If It Ain’t Broke…..

I’m not sure how long ago Park `n Ride was instituted by the State Fair, but YA and I have been utilizing it for years. No driving around trying to find a close spot, attempting to parallel park on a busy residential street, having to remember where you parked and best of all, no trekking for what always seems like an interminable amount of time back to the car after all day at the fair.  Our favorite Park `n Ride lot is the Wilder Foundation at Lexington; we’ve parked there for years.  Everything always runs smoothly.

On Wednesday (my 3rd trip to the fair this year), imagine our surprise when things didn’t run smoothly.  First, even though the lot was almost completely empty when we arrived at 7:30 a.m., there was a line up and the staff were flagging some folks away.  Turns out that they were making everyone back into the parking spots, so it was taking three to four times longer to park.  A few of us balked at this requirement and we were allowed to just pull into a parking spot.

Then they tried to manage the line of folks waiting for the bus. Normally we just line up along the west fence, the bus pulls up and we get on. Instead of this, they split the line in two and made the back half come up and stand parallel to the folks in the front half of the line.  Then they tried to get the line to go along the north side of the fence.  This was accompanied by a lot of “make a single file straight line” exhortations.  This all went nowhere fast and was accompanied by a lot of “what are they thinking” comments from the crowd.

The initial consensus of those of us waiting was that they were thinking it would be easier/faster for people to pull straight out of the parking spaces when they got back to the lot. No one really thought this was needed but we couldn’t think of any other reason for being told to back in.  As for the line management, we thought maybe they wanted to park cars along the west end, since a couple of spots on the lot were really muddy.  But they never did park anybody there while we waited and nobody was parked there when we came back at the end of the day.

The cynical among us figured that one of the staff had probably been to “parking lot management” training the day before and was showing off their new knowledge.  I’m going back tomorrow and am curious to see how it goes.

Have you ever tried to fix something that ain’t broke? Or been subjected to someone trying to fix something that ain’t broke?

66 thoughts on “If It Ain’t Broke…..”

  1. I see that the company that owned the Herbergers stores is hinting the stores may reopen. If they cwcan reopen, why close them?


      1. or the folks who’ve been on their backs realized there is no one else to turn to

        but my wife worked in one and on the 31st of august every stick of furnature and every rack table manaquin and piece of clothing were gone from her store and every other gerber hers store on the planet

        to reopen would be very very costly and would require some strong arguments as to why a shop that positions itself between macy’s and jcpenny or kohl’s should be reopened


      1. the liquidators were new at liquidating.
        the prices went up dramatically the first an item that had sold for 100 was marked up to 250 and given a 20% discount so about month 3 or 4 the price was back to normal and when they closed out it was 20-25% off. they brought in a bunch of crap and sold it as bargains when in fact they were closeouts purchased for markdown from the beginning


      2. Yes, prices were never low and they clearly brought in stuff, against MN law. Our Pennys is next. Sometimes they have only one clerk working in the whole store.


  2. Rise and Shine Baboons,

    I am also headed to the State Fair. Maybe I will see you and YA, VS.

    I will be on the lookout for things that ain’t broke, but that got fixed.


  3. we live in america
    all of us live in the midst of the most abused set of rules and laws ever assembled
    thank goodness the founders laid it out so the truth can shine through all the self interested corruption that is what political bodies seem to spending their time on these days
    when you think of all the options there are for how to spend your time it is a shame that some people choose to try to manipulate the circumstances to serve themselves

    when you mention it vs i think back and remember the parking lot gurus who make everyone do backing in or other strange behavior to fulfill some odd vision they have of how the world should be
    thank goodness they are in charge of parking lots
    it the ones who run the political senate districts and scare all the good people away with their fist pumping and loud proclamations that make me sad
    i’m going to find a positive spin to put on this and be back later
    i can’t stand bitching and i am afraid i bitch as much as i offer positive outlooks these days

    i’m going to work on that

    Liked by 2 people

  4. i’m in chicago for the weekend but may go again on monday
    i went thursday and got a late start
    i went to the cow barn corner where my secret parking spots have been redone buy probably the same guy who ran vs parking lot and we found a spot and when we walked in the barn was closed for cleaning. upon further discovery not only the cow barn but every barn except the horse barn
    take the animals out of the equation and it makes the fair a different experience. we got in all we could before they closed up the buildings at 9 and then just moseyed and people watched ate food watched fireworks and headed out a 4 hour stop was right for my wife with the screwed up leg she’s got right now but not enough for me
    monday may be the answer

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Here’s a word of support for those who try to fix something that isn’t broken. Or, as I prefer to see it, for those who keep trying to make something better even when it works acceptably well.

    It is hard to be sure something that sorta works could not possibly be better. You learn that by experimenting with possible improvements.

