We took our tortie cat to the vet clinic on Friday, and the young vet who examined her had trouble drawing blood because poor Millie was so dehydrated.  After trying both jugular veins unsuccessfully,  he took her to the senior vet to try because “she can get blood out of anything”.  I  don’t know if I would like someone to say that about me, but I suppose in the veterinary world it is a nice skill to have.  Who am I to talk, though, since I am thought to be the regional expert in curing elimination  disorders (behavioral peeing and pooping problems) in children. It is a strange specialty to have, and even stranger to talk about. Husband is an expert in doing parental capacity evaluations and sex offender evaluations.  He no longer does that kind of work. He is much happier now that he is striving to be an expert Scandinavian rye bread and cracker baker.

What would you like to have expertise in?  Who are some experts you admire? What experts have disappointed you?



40 thoughts on “Expertise”

  1. I put a higher value on expertise, disciplined thinking and science than I used to do. I’ve never had much respect for instinctively attractive ideas, and now have even more skepticism for decisions made by gut instinct than I used to.

    I recall the 1964 presidential election. One of the most effective slogans for the candidacy of Senator Barry Goldwater was, “In your heart, you know he’s right.” The response from those spooked by Goldwater was, “In your guts you know he’s nuts.” Neither argument swayed me much, for I thought careful thinking pointed to an obvious conclusion.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. I dimly remember those black and white ads about Goldwater. I don’t remember anyone referring to the “In your guts…” phrase, but it is great and pertinent today.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. I anticipate this will be a hard week for all of us who will hear “experts” predict various outcomes for next week’s election.

    I enjoy the gardening expert in the Fargo Forum. He was Husband’s teacher for the Master Gardener class.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Always wanted to be an expert golfer–i.e. a touring pro. I admire people who are fluent in a second (or more) language. That’s pretty “expert-ish.”

    Ultimately, to be one of those rare musicians (geniuses) who make playing the most complicated piece seem effortless is a fantasy beyond my wildest imagination. I am in awe of jazz pianists like Oscar Peterson and Art Tatum, drummer Buddy Rich, trumpeter Wynton Marsalis, and the list goes on and on.

    I’m invariably disappointed with investing experts who claim to know exactly what the stock market is going to do, which stock to buy today that is guaranteed to double within a year, etc., etc. In my decades of following and being active in the investing world, all I see are people who figure out one tiny part of economic theory or investing philosophy and then extrapolate it to all investments in all situations. But they can never factor in human emotion and irrational behavior, which is by nature unpredictable.

    Chris in Owatonna

    Liked by 6 people

  4. As someone who owns a home that is over 100 years old, the experts that I rely on the most and appreciate the most are the guys at my hardware store!

    Liked by 4 people

  5. I admire all kinds of scientific experts, but at times it’s hard to tell which ones to believe… I am particularly disappointed with people at the FDA and CDC for being swayed by the powers of T****.

    I would like to be one of those language experts Chris mentioned – I would particularly like to become expert in French.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Rise and Shine Baboons,

    I said last week that I hope to become a Master Gardener, which is an expert of sorts. Sometimes I think I might be an expert social worker, then I realize there is some huge area of SW in which I know little to nothing. Which takes us back to the belief about “knowing what you don’t know,” which I think is wisdom.

    Renee, if you have an idea about how to help children with toileting problems, then you truly are doing some good and helping those kids. Those are tough, complicated problems.

    OT—Saturday evening we were invited to an outdoor small social event with 6 people. We decided to risk it, despite the COVID risks because we needed to socialize and have some fun. At a certain point it feels dangerous to become too isolated. Everyone was masked and distanced, so I thought the risks were low. And It was cold. But it was worth it, despite losing the feeling in my right foot by the end of the evening. We are becoming increasingly wary as the risks grow. I am running around town in both a mask AND a face shield. Michael Osterholm will be on MPR in a minute—so listen to the experts about this.

