Saturday, June 10, 2006

Split Second

Have been taking full advantage of the stopwatch function on my newly acquired Russian chronograph. Yesterday I was in town to have a new muffler installed in my Jeep, and while I was waiting I was sitting on a park bench down by the railroad tracks. Two trains went by. The first train went by in 1 minute and 47 seconds, and the second train took 2 minutes and 16 seconds.

Then I was down in Waukon, and stopped off at a restaurant for lunch. It took 22 minutes and 13 seconds for my order to arrive— well, okay, it was the noon hour, and I was in no hurry. At a couple of other area restaurants, my order has clocked in at right around 13 minutes.

So it is with a watch as it is with a computer: the device spurs you on to all sorts of tasks you never would've dreamed of otherwise. Think of all the things people didn't have to do, at least not with any promptness, back in the days before watches tamed time to the minute and the second. Back in the days when "mañana" meant "whenever."



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