What time is it?

Richard took me out to lunch at Wendy’s yesterday. As we were enjoying our meal (we both got Dave’s Big Bacon Classic, which is easily the finest fast-food burger on the market today) I reached down to my hip to check the time.

No cell-phone.

   “Do you know what time it is?” I asked.
   “Why do you care?” he shot back with a grin.
   “You have a 1:30 meeting, right?”
   “Yup. I’ll worry about getting me there on time.”
I sighed during the pregnant pause, and realized that not only do I not need a cell-phone, I don’t really even need a WATCH.
   “It’s 12:05,” he said after chewing and swallowing.
   “Oh, good. Plenty of time, then.”

40 thoughts on “What time is it?”

    1. Re: Watch

      The danger of freedom from schedules is not getting anything done. Howard is not really facing complete freedom. He’s facing the challenge of creating his own schedule and keeping himself motivated with self-imposed deadlines.

      I face the challenge of trying to help without stepping into the role of nagging wife.

      1. nagging

        Wow, have I been there! There’s that fiiiiiine line between being encouraging, helpful, and steadfast – and being a complete nag. While some of it is in the perceptions of the listener, it’s also a skill I think far too few people have learned. (Then again, as I get older, there are a lot of relationship skills I think people haven’t learned! Where are all the positive examples of relationships?? ARGH!!)

        Hang in there; it’s obvious you two love & respect each other very much. There will be some really ugly funky days, probably, but they’ll blow over and become much less common. My husband, who works at home, has set up a signal – if his door is closed, I can knock, but it means he’s got his head down working and I can’t stay too long, nor can the kids. If his door is open & he’s in the office, he’s working, but we’re welcome to come in & hang out because he doesn’t need 100% of his brain on what he’s doing.

        And hey, Howard – feel naked there for a minute without the phone? 🙂

      2. Re: Watch

        Just be warned. Having the husband at the house becomes an addiction. I just returned to out-of-the-house work after a few years of working from home. My wife is having a little difficulty adjusting, because she realizes how handy it was to have me around at all times.

        Of course, while I was there, she had the rough adjustment of understanding the principle of, “While I am at home, I am also at work”.

  1. Yeah, and it is an odd experience to realize that your calandar is the most accurate timepiece that you need for most of the things in your life outside of work and school.

          1. What, not even a pair of rabbit ears? <exaggeratedTexanAccent>Why, that’s un-American!</exaggeratedTexanAccent>

            Actually, I’ve been needing to produce a compilation tape of my Kimmel appearances. (My agent has been after me to get that together.) Maybe I can get that done before Linucon.

          2. Speaking as a texan since 1996…

            I don’t have a TV either. Put it in storage 3 moves back and realised after a few months that I didn’t miss it…

            Need something better than this laptop to play DVDs on, though…


          3. Re: Speaking as a texan since 1996…

            Oddly enough, last time I actually used my TV regularly, I had cable included with my rent, and was watching westerns as a dubious form of research for a Deadlands RPG I planned to run.

            Turns out, I overestimated the group’s exposure to westerns. I’m just glad I didn’t have to explain the concept of the horse.

        1. Almost

          I was well on my way to saying that a few years ago, even went months without the tv. But I’m too much of a history channel junkie. Oh and food network (Good Eats baby).

          Regular syndication stuff though, never.

          Still, as much of a junkie as I am, I’m at maybe 2 hours a week average, and usually multitasking.

  2. Finest fast-food burger? It’s not bad, but while you’re in Austin, we’re going to have to go find time for a Whataburger. I suspect your schedule’s less crowded than mine…so pick a time and I’m there. I’m arriving Thursday afternoon, and will have a car.

    1. The burger challenge.

      Ah this good old topic again.

      Actually Howard, since I’m here in Orem with you, we need to go to Apollo, and if possible, drive down to springville and hit Brand-X burgers.

      No franchised burger joint puts real bacon strips on their burgers like these places. MMM, thick cut peppered bacon.

        1. Re: The burger challenge.

          Apollo and Brand-X are not, strictly speaking, fast-food places. You wait, and wait, and wait. Granted, the burgers are really good. I prefer Apollo to Brand-X, though.

