Saturday, April 24, 2010

Everything in Moderation

I have never been one to practice the common sense of moderation. Historically, over indulgence, over the top infusion, and complete and utter fascination has been my usual approach to anything. Completely into it or I pass it by and ignore it.

Of course the many mistakes I have made because of this approach have necessitated I tone it down over the years. While the number of unfortunate or ill advised incidents have dropped in numbers, my tendency to jump in without looking still exists.

I only need to look at my last year's infatuation with straight razors. A costly and stupid use of my limited resources. I bought razors, strops, and wasted many hours learning all about shaving the straight edge way. Yet, when it came time for the razor to touch the face, I just couldn't do it.

It wasn't the thought of a very sharp and unprotected blade scraping my chin that stopped me. It was just the thought of being beard free. I have always detested shaving. So I spent most of my life not doing it. After many dollars spent and time wasted, I still could not shave.


And now I am into something new. All of the warning sirens are blaring. And still I persist in pursuing my new obsession. I delude myself that what I am investigating is for the betterment of my business, but in reality, it is just me satisfying an uncontrollable itch.

Two words ..................... Storage bins.

Owning a bike shop and being a pack rat are mutually inclusive activities. Both help the other to exist by mutually supporting the other's existence. I need to have many small parts on hand to be the hero when a customer comes in with a small part issue. And I need the bike shop to hold all those small parts that will one day make me a hero.

My problem is one of storage. For years, let's say since I can remember, I have used what came my way for storing that which needed storing. Milk crates, cardboard boxes, candy tins, whatever container that was deemed disposable but still had possibilities I would snatch up and use for organizing and keeping parts large and small.

When I started my shop almost 11 years ago, I bought some cheap plastic homeowner drawers to get started. I figured if they lasted five years,I would by then be rich and famous enough to be able to purchase real storage containers of the ferrous metal kind.

It seems success does not automatically happen just because one has a business plan that tells them they will be successful and rich in five years. I found out there is some luck and actual work involved before the plan can work out. At five years, I looked at the cheesy drawers I was using and realized that they had not worn out yet, and it seemed my planned existence of money and fame had been delayed by at least a couple of years, so I chose to continue to use the drawers I started with.

Now 11 years later I have yet to find the fame, never mind the fortune. And instead of drawers that move in and out, I now have trays that do not stack well together. It is time. So I am chasing parts bins and drawers that will retrofit into the old spaces and are rugged enough to be willed to the next idiot who wants to run a bike shop after I am dead and burned.

Which brings me to my point I guess. Hard to tell now as whatever point I started with seems to have been shanghaied and is now slaving away for some other writer much better than I.

Moderation. That was my point. A simple concept that I have failed time and time again to follow. My recent fascination with parts storage is what fired the warning flare. But it was the 11 years of dealing with what I already had that really made my point for me.

We may not actively practice moderation, but often it finds it's way into our lives without our permission or knowledge. Circumstances and situations often force moderate behaviour on us. I have always lusted for fancy new steel drawers, but never was I able financially justify the hit to the business to tool up. What I had was still working.

See. I am a practitioner of moderation even if I don't want to be. So instead of fighting my urge to lose all sense when something new pops up, I should just go for it and let moderation find me later.

Keep it 'tween the ditches............................


David Barber said...

Mike, it's the old addage...if it aint broke, don't fix it. Too many times we've bought something and not needed it and then thought, WHY?

Keep well my friend.

Beach Bum said...

I really dig all the cool storage devices that seem to be thought up on a regular basis but I never fully use them like they should. Would that be a form of moderation or just being sloppy?

The Blog Fodder said...

Poverty does have a way of forcing moderation on us. Or environmental responsibility. Or...

I too love storage bins and once my new workshop is ready, I shall replace all the ones I left in Canada full of useful objects which I wish I had here.

Randal Graves said...

I think your problem stems from the fact that, after implementing your five year plan, you neglected to follow it up with a great leap forward.

Demeur said...

We all must at times give in to our obsessions. Before you dive in and fritter away your meger wages stop and look around. Some other obcessed individual just might be wanting to give up on storing all his junk and may wish to unload it just for the taking.

So any takers on the straight razors?

sunshine said...

I can't imagine you without your beard! You just wouldn't be "my Mike" without it. :)

So, have you found any good deals on the types of bins you need? Perhaps you could just buy as you can afford.


Kulkuri said...

Could it be that poverty is the mother of invention???

I remember a bit by Cosby on shaving; "I lathered up my face and grabbed my trusty razor. Zip,Zap, my face was cut to shreds. All I wanted was a close shave, not a self-sacrifice!!"

I quit shaving when I got out of the military and have only shaved since when I have been forced to shave. Like when I did a year in the National Guard(shaved for the monthly meetings) and once had a job on a military contract where the company wanted us to look quasi-military. I paid $50 for a doctor to write up a medical excuse saying shaving irritated my face. Then a leadman tried to tell me I had keep to 1/8 inch in length. But when I asked him to show it to me in SOP, he backed down when he could not find any mention of beard length in the SOP.

El Cerdo Ignatius said...

Moderation is for pansies who can't handle the exhilarating vicissitudes of life.

Cue Billy Joel:
Darlin' I don't know why I go to extremes
Too high or too low there ain't no in-betweens
And if I stand or I fall
It's all or nothing at all
Darling I don't know why I go to extremes