Getting Rid of Time Sinks

By Rebeldad Brian Reid

The chief challenge in balance, on a personal level, is making time for all of the stuff that needs to be packed into a day. And while there are now about a hundred thousand books out there that will teach you to do more, faster, it seems like the best way to extend a 24-hour day is to ruthlessly eliminate those time sinks that steal hours or minutes and give little in return.

I've identified a number of time sinks in my own life, three of which I have made progress toward eliminating:

TV: Once upon a time, before kids, I followed a huge number of TV shows. I was conversant in ER, NYPD Blue, the X-Files, all those now-defunct Thursday comedies and a handful of other shows I probably would not admit to watching if confronted. At the same time, I was working 10-hour days and training for a marathon. I haven't eliminated television, but watching has dropped off dramatically. I'm in bed earlier, and my evenings are suddenly free.

Newspaper: I canceled my subscription to the paper a little while ago. While I still have nightmares about my journalism-school dean showing up at my house to lecture me, I find that I still get the important news online. But I no longer find that a half-hour chunk of my life have disappeared into a half-completed Sudoku and a two-dozen comic strips plotlines. (I do miss the occasional dose of Stuever, though.)

Commuting: As I've mentioned, getting rid of the commute has been a net positive, as much of a sanctuary as the car was. There's a lot to be said for living closer to where you work.

There are three that still vex me, though:

Internet: I waste far less time on the Internet than I used to (mostly due to the magic of RSS and Google Reader), but it is still staggeringly easy to get sucked down rabbit holes and lose five or 10 minutes at a time to learning something of dubious immediate value.

Dinner: I cannot, for the life of me, figure out why preparing dinner seems to take so long, no matter how simple the recipe. I enjoy cooking, but spending an hour a day - from opening the cookbook to sitting down at the dinner table - seems like a tragic waste. I get the attraction of Let's Dish and Rachel Ray, but I'm still not sure how willing I am to pay premium prices to buy pre-chopped broccoli.

E-mail: We have reached a point where e-mail overload is such a problem for so many people that there are entire books and philosophies built around how best to keep messages managed, and I've yet to find a perfect solution. I'm enamored by the check-rarely approach but have no idea how that meshes with a corporate mandate of super-responsiveness to client needs.

I'd love to hear about your time sinks and how you've managed (or not managed) to address them.

Brian Reid writes about parenting and work-family balance. You can read his blog at rebeldad.com.

By Brian Reid |  August 9, 2007; 8:00 AM ET  | Category:  Dads , Guest Blogs , Tips
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Comments

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First!

Posted by: anonthistime | August 9, 2007 8:49 AM

I need to quit posting useless comments on blogs. That would help my time!

Posted by: anonthistime | August 9, 2007 8:51 AM

My time sinks? Well, maybe posting like this, but also if I don't have a list of tasks to do waiting for me at my desk in the morning. I will eat up precious time thinking about what must be done, and trying to wake up, instead of starting on the tasks I can accomplish while I sip my coffee or tea. Another might be lack of sleep, which then prevents my brain from operating at full capacity throughout the day, which then only serves to continue the vicious cycle of inefficientcy.

Posted by: kddunn1 | August 9, 2007 9:03 AM

Brian, I could have written that.

Add to that cleaning, home improvements and trips to Home Depot, and grocery shopping. I hear PeaPod is pretty darn useful, but not for meats and produce. It forces you to be very organized, since you don't get inspiration from walking the aisles. I'm thinking seriously about it.

I've mostly figured out dinner. Shop, cook, and prep on Saturday for the week. The biggest time saver is that it's only 1 big clean-up rather than 5.

Cancel cable. There. I said it.

Commuting. Take the early shift. 7-3:30. Noone in DC leaves for work before 8:00am. They all leave work at 4:00pm, though, so that half hour makes all the difference.

Posted by: atb2 | August 9, 2007 9:07 AM

Cooking: the secret to cutting down on time is planning ahead. Think at night about what you want to do the next day. In five minutes last night: let's see, Thursday will be homemade waffles for breakfast; dinner will be grilled chicken kebabs with pasta salad and veggies. Okay, make the waffle batter; take the boneless chicken breasts out of the freezer, put them in the fridge. This morning: while the waffle iron's heating, chop the chicken in to kebab-sized pieces; put it in the marinade; back in the fridge. Cook my waffle; get ready to leave for work. Eat and go. The waffle iron and batter are out; when the rest of the family gets up they can cook (and clean after) their own.

When I get home from work, it'll probably take 20 minutes to cook the pasta, prepare the salad; put the chicken etc on the skewers while the grill's heating; get out the frozen peas; then cook. Cleaning up is the kids' problem.

Yeah, if I don't plan ahead it's easily an hour, but then again sometimes that's the FUN part of my day. Dad's in the kitchen; leave him alone!

Posted by: ArmyBrat | August 9, 2007 9:09 AM

Its a little ironic that the vehicle you use to share your opinion is a newspaper, one of many that are struggling to survive as people cancel their subscriptions and read for free online; and this you give as one example here.

Posted by: jjtwo | August 9, 2007 9:13 AM

Brian, I will disagree with one thing you said re: the Internet:

"it is still staggeringly easy to get sucked down rabbit holes and lose five or 10 minutes at a time to learning something of dubious immediate value."

That's one of my definitions of "fun", and I would regard losing that capability as a lack of "balance." I love learning new things that may seem useless. I never regard "learning" or "knowledge gained" as useless, and it's amazing how many things that seemed useless at the time turn out to be important and helpful later on.

Posted by: ArmyBrat | August 9, 2007 9:13 AM

Ironing! It takes forever and it seems like such an uphill struggle. Of course, there's always dry cleaning...

Posted by: steeny55 | August 9, 2007 9:14 AM

TV: there's a "balance" between religiously following a TV show/series, and no TV at all. I have cable and "watch" TV while doing other things - it's one of those areas where "multitasking" actually makes sense. I'll put sports on while cleaning, ironing, whatever - if I miss a key play the first time, I'm alerted by the screaming of the announcers and can catch the 10 or so replays they're going to show.

I do try to watch "The Daily Show" and "The Colbert Report", but I'm usually doing other things while those are on, too, so that hour's not "wasted". Okay, sometimes I'll miss a joke, but I can live with that.

Posted by: ArmyBrat | August 9, 2007 9:16 AM

Must disagree with atb - I leave for work at 6am and there is a lot of traffic going into town.

Timer saver for TV watchers: DVR. Set it and forget it (sorry - that's another commercial). Watch when you want and fast forward thru commercials.

Posted by: KLB_SS_MD | August 9, 2007 9:19 AM

On dumping the newspaper: I've often thought of doing this, I read it online anyway. But I have three teens at home and find that having the New York Times (we live in CT) in a messy physical pile on the coffee table everyday means that they will often pick it up and read something, simply because they're already flopped on the couch and it's close. This is invaluable.

Posted by: ndallavalle | August 9, 2007 9:21 AM

I am curious Brian, what did you replace these timesinks with? Just different ones?

Posted by: pATRICK | August 9, 2007 9:39 AM

"Commuting. Take the early shift. 7-3:30. Noone in DC leaves for work before 8:00am. They all leave work at 4:00pm, though, so that half hour makes all the difference."

Um, plenty of roads are clogged before 7 a.m. Especially during the school year when EVERYONE and their kid is out on the road.

