BB #6: More Thoughtinos

As fall slowly falls upon the region, the smell of wood smoke is in the air. Much as it evokes great times around countless camp and bonfires, the smell has been strong enough recently to really set off my sinuses. Two nights in a row (wait: sniff, sniff… make that three), it was less the fragrance of wood smoke and more the acrid nostril-irritating stench of wood smoke.

An age-old metaphor for life, perhaps.

Too much of a good thing isn’t a good thing.


Why does Adobe Reader insist on putting a shortcut on my Desktop when installing yet another update?

Does anyone on the planet actually open the Reader first and then go browsing for PDF files? I’ve never done that in all my years of using it. I always have just opened the PDF document I wanted to read. Every install, I delete that thing.

But then, unlike some computer users, I only have a handful of (constant) icons on my Desktop. Short-term ones come and go, but I don’t litter my Desktop with them (I’ve seen people with almost no free space for more… how can you work like that?)

I miss Adobe Reader 3.0… don’t need all the new features, and I don’t appreciate the ongoing parade of bug fixes necessary to patch those new features. Look at the preferences sheet here; waaaaaaay too many options to look at a PDF file!

We need another public document format with no bells and whistles (none of that “active” crap; images and diagrams is it).  In general it bugs me how every app grows new features until it becomes a bloated, impossible monster.

I have a hammer. But it also makes coffee and has a camera. And receives AM/FM radio. And it has a pencil/pen set (with erasers), several hex wrenches and four kinds of screwdriver. Plus it has a GPS, a cell phone and it can receive Twits and post pictures to Facebore. Sometimes it’s able to pound nails.


Every time I see that sign:

I wonder why I’m being asked to date motorcycles. (No jokes about an exciting ride; too obvious.)  Funny thing: I’ve jumped out of an airplane 50 times, but I’m not sure I’m brave enough for motorcycles. It’s the other drivers that scare me (well, and concrete zipping by at 55 MPH only inches away)!


All those success stories… the authors suggest that all you have to do is really, really try (and follow their directions). If you failed, well, that’s proof you didn’t try hard enough. Or buy enough of their books.

I suggest that luck plays a huge role in success, and for every successful person, there are dozens who did the same thing, tried just as hard, and yet failed. It’s only looking back on success that you think it was due to your personal magic.

(more accurate version)

Success does not come from just striving for it (although that is certainly a requirement). Success comes to those… for whom success comes.

Speaking of which, there is a certain cargo cult nature to a lot of this. People at work are forever posting articles, like “The 10 Habits of Creative People.” As if emulating their habits could possibly work. Creativity comes from the soul, not from dressing up like a creative person. All you’re doing is building cargo planes from sticks, vines and leaves. And you look just as stupid.


That gal in the QuiBids commercial: Perkiest Person on the Planet!


About Wyrd Smythe

The canonical fool on the hill watching the sunset and the rotation of the planet and thinking what he imagines are large thoughts. View all posts by Wyrd Smythe

8 responses to “BB #6: More Thoughtinos

  • It's only P!

    Thoughtinos… 😛 Success is also knowing when to stop going after something that you thought you wanted but turns out to be a really bad thing. Often this requires courage also: to end the striving for of a certain goal, because people may think you don’t have staying power, or find you fickle, or you think that they’ll find you fickle. Horrors!

    Success is also directly linked to the amount of passion we have (and continue to have) for what we strive for. (JK Rowling believed in Harry et al. so much that she never gave up approaching publishers, until a small publishing house eventually decided to take it on.)

    Whether people are predestined for success or not is a bit like which was first, the chicken or the egg – we’ll never know. Was it predestined, or is it because of our hard work and devotion? I’ve known people who worked very hard and passionately but still failed (because they were screwed, for instance). Karma? Destiny? Inherited sins of the fathers? ha ha! Who knows…

    In the end all we can do is our best. Or not. We can also just throw in the towel.

    • Wyrd Smythe

      Very true. Success usually (usually!) doesn’t come if you don’t at least try for it, but the effort is no guarantee, obviously. Persistence can certainly pay off, and I had a fascinating friend once who taught me the power of just asking for things. She would ask for something in situations where most wouldn’t even bother to ask, “knowing” that the answer would be “no.” It’s amazing sometimes how often the answer was actually “yes.”

      One of my struggles is that, once I’ve solved the challenges of something, I can lose interest in following it through. I think that’s why I’ve never had much interest in trying to be a novelist. Once I’d figured out the characters and plot, I probably wouldn’t have sufficient interest in actually writing it!

  • It's only P!

    And it doesn’t even stand any ground whatsoever. The real challenge only emerges in the actual writing, because as you are writing you will be changing many things, because the theory or hypothesis needs proof (guess who’s been doing her Wyrd homework today?). So you still need to prove to yourself that your theory got the ‘true’ status. And then there are the edits.

    It could be that you really don’t want to be a novelist, but could that really be what holds you back?

    • Wyrd Smythe

      Definitely there are challenges in the writing, but the part that interests me is the design and plot and characters. The actual writing can be quite painful, since I tend to agonize over exact wording and phrasing. I don’t really enjoy that part very much.

      And I was being a bit tongue-in-cheek… the operative part really is, “never had much interest.” It’s just something I never really wanted to do. People have suggested I should write a book, but the truth is it doesn’t hold that much interest.

      Given how Wyrdy I am [grin], if I really had the interest, no doubt I would have tried my hand at it. I’ve written some short fiction (long ago), and wasn’t really pleased with the result. [shrug]

  • Lady from Manila

    “I suggest that luck plays a huge role in success, and for every successful person, there are dozens who did the same thing, tried just as hard, and yet failed. It’s only looking back on success that you think it was due to your personal magic.”

    I think so, too. It reminds me of Jessica Lange who once reminisced in an interview: “I once watched a woman classmate deliver the most unforgettable, exquisite performance when I was still in acting school, yet I’ve never heard from her again. I guess you just got to have that little ‘luck.'”

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