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View Full Version : One useful thing a day--o.t.-



brian Rupnow
11-29-2017, 05:16 PM
When I was a kid, my father taught me to do "One useful thing a day". Of course "useful" was open to interpretation, but it meant, in general, doing the things you were expected to do by my father and society in general. When I was a kid, this extended to feeding the pigs, filling the woodbox, pumping two pails of water and carrying them in for mother, and of course going to school every day and doing your homework.
And you know what?--It's not a bad creed to live by. I've lived it most of my life, and I still do. Of course at 71 something "Useful" takes on a bit different meaning, but only a bit. If I do a days "real" design work for a customer, that's useful.---I get paid for it. If I spend the day machining on whatever project I'm currently working on, that's "useful" because it entertained me, taught me something new, and kept me from driving my wife crazy.
Today I didn't have any "real work", and I'm a bit burned out right now on machining, so I repaired the electric overhead garage door that some bozo (me) tried to close when there was a damned suitcase in the way last summer.
Tomorrow I may play lumberjack and cut down one of the pines in my backyard that has been killed by an infestation of bark beetles.
I don't watch much television, but I do read a lot, and there are a few days (very few) when something useful may consist of reading a really good book.
I have lived by that creed for so long now, that it is an ingrained part of me. I really hate it when a day comes along where there is absolutely nothing to do. Days like that I generally persuade my wife to "Go for a drive" with me somewhere, even if we've been there before, and I deem that "useful" because it keeps me from being bored to tears.

Toolguy
11-29-2017, 06:21 PM
Seems like a pretty good way to live. I try to do the same general concept, though I had never thought about it in those particular words before. I suspect many here would agree. :)

Weston Bye
11-29-2017, 06:47 PM
"One useful thing a day".
Yep, that has become my "plan of the day" since my diagnosis of a brain tumor and the resultant chemo and radiation treatments, mostly because that is all I can fit in between necessary daily activities, the trips for radiation & doctor visits, and needed naps.

Even before the diagnosis, the tumor was causing the need for naps. I thought I was just getting old...

gambler
11-29-2017, 07:09 PM
Yep, that has become my "plan of the day" since my diagnosis of a brain tumor and the resultant chemo and radiation treatments, mostly because that is all I can fit in between necessary daily activities, the trips for radiation & doctor visits, and needed naps.

Even before the diagnosis, the tumor was causing the need for naps. I thought I was just getting old...

I don't know you Mr. Bye, but I wish you the best in your recovery.

Weston Bye
11-29-2017, 07:24 PM
I don't know you Mr. Bye, but I wish you the best in your recovery.

Thank you so much, gambler. I am optimistic about the outcome - at least for the next 10 years. It will take that long for another tumor to arise, induced by the radiation I am getting now. I will be approaching 80 by then. I plan to live life well between now and then. One useful thing a day.

brian Rupnow
11-29-2017, 08:44 PM
I can't honestly say that I was impressed by my fathers attitude at the time. It seemed to me that nobody in his right mind would feel good about doing what seemed like just dirty old work to me. But---All sons are destined to become their fathers (or their mothers) as they mature and age. I am sometimes surprised now by how many of my fathers attitudes I have taken on.--And they seem to be completely sensible with no justification required. I don't have very many "total slacker" days, because I don't enjoy them very much---And at heart I'm too cheap to pay somebody to do things I can do.

J Tiers
11-29-2017, 09:51 PM
.....-And at heart I'm too cheap to pay somebody to do things I can do.

Good man!

Busy, maybe REALLY busy sometimes...... but good.

chip's
11-29-2017, 10:34 PM
Weston, I also wish you all the best! I don't have the means to pay somebody else ( at least with most things,) I do most things I am able to do myself because I know it will be done right and I don't have to do it again. It seems I end up having to fix others work after they are paid for doing the job. The satisfaction is also a plus.

vpt
11-30-2017, 07:55 AM
-And at heart I'm too cheap to pay somebody to do things I can do.



I have that same mentality but it gets me into trouble because I take on to much and can't get it all done many times. I think I would be able to keep up and do it all if it were just my house/property and family I had to "maintain" and take care of. But it branches out to many houses/properties of my close family and rental houses/properties we have. Then a couple different businesses including the fab/machining work that comes in. It is almost a full time job just maintaining the equipment for the businesses and property care.

I just simply don't get much time for my own things. Many times I find myself wishing I had more time for my own projects but I know to get that time something has to go down the tubes which I don't want happen.

MrFluffy
11-30-2017, 09:43 AM
I try to do this, but the one useful thing a day applies to my shop or family, not to society in general.
I'm like vpt in that I'm spread far too thin for too many projects, building a house to finish, have another to renovate and turn into a patchwork studio, vehicle workshop unfinished open barn, some of my machines need jobs to make them right that are in progress etc. And thats not even considering bikes/cars/vans that are sat around waiting for their time in the queue + growing family and other commitments.
When the lack of obvious progress on everything is getting me down, I take one small job, that can be completed quickly, and do it from start to finish. Then when I lock the shop up to go to bed, I can say that today I moved forward and things are a bit better for it, even in a small way. Or if its something round the house/garden, the same.
The bigger jobs come together sooner or later like this, because I find I'm not likely to bail out on them due to frustration and instead see them through.

Weston Bye
11-30-2017, 10:02 AM
Weston, I also wish you all the best! I don't have the means to pay somebody else ( at least with most things,) I do most things I am able to do myself because I know it will be done right and I don't have to do it again. It seems I end up having to fix others work after they are paid for doing the job. The satisfaction is also a plus.

Thanks for the well wishes. I always considered myself able to do most things myself but have recently realized that I have to hire some work done: my house is 11 years old now and the cedar trim is in need of a coat of stain. I will be making arrangements with a painter I know and respect to do the job in the spring. I could do it - up to about 7 feet, but the brain tumor has made me unstable and I don't get along well with ladders now.

brian Rupnow
11-30-2017, 11:22 AM
Being a geezer and playing lumberjack are not compatible. I knocked the pine down this morning and trimmed off all the branches. By then I had to set down on the stump for 10 minutes and take deep breaths so my heart wouldn't jump out through my chest. I will wait until tomorrow to cut it up in stovewood lengths and cart it out to the road. I have grandchildren coming over on Sunday for a family birthday thing, so the 6 year old and the 10 year old will make a bit of coinage dragging the branches across the bridge to my brush pile.
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