Saturday, June 20, 2009

The link is to a really nice concert recording of Sinatra's "MY WAY". To me it is his summation of his life of success and regrets all beautifully done with credits to himself. Agreed, as a life goes, he was really successful by most if not all human measurements. As an entertainer I did enjoy his work. I know nothing of the man's personal life, I just wonder if he is still singing it. My life experience has taught me that doing it my way leads to more regrets than successes.

When I was a teen my father was an invalid with ambition. He always was building something and I don't mean little somethings. I guess the biggest project...and there was always a project...was a full blown, grass infield fenced and lighted baseball field. We started with a couple acres of flat desert behind the church. He rented trencher and I trenched and ran underground electric cable to the 60' power poles he got the utility company to place. He rented an auger for me to install the billion or so rail road tie fence posts and he bought a fence stretcher to help me install the fencing. We trenched the infield, put in sprinklers, planted grass (This was the fun part, Marty, my now bil's brother had a Pinto with huge slicks on the back. We used it to press the seed into the soil....worked perfect) At night we built lighting bars in the den. We prewired what we could of the lights so that I would not have to do all the wiring clinging to a swaying power pole 60' in the air. It would have been LOTS easier to use a bucket lift on the APS trucks but they wouldn't give me one. Go figure! Most of the time I did not have a clue as to what I was doing, I just did what he told me to do...and the lights worked! The work was made easier because early on I learned NOT to do it my way. It happened this way: We were installing the first lawn sprinklers in the back yard. That was pre plastic pipe. We were using 1/2" galvanized pipe. He had rented or borrowed a professional pipe cutting machine with dies to make the threads and he let me play with it. We must have been playing because he said we were having fun. Anyway one long run requires several lengths of pipe which all had to be hand threaded and screwed together using to pipe wrenches. I'm not all that big yet and could not get them tight enough to not leak. I was figuring it wasn't that big a deal if one leaked, I would just tighten it and fix the problem after the water was turned on. Dad said that would not work but I was just sure he was wrong. Sure enough when we turned the water on one of the middle lengths leaked. Not bad considering there was about 10 places it could have leaked. That's good for an A in most schools...but not dad's. I jumped down into the trench to tighten the one leaking spot. Dad said real calm, Don, that won't work. I said yes it will, he did. Assured of success I tightened the loose fitting and in victory turned the water on. It worked, the fitting I tightened no longer leaked. But the one down the line now leaked. What I did not understand was because of the nature of threaded pipe and some simple law of physics, as you tighten one end you loosen the other end! Dad let me learn from my mistake and showed me how to fix them all. The never did leak again. I learned that doing it my way, especially when I had no clue as to what I was doing, was really dumb. With that lesson learned, years later I did all the foundation and electrical work on my home and built an apartment for Dee's mom, all by asking an expert, what do I do now? That is the way I need to do all of life. Just ask the one true expert, NOT FOR ADVICE but for instructions...then just do it.

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