Lighting a Fire Under My Ass to Get the Lawn Mowed, Literally

The weather has finally been decent around here the last week, so I’ve been enjoying my time outside and just unwinding a bit after finishing my latest book project. I haven’t heard anything from the publisher yet about a serious timetable for release, but I’m hoping late June/early July.

My wife returns to work later this week and I’ve been working with her to get her list of housing improvements and projects done. She probably hit at least half her list, both inside and out. I’m glad one of us makes living in a nice looking house a priority. I really appreciate it, but when it comes to doing the hard work, or even knowing what looks nice, I fall way short.

I’ve only got about a half-acre, but was able to buy a new riding lawn tractor a few years back for $500, so I took it. It probably cuts 70% down on the time to mow the lawn vs. the push-mower, so it was well-worth the investment. Of course, cutting it was also about a week overdue as the wildflowers were starting to grow and the grass was looking like it was 8 or 9 inches long.

I tried to get the thing started last week, but like the pool pump, snow blower or just about anything electrical or mechanical that I use seasonally, it of course, wouldn’t start. I checked the gas and oil, but knew that wasn’t it since it would even begin to turn-over. So, I backed into my driveway, grabbed my jumper cables and hooked up the lawn tractor battery to my Jeep’s battery in hopes of jumpstarting it.

For those unfamiliar with riding lawn tractors, mine has its battery under the seat. The small leather chair rests on a couple of coiled springs that act as shocks to allow for a less bumpy ride. If you flip the seat forward, between those springs, recessed into a hole, is the battery. It’s like a mini-car battery, about two-thirds the size.

I was able to get the lawn tractor going with the jump start, but whenever I took my foot off the throttle, it would die. I tried jumping a few times and noticed that there was a little bit more life in the lawn tractor each time, but it still wouldn’t turn over. I thought it was just a matter of holding my foot on the throttle for several minutes to really get the charge, but it’s hard to keep it down in a standing position. So, I put the seat back in place, making sure it didn’t touch the jumper cables or battery, then sat on the lawn tractor and started her up.

It was much simpler keeping my foot on the throttle in this position and I figured I’d give the whole thing three or four minutes and if it didn’t keep a charge at that point, I’d buy a new battery. I was listening to my Spotify playlist for about 30 seconds when I started to smell something funky. After a couple more seconds it smelled like burning, but not traditional burning. I looked down and to my left and saw a flame coming out just a few inches below my ass. That was my cue to get off the seat.

I jumped off and flinged the seat forward. Apparently, when I sat down one of the jumper cable claws, or whatever you call them, pivoted enough so that along with touching the battery pole, it was also touching the spring. The spring was coated in something black and that something was flammable. So was the plastic cap that covered the battery’s pole.

I was able to blow both the small flames out with two gusts of mouth wind.

The next day, I bought a new battery at Home Depot.

Back to School, err, Back to Blogging

Well, I’ve just renewed my domain name, so I guess you’re stuck with me for another year. I’m back from my blogging sabbatical. I probably made it sound like I just wanted to sit around the pool, and I did plenty of that early on, but I was a busy man this summer.

A long, relatively not strange trip

Two days ago, I returned from a massive road trip that was basically the entire month of August. I left Maine and drove west, then south with my daughter. We met my son and wife in San Francisco (they flew in) then traveled to Los Angeles where we met my brother’s family (they live there) and my parents (they flew in). We all went to Las Vegas, then just my father and I drove back to Maine. I was extremely lucky to spend so much time with people who helped me through my legal ordeal and recovery over the last six years.

In a way, I looked at the trip almost as a victory lap, or end of the legal part of the journey (I’m no longer on probation…read about it HERE) and sort of a way to hit the reset button before beginning the next chapter of my life. I drove, without help, 8,800 miles in 27 days, with 6 days not involving any driving.

I am also proud to say that I didn’t succumb to my porn or alcohol addictions. You want difficult? Try not to drink in Las Vegas. This is why I believe we face our triggers, not run from them.

I didn’t mention the trip on here because I didn’t want 101 suggestions of where to go since the 13 months planning the trip was a kind of solitary therapy. I tried to build the best trip for my family, depending on who was with me at the time. In the next week or two, I have to write my reviews for Trip Advisor, and I’ll include them here. I also didn’t talk about the trip because advertising your house is going to be empty is stupid.

Here are a few photos of my travels the last month through Grand Canyon, White Sands National Monument and the St. Louis Gateway Arch.

Read All About It

My other big news is that the manuscript of my second book, titled “He’s a Porn Addict…What Now? An Expert and a Former Addict Answer Your Questions” is going through the late stages of editing, the cover is being created, marketing plans devised, etc. at the publisher.

I’ve written the book with the brilliant Tony Overbay, and if you don’t follow his site or listen to his podcast, I urge you to subscribe. Get all his info HERE.

You’re going to get sick of me talking about this book in the next year, so I’ll save the long-windedness for another day. I don’t have an official release date yet, but I imagine it will be late 2019 or early 2020.

One quick mention I should make is to all of the ladies on WordPress who have had to deal with their partners’ issues with sex and pornography. You were both the inspiration to write the book and many of you were helpful when I needed something explained.

Thank you for sticking with me through my absence. I added a few new followers and was surprised that I managed more hits than David Bowie’s later years over the summer. I promise that I’ll be contributing much more in upcoming weeks and months and look forward to hearing your stories as well.