Monday, November 7, 2011


Check the obvious


About two weeks ago I put down some weed-n-feed.

The instructions state to thoroughly water in the chemicals - soak the pellets until they melt.

Not a problem.

I have a well. Flip a switch and water comes out via a number of sprinkler heads scattered around the grounds.

So I wandered back to the pump switch and flicked it on - to be greeted by a spurt of nasty brown water from a PVC pipe.

Turns out the guy who used to cut the grass once again punched a hole in the pipe. Second time.

So now I have to replace the PVC - a learning experience - and reseed a portion of the yard, a portion only recently reseeded.

I can't prove the ex-yard guy did the damage, but the substantial circumstantial evidence is pretty strong: twice since he's been cutting the grass a hole has been punched into the pipe, and no one went back by the pump except the ex-yard guy.

Anyway, the grass that got the weed-n-feed is dying because I failed to make sure the pump worked before I put out the chemicals.

Lesson learned: Even with a very low probability of failure, equipment needs to be checked before it is needed.

When I get ready to go on a trip, even a relatively short one, I eyeball the tires to see that they have sufficient pressure. I check the gasoline to make sure I can get where I'm going. I should, but I don't always, check the oil level and condition. Top off the windshield washer fluid.

Basic "stuff."

Like checking the cell phone battery level.

If I'm traveling with the notebook, I charge the battery. (Leaving the battery in the machine and constantly at or near full charge diminishes the battery's charge time.)

To say I'm upset with the ex-yard guy is probably safe to say. To say I am more upset with myself for failing to practice what I preach is absolutely correct.

I'm paying for my false confidence . . . dig up the pipe, cut out the damaged section and replace it, gluing a new piece into place, testing everything and then covering the pipe, and finally reseeding the lawn.

Longer articles at

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