1. Losing my mind. Any time I leave the house I carry my wallet, a wristwatch, and a pocket knife. Stopping to pick them up on my way out the door happens just by force of habit. When I come home, I set them down in exactly the same place every single time. It’s a usually foolproof system that works for me. Except for the one day when it don’t. Walking out of the house “unarmed” isn’t life altering. I could have gone to the local bank branch for cash in a real pinch. It’s mostly the inconvenience of it. Plus, knowing that for some reason i deviated from what should be a perfectly repetitive routine makes me wonder what else I missed…. and that bugs the hell out of me.
2. George R. R. Martin. I swore to myself I wasn’t going to give George R. R. Martin another nickel until he gave us the next proper installment of the Song of Ice and Fire series by delivering The Winds of Winter. Of course my resistance caved immediately when Amazon put the option to pre-order Blood and Fire directly in front of my face while I was looking for something totally unrelated.
3. Cecil County Public Works Department. The CCPWD took the last three months turning what was once a tree-canopied country road into my neighborhood into what looks like a 1/2 scale model of Route 40. Sure, the old road lacked a shoulder, two full sized pickup trucks could barely pass in opposite directions without rubbing mirrors, and getting distracted meant running into the ditch or driving headlong into a tree. It was the thoroughly un-modern counterpart to what I’m sure is a well-designed and engineered modern road. It also lacks 100% of the soul and beauty of the road it replaced, which is part of the reason I moved way the hell down here to the end of the peninsula to begin with.
Since sometime in the middle of the last decade, I’ve been using my phone to keep track of time. Wearing a watch seemed like a throwback when I had a device in my pocket that told me the time based on knowing wherever in the world I happened to be at the moment. As phones got smart it became possible to know the time anywhere on the planet at more or less the same time. Progress. That’s how things are supposed to work in the modern world. Except, of course, the modern world brings it’s own set of inconveniences… like spending an inordinate amount of time in rooms where your cell phone isn’t welcome. Maybe it’s a function of my OCD, but I like knowing what time it is, how much longer a meeting should run, or how close to on time I am for whatever comes next. That’s hard to do when your only time-teller is locked up in your desk drawer halfway across the building.
Somewhere in the detritus of my past, there’s probably a box full of watches. Some subtle dress watches, some big clunky dive chronometers, and more than a few cheap Casio and Timex models that were cheaper to replace than to fix when they inevitably broke. The problem is, I have no idea where that box might be. I’ve looked for it from time to time, but it really is nowhere to be found. Maybe I purged them when I realized the time-telling cell phone was going to be the wave of the future. Still, I’d love to know where my collection of wonderfully tacky Swatch Watches ended up. They’d be a real conversation starter in a room full of button down serious people.
Alas, the old watches are nowhere to be found, so in a fit of not being able to tell what time it was this morning, I pulled up Amazon and have a very sturdy looking stainless steel number heading my direction even as I type this. Nothing gaudy or over the top. Just a simple face and durable band… a workhorse of a wristwatch that hopefully won’t mind living in my desk drawer when I’m authorized to be a child of the digital age.