Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Yippee-yi-yay cow patty!

Interweb gremlin - actual size

This post was originally scheduled to run yesterday, and then interweb gremlins interceded.

Okay, okay - it was user error on my part. I admit it. I'm posting it now and, with any luck, there will be another post later on this evening to fulfill the spirit (if not the letter) of the law of posting every day for the rest of November. Today's a two-fer - you're welcome!

Tiptoe through the cow pies

When I was a kid, I'd sometimes go target shooting with my older brother. We'd walk deep down into the pasture and take aim with his .22 pistol at any number of targets - maybe empty cans, maybe makeshift paper targets - carefully avoiding the cows, of course. The most satisfying target was a cow patty. If you've not had the pastoral shooting experience, you probably do not realize how satisfying it is to shoot a fresh cow patty. Cow patties, cow pies, manure piles... call them what you will, but they explode in a spray of impressive splendor when they're hit spot-on with a .22. Ya know what it is? It's manure majesty! The Imagineers at Disney World should try adding something like that to their synchronised fountain displays.

Good advice from my big brother

My brother used to coax me. I've forgotten most of what he said, but a few words and phrases stick with me. Steady. Sight the target. Squeeze the trigger slowly, don't jerk. If you miss the target, look for the puff of dust where your shot landed and make an adjustment so the next shot hits your target.

Think of it as target practice

It's occurred to me that the implementation intentions I've been thinking about are a little bit like that target practice. They're basically a set of concrete instructions to improve chances of success. Sight the target. If jerky reflexes throw you off, find something against which you can steady yourself. If you're thrown off, then try to see where you got off course and make a correction. Don't beat yourself up, just make a correction. And then enjoy the success of hitting the target.

And perhaps the greatest life lesson

Above all, don't get hit by the flying manure.

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