Posted by: aNoN | August 9, 2007 9:46 AM

The Internet has got to be the biggest black hole there ever was!

TV shows that have been released on DVD are great. You can watch them when you want, and without commercials.

I agree with those who advocate "pre-planning" on dinner. I have a couple of nights a week where we always have the same menu item. Oddly this works well with children who are often suspicious of new foods. When you have a predictable set of menus, which can change over time, shopping is easier and you don't get caught without some essential thing.

I like getting the newspaper so we do that, but I don't turn the TV or radio on in the morning. Kids can read the sports section or check on the weather in the paper instead of waiting around for it to come up on the media.

Posted by: RedBird27 | August 9, 2007 9:47 AM

I would agree about cooking, a complete black hole. Now having said that my wife loves popping down that hole everyday. So I guess timesinks are in the eye of the beholder.

Posted by: pATRICK | August 9, 2007 9:50 AM

I sometimes wonder if wasting time over a couple of "time sinks" isn't a good thing for your mental health, though. You just have to pick the right ones.
(Right now, I might pick "The Daily Show" and reading/posting on this blog. Unfortunately, it would still leave me a few to "ruthlessly eliminate"...)

Posted by: portuguese-mother | August 9, 2007 10:01 AM

I'm thinking of unloading the kids. Things seemed pretty balanced before they came along. Maybe the weight I gained will go with them!

Posted by: moxiemom1 | August 9, 2007 10:04 AM

I am happily inefficient. If someone tries to make me more efficient, I remind them that I a person, not a process or a tool. I get plenty done, but am deeply skeptical about and resistant towards being 'improved'.

No one ever told their doctor, on their deathbed, that they wished they'd spent less time reading the Sunday paper.

Posted by: lorikay | August 9, 2007 10:19 AM

"Commuting. Take the early shift. 7-3:30. Noone in DC leaves for work before 8:00am. They all leave work at 4:00pm, though, so that half hour makes all the difference."

Wow what DC metro area are you living in. I work 8:15-5 and my commute wouldn't be an average of of 2 1/2 hours a day if no one leaves before 8 and everyone leaves at 4. To miss traffic I would have to travel at no later than 5 AM and no earlier than 7 PM.

Posted by: laineypsu | August 9, 2007 10:19 AM

@jjtwo: I appreciate the irony, but I can't justify buying the paper just because I believe in the inherent importance of a free and robust press (which I do). I'm happy to pay for news, either in cash (I've subscribed the WSJ online for a decade) or via advertising.

@pATRICK: It's probably worth defining time sinks -- as you point out, one man's trash may be another man's treasure when it comes to leisure time. Time sinks take away from my overall goals (excellence at work, deep relationships with the family, physical fitness). If by cutting out TV, I can get a couple of extra hours of exercise, that's a huge net gain for me.

@portuguese-mother: No, the Daily Show should never, ever be counted as a time sink. There is no better way to spend a half-hour a day.

Posted by: rebeldad | August 9, 2007 10:23 AM

I agree with Portuguese Mother (Boa tarde!) that a FEW time sinks can actually be beneficial to one's sanity. And Moxiemom, I treasure your sense of humor!

Posted by: mehitabel | August 9, 2007 10:25 AM

"I'd love to hear about your time sinks and how you've managed (or not managed) to address them."

By Brian Reid | August 9, 2007; 8:00 AM ET |

TV: The picture tube on our 19" RCA XL100 color TV broke just after our youngest was born. We never repaired it. It's as if someone gave all of us a gift of up to six hours a day.

Newspaper: Who says everyone has to waste the time to read the whole paper? I read the funnies and the crime reports in the Maryland section. My wife reads the obituaries and some of the funnies. Our children read the sports section. You don't have to read the automotive sections unless you're getting ready to buy a car. You don't have to read the biased "news" and "editorial" sections because we can get our news from WCBM, WBAL, WYPR, WAMU, WCSP (C-SPAN radio 90.1 FM) and our editorial opinions from Les Kinsolving, Ron Smith, Marc Steiner, Diane Rehm and WCSP's replays of the Sunday morning TV "think" shows.

Commuting: "There's a lot to be said for living closer to where you work," says Brian Reid. There's also a lot to be said for working west of where you live; otherwise, you'll be driving into the sun's glare both mornings and afternoons, as I do. Jobs are scarce enough so that I don't have the luxury of quitting mine just because it's east of where I live. After all, I've got a family to support.

Internet: As big a time-waster as TV. Plus, an internet connection opens up your computer to viruses.

Dinner: "I'm still not sure how willing I am to pay premium prices to buy pre-chopped broccoli." Store-prepared, packaged foods are full of salt and chemicals, too. If we bought prepared, packaged foods my wife could not eat them because most of them contain either egg whites or soy which will make her sick. One virtue of having a stay-at-home wife is what economists call the "division of labor." She buys fresh vegetables, fruits and meats and cooks good, healthy meals while I'm on my way home from work. She learned to do that from her mother and grandmother and from home economics classes in public school.

E-mail: Not a time-waster for us because we have very few correspondents. Dial-up access with no attachments allowed has protected us from viruses so far.

Posted by: MattInAberdeen | August 9, 2007 10:27 AM

Well Brian I am with you on the X-files. My husband used to say the house could be burning down, but if the X-files was on, I would still be sitting on the couch. I heard they are going to make a second movie! YEAH.

oh time sinks, I read way to many magazines and books.

Posted by: Irishgirl74 | August 9, 2007 10:27 AM

My timesink? Arguing with rabid liberals who enjoy roasting me on a spit every chance they get. ;)

Posted by: pATRICK | August 9, 2007 10:30 AM

Most PTA and especially PTA committee meetings are easily missed time sucks. Lots of at-home moms settling in with lattes and gossip, just 10 mins. of meaningful agenda items covered per hour. Skip it. I agree with the earlier comment about cutting off all cable. This cuts teens off at the pass as they no longer want to channel surf. Network and PBS and that weird free Fox station are plenty.

Posted by: OrlandoNan | August 9, 2007 10:32 AM

I'm thinking of unloading the kids. Things seemed pretty balanced before they came along. Maybe the weight I gained will go with them!

We tried that but like a blood hound they kept picking up our scent and made their way back home with demands of ovaltine and fruitchews.

Posted by: pATRICK | August 9, 2007 10:38 AM

I have major timesinks -- mostly TV (after kids go to bed) and internet. Oh, and anything I can read -- newspapers, magazines, books, etc. But I also think we need to draw a line between things we really hate but need to get done (for me, commute, laundry, and anything cleaning-oriented), and things that we actually kinda enjoy and like to spend time with (for me, reading, cooking).

I'm interested in people's ideas of how to minimize the stuff I really hate. Personally, I hate traffic, so I live/work in Baltimore, and STILL leave at the crack of dawn. I also don't always feel like cooking, so I have some quick reliable meals as standbys. (One great summer option: throw chicken breasts in your favorite marinade the night before; when you get home, fire up the grill, and toss on the chicken, sliced onions, and whatever vegetables you like, slice, and serve over salad -- 15 minutes and you're done.)

