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While I'm still coughing sporadically, I think yesterday's adventure points out a lot more than "smoke inhalation is bad for you."
Yesterday our neighbors decided that they wanted to get rid of some pampas grass (big bushy grass like stuff with tall feathery stalks growing out of it). Another neighbor told them the best way to do this was to burn it. Going on this bad advice, the neighbor squirted a little lighter fluid near the base and tossed a match at it. Pampas grass grows very dense and soon the fire was inside the bush and despite his best attempts with the hose, it wasn't going out.
I spotted smoke from my kitchen window about this time and went to find out what was up. He was battling it with a hose, but couldn't turn the water off it long enough to try anything else. Seeing the dilemma he'd created, I ran back to the house and grabbed the hubs. My initial thought was to snatch up a shovel to expose the center of the bush, but Chris had loaned it out to his brother. Next best thing, I went for a sword. I picked my old Javanese mandau rather than the katana simply because it was easier to reach (katana was under lock and key). Chris grabbed a machete and a Kuhkuri (Gurka). We went over and hacked away the parts of the bush not burning, allowing the neighbor (who had neither a shovel or any type of item to do the work, save a handheld pair of clippers) to douse the fire.
Once it was over and done with, I had to reflect on what the neighbor must have thought about seeing us come running with such a selection of edged weapons. I'm still laughing.