Spring ahead for what you need


Ink-jet-cartridge (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

How good you are at adjusting on the fly is often how good whatever it is you’ve planned out in advance turns out.

Everyone says, “Make a plan, Stan!

But, it should probably be more like, “Be ready to adjust the plan at all times.”

I figure this is how it should be with respect to weekend projects. You have to first of all have a realistic plan with lots of time built in for when things go wrong. Sometimes projects planned out do go smoothly and finish in the estimated time you’ve allotted.

Other times, not so much.

These are the times when you will be less frustrated for having built in extra time for things to get done when shit happens.

Technology, like cars, is inconvenient. Both typically do well enough in terms of providing good service, until you absolutely, positively have to have them perform flawlessly.

Let’s say you need your printer to work properly because you have a big paper you have to print out.

For over a week you’ve needed to get new ink for the printer, but you lead a busy life and would just go to the store when you must have it—like the Sunday before the Monday the paper is due.

Well, you go to the store, get all the ink cartridges you need (remember when there was just one color and one black cartridge?) and return home with your precious printer replenishments.

English: The nozzle of Canon PG-810 and CL-811...

English: The nozzle of Canon PG-810 and CL-811 ink cartridges. ‪中文(香港)‬: Canon PG-810及CL-811的墨盒噴咀。 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

You install the cartridges, print out a test page, only to discover there is no black ink coming out.

You’ve had the paper finished for a few days, but you were “planning” on just getting the ink refills late Sunday afternoon and then printing out the paper before going to bed.

Panic strikes as you scour the Internet for possible solutions to your black ink problem as the office supply store is now closed (and wasn’t particularly close by to begin with).

You try one thing after another and the clock minutes go by as if seconds. Soon enough you’ve spent almost two hours trying various things from q-tips with alcohol to reseating cartridges to disconnecting the power cord. And nothing is working.

The thing that ends up saving your bacon is you’ve got another seldom-used printer that you can try. Voila! It works and your blood pressure goes back down.

This was a case of problem solved because of a solution that was available, yet you hadn’t consciously planned for it as you thought just replacing the ink cartridges would get you what you need.

When it comes to weekend projects, what you need is more critical than what you want. Because of how quickly time passes when you are actually doing weekend jobs, in the case of the primary printer malfunction, having an alternate printer available ends up sufficing. You might have wanted your everyday printer to work, but it didn’t, and you were reminded that what you actually need–a decent print out of your paper, is more important.

I long ago stopped doing even the most routine of maintenance on my vehicle. Ever since we lost carburetors and everything went to computer diagnostics, it just isn’t feasible for a weekend tinkerer like myself to bother with something as simple as an oil change, even.

20160219_134816What makes me feel better about not being able to save some dollars in basic car maintenance labor is the fact I can use things like synthetic oil to increase the interval at which I require an oil change. It’s not the same savings as doing actual oil changes myself, but at least I feel better knowing I can plan on driving further on synthetic oil before needing said oil change.

In the case of paying for oil changes, what I need is to save some dollars because I’m not saving on doing it myself anymore. And, as the master of the obvious can tell you, putting in more expensive synthetic oil allows you to make up some of the cost savings difference. I want to work on my vehicles, but I need to not work on them more, in order to free up some precious time on the weekends for things like watching pro football (if that makes any sense). And now, reading up on what teams are doing in the off-season.

20160302_165122I guess I want pro football all year long and this is as close to that as I can come. What I need is the current 16-game season, playoffs and Super Bowl game.

I suppose it comes down to being happy, grateful and able to live with what it is you have and the solutions available when even the best-laid plans go awry. If your basic needs are met, who cares that it isn’t perfectly what you wanted in the first place?

I guess if you feel you must always have whatever it is you want, then it’s more than likely time that you lowered your expectations.

How’s that spring ahead thing working for you?


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