Monthly Archives: March 2019

Tao of Cow – Thoughts

By The Montana Maven and Cowboy Clay (with some additional help by the Catskill Contrarian).

One of the main tenets of The Tao of Cow (which is more like the Tao of Cow…Boy) is “Shit Happens”.  This principle is not as pessimistic as it sounds.  It’s just what is.  “The best laid plans of mice and men” is just another way of putting the same  principle that you just got to try to do your best and embrace the yin and yang of things.   You need to explore and embrace those pesky opposites of what you are and what you’d like to be.  Judgement is for your own actions.  For everybody else you should just be kind.  You can’t control other critters whether it’s cows or coworkers.  Better to let them be.

I’ll try to explore every week some of the guideposts within the “Tao of Cow”.

#1 Things Will Work Out…Until They Don’t. Then You Move to Plan B”.  Try it for Three and Then Go to Plan C.   I find this the most useful of Cowboy Clayisms. No sense in crying over spilled milk. Crack open a beer and meditate on what’s next.  For example; in moving cows from pasture to pasture, it helps if they want to go. If you are patient and your help knows a thing or two, you may get them to go thru the gate. But sometimes “shit happens”. Your neighbor’s horse is young and jumpy and spooks the cows. Then the cows start kicking up their heels and running in the opposite direction. You can wait until they quiet down and try again or try to get them to another gate or call it a day.   The rule of three works here for cows and students.  Try something about three times.  After that call it a day and give yourself a break.
This goes for machinery too. If you are cutting hay with an old swather, it’s bound to breakdown. You try to fix it. You try this and that. You spend a couple days, maybe three. If nothing works, you call your neighbor and ask if he can cut the hay for you.
Another way of looking at it is “It Can’t Always Be On Your Schedule”.  Entertainment projects whether it’s filming a TV series or filming a film have their own schedule. A film company is a large machine with many gears and cogs. Sometimes something puts a monkey wrench into the gears of that fairly well oiled machine. It could be that sudden thunderstorm. It could be a nervous star. It could be an idiosyncratic director. It could be the dog that won’t Stay!  It can never be a grumpy grip or a cranky coach. So you suck it up and get out of the way and wait your turn.

P.S.  It is also the job of the Cow…Girl to pushback on the Tao of Cow…Boy.  For example, the phrase “Cowboy Up” is used a bit too frequently on a ranch.  “Hey Honey, the plumbing really needs upgrading.”  “Cowboy Up!”  He replies.  “I don’t think we should wait until it breaks.”  “I’ll Get To It,” He replies.  “Sigh.”