The saga of Ian Bogost's pressure-washer

I use an ancient technology, once believed lost through the mists of time,
to deal with leaves and whatnot. You may have even read about it somewhere.
It’s called a “rake”.


Stressed skin construction. I really wanted to build a sailboat.


I used to rake, until I had to have elbow surgery (not related to the raking). After that the raking motion caused much pain, so I purchased a corded electric leaf-blower. It worked, sort of. I finally got a gas powered one, and it not only worked, it worked about 5 times faster than when I could rake. (It’s the volume of air, not the velocity, that matters.).

I look forward to the day when electric motors are good enough to supplant the gas engine, and I can again get a blower quieter than the gas version. I have and love (in a platonic sense) my electric lawnmower, but I doubt I’ll ever see an electric snow thrower good enough for New England winters. (I used to snow shovel, as well, until the surgery…)

So there are those of us who would like to rake and shovel and such, but simply can’t.


Don’t tell them or the supply of cheap second hand rakes may dry up. Hipsters will buy them all to carry into cafés along with their MBAs, to suggest that they are in touch with rural matters.

Mine has just been serviced and fitted with new batteries. The automatic lawnmower is one of humanity’s greatest inventions, because mowing lawns is a repetitive task that never really gets any better. (I was going to compare it to another job where you do the same thing over and over again but my inner feminist rebelled.) Delegating the job to an ARM cpu just makes so much sense.


It’s the time it takes. The blower is so much faster and uses an incredibly small amount of petrol. A bit noisy, for sure, but it’s so fast that it is used only briefly.

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(nudge, nudge, wink, wink)

Well you did say you love your lawnmower. I’m just saying.


Platonically, PLATONICALLY!!! :open_mouth:


I was thinking in more of a Ballardian sense.

It does indeed (I’ve had to design industrial cleaning processes in my time). I am writing here about the people who get far enough in the instruction manual to connect to the water and work the on-off switch, and after that it’s all gung-ho. Which, from what I see at weekends, is 90% of operators.

And don’t forget to summarise it before…no, I can’t complete it.

Don’t get me started on folks who use a pressure washer on their pushbikes… Just cause you’ve seen a pro team mechanic use one doesn’t make it advisable.

Bearing seals and drivetrains no likey.

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