Notes from a Jailbird

Posted: Friday, June 1, 2007 at 12:00 am
By: Doug Lund
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I can see the headline now..
“Former Keloland News anchor, Doug Lund, jailed for watering violation.”
“I couldn’t figure out how to program the dumb automatic sprinkler controls,” Lund was quoted as saying as he was being lead off across his beautiful green lawn in handcuffs early Saturday morning.
“He’ll have plenty of time to study the operating manual now,” chuckled police chief, Doug Barthel.
Okay, so the above account may be fiction, at least for now. but I’m a worrier and afraid there will come a knock on my door..or perhaps a SWAT (stop water abusers today) team blasting through my front door and hauling me away as the neighbors..who called 911 when my sprinklers went off on an odd day at my even numbered house, stand on their front porches in their PJ’s shouting obscenities at me for blatantly thumbing my nose at the city’s latest water law.
In our 23 years here, we’ve never been able to have a very nice lawn because it was such a hassle to run sprinklers and hoses around our corner lot.
So, Linda and I managed to save enough money to have an automatic sprinkler system installed.  We had the installer set it up go off at 4 AM every other day.
We even did the proper thing by adding a rain sensor that prevents watering during and after a rainfall.
But now, there’s a problem.
I have no idea how to set the thing up to only sprinkle on even days because the city- approved rain sensor doesn’t know about the city’s new law and will kick in again when it gets dry..perhaps on an odd day..whoops.
Plus, the months with 31 days throw the odd-even arrangement out of whack.
I’m not about to get up at 4 O’clock in the morning every “even” day to turn the thing on manually so I guess I’m just going to have to take my chances and hope that early rising neighbors..who are being encouraged to tattle..only see my sprinklers sprinkling during the appropriate days.
So why is the city doing this in the first place?
Apparently it’s the old supply and demand thing the wear and tear that demand places on water pipes and pumps and  cost of repairing them and blah, blah, blah.
I wonder if and when the Lewis and Clark water pipeline ever comes on-line it will solve these shortages once and for all or if, like the temporary penny sales taxes that mysteriously become permanent, we’ll be on these same watering restrictions every spring and summer indefinitely.
It seems to me that the thing we should really be worrying about is the 75 million we have invested in that pipeline and whether there will be enough water left in the Missouri River to tap into when the time comes.
Oh well, I guess everybody knows what they’re doing and like three dollar gasoline, there’s not a heck of a lot I can do about it.
I wonder if you can only shower on odd\even days in jail.

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