He's the dolt who invented the leaf blower.
I just spent the last hour listening to an obnoxious neighbor power one of these equally obnoxious contraptions. A solid hour! I'd rather have listened to a dentist's drill or the failed auditions from every season of American Idol. I seriously wanted to march over his property line, wrench that thing from his hands and blow it where the sun doesn't shine.
To be fair, suburban America's obsession with these noise polluters cannot be entirely blamed on Quinto. His original blower wasn't designed for consumer usage or for displacing leaves, but for agricultural chemical spraying in the 1950s (although I suppose we should pummel him for making it easier to spread cancer-causing pesticides on our produce.) Manufacturers soon discovered that consumers were removing the parts from the blower meant to hold and distribute chemicals, instead relying on the high wind speeds they produced to blow leaves and debris from their property. Genius.
By the 1990s, over 800,000 leaf blowers a year were being sold in the United States.
And now, they're everywhere. I hate these things with a passion! I can see using one for a few minutes to clear a driveway (like my mother often does) or another quick, minor clean-up job. But the problem is they seem to have replaced raking, which is what my neighbor was using his for this afternoon. When there's a landscaper crew nearby, forget about it. That's all you'll be hearing for the next 2-3 hours, never mind one. Way to go, ruining a beautiful day in the neighborhood.
Modern society is SO lazy today it's pathetic. Why rake leaves when you can blow them away? Better yet, why mow or maintain your own lawn yourself when you can pay a landscaper crew to do it for you? (I'm not talking about homeowners with large properties and yards, where landscaping is justified, but houses that sit on a half acre of land, if even that.)
I'm not just blowing hot air here (ha.) Leaf blowers are not exactly the best thing for the environment and your well-being. For starters, the gasoline powered blowers emit carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides and hydrocarbons. More of concern to me is their mind-numbing noise level, whether they run on gas or electricity. They are so loud they can cause hearing damage to the operator and anyone within close range after extended usage without earplugs. Many cities in California have wisely banned or restricted their use. Also, they are not exactly lightweight--I've helped my mother blow leaves off her driveway, and was surprised at how heavy it felt as I strapped it off my shoulder. I much prefer taking a custodial style broom and pushing the leaves off. In my opinion, it doesn't take much more time to get the job done and it's exercise!
Call me crazy, but I'd rather rake at any time and burn some calories while working my shoulder and back muscles. There's also something kind of therapeutic and soothing about raking leaves on a beautiful autumn day that I suppose is lost on too many people.
Kudos to California...if only the rest of the country would consider following their lead. Nothing would make me happier than seeing the leaf blower die a quick death.