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Al builds a Formula One Car. Badly.

After really getting into Netflix's F1: Drive to Survive, I've decided to make a formula one car. Which as it does in the show, presents its fair share of problems along the way..

Mower Mania 2021 - Let the good times mow.

 We interupt this current fantasy footy season for an import update. Welcome to Mower Mania 2021! #Mowermania21

I went out to buy a mower, I came home with three! (Four if you count my brother in laws in there too) 

We've got mowers for days, maybe even weeks at my place!

So it turns out when it comes to buying a mower, I can't seem to buy one without any kind of adventure attached. And it doesn't matter which state of this wide brown land I find myself in either when buying said mowers as my history shows:


-The first mower I ever bought was a Black and Decker electric mower (Stealth Mower) found at the the local recycling yard with a charger taped to it for a stonking $10. Unfortunately it doesn't work and spends months out the back of my house. One afternoon my father in law questions what it is and after explaining it he takes it back to his place and proceeds to build a working electric go kart out of it for the grankiddies. Genius. 

-I buy a Talon mower new from the local hardware store (Yard Falcon from memory?) and it's complete rubbish. It struggles to do anything and falls to pieces constantly. One day it just dies with no explanation and I rejoice because I can use something else.

-I score a new mower from work which also dies on occasion. However I start to master the art of necromowermancy which is bringing dead mowers back to life, aka creating Zombie Mowers! This of course can only go so far before dead is completely dead but still works for a time..
(It lasts all of ten minutes on the nature strip with a free sign on it before someone swings by and scoops it up)

-Speaking of the nature strip, the neighbors across the road leave a old Honda lawnmower on theirs, complete with a help yourself sign ripe for the taking. So I do and try to fix it, failing miserably. The father in law once again proves how good he is and fixes it at home, discovering it only has one speed which is DESTROY mode. It ends up at the brother in laws as his main mower until I run out of mowers to ressurect and have to borrow it back time and time again to tame my own jungle. 


-The almost world famous Millionaires Mower turns up! It's a sad day when it dies completely however I do sell it and recoup some of my $50 spent which is a bonus. (Although that generates its own set of random adventures..)

-I turn up to buy a $100 mower off Facebook only to find the cord has broken when the seller tried to get it started to show me it working. Not wanting a broken mower hanging about and figuring I wouldn't want to buy it now, he gives it to me for free. I proceed to get this free mower started many times by removing the top cover and wrapping the cord around where it normally goes and yanking hard. Just before we move interstate it too dies and I flog it off to some random mower nut for $20.


-I keep borrowing my brother in laws mower which is a very nice unit and does everything a mower should do which is start, mow and only stop when you ask it to. However as good as it is, I can't keep mooching off him and return it every time his own jungle gets a little out of control. I need to buy my own mower, knowing full well that my budget of not much will not net me something as nice or as reliable as this has been: 

'You should buy one like Trevs!' - My Wife.

Ahh if only. And how could I have more stupid mower related adventures with something like this reliably cutting my grass? Nay I say, nay, let's see what Facebook has to offer.

Which turns out to be not much sadly. There's a couple of guys who hoard these things selling a couple but that's across the border. Locally there's a couple that may fit the bill but after sending a message, I get very little back. And after a lack of communication over the weekend (and a house inspection coming up later this week, hence needing a mower quick smart) my wife suggests borrowing Trev's once again. 

Well okay...and then Monday comes around and I come across this:

Two working mowers, one not sure if working. $100

So curious about which is which and if they're $100 each or even better, $100 for all of them I shoot a message and within minutes get a very welcome response. The one at the back is the unknown one and yes, it's $100 for all of them. Thus my next mower adventure begins!


So with a broken turbo on the wagon (put foot down hard, black smoke emerges from exhaust and little else) being on the freeway is the last place I want to be.

