Which is what, exactly?
It’s your rut.
See, people get into ruts all the time. They habitually do the same thing, over and over again, without ever pausing to ask the few questions that really matter:
- What am I doing?
- It it part of (or does it move me toward) my long term objectives?
- If this the most effective use of my time?
- It is there a more efficient way to do this?
- Do a need a new approach?
- Can I hire it out?
- Can I rent the outcome?
- Is what I’m doing “permanent?”
- Can I do it cheaper?
- Do I know all I need to know to reach an ideal outcome?
Personal variance goes much further than these basic questions we should all be asking. It’s looking at the Smorgasbord of Life and consciously deciding to try something different. (We don’t recommend the herring eyeballs and sour cream, however. We’ll leave that to the lutefiskers.)
Take something you do all the time: Driving.
Most people settle down into a very narrow operating range.
Oh, sure, they may kick-it and actually drive somewhere without being in a hurry – the Sunday Drive – but for the most part, when people get behind the wheel they don’t consciously consider their options.
Here are a couple of ways to increase your personal variance when driving:
- Drive with an open cup of coffee. Goal: Drive without spilling a drop. Objective: This is how you learn to drive a limousine. People don’t want the bubbly they are sipping on to be splashed all over. A slightly less careful drive will be appreciated by your passengers. Elaine, on occasion, has to remind me: “I don’t have a steering wheel to hold onto…” I’m looking at kiddie steering wheels on Amazon. But, I also take hints well.
- Drive several routes to work, several times, logging the time required for each. Objective: Route optimization. There are usually any number of ways to get somewhere and you do have a choice. Which one is best? One of my daughters just changed jobs and she’s going through the “ideal route-seeking” now. So far, she’s added the one that goes by several favored stores – and her gym – and that seems to be her pick (for now).
- Drive without breaking the law, but see if you can set some personal benchmarks without getting into road rage confrontations. Objective: Finding out what the likely time in-transit will be under optimal (and terrible) conditions. Do you know the different (down to seconds) between commute time on a rainy day versus a clear sunny day?
See what’s happened to driving when you do these things? You have pushed out your envelope a bit at either end.
Want to expand your envelope even more?
It’s easy to do.
Take a commercial chauffeur course. Some cost money, some don’t. I’d bet, though, that you didn’t even know there was a Chauffeur Limousine Academy, did you?
So much for the polite driving. Now let’s move into the real stuff.
Skip Barber racing schools are held all over the country. The typical performance driving school begins with “chalk talks” (most people don’t know heel-and-toe technique or finding the perfect line through a corner). After that, into vehicles – in some courses even starting in 60 MPH go-karts when I went through. And then (depending on course) onto a real track in a real race car. Yeah, the braking pylons mean something.
But, we’re not done yet.
How many people have ever even opened the manual on how to drive an 18-wheeler? Know how to attempt recovery from the beginnings of a jackknife?
What does all this boil down to – and why to I call it personal variance?
Because, my friend, most of Life is lived between the lines. In order to live a more exciting, stimulating, and enjoyable life, the easiest way to “get there” is to redraw the lines that “contain” your range-of-motion, if I can borrow the terms from sports physiology.
The fact is, the more things you can do under a simple category-heading (like “driving”) the more you can enjoy life.
Then it’s merely a matter of listing as many daily functions of living you can and then going shopping for the Peak Experiences. Once you’ve done that, your “lines you color between” are considerably widened.
And the reason to do this is not so you can become a Sterling Moss or an OTR Trucker. It’s so you will learn (at each experience) to think a little differently. The more personal variance you have, the more interesting your answers to all the daily task basis questions becomes.
We’re mentioning it because a period like the 9-days beginning at Miller Time today is ideal for “Peak Experience” collecting. Sadly, few will do so…but don’t let new experiences pass you by!
Prepping for the Fourth
Yeah, sure. Sounds idiotic on the surface, but believe me, it’s not.
From the top:
- Consider mowing the lawn in the next few days. In case some ignorant SOB (for equal time DOB) sets off fireworks and it lights a grass fire off… shorter grass is less fuel, therefore an easier fire to put out/contain.
