Sunday, July 19, 2009

Rambling on in the rain

All that stuff about a typical day? I take it back. That's only typical if IT'S NOT RAINING. And that's not typical.

Bah humbug.

Gotta hand it to those blue jays though, they come regular as clockwork, rain or shine. I'm pretty sure now that they are a parent and two offspring, they are always together and one is always in charge. I never see just one blue jay anymore, or even just two blue jays. Always the three of them together.

Today I'm getting ready for a kayak trip tomorrow. Put the kayak on the truck roof. Remembered that something I've been meaning to do before the next kayak trip is to put handles on the rope loops at the bow and stern, and it just so happens there's some tubing in the shed that will be perfect for that. So I was going to make the handles. Do you think I could find that darn tubing?

When I first saw it, it was hanging on the wall inside the shed with just enough garbage and junk between me and it for me not to be able to reach it. So I spent a whole day clearing out that shed and rearranging stuff in there and getting rid of the garbage, all so I could reach that tubing.

So today, when I finally decide to use it, it's not there. I figure I must have moved it when I cleared out the shed, makes sense that I would move it to the house in preparation for using it, right? But it's not in the house and it's not in the shed. Well, actually it was in the shed but it took three trips back and forth (in the rain...) looking for it before I finally saw it in another location in the shed. For some reason I moved it, but not to any place useful, just another location. Mutter, mutter, grumble. Bah humbug.

I found Malcolm Gladwell's website and I've been reading some of his New Yorker essays. He keeps pounding home the same message:

We tell ourselves that skill is the precious resource and effort is the commodity. It's the other way around. Effort can trump ability ... because relentless effort is in fact something rarer than the ability to engage in some finely tuned act of [skill].

~"How David Beats Goliath", May 11 2009

That's what his book Outliers says too, putting in the time and effort is what makes a genius, not innate skill. He even gives it a number: 10,000 hours.

That idea pleases me no end.


Barbara Anne said...

Isn't it a bother when you've hidden something from yourself and cannot remember why it seemed logical to move it at all?! With all of our moves, I know where something was kept in the last 3 homes, but here???? Where is it??! Then, since we've been married forever, did it break or did we give it away and it isn't here at this house at all????

Glad you found the tubing so you'll have those handles before your trip. Have fun, be safe!


Wisewebwoman said...

I do exactly the same thing, miss the big stuff and what I've done with it.
I heard about the 10,000 solution years ago. As in 10,000 steps a day to beat disease and falling apart at the seams. 10,000 hours of practice for adequate if not sublime piano playing. 10,000 hours of writing to get that novel finished.

Zach said...

I read Gladwell's article on Enron and his dialectic between a puzzle and a mystery, Gladwell is great at setting a frame between two binaries and the answer usually becomes both and which ever is more appropriate. Unlike Proust, edouard vuillard, and the NYer's Gopnik who skillfully reflect on what they see and what happens in front of them, Gladwell chooses the frame and with great effort expands it, producing/punching a deep but somewhat less organic picture, which you could say is his skill, the hook in Gladwell's writing is that he puts in the effort for you but does so transperently....which i find encouraging.

In the park today I saw Isaac and Doby, Isaac used a great word: 'persnickety'

Okay so your blog is great but it will take me some time to get caught up, but it looks like the East is treating you well!



Annie said...

Hi Barbara Anne

It's a classic move I think! That makes it even more annoying. Doh! Done it again!

Hugs to you!

Annie said...


Yup, a classic! And I guess there's something satisfying about being able to tack a nice round number (if rather a huge one) to an idea. Health? 10,000. Skill? 10,000. Universe? 42. Oops, that's not very round.

XO ;-)

Annie said...

Hey Zach! How are you? How's Alvy without the dogpark (I've been following the St Veronica filmshoot on Brockton Dogs)? Coming to visit?

Don't get too excited, it's pretty mundane...

...Isn't 'persnickety' a word? I think it might be a Jim-Odell-ism (Isaac's Dad).

Thanks for M-G analysis. I used to read NY a lot, but after a while it seemed like all the writers wrote in the same voice, and they do go on about Iraq, eventually I got bored with it. But every once in a while I check in to see what they're up to now.

Now I'll go check out Tactical Media...