Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Raindrops Keep Falling on My Gauge

I suppose I should add to that title and put, "That is, if it ever rained around here." It will come, grasshoppers.  Patience.

I'm a weather fan.  It just fascinates me and I have an electronic indoor/outdoor thermometer and a rain gauge. I know--look out Weather Service in Sterling!  The big weather dog is in the house!

My rain gauge lives on our sketchy-looking deck (but then we are not Deck People and rarely go out on it except to take out the trash and survey the vast expanse of our 1/8 acre back yard which is also sketchy-looking). My old rain gauge was I think a giveway, plastic with an ad for seeds on a flange sticking out from the tube.  The plastic had fogged up and the seed ad faded so I decided it was time for a new one.  I hied myself to a local store which will remain nameless except to say its initials consist of two repeated letters with two curves each. I bought a nice little glass gauge and installed it in the same location.

It didn't work. How something that has no moving parts doesn't work is a puzzlement, but the gauge basically didn't measure rain.  We would have a heavy thunderstorm and it would sit there with about 1/10 of an inch in its little tube. I put the old one up as a comparison and after a thunderstorm Mr. Old Reliable If Sketchy-Looking Gauge registered 3/4 of an inch. Mr. Glass Newcomer showed...1/10 of an inch. Either Mr. G. N. was fixated or had too small an opening to work, except his opening was the same as Mr. O.R.I.S-L.

I took the offending gauge back to the store for a refund.  Here follows the actual dialogue with the nice young clerk at the store:

Me: I'd like to return this for a refund, please.
Nice young clerk: What's wrong with it?
Me: It doesn't work.
Nice Young Clerk: It doesn't work? What do you mean?
Me: It doesn't measure rainfall accurately.
Nice Young Clerk: Do you have it in a location where it can catch the rain?
Me: . . . Yes.
Nice Young Clerk: Does it leak?
Me: No. I tested it.
Nice Young Clerk: How do you know it's not accurate?
Me: I compared it to a known good gauge.
(I thought we were on our way to 20 questions. I just wanted to see how many this would take.)
Nice Young Clerk: Do you want another one?
Me: No. I think the design is defective.  I'd just like a refund.
Nice Young Clerk: OK. Fill out this form.

I did get my $5.34 back. The form had a space called, "Reason for Return."  I wrote, "It doesn't work.  I promise you."

I put up a nice big plastic gauge.  We'll see how it does. I hope it works. I only have 14 questions left to go, after all.

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