But one of my concerns about these kinds of discussions is that they sometimes feed into the attitude that you should ALWAYS be striving to find more productive uses of your time -- so that it's not just about how to cut down laundry time, it's feeling like you need to cancel your newspaper subscription because that's not "productive" and so therefore is just a time suck. But is it? Have we really gotten to a point in our culture that taking 15 minutes to read the dang newspaper is seen as lazy, inefficient, and self-indulgent? My granny spent most of her life puttering in the kitchen; now I'm supposed to feel like I'm wasting time if I can't get a meal on the table in under 30 minutes?

So my biggest strategy for dealing with this kind of time suck is to STOP thinking of it as a bad thing. Since when is life supposed to be about maximizing productivity and efficiency at all times? I spend probably 14+ hrs/day taking care of other people's needs -- clients, bosses, kids, husband's, relatives', etc. So after the kids go do bed, I'm [bleeped] if I'm going to feel guilty about wanting to read the ^*@#$! newspaper or sit down with the clicker. And if I want to spend a couple of hours on a weekend afternoon making jam with the blackberries from our garden, then dangit, that's what I'm going to do -- even if it would be more "efficient" to just buy a jar at the grocery store. Life isn't a race to the finish line, and a day isn't a suitcase that you need to cram just-one-more-thing into.

Posted by: laura33 | August 9, 2007 10:38 AM

Ok, what's wrong with a few "time sinks"? Does your life have to be scheduled so tightly that you start whining about something that eats up 5 minutes of your day? Perhaps all those other things that need to be done aren't so important after all, or you would have found the time for them, right?

Dinner is not a time sink; it is a necessity and you can make it as long or as short as you'd like. Order takeout; short. Prepare five course meal from scratch; long. Or something in between.

Is there anything wrong with not putting away the clothes immediately when they come out of the dryer? I fix dinner during the weekdays and it rarely takes me more than 30 minutes (and that whole time isn't 100% spent in the kitchen either).

I swear it sounds as if you are so wrapped up in your career that you want to abandon everything that interferes with it.

Posted by: johnl | August 9, 2007 10:41 AM

I read Albert Schweitzer's biography, and remember what he said about some tedious paperwork he had to do frequently: He tried to look at it as a necessity to his work (running a hospital in Africa), and something to take care with and pride in, even though it was minor. He said he enjoyed it more after that.

Posted by: fallschurch1 | August 9, 2007 10:42 AM

Hrm. After analyzing it, I really consider "time sinks" to be things that eat up your time, but you have to deal with it no matter what.

If it's things you enjoy doing, like reading, surfing the web, zoning out in front of your favorite show--that's not really a time sink, in my opinion. That's a way to decompress and have a hobby or small pleasure. Not to mention maintian sanity, which everyone needs.

Don't confuse the two.

Posted by: aNoN | August 9, 2007 10:45 AM

TV, Newspaper, Internet. Rebel Dad, be glad you live in USA where you can have these «time sinks»! «Taliban», the word means «students» but these were no students, they were and are bloodthirsty Muslim terrorists, when they took over Afghanistan they banned TV, Newspaper, Internet, Music, Movies. After 9/11, NATO crusaders came and clobbered the bloodthirsty Muslim Taliban terrorists, good Muslim peasants rushed to video stores to rent movies from Bollywood in India. As long as «time sinks» do not interfere with prayer times and giving zakat, what is the harm?

Posted by: abu_ibrahim | August 9, 2007 10:46 AM

Posted by: abu_ibrahim | August 9, 2007 10:46 AM


HMM, that's a draw. I guess blood thirsty muslims and crusaders cancel each other out.

Posted by: pATRICK | August 9, 2007 10:53 AM

lol Patrick - sometimes my husband and I look at each other and ask, "who ARE these tiny people who keep appearing in our kitchen every morning asking for food? How did this happen to us?" The same way when I'm getting the kids ready for bed and I see this tired looking woman in the mirror and I wonder "Who is that tired woman caring for my kids? Oh.......that would be me." I forget that I'm not 22 anymore - such a downer.

Time sinks, for me truthfully, the internet and the newspaper which I MUST read every morning. I'm working on minimizing the internet, but unwilling to unload the paper - I like holding my news.

Posted by: moxiemom1 | August 9, 2007 11:10 AM

Gack. Ate my post.

Rosslyn to Bethesda GW/495
Takoma to Bethesda 495

No traffic in AM, not too bad at 3:30.

95/66/270 into the city? No thanks. I chose not to live there. So, inside the beltway + early shift = good commute

Posted by: atb2 | August 9, 2007 11:11 AM

"It's probably worth defining time sinks -- as you point out, one man's trash may be another man's treasure when it comes to leisure time."
"But I also think we need to draw a line between things we really hate but need to get done (for me, commute, laundry, and anything cleaning-oriented), and things that we actually kinda enjoy and like to spend time with (for me, reading, cooking)."
"If it's things you enjoy doing, like reading, surfing the web, zoning out in front of your favorite show--that's not really a time sink, in my opinion. That's a way to decompress and have a hobby or small pleasure. Not to mention maintian sanity, which everyone needs.
Don't confuse the two."

That's interesting.
When you struggle to minimize the amount of time you spend doing things that just have to be done, you're just trying to become more efficient. I wouldn't call such chores a "time sink", even if they do eat up your time.
For me, the concept of "time sink" is more related to that guilty feeling you experience whenever - by your own personal standards - you overdo the things you pamper yourself with .
For instance, if I read for half an hour before going to sleep I feel I'm entitled to it. But if I get caught up in the book and go on reading for a couple of hours, when I turn the light off I'm hit by that guilty feeling that it was a waste of time and the lack of sleep is sure to cause its damages in the morning..

(olá, sra dos gatos!)

Posted by: portuguese-mother | August 9, 2007 11:17 AM

Posted by: portuguese-mother | August 9, 2007 11:17 AM

Not me generally,timesinks are things that i don't want to do that eat up a bunch of time and keep me from doing things i want to do. I never feel guilty doing things i want to do.

Posted by: pATRICK | August 9, 2007 11:21 AM

In that case, Patrick, my job would fall into the realm of "time sink", since it meets your definition of

"things that I don't want to do that eat up a bunch of time and keep me from doing things I want to do".

After all, I'd much prefer sitting on the beach or exploring some new vacation spot than being at work, necessity that it may be.

Posted by: johnl | August 9, 2007 11:27 AM

johnl, I'm with you...

Posted by: teaspoon2007 | August 9, 2007 11:28 AM

Yes, that would be the case under my definition. Jobs are big timesinks

Posted by: pATRICK | August 9, 2007 11:29 AM

Reading Filler on Blogs...

Posted by: Krazijoe | August 9, 2007 11:34 AM

Especially to johnl and pATRICK: It's the jobs we don't love that are monumental timesinks. It can take decades, if ever, to find a job one loves.

Posted by: mehitabel | August 9, 2007 11:34 AM

If you're spending an hour every day to put dinner together, you need to get to a bookstore, where you will find a zillion "dinner in 30 minutes or less" cookbooks. And start using a slow cooker. And sometimes serve, say, leftovers and a salad. That doesn't take an hour either.

Posted by: lmlarock | August 9, 2007 11:35 AM

Who is that tired woman caring for my kids? Oh.......that would be me." I forget that I'm not 22 anymore - such a downer.

that happened to me one day. I was just getting done with my son's bath and looked at both of us in the mirror. His eyes twinkled and he looked so full of life. I looked so tired (which i was) and old. It was a shock only a parent could undestand. Where did the daredevil skateboard kid of 8 go?

