Oracle Scratchpad

November 12, 2010


Filed under: Non-technical — Jonathan Lewis @ 6:58 pm GMT Nov 12,2010

… (or “Fall” for speakers of American) has arrived in the UK – and once again I am reminded how gardening and trouble-shooting are just two aspects of the same problem.

I have several trees in and around my garden, including two rather large Oak trees, and at this time of year it takes a couple of hours at the weekend to rake up the fallen leaves. The comparison with solving performance problems is obvious:

Every Saturday, I look at the leaves on the ground and the leaves still on the trees and quite often manage to persuade myself that there’s no point in doing anything just yet.

On the Saturdays when I decide that I really do have to rake up the leaves I aim to clear about 99% of the problem – there’s no point in clearing to 100% because if I go for perfection it’s only going to last a couple of minutes before more leaves start coming down or blowing in. Of course, after I’ve spent ages clearing 99% of the mess, my wife (the end user) is quite likely to say: “you haven’t finished yet”

After I’ve done a really good job raking up enough leaves I look up at the trees and know that all those leaves are going to be heading my way and I’m probably going to have to do it all over again next week, and there’s nothing appropriate that I can do to stop it happening.



  1. i go a different route…. i wait until 100% of the leaves are down before clearing the problem. my end user says “you haven’t started yet?”

    Comment by john — November 12, 2010 @ 7:06 pm GMT Nov 12,2010 | Reply

  2. You can use a lawnmower to “mulch” the leafs. Takes significantly less time, and is healthier for your grass as it acts like nutrition.

    That’s what I recently learned and started doing.

    Comment by Christo Kutrovsky — November 12, 2010 @ 8:43 pm GMT Nov 12,2010 | Reply

    • Christo,

      That’s an interesting possibility – but Oak leaves don’t rot down very quickly (because of the tannin, I believe) so it might not work very well for me.

      Comment by Jonathan Lewis — November 13, 2010 @ 10:16 am GMT Nov 13,2010 | Reply

  3. Troubleshooting? Get rid of the problem. Do you have a fireplace? Maybe have to deal with neighbours and some landscape architect before chopping those trees.

    Comment by Timo Raitalaakso — November 13, 2010 @ 12:04 am GMT Nov 13,2010 | Reply

  4. Yes, if you mulch your leaf nodes weekly the performance and efficiency of your trees will improve.

    (ouch, sorry, couldn’t resist)

    Comment by joel garry — November 13, 2010 @ 12:23 am GMT Nov 13,2010 | Reply

  5. You just can’t stop thinking about performance, can you sir?

    For me, this exemplifies that performance is not just a profession; it is a way of thinking, a way of life.

    Comment by CJ — November 13, 2010 @ 12:41 am GMT Nov 13,2010 | Reply

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