June 1st, 2009

Sepia, RB Office

More changes over time

When I was growing up and in college, if there was a need to restrict lawn and garden watering the most common scheme I heard about was "Odd-Even Days," where houses on the odd numbered side of the street would water on odd numbered days, and houses on the even side of the street watered on even numbered days.

This year, at least in San Diego and Oceanside, the restrictions have odd numbered addresses watering 3 days a week, and the even numbered addresses watering three other days of the week, with one day -- at least in Oceanside -- where nobody can water.

I suspect that the major reason for this is not for equity (the odd-even scheme gave odd numbered houses more summer days where they could water since both July and August have one more odd numbered day than even numbered days), and certainly was to make it easier to remember. I'm pretty sure the reason is technological.

Twenty or more years ago, automated watering systems were found mostly at large commercial properties, golf courses and other large watering systems. Homes were generally manually controlled -- often just with hoses connected to manual sprinklers. Now, a significant percentage of homes with built in sprinklers (which should be homes in dryer climates -- I only watered the lawn, and only a bit, one of the years I owned and occupied homes in Illinois) have these automated systems. The system at our house, and I presume most systems, can easily be programmed to water on specific days of the week, but not on odd or even days. And making the rule different for manual watering and automated watering would be both unfair and unenforceable (if caught on the wrong day, you could often claim that you had whatever type of system you don't have and get away with it).

And our system is now programmed to water the correct 3 days a week, for 8 minutes. If the lawn starts dying too quickly, I'll bump it back to 10 minutes. After that, if it dies, either I'll let it die, or suggest that the landlord can take over the water bill and pay the fines for extra watering.
Sepia, RB Office

Looking like our parents

Last week, my brother posted a new photo on FaceBook (showing off his new shorter hairdo). I was struck with how much he looked like our father in the picture. Of course with a bit of analysis, I realized that my brother isn't that much younger (~8 years) than my father was 20 years ago when I quit seeing him on a more or less day to day basis.

But when I shared that with my mom over the weekend, she told me that recently my dad put on one of my sister's "Indiana Jones" hats and then saw a reflection of his father in the glass door to the kitchen.

I don't know if in another five to ten years if I'll start looking like my father, however. Where my brother, and younger sister, are shaped more like my father, my older sister and I are shaped more like my mother. So, even without the 70 extra pounds I was carrying (a lot of it in my face) my face shape may remain enough different to keep me looking less like my dad.