Coping: A Personal Time Warp

I don’t often begin with a bit of personal woo (and in WoWW) but I had one of those days Monday that only comes along every of often, and I thought I’d share it with you.

It almost feels like one of those scenes from the movie The Adjustment Bureau but obviously it’s not.  Still, here’s what happened:

Monday was “double lube, oil, and filter” day for me.

I finished writing my column at precisely 8 AM (as always) and then headed over to the house, took a shower and got dressed.  Leisurely, too. 

I departed the house at exactly 8:33 and it takes 25-minutes to get into town for my first appointment – a fresh set of labs for my doc since we keep an eye on cholesterol and so on. 

I’d walked into the office at 9 AM and when I walked out I noticed the time on the clock in the car:  9:17 AM.  Hmmm…people never get out of a doctor’s office in less than 20 minutes, and that includes not only the blood draw but a fair amount of screw-around time because the veins in my left arm were on vacation.  That meant giving up on that one and doing the right arm.

Done in less than 20- minutes?  Not bloody likely, but a check of the cell phone confirmed “cell time” was also 9:17.

On to the next stop then:  The lube joint on the loop.  Showed up, and there was an empty bay so my car went right in.  Dang! 

I settled in, repaired to wait a good while and started to read on my Kindle.  Just after only three pages, the lady at the counter called me up, gave me the amount and I’m sure thought I was a nutter as I muttered  “Done already?”

Even more curious, I’d had a cup of coffee while I was reading, so I didn’t think to check the clock at this point.

OK, on to the next task:  Get the car washed and have the inside windows cleaned. 

Again, first in line, but a bit of screwing around because the detailing part (windows) had to be wrung up  on a different machine, and there was some confabbing about how much to charge.  Turned out to be $5-bucks, by the way.  Even with a very generous tip, that is a deal.

The car washed and detailed, clean windows and all, my next stop was Lowes for some molding that I’d run short on.  And I tried to get an LED dimmer – a long story, but I bought one – and tossed it in the car.

OK:  Get in the car and it’s only 5-minutes before 10.  What!!???

I went through a mental checklist:  Doctor’s appointment, oil change, car wash, detail, tripe to Lowes and less than an hour?  (I’m good and efficient, but this was verging on ridiculous.

Next stop was J.C. Penny’s where I picked up two pairs of pants, a shirt, some socks and figured I’d killed enough time that surely my favorite Chinese joint would be open for the lunch buffet.

But as I pulled into the parking lot, that wasn’t the case:  It was only 10:30!  So I went to the place next door (Cavender’s Boot City) to buy a shirt and some knickknacks for the kids on our upcoming trip.

Finally, I got to the Chinese buffet and ate and returned home.  Elaine looked a bit surprised to see me to early, too:  Doc’s appointment, oil change, car wash/detail, Lowes, Penny’s, Cavender’s, and lunch – and the half-hour drive home – all in less than 3-hours.

Any other day the doctor would have been 40-minutes.  The oil change would have been half an hour.  The car wash and detail another 20-minutes.  Lowes is a half-hour almost without fail, and getting into Penny’s and Cavenders?  Maybe 20 minutes each.  Lunch out to have been a half-hour and time in between for driving…Don’t forget we’re an honest 25-30 minutes of driving to get back out to the ranch.

To to get home at 10-minutes before noon was, to put it mildly, unexpected.

I don’t hold that anything Woo’ish happened, but what I do know is that Monday I was completely “in the groove” in terms of personal productivity.

Either that, or as you age things really do seem to go by faster. But it was odd, indeed, down as come kind of perceptual level that’s hard to put into words.

Maybe there’s a lesson in here about expectation-setting.  Doctor’s offices are seldom so “greased.”  The quickie oil changes places are not that often that quick, the line at the car wash was usually longer, but even at Lowes, the cash register broke down so all four of us in line had to change.

Whatever the cause, I want more days like Monday:  Everything flowed at a remarkable pace.  Now if I could just put that in a bottle and sell it…..

Dead of Alive

OK, another odd one off in the margins somewhere:  I could have sworn (along with a couple of readers) that Fidel Castro was dead.

I distinctly remember it…cancer and all that.

But it’s not like I’m the only one:  Several readers reported being shocked to read how Russian president Vlad Putin was meeting this weekend in Cuba with the aging, but still very much alive, Fidel Castro.  I even had to double-check the date on the report – twice.

For a second time in 24-hours, I’ll be damned.

Metadata Oh-Duh: Catching Up

The Big Data crowd seems to have discovered metadata of large sets as a tool to predict the future.

Let me see:  Just…uh….13-years behind times.  Real geniuses in the mainstream, huh?

MAM:  Supervolc Coming?

Madison Avenue Mike (on Madison Ave in the lower 60’s) missed his true calling.  Instead of fashion scion, he should have been a news analyst (though the pay sucks a bunch in comparison, lol).

His latest find is that things are heating up in Yellowstone, again, and phrases like “turned asphalt to soup” are indeed attention-getters.

Still, a couple of years so, Steve Quayle ( told us that the odds of Yellowstone going off are low because with so many geysers and what-not, there’s a lot of built-in pressure relief valves.

Still, we’ll just keep our fingers crossed and head across the Rockies down on the south side of Wyoming, just in case…

Hardly a Vacation

Oilman2 is going back offshore for a while – back on the 31st with latest from the oilfields (out there, bring your own helicopter egress ticket).

Belated Reading but Highly Recommended

Speaking of sources and people who “feed the machine” around here:  It’s late  (and I apologize, but get over it):  My friend Howard Hill’s article at The National Memo “”One More Step Toward The Next Meltdown.”

(Howard’s a much better writer than me, but he cheats:  He actually proofreads his work and uses a spellchecker, and has been known to rewrite a sentence or many.  Life without deadlines is a fine luxury…some day I hope to get there, but typing while dead seems just out of reach for now…)

Vacation Rentals: Airplanes

Speaking of the upcoming travels:  I did some research on the cost of flying an airplane once we get up to the Pacific Northwest.  Turns out I can rent a ‘79 Cessna 172(N series) with VFR navigation tools.  All you need is a pilot’s license, current medical, logbook, and to fly with the instructor around a bit so they know you really do know how to fly one.

Since I have a good bit of 172 time, the only thing stopping me is the $130/hour rental fee.  Good news (such as it is) is that the $130 does include gas…

May have to pass.;..Oh, wait: The $130 an hour did that for me, lol…

Peoplenomics tomorrow, more here Thursday…

Write when you break-even…