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.”
my old horse died today. i guess it doesnt matter much to anyone but me. i bought him back in 92. my friend and i were at the cort bar just celebrating another day i guess when a pretty girl stopped in with a trailer load of horses from arkansas for sale. she was full of smiles and full of figure so after a few drinks and a ride under the street lights ( on the horse not the girl ) i became the owner of my new friend pepper. the next morning with a heavy head and a lite pocket book i walked out to examine my new purchase. he was big and black and i guess compared to his previous owner you might even call him ugly. while i was saddling him up and sobering up i wondered if perhaps i had over payed but when i stepped home on him all my doubts were dismissed.there was no buck no runaway. he wasnt real handy with the rein but he had this perfect smooth balletic lope that felt like whiskey on the water. later when my pards and i would be heading out to the gather they would all be bouncing along at a trot shaking their bones and i would be sitting up there on pepper rocking in my chair like a baby. man he made me feel good.he wasnt the cat quick cutting horse type for pushing and sorting cattle but he had the persistence and patience to get the job done.he had the heart to go anywhere i asked him no matter how tough, he would never balk or back down. when it came to roping and dragging calves to the fire he would always get me in position to throw a good loop and he could pull any critter i caught. man he made me feel good. when he got old i didnt ride him any more.i didnt use him for any thing more than just to see him and bring the memories of all the miles ridden together that make me feel good. so my good horse died today. i guess it doesnt matter much to anyone but me. but man it makes me feel bad.
Current agriculture methodologies aren’t just bad for land, community, and ecology—they’re increasingly bad for business. Something’s gotta give.
Source: How A ‘Farm Bust’ Could Help Renew American Agriculture
Yes, after 23 years here in Sweet Grass County, I can report that there is still no parallel parking in Big Timber. You can still pull your outfit in vertically with it’s nose facing the store. **Yes, “outfit” is something you drive not wear and “Gant” means thin and not a famous shirt maker. A Mexican drag line is a shovel not a bunch of Carmen Miranda impersonators kicking up their heels. And ‘casting a cow” is not getting her a good part in “City Slickers III” but tying her down on the ground.
There is still not one stoplight in a county whose square miles equal the state of Rhode Island. The anarchist in me loves that idea as much as I love roundabouts instead of 4 way stoplights. Hate being told to stay put when there is no good reason.
Mike continues to impart the Tao of Cow.
A Haiku – Advice
“Remember that it’ll all work out;
Until it doesn’t;
Then switch to Plan B.”
Haiku 2 – Rules
The number one rule
Of the cows at feeding time;
Let the big dog eat.
What makes us who we are? When we are caught misbehaving who do we point fingers at? In trying to find the culprits involved in shaping my persona, I have previously examined the children’s show “Andy’s Gang” with it’s rascally thing called “Froggy the Gremlin” who appeared when Andy Devine declared “Pluck your magic twanger, Froggy.” Lot of Freud couch time for that expression.
Today I will examine another TV show called “Winky Dink and You“.
Each week there was some sort of puzzle to figure out by completing the picture on the TV. And each week you would help Winky Dink complete a mission. You could do this if you purchased the magic Winky Dink drawing screen which turned out to be a piece of vinyl plastic that you put on the TV screen. Then you took the magic crayon that came with it and drew on the TV. An example would be Winky Dink needing a bridge to cross a river. You would draw the bridge. This seems to be one of the first examples of interactive games on something like a TV.
More often than not, the kids could not get there parents to fork over the dough for the magic screen. And I too could not convince my parents of the necessity of the screen. Times were supposedly good and idyllic back in the 1950s, but my Dad did not make a lot of money. We were always told that we couldn’t afford this or that. But somehow he managed to take flying lessons. But that’s another part of the puzzle to be looked at later.
In this instance, it may have been that the whole Winky Dink thing was stupid and our parents just did not want to participate in this consumer scam. But we had a way of getting around this. Mom’s lipstick seemed to be a very good substitute for the magic crayon. And why did you need a magic piece of plastic when you could just draw on the TV screen?
A lot of kids, I hear, got whacked for drawing on the brand new TV especially the not so bright ones who used permanent ink instead of something that could be easily wiped off. I too received a bit of scolding. But at least my father agreed that he didn’t see the need to purchase some thingamajig when we could maybe use waxed paper.But that wasn’t great. We tried holding up a piece of glass while one of us used the crayon. But that was way too much labor for the not very interesting puzzle anyway. I vaguely recall that we finally got our 50¢ Winky Dink Kit and also recall become immediately bored with it.
I think there must have been a lot of complaints from parents and that might have been one of the reasons it went off the air. But it was another example for me anyway of ways to not follow the rules and to invent a way around the system. It was much more fun and creative than the actual kit. And my Dad helped. Disobedience, as Martha would say, is a good thing.