- In a rural setting (ahem…us!) it’s time to get on the tractor and bush hog. The fire lines that isolate us (somewhat) from potential wildfires are knee-high now. They need to be shortened.
- Check your hoses. Set them up at diagonal corners of the house if you have the outlets. This is one on my list today Saturday. We like to have 75-feet of hose at either end of the house so that we can basically get two streams of water on any part of the house if we need to. What could occasion such an event? Remember the ignorant SOB/.DOB I mentioned?
- Bathe your pet. Zeus-the-Cat will be getting a bath on Tuesday. As an inside-outside cat, in the summer he’d generally outdoors. Favorite pastimes? Other than eating lizards and chasing off other cats? Rolling on the ground. Where he picks up ticks, chiggers, mites…just about everything you don’t want in the house. So he gets a bath, maybe Wednesday morning, and then he’ll be suitable to have in the house on the Fourth which (as you might guess) sounds like the Tet Offensive here in East Texas.
- This is when I “service” the fire extinguishers. Not hard to do and it only takes a rubber mallet. Dry chemical extinguishers should be checked a couple of times a year. Going into the Fourth and when a Christmas tree goes up. High risk times. Service we do is simple: a) check the pressure which should show “in the green.” Then b) turn the (dry chemical only) extinguisher upside down and give it a few really solid whacks with the rubber mallet. The dry chemicals tend to ‘settle’ over time and if you don’t shake ’em up good, they can cake, rendering the extinguisher non-op. The time to discover this (and check pressure) is before you need them.
- First aid, burn kit check. I need to pick up some fresh vanilla. Good stuff to put on burns. Don’t get near flame – most of it has plenty of alcohol in it. Best burn treatment? Ice and lots of it. So a full ice bin, lots of wash clothes, and anti-bacterial at the ready (Neosporin). If you have a prepping-oriented doc, triamcinalone ointment is a fair burn med.
- Safety glasses. Anyone going near fireworks ought to have them on. No, I didn’t wear them as a kid, but I was lucky.
Yeah, I know – who would have thought there would be prepping for a the Fourth of July, for heaven’s sake? But there you go, everything in life can be prepped for. All the way from birthing to dying and holidays are just one of the bumps in-between.
The 4th and Reductionism
The fact that the Fourth this year falls smack in the middle of a week shows the problem with reductionism.
Reductionism like to reduce everything to a “hard number” of “fact.”
However, note how the Chinese and other nations hand “holidays” and what we’ve already done with President’s Day?
We made them soft. Presidents DAY can appear on a fair number of DATES. And that all fits in with the three-day weekend concept nicely.
When we have an outlier – like next week’s holiday stuck out there all by itself in the middle of the week, why that just offends the generalist in me. We get two useless (not quite, but go with me on this) regular weekends. But the LONE DATE has no doubt caused pain, aggravation, and suffering for HR departments and everyone else involved in personnel scheduling.
If we’re really going to Make America Great Again, maybe we could start by changing over to Holidays within a date-RANGE rather than a hard number.
Even better, why not something tangible/useful out of the United Nations, for a change: Global Lunar Calendars? Lookie here:
“Chinese New Year, known in China as the Spring Festival and in Singapore as the Lunar New Year, is a holiday on and around the new moon on the first day of the year in the traditional Chinese calendar. … Because of this, Chinese New Year is never on January 1. It moves around between January 21 and February 20.“
OK, so the Chinese might roll with it. Traditional Jews will, too, since the Jewish calendar is lunar-centric. And, the tides all play along because they are based on lunar motion. And everyone who works outdoors can tell the holiday by looking for the last (or first) sliver of the moon, right?
Besides, if we’re going to be run by Globalists, the least they could do is arrange a planetary calendar and get it worked out ahead of time. No point giving them a global climate tax if they can’t even agree on what days are important, as we figure it.
We’d point out other such “training opportunities” for the megalomaniacs with the money. But, of course, who am I but Comandante Ure of the People’s-Non-Partisan Brigade (PNPB) during the American Webolution?
Write when you get rich,