Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Rainy Day Stories #12 and 35

The weather this week is cold and rainy. But it doesn't matter because I've been catching up on a number of administrative chores that are necessary for us all to enjoy racing our sailboats.

I'm involved in the organization of two regattas over Memorial Day weekend and I volunteered to write the sailing instructions. What other sport issues its competitors with two pages of tightly worded legalese before a friendly, amateur, holiday weekend event? Sure, some of it is necessary - sailors need to know the arrangements specific to this, signals, times of races etc. And I suppose we issue them in written form to avoid any confusion. But why does every set of sailing instructions always start with the words to the effect of "this regatta will be governed by the Racing Rules of Sailing......"? What rules do they think will be using? The rules of baseball?

So I've also been contacting people to remind them of the Laser regatta. It's the first Laser event we have hosted at this club so it's something of an unknown quantity. You never know how many folk will show up but you have to make plans for food and other arrangements on some assumption. My nightmare is that nobody shows up. But my favorite movie is Field of Dreams. So I have to believe, "if you build up they will come".

The company supplying the trophies for both regattas has screwed up. They got the inscription on one trophy wrong. Twice. This is a company that I've used a dozen times before with excellent results. And all of sudden they seem to have turned into sloppy, careless, idiots who don't check their work or think about what they are doing. Perhaps the guy doing my work has some issues....divorce, illness, drugs, sailing withdrawal symptoms....Who knows?

And this is the week I should be editing my newsletter. But I haven't made much progress yet. One of my contributors has written an article about landing on a lee shore complete with detailed diagrams of recommended techniques. He drew the diagrams using Autocad on a Mac; I produce the newsletter using MS Publisher on a PC. You think it would be easy to convert them to some standard file format and transfer them via email? Of course not. Moore's Law of Negative Productivity ensured that we would waste several days failing to transfer the files. Eventually I had to scan them off a printed copy he sent me.

If it wasn't cool and rainy I'd be even more frustrated at the time wasted when I could be out sailing or cycling or running. But the weather outside is awful. So....back to work.

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