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Episode 2 (1 Viewer)

BillDugan

Senior Member
OK, boys and girls - Judging from the underwhelming response to my previous episode, it is time to forge ahead, with a "rose-colored-glasses" belief that someone actually gives a shit about what I have to say. Yes, the moment you have all been waiting for has finally arrived - I have managed to pen a few thoughts for your consideration.


“The Whenever The Hell I Can Get It Together

To Present My Shallow Views
Of Small Slices Of Pop Culture”

Episode 2 - In which da blind dude debunks some motivational happy horseshit nonsense

Please allow me to tell y’all a story. It’s the story of an event in my life, and to the best of my recollection, it is true and complete.

I once lived in a rural farming community about 60 miles east of the Dallas, Texas area. We lived in an older trailer that set on 3 1/2 acres of lake front property. While the mobile home was older and did show signs of wear and tear, the property itself was just gorgeous.

This was our (my wife and me) first taste of land ownership. And we discovered quickly one of the big differences between renting and owning – when something needed repairs, well, there was no land-lord or land-lady to call to come and fix it – we had to tend to the repairs of an older trailer ourselves.

Down Texas way, there is an old saying that goes something like this: “when a blue norther blows in, there ain’t nuthin’ between Texas and the North Pole but a barbed-wire fence.” The translation: “now and again, a cold front will blow in that is down-right killer cold.”

One winter, while living in the old trailer, a blue norther blew in that lasted for 10 days. And the record cold temperatures literally did kill more than a handful of people that could not withstand such frigid conditions. There were wind-chill factors of 40 below zero (and man, that is colder than the proverbial witches' left tit).

A deep-well and electric pump provided our water. I had the foresight to have buried the water pipes from the pump to the trailer before the cold snap came on us. But I did not anticipate that the “below-freezing wind-chills” would keep freezing the pump itself. The pump set up on a wooden pallet, bare naked to the cold, and round-about the 2nd day of the cold spell, we had no running water.

Well, there was nothing to do, but to try and insulate the pump from the cold winds that blew steadily. Laying scattered about the property was an odd assortment of scrap lumber – many an old pallet and other assorted mix-matched odd sizes of this-and-that.

I bundled up as best I could and set out to build a pump house in weather conditions that common sense would have dictated “stay inside”. I built this pump house by rounding up piece after piece of wood pallets and other assorted wood goodies, and nailing them together and to the pallet that the pump sat on. I couldn’t stay outside for long – the wind chill factor on this particular day was 40 below zero (no lie, my friends) – and had to continually come in to escape the horrid wind and then go back out to work on the pump house.

Gathering and nailing, gathering some more, and studying what I had so far accomplished, and then nailing some more - the pump house went up slowly, but steadily. I followed neither blueprint nor plans. Necessity dictated that I just keep going at the task at hand until I successfully completed the job. And when the chore was done, I was able to step inside the pump house and verify that it did indeed shield the pump from the freezing wind.

The mission was possible and completed (well, almost – we did have to thaw out the frozen pump with the aid of electric hair dryers), and we had running water again.

The pump house was not pretty. Some pieces of lumber stuck out from the fabrication at places, and it had the look of something that might fall down at any moment. But the pump house never did fall down. As a matter-of-fact, it subsequently withstood storm force winds that uprooted small trees and blew some neighboring house roofs off. When we moved off of the property some several years later, the pump house still stood and still performed it’s function of protecting the pump.

Is there a moral to this story? I’m glad that you asked! Because, YES – there is.

There is a line of thought from some motivational notion floating around that says, “If you fail to plan, then you plan to fail.” And lots of people have either read or heard that line, and subscribe completely to the thought that it conveys. And many of these believers then pass on these “words of wisdom” to others. And they mean well, but do not realize that there is a possible harm that can come from blind belief in this happy horseshit nonsense.

Please do not misunderstand me here. It is, by all means; better to have plans than to not have plans. And the bigger the task that you tackle, the more important it is that you have some kind of plan as to how you are going to accomplish your goal. But, if you preach that success is not possible without plans, then you not only fail to recognize that that is not the case, BUT you may be dooming some neophyte to failure because he/she will blindly believe what you say, and will be the type of person that has difficulty in laying out plans.

So that you understand what it is I am trying to convey, this is what might happen: You convince someone that “if you fail to plan, you plan to fail”. This someone is not capable of seeing, in advance, the successful completion of some task, and is incapable of detailing plans. Because you have convinced this person that his/her inability to plan will inevitably result in failure, …. well, what are the chances of his/her success?

Now, this next part is strictly my “not-so-humble” opinion, and like any opinion, it just might not be so. But here it is, none-the-less: If you have a general idea of what you want to accomplish, and you make up your mind that you are going to take the steps necessary to make it happen, and then proceed to take those steps – you stand just as much of a chance of success as anybody else. The plans will begin to come to you, in more and more detailed and clear mental images, as you take action.

I guess, what I am trying to say is: “Actions are every bit as important as plans, and maybe even more so. Don’t let a lack of plans stop you from setting out on a course of action that you hope will bring you success.”

bmud
Inexorably Tangled
Somewhere Between
Insanity and Sincerity
 

Raging_Hopeful

Senior Member
Okay so I understand the point but I think you could condense the "freezing your ass off" story by omitting some unnecessary paragraphs:

"I bundled up as best I could and set out to build a pump house in weather conditions that common sense would have dictated “stay inside”. I built this pump house by rounding up piece after piece of wood pallets and other assorted wood goodies, and nailing them together and to the pallet that the pump sat on. I couldn’t stay outside for long – the wind chill factor on this particular day was 40 below zero (no lie, my friends) – and had to continually come in to escape the horrid wind and then go back out to work on the pump house.

Gathering and nailing, gathering some more, and studying what I had so far accomplished, and then nailing some more - the pump house went up slowly, but steadily. I followed neither blueprint nor plans. Necessity dictated that I just keep going at the task at hand until I successfully completed the job. And when the chore was done, I was able to step inside the pump house and verify that it did indeed shield the pump from the freezing wind."

I think you should channel the meaning of "to make a long story short..." because it's the second part of this piece that is the point. Let me recommend "My Goodness: A Cynic's Short-lived Search for Sainthood" by Joe Queenan. I think you'd find it hilarious. :-D Anyways, good stuff here and keep writing!!
 

BillDugan

Senior Member
Raging_Hopeful said:
I think you should channel the meaning of "to make a long story short..." because it's the second part of this piece that is the point. Let me recommend "My Goodness: A Cynic's Short-lived Search for Sainthood" by Joe Queenan. I think you'd find it hilarious. :-D Anyways, good stuff here and keep writing!!

Raging-Hopeful - what a moniker; I love it. Somewhere between sarcastic wit and "to-hell-with-you" honesty, it's right up my alley. I'll keep my eyes open for a copy of your recommended reading.

Thanks for the comments. It proves that .... well, what it actually proves is subject to personal interpretation, and personal interpretation is a lot like opinions and butt holes (and I don't know you well enough to show you mine).

Thanks for reading - I'll poke around the forums for something of yours to dip my toes into.


Bill Dugan
 

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