Mr. Sensitive

June 15, 2011

Operation Lillypad – Day 3

Filed under: Uncategorized — lbej @ 19:28

Today witnessed the heaviest action to date in the campaign.  Both active armies were in the field from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., nearly without respite.  The fighting was close quarters, slimy, dirty, and smelly.  Rather than an extended narrative I will structure the Day Three review as a series of despatches.

  • Both armies set to work digging out the hole for the pump box as the day began.  Fourth Army was called off to screen Icarus with a bout of Frisbee-tossing.  Icarus could scarcely have opposed us more throughout the day short of committing an act of war.  He may have crossed that line, in fact, when he puked on the filter grate later in the day.  In any event, Icarus seems to function for Fourth Army in much the same role as Brinkley functions for me—an incorrigible creature dependent upon the inexplicable beneficence of its patron.  He is well-meaning, supposedly, but his military value is negative umpty-million.  First Army finished the hole, ultimately from inside it and using first a shovel, then a rake, then finally and regrettably, the hands.  Then I sat in the hole for awhile.  If it had been a few hours later in the day, I doubt I’d have been able to get out.
  • After the hole was finished, I resolved to apply the concrete.  This was a risky decision, as we had no experience or knowledge regarding concrete apart from the instructions on the bag.  I intended to use my home improvement guidebook, but I was unable to find it this morning.  After I didn’t burn down the house as a consequence of this intolerable organizational failure, I decided to proceed anyway.  It might have been the first day on the Somme.  Fortunately, it was a resounding success.  I’m thinking of creating some sort of commendation to recognize the achievement.  The concrete brand used was called Sakrete, so I believe I will commission a Sakrete Cluster to recognize audacity and good sense in the absence of battlefield intelligence.  Yes.  Fourth Army favored applying all the concrete we had to fortify our initial position as much as possible, but I elected to hold half a bag in reserve.  I like reserves.
  • Dangerously overextended lines were a looming threat to our operation throughout the day.  As late as three in the afternoon we had in service the following: three large shovels and a hand spade, a rake, a measuring stick, a yard waste can, a bucket, a knife, shears, a hammer, a utility knife, glue, duct tape, pond liner tape, two towels and a half-bag of concrete.  If it had rained more than a few drops we might have suffered the unfortunate consequences of this logistical gamble but, like the concrete application, it came off well enough.  I judged that I simply didn’t have the support personnel to operate more efficiently, and I was too tired to shuttle implements up and down the hill all day myself.
  • At that point it was clear that the pond liner would have to be extended at the mouth of the pond in order for it to be attached to the pump box.  I resolved to cut excess liner from the perimeter of the pond to effect a liner graft.  We were prepared to attempt this while the area requiring the graft was still submerged, but I thought on it for a while and realized I could use the pump to dramatically lower the water level, thus giving us room to maneuver.  I pumped out about a quarter of the water in the pond, along with one goldfish.  I put the goldfish back in as a gesture of goodwill towards the universe.
  • Fourth Army sealed a liner tear on the far side of the pond using marine sealant and liner tape.  Having tested these liner repair techniques, Fourth Army took the lead in applying the liner graft mentioned above.  Once the graft had set, Fourth Army also undertook the filthy task of reattaching the bracket that secured the liner to the pump box (after having been reminded by headquarters of the existence of said bracket).  Icarus attempted to knock Fourth Army into the pond at this time.  I could say that the attempt failed due to First Army’s rearguard diligence, but that would be something other than true.
  • A breach was detected between the extended liner and the rear of the pump box hole.  The commitment to preservation of reserves saved us at that moment, as we had held back enough concrete to form a plug.
  • The parlous state of affairs behind the front lines is becoming a drain.  There’s dirt everywhere and I’m running low on shirts and socks.  I had to deploy my reserve tennis shoes this afternoon, and the front-line shoes may be irretrievably hors de combat.  Fourth Army has been commendably tidy, First Army less so, and all the dogs smell like poop to some degree.  I expect our existing supply magazines to be adequate, if only just.
  • Tomorrow we will raise the water level of the pond, then pocket and destroy any isolated leaks.  Barring a catastrophic failure in the pump box area, this should be a straightforward process.  Thereafter we will return the pump to the pump box and attempt to pump water through the piping on the far side of the pond and through to the grossbox.  If all this goes well, there will be nothing left to do but beautify.  And I still need to find some excuse to wade into the middle of the pond.  Perhaps I’ll throw Icarus in so that I have to go in after him, or not.

Look closely:

The state of affairs at the end of Day 3:


1 Comment »

  1. I love the hidden toogie picture.

    Comment by Katie E. — June 15, 2011 @ 22:24 | Reply

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