    Liked by 6 people

  7. I’ve mentioned the traditional New Orleans jazz band that recently has captivated me: Tuba Skinny. Almost all band members are fluent with several instruments. The person who leads the band, Shaye Cohn, gave up a career in classical concert piano, thinking she was leaving music. But within years she was performing as a jazz cornetist whom many regard as one of the all-time great artists on that instrument. Additionally she is accomplished on the accordion, classical violin, spoons, guitar, stride piano, drums, trombone and clarinet. She sings, composes original jazz tunes and designs the arrangements for the band. This isn’t exactly “expertise,” which usually involves drilling down in one area, but it sure impresses me, someone who could not play one instrument well.

    Liked by 4 people

  8. Expertise in an art form would be good. I, too, Steve, admire those proficient at multiple instruments. I had an uncle who could with a little time trying play almost any instrument but he never pursued any of them. My daughter has to a small extent inherited that.
    Expertise in a hard science would be excellent–statistics, chemistry, biology, physics, medicine, engineering but not in a soft science. Expertise in soft sciences is too unsatisfying. I for a dozen years posed as an expert in the softest of soft sciences–education. Research in education is often confusing. But there is some sound ground, but it is widely ignored. “Evidence-based” is a hot term right now in education and elsewhere. But the little I have looked at has weak or no evidence.

    Liked by 4 people

  9. OT. Kinda. When I was looking for book expertise two weeks ago I came here. And it was the right place. Nonny plowed through her first book ( she even admitted to staying up late to finish it) and really liked it. I think Maisie Dobbs is up next. Thanks everybody for your expertise on this topic.

    Liked by 3 people

        1. I completely agree BiR- in almost every series I’ve ever read, at least one or two of the titles disappoints me, including Laurie R King and Naomi Novak, whom I generally adore. But Louise Penny is just a gem. I read an interview in which the interviewer asked her if she was going to write any other series besides Gamache. And she replied “why would I want to write anything else when I love these characters so much.” And I think it shows in her work.

          Liked by 1 person

      1. Well, it is hard to tell, since the kibble is in a dispenser in the basement. She ate some ham I gave her, but she won’t eat the canned food we had on hand, but I think she doesn’t like it. She ate at the vet’s office last night, so I will see what they fed her and get some if necessary. She is drinking and peeing. I think the prednisone will stimulate her appetite.

        Liked by 2 people

  10. This group will appreciate this. The next term paper to write for Philosophy and Religion class is on one of two subjects: “Social Media and Buddhism” or “Applying Taoism to Creative Works” and there’s a picture of the band Pink Floyd from the 1970’s. Well. I *have* to write about Taoism if you’re going to give me Pink Floyd.

    Kind of like we talked last week; I’m pretty good at some things… “expert” seems to imply a lot of knowledge that I may not know I don’t know, right??
    I’m pretty good at patching lights in the lighting consoles. But more the ‘old school’ method of the old style patch bays that hardly anyone has anymore. Kids today; they don’t know how easy they have it.
    But it’s always made sense to me and it was easy. I’ve seen others stumble over it.
    Building a wall. I can build a wall. But sometimes It’s a special wall or maybe it’s interior for a commercial building and I don’t know what the inspector will look for and then I’m loosing sleep and getting anxious because again, I don’t know what I don’t know!

    My friend Paul; he’s an expert scenic painter. But he wouldn’t like me calling him that. Erica; she’s an expert designer.

    I’ve seen too many actors that really think they’re hot stuff. But to me (and this is just my opinion) I don’t think they’re so great. And other people gush over them. Yeah… not so much.

    Liked by 4 people

  11. I knew a fellow who taught himself to be an expert fishing guide on Mille Lacs, a difficult lake because it has so many reefs that hold fish but are hard to locate. Joe learned the exceedingly tricky navigation needed to find those reefs using obscure little items on distant shorelines to get himself in just the right spot. For decades he had knowledge, hard-won knowledge, that had commercial value. Then people developed detailed maps, sonar depth finders and GPS units. For a little money, anyone could know what Joe had taught himself the old fashioned way. Joe became bitter, really bitter.

