The List Maker

Back when I was in high school I had this teacher, a fellow named Webster, who would occasionally go on a diatribe about picayune minded “list makers”–people who had to make a list every day just to manage their lives. It was an inspiring kind of sermon to a knucklehead like me against establishment and status quo the ilk of which was quite common in the 60’s. You really have to put the times in perspective what with an undercurrent of radicalism in the world and hippies running amuck everywhere. War was bad and love was good.

So for the longest while I felt vaguely guilty resorting to the creation of any kind of list, whether it be intended for a grocery shopping expedition or writing a content plan for a book (I was a technical writer, remember). About 20 years ago I completely rebelled against Mr. Webster’s idiot notion. Plan your work, and work your plan. It is the key to sanity in this rather technical world.

Today I’m writing a packing list for travel; an item on my TO DO List. I’m comfortable with the notion that Mr. Webster can go straight to hell. And you can tell him I said so.

I haven’t completely gone to the dark side mind you. I’m still a Democrat (allowing some of you to observe that I’m still a knucklehead.) And I still believe that war is bad and love is good. But there is no excellent reason for running my life on every idiot rant of an old hippy.

Like the old song says, “He can’t even run his own life. I’ll be damned if he’ll run mine.” – from “Sunshine”, Jonathan Edwards (1971).


And the show must go on. Even though I’m out of town for some six days, we still have a Thursday night fun run here, AND we have a four hour split-group on Sunday. I have some obligation to move equipment around and leave a plan for sequencing.


The set of equipment on the floor is a “What do you make of this” sort of riddle. I can arbitrarily design an interesting sequence. But the sequence isn’t intended to teach a skill. However, it may expose a weakness, and so may be used to teach a skill. Did you follow that logic?

My design needs to stand for Thursday night, and with subtle tweaks, give a whole new experience on Sunday. Let’s see what I can do. To provide a point of reference the set of the building now is as it was in this blog post:

This makes for an interesting Thursday night course. It has a couple of moments for which the handler should have a thoughtful solution. But in general is a nice running sequence. It measures more like a jumpers course than a standard course… not having a dogwalk, teeter or full set of weave poles could account for the short measurement.

I’ve rotated the A-frame, brought in a couple of new jumps and the table. But otherwise it won’t be much of a change of the set of equipment.


For Sunday we might very well begin with the Thursday night fun run course. It will be an easy tweak to set the floor for split group work. For two hours the Intermediate group will be working at the same time as the Advanced/Masters group.


I probably need to sketch out several additional sequences. Here’s something more for the Novice folks. Though note that there are a couple of interesting moments in both sequences that make perfectly fine riddles even for more advanced handlers.

Writer’s Note

I’m trying to do a blog entry every day. To tell you the truth, outside of blogging, I run from project to project trying to keep up. You can tell in today’s offering that I’m a bit tired. The List Maker discussion from the title proves ultimately that a blog can be used to vent out any hidden thought or fancy that mightn’t ever have a proper context otherwise.

Questions comments & impassioned speeches to Bud Houston: And Check out my new publication the Idea BookAgility Training for a Small Universe available at


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