Monday, July 16, 2018

Renaissance Dad Tool Review: Greenworks 18" 60V Brushless Chainsaw

Before I was 25, the only chainsaw experience I had was playing Doom. My first chainsaw was an electric chainsaw for some light yard work around the house, mainly trimming thick branches that I didn't want to use a pruning saw for. The first time I used a gas powered chainsaw when helping a friend, I realized that my electric chainsaw could only be called a chainsaw because it had a chain. But so does my bike...

Then I started doing a little more major tree trimming, and my electric chainsaw could no longer hack it (hehehe). It finally saw its end when I helped my parents with a fallen mesquite tree, the last thing that it ever cut down. The electric saw was gone. I loved the power of a gas saw, but never wanted the mess, smell, or hassle of it around the house. What's a guy to do?

When I saw a battery powered chainsaw by Greenworks, my favorite battery powered yard machine company, I was intrigued. My interest was further piqued by their claim that it had the power of a gas chainsaw with the convenience of battery operation. So I decided that I just had to try it out.** 

Out of the box, the Greenworks Pro 16" 60V Brushless Chainsaw was better than any chainsaw I had ever owned (and this was right out of the box). It comes with a hard case and chain guard, making storage easy. It also comes with its own adjusting tool, making tightening the chain easy to do. It would be easy to spend more time talking about all of the features, like the chain brake, the generous battery run time, the power, or the automatic oiler. But I really didn't want to spend any time with these things. Like most guys, I wanted to throw the battery on and see how it worked.

Because of my schedule, I had to wait an entire week before I had a chance to test this bad boy out. Enter Saturday. Our whole family started the morning sorting piles of old clothes in the garage (bear with me - this has a purpose). There we were, in the garage, sorting bags and bags of clothes, and in my mind I was just thinking of that chainsaw sitting in my workshop waiting for me. I slowly backed away from the family, booked it to the gleaming green chainsaw and oiled it up.

At the side of my house, I had two wood piles. One is nice neat pieces that I've split, ready for the fireplace. The other pile is old hard logs, too misshapen or long to split, too hard to saw through, and too bulky to pile up. I grabbed the biggest, gnarliest piece I could find, set it on my chopping stump, wedged it in place, and started the saw.

Having owned many Greenworks tools, I fully expected the saw to be on the quieter side. But quiet for a chainsaw can still be pretty noisy. However, I was not expecting the level of quiet that this saw actually had. I was amazed. As the chain started down in the first log, the smooth, quick cut further amazed me. I tore through that log in less than 5 seconds. In the next 10 minutes I cut my entire pile of logs, and was able to stack them neatly for splitting.

But here is the greatest part of this testimonial. I was so happy with the action of the saw that I wanted to show my wife how much neater the side of the house was now that the pile of logs was gone. I went to get her (she was still sorting the give away bags). We walked to the wood pile, and I pointed to the logs, as proud as anything. She asked, "When did you do this?" I replied, "Just now," to which she responded, "How did you do it so quickly, and how did I not hear it?"

The garage is less than 20 feet from where I cut 10 or so logs, and my wife and kids never heard me. This is some serious clandestine tree removal that I can do. But with all of the pros for the Greenworks Chainsaw - the quietness, the power, the comfort, and the storage - I did find one negative, something that I just can't get over.

I don't have very many trees that I want to cut down. So please let me know if you need help removing a tree, and I will be over as soon as I can throw some batteries in the case.

**I received this saw to test it out. I was not compensated for this review, nor was I paid to promote it. 

Monday, June 25, 2018

Taking the Family to The Grand Canyon

I am an Arizona fanatic. I absolutely love the state I live in. I love it so much that I put up with 115 degree summer days without letting them bother me. Okay, maybe the really hot days do make me a little grumpy, but it is a short 90 minute drive into the mountains to escape the heat and enjoy the

Friday, June 15, 2018

Homemade Dreamsicles: A Healthy Version of a Childhood Favorite

Many of us have memories of summer as a kid. For me, it was the fight over the Dreamsicle. If you are unfamiliar with a Dreamsicle, it is a heavenly combination of orange popsicle and vanilla ice cream. I could pound down Dreamsicles like there was no tomorrow. But, as an adult, I can only imagine what kind of ingredients were in those artificially flavored summer treats.

Enter my wonderful wife. I came home from work last week, and the kids started asking for Dreamsicles. She pulled out an ice cube tray and gave them an ice cube on a toothpick. They asked for another, and she gave it to them. She told them that they could have as many Dreamsicles as they wanted. STOP THE BUS! I have a wonderful mom, but I don't remember her ever saying that we could have as many anythings as we wanted. My brothers and I would have decimated the house if she had said that. So I had to try one of these so called Dreamsicles and see what kind of voodoo magic she was performing on our children.

I pulled one out of the ice cube tray, took a bite, and was immediately transported to my sandbox, G.I. Joes, Legos, and my jealousy over my neighbor's Slip'N Slide. These Dreamsicles are amazing, and thanks to my incredible wife, I am here to share her motherly, trick-your-children-into-thinking-they-get-dessert-when-they're-actually-eating-a-healthy-snack voodoo awesomeness.


-1 banana
-vanilla yogurt
-orange juice (preferably fresh squeezed)
-ice cube tray
-tooth picks

To make:

1. Cut the banana into small chunks, about a third of the size of an ice cube.

2. Put the banana chunks onto toothpicks and place one chunk into each ice cube slot.

3. Mix equal parts-ish (close enough is perfect) of yogurt and orange juice, and fill the ice cube slots to the top.

4. Freeze.

Yeah. That's it. It takes almost no time to make, it is inexpensive, and the kids eat them like there's no tomorrow. Actually, Dad eats them like there's no tomorrow as well. Our kids think they're getting a treat, but really they're getting fruit and yogurt. As Big A said, "These get ten thumbs up!"

Let the summer games begin!


Sunday, May 27, 2018

Daddy-Daughter Dance: Year Eight

When my oldest daughter, Big E, was 2, I took her to her first prom. I was a chaperone, and she was an adorable date. We danced and danced, and we decided on "our song," A Wink and a Smile. A couple of weeks after we had our first dance, our neighbor was going to her prom. We watched her parents take pictures in their front yard, and then she got into a car with her date and drove off. Big E looked at me and said, "Why isn't her daddy going with her?" I explained that her daddy was staying home and his daughter was going to prom with a different boy. With tears welling up in her big, brown eyes, she said, "I don't ever want to go to prom with anybody except my daddy."


Sunday, April 29, 2018

Hidden Hairdryer Storage

I have been slowly but surely working on our bathroom remodel for so long that I no longer know when I exactly began. The last post I wrote about our bathroom remodel outlined the first several steps, which were completed exactly one year ago. Since then I have chipped away little by little at the bathroom. Lately, I have added two cabinets that I bought at the Rosie on the House auction site, removed our mirrored closet door, and added a pocket door. While those projects have all had their challenges and moved us slightly closer to being done with the bathroom, I am most proud of this project--hidden hairdryer storage--because it brings me daily joy.

The previous owner of our house hardwired a power strip into an electrical box and attached it to the side of our bathroom cabinet (essentially he cut off the plug, stripped the wires, and gave the strip permanent power - not exactly up to building code). This power strip was used by my wife for her hairdryer, but because of the placement of the power strip the hairdryer either lived on the counter or between the vanity and the closet door. The removal of the closet doors and installation of the pocket door forced me to remove the power strip and add an actual electrical outlet in the wall. But the "storage space" for the hairdryer was gone.
Pocket door and wall cabinet

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