Posted by: pATRICK | August 9, 2007 11:39 AM

"If you're spending an hour every day to put dinner together, you need to get to a bookstore, where you will find a zillion "dinner in 30 minutes or less" cookbooks. "

Or at the library, or on the Net.

Posted by: newhere | August 9, 2007 11:41 AM

Ah, I constantly bemoan the fact that my lack of organization leaves me with all sorts of time sinks...but I have made some progress out of necessity because I am a single mother.

Commute: I car pool, which cuts the drive time in half.

Cooking: I cook several meals on Sunday and freeze for the week.

TV: I really limit myself here...I indulged in "Heroes" last season, but it was time I spent with my daughter.

Newspapers: I gave up newspapers and magazines a while ago, but I have three TVs in my office tuned to MSNBC, CNN and FoxNewsChannel. I subscribe to several e-news services with information tailored to what I am interested in reading, and I read the WP and NYT online, as well as information from the local newspaper.

Internet: Worst time sink for me (re: news items above), and I am reducing computer time. E-mail is not too bad because I don't have 100 people e-mailing me.


posted by Single Western Mom

Posted by: pepperjade | August 9, 2007 11:42 AM

TV! I got rid of mine in April and haven't been happier. I can still watch the occasional show at a friend's if I have extra time, and the two series I used to follow post their new episodes online if I care to watch (I'm a little annoyed by the plot lines from last season so it's up in the air if I want to watch them again). I can watch movies on my laptop if I feel the need, but I prefer books anyway. My commute is a two-block walk down a sunny road, and the grocer is two blocks farther. Now my biggest time-wasters are this blog and another blog, and the other blog is funny and more relatable, so if I drop one it'll probably be this one.

Right now, though, I'm off for the week, and I'm headed out to Monterey today. A few days ago was Napa, and tomorrow is a show in SF. Life is good...for now. Next week...school starts and I'm sure I'll be singing a different tune.

Hope everyone has a great day! :-)

Posted by: Monagatuna | August 9, 2007 11:46 AM

I like to cook, so for me it's not a time sink but time spent on my hobby. And unlike my other hobbies, no one ever resents the time I spend doing it.

Posted by: aallen1 | August 9, 2007 11:46 AM

Don't get me wrong, I enjoy my job, but if I didn't need the money I would definitely not spend 10+ hours a day, 4 days a week, devoted to it. I doubt many people would, in fact; there are way too many interesting things to do in this world to spend so much time in an office (or whereever else your job may be) unless you had to do it.

Posted by: johnl | August 9, 2007 11:46 AM

I waste gobs of time on the internet and TV. What could I be doing? Reading The Golden Bough, exercising my dog, helping someone who needs it.

Can't cancel cable or I'd lose internet, but regularly I think about shooting the TV. Most good shows are downloadable from iTunes.

Posted by: mcleangirl | August 9, 2007 11:48 AM

Besides my usual time sinks, I also have to admit that I have become obsessed with the abduction of Madeline McCann. I find myself searching at least twice a day for information on her and hope that she is found alive. Another time sink that has been taking up much of my time is watching CNN, FOX, and the other networks for news of the trapped coal miners. Whenever an event like this happens, I can't sleep and find myself flipping through the channels awaiting word.

My mom called me last night at about and told me to go to bed, said there was nothing we could do for them, which is true.

I guess time sinks change for me.

Posted by: Irishgirl74 | August 9, 2007 11:51 AM

Now my biggest time-wasters are this blog and another blog, and the other blog is funny and more relatable, so if I drop one it'll probably be this one.


I can' resist. Which blog would be funny and relatable to you mona? I am not making fun of you, but given your unusual hobbies, what kind of blog is it?

Posted by: pATRICK | August 9, 2007 11:54 AM

I've never understood why people take out a clean glass from the cupboard, pour themselves a cup of juice or milk, then put the dirty glass in the sink to be washed. What a waste of time and resources!

Just drink from the carton!

Posted by: Lil_Husky | August 9, 2007 11:56 AM

johnl, I realize I'm lucky, but I'm going to disagree with you on the job. It's not a timesink; it's something I truly enjoy doing. Oh, it's not perfect; there are any number of 6-hour conference calls etc. but on the whole I still have the feeling of "I can't believe they pay me so well and let me do this, too." When everything else is done in the evenings (and sometimes when "Daily Show" and "Colbert Report" are on) I'll fire up the laptop and get some more stuff that's actually work-related done.

Posted by: ArmyBrat | August 9, 2007 11:57 AM

Re: Armybrat - pardon my inquisitiveness, but what do you do for a living? It is truly rare to hear someone speak so positively of their full-time work.

Timesinks for me are not a daily occurence for me. I work full-time, and have a husband with a wildly time-consuming job, as well as four boys who require a great deal of time. When I do have down-time, I tend to read books and/or magazines, cruise the internet to read a number of blogs I enjoy, or watch television. The television choice is limited to what my family is watching, or - if left to my own devices - watch Big Love (HBO), Army Wives (Lifetime), NUMB3RS, or a favorite DVD. But all in all, I probably watch less than 2 hours of television a day.

My major time loss occurs with reading novels that bring no gain, but do bring a sense of escape, and even that has its up-side.

I am a big fan of researching various topics of interest on the internet, and that is the "timesink" I most likely need to watch in terms of being a time-sucker.

Posted by: KCBETH | August 9, 2007 12:15 PM

Like I said, if I used Patrick's definition of a time sink then my job would apply. Personally I don't think of my job as a time sink, only something that is both necessary and that I (most of the time) enjoy doing.

However, I'd still leave it if someone would pay me the same amount to sit on the beach or go to interesting spots around the world...

Posted by: johnl | August 9, 2007 12:18 PM

Brian, I'm afraid you are going to have to add me to the few people wondering about your newspaper comment and its lack of concern for the industry. I actually do think you should do your part. I guess I'm the Post's dream consumer, I buy the print edition from a box every day and read it on the way to work and I look at the web site regularly as well. I would subscribe, but the dastardly Post people won't deliver to the door of my apartment. I also read the NYT in print. I find a print newspaper has all sorts of qualities that one misses from online, but I guess this isn't the forum to go into them.

Time sinks. Well I would agree about TV. I am hardly paying any attention to it in summer, at least in relative terms, but it will be hard once the new season starts. But for the few must see shows I watch, I mainly tape them on an ordinary cheap VCR (no fancy TIVO) and then they are at my mercy, not me at theirs. I agree with the person who said TV is perfect for multitasking. There are few shows (ok, maybe 24 is one) where I have to have my eyes on the screen every moment. Jack Bauer, we miss you!

My biggest timesink is definitely the Net, but it bothered me about your instrumental approach to information. You implied it was a waste of time to learn something not immediately useful. Wow. That would basically rule out most of fiction and art to begin with. It would also rule out one of the best things about the Net, which is the serendipity of discovery. Finally, it rules out any aspect of journalism that isn't strictly this-is-what-happened news. There is a lot of great journalism out that isn't in the form of a bulletin. Or do you think the Post's longer pieces, or god forbid, a classic 8-page New Yorker article, are also wastes of time?

I assume Port mom is here not Portugal, so it was bom dia before, but boa tarde now! Ola'! I also love Jon Stewart. He's no Jack Bauer, but they would make a great team.

