So I have a million things to do and not enough hours in the day, nor enough days in the week. The ITG conference is coming in May and somehow I will hopefully build 100 horns, build out my showroom and recording studio spaces, develop a production scenario for the Elliptiphone, finish designs on the first two prototypes, setup a number of physics/acoustics experiment stations, eat, sleep and possibly even maintain a few relationships in the span of 4 months. How is this possible? I don't know...I guess I'll do what I always do, focus on the project in front of my face, do it right the first time and move on to the next one. Seeing the big picture can sometimes lead to a kind of paralysis.
I remember the first car I bought as a 16-year-old. I couldn't afford much so my Dad said I needed a car and we found a piece of junk that barely ran and bought it. I don't remember the price...$200? It was so loud that I couldn't drive it anywhere and it seemed to be blowing smoke from under the hood. Dad knew what it was before we bought it. He told me to take out the exhaust manifold. Okay...I got out the right tools and started working. An hour later, I went into the house and told him I couldn't get it out. He looked at me with a discerning eye, "what's the problem?". When I told him I was stuck on the first bolt, he told me to try again. I already knew I shouldn't have come inside until I had all the bolts out at a minimum, but it seemed really hard to get that first one out. So I moved on to the next one...stuck. The bolt after that was stuck as well, then #4 broke loose fairly easy...ENCOURAGEMENT! I went back to #1 and with all of my strength, I beat that wrench as hard as I could at a very unnatural cramped angle from inside the hood. Damn 4 cylinder cars never have room to work! The wrench slipped and I smashed my fingers into the engine block, right on a sharp corner...blood, pain and I felt like an idiot. I knew better than to tell my Dad the wrench slipped, nor could I use that as an excuse for not getting the manifold out. I had already been taught time and time again exactly to use a wrench and you NEVER close the grip when wrenching hard or, "you will slip and bloody your knuckles" as he always warned. So my hands were bloody and I thought how in the world will I ever get this stupid chunk of metal out from that tight space? Then I started thinking of the rewards...the car would have a new (used from the junkyard) manifold, which would stop the smoke and the loud embarrassing (and illegal) noise. Awesome, I'll have a car! I don't remember many details after my attitude changed. I do know that it took many hours or maybe even all day to get that manifold out. I also remember it weighing something like 80 pounds, which caught me off guard when I removed that last bolt and it fell on me. If there's a lesson I learned that day it was likely that thinking about the difficulty of a task and obsessing is not finding a solution to the problem. When something doesn't work, try something else. One thing I DO REMEMBER from that day? Dad didn't once get out of his chair to help me and THAT FORCED ME TO LEARN TO DO IT MYSELF. Thanks again Dad!