Slowing Down In Boulder

People covet that which is new and shiny. This universal truth has been demonstrated once again in the south suburbs of Denver, Colorado on Tuesday when hundreds of people waited for hours in the freezing early morning fog as the first Krispy Kreme store opened. I find this entertaining not because people camped out the night before the grand opening or that the wait to buy doughnuts was still an hour-and-a-half at eight o’clock in the evening. The really amusing part of this story was traffic was so heavy around the doughnut shop that it clogged up the highways in the area the entire day.

A lot of people tell me that I have too much time on my hands. While I don’t disagree with that statement, I feel it is my duty to point out that I was not one of the thousands of people who stopped at Krispy Kreme on Tuesday. I would also like to point out there are many, many bakeries in the Denver area that bake doughnuts every day that can be visited without cashing in a sick day.

The story got me thinking about what kind of things I do to waste time. A lot of people seem to think that running the web site is clear proof that I have too much time on my hands. While I can’t totally disagree with that statement, I’m not the kind of guy who wastes time with a single activity. No– I like to think I am very diversified in this part of my life. To prove my point (and waste a little time in the process), I thought I would talk about one of my more memorable recent time killers.

Before I go into the details here, I would like to emphasize the point that not everyone who uses a vacuum to clean their patio has a mental illness. But I’m getting ahead of myself here. First of all, my patio is on the first floor and has a four foot high concrete barrier in lieu of a decorative railing. The concrete compliments the thorny bushes that block out 95 percent of the sunlight that attempts to get through. These architectural cues were borrowed from the beach front structures the Germans used to defend their positions in Normandy.

In addition to being a strategic location to mount heavy artillery, my porch is also a great place for dust and leaves to collect. If left unattended for a few years, the area would completely fill up with dirt and develop it’s own thriving ecosystem. While I’m generally all for allowing man and nature to peacefully coexist, I also would like to get back my damage deposit when I move out of my apartment. So every now and then I go out and clean up the area.

The leaves and random pieces of trash that visit my porch don’t really put up much of a fight when clean up time approaches. The real problem is the fine dirt– it doesn’t really sweep up very well since the area is not very large. The fact that the floor of the porch sits several feet below the ground means there isn’t anywhere to sweep the dirt. That was when I decided to bring out the vacuum cleaner.

Anyone who has known me for any length of time probably wouldn’t describe me as a “clean freak”. The whole point of vacuuming my patio was to get it clean with the least amount of effort. In all honesty, I didn’t think that using a vacuum cleaner was going to work very well. In fact it turned out to be a lot less effort than the half-assed approach I was initially going to use. Getting the porch cleaner than initially planned was just an added bonus to the entire situation.

I would like to encourage everyone who reads this to make sure to spend some time each day doing something that isn’t productive. You don’t have to look far to find such activities. Play a few games of “Minesweeper” on your computer. Think about what the sequel to “The Matrix” is going to be like. Sit around and imagine what Al Gore is doing today instead of running the country. And, if you are one of the many, many people who are wasting time waiting in line at Krispy Kreme, pick me up a half-dozen glazed doughnuts and a pint of milk.