Friday, January 9, 2015

Five Hundred Tiny Steps Forward

Photo courtesy Flickr user stevehicks
In their new book, Messers Schmidt and Rosenberg share the wisdom of Google. Those five hundred tiny steps go somewhere. Long ago in a formative moment, I sat in an Outing Club meeting and listened to sophomores debate the wisdom of cutting off the handle of a toothbrush and trimming the bristles to save grams of weight on a climb. One of the participants became the first woman to summit K-2. A lifetime of similar modifications has gained me enough domestic slack to drive myself nuts in other areas.

Industrial efficiencies have been applied to home life since Christine Frederick adapted Frederick Taylor’s principles around the turn of the twentieth century. Cleaning guru Don Aslett’s recommendations transformed my weekly three-hour vacuum marathon into half an hour every other week. The gist is to take your shoes off in the house, store a thing where you use it first, and leave it ready to use the next time you take it up.

The culture tends not to appreciate the attentive approach that generates speed and flow in life support, but it’s worth the trouble literally to keep an eye on what one is doing. Treat the house like a sailboat and it will treat you like the captain rather than a deck hand. Click on any of today’s key words to bring up all the posts on the subject.  

PS: Hiker's note-to use leg muscles most efficiently, take tiny steps on a steep grade


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