So of course my GPS sends me on the highway and I crawl down the entrance ramp, sending the occasional puff of black smoke out anyway which alarms the van behind me thinking I'm about to catch on fire. Thankfully nothing explodes and I eventually do make it to the destination where I can't help but notice that not a single household garden including the place I'm buying from has had a mow for quite some time. 

This of course does not bode well for mower buying. 

But still, I exit my smoke generating wagon anyway and am met by an older woman in a nurses uniform that confirms that yes, I am at the correct mower buying place. She does this with an accent that should land her a great role as a future James Bond super villain out of Russia if she ever gets tired of nursing and moves into world domination. She then opens up the back gate and introduces me to her mother who does not speak a lick of English - this is going great so far!

Me: 'Can I try and start one up?'

Nurse: 'Yes of course you can.'

It takes a few rips of the pull cord but I eventually spark life into the yellow one which has a slight rattle but fires up well enough. When trying the next one and getting nowhere, both of them find me wrenching away highly amusing and laugh out loud. Eventually it starts and I get the story of why they seem to be multiplying out in the backyard.

'My father buys mowers that are easy to start for my mother to use, when they no longer easy to start, he buys another one.'

Thankfully that means she's now using an electric starting one which is a doddle to start and even better, that means they want to get rid of these ones. Even better that that for me, I reckon I'm just an oil change and new spark plug for each getting back to good operational order again. So how could I say no to the lot for $100?

So I put them in the back of the wagon and they proceed to fill up the remaining space with catchers. For some reason I now have four catchers for three mowers? Fair enough then. 

'Maybe you build one good one out of all three yes?' -Nurse

But I reckon we can squeeze one more in, surely?


'This my be the last time I need to borrow your mower' I explain to Trev as I unveil my new hilarious collection before explaining the story of my Russian connection and how I'll never run out of mowers to play with for a while. I still borrow his though because I know it works and the garden does need a trim quick smart.

Tinkering time can wait. 



Once sold at Big W stores, most owners have complimented the little Sanli on the fact that you can run them for years without a service and they keep on kicking, which is a compliment to their lastability but definitely not one for their owners. Light on fuel consumption but decent on noise, my first little bug bear is the small handle - it's almost like being 5'10" is almost too tall for this thing and it's rare that I've been too tall for anything! 

(Was Lazer dedicated to the Ford Laser which was also small and went forever? #itisamystery)

First thing I plan to do is work out what's shaking and tighten it up before something random comes loose first time I use it and takes out the cat. Possibly swap out the handle with one of the others too. Then I have a hilarious idea of working with stencil's (I'm resurrecting my airbrush currently) and maybe using the factory yellow for a Wu Tang symbol and painting everything else black?


Because why the hell not? Watch this space!


-It's highly doubtful that the name of this came about from a survey of 1000 gardeners 'and this is what they picked' because I'm sure they would have picked something that looks far more exciting, maybe something with painted flames?

-50% chance of being the one the sellers were unsure of.

-Originally sold at Kmart and hilariously one previous owner has discovered they're rebadged Sanli's which means I now have three Sanli's to work with.

-According to reviews they're either great or nightmares. This is how I like my mowers truly because then I have something to crow/brag about at family get togethers. 

-According to the motor sticker, this is the high power version. The Sanli also sports the same claim. GC002 which looks like a newer sticker doesn't mention anything about High Power. Maybe it's the one that doesn't start, being intimidated by its over powered siblings? Maybe they made it less of a monster than the other too? Look I don't know, I'm grasping at straws here. My point is though that the two Gardeners Choice are slightly different but should be interchangeable parts which is handy.


-50% chance of being the one the sellers were unsure of.

-This one is the non high power (normal power?) version even though they look practically the same otherwise. 

-It's missing the wing nut screw on top but I think that's the only thing not included.

-Comes with bonus twisted length of coat hanger! Which I assume was to keep the flap open when not using a catcher? Extra air flow? Speed holes? Could be all of the above!

Clean up, work out and full testing coming soon! (Anyone need a mower?) Stay tuned!


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