About 8 to 6

Tracking Time

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)
  • Peed
  • 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.

Game On

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.

Game on.

28 thoughts on “About 8 to 6

  1. I’ve always been quite partial to Cory Booker, but he sounded unduly pissed off last night, which isn’t the vibe I ever got from him in all of his years as mayor of Newark, NJ. Warren seems like the early breakout star this time around, and that’s cool with me, but unfortunately, she’ll need to remain consistently near-perfect in order to overcome the electorate’s continued unfounded fear of a female president (not the solidly democratic electorate, but overall). Switching gears to your morning’s schedule, the only activity we had in common today was peeing, and that’s enough because our commonalities are more important than our differences. Everybody pees. It’s the tie that binds.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Haha! Indeed it is, my friend. Cory did seem a little off but, to be honest, they all were, especially at first. The format doesn’t lend itself to anyone’s strengths, except maybe the moderators. Such as it is, with this big a field, all you can do is catch questions and get your 45 seconds. I don’t think we learned much, but what we did learn might be enough for someone like Beto or Tulsi. But, while we’re on the subject, good thing none of the hopefuls had to stop to pee. How do they handle that?

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m not sure about your assessment of Beto, he’s one of those “come from behind horses running the race” type of guy. I still have hope for him all in all, but if he doesn’t make the cut, oh well….I have to agree with desertcurmedgeon, everyone pees, lol.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. I so enjoyed this post! The thought of tracking every hour of my day? I would hope not. I don’t need a schedule unless I have an appt. I take full advantage of that. There are a few niceties of aging, I said FEW, and that’s one of them. My granddaughter likes Buttigieg. No hope for him I’m afraid, but I also liked Beto, maybe next time? So far no decisions by me.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, Cheryl! It really seemed like a good idea at the time. Although I didn’t carry through, though, I’m glad I did it. The things we learn when we challenge ourselves! As for Pete, don’t count him out just yet. He’s further ahead at this point than a couple of recent winners have been. 😉 Let’s give him tonight, at least!


  4. I didn’t watch it as there is family stuff going on, but I hear that Warren is for getting rid of the health insurance altogether. For me that’s big mistake, in Ireland we have both systems universal and insurance. They can live side by side and it gives people choice. It also provides competition with the universal system that can be healthy (pardon the pun)!
    Too early for me to pick, I have liked what I have heard so far. At this point I would vote for any of them to remove Trump!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Here here! ✊

      I think you’re right about Warren’s health plan, but I’m unconvinced that she cannot be convinced to meet halfway. The art of the deal is to ask for the extreme point of what you want so you can “compromise” back to what you really wanted anyway, eh? One of the candidates (was it her? Beto?) said that the important thing was the universal not the exact format (though getting the best one we can get is wise). I think that’s the right answer. Round 2 tonight, Joe, if you ain’t busy! 🍻

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Oy. Luckily enough we’re able to track exactly what this moron says going as far back as he started to tweet. We know he’s disingenuous, dishonest, and just genuinely dumb. I’ve got a good feeling he’s adios in 2020, though, if not before. Remember, however, to never take my gut to the bank…

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Although I have my hopes for certain candidates all I really want is a polite, peaceful transition of power–with emphasis on the transition part–in 2020. The likelihood of that remains to be seen; we have a president who’s openly flouting the Constitution, but I remain optimistic.
    And while I didn’t watch the debates I did see that someone compared John Delaney to Johnny from Airplane! and I laughed and also felt sad that the funny, charming Stephen Stucker was taken from us much too soon.
    Anyway your time-watching is interesting in a Samuel Beckett sort of way and I hope you keep it up. It could surprise you.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Speaking as a Canadian looking in from the outside, I don’t get the Bernie thing. I don’t know much about him except for what I saw on the debate and he seemed like a pretty weak candidate. And that Tulsi person–instead of answering the first question she was asked, she just went off about her military record. After watching both debates, I like that Pete guy and Harris, but then again, I’m just a Canadian:-)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. After watching both debates, and all that lead up to it, I like that Pete guy and Harris, too. 🙂

      Did I ever tell you my Bernie thing? I thought he was the best candidate in a really bad crop in 2016, and now he’s the (second) worst candidate in a really good crop. Folks say “I thought you were a Bernie fan!” and I’m like “Nah, he was just [insert analysis above].” I like Bernie for who he is, but there are better presidential folks. Kamala has me swooning now.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Found this really interesting and love the exchange above with Dang Suzanne! You’ll forgive me for not being up to speed with your presidential race, we got our own shit going on, which is taking up an alarmingly huge amount of my time and brain. But I desperately want to follow and understand. So I will be reading your analysis with interest as I know you will be all over it and will present it fairly, comprehensibly AND comprehendibly (which I don’t think is a word, but it says what I mean 😉 ).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think words that sound like what they ought to be ought to be words whether they are or not. If everyone knows what it means, why keep it from the language. For example, if I said Presidick you’d know who I mean, right? “Did you see what the presidick tweeted this morning?” Completely comprehendable.

      Stay tuned, my Lockwood friend. The game has just begun!

      Liked by 1 person

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