Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Water Usage Report: July-August 2008

We just received our water bill for the two-month period ending in August 2008, and I am pleased to announce that we have reduced our water usage by 25% versus the prior year. Due to a drought, the local water utility (EBMUD) had imposed voluntary water restrictions whose primary effect would be to impose heavy fines on households not cutting back on their water usage by at least 20%.

For the record, our water usage during the period went from 400 gallons per day, down to 300. We achieved this in the following manner:

1) I reduced the watering of our lawn from 8 minutes down to 6 minutes per day, and completely eliminated watering the left-hand side of our backyard.

2) I only flush the toilet after Russell, Punky and I all pee in sequence.

3) I run the dishwasher only once a month.

4) I bathe only every other day (yeah, I know its gross). This now applies to everyone in our family.

5) Jenny no longer leaves the faucet running when she brushes her teeth.

6) I no longer wash the cars.

My thanks to everyone in our household for their cooperation.

I Bought A "New" TV (for $20)

We've been a one TV family since the beginning. Our TV is a 20-inch Mitsubishi that I bought back in 1989. I still have the original remote control, although the only numbers that still work are 0, 1, 4, 7 and 9. Luckily, the volume and channel up/down buttons still work.

On weeknights, Jenny can usually be found in the living room watching her favorite Chinese and Korean soap operas. With only one TV, this leaves Russell and Punky with the option of watching their favorite videos on either my computer or on the portable DVD player with a 7-inch screen. I'm in no mood to see the Brewster Boys break another computer or ruin their eyes staring at a 7-inch screen, so I broke down this weekend and bought a used 13-inch Panasonic TV/VCR combo.

Originally, I went to WalMart to see what they had on sale, and the lowest priced TV they offered was $250, an LCD model. They no longer sell CRT-type TVs. So I went shopping on Craigslist and found a nice used model for sale. Now, I need to buy a used Nintendo 64 and Pokemon Stadium game for the boys.

Cross-posted at my "Where Have You Gone, Joe DiMaggio" blog.