    The key is that you shouldn’t change things without reviewing the effects. If changes make things better, keep ’em. If they muck up something that did, in fact, work pretty well, don’t be too proud to change back.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I changed just about everything about how to teach English and was told over and over I was wrong, that I was reinventing the wheel, changing the unbroken thing. I got two messages this week from people telling me I was right, not saying it that way, but saying they appreciated it.

      Liked by 4 people

  6. Fixing what isn’t broken happens quite frequently in the flooring trade. This is mostly true when dealing with stubborn architects and designers. They can produce a seaming diagram on paper that must be adhered to religiously in the field. Just a few weeks ago, I put in a 6 feet wide, weldable vinyl floor down a corridor that measured 30 feet in length by 8 feet in width with doorways on each end.
    The plan called for a seam two feet from the wall, right down the middle of the doorways instead of two feet off the wall. I violated the layout and put the seam to the side. It was called out. No amount of explaining could change the mind of the person who drew the plan. So rather than tear it all up, I made a cut in the flooring right down the trafficked area and welded it up. The designer got a “seam” right where he drew it. You might be asking, “What about now having two seams in the corridor?” The cabinet fixtures at that side wall covered it. Pure stubbornness.

    Liked by 3 people

        1. This borders on judgement and stereotypes, but it is just too much fun to resist. We had a little competition of People Watching sights which at times rivaled Walmart People. The people involved chose their own wardrobes. Here is the list:

          Man proudly holding crotch as he walked.

          Extremely unhappy, crabby teen working at mini-donuts stand who was spectacurlarly rude—how does he keep this job? He did not want to take our money or provide change. Not sure how he thinks retail works.

          Heavy set woman in watermelon dress (yes, really!—pink with black seeds. Edges were green like a melon).

          Spectacular set of unrestrained breasts in halter top (woman about age 70)

          Unbelievable plummer’s pants on man with no waist or hips, held up by very large set of strained suspenders.

          Man in a little black dress. “They” are so correct—a little black dress goes everywhere.

          Obviously high and slow-moving staff at Midtown Global Market selling FRUIT. (How does that fit at the state Fair?) Kind of like watching Tim Conway do his slow-moving character whose name I cannot remember.

          Excellent day for people watching.

          Liked by 5 people

        2. Nice Jacque. I think I saw some of these people. The fruit stands .(there are at least 2 that i know of) seem to be doing well. YA had a peach grilled with goat cheese that she really enjoyed. And I saw some women yesterday at the DNR stage with a big boat of watermelon that look really good at the time.


    1. my understanding is that just about everyday was a record breakers nice to know the traction translates
      so much old timey stuff doesn’t but my kids all go 3-4-5 times
      i talked with someone last week and asked if they had gone yet bands he said 2 years ago was enough
      she’s not from here

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Last time I went, youngest daughter was still in high school or maybe it was middle school (she’s a year+ out of college now). I don’t miss it at all.

        Funny thing is she got a job at the state fair one year – and now she has no desire to go there again.


        1. I couldn’t say exactly when was the last time I went. It always seems about the same to me. I’m not attracted to the frankenfoods that vendors are pushing and I find the people watching sort of depressing. Those are voters, after all.

          Liked by 1 person

  7. Sitting here, having heard part of Barack Obama’s eulogy for John McCain, wearing my “Nevertheless, She Persisted” t-shirt…I am grateful for the men and women who pushed (and continue to push) for the idea that all “men” are created equal truly means all “people” are created equal. And, by extension, that all people – not just landed white men – have the right to vote. To those who fought for the 15th and 19th Amendments, thank you. Our Constitution may not have been “broken,” but pur understanding of it sometimes needs some fixing.

    Liked by 11 people

  8. The Minnesota State Fair might be a classic example of how management can keep improving something that is already great. Some innovations work, and many do not. It seems rare in life when management succeeds in finding positive changes without spoiling what was already good. I don’t think there is anything in Minnesota that beats the Fair for coming up with appealing novelties while keeping traditions (like Ye Olde Mill) going.

    Liked by 4 people

  9. This is sort of on topic. I make a tomato sauce with paste tomatoes cooked and put through a food mill, then cooked with butter and an onion added while it cooks down to pasta saucing consistency. Onion is removed, and it is pure tomato flavor and is ambrosial. Daughter and her best friend insist I make this for them whenever they are at our house. Now that Friend lives in Mpls, and Daughter lives in Tacoma, I sent both a food mill and the recipe so they can make it themselves. Daughter tried making it today. It was a disaster. She wishes I could just send her the sauce.

    Liked by 4 people

      1. She doesn’t like fish, either. I know, I know. Give a girl a foodmill and she can puree her own tomatoes. Today she and a friend are making wine at the Chateau St. Michelle winery. We will hope that is more successful than the tomatoe sauce.


