Mountain Views News, Combined Edition Saturday, April 10, 2021

MVNews this week:  Page 11

Mountain View News Saturday, April 10, 2021 



[Nyerges is the author of “Extreme 
Simplicity,” “Self-Sufficient Home,” 
“How to Survive Any-where,” and 
other books. He can be reached at or 
Box 41834, Eagle Rock, CA 90041. 

My friend and I were checking 
out at a small grocery 
store. The clerk was on her 
cell phone, an obviously personal call because 
we could hear everything she was saying. Yet, 
she somehow managed to check each item with 
mechanical efficiency. She smiled towards us, 
without actual-ly looking at us. She spoke the 
price, I handed her some bills, and she returned 
the correct change. The groceries were bagged 
and we walked away. 

I was a bit nonplussed, even though this scene 
has become way too normal. To speak on a cell 
phone to someone else while handling a paying 
customer is the antithesis of service. My friend 
told me I was making a big deal out of nothing. 

“Besides, I do that all the time at my office and 
home,” she smiled. “You know, multi-tasking.” 

“Really?” I responded. “So that’s your fancy 
word for doing two things at the same time and 
doing them both poorly?” 

“But that clerk didn’t do her job poorly,” my 
friend protested. “You got the correct change, 
didn’t you?” 

“Yes, I got the correct change but that’s not the 
point. Let’s just say that if she were my employee, 
she’d get one warning and then I’d fire her.” 

“But that was a small store,” my friend said. 
“How do you know that she wasn’t the boss?” 

“I don’t know that,” I said, trying to explain why 
I felt that we’d just had less than an ideal in-teraction. 
Perhaps it was because the clerk’s mind 
was elsewhere, and that I believe you really cannot 
do two things simultaneously, and do them 
each well, which is why it is illegal to talk on a 
cell phone and drive. I asked my friend to explain 
what sort of “multi-tasking” she does at 

“You know, the usual,” she responded. She described 
a variety of tasks such as paperwork, 
let-ters, taking phone calls, reading e-mails. “If 
you don’t give a task your full attention, do you 
think the task suffers?” I asked. 

She thought about it. “Not really,” she said. 
“As long as I do an adequate job, there’s no 

“But what if you are talking face-to-face to 
someone and you’re still typing or shuffling 


Once again, Chris Nyerges nailed it (should we add 
'to the Cross') in the Easter weekend issue of Mountain 
Views News. Chris spoke about Easter when 
even the "Out to Pastor" essay .by Rev. James Snyder 
chatted only about his cataracts...little blind I'd 
say by a man of the cloth. 

Chris, on the other hand, conveyed the spirit of 
Easter beautifully without either orthodoxy or 
disdain for religion. His inclusivity talked about 
favorite films (I have noted each, to order) as well 
as finding the real story obscured by pre-Christian 
Spring rebirth eggs, chicks, bunnies. 

pa-pers. Don’t you feel that the person will feel 
slighted?” I asked. 

“Well, I suppose it depends on the person,” she 

I dropped the subject for fear that if I pushed 
my point further, a friend would soon be a former 

I’m not a big fan of so-called “multi-tasking.” I 
think it’s a somewhat fraudulent, self-deceptive 
concept where you believe you can efficiently 
do more things than one at a time. It’s a belief 
that by moving a lot of stuff around, that your 
quantity is more important than quality. This 
is probably one of the reasons why the quality 
of goods and services has declined, in general. 

In a similar vein, today there are many multipurpose 
tools now on the market, such as a tool 
which promises to be a hammer, a screwdriver, 
a saw, a shovel, a can opener and pliers. Such 
tools do about 40 tasks poorly and none well. 
In my survival skills classes at Pasadena City 
Col-lege, I have often showed some of the tools 
that you can carry in your wallet, or in your 
glove box of the car, and the unique tool supposedly 
allows you to do everything that you 
formerly did with a large tool box. Of course, 
that’s preposterous. 

I do believe that Swiss Army knives pack a lot 
of quality into a little package, though they cannot 
handle big jobs. The Leatherman tool is 
also generally a good combination tool because 
it is well made. 

But as a rule of thumb, the more tasks a tool 
claims, the more poorly it performs. And, generally, 
as the price lowers, so does the performance 
and longevity of the tool. In my world 
view, it is better to have just a few quality tools 
that a tool box full of cheap tools that mostly 
result in frus-tration. 

