Getting to know you...
This is a reel-y good edition of Wanderfull. Seriously, a cut above. Well manicured, even. You be the judge and read on!
Welcome to Wanderfull! Another week done and dusted (heck, another month) and now we’re into October. The month of pumpkin picking, Halloween, and that reminds me… it’s almost time to get things together for our candy carousel! Intrigued? More on that in a subsequent edition.
A Tip for the Modern Worker
Create opportunities for socialization. You have some great platforms for collaboration, right? Use them to create opportunities for your team to socialize with each other. Pose icebreaker questions in a synchronous setting or create a dedicated async channel aligned to hobbies. Frame the session so people know what to expect. The simplest recipe for a socially-oriented meeting is this: no shop talk, have fun!
I tweeted that out exactly a year ago and it’s part of my Handbook for the Modern Worker. I hosted weekly virtual meetups early in the pandemic. I randomly assigned colleagues into groups of 6 or 8 people. It was a great way to get to know others on the team even though they worked halfway around the world! Now, we have every-other-week “happy hours” on Friday afternoons. It’s a nice way to ease into the weekend, share stories with each other, and have some fun at the end of a hard work week. What avenues do you have to socialize with your team when you’re not together?
I drew this as part of my #365DayDraw project 6 years ago today.
Wood + canvas + rope = shelter
I think I was inspired to draw this tipi after hearing about a fellow ultrarunner sleeping in one during a running camp we went to. I might not be remembering that 100% correctly, but I’m fairly certain. If you drove the NYS Thruway last year, you may have come across a fantastic art installation by the Oneida Indian Nation. It consisted of seven illuminated tipis called Passage of Peace that showed a message of hope and solidarity among Native People throughout the country in the wake of the pandemic.
We live on just under a half acre and I have a ❤️/😡 relationship with lawn care. I used to have a modest lawn mowing business as a kid*, for which I borrowed my Dad’s riding mower, but as an adult I loathe the idea of using gas-powered anything to mow my lawn. Years ago I had a battery-powered Neuton mower (they’ve come a long way since) but the batteries degraded pretty quickly. Soon I found myself swapping heavy batteries for what’s normally a 40-minute effort.
So, I bought a Fiskars StaySharp Max Reel Push Lawn Mower from Amazon and gave it a shot. At the time it was about a third of the price of the Neuton. I loved it from the first push. Totally human-powered! It’s quite a workout, depending on the humidity and heat. I’m a runner, though, and consider it good cross-training for my legs. I also enjoy being able to listen to podcasts or music as I mow. And, it’s SO satisfying to see the little grass clippings fly out of the top of the mower. Note: I did modify the contraption a bit by removing the discharge chute, which used to inexplicably throw clippings in front of the mower to be picked up again. Don’t do this. Fiskars doesn’t want you to and you could really get hurt.
It’s held up really well, though! I did have a broken chain that John quickly repaired and Fiskars replaced a broken part last year. Zero issues other than that.
Oh, and I don’t negect the edges, either. My trimming is all battery-powered too, thanks to a duo of devices from Black & Decker. I have a weed whacker to tackle the edges and a blower to clean off the paths. My friend Mike and I were talking about this last important step of lawn care and how sometimes it can fall by the wayside. We thought this shirt could be on point.
Why am I writing about this now? The temperatures aren’t what they used to be and the days have been getting shorter: that means the grass growth slows waaay down. In fact, I’m probably down to my last few times out this season. This month the grass grew like gangbusters with all of the rain after the summer drought. Before that, I had a 3-4 week break from mowing, thanks to all that August dryness. It’s almost time to put this mower away for the ninth time. Next year’s the tenth anniversary so I’ll have to celebrate with a Gatorade after our first outing.
Now… where’d I put our snow shovels? 🤔
* And where’d all those kid-powered lawn mowing businesses go? Surely a topic for another time, but there are SO many commercial businesses with fancy trucks and trailers run by full-size humans. A sign of a bygone era?
I work from home most days, and one part of my morning routine is plugging in my lunch. We’ve used Crock-Pot® food warmers since we discovered them as as a ski-racing family. Whether it’s Amy lunch at school or mine at home, these are SO cool to make sure your leftovers are piping hot whenever you’re ready to eat.
American Airlines’ Halloween game is on point, but very early. What would you do if you heard this inexplicable moaning and groaning on your plane ride?
As if on cue, we got our first frost warning of the season Thursday night. I made the beds, all right. Three garden beds, that is. I think it was cool that they looked like sleeping giants. There’s still some growing in the season, but my schedule calls for me to winterize the garden irrigation this weekend, too.