Saturday, May 11, 2013


By Julie Rahm
A bucket is a watertight, vertical cylinder with an open top and a flat bottom attached to a semicircular carrying handle called the bail. The bucket has been a part of human history for thousands of years. The word "buc" means pitcher in Old English and was first used in the 13th century.  The earliest depictions of buckets are found on carvings dating from around 3200 BC. They show the servant of Pharaoh Narmer carrying a bucket. Babylonian carvings have gods and genies with small buckets containing holy water in one hand and a pinecone for sprinkling in the other. And, ancient carvings in Mexico also show priests with buckets.
 Recently, the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art displayed a beautifully painted Greek terracotta wine bucket dating from 350 BC. In medieval European countries, buckets were made from wood and leather. The wooden buckets were made by coopers and had rope handles. Apart from their domestic uses, medieval buckets were also used in catapults as an early form of germ warfare. They hurled waste, dead and diseased human body parts and animals over the fortified walls of towns and castles. (yuk) And, you may know that Stanislas Sorel first patented galvanized buckets in 1837. These sturdy and rust proof galvanized buckets rapidly replaced leather and wooden buckets. Plastic buckets first became available in 1967!
Interestingly, to my husband, John buckets are a metaphor. When he was a fighter pilot in Marine Corps, he was a Low Altitude Tactics Instructor. John instructed other pilots on the art of flying low to avoid enemy radar. He taught the “tasking bucket”. When flying jets at extremely low altitudes, pilots must manage their tasking bucket. The most important task in their bucket is “terrain clearance tasking”. Terrain clearance tasking includes flying the jet, checking the altitude, watching the angle of bank, and monitoring the aircraft nose position. The other tasking in a pilot’s bucket is “mission tasking”. Mission tasking further is sub-divided into critical and non-critical. Critical tasking must be done to accomplish the mission. For example, critical tasking might be navigation or radio communication. On the other hand, non-critical mission tasking is a chore that can be accomplished anytime. A non-critical mission task could be folding a map or drinking a sip of water. When pilots “pull” a five “G”, 480-knot turn at low altitude, their sole focus must be on terrain clearance tasking. Failure to act on these tasking priorities can lead to disaster and probably a funeral. So, this week, I tell you about buckets and tasking to tell you this.
In life, it is important to prioritize your tasks and keep your bucket from spilling over. What are your critical tasks? What are your non-critical tasks? What are your personal “terrain clearance” tasks that will cause you to crash and burn if you fail to accomplish them? Fill your tasking bucket with those tasks first! Then, visit my website at 

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