Posted by: Leila1 | August 9, 2007 12:22 PM

Army Brat, I know what you mean. Even with a job one loves there are still sometimes deadlines, extra hours to be put in to the point of exhaustion, and people with whom one must deal exceedingly tactfully so as not to bruise their tender large egos. OTOH, when a copy of the latest book on which I collaborated arrived in yesterday's mail, it was all I could do to contain my tears of joy.

Posted by: mehitabel | August 9, 2007 12:22 PM

Leila1, You are indeed observant! However, Portuguese Mother has previously posted that she's in Portugal -- hence it's already afternoon when this blog is posted, so I greet her with "Boa tarde."

Posted by: mehitabel | August 9, 2007 12:24 PM

I'm thinking of unloading the kids. Things seemed pretty balanced before they came along. Maybe the weight I gained will go with them!

Posted by: moxiemom1 | August 9, 2007 10:04 AM

Yesterday was one of those days for me--I so know where you are coming from.

Here's my idead, put them in a box labeled "Free Kids!". Pin an envelope with money to their shirts.

Posted by: maryland_mother | August 9, 2007 12:31 PM

Moxiemom and Maryland Mother, There's a famous corollary to your theory, namely that schools would be great places to work if only there weren't any students ;-)

Posted by: mehitabel | August 9, 2007 12:33 PM

namely that schools would be great places to work if only there weren't any students ;-)

Posted by: mehitabel

We call that NIH, dear!

Posted by: maryland_mother | August 9, 2007 12:35 PM

"Here's my idead, put them in a box labeled "Free Kids!". Pin an envelope with money to their shirts."

Nah. Not nearly as cute as the puppies and kitties. Plus, they don't talk back!

No thanks!

Posted by: aNoN | August 9, 2007 12:37 PM

pATRICK, I wasn't going to say, but it's the Comics Curmudgeon. The only reason it's more relatable is because right now I don't have kids and this blog is geared toward parents. I like tossing around opinions about parenthood and its issues, but they don't relate to me. I've read the comics since I was a child, though, and I enjoy the humor. More than once has that blog had me laughing silently and shaking with effort to keep from laughing out loud, hands over my mouth and my face red, in an effort to not wake the sleeping boyfriend beside me.

There, I've said too much. Now you know my curmudgeonly habits. Happy? ;-)

Posted by: Monagatuna | August 9, 2007 12:38 PM

"Here's my idead, put them in a box labeled "Free Kids!". Pin an envelope with money to their shirts."

Nah. Not nearly as cute as the puppies and kitties. Plus, they don't talk back!

I know, I know, hence the bribe. Sometimes the kids are priceless, sometimes they are the biggest pain in the

Posted by: maryland_mother | August 9, 2007 12:39 PM

Maryland Mother: ROFLOLWTIME!!!

Posted by: mehitabel | August 9, 2007 12:42 PM

"Here's my idead, put them in a box labeled "Free Kids!". Pin an envelope with money to their shirts."

You could put them out with the surplus zucchini from your garden.

Posted by: mehitabel | August 9, 2007 12:44 PM

"I also read the NYT in print."

Posted by: Leila1 | August 9, 2007 12:22 PM

Boa tarde, Leila1! The New York Times has no funnies. Even the Daily Record has "Dilbert," plus an occasional funny Court of Appeals or Court of Special Appeals case. But the NYT, with no funnies? Sorry, not my taste.

Posted by: MattInAberdeen | August 9, 2007 12:47 PM

"Here's my idea, put them in a box labeled "Free Kids!". Pin an envelope with money to their shirts."

You could put them out with the surplus zucchini from your garden.

Posted by: mehitabel | August 9, 2007 12:44 PM

Anything...anything! Keep those ideas coming folks!j

But I don't think zucchini is a good draw--too much of it. Now, maybe good TOMATOES (But why would I give away tomatoes? THAT would be crazy!) would be a traffic-stopper.

Kids, if you are reading this, I love you. I really do. But so help me if I'm not occasionally tempted to run away from home. Would you people figure out how to change a toilet paper roll [put it on the spindle] if necessary? Just for appearance's sake when company comes over? I've demonstrated the mystery for you lot often enough. I didn't drop you on your heads.

Posted by: maryland_mother | August 9, 2007 12:49 PM

Mehitabel, obrigada for the clarification. My error. It wasn't so much that I assumed Portuguese Mother was here because she was reading the Post :) It was because another of Portugal's greatest Jon Stewart fans is always complaining the show isn't on enough, or is moving around in its time slots, so I thought Portuguese Mother perhaps had our enviable reliability in being able to find him.

Posted by: Leila1 | August 9, 2007 12:49 PM

MDMom - Some days I'd compensate someone to take them. I keep telling my husband we need to do it now, while they are still deceptively cute. No one will take them if we wait until they are teens! I will argue that my kids at least are as cute as puppies and kittens - the big difference I see is that it is perfectly legal to lock puppies and kittens in the basement.

Being a parent is like being in love - when it is good it is soooo good but when it is bad - lookout!!! Not a whole lotta inbetween.

Posted by: moxiemom1 | August 9, 2007 12:52 PM

maryland_mother,
Do your kids also leave one ice cube in the tray so they don't have to actually walk all the way to the sink and fill it?

Posted by: KLB_SS_MD | August 9, 2007 12:52 PM

maryland_mother,
Do your kids also leave one ice cube in the tray so they don't have to actually walk all the way to the sink and fill it?

Posted by: KLB_SS_MD | August 9, 2007 12:52 PM

Okay, they don't do THAT. Only because we have an ice cube maker hooked up. Yes, I know what a bacterial trap that is too. I don't use ice unless it's for a cooler.

Oh well, we all have to live dangerously sometimes. I will occasionally eat raw cookie dough--you know, the salmonella from the raw egg makes it taste EXTRA GOOD!

Posted by: maryland_mother | August 9, 2007 12:56 PM

Thank you George W. Bush for answering all of our questions in your press conference today. Thank God you did not view this as a time sink. And anyone who questions anything that you say is clearly an operative for Al-Qaeda!!! DO NOT QUESTION GEORGE W. BUSH. DO NOT QUESTION DICK CHENEY!!! If you question these two war heroes (they are war heroes, aren't they???) then you should be shackled, water-boarded, and yes, I admit it, TORTURED!!!! These two people lead the free world. For those of you in other countries, get a life. You are now ruled by us. By America. If you don't like it, then screw you. GOD BLESS YOU GEORGE W. BUSH. GOD BLESS YOU DICK CHENEY. GOD BLESS YOU SAMUEL ALITO!! GOD BLESS YOU JOHN ROBERTS. Please do not have another epileptic seizure as all the liberals hope that you will.

Posted by: bababooey666 | August 9, 2007 1:05 PM

maryland-mother:

You strike me as a possible Al-Qaeda operative. I am so sorry but I must report you to the proper authorities. Yes, yes, I know. This reeks of McCarthyism. But McCarthy had a point, as Ann Coulter so rightly set out in her book. God Bless you Ann Coulter. Please do not eat any food. You might put on some weight.

Posted by: bababooey666 | August 9, 2007 1:08 PM

I agree with Laura that life isn't about being as productive as you can possibly be. I don't consider entertainment time sucks. Grocery shopping and cleaning, however, are huge time sucks. Even when I plan a menu for the week, write out the list by aisle at the store, and gather the coupons, the shopping still manages to take an hour.

