Trouble by the Numbers

tl room 0619
The sad last unfloored room at the Some Day Ranch. If we’re counting, that’s a lot of newly-trimmed doorways in a row.

It’s not just me who has trouble with numbers, as I learned yesterday. Oh, I already knew it was never just me, but let’s say it was brought to the fore again yesterday.

Earlier this week, as I noted in a post, Dusty had called me to see which room at the Some Day Ranch was getting gray carpet and which was getting emerald green, which was not a color we had selected. So when Lynn went out to the house and found gray carpet on the correct floor but nothing in the other room, I assumed they had, indeed, ordered the wrong color.

But yesterday Dusty said the carpet place hadn’t said so specifically, but he got the impression that they had mismeasured, and reversed the rooms, thinking the one getting blue carpet (not emerald green, although that might not have been terrible) was the gray room. Even though these rooms are similar enough in size that everyone taking their first tour wants to know which one is the master bedroom, apparently it mattered enough for carpet that there wasn’t enough blue to cover the complete area. And there were probably more gray scraps than intended.

[Here are answers to questions. Yes, carpet over in-floor heat. Dusty says the secret is in the type of pad used, and the woman at the carpet place, who must have at least one middle school player, because she said, “You’re the volleyball official” when we met, discouraged longer-fiber carpets that would act as insulation against the heat coming up from the floor. And there is no real master bedroom, although Dusty thinks a subsequent buyer will identify the southwest room — which apparently is larger despite intentions — as the master. Different schedules and someone’s prodigious snoring, not that I’ve ever heard it, make for more conducive sleep in separate locations.]

The other counting issue comes from a quarter that could just make you groan, because it’s about presidential politics. I know; it’s way too early to be focused on the presidential race of 2020, since we have a full half-year before we even get to 2020, and it would make far more sense for the entire election season to be no more than three months long, but the Democrats just staged their first debate.

Which I didn’t watch, and don’t yet care about, except that there are so many candidates that they keep getting miscounted. And as we know, counting and numbers always concern me.

The other day in a post, I briefly noted in passing that yet another Dem had thrown his hat into the presidential ring, and I told you that made 25. But then I kept hearing there were 24 candidates; some even said 23.

Because of the debate format (10 candidates each over two nights) we know for sure there are 20 Democrats — although I see Bernie Sanders is still listed as I-Vermont; how does that work? — in the race, but how many got left out? I think I heard that getting on the stage involved both how much money your campaign had raised and the number of individual donors who have contributed to your campaign, and you would think if you couldn’t clear these thresholds it might be a sign to save your money (or someone else’s) and drop out.

Let’s pause in our candidate count to review a number tossed out last night on The Daily Show by Howard Dean, once a Democrat running for president himself. He said each — not cumulatively, but each — candidate will need $20 million for the Iowa caucuses. Twenty million dollars. Each. $20,000,000. So if 20 (for easy math) candidates go to Iowa, that is $400 million spent campaigning. In one state. Out of 50. What can you even say to numbers like that?

The Daily Show did a segment last night where they asked people who were in Miami for the debates to name all the candidates. The show told their “contestants” there were 24 total, but Mr. Dean vindicated me by referring to the “five” who weren’t on-stage. (Taking on the show’s challenge, I think I managed to come up with 17 names, although I cheated on Seth Moulton. I have no idea who he is or what he looks like, but his name got mentioned earlier, so he went on my list.)

What does that say, that of the people running for the “highest office in the land,” we can’t come up with an accurate count? I think it says it is too darn early to be worrying about this, and while you have to admire people’s optimism about their prospects, you wonder how realistic it is for most of them to continue. 20 million dollars. (If you were Duncan Hunter, you could wine and dine a lot of women with that kind of cash. Allegedly.)

CBS this morning (now in lowercase, because apparently the new official name of the show is CTM) told me there is another debate, following a similar format, in July, and yet another one in August, but the bar for getting on the stage will be higher. That’s still a lot of Democrats a lot of months ahead of a way too long campaign “season.” It’s practically an epoch. Or is that just me?

So, to recap, carpet got measured incorrectly and no one knows for sure how many Democrats are running for president. In other mismeasurement folly, Dusty assured me the cabinet I bought at 67 inches that somehow grew to 81 will easily break into components for a variety of configurations, so I can make it work in my laundry room. Whew! It’s a relief to know that sometimes numbers will work, even if they were wrong in the first place.

Perhaps these are the five — by Howard Dean’s count — who didn’t get invited to the debate.

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