In one of my classes we are studying signaling mechanisms in life forms (first plants, now animals). As always, there are powerful connections between the natural world and the human existence. From Wikipedia:
In biology, signal transduction refers to any process by which a cell converts one kind of signal or stimulus into another…The number of proteins and other molecules participating in the events involving signal transduction increases as the process emanates from the initial stimulus, resulting in a "signal cascade," beginning with a relatively small stimulus that elicits a large response. This is referred to as amplification of the signal.
Amplification of the signal…….let me relate this concept to my world.
Many years ago, my mother bequeathed one of her sofas to me. Being young and in need of such assistance, the gift was happily accepted. A beautiful floral pattern lent an air of refinement to my bachelor milieu.
A while back, my dear friends re-did some rooms in their house. My wife and I inherited their very nice curtains. The curtains and my sofa did not match, so the curtains were put away until we upgraded our den.
A tax refund and a small gift were the recent impetus for an update, so we bought a new sofa and chair. To go with the nice curtains, you see. That were free, but which did not match my sofa, which was also free. So kiss that money goodbye.
But curtains require rods. Nice curtains require different rods than those used to support the sheers we have been using. And it takes several trips to different stores to find just the right rods, in stock. Oh, and someone has to install the rods; specifically, I have to install the rods.
And installing rods requires tools. Which are buried under a pile of debris in my shed. And the drill, which is battery powered, needs to be charged, which requires a further search for the charger. But it gets done.
And then I have to relearn the lesson that every amateur handyman learns again and again: don’t start a project on the most obvious location, because the work will be wrong on the first attempt.
And then, stepping back to admire the precision and care of the drilling, screwing, and hammering, we discover that the room is awfully dark with these nice, heavy, rich curtains. What’s that?……….ahh, pull backs. We need pull backs. So it’s back to the stores to find just the right pull backs, in stock.
Which require further drilling, screwing, and hammering. And don’t you dare strip the head of any of the screws!
And then, right on time, the new seating arrives. And yes, it looks very nice with the new curtains, and the den has a new ambience, a richer, warmer feel, a cozy family room.
But now the accessories don’t quite work. Which means that pictures are moved, mirrors are hung (more drilling, screwing, and hammering), and baleful looks exchanged as the recognition dawns that some tables might not work in the new setting. But they will have to wait for the next refund.
My work is done for now. But what started as the kindness of a mother and the kindness of dear friends, has now spiraled into a home improvement project that has, frankly, exceeded my miserly budgetary guidelines.
This friends, is a textbook example of the amplification of a signal.