I went to the hardware store and picked up a new sprinkler. It’s one of those pulse sprinklers that make that ticking sound like you see on golf courses. The entire unit is metal which is annoying because it looks too valuable to leave out but which should stand up to vandalism (though if I don’t leave it out, when will it have to stand up to anything?). I put it out and adjusted the spray and found that I could hit the entire front yard without moving it. It wasn’t easy to adjust but I eventually got it adjusted. I checked on it after 20 minutes and there were still spots that looked like they were barely hit with water so I let it run for an additional 20 and checked it again and then an additional 10 and then gave up. I’m thinking I’m going to take it back and replace it with the sort I had before. I may give it one more try.

I also noticed that the basil needs more water. I’m thinking with the heat and dryness, once a week is insufficient. I’ll start watering more regularly and not leave it out in the sun as much as the websites suggested and see how it does.


When I came home from work today I found that someone has vandalized my sprinkler. It wasn’t the best sprinkler in the world but someone clearly came onto my property and broke it. It looks like someone snapped it clean in half. They also moved the hose. It almost looks like they didn’t like the fact that I leave my hose in a coil on my front walk. There’s money I didn’t want to have to spend right now! How frustrating!

Basil plants

I found, after a quick search of the net, that Basil plants watered once a week thrive. Further, that basil plants like a lot of sun. After I purchased my basil plants and potted them in the potter Dana bought for my birthday a year ago, I figured water them onceĀ  a week and put them in a place that gets lots of sun. I apparently was wrong. Denver is such a dry place that once a week wasn’t enough water. After watering them over the weekend, I figured I could wait until the following weekend to water them again. This evening I looked at the basil plants and they were completely wilted (a dramatic change from this morning when I saw new growth popping up). I immediately brought them inside and gave them a drink. The soil was bone dry and each of the three little pots (which are about 1 and 1/2 cups if I had to estimate) took nearly 1/2 cup of water. The soil soaked it up. We’ll see how they do with a day out of the sun.


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.