What I’m not Good At

I have just recovered from a small ordeal precipitated by a technical error of mine. Incompetence, I am relieved to tell you, does not infect every aspect of my character but it is present in a number of them and finds its purest expression in my dealings with computers. Someone very helpful suggested to me the other day that I use a Statburger or some other device because it would show me where my visitors were coming from. I already suspect that eleven come from the USA, five from the UK and of course I must not forget the Albanian sheep farmer who is currently located in Germany. Nevertheless it would be nice to have some clear statistical evidence of this. I worked away at the various questions. Email address etc until it said something like, “Download the HTML script and insert it in your fridge freezer for thirty minutes before frying over a light wood stove.”. I may have got that bit wrong, but once it mentioned HTML codes my IQ panicked and fled for the hills.

I don’t know why that is. Why we say to ourselves we can do one thing but not another. “He’s the creative type you know, don’t let him anywhere near your tool kit”, or, “He’s an engineer, he doesn’t play the piano, he operates it”. If I’m honest with myself I panic because I can. Not being good at computers means that someone will probably rescue me. On the other hand I am quite happy to give a forty-five minute lecture on how to make perfect scrambled eggs. Not as easy as you think. The whisking is absolutely key. Hang on, I’m getting carried away here. For reasons which are hard to explain my offer to provide a lecture on the subject at some of the countries leading theatres has not been taken up.

What I do know is, that if I suddenly needed to be good with computers I could learn as well as the next man. In the same way other people might be able to master the complexities of scrambled eggs. The truth is we can all be good at much more than we think. Not being good at something is often an indulgence but not a characteristic

About Peter Wells aka Countingducks

Trying to remember what my future is
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21 Responses to What I’m not Good At

  1. afroblush says:

    That’s very true! we are always so quick to categorise our strengths and weaknesses. “I can’t do maths” was a good one of mine for many years, and now I work in statistics! lol I like how you say it is an indulgence! …and furthermore, The complexities of making an egg are definitely underrated!


  2. Big Al says:

    Good blog on a fascinating part of our nature. One of my favorite sayings is: “whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re probably right.”


  3. Barbara says:

    You made me laugh out loud…twice! So you think you only have 17 readers? You definitely need to get a stat counter/ analytic set-up. I thought wordpress had one.

    I started my blog on WP and switched to Blogger because of all the HTML code nonsense. My brain can only survive so much cramping before it dies. Of course since I left WP it’s gotten easier I hear.

    The bottom line came to this… I found a designer that could handle the minimal amount I could not and I finished the rest on Blogger. I may be calling her again to move me back to WP. I can’t decide.

    I’ve gotten so brazen that I’m actually setting up a website for a friend. It’s a platform I am familiar with and they have excellent customer service. My friend likes to say he lives in the 18th century so he can’t begin to understand computers in any fashion. I’m willing to try, and I’ve learned a lot in the process of trying, but there is a point when you have to call in the professionals.
    Thanks for the laugh to start my day!


  4. Your post was very funny, and that last line really said it all. Wow! Very effective writing.

    I always tell people when I’m faced with some task that I’m not very good at, “I know my strengths and weaknesses. I Just choose to play to my strenghts and offer you the opportunity to play to yours.” But you’re right–I’m just indulging in my choice not to learn something I could very well learn.


  5. Jillsy Girl says:

    True…but I’m with you about computers!! πŸ™‚


  6. backonmyown says:

    LOL. I’m with you on computers, too. When I’m really determined to learn something, like setting up this blog, I will work at it until I figure it out. Then I stop and never bother to figure out some of the finer points that would make my blogging more attractive and even easier for me to manage. I, too, would like to know where my readers are. Haven’t figured that one out yet.

    I use a Mac at home and the Spanish service at church uses a Dell. Imagine my confusion as I try to master the Dell every Sunday morning. They are so sweet and patient with me and tell me every week how wonderful I am to help out. Doesn’t phase them that I put up the Apostles Creed when we’re supposed to be singing. Teehee. I bet I get a lot of prayers, don’t you?


  7. Caroline says:

    Loved this post! Made me giggle. ClusterMaps is not bad I can let you know how to set it up if you like – just email me.

    I am a total WordPress fan. It’s so much more versatile and I find v. easy to use.

    But then I’ll let you into a secret – I’m a website programmer!! (sorry!!)