    1. I believe good cooks often experiment with proven recipes, which can result in “fixing something that isn’t broken.” I’ve made tabouli from scratch several hundred times. One time–and one time only–I ruined things, playing around with the cracked wheat that is in the recipe. Alas, the only bad tabouli I ever made was when PJ and her husband were guests at our Lake Superior cabin. They were good sports about it.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It took me a long time to realize that searching for new recipes for something that I already have a perfectly satisfactory recipe for, can be a big waste of time. For instance, I have a brownie recipe (browned butter, walnuts) that is so good, why should I ever try a new recipe? Same goes for a number of other recipes. Sometimes I make a small variation, such as adding lemon balm to the raspberry tart (it’s perfectly good as written, but if I’ve got lemon balm growing, why not add it in?), but for the most part, I’m done searching for new and better recipes. Unless I eat something that someone else makes, I love it, and I realize that I don’t have any recipes that resemble it. Even then, I consider the likelihood of me cooking it before asking for the recipe.

        Liked by 1 person

  10. Only thing that comes to mind is a raging debate in Winona about the closing of two neighborhood schools in the district because of declining enrollment. Won’t go into details, but one group thinks the schools should be repaired and saved for other uses or future enrollment increases. Sort of, “it’s broke, but still usable, let’s fix it.”

    And I’m still thinking…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Our school district wisely built two new schools and refurbished an old one so it is usable. Enrollment is increasing and the high school will probably be enlarged bu nt replaced. Our town of 25,000 is teeming with children, and we have 6 elementary schools for K-5, a huge new Middle school for 6-8, and the High School. There are also 2 Catholic elementary school and a Catholic High School.


        1. Bond referendums weren’t necessary for the new buildings since the district had enough oil money to pay cash. Refurbishing the high school will cost less than building a new one, and there is public support for it. The school board just bought a large parcel of land that had dropped drastically in price due to the oil slump so that there is flexibility in future expansion.


  11. I can think of more examples of “if it is broke, keep fixing it.” Husband has been known to have several layers of patches on his work jeans – sometimes they get so heavy I wonder how he keeps them up. He does this on his own so I can’t complain.

    This philosophy extends to tools, which he will repair multiple times.I guess I do the same thing, altering and mending clothing, etc.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I sometimes mention my passion for editing photos. I assume most visitors to this blog site are not familiar with photo editing software. The app I use most often is called Lightroom. It has one wonderful quality which is called its “non-destructive” feature. In Lightroom you never actually alter your original image, no matter how often or drastically you change it. The original is held sacrosanct. What you alter are copies of it. That means you can experiment to your heart’s content and yet never damage the original. Lordy, lordy, I wish that were true of all areas of my life. Many things I diddle with are never the same after I’ve tweaked them. If I screw up what was right in the first place, I’m not always able to undo the damage.

    Liked by 4 people

  13. Thanks for the fair updates. I haven’t been there since I was in 4H. And that was a long time ago. And yesterday a friend posted a FB picture of he and his three girls at the fair. It was solid people. They only made it a few hours. And that’s how I picture the fair, true or not, and it’s why I don’t want to go.

    In regard to fixing what ain’t broke; we had a dean a few years ago who pretty much had that as their motto. That person has moved on thankfully.
    We’re still in home remodeling projects here although the bedroom hardwood flooring is 3/4 done. We considered scraping off the popcorn ceiling. It isn’t broken either but it sure would have made a mess. And added time. And we decided to let well enough alone. It’ll come back in style at some point.

    Liked by 3 people

  14. One of my favorite examples of ruining something by dumb improvements is the Ford Thunderbird. The Thunderbird debuted in 1955, a crisp and classy two-seater. As Ford kept improving it, the Thunderbird suffered from bloat and loss of personality. I liken this to the way Elvis Presley evolved: from a sexy, slim thing to the fattie in sequined jumpsuits sweating in Las Vegas. Like Elvis, the T-bird changes led to a premature exit.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Ah, but Steve, it re-entered in the early 2000s, again for a limited run, but looking a lot like that classy ’50s two-seater. And now, one of those sits in our garage. It’s a 2003 with a removable hardtop, sporting the classic porthole rear, side windows, (which also sits in the garage on it’s little storage cart). We prefer the ragtop option. The only problem is that after 2 summers of excellent performance, the top stopped going up on Thursday at 1:00. It will go up about 1/3 of the way and then, with the motor still whirring, it stops. We have been assured that it will be an expensive fix and have not yet looked too deeply into just how expensive.The T-Bird is fun to drive and never fails to draw attention and comments when we take her out. It will be fixed.

      Liked by 3 people

  15. Did not get blogs written VS. Sandy’s health took a huge dip this week. She get sick very confused very quickly. She is hard on me or very sweet. Has she admitted yesterday a dome of something across the top of her sternum. Scary but n pain. I am guessing a lupus effect. she shows me on the sat. Before Labor Day. Will get to dr Tuesday. I think I am entering the very hard phase of care giving in the middle of bad fm an pain.


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