For me, reading and watching movies are my reward for working extra hard at keeping a nice lawn (yard work--did I mention that one?) and home.

But I'm childless, so it's probably just my selfish and immature way to assume that I deserve downtime!

Posted by: Meesh | August 9, 2007 1:12 PM

Mehitabel:

"ROFLOLWTIME!!!"

It is so clear that this is some sort of Communist/Al-Qaeda code. You will be reported to the federal authorities. Expect a visit soon. Your lord and master Dick Cheney does not approve of this terrorist code. I will not feel sorry for you as you are water-boarded like the common terrorist that you clearly are. Please repent and begin to worship the Lord Jesus Christ. If you continue to read the Koran you are nothing but a cockroach enemy of America.

Posted by: bababooey666 | August 9, 2007 1:14 PM

ROFLOLWTIME =

Rolling
On the
Floor
With
Tears
In
My
Eyes

I bet even Dick Cheney ROFLOLWTIHE occasionally, like at your satirical posts.

Posted by: mehitabel | August 9, 2007 1:16 PM

Mis-typed. Should read

ROFLOLWTIME =

Rolling
On the
Floor
Laughing
Out
Loud
With
Tears
In
My
Eyes

Posted by: mehitabel | August 9, 2007 1:17 PM

Thank you for satisfying my curiousity Mona. It does sound fun.

Posted by: pATRICK | August 9, 2007 1:17 PM

As another one of our heroes, Laura Ingraham, pointed out on FOX NEWS (fair and balanced). If you do not like and religiously watch the television show "24" then you must be sent to GITMO. It's that simple. As she said, the popularity of 24 makes it so clear that the American public supports the gruesome torture of our enemies. And I could not agree more. GOD BLESS YOU LAURA!!!! GOD BLESS YOU FOX NEWS!!!! Please keep spreading the truth. If it were not for FOX News, all the intelligent people in the middle of this country would have nowhere to turn for their news (CNN reports at a level above 2nd grade, which is SO UNFAIR!!!!).

Posted by: bababooey666 | August 9, 2007 1:19 PM

One timesink I enjoy is washing my car. It, for some reason is very relaxing and let's me mull things over. I always feel better after washing my G.

Posted by: pATRICK | August 9, 2007 1:20 PM

maryland_mother,
Please don't tell me icemakers are bad. I finally got mine hooked up last year and love it. What is the problem with that vs using a tray?

What drugs did bababooey666 do instead of eating lunch today? Waaaayyyy out there.

Posted by: KLB_SS_MD | August 9, 2007 1:23 PM

". . . BLESS YOU SAMUEL ALITO!! . . . BLESS YOU JOHN ROBERTS. Please do not have another epileptic seizure as all the liberals hope that you will."

Posted by: bababooey666 | August 9, 2007 01:05 PM

In keeping with the "balance" theme of "On Balance," Baba Booey '02 MPP respects the balance on the Supreme Court. That's the balance between HLS and YLS, of course. Justice Sam Alito, BA '72 Princeton, YLS '75, balanced with Chief Justice John Roberts '76, '79L. Trivia question for right-wingers and bible-thumpers: ¿how many graduates of Notre Dame Law School have Presidents Reagan, Bush I and Bush II put onto the Court?

Posted by: MattInAberdeen | August 9, 2007 1:24 PM

What drugs did bababooey666 do instead of eating lunch today? Waaaayyyy out there

How can you tell?

Posted by: pATRICK | August 9, 2007 1:28 PM

«If you question these two war heroes (they are war heroes, aren't they???) then you should be shackled, water-boarded, and yes, I admit it, TORTURED!!!!»
«Posted by: bababooey666 | August 9, 2007 01:05 PM»

Shackles? Water-boards? Tortures? In the name of Him who is the Compassionate, the Merciful, cannot we all get along?

Posted by: abu_ibrahim | August 9, 2007 1:31 PM

"Trivia question for right-wingers and bible-thumpers: ¿how many graduates of Notre Dame Law School have Presidents Reagan, Bush I and Bush II put onto the Court?"

The real question is: when will national hero Nancy Grace be put on the Supreme Court?? She is woefully underused on CNN Headline News. She is so, how should I say it, Fair and Balanced, that she belongs on the true leader of cable news. FOX!!!!!!! If only Nancy Grace were on the Supreme Court, the killer(s) of Natalie Holloway would already be on death row. GOD BLESS YOU NANCY GRACE!!!! YOU ARE THE BEAUTIFUL FACE OF CONSERVATISM IN AMERICA!!!!

Posted by: bababooey666 | August 9, 2007 1:34 PM

pATRICK,
How can you tell?
Good point.

Posted by: KLB_SS_MD | August 9, 2007 1:34 PM

TIME SINK? Time doesn't float, nor does it sink - it simply is. STEP away from the TV and computer and experience the reality that is your life. Prioritize. After taking care of yourself, family comes first. Everything else is just icing.

Posted by: CaptainJohn2525 | August 9, 2007 1:38 PM


bababooey666

"GOD BLESS YOU NANCY GRACE!!!! YOU ARE THE BEAUTIFUL FACE OF
YOU ARE THE BEAUTIFUL FACE OF CONSERVATISM IN AMERICA!!!!


With her face, Father of 4 is the only guy who will bang her...

Posted by: newhere | August 9, 2007 1:38 PM

newhere,
Nancy Grace is pregnant with twins - those poor children.

Posted by: KLB_SS_MD | August 9, 2007 1:40 PM

"Nancy Grace is pregnant with twins - those poor children."

That is so mean and unnecessary!!! GOD BLESS HER UNBORN TWINS!!!! They will grow up to know that all minorities are guilty until proven innocent. Actually, scratch that. It's not just minorities. ALL OF US ARE GUILTY UNTIL PROVEN INNOCENT!!! I thank Nancy Grace for correcting all those ridiculous things I learned in high school civics class. Thank GOD she was never censured back when she was a prosecutor. Oh wait, she was?!?!!? Probably by some liberal Daily-Kos-lover.

Posted by: bababooey666 | August 9, 2007 1:46 PM

"DO NOT QUESTION GEORGE W. BUSH. DO NOT QUESTION DICK CHENEY!!! If you question these two war heroes (they are war heroes, aren't they???)"

Since Baba Booey '02 MPP knows very well that President Bush did not serve in combat, and Vice President Cheney did not serve at all, what does it mean to demean them for their lack of combat service? Are we to set up some sort of criterion that says if you haven't served in the military, you're not qualified to be a top decision-maker? Guess which group would wind up disproportionately disqualified. Hints: What branch of the Royal service did Margaret Thatcher belong to? Where did Golda Meir serve in the IDF? Was Benazir Bhutto in the Pakistani Army, Navy, or Air Force? Where did Hillary Clinton YLS '73 serve? Come to think of it, what does Baba Booey's DD 214 form say -- honorable discharge? That's what my DD 214 says.

Posted by: MattInAberdeen | August 9, 2007 1:47 PM

"TIME SINK? Time doesn't float, nor does it sink - it simply is."

Posted by: john.shields | August 9, 2007 01:38 PM

Ha! True, time neither floats nor sinks. Rather, time flies like an arrow, just as fruit flies like a banana.

