Daily Grind—January, 2018

By Jerry Rabushka,

  Filed under: Department, Lead, The Daily Grind

Managing Editor

Flame Without the Moth

You’ve probably seen (and screamed at) advertisements where someone can watch a five minute video and suddenly…they’re as good a painter as you are! I thought of an answer to “how to paint like a pro.”

“Spend a whole bunch of years working 8-10 hours a day, training, learning, climbing, making mistakes then getting it right, up early, home late, solving paint problems no one else can figure out, often with the help of product manufacturers.” Then you’ll paint like a pro. If it was easy, everyone would do it, and if everyone could paint like a pro, you’d have less to do.

I’m starting off 2018 waiting for an HVAC contractor to show up; he’s on the way as I write this. I’ve been roughing it, using a wood stove to heat my house because now that it’s four degrees, the furnace celebrated by going out on New Year’s Eve. I’m not the only one with the problem, so there’s been a three-day wait and since fortunately I have a standby solution I’m not going to get into a screaming match with the service providers. But I haven’t been able to leave the house because I don’t want to inadvertently burn it down. It does, however, answer the question of why people closed off their fireplaces when heating got more convenient. It’s a real pain to keep the “home fires” burning over night, when you have to stoke the flame so the plumbing doesn’t burst and the house doesn’t hit 35 degrees. It’s not necessarily romantic or quaint. At least the paint job won’t peel off. I did it myself (but not like a pro).

There’s that old saying: “you know you’re getting old when your back goes out more often than you do,” and along with no heat, that’s how 2018 started out for me. Here’s some thoughts to start out better than I did. I know it’s almost February, but we’ve still got plenty of time to get it right. And if not, as the Cubs said 108 times in a row, wait ’til next year!

Back in the day I wrote for a small music newspaper and I interviewed Steve Summers from the glam metal band Pretty Boy Floyd, who at the time had a big selling album. He had a few points worth sharing:

• At a certain level of success, you can’t do it all yourself, so make sure your people are in place. He noted that about 200 people had jobs supporting the band, and if one of them didn’t do their job, it could affect their careers. Likewise, if he doesn’t do his, they could lose theirs. Support matters: in your case, retailers, manufacturers, crew chief, crew, etc.

• Second: reaching that level of success was pretty much a 24/7 effort. Not that you need to do that, but getting to the goal takes sacrifice.

• And finally: “Leave your drug problems at home.” This from a heavy metal musician, so he’d probably seen his share.

Another observation, the logic of which is too easy to pass up. My mother’s kitchen is clean before the start of every meal because she cleans up after the one before. It’s that simple, but it took me a lifetime to put two and two together. Put stuff away and it’s ready for the next time. It’s a price to pay, because after you just ate who wants to? Who wants to clean out the sprayer, wash out the brush? Stack everything neatly in the truck rather than toss it in the middle? Getting ready for the next day beforehand can avoid a lot of frustration (and a clogged sprayer) when that next day comes. Perhaps try to build that into your day rather than tacking it on when you’re mentally finished. Better put: paint like a pro!

Time to throw another log on the flame.