Thursday, 26 November 2020

Take a Drink From The Sprinklers

Buster and I were out on our morning walk today when we noticed something new. Well, new to us because I am sure it has been there for the better part of a year. I remember people installing a couple of metal boxes in the field close to the soccer pitch. I have a hazy memory of asking what the boxes were for and I think the reply had something to do with irrigation. I couldn’t understand how metal boxes in the middle of a field would help with irrigation and really did they need such large cabinets to protect a couple of taps.


Well, this morning Buster and I saw (for the first time) a pole coming out of the boxes and what looked like a small weather station on top of the pole. I Googled it when I got home and it turns out that the city uses things like that to determine when the field needs to be watered, collecting data on humidity, rainfall and temperature among other things. It makes sense of course it is just that I had not considered anything that fancy would be used to water a field.


I am sure there was a time when cities or towns would let Mother Nature look after the watering of public fields. There were probably a lot more fields with dead, brown grass back then. I remember when I was a kid the city workers would put out these powerful sprinklers to water the fields and on hot summer days we would run thru then playing tag and getting soaked. Eventually, one of us would be dared to take a drink from the sprinkler. I can remember a powerful jet of water catching the inside of my cheek and having that cheek hurt for hours. The pain didn’t stop me from taking a drink the next time, it just made me be the first one to dare someone else to take a drink.


I don’t know when it happened or when I noticed it, but there was an “Adopt a Field” program that had neighbours take responsibility to water the fields. Probably the city could let some workers go and get the job done for free. Of course some fields were well looked after and others had dead, brown grass. That is the nature of having volunteers working for you. I don’t think that program worked out very well.


The next stage I remember was the city watering the grass once a month which of course left us with grass that was dead and brown unless Mother Nature pitched in a few millimeters a month. I guess that is why a couple of years back Buster and I noticed the city workers digging up the fields and laying pipe down. It makes sense now, they had a long term plan. Who knew?


The sprinklers probably come on in the wee hours of the morning when all of us good people are dreaming and there is less demand on the water system. Next summer I will have to spend some nights checking on when the fields are being watered. I’m retired so I can catch up on my sleep during the day. Besides, I kind of have a hankering to take a drink from the sprinklers.

Sunday, 22 November 2020


I think that I have established that I am something of a pack rat. To me a pack rat is somewhere between a collector and a hoarder. I am not a collector because I’m not committed enough to stick to collecting and quite frankly I am just too cheap. I’m not a hoarder probably because my wife won’t let me be. Don’t get me wrong, when I die the kids are going to have to fill a large bin with stuff that they will wonder “Why in God’s name did he have this?” That is just the way it is going to be…not my problem, I will be dead.


I am more or less harmless and can be convinced to get rid of things. The key for me is that if I think I will need an item or a hundred items in the near or distant future then I need to hold on to whatever bit of crap it happens to be.


A year or two ago one of the neighbours put a perfectly good picture frame in the garbage. It had a perfectly awful picture in it that definitely deserved to be in the garbage. Of course I rescued the frame and tossed the picture. I had in mind that if I put cork in the frame I could display the artwork I get from the grand kids. It would have worked to except for the fact that I rarely if ever get anything from the grand kids and even less since the onset of Covid.


A month or so ago I was cleaning the computer room. Well, cleaning is a little strong, I was moving piles of things around the computer room and found a stack of last years Christmas cards. I stopped “cleaning” and shuffled through the cards and noticed that there were more than a few really nice cards. More than a few crappy ones as well. I have a friend or two that send hand made cards which are mini works of art. Some people put a lot of thought into buying just the right card for each person and others are just wonderfully funny or touching. They shouldn’t be tossed into the recycling bin at the end of the year. Well, other people do that I guess. After a not so difficult search I found the cards from 2018 and 2017 and there were wonderful cards in those piles too.


Well, I put the empty frame and the wonderful cards together and came up with a new Christmas decoration that will subtly change from year to year. It looks pretty good too and makes me look like I planned keeping all of those cards over the years. It also gives me an excuse to keep Christmas cards in years to come without any guilt what so ever. There is also the added benefit of having something else for the kids to toss into the dumpster.