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Monday, March 31, 2003

Time is an artificial concept. I have to keep reminding myself of that fact, because time is something I never seem to have enough of. It's a good thing it's not real, like dirt and air. There's really only one way to run out of time.

For convenience, people have decided time should be measured. I don't know who came up with this idea first, and I'm not sure I agree with it. If you look at it logically, any measurement of time other than days, months and years is something somebody thought up, probably with the intention of using it to get an advantage over somebody else. Isn't that the motivation for most of what we do?

I'm pretty sure the difference between 2:00 pm and 5:00 pm has nothing to do with objects spinning in space. So if I decide to take something the world thinks I should be doing at 2:00 and do it at 5:00 instead, so that I can get out in the garden for half an hour at 2:00, that little shift in time doesn't defy any laws, physical or metaphysical. It might defy expectations, but expectations can be altered. Often should be, I'd say.

Did you get that? On a busy Monday, I worked in the yard for half an hour at two in the afternoon. How about that for defying expectations? And I still got my work done, because, after all, there are a lot of hours in a day, if you even accept the concept of "hours" as useful.

The reason I didn't work straight through and work outside at 5:00 pm as usual was that this is Opening Day. Thanks to the satellite, all twelve major league baseball season opening games played around the country today were right there inside my television set. There'd have to be about 36 hours in a day for me to watch all of them, but I had some of them on in the background as I worked.

The Giants' opener was at 3:00 pm, so I did my outside work at 2:00. That way I could have the game on while I finished my work, and the Boss would never know the difference. It's a big advantage to work at home almost any day, but especially on Opening Day. And thanks to TiVo, if I happened to have my head down when anything important happened, I could always press the Replay button and get a second chance to see it.

Talk about defying expectations and bending time! If only life were like that. If only you got a chance to rewind whenever you missed something just because you weren't paying attention. TiVo has spoiled me just a little, because it keeps time from being such a rigid taskmaster. Sometimes in real life I forget that time, despite its unreality, is fairly linear, as far as I can tell.

Pacific Bell Park

Centerfield, where fly balls turn into triples.

With all the playing around with time I did today, I actually think I got more real work done than I do on a typical Monday. Nobody would ever know the difference, because I set those kinds of standards for myself. I give myself my own performance review, and today I passed with full credit. Too bad I can't give myself the reward I so richly deserve.

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