[lit-ideas] Re: Collie-resistant Improvement

  • From: David Ritchie <ritchierd@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Fri, 29 Jul 2011 11:29:29 -0700

The new academic year approaches and with it comes the choice of committee 
assignments.  Pick me for the committee that investigates the outcome of 
outcome assessment programs.  Or maybe for the committee tasked with evaluating 
the competence and methodology of that committee.  How am I qualified for such 
recessive tasking?  M.C. Escher lived for a while in the village that lay below 
the hut where we stayed in Switzerland.  Find someone more qualified than that, 
if you dare.

Yesterday a colleague asked whether I've finished a book he wants to use in a 
course.  The answer is "no," partly because it's very dull and mostly because 
I'm not currently getting any time to read.  How can this be?  Take yesterday 
and the day before as examples.  Started reading.  Daughter ran errands, but 
then returned full of a desire continue touching up the paint in the public 
rooms which, after ten years, had been showing pretty clear indications that it 
was ready for attention.  (Round one of this was Wednesday).  Why round two?  
Because the stuff to execute the texturing which will hide the taping which 
will hide the original dings...was not performing exactly as shown on YouTube.  
My daughter been back to the store and returned with their best 
solution...which was a different bottle/can of exactly the same stuff.  I could 
have told her that this was unlikely to be the correct solution, but she was 
learning and there was no guarantee I would be right.  Unfortunately, I was.  
So the days passed as they usually do when I attempt home improvements--with 
just enough progress to suggest that the effort is worthwhile and a sufficiency 
of things going wrong to make the job take twice as long as I estimated.  To be 
fair, there was also a good deal of "task creep."  Today's round, when I can be 
bothered, is to return to the paint store to point out that in their haste to 
serve people using a cost-effective minimum of employed personnel, someone 
forgot to put colorant in one of the two  one-gallon cans.  Gallon?  For touch 
up?  In their infinite wisdom, the honchos at Ripumoff Paints decided that this 
was the smallest quantity they'd sell.  To be sure of getting an exact color 
match, and to avoid having to do the work twice, I decided to go with the same 
manufacturer as we used originally...good old Ripumoff.  Very sound.  Thus when 
the white didn't seem to match, I painted on, confident that it would dry to 
the correct color.  Nope.  Can't if you fail to put the tint in, can it?  Now 
the work has to be repeated.  I shall have words to say to those overworked 
Ripumoff guys.  Something stern, "Please can you put some tint in"?

Meanwhile, the dog got out again.  While I was in Switzerland Mac decided that 
the neighbors needed investigating, so he burrowed under the fence.  He last 
did this about eight years ago.  Having received a warm welcome once, he has 
since put considerable thinking into how to repeat the experience.  I knocked 
iron stakes into the ground and leaned a large piece of granite against them.  
He thought for a bit and wondered whether, since we were out for the evening 
and since there are still people who believe that letting off fireworks is a 
fun way to pass a summer's eve, if he leaned on the granite and pulled rather 
than pushed...bingo.  The neighbors have a dog door, so the first intimation of 
canine burglary is an extra head nudging their knees and asking whether 
possibly there might be some extra strokes going.  All would be fine--they like 
Mac--were it not for the fact that they are old and retire early.  We didn't 
return home until after ten and they acted like old folk who have been kept up. 
 First thing this morning I installed a cunning collie-resistant improvement.  
We'll see.

If you knew a bit about soccer, this might be interesting.  Without that 
knowledge, I don't know.  It seems to me to have the makings of a movie scene 
or two.  
FOOTBALL - Non-league minnows Havant & Waterloovillehave landed a glamour 
friendly against Spanish La Liga side Real Betis tomorrow after Portsmouth were 
forced to cancel the clash. Pompey are stuck in America after a catering truck 
collided with their plane last night, forcing their flight home from their 
pre-season tour to be cancelled.

And meanwhile...the U.S. coach was fired, possibly a moment or two before 
Jurgen Klinsmann agreed to take the job.  Who is he?  Ex-major player who 
completely and very successfully re-vamped the way Germany prepares for the 
World Cup.  Re-vamped as in changed the way ten year olds are scouted...  
Clearly soccer moms' vehicle of choice will soon have to be something made by 
Volkswagen.  Eins, zwei, eins, zwei...

Carry on.

David Ritchie,
Portland, Oregon

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