|Napping puppy! Break for puppy mom!|
My life these days seems to be governed by rules of thumb. Here are a couple of examples I’m finding especially pertinent:
o For each day in a hospital, expect recovery to take a week. Ten days in a hospital, then, make for a ten-week recovery time.
o A puppy can go an hour between eliminations for every month of age, so expect a two-month-old puppy to be able to last two hours from one pee/poop session to the next.
Merriam-Webster defines ‘rule of thumb’ this way:
(1) A method of procedure based on experience and common sense;
(2) A general principle regarded as roughly correct but not intended to be scientifically accurate
Apparently there is no evidence linking ‘rule of thumb’ to legal wife-beating in 18th-century England!
Those words “roughly correct” in the Merriam-Webster definition reminds us that a rule of thumb is not hard and fast. Some patients recover more quickly after hospitalization and surgery, others take longer than the one day/one week rule suggests, and some two-month-old puppies can sleep for five hours at night before waking and needing to go out. There is wide variability in individual cases. Faced with unfamiliar situations, however, as I have been recently, it's helpful to be able to estimate outcomes and adjust expectations somehow, and a rule of thumb gives us a compass, however wobbly, rather than leaving us completely at sea.
My analogy above set me to wondering about what kinds of rules of thumb might be applicable to sailors. One I found says, “When in doubt, take the longer tack first.” No doubt sailors will understand what’s meant by that. Here’s another one for deciding how much anchor chain is necessary in a given situation:
...So how do you decide what is safe before looking elsewhere to anchor? Traditionally you use the scope – a multiple of the water depth to determine the length of anchor chain you’ll need to use. The RYA suggest a scope of at least 4:1, others say you need 7:1 but in crowded anchorages 3:1 is quite common.
A moment’s thought, however, tells you that a static rule of thumb in an environment that can significantly change in different conditions will not sufficiently account for the main forces acting on your boat, namely the wind and the tidal stream....
Given that reminder that a static rule of thumb is not sufficient in every situation, sailors will want to read the entire article!
|Sunny Juliet taking a brief rest break from outside tomboy play|
A kind friend and neighbor (I have wonderful neighbors here in Dos Cabezas, AZ!) did the driving yesterday on my commute to see the Artist in the hospital in Chandler, up southeast of Phoenix, and that same friend and neighbor puppy-sat with Sunny for over three hours so “dog parents” David and Pamela could have a good, long visit in the hospital. Back home in the evening, it was early night-night for me here in the ghost town. Missing my life partner, I chose one of his favorite books, The Count of Monte Cristo, for my bedtime reading but never got beyond the first page. In fact, I had to read the first sentence over several times to get it to sink in.
On February 24, 1815, the watchtower at Marseilles signaled the arrival of the three-master Pharaon, coming from Smyrna, Trieste, and Naples.
- Alexander Dumas, The Count of Monte Cristo
Would you have been able to name that novel, given the first line?
Speaking of the Artist, his birthday is tomorrow, 2/21, and I would be happy to convey birthday wishes to him from far-off friends. Just leave a note in a comment here, and I will read him what you write. Thanks!
Okay, I found the picture I really wanted! Both were taken on the porch at Source of Coffee, in Willcox, AZ, but I love David's laughter in the one below. Now, if only I could remember who he was talking to that day!
|THIS IS MY GUY!|