Monday, January 22, 2007

Fixing blame for the hurry-ups

On this grey, depressing day, it's good to have a little fun.

First of all, those who have been reading these rantings and sometimes ravings will notice a small bug above my profile. I've been invited to join the Major League Baseball blog and have accepted. Now you can read my stuff in two places, especially my take on baseball. That will start about the same time as pitchers and catchers start to report for spring training.

After all, football season ended about 10 p.m. on Jan. 21, 2007, with the horrible defeat of the New England Patriots by the lucky Indianapolis Colts and their friends, the officials.

So, now comes baseball season, although it will be strange to see the Boston Red Sox play without Trot Nixon out in right field. Kapler's gone, although he's still with the organization as a minor-league manager. At least we still have Manny Ramirez, although Manny's like a cat. With a cat, you don't own him as you own a dog, he just puts up with you because you feed him.

And of course, Big Poppy (designated hitter David Ortiz, for those who have been in a cave for the past years), wonderful third-baseman Mike Lowell and pitchers Kurt Schilling and Jon Papelbon and Tim Wakefield have stayed put.

Boy, am I looking forward to this year after the missed-it-by-this-much football season.

Anyway, as Arlo Guthrie says, that's not what I came to talk about.

I came to talk about time.

Everybody's in a hurry. I'm no exception. I stew if my trusty (?) computer takes more that a nano-second to get up a screen or move to a new file.

On television, there's a silly commercial from Target that says "I want it and I want it NOW." Those harmful commercials about all kinds of medicine say that you get relief right now, not in seconds but right now.

I've been thinking about it, and I've decided on what's to blame.

Digital timepieces.

That's right -- digital watches, clocks, time indicators in your VCRs, microwave ovens, on your stove tops, in your cars (and mine.).

Think about it. Years ago, before digital timepieces, you ask someone the time, they tell you it's about 6:30, or about quarter to nine or close to noon.

Now, it's 5:47, or the one I like the best, about 5:47:30.

Before these blinking and staring numbers came about, were we so worried about time. Sure, if you had a train or plane to catch, or you had to punch a time clock, you had to worry. But for everything else, so what. Movies didn't start at 6:08. They started at 6 or 6:15 or 6:30 and nobody worried about the few minutes in between.

Then came digital watches. I remember my first Timex digital watch. It cost $35 in the early 1970s, when you could get a good analog ( you know, the kind with hands) for $5.00. I kept looking at it. And I developed a mania for timeliness that still haunts me. My wife's philosophy on time drives me nuts: if you leave home before you're due at your destination, you're not late.

I try to fight this mania by being late when possible, but I'm conflicted by it.

So, you would say, this guy has to have a simple watch with hands and maybe a sweep second hand.

Are you kidding? I wear a Seiko digital that my mother-in-law gave me 23 years ago. Keeps great time.

To the thousands of a second.


Andrea said...

If you really must blame anyone, blame Fredrick Taylor and the Principals of Scientific Management. Charlie chaplin really got it right with Modern Times, and he didn't even have a watch with a little running man. (Does the man still run?)

Andrea said...

One more thing, Dadoo. Congratulations on becoming part of the MLB Blogsphere! You should join Mike in Cooperstown this year, and the girls really enjoy a good game of catch.

..I am now officially surrounded...