Best I can remember, the first time I heard the phrase was at the kitchen/dinner table at about age 8, or so.
My mom had some question or other, and pappy didn’t have an answer. “I’ll ask the Board of Directors tonight at work.”
We were eating at 10-minutes to five so pappy could leave the house by 5:15 and drive the 20 minutes, or so, up to the fire house in West Seattle. Engine 37 is at the highest point in the city.
A little trivia here: The reason fire houses were always built at the tops of hills if possible, was so the horses could have an easy – and fast – run downhill to a fire. Most people don’t know that one – not sure if it’s in Trivial Pursuit, or not.
Anyway, pappy was almost always early for roll-call, but he always scheduled enough time for a bridge opening. The high level West Seattle Bridge hadn’t been built yet.
The board of directors were the other firemen on his crew. Fire departments in big cities had different shift, but they followed a paramilitary org chart; platoons, battalions, and such. And pappy’s “board of directors” was the crew he worked with. There wasn’t a lot of turnover in platoons.
Gather any three or four firemen, you could get an answer to just about anything, and while washing hose, cleaning up after drills or training, it was always good to have a fresh topic to kick around. Made the work go faster.
My mother’s question – and don’t hold me to this – was about some obscure aspect of gardening, if memory holds.
Joe had come up a street-smart Italian, Dave was the high-roller who owned a 50-foot boat, and I forget some of the other fellas. But they all referred to pappy as “the encyclopedia.” He just didn’t know gardening well, having advised me from birth “Never put in a bigger garden than your wife can take care of…”
It wasn’t the answer that mattered in this case. It was the form of decision-making that mattered. One I’ve never forgotten. Everyone needs a “board of directors.”
The concept has been around forever. Some called it a “master mind group” in the early days of the PMA (positive mental attitude) movement, which was in some ways a precursor to the prepper movement.
When you look at most successful people, you’ll find most of them have a “board of directors” or master mind group. Some, especially in politics, just get called the “inner circle.” If you’re a drug dealer, it’s your posse, and so on.
Without further delay, I have an important announcement to make.
YOU have just been appointed to my personal board of directors.
As luck would have it, there’s a thorny problem that is bugging me (in a literal sense as you’ll see): We are being over-run by June bugs down at the hangar this year.
Oh, I’ve sprayed. Even got the security light turned off. But there’s some magic about my hangar in particular that had become incredibly attractive to June bugs.
Since I spray the place religiously – and since we don’t live in the space – I took the electric leaf blower down Sunday and dispatched 5,000 of them – carcasses- back out onto the grass from whence they came.
But they keep coming back.
In fact, by the time I was done on one side of the taxiway, the hardy (*Boston marathoner type) bugs were already headed back to the finish line inside the hangar. Invisible to Ures truly.
So your first problem has a Board Member for you is to figure out how to solve the problem. Selling the airplane or moving to a different hangar are off the table. The poisons work, but the smell of dead June bugs is not particularly nice.
It eats about 80-minutes a week says my time log. Get the blower, drive to airport, blow out hangar, lock up, 10-minutes for social chit-chat at the airport office, and then back out to our place..
The mechanic, who’s doing the annual maintenance check in the hangar presently complains about running over them with this creeper. I expect he’ll ding me a bit on the bill, too, since it’s no fun to pick up a June bug instead of the 10-40 screw for an inspection cover.
Ideally, someone would come up with a simple answer for something to repel them. I’ve thought about a mothball at opposite corners of the hangar, but I don’t know if they’re legal anymore.
No trap suggestions, though. I don’t want to have another project like emptying traps every day or three.
Send me an email – and ask all your friends, too, since I assume you already have an informal board of directors yourself.
“What repels June bugs?”
By the way, Wikipedia reports mothballs do, indeed, have some risk to them:
The US Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has determined that 1,4-dichlorobenzene “may reasonably be anticipated to be a carcinogen“. This has been indicated by animal studies, although a full-scale human study has not been done. The National Toxicology Program (NTP), the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), and the state of California consider 1,4-dichlorobenzene to be a carcinogen.
Exposure to naphthalene mothballs can cause acute haemolysis (anemia) in people with glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency. IARC classifies naphthalene as possibly carcinogenic to humans and animals (see also Group 2B). IARC points out that acute exposure causes cataracts in humans, rats, rabbits, and mice. Chronic exposure to naphthalene vapors is reported to also cause cataracts and retinal hemorrhage. Under California’s Proposition 65, naphthalene is listed as “known to the State to cause cancer”.
Toxin-free alternatives to control clothes moths include freezing, dry cleaning, washing in hot water, or thorough vacuum cleaning. Camphor is no longer recommended as a moth repellent, due to its toxicity.
I’ve thought about cedar oil as an alternative, but I’m not sure if that wouldn’t just mask the smell of dead bugs better. And, it ain’t cheap.
So send them answer along pronto. Operators are standing by, this is a free call, this is a special offer, ends soon.
Oh, and congrats on your appointment to the Board of Directors. I did mention, I hope, that this is a non-profit and no liability protection for board members is offered?
And the Rains Continue
As of this morning, we have had 18.1 inches of rain, and if your screen looks anything like mine, you’ll see that more is coming through almost any minute.
Seattle, which has always been our “gold standard” for rainfall, has slopped in miserable 14.15 inches.
Frankly speaking, residents of California should ante up a collection and move us out there. Elaine’s got a secret method of putting out bird food that just about ensures rain within 12-hours.
A few years back, you’ll recall there was much climate change gnawing and gnashing about how Texas would soon be Sahara Junior. But look how it has worked out.
Still, if you’re really a climate change believer and are anxious to be on the bleeding edge of a cause, simply take all that money you’re willing to pay as a “climate tax” and mail it to us.
I promise 1% of all money received will be spent on bird-food, thus forever ending the Texas drought. All to be done with no UN resolutions or environmental impact statement.
In the meantime, word is local ranchers are running hay mowers round-the-clock – the rain may be miserable to drive in, but it sure does wonders for agriculture. Next thing you know, the Piney Woods of East Texas will be replaced by Teak and Mahogany.
Write when you break-even…