          Whataburger sounds interesting.

          My Perfect Burger can be found by Googling on “Howard Tayler Perfect Burger.” You’ll see I’ve put a lot of thought into this.

          1. The burger challenge: Conquered!

            I have found my commercially available perfect burger.

            In and Out Double-Double, Animal Style with a Lemon-Up to wash that bad boy down.

            One single drawback of knowing where I can obtain manna: It’s a West-Coast based chain and I’m locked in Indiana.

            Don’t put too much weight on finding your perfect burger unless you can make it. You’ll just look West each evening and pine as the sun sets…

        2. Re: The burger challenge.

          Never liked Whataburger – to me, their main appeal was that they’re a 24 hour establishment, so if you wanted burgers at 2:00 am, that was where you had to go. I don’t miss them at all, now that I’m out of their service area. But I miss Sonic so much, I’d be willing to open up my own franchise, if I could afford it.

          1. Re: The burger challenge.

            Sonic…. soft buns. I really like the soft, warm buns. There’s one in walking distance.

            Of course, I don’t have a fast-food budget anymore, but I’ve got time to grill The Perfect Burger MYSELF. It’s a fair trade.


          2. Re: The burger challenge.

            “Take care, friend Howard, and value your time
            Be watchful of pastimes as others watch wine
            Surely they’ll drag your career from its legs
            And swiftly begone, leaving bitter dregs”

            ===|==============/ Level Head

    1. I’m willing to call Steak n Shake fastfood, and their bacon cheesburger is better. Their shakes are usually better than frosties, though their fries aren’t as good, and you can’t really dip them in the shake (too thin) like you can a frosty.

  3. The uniqueness of not having to wear a watch will wear off soon, and you’ll want it again. As someone who has been self-employed for the past couple of years now, a word of advice – make a schedule. Make a schedule for yourself that has designated times that you’re going to work on stuff, whatever it is that you want to work on, and a designated time for breaks or lunch, and whatever designated days off you like. Otherwise you’ll fall into the trap that I did, the one where the office computer is work, and every time I’m at that computer, I’m at work – whether I’m working on the database for the company I’m contracted through, or I’m just drawing a comic. It starts to make life really, really difficult – there was a point in time where I wouldn’t go DO anything because I had work to do, and I didn’t have a schedule telling me when to do it, so I would just work my buns off all day and not do anything fun.

    It took about a year and a half for me to realize that schedules are actually a *good* thing – the nice part of working at home is that I can designate work time whenever I want to, and as a night owl, this helps considerably.

  4. Actually, it’s more dangerous never knowing what day it is. Since every day is a weekend, you usually forget birthdays, anniversaries, and paying bills days.


      1. gah, I’d forgotten that part. The worst is when I’m filling out forms away from home and I come to the “Date” field. At least I almost always know what month it is. When I was in college I’d have the same problem. I knew what classes I had that day but no idea what day or date it was.

        1. I have the same problem. The worst was the summer between college and highschool. I would never know what day it was, and often would wake up to see 6:30 on my alarm clock, and not know if it meant AM or PM. I eventually got better, and can keep track of the time and day now.

  5. I do love Wendy’s. And the Big Bacon Classic is an excellent burger, although not what I usually get. I tend to get two Jr. Bacon Cheeseburgers, two orders of the Chicken Nuggets, a side salad, and a large frosty.

    And kudos on your ignorance of current time. It can be liberating and scary all at once.

  6. Back after I finished high school, I spent a year or so being totally shiftless. One interesting thing that came up was that, after a week of not looking at any clocks, I could still usually tell you the time to within 15 minutes.


  7. It’s about time. (Pun intended)

    I haven’t worn a watch since… oh, 1999 or so. And we got rid of the cellphone last year.

    I’m late a lot.

    On a similar subject, I telecommuted for the first time last week. HATED it. Despite the fact that I’m 43 miles away from my job, which equates to 60-75 minutes on Los Angeles freeways. Each way.

    I couldn’t get anything done. Dunno what it is. But I decided if I’m ever self-employed again, I’ll have to have an office with nice fluorescent lighting.

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