will be my new M.O. However, I did service my chainsaw, which also consumed a couple of weekends. But the cost comparison to have someone else do the work that I can do with this equipment is well within the range of do-it-yourself payback. I also have a log splitter in desperate need of service, which will remain part of my arsenal for the time being.

Russell Sims

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