Jul 11, 2005

Pots and Irrelephants

I was going to trumpet a bit about my disgust over ordinarily regular bloggers who suddenly stop blogging on the weekends, then I realised something horrible:

I didn't blog Sunday.

So, pots and kettles, I shall not gripe.

I came to a realisation Saturday, interestingly enough, after a comment left by a gentleman by the dubious name of "madman," who has a great blog, btw, at ventingagain.blogspot.com Anyway, I digress--I was 'chatting' with him after one of his posts, and he commented on my gas pumps and dogs post, something along the lines that I had made pumping gas interesting, and that really got me to thinking. Granted, EVERYTHING gets me to thinking, and I refuse to blame my Virgo-hood on that.

Strangely enough, for a guy who does a lot of looking very closely at the obvious and writing about it I can be astoundingly bad about putting the obvious into words. I've known for a very long time now how I am, how the little things in life have always meant more than the big grandiose gestures, but I have always failed to get it into words, to help solidify it for myself and for others. So where were we?

Thinking. Yes. Got me to thinking about how I write, about my style, about the words I choose and so forth, and particularly my subject matter. I've always held forth that happiness is to be found in the small things, a point we have covered a few times now. To me it may be cool and all to have next year's Bentley in the driveway of your 17 room palatial estate, but honestly, as far as I'm concerned, happiness comes from being able to pop the hood and change your own oil in it. As far as my storytelling, I've always enjoyed looking at things very close, things that pass well under our radar ordinarily. The day to day routine, when looked at close, with a little scrutiny if you will, can suddenly reveal things that we never expected, and telling stories about those small things and the surprises they hold has always held a certain fascination for me.

Yesterday evening I braved the heat and humidity to stand on a very wobbly chair on my front porch so I could change out the old light fixture out there for a nice new motion-detector fixture. I had an interesting moment or two out there realising that standing on a chair that swivels easily is about like trying to work in space--every time you try to torque something to the right the rest of your swings to the left. Strangely exhilirating, while at the same time rather nauseating.

But, I managed to get the new light installed and aimed properly, and as dusk fell my front porch was bathed in the soft light of a couple of halogen bulbs from a fixture that I had just installed with my own two, and not a lick of fire, spark, nor firetruck to be seen. Naturally it made me feel pretty good. I realise fully that installing a single porch light fixture is pretty Casper Milquetoast stuff as far as home improvement goes, but I'm happy that I a) knew how to do it and b) knew how to do it well enough that it only took about 5 minutes. Competency, even at a simple task, is deeply rewarding, and like I said, happiness, for me at least, comes from the little things.

Wow. I don't know that I have ever managed a more fragmented post ever! Congrats, me!

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