    Oh and BTW – I agree about the whisking!!!

    Have a good day!


  8. I loved your story about the working the DELL computer at church Pat.. That is just the kind of thing I would do. . And Caroline I might write to you about the Map thingy. Funny thing is I’ve had three diffeent email notes that people liked a certain post but according to the stats only one person has looked at it. Whats that about ? And everyone, thankyou for your feedback. It’s what makes Blogging fun.


    • Caroline says:

      I sometimes think the WordPress stats could do with improving. Of course some people read from the Home Page which means the Stat counts it as such rather than the specific post. However if someone’s commented then the stat should reflect that as they’ve had to click on the actual post to reply.

      If you’re right it might be worth emailing WordPress and pointing this out – they are incredibly helpful and jolly!!


  9. hmmm ~ this is a tough one for me… sometimes buckling down and figuring something out is worth it, other times hiring out or letting go keeps my energy flowing πŸ™‚ i appreciate the reminder that a positive attitude makes it all go smoother.


  10. I completely agree with you. I always showcase what a great mind can do on my blog and if you want to do something.. YOU CAN. You never allow people to tell you that you can’t, that’s just a closed minded person talking. Loved reading this


  11. harry the handy man says:

    Hi countingduck’s, i cannot make scrambled eggs, but i could help you with your PC πŸ™‚


  12. Dawne Webber says:

    I guess the point is: you have to want to. And if you want to you have to put in the time and energy needed to be good at it. I’d love to learn CSS and do my own blog thing, but I cannot wrap my head around all that technical language. And I guess I don’t want to put the time and energy into it.
    As for me, I’d rather do the scrambled eggs. And know an Albanian sheep farmer from Germany.


  13. eof737 says:

    Oh, we all have things we do well and things we do terribly. I like the idea of making perfect eggs; an important skill for sure. Computers give a lot of us grief so, don’t worry, you are not alone… Now pass us the scrambled eggs recipe, will you? πŸ˜‰


  14. β™‘ says:

    You CAN do it! I believe in you! I believe EVERYONE can learn when willing. Listen, it isn’t difficult. Register with statcounter.com NOT statburger ha ha. Then when they give you the code, don’t call it html code or you’ll get boggered down, call it the secret code, he he, just copy it. Then go under your dashboard, then widget, then add new text widget and copy the code there. Afterwards it is just a matter of going back to statcounter and checking. You CAN do it! Check out the map! It’s fun. You can even see your sheep herder in satellite. Maybe he’s out now.

    Good luck. I’m cheering for you.
    By the way, I DO prefer wordpress.


  15. Shonnie says:

    Ducky my man … you are a RIOT! πŸ™‚ Lovely read.


  16. Oh thank you thank you! I’m nearly tempted to show your post to my mum who is convinced that my ‘absent minded professor’ of a brother can be excused a LOT of things because he doesn’t know how! Your last line is just poetic πŸ™‚


  17. I get panicky too! I was going to attempt Google analytic but then you have to insert this here with this…My brain starts to go mushy! You are right – it is very hard to make the perfect scramble egg and much easier to lecture on πŸ™‚


  18. The T says:

    as a male who loves the art of examining VAR (value at risk ) in complicated deals specifically in energy commodity trading, when it comes down to mastering the art of scrambled eggs, I am called to task… why is it that I’m cooking these things anyway? i have a perfectly good woman who I’ve spent the last 2 hours working hard to give her exactly what she wants… love, affection, and my focus….

    I would think the real art of scrambled eggs would be allowing her to bring them to life through her technique… after all, I know what I’m good at, I certainly hope she knows that I depend of her to deliver her portion of what I need as well….

    Just a thought…(although it may not be popular with your female crowd…who knows…i’m an affectionate male who adores a terrific girl…)



  19. Beth says:

    Ducky… this cracked me up! I complain about the statistics portion of WP a lot. And even though I’m fairly savvy when it comes to HTML (I’ve used it a time or two in my own blog entries to get things laid out the way I want ’em), I’m not about to go find something to insert just so’s I can have more data. It would hurt my brain.

    And you’re right… if I *had* to, I would… but the beauty of it is that I don’t *have* to so I’m content to sit and grumble about it. πŸ™‚


  20. Pingback: The Poison of Muses « Dawne Webber

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