Posted by: MattInAberdeen | August 9, 2007 1:50 PM

Posted by: MattInAberdeen | August 9, 2007 01:47 PM

What always kills me about those arguments is that the armed services are set up to have CIVILIAN bosses. That is the point, we don't want military men all the way up the chain of command.

Posted by: pATRICK | August 9, 2007 1:50 PM

Matt, BabaBooey is obviously a satirist, so let's not expend further time on him, OK?

Posted by: mehitabel | August 9, 2007 1:55 PM

My DD 214 says "Party on Dude!!!" That's probably what George W. Bush's says too. The difference: I don't pretend that I'm qualified to force thousands of young men and women to die because, in the words of Cartman, my daddy "got served" by Saddamn Hussein back in the early 90s. And the whole Dick Cheney thing is a little baffling. As far as I can tell, even his friends think he has gone off the deep end. Luckily, I'm not his friend. SO I CAN STILL WORSHIP HIM. GOD BLESS YOU DICK CHENEY. PLEASE LOVE YOUR LESBIAN DAUGHTER!!! SHE IS SO DIFFERENT FROM ALL THE OTHER LESBIANS THAT YOU HATE!!!

Posted by: bababooey666 | August 9, 2007 1:56 PM

"That is the point, we don't want military men all the way up the chain of command."

We don't want cokeheads, either. Well, at least I didn't.

Posted by: aNoN | August 9, 2007 1:56 PM

No, sorry Aberdeen - time is not an arrow. That would mean it is targeted at a particular spot, which it is not. Time just happens, and we are free (or not) to deal with life as it comes as us.

Posted by: CaptainJohn2525 | August 9, 2007 1:57 PM

We don't want cokeheads, either. Well, at least I didn't.

But your ok with potsmokers as long as they don't inhale right?

Posted by: pATRICK | August 9, 2007 1:58 PM

We don't want cokeheads, either. Well, at least I didn't.

But your ok with potsmokers as long as they don't inhale right?

No, not at all. Besides, he has beady eyes. Can't trust that. But I don't trust that snowblower either. He's done so many lines, his ability to talk is at the level of a lobotomized four-year-old.

Posted by: aNoN | August 9, 2007 2:05 PM

Let's be honest. If you didn't serve in the military, you should not even be allowed to live in this country. Because serving in the military is the ONLY thing you can do to honor your country. Wait, you mean some people join the military because they can't get a job and it's the only option open to them???? Don't tell me that, it can't be true. And wait, you mean volunteering at hospitals, homeless shelters etc. is not as important as killing foreign people???? Oh gosh, what is wrong with me. Of course that's right.

Posted by: bababooey666 | August 9, 2007 2:06 PM

MattInAberdeen

"honorable discharge? That's what my DD 214 says."

America's WMD - Matt will bore the enemy to defeat....

Posted by: newhere | August 9, 2007 2:15 PM

"Matt, BabaBooey is obviously a satirist, so let's not expend further time on him, OK?"

Posted by: mehitabel | August 9, 2007 01:55 PM

Boa tarde, senhora dos gatos! You use the expression, "expend time." Are you saying that one of our "On Balance" posters is a "time sink"?

Posted by: MattInAberdeen | August 9, 2007 2:20 PM

Terrorist in GITMO: I will never talk. God is great!

US MILITARY: Tell us your plans

Terrorist: Never, i will die first there is nothing that will make me talk. God is Great!

USM: Nothing?
Terrorist: Nothing

USM: Umm , okay have it your way. MATT IN ABERDEEN would you step in here and tell him in detail your views on male female relationships vis a vis world history?

Terrorist: AHH, AHH, I will talk! I will talk! I will tell you where to find OSAMA. Please let me talk. Sobbing, anything, I will tell you anything!!

Posted by: pATRICK | August 9, 2007 2:22 PM

just north of 100 postings so far today.

missing trolls?
boredom?
time sink?
something else?

Posted by: maaxt | August 9, 2007 2:35 PM

Matt asks: "Are you saying that one of our "On Balance" posters is a 'time sink'?"

I believe YOU are saying that, Matt.

Expend means "spend," with no connotation as to whether that expenditure is prudent or wasteful.

Posted by: mehitabel | August 9, 2007 2:36 PM

get that air conditioning working again CATLADY?

Posted by: pATRICK | August 9, 2007 2:39 PM

maaxt

"just north of 100 postings so far today.

missing trolls?
boredom?
time sink?
something else?"

Bad breath.


Posted by: newhere | August 9, 2007 2:39 PM

"'Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana.'"

"No, sorry Aberdeen - time is not an arrow. That would mean it is targeted at a particular spot, which it is not. Time just happens, and we are free (or not) to deal with life as it comes as us."

Posted by: john.shields | August 9, 2007 01:57 PM

I didn't say that time *is* an arrow. I said that time flies *like* an arrow. How is this? Just as an arrow flies in one direction, so does time. You can't call it back. If you don't like the "arrow" simile, the Persian Omar Khayyam likened time to a moving finger writing on the wall.

"The Moving Finger writes, and having writ,
Moves on. Nor all your piety nor wit
Can lure it back to cancel Half a Line,
Nor all your Tears wash out a Word of it."

That's fine for "time." But if we substitute the Moving Finger for the Arrow of Time, what do we do with the "fruit flies"? Use them in "proofs" of Evolution?

Posted by: MattInAberdeen | August 9, 2007 2:39 PM

"Are you saying that one of our "On Balance" posters is a "time sink"?"

Time sink? That sounds vaguely familiar. Oh wait, I remember. That was the lame post by "Rebeldad" that started off today's festivities. I cannot be alone here. Please WaPo. Get rid of Leslie and this Rebeldad dude. They have bored us all to tears. I was serious when I said this blog might have been OK on a weekly basis, but it has long ago overstayed its welcome.

Posted by: bababooey666 | August 9, 2007 2:42 PM

Posted by: bababooey666 | August 9, 2007 02:42 PM

It's just not a normal day on OB until Bababooey calls for Leslie to be fired. Now we can all rest easy.

Posted by: pATRICK | August 9, 2007 2:43 PM

Air conditioning sounds good right around now, pATRICK. I bet it's pretty hot and miserable in Texas, too.

Posted by: mehitabel | August 9, 2007 2:45 PM

Air conditioning sounds good right around now, pATRICK. I bet it's pretty hot and miserable in Texas, too.

You know this has been the coolest summer in 10-15 years. It just hit 100 today. Last summer we were in drought and had 43 days of 100 plus. It is always interesting when we hear heatwave up north, may hit 97 or something. That's just a pleasant day here as long as the AC is on. Go watch a movie, it's always cool there.

Posted by: pATRICK | August 9, 2007 2:48 PM

"It's just not a normal day on OB until Bababooey calls for Leslie to be fired. Now we can all rest easy." Please don't rest easy. QUESTION AUTHORITY!!! Don't take it for granted that Leslie deserves this blog. Be critical!!! Don't just eat the pablum pATRICK. Think for yourself. I know you can do it.

Posted by: bababooey666 | August 9, 2007 2:48 PM

pATRICK, there's a famous saying. It's not the heat, it's the humidity -- and ours has been suffocating lately.

Posted by: mehitabel | August 9, 2007 2:49 PM

"It's just not a normal day on OB until Bababooey calls for Leslie to be fired. Now we can all rest easy."

