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Rain at last!
August 20th, 2008

We finally got rain yesterday and last night. I don’t think we have had any significant precipitation here in about 3 months. Edouard was headed straight for us, then broke up into little stormlets when it crossed the Balcones Escarpment (that happens a lot) and we got just a tiny amount of rain. One day MRA called in a panic to make sure the cats were in because it was raining hard (and he knows how oblivious I can be). It was raining three miles away, but here it didn’t even cloud up. We’ve had several cloudy days recently, with heavy rain showing on the Weather Underground radar all around us, but never coming through here. Finally, yesterday it got darker and darker and darker over about three hours and eventually we had about a tenth of an inch. But like at Camelot, the rain mostly falls after sundown here, and we ended up with about 1.8 inches. It’s a great relief, and I’m sure the aquifer needed the water. I know my plants did.

It has been such a dry summer that everyone’s water usage has been much higher than usual. I thought we must have a pipe leaking somewhere when I saw the water bill a couple of months ago, but no, we just had to water a lot. Little shortcomings in the sprinkler coverage have become very obvious as the grass fries here and there. The city water authority took it upon itself to publish the names of the top 10 water users, and guess who the “winner” was? Lance Armstrong. And he hasn’t even been home. I can’t quite figure out what the point was. They certainly aren’t motivating other people to cut down on their water usage. Now everyone can say, “Well, at least I’m using less than Lance.” And I find it really disturbing that they gave the list to the local paper, which then published quite a snotty article about all the rich and important people who are using a lot of water, some of whom couldn’t be bothered groveling to the reporter. But I’m less disturbed by the tone of the article (the Austin American Statesman isn’t the New York Times, after all) than by the fact that the water authority made the information available. What’s next? Articles about people who don’t call their mother much? People who leave their porch light on all night? People who are chronically late returning their library books? (I would be on that list. The library has started emailing me when my books are close to due. I’m trying to believe they are doing this with everyone now but I really feel singled out.) I know, water scarcity is serious (some places anyhow) but I say — raise the price, or set a household limit, or ban outdoor watering. Just don’t publish people’s utility bills.

2 Responses to “Rain at last!”
  1. From sverzino
    12 years, 1 month ago

    Our library asked if I wanted an email notification prior to items being due & could have opted out of it if I wanted. But with 2 kids that borrow books & movies but don’t seem to remember where they are I definately need the 2-3 day warning to round them up to avoid the late fees. The concern over privacy is everywhere…..there’s a backwards online phone # look up that you can type in someone’s phone # & it will list everyone (by name) & age that lives at the location & there’s a link to mapquest. When I found this I was beyond hysterical since I didn’t give anyone permission & it’d be a great tool for pedifiles to track down kids to target. Needless to say I promptly opted out of the listing but what bothered me is I wasn’t given forewarning of the tool. I would think the default would be no listing & people would have to actively opt in to be found. We’re in the phone book but that’s different since it doesn’t list our ages & kids. It almost seems like companies are helping the bad guys with ways to steal someone’s identity without them knowing it. I guess so the same companies can market their oversight & protection services. It’s a pesimistic thought but it seems to be the only thing that makes sense!

    I probably asked for the library notifications, I just don’t remember doing it. I must have given them my email address, at any rate. You were fortunate if you were able to easily opt out of that online listing. So often the places that have the listings get their info from somebody else and they don’t care if it’s inaccurate or if you don’t want it shown. They even say they’ll delete it but it will probably come back the next time they get an update from whoever it is (and they can’t always tell you who that would be). It really infuriates me.

  2. From Rifestitch
    12 years, 1 month ago

    When they first put the water restrictions in place here in Atlanta last fall (6 months too late, IMHO), they actually called out the addresses of some of the highest offenders – some millionaire somewhere with his fountains that didn’t have a catch basin, just ran into the ground, etc. – so then some of these people made it into the traffic reports, because the streets they were on were crowded with everyone coming to see the offenders offense. A media circus over nothing, instead of the authorities just going quietly, knocking on the doors, and demading to have the water turned off.

    It seems as though we are back to the days of public humiliation as a way to curb behaviour – it worked before because it was such a limited audience; now that everything is global, it only makes the problems 10x worse than whatever the original problem was. As for rain, we are, in my area of ATlanta, down about 17″ for this year, not to mention the 20+’ from last year. Other areas around Atlanta are doing better, but as I’m up inthe foothills of the Smokies, stuff either skips over us or gets stuck here – so we’ve missed most of the rain for this year. And it looks like we’re getting nothing from Fay – we don’t need to get a lot, or every tree in the state will fall over, but we could definitely use some :)

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