Tom Waits, in an interview, once said something about a cheap:fast:good formula. In his beautiful drawl, he suggested that you could maybe get any two of those three variables; probably two, never three.
I’m building some turnouts for a friend. It felt so good to be asked and I’m flattered to be invited to help him with his layout. I know I can build these quickly but I’m not going to. Last night, I spent a couple of hours just on this component. Deliberate work and no time wasted but, equally, no experience wasted – I know, from experience, I can build a complete turnout in that same period of time but even if I had to redo one eventually they’ll be done and installed and I won’t get this time back. I can’t take any part of this for granted because, this time, only gets spent once. No matter what, I’ll deliver good track to my friend. Not just “good” for how well they work but how much I enjoyed making them.
This hobby, this life, is intended to be good.
Categories: How I think
Well said Chris
Not only will the care time care taken improve running qualities, but it will also improve ones ability. I know when I slow myself down my quality improves exponentially. Well said Chris
Everything gets better and the time feels better spent. I’ve got to stop approaching the hobby the way I do my job. I’m no less proud of either but not doing myself any favours when I work the hobby like I’m on someone else’s paid clock.
I thought that was a Jim Jarmusch quote, but those two cross pollinate ideas.
You’re absolutely correct.
Tom Waits was telling a story and the line was the same Jim Jarmusch line we’re both thinking of. I struggled on how to correctly attribute it without muddying up the opening moments of this post, so landed as I did.
Your friend will greatly reward you with the accolades you deserve for doing this.
We call that the “iron triangle” in software development, usually in the order good:fast:cheap, pick any two.
“Iron triangle”. I hadn’t heard that reference before I like it. Really reflects how firm the two of three ratio is.
Nice to see you doing some track work. I’ll have to pick your brain on building switches soon.. about ready to make a Fast-Tracks order.
Thanks! It feels good to be back at this. I guess we all have a comfortable or preferred medium and this is mine
Anytime. I’m always happy to share what I know or have learned. Speaking of sharing I have ties and rail if you ever want to try.
I’d absolutely take you up on that- I’d like to try and build a switch before I make an order to see if it the jig is something I’ll need.
You will not require a jig. I’ve seen your work.
That is encouraging as they are extremely expensive!