I’ve been trying to do the every other day thing. We had some rain over the weekend which helped but since then we’ve had thunder and at most a tiny drizzle for a couple of minutes but not enough to replace actual watering. As a result, it looks like this week will be an actual watering week (though only every other day). 20-minutes per side this morning.


The grass was looking a bit shabby so I decided to get out there for some mowing. I only mowed the front lawn but I also got the new string trimmer out and tried to use that. I followed the directions in the book to the letter and even used the oil that came with it to mix into the gas as instructed. First, it was very difficult to get it started. When it finally turned over I had to quickly jump to revving the engine to keep it running. Then it turned itself off after 20 minutes and wouldn’t restart.

I called the tech support number listed in the side of the unit. After waiting on hold for nearly 30 minutes total, the Ryobi technician answered. The first question out of his mouth was, what type of oil did you mix into the gas. I told him it was the oil that came with the unit. He asked me to describe it. I told him it was a black bottle with green writing and the letter G on it. He told me, without hearing more about my experience that he bet the unit stopped working after 20 minutes or so. I confirmed and he said it was because the G stands for garbage and the unit was ruined and needed replacement. I asked him for further detail and he explained that the G-Oil wasn’t viscus enough to keep the engine lubed at temp so the engine seized and the chamber was scared. (As a side note, the bottle says the G stands for Green. If by Green they mean they are using a grown-oil rather than a synthetic or a drilled, it should have greater viscosity than others due to the double bond between molecules in its octanes but who knows what Ryobi means when Ryobi says something is Green.)

I took the unit back to Home Depot as I was instructed to do by the Ryobi technician and before I even explained what was wrong they were offering to refund my money. I then explained what was wrong and they told me they hadn’t heard anything about it but that they’d exchange the unit if that’s what I’d prefer (which is what I wanted). Perhaps I’m putting too much faith in that technician (he did tell me some strange things about how I could get away with using up the remaining gas with the bad oil by adding good oil to it–a process which I have no intention of trying) but I figure I can give Ryobi one last chance. If if fails again with “good” oil I’ll trade it in for a different brand.

I should say, what little trimming I did do, it looked nice. It will be nice when I have the working trimmer to complete the job. I will have to get used to it, however, as it will take down anything in its path.

Stakes, basil, and soil

I decided to take a trip to Paulino’s to pick up some supplies. Dana had been there once last year but I had never been there. It’s an unobtrusive building in the middle of a mostly industrial area north of Denver. I walked around the store for nearly an hour before I returned to the front of the store and grabbed a basket. There were a few staff members wandering around the store but they were mostly talking to each other and during my hour they never approached me to ask if there was anything I needed. I came to the store needing long garden stakes (5 or 6 feet). I decided to also pick up three basil plants and some potting soil. I brought my items to the checkout, paid, and left without much in the way of communication with their staff. The supplies there were nice and seemed inexpensive and plentiful but the staff there wasn’t particularly engaging.

I returned home and staked up the roses which are starting to lose their pedals. Strangely the roses in the back of the house, which I’ve been completely ignoring apart from a trimming early in the season, are flourishing. After staking the roses in the front I went inside and transferred the basil plants to a beautiful silver three pot planter Dana bought me for my birthday last year. I added some miracle-gro potting soil and after filling in the empty space with soil, added water. I need to figure out where the plants should sit. For now they’re just on the counter in the kitchen but will need to be someplace with better light. Not sure what I’m going to do about that yet. I’ll have to work that out.