Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Allow to dry 24 hours between layers

Look what popped up as I was looking for a suitable quote for a passage in the book I'm working on. Another gem from Abraham Lincoln:

"Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe."

I wish I'd learned that as a kid. It's too late now.

I'm the one you'll find hacking away with a blunt axe because I don't have the patience for sharpening it. I want the tree down. Now.

By the end of the first two hours, I will have broken two axes trying to chop down the tree with unsharpened blades.

Then I'll give in and find instructions for sharpening an axe in two hours. I'll work on it for one and figure, "Close enough." I'll use the half sharpened axe and it will break also.

We're now at hour four. I'll spend that hour trying to use the first two broken axes. My arms will hurt.

During hour five, I'll rest.

Just before hour six, I'll hurry to the nearest axe sharpening place and pay three times the price to do a rush sharpening job.

Ten minutes before the six hours are up, the tree will be down, I'll be exhausted and the sorry owner of three broken axes and one very expensive sharp one.

Where was Lincoln when I was learning important life skills?

Doing crafts has helped me a bit. It's almost impossible to rush through the making of a miniature scene. Glue and varnish have to dry, an afghan has to be knitted one stitch at a time. Still, I've managed to ruin a few items because I put coat number two on before number one was truly dry.

One solution: I now have five or six scenes going at a time. One of them is sure to be dry enough to work on.

What would you do with your six hours?


Sheila Connolly said...

Too bad Lincoln didn't have a handy phone book: see "Tree Removal." No muss, no fuss.

With my luck, if I tried to cut down a tree it would land on my house and my neighbor's car. I'd spend most of my six hours talking to my insurance agent and a lawyer.

Kathryn Lilley said...

Trying to glue on individual false eyelashes for a picture I have to have taken. So far, the results are making me look like Betty Boop's Very Bad Day.

Monica Ferris said...

If I had six hours of my very own? With no task shouting at me to come and get working on it? Ahhh . . . First, I'd take a nap. Then I'd look at a coffee table book, maybe a Norman Rockwell or one with photos of the Rocky Mountains. Maybe I'd bake a pie, or write a letter. Take a long walk. But six hours is a long time; I'd probably come across some interesting factoid and wind up getting all intrigued about something I could use in a novel.

Cryptoman said...

We need more presidents like Lincoln. He approached a problem by using planning and execution.

First thing to do is to know what needs to be done. Then decide what ways can do it. Make the choice most likely to succeed. If that choice is not successful, choose another way.

If no choice is successful, call up your richest lobbyist and have a no-bid government contract written up.

Camille Minichino said...

Are you trying to start a flame war, Cryptoman??

Anonymous said...

I think if you had a Peet's first, the job would be easier - and faster, too. xoxoxo

Betty Hechtman said...

You can't hurry crochet either. Or at least, I can't. There isn't any glue to dry, but whenever I try to speed through stitches, I end up speeding through unraveling, too.

If I had six hours, I'd talk my son into taking a car trip up north. It wouldn't take much talking either. He loves to go places as much as I do.

Ann Parker said...

Hmmm. Cryptoman speaks like a true engineer....at least until the final paragraph!
If I had six hours free from "chopping trees and fighting alligators" and all worldly cares? I'd nap, catch up with my sister, then write!

Anonymous said...

I love this quote, but I also wonder how he meant it. I do like the patience view, which, yes, I could use some of myself. But then I thought, okay, if someone gave him an hour to chop down the tree, he'd use...what? 40 minutes to sharpen the axe and 20 minutes to get the tree down? Was he saying, in part, that too much time could be a problem? Fascinating quote from a man who made one of the biggest decisions/strongest actions any president ever faced.

Anonymous said...

I believe he means that you need to spend more time honing your skills than doing the job you are honing your skills for. In real estate we are often told to spend more time working on ourselves than working on our business. Because one will follow the other.