I put my shoes on about 8 am. That was the first moment I tracked. A few minutes earlier I was brushing my teeth and wondering where the hour had gone. I was up early, way ahead of schedule, and now I was rushing to get to work.
I moved Mrs C’s car to the street, packed a lunch, and hit the road at 8:12. It’s about an 8-minute drive to work so I was going to make it by 10 minutes to open, my usual target. Some traffic control on Placer delayed my arrival but I still had the store up and running by 8:30. That was my 6th Evernote entry in half an hour.
While brushing my teeth, 30 minutes earlier, I decided to track every minute of my day – or however many minutes were possible.
- Checked messages
- Customer walks in
- Customer leaves (with service card)
- Signed off delivery driver
- Checked emails (nothing)
- Made sold tags
- Tagged fridges
Those were the entries between 8:30 and 9:00. Pretty mundane. There were 23 more entries between 9:00 and noon, none of them worth a paragraph or, really, a sentence of their own. Just stuff Tom did at work.
I started the exercise on a lark because I wanted to see how much time I wasted looking at my phone. To see if I could somehow discover the morning’s lost hour. But instead it became a classic example of the observer effect: wondering how much I’d look at my phone kept me from looking at it altogether. The side effect of the experiment was, perhaps, the single most productive morning in history. The end result was perhaps the most boring blog write-up yet.
But, hey, I tackled a thing, learned a thing or two, and wrote about it later. I also abandoned the experiment before it became burdensome. Maybe next I’ll try and observe “exactly how much money I waste in a year.” The end result of that may be that I become the richest and most boring person I know.
It was like an All-Star game, I thought, but then I thought better of it. It was more like an exhibition match. All the stars of the game were there, those luminaries I’ve watched rise from nobody to newsworthy, the most hopeful folks in the land. The next president(s) of the United States.
I’m talking, of course, of the first night of the first debate of the 2020 presidential race. Liz Warren was there, the front-runner and true star of the first half-score of debatees. Booker was there. Beto. Amy K. Tulsi. I wasn’t as familiar with the others, to be honest. The crop is so big it’s hard to deep dig them all. John Delaney. Jay Inslee. Tim Ryan. Bill de Blasio. Julian Castro.
It was like an exhibition game, like I said. So exciting to see them all on the field after waiting so long in the offseason. It’s nice to know the game is afoot, and this is just the beginning. But like an exhibition game the results do not matter yet; nobody is playing to win. Nobody wants to lose, mind you, but what you really want to do is get out of the contest unscathed. Stay on the team. There isn’t much to gain yet, but there’s a hell of a lot to lose. The first round of cuts are coming. Not everyone present will be here in September.
Beto won’t make the cut. I had high hopes for him when he emerged against Ted Cruz, but he just seems outmatched. He’s the high school debate club guy trying out for the college team. As a friend of mine said on Facebook: “Beto’s 15 minutes of fame are at 14:30.” I said it looked more like 20 after the hour. Tulsi looked outclassed to me, too. Except for a heated exchange with Tim Ryan she didn’t impress. I would guess Inslee, Delaney, and Ryan are out, as well. Reluctantly, I have to give Amy K her due; she looked strong. Booker held serve. Warren did not disappoint. Castro was my big surprise. He’s got upside.
Tonight we get Joe, Bernie, and Kam, three of the top four contenders. Mayor Pete will be there. Andrew Yang. The latter two are my current favorites and I have high hopes for an even better match tonight. I’ll get to meet the other five. Someone might surprise. Someone will slip. If I had to take a guess at who stumbles I would say it’s Joe. He’s enjoyed name familiarity and a connection to the much-beloved Barry so far, but he really doesn’t have much game. Never has. Of all those trying out he’s got the most to prove, to me.
I’ll get my chores done early. I’ll prep the meats, fire up the grill, stock up on beer. At precisely 6 pm, my time, the players take the field for the second exhibition of the season. I honestly can’t wait. I may not catalog every minute between now and then – and I’ll undoubtedly waste a couple of hours today glancing at my phone – but come kickoff time I’ll be ready.
The Super Bowl of Politics is only 495 days away.