Come on pATRICK. If the WaPo had taken your advice back in the early 70s, Richard Nixon would have been allowed to serve out his term (and we would never have gotten to see Gerald Ford trip down those airplane steps). This paper has a grand history that I believe is being sullied by this blog. And I, for one, will not stand for it!!!!

Posted by: bababooey666 | August 9, 2007 2:53 PM

KCBETH, I mostly design and build computer networks. Break into them, too, if the pay's high enough. :-)

Since I'm a true geek, it's a lot of fun. "How does this work? How should it work? What can happen here? How did that guy solve this problem? Where did he go wrong?"

I'm still convinced that BabaBooey and abu_ibrahim are the same person. The tone is way too similar to be otherwise.

And I'm strongly in favor of Leslie keeping this blog on a daily basis. The discussions are often interesting; I can truthfully say I learn something (even if "of dubious immediate value" TM-Rebeldad) many days.

Posted by: ArmyBrat | August 9, 2007 2:55 PM

On Balance with your host Bababooey666? hmm doesn't have the same ring. Sorry.

Posted by: pATRICK | August 9, 2007 2:56 PM

I'm still convinced that BabaBooey and abu_ibrahim are the same person. The tone is way too similar to be otherwise


Eureka! I couldn't place it but you are right, it's the cadence of their posts. Thanks!

Posted by: pATRICK | August 9, 2007 2:57 PM

ArmyBrat
I'm still convinced that BabaBooey and abu_ibrahim are the same person. The tone is way too similar to be otherwise.

I thought the same thing myself earlier - great minds think alike (or is it our former military minds?)

Posted by: KLB_SS_MD | August 9, 2007 2:58 PM

"I'm still convinced that BabaBooey and abu_ibrahim are the same person."

That's pretty funny. We are not the same person, but of course you're free to believe otherwise. It's all a conspiracy. ROSWELL!!! ROSWELL!!! ROSWELL!!!

Posted by: bababooey666 | August 9, 2007 2:59 PM

I'm still convinced that BabaBooey and abu_ibrahim are the same person. The tone is way too similar to be otherwise.

Either way he/she/they are off their meds.

Posted by: KLB_SS_MD | August 9, 2007 3:01 PM

It's all a conspiracy. ROSWELL!!! ROSWELL!!! ROSWELL!!!"

LOL! This person is so cooky, it's actually kinda funny.

Posted by: aNoN | August 9, 2007 3:02 PM

Down here in Raleigh it just hit 104 degrees (second day in a row with 100+ weather), and they're predicting tomorrow will reach 100 as well.

Add in the humidity and we've got head indices of 115+. I think I'll wait until later to mow my yard...

Posted by: johnl | August 9, 2007 3:03 PM

I meant "heat indices", obviously. Excuse my typo; the heat is getting to me.

Posted by: johnl | August 9, 2007 3:04 PM

johnl,
You still have a yard?

Posted by: KLB_SS_MD | August 9, 2007 3:04 PM

Well when Bababooey becomes the only game in town, I know its time to logoff. HAVE A NICE EVENING!

Posted by: pATRICK | August 9, 2007 3:04 PM

"HAVE A NICE EVENING!"

You too pATRICK. Take care.

Posted by: bababooey666 | August 9, 2007 3:08 PM

Solutions to Time Sinks:

-- Order all groceries (including meats and produce - the quality is fine) through Peapod. Saves at least two hours a week and doesn't cost any extra (they waive the delivery fee if your order is over $100 which for a family of five ours always is).
-- Do not answer the phone. Cell or home. That's what voicemail is for.
-- Use Tivo to record good TV shows. Skip all others.
-- Work out for 20-30 minutes a day instead of two hours.
-- Arrive at every meeting 15 minutes late and leave 15 minutes early. You miss nothing.
-- Buy movie tix using Fandango so you can arrive late and skip the previews
-- Never go shopping in stores. Buy everything on the internet.
-- Skip Baby Booey's comments on this blog.

Posted by: leslie4 | August 9, 2007 3:08 PM

My biggest time sinks are laundry, internet and TV. We share a community washer and dryer so I can't do peacemeal loads-- I have to dedicate 5-6 hours to just washing, drying and folding a couple times a month. I'm sure it will be even worse when I have kids.

I have a bad habit of watching TV while I use my laptop. I'll find a tolerable TV show and get sucked in while I'm checking my email. Then I'll get sucked into MySpace while my TV show ends and another crappier show begins. My solution is that I only watch shows I've Tivo'ed (that way I know it's something I actually want to watch), and I only check my email once a night. Once I've finished checking and responding to emails, rather than looking for more ways to entertain myself online I just turn off the computer.

Posted by: rnewport | August 9, 2007 3:20 PM

Rebeldad - one more comment about newspapers - I dread the day that the Post no longer has a dead-tree edition. I'm a subscriber, partly because I like taking my paper out on the deck after work and catching up on things, but partly because I am constantly amazed at the talent at the Post and I want them to stay in business. Wouldn't be the same to me to go to an advertising-heavy online edition. Can't imagine I would save any time doing that either...

Posted by: jjtwo | August 9, 2007 3:34 PM

Yes, I've still got a yard, despite my best efforts to kill it. Even though it's straggly and patchy, there's still enough growth to make me feel like it needs mowing. Just not enough to do so when it's 103 outside.

Posted by: johnl | August 9, 2007 4:26 PM

Darn, looks like I missed a good day! Or most of it.

I would define time sinks as things that you end up doing that are neither productive nor particularly enjoyable. Like reading a blog on a bad day, or just poking around randomly at stuff, or watching a TV show that really isn't very good (ie, almost all of them). Mine are mostly on the computer these days, and they happen when I've got down time at work but can't leave or if I'm distracted or avoiding something.

Otherwise, it's either stuff that needs to get done or stuff you want to do. I've focused a lot in the last year on making the stuff I have to do more enjoyable, which actually tends to make it take longer. Hanging clothes out on the line is a pleasant task to me, so even though it takes longer than throwing them in the dryer, I like doing laundry more. Mowing with a reel mower instead of a power one. Cooking really good meals (often with my toddler's "help" these days) instead of throwing together something fast. Nothing has made cleaning enjoyable though, so that task still suffers.

Posted by: LizaBean | August 9, 2007 4:52 PM

To Leila 1 -
I didn't read your posts yesterday because it was already afternoon here (obrigada pelo esclarecimento, mehitabel! beijinhos) and I had to go. It's not so much that The Daily Show moves around in its time slots (which it does), the main trouble is they sometimes start repeating episodes plus its not available on iTunes with a Portuguese credit card (wonder why, guess it must be copyright-related). So I do envy your "reliability in being able to find him"!

Posted by: portuguese-mother | August 10, 2007 5:54 AM

"Skip Baby Booey's comments on this blog."

Ahhh. That's so mean. Me go home and cry. I'm never that mean to you. Well, OK, maybe I am. But can't we all just get along here?!?!? Hey, I have an idea. We should all just read this blog once a week. That would solve the time sink problem and it would mean that readers have to see my comments much less. And once the WaPo saw hits on this blog decrease, it would agree that this should be a once-a-week endeavour. And we would all be so much happier!!!!

Posted by: bababooey666 | August 10, 2007 9:49 AM

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