Sunday, October 10, 2010

War on LARD! Update: Adaptive Management

A bird chirp finally put me over the edge from drowsing to awake. I reviewed my system status: Breathing? Check. Eyes working? Check. Ears? "Mumph," I heard Dolly-girl react to me moving. Check. LARD! I don't know, feeling thin. The scale will tell.

I hopped up and headed for the scale, remembering to stop along the way--"A pint's a pound the world around--no sense in carrying extra water..." I stepped on the scale and stood at attention, trying to feel as thin as possible, sucking in my gut and standing up straight. I assumed the "This has to make me weigh less" posture. I looked down. The lights on the scale flicked while it tried to make up its mind how much I weighed like the reels on a slot machine when it's trying to decide that you lose. The numbers flashed. "Wail!" Same weight. Same weight for almost a week. "Wail!" Dolly-girl heard my sobs. "For the sake of Sam, Jack, will you put a cork in your pie-hole. I'm sleeping--or trying to--here."

This called for action. I used a LARD! Line and picked up the phone. Surely Javier Boleyn, the creator of the 2-Step DUH! Diet would be able to tell me what to do. "Javier Boleyn here. Who are you and why are you wailing?" "Professor Boleyn, it's I, Jack D'Mestiere. I need help." "Ah, yes. Jackie-boy. Why do you wail so? Has Fiora broken your heart? Are you calling to order a copy of my new best-seller, Losing LARD! for Love?"

It wasn't the book I was after. I started. I filled him in on my success to date--over a pail of LARD! driven to oblivion through my warfare. I amazed him with tales of actually defeating LARD! on its sacred turf--France. But now, over 5 days without so much as a tiny portion of schmaltz leaving my body. Wail!

"Stop your blubbering and let's get to the bottom of this mystery, Jackie-boy. Are you sure you are following the diet?" "YES!" "To the letter?" "Er, ah..." "Ah ha. What is it? An extra Finn Crisp? An entire grape? Not being tempted by baguettes and cheese are you?" "Well, maybe I have been taking 5 almonds instead of three..." "That's how it starts, Jackie-boy. And I'll bet you've parked your LARD! ass back in that office chair. You know, in France, even when you were traveling, you and Fiora were still spending a good deal of time on, what is that quaint term you use...?" "Shank's mare." "...Yes, that's it, shank's mare. Quaint. Remind me never to say it again. You simply are moving less than you were, and by your honest account, perhaps eating a bit more. You've switched the less and more in the 2-Step DUH! Diet equation." My head snapped to the right as reality landed a haymaker to my jaw. An almond popped out of my mouth. Busted.

He continued. "Well, Jackie-boy, you've discovered two things. A) LARD! wears you down. It becomes harder and harder to resist its siren call. And second, you have discovered the feedback loop, and a negative one at that. The more LARD! you give up, the less LARD! it takes to sustain you." I could figure that one out, and it meant no good news for me.

"Jackie-boy...wait, I shouldn't have to tell you this. Aren't you a proponent and practitioner of adaptive management or environmental management systems? Weren't you a simulation modeler? Does the cycle, 'Plan Do Check Act' mean anything to you at all?" "Wail! Oh this is bad news." "Yes, I think you know that you are ready for phase II of the Duh! diet. It's very simple. I want you to insert one word in each step. I want you to put the word, even in front of the words less and more." "Wail!" "You must do it, lad; the alternative is LARD!" I thanked him, replaced the blower on the hook, looked at Dolly-girl, and wailed.

My blubbering continued until reality flashed in front of my eyes again, this time in the form of Dolly-girl tossing a glass of water in my face. "Snap out of it, Jack!" She sounded like Loretta Castorini yelling at Ronnie Cammareri. Wail!

OK, I've summoned Bill to croon in my ear as I complete the first adaptive management cycle and implement the new, improved, 2-Step + DUH! Diet:

Eat even less! Move even more!

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