My “multi-tasking” friend reminded me that 
the benefit of her doing so many things at once 
means that she gets more done at a lower cost, 
more quickly. I had to think about that one. It 
reminded me of a sign that I once saw in a motorcycle 
repair show. 

Yes, true quality – in a service or in a product – 
takes more time and costs more. And because 
most of us want it now and want it cheap, we’ve 
created a frustrating world of low quality service 
and goods. Change will only come slowly, 
when enough of us realize that fast and cheap 
is just a quick thrill with no lasting satisfaction. 
Everything is a choice, and a result of our many 
choices, and we create the world that we have 
collectively chosen. 

His simple description of "someone who worked 
hard, was ridiculed, laughed at, even killed in order 
to help us save ourselves" summed up the life of 
Jesus in layman's words I felt were unadorned and 
appealing in their simplicity. 

 He ended with another great list of films for the 
secular reader: Whale Rider and Powder. Nyerges 
has the right tone over and over. 

Julie Parker Altadena, CA 


Oliver needs company! This 
cute tuxedo guy was rescued 
from the streets. He was 
then adopted by a family, 
where he stayed for about 6 
months. Unfortunately, the 
family was not able to keep 
him. This was by no fault of his own, as he was a purr-fectly behaved boy! Oliver is 

friendly, good with other cats, and even with cat friendly dogs (see "sleeping" pic with 
dog). He is playful, cuddly, and ready to be adopted by a family who will love him 

furever. Oliver is up-to-date on vaccines, neutered, and microchipped. Get ready to 
make him yours today! Born 8/2020. See more pictures, adoption information and 

application on our website at the More Cats page at 

Pet of the Week 

Eve is twelve years old and was surrendered to the 
shelter with her ten-year-old daughter, Squirt, when 
their owner could no longer care for them. Eve is a 
beautiful, social kitty who loves being pet, and will 
stand up and head butt your hand to ask for more 
attention! In her foster home, Eve has been displaying 
her cuddly tendencies, and can often be found 
grooming her daughter. Both kitties would love to find 
a calm and quiet home together, and you’ll love seeing 
how sweet they are with each other!

 The adoption fee for cats is $100. All cat adoptions 
include spay or neuter, microchip, and age-appropriate vaccines. 
New adopters will receive a complimentary health and wellness exam from 
VCA Animal Hospitals, as well as a goody bag filled with information about how to 
care for your pet.

 View photos of adoptable pets and schedule a virtual adoption appointment at Adoptions are by appointment only, and new adoption 
appointments are available every day at 5:00 p.m. for the following day.

 Pets may not be available for adoption and cannot be held for potential adopters by 
phone calls or email. 


HeyO' Sierra Madre! How ya'll doing? 

Your lovely local 501c3 non-profit, Free Animal Doctor, could use some stuff if you have it 
and don't need it! Plus a volunteer! Here are the deets (as the kids say, the kids from 20 years 

1) Towels. When we do Spay/Neuter clinics we put towels in every metal cage to make it more 
comfy. We also clean up with them. So if you have used towels you don't need, we need 'em!
They can be stained, frayed, even a small hole here or there, just as long as they are clean. Put 
them in a plastic trash bag, and drop them under the mailboxes at 70 E. Montecito Ave... we 
cannot get enough towels! Love 'em!! 
2) Portable canopies. Our big canopy got destroyed in the windstorm. We have a small one, 
but we could use one or two more. It's to shade our staff and clients when they come to the 
Spay/Neuter clinic and have to stand outside. Got one you don't use? We'll use it every weekend! 
Comment here and we'll connect. 
3) Wanna volunteer? We need help checking pets in on Sundays and Mondays. We have about 
20-25 people show up at about the same time, and we need to quickly process paperwork and 
get their pets safely into the clinic for surgery. 
It's 730am until about 930am on Sundays and Mondays at Gate 7 of Santa Anita, right off 
Baldwin before you get down to the mall. You don't have to volunteer every day, but a couple 
times a month minimum would be good. There is a minor bit of training involved, and you 
get much better at it with experience, so we are looking for a bit of a commitment if you wanna 
help. Let me know, again, comment and I will arrange for us to get in touch. THANKS!! 

Mountain Views News 80 W Sierra Madre Blvd. No. 327 Sierra Madre, Ca. 91024 Office: 626.355.2737 Fax: 626.609.3285Email: Website: