Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Don't touch that faucet

When I moved to California umpty million years ago it was in the middle of a severe drought. The weather was dry and and warm and beautiful and made up for the fact that we couldn't water the yard (but we didn't care because we were renting), we couldn't wash the dishes (but we didn't care because we were in our 20's), we couldn't do a lot of laundry (but we didn't care because we didn't have a washer and dryer) and we had to take 2 minute showers (ok, that one hurt). This summer our utility district is asking that we voluntarily cut back our usage by 15% because we're having the seventh driest year in about the last century. This can be a problem, since we're already very conscious of our power and water usage and conservation.

We're asked to water our yards three times a week on nonconsecutive nights. I already do that. We should fix leaky plumbing. Duh. Run our dishwashers and washing machines only with full loads. Uh huh, already do that. Use commercial car washes instead of washing at home. Wash our cars? People do that?

It's been the same with power over the past few winters. A few years ago the other utility company said we needed to cut back. Ok, heat down to 68 and off at night, lights off when not using them, only full dryer loads, unplug other things when not in use. Check and check. The next year they asked us to cut back even farther. Okey dokey, will do. Then last year they decided to give rebates to people who cut back another 15%. Hey waitaminute! I'm already sitting in the dark with three layers of clothes and a blanket. There's no room for any less power. When it turned out to be one of the coldest winters around I finally gave up. I decided not to conserve. It was time to set a new higher baseline so that next year I could get a rebate for being such a good conservationist. This winter I only wore two layers and a blanket, took long hot showers when I was cold, dried my clothes until they were actually dry, didn't unplug anything. I got a sad letter from the utility saying I didn't meet my goal. Aww, but next year I can!

So I'm afraid I didn't prep well for a drought. If I had known, last year I would have watered my lawn every day, run the dishwasher daily, taken 30 minute showers all the time (oh yeah, I really do that), washed my car -- uh, no. I still wouldn't have washed my car. That's what commercial car washes are for. I guess I won't get a gold star on this conservation effort either.

Last night was our buddy run on the buggy Iron Horse. There were the regular six of us. Or rather, the five of them and me. I'm pretty sure that if I ran only a minute per mile faster I could keep up with them, but I can only do that for a couple of blocks without keeling over. For a while they were just close enough to be the rabbit so of course I ran too fast. I finally took a walk break so they'd get far enough ahead. It was one of the warm dry nights swarming with hard little black bugs. They're not gnats, not squishy enough. I did a lot of spitting during the run to get them out of my mouth. My iPod+ again gave the wrong mileage, short this time. According to the official maps I went 3.96 miles. The iPod+ said I went about 3.4. That's even worse than last time. When I finished Lance Armstrong congratulated me on my longest run yet! Heh heh. If Lance only knew!

Today's Gratuitous Bear of the Day is Demi. I received him as a get-well gift from a friend after I had a minor surgical procedure. It must have been around Valentine's Day again, thus the heart. This was the first time in my life I had taken Demerol and what a treat that was! I don't normally take drugs (well, not since high school anyways) because I don't like the lack of control. Demerol didn't so much remove pain as it removed my caring about pain. Everything was happy and sharp and la la la isn't life wonderful. I think I had one, maybe two doses, but it was enough to name my new bear after it. I'm pretty sure that Demi is my only bear named after a narcotic!

1 comment:

  1. I really enjoyed your blog and running entries, and you have quite an impressive list of marathons that you will be doing coming up! I can't wait to read your post about Avenue of the Giants because that is always one I've had in the back of my mind to do.

    If you get a chance, please visit my running web site, Faithful Soles. I have a categorized and searchable Running Blog Database on there and would appreciate it if you would link your blog to it.