    Something quite similar would be the challenge of learning all the obscure side streets in London. London taxi drivers used to study what was called “the knowledge” for years before qualifying to become a cabbie. Now any Uber pilot with a GPS device can find any address. The last I heard, regulations still protected the old cabbies from competing with the new technology. I doubt that holds up. Some precious expertise does not retain its value.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I suspect we have seen in our lifetime more expertise become obsolete than at any time since the industrial revolution. That certainly was true in my experience with advertising and graphic arts. When I started, advertising was assembled in pieces by keyliners who would take the set type (which was prepared in a dedicated typehouse and printed on photo paper) and facsimiles of any graphics, marked “position only” and fasten them all down to illustration board with sticky wax in a precise measured configuration. These paste-downs would be photographed and the real photographic images would be swapped in by engraving strippers. From that the printing plates would be made.
      Typehouses are mostly gone. Type is easily set and adjusted via desktop computer. The typehouses had already replaced all those skilled setters of metal type. Keyliners are gone. Everything can be assembled by computer. Engraving strippers are gone. Once again, it’s easy to drop the final image into an electronically assembled page.

      That’s just the effect of digital technology on one little cluster of expertise. Digital technology had similar impacts on specialties across industry.

      Liked by 4 people

      1. Bill, you reminded me of a scene in the movie Laura. Clifton Webb comes in to the ad agency where Jeanne Tierney is working and she stops what she’s doing to speak to him. And what she had been doing was pasting. So I assume she was a paster downer?


        1. I’m not sure how the keyliners would have liked being called paster downers, but probably so. One place I worked the keyliner only had one arm. You could call him a one armed paper hanger. He had a metal mechanical prosthesis for when he was working but when he left the office he had a lifelike rubber hand he wore. Whenever I went into his office at work, I couldn’t help wondering where he kept his rubber arm.

          Liked by 4 people

  12. My father was an expert on rules for high school football, baseball, volleyball, and basketball in MN, IA, and SD. He was a sports official until he was 89, and knew the minute differences between the rules between each state. He loved going to the rules meetings they have each fall to learn the changes for the season.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. Daughter’s SD relatives have a cavalier attitude towards Covid, not openly hostile, just sort of low it off. Her 79 year old father in law collapsed at home alone but pushed his button. Hi is in respiratory therapy with Covid. He has major heart issues.


    1. As I think I’ve mentioned on here before, the senior member of the family that owns husband’s former place of employment has been on and off a respirator for several weeks. He turned 78 in August. He and his wife, both of whom worked at the company (she still does) are deeply religious. Their congregation believe that God will protect them, and have had a rather cavalier attitude toward congregating, wearing masks, and social distancing. Stan is not expected to live. Despite being extremely fit and in good health until he caught the virus (or the virus caught him), the virus has done a number on his lungs, and doctors don’t hold out much hope that he’ll be able to overcome it. Guess it’s God’s will.

      Liked by 3 people

  14. I like the fellow who was on MPR along with Michael Osterholm today, talking about COVID-19. When he was asked about 45’s prediction about a vaccine being just around the corner, he said, “Well, I’ll just defer to the president on that.” Then he snickered and said “Just kidding.”

    Liked by 3 people

    1. It was Dr. Paul Offit, and I was wrong on the question he was asked. It was about a presidential tweet that claimed that case numbers were only going up because there was so much testing. Dr. Offit said, “I always tend to defer to the president on the science. No, just kidding, uh…”

      Complete program can be heard here:

      Those are a couple of experts I would trust.


  15. We had an issue with our black cat where he got dehydrated to the point where he couldn’t stand up anymore we took him in they put him on the IV and told us never to feed him dry food again because cats don’t drink a lot of water and he was going to need to get his hydration from the moist canned food that we would feed him daily
    We had an issue with our black cat where he got dehydrated to the point where he couldn’t stand up anymore we took him in they put him on the IV and told us never to feed him dry food again because cats don’t drink a lot of water and he was going to need to get his hydration from the moist canned food that we would feed him daily
    just recently started getting real skinny again to the point that my daughter got concerned and went to the store and bought high-end canned food which the cat seems to love and eat more of and that seems to have brought him around a little bit so the take away from that is don’t feed your cat dry cat food

    what would I like to be an expert at? There was a photographer that did bodies in the same way that Annie Liebowitz does faces I would love to be able to be an expert at photography of both the human form and the face and landscape

    What have I been disappointed in I’m not gonna go there right now I’m sure it’ll come to me later but I’m not gonna focus on it


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