A fraction of time

I previously alluded to my dread of fractions in a previous postOf course, I laid all the blame on my son. . .but he’s not the only reason.

Last night, I made pecan rolls.  MMMMmmm stickedy goodness that is bound to get me out of any trouble I could possibly get myself into with any of the males in this family.

Which makes it very lucky for me that, aside from myself, there are only males in this family.

Not that I was in trouble or anything.  I mean unless you count that funky smell coming from the other room. . .But, that wasn’t my fault!  (and a story for another day).


So, you make the sweet dough, roll it out, smear it with butter and liberally sprinkle on cinnamon and sugar before re-rolling.  Then, you are to divide this “log” into 12 even pieces.

I came out with 10.  (And mighty proud of the fact that it was at least an even number!)  “Even” nor “equal” even begin to describe the ten little rolls laid in the pan.

Okay, pull out 2 hands.  There’s myself and Jay, and one, two, three, four kids!


So, I was muttering to myself in the kitchen when Jay walks in and eavesdrops.  He’s known to do that, thinking it’s not a personal conversation or anything.  Course, when I’m talking TO him. . .

“Well,  Christine, this has got to be the easiest thing in the world.  First, you just divide it in half. . .”

“Hold it right there, Buster!”  “Half???!  Half?!  Are you insane to think I can divide something in half?  How long have we been married???”

Because, you see, I can’t divide something in half.  Not without a ruler, or possibly a protractor, or some other neat-o mathematical device. 

Now, let me just interject right here.  I have this wonderful fantastic friend who goes on and on, frequently, about people’s inability to cut things properly.  She said things like, “What kind of nimrod can’t cut things in half?”  I’ve yet to own up to her, and am always ensuring Jay is around whenever any kind of cake or pie needs cutting in equal pieces.

Yep, it is true, I fail at these types of things.

And it’s not just fractions. . .no, it’s an eye thing.  I can’t judge distances, or heights of people / buildings, etc.  Jay will ask me, things like “How far where you from the fox?” and I’ll be clueless.  Or, “How tall is so-and-so?”  I’m lucky if they are standing close, but even if they aren’t I’m about 80% likely to be right if I say, “Taller than me.”

I thought he had given up on me till that comment last night.

It really is an eye thing though.  Honest!  I went to the eye doctor due to massive headaches my last year in the Army.  I’ve never seen a doctor get so excited after looking in my eyes!  He even brought in some of his comarades to look.  And it turns out that my pupils are misaligned, which gives me major problems with depth / distance judging.

I remember the eye doc asking me one question:  “I bet you had a devil of a time zeroing your weapon, didn’t you?”

I did.  I did indeed!

****insert memory wave here*****

Imagine me as a new recruit in BASIC training.  Long hair that refuse to stay in it’s braid. . .I can not tell you how many push-ups that cost me!  Big deer-in-the-headlights eyes.  Being screamed at for the umpteenth time for failing to zero my weapon yet again.  There were like a dozen or so of us getting this treatment.  All of us threatened that should we not zero our weapons the next time then we would be recycled back through.  We were in week 6 of BASIC with only 2 more weeks left.  I can assure you, not a single one of us wanted to start over!

Zeroing our weapons?  Yes, I guess I should describe that before we move on.  This is where you take your M16 and fire it at a target (sillouhette) way down yonder.  You are attempting to get 3 rounds in the circumference of a quarter on the target.  So, you shoot three rounds, they call a halt to it, and you clear your weapon, walk down range and stand by your target to be “judged”.

So, it comes to the last zeroing test.  We are marched out to the firing range, given our ammo, and then our positions to fire.  Fire off 3 rounds, told to clear and safety our weapons and then given the all clear to trudge down range.

I’m looking at my target, watching as the drill sergeant is starting at the far end, and I see holes, center mass (heart / lungs area). . .two of them.  There is no third hole!  Nowhere!  I look all over the target and there is not a 3rd hole to be seen!  It means I’ve failed the zeroing test.  It means RECYCLE!!!!  AAARrrrgggh!

I look down the line, the drill sergeant is about 3 people from me now. 

Oh, what am I gonna do?  What am I gonna do???

And then,

like a miracle,

I think of my pen.

Because, you see, over the past 6 weeks it has been beat into my head that “good soldiers always carry around a black, ball-point pen”.

Well, I don’t know that I was a good soldier. . .

but, I did have a black, ball-point pen.

The drill sergeant was now only 2 away and I heard him ripping into the poor girl about how all her shots are all over the place.

I grabbed the pen, and took a glance quickly “determining” it was the right size of a bullet. . .

and stabbed that puppy through the paper.

Yep, 3 holes, in the diameter of a quarter, my friends. . .

The drill sergeant is now upon me.  He looks at the target.  Then looks again. . .

Then hollers up-range that I was a “go”.


On his way to the next poor sap, he stopped and turned and said, very quietly, “Private,”

“ummm, yes? drill sergeant?”

“Next time, make sure your pen is clicked in.”

“Uhhh. . .yes, drill sergeant, I’ll be sure to do that.”

And then, I looked, and sure enough the pen had marked on the paper. . .

You’ll be happy to note that I always qualified as either a “sharpshooter” or “expert”.  (That should put the fear in you, for sure!


You know my brother came to visit me not to long ago.  It was night and I had to pick him up from the airport.  I don’t do well at night, driving that is.  If you think someone’s depth perception is off in the daytime when they are judging based on solid objects they can see, just imagine what happens to them at night when they can only judge by head / tail lights.

I remember my brother had told me he was exhausted, and somehow this above story came to be told shortly after we started home.  I recall looking over at him, and he was sitting rather tense in his chair.  I asked if he was okay, and he said something about suddenly being very awake.


Oh, and the other major fraction I have problems with?  Time!  I think this was only supposed to take 1/4 of an hour, but it may have taken closer to half?  or possibly 1/3?

This entry was posted in family.

One comment on “A fraction of time

  1. Laura says:

    I have friends and loved ones who are amazed at my inability to slice a pie into equal pieces. Your story about trying to zero your weapon was great!

    When is the review this week? Are you ready for it?

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